Archive for October, 2010

More on “A Manifesto for Conscious Men”

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

I recently offered a brief comment on the Manifesto for Conscious Men by Gay Hendricks and Arjuna Ardagh. My buddy Eivind in turn offered a more rich analysis on his blog. Both Eivind and I had some serious criticism to level at the manifesto.

Inspired by a blog reader, Eivind has now posted a comment on the Facebook page of the manifesto. In turn, I have written a longer analysis of the manifesto that is reposted here:

I take issue with three different aspects of the manifesto:

1) It has a very lopsided view of history and gender roles. It’s simply not true that only women have been oppressed throughout history. Men have been oppressed by sacrificing their lives and their health for women and children time and again. A historical analysis of gender needs to acknowledge the trauma of both genders, not only that of women.
2) The manifesto blames and shames men on a collective level, for gender roles that historically speaking were simply a functional fit. Men are no more historically responsible for their gender role than women.
3) Even if the historical account of men’s role had been true, why should men who are not oppressive be responsible for what other men have done?

A more healthy approach would be to acknowledge and feel the pain of women in the past, as well as men in the past. By exposing the pain and honoring it, we can allow it to heal. We can also acknowledge how feminine qualities were confined to the home in agrarian societies, and how it’s time to allow them to flourish out in the public sphere as well (this is already happening).

At the same time we need to acknowledge that masculine qualities need to be reintegrated in the home, especially in the father-son relationship. Industrialization removed men from the home, with disastrous consequences for boys.

We need a men’s movement that can help hold a healthy space for growth and healing, not a men’s movement that’s ashamed of itself and grovels at the feet of women.

Pelle Billing

The Foundation for Male Studies Announces Conference

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Paul Elam, over at A Voice for Men, just published the following press release:




NEW YORK: The Foundation for Male Studies will focus on the research and programs needed to reverse the downward spiral now effecting virtually all aspects of the lives and men and boys, at the Second Annual International Conference on Male studies, April 6, 2011.  Edward M. Stephens, M.D., FMS’s  founder and chair says that in addition to the conference’s solution geared presentations by leading authorities, the foundation is calling for papers from academics on how to best deal with increasing levels of male unemployment, depression, suicides, high school and college drop out rates and related problems.

Marianne Legato, MD and Tom Mortenson will co-chair the conference at the New York Academy of Medicine.  Dr. Legato, founder and  director of Columbia’s  College of Medicine  Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine, edited the first text on gender medicine, and founded the journal, Gender Medicine. A widely acclaimed author of works on  men’s and women’s health, her  most current book is “Why Men Die First.”  Mr. Mortenson  is senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education and the recipient of major national awards for contributions to educational research.

Others participating in the conference are Gordon Finley, PhD, professor of psychology at Florida International University, who will speak on the need for a national policy on fatherhood; Michael  Gilbert, a Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California Annenberg  School and author of  ”The Disposable Male,” on coping with the cascading loss of male jobs; Katherine Young, Ph.D., andPaul Nathanson, Ph.D.,  both of McGill University, authors of published studies on the origins and implications of misandry–the hatred of men. Scholars  seeking to submit papers at the conference may do so at by March 15. 2011.

CONTACT: Dick Elfenbein or call 845-362-0893

“A Manifesto for Conscious Men” is seriously flawed

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

A Manifesto for Conscious Men has been published on Facebook by relationship expert Gay Hendricks and spiritual author and speaker Arjuna Ardagh.

Here is a comment about the manifesto that I just posted in a private Facebook discussion:

“The Manifesto for Conscious Men” is the last thing I would recommend for a conscious man or a man aspiring to be conscious.

Their unbalanced view of history is pure misandry. It’s not true that men have spent most of their time doing bad things, and that women have done only good things. Men have given their lives to build our civilization, and our society still depends on millions of men who risk their lives to keep our infrastructure going.

Gender issues and gender history are much more complex, and a conscious man (and a conscious woman, for that matter) is one who can see the perspectives of feminism *and* the perspectives of the men’s rights movement.

Ardagh and Hendricks are not experts on the evolution of gender roles, so they would probably do well not to offer a manifesto where they present themselves as men who have the moral authority to educate other men on this subject. Back to school, boys.

Men’s Rights Manifesto

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Men in every civilized country have the right to claim:

  1. That an established paternity automatically enable the same rights and responsibilities as an established maternity.
  2. That the default arrangement after a separation be joint legal and physical custody of any children; only to be changed if the parents voluntarily decide to do so, or if one of the parties be determined unfit to be a parent by a court of law.
  3. That men’s shelters receive government grants the same way that women’s shelters do.
  4. That the military be staffed by people who apply voluntarily, and who receive a fair and reasonable compensation for the risks they assume.
  5. That conscription be used only for extreme reasons of national safety, and that such a measure be gender neutral.
  6. That the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” be upheld at all times, including allegations of rape or sexual harassment.
  7. That gender research be as free from ideology as any other academic field.
  8. That male expendability be recognized as a major gender issue.
  9. That boys be allowed to be proud of their coming manhood.
  10. That schools recognize the needs of boys and the learning styles of boys, so as to give them a fair chance of performing well.
  11. That men’s groups be given the same legal and practical opportunities as women’s groups to obtain funding.
  12. That male sexuality be portrayed in a positive and encouraging manner.
  13. That male circumcision only be legal for adults who voluntarily choose this kind of surgery.
  14. That prisons be organized in such a way as to prevent rape and other forms of assault.
  15. That meritocracy be the governing principle in the labor market, and that all forms of affirmative action and gender quotas disappear.
  16. That misandry be opposed just as vehemently as misogyny.
  17. That all legislation discriminating against men be made gender neutral or removed.
  18. That the historical sacrifice of the male gender role be recognized to the same extent as the historical sacrifice of the female gender role.