Note: Also available in Portuguese.
Recently Andy Man posted a brief introduction and links to a series of Videos produced by Kelly Jones. This articulate and obviously intelligent woman had a great deal to say about the nature of both men and women, much of which I agreed with.
What was of particular interest to me, however, was her proposed explanation for why some men, whom she referred to as manginas, seem hopelessly unable to resist indulging and enabling neoteny in women, or, in different wording, why these men (indeed all men by her later implications) assume the burden of hyperagency in their relationships with women, effectively insisting that those women lead lives of incompetence and dependence.
She goes on to say that her explanation also accounted for the phenomenon of misandry. The answer, according to Jones, is laziness:
Men have permitted women to become morons. It is the lazy man who, himself, is desirous of being as stupid and irrational as he can get away without compromising his survival, who is responsible for misandry to a large part.
Now, from the outset I found this answer to be lacking, both in terms of explaining men’s predisposition to tolerate childlike women, and as a genesis for misandry.
I will get to more of that before concluding, but I think it is important to say that simply shooting holes in Jones’s theory is not the objective of this writing. I actually found much of her presentation compelling. Even better, she has eloquently tapped in to questions that I would like to reframe, as I think they are crucial to the common discourse here.
Why do so many men tolerate and indeed seem to insist on enabling irrational, materialistic, self-absorbed and grossly immature behavior from women?
Why do so many men go as far as to idealize this kind of woman, catering to every capricious whim and seemingly having no limit of what they will endure or surrender in their efforts to please her?
And why, when queried, will these men, most men, demonstrate staggering levels of denial, fumble for words or explanations, or as a last resort direct outrage at anyone asking the questions?
These, I believe, are the questions of the century for modern men. And this venue is one of the few places that they have a chance of ultimately finding substantive answers.
My answer for this is, like Jones’s, quite simple. I also think it is a lot more accurate.
Fear. More precisely, fear of what most men’s unconscious minds interpret as a painful, death-like black void where they reside without validation of their worth in a woman’s eyes.
I should acknowledge at this point that I do not offer these observations as empirical. I have no sources, nor do I doubt that empirical support for these ideas is scant or non-existent. They are submitted solely for the judgment of your rational mind and nothing more.
It’s a complicated matter, and one that cannot be explained without an understanding of men’s collective, historical experience, their education, and their personal family experiences.
Consider that until the industrial revolution families were most often run like business concerns involving all family members. Whether they were farmers, craftsmen or artisans, most men worked in immediate proximity to the home. They were intimately and continuously involved in their lives of their children. Sons, the only children relevant to this discussion, were often assumed to follow in their father’s footsteps after being mentored in his skills during their upbringing.
The connection to the father, even when fraught with all the expected conflicts in the struggle for individuation, was the son’s primary source of approval and identity. It was in the father’s eyes, and ultimately in his own works, that he found his worth, or his failure, as a man.
The marital relationship in the home was much different than in modern times. Unless the family was affluent, and few were, women worked and toiled alongside their husbands and children. They were integral components to the family’s success. It is not difficult for me to imagine that the realm of “emotional needs” for women was much less of a priority then than it is now.
And then men invented factories.
While in retrospect it is likely a misnomer to call it an industrial “revolution,” as it occurred over such a broad timeframe, there was nonetheless a great deal of social change associated with the development of large scale, centralized manufacturing processes. The number of residents in American cities doubled in forty years, from 15 million to 30 million, between 1860 and 1900. The growth went hand in hand with the proliferation of factories.
This had a significant impact on the family. The first, monumental change in the lives of men was that it removed the father from the home.
Fathers, who once headed family concerns, now left their families to work in factories, whether on the manufacturing or business management end. The children, of course, remained at home with the mother.
Now, I am certain at this statement could have the effect of prompting a feminist to register with the site just so they can point out that women worked in factories, too. And yes, they did, but not many. Most, even women of that time, were not suited for the physically arduous nature of the work, and most families needed someone at home to care for children. It made sense that the person with the greatest capacity for labor, and who did not need to nurse infants, took on that responsibility.
As history clearly illustrates, that is what happened.
Then something else happened. As men labored to take care of their families, they began to export the products of technological advances back to the home. Food in cities was not grown by the consumers. It was bought and prepared. The milk bottle was developed and patented in 1877, and home deliveries of bottled milk began in 1878.
What this meant was that the more men worked, the less women had to. For the first time in western history women, unlike men, began to have options about what to do with their time. Some chose to work, many others chose to settle in to a new role, as a housewife.
Why is this important to this discussion? Because this is the time in history that women began to experience a more idle time than ever before. That idle time, I think, was the beginning of trouble for men, and for all of us.
With the father removed to produce income, and with women having time to dwell on emotional “needs” instead of work, children, particularly young boys, began being placed in the role of surrogate husband in the father’s continual absence. It is a form of emotional incest that was conducted with the collusion of the father, who often made their sons, “The man of the house while I am away.”
This effectively left boys alone with quietly disgruntled, idle mothers who used their sons to buffer the emotional emptiness that arose from a life with too many options and too little to actually do.
Thus the father’s role changed significantly. He was demoted from family leader to mother’s enforcer and financier. I am sure it was not too long after the masses of people migrated to cities that the term, “Wait till your father gets home,” became a common threat to secure approved conduct from children, particularly young boys.
What developed was the forerunner of the broken family; father, breadwinner and as-needed authoritarian, participating in but a fraction of family life as compared to his predecessors; mother, beneficiary, dependent, isolated and filling the void in her life with emotional needs that the father could not fulfill (because no one can). Mothers turned to their children and began reversing the role of caretaker, emotionally speaking.
It is a model still common today, even in post-divorce families.
And what change did this effect on the psyche of boys? For one they went from measuring themselves by pleasing their fathers with demonstration of competence in a skill or trade, to measuring themselves by pleasing mother in emotional terms.
It is just that simple.
And it is just that profound.
In a society that has coined the phrase, “If momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy,” this has powerful implications on the emotional and psychological development of young men.
When the measure of your worth, as inculcated every day of your life, is in meeting the bottomless emotional needs of a still childlike adult, the absence of approval from that adult becomes a form of death.
Consider the norm for how we perceive disrespect of or even simply displeasing a mother in this culture. Now consider several generations of mothers who exploit that at every turn, even as it twists the minds of their sons into conforming “maternalists.”
Couple that with the fact that even when young boys get a temporary escape from the home in the form of school, that they enter a system where compliance with female wishes is essential to any measure of success. Consider what happens when failure to please the women at school results in a damning note sent from the teacher.
Well, wait till your father gets home.
Now couple all this with the millions of years of human male instinct to be accepted by women for reproduction, and the mixed evolutionary and socialized expectation for men to protect, provide and sacrifice for women.
Is it any real stretch of the imagination that in 2013 we now have a population of men that literally cannot conceive of their own existence without the mirroring of their fitness in the eyes of a woman?
Would that not offer one plausible explanation of why the absolute insanity of gender feminism has flourished and found nearly universal support from men? And they have supported it, either overtly by laying themselves prostrate before the altar of feminism (women), or by a toxically enabling silence born of the fact that they are too afraid to speak up.
After I placed my comment to Jones, she responded, and appeared to infer from my initial statement about fear that perhaps the problem was in the age old ‘fragile male ego.’
You say, Paul, that manginas work for women out of fear of the identity void from being rejected by women. That is, you say these men work like slaves not out of laziness (of course) but from fear of not being praised by women. Then, are their egos so fragile that they need the psychological blow-job of being told they are good and useful slaves?
I have to reject this premise as well.
First, and to quickly clear up a detail, I did not use the word “mangina,” nor do I ever use it in my writing these days. It is not that I don’t think some men need to be shamed, but not in the context of this discussion. I am not talking about men who are consciously obsequious, but of average men, many of whom tolerate the most egregious conduct and parasitic bonding from women, but are likely never fully conscious of the degradation.
This is not a matter of some innate, characterologial deficiency in the male ego. Intact egos are a product of healthy emotional and psychological development. Most men, since the industrial revolution, have had healthy ego development sabotaged from birth. There was never really a chance for them to defend against the dependence on women’s approval. Indeed, society as a whole has coalesced around the idea of making them as servile as possible.
I don’t pretend to have a solution for that, either. Thankfully, the red pill is now available for the minority of men who can digest it. And as more men do that then more will follow. It could take a hundred years or more to reverse in this fashion.
But there is, with all respect to Ms. Jones, no answers to be found for the average man in misandric clichés. Laziness, weak ego, and the rest are just canards covering a more basic reality: men pathologically fear women’s rejection because we raise them pathologically to be dependent on women’s approval.
This is not created by men, or by women in a vacuum. It is a cultural product of a society whose technological advances outpaced the human ability to adapt and adjust functionally.
If there is to be answers, and I think there eventually will, they will be found in a nuanced understanding of the human condition that runs deeper than labeling all dysfunctional behavior as a flaw in character.
If there were ever a path to misandry, that is it.