Chasing the dragon

By Peter Wright & Paul Elam

Many students of sexual politics posit the “scientific” notion that our culture of extreme gynocentrism is a basic biological reality; that we should either get with the program and enjoy it or bow out in a nihilistic fashion.

An alternative explanation of gynocentrism suggests it is merely an exaggeration of human potential; one that leads to social and reproductive failure despite common beliefs.

The bioscience lexicon can be helpful in understanding this.

A superstimulus refers to the exaggeration of a normal stimulus to which there is an existing biological tendency to respond. An exaggerated response, or, if you will, superresponse, can be elicited by any number of superstimuli.
Eggs

For example, when it comes to female birds, they will prefer to incubate larger, artificial eggs over their own natural ones.

Large, colorful eggs are a superstimulus. Leaving real eggs out to die is the superresponse.

Similarly, humans are easily exploited by junk food merchandisers. Humans are easily trained to choose products that cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancer over the nutritious food they evolved to eat and thrive on, simply by playing tricks on the taste buds and manipulating the starvation reflex.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are superstimuli. Consuming toxic substances is the superresponse.

The idea is that healthy human behavior evolved in response to normal stimuli in our ancestor’s natural environment. That includes our reproductive instincts. The same behavioral responses have now been hijacked by the supernormal stimulus.1

From this perspective, we see that a superstimulus acts like a potent drug, one every bit comparable to heroin or cocaine which imitate weaker chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, all of which occur naturally in our bodies.

As with drug addictions, the effects of superstimuli account for a range of obsessions and failures plaguing modern man – from the epidemic of obesity and obsessions with territoriality to the destructive, violent and suicidal behaviors central to our modern cult of romantic love.

An interesting tidbit about superstimuli of manufactured narcotics is the phenomenon known as “chasing the dragon.” It is a term that originated in the opium dens of China, and it refers to what happens the first time a person inhales opium vapor. The resulting euphoria is complete, even magical — the first time.

Subsequent to that, the user tries again and again, with ever-increasing amounts of the drug, to re-create that first blissful high. They can’t do it. The brain is now familiar with the flood of manufactured opiates. The user gets high and very addicted, but the magic of the first experience is an elusive butterfly.

They pursue it, though, with all their might, chasing the dragon they rode in their first experience.

We see a similar phenomenon with men trying desperately in their relationships with women to be rewarded with redeeming love, sex and approval, through the use of romantic chivalry. It sends them, like an addict, traveling the path of a Mobius strip, going in circles, chasing the dragon.

There is little doubt in our minds how this happens.

Here are three examples of human superstimuli, and how they are used to elicit a destructive superresponse in the human male.

1. Artificially manufactured neoteny

Neoteny is the retention of juvenile characteristics in body, voice or facial features. In humans, neoteny activates what is known as the parental brain, or the state of brain activity that promotes nurturance and caretaking. The activation occurs through something called an innate releasing mechanism.

A classic example of an innate releasing mechanism is when seagull chicks peck at the parent’s beak to get food.

Each adult seagull has a red spot on the underside of their beak, the sight of which instinctively triggers, or releases, the chicks to peck. It is the innate releasing mechanism.

Seagull

This innate releasing mechanism, of course, is essential to the survival of seagulls, and there is something like it to be found in all birds and mammals — any creature that cares for its offspring. In mammals, juvenility is one of the innate releasing mechanisms that unconsciously determine our motivations to protect and provide, thus ensuring the survival of the species.

Juvenile characteristics in humans, however, can also be manipulated to garner attention and support that far exceeds the demands of survival.

In particular, neoteny is exploited by women to gain various advantages, a fact not lost on medical doctor and author Esther Vilar, who writes:

Woman’s greatest ideal is a life without work or responsibility – yet who leads such a life but a child? A child with appealing eyes, a funny little body with dimples and sweet layers of baby fat and clear, taut skin – that darling minature of an adult. It is a child that woman imitates – its easy laugh, its helplessness, its need for protection. A child must be cared for; it cannot look after itself. And what species does not, by natural instinct, look after its offspring? It must – or the species will die out.

With the aid of skillfully applied cosmetics, designed to preserve that precious baby look; with the aid of helpless exclamations such as ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ah’ to denote astonishment, surprise, and admiration; with inane little bursts of conversation, women have preserved this ‘baby look’ for as long as possible so as to make the world continue to believe in the darling, sweet little girl she once was, and she relies on the protective instinct in man to make him take care of her.” 2

Zoologist Konrad Lorenz discovered that images releasing parental reactions across a wide range of mammalian species were rounded heads and large eyes (left), compared with angular heads with proportionally smaller eyes that do not elicit such responses.

Neoteny

Compare Lorenz’s images on the left with images of skilfully applied eye makeup above by the modern woman in search of romance. The many colored eyeshadows, eyeliners, and mascaras, not to mention the hours practiced in front of the mirror opening those eyes as wide as possible and fluttering – all designed to spur the viewer’s paleo reflexes into action.

Neotenic female faces (large eyes, greater distance between eyes, and small noses) are found to be more attractive to men while less neotenic female faces are considered the least attractive, regardless of the females’ actual age.3 And of these features, large eyes are the most effective of the neonate cues4 – a success formula utilized from Anime to Disney characters in which the eyes of adult women have been supersized and faces rendered childish.

2. Exaggeration of sexual qualities

Clothing and postures which exaggerate the hips, thighs, ass, breasts have been cultivated for millennia.

The cut, color, and drape of clothing; the underwear, corsets, lingerie and the shoes, hats, jewelry and other accessories make for a long study in the evolution of fashion – and in terms of sexuality they stand for nothing less than superstimuli designed to elicit an overload of sexual attraction in the viewer.

Perhaps more interesting on the enhancement front is the arrival of plastic surgery designed to transform the body into a theater of superstimuli, sometimes with grotesque, even fatal results. Such is the risk invited and embraced in the pursuit of enhanced sex-appeal.

Breast implants, butt implants, botox injections, nose jobs, tummy tucks, facelifts – all designed for enhanced sexuality, and even more importantly, enhanced power and control.

3. Artificially intensified pair-bonding drive

We have all heard the advice of the seasoned matron to younger women; “Don’t turn your love on like a tap or he will lose interest – withhold some affection and you’ll always have him begging for more.”

Attachment-2-smallThis message is now so widespread that animal-training techniques are being redeployed by women who wish to control their man’s attachment needs. In How to Make Your Man Behave in 21 Days or Less Using the Secrets of Professional Dog Trainers we read,

Consistently a dog is “nicest” when he wants to be fed. Then he becomes all wags and licks. A known trick for keeping a dog on his best behavior is to just fill his bowl halfway so he’s yearning for more.

Same goes for his appetite for affection. Keep him in constant emotional hunger for you and he’ll be more attentive and easier to control.

As cruel as it sounds, withholding affection, sex, approval and love have become part of women’s repertoire of superstimuli used to coerce men into service. Perhaps there was a time when that service could have been considered an appropriate response to a survival oriented stimulus. Now, however, it has been replaced by superstimuli and male service has degenerated into a destructive superresponse.

Such dating advice for women abounds on the internet with the aim to intensify a man’s desire by turning a secure bond, a necessity for healthy relationships, into a brass ring. Only on the ride of romantic chivalry, like all carnival sideshows, the game is rigged. The brass ring remains ever just out of reach.

Men’s basic human need for love, acceptance, and security, is frustrated, leaving them in a perpetual cycle of deprivation.

Indeed, it is one of the core principles of romantic love to keep the bond in the realm of tantalizing denial, and men, therefore in constant readiness to be manipulated and used.

TantalusThe word tantalizing comes from the Greek story of Tantalus. Tantalus, as the fable goes, offended the Gods. His punishment was to be placed in a river with the water up to his neck. A tree full of ripe, red apples leaned toward him.

The Gods afflicted him with a raging thirst and hunger. When he bent his head down to slake his thirst – the waters receded. Likewise, when he reached up to grab one of the apples, the branch recoiled higher and out of his reach.

Women are socialized to tantalize men with the possibility of pair-bonding, to keep fruit of love ever out of reach, and to further muddy the waters with the dictates of romantic chivalry.

If you want that pair-bond, which is to say if you want to be more tantalized, you had better greet her with flowers, hold the door open, and of course pick up the bill.

Be prepared to live that way for the rest of your life, exiled to the river with Tantalus, ever thirsty and hungry. In modern times, simple attachment is transformed into something complex – an impulse now guided by customs of a romantic chivalry, designed to tilt maximum power toward the woman.

Even when the pair-bond is supposedly attained, you may still experience the withdrawal of love, sex and approval as a method of control. It can even be worse once bonded than during the courtship process.

Such behavior from women is not a simple, innate reflex, but one in which they are culturally educated and socialized. Most girls become fluent in the game of inclusion and exclusion, in groups or among friends, well before the reach the age of 10 and the meta-rules learned there reappear again in popular dating advice – rules designed to meddle in the attachment security we social creatures would otherwise enjoy sans the manipulations.

The rules for women resonate shamelessly throughout an entire genre of literature:

– Keep an air of mystery
– Only put in 30 percent effort
– Make him come to you
– Never see him with less than 7 days notice
– Never call him unless returning a call
– Never return a call or text immediately
– Make him approach you
– Don’t call back immediately. You are a girl in demand.
– End call first after 15 minutes ALWAYS. (Even though it sucks. He will call you more.)
– Even if you are not busy, pretend like you are

Those items are the product of a cursory scan of just two internet dating sites with advice for women. They are not, however, an invention of the information age. They are the long codified expressions of what women have been taught, from generation to generation, since the advent of romantic chivalry.

They are obedience training basics for conditioning the romantically chivalrous man — superstimuli, powerfully effective in eliciting a superresponse. In this case, servile, blind sycophancy from weak, non-introspective men.

Romantic Love

Romantic love can be reconceptualized as a cluster of superstimuli, with each facet driving the human nervous system into over-excitement. That excitement tends to negatively impact men’s long-term welfare. The damage is not contained there. Our social and familial world is disintegrating rapidly under the excesses and toxicity of romantic love. In a way, romantic love has become one of the most anti-human exploitations of human biology to ever grace our species.

To understand where this originated we need to take a brief look at the history of romantic love, previously called courtly love, to show that the same elements were already at work at its inception. As laid out in great detail by medieval forebears, the literature reveals the same exaggerated neoteny, enhancements of sexuality, and the same obsessions surrounding control of romantic attachment.

While the neoteny ploy has been in operation at least since ancient Egypt in the form of colored eyeshadow and eyeliners, the practice gained greater popularity after the Crusaders found eyelid-coloring cosmetics used in the Middle East and who spread the practice throughout Europe.5 By the Middle Ages, European aristocrats were widely using cosmetics, with France and Italy becoming the chief centers of cosmetics manufacturing, including the use of stimulant compounds like Belladonna (Italian name meaning “beautiful woman”) that would make the eyes appear larger.6

Thus neoteny, manufactured by artisan techniques, became the cultural inheritance of each successive generation of girls who were – and still are – taught the art of applying and then displaying makeup, especially to the eyes. Such practices probably encouraged praises of women’s eyes in troubadour poetry, such as we read by the poet Ulrich von Liechtenstein in his autobiography titled In The Service of Ladies. There we read;

The pure, sweet lady knows well how to laugh beautifully with her sparkling eyes. Therefore I wear the crown of lofty joys, as her eyes become full of dew from the ground of her pure heart, with her laughing. Immediately I am wounded by Minnie.”

french-corset-humor

Clothing too was always used to enhance sexuality, however fashions didn’t change much over the course of millennia and their sexual utility was not fully realized. The beginnings of frequent change in clothing styles, along with recognition of their multitude ways of enhancing sexuality, began in Europe at a time that has been reliably dated by fashion historians James Laver and Fernand Braudel to the middle of the 14th century – a period when sexualised items like lingerie and corsets began their rise to fame.7

Jane Burns PhD adds further evidence of clothing’s role of sexually empowering medieval women in her book Courtly Love Undressed: Reading Through Clothes in Medieval French Culture.8

As mentioned earlier, the most powerful of romantic love’s tricks was the tantalizing of men with a promise of attachment, a goal that would remain largely out of reach. Stories of the troubadours attest to a hope-filled agony that plagued the male lover, with men dwelling in a strange kind of purgatory in waiting for a few “solaces” from the beloved.

The medieval love-game went into full swing when codes of romantic conduct encouraged a toying with the two extremes of acceptance and rejection. Compare the above list of dating rules with the following list from The Art of Courtly Love – a love manual widely disseminated in the 12th century:

– Love is a certain inborn suffering.
– Love cannot exist in the individual who cannot be jealous.
– Love constantly waxes and wanes.
– The value of love is commensurate with its difficulty of attainment.
– Apprehension is the constant companion of true love.
– Suspicion of the beloved generates jealousy and therefore intensifies love.
– Eating and sleeping diminish greatly when one is aggravated by love.
– The lover is always in fear that his love may not gain its desire.
– The greater the difficulty in exchanging solaces, and the more the desire for them, and love increases.
– Too many opportunities for seeing each other and talking will decrease love.9

Shakespeare’s most romantic of plays tells the same story, with Juliet keeping her lover midway between coming and going, between stable pair-bonding and the single life. Here Juliet tells her obedient lover;

‘Tis almost morning. I would have thee gone.
And yet no further than a wanton’s bird,
That lets it hop a little from his hand
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silken thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.

To which Romeo replies, in accord with the expectations of romantic love;

I would I were thy bird.

Following this little detour into history we now come to a final juncture of this article where we ask Aristotle’s million dollar question – that for the sake of which. To what end are these superstimuli employed?

Many would offer the clichéd answer that such practices garner “reproductive success,” that the woman employing them gains a quality mate and produces offspring to perpetuate the species. But this explanation is too simple. For starters, there are other aims of a human life than reproduction; such as garnering of food resources, securing wealth, attachment needs, or of securing narcissistic gratification for a woman who may never intend to have offspring – the resources garnered via her carefully orchestrated superstimuli can serve other ends.

Moreover, it appears not to have entered the minds of the reproduction enthusiasts that such strategies may, in fact, be deleterious to reproduction – all one has to do look at the failing relationships everywhere, lowering birth rates, and decaying societies in the West that do not portend a future of success riding on the back of the superstimuli we’ve grown so fond of exploiting.

Narcissistic gratification is certainly one motive we’ve under-emphasized in our focus on reproduction, though it too is not the final motive. There can be nothing more gratifying to the narcissistic impulse than to wield power – as do most women – and to this end superstimuli places immense power in their hands.

Narcissistic indulgence may well be a heavily socialized trait in modern women, but it also proves to be a short-term windfall with not so gainly long-term results. Evidence shows that the misery index for women has risen sharply in the age when they “have it all.”

Cuculus_canorus_chick1To summarize all that we’ve said, the extreme gynocentrism we live with today is a freak, a Frankenstein that on some level should not be, or at least should not be any more than the super-sized Cuckoo chick that swells in the nest of a tiny finch. It’s an event that our systems were not specifically designed for – yet we remain caught in the insoluble loop of desire that keeps it going.

We might think of it as a propaganda campaign every bit as strong as those used during the world wars to target our territorial reflexes, only this campaign has been in continual use and refinement for the last 900 years.

Whatever gynocentric impulse lies buried in our nervous system, it has now been supersized, and we continue to supersize it with ever more refinements of superstimuli – but if we regain our awareness we might, just might, kick this Cuckoo’s egg out of our biological nest – that can begin by recognizing that we have been hypnotized and deciding that we no longer wish to indulge it.

It’s as simple as choosing not to chase the dragon, but to slay it.

Sources:

[1] Wikpedia article for Superstimulus.
[2] Esther Vilar, The Manipulated Man, (1971).
[3] Jones, D., Sexual Selection, Physical Attractiveness and Facial Neoteny: Cross-Cultural Evidence and Implications, Current Anthropology, Vol. 36, No. 5 (1995), pp. 723-748.
[4] Cunningham, M.; Roberts, A.; Vu, C., “Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours”: consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 68 (2): 261–79 (1995).
[5] John Toedt, Chemical Composition of Everyday Products, (2005).
[6] Linda D. Rhein, Mitchell Schlossman, Surfactants in Personal Care Products and Decorative Cosmetics, (2006)
[7] Laver, James., Abrams, H.N., The Concise History of Costume and Fashion, (1979).
Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, 15th–18th Centuries, Vol 1: The Structures of Everyday Life“, William Collins & Sons, (1981)
[8] Jane Burns, Courtly Love Undressed: Reading Through Clothes in Medieval French Culture (2005)
[9] Andreas Capellanus: The Art of Courtly Love (republished 1990). Capellanus’ love manual was written in 1185 at the request of Marie de Champagne, daughter of King Louis VII of France and of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Cuckoo image by vladlen666Own work, CC0,

El Club de los Calzonazos

Lo que viene a continuación es una versión ampliada de un artículo de 2014. —PW

Muchos hombres buenos del Club de los Calzonazos deben mostrar buen comportamiento para poder mantener una relación pacífica con su media naranja —(1860)1

El Club de los Calzonazos es una organización absolutamente real, de alcance mundial, que lleva funcionando de manera continuada durante al menos 200 años. Atendía las necesidades de los hombres casados que sufrían maltrato doméstico por parte de sus esposas, y también atendía a jóvenes solteros que más adelante, tras casarse, quizá tuvieran que enfrentarse a los mismos problemas.

El Club de los Calzonazos (básicamente un proyecto para crear “buenos hombres” consistía en una red internacional de lugares de encuentro a los que acudían los hombres en busca de apoyo, especialmente si estaban sufriendo maltrato emocional y físico por parte de sus esposas. En este sentido, el club es similar a Al-Anon, el movimiento moderno de apoyo a cónyuges de alcohólicos. Estos clubs animaban activamente a los maridos a que tolerasenel maltrato de sus mujeres, y su estrategia consistía en aplacarlas con el medio que fuese necesario para moderar los comportamientos abusHenpecked-givos.

La palabra clave aquí es “aplacar”, que es algo que los hombres hacían sobradamente.

Se esperaba que los miembros del Club de los Calzonazos, por ejemplo, les llevaran el desayuno a la cama a sus esposas a diario, y que hicieran la mayoría de las tareas domésticas, incluso después de un duro día de trabajo, con la esperanza de conseguir que sus mujeres mantuvieran un humor más afable o (más exactamente) menos abusivo. A continuación se recogen instrucciones a todos los miembros del club:

  • Que todo miembro de esta sociedad encienda el fuego, prepare la tetera y haga hervir agua antes de despertar a su esposa por la mañana.
  • Que todo miembro le lleve a su esposa la ropa a la cama, tras haberla aireado y calentado, o recibirá una multa de dos peniques por cada falta.
  • Que le contará a su esposa el trabajo que ha llevado a cabo, y le preguntará si desea que haga algo más antes de irse a trabajar esa mañana.
  • Que si algún miembro llega a casa para la cena y se encuentra a su esposa chismorreando, y la cena sin hacer, no se quejará, sino que cocinará para sí mismo y para su familia, además de algo que le guste a su esposa para cuando esta vuelva a casa, o recibirá una multa de tres peniques.
  • Que si algún miembro, tras la jornada de trabajo, llega a casa y descubre que su mujer no ha lavado la vajilla, o alguna otra cosa que considera que debería haber hecho, debe hacerlo él mismo y no criticarla; igualmente, debe atender el fuego, calentar agua, barrer la casa, fregar el suelo y hacer las camas al gusto de ella, o recibirá una multa de cuatro peniques.
  • Que cuando algún miembro haya finalizado su semana laboral, deberá volver a casa con su salario y entregárselo íntegramente a su esposa.
  • Que cuando algún miembro haya entregado su salario a su esposa, le preguntará qué desea que haga a continuación; si desea que vaya a la tienda, deberá ir, pero si desea ir ella misma, deberá quedarse y limpiar la casa y los muebles, y ordenarlo todo de manera que ella esté contenta cuando vuelva, o recibirá una multa de seis peniques.
  • Que todas las mañanas de domingo, los miembros se levantarán a las seis de la mañana, encenderán el fuego, lavarán y vestirán a los niños (si los tienen) y los prepararán para el colegio, sin tener que molestar a su amada esposa; pero si ella le pide una pipa de tabaco, polvo de rapé o un refresco, deberá dárselo inmediatamente, o recibirá una multa de seis peniques.
  • Que si por ventura la esposa de un miembro desea tener prendas de calidad, como un sombrero de terciopelo de seda, un fino gorro con flores artificiales, un vestido nuevo, un miriñaque, botas, sandalias, medias de seda o cualquier otra prenda de moda, su marido deberá proporcionárselas, empleando para ello el dinero de sus horas extra, o recibirá una multa de un chelín y ocho peniques.
  • Que cuando la esposa de un miembro esté enferma o de parto, deberá correr tan rápido como pueda en busca del médico, ya sea de día o de noche, con nieve o con escarcha, granizo o lluvia, o recibirá una multa de dos chelines.
  • Que cualquier miembro que se niegue a lavar al niño cuando haya hecho de vientre o defecado, recibirá una multa de seis peniques.
  • Que todos los miembros deberán lavar los pañales sucios del niño cuando su esposa se lo ordene, o recibirá una multa de cuatro peniques.
  • Que todos los lunes por la noche, los miembros deberán lustrar los zapatos y los zuecos de su esposa y sus hijos.
  • Que todos los martes por la noche, los miembros deberán ir a buscar la ropa para lavar.
  • Que todos los miércoles por la noche, los miembros deberán revisar la bodega y comprobar que hay suficiente té, café, azúcar, mantequilla, pan, queso, harina, harina de maíz, carne de ternera o de carnero, y si resulta que falta algo, deberá ir a comprar más sin quejarse.
  • Que todos los jueves por la noche, los miembros deberán proporcionar a sus queridas esposas aquello que, según las circunstancias, pueda mejorar su felicidad íntima, como refrescos o licores.
  • Que todos los viernes por la noche, los miembros deberán revisar las medias, camisas, etc., que necesiten un remiendo, y deberá remendarlas él mismo.
  • Que todos los miembros deberán cumplir religiosamente las últimas cinco normas, o recibirán una multa de tres peniques por cada negligencia, impuesta por el comité2.

A veces, los miembros que sufrían maltrato a manos de sus esposas disfrazaban estas instrucciones(habituales en la mayoría de los Clubes de los Calzonazos)con humor y burlas hacia sí mismos. Esto ha llevado a concluir, erróneamente, que estos clubes eran una mera comedia. Pero se trata de una suposición incorrecta, tal vez fomentada por el rechazo a la idea de la violencia femenina: el problema del maltrato doméstico era una preocupación grave para los clubes, como también lo eran las estrategias para enfrentarse a ella.Henpecked-cartoon-Yorkshire-Evening-Post-Monday-25-March-1940

También se recomendaba a los hombres que absorbiesen cualquier violencia o maltrato sin quejarse, tolerándola estoicamente para no provocar ni irritar más a la maltratadora. La política del club explicaba que así era como uno se convertía en un “buen hombre”. Si la esposa del hombre continuaba con su maltrato tras estos gestos conciliadores, los oficiales del club preguntaban al hombre qué podía haber hecho inconscientemente para provocarla; también le preguntaban cómo podía servirla mejor para que no volviera a irritarse. La respuesta a esa pregunta solía ser que el hombre hiciera más tareas domésticas, aunque también existía una intervención innovadora: “acunar a la esposa hasta que se durmiera”; hablaré de esto más adelante.

Los clubes de los calzonazos existieron a centenares desde el siglo XVIII hasta la época contemporánea, y en lugares tan diversos como Inglaterra, Austria, Estados Unidos, Alemania, Francia, Australia, Yugoslavia, China y Japón.

¿Por qué, en una época en la que estamos tan centrados en las relaciones de género, no hemos oído hablar de estos clubes, teniendo en cuenta que en muchos había cientos de miembros esforzándose por sobrellevar matrimonios difíciles? Ni una mención de los historiadores, a pesar de la disponibilidad de materiales sobre los Clubes de los calzonazos. ¿Por qué?

Porque no pega con la imagen del “marido patriarcal dominante” que presentan las interpretaciones históricas modernas.

Así que con la intención de corregir la historia, a continuación presentamos un breve fragmento de un libro de 1810, titulado Descripción de una antigua y honorable sociedad, vulgarmente conocida como El club de los calzonazos, que demuestra que el proyecto de creación de “hombres buenos” lleva existiendo al menos 200 años, y probablemente aún más tiempo:

“[Los maridos] se someten a la agradable esclavitud de sus esposas en tan gran número, y con tanta buena voluntad, como en cualquier otro período ilustrado de la historia antigua o moderna.”Henpecked-club-title-page

“El calzonismo, que cuenta en sus filas con la mayor parte de los hombres más célebres que han nacido desde la creación hasta el día de hoy, ya sean legisladores, filósofos, conquistadores, poetas y enviados de Dios, no requiere otro argumento para justificar y establecer su derecho a influir y actuar de manera extensiva, que el lenguaje de todo amante, que admite sin reparos ser (y jura seguir siendo) el esclavo de su querida, antes del matrimonio; por lo tanto, aquel que niega la supremacía de la mujer que se convierte en su esposa es culpable de una rebelión criminal y antinatural contra la autoridad de la mujer, que el mismo Dios le ha impuesto al hombre. Sin embargo, si se quieren conocer otros argumentos, podrían aportarse muchos que demuestren que la superioridad de la hembra es de orden natural. Por ejemplo, tanto el más noble como el más fiero de los perros se someten dócilmente a los gruñidos y ladridos de la perra más lastimera de su especie.”

“Porque en el calzonismo no se hacen distinciones: la mujer sin igual mandonea a su vasallo tanto como la campesina: a todas se aplica por igual la feliz descripción del poeta:

“El vasallo encorvado de la esposa tirana,

Que no posee ni un céntimo que no le pertenezca a ella,

Que no tiene voluntad más que si ella se digna a dársela,

Que debe contarle los secretos de sus mejores amigos,

Que teme más que a nada una bronca a puerta cerrada.”

“Las normas que acatan los miembros de esas reuniones estaban en todo punto adaptadas para preservar la existencia de la institución. Los miembros que tuviesen el honor de recibir un ojo morado de su cónyuge tenían derecho a una asignación de 10 chelines con 6 peniques, mientras ese glorioso color perdurase. La asignación por los dos ojos morados era de un libra y un chelín. En cualquier caso, era necesario aportar pruebas de que la contusión había sido adquirida de acuerdo al verdadero espíritu del auténtico calzonismo, es decir, sin resistencia ni murmuración, según el ejemplo de nuestro inestimable miembro fallecido, Sócrates, al cual, junto a su esposa, alude el poeta en las siguientes líneas:

“Él sabía cuán a menudo ella lo regañaba,

Cuántos orinales le arrojaba al sabio,

Quien con paciencia se secaba la cabeza,

Y repetía: la lluvia sigue a los truenos.”

Los hombres casados que no tuvieran el honor de pertenecer a la Sociedad, eran sinceramente invitados a asistir a estas reuniones, no en calidad de miembros, sino de visitantes, para que pudieran convencerlos para unirse al ser testigos de la absoluta felicidad que esta otorga. Porque, ¿qué felicidad puede ser mayor que la de pertenecer a una esposa que se ocupa de la pesada carga de regular no sólo su conducta, sino también la de su marido y la del resto de su familia; a una esposa que se toma la molestia de recibir y gestionar todo el dinero; a una esposa que amablemente lleva a cabo la tarea de juzgar en nombre de su marido (en todos los casos) lo que debe hacer; cuánto tiempo debe pasar en el bar; cuánto dinero debe gastar; qué secretos debe guardar (ella, en realidad) y cuáles deben ser divulgados? En resumen, una mujer que carga sobre sus espaldas toda la ansiedad, todos los problemas, dejándole a su querido esposo la única y agradable tarea de ejecutar sus órdenes; recordemos que:

“Su propio cuerpo no es de él, sino mío,

Porque así lo dijo Pablo, y Pablo es un gran enviado de Dios.”

“El plan y el objeto evidente de la institución siempre ha sido preservar y, si es posible, ampliar el justo y loable dominio del bello sexo. Por ello, en las distintas reuniones se consideró adecuado solicitar también la asistencia de hombres solteros, no sólo para que se beneficien de tan perfectos ejemplos de sumisión, sino para que los solteros que aún no hayan pensado en el matrimonio, o que no hayan reparado en un aliciente para casarse tan importante como la existencia de nuestra institución, sean persuadidos de la conveniencia de colocarse, tan pronto como sea posible, a la altura de la mayor parte de los grandes hombres del mundo, a este respecto.”

“Los métodos más habituales que utilizan las hembras para intentar ejercer por completo ese poder ilimitado que les pertenece por derecho, consisten en, poco tiempo después del matrimonio, volverse extremadamente ruidosas y agresivas, y asegurarse de reprender a sus maridos por cualquier acción que realicen, crean o no sinceramente que su conducta ha sido censurable. Este método a veces se acompaña de golpes físicos. Si se continúa este comportamiento con perseverancia y energía, lo más probable es que se tenga éxito, pero existe un peligro considerable de resistencia por parte de individuos brutales imprudentemente denominados hombres de espíritu; esa resistencia puede acompañarse de consecuencias extremadamente perjudiciales para el semblante femenino. Sin embargo, recomendaría rotundamente a las mujeres que empleen este método con aquellos caracteres afeminados que tienen más miedo a recibir una paliza que disposición a defender su título de hombría, y considero especialmente apropiada su práctica con todos los petimetres y lechuguinos, criaturas que no poseen mayor prueba de su estatus de hombre que el hecho de tener dos piernas y vestir pantalones.”

“Ciertas mujeres siguen el rumbo contrario, con mucho éxito. En un momento dado cubren a sus maridos de caricias, exageran su propio afecto, y parecen no tener otro pasatiempo que convencerlos de que el único objetivo de sus vidas será inventar nuevos halagos, y hacerlos absolutamente felices en todos los aspectos. Sin embargo, en otro momento afectan enfado: una melancolía repentina y huraña sustituye su alegría anterior; suspiran con frecuencia, y rompen a llorar; además, sufren desvanecimientos y ataques de histeria.”

El desdichado marido de semejante esposa, alarmado por estos sorprendentes síntomas, le pregunta con ansiedad por el motivo. Ella finge evadir la pregunta; él se vuelve más insistente; ella insiste en su negativa a darle un motivo; su importunidad se acrecienta; hasta que al final le dice, con un gentil reproche y un estallido de dolor, que él le está rompiendo el corazón, que la única recompensa de su amor es el abandono, etc., etc. Asombrado por unas acusaciones que no cree merecer, al principio se esfuerza por ridiculizar lo que denomina ansiedad infantil. Sin embargo, ella finge seguir dudando; él protesta solemnemente, declarando su inocencia; y ambos se reconcilian. No obstante, en unos días se representa la misma farsa una y otra vez, hasta que el hombre infeliz se convence, en contra de lo que le dicen sus propios sentidos, de que su comportamiento ha sido inmoral. Es más, para aplacar a su afligida compañera, acaba por confesar sus faltas imaginarias, y promete corregirse en adelante. Por miedo a ofenderla involuntariamente, aprende a vigilar estrechamente sus propias acciones, tiene miedo a fijarse en las acciones de su esposa y, por el mismo motivo, es muy cauto a la hora de contradecirla, no sea que su crueldad le provoque un desvanecimiento; en resumen, se convierte en miembro de la Sociedad de los Calzonazos.

“Aunque el objetivo principal de nuestra sociedad es expandir la dominación del sexo femenino, no queremos en absoluto alcanzar ese fin con medios reprobables o inadecuados. Los únicos miembros dignos de la Sociedad son aquellos que lo son por estar convencidos de que serlo es algo útil, además de por un adecuado sentido de la superioridad de sus esposas. Sin embargo, todos esos miembros han sido tratados de una forma muy distinta a la que hemos descrito. Primero se han visto obligados a reconocer (y que todas las esposas se esfuercen por hacer lo mismo) que sus esposas, gracias a su cuidado y su frugalidad, están mejor adaptadas que ellos mismos para encargarse de sus preocupaciones; gracias a su comportamiento atento, que están mejor dotadas para gobernar sobre la familia; gracias a su benevolencia y moderación, que nunca abusarán de la autoridad que se les confiera. En un núcleo familiar así, jamás habrá conatos de resistencia. Las órdenes de una de las partes serán cumplidas con diligencia por la otra. Se establecerá una perpetua armonía; y las correcciones, cuando sean necesarias, se acatarán según la norma fundamental de la Sociedad, sin murmuración y sin resistencia alguna.”3

El pacificador de esposas del Buen Hombre

Henpecked-peace-box

Caja de paz del club de los calzonazos —Cura evidente para una esposa enfadada

Los buenos hombres del Club de los Calzonazos fueron responsables de un invento interesante: una cuna para adultos, que se empleaba para relajar a las esposas irritadas en vez de a los bebés. Si os fijáis veréis que tienen un pie curvado para que el solícito marido la pueda mecer suavemente de lado a lado.

La “Caja de paz” fue inventada en 1862 por un miembro del club llamado Harry Tap, y los miembros del Club de los Calzonazos que sufrían el comportamiento tempestuoso de sus esposas podían alquilarlas. Si una esposa maltrataba demasiado a su marido, el marido le pedía a su esposa que se acostase en la caja, que podía mecerse como la cuna de un niño, para conseguir que la esposa se durmiera. Mientras ella dormía, el marido realizaba todas las tareas del hogar, y después despertaba a su esposa, que con suerte ya se habría calmado.

Ahora que estos jugosos datos históricos salen a la luz, parece que hemos cerrado el círculo; regreso al futuro. Aquí seguimos, con el sombrero en la mano, suplicando perdón a la Querida Mujer por haberla disgustado, esperando que se dé cuenta de lo mucho que estamos intentando ser hombres buenos.

Puede que a estas alturas sientas náuseas al saber que los hombres han estado arrastrándose ante semejante maltrato durante cientos de años, o puede que miles, y aun así se nos sigue exigiendo que Lo encajes como un hombre™, Seas un hombre™, y que Seas un buen hombre™. Si te sientes así, no estás solo, y con el creciente ejército de hombres y mujeres del Movimiento por los Derechos del Hombre, puedes contribuir a acabar con unas costumbres ginocéntricas tan nefastas.

FUENTES:

[1] Huddersfield Chronicle – Sábado 11 de agosto de 1860

[2] Esta lista de deberes se utilizaba en la división de Rochdale del club, y es una versión resumida de un documento oficial anterior que circulaba por los clubes: Acta de mejora de nuevas normas y órdenes (1840).

[3] Descripción de una antigua y honorable sociedad, vulgarmente conocida como El club de los calzonazos(1810).

The real history of men — Part 1

By Paul Elam

Everyone knows that men have a tendency to protect women. But why do we see men, often so magnificently strong with other men or when facing danger, suddenly become shadows of themselves against the will of a woman? Indeed, why is it so rare that you ever see anyone even questioning this apparent paradox?

Is it nature? Is it social conditioning? Or is it something else that makes so many men Sampson, primed to be in the clutches of Delilah?

That is the subject of this series, the Real History of Men on An Ear for Men.

I have to take a moment to give a tip of the fedora to Peter Wright. Without his splendid knowledge of gynocentrism, history and philosophy, this series would not be possible. The message here is a product of his generously sharing that knowledge and pointing me to invaluable resources.

Now that I have offered proper credit, let’s start with the basic premise that all narratives hinge on a chronology. Each story, mythology or belief system contains a beginning, a history that defines the present, and a future goal or destination.

If you are religious in the Abrahamic sense, you have the moment of creation, the historical legends, and allegories that shape and define modern customs and beliefs, and the predictions of a future; a place in time where you or your people if you prefer, are going.

Buddhism, a non-religious philosophy, begins with enlightenment, historically shared by way of Dharma, or teachings, which set the individual free from life’s inherent negativity, taking them to a better place. Failure at the lessons, as we see in Hinduism as well as Buddhism, condemns the person to be reborn into life’s struggles until they get it right. But in getting it right, they have a destination in mind.

Even most atheists share the same basic psychological architecture as religious people. There is the big bang or some other theory of the beginning of the universe, long periods of formation and creation, including human evolution, and ultimately an end, or at the very least, a new beginning.

There are even narratives within narratives. The universe has one story, the earth has another, as it also has a beginning, middle and end. The USA is another example. The American Genesis was an exodus from England; its story was building the new world and a destination of freedom and opportunity. A kind of promised land. At least that is the internalized narrative of America for many in the world, even for some of those who hate it.

We are all, in one form or another, affected by this existential three-act play, and in that we have a natural inclination, a drive to script everything, from mythologies about national, state and local identity, to our laws and social customs. We create these archetypal stories and then emulate them, acting out uniquely human psychodramas in never ending cycles that shift with the changes in culture. If we are lucky in the midst of all this, we get to experience the belief that we know who and what we are.

In short, humans are story creatures. We need stories to orient ourselves in life. Those stories, the stories we unconsciously write about ourselves, and even stories that dwell in our unknown history, are always there, shaping what we think, feel and do.

For the purpose of this talk, I am going to apply this to the world of men, who are without a doubt in an ever increasing crisis of identity and confusion about their place in the world.

Depending on who you talk to, we have a pretty clear narrative of the human story, the story of mankind. There are certainly differences in what that story is from culture to culture and subculture to subculture, and no identified group will have near all the facts right, but anywhere you look there are people with a shared set of beliefs that form their core identity as human beings.

That certainty of identity starts to unravel when we replace the word human with the word man. While the story of mankind is, for the most part, uncomplicated, for men it is, especially in these times, muddled and rife with conflict.

It isn’t because the story of men is convoluted or overly complex. It is because our story has been erased and rewritten with a faulty mythology. The first two acts of our play have been gutted and revised to the point that act three, our collective future, has evaporated.

It’s impossible to underestimate the power of that internal narrative. Just as religious zealotry can foster wars and contagious hatred, other belief systems run amok can popularize bigotry and a host of other psychosocial maladies. To make myself clear that this is not a blanket condemnation of religion, and for the sake of honesty, I point out that atheists are no more exempt from this than anyone else, as history clearly demonstrates.

Right now the story of masculinity, and by that I mean the commonly internalized narrative, is as simple as it is toxic. In the beginning, there was the original sin of male dominance and power. The history that defines masculinity now is one of pernicious control and abuse, especially of women, that led to a coveted state of privilege, and the future is, must be, a prophetic destruction of privilege that does not exist and an end to masculinity as we once knew it.

It matters not that this is a false narrative, oblivious to reason and fact. It is still the prevailing narrative. The associated archetypes and mythologies formed in our minds and now permeate our consciousness. They already contain the power to shame and silence us with manufactured guilt. Those who see it and fight are few, but even in that fight, we acknowledge the presence and power of the narrative.

The masculine future is here. Hatred for men is institutionalized. Male suicide is surging, testosterone levels are plummeting, as is the presence of men in higher education and the workforce. Fathers are disappearing from the lives of their sons, resulting in gangs and prisons filling with men, and even more demonization.

And at the same time, male deference to women is at a staggering level, as is damseling by very powerful women who find no shortage of men of all stripes to fly on autopilot to their rescue. We are all but ignoring tumors in men to attend to hangnails in women.

In fact, I am here to argue that this deference to women, this insanely sacrificial servitude, is now an archetype of manhood. It is ingrained into what Plato called the anima mundi, the soul of the world, which now every man bears it like a cross.

The question here is how that lemming-like deference, that lack of self, was written into our story. I ventured into the shallow end of that pool in another article I wrote, titled Servant, Slave, and Scapegoat.

The short version of it is that our classic male archetypes — heroes, kings, warriors and the like — have been twisted and deformed by gender ideology.

You might think that the ideology came from gender feminism, whether the current third wave carnival or the second wave of the late 1960’s or even the first wave of the mid-1800’s but all those are comparatively minor events in this story. Act one of this three-part play has its beginning over 900 years ago in the mid 12th century.

Eleanor of Aquitaine was a remarkably wealthy and powerful woman. At different points of her life, she was the queen of both England and France. She was also a temperamental, rebellious woman by historical accounts. All indications are that she was a woman who lived in constant dissatisfaction with her lot in life.

In many ways, her life and that of her daughter Marie mirrored more modern feminists like Betty Friedan. They were women of serious means, bequeathed to them by men. They were women who used their privilege, free time and resources practice sexual politics.

Eleanor and Marie dedicated themselves fervently to promoting the standard of courtly love. They commissioned traveling troubadours to spread a redefinition of love and attachment according to the courtly standard. And, understand this, that story, that narrative, still dictates much of our lives today.

So what exactly is courtly love? The late Joseph Campbell, a highly regarded mythologist, writer, and lecturer shared his ideas on it after years of research.

One of the stories commissioned by Marie, who also dictated the details, was that of Lancelot and Guinevere. At its core, it was a story of glorified adultery and betrayal. It was a message that courtly love was exalted notion of love and rose above the moral standards of the times, even above the power and importance of a king.

And so went the theme of all courtly love. The way knights, and ultimately all men fit in this story, was in blind service and dedication to women, abandoning themselves and their values for the privilege of being a vassal.

As we can see in this next segment by Campbell, blind obedience to that narrative is not quite as romantic as it sounds.

I’m not saying that Eleanor of Aquitaine invented Courtly Love or Romantic Chivalry. Some scholars have reasonably concluded that the trend was making small waves in multiple cultures at the time. Myths like Helen of Troy and Sampson and Delilah far predated Eleanor and Marie. Our legends were already replete with cautionary tales about the devastation wrought from male surrender to the pull of infatuation.

Eleanor’s work to change the healthy narrative, an expression of her lust for personal power, is the genesis of our story. And its’ history is well documented. The message started with nobility and spread to all the principal courts of Europe. From there it disseminated to the masses and has been a powerful and destructive part of men’s story ever since.

Looking back, Act One of this story is the first ever historical example of a social movement designed to manipulate the biological tendency toward gynocentrism, and to coerce men into a role of enhanced servitude to women. It was wildly successful, and it has affected human beings as much or more than religion and technology. Certainly more than psychology, which was emerging as a discipline about the same time as courtly love.

And as many know, there has been a deep and painful cost to men for it.

That’s worth thinking about.