W. Bradford Wilcox, perhaps reeling from the response to his Prager U video, wrote about some of the responses. (His appearance on Prager's radio show wasn't enough.)
"The Divorce Revolution Has Bred An Army of Women Haters"Let's get something straight right away:
1) One need not hate women to be a marriage striker. One only has to see that legal "marriage" is not for them. They don't even have to see legal "marriage" (LM) as a bad thing to see that marriage isn't for them, or that Wilcox's argument in the Prager University video was severely misleading.
2) It's not just about divorce. It is about the whole process of getting into a relationship and being in LM.
3) One need not hate women to see that most American (or British, or Canadian or...) women are not good wife material.
The divorce revolution has created a large minority of men who are ambivalent or hostile towards sacrifice, commitment, women, and marriage.
Many marriage strikers are willing to sacrifice. They just aren't willing to make the sacrifices required by today's LM and social marriage for your typical American woman.
Many marriage strikers do make all sorts of commitments. But they are unwilling to make certain bad or harmful commitments. If a realtor was offering you a rapidly deteriorating house that already wasn't meeting your needs, for a seven-figure price requiring a mortgage with a 15% interest rate, and you said "no", would that mean you're "hostile towards commitment"?
Many marriage strikers are not hostile or ambivalent towards women. They just don't see LM as any benefit to them, even if they're with a great woman.
Yes, marriage strikers are hostile or ambivalent towards LM, because LM is nothing but potential and actual downsides for men.
In the video, I noted, among other things, that married men work harder (about 400 more hours), smarter (they’re less likely to quit without having found another job), and more successfully (they make about $16,000 more per year) than their single peers. I described these as features, not bugs, of married life for men.Yes, and you were thoroughly countered by many people, including me.
For men, marriage equals slavery: “Marriage, in essence, is a man choosing his slave master.” For men, marriage equals unrequited sacrifice: “So married men work 400 hours more per year than single men; that’s not a good thing. They’re not hanging out with their friends… They’re sacrificing their life for other people. Now, you may think that’s noble, but that’s not a benefit for the man.” For men, marriage equals emasculation: it means “giving a woman power over your life, power over your income.”Where are we wrong in respect to present legal and social "marriage", as described in the Prager U video?
Lots of men out there harbor a deeply misogynistic view of the opposite sex, an unremittingly negative view of love and commitment, and a complete lack of faith in marriage to deliver on their deepest dreams and desires.Again, recognizing LM for what it is is not misogynistic, nor is calling women out on their bad behavior. One can believe in love and commitment and still see LM as something to avoid; at this point, I'd say LM undermines love and commitment.
Some of this, it seems, is about a kind of Peter Pan syndrome, where guys don’t want to grow up and settle down. Some of it is about a kind of individualistic hedonism, where guys don’t want to forego the opportunity to set their own work hours, hang out with their friends on their own terms, and score as much with the ladies as they can.Some, not all. For others, it is actually about being the most responsible and productive person they can be. Why is it considered "settled down" to constantly cater to an irrational, entitled person?
The stories and the invective I’ve heard in response to my video make clear that a lot of the MGTOWers think marriage is a bad bet for men.And you haven't shown them to be wrong.
It often ends with the man losing primary custody of his kids, a substantial share of his assets, and control of a large fraction of his income.Yes, it does. And yet you still are trying to convince men to do it.
Social scientists estimate that about 42 percent of first marriages end in divorce and about 66 percent of divorces are initiated by women. This means that a lot of men are divorced unwillingly, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for not-so-good reasons.And let's not forget... that's just the ones ending in actual, legal divorce, not the ones that are dead or miserable or would have ended in divorce if someone hadn't died (including been murdered by their spouse or committing suicide) first.
It’s this experience of divorce, or the expectation of divorce, that leaves many men reluctant to tie the knot.Well, that, and the conditions of present-day legal and social marriage itself. Let's forget about divorce for a second. Why would men today sign a contract that assigns certain obligations to them, but guarantees them no benefit? Why would a man want to share a bed and living space and his time for the rest of his life with the average American woman, doing her bidding?
Judging by the emails, comments, and videos my Prager University video engendered, many of these men think the best they can do is score with lots of women rather than settle down with one woman (and then be discarded).Some of them, yes, but others have long-term exclusive relationships and others avoid women altogether as much as they can.
One tragic consequence of what we might call the Maxim Masculinity view of love and marriage is that fewer men will seek to cultivate the virtues that make them good lovers and husbands, to their detriment and the detriment of the women in their lives.How is that to the man's detriment? And men can be good lovers without legally being a husband. This is really about women. You haven't explained, honestly, how a man benefits from legally being a husband.
Another tragic consequence is that more men will end up uncared for, unhappy, and unhealthy in later life—that is, if they make it into late life: unmarried men live almost 10 years less than stably married men.First of all, Dennis Prager (Prager University has his name) teaches that happiness is a moral obligation, so whether a man is married or not, he can be happy, right? So that's irrelevant to this discussion. Secondly, as I've pointed out before, these statistical claims are highly suspect because it is possible women marry men who are healthier over men who are unhealthy, and we really need to only consider men who are intentionally unmarried when comparing to married men.
Plenty of men who married are uncared for. whereas many unmarried men are cared for. If we're talking specifically about illness and dying, a man who doesn't spend his money on a wife (or getting married, or getting divorced) can have plenty of money to pay for excellent care.
Notice the weasel words "stably married"? How many marriages are stable? By golly, a woman marries a healthy man and she's good to him and it is one of the minority of marriages that is happy and stable and look at that! He lives until 82 instead of 72, spending those last ten years dealing with a shriveled woman who has lived off of him and prevented him from doing so many things he wanted to do when he was younger, and who will outlive him and enjoy the money he earned and saved.
So the ONLY possible benefit he's explained for men is that they might live longer if they marry, but we're not really sure that is because he married, but it'll be more years of convalescence, gained by giving up lots things he wanted to do when he was younger. Is that really a benefit?
(Needless to say, findings like these suggest that, for most men, marriage bears little resemblance to slavery.)What is it called when someone is forced to work for someone else, and forced to do things other people want them to do?
The biggest tragedy of all is that many of these men will end up having sons who end up just as disconnected from women, marriage, and family life as their MGTOW fathers.Some of these men do/will have sons. Or course those sons should be taught the truth about today's social and legal climates. That won't be tragic for the sons, It might be bad for women who were counting on being parasites on them.
This argument is circular. "Oh, no, men who have correctly assessed the situation might have sons who do correctly assess the situation as well!" Wilcox started this whole thing trying to convince men it was good for them (primarily financially) to marry. He failed at that. So now he's apparently trying to subtly pivot to how awful it is for women that some men have figured things out.
This article is republished, with permission, from the blog of the Institute for Family Studies.
Here are some of the comments at the Federalist: