*The following by Joseph Campbell is a short account of the classic romance tale of Tristan and Iseult
The great tale of Amor is the tale of Tristan and Iseult. Though we know that Chrétien wrote a version of this tale, it has not come down to us, and so the greatest of the existing versions was written by Gottfried von Strassburg in the very early thirteenth century.
Tristan was a young orphan who was born in Brittany, the place from which this whole tradition emerges. An enormously talented youth, he could speak no end of languages, play no end of musical instruments, and he knew how to butcher game— he knew everything. Tristan goes to serve his uncle King Mark in Cornwall.
There is an interesting aspect to these Arthurian stories: it is always the nephew and the uncle, the mother’s brother: the matrilineal line. You’ve got Tristan and Mark, Arthur and Mordred, and so forth.
When Tristan arrives he learns that a warrior has arrived from Ireland to collect tribute from the Cornish people because the Irish king had conquered Cornwall. The tribute consisted of youths and maidens to be brought to Ireland to serve in the Irish court, and the people didn’t want their children to go. Tristan said to his uncle Mark, “Let me take care of this. I’ll go and meet him in single combat, defeat him, and then there will no more tribute.” This is a deliberate echo of the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, an intentional restating of ancient Classical motifs.
Morholt, the Irish champion, has a sword that has been anointed with poison by the queen of Ireland, who is named Iseult— and whose daughter is also named Iseult. This is a common trope in courtly love: poison on the sword. The combat takes place and Morholt’s sword comes down on Tristan’s thigh and cuts it, and the poison is introduced. Tristan’s sword comes down on Morholt’s helmet, cuts right through, and smashes Morholt’s skull, killing him, but a little chink of Tristan’s sword is left in Morholt’s head.
The tribute is finished, and Morholt is brought back to Ireland. Now, his little niece Iseult, the daughter of Queen Iseult, loved her uncle and when the chink was extracted from Morholt’s head she kept it as a memorial in her little treasure box.
Back in Cornwall Tristan’s poisoned wound begins to stink and nobody can bear it, and he says to Mark, “Put me in a little boat, and the boat will carry me by magic to the very place where the healing will be attended to”— the healing has to be accomplished by the one who injured him.
In Amor, the love wound— the sickness no doctors can cure— can be cured only by the one who issued the wound: namely, the one you fell in love with. This is a replay of the poison-in-the-sword motif.
So Tristan sails off in the boat and it carries him indeed to Ireland, to the court of the very person whose poison is killing him. He is playing the harp out in the little boat, feeling very sick, as he sails into Dublin Harbor. The people ashore go out and hear this youth play— this is Orpheus. They bring him ashore and lo and behold, they carry him to be cured by the very queen who poisoned him.
For some reason the queen doesn’t know that this man is the one who killed her brother Morholt. Of course, our hero had changed his name and called himself Tantrist (French: “too sad”) instead of Tristan, so how could she know who he was? So she works to cure him, as she is a compassionate woman. When the wound no longer stinks, she invites her daughter, Iseult, in to hear this wonderful harpist, and when the daughter enters, Tristan plays more marvelously than he’s ever played in his life. In other words, he’s fallen in love— only he doesn’t know it yet. This is the mystery of this whole tale: he doesn’t know it.
Finally Tristan is cured, and he goes back to Cornwall. He’s so excited about this wonderful girl that he talks her up to his uncle and says, “You ought to marry her!” Can you beat it? He’s so innocent of his own emotions that he thinks his uncle should marry this girl.
Well, everybody thinks his uncle should get married anyhow because they need a queen, so they send Tristan back— with his name still twisted around— to fetch this girl. Well, he arrives back in Ireland to find that there is a dragon making it tough for people. And the king has said, “Whosoever kills this dragon shall have Iseult in marriage.”
Well, of course, Tristan rides out to kill the dragon. There is also, however, a seneschal, a sort of courtier who isn’t capable of killing dragons, but he wants very much to marry Iseult. So whenever he gets a notion of somebody going out to kill that dragon, he trails along.
When Tristan has slain the dragon, he opens its mouth, cuts out its tongue as proof of his deed, sticks the tongue in his shirt, and walks away.
The seneschal comes afterward and cuts off the dragon’s head, then brings the head to court to claim Iseult.
Poor Tristan. One thing you should never do with a dragon’s tongue is stick it in your shirt— because it’s poisonous. So while he is walking away with the dragon’s tongue in his shirt, Tristan faints and falls into a pool, and the only part of him sticking out is his nose, so he’s breathing all right.
Iseult and her mother happen to be out for a stroll along the pool, and as they stroll along, they look and say, “There’s somebody down there!” So they pull Tristan out— for some reason they don’t even recognize that he is Tantrist, the one who was there before— and take him to court once again to heal him.
They put him in the bathtub to heal him. In the meanwhile, Iseult is fooling around with Tristan’s equipment in his room when she pulls his sword out of its sheath, and lo and behold, “My gosh, there’s a nick in this sword!” So she goes to her little treasure box and there is this missing piece. She sees that it fits, and oh, she loved her uncle! So she takes this heavy sword and goes in to kill Tristan in the bathtub.
He looks up and says, “Hold on. You knock me out and that seneschal dope gets you.”
Iseult has to admit that this is a good point. In the meantime, the sword is getting kind of heavy, so that is the end of that.
Once Tristan has once again been healed, he is brought to court with the big question: Who gets Iseult? The first claim is made by this chap the seneschal, who comes in with the dragon’s head, which looks very conclusive.
Tristan, however, has only to say, “Open its mouth and let’s see what’s missing there.” No tongue. And where is the missing part? “It’s here!” says Tristan, holding out the tongue, and so he got Iseult.
This stupid little boy, he still wants to bring her back to uncle Mark. So her mother, the one who prepared the poison that brought this whole thing about, prepares a love potion for Iseult to deliver to Mark so that the two will have a love marriage.
Now, this is a great problem theologically and in every other way. In any case, the queen puts the potion and her daughter into the keeping of young Iseult’s faithful nursemaid, Brangaene.
Well, Brangaene doesn’t pay very close attention. On the way back, Tristan and Iseult, both about fifteen years old, each take a sip of the love draught, thinking it is wine. Suddenly the couple becomes aware of the love that has been gradually growing in their hearts.
When Brangaene learns what happened, she is appalled. This is a wonderful moment: she goes to Tristan and says, “You have drunk your death!”
And Tristan answers, “I don’t know what you mean. If by death you mean this pain of love, that is my life.”
This is the essential idea of Amor, experiencing the pain. The essence of life is pain, all life is suffering. In Japan in almost the same period Lady Murasaki writes The Tale of Genji, and you have this love play of the cloud gallants and the flower maidens— they’re experiencing in a very sensitive way the Buddha’s wisdom, that all life is suffering, and the suffering of love is the suffering of life and where your pain is, there is your life.
Tristan continues, “If by this love, this agony of love, you mean my death, that is my life. If by my death you mean the punishment that will be ours when discovered in adultery, I accept that.” This is pushing right through the pair of opposites of life and death, and this is where love is: the pain pushed through. And then he finishes, “And if by death you mean eternal death in Hell, eternally I accept that too.”
Now, that’s a big, big statement, and this is the spirit of Amor in the Middle Ages. You can’t call it just an aristocratic game, and it wasn’t just a love affair. It was a mission transcendent of all the values of this world and a pitch into eternity.
◙VM: Hey Peter, thanks for agreeing to the interview.
◙VM: You are well known, as far as I can see, within the MRM for your advocacy against gynocentrism. You point out the aspects of society and the cultures of the world, historically and in the present day, that enable and promote gynocentrism in one way or another, and you run Gynocentrism.com which talks extensively on the subject and is basically the go-to source of content exposing gynocentrism. While you may not be the only one that talks critically of gynocentrism, you are among the very few that I can see that calls out that out on the traditionalist as well as the SJW side with the same vigor, and for the right reasons. Can you reflect on your experiences having confronted gynocentrism on both those fronts, and how have you have been received in the MRM for it?
►PW: In some ways confronting the feminist version of gynocentrism is easier than confronting its traditional counterpart, because feminists are more likely to admit to their plan of increasing the power of women — female empowerment as they like to call it.
Many traditionalists on the other hand tend to disguise their desire to grant women inflated status, but they work toward securing forms of gynocentric power no less than do feminists. In the traditionalist language that power is referred to as men ‘putting her on a pedestal’ – a phrase known by all, and an aim widely aspired to by traditionalists.
Both progressive and traditional gynocentrism aims to privilege women over men. Both are reliant on the damsel-in-distress narrative to harness chivalric supply, and the only thing that separates them is the typical list of privileges they aim to institute – ie. typically a pampered housewife for the traditionalist, or have-it-all lifestyle for the progressive feminist.
These two gynocentrisms are essentially at war with each other over who deserves priority access to male chivalry, that magic ingredient needed for realizing gynocentric power. To that end, traditional and progressive gynocentrists have cultivated different dog-whistles to provoke chivalric behaviour from males: the traditional woman plays the demure, weak damsel in need of saving by a knight in shining armour, while the feminist plays the same victim role but is far more aggressive in her demand for chivalric redress. We could say that the same ‘white knight’ caters to these two variants of damsel – the demure damsel, and the aggressive damsel respectively.
These two gynocentrisms have their taproots in the codified gender roles of medieval Europe, in which, to quote philosopher Julia Kristeva, “Roles were assigned to woman and man: suzerain and vassal, with the lady offering up a ‘distress’ and the man offering a ‘service.’ “
So despite feminism positioning itself as a progressive new movement, its motive is remarkably traditional.
My rejection of gynocentrism as a default path has been met with resentment from both feminists and traditionalists, both of whom have counselled men to embrace more chivalry for the benefit of women. Fortunately, there’s a segment of the men’s movement that reasonably doubts, or outright rejects gynocentrism as a healthy basis for relationships between men and women, and likewise any appeals to chivalry are met with a reasonable scepticism by the same segment of men.
►PW: Paul and I first exchanged in around 2007 while he was working at Men’s News Daily, a popular news site for men, and I was working on expanding International Men’s Day to reach a more global audience. We were discussing collaboration of some kind, but due to our busy schedules we let it slide.
A few years later, I think it was around the beginning of 2010, I joined as a contributor at A Voice for Men and soon after became an editor at the site. During the early years we had many discussions about men’s issues and about the future of the men’s movement, and it was clear then that Paul and I held similar perspectives on many issues – like chivalry, the problem of gynocentrism, and the need to create a new psychology for men. Our first collaborative articles explored those themes and seemed to come effortlessly, so much so that we continued co-writing and proof reading each other’s articles until recent times when we’ve both taken a hiatus from writing generally. This has been a personal highlight in my men’s advocacy work, and I’m pleased to see many of these collaborative pieces now collected in the two volumes you cited, which are proving popular with the red-pill audience.
◙VM: You and I are non-feminist, or anti-feminist, because we know feminism for what it is – a female supremacy ideology that is but one symptom of gynocentrism, not the be-all end-all of it. There have been some anti-feminists, however, that argue against it for blatantly gynocentric motives of their own that they aren’t even trying to hide, such as something along the lines of: “Before feminism, we had it all and men provided for us like servants, and now we women have to work like men do, woe is me! Let’s go back to the good old days and make things easy for us women!” What do you make of this variety of antifeminists? Is it traditionalism, or is it something different and possibly worse?
►PW: It is one kind of traditionalism, yes, but not the only kind. More specifically we might call this one ‘gynocentric traditionalism’ – a designation that acknowledges the existence of a non-gynocentric traditionalism.
The gynocentric traditionalist is at war with feminists because she realizes that chivalry is a finite resource, and if men are pouring out their assistance, protection, finances, pampering, and general deference to feminists, then the traditional gynocentric woman is likely to receive a far smaller serving of the available resource. It’s a jealousy with a valid rationale.
Unlike traditionally unemployed and pedestalized “home-maker” wives, who appeared en-masse after the industrial revolution, I think it’s important to acknowledge there were less gynocentric, or non-gynocentric women in pre-industrial societies throughout global history. Such women were more likely to be family-centered than self-centered, and they would labour alongside men as field workers, brewers, butchers, bakers and candle-stick makers, along with sharing a great deal of the care of children with other family members, including fathers, as contrasted to the more modern practice of mothers keeping children all to themselves, like chattel or bargaining chips, as post-industrial society has succeeded in establishing.
This last point of women’s exaggerated control over children is blamed on contemporary feminist policies, whereas it was, in fact, equally the case for traditional families a century ago in both America and Britain, as we read in the writings of Ernest B. Bax… and I’d like to quote him on this point:
“It has always in England been laid down as a fundamental law based on public policy, that the custody of children and their education is a duty incumbent on the father. It is said to be so fundamental that he is not permitted to waive his exercise of the right by pre-nuptial contract.
Nevertheless, fundamental and necessary as the rule may be, the pro-feminist magistrates and judges of England are bent apparently on ignoring it with a light heart. They have not merely retained the old rule that the custody of infants of tender years remains with the mother until the child attains the age of seven. But they go much further than that. As a matter of course, and without considering in the least the interests of the child, or of society at large, they hand over the custody and education of all the children to the litigant wife, whenever she establishes –an easy thing to do– a flimsy and often farcical case of technical “cruelty.”
The victim husband has the privilege of maintaining the children as well as herself out of his property or earnings, and has the added consolation of knowing that they will brought up to detest him.
Even in the extreme case where a deserting wife takes with her the children of the marriage, there is practically no redress for the husband. The police courts will not interfere. The divorce court, as already stated, is expensive to the point of prohibition. In any case the husband has to face a tribunal already prejudiced in favour of the female, and the attendant scandal of a process will probably have no other result than to injure his children and their future prospects in life. [The Legal Subjection of Men – published 1896].
This quote provides an example of what I mean by gynocentric traditionalism, the widespread practice of the privileging of women and disadvantaging men, which was taking place well before the popular rise of feminism. Advocates of traditionalism, of course, remain silent on these ‘traditional’ abuses of men.
◙VM: On a similar note, another argument for men’s issues that I see a little too often for my taste is “men’s issues affect women, too!” That’s irked me – as if women and their dear white knights are supposed to respond, “Oh! I haven’t cared about men’s issues before but it affects women?? Now I ought to care!” To me that sounds every bit as gynocentric as anything else out there in the world – do you have any thoughts on that?
►PW: I think you hit the nail on the head, this is nothing more than a He-For-She reflex by people unlikely to ever care about the concept of He-For-He. If helping men is not somehow exploitable for the benefit of women, then these same people generally don’t care.
People are more likely to care about men becoming disabled, getting cancer, losing a job, or getting killed at war because these things will affect women – as Hillary Clinton famously quipped when she said that women were “the primary casualties of war.” But if a single, unmarried man becomes disabled, gets cancer, becomes unemployed or dies – then who gives a damn? No one.
Addressing the gender empathy gap is the big issue of our time and it requires all hands on deck, all genuine advocates of human decency, to bring attention to the problem.
◙VM: MGTOW is a varied umbrella with men whom I’d like to think come from various walks of life and different perspectives on why they are going their own way and what it means to them. Among those permutations, is there a precedent for a man going his own way to have an intimate relationship with a woman (or a man, if they are so inclined)? Also, is there a precedent for a woman going her own way as distinct from the feminist idea of the “independent woman who don’t need no man”, and if yes, what might that look like?
►PW: This is a good question, one that gets silenced in some MGTOW communities. I’ve never been good at conformity to orthodoxies however, and prefer to make up my own mind about what MGTOW stands for and to whom it might apply.
In its most basic definition MGTOW means male self-determination, nothing more, and nothing less. I, as a man going his own way, choose what I want to do with my life in preference to having my goals conferred or dictated by others, whether by the State, by women, or anyone else. In this sense MGTOW overlaps with libertarian principles.
Can a man in an intimate relationship with a woman ‘go his own way’? I say yes, he certainly can, and I know many men who have been in relationships with the same woman for decades who’ve consistently done their ‘own thing,’ while being mindful that a relationship is by necessity a dynamic requiring some reasonable compromises on both sides – which these men choose to accept based on their own freewill and on their desire to be in a relationship. These same men would not hesitate to abandon the relationship if their partner’s respect for his self-determination were lacking.
Married and single men can and often do have their self-determination thwarted in a number of ways. For example the married man might have his life upended in divorce court, and the single man might have his life legally upended by a false rape charge. In both cases, self-determination is stolen. So I tend to place some emphasis on the beliefs and convictions of the man in question to determine if he is striving to go his own way, and not only on his relationship status…. though I hasten to add that marriage in the modern age is an extremely risky undertaking.
Can a woman go her own way? Yes of course she can, though it would look different to the phoney “feminist” version you alluded to in your question. Some years ago I researched the phrases “go his own way” and “go her own way” through the last 200 years of literature. There were many instances of men going their own way, and likewise there were many descriptions of women who went their own way without undue reliance on men to make it happen for her. I know some women who fit that picture today, including (for example) Elizabeth Hobson of Justice for Men and Boys, who validly refers to herself as a woman going her own way.
Some MGTOW are possessive of the concept of ‘going your own way,’ claiming that women are trying to usurp a concept created by men. While I completely understand their fear of male initiatives being co-opted, they fail to realize this phrase has been in use for hundreds of years and belongs rather to the English language as a designation referring to anyone displaying self-determined behaviour.
Feminist overtures about women living self-determined lives doesn’t pass the litmus test. Their pretentious displays of independence are too strongly reliant on the support of male labour, male deference and male servitude to provide the agency they crave, whereas true self-determination is more self-reliant in my reading of it.
◙VM: You are the one who directly introduced to me with the concept of the Puer archetype in describing my idea of the “inner boy” in a man, that which serves as the core and essence of what makes a man as well as his source of youthful energy and optimism. You’ve helped me distinguish that concept from the “inner child” concept in which one partner assumes the role of the helpless and often petulant child and the other assumes the parent role that becomes self-sacrificial. So, on the Puer – what is your take on the importance of the concept for men (and perhaps the equivalent Puella for women)?
►PW: Your own essay on this topic, titled ‘Attitudes Towards the Puer: From Jody Miller to Tomi Lahren,’ provided an excellent analysis of these archetypes, perhaps the best I’ve seen in the manosphere in terms of teasing apart the many definitions and misunderstandings. As you point out, the child archetype is that part of our nature that represents helplessness, vulnerability, innocence and dependency, whereas the puer archetype represents the part of our nature that is youthful, spontaneous, inquisitive, and playful.
That youthful, spontaneous potential is an essential ingredient of human happiness that we carry from cradle to grave, yes even in old men and old women. So it pains me to see this it disparaged in men as “Peter Pan Syndrome” or as a “failure to launch” just because men might like sport, or to play video games or other fun pastimes instead of being chained to the serious business of “growing up” ie. that path of ordered responsibility and of being in service to women and society. If you are not enslaved to serious responsibilities six-and-a-half days per week, say those critics of fun, with perhaps a half day allotted on Saturdays to watching sports on a TV screen, then you are little more than a “pathetic man baby” who needs to “man up” and start providing a lifestyle for a deserving female partner.
If I had the choice to get rid of just one phrase from the discourse about men, even from the most famous men’s advocates, it would be ‘failure to launch.’ Launch into what, into slavery to others? Loss of self, and misery? No thanks. My advice for men and women is to enjoy some youthful spontaneity and playfulness till your dying day, and don’t let wagging fingers and shaming language throw you off. Even in its more extreme forms, a failure to launch might represent a healthy response to an increasingly toxic world.
There are plenty of women showcasing the puella trait, the female-equivalent for the male puer. These are women, flirtatious and playful, who can laugh at themselves and at others, and who generally walk lightly through life with an air of ‘Don’t fence me in.’
But going back to the other archetype, that of the child – the needy, dependent, vulnerable child – I would say that unlike the puer impulse, it deserves to be constrained within adult relationships because it tends to become a drain on the other partner. Who wants to be in an adult relationship with a needy, petulant child? It’s no secret that in marriages one partner often tends to play the needy child, and the other partner plays the responsible parent. And its women who have traditionally been encouraged to play the vulnerable, pampered child more than men – though I hasten to add some men get caught by this archetype too.
Esther Vilar writes masterfully about women’s gravitation toward enacting the child archetype within marriage, a truth for which she became persecuted after daring to articulate it. Her book is titled ‘The Manipulated Man’ – written I think in 1971, and it remains as relevant today as when it was written.
◙VM: Narcissism is a big subject that comes when one critiques gynocentrism, and rightly so because of the vampiric, parasitic behaviour that is enabled and encouraged by any given gynocentric mindset. You are also strong in defense of the individual, celebrating the differences of masculine expression as well as praising the individualism of men and women. Do you have an idea of what are the key differences between individualism and narcissism?
►PW: This is a big subject and I’m no expert on the numerous variations of individualist philosophy. What I have noticed is that critics of the individualist path – whether it’s based for example in libertarian thinking, Objectivism or Nietzschean philosophy – make the charge that individualism is synonymous with narcissism. That’s a false equivalence, but they are correct in the sense that there’s a potential for individualism to degrade into pathological narcissism, or alternatively for pathological narcissism to disguise itself behind an ethic of reasonable individualism.
Gynocentrism is one example pretending to represent individualism. It’s a gendered version of narcissism that lacks respect for the individual sovereignty of others, particularly male others, and sets up its own individualism as exclusive – and it does so by actively excluding the individualism of others.
Narcissism of any kind operates as a social monologue, not a social dialogue. Narcissism lacks empathy for others, its inherently exploitative, and is demonstrated by an unrealistic sense of grandiosity that isn’t based on commensurate achievements or merit. Individualism isn’t necessarily any of those things.
So we can’t claim that individualism and narcissism are equivalent. At best someone might mount an argument that narcissism is a pathological variantof individualism, a claim worthy of exploring. But it will never be correct to represent as ‘narcissists’ the majority of those who follow individualist philosophies.
◙VM: To what extent can we see gynocentrism mitigated in our human history to come? What would that look like, and is it something we have to constantly be vigilant about lest gynocentrism comes back around again?
►PW: There’s obviously a biological component to gynocentrism, but I’ve always maintained that the gynocentric impulse has been wildly exaggerated, supersized by cultural forces that have exploited our biological tendencies. The cultural gynocentrism we have today has vastly overrun whatever evolutionary purposes it may once have had – it’s now a runaway freight train leaving human destruction in its path.
On that basis I think there will be a correction. It has already begun. Based on the extreme gynocentrism we currently see at play, I expect to see an increase in bachelor movements such as those of Japan’s Herbivore men, and more recently in the rise of ‘men going their own way.’ But while these movements ensure men’s safety away from toxic human entanglements, which is an absolutely necessary short-term response, such bachelor and celibacy movements solve little in terms how to enjoy relationships that we humans are hardwired to participate in. What we need are some new ‘maps of meaning,’ as Jordan Peterson would phrase it, at least in the area of forming viable, long-term relationships.
Rather than appeals to traditionalism with its goal to pedestalise women, or on the other hand calls to embrace progressive feminism which also pedestalises women, we might in future discover new relationship models (or perhaps much older, pre-industrial revolution ones) that can lead us out of the impasse.
The certainty is that men and women will continue to form relationships, but they might gravitate more toward equitable relationships as contrasted with the faux equality proposed by feminists. This move would involve equality of value between men and women, based on libertarian-style principles. Those principles emphasize individual choice for each person of the relationship, relative autonomy, voluntary association, individual judgement, free will, self-determination, and negotiated labour-sharing arrangements & agreements between partners. In a nutshell; freedom to choose, instead of conferred roles or duties.
This is precisely what Warren Farrell proposed when he talked of moving away from survival roles of the past, which he referred to as ‘Stage 1’ relationships, and moving instead toward what he called ‘Stage 2’ relationships which entail men and women sharing equal responsibility to earn money, clean house, enjoy time with children and so on, instead of being imprisoned in socially prescribed or conferred roles. It goes without saying that such roles are completely voluntary and the details negotiable. I agree with Farrell on this proposition, which offers a way out of the impasse and out of the destructive gender war that has raged on for too long unchecked.
Human societies are like fragile ecosystems where if one animal or plant becomes too dominant it can send the entire system into chaos and disintegration. Imbalances will always appear in human societies and we can only hope that if the current imbalance of extreme gynocentrism is downsized in the near future, perhaps as a result from men’s withdrawal of chivalry, our vigilance will ensure that it takes a long rest. Humans however are great at forgetting prior lessons, which allows any number of past maladies to come back and terrorise us.
This is part two of a two part article, please see part one first before reading part two.
Some Further Remarks On Sexual Conflict
I do want to expand on a few points from my ICMI speech. Often people cite the sexual cannibalism of the female spider eating the male spider after mating as being evolutionary advantageous, as the male is described as a source of energy for the female and their offspring. This explanation is often used in the media with a combination of humour and derision directed at men, to set a frame in which sexual conflict can be seen as “natural” or justified when it is directed at the male of a species, with the unspoken implication that such a principle applies as well to human males.
There is an assumption buried within that explanation, that all of what is natural, must have been selected for by evolution in some way and thus be optimal or beneficial or have some evolutionary purpose for a species. Just because a trait or behaviour occurs in nature does not mean that it was selected for under natural selection and is biologically optimal or beneficial to the species or serves some function. Huntington’s disease3 is a classic example of a condition that occurs naturally in humans and is suboptimal under natural selection. Despite this Huntington’s disease remains in the population after numerous generations, because enough people that carry the mutated variant of the huntingtin gene survive to reproduce. Just because sexual cannibalism occurs in nature, does not make it an optimal or beneficial strategy that is favoured by evolution. As Paul Elam and Peter Wright have discussed in Chasing The Dragon4 and Slaying The Dragon5, biology can express itself beyond its own evolutionary purpose and do so in a suboptimal way. Remember that the biology of any organism does not have to be perfect for their genes to be passed on, just good enough.
There are costs to sexual cannibalism such as reduced genetic variation in the population from fewer males and lowered probability of females finding a mate, especially in larger habitats. The males that are eaten, also incur a high cost from the elimination of all future mating prospects. This cost is also indirectly applicable as well to the female parent spiders of the males that are eaten. It does not automatically follow that sexual cannibalism is the optimal strategy in all instances or that eating males provides any net benefit to the species. In many instances the males and the species as a whole may be better off if males are not eaten from an evolutionary standpoint and natural selection may result in the males of the species developing adaptations to counter sexual cannibalism. In many instances a cooperative mating strategy may dominate, with sexual cannibalism confined to the fringes of the population.
I am not suggesting that the explanation that sexual cannibalism of males in various species of spider is always suboptimal, but conversely I don’t think it follows that we should just automatically assume such phenomenon provide an evolutionary benefit simply because they occur in nature. Think of how much biological dysfunction exists in nature like cancer and how much of it has obviously no evolutionary benefit. Evolution is not intelligent design, biology is not perfect. Sometimes people go down a rabbit hole of looking for evolutionary justifications for why certain traits or aspects of biology exist, where there is no actual evolutionary benefit to find.
Another inconvenient fact often left out when discussing sexual cannibalism through a gynocentric lens, is the fact there are actually examples6 of spiders where the males eat females and also numerous examples in the animal kingdom of sexual conflict where males are the aggressor. Instances of sexual conflict against males is no more of what “nature intended”, than sexual conflict against females.
Like I discussed, it does not even hold that sexual cannibalism in spiders serves any special evolutionary purpose. Sexual cannibalism may actually be a by-product of extreme environmental conditions where female spiders are driven purely out of hunger and scarcity of resources to eat their mates. Even in humans under extreme enough conditions, there have been examples of cannibalism. No one would argue that cannibalism in humans is a specific evolved trait. It is merely an extreme manifestation of the survival instinct!
The existence of cannibalism in humans is incidental to the survival instinct and not something that natural selection has specifically selected for. The same may indeed be the case with female spiders eating their mates and vice versa. Whilst evolutionary explanations may be true, they are also difficult prove and may be wrong. Sexual cannibalism in spiders is hardly a phenomenon where scientists have actually proven beyond doubt, that it exists because of some evolutionary advantage in eating males to provide energy to the female spider and resulting offspring. Multiple explanations have been proposed on why sexual cannibalism takes place in certain species. It still all very much remains speculation at this stage.
Of course the gynocentric narrative on sexual cannibalism in spiders, leaves out the part that there are enormous differences between spiders and humans. The sexual size dimorphism which is at the root of sexual cannibalism in spiders, is reversed in humans where the male is bigger. Such facts are inconvenient to the gynocentric narrative you see, so it is not discussed in that way.
It is notable that we don’t see such explanations like what we see with sexual cannibalism of male spiders being celebrated in our culture, when females are the victims of sexual conflict. Dominant males in an animal community that sexual coerce or rape their female mates, is also a form of sexual conflict. Despite arguments to the contrary, it could be argued using the same logic as the spider analogy, that there is an evolutionary benefit to such sexual coercion. I am not supporting or in any way condoning this, I am just walking people through the gynocentric logic of the spider analogy with the sexes reversed, so people can contrast the gynocentric bias at work when our culture appeals to biology for explanations on things.
So here is the logic in reverse- Dominant males that rise to the top of the male dominance hierarchy from intense male intrasexual competition, are very often the strongest and the fittest males and so have the highest genetic quality. Therefore whilst females may incur some cost from the sexual coercion of dominant males, the genetic benefit of females giving birth to the offspring of dominant males (which share the dominant male’s high genetic quality) exceeds the cost. Perhaps this explains the popularity of 50 Shades Of Grey among women and the reported female sexual interest in male dominance!7
Now if you find that logic questionable and the conclusions drawn offensive (again I am not supporting or condoning the logic), then I would ask you why it is that when this dynamic is reversed and we talk about female sexual antagonism directed at men (like the spider analogy), that there is no scrutiny or offense taken to the armchair evolutionary explanations given? That discrepancy is the gender empathy gap in action, that I was alluding to in the speech. We have one standard of concern for females and a lower standard of concern for males. In fact it has been shown8 even in the relatively objective field of scientific research, that there is a clear bias against men when reporting sex differences that favour men in contrast to those that favour women. Only women it seems are allowed to have any biological advantage, for men it is taboo to report any male advantage no matter how trivial it might be.
Appealing to nature to justify behaviour as good or acceptable is what we call the naturalistic fallacy9. As I mentioned in the speech, murder, rape and genocide are all natural, that does not make them optimal for society or justifiable. Likewise running civilisation in such a way that we treat men as disposable and exploit them for women’s benefit and appealing to nature to justify it, does not make it optimal or acceptable for society. In fact we can see the negative effects10 already of what rampant gynocentrism is doing to our societies and it will only get worse as the consequences continue to accumulate at an ever-increasing rate. These societies are not replacing themselves and are rife with social problems as a result of marginalising men. Gynocentric societies are on a declining trajectory where they are on the track to eventually die out.
Some Further Remarks On Hunter-gatherer Societies And Survival
Another point that I wanted to address are claims suggesting that the survival of children is more contingent on women than on men in hunter-gatherer cultures. Such claims (and related claims) are questionable due to the simple reality we cannot directly observe what occurred in prehistoric times and as previously cited there is a gynocentric bias present unfortunately in the field of scientific research surrounding sex.
We cannot necessarily infer that modern hunter-gatherer communities adequately represent their prehistoric counterparts either, given the fact that one set of communities eventually developed into urbanised civilisation, while modern hunter-gatherer communities clearly did not. I am not making a judgement on any community being superior to another, I am simply pointing out there may be basic differences between prehistoric communities that transitioned into urbanised civilisation and modern-day hunter-gatherer communities that did not and that those differences may undermine making inferences that modern hunter-gatherer communities are a mirror of all past prehistoric communities. It is also worth considering that modern day hunter-gatherer communities undoubtedly have had their own cultural evolution over the last 12,000 years and may not necessarily resemble a mirror image of even their own past. I am not suggesting studies of current hunter-gatherer societies have no merit, I am suggesting caution in assuming what we observe in present hunter-gatherer societies in the modern day, perfectly translate to our prehistoric past.
With all of that said though, let us assume for a moment that the claim the survival of children in hunter-gather communities is more dependent on women is actually true. Is the survival of women not at least in part to some extent dependent on men? It is definitely the case that the survival of any community in prehistoric times is to a significant and substantive degree dependent on men. We know this by examining the evidence acquired from the remains of past human settlements and human bones. Tom Golden in his 2020 ICMI speech11, discussed inter-tribal conflict and the role of men in protecting their communities.
In evolutionary scientist David Geary’s book “Male, Female The Evolution Of Human Sex Differences”12, he describes a mass grave found in South Dakota (A US state) of men, women and children from a tribe that was was wiped out whilst the village fortifications were being reconstructed. The construction of such fortifications would have been a physically demanding task and primarily a male role, along with the actual physical defence of the village from attack.
Once the male defenders of the village were wiped out and the defences were overwhelmed, most of the village was massacred and the few survivors that were spared which were primarily younger women, were taken for spoils. This is not an example of gynocentrism, the women that were spared were taken as captives to do whatever bidding their male captors decided. Women were also found in the mass grave with men and children. Presumably these were women that may have resisted the male attackers, or been unwanted and disposed of by the attackers. The males of the village were eliminated not because they were less valuable, but because they were a threat. As David Geary noted in the book, the capture of women and the murder of male rivals had nothing to do with female mate choice and is simply an example of male competition at its most intense.
The male role in protection is something that has being going on for as long as humans have been around. The remains of this settlement were dated around 1325 AD before Christopher Columbus arrived and there was any contact with civilisation. Some like to argue that hunter-gatherer communities were always peaceful and war came from male patriarchal civilisation, but there is a plethora of evidence suggesting otherwise.
Hunter-gather communities fought each other in our prehistoric past, long before civilisation and there is plenty of evidence to show this and the role men played in protecting their communities. Resources were scarce at times and fighting over access to water, food and territory was a frequent occurrence. We also see the same patterns of territorial aggression in primates and a wide range of animals. War and combat are simply organised human manifestations of the territorial aggression seen in all animals and in both males and females. Aggression of course is not the sole domain of men and Geary does go on in the book to describe female aggression in humans, which is far less physical and much more relational in nature.
There are plenty of other examples in our prehistoric record and from current hunter-gatherer communities, showing how dependent communities are on men to survive. Karen Straughan discussed in one of her videos the Inuit13 and the importance that men have in those communities to hunt on the ice and keep everyone fed and alive. Karen also discussed more generally in the linked video in great detail, the biological evidence pointing to men’s substantive role in community survival and in provision and protection in prehistoric times.
Whilst we cannot perfectly describe past hunter-gatherer societies, we can draw some basic conclusions from the anthropological record of human remains and settlements we have found and also by examining the evolved sexual dimorphism of our species. Men have played a significant and substantive role in the survival of their community and through that they have enhanced the survival of women and by extension have then indirectly contributed to the survival of children. Basic sex differences in size, physical strength and physical fitness and psychological sex differences such as greater male risk-taking behaviour, would have had implications for the survival of prehistoric communities, especially in harsh environments.
The reality is that while women did hunt and did significantly contribute to the food supply in certain environmental contexts, it is predominantly men that are better suited to undertaking tasks that require high levels of physical strength. It is also a fact that men by virtue of not directly caring for infants or becoming pregnant, are more available to undertake physically strenuous tasks like hunting. These are physical realities that become much more apparent in hunter-gatherer communities without the benefits of mechanisation, no matter how hard the social constructionists would wish otherwise. The harsher the environment, the more relevant the physical sexual dimorphism favouring men becomes to the survival of the community.
So whilst it may be apparent to some people in a direct sense that the survival of children may be more dependent on women than on men (and that is a highly questionable claim), if there is any truth to the claim it may only be true to a certain degree in specific environmental settings and only in a direct sense. If we consider all of the environmental settings humans have lived in across the planet and we consider the indirect role men have on the survival of children through their support of their community and the women in that community, the picture becomes a lot more equal than certain gynocentric elements within the field of sex difference research wish to accept.
Even if we ignore all of the evidence and the points that I have made and just automatically assume the survival of children is more dependent on women in a hunter-gatherer setting in all instances and in an overall sense, such claims do not scale to civilisation or the overall health of children in a modern setting. The statistics on the prospects of children without a father in our current modern societies, show just how important fathers are to raising healthy children in our modern social environment. There is a difference between just surviving and offspring surviving to become mentally and physically healthy and capable adults that reach their potential. There is also a big difference between the requirements on offspring to develop in a hunter-gatherer environment in comparison to that of modern society. Such consideration does not fit the gynocentric narrative. Instead we are meant to take seriously the argument by certain feminist ideologues, that having no father has little or no impact on children. We are meant to ignore all of the evidence14 suggesting otherwise, while we watch the effects of fatherlessness play out in the society around us.
I want people to consider this next point very seriously and the implications it has for our Western societies. There has not been one advanced and fully developed civilisation or country on this planet that exists today or in the past, that has lasted centuries with widespread fatherlessness and marginalised men providing little or no contribution to the continuation of their communities. Not one. That should tell people something about how important men are. It has only been through harnessing the value that men provide, that civilisation has even emerged in the first place. It still remains a reality today that if men collectively walked off the job, our modern society would literally fall apart and descend into perpetual darkness (aside from the fires blazing everywhere at night). The statistics15 bare out just how essential men are to keep our modern civilisation running and how dire the situation would be if men left civilisation entirely to women and walked away from it.
None of what I have written in the speech or in these additional remarks or past writings, is intended to argue that men are superior to women or that all women are evil beings attempting to manipulate men every hour of the day. However we do now live in a gynocentric society that promotes the narrative that men have no value, are naturally inferior and disposable and that women are not capable of doing anything wrong or committing any violence, harm or evil in this world. We are living in a world filled with gynocentric delusions, which will eventually be our own underdoing as a society, because reality can and will eventually assert itself when everything eventually comes crashing down.
There needs to be some balance restored to our culture regarding how we consider men and women. Men do have value, enormous value and a great deal of that value is beyond just men’s role in community survival. Women also have value and a great deal of that value has nothing to do with having a uterus. There is a darker side to men’s nature and also a good side, but there is a darker side to women’s nature as well as their good side. I think society can accept the reality both sexes have value and both sexes are human and are capable of doing bad things, without having a nervous breakdown!
This is a two part article. In part one (this part) I will provide the complete speech that I wrote, which was kindly presented by Robert Brockway on my behalf at the International Men’s Conference in 2020. A link to the speech spoken by Robert is here1, the complete speech in writing is a little bit longer than what was presented and is provided below. Part two of this article will elaborate on certain points that I have discussed in the speech, which address particular gynocentric traps I have noted that people fall into when discussing the topics I wrote about in the speech.
For a full reading of my writings addressing the fallacy of the golden uterus and why male disposability based on females being the rate limiting factor in reproduction does not have a leg to stand on, please consult this two part article and the articles numbered 8-11 and 14-20 of my Gynocentrism lecture series on the webpage linked here2 on Gynocentrism.com. This two part article, will conclude my discussion on this particular topic. The extent of my writing on it reflects the extent to which I believe this justification functions as an excuse to normalise gynocentrism in our culture.
Science has in many respects replaced religion as the unquestioned orthodoxy of our time, despite the scientific method being an open source of enquiry. Science is not meant to be treated as an unquestioned orthodoxy, but unfortunately ideology does appear to be to some extent subverting how science is communicated to the public. So naturally using explanations that appear to rely on science has increasingly become the go-to strategy of gynocentric elements of our culture, to justify bigotry toward men and why we should just shrug our shoulders and accept it.
Science is not dogma and does not have all of the answers to every question and as I discuss in the speech and in my writings on Gynocentrism.com, what we do know from science does not support the argument women are more valuable and men are disposable, simply because women have a uterus and give birth. That is an argument of sophistry, not science. I do have a past scientific background researching, working and studying in the molecular life sciences and so this argument has been of particular interest to me to soundly and comprehensively debunk and provide my own unique contribution to knowledge in the manosphere.
Without further delay the full written speech is below:
The Fallacy Of The Golden Uterus And The True Origins Of Gynocentrism
By Peter Ryan
I will begin this speech quoting Mark Twain, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”.
For many years there has been an unquestioned assumption in the manosphere and in our wider gynocentric culture that because women are the rate limiting factor of reproduction, women are more valuable than men and men are disposable. It is perhaps one of the biggest blue pill myths there is and a sacred cow belief of our gynocentric culture. This core assumption underpins so many of the rationalisations given for justifying gynocentric bigotry toward men, that unless it is addressed and exposed for the distorted and factually wrong interpretation of biology that it is, nothing much is going to change for men. The glorification of the female role in reproduction is an old idea and widely held. However like what we have seen with obsolete ideas such as the Earth being flat and the Earth being the center of the universe, just because an idea is old and widely held as the truth, does not then make it right.
Let me get something straightened out right off the bat. Women do not create life, men and women create life. This should be an obvious fact and yet the line “women create life” is mentioned frequently enough in our gynocentric culture to be mindlessly accepted and repeated like it is common knowledge. To put it bluntly, functioning as an incubator does not make a woman a real mother, let alone a more valuable human being or the sole creator of life. The narcissism surrounding the role of women in reproduction, needs to be confronted in our culture and put down a peg, if we are to address the serious matters surrounding the epidemic of fatherlessness in our society. Fatherlessness is not just a legal issue, it is a social and cultural issue now in the West as well. A real mother respects fatherhood.
With that opening statement, I will now embark on dismantling the pseudoscientific dogma surrounding the golden uterus in a number of topics during this talk. The golden uterus is not just used to elevate motherhood undeservedly over fatherhood, it is also used to argue why women are more valuable human beings.
The Tale Of Two Tribes Scenario
You have probably heard the tale of two tribe’s scenario a million times before, a community of 1 man and 999 women is far better off than a community of 999 men and 1 woman. We are told the community with more women will replace itself and the community with a single woman will perish. It is certainly true that in such an extreme example, the community with just one single woman is likely to perish. However it is also likely, although perhaps less likely, for the community with a single man to also perish in such a scenario. Genetic diversity may not be sufficient for the community to recover, or there may not be the manpower available to ensure there is sufficient resources, shelter and protection for the community. The lone male may not even be fertile enough to ensure sufficient numbers of offspring are produced. It could even be that some sort of mixture of all three factors, may result in the community with a single male perishing.
There is a bigger issue though with the tale of two tribes. It is misleading. What may be correct at one population size with certain sex ratios, may not apply at another population size with different sex ratios. For example, what if there were 900 men and 100 women? Or 99000 men and 1000 women? Or 600 men and 400 women? Will they still perish? In such instances the communities may shrink temporarily but not perish and are likely to recover in a few generations. The reproductive fitness outcomes that apply at one scale of population size and sex ratio, may not apply at another. So taking such extreme examples of 1 man and 999 women or 999 men and 1 woman and then formulating a universal law that says women are more valuable than men, is both misleading and factually incorrect.
Having such skewed numbers as 999 men and 1 woman or 999 women and 1 man, represent very extreme scenarios. The likelihood of them arising is very rare in the actual historic or prehistoric past and may not have even happened at all. It is much more likely that for most of human history and prehistory, sex ratios between men and women in communities have been much more even. Indeed we are biologically predisposed to have a roughly 1:1 sex ratio at birth, which is explained by an evolutionary concept called Fisher’s principle. It has hardly been the norm that communities have had prolonged periods where there have been such heavily skewed sex ratios that women make up only 0.1% of the population, such as in the two tribes scenario with 1 woman and 999 men. Although there may have been periods where there were a few more men or more women in communities, such periods have been temporary and the sex ratios whilst a little imbalanced, would rarely if ever have reached the extremes of 1 woman to 999 men or vice versa.
Whilst sex ratios do vary with age cohorts and temporary imbalances can arise in the population as a whole, the overall sex ratio of men and women eventually gravitates back to 1:1. As explained by Fisher’s principle, if one sex becomes scarce, then there is a selective pressure for there to be greater parental investment in producing the minority sex in future generations until the sex ratios reach 1:1. Thus sex ratio imbalances that do arise are eventually gone in a generation or two and simply cannot be used to explain any protective bias toward women. I will explain this evolutionary principle in further detail later on in this speech.
I point all of this out to drive home the ridiculousness of the tale of two tribe’s scenario in arguing that such scenarios explain why society has evolved a bias to protect women over men. Such an explanation is only plausible if we assume that the two tribe’s scenario represents the demographics of human societies over a prolonged period of time, in which natural selection had the opportunity to select for a psychological bias to protect women over men on this basis. If it was the case that human societies often had only the bare minimum number of women to ensure their continuation for thousands of years, then it would follow humans would have a evolved a trait to protect women over men simply due to women being the rate limiting factor reproduction and being in such consistently short supply.
However human societies for most of human history and prehistory, have likely had a surplus number of women that was significantly beyond the bare minimum required, to ensure the continuation of the community. A community of 150 men and 150 women for example, may only require 10 of the women not to perish. It takes a very extreme scenario indeed for a community to reach a point where the loss of one more woman, leads the community to die out. Even if we go to low numbers of 100 people, with 60 men and 40 women for instance, just a fraction of those women may be the bare minimum required to ensure the community produces enough offspring to continue its existence.
Over just a generation or two, the community population size can eventually recover from extreme shocks if large numbers of the women in a society and the population as a whole are lost, as the young replace those people. Human societies can recover from population bottlenecks with only low numbers of men and women, as long as the numbers of each sex don’t drop below the bare minimum required to produce the minimum level of offspring to perpetuate society.
The Fixation On Reproduction And Life History Theory
A key reason why the tale of two tribe’s scenario gains traction, is because of the simplicity of it. Simple ideas might be appealing, but as we see with the feminist gender wage gap, they are misleading! The two tribe’s scenario masks the very complicated process of ensuring a lineage, a community and a species continues. Reproduction whilst important to the continuation of a lineage and community etc, is not the only factor that is essential. Individuals must survive and develop well enough to live to sexual maturity, attract mates, reproduce at an optimal rate and care for the resulting offspring. Those offspring in turn must also survive and develop to sexual maturity. Reproduction is a dead-end if the offspring die before they reproduce and reproduction cannot even occur if people do not survive long enough to mate. There must also be a certain level of genetic diversity in the population to ensure offspring are healthy enough to reproduce healthy offspring of their own. It is not enough to simply breed offspring. The offspring and their parents have to be healthy, fertile and survive.
In actual biological reality, reproduction is just one component in a chain of activities required to propagate the genome. Life history theory in evolutionary biology, explains the numerous balances and trade-offs that organisms make in their survival, development and reproductive activities across their lifespan to optimise their reproductive success (or evolutionary success). Human beings reproduce at relatively low rates compared to other species and have a very long developmental period, precisely because there is more to evolutionary success than just maximising reproduction. Unlike microbial life, humans are organisms with a slow life history strategy, that places a lower priority on the rate of reproduction. Having high numbers of women in a community to maximise the rate of reproduction of a community, is not the be all and end all to evolutionary success that it is made out to be.
In reality the role of women in reproduction is just one component in a much bigger and far more complex life history equation. The fixation on women being the rate limiting factor of reproduction, blinds people to the bigger picture- The reproductive success of human communities is the result of many factors working together in a complex interdependent system and is not just determined by how many uteri you have. Think of all of the activities that have to occur in a human community aside from reproduction and gestation that are related to survival, to ensure healthy fertile offspring are born and properly develop and the community and their resultant offspring survive. Think of the role of men in ensuring those activities are adequately performed, particularly when women are pregnant or preoccupied with looking after small infants. Think of the extreme survival challenges our ancestors faced in environments across the world before modern civilisation and the role of men in such a context. Even today our societies are utterly dependent on men to keep them running.
Whilst some may argue technology may eventually make men’s role in community survival redundant, the same can be said for women and their role in reproduction with the eventual development of artificial uteri. However it is worth noting such developments for either sex are a long way off and in many respects it will be harder to replace men given the greater multitude of tasks men perform, including repairing the very robots and machines that supposedly will replace them!
With deeper reflection, we can see that simply making the claim that women being the rate limiting factor of reproduction makes them more valuable, assumes that there are not a multitude of other factors that are just as essential to ensuring the future of a community. Let us consider this with some detail in relation to the evolutionary environment humans have lived in for most of their history and prehistory.
1. Any community is going to require a minimum number of men and women to reproduce.
2. Any community will also require a minimum number of men and women to ensure sufficient levels of genetic diversity.
3. A certain minimum amount of investment in survival will also be required to ensure the community has adequate food, water, resources, shelter and protection to keep everyone alive.
4. The surrounding environment must have the carrying capacity or resources available to support the population.
As can be seen with that simple description, we discover that it is not just about having enough women to reproduce. A certain number of men are also going to be required. The exact minimum number of men and women required to ensure a community does not perish, may actually require more men in some instances. It is also the case that a certain minimum amount of resources or habitat carrying capacity, will be required to support the population. Simply focusing on maximising reproduction is almost doomed to fail, because the resulting population growth will eventually collapse the food chain and ecosystem and the community will perish. Reproduction has to be maintained at a level that can be sustained by the carrying capacity of the habitat the community finds itself in.
Not all environments are lush jungles with a high carrying capacity, easy access to food and water, no predators and plenty of available shelter. Many environments on this planet have a low carrying capacity, food and water is hard to collect or grow and shelter is difficult to find or construct. Many habitats like the African savanna have dangerous predators lurking around and the weather and geological conditions are harsh. Think of Siberia and the numerous deserts. Not all habitats are paradise and humans have had to adapt to all of them and survive.
Whilst women may be the rate limiting factor of reproduction, men do play a disproportionate role in undertaking risky and physically demanding work required for community survival. Of course there is overlap between the sexes in these domains, but there is a substantial difference on average when considering the relative contributions of each sex as a whole in these areas.
If women are the rate limiting factor of reproduction, then men are the rate limiting factor of survival. When you consider pregnant women and women raising small infants in a prehistoric context, or even as early as one hundred and fifty years ago and the harsh living conditions that human communities faced across different environments, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand the importance of men in undertaking physically challenging and dangerous tasks related to community survival. The reality is that raising small infants and simply gathering food with relatively little physical effort compared to hunting, is not enough to survive in many environments throughout the world. It is also a fact that in many places throughout the world, the carrying capacity of the environment may not be able to support large population growth and low rates of reproduction may actually be advantageous.
In some environment’s reproduction may be less critical to the future of the community and it may actually be pressures related to survival that matter more. In such contexts a higher minimum amount of men than women may actually be required. In other contexts more women may be advantageous. It does not always follow that more women are needed than men, because golden uterus!
We must also consider that there is a difference between the minimum number of men and women required to perpetuate a community and the optimal number of men and women required for a community to thrive. A community may indeed continue to eke out an existence with only 10 men and 990 women, but that does not mean it will thrive and not suffer great costs. Having more men may allow such communities to thrive to a point where they become resistant to the very shocks that threaten to wipe out the community in the first place. As with the minimum numbers of men and women required to sustain a community, different environments, demographics and living conditions, may mean in some instances greater numbers of men are more important to a community thriving and in other instances women may be more important. Natural selection does not favour just what is required at a minimum, it also preferentially selects what is optimal. A community of 500 men and 500 women that thrives over a community of 10 men and 990 women, will consequently be favoured under selection pressures.
None of any of this detail is considered if we assume the number of uteri in a community, is the sole determinant of reproductive success and biological value. None of the complexity of what it takes for a community to continue its existence is considered. This is what reproductive reductionism omits.
Fisher’s Principle And The Biological System Of Males And Females
The fundamental truth which is consistently ignored by reproductive reductionists despite it being well established within the field of evolutionary biology, is that biology does not value or favour the existence of one sex over the other in our species. This reality is reflected in the equal parental investment in producing males and females. Fisher’s principle is an evolutionary concept that explains why the sex ratio of many sexually reproducing species including humans, is roughly 1:1 and why parental investment in male and female offspring is equal.
Fisher’s principle can be illustrated as follows:
1. Assume there are less males than females in a given population.
2. The males will have a higher rate of reproduction per individual than individual females, as the total reproductive output of each sex is equal but distributed among fewer numbers of males.
3. Consequently parents that produce males are at an evolutionary advantage, as their offspring will be more reproductively successful per individual than if they had of produced females.
4. As a result, over time parents will produce more male offspring as it is selectively advantageous.
5. Greater parental investment in male offspring will continue until the number of males and females in the population equalises and the reproductive advantage male offspring enjoy reduces to zero.
Fisher’s principle describes a form of equilibrium where parental investment in males and females will be equal. The core reason for this equality is because the total reproductive output of men and women as a whole is exactly equal. Neither sex as a whole can produce a greater number of offspring than the other sex and get a leg up. It is mathematically impossible! For every child that is conceived there has to be one male parent and one female parent. The result is that the male and female sex have the same biological value in evolutionary terms, as total reproductive success for each sex as a whole is equal. There is no long-term evolutionary advantage to producing female offspring over male offspring or vice versa.
Some will no doubt point out that human beings have a sex ratio at birth of roughly 1.05 males to 1 female. This does not invalidate Fisher’s principle, but is actually supported by it. Geneticist Ronald Fisher the author of Fisher’s principle, explained the slight deviation from the 1:1 sex ratio as a compensatory mechanism for the higher rate of male infant mortality. The higher rate of male infant mortality drives larger numbers of males to be born to ensure equal parental expenditure in producing male and female offspring that actually reach sexual maturity. There is no grand gynocentric conspiracy by nature to favour females over males. Nature does not have a favourite!
There is equal biological investment in producing each sex, because each sex has the same overall reproductive success. The distribution of that reproductive success between individuals may differ by sex, but not the total output. Fewer men may reproduce, but each of those men that do reproduce will do so at a higher frequency than any individual woman. That is the part which is left out when people discuss fewer men reproducing than women. There is no argument to be made that women are somehow more important than men, because more women reproduced. Such arguments can simply be countered by pointing to the higher reproductive success of the individual men that do reproduce. Genghis Khan anyone?
We have had half of the population chromosomal XX female and the other half XY male in our lineage for at least 160 million years, since our current sex-determination system came into being. That is 160 million years of natural selection tolerating half the population not directly giving birth to offspring. Supercontinents have broken up and major geological and extinction level events have occurred in that period of time, including the extinction of the dinosaurs. There has been plenty of time for natural selection to alter the reproductive paradigm at some point with our evolutionary predecessors, so that all of the members of our species give birth, if that was all that mattered and it was so crucial. Our evolutionary predecessors could have evolved back to asexual reproduction or become hermaphrodites in that period of time. 160 million years is not a trivial timespan, even when we consider the slow process of evolution. 160 million years is a very long block of time to have stuck with a maladaptive strategy of wasting half the genome, especially when we consider the extinction events that have occurred over that period of time. Species have emerged and then vanished in much smaller time scales than 160 million years!
Despite all of the time that has passed, our lineage settled on an evolutionary track where only half the population internally gestates the offspring for nine months. This reproductive strategy is the result of millions of years of natural selection and not an accident. It is a strategy that does not maximise reproduction and yet it has actually been favoured by natural selection in our evolutionary branch. Why? It is not reproduction alone that determines evolutionary success, but rather the right combination of investment in survival, development and reproduction that determines evolutionary success. There is a selective advantage in having only one sex give birth to offspring and having the other half of the population available and sexually selected to focus their efforts on other activities related to survival. It allows for a broader, more sophisticated and more robust strategy in adapting to the environment to maximise evolutionary success.
The biological roles of each sex support each other in an interdependent system. This allows activities related to survival and reproduction to be enhanced to produce outputs beyond what would otherwise be possible. In systems theory this is called synergy and emergence. The sum becomes greater than the individual parts on their own and new properties emerge when the components work together as a whole. This is what reproductive reductionists miss, when they just focus on women and reproduction. Human civilisation is arguably one emergent property of the foundational sociobiological system that has evolved around the specialised roles of men and women. It is the overall end result of men and women working together that matters, not the golden uterus!
The Fallacy Of Male Biological Disposability
The concept of men being biologically disposable is just as ludicrous, as the concept that women are more valuable because they have a uterus. Our gynocentric culture may indeed treat men as if they are disposable, but that does not then mean that in biological terms they actually are disposable. The mere existence of bigoted beliefs and behaviours that promote a premise that one group of people is “disposable”, does not then translate to such beliefs and behaviours having a justifiable basis in reality. 6 million Jews were considered disposable based on nothing more than outright hatred. All sorts of pseudoscientific justifications were given to assert they were subhuman. The claim men are biologically disposable is a lie embedded within gynocentric elements of our culture to exploit men. It is a lie the manosphere should reject and expose for the rubbish that it is.
Any society that wants to survive and thrive, has the best the chance of doing so when it has large numbers of healthy men to provide the manpower to support it. Losing men costs society. Even in war it makes little sense to lose men in battle if it can be avoided. Those armies that win battles with the least amount of men lost, win the wars. The loss of men, means loss of available manpower and all of the value to society and armies that comes with that manpower. Disposability implies indifference toward the loss of male life and any society that exercises such indifference, jeopardises its own future and eventually is replaced by societies that do not demonstrate such indifference. Natural selection does not favour men that lose their lives in war or from performing dangerous tasks, it favours men that survive such challenges. Men are no more disposable in performing their roles in society, than women are in dying during childbirth. Both are costs that functional societies and natural selection seek to reduce.
The reason men go off to war and are encouraged to do the risky and dangerous tasks for society, is not because society considers them less valuable than women, it is because men are better equipped to undertake those tasks. Men have evolved strengths to perform these tasks more so than women. Just think of how sex differences play out in the special forces of our militaries for example.
There has been considerable loss of male life throughout history, but that is not automatically a reflection of society being indifferent toward the loss of men. We have Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and Memorial Day for a reason, because society does care when men lose their lives and understands the societal cost. If we were completely indifferent toward men’s lives, no such days would exist. That is the dysfunctional society, feminists and the gynocentric traditionalists before them have been driving us toward. A society where men can be exploited with complete societal indifference or even ridiculed for their sacrifice. Misandry in society definitely exists, but we need to delineate the bigotry based on hatred and sophistry, from actual biological reality.
Female Neoteny, Male Competition And The Gender Empathy Gap
Some point to the sex difference in neoteny and the gender empathy gap as proof that females are more valuable than males. I would argue instead that neoteny is at least partly the result of sex differences in reproductive strategies and mating preferences, rather than a difference in biological value. Men sexually select for neoteny in women because that signals youth which is a marker for fertility and women select for less neoteny in men because that signals strength. The male sex gains more from intrasexual competition and a lower degree of neoteny is advantageous in the contexts in which men compete.
The greater intrasexual competition of the male sex is not the result of men having a lower biological value, but is instead an example of male biological value manifesting itself. Competition for men is one way they make use of their talents and men can gain far more reproductively from successful competition than women can, because men can produce many more offspring from the status they acquire. Competition between men has literally built civilisation and has driven enormous levels of innovation and advances. The greater intrasexual competition of men is not proof of male inferiority, but simply a reflection of the greater returns in reproductive fitness that men acquire from investing in such competition and a means of generating survival value which in turn boosts reproductive fitness. It bears repeating that the acts directly related to reproduction like gestation, are not the only form of deriving biological value.
The gender empathy gap is real and I am certainly not denying its existence. I am also fairly certain that there is at the very least some biological predisposition at an emotional level to have a greater concern for female well-being. However this gender empathy gap does not result from women being more biologically valuable than men, because they are the rate limiting factor of reproduction. Over millions of years of evolution, women and their female primate ancestors have developed physical, psychological and social traits to elicit greater social support from their peers. Men have not developed these traits to the same degree that women have. Why is that so? The reason is not because women more valuable than men, it is because women and men have different strategies for maximising reproductive success and different forms of biological value.
As I have discussed earlier, men benefit considerably more from intrasexual competition than women as they can produce far more offspring from doing so. Men also have greater availability to engage in activities that are not directly related to reproduction that enhance the survival of the community and offspring, as they do not have to gestate offspring. This survival value that men generate, allows them to acquire status and influence within a community and access to potential mates. It can also be utilised to improve the health of their offspring and related kin and the wider community they belong to.
Just like the case with intrasexual competition, these activities can all boost men’s reproductive success in ways it cannot for women, because men can father hundreds of offspring from the status they derive from these activities and can also better perform these activities without the added burden of pregnancy. Many of the activity’s men engage in to provide survival value involve risks, competition and are labour intensive. The risk and costs can be high, but the reproductive payoff can be huge. The competitive, risky and demanding activities men engage in to harness their intrinsic value and inherent abilities to generate survival value for the community, related kin and offspring, requires a high level of self-reliance and independence. Being reliant on eliciting social support, is to at least some degree less compatible with the means through which men maximise reproductive success in comparison to what the case is for women.
In contrast women during pregnancy and immediately after childbirth, are less able to provide for themselves. They are also very preoccupied with raising small infants and breastfeeding them after giving birth. This was a physical reality that had be factored into how society was structured for thousands of years, until birth control and modern technological advancements. Before birth control, women may have faced multiple periods of pregnancy during their life under very harsh conditions caring for multiple offspring. In such contexts there would have been unique advantages for women in being able to garner social support from the community to boost female reproductive success. It is predictable they would have evolved strengths to elicit that support.
It is the asymmetry in how each sex maximises their reproductive success, that leads to the sex differences underpinning the empathy gap. Empathy from society is more advantageous to female reproductive success than it is for male reproductive success. This difference may also be the other major factor driving the sex difference that we see in neoteny. It is certainly the case that each sex benefits from eliciting social support from other people and there is certainly overlap. We are not talking about a black and white dichotomy. However there is a greater advantage for women in receiving social support and a greater advantage for men in being self-reliant in terms of reproductive fitness. This leads to sex differences developing where women have greater physical and psychological traits to elicit social support from society than men.
What Are The Biological Origins Of Gynocentrism?
The biological origins of gynocentrism do not lie in a difference in overall biological value between men and women. The root of gynocentrism lies in the difference between male and female reproductive strategies and the conflict that can arise when those two strategies oppose each other. Gynocentrism is an example of what is called sexual conflict in evolutionary biology. Sexual conflict is a phenomenon in which one sex deploys an antagonistic strategy to gain a reproductive fitness advantage at the expense of the other sex. The sexual cannibalism of the male spider being eaten by the female spider, is one example of sexual conflict in the animal kingdom. The sexual coercion or rape of females seen in many species and not just humans, is another example of sexual conflict.
Although it is important to acknowledge that there is a considerable degree of intersexual cooperation in our species, there is also to a certain extent a literal biological battle of the sexes underway in our society. Slogans like, “The Future Is Female” and articles like “Why Can’t We Hate Men?” say it all.
Gynocentrism primarily results from a pathological overexpression of the greater emotional predisposition society has to feel empathy for women relative to men. There are certainly other factors at play, but the overarching force at the core of gynocentrism is the gender empathy gap. Whilst the predisposition to feel greater empathy for women exists, this biological predisposition is not a biological inevitability on its own. Humans can and do have the capacity to control and override their emotional impulses. Impulse control centers in the brain such as the prefrontal cortex, allow people to act on their impulses and emotional drives in an intelligent and strategic way in respect of their social environment. Healthy people are not slaves to their impulses, only addicts are.
With that said, our underlying emotional biases can still make us vulnerable to well-executed social manipulation by others and can be exploited. Gynocentrism is the end result of the weaponisation of female hypoagency by specific and well-organised coalitions of women. Yes it is true, not all women are like that, but there are specific groups of women that have been and continue to be the architects and cheerleaders of gynocentrism. Like men, some women are good people and some women are bad people. The coalitions of women I am talking about, generally come in two flavours- Gynocentric Traditionalists and Feminists. Together with their male lackey’s, they have gradually undermined the relations between the sexes over the centuries and recent decades to the dysfunctional state we see today.
The emotional bias we have to care for women and protect them, has been exploited by these groups of women to manipulate society and specifically men over many centuries, to elevate women over men. Karen Straughan called it, “The Tyranny Of Female Hypoagency”. This antagonistic female sexual conflict strategy has over the course of many centuries, subverted our culture. Traditional gynocentric social narratives like romantic chivalry in past centuries and feminist narratives like patriarchy theory in the modern era, have been developed by these women whilst they have been in positions of authority, wealth and privilege. These women have used their positions of influence in the upper classes of society, in academia, the legal system, journalism and elsewhere, to spread these gynocentric narratives through our governments, courts, institutions, media and wider society.
The narratives promote an exaggerated image of female vulnerability and have been designed to exploit our emotional bias to feel empathy for women to further an agenda. These narratives have been deployed to gradually transform our culture over the decades and centuries, into the gynocentric culture we have today. It has been an ongoing process of cultural subversion from generation to generation, under the camouflage of female vulnerability. Our laws, our institutions, our social norms, our societal attitudes toward men and women and the account of our own history and knowledge of the sexes, have all been gradually warped and rewritten by these powerful gynocentric social narratives. Narratives that exploit our emotional bias to perceive women as helpless and as victims, in need of support and rescue from men and society.
The end goal of the underlying agenda is clear, once the crocodile tears are wiped away and the mask of female vulnerability and hypoagency is removed. Gynocentrism leads to a dysfunctional sexual feudal system, where women hold a privileged position in society in relation to men and eventually the complete dehumanisation of men. Gynocentrism is in essence female supremacy under the disguise of female vulnerability.
Nature abhors a vacuum. As with any imbalance, sooner or later it comes to an end. Gynocentrism or any form of sexual conflict for that matter, that grows to a point where it negatively impacts the overall reproductive fitness of a population, will be selected against. The mismatch between the marginalisation of men in gynocentric societies and female hypergamy, is a major factor causing the fertility rates of many countries to fall below replacement levels. There is no middle ground with gynocentrism and it inevitably grows to a point where it undermines the foundations of society. Gynocentrism is essentially a snake that eventually eats its own tail. It is a long process over many centuries of initial growth and then decline, but eventually gynocentric cultures destroy themselves. It is important to note that while the potential for sexual conflict in our species does exist, so does the potential to adopt a strategy of intersexual cooperation. Eventually functionally adaptive strategies for the species win out and any population that adopts the more optimal cooperative strategy and does not marginalise men, will eventually end up replacing the declining gynocentric societies around them.
There are many other forces at work that play into this gynocentric social manipulation and amplify its effect by orders of magnitude and I cannot address them all in this speech. I will be discussing the origins of gynocentrism further and what is driving it, in further detail in my future articles and also presenting possible solutions. People can learn more about the many flaws of reproductive reductionism and the myth of the golden uterus, by reading my articles on the subject on my website Theantigynocentrist.wordpress.com and in my lecture series on Gynocentrism.com, where I have gone into even greater detail on these topics than in this speech.
Humans are no more a gynocentric species, than we are a murderous species and a tribalistic and genocidal species. All behaviour and I do mean all behaviour, including murder, rape, tribalism and genocide, has a biological component and humans do have a biological predisposition for violence. We don’t make biologically determinist justifications for murder, rape, racism, genocide or violence and we should not do so for gynocentrism either. Whilst we are hardly perfect beings, we do have some capacity to rise above the darker side of human nature and behave as better people.
The line women are more valuable because of their golden uterus and the line men are biologically disposable, are all lies. Lies that have been crafted and promoted in our culture to rationalise the exploitation of men and convince men to see themselves and other men as human doings with zero intrinsic worth, so they will accept their own exploitation. The red pill is subject to so much censorship and attacks by feminists and our gynocentric establishment, because it is the antidote to the gynocentric social narratives that pervade our society. They know the great threat the red pill poses to our gynocentric culture. The red pill disrupts the capacity of gynocentric social narratives to act as effective tools to socially manipulate the behaviour of men and society, by exposing them for what they are- Lies, well-crafted lies. So keep spreading the word and red pilling society!
I will finish this speech with a quote from Esther Vilar the author of The Manipulated Man, “What an advantage a man would have if only he realized the cold, clear thoughts running through a woman’s head while her eyes are brimming with tears!”
Once manipulation is exposed for what it is, like a magic trick exposed, it loses its power. That is the power of the red pill. The power of the truth- Men are human beings, not human doings!
The following except is from the book Inter–Views, by James Hillman. – PW
Feminism and femininity is a desperate topic. I steer clear of it. Once you see the whole world in terms of gender you close your mind in a set of blinders, caught in a pair of opposites, and you lose the particular person, like you, in front of me, who happens to be of the female gender. People, you, are far more than female or male. I lose you, the person there, if I reduce you to a supposed feminine essence. Maybe if we used the full vocabulary of psychological traits that were laid out in 1935 by two Harvard psychologists — there were some nineteen thousand traits, that described a personality. Only some of those words are gender words, having to do with external gender characteristics, psychosexual characteristics, sociogender characteristics…
There may be only a few hundred such gendered words out of thousands. Besides that, there are thousands of things about you that have nothing to do with gender. If I put you into your gender, I have made a racist move. It’s like putting you into being Italian or putting you into being a certain age or a certain class. I have lost you in a sociological category. So I don’t want to answer any questions about the feminine, feminism, and so on. I will talk about certain structures of consciousness that have been called feminine and what happens when they are called feminine; we can talk about hysteria or about Dionysus, because Dionysus was considered a Lord or God of women, and the way that works. But I don’t want to speak of “the feminine” in a literal sense. These structures of consciousness that we call feminine are in men and are in women and are in neither. They are structures of consciousness. Archetypal patterns, that appear again and again. This touches only tangentially the social problems of women – not being paid equal wages, for instance. That’s a basic social economic problem. It should and must be dealt with. Or certain laws about property. Or inheritance laws and women…
But let’s not get confused between dealing with those things and defining some kind of consciousness as female or feminine. As my wife says in her paper [The Dogma of Gender], either feminists say there are no gender differences and I can climb a telephone pole and shoot a gun and drive a truck just the same as any man (they’re assuming already that driving a truck or climbing a telephone pole is male; it’s already set up that way), or feminists take the other position and say, the feminine is different. It belongs to the moon, it has to do with instinct and nature and womb and menstruation and breasts and a mode of being that a man doesn’t understand. They identify with a particular archetypal pattern, a lunar constellation, say, and define that as “the feminine.” In both of those situations the individuality of the woman is trapped in being either no feminine or all-feminine; and both the ideas of what’s feminine are stereotypes.
Psyche, you see, tends to ignore that gender question, curiously enough. Just like the psyche tends to ignore a lot of the questions that the ego thinks are important and identifies with. The psyche doesn’t really know in its dream whether you’re rich or poor. It doesn’t know whether you went to grade school or to college. It doesn’t know whether you’re a man or a woman. It doesn’t know – when I say it doesn’t know this, I mean the material it presents in a dream ignores it.
I’m handed a written dream. I can’t tell if that dream is dreamed by a man or a woman necessarily. I can’t tell if that dream is dreamed by someone twenty or sixty or eighty. I don’t know if the dreamer is a city person or a country person, because a city person can have extraordinary dreams about landscapes and rivers. And a country person can be in the middle of a city, because the city is an eternal image and the country is an eternal image, not a sociological or a geographical place only. One can be anywhere in one’s dreams. I can be in a Greek landscape or I can be in a Scandinavian forest and I may never have been either in Greece or Scandinavia. So the psyche tends to ignore the categories that social psychology organizes things into. It’s like married or unmarried, mother or not mother, and so on. In dreams men breast feed, and women have penises. Why not?
You can always take a dream and reduce it to sociological categories; but the dream as phenomenon seems not to care about that. Just like it doesn’t seem to care about life and death that much. You can have death dreams when you are young and right in the middle of life – a whole series of dreams which seem to be quite clear that you are dying of cancer or that you will die on a certain date. I had such dreams. I was supposed to die on a certain date, and it was as real as could be. On the other hand, I’ve worked with people who have died in analysis, and the dreams never made it clear when they would die or even if they would die. Maybe I was too dense to see…. Anyway, the idea that dreams have a sexual origin, of course, would then say dreams have a gender origin, and that men’s dreams must be different from women’s dreams because their sexual organs are different. And their chromosomes are different and so on. A dream — I’m sitting in my home on the edge of my bed, and Marybelle in a light blue dress comes in with a bunch of tulips, and I put my arm around her. End of dream. Whose dream is that? A man’s dream or a woman’s dream? If it’s a woman’s dream, Mary Bell is still the child from childhood bringing into my reception a chance to meet this child again. And the same thing is true for a man’s dream. You can’t immediately say the man has an infantile sexuality. But who hasn’t – thank God! But what would deprive a woman of having an infantile sexuality, too, with Marybelle? No reason – unless you start off with prejudices. So the sexual origin is not only theoretically questionable, but it leads to gender thinking. It gives you two problems at once! And it prevents you from just being with that girl who’s just walked in the room in the dream. Because you’re starting off by categorising it somewhere. The psyche ignores all that.
Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas and his people, the Trojans, as they flee from their destroyed home of Troy (the Trojan War is recounted in Homer’s Iliad) and venture to Italy to build a new home; the descendants of Aeneas himself (Romulus and Remus) are destined to become the founders of Rome. The first half of the poem recounts the Trojans’ journey to Italy, while the second half recounts the war that breaks out between the Trojans and the Italians, a war kicked off thanks to petty divine intervention by Juno, wife of Jupiter and queen of the gods.
The character arc of Aeneas – the protagonist of the poem who is, “famous for his piety,” (page 3) – provides an arguably excellent example of what occurs as a result of living a blue pill life as a man. We should begin by noting the importance of Aeneas’, “piety,” as it is his defining characteristic and one of the four virtues inscribed on the shield of Augustus (the first Roman emperor and the one during whose reign Virgil wrote the poem); the Latin term for this is pietas, which refers not only to religious devotion, but also to loyalty to one’s family and one’s compatriots and thus selflessness.
The enforced adherence to pietas occurs in a manner that is reminiscent of the blue pill existence by demanding numerous sacrifices from Aeneas in the service of a seemingly noble yet distant and nebulous ideal. In Book II of the Aeneid, Aeneas tells the story of the fall of Troy, which resulted in the death of his wife, Creusa. While Aeneas is running through the burning city, trying to find her – he lost track of her while initially escaping – he encounters her ghost, who tells him that her death would not have happened, “without the approval of the gods,” (as a ghost, she has been to the underworld and can thus see the future) also instructing him to wipe, “away the tears you are shedding for Creusa whom you loved,” (page 47) because they will change nothing. Aeneas notes that he was left, “there in tears and longing to reply,” to her and yet was unable to do so.
The loss of Creusa is arguably the first major sacrifice demanded by the gods – specifically, as Creusa notes, it is the, “Great Mother of the Gods,” (page 47) referring to Juno – from Aeneas, and yet it is a sacrifice made without consent (it occurs because destiny has it that Aeneas will marry another woman named Lavinia, with whom he will give birth to the ancestors of Romulus and Remus). Aeneas is simply forced to accept this tragedy, and its justification is that it serves a higher purpose; even though Aeneas is committed to serving said higher purpose, the death of his wife still takes an understandable toll on him.
The second major sacrifice demanded of him is the severing of his relationship with Dido, the queen of Carthage, in Book IV. Aeneas and Dido fall in love after the Trojans land in Carthage – and have sex for the first time thanks to cynical divine intervention from Juno – but Jupiter (king of the gods) sends his messenger Mercury down to order Aeneas to leave Dido and resume his journey to Italy.
Jupiter questions – in an arguably paternalistic fashion, as if he knows what is better for Aeneas than Aeneas himself – whether, “the glory of such a destiny [becoming a venerated figure in Roman legend] does not fire his heart.” (page 76) When Dido eventually catches Aeneas trying to leave Carthage secretly, Aeneas makes this juxtaposition between what he desires and what the gods demand of him explicit when he states that, “It is not by my own will that I search for Italy.” (page 79) West, the translator, points out in the introduction that the, “weakness and misery,” that Aeneas shows upon being confronted by Dido are signs of, “Virgil’s human understanding,” (page xix) and a contribution to the contrast between the humanity of those on the ground and the wilful apathy of those above.
It is arguably the case that blue pill men live a life characterised by an internal conflict between what they consider to be their duty to the blue pill world around them and the women in their lives on one side, and their own personal desires on the other. Such a life involves the subjugation of the latter to the former in the name of being a ‘good man‘ or a ‘male ally‘, ideals of masculinity which we red pill men know are meaningless. The one distinction I would draw between the average blue pill man and Aeneas, however, is that this process involves more consent from the blue pill man than it does from Aeneas; such men must fully submit to the loss of their individuality and make the necessary sacrifices to do so, while Aeneas genuinely has far less control over this process.
We must also analyse the conclusion of the Aeneid to get a picture of the final destination to which blue pill thinking inevitably leads men. In the final lines of Book XII, Aeneas slays Turnus, prince of the Rutulians (one of the Italian tribes that are at war with the Trojans), the justification for which has been debated by many scholars. The killing of Turnus is certainly at odds with pietas (it has nothing to do with devotion to either the gods or anybody), and it goes directly against another one of the aforementioned four virtues – clementia, which means ‘mercy’ (it’s where we get the word ‘clemency’ from). By the time that Aeneas kills him, Turnus is lying on the ground and begging for mercy, after Aeneas’ spear strikes him in, “the middle of the thigh,” (page 290) and cripples him; Turnus also has his strength sapped from his body thanks to divine intervention from Jupiter, ensuring that he had no chance of winning the duel.
Virgil applies the adjective furiis to Aeneas’ emotional state as he is about to kill Turnus, an adjective that is related to the Latin term furor, which can mean ‘frenzy’ or ‘rage’ or ‘madness’. Furor is significant in that it is depicted as being the opposite of pietas, Aeneas’ defining characteristic; furor connotes letting one’s emotions control one’s actions (instead of one’s devotion to the gods or to others) and being excessively (or, as the Romans would argue, immorally) selfish, being at odds with the selflessness associated with pietas. Aeneas adopting the characteristic of furor is like Jesus succumbing to the temptations of Satan, or Michael Kimmel starting to respect men; it’s completely against his nature. So why does he do it?
My argument as to why Aeneas disregards the ethical code outlined on the shield of Augustus is because he sees no value in adhering to it by the end of the poem. Fulfilling his destiny is a task that has involved many sacrifices for him – namely the deaths of Creusa, Dido, his father Anchises (Book III), and the loyal son Pallas of his ally King Evander (Book X), all losses over which Aeneas grieves humanely – and yet Aeneas has not been justly compensated for these sacrifices, as his understandable human troubles have been ignored and only viewed as obstacles by Jupiter to the accomplishment of this goal. The promise of glory does not fully satisfy Aeneas – this is the type of promise, by the way, that contributes to the male disposability that characterises wars – and it is entirely understandable as to why.
The killing of Turnus lacks a clear moral justification because Aeneas does not believe that one is necessary when those who have been forcing him to abide by that code evidently do not care at all for his wellbeing. This killing is like the existential implosion of a man who has just realised the shallowness of his own value structure, carried out with a nihilistic and Cain-esque fury reminiscent of men who murder their wives over unjust divorces. It is no wonder that such is the case, given that the structure of the idea of fate/destiny – where there is a predetermined end at which one will arrive, by whatever means necessary – resembles that of a lie (because when you lie, you choose an end ahead of time at which you want to arrive, and manipulate everyone and everything around you as much as is necessary to get there).
By the end of the poem, Aeneas has little to nothing of value to call his own, and so he curses Jupiter and destiny – or, in other words, the world around him – for stealing from him what he once loved, and the loss of faith in the proposition that existence is worthwhile is almost always accompanied by undeserved and futile (in the sense that existence can never be destroyed by acts of revenge committed against it) death.
The core lesson that we red pill men can learn from the Aeneid, brilliantly written as it was by Virgil, is that the subjugation of our will to external moral obligations that society expects us to adopt unquestioningly only contributes to the, “modern genocide on the male soul,” that Paul Elam describes in his video ‘Servant, Slave and Scapegoat‘ as being mercilessly conducted by the blue pill world. No matter what the dictates of those whom men perceive to be their gods may be, you must understand that your will is your own and that it can only be broken with your consent.
Note: All page references to the Aeneid are to the Penguin Classics edition, translated by David West.
I want to talk for a brief moment about a song that’s a childhood favorite of mine entitled “He Walks Like a Man” as performed by country music singer Jody Miller. The lyrics, written by Diane Hilderbrand, are what I want to look into in particular. Take a moment and read the lyrics, or better yet, listen to the song if you have access to it, but again pay attention to the lyrics.
These lyrics, which I have heard are written by Hilderbrand for Jody Miller for her husband Monty Brooks (although I have no solid sources on that), are sung from Jody’s perspective about the qualities of her man in the verses, with some descriptions surprisingly flattering and beyond the utilitarian clichés, such as “He schemes like a man and whenever he can, he dreams like a man”. Each of these verses is closed with what can be described as a light chorus: “But it’s the little boy; It’s the little boy in him I love”. A bridge within the song speaks of how there is a little boy in every man, and how the little boy shines through every now and then.
An eloquent and simple song which is to this day a favorite of mine. In recent years however I’ve come to appreciate the fact that lyrically it has a different take on depicting through words a woman’s love for her man. We have had our share of songs from plenty of genres describing a woman’s love for a man one way or another, thematically from how supportive and caring their men are, how lovable they are despite their “flaws”, or even more direct songs about “making love”.
However, I think this 1964 hit has a unique take on it that I can’t quite find offhand on other female-driven songs. Off the top of my head, it is the only song I can think of that is about loving a man for being himself. I’m not talking about the “be yourself” advice given to men that are struggling with social situations which is not nuanced or enough or truly meaningful in itself. What I mean about loving a man for being himself is valuing a man as an individual in himself.
My Introduction to the Puer Concept
One thing I’ve come to realize in recent years is what is intrinsic to an individual, that is, the importance of the inner boy in the man, and likewise the inner girl in the woman. What I mean by inner boy and girl, specifically, is the Jungian concepts of puer and puella. To stay on subject with this article I will place focus on the puer, the inner boy. It should be worth noting that “puer” is, in fact, Latin for “boy”. I want to make an immediate distinction of context here to avoid confusion: the puer concept, at least in the positive context I hope to exposit on, is distinct from what is referred to as the child archetype in human adult relations in which one assumes the role of child, and the other as the adult with hyperagency, resulting in a situation where the adult child parasites off of the one assuming the adult role through vulnerability and victimhood. The puer archetype, usually symbolised as a boy, represents spontaneity; and the child archetype, symbolised as an infant, represents helplessness.
Psychologists directly speaking about the puer also can be rather uncharitable in their exposition of it, especially when they cynically associate it with Peter Pan Syndrome…and dismiss it simply as a “failure to launch”. However, I think there needs to be a focus on puer as a highlight of the inner, unabashed boy that embodies everything that is honest, energetic, pure, innocent and enthusiastic. The childlikeness of earnest joy and uncorrupted excitement, and not the childishness of the petulant brat. The awe-inspiring innocence of wonder, wishes, and curiosity, not the stupid innocence of naiveté and ignorance.
I want to credit Peter Wright of Gynocentrism.com for convincing me of this distinction. Whereas I previously broadly used the “inner child” concept to speak largely of the positive aspects of the child to serve as youthful energy for the kind of grown men that spend time tinkering their automobiles and organizing their various collections, I largely glossed over the destructive aspect of the “inner child” in its manipulative, petulant context. Peter had helped me make more of a contextual distinction between the two and introduced me to the puer and puella concepts.
“He Walks Like a Man”, in my mind, speaks to the puer of Jody Miller’s man. The little boy in him is not an infant that pines for his mother’s care. The little boy in him is not a petulant whiner that goes into a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way. If he was in any way these things, the song’s lyrics of how admirable the man is *as* a man will not ring true. Note that in the bridge she mentions that the little boy comes shining through when his man is “happy or blue”. The little boy is the honest, unsacrificed self of a man, encased in the tough exterior that he’s adopted to function as an adult. When the little boy shines through, it should be a joyful encounter of meeting the honest self of a man with his dreams still intact, his wonder unscathed by cynicism, and a lust for life and all the world has to offer. And dare I even say, far from this being the woman’s maternal type of love for this little boy, perhaps it is the inner girl in the woman, the puella, that responds to and loves the little boy in him, the puer.
Cancelling the Inner Boy
I would have spoken about the following subject way earlier but I had been busy scripting up and recording my ICMI20 talk which needed particular attention, and I needed a break afterwards. So although some time has settled since, let’s talk briefly about that silly Tomi Lahren rant about how men are trash.
In her rant she specifically states in a snide voice that feigns wit: “This is a PSA for all the men out there, and all the boys who think they’re men, but they’re actually boys. This is gonna be the summer of canceling boys.” She proceeds to admonish men at large for not living up to what are no doubt asinine expectations for men that she and “her friends” imply to uphold. Everything about her rant exposes the shifting of blame upon all men where in fact there had been no self-reflection in which she can find blame in herself for anything that goes wrong in her relationships with men. It is greatly ironic that we find this brattish quasi-valley-girl woman-child with big sunglasses on her head talking about how men are not real men but are instead boys.
Everything about Lahren, coming across as petulant as any princess, reveals something most may overlook: this is perhaps not so much about her having an ideal man. Ideal men no doubt have come and gone from her life with her being the dismissing agent. It is my understanding she broke off an engagement that came with an obscenely priced diamond ring. No, her real issue is that she hates the inner boy within the man. It is hinted early on that she claims to berate men who are actually boys, and want to cancel said boys. I know what some might think: “Well, wasn’t Tomi just talking about the petulant sort of men who are irresponsible and giving her and her friends a hard time?” Judging by the fact that men who are “responsible” and relatively “real mannish” to a fault have surrounded and have been rejected by Lahren suggests that no, that is not the sort of boy she is in fact talking about. She can only be talking about the alternative, that is, men with youthful energy and won’t break themselves sacrificially to gynocentric society. Why else would she go on a rant? This whole affair comes across as sour grapes from freaking out over “where have the good men gone!” as if she’d just been dumped.
Tomi Lahren paradoxically assumes both the role of a woman who wants a perfect, ideal man that does everything for her, and also the role of an over-controlling mother treating her man like the very “boy” she wants to cancel. She wants a hulk or drone of a man that can make her life as effortless as possible with his puer, that is, his youthful exuberance and positive childlike qualities completely gutted with sheer contempt. At the same time, she treats men like children with a sadistic maternalism that says “if Mommy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. In her rant, Tomi Lahren assumes roles of both self-victimizing woman-child and authoritarian mother. In both capacities, she mongers war upon the puer.
Lahren doesn’t stand out for this uniquely; really, she is just the latest in the line of women embracing “whataboutmeism”, that gynocentric demand of male altruism, to the point that they can’t bear the existence of the independent puer that wants to pursue his own goals instead of giving his valuable time to the beck and call of entitled women like her. But it should be a wake up call for people who latch onto people like Lahren just for saying they aren’t a feminist. The time is long past to recognize that it is not enough. As long as men are valued for only their utility, disposable or otherwise, and not for their own sake as individuals and what they are deep inside manifested in their puer, this gynocentric disdain on the little boy within men will persist.
Discovering Puer and Puella, and the Case for Embracing Them
Here I spoke about two vast contrasts: One – a song in which Jody Miller expresses a true love and appreciation for the puer, the inner boy inside his man, for it is the essence of this man; Two – a rant in which Tomi Lahren admonishes men at large as “boys” as well as expressing hostility to the very idea of a man being in touch with his inner boy, implicitly waging war against the puer.
The enthusiastic context of inner child is something that I’d appreciated for some time, and is not truly new to me. The puer, as distinct from the child archetype, is however certainly new to me. I think that this can serve as a new proper context for me to discern the things in everyday life, be it in interactions with others to things observable in media, to discern what is in embrace of the puer as well as the puella, and what intends to destroy them.
There is certainly more to discover and write about on my part when it comes to these inner children of wonder within us. All this thus far is but an introduction. But if the puer is the childlike source of unfiltered energy of innocence and dreams, maybe embracing that aspect of oneself is the key to bring them back onto their own two feet if ever they are in a situation that they have to.
Any time you see a man excited about immersing themselves in their chosen activity, be it a car, his art and craft, his study, his stage performance, and even with relationships such as among his brothers or his intimate partner, you’re seeing his puer aspect. You’re seeing the little boy shining through. When a man is broken and his life reduced to drudgery, his puer is either dead or dying. Perhaps a case can be made for embracing our puer, resuscitate it if necessary, and discover that within ourselves and in others we encounter in our lives and value.
[Lyrics referenced in this essay:]
Hildebrand, Diane. “He Walks Like a Man” Queen of the House, by Jody Miller. Capitol Music. 1964