A recent report from Japan has shown that relationship conventions are changing. People are marrying older than they ever were, fewer people are marrying and the birth rate is dropping. Once again it’s being held up as some sort of crisis. This has been the growing trend for many years in the west. Analysis of the Japanese “problem” focuses on the same sorts of things that commentators come up with when looking at Europe and North America.
Men are rejecting the conventions of relationships including the role of father, husband and provider and we’re getting shamed for it. Women, on the other hand, are seen as being “strong” and “independent” for doing exactly the same things.
Porn Addiction but why no Rom-Com Addiction?
The first and automatic go-to answer for why men are rejecting the conventions of typical relationships is that he must be addicted to pornography. It seems some people think porn is so addictive that any man who spends any amount of time looking at it must prefer it to an actual real woman. Men are (according to convention) slaves to our libidos. Get a glimpse of two people fucking in front of a camera and you will never want to have actual sex with an actual woman until you break your addiction.
Yet few people, if any, point to women’s rejection of these conventional relationships as problematic at all, let alone look for something on which to blame it! No, she’s “independent” and “strong” for “not needing a man”. How many times have you heard the lower marriage and birth rates blamed on women’s addiction to Mills & Boon books? How many times has a psychologist suggested that large numbers of women can’t find husbands or don’t want them because they’ve watched Four Weddings & a Funeral or Magic Mike once too often? If we dared suggest for one moment that women are so stupid they cannot tell the difference between romantic literature/films and real relationships and I can only imagine the backlash. Men get no such pussy-footing.
Rejection of the Male Duties and Associated Shaming
I’ve posted a Karen Straughan video at the end of this article. I strongly suggest you watch it, especially if you’re a woman. You might not like some of what she says but she hits the nail on the head multiple times throughout. Since we were children, men have been told that their life is a series of duties. We have a duty to act a certain way. If you don’t, you’re not a real man. We have a duty not to show emotion. We have a duty to put ourselves forward, show confidence and a duty to work hard. When we’re older, we have a duty to get a good education and a good job. If we don’t we’re going to be left behind because no woman wants a “loser”. We have a duty – as a husband and father – to provide money and emotional support. We have a duty to lead. If we reject any of these things at any point, we’re shamed. We’re held up as useless. We’re not fulfilling the functions demanded of us. We’re nothing, we’re losers, we’re not a “Real Man”.
Never is this rejection of these conventions seen as a positive thing. Child-free men (such as myself) are seen as lazy, commitment-phobic and as a man-child. This is one area where women and men are treated equally, however. I fully acknowledge that child-free women are also shamed and abused. But women who opt not to have children receive something that men don’t – pity. It’s misguided of course because child-free women aren’t “missing” having a child. They don’t want them – something that women with children refuse to attempt to understand.
Women’s Emotional Needs – Men Don’t Matter
Even feminists with whom I am acquainted fail to see the massive hypocrisy in how strong and independent they personally feel when rejecting relationships while holding up men who do the same as “losers” and “man-child”. What this really comes down to is how men are defined by our utility to women. It’s the provider dynamic once again. Oh sure, she’s happy to pay for her meal – and maybe even treat her boyfriend to dinner once in a while. She may be happy to pay the bills if she is the higher earner. But the feminist who holds this position still expects men to provide for the emotional needs as a woman. A man who rejects conventional relationships cannot be defined by his utility to any woman (wife, girlfriend, daughter) and therefore must be shamed.
There is a culture of misandry that runs through the world when it comes to men making decisions for themselves about their relationship expectations and goals. Having been in a toxic, I fully understand why men are now actively rejecting the relationship conventions and expectations placed at birth. We need a men’s movement that encourages men to understand that they don’t have to be what society expects of them. Feminism achieved this for women, but there is still a way to go for men to be allowed to live our lives how we please too.