Headlines vs Reality

Reality:  More young men and women are now living with their parents.

This first item I saw the other day while looking for data on the elusive Peter Pan Manboy.  Back in August of 2013 a Pew Research Center study found that 36% of Millennials still live with their parents:  A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents’ Home.  While most Millennial men and women live on their own, young people of both sexes are more likely to live at home now than in the past.  Men are a bit more likely to live with their parents (40%) than women (32%).  Note that these figures count men and women living in college dorms as living with their parents.

Headline:

Marketwatch picked up the study with the headline: Women leave nest, men stay with parents.

Gen-Y men seem less able or willing to cut the apron strings

Neither the headline nor the statement quoted above is an accurate description of the data.  Most Millennials of both sexes leave home, and the gap between men and women is not new. In fact, the current 8 point gap is smaller than the 11 point gap in 1968.

Reality:  Recent spike in heroin use and deaths.

In March of this year the CDC released Data Brief 190: Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin: United States, 2000–2013.  Figure 2 shows that heroin deaths increased for both men and women between 2010 and 2013, with nearly four times as many deaths of men than women:

fig2

Figure 4 shows that death rates have increased for all races.

fig4However, death rates for 18-44 year old whites have increased so much that they now have the highest rate of death due to heroin:

In 2000, the highest rate for drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin was among non-Hispanic black persons aged 45–64 (2.0 per 100,000) (Figure 4). In contrast, in 2013, the rate was highest among non-Hispanic white persons aged 18–44 (7.0 per 100,000).

Figure 3 shows the breakdown of deaths by age, although it would have been more helpful if they had split out the middle age bracket into two ten year groups:

fig3

On July 7th 2015 the CDC followed up with a Vitalsigns article titled Today’s Heroin Epidemic, including the infographic:
heroin-graph_1185px

Note from the infographic that despite the fact that whites now use (and die from) heroin at greater rates than other races, heroin use is still skewed strongly to people with lower socioeconomic status.  Those with low incomes as well as those on Medicaid or with no health insurance have much higher rates of heroin use than those with higher incomes and private insurance.

Headline:

The Boston Globe picked up the Vitalsigns article, and their headline reads:  Heroin use spikes among women, higher-income groups

Study finds new faces of addiction

Women, people age 18 to 25, and those with higher incomes and private insurance have been increasingly falling victim to the drug.

Dr. Sarah E. Wakeman, a specialist in substance abuse treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the report reflects her experience in treating addicts. “It highlights the fact that this has become an equal-opportunity disease,” she said. “Basically, everyone I see is white, they’re equally male and female, they’re younger and affluent — a very different demographic.”

Posted in Data | 257 Comments

As expected

Pentagon moves to allow transgender troops to serve openly

And there likely won’t be much opposition on Capitol Hill, with Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) saying he has no major objections.

This is the day after the announcement and I can’t find any press accounts of a reaction by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas).  Neither man’s reaction surprises me, as their previous statements indicated that they were ready to roll over on the issue.

 

Posted in Military | 95 Comments

Disrespecting respectability, dishonoring the honorable.

In The Revenge of The Lost Boys* Tom Nichols begins with a familiar question:

What’s going on with young American men?

Nichols focuses primarily on examples of men that Vox Day categorizes as gammas:

Beyond this, they seem to share little beyond a stubborn immaturity wedded to a towering narcissism.

Stuck in perpetual adolescence, they see only their own imagined virtue amidst irredeemable corruption.

…the combination of immaturity and grandiosity among these young males is jaw-dropping in its scale even when it is not expressed through the barrel of a gun.

These young losers live through heroic fantasies and constructed identities rather than through work and human relationships.

…these man-boys are confused about their sexuality and frustrated by their own social awkwardness, and seek to compensate for it. They turn into what German writer Hans Enzensberger called “the radicalized losers,” the unsuccessful males who channel their blunted male social impulses toward destruction.

Yet as the title and opening question both suggest, Nichols isn’t just concerned about a handful of destructive gammas in the news.  Nichols is concerned about the overall loss of masculine virtue.  He also has a basic understanding of what has gone wrong:

What we don’t really want to think about, because it challenges our cherished political narratives, is why modern society creates such destructive outcasts…

We, the adults, have made this generation of young men by allowing, over the course of some 40 years, the eventual construction of a hyper-sexualized, publicity-obsessed, winner-take-all twenty-first-century culture in which success means money, sex, and fame at any cost. Young males no longer live in a world where there’s a Jack for every Jill, or where social institutions like schools, the police, churches, or the military—all decimated by repeated social attack since the 1960s—provide some kind of equalizing effect among men, protecting and building up the weaker boys while disciplining and maturing the stronger ones.

This is true, but there is more to it than this.  As Novaseeker points out, there is also the problem of perverse incentives.  Men are motivated by sex.  When society was ordered around lifetime marriage, the way for a young man to pursue sex was to focus on becoming an attractive potential husband. With our embrace of female promiscuity and disdain for traditional marriage, we have created a system where from a practical perspective men are foolish to seek marriage as their path to sex.

The links between men, marriage and civilization.

As a society we benefit enormously from men who are channeling their energy towards first becoming and then being productive husbands and fathers.  However, like so many others Nichols misunderstands the relationship between men, marriage, and civilization:

The traditional venues for male socialization (including marriage) have mostly vanished…

Marriage isn’t what socializes and civilizes men.  Marriage is the incentive for men to first work to civilize themselves, and then to lead and protect civilization.  But the incentive of marriage isn’t limited just to sex.  In a healthy society marriage offers an even more powerful reward for men than sex.  In a healthy society, marriage and fatherhood confer something even more precious to men, respect.

Respect is a more powerful motivator for men than sex.

This may at first glance seem unlikely.  Sex is an incredibly powerful motivator, especially for young men.  There is also the problem of overlap, as for men gaining respect is generally a path to sexual success.  However, we can both untangle the two and behold the incredible power of respect as an incentive for men by looking at what respect will motivate men to do that promises of sex cannot.

While men will take great risks in part out of a desire for sex, the desire for respect goes even further.  The men who willingly gave their lives at Thermopylae did not do so with the expectation of being rewarded with sex.  There were no 72 virgins promised to these men. Nor did they entertain the fantasy that they would somehow route the Persian horde and return in triumph.  Their motivation, their goal at the Hot Gates was to die an honorable death and thereby earn the profound respect of their society.  Likewise the nearly 4,000 Kamikaze pilots in WWII didn’t expect to return home and be lavished with sex.  Honor was the only reward for their act of sacrifice.

Withholding respect from the respectable.

As a society we have become incredibly miserly when it comes to respect for men.  In addition, the respect we do offer tends to be for men who are working against and not for civilization.  Men who work to become husbands and fathers are viewed with either contempt or deep suspicion.

This disdain for respectable men isn’t only coming out of secular Hollywood or the radical feminists leading Women’s Studies departments.  This same disdain for husbands and fathers is held with surprising fervor by conservatives, especially conservative Christians.  It has become a tradition for pastors to use Father’s Day, a day set aside to honor fathers, as a day to tear husbands and fathers down in front of their families.  Christian media is no better.  Just like secular movies, Christian movies portray husbands and fathers as villains, failures, and buffoons.   Respect is offered to the wise and sexy tattoo artist biker, while respectable husbands and fathers are trashed.

Even when we talk about the family courts, the issue of respect is front and center.  Family courts put into concrete action the disdain our society has for fathers.  In response to our society’s disdain and contempt for fathers, they have made their primary mission the removal of husbands and fathers from the household.  When we talk about the problems of the family courts, we need to consider not just the punishments the courts stand ever ready to meet out against husbands and fathers, but the profound disrespect these punishments represent.

What is most surprising about young men today is not that a handful are acting out in cowardly and destructive ways, nor that a larger but still small number are less conspicuously** opting out of the respectable path as we treat respectability with contempt.  What is most surprising is that most men still pursue marriage and fatherhood despite how hard we have been working as a society to discourage them from doing so.  What should frighten us isn’t that decades of trashing marriage and fatherhood have produced a small number of men who eschew these responsibilities, but that eventually a generation of young men will arrive which fully internalizes what we are quite loudly telling them:

Only chumps get married, and only a fool would become a father.

*HT Hugh Mann

**It is surprisingly difficult to find good data on the “Peter Pan” manboy phenomenon so often discussed in the media.  While there does seem to be something going on, nearly all white women are still able to marry, and to the extent that men are coasting economically, this appears to be about unmarried men choosing to work like women.

Posted in Attacking headship, Miserliness, Patriarchal Dividend, Traditional Conservatives, Weak men screwing feminism up | 627 Comments

Bonald called it.

On June 27th Bonald joked in Don’t want to be the first one to stop clapping:

A second day of the mandatory rainbow flag on my WordPress editor.  At first, the status signaling was mildly amusing; the longer it lasts, the more awkward and funny it will get.  Lots of companies are showing their gay pride, and no doubt feeling warmly sanctimonious about it.  But life goes on.  Still, you know the old joke about nobody wanting to be the first one to stop applauding at the end of one of Stalin’s speeches?

Listen up, WordPress.  If you really care about gay rights, I’d better see that rainbow flag tomorrow.  I mean, of course everybody expected it yesterday.  If you’d just had it for one day, people might have thought you were just doing the bare minimum to keep the SJWs off your back…

…Most important of all, though, you’d better keep an eye on other companies’ websites and keep rainbowing at least as long as they do, because if you don’t, we’ll know that you don’t really care about gay rights as much as those other companies do, and you’ll be scheduled to be eaten.

Two days later, Wired wrote more seriously about this same problem in How Long Should Brands Keep Their Rainbow Logos?

“There’s a danger of jumping on the bandwagon,” says Allen Adamson, North American chairman of the brand consulting agency Landor. Removing the rainbow too soon might seem insensitive to the long fight leading to this moment.

Shortly thereafter Sam Biddle* at Gawker picked up on this and started keeping track of which companies were the gayest, and who stopped clapping first:

To help consumers educate themselves about their choices, we’ll be keeping tabs on the following brave brands as they see out a game of solidarity chicken. Who will be crowned champion of human dignity? What we have here is nothing less than an objective ranking of Who Cares Most.

*When I googled Biddle the first article I found is from Mike Cernovich of Danger and Play: How I Played the Pathetic Gawker Bully Sam Biddle

Posted in Social Justice Warriors, You can't make this stuff up | 161 Comments

Republican leadership preparing to roll over on the issue of transgenders in the military.

Shortly after the Supreme Court made gay marriage the law of the land, Drudge linked to an article at The Hill on the push to lift the ban on transgender troops:  Momentum grows to scrap Pentagon’s ban on transgender troops

What stood out to me in the article was the Republican leadership in Congress very obviously preparing to roll over on the issue.  The Hill article claims that lifting the ban would face “stiff opposition” from the GOP controlled congress.  However, then it quotes House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) as being astonishingly open to the idea:

The department “needs to look at a variety of policies. As long as they look at it objectively, based on what’s best for the security interests of the country, then we’ll oversee or review what they do,” he told The Hill.

“When there’s a sense that there’s some extraneous social or political agenda … people get concerned,” Thornberry added.

Representative Thornberry is telegraphing the make-believe argument that he is prepared to go along with when the Pentagon decides that troops have the right to declare they are whatever sex they feel that they are.  He is all but pleading with the Pentagon to frame this in such a way that he doesn’t have to pretend to put up a fight.  The alternative, that Thornberry is so naive that he doesn’t understand that this is entirely about a social/political agenda, is too absurd to contemplate.

So much for the leadership in the House.  Next, on to the Senate:

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) struck a similar chord.

“The administration policy should always be a basis for our discussion,” he said.

Senator McCain like Rep Thornberry is looking to the administration for leadership on the topic.  Not coincidentally, so are the transgender activists:

“Everyone in advocacy believes this needs to be a Pentagon thing,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. She added that the legislative push could wind up being an “education and advocacy tool.”

The article notes that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has been signaling his support for the policy change ever since he took office in February:

“I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them,” he said.

The White House quickly endorsed Carter’s remarks.

As a hunting buddy of mine likes to say, “It’s all over but the crying”.

What will be interesting is to see how the military tries to manage the inherent contradictions between feminist affirmative action and allowing men to declare they are women.  If a man declares that he is a woman, does he still have to pass the much more demanding physical requirements for men?  If so, why?  Feminists have been telling us for decades that the lower standards for women don’t produce a less capable soldier/airman/sailor/Marine, so it can’t be due to anything related to the job.  Since passing the more difficult physical test isn’t required for a trans woman to do the job, then making them take an arbitrarily difficult test must be a form of discrimination against the transgendered.  By the same token, shouldn’t a woman who declares that she identifies as a man (and therefore is a man) be required to qualify as a man?  Otherwise the military would be saying she isn’t a real man.

Moreover, as I understand the left’s argument gender can be fluid.  A man might one day decide he is a woman, and another day decide he is once again a man.  All that matters is how the man/woman identifies today.  Will the Pentagon be so bigoted as to require that service members pick a gender identity and stick with it?  If not, what would prevent at least some service members from switching their identity as it gave them an advantage, then switching back after the test or promotion?

Even more interesting is how this will confuse highly anticipated breakthrough moments for feminists.  Feminists are on the cusp of lowering the requirements for women to become Army Rangers, yet CNN has declared that we already have our first female SEAL:

After years spent fighting in some of the world’s worst wars, former U.S. Navy SEAL Kristin Beck says she knows what she wants.

Posted in Military | 149 Comments