Is the following speculation too outlandish and Swiftian? You tell me. . .
“What’s the matter with men?” That’s the topic of no end of books and featured articles, particularly with respect to blue-collar men whose traditional path to respectability, manual labor that pays well due to its physical arduousness, is disappearing. As The Economist says:
Poorly educated men in rich countries have had difficulty coping with the enormous changes in the labour market and the home over the past half-century. As technology and trade have devalued brawn, less-educated men have struggled to find a role in the workplace. Women, on the other hand, are surging into expanding sectors such as health care and education, helped by their superior skills. As education has become more important, boys have also fallen behind girls in school (except at the very top). Men who lose jobs in manufacturing often never work again. And men without work find it hard to attract a permanent mate. The result, for low-skilled men, is a poisonous combination of no job, no family and no prospects.
The increasing unmarriagableness of men is often identified as the reason why the rates of unwed motherhood have climbed so much (though the rate seems to have stabilized recently). Women report thinking of the father of their child as “just a child himself” — whether because young women tend to be more mature than their same-aged counterparts or whether motherhood itself makes those women more mature.
At the same time, as much as we’re told that one’s sexual orientation is genetically-determined, even the most obvious counter-example of the homosexual relationships of ancient Greek men make it clear that there’s a significant degree to which there’s cultural conditioning. What about the year 2015? We had “I kissed a girl and I liked it” already. It’s my understanding that in certain social circles in certain college campuses, “experimentation” in this respect is growing in popularity. What’s more, one strand of “second-wave feminism” was the belief that women, all women, should make the choice to be lesbians due to the systematic oppression of women by men even in supposedly-egalitarian relationships.
(* Oh, and by the way, an off-topic question: could not a single mother receiving welfare benefits of one kind or another for which she would lose eligibility if she married, be positioned to claim that she’s being denied the “right” to marry?)
Even if the above is far-fetched, it’s useful as a thought experiment. If women, to a significant degree, give up on men and form all-female households, no specific woman has harmed any specific man. But the harm to men, and society, in general, would be significant.