The Males Are Alright

Alexander S. Peak

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6 October 2008

Kathleen Parker argues that men are in need of saving.  Supposedly, feminism has neutered us.

Yeah, right.

With all due respect, I find this claim outrageous.  As a male, I resent the claim that I need “saving.”

Parker writes, “For the past 30 years or so, males have been under siege by a culture that too often embraces the notion that men are to blame for all of life’s ills.  Males as a group—not random men—are bad by virtue of their DNA.”

Undoubtedly, there are those sexists out there who do believe that males, by virtue of having a Y-chromosome, are somehow inherently less noble or inferior to women.  These are the sort of sexists who have on their bumpers a sticker that reads, “I believe in unicorns, dragons, good men, and other fantasy creatures.”  But I hardly think this sexist faction of the population are in the majority, much less that they’re guiding our culture.

“I am not weak, am not helpless, and am not looking to Kathleen Parker to save me.  Thanks, but no thanks.”

I don’t need to see myself as some victim of a matriarchal culture.  I’m no “victim,” and have no need for self-victimisation.

As a masculist, I would recommend to fellow males that they not get stuck in the victim role.  Doing so can create a self-fulfilling prophecy ensuring our own helplessness.

As I’m also a feminist, I make the same recommendation to women, the recommendation to avoid falling into the trap.

This is not to say that men, or women, have everything they should want, nor that men and women should refrain from complaining about their stations or from fighting for Liberty or equality before the law.  Rather, I wish to stress that no woman needs some man to rescue her, and no man needs some woman to rescue him.

So, when Ms. Parker points out that “Even otherwise easy-going family men in sitcoms are invariably cast as, at best, bumbling, dim-witted fools,” I have to say: so what?  Should we censor mass media so as to protect the fragile little feelings of males?

I oppose all censorship, period.

This isn’t to say that Parker doesn’t bring up some interesting points that ought to be discussed.  She does, but even there she seems to make errors.  Writes Parker, “Men have been domesticated to within an inch of their lives, attending Lamaze classes, counting contractions, bottling expressed breast milk for midnight feedings—I expect men to start lactating before I finish this sentence—yet they are treated most unfairly in the areas of reproduction and parenting.”

It is true that males face oppression in the realms of reproduction and parenting, but this oppression is a product of government intervention into areas of social life, an intervention that is as detrimental to Liberty and equality as all of the government’s other interventions.  This oppression is not, as it were, the product of a matriarchal culture.  The enemy is not feminism, but rather the state.

Parker continues, “Legally, women hold the cards.  If a woman gets pregnant, she can abort—even without her husband’s consent.  If she chooses to have the child, she gets a baby and the man gets an invoice.  Unarguably, a man should support his offspring, but by that same logic shouldn’t he have a say in whether his child is born or aborted?”

I could not disagree more with this last sentence.  It makes two claims: (A) that men should not have a say in whether they contribute monetarily to child-support, and (B) that men should have a say in whether his child is born or aborted.

Art by Gary S. Chapman

Why this arrangement?  Why not an arrangement that allows men a say in what they do with their own money, and that prohibits men from having a say in what the women do with their own bodies?  This seems a far more rational combination than the one Ms. Parker suggests, and more empowering to both parties.

I see no reason why I should have a direct say in what a woman does with her body.  Sure, a woman may want to consult people, including the would-be father, before making the decision.  But, ultimately, the decision must be made by someone, and the question arises: who is to be responsible for making the ultimate decision, the would-be birth-giver, or the impregnator?  It seems rational to me that the ultimate decision must be made by the would-be birth-giver.*  But, if a man has no final say in whether the woman has the child, then he should at least be ensured the opportunity to divorce himself of responsibility to the child, for that is only fair.

Ms. Parker’s insulting look at the supposedly-helpless male doesn’t end there.  She states, “By elevating single motherhood from an unfortunate consequence of poor planning to a sophisticated act of self-fulfilment, we have helped to fashion a world in which fathers are not just scarce but in which men are also superfluous.”

Well cry me a river.  Poor little ol’ “superfluous” me.

In life, there are some things I simply do not care about.  The structure of the family unit is one of them.  If you want a male and a female, a single female with no males, three males living in a ménage à trois with no females, or eighteen males and twelve females living in some polyamorous relationship—it just doesn’t matter to me.  People will choose whatever relationships work best for them, and I’ll choose the one that works best for me.  In a nutshell, this is the live-and-let-live philosophy.

I grew up in a rather unconventional way.  I was raised by my grandmother, my grandfather, and my great-grandmother (my grandmother’s mother).  My mother was also there on-and-off throughout my life.  I grew up believing that my father is dead, and although my mother believes that to be the case, my grandmother says that she’s not truly sure.  “He could still be alive, we don’t know,” she says.  And yet, I have not a shred of interest in finding this guy, if he even is alive.  Why would I?

Whenever I inform someone, in passing always, that my father is dead, I always get the response, “Oh, I’m sorry.”  I then inform the person that he or she has not brought up a sensitive subject, that my knowledge of his death has no greater an impact on me than the knowledge of Benjamin Franklin’s death.  I think this is a fairly good analogy, since I don’t know many people who cry every night thinking about the loss of Benjamin Franklin.  But, it’s not a perfect analogy, for quite honestly, if I were given the opportunity to meet either Franklin or my father, I would choose Franklin in a heartbeat!  No contest.

Other things Ms. Parker complains about, things about which I could not care less, include adult males playing video games and college students engaging in casual sex.  Somehow, this supposedly proves that we’ve been demasculinised.

Parker’s analysis comes across as degrading.  We men are not victims of our culture.  Although I obviously can’t speak for all males, or even all masculists, I can say that I am not weak, am not helpless, and am not looking to Kathleen Parker to save me.  Thanks, but no thanks.


*   I understand that some readers may object saying that abortion is murder, and that no abortions should ever occur.  My point in writing this is not to argue whether abortion is just or unjust, but merely to argue that if abortion is to exist, the female is in a better position to make the decision than the male.  If the male had a say, then the male could force a woman to have an abortion despite her wishing to have the child.  I doubt there is anyone reading this who would not agree that such a forced abortion would be an impermissible crime.

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