If the media could invent a headline that comprehensively described the definitive news of the world today, it would be something like Experts Confirm Top Rail Is on Bottom. For almost my entire working life I have been hearing how the upper classes are being displaced by the lower ones, the American native-born by immigrants from everywhere, the white race by the colored ones, the Northern Hemisphere by the Southern Hemisphere. Lately I have seen stories in the press claiming that men are being replaced by women in education and at work. Forty years ago, it was a commonplace on the feminist left that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” In those days, the significance of this bon mot was fairly limited. Women did not need men for protection, financial support, companionship, or personal fulfillment. And they did not need husbands for sex, or for childrearing. Later, after the further development of biotechnology, women did not need men themselves, but male vital fluids merely, for the conception of children.
All this is now old hat. According to statistical surveys, women don’t need men for anything, and neither does the world itself. If we are to believe what we are told, women outnumber men in institutions of higher education, and they are pushing them hard in business management and in the professions. Further, women earn higher grades in school and in college, and they are increasingly preferred by employment personnel to fill jobs requiring intelligence, competence, industry, and social and communicative skills. Before the Great War, only a very few lucky and persistent women succeeding in finding work outside the home (usually as secretaries to male managers), and women, numerically and in proportion to the general population, were vastly outnumbered by men on college and university campuses. In two generations’ time, will this imbalance have been reversed? Nowadays there is a reported academic presumption, beginning with preschool, against the supposedly violent, disruptive, antisocial, war-toys-loving, anti-intellectual, mentally dull, lazy, and otherwise unimprovable and unredeemable members of what was until comparatively recently called the First Sex. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the male response to this presumption is to follow the line of least resistance by turning off, tuning out, and dropping out. Men, the partially unintentional architects and builders of the postmodern world, are apparently un-at-home in that world, of which they seem hardly worthy. Last spring, The Spectator ran a cover illustration that showed Prime Minister Cameron dressed as a laboring man, lying flat on his belly with Samantha standing athwart him in a dark-blue business suit, one high heel planted between his shoulder-blades, in the attitude of a Great White Hunter with his latest trophy lion. Girls on Top, the display print read.
As a member of the masculine minority myself, I am uncertain how to respond to all this. On the one hand, long before the second or third generation hence comes along, I expect to recline at ease in Valhalla, drinking mead with the male heroes of yore and listening to beautiful young women performing on flutes and lyres. On the other hand, the notion that I no longer belong to the First Sex aggravates my amour propre somewhat. Finally, I have no horse in this race, as I expect to send my own ahead to await me in my retirement among the gods. Beyond these considerations, however, stands a conviction. I do not believe that it is women’s future to dominate men in areas save that of domestic life, at least not for very long—say, another several generations. My reasoning is simple. First, a society in which the human female sex is dominant over the male one is, finally, contrary to human nature. Matriarchies, though they have existed, do not seem to have been very successful—at least, they have not been long-lived, and certainly not prevalent. Second, postmodern society is an unnatural society. (So was the industrial one it succeeded, but for wholly different reasons.) Third, postmodern society and the possibilities it offers for female dominance appear to be causally linked. Fourth, both are unnatural, indeed antinatural, historical developments. And fifth, therefore, they cannot—and will not—endure for very long beyond the present time, or the relatively near future.
The End of Men theory is fatally flawed because it presupposes the sustainability of the postmodern world. But the postmodern world, being based in unreality, is unsustainable. The new world is the product of the industrial world that immediately preceded it—imagined and invented by male scientists and engineers, built and maintained by male brawn, male muscle, and the kind of physical bravery and daring that are not typically attributes of the Fair Sex. The world of industry, indeed, was extraordinarily real, which accounts for many or most of its worst unpleasantries. And it was real because it was a physical thing, largely dependent on sheer physical force, both human and mechanical. The postmodern world, by contrast, is unreal, reliant on abstraction—information collection, electronic communication, advertising, promotion, managerial skills, and speculative financial transactions based upon the ephemera of spectral profits. Enthusiasts for postmodernity boast that it allows humanity to transcend its physical origins, circumstances, constraints, and even the natural world itself. In the postmodern world, men and women are no longer “a little lower than the angels”—they are actually above them, having disenthralled themselves of a superstitious reverence for the god in whom they no longer believe. Yet the truth is, we have not transcended the world of nature experienced as physical reality, though most of us in the First World no longer engage with it that way. That this is so is more than amply demonstrated by the present international hysteria over global warming, which goes only to show, by way of a severe form of cognitive dissonance, that our animal instincts are superior in some respects to our all-too-human hallucinations. On one level, we feel assured that a Brave New World, a kind of collective Glorified Body, has been achieved; on the other, we perceive that the meanly scandalous old one is treacherously waiting to knock the doors and windows in with hurricanes and typhoons, and wash ourselves and all our works away.
What the postmodern world will not recognize is that it is vulnerable to the exact degree that it is marvelous. It is exquisitely fragile, not least because it is founded on the same exquisite ephemera that make up its substance. Indeed, we are aware of this fragility. The postmodern world stands with bated breath in anticipation of catastrophic blows to its fantastic, nearly endlessly expansive, and ultimately unfathomable structure: power outages, computer crashes, hacking by terrorist and enemy spies, viruses, systemic malfunction, and so forth. It lives also in fear of late-industrial and postmodern weaponry, weapons of mass destruction, sparingly employed since their inception—but who can say for how much longer? I am not a statistician, or even a bridge player, but certainly it seems reasonable to expect that, sooner or later, all hell must break loose among the nations of the world and its highly mobile, nonnational entities. If the cybernetic system implodes, or is taken down, and if war, invasion, or revolution should occur internationally, the postmodern world will vaporize like an exorcised genie, only the potsherds of the vessel from which it issued remaining behind. Mankind would find itself rudely returned to something like the original state of nature.
The consequences would be almost limitless, but two in particular stand forward. One is that the End of History would have come to an abrupt, catastrophic end. The other is that the End of Man would be almost instantly reversed. What remained of the Western world would require for its survival, and for its partial restoration, masculine brawn, masculine competence, masculine technical ingenuity, masculine valor, masculine honor—masculine dominance generally, including on the home front. No society before the postmodern one ever had use for the metrosexual, and he, too, would be put in his place at the return of the manly man. Militaries confronted by an enemy infinitely more dangerous than political correctness, and unable to afford any longer the luxury of sentimental ideology, would dispense with their role-playing female soldiers and replace them with real fighting men. (Homosexuals, too, would likely be rooted out—perhaps, in some instances, unfairly, the historical fact being that a number of hard-fighting British regiments have traditionally comprised pansies, though their largely aristocratic makeup probably goes a long way toward explaining their military zeal.) Following the collapse of the global electronic system of artifice, futility, and impotence that had previously ruled the world, service, clerical, and white-collar workers alike would be compelled to embrace traditional masculine activities: machine building and repair; carpentry and construction; field labor and agriculture; mining; forestry; animal husbandry; bridge, road, and dike building (against rising seas and oceans); iron and steel working; military service (including plenty of fighting); and the begetting of children upon willing wives content, perhaps, as well as compelled, to remain housewives—plus the ages-old responsibilities of home and personal defense.
It is easy to see why women should make such a success of postmodern society. Women are by nature docile and thus willing to take orders from superiors, including teachers and, later in life, employers and supervisors. They are naturally socialized personalities, easily adapting to managerial, bureaucratic society. Indeed, they are inherently socialistic, inclined toward political participation in the socialist societies the postmodern world demands. They are conscientious, often to a fault, and typically obsessive in their jobs, laboring and agonizing over tasks and responsibilities most men would be content to overlook or dismiss with contempt. And they are detail minded, generally lacking in the masculine vision and heroic ambition that give rise to great achievements. All of these qualities are useful, and many of them even invaluable, in the domestic setting so many of them scorn in preference for employment in the vast postmodern economic structure that has been God’s ultimate gift to women. Except that the gift—to them, and to the whole of society—is really from the Devil.
The structure likely cannot endure for long, although that “long,” in human terms, will probably be more than long enough. God does not measure out His days in coffee spoons. As for humanity, it seems fated, for the near future, to continue measuring out its days in kilobytes, while in the room the women come and go, talking of Project So-and-So.