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04.18.2012 2

Big Government’s War on Men

By David Bozeman — There is no war on women. Still, the act of refuting such tripe obscures an insidious assault on the other half of the population.  Males, who are still deemed the dominant sex, don’t exactly fit the template of a victim class, and, in truth, it is not so much men who are teetering on the brink of extinction, it is the concept of manhood.

Statism grows incrementally by assuming the roles once assigned to fathers, husbands and big brothers in providing for and protecting families and communities.  And women, no matter how much they gain socially and economically, are always one presidential election away from servitude in a 1950’s sitcom kitchen, or so the Democrats would like us to believe.

Economist and author George Gilder once wrote that the primary focus of any society is how best to channel the boundless energy of its young men. Statistics bear out a generation of young males lagging significantly behind women in both graduate and post-graduate degrees (60 percent to 40 percent, by some estimates).

The same is true of boys, with high rates of learning difficulties and high school drop-out rates.  Some surveys indicate that men have been more harmed by the recession because of their preponderance in lower-wage jobs, and, in some locales, equally qualified single women actually out-earn their male counterparts.

Most notoriously, fifty years of welfare and other entitlements have rendered fathers all but extinct in poor and minority neighborhoods.  “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” sounds cute in Hollywood or posh Manhattan, but the logical extension of such thinking is far more grim in inner city and backwater America.  And many sons of Greatest Generation fathers (this writer included) woefully reflect on how far our dads had come in establishing careers and families by the age we rented our first apartments.

It is not just government policy but a predominantly liberal culture that marginalizes, if not demonizes, manhood and extends the adolescence of millions.

TV shows (you know the pattern — doofus, insensitive jerks, inexplicably married to attractive, sensible women) and gross-out comedies celebrate everything that is base and sophomoric in society.

And then there’s the feminization of men.  Law enforcement officials in Newport News, VA recently donned high heels to literally walk a mile in a woman’s shoes to spotlight violence against women (as reported by blogger Debbie Schlussel).

Numerous other such examples abound, and one wonders why manhood is never defined and celebrated as a concept unto itself.  Manhood has traditionally meant maturity, providing for wives and children and setting solid examples of such traits for his children, particularly his sons.

Conservatives frequently lament the meddling hand of the nanny state, but it is the father’s authority that has been usurped.  Still, that is only incidental to the state’s larger goal.  It seeks not the erosion of manhood per se, but the family unit, and then to offer itself to fill that massive social void.

Big government, with the aid of its acolytes in media and entertainment, fosters social chaos, finally stepping in as the mediator with only the — get ready — best of intentions!

The charade continues in Washington — the White House recently hosted a gathering on the economic status of women, and there actually exists a permanent White House department focused on that very concern.  Guys, we’re on our own.

A free society demands the best attributes of both men and women. The liberal state, by contrast, festers not just by the tangible things it prohibits but by the dreams of its citizens deferred and the intimate commitments superseded by a faceless bureaucracy.

Finally, the state fuels itself not by edict alone, rather it promotes an incremental, often unspoken mindset that lowers expectations, marginalizes traditions and maximizes love of Big Brother.

Pointing out the government’s undeclared war on men is not a clarion call for a new victim class, for when government grows we are all lessened not just as a society but one individual at a time.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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