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Ed Driscoll

Interview: Helen Smith Talks Men on Strike

June 17th, 2013 - 12:05 am

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MR. DRISCOLL:  This Ed Driscoll for PJ Media.com, and we’re talking today with Dr. Helen Smith. If you’re a longtime reader of her blog at PJ Media.com, she needs no introduction, but for those stumbling into this podcast from elsewhere, Helen is a psychologist specializing in forensic and men’s issues. She holds a PhD from the University of Tennessee and master’s degrees from The New School for Social Research and the City University of New York. And she’s the wife of Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com. She’s also the author of the brand new book Men On Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood and the American Dream – and Why it Matters. It’s published by Encounter Books and available from Amazon.com and your local bookstore. And Helen, thanks for stopping by today.

DR. SMITH:  Well, thanks so much for having me on your show, Ed.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Helen, Ayn Rand originally titled Atlas Shrugged “The Strike.” Concurrent with Barack Obama taking office, the words “Going Galt” became a more or less household phrase, especially for entrepreneurs and those who are self-employed. So are men in particular going on strike? And if so, in a nutshell, what’s causing it?

DR. SMITH:  Well, you know, my book is basically about men going on strike, and sort of reading Ayn Rand sort of got me thinking about it.  I had talked about the term on my blog about four or five years ago.  And I sort of talked about going Galt during the Obama administration, and that’s sort of just withdrawing your production from the world and not producing in the sense that because you feel like you’re not getting a reward for what you’re doing, that there are punishments.

And I think that same vein, we have men today — and I think even more so than women — who are sort of going on strike. And what’s happening is, the basic message of my book, is that men are acting rationally.  The rewards for men in the fields of things like marriage, education, careers, and fatherhood, are a lot less than they used to be, and the costs and the dangers are higher.

So they’re opting out, only kind of like people, you know, opt out when the taxes get so high, they sort of — some people just quit producing as much.  And I think in the same vein, as you noted, I think men are not — it’s not that they’re not producing as much; I think that they’re thinking about production more along the lines not just to — you know, it used to, I think, men were more ready to give themselves over to families and do — wanted to do things for women, like provide for them and that sort of thing.  But now that times have changed, unfortunately, I think the traditional — the feelings on the part of women and society are such that women are supposed to — men are supposed to still do those things that are traditional, but at the same time, women have special privileges in the law and in marriage and in — in a lot of ways.  And I don’t think we’ve changed the incentives for men.

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Top Rated Comments   
I would have to agree with Real Deal. Have you read any text books lately? Most if not all are now written by raging leftists who can barely contain their hatred of the Founding Fathers, at least in the humanities and social sciences. History textbooks are one big overview of all the sins of the white, male, Christian leaders, and a favorable presentation of those who were their "victims". The authors do not even attempt to hide their extreme bias.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ironic thing is that the white male and his Western Culture, warts and all, has done more to advance the cause of individual liberty and equality than any other groups in the history of man kind. Now he's the the bad guy. Look around ladies, there is no other culture where women are men's equals. Islamic? Fat chance. Asian? Only where Western influence has taken root. African? Nope. South American? Again Western cultural influence.

White male children are conditioned to hate themselves in our public schools through a skewed cirruculum, half truths, and outright lies. They are further attacked by sexualizing them at young ages to confuse them during their adolecent years.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hmm - I 'went Galt' over 35 years ago. I divorced my wife of 12 years - and was granted custody of our 4 year old daughter that same day. No easy feat back in those days, I was determined - persistent - even in the face of a lawyer who kept telling me I was 'going against the grain'. I convinced him I was serious and he either needed to get on board with the idea or I'd find another lawyer - he got the message. And a lot of my money. You'd have to know my ex-wife to know why I was so persistent.

Anyway what I found out about women was quite telling. Being a single dad made me quite attractive to many women. But they were interested in me for what I was doing for my daughter - providing for her - and thats what they wanted for their own children - and for her too - a provider. But the most surprising thing I found is women aren't much interested in raising another woman's child! Trust me - the image in books and stories about the step-mother isn't over-done. And why don't you hear much about the mean old step-dad? Because guys for the most part are quite agreeable to raising other men's children as their own. Women? Not so much.

After a few one-way relationships that seemed to be going nowhere but in the direction of the GF I was living with at the time I got tired of playing baby-sitter for their kids (favor seldom returned!) - tired of supplying (paying for) a better car than I was driving for the current GF - tired of making up the bulk of the rent and bills - I decided my daughter and I would live alone. Even after she graduated high school and entered college and moved away from home I continued to live alone. And still do today. What is the worst line I've ever heard a woman say when I ask them why we should live together? "Cause I'm worth it"! Err... no you aren't honey! But nice try! Almost every ex-GF has claimed that same "Cause I'm worth it"!

I've had friends ask me what my Harley Electra Glide cost - my reply "About what a wife would"! I see it in their eyes - they'd love to have a motorcycle but the 'little woman' won't let them. These are the same guys that are 'restricted' to those teeny tiny little home theater speakers cause the wife don't like big speakers (mine are massive!) "in my home". Contrast that with the same guy saying he doesn't deny his wife anything she wishes for (within $$$ reason). And most of these guys can afford a motorcycle - they just can't afford the divorce. To which I say get divorced early on or forget it altogether.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
well, women have proven again and again how brilliant they are with all the inventions and scient...what's that? oh.

well women are proving they are mens' equal by not needing any extra rights in the work pla.... oh yeah, sorry, i forgot about that affirmative action thing.

well in government they ... most gov. programs are designed to help women?

wait a minute. does every aspect of life that women are involved in have special privileges? on t.v. they are always portrayed as the smart one. is that a lie? is there any area where women have 'competed' and did well w/o special treatment? oh yeah, spending somebody else's hard earned $$.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The state transfers men’s production to women and children"

Yes I get this and agree but I would go further. It also transfers the production of private sector men to the public sector. We need to go Galt against the whole damn system. I always get a kick out of public service union shills who claim that they want everyone to have what they call "decent wages and benefits". Their union bosses - at least those who know anything about economics - must cringe when they hear such things. Their fat salaries, pensions and benefits for life that they receive for putting relatively worthless things into the common pot are only valuable because the rest of us toil in obscurity and at much lower compensation to provide the real goods and services that they consume.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tune in, drop out, and don't set yourself on fire. Got it.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow!
What an exotic looking strikingly beauty woman she is . Her husband must be a saint to share her with so many down in the dumps men seeking a voice to express themselves with their poetry from the depths of the man cave
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two points, re: the media portrayal of men, it is tiresome, women are constantly put in the roles of men at a rate far, far, higher than reality. The classic was an episode of NCIS Los Angeles where the female agent was sparring with a male agent that was a former SEAL and is a large man. Well the didn't show her beating him, but she went toe to toe with him, which of course is ridiculous. Why this need to make a bizarre equality between men and women? As a father of two boys, I constantly here parents trying to equate the physical abilities of girls with boys. Why? It is idiotic and effectively impossible due to hormonal and physical differences. There was a female high school baseball pitcher that got a scholarship to a tiny school, based on her stats (obviously she threw knuckleballs) no boy would make any collegiate team, anywhere. So why was she selected?

Probably 95% of police detectives are men over 40, but you would think 50% were women over 30 if you watch TV.

The second point is part of the problem is the feminizing of men. Manliness used to be, honor, determination, fidelity, diligence, blessing our children. It has become porn, adultery, sloth, alcohol and drugs (not saying it's ever been perfect, just talking percentages).
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ironic thing is that the white male and his Western Culture, warts and all, has done more to advance the cause of individual liberty and equality than any other groups in the history of man kind. Now he's the the bad guy. Look around ladies, there is no other culture where women are men's equals. Islamic? Fat chance. Asian? Only where Western influence has taken root. African? Nope. South American? Again Western cultural influence.

White male children are conditioned to hate themselves in our public schools through a skewed cirruculum, half truths, and outright lies. They are further attacked by sexualizing them at young ages to confuse them during their adolecent years.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Real Deal, I don't think it's usually that blatant. It's like Dr. Smith says, boys are made to feel bad about who they are by the very structure of the school. God bless those teachers that understand and appreciate boys! But there are some that don't, we had one, that called us in telling us how squirrely our son was and asked if he was "slow" (in some many words). I asked if she'd looked at his file (of course she hadn't) and seen that until her class he had straight A's. That awful teacher managed to take a great student and mess him up, simply because he did not fit the girl model of student.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would have to agree with Real Deal. Have you read any text books lately? Most if not all are now written by raging leftists who can barely contain their hatred of the Founding Fathers, at least in the humanities and social sciences. History textbooks are one big overview of all the sins of the white, male, Christian leaders, and a favorable presentation of those who were their "victims". The authors do not even attempt to hide their extreme bias.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I disagree, its deliberate and blatent. The reason you don't think so is that the process was gradual and you were told things in school, your kids are told even more leftist propaganda, and their kids told even more.

When did your school start teaching sex ed? What grade? Did it include homosexuality as a social norm? Kids are now being taught this stuff as early as 5 or 6 years old in some places. What are they taught about American History? How much are the positive aspects of our nation taught and how much are the negative emphasized? What do they hear about the Founding Fathers? Are they presented as learned forward thinking men who in spite of any flaws should be admired for what they wrought or "rich white slave owners"?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
many years ago, on a first date, i was informed by a young divorcee that the only reason she would consider remarriage was for financial security for her children. a few months later she didn't understand why i wasn't interested in marrying her.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, my brother ended up marrying someone in that position with 3 kids. As soon as the last one was up and out, she filed for divorce. What a surprise.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Prostitution isn't the World's oldest profession; marriage is.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder how many young men have gotten vasectomies as a vaccination against child support? How many women who want children are going to have to settle for dubious sperm from sperm banks. "Ayup my cousin Elmo gets beer money from the sperm bank. He claims to be a genius but it took him two tries to graduate from high school. He had to work at failing."
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
These people need to produce worthwhile evidence of the ability that they think they have.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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