The forces that shaped today’s “beta” males
In reading through the comments in the “Libertinism and liberalism” thread, I found myself baffled. Many of them struck me as if we, in 1945, were debating why airplanes were burning down Japanese cities without knowing of the previous three years of war and with only vague theories as to the origin of the planes. Then this comment of yours clarified things for me.
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… the Roissyites will reply to Kristor, as they have to me, that he is hopelessly out of touch with the reality that younger men are actually dealing with, and that men over 40 or 50 have no conception of what younger women today are like.
There is a generation gap in perception here, and it is huge.
The talk about feminism and the use of political correctness to enforce it almost assumes that it has existed on a steady continuum for many years. This is not true. There was a far worse PC reign of terror in the early nineties that has impressed itself into the psyche of Gen-X males in much the same way that Vietnam affected the outlook of baby boomers.
Think about the beginning—the Clarence Thomas hearings. He was accused of repeating things seen in X-Rated movies and of asking “Who put a pubic hair on my Coke?.” Now, post-Monica Lewinsky such things seem pretty mild—amusing even. But there was outrage at the time. The left took it to be a “teachable moment” and the shockwaves lasted for several years. Businesses, colleges, and high schools began widespread indoctrination programs to enforce this new PC at all costs. Relations between the sexes in these places had been governed by general rules of decorum and common sense. Almost overnight that was gone. There was one new rule—if a woman felt “offended” then the man had committed an offense.
Colleges instituted Orwellian speech and behavior codes. Old ideas of courtship were thrown out. Dating was now subject to strict rules, always giving the benefit of the doubt to the woman. A regretted dalliance could now become “date rape” and end in prison. “Women don’t lie about rape,” we were told constantly. Public schools likewise came down harshly on any male behavior that could “cause offense.” You could be expelled for merely telling a girl she looked nice. The workplace was no better. Careers could be ruined quickly by an EEOC complaint, regardless of merit.
Unfortunately, many women took this as an opportunity for revenge on any man who had ever annoyed them or interrupted their career path. I saw this in my own workplace. One sexual harassment complaint set off a chain reaction that created dozens and dozens more. They were all taken with extreme seriousness because of the fear of federal sanctions and lawsuits. I saw one colleague suspended for a week because a female coworker “didn’t like the way he looked at her once.” The HR manager all but admitted to him that it was bogus, but said that he had to take action to avoid a lawsuit or worse.
To men older than their mid ’30s during this time, it seemed a bizarre anomaly that eventually blew over. To the younger of us in our teens and twenties though, it was deeply impactful. It often created outright fear in any dealings with the opposite sex. A large proportion of them began to treat women with unusual deference and meekness. They apologized for any perceived slight unthinkingly. They asked permission of the women around them for any action, even actions that didn’t involve those women.
These are Roissy’s “Betas.”
What the “gamers” understand, and what men naturally understood for most of human history, is that women are naturally attracted to men who are dominant. Women flock to men with a “command presence” like moths to a flame. Many, maybe even most, of the men who grew up during this era cannot even begin to project dominance. They don’t know how. At the very point when most societies would have been teaching them to be men, they were instead terrorized into being submissive to women. And they saw the men above them in society submit as well.
I understand the repulsion many here feel toward Roissy, but let’s remember that libertines have been with us since the creation. He is nothing new. But I also think that dismissing Alphas as “cads” or urging Betas to take up celibacy for the greater good does us or them no favors. Using Roissy’s amorality as an excuse not to understand fully the world as it is, leaves us where we are. Instead, we need to find a way to teach these men to be men again.
Richard, this is so interesting and makes a lot of sense. Thank you very much for sending it.
But I repeat my point, that none of this excuses or makes right the ugly aspects of Roissyism.
A. Zarkov writes:
I can add to Richard P.’s narrative. I know of a law firm that has a standing policy to fire any male lawyer who gets even one complaint. No pattern is necessary and there is no investigation; he is simply and summarily fired. This is the worst policy I have ever heard of, and I don’t know how they can recruit good lawyers. Why would any man want to work there when he can be easily blackmailed? Most of the public does not realize that law firms are some of the worst run businesses in America. And who runs the government—lawyers?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 20, 2009 10:19 PM | Send
I know of one incident where I used to work. A woman made a false accusation and later withdrew it, admitting she made the whole thing up. She was not punished, but the man went through hell and was almost fired. His lack of guilt did not seem to impress the managers. A few managers did back him up. The whole thing was like a story out of Soviet Russia.
Then I have my own personal story. At the same company a woman reported to my supervisor that I somehow “touched her.” I immediately went on the offensive and hit back hard. Later she denied ever making such as accusation. The supervisor told me later, she did. Neither of us could make any sense of what happened. I’m convinced that my non-passive, aggressive and confrontational approach aborted the whole business. The whole thing was very strange because I got along very well with the woman, but always kept my distance, and our dealings were always business like. It was like having an animal turn on you for no reason. This incident showed me just how dangerous women can be when given a power they should not have.