A few years back, I was thinking about getting my sons involved in martial arts. I visited numerous martial arts studios, talked to instructors, and observed classes. Ultimately I decided against it for one reason: all the classes were co-ed. And much to my surprise, many of these had more girls than boys. My primary objection was that the boys would have been required to physically treat their female classmates very roughly, and that isn't an idea I wanted them to get used to. I'm trying to wrap my brain around the kind of father who has no problem with his sons kicking and punching and body-slamming girls, or even more inexplicably, with his daughters being roughed up this way by the sons of strangers. Parents might say, "Oh, I would never let Johnny hit a girl in real life. This is just training." Johnny, meanwhile, sees that the girls in this class are just as aggressive as he is (if not more so), and they don't mind hurting him, so any chivalrous instincts he might have had are rapidly undermined. We opted for fencing, which was also co-ed but did not involve physical contact.
One can't help but notice, too, that the leadership of many youth organizations is dominated by girls and women. (Just for fun, to confirm my intuition, the first random photo I came across of 4-H officers at a school in Kearneysville, West Virginia, pictured nine girls and no boys.) The push to make "leaders" of girls in every context has become a frenzied crusade. And it's not enough that females dominate co-ed groups: in 1988 the Boy Scouts of America capitulated and began admitting women as Scoutmasters. Today more than one-third of their volunteers are women. And it doesn't stop there. In 2009 the BSA began kicking around the idea of admitting girls to the rank of Eagle Scout and promoting more co-ed activities. No enclave of masculine socialization shall be allowed to stand if it purports, in any way, to be more serious than a ball game.
This decades-long crusade against masculine culture and leadership has led to some bizarre but predictable results. For the first time in American history, male unemployment is an astounding 2 points higher than female unemployment. For the first time in history, women now hold the majority of managerial and professional jobs. For the first time in history, more women than men are graduating from college. For the first time in history, single and childless women earn more than their male counterparts. Etc.
What's happening here? What's happening is that men are dropping out ... of everything. Indeed, they were invited to leave, and being men they don't much like hanging around where they aren't wanted. The traditional American venues of socializing and making men out of boys - school programs, clubs, scouting - are rapidly drying up. It takes men to make men out of boys, and the men aren't there anymore. The civilizing possibilities of marriage are also lost on today's young men, because they aren't marrying either. All that remains is sports, and for today's masculinity-starved young men and boys, the more "extreme" the sports the better. A dual-track for men is therefore emerging: hyper-masculinity on the one hand (sports, gangs, money, sex), and placid effeminacy on the other. The great masses of ordinary males - who in the sordid and cynical world of "game" are known as "betas" - have few opportunities for masculine identity and are generally pushed to one extreme or the other. I believe this also explains, in part, the rise in male homosexuality, or at least the "need" to legitimize it's expressions.
Although young men have dropped out of sight temporarily, they haven't gone away. While some have reconciled themselves to their disadvantages in a feminist world, many others are stewing in unarticulated resentment, flying under the radar and coping with their lack of prospects through various unhealthy diversions. They are discontented but they don't quite know why. They have energy but no socially acceptable means of putting it to use. Co-ed America, therefore, is not going to last. All signs point to the return of patriarchy - but not the genteel patriarchy of Christianity with its quaint scruples about family and monogamy and chivalry and honor. Instead this will be a radically misogynistic patriarchy learned from video games and WWF, from internet pornography and Roissy: ruthless, violent, promiscuous, and cruel, like the paganism of old.