The proprietors over at Le Chateau Heartiste in their most recent entry quote from Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, aka The Anti-Birth Control Encyclical, as both fans and detractors, theologians and lay people alike have come to know it. Given that the forty-two year old encyclical predicted what Heartiste now dutifully “lectures” upon (and, as he himself admits, ruefully celebrates), i.e., that artificial birth control would foster a revolution–not just sexual, I am surprised that it has taken this long for the encyclical to work its way onto those dark web pages at the Chateau.
While most conservative and traditional Catholics discuss, as the does the encyclical, the, um, deleterious effect that ABC (artificial birth control–almost cute, ain’t it?) has on women, few, unlike Heartiste, are willing to discuss the harmful effects that ABC has on men:
Pope Paul VI was close to the mark, but he forgot to mention the distaff side the equation; specifically, that as cheap contraceptives silently and subtly move men toward devaluing women, so too does the technology move women toward devaluing beta males, those bitter losers in the sexual market (note: I did not say marriage market or child market) for whom contraceptives, coupled with female economic self-sufficiency, have rendered them practically superfluous as primetime sexual partners.
While it is easy to criticize the short-sightedness of someone forty years after the fact (and one commentator does point out the essential difference in Pope Paul VI’s prediction and Heartiste’s post hoc analysis [By the way, did I just put those two names in the same sentence?]) , the general truth of the statement remains: ABC grievously hurts good men. In a world where the connection still exists between sex and pregnancy, the men who are willing to stick around the morning after (and I do not mean that in the sense of helping the woman acquire the morning-after pill), slap a ring on the finger, and get a job to support a family are rightfully celebrated. These men, beta men, are the backbone of any and every healthy civilization. However, in these chemically-induced times, women who have recourse both to ABC and economic self-sufficiency no longer need such men. At least, they do not need such men until they realize that having a dependable man in their lives to help feed their bastard children might be nice and that they are now scarred shells of their once sexually vibrant and alluring selves. Further, as a reward–oh, the humanity of it all–for playing by the rules, beta men are treated to such post-digestion delicacies and then(!) told to be thankful. Case in point: “Man up.” Or: “Marry that woman.” Or: “Are you waiting for someone better to come along?” Or–everyone’s favorite: “It’s because of men like you that civilization is in tatters.” No, it’s because of these men that we have anything left that resembles civilization.
Enjoy what is left of it while you can.