Men, it seems, are no good. They are not only a danger to women and children, it turns out, but to themselves.
New research suggests that men are are biological time bombs. Apparently, testosterone makes men take more risks and live more furiously. We die violently in accidents or fights, or literally burn out our bodies years before women do. Men are like moths to the flame. Live fast, die young.
The Toronto Star, the newspaper of sentimental housewife feminism, announced clinical proof that men are the weaker sex. The reporter giggled about castration therapy, like a nervous schoolgirl saying the word “testicle” out loud for the first time. The researcher says she’s not recommending it – although castrated men seem to live longer than betesticled ones.
It’s becoming common to see men pathologized for their maleness. Here, the solution is making them more like women. If not castration, perhaps estrogen therapy? Now, I’m all for individuals using drugs, hormones and whatever else they can get their hands on to transform their bodies. But this bugs me.
As homosexuals, we are familiar with attempts to encourage perceptions of us as biologically sinister. The medical history books are littered with exhibits of monstrous lesbian clitorises and shriveled gay hypothalamuses.
Homosexuality was recently considered a mental illness, and every behaviour of the homosexual was imbued with sickness. Doctors documented hand gestures and facial expressions as evidence. Women, too, were diagnosed hysterical and frigid, and lots of them spent vast portions of their lives on drugs prescribed as treatment.
But it’s men, you say. After all the harm they’ve caused, couldn’t we indulge ourselves in a little childish but therapeutic snickering at their expense?
Well, as delightful as cruelty can be, I think we should resist temptation. It’s part of a sick obsession with classifying people as normal and acceptable, or deviant and unacceptable.
The Star story is particularly irritating because it’s rife with value judgments about quality of life. Men are “wild, crazy and irresponsible.” It’s as though we need to program men to be Stepford husbands who will cooperate sedately with someone’s vision of domestic bliss.
It’s one thing to reject male violence. But it’s merely squeamish and insensitive to dismiss manly passions. Who says a long, dull life is everyone’s goal?
Part of the problem is that women don’t understand men. Women dismiss silly male behaviour and, as Jared Mitchell notes in his media roundup (click the “next” button below!), they have become contemptuous of men. But who can blame them? It’s not like men are eager to explain themselves. Male obsolescence is a current hot topic, but men have little to contribute to the discussion of their demise.
Men addressing these issues tend to be neutered New-Agey marshmallows or neo-con assholes. Gatherings like the Promise Keepers and the Million Man March are excruciating exercises in male self-flagellation, where men publicly chastise themselves for being, well, men. They resolve to be more responsible, better disciplined. I am reminded of my youth. After masturbating, I would experience a fit of guilt, and vow over and over to never, ever do it again. These pious get-togethers make me long for the days when male bonding involved the honest props of booze and strippers.
Men refuse to talk honestly about their passions. In particular, men are speechless when it comes to explaining their sexual desires to women. Men think women expect to hear mushy romance or endearing tales of cuddly vulnerability.
In my own experience, I’ve come across countless happily married men whose commitment to being sodomized is both astonishing and moving. These men rarely share their great passions with their wives, choosing instead to live private double lives. A new study, however, suggests that women are every bit as sexually perverted as men, in thought if not in deed. (We’ll report on that next issue.)
Men need to communicate the senseless joy of their testosteroned existence, or be written off as laughable and lumbering relics of prehistory.
David Walberg is Publisher for Xtra.