Little Boy

No more slugs and snails

How does it feel to take the red pill?

It is like waking up after a bad dream; a dream in which boys and men are bad, and girls and women are good; a dream in which you can never escape the dark feelings of shame and self-disgust because you can never escape the fact that you are male.

I used to be ashamed to be a boy. I grew to be ashamed of being a man. How did this happen? How did my spirit get squashed by shame so that I felt lesser than the girls and women around me purely because I was born male? How did I wake up from this delusion? In telling my story, I hope to connect with other men who have grown up under the burden of such shame – and to celebrate and encourage what we are waking up to: the possibility of a new world in which men are valued as highly as women for who they are, not simply what they do.

“Slugs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails – that’s what little boys are made of. Sugar and spice and everything nice – that’s what little girls are made of.” This was my introduction to the shame of being a boy. I heard this rhyme repeated maybe a hundred times or more before I reached the age of 5. I took it in – deep inside me. I believed I was born dirty, disgusting and inferior to the colorful, giggling female creatures around me.

It probably didn’t help that I was sexually abused by a much older girl at the age of 3 or 4, although the damage that abuse did to my sense of having an inviolable, worthy self didn’t reach my conscious mind until much later.

But the message that boys and men were bad was repeated endlessly, all around me, throughout my childhood. Perhaps the most important early carrier of that message was my feminist mother, who used me as a therapist-type foil as she spent years listing the endless ways in which my Dad was supposedly making her life a living hell. I never heard his point of view. Dad bad, Mum good became Men bad, Women Good.

I didn’t want to grow up like him.

The fact that I was bullied by my brother at home and by mostly boys at school just served to reinforce what I had earlier absorbed – boys are bad. Teachers strengthened this message by disseminating feminism, blaming boys first for any trouble in class and coming down much harder on us in every way. Girls came first – in the lunch queue, when sweets were handed out. Girls were never asked to put the chairs away. Once, for making a joke in class, I was made by the female teacher to kneel outside the classroom door for the rest of the lesson. What an expert in shaming she was.

In books and films I learned, however, that a Bad Boy could become Good. How? By becoming a Hero. A hero was someone who was endlessly strong and brave and proved it by rescuing some damsel in distress. Though I grew up aspiring to be such a hero, and later tried to rescue a fair few damsels, underneath I knew I could never measure up to such an impossible masculine ideal and felt my secret shame growing stronger.

But since my childhood coincided with the massive growth of feminism from the late 60s to the early 80s, I also absorbed from every direction the message that boys and men were now supposed to be soft, sensitive and ever so aware of the myriad needs of girls and women. When I was 12 and the teacher asked the class ‘who is a feminist?’, I was the only boy to raise my hand. Much laugher followed. I felt shamed but also brave and right. I was fighting the good fight for my mother and all damsels everywhere.

But as I entered dating age I was deeply confused about what a boy or a man was – and how he was supposed to behave. The concept of the New Man had arrived and I was only half-aware that the New Man was simply The Man Who Did What Women Wanted. I embraced the concept. Mostly I would try to be a good friend to the girls I liked – whilst noticing that they tended to hook up – yes, you guessed it – with the bastards. I was covered in acne and I knew it was bullshit that girls did not judge boys on their looks. I started to realize that they were not as pure and superior as they were painted – but at such a hormonal age I still desperately wanted their approval. In all this rejection, my shame continued to grow.

In my late teens — as my spots subsided — and I acquired a measure of confidence, I began to have some success with girls. Eventually, quite a lot of it. I felt, however, a constant pressure to be amazing (I now understand this need to be an attempt to cover up shame), fabulous, to please them to the nth degree, to give them what they wanted including in bed (girls coming first indeed), whilst very often not getting what I wanted. I thought that their needs were more important that mine. I was the protector, the romancer, the initiator, the ravisher, the spender of course, of most of the date money. I had to prove myself as a man in many ways to get the girl. And what did she have to do? Be pretty – and preferably a good conversationalist.

Eventually I ‘won’ what seemed to be a great prize in my beautiful and clever wife. But I was so grateful to have ‘won’ her that I let her alienate my friends and family and make my life all and only about her and our child. In my shame of not being good enough, I felt fear of losing her and so I thought I must do what she wanted. I neglected my needs. When it all went to shit and we got divorced, I let her take my son to another country without a fight. Three reasons: first, fairy tale chivalry and its modern feminist proxy told me that her needs came before mine. Second, I had been indoctrinated in the belief that a child needs its mother more than its father. Third, I knew that if I fought her for custody I would lose.

It all fell apart. I lost my job, I became depressed, I spent years on the dole and I became intimate with the feeling of being at the bottom of society’s hierarchy: I was a man of limited utility to women.

My shame was complete.

I say ‘limited’ utility because in time I discovered that I could initiate quite a lot of casual relationships. I was close to being a Pick Up Artist – and in my behavior I see a cocktail of feelings about women; anger at past rejections and humiliations; fear of being ‘owned’ – confined as I had been through childhood abuse and in my marriage. Shame if they started to love me; I was not worth it.

This world of loneliness mixed with short-term sex and companionship was thin, pale and empty. I needed something solid, something I could trust. I discovered men’s work through The Mankind Project. I saw vulnerable, open, honest men trusting each other, supporting each other and getting in touch with what they really wanted beyond what society and women demanded of them. My feelings of competitiveness with ‘strange’ men (rooted of course in the desire to win women) began to dissolve, as did my fear of them.

I read Warren Farrell. My compassion for boys and men just grew and grew. I started to look at the men cleaning streets and repairing buildings differently. I began to see them as fully human, beyond their utility. I started to look at teenage boys with far more warmth than judgment. I was waking up. I began to munch red pills like the starving man I had been – starving for a true and whole picture of what it is to be a man. I discovered Girl Writes What and A Voice for Men. I woke up to the damage feminism has inflicted on men and on wider society. I began to spread the word.

When my last relationship ended, I made a resolution. I was not going to chase after women any more. I would no longer put their needs ahead of mine. I would no longer try to impress them. I would no longer settle for a woman who was only giving me half or less of what I need from a relationship. I would find my own definition of what it means to be a man. Since I allowed in the wisdom and support of the community of awakened men and women that is the Men’s Human Rights Movement, my male-shame has been dissolving faster and faster, like a snowball in the sun.

And here is what I say to anyone who would shame a little boy for the fact that he is male:

Skies and stars and infinite dreams. That’s what little boys are made of.

About Max Cade

Max Cade (The Equalizer) is an ex-feminist, ex-perfectionist ex-skirt-chaser who is swallowing red pills like they're going out of fashion -- whereas in fact they're set to be the hottest global sweetie since the M&M.

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  • Tim Legere

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Max.

  • Near Earth Object

    An incredible read—for me—Max.

    I have gained insight into this: Equalizer.

    We have many life-experiences in common. Most notably, this: “…mother, who used me as a therapist-type foil as she spent years listing the endless ways in which my Dad was supposedly making her life a living hell. I never heard his point of view. Dad bad, Mum good became Men bad, Women Good.”

    “Sugar and spice and everything nice – that’s what little girls are made of.”
    What in the hell happened to so many of those little girls?
    Feminism happened!

    • Max Cade

      It would be good to correspond, Neo, but I am not sure how to make that happen without giving my email address out in comments….

      • Near Earth Object

        Great idea, Max!

        Here’s how we can make that happen.
        Write to this pit stop and I will give you further directions.

        solitudinarian@hotmail.ca

        • Near Earth Object

          Heads up on posting your email address.

          The address I posted above was created many years ago and never used.

          I don’t even get junk mail at this address.

          Within twenty-four hours of posting this address, I have started to receive junk email related to divorce advice.

          LMAO

          • Max Cade

            Yikes!

    • Max Cade

      But ‘girls’ (& women) were never ever all sugar and spice though were they? It’s not as if feminism changed the fact that the female has always contained as much darkness as the male.

      • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

        I grew up with nearly the exact same feelings and experiences.

        Although I think that old old rhyme was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous, it became something far more nasty as cultural misandry rose and rose and rose. I mean, there’s always been an element of it, but there was always a balance, and it’s tipped so far since we were kids (I’m probably a little older than you, but not by much).

        “Skies and stars and infinite dreams.
        That’s what little boys are made of.”

        That’s so beautiful.

        • Max Cade

          Thank you, Dean.

          You certainly don’t look older than me according to your photo. But then I am an eagle :)

          Perhaps humour was intended in the original verses but humour of course is often a cover for a savage attack. I don’t know if it became nastier as you say (I agree that Misandry did) or was an orginal manifestation of deep shame and self-loathing. I tend to think the latter. According to the Wikipedia entry….

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Are_Little_Boys_Made_Of%3F#cite_note-Opie1997-1

          ….the first version that has been found was by English poet Robert Southey:

          “What are little boys made of made of
          What are little boys made of
          Snips & snails & puppy dogs tails
          And such are little boys made of.

          What are young women made of
          Sugar & spice & all things nice”

          Respect to your great work here, Dean. And thanks again.

    • Near Earth Object

      I created a computer post-it note:

      Skies and stars and infinite dreams.
      That’s what little boys are made of.

      Max Cade
      Equalizer

      • Max Cade

        Fab!

        I’d love to write my shopping lists on those :)

  • ComradePrescott

    Looking forward to reading more from you, Max.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      Me too. There are a lot of things I love (obviously) about AVFM, but one of the main ones is that from time to time we get a slice of magic like we got from Max here.

      There has never been a similar venue before for men to tell their stories, their real stories.

      This article is the kind of thing that every man will connect with on some level, even if he won’t admit it, and even if he won’t admit it to himself.

      The true male heart is a thing of complete beauty.

      • Max Cade

        Wow Paul, thank you very much.

      • Bombay

        “This article is the kind of thing that every man will connect with on some level….”

        Yes. Growing up, many times teachers/camp staff punished only the boys for something and not the girls. The bigotry of such actions never did and still do not register with these people.

      • Max Cade

        By the way, Paul, thank you for a wonderful choice of image to accompany the article.

        The strange thing is, the beautiful little boy looks quite a bit like my son when he was younger.

  • Max Cade

    Thanks very much guys. I hope this article resonates with as many men as possible.

    • Murray Pearson

      It sure resonated with me! Max, you and I have had some pretty similar experiences: check out my recent YT videos. Great to hear from you!

      • Max Cade

        Thank you Murray. Please can you provide a link? I put your name into youtube search box and got swimming videos :)

  • tamerlame

    My mother was a feminist. She shamed me all the time too. What woman like to do is blame men/boys for things beyond their control. It is shame for the sake of shame itself. Woman understand shame is a good way to manipulate a man, and keep him on edge.

    I love my fellow man and I have a deep compassion for most of them. I even feel some pity for the manginas out there! lol

    If it wasn’t for my fellow comrades, I would most likely be on the streets without their support. When has a woman even helped a vulnerable man out like that? Perhaps when it is her son, but a lot of women even neglect their sons and put their own needs first. Woman are brainwashed into thinking narcissistic behavior is being in touch with your emotions.

    • Max Cade

      Tamerlame, I am sorry you too experienced a lot of shame.

      I have to disagree with “When has a woman even helped a vulnerable man out like that?” though. There have always been good women out there prepared to help vulnerable men.

      I have known the love of good women friends and lovers too. In this article I was focusing on the shadow and was not aiming to provide a full picture of the feminine, but let us not deny the good in good women.

      • tamerlame

        I can only think of 3 noble woman I’ve known in my life. Our culture doesn’t teach females the concept of honor. (Calling the police on someone is the most dishonorable and cowardly thing a person can do.)

        One of the noble woman I knew, was a social worker who told my mum she should be ashamed of herself for putting me in care. She got in trouble as social workers are meant to be caring and supportive of woman no matter what.

        • http://feministlies.wordpress.com/ Theaverageman

          Honour is code word for male disposability.Men shouldn’t have to put on a fascade and swallow their pain so they can be the “honorable” man. A man who’s being hit by his woman should call the police if not for himself(which he should) for his children.

          • tamerlame

            I think to be a honorable person, you got to respect yourself first. That means you don’t tolerate abuse, but at the same time you don’t sink that persons level if he is acting up. It is a dignity, something our western culture has lost, with trashy talk shows full of chavs fighting each other. When a woman is acting hysterical and making a spectacles of herself I ask myself. “Does she have no honor or respect?”

            There are different honor codes for different cultures, and different time periods. Ours sadly is one where woman are not expected to have any dignity or any shame.

        • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

          “I can only think of 3 noble woman I’ve known in my life.”

          Not saying that is no true, but there are more than twice that many noble women that regularly help with A Voice for Men.

          They are out here, and are showing up more and more all the time.

          • rhetoric

            The path of least resistance for women/girls has been an ignoble one as of late, making the nobility of those women who posses it all the more of an accomplishment.

    • OneHundredPercentCotton

      Shaming is indeed a female’s #1 “go to” device in their manipulation and silencing of men arsenal.

      I hope more and more men become aware of it, see through it, and finally put a stop to it. Man-shaming has had an amazingly good run, but now it’s time to turn and face the monster.

      That “monster” has been nothing but the huge looming shadow of a smug little pussycat all along.

      For several years now on Huffpost there has been a running argument that I am really a man pretending to be a woman.

      As if!!!

      WHY does my sex matter so much more than my words do to them? Because when I state a simple truth their only come back is to shame me for being a man, or to accuse me of pretending to be a woman just to thwart their shaming tactics.

      …which has nothing at all to do with the topic being discussed. Because they can’t make any valid rebuttal argument to the truth, they simply derail the conversation with ad hominen shaming or false accusations that I “must be a man. No women would say that”.

      “No woman is honest enough to criticize other women or speak the truth” is what they are actually saying about themselves.

      Which I take as a great compliment.

      • Max Cade

        One Hundred Per Cent Cotton, thank you.

        It is heartening and healing to have women such as yourself speaking and acting on behalf of injustices, hate and damage towards men.

        It is the beginning of the balancing of all of the men who spoke and acted on behalf of feminism over the decades.

        The former group is a tiny percentage of the latter, but as we know the tide is turning – and rising.

        All power to you! :-)

        • OneHundredPercentCotton

          “the tide is turning – and rising.”

          In that I hope you are right.

          My greatest fear is women have been foolish dupes in something much larger than mere “battle of the sexes” turf wars.

          We are all going to need each other one of these days, and I hope the power of forgiveness(men) and humility(women) is strong enough to unite us against whatever awaits, instead of keeping us divided.

          Men and women need each other, and that’s a fact.

          • Near Earth Object

            I share your fear, your hope, and your conclusion.

          • Max Cade

            Bravo, and hear hear!

          • Bewildered

            ” Men and women need each other, and that’s a fact. ”

            This goes without saying and it’s a sad reflection of the times that we are living in that it has to be explicitly stated.
            But it’s going to take a long time to undo the damages wrought by evil ideologies like Feminism,especially when great advantages accrue to the ‘oppressed’.
            Coming out of the comfort zone is not easy for most people.

      • Near Earth Object

        “For several years now on Huffpost there has been a running argument that I am really a man pretending to be a woman.
        As if!!!”

        During my initial interview at the R.F.I.C., I was asked, “Do you think a man can be a feminist?” At that time, I did not know what that question meant, as I would come to discover what that question meant. I knew that I was applying to work as a counsellor at an agency with a feminist philosophy. And I was familiar with a number of their therapeutic techniques. I answered this question in a manner, which conveyed that I had developed an eclectic approach to my work, and that I saw value in the work of many schools of thought. I guess that was good enough at the time, because I received a pass to proceed. [Aside: I used the word “I” eleven times in the passage above. I would have received criticism, had I written in this fashion at the R.F.I.C., for the number of “I-statements I used. I am an “I” damn it, not a part of some ‘we’ collective.]

        Given what I have come to know of you, 100%—through your many comments and replies—I am not perplexed—in the least—that you are both a women and prolific contributor at A Voice for Men. It has never, ever, occurred to me, at anytime, that you are a male, writing as a female—though for a brief period of time, I did have some evidence to suggest that you were a black dog (lol)—incredibly gifted with a keyboard.

        Both your experience and mine, speak very loudly to just how very sexist and non-inclusive Camp Feminism is—in reality. And I speculate that they may be projecting that in this direction.

        Now that I fully understand what their question meant—can a man be a feminist—my answer is a resounding “NO!”. Genuine manhood and feminism are mutually exclusive to one another.

        Your reply inspired me to write, this morning. And there is another reply under construction.

        Many call you “Cotton”…to me, you are “100%”.

      • Near Earth Object

        “That “monster” has been nothing but the huge looming shadow of a smug little pussycat all along.”

        I have been attempting to speak to a variation on this point: from my own experience at the R.F.I.C.

        When the ratio is one male to one feminist, the feminist can—and often will—act like a decent, normal, cooperative, emotionally contained and reasonable human being (you read “act”, not ‘behave’).

        When that ratio changes: one male and two feminists, or more, the act often morphs into a performance. It is, as if they begin to perform for one another; attempt to score points against a common target; attempt to best one another…competition is in the air.

        They empower one another, and this is not only one of their strengths, but it is also their Achilles’ heel.

        However, when the ratio becomes two males, or more, and one feminist, the act changes once again, and more often than not, she will shrink unto herself in a corner. Powerless.

        I have witnessed the consequences of a change in ratio occur across a span of mere minutes.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Typhonblue (Asha James)

    I think you might enjoy these:

    The series goes into how shame is used to control and enslave.

    Very touching article.

    • Max Cade

      Thank you Asha. Most enlightening.

  • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

    “Skies and stars and infinite dreams. That’s what little boys are made of.”

    We need that on a poster. Its innocence, its hope, its nobility, in contrast to what the world really thinks of men and boys, will stun people. In some cases, it may stun them into contemplation.

    • August Løvenskiolds

      Feminists won’t be able to deface posters like this fast enough.

      • Viamus

        I’d like to see them get to the one I would put in my bedroom. Would be great to start my day seeing that every morning.

        • Max Cade

          That gives me a warm glow Viamus.

          • Viamus

            Man, that made my day. That will go down as one of my favorite things I’ve ever read.

            I hate the original. I had enough of hearing it chanted after approximately the first time I heard it. You took something that hurts and turned it into something great.

            So, I’ll say again, thank you.

    • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

      That is a poster I would love to design, if given permission. I think I could do it justice. A beautiful, sentiment. A tear was shed.

      • Max Cade

        I am happy for you to use my words Neil. As long as I get a free poster! :-)

        • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

          You got it, brother.

          • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

            Looks like someone beat me to it.

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)

            Limey, no it hasnt been designed by anyone (I was simply playing around)…. please go ahead and do it if you have the skills…. be fantastic if you could make it Zazzle-formatted (whatever that is) to pass on to Kristina’s husband for uploading to the store.

          • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

            Ok Peter, I will get onto it. The kind of work that I do is time-consuming and takes a long time to produce – often weeks. Therefore, let’s allow yours to do the rounds in the meantime :)

          • Kimski

            Don’t let our tampering with ideas hold you back, brother.
            There’s plenty of room for everyone. :)

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)

            “Ok Peter, I will get onto it. The kind of work that I do is time-consuming and takes a long time to produce – often weeks.”

            Great. When you are done feel free to send your creation to me at the email below and I’ll see that it gets to the Zazzle store. PS. Any zazzle images must be done on opaque background, something you may already be aware of.

            Avoiceformen[at]iinet.net.au

          • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

            Peter, I sent you and Paul my take on it. I got inspired so I ‘went at it.’

            It took less time than I thought.

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)

            Got it, inspirational…. will email you.

      • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

        Thanks Peter.

        • Max Cade

          Great stuff Neil. I would love to see it. Paul has my email so I will ask him to forward it to me.

    • MGTOW-man

      “Skies and stars and infinite dreams. That’s what little boys are made of.”
      —Max, do you mind if I make a poster with your words? I promise, like so many other ways I do, to spread it around. The message is profound… and healing.

      • max cade

        Mgtow,, Neil made a poster a few week ago, not sure what happened to it, it was going to go up on the store. sure, you’re welcome to. sorry for the delay, just saw your message.please credit me on any poster. thanks

  • borgnine

    Good read.

    Yup, been there too my man: 1 woman teacher stood on her desk (yes, stood on top of her desk) and lectured how “it’s springtime and boys become little devils to try and trap girls…etc.” (She was a Math teacher mind you.)

    When I think back, I am amazed. No one gave it a second thought because bashing boys and men has become the norm in this culture.

    • tamerlame

      When I was 5 I was kept in after class after sticking my tongue out at a girl. The girl squealed on me, and I was punished. I was just trying to be friendly to the girl.

      Girls at a young age, learn how to use proxy violence, and how society enables them to get boys in trouble. I’ve seen the same thing happen in family units.

      • Bobby

        That’s exactly what happens at my house. I recently had to move back in with my parents.
        I have a three year old sister, and two brothers, 11 and 8. When my little brothers were young, and I or one of the other messed with the other, they would hit the person annoying them. My little sister on the other hand, the second that one of us doesn’t do what she wants, she runs to my parents claiming that we hurt her. And my parents encourage it, even when they know that she’s lying. They say that it’s better for her to tell and get someone in trouble than not tell and get hurt.
        I need to get the hell out of here. Too bad that I can’t find a job.

        • Max Cade

          Bobby, I feel for you in your situation. I wish you all the best in your job search.

          You must be youngish. It’s great to have young men here and I salute your maturity in coming to a site that questions everything about the gender status quo.

          Peace, brother.

  • Max Cade

    I am very touched myself by all of these responses.

  • rhetoric

    I have undergone a reality-shattering transformation when it comes to the emotions/reactions I have towards Men/Boys. What you said about compassion for Males really resonates with me; it used to be that I would feel disgust and begin immediately judging/comparing men and boys. Young men always had my scorn, but why? I would see them and think “What value does he have?”, if I couldn’t find value in some action/status I would hold them in very low regard; this while seeing only the best in each and every Women/Girl.

    Now I see a Man and a Woman in a car, where once I felt something along the lines of “Lucky low-value man, be grateful for her” I now feel a sense of fellowship with the man and don’t even begin to dehumanise him. Being a man myself I was judging myself just as harshly, this shift has gone a long way towards making me feel whole for the first time in my life.

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      A thousand thumbs up.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/MRAGreatestHits MRA Greatest Hits

      I understand this 100% I had basically the exact experience that you have described. What you have described really is leaving the so-called matrix & a kind of rite of passage to becoming an MRA. Congratulations and well done, it’s not the easy way.

    • Max Cade

      Yes, wholeness. The journey to becoming whole. What it’s all about.

  • Viamus

    Skies and stars and infinite dreams…

    Thank you very much, I’m not going to forget this.

  • http://feministlies.wordpress.com/ Theaverageman

    You’re a great storyteller max.The whole hero-villan dichotomy entrenched in our culture has robbed men of their ability to derive interal self worth.Rather than free men from their gender roles feminism has magnified mens obligations to women while completely eliminating personal responsibility on the behalf of women.

    Either way with the current environment men can’t win.Heros are expected to have no identify outside their role and the moment that you acknowledge you’re a person with vulnerabilities, emotions, wants and self worth you’re the villian as you do not wish to serve women.

    • Max Cade

      Thank you Averageman. When I read the word storyteller I think of sitting round an open crackling fire in the middle of the woods. I love to be told stories and I had never really thought of myself as a storyteller before. But I like it.

  • Denis

    That hit me right in the feels max and brought up so many issues and emotions that I have battled similar to what you describe.

    I can’t stand it when I see my girls act like that saying things like “girls first” and that horrible, horrible nursery ryme. I hope they grow up different to see men as vulnerable humans deserving of empathy and compassion, not just as instruments to serve their own needs.

    • Max Cade

      My son told me a girls first story recently. There is a girl at his school who pushes in front of the boys when they approach a door, saying ‘thank you for being gallant!’

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

    This article resonates with me because it is a great story telling. But there was something else I just figured out. My first red pill/blue pill moment.

    I remember my mother reading the rhyme to me. She had a wonderful voice with a cadence that made her a naturally great reader.

    And I just remember her reading that and thinking, “Why are the girls nice but they are talking bad about boys?” Or something along those lines.

    And then the hurt from it, the disappointment, was sucked into the recesses of my unconscious. I have not thought of that moment again for over fifty years, till just now.

    I am just sitting here thinking – wow. :)

    • OneHundredPercentCotton

      I NEVER liked that poem, and it’s why to this day I frequently toss out “Girls are good, boys are bad” as a shaming rebuttal in many of my posts.

      I remember internalizing that message from a very young age, being sooo glad I would be considered “good” while wanting to cry for my sweet baby brother.

      “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” was another one I hated…yes, I was born on a Wednesday….

    • http://www.genderratic.com Typhonblue (Asha James)

      “And I just remember her reading that and thinking, “Why are the girls nice but they are talking bad about boys?” Or something along those lines.”

      It’s one of those classic moments of dissonance like a woman saying “women are more empathetic because men don’t have emotions at all!”

    • Max Cade

      That’s exactly it, Paul. Huge moments that formed the seeds of who we are get buried.

      The genesis of this article was me asking myself: just exactly where does this feeling of the wrongness of being male come from? What is my first memory of it?

      Then I traced the shame breadcrumbs up along the trail….

  • Allan

    I liked this very much. I hope you will write more, perhaps about some of the things you touch on. It’s real men’s stories.

    But funny you should mention The Mankind Project like that. Perhaps you or someone could write more about it. I’ve been very put off by it, from the blunt $350 up front, no explanations needed price tag, from the white knight guy I know in it, so full of “honor” thru serving women it seems and attacking bad men. They seem closed to men outside it except to get you to join. Which seems kind of culty.

    It’s hard to know though. They don’t talk about it. I’ve found my real, true friends don’t charge me $350 for their friendship though.

    • Max Cade

      Allan, thank you, I’d like to write more about related issues and I will.

      As far the MKP goes, it is a coincidence that your MKP friend is a White Knight. MKP does not encourage White Knighting at all. And it is vehemently opposed to attacking any man. It is all about mutual support, openness, realness and mission. Your mission is your mission, it’s not for anyone to tell you who or what to serve. Your mission is unique to you and will come from deep within you.

      It’s not hundreds of dollars for friendship, it’s a very deep process over a very long weekend and then you get access to a cheap men’s group that can go on indefinitely.

      There is nothing cultic about it. The not talking in detail before you do a weekend is about not spoiling the power of the processes and not engaging the mind too much before them in trying to figure out what they might mean or bring you. It’s not closed, anyone is welcome to come to MKP open evenings.

      I have no brief for speaking highly of them, but since you asked, that is how I feel about MKP. If I hadn’t discovered MKP, I think it might have been quite a few more years before I would have found the MHRA.

      • Max Cade

        I mean the MHRM!

      • Allan

        Thanks for taking time to say more.

  • Kimski

    A lot of memories surfaced while reading this, Max. Mostly bad ones, that I’m still struggling with to some extend, on a deep seated emotional level.

    As I have become older and reached a lot of the same conclusions that you have, what keeps standing out is the general inability to connect the dots, when we’re talking about the way boys are treated and raised.

    Specifically the humiliation, shaming, and denigration that most boys grow up with, in the ever-expanding amounts of single mother households, and the resulting men we later turn out to be from this.

    If it’s not your childhood’s hero and role model number one, Dad, that is described and talked about in a malicious way, it is yourself for constantly reminding them of him, through specific character traits, behaviors, or ways of expressing yourself.

    Like you, I learned to carry the unreasonably huge cross of being a boy at a very young age, and I often wonder how they expected many of us to turn out any different from what we alledgedly have become, considering the paths of broken dreams we’ve been forced to walk on.

    “Skies and stars and infinite dreams. That’s what little boys are made of.”

    I agree with Suz on this one. I would like to extend her suggestion to a t-shirt for the AVfM shop, ’cause this has the ‘catch’ of a potential blockbuster. I know what I’m talking about, from being in the PR business for years.

    To spell it out quite bluntly, I smell money, Paul.

    http://www.shirtcity.co.uk/t-shirt-create

    Excellent article, Mr.Cade.

    • Viamus

      Hell yeah! I’ll buy one.

    • Dorf

      I would happily support AVFM by buying a t-shirt with that sentence on it.

    • Max Cade

      Very well said about being a boy, Kimski.

      And thank you.

      My Mum did not manage to destroy my love for my Dad, who passed away a number of years ago (as did she, and my love for her is also strong despite what I wrote above). Instead, my love for him has deepened ever more over the years along with understanding about why he was the way he was, and the sacrifices he made for us. The more time goes by, the more I realise how much I am like him.

      I feel my next article will be dedicated to my Dad.

      About T-Shirts, I had the same idea when posters were mentioned but didn’t want to blow my own trumpet and say ‘what about T-shirts’! But now I say hell yes!! :-D

    • Peter Wright (Tawil)

      Would love to see those products in AVfM shop too…. we could have a lot of fun with it. :-)

      Here’s a couple i drew up moments ago at the link you provided above:

      • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

        Kristina Hansen’s husband designed and manages our new store. Maybe she can get this to him.

        Would love to see this in the inventory.

        • Peter Wright (Tawil)

          I have contacted him several times over the last few months and he says he will add designs “in a day or two” but nothing has happened. I sent him a few great designs made by Roger O Thornhill which simply require uploading. I gather he is too busy with work.

          The present material in the store could be greatly expanded.

          • Roger O Thornhill (George Kaplan)

            I’m never too far away :-)

        • http://www.woolybumblebee.com/about Kristina Hansen

          He is working on them as I type this :)

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)

            Hi Kristina. Some kind of anti-circumcision logo might be a good one to add in time…. just a thought?

          • Max Cade

            Hi Kristina! As far as any designs featuring my words go, please see latest version below, please consider sky blue! And please can I see any design(s) before they get finalised.

            Ta! :-D

            And with that, I aim to get to bed before 4!

            This has been one of the proudest days of my life.

          • Viamus

            Huzzah!

          • Dorf

            If they do get made I’d love to see them with the original syntax. It sounds more powerful.

            Stars, and skies and infinite dreams . (pause for breath) That’s what boys are made of.

            Sounds a lot better than

            Boys are made of stars and skies and infinite dreams.

            Try just saying the 2 out loud and see which sounds better to you.

            The first makes me think of a boy outside looking up at a star lit sky, a world and universe of possibilities with his whole life ahead of him

      • Max Cade

        Honoured and touched, Peter. Thank you.

        If I may just suggest, though, Peter and Paul, I feel it has more power in the form that echoes the original rhyme, because in referring to the orginal rhyme it has the shame-busting aspect. If it is good for it to be one sentence, the full stop can be replaced by a dash:

        Stars and skies and infinite dreams –
        that’s what little boys are made of.

        • Max Cade

          And if those sentences are too wide for the shirt, they could be broken down like

          Skies and stars
          & infinite dreams –
          that’s (larger)
          what little boys
          are made of.

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)

            Thanks for the tip, Max. I’ll play around with it and see if it will work that way. Maybe something like this:

      • Kimski

        Thumbs up, Tawil.
        I was thinking about shortening the original sentences to something more catchy myself, and you pulled it off quite nicely here.

        Perhaps we could use the cartoon kid from the ‘Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them’-shirts, in a happier, more dreamy close-up?
        You know, just to hammer the message through for the more mentally challenged.
        (-I’m sure you know who I’m talking about..)

        Edit: Max, when I played around with it, the sentences became way too long, and you had to use the smallest possible font. Your idea is better. Break it up like japanese poetry instead.

        • Max Cade

          Thanks, Kimski.

          Peter and Paul, as the writer please can I confirm that I will have approval on the wording/design of any product before it goes out there?

          • Max Cade

            Fab Peter. I see what you did in emphasising THAT rather than THAT’S. It comes across more powerfully and now that I’m only a *recovering* perfectionist, I can let go the tiny reduction in resemblance to the original rhyme :-D

          • Max Cade

            PS, (former creative director speaking!) – what do you think of sky blue?

          • Kimski

            I actually played with the sky blue version of the shirts.

            Perhaps write ‘THAT’ in red?

        • Peter Wright (Tawil)

          Kimski, the suggestion of using the cartoon kid from the ‘Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them’-shirts is a great idea (minus the rocks) ! :-)

          • Kimski

            If there’s any rocks involved, let HIM throw them for once. :)

            -But I agree, leave the rocks out.
            I like the latest version a lot, btw.

          • Kimski

            And this little intermezzo, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect example of how the male mind is capable of playing tennis with other males, whenever there’s a problem that needs solving, or a creative idea that needs to be evolved.

            Pretty amazing, right?

            It applies to everything from sending spaceships to other planets, to fixing a leaking pipe, and it is the very foundation upon which our civilisations are build and maintained.

            Don’t ever let anyone trick you into believing otherwise.

          • Max Cade

            Fuckin A, Kimski!

          • Peter Wright (Tawil)

            A decent AVfM logo might be good too, for shirts and coffee mugs, etc. Am hoping Roger O Thornhill might be able to make up a Zazzle-formatted one like this below (I emailed him moments ago asking if thats possible):

          • OneHundredPercentCotton

            Beware copyrights, and please only use if it’s that cute – the vast, vast ,vast majority of people will have no idea what the Throw Rocks T shirt was…

            This is soooo much bigger than that.

            …this is simply a lovely “revisionist” message any parent of boys could be proud of.

        • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

          I was thinking of that cartoon boy earlier today. I need him with long purple hair and a purple skirt drawn on.

          http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com/2013/04/speaking-of-t-shirts.html

      • MGHOW_AU

        Don’t forget boys, girls, and baby sizes!(if available)

        • MGHOW_AU

          It would be soooo cute to see an infant in such clothing, it may even make their mother/grandmother think twice before crushing their dreams/spirit in favour of control…

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/Correctrix/videos Correctrix

        You realise that many onlookers would interpret that out-of-context slogan as pædophilic?

        • Kimski

          Yes, probably, and you want to know why?

          Because it was created by men, and that would be the only reason, whatsoever.

          That’s exactly how sick and twisted the level of constant criminalization of the male gender has become, in the world we now have to live in.
          No wonder the amount of male teachers has been on a downward spiral for the past thirty or forty years, and most males now shy away from helping kids in urgent need of help. Noone dares to help anymore, and eventually it will begin to cost lives.

          I just hope the mothers of those kids, who chose not to speak up against this, will find it was worth it, when they have to bury their kid because a man chose not to help, in fear of being accused of being a pædophile.

          And that applies to rape victims as well, btw.

          I’m sorry, but I’m fucking sick and tired of having these labels insinuated about me constantly in the media, just because I happen to own a penis, while female childmolesters and rapists walk away, scott free, from the same kinds of crimes.

        • Near Earth Object

          “You realise that many onlookers would interpret that out-of-context slogan as pædophilic?”

          Can you justify your use of the word “many” in this comment, any more than you were UNABLE to justify your use of the words “a lot” in your comment to the “We are winning the PR war” article? Let me get that for you: No!

          Often, people find what they are looking for.
          Evidently, you were looking for paedophilia.
          Interesting!

          Just another ‘Crap and Run’ reply, courtesy of Correctrix.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/Correctrix/videos Correctrix

            The only way to prove a hypothesis such as the one I made would be to expose people to that slogan and poll them for their reaction. I really don’t have time to do that, so I’ll just stick to my judgement, based on the way society is, that the slogan would be misinterpreted by many people reading it.

            When a group is brainstorming possible slogans, it’s got to be possible to discuss the likely reception of said slogans without people getting all butthurt due to their ideas about how the slogans *ought* to be received in an ideal world.

          • Near Earth Object

            @ The Crap and Run Artist

            Until you find the “time” to “prove” your “hypothesis” STFU!

            Fuck You for dropping the ‘male pedophile’ feminist meme on this article.

            Enjoy the remainder of your stay…and take care.

  • navian

    Looking back what you describe was pretty much a constant, from the fairly benign, a first grade teacher who would always use a boy in the description of negative behavior and a girl when illustrating a good behavior, until there was a spontaneous reaction from all the boys in the class one day pointing out the unfairness of it. To the scarring type of treatment, my stepmother putting my six year old brother in diapers, sitting him in a chair and having the neighbor kids and stepsisters taunting him.I was eight years old at the time, when I came home from school she wanted me to taunt him. I turned and left the room, composed myself when I came back out to the front room she had released him. Like typical males we buried the memory. Over twenty years later my brother was having some problems and the subject came up and the emotion was streaming down from my eyes. I then realized that I had buried a ton of guilt for not protecting him.(when I was composing myself at eight years old I was imagining slamming her head thru the wall) I literally felt a weight leave my chest that evening. Traumatic or relatively benign it is a constant you learn to deal with.
    After some reading on the subject, it is interesting to me that I had started developing some Stoic philosophical techniques at the age of seven and eight.

    • Max Cade

      Yes, burying emotion has unfortunately been required of boys and men as part of our remit to be ‘strong’. But it doesn’t go away. That’s the thing about shame – its like guilt, but far more toxic because it’s been buried so deep we can’t talk about it – we are ashamed of our shame.

      In bringing it into the open, some light is shined on it, some space is created around it. Some more of it leaks away or dissolves. Some more freedom comes.

    • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

      Oh boy. It reminded me of when my mother would get me to bathe – up until the age of 7 – in the kitchen sink, which had a view onto the street. Of course, I wanted to bathe in the bath (like a normal kid) but she would not let me. I felt immense shame as I was afraid that my friends would see me when they passed the house, and would think that I was… a ‘baby’ or, in some nebulous way, ‘not normal.’

      When I did get to go in the tub, she would often make me bathe with my kid sister, which upset me terribly.

      Basically, I craved privacy and physical autonomy – a safe space where I could play with my toy boats and submarines. The pain of this (along with other things my mother did to me) persist to this day. Despite years of therapy, I still feel a persistent eviscerating shame that will not entirely go away. It has made my baseline emotional tone one of sadness, despite the myriad joys in my life.

      I strongly suspect that if my father had ‘been on the scene’ this would have not happened. They divorced when I was 2. The dynamic was night and day. He was all about helping me grow , entertaining my interests, whereas my mother did not like the burgeoning boy; she just wanted ‘her little baby – her toddler – back.’

      I was put on this world to satisfy her needs, it seems – not to be me, have my own ideas or identity. Jeez, it screwed me up no end. I am 46 and I still feel… deformed… somewhat emotionally misshapen. Wrong. Pathetic. Just not… just not ‘right’ somehow. I am aware that other kids may have taken this in their stride and bounced back. Obviously I was not one of those kids.

      • Near Earth Object

        Neil,

        At the risk of sounding cliché, you are not alone.

        Better than thirty-years ago, I developed some sense that my newly-separated mother was grooming me to be her life-long quasi-husband-caregiver-provider (whatever). Put succinctly, my life in her service. Out of one side of her mouth came, “Work your way through school. You can be anything you want to be.” From out of the other, and through every action, she seemed to undermine my every effort to do just that, until finally, I balked and went to sea for a period of years.

        [went to sea: any port, but this port]

        Years later, and for years later, she pulled variation upon variation of the same routine, with the same end goal in mind. One day, almost twenty years ago, I walked away forever. Forever!

        As I wrote to another brother, for some of us, we may be working on deprogramming ourselves for the remainder of our lives. Better that, then the alternative, has come to be my view.

        • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

          Thanks Neo for your chiming in. Feeling not alone is a very good thing.

          My life is punctuated by intensely painful shame-spirals. They can erupt at anytime. One did, just 5 minutes ago. This is what happened: I made a mistake of posting a news item on Facebook as being contemporaneous when it was not (someone posted an article on my news-feed, and I automatically – wrongly – assumed that it was current.)

          Of course, some bright spark pointed this out to me.

          An incident like this is all that it takes for the searing, coiled serpent to unravel in my gut.

          Anyway, I subsequently issued a public apology. In the meantime, however, someone else started to pipe up about about how, I must ‘on every occasion, be extra sure to make sure that I check my sources, etc…”

          That was fucking it; I erupted in a “OK, so I made a mistake! So I did not go to REUTERS to check my facts. I get it. Maybe am human!?!”

          The upshot? Even with a minor incident like this I can feel as though I am quite possibly THE worst person in the world. Completely wretched.

          Intellectually, I know I am not, but the insistent shame that comes out from left field, knocks me over every time. It ALWAYS threatens to consume me. Moreover, I know it comes from my childhood, because when I am in that space, I feel like a Tom Thumb – barely 2 feet tall.

          Consequently, I have developed a dislike for didactic people who like to wag their fingers, to tick me off for what ever minor infraction I may commit. I wish I were perfectly leak-proof, that I did not make emotional mistakes, but I do.

          When I remind myself that I am human, it does raise me up somewhat.

          • Near Earth Object

            Thank you for the additional insight, Neil. Both into what was going on for you and what has gone on for me. I have had a life-long struggle with perfection. I am winning, but it is like walking through life with my shoes on the wrong feet.
            Sharing a story with you now…
            My need to be perfect came from my mother. My second earliest memory in this life goes back to when I was three years old. My two elder siblings were in school. I woke up. I guess I woke my mother up. She asked me to make her a coffee. I—two feet tall—pulled a chair up to the counter; boiled water in a kettle; put the ingredients in the cup; did the milk thing; and brought her my first ever attempt at making a coffee. She flipped on me (over the taste)! I was three years old, doing both a dangerous thing and an adult thing, and I was met with her rebuke. An experience like that, at such a tender age, kind of makes an impressionable young boy want to try and try and try…until he gets it right. Right? No. Until he gets it perfect.

            Be gentle with yourself brother—
            you’ve been through hell.

          • Max Cade

            Neil and Neo,

            I identify strongly with both your stories. And as you can see from my description above, I am an ex-perfectionist. Or I should say recovering perfectionist.

            There is a book I would highly recommend to you both and anyone who would like to be kinder to themselves: “Care of the Soul”, by Thomas Moore. You don’t have to be religious, by soul he means our most whole deepest self. It’s poetic, wise and very insightful.

            In brotherhood,

            Max

          • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

            I read your post this afternoon, Neo. I believe you, I hear you, but I have this intense… disbelief about your story. It is almost like a bad equation, whereupon you have question its mechanics. How can a woman be like that to a 3 year old? How does that work?

            I never thought of the MHRM as a place for overt psychical and emotional healing. Yeah, I know, silly me…

            I was in a funk, earlier and your friendliness really helped, Neo. Thank you.

            @Max – Thomas Moore. Mmm, I always liked Holbein’s painting of him. He captured an essence of a goodliness in his portrait – one that segues into what I know of him (mostly from the excellent movie, ‘A Lion in Winter.’) I will take a look at this work. Thx.

  • gateman

    Beautifully written piece, Max, so reminiscent of my own life.

  • Dorf

    Thank you for this.

    And I love that final line. Is it yours?

    • Max Cade

      Thank you It gateman. Yes it is mine. I wanted to create something, some meme to begin to destroy that fucking nursery rhyme if it possibly could.

      I might have thought it had passed into obscurity if I hadn’t this year heard a mother reciting it, very intently, looking into her 6/7 year old sons eyes on the underground. He looked very upset but my heart rose when he looked right back at her and said ‘N0! Boys and girls are made of bones!’

      • Kimski

        “‘N0! Boys and girls are made of bones!’”

        LOL.
        Boys are made of tumbleweed.
        Girls are made of cactus.

        :D

        • Max Cade

          Love that one Kimski.

          Do you mean to imply that the tumbleweed, that wishes to be free to blow across the desert, gets stuck in the spiny cactus trap?

          :-)

          Good grief, I really must go to bed soon, it’s 3.15 am here. But it’s all too exciting.

          • Kimski

            Something along those lines, yes. :D

            4:18 am here.

  • Peter Wright (Tawil)

    Max, I think you just told everyman’s story!

    With you I’d like to confirm that ‘skies and stars and infinite dreams’ are what boys are made of…

    • Max Cade

      Thank you Peter. I feel honoured that you describe my story that way.

  • Theseus

    Beautiful but painful. This really hits home.

    I am reminded of my brother Mike who was a devoted and loving father to his three kids. He was content to be just that. However he was not the most financially motivated and ambitious individual. As long as he had a job with benefits and he could pay the bills, that was enough for him.

    However that apparently wasn’t enough for certain family members, friends, and just all around general acquaintances that thought it was perfectly acceptable to constantly volunteer a critique on Mike’s life; you know, the “why don’t you make something of yourself” variety…. although many of the barbs that were slung his way were much harsher than that. Apparently being a good father wasn’t enough for the world at large. What’s worse he got a lot of this crap from our mother. I was always defending him.

    This is in stark contrast to my lazy, useless lump of a nagging mother in-law. All she did was at best be a half assed mother to my wife and sister in-law. Their house was never clean and dinner was hardly ever cooked. No one to this day has ever given her “the critique”. Apparently being just a (half assed) mom is enough, and being a great father is not.

    • Max Cade

      Thank you Theseus.

      I feel an extra shame over the way we children treated our Dad, who slaved away in a job he hated to give us what we needed and wanted.

      We knew no better, then.

      My answer is to love him. And to love boys and men.

      AVfM calls it compassion for boys and men, and it is. Compassion is just another word for love.

      • http://salientsight.com/ergot/ Limeywestlake (Neil Westlake)

        Love. Werd.

    • Bewildered

      ” Apparently being just a (half assed) mom is enough, and being a great father is not. ”

      Sad but true isn’t it ? Yet people are in denial about male disposability and systemic misandry[only when you are hated can your good deeds be not recognized ].

  • OneHundredPercentCotton

    Well, I never dreamed I’d feel inclined to share my Grandchildren’s favorite youtube video here on AVFM, but somehow – it feels so right;

    Skies and stars and infinite dreams.
    That’s what little boys are made of.

    Max Cade

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCjJyiqpAuU

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      Yes, it could not be more right.

    • Manalysis

      Hi,

      Wonderful. Woeful. (Max’s story.)

      Star dreams, however, can keep people up
      (I wonder if that’s why so many of them are
      herded into the “nerd” pen – gtow too young?)
      and are a gift that keep on giving.
      Just don’t let evil old nursery rhymes fall into the hands
      of bored boy geniuses …. This was first played to me a few days ago, loved it instantly:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGGWtz_v6xM

      (Ironically, while looking for performers of article-relevant age – which there are plenty of – I came across this 11 year old gentleman with the word (name?) “Snail” on his sleeve:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im_tJLeo2qU )

      Enjoy (the fun starts after about a minute).

      M

      • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suzanne McCarley

        Brilliant!

      • OneHundredPercentCotton

        I enjoyed that, indeed. Thank you.

      • Max Cade

        Thank you Manalysis. Wonderful. And how modest of that boy to let his performance speak and not put his face in front of the camera at any point.

        About woeful – yes I have had plenty of shame, pain and suffering in my life but I just want to say I have had and have an enormous amount of joy too. And peace.

        “The deeper that sorrow carves into your soul, the more joy it can contain” – Kahlil Gibran, who compares it to a hollowed out vessel containing more water.

  • donzaloog

    That was a very touching story. Thanks for sharing, Max. I, thankfully, never bought into that sugar & spice crap about girls. I have always seen men and women as two sides of the same coin.

  • James Huff

    This article is definitely going into my archives.

  • Dunamace

    Max, the best artists, be it through music, paint, photography or words have the ability to bring the sub-conscious knowing into the conscious light. You did this with me and I’d reckon many others with this article.

    A work of art.

    • Max Cade

      Thank you very much Dunamace, your words are very generous.

  • Rainforest

    ‘Skies and stars and infinite dreams. That’s what little boys are made of.’
    Bowled me over.
    I got my ass to a cafe to post a comment cause my phone wouldn’t let me. Some words just move.
    You sound like a man at peace. I’m relatively new to the redpill and still dealing with the bitterness.
    Love AVfM, loved your article. Wish your dad would have been more proactive about your upbringing, but then he probably had his own shit to deal with. Looking forward to more posts.
    Peace.

    • Max Cade

      Thank you Rainforest.

      Yes you’re right, I have a lot of peace in my life.

      My Dad certainly did have his own shit to deal with. He worked full time with a long commute in a job he didn’t like to support my Mum and us three kids. When he got home he was knackered and wanted some peace and space. He was often distant or critical but he gave me a hell of a lot and I am going to write an article for AVfM which will be in honour of him and all fathers.

  • Aimee McGee

    What is my man made if?

    Not slugs and snails, or sticky entrails,
    But skies, and stars and infinite dreams.

    Embrace me as I dance in your wide open sky;
    Show me the sparkle of stars in your eye.

    Let me soar on whispering wind of your love,
    In a wide arch of Light, in the sky far above.

    When the day dawns, when the world gleams,
    We wake up and share your infinite dreams.

    for Earl Grey, April 2013

    • Max Cade

      Aimee that is beautiful and I am very touched.

      Your man is very lucky that you write poetry for him.

      Please can you put a credit with my name in the poem for the part that I wrote any time you make it public. As a writer and poet it is important to me. Thank you.

      • Aimee McGee

        Will do, I’m going to put ‘inspired by the words of Max Cade’ and hyperlink it here (or wherever you want)

        I get poems coming to me less than one per year, so it was a pleasure to feel the creative tickling in my head when I read your words.

  • Max Cade

    Thanks Amy, that will do nicely.

    I am very happy to have been Muse-like.

    I might write a poem/song lyric springing from that phrase myself.

    I am very inspired by how this article has been received. I had been on a bit of a downer for a while and it feels like the sun coming up.

    :-D

  • KeanoReeves

    Max,

    Let me add to the narrative. The mother has either kicked the father out, or alienated affections for him. Yet, she still needs a man. The boy becomes her child-man, her husband-kid. He does the work of men – changing bulbs, cleaning A/C, repairing cars, showelling snow, etc. The boy has lost his childhood and is plunged into adulthood prematurely. At some part he recognizes the abuse. This will come out one day to torment him.

    A woman requires am stronger man who will protect and provide for her, yet a man so weak that she can control him!! Whole of feminism is exactly that. Throughout his life, he will be a sucker for women. If he meets a good woman, he is healed – else, his lifeis a life of utter damnation.

    • Near Earth Object

      “The boy becomes her child-man…”

      Often, and given enough time, there will be a complete role reversal: Mom becomes child; male-child becomes parent. More dysfunctional yet, Mom occupies the role of ‘victim’ and male-child adopts the role of either ‘rescuer’, ‘persecutor’, or both at different times.

  • Booyah

    I always hated that nursery rhyme as a child too. Great story and welcome to AVfM Max.

  • Max Cade

    thanks Booyah

    • Roger O Thornhill (George Kaplan)

      “Skies and stars and infinite dreams. That’s what little boys are made of.”

      Simply timeless Max!

  • Max Cade

    Thank you Roger!

    I think your Gravatar still is from North By Northwest, isn’t it?

    My equal favourite Hitchcock movie, with Vertigo :-)

  • Robert Sides

    > “Skies and stars and infinite dreams. That’s what little boys are made of.”

    I like it.

    Still, the curmudgeon in me wishes it rhymed like the original. You know, something like “Skies and stars and melting candy bars.” That sort of thing.

    Any others’ ideas?

    • @thanatos Nyx

      My suggestion is “Skies and light, shining in vast night.”

      Skies and Light
      Shining in the vast night.
      There for but a moment
      But able to don it

      See the king in night’s cloak
      Sending dreams to all who hope.
      A nightlight for all who dread
      leading the way in blue or green or red.

      He holds the torch high to explore
      Don’t take away dreams, this I implore.
      For he leads the way, you see
      Away from animosity.

      I was apparently inspired poetry wise. There is my contribution.

  • MGTOW-man

    Welcome Max. Thanks for sharing your story. I would like to see messages like yours be before the eyes of men and boys everywhere. Too, it should pass in front of the eyes of feminists and everyone. Sure it will make feminists see red, but then again, what doesn’t?— especially if it isn’t something warped to praise women at the expense of men and boys.

  • Max Cade

    Thank you sir