I listened to as much self-congratulatory guff from Jordan Peterson and Roger Scruton in Peterson’s latest podcast as I could tolerate. Much of it seemed to mourn the loss of status they have collectively as men and the irrationality of women who won’t accept that the traditional ways served women best. “When, O when will it end?” was the tone of the (very long) podcast.
I have some sympathy for this idea, some, it’s not very large. In fact, it’s kindof tiny. I do believe that the marriages of the elites are stable and equitable, and frankly I think they always have been so. Intelligent men and women understand that deep mutual respect is the base from which to build a family, that each contributes very specific skills and talents the other does not hold and power plays are self-destructive. It’s obvious, I don’t need to belabor this.
What Peterson and Scruton miss in their paens to themselves as excellent male beings, that while they may always have been wonderful (I doubt it) their generation of men has not. The level of self-indulgence, the cheating, drug-taking, promiscuity and generally vile behavior of boomers and Gen Xers has been spectacular. And any women knows, any woman, that if it hasn’t happened to you, it’s happened to one of your friends. They have been abandoned, with the care of children entirely theirs, having given up work to build a family. Afterwards, they rebuild, with half the money if not less, a tiny proportion of the opportunity of the male, and 90% of the child-raising responsibilities. At least half of women, half, have experienced this in the last 50 years, and I am not even counting the women who sucked it up and carried on in marriages where he ran around and she kept the family going. Another 25%?
Of course some women have been badly behaved, but this pales before the immutable fact that child-rearing is their primary responsibility, and therefore their ability to make money is limited.
Let’s build in here the fact that attractive women in any workplace have been, and still are, prey.
Peterson has done sterling work in waking up young men to their responsibilities, proving decisively that in being responsible adults, you find yourself and a great deal more. But the endless harping on the insufficiencies of “feminists” is silly and beneath him.
Finally, I was at a think tank thrash a few years ago where Scruton tried to prove that gay marriage was wrong. I love (loved) his work, but this was disqualifying. It behooves men like Scruton to try to see things from another’s rather less privileged perspective. I don’t care if this makes me seem an identitarian nutcase, it’s true. In another 50 years, men may regain the status they lost, but it’s going to be an uncomfortable few decades for them. I’m not sad.