Sunday, August 3, 2008

Crime & Marriage

Every once in a while you read something and it changes your perceptions completely. The last time was when I read Clive Bromhall's book The Eternal Child. Yesterday it was when I read an extraordinary essay by F. Roger Devlin entitled Sexual Utopia in Power (hat tip to Marginal Revolution for the link). Devlin's thesis is that we are now reaping the consequences of the Feminist Revolution begun nearly fifty years ago. And like the French and Russian Revolutions beforehand, noble aspirations have led from anarchy to terror. Only instead of the guillotine or the Gulag we have the Family Law Court. He writes with that kind of invective, by the way, so dial down your PC-sensors before reading it ...

Here's just one quote:
It is sometimes said that men are polygamous and women monogamous. Such a belief is often implicit in the writings of male conservatives: Women only want good husbands, but heartless men use and abandon them. Some evidence does appear, prima facie, to support such a view. One 1994 survey found that “while men projected they would ideally like six sex partners over the next year, and eight over the next two years, women responded that their ideal would be to have only one partner over the next year. And over two years? The answer, for women, was still one.” Is this not evidence that women are naturally monogamous? No it is not. Women know their own sexual urges are unruly, but traditionally have had enough sense to keep quiet about it. A husband’s belief that his wife is naturally monogamous makes for his own peace of mind. It is not to a wife’s advantage, either, that her husband understand her too well: Knowledge is power. In short, we have here a kind of Platonic “noble lie”—a belief which is salutary, although false.

It would be more accurate to say that the female sexual instinct is hypergamous. Men may have a tendency to seek sexual variety, but women have simple tastes in the manner of Oscar Wilde: They are always satisfied with the best. By definition, only one man can be the best. These different male and female “sexual orientations” are clearly seen among the lower primates, e.g., in a baboon pack. Females compete to mate at the top, males to get to the top.
Like I said: not quite in keeping with best practice guidelines for politically-correct Newspeak. Devlin's point is that much of the unhappiness experienced by single women nowadays is that they are looking for an alpha male in a world full of beta males (hence the recurring finding that bad guys really do get the most girls). And the reason for much of the unhappiness of single men is that they aren't alpha males ...

Along the way he touches on issues of date rape, divorce and alimony: something to annoy everyone for sure. His essay on Rotating Polandry (same link as above) deals with the estimate that majority (up to 9 in 10) applications for divorce are initiated by women. Carol Hunt has a nice piece by the way in today's Sunday Independent about women and adultery in Ireland: and why they're better at it than men ...

Though Devlin's thesis mostly addresses developments in the United States his insights into how the state has stepped in to replace fathers in too many circumstances is relevant to Ireland where traditional restraints on births outside marriage have been erased. Devlin has been accused of misogyny, though his writings seem to me to be filled more with pity: a possibly more annoying style of course. After all, it's easy to ignore invective based on hatred, but invective based on cool anger and pity is harder.

But while it's easy to dismiss a man's read on what's wrong with feminism (false consciousness and all that), it's harder when a woman makes the same case. Such as Kathleen Parker in her book Save the Males. She's a regular columnist (right of centre, unusually for a woman) and you can get a sense of her perspective in this interview. She has an article in today's Sunday Times (though there's no link on their site), in which she writes:
In the coming years we will need men who are not confused about their responsibilities. We need boys who have acquired the virtues of honour, courage, valour and loyalty. We need women willing to let men be men - and boys be boys. And we need young men and women who will commit and marry and raise children in stable homes.

Saving the males - engaging their nobility and recognising their unique strengths - will ultimately benefit women and children, too. Fewer will live in poverty; fewer boys will fail in schools and wind up in jail; fewer girls will get pregnant or suffer emotional damage from too early sex with uncaring boys. Fewer young men and women will suffer loneliness and loss because they've grown up in a climate of sexual hostility that casts the opposite sex as either villain or victim.
Perhaps if more of the media in their coverage of crime and the latest crime statistics (pdf) dwelt more on the absence of family life in the case of most young offenders (of the married biological parents living together variety) then we might get more effective responses to the problems afflicting those in communities affected by crime.

So what of the future? Birth rates falling below the level necessary to maintain population levels in Europe are one indicator that all is not well. Devlin it seems is pessimistic: he finds the predatory nature of the current singles scene quite depressing. I'm long out of the scene myself, Buíochas mór le Dia, but I have two teenage children in or on the edges of it. What future for them and other young men and women in this country? The terrors of the French and Russian Revolutions eventually led to their collapse as human nature triumphed over ideological naivety. We did though keep the good bits (every human is born with equal rights, everyone is entitled to equality of opportunity). The same applies to the Feminist Revolution. At least I hope so, for the sake of the young generation and the one after that - assuming there is one.

3 comments:

  1. So I'd like to add one thing. While it may be that the malaise of the male population is caused by not being the alpha male it is exacerbated by the question of "In that case, what am I". I think that in the days of a more rigid society this was defined for them. Current consumerism seeks to provide an ephemeral answer to this second question (for a price) but the vacuum of self definition remains, except for the few who do have the guts and balls to sort it out for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. He wrote 3 (well 4) articles, not just one.

    Get them here: http://public.box.net/mensarefugee26388

    ReplyDelete

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