Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

A note to the menfolk......

Once upon a time I was a radical lesbian feminist.  I’d come to that position from having indifferent, dodgy, and invisible connections with men in my childhood, having been molested as a child, and probably partly being really pissed off that my dad had left me and died when I was 7.  After being brought up a fundamentalist Christian, I rejected the concept that men were better than me because they had a dick.  And when I birthed my first daughter I realised that there was a whole lot more to this mother/birthing/woman thing than I’d been told.  I read ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ and Mary Daly, Barbara Walker, Alice Walker, Dale Spender, and a host of other feminist writers, and got really really mad.  Furious that my lineage of strong women had been kept from me.  Enraged that men had taken over the world and turned it into warfare and cruelty.  Brandished the word ‘patriarchy’ as a bludgeon, and attended women’s groups.  Not long after my re-education, I had a fling with a woman and slowly but surely morphed into a lesbian feminist that teetered on the edge of separatism.  I seriously entertained the notion of living a life surrounded by women only, to give my energy to my sisters who had been so oppressed.  I read books on lifting the curse of menstruation, coming to terms with the crone of menopause, and understanding the backlash against feminism in the fashion and cosmetic industries.  I learnt about ancient strong women who had been crucified for their difference, and many a treatise on the ancient matrifocal role models that needed rekindling.  I knew that fat was a feminist issue, and abortions and child care.  I heard about the glass ceiling and the tall poppy syndrome and read books about how the science of gynaecology was rooted in the barbaric acts of footbinding, sutee, the burning times, and genital mutilation.  I knew about equal rights and equal pay, how contraception was a feminist issue as well.  In fact, I learnt that everything to do with a woman and her sexuality were feminist issues – except birth and motherhood – unless it was about throwing off the shackles of them. 

Men were the enemy.
They were shallow and aggressive and abusive and rapists and liars and adulterers and threatening and sexist and privileged and everything that was wrong with the world.  There were always a few men that I considered to be ‘worthwhile’, but they always had to endure my rather pointed opinions about their gender as a ticket to my world.  Listen to my conversations with my sisters about the state of the world, with liberal doses of the use of the word patriarchal sprinkled on top.  And I knew an incredible amount of little anecdotes about amazing women who had been fucked over or ignored by men.  If only the goddess would come back and put women in their rightful place as the bosses of everything, then we’d all be a lot happier.

Much to my dismay, I soon learnt that the women’s utopia I’d leapt into wholeheartedly wasn’t all that groovy afterall.  I saw just as much alcoholism, abuse, hypocrisy, gossip, backstabbing and power play as I saw in all the other minority and mainstream groups I’d been a part of.  My relationship broke down, and I had some flings with women and men for a while, and then decided to leave the place where I’d paraded a lot of my different uniforms and badges.  I started off fresh in a different place to try and work out what I really thought about it all.  And one of the first things I realised was that I’d never really had brothers, fathers, or men friends, cause I’d kept them out for years after realising they were all fucked. 

And then I met the love of my life. 

The first man I’d ever come across who treated me with the utmost respect even though I was ‘easy’.  Who wasn’t afraid of my strength and sexuality.  I was in love.  I went back home and decided I wanted one just like him, but not him cause he was far too damaged.  So I wrote about our time together.  And when the book was done I took myself off on a trip through the desert in January, in my beat up old Gemini that couldn’t go faster than 80km’s an hour or it would overheat.  And I met men and father figures and brothers the whole way up, made peace with my father, and discovered my feminine side, that I’d never felt safe enough to explore before.  I had a cleavage!    And sometimes it proved very handy when it came to getting help and advice from the opposite sex. 

On the way home I bumped into my love again, our love story started weaving itself through our lives, and I determined to find out more about how I could love and trust men again.  One of the first things I did was read ‘Manhood’ by Steve Biddulph, and it taught me a lot.  I’d never before pieced together the perception that after the industrial revolution, boys had lost their fathers, brothers, uncles and grand fathers, as they’d all gone off to work.  And in the vacuum of role models they saw in their immediate experience, had to put together these cardboard cutouts that were a pastiche of movies, and books and magazines they read, rather than actual experience.  Whereas women had mothers, sisters and grandmothers showing them everyday how to be a woman.  Which I’ve got to say right now, is often how to emotionally manipulate, withdraw affection to get what she wants, steer things in an unnoticeable way, and create a supportive gossipy network of other women to keep fingers to the pulse of their worlds.  At the same time as exploring emotional depths, learning how to keep men happy whilst hiding bits considered unattractive, and creating a supportive network with other women to make sense of the world.  (Please understand that I’m talking in broad generalisations here, mixed with my personal experience, and I’m not suggesting this is always the case for women or men, and I’m also talking about myself as well) 

When my love and I really seriously got together, we would neither of us have thought we were sexist….yet  I was definitely more pro woman, and he was definitely a bit snarky about women and the way he felt branded as a rapist just cause he had a penis.  Both of us had horrid childhoods that we needed to heal and grow from, and both of us started as we continued, with the policy of no secrets, and the aim of complete personal and couple honesty between us.  I love this man more than any other person I’ve ever come across in my life, and he makes sense to me more than any other as well.  He’s warm and hairy, he’s soft and smells better than anything in the world to me, he’s intelligent and witty and has deep deep thoughts, he has a strong sense of justice and equity for everyone and thing on the planet, he gets angry and grumpy, and he was pissed off with the characters available to him as a man in this period piece, and also with a lot of the attitudes he comes across in women just because of his gender.  The theories I’d spouted for years about men and women were suddenly caustic and prone to causing bruised feelings.  At first I gentled a lot of my theories about men and women just to avoid annoying him, and cause I loved him so much I wanted him to feel good about himself.  But then life stepped in the way to give me some experience.

I was there when he was trying to put together tricky irrigation for a market garden, and had a massive tantrum about how he didn’t know how to do it, and how could he go and ask someone for advice without looking like a dickhead?  He spat about how as a man he was expected to know how to fix a car and a house and put together machines and do all these odd jobs and take charge with sex and work to ‘provide’ …….all without anyone ever really showing him.  He felt like he’d always just been expected to ‘know’ because he was a bloke.  And looked down on if he didn’t know how to perform a ‘manly’ task properly.  We had another fella staying with us at the time, and they both had a session about how hard it was to be a man in our society. 

I was there to witness his pain and isolation when as a survivor of abuse from both men and women, he remembered trying to buy a book to help him with his issues, and found they were all addressed to women and agreed that men were the abusers. 

I was there when he was crying and howling and beautifully eloquent about how much he loved the planet in all it’s intricacies, yet was the gender associated with despoiling it. 

I was there to hear his heartbreaking ache that there were no men in his world that he could look up to and admire.

And around then was when I stopped being sensitive to men because I loved my man, and started being sensitive to men because I was seeing things that didn’t add up.  Like how men are portrayed as unbelievably aggressive, dominating and ‘manly’, or totally bumbling buffoons that never quite get anything right, but are lovable nonetheless.  All the hundreds of little ways that men are told that they’re a bit dumb, as portrayed by main stream media in a ‘mere male’ kinda way.  How we’re meant to be a male dominated society, but there’s no acknowledgement of realistic archetypes for men beyond being the provider, warrior, king or hero.  No equivalent of the cycles of maiden, mother and crone that women experience.  Men often don’t have the emotionally deep friendship networks that women have, so when faced with relationship issues, sexual problems, or struggles with identity, they endure it on their own.  How there’s little importance placed on men as fathers, beyond donating sperm, and then going out to work to pay for what it created.   How thousands of men are scared of touching their children, rough playing with their kids, and showing physical love and comfort for fear of being suspected of being an abuser.  And I could never quite get that we lived in a patriarchal society, supposedly dominated by men, yet men who didn’t fit in with the prescribed roles and were feminine, gentle, alternative, anarchistic, or deviated from the very narrow allowances for what men were…….were shamed and given a drubbing as bad as any given to a woman or child.

Where is the representation of fathers in the world of birthing, and why are the fathers often invisible in birthing stories?  Where is the representation of fathers in bringing up children, and how can their importance and gifts go largely unacknowledged?  I’ll never forget reading a description of manhood by Vicki Noble in the Motherpeace tarot cards, that described men living in a tribal situation as the hunters and musicians, the inventors and the crafters, the even tempered conspirers of fun with the children.  And I’ve bounced this concept off men along the way, and virtually every one could relate to this kind of approach rather than that of lord, king and rule maker.  Shrugging off the assumed masculine mantle of power is not a difficult journey for many.   

I started talking about these things with other men, and was surprised by the effusive gratitude they had for a strong woman being kind to their gender.  We were locals in a country pub, and having a drink one day, a fella named Hairy Dave told me to go read a joke on a board at the back of the pub.  He told me I’d love it.  So I did.  There was a sheet of paper, that read “Men are like a deck of cards.  You need a heart to love one, a diamond to marry one, a club to beat them with, and a spade to bury them”.  I thought it was horrible.  When I came back he was already laughing, expecting me to join in.  “What did you think?  Funny eh!” he said.  “Nope” I said.  “I think it’s terrible, and if anyone said stuff like that about my man I’d slap em”.  You shoulda seen the look on his face.  “Really?”  he said.  “You really didn’t think it was funny?”  He couldn’t believe it.  He ended up kneeling in front of me and kissing my hand, he was so overjoyed that a woman could possibly not snigger at the chance of having a dig at men.  Which opened up a great discussion about men and women and all the rest of it.     

And I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy the ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’ trip.  I think it’s just another brick in the wall of our disease of separation.  And from life experience, I don’t think there’s any difference between the genders (apart from their bodies) that contemplation, honest communication, and deep introspection couldn’t bridge, for both genders.  And that whole ‘if women ran the world there’d be no more war’ thing gets up my nose too.  Tell that to the Amazonians, and Boudicca, and Kali the Destroyer, and Fu Hao of the Shang Dynasty, and the Spartan Princess Arachidamia, and Margaret Thatcher, and Condoleeza Rice, and Bronwyn Bishop, and Australia’s current Prime Minister, and Ghandi, and Buddha and Christ……they were all dudes that said not to kill people weren’t they?  It’s not gender that creates war and the separations between us all, it’s hierarchies.  By their very nature there’s someone at the top, and a whole bunch of disempowered folk underneath, that are ordered to do things they would not necessarily do if left to their own devices.  We could all choose instead the model of the wheel for decision making and creating order from the chaos in our societies…..a wheel where every spoke is equally important and necessary to the whole, and none is above or below the other.

At this point I need to mention that I personally also feel let down by the womens movement when it comes to my experiences with birthing and motherhood.  After 8 birthing experiences and learning from my children and witnessing the incredible influence of a father in a family that hasn’t been seperated, and through observing the vast amount of self awareness, contemplation and pattern busting that’s ensued, I just can’t buy the feminist opinion that motherhood and birth are ‘lesser’ paths, and that if I was really empowered I’d be Prime Minister.  Instead I believe now from my own experience, that motherhood and fatherhood and birth and children are actually as valid a path to enlightenment as any other, and in my opinion at least, far superior to most.  In actualising my evolutionary mammalian imperative, I find my perspectives on a vast array of matters and my self awareness, fears faced, and internal tool kit to be well worth the effort of taking the path less travelled.  And I’ve witnessed a similar journey in my love and the father of our children.

And more recently I’ve been really tripping out about circumcision.  It’s Male Genital Mutilation.  And it happens within days of being born.  99.9 percent of the willies that I’ve seen in my life have been circumcised.  (And I’ve seen a lot……I had to fuck my way out of total fundamentalist Christian sexual repression don’t you knowJ)  Without anaesthetic.  A sexual, intimate, uber sensitive part of a man’s body and sexuality is cut off.   Like a male friend once said….”How could I not have a problem with men?  The first man I met pulled me out of my mother and slapped me on the arse, and the second one cut off my foreskin….”  I’m still totally stunned and overwhelmed by the fact that as a general rule, and with everything that is discussed about Female Genital Mutilation and the repercussions of it……that there is no fuss made about circumcisions which no-one can deny is the same thing.  The same thing.  With no help groups and books and seminars and news reports and documentaries created about it.  Barely any men are given sympathy for the mutilation they endured as a baby, a totally sentient, sensitive, and hyper aware little person, days after emerging from the womb.  That shit totally trips me out. 

I’ve also had this theory for a while, that movements happen in three waves.  The first movement is the radical extreme that people are shocked by, the second movement is the main stream that takes a little longer to get it, and the third movement is the people who were dead against it when it happened, but get it last as everyone else around them is already there.  So if you applied that theory to feminism, the first wave was the Suffragettes leading up to the radical 60’s, and then the concept became more mainstream, and now it’s common to see even the radical right roll their eyes and snipe a bit about their menfolk.  And the result is that men have received body blow after body blow after body blow about who they are, what’s expected of them, and what they ‘should’ be. 

And I’ve known a lot of sensitive and deep thinking men who are really disturbed and distraught by this.  And can sometimes suffer the death of a thousand cuts, a thousand barbs about the thuggery of their gender, and how much they have to be ashamed of. 

Through my life experience and interest led research over the years, I declare that I think the term Patriarchy is misleading.  I don’t believe that the enemy that we’ve all sought out in each other all these long years is gender related, or religiously related, or sexually related, or environmentally related or anything at all to do, with anything other than the attitudes of power hunger, greed, control and hierarchies, that started to hold sway around 2,000 years ago, using many different vehicles, but the main one being the body of the Roman Catholic church, created in 325ad at the Council of Nicea, when the flagging Roman Empire voted on which religion to use to establish firm hierarchical control of the state.  We started to get split up from our family groups and communities, taught to give loyalty to those based on ideals rather than heart, and then during the Industrial Revolution got further splintered into men going off there to work, and women going there to keep house, and children going off there to school.  We haven’t been under the rule of Patriarchy, but of Powerarchy.  And because we’ve been so busy hunting the oppressor behind the guise of men or religion or science……..we’ve neglected to notice that the oppressor was within us all along in the form of our attitudes.  We’re all disempowered in a society that doesn’t accept us for who we truly are.  Because we are all unique sparks of the universe, living an earthly life to express infinity.  Men, Women, Children, all of us have our hurts and our repressions, suppressions and oppressions, and none of us are free until our true and authentic selves are respected. 

So as a woman who was once upon a time a radical lesbian feminist…….

I’d like to say I’m sorry.

To the men who feel so alone and isolated within their pain that they see no other course than to end their lives.  To the men who have dissolved into fear in the bottom of a beer glass.  To the men who have to go off to work when their heart stays at home.  To the boys who listen to their mothers talking to their girlfriends about the latest bastard thing their man did.  To the men who listen to a thousand reports about another man somewhere who did something bad.  To the men desperately wanting a boundary and never getting one.  To the men who feel closed out and blamed by a sisterhood of tight knit women.  To the men that desperately want to be fathers, but are kept away from it by one or another heirarchy……..

I see you and I love you and I know you really wish it could be better. 

I’ve got five sons and I want them to grow free and respectful of themselves and each other, and with a sense of purpose and of being who they really are.  In fact I think I’d really like that for everyman.  And woman.  And child.  And living creature.  And planet.  And universe, within which we are one…….. 





This piece is dedicated to my love Currawong, and in memory of the beautiful Michael Lusty.  Who took his life before I could have this conversation with him.  May he find the peace and love that he thought he’d lost…….

36 comments:

  1. Tears my creatrix friend. Your insight has unravelled more of the mystery and shed more light on honouring the men in and around my life through the sometimes complicated intricacies of why and where our men folk are in themselves, in this world, in this moment.

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    1. Finally far enough away from this to get back to the comments. You darling Jayde, are a light and an inspiration. And I so treasured your reaction to this piece of writing, and the closeness it brought us. Thank you so much :)

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  2. TY.. Your a wonderful teacher.. again im so honored to call you and Currawong family.. ♥♥♥

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    1. And the same with us and you! Love you beautiful :)

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  3. absolutely lovely - thankyou

    i think Michael, as i knew him, would have really enjoyed this piece ... and agreed with you.

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    1. And it really meant a lot to me at the time that you wrote this. It felt like a little touch from him......

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  4. I sit here in tears at the eloquent intelligence that flows forth from you... another wave is upon us ...

    I see another me...
    In Lak'ech dear soul...

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    1. And I got a shiver up my spine reading your response. Well met!

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  5. I would like to thank you for this post. There is no need to apologise as it is clear that your actions since the realisation have been more than enough reparation.

    It is a beautiful piece of writing, and it is shameful that it had to come from a woman exactly because of the issues cited within the writing itself. I dream of the day where us men have a men's movement as a balance to the women's. It is as much our fault for not being there to call BS for the instances where feminism crossed the line to female chauvinism.

    To this day, I know of no one that men can identify as their 'Greer'. So when men idolise someone, in my experience it's either been a 'Ben Cousins' or a 'Kerry Packer', neither of which are (in my opinion) great archetypes for a healthily-progressive society.

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    1. I can totally relate to what you say, and I actually dream of the day when we can address and heal our selves to the point, that gender and age and colour, and all the other distinctions we carry round with us......can simply fade.

      Thank you so much for reading and accepting my feelings and insights, and cheers to all sorts of people coming out in all sorts of areas and helping us all to feel proud of being humans again!

      Blessings :)

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  6. Wonderful stuff. Feisty and true. I wrote abut the third wave of feminism too, as like you I felt that birth and motherhood were not what feminism made them out to be.

    I think that the next stage in our cultural evolution is going towards the partnership model that Riane Eisler refers to.

    FYI I have seen patriarchy referred to as 'the addictive system' in Christiane Northrup's Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom, for precisely the reasons you mention: it's a system that hurts men too.

    Will be sharing this over at The Happy Womb.com FB page

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    1. Thank you so much, and I'm going to look into the suggestions you made.....

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  7. Wow!! Someone who gets it and she got it by looking at the whole picture.

    You have spoken about most of the things that I as a man growing up in this second wave have directly experienced, except that I at least had a father (albeit a workaholic one) who would teach (with mixed success) and brothers who at the end of the day (or decade) I can talk to.

    Recently I was once denied urgent mental health treatment because the counselor I was assigned by the agency was initially a woman, and as a man had to be re-assigned from my original post 5pm late appointment because 'no-one else would be in the building' and therefore only women could be seen by her after that time.

    Was I seeing her to deal with anger management so that she had reason to be concerned? No, what I wanted and what the agency knew was that I wanted to see was someone to help me deal with my depression. A depression that was caused by some bad things that I experienced while my wife was having a serious Bi-Polar episode. I am not a violent man and have never been. Had the agency bothered to do a basic police check, it would have been clean apart from some minor speeding and road rule violations. Any discussion they had with my wife, daughters, extended family, work colleagues (anyone who knows me) would have established that am not a violent man nor ever have been. Any basic 2 minute triage by the counselor of my problem would have made it clear that my state was of a scared and emotionally shredded man, not a violent abuser looking for a way out of prison time!!!

    Yet I was a man and therefore a clear and present danger to her!

    Suffice to say this did not help my treatment. While the replacement counselor (a man) has been great, you can't help but feel a little bit of the 'Rosa Parkes' indignation and shame for being told you are somehow less worthy because on the surface you are black, disabled, female, or now male. Your character and your circumstances are irrelevant. Everyone knows that men are violent therefore we will treat you as such a lesser being who must be treated in the same way as one treats a vicious creature.

    Men and women, young, old and middle aged, whatever race or religion are all in partnership or community with each other, whether we like it or not. No-one has lesser or greater roles to play as all are important. Denigration of one part of society leads ultimately to the denigration of the whole!

    Thank you for your understanding and your courage to speak!

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    1. Oh darlin, I just felt so heavy for you, telling your story. And I can so relate to a sensitive soul feeling hurt by being judged for his gender. And since I wrote this I've actually learnt more about the whole gender situation, and I am actually far more dedicated to the concept of freedom from violence for men, (who do by all accounts cop the brunt of it in our society, but in an unacknowledged way) women AND children, as being the most important focus for us all.

      Thank you so much for feeling and for thinking and for letting me know how you feel.

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  8. Thank you Hellena for this post. You are an amazing writer, passionate and true! It's our privilege to know you. We love you and Currawong and your beautiful children. May your final paragraph be realised. xx Anna and David

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    1. And I love you two and thank our stars often, that we bumped into you both at just the right time :)

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  9. Thanks Hellena for sharing your insight and for including Michael in your dedication. It has been a loooong time since I have spoken to Michael but your blog reminds me of a conversational depth and deliberate lack of pretentiousness which I know he would approve of and enjoy.
    Mick A

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    1. That's the most tremendous compliment. Thank you so very much.

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  10. Since reading this a few days ago it has come back to my mind several times. .Thank you for writing about this important topic

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    1. And thank you for taking the time to let me know :)

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  11. Hello: Found you by way of business course, goddess circle...you have really given me things to think about...I am guilty of "hating" men but being confused because I do truly believe we are all people first and realizing that men must have dreams and damage and feelings as women do. I have a young son and I want to get this right and I think you've really articulated clearly some points to ponder. Thank you so much for this!

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    1. And thank you so much for your self awareness, honesty, and willingness to take it on and flow into a new way to deal.

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  12. This is just wonderful- I just wish so much that you had mentioned the suffering of boys and men who are raped, sexually assaulted and beaten by women- their mothers, partners, spouses, friends and strangers. And Male Genital Mutilation is also a form of rape. Boys suffer the most childhood trauma, abuse and attachment breaks. Trauma rewires the brain significantly. Feminism lives in a fantasy world that denies scientific facts about trauma and the brain- In every man they complain about is a badly abused, shamed or neglected boy who no one nurtured, cared for or helped to heal. Thank you for letting go of the hate group known as feminism. Welcome to the world of being humanitarian, where LOVE and COMPASSION is the answer to everything!

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    1. I love your passion Laurie, and I was so immersed in some private notes on your page that you shared….I would love to read more of your information, and I suspect there's more who would too :)

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  13. Regarding "powerarchy": The word you are looking for is "kyriarchy" and it is in wide use. Really, where there are people there's a power differential bound to evolve, and I'm inclined to say we've been dealing with it since the dawn of humanity. You couldn't call the Old Testament egalitarian, eh wot?

    The thing about pushing parenting above not-parenting in an attempt to redress past wrongs is that, like much of second-wave feminism's separatist, fuck-men attitude, someone's going to suffer. People who are childfree (childless by choice) often find their choice condemned by parents -- even their own. It shouldn't be about which is better. It should be about which is right for every one of us. The work I'm going to do before I decide to parent or not is always going to be just as valid as what comes after. Why do it if it's not worthwhile? So many people are going to need love and support, and there are so many ways to give those things back. Please don't sweep non-mothers into the wastebin. We can make beautiful changes happen, too.

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    1. Couldn't agree more with your point, and I hoped that it came across when I said

      "I just can’t buy the feminist opinion that motherhood and birth are ‘lesser’ paths, and that if I was really empowered I’d be Prime Minister. Instead I believe now from my own experience, that motherhood and fatherhood and birth and children are actually as valid a path to enlightenment as any other, and in my opinion at least, far superior to most."

      that I was mostly trying to assert that my path wasn't lesser, and was perfect for me, but mostly…as valid as any other. And I know there's so many others. Gay men who desperately want babies and surrogate mothers who help them, and women who never have children but are the mentor that someone desperately needs, and lesbians that have huge happy families and couples that never have children and none of them are really better or worse….they're all necessary really aren't they? To provide the random factors that self organisation and consciousness can work with to create harmony from chaos?

      Thank you so much for your feedback :)

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  14. Hi. I've just 'met' you, but had to say how much I enjoyed your post. I've come some way since my own earlier twisting experiences, but this just ungrinched my heart a little more. Despite the constant toxic drips into my ears and heart since childhood, along with some nasty experiences, my worst ones were with a sadistic woman. I also hate to see women being idealised in that way at the expense of good men. My mother played the divide and rule game and I had too little time to tell my father that I loved him before he died at 55. I'm sure he knew, but there were so many years of alienation beforehand. That sadness will be with me forever. A hard lesson learned and never to be repeated.
    Thank you for sharing your loving views. They will help me on the way to my own belated healing.
    Your family is beautiful. Much love and gratitude. x

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  15. I am so touched by what you wrote! This is like an answer to my prayers. I've shed many tears as a man, BECAUSE I'm a man, and no matter how good I try to be, or what good I do to others, it is viewed by some as though I have evil motives. Thank you - keep up the good work!

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  16. This piece was shared on a men's rights forum where I came across it today. Very beautiful telling of how your heart and mind changed in light of new information and becoming open to understanding your man's position and past experiences, leading to a more holistic view of humanity and our struggles. Thanks for sharing this with the internet.

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  17. Thanks, I needed that, especially today.

    You can't know how much especially today.

    Thanks.

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  18. This is a sweet essay and I wish I'd seen it when you first posted it. It reminded me of how I finally realized (after decades of claiming feminism as a righteous part of my overall progressive politics) what a costly ideology feminism has become. The rise and resulting entrenchment of conspiracy-theory feminism in the ivory tower has given us several generations of western women who've been taught to disrespect, fear and despise men. That in turn has given us several generations of decent men who're more than willing to fulfill all the expected obligations of yore (protection, provision, most of the heavy physical labor) but have been told they're no longer needed.

    We men live for the significance and recognition by which both men and women categorize us, but it's the female recognition and gratitude we die without. Feminism beats all of that gratitude out of the young women it gets in its clutches and that's too bad. I've watched enough men be utterly destroyed by women to know better than to believe in the "the-fairer-sex", a patriarchal construct if there ever was one, and a hoary myth that feminism *needs* to continue to prosecute its men-bad-women-good rampage through our systems of governance.

    I'm not saying there's any lack of ugliness by men against women, but to ignore the massive empathy and criminal-justice gaps that exist between society's reaction to those behaviors depending on which sex is the perp and which is the victim, the takes a special kind of ideologue. And the more we look at feminism's biggest memes, DV and rape, the more we see numbers that approach (when they don't actually reach) gender symmetry among both perpetrators and victims. Wow, who knew?

    Thanks for your kind words Hellena, I've forwarded the link to a few people important to me. We're in this together and like most men I will happily work to eliminate any few remaining inequalities of opportunity that negatively affect women here in the west. Hopefully you'll join in and help to eliminate their counterparts when they start to affect your handsome, smart and sensitive sons.

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  19. I was so pleased to read this. I actually said a prayer that I might find this voice and within the day found myself reading your reflections. I wonder might you not be as usefully addressing yourself to women and more particularly 'feminist' women. Contemporary feminist doctrine is arguably more hurtful to women than it is to men. I say this because I cannot help thinking that gender and privilige theories will collapse under the weight of their own self-absorbed stupidity and the people who will suffer most are the people who bought into them. The people who nailed their colours and passions and faith and politics to this mast. And while men may feel lost and alienated as a consequence of this misguided madness, at least their experience, for the most part, protects them from buying into it.

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