Beyond The Feminine Principle

The following chapter is from the book Passions, persons, psychotherapy, politics: the selected works of Andrew Samuels. It provides a critique of what the author refers to as ‘gender essentialism in the Jungian community and in its theorizing.’

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Beyond The Feminine Principle

By Andrew Samuels

Retrospective introduction

I hope this chapter from The Plural Psyche of 1989 will still be of interest. It is, on one level, a critique of gender essentialism in the Jungian community and in its theorizing. As such, students of analytical psychology and Jungian Studies could well be interested. They should note that the chapter was very controversial in its time and led to attempts to claim that I was not a real Jungian because I had abandoned the interior perspective in which ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine were exclusively metaphorical matters.

In addition, the chapter was my first attempt to sketch out a contemporary variant of animus-anima theory that led to a subsequent suggestion that the theory was useful in underpinning an approach to gendered behaviour that greatly extends what we understand as male/masculine or female/feminine behavior for men and women. In this sense, Jung’s antiquated gender theory gets given new legs.
(Written in September 2013.)

In this chapter, I look at developments in analytical psychology concerning gender identity, gender characteristics, and gender role. This is set against the background of a general debate about the psychology of sex and gender and the question of sex-based psychology. As in [all my work], the linkage between gender certainty and gender confusion is a central concern, as is the tracking of fluidity, flexibility, and a pluralistic ethos in connection with gender.

THE GENDER DEBATE

Some questions: are men innately more aggressive than women? Does that explain their social and political dominance? Is there such a thing as innately ‘masculine’ or innately ‘feminine’ psychology?

In his book Archetype: a Natural History of the Self, Anthony Stevens drew on the work of the sociobiologists Wilson and Goldberg to reach the conclusion that ‘male dominance is a manifestation of the “psychophysiological reality” of our species. In addition [there is] genetic and neurophysiological evidence relating to the biology of sexual differentiation. . . . Patriarchy, it seems is the natural condition of mankind’ (Stevens 1982: 188–92).

In Jung and the Post-Jungians, I drew on the work of Janet Sayers to critique Stevens’s position (Samuels 1985a: 220–2). Sayers felt that those opposed to changes in women’s role had appropriated biology to their cause and she demolished the sociobiological case in a witty and learned way. For instance, Wilson quoted studies that showed that boys were consistently more able than girls at mathematics but that girls have a higher degree of verbal ability. And boys are, in Wilson’s view, more aggressive in social play. From these bases, Wilson concluded that ‘even with identical education and equal access to all professions men are likely to continue to play a disproportionate role in political life, business and science’ (quoted in Sayers 1982: 77). She wryly remarks that it is hard to see how males’ lesser verbal ability leads to their being better fitted for political life. Surely, if biology really does determine social role, it should be the other way round?

Recently I came across the work of another academic psychologist, Gerda Siann (1985). She comprehensively surveyed the various research findings that purport to link aggression to the male hormones. She concluded that ‘no specific areas in the brain or nervous system have been pinpointed as controlling aggression’ and that an overview of the repeated studies shows that androgenized girls do not seem more aggressive than their peers, siblings, or mothers. Overandrogenized males do not display noteworthy dominance, assertion, or aggression in spite of the fact that their greater size would guarantee victory (they seem to be rather gentle people). What is more, Siann’s careful reading of the research findings shows that castration has no effect on the overall aggressive behaviour of sex offenders, save in relation to actual sexual behaviour. Finally, plasma testosterone levels do not seem to relate directly to aggressive behaviour. Siann’s overall conclusion was:

the evidence does not show any clear and unambiguous relationship between male hormones and the propensity to display violent behaviour or feel aggressive emotion. Indeed the likelihood of such a simple unidirectional relationship has been thrown into doubt by two additional lines of investigation. The first shows that the secretion of male hormones is itself directly affected by environmental and social variables, and the second is concerned with the speculation that female hormones may also be implicated in violent behaviour and aggressive emotion.

(Siann 1985: 37)

To sustain Stevens’s sociobiological viewpoint, female aggression has to be overlooked or minimized. What is more, there is a confusion between ‘aggression’ and ‘dominance’. Not all human dominance depends on aggression. We have to explain phenomena such as altruistic or self-sacrificing behaviour, conscience, the checks placed on the power of a leader, human capacity for collective decision-making, and so forth.

What follows is a discussion of the third question with which we started this section: are there such things as innate ‘masculine’ and, more pertinently perhaps, innate ‘feminine’ psychologies? If there are, then there could be a noncorporeal innate factor in aggression.

BEYOND THE FEMININE PRINCIPLE

It is hard to write flexibly and fluidly about what is flexible and fluid. The danger when trying to reflect on our current preoccupation with gender is that we might become too clear and too organized – a reaction formation to the inevitable anxiety (and guilt) we experience at finding that what we thought was solid and fixed is perforated and shifting. Humanity is not just divided into women and men but also into those who are certain about gender and those who are confused about gender. As we have seen, getting the balance between gender certainty and gender confusion is a hard task. Clinically, we see the negative effects of an excess of either position and working with individual patients in the area of gender identity is a kind of research work before moving on to the collective stage and a wider scale.

For gender confusions have as important a role to play as gender certainties. They contribute something imaginative to social and political reform and change. I refer to ‘confusion’ and not to something that sounds more laudable like ‘flexibility’ because, experientially, that is precisely what it is, no bones about it. Not for the first time in psychology, we can fashion the strengths out of an apparent weakness. To do this, I have found that I have had to learn from women about what they have been through.

Does use of the word confusion not imply the possibility of definition and clarity concerning gender? The way I use the word ‘certainty’ in relation to gender is intended to suggest that, while clear definition is theoretically possible, it is, for the most part, illusory and/or problematic.

In order to discuss the subject at all, the distinction between sex and gender should be noted, allowing for some overlap as well. Sex (male and female) refers to anatomy and the biological substrate to behaviour, to the extent that there is one. Gender (masculine and feminine) is a cultural or psychological term, arising in part from observations and identifications within the family, hence relative and flexible, and capable of sustaining change. Now, in some approaches, particularly in analytical psychology, what can happen is that a form of determinism creeps in and the invariant nature of gender is assumed, just as if gender characteristics and qualities were as fixed as sexual ones. The history of women shows that change is possible just because the social meaning of womanhood is malleable. But when this is ignored, as by Stevens, the possibilities of change, other than as part of ordinary maturation and individuation, are lost.

Is there such a thing as a ‘feminine psychology’? I’ll begin with a general discussion, then consider whether there is a feminine psychology that applies to women. In a moment, I’ll look at the ‘feminine’ in relation to men, and, after that, at femininity and masculinity as metaphors.

Males and females do have experiences that vary markedly. But it is a huge step from that to a claim that they actually function sufficiently discrepantly psychologically for us to speak of two distinct psychologies. The evidence concerning this is muddled and hard to assess. For instance, the discovery that boys build towers and girls build enclosures when they are given bricks can be taken to show a similarity of functioning rather than difference (which is what is usually claimed). Both sexes are interested in their bodies and, possibly, in the differences between male and female bodies. Both sexes express that interest in the same way – symbolically, in play with bricks. Or, put in another form, both sexes approach the difference between the sexes in the same way. The differences that we see in gender role and gender identity can then be looked at as having arisen in the same manner. The psychological processes by which a male becomes an aggressive businessman and a female a nurturing and submissive housewife are the same and one should not be deceived by the dissimilarity in the end product.

What I have been describing is not a woman’s relation to an innate femininity or to an innate masculinity. Rather I am talking of her relation to the phenomenon of difference. Then we can consider the social or cultural structures erected on the basis of that difference. Each woman lives her life in interplay with such difference. This leads at once to questions of gender role (for example, how a woman can best express her aggression in our culture) but these questions need not be couched in terms of innate femininity or innate masculinity, nor in terms of a feminine-masculine spectrum. Rather, they might be expressed in terms of difference. In the example, the difference between aggression and submission needs to be seen as different from the difference between men and women! Or, put another way, whatever differences there might be between women and men are not illuminated or signified by the difference between submission and aggression. In the previous two chapters, we have been exploring how gender difference is formed in relations between parents and children and by cultural and social organization.

I am aware that men are said to have access to the ‘feminine’, or to the ‘feminine principle’ and I used to think that such an unremittingly interior view was the jewel in the Jungian crown. Now I am not so sure. If we’re attempting to describe psychological performance, we have to be sure why terms with gendered associations and appellations are being used at all. Otherwise we end up with statements such as that ‘masculine’ aggression is available to women via their relation to the animus, or ‘feminine’ reflection in the man via his anima. But aggression is part of woman and reflection is part of man. What is more, there are so many kinds of aggression open to women that even current attempts to speak of a woman’s aggression as ‘feminine’ rather than ‘masculine’ still bind her as tightly as ever. Let us begin to speak merely of aggression. Gender engenders confusion – and this is made worse when gender terms are used exclusively in an inner way. When we speak of ‘inner’ femininity in a man, we bring in all the unnecessary problems of reification and substantive abstraction that I have been describing. We still cannot assume that psychological functioning is different in men and women, though we know that the creatures ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are different.

The question of ‘difference’ brings us to a point where we can play back these ideas into analytical psychology. From Jung’s overall theory of opposites, which hamstrings us by its insistence on contrasexuality (‘masculine’ assertion via the animus, etc.), we can extract the theme of difference. The notion of difference, I suggest, can help us in the discussion about gender. Not innate ‘opposites’, which lead us to create an unjustified psychological division expressed in lists of antithetical qualities, each list yearning for the other list so as to become ‘whole’. A marriage made on paper. No, I am referring to the fact, image, and social reality of difference itself. Not what differences between women and men there are, or have always been; if we pursue that, we end up captured by our captivation and obsession with myth and with the eternal, part of the legacy from Jung. I am interested in what difference is like, what the experience of difference is like (and how that experience is distorted in the borderline disorders). Not what a woman is, but what being a woman is like. Not the archetypal structuring of woman’s world but woman’s personal experience in today’s world. Not the meaning of a woman’s life but her experience of her life. Each person remains a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’, but what that means to each becomes immediate and relative, and hence capable of generational expansion and cultural challenge. My suggestion has been that paternal deficits constrict the expansion and truncate the challenge.

In both the collective, external debate about gender characteristics and the personal, internal debate about gender identity, the question of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ is best left in suspension – even, and the word is used advisedly, in some confusion. ‘Gender confusion’ is a necessary antidote to gender certainty and has its own creative contribution to make. This is particularly true in the treatment of borderline disorders, as we shall see in the next chapter. For, when we consider gender and the borderline we will see how gender confusion and gender certainty can operate in isolation from each other. Inadvertently, those who propound a ‘feminine principle’ play into and replicate the dynamics of unconscious gender certainty, denying gender confusion.

It is probably fair to say that post-Jungian analytical psychology has become preoccupied with gender certainty and gender confusion in its concern with the ‘feminine principle’. Here, I am not referring to the writings on women and ‘feminine psychology’ by Jung and his early circle of followers. The problems with that body of work are well known and often repeated. But in the 1970s and 1980s, mainly in the United States, women writers in analytical psychology have set out to revise, or revolutionize, the early work. Such writers are struggling to be ‘post-Jungian’ in their attempt to critique those of Jung’s ideas that seem unsatisfactory or just plain wrong without dismissing Jung altogether.

The reason why there has been a concentration on the ‘feminine principle’ in recent Jungian writing is that it has provided a means to celebrate the specificity of women’s identity, life, and experience. In addition, having the notion of a ‘feminine principle’ in mind helps to make a critique of culture out of personal confrontations with it. The basic desire of feminists who are involved in Jungian psychology has been to refuse and refute the denigration of women that is perceived in analytical psychology, to bring the feminine gender in from the condescending margins, and to promote an alternative philosophy of life to that expressed in the power institutions of a male-dominated society.

Taken as a whole, and I realize I am generalizing, feminism which draws on Jung’s ideas stands out from other varieties, with which I feel more in sympathy, in two main ways. Both of these stem from Jung’s approach, resist eradication, and cause great difficulties. It is assumed that there is something eternal about femininity and, hence, about women; that women therefore, display certain essential transcultural and ahistorical characteristics; and that these can be described in psychological terms. What is omitted is the on-going role of the prevailing culture in the construction of the ‘feminine’ and a confusion develops between what is claimed to be eternal and what is currently observed to be the case. It is here that the deadweight of the heritage of archetypal theory is felt, but as the mirror image of Jung’s problem. He assumed that there is something eternal about women and, hence, about femininity. As Young-Eisendrath (1987: 47) writes, ‘certain beliefs about difference – for example, about gender and racial differences – have influenced our thinking about the meaning of symbolic representations, behaviours, style, and manner of people who are alien to the roots of our psychology in Switzerland’. She goes on to say that we need ‘something more than maps and charts of our own design’.

I would like to say what I find problematic in the many attempts to locate eternal models or maps for the psychological activity of women in mythology and goddess imagery. When such imagery is used as a kind of role model or resource for a woman in her here-and-now pain and struggle, that is one thing. But when it is claimed that such endeavour is a reclamation of qualities and characteristics that once prevailed in human society only to be smashed by the patriarchy, then that is altogether more suspect. For it is a highly disputed point, to put it mildly, that such an era ever existed. Could this be a case of taking myth too literally? And isn’t there a hidden danger here? For if men were to claim that they are in the direct line of psychic inheritance of the characteristics and qualities of gods and heroes, then we’d end up with the status quo, with things just as they are, for they couldn’t be any other way. As far as role-modelling and resource provision goes, surely any woman, even or especially an analyst, can perform this task for another woman.

It could be argued that referring to a goddess as a role model or resource is to miss the point about what is special in a divine figure – the numinosity that attaches to such a figure and hence provides a special form of authority. I am not convinced by this argument, for any figure can constellate the kind of venerating transference that is exemplified in the mortal-divine relation. This is something well known to any and every analyst who has experienced an idealizing transference. If the numinosity is not what is specific to the goddess, then, as I suggested, it is her a-temporality, that which is claimed as eternal and absolute in her.

The search for hidden sources of authority is a project constellated by what is seen as a flawed cultural tradition. But there may also be a ‘flaw’ in the project itself, for such a search demonstrates the very sense of weakness and lack of authority which it seeks to overcome. Engaging in a rivalrous search for female archetypes could lead to a new set of restrictions on female experience, as several writers have observed (Lauter and Rupprecht 1985: 9 discuss this point in detail).

Could we try to play the feminine principle in a pragmatic and not an eternal or absolute key? If so, then its truth would be measured, in William James’s words, ‘by the extent to which it brings us into satisfactory relations with other parts of our experience’ (1911: 157). We would have to start assembling material on the experience of difference as well as on the experience of womanhood and manhood. Sociologists and academic psychologists may have done this but depth psychologists have not – or not yet. Then, in Shorter’s words, we would become less concerned with the ‘image’ of woman and more with ‘likeness’ to that image. She says: ‘Likeness is consciousness of image and its embodiment. . . . It is not a question of imitation; each person becomes in part and to the measure that he (sic) is able “like to” the image’ (Shorter 1987: 40). Or in Caroline Stevens’s words: ‘as a woman, anything I do is feminine’ (personal communication, 1987).

The second point of disagreement between feminism in analytical psychology and feminism generally has to do with the impression that much Jungian discourse on the ‘feminine’ seems directed away from political and social action. Dwelling upon interiority and feeling becomes an end in itself. So, just as middle-class Victorian women were believed to be the repository of sensibility and confined to hearth and home, in the Jungian manner of it, women in the nuclear age are meant to be mainly private creatures.

My concern is that much thinking and writing around the ‘feminine principle’ has opened a secret door into analytical psychology for the return of what is, paradoxically and ironically, an overstructured approach to psyche, heavily dependent upon abstraction and decidedly moralistic. What I’m suggesting is that much contemporary Jungian work on feminine psychology may be seen as far more of an ‘imitation of Jung’ than was consciously intended. The intention of rectifying Jung’s mistakes and prejudices has been perverted.

Trawling the recent literature, I have been struck by the massiveness of the feminine problematic, signified in numerous phrases such as: feminine elements of being, feminine modality of being, femininity of self, feminine ways of knowing, feminine authority, feminine assertion, feminine reflection, feminine dimensions of the soul, primal feminine energy pattern, feminine power, feminine response, feminine creativity, feminine mysteries, feminine body, feminine subjectivity, feminine transformation. I could have quadrupled the list; for ease of reference, I have subsumed all these terms under the general heading of the ‘feminine principle’.

Something oppressive has come into being – not, repeat not, because what is claimed as the content of the ‘feminine principle’ is oppressive but because celebrating the feminine has raised it to the status of an ego-ideal, leading to a simple and pointless reversal of power positions. Further, perhaps it is the shadow of feminism generally to make women feel inadequate when they don’t come up to its mark – or cannot emulate notable feminist figures.

GENDER, METAPHOR AND THE BODY

I would like to say a few words now about the literal and metaphoric relationships between anatomy and psychology to draw together the psychological and scientific aspects of the gender debate, and because I will be talking again about this towards the end of the chapter. A literal determinism has seduced those who seek to make a simple equation between body and psyche. We do not really know what the relationship between them is but it is probably indirect. The fact that a penis penetrates and a womb contains tells us absolutely nothing about the psychological qualities of those who actually possess such organs. One does not have to be a clinician to recognize penetrative women and receptive men – nor to conclude that psychology has projected its fantasies onto the body.

A claim is often made that a female’s body contains in it certain qualities and characteristics that lead to there being a quite specific and innate female psychology, based on the female body and quite divorced from male psychology, based on the male body. Now, as I just mentioned, there seems to be no problem with the idea that males and females have experiences of their bodies as different from the other sex’s body. But the argument that innate psychological differences between the sexes are based on the body has serious and insidious difficulties in it. It sounds so grounded, so reasonable, so common-sensical, so different from social or ideological styles of exploring gender issues. However, if psychological activity is body-based then, as body is more or less a constant over the entire history of humanity, body-based psychological theory can only support the horrendous gender situation with which we are faced just now. For, if it is body-based, how can it be altered? It must be an inevitability and we would have to agree with Stevens when he argues that ‘patriarchy is the natural condition of mankind’ (Stevens 1982: 188).

Of course, psychology cannot be split off from the body. But the link is on a deeper level even than that of anatomical or endocrinological distinctiveness. The link between psyche and body surely refers to the body as a whole – its moods and movements, its pride and shame, its rigour and its messiness. On this level, the body in question is already a psychological body, a psychesoma, an imaginal body even – providing a whole range of experiences. Sometimes, this imaginal body provides crossover experiences, ‘masculine’ for women and ‘feminine’ for men. When the link between psyche and body is envisioned in terms of the body as a whole, then whether that body is anatomically male or anatomically female is less significant. But I am not attempting to deny anyone’s experience of their body, nor to dispute the value of paying attention to the body. Indeed, the descriptions in this book of the father’s relations with his children are markedly oriented towards physical experience and activity.

Even on a literal, bodily level, recent advances in anatomical research show that things are not what they seem to be. This renders attempts to link bodily and psychological characteristics, even of a subtle and metaphorical kind, highly relative, mutable, and conditioned by the state of knowledge and belief at any one time. In her book Eve’s Secrets (1987), Lowndes engages in a comparative study of women’s and men’s sex organs. It turns out that the results of such studies depend completely upon what is compared. For instance, we usually compare penis and vagina, or penis and clitoris. But what if we compare the penis to the sum of clitoris, urethra, and vagina (the so-called CUV)? Then, according to Lowndes, the fact that the clitoris does have a much longer and deeper structure under the skin that merely culminates in the visible crown means that the female possesses an organ equal in size to the penis and composed of the same erectile material. What is more, a woman has a glans – this is not to be found on her clitoris but close by the opening of her urethra, a raised area as yet possessing no consensual medical name. Looking at the man, Lowndes points out how little is known about the inside of the penis and suggests that in the corpora cavernosa there is an area, or spot, that is as sensitive as the clitoris and performs the same functions: a male clitoris.

Lowndes has also found that men and women both have erections, though the charging with blood is visible more markedly in the male. She has also established, by means of careful test measurement, that there is a female ejaculation, composed of fluid that is neither urine nor vaginal secretion.

Anatomical differences between sex organs of men and women are, on the basis of Lowndes’s work, quite literally skin-deep. However, the point is not whether she is right or wrong about it but rather to underline the problems with regarding the body as a fixed element in a body-psyche linkage. Again, this is not to deny such a link, merely to point out the impossibility of dismissing fantasy and/or changing knowledge from our eventual conclusions.

A further instance of the psychological significance of such work is that it is not at all new. In 400 BC Hippocrates said that men and women both ejaculate. In AD 150 Galen said that the vagina and ovaries are penis and testicles ‘inside out’. In 1561 Fallopio discovered, as well as his tubes, that the clitoris has deep structures. In 1672 Regnier de Graaf looked for and found evidence of female ejaculation. It seems that what we say is the case about the body is already psychological (e.g. Freud or, indeed, Kinsey).

Why is this issue of the body as a possible base for sex-specific psychology so critical? I can give two suggestions about this. First, the whole cultural versus innate gender debate is, or has become numinous. If I have taken one side rather than advancing a multifactorial theory, this is partly because it is what I think, partly because that’s my personal style, and partly because a clash of doctrines is where the life in psychology is to be found. Again, though I think I’m right, it does not matter so much whether I am right or wrong, but whether what I am talking about can be recognized.

The second reason why the gender debate stirs us has to do with our ambivalence about our constitution, the psychological make-up that we bring into the world. On the one hand, how secure and fulfilling to know that one is quite definitely a man or a woman! I certainly feel a need for certainty and at no time do I suggest that there are no such entities as men or women. On the other hand, I am sure that anatomy is not destiny and am trying to work my resentment at the idea that it might be into a critique of those who tell me it is. There are no direct messages from the body.

Which leads back to the great problem with an overdependence in theory-making on the body’s impact on psychology. If anatomy is destiny, then nothing can be done to change the position of women. So women who base their quest for a new and positive meaning for femininity on the body inadvertently undermine their own cause. On the contrary, we know how definitions of women and men change over time. Up until the end of the eighteenth century, for instance, representations of men in literature and drama quite often had them as crying – so different from this century, in which big boys don’t cry. The body is not an icon in a vacuum.

It follows that animus and anima images are not of men and women because animus and anima qualities are ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. No – here, for the individual woman or man, anatomy is a metaphor for the richness and potential of the ‘other’. A man will imagine what is ‘other’ to him in the symbolic form of a woman – a being with another anatomy. A woman will symbolize what is foreign to her in terms of the kind of body she does not herself have. The so-called contrasexuality is more something ‘contra-psychological’; anatomy is a metaphor for that. But anatomy is absolutely not a metaphor for any particular emotional characteristic or set of characteristics. That depends on the individual and on whatever is presently outside her or his conscious grasp and hence in need of being represented by a personification of the opposite sex. The difference between you and your animus or anima is very different from the difference between you and a man or woman. (I do realize that I am discussing animus and anima in their personified forms but I am bringing them in as illustrative of the indirect nature of the relation between body and psyche.)

What I am saying is that ‘metaphor’ can be as seductively misleading and one-sided as ‘literalism’. Sometimes, it is claimed that ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are metaphors (you know, ‘just’ metaphors) for two distinct Weltanschauungen or the typical styles of operating of the two cerebral hemispheres. Why can’t we just talk of Weltanschauungen or just of hemispheres? When we bring in either masculinity and femininity or maleness and femaleness we are projecting a dichotomy that certainly exists in human ideation and functioning onto convenient receptors for the projections. Then the argument that masculinity and femininity should be understood nonliterally, as really having nothing to do with bodily men and bodily women in a social context, may be taken as a recognition that a projection has been made, but falling far short of a successful recollection of it, certainly as far as our culture is concerned. All the other divisions that we know about – rational/irrational, Apollonian/Dionysian, classical/romantic, digital/analogic, and so forth – all these exist in every human being. They cannot conveniently be assigned by gender (or sex), save by the kind of bifurcated projection I have depicted. Why do we make such a projection? Surely it is more than a question of language? It could be because we find difficulty in living with both sides of our murky human natures. In our borderline way, we import a degree of certainty and clarity, and hence reduce anxiety, by making the projection. Summarizing my view: it is in this projection that we find the origins of dualist ambitions to construct distinct psychologies for the two sexes and of the attempt to use ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ solely as metaphors.

The whole gender debate suggests that, as with the father’s relations to his children, we need to question whether heterosexuality itself should be taken as innate and therefore as something fundamental and beyond discussion, or whether it, too, has a nonbiological dimension. Freud’ s perception was of an innate bisexuality followed later by heterosexuality. Jung’s view was that man and woman are each incomplete without the other: heterosexuality is therefore a given. In this sense he differs from Freud’s emphasis on bisexuality as the natural state of mankind. In Freud’s approach, sexual identity arises from the enforced twin demands of reproduction and society. What I have been arguing shifts the concept of bisexuality from something undifferentiated (polymorphous or polyvalent) into a vision of there being available to all a variety of positions in relation to gender role – without recourse to the illusion of androgyny.

Feminist art critics have faced up to many of these problems concerning the body. In a critique of the relation between the biologic and the cultural, Parker and Pollock state that ‘acknowledging the importance of events of the body . . . is not reducible to biological essentialism, a facet of patriarchal ideology which supposes a primordial difference between the sexes determined by anatomical and specifically genital structures. How the body is lived and experienced is implicated at all levels in social or societally determined psychic processes’ (Parker and Pollock 1987: 29). Parker and Pollock go on to describe an art work entitled ‘Menstruation II’ by Cate Elwes. During her period, dressed in white and seated in a white, glass-fronted box, she could be watched bleeding. Questions and her answers could be written on the walls of the box. Elwes wrote, ‘The work reconstitutes menstruation as a metaphorical framework in which it becomes the medium for the expression of ideas and experience by giving it the authority of cultural form and placing it within an art context’ (quoted in Parker and Pollock 1987: 30).

If discriminations like these are not made, then those analytical psychologists who espouse the idea of innate, body-based, sex-specific psychologies, find themselves lined up with those groupings often referred to as the ‘New Right’. New Right assumptions about sex-specific psychology tend to be based on appeals to tradition and often have a romantic appeal but, as Di Statham has argued in her paper ‘Women, the new right and social work’ (1987), those working therapeutically need to be aware of the way in which the assumptions can be used to promote the notion of ‘order’ and of how women’s activities, in particular, are decisively limited.

The same point is made, with a good deal of passion, by Anne McManus in the August 1987 issue of the British feminist journal Spare Rib. She wrote:

Feminism is flowing with the rightward tide, its critical radical spirit diluted beyond recognition . . . A decisive shift came in the transformation of women’s liberation from oppression, to today’s confirmation of that oppression in a type of popular feminism which unashamedly embraces anything female. Never mind that this implies a conservative re-embracing of traditional women’s roles that the original movement was all about denouncing. Now any old gullible gush practised by women is feminist, especially if it’s emotive, and authentic (what isn’t authentic anyway at this level?), and anti-male rationality. A false dichotomy between thinking men and feeling women evacuates reason to men while women’s fates are sealed, trapped again in eternal emotionality which leaves male power safely intact. Thus women are immobilised and trivialised by their very softness and tenderness, voluntarily abdicating the dirty power struggle, and thereby the power, to those who have it.

References

James, W. (1911) Pragmatism. London: Longmans Green; Cambridhe, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Lowndes, J. (1987) Eve’s Secrets. London: Bloomsbury.

Parker, R. & Pollock, G. (1987) Framing Feminism: Art and the Women’s Movement 1970-1984. London & New York: Pandora.

Samuels, A. (1985) Jung and the Post-Jungians. London & Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Sayers, J. (1986) Sexual Contradictions: Psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism. London: Tavistock.

Shorter, B. (1987) An Image Darkly Forming: Women and Initiation. London & New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Siann, G. (1985) Accounting for Aggression: Perspectives on Aggression and Violence. London & Boston: Allen & Unwin.

Statham, D. (1987) ‘Women, the new right and social work’. J. Soc. Wr. Prac. 2:4.

Stevens, A. (1982) Archetype: A Natural History of the Self. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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The above chapter from: Samuels, A. (2014). Chapter 7. ‘Beyond The Feminine Principle’ in Passions, persons, psychotherapy, politics: the selected works of Andrew Samuels. Routledge.

Published with permission from the author.

Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology

Wright, Peter. Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology
New Male Studies: An International Journal ~ ISSN 1839-7816 ~ Vol 9, Issue 1, 2020, Pp. 24–49© 2020 Australian Institute Of Male Health And Studies

What Is Gynocentrism? | An Interview with Peter Wright

 

Transcript:

[Greta Aurora] During my interactions with men’s rights advocates, I have noticed they often refer to the “truth” with regards to feminism and gender relations. I get uncomfortable whenever I hear someone claim they’re in possession of some kind of absolute truth. I don’t like dogmas. How do you feel about this? Do you think human beings are able to ever uncover the complete truth about anything?

[PW] I can understand your discomfort. I would split truth into two categories, the first is absolute truth such as gravity or light on which everyone can agree, and secondly being what we might call contested truths which often come with conflicting sets of evidence, especially as we see in complex subjects like race or gender politics. When faced with conflicting hypotheses and evidence, “truth” is best applied to an individual who takes one partial position among the many available – it is his or her truth alone. But that partial position becomes dogmatic when pitched as the one and only truth, good for all people. The tendency toward dogma underlines the importance of holding a polycentric approach – ie. the understanding that there are numerous truths involved in any complex field of relationships.

[GA] You trace the origins of chivalry back to the Middle Ages, and the evidence you present is all very clear and convincing. Gynocentrism seems to me as a lot more complicated concept though. Would you not agree that it’s an integral part of not only human, but even mammalian nature? For example, in the vast majority of mammalian species, the males fight each other for dominance and mating opportunities. To what extent do you think humans are capable of consciously overwriting  their instincts?

[PW] In mammals, and specifically in human relationships, there exists an interplay of gynocentric and androcentric acts. But the overall relationship between males and females is not necessarily gynocentric as some would insist. The wombs of females are a precious resource for perpetuation of a species, and that reality elicits some measure of protective gynocentrism from males. Conversely, the offspring produced by women’s wombs would be in extremely high danger of perishing without the protective civilization and infrastructure created mostly by men, thus we can conclude that some measure of androcentrism is also necessary. So what we have is not “gynocentric relationships” as necessitated by evolution, but rather a reciprocal relationship between males and females designed to bring the next generation of children to maturity. With that in mind it makes little sense to characterise human relationships as simply gynocentric (meaning woman-centered), and it makes much better sense to characterise them as relationships of reciprocity.

As for male creatures fighting each other to gain access to females, this is the behaviour of dimorphic tournament species, which is contrasted with more monomorphic, pairbonding species. According to biologists like Robert Sapolsky, humans show traits of both dimorphic tournament species and monomorphic pairbonding ones, indicating that we have a more flexible potential to move between these behaviours than other mammals. (Perhaps your readers can watch this short clip by Sapolsky)

A more recent paper by Steve Stuart Williams explores wither humans are highly dimorphic, polygynous animals like peacocks, or are a relatively monomorphic, pairbonding animals like robins, and he concludes that we are closer to the latter than the former. The paper, for anyone interested, is titled Are Humans peacocks or Robins?

With such wide variability in human potential, our cultural customs can be set up to encourage male behaviours into just one side of that potential – say for example the competitive tournament style. If for example we are steeped in the cultural mythology of gynocentrism, a convention that has arisen over recent centuries, we might assume human males are a singularly a tournament species fighting for female access, despite the more complex evidence against this viewpoint. As is often the case, this demonstrates that a cultural myth creates biases in our perspective and limits our potential.

The last part of your question; are humans are capable of consciously overriding reflex instincts, I would say definitely yes – we’ve evolved with large neocortexes for precisely that purpose – rational reflection acts as a survival mechanism in potentially dangerous situations that our instinctual reflexes might lead us into when not checked.

[GA] I’m curious how you interpret one story from Greek mythology in particular: the Trojan War. Is the story of men sacrificing themselves merely to retrieve a beautiful woman a reflection of the human psyche, or merely a form of scripture meant to condition people to see the world a certain way – or anything in between?

[PW] The short answer is yes, myths are correct in stating that beauty is an immensely powerful motivator, so I agree with that truth in the Helen mythology. As an aside Aphrodite, who represents beauty, sensuality, sexuality and love, and to whom Helen prayed for release from her powers, is said more powerful than even the so-called Patriarchal Gods …… able to weaken even the limbs of the mighty Zeus himself.

Mythologies like those contained in the Illiad or Bhagavad Gita contain profound truths about human tendencies, but they can equally be misleading regarding human behaviour. As I stated the elsewhere, fictional material from classical era such as in Helen of Troy (a Greek myth), or Lysistrata (a Greek play) when used as “proof” of gynocentric behaviour or gynocentric culture is too meagre in terms of evidence…… as the old saying goes, “One swallow does not make a summer.”  Further, in terms of biological facts about human behaviour, myths can be about as trustworthy as would be the movie Planet of the Apes to future researchers studying the history of primates, or My Little Pony for future researchers studying the real evolution of horses.

[GA] My ultimate question is: to what extent is gynocentrism biologically programmed vs socially constructed?

[PW] I partially answered that above in response to your earlier question, ie. that isolated gynocentric tendencies/acts are part of our biological heritage, as are isolated androcentric acts part of that same heritage. What I don’t buy is the belief that humans are somehow a “gynocentric species” or that overall relationships between men and women are biologically designed to be gyno-centric. This totalising proposition for gynocentrism, that gynocentrism should somehow dictate and swallow all aspects of male-female interaction is both extreme and, unfortunately, popular. This viewpoint is based on mythology arising out of European culture in which gynocentric customs have become amplified through the deployment of what are called supernormal sign stimuli – a term used in ethology circles to show how the behaviour of mammals can be made to overrun their evolutionary purpose via the deployment of sophisticated sign-stimuli and propaganda. I co-wrote an article on this complex topic with Paul Elam entitled ‘Chasing The Dragon’ which is available in print and on YouTube which explains the sign stimuli of chivalry, and romantic love, exaggerates gynocentrism in human populations in a way that overruns gynocentrism’s evolutionary purpose.

[GA] You previously mentioned you don’t agree with looking at masculinity and femininity as the order-chaos duality. Is there another archetypal/symbolic representation of male and female nature, which you feel is more accurate?

[PW] Some archetypal portrayals are distinctly male and female, such as male muscle strength and the various tests of it (think the Labours of Hercules), or pregnancy and childbirth for females (think Demeter, Gaia etc.). Aside from these universal physiology-celebrating archetypes, many portrayals of male or female roles in traditional stories can be best described as stereotypes rather than archetypes in the sense that they are not universally portrayed across different mythological traditions. For example you have a Mother Sky and a father Earth in classical Egyptian mythology, and males are often portrayed as nurturers. Also, many archetypes are portrayed interchangeably among the sexes – think of the Greek Aphrodite or Adonis both as archetype of beauty, or Apollo and Cassandra as representatives of intellect, or warlikeness to Ares or Athene.

To my knowledge the primordial Chaos described in Hesoid’s Theogeny had no gender, and when gender was assigned to Chaos by later writers it was always portrayed as male. There is no reason why we can’t assign genders to chaos and order by which to illustrate some point, but we need to be clear that this rendition is not uniformly backed by archetypal portrayals given in myths – and myths are the primary datum of archetypal images. So broadly speaking the only danger would be if we insist on the female = chaos and male = order as incontrovertible dogma (which, to be clear, I know you are not doing as you rightly oppose such dogma).

There’s a rich history of psychological writings which look at chaos as a state not only of the universe, or societies, but as a potential in all human beings regardless of gender.

[GA] You correctly point out that men and women are more alike than different in temperament, on average – the main disparities are seen at the extremes of the curves, when lined up next to each other. However, there are some significant biological differences, which make me doubt complete equality is possible to achieve. Obvious reproductive and hormonal differences aside, I’d like to ask you to consider physical strength. The average man has approximately double the upper body strength of the average woman. Do you think differences like this can be discounted in a liberal society? Do you not see it as a potential problem with regards to equality under the law and in work environments (e.g. sentencing perpetrators of rape and other types of physical assault; military service; dangerous jobs with a physical component)?

[PW] I agree with everything you mention here. Completely. Those differences between men and women are very real and are not going away. While equality may be possible in the numerous areas in which men and women are alike either psychologically or physically (in the area of overlap underlined by Jordan Peterson who stated that “men and women are more the same than they are different”), a complete equality is a ridiculous thing to want or to attempt to mandate socially. That’s why we hear the popular slogan among men’s advocates that “we support equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcome.”

[GA] Speaking of equality in society more broadly, I wish it was possible to achieve. In theory, I do believe we can be different and equal at the same time. However, it’s just not obvious to me what this would look like in practice. Do you think men and women must become more like each other in order to be fully equal? Or can we have equal opportunities and fair legislation, while also celebrating our differences?

[PW] This is something that each modern individual or couple must decide for themselves. Modern society has graced us with the option of following traditional gender roles, or creative modern roles, or perhaps something in between. In his book Myth Of male Power, Warren Farrell advocates a partial move away from traditional gendered roles that ensured cooperation and survival. He referred to those roles as “Stage 1. survival roles” and proposed a move toward roles which are more shared – such as sharing the child rearing and money earning. This proposition of course infuriates advocates of traditional roles. I wouldn’t personally go so far as advocating the transition to Farrell’s Stage-2 roles, but I think its worth noting that we all do have such options available now.

[GA] In ‘The Dying Femme Fatale’, I mourn the death of femininity in the western world. At the time, I was looking at these issues purely from the female perspective. Do you think there’s a place for traditional masculinity and femininity in today’s culture?

[PW] Yes absolutely, there’s a place for traditional femininity and masculinity – especially for those who are attracted to these ways of being. I look at women in traditional cultures who can be powerfully alluring and simultaneously demure by way of complimenting men’;s strength, agency and sexuality – and to my eyes it is art, a beautiful dance that has stood the test of time. Conversely, I also see the art and beauty of men and women who embrace more of their human potential, and if they can make that work in a relationship I say power to them. Again it all comes back to individual choices rather than who is right or wrong….. at least that’s how I tend to view it.

The nature of male value and our gynocentric culture (part two)

By Peter Ryan

Please read part one of this article before continuing.

The Gynocentric Obsession With Asserting Men Are Inferior:

I understand the desperate need of gynocentric bigots to justify their own double standards of prioritising women above men, with the reductionist concept that reproduction is all that counts to propagating your genes, and that having a uterus makes women more biologically valuable and that men are more expendable. I understand the lengths and the efforts they will go to, to assert their falsehoods and silence any dissenting opinion. Gynocentrism requires rationalisation for bigots to make their bigotry more palatable and acceptable for society. Distorting science to provide a supposed empirical basis for their bigotry, is a key method that they employ. This is why I have spent so much time writing on the subject of male value to set the record straight and it really does not help when the manosphere repeats the lie that men are inherently biologically expendable. As we saw in the phrenology scene10 in the movie Django Unchained, junk science has been used to make all sorts of claims about group superiority.

The rationalisations and sophist claims that men are expendable because they lack a uterus, and that women have to be elevated above men to preserve the species, are just a different flavour of the same bigoted logic from that scene in the movie and just as ridiculous. The same claim that men are destined to be the more disposable sex because they lack a uterus, is analogous to the reasoning that African-Americans were destined to remain slaves because of supposed dimples in their skull. The key difference is that we now at least recognise one of these beliefs as bigotry.

Why Do We Believe Men Are Less Than?:

Why is the lie men are ‘less than’ so widely believed? People will look for simple ideas that justify their emotionally preferred worldview and appease their conscious. This applies to the manosphere as well. It is a comforting lie to believe that the sexism men face is an unavoidable and immutable facet of biological reality and the manosphere is no exception. However this gynocentric society is not comprised of people that are slaves to their biology. No, no, no, people do not get off that easily. People are wilfully and consciously going along with the marginalisation and exploitation of men and boys. The reason for this is not some innate biological mechanism, but the reality in our modern gynocentric culture that there is no incentive to care for men and every incentive to exploit them. Men that do not value themselves cannot expect society to care for them. Men that do not enforce boundaries with women and stand up for themselves, cannot expect women to not take advantage of them. The way men are treated by society, is a reflection of the way men treat themselves. The way men treat themselves is a reflection of how men perceive themselves.

The reason why society gives a shit about women, is because women give a shit about women. The reason why society does not give a shit about men, is because men do not give a shit about men. Ultimately society cares about women, because women give them an incentive to care and a disincentive not to. In contrast men simply place most of their sense of self-worth in what they achieve or do. Men place very little value in their physical and mental being. Society reflects that perspective right back at men in how men are treated. Men who regard themselves as human doings are treated as human doings. If men really want this to change, then they will need to change their perception of themselves from human doings to human beings.

Social stagnation is the norm for society and the social status quo prevails, because most people will not change without an incentive to change. Slavery was not abolished until sufficient numbers of people were incentivised to abolish it. The absolute rule of monarchs was not questioned until sufficient numbers of people were incentivised to challenge the established order. Every significant evolution of society has been preceded by a change in the mixture of incentives and disincentives in society. Things have to reach critical mass for major change to occur.

For centuries men have performed for society, because their own survival and the survival of society depended on it. This often meant that substantial numbers of men made sacrifices and died. What we have in the modern age, is a situation in which the fruits of what men provide are taken for granted. Technology has allowed apathy, short term thinking and decadence to dull our senses. Society has forgotten the true value of men and even men have forgotten their own true intrinsic value. Men cannot “do” for society, without caring for their being first. This is a basic reality that society and men have forgotten because of our decadent materialistic mentality, which has become divorced from reality and our long-term survival interests. Men are human beings first and the doing part comes from their being. Society has descended into a mass delusion, where we have forgotten that men are human beings and that their value emerges from that.

Why has male value been forgotten? Male biological value is more fluid in its form than female biological value. The reproductive role of women does not change much from one environment to the next. How men contribute to the survival of society, does vary to a much greater degree from one environment to the next. The result of this is that male value is not as fixed as female value and as a consequence there is more scrutiny placed on men to prove their value. It is harder to assess male value than female value and requires men to demonstrate their capacities. When you hear people say things like “man up”, “be a man” and someone define what a man is, you are hearing people call upon men to prove their biological worth. This is a social pressure women do not experience to anywhere near the same degree as men. No one dares to tell women to “woman up”.

Social scientists call this social pressure on men to perform to prove their worth as men, “precarious manhood”11. A positive side to the greater fluidity of male value, is that men have many paths they can take to express their biological value to society. For women their biological value is more fixed on motherhood. Women have greater stability and certainty in their biological value, but men have more freedom and scope in the expression of their biological value. Men rising to the top of their profession and pursuing a career or a talent or natural interest, will have a greater impact on their evolutionary success than it will for women. This biological difference does at least partly inform our societal attitudes and culture.

I do believe that this asymmetry between the sexes, is part of the reason why feminism has emerged and demanded all of these changes be made to our institutions and workplaces to empower women to pursue employment or other interests over having children. I understand, respect and support the need of women to find meaning in their lives outside of having children and to be valued for more than just their uterus.

Whilst we clearly do not have a 50:50 gender representation in all aspects of our economy and society and never will, it is a reality that there are no barriers left holding women back. Whilst evolved biological sex differences in interests and abilities do exist and do at least partly explain these differences in gender representation in society and why they will always remain, we have overturned the social and legal barriers that may have existed for women in pursuing a pathway outside of motherhood and being valued beyond motherhood.

The challenge I have for society, is that if we can clearly overcome our fixation on associating female value solely or primarily to motherhood, then we can do the same for men and their provision and protection for society. We can overcome our knee-jerk reaction to assign value to men based on what they “do” for society and how they perform. We can overcome and move beyond precarious manhood. As Dr. Warren Farrell has written about, if women are sex objects, men are success objects. If we can address one biologically informed cultural bias against women in regarding them as sex objects, then we can address the other bias against men in regarding them as success objects. If we can remove barriers for women, we can remove barriers for men.

There is another factor at play here as well. The male role in contributing to the survival of the community can obstruct our capacity to have concern for the well-being of men. When the community is dependent on men for survival, it becomes harder to see the need to support men. The nature of male value means that it essentially gets in the way of societal concern for male well-being. Men naturally want to take risks and they want to challenge themselves and take on hardships and society often benefits because of the extraordinary things that men do. Just as before, there is a positive flipside. Freedom for men is one of the most important things you can give them. Whilst there is less concern for male well-being from society, there is also less inhibition in allowing men to expose themselves to challenging and risky pursuits that can be highly rewarding both financially and otherwise. Men often find fulfillment and are naturally drawn to these pursuits. Men literally skydive from the edges of space and go to the bottom of the world’s oceans, because they have a passion to push the envelope of possibility.

Whilst there are certainly psychological and physiological sex differences that at least partly explain sex differences in the representation of risky, challenging and dangerous work that has high personal and financial reward, it is also correct to observe that men have had greater freedom to take on risky and challenging pursuits in the past. Both factors are at play. Whether it is exploring the world on sailing ships, pioneering on the frontier of new territories, undertaking expeditions to find the Northwest passage and go to the North and South Pole, mining in the gold rush, flying prototype aeroplanes, or going into space, society has historically given men more latitude to pursue these rewarding but dangerous endeavours. Women have traditionally been protected from risky and challenging work and this has come to some degree at the expense of part of their freedom.

Just as society has had less concern for male well-being, there has been less concern for women’s freedom outside of getting married and having children. Just as society has relied on men for survival, society has relied on women to produce the next generation. Just as male value has partly obstructed societal concern for male well-being, female value has partly obstructed societal concern for women’s freedom. The concern for men to provide for society got partly in the way of society caring for men’s well-being and the concern for women to produce children got partly in the way of society caring for women’s freedom.

Again this asymmetry is no doubt partly why feminism has emerged for women and I understand, accept and fully support the need for women to have the freedom to be more than just a mother. The second challenge I have for society though, is that if we can overcome our protective fixation on making sure women stay at home and raise children, then we can overcome our reservation in caring about men’s health and general well-being.

Despite what feminists claim, both men and women have faced discriminatory practices throughout our history and both sexes have had different types of “privilege”. It has not been a man’s world and an “oppressive patriarchy”, it has been a world where men and women struggled for thousands of years to subsist and continue society. When faced with the risk of death, disease and starvation on a semi-regular basis, men and women had much less choice on how to live and the roles the sexes were to play in society.

Technology which mostly men invented, has given us the opportunity to escape our traditional biological roles and opened up options that simply were not possible before. We have the capacity to go beyond our basic biological programming and ironically society has demonstrated this with feminism. If we can overcome our societal reservations on women being something other than a mother, than we can overcome our reservations on addressing male well-being and recognise the intrinsic value of men as human beings. If one sex can be freed from the confines of their biological mandate, then so can the other sex. This is because the biological mandate of each sex (the rate limiting factor of reproduction versus the rate limiting factor of survival) is interconnected and interdependent.

Some say that feminism is merely entirely an extension of biology and from a reductionist lens that position may seem tenable. Certainly there are biological factors at play driving feminism, to at least some degree. However when we consider how antithetical feminism is to female fertility and the net evolutionary impact that has on the continuation of communities and lineages within a population, the absolutist position feminism is entirely biological and driven by evolution, simply has no empirical leg to stand on. Feminism has created countless numbers of childless women that will not directly pass on their parent’s genome. If reproduction for the individual is “everything” from a skewed (and wrong) evolutionary perspective and women are the rate limiting factor of reproduction and biology is supposedly inescapable, then feminism in its present form should not have happened and yet it has. There is more to human evolutionary psychology and culture, than just reproduction and biology.

I wrote in part 2 of Gynocentrism And The Golden Uterus12, that men are not biologically disposable. I wrote that male disposability is a pathological expression of a society that has abandoned concern for male well-being and now takes them for granted and exploits them. I made the point that society has historically had to possess at least some concern for male well-being to minimise avoidable losses of men, to ensure its own existence and prosperity. Whilst there has indeed been some gut level inhibition that society has had in showing concern for male well-being, society in the past has also had an understanding at a cognitive level that we must look after and support men to at least some degree, so that men can in turn support society.

A king may not have had much concern for the individual well-being of his soldiers at a gut level, but cognitively he understood the need to adequately feed, pay and train them so they would effectively fight. We have recognised this need in our past culture to support men not a gut level, but at the cognitive level. Another example of this can be seen in how our educational institutions in the past were established to educate boys, so that they would then be equipped as men to support society and families.

What has happened, is that technology has delayed the need for society to think about the long-term consequences of neglecting male well-being (we have lost our long-term perspective on many other things in general as well, like private and government debt for instance). So we have gradually slid into a mode of perceiving men as human doings and not as human beings and on assigning value to what men do, but not to the men themselves. We have lost our cognitive connection between caring for men as human beings, so men can in turn support society. It is a cognitive connection we must restore before we are too late to realise what is happening in time to save society. Our current social and economic prosperity cannot be sustained in the long term without caring for male well-being. It is only through the massive resource surplus of our civilisation (which is gradually diminishing), that there has not yet been mass awareness of the decline of our societies and its link with the issues facing men. We are in a cycle of decadent short term thinking, where the concerns for the future of our civilisation has become an afterthought and so has concern for men and what made our society great. We must snap out of this cycle. Every civilisation reaches this decadent stage of decline in its final stages before it collapses.

This is a glimmer of hope though. People are waking up. People are starting to notice what is happening to men and boys. Is it happening slowly? Yes, very slowly. All social change happens very slowly initially with few exceptions. Even the mainstream media now though13, is starting to pay attention and show some genuine concern for men. So yes things are changing. If feminism can push back against the rigid expectations and attitudes that were directed at women, so can men when it comes to the rigid expectations and attitudes that have been directed at men.

However to accomplish this goal, men must first change their perception of themselves from human doings to human beings and men must help each other and boys achieve that. We need a new cultural narrative on masculinity. A narrative that focuses on men as human beings before paying attention to what they do. The movie Joker14 is one example of this new type of narrative. Its popularity is no doubt at least partly the result of the film’s storyline filling a void in our gynocentric culture in recognising the humanity of men and men’s pain. Into The Wild15 is another brilliant film that focuses on men as human beings and their pain, vulnerabilities and inner world. Society is in need of a change to our narratives on men and masculinity. Not a feminist inspired change that tells men they are “toxic” or “obsolete”, but a change that tells men they are human beings first and foremost and have intrinsic value.

From 1848, it took more than a century for feminism to achieve many of the goals it set out to achieve. Men face a similar wait. Social change happens slowly at first and it can slow and speed up at various stages over time. Just because change may not be immediate and may be slow, does not mean men’s place in society is biologically immutable. Our major hurdle in my view in the manosphere, is getting over the belief that men are biologically less than women and actually biologically disposable, as opposed to considering male disposability a pathological expression of a society that exploits men and has forgotten their value. Gynocentrism is built on and dependent upon maintaining the lie that men are less than women. Only when this lie is unlearnt, can gynocentrism really be challenged.

The Self-Fulfilling Cycle Of Learned Helplessness

The claim women are more valuable than men, has been put forward multiple times directly and indirectly in the culture over the last fifty years and in various ways even before then. We have all been raised in this lie from birth and have lived in a gynocentric culture saturated by it. This false claim has also unfortunately been propagated in the manosphere as well and often used to explain the origins of sexism against men. The major difference of course between female supremacists/radical feminists and the people in the manosphere that put forward this idea, is that female supremacists consider it to be vindication that their worldview is the natural order of things and treating men like shit is the way it should be.

In contrast proponents of this idea in the manosphere that women are more biologically valuable, either avoid the implications of what it means (including the implied futility of what they are doing in the manosphere to get society to pay attention to men), or alternatively adopt a black pill fatalistic view16 that there is little scope for any substantive mainstream change for society to address the discrimination, hatred, marginalisation and exploitation of men and boys. This mentality is one expression of the learned helplessness factor I described in my article on the Normalisation Of Gynocentrism17 and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for men. Men deserve better. We should recognise biology and our limitations, but we should be cautious not to resign ourselves to a fatalistic worldview, or to fall into a reductionist line of reasoning. Things are not as simple or as set as they seem. The manosphere has to move away from this fatalistic perspective and recognise the true intrinsic biological value of men, if it is to move forward in any substantive way.

One example of propagating the idea women are more biologically valuable than men in the manosphere, comes from a video from Karen Straughan called, “Neoteny!”18. Now before people start thinking this is a hit piece on Karen Straughan, let me assure you it is nothing of the kind. Karen has done some excellent work for men and boys and continues to do so. It is also worth noting that Karen is not the only one that has propagated this idea in the manosphere either. There are plenty of other examples from other people (men and women, mgtow and mra’s, both high and low profile) I could have cited over many years.

It is because the idea that women are more biologically valuable than men (and that men are biologically expendable) is so widespread in the manosphere and never questioned, that I am addressing it so thoroughly in this two part article, in my series of articles on gynocentrism and male value and in my earlier series on gynocentrism and the golden uterus. Karen was inviting criticism of her video and so I will provide it. I can be wrong, Karen can be wrong, we all can be wrong. The danger is not in being wrong, the danger comes when people remain silent when they know people are wrong. That is when rigid ideology forms and we stagnate and divorce ourselves from reality.

In her video Karen makes an argument that the sexism men face is at least partly innate (as she says we can see from sex differences in neoteny and the social reactions that invokes) and that this innate sexism arises from the fundamental reality that women are more valuable than men. Her reasoning is essentially that women evolved neotenous features to a greater degree than men to elicit protection from the community and that we protect the more valuable and so women are more valuable than men.

Neoteny is certainly a trait that women have to a greater degree than men, although in our modern environment women exaggerate their neoteny. The innate sex difference in neoteny whilst still substantive, is considerably less pronounced once you take away female cosmetics. Prehistoric women were no doubt more weathered, hairy, dirty and adult in appearance, than many women appear today. Neoteny certainly can elicit help from the community, but as with many characteristics, there are multiple suggested causes for the sex difference in neoteny.

One explanation19 is that female neoteny was sexually selected by males, as female fertility markedly decreases with age. Men find more youthful looking women more physically attractive as younger women are more fertile and so more neotenous women pass on their genes. Sex differences in neoteny don’t necessarily reflect women having a greater biological value than men. Female neoteny can function as a biological marker to attract males to signal fertility. I do not think we should ignore the likely possibility that this dynamic could at least in part be at play in explaining the sex difference in neoteny. Of course certain people (cough feminists) and even some corners of academia (yes scientists can be biased and less than objective), rally against such explanations because it does not suit their narrative of female superiority.

Greater female neoteny is the result of differences in the manner in which each sex can maximise the propagation of their genes, rather than because women are more valuable than men. As I have discussed in the first part of this article and in part 2 on Gynocentrism and Male Value20, the male and female sex manifest their biological value differently- One sex derives value by investing more heavily in reproduction and the other sex derives value by investing more in survival. I specifically singled out in my writings the greater intrasexual competition of males, as one of the ways male value manifests itself. There is an inverse relationship between the level of reproductive investment by a sex and intrasexual competition, which is what Bateman’s principle describes21.

Whilst competition is certainly not the sole domain of men, the biological reality is that men stand to gain far more from competition than women. The male sex can produce far greater numbers of progeny per unit of time, because males do not gestate or lactate and are thus more freely available to derive benefits from the mating opportunities arising from competition. The male sex also has the capacity to invest far more in activities related to acquiring status, competing and that are high risk/high reward or high effort/high reward, because they do not have to gestate or lactate.

Now let us consider the sex difference in neoteny and the presumption that neoteny has at least in part evolved to a greater degree in women to elicit protection. Will an individual be more successful at competing with others if he or she has to rely on the support of others to compete? How will that affect their status in a socially competitive hierarchy? Will an individual be more successful in acquiring status and engaging in high risk, high effort and high reward activities, if they have to rely on the support of others? Competition, status seeking, taking risks and undertaking challenges, all require one thing- personal agency. Personal agency requires independence and self-reliance rather than eliciting protection from the community. It is true that men have not evolved to elicit protection from the community to the same degree as women. However that is not the result of men being less valuable than women. It is because the life history strategy through which men manifest their biological value and pass on their genes, is different to women and requires different sets of traits.

The greater agency shown by men, is the reason why it is inevitable modern civilisation will be led by men. In order to lead in our modern complex world at the highest levels, you must accept high levels of responsibility and with that responsibility comes a large amount of sacrifice, hardship, risk and the need to be highly self-reliant and independent. This is what feminism does not understand or want to accept and why a “matriarchy” cannot scale to modern civilisation and is bound to fail with horrible social and economic consequences if it is forced on society.

The fatal flaw in Karen’s reasoning, is the implied assumption that we always protect what is valuable and we only do not protect what is expendable. We do protect what is valuable, but not always. There are valuable things in the world that we expose to risk and hazards, because that is how their value is harnessed. Sometimes we do not protect what is valuable, when the source of value is protection itself, or the value is harnessed by exposure to challenge, hardship and risk. We spend billions of dollars on valuable military hardware, race cars and spacecraft and expose them to risks and hazards, because that is how we harness their value. Value alone does not determine whether or not something is protected. There is a duality to value that exists between the sexes that Karen has missed in her video. The duality of survival and reproduction and the interplay between the two in a complex life history strategy to perpetuate the human genome. One form of value that requires protection and another form of value that actually manifests itself as protection.

We also need to remember that both sexes died performing their biological roles. It is not as if women were so biologically valuable that nature protected them from hardship and put it all on men. Women risked their lives in their reproductive role and did die or suffered chronic health conditions from pregnancy and giving birth. Men risked their lives protecting and providing for society and died and suffered from injury as well. The deaths of men and not just women, cost their communities in terms of both reproductive capacity and survival capacity.

There is a duality between the sexes to sacrifice and the cost of their sacrifice to the community. Women have not escaped biological hardship because they are more valuable, they just have experienced a different form of hardship. We can argue over which sex has had it “worse”, but really any sex difference in the degree of hardship comes down to the differences in the environmental and cultural conditions pertaining to their different biological roles and life history strategies, rather than differences in biological value.

The problem with gynocentrism and feminism, is not that they focus on female hardships or female sacrifice or female needs, but that they focus solely on those things and ignore male needs, male sacrifice and male hardships throughout history and in the present day. The problem with female superiority, is that without fail those that purport to claim women are superior, will selectively report only those strengths women have over men and consistently ignore or dismiss any evidence of male strengths and male value.

There is never any genuine recognition of all of the facts by either feminists or female supremacists, just the facts that are convenient. Ultimately it is one-sided gynocentric reductionist thinking, that consistently leads people to perceive only one side of the biological and social equation when it comes to the sexes. They ignore the duality of biological value and the duality of sacrifice between the sexes. The manosphere must try not to repeat those same mistakes.

I have a final point to make on Karen’s video regarding her initial comments on fatherhood and the long developmental period of human offspring and her suggestion that it is has been the monogamous egalitarian model that has allowed prolonged development in humans, rather than paternal investment alone. I would suggest that monogamy and the levels of paternal investment in offspring go hand in hand. Monogamy reduces paternity uncertainty, which in turn results in greater paternal investment. The more monogamous pair bonding there is in a population, the greater the levels of paternal investment.

Yes a species can have paternal investment in offspring in a polygamous community, but it will be at a reduced level in comparison to a monogamous arrangement. Whilst some people beat a drum that humans are a polygamous species, we are actually only weakly polygamous and monogamy has been present to a substantial degree in both our prehistory and in our current societies. We don’t really have one fixed mating mode we cannot escape from and human courtship is heavily influenced by culture and has been for many tens of thousands of years. Indeed cultural practices of marriage with only low levels of polygyny22, are found to go far back into our hunter-gatherer prehistory.

Even in polygamous societies, only a small fraction of the population is actually engaging in polygamy and a substantial degree of monogamy still takes place in these societies. One only has to ask why monogamy has become so widespread, if we are supposedly so hardwired to be polygamous (as some claim). I could go into further detail on this point, but I will leave the discussion on polygamy in humans for another time and return to Karen’s discussion. The reason I expanded on this point, is because there are some people that incorrectly assume monogamy has had no impact on our evolution and that monogamy is a modern invention. This is scientifically and factually incorrect.

Karen discussed in her video, an example of the marmoset monkey in which only one pair is mating in the group and the father invests more than the mother in raising offspring. Karen suggested that the failure of the marmoset to acquire a long period of maturation and exhibit high intelligence, shows that fatherhood alone is not sufficient to lengthen the developmental period of offspring. My response to that, is that only one marmoset male in the group is invested in raising offspring and the rest of the male and female population is providing intermittent alloparental care. Whilst paternal investment within the mating marmoset pair is high relative to the maternal investment, paternal investment in the population as a whole is actually relatively low in comparison to humans (It is also worth pointing out that the paternal investment of a male marmoset is not even close to that of a human male, which I am sure Karen understands.).

In a human population there are many mating pairs (not just one) and thus much higher overall numbers of fathers investing in the raising of their offspring (rather than just one lucky marmoset male with one lucky marmoset female). Greater numbers of monogamous mating pairs, provide the opportunity to have a slower individual rate of reproduction to replace the population. The paternal investment in offspring, harnesses this opportunity to provide the conditions to support a longer developmental period for offspring.

So I would agree that both the monogamous egalitarian model and paternal investment across the population (outside of just one exclusive mating pair), are both involved in lengthening the human developmental period. However it is paternal investment that has actually directly played a role in human development and allowing it to be lengthened. The spread of monogamy just permitted paternal investment to become widespread. That clarification is important to add to what Karen said in her video. Fatherhood is particularly important in human adolescent development and particularly important in respect to raising sons whom fully mature at an older age. These realities indicate that fatherhood is indeed connected to supporting the longer development of our offspring (Particularly with teenage sons!).

 

Conclusion:

In closing I would like to draw attention to the massive fires that are currently burning across Australia. Firefighters whom are mostly men, have been battling these blazes whilst the country has been enjoying holidays and New Year’s Eve. It is funny how society on the one hand really needs men in a national emergency, but at the same time the mainstream media has no problem in telling men they are obsolete23 and telling people why it is okay to hate men24. Despite men risking their lives fighting the fires, feminists somehow think it is appropriate to make claims from highly questionable feminist “research”, that some men will come home from the fires to beat up their wives (yes you read correctly, watch this link25 and this link26). We live in a culture and a society, that is dominated by an authoritarian feminist ideology that spreads outright hatred toward men with impunity and attempts to demonise men even when they risk their lives for their community. That is how threatened feminism is by male value. Any expression and recognition of the good men do for society, even when men are risking their lives in a national emergency, is to be quashed by feminists.

Society does not want men to know their own value, because if they did this whole parasitic gynocentric system of exploitation would grind to a halt. It is the fear of men discovering their own intrinsic value as human beings that drives male disposability in society, remember that.

I will finish this article with a link27 to a speech by Charlie Chaplin. He made this speech in a movie called The Great Dictator in 1940 during World War 2. With our growing geopolitical tensions with China, Russia and now Iran, remember this speech. It is as relevant today for men, as it was back then. Make no mistake, war is a men’s issue and may become the greatest issue men face this century. The rejection of male disposability and the recognition of men as human beings with their own humanity, is the antidote to war and violence. The machine minds of our world will stop at nothing to snuff that out of men’s hearts and lead men astray with false promises of glory. Take heed of that warning.

“You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men!”- Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, 1940

How men perceive themselves will determine the fate of their lives and also the fate of the world. Reflect on that reality and what I have written in this article.

 

References:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQM4ebFILv4
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6EF00RL88M
  3. https://avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/gynocentrism-and-the-golden-uterus-part-two/
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0wCBFNTVhk
  5. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/joker_2019
  6. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/into_the_wild
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHcPQ0pJ8_M
  8. https://gynocentrism.com/2018/06/30/the-normalisation-of-gynocentrism/
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C46rSIfTum4
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249179177_Sexual_Selection_Physical_Attractiveness_and_Facial_Neoteny_Cross-cultural_Evidence_and_Implications
  1. https://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/gynocentrism-and-the-value-of-men-part-two/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bateman%27s_principle
  3. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0019066
  4. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/308135/
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-cant-we-hate-men/2018/06/08/f1a3a8e0-6451-11e8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TgON5oYZvI
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CwQcIn2Pgo
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7GY1Xg6X20

 

Anti-gynocentrism is the only anti-feminism that matters

Stockfresh paid gynocentrism

Men’s Rights Advocates have often watched with bemusement as newcomers arrive declaring support for men, with a resume saying just one thing: “I’m an antifeminist,” as if that were all we needed to know.

Because antifeminism and men’s rights activism is synonymous, right? This is literally what they assume.

With the resume tabled they quickly move to promote a gynocentric tradition that gushes about males saving women from floods, fires, bullets, or sparing them from minor inconveniences in life  – like discomfort, dirt, criticism or employment. Feminine women, they say, are best preserved as home-makers; each woman as precious as the fingers of a concert pianist which must never be put under strain. Men, they say, are heroes, put on this earth to lift heavy things as Jordan Peterson would say, and lift them specifically for the fragile, and of course pregnant, womenfolk.

“Life back then was as close as we can get to perfect” they foam, “it was an arrangement that saw feminine women give compliments to men for ongoing sacrifices — an arrangement far superior to the feminist approach which goes out of its way to denigrate men while expecting those very same sacrifices to continue.”

It is superior because massaging a man’s ego in exchange for expected sacrifice is somehow less denigrating than saying, as the feminists do, “we hate you.” But is such gratitude really better when both feminist and traditionalist women continue to expect male servitude – when they both reduce men to the role of ‘do things for me’?

That is the essence of the deal: a little ego-stroking in exchange for a man destroying himself. She inflates his ego like a helium balloon, at least in the area of saving, serving and pedestalizing her, and he signs up for a smorgasbord of self-destructive sacrifices and an earlier death.

We could be forgiven for interpreting the traditionalist woman’s complimenting of male sacrifice as superficial gushing, offered up with all the sincerity of a Miss World candidate saying she wants to bring about world peace, while watching the corpses pile up around her.

That appears to be the gynocentric tradition that most anti-feminists are peddling, the one they would substitute in place of feminist models. Here I should add that not all traditionalists are like that – at least not for the tiny minority of red pill men and women who seek to preserve the otherwise valuable, non-gynocentric aspects of tradition.

Some readers might protest that we should be grateful for those charging forward to destroy progressive gynocentrism (feminism) in order to substitute traditional gynocentrism in its place. But for this old timer that program reads like a rejection of Judas, in order to take sides with Iscariot.

I’m sure you all get the point.

As Paul Elam once summarized, ‘anti-gynocentrism is the only anti-feminism that matters.’ Or to quote another MRA who understands this problem, Bryan Scandrett has referred to such traditionalist men and women as “I’m-not-a-feminist gynocentrist” (INAF-G).

Compare the traditional gynocentrist as described above with women who are neither feminist nor traditional gynocentrist; women like Janice Fiamengo, Suzanne McCarley, Elizabeth Hobson, Alison Tieman, Hanna Wallen and countless others who are as quick to question the unbalanced privileges of traditional women as they are the privileges held by feminists. The difference in perspective between these two kinds of women couldn’t be more stark.

The rest unfortunately are frauds, women masquerading as allies while inviting men to adopt a women-serving scam with the bait of a 1950s smock and a demure look, women who are today unwilling to match men with reciprocal gestures or labor, nor the shouldering of life’s stresses. When traditional gynocentric women are featured in media interviews, gushing praise for the usefulness of “masculinity” and “real men” who save women from house fires, one can’t help but notice there’s an absence of discussion of what’s in it for the men, as if its not a relevant concern.

Perhaps praising is a form of respect for men, but respect for what? On face value it looks like that of a narcissist who “respects” others as food to satisfy his/her impersonal gluttony for special treatment.

Perhaps I could be more generous and say that rather than trying to enslave men, the I’m-Not-A-Feminist Gynocentrists are simply behind the times, believing that they are championing the lesser of the only two evils on offer. They view it as the lesser of the two evils because, under traditional gynocentrism, men were at least complimented for their labor, and given medals after their deaths – a thing denied under the feminist vision which sees men and women as competitors for narcissistic turf in which only women receive compliments. Not men, but women alone are the ‘Stunning and the Brave.’

Sadly, the traditional contract under which that situation worked, the one that limited men’s and women’s options in favor of narrow set roles, can no longer work in a culture that refuses to encourage and support that same contract.  Wave after wave of feminist activity has seen the toothpaste squeezed completely out of the tube. Women will never go back to the “role” of baby-making, apple-pie cooking wives, because any attempt to reduce women’s “multi-option” life will be met with resentment, if not interpreted as abuse. Therefore any attempts to enact that traditional role today will amount to little more than cosplay.

Swapping progressive gynocentrism for traditional gynocentrism is going nowhere. We can no more turn back the clock on ‘Women’s Liberation’ than we should ignore the fact that’s Men’s Liberation now is due–men who no longer need to be tied to the traditionalist role of He-for-She.

Before bringing this article to a close I want to come back to the question of what, if anything, is the value of anti-feminism for the men’s rights movement. To that, two of the more obvious answers come to mind.

Firstly, antifeminist work pushes back against efforts to create more He-For-She demands, e.g. for men’s supposed responsibility to stop partner violence; for men’s responsibility to address the ‘wage gap’; for men to assist in promoting affirmative action policies; to do more household chores; for taking up too much female space on public transport, or for not setting the office air conditioning to women’s desired temperature. These and many more ‘patrarchy-do’ lists amount to little more than collective female nagging, which anti-feminists are helping to call out in the public domain.

Secondly, anti-feminists fight the widespread censorship of men’s issues by feminists. The problem of feminist-driven deplatforming and censorship was even apparent in Ernest B. Baxs’ day, which he described in the year 1913; “[Feminists] seek to stop the spread of the unpleasant truth so dangerous to their cause. The pressure put upon publishers and editors by the influential Feminist sisterhood is well known.” In response there has always existed people within the MRM who push back against feminist-driven censorship of men’s issues, and indeed censorship from other sources, and this needs to continue with full force.

To put these two concerns in context, pushing back against feminist demands on men, and feminist censorship, have never been the only goal of the men’s movement despite claims by some that the MRM is synonymous with ‘antifeminist backlash.’ To suggest equivalence is to confuse purely antifeminist movements with the much broader portfolio of the men’s human rights movement.

A survey of the last 100 years reveals that the MRM is concerned more directly with issues impacting men and boys such as alimony, genital mutilation of male infants, homelessness, mental illness, false accusations, family court bias, suicide, child custody, low funding for male health issues, legal discrimination, educational performance, and misandry in mainstream culture just to name a few. And just as important, a pressing issue today is fostering of more life choices for men: Its time for men to embrace whatever options exist beyond the narrowly prescribed role of serving women – just as women long ago rejected narrow roles and responsibilities toward men.

The time for the multi-option man is now.

Gynocentrism And The Demographic Implosion Of Western Civilisation

By Peter Ryan

Pixabay liberty

Things Are Not As Simple As They Seem

In this article I wanted to share a comment I made in relation to Sargon’s video1 on the increasing trend of people not having children. He was specifically addressing an article about Emma Watson and her choice to “self-partner” and remain single. He went on further to share his thoughts more broadly, about the trend among men and women of not having children. Whilst I certainly think that the importance of people having children to replace society is a valid point, I think he misses the mark by failing to address the environment that is producing this problem and that he focuses too much on individual selfishness as a cause. So I have left a comment below on his video addressing that:

“Shaming people for not breeding in this highly dysfunctional gynocentric society, is like blaming people for leaving a burning building. The sexes are naturally attracted to each other. We have not had a problem replacing ourselves for the entire history and prehistory of our species. Healthy males and females in healthy functional societies, where relationships are healthy and functional, reproduce just fine without shaming people.

It is quite interesting how quickly people are ready to shame single men in particular for being single (and I note it is almost always directed at single men and not single women, because we are that gynocentric we blindly adhere to gynocentric double standards like zombies), but stop the presses if we look at and criticise the gynocentric bias in family court, divorce, the feminist criminalisation and demonisation of masculinity in the legal system and wider culture and the deliberate marginalisation of men in education and employment and the legal system and all of the associated effects that has on men not partnering up and remaining single.

We could look at the effect of the neglect of boy’s education in the feminised education system, feminist employment quotas and its mismatch with female mate choice which is at least partly based on male earnings and female hypergamy, as just one example of many.

If people are SO concerned about the population not replacing itself, how about having the courage to deal with the rampant gynocentrism2 that is at the root of the problem? The usual silence of course will follow no doubt. People can keep ignoring gynocentrism all they like- Until gynocentrism is confronted our civilisation will continue its path of decline. Mark my words- No amount of shaming men will stop this problem. Gynocentrism will continue to destroy society until it is confronted.

I understand Sargon is talking about Emma here, but he is also talking about the growing numbers of single people in general (male and female). What he does not address in the video, is the toxic anti-male gynocentric environment that is driving the low birth rate. He talks about taking responsibility for perpetuating the society that birthed and raised us, but then fails to mention this same society cultivated the very environment that generated the problem he is talking about in the first place. How about the responsibility older generations and society as a whole has for creating a gynocentric feminist environment where the population does not replace itself? Insert crickets.

See responsibility works both ways. If you bring a future generation into this world, you are responsible for making sure you raise them right and preserve your culture and address social dysfunction so they have a healthy society to raise your grandchildren in. You better make sure you protect your culture and values and don’t continuously ignore social problems like gynocentrism.

So you see, society actually has no right to point the finger at younger people not breeding in an environment that is the result of decades of reckless disregard for societies future by older generations. This video is 30 years too late and now older generations and this feminist society will reap what it is sown.

You want to fix this problem? Stop blaming people for leaving a burning building and start putting out the fire.”

Sargon does some brilliant work, but in this instance I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding presented in his video, of the nature of the problem behind the low birth rates in the West and what is actually required to perpetuate society. I do not think things are as simple as Sargon describes in his video and I do think we need to be honestly appraising just how healthy and functional Western culture actually is at the moment, given how gynocentrism permeates almost every aspect of it.

The Gynocentric Cancer Destroying Our Society

Men and women are biologically wired to reproduce and pass on their genes. This is a key driving force of our evolution and the evolution of all living things. The fact that our society has become so dysfunctional that substantial numbers of men and women are not reproducing despite the natural drive to do so, speaks volumes about just how irresponsible older generations and the present population have been to let our culture and society degrade to this level. In our gynocentric culture, we place women on a pedestal and we place men in service to women and then we expect through our collective wilful ignorance, that this dynamic will not lead to exploitation and dysfunction.

This gynocentric mindset has destroyed marriage and relationships, broken up the family and caused an epidemic of single motherhood and fatherlessness. As Stardusk (or Thinking Ape) describes in this video3, our low birth rates are in many respects the result of society putting men down to lift women up and artificially elevated female hypergamy. This mismatch guarantees a low birth rate and the collapse of the welfare state Sargon is so concerned about in his video, when he discusses the pension. This is what happens when society throws men under the bus to pedestalise women. Men are the golden goose that keeps society running and society is killing the golden goose.

The support within our culture and wider society to place female well-being above male well-being and the willful ignorance of the long-term consequences of this imbalance coupled with modernity, has led to where we are now- A dying society. This is a society where men can be put in jail if they fail to pay alimony to their ex-wives (who can work) to finance their lifestyle, even if it exceeds their income or they are unemployed. This is a society where men can have their lives destroyed from a single unproven allegation by a woman and their false accusers can walk away with no consequence. This is a society where in some places4, boys who are statutorily raped by adult women, can later be forced to pay child support to their abusers.

This is a society of fatherlessness, where single motherhood is encouraged and fathers are denigrated in our culture and marginalised in our family courts and legal system. Multiple generations of boys and girls have now grown up through divorce and family court and many of them have been denied any meaningful relationship with their father. This is a society where the needs of boys and men in education and employment are ignored and where the needs of girls and women in these areas are prioritised.

Sargon is correct to criticise the selfishness, narcissism and solipsism arising from the culture of female entitlement. However, I cannot agree on his broad criticism of men and women that choose to remain single (like many MGTOW) and not have children. Choosing to have children is a choice and not a responsibility. Choosing not to have children in this highly dysfunctional gynocentric culture, is completely understandable and that is especially so for men.

Person Refusing Apple Held By Doctor

When you bring a life into this world, you are responsible for raising them and ensuring they have a meaningful constructive future. Increasing numbers of younger people are looking at the future and have serious concerns about the trajectory society is on. Many of these younger people come from broken homes and have seen what divorce and family court does. Many have lived it and experienced the consequences of it directly. Young men in particular, have every reason to be sceptical about marriage, relationships and starting a family.

Many younger people are aware of our enormous and ever-increasing national debts, the huge unfunded government liabilities, the unaffordable housing and the reality our governments have done nothing to address these problems for decades. They are aware of the death spiral of debt the West is in and the increasing prospect of a major depression and a major global conflict with China. Massive student debt and unaffordable housing, combined with the reality of divorce and family court, just add further barriers to men and women starting families and keeping them intact (should they even start one).

Not everyone has the means to raise a child with living costs and housing being so expensive and with employment becoming increasingly volatile and unstable (especially with automation and globalisation). Many younger men in particular are struggling to get a start in life, because of the marginalisation of boy’s education, the effects of fatherlessness and the introduction of feminist employment quotas and selective hiring policies catering to women that discriminate against men. Young men obviously are going to find it more difficult to marry and raise children, when the deck has literally been stacked against them and no effort is being made to address the issues they are facing in education and employment.

No one discusses these realities and they have remained unaddressed for decades. These problems have actually worsened across the West and continue to do so. Then we wonder why people are not breeding. How responsible is it to simply breed and have no regard for the quality of life your children will have? Reproducing without having the means to properly raise children and without considering their future, is reckless and irresponsible. Not having children is sometimes the responsible thing to do.

Not all people should have children and be parents either. Some people are too irresponsible to raise children, or they simply do not have the financial means to properly support children. The continuation of Western civilisation is dependent on far more than just mindless breeding. Having children requires proper planning and investment from both individuals and from wider society, so that future generations are raised properly and preserve the society and culture. Producing large numbers of your children in single mother households with no father, ensures you will have future generations of dysfunctional adults and that your society will decline and regress. Fatherhood is required for modern, developed and advanced countries to stay modern, developed and advanced. Simply breeding with no regard for anything else, just creates countries of poor people.

Why So Many MGTOW Opt Out Of Marriage And Children

No one ever asks the question- Why do so many men that go their own way (MGTOW) choose not to marry and have children? Why is it that growing numbers of men are voluntarily walking away from getting married and starting a family?

The answer, aside from what I have already stated in this article, is that marriage is now essentially a slave contract where the human rights of men can be nullified through the divorce process at the whim of women. That is actual reality and not an exaggeration. Fathers are now reduced to temporary legal guardians that can be removed from their children by the mother at any stage and with the full force of the state. Men are not walking away from marriage and family, because these concepts now exist in name only. Men are walking away from a broken toxic gynocentric system of state sanctioned exploitation. A system that places the needs of women first and the needs of men and children last.

Childless Incels

I do not agree with Sargon either that involuntarily celibate people that by their own label want to reproduce, should be shamed for not doing so. I am frankly surprised Sargon is not able to see the logical inconsistency in his own argument. Shaming people for not doing something they clearly voluntarily want to do, is not going to achieve anything. It makes me wonder whether Sargon understood that the letter “i” in incel stands for involuntary. I think he misspoke here.

Where The Problem Really Lies

Frankly the problem of our low birth rate, does not lie with single men or single women. Sargon says this is a good society with good values that should be continued and yet it cannot replace itself. There are plenty of things to like about the West, but ultimately it is the cancer of gynocentrism in the West (which feminism is just a symptom of) that will ensure it declines. This society is dysfunctional because it allows gynocentrism to grow unopposed and the result has been the breakdown of the family, marriage and relationships and an epidemic of fatherlessness and single motherhood. If Western civilisation is so “good” and if our values are so great, then why can’t it sustain itself? Clearly there is something wrong with a society that cannot continue itself.

This is not a “good” society with “great” values. This is a dying society living off its past greatness and pretending everything is okay under a thin veneer of debt laden decadence. Great values? This is a society that abandons free speech, due process, human rights and basic morals in the face of gynocentrism. Unless something radical happens, the world will be talking about the fall of Western civilisation in a few centuries time.

Simply replacing people with new people, is just one part of continuing society and hardly all of what is required. It is imperative that society confronts and addresses problems that threaten its existence, such as gynocentrism and our over-reliance on debt and does not just keep ignoring them and kicking the can down the road (The “I will be dead by then mentality” of the boomer generation comes to mind.). It seems to me that the people so concerned about society not replacing itself, don’t seem concerned enough to confront the source of the problem- gynocentrism. How responsible is that? Think about that for a moment.

This article is not just in response to Sargon. So many other people, particularly from the “Alt-Right”, traditionalists and nationalists, are quick to judge people and particularly men that do not breed, as selfish and irresponsible. They give no consideration of the state of the debt driven society we are living in and how this toxic gynocentric environment is discouraging people and particularly men from having children. In reality many men are that responsible, they see it as irresponsible to raise children in a dying debt laden society that is living on borrowed time, treats men like slaves, rewards and even glamorises women for their bad behaviour and does not hold such women accountable.

The Sun Is Setting In The West

This video5 was recently made by Stardusk on the contrast between how the West and China regards single motherhood and the impact that is going to likely have on the future of the two societies. Fatherlessness and single motherhood in the West, will contribute to its fall. Sustaining your society is not just about pumping out babies. Society must ensure that they properly raise younger generations to become well-adjusted adults and that the culture and institutions are preserved to provide them with a proper future.

What we have seen over at least the last three decades, is a complete failure of the West to properly raise future generations. We have seen the rapid rise of fatherlessness and the breakdown of the family. We have also witnessed the feminist corruption and decline of our institutions, particularly at our universities and in our legal systems. The magnitude of the damage fatherlessness, the breakdown of the family and the decline of our institutions is going to leave on our civilisation in the coming decades, will be simply enormous. We have witnessed nothing yet, the jet-black storm on the horizon has been building for 50 years.

Blasting_of_a_chimney_at_the_former_Henninger_Brewery_in_Frankfurt_am_Main,_Germany

The sun will be setting in the West and rising in the East over the course of this century. The West is not the best. We actually encourage single motherhood, we have let feminism destroy our institutions and we have marginalised men, boys and fathers. Gynocentrism will play a large role in our undoing. Time to wake up and recognise that we are not as good a civilisation or culture as we think we are. The question is this- Do we value female approval more than we value the continuation of civilisation? At the moment it seems the answer is yes. For that we deserve what we get.

When I think of the future I remind myself that no one can know what the future may hold with certainty. We all have to take collective responsibility for the future of our society and hold our governments accountable for the decisions they make our behalf.

What I see at the moment, is a society on the decline and headed for a major war (possibly a world war). I see a society that prefers to live in decadence and blissful ignorance and refuses to make the hard decisions required to address the serious social and economic problems it faces. I see older generations kicking the can down the road and passing the buck onto younger generations and no one in government taking any responsibility for the long-term prosperity and security of our countries.

That does not have to be our future. We could solve a great deal of problems if society had the collective will to say no to gynocentrism and restore balance between the sexes. Valuing men is not antithetical to civilisation, it is essential to civilisation. In actuality it was treating men as disposable that led to gynocentrism running rampant to begin with and reaching a level where it now threatens the very existence of society.

fempocalypse6 is not some farfetched idea, it is the logical end point to the crazy train of gynocentrism- We need to find the brakes fast.

* * *

A Follow-Up To The Article Above: Take The Loaded Gun Out Of The Room

I noticed after writing this article, that Sargon has done a follow-up video7 on the baby boomers and responded to some of the criticism levelled by people at his earlier video that I addressed. Consequently I would like to respond to that. It is good to see that he has identified the substantial degree of responsibility of older generations for the gynocentric and economic mess that future generations have inherited. I mentioned this as well in my own article.

I cannot agree though with Sargon’s stance on marriage in the modern cultural and legal climate and encouraging men to marry in our current gynocentric society. As I discussed, marriage is no longer marriage. Marriage is now a scam and the marital contract is now a legal instrument that can be used to extort men and enslave them. The family court and divorce process has so thoroughly undermined what marriage was, that marriage as a functional and legally binding contract to formalise a healthy mutually beneficial partnership between men and women to raise a family, simply just does not exist. Marriage is no longer marriage and this needs to be recognised.

I am not suggesting formal partnerships between men and women should not exist. I am stating the fact that modern marriage is no longer a formal partnership in which the interests of men and women are equally protected under the law. If marriage was a business partnership, no one would start a business. As long as women carry around the “loaded gun” that feminists have placed in their hands, which divorce, family court and domestic violence legislation represents, there can be no proper partnership. This is what feminists wanted and feminists have succeeded. They have succeeded because our gynocentric culture places female well-being above male well-being and female interests above male interests.

The notion by Sargon that women should show “restraint” in not exercising the power they have thanks to the gynocentric bias in family court, divorce and domestic violence legislation, in order to encourage men to marry, is not a solution. We are talking about men’s basic human rights being infringed upon by women with the full force of the state and there is no justification for half-measures. If things were in reverse, we would not be asking men to “restrain themselves” to encourage young women to marry them. We would not be finding ways to make this system “work”, if women were treated in divorce and family court like men are. We would be tearing the whole system down, encouraging women not to marry and marching in the streets with torches.

The mere possibility that women at their whim, can use the state to imprison men that displease them, alienate fathers from their own children and turn men into indentured servants to finance their lifestyles, is a disgusting indefensible crime. It is an abuse of human rights and this modern system of marriage and divorce has no place in a supposedly civilised society. There is no justification for this system and “marriage” in its present form (which is now marriage in name only), regardless as to whether women show “restraint”- Take the loaded gun out of the room. No ifs, no buts, no excuses, no half-measures. Men have a right not to have their basic rights threatened.

Men should not be put in a secondary position to women when it comes to marriage, the family, divorce, family court and the law. That should just be assumed, it should not even have to be stated. Sargon recognises that there needs to be change and I would wholeheartedly agree. There needs to be fundamental reform of divorce and family court. There needs to be reform in our legal system regarding correcting the imbalance introduced by feminist domestic violence legislation and feminist driven policy. There needs to be renewed respect for fathers and men in general. The list is a mile long with things that need to be changed. Until that happens, marriage in its present form is not marriage and it is about time we stopped living in denial about that. It is time society confronted the stench coming from the family court and divorce extortion industry and bureaucracy.

References:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtYO4zJQw2c
2. https://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/diagnosing-gynocentrism/
3. https://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-governance-feminism/legally-obscene/
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jtybXWGhFw
5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_If9t9FLTs
6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w__PJ8ymliw
7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3v67IrYtvw

A sentimental continuation of coverture

Pillory stocks commons

Most of us have observed the baffling refusal of women to take responsibility for mistakes, or for outright shitty behavior. More accurately said, we’ve all observed women’s tendency to impute responsibility for their transgressions to others; especially to men. Thousands of people recognize the tendency; they discuss it, make jokes about it, suffer it in their marriages, and every single day you can read hundreds of new anecdotes demonstrating it in action. In short, it’s definitely a thing.

Where the hell does does this behavior originate?

Some might view it as a genetic tendency, that women’s refusal to take responsibility arises from a genetic peculiarity. Or perhaps we might accept a pretzel-shaped argument from an Evolutionary Psychologist suggesting that women’s shirking of responsibility is a necessary sexual or survival strategy. Unfortunately such hypotheses do little more than mirror the usual traditionalist attempts at absolving women of responsibility.

For this article I’m going to pose a simpler, culturally rooted explanation: coverture. 

The doctrine of coverture, in its most basic definition, dictates that husbands are to take responsibility for wives’ wellbeing, and also to suffer proxy punishment for her social and legal transgressions – all responsibility rests with the husband whether he likes it or not.

As a social policy, the doctrine of coverture began to develop from approximately the 11th century, gaining currency throughout the British Isles from where it was imported to the wider world via English colonies. Douglas Galbi summarises the intent of coverture as follows:

Coverture was the idea that husband and wife are one under law. More specifically, coverture assigned to the husband responsibility and punishment under law for his wife’s criminal acts. Coverture also protected women from mass imprisonment for debt in early modern England…

Coverture was among a range of institutions and ideas that generated highly disproportionate imprisonment of men. Legal history conventionally interprets coverture as a legal concept oppressing women. Coverture oppressed women in the same way that men-only Selective Service registration oppresses women today…

Coverture has been badly misunderstood in legal history. Coverture assigned to husbands responsibility for their wives’ criminal acts and their wives’ debts. Coverture increased the criminalization of men… Anti-men bias in invoking coverture is a general rhetorical pattern built upon deep structures of gynocentrism.1

According to the Oxford Dictionary, coverture originally referred to anything used as a cover, such as a shelter, the lid of a cup or dish, the cover of a book, or the cover of a bed, and is synonymous with the general and collective sense of ‘covering.’

In its wider sense, the purpose of a coverture is described as any device used to provide protection, shelter, or adornment. Interestingly, it can also mean to conceal as in a veil or disguise used to foster covert conduct or to deceive. In the latter sense coverture “covers a multitude of sins,” thereby offering a pretense, a justification, and a defense for egregious conduct.

The social doctrine of coverture saw that men “covered” for women’s sins in exchange for the husband’s supposed privilege of authority; a privilege we could justifiably read as a poisoned chalice when one considers the number of men that went to the gallows in place of their wives.

Fast forward to the 19th century when coverture laws were still in place, and the advent of feminism was beginning. Feminists hit upon a plan to remove the “male authority” facet of the coverture doctrine, but to retain the “male responsibility for women’s wrongdoing” aspect of it. In effect they split coverture down the middle, trashing one half of the doctrine and continuing to preserve the other.  As E. B. Bax observed:

“For it is a significant and amusing fact that no mention is ever made by the advocate of women’s claims of the privileges which have always been accorded the “weaker sex.” These privileges are quietly pocketed as a matter of course, without any sort of acknowledgment, much less any suggestion of surrender.”
Some Heterodox Notes on the Women Question (1887)

“This public opinion regards it as axiomatic that women are capable of everything men are capable of, that they ought to have full responsibility in all honourable and lucrative functions and callings. There is only one thing for which unlimited allowance ought to be made on the ground of their otherwise non-existent womanly inferiority, and that is their own criminal or tortious acts! In a word, they are not to be held responsible, in the sense that men are, for their own actions when these entail unpleasant consequences for themselves. On the contrary, the obloquy and, where possible, the penalty for the wrong-doing is to be shifted on to the nearest wretched man with whom they have consorted.”
Why I Am an Anti-Suffragist (1909)

“To men all duties and no rights, to women all rights and no duties, is the basic principle underlying Modern Feminism, Suffragism, and the bastard chivalry it is so fond of invoking.”
The Fraud of Feminism, Chapter VII: The Psychology of the Movement (1913)

Further to Bax’s claim that the penalty for women’s wrongdoing got shifted onto the nearest wretched man, we appear to have come in the 21st century to not only maintaining, but amplifying the blame game in an effort to retain the “dignity, esteem, and reputation” of today’s women — a blame game that has its unbroken root in the tradition of coverture.

If the theory of ongoing-coverture satisfies the baffling question of why women shirk responsibility, then we at least have an answer. Women want to maintain the historical tradition of having their transgressions excised, hidden and covered by men, while they go about securing the gynocentric utopia they have been so effective at building.

Maintenance of sentimental coverture rightly belongs to gynocentrism theory. For how could gynocentrism survive if women took more responsibility, if they were more accountable for their acts? Quite simply gynocentrism couldn’t survive on that basis, particularly if their aim is one of fairness and equality which can only be achieved by truly emancipating women and holding them responsible for their actions.

So as a working model lets add sentimental coverture as one of 5 pillars of a gynocentric temple, which would look something like this: Pillar-1. Chivalry, 2. Courtly/romantic love, 3. Gender narcissism, 4. Coverture, and lastly 5. Power-seeking (via the long march through the institutions of power, this strategy being evident for centuries before Marxism was dreamed up, as for example in the writing of Christine De Pizan and her ‘City of Ladies’).

In summary, this article posits that coverture has survived long beyond its historical use in law, becoming a social custom divested of its original legal framework. Whatever the merits of its original purpose, the sentimental continuation of coverture provides an enduring custom encouraging women’s shirking of personal responsibility – this thanks in no small part to the activism of the feminist movement which postures as progressive, but turns out to be the same as it ever was.

References:

[1] Galbi, Douglass, Coverture, Domestic Violence & Criminalization of Men (2015)

wrong

The wonders of feminism combined with the sentimental continuation of coverture

Elizabeth Hobson on ‘proto-feminism’

The following is an excerpt from Elizabeth Hobson’s latest article in PoliQuads Magazine.

Poly

Feminists Do Not Get To Define Feminism

By Elizabeth Hobson  

Proto-feminism arose in the late Middle Ages. Queen consort of France and England, Eleanor of Acquitaine spearheaded a movement within her court to subvert the chivalric code (which had traditionally governed relations between knights and lords) to regulate the behaviour of men towards women. These women initiated a system of romantic feudalism wherein noble men were under irresistible pressure to identify a lady as midons (my lord) and to submit to her will and delicately accept any scorn that her midons saw fit to extend to him. Eleanor established “Courts of Love” in which she and her noble women would administer “justice” in romantic disputes. Not only may many men in particular recognise this state of gender relations, but the modus operandi that Eleanor and company used to achieve their supremacy is entirely familiar: generalizations about all men based on the poor behaviour of a minority, asserting that women need protection from men’s violations, and a narrative of women’s moral superiority justifying their dictatorship. Within 200 years, Eleanors’ ideas had spread and saturated throughout Europe and throughout the class system….. [continued]

*The rest of this article exploring the various waves of feminism can be read in PoliQuads Magazine

Gynocentrism and misandry

pointing shutterstock paid
By Peter Ryan

In my previous article “Perversions of gynocentrism”1, I discussed the void of respect for men and boys. We live in a culture that does not respect the male half of the human race. To call this truth out is to attract the ire of feminists and be labelled a whinger and a misogynist that is just angry his supposed “privilege” has been taken away. The contempt that our gynocentric society has for men and boys is a forbidden topic to discuss.

This hostile reaction to discussing men’s issues and their well-being and labelling any men that discusses them a whinger, is not just seen from feminists. It is also expressed from a substantial number of men and women in society. It is an ugly reality of human nature that people do not like to confront their own bigotry and when they are confronted, it generally elicits a hostile response. The reality is that the misandry that feminism vomits out into society, is just a symptom of a much more deeply rooted problem in our culture.

Men and boys cannot read a newspaper, watch television, go online, listen to the radio, go to work, or to college or school, or even socialise with their peers, without being regularly bombarded with hateful and bigoted messages that there is something inherently toxic about them or wrong with them because they happen to be male. There is a feminist campaign of psychological warfare directed at men and boys. Tom Golden has compared it2 to the communist brainwashing of political dissidents in China and made a compelling argument feminists are using the same techniques.

In my article “Diagnosing Gynocentrism”3, I discussed how gynocentrism is associated with a belief in female superiority. This belief holds that women and girls are naturally and inherently superior to men and boys based on being female. This belief emerges from two attitudes. There is an underlying attitude that masculinity is inherently flawed and that masculinity is toxic, violent, predatory, destructive and primitive. There is also a corresponding attitude that femininity is flawless, pure, peaceful, empathetic, life-giving and civilised. Gynocentric slogans like “women civilise men”4 and feminist terms like “toxic masculinity”5, are just two expressions of this same belief system. Female superiority is a belief system that leads to the dehumanisation of men and boys and the deification of women and girls.

Within one week of me publishing “Perversions of Gynocentrism”, the American Psychological Association released their guidelines on dealing with men and boys, which pathologises traditional masculinity. Ex-Navy Seal Jocko Willink, has written a brilliant article debunking this nonsense6 and I highly recommend people take time to read it. Numerous psychologists such as Dr. Gad Saad7Dr. Shawn Smith8 and Dr. David Ley9 in Psychology Today, have strongly criticised these guidelines and the demonisation of masculinity and the feminist ideological bias within them. A few days later, Gillette releases their new ad10 on how men need to reform themselves and evolve past their primitive, violent and predatory ways (because apparently all men in general are now represented by the actions of a handful of predatory, backwards and violent men). These examples of demonising men and masculinity are nothing new. This has been going on for decades.

Where I live, we have government funded man-bashing ads on TV on a regular basis11, holding men in general collectively responsible for domestic violence. If one woman is murdered by a man, the media are quick to collectively hold all men12 as sharing responsibility for their death. There is of course no discussion of female violence toward men. This is despite the abundance of research available13 that shows it is hardly a tiny fraction of domestic violence, but actually a substantial portion of it.

There is of course no collective blame directed at women in society for the actions of individual women that commit child abuse and physically attack their male partners. There should not be either, because all women and all men are not responsible for the actions of individual men and individual women. Of course this is understood when we look at female violence toward men and children, but not in the case of male violence toward women and children. That is just one gynocentric double standard that helps keep reinforcing the bigoted attitudes we have about men and women, which in turn drives the belief in female superiority.

Man bashing ads are like grains of sand on the beach. Books14and research papers15 have even been written on how pervasive the negative portrayal of men and masculinity is in this culture. The institutionalisation of misandry is also widespread in our society. Misandry is present in our political system, our universities, our family courts, our legal system, our schools, our universities, our corporations, our mainstream media and our government departments. It is in our policy, in our laws, in our news, in our entertainment, in school and university syllabus and academic scholarship and it is increasingly invading our personal spaces and social interactions.

None of this is new. What is new is the level of outrage the Gillette ad has generated. 2019 will mark the ten year anniversary of A Voice For Men. Ten years ago the Gillette ad would barely have created a ripple. There would have been some criticism, but hardly to the level we are presently seeing. This change in societal attitudes is a new phenomenon and an emerging trend. People have finally had enough. People are starting to notice the impact of what disrespecting the male half of the human race has in their own lives and they are recognising the true face of feminism. We have a long, long way to go, before we unlearn centuries of gynocentric programming. We are however starting to see society question the cultural narrative that something is inherently flawed about masculinity and also feminist ideology.

I did leave a comment on the Gillette ad. I responded as follows:

“Is this ad the best a man can get? Imagine if this ad generalised all black people or all women by the actions of a few individuals. Would such bigotry even get past production and be released? So why is it suddenly ok to generalise the male half of the human race by the actions of a few men? This is wrong. It is not “some” men doing the right thing, it is actually most men. Inspiring men to do better, requires respecting men to begin with. Seeing the worst in men and using shame and guilt to inspire them to do better, just creates the understandable level of hostility we see toward this ad. Men are not toxic, this message and messages like it are toxic. Inspiring men to do better, requires portraying a positive image of masculinity to your audience and not deriding them. Such simple logic.”

Predictably feminists attempted to gaslight me. That is their predictable (all so predictable) response when they get challenged on their own double standards. There is nothing wrong with what they are doing, it must be me and the million or so other people like me that expressed a problem with the ad. Not in one instance in the replies under my comment, did feminists answer my question about whether this ad would have even got past production if it had of portrayed black people or women in this way.

Gillette would have us believe “some” men but not most men, are doing the right thing by others. It is implied through omission that the majority of men need to reform themselves. The ad clearly exploits a perceptual bias called anchoring16, to set the perceptual frame in the viewers minds right from the beginning, that men in general are to be found guilty for the actions and behaviour of a handful of predatory and violent men. Then it proceeds to lecture men from a morally self-righteous position, on what men should be doing to redeem themselves. I will ask the question again, would feminists approve of this ad if an ad like this was made about women? I think we all know the answer to that and their silence to that simple question is deafening.

Feminists were predictably quite quick to obfuscate an examination of their own double standards and bigotry, by accusing people of having a problem with men acting like decent human beings, or even going as far as insinuating that I was somehow one of those toxic men portrayed in the ad. This is the predictable game feminist ideologues play- They set the bait to elicit anger from men, there is an angry reaction from men and then they frame themselves as victims of male aggression. It is all in your head, there is something wrong with you etcetera, etcetera. Gaslighting is a preferred tactic by feminists. But the central question that I asked still remains unanswered. Would these same feminist ideologues be perfectly fine with a comparable video being made about women? Indeed people have noted that double standard and have produced such videos17.

Men and women do not have a problem with the message of men acting like decent human beings. They do have a problem with an ad framing men in general as violent, primitive, predators and that only “some” men are doing the right thing. They do have a problem with an ad that takes such a pompous and morally self-righteous position to judge and shame it’s male customer base and then dare to lecture them on how they should behave. The ad like most feminist inspired ads, is dripping with condescension toward men18.

Paul Elam did an excellent response to the ad linked here19. I also left a comment on that video as follows:

“When I wrote about there been a void of respect for men, I was not saying that as a minor footnote. We live in a society that is so gynocentric it pathologises the very type of men and masculine traits it depends on to exist. They say fish rots from the head and it certainly does. This ad is nothing new, just more of the same. The misandry in ads has been going on for decades.

Feminist ideology is the religion of the corporate kleptocracy we live in. The steady progression of this toxic ideology through our public institutions and businesses, is the product of decades of general apathy from the public toward the well-being of men and boys. Society gave feminism the green light to demonise and dehumanise men and boys and marginalise them in the name of equality decades ago. Business executives and politicians go along with it because society mostly does not care and has shown zero concern for decades. Is anyone going to protest outside their HQ? Is anyone going to make a formal complaint or take legal action over this ad? Is this really going to lead to any serious and long-term boycott of their products? Is there going to be any real tangible consequences for this business and any well organised movement to pushback against this misandry?

There were many ads, articles, books and shows like this before and most people said nothing. Only now is the rotten stench of feminism starting to bother people.

You reap what you sow. This will continue to worsen until people confront and correct their own gynocentric programming. Exactly how bad the stench of feminism needs to get before that occurs, depends on how much people are willing to suffer for their own gynocentric stupidity. The moral laziness of society toward gynocentrism is really to blame, not a business that just reflects the fashionable bigotry of the day. Look in the mirror people.”

One year ago there was another video that attracted similar levels of controversy. Does anyone care to guess what it was? It was the Jordan Peterson interview with Kathy Newman on Channel 420. So you were saying? So you were saying? So you were saying? Remember? Strawman, gaslight, strawman, gaslight. Precisely the same feminist tactics of painting men as villains and portraying themselves as victims, was on full display a year ago from that interview and in its aftermath. Just like now, there were millions of people that heavily criticised that interview. The cycle of misandry repeats itself over and over again each year and it will continue to escalate.

So my question to people is what are you going to do now? This is not a new problem. I can pretty much guarantee with certainty that the bigotry and contempt that our feminist controlled society has towards men, is going to keep continuing and keep escalating. You can expect more ads like this. What we are presently facing is not something that just grew overnight. The demonisation and the marginalisation of men and masculinity, has been going on for decades. It was the apathy and the indifference of the general population to what feminists were doing then, that allowed the pervasive misandry in our society to be normalised by feminists and grow to the point we are observing today.

I want people to really think about how deeply entrenched the hatred of men would have to be in our society, for the American Psychological Association to come up with their feminist inspired guidelines toward treating men and boys. I went through multiple examples in “Perversions of Gynocentrism”, on describing the world we now live in and how they illustrate a void of respect we have for men and boys. It is not hyperbolic for me to say that if I replaced men with Jews in some of the hateful content coming from our feminist media, academics and politicians, it would not look at all out of place in Nazi Germany. Could you imagine the outrage if the Washington Post article, “Why Can’t We Hate Men?”21 was written about Jews? Antisemitism is reprehensible and so is misandry. The fact you can write such hateful drivel about men in a major mainstream media publication, goes to show you just how depraved our society has become.

To get to this level of feminist depravity and hatred towards men in society, the general population had to be apathetic and indifferent enough to the well-being of men to permit it. That is the disgusting truth that no one wants to acknowledge. Even a substantial number of antifeminists will stop short of examining the reasons why feminists have been so successful in implementing their agenda, with next to no resistance from the population. All of these mothers and fathers with sons did nothing for generations, while feminism gradually infected and then spread through our institutions, companies, politics, media, legal system and public and private organisations. Despite the massive outcry over this one ad that goes for less than 2 minutes, the concern and outrage from the public over a multitude of far more serious examples of systemic and institutional misandry in society, is relatively little.

Men and boys are far behind girls at every level of education from kindergarten to postgraduate education. They have been struggling academically for decades in a feminist controlled education system that prioritises women and girls learning needs and avoids and silences any attempt to address this imbalance. Young men have seen their rights to due process eliminated on college campuses and their lives ruined from false allegations, thanks to biased feminist university policies and kangaroo tribunals. Husbands and fathers face severe bias in the family court and divorce process and many of them lose everything- wife, kids, house and sometimes their lives. Countless fathers are killing themselves on a regular basis from being alienated from their children. Men are now facing a social climate thanks to metoo# and changes to the legal system, where a woman can virtually point the finger at a man and based on an unproven accusation from more than 20 years ago and with no trial, the man can have his life destroyed. The list goes on and on.

Many of these problems have been around for decades and they are systemic in nature and have impacted millions of men and boys. The silence from our society to these issues has been deafening, because mostly no one cares. Like I said, the Gillette ad that went for less than 2 minutes, got more attention in one week than any of those men’s issues I just mentioned have gotten from society in twenty years!  If these things were happening to women, we would be up in arms and there would be a revolution. The indifference to the suffering and marginalisation of men and boys, is a readily observable feature of society. This is the gender empathy gap22.

It is a stark and surreal claim to talk about men being privileged in a society that bends over backwards on every occasion to cater to feminist demands to prioritise female well-being (even to the point of spending money on stopping “manspreading” on public transport), while at the same time shaming and ostracising men and boys and showing such indifference to their suffering. So whilst I am glad to see the reaction to the Gillette ad, that reaction is just a blip on the radar screen. In contrast the reaction from society in general toward the systemic misandry within it, has been one of silence, indifference and in some cases encouragement. If people want to see real change, then that will have to change.

Feminism has been able to spread through the public and private sectors of our society with ease, because our leaders have correctly perceived that they will receive greater consequences from feminists for not going ahead with the feminist agenda, than from the general public if they do. Politicians will gladly parrot feminist talking points on domestic violence for example, because they know the attacks they will get from feminists in the media and elsewhere if they do not, will be orders of magnitude more detrimental to their political careers, than the consequences they will receive from the general public by doing so. I noticed Stardusk has raised this very same point in relation to his response to the Gillette ad23 and also emphasised the importance of saying “no” to these feminist ideologues. It is the same situation in any big organisation that feminists infest.

Our society has been slowly rotting away from the inside year after year and decade after decade, from the slow and gradual feminist subversion of our institutions, academia, media, legal system, political system and corporations etc. The feminist capture of the universities has been essential to feminisms spread throughout society, ensuring that our future politicians, policy and law makers, business professionals, mental health professionals and educators, are thoroughly indoctrinated in feminist ideology and go on to work at senior levels where they can spread feminist ideology within the private and public organisations they work for.

In many ways modern society today resembles a termite infested house. The feminist infestation has gone by unimpeded for decades and now suddenly the damage is starting to appear on the surface. What people need to realise is the Gillette ad is just the tip of the iceberg of this problem. We now have a situation where the public and private sectors of our society, blatantly express the female supremacist values of feminist ideology and the general population is disgusted by what it sees. But what the general population is disgusted by, is really just a reflection of its own gynocentric double standards. All that was required for this to occur, was for people to remain indifferent to male-being for long enough to let feminism implement their agenda and entrench themselves in our institutions and corporations etc.

In “Perversions Of Gynocentrism” and “The Normalisation Of Gynocentrism”24, I explained at a social and cultural level how the spread of feminism and gynocentrism has been achieved. Gynocentrism is at the heart of the pervasive misandry we are observing today and feminism is merely a political manifestation of gynocentrism.  We are not going to overcome feminism by simply limiting our focus to criticising feminist ideology. We have to ask serious questions about why society has been so easily overtaken by feminism. We have to confront our own apathy toward male well-being. We have to confront our pedestalisation and deification of women and girls. We have to confront our own gynocentric programming and how that programming taps into basic sexual and emotional drives and short-circuits them. If we are not prepared to confront our own gynocentrism, then feminism will continue to degrade our society until it inevitably collapses from a fempocalypse25.

Only if society cares enough about male well-being to react in a manner that leads to serious consequences for our politicians, businesses and academics etc to lead them to change their ways and resist feminism, will we see any change. Until then it will remain business as usual and feminism will keep on escalating the misandry in our society. Feminism has had several decades to infest every branch of society and has a great deal of political and financial momentum behind it. Feminism will not be defeated by a single protest or a single boycott or a single march or a single legal battle. It is going to take a sustained effort on multiple fronts to remove the decades of feminist rot in our society. It is going to take a society prepared to rise above its own gynocentrism and its one-sided concern for only female well-being, to generate a strong enough response to defeat feminism. Half measures will not be enough. If people truly have had enough of misandry like the Gillette ad, then we have to go the whole way and question our own double standards that prioritise female well-being and ignore male-being.

The gynocentric seeds of our own destruction bore the fruit of feminism. Feminism is just an extension and a reflection of our own bigotry. We have an underlying belief in female superiority embedded in our culture which we do not want to look at, because we do not like the reflection that stares back at us. We have bigoted attitudes toward men and toward women engrained in our culture. The women are wonderful effect26 and the female in-group bias27, are real measurable phenomena in our society and are the subject of scientific enquiry. We need to unlearn those attitudes. Men are not collectively responsible for the actions of mass murderers and serial rapists. Women and girls are not all sugar and spice and men and boys are not all primitive violent Neanderthals. The notion of women and children first and the complete disregard for male well-being, is indefensible in a modern developed society where women enjoy the same rights as men.

The underlying belief in female superiority that has gradually been embedded in our gynocentric culture and the attitudes it is based upon, need to be confronted and eradicated. Masculinity is not toxic, these gynocentric elements of our culture are toxic.

References:

[1] https://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/perversions-of-gynocentrism/
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wSZVm7PXlM
[3] https://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/diagnosing-gynocentrism/
[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR9FHKKbMZo
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0zQf5NMG8E
[6] https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/former-navy-seal-jocko-willink-toxic-masculinity-the-dichotomy-of-being-a-man
[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jCSUgBFLV8
[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO93hW_uVao
[9] https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/women-who-stray/201901/psychologists-issue-controversial-report-masculinity
[10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0
[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukaj9lnctw0
[12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlxnIcBdgYQ
[13] https://domesticviolenceresearch.org/domestic-violence-facts-and-statistics-at-a-glance/
[14] https://www.amazon.com/Spreading-Misandry-Teaching-Contempt-Popular/dp/0773530991
[15] http://www.archipelagopress.com/images/ResearchPapers/Men%20in%20Media%20Paper.pdf
[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchoring
[17] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv0bHWpGVdk
[18] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFO4xvnv_DM
[19] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8pBNOi5QaQ
[20] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcjxSThD54
[21] https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-cant-we-hate-men/2018/06/08/f1a3a8e0-6451-11e8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6810de56d333
[22] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKJ8x9ut1hU
[23] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfMaBqIroXQ
[24] https://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/the-normalisation-of-gynocentrism/
[25] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w__PJ8ymliw
[26] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhm_HZ9twMg
[27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274

A New Psychology for Men

Violent Mind
By Peter Wright (first published in 2015)

Psychology clings to a universal model – that men are incorrigibly flawed and require a dismantling of their identities, habits, and preferences before being reconstructed according to a feminist model of masculinity. All modern therapies have this basic premise in common.

For example, one of the more popular models of men and masculinity to emerge in the last 20 years, promoted as A New Psychology of Men, is described in the following terms by one of its founders:

The new psychology of men has emerged over the past 15 years within the larger fields of men’s studies and gender studies. Informed by the academic breakthroughs of feminist scholarship, the new psychology of men examines masculinity not as a normative referent, but rather as a problematic construct. In so doing, it provides a framework for a psychological approach to men and masculinity that questions traditional norms of the male role and views some male problems as unfortunate byproducts of the male gender role socialization process.1

Since it’s inception this “new” psychology of men has restated traditional gender stereotypes about men; that they are flawed, violent, emotional primitives in need of reconstruction. This supposedly “new” model has also been developed into a training course teaching therapists how to effectively work with men.

The course, designed by former American Psychological Association President Ronald Levant, is based on two principles held almost universally by therapists working with men; a) that patriarchy theory represents the real world, and b) that males are stunted in their emotional processing abilities. Let’s look at these two pillars of therapy.

Patriarchy theory

As with most psychologists and therapists today, Levant is informed by feminist-inspired patriarchy theory which posits that all men have power over all women and that such power is enforced by men’s violence. The theoretical vision, trumpets Levant, provides a “new” way of looking at men:

What scholars in the area of men’s psychology have attempted is nothing less than a reconstruction of masculinity. It starts from the recognition that there is a problem, and locates the roots of that problem in the male gender role… The new psychology of men strives to address the feminist critique of patriarchy while remaining empathetic to men.2

As many readers will know there is nothing “new” in this characterization of men, which we can summarize with the phrase, ‘Women have problems, and men are the problem.’ As Levant stresses, the primary approach to therapy with men is first to problematize them; “It starts from the recognition that there is a problem.”

Jigsaw puzzle pieces forming a human head. Conceptual piece

In this model men are viewed as being problems before they even meet the therapist, who ignores the possibility that men’s problems may lie outside themselves in a world of grief they did nothing to deserve.

In other words, whatever the presenting complaints of the client they are immediately dismissed by the practitioner in order to coerce the client into an ideological mold of manhood. The practitioner, depending on their degree of indoctrination, may actually believe this will address the client’s issues but even a cursory examination of the “masculinity as identified problem” approach reveals numerous, deep flaws. In fact, this approach proves to be abusive in any reasonable interpretation of the word.

As I explain below there are other approaches to working with men that don’t presume they are flawed and need fixing. That approach begins with asking men what they experience in life, and what they might want to achieve in therapy, and actually listening to their answers. Therapists may be interested to hear men speak of a range of experiences and goals wholly unrelated to patriarchal domination of women and children.

Men as emotionally dumb

Referring to men as dumb has the double-meaning of both lacking in intelligence and being mute. This forms the basis of Levant’s theory that men possess little emotional awareness about themselves or others, that they are lacking in emotional intelligence, and that even were they to discover some emotional awareness they would not know how to express it in words, such is the depth of male lacuna. He refers to this problem in men as alexithymia – a Greek term meaning no words for emotions, insisting that most North American males suffer from this syndrome.

Levant states that “it is so very widespread among men that I have called it normative male alexithymia,”3 a syndrome that by definition only men and boys can be labelled with. There even exists a Normative Male Alexithymia Scale used to assess the depth of men’s need for therapeutic correction. Levant states,

One of the most far-reaching consequences of male gender-role socialization is the high incidence among men of… the inability to identify and describe one’s feelings in words… men are often genuinely unaware of their emotions. Lacking this emotional awareness, when asked to identify their feelings, they tend to rely on their cognition to try to logically deduce how they should feel. They cannot do what is automatic for most women -simply sense inwardly, feel the feeling, and let the verbal description come to mind.4

This claim, that men are “unaware of their emotions,” an assumption so typical of psychology’s view of men, has been a cornerstone of the therapeutic world for the last 40 years. And it is demonstrably wrong.

Dementia and aging as memory loss concept for brain cancer decay or an Alzheimer's disease with the medical icon of an old rusting piece of painted metal in the shape of a human head with rust as losing mind function.

According to the vast majority of studies on emotional processing, men and boys are able to identify emotional arousal in themselves and others equally to women, emotions like jealousy, love, anger, sadness, anxiety, etc. But men and boys choose to regulate that emotional arousal not by verbalizing it so much (women’s preferred method) but by taking intelligent action. A woman for example might talk with her melancholic friend about what is worrying her in order to cheer her up; the man may invite the same melancholic friend to the movies; both responses -talking, or acting- serve to intelligently modulate emotions.

What Levant has failed to discriminate are 1. recognizing emotions, and 2. verbalizing them. He, and so many psychologists who came before and after him, assume that by not verbalizing emotion males must also have failed to recognize emotions. Countless studies however show this to be a false conclusion.5 Men, like women, can sense the full range of emotions – but they may choose to respond to that knowledge in a different manner to women.

Breaking with the past – starting afresh

Repackaging patriarchy theory is a move we no longer wish to make – at least not if we wish to genuinely help men. Increasing numbers of men are tired of waiting for the psychotherapeutic industry to drag its collective ass out of gynocentrism-land to develop a genuine new model for tackling male psychology.

To attain that model there has to occur a break with patriarchy theory and assumptions that men and boys are emotional dummies. As in a court of law we begin the new therapy with an assumption that men are not only innocent until proven guilty, but that ‘men are good’ to use Tom Golden’s iconic phrase.

Nor will work with men be savvy until it admits the realities of cultural misandry, gynocentrism and their undeniably crushing effects on modern males. The daily assaults on men and boys from advertizing, mental health services, media, family courts, pharmaceutical companies, education from grade school to grad school, anti-male bigots and ideologically driven governance must be included in the picture.

These are problems which are deleterious to all aspects of men’s lives, including mental health. The mental health industry is a huge part of that problem, not a part of the solution.

A sane alternative to all this must disabuse men, women and society of the following myths:

● men belong to a patriarchy and take that model as their life script;
● men are emotionally inept;
● men are default potential sexual predators;
● men are violent and uncaring;
● men are not necessary as parents;
● men are unable to commit;
● men are emotionally unavailable;
● men are not as human or deserving as women.

The things we do want to include in a new mental health model are:

● enhanced understanding of misandry, gynocentrism and their consequences;
● recognizing and honoring men’s emotional acumen;
● recognizing and combating misandry and gynocentrism in the mental health industry;
● professional understanding of the ways men differ from women in how they cope with life;
● a prohibition on the practice of expecting men to emulate women’s emotional processes;
● an allowance of men’s legitimate anger without infecting them with ideological shame;
● the steadfast belief that men’s issues, pain and needs are as important as anyone else’s.

These points alone are sufficient to create a revolution in the way we work with men. As a truly new approach to men’s welfare and psychological health, An Ear For Men has been launched and the coming Men’s Mental Health Network will be promoting these principles and providing a range of specialized services from professionals who have been thoroughly vetted in their knowledge of men’s issues, and in their compassion for the same.

References:

[1] Ronald F. Levant, ‘The new psychology of men,’ in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 27(3), Jun 1996, 259-265
[2] Ronald F. Levant, Men and Emotions: A psychoeducational approach – course material, Newbridge Publications, p.4, 1997
[3] Ronald F. Levant, Men and Emotions: A psychoeducational approach – course material, Newbridge Publications, p.9, 1997
[4] Ronald F. Levant, William S Pollack, A New Psychology of Men, pp.238-239, 1995
[5] For example, this Finnish study shows that while women were more proficient at verbalizing feelings, men and women were equally proficient at identifying feelings: Salminen, J. K. ‘Prevalence of alexithymia and its association with sociodemographic variables in the general population of Finland,’ Journal of psychosomatic research, vol. 46, no1, pp. 75-82, 1999

See also: Narrative Therapy with Men by Paul Elam and Peter Wright