At a recent American Psychological Association (APA) convention the topic of loneliness, and how it impact health was discussed. Dr. Keith Ablow writes about it on Fox news lamenting “we still don’t have a plan to reduce it”. In the article he points to social media as increasing loneliness in America. Emma Sepala, Ph.D. tells us it is the American Protestant work ethic and drive to get ahead. But both the work ethic and media (newspapers, books, long travel times) have been with us in the U.S. for 300 years. And what explains the rest of the world?
Here I think they miss the point entirely. We have throughout time always had distractions from close physical social interactions with others and a Protestant work ethic in America but what is different now is misandry and the removal of fathers from families. The demonization of men has impacted how men interact to form families and interact within families, specifically the nuclear family of husband (father), wife (mother) and children and how these families interact with other families and the extended family is the change which has occurred in industrial societies and worldwide these past 40 years.
The government regulated family based upon the misandric common portrayal of men as deadbeats at best, and the demonization of men as dangerous at worst is resulting in policies which are destroying parental rights, individual rights, and tearing families apart, and harming men, women, and children in the process. These government family regulatory policies have resulted in a 50% divorce rate, 1/3 out of wedlock birth rate, and 40% of children living apart from their father. And now a generation of this has fostered young people averse to getting married or having children and if they do so are doing it later in life, often with children born outside of marriage.
In 1970, and for 300 years before that, it was recognized that the nuclear family was the building block of a strong society and beneficial to men, women, and children. A 6% rate of children living in a home absent their father and a divorce rate of 5-8% in 1970 was considered high and cause for worry. It was societies expectation that both husband and wife would get, and stay together, to have children (and siblings to have the same biological parents) and to raise them. Marriage was a contract between 2 people not to be broken without cause. Parental rights were fundamental rights which would not be interfered with absent applying the legal standard of strict scrutiny. Parents, both parents, knew best how to raise their children. No school, court, or state welfare agency would think to tell parents how to parent nor to designate one a “non parent” without a showing of harm to the children.
The 1970’s saw first the “war on poverty” which was the beginning of government subsidized single mother homes. As government subsidized them they grew in number and to fill the federal coffers for expenditures to “single mothers” the government built a federal child excise tax system on “non custodial” fathers giving it the government double speak name of “child support”. These systems followed historical sex based parenting patterns of the mothers having custody of children and receiving subsidies based upon the number of children she had and the father being charged a percentage of income based upon the number of children assessed to him, an excise tax. Worse, the financial contributions were separated from child access for “non custodial” fathers. These systems, originally designed for out of wedlock families with children were over time, 1970’s-80’s, applied to ALL families.
With out of wedlock, divorced, and separated single mother homes being subsidized we saw a increase in both out of wedlock births and divorced families with children. Who needs a husband if the government will provide. Add to this a system which based itself on women having custody of children and men paying the government for the children we end up with a government system which defined men’s value only as what they could pay for a family which they were not allowed to be a part of. Historically a fathers responsibility to provide for his family financially was balanced by his right to parent and raise his children in the same home as wife and child. Government collects the “child support” a father paid, but does nothing to preserve his parental rights. A father taxation without parental representation.
As divorces increased the difficulty in obtaining one was seen as a “problem”. Pushed by Bar Associations, enter “no fault” divorce. Previously we needed cause to break the marital contract (such as adultery or abandonment) but now we were going to allow divorce based upon one party desiring to terminate the contract. Called “no fault” they were actually a unilateral divorce against the wishes of one of the parties. In the 1990’s studies showed that it was women who filed the majority of divorces (about 80%) and the number one reason given for the divorce was “we grew apart”, in other words a divorce of convenience by women to the detriment of men and children became the norm.
During this time special interest feminist groups were looking for funding sources. Using the unproven and unchallenged feminist theory of a “patriarchal” system pushed on college campuses in “women’s studies” programs, they seized upon battered and abused women at the hands of men as an issue and the domestic violence industry was born. What was originally designed as a shield against physical violence against women in families was turned into a sword to be used by unscrupulous women to gain power and control over men and curry standing in the increasing divorce, child “support” and custody battles. “Temporary” Orders of Protection (TOP) based upon unsubstantiated ex parte statements to a judge, with no regard to perjury, became the norm.
In law enforcement, prosecutor, and judicial systems, biased enforcement of allegations and reports, with the view of men as perpetrators and women as victims, became the norm even in casual dating relationships. A woman’s allegations are always believed and a man’s dismissed. Mandatory arrest took away law enforcement’s discretion to arrest or not. Mandatory prosecution took away a district attorney’s discretion, and legal mandate, to NOT prosecute a case which can not be proven. Mutual aggression was dismissed as being the man’s fault under “primary aggressor” statutes. In cases of blatant assaults on men by women “abuse excuse” and “female impunity” is applied and actions by women which would result in arrest of a man were dismissed with a warning.
Police, prosecutors, and judges are not trained by legal experts in the tradition of Blackstone, but by “domestic violence experts”, often a minimally trained worker in a “battered women’s shelter” who spouts dogma as fact. Act of abuse, even minor ones, are lumped together with “violence” and protections for the innocent are thrown out under the guise of “protecting women”. Innocent until proven guilty is now guilty until you prove your innocence. Men are charged with felonies and high misdemeanors which carry sentences of years in prison, and then offered minor fines and TOP’s if they admit their guilt, thus undermining the system for innocent men.
Feminist rhetoric of “men are bad” is forced on boys in our public education system. Systems are designed to reward girls and how they learn and boys are lined up and medicated for “A.D.D.” when they act like boys do. Boys are falling behind at all levels within our education system yet we have no “White House Council” to address the issues like we do for girls. The boy crisis in education has gotten so bad that 65% of all college graduates are female and many colleges are looking to try to lure men to attend as girls complain of the lack of available boys. “Girls go to college to get more knowledge, boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider” and we turn a blind eye to this sexist biased bullying of boys.
Predatory act of abuse by female pedophiles (often by a teacher or trusted woman in a position of authority) are dismissed with the “lucky stud” myth that “boys want it”. Abuse excuse is applied to the actions of the female (she was abused herself, she’s lonely, etc.) and when she is charged with a crime she is given female impunity in sentencing, often given time served or probation and not having to plea to a sex offense nor be listed on sexual offender registries. By definition we don’t consider force able compulsion of sex by a female on a male as rape. There are no counseling centers for female on male rape and sexual abuse victims. Sexual abuse of institutionalized delinquent boys at the hands of female counselors and guards occurs on a regular basis and there is no hue and cry to address it.
We consider a drunk woman as incapacitated and unable to consent to sex with no similar protection for men and don’t allow a man to claim drunkenness as a defense of sexual assault. Drunk women get protection, drunk men get prosecuted. We readily believe allegations of rape by a female and dismiss a defense of consensual, even when it is a “he said-she said” case and the allegations of abuse occur days, weeks, or months later. Again, defenses for the innocent do not exist when allegations are against men.
Woman can, and do, lie about their reproductive status. Even though perpetrating a fraud we hold men financially accountable for children they did not want. Even when a woman steals his sperm a man is held accountable for the child, in NYS the high court ruling that a “man’s right to reproduction ends at ejaculation”. Once on the hook and named the father of a child we hold the man financially responsible even if DNA results show the man to not be the father. Another instance of a fraud perpetrated on men by women with no accountability for the actions.
The social interactions between men and women and social institutions have gotten so hostile to men that they are avoiding them wholesale. At first it was risk aversion, now it is a conscious decision to NOT enter into a situation where you will be judged and risk life, limb, and property. A generation of men watched their grand fathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, and friends get cleaned out financially, removed from their homes, their family and their children, arrested and persecuted, abandoned. Young men learned from their example. Indeed it is now so hostile that many men espouse “M.G.T.O.W. – Men going Their Own Way, no committing to spouse and children due to the risk involved.
The Myth of the “deadbeat dad” was debunked in the 1990’s with federal studies (see Sanford Bravers “Divorced dads: Shattering the Myth’s). Studies over time have shown that women are as violent as men and the hidden problem within families is those with mutual violence or male victims, which are ignored. The problem of female pedohiles is flat out ignored due to the “Lucky Stud” myth and female impunity in criminal prosecutions and in sentencing. Drunken and stoned consensual sex and tawdry behavior which is later regretted results in him being arrested and her treated the victim. In all these instances we blame men, arrest men, prosecute men, vilify men, ostracize men, and incarcerate men.
When men avoid the dangerous minefield of relationships we look to men as the problem. We have “responsible fatherhood” programs which purport to teach men how to responsibly pay for children they are not allowed to raise. We look to see what is wrong with men who don’t want to get married. We wonder what is wrong with young men without families who seem happy to sit in mom’s basement and play video games all day. We wonder what is wrong with young men who look to crime, gangs, and drugs and make our communities unsafe and try to get “mentoring” programs. We look to find “father figures” for the boys who are growing up missing “male role models”.
Men are good. Men are not the problem. Men are not a problem. Recognize this and we can then begin to address the misandric anti-male policies of the past 40 years. If we address the hostile environments that men have to face we need do no more than remove the barriers and men will do the rest. (link to men’s/boy’s issues here)
If Ablow, Sepala and others in the APA want to address the underlying causes of loneliness, in addition to a myriad of other problems in America, perhaps they would look to debunk the myth of the patriarchy and abusive bad men and the anti family government policies (listed above) which have been developed based upon these myths. And debunk the myth that men and women are the same and their differences “socialized into a gender” and recognize it it the differences and strength’s of men and women which fosters a strong family for the benefit of all. And they need to recognize it is these policies which are hostile to men which are the problem, and stop blaming men for the hostile environment they now have to navigate in.
In the Hank Williams, Sr. classic, “I’m so lonesome I could cry” we get to the end of the ballad before we learn he is lonesome as he pines for another, lamenting, he “wonders where you are”. “You” isn’t stated clearly but it is apparent that the loneliness will go when they are together again. It’s not hard to imagine that he is apart due to work to provide for his family and it is his family which will solve his loneliness. And it is not hard to imagine that without their husband/father they are also lonely. Is anyone lonely when they have a family to come home to?