Male Power isn’t All it’s Cracked up to be
Savvy Sunday Salutations:
Today we kick start off the new Savvy Sunday Salutations format with non-other-than our resident guest blogger Patrick Tulley; I thought it was appropriate to take the plunge with someone we already know. As previously mentioned Savvy Sunday Salutations (with guest bloggers) will now roll out on a fortnightly (two-weekly) basis. Guest bloggers will write/create an article of their own choosing -my only condition is that it must be something they enjoy writing/creating. In addition to this, I will be
interrogating carrying out a semi-interview-type question and answers session with my victims guests. So, dare I say, you are all in for a treat. Happy reading!
Male Power isn’t All it’s Cracked up to be
I wanted to share an interview I listened to recently with Warren Farrell, the author of the book, ‘The Myth of Male Power’, that’s available on Youtube. I found it fascinating and seemingly connected many of the dots for me, when it came to contemporary gender issues. I have been toying with writing about this subject for some time now. I will admit to a fair amount of anxiety in doing so, since men are often attacked for taking a position on issues that affect women, even though I believe this issue affects both genders equally. This probably goes some way to explaining the almost resounding silence on this issue from men, which is why I step into this subject with gingerly steps of course. I apologise for the rather lengthy video interview (19 parts) -which is why I am going to break this subject up into parts over the coming weeks, so as to get a more overall picture including some of my own criticisms of Warrens views.
There is no doubting the affects of feminism over the past 30 years or so. Indeed one can argue that feminism has had a much longer history, which I think is quite true. But the past 30 years have had an impact on the relationship between men and women like no other period in history I believe. Women’s profiles have certainly been raised in these years and there’s no doubting the empowerment much of it has given women. Historically women were treated as chattel in the past, as in the property of men. This was a dreadful indictment and imposition on women who were seen as second class citizens. There is no doubt that it was entirely reasonable that women fought against these irrational beliefs, in order to gain a status in the wider community which gave them an equal footing with men. However I would like to distinguish the last 30 years as a landmark change in feminist thinking. Some have likened it to ‘post modern’ feminist thinking, as opposed to its ‘modernist’ predecessor, if that at all helps differentiate the periods for you.
It’s during this post modern period that Warren Farrell almost exclusively discusses the impact feminism has had on men and indeed (to a lesser extent) women too. Some background information on Warren was that when he started out he was very much a feminist himself, insofar as he agreed with many of the feminist positions of the time. This interview explains how he came to change his view over time.
Warrens view is that men have remained silent as a form of passive aggression towards feminist thinking. That since women have been empowered by it, men have often felt immobilised by it. Rather than voicing their objections they have retreated to passive aggression as a means to asserting themselves. He further describes how it’s nearly always men that take on the dangerous jobs, such as fire fighter, police officer, soldier, coal miner etc. That although women are encouraged to take on these roles, that in actuality, they rarely do. What is interesting about Warrens view is that he separates the roles in these dangerous professions for each gender. As in it being an ‘opportunity’ for women, but as an ‘obligation’ for men. Take the military for example, whilst it’s true that women can now join the armed forces, they are very often given the opportunity for entering combat duties by choice. Whereas men very often feel obligated and indeed are often expected to always take on a combat role. In other words women have been empowered to make positive choices for themselves, whereas men are still stuck in the old paradigm of thinking they must take on these roles, as if to empathise their masculine role in society. Warren is keen to empathise that he’s not blaming women for this paradox. He is very clear that it is up to men that they should make their needs known to women.
This is where I diverge from Warrens thinking, since I think he fails to understand that the silencing of men has as much to do with the attacks meted out by feminists on men when they do. If you listen to the beginning part of the second extract after the one above, that he says he even noticed it in himself, when he suggested men were not expressing their feelings well enough. That by accusing men of being sexist when they expressed their feelings was actually causing men to retreat. So it’s astonishing to me at least that he doesnt percieve this in a wider sense.
Anyway I’d like to discuss this subject further in the coming weeks of course, since I have really enjoyed Warren Farells thoughts on this matter and I would like to formulate my own thoughts better at the same time. I hope you have found this interesting yourself.
Copyright © Patrick Tulley 2011 – All Rights Reserved.
In the Mind of Patrick Tulley…
Lovely article Patrick! Now it’s question time! As you all know, I love random interactions; therefore, I have set the following first four questions as standard (all guests have to answer). The remaining questions from 5 to 11; I asked my guests to pick seven numbers from 1 to 18; let’s see what Patrick’s random pick of questions are (If you want to suggest any fun/quirky questions to the question bank, please leave them in the comments box below):
1) Patrick, you chose to share the above article with us, could you please tell us what has been the instrumental reason to why you like creating/writing about this subject.
Actually this has been perhaps the hardest subject that I have ever written about. Insofar as there are many cultural expectations when it comes to this particular topic. Not least because men are very often excluded from it, by definition of being a man. I strongly believe that men and women need to come to a better more rational understanding of each other, for a brighter future together.
2) Why do you blog?
Partly to be informative about widely held beliefs, but to highlight new, interesting and rational perspectives on them. I find it both therapeutic and a way of honing my own intellectual skills.
3) Of all the articles, you choose to blog about –which are the easiest, the hardest and most enjoyable.
Well, they are all enjoyable of course. However, I would say they are never easy to write. Since I always apply philosophical thinking to my articles, I have to be careful, I don’t make assumptions and that my articles are firmly embedded in rationality.
4) What is your most favourite and worst part of blogging?
I enjoy a nicely written piece as described above. I also enjoy the feedback as well. The worst part is actually deciding on which subject to write about and the research involved.
5) What/who inspired you to write/do what you do?
Rational philosophy inspired me primarily. I would include Socrates, Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand as some of my philosophical heroes. Alice Miller too, because of her staunch defence of the little people (children).
6) What are your expectations from life?
Happiness, of course.
7) In a film about your life, which actor would play you?
No idea… Since most actors are chameleons by definition, it would be impossible to define myself within any of them.
8) What’s your 3 fave things?
9) When you are not creating what do you do?
10) What are you currently working on?
A novel set in the future, nuff said!
11) Compete this sentence:
When I was young, I hated school. Now I’m now free to learn what I enjoy most, I wish I had this choice when I was young.
Patrick, thank you for taking the spotlight and being a super sport as always. It’s always a pleasure to have you here on yikici… To find out more about Patrick (a short biography, contact details) please click here. Patrick will be back on Thursday continuing the above discussion and I will be issuing you a flash fiction challenge this Tuesday, so until then be good.
Copyright © Ozlem Yikici 2011 & Copyright © doodllz™ 2011. All Rights Reserved.
As you already know, thoughts and comments are encouraged as always -even if it is just a word -as ‘all good discussions start with just one word‘.
If there is a topic you would like me to look into and explore in my own yikici-kind-of-way then please feel free to leave a suggestion in the comment box below or for those of you who are a wee bit shy drop me a line via my contact page or email me at admin[at]yikici[dot]co[dot]uk
Care to join me for some collaborative work or want to be a guest blogger? If so, email me at the above address.
About the author: I am primarily a philosopher and an amateur writer but also have been a painter and sculptor in the past. Since philosophy is my preferred interest, it is always something I rigorously apply to all my thinking and writing. Philosophy has been a wonderful and fulfilling part of my life; it’s often been a very misunderstood subject -which I hope to discuss in future posts. Read more from this author