My husband and I have been talking for a while about the economy, the Moynihan report, and implications for today. It's my feeling that our current economy, and the disparity between expectations for males and females, among other things, has the potential to set up a situation similar to what is described by Moynihan. Basically, he said that masculinity is defined in part by one's ability to provide- for one's self and one's family. Take away that ability, and you take away a person's identity, leading to an abandoning of their role in society and in the family as well as a general decline in a person's sense of self worth. This abandonment of social roles and inability to fulfill roles lead to the slew of social problems (single parenthood, violence, drug use, teen parents) seen in the African American community in the late twentieth century, according to Moynihan. He posited that the solution was for African American to sign up for the military and serve in Vietnam in order to be able to provide for their family. Robert F. Williams disagreed with this, and this difference of opinion, and the definition of masculinity upon which Moynihan and Williams both agreed is the major topic of Dwight's master's thesis. My position is that what we are currently seeing in our society and economy is setting up white males for a similar removal of themselves from society and abandonment of their roles.
Imagine my surprise when Juan Williams was discussing this very thing on NPR today. Audio will be available after 9AM. I feel like one smart cookie. Well, chopped liver with a side of smart cookie.