Gynocentrism 2.0, compassion, and choice: The underlying root of men’s issues

By Tom Golden

I have long held that compassion and choice are two issues that play a part in nearly every men’s issue. But why? What do compassion and choice have to do with male suicide or male victims of domestic violence or just about any other men’s issue? Quite a bit actually. Let’s take a look at why compassion and choice are limited for men and then see how compassion and choice are essential ingredients to the issues.

firemanThe origins of the lack of compassion and choice for men is gynocentrism. When you start to understand gynocentrism you will start to better understand the plight of men and boys. Gynocentrism at its most basic, is the mandate that women and children be kept safe and provided for at the expense of men. In other words, men are designated to insure the safety and provisions for women and children on an individual level, the family level, community level and on a macro level. This is not a totally bad thing. It has been what has created and maintained many cultures for millennia. As Stefan Molyneux says, “Eggs are scarce and sperm is plentiful.” This means we have needed to sacrifice our sperm in order to insure the safety of our eggs. Without women the culture dies a quick death. Women must be protected. Gynocentrism protects those who carry the eggs and does this at the expense of its men. This has been a very important element to our cultural success but it does come at a price.

One consequence of protecting the women is that the men will need to at times face danger. The women need to be kept safe and the men will protect the boundary and sometimes die in that process. Our human history of gynocentrism is longer and deeper than most assume. We think of the hunter gatherers as serene and bucolic but that was sometimes far from the truth and gynocentrism predominated. Research shows that some South American hunter gatherer groups faced huge numbers of deaths of their men protecting the women and children.1 One group averaged the death of nearly 60% of its males in protecting the women from inter tribal attacks that were among other things, designed to steal the other group’s women! (the average for the groups studied was near 30% male deaths as a result of raids, ambush or larger scale conflicts) He who had the most women wins and these groups made a huge sacrifice of their males to insure they kept their women and children safe.

In its most obvious we can see how gynocentrism plays out when we note that men automatically and without question are the ones facing danger in our culture. Our war dead are nearly 100% male. Our deaths in dangerous occupations are 93% men. Our trashmen and sewage workers are nearly all male. The dirtiest and most dangerous jobs are jobs for men. No one questions this. It just seems right. This is the hidden power of gynocentrism. No one questions and no one notices. Hell, if women actually got equality to the above it would be a huge step down for them.

wheelBut gynocentrism runs much deeper than simply being about protecting the borders and doing the dangerous work. It has its tendrils into just about everything, silently and without fanfare. What happens when a woman has a flat tire? How many people have seen the help she will usually garner from men? Now think about what happens if a man has a flat tire. Does he get a similar treatment? Probably not. This is gynocentrism. When there are problems we jump to help women but expect the men to handle it themselves even in today’s atmosphere of “equality”.

What happens when a woman is upset and falls into a sea of tears? Pretty much the same thing as the flat tire. People hover to offer support and see what might be wrong and what they can do. But what happens when men fall into a similar sea? People ignore him and avoid him. It is almost as if a woman’s pain is a call to action while a man’s pain is taboo. Compassion offered to men is a fraction of the compassion offered to women.

There are a number of youtube videos that employ actors to portray men beating women in public. The women are shown to get immediate support and help from male onlookers who see the violence. They quickly jump to her aid not knowing it is an arranged scene. These same videos then reverse the roles and show the women beating men in a similar manner and no one lifts a finger, in fact, they laugh. This is gynocentrism. We expect to help the women and expect the men to help themselves. Note also that we allow women to be dependent but do not allow the same for men.

On an even simpler level think of a man and a woman at work who need to move some boxes from one location to another. Some are heavy, some are light. Who will be moving the heavy ones? It is a foregone conclusion that the man will most often move the largest boxes and will protect her from having to do hard labor. This is gynocentrism.

And then there is the question of attractiveness. When a woman is attractive she gets special perks simply due to her appearance. No man can come close to having a similar response. This is gynocentrism. The eggs are protected and the attractive eggs get very special treatment.

modelThink of that attractive woman being tied to the railroad tracks. What does that do to the hearts and minds of most people? Most of us have an inborn reaction that says DO SOMETHING to help her. But what about a man tied to the tracks? Is your reaction the same or different? Yes, you likely want to see him helped but is it the same gut wrenching sensation? The plots of many movies and novels are fueled by this gynocentric scenario. We all want the woman tied to the tracks safely released even if it means the death of numerous men in the process. A woman’s needs are a call to action while a man’s needs are often just ignored. He needs to save her!

Just think for a minute what would happen to a man in the military who started complaining that we needed to have more female war deaths in order to make things equal for everyone. How would he be received? All hell would break loose at this questioning of the gynocentric norm and disregard for the safety of women. We see something similar when the opposite happens and men voice their desires for equal opportunities for services for men in things like domestic violence. Those who stand up for the needs of men in our gynocentric culture are seen as misogynistic, that is, they are routinely accused of hating women simply for pointing out the needs of men. Can you see how the fuel for this is gynocentrism?

militaryAnother example of extreme gynocentrism is boot camp in the army. What is done? The recruit is taught that he is nothing. He is now not an individual, he is a part of a fighting group. His personal identity is deleted and he is taught to fight for the group, for a cause. He no longer exists. There is no compassion for his personal feelings and needs. Those are a distant second. He also has zero choice. He does what he is told. That is the extreme gynocentric model that plays out to one degree or another in our everyday life.

Do we care about the feelings of the woman tied to the tracks? Oh yes. Do we care about the feelings of the hero who rescues her? No. We care about his actions. His emotions are not important unless his feelings are about HER. Do we care about the emotions of the boot camp recruit? Nope. We care about his actions and what he does. His feelings need to be kept to himself. In the same way, under the gynocentric default we tend to care about the emotions of women but will be averse to the emotions of men. Our interest moves more towards his actions. Think about the last time you saw a woman cry in public. What was your reaction? Most of us want to help, want to offer support. We are drawn to her neediness. Now think about a man crying under the same circumstances you saw the woman. Are you as open to his tears as the woman? Most of us say no, we are not. We are repulsed by his neediness. The man is not expected to be needy, he is expected to have agency. If he is seen as needy he is judged harshly. This is gynocentrism.

These sorts of advantages for women have been going on for many years. In the 19th century men would strive to do the best job of keeping women safe and provided for. Just read their diaries and the diaries of their wives. These men put women on a pedestal. They thought of them as angelic and would try their best to not have them sully themselves with the grime of daily life outside the home. They worked hard to have them stay away from “dirty”things like the workplace or money. They did this because they saw women as worthy of protection (gynocentrism) and were happy to take on the extra burden in order to keep her safe. Then along comes feminism which makes the incredibly noxious and inaccurate claim that women were not held in high esteem at all, they were being oppressed. They took the protections that women had benefited from for centuries and spun them into being oppression. In my opinion this is the biggest lie of the 20th century and it has left a wake of chaos and vitriol. Women now actually believe themselves to be victims and that they have been shortchanged and oppressed. These are the same women who didn’t have to go to war, didn’t have to do the dirty work of building or maintaining the culture, were held in high esteem and basically worshiped (as American as Mom and Apple Pie) now see this as oppression. Houdini could not have done a more impressive magic trick.

So what do you think happened? It could be easily predicted that gynocentrsim would insure that when women appear to be in danger or need that men will jump and meet those needs as best they can. That’s the way both men and women are programmed. And that is just what happened. The feminists claimed to be tied to the tracks and rode, and continue to ride the gynocentric wave of men keeping women safe. Their unfounded claims that women were oppressed and held back have been taken seriously by well meaning highly gynocentric males, including male legislators. These claims of women being tied to the tracks and needing government intervention were welcomed by our gynocentric legislators who wanted to bend over backwards to help women. Over the years women have been given more and more while simultaneously continuing to enjoy the same gynocentric advantages they have been getting for hundreds of years. Our legislators have backed themselves into a corner and are now afraid to say no. They know that they have been hijacked but don’t have the courage to say no to saving a damsel in distress. Saying no would insure a loss in the next election.

This was the beginning of what I like to call Gynocentrism 2.0. The cultural imperative of caring for women continues and is now amplified by false claims of women having been oppressed. Simultaneously Gynocentrism 2.0 showed not only increased focus on the needs and desires of women, it also made a dramatic switch. Men in gynocentrism 1.0 were held in high esteem when they followed through with their role. They were both respected and admired and this was fuel for the masculine. Both sexes were held in high esteem. Now that fuel for men has run out as the admiration and respect has been gaudily replaced with disdain and blame. Incredibly, now men are seen as the problem and held accountable for social problems as if they were the cause. It is all the men’s fault. Much is said about men not doing very well these days but very few people note this important shift. When you don’t put fuel in the engine it ain’t goin too far.

In Gynocentrism 2.0 entire bureaucracies are built to serve women and cater to their difficulties but there are rarely any such bureaucracies built for men. The women are left with a choice of whether to seek help at a government funded facility (payed for with mostly male tax dollars) built for them while the men are left with no choices.

stopviolenceagainstwomen2One of the best examples of this is the issue of domestic violence where we have known for decades that men are a sizable portion (likely nearing 50%) of the victims of domestic violence but all of the laws and services are built for women. We spend nearly a billion dollars a year for the Violence Against WOMEN Act (VAWA) that marginalizes the 50% of male victims. Recent research exposed the sad fact that when men who are the victims of domestic violence go to these government funded services for help they are treated very poorly. Often when the men are victims of domestic violence and they turn to the government funded services they are told that they are not victims of domestic violence, they are accused of being the perpetrators! They then send him to treatment for perpetrators! Researchers are calling this third party abuse, when the government bureaucracy as a third party, participates in the continued abuse of a victim. This is gynocentrism 2.0 which leaves no compassion for men and far fewer choices in seeking help.

I was involved in lobbying for male victims of domestic violence during the reauthorization of the VAWA in both 2005 and 2012. Our group was well received by then Senator Biden. He and his staff listened to our data and stories about male victims in several meetings at his Senate office. He assured us we would be a part of the hearings. When the hearing came not one of our group was allowed to speak. I couldn’t believe it. Biden was totally aware of the problem of male victims and intentionally sabotaged our efforts to find support for men. It was then that I realized how deeply our system is biased and non-functional. Gynocentrism 2.0.

It’s important to point out that our government has been pushing a gynocentric agenda for some time. In the 1960’s President Johnson set in motion the War on Poverty which proceeded to demand the removal of black fathers from their families in order for mom to get welfare. Now our family courts are doing something similar as they remove fathers from the home through no fault on the fathers part. The woman’s needs come first, father’s a distant second.

My state of Maryland created a Commission for Men’s Health a number of years ago. I was fortunate to serve as the vice chair of that commission and wrote three of the four reports that were to be sent to the governor. The reports I wrote were what I call “male friendly.” That is, they voiced and considered the needs of men without bowing to the prevailing political correctness. The chairman of the commission wrote the other report which was a bit more what the Health Department, our host agency, was anticipating. All four reports were unanimously approved by the full commission. When the commission’s work was done and it came time to file the reports to the governor and a host of other Maryland politicians and get them into the Maryland State Library the Health Department only filed the report that was written by the Chairman. They were confronted with this and said, “ooops, we will file it now.” But they didn’t. It took a year to track down the files and finally get them into the Maryland system. The full story of this event will be told in a chapter in Janice Fiamengo’s upcoming book. It couldn’t be more clear that when the needs of men were given voice, the status quo balked. It seems that our mid level bureaucrcrats are filled with gynocentrism 2.0.

I think you can see now how women’s complaints and our legislators zealous rush to help them have turned things topsy turvy. Rape shield laws have been written to protect the rape victims and this is a good thing. But those same laws failed to protect the accused man. His name can be released to the media prior to any conviction. Her name is permanently protected while his name is plastered all over the media and he has his life ruined simply due to an accusation which may or may not be proven false . Gynocentrism 2.0.

blog-suicideAnother example is the issue of suicide where males are 80% of all completed suicides. Incredibly this 80% fact is rarely mentioned in the media leaving most people unaware that the biggest risk factor in suicide is being male. It is not surprising that females get the majority of attention around suicide both clinically and in research. This even though men are the vast majority of those needing help. In 2009 the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) did some research on suicide. I was shocked to see it was a study on girls! I wrote to then NASW Director Elizabeth Clark and asked why the research focused on girls when it was men and boys who were the vast majority of suicides. She wrote me back and said that the funder for the research had specified to only study girls. Just imagine for a moment someone who funded research for Sickle Cell Disease but stipulated the research had to be on whites. Can you imagine the outrage? Blacks are 60-80% of those with Sickle Cell disease and to study only whites would be seen as totally racist but somehow studying only girls and suicide is okay. That is gynocentrism.

Our gynocentric legislators have outlawed any form of genital mutilation of females but have failed to do the same for our baby boys. Boys routinely undergo a surgical removal of part of their penis without anesthesia. Of course the baby boys scream during and after this mutilation. Some nurses say they have seen baby boys scream for days after. Many are thinking today that this trauma creates PTSD for those males who have been circumcised and presently about four out of every 5 males in the United States has suffered this mutilation. boy PixabayResearch is showing that psychological impact of circumcision on boys is similar to the psychological impact for girls who have undergone genital mutilation. This procedure is damaging our boys while most people think it is simple little snip. Wrong. We care about our little girls but fail in mustering enough compassion for boys to shelter them from such barbaric treatment and we give them no choice. Gynocentrism.

In healthcare we have seen our legislators create seven national commissions for women’s health but none for men. We have official government web sites for and but just look at what happens when you go to or Nothing. You find a 404 page not found error. It does not exist. Get the picture? When anyone starts looking critically at our world it becomes clear that gynocentrism is at its core. We constantly hear criticism of men not going to the doctor etc but look at the concern for their health above by not even having a web site. Women in need get the help and men just need to take care of themselves. Just like the flat tire we talked about above. And no one is even aware this is going on.


Warren Farrell put together a group of clinicians, academics, researchers, authors and other experts on men and boys who wrote a proposal for a White House Council on Boys and Men. I was happy to be included as one of those who put the proposal together. President Obama had created a council for women and girls as soon as he got into office. Now he was being asked to do the same for boys and men. One of our group members, a man named Willie Isles was an executive with the Boy Scouts and had a meeting scheduled with the President. The plan was for Willie to have two Boy Scouts introduce the idea of the White House Council on Boys and Men to the President. Just before that meeting was to take place the discussion of a council for boys and men was struck from the agenda. It was forbidden to even be discussed. Gynocentrism anyone?

There is an anti-male bias in mental health research. One study on teen relationship violence found that boys and girls are suffering from this problem at similar rate. But once the research is translated into news articles it only focuses on the hardships the girls face. Worse yet, once the study is translated by legislators into an action plan to help the teen violence problem the only ones offered assistance are the girls while the boys are blamed. Yes, boys are abused but they simply don’t get compassion. Gynocentrism

research-tableIn one study about childhood rape the researchers found that boys were more often the victims of actual childhood rapes than the girls. Then in writing up their research failed to specifically include this information about boys as victims of rape. Furthermore, when they went to the media they also failed to mention the fact that they have found that boys were raped more often than girls. Gynocentrism.

Title IX — Has been a great help to girls and athletics but has dismantled over 1000 men’s college teams. We focus on helping women but ignore the pain of men.

We have all heard of the racial sentencing bias where blacks tend to get stiffer sentences than whites for the same crime. But the research is telling us that there is a bias that is six times as large as the racial bias that sentences men to longer sentences than women. Yet, we hear nothing of this in the media and no one seems to care. Clearly the judges have less compassion for men and offer them far less choice.

I have seen a number of men in therapy who came to me when their wives wanted an abortion and they (the men) wanted to keep the child. The men were powerless to do anything. Can you see how these men had no choice in the matter? His wife said, “My body, my choice” and he said “My child, your choice, I have none.” He had no choice and if he had said something I feel sure he would have heard some variation of big boys don’t cry. Know what I mean? Can you see how no one really cares or offers them compassion for their plight? Compassion and Choice.


Look at men’s clubs and men’s spaces that have been traditional places for men to gather. Gone. They have been opened to women and not replaced with anything that would give men a safe place to simply gather with other men. Men gathering became the enemy with the accusation of secret deals that would keep women out of business dealings. At the same time all women’s clubs have soared. Women only gyms, women only parking places, women only subway cars, women only everything….but no comparable opportunities for men. There are even groups that keep track of all of the groups for women. One is The National Association of Commissions for Women which keeps track of the literally hundreds of commissions for women. That is gynocentrism 2.0 on steroids.

Instead of thinking of choice for men, the majority of our gynocentric culture are thinking instead the word “should.” Men should do this, men should do that and if they don’t, they are not really men. Most men are caught in this drama that researchers are calling “precarious manhood” where men are forced to prove their worth repeatedly in order to be called men. Women do not face a similar situation.

Professions are not immune to Gynocentrism. The profession of social work is a prime example. This group is focused on women and ignores the needs and the hardships of men. Their educational system offers classes on just about every possible client to work with including women, gays, handicapped, children but fails to teach their charges even the first thing about men and boys. This even though men and boys make up a good portion of the clientele they will be working with.

meninsw2 6Our focus has been on a larger scale or macro level and it is very easy to see the imbalance in so many spheres. The point here is not that the services that have been created were not a good thing or were undeserved. Many of the services offered have been very helpful to women and girls. The point here is that it has been a very one sided ride with nearly all the services going to women and girls and the men and boys basically ignored. Men and boys have simply not gotten compassion and choice. Gynocentrism 2.0.

But let’s take a quick look at the impact of gynocentrism on a micro level. We have seen so far that the public has very little interest in men’s emotions. While that is surely true on a macro level it is also the case on the micro. What is the tired and hackneyed message that the some women offer her man? Oh, they say “You are not dealing with your feelings.” I hope you can see now that this sort of shaming is really an excuse to NOT deal with his emotions. Much has been written by gynocentric types about men’s not emoting in public, or men not emoting like women, while maintaining the underlying assumption that there must be something wrong with them. But almost nothing has been written about the brick wall men face when they do emote. When men have emotions people disappear. No one wants to hear it.

What I have seen repeatedly is that men have very different ways to process emotions. Ways that are invisible to most. They have likely developed these different ways due to the prevalence of gynocentrism and are happy with their paths to work with their own emotions and gladly take care of things on their own without fanfare and “help.” The saddest part of this is that most women simply do not see his different ways and assume he is “doing it wrong” since it isn’t like what she does.



Gynocentrism creates a cultural default both on a micro and macro level where women’s distress is a call to action and a man’s distress is seen at best as a distraction and at worst a taboo. This leaves men being offered considerably less compassion and fewer choices. In the past 50 years the original gynocentric defaults have morphed into gynocentrism 2.0 which has seen a huge increase in both the lop-sided services favoring women and the disdain and blame focused on men.

Very few people are conscious of this habitual default, they simply assume it is just the way the world works.

Becoming more and more aware of gynocentrism makes it easier to see why men are 80% of the completed suicides but are basically ignored. It makes sense now that men are nearly 50% of the victims of domestic violence but are routinely disregarded. It makes sense now why boys genital mutilation is the fourth most popular surgical procedure in the U.S. even though it is unnecessary and highly damaging. The world is geared to have compassion for women’s needs but not as much for the needs of men. We could go on and on about each of the many men’s issues and see how the lack of compassion and choice plays a part in their dilemma.

The unconscious nature of gynocentrism may be its most ruinous aspect. People are simply unaware of the great differences in the way men and women are treated. It is in some ways reminiscent of the racism I remember in the mid 20th century. People were simply unaware of their treatment of blacks. There were surely outright bigots at the time but the majority of people were basically asleep to the impact of their attitudes and behaviors and went along with the status quo that treated blacks and whites in significantly different ways. The general public was duped by a media that portrayed blacks as inferior and an educational system and even academic research that did the same. With gynocentrism 2.0 we are seeing something very similar but instead of the blacks it is now our men. Today’s gynocentrism is made up primarily of people who are basically unaware of the impact of their behaviors and are simply going along with the gynocentric status quo.

It’s time to wake up.

Knowing these things and taking the red pill makes it important for us to start offering men and boys greater compassion and choice.

And let’s not forget. Men Are Good!

Breaking the Mold: Narrative Therapy With Men

By Peter Wright & Paul Elam

As men, we are born into the storybook world of brave knights saving damsels, stoic acts in the face of pain and suffering, and glorious deeds of male heroics. All these things constitute the psychological diet on which boys are raised.

Whether Sir Lancelot, Superman, a great athlete or firefighter, these archetypes silently shape our identity and direct our behaviors, often for the better and often at great cost. They are the living templates men use to map their world, to construct their sense of self, and to direct their behaviors in relationships with others.

Therapy with men, then, must involve a significant and compassionate understanding of the narratives that guide them, and must work within those narratives to carve out a path toward meaningful change.

To that end we will tentatively title a male-friendly approach to working with men, a Narrative Therapy With Men.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of narrative therapy, we need first to examine the place where therapy, coaching and counseling happens, which is more often than not an environment tailored to suit female sensibilities.

The Therapeutic Setting

Many therapy rooms have pretty decor, flowers, artwork, an essential-oil diffuser, and of course face-to-face seating positioned to honor the typical female preference for eye to eye contact and sharing.

You will find tissues placed conveniently on a side table in a decorative box, conveying the silent expectation of tears, shared feelings, and emotional catharsis.

In a way the therapy office mimics an hour at the cafe sipping lattes, for which women might prepare by thinking about what clothing to wear and what juicy bits of personal drama they might like to share. Then to round it off with all the sincerity of here’s your bill and have-a-nice-day.

So much for the male friendly therapy environment.

Imagine instead a therapy office in the boiler room of a ship, in a workshop, a park, a building site, mechanics shed or a sports locker room, with seating arrangements that allowed men to sit at 45 degree angles or side by side — engaged in some kind of task if they wished.

Imagine too if we were to engage in some kind of typical male play or industry – not just Jungian sandplay or water-color art therapies as suits the more effeminate sensibilities of women, but hands on therapy – while driving a truck, fixing the engine of a car or building a piece of furniture.

Or, if you prefer, something recreational. Standing on a peer fishing, hiking up the side of a hill or sitting beside a campfire.

When it comes to communication, men like a medium, something through which to channel their energy.

Lea Winerman, a staff writer for the American Psychological Association asks us to “imagine the Marlboro man in therapy.”

“The image just doesn’t compute, does it?” she half-asks, half-declares. Then she adds with obligatory condescension, “The Marlboro man wouldn’t admit to needing help.”

We can agree with Winerman that it is impractical to expect the Marlboro Man to sit in a feminized office, with a feminist-trained female counselor and gush his emotions on demand. But perhaps he would be more open to discussing his issues while riding a horse, stacking bales of hay or enjoying a beer?

As with boys, who are more engaged when kinetic learning is applied to the school curriculum, men too are generally more inclined to thrive outside of the prettified and sedentary counselor’s office — in the world where real life takes place.

For most men the average counseling office is not only in poor taste, it is at once anesthetizing and pressurized. It is an environment where the senses are dulled and urges male participants to do something that is already likely a problem in their lives – the expectation to perform for the benefit of a woman.

This is a critical point to make. As we examine the narratives of men, as we look at their stories, what we find with great redundancy is the expectation for them to perform for women. From the mandate to please mothers, to protection and provision for women, to heroic sacrifice and even down to the basic assumed responsibility for the female orgasm, we see men in a role to satisfy through performance.

What then can possibly be happening in the minds of men sitting in female dominated space, box of tissue at their side, with a woman saying “tell me how you feel” about this or that? Even worse, asking such probing questions with the implication that he is an empty emotional vessel in need of her redemption.

There is little there for most men. Indeed, if we honestly and compassionately examine the narrative of men’s lives, we have to agree with Ms. Whinerman again. There is no reason to imagine why the Marlboro man, or any other man, would have much to say to her at all, and the ones who do are likely just caving to the pressure to perform.

Without some kind of activity or medium to engage in other than naked personal drama and emoting, men tend to disengage. Feminist inspired therapy would have us believe that this is because men are emotionally stunted and ill-equipped to articulate feelings.

In reality, the only thing men are ill-equipped at is being women, which is why standard talk-therapy is such a poor option for most of them.

Like boys, men are more likely to connect with the therapist and be willing to table his issues (vs share his feelings) when they are engaged in something meaningful.

Rather than shaming men as recalcitrant therapy clients, we must take a different approach and offer them a greater variety of places in which to speak to their issues. Therapy can still take place in the traditional face to face manner in an office, but it can also take place in any of the environments mentioned before, providing the therapist is willing to step out of his or her chair and begin walking, literally, while the therapy takes place.

Alternatively, if the logistics of getting together with the therapist are restrictive, digital mediums like Skype can provide the platform, again with special consideration to siting postures: men might prefer to sit at an angle to the camera and have the therapist do the same, or he might prefer the vision switched to off altogether. For the tech-savvy therapist male-friendly backgrounds for his digital office might be employed on request – a bar, a mechanics shed, a kitchen… you name it.

And yes, unless a client has issues with alcohol, a beer during the session may not be out of the question.

That proposition will seem scandalous to some practitioners. However, we estimate the knee-jerk hostility to such ideas is rooted firmly in an academically acquired ignorance of men and their needs. It is consistent with trying to put them into the female emotional mold.

Finally, the language of the therapeutic session might need to undergo a similar revolution, depending on the client’s imagination, with less emphasis on unquantifiable metaphors like personal growth and empowerment, or on feelings, and more on metaphors of manual-activity to describe emotional processes; men speak in terms of wrestling with challenges, hammering problems out, trying to understand the mechanics of depression, and when considering objectives, they might hope to score a goal: to nail it, as it were.

To summarize, a new therapy for men might consider utilizing new settings for conducting consultations, including the use of a wider range of manual activities – occupations and crafts – as therapeutic mediums.

Having briefly sketched out the ‘where’ of therapy, we can now move onto the ‘what’ of the therapy.

The Practice of Therapy

Narrative Therapy with Men assumes the following principles as axiomatic:

  • Rejects misguided concepts like patriarchy theory and toxic masculinity.
  • By definition it is tailored exclusively to men’s experiences, men’s ways of thinking and behaving.
  • Does not hinge on demonizing or problematizing men
  • Sees learned detachment as essential to problem solving
  • Recognizes the unique emotional and psychological acumen of men
  • Sees the therapist as more of a coach or mentor than an emotional conduit.
  • Seeks to use men’s kinetic inclination as an asset, rather than treat it as an impediment to progress
  • Narratives, the building-blocks of our worldview become the focal point around which the therapy hinges, and include the following objectives:
  1. Identifying the current narrative

The way we tell our story is the way we form our therapy,1 so the first task for each man is to narrate his story about himself and his world. These initial narratives form the primary datum which sets the future direction of the therapy, a direction completely unknown until the stories are verbalized.

As stories are shared, likenesses between them and popular cultural stories can be discussed – such as classical myths, fairy tales, biographies of the famous or from movies, to bring the material alive. The comparison stories act as bass chords that animate the material under discussion, and to help depersonalize the content so that it no longer seems unique and isolating – ie. such stories belong to our collective cultural history and are thus very far from personal.

  1. Externalizing the narrative

Carl Jung was famed for saying “We don’t have complexes, the complexes have us.” The same can be said of narratives, including our personal ones. The stories and archetypes that drive our lives underscore the importance of gaining cognitive and emotional distance from them if we no longer wish to be held under their spell.

This is a radical departure from where most therapies in the modern mold take men. In standard practice the agenda of the therapist is usually to drive the client toward reliving trauma or loss and articulating the feelings that surround those things.

While practitioners with men need to have the skills to comfortably handle emotional upheaval when it happens, the objective is to help the client gain more distance from the inner turmoil, affording them an opportunity for practical, rational solutions.

How else, for instance, can a man stop acting sacrificially with women, until he rejects the sacrificial role? And to reject that role, he must be able to see it from a more objective distance, in practical terms. Men rarely need assistance to realize they are in emotional hell with a woman. They often stay silently immersed in it, entangled hopelessly in trying to find solutions that are not forthcoming.

While an exploration of childhood trauma, abusive parenting and unresolved grief may provide more insight into current life troubles, it will not provide what the client needs most. A path out.

Externalizing a narrative, depersonalizing it, helps us to see it as separate from our own self-image, perhaps for the first time. By abstracting the story and dissociating from it we can more easily edit its details and gain mastery: the narrative no longer has us – we have it.

The therapeutic practice of externalizing narratives has a long history beginning with Freud’s talking cure, Carl Jung’s ‘active imagination‘ to James Hillman’s practice of ‘seeing through narratives‘, and on to newer practices such as Narrative psychology and Narrative therapy.

None of the aforementioned, however, have actively applied the technique to the stories men live by – a shameful oversight for therapies claiming to plumb the depths of human experience.

The life of men has heretofore been shrouded in a cloud of repression, amnesia and denial, ironically aided and abetted by the very psychologists called to lift the lid on that repression.

While some have claimed to help men raise consciousness, what in most instances has happened is therapists adding yet more layers of faulty text to an already burdensome set of male narratives. Narrative Therapy with Men aims to reverse the tradition of neglect.

  1. Problematizing the narrative

A core tenet of Narrative Therapy with Men is that Men are not the problem, the narrative is the problem.

We view this approach to be corrective on its face. Men are universally saddled with the artifacts of a faulty narrative. Whether that is driven by a failure to be heroic or successful enough to fulfill historic male expectations, or whether it is the more modernized narrative of toxic masculinity, or both, men typically see themselves as the source of the problem.

Continually failing to fix themselves, which their narrative does not allow them to do, aggravates the situation all the more.

Portions of a given narrative may be destructive and other parts may not, which a joint, detached exploration can discover. It can lead to a discarding of the dysfunctional parts and a retention of those parts retaining value and importance to individual men.

It is as simple as keeping what works and tossing out what doesn’t, which is easier said than done. We view the main obstacle to that, though, as a lack of detachment.

For instance, shame can be a huge impediment. A man can see a problem, but without detachment, his experience of shame can drive him to deny, minimize and avoid the problem. Until, of course, the problem rears its head, causes pain, and the cycle starts all over again.

The only way, we argue, to interrupt that, is through healthy detachment.

An Ear for Men has detailed numerous examples of destructive narratives for men, such as the belief that men are inherently flawed, that they belong to and benefit from Patriarchy, that they must ignore their health to be worthy of relationships, or that their role in life is to serve women in one capacity or another while denying their own needs and value.

To these the new therapy for men applies the razor, surgically removing criticisms of men and replacing them with narratives of self-worth. And, importantly, it allows men the use of their logic and reason to guide the surgery, not their emotional reaction to the problem.

  1. Exploring potential new narratives

Life does not tolerate a void. That is why isolating problem narratives and the work of deleting them runs concurrent with a process of re-narration. In this a therapist and client can be imagined as co-authors working on a novel, where therapist co-writes or ghost-writes a new narrative, running a red pen though all the toxic text.

The new text can be literally anything the client dreams up. The practitioner consults with the client, offers observations, but otherwise gets out of the way and allows the client to have the lead role in the creative aspects of the process.

Narratives men adopt to break free from limiting expectations need not be reduced to reactions against the original problem-riddled narrative, which places the response into a narrow formula of thesis and antithesis. An example of that approach is seen in the tendency of some men to replace misandric narratives with misogynistic narratives. Or, perhaps, men who have been sexually rejected who seek to correct with sexual conquests.

An example of narratives structured along the lines of antithetical reactions vs. more liberating and proactive possibilities was elaborated in an earlier article at An Ear for Men, titled Values-based approach to gynocentrism for men. There we are given the example of three narratives:

1. A gynocentric narrative in need of deletion
2. An anti-gynocentric reactive narrative, and
3. A proactive narrative which transcends the for-and-against-gynocentrism binary


  1. Nailing down a narrative

The goal of the new narrative is to serve as a values-centered approach to dealing with self and world.

This part can be somewhat tricky. Values, or what we consider good and bad, right and wrong, purposeful or meaningless, are by necessity a product of our narrative. And they can be as destructive as the narrative itself.

For instance, you can ask a man to tell you about his values. He might tell you that among them are honesty and integrity. So far, so good. But he may also follow that up by saying his values drive him to sacrifice for the benefit of a woman, that a real man takes care of women and shields them from hardship.

The problem with that, as may be apparent, is that millions of men have led themselves to misery, ruin, and even to death, with precisely these values. It is not that their intent is flawed but that they have allowed values for which they have no conscious etiology to put them behind the wheel with a blindfold on, mindless of any values that might have addressed their self-preservation.

Again, a detached review of values, and how they stem from personal narrative is a necessity.

A values-centered ideology is established and articulated by the client at some time during the process of consultations. He may already have his core values clarified and will want to proceed with a narrative that honors them. Alternatively, he may feel his values have been implanted from without or inherited without consent, foreign objects that have brought harm to his health and wellbeing and so seeks to construct a new set of values and an accompanying life script that will do them justice. This can all be done with a practitioner, or simply on a man’s own volition, or with a trusted friend.


That, then is a brief outline of Narrative Therapy with Men. It is not intended to be complete, and is indeed still a nascent approach to working with men. The psychological disciplines, as mentioned earlier, have hinted at this approach, have skirted the ideas contained here but without breaching the sacred wall of feminized psychology.

Now we set about the work of expanding on these ideas and calling on others to do the same.



[1] “The way we tell our story is the way we form our therapy” is a quote from Patricia Berry’s essay ‘An Approach To The Dream,’ Spring Journal of Archetype and Culture (1974).

See also:

A new psychology for men
Authoring your own life
Playing your own role in life
A values-centered approach for men

Damseling, chivalry and courtly love (part two)

The following article is the second of a two-part series. Part one looked at the roots of damseling, chivalry and courtly love in the gynocentric tradition. In part two we look at damseling, chivalry and courtly love as it appears in the feminist tradition. – PW



Before being given the name feminism, the obsession with women’s status was referred to as the Querelle des Femmes or quarrel about women. The querelle consisted of a perpetual social movement that used damseling to call for more chivalry and more courtly love, which ultimately afforded women more power.

The three elements of gynocentrism first born in medieval Europe – damseling, chivalry and courtly love – continue to act as the basis of modern feminism. Indeed feminism today is little more, and little less, than a perpetuation of this medieval triad, giving feminism its internal drive even as feminists disavow these essentials with rhetorical obfuscations.

With this charge in mind let’s revisit the holy trinity above with a focus on behaviors central to modern feminism.

Damseling as “victim feminism”

Most observers today, including feminist observers like Christina Hoff-Sommers, Camille Paglia, Rene Denfeld, Katie Roiphe and others agree that feminism comes close, if not all the way, to being a cult of victimhood.

The phenomenon has variously been referred to as grievance feminism, victim feminism, safe space feminism, and even fainting-couch feminism – with Christina Hoff-Sommers portraying its mythos as “a battle between fragile maidens and evil predators.” 1

Feminist icon Naomi Wolf tells that victim feminism evolved out of “old habits of ladylike behavior that were cloaked in the guise of radicalism,” 2 and laments that a substantial segment of modern feminism is devoted to its cause.

Denfeld writes that current feminists “promote a new status for women: that of the victim,” and adds:

“This is victim mythology. From rape redefinitions to feminist theory on the “patriarchy,” victimization has become the subtext of the movement, the moral to be found in every feminist story. Together these stories form a feminist mythology in which a singular female subject is created: woman as a helpless, violated, and oppressed victim. Victim mythology says that men will always be predators and women will always be their prey. It is a small place to live, a place that tells women that there is really no way out.

“Like other mythologies, victim mythology reduces the complexity of human interaction to grossly oversimplified mythical tales, a one-note song, where the message of the story becomes so important that fiction not only triumphs over fact but the realities of women’s experiences are dismissed and derided when they conflict with the accepted female image.3

While Denfeld does a good job of describing feminism’s victim mentality, she labors under a myth of her own by characterizing it as a “new” fetish among feminists. Anyone reading through the history of feminist literature can see it appealed to by literally every feminist writer. Even a century ago Ernest Belfort Bax was able to say that feminists “do their best to bluff their dupes by posing as the victims of a non-existent male oppression.”4

Feminists well know that the most grotesquely far-fetched cry about the injustice of man to woman will meet with a ready ear. They well know that they get here fond and foolish man on his soft side. Looking at the matter impartially, it is quite evident that man’s treatment of woman is the least vulnerable point in his moral record. Woman, as such, he has always treated with comparative generosity. But it is, of course, to the interests of the abettors of female domination to pretend the contrary. Accordingly everything has been done to excite prejudice in favour of woman as the innocent and guileless victim of man’s tyranny, and the maudlin Feminist sentiment of the “brute” man has been carefully exploited to this end.5

In all of these accounts the behavior being described is damseling, a practice feminists have been at the forefront of preserving from the medieval canon. Evoked in conjunction with claims of male brutality, rapiness, depravity and insensitivity, the ultimate purpose of damseling is to draw chivalric responses from men, a routine Wolf makes clear in her remark that “victim feminism casts women as sexually pure and mystically nurturing, and stresses the evil done to these ‘good’ women as a way to petition for their rights.” 6

A famous example of feminist damseling, both literal and figurative, is Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian is known for raising concerns that video-games are misogynistic – like most everything else found in the feminist worldview. Her primary concern was that female game characters are often portrayed as damsels-in-distress saved by male heroes, which promotes, she says, sexual objectification and a range of other problems. To address that issue in video games she moved to launch a study project to raise awareness.

Sarkeesian established a fundraiser for $6,000.00 for her project, but after receiving some initial trolling by trolls on social media she damseled herself to potential donors by saying she was under grave threat, swooning with such finesse that she was showered with 158K in donations from fellow feminists and white knights. Over a thousand people donated after hearing of her “plight.”

With that financial success, Sarkeesian subsequently replayed the scenario over and again particularly in the context of further fundraising efforts and public speaking; swooning about online attacks directed against her or over female gamers enduring abject sexism, female video-game characters being cast in degrading and/or humiliating roles, and about young impressionable girls being robbed of agency after being subjected to the damsel trope in games.

Sarkeesian’s case is particularly poignant because, from the many subjects she could have highlighted to damsel herself for attention, she chose to damsel herself over the very existence of damsels. This demonstrates that even when disavowing the medieval pageant of damsels in distress, feminists continue to enact it even while obfuscating their complicity in the tradition.

Feminism would have died out long ago if it were not for the power of this ancient ruse, and while damseling continues to draw rewards from a public primed to cater to it, the planet will increasingly come to resemble a tower full of imprisoned, vulnerable Disney Princesses.

Chivalry – from husband Sam to Uncle Sam

Equity feminist Christina Hoff-Sommers states that men need to be civilized with chivalric manners, a belief outlined in an interview with Emily Esfahani Smith, where she said, “Chivalry is grounded in a fundamental reality that defines the relationship between the sexes,” and adding a warning, “If women give up on chivalry, it will be gone.” 7

While feminists like Hoff-Sommers admit their reliance on a sexist version of chivalry, others are less candid about it, going even so far as pretending they don’t need chivalry despite their demonstrable appeal to it in most of their activism. Many observers however can see through the anti-chivalry posturing.

Feminism draws its power from chivalric support, but instead of soliciting it from men in the traditional, interpersonal manner it has learned how to get it solely from the government – holding the government to ransom ever since the suffragettes damsaled the vote for women. Since that time politicians have only been too willing to furnish demands by feminists in exchange for voting the candidate into power and allowing him to retain office – and conversely politicians who fail to uphold the chivalric contract are promptly voted out.

The results of this compact are obvious to anyone who looks at political decisions with impartiality.

Instead of men giving up seats in buses, government now provides seats in legislative assemblies and boardrooms via quotas. Instead of men opening car doors for women, government opens doors into universities and workforces via affirmative action. Instead of men being the sole protectors of women from violence, government now protects them with an army of police specially trained to service women’s accusations (over and above more serious crimes). Instead of men providing living expenses, governments now provide it as social welfare and compensation for the wage-gap. Government as substitute husband.

The appeal to chivalry is not confined to government institutions alone. The appeal also goes out to sporting clubs, business owners, CEOs and private institutions who respond to the damsel’s call with women-only busses, women-only safe spaces, pink car parking spaces with extra lighting and security with male escorts and chaperones, or with feminist adverts at sports venues, sportsmen wearing pink to raise money for all manner of feminist projects, and that on top of monies already heaped at their feet by politicians eager to please.

This is not a recent development; it can be witnessed in mirror image as far back as a century ago. Back then, Bax was able to tie feminism so definitively with the act of chivalry-seeking that he actually labeled the women’s liberation movement “chivalry feminism.” Moreover, Bax saw through the superficial disavowals;

“The justification for the whole movement of Modern Feminism in one of its main practical aspects – namely, the placing of the female sex in the position of privilege, advantage and immunity – is concentrated in the current conception of “chivalry.”

It is plain then that chivalry as understood in the present day really spells sex privilege and sex favouritism pure and simple, and that any attempts to define the term on a larger basis, or to give it a colourable rationality founded on fact, are simply subterfuges, conscious or unconscious, on the part of those who put them forward…

Such is “chivalry” as understood to-day – the deprivation, the robbery from men of the most elementary personal rights in order to endow women with privileges at the expense of men.8

Chivalry feminism today, same as it ever was, relying on men’s generosity to perpetuate its creed of power.

Courtly love as ‘Respectful Relationships’

The phrase ‘Respectful Relationships’ is shorthand for a range of conventions promoted by feminists to govern interactions between men and women, particularly in the context of romantic interactions. The conventions detail acceptable speech and actions in the contexts of socializing, friendship, flirting and sex, emphasizing a man’s duty to respect women’s emotional comfort, self-esteem, and dignity.

Portrayed overtly as a method of reducing men’s abusiveness, the program maintains that even men and boys who do not display abusive behaviors should be enculturated in its protocols as a prophylactic, and concomitantly to afford dignity and self-esteem to women. This is where the respectful relationships program moves past the overt goal of reducing violence and into the covert goal of maintaining and increasing the power of women.

As we begin to look at the detail of Respectful Relationship we could almost mistake it for Andreas Capellanus’ work The Art of Courtly Love where the medieval rules of romance were codified in meticulous prescriptions for male deference, homage, and courtesy toward women. Considering this parallel, the feminist movement appears to have provided a new language for a very old set of sexual customs, essentially reiterating that which has been with us all along.

As mentioned in Part one, central to the art of courtly love was the expectation that men practice love service toward women based on a model of vassals or serfs in relation to a feudal lord. That relationship model of serf-to-Lord was adopted wholesale to regulate love relationships whereby women were literally approached as the lord (midons) in each male-female encounter. As Medievalist Sandra Alfonsi explains;

Scholars soon saw striking parallels between feudalistic practices and certain tenets of Courtly Love. The comparisons lie in certain resemblances shared by vassalage and the courtly “love service.” Fundamental to both was the concept of obedience. As a vassal, the liegeman swore obedience to his lord. As a courtly lover, the poet chose a lady to whom he was required to swear obedience. Humility and obedience were two concepts familiar to medieval man, active components of his Weltanschauung…

The entire concept of love-service was patterned after the vassal’s oath to serve his lord with loyalty, tenacity, and courage. These same virtues were demanded of the poet. Like the liegeman vis-a-vis his sovereign, the poet approached his lady with fear and respect. Submitted to her, obedient to her will, he awaited a fief or honor as did the vassal. His compensation took many forms: the pleasure of his lady’s company in her chamber or in the garden; an avowal of her love; a secret meeting; a kiss or even le surplus, complete unity. Like the lord, the woman who was venerated and served was expected to reward her faithful and humble servant.9

The idea behind love service was that men should demonstrate the quality of their commitment to women; was it merely lust or obedient and sacrificial love? If the woman decided it was “love” then she might decide to engage more intimately with him, as Joseph Campbell explains:

“The woman is looking for authenticity in a relationship, so she delays merci until she is guaranteed that this man who is proposing himself to her is one of a gentle heart… And, the women were in control, that’s all there is to it. The man is the one who is advancing, the one performing the acts of guarding bridges, or whatever bit of foolishness she puts on him, but, she’s in control. And her problem is to live in a relationship that is authentic of love, and the only way she can do it is by testing the one who offers himself. She isn’t offering herself, he’s offering himself. But, she’s in control of what happens then with step two.10

“The technical term for a woman’s granting of herself was merci; the woman grants her merci. Now, that might consist in her permission for the man to kiss her on the back of the neck once every Whitsuntide, you know, something like that – or it may be a full giving in love. That would depend upon her estimation of the character of the candidate. The essential idea was to test this man to make sure that he would suffer things for love, and that this was not just lust.

The tests that were given then by women involved, for example, sending a chap out to guard a bridge. The traffic in the Middle Ages was somewhat encumbered by these youths guarding bridges. But also the tests included going into battle. A woman who was too ruthless in asking her lover to risk a real death before she would acquiesce in anything was considered sauvage or “savage”. Also, the woman who gave herself without the testing was “savage”. There was a very nice psychological estimation game going on here.11

Today that psychological estimation game (as Campbell puts it) might involve asking consent to sit with a woman, appealing politely for a date, waiting patiently for her to call or sweep right, keeping his knees together to avoid manspreading, or asking for permission to speak in order to prove he is not talking over her or mansplaining. Such demonstrations show the feminist woman that he has a gentle heart, and that he is willing to suffer things for love.

That psychological testing also encompasses public activities which demonstrate a man’s commitment to serving womankind as a whole. Examples would be a man walking a mile in her shoes, or joining White Ribbon Campaigns that require men, as was required of the medieval knights, to pledge oaths to “Never to condone, or remain silent about violence towards women and girls” and especially to intervene when learning of any male behaving offensively toward a woman.

Today’s White Ribbon “oath” bears a striking resemblance to the 14th century enterprise of the Green Shield with the White Lady (Emprise de l’Escu vert à la Dame Blanche) in which men committed themselves for the duration of five years to serving women. Inspired by the ideal of courtly love, the stated purpose of the order was to guard and defend the honor, estate, goods, reputation, fame and praise of all ladies. It was an undertaking that earned the praise of protofeminist Christine de Pizan. The continuity of chivalry and courtly love from the medieval knightly oath to the modern feminist-inspired oath is remarkable in its consistency.

In line with most women who expect men to follow medieval rules of love concerning male courtesy, the feminist movement is geared toward enforcing the same goal. Feminism however postures itself as disavowing that goal even while they are at the forefront of institutionalizing it in our families, our schools, our political structures and laws.

Each of the psychological tests mentioned above are evidence of a love service called for by feminist activists. Or worded differently, they are sanctified methods by which men are called to demonstrate obedience and a ‘gentle heart’ in contrast to the brutality, rapiness and exploitativeness of the savage heart; the default feminist conception of men.

I will close here with the words of an academic feminist, one not so coy about identifying courtly love with the project of feminism. Elizabeth Reid Boyd of the School of Psychology and Social Science at Edith Cowan University, and Director of the Centre for Research for Women in Western Australia with more than a decade as a feminist researcher and teacher of women’s studies tells:

In this article I muse upon arguments that romance is a form of feminism. Going back to its history in the Middle Ages and its invention by noblewomen who created the notion of courtly love, examining its contemporary popular explosion and the concurrent rise of popular romance studies in the academy that has emerged in the wake of women’s studies, and positing an empowering female future for the genre, I propose that reading and writing romantic fiction is not only personal escapism, but also political activism.

Romance has a feminist past that belies its ostensible frivolity. Romance, as most true romantics know, began in medieval times. The word originally referred to the language romanz, linked to the French, Italian and Spanish languages in which love stories, songs and ballads were written. Stories, poems and songs written in this language were called romances to separate them from more serious literature – a distinction we still have today. Romances were popular and fashionable. Love songs and stories, like those of Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde, were soon on the lips of troubadours and minstrels all over Europe. Romance spread rapidly. It has been called the first form of feminism (Putnam 1970).12

Reid Boyd finishes her paper by waxing poetic about the many joys of romantic love, and of its increasing popularity in academe.

Same as it ever was, the project of modern feminism can be summarized as championing victimhood (damseling), soliciting favors from men and governments (chivalry), and promoting “respectful” relationships by men-toward-women (courtly love).


[1] Christina Hoff-Sommers, How fainting couch feminism threatens freedom, American Enterprise Institute 2015
[2] Naomi Wolf, Fire With Fire: New Female Power, 1993
[3] Rene Denfeld, The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order, 1995
[4] Ernest B. Bax, Feminism and Female Suffrage, 1910
[5] Ernest B. Bax, Mr. Belfort Bax Replies to his Feminist Critics, 1908
[6] Naomi Wolf, Fire With Fire: New Female Power, 1993
[7] Emily Esfahani Smith, Let’s Give Chivalry Another Chance, The Atlantic, Dec 10 2012
[8] Ernest B. Bax, Chapter-5 ‘The Chivalry Fake’ in The Fraud of Feminism, 1913
[9] Sandra Alfonsi, Masculine Submission in Troubadour Lyric, 1986
[10] Joseph Campbell, Parzival, the Graal, and Grail Legends, talk at the Ojai Foundation, 1987
[11] Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, interview with Bill Moyers, 1988
[12] Elizabeth Reid Boyd, Romancing Feminism: From Women’s Studies to Women’s Fiction, 2014

Damseling, chivalry and courtly love (part one)

This article is the first of a two-part series looking at the roots of damseling, chivalry and courtly love as fundamentals in the gynocentric tradition. Part two will look at damseling, chivalry and courtly love as it appears in contemporary feminism. – PW



The dominant features of gender relations today come from old Europe in the forms of damseling, chivalry and courtly-love. Together they form the customs, in fact the essence, of modern gynocentric culture.

This holy trinity was crafted into a system of deportment by 12th century French and German aristocrats, setting a trend that spread to all the aristocratic courts of Europe. From those lofty parlors it filtered into popular culture, being transported eventually to the new world on the wings of colonial expansion.

The principle modes of transmission were expositions from upper class men and women; troubadour performances; plays; and notably a new genre of literature referred to as romance literature in which knights were celebrated for saving damsels in distress, and male lovers endured tortuous and trial-ridden tests in an attempt to secure a love bond with a beloved lady.

Nine hundred years later and romance novels remain the largest selling literature genre in the world, and we equally see the obsession with damseling and chivalry which dominate our politics, our societies, and our conversations over the dinner table.

In what follows, each of these gynocentric pillars and their historical roots will be summarized, along with references to the biological imperatives that give them their internal drive. Lastly (in part 2) an argument will be made that feminism today is nothing more, and nothing less, than a perpetuation of this medieval triad.

Let’s take a closer look at these three elements.


Damseling is a popular shorthand for women’s projection of themselves as damsels in distress, regardless of whether the distress and the reasons for it are real or manufactured.

An excellent overview of damseling and its history was posted on Reddit in 2014 by author LemonMcAlister:

We hear a lot about the “Damsel in Distress” trope and how it is both uncreative and damaging to women as a whole. The idea that a woman needs to be rescued by a valiant hero is held up as a sexist concept created by men who view women merely as a prize to be won.

Would you be surprised if I told you this trope actually has a heavily feminist origin?

In order to explain this, we’ll need to go back in time about 1,000 years. In Medieval Europe, this was a time of rampant violence and wars with no other goal than material gain. Even long before the First Crusade, popular fiction took the form of heroic songs and epic poems much like Beowulf. They were sung in great halls and appealed mainly to a very masculine audience.

One thing many people are surprised to hear is that early legends and stories of King Arthur are exceedingly violent, gory, and action packed. Knights routinely have their head split to the shoulders, warriors are killed on almost every page, and there is even a giant who has his testicles sliced off in a fight.

The common understanding of Arthurian legend, however, is one of chivalry and courtly love. Knights fight for their ladies and for God. Love and romance is considered by most people to be a major part of the Arthurian stories.

The truth, however, is that this emphasis on love and romance, the idea that knights would fight to rescue a lady from a villain, is a later addition and was promoted by someone who can undeniably be called a feminist.

Eleanor of Aquitaine, born somewhere around 1123, was, as Wikipedia calls her, “one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages”. She is well known for doing many “unlady-like” things such as taking up the cross for the second crusade, recruiting women from her court to accompany her, and personally leading her own army as a feudal lord.

What’s important here is that she is also responsible for the major and dramatic shift in the themes of popular fiction. Chrétien de Troyes, a poet of the late 12th century, is probably the most well-known writer dealing with this new type of Arthurian story. Some of these stories, in fact, were written for Eleanor’s daughter, Marie de Champagne.

Emphasis was no longer placed on Arthur nor did these stories focus on a thoroughly manly knight’s ability to split skulls. Arthur himself is used as a bit of a background decoration and is essentially a kindly old king that rules over his kingdom but doesn’t take much of an active part in the stories.

The focus of the stories was on love, romance, and the concept that chivalry should emphasize a knight’s utter devotion to his lady. Women also became more powerful. Far from being a prize to be won, they often helped their knights in one very important way or another.

In these stories, which are vastly different from earlier popular fiction, the love of a lady was the highest prize a knight could win, short of divine favor.

As society continued to change and we emerged from the dark ages, the stories remained immensely popular. There was no longer a need for savage and brutal warriors who could slaughter legions of people. Society’s focus was on cultural ideals such as courtly love, romance, and the chivalric service of ladies.

My point here is that the original Arthurian stories, and essentially all popular fiction of the time, treated women as nothing more than a means to social, economic, and political advancement. The stories hardly ever included women and those that were present never played a significant role in the narrative.

It wasn’t until Eleanor’s reign, and the influence she had on popular fiction, that we see the development of the “Damsel in Distress” trope. This trope, however, was created because it appealed to women. It was an effort to include women in the enjoyment of popular fiction and marked a major change in society’s values.

No longer were women merely an object, they were the entire motivation. No longer were they seen as merely a means to an end, they were the very focus of the story itself.

The “Damsel in Distress” trope is far from a misogynistic effort to treat women as prizes and is actually a result of the increased power and influence women were gaining during Eleanor’s reign. It has continued to remain a popular story telling device because it appeals to both sexes by presenting an idealized view, both of society and what a hero’s motivation should be.

The hero rescues the woman, placing himself in mortal danger, for love and love alone. Had we remained with the male dominated form of story-telling, the hero would rescue the damsel because marrying her would allow him to muster a larger army with which he could violently murder his chosen enemies. The woman’s desire to be married to the hero would not factor into the equation at all.

Damsels are in distress because there is an extremely high value placed on them and they are, in many ways, the entire motivation for the hero and the story itself. The hero rescues the damsel because he is motivated by love, not by a desire to possess a prize.

The trials he goes through are tests not of his strength and masculinity but of his overpowering love for the damsel.

The damsel is, in other words, far more important than the hero.

As indicated in that summary, the chief goal of damseling is to evoke chivalric behaviors in men. The biological drive underpinning it is our urge to protect and provide for children, behavior which is triggered by juvenile characteristics such as a rounded forehead, large eyes, and most importantly helplessness.

As elaborated in a previous article, women have been taught from generation to generation to mimic juvenile characteristics via the use of makeup and vocal tonations, along with a feigning of distress typical of children — which collectively works to extract utility from men. While women are capable of solving most of their own problems and providing for their own needs and wants, many have cultivated a posture of helplessness,  damseling their way out of doing the dirty, dangerous or stressful work required to achieve those goals.

Why exert yourself when men can be manipulated to do it for you?


Different definitions have been attached to the word chivalry throughout history. To make matters more confusing, encyclopedic overviews tend to blend those different meanings into an ungainly synthesis, making the job of teasing out distinctive meanings more difficult.

While there are differing definitions, the most common use of the term today is the one we need to describe. That job is made easy by modern dictionaries in which chivalry is given two separate and radically different definitions – a contemporary definition and an archaic, largely obsolete one:

► 1. very polite, honorable, and generous behaviour, especially by men towards women
► 2. the system of behaviour followed by knights in the medieval period of history, that put a high value on honour, knightly skill, and martial valor.1

The first is the definition we are concerned with here. To be sure, chivalry has been a woman-centered enterprise for close to a millennium, and early accounts such as that by Walter Scott in the year 1818 render the meaning clear:

“The main ingredient in the spirit of Chivalry, second in force only to the religious zeal of its professors, and frequently predominating over it, was a devotion to the female sex, and particularly to her whom each knight selected as the chief object of his affection, of a nature so extravagant and unbounded as to approach to a sort of idolatry.

“Amid the various duties of knighthood, that of protecting the female sex, respecting their persons, and redressing their wrongs, becoming the champion of their cause, and the chastiser of those by whom they were injured, was represented as one of the principal objects of the institution. Their oath bound the new-made knights to defend the cause of all women without exception ; and the most pressing way of conjuring them to grant a boon was to implore it in the name of God and the ladies. The cause of a distressed lady was, in many instances, preferable to that even of the country to which the knight belonged.

“The defence of the female sex in general, the regard due to their honour, the subservience paid to their commands, the reverent awe and courtesy, which, in their presence, forbear all unseemly words and actions, were so blended with the institution of Chivalry as to form its very essence. But it was not enough that the “very perfect, gentle knight,” should reverence the fair sex in general. It was essential to his character that he should select, as his proper choice, “a lady and a love,” to be the polar star of his thoughts, the mistress of his affections, and the directress of his actions. In her service, he was to observe the duties of loyalty, faith, secrecy, and reverence. Without such an empress of his heart, a knight, in the phrase of the times, was a ship without a rudder, a horse without a bridle, a sword without a hilt ; a being, in short, devoid of that ruling guidance and intelligence, which ought to inspire his bravery, and direct his actions.

Note the references to protecting the female sex and of redressing their wrongs as hallmarks of chivalry, with men going even so far as to believe the cause of a distressed lady is preferable to that of the nation to which he belonged.

But that protection, provision and adoration is only one half the story — the other half being fulfilled by the damsel in distress. The damsel represents the vulnerable and needy child who pulls on parental heartstrings, behavior provoking the parental brain state referred to by neurobiologists. Chivalry is shorthand for the parental brain state by which men are moved to protect, provide for and adore an adult disguised as a child.

Courtly love

Courtly love, which was later called romantic love, is the program of cultivating deference of men toward women. It was born as a twofold movement beginning with a social shaming of men for bad behaviors, followed by a proposal that men could atone for bad behavior by worship of women through a new code of love.

The idea was launched by powerful women of the medieval aristocracy who cited the worst behaviors of the most unruly males and extrapolated those behaviors to the entire gender. Knights were particularly singled out – much like today’s sporting heroes who display some kind of faux pas – and used as examples of distasteful male behavior requiring the remedy of sweeping cultural reform.

During that time of (supposedly) unruly males, uneducated squires were said to ride mangy horses into mess halls, and rude young men diverted eyes from psalters in the very midst of mass. Among the knights and in the atmosphere of tournaments occasional brawls with grisly incidents occurred – a cracked skull, a gouged eye – as the betting progressed and the dice flew. Male attention to clothing and fashion was said to be appalling, with men happy to go about in sheep and fox skins instead of clothes fashioned of rich and precious stuffs, in colours to better suit them in the company of ladies. And perhaps worst of all were their lack of refinement and manners toward women which was considered reprehensible.

The solutions to the ‘male problem’ was posed by the French Countess Marie, daughter of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Historian Amy Kelly tells;

“Marie organized the rabble of soldiers, fighting-cocks, jousters, springers, riding masters, troubadours, Poitevin nobles and debutantes, young chatelaines, adolescent princes, and infant princesses in the great hall of Poitiers. Of this pandemonium the countess fashioned a seemly and elegant society, the fame of which spread to the world. Here was a woman’s assize to draw men from the excitements of the tilt and the hunt, from dice and games, to feminine society, an assize to outlaw boorishness and compel the tribute of adulation to female majesty.”2

Marie was among the first of a long line of reformers to usher in a gynocentrism whose aim was to convince men of their shared flaws and to prescribe romantic love and concomitant worship of females as the remedy. The remedy was referred to as love service.

Love service involved the positioning of women as men’s superiors along with a series of prescribed behaviors for demonstrating the sexual hierarchy in male-female interactions. The meta-rules for those interactions can be found in troubadour poetry and in the book The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus, who wrote it under direction from Marie in 1188 AD.

The love service at the core of courtly love replicates feudal relations between vassals or serfs and their overlords. The feudal template was transferred wholesale into love relationships whereby each women came to be approached as a quasi ‘lord’ in each male-female relationship.

Sandra Alfonsi elaborated the feudalistic elements of courtly love in her book Masculine Submission in Troubadour Lyric:

The troubadours lived and functioned within a society based on feudalism. Certain ones were themselves feudal lords; others were liegemen dependent on such lords for their sustinence. The troubadours who were members of the clergy were also actively involved in this feudal society. It is only natural that their literature reflect some traits of the age in which it was created. Scholars soon saw striking parallels between feudalistic practices and certain tenets of Courtly Love. The comparisons lie in certain resemblances shared by vassalage and the courtly “love service.” Fundamental to both was the concept of obedience. As a vassal, the liegeman swore obedience to his lord. As a courtly lover, the poet chose a lady to whom he was required to swear obedience. Humility and obedience were two concepts familiar to medieval man, active components of his Weltanschauung. Critics, such as Erich Kohler, have found them exhibited in both the life and literature of that time.

The entire concept of love-service was patterned after the vassal’s oath to serve his lord with loyalty, tenacity, and courage. These same virtues were demanded of the poet. Like the liegeman vis-a-vis his sovereign, the poet approached his lady with fear and respect. Submitted to her, obedient to her will, he awaited a fief or honor as did the vassal. His compensation took many forms: the pleasure of his lady’s company in her chamber or in the garden; an avowal of her love; a secret meeting; a kiss or even le surplus, complete unity. Like the lord, the woman who was venerated and served was expected to reward her faithful and humble servant.

The similarities between courtly service and vassalage are indeed striking. Although of a more refined character than an ordinary vassal, the poet-lover is portrayed as his lady’s liegeman, involved in the ceremony of homage and pictured at the moment of the immixtio manuum. His reward for faithful service will doubtlessly include the osculum.

The influence of feudalism upon courtly love was, in my opinion, twofold: it provided the poets with a well-organized system of service after which they might pattern their own; it furnished them with a highly developed vocabulary centered around the service owed by a vassal to a lord. Feudalistic vocabulary was comprised of certain basic terminology indicative of the ties which legally bound a man to his lord in times of peace and war.3

Evolutionary Psychologist Don A. Monson paints a similar picture

This configuration of unequal power is the central feature of the poet-lover’s positioning of himself with regard to the love object. Drawing on the stratification and class-consciousness of medieval society, the canso describes primarily in terms of social hierarchy the woman’s psycho-sexual power to determine the outcome of the relationship. Thus the troubadour’s lady is regularly portrayed in terms denoting aristocracy, such as ‘‘noble’’ rica, franca or ‘‘high born’’ de bon aire, de aut paratge, whereas the poet stresses his own subordination, describing himself as ‘‘humble’’ umil, umelian, ‘‘submissive’’ aclin, and ‘‘obedient’’ obedien. The culmination of this tendency is one of the most pervasive images of troubadour poetry, the ‘‘feudal metaphor,’’ which compares the relationship of the lover and his lady to that which obtains between a vassal and his lord.

The poet-lover presents himself to his lady in an attitude of feudal homage omenatge, ‘‘kneeling’’ a/degenolhos with ‘‘hands clasped’’ mans jonchas. He declares himself to be his lady’s ‘‘man’’ ome or ‘‘liege man’’ ome lige and refers to the lady as his ‘‘lord’’ senhor, midons. He asks her to ‘‘retain’’ retener him as her ‘‘servant’’ ser, servidor or to take him into her ‘‘service’’ servizi. According to a military variant of the feudal metaphor, the lover ‘‘surrenders’’ se rendre to the lady, declaring himself ‘‘vanquished’’ vencut or ‘‘conquered’’ conques, and asks for her ‘‘mercy’’ merce.4

As described by Alfonsi and Monson, the demands of courtly love bespeak unbalanced power relationships, ones that engender vulnerability in the male supplicant along with an experience of a fragile pair-bonding that hovers in the realm of tantalizing.

In terms of our biological drives, courtly love captures the imperative for a strong, reliable pair-bonding experience, albeit one that remains maddeningly difficult to gain and maintain in the face of the convoluted conventions of courtly love.

The biological and cultural complexity covered above can be summarised in a few short lines;

Damseling is the cultural codification of neoteny.
Chivalry a cultural codification of the parental brain.
Courtly love is the codification of tantalizing pairbonds.

Part two of this series will look at how this holy trinity reappears in feminist ideology and activism.


[1] Combination of Cambridge and Miriam-Webster dictionary definitions.
[2] Amy Kelly, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Her Courts of Love, Source: Speculum, Vol. 12, No. 1
[3] Sandra Alfonsi, Masculine Submission in Troubadour Lyric, 1986
[4] Don A. Monson, Why is la Belle Dame sans Merci?, Neophilologus 2011; 95: 523.

Traditionalism vs. traditionalism

By Peter Wright and Paul Elam

The topic of gynocentrism is a perpetual undercurrent in the realm of red pill philosophy. It came up again recently, in a critique of a largely popular, critical commentator on third-wave feminism. That touched a nerve in the MHRM, and sparked some spirited, even acrimonious debate.

That nerve, we think, is connected directly to faultline, to a zone of demarcation within the nonfeminist sector that manages to surface regularly in the new narrative.

If history is any indication, we will see this friction revisited with greater intensity in the months and years ahead. That heat will increase with the commensurate increase in the popularity of nonfeminism. It warrants a good faith attempt to identify and explain what is happening. We may even head off some problems.

Traditionalism vs. modernism

Ostensibly, it appears that we have a long-running conflict between traditionalists and those who would make a clean break from any and all social constructs that govern identity and expectation based on sex.

Yet the debate about traditionalism is clearly more complex than a disagreement between people who want traditional vs. non-traditional relationships, a fact that becomes more evident with each flare-up of controversy and dissent.

Yes, we are going to say it. NATALT (Not All Traditionalists Are Like That). Not everyone who embraces some aspects of traditional relationships embraces chivalry or male disposability.

In the small but extant groupthink of the MHRM we have tended to tow some pretty rigid lines about what we perceive to be traditional relationships. If she works in the home and he works outside, and/or she primarily tends to children and he mows grass and does the home repairs, then we tend to lump it all into the same category, often in an unflattering way.

We’ve even developed a pejorative language, e.g. “tradcon” to identify those who have decided to pursue married and family life.

This division is not insignificant and has been the source of factions and splits within the greater movement for years.

Gynocentric traditionalist vs non-gynocentric traditionalist

There, we reckon, is the clearest definitive difference. This, much more so than traditionalist vs nontraditionalist, identifies those who are legitimately following a path which supports the restoration of human worth to men and boys.

The faultline can equally be discerned between two kinds of relationship agreements. ie. between gynocentric traditionalist and the non-gynocentric traditionalist. However both of them may choose to be married and have a family. We simply argue that one of those two different kinds of families has a great chance of producing more well-rounded children, individuals with agency and accountability.

The faultline, which rightly deserves to be there, is between those who follow the tenants of chivalry and romantic love, and those who don’t.

Non-gynocentric traditionalism might still be based on a role division as long as it’s an equitable one in terms of labor exertion and associated risks to health. That means role divisions can’t be based on chivalry or any other kind of male servitude. No amount of labor division can reciprocate or compensate for a man dying on the job for less in return.

For example, this by Modesta Pozzo in 1590 speaks of an unequal labor division, thus gynocentric tradition:

“Don’t we see that men’s rightful task is to go out to work and wear themselves out trying to accumulate wealth, as though they were our factors or stewards, so that we can remain at home like the lady of the house directing their work and enjoying the profit of their labors? That, if you like, is the reason why men are naturally stronger and more robust than us—they need to be, so they can put up with the hard labor they must endure in our service.”1

The description of traditional gynocentric roles put forward by Pozzo is no mere theory, as proven in the words of one of her contemporaries, Lucrezia Marinella (c.1571-1653), who described the situation between men and women as follows;

“It is a marvelous sight in our city to see the wife of a shoemaker or butcher or even a porter all dressed up with gold chains round her neck, with pearls and valuable rings on her fingers, accompanied by a pair of women on either side to assist her and give her a hand, and then, by contrast, to see her husband cutting up meat all soiled with ox’s blood and down at heel, or loaded up like a beast of burden dressed in rough cloth, as porters are. At first it may seem an astonishing anomaly to see the wife dressed like a lady and the husband so basely that he often appears to be her servant or butler, but if we consider the matter properly, we find it reasonable because it is necessary for a woman, even if she is humble and low, to be ornamented in this way because of her natural dignity and excellence, and for the man to be less so, like a servant or beast born to serve her.”2

The chivalry and romantic love in this account, one that promotes a gynocentric sexual contract between men and women, is the part that can easily be dropped while still embracing traditional standards that foster family bonds and the raising of functional, adjusted children.

What remains after gynocentrism is excised are benign aspects of traditional relationships such as a balanced labor division (where men and women both cut up meat and are covered in ox’s blood) or labor balanced into different areas – she scrubs bathroom tiles while he mows grass. Women’s willingness to labor was common in times past where they regularly worked as butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers alongside their male counterparts.

In that cooperative atmosphere of mutual contribution, men and women were more attracted to marriage and belonging to a large extended family – with all members of the family looking out for the safety, and health of the family network.

Other aspects of traditionalism, too, deserve a mention, such as those of benefit to men. These include more father-son time, and an assumption of being able to enjoy male spaces such as male-only drinking saloons, sporting teams, pool halls, and fraternal organizations; Elks, Masons, Golden Fleece, and many others.3

The question today is where the hell can any man find a traditional relationship with a women who eschews chivalry and romantic love – aka gynocentrism? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, which is why going your own way, or rather away from gynocentric traditionalism, is the most sensible thing a man can do.

The low odds for success are why modern men are rejecting traditional relationships with women, even the non-gynocentric ones, in favor of novel new ideas – because they don’t believe women today are willing to reciprocate while the hand of gynocentrism keeps on giving. Usually, they are right.

Men’s Human Rights Advocates wishing to promote benign or valuable aspects of tradition need to be more active in denouncing the toxic gynocentrism of same, otherwise the baby will continue to be thrown out with the bathwater, sans ceremony, by men who are unwilling to play Russian roulette with a world of Disney Princesses.

Even so the question remains of whether the valuable aspects of traditionalism can be separated in lived life, for this baby has been drinking the bathwater for centuries.

The answer to that question is probably in the affirmative for the small number of men with the insight, intelligence and determination to create such relationships.

What remains certain, though, is that those men and others will not benefit from a veneer of men’s advocacy that peels back to reveal gynocentric obedience and male disposability.

Simply put, antifeminism is not enough. Antagonizing social justice warriors is an entertaining pastime but on its own becomes a hollow ally for men concerned with misandry and male disposability.

If you are concerned with the humanity of men, with their access to compassion and choice, you would be ill-advised to consider anyone your ally that says in one breath that feminism is harmful, and out of the next that we need men to learn how to treat women according to a chivalrous code.

It was that code that morphed into the ideologically polluted waves of feminism to begin with.


[1] The Worth of Women: their Nobility and Superiority to Men (1590)
[2] The Nobility and Excellence of Women and the Defects and Vices of Men (1600)
[3] Edward Ward, The Secret History of Clubs, (published 1709). [This is one of hundreds of titles detailing traditional male clubs, guilds, and fraternities. The examples given show that the clubs were riotous places of laughter, male bonding, drinking, inventing and collaborating on various projects, and above all were places to enjoy a little self-chosen freedom. Married and bachelor men alike participated, and in the majority of clubs no women were allowed to set foot].
[4] E. Belfort Bax, ‘Chivalry Feminism’ in The Fraud of Feminism (1913)

Teoría del Ginocentrismo (Conferencias 5-8)

Teoría del Ginocentrismo

Las conferencias seminales que se encuentran a continuación fueron pronunciadas en 2011 por Adam Kostakis:

Greek goddess

5. Anatomía de una Ideología de Víctima

Conferencia Nº 5

Entre los peores errores que un pueblo amante de la libertad puede cometer es el de estereotipar a la feministas como un pequeño grupo variopinto de lesbianas rabiosas que ha dejado de ser relevante hace mucho tiempo. Tomen nota: este estereotipo les ayuda.

Debo repetirlo: este estereotipo les ayuda.

Piensen en eso un momento. Cada vez que ustedes menosprecian a las feministas como un montón de viejas gruñonas que nadie toma en serio, han ayudado ustedes a oscurecer el programa feminista y, sin duda, su misma existencia como una forma de poder organizado. Menosprécienlas, deben hacerlo – ¡pero háganlo de una manera que las exponga, no que las esconda! Porque el feminismo está lejos de ser una reliquia del pasado. El movimiento feminista es tomado muy en serio por aquellos que tienen el poder para hacer cumplir sus objetivos:

(1) La expropiación de los recursos de los hombres hacia las mujeres.
(2) El castigo de los hombres
(3) Incrementar (1) y(2) en términos de alcance e intensidad indefinidamente.

La obscuridad ayuda en la realización de esas metas al crear dudas entre los opositores potenciales. La identificación inapropiada del feminismo como un artefacto cultural que ya no tiene ningún peso sobre las operaciones del gobierno y la sociedad es un producto de la metamorfosis del feminismo en sí. Noten que la esencia, o la sustancia del feminismo no cambiado a lo largo de los años, tan solo su forma, o su empaque. El cambio de empaque ha demostrado ser tan efectivo que ahora hay algunos que incluso niegan que el producto exista.

Por el contrario. Así como los tiempos han cambiado con el feminismo, el feminismo ha cambiado con el tiempo. En la transformación del feminismo de un movimiento en oposición al gobierno y a la sociedad en general, al un movimiento que controla al estado y a la opinión pública –y usa esa posición para perseguir a los nuevos enemigos del estado– sus estrategias se han sometido a cierto tipo de sofisticación. Hoy en día, las feministas ya no necesitan hacer rabietas para conseguir lo que quieren, porque aunque antes luchaban contra el sistema, ahora lo controlan. Este es el cambio verdaderamente profundo en las sociedades Occidentales desde el zenit de la conciencia respecto al feminismo en la mitad del siglo pasado; no es que las feministas se hayan hecho menos relevantes, sino más.

Como Fidelbogen lo puso hace poco:

El feminismo está ahora afianzado en las estructuras institucionales, y por lo tanto, es “respetable”. Se podría comparar al crimen organizado, que solía ser abiertamente grosero y hostil en los primeros días de la mafia, pero que una vez lograron poner a su gente en el ayuntamiento, y en la política electoral, aprendió a vestir corbata de seda y a jugar el juego de manera diferente.

Cuando las feministas estaban fuera de la carpa, el ofender era una de sus primeras armas –pobremente disfrazada como una osada transgresión de los límites. ¿Quién recuerda esta adorable pieza de odio propagandístico, publicada en la década de 1970?


La de arriba es precisamente el tipo de cosas que las feministas de hoy en día quieren pretender que nunca pasó. Ahora que las feministas se encuentran dentro de la carpa, están obligadas a defender sus ganancias, en la década de 1970, cuando se concibió la imagen de arriba, ellas atacaban desde afuera, y buscaban tumbar la moralidad oficial en lugar de (como lo hacen ahora) definirla y dictarla.

¿Y qué mejor para mantener el control que castigando a lo que atacan, o podrían atacar, al nuevo status quo? Nos referimos claro a los hombres, que son los que más tienen que perder de los tres objetivos esenciales del proyecto feminista que ya mencionamos arriba. Hoy en día, las feministas creen que las mujeres tienen el derecho inalienable de no sentirse ofendidas, y no temen emplear la violencia de estado para imponer este derecho. Perseguir a aquellos (hombres) que las ofendan es su nueva arma, una que reemplaza a la anterior (ofender). Desde luego, perseguir a la gente simplemente porque dicha gente es ofensiva es bastante menos caritativo de lo que los hombres fueron para con las feministas antes de que éstas tomaran el poder. Pero, como nos lo explica la Teoría del Ginocentrismo, los hombres sólo eran caritativos con las mujeres ofensivas en los primeros días del feminismo porque las mujeres ya ejercían un control sustancial.

¿Creen acaso las feministas que están haciendo lo correcto? La respuesta es un inequívoco si para la mayoría de ellas –ellas realmente creen que son gente virtuosa, y que aún cuando son conscientes de estar mal, lo racionalizan de tal manera que también, simultáneamente, están bien. ¿Cómo puede ser esto posible) Bueno, déjenme mostrarles cómo funciona, rastreando la anatomía de una ideología de víctima.

Una vez que un periodo de concientización ha propagado la creencia de que los miembros de un grupo son –por su naturaleza esencial como miembros de ese grupo– víctimas, el grupo perseguirá tres objetivos:

(1) Igualarse con el grupo designado como “enemigo”;
(2) Forjar su propia “identidad de víctima”, distinto del grupo “enemigo”, al que no le tiene que rendir cuentas.

Se darán cuenta de que, mientras el primer objetivo acerca al grupo “víctima” al grupo “enemigo”, en términos de estatus, expectativas, autonomía, etc., el segundo amplia el espacio entre ambos grupos. El primer objetivo, nos dicen, nos unirá en nuestra humanidad común, y otorgará libertad a todos, y otras cosas agradables como esa. Pero tan pronto como no acercamos a ese objetivo, tiende a haber un cambio hacia proclamaciones de importancia del segundo objetivo. Nada será nunca suficiente para satisfacer al grupo “víctima”, pues éstos se ven a sí mismos como esencial e inherentemente víctimas del grupo “enemigo”, sin importar de lo que haya cambiado en realidad. Una ideología de víctima es anti-contextual, y sus seguidores ¬–las auto-designadas víctimas– nunca se verán a sí mismas como otra cosa. Su victimismo es confirmado con anterioridad, y los hechos se deben acomodar a la narración. En otras palabras, continuarán tergiversando cualquier situación para hacer ver siempre que se les trata de la peor manera.

Es por eso que feministas como Hillary Clinton se pueden salir con la suya al decir cosas como esta:

Las mujeres siempre han sido las principales víctimas de la guerra. Mujeres que pierden a sus esposos, sus padres, sus hijos en combate.

Bueno, sin duda –perder a miembros de la familiar en muertes horribles es mucho peor que tener que experimentar esas muertes horribles. Esto es, si toda su visión de mundo está manchada por el sexismo y usted reduce el estatus de los hombres a Objetos que Protegen/Proveen. En la cita de la Sra. Clinton, no se les otorga ningún tipo de humanidad a los hombres. El problema real no es que estos hombres sean traumatizados, mutilados o hechos pedazos per se; es que, como están siendo sujetos a esas atrocidades, los hombres no podrán cumplir con sus obligaciones de proteger/proveer de manera efectiva. Es por ello que son las mujeres quienes pierden, porque los hombres realmente no importan en tanto no puedan asistir a las mujeres. Este es precisamente el tipo de actitud que emerge de una ideología de víctima. Toda su existencia, en toda su maravillosa complejidad, se reduce a un primitivismo sin matices: mi gente importa, la suya no. O, como ya veremos, mi gente es buena, la suya mala. Todo lo que sea bueno para mi gente es bueno, no importa si es bueno o malo para su gente.

A este tipo de pensamiento se le conoce como Esencialismo Maniqueo, y es la piedra de toque metafísica de todo el feminismo. Décadas de concientización han asegurado que las mujeres son reflexivamente consideradas como objeto de injuria, sean cuales sean los hechos. Si no se puede encontrar ejemplos genuinos de mujeres que hayan sido agraviadas, el privilegio compensatorio se convierte en la meta aprobada. Es decir, se trata de manera más indulgente a las mujeres en un asunto porque se cree que ellas están en desventaja en asuntos no relacionados, o simplemente en desventaja en general. Un ejemplo reciente de lo anterior del Reino Unido es la orden emitida por la Dama Laura Cox a los jueces que dice que éstos deben tratar a las mujeres criminales con mayor indulgencia, una resolución que simultáneamente reduce a los hombres Británicos a un estatus de segunda clase mientras le da luz verde a mujeres abusivas que de otra manera hubieran sido disuadidas.

Hay algunas que van aún más lejos. La Baronesa Corston, quien se identifica explícitamente como feminista, cree que las mujeres no deberían ser castigadas en lo absoluto cuando cometen crímenes. Su informe de Gobierno de 2007 aboga por la clausura de todas las prisiones de mujeres, y que aún las delincuentes más violentas y abusivas no deberían ser encerradas. Sin duda, ellas

ya no irían a una de las 15 prisiones de mujeres de país, que serían todas clausuradas. En su lugar, asesinas como Rose West, quien cumple una condena por el asesinato de 10 mujeres y niñas, serían enviadas a “sencillas” unidades de custodia locales. Allí se les permitiría vivir como una “unidad familiar” con otras 20 o 30 prisioneras, quienes organizarían sus compras, presupuestos y cocina. Las unidades también les permitirían a esas mujeres permanecer cerca a sus familias…Todas las cárceles de mujeres se cerrarían en la próxima década, y en su lugar se podrían convertir en prisiones para hombres…El informe sostiene que “Hombres y mujeres son diferentes. El trato igual a hombres y mujeres no produce resultados iguales.”

El de arriba es un ejemplo clásico de la Neolengua Orwelliana. Anti-feministas de todos los tipos han venido diciendo por décadas que los hombres y las mujeres son esencialmente diferentes. Las feministas han insistido que hombres y mujeres son esencialmente iguales, y que por ello se les debe dar igual trato. Pero tan pronto como la igualdad resulta retrógrada para la meta de empoderamiento femenino, se suelta como una papa caliente, y las feministas se retuercen en una increíble gimnasia semántica para justificar ese súbito giro.

Las mujeres tampoco serán enviadas a prisión para “enseñarles una lección”.

Por supuesto que no. Las mujeres no deberían tener que aprender cómo obedecer la ley, mucho menos cómo ser miembros funcionales de la civilización. Se les debería permitir correr libres y salvajes, abusando y destruyendo todo lo que les dé la gana con absoluta impunidad. No deberían esperar siquiera una mínima amonestación por su mal comportamiento – eso sería violencia doméstica ¿acaso no lo sabía?

Pero si el feminismo realmente se tratara de igualdad, ¿no deberían las feministas tratar de pasar nuevas leyes para criminalizar a más mujeres, en lugar de su enfoque anti-igualitario de encarcelar a menos mujeres y a más hombres? ¿o es que acaso la igualdad sólo importa cuando son las mujeres las que son consideradas desiguales? (en sí mismo, esto implicaría fuertemente que las mujeres son una clase privilegiada como ninguna otra.)

La encarcelación femenina es tan sólo un octavo de la de los hombres en los Estados Unidos (Wikipedia, consultada el 10 de Octubre de 2010) mientras que las mujeres suman tan sólo el 5.7% de los reclusos en la Gran Bretaña (consultada el 10 de Octubre de 2010). Sin duda, si la igualdad fuera la meta, relajaríamos las leyes punitivas inspiradas por el feminismo en contra de los hombres, y buscaríamos castigar a más mujeres en su lugar. No se me ocurre ningún otro sector de nuestra sociedad que sea más predominantemente dominado por los hombres que el sistema penal –algo que, en aras de la igualdad sexual, necesita cambiar.

Pero no – rotundamente contrario a los principios de la justicia neutra e imparcial, las feministas consideran que encerrar a menos mujeres ¡es algo bueno en sí mismo! Es como si las mujeres que son culpables de crímenes no son realmente culpables –y por lo tanto son víctimas de lo que sea que se les haga como castigo. Es una noción popular que las mujeres están en desventaja –generalmente, inherentemente, esencialmente, con cada fibra de su ser– y por lo tanto están en desventaja en cada área particular de la vida; por ello, cualquier cosa que se pueda hacer para ayudarlas debe ser una reducción de desventajas injustas. Cualquier persona racional puede ver qué tan absurdo es todo esto, e incluyo a feministas destacadas en ese grupo, puesto que son astutas pero no estúpidas. Sólo desiertos, disuasión, trato justo, al diablo con la civilización; éste es el Ginocentrismo en acción.

Para recapitular, las ideologías de víctima, como el feminismo, buscan:

(1) Igualarse con el grupo “enemigo”;
(2) Forjar su propia “identidad de víctima”, distanciarse y no rendirle cuentas al grupo “enemigo”.

Que estos dos objetivos estén en contradicción no es solamente un error de lógica; es parte de una estrategia que le permite al grupo “víctima” cambiar su posición según lo requieran las circunstancias. Se podría perseguir el objetivo (1) durante un corto tiempo. Pero si se somete al grupo al escrutinio por colocar en desventaja al grupo “enemigo”, las “víctimas” pueden simplemente cambiarse al objetivo (2) y hacer énfasis en la importancia de su propia singularidad en maneras para las que la igualdad no es suficiente. O, como lo puso la feminista Germaine Greer:

En 1970, el movimiento era llamado “Liberación de la Mujer” o, despectivamente, “Lib de las Mujeres”. Cuando se dejó a un lado el nombre de “Libbers” por el de “Feministas” todos nos aliviamos. Lo que nadie notó es que el ideal de liberación estaba desapareciendo con la palabra. Nos estábamos conformando con la igualdad. La lucha por la liberación no se trata de la asimilación sino de afirmar la diferencia, dotando a esa diferencia con dignidad y prestigio, e insistiendo en ella como una condición de auto-definición y auto-determinación. …las feministas visionarias de finales de los sesenta y comienzo de los setenta sabían que las mujeres nunca podrían encontrar la libertad al acordar vivir las vidas de hombres cautivos.

Una vez que se alcanza un estatus igual, se puede desechar la retórica de la igualdad, porque ¿quién en todo caso quiere ser igual a un hombre? Aquí, en blanco y negro, está la declaración de la supremacía femenina.

Como ha sido siempre.

Si la igualdad hubiese sido la meta final, entonces las desventajas de los hombres habrían sido abordadas seriamente, y no exacerbadas mientras los hombres mismos eran provocados. Hasta el día de hoy, la única vez en que una feminista se molesta en abordar alguna desventaja masculina es cuando al señalarla se beneficia a las mujeres –como es el caso de la licencia por paternidad. Hacer cumplir las licencias de maternidad y paternidad descarta cualquier elemento disuasorio que los empleadores puedan tener al contratar a una mujer. Una feminista dejará de lado su treta de “todos los padres son violadores y abusadores”, justo lo suficiente como para insistir que los hombres deberían tener los mismos derechos en lo que respecta a la crianza –pero esto es presentado típicamente como una exigencia a que los hombres compartan la carga de criar a los niños para que las mujeres puedan obtener más poder en su lugar de trabajo. Aún cuando se trata de reivindicar las injusticias que sufren, los hombres no son más que herramientas para el mejoramiento de las mujeres.

Como ha sido siempre.

Otro ejemplo es la violación de hombres en las cárceles. Las feministas recalcan este problema ocasionalmente, pero sólo para mostrar que los hombres son los opresores, lo que les permite atacar a la masculinidad misma. Las feministas toman la antorcha una vez que el violador ha hecho lo suyo; ellas completan la humillación sexual de la víctima al destruir su identidad, envenenando su mente con calumnias que dicen que la masculinidad misma es la culpable por su victimización; por lo que una parte fundamental e inmutable de ese hombre víctima es la causa de violación. Ellas fuerzan sobre él la identidad de violador junto con la de víctima, su denigración de la “masculinidad tóxica” sirve para asegurarle que él comparte las características abusivas de su abusador. Por otra parte, se ignora o se niega el alto nivel de culpabilidad femenina en el abuso de niños, tanto sexual como no-sexual.

Ésta es la razón por la cual nuestra definición universalmente aplicable de feminismo no podría haber incluido ninguna referencia a la “igualdad” –no es una declaración razonable si hemos de utilizar herramientas analíticas más incisivas que el Esencialismo Maniqueo. La definición universal permanece, y es posible ceder ningún terreno: el feminismo es el proyecto de incrementar el poder de las mujeres.

¿Poder en qué sentido? ¿Poder para hacer qué? Tales preguntas surgen inevitablemente. La respuesta, si ha seguido el texto de cerca, es obvia –para lo que les dé la gana, sin importar quién más puede salir lastimado. El silencio no es consentimiento, pero es complicidad cuando se tiene el poder de llamar la atención hacia el abuso, así como los recursos para detenerlo, pero aún así se fracasa en hacerlo si los abusadores tienen genitales parecidos a los suyos.
Y es a esto a lo que hemos llegado, amigos – estamos lidiando con primitivos en traje de pantalón.

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6. Vino Viejo, Botellas Nuevas

Conferencia Nº 6

“Lo que sea que destroce la individualidad es despotismo, no importa con qué nombre se le llame” – J.S. Mill

Dominación. Mucho del análisis feminista gira en torno a este concepto. Un hombre que golpea a su mujer no está simplemente molesto con ella; está intentando dominarla. Un hombre que no está de acuerdo con una mujer y habla por encima de ella no está simplemente siendo grosero; está tratando de dominarla. Un violador realmente no está preocupado por el sexo; su crimen es una exhibición de poder, tan sólo quiere dominar a la mujer.

Verán, el hecho de que estas cosas sucedan no es suficiente para las fanáticas anti-hombres del mundo. Ellas siempre necesitarán más abasto para el molino misándrico. Castigar a los verdaderos criminales es una cosa, pero sencillamente no es tan gratificante como podría serlo dejar las cosas ahí – ellas necesitan articular lo que su intuición de mujer siempre les ha dicho, y es atacar a todos los hombres. El problema es, por supuesto, que la abrumadora mayoría de hombres no atacan a las mujeres de ninguna manera perceptible en lo absoluto. La solución, como se han dado cuenta las feministas, es jugar al Dr. Freud y plantear alguna motivación subconsciente, subyacente – una mentalidad oscura, sexual, anormal, que actúa como una explicación universal del comportamiento masculino.

Incluso cuando los hombres no se dedican a actos criminales, la criminalidad sigue allí, simplemente es latente – o es lo que las feministas nos quieren hacer creer. La idea según la cual todos los hombres poseen un mal latente, inherente, y las mujeres no, funciona como un pretexto para todo el discurso de odio sexista contra los hombres. Lo vemos en el trabajo, en las diatribas sin sentido en contra de una “cultura de violación” que no puede ser refutada, en campañas para prohibir el consumo privado de pornografía, y en la defensa de mujeres maliciosas que acusan falsamente a hombres de crímenes sexuales. Consideremos esta declaración de Mary Koss: “la violación representa un comportamiento extremo pero que se encuentra en flujo continuo con el comportamiento masculino normal dentro de la cultura.”

La desviación masculina inherente, según dicen (o insinúan), se manifiesta como un flujo continuo de masculinidad disfuncional, abarcando todo desde una simple desavenencia verbal hasta el asesinato del cónyuge. Todas las acciones masculinas que no contribuyan al proyecto feminista – incrementar el poder de las mujeres – se deben tomar como evidencia de una masculinidad inherentemente defectuosa que busca, sobre todo, dominar al bello sexo.

Pongámoslo de esta manera. ¿Dirían ustedes que ser asesinado ayuda a incrementar el poder de las mujeres?


Bien, ¿qué me dicen de perder un combate verbal? ¿Esto ayuda a que la mujer incremente su poder? ¿O no? Sin duda parece que uno tendría más autonomía si ella puede convencer más fácilmente a los demás que su parecer es correcto.

Entonces, si los dos ejemplos anteriores existen en un flujo continuo en el que las mujeres pierden poder, el corolario del cual es la dominación patriarcal, entonces por supuesto que es culpa de los hombres. Esto es, si nuestro análisis está basado en dudosas conjeturas feministas.

El concepto de dominación, tan tomado por sentado en su manifestación presente, es un ejemplo supremo del cambio lingüístico que ya discutí previamente. Como término, conlleva contrabando ideológico, escondido en un abrigo de rectitud. Originalmente, el término dominación, que tiene su raíz en el latín dominus, se refería específicamente al poder ejercido por un amo sobre sus esclavos. Como tantos otros términos de los que las feministas se han apropiado con el fin de manipular las percepciones de la realidad, dominación se ha vuelto objeto de un descoloramiento semántico.

Lo que es realmente interesante de todo esto es que nuestro nuevo concepto de dominación –como jerarquía injusta que se debe atacar y a la que hay que oponerse– se usa en una dirección específica: como promotor del verdadero despotismo. La señal más obvia que marca el camino al despotismo es la intrusión de la esfera pública en la vida privada de los individuos. El despotismo es precisamente el tipo de jerarquía injusta con la que identificamos a la dominación; sin embargo, si se amplía lo suficiente este último término como para abarcar todas las áreas de la vida privada, entonces el resultado inevitable es una dictadura brutal y devastadora.

Este es el contexto en el que debemos entender el eslogan feminista que ha perdurado por más tiempo: lo personal es político. Nótese que (según ese eslogan), lo personal no es simplemente un asunto que interesa a lo político; no forma parte de lo político; no es de importancia equivalente a lo político. Realmente es lo político.

Los dos términos son presentados como si fueran idénticos, intercambiables.

Lo personal es político.

Si esto es cierto, entonces no existe ni el más pequeño espacio de privacidad, que es algo que corresponde exclusivamente al individuo –es decir, sobre el cual el individuo es soberano. Es cierto que una vida privada digna de su título no sería posible sin una estructura pública dominante –es la ley la que protege todas las libertades que hace posible la existencia de las vidas e intereses privados. Para usar la analogía favorita de J.F. Stephen, la ley es la tubería a través de la cual fluyen las aguas de la libertad. Es cuando la vida pública –el estado– fracasa en reconocer sus propios límites que la sociedad se ve amenazada por el despotismo.

Los intelectuales de todas la épocas han elaborado las razones más ingeniosas por las que su manera de pensar en superior a aquellas que han existido antes. La mayoría de la gente sencillamente ha asumido esto sin la necesidad de que se lo justifiquen. Lo que es peculiarmente moderno es la construcción de fronteras artificiales entre nuestro tiempo y las épocas pasadas. Nosotros, por ejemplo, no consideramos que estemos viviendo en el mismo plano histórico que los de la Europa Medieval, ni mucho menos de la Grecia Antigua. Éstos son tiempo inexplicables e inaccesibles para nosotros. Es una fantasía seductora con la que nos liberamos de cualquier miedo conjurado por los horrores de los libros de historia. Nos gusta creer que las autocracias sangrientas se encuentran confinadas a esas páginas, y que cosas como esas no podrían pasar aquí, ni ahora; no en la vida real. Sin duda, hemos progresado más allá de todo ello. Nosotros somos Iluminados, a diferencia de los seres humanos que existieron antes de nosotros.

¿Pero acaso no estamos nosotros en el mismo plano histórico que vio surgir al Comunismo Soviético y al partido Nazi? Estos reinados del terror en particular ocurrieron en el último siglo, no importa qué tanto nos gustaría pensar que hemos progresado más allá de ese barbarismo. Supuestamente, nosotros en el mundo Occidental aborrecemos los regímenes totalitarios; y sin embargo el surgir de esos dos que acabamos de mencionar es indicativo de una tendencia que existe dentro de nuestra cultura política. Junto con el bagaje que hemos heredado de la Ilustración se encuentra el concepto de utopía. El término fue acuñado en el siglo XVI, y designaba, por primera vez, la noción de un orden socio-político perfecto. Con el nacimiento de esta idea, se sembraron las semillas para la limpieza de impedimentos humanos como un programa político puesto en marcha.

Antes de la Ilustración, se asumía que la vida humana era cíclica. Tan cierto como que el sol sale por la mañana y se oculta una vez más al anochecer, los grandes poderes surgirían y caerían, para que otros nuevos tomaran su lugar. Esa era la ciencia de Polibio, cuya obra histórica no disponía los eventos en orden cronológico, sino que representaba la experiencia humana como una unidad. Las dinastías, imperios, culturas, así como los pueblos y sus comunidades, vivían y morían en las oscilaciones del péndulo cósmico.

Una de las mayores innovaciones conceptuales de la modernidad es el progreso como ideal guía en la política y la sociedad. No solo asumimos que estamos constantemente distanciándonos de nuestra propia historia; persiste la creencia de que sólo es cuestión de tiempo antes de que cada problema dé lugar a su solución. La fe en el conocimiento humano nunca ha sido tan grande como en la Era de la Información; nosotros buscamos activamente vencer lo que antes se consideraba como los hechos inextricables de la vida.

El propósito de esta digresión no es sembrar dudas sobre las posibilidades del conocimiento humano, ni sugerir que cualquier intento por mejorar la condición humana es una búsqueda innoble. Es para señalar que somos hijos de la Ilustración, independientemente de cuál es nuestra inclinación dentro del espectro político. Es para señalar que hay ciertas suposiciones que forman la base y el andamiaje del pensamiento político Occidental, y que es sobre estas suposiciones que están construidas ideologías tan diversas como el conservadurismo, el liberalismo, el Nacional Socialismo y el feminismo.

El –ismo en sí es un fenómeno completamente moderno. Un –ismo (o, podríamos decir, una “ideología”) asume una diferencia entre cómo la sociedad es y cómo debería ser, predicado sobre una perspectiva moral del mundo. Esto es obviamente verdad para aquellas ideologías que abogan explícitamente por un cambio –liberalismo, socialismo, feminismo, y así. Es igualmente cierto para el conservadurismo y el tradicionalismo, ideologías que (como ellas mismas lo ven) apuntan a recuperar aquellas cosas valiosas que se han perdido a través de las épocas.

Típicamente, lo que las ideologías encuentran tan censurable acerca del mundo es la configuración vigente de poder. Los grandes textos y oradores de la ideología que describe una configuración de poder pelean porque ésta se reconozca como injusta, y luego presentan los medios a través de los cuales se puede lograr el cambio deseado. Estos medios pueden involucrar el trabajar a través de las instituciones estatales vigentes, o puede que éstas necesiten ser derrocadas, o puede que se eviten las prácticas convencionales y se abogue por encantar a la sociedad civil.

Lo que sea que la ideología suponga en práctica, esta es una diferencia marcada con lo que ocurría antes. El progreso, no la recurrencia, se encuentra en la raíz de toda expectativa política. Ya sea un progreso hacia una sociedad sin clases, o pureza étnica, o el retorno a los valores tradicionales, el progreso es una constante. La perspectiva de que algo está mal y se necesita hacer algo al respecto, como una declaración política, es un invento reciente, uno que define nuestra cultura política compartida. Los conservadores se encuentran atrapados en la misma telaraña “progresiva”, pero también los iconoclastas, quienes evidencian su cumplimiento de los modos convencionales de pensamiento aun cuando declaran sus intenciones de alejarse de ellos. Entre más luchan contra esta inevitabilidad, más atrapados se encuentran. Para poner un ejemplo relevante, las feministas han declarado a veces que ellas se están distanciando completamente de las suposiciones “patriarcales”, y construyendo su propia visión de mundo desde cero, que no está corrompida por la influencia masculina. En realidad, nadie empieza desde cero, y el feminismo continúa profundamente incrustado en formas de pensamiento que han evolucionado a lo largo de los siglos, exclusivamente a través de las mentes de los hombres. La ideología feminista, y todas sus innovaciones, sencillamente no pudieron haber ocurrido sin previos siglos de trabajo masculino.

La conferencia de la próxima semana mirará más de cerca la afirmación feminista según la cual lo personal es político, y las implicaciones ocultas contenidas dentro de este lema. En las semanas que vienen, consideraremos el concepto de utopía, que esta vez fue mencionado por encima. Por ahora será suficiente un comentario breve: utopía es la extensión lógica del progreso, y ese es el fin de todo progreso, la última etapa de la existencia humana. Es una idea profundamente peligrosa, responsable de los más opresivos regímenes y de las revoluciones más sangrientas que ha conocido el mundo. Mientras la gloria y el poder personales pueden haber sido la fuerza motivadora detrás de las acciones de individuos despóticos incluso en los últimos tiempos, fue la visión colectiva y utópica la que incitó a sus seguidores a llevar a cabo las más violentas fantasías. En todos los casos en que los utópicos toman las riendas del poder, los seres humanos que no encajan en su visión de un nuevo orden mundial son tratados como la basura viviente de un régimen desaparecido.

Es con asco y horror que el Occidente mira hacia atrás a los déspotas utópicos del siglo XX, y sin embargo estos despotismos particulares corresponden a una tendencia que forma la infraestructura de nuestra propia política. Pero el asco y el horror son suficientemente reales, y quizás el cambio más verdaderamente progresivo de los últimos tiempos es el rechazo al extremismo, en todas sus formas, por poblaciones determinadas a dejar atrás un siglo de genocidio.

No obstante, eso no es tan fácil. Se puede tirar de las puntas y talar los troncos de la tierra, pero a menos de que se desentierren las raíces, pronto se verá brotar de nuevo esas flores. El utopismo, con la purificación de los impedimentos humanos que siempre implica, está codificado en nuestro ADN político. El desprecio generalizado hacia esos recientes totalitarismos fracasados no hará que lo anterior desaparezca; tan sólo puede hacer que la tendencia despótica se quede dormida por un tiempo. Un nuevo despotismo sólo puede emerger si lo hace silenciosamente, disfrazado como algo diferente –tal vez como una oposición organizada a ciertas formas de dominación injusta, cuya solución siempre es incrementar el poder del estado relativo a la autonomía del individuo.

Lo personal es político, dicen las feministas.

Ya puedo escuchar que se acerca la marcha a paso de ganso.


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7. Lo Personal, en Contraste con lo Político

Conferencia Nº 7

“Ellos se enorgullecían de pertenecer a un movimiento, a diferencia de un partido, y un movimiento no estaba atado a un programa” – Hanna Arendt

La semana pasada miramos cómo el concepto de dominación se ha convertido en una justificación para transgredir hacia el despotismo. No debería ser una sorpresa para aquellos lectores atentos que virtualmente cada palabra clave en el léxico feminista se usa de una manera similar. Ya sea que el término que se está discutiendo sea misoginia, o violación, o patriarcado, la tendencia es ampliar su significado hasta cubrir el área semántica más amplia posible, contrabandeando la máxima cantidad de alijo ideológico posible dentro de un abrigo de rectitud. El efecto en el mundo real de todo esto es restringir la autonomía masculina a través de la criminalización de las acciones de los hombres. Las posibilidades ilimitadas del descoloramiento semántico corresponden con las vastas sentencias a prisión y multas descomunales. La intención es criminalizar la norma. Cada movimiento que un hombre haga debería ocasionarle escalofríos, forzarlo a mirar sobre sus hombres, con una expresión de pánico, y preguntándose “¿Qué ley he roto ahora?” los hombres deberían vivir en un estado perpetuo de vigilancia y culpa presunta – una existencia panóptica en la que son repetidamente reprendidos por hacer las cosas mal. Es decir, según un estándar moral ajeno e invasivo que ellos son invitados a obedecer, no a entender, y ciertamente no a cuestionar o a refutar.

Pero cuando el comportamiento criminalizado cae dentro del campo de las acciones que tanto hombres como mujeres realizan, el argumento requiere un corolario según el cual es diferente, y peor, cuando los hombres lo hacen. Por ejemplo, ciertos individuos desagradables de ambos sexos cometen acoso sexual, pero nosotros tenemos que entender que cuando los hombres se lo hacen a las mujeres, es aceite, y cuando las mujeres se lo hacen a los hombres es agua. Ambas cosas, se nos asegura, con incomparables, no importa cómo vea las cosas un hombre que ha sido victimizado– después de todo, incluso en su victimismo, él tiene su percepción cegada por su privilegio.

Todo el cuento de hadas se puede resumir en el mantra feminista, lo personal es político. Como se discutió la semana pasada, el contexto propio en el que esta declaración debería ser vista es la historia reciente del mundo Occidental. Hay que darle atención particular a una corriente dentro de nuestra cultura política compartida que ha provocado gobiernos despóticos y amenaza con hacerlo de nuevo. ¿Cómo más podemos interpretar una declaración según la cual todas las cosas dentro del dominio del individuo son en realidad asuntos del gobierno? Si no poseemos, ni tenemos el control de, aquellas cosas que son personales para nosotros, no puede haber nada de lo que podamos hablar que controlemos o poseamos, incluidas nuestras vidas.

Pero sería un error ver ese mantra simplemente como una declaración o una creencia, es decir que la persona que lo dice simplemente cree que lo personal es lo político. Todo tipo de personas tienen todo tipo de teorías excéntricas, y un grupo de gente que comunica su creencia de que todos los aspectos de nuestras vidas son manejadas por el estado sería tan problemático como aquellos teóricos de la conspiración que usan sombreros de papel aluminio o la Sociedad de la Tierra Plana. Cuando una feminista dice que lo personal es político, sin embargo, ella no está simplemente enunciando una creencia; está haciendo un llamado a la acción. Hay implicaciones ocultas en esa frase.

La discusión de la semana pasada incluyó una sección sobre ideologías, y las suposiciones progresistas que se encuentran en las raíces de la cultura política occidental. Para recapitular, las ideologías asumen una diferencia entre cómo es la sociedad y cómo debería ser, predicada sobre una perspectiva moral específica del mundo. Lo que esto significa, en lo que le incumbe al análisis feminista, es que actualmente lo personal no es político, entonces se debería hacer que lo sea. Prácticamente, toda la innovación política consiste en convertir esas cosas que son personales en asuntos políticos. El extremo lógico se encuentra allí donde no hay acciones estrictamente personales, no hay afirmaciones, intenciones, pensamientos o creencias personales; todas éstas, ya sean expresadas públicamente o en privado, serían estrictamente políticas. Cada decisión, hasta los detalles más minúsculos de la vida diaria, se vuelve asunto político del que los individuos deben rendir cuentas, no como transgresiones individuales, sino como miembros de una clase opresiva que debe responder por sus pecados.

“Lo político” es otro de esos conceptos esencialmente polémicos –en otras palabras, es uno de esos conceptos que son más vulnerables al abuso. Es una idea imprecisa, que puede ser captada pero nunca determinada con precisión– y los intentos para hacerlo son como intentar agarrar el aire de un colchón inflable. Una de las cosas que podemos decir sobre “lo político” es que no siempre ha sido identificado con “lo ideológico” –lo que parece sensato, ya que “lo ideológico” es un producto de la modernidad, un recién llegado en lo que a la política se refiere.

Hubo una vez en que “lo político” era un término que se refería a Reyes, Reinas, cortesanos y nobles, sus luchas y sus sucesiones; pero ciertamente no a la doctrina. Ese cambio se dio a cabo gradualmente, con el declive del fervor religioso que marca a la modernidad.

Soy consciente de que estoy muy cerca de caer en una falacia etimológica, así que déjenme aclarar que es lo que estoy argumentando. No estoy reclamando que haya un significado apropiado de términos como “lo político” que ha pasado de moda. Ya he reconocido previamente que el lenguaje está en un flujo perpetuo. Como corolario, reconozco que las definiciones objetivamente correctas son una rareza. Mi propósito, al resaltar el cambio lingüístico, es resaltar complementariamente el cambio social. Uno rara vez sufre un cambio de paradigma sin afectar al otro. Hay un poder inmenso en el lenguaje, no sólo al reflejar sino al definir el mundo experiencial. Si queremos entender porqué las cosas con como son, debemos fijar nuestra atención en los cambios históricos en el vocabulario –es ahí donde encontraremos las nocionales células germen que dieron origen a la enfermedad del feminismo.

Ese es el caso de “lo político”. Hoy en día, todo lo que sea controversial es reflexivamente considerado como un asunto político. Ya sea que estemos discutiendo el estilo de vida inusual de alguna persona, o una nueva obra de arte que desafía los límites, o una página web que propone una perspectiva del mundo innovadora, nos sentimos bastante seguros de que lo que estamos discutiendo es una declaración política. Lo controversial es entonces político; o quizás sería más exacto decir que lo inusual es político. Se incita a los inconformistas de todo tipo a adherir algún propósito político a sus acciones o creencias. El efecto de este desafío tan público es encerrar a los individuos en un sistema de control ubicuo; salirse de los límites lo convierte a uno en un blanco.

Y esto es precisamente lo que el feminismo requiere –que los hombres se alineen, y que persigan a los que no lo hagan. Es mucho más fácil lograr el proyecto de aumentar el poder de las mujeres cuando uno puede silenciar a aquellos que tienen más que perder en caso de que el proyecto tenga éxito.

El otro lado de la moneda es el beneplácito “compensatorio” cada vez más mayor que se les da a las mujeres. Son solamente las vidas privadas de los hombres las que deben estar atrapadas en un sistema de control público; las mujeres, por otra parte, han de disfrutar del botín de la victoria en una nueva era de anarquía sexual femenina. Quizás el único consuelo que nos queda, siendo realistas, es que los despotismos son grandes generadores de iluminación espiritual entre los oprimidos. Fue la persecución de los primeros cristianos lo que llevó a hombres y mujeres piadosos a vivir solos en el desierto, imitando a Jesús –fue tan sólo en el siglo V que la Iglesia se apropió de estos monásticos, después de que hubieran buscado una existencia puramente asceta como alternativa del mundo material que los había expulsado. De manera similar, los regímenes opresivos del periodo Helenístico llevaron a muchos, dentro de las ciudades-estado griegas, a acogerlas filosofías místicas que abogaban por el rechazo del mundo. Dado que nosotros vamos en camino hacia un despotismo feminista, no es de sorprenderse que un desarrollo paralelo se esté incubando, en la forma del movimiento Hombres que Siguen Su Propio Camino (MGTOW [Men Going Their Own Way]). Los MGTOW han rechazado la exigencia ginocéntrica según la cual los hombres deben definirse de acuerdo a su destreza sexual. Como consecuencia de haber sido aliviados de ese peso, muchos MGTOW han asumido una deliberación introspectiva sobre la naturaleza del hombre y la masculinidad –discusiones que son androcéntricas, y por lo tanto no rinden cuentas a la ortodoxia feminista. En su núcleo, el movimiento MGTOW se aparta del mundo –del matrimonio, de los hijos, de los empleos sacrificantes, incluso de cualquier relación con mujeres– buscando calma de los agentes hostiles, así como lo hicieron los ascetas y místicos del mundo antiguo.

Aunque yo respaldo el estilo de vida MGTOW, soy consciente de que no es suficiente –para la realización o para la supervivencia. El feminismo simplemente no está en el negocio de dejar a los hombres en paz. Es una ideología progresista, lo que quiere decir que seguirá creciendo, sin ningún control interno sobre sus propias actividades; ¡no tiene frenos! Cualquier intento de auto-criticismo da paso a una mayor radicalización. Incapaz de percibir el mundo desde fuera de la burbuja feminista, sus discípulas piensan y actúan de una manera anti-contextual y abstracta. El único control sobre las actividades de semejantes ideologías debe venir de afuera –es decir, del resto de la sociedad. Si el feminismo no desacelera y se detiene voluntariamente, entonces les corresponde a agentes externos construir un muro de ladrillo en su camino. Este es un requerimiento moral –la alternativa es permitirle que reine libremente, en cuyo caso terminaremos inevitablemente en un despotismo. Hasta ahora, el feminismo ha mostrado ser notablemente socio-dinámico, y no se ha enfrentado a mucha resistencia política –lo que quiere decir que la velocidad de persecución va a aumentar.

Me gustaría aclarar algo. La palabra “feminismo” se puede referir a más de una cosa. De manera más obvia, feminismo como movimiento no es precisamente lo mismo que el feminismo como ideología; de manera más precisa, el primero es motivado por las máximas del segundo. El feminismo como ideología es una ideología de víctimas, lo que quiere decir que existe en defensa de un cierto tipo de gente que se ha designado como las víctimas. Los objetivos duales de una ideología de víctimas son, como ya lo había mencionado anteriormente:

(1) Igualarse con el grupo “enemigo”;
(2) Forjar su propia “identidad de víctima”, diferente del grupo “enemigo” y al que no tiene que rendirle cuentas.

Si se logra el objetivo (1), entonces la ideología sencillamente deja de existir, lo que quiere decir que el movimiento deja de existir. El movimiento, sin embargo, no es una entidad inorgánica que cumple de manera mecánica con las necesidades de la ideología. Está conformado por gente que se ha vuelto dependiente de él, tanto financiera como psicológicamente. El fin de la desigualdad, como sea que se hubiera medido al principio, significaría un desastre para las graduadas en Estudios de Género en todo el mundo. Por ejemplo, la inhabilidad de las organizaciones feministas en admitir que los índices de violación están en declive y que las acusaciones falsas están llegando a niveles de epidemia significaría grandes pérdidas que afrontarían los ideólogos que trabajan en los centros de asistencia a víctimas de violación (que generalmente se encuentran vacíos). No se puede permitir que la ideología muera –hay demasiado en juego, en particular el movimiento, y todos aquellos recursos de los que sus actores principales hayan podido echar mano. Así como con mucha otra gente, la amenaza del desempleo es suficiente como para sacar un conservadurismo radical, que insiste, en este caso, en la existencia de nuevos tipos de opresión que aún se deben superar. Hay muchísimo dinero en el negocio de la percepción constante de las mujeres como seres en desventaja. El feminismo ya no es simplemente un movimiento, sino una industria –bien llamada por muchos la industria de los agravios sexuales.

En caso de que está industria se derrumbe, dejaría un vacío en las carteras de las feministas profesionales casi tan grande como el vacío que dejaría entre sus orejas. La alternativa a un apoyo estatal continuo para superar las nuevas opresiones es casi inimaginable. No sólo significaría el fin del subsidio que se extrae a los hombres para su propia persecución –también amenazaría con dejar un vacío físico en la mente de muchas feministas profesionales. ¿Qué harían entonces, una vez que se les quite ese dinero ensangrentado?

Las feministas tienen, desde luego, un plan de contingencia. Los remito al objetivo (2). La razón por la cual las ideologías de víctimas tienden a no morir fácilmente cuando se ha logrado la igualdad, o incluso la supremacía del grupo “víctima”, es esta: porque cambian sus objetivos hacia la separación inherente entre los grupos de “víctimas” y “enemigos”, y rehúsan tomar cualquier tipo de responsabilidad para con el resto del mundo. Sin duda, cualquier intento de una persona externa al grupo designado como “víctima”, de hacer a los miembros de ese grupo responsables por sus transgresiones, es mancillado como un intento de frenar el objetivo (1) –y la persona que se atrevió a quejarse será insultada con todo tipo de nombres.

Una ideología de víctimas es necesariamente tripartita en su entendimiento del tiempo. El pasado es identificado con la Opresión, el presente con la Lucha, y el futuro con la Liberación. La historiografía tripartita es constante. Si cualquiera de los tres estados –Opresión, Lucha o Liberación– es removido, entonces no tenemos una ideología de víctima. Se derrumba debido a su inconsistencia. Tiene que haber una Opresión pasada, pues esto justifica la Lucha presente, que también tiene que existir en el presente, como una tautología; ¿de qué más estaríamos hablando? La Lucha debe ser en pos de algo, y ese algo es la Liberación, prometida en el futuro. Abajo hay una especia de diagrama, presentado desde la perspectiva feminista:


Es una caricatura infantil, apropiada para una perspectiva de mundo infantil. Es importante mencionar lo que se requiere para que la triada Opresión, Lucha, Liberación tenga sentido –el actor que lleva a cabo la opresión, contra quien se debe luchar, y de quien las víctimas designadas deben liberarse. Ese actor es, desde luego, el hombre.

La imagen de arriba se presenta desde la perspectiva feminista, en la que el tiempo se mueve de manera horizontal, de izquierda a derecha. En el mundo real, la línea de tiempo está rota. Estamos permanente congelados en la fase presente, y desde allí, el tiempo se mueve verticalmente y hacia abajo:


Hay sencillamente demasiadas personas que se benefician del feminismo (por ejemplo, la industria de los agravios sexuales) para permitir que la verdadera liberación de la mujer sea reconocida. Si se admitiera que las mujeres no sólo han sido liberadas, sino que han recibido varias ventajas sobre los hombres, entonces el movimiento y la ideología, y por lo tanto la industria que es el feminismo, se volverían irrelevantes. El papel actual de las mujeres, que puede ser descrito de la manera más apropiada como Privilegiado, no es ni siquiera concebible en el tiempo feminista. La Liberación debe permanecer siempre como una meta futura, y no se puede permitir que sea percibida como un logro presente. El feminismo es auto-sostenible de esta manera –al impulsarse a sí mismo hacia nuevas Luchas. El entendimiento tripartito del tiempo es independiente del contexto; es fundamentalmente abstracto y anti-contextual. Se asume la triada antes de que la verdad acerca del mundo sea establecida en cualquier momento, y los hechos del mundo deben ser martillados hasta que adquieran una forma amigable a la perspectiva feminista.

No importa mucho que las grandes Luchas hayan sido ganadas. Las feministas pueden simplemente crear unas nuevas. Y como los hombres son (como debe ser siempre) los opresores contra los que se debe luchar, es bastante justificable quitarles cualquier poder que aún posean.

Hasta que no posean ninguno


* * *

8. Persiguiendo Arco Iris

Conferencia Nº 8

“La igualdad, entendida correctamente como nuestros padres fundadores la entendían, lleva hacia la libertad y a la emancipación de diferencias creativas; entendida de manera errónea, como ha sucedido trágicamente en nuestro tiempo, lleva primero a la conformidad y luego al despotismo.” –Barry Goldwater

¿Qué es lo que nos permite vivir vidas significativas? Esta es una pregunta que tiene una larga historia, y después de más de dos mil años de rascarnos la cabeza, nuestra especie no es mucho más sabia. Las respuestas fracasan tan fácilmente como se forman. Tal vez la única sabiduría real impartida por siglos de búsqueda espiritual es que la solución no se puede reducir a la materialización de un único valor. Los esfuerzos para ocasionar un sistema social basado en la materialización de un valor en particular –ya sea una doctrina religiosa, la voluntad de la nación, o igualdad social– han resultado invariablemente en una represión extendida, y no en la época dorada de paz y virtud como lo postulan sus ideologías. Por el contrario, esas sociedades que han logrado crear y mantener un espacio para que la gente pueda realmente vivir lo que podrían llamar “vidas significativas” son aquellas que han mantenido un número de valores en equilibrio. Esta no es una solución muy emocionante, pero es mejor sentirse insatisfecho con los grandes misterios de la vida que ser un siervo o un “desaparecido” por un régimen que persigue una máxima más seductora.

Sea cual sea el caso, el argumento a favor de la autonomía parece convincente –equilibrado, como debe ser, respecto a otros valores. Es difícil ver cómo la vida podría ser significativa allí donde no se poseen los derechos más básicos de auto-determinación. En este punto, estoy superficialmente de acuerdo con las feministas, quienes han hecho de la autonomía (y no la igualdad) su principio guía. Desde luego, en su caso, la única que cuenta es la autonomía de las mujeres, y ésta se debe extender tanto como sea posible. Sin embargo, coincidimos en que la autonomía, en sí misma, es algo bueno, aunque yo añadiría el corolario de que ésta debe estar en equilibrio respecto a otros valores de manera que no se vuelva una autorización parar hacer cualquier cosa.

Es entonces una ironía espectacular el que, en tanto sigan siendo feministas, las mujeres nunca podrán saborear la libertad. El feminismo es una ideología de víctima que paraliza a las mujeres en una Lucha perpetua; no se puede permitir el disfrutar la Liberación, pues de lo contrario se acaba el juego. Para seguir jugando, las feministas deben imaginar que están bajo el control de fuerzas externas que son responsables del destino que les acaece, y tienen un nombre para este delirio masivo: El Patriarcado. Cada mala decisión, cada consecuencia no deseada, cada menor inconveniente puede ser rastreado a este sistema de control místico, mítico e invisible que ejerce su influencia sobre las mujeres, de manera similar a como las tribus animistas explican varios fenómenos climatológicos a través de deidades enfurecidas y vengativas. Si las feministas han de pretender que la Lucha aún es relevante, entonces no se puede admitir que las mujeres tienen el control de sus propios actos, puesto que ello implicaría que son agentes morales libres. Se debe hacer creer a las mujeres que son delicadas embarcaciones arrojadas a una tormenta en el océano, sin tierra a la vista, en la que tratar de navegar o conducir es inútil. Tal vez podríamos contrastar esto con el movimiento MGTOW, que asemeja a una serie de canoas, ligeras pero resistentes, cuyos ocupantes reman en mares calmos –por lo pronto, al menos.

Aun cuando las mujeres sean privilegiadas más allá de sus sueños más salvajes –lo que es inconcebible en la teoría feminista– todavía no se pueden considerar libres. A las mujeres no se les permite disfrutar la libertad; se les debe negar de manera que la ideología sobreviva. Se debe reiterar, hasta que venga a la mente como si fuera un reflejo, que “todavía vivimos en un patriarcado”, y que “las mujeres todavía no son iguales”, etcétera. Las adherentes la feminismo no pueden descansar jamás, porque ellas mismas no se lo pueden permitir. Están persiguiendo arco iris perpetuamente.

Han construido una barricada mental, cerradas al mismo mundo al que le imponen sus designios. Están forzadas a concebirse a sí mismas como en una Lucha eterna, a menos de que se Liberen, en cuyo caso se volverían irrelevantes. Como lo dije la semana pasada, una percepción tripartita de la historia (el pasado como Opresión, el presente como Lucha, el futuro como Liberación) es una constante del feminismo, y todo esto se decide antes de los hechos. Sin importar el contexto, el presente es Lucha, con la Liberación perpetuamente establecida en algún punto en el futuro. Como lo dice el proverbio, el mañana jamás llega.

Como lo mencioné previamente, el feminismo es fundamentalmente anti-contextual, tomando decisiones respecto a lo que sucede antes de que suceda, y luego acomodando los hechos a dichas decisiones. El proceso es simple: tomar los puntos clave respecto a la situación dada, y a través de la falta de lógica, la erística, el relativismo moral, el simbolismo, la auto-contradicción, y la fantasía, enmarcan el discurso como uno en el que las mujeres pasan de la Opresión a la Liberación, pero en el que no llegarán allí sin la Lucha feminista.

Esto no significa que el feminismo opere de manera estática. El primer paso en el proceso que acabo de describir es actuar sobre los hechos de la vida real. Si las feministas no hicieran esto, su sermón no tendría ningún atractivo para el sector no-feminista, porque daría la impresión de no ser aplicable al mundo experiencial. El feminismo es anti-contextual en el sentido de que la narración se decide antes de los hechos, pero aún así depende del contexto de cualquier situación particular. El contexto de la vida real debe ser vivido y entendido, y sólo entonces podrá ser cooptado dentro del discurso feminista. Para dar un ejemplo claro, las feministas en Estados Unidos, hoy en día, no protestan por el derecho de las mujeres al voto. No lograrían nada si lo hicieran porque, teniendo ya el voto, no tienen a dónde más ir (en este aspecto). El sufragio no es un asunto relevante en el contexto del mundo real. Por otra parte, el hecho de que la mayoría de los líderes de negocios sean hombres puede ser verificado por la mayoría de la gente en el mundo; esto, entonces, se puede arrastrar hasta el discurso feminista como un ejemplo de Opresión.

Discúlpenme si soy demasiado simplista, pero se debe aclarar cómo el proceso de fabricación de la Lucha juega un papel crucial en la naturaleza cambiante de los derechos.

¿Qué es un derecho? Como se ha entendido típicamente, un derecho es una reivindicación que, en circunstancias usuales, es inviolable. En otras palabras, si yo tengo un derecho, entonces tengo una prerrogativa –el permiso para hacer algo que deseo hacer, o para ser protegido de algo que no deseo– y otros individuos no pueden quitarme dicha reivindicación. Un ejemplo claro sería que yo tengo el derecho a no ser atacado –no les está permitido a otros individuos atacarme. No obstante, puede que lo hagan, en cuyo caso habrán transgredido mi derecho; habrán hecho aquello que no les está permitido hacer, y me habrán impedido hacer (o evitar) aquellas cosas que se me está permitido hacer (o evitar). Por consiguiente, tengo la prerrogativa de buscar una recompensa por la violación de mi derecho.

Una teoría de derechos requiere un encargado de hacerlos cumplir, de tal manera que prevenga transgresiones a los derechos y otorgue recompensas a aquellos cuyos derechos han sido violados. El encargado con el cual ya estamos familiarizados es el estado, en particular aquellas instituciones involucradas en la creación y práctica de la ley: la legislatura, el poder judicial, la fuerza policiaca, etcétera. Es necesario que el estado posea el monopolio en el uso de la fuerza, pues de lo contrario no se lograría que se hicieran cumplir las reglas, y no habría un factor disuasorio en contra de las violaciones de derechos. En un caso extremo, los ciudadanos podrían rebelarse y tumbar un estado débil, y de manera subsecuente instituir su propia forma de justicia que podría no ser imparcial. Max Weber describió célebremente al estado como “el monopolio del uso legítimo de la fuerza”. Yo he dejado por fuera de mi definición la palabra “legítimo”, porque me parece un juicio totalmente subjetivo, sin mencionar inevitable, desde el punto de vista de aquellos que están en control del estado. Aquellos que toman el poder y lo usan para perseguir a un sector de la población, seguramente creerán que su monopolio en el uso de la fuerza es legítimo –sin duda, probablemente crean que su uso de la fuerza tiene más legitimidad que el del régimen que depusieron, sin importar cómo se haya comportado dicho régimen.

Es de notar que no hay un límite inherente al concepto de los derechos; no tiene un sistema de frenado. Nunca habrá un punto en el que podamos decir, “ahora tenemos todos los derechos”. Potencialmente, siempre habrá más derechos que los que podamos poseer, lo que no significa que debamos poseer más derechos. La posesión absoluta de todos los derechos concebibles sería una licencia inconcebible –autonomía total, en la que todas las reclamaciones serían permitidas. Esto significaría que el individuo con autorización estaría en la libertad de violar los derechos de los otros. En este caso, los derechos de otros serían insignificantes cada vez que se encuentren con el individuo con la autorización total. Lógicamente, no toda la gente puede tener posesión total de todos los derechos, debido a que a cada uno se le permitiría infringir los derechos de los demás –lo que implicaría que los derechos de nadie estarían seguros, y que el individuo o grupo más fuerte tendría derecho a establecer una regla arbitraria basada sólo en su fuerza física.

Es evidente que necesitamos limitaciones, y la Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América es un ejemplo en este aspecto. Como la mejor declaración de libertad personal y democracia representativa que el mundo haya conocido, existe para proteger una serie de derechos fundamentales de ser anulados por el grupo más fuerte de individuos –específicamente, el gobierno. Las leyes pueden ir y venir, pero mientras la constitución se mantenga, los derechos fundacionales del ciudadano individual son inmodificables –o, al menos, son extremadamente difíciles de remover o alterar. Donde sea que un gobierno viole repetidas veces su propia constitución, corre el riesgo (idóneamente, al menos) de ser derrocado por un levantamiento de sus ciudadanos, quienes formarían un colectivo más fuerte.

La Constitución de los Estados Unidos, adoptada en 1787, está construida sobre la filosofía liberal del tiempo, más especialmente la de John Locke. Algunas secciones de la Declaración de Independencia, firmada once años antes, son más o menos sacadas de su Segundo Tratado de Gobierno. Las ideas expresadas en esta obra no son las del liberalismo que conocemos hoy en día; son más próximas a los que ahora conocemos con el nombre de libertarismo. Fue solo en la segunda mitad del siglo XIX que el liberalismo experimentó una profunda transformación hacia una ideología colectivista con la que asociamos más fácilmente el término hoy en día.

En su texto de 1859, Sobre la Libertad, J. S. Mill introdujo una nueva articulación de la defensa moral liberal tradicional de los derechos individuales. Dice algo así como: los individuos tienen el derecho de hacer lo que escojan, mientras esto no lastime a otros. Mill ejercía precaución cuando consideraba la aplicación de este principio: uno no sería lastimado, por ejemplo, por perder en una competencia (ejemplo: el mercado libre). Siguiendo a Tocqueville, expresó su preocupación según la cual la democracia, si no se moderaba, podría resultar en una tiranía de la mayoría.

Podemos agradecer a los sucesores de Mill por pervertir el liberalismo individual y transformarlo en una filosofía colectivista y autoritaria. Sólo había un pequeño paso del axioma de Mill –los individuos tienen el derecho de hacer lo que escojan, siempre y cuando no lastimen a otros– a la doctrina del Nuevo Liberalismo: si no puedo hacer lo que de otra manera escogería, entonces alguien debe estar lastimándome. Fue el auto-proclamado “socialista liberal”, Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse, quien trabajó sobre las premisas de Mill y añadió un giro nuevo: que la libertad no es buena en sí misma, sino que deber subordinarse para un fin más alto. En consecuencia, cualquier libertad que no esté subordinada a este fin más alto, no está justificada moralmente. Fue el radical social Richard Henry Tawney quien, expandiendo esta idea, abogaba por una sociedad igualitaria, basado en la premisa según la cual “la libertad para el pez grande es la muerte de los peces pequeños” –en otras palabras, que ciertos grupos identificables no merecen la misma autonomía, sino que la suya debe ser restringida. Fue Lester Frank Ward quien repudió al individuo totalmente y arguyó que el estado debería dirigir todo desarrollo económico y social, incluyendo la felicidad de sus ciudadanos. Quizá lo más revelador de todo es que Ward era un entusiasta partidario de la noción según la cual las mujeres son innatamente superiores a los hombres. Para citar un pasaje especialmente relevante:

Y ahora desde el punto de vista del desarrollo intelectual mismo la encontramos lado a lado, y hombro a hombro con él, suministrando, desde el comienzo, allá en los tiempo prehistóricos, pre-sociales, e incluso pre-humanos, el complemente necesario para su carrera unilateral, apresurada, y obstinada, sin el cual él habría torcido y distorsionado la raza y la habría vuelto incapaz del progreso mismo que él declara inspirar exclusivamente. Y por esta razón, nuevamente, aun en el ámbito del intelecto, donde él reinaba supremo de buen grado, ella ha probado ser su igual y tiene derecho a parte del crédito que se añada al progreso humano conseguido hasta ahora.

El propósito de haberme desviado hacia la naturaleza cambiante de los derechos era para podernos concentrar en el desarrollo histórico que precipitó ciertos aspectos del feminismo moderno. Algunos colaboradores del Movimiento de Derechos de los Hombres han atacado la “modernidad” y los “valores de la Ilustración” de una manera algo abstracta. Esto está bien si tienen la intención de atacar la autonomía individual en general, pero debemos mirar detenidamente si realmente queremos llegar a la raíz de los problemas que los hombres deben enfrentar, como hombres, hoy en día –lo que resultaría, en mi opinión, en la privación de la autonomía masculina. Es la modernidad, y particularmente el pensamiento de la Ilustración, la que ha hecho posible la autonomía individual –y es el liberalismo social, y más específicamente el feminismo, el que la está volviendo imposible para los hombres.

La innovación del liberalismo social es evidente en la sección de la cita de Ward de más arriba en la que ya he hecho énfasis. Es exigir el derecho a algo; la creación de nuevas obligaciones que otros deben cumplir; la concepción de los derechos de las reivindicaciones, no de individuos, que deben ser iguales, pero en contra de un segmento identificado de la población (el grupo “enemigo”). Desde luego, cada derecho, si ha de ser tomado seriamente, exige obligaciones de parte de los otros –si yo tengo el derecho a no ser atacado, entonces usted no debe atacarme, y viceversa. La diferencia entre dicha afirmación y las demandas del Nuevo Liberalismo es que la primera es una obligación a la inacción, mientras que la última es una obligación a actuar. Mis obligaciones a la inacción significan que no puedo transgredir ciertos límites –los derechos de otras personas. No puedo lastimarlos, ni robarles, ni dañarles sus posesiones. Se me tiene prohibido hacer ciertas cosas que podrían interferir con la autonomía de otros, pero aparte de eso, puedo hacer lo que quiera. Las obligaciones a actuar son de una clase muy diferente: aquel que pueda forzarme a una obligación de ese tipo tiene el poder de darme órdenes. Me dirá cómo actuar, y yo no puedo actuar de ninguna otra manera, lo que restringe mi autonomía.

Por ejemplo, si usted requiere algún objeto para poder llevar a cabo algún proyecto, entonces su autonomía está restringida hasta que no posea dicho objeto. Por lo tanto, usted tiene el derecho a reclamar mi objeto, presumiendo que yo posea uno así. No importa si yo me he ganado dicho objeto o si lo poseo de manera legítima; la teoría dice que usted puede tener el objeto de todas maneras. Las reclamaciones sobre el derecho de propiedad están subordinadas a la autonomía de los individuos, es decir a los deseos (no las necesidades) de un grupo especialmente identificado como “víctimas”. Si, por ejemplo, yo estoy entrevistando a un hombre y a una mujer para un puesto en mi compañía, y la mujer exige que se le dé a ella el empleo puesto que es un paso crucial en su plan de carrera, le estoy negando su autonomía si no la contrato a ella, incluso si no es la candidata más calificada. Ella necesita el puesto para poder lograr aquello que en últimas quiere, y por lo tanto se le perjudica si no lo consigue. La doctrina del Nuevo Liberalismo –si yo no puedo hacer lo que elijo entonces alguien me debe estar haciendo daño– evidentemente sirve a los fines de víctima del feminismo. Cualquier límite impuesto a las acciones de las mujeres, incluyendo aquel que se establece en nombre de la equidad y la imparcialidad, puede ser tomado como la nueva Opresión, de acuerdo a esta doctrina.

El “Nuevo” Liberalismo, o liberalismo “social”, es de hecho una perversión y una corrupción del liberalismo –y encuentra su mayor expresión en el sistema de castas de derechos que las feministas están ocupadas creando. Los derechos de la mujeres, un eslogan pegajoso alguna vez proclamado como la marcha progresiva hacia un futuro más justo, se ha convertido en el as bajo la manga que nunca pierde su valor, listo para ser jugado en cualquier momento en que una mujer quiera “ganarle una a los muchachos”. En los primeros días, la idea de la Lucha era más creíble, e incluso parecía admirable en retrospectiva. Las mujeres luchaban por los derechos que los hombres poseían: el derecho al voto, el derecho a poseer propiedades, el derecho al divorcio, el derecho a tener el mismo salario que un hombre por el mismo trabajo. Había una vez en que era perfectamente plausible, para un observador imparcial, que el feminismo significara llegar a la igualdad entre los sexos. Esto no quiere decir que dicha perspectiva sea inherentemente correcta, sólo que es creíble, desde un punto de vista externo al feminismo, que dicha ideología tuviera en mente esa meta tan altruista.

¿Pero cuáles son los derechos de las mujeres por los que se aboga hoy en día? El derecho a confiscar el dinero de los hombres, el derecho a cometer alienación paternal, el derecho a cometer fraude de paternidad, el derecho a ganar el mismo salario por hacer menos trabajo, el derecho a pagar menos impuestos, el derecho a mutilar hombres, el derecho a confiscar esperma, el derecho a asesinar niños, el derecho a que nadie puede estar en desacuerdo con ellas, el derecho a la elección reproductiva, y el derecho a tomar esa decisión por los hombres también. En una interesante paradoja legal, algunas han incluso abogado –con éxito– para que las mujeres tengan el derecho a no ser castigadas por crímenes en lo absoluto. El resultado eventual de esto es un tipo de feudalismo sexual, en el que las mujeres gobiernan arbitrariamente, y en el que los hombres son mantenidos en sumisión, con menos derechos y más obligaciones. Hasta la fecha, la transformación de derechos en obligaciones a actuar nos ha ocasionado un estado de bienestar en el que, de acuerdo a The Futurist,

Virtualmente todos los gastos del gobierno […] desde Medicare hasta Obamacare, los subsidios de bienestar, los empleos en el sector público para mujeres, y la expansión de la población en prisión, son una transferencia neta de riqueza de los hombres a las mujeres, o un subproducto de la destrucción del Matrimonio 1.0. En cualquier caso, el “feminismo” es la causa […] Recordemos que las ganancias de los hombres pagan el 70%-80% de la totalidad de los impuestos.

El feminismo ve la independencia de los ciudadanos individuales como una barrera, no como una medida protectora. La autonomía personal obstaculiza el progreso del feminismo en moralizar al mundo y en desangrar a los hombres para el beneficio de las mujeres.

¿Derechos de las mujeres? Todo eso no es más que un intento de usurpar el poder.