"I'm a manly man, I do manly things! I just killed a small animal; it's time for a lite beer!"
I bring this up today because I want to discuss a certain website that seems to have fallen into this trap. Well, saying that I "want" to discuss this site is a bit of a stretch. That's a little like a parent saying they "want" to discuss the beauty of sexual reproduction ("A baby comes out of WHAT?!") with their young children. Odds are they don't, and it'll be an uncomfortable experience, but they'll be happier when they have it over with.
The site I want to discuss is called "the Masculist Trinity," and unsurprisngly has something to do with men. Now, if you're wondering what the hell masculism is, you're not alone. I was rather puzzled by the term as well (Particularly in that "masculinism" seems much more elegant to say, but I digress). Fortunately, however, the website provides a handy definition:
A men’s movement ideology that advocates for the abolition of political and cultural assumptions of equality between sexes. A realistic approach to sex differences that attempts to identify those differences and how they are best expressed in the social and political melieu. Supports the establishment of a modern partriarchy and assumes that we are now living in a matriarchy.
Hey, how exciting is that? We have a plan to abolish notions of sexual equality! We have a promise of a "realistic" aproach to sex dfferences! We have advocacy of patriarchy! And, best of all, we have a really annoying misspelling of the word milieu! I'm on the edge of my seat, I'm so excited! I'm so thrilled by this movement, I'm tempted to smash myself in the face with a hammer over and over until I pass out! I'm so glad a group finally emerged to defend my rights as a man, it's like someone pumped boiling-hot joy into my colon! Boiling hot, and right into my ass! Now that's service!
So, what does this new Masculism offer us? Well, with the help of the very handy manifesto they provide right on their main site, it's easy to get a very good idea. (Have you ever noticed, by the way, that everyone has an f-ing manifesto anymore? I mean, seriously, ever since our good buddy Karl "The Beardface Killa" Marx published his "Communist Manifesto" manifestos have been all the rage. Why can't we call them "memorandums" or "helpful hints" or even "dark seething pits of illogic and inhuman rage?" Ah, well, nobody consults me about anything.) So what very good idea can we get from the rest of this website? Well, if you're like me, you get the idea that these guys are stark raving lunatics. So, in the interests of my dear (And by "dear" I mean "really fucking bored if they're on THIS site") readers, we're going to spend the rest of this post having a dialog with the masculist website. I'd say that we were having a constructive dialog, but I think we all know that's not gonna happen.
The manifesto, or the MANifesto as I like to call it, comprises part one of the website and mentions a few of the goals of masculism. These include political goals relating to child custody, the military, abortion, and autism treatment. Let's take a few of these in turn. Excerpts from the website will be in italics.
Assumption of Father’s Custody instead of Mother’s Custody. Father's custody will help reduce the divorce rate while encouraging a positive view of men. Also ending provisions supported by government for child support and instead replacing it with the government "safety net".
So, making the fathers the default custodians of the children will "reduce the divorce rate?" Exactly how does that work? Is there some scheming cabal of women who get married solely to bear children, secure in the knowledge that in the event of a divorce they can keep their progeny? Moreover, what the hell does it say about your view of marriage that men need guaranteed custody of the children to coerce women into remaining in the relationship? And what's all this about a "safety net"? Is it like the one the trapeze artist uses at the circus? God I love the circus.
Re-masculinization of the military.
Um... at what point was it feminized? The last time I checked, the military was overwhelmingly male. Hell, why does it even matter? Israel's IDF has an awful lot of women in it and if there's one thing the IDF is good at, it's blowing shit up.
Encouragement of the use of Facilitated Communication (FC) for people with autism, four out of five of which are male. FC is presently banned in most places which effectively muzzles men with autism.
Well, perhaps, but since the balance of scientific evidence indicates that FC doesn't work, I really don't see how encouraging FC will give voice to those with autism. In fact, judging by the first few parts of his book, the author of this MANifesto, Tom Smith, is fully aware that FC doesn't have scientific support. Apparently, however, it does allow him to use autistic persons to commune with God. Well, I guess that's good enough for me.
Added legal protections to avoid innocent people being accused and prosecuted for sex offenses.
And this means... what exactly? You know, thus far, I haven't seen a great deal of evidence suggesting that there are a lot of false reports of sex offenses. Granted, some approaches to dealing with sexual harrassment are somewhat questionable in terms of due process, but what exactly do you have in mind? Here's a thought: maybe whenever a woman reports a sex offense, we call her a slut, and if she objects, then we KNOW she's lying! It's Shakespeare, you know? "Methinks thou doth protestest too much," or something like that. It worked out great for that Othello guy.
Support for the legal freedom to express religious sentiments and knowledge in public forums within the spirit of the Constitution.
Our currency says "In God We Trust" on it. I think we've got plenty of religious sentiment in public life already.
The abolition of abortion.
Um... why? Could it be because pregnant women can't run away from you as fast? Just asking.
Now, once we finish the MANifesto, we come at last to the...
This post is turning out to be a lot of fun because I have so many excuses to use formatting tags. In any case, this section provides somewhat more detailed accounts of what Masculism is all about. Let's take a look:
Men have a more pronounced spirituality which has caused them to create religions which in turn has led to creating civilizations. This is a fact of history and a great pride of men that shouldn't be demeaned or ignored by society. Masculism therefore acknowledges and respects religion as critical to many men's lives.
You know, this is so true. Whenever I'm having sex, I just spontaneusly start talking about 'god' and 'jesus' and shit and, here's the weird part... I'm an atheist! How else can I explain that EXCEPT as a result of my naturally more pronounced spirituality? I'm also thrilled to know that men are solely responsible for human civilization and religion. And here I thought we only had Hooter's to our credit. If that ain't civilization, though, I don't know what is!
Masculism promotes the psychological interests of men, meaning that men's masculine nature is encouraged to be studied, expressed, and for society to make the necessary adjustments for men to live full masculine lives. "Social construction" theories (feminist theory) in the social sciences are to be resisted. Special attention needs to be given to all media to promote a masculist view of men and encourage a more critical examination of women. Thirty years of feminism has produced a white washing of women in the media and a demonization of men and masculinity.
It's always nice to see a political movement that's really upfront about its propaganda campaign. You won't see that from those naughty feminists!
I'm not sure what to do with the equating of "social construction" with "feminist theory." My current plan is to laugh at it until I piss myself. I'm also excited to learn that we men all have a common psychology. Does that extend to gay males? I notice their issues are conspicously absent in this list, Tom! Or is that what you meant by "full masculine lives?"
A cultural goal is to establish a linkage to the different classes of men. Presently we live in a modified matriarchy where women represent the lower classes of men and are co-power brokers with the corporate class of men. Men need to assume the "co-power broker" function.
Oh, so sorry, but that isn't the correct answer! See, patriarchy means "governed by men" and matriarchy means "governed by women." So, if a male corporate class is either in control, or shares control with some women, it isn't exactly a matriarchy, is it? You DO get bonus points for staggering drunkenly in the direction of Marxist theory, though, and will advance to our Lightning Round where the scores can really change!
An arrangement will need to be worked out between the lower classes of men and the controlling economic interests as embodied in the corporate male elite.
Yay! Fascism! Oh, it's been so long since I've heard the sweet, sweet sounds of labor repression!
Men and women aren't LEGALLY equal. To be "legally" equal requires that sex differences be no greater than racial differences.
Or, you know, men and women just have to have the same legal rights and protections. Just little things like "property ownership" and "due process." Oh, and, you know, the franchise. Little stuff like that. It really has nothing the fuck to do with the relative size of sex OR race differences.
Masculism encourages a further develpment of egalitarianism.
Well that's encouraging! Maybe I've been too hard on y'all!
Whoops! That's it for the Masculist Outline. Now it's time for:
You know, it's sort of like Reagonomics, except with a lot more penis.
All masculist governmental policies are not to interfere with women's opportunities, but neither will masculism support any legislated "forced equality" for women.
Still more encouraging! Maybe I jumped the gun here.
Tax policy will be used to compensate men for their greater general contributions to society through innovation and a myriad of other talents from men that societies throughout history have depended on for progress. It also acknowledges and makes room for inequalities in family life that require men to carry a large part of the economic burdens for marriage and family. If women want opportunity, they will need to get it at a price. I envision taxes being comenserately more for women, especially as they go up the pay scale. In this way we can maintain opportunity for women while the society is adequately compensated for their participation. Conversely, men will pay much less in taxes, especially those in the lower earning brackets, with the poorest recieving a "stipend" from the government.
Okay, then again, maybe not. Ok, guys, look, in the first place, even if men DID contribute enormously to the development of society, that doesn't mean we're entitled to a tax break now. That's like saying that because my ancestors were feudal peasants, I should have to pay rent to their landlord's descendants. Secondly, if men carry more of the economic burden, perhaps it's because men are typically paid more for the same work, not because they work harder. Third, what's all this about raising taxes for women to make sure that "...society is adequately compensated for their participation,"? So, we're doing women a FAVOR by LETTING them work? And they should have to pay for the priviledge? Buddy, the great John Marshall (Who is a man so you can, you know, trust him) pointed out that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Your plan is not going to maintain opportunity for women, it's going to crush any incentive for a woman to do anything but be a homemaker. Besides, given the reality of the Second Shift and the male/female wage gap, I'm pretty sure women are already paying for the priviledge of labor force participation, and they're paying through the nose.
I propose one other economic innovation for men and that is all male unions that advocate for their male workers in areas of opportunity, working conditions vis a vis women and in general tax policies as they effect men. I see this as a new construct that also complements and works with the present union system. It is to reinforce the "opposition party", whether that is the democratic party or another party in oppositon to the present majority republican party, the latter of which I suspect will advocate the interests of women and the corporate elite as they presently do.
Well, I guess it's good that you have unions, even if they are sexist. I'm sure Marx would just LOVE that. And what the hell do you mean that the Republican party advocates the interests of women? Are we talking about the Republican party in Bizarro World?!
Well, I could go on about this, but I've already hit the highlights. Feel free to visit the Masculism Messageboard though (bonus points to anyone who can explain that picture to me). With their stated moderation policies ("We have no delusions about the evil nature of feminism. Anything resembling feminism is quickly put on moderated status. Legitimate feminist critiques are welcomed, but need to be tightly controlled due to the nature of the list.") I'm sure you can look forward to a lively debate.
Now, some of you are probably wondering if I'm going to stick to my usual pattern and tie this all back to my introduction and that Robin Williams quote I used as a title. It's tempting not to, but I guess since you asked so nicely...
The thing about stereotypes is they don't just control how you see others, they can control how you see yourself. I can understand, and even sympathize, with the men who subscribe to this "Masculism" because we spend our childhoods being pumped full of stereotypes about what it means to be a man or a woman. That most of these stereotypes no longer apply can be a source of great personal turmoil. It isn't clear what it means to be a man in the modern world, and that's scary. We can't be domineering chauvanists anymore, but there isn't really a clear image of what we should be instead. The thing is, don't confuse the stereotype of being a man with the reality. If you think men are strong, independent, and confident, GOOD! I rather like that idea as well, but our ability to be strong doesn't depend on women to be weak and helpless. It may seem like I think the masculist agenda is pretty fucking boneheaded, and that's accurate, but I think that agenda grows not from viciousness, but rather from fear. The real shame of it is that such fear is unnecessary. Masculists, being a man is more than just being a stereotype, it's being a flesh-and-blood human being, and the sooner you realize that the sooner you will find a kind of manhood you can be proud of.