Neil Lyndon, author of No More Sex War and one of the first men to openly critique feminism, is right to draw attention to the relentless problems now facing boys and men.
I am sympathetic to his logic that if the women who understand these problems, i.e. those who write for The Conservative Woman (I can say with confidence since he mentioned us in his article) held political power, our sex might give us the authority to dismantle feminist vanity projects and shine a light and some funding on the serious disadvantages afflicting boys and men.
However I do not think it is traditional politics but something far more radical which holds the key to real social change.
Firstly, feminists may be a minority, but they are powerful. Women have real power in the family, rooted in their reproductive capability. This may, entirely through women’s individual decisions, lead to a secondary role in the public realm. Feminists have used this lower public status as a bargaining chip to pursue their own self-interest in every possible avenue of public life. Today feminists control the traffic lights and the road rules, men are only chauffeurs, even when they appear to be in the driver’s seat.
So as Neil seems to realise the cogs of the feminist machine will grind relentlessly on to ensure that any attempt to draw attention to men’s issues will either be re-appropriated and reconfigured (e.g. male suicide becomes a problem of masculinity but nothing of course to do with the way that women treat men or the loss of male identity) or systematically undermined.
If women knew the full extent of male disadvantage the feminist cathedral of cards would very quickly come tumbling down.
Secondly feminists are not amenable to rational argument. There are none so blind as those whose view has been eclipsed by ideology; ideology built on distortion, piled on top of stupidity and upon lie after lie until the truth lies buried deep beneath. Feminists are not going to turn traitor to an ideology which has not only nurtured their careers but determined crucial, life changing, and possibly life destroying, decisions in their private lives. The courage required to recognise their error would not be outweighed by the gain.
So Neil, I do admire your persistence and your passion and your ability to rise phoenix like from the calumnious feminist ashes. But to put your hope in Sandi Toksvig’s and others' Women’s Equality Party? Neil read what they stand for - their equality for men would mean pussy-whipped lap dogs tethered to their feminist cause.
No. Sailing between the Scylla of feminism and the Charybdis of the MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) is going to require a far more radical response. For those of us who care, and I care profoundly, we will end up losing if we play by the traditional rules of the game.
Feminism works well for women who want visible power and influence. But it has no strategy for social reproduction. Boys on Ritalin, internet addiction, obesity, oversexualised children, men in prison, fractured families – feminism has no long term survival strategy. These are just some examples of its scorched earth spawn.
The men who choose to go their own way, either as part of a movement or by rationally rejecting marriage and monogamy because it has cost their fathers and brothers dearly may be acting wisely. But when it comes to the long term survival of human society, to the question of how to preserve the civilisation which their forefathers and foremothers created (long before feminism) theirs is not a realistic plan. It is a social death wish.
If we want to rebuild society, we need a longer term, low key approach.
You are right, Neil, that ultimately it is women, women who destroyed so much through their pursuit of self-interest, but who, because of their reproductive potential hold the key. This time round it is going to be very much harder. Men trusted us, they served us, they built our houses, fought our battles and they received our respect embodied in patriarchal structures in return. But now they have nothing. What is more they have found out that if they do give us what power they had, we deprive them of their children, we take their resources and we give them nothing, nothing in return. This time round we can’t expect them to do our bidding, as they did for so long. If we want to win back their trust and if we want them to co-operate with us, and I do, we will have to concede some of our independence and be prepared to place some dependence on them. In this, for their own security, we will have, I am afraid, to allow them to take the lead.
The radical plan involves the decreasing numbers of us who have not fallen for feminism, who prioritise our families - and this includes our husbands as well as our children, our parents and our grandchildren. First we need to make sure that the government allows us to do this, so that we do not have to be primarily dedicated to work. That is a campaign in itself. Only if we do this properly, place our families at the centre of our lives, can men once again follow suit.
This is what the feminist century has done. By almost destroying the family it has shown us that it is the cornerstone of society. If we want self-fulfilled, happy, creative individuals, a functional, well networked society and a civilisation worthy of emulation, we need strong healthy, resourceful families built on the commitment and selflessness of adults, persistence and a lot of hard work.
Only the steadfast women who are happy to prioritise the interests of their husbands and their children can set this process in motion. The feminists can’t, nor can the MGTOW. Women can do it, but only with the help of men. Together we can undo the damage which feminism created and rebuild a world of which can feel a little more proud.