Taking Off the Harness

… The injustice men feel is leading to lower motivation, and maybe that’s good.
(c) 2017, Davd

As i published Men’s Lives Neglected, i noticed that that a remark about society suffering for the injustice men feel, could be taken as a threat; but i didn’t change it because that’s not what i meant—and i thought the explanation might better be a separate ‘post’.

I wrote, “The more ‘Society’ pretends men’s lives don’t matter, the more ‘society’ will suffer for the injustice we feel; and also for lack of what we could contribute.”

The now-famous “Misandry Bubble” essay stated rather well, the motivation that ordinary men acquired with marriage:

To provide ‘beta’ men an incentive to produce far more economic output than needed just to support themselves while simultaneously controlling the hypergamy of women that would deprive children of interaction with their biological fathers, all major religions constructed an institution to force constructive conduct out of both genders while penalizing the natural primate tendencies of each. This institution was known as ‘marriage’. Societies that enforced monogamous marriage made sure all beta men had wives, thus unlocking productive output out of these men who in pre-modern times would have had no incentive to be productive. Women, in turn, received a provider, a protector, and higher social status than unmarried women, who often were trapped in poverty. When applied over an entire population of humans, this system was known as ‘civilization’.

Elsewhere, the author observes, and again i agree, that “Most single men could eke out a comfortable existence by working for two months out of the year.” The very fact that the phrase “marriage strike” is now familiar, indicates that many men have decided against marriage. Relative to a misandric civil marriage and divorce regime (Brown, 2013; Nathanson and Young, 2006) that decision is rational.

Who suffers? If willing, productive workers are good for ‘Society’, then when many men, who would have been such workers had they been given the choice of lifetime faithful marriage, instead become sporadic less motivated workers because they are single rather than risk present day civil marriage; ‘Society’ suffers for lack of their extra labour.

Who suffers? Women who do not find a good, willing bridegroom given Feminist civil marriage, but could commit to traditional lifetime faithful marriage, and could have married had they been able to—those women suffer.

The men who decline to marry, given that civil marriage is biased against them, are not suffering1; they are prudent. Feminist lobbying has made marriage a poorer choice for men, and fewer men are choosing it.

(Some, perhaps many men do suffer, who choose Feminist civil marriage thinking it is traditional lifetime faithful marriage.)

Feminist marriage has hurt ‘Society’ by reducing the motivation of millions of men, to work. It has hurt women who want legitimate children and a committed husband-father to help rear them, by tempting so many women in recent decades, to exploit good men.

Fifty-five years ago, and earlier, marriage was a good choice for the man who had a willing, compatible bride, as well as for the woman who had a willing, compatible bridegroom. Today, the woman has a burden of proof to bear, imposed by pernicious changes in civil marriage—a burden to prove that she will treat the man decently so long as they both shall live, despite legal incentives to exploit him.

Many ‘bad’ women have benefited because exploitation of men has been made so easy. Many good women have suffered because the law no longer supports and confirms their goodness. The women whose morality is somewhat selfish, have been tempted to go bad. And men have been discouraged from marriage and from working full time.

It’s not difficult to imagine how women who don’t bother to take thought, might see short term ‘benefit’ in marriage and divorce law being changed to favour them; but enough decades have now passed, for many intelligent women to recognize that the short term gain is being followed by long term pain. Older workers and employers are becoming aware that younger men—and many younger women—are not as diligent, disciplined workers as their elders were. That is not all there is to my assessment, that society now suffers from neglecting the value of men; but it is enough to demonstrate that society does indeed suffer, and that present-day women suffer.

So there was and is no threat intended—rather, a report of lowered motivation among many younger workers, of fewer marriage opportunities for young women, and a forecast that both these consequences of biasing civil marriage against the men involved, will get more-so rather than less-so. Reduced work incentive and the Marriage Strike are so natural they are simply to be expected, and thus, are already widespread2. Men are taking off the harnesses, and going free, and it’s only natural that more and more men will do so.

I cannot promise you, readers, nor can i promise “society”, that no men will ever get angry and “lash out”. Very possibly some will; and if they lash out at actual injustice, there’s a moral case such men could make, that “society deserves it.” My Christian teachings forbid vengeance, but not all men follow them.

What ought to be done? Offer, at least offer as a legally supported option, traditional lifetime faithful marriage. (cf. e.g. Crane, 2006, Zelinsky, 2006.)3 How many men do you suppose would choose today’s Feminist ‘marriage’ if legally supported fidelity were also available and the difference made clear?

Now suppose, as makes common sense, that divorce from a lifetime covenant marriage were allowed only for grievous fault [as was true of marriage law in the 1950s and in most of North America, the 1960s]; and further, that a spouse at fault could be awarded neither economic support payments from the wronged spouse, nor custody of children of the marriage.

A marriage alternative like that, might bring millions of men back to seriously considering marriage for themselves. It might be preferred by millions more who, in ignorance, have considered entering a civil marriage biased against them.

A marriage alternative like that, might improve the average mental health of children and reduce the crime rate! .. by way of more children being reared in homes with their fathers present.

(I’ll leave as “an exercise for the reader”, the task of describing what kind of men, if any, would prefer today’s civil marriage to covenant marriage, given both alternatives.)

The mid-20th Century may have seen the highest rates of marriage ever, for Europe and North America. We shouldn’t expect marriage rates to return to those levels, especially not given growing ecological scarcity. We could expect a significant fraction of men who now have taken off the harnesses, to put them on again when assured they will be harnessed equally with good wives.

It’s really sad how long Canada has failed to appreciate how socially toxic the loss of covenant marriage has been.

some References:

Brown, Grant A. 2004 “Gender as a Factor in the Response of the Law-Enforcement System to Violence Against Partners,” Sexuality and Culture, v. 8, Issues 3 & 4, pp. 3-139.

Brown, Grant A., 2013. Ideology And Dysfunction In Family Law: How Courts Disenfranchise Fathers. Calgary and Winnipeg: Canadian Constitution Foundation and Frontier Centre For Public Policy

Corry, Charles E. and David W. Stockburger, 2013. “Analysis of Veteran Arrests – El Paso County, Colorado“. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Equal Justice Foundation.

Crane,Daniel A. 2006. “A ‘Judeo-Christian’ Argument for Privatizing Marriage”.Cardozo Law Review. 27:3 [January] 1221-1260.

Daniels, Anthony M.D., 2014. “The Worldview that Makes the Underclass”. Speech delivered on May 20, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Dearborn, Michigan, and published in Imprimis,

“Futurist”, 2010. The Misandry Bubble . January 1.

Nathanson, Paul, and Katherine K. Young, 2006. Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination against Men Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Zelinsky, Edward A. 2006. “Deregulating Marriage: The Pro-Marriage Case For Abolishing Civil Marriage”. Cardozo Law Review. 27:3 January, 1161-1220.


1… that is, are not suffering given what choices they have. It would also be accurate to say many are denied the happiness that traditional marriage might have given, because such traditional marriage isn’t an available choice.

2. The degradation of marriage from covenant to biased civil contract, it seems fair to say, is not the only reason marriage rates have declined. In the mid-20th Century, wages and benefits were good enough to enable most skilled men to support a family; today they are not. Ecological scarcity is an important reason: The cheap raw materials that fed the Industrial Revolution are mostly exhausted; and population growth has naturally entailed greater demand for the more expensive to extract raw materials that remain. Many men in this decade, whose counterparts two generations ago could readily support a family with their jobs, cannot do likewise now.

3. Crane’s and Zelinsky’s articles are published in the Cardozo Law Review, a publication associated with the Jewish faith. Christian marriage is a lifetime faithful covenant, to call an easily broken contract, marriage, is in conflict with Jesus Christ’s own teachings [Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-8; cf. I Corinthians 7:10-11]. With two major faiths in support of covenant, it is shocking that Canadian law insists “marriage” must be a mere contract.

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About Davd

Davd (PhD, 1966) has been a professor, a single father keeping a small commercial herb garden so as to have flexible time for his sons, and editor of _Ecoforestry_. He is a practicing Christian, and in particular an advocate of ecoforestry, self-sufficiency horticulture, and men of all faiths living together "in peace and brotherhood" for the fellowship, the efficiency, and the goodwill that sharing work so often brings.
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