Now to the first part of a series you'll see here every Wednesday in the month of March, focussing on men in America. The signs are everywhere. If you're a middle-aged man, you probably know a peer who has killed himself in recent years -- at least one. If you're a parent you may have noticed that your daughter's friends are a little more on the ball than your son's. They get better grades, they smoke much less marijuana, they spend less time playing video games, they go to more prestigious colleges. If you're an employer, you may have noticed that your female employees show up on time; the young men often don't. And, of course, if you live in this country, you've just seen a horrifying series of mass shootings -- far more than we've ever had. Women didn't do that. In every case the shooter was a man. Something ominous is happening to men in America. Everyone who pays attention knows that. What's odd is how rarely you hear it publicly acknowledged. Our leaders pledge to create more opportunities for women and girls, whom (sic) they imply are failing. Men don't need help. They're the Patriarchy. They're fine -- more than fine. But are they fine? Here are the numbers. Start with the most basic: life and death:
So those are the numbers and they paint a very clear picture: American men are failing in body, in mind and in spirit. This is a crisis! Yet our leaders pretend it's not happening and in fact they tell us the opposite is true. Women are victims, men are oppressors. To question that assumption is to risk punishment. Even as women far outpace men in higher education, for example, virtually every college campus supports a Women's Studies department, whose core goal is to attack male power. Our politicians and business leaders internalise and amplify that message. "Men are privileged; women are oppressed. Hire and reward and promote accordingly."
Now, that would be fine if it were true! But it's not true. At best, it's an outdated view of an America that no longer exists. At worst, it's a pernicious lie. Either way, ignoring the decline of men does not help anyone. Men and women need each other. One cannot exist without the other. That is elemental Biology. It's also the reality that each one of us has lived! With our parents and siblings and friends. When men fail, all of us suffer.
How did this happen? How can we fix it? We hope that this series, each Wednesday this month, answers those questions.
Jordan Peterson is a Professor at the University of Toronto. He's written a lot about the decline of modern men. We spoke to him recently.
Jordan Peterson, thanks for joining us. We've got a long list of statistics that paint a pretty clear picture that boys seem to be falling behind, relative to girls, in the United States. Why do you think that is?
I think that that's partly the result of directed policy; so it's linked to the idea that there's something wrong with masculinity; and so that the expression of masculinity should be limited in all sorts of arbitrary ways. The fact that kids can't really play at schools any more is a manifestation of that. The fact that male behaviour is often diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder, for example, is a manifestation of that. The elimination of competition as a valid form of human interaction and the failure to recognise that competitive sports, for example, are deeply cooperative in their fundamental nature, as long as everyone is playing by the rules, obviously. So there's that. That's a large part of it.
Because it's easy to mistake masculine competence for the tyranny that hypothetically drives the "Patriarchy". It's part of an ideological world view that sees the entire history of mankind as the oppression of women by men, which is a dreadful way of looking at the World -- a very pathological way of looking at the World. It's not like men and women always get along -- any more than than men and men get along, or women and women, for that matter. But, fundamentally, human history is a cooperative enterprise and men and women have lifted themselves out of the mire over millenia in their cooperative endeavour and to describe that as centuries of the oppression of women by men is an absolutely reprehensible ideological rewrite of history and it's what's taught in the humanities and much of the social sciences at universities and, increasingly, in the public education system. It's taken as an unassailable fact.
Well, how could you feel good about that? I mean, if you're made out to be a potential manifestation of "Rape Culture", if you're part of "Toxic Masculinity", if your competitive drive is regarded as part of a tyrannical impulse, if the heritage to which you belong is regarded as an "Oppressive Patriarchy", then how in the World are you going to step forward with confidence and shoulder that -- what would you call it? -- that burden? Why would you? Why wouldn't you just step aside and retreat, which is exactly what's happening?
Well, I guess that's a good question, isn't it? I don't know the answer to that. I don't know if they are precisely allowing it to happen. It's very insidious, the ideological movement that's driving this part of the Radical Left -- part of the Radical Left, I would say. It's a very insidious movement. It's not an easy thing to resist and a lot of it occurs -- well, for example, it occurs in the school system, increasingly, and it isn't clear what -- they're not men that are reacting to that -- that's boys. It's not clear what they're supposed to do about it. So.... hard to fight an ideological battle.
Well, I would say, first of all, encourage them, and I mean that most deeply, is that to encourage someone is to instill courage in them, to support their courage and that doesn't mean protect them from what's dangerous. It means teach them how to be competent and teach them that they can rely on themselves to prevail even in the darkest of circumstances. That's part of it. I would say, as well, more specifically -- and this is specific advice for parents -- if you have your children in a school and they talk about "Equity" in this class and they talk about "Equity", "Diversity", "Inclusivity", "White Privilege", "Systemic Racism" -- any of that -- you take your children out of the class. They're not being educated, they're being indoctrinated and there's absolutely no excuse for it.
That would be just fine!
Men have no rights,
but aren't less human.
We blame sexism.