The tragedy of young women in 2022 is that they have been raised to be unpleasant and resentful.
I was speaking with a young man who said that there’s no reason to get married. He’s not religious, so that’s not a tie that binds. He can get sex without marriage. There’s no social pressure on today’s young men to start a family as part of the maturing process. The young man added that there’s no reason to believe he’ll want to be with the same person for an extended period of time — and he pointed to the huge modern divorce rate.
That last got me started thinking about what a marriage should be and why there are so many failed marriages. My thinking boiled down to two things: Niceness and biological differences. (I could easily come up with more, but this post is about those two things.)
In the old days, there was absolutely no doubt that men and women were different. During their usually short married lives (because she died in childbirth and he died from overwork or accidents), she was dependent on him to support her during pregnancy and with young children, and he was dependent on her to continue his genetic legacy, which is a purely lizard-brain mental mandate.
Monogamous marriage was his assurance that the children he was supporting were indeed his. That matters tremendously to men. Indeed, you only need to look to the fact that there is no more dangerous place for a young child than in a household that not only lacks that child’s biological father but that also is home to one or a series of boyfriends, none of whom have been socialized beyond their lizard brain. Many of those kids are brutally abused, often to death.
Over time — most notably after WWII when America became economically ascendant — two things happened: One, human lives ceased to be pure subsistence level existence and, two, people lived longer. That meant that people weren’t bound together by the struggle for food, the reality of babies, and the inevitability of imminent death.
What then bound people? Well, I think that, early on, one of the things that kept relationships together was that women were raised to be nice to be around. Sure, as with all aspirational things, there was a gap between reality and aspiration, but for several decades, women were told that they were living a good life if they made a happy home with happy children. Meanwhile, their husband’s good love would occur if he were supported in his career and came home every day to a happy house filled with happy people. Again, I know the 1950s sitcoms put a gloss on this, but it was the cultural zeitgeist before the 1960s, and it was a zeitgeist that flowed naturally from the different roles and energy that men and women bring to a monogamous relationship.
The 1960s and beyond told women, not just that they didn’t have to live that traditional role but also that the traditional role was demeaning and imprisoning. Women were taught that men weren’t their partners or the interlocking puzzle pieces of their lives, but were their enemy.
Speaking from my own life experience, I know that in the 1980s and 1990s, most of my friends and I, even though we wanted to get married, were not nice to men. We verbally demeaned them at every opportunity. The phrase “toxic masculinity” may be modern, but the way we treated those men fit in well with the phrase. Of course, in our defense, we were competing with these men in the workplace, so many of our attitudes towards these men were built upon resentment about workplace issues…but they were still the men we also wanted to marry. Go figure.
Young women nowadays are even more marinated in narcissism than my generation was. They are told that their feelings are the most important metric in any relationship. The most recent embodiment of this madness is Demi Lovato’s announcement that she has once again changed her gender:
— Access Hollywood (@accesshollywood) August 3, 2022
(Just as another sign of our broken culture, isn’t just that she and all other young women are being told that their potty habits matter. It’s also the media’s slavish efforts to keep up with things, affirming just how important women’s “feelings” are. Thus, Access Hollywood was not the only outlet that had this sentence: Lovato “has announced they will use she/her pronouns again.”)
What would keep young women like Lovato mentally healthy would be to be told “No one cares. Stop thinking about yourself. Instead of demanding that everyone make you comfortable, why don’t you be nice and start thinking about making the people around you comfortable?”
But again, young women are told that the essence of feminism is to assert themselves and their feelings at every opportunity. The flip side of this is that they are told that, while their feelings are important, men’s are not, unless men are on the LGBTQ++ spectrum, in which case (as women are discovering) those men are actually better than women.
Do you want to know where that ends up? It ends up with this comic strip, which is both absolutely right and completely wrong:
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The cartoon is absolutely right because, in every marriage I knew, even if both the mother and father worked outside the home, the mother was more relentlessly focused on the children’s needs. The fathers loved their children and would help out, but only up to a point. We feminists felt a great deal of resentment about that, but it was only as my kids grew up — and I got to see that my son was so very different from my daughter — that I finally acknowledged the truth: Men and women are different, those differences are at a cellular level, and banging your head against them will only make everyone unhappy.
And that’s where this cartoon is so very, very wrong. What this woman should be doing is cultivating the best parts of that biological difference so that she and her husband optimize their different energies. Instead, she is publicly castrating her husband for failing to be a woman. This is both a failure to be nice and the cultural rot of pretending that men and women are either the same, or that they are interchangeable, or that women are better. Biologically, men and women are different, and that’s a good thing.
If we threw more niceness and respect men’s way, and caught them being good (brave, chivalrous, supportive, and loving) instead of constantly nagging them for failing to be women, maybe young men would be more emotionally generous in the home. Emotional generosity is the starting point for giving tired moms (and moms are tired, especially if they’re working) the support they need.
And more importantly, maybe these men wouldn’t feel that marriage is a pointless exercise because there’s no way any sane person would want to be with the average American young woman for the rest of his life. This matters, of course, because children do best in a stable, two-parent home, they are on a bullet train to poverty when only mom is around, and they are flirting with terrible death when the untamed boyfriends begin to roll through.
And that’s why I think young women today (including conservative young women who have been raised in the same atmosphere of man-hating) are so often deeply unpleasant people. Incidentally, I can, and probably will (eventually), write about why young men are also so awful. They too are the living embodiment of our society’s war against niceness and traditional gender roles.