We all live under a social contract. But what does that mean?
In the broader picture, the simplest explanation is an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for the benefit of the community.
There is also an historical social contract between men and woman.
This used to be an implicit agreement between men and women, exchanging provision and protection for esteem and public deference. This definition is terse but deflects any feigned incomprehension at the meaning of the term.
Today, the social contract between men and women is defunct. Masculinity is increasingly treated with feminine scorn. Since early Second Wave Feminism, our culture has peddled the metaphor that men are as necessary to women as bicycles are to fish. While that particular wording is played out, and not directly repeated, it is cast through the public narrative in numerous re-phrasings. The outrage baiting discussion, entitled “Are Men Necessary,” has already been hosted in two forums as a smug repackaging of the implied idea of impending masculine decline.
“We can do away with your entire sex, tee-hee, because we don’t need you anymore, tee-hee.”
The naked psychopathy of this sentiment is difficult to comprehend; which may be why, despite generations of its repetition within the current mainstream culture, most fail to recognize its poison.
“Oh, it’s just a joke.” “Oh, don’t be so sensitive!” “Oh, we’re just having fun.” These are excuses for the continued public advocacy of male degradation. Even men are making excuses for the commentary denying their own humanity.
The question of whether women “need” men or not, and whether men are “necessary” to the continued functioning of society, continues to be debated and tossed about casually. Men’s advocates argue vigorously for men’s continued relevance but, while such arguments are valid, very few MRAs recognize what the question reveals. “Are men obsolete?”
This is not a question about human beings. It’s a question about an appliance or some other item of convenience.
Can we casually dispense of other humans as we would discard such things as an outdated DVD player in favour of newer technology? This question, if seriously contemplated for any other demographic than men, would be met appropriately by white-hot-rage.
If we suggest female obliteration some will chortle smugly that such considerations are absurd or impossible. Women, we understand, are necessary due to their central role in human reproduction. Yet, artificial wombs are already a viable technology. Despite this, nobody is seriously considering the eradication of women, based on their obsolescence. Even true woman-haters do not field such hypotheses, except as rhetorical examples of dehumanization. The question of necessity does not arise, because women are viewed as people. Only men are utilities to be left at the curb for disposal after their toner cartridges run out.
This brings us back to the question of men’s obsolescence.
Two hundred years ago, we needed vast numbers of men to cheerfully, and voluntarily, do jobs we would now regard as far too dangerous and brutal to subject a human to. Many of those jobs still exist, although in much safer, far less physically punishing forms. Coal miners still occasionally die in mining collapses or explosions, but the numbers are counted in hundreds, instead of the thousands of black-lung deaths of previous generations. The modern workplace is far safer, far less physically punishing.
A great deal of modern heavy labor is done with machinery and robotics, rendering the historic sledge-hammer wielding miner obsolete. The same is true for hundreds of other jobs, most of which were once male-only. In addition, global economic systems have supplanted the formerly localized economies. This means that men, who were formally breadwinners of traditional families are, in an economic and labor based sense, increasingly unnecessary.
As long as we are thinking of men merely as utilities rather than people, then to a substantial degree, feminists arguing that men are superfluous are right. Recognition of this uncomfortable reality is one of the factors driving some men, and even some MRAs, in their desire to return to a traditionally modeled family structure: One in which men’s role as protector and provider was both clearly defined, and recognized as a necessary pillar in a functional community.
Compared to the populist view of male identity as a pathology, and men barely-to-be-tolerated, inconvenient subhumans – the prospect of a social model recognizing men as disposable, but valued work-dogs can seem highly appealing. There are also many women who would cheerfully trade the necessity to support themselves for their role as a provided-for wife.
But this masculine desire for a valued identity, however understandable, has several problems. The first is that the valuation of men within traditional roles as providers depended, to a large extent, on economies which no longer exist. Globalization has changed the value of labour. The second problem, related to the first, is that men’s value as providers pre-dated the emergence of a firmly established welfare state which now substantially replaces individual men as women’s providers.
On top of these two primary issues, the traditional valuation of male identity as “provider” is simply a return to man-as-utility – without a return to the economic and social framework which made that model work. In other words, the conditions in which male-as-provider was a valued and viable identity for men is a set of conditions which no longer exists. So, men desperate for a socially valued identity are willing, even eager, to be useful even if disposable. They aren’t aspiring to recognition as humans, merely as properly valued cash or labor dispensing utilities.
A sadder state of being is difficult to imagine. But we don’t have to imagine it because this is the reality, on top of which men weather a continuous narrative in which they are the malignant overlords supposedly denying “equality” to women. Women who happen to own the narrative which claims female oppression and male primacy.
A man who dares complain is not a person with a legitimate grievance. Nope. He’s a spoiled boy-emperor, having a childish tantrum over his historical “rights” to commit rape and assault being curtailed by that “noble” humanist ethic of feminism.
The longing of a great many men for a return to a “traditional” protector-provider role should not come as a surprise. This wish for “return” to the role of useful-appliance, instead of a desire for recognition of male humanity, is understandable. The aspiration for men to be equivalent to the public stature of the female identity is such a great leap it is almost incomprehensible to most men.
Unfortunately, the desire for the old protector role, even as it is endorsed by some women, is a trap. The traditional provider model for men in a modern social and legal setting is one in which all social transactions take place with a metaphorical gun pointed in the man’s direction.
Without delving into a lengthy list of examples in which violence is enacted on behalf of women, via proxy, it is sufficient to note that a single, fraudulent accusation by a woman is enough to denude a man of his home, his children, his income, his freedom, the support of his extended family, and to effectively end his life. And why wouldn’t a woman use this power?
The commonplace lie that “women don’t make false accusations” is refutable in seconds with the use of a search engine.
Even the feminist heroine “Jane Roe” (Norma McCorvey), whose transcribed statements led to the precedent setting case of Roe vs Wade, claimed fraudulently that she had been raped.
So while the urge to respect all choices made by men or women seems reasonable, there are choices which are foolish and delusional and should be discouraged. One such choice is the understandable but misguided desire of men to be valued draft animals, rather than obsolete subhumans. Men can aim higher.
And the advocates for men’s rights, who have studied these problems have no excuse whatsoever for claiming the so-called traditional married male model of provider and protector is a good option, or that it can be supported.
Of all the people party to discussions on these issues, men’s human rights advocates should be the first and loudest objectors to the dehumanization of men in what is now called the traditional male role.
This movement would not enable heroin addicts seeking their next fix, even if that was what they expressed a desire for. We would not be so irresponsible, so cruel, or so sadistic.
That some of the most experienced and knowledgeable MRAs now advocate a “return” to traditional gender roles “for those who want them” is deeply troubling.