If You Need A Woman To ‘Respect Your Authoritay’ You Aren’t Much Of A Man

Not even by your own standards

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Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

Several years ago a video clip of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson came to light in which he had made comments about how girls should marry when they’re still teenagers. “Look, you wait ’til they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16.”

In other words, you need to get them young enough so that you can mold them into the Stepford wife of your dreams while they are still children because once they get a little older and a bit more self-confident they are harder to control. But if you think that controlling someone else is what makes you a man, you’ve got the concept all wrong.

It doesn’t take much to bully someone who is smaller or weaker. Being able to keep your domestic servant in line is not exactly an admirable quality. Conversely, it takes a lot of strength and character to meet someone else as a full partner. That takes fortitude and perseverance. That takes guts.

British actor/singer Laurence Fox recently declared that he will no longer date “woke women.” In the wake of his divorce from wife, Billie Piper, he claims to have watched hours and hours of YouTubes and to have become radicalized by it. He’s now a big fan of cultural critic, Jordan Peterson, who would like nothing better than to return to the 1950s, where women and minorities knew their place and didn’t ask to be treated as equals.

Proudly announcing to the world that you don’t wish to be involved with a woman who might potentially challenge you in some way and who won’t just put up with your bullshit as a matter of course is not exactly tough. In fact, it’s downright wimpy. It’s saying, “I want to live with my mommy, but I want to be able to have sex with her too.”

Taking up a radical stance towards women as a gender because you’ve been hurt in love is perhaps the least strong, the least resilient, the least honorable thing that I can think of. It doesn’t make you manly. It makes you pitiful. Grow the hell up! Everyone gets hurt in love. It’s a part of life. Learn from your mistakes and become a better person because of them, including but not limited to, learning to not get involved with someone who is not herself a grown-up.

I was briefly involved with a man who actually told me at one point that he’d become a Jordan Peterson fan for the same reasons. He didn’t say it that directly, and I didn’t fully grasp the misogyny of Peterson at that juncture, but he did tell me “But she hurt me,” by way of explaining why he believed, as Peterson does, that chaos is a feminine thing that needs to be tamed by masculine rationality. We were in bed at the time, so my mind was a bit clouded for a moment, but “she hurt me” is not an actual excuse for now espousing the subjugation of women.

It turned my former lover, Xavier, into a radical as well, as I was soon to find out. He used to talk about how he loved women and loved to learn all about them. A few short years later he was publicly defending Las Vegas casino magnate, Steve Wynn, who was accused of using his position to pressure his female employees into sexual situations. At that point, in Xavier’s mind, women were vile heartbreakers, so if they couldn’t say no to a predatory boss, then they deserved what they got. This is the stance of a hurt child. It’s not something that a mature man believes. I cut him loose soon afterward. I’m not into pedophilia.

In the ancient Sumerian myths, the mother-goddess Tiamat did represent chaos, and she was eventually overcome by the storm god, Marduk. Her body was used to create the heavens and the earth. First of all, that’s a myth that speaks to political dynamics in play at the time that it arose. Sumerian women had a lot of sexual and political freedom and the primary deity of the land was Ishtar, goddess of sex, love, and war. As the society moved from a female-centric one to a patriarchy, this myth was used to rationalize the shift.

Secondly, the void is the birthplace of all possibilities. It doesn’t need to be conquered; it needs to be brought into balance with rationality and control because those alone without possibility are worthless. It’s a symbiotic relationship, much like the Yin/Yang symbol. Masculine energies do not need to conquer and subdue feminine energies. They need to learn to partner with and support each other. That kind of thinking has led us to ecological crisis and social discord, to say nothing of the many ways that it’s done a great disservice to men. It’s given us a world that is way out of balance — one that demands loneliness and stoicism as a demonstration of being in control. One where we are destroying the earth, our mother.

This left-over patriarchal belief that you must control your woman in order to be a real man is not only outdated, but it’s also lame. It doesn’t demonstrate anything about you other than an inability to show up as a real human being to do the work of figuring out how to be in a relationship with someone else. That’s not an easy task. It takes a lot of heart and a lot of guts. It takes vulnerability and commitment. That’s the kind of man that I want to be with, and those are the kinds of men I am with. Not those who are too afraid to be challenged.

“Respect my authoritay” is what Cartman, a blustering cartoon kid says in South Park. It’s not what a mature person says to someone they ostensibly love or care about. It’s what a weak person says in order to justify not having to really show up and try. Don’t be proud of being that guy. Don’t think there is any real justification for being that guy. There isn’t. We can all do better than that. Our survival as a species depends on it.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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