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The Forum > Article Comments > Is masculinity really in crisis? > Comments

Is masculinity really in crisis? : Comments

By Peter West, published 2/10/2006

Love, lust and conflict

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A nice benign overview of our post-gender-war world but it isn't that cosy for everyone. You say "Most men and women live together, as they did a hundred years ago" but that simply isn't true. 30+% of Australian women will never marry or have children, so I suppose a similar percentage of men won't either. 50% of the children in my daughter's class at school live in single-parent households. The 'masculinity in crisis' hype misses the point that feminism was predominantly about financial independence for women and resulted in the biggest shift in wealth and inflence in modern history. The real untold story is about the countless men who lost out as the jobs changed from full-time blue collar to part-time jobs for women. A man without a job is as useless as tits on a bull, as they say. There are numerous boarding houses full of these rejects living in rooms smaller than prison cells spread throughout all the poorer suburbs of cities.
Women still want to 'marry up' despite the new underclass of unemployed males who are left to rot while women (as a class) still benefit from affirmative action programmes.
Posted by citizen, Monday, 2 October 2006 10:13:04 PM
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Being a sperm donor and pay packet. I definitely would not recommend for any bloke to become a father.

If I knew what I know now about what life was going to be like being a sperm donor and pay packet I definitely would not have had any children.

I feel like I am living in a totalitarian state, with big brother watching my every move.

CSA is like Stalins KGB, where citizen's have to justify every thing they do.

Believe me fella's if you aren't a father yet, then avoid it like the plague, because life aint worth much after they start chasing you for the sex tax otherwise known as child support, when sex results in pregnancy it becomes extremely expensive.
Posted by JamesH, Monday, 2 October 2006 11:30:37 PM
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Pseudo-Masculinity is over-rated, would people, especially academics and women, please stop lecturing on masculinity.

Peter West wrote:

If men are to move forward, they might try doing these things:

Speak up. Women canít hear what men donít say.
Have some ideas about feminism, and get them out there.
Learn to relate more effectively to other men. We have raised boys to be competitive, but it doesnít always work. Men have to learn the art of compromise.
If men can listen, they function more effectively in relationships and at work. We must keep trying hard to be good listeners. Isnít it hard work!
We have to express our feelings for loved ones. We donít need another generation of emotionally frozen men who wonít hug their kids and partners.
Men have to take charge of their own health needs, what they eat, what exercise they do, seeking out doctors that are good for them.

What the fark!

Who says that men have to 'move forward'? Real masculinity is telling the so called gender experts to get stuft.

If I want to live an unhealthy lifestyle and 'die early', so be it, I hate muesli, and always will.

Why should I listen to women, they speak a different language anyway, why should I try to become an imitation woman? Who says relationships have to 'work' in this way? Who declared women to be the experts in relationships?

Compromise? The only real thing that matters is success: women's definition of compromise is for them to get what they want and think that men actually agree(most of the time they don't).

Real masculinity? Times to oneself, in reflection - a shed / study / garage, using your hands to build something. Sometimes men a bit to much to drink. Men don't take themselves too seriously.

Remembering that women talk face to face, men talk shoulder to shoulder, whilst doing something important like watching a Rugby test match, or fixing a car.

Leave women to talk to women, men only pretend to understand them anyway, and that is only to get more sex.
Posted by Hamlet, Monday, 2 October 2006 11:56:29 PM
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I tend to agree there is no crisis in masculinity - but only as long as men remain outside the jurisdiction of Family Law and CSA. No doubt, men will generally adapt to the brave new world of 1984, but not necessarily in ways intended by the social engineers, nor ways that are best for their children, or the wider society.

As long as they are alienated as fathers and treated with contempt as equal parents, they are unlikely to rush to marriage in the same numbers. They will increasingly weigh up the real costs against the perceived benefits, and either accept or reject such rules of engagement and terms of reproduction.

If this is the kind of society we are aiming to build Ė one that actively discourages traditional family Ė we are doing a fine job.
Posted by Seeker, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 8:59:42 AM
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An excellent, insightful essay, Dr West.

I have always maintained that the worst mistake made by the feminist movement was to presume that women could build their self-esteem by belittling the self-esteem of men.

Many men are now feeling the pinch from that faulty strategy, which does no service to either sex. In reality, negative behaviours exhibited by both men and women stem from low self-esteem. They just manifest it in different ways.

That said, much social enrichment has been gained by both genders during the past 30 years. Some men and women are having trouble adapting to the new reality, and it is difficult for men to cope with being less dominant, when arguably the human species is innately patriarchally dominant.

That is the unstated subtext behind many male complaints nowadays, but, as Dr West suggests, we are still learning to adapt to the new politics of gender. I think the pendulum may swing back a little where it has caused provocation unnecessarily .

Meanwhile the smugness of many feminists seems to have largely dissolved, with women finding out that engaging in traditional masculine domains, such as politics, is not as easy as it was once presumed.
Posted by gecko, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 9:07:43 AM
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An interesting range of comments - most a tad cynical, but I suppose that's the order of the day.

I agree with some of what Hamlet is saying, though I can't go as far as to say women are completely unfathomable and men should just give up. They're only unfathomable about.... 23 per cent of the time.

What has really slain old style masculinity is political correctness.

I can recall recently visiting Brisbane with a friend from out bush - we met up with some other city friends, and I was pretty sure all would be well.

Of course, things went a little haywire when he exclaimed at one point: "bugger me! That chick's tits are on display!"
(Yeah, some people actually do still speak like that... even in their early 30s)

If looks could kill. The women nearby gave him the dirtiest look I've seen outside of war movies, and I received a reflected dose when I collapsed in a fit of mirth at the pure absurdity of the setting.

While the vernacular was a bit rough, his observation was accurate.

I'm not sure which of those two things pissed them off more. I suppose I was supposed to be suitably outraged as well. Oops. I'll have to try harder next time.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 9:59:36 AM
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