Book Review: Men on Strike by Dr. Helen Smith

Vox's review of Dr. Helen's new, rather short, book was enough to get me interested in reading the same; after all, anyone worthy of Vox's respect is generally someone worth reading. So I downloaded it and got to reading it, and immediately thought to myself, "here, at last, is a woman who Gets It".

Dr. Helen is essentially trying to understand the conundrum that modern men find themselves facing in today's world: the rules that we were taught as children, the rules that said that we should work hard, marry, raise children, and stay faithful to our wives, are the very rules that are being used against us. The world we face today is absolutely and utterly hostile to male interests. What Dr. Helen attempts to do in this book is to outline those challenges and force the world to confront them. She does this in a fairly logical sequence: first, by presenting many horror stories, anecdotes, polls, and facts from various sources; second, by outlining the misandrist nature of the system we face in considerable and fairly well-researched detail; and third, by suggesting solutions that require men to take action instead of simply "going Galt".

Dr. Helen attempts to answer the question: why are men going on strike? What she means by this is that men are simply retreating from the world around them in truly unprecedented numbers, and are doing so willingly and without regret. More and more of us are refusing to "man up" and take on the responsibilities of steady, long-term employment, of supporting a wife and children, and of becoming the kinds of "pillars of society" that we once were. More of us than ever are simply retreating into a virtual world of online entertainment, video games, and instantly available high-quality porn instead of engaging with the world around us. Like most social commentators who understand that men are, in fact, a bit of a necessity to a functioning society, Dr. Helen thinks this is a Really Serious Problem. Unlike most of her fellow social commentators, though, Dr. Helen isn't trying to convince us to "man up"; instead, she's trying to convince society as a whole that a gigantic mistake has been made and that it's time to reverse course.

An interesting aspect of Dr. Helen's book is the fact that she does borrow some of her source material from the likes of us scruffy, unwashed Manospherians. One Manospherian in particular- the esteemed Vox Day himself- gets a solid mention early on in the book. Perhaps Vox's greatest contribution among many to the Red Pill world is his definition of the socio-sexual hierarchy, which expands and refines the concept of the sexual Alpha-Beta-Gamma-Omega hierarchy that Roissy created and applies it to a finer set of grades that more completely encompass the archetypes we actually encounter on a daily basis. Dr. Helen references this in the book early on, and uses aspects of that socio-sexual hierarchy to point out some important home truths.

To be honest, nothing that Dr. Helen has written will come as real news to longtime denizens of this particular corner of teh Interwebz. Dr. Helen's tales of horror in the divorce courts, the workplace, the schools, and the dating scene are not the least bit surprising to those of us who took the Red Pill or are in the process of swallowing it. What might surprise you is the depth to which modern Western society has descended in its antipathy towards men. One particularly shocking story related in Dr. Helen's book came from the tale of a 15-year-old boy who had sex with his adult teacher; she was impregnated during the encounter, and the boy was required to pay child support for the baby born from this deeply sinful union.

I write again- the boy was fifteen years old.

Moreover, if you didn't think particularly highly of most women and especially of feminists before, your opinion of what they have wrought will hit rock-bottom after you read this book. Lest you think Bill Powell is a bit extreme when he says that all women are a bit crazy, this book will definitely change your mind- and in fact the stories in there about women intentionally digging used condoms out of the trash or the toilet in order to impregnate themselves will disgust or amuse you to no end (given my somewhat twisted sense of humour, I was more amused than anything else).

The interesting thing about this book is that Dr. Helen does not attempt to speak on behalf of men. She really doesn't. She's not patronising or demeaning men in any way, unlike other authors like, say, Kay Hymowitz, who have written on the same subject in recent years. Instead, she is one of the very few Red Pill-aware women who is genuinely trying to roll back the unstoppable tide that is coming at us right now. She is pushing for sexual and social equality for both men and women, in a way that very few women can even begin to understand. She devotes the last chapter of the book to telling men exactly how and when they can begin to fight back against the tide of legal and social oppression that is driving so many of us away from the responsibilities that we once assumed without question or hesitation.

And this is where I take some issue with her writing and her work. While I applaud Dr. Helen's willingness to take a stand where so many other women would refuse, I simply do not agree with her that there is anything worth saving. By pushing for equality, I think Dr. Helen is making the exact same mistake that every other Men's Rights Activist makes. Equality was never the cornerstone of a successful masculine society. Equality was instead such a society's greatest weakness. In this I completely disagree with both Dr. Helen and the MRA movement, for although they, like me, are on Team Civilisation, they want something far less worthy and far less important than what I want.

What we should be aiming for is male supremacy- male dominance. That is what built civilisation in the first place- men, willing to make hard choices, willing to take on terrible ordeals, willing to offer up supreme sacrifices, in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from the savagery of the world around them. Women did not have the vision and the drive to build the Great Wall of China, a (probably mad and definitely rather paranoid) man did. Women did not build first the Roman Republic and then the Roman Empire; men, by the eternal and glorious names of Scipio and Caesar and Flavius Aetius, did. Women did not propel Mankind towards the heavens; men did. Even the most egalitarian of the great ancient empires were male-dominated. Take Sparta, for instance- a nation in which free married women had significant legal power and rights far in excess of what any woman from any other Greek polis could even dream of. Even in Sparta, the society was forged and protected by men. Only in a world where men lead can there truly be the kind of forward progress- however error-strewn and bloody it might be- that saw mankind march from the swamps to the stars in just under half a millennium.

What we should be aiming for instead is the model that has proven the truest and most successful for the last ten millennia- male dominance, drive, determination, and aggression to build civilisation, balanced out by female nurturing, fecundity, and love to maintain it.

A world in which the laws of society seek to bring men down to the level of women, or seek to elevate women up to the level of men, is a world that cannot be sustained, and no man should countenance supporting such a world if he can avoid it.

Indeed, more and more men are choosing to do just that- avoid the responsibilities that we were taught all our lives were ours to assume. Instead of supporting a world that offers us no rewards for our sacrifices, that denigrates and mocks our beliefs, that seeks to tear us down at every turn, we choose instead to retreat, to abandon them to their madness. And why shouldn't we, when there is literally no point to following the rules of the game given that the game is rigged against us?

Dr. Helen's book is an important battle in the long-term war for civilisation. But it is a flawed one even so, for while it identifies the problem perfectly, and mauls the architects of this insanity masterfully, it falls far short in its attempts to find solutions. Despite its flaws, I would still strongly recommend that you read it, for there aren't many Red Pill women out there who truly get it. Dr. Helen really does.

Didact's Verdict: 3/5, the first two-thirds are outstanding but then the last third just sort of goes all limp-wristed. Definitely recommended if you want some ammunition to take on feminists and other lower primates.


  1. "bit of a necessity"

    I take issue with that. Men are absolutely necessary to society, since we created everything.

    I like to quote P.J. O'Rourke comment: "Without men civilization would last until the next oil change." Camille Paglia was a bit more precise: without men, women would be living in grass huts.

    If you haven't read Charles Murray's "Human Accomplishment," you should give it a shot. I consider it essential.

    1. Hey Bob, welcome back, it's been a while.

      Yes that was my version of British understatement. As you'll see, later on in the same review I point out that the reason we have civilisation in the first place is because of men.

      Haven't read that particular book by Charles Murray. He's a good writer- Losing Ground was quite good, I thought- but it seems to me like he pulls his punches a bit when confronted with certain very unpleasant conclusions. I'll give that book a shot at some point.

  2. MRAs are definitely NOT on team civilisation; it's one of the main reasons I left the camp. They're merely an extension of the cultural marxist Hegelian Dialectic that's been practised on the family; the ultimate goal is complete state control of the family, which we're seeing now in Canada and Germany with the establishment of state-appointed social workers as guardians for children, in the former case for those going through divorces to ensure "fairness". The MRAs are begging pimp daddy G for "equality", which will merely serve to extend state power.

    Hawaiian Libertarian, Aurini and No-Ma'am have all expounded on this. The MRAs are useful idiots at best, dangerous at worst.

    Now, the only way to fix things is the complete collapse of society. Too far step'ped in blood and all that. Happened before, shall happen again.

  3. This is precisely my perspective on Smith's work and on the MRM generally. Equality is the status that comes right before death. Society was built by hierarchies of men willing to make sacrifices. The productive interaction between the sexes will come back when women get pushed back into admitting an economic dependency on men.


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