Long ago, Woman and Man, in unconscious collusion, made up a story—a story so deep in psychic resonance it has stood for millennia. It rules to this day. The Story is rich in romance and sentiment, instinct and chivalry. It is, in its way, an erotic story of empowered Alpha heroes rescuing fair, fragile, innocent “damsels in distress.” The Story verily crackles with poetry, Eros and instinct, which is why it’s infused throughout the myths and the mythos dating all the way back to the mighty Odysseus and the fair Helen of Troy. “Men have the power; women are the victims.” Men are to be respected; women are to be loved. The Story feels right. Contradicting it feels wrong. As a description of gender reality in its entirety, The Story does not hold up under logical scrutiny. But, against such profound psychic resonances, logic doesn’t stand a chance. It truly is a great story, except . . . it isn’t true.
Gender Equalism proceeds from the premise that the sexes are and have always been equal—not the same, but equal (the two ends of a balance beam need not be identical to weigh the same). Men and women—equal in number, evenly matched, possessing equal overall weaponry and efficacy—are equal partners in a vast gender dance. We believe that, through their own separate channels, the sexes ply an equal overall force of influence in the human system and are thus equally responsible for outcomes. Knowing what men suffer in homelessness, imprisonment, battlefields, hard/hazardous labor, parental alienation, and so on, we can confidently say that what Woman has suffered for being less respected has been matched in full by what Man has suffered for being less loved. Likewise, given female sexual leverage and beauty power, Moral Authority, motherhood power, feminism power, the greater powers to elicit empathy and inflict shame . . . we are equally confident that the male powers that come of being more respected are matched by the female powers that come of being more loved. Our world is not a “patriarchy,” it is a patrimatrisensus—a male-female consensus.
Man more respected but less loved/Woman more loved but less respected. Gender reality is mirrored. For every female complaint there is a mirror-opposite male complaint. In short, It All Balances Out (IABO). I’ll say that again. In the benefits enjoyed and in the liabilities suffered, in the power and in the victimization, in the freedoms and the constraints, the joys and sorrows, good and bad, light and shadow, It All Balances Out between Woman and Man—and it always has. This is equalism. It All Balances Out that is except for one thing . . . we don’t believe that. Instead, we believe what is in accord with instinct and Eros. We believe what we’ve been taught: our world is a Patriarchy, “men have THE power and women are THE victims.” So the one overarching imbalance in the gender system lies in the grossly imbalanced gender belief system. But that’s no small thing, that’s huge with ramifications profound. Belief in the MalePower/FemaleVictimization (MP/FV) paradigm is the source of all our gender-political woes—for both sexes.
Feminism is officially defined as: “belief in and advocacy of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes expressed especially through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” Only when we believe that “men have the power and women are the victims,” can we believe that women have a special need for and unique entitlement to their own special “ism.” It is this falsely imbalanced gender belief system that sustains belief in feminism as a righteous corrective whose every effort to empower, protect, and advantage women leads toward “equality of the sexes.” And so, in the realms of gender conflict and complaint, gender activism and advocacy, gender ideology, gender defining, gender issues, gender studies, gender politics, gender anything, there is feminism on the one hand and on the other hand there is . . . nothing.
Feminism (reinforced by chivalry) officially dictates what is true and what is not true in all gender-related matters (which is to say, all matters pertaining specifically to women). That makes gender politics a one-party system and that makes feminism a kind of ideological dictatorship. However righteously it may present itself, feminism is the MalePower/FemaleVictimization half of gender reality—presented, and dictatorially demanded to be accepted, as if it were gender reality in its entirety.
The one-sided MP/FV paradigm is foundational to everything feminism is and everything feminism does. A balanced gender belief system exposes feminism as nothing more than “female-ism,” a special interest group that advocates for females and females only. For this reason, if the goal is to bring down the feminist ideological dictatorship and allow admittance of the OTHER half of gender reality, we believe that equalism is far and away the most effective and powerful rhetorical weaponry there is. Equalism, a new gender-neutral gender politics, would continue to address any and all women’s issues; it just wouldn’t address women’s issues exclusively.
Emphasizing the truths of FemalePower and MaleVictimization may seem contrary to what equalism is all about. But equalism’s initial goal is to balance out the gender belief system. To that end, we focus on the facts and truths that go on the OTHER end of the balance beam—the facts and truths that are missing. The difference between equalism and either feminism or masculism is that equalism’s goal is to put an end to the contest for the coveted title of MVP (Most Victimized and Powerless), “call it even” and move on to a new era of inter-sex unity, fairness, and forgiveness. Within equalism there is no moral polarity, no ManBad (the “over-empowered oppressor”), WomanGood (the “innocent victim”). Within equalism all are welcomed on an equal footing. Gender Equalism takes it as self-evident that, when it comes to the Battle of the Sexes, the only win position is a draw.
All in the world men and boys, women and girls, need is what equalism provides, truly equal opportunity on a truly even playing field. Lacking that, men do indeed suffer comparison with women in virtually every measure of wellbeing. But these stats are a consequence of how society responds to the MP/FV//MB/WG gender narrative (see below for further explanation). So, we reject “men have the power; women are the victims” and we reject “women have the power; men are the victims.” The Victim Crown is simply useless to men (who, having a deep aversion to “victim,” will not don the Crown, regardless). Women, being more loved, elicit more empathy and so women (but not men) can turn Victim into gender-political power—but only at great cost.
Besides, there’s plenty of “victim” to go around; neither sex is ennobled to claim ownership. “Men have sacrificed for women and children—including their lives—for thousands of years,” says Camille Paglia. “This sick portrayal of human history as nothing but male oppression and female victimage, this is a way to permanently ensure the infantilization of women.” 1 Feminism doesn’t address the truest victimization of women because feminism itself is the primary perpetrator. And it all begins with a withhold of accountability, which is indeed infantilizing. It is a withhold of respect—respect for women’s power, efficacy, and equal partnership in the human system. It’s drowning women in sympathy (“poor thing”). It is relentlessly telling women that they are the powerless victims in all things, which is emotionally self-fulfilling—and it is living a lie. It’s telling women that All Fault Is Male, which instills poisonous self-righteousness. It’s telling women that a Boogey-man hides behind every bush, which is terrifying. It’s falsifying women’s legacy as nothing more than “property and chattel.” And it’s telling women that their biology only betrays them, causing women to low-prioritize marriage, home, family; limiting women’s immersion within roles and realms in which many are at their happiest. It is the world of women that feminism has shamed, disparaged and diminished. Given all this poisoning, it’s no wonder that every measure of female happiness has plummeted in recent decades. 2 And all over the world, the most feminist cultures produce the least happy women. 3 Focused on the stats, it will appear that women are “winning,” but both sexes are losing. Men are the targets, but the fallout is endemic. In this gender-political fiasco, at least men retain their integrity. By contrast feminist indoctrinated women are so poisoned with rage, hate, vengeful, vindictive victimhood and self-absorbed, self-righteousness as to be rendered spiritually bankrupt. And that’s no way to live. So, again, there’s plenty of “victim” to go around. The “sick portrayal” of ManBad (the “over-empowered oppressor”), WomanGood (the “innocent victim”) ensures the infantilization of women and the demonization of men. The fight for gender-political balance is a fight on behalf of both sexes. If feminine-ism is the primary victimizer of the feminine, it should come as no surprise. In terms of certain emotional addictions, each sex often acts as its own worst enemy, primarily responsible for creating its own predicaments and miseries (while the other sex acts as enabler).
Politicizing the MalePower/FemaleVictimization, ManBad/WomanGood narrative has been disastrous—all around. For this reason, a new gender politics is given a prime opportunity to present something better. Men could take leadership and spearhead this new gender-neutral gender politics; if only men will lead wisely. A truly conscious gender politics will acknowledge FemalePower and Male Victimization but without seeking to oust Woman from victimhood’s center seat just so Man can sit there instead.
Accountability without compassion is ruthless. It is what we more often direct at men. It is respecting men but not loving them. Compassion without accountability is infantilizing. It is what we more often direct at women. It is loving women but not respecting them. Gender equalism lends each sex equal love (empathy) and respect (accountability). Under equalism, gender issues are viewed as matters of shared responsibility. It All Balances Out is best understood as an outlook, a decision, a leap of faith, an invitation . . . “Hey, we’ve decided to call it even; come join us!” IABO is not an endpoint; it is a new beginning. It is the light at the end of the tunnel.
To the degree that the MP/FV paradigm is the problem, equalists believe that a society wide, default understanding that It All Balances Out is the solution. Having achieved its initial goal, equalism can then shift its focus toward inter-sex unity, fairness, forgiveness, and healthy negotiation with an emphasis on healing the divide and repairing the social fabric. Understanding Woman and Man as equal partners in the human system makes it possible for women to get the respect they’re starving for and for men to get the love they’re starving for.
I submit that no human mind can hold the entire female experience on one side of the brain, the entire male experience on the other, and claim to know, with certainty, which side is lighter/which side is heavier; which is happier/which is sadder; more fulfilled/less fulfilled; more empowered/less empowered; freer/more constrained; which is “better”/which is “worse.” In the absence of certainty there is only opinion. And being a matter of opinion, the contest for Most Victimized and Powerless can rage back and forth ad nauseam. What must we endure and for how long, before we set victim and vengeance aside and finally, inevitably call it a draw? A general default societal belief in “calling it even” is the one healthiest, most sustainable, most
constructive destination that gender politics can aim for. And it is exactly because there can be no complete agreement and no certainly in these matters that we might as well be magnanimous about it.
The alternative? If what we “Know” is that men have the power, then we will want to punish and take power from ManBad (the “over-empowered oppressor/victimizer”). And we will want to reward and extra protect and advantage WomanGood (the “innocent victim”). Of course we will!
It’s not right for one faction of humanity to be granted the power while another faction of humanity is targeted as the victims. That’s wrong, and we would see that wrong corrected by counter measures—feminism. Belief guides action. Social workers, teachers, police officers, judges, legislators, politicians—professionals of every ilk—all who believe, will have living within them a tendency, an urge, an impulse to punish and take power from ManBad, extra protect and advantage WomanGood, the “powerless victim.” And because the MP/FV paradigm is omnipresent, that impulse is omnipresent. It lives in the family, the church, the school system, the work place, the government, the legislature, the courts, the military, the media. The cumulative effect, the sum total fallout of that omnipresent impulse is a world in which women rise/men decline—with a playing field so uneven, it could not be otherwise.
Given the degree to which the MP/FV gender paradigm is the source of all our gender-political woes, just think what a victory the men’s movement could enjoy should raising awareness of the OTHER half of gender reality lead to an IABO gender paradigm. A society wide perception of gender balance would, all by itself, go a long way toward creating the balance we seek. It would be an enormous win—all around—for men and for women. Many in the men’s movement won’t settle for anything less than Man officially declared The Victim. Ever read MRA articles published back in the late 1800s? Ever wonder why the MRM has hardly budged an inch since then? I submit that insisting on the Victim Crown is what has doomed the men’s movement from the start. A pox on the Victim Crown. On what legitimate basis will we resent our opposite sex for the various powers, privileges, and exemptions it enjoys when we know our own sex enjoys powers, privileges, and exemptions in equal measure? When we come to the realization that the costs each sex pays for their respective privileges are costs that come out even, there remains no legitimate basis for Woman and Man’s inter-sex envy and bitterness. To the degree that the MP/FV paradigm is the problem, IABO is the solution.
As men and women are the same . . . but different, so the mirror-opposites are the same . . . but different. If anorexia in essence is all about females taking a self-destructive, sometimes fatal path in their efforts to achieve a societal ideal (a “Barbie Doll” figure), then the Mirror-Opposite is steroid abuse: males taking a self-destructive, sometimes fatal path in their efforts to achieve a societal ideal (a “G.I. Joe” physique). Women feel the obligation to live up to the standards of a supermodel; men feel the obligation to live up to the standards of a superhero. Anorexic women think they look fat, even if they’re very thin, “Men with muscle dysmorphia think that they look small and weak, even if they are actually large and muscular.” 4 These issues, anorexia on the one hand and steroid abuse on the other, reflect each other all down the line. There’s the male version of the thing and there’s the female version. Logically, the issues are parallel, the consequences equivalent. With an understanding of Balance, the severity of issues such as anorexia, parental alienation, sexual harassment, judicial prejudice, and so on, remains the same, but, when we envision gender-political issues as mirrored and co-created, attitudes shift.
We are, of course, well aware of all manner of gender-related atrocities reported throughout the media. These injustices exist and must be dealt with. But, are they the reasons to go to war? Or, are they the reasons why it’s so important to end the war? Equalism recommends, first call it even, then address each gender issue as a matter of male-female shared responsibility. The gender system was co-created, engaged in, and maintained by Woman and Man in coequal co-partnership, because out of The Deal, each sex got what it wanted most. For his particular brand of self-sacrifice, Man earned the lion’s share of the respect. For her particular brand of self-sacrifice, Woman earned the lion’s share of the love. The Deal was a contract. Each sex fulfilled its end and earned its rewards fair and square. There is nothing to begrudge and no basis for rage or revenge. Given that each sex is assigned a biology, role, and social conditioning at birth, neither sex has been any more empowered than the other to escape its concurrent fate.
Feminism has shown us all the ways in which women suffer along the Respect-Axis. Though it goes against the grain, by focusing on gender reality along the Love-Axis, we can cite a plethora of statistics showing that men are the powerless victims—the brutalized, short-lived, scholastically sabotaged, homeless, emotionally suppressed, murdered, executed, denigrated, disposable, divorced, parentally alienated, suicide sex. Lack of love is behind all the above and it is for lack of love that these issues are rendered non-issues. Even so, in facts, truths, scenarios, emotions, expert opinions, studies that show and data that indicates masculist rhetoric can match feminist rhetoric note for note.
For every female complaint, there is a mirror-opposite male complaint. For every one CEO there’ve been many POWs. 5 Hard/hazardous labor, battlefields, prisons, mines, the streets, the sewers—men have always occupied both extremes, the most and the least enviable positions on earth—the latter in far greater numbers than the former. Meanwhile women have largely occupied the middle ground; from an equalist perspective, that is neither oppression nor victimization; that’s an even deal.
The Deal: In exchange for enduring the Glass Ceiling, women were granted a Glass Floor that tended to protect them from sinking into the deepest depths of the dark side of the world and human nature together with most of life on earth’s most profoundly brutal, arduous, harsh, hazardous, and corrupting realities. In exchange for enduring the worst of it, men were granted the tip of the pyramid and the status and “success appeal” that went with it. In the brutal past—being smaller, weaker, and the bearer/nurturer of the young—Woman prioritized, and spent much of her power, securing a relatively soft and safe environment for herself and for her children. It was with these privileges in mind that Woman was equal partner in creating and
maintaining The Deal.
I’ve heard Man apologize, for war, pollution, crime, “machismo” . . . in my dreams, Woman says to Man: I accept your apology and in return I apologize for manipulating all those things that you dominated. In equal partnership, we created the dark side of the world and human nature. It has afflicted us in different ways but in equal measure. Sorry for projecting the evil onto you; sorry about a lot of things. The gender illusions we created together in unconscious collusion blinded us both. Seeing beyond those illusions, it’s clear that women are far more powerful and men far more vulnerable than our illusions permitted us to see. I accept the politicized male perspective as equal to the politicized female perspective, and I invite you to speak your piece with my blessing. And then, let’s vent and laugh and cry and negotiate together.
Loving men enough to offer both accountability and compassion, respecting women enough to offer both compassion and accountability, the goal ultimately is a movement that would combine the mirrored concerns of men and women under one gender-neutral banner. Only then can the gender politics of the future be built upon an even foundation.
1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-hIVnmUdXM, Modern Times: Camille Paglia and Jordan B. Peterson (at the one
2 “Global Gender Gaps: Women Like Their Lives Better,” Pew Research Center,
http://www.pewglobal.org/2003/10/29/global-gender-gaps/, October 29, 2003.
Women are somewhat happier than men with their lives overall, according to 38,000 interviews in 44 countries conducted by
the Pew Research Center for the Pew Global Attitudes Survey . . . Women’s greater satisfaction with life is pervasive in
many of the less-developed regions of the world: in 7 of the 8 countries surveyed in Asia, 6 of the 8 nations in Latin America
and all 5 nations in east and southern Africa. In particular, women are much happier than men in Japan, India, the
Philippines, Pakistan and Argentina.
3 Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” American Economic Journal:
Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 190-225, August.
By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have im-proved over the past 35 years, yet we show that
measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The
paradox of women’s declining relative well-being is found across various data-sets, measures of subjective well-being, and is
pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a
gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men.
4 Garcia, Guy, The Decline of Men: How the American Male Is Getting Axed, Giving up, and
Flipping Off His Future (New York: Harper Perennial, 2009) p.161.
5 WWII, Europe and North Africa, about 8.75 million allied POWs (Prisoners of War) taken by the Axis powers and 8.25
million German and Italian POWs taken by the Allies—in all, about 17 million soldiers, sailors, and airmen prisoners of war.
This does not include the war in the Pacific, nor the Korean or Vietnam wars or any other armed conflicts worldwide. In
comparing this number with the number of CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) up at the pinnacle of success, think of the “Fortune
500” companies. Multiply that number by as many as ten thousand and you still don’t approach the total number of POWs
[Source: Vance, Jonathan F (editor), Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc.,