Saving the Males from the NY Times
"Certain differences between men and women make absolute equality not only implausible, but undesirable."
Members of the mainstream media not only cherish alternative lifestyles; they also wish to purge everything from our culture that prevents their realization. This was evident on Father's Day when the New York Times Magazine commemorated the holiday by placing the misandric query, "Will Dad Ever Do His Share?," on its cover. Inside is a lengthy expose by Lisa Belkin on this subject entitled "When Mom and Dad Share It All." Those familiar with the contents of the Gray Lady will be unmoved by yet another attempt to denigrate fathers. After all, fulfilling the needs of politically correct oppression merchants practically has become the paper's central purpose.
Ms. Belkin's story illuminates a substratum of society wherein husbands participate fully in the domestic operations of the home and are ecstatic about doing so. The interviewees are pondering, talking, scrubbing, and nursing icons of progressivism wholly dedicated to "equally shared parenting" or "shared care." Theirs is a "total football" approach to marital relationships, with no mandated positions for individual players. Man melds into woman as woman morphs into man.
The author's message is gaudily apparent in her description of one family's dynamic:
They would create their own model, one in which they were parenting partners. Equals and peers. They would work equal hours, spend equal time with their children, take equal responsibility for their home. Neither would be the keeper of the mental to-do lists; neither of their careers would take precedence. Both would be equally likely to plan a birthday party or know that the car needs oil or miss work for a sick child or remember (without prompting) to stop at the store for diapers and milk. ... There are Marcs and Amys scattered throughout the country, and the most interesting thing about them is that they are so very interesting. What they suggest, after all, is simple. Gender should not determine the division of labor at home.
A better explanation is that shared parenting is in keeping with the reporter's values. This caused her to search for examples with which to verify her assumptions. Kathleen Parker, in her recently released book Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care, argues that there is more to such stories than the imparting of information: "They're choreographed vignettes aimed at redefining sex and gender. Making men and women interchangeable requires taking women out of the home and putting men in her place. As long as we're all happy and having a good time -- and taking our Prozac -- we hardly notice the nausea that comes from being manipulated into behaving in ways that are for many unnatural."
Granted, these couples are interesting as any study of societal outliers invariably is, but Belkin's piece is editorial masquerading as journalism. The New York Times showcases these folks in the hope that the rest of us will learn from their example. They pray that recalcitrant males will modify their behavior and get on with the business of neutering themselves. Wives should present these pages to their lesser halves and exclaim: "These guys are fish. Why can't you be like them? Get with the program!"
To the deluded pseudo-liberal, the malleability of these fish suggests that their dreams of utopia are not so utopian at all. If men willingly become maids then what obstacle prevents the masses from chanting "Arugula Not Guns!"? With New Age man as role model anything is possible.
However, parading these folie à deux is an appeal to conformity, but fallacious contentions are endemic to Big Media nowadays. Progressives use conformity -- and any other trick or device they can quote or acquire -- as a means to convince the general population that their natural inclinations are maladaptive. Radicals are only too happy to save the enlightened by reconfiguring them in their own image.
The activist disguised as truth collector is deeply disdainful of males out of principle. Intrinsic to their worldview is the notion that demeaning men automatically elevates women. They regard the direct sex as being mentally limited, so hectoring them should be enough to get the primordial male to alter his essence. What leftists fail to comprehend is that no amount of nagging will reconstitute the sexes. Most men do not want to keep house and rock cradles. A century ago our society recognized this state of affairs and shrugged it off with "viva la difference."
Unfortunately, today the past is denounced and/or forgotten. Sex has become "gender." Gender is a social construct so we're thought to be "open source" and receptive to permutation -- except for the fact that we are not and will never be. Sex is a biological construct and no amount of pandering or theorizing can cure us of our innate proclivities. In the words of Horace: "You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she will always hurry back." Amen.
A survey cited indicates that despite four decades of feminist imploration women still perform twice as much house work as do men. The discrepancy becomes even wider in terms of childcare. Progressives would attribute this to male sloth and inherent dysfunctionality; however, a more plausible explanation is that men have different standards for cleanliness and do not see the end results of domestic activities as being worth the effort that goes into them. Assuredly, this columnist was not the only male who chose Euro 2008 over waxing the floors last weekend.
Moreover, while female advancement is a sacred venture for institutions like the New York Times, it is not for the whole of men. Shared care might well make marriage easier for wives and offer a chance to "have it all," yet its impact on husbands is punitive. With the marriage rate recently having fallen below 50 percent in America due to fewer and fewer men consenting to tie the knot, the timing of this expose was both ironic and misguided. That an outlet -- which boasts of publishing "all the news that's fit to print" -- is so oblivious of current events evidences the way that bias has corrupted their mission.
Like the late film critic Pauline Kael, the Crate and Barrel elitists who run the New York Times dwell in a "special world" and carefully avoid interactions with the general population. Recall Kael's remarks concerning the reelection of Richard Nixon: "I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them." Sadly, we can feel her kind too, particularly when they are attempting to alter the course of our lives.
Further, it is not clear that shared care will ultimately please the majority of women. Two of these Potemkin husbands opted for underemployment and part-time status so they could fulfill their domestic aspirations. One turned down a promotion because you "can't work part time as a manager." Fair enough, but how probable is it that rank-and-file women will be attracted to men so devoid of vocational ambition?
That fellow's wife tolerates him but she appears to be every bit as non-representative as he is. On their first date they split the check and she gushed that "this guy was too good to be true." My guess is that her peers would have a different impression of the graying Prince Donahue. The Times may admire such men but unmarried females would dismiss them as being directionless basket cases. A woman needs a shirker as much as a man needs Oprah. Every straight male over the age of 25 realizes that making public a disinterest in work drives off the opposite sex in the manner of Raid being shaken before a kitchen full of cockroaches.
One need not be a psychologist or an economist to fathom that if you punish behaviors you get less of them. The already excessive demands and expectations of the modern woman are being heightened by the New York Times, which will only serve to further convince males that marriage is not worth the risk.