The Neutering of the American Male: How Did We Get Here?
Women of every culture and hue are lamenting in unison: “Where are all the good men?” There seems to be a universal dearth of strong, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-slay-a-dragon type of dudes, The reason for the shortage might be deeper than what you might expect.
Jim Wysong, author of the book, “The Neutering of the American Male,” dissects the road that led to the perceived impotence of men. The main reason? Technology. “Technology has changed our world forever. The world is a different place than it was a hundred years ago. The roles of men and women have become blurred beyond recognition during that time. People of today have been affected by many of those changes in ways they have not seen or understood, but they have felt the changes all the same,” says Wysong.
Basically, technology evened out the playing field. After the country moved from an agrarian lifestyle into an industrialized one, survival became more about brain, and less about brawn.
How World War II Changed Everything
Aside from the galvanizing of troops to march for civil rights, another thing happened–for the first time, perhaps ever, women knew they could do a man’s just as well as he could. Remember Rosie the Riveter? Well, Rosie got wise when her man went off to fight the Nazis so she had to hold it down in the factories. Heck, it was the first time in history women were literally wearing the pants. “When the men came back from the war, they took back their places, pushing out the women who filled those spots during the war. Many of these women started to rally and voice their feeling about what they saw as unfairness. Politicians learned that women could vote them in and out of office, and so the politicians started listening to them.”
Richard Miller, age 32, had this to say: “In families today, the blue-collar alpha male is not the main breadwinner anymore. Men have to be white collar to be the main breadwinner. If a man is blue-collar – then chances are, his wife is making more money than he is. And don’t piss off a woman who makes more money than you – because she’ll be damned if you’re sleeping in HER bed, sitting on HER couch, watching HER television, or living in HER house!”
…Then, Men Started Talking About Their Feelings…
The sixties was the age of emo. For the first time in history, men were encouraged to talk about their feelings. “Many other men listened to what the women were saying and a lot of young men conformed to the woman’s request. But guess what? When they started to bare it all, women didn’t like it. Deep down, I suppose women really wanted a man to be strong, and showing vulnerability made their partners feel less secure and unsure about whether these men could be depended upon when the fit hit the sham.
So the big question is, are we better off? In some ways, yes. Women have every right to compete on an intellectual playing field and be able to provide for themselves. But still, men also need to feel like men.
Lee Moulton, a 38-year-old married man and father of two says, “There may be attempts to neuter us but I don’t concern myself with that, I just care about the home life and being THE MAN at home. Nothing more fulfilling than letting a man BE a man. Let me fix things, build things, mow things…and bring me a gosh-darn lemonade and sandwich when you see my shirt is drenched out there.”
Do you agree, are the men of today missing something? Is “brawn” important to you when it comes to men?
Christelyn D. Karazin is the co-author of “Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed” (to be released April 2012), and runs a blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.