In National Review Online’s “the Corner” Kathryn Jean Lopez was scandalized for ads running on Television for “AshleyMadison.com” a dating site for married people. Or, in other words, a site for cheaters on their spouses. On Hotair.com, Ed Morrissey was similarly outraged. One of the ads is below:
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):
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.