Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Evil That Is Men

In the midst of the warlock hunt for male sexual predators most sensible voices have recommended that we avoid blaming all men for the misbehavior, at time felonious, of a few bad men.

It makes perfectly good sense. Most of us avoid generalizing from a few particulars. And yet, some few cannot wrap their minds around that level of complexity-- they tell us that all men are bad, and very, very bad indeed. After all, if five decades of intense feminist consciousness raising has produced Harvey Weinstein and Charley Rose and Brett Ratner... men must be worse than we all thought.

So say the simple-minded. Among them we must count someone named Stephen Marche. A Canadian essayist, a man whose background is in literature, Marche has taken to the pages of the New York Times to indict the male gender, for being as bad as Freud said it was.

When Marche speaks of the unexamined brutality of male libido he shows us that he has been living under a rock. For the past five decades we have been talking about nothing else.

Yes, indeed. You might think that Marche would have mentioned Darwin, a man of science. Instead, he digs Freud up from his grave and trots him out to indict the male gender. Men are all criminals. They just want to copulate with their mothers. They will murder their fathers in order to gain access to their mothers.

It is an idiotic idea, one that richly deserves the oblivion to which history has consigned it. Not only is it idiotic. It is not even true. As Stephen Pinker pointed out in his book How the Mind Works, familiarity does not breed desire. It breeds disinterest. Men do not lust after their mothers and sisters. Quite the contrary.

Better yet, Marche recommends that all men emulate someone called Tucker Max and undertake a course of psychoanalytic treatment, the better to become decent men. How na├»ve can you be? How ignorant can you be? If psychoanalysis is designed to help men and women to get in touch with their most depraved and degenerate desires, do you really believe that they will always succeed in controlling their expression? Marche obviously knows nothing about the history of psychoanalysis in places like France and South America. He does not understand that the cultures where Freud has thrived have nothing to do with the code of conduct that defines the British gentleman… or the British lady.

And, he does not understand that the greatest analysts in Romance language cultures did not believe in constant repression of incestuous wishes. They, like Freud, believed that repression would always fail. Their goal was to displace the desires and to make the world safe for adultery. It’s not quite incest, but it involves violating a taboo.

If this is Marche’s solution, he should go back to literature.

His idea, if we dare call it thus, is that after all these decades of feminist enlightenment and equality—after all, Canada made Justin Bieber its prime minister and has a feminist foreign policy—men are still just as bad as they always were… only worse.

It never crosses his diminished intellectual capacity that feminism might be the problem as much as the solution. He does not quite understand that hostility against men—which has recently found a second or third wind—might very well be the problem, not the solution. While feminists like Marche are regaling us with their display of overt hostility against men who can fail to notice that this might produce pushback? Why would anyone imagine that men would take it all lying down? Why would anyone believe that men would not fight back? Huh?

Marche has not noticed that we have been conducting a national conversation about male sexual abuse, male sexual harassment, male sexual molestation, and rape culture. We have been filling peoples’ minds with images of men doing horrific things to women and children. Which is, after all, what a good Freudian would want us to do. Funnily enough, it has not produced an era of comity or amity between the sexes. It has produced sexual deviants… most especially among male feminists.

To examine his views a bit more closely, note that Marche decides that it’s all about men… and all about all men.

He writes:

Through sheer bulk, the string of revelations about men from Bill Cosby to Roger Ailes to Harvey Weinstein to Louis C.K. to Al Franken and, this week, to Charlie Rose and John Lasseter, have forced men to confront what they hate to think about most: the nature of men in general. This time the accusations aren’t against some freak geography teacher, some frat running amok in a Southern college town. They’re against men of all different varieties, in different industries, with different sensibilities, bound together, solely, by the grotesquerie of their sexuality.

After telling us that male libido is “often ugly and dangerous” he extols the appalling Andrea Dworkin as something of an authority on male sexuality. From Dworkin Marche gains the idea that the only good penis is a flaccid penis. In truth, Dworkin believed that sex with men was inevitably rape.

In 1976, the radical feminist and pornography opponent Andrea Dworkin said that the only sex between a man and a woman that could be undertaken without violence was sex with a flaccid penis: “I think that men will have to give up their precious erections,” she wrote. In the third century A.D., it is widely believed, the great Catholic theologian Origen, working on roughly the same principle, castrated himself.

In truth, if Origen did in fact castrate himself—the point has been doubted—it was not because he was a proto-feminist. Apparently, he took a passage from Matthew 19:12 a little too literally. In case you have forgotten it, here is the text:

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake.

Naturally, if you are consumed by righteous zeal, as is Marche, you start getting things wrong. In his Times op-ed Marche ignores all customary courtship behaviors, the kinds that were designed to make an encounter between a young man and a young woman an orderly ritual, and not a free-for-all. Thanks to feminism we have dispensed with all of the niceties of courtship and we have found ourselves with a situation that is very bad indeed.

Marche does suggest correctly that romantic love is not a man’s world. When romance is in question women have a home field advantage. Men do not control  love relationships and do not really want to do so. Marche could have learned about this in any Darwinian study of male-female relationships.

As for masculinity, boys develop it by joining sports teams, military groups and even corporations. March seems to believe that men are alone with their masculinity. Evidently, he is blind to reality.

In his words:

Very often, when I interview men, it is the first time they have ever discussed intimate questions seriously with another man.... 

There is sex education for boys, but once you leave school the traditional demands on masculinity return: show no vulnerability, solve your own problems. Men deal with their nature alone, and apart. Ignorance and misprision are the norms.

As I said, to believe that men deal with their nature alone and apart reaches a breathtaking level of ignorance.

For your edification I add a couple of pictures of Andrea Dworkin, who Marche takes to be an authority about male libido. Tell me now, doesn't the second picture look like a mug shot?

Image result for andrea dworkin

Image result for andrea dworkin


trigger warning said...

Hm. I blame toxic femininity for all those Progressive sexual dysfunctionites.

And I can readily understand Dworkin's affectation for flaccid penises; a tachistoscopic glimpse of that face would flaccidize any hopeful penis, even one fortified by beer goggles.

whitney said...

This is just an observation about the great feminist movie of 2017, Wonder Woman.

In the movie The amazonians we're shielded on their island for thousands of years and when the 20th century finally intrudes on them it was with all the innovations of the last few thousand years. So we have the amazonians on horseback with bows and arrows fighting against destroyers and machine guns. I really think this was kind of a "Freudian slip" on the movie makers part because they show women without the capacity to innovate while men are looking at the world for what it could be and constantly changing it. In the feminist haste to condemn all men, they are also condemning indoor plumbing, central heat,the World Wide Web and much, much more. And I fear they will destroy it all before they finish

Jack Fisher said...

" — accepting our monstrosity"

the author knows himself best.

Ares Olympus said...

I'm willing to give Stephen Marche some credit, but his weakness is that he only considers the problems with masculinity in isolation, as if women are only passive victims and have no agency of their own to encourage or discourage men's good or bad behavior.

Like this paragraph contains a good sense of the warnings against men without conscience, the predatory aspects of male sexuality, but these same myths are also myths of fantasies of women of being dominated by a powerful man. And teen fiction like the Twilight series and the adult 50 shades of grey show there is something in feminine libido that WANTS to be submissive, as long as her prechosen male.
Fear of the male libido has been the subject of myth and of fairy tale from the beginning of literature: What else were the stories of Little Red Riding Hood or Bluebeard’s Castle about? A vampire is an ancient and powerful man with an insatiable hunger for young flesh. Werewolves are men who regularly lose control of their bestial nature. Get the point? There is a line, obviously, between desire and realization, and some cross it and some don’t. But a line is there for every man.

Mythical language might be superior to ordinary language because it reminds us there is conscious and unconscious fantasy involved in all participants, and to the degree it is unconscious it could be considered self-victimization. Innocence itself is fantasy, the idea we have no responsibility to the predicaments we find ourselves.

Jack Fisher said...

AO, you think there's a problem with masculinity? Who chewed off yours?

Ares Olympus said...

Here's a valiant even if obvious opinion piece by Bari Weiss challenging the mantra “believe all women” as dangerously flawed, like the Rolling Stones article gang rape retraction.
From time immemorial, men have been allowed to just be people while women have had to be women. I thought feminism was supposed to liberate us from this flattening of our identity. It’s supposed to allow us to just be people, too.

What we owe all people, including women, is to listen to them and to respect them and to take them seriously. But we don’t owe anyone our unthinking belief.

“Trust but verify” may not have the same ring as “believe all women.” But it’s a far better policy.

Perfectly timed she also mentioned the new failed "sting" operation by Project Veritas to get the Washington Post to publish false accusations against Roy Moore. Its a good joke that an organization with the Goddess of Truth in its name uses fraud and deceit to try to expose the bias of others. And we don't even have the luxury to feel relieved that an incompetent effort failed.

Ares Olympus said...

Jack Fisher said... AO, you think there's a problem with masculinity?

That's a rather simplistic question. We could talk of immature masculinity or toxic masculinity or confused masculinity or other various qualifiers if that feels less threatening to you.

Trump and others like to talk about the gang violence of Chicago, and there may be some girls involved, and hand guns can be the great equalizer, but it does look like male hormones make an important difference in behavior.

Jack Fisher said...

It's a simple question that you can't answer cogently because you fall for a high school debate team trick. You allow someone else to control the terms of the debate. Feminists and their supporters like you and the author believe there are flavors of masculinity, some good, some bad. Christians and protestants believe that we men are created in the image of God, which cannot be anything other than good. That men do bad acts contrary to this God-given nature is inevitable, but is not a indictment against masculinity itself and has nothing to do with hormones or whatever excuse you people are looking for.

Sam L. said...

Ares, Marche seems to be spouting feminist cant in your first paragraph.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call necessarily Andrea Dworkin an authority on the male libido. I mean, wouldn't you need a least to have personally observed a male libido at least once to become an expert. And can anyone imagine a circumstance where Andrea Dworkin could have observed a male libido. I mean, The Dworc's very presence in the same room as a male libido would have the same effect as a super massive black hole has on light

Still I'm glad you posted a pic of the Dworc. Ever since my prostate was taken out, I've needed to use Grandpa's little helper from time to time with all the attendant risks involved. I think that second pic is just the thing I need now that my video of Roxanne Barr singing the National Anthem has gone on the fritz.

Jack Fisher said...

Dworkin is definitely a three or possibly four bagger.

James said...

Re: The above pictures. It is reputed that her visage could kill male libido instantly, with a range of up to 200 ft.. She has no reason to fear me or any other male that I know of on this earth.

Ares Olympus said...

Jack Fisher said... Christians and protestants believe that we men are created in the image of God, which cannot be anything other than good. That men do bad acts contrary to this God-given nature is inevitable, but is not a indictment against masculinity itself and has nothing to do with hormones or whatever excuse you people are looking for.

This looks very strange all around, except to understand you're afraid of the idea there could be evil within masculinity. But I've certainly never heard such a thing in church, unless it was a new age one like my dad appreciated. Original sin offers a completely different interpretation of our nature, although at least men can blame Eve, so the opposite gender blaming goes all the way back. And we know women's labor pains were a punishment by God for her transgression, while men's punishment is that we will die someday, and we have to work for a living.

Myself, I'm willing to take the interpretation that God made his commandment against eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because he knew they would break it, but it was the doorway to conscience. You can't really be guilty of anything besides following instinct, if you have no awareness of yourself as a moral being, if you can't see your behavior from the outside, as others may see it, or how God might see you.

Anonymous said...

AS the Man says, "If women were responsible for civilization, we'd still be living in caves. But those caves would have really nice curtains!"

Jack Fisher said...

AO, you should sober up before you post.