“Yes I have a dick and I’m proud of it, but it doesn’t define me.”
A while back B.R. Merrick wrote a very controversial article on here on male pride over having a penis. In many ways it’s very positive in terms of the Men’s Rights movement, but in many ways it is also highly destructive and shackling and highlights the deeply insidious prison (so insidiously laid out that it doesn’t even look like men are in a prison).
For B.R. Merrick was only half right. On one hand, certainly, we are taught to be ashamed of our penises and to view them as a source of perpetual debauchery. However it is this last point which actually points to the depraved double standard which exists regarding masculine sexuality.
For as much as men are taught to be ashamed of their penis, they are also taught that having a penis makes them perpetual whore (in that a penis automatically means consent), in the same way that women used to be taught that the moment they wore a certain outfit, that they were perpetual whore; by that duality, the penis has been seen not just as a symbol of debauchery, but of perpetual nymphomania over the course of history.
Now certainly, there is an argument for the necessities of traditional views towards sexuality from a survivalist perspective.
Before the advent of modern medicine, arguably a good 80% of all children died before reaching adulthood- with a good portion of those taking their mothers with them during birth. The rampant mortality rates dictated in an almost eugenic manner, that only the best stock of men and women should breed. With women, that was taken care of with biology- the weak would most likely die in childbirth anyway and for those that didn’t their children would never reach adulthood.
With men however, it needed to take a turn for the more insidious- essentially taking the primal mating conflicts which take place when the females of any species are in heat and extrapolating them into the very underlying fabric of all aspects of the construction of fundamental society.
The reality of that society was that literally, “might makes right”, and that manhood was measured equally in terms of a man’s physical prowess and virility. Over time, this also extended to intellectualism and fiscal prowess in an ever increasing scale, but it was all based on the same principle- where men were expected to adhere to the most masculine character traits and expressions, with any deviation from this resulting in ridicule, ostracism and a complete, utter and permanent destruction of their reputations to the point where men are effectively regarded as not really men anymore, either jokes or homosexuals, who are the lowest of the low when it comes to manhood.
If this sounds incredibly barbaric to you, then that is because it was. However at the same time, it was necessary and is the reason we survived as a race to the advent of modern medicine and it is because of that that we should be thankful that it took place back then.
However with the advent of our modern civilisation, our salvation has almost become our doom. So ingrained was the evolved form of the mating conflict between males that as society changed, people were almost oblivious to it.
This leads me to something which would almost shock the average person on the streets- men can actually say no to sex. I know, gasp, shock, horror. Yes, by all means feel good about your sexuality; however your sexuality transcends far beyond your hormones and far beyond your anatomy. Men are allowed to not want sex, in the same way that feminism has correctly pointed out that women are allowed to not want sex (arguably one of the few things which 2nd and 3rd wave feminism has gotten right). If a man is too upset or hurt to have sex, then that’s all he is, incredibly hurt and upset. It does not make him any less of a man, gay or any less virile in any way shape or form.
Yet this very issue is the reason why we have such a battered man and violated man crisis in society.
The reality is that we simply do not know what the stats on male rape victims (especially heterosexual rape victims) are. Likewise, the same is true of IPV stats.
Feminists claim that male-on-female violence and abuse eclipses female-on-male abuse, based almost entirely on reporting figures and the multitude of studies which focus almost exclusively on female-on-male violence based on said reporting figures. However they also in the process fail to take into account the disparities between survey based studies and crime reports. When this disparity is properly examined, what is discovered is alarming to say the least.
A recent study of police in Western Australia found that when called out to a female-on-male domestic violence situation; that the victim was 3 times more likely to be arrested than their perpetrator.
A few years back, a Muslim cleric in Sydney, Australia, was publicly lambasted for declaring that women who dress a certain way invite men to rape them by women’s groups and the general public and correctly so. However, these same women’s groups also hypocritically diminish and dismiss correctly fingered accusations at law enforcement and the courts for possessing this very same type of sick stereotype towards men.
Even experts like Dr Elizabeth Celi, have recently gone on record, stating that the situation for battered men is as bad now as it was for battered women before the past few decades. Even a brief examination of both social values and the legal system shows just how accurate this is.
Judging by my own experiences when contacting the NSW Police regarding a childhood sexual assault that I had finally worked up the tentative courage to report to police and the reaction I received from them which destroyed the tiny shred of it I had worked hard to build up; I would be inclined to believe her.
Certainly, a good portion of this is due to feminist politics and stereotypes, however these stereotypes merely borrow from and build on the traditional stereotypes of men being sexually dominant, strong and indomitable, especially in relation to women and and in turn that any male who does not meet this benchmark, regardless of the reason, is “not a man”.
Until we address this long obsolete fundamental social construct turned insidious trap; all male pride will do is steer us back into the insidious prison of traditionalism, while allowing the vile and hypocritical gender stereotypes concerning abuse to continue to not only prosper, but flourish.
So where does that leave us. If I was a feminist, I would no doubt conclude that B.R. Merrick’s blog leads us back into the dark days of traditionalism and that we should retain our shame of masculinity because of how it harms society- the usual baseless scape-goating of fatherhood.
However that vile brand of emasculation is equally as harmful as the insidious prison of traditionalism- where we are reduced by shame into social androgyny at the same time as being trapped by traditionalism. The solution is quite simple- a rejection of all notions of conditioned shame regarding being male, including those set out by traditionalism- to literally be proud of every aspect of being a man.
The reality is that there are times when men will be strong just as there are times when they will be weak. There are times when they will demonstrate great logic, just as there are times when they will demonstrate great sensitivity. There are times when they will be sexually active and virile, just as there are times when they will be chaste. Sadly and finally, there are times when they will be free and happy, and there are times when they will be victims.
In each and every one of these cases though, they are still men. For any of these, provided they are not harming an individual there should be no shame felt by men. Regardless of the actions of men, they are still men when displaying them, and with one notable and obvious exception, men should enjoy feeling any and all of the above.
That exception is being a victim. Here, the true shame is society’s, for ridiculing, dismissing and further abusing male victims psychologically through dismissiveness, emasculation and invalidation, rather than giving them the compassion and empathy which women can in the vast majority of cases, expect from society. While being a victim should never be something to be embraced, it should equally be something which is rejected as a source of emasculation.
If Shylock’s famous speech from “The Merchant of Venice” were spoken today with the current gender crisis, it might arguably have been transplanted into another situation to read:
“I am a Man. Hath not a man eyes? Hath not a man hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a woman is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?”
In short, in the same way that the feminist notion of empowerment (going right back to 1st wave feminism) taught women that they should not feel less of a woman for possessing or displaying some trait, men in society need to realize that they are always “being a man” simply by living and having lived.
I am not trying to dismiss what B.R. Merrick has said here. In fact this arguably compliments everything he has said. However, considering the insidious pitfalls and traps which men face along their journey and struggle for true gender equality it is critical that this be read alongside what he had said to not only properly contextualize it but to also avoid falling into an insidiously laid out pitfall in the form of traditional views on masculinity; to recognize just where the true destination for male pride has to lie, so that men can strive for complete and true equality at a fundamental level.