What traditionalist men must do to end female promiscuity

Laura W. (Laura Wood) writes:

With regard to Ian B.’s remarks, the decline in masculinity described in the Roissy discussion will not be cured by education in character and male strength, as important as these things are. Masculinity has lost one of its most significant functions. It will not recover until men regain economic primacy. In one-fourth of married couples, the woman earns more than the man. In the majority of American homes, the man depends on his wife’s income. It’s only natural to be submissive to someone whom you need to support you, to a woman whom you want to act like a man in the job world. Men have traded their masculinity for their wives’ earnings. For all their lamentations about the sexual depredations and dominant personalities of modern women, I hear very very few men complaining about this reversal of tradition

The comments by many men trashing women for their libertinism in their twenties are infuriating when they come with absolutely no recognition of what these women are actually doing in their twenties: clawing their way tooth-and-nail up the job ladder so that someday they can support their husbands and children. Women generally prefer sex with attachment. They give that up in their twenties because it does not fit with the focus needed to fashion a full-fledged career. I’m not saying many don’t gladly participate in casual sex and game-playing, but this is often the back drop to the real drama of their lives at that age: the grueling creation of a work identity. From early childhood, they are given the distinct message that they cannot have a family unless they have lucrative work, and that they will not be attractive to men unless they are financially independent.

I would agree with Ian B. that men should start shaming women for their promiscuity. This would be very effective. At the same time, women must start shaming men. If men want women to decline the pleasures and consolations of sexual relations while they are battling their way to well-paying careers, the men must also be willing to compensate the women for the loss of earnings that results from genuine femininity.

LA replies:

Laura seems to be suggesting that individual men on their own, simply by earning more money than they are doing at present and so becoming better able to support women, could change female behavior, namely reduce female careerism and thus reduce female promiscuity. But today’s female careerism is obviously a function of the entire society—of the entire society’s by-now established customs, expectations, and laws, as Laura herself has written elsewhere. So, does the problem reside in the fact that men as individuals are not earning enough, and therefore women become careerists to provide the income and financial security that men are not providing, and therefore women become promiscuous? Or does the problem reside in the fact that our whole society pushes women into careerism, and therefore women become promiscuous, and, further, because the women are both earning a lot and competing with men for jobs, the men become less successful and/or start working less, thus increasing the need for women to work, thus further increasing female promiscuity?

Laura replies:

No, I don’t believe individual men can reverse things by only working harder on their own. They now face immense forces against them. They at the same time have to explain and defend why they were once favored in the workplace. They have to lose their timidity and say, These jobs belong to us. They also have to make do as much as possible without their wives’ earnings in order to create harmony in their relations with women and healthy families, so that eventually men face better financial prospects. The short-term sacrifices will eventually change society. I realize it seems impossible now, but it only took 50 years to destroy the male provider role.

- end of initial entry -

Steven Warshawsky writes:

I have some quibbles with Laura W.’s analysis, which I have shared with her before. She argues that the relations between the sexes will not improve (i.e., will not return to a monogamous, marriage-based culture) “until men regain economic primacy.” Unfortunately, she doesn’t explain what this means. Surely it cannot mean that every man, in every relationship, should earn more than his female partner. She also doesn’t confront how we arrived at the economic situation we have today—where many women earn more than many men—which is due to specific biological (women on average have better communication and social skills, which earn a premium in a service-based economy), educational (American men tend to shun education and waste their youth on sports and entertainment), and technological factors (few jobs require the superior physical abilities of men). Nor does she explain how she proposes to reverse this situation. Finally, she either is not aware of or simply ignores the serious economic consequences of taking steps to reduce female economic participation and productivity. She may prefer a poorer, but more patriarchal, society, but that does not appear to be a widely held view.

And how would she address the situation where many men prefer lower-paying jobs that they perceive as having higher status, to higher-paying jobs that they perceive as less prestigious? Perfect example from my own field, law: Legal secretaries and paralegals at larger law firms are well-paid positions. Yet these jobs are mostly filled with women. On the other hand, large numbers of men go to third- and fourth-tier law schools, from which they will graduate with lots of student loan debt and few decent job prospects. Most of these lawyers-to-be will find jobs, if at all, at small law firms that pay less than legal secretary and paralegal positions at larger law firms. But they never would consider one of these higher-paying jobs, for which they would be very well qualified, because of the lower professional status of these positions. So should the women who take these higher-paid “assistant” positions be “blamed” because the men who are roughly at the same level (or even higher) on the intellectual and educational bell curve prefer to take lower-paid attorney positions? And should these men be “blamed” for not swallowing their pride and seeking higher-paid, but lower status employment?

LA replies:

It seems to me that the sorts of objections Mr. Warshawsky is raising can be raised against any proposal for a change in the order of society, such as when I argue that liberalism must be rejected. The critic assumes that all the particulars of our present society will remain in place, and since those particulars don’t fit with the proposed change, therefore the proposed change is impossible. What the critic misses is that if there were such a large change, the small things would change as well.

Also I seem to remember that Laura replied effectively to similar objections Mr. Warshawsky made to her radical article, “Why We Must Discriminate.” at her blog.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 21, 2009 09:30 AM | Send

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