Summary: Technology and ideology have radically changed gender relations in America. Many articles discuss what is happening now, but few speculate about the future. Perhaps we should fear the future.
The world has changed, yet few have noticed. Here is a brief look at the revolution, and more important, what might come next. Many have written about the former but few about the latter. Links go to more detailed discussions and evidence.
Summary: the new world of dating
Dating made sense for a few years before long-term marriage, from age 18 to the mid-twenties. It was an investment by men, where their spending demonstrated their value as providers for their future family. Now the average age of marriage is in the late twenties. A decade or more of dating (aka courtship) — free dinners and movies — is a sweet deal for women. It makes little sense for men.
As Mark Regnerus (assoc. prof of sociology, U Texas-Austin) explains in Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, the new dynamics of dating favor men. With a some effort and experience, men who play the game can get easy sex while in return giving gifts such as a bag of skittles — or less. See the hook-up culture in full flower at the Olympics, where young women are free of slut-shaming by friends and family.
For details see Dalrock’s “SMP searching costs and the unmourned death of courtship.”
Summary: the new world of marriage
Every month brings a new crop of articles by women describing the benefits of marriage (party of a lifetime, pretend vows), then children — then when they are in school comes phase two: divorce, child support, split of community property, and independence. As divorce has become normalized, women become more candid about discussing the new world. Dalrock discusses this in “A cold calculation.” In “All the single mamas: Raising kids isn’t always easier with a partner” Dena Landon explains that she decided that it was easier to eject her disabled husband from the home than to honor her marriage “vows.”
“When I tell people that I’m a single mom, with 60% custody, the typical response is a combination of pity and comments like, ‘you’re so strong’ or ‘what a tough job.’ If I’m not in the mood to engage with the person commenting, I’ll just smile and say, ‘thanks.’ But sometimes I’ll respond with the truth: Actually, it’s easier than being married.’ …
“Other single moms have noted that even if their exes had cooked or helped out with the kids, it’s still easier for these women to go it alone now than to deal with the constant negotiating, tension and passive aggressive behavior around household chores that they experienced during their marriages. …There are no internal struggles …”
Parents (like me) warn their sons about the risks of marriage, advising that it is more important than ever to pick a good woman. This is useless advice, like showing a lot of shiny used cars to young men — but warning them that half of these will explode unexpectedly during the next few years. “Choose wisely” we say. They ask “How do we choose a car that will run reliably for its lifetime?” And we say, “That’s a mystery — good luck!”
For more about marriage in our new world, see the posts in section 2 here.
What comes next?
“I Know Not ALL Men Are Creepers, But I’m Teaching My Daughter They Are.”
— By Jennifer Jarvis at the aptly named Scary Mommy website.
After 40 years of reforms to our society, we are moving into a new world. Signs appear daily of the coming weirdness. Such as “Raising a Son Within the Princess Culture” by Dresden Shumaker at HuffPo (photo above). Even she worries after finding out that her effeminate son dislikes boys. (H/t Dalrock.)
Women have created a new world. Now young men are responding. Men are becoming reluctant to marry (see the many articles “How do I get my man to marry me?” but few or none asking “How do I get my girl to marry me?”). For more info see…
- The feminist revolutionaries have won. Insurgents have arisen to challenge the new order. As always, they’re outlaws.
- The war of the sexes heats up: society changes as men learn the Dark Triad.
But so far other than delaying marriage the changes have been relatively small. The best indicators to watch for indications of large-scale changes are the marriage rate and remarriage rate. Both are in slow decline. Why have they not crashed? Thomas Kuhn’s work gives an answer: social systems cannot be proven dysfunctional and abandoned, they can only be replaced by new systems (details here). Most people follow the script, attempting to marry and remarry because that is the only way they know to live.
Watch for the two big changes.
“The world revolves around the creators of new ideas, revolves silently.”
— Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Our current situation seems stable, although dysfunctional. Marriage in its present form does not even make sense. But we will not return to “traditional” values. Technology and ideology have radically changed gender relations in America. I believe the odds are high of radical, even revolutionary, change. New patterns, even new values will emerge. Perhaps neither conservatives nor feminists will like them.
Look at that picture of “W”, a boy of the future from Shumaker’s HuffPo article. What might he become in ten years? A broken wreck, perhaps. He might overcome his mother’s indoctrination and have a normal life. Or he might join millions of feminist-raised men recovering their pride in groups that value manliness, such as Identity Evropa (Wikipedia) or the Proud Boys (Wikipedia). Then his mother can write articles for HuffPo about “My boy, the White Nationalist.” Or worse, “My boy, the Nazi.”
Some people will turn to new religions, or mutant forms of old faiths, for solutions. Fundamentalist Islam has shown that with sufficient effort the clock can be turned back on role of women. See some before-and-after pictures of women in Afghanistan. Similar photos can be found for Iran, Egypt, and other nations. New religions might emerge from the despised and demoralized fringes of society and sweep though America, giving new spirit to the alienated flocks of Americans.
The bottom line: expect the unexpected. New values seldom include moderation or respect those that they replace. I have written scores of posts saying that we should not fear the future. Perhaps I was wrong.
For More Information
The cold equations:
- “‘These boots are made for walking’: why most divorce filers are women” by Margaret F. Brinig and Douglas W. Allen in American Law and Economics Review, January 2000. Gated. Open copy here. H/t Dalrock.
- “Who Gets Custody Now? Dramatic Changes in Children’s Living Arrangements After Divorce” by Maria Cancia et al. in Demography, August 2014.
Ideas! For Holiday shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
- Men are abandoning the rat race, & changing American society. — See the data.
- Why men are avoiding work and marriage.
- Will young men break America’s family structure?
- Will today’s young men marry? America’s future depends which of these answers is right.
- Our society will be shaped by technology as porn and sexbots destroy 21st century marriage.
- For Father’s Day: revolutionary words that will forever change the American family.
- Classic films show what marriage was. Facts show its death.
- Cheap Sex is the Inconvenient Truth in the end of marriage.
- Child support payments create the new American family.
Essential reading showing how we got here
The Privileged Sex by Martin van Creveld.
Martin van Creveld is a professor emeritus of history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and one of the greatest historians of this generation. His book will shatter many of the illusions you have been taught about women in history. Summary by the publisher…
“Ever since Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique back in 1963, all of us have been told that women are discriminated against, oppressed, exploited, and abused by men. The barrage of accusations is intense, relentless, and seems to have neither beginning nor end. But are the charges true? Do women really have a worse time of it than men?
“This volume, one of the very few in any language, takes on these questions head on. Roaming far and wide, it examines many aspects of the problem as it has presented itself from the time of ancient Egypt right down to today’s most advanced Western societies. To anyone accustomed to the tsunami of feminist claims and complaints, the answers will come as a surprise.”