Monday, June 14, 2010

Male is a Four Letter Word - The Emasculation of Men By Michael M Walsh

The disintegration of the family unit is blamed for spiralling crime, anti-social behaviour, and male disengagement from society. The origin of family breakdown may be the drip-drip emasculation of men. In recent decades society has gone through change more profound than many political revolutions.

Until recently most fathers were providers and household heads. Although there were times when his authority was abused the same could be said of children indulged by over protective mothers. In education boys teachers were once alpha males, some having a background in the services. Boys respected and learned from them but were left in no doubt as to where the line in the sand was drawn. Such teachers could be fun whilst being good role models; invariably fair; they inspired, instilled discipline, self worth and personal responsibility.

Who Inspires Today?

Youths were inspired by explorers, sportsmen, even pop groups that could entertain. True heroes were servicemen, civil engineers, and aggressive entrepreneurs. By the 1960s the fabric of society's structure was being stretched to its limits; traditions were questioned as social engineering tightened its grip on all sections of society. It became de rigueur to rebel, to mock standards, deny authority, challenge tradition, and amuse oneself with incivility and the profane; to question the boundaries of morality. When those concerned by the dissolution of standards saw the dangers they were satirised mercilessly. The concept of personal responsibility became diluted.

The traditional role of the husband and father has been constantly undermined. He became a figure of fun rather than a fulcrum of respect. Television sit-coms invariably depicted father as hapless. Today's male is lampooned in a way that, if applied to an ethnic group, would lead to outrage and preventative legislation. The last word became the prerogative of mother for father's role had been foisted upon her by the institutionalised devaluation of father and husband.

The Final Judgement

The stereotypical mum now ruled the roost, her word was final and judgement never questioned; the end result always a happy outcome. To her who must be obeyed was vested full authority; the ultimate organiser, adept at multi-tasking; she had nine points of the law to back her up.

In the schools male teachers became an endangered species and gender specific work opportunities blurred. Boys' Clubs became a thing of the past. The armed forces contracted; masculine work opportunities evaporated. Society was to be based on service rather than manufacturing. Traditional male trades now encouraged the recruitment of women, often under legislation weighed in favour of the female applicant.

Superfluous to requirements fatherhood became a thing of the past with the state willing to undermine them further by providing for his offspring. Divorce and separation became easier and the 'useless man' wandered at will. The consequences were predictable; an explosion of one-parent families and a further strain on housing needs as both parties now required separate roofs over their heads.

Men Betrayed

To add to male insecurity and irrelevance those who had been responsible fathers now needed their ex wives permission to visit their own children, often denied or severely rationed. There was no taking into account proportion of blame. Men, betrayed by their spouses found themselves equal to philanderers in being denied access to their children and family home.

Society waxes lyrical as we are reminded that conception no longer requires the man; artificial insemination by unknown fathers is now legalised. The penis is ridiculed, its size and its worth mocked; the totem pole of romance has become a mechanical toy; everyone has a cache of Viagra jokes. There are no comic stories about the inability of female genitalia to act as nature intended, which would be considered to be in very poor taste.

Public transport carries poster-sized banners reminding women they should report partner abuse. The extremes of political correctness have it that men are potential wife-beaters, rapists and paedophiles. Imagine the clamour if it were suggested that certain ethnic groups were more likely to be violent towards their families, or those afflicted with a physical disability were mocked?

Publicly Pilloried

When men are charged with a sexual related offence they are outed, publicly pilloried, and often physically attacked long before innocence or guilt is established. Their accuser retains their anonymity, assisted by advisors and state professionals. Men have become as disenfranchised as were non-whites in apartheid South Africa and certain castes in India.

Elderly men reminisce about old comradeships, male bonding, and gender specific trades; shared experiences with lifelong friendships forged. What will the young men of today reminisce about when they too are old?

In Europe and the U.S. much of the male-nation has disengaged from society. In Britain an estimated 3.4 million males live alone. A conservative guess would double this figure if those living in an informal relationship are counted. Many live in a no-man's-land sharing nomadic relationships with abandoned mothers; they are off the radar; devoid of responsibility and surreptitiously dependent upon the state.

They are the lost tribe; a drain on society rather than the asset they once were. Superfluous to requirements they owe no allegiance but to themselves. Aimlessly they wander from bed to bed; never a father, always an uncle. Feckless and footloose they are the modern equivalent of the banished, the exiled, and the outlaws. They live off the state but give nothing in return. They screw the society that spurned them.

Michael Walsh: Experienced journalist-writer. Applies professional finish to stories or features; marketing flair for product or service reviews. Small press publishing. All genres considered. Welcomes your e-mail.

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