The value of men as protectors.

Chuck at Gucci Little Piggy has a great piece titled Insurance Men, where he challenges a comment made on another blog that men’s role as protectors no longer adds real value.  The original comment:

Excuse me, what? Are you arming yourself and standing watch at night while wifey sleeps? Are you accompanying her at all times whenever she ventures out of the house, armed and alert and prepared for hand-to-hand combat with your mad karate skillz? Do you live in Somalia, where death by firearm or mortar is a real threat? If not, then I propose that the value of such protection is zero and you don’t get to negotiate some sort of compensation for labor you perform only in your imagination. This is the Western world after all; most of us are privileged enough that direct threats to our physical survival are vanishingly rare.

Chuck points out that you can’t measure protection simply by attempted attacks which have been thwarted:

Britney Spears’ bodyguard rarely if ever has to spring into action to defend the pop starlet from violent attack. Spears is really paying mostly for the bodyguard’s mere presence which serves as a deterrent against attack or harassment. The bodyguard as deterrent is actually a more important role than bodyguard as Chuck Norris.

If we applied the same standard of thwarted attacks, one would have to deem the police themselves as worthless since the police rarely respond in time to disrupt an attack in process.  Blogger Suburban Sheepdog makes this point in his blog post arguing against gun control titled Who You Gonna Call?

Go and find a cop. Ideally, find one with 20 or 25 years of service who has spent his entire career in a patrol division, cruising the streets in a prowl car and answering calls. Now ask that cop these questions: How many armed robberies have you stopped while they were occurring? How many in-progress rapes have you broken up? How many times have you caught an armed burglar still in the house with the family he was victimizing? Then ask that cop this: How many reports have you written after the fact for armed robbery, rape, or home invasion?

I know to a metaphysical certainty that the numbers corresponding to the first set of questions will be vanishingly small compared to the numbers in the second set.* How could it be otherwise? Unless a lawman is on your block – or, for that matter, in your driveway – when the call comes, you cannot reasonably expect him to be there before the deed’s been done.  It’s one of Robert’s Rules: When seconds count, the police are just minutes away. (I didn’t make that one up, but it’s one of the Rules nonetheless.)

Criminal violence is a very complicated issue, but at the very least we can say that criminals are deterred from attempting rapes, robberies, and murder if they fear either getting caught after the fact or they fear significant force will be used to prevent them from being successful in the act.  As with so much in life, avoiding crime isn’t about being perfectly protected against it as it is about making it difficult enough to generally not be worth the criminal’s while or at least seeming like a less opportune target than someone else.

If you have to choose between criminals fearing they might get caught if they rape, rob or murder you, or them fearing that you might kill them or seriously injure them in the process, choose the latter.  Better yet, choose both.  As an article from the BBC points out, burglars take much more care to avoid breaking into occupied homes in the US than they do in the UK, because they fear the occupants in the US:

A study found American burglars fear armed home-owners more than the police. As a result burglaries are much rarer and only 13% occur when people are at home, in contrast to 53% in England.

Criminals have every reason to fear breaking in to an occupied home in the US.  I’ve now referenced three articles arguing against gun control, but for this post my argument isn’t about gun control.  In fact, gun control makes my point stronger.  My point is that criminals fear attacking when the victim or someone near them is in a position to respond with physical force.  That someone doesn’t have to be Chuck Norris, they simply have to pose enough of a threat to convince the criminal to find a better opportunity.  Someone who is bigger, stronger, and more prone to use violence in defense than they might otherwise face.

Someone like a man.

Yes I know some of my female readers are armed, and some others are sure they would go all Lara Croft on someone’s ass.  But what if you live in an area with gun control, or you don’t live in a video game?

As Chuck pointed out, the majority of the benefit of safety accrued from men acting as protectors doesn’t show up in the form of attacks attempted and thwarted, it shows up in the form of attacks which aren’t attempted in the first place.  It shows up in the form of a society so free from violent crime that the original commenter felt comfortable ridiculing the very idea of women needing protection from violent criminals.

This entry was posted in Feminists, Guns, Manliness. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The value of men as protectors.

  1. whorefinder says:

    Seems to me we’ve done our job too well. I think we should quit protecting these bitches. Permanently.

  2. Rum says:

    Your point about Police and the rare-ness of the times they are actually present to stop a crime of violence is spot on, imho. In fact, if one looks at the incidences of Cops misbehaving in general or with a weapon in particular they are not zero. Far from it. In many localities it can be shown that arming Cops leads to more Cop-Gun screw ups than actual use of Cop Guns to stop a crime in progress. Disarming the Cops would make sense as long as one leaves out the main reason Cops carry weapons in the first place, which is deterrence.
    Likewise, all those silly studies that attempt to show that civilian armed self defense is more likely to produce harm than good lack the same crucial insight. They are simply looking in the wrong places for understanding the important dynamics.

  3. aspiringlady says:

    I know I feel safer when my husband is home, especially at night. I got a dog so that there would be something here with me to at least make some noise when my husband works midnights. Not only do I feel like he could and would protect the family if someone showed up who meant us harm, but he is also so good at knowing whether something is a threat in the first place or not, while I just start feeling paranoid. His calm, rational disposition are comforting even if the only threats going on are in my mind. I feel safer when he is driving, and when he is with me when I am out in town too. His confidence gives me peace of mind. I think protection by men offers real value. I feel lucky to have him and I think that as our society degrades further, there will be no excuses to pretend that women don’t need the protection of men.

  4. TGP says:

    Agreed.

    That said, my wife Wendy carries a G23 daily, and will not hesitate to use it. She was taught by her dad how to shoot. We met in the Army (W. Germany–Mid 1980’s).

    She once held her driving lane in Chicago while a cab driver just assumed she would brake as he merged from the right. She did not yield. Damaged his cab and his ego.

    On one run in the Army we had to wear our flak jackets. She was the only woman who completed that run. Many men failed it too. It took mental toughness to hang in there.

    She gave birth to five of our six kids without an epidural (only on the last one did she give in).

    But she still relies on me for protection, and if she did not, we would not be the pair we are.

    [D: I don’t have any question that your wife would be a force to reckon with, especially when armed with her .40 cal GLOCK. Our bedroom touch open gun safe has loaded his and hers autoloaders, and I’ve made sure my wife knows how to open it in the dark.]

  5. krauserpua says:

    The entirety of civilisation is based on beta males providing such supportive services to women. It’s been going on so long, and through tax funding is now so mediated, that women have been able to convince themselves its the natural order of things.

    Until a Katrina hits, and they hide right behind the first man they know.

    I think it would only take one week of beta protection withdrawal to destroy feminism

    [D: Probably true.]

  6. Anonymous says:

    To quote LTC Dave Grossman, Ret.:

    “If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

    Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, ‘Baa.’

    Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog. ”
    http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm

    [D: Great quote.]

  7. Tarl says:

    Meh, I have a capacity for violence, and little or no empathy for my fellow citizens, but I am neither wolf nor sheepdog. I don’t want to harm the sheep, but I don’t love ’em, either. The list of people I’d protect with my life is short — I’m either married to or directly related to ’em. Anyone who tries to harm them is toast. As for the rest of my “fellow citizens”, they can damn well look out for themselves.

  8. Ecclesiastes says:

    As I am in BiloxiMS and was so during Katrina ( as well as 7 previous storms ), let me confirm what krauserpua says. We may be betas in the pick-up game, but alphas know we shoot looters.

    There were no police here after Katrina, not for months. We didn’t need them.

  9. Paige says:

    Great post.

    I fall apart when I don’t have my husband around. I become so hyper-vigilant I can hardly focus on anything else. It is rather neurotic and silly, but from what I can tell from my surveying of my friends it is also extremely typical. I think there may be some inherent instinct within women to want the company of a man, and when it is absent we go a little nuts.

  10. Eric says:

    Paige:

    I think what you say is probably true; but most women cop a ‘fish and bicycles’ attitude when it comes to this issue. It seems they want strong, intelligent men when they’re in trouble—but only then and afterwards her ‘hero’ becomes expendable. Then it’s back to the ‘fish and bicycles’ attitude and bed-hopping with the kinds of men they could never rely upon.

    Feminist education has atrophied most feminine instincts, and the need for a strong male is another that’s fallen by the wayside. When women need to rely on a man, they resent their supposed ‘dependency’ on him. That’s also why they tend to choose the worst men for relationships, because it enhances their sense of superiority and ‘independence’ from the hated male.

  11. Paige says:

    Eric:

    It is embarrassing to admit to being needy or dependent. The fact is that being the “weaker sex” is nothing to brag about, hence feminists prefer to live in denial.

  12. Twenty says:

    I just happened to see this the other day, and it seems apropos of the current discussion. It’s a clip from “Love Island” taken from “Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe” (Season 2 Ep 2).

    If you go to 0:50, you’ll see a little tart pulling a classic “let’s you and him fight” as she attempts to con a Beta into “protecting” her from one of the other vapid pseudo-celebs.

    [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpVA6Lx7SGM]

    In case the embed doesn’t work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpVA6Lx7SGM

    There is nothing more irritating than a parasite with contempt for its host. (“Parasite” being a description of feminists, not women in general; women in their natural state are symbionts.)

  13. Anonymous Reader says:

    This is another one of those issues in which grrlpower combines with a failure to engage in rational risk assessment, leading to conclusions that are bogus — but politically correct. Years ago I knew some people involved in the “model mugging” program. Basically it was a fairly short duration training intended to teach women a few basic hand-to-hand techniques that were intended to enable them to break away from a mugger/rapist and have a chance to escape.

    The “model mugger” naturally was a man, who was encased from head to toe in a lot of foam padding. Think of the Michelin man meets an Imperial Stormtrooper. This enabled the women being trained to engage in full-speed, full-contact strikes on various parts of the “mugger” without actually harming him. The intention was to teach a kind of programmed response: grabbed by someone on a dark street, the plan would be for the woman to deliver a series of mainly kicks with some strikes to the face (especially eyes) intended to stun, maybe temporarily disable, the attacker. Strike-strike-kick-kick and run.

    It often occurred that some grrlpower type would take to the training and decide that by golly, now she could duke it out with da big boyz. The model mugging curriculum didn’t encourage that, but it happened. To those women, the trainers would gently suggest a couple of local martial arts studios where they could learn more. It was also common that said grrrlpower commando would find out that there is a big difference between socking some guy hard and fast when he’s not expecting it & then beating feet vs. standing up to a determined attack consisting of hands, feet and grabs.

    Watch the Mixed Martial Arts fights on cable TV. Notice how many times those fights go to the ground, where wrestling techniques become king. Upper body and lower body strength matter regardless of weight class, and that’s pretty much the story.

    I’m all in favor of women being able to fight back. Sam Colt made that quite a bit more possible. But the real fight starts in the mindset.

    [D: Well put (as usual).]

  14. Eric says:

    Paige:

    I agree that they are in denial; but what bothers me most is their attitude that men are needy and dependent on them. Both genders need each other to a certain extent; it doesn’t imply weakness on one side or the other. But our culture elevates the feminine to superiority over men.

  15. First, thanks for the nod.

    Second, nifty blog you have here. As a similarly happily married man, I’ll be back often.

    Third, Anonymous at 12:38 drives straight to the point. Mindset matters most. http://suburbansheepdog.blogspot.com/2010/12/resolved.html

    My argument above is less about an opposition to gun control (which I certainly oppose) and more about understanding that we each have a nondelegable responsibility for our defense, and the defense of those whom we love. My position is that that we are entitled (because our Creator endows us with the right) and obligated (because the world is as it is) to undertake that defense. In equipping ourselves for that, Mindset Matters Most.

    Any worldview that rejects either the existence of that right, or the need to be able to exercise, is a self-destructive delusion.

    [D: Thanks for the kind words. Your point/post on mindset gets to the heart of the issue. I also enjoyed your recent post on the fuss created when someone found a .22 round in the street.]

  16. Lavazza says:

    Anonymous: Makes me think of South Park’s Team America:

    “Being a dick ain’t so bad. See, there are three kinds of people: Dicks, pussies and assholes. Pussies think everyone can get along and dicks just wanna fuck all the time without thinking it through. But then you got your assholes, and all the assholes want is to shit all over everything. So pussies may get mad at dicks once in a while because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes. And if they didn’t fuck the assholes, you know what you’d get? You’d get your dick and your pussy all covered in shit.”

  17. TGP says:

    D– Check out this piece. The man was fighting the intruder, the lady had time to get her .38. Great teamwork. This is optimal.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/couple-recount-fatal-fray-at-their-tierra-verde-home/1158689

    [D: Thanks for the link TGP. Good teamwork like you said. She really should never have opened the door without knowing who it was though, especially at 3:00 AM. Good to see it still turned out the right way.]

  18. Sweet As says:

    found you via Lost Art of Self Preservation (for Women) which i found via Married Man Sex Life.

    i’m finding these blogs very fascinating, and this one in particular, because when i think of protection, i think of it as much broader than physical protection.

    One of the most important to me: he protects me from poverty and all that poverty brings with it.

    Poverty is no joke: crime ridden neighborhoods; environmental pollutants that can cause injury or disease; lack of food or poor food quality that can cause illness, autoimmune disease, or a myriad of other problems; lack of access to medical and dental care when required. Poverty is far more dangerous than the possibility of an intruder, to be honest.

    And my husband protects me from that.

    i know that i’m educated, and i can “take care of myself” financially — and i do work. but, the fact is, his primary income and our secondary income creates a good lifestyle for us (my husband, myself, and my child) — one where we are financially secure (debt free, cash economy, able to save) and unlikely to become impoverished.

    I know that many two-income families are below the poverty level or not earning living wages, etc, This is not a blame game or cut on anyone who finds themselves poor — particularly these days, goodness knows. So take that off the table, and I’m just focusing on another way my husband protects me.

    He goes out and works hard, and I work at managing our household budget strictly so that we can live well on one income, and any income from our business becomes “extra” that we can then save, use to pay for our son’s education, or save up and spend on perks like travel. though, we prefer saving it! lol

    On my own, without him (eg, divorced or widowed), and with a child — i’d be unlikely to scrape by with the basics. Sure, i’d be able to get a fair bit of government assistance, and i could send DS to public school, and i can work hard at my business and build it up (which i’m doing anyway), but it would be a *much harder* road without the support — financial and otherwise — of my husband.

    And when a birthday or valentines day or anniversary rolls around — i usually do not ask for or get a gift, my girlfriends bark “oh, he’s not very romantic” or “he doesn’t care about/appreciate you.” I tell those crazy women this: There is nothing more romantic that a man can do than go out into the world and work to provide for you and your children.

    I don’t need presents. Every day with him is a true gift. Not only is he sensitive to my needs in every way, and generous and loving to our son, but he is also an amazing provider. Least I can do is devote myself to him, right?

    [D: Welcome to the blog. Marriage does provide diversification against any number of risks, economic being one of them.]

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  26. Mrs. P says:

    Haven’t they ever watched Cold Case Files? Probably way more than half of the episodes center around women living alone who are raped or murdered. It’s obvious that a woman living alone is way more likely to be assaulted than one with a man in the house. I’ve heard that women living alone should put a big pair of man’s boots on the front porch so people will think a (big) man lives there.

    Even when a woman isn’t in danger, having a man in her presence shields her from other annoyances. No man has ever flirted with or hit on me when I’m out with my husband, but it’s happened a few times when I’m out shopping alone (I wish guys would check to see if a woman is wearing a wedding ring before they flirt with her).

  27. Melie says:

    Ok this thing is kind of old but I just can’t let it slip through my fingers like this. I’m just trying to make a point using my personal experience.
    I was born in civil war and stayed in it for 10 years. One thing men do not understand in your (wealthy, industrialized, 1st world) countries is that they are also vulnerable, and are not sure bulletproof heroes: they are also weak and not necessarily protective by nature and not of every single woman that walks their way. What if you aren’t a big tough man just an average guy?

    I almost got raped 2 times, and was pretty much publicly fondled in 7th grade, once at 13 the other at christmas 2011 by someone my family knew. I left as soon as things got “weird” and he had tried to lock the door thinking I was very drunk. When I was being touched people were not in a hurry to get him off of me but they did see what was happening.
    It doesn’t matter the sex, people don’t want to get into anything “sticky”.
    During the civil war, my aunt who is married to a french man was living with their son.It isn’t about an instinct it is about whether someone thinks you are worth saving. I have simply accepted that people don’t help you because they can but because they want. I have many uncles and aunts who died in war or of disease. My family and I have had enough experiences to not expect help and learn to save our own sorry arses if we can.

  28. 1kingofkings says:

    I can find a study that counteracts any study.

  29. MarcusD says:

    I can find a study that counteracts any study.

    No, you cannot.

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