Author Archives: gynocentrism

Marc Rudov: Similarities between sexes far outweighs differences

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Marc Rudov

A few years ago Marc Rudov was a powerful voice for men and advocate of more sane relationships, before he shifted away from the topic and into other spheres of interest – mainly to his career in marketing. Rudov was not a fan of the ‘men and women are different’ narrative, and he appeared to take seriously the finding that from the total number of human genes, men and women share 99% of them, leaving a mere 1% difference.

Feminists and men’s rights activists, not to mention most MGTOW and PUAs, tend to focus exclusively on that 1% of genetic difference.  With such help from the manosphere, feminists appear to have won the upper hand precisely due to that championing of difference – regardless of whether the differences ultimately be considered biological, sociological or both in origin. The reason male and female ‘difference’ has helped feminists so much is because it garners chivalry – and conversely ‘sameness’ gains no such chivalry.

Chivalry lays at the root of every success feminists have achieved.

Today, gender warriors on both sides tend to be totalizing in their emphasis on difference because that’s the myth they live by and gain power from, making them somewhat anxious at departing from that existential anchor.

However the human psyche is wildly open to variable expression, much more so than most animals it seems, which is one of the reasons Marc Rudov found himself at odds with the manosphere. It would be interesting to ask him if it was the deal breaker that saw him turn his back on the movement. Whatever the case, Rudov held firmly to the view men and women are basically the same – at least in potential – as we read in the following quote:

[Rudov] “I’ve recently published a book about women and know them well. My true education in all things feminine began almost 12 years ago, when I became reimmersed in the single world after my divorce. During this post-marriage odyssey with the “opposite” sex, I learned that women are not so opposite and are, in fact, much like men. To me, this is no longer a debate; it is fact. Now, we hear almost daily from anthropologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed psychotherapists, so-called life coaches, movies, books, magazines, TV, radio, parents, friends, lovers, and standup comics that men and women are wired differently and hopelessly incompatible. We are coached to accept, embrace, and gingerly navigate these differences. Nonsense, I say. If you believe this propaganda, you are part of the problem.”

“If you’re honest with yourself, you cannot find many real differences between men and women. The differences you’ve always thought about are socialized differences based on myths. If women were as different and mythical as the so-called experts would have you believe, they’d never be able to run major corporations, cities, states, and nations. When we stop behaving according to our socialized programming, our stereotypical roles, we are surprisingly similar. This behavioral shift is the solution for making our romances more harmonious and successful.”

His words here are very much at odds with the usual emphasis in the manosphere, but it nevertheless didn’t stop him being one of the most powerful voices ever to speak on gendered issues in spite of – or perhaps because of – his view of men and women as made of precisely the same stuff.  Whether he was right or wrong, his perspective had a considerable influence on the current debate.

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Further reading:
Feminism, sex-differences and chivalry

M. Scott Peck: The Myth of Romantic Love

The following excerpt is from M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Travelled.

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The Myth of Romantic Love

To serve as effectively as it does to trap us into marriage, the experience of falling in love probably must have as one of its characteristics the illusion that the experience will last forever.  This illusion is fostered in our culture by the commonly held myth of romantic love, which has its origins in our favorite childhood fairy tales, wherein the prince and princess, once united, live happily forever after.

The myth of romantic love tells us, in effect, that for every young man in the world there is a young woman who was “meant for him,” and vice versa. Moreover, the myth implies that there is only one man meant for a woman and only one woman for a man and this has been predetermined “in the stars.” When we meet the person for whom we are intended, recognition comes through the fact that we fall in love. We have met the person for whom all the heavens intended us, and since the match is perfect, we will then be able to satisfy all of each other’s needs forever and ever, and therefore live happily forever after in perfect union and harmony.

Should it come to pass, however, that we do not satisfy or meet all of each other’s needs and friction arises and we fall out of love, then it is clear that a dreadful mistake was made, we misread the stars, we did not hook up with our one and only perfect match, what we thought was love was not real or “true” love, and nothing can be done about the situation except to live unhappily ever after or get divorced.

While I generally find that great myths are great precisely because they represent and embody great universal truths (and will explore several such myths later in this book), the myth of romantic love is a dreadful lie. Perhaps it is a necessary lie in that it ensures the survival of the species by its encouragement and seeming validation of the falling-in-love experience that traps us into marriage. But as a psychiatrist I weep in my heart almost daily for the ghastly confusion and suffering that this myth fosters.

Millions of people waste vast amounts of energy desperately and futilely attempting to make the reality of their lives conform to the unreality of the myth. Mrs. A. subjugates herself absurdly to her husband out of a feeling of guilt. “I didn’t really love my husband when we married,” she says. “I pretended I did. I guess I tricked him into it, ‘so I have no right to complain about him, and I owe it to him to do whatever he wants.”

Mr. B. laments: “I regret I didn’t marry Miss C. I think we could have had a good marriage. But I didn’t feel head over heels in love with her, so I assumed she couldn’t be the right person for me.”

Mrs. D., married for two years, becomes severely depressed without apparent cause, and enters therapy stating: “I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ve got everything I need, including a perfect marriage.” Only months later can she accept the fact that she has fallen out of love with her husband but that this does not mean that she made a horrible mistake.

Mr. E., also married two years, begins to suffer intense headaches in the evenings and can’t believe they are psychosomatic. “My home life is fine. I love my wife as much as the day I married her. She’s everything I ever wanted,” he says. But his headaches don’t leave him until a year later, when he is able to admit, “She bugs the hell out of me the way she is always wanting, wanting, wanting things without regard to my salary,” and then is able to confront her with her extravagance.

Mr. and Mrs. F. acknowledge to each other that they have fallen out of love and then proceed to make each other miserable by mutual rampant infidelity as they each search for the one “true love,” not realizing that their very acknowledgment could mark the beginning of the work of their marriage in-stead of its end.

Even when couples have acknowledged that the honeymoon is over, that they are no longer romantically in love with each other and are able still to be committed to their relationship, they still cling to the myth and attempt to conform their lives to it. “Even though we have fallen out of love, if we act by sheer will power as if we still were in love, then maybe romantic love will return to our lives,” their thinking goes.

These couples prize togetherness. When they enter couples group therapy (which is the setting in which my wife and I and our close colleagues conduct most serious marriage counseling), they sit together, speak for each other, defend each other’s faults and seek to present to the rest of the group a united front, believing this unity to be a sign of the relative health of their marriage and a prerequisite for its improvement. Sooner or later, and usually sooner, we must tell most couples that they are too much married, too closely coupled, and that they need to establish some psychological distance from each other before they can even begin to work constructively on their problems.

Sometimes it is actually necessary to physically separate them, directing them to sit apart from each other in the group circle. It is always necessary to ask them to refrain from speaking for each other or defending each other against the group. Over and over again we must say, “Let Mary speak for herself, John,” and “John can defend himself, Mary, he’s strong enough.” Ultimately, if they stay in therapy, all couples learn that a true acceptance of their own and each other’s individuality and separateness is the only foundation upon which a mature marriage can be based and real love can grow.

Man in medieval Baghdad foolishly behaved as a courtly lover

By Douglas Galbi

singing slave girl

A young man pretending to be an aristocrat arrived at a banquet in eleventh-century Baghdad. A slave girl  — beautiful, highly cultured, and wealthy — was singing there. She enthralled him.

In fashionable devotion to the singing slave girl, the young man refrained from eating even though he was dying of hunger. He became inebriated from drinking sweet date wine. Then the love-struck young man saw roses. He grabbed them and ate them. The slave girl whispered behind her tambourine to her master:

By God, I beg of you, call for something for this young man to eat, or else his shit will become honeyed rose jam!

The singing slave girl cared for the foolish young man.

The young man was dressed in only a brocade robe. The night was cold. He began to shiver, and his teeth chatter. He said to the slave girl, “I want to embrace you.” She said to him, “You poor thing, you need to embrace an outer garment more than to embrace me, if you had any sense!” She had worldly good sense. He was a foolish courtly lover. He left deeply wounded by her sensible words.

As foolish courtly lovers do, the young man then wooed the slave girl with letters. He wrote to her of “his love and his follies, his insomnia at night, his tossing and turning in bed as if he were lying on a hot frying pain, and his inability to eat and drink.” The shrewd narrator of the story added that the young man wrote “of such like vacuous drivel, which has no use or benefit” to men in love. The singing slave girl naturally rejected the vacuous drivel of the courtly lover.

Badly educated, the courtly lover turned to literary imagination and poetry. He wrote to the slave girl:

Since you have forbidden me to visit you, or to ask you to visit me, then order, by God, your specter to visit me at night, and quench the heat of my heart.

Guide me to your specter so that
I may claim a rendezvous with it.

Another poem:

If your abstinence is a come-on,
show your specter the way to me.

The young man sought to travel to meet the slave girl’s spirit, or to have it come to him. In worldly love, a spirit is a poor substitute for a flesh-and-blood woman.

With compassion and boldness, the singing slave girl taught the foolish man actually how to achieve his aim. She sent a message to him:

Woe upon you, you poor thing, I’ll do something for you that is better for you than my specter visiting you at night. Put two gold coins in a purse and I’ll come to you and that will be that.

In courting sophisticated slave girls in medieval Baghdad, poetry was much less useful than gold coins.

As the above story indicates, the eleventh-century Islamic world had both the intellectual capability and freedom to criticize the men-debasing ideology of courtly love. In western Europe, benighted scholars have ignorantly celebrated courtly love for about a millennium. Study of medieval Islamic literature might help to spur a true renaissance and enlightenment.

Notes:

The above story is from the Ḥikāyat Abī al-Qāsim {The Imitation Abū al-Qāsim}, a work written in Arabic and attributed to al-Azdī. The work and its author are closely associated with Baghdad. It was probably originally written between 1008 and 1020. The work has survived in a unique codex manuscript now held in the British Library as MS. ADD 19, 913. That manuscript, which isn’t the author’s autograph, includes a marginal note dated 1347. St. Germain (2006) pp. 10-14.

St. Germain provides an English translation of Ḥikāyat Abī al-Qāsim, along with extensive notes. For the story above, see id. pp. 287-8. The quotes above are from id., with some insubstantial changes for clarity.

The singing slave girl was Zād Mihr, a historically attested woman. The man in love with her isn’t named. He is described as “a young man who pretended to be an aristocrat of Baghdad.” The young man’s letters to Zād Mihr include symptoms of lovesickness recognized from antiquity.

[image] Portrait of young Egyptian singing slave girl. Painting by
Émile Vernet-Lecomte, 1869. Slightly cropped. Thanks to Wikimedia Commons.

Reference:

St. Germain, Mary S. 2006. Al-Azdī’s Ḥikāyat Abī al Qāsim al-Baghdādī: placing an anomalous text within the literary developments of its time. Ph.D Thesis. University of Washington.

Article published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

The Gynocentrism of Jordan Peterson

Most by now will have heard the name Jordan Peterson, who has become quite the internet sensation as he tackles the excesses of postmodern philosophy and it’s negative impact on society. His fight against the deconstruction of traditional cultural forms, along with the existential vertigo and nihilism that inevitably follow it are commendable. However there is a question mark over what Peterson deems to replace that postmodernism with, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Peterson works largely, though not exclusively, with Jungian terminology – especially with what Jungians term the ‘archetypal patters’ of human behaviour. Carl Jung was among the first to document universal patterns of behavior among humans which he called archetypal patterns, which he later gave discreet titles such as the child archetype, father archetype, mother archetype, and so on. Jung identified literally hundreds of such archetypes and discovered that classical mythologies also tended to record these archetypal themes in story form.

Jung believed that all people perceive the world through archetypal filters of one kind or another, and are often unconscious of the fact they are perceiving the world through a limited archetypal lens.

With that brief description of archetypes I come back to the question of what Jordan Peterson wants to replace postmodernism with. Does he want to replace it with what was there before it, a wide variety of archetypal forms? The answer to that appears to be no, he has a much more simplistic prescription to fill the void: that men become heroes and women become mothers.

After all the good of cautioning against the excesses of postmodernism, Peterson would unwind it by advocating an equally excessive cult of motherhood as the necessary and only alternative. He is caught by the spell of what Jungians refer to as the Great Mother Archetype, and doesn’t realize he’s caught.

The overwhelming amount of emphasis, the sheer air time he gives to discussing good mothers, bad mothers, the Great Mother, Oedipal mother, devouring mother, nurturing mother and on and on far exceeds the airtime he gives to other themes. Mentioning career women occasionally here and there doesn’t make the emphasis and less obsessive.

In the early pioneering days of Freud and Jung there occurred a huge fad of interest in parental figures, especially the mother. Theory has since moved on from mothers and the mother archetype, but classical Jungians and also Peterson are still trapped there in that fad. This is the Achilles heel of Peterson and it deserves unpacking.

The first thing we need to know about the Mother Archetype is that it is linked to her archetypal son – The Hero.2 In myths and stories around the world we read of Mamma’s hero-son moving through the world slaying dragons, a theme Peterson also specializes in discussing.

The possession of Peterson’s mind by the theme of the Great Mother and her son The Hero compels him to ask young men to lift heavy weights, and ask young women to be mothers – great mothers. Anyone with a strong understanding of archetypal psychology will see immediate problems in this proposal.

Here’s an excerpt from post-Jungian James Hillman which I think captures the issue well:

James Hillman on the Great Mother Archetype medium wide

With his monotheism of the Mother, Peterson is single-minded about the possible life options for young men and women. According to Jung the archetypal possibilities for a human life are multiple and varied, therefore living out the Mother and Hero archetypes – Peterson’s template obsessively pushed – reduces that variety to singular options.

Asking all young men to be worldly heroes, to lift heavy weights to compliment the maternal principle, and asking young women to be mothers – great mothers – when they may not be suited to motherhood at all, limits the possibilities dramatically and may fly in the face of a person’s calling to be something else entirely.

In order to get past this mother-monotheism we need to lift the Madonna Church skirt to allow all the many archetypal forms – the congregation – to walk out and stand independently on their own two feet. By relativizing the Mother Archetype, by removing that word “Great” that appears before it, we allow it to be just one archetype among many, no more or less important than the rest.

Many men want to be heroes, and women mothers. However there’s a danger resulting from what Peterson leaves out of that picture. The omission of other archetypal styles and perspectives likely leads people away from things they might be better suited to. For example some men are not called to be worldly heroes and don’t want to be – they might be spontaneous Peter Pan’s, introverts, gay men, Zeta males, bachelors…. or alternatively women might not be first and foremost identified with their wombs and kitchens – they might have a strong desire to be childless and perhaps to pursue some other life calling – to study, to have a career, help the homeless, or whatever.

It’s insufficient to argue that “mothering has its basis in biology” and thus the Mother Archetype is the most important archetype to push. All archetypes have their basis in biology, that’s Jungianism 101 and therein lies the problem: Peterson talks only about mothering as biologically based but does not grant the same for the other archetypal patterns women might enact.

The mother Goddess Demeter is not the only Goddess…. there are others like Artemis (a freewheeling virgin huntress); Athena (a virgin Goddess focused on civic responsibility – Athens was named after her); Aphrodite the Goddess of beauty, sexual pleasure and love; Hestia the virgin Goddess of the hearth; or Hera the Goddess of social power and status just to mention a few. Many of these archetypal figures were not primarily mothers, but nonetheless the biological impulses that give rise to their patternings are equally as valid as those underpinning mothering.

To underline the point more starkly we can say that even the destructive spectacle of feminism that Peterson rightly rails against is a biologically-based archetypal pattern.

To summarize, the great danger in Peterson’s advice is that it narrows the possibilities far too much, and too forcefully in favor of Mother and her Hero son.2 Moreover, many men are tired of the onerous demands placed on them by traditional gender roles, and who can blame them. Traditional gender roles were sometimes workable when held in balance, with careful reciprocity guiding the arrangement. However in modern society the contractual emphasis on reciprocity has gone by the wayside in favor of extracting all you can from the other person and from the relationship. That makes traditional relationships dangerous places of potential exploitation.

Wanting to return to better models of the past doesn’t guarantee we’ll get them, as so many find out. What we get instead are onerous expectations and demands with little payoff – or worse asset loss, parental alienation, false accusations and public shaming, not to mention the psychological sequelae that comes with it.

For men, all mother-serving heroics serve to further an already lopsided gynocentric culture, one asking men to put themselves into the service of marriage and womankind in an environment that is unlikely to provide much if any reciprocal payoff — for women long ago cast off their roles of mother and dutiful wife, and men are now seeing fit to do the same.

Men’s Rights Activists have long known that postmodernism, feminism, and marxist SJW’s are bankrupt. That’s what we fight. Likewise we know that traditional gynocentrism is bankrupt. This article attempts to show that Peterson too understands the bankruptcy of postmodernism, feminism, and marxist SJW culture, which he describes articulately and with passion….. but then proceeds to fumble for a working model to replace it. For him the replacement is a return to traditional stereotypes of mothers, marriage and women-serving heroes. Traditional gynocentrism. The problem today is that neither women nor men are willing to define themselves solely by relation to the opposite sex, which they view as an exercise in exploitation and control…. so Peterson’s solution simply doesn’t work for many people of today.

MRAs have elaborated one solution in the Zeta / MGTOW life orientation that doesn’t view male identity primarily on the basis of how it benefits the opposite sex. And as part of that adjustment many men who want relationships with women – the red pill kind – are beginning to approach them as relationships between peers (Marc Rudov), as intimate friendships, or as forms of non-gynocentric traditionalism…. or they may frame them as something else entirely. What they are doing is weaving a middle path between Scylla and Charybdis, and refusing to swap one poison for another.

Sources:

Videos by Jordan Peterson.
Analysis of Sleeping Beauty
Is it right to bring a baby into this terrible world?
The Oedipal Mother in a South Park Episode
The Positive Mother Gives Birth to the Hero
The Failed Hero Story vs The Successful (Freud vs Jung)
The overprotective mother or ‘how not to raise a child’

Reference:

[1] Hillman, J. Abandoning the Child, in Mythic Figures, Vol 6. Uniform Edition

Notes:

[2] There are a number of variations on the hero theme, as detailed by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Campbell wasn’t a Jungian, and he was suspicious of many Jungian dogmas.

When referring to the hero archetype in the article above I’m referring exclusively to the classical Jungian understanding of that term, and Peterson’s reliance on same. The hero archetype in Jung’s writings is intimately bound up with the mother archetype (being a hero for mother / or fighting against the dragon mother, etc), as contrasted with Campbell’s focus which held that a hero’s journey need not imply mother. Jung’s mother-tied definition of the hero – Mother’s Hero – is laid out in his Symbols of Transformation.

One poster on the Peterson facebook page recently wrote, “The hero’s journey as described by Joseph Campbell begins by ‘Separation,’ the departure from the status quo. To me this personally I associate this to stepping out of and leaving the gynocentric view of the status quo.” That is a true stepping off into the unknown, a more gutsy hero’s journey, as compared with stepping out into the world as mother’s hero to do her bidding. As Campbell characterized it, the true hero journey entails leaving the mother-world behind and seeking atonement with the father.

Can a woman be chivalrous?

Chivalry is today seen as a mostly male obligation toward female beneficiaries. In the past there were exceptions showing that “chivalry” could be applied equally to women who demonstrated it.

Stripped of the usual gender conventions, romantic chivalry is nothing more than displays of altruism and generosity toward another human being. The sooner women start extending such “chivalry” toward men and boys, and calling it “chivalry,” the sooner we might call relationships reciprocal. Until then we will continue to see male-only chivalry by workers on the gynocentric plantation.

A few examples of ‘female chivalry’ follow, with dates:

Female chivalry

1792 “Mr. Burke remarked, that however the spirit of chivalry may be in the decline amongst men, the age of female chivalry was just commencing.”

1918 “Spenser, following Ariosto, laments the decay of female chivalry since the days of Penthesilia, Deborah, and Camilla.”

1938 “This tendency among women of making concessions to men for their inferior moral strength I would like to term “female chivalry.” It is chivalry in the strictest sense of the term because it makes concessions for the weakness of the opposite side. In a society which is so primitive that its women have not yet developed in their conduct with men this moral chivalry, no doubt the woman is an inferior and subordinate member, an object of masculine pity. But the moment she brings into play upon the field of our social behaviour her superior moral strength (manifested through the developments of her inherent powers of sacrifice, endurance and self-discipline) she not only qualifies herself for equality of treatment but records a moral victory of first magnitude over the opposite sex.”

Woman’s chivalry

1847  “It may be, too, that such pursuits belong to woman’s chivalry, in which she accomplishes tender victories, and with silken cords leads into bondage the stouter heart of man. Happy triumph: in which there is equal delight to the victor and the vanquished.”

1924 “There are poems of the human soul cut off from God by its loveleasness — the hell of separation of the finite self from the infinite; poems of the “white flame” of a greater love; woman’s chivalry towards woman ; woman’s chivalry towards man: and in the end, peace.”

1936 “Neuilly, but something — perhaps a woman’s chivalry to another woman — prevented her from doing it.”

Chivalric female

1864 “The order of Sisters of Charity, therefore, as constituted by St. Vincent de Paul, and whose deeds are known to the whole world, may be considered an aristocratic or chivalric female army of volunteers of charity, bound to short terms of service, but generally renewing their vows, and performing prodigies of usefulness.”

Chivalrous women

1857 “It must be confessed that the spectacle of those three chivalrous women, so magnanimous in face of an evil cause… preparing to plunge into the medley of battle, instead of remaining at a distance to watch the fortune of the fray, instead too of shutting themselves up in some luxurious dwelling there to await the intelligence of the result – but armed and mounted – with martial plumes waving over their heads, fire in their eyes and decision on their lips… could have no other effect than the most inspiring one over those who beheld it.”

1896 “For a lady is among other things a woman with a sense of chivalry, and a chivalrous woman uses her finer gifts to supplement the blunt honesty of her husband (if she is the happy possessor of an honest husband).”

1904 “The self-sacrificing chivalrous woman, with whom duty is a first consideration.”

1906 “Those chivalrous Women seem to be chosen instruments for the world’s betterment—all in the general economy of nature — evidence of growth which sometimes takes us by surprise and makes us sit up and think.”

1912 “Yes — women can he chivalrous! — women can live and die for a conviction! My terrible confession is made easier by your belief!”

1918to the free and chivalrous women of America.”

1919 “they called upon the free and chivalrous women of America to make these wrongs their own and, in so far as possible, to try to redress them, and to safeguard the future of the race by standing for the independence of historic Armenia.”

1920 “This mighty work of hospital redemption, now so nearly accomplished in all civilized countries, so appealed to chivalrous women that there seemed no end to the stream of incoming probationers.”

Chivalric woman

1897 “We are glad to know that such a noble and chivalric woman has her being among the toilers of the overwrought East End, and trust that her good deeds have not gone unrewarded.”

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We live in a time now of great convenience, and if relationships are to mean anything going forward they will need to be based on some kind of reciprocal chivalry. And the good news is that men and women can demonstrate their brands of chivalry differently if they wish…. a ‘co-chivalry’ that can be respectful of similarities or differences as agreed between individual men and women.

60% readers of romance novels consider themselves ‘feminist’

According to polls only 18% of U.S. women consider themselves feminist, however a whopping 60% of readers of romantic love fiction consider themselves feminist.

2015-05-05-1430841078-9909489-romancenovelreader1

As detailed elsewhere on this website, this finding suggests a complicity between contemporary feminist aspirations and the courting trope first manufactured in medieval Europe.

Source:
[1] The above info-graphic was compiled from a survey of 800 people and published in  Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained. The author adds this comment on the feminist question:
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