Summary: For Generation Z, marriage will go from our dominant social institution to a minority preference. The reasons are obvious, if we have the will to look. Here is some speculation about the crash of our most important institution.
Prediction: Marriage rates are slowly falling. They will drop a lot in Generation Z (those born roughly in 1995-2005). The reasons are obvious. Only feminist ideology prevents us from seeing this, and preparing.
Why did men marry in modern America?
The reward for marriage was patriarchy. In a patriarchal system, a good wife was wonderful. She provided a boost to a man’s ego, an aid to his career, a wonderful home. The family defined his existence and gave meaning to his life.
But even with that reward, women still had to entice men to join the rat race. They dressed to attract the “male gaze” (stocking and pantyhose, skirts and dresses, makeup and nice hair). They deferred to men, pretending that men had “headship” in the home.
Marriage was the essence of bourgeois life. It was the pursuit of respectability, prosperity, and security. Men became domesticated. They married when they were supposed to. They worked hard to support their families. They raised kids when she wanted them. When she wanted another man, he quietly bowed out without fuss. When she wanted a divorce (about 40% of marriages), he bowed and wrote the checks as ordered by the woman-friendly courts.
The Left hated bourgeois life, as seen in their countless books and films about the horrors of suburban life in 1950’s America. They worked for generations to destroy it. Now they have succeeded. All that is gone, with last winter’s snow.
Feminism liberated women from the oppression of patriarchy. They have a new world of opportunities. Now they can dress to please themselves. They can treat marriage as an option (not an irreversible choice) and pursue independence instead of husbands. All this is right and proper under the rules that govern the West.
Although its foundations have washed away, marriage remains a powerful institution due to momentum. Much like the cartoon coyote racing off a cliff, we continue to run as if there was still ground under our feet. But that is only a phase in the process of change.
Insanity is changing the foundation
but expecting the building to remain the same.
Reformers seldom asked how these reforms changed the risk and rewards of marriage for men. Without patriarchy as a reward, what did marriage do for men? Without women working to entice men into marriage, might other pursuits seem more attractive to young men? Men are free agents, just as women are. They can choose other paths, just as women can.
Men now can easily get sex without marriage, as social reforms shifted the sexual market balance to favor men (see Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy by Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin).
By bourgeois norms, men become respectable through marriage. Freed from those, men can pursue cheaper sources of fun: porn, computer games, sports, and drugs.
By bourgeois norms, a placid and secure life is the highest goal. Men can die young in the harness of the rat race, or die at an advanced age in a nursing home. Freed from bourgeois norms, men can adopt older values. Such as partying hard and enjoying the unique thrills of high-risk activities. Nobody lives forever, so we can burn brightly in the few years we have! Alexander the Great died at 33, but lived a fuller life than most divorced men. We cannot be him, but we can admire and learn from him.
Thou know’st it’s common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.
— Queen Gertrude to Hamlet (Act I, scene 2).
Freeing men from the attractions of bourgeois family life brings another opportunity to society. In the bourgeois life, men’s wives and children are his hostages to fortune. They weld men’s allegiance to the current regime. “Better a hundred years of tyranny than a day of chaos.” Freed from the traditional loyalties that give meaning to life, men can seek new and more exciting projects. The thrills of revolution no longer have large costs and risks to him. The time and energy formerly devoted to the rat race can contribute to new and larger projects. There are fewer impediments to the growth of fanatical movements capable of reshaping society.
Bien pensant feminists write books and articles mocking young men who refuse to marry modern women and join the rat race. The men have the “Peter Pan” syndrome. But Peter Pan is a feminized version of boys, a young soyboy. That’s why Peter is usually played by a young woman. Generation Z might remind us of the true nature of young men, once unleashed.
“Unless you expect the unexpected you will never find truth, for it is difficult to discover.”
— Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic “Weeping Philosopher” of Ionia. But if you wait long enough, it will smack you in the face.