Friday, 20 September 2013

Always Our Brothers

I've been blogging for almost seven years, and something that I've noticed about my Single readers is that most of you want to get married. You like men. Actually, most of you love men. Which makes it all the more disappointing when men behave badly.

I'm sorry to mention men behaving badly so soon in the post because the whole POINT of the post is to talk about understanding men--insofar as billions of people can be understood in terms of their maleness. Still, it seems to me that men embracing what it is to be men includes a rejection of what it is to be women, and sometimes this slops over into actual hostility towards women.

Strangely enough, playful hostility towards women doesn't necessarily hurt a guy's popularity. I was vastly amused, while watching King Kong, to watch the flirtation technique of the romantic lead (not the gorilla but a sailor who admires Fay Wray) which mostly consisted of him saying he wasn't used to having women aboard ship and women can't help being trouble. For some reason many women like this whereas "Oh you men" never, ever worked for me.

However, the real stuff is quite yucky, and for some reason the coldest example of it that comes to mind--quite beyond local half-wits shrieking "Woo!" out car windows to see me jump--is a parish priest in Boston looking at me with eyes of ice after a mutual acquaintance introduced me to him as "She's studying theology at Boston College."

"Why?" snarled the priest, and it was not very nice. I know a lot of priests who would be similarly unimpressed with the idea of studying theology at Boston College, but they would open their eyes really wide and wail "Boston COLLEGE?", not close their eyes halfway like a cartoon villain and spit out, "Why?"

And then there are two of the scariest horror films known to womankind, The Company of Men and (not for unmarried girls or the sensitive EVER) Kids. But now I am seriously getting away from the point of my post which is that there are the legions of good men who like women and wish women would like them, or at very least leave them alone to do what they are good at or just speak nicely to them.

An Eavesdropper sent me a link to a video of feminists, male and female, at the University of Toronto milling about and being rude to strangers while trying to prevent fellow students from listening to a lecture about misandry.

I was moved when I saw a young man close to tears saying that he wanted to hear this lecture on men's issues because he wanted to know why two of his friends had committed suicide, one after the other. And, indeed, if the face of poverty is feminine, the face of suicide is certainly masculine.

(Admittedly, this is in part because guys don't usually muck around with drugs but just get the horrible job done with bullet, rope or gravity. My high school put the boots to the romance of pretty suicide by informing us girls that corpses excrete feces and urine onto the sheets, a very helpful image that has stuck with me for over twenty years. All the same, young men die in frightening numbers, in accidents, suicide and homicide. If I had teenage sons, I'd be scared silly.)

Here's the video. Lots of the F-word, so not safe for work or little brothers. How I loathe attacks on freedom of speech on campus. If there's one place anybody should be able to say (say, not shout) anything he likes (e.g. dear Eamonn Duffy praising Benedict XVI*), it should be in a lecture hall on campus.

Eavesdroppers are invited to post today. Please use clean language and remember that many readers are very young.

*He did this at BC while I was there, and WHAT a kerfuffle!


hip2bsquare said...

That was certainly a disturbing video. Attempts to shut down free speech make my blood boil.

There's some evidence that men are falling behind when it comes to educational attainment and several other markers of well-being. While men still occupy the commanding heights of business and politics, what's often forgotten is that men also disproportionally fill our prisons and mental institutions.

Even so, I'm not terribly excited about the emergence of a men's rights movement to complement the feminist movement. While I think both camps have some fair criticisms and points to make, they inculcate habits of looking for grievances and dividing the world into the righteous and benighted among their adherents that only exacerbate relations between the sexes.

I think the battle of the sexes is one of the saddest results of the Fall. On the rare occasion when I'm tempted to be cross with women in general, I think of all the good women I know in particular. Thinking of these kind, devout, friendly women always puts me back on an even keel.

Jackie said...

Seraphic, I was also moved by the young man whose friends had committed suicide. But is the choice of a lecture by an incest apologist the best way to find out information and honor their loss? Here is a SFW link to text from his interview in the p*rn magazine "Penthouse":

Absolutely there should be free speech and I would never advocate using bad language in protest. Nor would I block a door, nor humiliate another person. But I have found the "misandry" crowd tends to be way more invested in hating women than advocating for men.

I have found their mindset to be extremely incompatible with Christ's teachings, but am open to hearing other points of view if I have been mistaken.

hip2bsquare said...

I recently read an amusing dual book review in The Weekly Standard that tackles some of the themes you raised in your post.

It's a review of Helen Smith's Men on Strike, which takes the men's rights perspective, and the most recent tome from the good folks at

Also, I'd like to note that I have no idea who the speaker in Toronto is or what precisely he advocates. I endorse free speech in general, not his speech in particular.

Seraphic said...

@Jackie. I don't think that particular lecture was by Warren Farrell. The description on the video says that it was by two other people, one a woman.

Certainly WF was a card-carrying feminist back in the 1960s and 1970s. I don't know what his 1977 (?) interview is all about. It strikes me that crying over Warren Farrell being rejected by the feminist politburo akin to crying over Trotsky falling out with Stalin. But the point for my Eavesdropper (I'm assuming) is the nastiness of shutting down free speech on campus just because it questions how men are treated as men.

Jackie said...


Hey Seraphic, thanks for clarifying. Neither side (those who would block free speech, misogynists) is one to root for in this. And the young man caught in the middle is the one who really loses.

(Aside: Why do you suppose the people were expressing such vehemence against WF if he wasn't there, as opposed to the speakers themselves who were?

WF is pretty much a creep --as the interview linked will demonstrate-- and he's also the go-to academic for those invested in "misandry.")

My concern is: how can we overcome a zero-sum mentality between men and women? The "I win, you lose" combative mentality that both groups in the video appear to possess? I am definitely interested in learning more about this.

Thanks :)