Dear Mr. Bennett,
I read with some interest, and, I have to add, mild amusement, your recent piece at cnn.com on the state of men in this country. I have to admit I was impressed to see a bureaucrat actually present some meaningful statistics regarding the deteriorating state of men and boys, but I found your conclusions both lacking and myopic.
After addressing the overarching problem of men’s disappearance from education and the workforce, and the debilitating apathy that seems to be eating away at the motivation of young men, you gave us what? Too many video games? Get a job, shape up?
Well, Mr. Bennett, let me ask you a question here. What if, for some reason, the response from the average young man in this culture to any of these coercive demands is, “Thanks for the suggestions, Mr. Bennett. Now get out of my face with your bullshit”?
Thing is, Bill, were I 24 instead of 54, that is exactly what I would tell you. And I would have very, very sound reasons for saying it. The primary reason would be men like you. But allow me to explain.
You were the U.S. Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. During that time many of the nation’s feminist academicians furthered their ideological control over our universities and began adopting virulently anti-male policies that precisely correlate to the departure of men from our institutions of higher education. Those institutions were, and still are, aggressively pursuing programs to further the education of women across the board, while ignoring men at best and demonizing them at worst.
During those same years we saw an astronomical increase in the doping of our young boys with drugs like Ritilin, under pressure of school officials now prone to pathologize the normal behavior of boys as a matter of convenience. This drug, sometimes great for controlling behavior when incompetent people can’t, is now being linked to cancer, particularly of the liver.
I believe the nation got your message on drugs when you opined that the beheading of drug dealers was “morally plausible.” So, where was your strident opinionating when this was happening to our boys? Where is it now?
I wonder, Mr. Bennett, when the Obama Administration recently issued its executive decision to strong-arm colleges into reducing the burden of proof for sexual assault allegations on campus from “reasonable doubt,” to a “preponderance of the evidence,” effectively stripping men of their right to face accusers and refute allegations, just where were you?
The United States, over several decades running concurrent with your professional life, has erected an egregiously corrupt and discriminatory family law system that renders marriage little less than a house of horrors in which men regularly find themselves trapped. It is a system that destroys them and their children; strips them of assets and sacred constitutional rights as a matter of routine, putting them under the oppressive thumb of state functionaries. This is the same court system that has made an industry, a cash cow, of unsubstantiated restraining orders and false allegations.
Do you know who Thomas James Ball was, Mr. Bennett? Do you have any idea at all of why he stepped up and self-immolated in front of a family court building? Was it because his life had been so reduced by the family courts that he saw no other way out? Or did he just need to man up and take it?
There you have it, sir. Men who are driven from family and education invariably fall from employment and society at large, sometimes in a blaze; sometimes more quietly.
Consider what is happening in Japan right now. The Soushoku Danshi, or herbivores as we know them in the English translation, now represent a healthy majority of young men in Japan. These are men who have dropped out; from marriage; from much of the mainstream job market, and most notably from any concern with the understanding of manhood espoused by men like you. They simply don’t care anymore.
And if you investigate them as thoroughly as you apparently looked in to what is happening to American men, you will find some information that might surprise you. Their mass exodus from mainstream society, which bodes poorly for the future economic health of Japan, ties directly to the rise of feminist ideology and governance in that country. Those young men have read the writing on the wall, felt it, and reacted to it, much in the same way you are witnessing in the men in this country; men whom you presume to lecture but don’t bother to understand in any better terms than your perceived uses for them.
You might want to ask yourself a very important question, Mr. Bennett. What, and I mean other than autocratic chastising, is supposed to serve as motivation for young men to pay attention to you? What are they to do, just continue to line up for their turn as cannon fodder for our imperialism in the middle east? Get themselves a wife and a couple of kids while they are at it? And then head back home with PTSD for their turn in the grind of our family justice system?
I have to say, in all frankness, that I would brace myself for the answers if ever you wanted to drop the condescending judgments and actually ask some young men why they are dropping out. One of the answers you might hear more than once is “Kiss my ass.”
But I am betting on something else to be more the case. I am pretty sure that you would not get an answer at all. Because the reaction for a lot of these young men, when faced with these kinds of questions from men like you, is absolute silence. It is not that they don’t have an opinion. They have lots of opinions, but you won’t likely be hearing them. Something tells me that getting to the next level in World of Warcraft is more important than talking to the likes of you.