American society has become anti-male. Men are sensing the backlash and are consciously and unconsciously going “on strike.” They are dropping out of college, leaving the workforce and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates. The trend is so pronounced that a number of books have been written about this “man-child” phenomenon, concluding that men have taken a vacation from responsibility simply because they can. But why should men participate in a system that seems to be increasingly stacked against them?
As Men on Strike demonstrates, men aren’t dropping out because they are stuck in arrested development. They are instead acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers. In addition, men are going on strike, either consciously or unconsciously, because they do not want to be injured by the myriad of laws, attitudes and hostility against them for the crime of happening to be male in the twenty-first century. Men are starting to fight back against the backlash. Men on Strike explains their battle cry.
Legacy publishers charge too much for ebooks, so it becomes useful to note when they have a good book on sale. My books are generally priced at $2.99 or $3.99 because they don’t have to support the legacy overhead of offices in Manhattan, multiple editors, and costly staff. There is now a two-tier market, with legacy publishers holding their ebook prices much too high (often higher than paper!) to protect sales of paper copies, while small and self-publishers offer very similar quality books at half or less price. Authors make more by self-publishing but tend to sell fewer copies since self-published books lack the imprimatur and marketing of the legacy publishers. It is still true that reviews and media exposure are much harder to obtain for self-publishers since it’s simpler to ignore all self-published books than to pick through the dross for the gems, but by volume there are roughly equal numbers of “excellent” books being published each way.
A festival of links. If you follow these you’ll be exposed to a lot of discussion from a wide variety of perspectives on the current state of mate-seeking and marriage, and a lot of unhappiness about both. Some of the comments are from points of view I have never considered. Much of this is ideological and political wrangling; I think good marriages are very important to a healthy society, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to change laws to somehow “promote marriage.” There are certainly current government policies that have created incentives that make people hesitate before subjecting themselves to a commitment that seems like it might end badly for them, and I’d support identifying and reducing these disincentives where possible. Leave people free to work out their problems and find good solutions; free the economy from some of the excessive regulation that hampers growth and good jobs, so a dynamic economy helps people feel safe enough in their jobs to found new families.
Warning: I don’t endorse any of these, but they are thought-provoking:
Men on Strike, by Helen Smith (wife of Glenn Reynolds the Instapundit, who was kind enough to plug Bad Boyfriends on his site) is a provocative look at how boys and young men are being damaged by schools run primarily by women who now view masculine energy as something to be suppressed, and a society that views men as suspect and probably at fault in any issue. It certainly does not help that lower-class young men are devalued and underemployed at a much greater rate than ever before, and so we get Carl from the link above, “Just Say No,” who while father of a woman’s child is seen as a hindrance in her life.