Because there’s nothing in it for them: What exactly does marriage offer men today? “Men know there’s a good chance they’ll lose their friends, their respect, their space, their sex life, their money and — if it all goes wrong — their family,” says Helen Smith, Ph.D., author of “Men on Strike.” “They don’t want to enter into a legal contract with someone who could effectively take half their savings, pension and property when the honeymoon period is over. Men aren’t wimping out by staying unmarried or being commitment-phobes. They’re being smart.”
Unlike women, men lose all power after they say “I do.” Their masculinity dies, too. What’s left of it, that is. In the span of just a few decades, America has demoted men from respected providers and protectors of the family to superfluous buffoons. Today’s sitcoms and commercials routinely paint a portrait of the idiot husband whose wife is smarter and more capable than he.
There was a time when wives respected their husbands. There was a time when wives took care of their husbands as they expected their husbands to take care of them.
Or perhaps therein lies the rub. If women no longer expect or even want men to “take care of” them — since women can do everything men can do and better, thank you very much, feminism — perhaps the flipside is the assumption that women don’t need to take care of husbands, either. And if no one’s taking care of anyone, why the hell marry?
For women, the reason is obvious: kids. Eventually most women decide they want children, no matter how long they put it off to focus on their careers. So they often nab the best guy they can find, usually the one with whom they’re currently sleeping, and convince him to get married.
If the man refuses, we call him, as Smith notes, a “commitment-phobe.” But is that fair? Perhaps these men know all too well that women initiate the vast majority of divorces — anywhere from 65-90 percent, depending on demographics. And when they do, they take the kids with them and hang hubby out to dry with the help of a court system that’s heavily stacked in their favor. In the past, Mom got the kids because she was home with them doing the thankless, unpaid, mountainous work associated with that role. Today, neither parent is home, so there’s no reason the default custodial parent should be Mom.
So remind me, why would a man marry today?
No, really. What’s in it for him?