Chapter 5: Your ideas about modern society are wrong part 2-the sexuality shuffle
Excuse the attempt at levity. This chapter will deal with sexual issues in the Western world, both hetero and homo, and everything in between.
To begin with, we’re going to have to return to the topic of anthropology, for much of modern sexuality stems from improper research in this field. I alluded to this in chapter 2, but it bears restating-the belief in peaceful, matriarchal tribes being the default cultural model for humanity, and the last 10,000 years of organized warfare and patriarchy being an aberration, are completely incorrect. Gender roles do, in fact, seem to have a basis in biology as an adaptive trait-they are not 100% mandated by nature, to be sure, some of it is indeed culturally enforced, but the fact that the ideal of a man is largely the same in every culture on the Earth seems to suggest this fact. And yes, there are a few obscure groups that are matriarchal, but doesn’t the fact that they ARE obscure and relatively unaccomplished kind of lend itself to the idea that patriarchy is the default state?
Further suggesting this hypothesis is the fact that highly simplified and primitive elements of what we refer to as “traditional masculinity” are found in our cousins, the lower primates. As Dr. Robert Sapolsky’s baboon research suggests, there is indeed a correlation between aggression and testosterone levels (to be more accurate, not baseline testosterone levels but in the amount of testosterone found in the bloodstream after stimulation of the adrenal medulla, testosterone being the hormone that leads to development of secondary, masculine sexual characteristics, and affects change on behavior as well). Those cercopithecines that had the highest testosterone release tended to be highest in the male hierarchy of the band, and in their behavior conveyed a very base form of the stoic confidence that is usually seen as a positive attribute amongst men, having successfully fought off or intimidated any challengers to their leadership in the past, they had essentially eased into a sort of confident patriarchy, keeping their stress levels low (while adrenaline, activated in stressful situations, does stimulate testosterone production, it also, in channeling blood and hormone flow to the “fight or flight” muscles, inhibits other bodily functions such as digestion and the immune system, so stress is bad for the health of both monkeys and humans in the long run).
Considering this, doesn’t it appear that being traditionally masculine is to be considered a good thing (at least in humanity’s distant past)? It evidently is a good thing for these primates, having a strong but fair patriarch keeps the group from splitting due to power struggles and wife stealing (a bit of a problem in the parts of the animal kingdom that have no qualms about infanticide).
“But the bonobos!” Ah yes, everybody’s favorite matriarchal, sex-crazed pygmy chimpanzees. Of course, as a separate species, they are going to be different (even the baboons described above cannot be considered truly human-like). And their behavior is often cited by sexual theorists as something that humanity should strive for-my question is, why? Why should we emulate a sexually monomorphic, herbivorous culture that is colloquially described as a “pointless hump-fest” (Donovan, Jack, The Way of Men, Dissident Humanity Press, 2012)? If it works for them, it works for them. But humans are, in fact, sexually dimorphic (not to a huge extent, but it’s noticeable), and a quick look at our dentition and digestive tract shows that we are not meant to be strict herbivores, so no, I don’t think we should be more like them. In other words, bonobos are what they are, but patriarchy and carnivory/omnivory seem to be more prevalent, so aren’t the odds in favor us being more like the majority and not the minority?
I am not intending to say that every woman in the world is automatically incapable of entering what is traditionally seen as a “man’s domain”, there are always going to be exceptions. But I do feel that man’s higher testosterone levels, higher physical strength, and higher aggression, which are of course biological facts, are where the differentiation of gender roles begin, and thus there’s more to masculinity and femininity then just the plumbing. I feel that, due to this increased aggression, men are more likely to fanatically devote themselves to something, in an attempt to create something of legacy, something of honor, something to prove their self-worth (call it thumos, or whatever). This masculine spirit is often associated with violence, but I don’t think it has to be: there have been plenty of great female artists, but I can’t see a woman laying on a scaffold in agony painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as Michelangelo did. A poetic way to see it was that Signor Buonaroti was aggressing against the roof of the Sistine Chapel, against time itself to stamp his legacy upon the Earth. Thus, something that is inherently peaceful and beautiful (and not explicitly masculine) can, in my opinion, be seen as something masculine and thumotic due to overcoming strife and pain to achieve it. For those of you that like science, look at somebody like John Stapp, who strapped himself into a rocket sled to test how many G-Forces the human body could survive (I personally like how his eyes popped out of his skull and went back in, giving him black eyes). Not only was he undertaking an enormous personal risk for his own legacy, his research served to save the lives of undoubtedly many pilots. And that can be said to be the basis of the masculine concept of honor: appearing respectable, and doing things worthy of respect, in the eyes of other men (I’m not nearly eloquent enough to create that definition (Donovan, Jack, The Way of Men, Dissident Humanity Press, 2012))
Life-saving scientific research undoubtedly fits that concept of honor. Where are the women to do stunts such as this? Probably in line behind the female Navy SEALS that are going to be admitted any day now.
Again, I’m not saying that there’s never been a woman in history that couldn’t do all of this masculine stuff, just that it’s less likely (hell, I know for a fact I’d never make the Navy SEALS). All I’m saying, again, is that gender roles seem to me to have a basis in reality (their almost universal prevalence seems to indicate that), and, without some overarching societal pressure (Either the admittedly heavy-handed patriarchy of the past or the omnipresent bloviating of modern feminists towards any woman that exhibits a traditional sex role, or even a woman that doesn’t explicitly refer to herself as a feminist but has achieved more than most people, man or woman, could possibly achieve), I feel that the gender roles will more or less reassert themselves, not to say that one will be subservient to the other, but just acting in different and clearly defined roles. And I feel that, when not mandatory, but voluntary, traditional gender roles are, in many cases, more satisfying to both sexes (in other words, I feel many women would be happier in a more nurturing and less…traditionally masculine role, but I would never say that she should be forced into that role. If she really wants to be assertive and masculine, let her. But if you let men and women choose, and I feel most would prefer the traditional gender roles).
As I’ve alluded to in the last paragraph (and, you know, the title), a lot of the “Facts” feminists sling are, in fact wrong, such as-
History: Alright, let’s make something clear-I’m fully aware that women have not always been considered equal to men. In fact, much like the concept of masculinity, that is something that is largely a universal trait, to varying degrees. However, what I have to object to is, you guessed it, the machinations of feminists in the Western world effectively accusing the entire history of the West with a sort of misogynist blood libel (“What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you?” she asks. “Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?” (Moran, Caitlin, How To Be A Woman, 2012)
In fact, the Western European woman (and the woman in European-derived cultures such as ‘Amerikkka’, AKA the place where modern feminism was born) has historically been more liberated then most women elsewhere: “In addition to being protected by laws, Anglo-Saxon women often held positions of power. Many large estate holders were women; Fell claims that owners/masters of estates were “just as likely to have been female as male.” … The abundance of references to land “sold by women, given away by women, inherited by women or in some other way under their control make it clear.” (Sanburn, Keri, The Indexing of Medieval Women, Master’s Thesis, University of Florida, 2011). The paper I have just referred to goes on to point out that “…rape was one of the most serious offenses to the law one could commit…the penalty ranged from monetary reparation paid to the defendant to castration. Clearly, medieval Anglo-Saxons respected the right of a free woman to have sexual intercourse with people of her choosing”(IBID). Note that it specifies a FREE woman, clearly it is not a modern society with modern viewpoints, but it is not the horrific woman-abusing nightmare of modern imagining, either.
Other sources corroborate this-“Though she would come under greater submission under the Norman conquest, the fact remained that the Anglo woman enjoyed more rights than most of her sisters around the world” (Macfarlane, ADJ, Mating patterns-a historical perspective, Cambridge University Press, 1988). Indeed, outside observers would mock the Anglo woman for her perceived “headstrong-edness” and assertiveness. And this continued within the Anglosphere, from one Anglo-Saxon culture to another: observe General Cornwallis’ remark that “Even if we kill every man in America, we shall still have our hands full in defeating the women”. Observe Rudyard Kipling recording a conversation with an American woman on a ship-“She threw up her hands. ‘I knew it…did you ever hear of a man getting a woman’s respect by parading around with a dish clout on his coat-tails?’ ‘But what if his woman told him to do it?’ I asked. ‘Then she’d despise him all the more for it. You have no right to laugh, you’re coming to the same thing back in England'”.
Even outside the Anglosphere, the codes of law of ancient and medieval Teutons and Nordics also show great respect to women-“Women are highly respected by men…restoring broken battle lines and aiding in strategic planning…they do not reject or scorn their advice” ( Tacitus, Germania, 50 CE).
Or, to put it bluntly: the Western world never had as mainstream behavior foot binding, or sati, or clitorectomies, or honor killings, or any of the other things that women elsewhere have either been harmed with until very recently, or are still being harmed with today. Yeah, between the two opposing viewpoints I’ve presented on women’s historical roles in the Western culture…I’m going to have to go with Tacitus, Kipling, and pals over somebody like Caitlin Moran who can’t make a point without using hysterical Caps Lock and profanity.
Oh, but there’s more-as if the OJ Simpson trial didn’t shatter the ideals of “girl power solidarity”, allow me to use primary sources to do so further. Many of the anti-suffrage leaders of the Gilded Age (in Britain and the US, which are incidentally two of the first nations to ever give women the right to vote, so much for the horrible oppression of women in those nations) were actually women. Some of these women were, in fact, highly accomplished, as a glance at the links would suggest. I am not arguing whether or not they were right to do so (I for one support women’s suffrage), I just reference this to illustrate that sexual repression has not always been man on woman (whoops, paging Dr. Freud).
Or to put it another way: in 1920, a woman wrote The Sheik, a novel where a lusty, swaggering (yet urbane and intellectual) barbarian “tames” and “thaws” a frigid Western woman by basically abusing her until she submits, and this is portrayed as a good thing (the silent film adaptation portrayed the eponymous character as somewhat gentler, but still one would imagine the feminists would raise a stink about it today). A woman also wrote Fifty Shades of Grey (in the 21st century), which I am not familiar with at all but from what I gather it’s about roughly the same thing (less on the culture clash but more overt with the sexual abuse). Evidently, despite all the talk of men “forcing” women into these subservient roles, it has some appeal to this day. Also, just a heads up-it’s not heterosexual men enforcing the “unrealistic standards of beauty” that are constantly complained about these days. Women and gay men design women’s clothing.
I admit that I am not a dedicated scholar of this subfield of history, so I don’t know how much of the “woman’s sphere” was imposed by men and how much was imposed by other women, but it seems to me that a proper study will show that A) Men have historically varied in their oppression of women (and the Western world’s was relatively mild), and B) At least SOME of the “woman sphere” was imposed by other women. And to reiterate, if there wasn’t so much societal pressure in one way or another, I truly do feel that traditional gender roles would naturally reassert themselves if given half a chance.
Not only are they historically ignorant, they’re ignorant about their own society, this includes things like: statistics. The “campus rape” myth is wrong. So is the “Wage gap“. For people who claim to be so valiantly fighting sexual abuse, nobody seems to point out that men are, in fact, raped more often than women in the USA. This is, once again, an example of a legitimate issue that needs solving, in this case the prison population increasing (Virtually all of those men getting sexually assaulted in that statistic are prisoners being raped by other men), but no, let’s focus on something inconsequential like women getting catcalled after standing outside in provocative clothing and heaving their bosoms into the air for an undisclosed period of time. Let’s focus on some imbecilic radio host saying something misogynistic. Those are the important issues, we need to fight the power! And by “fight the power”, I of course mean “assert our petty authority over a little bit more of society each day”.
As a side note about that catcall video, there’s been a bit of a stink (at the time of this writing) about most of the catcallers being non-Asian minorities (hereafter referred to as “NAMs”). Seeing as how accusations of “They edited out all the white people!” have apparently fallen on their face, I’m going to attribute it instead to the fact that a bunch of upper-class leftist white women have moved to the city recently and have recently come into contact with virile, lower class young men (who just happen to be NAMs) who have not been sufficiently cowed by feminist gender theory. Theory crashes into reality, and the Gods of the Copybook Heading will always win.
In a combination of historical and present ignorance, feminists don’t seem to understand that the experiments they’re currently running (which will inevitably not get the results they want) are the exact same experiments they tried 40 years ago (which didn’t get the results they wanted). Ah well, I suppose if we just keep doing the same experiment over and over again, eventually one of them will get the results that fulfill our beliefs and thus we can cite that as evidence. That’s how the scientific method works, right?
Then of course, there’s the question of: why is nobody dealing with the real problems that women face that are around us? There are women in shelters escaping abuse right now as we speak, in this country. Where’s the feminist brigade for them? Obviously those women are DESPERATELY in need of a Slut Walk, and un-researched lectures about sexism in video games. Kabul and Riyadh could use a slut walk as well (word of advice: if you’re in a location that allows you to do a Slut Walk, you don’t need to do it). And yes, I am aware that there are undoubtedly women (and men) dealing with those legitimate problems, but I don’t see them being mentioned on my Facebook feed from my idiot compatriots.
But the biggest problem I have with these types is that: they don’t really seem to understand gender dynamics. Especially not masculinity. I am aware this is another example of them being wrong, but I feel it must be stated-more than just having incorrect data, or an incorrect interpretation of a historical event, it seems that a lot of their belief system is fundamentally wrong, if feminism as it exists today can truly be said to have a core belief (Yes, I know about the bumper stickers, but “Seeing women as human beings” has kinda happened already at least in the West. By almost all measures, you’ve achieved the equality that your forebears demanded).
So, as stated above, much of modern sexual dysfunction can be traced back to the work of Margaret Mead. And I must restate that there was never a point in human history where tribes roamed the plains in peaceful, matriarchal groups. I’d also like to point out there was never a moment where men across the world were unanimous in being irresistibly drawn to fat women, despite what the likes of Lindy West, another profanity laden slattern, would tell you. It is true there have been time periods where more robust women were considered the pinnacle of beauty, but the key was always the “hourglass figure”, breasts and hips larger than the waist and stomach (I just want to set the record straight right now-fat is not synonymous with either “voluptuous” or “curvy”). And yes, go ahead and tell me about some obscure tribe that actually does find fat women attractive. The majority of men don’t.)
Related to the above, I can’t help but notice that many feminists are also in the business of “Fat acceptance”, a ridiculous movement of recent vintage that wants to make it so nobody can mention their fatness, supported by stunning ignorance of nutrition and Leibniz’ principle of energy conservation (Observe this video of the Woman’s Media Center giving the aforementioned Lindy West a “Fat Activist” award, no coincidence?) Is it wrong of me to think that the 1-2 punch of feminism and fat acceptance (and perhaps the aforementioned fantasy of prehistorical fat fetishizing) might just be because these…robust feminists think that they might be able to rearrange society so that they will be considered the pinnacle of beauty? This picture of Ms. West taking glamour shots with her bosom exposed, taken from an article about her complaining about seats in an airplane not fitting her, would suggest that her relative degree of physical attractiveness is something she’s at least slightly concerned about.
Beyond shoddy anthropological studies, Mead’s errors are still felt in that feminists really don’t seem to understand masculinity, which is a big problem because they are the ones doing most of the writing about it (until very recently, anyway). To their credit, they have pointed out a legitimate problem in that men today are stuck in a sort of arrested adolescence (and the preponderance of writing about the decline of men and the rise of women suggests that not all of these writers are the hysterical, profanity-laden types I mentioned earlier). Where the problem lies is that, rather than pointing out that the modern “service economy” is inherently at odds with masculinity (and thus part of the reason that men are retreating from adulthood), and thus trying to remake society in a way that is beneficial to both sexes, they say, “Why can’t men and the concept of masculinity just…be different? After all, there’s no REAL difference between men and women besides the genitalia, right?”
And thus leads to all the talk of “Reimagining masculinity”. Historically, people understood that men had these sorts of violent urges that were at odds with civilization, hence the universal proliferation of sports and similar things, to simulate violence and provide a non-harmful outlet for masculinity. But nowadays, we just ignore that fact and, rather than remake society in a way that allows men to perform worthwhile labor that produces tangible fruit (I am not a particularly big sports fan, and I feel many men are also not) and isn’t specifically designed to kill your thumos (corporate trust building exercises benefit nobody), we just demand that men reimagine masculinity, which usually means “be more like a woman”: “What better way to welcome the resplendent return of the Goddess than with the symbolic immolation of manhood?”(Garcia, Guy, The Decline of Men, 2009)
When its pointed out that they don’t really understand manhood, they resort to the old straw-man denigrations of manhood. In the USA at least, they still resort to dragging out John Wayne and the Marlboro Man as examples of “toxic masculinity that nobody can live up to”. It’s worth pointing out that both of those men are long dead, and the fact that those are still the go-to strawmen for masculinity would suggest to me how weak their arguments truly are. IE: If masculinity is such a pervasive ideal in American culture, then why can’t you find examples that aren’t two guys that have been dead for longer then I’ve been alive?
They discuss masculinity without any input from men, with such condescending articles as “Masculinity-A Delicate Flower”. The article states that men are “anxious” to prove their masculinity and aggress when it is “threatened”. And here is the paradox they use-a man who seeks to prove his masculine honor by utilizing his strength, courage, skills, intelligence, and mastery, he is REALLY a desperate, insecure, fearful, weakling. But do women really have any right to call men weak and insecure? “American women, who spend billions of dollars each year on cosmetics, fashion, weight loss gimmicks, plastic surgery, self help books, anti-depressants, etc. etc.” (Donovan, Jack, No Man’s Land, 2011, Self Published)
Not only do feminists not “get” masculinity, they don’t really seem to understand their own behavior and what it is that they do, and how their doctrine affects society (ie: I don’t think many of them are aware of the fact that women of 50 years ago ranked themselves as being happier than women today. But I’m sure the skyrocketing use of anti-depressants in America, especially amongst women, is just a coincidence).
Read the last few paragraphs and realize that only men have to turn themselves into androgynes. Women are still allowed to have their own separate identity as women-look at all the grandstanding about “the rise of women”. The fact that they are celebrating victory over men doesn’t exactly show them as “ignoring gender”.
They think of themselves as a vanguard breaking new ground and being revolutionary, but what, really, does the average feminist discuss? Let’s take a look at, say, Jezebel: At the time of this writing, they mostly have articles about celebrities, tawdry sex, and the like. It’s a racier Cosmopolitan, in other words. Occasionally they’ll write articles about the latest Two Minutes Hate that we should all be aware of, which is the height of their intellectual discourse. Let’s be honest with ourselves, most of what the internet feminist community does is giggling over celebrities, gossip, and sex, while occasionally engaging in a bit of finger-wagging moral shaming. You’re no revolutionaries-you’re church ladies. You’re not exactly defying gender stereotypes.
(As a side note, let’s compare Jezebel to what a Masculist website writes. Let’s observe the Art of Manliness, which is by far the most genteel and mainstream-appealing website that also advocates true masculinity, both physical and intellectual strength. As of this writing we have-“The Printing Press, Literacy, and The Rise and Fall of the ‘Secret Society of Adults'”, “What you need to survive a grid-down disaster”, “A Comprehensive Guide to Dressing Sharp and Casual”, “The History of Physical Fitness”, “The Value of the Jeremiad”. Must I really explain how this website is not only in a different league than Jezebel, but it’s playing an entirely different sport?)
Then of course there’s the fact that their actual lives never seem to live up to their ideals: once they actually get the fair-minded, negotiating, house husbands that they constantly said they wanted, guess what happens? These men are mocked as “kitchen bitches” and divorced. Sure looks like “reimagined masculinity” satisfied nobody. It’s also sardonically amusing to see feminist women that do still want to have kids realizing too late that, yeah, biology isn’t fair to women. Maybe you should have taken a Bio 101 class in college.
Despite the disdain of feminists, there’s still plenty of women writing love letters to death row prison inmates. Now of course, I’m not going to engage in some idiotic PUA “Girls only want jerks” nonsense, but I am going to state that given the choice between an emasculated ponce and a prototypical “caged animal”, I think the appeal will go with the latter. Does that not suggest that traditional masculine traits (even in their most base and savage form) have a sexual appeal to women, and therefore shouldn’t we encourage positive, constructive forms of masculinity in our sons so that our daughters don’t grow up and fall in love with serial killers? (And by “positive forms of masculinity”, I mean utilizing strength, courage, honor, and mastery to constructive means. I absolutely do not mean “reimagining” masculinity)
And of course, as alluded to earlier, women have no qualms about lecturing men to “man up” if it serves their purpose (yes I am aware that Hugo Schwyzer is ostensibly a man). Aren’t the constant lectures for men to “Evolve” and “get with the times” (meaning take a role that is not even a traditional female role, but that of a male bonobo, that of a mere inseminator) just a roundabout way to threaten the dusty vestiges of masculine honor? “The Schwyz” is basically saying “You must leave the ‘man code’, and if you don’t then you’re not a ‘good man'”. And of course, no man wants to be considered “bad”. In showing your strength, you are “truly” weak, which serves, of course, is a duplicitous way to challenge a man’s sense of honor and make him do what you want.
We were told that getting rid of traditional masculinity would “Free us to be regular people”. Excuse me while I laugh at how “liberated” people are in 2014. The world in general has far less liberty (political, social, or cultural) than it did even 20 years ago (not to mention that despite the sexual revolution the geriatric Boomers still like to talk about, young people today are having less sex than any generation before). While much of that has nothing to do with women, it is inarguable that men suffer the most in family court (women initiate the vast majority of divorces and almost always get custody of children), evidence would suggest that women don’t really want men to adopt the traditionally feminine roles (remember the “kitchen bitches”), and yet any attempts to exert anything remotely resembling traditional masculinity are torn to shreds (observe the hysteria over the book Iron John, which is not nearly as masculine as its critics would think, and cedes a lot of ground to feminists, but because it comes within walking distance of masculinity, it was buried in the sands of time ( Kimmel, Michael. Manhood in America : A Cultural History. The Free Press. 1996. 316-321. Chapter 41)). Yeah, men are free…free to be shuffling bonobo slobs.
They speak of masculinity as being an ideal no man could follow 100% of the time. And you know what? That’s true, no man can be that manly. But does that mean you shouldn’t even try? That’s like saying “No person could possibly be like Christ all the time, so all those Christians should just stop trying”. Those Christians, in emulating Christ even 20% of the time, are they not better people for having done so? And a man who attempts to live up to the almost-universal code of masculinity, is he not a better and more respectable person for doing so, even if he does so just 10% of the time? But having ideals and aspirations is so old-fashioned, right?
“But men should be more open about their emotions, about crying. It’s perfectly natural!” Yes, it is perfectly natural, it’s a perfectly natural sign of vulnerability and emotional exhaustion. And why, exactly, should a man be vulnerable? Is vulnerability something to be proud of? You might now argue that “vulnerability in a woman shouldn’t be celebrated either”, and I would agree, but again, in those dark and dismal days of barbarism, a man showing vulnerability would be an immediate liability for the rest of the group, because dangerous activities would likely be done by the men, so yes, I do feel that vulnerability is more detrimental to a man then a woman. And no, I do not feel that “reimagining masculinity” will benefit anybody, man or woman. The real life sources I’ve cited would suggest that.
So, having hopefully convinced you that there’s more to masculinity then just your plumbing, what is to be done with society to make it more amenable to a man’s natural urges? And to that…I don’t really know. I feel that civilization and masculinity have, at the best of times, been at odds with each other. What I do know is that the constant denigrations of masculinity, and the comically ignorant handling of the situation that we currently have is not going to help anything. Nor will it help that the spokespeople for masculinity are the same ones for femininity, and the spokespeople for femininity are a bunch of amoral hucksters who will constantly gin up controversy for the sake of their own careers (one can get paid very handsomely for lectures, articles in once venerable weeklies like the Atlantic, and consultations). We don’t need to have the burgeoning animosity between the sexes (I’m referring both to catty, gossiping, emasculating, Jezebel and XOJane reading witch-hunters, and sex-obsessed pickup artists who reduce everything in life to what organs go inside other organs) that we currently have, and I feel a good deal of help will be to just realize that gender roles are real, but they don’t have to be iron clad, and then (here’s the hard part) leave people alone to live as they want to live. And just watch as the gender roles reassert themselves, because, to an extent, the traditional gender roles are what most people want. No more of this two-faced “we are only people” stuff while simultaneously advocating specifically for women.
Let’s hope that we can fulfill masculinity without reducing society to a set from The Road Warrior
(Why didn’t I speak of other countries here? Because literally the exact same thing is happening in the rest of the Western world, and since America is where modern feminism began, it’s largely the same story elsewhere.)
CONTINUED IN CHAPTER 5.5