Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Review of "Men On Strike"

Dr. Helen of PJ Media fame is in a very small, but elite league.  She is one of the few professionals (PhD in psychology) to address and bring to light the sexual-sociological backlash men and women are having to feminism.  The only other person I've known to do this is Dr. Roy Baumeister with his book "Is There Anything Good About Men."  However, while Dr. Baumeister's book focuses on society's current view or opinion of men, Dr. Helen's new book "Men on Strike" addresses the consequences of having a myopic and solipsistic societal view of the sexes.  And the consequences aren't good.

As the title would suggest, men are going on strike.  They are striking from their traditional roles as breadwinners, innovators, hard workers, protectors, etc.  But worse they are abandoning their roles as husbands and fathers.  Not out of a lack of desire, but worse - they are being forced out of these roles as society has made both roles too risky to forfeit their precious and finite lives for.

Naturally there is a backlash.

Women want men to "man up" and marry them.  Women want men give them children.  But, particularly ironic, while women SAY they want men to be effeminate, sensitive, caring, listeners, their behaviors show their preferences for strong, thuggish bad boys have never changed.  This confusion (and risk) to men has sent them fleeing, and blinded by feminism, modern day women can't figure out why.  They are stumped as to why they're 42, single, with some other man's child, a masters degree in creative writing and NOT getting approached every day.  They simply cannot connect the dots.

Dr. Helen explores this reaction of men and tries to connect the dots for women.  Her language is polite, diplomatic and correct. but this is a herculean task to ask of her because she is trying to undo the brainwashing women (and men) have received for 40 years.  It is a harsh pill to swallow, too harsh for the progressively deteriorating and childish men and women who populate America today, and her blog receives more criticism than inquiry and acceptance.  Regardless she tries and has a professional psychological background to back it up lending the book authority.

Unfortunately, however, what she writes will be nothing new to those who have been on the frontlines since the war began.  The book will bring no new observations, epiphanies, or theories to veterans or those well-read about the plight of men in western civilization.  It is simply a refining, repackaging and delivery of an argument that has been going on for a decade.  However, the intended audience is not members of The Manosphere, but rather society at large and is where the value of her book lies.  It is made to be digestible to the general public and, again, has the backing of Dr. Helen's professional background.

The only real complaints I have about the book are two fold.  One, the heavy reliance on anecdotal evidence rubs my economist soul the wrong way.  While good, anecdotes can simply be dismissed as anecdotes by more cynical people or (worse) ideologues who have no intention of pursuing truth and only wish to maintain a political agenda.  There is some empirical data, and enough anecdotal evidence would give cause to investigate a claim further, but given the entrenched and politicized forces of feminism and socialism, stories are not going to debunk them, let alone convince them.  Two, it lacked organization and succinctness.  This could of course be due to my general impatience and ADHDDDHHD, but I would have liked to see less heart and more of a clinical "legal case" made in this book.  Again, though, that is a preference.

In general "Men on Strike" is one of the first real "official" books written by a professional that should make the jump from "fringe, right wing manosphere" to MSM and should be welcomed, or at least, heard out by the main stream.  It may not make a great book for those of us already familiar with the battle, but would make a great gift or argument for introducing somebody to the backlash that is occurring against feminism today.

So far it only looks like it is available in paperback format, but I am sure it will be available in Kindle soon as well.

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