Monday's contribution is here.
Tuesday's is here.
Today's contribution to NOFW is below.
"Where are all the men?" My twentysomething cousin asked plaintively. We had just finished our Christmas dinner and she was in the midst of telling me about a new man she had met at a yoga retreat. (I know.)
My cousin is a very sweet young woman. She is incredibly warm, giving, and compassionate. However, she confided in me that she was having trouble meeting "responsible men."
"Responsible men?" I asked with a slight frown. "Can you elaborate?"
"Oh, you know. Guys who have a dependable job and can pay their bills. Guys who know how to take care of life's usual responsibilities as an adult. Guys who can take charge every once in awhile instead of expecting me to make all the decisions."
"Ah," I said. "You want a real man. Well, you can blame feminism for this."
She didn't completely understand my answer and I tried to explain it as best I could; considering the fact I was talking to a woman who grew up around boys who had already been emasculated by the time they were seven years old. Or at least heavily mocked for being a "stupid jock" if they acted like a man.
I most definitely blame feminism for what has happened to our men.
Years ago, Susan Faludi (no stranger to feminism, herself), wrote a book called Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. From Amazon's book description (emphasis mine):
One of the most talked-about books of last year, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Backlash now explores the collapse of traditional masculinity that has left men feeling betrayed.
... As traditional masculinity continues to collapse, the once-valued male attributes of craft, loyalty, and social utility are no longer honored, much less rewarded. Faludi's journey through the modern masculine landscape takes her into the lives of individual men whose accounts reveal the heart of the male dilemma. Stiffed brings us into the world of industrial workers, sports fans, combat veterans, evangelical husbands, militiamen, astronauts, and troubled "bad" boys— whose sense that they've lost their skills, jobs, civic roles, wives, teams, and a secure future is only one symptom of a larger and historic betrayal.This is the result of feminism hijacking the education system and punishing boys for being boys. This is the fruit from the "All Men Are Pigs" programming on TV. This is what happens when contraception was introduced into society, ostensibly to bring about a "sexual revolution" but instead destroyed the role of man as the provider.
After all, if you have a woman who willingly has sex without the commitment of marriage, then why would you feel the need to protect her much less provide for her? Add the fact that many women will nearly rip a man's head off if he even so much as hints that she needs help.
Is it any wonder men take the safer route and simply plant themselves on the couch, scarfing down Nacho-flavored Doritos and forfeits any serious decision-making? After all, it's been pounded into his head since birth that he really doesn't have any idea what he's doing. And if he tries to do something (It could be anything. Like loading a dishwasher.), it most certainly is wrong.
This is the bitter fruit of feminism.
Not only did it ruin women, it ruined women's natural desire to admire and respect men for the awesome creatures that they are. Just about any red-blooded woman (apart from the humorless 60's crowd) will find herself drawn to a man who knows his worth and isn't afraid to speak his mind. Women still love what I call "real men," although far too many younger men have had the "realness" beaten out of them.
You know a real man when you see one. He's usually the one who gets out of bed at midnight to drive to his girlfriend's broken-down car on the side of the highway. He's the one who sends steely glares toward any troublemakers before they try anything. He's the one who courteously helps a woman with a large load of boxes and brushes off her exuberant words of appreciation by saying, "No problem. Have a good one."
I've been around plenty of men like that and I adore them. I also give thanks to God for giving me one as my husband. You know how he won my heart?
It was during our second date. We were attending the annual Labor Day fireworks show in Cincinnati. This event draws thousands of people to the riverfront each year. The fireworks are simply breathtaking and many event-goers are known for setting up camp early in the morning just to get a good seat. Many families attend, but there are also the usual assortment of seedier types who arrive half-drunk and proceed to get drunker with every hour.
My husband, his friend, and I were sitting on a blanket, enjoying the weather and festivities. Suddenly, I got up and announced I was headed toward the restrooms. My future husband rose to his feet.
"Oh!" I said innocently, "Do you need to visit the restrooms, too?"
He smiled. "No, but I'll accompany you. There's no way I'll let you go through a crowd like this unescorted."
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Never, and I mean never, had I experienced a man so concerned with my safety. Up to that point, I had dated either two types of men: sarcastic self-absorbed or men who had their backbone surgically removed. The kind of man I term a "real man" seemed to trot happily after the blond Barbie-doll types but I was no Barbie-doll.
My future husband then gallantly offered his arm and away we went. I never felt so valued as a woman as I did in that moment.
This is what feminism has tried to steal and damn near succeeded.
There are still men like this. They many not be as common as they were in the fifties, but they exist. And if I could truly speak from my heart to my beautiful cousin, this is what I'd like to say:
"Praise men. Praise them for all the good they bring into the world. Thank them for helping you. Notice all the ways they try to please you and then make a big deal out of it like there's no tomorrow. Admire them and bat those big baby blues when they help you carry something twice your size. Murmur that you wouldn't know what you would have done without them. Look for ways to make them feel as though they're not irrelevant. Focus on their accomplishments. And for the love of pete, if they load the dishwasher wrong, so what? Thank them for helping out.
Quit micro-managing them and appreciate them for all their glorious maleness. Remember they are not a "do-it-yourself" project. Cherish the fact that men are men, not women, and when your back is up against the wall, you'll need a real man to come alongside you — not Judy your BBF. Love men and recognize that without them, we'd be completely and utterly bored and lonely.
Oh, and one more thing. It wouldn't hurt to dress up a little and leave the sweatpants at home."
Guys like that kind of stuff.