Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why Feed the Cow When Milk Is Cheap?

Yet another article from our favorite Christian evangelist Mark Regnerus, on how all men want from women is sex, how all women want from men is marriage and how the price is set in this prostitution market. I have already written about Regnerus' new book. His basic approach really is that women shouldn't go to college in such great numbers but should marry very young. This is because the only thing men want from women is sex and if you give it without marriage, well, then the men won't marry you!

But Regnerus' most recent article goes even further: He argues that men can't be bothered to work, either, if they can get sex without work:
And yet while young men's failures in life are not penalizing them in the bedroom, their sexual success may, ironically, be hindering their drive to achieve in life. Don't forget your Freud: Civilization is built on blocked, redirected, and channeled sexual impulse, because men will work for sex. Today's young men, however, seldom have to. As the authors of last year's book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality put it, "Societies in which women have lots of autonomy and authority tend to be decidedly male-friendly, relaxed, tolerant, and plenty sexy." They're right. But then try getting men to do anything.
Get it? Heterosexual women must stop giving away free sex or the sky will fall and they will never be able to get married.

What's the evidence for men's poor performance AS A CONSEQUENCE of a sexually permissive society? According to Regnerus:
We keep hearing that young men are failing to adapt to contemporary life. Their financial prospects are impaired—earnings for 25- to 34-year-old men have fallen by 20 percent since 1971. Their college enrollment numbers trail women's: Only 43 percent of American undergraduates today are men. Last year, women made up the majority of the work force for the first time. And yet there is one area in which men are very much in charge: premarital heterosexual relationships.
How sneaky! He doesn't actually show any causality here. Not that he could do so, given that the drop in young men's earnings has much more to do with globalization of markets and the outsourcing of many previously well-paying blue-collar jobs, and given that the percentage of men in the universities of such countries as Iran was between 35% and 40% until the government decided to limit women's share to a maximum of 50%.

Nevertheless, Regnerus ties the two things together later on, arguing that young American men do poorly because of the behaviors of young American women. This I call a sleight of hand. Also worth pointing out is that Regnerus talks about something he sees as a problem: declining marriage rates, while at the same time talking about the group: the ultimately college-educated, who will have the highest marriage rates of all. Another sleight of hand here.

Regnerus' thesis looks to me like putting the cart before the cow or the pig, and that cliche coleslaw is intended, because that's how he builds his thesis, too. But I still can't get over the misandry of the anti-feminists. They start from a view of men which is insulting to the extreme, then somehow work from that into woman-blaming. And people say feminists hate men!
For more on this topic, read "Why Feed the Pig When Sausages Are Cheap".