February 23rd, 2014 - 7:40 am
I get many fascinating and insightful emails about Men on Strike and thought I would share a bit of one reader’s take on Tucker Max:
I thought it was interesting that you included a few mentions of Tucker Max, an author that is generally criticized for his low-brow “Fratire” books that made him famous. I am a huge fan of Max and his work for several reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that his work is not only funny, but it is extremely well-written. As a student, I had a knack for writing. Yet I was unable to do it willingly as a hobby until I read Max’s work. After reading his books, I understood what it meant to present my own voice while using my education to communicate it effectively. Max has effectively retired from writing “Fratire” books and now runs a more sincere website, tuckermax.me. On this site, Max explains multiple facets of his life. He explains, in depth, the investments he has made with his newfound wealth. He writes compelling articles like “Why You Shouldn’t Go To Law School” where he tears apart the miserable life of a young lawyer, speaking from the experience he had as a Duke Law graduate. He does book reviews on nearly every book he reads, and he can be either extremely critical or full of praise. Either way, it’s a great website for people who are more interested in the real Tucker Max, a wildly successful self-made man that, in fact, inspires other men. What Max has done with his life is a product of the “strike”. The actions in his books document an alpha male rebelling fantastically against social norms and expressing it in such a way that degrades women. While degrading women is not a positive force in the world, it simply seems to be his reaction to a world where men are put down. Max, being a strong alpha male, sees that he has an advantage that most guys do not have, and he ruthlessly exploits it simply because he can. This is because any man, who is generally put down in modern society, would relish the opportunity to turn the tables. That’s why Max has legions of fans. His fans believe he is out there winning for men everywhere. In his post-“Fratire” career, it’s easy to see that Max is perhaps living a new American Dream that doesn’t involve marriage. I would very much be interested in your take on the Tucker Max phenomenon.
My take? The reader is correct in that Tucker Max is rebelling against a society that tells a man to act in a conformist PC matter in order to not be viewed as a pariah by the culture (not necessarily by women he is trying to land) and to avoid having the authorities called in. It is very much like fraternity guys who are tired of being scrutinized, held up as chauvinist, and controlled and monitored by colleges. Sometimes these guys just hold up a finger to the world and say, “Damn it, I won’t go along with the feminists, PC idiots and general indoctrination that men are evil perverts that need to be kept under surveillance.” For example, there was probably a bit of Tucker Max present in this case at Yale:
In October 2010, pledges of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity at Yale University stood blindfolded on campus satirically chanting “no means yes, yes means anal.” DKE later apologized, and the international DKE fraternity temporarily suspended the Yale group’s pledge activities.
In a society that demeans and seeks to control men, especially sexually, is it any surprise that Tucker Max resonates with so many of them?
February 20th, 2014 - 11:50 am
I read with interest an article by Paul Joseph Watson at Infowars.com entitled “The War on Men: 10 Ways Masculinity is under Attack” (Hat tip: Terry Brennan):
Men are facing a full frontal assault on their rights, health and culture like never before. The war on masculinity has never been so brutal – but it’s not a war being waged by women. The attack is coming directly from the top, as the establishment desperately attempts to emasculate and disempower men in order to force women to be more dependent on the state, thereby enabling more power to be centralized and aiding the growth of big government.
Reason number #7 caught my eye:
7) The “Privilege” Trap
Statists, collectivists and their mouthpieces in the media and the establishment claim that western men (in particular white men) cannot express a valid opinion on any issue related in any way to a “minority” (such as feminism or immigration) because they have “privilege”. The “privilege” talking point is a stunt through which liberals and feminists attempt to shut down free speech. In essence they are asserting the ludicrous notion that a man’s viewpoint has no value because of the color of his skin, his gender or his country of origin. This is an inherently racist position, yet it is routinely used by leftists to shout down their ideological adversaries and silence male voices.
Initially the author says it is “not a war waged by women” and the article description states “And why the elite – not women – are to blame” but he contradicts himself here. Yes, in some sense, it is a war waged with the help of women since you have feminists (who I assume are mostly women) attempting to shut down the free speech of men and voting in the men and women who will further the war. It may be the government who reaps many of the rewards of the war on men, but women who vote for bigger government and to harm men and “silence male voices” are also guilty. Yes, they are partly to blame and yes, they are also waging the war to their own benefit.
February 17th, 2014 - 2:01 pm
I am reading Brian Portnoy’s new book The Investor’s Paradox: The Power of Simplicity in a World of Overwhelming Choice which focuses on how to help investors choose good money managers and decent stocks.
However, what caught my eye was an experiment done in nursing homes that the author outlines to show evidence of the power of choice:
Researchers set up an experiment with two groups of elderly residents. One group was encouraged to exercise their liberty. Among other empowering directives, an attendant told them “If you are unsatisfied with anything here, you have the influence to change it.” …
Aging individuals who were given enhanced personal responsibility demonstrated much better outcomes in the following months.Those with more control registered a higher degree of mental alertness….Finally– strikingly—they were more likely to live longer. The mortality rate in the eighteen months following the original study was double for the group with less control (30 percent versus 15 percent). Choice and control matter.
The book looks at how to choose investments wisely from so many options but what about politically? I have to wonder what happens to us psychologically as our government and the culture take away more and more personal responsibility from us. Do we look at the options the government or the culture gives us and turn those into more choices to feel better? For example, Facebook now allows one to choose from over 50 gender options. Will these faux “choices” be enough? They will for some.
Sure, you can click on an “option” to show that you are Cis Female but what if you can’t drink a large soda in a New York cafe or choose your own doctor? To those of us who believe in the liberty to choose and in personal responsibility, how will we feel and cope? Do we end up like the nursing home residents who had less autonomy and died earlier? Do we wait while around just hoping that the government will throw us a few crumbs of freedom or do we fight back in every way that we know how to make sure that the power of choice, freedom and liberty continue to be the American way? I hope the latter.
Crossposted at PJ Lifestyle
February 17th, 2014 - 9:27 am
Independent.co.uk: “Extreme loneliness worse for health than obesity and can lead to an early grave, scientists say”:
Feeling extreme loneliness on a long-term basis can be worse than obesity in terms of increasing the potentially lethal health risks that lead to premature death, scientists said.
Chronic loneliness has been shown to increase the chances of an early grave by 14 per cent, which is as bad as being overweight and almost as bad as poverty in undermining a person’s long-term wellbeing, a study has found.
As more people live longer, they are spending a bigger part of their lives feeling lonely. This is having a significant impact on their physical as well as mental health, the researchers found.
Loneliness is also becoming more common as people live alone or become isolated from relatives and friends, especially in retirement.
Research has shown that at any given time between 20 and 40 per cent of older adults feel lonely….
Maybe if our culture didn’t treat older people like pariahs and worship youth, older adults might feel less lonely. Worshiping youth makes young people feel like they should be having a good time and if they are not, their feelings of loneliness and isolation increase. Treating people with humanity regardless of age would be a good start.
February 16th, 2014 - 5:28 am
I was killing some time recently at Barnes & Noble and remembered a number of readers telling me to take a look at Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I picked up a copy and found it helpful in understanding the traits of those of us who tend towards introversion. From the description at Amazon:
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
The author looks at our society and how it is geared towards extroverts, from schools to companies who like people who are team players and like to work in groups. The book teaches the reader how to be more of an extrovert when it is called for but also how to cherish solitude and the listening and analytical skills that often come with being an introvert.
Who are more introverted: men or women? In an interview at Time.com, Susan Cain is asked about the difference in introversion and extroversion between the sexes and says:
Men are ever so slightly more likely to be introverts than women. I think the more interesting question is, How does this play in with gender roles and what expectations people have? It goes both ways. On one hand, men are expected to take charge and be forceful and dominant, so it can be hard [to be introverted]. But there’s also still the model of the strong silent type.
For women, it’s more culturally acceptable to be introverted, although it’s getting harder and harder. Being shy used to be idealized [for women]. On the other hand, there’s the expectation to be social and vivacious and a good hostess and to make other people feel comfortable. It’s a matter of finding which available gender role suits your style.
My thoughts? It seems to me that our society emphasizes women who are extroverts as the ideal, at least to feminists, hence slogans like “well-behaved women seldom make history.” Also it seems to depend on how and what people say as to what is “culturally acceptable.” If you are a liberal woman who is extroverted, the society listens; if you are a libertarian introvert, not so much — except to say “shut up.” A feminist, liberal man who loudly vocalizes special rights for women and denigrates his fellow man is typically accepted in the academic and political communities; an introvert for men’s rights, not so much.
Any thoughts on extroverts and introverts and the way that our society views them?
February 13th, 2014 - 7:20 am
The Boston Herald has an interesting article on a ten year marriage contract:
With roughly half of all marriages ending in divorce, it’s time we re-evaluate this little thing called love and marriage.
When it comes to tying the knot, only two extreme options exist: Either people stay single or get married signing lifelong marriage contracts. What if a middle-of-the-road option existed where couples were offered the choice of a 10-year marriage license vs. a lifelong one?
Similar to passports, every decade the 10-year marriage license would need to be renewed or it expires. This way, unhappily married couples who’ve been suffering together get the option to “not renew” every decade, without having to go through a long, painful and costly divorce process.
This sounds dubious to me. I imagine that after ten years, a guy would still be on the hook for most of his stuff and child support and the kids will be given to the wife. If family laws change, maybe this makes sense, if not, what’s the point? Perhaps the deal going in should be set and upon the dissolution of the marriage, the contract is pulled out and abided by but I doubt this would happen.
February 13th, 2014 - 6:19 am
Well, everything in Knoxville seems to be closed and we have several inches or more of snow. It’s pretty but inconvenient, to say the least. I have resigned myself to cleaning the attic for exercise. If snowed in, how are you spending the day? Do you have any creative solutions, other than the obvious, for adults?
February 10th, 2014 - 1:37 pm
Aaron Clarey, author of Enjoy the Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States, sent me a copy recently of his new book Bachelor Pad Economics: The Financial Advice Bible for Men. It is a 506 page book that lays out a plan for a number of different areas of the bachelor’s life such as Education, Career, Entrepreneurship, Girls, Economics and End of Life Planning. The purpose of the book is to be a reference guide for guys of all ages, to be consulted upon based on where you are in life.
The book teaches guys how to live on a cheap budget, how to pay taxes, understand the market and live in a minimalistic fashion. For example, buy a cheap car. Then you don’t have to worry if someone scratches it or even if it gets totaled. According to Clarey, it’s best to have two of these cheap cars so when one breaks down, you can use the other one to get to work or “need a car with a working heater because it’s January.” In order to maintain your car or house, turn to YouTube. It is full of instructional videos that show you step by step how to fix something. I have to admit this is true. I google constantly to learn how to fix a toilet or even reset my BMW 328i tire pressure monitor.
The book is a fun read except for the part in end of life planning where he tells readers to consider the Smith and Wesson Retirement Plan: “Albeit the most dramatic bit of advice in this entire book, for the love of god don’t destroy your kids’ inheritance, let alone their sanity watching you painfully waste away in a nursing home. Have the decency and self-respect to euthanize yourself.”
Really Aaron? What kind of advice is this? It’s depressing, hopeless and mean-spirited. Committing suicide may scar the kids and grandkids for life and teaches people that being old makes one worthless. And to kill oneself so that the kids can have a few bucks? Really? Older men already tend to feel worthless and suicidal. Why add fuel to the fire? You are a champion of men, why in their final days would you want them to off themselves so the kids and grandkids can get some rent money? I think more compassion for the elderly is called for here. That’s my two cents.
Otherwise the book is engaging and full of life strategies that men, both younger and older ones, will learn and benefit from, or at least get the reader thinking about ways to live more freely and without debt.
February 6th, 2014 - 10:38 am
CNBC.com: More men in their prime working years lack jobs, says WSJ:
A large number of men who are still in their prime working years find themselves without jobs for extended periods, despite an improving economy, according to a piece in The Wall Street Journal.
The trend has been building for decades. The percentage of unemployed men 25 to 54 more than doubled between the early 1970s and 2007, from 6 percent to 13 percent, before jumping to 20 percent in the depths of the recession in 2009, according to the article.
The WSJ article is here.
I think the key piece of the CNBC article is here:
As of December 2013, 17 percent of men are not working. Of that group, about two-thirds are not looking for work, which excludes them from the government’s official unemployment numbers.
My guess is that many of those men are working, just not on the books or many have decided to collect SSI disability instead of working or as a supplement to off the book work.
February 6th, 2014 - 6:19 am
Obsidian at Just Four Guys blog: “Why Should Black Men Get Married?”:
WHY, should a Brotha put a ring on it, in our time, today, in 2014? What are the incentives for him doing so? What benefits accrue to him for doing so – first and foremost legally, and secondarily socially, that he could NOT get remaining unmarried? What costs does he incur in doing so, that remaining unmarried would protect him from?