Men on Strike: The Atlas Society Asks Dr. Helen Smith

February 21, 2024 00:58:26
Men on Strike: The Atlas Society Asks Dr. Helen Smith
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
Men on Strike: The Atlas Society Asks Dr. Helen Smith

Feb 21 2024 | 00:58:26

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Show Notes

Join Atlas Society CEO Jennifer Grossman for the 193rd episode of The Atlas Society Asks where she interviews Dr. Helen Smith about her 2014 book "Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why it Matters."

Dr. Helen Smith, a forensic psychologist and wife of Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds unleashed a firestorm of controversy with a pointed 2008 column popularizing the slogan “Going Galt,” a reference to Atlas Shrugged and a provocative proposal: “Should productive people cut back on what they need, make less money, and take it easy so that the government is starved for funds, or is there some other way of making a statement?”

Smith continued the theme of withdrawal with her pivotal book Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream—and Why It Matters, which argues that “men aren’t dropping out because they are stuck in arrested development. They are instead acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers. In addition, men are going on strike, either consciously or unconsciously, because they do not want to be injured by the myriad of laws, attitudes and hostility against them for the crime of happening to be male in the twenty-first century.”

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the 193rd episode of the Atlas Society asks. My name is Jennifer Anju Grossman. My friends call me Jag. I'm the CEO of the Atlas Society. We are the leading nonprofit organization engaging young people with the ideas of Ayn Rand in fun, creative ways. Graphic novels, music videos, AI, animated book trailers, you name it. Today we are joined by Dr. Helen Smith. Before I even begin to introduce our guest, I want to remind all of you who are watching us on Zoom, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. Use the comment section to type in your questions, and we'll get to as many of them as we can. Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues and men's issues in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds a PhD from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree from the New School of Social Research and the City of University of New York. With more than 20 years of experience in private practice, Helen has written for numerous publications and is the author of several books, including the Scarred Heart, Understanding and identifying kids who kill and men on strike, why men are boycotting marriage, fatherhood, and the american dream, and why it matters. Helen, thank you for joining us. [00:01:37] Speaker B: Thank you so much for having me on today. I appreciate it. It's such an important. [00:01:44] Speaker A: It really, really, you know, one of the reasons, there's many reasons that I wanted to talk about this, but of course, Ayn Rand, in her novels, she had these almost stylized, very masculine heroes and feminine protagonists. And she wrote about the topic of masculinity in a way that was very kind of admiring of positive masculine qualities. And we seem to have kind of gone completely in the opposite direction. But I want to start a little bit with you and your origin story and kind of what originally led you to become interested in both youth at risk as well as men's issues. The field of forensic psychology holds a special fascination in popular culture, with series like CSI and true crime podcasts inspiring new generations to pursue the profession. So what inspired your early interest in the field? [00:03:04] Speaker B: Well, first I want to say I always like to bring out voices, like people talk about those voices that aren't heard. And I think we think it's sort of funny to think that men's voices aren't heard because we've always heard in the past, sometimes unfairly, that they're always out in the forefront. And I don't think that's true. And I think it was the same at the time I wrote the book discard hard. It was in the really wanted the voices of those young kids who were being bullied or harassed at school to be brought forward. But before that, I think just leading up to my interest in psychology, I had two things I wanted to be in life. One was to be an airplane pilot. But unfortunately, when I tried to join the air force, my eyes were really bad, and so I wear glasses, so I wasn't able to do that. But my other love was with psychology. And I always wondered, even when I was a kid, like, why people killed or what made people violent. And I think that really led me to really want to understand, psychologically just why people got so angry that they would kill someone. I guess I always understood anger. I guess I had a fair amount myself as a kid. I remember being always angry. I was libertarian from the start. When I was in elementary school, I remember having a debate with another girl. She told me I was lucky that I got an education at the school we went to. And I remember looking at her and being like, I'm being forced to be here against my will. I mean, looking back, I probably. Maybe I think I was wrong, though. I was like, I wasn't happy being here. I'm being forced to come. I think just the interest that I had, the understanding kind of. Of anger and what it was like to feel angry, and just the interest in why people were violent. And then as I got older, I took classes in psychology at the University of Tennessee. And I started becoming more interested in that field. And then as I got more into it, my background is in both clinical and school psychology. And I worked with kids and adults both in New York and then back here in Tennessee. So I think it was just having that base understanding and getting to see so many different kinds of clients that really helped me to really want to go into the forensic field. And when I say that, I think people misunderstand kind of what forensic psychology is. They think it's this glamorous thing like CSI. I once had a woman who came to as an assistant and she thought it'd be fascinating, the job would be so interesting. I had a private practice at the time. And I remember she came in and she was like, this is really like we were working with people who were drunk, who were mentally ill. I don't think it was a good time for her. I think people have this idea that it's really a fascinating field. CSI is more about criminal profiling. Forensic psychology is the intersection of law and psychology. So what we would do as a forensic psychologist might be to do a psychological assessment, say, of somebody who is going to stand trial. Are they competent to stand trial? Does a kid who is twelve at the time they murdered, can they be transferred to adult criminal court? And so those were some of the issues that I dealt with, both in my private practice and then I worked in juvenile court for years. I don't see that many patients anymore just because I kind of turned to in the early two thousand s, I really wanted to be a filmmaker. So I sort of worked on films and I started writing and kind of blogging and doing other things. And I think what happened is when I was in New York, I started seeing more and more men. And I just found that one of the first clients I had when I was an intern was a man and he was disabled and he was in a wheelchair and he was being abused and beaten by his wife. And I was in New York and it was a long time ago, so I tried to get help for him. Like what resources are available for an abused man? And there really weren't any. And so it really got me thinking at that time, a lot of men, this happens to men and they don't have any recourse. And so what are the things I could do, or what do we as a society need to change to help those men who might be being abused in a situation? Because it's not as rare as people think. It's actually fairly common. [00:07:23] Speaker A: Yeah. And we're going to get into that a little bit in talking about this book. But when you first published this, the Scarred Heart, it was back in 2000. Has the problem of violent kids improved or gotten worse in the intervening decades? [00:07:43] Speaker B: Well, I think kind of both. I think when I wrote that book, it was actually in the, took me three or four years to write. It came out in 2000. And around the 90s, if you remember, it was the Columbine, sort of, I think that kind of sparked and started a lot more. We had school shootings, obviously, they've been going on since the, even before we just didn't really know about it much because of there wasn't the media that we have now. But I think that violence has increased in the sense there are more and more shootings, more and more mass killings, which get a lot of media attention. But when you just look at violence overall right now, I think overall some of the violence is actually down by juveniles, not necessarily by adults, but by juveniles. It sort of ebbs and flows. Right now, I think we have had in 2022 some of the highest numbers of school shootings, and you're seeing that more and more. What's interesting, I think since COVID since the kids have come back to school in 2023, I think we've seen sort of much. I mean, every time you watch the news now, it seems like some kid is getting on and shooting up a school. I think while the overall level has declined, some, I think that these horrible mass killings have increased. [00:09:07] Speaker A: How has the increased access and increased potency of drugs like marijuana impacted the mental health and potential for violence? Among the. [00:09:21] Speaker B: Start, I sort of think about that and, well, you know, you think of people who use marijuana as being more sedate, but they have done studies. Actually, there is one study they did, and they looked at Oregon, which was one of the first states to completely legalize marijuana, and they found that the juvenile rate of crime did increase after they legalized marijuana. What happened is there were more property crimes, more burglaries and more aggressive assaults. So they did find some increase. And I think some of the potency and the increase in some of the drugs that people use, obviously, you saw like the October 7 with Hamas, they were using kind of methamphetamines to enhance that killing. So I think mainly people use those after they get to a point where they are going to kill and they use them to enhance that process. Do they cause people to kill? That's an open ended question. People also have concern about the psychotropic. They, there have been a lot of studies looking at that. Has that increased kids potential for mass shootings or killings at, you know, the research doesn't really. Again, it's unclear. The New York Times did a study. They saw that the psychotropic drugs, actually people weren't taking them. And I found that in my own practice, I dealt with people who were potentially violent. And it seemed like when they would go off their medication is when the problem started, because they would sort of be on a spiral and a roller coaster because they're taking the drug, and then they suddenly stop, especially an antipsychotic. [00:10:59] Speaker A: Got it. So I was talking to our founder, David Kelly, a little while ago. He's very excited that you were coming on the show because you first showed up on our radar in 2008 in one of your columns, which popularized the slogan going Gault as the Tea Party movement was gathering strength, you posed the provocative question, quote, should productive people cut back on what they need, make less money and take it easy so that the government is starved of funds? Or is there some other way of making a statement with that? You hit on one of the central themes of Atlas Shrugged, which is the idea of withdrawing the sanction of the victim and refusing to let your productive energies support your oppressors. So first, I'd like to ask, when and how did you discovered Ayn Rand and how her ideas resonated with. [00:11:58] Speaker B: Know, I was trying to think about that. Like I said, I'd been a libertarian from a young age, but I didn't really read much on Rand when I was young. I think I was older. I'm going to say I was probably in my so or 30s even. But Atlas shrugged, it always resonated with me. And I think the thing I loved about Iran was her un, like you were saying, she's so passionate, kind of, about the traits that men have. And I so appreciated that because I found that it was so rare sometimes for authors, particularly female authors, to be so abusive and to see those as great qualities. But I think Alice Shrugg would have been my favorite book, obviously, because I absolutely adored that idea. Because when I was growing up, I felt like I didn't understand why it was that people who were productive were always supposed to be out doing something. I always felt like I was a productive person. And I guess I didn't understand why other people weren't. But then I also didn't understand why people felt it was okay to take things from other people. I always felt like people owned themselves and it didn't seem fair. And I think Angran really brought those. It confirmed to me that the feelings I had and that the ideas I had, that somebody else understood those in such a deep level. And so it really resonated her ideas. And I think her being a woman and just not using that, you never saw Enran so much being like, oh, I'm a woman. It was always like, these are my ideas. And that is what I appreciated so much about her. [00:13:33] Speaker A: Yes, as an individualist, first and foremost. Did you get any responses to that column? Did you see examples of people finding ways to go gone? [00:13:45] Speaker B: I still have some of that. I actually put up that I was going to be on this show, and I said, we're going to talk about going vault. And some of the readers on my husband's blog, instapundit.com. And they got on and said, yeah, I'm going fault myself right now. Yeah. And years ago, I wrote that column was in 2008. And yes, I got a lot of responses. I think I got a couple of hundred responses. And people, I did a men's blog. Like, I had a blog called Dr. Helen, and that's where I wrote this piece. And so it was really a blog for men to kind of come on and to talk about their experiences in the world. So a lot of the responses were from men and women, but the responses ranged from things like, yeah, I'm going Gault, because I'm going to quit my job. I'm 50, and instead of retiring in ten years, I'm going to spend the next ten years having doing something else. Or the other way people went, Gault is they told me, they were saying, like, well, don't join the military. Why should we as men put our lives on the line for people who don't care? Other ways of going, Gault, are the marriage strike. If you actually look at what's happening with men, a lot of them, I'm not saying all men who aren't married are going, gulp. But a lot of them said, you know what? I'm not doing it. I think the legalities for men of marriage is such that they're supposed to produce and bring things to the marriage. And if it breaks up, a lot of the responsibility is on them. And I think as it gets harder and harder as a man to, I think any individual man can have an okay time. But I think it's extremely hard for some men when they do get divorced because the law is not on their side. And I think because of that, a lot of men feel that going vault is just bailing out. The other thing people do is just spend less money. [00:15:32] Speaker A: Yeah, no, I think that there are. I thought, actually a lot about this at the time, and I thought that if enough people did it at the same time, that there could be a way to kind of shock the system and starve it of the funds that it needed to continue to do all of this government overreach. Okay. In your book, men on strike, you write, quote, men today feel very much like Rand's characters in Alice Shrugged, knowing that they can be exploited for their sense of duty, production and just being male at any time. You argue that the trends of men avoiding fatherhood, marriage, withdrawing from the dating scene entirely, dropping out of college, or leaving the workforce, isn't just a case of arrested development or Peter Pan syndrome, but rather irrational responses to a society in which they sense the deck is stacked against them. And I understand just now you let me know that you're working on a follow up book to update this. So what are some examples of that. [00:16:59] Speaker B: Of men going on strike? Well, I think when I started my book in around 2012, a lot of the books were surrounding they would be like, manning up. Kate hamowitzwired a book, manning up or they'd be like, save the males. Like, save the whales or something. And it'd be talking about how men were just, they released Peter Pan. They were under arrested development. This is why they didn't want to man up and go out with women and marry them and do all the things they were supposed to do. But the men I actually talked to, and people say, I talk directly to men. And that's what the sort of new thing about men on strike was. So many books, look, and they try to analyze the author's view, and I think what's so interesting is, as psychologists, I think you have to ask men what they think. So when I'd say to men, like, what's your view? They'd say, well, why should I get married? If I get married, the woman is going to expect me to keep the house. If I don't do the type of work she likes, she's going to get angry. Men, believe it or not, men are still expected. American society hasn't changed. They have in terms of women, but in terms of men, our society expects. Pew research did a study, and they found that currently 72% of Americans think that to be a good husband or partner, you must provide the majority of the breadwinning in the house. And they only feel this way. About 32% of the women, they even need to provide anything. So men are expected to provide the resources and to participate fully in the children and the home. And if the 50% chance that their marriage will break up, they then are left to put the bill for whatever alimony. Again, alimony is a little antiquated, but there's still the child support. And I think that men feel like this is a really raw deal. Right. The kids are not seen as the man's. They're kind of seen as the woman's. Today, years ago, the children were more seen as the man's, which you would say isn't fair. But is it any more fair that today we have coverture? Coverture being that term. That means that men used to hold the cards in marriage, but now women hold that coverture. And I think men just feel that it's a really bad situation, and why would they invest in that, especially legally? And the thing I find interesting is I think the younger guys are starting to pick up on this and understand this a lot more. The other thing men are doing, when I wrote my book, they were talking about someday men would only be 40% of college students. Well, today they are. When I wrote my book, it was somewhere around, I think it was 45 55, something like that, in early mid 2010 or so. But now we see 60% women going to college, 40% men. So fewer and fewer men are going to college. I don't know that they're going on strike as much as they're finding other avenues. You might say they're going gault. And they're saying, you know what? I even have family members. They look at this and they're like, a lot of guys don't want to go to school, to college because they almost see it as a girl. It's almost like as a very feminized place that doesn't want them. It's a hostile work environment for them, and I think a lot of them are turning to the trade. I have one family member going into welding who's 20. He decided not to go to college. I talk to men all the time who are going into other sorts of fields. A lot of men try to go into engineering or some field. I even have men that I've been interviewing recently who told me that they're not really going golf, but they look into their jobs. One guy works at a hospital, and he's like, okay, I'm going to go try just to work with men, because I'm so afraid that if I am with a group of women, they might accuse me of something, or I'll just be seen as this bad guy. And so I think men are finding their own way, whether that you want to call it going Gault or just a different lifestyle that takes them out of the mainstream of what people expect of them. [00:21:00] Speaker A: All right, I'm going to dip into some of these questions that we're getting over the transom here, though I still have a lot of questions of my own on Facebook. Zachary Wren asks, are there any common trends in childhood development when there's only one parent versus two? I think maybe this could go back to. [00:21:23] Speaker B: Identify part. Yes. I think what we see now is that most kids, particularly boys, grow up without a father. And there's an excellent book called the Boy Crisis, which is written by Warren Farrell. It's a great book, looking at what happens when you just have a mom in the house and there's no dad. And I think particularly what we're seeing with boys, and that may be the trend of what's happening today. Boys go through their whole childhood now, and their development is such that boys, we don't realize, are much more sensitive to girls about their surroundings, and they do worse in school when families are broken up. If they don't have a dad in the home, they tend to turn to more criminal activities. And I'm not saying kids, but they can be perfectly fine. That's the majority of kids. But I do think boys do suffer. They found even more greatly than girls, and in different ways. I think boys don't understand boundaries as well as they used to. And that may be why we see more and more boys acting out in certain ways, because a father teaches boundaries and we have all this research. People want to look at it, the social science research, and say, oh, well, women could do just as good a job alone. But I think having two parents, even if it's two same sex parents, that still is a good thing. I think a child with two loving parents, I think that's always going to be a bit more positive. [00:22:51] Speaker A: Have a couple of questions here about the juvenile court system, which you've worked in, juvenile justice. If you had to name one, two or three top reforms, how would you like to see the juvenile justice system changed, both to help prevent this from happening, but also to protect the public? [00:23:19] Speaker B: I think that goes back to a mental health and not necessarily juvenile justice. What's happening is all the kids that I would see in court had mental health issues, severe ones, where they should have been in a mental facility or get some type of treatment, and that treatment isn't provided anymore. So now there are juvenile facilities are simply holding cells for children. And a lot of times these kids, and as a libertarian, you could probably really appreciate that a lot of times these kids didn't commit a crime. They're being locked up because they ran away from a bad home life or they were mentally ill. The juvenile system I would like to see, the biggest reform would be to reform the mental health system. When I was young, when I was 18, I worked at Lakeshore, which was a mental health institute here in Tennessee. It was a huge institute. All of the institutes around the country have been closed down, and we don't have any community support. So I would like to see more community support for juveniles. I also would like to see more consequences. I've worked with kids who have committed very heinous crimes. One boy, I evaluated him. He was twelve years old, and he had murdered someone. This was in Nashville. And the thing is, he had had some lower level crimes from eight on, and there were no consequences. The juvenile system simply took him, said he's eight, and returned him home. No consequences, nothing. So the boy would escalate to slashing tires, to stealing cars, to finally murdering someone. And by the time I saw him, he didn't even understand. He didn't understand why he was even in jail. So I think that we need to focus more on prevention at younger and younger ages and to maybe enforce more consequences and not just turn kids loose without anything. [00:25:11] Speaker A: Candice Moreno on Facebook asks. Family court appears to have a strong bias against men. Do you think this is true? Is there a way to fix this? [00:25:20] Speaker B: Yes, I absolutely think this is true. All the men I talk to, a lot of them do complain. I talk to fathers all the time who they're getting divorced. Unless the mother is so unfit she can't watch the kids, it doesn't seem to matter. The custody is usually pretty much given to her. 80%, I don't really understand this. But still, 80% of the time, women get the custody of children. One of the things I tell men, I don't know, the family reform, yes, they need to be more open, and I think that is starting to turn a little bit in some states. They do have some better laws in family court, but I think it's getting harder, and it is still very hard. And there is definitely a lot of bias. I would say what would need to change is judges being more aware that fathers are parents, and we are asking them to be more and more invested, and they are, which is a great thing. But it's really hard to be a dad who's invested if the legal system isn't giving you that equal time with your children. So I would say that time with children needs to be shared, and I think that some states are moving in that direction. [00:26:35] Speaker A: So one of the discriminatory practices you described that shocked me was that of certain airlines refusing to seat unaccompanied minors next to men, which sends the message to all men that they're viewed as potential pedophiles. Is that still happening? And what are some examples, other examples of presumptions of male guilt by companies or institutions? [00:27:07] Speaker B: That was actually something happening. I wrote about that in my book. It was in 2012. There were a couple of airlines. One of them, I believe, was british. One of them was Virgin Atlantic. And that was an australian airline that they had moved. A man, like a child was sitting next to him, and they would call the man up and kind of loudly announce he needed to move to the back of the plane, which was obviously humiliating for a man to think that you'd be a pedophile. And then British Airways did the same thing to another man. And so there was lawsuit. British Airways was sued, and then they changed their policy. So luckily, in the United States, supposedly there aren't any laws on the books, but the airlines at this point do have the right. And I think some of them, after that whole, all those incidents in 2012, did evaluate their policy, and now their policy is to move kids. I think unaccompanied minors, they try to keep them maybe near the front of the plane where the flight attendant can watch them, and that way an adult doesn't have to sit by them. So I think there have been some solutions, and I haven't heard about too many other cases other than that. There's a lot of institutional bias against men that people aren't even aware of. I think one of the ones people don't realize goes on is if a man wants a vasectomy, it isn't that the law forces says your wife has to sign off, but in a lot of doctor's offices, men can't get a vasectomy unless their spouse approves it, or a doctor will deny them that vasectomy and they'll have to go somewhere else. I mean, usually you can find somebody, but I even had military men who would tell me that they couldn't get a vasectomy until their wife signed off on it. So I think people don't realize how much kind of institutional discrimination there is against men. [00:28:53] Speaker A: I mean, can you imagine if a woman wanted to get her tubes tied, but the doctors wouldn't perform it unless the husband signed? [00:29:03] Speaker B: I think people are much more likely to yell or to cause a scene if that happened to a woman. And when you look it up online, you have to really dig down to find the vasectomy stories, because it's always about a woman. And I'm not saying that didn't happen. I mean, I'm sure there are doctors who might ask a woman, but I don't think we think about it in reverse. That's actually happening, too. The other place where men are discriminated against. And this goes back to child development. More and more boys go through the day early in life where they don't see a man. They might live with a single mom. They go to school. Only 8% of kindergarten teachers are men, and 78% of, I believe, high school are overall. So most of the time, a boy isn't going to be around a man. And the main reason men don't want to become like people always say, oh, men don't want to be teachers. It's just not prestigious enough. Well, no, I talked to lots of guys who would love to do that kind of work, but they are viewed, they've done studies, and they find they are viewed as pedophiles. People are like, why are they wanting to be, like, a teacher of young children? And they are less likely to be hired and more likely to be discriminated against. I've even seen this myself firsthand, where you'll see a male teacher and the other female teachers will be bitching or saying things about. Sorry. Will be saying things about the man like, he's not working hard enough, he's not doing this, he's not doing that. And I thought, well, if it was a woman, would they really be openly telling somebody, like, this person isn't working, they'll just openly do that about a man. So I think there are a lot of areas. If a man kind of goes, and you can see that today, like, I'll be talking just to a woman or something. And women feel very free to badmouth a man at any time. And in ways that you think there's no way they would say that about a woman. I think it's just open season. [00:30:50] Speaker A: So one of the talks I give to student groups is girls gone woke, why young women need Ayn Rand. And in it, I talk about this deepening ideological divide among young people, with twice as many 12th grade boys identifying as conservative versus progressive. Only 13% of twelveth grade boys identify as on the left. But the situation more than flips when it comes to twelveth grade girls, with only 12% of twelveth grade girls identifying as conservative, which you can use as a bookmark, if you will, for libertarian, whatever flavor of not on the left. I have had my own theories about this, but now that I have the opportunity to talk to somebody who's researched and written extensively about young people and also men's issues, what do you think might be driving the polarization? [00:31:58] Speaker B: I want to hear your theory, but I'm going to first tell you a little bit about what I think, and then I would like to hear what you think. I think girls have been turning left for a long time. I think it is extremely popular. I think girls are very much into Faz. We see that with influencers, with more and more girls, obviously using social media, with Instagram, with all of those things. But it came even before that. I think girls, they have somewhat of a more, I'm going to say fashion heard mentality. I think they don't believe in individual rights as much. It is actually true. I did a paper, I remember in graduate school, looking at moral development and women. When you look at the stages, women didn't believe in as much about individual rights. So I think some of it starts there and some of it, I think a lot of it obviously, is social media and the fact that indoctrinating these women with Facebook, and I know you've had Greg Lupion up on the show and talking about all of those things of the codling of the american mind, this whole woke mentality. And I know a lot of people like Jonathan Hay, who is a psychologist, I believe he used to be at Virginia, but he's a social psychologist and he really thinks it's the iPhone in 2012. But all of this started way before that. So I think it has to do with media, from tv to, you get a lot of kudos. You get a lot of when you are a victim, the whole democratic party is about victim status. And when you are a victim, it's just so much easier. If you're a woman, if you're a guy and you start crying and complaining, you are seen as a loser. You'll get nowhere. You won't get a date. You'll be called names with women. When people have a victim mentality for a girl, people come to your aid. Being a girl who's a victim is power. Is power. It's like being beautiful. It is a powerful aphrodisiac. And I think more and more women, it does give them power. It gives them the power that if people are victims, then they're going to get what they want. I think girls turn to that. And there's also this anti male mentality that's really been going on, honestly, since the mean that has been progressing on and on. So I think that women are simultaneously taught that men are no good toxic masculinity. You don't want to be like them, and you certainly don't want to be a conservative. So I think for women, it's a more comfortable place to be, unfortunately. Now what's happening? Like you said, the dating pool. And I'm talking to men for my new book, and all of the men I talk to, most of them report being right leaning and that it's very hard to find a date. And when they do go out with a woman, most of them are more accepting of a liberal woman. They're like, oh, well, that would be okay. But she doesn't like any of my ideas. If I say anything, she starts yelling. So I think a lot of guys just, they don't want to. We're making it so it's hard. [00:34:53] Speaker A: Don't want to be yelled at. Oh, yeah, that would kind of be a buz guilt? Yeah, well, I have a couple of them. I think that given that there's like this hierarchy of victimhood status, the privileged walks in the privileged walks, it'll be the white men, but they're still going to be behind the white women. So they really are at the bottom of the totem pole. And so being demonized and being told that you're no good, and then you might get wind of like a Jordan Peterson or somebody else who has a whole different way of thinking about things. And even if you were raised to think that that was taboo or stupid, you really, on a very personal level, want to know. But I also think that there is roe versus Wade and the abortion issue. I think that also there's hormones and estrogen at the twelveth grade level that girls might feel like, oh, well, these are the policies of kindness and helping and caring and compassion. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. They're the policies of coercion and theft. But I can see that might be a possibility as well. But I also do put stock in the arguments that Luciana lays out, that by overprotecting kids, denying them the ability to gain confidence, that they are resilient and can overcome that, I think that the girls might be even more susceptible to that, to the idea they are. [00:37:06] Speaker B: And they have a very internal locus, their external locus to control. Girls tend to be more externally. I think the boys, when you look at it, and I know Jonathan Hay, the social psychologist, broke it down looking at liberal girls. And the thing that's interesting is most of the liberal girls said that 50% of liberal girls have been diagnosed with a mental illness by an actual doctor or psychologist. That's a lot of these girls. And at the same time they feel very self derogatory about themselves. They feel badly. I can't do anything. I'm not good. I'm not the captain of my own ship. And I think if anything, I'm rand would appreciate being understanding that you're the captain of your own ship. You can do things in the world. And I think women ultimately, some of them don't really believe that. So I think they use this victimhood as almost like a substitute, because you would have to stand up and say, you know what? I'm going to do that. And I am going to be the master of myself. And I think it goes back to, people are afraid of freedom. People ultimately, I don't know if you've ever read the book Escape from Freedom by Eric Fromm, the psychoanalyst. But he talks about how people are so afraid that it produces anxiety and fear. And I think that's what a lot of girls have. And I think, I don't want to generalize too much. Obviously, women, we're also into individual rights and strength. But as a whole, when you look at it, I think that women are much more afraid to be who they are or to stand up or to be against the herd. And I do think being a victim or being part of woke politics is a way to fit in in a way that boys can't. [00:38:54] Speaker A: I think what you mentioned about this being sort of a contagion and an infection. And women generally, especially as they're in school growing up, being even more concerned about fitting in, being even more concerned about not stemming. So that let's say that sometime in the mythical past, it was twelveth grade, girls were 50 50, conservative and on the left, and then it became 55 45, and then it's 60. And then all of a sudden they're like, oh, my God, we're in the minority. We got to make sure that we're not the ones that people are pointing. [00:39:36] Speaker B: Girls have always been somewhat more liberal than men, or women are somewhat more, because there's the whole women view themselves as more nurturing, more kind, that kind of thing. But it actually is almost the opposite. The men I meet, they do things on a daily basis. I guess that's what fascinates me so much about men is they don't say a word. And a lot of times they're out there like you watch them and they're out there building something or planting plants around your house or construction, or they're just out quietly doing things. They're police officers or they do things. And I think that that's a way of nurturing, that's a way of helping, too. But I think people don't see the things that men do as kind or nurturing. For example, the only way women or the media think that if men are doing housework or watching kids, that's good. But if they're driving you around or they are doing yard work or fixing your car, that's not good. It's like people make a decision about what men should or shouldn't do and what's good and what's bad. And I just think that we have to appreciate men for those things that they do that are important also. [00:40:50] Speaker A: So I mentioned abortion and reproductive freedom, and we were talking about the political dichotomy between male and female 12th grade kids. So obviously on a lot of women's voters minds in these days, it's going to be abortion now that Roe versus Wade has been overturned, but the issue of male reproductive rights barely gets any attention. And given that it is women who must carry a fetus to term if they're denied the right to seek abortion, I do think it's an important distinction. But talk a little bit about paternity fraud and other ways in which men are being coerced into bearing responsibility for children. They did not consent to concede because it was pretty eye opening. [00:41:44] Speaker B: Well, I'd first like to say that men have to use their bodies in ways all the time. We force men to conscription. We tell men they have to go to war, they have to sign up. I mean, right now, maybe they don't have to go, but we do force men and their bodies in all kinds of ways that nobody really cares about. In addition to that, I'd also like to add that for 18 years, if this woman decides to carry the fetus to term, she makes that decision. If she does, then that means that the man is forced, if he doesn't want the child, to pay for that child for 18 years or go to jail. So it isn't like men, they have to use their body for 18 years. It isn't like we don't use men's bodies in a different kind of way. But as far as paternity fraud, people give estimates about, it is fairly common. There have been estimates of, say, 5%. Paternity fraud is basically when a child isn't the man's. Like, in other words, a woman has a child, he finds out it's not his. So essentially, they call them Duke dads. I mean, a dad who finds out a kid isn't his, that ranges between about five and 30% of the time. And, of course, with the new dna testing that we have so much, I think they're finding there's more and more cases of that. But what we have now is if a man finds out a child isn't his, he still has to pay child support, particularly if he's married. There's what's called presumptive paternity. And if a man's married, it doesn't matter if the woman had five affairs down the street. That child is his and he must pay for it. No matter how angry, no matter how frustrated, no matter if he wants a divorce, that he must pay for that child. So I think that when people talk about women's rights, reproductive rights, I always look at them and I say, you name me. Name me three reproductive rights a man has. I've never had anybody name one. Men don't really have any reproductive rights. I hear what you're saying. I understand. I think that, yes, women, obviously, they do carry the fetus. Obviously we have other issues there. But it isn't like men shouldn't be allowed to participate. There are a lot of statutes in different places, like Georgia. There was a guy, Carnell Smith, that I interviewed for my book, and Mr. Smith found out his eight year old daughter wasn't his. He was divorced, or it was his girlfriend that had the child. He didn't want to pay child support anymore. He said, this isn't my kid. And the court said, no, you have to pay. And so he literally was like a one man show. He went all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court and got that overturned. And now I think a lot of states will have a time limit, like you have three months to a year to establish fraternity or not. But he got it where they increased it to where if you had, say, an eight year old child, you could still fight not to pay that child support. [00:44:34] Speaker A: So this is a great question from Facebook. I was thinking about this, too. Alan Thomason asks, why do you think young men are lost without many role models and turn to extremes like Andrew Tate? Are you familiar with Andrew Tate? Okay. And then just talk a little bit about the pickup artist type fads out there and why they're so popular. [00:45:02] Speaker B: Well, I mean, she sort of hit on it. The men don't have any role models. Nobody teaches them anything anymore, and they're basically lost. In fact, I think I saw recently that boys are actually turning to chat gp to sort of find out about dating because they really don't understand. So if they have no role model, nobody to really talk to them about how to date or do anything, I don't think Andrew Tate's a great example. But I have to turn to someone like Jordan Peterson, who obviously is a psychologist. He understands the psychology of boys and men and what they need and want. And I think that those ideas are not bad things. I also think women misunderte how hard it is. Here's an example. Women, the majority of women say you go to a dating app. The majority of women find most men undatable. In the past, young men might have been able to find somebody. Most women wanted a husband. Nowadays, women don't need a husband, right, which is good. They can make their own money. They don't need that. But at the same time, men feel that they don't really have a place. And women more and more, especially the younger women are expecting men. They find the men undatable. And you're like, well, how are the men undatable? Well, it turns out most women want a man 6ft and up. Most women want a man who makes money or has a job. All of those things are getting more and more difficult for men. And I think those men who have say, you have just a regular job and you're five eight. Those men tell me it's really hard for them. I've talked to men who look fabulous. They're great guys and everything, and it's still hard for them to get a date or they're short. So I think women's standards somehow have increased. And at the same time, the guys level of education, those other things that they want, have decreased. So there's sort of a mismatch, I think, that seems to be picking up. As the men get older, they do become more desirable, which is not great because the men get older and they date down into the dynamic kind of changes, because as I talk to older women who sort of have the same problem, they always say, like, older men don't really want me because I'm older. So I think there's sort of a mismatch. But also, why do men. I mean, I think they turn to those men because they're looking for some kind of help and they're not going to get it from reading about how to be a nice guy. [00:47:28] Speaker A: Yeah. Okay. Instagram. Isabel. Mariana, I notice she's on Instagram. I noticed that many men look for relationships with women overseas, where masculinity is still valued, as I'm sure also a green card might be. But anyway, rather than date people in the United States. Have you seen this? [00:47:54] Speaker B: They have a name for it. I forget what it is, but it's like passport bros. Passport bros, they call them. So these passport bros, do they want to go overseas and find a woman because they say they're more feminine? That doesn't always work out so well. Some of the men, they go over, they get the women, the women come back here and they can still have the same issues. But I do think it goes to the issue of respect. I think american men do not feel respected. That is the one thing in my book that I found out and that I'm talking to men about now. The biggest thing they talk about is respect. That they do not feel respected by american women. And I think even in their mind, whether true or not, they feel that these women overseas do respect them and feel that. I think it's important for men to show that they are masculine, and I think that they want somebody who isn't going to think that that's toxic. [00:48:51] Speaker A: You titled the final chapter of your book fighting back going Gault, or both. What are some of the solutions and suggestions for changing the culture so that men don't miss out on opportunities to thrive in education, lead productive lives, and fulfilling lives that include family and so that the rest of us don't miss out on their contributions and company? [00:49:22] Speaker B: Well, I think the last question sort of hit on it. I think having respect for men, I think having that respect shows that you appreciate those things that they do. You don't set men up for failure, for example, even as a young boy. We want to set men up for success just like we do women. And I think we've thought so much about what women need and what women, and for good reason, because before women needed those things. But I think now we're seeing that boys also, we need to sort of get that back to the, I think. I think young boys having those role models so that it doesn't become Andrew Tate, it becomes maybe a male role model, whether that be a teacher. So I think we need to respect more men who go into the field, not see them as perverts. But how do we make education and those sorts of teaching and that kind of thing attractive to men? And I think just understanding men and listening, I think we don't do a good job of listening because women, many times when I talk to women, they talk about themselves or what they need, but they don't stop and think about what men need sometimes. And I think that we also need to look at these schools, from colleges to the elementary schools. They are very feminized. We do not have a classroom that is really made up for boys, the classrooms, and an active girl either. But if somebody is very active, so many boys now are put on Retalin or other medications for ADHD because they can't sit still. But that's just sometimes called a regular boy, and it isn't always a case. The child needs to be medicated. So I think we really need to get back to, hey, boys are people, too. They're human beings. And how do we make the school systems and the culture positive for both sexes? Because we're all missing out, believe me. I talk to women, too, and I hear more complaints from women. Women aren't happy. You look at the data and you see that women aren't happy with this dating situation. They want a guy. And I think because everybody's so afraid. It leaves such great women out in the cold, too. I see great women every day saying, why isn't there a guy out there for me? And that's a shame, because I think that we've alienated so many men in the culture that the men just. I think that a lot of them just given up. And I think also look outside the box if you're looking for a man. I think that six foot man making a certain amount of money, there's other people out there. And sometimes you have to kind of. [00:51:57] Speaker A: Look past superficial qualities. Yeah. So you talked right before we jumped on about the interviews that you're doing for an updated version of Men on Strike and thinking about what's happened in the intervening years since you published the book. And, of course, one of the things that's happened is this whole explosion of trans mania. And I've had J. Michael Bailey, and he's the author of the man who would be Queen, who's an academic researcher who studied gender dysphoria, which has historically been just a very tiny minority of very young males who were confused about their gender. And if who, left to their own devices, at least this researcher found, would tend to grow up to become well adjusted homosexual men, rather than continuing to think that they were in the wrong body or something like that. Now, of course, boys identifying as girls, that's gone up. But nothing like the huge explosion of young women identifying as boys. So I guess it kind of begs the question, if things are so bad for boys, why do so many young girls want to become them? [00:53:29] Speaker B: I don't think they want to become them. I think they're still a girl becoming. They're still basically a girl who wants to be a boy. And I think the idea for them is to be something different. Today it is about being something different. If you're just a plain girl, that's not good enough. And I think, again, it kind of goes back to. I'm not saying everybody is a fad for all girls, because I think there's generally some people who are unhappy in their body and that this is very maybe freeing for them. But at the same time, there are also girls who just. The trans movement, I think it sort of swept everybody up. Again, it could be a fad if it's so great to be. Nora Vincent was an author, and she wrote a book called Self Made man in 2008, where she dressed up like a man and lived for a man for a year. And she said it was the hardest experience of her life. She said people don't care about you emotionally. She went out on dates where they denigrated men. She said going to work was very difficult because you had to have this bravado that as a woman, you just didn't have to have. And so I think that these girls aren't really living as a, and some of them are. I mean, I remember, wasn't it Chaz Bono? Sonny and Cher's was a daughter who transitioned to being male. And he said when he was with Dancing with the Stars that he was discriminated against for being a man. So I don't know that men have it so good. I think that the women and maybe they perceive, everybody tells you that these men are so privileged and it's such a great life, but it'd be interesting to find out what they really think as time goes on. [00:55:04] Speaker A: Yeah, that is like, wait a second. I thought I was going to be. [00:55:08] Speaker B: Yeah, I thought I was going to have a great time. [00:55:10] Speaker A: Bruce, what happened to my male privilege now that I'm transitioned? [00:55:14] Speaker B: Well, if there's such male privilege and men are so happy, why are the majority of the 50,000 people that killed themselves last year men? I mean, is it such a great life? I don't know. [00:55:24] Speaker A: So we are just in our closing few minutes of this wonderful, fascinating interview, Helen, anything that you didn't get the chance to cover that you'd like to end with or talk about your next book. [00:55:43] Speaker B: So I'm working on a book now. It's going to be with encounter books, the same publisher I had for men on strike. And it is going to be called, tentatively, the men's center. It's men speak out on dating, marriage and life in 21st century America. So I'm just doing interviews with men across the country. So that should hopefully be out later this year. But if there's any men out there who'd like to be interviewed, I do like an hour interviews with people. I don't blog right now, but people can reach me on my Facebook page. At Facebook you can just. Helen SMithphD if you go there, you can message me if you want to see my other book. Men on strike, of course, is at Amazon, but you can also download a free copy of the Scarred heart. And that is an old website I started in the late 90s. So the scarred heart you can get for free, and that [email protected] but if you just google the scarred heart, it should pop up. And there's a place on my website to download that for free if you want to read it. And again, it's over 20 years old, but it's just interviews with kids who have killed and who are violent. [00:56:49] Speaker A: Helen, I think the next book after the men's center should be a beauty book because this was you. [00:56:55] Speaker B: A beauty book ten years ago. [00:56:57] Speaker A: This is you. [00:56:59] Speaker B: That was me. No, that book was written. That was in 1997. That book was written a long time ago. I wrote the scar. So that book is ten years old. And the other book is literally, I wrote that in 97. [00:57:13] Speaker A: And look at how beautiful you are today. [00:57:16] Speaker B: Well, thank you. Ditto. [00:57:19] Speaker A: All right, my dear. Well, please give my regards to Glenn. And when you guys are next out on this coast, I look forward to hosting a dinner party or a new book. Thank you. And I want to thank everybody else who showed up today. Thanks for all of your great questions. I know if you're primarily following the Atlas Society on social media, you might just think of us as some kind of content provider. But we're actually a nonprofit, and our work is engaging young people with the ideas of inrand. So if you haven't yet donated to the Atlas Society, please go over to forward slash donate and whatever size donation will be matched by our very generous board next week. I've got the week off because Atlas Society senior scholars Stephen Hicks and Richard Salzman will host a special webinar titled, is the naturalistic Fallacy see a fallacy? The case of Economics. So hope to see you then. Thank you.

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