Nearly every TV commercial seems to show the husband or father as bumbling, emasculated basement-dwellers. One commercial that sticks in my mind is a laundry detergent commercial that shows a husband and wife folding their triplets’ clothes. The husband says, “You’re cuter than clean clothes.” The wife responds, “Thanks, honey. You suck at folding.”
So much for positive reinforcement.
It’s a common theme in commercials and sitcoms that men just can’t do anything right. In her new book, “Men On Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters,” Dr. Helen Smith tackles how men got to the point of not even trying.
Popular wisdom keeps telling us that men are stuck in an adolescent stage of non-committal relationships, video games and beer pong. However, Smith notes that men are putting off marriage and fatherhood as a rational, not immature, choice. She writes, “The discrepancy between the life of the freer, single man and the life of the less respected, less free life of the married man is at the heart of why so many men have gone on strike. This discrepancy between the perks of single life and the punishment of married life for men has become wider in modern times given the unequal legal terms, cultural empowerment for married women –but not men – and the lack of reproductive rights that men face in comparison to their female counterparts.”
Smith, a forensic psychologist, has been writing about the culture wars for many years. In addition to her popular blog at PJMedia, she has written for the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. She also hosts a podcast with her husband, Glenn Reynolds, also known as Instapundit (he affectionately calls her the “InstaWife).
Smith’s “Men on Strike” is an interesting read on the current state of the so-called gender wars. As a single woman, here’s hoping either societal trends change or there are a few “scabs” out there willing to pick up the slack for the women who still appreciate them.
1. What one thing would you do as President "just because you could"?
I would repeal the "Violence Against Women Act" because it is unfair to men. There are many male victims of violence who have no lobby. Why is one sex more important than the other?
2. Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.
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