EMBS REVIEW OF : Men On Strike – Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters – Authored by Helen Smith, PhD.
In this book Dr. Smith tells us why good men are so hard to find. According to her they have been abused both individually and as a class and in response have decided to boycott life in general thereby stopping the engine of the world like the character John Galt does in Ayn Rand’s classic, “Atlas Shrugged.”
Smith writes, “I used to consider myself a feminist but mistakenly thought feminism meant equality between the sexes. In today’s culture, it means female privilege, and I believe discrimination against men is every bit as bad as discrimination against women – and I want no part of it. Now men are the ones who are in need of justice and focus.”
Dr. Smith uses this book to introduce novice male-rights-activists to some of the struggles men have concerning, marriage, parenthood, child-custody law, paternity fraud, family life, dating, college, suicide, and negative male stereo-types.
I’ll begin with two criticisms of the work. The first is that although she writes that the book is primarily for a male audience the way she addresses the reader is confrontational which is an attitude most men do not appreciate from women.
For example language found in the prologue includes, “If you are a wimp, this book is not for you… if you, as a male, do not feel you are up to the challenge, put this book down and go elsewhere.”
Beginning a book for men with shaming-tactics, tactics that she later condemns, is unfortunate, and I suspect a lot of male readers will not get past it.
The second criticism is that the author perpetuates a negative male stereo-type that I’ve noticed before in the field of gender-studies. Some people propose that men may have difficulty standing up for themselves due to social conditioning or as a product of biological evolution, but both evolutionary theory and sociology make for bad gender theory.
Men are not animals. They are created in the image of God and reflect his royal attributes as independent, autonomous, and sovereign creatures. God designed men to reject the unjust system of socialism while simultaneously sacrificing for others in their personal lives. They do this as an act of love for those within their immediate field of responsibility to their own hurt. God made men this way to teach both genders about Christ’s sacrifice for his church. Although men are often abused and taken advantage of by people who exploit this trait, just as people mistreated Christ, patience in suffering is not a fault or defect as some suggest. Instead it is something honourable and worthy of praise.
With these criticisms aside I hope the book will help to amplify the voices of suffering men so they can be heard before their lives end in tragedy.
One portion soberly reads, “In 2010, the latest suicide statistics show that 38,364 people killed themselves nationally and 30,277 of those were men… Men are literally killing themselves to get their concerns heard, but no one is listening.”
With her work Dr. Smith’s hopes to awaken the consciousnesses of men so that they will actively fight the injustices around them while she encourages them drop out of modern society as form of passive resistance; something that she points out is happening already because of how men are being treated.
This book is an easy read with good content and it’s brevity allows me to recommend “Men on Strike” as a short but fair argument for the necessity of male-rights-activism.
[Additional Note: Watch out for books that recommend secret societies and “social” groups like rotary clubs, Masonic lodges, etc. It’s subtle but it’s in there. Have a nice day.]