Tag archives: Economics

The End of Men, the End of Families

by Sharon Barrett

October 10, 2012

In a recent MARRI blog post, I posed the question, What do women want? Feminist writer Hanna Rosin, who published an article (2010) and then a book (2012) titled The End of Men: The Rise of Women, says women want a smooth path to a career, coupled with abundant sexual pleasure. Rosin suggests that in the post-industrial age, we have entered a post-masculine economy. She says men have had to learn traditionally feminine skills social intelligence, open communication, the ability to sit still and focus to compete with women for the jobs that are available today.

But what if the issue is not so much a change in the job market as a change in mens character? In 2003, Dr. Terrence Moore (one of my Hillsdale College professors) argued that the sexual revolution caused our culture to abandon the traditional definition of manhood and replace it with two extremes: the wimp and the barbarian.

[Women] say matter-of-factly that the males around them do not know how to act like either men or gentlemen….[They] must choose between males who are whiny, incapable of making decisions, and in general of acting like men, or those who treat women roughly and are unreliable, unmannerly, and usually stupid.

Commenting on Dr. Moores essay in a piece for the blog CounterCultured, a fellow Hillsdale alumnus states:

Manhood is…a standard from which barbarians and wimps deviate.

In other words, both barbarism and wimpiness are clues to an underlying deficiency our culture encourages in men. Where the barbarian lacks gentleness, the wimp lacks strength. But the standard from which they deviate is neither strength nor gentleness, but something more fundamental. As I explained in my MARRI post,

Masculine strength is best defined in one word: commitment, the decision to give ones word to another and stand by for the long haul. Men who embody commitment to a wife, family, job, and community are the ones who can reverse the current trend of fatherless families, broken marriages, and child poverty.

Marriage, because it demands commitment, makes men more employable. This has little or nothing to do with the type of jobs available (unskilled labor or high-powered executive, versus childcare or phone sales) and far more to do with the desire to work to support a family. In fact, this desire may be part of why marriage correlates with increased job satisfaction.

The sexual revolution elevated singleness and sexuality over marriage and family formation. What Ms. Rosin sees as a benefit the separation of sex from childbearing, which enabled women to pursue a career without needing mens support in actuality contributed to the consistent trend of unemployment and lower earnings among single men compared to married men. Men are less employable today not because women have squeezed them out of the job market, but because women are not marrying them.

As I concluded in my previous post, When women live as if they dont need men, real men disappear. What comes with the end of men will not be, as Ms. Rosin predicts, the rise of women; rather, with the end of men will come the continued decline of families. If MARRIs original research is any indication, the success of the post-masculine economy may be short-lived.

Book Review: The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America

by Eliza Thurston

January 31, 2011

Economists of the twentieth century looked upon the depravity surrounding them and pinpointed the source of this sin: material shortages. By promoting the development of financially profitable natural resources, progressive economists believed this sin could be erased. A century later, however, this economic religion is suffering and as Robert Nelsons The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion argues, it may well be on its way out. As environmentalist values continue to permeate public policy, economic arguments are forced to reckon with a whole new ethical framework. Nelsons new book offers a fascinating interpretation of this dilemma. By examining the fundamental tenets of both economics and environmentalism The New Holy Wars provides a fresh perspective on one of the most debated issues of our time.

The New Holy Wars proposes that at their cores, both environmentalism and Western economic theory are informed by Judeo-Christian beliefs. However, the theological underpinnings of these disciplines have been remapped to form secular versions of Christianity. Taking this a step further, Nelson argues that the clash of these two competing secular religions represents the most important religious controversy in America today. It is a startling proposition for which Nelson presents a convincing case. By framing the environmental debate in spiritual terms he makes sense of the intensity with which both sides promote their worldviews. At the same time The New Holy Wars digs beyond the rhetoric to unearth those presuppositions which are essential to understanding both sides of the debate.

Perhaps most intriguing is Nelsons treatment of environmentalism. Nelson argues what few practitioners are willing to admitthe environmentalist worldview is very much a religious one. With clarity and perception he explores the Protestant (specifically Calvinist) underpinnings of the movement. Pointing back to the writings of John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Jonathan Edwards, The New Holy Wars shows how key components of Calvinism have been transformed under the guise of environmentalism. Nelson illustrates how the movements jargon speaks volumes about its philosophical commitments. Steeped in the language of moral urgency, human depravity, individualism, and asceticism that marked much of the early reformed tradition, environmentalism is not unlike its more traditional religious counterparts. But Nelson is careful not to take the association too far. When Jonathan Edwards looked upon the Book of Nature he was awed by Gods glorious and omnipotent hand in creation. In marked contrasted, John Muir responded to the same beauty with transcendentalist adoration that bordered on pantheism. For Muir and the descendents of his preservationist movement, Nature became the ultimate recipient of their worship. And herein lies what Nelson recognizes to be a serious flaw in environmental theology: its failure to offer an adequate substitute for the loving and redeeming Christian God who had been lost.

While The New Holy Wars does not offer a solution to the economic-environmental debate, it does provide significant insight into the issue. Nelsons stimulating case for the role religion plays in the economic and environmental philosophies dominating current public policy is bound to challenge his readers. Those seeking to equip themselves for todays challenges should pay heed to Robert Nelsons work.

The Social Conservative Review: The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News: September 23, 2010

by Krystle Gabele

September 23, 2010

If you are interested in subscribing to The Social Conservative Review, click here.

**Read FRC Action Board Member Rick Santorum’s remarks at the University of St. Thomas, “A Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square.”

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