Why are men struggling now more than they ever have?
Being a man in 2022 is a LOT different than being a man in 1952 was... but what has changed?? And why has it changed? And why are men struggling now more than they ever have?
Cathy Reisenwitz from "Sex and the State" joins us on today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show to outline why so many men are a shell of themselves, and why our fetishization of yester-year only makes things worse.
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Brian Nichols 0:05
The focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, Happy New there, folks. Brian was here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on of course, another fun filled episode. Hi. And as always your humble host. And today I'm excited to have this conversation because he knew men out there and fellow men this is a conversation to you, and for you, frankly, and it is what's happening to us. But before we get there, we're gonna go ahead and give a shout out to today's sponsor and that is the expat money show. Now, if you head over to the Brian Nichols show.com, forward slash expat you're gonna go ahead and not only check out this awesome podcast from our good friend McHale Thorpe that focuses on how to protect the money that you've worked so hard to earn from those ambulance chasing lawyers, nefarious creditors and greedy unjust governments. But also you can sign up for the amazing free virtual summit taking place November 7 through November 11. It is the expat money summit and breaking news. I cannot believe I get the opportunity to even say this the one the only Ron Paul will be one of the keynote speakers here for the expat money Summit. So head over to the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash expat and make sure you can not only join our good friend of calthorpe, but also find how he helps people just like you invest internationally secure second passports and residencies, eliminate your tax bill and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again. Oh, yes. One more time. That virtual Summit is free. Brian Nichols show.com, forward slash expat. Alright folks. So onto the program today. I'm excited to have this conversation because frankly, men, it's time for us to have this conversation, because there's been a lot of issues taking place, especially us, gents here in America. So joining us on the program today, Kathy rising, awaits. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.
Cathy Reisenwitz 2:06
Hey, Brian, so good to be here.
Brian Nichols 2:08
I'm so happy to have you, Kathy, thank you for joining us, because we're talking about a very serious issue. And that is men out there. There have been issues that have been plaguing men across the left and right, it seems for the past 2030 years, it's been getting exponentially worse, whether you're looking at the way that men interact with their partners, the way that men interact in sexual relationships, the way men have interacted with their their occupations and what their role is, in society we've seen, really across the board a redefining or maybe a lack of defining of what it means to be a guy be a man in America or in the world today. Jack, you know, you have some perspectives and some thoughts there. But before we get there, do us a favor, introduce yourself to The Brian Nichols Show audience.
Cathy Reisenwitz 2:49
Absolutely. So I'm Kathy rising wits and I am an a writer, activist and onlyfans creator, I have a newsletter called Sex in the state, you can find it at Kathy rising without sub sect.com. I'm on FF o f.com/cathy. Rising once and I've been in the libertarian sphere for many years now I've written for fi and reason, and many other outlets. And my main focus is obviously government oppression. But I'm also particularly interested in matters of sex and gender.
Brian Nichols 3:20
As I'm taking a drink of my water, I apologize. So let's talk about sex and gender. Right. This is an area right now. And let's talk about men specifically where we're seeing there's been a big split in conversation in terms of what does it mean to be a guy and this is, I think, actually been peeking its head for the past few years. I tease that a little bit in the intro that your average guy doesn't really know what it means to be a guy. And I've seen this in some of the people I've been friends with over the years. And you know, it's frankly, some guys that have fallen out of my friends circle because they themselves are so insecure and what it means to be a guy that they don't know how to really have those relationships to have sometimes uncomfortable conversations. And we get into this world where a lot of men put on the bubble, they get into their own kind of zone and they do their own thing. And they live with their issues and live with their problems. And they don't talk about with anybody else. So talk to me, Kathy, what's the issue that you've been seeing? And where are you seeing men maybe starting to look for some help in areas that they haven't been looking for helping in ways in the past?
Cathy Reisenwitz 4:24
Yeah, I mean, it's a very complicated and early interrelated issue. But one of the things that I've really noticed is that the kind of standard of a male breadwinner marriage is becoming less and less feasible over time. So several trends are playing into this. One is women's labor force participation rates and average wages are growing, while men's labor force participation rates are declining and low and their wages have been stagnant. The bottom 75% have men in terms of income, their wages have been stagnant since 19, the 1970s. And meanwhile, you know, cost disease means that the cost of our biggest expenditures, housing, education, health care, things like that are increasing. And so it's going to be impossible. In other words, in the near future, and already, it is impossible for a lot of Americans to have a male breadwinner model of marriage. And so essentially, you know, when you have low and declining labor force participation rate, so that means, you know, for a cohort of American native born men, from roughly like, 18, to 30, there's something like 20% of men who are just called Meet, which means not in education, employment, or training. So, you know, how do we get these men into the labor force? And then, you know, how do we make marriage happen? And how do we redefine masculinity, in light of these economic macroeconomic changes. So these are some of the things that I'm I'm kind of grappling with, and then also the knock on effects of these macro and macro economic changes. And then another thing that I think is really playing into this is that demand for male coded labor is low and declining, and demand for feminine coded labor is increasing. And all this is just going to make it ever more difficult to maintain the male breadwinner model of marriage. And so, you know, how do we get these men out of their homes, into jobs into marriages and into a model of masculinity that is healthy and workable in the new economic reality?
Brian Nichols 6:44
And I guess it goes also back to what's the role of a guy going forward, right, like in you talked about it, because this is kind of how it used to be right men were the breadwinner, breadwinners women were at home with the kids, that just that was life. And things have changed. So I think not only things have changed, but I think to your point, they're changing so quickly. That now it's it's we're seeing almost institutional roles change to the point that a lot of men are still I look, we just had our pastor, our last band of brothers DJs survivor passed away from World War Two, he's like 102 years old. So to think, what was his way back? When he was a kid? What was it to be a man versus to where he ended up passing away in 2022? What it is to be a man today, and you can see, yeah, there's a lot of ambiguity in between from where he was to where we are today. So it's hard for even men today to look to other men to ask what does it mean to be a man because you're gonna get so many different answers,
Cathy Reisenwitz 7:46
right. And there was that one time, roughly from like, the 50s, to the 70s, where the model of masculinity was pretty clear cut, you know, you got a job and you found a wife, and you provided for your family financially. That was a time when demand for manufacturing and agricultural labor was very high. The demand for jobs were the biggest attribute you can bring is physical strength and stamina, the demand for that labor is much lower than it was then and it is only declining. And so it used to be that a low skill man could expect to have a job that could provide for a wife and family and buy him a car or two cars and a house without a college degree and without any special skills, that time is over. That's not true anymore. And so how do we redefine masculinity and change our systems in such a way that low skill low education men have a place in society?
Brian Nichols 8:52
Let me ask you this Catherine Do you see and I see as a guy I think that there's absolutely a bent against men in many cases in the way that men are approached in society. And I think it's tough because a lot of men just don't they don't feel comfortable in in raising this as a concern. Because of the the narrative in the approach of while you're you've had it great for so long. Oh, the patriarchal man Oh, you mansplaining like all those, those almost just rejections have now turned into realities for millions of men. So what are you seeing as a means to maybe help engagement into the conversation because frankly, I've heard and I've seen that's partly why a lot of men keep to themselves is because they don't want the social bereavement. They don't want to feel that they're being a nuisance, but at the same point in time, they're looking for help, and they're not sure they're gonna get it.
Cathy Reisenwitz 9:52
Yeah, I mean, that's a lot of why I started this project is because I see a lot of conversation around what's happening. Two men from like two equally unhelpful sides. The one side kind of tries to deny reality and say, oh, you know, men just need to be men or, you know, we just need to promote marriage or, you know, men just need to work harder. And it's like, well, no, there are structural forces in play that are keeping men or at least making it more difficult for men to lead the lives that their fathers and grandfathers lead. And then from the other side, I see a lot of Yeah, like you're saying, like, men have it easy. Men have an advantage. Men are to advantage in society. And it's like, Well, that's true in certain ways. There are certain ways in which men are absolutely still advantaged in society. But it's not uniform, right? Like they're not advantaged first, in every aspect of society, certainly. And, much more importantly, there's a certain class and kind of man that is much more uniformly advantaged in our society. But there's a whole bunch of men who don't really get to benefit from those advantages. And so I'm trying to look at it from like, neither unhelpful frame and try to look at it from a more comprehensive, accurate frame. And I think, you know, one thing that we want to do is like, Stop, you know, denying reality, as far as you know, yes, it is, I think still on net, a privilege in America to be born male. But that doesn't mean everything is going to be handed to you. It doesn't mean there are no circumstances in which it is unhelpful to be born male bodied. And so, you know, to just look at the totality of what's going on. And, you know, I just want to stop the conversation from being men versus women. Like, I think that's completely unhelpful, and say, how do we all come together and find where society is failing men? So we can all thrive?
Brian Nichols 11:58
Yeah, well, and what you're asking for is, is nuance you're asking for empathy. And, and frankly, that is something that is so not only necessary for this conversation, but it's so often rejected from the conversation that you see why there is such a schism and why this has been such a difficult conversation for so many folks to take part in. And, and frankly, it also leads to why we see so many of the issues that we see where you'll have a tough guy, strong man, or at least the caricature, right? The perception of what the tough guy, the, you know, look at Trump, that is exactly what Trump he represented was this idealistic guy, and what every guy could pursue, like in life, you can be the billionaire with all the women and the fancy cars and all the buildings with your name on it. And that's what it meant to be a guy. But that's not what it means to be a guy and frankly, is Trump really solid in his own masculinity? I wouldn't think so. And you see the way he approaches a lot of very masculine issues, and he gets very weary on it. So you can even see, he doesn't even buy his home. But yes, Kathy, so I think it's important, especially on a lot of guys out there to almost take the stand and reclaim to your point, what does it mean to be a man, but let me ask you this, because you'll see the flip side, you almost see, and pardon the expression, the beatification of a lot of guys where it's been pushed for men to embrace and accept these roles that they've been almost pushed into, regardless if they like it or not, whether and that is a conversation, I think, right there that, hey, let's have that conversation. What do you want to do? Let's figure out what you want to do. But because a lot of men have just so much abdicated any of that kind of sense of direction, they just assume these roles, and I guess is that maybe one of the things we should be looking at against is men who just kind of accept life except whatever role is thrust upon them, and it makes them I won't say less of a man, but at least it gives them less of a say in what it means for them to be a man.
Cathy Reisenwitz 14:06
Yeah, absolutely. I think masculinity is under attack, both from the left and the right. I think that it's under attack from the left and pretty obvious ways. But I think it's under attack from the right and the kinds of things you're bringing up that it redefines masculinity in a very selfish, Moorish, rude, negative way, right? Like Trump should not represent masculinity for anyone. And so I think that, you know, if we're going to have masculinity be physical strength and stamina, full stop. That's just not very useful in the modern economy and in the modern world. But I think that if we're going to focus on the aspects of masculinity, like personal sacrifice, like bravery, like a competitiveness, like a certain amount of progression, Right, these are things that are still very useful in the market economy and in the world today. I think, you know, a certain application of self a certain willingness to sacrifice is something that is a healthy masculinity. And it's interesting that you, when you look at immigrant men, you see a much higher rates of marriage and labor force participation. And what you often see is that immigrant men are more willing than native born men to take whatever kinds of jobs are available to them, and to enter into marriages before they have a certain level of economic security, and work with their wives to work up into that place of economic security, as opposed to either giving up or waiting until they're, they're, you know, quote, unquote, ready to get married. And so these are some of the things that I think we need to have conversations about, there's a certain amount of, you know, quote, unquote, feminizing, that probably a lot of men will have to do, because the jobs of the future require emotional maturity and intelligence and patience, and the ability to sit still. And things that traditionally men are not socialized to be great at. But there are aspects of masculinity that I think well will always be useful in society. And I'd like to see our culture prop up and teach men about those aspects of masculinity, instead of just being like a big strong brute, right, that's just not that useful anymore.
Brian Nichols 16:32
No. Well, I mean, it's your point, that's not useful anymore. Is it a component, I do think, you know, it is important for men to at least be physically fit and healthy. Because I can say that as a guy, I used to weigh 385, right, I was a big boy. And I know I can objectively state life is infinitely better now versus when it was versus when I was a big boy. And the reason being is because not only am I more confident in my abilities, right, but also, I then I can, I can almost personify that confidence, I can live and breathe that confidence versus before it was just I was always living in a shell. And this is true for anybody. By the way, if you're looking to get healthy, like I cannot encourage you enough to please improve your physical well being because it's gonna pay the dividends in the long run. But to your point, it's not just to go and lift weights until you're a big meathead. And that's all you based your identity on just same thing, we talk about our libertarian friends, the whole point is not to become a libertarian, and be the best version of libertarian self, it's to be the best version of a well rounded self. And how important is it to actually be a true well rounded individual. And I think what you're speaking to Kathy, and this is something that we see this in all great societies is that you take the things that every single person can bring a value to the table, and you use those things together in tandem. So it's the things that men can do. Well, you mentioned the certain things like sacrifice, consistency, the aggression, even a little bit of aggression, right? That is important to help move things along, but also the feminine side that you need to have the empathy, the understanding the kindness and being able to bridge those worlds together. I mean, look at Gary Vee, I don't care if people love him or hate him. He's become one of the most successful entrepreneurs out there because he has embraced this unique sense of Gary Vee masculinity that is very focused driven intensity, but the same time, yeah, like passion, empathy, understanding, and that has made him to be having a superpower. And if more men can embrace that kind of superpower, I daresay Kathy, a lot of the problems that we're identifying today, they'd be solved in a heartbeat because now men would start to find there's more to life than what you think is just a sexual desires, or just the you know, the physical desires, or the financial desires, whatever those little things you've set to be the things that you must accomplish in order to check the box of being a man, that you realize there's so much more to that, and that really, with there's so much more that there is to look at, there's so much more value you can you can go and enjoy from
Cathy Reisenwitz 19:13
Totally. And I think that, you know, this project, and this whole thing is absolutely not about saying, you know, men are useless, and masculinity is useless, like not at all. I think men are wonderful, and I think masculinity is wonderful. I just think that there is opportunity to evolve masculinity. I think we've done an amazing job as a society of evolving femininity, right? The definition and the the there's so many ways that women can talk about and tailor femininity to our goals and what serves us. And that's what I think these constructs should do. We shouldn't serve femininity or masculinity, our conceptions of femininity and masculinity should serve us and so I think, you know, we've had a cultural Will script and a cultural movement around evolving femininity just to better serve women? And I just think that that men need the same thing like how do we evolve the scripts and expectations and narratives around masculinity in such a way that it's serving men?
Brian Nichols 20:16
Amen. Well, Kathy, unfortunately, we're already in the back half of the episode, meaning, I'll make sure we obviously point folks the right way towards being able to learn more about all the great work you're doing to help continue this conversation. But also, they can go ahead and financially support you because you got a sub stack. It's sex in the state talk to us about that.
Cathy Reisenwitz 20:35
Absolutely. So I'm exploring these issues and more with political screens and personal essays at Sexten. State. So you can Google that or you can go to cafe rhizoids.subset.com. Let us see a th YREISENWI. tz. And if you want to follow my thoughts on a regular basis, I'm also very active on Twitter. So that's at Kathy resin woods. And if you want to financially support me and see me naked, I am only against.com/cathy. Rise. And Liz, thank you so much for letting me talk about my stuff and my thoughts and having me on. I really appreciate it.
Brian Nichols 21:08
Absolutely. And I bet the audience didn't expect that last one. If you want to see you make it Well, there you go. That's it. That's The Brian Nichols Show exclusive. And you'll ever hear that you're the program. So with that being said, yes, no, folks, thank you so much for joining us, Kathy. And folks, if you enjoyed today's episode, I'm gonna ask you please do me a favor, go ahead and give today's episode of share. And hey, I'm going to challenge you if you're a guy listening to this episode, and this kind of hit home to you. Well, number one, please let me know email me, Brian at Brian Nichols show.com. But number two, I would love it if you reach out to Kathy and give her a note. Tell her that you really appreciate her appearing. I know folks love to hear from guests or rather hear from the audience when their guests here in The Brian Nichols Show. So please go ahead and reach out to Kathy and tell her that you really appreciate her words and go ahead and learn more. Go ahead support her substack. And obviously go ahead and follow her all the different mediums, Twitter only fans wherever it may be. And folks, thank you for joining us on today's episode with that being said, Did you check out our awesome conversation last week? We talked about Texas? Yeah, Texas. Make sure you go ahead. I'll include that link right here below for you YouTube watcher. I'll see you over there. But with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Cathy rising wits. We'll see you tomorrow for listening
Unknown Speaker 22:16
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Author / Writer / Activist
I’m a writer with bylines in The Week, Newsweek, Forbes, the Daily Beast, VICE, Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo, Ravishly, Kink and Code and I am also a regular contributor to Exponents Magazine.
I’ve been quoted by the New York Times Magazine and my television appearances include Fox News and Al Jazeera America. I’ve been cited by the SF Planning Commission and the DePaul Journal of Women, Gender and the Law.
I’ve been cited in the following books: Called to Freedom, Peace, Love & Liberty, Critical Perspectives on Gun Control, Corruption and Government, and Jesus, Jihad and Peace.