Saturday, December 10, 2005

Homeward Bondage

After reading Linda Hirshman's excellent "Homeward Bound" article, I was left with more questions than answers. I'm the artist-type she suggests elite women should marry in order to balance domestic responsibilities with work. She writes this insult as if men, who reject Philistinism and its evil aspects, are somehow inferior to and more malleable than Alpha males. She literally bases this peculiar position on the very social model she spent thousands of words debunking. I'm 57 years old and have never been married. The reasons why I chose a single life are quite obvious:

1. The sexual pseudo-revolution never solved anything. All it did was make women more sexually available to men.
2. The women's movement never solved anything. When this revolt veered from a pro-woman to an anti-man agenda, real men headed for the exits.
3. The relentless battle over money and who's going to spend it are the top turnoffs.
4. The ugly struggle for sexual supremacy in the bedroom is a waste of time.
5. The annoying need by some women to keep score in a relationship is infantile.
6. Peer pressure, based on the Cosmo girl image, will destroy any marriage.
7. The problem with many women isn't low self-esteem. It's NO self-esteem.
8. Women don't have any better idea how to run a family than men do. Instinct isn't enough.
9. In modern America, there are no secure career paths. Flexibility is the key to success.
10. NO ONE (including women) can have EVERYTHING!

These are just some of the reasons why modern marriage is so unappealing.

Ms. Hirshman makes an effort to address these problems directly in the final paragraphs. However, the article ends unresolved. Social and family problems are a microcosm of our national issues. As long as human relations are built on war, violence, power projection and control, no society can prosper indefinitely. More important, gender role conflicts are based almost exclusively on definitions, misperceptions and assumptions. Ultimately, it's a matter of the difference between men/males and women/females. The world is overpopulated with males and females. Sadly, real men and women are rare.

The difference between men/males and women/females is maturity. Maturation should be based on strong character development. Real men and women obtain self confidence by putting their keisters on the line. They accumulate the requisite courage, conviction and callouses necessary to realize individuation by batting in the game of life. You may get a hit or you might strike out. One thing is certain, you can't play the game from the bleachers. No pain, no gain. No risk, no reward. The myth in today's convoluted society is you can somehow fulfill your dreams without effort or risk. When George H.W. Bush was accused of being a wimp, he promptly sent young Americans to mass murder the Iraqis. The media praised him for his valor. What is wrong with this picture? Mass murder doesn't make you manly. Reason and compassion do. Viagra and Cialis sales are starting to falter. Why is this happening? Men are beginning to accept a basic fact of life: If a woman doesn't want you around her, it makes no difference how long you can maintain your assisted manhood. She'll develop a headache which will be impervious to any chemical concoction.

Family issues, along with most of our ship of state problems, will solve themselves once Americans are required to toss their Peter Pan and Cinderella complexes overboard and simply grow up.

Franklin L. Johnson