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ShowersJudging by my Facebook feed, most of the men I know are strongly in favor of keeping males out of women’s bathrooms and locker rooms – even if those males “identify” as female. It’s not hard to imagine how a pervert might pretend to be transgender in order to indulge his fantasies.

Men are not likely to be victimized by these new policies – women are. So why are men having such a strong reaction?

For millennia, men in every society were assigned two sacred roles: to provide for women and children, and to protect women and children. If a man performed these duties well he won the respect of his fellow men. If he failed in these roles he experienced shame. These roles are deeply ingrained in the male psyche.

But protecting and providing were often in conflict. Men had to leave home for long stretches to hunt, forage and fight. While they were out providing they were powerless to protect their loved ones back home.

Most of the time nothing bad happened. But that didn’t keep men from feeling helpless while they were traveling: What if the village is attacked while the men are gone? What if an evil or deranged man gets into the house?

I believe the new bathroom policies stoke these ancient fears. Biologically defined men are now allowed to disrobe in front of women. Most men would see this as a threat to the wives and daughters they are expected to protect. Furthermore, they are powerless to shield their loved ones because the threat occurs in a place they themselves cannot be.

Never mind such incidents would be rare. Men are hard-wired to shield their wives and children from men with evil intent. This particular threat looms large because men cannot be there to stop it.

The new bathroom policy angers men because it strips them of their ancient protector role. To make things worse, any man who expresses concern for his daughter’s privacy is labeled a bigot. Men can’t shield their loved ones – and they’re publicly shamed if they try.

These policies heap further frustration on men who have seen their roles as protectors and providers slowly taken over by society. Bureaucrats restrict their access to fish and game, firearms and public lands. Environmental laws and free trade agreements destroy their jobs. Millions of women draw their primary support not from a man, but from a government check.

We live in an age of female empowerment. Maybe women don’t need men to protect them any more. One wonders what society will be like when men finally realize they are no longer needed as protectors and providers.

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