The Washington Post recently published a review of a book Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis by contributing columnist, former Indiana governor, and recent Purdue president Mitch Daniels.i The book “…depicts in deeply documented fashion the ‘invisible crisis’ that is the ‘decimation’ of the adult male workforce in America.”
Much of Mr. Daniel’s article discusses the book’s “Dissenting Points of View”, where the book’s author, Nicholas Eberstadt, included a section in the book that allowed critiques of his findings by two other scholars.
In that same dissenting spirit, I will offer a third view here that will show that both Daniels and Eberstadt missed a clear contributing factor to this crisis.
To begin, please note that I’m a proud longtime reader of the Post, who nevertheless has long noticed the paper’s gender bias, most notably its imbalanced coverage of domestic violence.
Two articles published by the Post in 2018 provide undeniable proof of this bias:
- Why can’t we hate men? This #MeToo inspired rant was written by a women’s studies professor who had the gall to publicly share her hatred of men to a worldwide audience.ii
- Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change. This is the op-ed that triggered the lawsuit that ultimately proved that Amber Heard abused Johnny Depp and that men can also be victims of domestic violence.
In response, I’ve been sending letters to Post columnists who have written articles that perpetuate the paper’s biased, one-sided coverage of gender.
Although Daniel’s article isn’t in itself another example of the Post’s gender bias, it is, I believe, another example of the success of some 50 years of feminist political and cultural indoctrination that drives the Post’s bias. Neither Daniels nor Eberstadt has recognized or acknowledged the feminist pink elephant in the room:
The unbridled, obsessed, man-hating feminism that has run rampant, almost completely unchallenged, throughout the world for the past half century.
If one doubts the accuracy of this last statement, how can we reconcile the aforementioned 2018 Washington Post article “Why can’t we hate men?” that provided a platform for a deranged feminist professor to openly and shamelessly express a Nazi-like hatred for men in a major American newspaper?
No analysis of the causes of the twin problems of the “collapse of work for American men” or the “decades-long retreat of men from higher ed” can be considered complete without including discussion of the negative, lifelong effects on men and boys of this man-hating feminism.
For example, Daniel’s article briefly mentions the drop in male college participation and provides a few related statistics, but fails to describe the anti-male culture that has thrived for decades in America’s colleges and universities, a culture that without a doubt contributes to the reduced number of young men in college.
I’m sure that most readers are aware of the 2006 Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax and the 2014 Rolling Stone magazine libelous article A Rape on Campus, about a false gang rape accusation at a University of Virginia fraternity.
And as president of Purdue University from 2013 to 2022, I’m sure that Daniels is well acquainted with the U.S. Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague Letter” issued to American colleges and universities under the presumed authority of Title IX.
The letter directed these schools, under penalty of losing all federal funding, to institute draconian changes to the way sexual assault accusations were to be handled.
The result of these changes is summarized in a book, The Campus Rape Frenzy — The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities:
“… the federal government, joined by virtually all colleges and universities, has mounted a systematic attack on bedrock American principles including the presumption of innocence, access to exculpatory evidence, the right to cross-examine one’s accuser, and due process.”
Stated more succinctly, the federal government, via the U.S. Department of Education, is complicit in undermining male college students’ civil rights.
Is it any wonder why so many young men aren’t going to college?
And for men who don’t go to college, or even men who manage to graduate, the hateful excesses of feminism continue to negatively affect them not only in the workplace, but in marriage, in fatherhood and family courts, and in virtually every aspect of their lives.
This fact is summarized by a book written by Helen Smith, a forensic psychologist from Tennessee, Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters:
“American society has become anti-male. Men are sensing the backlash and are responding. They’re dropping out of college, leaving the workforce, and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates. The trend is so pronounced that a number of books have been written about this man-child phenomenon, concluding that men have taken a vacation from responsibility. But why should men participate in a system that seems to be increasingly stacked against them? [emphasis added]”
As Men on Strike demonstrates, men aren’t dropping out because they are stuck in arrested development; they are acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands, and providers. In addition, men are going on strike, either consciously or unconsciously, because they do not want to be injured by the myriad of laws, attitudes, and hostility against them for the crime of happening to be male in the 21st century. Men are starting to fight back. Men on Strike explains their battle cry.“
In her book, Ms. Smith describes how more and more men are “Going John Galt”, a term borrowed from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:
“… the basic theme is that John Galt and his allies take actions that include withdrawing their talents and “stopping the motor of the world” while leading the “strikers” (those who refused to be exploited) against the “looters” (the exploiters, backed by the government).
In some sense, men today feel very much like Rand’s characters in Atlas Shrugged, knowing that they can be exploited for their sense of duty, production and just for being male at any time. The state transfers men’s production to women and children through child support, alimony, divorce laws, and government entitlements that are mainly for women … or welfare payments to single mothers. It is not only in family relationships that men are screwed, but also in many areas of modern society. Men are portrayed as the bad guys, ready to rape, pillage, beat or abuse women and children at the drop of a hat. From rape laws that protect women but not the men they may accuse falsely to the lack of due process in sexual harassment cases on college campuses to airlines that will not allow men (possible perverts!) to sit next to a child, our society is at war with men and men know it full well. [emphasis added]”
By now it should be clear that until the hateful excesses of feminism described above are addressed, the problem documented by Men Without Work simply cannot be resolved.
There are just too many men who will continue to “Go John Galt”.
i Daniels served as the 49th governor of Indiana from 2005 to 2013, and president of Purdue University from 2013 until the end of 2022. Notably, he also served as director of the Office of Management and Budget (2001-03) and White House Director of Political and Intergovernmental Affairs (1985-87)
ii Described by Eberstadt’s fellow American Enterprise Institute analyst Mark Perry as “…the most hateful, venomous, vitriolic, malicious, misguided, despicable, vindictive, unpersuasive and reprehensible op-ed in the history of the Washington Post, and possibly in the history of modern journalism for a mainstream media publication.”