WILL the row over the Gillette advertisement prove to be a turning point for men Terry Brennan asked this question in TCW just over a week ago.

He was reporting on the growing unease in America with the increasingly hostile anti-male rhetoric dominating public discourse, led by the American Psychological Association’s recent assertion, in its new treatment guidelines for men, that traditional masculinity is harmful:

‘When a man believes that he must be successful no matter who is harmed, or his masculinity is expressed by being sexually abusive, disrespectful, and harmful to others, that man is conforming to the negative aspects associated with traditional masculinity. These are not masculine traits, but traits of antisocial personality disorder.’

Now that, thankfully, Jordan Peterson has taken up the baton, Terry may get the answer ‘Yes’ to his question. Peterson does not mince his words: ‘Make no mistake about it: this document constitutes an all-out assault on masculinity, as such – or, to put it even more bluntly, on men’.

In his article ‘Beware the Ideologues in Psychologists’ Clothing’, he says of the APA document: ‘It manages to be simultaneously predictable, reprehensible, infuriating and disheartening – no mean feat for a single document.’

It has disgraced the profession.

His is an excoriating and important intervention. The APA guidelines, Peterson says, are laden with concepts ‘that constitute the axioms of a primarily political viewpoint’, yet give no acknowledgement of this. They are full of prejudice and dogma. This field of psychology is fatally compromised.

He asks why should anyone care? First, we all will come into close contact with mental illness during our lives. Estimates are that one in four adults and one in five children in the US have a diagnosable mental disorder that impairs normal functioning. These people risk ‘corrupted’, unethical and ideologically motivated treatment of which the net effect ‘will be to radically decrease the probability that any man or boy with any sense will go anywhere near an APA-approved psychologist, or dare as an ambitious and interested undergraduate to enroll in an APA-approved clinical psychology program (which are already, by the way, overwhelmingly dominated at the graduate school level by women)’.

Peterson concludes:

‘The document produced by the APA purporting to provide guidelines for the psychological treatment of boys and men is disingenuous, scientifically fraudulent and ethically reprehensible. I believe that the people who wrote it are ill-informed, ideologically-possessed, morally weak, and malevolent in their unacknowledged and overweening resentment. I am embarrassed and ashamed to have them speak on behalf of my profession, and would like to apologize to the public for not having been sufficiently awake and outraged earlier to have done more to stop something like this from happening.’

You can read the full article here.

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