Source of photo: http://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/35985
To hear many people on social media, conservative media, and the denizens of the so-called “Manosphere” tell it, there is a relentless and devastating “war against masculinity” being waged in the western world to destroy the patriarchy and replace it with a matriarchy, effectively relegating men to more a effeminate, less dominant role in western society.
This so-called war has brewed since the first wave of the feminist movement in the 1920s with Susan B. Anthony and the women’s voting rights movement (Feminism 1.0) and into the modern day starting with the women’s rights movement of the 1960s (Feminism 2.0).
There is just one problem with this line of thought…
The western world is still dominated politically, economically, and socially by men.
This is not my opinion, but incontrovertible fact.
Just looking at the United States of America, the patriarchy is still alive and well, the numbers don’t lie:
-93.4% of Fortune 500 company CEOs are men.
-70.4% of the U.S. Congress (combined House and Senate) are men.
-Most media company executives are men.
This is not to mention that the overwhelming majority of people running the judicial system, the military, law enforcement, and a plethora of other industries are men.
So if men are losing power in this country, it certainly doesn’t look like it in reality.
So what’s really going on?
What is behind the clearly false narrative that there is a war on men?
I have my theories, so here are my top five reasons why the Manosphere thinks there is a war on men:
1. Changing times tend the threaten the “Old Guard”.
To people who have traditionally always held the reins of power, any gains made by those who traditionally did not hold power is perceived as a loss of power. In other words, equality feels like oppression to those who have always benefited from inequality. Unfortunately, perception is reality to the human mind, even if the perception doesn’t reflect reality.
2. Those who feel a loss of power tend to cloak themselves in the blanket of victimization that they then use to attack the gains made by others as detrimental to society.
This dynamic always plays out whenever a privileged group perceives that “undeserving others” are being treated with the same level of humanity that the privileged group always assumed was reserved just for them.
3. Power (or people in power) always protects itself by turning the narrative around.
The oppressor adopts the tone and rhetoric of the oppressed to articulate their contrived victimology. This is done to attract sympathizers from both the in-group and the out-group. This tactic obfuscates the issues and if done well enough, even people who should be opposing the injustice or inequality being fought against that benefits the privileged group resisting the needed change will question their own point of view.
4. Hatred provides focus through anger.
Anger is the byproduct of fear. Many men fear losing power to the very women whom they feel already have too much power in many ways (more on this later), so this fear fuels misogynistic hatred. The Manosphere is full of very angry, misogynistic rhetoric which is then used by calmer minds within the Manosphere to construct a counter philosophy to deal with the problem in a variety of deleterious (usually to the individual followers) ways.
5. Far too many men feel powerless to adapt to changing times that have nothing to do with any perceived loss of power to women (feminists).
Many of the denizens of the Manosphere are men who feel “left behind” by the global economy. They feel powerless to attract a quality woman to mate with and raise a family with.
If they already have a family and are struggling to provide for that family, they feel inadequate as men.
If they had a family and lost it through divorce (the Manosphere calls this “divorce rape”), it’s a tremendous blow to their sense of masculinity. They have to have something or someone to blame and it is easier to blame minorities, the “global elite”, feminists, anyone or anything other than themselves and their failure to take responsibility for their own lives.
Going back to my previous point about women having too much power, according to those in the Manosphere, the perception is that women are the gatekeepers to sex, which combined with their (necessarily) hypergamous nature gives them unlimited choices and thus unlimited power.
While it is true that women are the gatekeepers of sex and are hypergamous, these are not exactly problems that require women be oppressed, as they have been (and in many places, continue to be) throughout history.
Understanding women starts with understanding yourself as a man.
Women don’t want men who make excuses for their inadequacies.
Women very much want masculine men. They do not want men who pretend to be masculine in a way that screams “Hollywood-stereotypical alpha male”. The kind of behavior that is too contrived to be believed in the real world. Women also don’t want their man to act like their girlfriends.
Being masculine doesn’t mean a man can’t be kind, generous, and respectful to women. It doesn’t mean a man can’t view women as human beings with equal rights.
Are there way too many men in the western world today who are far too connected with their feminine energy?
However, it is not feminists who created or encouraged this trend, and blaming the phenomenon on them won’t fix the problem because the problem lies within men.
The burden of performance is on us as men. Our women are not only looking for us to bear that burden, but welcome it and support it.
Taking up that burden doesn’t require “putting women in their place”, unless that “place” is by our side, facing the world together.
Just as it should be.
-The Rational Ram