By Rod Van Mechelen
"And the more independent and aloof you are, the more they fantasize about you - the macho challenge." - quoted in Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - In the beginning the Mother created her children, created she them daughter and son, and there was evening and morning, the first day.
And the Mother said, "Let the girl child receive more nurturing than the male child," and there was evening and morning, the second day. (Why Men Are the Way They Are, Berkley edition/September 1988, Warren Farrell, Ph.D., p 113; Men and Marriage, George Gilder, p 8)
And the Mother said, "Let the boy children work for what the girl children get for free," and there was evening and morning, the third day.
And the Mother said, "Let women have power and dominion over the boys to rule over the days and nights of their childhood, and to separate the sugar and spice from the snippets and snails and puppy dogs' tails," and there was evening and morning, the fourth day.
And the Mother said, "Let there be many options for the girls, like swarms of living creatures, but for the boys, none." And there was evening and morning, the fifth day.
Then the Mother said, "Let us make girls in our image," so the Mother created girls in Her image, in the image of the Mother she created them. Then she blessed them and said, "Be victims and have victim-power over boys and men. See, I have given every option and every labor of men to you; you shall have them as for food." And it was so. The Mother saw everything that she had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Thus all was finished, and the Mother turned to the Father and said, "Because you were an absent-father, your influence was scarce and, therefore, more important. So you are the one responsible for all the ills to befall humanity, and in shame all men must labor to make amends to womankind for what you didn't do and I had to do to men because you were off creating the Universe."
And on the seventh day the Mother rested from her labors because she had sacrificed so much so that the Father, who was off puttering around creating Universes, need not concern himself with the creation of his sons. And there was evening and there was morning, the seventh day.
Note: There are illiterate goons--feminazis and their male familiars--who pretend to think I intended the above to be taken literally. Perhaps I give my readers too much credit, but I assumed all would understand it to be satire. To the knuckle-draggers who are too dim to get that, please accept my sincerest and ever-so-heartfelt apologies. (Do you think anybody will notice the sarcasm?)
So now you know the story of how men are responsible for how mothers and female public school teachers contribute to the brutalization of boys and men, and the Father is to blame.
The Process of Brutalization
Men may often fear intimacy because, all other factors being equal, past attempts to get close to women have led to heartache and pain. Many men cover this up with false bravado. (You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 179) But the pain of love is not solely restricted to men. Women suffer too. There are no innocents in the battle between the sexes. (Why They Don't Call When They Say They Will and Other Mixed Signals, Dr. Joy Browne, pp 106 - 107)
Girls present themselves as challenges. (Why They Don't Call When They Say They Will and Other Mixed Signals, Dr. Joy Browne, p 107) For most boys, this creates a problem called "scared of girls." Pop feminists may say men have the patent on mean behavior, but every teenage boy who has ever tried to approach a teenage girl playing "hard to get" knows all about "mean behavior." By high school, many women have become experts at psycho-sexual terrorism. At that age, most men have disowned their ability to admit their fear of women. They have learned to suffer from women's rejection less by being macho (Men and Marriage, George Gilder, p 27), or by seeking monetary success. (Why Men Are the Way They Are, Berkley edition/September 1988, Warren Farrell, Ph.D., p 105)
One thing most men know is that when women say they want sensitive men with a sense of humor, what they don't say is that by common female definition, a "man" is a virile thing that comes with a wallet full of cash, credit and credentials, or "good potential." Guys who don't have these are the invisible men. Men most women don't even know exist:
Dr. Donald Symens found that ... women find men attractive only if social, economic, and political status criteria as well as looks are met. Women, he found, often perceive a "man shortage" much larger than is warranted statistically - because far fewer men meet their greater number of demands. - Why Men Are the Way They Are, Berkley edition/September 1988, Warren Farrell, Ph.D., p 104
Since few men are as wealthy as the "heroic rapists" in women's pornography (romance novels) or as virile as the lecherous rakes on the daytime soaps, most are virtual drones. Invisible, alienated, and alone, they long for the closeness, intimacy and commitment most women fear.
Pop feminists assert real closeness is forbidden to men because men fear vulnerability. (Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite, p 150) Maybe they are right. But why would men fear women? This vital question has been ignored. Why are adolescent boys afraid of girls? Why are men afraid of being vulnerable to women?
Most men grant to women a vulnerability they share with no other, sharing secret thoughts. Many women punish this vulnerability, criticizing a man's feelings and attitudes, gossiping to friends about his confidences, and then complaining when he withdraws. But they are complaining about their own creations.
Brutalization is a cycle. We've all heard the myth of how child-abuse can strongly influence a person, as an adult, to abuse their own children ("The majority of abused children do not grow up to be abusive parents (Hunter & Kilstrom, 1979; Miller & Challas, 1981; Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980)." Handbook of Family Violence, Van Hasselt, Morrison, Bellack, Hersen, p 129), but our socialization can do far more harm. In part, here's how I think it happens:
The Cycle of Brutalization
- Mothers "soften" baby girls and "harden" baby boys.
("Anthropologist Ashley Montagu, author of The Natural Superiority of Women, has reported evidence that women treat girls and boys differently from the time of birth, fondling and caressing the girls more and making them feel more a part of their initial environment." Men and Marriage, George Gilder, p 8. According to psychologist Patricia K. Kuhl of the University of Washington, the first six months of life is when infants' "perception of speech sounds, known as phonemes, changes as a result of consistently hearing adults speak a particular language." Science, January 31, 1992. This probably explains why most boys are less verbal than most girls - their mothers talk to their baby boys less, thereby stunting their growth.)
- Girls are socialized to:
- Expect men to take the initiative;
- Believe it is their right to be wooed by older men who have money and status, or both;
- Play "hard to get."
- Boys and Girls of the same age are placed in public school classrooms together.
- Boys develop feelings of inferiority and clumsiness as they are compared, and compare themselves, to the far more dexterous and able girls their own age.
- Hormones happen.
- Boy age X leers at Girl age X, and she:
- Plays hard to get;
- Believes it is her right to be wooed by "older men" who have more money or status than your average schmuck.
- Teenage boys note right off that few teenage girls take the initiative, nor do they take any risks (insofar as guys can see):
- They learn to not take "no" for an answer;
- Onus of risk is on the guys.
- Guys modify their behavior to minimize the onus of risk:
- Adopt "lines";
- "Hit on" many women;
- Objectify women.
- Guys objectify themselves by training for and engaging in careers that reduce them to something approaching a status-accumulating and money-making automaton;
- Guys focus their attentions more and more on women who are younger than they are.
- Women complain because:
- initiative-taking men are:
- not taking "no" for an answer.
- risk-reducing men are:
- using "lines";
- hitting on them all the time,
- objectifying women;
- withdrawing in confusion:
- Nice-guy syndrome:
- "I want to do what's right, but it doesn't seem to be working and I don't know what to do."
- "I don't trust nobody."
- Subset of Misogyny.
- men look for women who "look" young.
- In response, women mondify their behaviors by:
- To handle men who won't take "no" for an answer:
- Become more hostile and aloof;
- Become less communicative with romantic prospects;
- Become more rejecting.
- To handle the risk-reducing behaviors, they:
- Become more demanding of high-income, high-status, or both, in romantic prospects (objectify men);
- View all "overtures" (sexual or not) from men with suspicion;
- Withdraw in confusion:
- "Nice-girl" syndrome;
- "I want to do what is right, but it doesn't seem to be working and I don't know what to do."
- "I don't trust nobody."
- Subset of misandry.
- To handle the youth-orientation of men, women:
- Diet themselves to ill-health;
- Wear makeup, high heels, and impractical, uncomfortable clothing;
- Get cosmetic surgery;
- Hate themselves;
- Blame men for making them hate themselves.
- Men complain because this makes being a man more painful, and engage even more protective behaviors.
- Women complain because this makes being a woman more painful, and engage even more protective behaviors.
- Something breaks, the initial phase of the cycle flip-flops, and whoever was the "evil villain" in the previous cycle now becomes the "poor victim" in the present cycle, and last cycle's "poor victim" becomes this cycle's "evil villain," until ...
- The cycle escalates to an intolerable level and collapses destructively, or ...
- We all agree to end the cycle.
I suspect that, with many detours but little enlightenment, this cycle has been playing like a broken record for thousands of years. The flip-flop stage is what Susan Faludi is now calling the "backlash" against women, and pop feminists are no longer denying it will happen. (See Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, by Susan Faludi)
The real question is, are we going to advance to the final step and end the cycle by choice, or will we have to suffer through the destruction of an involuntary collapse at the next to the last level?
Are women ready to stop brutalizing men?
Millions of American women woo football stars and collect exotic diseases from rock musicians. The guy with the most money, power, or virility -- whatever element or combination of elements gives men status -- attracts the most women. Thus, women place enormous pressure on men to compete with one another for their attention, encouraging men to objectify women as sex objects by turning themselves into success objects. (Why Men Are the Way They Are, Berkley edition/September 1988, Warren Farrell, Ph.D., p 40) Are women ready to end this cycle?
Are they ready to stop charging men who take the initiative with "sexual harassment," and start taking a little risk themselves? Are they ready to start having sexual relationships with the men they usually reserve for "just friends"? Or will they continue to attack men with their arctic attitudes?
Years ago, feminists complained at how men brutalized women. They were right to do so. Now, it is time to call upon both women and men to stop brutalizing one another. When we are all ready, the cycle of brutalization can end.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.