During the past 30 years, millions of men have supported equal legal rights for women. A right is not an objective, immutable condition of nature that exists, like a star or the universe, outside the sphere of society. It is a privilege granted by a social pact. In an aristocracy, members of the ruling class have more privileges than their subjects; also greater responsibilities. In a democracy like ours, however, every adult has equal privileges (rights) and equal obligations (responsibilities). The time has come for men to support equal legal responsibilities for women to go along with their equal (and in some cases, superior) rights.
In the May 1996 issue of Elle magazine, M.G. Lord emphasizes how gender will affect who votes for whom:
By the numbers, I mean the gender gap, or the difference between how women and men vote. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, male voters were deadlocked on President Clinton and Senator Bob Dole; but among women, the President led 54 percent to Dole's 36 percent.Indeed, the goal of the "Freedom Summer 96" voter-registration drive, according to Lord, is "to recruit enough women voters to make the gender gap count." The pop-feminist pundits feel the time is right to begin their push for power in earnest and set the political agenda for the next century:
We had to send a message to politicians who are afraid of the right-wing that WE ARE MOBILIZING ... and that we have the strength to defeat them in November if they don't stand up for our rights.They intend to make 1996 a political watershed for feminist extremism. We cannot afford to let that happen. We need to send a strong, clear message that the one-sided war is over. A "warning shot across the bow," if you will, to get their attention.
Together, we will make it the year the gender gap, the race gap and the wage gap made a difference at the polls and with the pols.-- Patricia Ireland, The National Organization for Women
Here and there, men's and fathers' organizations have been rattling the sabers of male discontent for almost as long as there has been a feminist movement, and always organizations like NOW and MS., and feminist academics, feminist legal services, the press and others have retaliated with harsh reprisals.
Saber rattling won't cut it anymore.
If you donít make it clear youíre willing to do more than strut and swash your bucklers, eventually you begin to sound like the little boy who cried wolf: no one will pay attention to you anymore. And if youíre not even willing to rattle them, well, then no oneís going to take you seriously anyway.
Thatís the way it is with the menís movement. We have a saber that has scarcely even been rattled. Itís called the male vote, and if weíre going to get anyone to pay any attention to our issues we need to use it. On purpose. Not like last time.
In the last general election, a few million men spontaneously rattled their sabers in unison, and the media went wild. The specter of Angry White Men made front page news as wags everywhere worried that Atlas had finally decided to shrug.
But the angry white male came and went as the media quickly replaced it with lurid assertions that while, yes, lots of men were still disgruntled, their ire was dwarfed by the unselfish wrath women feel on behalf of others.
I donít think so. According to the Washington Post National Weekly, a roughly equal proportion of women and men are grumbling. Theyíre just upset about different things: women are bent out of shape because so many families are living in poverty, so many children are criminals, all men are pigs, and dogs and cats are sleeping together. Men, on the other hand, are perturbed because weíre catching hell for it all. Like itís all our fault that the feminist dominated courts are biased in favor of awarding child custody to unemployed women; or that they then drive men to the brink of bankruptcy; that men are to blame for the liberal- dominated programs that have led to a growing ghetto of fatherless minority families with a concomitant increase in inner-city gang violence; or that more and more employers are implementing pop feminist hiring policies that marginalize merit and elevate diversity quotas that brush men (regardless of race) aside.
Hell hath no fury, and all that.
Question is, how will all of this fury rain on the political parades this coming November? Will men root for the feminist lawyer with the pineapple puppet? Will women again embrace the feminist lawyer with the pink-faced promiscuous puppet? Or will their will wreak havoc to the status quo in other, less predictable ways? Perot, perhaps?
In The April 15-21, 1996, Washington Post National Weekly, David S. Broder grimaces that "three of every five Perot supporters is a man." Maybe Perot? Why not Ross?
What choices do we really have? Mr. Pineapple, who promises little besides the status quo? The Prez, whose penchant for dallying with the likes of Gennifer and the devilish Ms. Jones have provided us with more than a few guffaws?
To his credit, Clinton has at least given men and fathers an ear. Maybe that was all he had left after he gave everything else to everyone else, or maybe the guy vote of Ď92 scared the pants off him. Either way, he has been more sensitive to menís issues than any president since President Johnson laid waste to inner-city neighborhoods with his "Great Society." And the Mrs., along with her ghost writer, has even written a book extolling family values. Hooray for her.
But what, besides a presidential caliber performance of political posturing, have they done for us, lately?
I know. This is utterly unreasonable, it smacks of bigotry and bias of the worst sort. It ignores ideological principles. In a word, itís stupid. But so is war.
From the male point of view, feminism turned the Battle of the Sexes into a "War in Which Only One Side Showed Up." - Ronald K. Henry, as quoted in The Myth of Male Power, by Warren FarrellItís time men showed up. Our vote is the biggest, best saber weíve got. A good whack. Just one. To get their attention.
But what if all the local male candidates are feminists, and the only decent ones are women?This isn't an invitation to set aside all judgment. We want to make a resounding political statement, not shoot ourselves in the foot. Certainly, in future elections, we will broaden our scope to something more enduring -- like vote "male positive" -- that will encourage women to support candidates who are unbiased. Someone we can all support.
But we canít swing that kind of clout until we demonstrate we have a political weapon weíre willing to use. The thing is, of course, this isnít something weíd want to over use. Like government deficit spending, for example.
When the newly formed Federal Reserve propelled the American economy further into its post WW I depression, economist John Maynard Keynes recommended a policy of government intervention to stimulate the economy. A brief but intense infusion of money into the economy via Federal programs would, he reasoned, boost America out of its Great Depression and pay back the governmentís deficit many times over.
It worked. Keynes was a hero. But politicians saw "Keynesian Economics" as their passport to popularity and success. A little deficit spending here, a little fiscal firestorm there, stimulate the economy, win elections, everybodyís happy.
Except now, conservatives condemn Keynes for promulgating the spendthrift practices so popular with Democrats (and Republicans, if only they would admit to it). But Keynes never intended for government deficit spending to be used as other than an emergency measure. A weapon of last resort.
A weapon is a thing you use in a particular time and place for a particular purpose; itís not for everyday use. This should be obvious, but when we are confronted with an enduring problem that can be easily remedied by daily use of "controlled" economic explosions, we tend to forget about the financial fallout on tomorrow.
Come the Ď70s, President Ford introduces us to his WIN button -- "Whip Inflation Now."
Inflationís the enemy, bring out the great guns of the Fed (the same agency that exacerbated the Great Depression) to strafe the countryside with a little monetary austerity. Year after year, decade after decade, pound the specter of inflation into the ground. Hooray for our side.
Why, oh why, is our economy's productivity growing so slowly?
When necessary, use them, be quickly done with them, then put them away.
We have a weapon, we have need to use it, but do we have the will to use it and, once used, then go the next step and put it down and return to a more diplomatic and reasoned approach?
They dominate on most college campuses and more and more corporate campuses, and few courts of law or politicians ignore their demands with impunity. Meanwhile, the mainstream media and most of our other major institutions ignore virtually every refutation of their lies, no matter how well-documented. The results are equally well-documented: our schools, universities and work places are increasingly hostile to men, more girls and women graduate from high school and obtain college degrees than men, the unemployment rate for men continues to lead that for women, most of the homeless are men, most convicts are men (with black men leading on a per capita basis by a wide margin), families (particularly minority families) are disintegrating (while pop feminists like Shere Hite say this is a good thing), crime rates, divorce rates and the number of single, never married men are all increasing, crimes committed by women are trivialized or ignored (especially crimes against men), men are treated like vicious criminals for even the least offense against women, men still die younger than women, commit suicide more often, are raped in greater numbers (in prison, where hard-core criminals prey on the meek and non criminal elements convicted of minor, often victimless "crimes"), and amidst all this, pop feminists continue to complain that itís a manís world, that men dominate and oppress women.
While our public school system continues to serve males less than it serves females, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) runs ads in the national media to decry how public education oppresses girls. (TIME, April 1 1996).
While the vast majority of those diagnosed with AIDS and who have tested positive for HIV in America are men, Ms. magazine demands that most of the HIV-related research in America focus on women because, worldwide, close to half of the victims are women, and when you include third-world countries, most of the new victims are female. (Ms. magazine, March/April 1995)
While every study that has examined the behaviors of men and women in objective surveys concludes both sexes initiate domestic violence at equal rates, on television and in theaters, more and more movies portray men as violent abusers, and women as their victims.
The list of offenses against men is long, and continues to grow.
Obviously, there is a need to confront the malignant misandry of the New Rage women, and end their campaign of hate against men.
Old timers in the menís and fathersí movements, like R.F. Doyle, Prof. Dan Amneus, Fredric Hayward, Warren Farrell, Mel Feit, Tom Williamson, Dr. Schenk, George Gilder and many others will say, "Do tell!" Years ago, they engaged the enemy -- mostly with hands extended and hearts open to invite gender peace. But there have always been a few voices calling for something more. A stronger, more militant reply to the mavens of misandry.
Periodically, Rich Doyle, of the Menís Defense Association and publisher of The Liberator, suggests men and fathers go on strike, as in Ayn Randís Atlas Shrugged, to make the point. But most shy away from this as too extreme. Others, like representatives of the Sovereign Patriot Group, urge us to use the Commercial Lien process, as guaranteed under the US Constitution, to assure our rights. (However, Ray Ternes of the Family Preservation Alliance in Seattle, has seen most of his liens denied or disregarded by the King County courts, who value the Constitution less than the status quo.)
Many voices, some calling for peace, others for war. According to the New Ragers at NOW, I am one of the war hawks. A pro-male man who stands steadfastly opposed to women's rights and foursquare for the patriarchal domination of women. Nonsense. Pro-male? Yes, I am. Since when has pro- male been synonymous with anti-female? Canít you be both? I think so. What I know is that I am not opposed to women's rights. On the contrary, I steadfastly support Equal Rights and Equal Responsibilities.
After completing my books on gender issues and sexual harassment, I joined the fracas early in 1993 with publication of The Backlash! Sounds aggressive. Many take its strong criticism of the feminatics as self-evidently misogynistic. Many have tried to persuade me to become all the pop-feminists would have me be. But I have always preferred the assertively reasonable approach to anything more stringent.
"Iíd like to see a few guys in every major city stand at a major intersection holding a ĎVote Maleí banner on election Tuesday."
"Banners? That could be expensive!"
"Iíd be willing to put up a few thousand bucks to cover it."
I hope he knows what heís getting himself into, because I have a feeling there are going to be a few thousand guys who will want to participate.
For more information, email John c/o me, or write to him at The Backlash! PO Box 70524, Bellevue, WA 98007.
Equal Rights and Equal Responsibilities. Feminists of every sort are intolerant of any who do not support the former. Now, we should be intolerant of any who do not also support the latter.
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