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On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Men's Studies and Male Equality

This is the first in a series of important posts. I urge you to read through them carefully. My intention is to open your eyes and ears to a possibility that you may have long denied or ignored. The welfare of future generations (ie, your children and your children's children) is at stake...

Pursuant to my recent realization that the male gender is currently under siege and society has been brainwashed to allow it, I was struck by the following passage from The Myth of Male Power, by Warren Farrell:

Why Do We Need To Study Men--Isn't History One Big Study of Men?

The most common justification for studying women without studying men is that "history is men's studies...women's studies is just an attempt to give women something equivalent to what men already have." True? No. Women's studies questions the female role; nothing questions the male role. History books sell to boys the traditional male role of hero and performer. Each history book is 500 pages of advertisements for the performer role. Each lesson tells him, "If you perform, you will get love and respect; if you fail, you will be a nothing." To a boy, history is pressure to perform, not relief from the pressure. Feminism is relief from the pressure to be confined to only the traditional female role. To a boy, then, history is not the equivalent of women's studies; it is the opposite of women's studies.

Women's studies does more than question the female role--it tells women they have rights to what was the traditional male role. Nothing tells men they have rights to what was the traditional female role--rights to stay home full-time or part-time with the children while his wife supports him...

Just as, from a girl's perspective, history books are filled with men, from a boy's perspective, school itself is filled with women. It is women teaching him how to be a boy by conforming to what women tell him to do after he's been trained to conform to what his mother tells him to do. On the one hand, history books show him that his role is to be a hero who takes risks and, on the other, his female teacher is telling him not to take risks--to not roughhouse, not shout out an answer spontaneously, not use swear words, not refer to sex, not get his hair mussed, his clothes dirty... Just as women's studies helped women see they have a right to female teachers in business school, so men's studies will help men see they have a right to male teachers in grade school.

Why Feminism Has Intensified The Need For Studying Men

Feminism suggested that God might be a "She" but not that the devil might also be a "she." Feminism articulated the shadow side of men and the light side of women. It neglected the shadow side of women and the light side of men. And neglected to acknowledge that each sex has both sides within each individual. When the issue of sexual harassment surfaced, then, we were told "men don't 'get it' " when, in fact, neither sex "gets" it. Men don't get women's fears of harassment that stem from the passive role; women don't get men's fears of sexual rejection that stem from the initiating role. Each sex is so preoccupied with its own vulnerability that neither sex "gets" the other's vulnerability.

The difference? Feminism has taught women to sue men for sexual harassment or date rape when men initiate with the wrong person or with the wrong timing; no one has taught men to sue women for sexual trauma for saying "yes," then "no," then "yes," then "no." Feminism left women with three sexual options--their old role, the "male" role, and the "victim" role. Men were left with less than one option--they were still expected to initiate, but now, if they did it badly, they could go to jail. For an adolescent boy who barely knows what sex is, this is a scary half-option.

Feminism justified female "victim power" by convincing the world that we lived in a sexist, male-dominated, and patriarchal world. The Myth of Male Power explains why the world was bi-sexist, both male- and female-dominated, both patriarchal and matriarchal--each in different ways. It explains why "patriarchy" and "male dominance" doubled as code for male disposability.

By the 1980s and '90s, feminism's ability to articulate women's light side and men's shadow side led to women's magazines, talk shows, "self-improvement" books, and TV specials all equating "progressive" with women as victims and men as victimizers but rarely with men as victims (of false accusations, emotional abuse, visitation deprivation...) and women as victimizers. It was soon considered progressive to critique "male legislators" for making war but not to credit them for making democracy. We saw TV specials titled Does the Man Next Door Molest Girls? but not Does the Man Next Door Save Girls? In our everyday lives we might see six firefighters saving women, but no TV special titled Men as Saviors points out that all six were men--or that firemen who save women's lives are far more ubiquitous then men who jeopardize women's lives.

To acknowledge the full truth was no longer considered progressive, but regressive. Women bought the books and the publishers pandered to women the way politicians pander to interest groups. Women became Women Who Love...and men became Men Who Hate...(women's light side, men's dark side). The pandering transformed a female strength--understanding relationships--into a female weakness: misunderstanding men.

In the past quarter century, feminism has been to the daily news what bacteria is to water--we consumed it without knowing it, both the good and the bad. From the male point of view, feminism turned the Battle of the Sexes into a "War in Which Only One Side Showed Up."

Men have not been perfect listeners during the last quarter century as women articulated what they wanted, but men did listen enough to absorb dozens of new concepts ("sex object," "glass ceiling," palimony, the "Battered Woman Syndrome," "deadbeat dads," the "feminization of poverty"), heard dozens of slogans focused on female concerns ("a woman's right to choose," "equal pay for equal work," "our bodies, our business"), and to see their sexuality blamed for most everything (sexual harassment, sexual molestation, pornography, incest, rape, date rape).

Men not only listened but accepted as truth dozens of assumptions of discrimination against women (women are the victims of most violence; women's health is neglected more than men's; women are paid less for the same work; husbands batter wives more; men have more power; we've lived in a patriarchal, sexist, male-dominated world). Many men condemned these "discriminations against women" even as they accepted the "necessity" for discrimination against men (affirmative action for women; government-subsidized women's commissions in almost every state and county; women's studies; women-only clubs; government programs for women, infants, and children [WIC]...).

Have we been misled by feminists? Yes. Is it feminists' fault? No. Why not? Men have not spoken up. Simply stated, women cannot hear what men do not say. Now men must take responsibility to say what they want--to turn a "War in Which Only One Side Shows Up" into a "Dialogue in Which Both Sexes Speak Up."


This isn't about feminism-bashing. It's about balance. Our social policies, our social attitude and perceptions, are severely out of whack. Consequently, men have been unfairly tarred and feathered as the bad guys in domestic relationships, and in male-female relationships in general. The balance needs to be restored. Men must stand up for their equality.

It's worth noting that feminists will not tolerate this kind of "dissent" from men. Whether you publish a book about men's rights, or put up a website defending men, or even paste up a poster advertising a fathers' rights support group, feminists/women will raise hell over it. No sirreee, men must keep quiet about their plight. Men must be put in their place.

(Recently, a close friend put up a poster in his window for fathers' rights, and his house got egged. It's not too hard to figure out who did it.

But what gets me is, are feminists trawling the neighbourhoods looking for signs of male dissent? Or are these people merely disgruntled neighbours who despise men?)


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