By Joe Zamboni
One of the major hurdles that American men must clear, before they can confidently speak up about all the injustice done against men and boys, is their false guilt. In a twisted form of machismo, many American men make believe that they don’t feel false guilt because they are, after all, a man. In this denial, they perpetuate a falsehood. In this denial, they disempower themselves. This brief article examines some perverse aspects of that false guilt.
It’s all around American men, in the movies, in books, in magazines, and in the mouths, or perhaps I should say coming out of the mouths, of so many women. I am talking about male put-downs with a twist to them, all in effect implying “you men have no right to complain.” We the American males are told that it is “a man’s world,” we are told that we benefit from the “old boys network,” we are told that we enjoy the many benefits of the “patriarchy.” Never mind the fact that all these are myths, what’s important is that so many of us men on some level suspect that these allegations might be true.
A man’s weakness is his turning away, his denial, his distancing from the very painful issues that he believes he cannot deal with. If these and related myths about alleged male superiority, male favoritism, male advantages, and the like, were to be confronted head on, with a dedication to openness and truth, they would soon be shown to be both phantoms and the manipulative illusions of bad-intentioned feminist windbags. Men are by nature forthright, logic-oriented, fact-based, practical, strong, protective, and courageous. All of these positive attributes can and will be of great usefulness when confronting and dispelling these phantoms and illusions.
Man’s real strength can be further released when he sees that his great weakness is his false guilt. By an honest and direct confrontation of how he has unnecessarily kept himself back, how he has bit his tongue, how he has felt unworthy to step into a position of receiving and being treated equally, by that confrontation will he stop denying his humanity. He is after all just as good as woman, and a full member of the human race. There is nothing inherently inferior about man in comparison to woman, just as there is nothing inherently inferior about woman in comparison to man. Each gender has its own areas of strength and weakness — whatever your judgments about those might be.
In the space of embracing his equality with woman, man can stop unconsciously trying to compensate for the alleged advantages that he enjoys. When man thinks that he has taken on a position of superiority or special advantage — and he has plenty of feminist-inspired indoctrination in modern America to adopt such a thought — then he will unconsciously attempt to right the alleged out-of-balance condition. Then he will consequently accept dangerous and low-status jobs that no self-respecting woman would perform, he will accept verbal abuse that no self-respecting woman would put up with, and he will likewise accept physical abuse at the hands of his mate that no self-respecting woman would permit. Thus the false guilt perversely encourages man not to speak up, not to stand in his truth, and not to seek either justice or balance.
Reconciliation with woman is not possible as long as the truth is not out in the open, is not embraced by both genders, and is not the starting point for moving in the direction of love, acceptance, mutual support, and harmonious coexistence on this planet. And there will be no pulling down of the mask that denies the false guilt if man believes that nothing good can come from it. Herein lies the challenge and apparent paradox: it is only through the embracing of our imperfections, our incompleteness, and our humanity in all its many forms, that we men can move to the next level of evolution in our relationships with women.
It is time for us men to go beyond righting the many specific wrongs that we experience (gender specific child support obligations, enslaving alimony judgments, false rape claims, etc.), it is time to step up to a position of leadership in gender relations. It is time for men to advocate a position of true equal treatment and mutual respect. Whatever women have, men should be able to have that too, and of course vice versa. For example, the default moral goodness so often attributed to women should not be granted to women alone, but should be given to men as well. The much ballyhooed and allegedly superior feminine characteristics such as being compassionate, should tempered with widespread public appreciation for positive male characteristics such as courage. Likewise, men should not be expected to carry the burden of the shadow in the human psyche. They should not for example be expected to automatically be the one at fault if there is domestic violence within a household.
So let’s together step into the space that there is nothing about which we men need to be ashamed, there is nothing about being male that is inferior, lacking, or in need of apology. From that starting point we can directly confront the oppressive mind games of the feminists and move into our rightful position of free and emancipated human beings.