“Why does modern Britain hate men?” A question, if memory serves me correctly, first asked by the great Melanie Phillips, formerly of The Daily Mail and now The Times, well over a decade ago.
In fact Melanie’s question needs to be updated slightly – it is not men modern Britain hates, but masculinity: the newly feminised man, who knows his place and genuflects towards politically correct mores is acceptable in fashionable circles, whereas the traditionally minded man is certainly not.
A major factor, of course, is the hatred and greed of the feminist movement: hatred from old style gender warriors who see relationships between men and women as a zero-sum game and therefore necessarily confrontational; greed from the new-style ultra ambitious career driven (and often Tory supporting) feminists who think society should be arranged entirely around their selfish wants and needs to “have it all”.
The feminists have been astonishingly successful, not because of the intellectual superiority of their often very superficial arguments but largely because they have met virtually no resistance along the way. A major factor in this is men’s notorious reticence when it comes to complaining, which they regard as unmanly. Another is that the feminist movement brilliantly and ruthlessly exploits the pusillanimity of a political class terrified of alienating floating voters, of which there are considerably more women than men. Usually having high-flying career wives or career women themselves, they fondly imagine that policies such as nationalising the role of fatherhood (and for that matter motherhood) through childcare subsidy, for example, is “what women really want”. The long-term result of this lack of balance on gender issues is that is that men’s issues struggle to get a hearing and an increasingly demoralised male sex is slowly being sidelined in society.
However, such arguments only get us so far: dislike of masculinity is now subtle but systemic throughout much of society, particularly the media. The trends started as far back as 20 years in the mid-90s when television advertising, especially, started to rubbish and demean men in a way that would have been totally unacceptable if done to women. Since that time, things have steadily got worse: society in general has become deeply suspicious of the traditional masculine role (the repellent Nick Clegg even called it ‘misogynist’), and simply doesn’t care that boys are falling further and further behind in education, or that the male suicide rate is now four times the female one.
In fact, the mid-90s starting point for these malign trends is highly significant, because it marks the point that the “baby-boomers” came of age. Arrogant, shallow and above all narcissistic, a generation brought up during the sexual revolution of the 1960s saw little use for masculine qualities such as coldly logical thought and stoicism, regarding them perhaps a rebuke to their self-indulgent excesses. Times and trends come and go, of course, and twenty years on the sun is starting to set on that dopamine-addled bunch. However, there is no sign of a cultural shift as a new generation takes its place: in fact economic and cultural trends seem to have hermetically sealed the new liberal elite at the commanding heights of British society. In the meantime, the war on masculinity goes on, with the government even bringing a kind of inverse sharia law when investigating rape cases. The future for men, or at least masculinity, looks bleak indeed.