September 30, 2012

"If the ascent of women has been much exaggerated, so has the descent of men."

Asserts Stephanie Coontz:
Men’s irresponsibility and bad behavior is now a stock theme in popular culture. But there has always been a subset of men who engage in crude, coercive and exploitative behavior. What’s different today is that it’s harder for men to get away with such behavior in long-term relationships. Women no longer feel compelled to put up with it and the legal system no longer condones it. The result is that many guys who would have been obnoxious husbands, behaving badly behind closed doors, are now obnoxious singles, trumpeting their bad behavior on YouTube.
In the old days — which social conservatives would like to continue — women locked men into marriage and did what they could to tame them and tie them to a socially and economically useful way of life for the benefit of all of us. (This is why the phrase "marriage is between a man and a woman" is so deeply meaningful and important.)

I'm extracting the Coontz bits that interest me, so here's another (shorn of its connection to that other one, which you can click on the link to read):
One thing standing in the way of further progress for many men is the same obstacle that held women back for so long: overinvestment in their gender identity instead of their individual personhood....

Just as the feminine mystique discouraged women in the 1950s and 1960s from improving their education or job prospects, on the assumption that a man would always provide for them, the masculine mystique encourages men to neglect their own self-improvement on the assumption that sooner or later their “manliness” will be rewarded....
Now men need to liberate themselves from the pressure to prove their masculinity.
If you wouldn't be so much of a man, you wouldn't suffer so much from The Decline of Man. Women are on the upswing, but you can join us, be with us, but you're going to have to shed that manliness and become... An Individual... like Us the Women... who have ascended.

72 comments:

Sayyid said...

On the heels of your incredibly oversensitive race post, I'm hardly surprised to see a post steeped so deeply in anti-male sexism and crude caricatures of conservative thought.

Double standard, much?

The Crack Emcee said...

Kiss my black ass.

There - that's about as much improvement as I'll make to join a bunch of narcissistic, neurotic, health-obsessed, save-the-planet bleeting nobodies who have nothing bigger in their lives than trying - TRYING - to cum.

As the old saying goes, "I'm just not that into you,..."

yashu said...

Sayyid, I think you're misreading where the sharpest point of Althouse's irony is directed in this post. It's not at social conservatives or men.

edutcher said...

Lefties can't live without somebody to hate.

ricpic said...

When that great protector of women, the state, collapses, it'll be back to the bad old days. Which will be the good new days for Snidely Whiplash.

SGT Ted said...

I'm with Crack MC on this.

bagoh20 said...

That argument for marrige sounds a lot like the one made for slavery. You get on the boat because they promise a nice trip, and 10 years later the misery is for your own good.

Sam Hall said...

A hundred years ago, being a housewife was a full time job and required real skills. For example, if she wanted chicken for dinner, the first step was to go in the backyard catch and kill one.

Then came electric power, refrigeration, microwave ovens and all the rest that made a woman's skills useless.

We are now in a period where women are finding a new role for themselves. That there a few bumps along the way is to be expected.

Inga said...

There is absolutely no reason why both sexes cannot live in a mutually fulfilling and loving life, and retain their gender identities.

I think affirmative action has seen its day, has done some good. Perhaps some white males have been marginalized because it's lived beyond its usefulness. Time to end it ( yep, I'm still a liberal) and perhaps white males can get back to feeling manly again.

Or would they just find some other affront to their masculinity to bitch about?

Sayyid said...

Yashu: I'm quite aware that the post is mainly poking fun at Stephany Coontz. But it does so at the expense of conservatives and men.

Dante said...

Oh, people are malleable. We can simply wave a wand around all that testosterone, that's been in the animal kingdom for tens of millions of years and the evolution around that, and "Poof", men become individuals. All they need to do is take some estrogen pills. Hey, I read this in that liberal rag the San Jose Mercury News, at one point.

Maybe Michelle will dump some estrogen in school lunches, so everything becomes fair.

EDH said...

Closing sentence, the big reveal:

But women’s progress by itself is not a panacea for America’s inequities. The closer we get to achieving equality of opportunity between the sexes, the more clearly we can see that the next major obstacle to improving the well-being of most men and women is the growing socioeconomic inequality within each sex.

There so much "work" for social engineers like Coontz to do.

Skipper said...

Here come the rationalizations for "endorsing" Obama again. Why the need for them?

jimbino said...

Does all this mean that in the future I won't have to suck on lead and mercury and get drunk in order to maintain a conversation with women on math, physics, engineering and economics (cabinetmaking, beermaking, chess, solo travel, skateboarding, ...)?

virgil xenophon said...

@EDH/

^^THIS--and there is so little time! GOT to enjoin the power of the state to aid in the cause--just listen to an all-too eager and willing accomplice Barack "We can't wait" Obama opining on leftist, statist causes (any of his utterances will do..)

n.n said...

Another fanatic inviting people to join her ranks. Her selective recall of history and reality does not speak well of her motivations. Her general denial of individual dignity, an inviolable natural order, and a tempering enlightened order (i.e. consciousness) does not lend credibility to her intellectual acuity.

Women want to be men. Men want to women. We are all very confused about reality. We are incapable of self-moderating behavior. Let alone of comprehending reason and reasonable. We need mortal gods to provide for the welfare of an infantile humanity.

Dante said...

That argument for marrige sounds a lot like the one made for slavery. You get on the boat because they promise a nice trip, and 10 years later the misery is for your own good.

Yes, marriage sucks. It popped up in every major culture independently in the world, as the Grand Compromise.

And, it works. Check out what is happening in the US, particularly in the Black Community, with the destruction of the family. I don't think there is anything special about Blacks, in this regards, it's merely the herald of things to come.

Erika said...

women locked men into marriage

How very interesting, that men had so little agency.

jdniner said...

Lol.

Should marriage exist or should we just have 5 year civil union contracts that are renewable. At 5 years of age we could house children in boarding schools and just give the parents visitation rights. That's being progressive.

jr565 said...

If you wouldn't be so much of a man, you wouldn't suffer so much from The Decline of Man. Women are on the upswing, but you can join us, be with us, but you're going to have to shed that manliness and become... An Individual... like Us the Women... who have ascended.


Puh-lease. If women are on the ascent why are they still such catty bitches? Still can't chase the mouse or spider out of the house. And their becoming individuals really means they become like men (not saying this of all women, saying this of women who assume they have ascended somehow to "individuals". All the traits they are mentioning are the manly ones. They can get in the boardroom and deal with the men on a level playing field. Yada yada.
Only women are not as good as men at being men. They aren't even that good any more at being women.

jdniner said...

The idea that women are saints in fidelity and men are bums is an illusion. We just don't like to talk about women's infidelities and women don't like to bring it up in conversations. Most married women have considered a fling, many have done it. They just handle it differently than men do. A man will brag about it to friends at the bar and get in hot water.

frommtaxes said...

Yikes this article seems to have hit a nerve. It seems that this is just another facet of our polarized society and world. There is just less civility and compassion for our fellow man or woman. Not to mention the overall world problems and conflicts between nations. There is just a lot of cynical thinking and mistrust.

Dante said...

In the old days — which social conservatives would like to continue — women locked men into marriage and did what they could to tame them and tie them to a socially and economically useful way of life for the benefit of all of us.

At one time, women had something men really wanted, and there were consequences to taking it outside of marriage. In fact, women still have that thing, but they give it more freely. And then there is love, that amazing state of being, in which a man would do nearly anything for his mate.

People haven't changed. The basic drives are still the same. Oh, it turns out these drives and needs can be manipulated by the state, promising all the things a man gives ala Julia. Sorry, the state isn't my mommy, it's not my daddy, and it's destructive that it's trying to be.

jr565 said...

Dante wrote:
And, it works. Check out what is happening in the US, particularly in the Black Community, with the destruction of the family. I don't think there is anything special about Blacks, in this regards, it's merely the herald of things to come.

It does work to some degree. It tames men, only a lot of that is surface only. They still have their mistresses, they are just discreet about it. Many though are enhanced by family life. Becoming responsible does tend to make one more aware of responsibility. And if you are at all a decent person it you want to live up to those responsibilities.

jdniner said...

In America today we can't expect secular people to live by a religious rule of marriage made national law. We do need a system that provides a stable growth environment for kids and a stable financial world for both parents. But times are a changing. A move into civil unions for all with clear support and counseling up front. There are some men and women who should never get married and never have kids.

Strelnikov said...

The story of civilization is the effort to civilize men. "Women's Liberation" undid, or seeks to undo, those restraints which were centuries in the making, inadvertently freeing men to act on their baser instincts. "Jersey Shore" is least of what we get.

Inga said...

Oh bullshit. I had three mice in my house once, after my husband passed away. I bought mouse traps, loaded on the peanut butter, set them and whap! Got the mice one by one. Killed em dead, even picked up the mousetrap with the stiff little body of the mouse in it and threw it in a paper bag, then in the trash and didn't scream, not even once.

Synova said...

"overinvestment in their gender identity instead of their individual personhood...."

I have only one word to say about that:

Vagina!

rhhardin said...

There's not much ascending in math.

hombre said...

"In the old days — which social conservatives would like to continue — women locked men into marriage .... (This is why the phrase 'marriage is between a man and a woman' is so deeply meaningful and important.)(Emphasis mine.)

Perhaps this seems true for those who are ignorant of the basic tenets of Christianity. For those who are not, this assertion occurs as a product of typical academic pretentiousness and is demeaning to both men and women.

jr565 said...

Inga wrote:
Oh bullshit. I had three mice in my house once, after my husband passed away. I bought mouse traps, loaded on the peanut butter, set them and whap! Got the mice one by one. Killed em dead, even picked up the mousetrap with the stiff little body of the mouse in it and threw it in a paper bag, then in the trash and didn't scream, not even once.

There are always exceptions to the rules. Some guys will cry like women when they have to kill the mouse. But in general, it holds true.

gadfly said...

Althouse takes us to the next chick flick . . .

sleepless nights said...

"Locked men into marriage".

I thought that's what happened back when too, but no. When I was late teens to early-20s, so of prime marriageable age for previous generations, I took pride in not locking guys I liked into anything. We were too young, had to finish our educations, etc.

I was surprised when the guys in question either 1. were loyal with no outer constraints (the best results, and the best guys) or 2. immediately tried to lock me down (bad results - rather than meaning that the guy was freely taking the initiative to deepen the relationship, meant the guy was projecting, insecure, and a cheater).

Lem said...

How is it, then, that men still control the most important industries, especially technology, occupy most of the positions on the lists of the richest Americans, and continue to make more money than women who have similar skills and education?

I dont know the answer to this but I'm asking it because I presume it to favor my own bias.

How many women have approved patton's as opposed to how many men have... how many women have contributed anything worthy comparable to the contributions of men?

If women want to be equal, start bringing something to the table and quit using the law as a tool to force your way to just sit at the table... never mind that you are not bringing anything to put yourself there.

And leave Marie Curie rest in peace!

Chip Ahoy said...

I got the ascent of women pow! right in the kisser.

Dieciséis de Septiembre, Grito de Dolores, El Grito de la Independencia, Independence day, the one that isn't Cinco de Mayo, the real one.

Families. Always, families, never loners. Girls. Wearing the same thing, the same shoes, shop at the same place and make the exact same choices, good choices, but not twins. We pass on the sidewalk, and the cheap ass perfume they shared was ascent of women indeed, an aggressive assault on the olfactory capacity of everyone on the same block. Like they both fell together into a vat of Avon flower-something.

DADvocate said...

women locked men into marriage and did what they could to tame them and tie them to a socially and economically useful way of life for the benefit of all of us.

Women still lock men into marriage, but to take them for everything they can rather than for the benefit of all of us.

Nomennovum said...

" But there has always been a subset of men who engage in crude, coercive and exploitative behavior."

These we call the "successful men," the alpha males.

wyo sis said...

It would be nice if we could all ascend together. Why does one have to decline if the other rises?
That's the whole idea of family. People becoming their best selves together, helping each other.
Let's put the family back in business and the sociologists out of business.

Nomennovum said...

"But women’s progress by itself is not a panacea for America’s inequities. The closer we get to achieving equality of opportunity between the sexes, the more clearly we can see that the next major obstacle to improving the well-being of most men and women is the growing socioeconomic inequality within each sex."

A Leftist's work is never done.

Michael K said...

"Blogger Lem said...

How is it, then, that men still control the most important industries, especially technology, occupy most of the positions on the lists of the richest Americans, and continue to make more money than women who have similar skills and education?"

When California had the opportunity to elect a governor who was a female billionaire, having built a business larger than Mitt Romney, and who was a wife and mother as well, they elected Jerry Moonbeam Brown. No other explanation of the coming collapse of the state is necessary.

Chip Ahoy said...

Speaking of Avon. I have three red Avon bottles that are bulbous on the bottom and very small size. The each have a red glass stopper in the shape of a flame. They're soaking in oil to get their labels off.

Perfect for my purpose. I think. One is taller than the other two. The squat ones look like small red ewers the tall one like a red genie bottle.

That Avon really knows how to get people with packaging.

Those two chicks I mentioned took a similar bottle and went glug glug glug glug glug.

If you do that cologne application in Denver where you spray a mist, then step into the mist you sprayed for a faint application, the particles dry as they exit the sprayer. The dryness makes spraying paint from cans and things like varnish, all a slight bit tricker, closer and faster. It took me awhile, I was going, wtf? with my varnish. It works but it's weird.

I can tell by the way you're squirming around that you're waiting for me to show you the fifth hummingbird feeder. Okay, fine. It's an old shoe polish bottle. Really old. Now it's ridiculous. Got no class atoll. But neither do birds. The dipping wad that comes with it is the perch, and the flower was painted. It has a ridiculous crest like peacocks do, and it has a few whiskers reminiscent of a cdc.

cdc, British for crudely drawn cock. Always magenta and always three hair per ball for a total of six hair. This is four purple marbles, but you can see how that's exactly the same thing and equally indecent.

Synova said...

"When California had the opportunity to elect a governor who was a female billionaire, having built a business larger than Mitt Romney, and who was a wife and mother as well, they elected Jerry Moonbeam Brown. No other explanation of the coming collapse of the state is necessary."

Just so.

EDH said...

Ascent of women.

The tale is in the tail. Heh!

Ooh, but I still smell her... Women! What could you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a fuckin' genius.

The hair - they say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls, just wanted to go to sleep forever?

Or lips - and when they touched yours were like that first swallow of wine after you just crossed the desert.

Tits. Hoo-hah! Big ones, little ones, nipples starin' right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm.

Legs. I don't care if they're Greek columns or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em - passport to heaven. I need a drink.

Yes, Mr Simms, there's only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearin': pussy. Heh!

Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls here.

Chip Ahoy said...

Michael K, excellent.

Lyle said...

@ jdniner,

There are some men and women who should never get married and never have kids.

I have this same thought too.

Nomennovum said...

"When California had the opportunity to elect a governor who was a female billionaire, having built a business larger than Mitt Romney, and who was a wife and mother as well, they elected Jerry Moonbeam Brown. No other explanation of the coming collapse of the state is necessary."

Gov. Moonbeam was probably put over the top by the women voters.

McTriumph said...

When this zombie economy goes all apocalyse now, who are all these asended women going to run to for protection?

Peter said...

Yawn. We only talk about the "decline of men" because heavy layoffs in construction and manufacturing in 2008 and 2009 meant that men suffered a disproportionate share of job losses. More recently, layoffs have been concentrated in government jobs and have hit women harder.

Chip Ahoy said...

Denver is going the way of California.

It was reliably Republican. A vast exodus from California changed that dramatically. They came here specifically and brought their ways with them and changed Denver completely. Permanently. It outweighs Colorado Springs and all the rest of the state combined. I expect Obama will win here, and so then it can be said they actually changed this election by altering all Colorado's electoral votes. That incremental city change, made a full state change and will well abet a federal level change.

I'm describing, not complaining.

And now they're leaving for Texas an they will bring their ways with them, concentrate in urban areas and change that state too. So there will be Jerry Browns everywhere, the Meg Whitmans excluded for things like employee documentation, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Nevada. The people have to go somewhere.

The good thing about it is the sushi places around here have improved tremendously. Seafood is altogether better, the whole restaurant situation is improved, so I thank them for that.

Kel said...

It is a gigantic lie that civilization and marriage is an effort to "tame men." That is unquestionably disproven to be a complete falsehood when the evidence is examined.

The problem in society isn't men these days. The problem is feral women.

Government and the law has released women to be free from everything. Birth control, abortion, divorce law, discrimination law and workplace law - ALL of it gives power to women to do what they want.

Don't like your boyfriend? Accuse him of rape or sexual harassment. Don't like your husband? Divorce him and get his house and alimony, and make him never see his children again (a little sexual harassment lie never hurt in that regards). Don't like your boss? Get HR involved and he'll be gone in 2 seconds. Want more cash and prizes? Walk into any women's shelter and claim spousal abuse.

Women have it made in society today and as a result have gone feral. There are entire messageboards that instruct women on how to divorce to maximize income received from a man. And needless to say, college women's studies, and HR departments across America, instruct women that they have zero responsibilities and if they feel the least bit unsettled it's a man's fault and he should PAY and by PUNISHED.

Google Dalrock's readings in feral females and the state of marriage. It may surprise you. And conservatives are actually some of the biggest enemies of men these days because they don't understand the nature of the problem.

Nomennovum said...

More recently, layoffs have been concentrated in government jobs and have hit women harder.

Sounds like time to launch a Congressional investigation. The House Committee on "Women Having Opportunities for Reasonable Employment Situations" is something we all can support.

BarryD said...

"That argument for marrige sounds a lot like the one made for slavery. You get on the boat because they promise a nice trip, and 10 years later the misery is for your own good."

No kidding.

And the idea that men are trying to "prove our masculinity" instead of "improve ourselves" is ridiculous.

How about this: a lot of women aren't worth dealing with. A lot of men actually LIKE doing "masculine" things, which is why we associate them with masculinity to begin with.

So, when we are not playing Stepin Fetchit to some bitch like this one (and so many others) and we are off doing "man stuff", it's because we enjoy doing that stuff and we don't really care to be slaves to some bitch with BPD.

I'm glad women don't have to stay in abusive relationships any more. Neither do men.

Yup, the decline of men IS overstated. Men who don't do the bidding of women are ascendant.

FTR I'm happily married. But it took a lot of girlfriends and 38 years to find a woman to marry.

Phil 3:14 said...

Gosh, I got my wish.


(Be careful what you wish for.)

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Yashu.

Phil 3:14 said...

Professor yanking our chains?

bagoh20 said...

I must agree that our current overextended, bankruptcy destined, navel gazing, reality TV, never ending argument, down-is-up culture sure seems like the ascent of women to the rest of us, pretty much just as you would expect it.

Now, how many of you married men out there really think you would be an out of control animal, devoid of purpose, self-obsessed and lying in your own filth without being married to a woman? Really? That's all you are, a dog? The only difference between us is the amount of training some woman granted you for the good of mankind?

It's so unprecedented to read a woman insult men, and simultaneously crown her own gender as saints. I mean, you never hear that. Gay men are really screwed, and lesbians must double holy goddesses of decency.

Penny said...

So now that the percentage of unemployed females is rising, do we say that they are *ascending* into those ranks?

Carnifex said...

@Chip Ahoy

It just struck me, there's is a chain of second hand stores here in Louisville called "Peddlers Mall" They sell "everything" in these places, from antiques to trash. With your creativity this place would be a gold mine for you.

Just today, I was there with the woman who is staying with us(she's moving out! Yeah!), and she was buying some furniture, and I found a tall directors chair for $15. My dad has been wanting one for 2 years so we grabbed it. Got a hummingbird plate for my mom, and a fat cat creamer for my wife...total spent...$18.50.

Ps

I know you like hummingbirds. An albino one was photographed this year in Staunten WV. Just google albino hummingbird and the pics pop up.

Titus said...

I think a man with a small cock is unmanly and not masculine.

I feel pity for small cocked men. How debilitating.

I saw a guy in the gym the other day heading to the shower-I don't shower at the gym-and you could barely see his hog-it was just a bush with a little thimble or button inside the pubes-so sad.

I am not a size queen but a big cock is definitely masculine.

hog.

Titus said...

I always wondered if the size of a man's hog is genetic, like height or baldness.

Or is it just the luck of the draw?

hogs.

Penny said...

Sure, we all know that Chip likes hummingbirds, Carnifex. Why else would he spend so much time creating handmade sugar feeders for them.

But here's what EYE wonder?

When's he going to get around to meeting the hummingbirds PROTEIN needs?

I want to see some creative spider traps! And fly traps too!

Nothing and no one can live on sugar alone. ;)

Penny said...

Titus!

He always asks those burning questions we all have.

brains

kentuckyliz said...

Is the vowel sound in Coontz pronounced like Fluke?

paul a'barge said...

Althouse speaks for social conservatives ... and knows not one of them personally.

Call it the Grand Canyon of arrogance and hypocrisy.

Roux said...

I've only been married 30 years but in my opinion men and women work together. Each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Men and women working together for a better family and hence a better world. What a concept?

Chip Ahoy said...

Albino hummingbird!

Does not have red eyes.

SteveOrr said...

Why can’t you be an individual like everyone else?

I thought the “man & woman” thing is about what’s best for the child. Men are not children.

Stephen Coonts is a manly author.

Shana said...

Everyday I am more and more thankful that I dropped the feminism of my mother's generation after college. Heck, she herself only gave it lip service, which is why she is stil happily married to my father, I expect. What a miserable way to live - envy, inferiority complex, hostility towards half the human population.

Eric said...

What’s different today is that it’s harder for men to get away with such behavior in long-term relationships. Women no longer feel compelled to put up with it and the legal system no longer condones it. The result is that many guys who would have been obnoxious husbands, behaving badly behind closed doors, are now obnoxious singles, trumpeting their bad behavior on YouTube.

As if YouTube wasn't filled with videos of women behaving badly.

What she's talking about isn't so much the end of men as it is the end of marriage. Maybe someone can fill me in - excepting guys who are religious, why in the world would a man get married? There's no upside that I can see.

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

That shit is dumb

UNKNOWN said...

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