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Dr. Helen

National Review reviews “Men on Strike”

July 7th, 2013 - 1:42 pm

Carrie Lukas at National Review did a positive review of Men on Strike. The article seems to be behind a paywall but here is a highlight:

Instead of blaming men and ridiculing the lifestyle of those who have “failed to launch,” Smith explores the idea that men may be making a purposeful, even rational, choice in rejecting a society that already has rejected them.

Smith draws heavily from the actual experiences of men, using their stories and comments to illustrate the disaffection, anger, and sorrow that many feel. The anecdotes she provides — the voices of the men themselves — are powerful. As Smith notes, experts often call men poor communicators, but she’s found that “men often know their minds very well, but they are reluctant to communicate in interpersonal and political settings for fear of coming across weak or, worse, being accused of being sexist or misogynistic. Or sometimes, they are communicating, it’s just that no one is listening.”

Smith lets us listen, and walks the reader through some of the ways men’s rights have been constricted. One notable chapter is devoted to the “decline of male space.” She effectively illustrates the limitations on how men are allowed to live and interact, concluding that “our culture has steadily made it almost obscene for men to congregate on their own together.”

The facts back this assessment. Fraternal organizations — such as the Elks club or the Freemasons — have dwindled; countless university-level male sports have fallen victim to mandated “equality”; male-only clubs essentially have been outlawed as discriminatory; and while fraternities remain on college campuses, they are publicly demonized, or, as Smith puts it: “Look at how colleges treat fraternity guys; they are all looked at with suspicion and treated like they are one step away from gang-raping the next girl who walks by their frat house.”

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“men often know their minds very well, but they are reluctant to communicate in interpersonal and political settings for fear of coming across weak or, worse, being accused of being sexist or misogynistic. Or sometimes, they are communicating, it’s just that no one is listening.”

I don't know about the coming across as weak, but the rest of it seems just about right. In my experience, expecting a woman to listen, even about things that have nothing to do with my feelings or behavior, is like expecting a cat to talk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, I would say that if I discuss these issues with the vast majority of my educated women friends, they regard it as "weak." (This is why Tucker Carlson says "Man up -- just like I did!": he gets appreciative glances, kind of a "Good boy, here's a doggy biscuit" tic of the cognitive elite.)

So I don't discuss them, because I'm not weak and they're not listening yet. (I don't argue or discuss matters with people who already have all the answers.)

This is true of one of my best friends, who knows both Slaughter and Sandberg, and who also has expressed tentative concern as to how her teenaged boy is going to fare in our world now. There is a shadow of an emerging doubt in her mind (based on my experiences, and I could be a poster child for the divorce and CPS industry's depredations) but even so, she has made it clear that it diminishes me in her eyes if I "go there." I value her friendship, which includes esteem, more than winning an argument.

Thus I'm surprised by the intelligent reading of the book by NRO and Carrie Lukas. She appears to have read the book on its own terms and simultaneously avoided the conservative groupthink that the only good man is the man who undertakes marriage on the terms currently managed by feminists and the feminist family law/child services.

What I'm noticing, which is also encouraging, if not astounding, is that the cultural observation Helen makes about the 'man-caving' of men is beginning to resonate. I don't believe anyone else has introduced that idea into general circulation. Perhaps this element of MoS is less threatening to people who have never considered the impact of feminism on our institutions and culture, and that is why it is often remarked-upon in a "Gee, you know you're right" voice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You would think the women that raise and educate boys, often with no male influence, would be doing a better job of it than that old patriarchy. Women raise boys to be androgynous little cubicle-dwellers and then whine there aren't enough real men to date and or marry. This is the world the Feminists have created.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Women raise boys to be androgynous little cubicle-dwellers..."
Oh, that's only an interim stage. The "seen" of this particular little "seen and unseen". If you want a little preview of what comes next, take a peek at East New York, the South Bronx, North Philadelphia, East LA, Southeast DC or Chicago's South Side.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This may not be the best forum to say this... but thank you Dr. Smith for writing the book. Well done.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have to agree. Got the book off Amazon last week and tore through it in three days. Great job, Dr. Smith. You should be proud of yourself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks very much.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, if *womyn* want to get away from the harmful gaze and company of men, there's no shortage of places to go, but should anyone dare say 'no, this is our space' to a woman, you're ridiculed and sued.

Can't get away from the hostile work space, public space home-space that feminism has created, save in the basement, garage, or whatever unwanted closet that passes for a man-cave that the spouse will tolerate.

After 13 years of being free of it, there's no way I would consider being married or sharing my home, ever again. I grind my teeth in the hostile workplace, and in the public space, where one wrong move can mean ruin, but I refuse to tolerate it in my home for another nano-second.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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