Blinded by bigotry?
Taking a closer look at Androphobia
by Robert Anton Wilson
Author of the famed The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan
Men: A Despised Minority
May 1996 - Around six months ago, I finally came out of the closet. I admitted my true nature and openly joined forces with others in the same despised minority as myself, braving all the contempt and loathing I knew this would bring down on my head. I joined the Men's Movement.
Worse, I began speaking and writing about "Men's Issues."
This should surprise nobody, since I have never had much common sense. I have written controversial articles and books since 1959 and have had the honor of seeing myself called every possible nasty name in the English language by every gang of fanatics that infests this planet, from Christian Crusade to CSICOP. Joining the Men's Movement just indicates that at 60 I still do things as undiplomatic as I did in my 20s; I have graduated from a Perfect Young Fool to a Perfect Old Fool without ever passing through Maturity or Pragmatic Caution.
Curiously, most of the amusing and usually quasi-illiterate hate mail I have received for my current defense of men comes not from women but from other men. I would say about 90% of it, in fact, comes from men. Even after profound study and meditation, I cannot understand this. I can only think of the Jews who have become leaders in the American Nazi Party -- several cases have gotten into print, and one committed suicide when a Chicago newspaper documented his Jewish family tree.
Like those Jews, who hated their "Jewishness" more than the original Nazis had, some men evidently hate themselves and other men even more than the Radical Feminists do. I recall the insane but totally convincing character of "Buffalo Bill" in Thomas Harris's brilliant The Silence of the Lambs -- the fellow who wants to escape malehood so desperately that he tries to make a female skin to hide in, when he can't get a sex-change operation. Maybe Harris understands male self-hate better than I do.
In all the hate mail I have received for writing and speaking about androphobia, nobody has attempted to refute my central point: after nearly 100 years of Intelligence Testing, no psychologist has proven any IQ difference between females and males. High and low IQs appear equally in both genders. Alleged male inferiority, like alleged black inferiority, remains pure fiction, without one jot of experimental evidence to support it. In continually insisting on the mental deficiency of men, Carol Hemingway and other Radical Feminists merely copy Hitler's technique of the Big Lie.
Of course, I know that, like the Nazi Big Lie, male "inferiority" will go on getting repeated endlessly, no matter how much scientific evidence contradicts it. Politics does not rest upon scientific validations. Politics rests upon passion and prejudice; otherwise, this planet might become suddenly stark staring sane.
To put it mildly, men who hate men, like women who hate men, seem to be working on inner psychological problems, not on scientific research.
In this connection, I have found much food for thought in the Rodney King case.
That crescendo of barbarities, which unleashed the most violent riots to shake the U.S. in the 20th Century, perfectly illustrates the neurological grid, or reality-tunnel, that maintains androphobia. The media can "see" (i.e. can perceive or recognize) -- and, according to polls widely quoted in TIME and on TV, the majority of ordinary citizens can "see" -- that Rodney King suffered that terrible beating, and the jurors acquitted the perpetrators, because of the lurking and vicious racism of our society.
A conditioned self-censorship "built into" our brains by three decades of Radical Feminist intimidation, however, blocks an equally elementary perception. Nobody on the airwaves or in print can see, or can allow themselves to notice, that the Rodney King atrocity also owes a great deal to the equally vicious sexism which the androphobes have infiltrated into all the media in the past 30 years.
Nonetheless, those who at least try to think honestly and try to transcend the prejudices of their times, might feel a distinct Shock (or "Awakening" experience) if they sincerely attempt two simple mind exercises:
- In memory, re-run the infamous video one more time, and try to see it with Rodney King as a female. Does this savage beating still seem possible? With 21 other officers watching and none objecting? Think about it and really try to get beyond conditioned perception. Police violence against Black women does occur, of course, but I can recall no case where the brutality reached the same level of sadistic frenzy as in this case, and female officers watched impassively. Can you?
- Imagine that incredible Simi Valley jury watching this video, with Rodney King still as a woman. Would even those rednecks have acquitted the cops in that case? Could they look at the video tape and convince themselves that what they saw did not constitute excessive force?
An Invisible Sexism
"Sociopaths" and "drunks" commit violence against women, and we all experience horror and revulsion. But every day allegedly normal people commit violence against men like Rodney King, and many of us, like the Simi jury, can still find reasons to "excuse" such atrocities. Both Dan Quayle and Bill Clinton have had to answer charges of cowardice for having enough elementary sanity to avoid the war in Vietnam, but nobody accused Geraldine Ferraro of the same metaphysical "crime" for not volunteering to go over and get her arms or legs blown off in that hellish bout of national lunacy.
As the sociologist Lawrence Diggs has said, racism remains totally visible whether from whites against blacks or from blacks against whites, but sexism remains totally invisible if it comes from women against men. We would think it pathetic but perfectly "normal" and natural if Danny Quayle or Bill Clinton had to spend their lives in wheelchairs like Ron Kovic, but it only becomes monstrous and unthinkable if you imagine it happening to a pure, noble, female creature -- like Tonya Harding, say.
We only regard our allegedly sub-human males as expendable, like laboratory animals. Women we see as truly and fully human, and hence not mere "cannon fodder."
Consider this little irony: Diggs, the sociologist cited above, says that when he writes about this, certain people always accuse him of defending the "white male power structure."
Lawrence Diggs does not belong to any "white" power structure. He has black skin -- in Aristotelian language, he "is" Black -- and he merely reports what he has seen first hand of the neuro-psychological damage that the combination of racism and sexism has done to young black males in this country. Damned for their blackness and damned again for their maleness, these boys and young men represent the Heart of Darkness for our times.
George Bush took the negative archetype, Black Male -- two terror signals in one image -- gave it the name "Willie Horton," carefully repeated the negative conditioning hour after hour on TV, and frightened the masses into electing him, just as similar anti-Semitic stereotypes put Adolph Hitler into power 50 years earlier. The police who beat Rodney King probably never "saw" him in an existential sense; they saw the Monster that Bush had invoked and called "Willie Horton." The Giant Black Male, with a half-image of King Kong in the psychic background.
Nonviolence Toward Males?
If this point still seems obscure (or deliberately perverse), try one more Reality Check, to determine whether you've suffered brainwashing or I have:
Try to think of how many movies you have seen in the last ten years in which the heroine attacks a man, bops him upside the head with a blunt instrument, punches him in the face or gut, shoots him dead, or commits similar violence against several men in succession. Then try -- really hard, now -- to think of any movies in which the leading actress does not at least slap one man's face. Can you recall even one such film? Made since 1970?
A while back, I thought I had, in fact found one happy case of nonviolence toward males -- The Fisher King. But then I looked at it again, and saw that in the climax, the heroine slaps the hero as hard as she can -- a major assault -- before they kiss. He, of course, doesn't mind being smashed in the face like a slave in the Old South, and acts merely grateful for the kiss. Males, in the new mythos, must be bashed, at least a little, in every film and TV show. And, of course, they never show pain. The directors evidently wish us to think they don't even feel pain, like other inanimate objects.
Feminists, of both the Radical and rational varieties, complain rightly about the violence against women in movies. But they don't see -- they can't see or won't see -- the much more prevalent violence against males.
And nobody except Lawrence Diggs, Dr. Alfred Ehlenberger and Warren Farrell has ever discussed the statistical fact that, in real life just as in films, all men (not just black men) suffer violence, both from women and from other men, much more often than women do. This fact remains censored by as many tabus and "systems of denial" in our society as homosexuality did in the Victorian age, or alcoholism in a dysfunctional family.
As psychologist Kathi Cleary writes (Men in Crisis):
Most women are very aware of a man's sexism but totally blind to their own.... When you find yourself becoming uncomfortable with male-bashing jokes, comments and conversation, you'll also find yourself more aware of other women's sexism. Point it out.... (But) you may end up laying some friendships on the line. For some reason, women seem to feel that an acknowledgment of their sexism toward men will send feminism back to the dark ages."
Dr. Cleary can see female sexism (or androphobia, as I call it) because she has a sane attitude toward feminism, as a crusade for justice and not just another Hate Group. To repeat one of my favorite lines, just as Marx called anti-Semitism "the socialism of fools," I think anti-andrism will appear (in a saner future) as the feminism of imbeciles. It has nothing to do with any legitimate struggle for women's rights, anymore than Nazi anti-Semitism helped Germans resolve any of the real injustices piled on them after World War I.
The Cost of Androphobia
Psychologists like Dr. Farrell have just begun to calculate the total damage androphobia has inflicted on men; they show us statistics of the suicide rate of young males (six times that of females); the rapidly rising male heart attack rate; the graphs showing equal life expectancy for men and women from the dawn of statistical science until the 1920s and the dizzying decline to the present where men have seven years less life expectancy than women, etc. One could almost predict such statistics a priori. No group can live normal, healthy lives in a society which hates their guts, and tells them so daily.
The highest suicide rate, incidentally, appears in white males, who make up 72 per cent of all suicides. I think this results from the fact that our official Opinion Makers have selected white males, like the "witches" in medieval Europe, to become the one group so indisputably Damned that not even the most wild-eyed libertarian dares to defend them.
White Men in Poverty
The most frequent charges against any of us who oppose androphobia says that in defending all men we perforce defend those indefensible white men, which our society's mythos simply does not allow. Diggs speaks of hearing this constantly, despite his Negritude. Like the Jews in Germany again, white males always appear rich, robust and comfortable in the popular media; only other people (non-white, non-male) might pass as poor, sick or troubled.
My father, although white and male, remained a poor working man all his life. He not only earned less money than Rockefeller; he earned a hell of a lot less than any of the Radical Feminists who write blockbuster best-sellers about how all men have exploited them. He never hit my mother, or me, and tried to prevent her from beating up on me. He gave her his whole pay check every pay-day, and never drank except on holidays, when he drank a little but never enough to get drunk. At least, that's my memory. I must have hallucinated, of course. All white males have great wealth and a vicious streak a mile wide. Therefore, my father never really existed, I guess. I just emerged from the void.
The New Jews
Under the cha-cha penthouse where Robin Morgan and a gaggle of other Radical Feminists hold a cocktail party to complain about their exquisite emotional sufferings, way down in the dark, in the alley, among the discarded condoms and the rubbish, you will find our new Jews. A group of males, some of them white, sleeping in the freezing rain. A rat bites one and he cries out, briefly in his sleep. But the exquisite ladies do not hear that, up in the penthouse where the intelligentsia meet to manipulate the media and mold the lines of thought and image that control social perception.
The rain continues to fall on the homeless men. Their bodies and minds destroyed in Vietnam, these dehumanized creatures remain beyond pity and beyond compassion, beyond the perimeter of the human commonwealth, because of the shape of their genitals. We must not consider Radical Feminism a crazy Hate Group, of course. We must accept it as chic; and as ultra-modern; and as politically correct. Only the people who hate on the basis of nose-shape or skin-color deserve the label of bigots, of course. Of course.