Androphobia: The only respectable bigotry
The mythology of male brutishness
by Robert Anton Wilson
Author of the famed The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan
The Two Per Cent Stereotype
April 1996 - Did you know that over 98 per cent of the men in the United States today have never been convicted of any violent crime or served time in prison? That, even though the U.S. imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than any other nation, over 98 per cent of our men have never been convicted of rape, child molestation, assault, battery, breaking and entering, or any kind of violence? And almost half of the men who do land in prison are convicted of non-violent crimes (usually drug possession)?
These basic statistical facts about male nonviolence have been hidden from us by an ideology/mythology which I call androphobia -- fear and hatred of the male. Androphobia has also hidden such facts as these:
- Important Feminists of the past include such males as Clarence Darrow, John Stuart Mill, Henrik Isben, Robert Dale Owen, James Joyce, and Bertrand Russell.
- Psychologists who measure IQ have never found any statistical difference between the intelligence of men and women. High, middle, and low IQs are found in both sexes! There is no scientific proof of male inferiority!
The mythology of male brutishness and stupidity has been spread by the androphobes without a single shred of statistical evidence.
The Innate Brutality of Men?
Do you believe men are innately brutal? When no other human being was willing to nurse the lepers on Molokai Island, it was a male, Father Joseph Damien, who went there to care for those unfortunates.
Or consider these further suppressed facts about maleness:
- Although they were men, Michaelangelo, Sir Christopher Wren, and Frank Lloyd Wright are almost universally considered great architects.
- The first Feminist pamphlet published in this country was written by a man -- Tom Paine (who also wrote the first anti-slavery pamphlet.)
- The most original music of this century, Jazz, was created almost entirely by Black males.
- Free public libraries, which made more knowledge available to more people than any invention before the computer-net, were founded on gifts made by Andrew Carnegie, who was not just male but a rich white male!
- Leonardo da Vinci made hundreds of great contributions to both science and art despite the triple handicaps of being Gay, left-handed and male.
- Men including Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Sean McBride have played important roles in the struggle for world peace.
- Although Shakespeare, Dante, and Homer were males, they wrote poetry generally considered as good as anything by Hilda Doolittle.
- Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach were men and yet they wrote music at least as good as that of Hildegarde of Bingen.
- Males such as Newton, Einstein, and Archimedes made contributions to science as important as those of Marie Curie.
- The cure for yellow fever, saving the lives of millions, was found by a man, Major Walter Reed.
Disgrace of the Male?
Despite the androphobic mythology/ideology, at no time in history except the present was maleness considered a shame, a disgrace, or a sign of inferiority.
All the "major" religions (those having millions of followers) were founded by males born in Asia (Confucius, Lau-Tse, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed.)
Men were responsible for such basic discoveries as the sailing ship, the compass, the steam engine, the electric light, the AC generator, the computer, and many others. And males created over 90% of mathematics.
All of this sounds strange, bizarre, almost unbelievable, I know. We have all had so much brainwashing by the androphobic meme that we scarcely can believe males have ever done anything but shoot one another, rape women, and blow people up. Androphobia is the one respectable bigotry -- the only form of group-libel that is "politically correct" and goes unchallenged almost everywhere. Male achievements, thus, have been systematically excluded from "the universe of discourse" -- i.e. what "nice" people talk about.
The Feminism of Imbeciles
Let us clarify the ideology of androphobia. I think androphobia can be defined as the transfer to all males of the negative stereotypes that the Ku Klux Klan and other neanderthal types assign only to black males -- mental inferiority, of course; emotional childishness, or "inability to think rationally;" brutality -- i.e. sub-human status, criminality, sexual violence, etc. (You see? All the old racist clichés except "a great sense of rhythm.") I thus regard androphobia as merely a transmutation from racism to sexism, an "advance" that is not an advance at all.
Let me make this very clear. I do not oppose Feminism; on the contrary, I reject all forms of group stereotyping and dehumanization. Androphobia (or male-bashing) has no intrinsic or necessary link with Feminism, and many Feminists utterly reject androphobia. To use an analogy, Marx said that "anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools." Similarly, I regard androphobia as the Feminism of imbeciles.
I oppose androphobia as psychological gendercide. I believe it underlies the wide spread male depression (which psychotherapists recognize as "epidemic") and also explains much of the soaring suicide rate among boys and young males.
The suicide rate among boys aged 16 to 19 is four times that of females, and the suicide rate of men between 20 and 24 soars to six times that of females (according to the U.S. Department of Health Statistics.) This self-destructiveness has increased steadily, among males, for 30 years -- since the rise of the androphobic ideology. Few want to grow up male in a society where maleness is defined as a sign of incurable inferiority or criminality.
Androphobia has created the kind of tension that psychologists call a "double-bind." A classic double-bind, as Gregory Bateson defined it in his pioneering work on the subject, involves (a) an impossible situation one cannot escape, and, (b) just as crucial, a social rule that forbids verbal comment on the impossibility of the situation. Gays, blacks, Hispanics, and all other minorities retain the freedom to comment on their situation -- even to comment angrily or to protest in the streets.
However, one cannot comment on androphobia these days. It is not only "politically incorrect" but virtually unthinkable. To talk about the subject at all remains under a very big taboo -- while millions of boys and men stagger from depression to suicide annually.
For instance, in 1979, psychologist Roy Schenk attempted to give a workshop on men's oppression at the annual conference of the Association for Humanistic Psychology. He announced in advance that the seminar would investigate what it does to the psyche of boys and men to grow up "being perceived as morally inferior to women." The AHP would not allow the workshop. This year, I tried again, offering a similar workshop at a New Age conference that had had me as workshop leader several times in the past. They also would not allow this subject to be discussed at all.
Consider the "logic" of androphobia, and how it deliberately contradicts known facts. Remember: 98% of the men in this country have never been in prison or committed a violent crime, but the androphobe insists that all men are "violent." Some of the most tender, beautiful music in the world was written by men such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, but the androphobe insists all men are "insensitive." To repeat: all the major religions based on justice and love were founded by men (Asiatic men, in fact) -- but the androphobe insists all men are "greedy" and "competitive." This kind of "logic," based on totally ignoring all inconvenient facts, is common to all forms of racism, xenophobia and bigotry.
In fact, if you listen to the rantings of any leading androphobe (such as Andrea Dworkin, Carol Hemingway, or Robin Morgan) and mentally change the word "male" to "Jew" every time it appears, the result would be totally indistinguishable from the rantings of Hitler, because the "logic" of bigotry is the same in all cases. It is the "logic" of ascribing one essence to a miscellaneous group, which is only possible when all real-world daily facts are replaced by generalized abstractions. but this flight into abstraction is "politically correct" and virtually nobody dares to challenge it.
Thus, the "evil" of maleness in our society today, like the "evil" of witchcraft in medieval days, is beyond debate or discussion. The "no comment" taboo applies, leading directly to the double-bind that triggers mental breakdowns. Males, thus, have become the only minority that can be slandered and demeaned with any and all group stereotypes, in "respectable" media, and with no rebuttal allowed. All other minorities can "fight back" against group libel, but men who try to fight back against stereotypes and group libel are regarded as crazy, or "in denial," or beyond the bounds of reasonable discourse.
Will Sanity and Common Sense Triumph?
Fortunately, this is beginning to change -- a little. We look forward to a day when sanity and common sense triumph over bias, and all men and women, all people of all races, are judged one at a time and not condemned by group stereotypes. Meanwhile, anti-Semites (and most other bigots) can only circulate their lunatic rantings through badly printed journals with tiny circulations, while the androphobes still have free access to all major media and can endlessly spout the most idiotic forms of sexism while claiming to oppose sexism.
As Shakespeare said (with a few minor revisions and updates):
"I am a man. Hath not a man eyes? Hath not a man hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed, and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a woman is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?"