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#464798 - 04/30/14 06:59 AM I am thinking C S Lewis was right
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1996
Loc: durham, north england
I have recently taken up writing reviews for http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk. This has been interesting, being able to considder and write about some of my favourite and not so favourite books in various ways.

Recently the webmaster asked me to write a review of the book never Ending story (the book the famous 1980's film was made from), and I've just finished reading it.

As anyone who has read the book will know a huge amount of the subject involves the relationship of fantasy, ie, made up worlds and characters in fantastic fiction, and reality.I was thinking of things to say about this aspect of the book when something struck me.

In The Last Battle C S Lewis makes his most contravercial statement, that Susan was no longer a friend of Narnia because "she's only interested in dresses nylons and invitations" to which polly plummer adds that "she'll rush to be the silliest age of her life and spend all the rest of her life trying to remain there"

In a way I'm sorry Lewis wrote this, sinse of all the most major cryticisms of the narnia series this has generated the most, and people from Niel Gayman to J K Rowling have jumped on the feminist hobbyhorse, claiming Lewis was against female sexuality or against women growing up or other various things, (ignoring the fact that Lewis has various adult female characters in relationships in the series.

I have always believed that Lewis was more here cautioning against just! being interested in the external trappings of relationships, the dresses and make up and nylons, and not the relationships themselves.

It however struck me very forceably that if Lewis was anti s/xuality indeed, ---- the man was spot on, or at least he has been for me.

maybe for women s/xuality is something fun and enjoyable, indeed when I look around and see all my female friends with highly successful fulfilling committed relationships I am inclined to think so, but that hasn't been the case for me at all. For me all becoming s/xually mature meant was at first losing friends and comonality with everyone my own age I encountered, then becoming the simultanious s/xual punching bag of every teenaged female in my vicinity.

Then, it became a hope, a belief that there was some sort of positive side to this coin, a hope which has sinse proved utterly false, sinse all I've learnt as an adult is that while women get free choice about partners, men get none unless a woman danes to accept them.

For me, and maybe for other men as well it seems Lewis was exactly right. Given the choice of being the 30 year old I am now, stuck with a desire there is no way to fulfill while I see all those around me bennifiting from it (especially women), the 20 year old who at least hoped, or the ten year old who vaguely knew what s/x was but wasn't really that interested and thought theology, adventure, physics and a hole host of other things were much more interesting, I'd take the last option every time.

So if Lewis did indeed mean that the exploration of the wonders of the ultimate narnia were worth more than s/xual maturity, then obviously he was exactly right!

I'm not sure what I do about this, sinse of course I'm absolutely stuck, but I thought it was an interesting idea at least that I might as well share, sinse certainly among the most positive experiences of my life creativity, fantasy, and friendship, the sorts of things which Lewis advocated rank highly, while s/xuality is either a completely negative set of memories and responses to panic that I struggle to compartmentalize, or an undenied hope for some sort of emotional communication which it seems utterly impossible to even come close to for me.

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#464805 - 04/30/14 09:57 AM Re: I am thinking C S Lewis was right [Re: dark empathy]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
The illusion that others have perfect lives is an illusion. Plenty of women have miserable lives, and sex lives. It is part of the way they act to often lie about it and definitely tell a guy!

Sex is just a thing. I like it but can and have lived without it for periods of time. I can't say that I would do well with protracted mental lethargy.

Balance seems to be the key for me. It was always easier to go to one extreme or the other.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#464813 - 04/30/14 11:16 AM Re: I am thinking C S Lewis was right [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1996
Loc: durham, north england
I have said before, it's not about S/x, if it was I'd just higher a prostitute and have done or say "oh well I'm genophobic so I avoid it" the way someone with a fear of hights can live a happy life without ascending any cliffs. There is a form of communication I've seen between most people I know who are together, not all the time, and not often, but it does exist, at least when the relationship is working, and much as it gauls me to say so part of this communication (though only part), is s/xual.

Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

Btw, I disagree on the everyone having better lives thing. While I have seen plenty of women with problems indeed people tend to tell me their problems, I've never met a woman with my problem, and indeed if I were female genophobia wouldn't be an issue in finding a relationship, and once I had that relationship the genophobia could be dealt with. It also seems most of women's relationship problems are to do with persisting in a bad relationship rather than not being able to find one at all, ---- which usually just comes down to a matter of mental fortitude in the woman in question kicking the guy out and replacing him (men are replacable after all and it's not hard for any woman to replace one if she wants), this gets harder if there are children involved,but again, children are a choice for a woman just as they are for a man.

As to problems, Ironically I get told about more people's relationship problems than you would believe! usually because I can pick up there is something wrong with my emotional sense, and no, nobody has ever had anything similar to mine, it's always a problem that usually gets sorted by simply communicating or changing relationships, which as I said for a woman is quite easy.

Frankly I'm a little pissed off with feeling so dam helpless with this, which is exactly why I think Lewis was correct here, maybe for other people (particular women), there is something wonderful in s/xuality, but not for me it seems.



Edited by dark empathy (04/30/14 11:18 AM)

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#464962 - 05/05/14 04:47 AM Re: I am thinking C S Lewis was right [Re: dark empathy]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 594
CS Lewis had a lot of positive things to say about sexuality. he felt that Christianity was a very pro-sex religion as long as the sex was a manifestation of love and not just a venue of physical pleasure. If you google "cs lewis sex" you will find some good quotes especially from his books "mere Christianity" and " the four loves."

anyway, we are all different and no one's issues are exactly the same as anyone elses. and we can never really know the extent of anothers pain. so to try to compare is probably not as helpful as just being mutually supportive of all survivors male and female.


Edited by Jacob S (05/05/14 05:05 AM)
_________________________
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone

just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.

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#465238 - 05/11/14 10:17 PM Re: I am thinking C S Lewis was right [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1996
Loc: durham, north england
Well Lewis I know did change his thoughts on the physical ideas of relationships rather drastically in the early 40's, after he actually found one for himself. In screwtape and other works he was far more anti, or proposed that only the ceremony of mariage would make such things holy.
As I said though, this is more to do with what people think! Lewis said rather than what he actually said and comparing the experiences of women finding relationships to those of men.

It's not the experiences of male and female survivers I particularly want to compare, it's just noting that where for a man who is genophobic there is absolutely no way to continue with relationships, for a woman because the social aspects of finding relationship all favour women, genophboia is less of an issue. heck, even one of the original James bond girls was said to be genophobic due to bad experiences, and of course this has no problem because super Mr. Bond is willing to go at her pace and do all the work, and she needs do nothing to attract him but sit on her arse and look pretty, ---- indeed like pretty much all women do.

if you don't believe me, google the stats for disabled people in relationships, and you'll notice how few men are. I'm pretty sure if anyone ever statted how many single people over25 had never had a relationship but desired one %90 would be male.

This isn't to say women don't have relationship problems, but mostly it seems those problems come from women feeling they are stuck in a relationship with a bad partner, not with women finding relationships in the first place.

This is why I also tend to think all the modern views about the glorious wonder of female s/xuality are really one sided, sinse if your a woman and can have a parade of men offering either emotional or physical closeness and need to just sit on your throne and accept or reject them, well maybe it is a good thing and something which makes you feel powered and the center of the world, and if it is (as lewis probably meant in that last battle quote), simply a matter of shallowness and appearence then it probably is bad. It's the fact that women also! get the offer of emotional closeness with men as well as the purely physical, so they get the ultimate choice always offered to them by man after man, it's just a case of selecting the right one. Indeed often the solution to women getting stuck in bad relationships is just for them to realize this fact and that it's very easy for them to trade in their bad man, sinse undoubtedly a better one will offer himself up on the auction block sooner or later.


Edited by dark empathy (05/12/14 11:45 AM)

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#465251 - 05/12/14 09:19 AM Re: I am thinking C S Lewis was right [Re: dark empathy]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 594
As I said, we are all different and no one's issues are exactly the same as anyone else's. We can never really know the extent of another's pain or step inside their skin.

I don't agree with you about your views on women, but I am sorry you are frustrated and lonely. I have a sleeping disorder that I have a hard time getting others to understand. They don't realize how it rules my life, and often think I am just lazy. It keeps me from being able to hold down a job and makes it very hard for me to make any sort of time-sensitive plans because I can't guarantee if I'll be awake.

I look at other people and it is very hard to avoid being jealous. They are able to make plans with friends and make money to support their family and they don't even think twice about it. But all I can really say is that I don't actually know what is going on with them. Their struggles are undoubtedly different from mine, but I can't rate them and even if I could I don't think it would do me any good. Knowing how hard or easy their life wouldn't actually make mine any better. All I can do is tell my story and look at my situation.

Just like I am absolutely sure that they don't understand me, I have to avoid the presumption that I can understand them. I would like people to try to understand me instead of have them assume that they already do, so I try to not make assumptions about others -- even when my gut reaction is to be angry at them because on the surface it looks like they have it made. People think I'm lazy but I'm not, so I have to keep it in my head that whatever I think about someone else I could very well be wrong too.
_________________________
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone

just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.

Top
#465253 - 05/12/14 12:00 PM Re: I am thinking C S Lewis was right [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1996
Loc: durham, north england
The problem Jacob is this isn't an idea born out of prejudice or missunderstanding or even assuming i know more of others feelings. I am quite aware women have problems, indeed I tend to be the one they tell those problems to. The problem for me is I look around at everyone else I know, look around at the world and this is all I saee, all my friends (most of whom are female), having had several relationships and now in stable mariages. i won't say happy, but certainly happiy enough to work things out.

In all those times I've shared the problems of others, no woman has said to me "I don't have a relationship and would want one" I look at girls going into pubs, or just hanging around in public expecting men to do all the first move stuff. heck, even the media reinforces all of these views.

it is not saying that other people don't have problems, it is just me getting frustrated with the fact that my particular problem is caused by me being male and the way society treats men. were I female, well I wouldn't have that problem at all. I might have another problem,but not this one, and it's this one which I am finding so dam difficult. Living with the knolidge that the closest anyone has ever wanted to get to me was while insulting me in extremely extant and humiliating ways, recieving a host of empty complements, utterly unable to get close to anyone as more than a friend sinse I have no idea what is supposed to happen next.

I also frankly do! believe society has a hiden sexism towards men which this is part of, indeed look at the vilifcation of men in the media as an example, and how it's perfectly okay for a woman to force herself on a man, it's even treated as commic.

I've done the recovery thing, I've sat around and tried playing all the various games of self perception year after year after year, and nothing works! mean while I meet friend after friend who tell me their problems then piss off leaving me with nothing, and watch people around me settling down and enjoying all those things which I've never had, and all I'm left to do is come on this site and complain about it sinse there is no way to go forward at all.

that's why I'm thinking the popular misconception of what Lewis said was probably right in my case, I'd much rather never have a libido at all or any desires beyond those of a child, sinse frankly my male s/xuality has brought me nothing but unfullfilled desires for communication with others and very painful abuse. I recently heard on the radio a report of a soldier who lost his genitalia due to a mine in afganistan. my first thought was "what's his sodding problem!" heck the bastard still had a girlfriend and was just complaining over not having children or being able to do you know what, strikes me he'd got everything I ever wanted.

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#467138 - 07/01/14 10:50 PM Re: I am thinking C S Lewis was right [Re: dark empathy]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 845
Loc: Northeast, USA
Hi Luke,

I have to agree with what you're saying. The one thing that does give me some satisfaction though is the knowledge that if a woman, any woman whatsoever, is interested in a guy who isn't the type to make the first move, like you and I, then she is stuck in her own way. Although, she has the satisfaction of knowing, as you've pointed out, that she will have at least someone, although it may not be the person she truly wants, because the cards are stacked in her favor. Society tells, or pressures women to be in a relationship. It doesn't, however, give a damn if she is in the relationship that she, in particular, desires. In that sense, all women who aren't bold enough to make the first move, are as stuck as you and I. Those women who are bold enough to buck the system are usually desperate though and therefore throw the rule book out the window.

Cas
_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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