‘GYNOCENTRISM’ – a review by Aman Siddiqi

The following review of the concept gynocentrim is excerpted from A Clinical Guide to Discussing Prejudice Against Men, by Aman Siddiqi:

Gynocentrism

Gynocentrism refers to an exclusive or predominant focus on women or women’s interests (Wright, 2014; Wright & Elam, 2017). It is a form of positive prejudice towards women that results in negative consequences for men. Gynocentrism encourages male gender blindness by focusing attention and concern onto women, causing men and the issues they face to be overlooked or minimized. This, in turn, reinforces the gender disparity illusion. Since men’s issues are rarely discussed in the media or highlighted by organizations, the public assumes they do not exist. While addressing women’s issues is also meaningful, gynocentrism refers to the tendency for academia, the media, government and non-profit agencies to focus all, or nearly all, attention for gendered issues on women and girls.

First, issues that impact women occupy the majority of gendered discussions. They are discussed by the media and investigated by academics. The public is inundated with examples of issues women face. This disproportionate attention keeps the public unaware of men’s issues. In addition, instances of prejudice that are known by most people may be assumed to be of little importance because they are rarely discussed. Exclusionary attention to women’s issues also reveals that those in positions of authority do not deem instances of male suffering worthy of attention. This discourages the general public from paying those instances attention themselves. For example, ignorance of the issues men face has been suggested as one reason for the decline in male psychologists (Bottom et al., 2014).

Second, government agencies, academic research, and non-profit agencies dedicate the majority of their resources on gendered issues to women and girls. Numerous government and non-governmental agencies, such as the United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, have divisions devoted to ending violence, improving health, encouraging education, and sponsoring entrepreneurship, exclusively for women. These agencies are replicated in countries around the world. In addition, innumerable non-profit organizations are either dedicated exclusively to women, or the gendered programs within larger organizations are dedicated to women.

The gynocentric view that only women deserve assistance is a consequence of the gender disparity illusion and the compassion void. Men’s suffering is either minimized, reframed to appear nongendered, or blamed on men themselves. The biased allocation of resources impacts the necessary services men and boys require, such as domestic violence shelters, health and wellness centers, educational programs and scholarships, and economic development programs. Similarly, academic research primarily focuses on gendered issues that women face. Dozens of journals are dedicated exclusively to women, and most gendered topic publications focus on women’s issues. Even publications in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity often focus on women, such as male sexual objectification of women (Mikorski &Szymanski, 2016) and male perpetrated dating violence (McDermott et al., 2017). Issues that men face are often ignored, even by those in the field of the psychology of men.

Third, gynocentrism results in the gendering of non-gendered issues. While some issues affect men or women disproportionately, many issues are non-gendered. In this case, there is no meaningful differentiation based on gender. However, an issue may be framed in a manner so it appears to disproportionately affect women. This serves to indirectly deny the equal suffering men experience by focusing all, or the majority, of resources and awareness on women’s experience of a non-gendered issue.

Gynocentrically gendering a nongendered issue may be facilitated by highlighting relevant statistics regarding only female victims. Even though the number of men and women impacted by an issue may be roughly the same, some publications only describe the impacts to women. This may cause the public to assume women are disproportionately impacted and deserve the majority of resources, even if it is not explicitly stated. The public may also assume men are not harmed by the issue simply because only the experiences of women are discussed. This is enabled by the male gender empathy gap. The suffering men experience through a non-gendered issue may be disregarded by researchers, so only the female victims are recognized.

An issue may also be gendered through gynocentric reframing. Women who experience a phenomenon may be described using positive terminology while men, impacted by the same issue, are described negatively. For example, female prisoners were referred to as “victims” of their environment, while male prisoners were called “violent” in the same article (Kearns, 2019). Attributions of malicious intentionality have been projected onto male perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault, while female perpetrators are described as being compelled by external forces into their actions (M. P. Johnson, 1995). This is an example of the ultimate attribution error, in which negative in-group (female) behaviors are attributed to external factors, but negative out-group (male) behaviors are attributed to personal characteristics (Pettigrew, 1979). This form of gynocentric reframing encourages the denial of victimhood, since causality for negative male behaviors is not linked to the social environment.

The dedication of public and private agencies to women, described in item two above, also encourages the gynocentric use of statistics. For example, the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women may feel justified in only publishing data regarding female victims of domestic violence and sexual assault since their mandate is to focus on women. This creates an “echo chamber” in which only statistics on women are published, leading people to believe an issue exclusively or predominately impacts women. This, in-turn, encourages resources and agencies be designed disproportionately for women, such as the Office on Violence Against Women.

Similarly, the United Nations’ Girls’ Education Initiative published a report detailing various barriers to girls’ education around the world (UNGEI, 2007). Items in the report include: poverty, social exclusion due to ethnicity, poor school conditions, overcrowded classrooms, and a lack of qualified teachers. The report claims that textbooks that promote gender stereotypes, inadequate water and sanitation, and violence near schools “are barriers that affect girls’ education in particular” (UNGEI, 2007, p. 3). However, these are all general barriers to education that impact boys and girls equally. The male gender empathy gap may cause the authors to disregard their impact on boys.

Fourth, gynocentric laws solidify institutional prejudice into society by creating differing requirements and protections for male and female citizens of the same country. For example, in the United States, the mandatory registration for selective service applies exclusively to men (Selective Service Registration, 2019). Furthermore, the male-only military draft is actively enforced in other countries around the world. As discussed further in the section entitled, “Examples of Prejudice Against Men,” numerous U.S. States, as well as foreign countries, specifically define rape as requiring a female victim. Laws, such as the Violence Against Women Act, provide government resources for women (Violence Against Women Act of 1994, 1994) and laws, such as the Female Genital Mutilation Act, define criminal actions as illegal only if the victim is female (Female Genital Mutilation Act, 1996). Similarly, the Indian penal code provides protection to wives that is not afforded to husbands (The Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act 1983, 1983). This is only a sample of gendered laws that do not offer the same protection to, or enforce the same requirements on, all citizens equally.

Fifth, a gynocentric perspective may be used when interpreting gendered issues. When attributing meaning to events, evaluating the costs and benefits of gendered norms, or deciding who has control or agency in a situation, the perspectives of men are often overlooked or openly denied. While female perspectives are also meaningful, they may be taught in a manner which precludes any other views. A gynocentric bias has also been pushed onto descriptions of men’s own actions and desires. In this way, men’s own intentions, beliefs, and feelings are replaced with what others claim they intend, believe, and feel. This is an example of “speaking for men,” described in the section entitled, “Maintenance of the Acceptability of Prejudice Against Men.”

Similarly, a gynocentric perspective can bias the judicial system, resulting in unequal application of the law. For example, studies have shown men are given longer sentences for the same crime (Crew, 1991; Curry et al., 2004) and following a divorce, men are only made the custodial parent 17.5% of the time (Grall, 2016, p. 2013). The gynocentric perspective also impacts the mental health field. For example, Zander Keig is a transgender male who transitioned at age 39 (Bahrampour, 2018, Para. 15). Even though he is a clinical social worker, he admits that prior to his transition, he never considered men’s experiences or thoughts. He interpreted every case from a female perspective.

Sixth, a gynocentric viewpoint may give some women a feeling of superiority to men. They may begin to view themselves as deserving of preferential treatment. This can contribute to the belief in the transfer of hardship onto men. Psychological entitlement includes the belief that one deserves valuable possessions, praise, and is superior (W. K. Campbell et al., 2004). A study utilizing a nationally representative sample of 2,723 women and 1,698 men in New Zealand found that women’s endorsement of “benevolent sexism” was correlated (r = .41, p < .01) with psychological entitlement (Hammond et al., 2014). Described further in the section entitled “Maintenance of the Acceptability of Prejudice Against Men,” benevolent sexism is the term used to gynocentrically reframe prejudice in which men are compelled to serve women. Therefore, women who endorse the belief that men should provide them with preferential treatment were more likely to feel entitled. This was also described by Zander Keig, the transgender male mentioned above. He is in a position to compare his treatment by other women for the first 39 years of his life as a woman, to his treatment after transitioning to a male (Bahrampour, 2018). He states that now that he is a man, some women expect him to acquiesce and concede to them by letting them speak first, board a bus first, and let them sit down first. (Bahrampour, 2018).

Gynocentric social norms are still prevalent in modern society. For example, in some communities within the U.S., men are still expected to give up their seats to women, allow them to go before them in line, or provide other forms of preferential treatment. In some countries, this bias is solidified into law. For example, in India the front seating area on some public buses is reserved for women only, while the remaining are general seating. Men are forced to stand while seats are available because they are deemed unworthy of the right to rest. In addition, the general seating area is often occupied by female passengers, since the social norms upon which the regulation is based compel men to give up their seats to female passengers. Bus segregation was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1956 and is considered a quintessential example of Jim Crow segregation (Browder v. Gayle, 1956). However, men face similar discrimination to this day. While not mandated by law in the U.S., these types of expectations still occur. For example, a video was recorded of a woman shouting and berating men on a subway train for not “being a gentleman” and giving her preferential treatment (Diinodiin Edits, 2019), and a similar incident was portrayed on an episode of Seinfeld (Cherones, 1992).

In contemporary society, gynocentrism has made romantic and sexual service to women expected of men. Some television, film, and academic publications teach or imply that it is men’s responsibility to provide romance and sexual satisfaction to a female partner. Men who do not provide romance to women may be portrayed as lazy and self-centered. For example, in an episode of The Big Bang Theory, the character Penny complains that her husband Leonard doesn’t “do anything for her anymore” and has “completely stop[ped] giving a crap” (Cendrowski, 2017). She states he “used to do all these things, like bring me flowers.” Later, she starts an argument with him and states, “since we got married you seem to think you don’t have to try anymore.” At this point, Leonard points out that he has provided all the romantic gestures in their relationship in the past, while she was mainly a recipient. In response, Penny decides to punish Leonard by canceling her vacation with him and taking her friend instead. This sends a message that not only are men obligated to provide romance to women, but if they point out the inequity of their situation, they should be punished.

Similarly, in an episode of Chuck, some characters become suspicious that a woman is cheating on her husband (Chandrasekhar, 2010). They confront the man and state, “I feel that if there is something wrong, it’s your fault.” The man then proceeds to list for them an average day in his life, in which he serves his wife, proving he is a good husband.

Most mornings, I wake up around 6. I pop a towel in the dryer so it’s warm when she gets out of the shower. I’ll whip her up a Belgian waffle or, you know, a goat-cheese omelet. Something easy. After Ellie’s foot rub, I’ll bike to the farmers’ market pick up fresh blueberries, or whatever’s in season. Come home, make her a smoothie. Organic nonfat milk, flaxseed oil. Something to give her a real midday kick-start. Once we’re in bed, post-lavender bath I spend about 20 minutes just watching her sleep.

He does all this while also being an emergency room physician. While the episode may be portraying an exaggerated view of the ideal husband, the premise is based on the overall assumption of romantic service to women. The episode sends the message that if a man does not serve his wife enough, she is justified in cheating on him.

Contemporary media also portrays men as owing sexual service to women. As an example of the agency bias, responsibility for a woman’s sexual enjoyment is attributed to her male partner, while his enjoyment is paid little attention and assumed to be his own responsibility. This expectation is demonstrated most clearly by the term “perform,” used to describe a man’s sexual relations with a woman. Men and women are not described as jointly participating in sexual relations. Instead, men are evaluated on their “performance,” defined by the degree to which they satisfy a female partner. The book She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman is a best-selling book that teaches men their job during sexis to satisfy women and provide them pleasure (Kerner, 2009). The author encourages men to derive their enjoyment from the act of serving their partner. He states, “What greater reward could a man ask for?” (Kerner, 2009, p. 20). A man experiencing pleasure himself is framed as selfish.

The author describes sexual intimacy as women receiving pleasure and men providing it. He goes as far as to justify the attack of Lorena Bobbitt against her husband by claiming that she cited his failure to sexually satisfy her as a reason. The gynocentric view of sexuality has become the norm for many in contemporary society. Men may be taught that they are selfish and unworthy unless they spend their sexual encounter focused exclusively on their female partner. On the other hand, women are taught that if they do not enjoy their experience or did not experience an orgasm, they should not look to their own absence of engagement. Instead, women should blame men for not serving them well enough. This was demonstrated by an Amazon reviewer who accused any man of not wanting to read, She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman as having too much “pride and ego” (Reviewer, 2018).

The gynocentric belief in male service to women has been enabled through the term chivalry. Historically, the term chivalry encompassed a variety of attributes such as bravery, loyalty, and generosity (Bax, 1913). However, over time chivalry was transformed into male service to women (Alfonsi, 1986). Men may also be shamed into service through accusations of not being a “gentleman;” therefore, equating being a gentleman with serving women. Prejudice against men is concealed by first reframing it as acts of chivalry, then attributing responsibility for the enforcement of chivalrous norms to men.

Positive Female Stereotypes

Gynocentrism also encourages the proliferation of positive female stereotypes. Positive prejudice is projected onto women through a gender-based halo effect. Women may be described as more empathetic, kinder, loving, elegant, honest, trustworthy, and peaceful than men. These stereotypes are used to deny instances of wrongdoing by women, at times shifting blame onto men. For example, domestic violence and sexual assault committed by women against men is often denied or trivialized, leaving male victims without help or recourse.

Studies have revealed that people hold a more positive view of women overall as compared to men. Attitude measures include variables such as how good vs. bad and valuable vs. useless men are compared to women (Eagly & Mladinic, 1994). Participants describe the percentage of each group they believe holds various characteristics, including their own views of how positive or negative those characteristics are. In addition, the affective responses that participants experience in response to men as compared to women are examined. Numerous studies have found that overall, participants hold more positive attitudes, stereotypes, and affective responses (i.e., feelings) towards women than men (Carter et al., 1991; Eagly et al., 1991; Eagly & Mladinic, 1989, 1994; Haddock & Zanna, 1994). This may be evidence of a global halo effect in which women are perceived as better people than men. This has been referred to as the “women are wonderful effect” (Eagly & Mladinic, 1994). This leads to implied negative stereotypes about men, resulting in bias and discrimination. For example, if people are unwilling to believe a woman is guilty of domestic violence, they may assume the victim is either lying or at fault themselves.

Positive prejudice may also be used to claim that women are superior to men in various ways. For example, Hillary Clinton stated that female leaders demonstrate more compassion and understanding than men because they lead “with the heart of a mother” (Zakaria, 2019). Similarly, President Obama explicitly stated that women are “indisputably” better leaders than men, and that the world would be a better place if only women were in leadership positions (Asher, 2019).

The belief in positive stereotypes about women can result in gynocentric projection, in which positive characteristics, or interpretations of actions, are projected onto women without evidence. This is demonstrated by entertainment media’s reluctance to portray evil female characters. Antagonist female characters are often provided a rationale to justify their behavior or are portrayed as a victim of circumstance. For example, in the film What Happened to Monday, the character named Monday is kidnapped in the beginning of the film (Wirkola, 2017). As the plot continues, each of her six sisters is targeted for murder one at a time by government agents. Eventually, the final two surviving sisters discover that Monday was not kidnapped, but in fact betrayed her sisters, allowing them to be murdered. However, instead of allowing a female character to be portrayed as evil or self-serving, the film provides her an excuse. The sisters discover that Monday was pregnant, and she chose to save her baby by having her six sisters murdered. This plot line demonstrates both the unwillingness of society to accept an evil female character, and purports that murdering six people is excusable since she is a mother.

Gynocentric projection is also demonstrated by researchers who project positive qualities onto women to explain negative behavior. For example, it has been alleged that female perpetrated domestic violence is motivated by a desire for “personal liberty” instead of controlling behavior, aggression, and impaired impulse control (Graham-Kevan, 2007b). Similarly, maternal filicide, mothers who kill their own babies, has been explained as either “altruistic,” for the betterment of the child, the result of psychosis, or unintentional (Friedman & Resnick, 2007). Any negative characteristics of the perpetrator herself are assumed to be absent. The only somewhat negative intentions suggested are the mother’s view of the baby as a hindrance, and the mother’s desire for revenge against the child’s father. However, these intentions can be justified respectively as a result of poverty, and the shifting of blame to alleged negative behaviors of the father.

As another example, a study was conducted to replicate Milgram’s famous study of obedience (Milgram, 1963). A sample of 13 men and 13 women were used to test their willingness to shock a puppy as a means of teaching it to solve problems (Sheridan & King, 1972). The voltage administered was increased with each successive incorrect solution. The participants were able to see the puppy’s reaction each time it was shocked. The problem was, in fact, unsolvable. The true purpose of the study was to see if the participants would continue shocking the puppy as the voltage and pain increased. Among the male participants, 7 of the 13 participants continued shocking the puppy until the completion of the experiment. The remaining 5 refused to continue at some point during the experiment. However, all 13 female participants shocked the puppy until the maximum setting.

The experimenters asked a separate set of 45 participants to estimate how men and women would behave in the above experiment. When female participants were asked how far the “average woman” would continue, 86% of female participants said an average woman would not go beyond one-third of the maximum level, and no participants stated the average woman would shock until the maximum. This demonstrates an overly positive belief that women would not cause harm to others. This belief was further demonstrated when this experiment was described in this author’s university’s introductory psychology class. Upon hearing that all the female subjects shocked the puppy to the maximum setting, the class was audibly shocked, confirming the same belief in positive prejudice towards women. Furthermore, the professor offered an explanation for the results, which denied any wrongdoing by the female participants. He told the class that the female participants “felt pressured by the experimenters to continue shocking the puppy,” so it was not really their fault. He implied they were forced into their actions, so the class could maintain their positive prejudice towards women. However, he offered no empirical data to support his explanation. Furthermore, the male subjects would have been equally pressured by the experimenters, yet they resisted. His irrational explanation demonstrates the lengths to which psychologists may go to maintain their positive beliefs towards women.

Terminology

Gynocentric terminology refers to gendered phrases which limit victimhood to women. The use of restrictive, exclusionary phrasing limits people’s empathy by referring to those in need of compassion and assistance as “women” instead of victims. For example, the major piece of U.S. legislation providing resources for domestic violence and sexual assault is named the Violence Against Women Act (U. S. Department of Justice, 2014). Similarly, the United Nations passed the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children” (United Nations Human Rights, 2019). The document specifically highlights women as more important victims than men eight times in the document, such as to “combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children” (United Nations Human Rights, 2019, Para. 1).

An article was written in Minority Nurse about microaggressions in nursing against “nontraditional” students. Nontraditional was defined as “over the age of 25, ethnic minority groups, speaks English as a second language, a male, has dependent children, has a general equivalency diploma (GED), required to take remedial courses, and students who commute to the college campus [emphasis added]” (Doctor, 2018, Para. 1). Since 88.6% of nurses in the U.S. are female (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019a), men are a minority group. However, later in the article the author utilizes an exclusionary definition of microaggressions from the book Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation. The author defines microaggressions as “verbal and nonverbal snubs, insults, putdowns, and condescending messages directed towards people of color, women, the LGBTQ population, people with disabilities, and any other marginalized group [emphasis added]” (Doctor, 2018, Para. 2). This definition specifically lists women as victims of microaggressions and excludes men; even though one of the subjects of the article on nursing is microaggressions against men. When readers and students are taught about microaggressions, they may be primed to assume men will never fall victim to them, or to disregard microaggressions men face as insignificant.

Avoiding gendered terminology has been a major goal of gender studies for decades. For example, the term mankind is replaced with humankind or peoplekind, Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” award was changed to “Person of the Year,” and Cornell’s Society of Hotelmen was changed to the Cornell Hotel Society. Guidelines from the American Psychological Association now encourage the use of a singular form of “they” and “their” in place of “he or she” and “his or hers” (American Psychological Association, 2019). When gendered terminology contributes to excluding women, society makes a point to change it. However, when gendered terminology excludes men, it is often maintained or justified.

For example, at a town hall meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an individual raised a question about difficulties young people face who desire to volunteer through a charitable religious organization in Canada (The Trudeau Follies, 2018). At the end of her question she stated, “We cannot do free volunteering to help our neighbors in need as we truly desire. So, that’s why we came here today to ask you, to also look into the policies that religious charitable organizations have in our legislation so that it can also be changed, because maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind. So we’d like you to…” At this point Prime Minister Trudeau interrupted her and said, “We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind;” which was followed by applause. The Prime Minister’s interest in gendered terminology is so strong, his first point when addressing her question about charitable volunteering was to point out her use of the term “mankind.” However, the questioner also stated that “maternal love” is the most important force for change. The use of this gendered phrase went undiscussed. This demonstrates a bias in which gendered terminology that positively impacts women is maintained.

Gynocentric terminology is also used to deny the existence of male victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, excluding them from recognition and services. Victims may be referred to as “women” and perpetrators as “men.” This is often justified by claiming that the majority of those affected are female. However, this argument is based on two fallacies. First, the assumption that women are disproportionately impacted by these crimes is empirically false, described in the section entitled “Examples of Prejudice Against Men.” Second, and more importantly, the percentage of men and women who suffer from these crimes is irrelevant. All victims deserve concern and respect. Even if an individual believes more women are impacted, male victims should never be erased or overlooked. As described above, modern social standards have already determined that excluding a gender through exclusionary terminology is discriminatory. For example, even though 85% of the military is male (Coleman, 2014), and

97.6% of fatalities of active duty U.S. military personnel and Reservists in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been male (DeBruyne, 2019), we always use the term “men and women in the military.” Erasing male victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can never be justified by one’s belief that more women are impacted than men. Every individual knows that 100% of victims are not female. Persistence on using the term “women” in place of victims is a statement that male victims do not deserve recognition. This form of gynocentric terminology most clearly demonstrates how an overemphasis on women and women’s issues becomes a form of prejudice against men.

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The Trudeau Follies. (2018, February 3). It’s Peoplekind… Not mankind says Trudeau [Video file]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR9MuNnznFU&feature=emb_logo

UNGEI. (2007). United Nations girls’ education initiative. United Nations.

United Nations Human Rights. (2019). Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/ProtocolTraffickingInPersons.aspx

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019a). Labor force statistics from teh current population survey. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm

Violence Against Women Act of 1994, 34 U.S.C. § 12291-12512 (1994).

Wirkola, T. (2017, August 18). What Happened to Monday [Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller]. Vendome Pictures, Nexus Factory, Raffaella Productions.

Wright, P. (2014). Gynocentrism: From feudalism to the modern Disney princess. Amazon Digital.

Wright, P., & Elam, P. (2017). Red pill psychology: Psychology for men in a gynocentric world. Amazon Digital.

Zakaria, F. (2019, April). Hillary Clinton on how women lead differently. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2019/04/12/exp-gps-0414-hillary-clinton-on-women-leadership.cnn

*The above excerpt republished with permission of the author.

* * *

See also: Gamma bias in the maintenance of gynocentrism

What Is Gynocentrism? | An Interview with Peter Wright

Transcript:

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

[PW] I can understand your discomfort. I would split truth into two categories, the first is absolute truth such as gravity or light on which everyone can agree, and secondly being contested truths which often come with conflicting sets of evidence, especially as we see in complex subjects like race or gender politics.

When faced with conflicting hypotheses and evidence, “truth” is best applied to an individual who takes one partial position among the many available – it is his or her truth alone. But that partial position becomes dogmatic when pitched as the one and only truth, good for all people.

The tendency toward dogma underlines the importance of holding a polycentric approach – ie. the understanding that there are numerous truths involved in any complex field of relationships.

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

[PW] In mammals, and specifically in human relationships, there exists an interplay of gynocentric and androcentric acts. But the overall relationship between males and females is not necessarily gynocentric as some would insist.

The wombs of females are a precious resource for perpetuation of a species, and that reality elicits some measure of protective gynocentrism from males. Conversely, the offspring produced by women’s wombs would be in extremely high danger of perishing without the protective civilization and infrastructure created mostly by men, thus we can conclude that some measure of androcentrism is also necessary.

So what we have is not “gynocentric relationships” as necessitated by evolution, but rather a reciprocal relationship between males and females designed to bring the next generation of children to maturity. With that in mind it makes little sense to characterise human relationships as simply gynocentric (meaning woman-centered), and it makes much better sense to characterise them as relationships of reciprocity.

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

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

With such wide variability in human potential, our cultural customs can be set up to encourage male behaviours into just one side of that potential – say for example the competitive tournament style.

If for example we are steeped in the cultural mythology of gynocentrism, a convention that has arisen over recent centuries, we might assume human males are a singularly a tournament species fighting for female access, despite the more complex evidence against this viewpoint. As is often the case, this demonstrates that a cultural myth creates biases in our perspective and limits our potential.

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

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

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

Mythologies like those contained in the Illiad or Bhagavad Gita contain profound truths about human tendencies, but they can equally be misleading regarding human behaviour. As I stated the elsewhere, fictional material from classical era such as in Helen of Troy (a Greek myth), or Lysistrata (a Greek play) when used as “proof” of gynocentric behaviour or gynocentric culture is too meagre in terms of evidence…… as the old saying goes, “One swallow does not make a summer.”

Further, in terms of biological facts about human behaviour, myths can be about as trustworthy as would be the movie Planet of the Apes to future researchers studying the history of primates, or My Little Pony for future researchers studying the real evolution of horses.

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

[PW] I partially answered that above in response to your earlier question, ie. that isolated gynocentric tendencies/acts are part of our biological heritage, as are isolated androcentric acts part of that same heritage.

What I don’t buy is the belief that humans are somehow a “gynocentric species” or that overall relationships between men and women are biologically designed to be gyno-centric. This totalising proposition for gynocentrism, that gynocentrism should somehow dictate and swallow all aspects of male-female interaction is both extreme and, unfortunately, popular.

This viewpoint is based on mythology arising out of European culture in which gynocentric customs have become amplified through the deployment of what are called supernormal sign stimuli – a term used in ethology circles to show how the behaviour of mammals can be made to overrun their evolutionary purpose via the deployment of sophisticated sign-stimuli and propaganda. I co-wrote an article on this complex topic with Paul Elam entitled ‘Chasing The Dragon’ which is available in print and on YouTube which explains the sign stimuli of chivalry, and romantic love, exaggerates gynocentrism in human populations in a way that overruns gynocentrism’s evolutionary purpose.

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

[PW] Some archetypal portrayals are distinctly male and female, such as male muscle strength and the various tests of it (think the Labours of Hercules), or pregnancy and childbirth for females (think Demeter, Gaia etc.). Aside from these universal physiology-celebrating archetypes, many portrayals of male or female roles in traditional stories can be best described as stereotypes rather than archetypes in the sense that they are not universally portrayed across different mythological traditions.

For example you have a Mother Sky and a father Earth in classical Egyptian mythology, and males are often portrayed as nurturers. Also, many archetypes are portrayed interchangeably among the sexes – think of the Greek Aphrodite or Adonis both as archetype of beauty, or Apollo and Cassandra as representatives of intellect, or warlikeness to Ares or Athene.

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

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

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

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

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

[PW] This is something that each modern individual or couple must decide for themselves. Modern society has graced us with the option of following traditional gender roles, or creative modern roles, or perhaps something in between. In his book Myth Of male Power, Warren Farrell advocates a partial move away from traditional gendered roles that ensured cooperation and survival.

He referred to those roles as “Stage 1. survival roles” and proposed a move toward roles which are more shared – such as sharing the child rearing and money earning. This proposition of course infuriates advocates of traditional roles. I wouldn’t personally go so far as advocating the transition to Farrell’s Stage-2 roles, but I think its worth noting that we all do have such options available now.

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

[PW] Yes absolutely, there’s a place for traditional femininity and masculinity – especially for those who are attracted to these ways of being. I look at women in traditional cultures who can be powerfully alluring and simultaneously demure by way of complimenting men’s strength, agency and sexuality – and to my eyes it is art, a beautiful dance that has stood the test of time.

Conversely, I also see the art and beauty of men and women who embrace more of their human potential, and if they can make that work in a relationship I say power to them. Again it all comes back to individual choices rather than who is right or wrong….. at least that’s how I tend to view it.

Gynocentrism And The Demographic Implosion Of Western Civilisation

By Peter Ryan

Pixabay liberty

Things Are Not As Simple As They Seem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gynocentric Cancer Destroying Our Society

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

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

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

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

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

Person Refusing Apple Held By Doctor

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

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

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

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

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

Why So Many MGTOW Opt Out Of Marriage And Children

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

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

Childless Incels

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

Where The Problem Really Lies

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

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

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

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

The Sun Is Setting In The West

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

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

Blasting_of_a_chimney_at_the_former_Henninger_Brewery_in_Frankfurt_am_Main,_Germany

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

A sentimental continuation of coverture

Pillory stocks commons

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

Where the hell does does this behavior originate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

wrong

The wonders of feminism combined with the sentimental continuation of coverture

Elizabeth Hobson on ‘proto-feminism’

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

Poly

Feminists Do Not Get To Define Feminism

By Elizabeth Hobson  

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

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

[Book] Chivalry: A Gynocentric Tradition

The following is from the introduction to my new co-authored book (with Paul Elam) of collected writings on chivalry. The book includes updated versions of previously published essays, and two excellent contributions by Paul Elam including a newly transcribed article Death By Chivalry: Portland Edition. You can purchase the eBook here, and the paperback here, or simply click on the cover picture below. – PW.

FINAL gyno4

FROM THE INTRODUCTION

The importance of chivalry is taught to little girls and boys from the start, outlining for them the various rules of male obligation that will guide sexual relations throughout their lifetimes; i.e., males are here to protect and provide.

The victories of legendary cinematic heroes whose brave deeds are rounded with applause and happily-ever-afters appears to seal the fate of chivalry as the future path of every man.

Those few who do pause to question chivalry’s values however – its rote expectation of male sacrifice, possibility of danger or injury, impacts on mental health, potential for exploitation and abuse, or the question of valid compensations for ongoing sacrifices – may conclude that it serves as a poor life map, or worse that it amounts to a malignant and toxic form of masculinity.

This book examines the realities of chivalry beyond the usual platitudes and cliches to see what’s really at stake for men in the present zeitgeist. The essays, written by men’s advocates Peter Wright and Paul Elam, survey the roots of the chivalric tradition and examine real life examples of chivalry in action.

Chapters include:

1. The Birth Of Chivalric Love
2. A Bastardized Chivalry
3. What Ever Happened To Chivalry?
4. Sporting Tournaments: ‘It Will Make A Man Out Of You’
5. Intervening for women
6. Chivalry: A Learned Deathwish
7. Death By Chivalry: Portland Edition
8. Aggrieved Entitlement: Women’s Reaction to Temporary Loss Of Chivalry
9. Can A Woman Be Chivalrous?

Aggrieved Entitlement – women’s reaction to temporary loss of chivalry

woman on fire commons

It’s no secret that women feel entitled to special treatments from men based on the European culture tradition of chivalry: i.e., allowing women to go through the door first; showering the “fairer sex” with compliments about being beautiful, caring or pure; paying for dinner and other life luxuries; and offering them costly care and protection around the clock. In the modern context chivalry boils down to the male posture of deference to women’s needs and wants, which understandably fosters a positive self-concept in women and a sense that they must be “worth it” as we are reminded by the ubiquitous advertising jingle.

The expectation of male chivalry, or benevolent sexism as some prefer to call it, is nothing new and there are countless studies confirming that women generally expect such treatment from men.1 So we will take that expectation as a given. What hasn’t been studied sufficiently in women is the reaction men’s failure to provide expected level of chivalric supplies, and this is where we run into the useful concept of ‘aggrieved entitlement.’

The phrase aggrieved entitlement was popularized by feminist Michael Kimmel who refers to it as a gendered emotion displayed by disenfranchised males, entailing “a fusion of that humiliating loss of manhood and the moral obligation and entitlement to get it back.”2 By ‘manhood’ Kimmel is referring to rights that males have supposedly enjoyed over women and culture that are subsequently denied them by a changing world. He further clarifies that men “tend to feel their sense of aggrieved entitlement because of the past; they want to restore what they once had. Their entitlement is not aspirational; its nostalgic.”3

In a recent paper Dennis Gouws suggests that the aggrieved entitlement descriptor can be equally applied to the behavior of women. Reviewing Kimmel’s concept he concludes:

Because Kimmel’s sympathies lie with gender feminism, he is uninterested in how this concept might apply to women’s behavior. Women might express aggrieved entitlement when they experience what they perceive to be a humiliating loss of the gynocentric privilege to which gynocentric chivalry, gender feminism, and hegemonic gynarchy have entitled them. Self-righteous, angry expressions of personal offense and even violent acts might result from their perceived moral obligation to regain their sense of gynocentric privilege. A cursory internet search of gender-feminist responses to men’s-issues speakers on campus and to the establishing men’s groups or other male-positive spaces on campus will provide examples of this aggrieved entitlement.4

Gouws provides a useful example of aggrieved entitlement by women who dominate university campus culture. Men attempting to establish male support groups on female-dominated campuses, or who attempt to invite speakers sympathetic to men’s health issues, have frequently been met with fury for apparently removing the chivalric focus from women and their issues. The resultant female rage has triggered violent protests, intimidation, vindictive and false accusations, or boycotting of male initiatives through financial and other means.

Looking at the sexual-relations contract that has been operating for eons we can see that a certain degree of narcissistic pride was encouraged in order to sweeten gender roles for men and women – “He’s an awesome strong man, a man’s man and a great provider” or “She’s a magnificent mother, those children never go without love or food”. Those adhering to traditional gender roles received compliments for their service, along with some compensatory payoffs by the opposite sex.

When an individual fails to adhere to their traditional gender role the bubble of narcissistic pride bursts, giving rise to aggrieved entitlement in members of the opposite sex. In the language of psychology we would say the expectation of narcissistic supply has been cut off, and narcissistic injury and rage steps forward to address the grievance. Most readers would know that some of the worst examples of aggrieved entitlement by women are displayed by feminists, about whose behavior Ernest B. Bax was able to conclude, “Weakness, to whose claim chivalry may per se be granted, forfeits its claim when it presumes upon that claim and becomes aggressive. Aggressive weakness deserves no quarter.”5

Bax further elaborates on aggressive weakness (i.e., aggrieved entitlement) in the following passages:

I may point out in conclusion that the existing state of public opinion on the subject registers the fact that sex-conscious women have exploited the muscular weakness of their sex and have succeeded in forging a weapon of tyranny called “chivalry” which enables them to ride rough-shod over every principle of justice and fair play. Men are cowed by it, and fail to distinguish between simple weakness per se which should command every consideration, and that of aggressive weakness which trades upon “chivalry” and deserves no quarter.6

“Even taking the matter on the conventional ground of weakness and granting, for the sake of argument, the relative muscular weakness of the female as ground for her being allowed the immunity claimed by Modern Feminists of the sentimental school, the distinction is altogether lost sight of between weakness as such and aggressive weakness. Now I submit there is a very considerable difference between what is due to weakness that is harmless and unprovocative, and weakness that is aggressive, still more when this aggressive weakness presumes on itself as weakness, and on the consideration extended to it, in order to become tyrannical and oppressive. Weakness as such assuredly deserves all consideration, but aggressive weakness deserves none save to be crushed beneath the iron heel of strength. Woman at the present day has been encouraged by a Feminist public opinion to become meanly aggressive under the protection of her weakness. She has been encouraged to forge her gift of weakness into a weapon of tyranny against man, unwitting that in so doing she has deprived her weakness of all just claim to consideration or even to toleration.”7

Bax penned the above observations over a century ago, although the behavior he described had been around for much longer than that. The phrase ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ is usually attributed to the English playwright and poet William Congreve. He wrote these lines in his play The Mourning Bride, 1697:

Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.

These lines describe a temporary loss of male chivalry by women and the aggrieved entitlement that ensues – a reaction that Michael Kimmel pretentiously emphasizes as a mostly male pathology. A more honest appraisal of the changing gender roles and the accompanying sense of aggrieved entitlement would admit that women’s roles and choices have expanded exponentially, which includes the throwing off of any expected responsibilities toward men and boys, while conversely the male role of providing benevolent sexism/chivalry for women has changed little. On the basis of such disparity men appear to be coping remarkably well in comparison to women who retain many of their traditional privileges and expectations, but who display extreme rage at micro-disenfranchisements and momentary lapses in chivalric supply.

chivalry kkk

Benevolent sexism toward women remains the norm, despite women’s traditional obligations toward men being wiped out

In summary the grief-reaction over loss of traditional roles is not a predominately male issue. Women have yet to experience the loss of gendered entitlements on anywhere near the same scale as men, however they are equally proficient at raging over micro-losses of chivalry and male deference. The theory of aggrieved entitlement thus applies to no gender in particular – so lets use it to describe the ever-present rage displayed by women in both private and public settings.

References:

[1] Hammond, M. D., Sibley, C. G., & Overall, N. C. The allure of sexism: Psychological entitlement fosters women’s endorsement of benevolent sexism over time. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(4), 422-429. (2014)
[2] Kalish, R., & Kimmel, M. Suicide by mass murder: Masculinity, aggrieved entitlement, and rampage school shootings. Health Sociology Review, 9(4), 451–464. (2010)
[3] Kimmel, Michael. Angry white men: American masculinity at the end of an era. Hachette UK, (2017).
[4] Dennis Gouws, Not So Romantic For Men: Using Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe to Explore Evolving Notions of Chivalry, in Voicing the Silences of Social and Cognitive Justice, 167–178. (2018)
[5] Ernest B. Bax., Women’s Privileges and “Rights”, Social Democrat, Vol.13 no.9, September (1909).
[6] Ernest B. Bax., Feminism and Female Suffrage in New Age, (1910)
[7] Ernest B. Bax., Chapter 5: The “Chivalry” Fake, in The Fraud of Feminism (1913)

Gynocentrism and misandry

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By Peter Ryan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

A New Psychology for Men

Violent Mind
By Peter Wright (first published in 2015)

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

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

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

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

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

Patriarchy theory

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

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

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

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

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

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

Men as emotionally dumb

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking with the past – starting afresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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

Gynocentric Feminism – by Iris Young

Below is an excerpt from a 1985 paper entitled “Humanism, Gynocentrism, and Feminist Politics” by feminist Iris M. Young – PW.

iris20marion20young

Iris M. Young

Gynocentric feminism defines the oppression of women very differently from humanist feminism. Women’s oppression consists not of being prevented from participating in full humanity, but of the denial and devaluation of specifically feminine virtues and activities by an overly instrumentalized and authoritarian masculinist culture. Unlike humanist feminism, gynocentric feminism does not focus its analysis on the impediments to women’s self-development and the exclusion of women from the spheres of power, prestige, and creativity. Instead, gynocentric feminism focuses its critique on the values expressed in the dominant social spheres themselves.

The male-dominated activities with the greatest prestige in our society — politics, science, technology, warfare, business — threaten the survival of the planet and the human race. That our society affords these activities the highest value only indicates the deep perversity of patriarchal culture. Masculine values exalt death, violence, competition, selfishness, a repression of the body, sexuality, and affectivity.

Feminism finds in women’s bodies and traditionally feminine activity the source of positive values. Women’s reproductive processes keep us linked with nature and the promotion of life to a greater degree than men’s. Female eroticism is more fluid, diffuse, and loving than violence-prone male sexuality. Our feminine socialization and traditional roles as mothers give us the capacity to nurture and a sense of social cooperation that may be the only salvation of the planet.

Gynocentric feminism thus defines the oppression of women quite differently from the way humanistic feminism defines it. Femininity is not the problem, not the source of women’s oppression, but indeed within traditional femininity lie the values that we should promote for a better society. Women’s oppression consists of the devaluation and repression of women’s nature and female activity by the patriarchal culture.

♦ ♦ ♦

Gynocentric feminism has received a number of expressions in the United States women’s movement in recent years. Artists and poets have been among the leaders in developing images of celebration of this more positive understanding of women’s history and contemporary self-understanding. Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, for example, laboriously and beautifully recovers whole aspects of women’s history and locates them within images of female genitalia and objects that rely on traditionally female arts.

Within the sphere of political activism, gynocentric feminism perhaps is best represented in the feminist antimilitarist and ecology movements of the past five years. In the Women’s Pentagon Action or the action at the Seneca Army Depot, for example, a major aspect of the political protest has been the use of symbols and actions that invoke traditional labor, such as weaving, spinning, birthing, mothering. Feminist antimilitarist and ecological analysis has argued that the dangers to the planet that have been produced by the nuclear arms race and industrial technology are essentially tied to masculinist values. The burgeoning movement of feminist spirituality entails a similar analysis and promotes values associated with traditional femininity.

A number of prominent recent theories of contemporary feminism express a gynocentric feminism. I see Susan Griffin’s Woman and Nature as one of the first written statements of gynocentric feminism in the second wave. It shows that one of the first steps of gynocentrism is to deny the nature/culture dichotomy held by humanists such as Beauvoir and to affirmatively assert the connection of women and nature. Daly’s Gyn/Ecology I see as a transition work. In it Daly asserts an analysis of the victimization of women by femininity that outdoes Beauvoir, but she also proposes a new gynocentric language.

Carol Gilligan’s critique of male theories of moral development has had a strong influence on the formation of gynocentric analysis. She questions dominant assumptions about moral valuation and affirms forms of moral reasoning associated with traditional femininity. Following Chodorow, she argues that gender socialization creates in women a relational communal orientation toward others, while it creates in men a more oppositional and competitive mode of relating to others. These gender differences produce two different forms of moral rationality: a masculine ethic of rights and justice, and a feminine ethic of responsibility and care.

Traditional moral theory has ignored and repressed the particularistic ethic of care as being pre-moral. Women’s moral oppression consists of being measured against male standards, according to Gilligan, in the silencing of women’s different voice. The dominance of those male centered values of abstract reasoning, instrumentality, and individualism, moreover, produce a cold, uncaring, competitive world. Both the liberation of women and the restructuring of social relations require tempering these values with the communally oriented values derived from women’s ethic of care. While Gilligan herself would reject the label of gynocentric feminist, her work has exerted an enormous influence on feminists in fields as diverse as mathematics and philosophy, providing the foundation for a revaluation of attributes associated with femininity.

Mary O’Brien articulates a gynocentric critique of traditional political theory starting from the bio-logical fact that the reproductive process gives women a living continuity with their offspring that it does not give men. Women thus have a temporal consciousness that is continuous, whereas male temporal consciousness is discontinuous. Arising from the alienation from the child they experience in the reproductive process, masculine thought emphasizes dualism and separation. Men establish a public realm in which they give spiritual birth to a second nature, transcending the private realm of mere physicality and reproduction to which they confine women.

Patriarchy develops an ideology of the male potency principle, which installs the father as ruler of the family and men as rulers of society, and substitutes an intellectual notion of creativity for the female principle of life generation. The contemporary women’s movement has the potential to overturn such a conception of politics that is separated from life continuity because out of female reproductive consciousness can come a politics based on women’s experience of life processes and species continuity.

Nancy Hartsock’s theory of the feminist stand-point from which she analyzes patriarchal culture is a more sweeping version of gynocentric feminism. She argues that the sexual division of labor provides men and women with differing experiences that structure different standpoints upon nature and social relations. Based on Chodorow’s theory of the development of gender personalities, Hartsock argues that men experience the relation of self and other as one of hostility and struggle.

The sexual division of labor also removes men from the needs of the body, from the vulnerability and basic demands of children and the aged, and provides men with an instrumentally calculative reltion to nature. This division of labor, she argues, produces a way of thinking about the world that Hartsock calls abstract masculinity, which organizes experience and social relations into binary oppositions in which one term carries greater value than the other.

This standpoint of abstract masculinity has determined the primary structure of Western social relations and culture. This male dominated culture’s values are both partial and perverse. It embodies sexuality where desire for fusion with the other takes the form of domination of the other. Masculine consciousness denies and fears the body and associates birth with death. The only sense of community generated by abstract masculinity, moreover, is the community of warriors in preparation for combat.

From women’s experience, Hartsock claims, we can both criticize masculinity values and conceptualization and develop a better vision of social relations. The gender personalities women develop in relation to their mothers give them a propensity to feel more connected with others than men do. The experiences of menstruation, coitus, pregnancy, and lactation, which challenge body boundaries, give women a greater experience of continuity with nature.

Women’s labor in caring for men and children and producing basic values in the home, finally, gives them a greater rootedness in nature than men’s work gives them, a more basic understanding of life processes. These attributes of women’s experience can ground, Hartsock argues, a form of conceptualization that does not depend on dichotomous thinking and that values connections among persons more than their separation, as does abstract masculinity.

While Sara Ruddick is careful to claim that any recovery and revaluation of traditionally feminine attributes must be infused with a feminist politics, her notion of maternal thinking provides another example of a gynocentric feminist analysis. She argues that the specific daily practices of mothering generate specific modes of thinking motivated by the interests in preservation, growth, and the acceptability of the child to the society. Maternal practice is not restricted to mothers, but exists wherever such nurturing and preservation interests prevail. She suggests that maternal thinking provides antimilitarist values that feminists can use in promoting a politics of peace.

Writing within a very different intellectual current from American feminists, using rather different assumptions and style, several women in France in recent years have developed distinctive versions of gynocentric feminism. I shall mention only Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva. Like a number of other contemporary French thinkers, Irigaray describes phallocentric culture as preoccupied by a meta-physics of identity dominated by visual metaphors. Male thinking begins by positing the One, the same, the essence, that generates binary oppositions in which the second term is defined by the first as what it is not, thus reducing it to its identity.

Phallogocentric discourse defines the opposition male/female in just this way—woman is only not a man, a lack, a deficiency. Preoccupied with the straight, the true, the proper, men establish relations of property and exchange in which accounts are balanced. Women in the phallocentric system have been silenced and separated, exchanged as goods among men. Irigaray pro-poses that women must find and speak the specificity of female desire, which has completely different values from those of phallic thinking.

Women’s eroticism is neither one nor two but plural, as women’s bodies themselves experience arousal and pleasure in a multiplicity of places that cannot all be identified. Touch, not sight, predominates, the autoeroticism of vaginal lips touching clitoris, of intimate bodies touching. A genuinely feminine language moves and twists, starts over again from different perspectives, does not go straight to the point. Such a language can displace the sterility and oppressiveness of phallogocentric categorization.

Kristeva also focuses on language and the repression of specifically female experience. Language has two moments: the symbolic, the capacity of language to represent and define, to be literal; and the semiotic, those elements of language that slip and play in ambiguities and nuance. Certain linguistic practices, such as poetry, make most explicit use of the semiotic, but for the most part the playful, the musical in language is repressed in Western culture and the symbolic, rational, legalistic discourse rules.

For Kristeva this repression concerns the repression of the body and the installation of order, hierarchy, and authority. Repression of the body and the semiotic entails repression of the pre-oedipal experience of the maternal body before the subject emerges with a self-identical ego, as well as denial by the culture of the specificity and difference that the female body exhibits. Challenge to the dominant oppressions, to capitalism, racism, sexism, must come not only from specific demands within the political arena, but also from changing the speaking subject.

Kristeva finds in the repressed feminine the potential for such change, where feminine means at least two things: first, women’s specific experience as female bodies, the daughters of mothers, and often mothers themselves, an experience of a decentered subject; second, the aspects of language and behavior Western culture has devalued and repressed: the poetic, rhythmic, musical, nurturant, and soothing, but also contradictory and shifting ways of being, that fickleness that women have been accused of. This revolution of the feminine Kristeva finds in anumber of male avant-garde writers. The women’s movement, however, also carries the possibility of displacing the rigidity of a subject that loves authority, provided that women do not fall into that humanist feminism by which they simply demand to get in on the masculinist power game.

To summarize, humanist feminism defines femininity as the source of women’s oppression and calls upon male-dominated institutions to allow women the opportunity to participate fully in public world-making activities of industry, politics, art, and science. In contrast, gynocentric feminism questions the values of these traditional public activities that have been dominated by men. Women’s oppression consists not of being prevented from participating in full humanity, but of the denial and devaluation of specifically feminine virtues and activities by an overly instrumentalized and authoritarian masculinist culture. Femininity is not the problem for gynocentric feminism, and indeed is the source of a conception of society and the subject that can not only liberate women, but also all persons.

See also: Second Wave Feminism: Promoting Both Similarities & Differences Between the Sexes