Welcome to the Age of The Internet.
In the past, when a relatively small number of individuals came up with deranged and anti-social theories and demands they were less dangerous due to the fact that it was difficult for them to congregate, reinforce one another's paranoia, and share methodologies for realizing their deluded fantasies.
Today they can, with relative ease, find one another on the Internet and though they may each live thousands of miles away from any other fellow member of their bizarre club, encourage and collaborate in real time as if they had all met in a coffee shop or tavern. It is no longer necessary for people with extreme and/or perverse (and here is use the term in its broadest sense; not limiting to sexuality) mindsets to congregate in large cities in order to establish movements with the critical mass needed to present a danger to society.
There is a rapidly growing problem with young men in comparatively affluent, Western societies. The root causes are varied, numerous and complex, but tend to center on the loss of a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives, explosively mixed with a growing sense of entitlement and unrealistic expectations. Whether these young men are themselves affluent or impoverished is immaterial
I agree completely with your view that regardless of how one feels about the propriety and/or morality of their worldviews, it is foolish to dismiss these individuals and the growing problem as the product of isolated mental illness or misogyny. The latter, BTW, is a symptom of the problem, not its cause. Not everyone caught up in it will end up driving vans, at top speed, down streets crowded with pedestrians. Waton murder is, by no means, the only way for a society to unravel, nor the only signs that rot has been spreading.
I certainly don't have any pat answers for how to address the issue either on a large scale or with individuals, but feel confident that a focus on the education and development of young boys is essential. Unfortunately, despite common protestations to the contrary, it doesn't appear that we are actually able to walk and chew gum at the same time.
The focus, within Western societies, on broader options and opportunities for girls and young women that has been going on over the last four decades or so has been a good thing, and, I hasten to add, not a root cause of our problem with young men. Unfortunately, the notion that life is a zero-sum game is prevalent in our society and for some advocates of our increased focus on girls, a decreased focus on boys was considered necessary. This is, of course, absurd. Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, that males of our species have enjoyed the unfair advantages of male dominance within the so-called Patriarchy for thousands of years, these benefits are not automatically transferred to a boy upon the day of his birth. They are not advantages encoded in and passed along by genes, and it's certainly not the case that every individual young male is the beneficiary of banked
male privilege. There isn't a surplus of developmental focus that young males can draw upon in their early years as the main cashflow
is diverted to young females.
Before some of our more excitable members get worked up, I am not at all arguing that young males are deliberately being deprived of developmental attention as part of a twisted feminist plot to not only balance the scales, but to establish a reliable Matriarchal Advantage. I've no doubt that there are some among the feminst ranks who secretly or otherwise endorse such a leveling process, but they are themselves part of a relatively small fringe group of deranged and anti-social thinkers. I also don't think that there are a great many people out there who consciously recognize that there may be a problem in terms of the development of young males, but have concluded it's a temporary situation made necessary by the urgency of generations of gender inequity.
Instead, I believe the effects of an intentional program of diverting time, resources and priority from male development to that of females, are being consequently achieved by a pervasive societal response to any attempts to suggest that we have reached a time where the tables have turned and boys are being shortchanged. Clearly, the general response to the Incel Movement (if such a thing has even actually coagulated) is, at best, blanket dismissal. Such a reaction is not irrational, but it is also not reserved only for paranoid mindsets. Raise a concern,in a public forum, that the gains of girls are, to an important extent, being made on the backs of boys and you will surely be met with a barrage of unsympathetic responses that will run along a spectrum that includes, wrathful insults that label you a misogynist, scolding lectures on the history of gender bias and oppression, and what I call "Poor Baby Mockery:" Snarky comments about crying a river for all the poor oppressed men out there.
These are reflexive responses that focus on adult men
and not young boys
and thereby miss the nature of the problem entirely. In general, there is no question that men have it better
in the same way that there is no question that whites have it better
than blacks in America (and most of the rest of the West as well).
White males are not oppressed, and neither are boys as a group. The problem isn't oppression, it is neglect. Boys aren't born with the Orginal Sins
of misogyny and male privilege, and individually and collectively they require the same level of developmental focus as do girls...again, there is no Bank of Male Advantages
from which boys can make withdrawls in order to offset a diminished focus...just until the gender scales are recalibrated.
Properly raising our children is not, overall, a zero-sum proposition for societies, and the economic impact of enforcing gender equity through the mechanism of federal financial aide can and has bee managed without flipping have
and have not
statuses. Title IX has, over the years since it went into effect, resulted in rancor when it became necessary for a school to reduce funding of certain athletic programs for male students in order to provide roughly equal opportunities for female athletes within the setting of an educational institution. However, the rancor rose not because male athletes were (on any meaningful scale) being deprived of opportunities, but because sports that were popular to the community at large were not receiving the levels of funding believed to be necessary for the school to successfully compete. Over and over we heard or saw complaints about how the success of a college's male
basketball, and male
football teams were being jeopardized by the elimination of a couple of male athletic scholarships...just so the girls could play field hockey or softball!
And guess what? Almost no one mocked or insulted those who complained.
No law if perfect in all its details or its enforcement, but Title IX was a good law that was very beneficial to girls but with very little corresponding harm to boys. The situation we are faced with today has been created by social dynamics and is not due to the existence or absence of any law. The causitive social dynamics are not limited to an unbalanced focus on early development and opportunities based on gender, but it is a major one and one that is easier to address than most of the others.
The very real benefits of focusing on the expansion of opportunities and options for girls is, however, not great enough to overcome the harm caused by diminshed focus on boys. All of our children need the proper degree of developmental focus, and not simply equal shares of an overall defficient level. Between the resources and good intentions of both our educational institutions and
parents, we should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time and meet the needs of our sons and
Our kids also need development that reflects gender equity under the law, but recognizes inate gender differences where they exist. Nothing good will come from efforts to force boys into a profile that is optimum for girls (or visa versa) or to chase the fanciful notion that there is one optimum profile that can be entirely gender neutral.