Helen Smith, an American psychologist, wrote the book Men on Strike with a lot of empathy towards men and great concern for society at large. Describing how our society has become increasingly hostile and unfair towards men, she wonders:
“Why should men participate in a system that seems to be increasingly stacked against them?”
She argues that marriage is unfair to men and that divorce laws and policies act against them. So much so that when men start a family, they risk:
- losing power
- losing out on sex
- losing their children and money
- losing their space
- losing their freedom
“Our society, the media, the government, women and white knights have regulated and demanded that any incentives men have for acting like men be taken away and decried masculinity as evil. Now they are seeing the result….
Men are opting out, bailing out and going on strike in response to the attack on their gender.
Treating men like the enemy is dangerous, both to men and to the society that needs their positive participation as fathers, husbands, role models and leaders.” (p 121)
From the book “Men on Strike” by the American psychologist Helen Smith.
So what is the solution?
Smith is talking straight to your Warrior: “It’s time for men to fight back!”
Her action plan is a bit aggressive and tailored to the social-cultural front. If men are humiliated and shamed by society, they should opt out! E.g., stop risking their lives to protect women.
In her passion to advocate for men, it seems to me that Smith has made some provocative statements aimed at women. She warns them against the terrible consequences of alienating men and weakening their masculinity.
However, our project is more humble: helping one family at a time, your family, by strengthening you as the man in your family. Going on strike is certainly not an option.
In the context of families, men indeed have lost power as women have gained it. But we should never blame women for that. Good for them! We, as men, should do what men do: use our masculine strengths to take charge, act, assert boundaries, and lead. This is your way as a man to reclaim your power.
For cases of injustice or abuse, as Smith describes in her book, The Good Husband should not just operate the role of the Warrior. We always aim at keeping all four roles working together. Your King helps you stick to your core principles and values. Your Magician helps you keep things in perspective, assess reality with common sense, and avoid the reactivity trap. Your Lover reminds you that connection is far more important than winning in your relationship.
Ultimately, you want to succeed in the mission of raising a secure and happy family. For this, balancing all four roles is the wise approach.