But both social conservatives are raging against the tide. We live in a science fiction world, not the least of which is the impact of technology and technology empowered elites to redefine bedrock cultural institutions. Such as marriage. What is not remarkable is the existence of Ashley Madison. There will always be cheap and sleazy uses for technology. What is remarkable is that the ads run, essentially without comment, on television and Youtube.com. Social attitudes have changed, perhaps irrevocably, and what remains is figuring out how the impact of these social attitudes will ripple across American society.
In my post Prop 8 Hate: Our Glorious Multicultural Future, I noted how NRO's Stanley Kurz had predicted, accurately, that cultural elites (many of them gay) would redefine the institution of marriage along gay norms (i.e.) open cheating, seen here at NRO and here at the Weekly Standard. As Kurz notes, there are movements in Sweden from the radical feminists to abolish marriage and legalized polyamory. Polyamory is legal in the Netherlands. Canada and Britain give welfare benefits to polygamists. As Kurz notes in the NRO article:
It isn't just Big Love's co-creators who think of it as something that will influence our cultural, legal, and political battles. Big Love's actors seem to feel the same way. Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays one of the wives of Big Love, says that for many women, polygamy "is the answer to their problems, not a problem in and of itself." Big Love lead, Bill Paxton, says: "This show talks about the freedom in this country. Are we free to choose who with want to live with? Well, yes, but we can't have legal rights together." Paxton seems to be pretty clearly arguing for decriminalization of polygamy, and probably for direct legal recognition as well.
We are dealing, not with an election campaign, but with the possible collapse of a social taboo — something television is ideally suited to achieve. Social taboos may erode gradually over the very long haul, but up close, and especially toward the beginning, you get little collapses — the quick and unexpected falling away of opposition. What used to be hidden emerges with startling rapidity, because much of it was there all along. Polygamy, and especially polyamory, are already widespread on the Internet. Both practices are pushing toward a major public taboo-collapsing moment. We can't know when "critical mass" might be reached, but Big Love has got to be getting us there a whole lot quicker than we were.
All indications are that Big Love is a product of this radical sensibility. The goal is not to adapt couples to an already existing institution but, in Scheffer's words, to "subversively" transform the institution of marriage from within. So by highlighting the analogy between gay marriage and polygamy, Big Love simultaneously builds support for same-sex marriage, while also deconstructing the very notion of monogamous marriage itself. It's a radical's dream come true.
This means the real challenge we face is not from a huge, nationally based movement of so-called "Mormon fundamentalists." (These renegade polygamists are emphatically not members of the mainstream, Mormon Church.) Instead, as in Canada, the challenge will come from a complex coalition: gay radicals who favor same-sex marriage but who also want to transform and transcend marriage itself, feminists (like Canada's Martha Bailey) who feel the same way, Hollywood liberals like Tom Hanks (an executive producer of Big Love) who want to use the media to transform the culture, civil-rights advocates like the ACLU and ex-Humphrey aide Ed Frimage, libertarian conservatives like John Tierney and an ever-larger number of young people, fundamentalist "Mormon" polygamists, and the ever-growing movement for polyamory (which features both heterosexuals and large numbers of bisexuals), and perhaps someday (as in Canada) Muslim and other non-Western immigrants.
This complex coalition ranging from old-fashioned Humphrey-style liberals to anti-marriage feminist radicals, to libertarian conservatives, is what will power future efforts to radically deconstruct marriage. And we're only at the very beginning of these efforts. For the most part, cultural radicals are holding back, knowing that anything they say may jeopardize the movement for same-sex marriage by validating slippery-slope fears. The remarkable thing is that, at this early stage, the radicals have forced themselves so openly into the cultural argument. That is a sure sign that if same-sex marriage were to be safely legalized nationally, the way would finally be open to a truly concerted campaign to transform marriage by opening it up to polygamy and polyamory, or by replacing it with an infinitely flexible partnership system. Whatever we're seeing now is only the barest hint of what will happen once the coast is clear.
In the Weekly Standard article, Kurz notes:
Yet the larger effects of such unions on the institution of marriage would be devastating. At a stroke, marriage would be severed not only from the complementarity of the sexes but also from its connection to romance and sexual exclusivity--and even from the hope of permanence. In Hawkins's words, the proliferation of such arrangements "would turn marriage into the moral equivalent of a Social Security benefit." The effect would be to further diminish the sense that a woman ought to be married to the father of her children. In the aggregate, what we now call out-of-wedlock births would increase. And the connection between marriage and sexual fidelity would be nonexistent.
The other Ashley Madison ad, below, suggests that this has already happened.
If there was any doubt, this promotional video for NBC's "Mercy" ought to seal the notion that marriage has been re-defined:
Note the definition of marriage boring "companionship" where attractive women have what Sandra Tsing Loh in her Atlantic article termed "kitchen bitches," i.e. someone "boring" takes care of the domestic partnership and domestic chores, while women pursue what feminist author termed "passionate and chaotic" relationships. The very idea of fidelity is not something that enters the cultural conversation, and the lead character's workplace friends find nothing wrong with a married woman having an affair with the handsome, powerful doctor (or lusting after a hunky bartender).
Taken together, the NBC "Mercy" series, the Ashley Madison ads actually running on CNN, with the tagline "Life is Short, Have an Affair" and Youtube commenters finding the commercials well, thrilling, all point to a cultural inflection point from which there is no escape. Marriage is redefined. Towards a "French" model of infidelity based on the relative attractiveness of the partners (note the Ashley Madison ads have partners more attractive than their spouses cheating).
The only problem for America is that Americans are not French. Specifically, the "French" model only works when marriage is assumed to be a partnership for conservation of resources that are passed on, fairly bloodlessly, to children. With all the passion and love of a corporate merger. For most Americans, that is simply not the case. The Eliot Spitzers, the John Edwards (both of whom are said to be contemplating a revived political career), are able to conduct "French" style marriages. So too, those with considerable but not massive resources, around the $10-20 million range, where divorce means real economic losses, are probably able to tolerate mutual discreet affairs. "The Nanny Diaries" film and book cover this dynamic. Wives are reluctant to divorce cheating husbands because it means loss of beach houses in the Hamptons. The ultra rich like say, Paul McCartney or Maddona, of course, can afford divorce.
For example, in my post How Many White Men Are Getting Married I noted that there is evidence that a good many more White Men ages 35-40 are never married, as opposed to the past:
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In my post Beyond Gay Marriage I noted the trend below (data from US Census Bureau, check my post for links and data):
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The graph below is my crude attempt to measure women who were ever married, from those cohabitating (again from the US Census Bureau data in the post):
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Clearly, the status in American society as a whole of marriage is colored by the large amounts of older women who certainly won't be patronizing Ashley Madison. But ... the ability or willingness of older women to criticize those who do, and protest Ashley Madison ads, running on CNN, or rebuke NBC for "Mercy" is questionable at best. Older women are not going to redefine their understanding of the institution of marriage, but they don't, in our extreme culture of individualism, consumerism, and "non-judgmentalism" exert cultural pressure to maintain the norms of marriage they themselves hold.
The changes to marriage, by those just entering into it (roughly people in their mid-twenties to mid thirties) are striking, both with the rapidity of which it changed, and how widely it will ripple out to society. As Charles Murray, author of "the Bell Curve," notes, the rates of illegitimacy for WHITES are vastly different from the longitudinal study done of women born from 1957 to 1964. The women of childbearing years now:
Today, the illegitimacy ratio for non-Latino whites is 28 percent. How do the classes break down now? As it happens, I’ve spent the last few weeks exploring that question. I’m not done, and want to save that discussion for a formal presentation in any case, but here are some tentative estimates: The illegitimacy ratio for the white underclass is probably now in the region of 70 percent. I think that the proportion for the white working class may be above 40 percent. The white middle class is approaching 20 percent—a scarily high figure when you think about all the ways that the middle class has been the spine of the nation.
The white overclass? They’re still living in the 1950s—their ratio is probably about 4 or 5 percent tops.
Murray defines the overclass as women who have at least one year post-baccalaureate College, and family incomes of more than $100,000 the year before the birth of the first child (2006 dollars). This is about 10% of the population. Middle Class women (40% of the population) are defined as College graduates, family income $60,000 but not over $100,000. Working Class women (40% of the population) are defined as Women with family incomes less than $60,000 but more than $20,000. Underclass (10% of the population) is defined as no more than High School education and family incomes of less than $20,000.
Marriage and child-rearing are removed and disconnected from each other just like marriage and fidelity are now removed from each other. As Murray notes, the White Overclass, the elites, are still living in the 1950's. With two parent families, perhaps living lives of discreet infidelity, but remaining intact as married partners.
Working class women are moving beyond marriage and "quaint" notions of fidelity and family, to chaotic, short-lived "passionate" romances like that depicted in "Mercy" which certainly allow women (and a few lucky men) the ability to feed a passion for novelty and excitement. Increasingly, middle class (White) women are doing the same. The underclass is functionally the same as Urban Core Blacks, who have illegitimacy rates of 90%. The only reason this collapse excites no commentary is that the White underclass is so small (10%) and "invisible" to media and elites who comprise the media, that their plight excites no comment.
Certainly, part of this redefinition of marriage is due to cultural elites (often gays and feminists as Kurz details) using entertainment to push the redefinition of marriage and family. However, you cannot sell sandboxes to desert nomads, or refrigerators to Eskimos. Modern life in the West offers absolute freedom, unfettered by nearly any constraint, and men and women alike desire this freedom greatly. Family law radicals, feminists, gays, and others seeking to redefine marriage found willing buyers among women and men who wanted no more limits on sexual conduct. Women more than men, since only a few men are attractive (having power, status, physique, and personal dynamism), while most reasonably fit women are attractive.
As the various conservative commentors such as Kay Hymowitz Man Child in the Promised Land lament, young men are not getting married as they did in 1965. The data from the GSS shows a significant uptick of men never married between ages 35-40 over the years.
Unlike the hedonistic, gaming and player caricature that Hymowitz paints, however, most young White Men lack the ability to get married, and stay married, in today's cultural and economic environment. As Murray's data shows, Overclass men and women do not have much problem getting married. Income and status over $100,000 (and it is often well over $100,000) can account for many short-comings in excitement, social dominance, and physicality, as seen in the clip from "Mercy." Overclass men and women marry each other, it seems, and stay married, not having kids out of wedlock, certainly. This is at most 10% of the population, and even with marriage redefined as a boring domestic partnership, the most jaded husbands and wives can find "discreet" partners. Eliot Spitzer was an outlier neither Gavin Newsome, nor LA Mayor Tony Villaraigosa, nor Mark Sanford, nor John Ensign, nor Bill Clinton, nor Gary Condit, nor John Edwards paid for sex. Their power and charisma made them irresistible, to the interns who worked for them, ambitious news women and reporters who covered them, videographers who documented their campaigns, family friends, and of course the wives of subordinates who found their husbands bosses irresistible. Most wives and husbands of this class will tolerate affairs under a redefined marriage as long as they are discreet and carried on covertly.
But for middle and working class men, marriage is not in the cards. When women select on "passion" (seen most clearly in the Mercy clip) then most men need not apply. Only the most charismatic, dynamic, attractive, and socially dominant men will attract romantic and sexual interest from women on this basis, and these men generally only settle down when they start to age out of attractiveness. Joe Average in his cubicle, so amply demonstrated in Mike Judge's "Office Space" is not going to attract much (if any) female attention, certainly not for a sustained period of time, making marriage moot.
If for middle and working class men (that's about 80% of the male population in Murray's definition) relationships with women are characterized as "hoping to be some girl's mistake" (as the protagonist in the Judd Apatow comedy "Superbad" exhorts), at best short term, and quickly terminated relationships with women are going to characterize this class of men. This just is not a basis for marriage. No wonder X-boxes and male bonding are attractive. In a society that has as it's prize the boob husband of a million ads or the cheated upon "nice guy pal" husband in "Mercy," where cheating is a click away on Ashley Madison's website, the brass ring of marriage and family looks increasingly illusory to these men. Who in any event have mostly fleeting engagements with women, lacking the ability to excite passion and desire by dominance and charisma.
For Underclass men, the answer has been clear. Chav Britain, or as I posted in Paging Dr Dalrymple, this guy:
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"Chaving it up" or engaging in the boozy, fighting-dominated life of "Chav" Britain, is the quickest way for Underclass men to get women. They cannot compete on economic grounds. Women have their own earnings, various welfare schemes, and face no social pressure for pursuing passion (and the desire for bad, dangerous men) over sensible and more dependable, but "boring" companions and potential husbands. Only a few men possess, naturally, the charisma, social dominance, physique, early experience with women that builds natural confidence and assurance, and playful teasing mixed with an edge that characterizes the natural ladies man, or "Alpha male" that women of the Underclass (and appropriate to their socio-economic background, women of Working and Middle Class as well) desire and now, with total freedom, can pursue with no barriers. Only a very few men can simply naturally charm girls and women into sex, and perhaps long-term relationships (which now come after, not before, sex for the most part).
But nearly all men can fight. And fighting is an easy way, a short-cut, to social dominance. The most confident and self-assured ladies man will not look winning if given a beating by rivals. Thus the importance not just of fighting, but of fighting in groups, to assure domination over other men, in the very Darwinian competition for women, un-mediated by any social institution or controls. For Chav men who can fight, women are not a problem. Though here, too, marriage has collapsed. Black blogger "the Rawness" has written on the same subject in his post on the "Myth of the Alpha Ghetto Male" where the same dynamics for competition for women, and no mediation or moderation by older men, takes place. Read the whole thing:
So since they don’t have men to teach them how to be a man, this creates an insecurity in their male identity and causes them to create their own hyperexaggerated ideal of what a man should be. Supermacho, obnoxious, fearless to the point of knuckleheaded, overaggressive…basically the parody of manhood we see in gangster rap. It’s overcompensation to the worst degree.
Certainly both Chav Britain and the Black Ghetto have experienced, since 1955, a dramatic turn in violence, and hyper-violence, of drive by shootings, of knifings and killings, unheard of in times with far greater material want (Britain had rationing well into the 1950's) and overt discrimination (Segregation did not materially end until the late 1960's at least). The Black Ghetto family of 1950 had a fraction of the wealth and materials (computers, televisions, game systems, cheap food), yet experienced only a fraction of the violence and intimidation. Single motherhood dominated societies quickly devolved into violent matriarchies, with men competing for women based not on provider status but violent posturing. Seen in any Gangsta Rap video.
With the collapse of provider marriage (and just as critically, the demand for provider marriage among Underclass women), in the US, the UK, and Black Ghetto America, the "Chav route" has been the only proven way for most young men to achieve any sort of relationship with women. We can expect to see this continue as the economy continues to have few options for expansion, certainly not to the point where Underclass men could be credible providers (as opposed to welfare spending) anyway.
What about the Working and Middle Class men, what are their options? Increasingly, contrary to Hymowitz (who makes the usual social conservative error of ignoring female preferences), men are substituting a bad diet of porn, video games, male bonding, and intermittent and generally infrequent sexual encounters for marriage and family formation. Contrary to Hymowitz, their female peers don't want them as monogamous life partners, but rather at best, cheated upon "kitchen bitches" who take care of the household while they pursue "passionate affairs of the heart." [It might just as well be that the young men don't want monogamous relationships either, but most if honest would admit their relative attractiveness puts that option for them out of the question monogamy is their best deal and they know it.] This is at best, and mostly among Middle Class women, who though are increasingly turning towards the single-mother model of childbearing. At worst, their female peers would rather these young men of Hymowitz's "Child Man" article be fabulously gay co-workers, and thus not express any romantic/sexual interest in them at all, or at-sea clueless idiots upbraided by them in private (see again, the "Mercy" clip).
Working class women have turned even more to the single motherhood model, and for working class men, the only route they have is a modified "Chav" route of casual intimidation and fighting unlikely to lead to lengthy imprisonment, when it comes to winning sexual favors. As the economy continues to roil, and shed blue-collar, working class jobs, creating permanent unemployment among men of this class, the full Chav route looks even more attractive. Given that this class of men is about 40% of the population (according to Murray's definition), this is not an insignificant development.
So for Working class men, the slide towards the Chav route and Underclass status is likely to be rapid. For Middle Class men, perhaps best idealized by the "Michael Bolton" character in "Office Space" the frustration will grow as the ability to substitute a relationship with a woman fails, particularly given a downwardly spiraling economy, job uncertainty, and social isolation creates massive frustration with mundane issues:
This is particularly true for the effects of the recession: women are poised to become the majority of the workforce. Men accounted for through June, 74% of the 6.4 million jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007. Three million jobs in construction and manufacturing alone were lost, nearly all of those by men.
The gender transformation is especially remarkable in local government's 14.6 million-person workforce. Cities, schools, water authorities and other local jurisdictions have cut 86,000 men from payrolls during the recession — while adding 167,000 women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
All of this, the redefinition of marriage, by cultural elites (and willing buyers among the people), and large economic changes, threatens to redefine fundamentally how men and women relate to one another.
For the elites, the Overclass, life continues as it did in the 1950's. With the exception that women now comprise significant portions of the workforce and have many more career and leadership opportunities. For lower class men and women, life will be dominated ever more by the Chav model, and chaotic, transient relationships among men and women, often marked by violence. This is increasingly the model for working class women as well. Note Dalrymple's nurses, educated and professional, did not have affairs with glamorous, upper class doctors. They instead chose, time and again, violent and abusive men who abused them (humiliatingly) even in their own workplace, and still went back to them. Abjuring "boring" men who were "decent" and tradesmen, with good earnings but lack of danger and excitement.
For those in the middle, life is a powderkeg. In my post Paging Dr Dalrymple note the competition among attractive women for the few, dominant, charismatic, high status men does not often go well (even for those pretty and advertising the same):
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There are, after all, only a few socially dominant, desirable men, and any night out, these men will go home with only a fraction of the women available. Even pretty young things end up on the side of the road, consoled by their friends, as a night out ended in failure. No matter how alluring the state of dress, youth, and availability (to the "correct" sort of man) might be for an attractive woman, there is always an even more beautiful woman around.
With downward pressure on earnings, among the "Michael Bolton" types shown in "Office Space" the selection of only the most dominant, "Alpha" type men makes sense for women in the Middle class. The provider types don't have even providing to offer, certainly not a stable income, with outsourcing and H1-B visas providing job insecurity, and economic growth certain to be stagnant for years to come. Meanwhile, the Alpha types offer excitement and thrills, and if a woman is unsuccessful one night, she might well be successful the next. Certainly a better outcome than moving downwards to the Michael Bolton types. At any rate, even the Michael Boltons seem uninterested in being the "kitchen bitches" cheated on by a click on Ashley Madison.
The catch for women in the Middle Class, and there is indeed a catch, is that only the most beautiful will end up with the Alpha Male, and then only when he's on an age-inspired urge to settle down. Call it the Michael Douglas syndrome. The former ladies man settles down with a significantly younger partner, based on his status and charisma. Only a few will become Catherine Zeta-Jones. It's entirely likely that as many as three nights at the club out of four will end like the sad pictures of women distraught, as above, texting, or holding their friends, or sitting alone on the side of the curb. Possibly fewer than that will hit the "jackpot" of marriage to the Alpha Male, and even fewer one who does not stray, even when older.
For Middle Class women, this catch will be considerable. The source, too, of much understandable anger.
But for the "Michael Bolton" types, who toil in the cubicle, awaiting the next round of layoffs, fighting with printers flashing "PC LOAD LETTER" the urge to do something, anything, will prove irresistible. Along with a huge dose of anger and frustration, higher even than their female Middle Class counterparts, who at least periodically "win" far more than the "Bolton" types.
Culturally, we should see a huge amount of nostalgia among the Middle Class cubicle dwellers, for more gender-role settled times, when men could and did form Middle Class families, from the 1940's to the 1950's. While the current crop of creative people, forming a disconnected Overclass that has no clue about the social life of others, is likely to prove incapable of producing that entertainment, the miracle of technology means that 1950's movies and television shows are only a click away on Amazon.com. Or Hulu.
Substitution of real relationships with women by male bonding, X-boxes, and porn was never going to be a realistic outcome for the Middle Class man for long. Now that the recession has serious impacted that ability to spend into oblivion for men, along with great uncertainty, a huge mass of White middle class men is now invested in something, anything, that will both restore their economic security, and allow them to attract and keep women, away from the threat of one bad night of Ashley Madison-enabled cheating.
It is unlikely that female hypergamy (women wanting men of significantly higher status, power, social dominance, etc) will be repealed any time soon. Even more unlikely that restrictions on social and sexual behavior, to the point where a site like Ashley Madison would no more be able to advertise on CNN than an explicit porn site, will happen. Which means that marriage will be redefined for the foreseable future as the union of two people for domestic chores, profit-sharing, and nothing more. Certainly not fidelity or child-raising for most people. Only the latter will apply, to the thin (10%) Overclass of society.
Instead, Americans will co-habitate, in chaotic and short-lived relationships. Sexual freedom will be maximized, with a few winners (Alpha men, Middle Class women optimizing sex with Alpha men) though not without cost. For Alpha men, that cost can be deadly, as the late Steve McNair discovered. For Middle Class women, the cost is spending most of their lives (35-80's) alone and invisible.
Underclass Men already Chav-it-up, and will continue to do so in greater numbers. Increasingly, the "New Girl Order" of Hymowitz, with terribly fashionable young women doing corporate marketing, human resources, and government health, education, and welfare work as it displaces Blue collar Working class men in the economy, will result in the same for Working Class men. Who having little to lose will rapidly embrace the Chav life.
But for the great losers in the sexual reordering, in the "Ashley Madison World," the "Michael Boltons" who struggle with PC LOAD LETTER on their corporate printers, their desires running flat into the demands of the "New Girl Order" promise to shape culture and politics for decades to come, the way the Civil Rights movement or Depression did in decades past.
On the one hand, an ever-declining productive Middle Class workforce, hunkering down to avoid layoffs, angry and resentful, mostly male, and on the other, an "empowered" group of young and youngish women in the bloom of sexual power and attractiveness, wanting not a single check on sexual freedoms and messy romantic compromises, and certainly not on economic measures designed to invest the "Boltons" in the success of their companies or society at large. A pent-up, mostly chaotic, and unformed force of Middle Class men, up against the immovable object of women understandably unwilling to surrender either economic or sexual freedom.
With no compromises possible, because for one to win, the other must lose, and lose terribly.
Ultimately, this will play out on an ever declining quality, productivity, and ability of the American workforce. "Boltons" do not go the extra mile for a system that produces frustration and rage. The ability to extract tax resources from this Middle class will collapse as its productivity and earnings collapse. The "New Girl Order" is not economically sustainable, and a lost decade, characterized by continual economic decline and political infighting over Male and Female Middle Class objectives, either removing or protecting the world of "Ashley Madison" the rule of the day. Women can of course block any move to fix restrictions on the "Ashley Madison" world, either culturally or politically or both. But Middle Class women cannot force the "Boltons" to work extra hard. Casual theft, shirking, slacking, a desire even at the extremes to loot or burn down the company as seen in "Office Space" is far more likely. Men without any reason to provide, generally do the minimum possible. The hidden cost of the "Ashley Madison" world is a slide to say, Romanian work ethic and workforce skill levels.
This will make American society far more fragile than that say, of December 7, 1941. On that day, there was little question that the US would mobilize in massive fashion to defeat the Japanese. The full industrial might (and 500,000 US casualties) would see victory for an enraged and united populace. A similar calamity now, promises different results. At least a good chunk of the populace endorsing surrender or negotiated settlement, as the nuclear family and thus widespread investment in society has collapsed. The flip side of a society that effectively endorses "Life is Short. Have an Affair" is that no one is willing to die for it, and few willing to spend tax money for it either.
It is likely that at this moment, when power swings to those who fire rifles, and those who design and man UAV firing platforms, that the unformed but real anger of the Boltons are likely to show. After disastrous French offensives, the French army largely mutinied and mass arrests and executions were not enough, Petain had to agree to an end to offensives and more frequent, and longer leaves. America, at an inevitable time of great crisis (there is always a crisis in one form or another, human nature being what it is), will not be able to call upon the Boltons unless their demands are met. A man cannot be forced to work harder, and the imposition of the draft is politically unthinkable, even with widespread Middle class female support (itself unlikely), men will be able to veto it.
Men with families are always ready to fight to defend them, and men with a reasonable chance at forming them willing to fight for that privilege. Men with no hope of family, must be paid. Considerably. The need to re-allocate resources away from the New Girl Order and into defense and the military, are likely to be the great political struggle, dominated by the considerable political strength of women (understandably reluctant to cede spending and disconnected from most men), on the one hand, and absolute military and political need on the other.
One thing is for certain: we live in a science-fiction world unimaginable fifty years ago. Dominated by technology, to the point where advanced computer networks available to anyone can enable cheating spouses to help redefine marriage to norms advocated by elites. This in turn has accelerated the collapse of traditional marriage and family even among Whites, towards a new uncertainty characterized by vicious internal gender-political struggles, overlaid by elite disconnection, and providing provocative weakness inviting outside attackers. Whose attacks in turn promise to shape the deadlocked gender wars in unpredictable ways.