Here’s a thought I often have:
Over the years I seen many examples of misandry (hatred of the male). In many respects, I was brought up with it. Misandry seems very prevalent in the U.S., it seems, but very few acknowledge it. In fact, it is one of those things that is ‘tossed to the side’ and passed off as nothing. Even guys who are victims of it treat it as nothing, almost like they are ashamed to admit that it exists. Some guys I’ve seen won’t admit it because they perceive it as an ‘attack’ upon them, or some sort of degradation. Their solution is to ignore it. It’s almost like it crept into our lives so slowly that most of us didn’t even know it . . . or want to know it.
But I feel misandry is a serious and critical thing, nothing to look at lightly. It has many social manifestations and implications. Not only that, it reveals a certain state of the society. In fact, I feel that it very much reflects the condition of society in the U.S. In my opinion, it shows a general deterioration in the society and a state of decay.
There are no doubt many reasons for misandry. Many people can develop misandry for personal reasons, perhaps based on bad experiences, or even personal inclinations. I do not speak of these more specific forms of personal misandry. What I speak of here is the generalized social misandry that we see here in the U.S. I speak of the type of misandry that is a social phenomena, as I tend to believe that the U.S. created a very unique and special form of misandry. This is a result of specific circumstances of its history as well it mentality and beliefs.
The ‘social misandry’ that I speak of may be less of a misandry than it first appears. Misandry only seems to be one, of many, manifestations of this problem. It can progress to the point of misandry but it doesn’t necessarily have to reach that point. My inquire has shown that there seems like a progression of emotions, only one of which is hatred and misandry. They, perhaps, go something like this:
alienation > fear > apprehension > contempt > hate(misandry)
These appear to be the spectrum of emotions found in rebellion against authority. What this shows is that what we are really dealing with is a crisis of authority. The U.S. has, I think its obvious, a problem with authority and is paying the price for it. The U.S. seems to have a need/fear relationship with authority. It needs it but it fears it. And to complicate it more, the U.S. culture and society has many ‘stumbling blocks’ that prevent the development and respecting of authority. It’s almost like a vicious circle that goes around and around, endlessly, and gets nowhere. And that is exactly where the U.S. culture is going: nowhere. This ‘going nowhere’ is part of the dilemma of American society today.
THE INNATE NEED FOR AUTHORITY
Many people do not realize the need and importance of authority in our lives (as far as I know, I’m the only one who acknowledges it in the U.S.). It’s authority that gives us direction, helps us grow, tells us how to be and behave, and gives us security. Authority is very critical in our lives. But, oddly, for something so critical I’ve heard few people mention it.
A good example of the importance of authority is shown when I was studying child psychology. A fair share of children’s behaviour is really a want, perhaps a craving, of authority. They want a demonstration of authority, a display of authority over them. I’ve seen many children purposely and willingly misbehave so they can be punished (that is, to have a show a display of authority over them). Interestingly, many children seemingly fight and resist this impulse, as if they hate authority. But, deep down, they only want authorities presence in their lives. This is true for everyone. In reality we are all ‘starving’ for authority and wanting it, to give us direction, place, purpose, and security. Without the presence of authority in our lives, we are all lost insecure people. Because of this we are all seeking authority, and needing it.
It appears that there is a naturally appearing dilemma of dichotomy in a persons association with authority: a person ‘fights’ the thing they, deep down, want and need. This seems a very common trait in a persons association with authority and, in some respects, defines it. Over the years, I’ve found that when a person is struggling with authority it is often really a sign that they are needing authority in their lives. A lot of the rebellion of children and teenager are of this type.
This dichotomy does not end with the teenage years though. It continues on into adulthood. Adults are struggling to satisfy this need of authority in their lives but, at the time, are resisting it, though it appears differently. This dilemma of dichotomy with authority, in some form or another, continues til the day we die. Most of us aren’t even aware of it. In democratic and individualistic societies, especially, it is seldom acknowledged or seen as it contradicts and goes against the basic premise of democracy and individualism. As a result, it is largely as if ignored. This seems to be whats happening in the U.S.
This shows that there is a stong relationship between rebellion and authority. As I said above, rebellion and the attack against authority is often really a yearning for authority and its presence in their life. It’s this observation that has always made me inquire more when people rebel against authority, as its often the opposite of what it appears. I do not immediately assume that rebellion means authority is ‘bad’, as is often claimed by democracy, for example. Oftentimes, rebellion is a want of a better relationship with authority. In many respects, even political rebellion can have this quality. I have never seen a rebellion – personal, social, or political – in which people wanted authority to completely disappear. When you look at it, in the end, you will see that what happens is a form of reinstatement of authority. If this reinstatement does not take place then the ‘rebellion’ has failed.
THE ASSOCIATION OF AUTHORITY WITH THE IMAGE OF THE MALE AND FATHER
My inquiry into American history tends to show that the U.S. has developed a fear of authority, particularly in the 60’s, which later turned into a contempt and, to some extent, a hatred. This basically turned into a rebellion against authority in the 60-70’s. In the 50’s, in general, there was a great respect for authority. Accordingly, at this time, the image of the father and male was looked on with great respect. When the 60’s came the youth attacked authority: the government, politics, the ‘establishment’, morality, religion, etc. Just about any form of authority you can imagine was attacked during this time. It’s interesting to note that the male or the father was not necessarily attacked directly at this time (at least, I don’t see a lot of evidence of it) but, yet, during this time of attacking images of authority the respect for the father and male decreased. This shows that the image of the father and the male is naturally associated with authority. It is an automatic assumption. Because of this, there began an ‘automatic’ undermining of the image, respect, and authority of the father and male that continues to this day. In other words, I see that a lot of the undermining of the father and male, in the U.S., is very much associated with the youth rebellions of the 60’s against authority in general. It basically started a ball rolling that has left great destruction and undermining in its path that has hit this culture to the very core. The repair of this damage will probably take decades. I have always said: The fall of the “father” is the fall of the U.S.
‘STUMBLING BLOCKS’ TO AUTHORITY
It seems to me that there have been many ‘stumbling blocks’ to authority that this country has developed. These ‘stumbling blocks’ has somehow hindered or prevented the respecting of authority, no less its development. Many of these have come about by a combination of various circumstances, particularly the historical situation and beliefs of the people in the U.S. Though many are ‘justified’ by people they are actually damaging and destructive points of view and situations.
Some of these ‘stumbling blocks’ include:
- The fear of authority. A lot of the attack against authority in the 60’s was a result of fear of authority. Most certainly, a lot of the fear of authority in the 60’s is related with the cold war: the threat of atomic war and the Soviet Union. Without the cold war, I feel, there would have been no attack on authority at the time. It really instilled, in the youth, the power – and fear – of authority and what it can do.
- Alienation. Not only is this fear based on an actual threat but it is also based on an alienation from authority, of not feeling ‘in touch’ with it, of not feeling a part of it. This seems to be in large part a result of consumerism, mass media, and all the stuff that followed WWII. In effect, all this caused a great ‘rift’ between the two generations following WWII as they basically were brought up in two different ‘worlds’ and so developed differently. They developed so differently they, in many ways, lacked a compatibility that usually takes place between generations. This alienation was a significant part of the formation of the rebellion in the 60’s. It also shows that the alienation from the younger generation from the older generation created a feeling of ‘detachment’ toward it. In effect, the younger generation found itself uprooted from the older generation. But, regardless of what people say, younger people need example, they need the older generation. I know this from personal observation, that many of the younger generation only wanted an older generation to “guide” them. But, because they were alienated, this never happened. What this created, in effect, is a longstanding feeling of resentment toward the older generation that continues to this day. They resent the older generation that ‘was not there’.
- Disappointment. There is a great disappointment in authority and how authority has behaved in this country. This is seen a lot with politics. Watergate, for example seems to of really devastated belief in government. But it also goes to other forms of authority, such as the school system, parents, morality, etc. In some ways, it’s as if the U.S. has created an ‘attitude of disappointment’. That is to see, they see disappointment in everything: it’s all in their own minds.
- The males own undermining of himself. With the 60’s, and its rebellion, it created attitudes that undermined authority. This generation of males, and those that followed, have at least, to some extent, continued this attitude of undermining. Many do this with great relish and enthusiasm, as I’ve so often observed. The problem is that this very attitude, of rebelling against authority, has the effect of undermining themselves, as they will be the representations of authority when they grow up. In effect, they are undermining themselves. I have always believed that the male, in many ways, is his own worst enemy: they are destroyed by their own attitudes and points of view. This is why I often say the ‘tragedy of the male in the U.S. is the tragedy of the males own doing‘. He creates and propagates the very thing that will destroy him.
- Democracy. Unfortunately, this political theory is based in undermining and uprooting authority. It has a history of endless destruction of authority. In some forms, the destroying of authority is its ’cause’. This has led to a general attitude of contempt and distrust in democratic countries. It also leads to a tendency to be anti-authority. The ‘democratic ideal’, which became very dominant in the cold war, no doubt help lead to the deterioration of authority in the 60’s. During the cold war it was the ‘democratic ideal’ that was being defended and upheld. It is only natural that, during this time, they would emulate democratic principles . . . and this is exactly what happened. Subsequently, what it did is also emulate its anti-authority ideals which became manifested in the rebellion in the 60’s. It’s ironic that the political system that represents and needs authority would end up helping to destroy it.
- Fall of morality. A morality implies a respect of authority. Where there is authority, morality typically follows. With the fall of authority in this country, its only natural that morality would deteriorate as well. Accordingly, an attitude of maintaining morals implies a respect of authority. The problem is that the U.S. has practically glorified immorality as if it were a god. This leaves, in this country, an attitude of immorality which, underneath, hides a lack of respect of authority.
- False images of the male. The U.S. has created many false images of the male, portraying the male in an unreal and false way. Often, they are highly elaborate and fantastical images that no male could possibly ever become. This inconsistency in image and reality has left a ‘rift’ in regard to the authority and image of the male. It makes the male and father appear unrealistic and, in a way, ridiculous.
- Christianity. Many ideals of Christianity have had a ‘demasculinizing’ quality on the male. It’s often condemned the more outward and aggressive-like qualities in the male. I’m not the only one who has noted that Christianity tends to make guys effeminate, calm, and passive.
- The rise and influence of machines and organization. I have always had this belief that the growing power of machines and organization, in a way, replaced the male. In some respects, they take his place, devaluing his place and purpose which, in the end, helped undermine his power and image. Their dominance made the image of the male and father almost pale in comparison.
- False representations of authority. Over the years, the U.S. has created a lot of false representations of authority. Some of this was done to try to replace the image of authority undermined in the 60-70’s (such as the ‘pseudo-religions’ created by many hippies). Some of it was created as a result of all the consumerism, mass media, etc. that was created after WWII. It created a whole mess of what what-seems-like-authority-but-actually-isn’t. People will end up following the latest gadgets or trends or what have you, as if they were gods. These things can have this much power. The problem is that they are not an authority nor do they replace an authority. As a result, the become like a great deception, leaving a great vacuum.
THE FRUSTRATED DESIRE FOR AUTHORITY
What this reveals is that many people are “wanting” authority but are prevented from receiving it (due to the many ‘stumbling blocks’). As a result, they became frustrated that they cannot be ‘in touch’ with it. This frustration creates a lot of anger which, over time, turns into hatred. This hatred, of course, is turned toward any authority or, rather, image of authority, and it becomes hated. Since the male and father are images of authority, their image becomes hated. This would mean that behind a lot of misandry is a frustrated desire for authority. That is, their want of authority can’t be satisfied. In some respects, its like a child getting mad at their parents for not giving them something.
What all this suggests is that is that, in actuality, the so-called rebellion of the 60’s and 70’s meant, really, is a crying out for authority: the rebelling against authority was really a yearning for it. I’ve even heard many people during that time say they only want something to ‘believe in’ or ‘follow’ – this is nothing but authorities presence in their lives. But one of the problems with the American rebellion in the 60’s and 70’s is that no new authority has been reestablished. It has been left ‘hanging’, so to speak. This means that the rebellion, in effect, has failed. What has been left from this rebellion is a constant sense of ‘incompleteness’ and an absense of finality. As a result, this rebellion still ‘lingers’ above us. It’s for this reason I always say that we are “living in the shadow of the 60’s”. This failure of reestablishing an authority is the crisis of authority the U.S. is in now. It’s as if the country cannot create an authority. It has created all these democratic and individualistic ideals that are based in undermining authority and this it has done. But, deep down, it is crying out for the thing they have undermined and ‘won’t allow’. Here is the dilemma of dichotomy I described above. It is seen in children, teenagers, adults, societies, and politics . . . wherever there is need for authority.
It’s interesting that the power of the image of the father and male is so powerful that people will fear it even when nothing ever happens! In their whole lives they will never see an example or event that would support their fear and hatred of the father and male but, yet, they do. Such is the power of that fear. Such is the power of authority in our lives. This shows that the image of authority is a deep-rooted phenomena, hitting deep within our psyches, to our very core. This is part of the reason why authority is so important. This is also why it is important to have a good attitude and stance toward authority.
Let’s not be like the Americans, and blindly condemn and undermine authority
REGAINING A SENSE OF AUTHORITY IN OUR LIVES
A lot of the attitudes Americans have will guarantee they will never have any respect for authority. Many have a life attitude that prevents this from happening. This attitude influences everything they do, how they perceive things, and life in general. This reveals the importance of attitude when dealing with authority. In many respects, learning to live with authority is nothing but having a correct attitude toward it.
Since authority has been attacked socially it will be difficult to regain socially, particularly in this society of mass mentality and blind obeying. But, as individuals, we can regain authorities presence in our lives. Here are some thoughts as to how:
- We should not think that authority will satisfy all our wants and solve all our problems.
- We should look for its good points and look at it in a general ‘postitive’ way.
- We should not dwell on its bad points and have bad attitudes about it.
- We must learn to respect authority and what it is.
- We should try to follow it.
- We should look for it, and its many manifestations, in our lives.
Regaining a sense of authority in our lives decreases a lot of the silly blind American rebellious attitudes and also changes a lot of attitudes we have about things. In fact, I have found that the ‘respecting authority’ attitude makes one almost a foreigner in the U.S. That’s sad and sort of pathetic, in my opinion.