Category In The Myth of Male Power

Our Stage II challenge

The challenge of The Myth of Male Power, then, is to care enough about men to spend as much of the next quarter century helping men become Stage II men as we did the last quarter century helping women become Stage II women; to move toward equality of obligation for the death professions and combat roles, not just the pick-and-choose liberation of female opportunity when desired; to cease expecting men to earn more money than a woman before they are ‘ eligible" and then calling the expectation "power,’’ "patriarchy," "dominance," or "sexism" rather than "pressure" and "obliga tion", to develop affirmative action-type outreach programs for men until men and women have the same life expectancy; to give men special outlets and special incentives to express their feelings and perspectives until men commit suicide no more frequently than women, to confront our monetary incentives to keep men disposable rather than pay, for example, what it would cost to have a house built half by female construction workers, to monitor media sexism that defines relationship issues disproportionately from the female perspective in books, magazines, newspapers, talk shows, and sit-coms; to care as much about battered husbands as battered wives; to acknowledge the working dad as much as we acknowledge the working mom; to give fathers as much right to their children as we do mothers; to not stop merely with caring as much about saving males as saving whales, but t< > stop only when we care as much about saving males as saving females; to go beyond woman as sex objects and men as success objects to both sexes as objects of love.

[1]The biblical quotes are all from Genesis. See endnotes.

[2] The husband defense

The film I Love You to Death was based on the true story of a woman who tried to kill her husband when she discovered he had been unfaithful. She and her mom tried to poison him, then hired muggers to beat him and shoot him through the head. A fluke led to their being caught and sent to jail. Miraculously, the husband survived.

The husband’s first response? Soon after he recovered, he informed the authorities that he would not press charges. His second response? He defended his wife’s attempts to kill him. He felt so guilty being sexually unfaithful that he thanked his wife! He then reproposed to her. She verbally abused him, then accepted.

/ Love You to Death was a true story produced as a comedy. Imagine the protests if a true story of a husband attempting to murder his wife was produced as a comedy.

Is this husband defense an isolated example? No. You won’t believe this °ne. . The headline summarizes it: "Woman Who Shot Mate 5 Times Gets Probation5

[3]The founeen studies are described in my forthcoming book. A couple of these are in the endnotes.

[4] know of no example of a fan club for a man killing a woman – especially a woman who had never abused him.

? ▼ ?

Perhaps the most appalling dimension of the nonprofessional contract killings is the use by many of these women of teenage boys to conduct the murder – usually boys from disadvantaged backgrounds. These women have committed both murder and the psychological rape of a boy. Any adult man hiring a 15-year-old girl to kill his wife would be on death row. Especially if he had had sex with the girl.

When professionals are hired to do contract killing, the ability to pay the money to hire a professional implies a middle-class background. Women who hire professionals are often middle-class women who kill their hus­bands with money that their husbands earned. Thus Constantina Branco took money out of her husband’s bank account to hire a man to kill her husband.*4

[5]A transcript Is needed to prove a mishandling of the trial and is thus a prerequisite for the appeal.

[6]If we adhere ю the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, then the constitutional equivalent of an Equal Rights Amendment already exists: inequality of rights Protects the sexes unequally and is therefore unconstitutional Although the ERA does have 8Уп’Ьо1іс value, if it is to symbolize genuine equality, it needs to be an Equal Rights and tesponsibilities Amendment.

The men’s movement as evolutionary shift

The men’s movement will be the longest of all movements because it is not proposing merely to integrate blacks or Hispanics into a system that already exists, it is proposing an evolutionary shift in the system itself – an end to woman the protected and man the protector. This division is rooted in our biology’, it exists among animals.

The men s movement will be the most incremental of movements because it is hard to confront the feelings we’ve learned to repress and hard to confront the women we’ve learned to protea. And it is especially hard to risk alienating our only source of love.

VUiat will be the men’s movement’s greatest day-to day challenge? Get­ting men to ask for help/or themsehes Movements make gains by asking for help for themselves. Men were always able to ask for help on befxilf of others – for a congregation, their wives, children, or a cause – but not for themself Why not? For thousands of years, complaining was functional for women – it attraaed a proteaor; complaining was dysfunaional for men – it attracted nobody. Women avoided men who complained and selected men who were responsive to womens pleas for help. So asking for help for themselves will be the biggest challenge and the catalyst to any evolutionary shift

part of the women’s movement has already initiated that evolutionary shift – the pan that says, "I, woman, mast take responsibility for what occurs In my life", that says, “Don’t kill your husband if he’s abasing you, walk away"; the pan that encourages women, "Pick up his dinner check as often as he picks up yours"; the pan that says, "Don’t marry up,’ depend on yourself"; the pan that empowers women to the point of being willing to consider a loving man "eligible" even if he expects her to financially suppon him while he nurtures her. This pan of the women’s movement is the division of adult feminism.

Another pan of the women’s movement reinforces age old patterns – the pan that wants combat rights but not combat obligations, that speaks of the glass ceiling, but not the glass cellar; that wants government proteaion for battered women but denies even the existence of battered men; the pan that negleas to encourage women to feel as comfortable "marrying down" and financially supporting a man to be the dad as "marrying up" and having a man suppon her to be the mom This pan only reinforces women’s genetic heritage – find a hero, marry him, depend on him; or divorce him and get the government to play substitute husband. It reinforces women discover ing a variety of ways to be victim in order to find a variety of ways to be saved. This pan of the women’s movement is the division of adolescent feminism.

For women, complaining and asking to be saved was a necessary pan of their Stage I role of proteaing children. For men, asking for help is useful only in Stage II Complaining and asking for help, then, are not evolutionary’ shifts for women; complaining and asking for help are evolutionary shifts for men.

Men will learn to ask for help when we help men understand it is the lability to ask for help that is weakness. Men must gather a new strength – strength to fight the only world war in which the fodder is feelings, be ^ong enough to find these feelings and courageous enough to risk the loss °f superficial love to create deeper love

If a men’s movement really does create an evolutionary shift, though, it must go beyond being gifted of the mouth and retarded of the ear. We must help both sexes tune each ocher in as we would the Discovery Channel rather than tune each other out as we would in a ‘ battle of the sexes ”; to respect that our socialization is as difficult to remove as is syrup from a pancake, and that sometimes the best way we can show our caring is not by solving someone’s problem but by acknowledging and sharing.

The Equal Rights and Responsibilities Amendment

An Equal Rights and Responsibilities Amendment (ERRA) would outlaw male-only responsibility for draft registration; it would prevent men in the armed services from being required to enter combat (if needed) unless women were also required to enter combat (if needed); it would permit community property only in conjunction with community responsibility; it would give incentives to schools to educate females to be equally respons­ible for taking sexual initiatives and risking sexual rejection rather than lecturing only males on how not to do it wrong, it would replace discus­sions of sexual harassment in the workplace with discussions of how both sexes make sexual contact in the workplace.

An ERRA would allow affirmative action programs for recruitment and training of the underrepresented sex in a given profession, but not for the hiring of less qualified members of that sex; it would deprive congressional districts of AFDC funding if judges assigned the children to women more than 60 percent of the time in cases of contested custody; it would deprive universities of public monies as long as there were significantly more women’s studies courses than men’s studies courses; it would deprive TV stations of federal licensing if the FCC found a consistent pattern of male bashing or consistent attention to women’s issues and neglect of men’s Issues. The ERRA would mean a new era – an era of shared rights and shared responsibilities, meaning shared perspectives rather than opposite sexes.

But are men (and ideally women) motivated to make this happen?

What exactly does it take to make a movement?

Major movements have two core stimuli: (1) emotional rejection; and (2) economic hurt. When a large number of people feel emotionally rejected and economically hurt at the same moment in history, a revolution is in the making.

For example, when blacks were told to sit in the back of the bus, they experienced emotional rejection; when they also faced job discrimination, they experienced economic hurt When it happened to large numbers, it created political possibilities. We then had the bases for the civil rights movement.

Similarly, when millions of women simultaneously experienced divorce (emotional rejection) and job discrimination (economic hurt), we had the political, emotional, and economic bases on which to build the women’s movement.

Like women, men experience emotional rejection if they divorce; but unlike women, men are much more likely to be involuntarily deprived of their children, thus experiencing a double dose of emotional rejection. Many men feel unloved and unneeded by anyone after divorce, which is why men commit suicide more than women after they divorce. When, on top of this, men are told to pay money for what they’re deprived of (children and wife), they simultaneously experience economic hurt.

Fathers today are often being taxed for their children without equal representation in their children’s lives. They are experiencing their version of “taxation without representation.” It is the simultaneous experience of this by millions of fathers that creates the men’s movement’s political base; it is their emotional rejection that creates its emotional base, their economic hurt that creates its economic base. Which is why the next stage of the men s movement will be both political and activist.

If we ignore these men’s activists or dismiss them as crazy, angry, or bitter, we miss the life experience of millions of other fathers who are either too afraid to speak up or so busy producing money to support their “ex” and their children that they don’t have time to speak up. If we force these activists to become strident to be heard in the process of achieving equity, many of these men will be wasted, their children damaged, and upcoming generations will be provided with another distorted version of love. If, on the other hand, we hear men, we can minimize gender war and maximize gender love.

If this seems scary, don’t worry; it won’t happen overnight. We re not talking about just a priority shift but an evolutionary shift.

Will the men’s movement become political and activist?

The men’s movement is a misnomer. It Is neither political like the civil rights movement nor activist like the women’s movement.

Time, July 8, 199 V

Within the next ten years, Time magazine will doubtless eat those words Why? First, political structures are formed and forming. Second, the political agendas are concrete. Third, men’s emotional and economic pain is significant enough to motivate change

First, the political structures. The National Congress for Men and Chil­dren and the National Coalition of Free Men have for years been consciously – focusing on issues like fathers having access to their children after divorce and joint custody. The media often portrays these men as focusing on father’s rights, but these dads could just as easily be portrayed as focusing on loving children. The pain among these men emanates from dealing with the law when they want to be dealing with love.

The mythopoetic men’s movement is just on the verge of developing political consciousness. Its political consciousness is evolving more uncons­ciously, from the men’s personal discoveries. During the men’s weekends, many men explore what might be called the two Fs – fathering and feelings But as men discover they have been deprived of their fathers, they stan asking if they are also being deprived of being fathers. And as men stan seeing that other men have shared their personal experience, they slowly discover that the personal is political. This leads to fathers discovering their first right.

A father’s first right – fathering (sharing child care while his wife does her financial share) – requires renegotiating. Renegotiating requires men to speak up. That’s where the search for the second F – feelings – comes in

Until now, men invested all of their emotional eggs in the basket of the women they loved. So they feared speaking up for fear of losing their only source of emotional support. As men’s weekends provide an alternate source of emotional support, men gain the courage to say what they feel without fear of emotional isolation. Although some women find this new male courage threatening, others find it appealing. Many couples find it breathes life into a relationship dying of boredom.

But do men really want a change – do they want more time with their children? We have seen that almost 90 percent of men say that full time involvement with their children would be theirpnference for between six months and a year if they knew they wouldn’t be hurting their family economically and they knew their wife approved.

What are the implications of men becoming more fully invested in their children? Fathers and children who feel more loved and loving. And this has political implications: fathers will protest when judges assume a child is its mother’s first, its father’s second. Politically, fathers will seek to remove judges who award more than 60 percent of contested custody cases to either sex

Once a man allows himself to love a child deeply, he wants the right to love equally. He realizes that when a woman and he have created a pregnancy, the issue is not the rights of the female versus the fetus, but the rights of the female, the fetus, and the father. I le realizes that a woman who says, "It’s my body, it’s my business," and then chooses to have a child that she makes him pay for forces him to take a job he might like less just because it pays more, forces him to stress himself out and die early – and forces him to use his body for eighteen years. If it’s his body being used for eighteen years, and his body dying sooner, shouldn’t it be his business, too? Isn’t two decades of a man’s life worth nine months of a woman’s?

The issues of fathering and feelings are emerging from one portion of the political structure. But nothing affects men’s powerlessness more than the Issues of disposability Here is a concrete agenda for dealing with male disposability

The ten glass cellars of male disposability

just as women identified the glass ceilings which they believed prevented equality of opportunity, ten glass cellars might be thought of as creating men’s inequality of disposability. Instead of addressing these issues with the help of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), men need to be developing an Equal Life Opportunity Commission (ELOC). Men’s issues are issues of life and death. The concrete agenda of an ELOC? For starters, to eradicate these ten glass cellars:

Suicide If a man is ten times as likely to commit suicide after the death of a spouse,2 then the ELOC has a mission to develop special outreach programs when a man’s spouse dies. On a deeper level, if boys commit

suicide 25,000 percent more as their sex roles become apparent,3 maybe we should be changing the male role before it becomes apparent.

Prisoners If an ELOC stops the rapes of men and boys in prison, fewer men will rape when out of prison. If imprisoned mothers are softened by contact with their children, would imprisoned fathers be?

Homelessness An ELOC would discover what leads to men becoming about 85 percent of our street homeless,4 and develop intervention pro­grams before male hopelessness becomes male homelessness.

Death professions Socialization for the death professioas starts at an early age. An ELOC can provide grants to train mentor teachers to resocial ize boys to not have to pay for girls at an early age in preparation for taking hazardous jobs that earn more at a later age.

Disease The ELOC’s mandate would include research and early detection education to prevent men from dying earlier of all fifteen of the major diseases and causes of accidents.

Assassinations and hostage-taking An Equal Life Amendment implies foreign policy considerations. How should the United States respond to Saddam I lussein s releasing only women and children? Or to our taxpayer money financing the assassination of foreign leaders? Would we have allowed our government to make repeated attempts to kill Castro were Castro a woman?

Executions We give women the death penalty but in the final analysis, we execute only men. If we executed only women, would there be a protest?

Draft An Equal Life Amendment would acknowledge male-only draft registration as slave registration. An Office of Equal Male Life might organize a class-action suit on behalf of men who were drafted and are now – psychological ly handicapped. It would pressure the government to end the cover-up concerning MIAs and POWs – all members of the disposable sex.

Combat An ELOC would be certain that both sexes were about equally – subjected to direct combat obligations and that failure to be so exposed would result in decreased benefits.

Early deaths An ELOC’s mandate would also indude discovering non disease factors that lead to men’s early death – the pressure to perform, pay, and pursue, the loneliness, risks of rejection, lack of support.

y/e can think of every boy as being assessed at birth a 10 percent male disposability tax – symbolizing his 10 percent shorter life expectancy. Were men to create the equivalent of an Equal Rights Amendment to symbolically confront their disposability, it might be called an Equal Life Amendment. In reality, it would be nothing more than an Equal Rights and Responsibilities Amendment, since if men and women had equal rights and responsibilities, they would approach a much more equal life expectancy.[6]

Resocializing the Stage II child The male teacher

The Stage 11 elementary school needs to have more male teachers than female teachers in districts in which the preschool children are exposed more to mothers than fathers.

The male teachers need to be men who understand the value of risk taking, even if the child fails or gets hurt and humiliated once in a while, who understands the value of a child being held on his lap and is willing to stand up for that value to a community over anxious to call him a molester, who can take a drug dealer and help him or her understand how to translate the entrepreneurial skills of drug dealing into the entrepreneurial skills needed to run a business; who understands that we protea our children more in life by not overproteaing them in school; who understands that when we protea our children in school we are usually just proteaing ourselves from accusations by one or two parents which we fear will threaten our job.

•pie Journey of the Stage II adolescent

ді all ages, the Stage II journey involves rituals of options.

Imagine a Stage II video game for adolescents called "The First Date." Sometimes an identical choice (“kiss her") creates one outcome (passion), sometimes another (rejection) The game allows both sexes to experiment with new roles before they try them out in the real world.

At Stage II school balances messages of sexual caution with messages of sexual joy. It doesn’t turn sex into discussions of only safe sex, AIDS, herpes, rubbers, sexual abuse, date rape, stranger rape, harassment, power, and violence and then tell the boy to take all the initiatives. Discussion of sex in school has become like buying a cheap hamburger: where’s the joy?

Courtship rituals might include an adolescent boy being his girlfriend’s servant one weekend and being served by his girlfriend the next; cooking for her the first Saturday of each month, having her cook for him the third, taking her to a restaurant for a candlelit dinner, being taken by her. . . When they are older, they might choose more traditional roles, but at least it will be out of choice, not out of fear of peer disapproval or not knowing how to cook.

A Stage 11 school not only requires team sports for both sexes but uses the period after the game to understand the learning experiences of the game ("How does my unwillingness to pass the ball off relate to my larger life?’’). Alternative sports like flag football and rotation baseball (each player at a different position each inning) are part of the school curriculum. This does not mean that football, even in its one-sex, smash-face form, cannot be financedpriiutely, it does imply not financing it publicly. Male child abuse might be fun to watch, but taxpayers should not be required to pay for it.

Stage I sports were designed to build defenses against the outside world, so “our team good, their team bad" was understandable. Stage II sports are designed to prepare us for trade uith the outside world – for a global economy in which we are all part of the same team Stage II sports help us to rejoice in someone else’s special competence rather than be jealous of it.

The Stage II school system will help the student understand why indi­vidual sports and team sports lead to different life journeys. If Jane focuses exclusively on gy mnastics, she learns little about how to negotiate with her peers. And if Dick focuses only on team sports, he has not necessarily prepared himself to be a good self-starter or a good creative thinker – skills rveeded to start one’s own business, be a writer, artist, or an intellectual who thinks for her – or himself (rather than worrying about being politically correa).

The Stage II male-female journey involves both sexes learning from the tfiale heritage of risk taking and the female heritage of caution; from the tt^e heritage of learning not to limit oneself for fear of a broken bone and the female heritage of not having to prove oneself by breaking one’s bones.

The Journey of tho Stage II family

Because Stage II individuals can live without each other, their union is one of choice, not survival. Choice is a more fragile unifier than the need to survive. Yet most everyone wanes both choice and stability. So Stage II rituals must celebrate both choice and continuity For example, as a child moves out of the house, the famify might conduct a remarriage ritual to recognize its new family form, celebrating both the change and tlx‘ continuity

These changes require changes in consciousness, which implies activism and politics.

The Stage II journey

We stan by questioning even the best of what was functional in Stage I. For example, the hero’s journey described so eloquently by Joseph Campbell was, nevertheless, a Stage I journey And its rituals were Stage I rituals. Both the journey and the rituals were the Stage I man’s boot camp for male disposability. The label "hero" was the bribe of appreciation given by the protected to get the protector to risk his life. Appreciation kept the slave a slave. Thus, as we saw, the very word "hero" derived from the words "servant", "slave" and "protector"

In Stage I, we needed rituals of structure to prepare for the rigid roles that were necessary for survival, in Stage II, we need rituals of choice to prepare for changing roles that are now necessary for survival. In Stage I, it was dysfunctional for men to be in touch with their feelings; in Stage II, it is dysfunctional for men to not be in touch with their feelings. In Stage 1, we claimed that men or women who made their own needs secondary to role expectations had high self-esteem, in Stage II, self-esteem involves knowing how to negotiate a balance between the needs of others and the needs of self. In Stage 1, superman detected the external earthquake and prevented it from destroying the life of the woman he loved; the Stage II superman detects the earthquake inside himself and uses his findings to communicate with the woman (or man) he loves In Stage I, sacrificing for survival was both a meaas and an end; in Stage II, sacrificing for survival is a means to a different end – the end that Joseph Campbell called "following one’s bliss."

Men have the next layer of work to do because, as we have seen, the process of succeeding enough so a woman had time to make her Stage II journey was exactly the process that kept men Stage I men. His income gave her the luxury to contemplate what she didn’t like about herself and him But he felt in a Catch-22: he feared that if he lost the success that freed her. she’d leave him; yet he also feared that if he stayed focused on being successful, she’d leave him.

The implication? Unless both sexes take the Stage II journey simultan eously, we will tend to produce Stage II individuals (usually women), but not Stage II relationships. We will suffer another lonely "me" generation. A Stage II woman and man, then, must first discover who they want to be, and then negotiate a transition with their family.

A Stage 11 journey cannot toss out survival skills with the bathwater. Instead it gives both sexes survival skills and self-actualization skills. Is the current men’s movement the beginning of men developing both sets of skills, as women have already begun to do?

Is the mythopoetic men’s movement making a positive contribution?

The men’s movement that has caught the public eye (the mythopoetic movement led by Robert Bly) has helped men enter the Stage 11 journey by discovering what men never gave themselves permission to have in Stage I: vulnerability, intimacy, self-determination and, therefore, real power. Beginning this exploration with drumming is appropriate because it helps men to emote. Beginning it in the woods is useful because men need to begin by looking within (not blaming) and in isolation from females, children, parents, work – all those to whose expectations men conformed before giving themselves permission to ask whom they really wanted to become and how they wanted to get there.

Men’s gatherings are an important conduit into Stage II because Stage I men never learned to share their fears with those who share their fears. Which is why men at these gatherings have developed rituals using a “talking stick” – a stick wrapped in a vine similar to the caduceus, the ancient medical symbol – to symbolize healing. Why? Talking about feelings is healing; and feeling heard heals even more.

The talking stick symbolizes men’s intuitive sense that for a man to ask women and children to listen to his doubts about being their wallets is like IBM expecting its employees to listen lovingly while it decides whether it should continue producing computers. Men are learning that putting all their emotional eggs in the basket of women and children helps neither women nor men.

Many women worry that when men get away for weekends by them­selves, the men will gather together and blame women. Not to worry. Men were socialized to save women, not blame women. All-male sports did not teach a losing team to blame the other – or even to try to get the other team to change. To men, self-improvement and strength do not imply blaming men or women, but especially not blaming women.

The Stage II journey begins for men by appreciating the Stage I hero’s journey – how its structure, discipline, and ritual helped the man overcome obstacles, protea Women, and sustain survival. Calling the weekends Wild Man and Warrior is part of that acknowledgment.

Why is the acknowledgment necessary? Perhaps it isn’t, but humans tend lo stan the process of change by acknowledging themselves – thus blacks asserted black pride and black is beautiful; women declared "I am woman, I

am strong ’; men are saying "I am man. I am okay.” After a quarter of a century of male bashing, that’s not a bad start.

Why has the male sacrifice been more structured, disciplined, and ritualized? Since a social role is more optional than a biological role, male – socialization had to be especially strong to transform a self-centred male infant into a self-sacrificing male adult who would die so others could live. Stage II male socialization therefore requires an especially strong confrontation of men’s propensity to protea women – it requires confront ing the four incentives to protea women that are used in Stage I societies to get men to call it "glory’’ to die. The four incentives men must confront are:

1. The social reinforcement to men’s addiaion to female beauty and sex

2. Deprivation of the beautiful woman and sex with her until the man guarantees economic security in return

3. Status, praise, and other "bribes’’ in exchange for proteaing women, especially if he risks his life or dies doing it, and

4. The combination of ritual and religion (eg., circumcision) that desensitizes men to pain, and music and religion (eg., "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") to stimulate men to endure pain

How do we prepare the next generation to negotiate these changes? The top priority Is modeling these changes ourselves. But a second priority Is working with the school system. . .

The false parallel between the civil rights movement and the women’s movement

One of the underlying mistakes of the past quarter century was taking the gains of the civil rights movement and passing them on to women as if women had served as men’s slaves and were now entitled to those rights |ust as blacks had served as whites’ slaves and were now entitled to those rights. This both encouraged an ideology of female as-victim and blinded us to how the underlying issue between men and women was not the dominance of one sex over the other, but the subservience of both sexes to the real master – the survival needs of the next generation

In race relationships, one race’s gain was often another’s loss. In male – female relationships, when either sex wins, both sexes lose. When an individual woman benefits from affirmative action for a promotion, the wife and children of the man she defeats lose the benefits of that promotion. Which is why one sex having privileged opportunity is an inferior solution to equal opportunity

The old belief that men have the power and women are powerless leads predictably to a battle between the sexes How? The perception of women as powerless makes us fear limiting the expansion of women’s power Fear of limiting the power of the sex with the greater spending power, the greater beauty power, the greater sexual power, the greater net worth among its heads of households, and the greater options in marriage, children, work, and life creates the corruptness of absolute power which will ultimately lead to a much bloodier battle between the sexes.

In contrast, the new Stage I—II framework leads to understanding between the sexes – to understanding how just as the number of children a roother raised was a sign of the amount of obligation a woman undertook (not the amount of power she had), so the number of dollars a father raised was a sign of the amount of obligation he undertook to feed those children. It leads us to understanding how each sex had more rights and more power In the area in which it had more responsibilities; how each sex dominated

in the area in which it was most likely to die, how each sex paid the other for performing its rol e, bow both sexes paid a price for the price they were paid

The Stage I-1I framework, by not denying either sex’s power or burdens, frees us to move from a battle between the sexes to love between the sexes; from a women’s movement to a gender transition movement.

How do we make that transition?

The clearest sign of powerlessness

Subjection of a group of people to violence based on their membership in that group is a clear indicator of that group’s powerlessness, be it Christians to lions or the underclass to war.

In the United States, we subject men to violence via law (the draft), via religion and custom (circumcision), via socialization and incentive (telling men who are best at bashing their heads against eleven other men that they have scholarship potential), via approval of beautiful women (cheerleaders cheering for men who play “smash face”), via parental approval and love (the parents who attend the Thanksgiving games at which their sons are battering each other), via taxpayer money (high school wrestling and football, ROTC. and the military), and via our entertainment dollar (boxing, football, ice hockey, rodeos, car racing, westerns, war movies. . . ). But North Americans do refrain from subjecting men to violence via bullfights – we feel it’s cruel to the bull. After we subject only our sons to this violence (before the age of consent), we blame them for growing into the more violent sex.

But here’s the rub When other groups are subjected to violence, we acknowledge their powerfcssness. What are the implications of calling men power/и/ when we subject men to violence? When we acknowledge a group s powerlessness, we acknowledge our obligation to help that group. With men, we blame the victim. We blame men because we have camou­flaged men’s victimization by teaching men to also be the victimizer. Men’s victimizer status camouflages men’s victim status.

With women, then, we often hear that the 50 percent of the population that is female lives in fear of the other 50 percent that is male because, for example, "We never know which man will be the rapist.” We forget that men are statistically in much greater jeopardy of homicide and violence and.

therefore, the SO percent of the population that is male also fears most men because men are equally ignorant of which men will commit that violence.

Our understanding of only women’s fears leads to public monies for female-only shelters and female-only psychological support. The higher taxes mean that mostly white males take jobs they like less to earn more and die sooner to keep women alive longer

The practical result is not only that women live longer, but that white women live the longest, black women second, white men third, black men fourth. In the industrialized world, men are the new "niggers"; black men are "niggers’ niggers." This result helps us see a different relationship between the civil rights movement and the women’s movement. .



The wound that unifies all men is ihe wound of their disposability. Their disposability as soldiers, workers, dads. The wound of believing that they are lovable if they kill and die so others might be saved and survive.

Stage 11 technology has ret ersed what humans need to do to survive. Stage И societies created the technology for our species to survive without killing but also created the technology to end our species if we do kill. We have responded by changing only what women do to survive. While we have used birth control, population growth, and technology to free women from female biology as female destiny, we have also used birth control and technology to create female biology as male destiny: she can choose to abort or to sue for support.

The freedom of women from biology as destiny has not freed men from male biology- as male destiny. We have not demanded that both sexes equally share the hazardous jobs and the risks of dying. We are still socializing men to be our killers, and therefore unlovable. . . and therefore disposable.

Changing millions of years of genetic heritage will play many tricks on both sexes. Women will think that being divorced means they are independ­ent even as they seek dependence on the government as substitute hus­band; men will think that they are helping to make women equal even as they are passing laws to protea women from a dirty joke rather than passing laws to protea themselves from dying on a construaion site.

Ideally there should not be a men’s movement but a gender transition movement, only the power of the women’s movement necessitates the temporary correaive of a men’s movement. And this creates a special challenge for men: there are few political movements filled with healthy People, yet few healthy changes have occurred without political movements

Aether or not a men’s movement makes a genuine contribution will depend on its ability to communicate that all the world’s evils are not men’s resPonsibility . the origin of war was not men, it was survival. That men have neyer been their own commanders, the commander of men is the com – ^^d to protea That had men not proteaed, no one would be here asking

for more rights But that in the future, we cannot socialize a sex to be more willing to kill for us without producing a sex able to kill us; that we cannot socialize a sex to be more willing to die without producing a sex in denial – in denial of its self-esteem and its feelings. (We reinforce low male self­esteem by telling men they are the oppressors who cause war and therefore they desert* to be the only sex sent to war.)

With nuclear technology, the survival of the species is finally compatible with men demanding the socialization to love and be lovable. But men will not demand this until men see how the influences that make them disposable surround them in every direction from the outside and have infiltrated every cell of their insides – and how, by calling that disposability power, they have accepted bribes to blind themselves to their powerlessness.