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#486152 - 07/29/15 12:22 PM A Good Book
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 193
Loc: Western Canada
Hi Guys,

Have any of you read "The Myth of Male Power" by Warren Farrell? It's a little dated now (pub. 1993) but still very relevant to the kinds of things I'm dealing with. I'm reading it now. He calls men "The disposable sex" and that sexism against men is accepted as normal. He claims that men are still locked into the protector/provider roles while helping women to move on to having more diverse roles than the housewife/mother of the past.

It fits with my struggles with expressing myself in the face of female demands. It also fits with my struggles to find support for healing when women aren't ideal sources of support and most men don't seem to be capable or interested.

I'm curious if it resonates with any of you.

Sincerely,

GAATT
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#486163 - 07/29/15 04:31 PM Re: A Good Book [Re: gaatt]
payne Offline


Registered: 06/27/15
Posts: 24
I have not read the book, but I have heard of the title.

Disposable sex is definitely how my mother treated each of her husbands and me as her only child.

My dad is very old and still hurting over the divorce from back in 1961. He still remembers the details of the day before her and I leaving him. He's only told me this lately when asking me if I ever knew why she left him. I really didn't need to know this but he needed to tell me that they had gone out the night before and had great sex only to get a ride to work the next day from a friend as mom had asked him to so she could go shopping for more wall paper, but then to come home to a note saying the car is at the airport, goody bye.

He was so disposable that she tried to block in him court from visiting me.

The way she treated me made me feel like a disposable object.

Looking back, I'm sure that her second husband felt disposable as well in that she never became as close with him as she was with me for in therapy, I've come to see that she married him mainly to get us out of that town. He was made to feel even more disposable when she deserted him to live at the beach house once I left home.

This whole thing of men being the disposable sex must be very true for I mentioned to a woman once about how my mom left my father. Her reply was, yes that's how we women are. When we want to leave a man, we have sex and go.

My wife's mother carries much anger toward men in general and treated her husband like a slave. According to my wife, that anger is rooted in something that happened behind the barn with her brothers on the farm. Her mother has never liked me because I was not willing to be an enslaved son in law. Even though, she doesn't like my passive brother in law either, it is more because she sees him as having stolen her daughter from her which she holds against me as well. This all has caused problems for us in our marriage. Friends tried to warn me that my to be wife had issues with her mother. I've always felt disposable and sometimes even already disposed when around my mother in law. My wife has had her battles with enmeshment with both her narcissistic mom and with her identical twin sister who has a rescuing personality like her dad whom was her main influence at home.

It's still a mess, but my wife has worked hard to get the freedom she has now. At least home and the marriage bed don't feel as emotionally crowded as 5 years ago.

My brother in law complains to me often about how disposable he feels. He needs some boundaries concerning his wife and his enmeshed mother in law who demands so much out of both of them as if they are substitutes for her dead, former slave, husband.

Disposable? Painfully so!!!!

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#486188 - 07/30/15 01:11 AM Re: A Good Book [Re: gaatt]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 425
Loc: NY

Gaatt:

Farrell's books have been of interest to me because of the points he makes.

It seems that the issue here is not the protecting and providing per se, but the role playing. For instance, as a father I've discovered the joy of protecting and providing that I before I regarded as somewhat cliche. That said, when I slip into the persona of protector and provider I lose my ability to communicate because I'm no longer genuine, authentic, or speaking from desire and my heart.

To keep up good communication, I must take emotional risks. This may include revealing that I'm feeling disposable. I've said as much to my daughter a few times, and that's probably because of some kind of role she is picking up from me.

When I don't share my immediate responses I lose the chance to be emotionally present. Nonetheless, I have to be careful because when I rely on being defensive about not being appreciated, I also lose the chance to be emotionally present. I remain a victim instead of a loving partner who is creative and available.

Both women and men can be treated and regarded as disposable. The work to connect with someone is done so that both people feel like they matter. This seems to me to be the stuff of a good relationship.

Thanks for bringing up this valuable topic.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#486222 - 07/30/15 12:25 PM Re: A Good Book [Re: gaatt]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2131
Loc: durham, north england
Men as disposable is something I've thought often when i see protrayals in the media and also look at relationships, after all to women, men are disposable given how easy it is for a woman to acquire a man for anything from a quick fling to a loving relationship, as part of this disposable nature, men's suffering doesn't matter, after all, whoever cares how many knights the dragon kills so long as the princess is safe.
Women also have a personal space shield. that iss, where as it's quite fine to invade a man's personal space, or even violate that, it's not for a woman, and that is something that always give me a huge problem, sinse had I been female my abuse wouldn't have happened, after all for a bunch of girls to publically strip a boy and play with his private parts is funny, for a bunch of guys to do that to a girl is beyond the pale. Even if my abuse had happened once, I'd! have had all the weight of 200 years of sterriotypes on my side to know what had happened to me was wrong, hell this was a fact the girls involved were very much aware of as they got me into trouble on one occasion for "touching girls" and used their female status as a way to stop me fighting back, ---- yes, yech!

What is more problematic is that society doesn't recognize this at all. Where a lot of the ideas of "A woman's place" and "appropriate behaviour for a woman" have fallen by the wayside (as indeed they should), all the victorian ideals of women as requiring protection and mattering are still definitely there, indeed one thing that occurred to me when discussing things with my T is how women derive worth simply from being female, where as men must earn self worth from their job, roll or achievements, ---- after all who leaves the sinking ship first?

This Worth of women" of course can be twisted into bad things, can be "worth as object" or "worth as commodity" but more frequently, or at least outside the perverted, it is simply "worth" as an intrinsic property, after all look at the cosmetic adverts that tell women "because your worth it"

This isn't to say society is free of bias against women. The sterriotypes of shallowness and of objectification are still very much there, as well as institutionalized sexism against women, (lower wages etc), however where all of those things are very much known about and objected to, few to no people believe sexism against men is even possible, indeed some people actively state that men who complain of society's bias against men are in some way degrading or demeaning women.

The odd thing, is when I say this to women, or at least my female friends who tend to be intelligent and empathic and peopel I respect, they agree. It's something I've felt needs saying because people just don't recognize it.

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#486224 - 07/30/15 12:35 PM Re: A Good Book [Re: focusedbody]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 193
Loc: Western Canada
Thanks Guys,

Yes it is interesting. I'm finding that the book is making me more aware of my fear and more aware of the ways women's anger can subtly (and not so subtly) express itself.

I liked the way he talked of Phase I relationships that were basically about survival and reproduction. They have very rigid gender roles that can leave a person feeling used if they don't fit their particular personal needs or personality. He talked of Phase II relationships being more about Love and Fulfillment. For me, the big difference between the two is that his Phase I is dominated by sexual dynamics. Phase II is dominated by Love. Describing it this way takes some of the negative judgement out of the challenges of Phase I and recognize it for what it is: Simply a way to grow human population and survive. It seems to me that this progression will affect far more than relationships with women. I'm noticing men's fear of healing touch with each other in my efforts to healing myself in community. This, in my mind, is one of the ways in which men get locked into the Phase I mentality. If physically felt love (the kind of love an infant would understand and experience quite strongly) isn't available anywhere except within the confines of a sexual connection with a woman, it leaves your options relatively limited and forces men to be vulnerable to women's anger.

My body is struggling as I move through this level of fear. I have to move carefully.

Thanks for writing.

Sincerely,

GAATT
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#486238 - 07/30/15 07:58 PM Re: A Good Book *Trigger Warning* [Re: gaatt]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 193
Loc: Western Canada
Hi,

I'm finding that some of the descriptions of the way SOME women can use the cover of feminism to be hurtful towards men somewhat triggering. It amplifies the fear of women I already have.

His conclusion is excellent. He's primarily about promoting love and compassion between men and women. It's just that exposing how men are victimized (in order to get there in a realistic and grounded way for both sexes) gets scary for me.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Sincerely,

GAATT
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#486353 - 08/01/15 11:30 AM Re: A Good Book *Trigger Warning* [Re: gaatt]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2131
Loc: durham, north england

One of the most unpleasant people I've ever had the missfortune to meet was a femiist lecturer. She was intimidating, harmful and malicious. She once attempted to shut down the student philosophy society I was president of because she'd taken slight at the words of one member of the committee who responded badly to one of her rants, she also had a go at us for not having enough female speakers, even though we'd had several (what she meant is not enough of her personal cleaque of ultra feminist nazis).

I remember during her so called "introduction to s/xual ethics" lecture I felt so actively uncomfortable I had to stick on a set of headphones and listen to music until she stopped, and during a tutorial on the subject I was actively forcing myself to keep silent, sinse this was a woman who not only frequently and obviously said "seventy percent of men would rape a woman if they could" but actively belittled, demeaned and intimidated any man in her presence, especially those subbordinate to her, heck she once even tried to get me blocked from taking a masters due to the business over the society, and at one stage threatened to sue the department for discrimination after receiving a diciplinary complaint about her behaviour.

In fairness she wasn't exactly nice to women either, she used to speak frequently and unpleasantly of "the duties of being a parent" and regularly said how much she disliked her own teenaged daughter.

She died in August of 2012 of some sort of heart related issue, which was a shock. What astonished me is how little good she'd left behind her, even my tutor, who is one of the most gentle, caring and genuine people you could imagine described her as "very contentious" and didn't attend her funeral despite the fact he was head of department at the time, indeed I don't even think her own daughter attended her funeral (and well if my mother was like that I don't think I would have either).

What is astonishing, is that she was able to get away with all of these attitudes under the guise of feminism. had a man wandered around making such generalizations about women, saying how all women were selfish and shallow and that women had an inability to engage with morality (as this lecturer said about men), I can imagine how quickly they'd have been called out on it, especially her so called introductory lectures to s/xual ethics.

Certainly being such a profoundly nasty individual is not a trait limited to women, but the way she used feminism as just another weapon to control, belittle and demene others and get what she wanted, and how the social morays let her get away with it is really quite scary.

Another thing that worries me about feminism, is how it relates to female victims basically taking their aggression out on men. On one other occasion, I met a girl who started arguing against men, and declared in a loud, proud voice "I was raped! so I know!" while making a bunch of horribly sexist and generalizedstatements about men (that good ol seventy percent myth reared it's uggly head once mor).

I nearly screamed at that one, particularly sinse she was sitting their with boyfriend number three, and seemed almost proud of the fact that she'd been raped, she held it like some sort of honour, and used it as a weapon to attack all men, sinse of course all men are rapists.

i had a struggle not to engage in some serious misery poker, to tell her exactly what being raped was like, and ask her how dare she, with all her choice of relationships sit there and so calmly dismiss all men after what I had gone through and what it continues to do to me. Fortunately I did resist the urge to engage in a noisy round of misery poker, but it was difficult, difficult to the point of pain, indeed I will say that this s/xual aggression that goes with certain forms of feminism is something I find actually scary.

of course, not all feminists are like that, I've met some very nice ones, and indeed whenever I see anb advert telling girls about the wonders of makeup or declaring how all girls will be mothers I feel equally irritated at the shallowness and the standardization of it, even if it does come with that intrinsic magic female intrinsic value as well.

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#486357 - 08/01/15 02:18 PM Re: A Good Book *Trigger Warning* [Re: dark empathy]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 193
Loc: Western Canada
Hi Dark Empathy,

Yes, some women can be pretty vicious. Warren Farrell, the author of the book, served on the board of NOW (National Organization for Women in the USA). He left when they started demanding that child custody be always awarded solely to the woman in divorce proceedings. He's now a very outspoken advocate of men's issues.

One of the key ways I've noticed that women negotiate power is through sex appeal. I find it hard to resist and terrifying to be exposed to. It makes it very hard for me to socialize at all. In my mind, as soon as you enter the world of power politics you are in trouble. "Winning" and Love aren't compatible at all. Talk about Love and Healing when it comes to sexual relations is rare to non-existent around here. Neither sex is interested. I wish the fear weren't so hard on my body.

Sincerely,

GAATT
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#486361 - 08/01/15 03:57 PM Re: A Good Book *Trigger Warning* [Re: gaatt]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2131
Loc: durham, north england
I'm not sure about the s/x bit there gart, this lecturer I am thinking of had little of that whatsoever. MAny of the ultra feminists I've run into of that persuasion tend to be either violently aggressive and a s/xual as this lecturer was, or still worse to disguise s/xual predation as some sort of progressive female power relation, that if a woman goes and sleeps with lots of men and talks in a ridiculously over explicit fashion triggering city for me), that makes her some how valid and of course because men always want this the onus is all about her freedom and choice.

Fortunately that only occurs in more professional circles and usually I try to avoid such people if I can, indeed I try to do so especially sinse more frequently than not when they notice my genophobia it's an invitation to ridicule or worse, ---- talk about reliving my abuse.
So, women like that I keep very much away from.

What bothers me rather more is the constant attitude that men's suffering doesn't matter. it reminds me of one of my most hated lines in new Doctor Who at the start of the last series, (the series focus on s/xually predatory women as main characters and treating the Doctor as a man who should be brought in line every time he dares to be right rather than as the equal of his companion really isn't nice).

The Doctor's assistant is captured by a bunch of robots who are questioning her about the Doctor. They threaten to torture her and pull out a blow torch, where she quite confidently answers back "Ah, but if you hurt me I won't answer will I, so I'm safe right?"
Which causes said robots to prevaricate.

The Doctor then arrives and shuts down the robots, and despite the fact that she seemingly was in no danger whatsoever she berates him extremely for not being there, where he replies

"Five foot two and crying, they didn't stand a chance"

One of the most telling lines in new Doctor who, possibly tv generally as far as gender attitudes go, because you know, despite the fact that these robots have supposedly recycled people for spare parts (albeit we're just told this and nothing bad actually happens on screen), and have at this point zapped several male extras, ---- they really didn't stand a chance against a woman who was five foot two and crying (even though she actually wasn't crying but just giving them the usual smugness).

I also love the way that even when people talk intelligently about this, they always say "oh well the damsel in destress trope is bad for women because it makes them passive characters", even supposedly level headed people like J K Rowling, and nobody recognizes how bad the alternative side to this coin is for men, or how this passivity confirms the idea of intrinsic female value.

After all, yes, while it's true Rapunzel spends most of her time sitting in a tower with long hair, it's not her who gets blinded by the witch.

Maybe this would bother me less if I didn't know that many of my relaitonship problems, not to mention likely most of my abuse wouldn't exist if I were female, genophobia and even disability are certainly no obstacles for women.

Indeed, if I were the least bit attracted to men i'd seriously consider getting my gender changed sinse frankly I hate the way the collective decides to treat me as a male, and would much rather have the female treatment, it'd sute my personality and circumstances and pretty much everything else far better to be treated as the collective treats females.

Then again, I suppose L wouldn't have felt that way about me if I were female, which is a plus, even though she admits herself that how emotionally forward she is is unusual.

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#486416 - 08/02/15 01:15 PM Re: A Good Book *Trigger Warning* [Re: dark empathy]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 193
Loc: Western Canada
Hi Dark Empathy,

Originally Posted By: dark empathy
What bothers me rather more is the constant attitude that men's suffering doesn't matter.

This is the key point of Warren Farrell's book. He calls men: "The disposable sex". According to my understanding of his book as long as we enter what he calls Phase 1 relationships (dominated by a survival purpose) where gender roles are very rigid, men's role (if they want the "love" of a female) is limited to "Perform, Pursue, Pay". The perform piece usually includes an element of "protecting the damsel in distress" and the "pay" piece can be as severe as dying at war and/or exposing yourself to seriously life threatening work (like mining, trucking, construction, fire fighter, police etc...). It's basically being used as a "success object". Women, in this phase get stuck in the "Sex object" role (mother/housewife) which has largely been left behind by the by the work feminists have done in past decades. He claims that phase 2 relationships (dominated by love and fulfillment purposes) give much more freedom and choice to individuals but require men to feel and communicate more freely than we were socialized to do in Phase 1 (a common phrase in North America around men's pain is: "Suck it up dude" in other words, "don't complain"). He also draws attention to what he calls a "gender transition movement" rather than the polarized politics of a men's movement and a women's movement.

Women have largely entered Phase 2 with the help of men. We have been slow to join them. It seems to me that the next phase of evolution is for us men to recognize how little our pain matters and make it matter to ourselves more strongly. One of the ways we can reinforce that it matters is by gaining support from other men. Once that's in place, meaningful communication with others including women can happen. I know I will frequently get very ill or lean towards suicidal thinking before I will even notice what's been hurting in me. I grew up in a world where the very polarized male-female relationships typical of phase 1 were very normal. My father's ability to express vulnerability was close to zero. He was a military officer. He was also overly protective of my mother's emotional turmoil without considering the effect on her kids. My mother's frustration with the limitations of her role were often apparent to me.

Warren's book is very insightful. You aren't the only one who is annoyed that men's suffering doesn't matter. We seem to be slow as a culture on addressing this issue however. I am seeing improvement in the way we treat military personnel as they return from Afghanistan. Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is at least happening. There is a little more room for accepting men in the child rearing role too. Men are slowly entering fields that were typically dominated by women in the past (eg: nurse). How we will deal with the rest of it remains to be seen. I'm doing what I can to feel my pain, fear and discomfort; honour my own needs, communicate them when needed, and respect them even if others don't. Asking for help can be challenging for me. I'm making some progress in this department too.

Thanks for writing,

Sincerely,

GAATT


Edited by gaatt (08/02/15 01:19 PM)
Edit Reason: add a detail
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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