Thursday, October 13, 2005

The trouble with men - or with women?

Here's a woman lamenting the lack of men who are "willing to commit." I'd just like to remind her that it was in fact the women who started this whole "single is best" culture that now permeats much of the West. Since women initiate most divorces and a divorce can potentially mean financial ruin for a man, it shouldn't really be too surprising that many men hesitate to get involved at all. The difficult part is actually explaining why so many men still get married. At the same time, women during the past few decades have made it a lot easier to have a girlfriend, without getting married. So women make it more risky to get married and easier to stay unmarried, and then they wonder why men "won't commit?" Uhhh, well, I don't know. Maybe too many women didn't think all this Feminism stuff quite through before jumping on the bandwagon?

The trouble with men

We’re also pretty clued up about why our generation is delaying having children — and it has nothing to do with being failed by employers or health planners. Nor, despite endless newspaper features on the subject, does it have much to do with business women putting careers before babies. In my experience, the root cause of the epidemic lies with a collective failure of nerve among men our age. How many young women do you know, happily married or the equivalent, who are wilfully refusing to have children now at the risk of running the gauntlet of IVF in five years time? Quite. Dr Bewley accuses women of ‘playing Russian roulette’ with nature, but the point is we’re only interested in having babies if they are fathered by men we love and who are going to stick around and enjoy bringing the little brutes up. By the time they hit their mid-thirties even the most dedicated career women are ready to do some nesting — even if that means grudgingly accepting that our careers are more likely to suffer than our mate’s and that we’ll probably end up changing most of the nappies. The trouble is that very few of our male contemporaries are what you might call twig in beak. Of course not every man his age is in a state of prolonged adolescence, but a critical mass of them are. I recently went to a wedding where the presiding vicar actually congratulated the groom on having enough ‘backbone’ to commit to marriage while his spineless contemporaries squirmed in their pews. I don’t know a woman of my age whose version of living happily ever after fundamentally hinges on becoming editor, or senior partner, or surgeon, or leading counsel. But faced with a generation of emotionally immature men who seem to view marriage as the last thing they’ll do before they die, we have little option but to wait.


At October 13, 2005 11:32 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Well said Fjordman. You might be interested to know that we actually have two talk radio personalities in the United States who make the same point on an almost constant basis over here in the United States.

Of course, they only reach a very small percentage of the total population (maybe 10-15 million people), but that's better than nothing.

At October 13, 2005 11:39 PM, Blogger Rick Darby said...

Yes, sometimes it's down to emotional immaturity on a man's part. But many men are just defending themselves against the cynical view of relationships that feminists have pushed over the years. I don't think it was a man who came up with the slogan, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

When a woman can declare divorce for more or less any reason including a felt need to sample the field, and be assured of getting half the couple's property, you can't be too hard on a bloke for not wanting to risk being exploited.

At October 14, 2005 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a female point of view, I would have to agree with most of Fjordman's observations. I think it's because of brainwashing by women too lazy to think for themselves. I think women today have too little respect for themselves in the moral area and throw themselves at almost any man they meet. If you don't value and respect yourself, why should any man? As my dad used to say when I was young, "why buy the cow, if you can get the milk for free?" The only disagreement I have is about income, especially if kids are involved. Men are much better off financially (at least in the US) than most single moms raising kids on precious little money. I would also like to add that I have seen several married female acquaintances/friends get dumped by a middle-aged mate suffering from mid-life crisis, in favor of a 20-something bimbo. This happens all the time in Hollywood and in the business world as well.

At October 14, 2005 12:54 AM, Blogger Mike H. said...

Nordic, there are a number of things that should be taken into consideration by your sisters. One being that two of my children didn't make it past the abortion process (one having been miscarried for a total of three). At no time was I involved in the decision to abort. Women alone are able to end the pregnancy, regardless of how the male feels. Why get married? Marriage is for families.

At October 14, 2005 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike h--I'm so sorry to hear about your losses, it must have been very painful for you. I don't agree that marriage is only for families though. I think you're missing out on a lot by remaining single. I found a great book (although with a Christian slant), "How to Find the Love of Your Life." What I liked most about the book was the checklist of subjects to talk through with a potential mate BEFORE you get married. Too many times people are caught up in the emotional aspects of love without knowing if they share common values.

At October 14, 2005 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across an interesting study tonight on the internet. You may have already talked about it in one of your earlier posts--since I've only been reading your blog since August, I'm not sure. It's called,"The State of Our Unions, The Social Health of Marriage in America, 2005." The subtitle is,
"Essay: Marriage and Family: What Does the Scandinavian Experience Tell Us?

Very interesting reading,--here is the link:

At October 14, 2005 3:00 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Nordic Smile,
I agree that marriage is about more than family. Marriage is about learning how to give. When you have kids, the lesson becomes even more intense.

It's a challenge, but it makes you a better person.

It could be, though, that what Mike H. meant is that, if a woman can simply abort a man's child without consulting him, if a woman can sue for divorce and ruin a man financially, if a woman can pretty much get away with anything they want, then a man doesn't really have a family, does he?

I am a very lucky man. I married a great woman. I wish more people had my life.

At October 14, 2005 3:24 AM, Blogger Ron said...

Oh she is full of herself I think. Because men will not commit to her, that mens men will not commit? It just means they will not commit to HER.

Its sort of like when a man half jokingly says "she must be lesbian" after getting turned down. Its a self defense mechanism, and for her, its to blame her inability to get a man, on men, instead of her.

At the same time, I think women do not know whey they want a commitment, its just like some buzzword they use, without knowing exactly why they need it.

And if the said article was true, well can you blame guys for not wanting to commit? Getting involved is a huge financial risk for men,and a lot of women are just nothing that anyone would want to join into a lifelong relationship with.

At October 14, 2005 4:07 AM, Blogger bordergal said...

I will chime in on the opposite side of the scale. I am a college educated (advanced degree) woman who gave up her formal career to take care of the children. (Full time child care for a baby? Forget about THAT!) I consult on a part time basis, and it has worked out well from the standpoint of child raising...

HOWEVER, it has no bennies, no retirement attached. I started my own 401K, but it sure isn't appreciating as much as it would be if I had remained in my original career.

Females take a HUGE risk when they leave work to take proper care of their children....just as much, if not more, as men do. After all, the man will be well entrenched in his career even after a divorce. If a woman isn't a full time traditional worker, she has lost many precious years and career advancement opportunities.

Marriage is a big risk on both sides of the aisle.

At October 14, 2005 5:40 PM, Blogger Pavel Kohout said...

This year I separated from a person that fits the description "female predator". I have a boy with her. Leaving the family was an extremely difficult decision for me, but I had no ther option to save my health. Not kidding.

My lawyer told me I should be soooooo lucky I was not married. Anyway, the story cost me two annual salaries not including payments for my son.

I'm single and happy now feeling no temptations to find another woman. I tend to think that women
worth marriage are simply not available in this generation.

At October 14, 2005 11:35 PM, Blogger bordergal said...

So you were willing to have sex, make a child, but not to commit to your family/child through marriage. You went away to protect YOUR health, but left a young unprotected child in what you are implying was a bad situation.

And you call the WOMAN a predator?


At October 15, 2005 6:54 PM, Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

What legal options does he have, BG?  She's the mama, she can probably prevent him from seeing the child at all at her own discretion and without any legal repercussions.

Are YOU going to send him money for a custody fight?

At October 15, 2005 10:54 PM, Blogger bordergal said...

Engineer Poet-

He's the one made the choice to unzip his pants, EP. Didn't ask my permission, or I would have told him STUPID MOVE.

The point being is that he CHOSE to indulge in risky behavior, but is now whining about the consequences. Since when is life free of consequences? What really frosts my bacon is that the child is the one who will pay the price for the selfishness and irresponsiblity of the so called "adults" in this scenario.

Men have just as much control over reproduction as women do. If they lack self control, good judgement, or are too lazy to take care of business, well-there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Or "free" sex.

Darwin called it "the surival of the fittest".

At October 16, 2005 12:34 AM, Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

No, BG, you're changing the subject.  You said that he
"left a young unprotected child" in a bad situation.

Had he married his ex-GF, she could have just divorced him and done exactly the same.  How would marriage have changed the situation of the child that you are now blaming HIM for?  Answer that.

And then tell me that divorce and custody laws don't need to be changed so that it's not a license for predatory women to commit legal, financial and emotional rape.

At October 16, 2005 1:09 AM, Blogger bordergal said...

Nope, I'm not changing the subject, I am addressing the issue premptively. This man has put HIMSELF in an untenable position, and it was completely avoidable.

The first SMART thing to do would have been to avoid the whole child custody issue by keeping his pants zipped.

Apparently he did not care enough about this woman to marry her, however, he was more then happy to have sex with her, and did not care to take adequate precautions. ALL WITHIN HIS POWER. No sex, no child, no problem. OR Sex, precautions, no child, no harm no foul during the breakup.

He did not take time to vet her as a potential bed partner, and then blames her for his due diligence failure, ie that she is "predatory". Well, sheesh, if I go date someone and don't take time to fully understand their character before I hop in the sack with them, does that make them predatory, me stupid, or both?

And what do you call men that are happy to get women pregnant without any commitment? Or is there a double standard here?

If you're going to have uncommitted sex, where each party is out for their own interests, why should he be surprised by the outcome? He's getting what he wants, she is getting financed for her time (otherwise known as the oldest profession).

I'd say that the situation was pretty clear from day one.

I agree that both parents, in the event of a divorce, should have equal access to a child (unless, one parent is obviously unfit). Kids need their dads as well as their moms. He should be involved in this case as well, it being in the CHILD'S best interests.

However, what is ultimately in a child's best interests is to have two married parents who love each other. And adults should do their damndest to make sure that is how children come into this world.

Marriage actually does work. All the adults in my family have been happily married for up to sixty years. My husband and I are the babies at only fifteen....looking forward to another fifty or sixty....

Oh, and there is a system in place to protect men from predatory women, it's called USING THE BRAIN GOD GAVE YOU.

**Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part**

At October 16, 2005 1:17 AM, Blogger bordergal said...

And as to why I'm so cranky about this issue, I've worked with too many screwed up kids who are that way because of irresponsible and self centered adults.

Just like the poster we've been discussing, who set up this entire dysfunctional situation.

I'm out of patience with people who seem to be "stuck on stupid".


At October 16, 2005 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At October 16, 2005 2:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bordergal--Don't think you're alone in your frustration. I know first hand what you're talking about. My best friend left an extremely abusive (physically, she almost died, & verbally) marriage. The guy was a jerk--did not want to support his own children! She was able to get help from the county social services department and finally received child support. She still believed the kids needed to see their dad--and they did. As adults, they knew who really cared for them and loved them. On the other hand, my brother was married to a very immature woman, who left him and would not grant visitation, despite the fact that he paid child support AND brought gifts, paid for insurance(unasked), etc., for their son from the DAY they were separated. In other words, he really LOVED his son. (I can't begin to explain the pain of not being able to see him has devastated him.) She never did seem to understand how rare that is. Most men in America are delinquent in child support payments and have the freedom to move on with their lives--and do. It is a very complex issue and the real tragedy is--it's the children who are hurt the most. I wish there were a law to make child bearing a privilege--granted only to those who are mature and responsible enough to put the child's best interest first.

At October 16, 2005 2:54 AM, Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

nordic_smile wrote:

"Most men in America are delinquent in child support payments and have the freedom to move on with their lives--and do."

This is contrary to every example I know of, except one.  Do you have a cite for that, especially one which excludes underclass parents?

At October 16, 2005 3:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At October 16, 2005 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is contrary to every example I know of, except one. Do you have a cite for that, especially one which excludes underclass parents?" (engineer-poet)

I actually would have to do research on that. However, I should point out to you a glaring bias on your part--- where you state, "one which excludes underclass parents"

Heaven forbid that these kids don't know that they are from "underclass
parents" and thereby derive comfort in the fact that their fathers don't give a damn about them! It didn't even occur to me to put the suffering of children into a class--in other words, oh, your parents were poor---so what if your life is devastated! I surely hope I misunderstood your post?!!! In the meantime, I will do my best to answer your question---although to the innocent kids, it doesn't matter if their dad is a prince or a pauper! I should also point out the obvious---if you have the benefit of a higher education--a B.A., graduate degree or whatever--shouldn't you be even MORE able to provide for your kids--despite your differences with their mother?

At October 16, 2005 7:33 AM, Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

"I actually would have to do research on that."

Then what's your basis for claiming that MOST MEN IN AMERICA are delinquent in child support payments?

Federal law in the US mandates that all new child-support grants be done by wage garnishment (whether the non-custodial parent is behind or not).  The only ways for a man to be delinquent are if he's switching jobs to stay ahead of the garnishment orders, is self-employed, unemployed or not earning enough to pay the mandated support.

Not many people are self-employed.  Some low-wage occupations may allow someone to switch jobs every couple of months, but they're going to provide a marginal existence at best.  The unemployed have no income, and those with garnishment orders for more than they make are victims of an unjust system (it is my impression that penury is prohibited de jure [can't fid the reference], but not de facto).

The reasons I exclude the underclass are three:
1.  There are some groups with a matriarchal focus, where men aren't permanent parts of the family unit; such men tend to be poor and any support charged to them uncollectible.  They're not "most men in America" and should not be counted in the same statistics.
2.  People who can't find jobs are given "imputed income" for the purposes of support calculation.  In other words, they're billed based on income they don't have.  This will skew support statistics, mostly at the bottom.
3.  Men whose income is too low for them to live on after garnishment will job-hop, work under the table or otherwise evade collection out of necessity.  Again, this is an artifact of an unjust system; an intact family would have to deal with unemployment or underemployment in ways which affect the child, and any attempt to lay the full onus on a man who may be an innocent victim of circumstance (or reeling from the emotional damage of divorce, being thrown out of his own home, etc.) is positively immoral.

At October 16, 2005 6:09 PM, Blogger bordergal said...

Men whose income is too low for them to live on after garnishment will job-hop, work under the table or otherwise evade collection out of necessity.

"If you can't feed them, don't breed them".

At October 16, 2005 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Then what's your basis for claiming that MOST MEN IN AMERICA are delinquent in child support payments?"

From Wikipedia--

"Non-custodial parents who avoid their child support obligations are often termed dead-beat parents. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 68% of child support cases had arrears owed in 2003 (a figure up from 53% in 1999)."

At October 17, 2005 6:36 AM, Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

"If you can't feed them, don't breed them".

What if you could feed them just fine when you bred them, but you fell on hard times (or your ex threw you on hard times)?  Intact families deal with hardship by spreading it around, and heaping more hardship on the victim of someone else's malicious conduct is unjust.  It's WRONG.

nordic_smile:  Unless Wikipedia has links to the source material, it's not to be trusted.  Also, lots of out-of-wedlock births are in the underclass I mentioned, and nearly all of those fathers would be uncollectible.  (Would you sterilize them to keep them from breeding what they can't feed?)  IIRC the law now requires a determination of paternity and a support order before a woman can receive AFDC, so there would be a lot of support orders for uncollectible non-custodial parents.

FWIW, I understand that the delinquency rate of non-custodial mothers is far higher than non-custodial fathers, but there are a lot more non-custodial fathers.  And of course, you could increase delinquency rates to 100% by just increasing support standards to levels nobody could pay (they are already much higher than required for marginal costs, which you can prove by looking at the housing portion of support mandates vs. the difference in rent between 1-BR and 2-BR apartments).  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

At October 17, 2005 3:15 PM, Blogger Vera said...

Bordergal: "Men have just as much control over reproduction as women do."

Of course they don't. Women have a whole arsenal of pills, IUDs, diaphragms, hormone injections, abortions, etc., in addition to condoms and sterilization. Men only have three methods of birth control: sterilization, condoms and woman's word. The first of these is only fit for men who do not want to have any children ever, and the other two are pretty unreliable.

And don't even mention abstinence. It is surely about the least effective method of birth control if judged by actual use and not by ideal use.

At October 17, 2005 3:20 PM, Blogger Vera said...

Fjordman: I think it's quite normal that a certain (fairly large) segment of population does not want to have any children, ever.

However, I noticed that in some feminist articles when a woman chooses to live a childfree lifestyle it's a legitimate lifestyle choice, but when a man chooses to do the same he is called immature and commitment-phobic.

At October 30, 2005 2:26 AM, Blogger Justine said...

hello Fjordman, I found your blog while doing a search on the phrase 'twig in beak'!

I think its hopeless to blame one sex or the other. My father was done like a dinner after his first divorce. She got EVERYTHING, except for him and what he was wearing. All savings, the house, his inheritance, the lot.

Luckily enough, he got my mother after that, so it was all worth while :-)

My husband is perfect (I think), but neither of us are Twig-Beakers at the moment. Of course, if we want to ever have our own children, my body has a deadline and his doesn't. He could go on like Rupert Murdoch, just fathering children all over the place until he can nolonger do the fathering act!


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