tv After Words CSPAN December 7, 2013 10:00pm-10:56pm EST
>> up next on book tv, after words. this week sociologists michael kimmel and his book angry white men. american masculinity at the end of an era. in it, the stony brook university professor argues that many white men see increased gender and racial equality is a major contributor to their downward mobility and they're angry about the declining dominance in american society. this program is about an hour. ..
>> guest: first of all, i appreciate that. i want sometimes to be out and about. i want to be out in talking to people and not sit and manipulate numbers, and i found these kinds of interviews to be really revealing, particularly with people that i don't particularly understand or i don't really get their world view. i mean, i actually didn't start this book thinking i was going to go do a lot of interviews with different groups. my first -- the work, for example, the chapter that's on the extreme right wing, the neonazis and white supremists, they are so wired and so many welcomeses and chat rooms, i figured most could be done on the internet, and so i went to chat rooms, and, you know, listen to people talking, but it occurred to me as i was on the chat rooms that they would be like eight people saying horrible things, and it dawned on me that there's eight people here, four are graduate students
of anthropology, and one is, like, a high school kid who is goofing around, and two are real white supremists, and the other one is like me. i thought, well, you know, and i can't tell who's who. >> host: can't trust and verify. how do you verify; right? exactly. >> guest: as a journalist, you need sources you can trust, at least see them, so i decided to go, you know, talk to them, and as i began to do that research, as i was working on guyland as well, i began to realize that i was going to want to talk to people for all of the other chapters as much as i could. >> host: talk about your relationship with rick, who you start the book with, the gun show, to give watchers a sense of who we are talking about, where are we in america, and also a little bit about your relationship with the people you interview. who is rick? >> guest: well, he's a guy that i met at one of the very first places that i went to
interview white supremists and neonazis. >> host: where are we? >> guest: this is interesting. when i told friends i was going to be doing work on the extreme right, they said, oh, you're going to have to go to the deep south, the home of the clan, and along mason-dixon line, there's extreme right wing strongholds, and it turns out in a lot of suburban schools along the western new jersey, southern pennsylvania, you know, a lot of public schools are so starved for cash, some represent out their auditorium, their gym, for gun shows on weekends, so i walked into basically what is a high school, and there's, you know, inside the gym, there's a, you know, tables and tables and tables of guns, and -- but --
>> host: also like a middle school basketball game going on at the same time? >> guest: not at at the same time, but access -- as you walk in, there's tables out in front with lots of pamphlets; right? not prior to answering the gun show, and the pamphlets is how the government is trying to take your guns, goes iepg doing this, obama's doing that, obamacare's terrible. i wanted to talk to them. they are the guys with the ideas, the leaflets, and so i went up to the one table, and i just sort of said, you know, if i pick up a pamphlet, it's yours, and, you know, but four guys around at the table talking, and, you know, they looked at me suspiciously, and they said, who are you? >> host: you sound like way you are. you sound like a new yorker; right? it's hard to hide. >> guest: right. i'm a new york -- i'm a brooklyn, you know, jewish sociologist; right? >> host: right. grg so, you know -- >> host: feminist.
>> guest: pick two. >> host: exactly. >> caller: i'm not going to, like, take fake a accent and be one of them. >> host: could you do it if you tried? >> guest: i doubt it, actually, but i don't think i would try, but i -- so i said to them, who are you, and i said, well, actually, i'm an academic, i'm a researcher doing research on these organizations, these ideas, and trying to understand the guys about it, and i am studying men who believe this stuff, and they, you know, looked at me suspiciously and said -- asked me questions, and i said, look, look, here's what i am, you know, i don't get it, so -- but here's by job. i want to understand how you guys see the world. i want to understand that -- your world view. you will not convince you, and i will not convince you. that's offer the table. what's on the table is i want to understand why you think the way
you do. now, here's the thing that was interesting. now, i would say roughly half of the guys i approached would not talk to me, so they are biasedded in the research, an i acknowledge those. >> host: what did they say? just say -- >> guest: i don't want to talk to you. basically, i don't want to talk to you, you never understand, you know, one or two said something antisemitic, but it was vague and rather thin in surface. >> host: right. >> guest: basically, i don't want to talk to you, and i'm fine with that, but the guys who did, here's my pitch. your complaint, as i understand it, is you are the forgotten americans. you are the americans on whose back this country was built. you fought its wars. you built its bridges. you built the country. no one's listening to you. i will. i will -- >> host: that's good. >> guest: i will not agree with you. that's not why i'm here, but i'll listen, promise. my job is to safely as i can represent the world as you see it. that's what i want to do.
>> host: who is the guy? before we get to the views are, sort of age, race, you know, socioclass. who are we talking about just for this part? >> guest: i want to say that this is only one chapter of the in which i try to pick up the pulse of a lot of groups, but i'll describe to you a little bit because he was funny when we met for the first time privately. we had breakfast the next morning in a coffee shop, and so he's about mid 30s. he does have a job. he was working in a construction crew, but here's the thing that's interesting about him, and all of the guys who are on the extreme right of whom i spoke. all of them have the same class background. they are downwardly mobile, lower middle class. some of the guys you talk to
have the same, you know, their fathers were independent farmers, small shopkeepers, ma and pa grocers. they closed the store when walmart moved in, independent farmers fore closed. highways, union factory workers, and the factory closed; right? they are downwardly mobile and will not have the wages nor the kind of job protection that their fathers had, and, in fact, many of them, you know, they were like, you know, smith and son, they were the son; right? >> host: right. >> guest: or a lot of the guys i talk to were independent nonunion contract workers, plumbers, electricians, but not union. off the books. they were all downwardly mobile. that was their background. rick shows up, you know, and he decides he's going to be -- he's going to be playful with me, and that's one of the reasons i chose him to introduce the book. so he wears an old flannel shirt and weathered pittsburgh pirates baseball hat because we're in
now, you know, sort of intentional pennsylvania, but he also wears a confederate flag on it, and so he opens -- as he sits down, he opens the flannel shirt and goes like this and says, i wore this just for you. >> host: that's good, just to hit all the stereotypes. >> guest: give it to me. you know, so i don't have to make him up. >> host: right, exactly. right. right. >> guest: so -- and the thing is, he's also -- so he's -- he and his wife are trying to make it on far less -- >> host: he's married? >> guest: married, two kids, five and seven i think at the time i interviewed him, really unhappy with the quality of schools, and the conversations would not be about free health care or reasonable cost of health care. we didn't have those conversations. we had a conversation about what
he expected growing up, what he thought was going to be his and what he didn't get and how he feels, you know, somewhat baseically screwed by the system. >> host: like things were taken from him that were rightfully his? >> guest: and that in a sense, that's the line, that's the kind of connective tissue among all of the different chapters, so my book has resonance with yours, for example, with end of men, there's a lot of reference to the books, which is the subtitle of that is the betrayal of the american men. >> host: right. >> guest: these guys definitely feel like they have been portrayed. >> host: yeah, i thought about that book as i read yours, visiting parts of america, and different ages of people and the true line is a similar line so what was promised to me, you know, when i was growing up, the fathers in the 50s, down to the sons who really had no models for manhood and who have no, you know, no easy thing to grasp on
to as a model for success. before we get to the entitlement question, central to the book, since the book in many ways, i mean, what's uncomfortable about reading the book is it's like rippling with racism, sexism, and anger that you see across chapters in a way that's frightening when you read it all, all encompassed between two covers, so we just talked about rick, use him as a bridge, how quickly before you get to the race. and sexism? how does that kind of come up in the different conversations? >> guest: it comes up in two ways. the racism coming up self-consciously. either it's right there in the front because they want to shock me. >> host: always about obama or just like any -- >> guest: a lot about obama. a lot about obama. it's not obama specifically. it's a generalized "them," like how "they" are invading, how "they" are taking what's ours, that sort of thing. >> host: interesting. my brother was a in a working
class neighborhood, and visiting him, i feel like belasio has exploded. i have not heard it, but at the barbecues, it's i like, wow, where did this come from? > guest, wow, interesting. interesting. >> host: yeah. >> guest: from the other side of, you know, for guyland, i hung out in a firefighter bar not far from my mouse and new york city fire department, white as it gets, and so -- and i heard that -- i heard a little bit of that, but i have not gone back to listen to it around the mixed race marriage, son's afro. >> host: really, we're going to talk about this for how long? so anyway, yes. >> guest: sometimes it's out front. remember the guys know i'm not one of them. i make it clear i'm not going to try to portend and pass -- >> host: are they self-conscious about racism or not even? >> guest: well, see, that's the thing.
the sexism is unself-conscious. >> host: interesting. >> guest: there's the occasional wife pillary, but there's never aceps of sexism because they are also proclaiming michele bachmann or palin. >> host: isn't it that the rage is channeled through probably a person, like an ex-wife or, you know, what i mean? it's a familiar -- >> guest: for other guys. >> host: not him necessarily, but you own sexism more because you have personal experience of a woman who was whatever. >> guest: you know, in our culture, i actually think that sexism is far more permissible than racism. >> host: it seems like that, yeah. >> guest: i have an excellent example how to think of it. if you remember the primary season in 2008 when clinton was running against obama for the democratic nomination, and there was a guy who, at one of clinton's rallies --
>> host: hillary clinton's rally. >> guest: yes, held up a sign that said "iron my shirt," remember that? >> host: yes. >> guest: i asked the students, i teach a large lecture class, and how many remembered that? by the way, in 2009, i asked the question, not five years later. i asked students here, how many of you remember that? i had, like, 10%, 20% hands. i said, yeah, because it really didn't pass on to the media radar. few of us knew it, people who knoll these sorts of things knew it. imagine if at an obama rally some guy held up a sign that said polish my shoes. don't you think that every media outlet would have been front page, john mccain, every republican would have said, wait, stop everything. that's wrong. >> host: is it because they don't think it's dangerous? you know, after all, you're talking to a woman running, i don't know. >> guest: i think it's just because it just seems more acceptable. >> host: right, right. >> guest: i mean racism, overt racism -- well, prior to 2008, you know, right after 2008, we
were celebrating, like, over racism, that's going to go away, boy, were we wrong about that, but i think that, in fact, in some ways obama has become just a lightning rod for the resurgence ever overt racism. >> host: overt? >> guest: yes, wellings still coded. >> host: it's coded. we hate obama, your president, that kind of thing. i hear that a lot. >> guest: part of what was behind the birther thing, he's not one of us. he's one of "them." right? >> host: right. >> guest: and so part of this that is startling, i mean, after all, obama is not a black president, but a mixed race. he's african-american, a black and a white parent. this is like the win drop rule. >> host: right, right, right. >> guest: it is really, i think, interesting that sexism is far more casual, partly
because it's the intercertainly, you know, these guys that i was talking with actually -- >> host: have a wife. >> guest: ex-wives they hate, exwife's lawyers that they hate more, and they have also, you know, women in their lives who they see as getting ahead of them. >> host: like a lot more women you can see as taking your job or, you know, whatever. yeah, yeah. okay. so we are going to return to that subject talking about the specific groups, but i think it's important now to define this central concept of the book, the idea of a grieved entitlement. i have questions about it, and so just tell the viewers what is that? what's a grieved entitlement? >> guest: it's a phrase i came up with. all the groups i talk about the the men's rights group, father's rights group, the guys who beat up their wifings, partners, or kill them in some cases, to guys who go postal or open fire in the workplace, to the men on the
extreme right, what i think the thread that binds all of them is the notion of aggrieved entitlement. there's one story where i first sort of encountered it, and i was on a tv talk show, opposite four of these men who were angry white men, and they all believed they were the victims of reverse discrimination of the workplace. it's a workplace show in which they were talking about how affirmative action was actually reverse discrimination against white men. they were qualified for jobs, promotions, didn't get them, and, boy, were they angry about it. >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: so i was there opposite them, alongside phil nelson, the journalist who had written "volunteer slavery," and so the two of us were there sort of opposite them to respond to them, and my -- the reason i'm telling this story is because my first inkling of it was a quote from one of the men which was the title of the show. the title of the show is "a
black woman stole my job." >> host: yeah, i saw that in your pook, right. > guest: i have one question for you guys, about the title of the show "a black woman stole my job," actually, it's about one word in the title. i want to know about the word "my," and where did you get the idea it's your job? why is it "the job" or "a job," because without confronting men's sense of entitlement, we won't grasp why men don't have gender equality. there's a policy a little bit, and you think, oh, my god, it's reverse discrimination against us. this is the aggrieved entight 8ment, i think, sounds like. it is -- these were our jobs. these were our positions. these are the ones we were told when we were little, this is what is waiting for you. this is the theme, you know, the funniest scene of this
entitlement seen is in monte python going to the castle walls in the holy grail and goes to the castle with the son and says, son, one day this will be yours, and the son says, what, the curtain? one day, this will be yours. that is what fathers have said to sons. >> guest: right, right. >> host: they expected this. they were entitled to it, and now you're telling them they are not going to get it? now you tell them after all these years you have to play fair? >> guest: right, right. >> host: my feeling was that i felt like when i heard this, i -- it registered for me. i began, as i was doing the research for the book, i began to hear it in a lot of different venues, and so i tried to use that as a framing device on what -- because my argument in the book or in a way, the way that our book kind of runs parallel to each other is i think this is not the end of men, but it is the end of an era
of the assumed entitlement. >> host: rights, right. >> guest: of the end of the era -- >> host: end of male privilege. >> guest: that's what i -- so that's what i kept hearing from these guys. it was not -- so, and they were kind of blind sided by it. you know, it's now a lifetime that the rules have completely changes from the office space in "madmen," and the women are corralled in the center and you have your pick, it's an office pick, sexual harassment, i mean, it's the pace of this change, and i think you point this out -- >> host: it's been fast and alarming, yes. >> guest: it's dizzying, guys sitting here saying, what happened? >> host: right, right. one thing i did in reading the book is to imagine one of the guys reading your book, and the -- you know, aggrieved entitlement makes absolute sense, but i found it hard to
accept them as entitled anymore, so, like, you know, you have a phrase that sticks in my head that makes sense when you read it, especially to me and you. it's like men have had the wind at their back for all of this time; right? it's just you had tens of thousands of years. it was never a level playing field. we have the advantage, and now we don't have the advantage anymore. it was not yours to begin with, but it's like we have this push, but they don't feel that way; right? they don't -- wind at their back? they look at obama, hillary clinton, and they are looking at what the field looks like, and it doesn't look like them. they can't get a job. the only job in my town is to be a walmart hostess, and i don't refer doing that job, that's a girl's job. it's not a good job, so i was having a hard time conceiving of why they should accept your argument that they were entitled. >> guest: okay. there's two levels of answers. it's a great question. there's two levels of answers to the question. does this describe their
experience, and the second is why should they then, like, agree with me? >> host: yeah, yeah, okay, okay. >> guest: the first part, seems to me, is the mistake, i think, that we made -- that "we" being liberal feminists, basically in the 1970s, feminism sort of first began to, you know, permeate the culture in the 1970s. men have all the power, just look at every single corporate board, every single state and local, national, international legislature, every university backward, you know, men have all the power. >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: and individually, and the women don't have the power, and women don't feel powerful. individually. feminism said to women, we, as a group, need to redress this imbalance of power at the top, and individually, feminism was about empowering women to have a wide l range of choices, more options about reproduction, around family life, not balancing work and family, those
sorts of things, so it basically said -- there was a semitry between the powerlessness and powerrism. apply 245 to men. men have all the poir in the world. therefore, men must feel powerful. the men go, what are you talking about? are you out of your mind? my wife boss me around, my kids boss me around, my boss bosses me around. i'm powerless. that analysis failed to resinate for men even then because men don't feel powerful. >> host: never did or just don't now? >> guest: well, because, we, you know, it's only one king of the hill. most of us feel like we have to be subservient to idiotic bosses. we have to be -- you know, when i -- try telling me male students they have the power. they are amazed; right? i'm giving them a grade. >> host: like an organization man idea, the idea prevalent in the madmen era, that we are all cobs and we all end up, you know -- >> guest: all tyke the 737 and
we, you know -- >> host: revolutionary road, exactly. >> guest: exactly. and as a result, that kind of model didn't really apply to men. then you have all these groups that sprung up in the 70s or so, that basically said you know how you don't feel powerful? you're right. let's go to the woods. here's the power stick, the power drumming and chaptering. you have wall street yuppies in power tie and power barak fast like it was a fashion accessory. because the idea was supposed to feel powerful but didn't, that's entitlement. they don't feel this way. whose fault is that? when you move to whose fault is that, that's why they should agree with me. i think that they have been sold a bill of goods. i think they have been duped,
hoodwinked, betrayed, stiffed, all those things, but not by the people they think. not by the lowers than them -- >> host: not by l figment black woman; right? >> guest: no, by the arrogance, cynical elites manipulating them into going after those below them when, in fact, they can make common cause. my argument to them is it's tom jones the common cause, recognizes the plight. >> host: explain who that is. >> guest: timothy mcveigh knows as the bomber, and tom jones is the hero of the grapes of wrath, the john steinbeck novel about the great depression, displaced a my grant moving to california, buffeted by cynical elites, you know, impossible bureaucratic odds, you know, farmers who ripped them off, and he finally realized that it's not the other guys who are trying to make a
buck that are the problem. it is the people who are above him. >> host: right. >> guest: he then goes off and he says to the mother in the grape scene, i just -- can't you just see the candle light saying this to his mother, you know, wherever there's a man, you know, looking for a job, that's where i'll be. he, tom jones, or as i say at the end, it's fascinating to me that both timothy mcveigh and nelson mandela used the same poem, evictus, as their theme, and white working class guy making common cause with those below him rather than, you know, and rather than turning them into the enemy. >> yeah, i mean, it's the thomas frank, what's the matter with kansas idea that you quote in the book, which is this argument, you know, you're hating the wrong people basically, like, instead of hating corporate powers that shifted overseas and forgot about you and make no amends,
you hate the people below you, hate women, black people, hate the people you perceive stole your job. >> host: that's what thomas frank says as well. i have great respect for the argument as well because i think that there's a distraction going on often with these. >> host: the chapter is about the rampage shooter and what we get wrong about the shooter, and you reconceive who the rampage shooter is. talk about that a little bit. >> guest: the rampage shooter -- the school shooter, i have a chapter on guys who go postal. >> host: not them, not them. that's different. the school shooters, young ones like columbine shooters, those guys. >> guest: i'm flattered you think you have a new take, an interesting take, what you think it is. i'll tell you what i think is new about it, the sociology of it. all the work on the school shooter, all the research that's
been done other than one's booked "rampage," first of all, all the ways we approached them has been a focus on the psychology of the shooters, so you have the extreme psychologyization, for example, in -- it's some of the work on columbine, basically like looking in a painting like really, really up close so you see dots, but not a picture at all, or, and, you know, so it's guns, goth music, causes that make them go, and they were bullied, constantly beat up, all the guys have that story, by the way. >> host: so, like, where's the
aggrieved entitlement? >> guest: the additional part, and i'll get to the entitlement part. the additional piece that i add is that it's not enough to profile the schools. sandy hook is different. that was not a student coming into his school. so, and, since columbine, remember, school shootings have had a dramatic turn. you don't just go to school and try to kill as many of them as you can as people did before them. remember, you know, they are still in jail, but you kim yourself at the en. this is not suicide. this is suicide by mass murder. you kill -- you take out as many of them as you can because they have done you wrong. that's the constant line that
goes through their head, there's the entitlement. the line that goes through all -- >> host: explain it again, explain -- >> guest: their accounts are we have -- you have done us wrong. you have bullied us, beaten us up, ignored us, gay baited us, ect., you know, spread rumors about us, lied about us, you know, and what is interesting, i thought about this on the train down here, that the rampage school shooters are the boys' version of girls who commit suicide after being bullied and shunned in all of that, that they can't take it anymore. the boys explode, girls internalize. this is -- but it's a similar kind of dynamic. it's not true that only boys bully. we know that that's not true, but they have different kinds of responses to it. for the boys, they, you know, they feel wronged, badly done by, ignored, and i'll show you,
get even with you. that's their logic. now, there are thousands of boys who are feeling this all the time. >> host: right. >> guest: why are school shootings horrifying and in some ways, you know, a regular o current also reasonably rare? like, 99% of the schools have not had one. why? thousands of boys feeling this every day in their basements attics, bedrooms, blowing up the galaxy on the computer, wanting to take revenge, why not? schools have characteristics. one sociologist called it a the jockeys, the place where the jocks rule, columbine, for example, one of the players parked his hummer in a 15-minute zone all day, never got a ticket because the administration protected him. these guys rule the school, and the administration in the faculty collude with them. you take the case, for example,
of ohio, not that long ago, these guys, these athletes, if you remember what happened, this is what entitlement sounds like. these guys gang rape this girl, and filmed it. one of them was worried and said to the other, we could be in trouble for this, like, yeah, and the other one said, don't worry, the coach will take care of us. he'll clean it up. sur enough, that day, the coach immediately did exactly what the guy said. he questionedded why the girl was there, what she was wearing, drinking, whether she led them on. >> host: we had several cases like this. >> guest: right. so how did the city of stevenville, ohio deal with the absolutely horrific response? they rehired him; right? we're not talking about this, we're talking about the entire town behind the coach who runs into fears of the players. that's entitlement. this football player was right. he was entitled, and it worked
out as expected. my feeling is that's what we have -- that's what i want to interrupt. >> host: right. i understand that. there's a different point than the rest of the book because they intrt the entitlement. that's a real phenomena where one day they could be rick at the gun show. at the moment they are not, but that's like old fashioned class. >> guest: that is really interesting, hannah, because these guys the athletes, the top jocks, homecoming kings and all, they feel they have aggrieved entitlements walking around -- they say, guys tell me, you know, athletes, high guys on campus walking with targets on the back, everyone's looking to get us, to do us in. we're the poor victims here. >> host: right. everyonements to be a victim, you know, the relationship
between the shooters and the jocks described, you know, that could have taken place in many decades. like, you know, the entitlement of the jocks, the hummer, what happens to the jocks that's the new thing where every guy feels like he can't make it. my only other response to the chapter is, you know, didn't seem like you chose between psychology and cosh yolings. they are whatever. you have sociology and others interact with that in a way making them crazy. it's not, you know, it's not necessarily important. >> guest: you don't sacrifice one for the otherment they work -- sociology provides context and psychology is the insight into the individual believer, why this person and not that person in that context. >> host: right. now, the section of the book, which i greatly appreciated because i'm so curious and edited stories about it, is the thorough take on men's rights movement because there's confusion. you have a sense they are angry, but there's a sense they have
greefns, a old history to it, but it was use. , i think, to put all those strands together and kind of separate them in the way you did. the history of the men's rights, can you talk about the origins of the movement and where it comings from? >> guest: well, i locate the origins of the men's rights movement in the guys' response in the 1970s to the beginning of the women's move m, you know, the feminist movement. a lot of men -- because what feminism challenged was called by social psychologists the female sex role. you have to be nice, pretty, quiet, you know, do all though things, and women said, that's not who we are. we are ambitious, assertive, confident. we want to do stuff, and we don't want to sacrifice the nice nurturing stuff either. we want to be moms, workers,
lean in, loosen up, do it all. okay. men said, you know, and the women in the lives were all, like, getting, becoming feminists and critiquing our behavior, and guys said, well, you know, they are right. women have gotten a raw deal here. they can't be all -- and golly, so have we. we got a raw deal. they can never express your feelings or tell people that you love them, and all of your relationship with men are completely, you know, restricted by homophobia and terror people get the wrong idea about you, whatever, being a man sucks too, and those said it sucks just as much, and some guys said it sucks more, but origins come from the men's liberation movement that men needed liberation too from restrictive constraining, oppressor roles. >> host: sympathetic to
feminism initially; right? >> guest: initially, it was. >> host: that was interesting, yes. >> guest: initially, it was sympathetic to feminism, but there was also -- but as one became angry, and i think there is a men's liberation movement, impulse, that is independent of feminism or sees itself independent, but not antifeminist, but that's basically faded. what has emerged now is men's rights movement that women -- basically, the men's rights movement takes as true the same thing i an hear from my female students, which is when i come to my classes, and i start to tell them the history of sort of the gender revolution, my students say, well feminism, that was your generation's issue. we won. thank you so much. we don't have to worry about that now. we can do anything we want. >> host: men or women say that? >> guest: women say this. why? because they have not been in the workplace yet, but five
years later, they go, you were right. before that, you know, feminism's over, and we won. we don't need to deal with that stuff anymore. we can have sex as we want, drink as much, like sports, go to law school, we're fine. >> host: right. >> guest: so the men have the same critique. they basically think that feminism is so victorious that women have basically taken over. there are several ways in which the men's rights movement embraces many of the original claims of men's liberation. for example, around men's health. now, before they get angry and say there's too much funding for breast cancer and not enough for pros tait cancer, they say the traditional definition of masculinity, basically means you are indeferent to health concerns. men do not go to the doctors for routine screenings, ect., all health issues are true. they come from a critique of the male sex role, and that, i think, the men's rights movement
has positive things to offer. particularly around health. around stress related diseases, around how massachusetts cue linty leads to greater stress. all that stuff. >> host: right, right, right. >> guest: we agree with that sks right? >> host: right, right. >> guest: i agree with that. somehow because women took over the medical establishment, and all this funding for prostate cancer, i think not. >> host: right. >> guest: no funding for prostate cancer and a lot for breast cancer. >> host: right, right. >> guest: i don't think so. i don't blame women for this, but i think that that critique is reasonable. the critique -- so that one thing -- the major tributary that feeds the river has to do with entitlement with fatherhood, the father's rights movement. >> host: right. is that a minor strand or separate strand, like, why did the father's rights movement come to define, essentially, i think, of bitterness about divorce overwhelming amounts of
bitterness. >> host: and child custody. >> host: but it becomes, i mean, all e-mails i answer are e-mails i recognize because they will so vile that it's shocking. >> guest: right, okay. >> host: why -- how did that come from? >> guest: yes, i think it's understand l. in the 70s, the critique of the male sex role enabled men, or in some ways inspired men to become more involved fathers. this is where the men's liberation movement coincided. >> host: right. >> guest: they said we need you to be better fathers, share house work and child care. we want it work, pleas. men took it seriously and started, you know, think about it. think about your own husbands, think about compared to -- you know, my father had to fight -- fought and lost to be in the delivery room when i was born. >> host: that explained a lot about you, a nice feminist
father. >> guest: he lost. they would not let him in. now, if the man is married to the woman who is giving birth to the child -- >> host: and he's not there, he's a jerk. >> guest: 95% of men are there. think of how it changed. men are far more involved in child care and kind of like it, so, okay, what happened since the 70s, why there was a trickle of stuff about fatherhood then, that grew into a varied ocean of positive stuff and all the these, you know, these beautiful pens to involved daddihood, and, you know, daddy and me stuff. it's great. those men became more involved, more active fathers, and the laws did not change. the court system thinking of them as our father's generation. the court system thinks of them as wallets. the court system thinks of them as utterly uninvolved, married to the jobs, not acknowledges
they have more input, so when they come to a custody decision, they feel like, why did i put in all this work and all this effort and all of this stuff with my -- only to lose everything. now, a little reality is helpful here because the majority of custody cases are not contested. they -- it's not a case where i want joint and you want sole. it is taped most of the time, in effect, over 80% of cases, the husband and wife who are divorced agree on custody prior to the court date. this is glsh agree in what direction? >> usually joint or sole physical and he has visitation. there are case loads, one out of five cases, really is, conflict. he wants joint, she wants sole. he wants sole, she wants whatever. he wants more than she wants him to have. in those cases, courts sides --
and here i think the father rights data probably have some valid discrimination, and most of the time the court sides with her. i mean, i have an analysis that it's not all that wrong. there's a lot of different -- there's a lot of cases, a lot of circumstances for for this. one does not know. there's charges of, you know, violation in the home, which is also pervasive. there's correlation with those cases, you know, whatever, but what i'm saying is that by and large what's the anger that fuels a lot of the father rights and men's rights group is a sense that we change, the institutions have not. they are furious at courts, judges, at lawyers, but also at their ex-wives. there is an antifeminist strain, but it's not the whole thing. i think of all the chapters of the book, i mean, i think that
the father's rights are legitimate. >> host: i always thought that. >> guest: on the other hand, all groups i talk with in the book have a gripe. they are just taking -- delivery their angry mail to the wrong address. >> host: legitimate institutional gripe, how about that? >> guest: absolutely. >> host: some institutions which is, you know, not meeting the current era or something, some institution not moving forward, perhaps. >> guest: the thing that, the reason that i'm, you know, critical, of course, is i think that some of the reversals of data are loopy, but most of the time, but i do get the anger especially the father's, angry dads, saying we changed, the institutions haven't, and that's wrong. we've been badly done by. there's the entitlement. we put this up. we are entitled. >> host: right. there was a funny quote you had
in there by a kid, a friend of yours, a supervisor or something, and a kid who said, you know, do you spend time with your dad? he's busy working on his dad's rights movement that i never sigh #* see him. that was very funny. you end on a depressing story, and the sense that there's like toxic building, you know, ending on a hopeful note, promise, but there's a e-mails uncomfortable to read, the letters of the shooters, you know, just a sense against women. what do you do with that? where's it come from, and what
do you do with that? >> i think a lot of guys felt personally is buffeted by the changes in women's lives around sexual empowerment, around -- entering into the workplace, you know, they feel -- i think the emotion under the ang #er is they feel confused and berest and bewilderedded and just kind of, like, at sea. these are unstable emotions. you can't get your footing, in quick sand, and i think there's anger that's a way to sort of stabilize yourself. he shot up the women in the gym, and in his testimony, he said he had, you know, he had had not had sex in years, a date, all these gorgeous women, he's not a bad looking guy. he's not if you look at the
picture. >> host: he says i wear cologne, a depressing letter. >> guest: it breaks your heart. a lot of guys, you know, think about -- the, all of those angry white men pickup artists, a genera of being a pickup artist, how to get women to, you know, i remember being a kid there were, like, pheromone based colognes, women couldn't stay away, guaranteed, you know, money-back guarantee if you don't get some tonight, you know, and all the strategies and a friend did research on how guys prepare for going out for bars and stuff with their friends, and how do yo go to a bar and with the chances of you actually having sex that night with someone you pick up are, you know, less than 5 #%. how do you prepare for failure every single weekend? right? you know?
so there's a resentment and anger and confusion stuff. look, women refused to sacrifice their hotness and femme anymorety for being confident in the workplace wanting to be taken confident as women and workers. they are beautiful. they are sexy. they are hot. they like sex. how come not me? you know, so, like, i get that. i feel -- i can understand that anger. i feel that guys feel like resentment, like -- >> host: odd thing it's like fantasy. two things about the letter is one is that you read it and what he's saying incorrectly, but what you see the logic is i'm doing everything i need to do to be a man, and it's not working, like, that's the fundamental truth of the life. you know, it's superficial, i'm wearing this, working out, doing this, you know, looking for a job k all these things, and it's utterly failing. >> guest: all these things
that you women told me i had to do. >> host: it's like a aaa commercial that i quote in the book in -- ran in the super bowl with silent men, i picked up your laundry, hell held your lipstick. it's mute, like the men are dproazen and mute. like you've done this to pee. >> guest: a now i drive a muscle car. this is how i know the commercial did not necessarily work on you because it was not for ford. >> host: right. >> guest: it was dodge. challenger. >> host: my mom had a dodge challenger, a gold dodge challenger. the other thing about the -- i mean, you are to get over that, in, like, the middle, that's a very, my husband said that, oh, in middle school, the girls had something and you couldn't have it. it is a legitimate feeling, but
you are not to have it when you are 40. you have to understand the world in a slightly more sophisticated way. that struck me as sad in the letter. it's like the thoughts of a 14-year-old boy, not the thoughts of a 40-year-old man. >> guest: take the 40-year-old man and put him back 26 years. 26 years ago, he was right. >> guest: right. >> host: 236 years ago, a 40-year-old would have been right to think that. >> guest: yeah, yeah, yeah, right. >> guest: see what i'm saying? you're right to say this. that he embraced it, that, you know, when 40 i'll have these things, and so it's regressive, yes. a lot of the stuff is out of this they regret, but some of the guys i quote in the beginning of the book, all this they take away our country, you know, it's all -- it's very nostalgic, but he was right 24 years ago.
that is key. things change quickly. you can't rely on -- you're not don draper. they don't exist. >> host: goes to work, puts on perfume, looks good, and gets the girl. it's not necessarily going to work, right, right. we have a few minutes left. i want to end, this is the hardest part, you know, you got men who are failing, angry, the what can you do question? you know, we race through that at the end of the book. you know, what can you do with this wage on the radio and, you know, online and sort of in life and with -- what do you do? how do yo address them? they are generally suffering and falling off the map in many, many ways, you know, as fathers as workers and all sorts of ways. they may not be right or entitled to their entitlement, and, yeast, they suffer.
what are a couple things to do? >> guest: this defines our posture, you know, we disagree somewhat in some republics, but we run on parallel lines, and what i think is similar between your book and mine is that we both have a significant amount of exams for the guys who suffer. we recognize that. my -- what i say is the pain is real, but it's not necessarily true. that is they feel real feelings, and anger, of course, is the one feeling men can feel; right? they are feeling real feelings, but their analysis of why they feel it is not matching up with the data. grs how do you convince them it's not the black woman who stole your job? >> guest: two ways one can do this. first of all, look, it's a done deal. right? do you think that women are going to have some moment saying, oh, i i got to go home, boating, working, driving cars,
having or gasms, forget it. go back to the way it used to be. >> host: compingses won't be like that either. >> guest: that's right. that's not happening, exactly. that's a good point. the ship sailed. do we get on board or swim after it? here's where we have something to offer. the data on men -- this is a very -- it, in some ways, i make it a big movement; right? it's actually a declining number of men because most men, your husband, in fact, the friends have quietly accommodated themselves to greater gender equality in the relationships in their families, and you know what? they don't hate it, but they like it. they like having those relationships with their kids. they like feeling better about
themselves, and men with house work and child care go to the doctor for routine screenings, but less likely to end up in the er, less likely to go to therapists or diagnosed with depression. the children are less lick liely to have adhd. so here's what i would say. the answer to your question, in a sense, is on the one hand, the deal's done. on the other hand, you know what? it's actually better. your life will improve. on the political side, i think we have to say what are the institutional structural constraints that prevented us from living the lives we want to live. how about adequate health care? what about universal child care for our children so that our wives, you know -- >> host: like laugh in your face about that. >> guest: of course they would. of course they would. >> host: they have to get usedded it them, i guess, you know. >> guest: the feeling is if we keep saying this, you know, and i'm sour that this is part of what was happening in the
backyards last weekend, the likely nest mayor of the city of new york proposed universal child care to be paid for by taxing the wealthy, you know, okay. probably won't happen, but it's being talked about. it's going to increase. eventually, eventually, we are going to end up looking a little bit more like europe. >> host: i put a lot of faith in the sloi personal experience. you watch tv, guys take care of their children more than there was two or three years ago. it's mainstream sit coms, everyone has shows, "guys with kids," whatever, so you see that, it's normal, you pick your kids up, a situation of a lot of men these days. you just like ac la mate. >> guest: all i say is, like, in the corporation to say that you want