Anti-Maintenance Man

— In response to my claim that men have not yet figured out how best to be men in the post-feminist world, Kim “Rifleman” DuToit writes:

Actually, we have figured it out, but I’m not so sure women are going to like the answer.

We seem to have preferred to opt out of the whole Western female societal construct. To quote a friend: “Western women are just too high-maintenance.”

Which is why men are getting married much later than before, and why mail-order brides from overseas (ie. from “less-civilized” societies like Asia and Eastern Europe) have become such a growth industry.

It’s why “Women’s Studies” is an object of derision; why young men have no compunction to scream “Show us your tits!” to total strangers; why men no longer treat women with respect.

If women are going to be just like men, men will treat them like men.

Other women, who prefer to be treated like ladies, will be treated as such.

And if that’s too “old-fashioned” for the New Woman or Metrosexual Man, so much the better for the rest of us. They can have each other, and welcome.

Lovely. The problem here is not that Kim is being too “old-fashioned,” its that he’s being insufferably vicious.

If demanding equal respect for equal intelligence and competence, for equal ambition and accomplishment, is just too much, “too high maintenance,” for Kim, so much so that he is led to endorse the practice of seeking out “mail-order” brides who will acquiesce in subservience, then he has pretty much demonstrated the utter moral bankruptcy of his conception of masculinity. This strikes me as a confession of weakness at the deepest level. The argument that a woman with ambition, resolve, and a sense of independence is a woman who is trying to be “like a man” is of the same form, and elicits in decent people the same repugnance, as the argument that blacks who take their education seriously are trying to “be white”. It’s just sick. The “Western female societal construct” is an enormous triumph of civilization. Kim’s inability to admire women in this mold, and to appreciate the way such women have successfully preserved their femininity while moving outside of traditional feminine domains, shows us exactly why his notion of masculinity is something no self-respecting man or woman could accept. Additionally, if screaming “show us your tits” is really Kim’s idea of treating women “like a man,” then his notion of the respect men owe to other men is also incredibly troubling.

I think Kim thinks he’s being iconoclastic, or charmingly curmudgeonly, or something. This metrosexual thinks he should try being a man, because whatever that is, Kim ain’t it. Or he should stop trying, because if he is it, then it ain’t worth being.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center