Going My Own Way

Working to instill masculinity in men

Thursday, March 03, 2005

from Thomas Ellis - the author! ...

I’ve got years of feminism, political correctness, and male-bashing clogging my arteries. So do most men, though they pretend not to notice. I wasn’t aware of the extent of the damage until I began some serious self-examination. From the beginning I thought feminism was a toxin that only afflicted women. Now I understand that it’s our problem too. Most men I’ve talked to have only a vague awareness of the impact three decades of unrestrained feminism has had on public policy and relationships. The anti-male onslaught has succeeded in part because men have neglected to actively oppose it.
It’s time to end our polite tolerance of injustices committed against us. As men we must make a serious effort to educate ourselves about the ideas feminist literature is cultivating in the minds of women. We must become aware of the extremely negative portrayal of men and “masculinities” in women’s studies courses, which are attended by tens of thousands of women each year. We must learn about the huge feminist organizations that are systematically dismantling the rights of men. We must acknowledge the scope of the problem and that we have failed to act. We must also expel the residue of feminist misinformation from our own systems. As it turns out, this book is my own process of detox as I come up to speed on the thirty-year ideological assault on my gender.
Although women are always welcome in my world, I expect these writings will be a challenge even for those of you who consider yourselves “open-minded.” If you are capable of reading something that does not simply force-feed you the standard validation and inspiration, read on. For the rest of you, bail now before your heads explode. There are a thousand other books written just for you.
I am not restricted from saying anything by the culture of political correctness that is so rampant in universities and the media. There are professionals who spend their whole lives doing scientific studies of gender characteristics, but are constrained by the herd mentality when it comes to presenting their findings. The few who stray from the pack remain cautious and civilized, even apologetic. They have their careers and their respectability to worry about. Not me. I’ll say what I please, thank you.
This is opinion, not science. At least I’m not pretending it is, like all the pop psychologists out there. There are hordes of books by “experts” on the subject of men and women. I see most of them as either manipulation strategy books for women, angry woman books, or books about ways men can change to make women like them. I can’t figure out why being who I am is not good enough, at least not in my own culture. A lot of syrupy self-help books are marketed to women asserting that men are dumb and women are right – yeah, we’re the primitive men who need to go brood and sulk in our caves – and since they all have “Ph.D.” on the cover they must be true. I’d say my views have at least as much validity as a follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with a phony Ph.D. who exploits our neighboring planets metaphorically.
Who am I to write anything? I’m just another laid-off software engineer – a novice writer with a word processor. I have no training, qualifications, grant money, nor data of my own. Not even a TV show. But I have something just as valid. I’ve got years of my own personal wreckage to draw upon. What the hell happened? I have some thoughts on that topic.
As it turns out, feminism inspired this book. My thirty-year sporadic involvement with a German feminist raised my awareness about what the “women’s movement” has been up to all this time. I watched as feminism dictated her life decisions and destroyed her relationships. My wake-up call came early. Even for me, it still took several wake-up calls before I realized the magnitude of the feminist disaster. I barely noticed the erosion of respect for men, the ridicule of our sexuality, and the assault on our rights. Most of my male friends don’t understand how widespread the anti-male culture has become. They laugh at the stupid guys on TV shows and commercials. So what if most movies now glorify men getting kicked in the groin? That’s just good fun. They think affirmative action is a benign program that corrects inequities, and that there is still a “wage gap.” And even though every woman they meet considers herself smarter and morally superior to men, they think the next one will be different. How many wake-up calls will it take?
In the last four decades, men in Western society have actually changed as a result of women’s nagging, persistence, emotional outbursts, and most of all, because women have had some genuinely valid points. I must also say that men have had to sort through all the completely bogus studies and angry demands that women have thrown at us in order to find those points with merit. Feminism’s valid points were exhausted long ago. All that’s left is narcissism and anger masquerading as empowerment. I’m tired of nonsense. That must be why I am so profoundly tired.
But if women thought it was a long rough ride getting men to change their attitudes, it will be far more difficult to get them to admit the attitudes in need of change are now their own. Women have always seen themselves as the molders of men, and are not used to being challenged on issues concerning gender. I’m not sure how to convince women of anything, since they are more responsive to emotional outbursts than to reason. And what can men do to apply pressure, withhold sex? At the end of the day men just give in to anything if getting laid is on the line. Women react angrily to any criticism, and they can stay angry a long, long time, holding out for that male apology. Lots of women now automatically disregard any male viewpoints, since they believe criticism of women is a form of verbal abuse. They will rip apart a relationship if they are offended, even if they are wrong. Women are in really deep.
I also doubt whether women are willing to consider change even if it’s laid out in terms of why and how, and even if they decide to try. They enthusiastically avoid responsibility for their actions with trendy denial therapies and philosophies. The only things women are willing to change are their hair, their clothes, and their breast size. And a lot of times not even their hair.
Though I believe women have as much innate intelligence as men, I’m tired of the fiction that women have no limitations other than those imposed upon them by male society. If women don’t excel at something, it must be because of male oppression, and damn it, they deserve some compensation. At least dinner and some new shoes. And even if their specific misery can’t be traced back to the patriarchy, men should feel at least as bad as they do.
This book is not an attempt to deny women any rights they should have as people, nor is it an attempt to deny that women are treated in substandard ways in many parts of the world. But why are men always excluded from such statements? Why is it acceptable to ignore the suffering of men? I support many women’s rights. I do not support more and more women’s privileges. I know men have some female allies out there who accept us as we are and believe in us. There are a few women who understand that equality does not simply mean getting their way all the time. Very few. Neither do I blame women for all our problems. Men and women both possess amazing talent when it comes to screwing up a good thing. In that sense I truly believe in equality.
When I began writing, I was concerned that I would upset female readers. I got over it. What is so abhorrent about offending women? They take full liberty in offending us. In fact, I would like to dedicate this book to all the men who have ever been told to “shut up,” “get out of the way,” or “take it like a man” when challenging the validity of feminism and standing up for their rights. Why do men put up with that? As a man who brushed it aside for many years, I’d say it’s because we have been taught it is our responsibility to please women. But there’s a difference between pleasing women and appeasing them.
I should not have to compromise my rights as a man to make anyone feel equal. I can make compromises, but not on things like maintaining my own identity, being able to express my own ideas without female approval, or refusing to tell rhetorical lies to maintain a relationship. After many years of being unable to conform to the female vision of men as docile servants, I just want to be myself and speak my mind.
Consider these writings a male catharsis. I’d say the main reason I felt compelled to write an entire book is that I’ve rarely been listened to by women. At least not for more than about 15 seconds at a time. I have no problem with women expressing anger or whatever they want, but I’m really tired of it now. I’m tired of hearing only the feminist viewpoint of every issue concerning gender. I’m tired of tolerance for female sexism and double standards. I’m tired of the exaggerated consideration given to all females at the expense of males. I’ve heard it day after day and year after year without any real chance to respond. So finally and without interruption, here is an unobscured look at the world from the male point of view. I’m sure most women will summarily dismiss it as the rantings of a single male. The male voice must be disregarded, ridiculed and silenced. Let’s burn that lace curtain. I hope others will help light the fire. Let there be rant.