Why have any men at all?
If you think that feminism is benign and has the welfare of all of humanity and equal
rights for all at heart, consider what would happen if a man, an academician at any
university, would dare to state this:
Why have any women at all? Every culture must begin to
affirm the male future. Species responsibility must be returned to men in every
culture. The proportion of women must be reduced to and maintained at approximately
ten percent of the human race.
Do you think that man would not be hauled in front of a human rights tribunal, that he
would be able to keep on teaching, that he would remain in his job, that he would retain
tenure at his university?
Of course not! However, with the sexes reversed, that is exactly what Sally
Miller Gearhart stated in an article she wrote. She obviously didn't express a
sentiment that was entirely her own. As you can see in the transcript from an
interview shown below, the sentiment is shared, amongst others, by Prof.
Mary Daly, a
prominent feminist who after much trying to refuse to oblige, resigned in protest
so they say from her teaching position because her university board (Boston
College) demanded that she open her women's studies classes to male students.
|"`Why have any men at all?' wrote Sally Miller Gearhart in a 1982 manifesto
titled `The FutureIf There Is OneIs Female.' Gearhart is an advocate of
ovular merging, a process that involves the mating of two eggs, which has been
successfully accomplished with mice. Only female offspring are produced. I've
always worried that one day women would figure out how to get along without us and they
would be able to reproduce unilaterally, like sponges. It's not genocide, exactly.
It's more like job attrition, the way employers cut back positions without actually firing
anyone. `A 75 per cent female to 25 percent male ratio could be achieved in one
generation if one half of a population reproduced heterosexually and one half by ovular
merging.' according to Gearhart. `Such a prospect is attractive to women who feel
that if they bear sons, no amount of love and care and non-sexist training will save those
sons from culture where male violence is institutionalized.'" Footnote60
Footnote 60: Lawrence Wright, "Women & Men," Utne Reader
(January/February 1993), p. 55.
|Radical feminist Sally Miller Gearhart has a theory that the only way to save the
world is to reduce the number of men to ten percent of the total population and at that
moment, I have to admit I was beginning to wonder if maybe she might be on to something.
No Man's Land
Excerpts from an Interview by Susan Bridle
WIE: Which brings us to another question I wanted to ask you. Sally Miller Gearhart,
in her article "The FutureIf There Is OneIs Female" writes: "At
least three further requirements supplement the strategies of environmentalists if we were
to create and preserve a less violent world.
1) Every culture must begin to affirm the female future.
2) Species responsibility must be returned to women in every culture.
3) The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately ten
percent of the human race."
What do you think about this statement?
MD: I think its not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on this
planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be
accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the
population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff anymore.
WIE: Yes. I find myself now thinking thats a bit shocking.
MD: Well, its shocking that it would be shocking.
WIE: So it doesnt sound like your vision of a separate nation for women is
something you see as an interim stage that would eventually lead to men and women living
together in true equality.
MD: No. Thats a very old question. I answered that to audiences
twenty-five, thirty years ago. I just dont think that way. See, right
now, I would be totally joyous to have a great community of womenwhether men are
somewhere out on the periphery or not. I dont have this goal of: "Oh,
then we can all get together again!" That doesnt seem to be a very
promising future. So why would I think about it? I think its pretty
evident that men are not central to my thought. [Note]
It seems that John Wyndham got it quite right when he
described a society that is exactly like that, a society comprised of harpies like Mary
Check: Consider Her Ways
"Courageous Dialogue" in the Feminist Classroom
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Sally Miller Gearhart (1979) even states that "any intent to persuade is an
act of violence" (p. 195)"
Mind you, it is not the act of persuading that is so bad
but the intent to do so. That is the criminalization of
thoughts, no less. Not even George Orwell could have dreamed of it all.
My, my, what progress 30 years of feminization have brought us.
The opinions for the marginalization and eradication
of men, if not merely the nature of men, that are expressed in the various quotation shown
on this page are not isolated at all. They are part of a deliberate agenda.
...It is time that
government had a strategy on changing men away from power and oppression as part of its
strategy for women and gender justice. ...
...one further likely
and paradoxical implication of the naming of men is that the deconstruction of men may be
opened up more fully. Changing future agendas for women involves changing men; changing
men involves deconstructing men and reducing mens power; and, in the longer term
still, this may even involve the abolition of men as such a ubiquitously
important social category. Is it time at last for men to change, and both to develop and
be subject to new agendas?
Those two quotes are from the excerpt shown below, from the EuroPRO-Fem european menprofeminist network.
Pro-feminist men are disproportionately homosexual activists or
homosexualist men (men who promote homosexualism
although they may not even be homosexual) who for a variety of reasons hate their own
maleness and that of other men.
It cannot be stressed enough that these people believe that the attributes
of men and women are not biological consequences but social constructs, and that what has
been constructed can be deconstructed. Of course the most thorough method of
deconstruction is total eradication: the abolition of men. The
write-up calls for men to develop and be subject to new agendas. Is
there any doubt that one of these agendas is not merely to change men but to eliminate at
least 80 percent of them?
Why not? Mary Daly says:
"I think its not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on
this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth." And that is
why there are men and homsexualist men who sidle up to feminists. They know that all
this rhetoric of men having the power in society is nothing more than a polemic.
They know it's not true. They know that women (or more correctly,
have the power. They want no more and nothing less than to be amongst the 20
percent of men who'll survive and thereby get a chance to vie for a place in the sun that
shines in the feminist paradise.
CONCLUSION: POLITICS AND PRACTICE
Mens societal dominance continues; yet at
the same time certain groups of men are facing considerable change from previous social
patterns and arrangements - at home, work and elsewhere. Despite the extent of the changes
and challenges outlined, it is premature to talk of a widespread crisis of
masculinity. Individual men and certain groups of men may be facing, even
confronting, change, like it or not, and they may indeed be changing, but this has to be
put in the context of the stubborn stability of mens structural power. For some
relatively less powerful groups of men, the combination of lack of educational success,
reduction in traditional jobs, avoidance of womens work, and their own
more damaging actions (to both themselves and others) may indeed constitute a material
crisis for them and others around them. But this generally may not (yet) match closely
with an ideological crisis in how men are assumed to be. The contradictions between the
material and the ideological state of men and masculinities may be growing but are not yet
at crisis point for most men, and certainly not for men in general.
All of the issues that I have discussed here are
important for what it means to be a man in this society. They have, however,
all often remain neglected in what is generally defined as politics.
Transforming what is understood by politics is part of transforming men. All of these
issues are also both profoundly structural and intensely personal. Each can also prompt
great depths of negativity - feelings of hopelessness, terribleness, desperation - as well
as being arenas of possible positive change and hope. Each is a way of unifying men as
a class, with different interests to women and dividing men from each other -
old from young, heterosexual from gay, healthy from unwell, and so on. Each is a way of
oppressing women, children and young people, and a way of relating to other men. And each
represents an avenue for men opposing oppression, supporting feminist initiatives, and
Policies and practices are needed that address
these issues in all policy arenas; they need to name men and the persistence of mens
powers, without stereotyping men. In doing this, there are dangers that an increased focus
on men may divert attention from women and womens agendas by arguing that men should
have even more resources for solving these problems. So vigilance is necessary in this
However, it is useful to bear in mind that a
critical focus on men is not in mens general interest, just as it is not in the
interests of other dominant groups to focus critically on them. This will involve debate,
clear policy statements, publications and other materials, education and teaching,
professional interventions, pro-feminist menswork and boyswork,
and research. It is time that government had a strategy on changing men away from power
and oppression as part of its strategy for women and gender justice. In particular
a distinction needs to be drawn between support between and for men that encourages
domination and support between and for men that diminishes domination. The latter kind on
initiatives are necessary not only in the state but throughout all areas of social life
society, in business, community, media, religion, sport and other public and indeed
Finally, one further likely and paradoxical
implication of the naming of men is that the deconstruction of men may be opened up more
fully. Changing future agendas for women involves changing men; changing men involves
deconstructing men and reducing mens power; and, in the longer term still, this may
even involve the abolition of men as such a ubiquitously important social
category. Is it time at last for men to change, and both to develop and be subject to new
Over my dead body. I want my sons and
grandsons to be alive and manly.
Posted 2000 10 14
2001 05 01 (added comments on the subjugation of men)
2002 12 22 (format changes)
2003 04 29 (changed link to information on Mary Daly)
2006 03 04 (added link to Feminism for Male College