Dads Against the Divorce Industry

DA*DI is devoted to reinstating the societal valuation of Marriage and the traditional, nuclear American Family, with particular emphasis on the essential role of FATHERS.

DA*DI offers contemporary reports and commentary on culture; its aberrations and its heroes.

RESURGENT MASCULINITY:
THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG

by Gerald L. Rowles, Ph.D.

"The fact is simple, - men have been given a raw deal and it is time to stop it. ... a society that is headed toward its own destruction by looking at the male as a second rate citizen. It is a national shame and worse. It is the deterioration of a civil society. And, this is the main reason. The degradation of the male."

These are the words and feelings of the first reader/reviewer of Susan Faludi's new book "Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man." currently on sale at amazon.com and other book outlets.

That this book should be written by Ms Faludi will strike many as ironic if not opportunistic. Ask any sentient being in the U.S. if they remember the book "Backlash." The full title of this tiresome early '90s screed was "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women." In "500 Great Books by Women", Colleen McQueen gushed; "Faludi offers exhaustive and disquieting evidence of a 'powerful counter-assault on women's rights' - a backlash - intent on repossessing the hard won spoils of the feminist movement."

Potential consumers of this new opus should be discriminating in their acceptance of what thesis is being advanced. Despite its provocative title, one does not have to read between the lines to discover that this is both a defense of feminism, and a potential first step toward restoring some kind of parity in the gender wars.

A nationally syndicated female columnist who has advocated for men for many years, and has some particular insights into the opportune-psyche of Ms Faludi offers her opinion: "Here's what she's saying: It's not feminism that's making men miserable; it's not testosterone that's making men crazy. It's the society, stupid. Of course, it's the society men created. In other words, boys, you asked for it!" I am grateful to Kathleen Parker for her concise appraisal.

Having gotten that bit of consumer warning out of the way, one has to give Faludi credit for standing on the tip of an iceberg and looking out to see an emerging trend - resurgent masculinity.

I guess men are tired of being regarded as second class citizens. Or maybe they are revolting against being feminized to the point of being mistaken for homosexual. Or maybe women are hungry for "real men" and tired of the misandry.

Suzanne Fields, writing for the Washington Times on three recent occassions hinted at the latter hypothesis. In a piece titled "The Return of Real Men", Fields writes; "The good news is that neither (George Bush nor Al Gore) captures the pervasive male image of the moment. If they did, they'd more likely be homosexual, or at least affecting the homosexual style." In a later article, she expands on this theme saying; "Men in our society are suffering the trauma either of too much or too little testosterone. In the Hugh Grant Manhood test, which ranks particular touchstones for masculinity as measured by Esquire magazine, Madeleine Albright beats out Hugh by 30 points." In her most recent piece, Fields is particularly succinct; "The word 'misandry' (hatred of men), in fact, is insinuating its way into a male vocabulary as a form of protest. ... 'Spinster lit' -- angry novels about single women -- often celebrate misandrists. Sometimes, in fact, the only good man is a sensitive, artistic, out-of-reach homosexual."

Not to insult the Faludi effort, I think that Suzanne Fields was on to something well before "Stiffed" was published.

Weighing in from the male perspective, Sam Schulman, writing in jewishworldreview.com suggested; "What is wrong with man in the age of feminism has nothing to do with whether, out of an urge to express himself, he can punch out a fellow-wimp. Instead, I'd recommend to my brothers a much more neglected function of male identity: revenge. ... Revenge is a man's job, and, if properly sought, may be our only hope. ... Think how much we could have been spared if Dr. Lewinsky had appeared in front of the White House in January 1998 brandishing a horsewhip, crying out for vengeance?"

Another voice for masculinity, the columnist Geoff Metcalf was equally blunt in his recent piece titled "Flirting With Disaster". Metcalf stated: "The feminization of the military, police, and fire departments is a cancer, which threatens to destroy a cornerstone of American strength." He concludes by throwing down this verbal gauntlet to all the gender feminists out there; "don't be surprised if when you push men around, they actually embrace your mantra and treat you as equals. That means when you pick a fight ... you get a fight.

Wow! This is pretty heady stuff for the male who is reluctant to have his chest hair waxed, and has struggled to remain true to his inner sense of himself; one that seems incongruent with what politically correct society has been pushing for the past couple of decades.

But it may be that the anonymous author who reviewed "Stiffed", Fields, Schulman, Metcalf and Faludi are yet one ice-flash - a reflection in the distance - beyond the mere tip of the iceberg.

It is nevertheless true that what remains unspeakable in today's polite society is naggingly haunting in today's headlines. Here's a couple of for-instances:

"ARMED FORCES HAVE DIFFICULTY FINDING EVEN A FEW RECRUITS..."

"ISRAELI PILOTS WHIP US PILOTS IN EXERCISE ..."

We still haven't reached the point where we can have a reasoned dialogue about, e.g., the irrationality of a feminized military, and the very real consequences that we are facing.

But one thing is almost certain, the iceberg has been sighted. And just beneath the surface may be an eager, resurgent masculinity - one that has learned to hug his kids, but one who can also still wreak vengeance against those that would threaten them.

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