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.”