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Men the greater casualties
http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20010903-45372380.htm
The Washington Times
September 3, 2001
Men the greater casualties
By Paul Craig Roberts
Creators Syndicate
     Columnist Jeffrey Hart recently argued that women were the losers of
the sexual revolution. He has a point. By making themselves available
outside of marriage, women have undermined the institution of marriage.
     The problem with Mr. Hart's analysis is that he assumes that men want
sex and women want marriage. But what if men want marriage, too? Aren't
they also losers of the sexual revolution?
     Men do want marriage. There is no comfort in a different woman every
night. Moreover, that approach to sex might produce offspring, but not a
lifetime relationship with sons, daughters and grandchildren.
     Because of the emphasis on the sexual benefits to men of the sexual
revolution, many people blame men for the revolution. But, of course, it
wasn't men who created the sexual revolution.
     The sexual revolution was a happening. Many men were surprised at the
sudden availability of young women. I was a university professor during
the 1960s. I remember the complaints of male students that "nice girls are
ruining themselves."
     Sex became casual. It no longer was proceeded by a long period of
dating, going steady or being "pinned." Sex became a date activity like
going to a movie. Eventually with the present-day "hook-up," sex was
divorced from dating altogether.
     People who study the sexual revolution blame it on feminists. No
doubt feminist intellectual arguments in favor of female promiscuity
played a role, but I doubt a significant percentage of the suddenly
available young women were being guided by the intellectual musings of
feminists.
     I don't know why the sexual revolution occurred. But I do know that
many young men were of two minds about it. It was a helpful development
for raging hormones, but it made it difficult for a guy to get a girl of
his own, someone special to him.
     Eventually, guys may get over their reluctance to enter into
long-term relationships with women who have been in bed with their friends
or friends of their friends. When I ask men in their 30s and 40s why they
have not married, they do not answer that female promiscuity makes it
unnecessary. They say that they are reluctant to propose to easy women.
     One man put it this way: "I would be uncomfortable in social
gatherings where 15 percent of the people had been in bed with my wife."
     The sexual revolution has provided men with easy sex, but not with
families and wives who don't walk out on them. Feminists may have
destroyed the chastity of women, but they certainly destroyed the security
of marriage.
     Today, it makes no sense for a man to marry even if sex were
unavailable from "hook-ups." The reason is the extreme risk that marriage
today imposes on husbands. A wife can throw her husband out of his house,
take his children and half or more of his income without having to have a
real reason for the financial and emotional ruin she brings to her
husband.
     We hear a lot about successful middle-aged men who leave their wives
for younger "trophy" wives. But most divorces are initiated by women and
are involuntary divorces from the husbands' standpoints.
     Back when marriages were real, solid grounds were required for
divorce. Moreover, divorce was not designed to financially ruin men.
Today, divorce proceedings treat husbands and fathers as criminals in the
dock. If a husband fights over custody of children or visitation rights,
the wife simply tells the police that he has threatened her and gets a
restraining order, or she reports him to Child Protective Services as a
child abuser.
     A man who marries today is either ignorant of the risks, has great
confidence in his choice of mate, or is a fool.
     Restoring marriage is a much larger job than putting the sex genie
back in the bottle and confining sex to the marriage bed. The institution
of marriage has to be fixed. Real grounds have to be required for divorce.
Divorce proceedings must treat men equably and not as convicted felons.
     There is little chance of this happening. The forces assaulting the
family are too strong. Leadership is rare, and when it arises it is
spurned, as evidenced by Stephen Baskerville's recent expulsion from the
Virginia Triennial Child Support Guideline Review Panel for criticizing
the divorce industry's vendetta against fathers.
     Contrary to Jeffrey Hart, men are the real losers of the sexual
revolution.
Copyright  2001 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Washington Times Home:  http://www.washtimes.com/

 

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