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Archive for July, 2012

Keyster, a frequent commenter on several mens’-rights blogs, came out with this thought-provoking statement a while back. If I remember correctly, this was on The Spearhead:

If men are purely optional to women, then why can’t women be purely optional to men?

Because independent women are heroes.
And independent men are zeroes.

A man “needs” a woman.
A woman doesn’t need “any” man.

“A woman doesn’t need ‘any’ man” …?

I have seen a few women, in my life, who “didn’t need a man.” The only one who really stands out in my mind is my mother … and that, chiefly because she raised me without a dad.

I learned, from my mother, and my grandmother (the materfamilias of our household), that “men aren’t necessary.” This I learned by example, because I didn’t have a male role-model to “help me become a man.” Yeah, I’ve got the Y-chromosome and the danglies that go with it, but does that make me … more than just a “male” … a MAN? Read on, and judge for yourself….

I learned, after I left high-school and went to the seminary of the church where Mom had paid-up enough money for me to take the “Minister’s Program,” that my biological urges were something to be “transcended.” I’d learned this since age 12, when my gonads changed … but the Spiritual Call was supposed to flatten out my sexual urges and transmute me into an Androgynous Neutered Advanced-Being Spiritual Counselor. I did my very flat-out best to accommodate to this ukase. Honestly, truthfully, faithfully I did, and I have no idea who might have been shtupping the women I was counselling, honestly, truthfully, faithfully, really I don’t!!  I only know that I didn’t touch them.

I learned, from my religion, that I was a spiritual being who was damn-well supposed to be beyond sex.  Especially because I was in-training to be a Spiritual Counselor … and never the hell mind that my real father, not the guy whose name was on my birth-certificate, was the “exception that proves the rule” that a Spiritual Counselor in my religion was ordered to keep his paws the hell off his “preclears!”  I comported myself in accordance with the demands. I kept my own zipper zipped and locked, in accordance with The Auditor’s Code. I didn’t get ordained, though, and I didn’t do my internship, because I couldn’t afford to go on with them – I needed to get a job.

Certainly, I was a Zero when I left them and started work as a “Technical Aide” with the Federal Government. No glory in that, just a paycheck.

Some years later, I graduated past “being a Zero” with a couple of women. One of them was far, far more experienced than me “in the clinches” … the next was less-so, but circumstances after our first time eventually changed our romance into a Let’s-Just-Be-Friends situation. How swiftly I went from being her Hero … to being just another Zero.

Meanwhile, Society itself was being reshaped, to reduce men at large from Heroes … to Zeroes.

The first great reshaping was started by the Vietnam War. The previous wars in the public’s memory had been serious conflicts, taken seriously; the veterans of World War II and Korea were treated as heroes, as were the “boys in blue” of the Air Force, on the front line of the cold war. But many did not see Vietnam in that same light; and too many of the boys who got back from that campaign were treated with contempt. Treated as zeroes.

Then came the “Women’s Liberation” movement. It seemed to a lot of men that it was mostly about women liberating their vilest bad nature. The party line was that women wanted all the “privilege” they saw as being enjoyed by men – equal pay in the office, equal opportunity at the hiring time, equal access to college, to loans, to mortgages, to professions. They wanted to break down all the “artificial differences,” and ignore the differences that can’t be broken down because they’re hard-wired into male and female nature. Oh, and they made it clear that they regarded most men as “the enemy” and the top-rankers as “the competition.” They demoted a whole lot more men from heroes to zeroes.

Next came the revolution in divorce law, the “No-Fault” divorce – which is more accurately labeled as the “His-Fault” model. Along with stripping the husband of his kids, his rights, his house and most of his money in the settlement, the goal of this system is to strip all men of their last shreds of “equal treatment under the law.” And of equal compassion under Society. This stage is still ongoing, but meeting with stiffer resistance as more men recognize the battle and join forces against the new tyranny – the tyrants whose rabble march in slut-walks, or cheer as manginas from the sidelines.

I won’t bother to recount the way I went “from Hero to Zero” with either of the two following American Women on my roster, nor speak of the couple of chicas in South America who offered me their favors. I will say this: By the time I was 50 years old, I had accepted that I would never again be a Hero, and I would forever more be a Zero to the ladies.

My last couple of attempts to reach “the sweetness” have been with women who were completely and entirely incentivized by my money. Cash at the counterpane, dearie. Call them prostitutes, as they are, but you of the Femmunist Brigades will call me much worse. You’re already blaming me, and my fellow men, for the fact that some women are willing to trade their sexual favors for a man’s money; under the “Swedish model” you would jail, and prosecute, and fine, and imprison the man who offers his own hard-earned money for an hour of “the sweetness we’ve been dying for.”

A Voice for Men put it well in Male sexuality, un-demonized (4 May 2012):

We starve men, then shame them for their hunger and then when they reach for what little food is within their grasp, we smack their hand away.

The pessimist in me sees this as the final chapter in the old tale of the “battle of the sexes.” That battle is over for me, and I have left the gene pool. I am preparing to depart the land of my birth, and seek refuge from the craziness in another land. Maybe I will follow Odysseus, and Joshua Slocum, and others who have sailed away and finally vanished from human ken.

We men are less than Zero in your view, aren’t we?

I, for one, have ZERO (in honor of my social status) for you.

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Last month I told you I had “fallen into a book” – well, here it is.

Or here it starts.

I want to thank Jade Michael of Artistry Against Misandry for hosting this work.

This is a work of speculative fiction. It is not an attempt to predict the future; it is not an attempt to advocate for a new direction for Society to follow.  The story line is very much ‘against misandry.’ It looks at a grim possibility – through the lens of fiction – that just so happens to be the mirror-image of what a lot of us perceive as happening in today’s consumer-driven, misandric culture.

I started writing this story because I was tickled by examining the possibilities in the theme. I have entertained myself with the flow of events, the development of the story and the characters, and the twists and turns I’ve put into it. I got obsessed with it for weeks; I’ve had to find a balance between writing, and the rest of my life. If the characters seem outlandish, the events seem bizarre, the plot-line gets improbable, chalk it up to the underlying truth that I’m too busy having fun with this story to be bothered with worrying about such things.

No doubt I’ll get a lot of flak for this twisted tale. I fully expect to hear from detractors who regard it as ‘the product of a mind that was not merely twisted, but actually sprained,’ in the words of Douglas Adams (Life, The Universe, And Everything). I’ll neither confirm nor deny that accusation; you may hear me giggle, though.

Do I ever expect a masculist-centered culture, or most-especially the particular facets that I explore in the book, to take over our culture? I plead the Fifth Amendment – which is a legalistic way to say, “None of your effing business!”

Would this become a more viable culture for the Earth? Fifth Amendment.

Would I like to see it happen? Fifth Amendment.

But I will say this much: Our species, like any species on Earth, will expand, flourish and increase its niche – or it will contract, shrivel, and fade out of the ecosphere. I do believe the misandry of today’s culture is pushing Humanity toward the latter fate. This frustrates and saddens me; Homo sapiens is the only species on Earth capable of reaching the stars.

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“We’re at a warped point in history in which the feminist state has so deeply involved itself in relationships it has broken the contract between men and women.” (The Wisdom in Not Arguing With A Woman – The Spearhead, 11 May 2012)

This “contract” is not a creation of lawyers and written law. It undercuts anything written in Blackstone, any verdict signed by the Supreme Court. One could argue that its foundations are older than modern man, because it is based on the behavior that animals who live in a pack must follow if the pack is – and they are – to survive.

Homo sapiens is not a “pack animal”, you argue? We are more sophisticated than that, more advanced, with a more-complex society than the lowly “pack animal” of my comparison? I’m not talking of the Gothic-cathedral creation above the ground, I’m talking of the foundations, below the ground, out of sight, long-buried and forgotten as long as the structure will continue to stand. But can we move this structure off its hidden foundations and still keep it intact? It appears to me that we’ve tried – and we’ve failed; the attempts of our present society to move, morph, shape-shift and change the social contract have left it broken, unable to stand as it is today.

Let’s take a look at those “pack animals.” Wolves are most familiar to European and North American cognizance. The wolf pack in the wild consists of a breeding pair, the alphas, who dominate the “lesser” members of the pack – generally their “adolescent” children – and the pack works together to keep the current litter of pups well-fed and strong. (1) Situations are different when you throw a bunch of captive wolves together in a cage; their battles of dominance are the tool they use to sort things out between them, in forced company. The “captive pack” may be more comparable to the cheesy crowd in your local singles meet-market, mightn’t it?

Notice, though, the absolute biological imperative: Bring up a litter, or rather litter-after-litter, of healthy, strong pups. The same is the reproductive imperative of any mammal, any animal, any creature – to survive as a species, they have to procreate. In the case of bisexual species (just about any critter more complex than the bdelloid rotifers), they have to mate – the egg-layer must choose a sperm-sprayer to fertilize those eggs. The male must establish his value as a good sire for the female’s young; whether by display (like the peacock), by “interesting stuff” (like the bowerbird), by actual combat (like rutting deer), or – in a species as socially-complex as Homo sapiens – by “game.”

And more importantly, by what anthropologists and philosophers call “the social contract.”

Human society is incredibly broader, deeper, and more complex than the social behaviors of any other animal on Earth. This has been so since grass huts, stone tools, and tribal groups of multiple nuclear families, bound together by spoken language, common needs cooperatively met, and social hierarchy. The tribal groups that survived, got along by going along, by tradition passed down the generations, by the inculcation of internal controls on individual behavior. “In the old days, there were no fights about hunting grounds or fishing territories. There was no law then … everybody did what was right.” (2) As tribes coalesced into larger societies, into hierarchies, into city-states and nations, the customs of the people in these groups adapted and evolved to keep society running smoothly; and the customs regarding mating and family life were arguably the most important of all. Customs like marriage, sexual fidelity between husband and wife, and raising the kids to live the same way, were more fundamental and powerful than mere laws could be. The “cake of custom,” as Walter Bagehot called it (3), underlies the Law and makes it enforceable.

And it is that “cake of custom” that has been broken. The contract of custom, between man and woman, between husband and wife, between father and mother, has been torn to shreds. All that is left is the Law, and it has come down crushingly on the rights of the father, the husband, the man; and in favor of the rights and privileges of the mother, the wife, the woman.

This starts in elementary school, where the lessons are geared for the girls by their mostly-female teachers. Even the rough-and-tumble games the boys used to play, to let off steam, are taken away as “too dangerous” – and too many fidgety boys are labeled “ADHD” and drugged with Ritalin to make them passive in class.

It goes on to the workplace, where a web of Federal laws and acts and regulations promise “equal hiring, equal opportunity, equal pay for equal work,” etc., etc. In practice, though, this ends up with women hired preferentially, treated preferentially, coddled so that the organization can’t be accused of “discrimination.”

In the social environment? More of the same. Nothing has overtly changed the game where “he chases her until she catches him.” But the Law has replaced common sense and common modesty, and men have little recourse and less protection if a woman decides to re-label a casual one-night stand as “date rape.” Even if she dresses and comports herself like a sex-crime looking for the spot marked “X”. 2011, after all, was the Year of the Slutwalk.

Worst of all is “love and marriage” – from the Bridezilla opener to the rancorous divorce. Marriage is the most broken “social contract” of all, with more than half of all marriages ending in divorce. Typically the divorce settlement is ruinous to the man, because the entire Divorce Industry (and it is an industry) is geared for the woman’s sake.

There appears to be a common thread in these changes, in this shattering of the cake of custom and the social contract:

Women First.

To the women, Society awards privilege, preference, and the prizes. The men’s portion is the responsibility, the work, and the blame. Plus the fact of being expendable, in the eyes of the Law, the eyes of Society, the eyes of Women.

We men soldier on, most of us, because we do take responsibility for our loved ones, for our families, for our Society.  But more and more of us are recognizing the raw deal we are getting. More and more of us are realizing we are being used for our resources, our hard work, our earning power; and more and more of us are saying “No more!”

(1) “Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs,” L. David Mech, 2000.

(2) The Religions of Man, Huston Smith, 1958

(3) Physics and Politics, Walter Bagehot, 1872.

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The state of play for men: Domestic Violence (A Voice for Men, 11 July 2012) – “Domestic Violence” is mistakenly believed by Society to be a one-way street, one of violent men and self-defending victim women. Andy Man lays out the statistics and studies that show how false this belief really is.

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This afternoon’s e-mail included a SAVE E-Lert about the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendations to screen for intimate partner violence (IPV) in healthcare settings … which recommends that ALL women of childbearing age should be so screened, and no one else. This is despite plentiful evidence that men are little less likely to be the victims of domestic violence, and that there are studies that show this screening can be as productive as the approved task of screening women.

“Well,” the pundits say, “why should we pay any attention to women’s violence against their men? The men are bigger and stronger, they have better jobs, they have the upper hand … don’t they?”

Well, not really. And the ‘e-lert’ linked to a quite surprising article from the National Institutes of Health, “A Closer Look at Men Who Sustain Intimate Terrorism By Women,” which basically helps put the lie to the “man is violent, woman is victim” meme that pervades the Domestic Violence Industry. The authors, Dr. Denise Hines and Dr. Emily Douglas, looked into the cases of 302 men who had sustained severe IPV in 2009, and sought help.

Their conclusion: “Contrary to many assumptions about these men, the IPV they sustain is quite severe and both mentally and physically damaging; their most frequent response to their partner’s IPV is to get away from her; and they are often blocked in their efforts to leave, sometimes physically, but more often because of strong psychological and emotional ties to their partners and especially their children.”

Does this sound familiar to you?

“Intimate terrorism” has been studied mostly through the belief-filter that men are the aggressors, the controllers, and that women are the victims. Some of the more famous such studies were compiled from and supported by research among women in shelters and men in ‘batterer treatment programs,’ which is a grossly-biased sample from the get-go. Moreover, where are researchers going to get funding for their studies? Is there any grant-money out there for studying men who get beat-up-on by their wives and baby-mammas?

(Isn’t that the song of a summer locust I hear?)

Men have been brought up, through the history of civilization, not to hit women or treat them with violence. Women? (There’s that summer locust again. They’re louder than the crickets, in July.) Women are likely to hit first, and likely to use impromptu weapons; the stale old cartoons of a woman cold-cocking her husband with a rolling pin or a fry-pan were funny because they told an unfortunate truth. And intimate violence from women is laughed off by the cops and the courts – or worse, blamed on the man’s imputed violence, so that he gets hauled off, not her.

Now think about it: What if you had poured your earnings into buying a house that ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’ would take away from you in a divorce? What if you loved your children and could only protect them from her violence by being the ‘lightning rod’ that diverts and receives her wrath? What if you knew the Family Courts were utterly biased to see her as right and the man as wrong?

Would it look so easy to walk out on her Intimate Terrorism?

(There are copious links within the study to cover my assertions.)

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A Closer Look at Men Who Sustain Intimate Terrorism By Women, by Denise A. Hines, PhD and Emily M. Douglas, PhD. Hosted by the PubMed Central archive at NIH’s National Library of Medicine.

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The Great Seal of the United States has three mottos that are worth considering. I want to call attention to one of them. If you have a USA one-dollar bill in your possession, or if you can get an image from … wherever, I commend your attention to the riband clutched in the eagle’s beak:

E Pluribus Unum.

“From many, one.” From many different people, many different identities – from people of different nations, from rich people and poor people alike, and nowadays from black and brown and yellow and every national identity that may have found its way to these shores with a will to immigrate and join with this nation – from many, one. One self-identification. American. Americain, in French. Estadounidense, in South America. Amerikaner, in German. And similar translations and transliterations from every country in the U.N.

The point of “Out of many, one” is one of strength in solidarity.  When a group stands together, their strength is more than added, it is multiplied. When a nation stands together, when a people stands together, its power and influence are multiplied in the same fashion. The proudest parts of the history of the United States were those times when the American people stood together, and worked together, and built our own national identity as ‘America’ – and ‘Americans;’ not as ‘Irish-Americans.’ or ‘German-Americans,’ or ‘African-Americans,’ or any other of the ‘hyphenated-American’ identities that are so popular today.

But today, more and more, we are tearing ourselves apart by those ‘hyphenated identities.’ We identify more with our differences than in that which brings us together, as Americans. We search angrily, anxiously, to point out the ‘differences,’ the ‘special privileges’ of this group or that; we compete viciously for Federal money to benefit our own group, and retreat into our own labels, our own enclaves, even as we paint ‘The Others’ as our enemies.

Class warfare, you could call it. Racial and ethnic tensions. Rejection of the ‘Unum’ in favor of the ‘Pluribus.’

I can’t hold my head above it. I see how my own ‘demographic’ is scorned, spurned, villainized and victimized; I can see similar forces brought to bear on other ‘demographics,’ and I’m aware of my own scorn and villainization of those other ‘demographics’ who scorn and villainize me and mine.  I admit my own hands aren’t perfectly clean. But can I get my hands dirty in the interest of cleaning things up?

Maybe. Maybe not. And maybe the Ways of Today have made it less than worthwhile to even try and clean things up.

The smallest minority in the universe is one. One man, by himself.

And when your trust has been betrayed enough times, when you have been tarred enough times with the labels and the scorn that ordinary men face more and more in our professional lives, our home lives, our love lives, there comes a time when all one can rely on any more, all one can trust, is oneself.

I’m not happy to have gotten there.

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