For preventing the
From being a
Danger to their Fellow Citizens
For making them Beneficial to the
It is a melancholy object to all those who live in this formerly great country when they see their cities and towns, their streets and their neighborhoods, their elementary schools and their college campuses, their houses of worship and their places of employment, their shopping malls, movie theaters, and nightclubs, even the very homes in which they reside, terrorized by malefactors of the male sex, who daily prove themselves utterly unfit for a meaningful and productive life. These dangerous men, lacking all empathy, self-control, and humanity, unsuited in every way for membership civil society, turn their rage on their families and communities, committing acts of unspeakable violence.
I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of disaffected and dangerous men is, in the present deplorable state of the country, a very great additional grievance, and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, reasonable, and workable method of making these young men sound and useful members of the state would deserve so well of the public as to have her statue set up as a preserver of the nation.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for violent criminals, despite the real and constant danger they pose. The actual problem is of much greater extent, the result of a deadly combination of hate, rage, entitlement, ignorance, self-absorption, and alienation infecting all men, not only those who are perpetrators of criminal acts. My solution shall therefore provide for all American men, born to unfortunate parents who are as little able to protect their sons from the dangers that surround them as they are able to protect the rest of society, including themselves, from their sons.
As for my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject and maturely weighed the several schemes of politicians, I have always found them grossly mistaken in their proposals. Our leaders are craven, feckless, fatuous, and perfidious, at once morally bankrupt and intellectually stunted. Our institutions are equally corrupt and complicit. Parents have little hope of helping their sons to negotiate the many perils they face as they grow from boys to men, and it is exactly at this point that I propose to provide for these boys in such a manner as, instead of being a burden to their families or a danger to society at large, they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the welfare of their families, their friends, their communities, and their country.
The number of citizens in this nation is estimated at some 326,000,000 souls. Of this population I calculate there may be about 66,000,000 boys and men between the ages of 10 and 35. This being granted, the question therefore is how this number shall be both protected and perfected which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed, for at present we can neither prevent them from doing infinite harm to others (as well as to themselves) nor improve them so that they are able to function adequately within contemporary American society.
The incidence of violent crimes committed in this nation is well documented. The number and frequency of mass shootings are appalling, with more than 350 such events occurring in the last 10 years, at the rate of one every two weeks. Men commit 94 percent of all mass killings. While public massacres draw the most media attention, they represent only 1 in 6 of all such events in the United States and, unfortunately, mass shootings account for only about 1 percent of all murders nationally. Men commit an overwhelming majority of all murders and they commit 94% of all mass killings. Equally lamentable is the number of rapes and sexual assaults committed each year—a sexual assault occurs every 98 seconds in this country, with perhaps as many as 1.4 million American women suffering from acts of forced penetration every year and an additional 5 million subjected to other types of sexual violence. While callous and brutal attacks on college and university campuses and in the military draw the most public attention, the majority of rapes and sexual assaults, some 67 percent, occur in a victim’s own home or in that of a friend, neighbor, or relative, and more than 70 percent of these attacks are made by the victim’s intimate partner, family member, or friend. Men commit 95.5 percent of all rapes (98.1 percent of the rapes of women, 93 percent of the rapes of men). Moreover, as national crime statistics indicate, men are the overwhelming perpetrators of all other types of violent crimes, including robbery, aggravated assault, and arson; of property crimes, including burglary, larceny, and theft; of drug-related crimes; as well as of all other criminal offenses. And men frequently turn their violent impulses upon themselves; deaths by suicide are 4 times higher among males than females, with men representing 79 percent of all suicide deaths in the U.S.
The number of men in this country arrested and charged with criminal offenses in the last comprehensive Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report reporting the sex of the offender (for the year 2015) is 5,259,673, with those between the ages of 10 and 35 arrested in more than 60 percent of all crimes. While, for the purposes of reporting, the FBI counts as adults all offenders over the age of 18, males between the ages of 10 and 21 account for some 20 percent of all violent crimes reported in that year; further analysis reveals that there is a long-term trend toward “younger-age crime,” so that today “the peak age-crime involvement” is 25 or younger for all crimes reported by the FBI (except gambling).
While these shocking numbers include mass shooters, murderers, rapists, sexual predators and stalkers, batterers, robbers, thieves, and arsonists, this reckoning of male criminality does not calculate the problems men increasingly seem to be facing when it comes to even the most basic challenges of entering into a productive adulthood. Rates of unemployment for men are exceptionally high, especially for those between the ages of 16 to 24, while the number of so-called “prime-age” men (ages 25 to 54) who are unemployed is in a “long-term decline.” This number has “more than tripled” over the last five decades, much of their failure to engage in a productive life explained by their “retreat from marriage and fatherhood,” traditional if not sufficient markers of responsible male maturity. Additionally, men now represent only 37.8 percent of those enrolled in college, an academic institution that was, for some six centuries, their exclusive domain. And today, for the first time in 130 years, more young adults ages 18 to 34 are living with their parents than independently, with fully 35 percent of all men in this age group still living at home, undoubtedly nursing their grievances online with others of their kind, sending angry threats out into the manosphere as they shelter in their childhood bedrooms. Nor do these worrisome indices of male failure-to-launch account for the uncountable numbers of dudes and bros, jocks, douchebags, proud boys, wannabe gangstas, hipsters, playas, gamers, fanboys, internet trolls, frat boys, show-offs, manbabies, crybabies, pick-up artists, wankers, slackers, mansplainers, manspreaders, porn addicts, gun nuts, homophobes, transphobes, misogynists, bullies, Twitter tough guys, nerd ragers, and incels, not to mention the large numbers of common, everyday, garden-variety assholes, jackasses, dicks, tools, whiners, idiots, posers, and jerks.
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by many women that a boy older than 10 is in ever-increasing danger of falling victim to a pervasive and destructive toxic masculinity that links manhood to dominance and control, while a man younger than 35 is no useful commodity, and even when he comes to this age, he may still be of no account to his parents, to a potential life partner, to an employer, or to the nation, the charge of his food, clothing, housing, and education having exceeded by many times whatever return upon investment, emotional or financial, he is apt to have made.
I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that all boys and young men between the ages of 10 and 35 be secluded from the larger population and carefully reared in a safe and secure environment designed especially for their protection and perfection. After age 35, but only after demonstrating their readiness and worthiness, they may be returned to and reintegrated with society; if, however, they remain intractable at that age, they will be required to continue in their all-male seclusion until such time that they are able to demonstrate their suitability for membership in a civil society.
I grant that funding such an undertaking will be somewhat dear, but the investment in these males will not only relieve their parents from the terrible burden of such ill-advised expenditure, it will free society from bearing the incalculable costs of male behavior, criminal and otherwise. It will, at the same time, prepare all men-in-training to become valuable and productive members of society once they rejoin the larger community, having, during their years of seclusion, been well educated, carefully nurtured, rigorously disciplined, and thoughtfully shaped into virtuous, compassionate, diligent, humble, and responsible human beings.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require) may see in this population a potential offset to the enormous costs of housing, feeding, and training such numbers, these boys and young men being daily put to work during their seclusion in a variety of useful employments, from agricultural labor and manufacturing to computer programming and data entry, their various labors making admirable contributions to the costs of their care.
As to location, the state of Montana may be appointed for this purpose, its 147,046 square miles most convenient for this enterprise. As the fourth largest state in area, it is sparsely inhabited, only the 44th most populous state, and so we may rest assured that there is ample space for the numbers of boys and young men resettled there and that no centers of population will be endangered or threatened thereby.
A very worthy person, a true lover of her country and one whose virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased, in discoursing on this matter, to offer a refinement upon my scheme. She said that many women, having utterly despaired of the potential of men, were convinced that all men should simply be expelled from this country. She argued that it would be easier and much more cost effective entirely to eliminate men, who in most regards seem to be more trouble than they are worth and whose only indispensible function, namely their role in human reproduction, has now proved to be dispensable after all. But with due deference to so excellent a friend and so deserving a patriot, I cannot be altogether in her sentiments. It would, I think, with humble submission, pose an insurmountable obstacle to the public if it were suggested we eliminate men altogether, for while their continued existence may represent an unhappy problem, it is not an irresolvable one, and it would not be an easy thing to eradicate them altogether, if for no other reason than they are constantly being born. And besides it is not improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt to censure such a solution (although indeed very unjustly) as a little bordering upon cruelty which, I confess, has always been with me the strongest objection against any project, however well intended.
But in order to justify my friend, she confessed that this expedient was put into her head by the famous example of the Amazons, those legendary self-sufficient women who permitted no men to reside within their independent kingdom. The Amazons would, once a year, suffer to have sexual relations with men, but only of necessity, in order to insure the continued repopulation of their society. Although some claim that the Amazons would kill any male children born to them, this is false, a lie perpetrated, not unsurprisingly, by men. These newborn male infants were quickly and happily disposed of by returning them to their male progenitors. The Amazons’ daughters, however, were nurtured in their infancy by their mothers and then trained in both the happy and productive arts of peace and the unhappy but necessary science of war, a brutal state constantly perpetuated by the surrounding quarrelsome patriarchies.
Some persons of a desponding spirit may agree with my friend about the vast numbers of men, dangerous, costly, and unnecessary, but I have desired to employ my thoughts about what course may most easily and effectively be taken to ease the nation of so grievous an encumbrance, not to incite disagreement or dissent. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged by all that men are engaged every day killing and raping, destroying and damaging, pillaging and polluting, and that, if they are not committing acts of bloodshed and outrage, they are at the very least making themselves a great and abiding nuisance. In the present state of affairs, they have not been able to reform themselves, and thus the country cannot be happily delivered from the evils that must result if the status quo is maintained.
I have too long digressed and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages of the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.
For first, as I have already observed, removing all boys and men between the ages of 10 to 35 from our society would greatly reduce the numbers of massacres, murders, manslaughters, rapes, and sexual assaults that are yearly committed in this country, young men being the principal agents of violence as well as our most dangerous enemies.
Second, as these very same boys and men are also the victims of male-on-male violence, they will thus be similarly protected from the horrific acts committed by their kind and cohort.
Third, this new society of young men, a brotherhood or fraternity, if you will, would be entitled to receive the constant and undivided attention of their vigilant caregivers, whose unstinting and unsparing efforts, proceeding from genuine love and concern, will shape generations of young boys into worthy and admirable men.
Fourth, whereas the maintenance of such a number of males, from 10 to 35 years of age, cannot be computed at less than $32,000 per year, these charges may be offset by recouping and redirecting all resources currently wasted upon them, including the expenses of their rearing and education, the price of their idiocy and laziness, and the ruinous cost of their criminal acts, including but not limited to the untold sums directed to their arrest, prosecution, and incarceration.
Fifth, the costs to the nation of intimate partner violence, which annually exceed 8.8 billion dollars, including medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity, will be radically reduced, a great benefit to the economic well-being of the nation.
Sixth, the savings to the country from the reduced rate of automobile accidents, not to mention traffic fatalities, would be substantial, men ages 16 through 35 responsible for a great majority of such incidents, males accounting for 75 percent of all fatalities among the 21 to 30 age group; additionally, without these numbers of heedless male drivers careening around on our roads, not only would motor vehicle crashes and fatalities be reduced, but traffic congestion would also be diminished, with a further savings in time and money, and a corresponding reduction in our national consumption of fossil fuels.
Seventh, vast sums of money are currently wasted on vulgar spectacles wherein grown men, lauded as “heroes,” are paid unconscionable sums of money to play infantile games with sticks and balls in lavish and publicly funded temples where their childish activities are applauded as if they represent meaningful accomplishment. All this wasteful expenditure could be redirected to more beneficial pursuits, like paying child- and elder-care workers an adequate wage for the truly heroic work they perform.
Many other advantages to my proposal might be enumerated. For instance, the persistent gender pay gap will be eliminated at last, since women will have achieved far greater levels of experience and achieved higher levels of seniority in their chosen vocations before those men who have demonstrated their suitability for a return to society begin to enter into the job market. The price of higher education will fall dramatically as colleges and universities compete for female students, thereby eliminating the need for student loans currently burdening graduates with a crushing load of debt. Difficult social issues like abortion and contraception will become much less contentious; with fewer male distractions—and with a much lower risk of rape or coercion or accident—women may choose to become pregnant when (and if) it is convenient for them, with or without a male partner. And who can begin to calculate the improvements in our popular entertainment, when movies are no longer made by so-called adult men who retain the mindset of 14-year-old boys, obsessed with comic-book heroes, car chases, dinosaurs, and fart jokes.
I can think of no one objection that will possibly be raised against this proposal unless it should be urged that the number of men available for military service will be thereby much lessened in the country. This I freely own, and it was indeed one principal design in offering it to the nation. I desire the reader to observe that I do not suggest that the boys and young men secluded from society be pressed into military service and turned into soldier-slaves, for such an outcome would violate all concerns for their well-being and potential. Indeed, the savagery and brutality perpetuated by U.S. militarism and war-mongering are manifestations of our current crisis of masculinity and national identity. A significant reduction in the levels of our military forces is an outcome much to be desired, and an adequate military force can easily be maintained without young men. Women serve ably in all branches of today’s armed forces, currently representing 14.6 percent of those on active duty; women serve at all military ranks, from private, seaman recruit, and airman basic to general and admiral, and all military positions, including combat, are now open to them. Mindful of their Amazonian forebears, these numbers of women surely constitute an admirable and sufficient defensive force. Additionally, I can foresee that some men over the age of 35, no longer suffering from adolescent macho fantasies and having successfully prepared to work for the common good, may choose to enter the military and dedicate their future lives to service to their country.
I calculate my remedy for this one individual nation, the United States of America, and for no other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon earth. Let no one talk to me of other expedients: of eliminating guns; of teaching boys and men not to rape; of electing principled leaders who act with integrity for the common good; of expecting the law enforcement and the criminal justice systems to do their jobs and prosecute sexual assault and domestic violence as serious crimes; of dismantling an ideology that constructs masculinity as violent, aggressive, dominating, competitive, and controlling and that devalues feminized qualities like kindness, caring, cooperation, and compassion; of promoting intelligence and reason instead of celebrating ignorance and rage; of expecting our sons to be as ambitious and industrious and responsible as our daughters.
Therefore I repeat: let no one talk to me of these and the like expedients until there is at least a glimpse of hope that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.
But as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this practical proposal, which as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real, of no expense and little trouble, fully in our own power to accomplish.
And after all I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion as to reject any offer proposed by wise men which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my scheme, I desire the author or authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, as things now stand, I ask how they hope to control the tens of millions of dangerous and useless boys and men, much less to protect us from them, and second, I desire those who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the women whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have quarantined all males between the ages of 10 to 35 years old, in the manner I prescribe, and thereby to have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortune as they have since gone through and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries in the years to come.
I profess in the sincerity of my heart that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, my own son being 40 years old and I being well past child bearing.