Men have been coming to what was once known as the Minnesota Territory for centuries. From the trappers and Voyageurs (and their Métis offspring with their distinctive Red River carts) of the 17th and 18th centuries, to the German, Scandinavian, and eastern European immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries, they have come to the upper Midwest to harvest its natural resources. They came for wild game and furs to stuff the bellies and feed the vanities of the perfumed dandies of Europe and the American east coast; timber from the great pine forests for lumber to build large urban centers like Chicago; wheat from the Wheat Boom for the flour which fed the nation; and ore from the Iron Range to make steel for coastal skyscrapers and the weapons which defeated Fascism and Nazism.
These men were rough men. They were men who did extremely dangerous work for two main reasons: money and a lifestyle which freed them from the restrictions imposed by urban society. Most of them were not Pa Ingalls — satisfied with hearth, home, and religion when they finished a day's or a week's work — instead they were mostly men who lived in company camps, boarding houses, or out in the wilderness and when they had an opportunity for recreation they were no more gentle about it than they were about their work. Knowing that they could lose life or limb any day, they relieved stress in the same way that men who do dangerous work have always done: wine and women.
Once again, rough men have been drawn to the area by a resource boom and it should surprise no one that their character has changed little from that of their forebears. No one except the Fishwrap of Record, apparently:
But sensitivity is often absent here when men discuss women. Here, men talk of a “Williston 10” — a woman who would be considered mediocre in any other city is considered a perfect 10 out here.
Oh, dear! The Gray Lady has caught a case of the vapors from the overabundance of rough men in western North Dakota and lack of women:
The rich shale oil formation deep below the rolling pastures here has attracted droves of young men to work the labor-intensive jobs that get the wells flowing and often generate six-figure salaries. What the oil boom has not brought, however, are enough single women.
Althouse characterizes the NYT piece as an attempt to make NYC women feel better about their own plight:
But the NYT would have you believe the men out there are a bunch of sexist louts.
Stay in New York City, ladies. It's really low class out there in the hinterlands. It's not for you.
All the young, highly sexed single men are out there in North Dakota, but stay away! They're disgusting. It's gross!
There is a lot of that, but there is also a lot of the age-old generalized "otherization" of frontier life — making uncouth peasants out of those who work to provide the resources urbanites want and need. Knowing on some level that they are dependent on people whose attitudes and lifestyle they can't relate to and resenting them for it. The result is either ridiculous romanticization reflecting their own values or, as is the case with the NYT piece, a condemnation based on a cartoonish portrayal which exposes their own anxieties.
Indeed, as both Breitbart and Say Anything point out, the proof provided in the NYT is based primarily on anecdotal evidence. The data, meanwhile, shows the increase in danger to women in the Williston, ND, area is arguably statistically insignificant. The increase is, in fact, nearly the same as that of NYC. That's not something to be proud of — hopefully the roughnecks will learn with time that acting like an ass toward women is wrong — but it doesn't merit a breathless report in a national newspaper.
Then again, the women aren't really the point. The point is to continually wage cultural warfare. It's not enough that these men risk their necks to provide the resources urban coastal elites depend on, but they must also embrace Progressive urban values and lay down when the things they value are attacked. As usual, anything short of unconditional surrender and obeisance to their soft, urban betters will only serve to earn them scorn in the press.