Nancy Pearcey seems like a wonderful, delightful, and godly woman. She is obviously brilliant and she is totally devoted to the defense of the Christian faith in the public square. In her new book on masculinity, it's clear that she appreciates men/masculinity and wants to defend Christian men against unfair accusations. To be honest, I am loathe to criticize her because I respect her so much. Nevertheless, her book does have some shortcomings, and some of her arguments actually further the toxic war on men rather than defeating those who despise masculinity.
Pearcey Review (Summation)
- Written by: Rich Lusk
- Category: Men & Women
Pearcey’s book on is chock full of great information. But some aspects of her thesis are not convincing or need correction. The biggest flaw, perhaps, is blaming the Industrial Revolution for the emasculation of men. I don’t doubt the Industrial Revolution brought certain challenges for men and families. But it also improved (or had the potential to improve) family life immeasurably. It was probably not the Industrial Revolution per se, but the amazing prosperity it brought about that undermined men, marriage, and morality. The Industrial Revolution made men victims of the own success (as Scripture warns us about; see Deuteronomy 8:11ff).
However, I think the real culprit behind the “toxic war on masculinity” is not the Industrial Revolution, but the rise of statism. It is the modern leviathan state that has emasculated men and destroyed the family. While many of Pearcey’s criticisms of George Gilder’s Men and Marriage in her book are on target, on this point, Gilder actually corrects Pearcey because he shows how the welfare state subverted men. Uncle Sam became a surrogate husband and father, undercutting the responsibility of men to protect and provide. The American family was largely in tact up until the 1960s, when the welfare state, legalized hormonal birth control, secularized public education, and no fault divorce laws all became cultural fixtures.
Want to make men great again? Roll back big government. Statism has waged war on men by imposing feminism on us, largely through the mechanism of welfare programs; statism has waged a war on boys and young men through its highly feminized public education system; and the anti-male bias of the state today is seen in the disastrous family court system. Downsizing government to a reasonable level and getting government out of places it does not belong would give men the freedom (and necessity) to be real men again.
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