Richard Doyle’s presentation in Qatar — “Empowering Families, Men in Families”
Richard Doyle‘s book series, “Doyle’s War, Save the Males” has for decades carried the message that good fathers are necessary in a civilized society, that men should be considered socially and legally equal to women, and decries the denigration of men and manhood. Because this entire concept is too incorrect politically, it didn’t gain much traction in this country. Fortunately, scholars half a world away recognized the importance of the book’s message on family and gender issues. The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) somehow got wind of the book and invited Mr. Doyle to moderate in Qatar’s capitol city a panel of international specialists dedicated to the enhancement and preservation of families for the Empowering Families: A Pathway to Development Conference.
Financed by oil money, this small but advanced Persian Gulf nation has sponsored several innovative and cultural projects, including DIFI. The American division of Qatar’s TV news channel, Aljazeera, is challenging Fox and CNN for dominance in the field.
Eighty three-year-old Mr. Doyle crossed 8 time zones (west to east is worse) to participate in the conference and was pleasantly surprised that his work has been somewhat better received in the Mid-East than in the United States of America.
Below is a modified version of Mr. Doyle’s presentation with added addendum and the essay he presented.
Empowering Families, Men in Families
Family is the cornerstone of decent society. To realistically empower families it is advisable for this conference to approach relevant issues from a global and open-minded perspective, recognizing that problems exist in all demographics. Many of today’s problems even beyond the family result from a clash of cultures and genders. While cultural politics can affect the family adversely, they are beyond the purview of this conference. However, observations and assessments on sociological conditions are in order. Most of my observations will relate to Western and Mid-eastern countries and cultures. Unlike most panelists here, I am not an academic which may be an asset. I am a retired air traffic controller.
We might agree that the purpose of life is to reproduce itself, that the best engine of that reproduction is the family, and that children are of utmost importance in families. It is generally recognized that broken families and single parent arrangements are harmful to children, and are demonstrably the greatest drivers of numerous social ills, including poverty. The inclination to blame poverty for social ills (including family breakdown) is to confuse result with cause. Father-deprivation is an important cause of poverty, occurring in two major and often overlapping communities — divorced households and never-married households. Half of America’s seven million poor families are so because of divorce, separation or out-of-wedlock births. In contrast, of America’s 50.4 million intact families, only 7% are poor.
The wisely-chosen subtitle of this conference is ‘Men in Families.’ In examining cultural and other factors in family disintegration, it is wise to consider the issue of gender. I will address family issues from the perspective of children and fathers. Many of these observations are drawn from my extensively documented book and its forthcoming update, “Doyle’s War, Save the Males.” The original inspiration for this book was the social and legal aspects of domestic relations. Later it evolved into other areas. One of the objectives of this conference is to promote gender equality. My approach is to raise the situation of men in the west to that of women. I realize that may shock many of you. My observations may not be politically correct, and implied recommendations may not be easily doable, however I submit it is imperative they be seriously considered if we are to achieve beneficial results.
Both Eastern and Western cultures are patently deficient regarding gender rights and privileges. In “Westernized” countries, the traditional family is under attack, with marriages plagued by pervasive anti-male prejudice both in government and society. Half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. It is axiomatic that the more conditions are subsidized the more they develop, e.g., divorce and poverty. Government agencies extensively aspire to replace husbands and fathers with redistribution of wealth schemes. Additionally, child custody preference along with support and alimony make divorce a viable option for women desiring to shed husbands. A speaker yesterday advocated increasing financial support for such women. Imagine what that says to a man contemplating marriage! Consequently, most divorces are initiated by women. Some avoid entering marriage altogether. Single mothers are elevated almost to the status of sainthood, and generously subsidized. Single motherhood, be it a result of divorce or avoidance of marriage, has had perverse effects including disproportionate social disorderliness, ghettoization, indolence and a literal crime wave among boys. Girls have their own set of associated problems. One lady this morning indicated the family is “evolving.” Western women in her audience nodded in approval. If that proposition is true, it seems to be a sad situation.
My familiarity with Eastern, Mid-eastern and Southern culture and marriages is limited, although I believe marriages there may be less prone to failure. While the West arguably deifies women, the East and Mid East seem to deify men. It would seem logical, therefore, that gross anti-female practices in the East would cause smoldering resentment to arise, as does the gross anti-male practices in the West. The damage that these cultural prejudices, traditions and superstitions, reinforced by political demagogues and hypocrites, do to marriage, and to children by example, has a demonstrably corrosive effect on the family, and consequently on all of society. Lack of education is equally inimical, particularly in 3rd world countries.
I have outlined below an addendum to this presentation that identifies specific influences or fads and psychological issues existing primarily in Westernized countries that harm marriage, men, women and society. These mischiefs, often termed “progressive,” are actually contrary to what can reasonably (or at least arguably) be termed the “Natural Law.” In contemplation of them, it becomes increasingly evident that adults must restore order.
In closing, I want to thank the Doha International Family Institute for initiating and sponsoring this important conference, and bringing together so many experts from so many countries and cultures, all with the common goal of empowering families. Let us bear in mind that Mid-Eastern influence is responsible for much of the wisdom permeating today’s civilization worldwide. One of my favorite philosophers, Omar Khayyam, was an ancient Mid-Easterner. Currently, one must appreciate the professionalism and objectivism of the recently formed and well-funded TV news channel, Al Jazeera America, whose senior affiliate is headquartered right here in Doha. In several respects, I consider it superior to Western news networks. Thank You
Addendum: inimical influences
* First: indiscriminate chivalry, appearing in both liberal and conservative realms, is the underlying cause of many of these unfortunate conditions and circumstances.
* The second fad is reliance on government to alleviate social problems. The vaunted “War on Poverty” in the U.S., and similar schemes in other Western countries, has been an abject failure. One good father, in the home, is more valuable than dozens of policemen, social workers and socialized academics. I believe responsibility to establish favorable social conditions in 1st World countries rests far more on individuals, of both sexes, than on external support.
* The third fad is immorality. The tricky issues, landmines we could describe them, of morality and religion are highly controversial (Whose definition of right and wrong do we accept?). But I will venture into that minefield. No longer is a person reasonably safe in assuming that marriage means fidelity. Quoting from Jeremiah 7, “Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.” Jeremiah was born about 650 BC. This timeless quote could have been written yesterday, with reference—far beyond the transient movie couplings—to the games people play. People who do not believe in a set of rules dictated from a higher authority (by whatever name we choose to assign) drop in and out of marriages on whims. Adultery, no longer a crime in many Western countries, is actually promoted on some web sites.
Romance died the day standards were lowered and easy sex was born. In days of yore, men would do a Herculean amount of work, like hewing timber in creation of a farm, to win a woman’s rare sexual favors. Now, many men still work prodigiously, even though many women dispense those favors randomly.
Low lifes exist worldwide and in both sexes, but I come down heavier on women in Western countries because they report most marital unhappiness, they initiate divorce more and their unchastity is much more destructive to marriage, incomparably more than men’s philandering. Yes, it’s a double standard, but there are reasonable and mutually beneficial tradeoffs. My mentor, Professor Emeritus Daniel Amneus, presented a lengthy, logical and eloquent justification for the Double Standard. It appears in my book.
I place abortion under the fad of immorality, not only because it is child murder but also because of the usual disregard of fathers’ rights.
* The forth fad is a negative image of men and manhood. Many people assume that all men “have the potential for violence and sexual aggressiveness,” says Peter Stearns, a George Mason University professor. This image, woman/good―man/bad, almost an ‘Original Sin,’ has increased greatly in the last several generations. An Arizona man was ejected from a bookstore for being alone in the children’s section while shopping for grandchildren. Fearful of molesters, Air New Zealand and Qantas have a policy of moving men sitting next to unaccompanied children. When I take my partially paralyzed wife to clinics, nurses are required to, embarrassingly, ask if she feels safe at home.
The sport of male bashing is widespread. “Dead white males” are high on the list of feminist bogymen. This seems to be the only group one can safely denounce, because of their racism, sexism, homophobia and patriarchalism (to coin a term). TV shows, even common gossip, make men out to be all types of bad guys—from litterbugs, through abandoners of pregnant women, to bloodthirsty killers. We are often depicted as knuckle-dragging abusers who beat our wives (Although in some cultures there is some truth to it). It is often claimed that fathers abandon their families. In most cases, mothers leave with the children and/or kick the father out, enabled by the legal establishment. If a man cheats on his wife, he is an unfaithful, philandering playboy. If a woman cheats on her husband, she is searching for a meaningful, emotional relationship.
Men have never reached the same level of sainthood, as have women. Esther Vilar, in her best seller The Manipulated Man, calls the American male “the most exploited, the most suppressed, the most manipulated man on the face of the earth;” Linda Bowles said “It isn’t even close, the most abused, vilified, and sexually harassed Americans are white, heterosexual males. I don’t know why they put up with it—and I wish they wouldn’t.”
Fatherhood is adequately covered in this conference, but it bears repeating that paternal influence is vitally important to the mental health of growing children. Although his actions seldom support his words, in a speech for Father’s Day 2008, U.S. President Barack Obama recognized the problem (if not the solution) thusly:
“We know the statistics―that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”
A corollary of the fad of misandry is lessened esteem of deserving women and mothers. In his influential book, Either/Or, Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard lovingly described the essence of womanhood, real womanhood, not that of feminist lore. Dorothy Evslin says in The Fortunate Sex, “the housewife has a gift she (too often) neglects to open: the gift of true freedom.” American writer and philosopher George Gilder said, “The fact is that the role of the housewife is arguably more important than any other broad category of work in the society.”
Regarding chivalry, much of it is dead now thanks to feminist notions of liberation; how often do you see men give up their seats on busses these days? However, indiscriminate chivalry—indeed a perversion thereof―continues largely unabated, and it causes most of men’s, and by extension families’, problems.
* The fifth inimical fad is melding of the sexes. A malignant infection is attacking the masculine and feminine images, especially the former. A strange mixing element is afoot that considers normal sexual characteristics restrictive and resents traditionally distinctive members of either gender. Seemingly at war with normal life, and aspiring to achieve social integration and “diversity,” this element has mounted an effort to rid us of all distinctions between men and women. The French government is preparing to ban the words “mother” and “father” from all official documents under plans to make obsolete the natural family and legalize homosexual marriage. The Spanish Senate is expected to pass a reform to the nation’s divorce laws that would require men to contribute as much as their wives to housework and dependent care; nothing is included about requiring housewives to have outside jobs.
The male qualities that protected and preserved the race down through the ages are largely shunned as undesirable in modern society. Old-fashioned masculinity is demeaned and vanishing as we celebrate ‘metrosexuals.’ Many men are being feminized into something resembling well-dressed eunuchs. Human Events editor Wesley Pruden insightfully called this “The Gelded Age.” Seventy five percent of primary and secondary schoolteachers in the U.S. are female, many of whom try to recondition boys to be more feminine, often medicating them with Ritalin. Boys outnumber girls three to one in children’s mental institutions. Boston University Psychologist Pamela Cantor found that the suicide rate of boys over girls is three to one in age bracket 14 to 21. One school says that these situations exist because of an aversion to having the male role thrust upon them, blithely ignoring a more probable cause—the suppression of natural male characteristics.
The pretense of male incompetence propounded or believed by judges, social workers, too many academics and much of the media, coupled with the influence of effeminate entertainers and personalities, is very emasculating.
There are purportedly father’s interest organizations, feminist camp followers actually, that are only masquerading as supportive of men’s real interests. They exist primarily to help men accommodate to their subordinate situation, pay child support, visit their stolen children, etc. Some men accept sex melding to obtain equal treatment with women. I believe they are misled; loss of manhood is too high a price to pay for equality. We cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.