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Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why it Matters [Hardcover]

Helen Smith
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2013
American society has become anti-male. Men are sensing the backlash and are consciously and unconsciously going "on strike." They are dropping out of college, leaving the workforce and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates. The trend is so pronounced that a number of books have been written about this "man-child" phenomenon, concluding that men have taken a vacation from responsibility simply because they can. But why should men participate in a system that seems to be increasingly stacked against them? As Men on Strike demonstrates, men aren't dropping out because they are stuck in arrested development. They are instead acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers. In addition, men are going on strike, either consciously or unconsciously, because they do not want to be injured by the myriad of laws, attitudes and hostility against them for the crime of happening to be male in the twenty-first century. Men are starting to fight back against the backlash. Men on Strike explains their battle cry.

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Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why it Matters + Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women + The Manipulated Man
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books,USA (1 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594036756
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594036750
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Helen Smith, PhD, is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues and men's issues in Knoxville, Tennessee. She holds a PhD from the University of Tennessee and master's degrees from The New School for Social Research and the City University of New York. She has written The Scarred Heart: Understanding and Identifying Kids Who Kill and was writer and executive producer of Six, a documentary about the murder of a family in Tennessee by teens from Kentucky. She has worked with men (as well as women and children) in her private practice for more than twenty years. She has been on numerous television and radio shows including Montel Williams and has appeared on E! Entertainment, Fox News, Discovery, Women's Entertainment, Biography, Oxygen and The Learning Channel. Smith has written for numerous publications including the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and The Cleveland Plain Dealer. She occasionally hosts a show at PJTV focusing on men's issues, psychology and politics. She has written on her blog at since 2005 on men's rights, men's issues and psychology and is now a columnist and blogger at PJ Media. Her blog is at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Men need to read this book. 10 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is an essential read for every man and I will be gifting a copy to every eligible bachelor I know.

In Men on Strike, Dr Helen Smith manages to thoughtfully document the fall-out from 40 years of anti-male legislation in the family courts.

Although long over due it's release coincides with a UK's Office for National Statistics report, showing that the number fatherless families has now risen to around 1 in 4 of all families in the UK today.

As men are waking up to just how much they are being duped, more and more of them are choosing to just go their own way and enjoy the freedoms of a single man`s life. These trends are obviously unsustainable and if allowed to continue unchecked, we may very well be witnessing the end of the two parent family altogether.

However, because men are not burdened with the omni-ticking sound of a female biological clock and their urge to have children is far less of an imperative(than it is for most women) they are actually far better equipped to adjust to this new marital landscape.

In fact, because it is quite conceivable that women actually end up the biggest losers in this, it would probably be wise for them to read this book also.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very welcome addition to the MRM discussion 21 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you know nothing about the men's rights movement (MRM) then you are in for a surprise - and really should read this book. An established men's rights activist (MRA) will find no dramatically new material here. However that is not the point. Any book reiterating the case for men is welcome in the present misandrist climate, and any book authored by a women is doubly welcome. No - quadrupley welcome. The fact that the women in question is also a professional forensic psychologist makes it all the better. Despite the familiarity of the core content, any reader interested in this topic (and everyone should be) will benefit from the many interesting quotes and asides with which the book is replete. The case for men needs every outlet it can get. Perhaps the most novel slant of this particular book is that it is not content with merely listing grievances but, as is stated explicitly, the author is encouraging action. Accordingly, the last section presents tips for how to go about countering the prevailing feminist orthodoxy - most welcome. All round, very strongly recommended. For UK readers the downside is that it is USA-specific. Though the core MRM concerns are generic, specific details (e.g., legal issues) will differ. I wonder where the UK equivalent of this book is at? There have been a few authored by UK men, but I cannot think of any by UK women.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, sympathetic introduction to the subject 30 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a worthwhile book with much useful insight into why men are increasingly turning their backs on women. Please don't buy it if you are a woman looking for yet another one of those "men won't commit because they're pathetic" books. 12 year old boys should be sat down and forced to read the sections on the inequalities of family law here - it may save them a lifetime of pain and stress.

The author gives some cases that might surprise even experienced MRAs (34yr old teacher commits statutory rape on 15yr old boy, then succeeds in claiming child support from him for the resulting baby). However, she overlooks MGTOW - the deeper trend within this so called "strike".

MGTOW is not a strike. It is not a protest, or an attempt to bargain by withdrawing affection - those are women's weapons, not men's. MGTOW is a recognition, an irreversible process based on a clear eyed assessment of modern women. It is a fundamental life choice. These men are not "coming back" - ever. They have simply found a better way to live. It doesn't involve women, and it will continue to grow even if current inequalities are addressed.

If you have never read a book about men's issues, you should definitely read this one. But if you are a man living with the consequences of decades of feminist lies, and you want something that understands and reflects how you really feel- and does it with rigour, eloquence and fire - try Steven Adams "Women first, men last" instead. Nevertheless, this book was worth the money and the time. It will do some good, and I hope Dr Smith writes more like it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying being on strike 30 Jun 2014
I've been on strike a few years now and have recently extended it to my career. The best decisions I have ever made. They can make up whatever crackpot rules they like in the workplace and family law system etc, but I don't have to participate. I hadn't read this book before I made the rational decisions I did, but she is correct and is very switched on to what is happening. The more men that do this and go on strike, the more men see how great they have it and follow suit.

To those who says we need to 'man up' and stop being a 'man child', I would point out that you appear to be under the mistaken assumption that I care what you think.

The tough part is going to be how they eventually get men to end the strike, I fail to see how they could offer me anything better than I already have. So the losers in this game will be women and not men.
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425 of 455 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying and Infuriating 25 May 2013
By Thomas E. Wictor - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dr. Smith concisely describes how American society has become anti-male. As a result, men are opting for non-participation. A stand-out chapter is "Why Does Dad Stay in the Basement?" (pages 95-118), which posits that too many women view men as "perverts, predators, and goofballs." This chapter brings to mind the TV and radio commercials with dumb husbands being put in their place by their rude, condescending wives. Usually a callow male says or does something stupid, and then the wife sneers, "Slow down there, champ! Time to grow up and stop being a moron!" Imagine the outrage if the roles were reversed.

In 2005 Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers spoke at a conference on women and other minorities in the science and engineering workforce. Summers said that POSSIBLE explanations for the underrepresentation of women in the upper echelons of these professions MIGHT include upbringing, genetics, and time spent on child rearing. He clearly stated that he made these comments to be provocative. Listening to the presentation, MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins said, "I felt I was going to be sick. My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow. I was extremely upset." She wasn't the only one. A firestorm of male and female outrage engulfed Harvard for months.

Has any man out there ever felt sick when he saw a portrayal of us as perverts, predators, and goofballs? Have our hearts started pounding and our breathing become shallow? Now, just imagine if you could press a button and instantly change all those thousands of commercials from women calling their husbands idiots to men telling their wives to calm down, grow up, and stop being so stupid. Pause and think of the global hysteria. All double standards are enraging, but one of the worst is, "I am woman hear me roar, but I'm just a girl, so stop being mean to me."

Yet Dr. Smith is optimistic. Her book functions as a cogent identifier of the problem, a handbook of solutions, and an unflinching statement of principles. It's thoroughly footnoted, with an index and a selection of resources for men. Very worthwhile and a fast, thought-provoking read.
187 of 204 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and timely 8 Jun 2013
By Michael T Kennedy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This little book is an excellent introduction to a serious problem lurking in American society. Men have been discriminated against for more than 30 years. Unnoticed is the fact that the discrimination against women, which led to the efforts to favor women in law and society, ended decades ago. I teach medical students and am well aware that the majority are now female. When I attended medical school 50 years ago, admissions committees did discriminate against female applicants because the committees, almost all male, were concerned about the perceived doctor shortage and felt that women who completed a medical education would not practice full time or would stop their practice once they had children. Today, this concern is not apparent but, interestingly enough, female physicians do tend to limit their hours and a recent study by a physician recruitment firm noted that female physicians work significantly fewer hours per week than their male colleagues who also work fewer hours than my generation did.

We are well past the era of discrimination against women but you would not know it from the newspapers or TV or academia. Dr Smith recounts her experience, not only from her practice as a clinical psychologist, but from interviewing men in the environs where they lurk and by e-mail and in comments on her blog. After reading her book, I would say, without getting into detail, that I see many examples from my own life.

She begins with a chapter on why men seem to be avoiding marriage. Here she interviews young men who are members of several subsets, including "gamers" and men at gyms and in bars. A lot of this is related to the sexual revolution in which men can get sex without marriage. When I was a college student, that was rare and men and women tended to marry earlier in life. It certainly was a motivation for both of us as women feared pregnancy and were very reluctant to risk it. Legal abortion and the birth control pill changed all this.

One additional factor is the change in society's attitude toward women who have children out of wedlock. The fact that women have less to fear from societal disapproval doesn't reduce the legal consequences for the father, or at least the putative father. She has a lengthy discussion of paternity law and the surprising (and often infuriating) results of DNA testing. She recounts many cases in which the man ordered to pay child support was not the father but this did not reduce his obligation. There are a number of cases in which a husband learned that his wife's children were not fathered by him.

She has a chapter about the war on men in college. My sons attended college over 20 years ago and I don't believe they encountered this. I certainly didn't but it is a major problem now. Sexual harassment charges are being leveled at men and they are being denied simple legal protection.

She discusses the issue of the marginalization of husbands and fathers who are being relegated to "man caves," often a basement or garage where they must keep their "stuff" or see it banned from the rest of the house. I can recall from my own experience having derogatory remarks made about my "I love me wall." This was a space for photos and plaques from my own life. Fortunately, I had already been through my second divorce and ignored the complaint. I did notice efforts to ease my "stuff" to a small office and it took some push back to avoid the "man cave" effect. I now live alone with a basset hound and hear no complaints.

Her later chapters cover why women, and society in general, should be worried about this. I am grateful that my two sons are old enough to have missed this in school and seem to have survived with their male instincts intact. I have some reservations about whether society can be shifted back to even keel anytime soon. Several of my female medical students invited me to a presentation of "Vagina Monologues" a few years ago at the school. I thanked them and declined. Both have since married and I was invited to the weddings. I do wonder how that is working out.

Some years ago, there was a movement to support the concept that a wife was entitled to half the husband's lifetime earning if she had worked while he was in school. This came up at a medical association convention, brought up by female students and doctors in training. I got the floor and asked if it had ever occurred to them that they could be the victims of similar action by estranged husbands. The matter never got any farther. Sanity returned.

I recommend this little book highly as it focused my own vague disquiet about male-female relations on certain facts, many of which were unknown to me as I am 75 years old and past the war of the sexes. I am content to live alone but married twice and paid the price although I love my children.
276 of 304 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Work by a Brilliant Psychologist 19 May 2013
By Bernard Chapin - Published on
This is a book that everyone should read and a perfect antidote to the widespread anti-male propaganda within the mainstream media. Dr. Helen Smith is a very objective writer who is able to address men's issues without bias and she does so in a non-condescending manner. She puts her many years as a psychologist and her many years as a writer into this work. She consults with her readers and men in general (even ones in the gym) in order to capture the spirit of this very sick age. As she writes, "an army of Davids" helped her create this book. Political correctness is the enemy of truth, and you won't find any PC mumbo-jumbo in these pages. The chapters provide thorough analysis of the obstacles that men face in society. Specifically, "The Marriage Strike," "My Body, My Choice Your Body No Choice," "The College Strike--Where the Boys Aren't," "Why Does Dad Stay in the Basement," "Why it Matters" and "Fighting Back, Going Galt or Both?" The latter is Chapter 6 which will particularly appeal to those who are suffering from the culture's pervasive misandry. It showcases ways in which you can take steps to help yourself. This book outlines problems and also offers solutions.
121 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like pretty little lies, don't read this book. If you can handle the brutal truth, read it. 18 Jun 2013
By FullyAwake - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think marriage and family are probably the best things you could possibly have in life. Having said that, why am I single and childless? Too risky. Divorce rate is too high. Households headed by married adults are now in the minority. The rate of increase in female perpetrated crime continues to skyrocket. Jobs are scarce. A large percentage of well educated women don't want kids or want them late in life. There are fatherless kids all over the place. One slip up with a woman and your life could be ruined.

I'm one of the many `on strike', which is wise considering the potential consequences and all that I might come up against in today's legal and economic climate. I'm well educated, have a great career, my own home, yada...yada...yada. No way am I betting all that on the flip of a coin. I can't even fathom how families with children handle divorce. Must be the most soul crushing thing in life for all involved. I consider what I'm doing to be identical to what women have done over the past 40+ years. I'm opting out of the traditional way of life.

This is an 'early an age as they can handle it' must read for all males. This book should be the start of a men's studies course in college. Just imagine the talk after that school paper announcement! HA!

The other day, a friend of mine told me that his girlfriend dialed 911 during an argument. I was rendered speechless. A chill ran down my spine. It is painfully simple to ruin someone's life with a phone call these days.
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TREMENDOUS BOOK 10 Jun 2013
By Just Another Guy - Published on
My girlfriend purchased this - she read it first and wanted my reaction. We both found it compelling, true, spot on.

The most striking chapters include "The Marriage Strike," "My Body, My Choice Your Body No Choice," "The College Strike--Where the Boys Aren't," "Why Does Dad Stay in the Basement," "Why it Matters" and "Fighting Back, Going Galt or Both?"

And, really, why SHOULDN'T we go Galt? America has been captured by extremists with wacky agendas - we became so open minded our brains fell out. I now only date professional foreign women that WANT more traditional roles for themselves and are seeking a traditional family - and I will never raise another child in this country. When we settle down we are `outta here' - taking our professional incomes and middle class morals with us.

This book explains why we think this way.
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