For thousands of years, men have been providers: providers of defense, security, shelter, food, and the means for other heavy necessities of life for women, who themselves provided the finer necessities of the relationship. As pioneering, farming, and other occupations gave way to wage-earning jobs, men did the smithing, ranching, mining, felling, milling, building, clerking, and other work outside the home that is the work of providers. This integral role in life propelled males through their childhoods, their educations, their careers, and their lives.
Now, this model is literally mocked. Two-income families are now the norm, with neither husband nor wife fulfilling their historic role. Feminists encourage women to stand on their own, shunning dependency on men and becoming laborers, wage-earners, managers, executives, and even soldiers.
Women have proven to be spectacularly capable, and men have gotten the clear message, You are no longer needed.
It’s a proven, demonstrable aftereffect: In areas where they compete, women’s success tends to discourage a huge majority of men. You can attribute this to false sense of chauvinism, sexist indoctrination or whatever you would like, but it is real, and it is powerful. Once men see women providing for themselves, they lose interest in doing so. This effect is apparent throughout the workforce. As women enter a profession, men lose interest in it. Thus, men are abandoning more and more jobs, and women are rushing in even faster to fill the void. Women’s options for employment keep expanding as men surrender them.
The upshot of all this is “the emergence of an American matriarchy, where the younger men especially are unmoored, and closer than at any other time in history to being obsolete, at least by most traditional measures of social utility. And the women are left picking up the pieces” (Hanna Rosin, The End of Men).
Unmoored. Obsolete. These are painfully accurate terms for far too many of today’s aimless, indifferent men. This is the void that now exists where the sense of duty to provide used to be.
This is what happens when you throw out “all the old ways” without even asking where they came from, whether they had validity, or what might take their place. This is what happens when you cut society from its moorings. But there is more.