Quote: American author Kathleen Parker has written a book entitled Save the Males that challenges the foundations of 21st-century feminism. Bravely she contends that, initially, through extreme feminism and its adoption by western society, women have demonised men and trivialised their contribution, especially to family life. Her passionate defence of the male sex and their worth in the world at large has had many women across the pond foaming at the mouth. They regard Parker as a traitor to her gender. She dares to suggest that in trying to make the world fairer for women they have made it grossly unfair to men.
The Press and Journal
1 August 2008
Wake-up call aims to restore men to their rightful role
By Derek Lord
The feminist movement has a new hate figure someone who has inspired more loathing among its members than Hugh Hefner, Peter Stringfellow and all the other male chauvinist pigs you can think of and, shock, horror, she’s a woman.
American author Kathleen Parker has written a book entitled Save the Males that challenges the foundations of 21st-century feminism. Bravely she contends that, initially, through extreme feminism and its adoption by western society, women have demonised men and trivialised their contribution, especially to family life.
Her passionate defence of the male sex and their worth in the world at large has had many women across the pond foaming at the mouth. They regard Parker as a traitor to her gender. She dares to suggest that in trying to make the world fairer for women they have made it grossly unfair to men.
She argues that by going out of our way to make single mothers feel good about themselves, by diminishing the role of fathers, by elevating women as the superior parents, we have gone a long way towards destroying one of the major building blocks of society the nuclear family.
She laments the destruction of traditional male values that she describes as being “masculinity tied to honour”, claiming that these values were regarded by feminists as a form of assault on the female gender. Thus there was a move towards Metrosexual Man, a softer, gentler creature who was encouraged to “get in touch with his feminine side”.
So Desperate Dan was out and David Beckham was in. Men shouldn’t be afraid to dye their hair, wear perfume and use a little moisturiser to keep their complexion looking lovely.
Parker also writes about the assault on the traditional male character in films and television. She calls this the Sitcom Man syndrome and asks us to try to think of a wholesome, reliable role model among the hundreds of screen dads we have seen over the past generation or two. Although she is obviously referring to the American output, she could just as easily be writing about TV shows and movies on this side of the water.
Look at the types of men portrayed in any British soap or sitcom. They’re either bumbling, feckless eejits like Coronation Street’s Steve, the pencil-chewing taxi driver, or serial womanisers like the ginger minger in EastEnders.
The state reinforces this low opinion of fathers on both sides of the Atlantic. Parker states: “The family courts effectively make fathers a slave to the state; his wages become state property; his time with his children is determined by a family court judge, and he faces jail if, for whatever reason, he fails to pay his child support on time.”
I know of one man, a hard-working dentist and devoted father and husband, who suddenly found himself homeless after 20 years of marriage when his wife declared that she was bored with him. The courts awarded her half the value of the family home and a large percentage of her husband’s salary.
How fair is that?
Parker contends that the low opinion of fathers springs from the explosion and normalisation of single motherhood.
“By elevating single motherhood from an unfortunate consequence of poor planning to a sophisticated act of self-fulfilment, we’ve helped to fashion a world in which fathers are not just scarce, but in which men are superfluous,” she says.
Later, she states: “At the same time that men have been ridiculed in the public sphere, the importance of fatherhood has been diminished, along with other traditionally male roles of father, protector and provider, which are incredibly viewed as regressive manifestations of an outmoded patriarchy.”
Far from joining in with the sisterhood’s blanket condemnation of the male of the species, the American author waxes lyrically about the innate qualities of many men. When she looks at her own father and fathers around her, she concludes that being a father is, in fact, the manliest thing a man can do. She says it encourages responsibility, sacrifice and the ability to put others before yourself all essential qualities to a functioning society and to a happy home.
“When we take away a man’s central purpose in life and marginalise him from society’s most important institution (the family), we strip him of his manhood.
“Growing up without a father is the most reliable indicator of poverty and all the familiar social pathologies affecting children, including drug abuse, truancy, delinquency and sexual promiscuity. Yet some feminists and other progressives still insist that men are non-essential.”
Of course, in Scotland’s dependency culture, the state has taken the place of the father when it comes to providing for the single-parent family in many instances. Indeed, there are thousands of single-parent families who would be considerably worse off financially if the parents had married.
They would probably have much more difficulty finding a council house and, if and when they found one, they would not get nearly as much in the way of state handouts as the mother would have received as a single parent.
It would be a tragedy if this sort of financial consideration continued to dominate the attitude of so many young Scots women towards marriage and family life.
As for the country’s young men, unless things change drastically, the whole concept of fatherhood will go the way of the dodo and Parker’s notion of “masculinity tied to honour” will be as outmoded as the chivalry of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. These young men need the example of a father or grandfather to let them know what their role in life should be what they should aspire to but those examples are becoming increasingly thin on the ground.
Kathleen Parker’s courageous book is a wake-up call reminding us of the importance of men in family life. She says that we ignore that call at our peril and society as we know it will perish. She concludes: “In the coming years, we will need men who are not confused about their responsibilities to family and country. 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.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself and I’m glad I didn’t try, or I’d have to go into hiding for the next 20 years for fear of being tracked down and disembowelled by the sisterhood’s enforcers.