“A Manifesto for Conscious Men” is seriously flawed

October 17th, 2010 by Pelle Billing

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.

46 Responses to ““A Manifesto for Conscious Men” is seriously flawed”

  1. Porky D. Says:

    Looks like garbage spouted by self hating masochists.

  2. Mark Davenport Says:

    I saw that manifesto recently, did a quick scan, and moved on. So sad that such people as Gay and Arjuna – so gifted in their areas of expertise – could so simplistically “drink the kool-aid.”

  3. Roger Says:

    Did you read this?

    “By devoting ourselves to the worship of the divine feminine we discover the divinity of the masculine.
    By ‘worship’ we draw on two dictionary definitions: 1) we approach you with the reverence given a divine being, and 2) we pay you extravagant respect and admiration. ”

    Any feminist worth her grain would have a fieldday deconstructing this naive, flamboyant and male-chauvinistic-due-to-objectifying-of-women message. And for once I would agree.

    It truly makes me sad to see spirituality go so astray. Spirituality should not be about worship, but of personal inner development, meeting others as equals, lovingly and respektfully, but never to elevate nor diminish others.

    Wicca have this tendency to go from celebrating the feminine to worship it. Theres a big diffrence, there is nothing to be won spiritualy to subordinate yourself to any other person, teaching or philosophy; but rather if you find value in these things assimilate it into yourself and your beeing; becoming it. If you value the feminine; dont worship it; become it. And that would be the spiritual lesson I would hand out to Arjuna Ardagh and Gay Hendricks if they where ever to start their journey for true spirituality. Dont subordinate yourselves to it, become it.

  4. Jim Says:

    “By devoting ourselves to the worship of the divine feminine we discover the divinity of the masculine.
    By ‘worship’ we draw on two dictionary definitions: 1) we approach you with the reverence given a divine being, and 2) we pay you extravagant respect and admiration. ”

    This sounds Tantric. Bear the context in mind – a woman can get a good rebirth by worshipping her husband.

    We gay guys are a leg up. All we have to do is beat off to hit both bases.

  5. Pelle Billing Says:

    @Jim

    Lol.

    @Roger
    Agreed. The word worship can be interpreted in so many ways that it would be better not to use it in such a context. Celebrating is more neutral.
    As a spiritual practice, I’d say that men and women can practice worshipping the feminine and the masculine – in both ourselves and in others. But that’s not a theoretical debate or instruction, that’s a practice for whoever is interested.
    I also agree about integrating both the feminine and masculine within oneself, but I don’t think that negates celebrating it in others (nor do I think you are saying that, I just wanted to make it clear).

  6. John Rowan Says:

    I spent twenty years co-editing a magazine called ‘Achilles Heel’ addressed to men who were more aware of gender politics. I also wrote a book called ‘The Horned God’ which contains a brief history of the anti-sexist men’s movement in this country (UK). Ten years later I wrote ‘Healing the Male Psyche’ which was about male consciousness and also a critique of psychotherapy in relation to men.

  7. My take on “A Manifesto for Conscious Men” » Masculinity Movies Says:

    [...] to Pelle Billing, I became aware of Gay Hendricks’s and Arjuna Ardagh’s Manifesto for conscious men [...]

  8. Eivind F S Says:

    Thank you for bringing this manifesto to my attention, Pelle. I think it is a misguided document that can serve as little more than further perpetuating the problem of shaming men for things they didn’t do.

    I hope it’s okay that I post my own take on it here:
    http://www.masculinity-movies.com/blog/my-take-on-a-manifesto-for-conscious-men

  9. More on “A Manifesto for Conscious Men” Says:

    [...] recently offered a brief comment on the Manifesto for Conscious Men by Gay Hendricks and Arjuna Ardagh. My buddy Eivind in turn [...]

  10. Rick Belden Says:

    I’ve just posted my initial reactions to the “manifesto” over on Eivind’s blog, but I also wanted to thank you, Pelle, for your comments here, which are spot on.

  11. Gonzalo Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I see that one of the main underpinnings with the ‘Manifesto for Conscious Men’ is certain guilt and shame about past actions throughout history that portrait all men, in general, as subjugators of women. This faulty underpinning makes for a not very stable structure, which is intended as a bridge between, masculine and feminine. Yet I believe it does allow for some crossing of perspectives in a more open space across feminine and masculine perspectives.

    From the little that I know about history, yes it seems that men seemed to have occupied more and more often positions of power than woman and that their style of ruling, leading, etc. was very masculine (justice oriented, as they saw justice in their times, conquering and competing again as their context in history permitted which includes their worldview -hunter gatherers, warriors, mythic era leaders, etc.). So, it seems that there was no complete conscious differentiation of masculine and feminine styles and energies and therefore no chance at re-integration since they were never, it seems very implausible, since they were never integrated in the first place.

    Yet it does seem to some degree that we men have taken our sweet time to come out of our underlying biological and ideological evolutionary unconscious impulses.
    By these I mean that many of us, I think, have not yet COMITED to a more systematic and conscious reclamation of our masculinity (including its energies and impulses). This should not make us wrong or bad but rather attentive, understanding and poignantly directed at owning up to our masculinity. I recognize here I am calling up myself to engage this kind of work more fully, and others to whom it may apply. I also recognize that Pelle and others are already practicing this.

    I was listening to a conversation between Arjuna and Cameli Ardag with Diane Hamilton and became curious about their spiritual and transformational practices for couples and this is how I got to read Cameli’s and Stella Fairbairn Feminine manifesto. I include a link here to it. It is short and I think of value.
    http://awakeningwomen.com/2010/10/21/our-deepest-apologies-to-man/

    It is interesting to me that there is a recognition in this manifesto of women denying their own power and women themselves ‘feeding the cycle of wounding between the sexes.’

    Perhaps there is space for shame to come out and heal both of the sexes perceived and felt intromissions. However, it is important to discern and distinguish well between unconscious and conscious intromissions. Within these then it is important to differentiate the various kinds of unconscious possible and for which of them we can expect more consciousness to arise or have arisen. I think further work can be advanced by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to the other, allowing each other to see our shame and not judge us or run away but to rather rejoice in recognizing each other’s authenticity and opportunities for healing and holding the space for each other for this to happen.

  12. Pelle Billing Says:

    “By these I mean that many of us, I think, have not yet COMITED to a more systematic and conscious reclamation of our masculinity (including its energies and impulses). ”

    Well put, Gonzalo. I think it’s crucial that we as men start to integrate our masculinity and develop into mature men. One of the reasons that feminism has gone too far is that there haven’t been any mature men who have stood up and said ‘Enough’.

    What you say about healing and vulnerability is also very important. The men’s movement needs to have healing as it’s goal, and not a gender war. Expressing anger and reclaiming our power can be part of this process of course, but the vision needs to be inspired and not bitter.

  13. Ma-Li Calder Says:

    I have consciously put myself as “Friend” status on the: ‘A Manifest of Conscious Man” facebook page.

    Let me tell you why. Not because I am raving lunatic feminist, and not because I am seriously into men bashing.

    To cite Gonzalo: “….crossing of perspectives in a more open space across feminine and masculine perspectives.”

    That, to me, is what this debate is about. It is not about what aspects or opinions please me or don’t please me. Nether is it about the application of a moraity-influenced language, that is to say, for example, when we are calling something RIGHT or WRONG.
    Where does that get you.

    Of course, all the old arguments still stand as they do, and as they indeed have done for centuries. The point is to not give up looking at the discourse between masculine and feminine, but to perservere in finding new ways, ever more creative ways to shed light on the complexity of it all.

    Balance is the key and more than ever in these rapidly changing times. As is “understanding”.
    Irregardless of whether one thinks Hendricks and Ardagh have a right, or not to say what they do, so what? In the end they are still men, and they are doing something they passionately believe in. If they were women making claims about the godliness of men, the arguments would still go on. One cannot please all of the people all of the time (self-acclaimed intellectuals included) and it’s always critical to look at motivation. It’s not like they’re going around advocating that men or women be horrible and disgusting to one another. Is it not possible to imagine that the desire behind the Manifesto is that something good should come out?

    Besides, every person will make up their own mind on a purely individual basis in the end anyway.
    You can’t change others, you can only change yourself.

    I hope I have given here in the spirit of loving kindness,
    mali

  14. Ma-Li Calder Says:

    p.s. an Pelle.

    A note on your CORE beliefs: – “Feminism is too one-sided to ever achieve gender liberation”

    Feminism will never achieve gender liberation, not that I think that that is “feminisms” motive anyway. I don’t believe it is.

    Feminism will never achieve Gender Liberation without active participation of
    “Men-inism”.

    There simply can be NO “BIRTH” without the presence, (or the LOVE, for that matter!)
    of both parents.

  15. Pelle Billing Says:

    “Feminism will never achieve Gender Liberation without active participation of
    “Men-inism”.

    There simply can be NO “BIRTH” without the presence, (or the LOVE, for that matter!)
    of both parents.”

    Well put.

  16. Joseph Guilfoyle Says:

    I am amazed by the male dominant thinkers here and the responses to this message. As MEN, I will give you this, this statement is far from perfect, nor can it inclusively encompass the complexity and depth of the issue and real history of the offenses committed by men to women. But – If we as men care at all it can not be denied! So it’s NOT perfect. And to stroke your ego you are right! Man we love as a species to be told we are right! Both women and men have given their lives to developing civilization. One gender is no more or less both are equal and deserve equal recognition.

    Get out of your heads, the message is simpler than trying to take a position. It’s not about right and wrong. It’s a step to enabling a greater possibility. No wonder we are slow to change perhaps there is a true scientific gene for ignorance and sadly, it’s carried by men.

  17. Ourania Gurnon Says:

    <3___;;;;;♥ ♥¸.•´´¯)¸.•,,.♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ We thank you for your respect ♥
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  18. Hal Says:

    I showed this video to my wife, her sisters, and some of their girlfriends. They all said that they thought most of the guys in the video were ‘creepy’ and sounded like ‘wuses’.
    I’m wondering when they’ll start their own church to worship women. What a bunch of morons.

  19. Writ Says:

    This is not about blame. Its about recognizing the masculine mindset and behavior — not only in the past, but what still remains today. Not by all men, some are consciously involved. However, some still operate under the false opinion “Its a Man’s World,” and that competition and violence is necessary to maintain this false concept. It is that kind of thinking that has brought the world to the state it’s in today. A colossal mess! If we tip toe around the truth of this to avoid hurting feelings, we will never get to truth. Truth can be painful and the truth is, men need to change their ideas of violence, and need to control. Look at what is has wroth. Sure we have advanced technology but if that technology is used to destroy or is so overpriced it stresses out the average citizen to utilize it, its not operating at its best potential.

    The world is small now. Many countries possess the means to wipe out the world. This aggression makes no sense any longer. For far too long we have focused on the effect rather than the cause. If you think you have the right to go into another nation’s land and steal their natural resources, you are immoral and that is the truth of it… no matter how you justify your actions. If you prosper while others suffer, you are immoral… no matter your feeble excuses.

    Just because a nation has always exploited as a way of life, does not make it correct. Just because a nation has thought of their profit margin above the lives and the suffering of others in order to turn a profit, does not make such action less evil. You can make all the excuses and rationale you want, you know in your heart it’s not the correct thing to do. Green pieces of paper attributed to wealth by a collective mindset declaring it so, still does not make it any more than green paper. Now its printed out without the gold behind it without value at all. Just corrupt mindsets declaring it valuable so they can profit at the expense of others. Practicing something wrong until you have perfected it and made it a way of life, will never make it right.

    Men have oppressed women over time and although there has been improvement, much of the oppression continues to exist. All one has to do is look around to see the truth of this. Those that keep their foot on the neck of others, do so out of fear. They may tell themselves those others are ignorant, weak, a threat or whatever, but its in the oppressors act of oppression, they themselves create the problem no matter their denial to the contrary.

    Its become a practice to malign the truth teller. You can always tell the guilty because they will be screaming the loudest, vilifying anyone daring to speak out. These frighten nay sayers then become entrapped in their guilt and fear of those they oppress. Yet, unless they open their heart and look at the world in different ways, in heartfelt ways, a healing cannot begin. As long as they deny and rage and pretend what they have done was not done, they fool only themselves. It’s time to admit what has been done and move towards healing and the work to undo it. It’s time for those who have known good but do nothing when those of evil intent thrive, to step forward as say this will no longer be tolerated. In the end, the evil ones are in the minority so the majority must now take action. By doing so, they will learn the fear that held them back was not as fearful as they thought.

    As part of the Divine Creation, we all are one. Both male and female. And all creatures on this earth. All is part of the Divine energy that created all. There are no chosen. There are no superior. There are only all of us living on this planet.

    The greedy have nearly destroyed the planet. We are products of this world so what is the point of poisoning the air and water. Spraying chemicals that are killing the planet and its lifeforms, even human beings. Why are we not questioning why so many people are dying of cancer? This is not natural. We are systematically killing our own species off by our greed. Everyone should have the right to good food, good health, an education and affordable shelter. Why are we as a species putting so much stress on our fellow man to sustain lifestyles that are not working? Not working because we are having strokes and heart attacks trying to maintain it. Not working because if we can walk pass the homeless and feel nothing, we are already walking dead. When your heart is empty, you have stopped living.

    Why do we sit silently as our politicians enrich themselves while taking away monies, jobs, homes, and health plans from the poor and working class? And at the same time, thriving themselves off the backs of others, they blame the less fortunate for wanting the same that the rich politicians provide for themselves. Yet, we choose political party affiliations over what is just. Ignoring the wrong these political parties do.

    We say “men” lead because they seek what is just. Really? Let us not fool ourselves. If we sought what was just, everyone would be given free education, taught how to sustain themselves. Each person would be given opportunity to excel in what they do best and if it benefits the society as a whole, encouraged to do so. However, things are set up to benefit the few and not the majority, so how just is this? Now, based on a system that separates into classes, America is run by the elite class who vote lesser payment of taxes for themselves while pushing off the lion’s share of the tax burden on the middle class and working poor. This is fostered, while the rich who can afford to pay more (and should) make excuses that to tax them, would make them lose their ability to create jobs. That is nonsense. These corporate owners are sending jobs overseas and paying wages that can barely sustain workers. Seeking to bust America’s unions (that while having faults, do oftentimes protect the worker) in order to create fear and competitiveness. This is to keep overworked and stressed out U.S. workers in servitude and to force them to accept less pay. While of course, enriching themselves.

    Corporate America behaves like vampires sucking the lifeblood out of its workers. Enjoying how they have workers battling each other instead of supporting one another and helping each other, so that all can prosper and survive. It is people running these corporations. Who are these people? These folks behind the folks who sit at the door so you only see their faces and not the faces of those pulling their strings. Do they deny their evil plan in the face of the obvious. Yes, they do. They have cowed their bought media and citizenry to such an extent, no one speaks out or challenges the obvious.

    Is this women doing this? No, its predominately men.

    So, this domination is hardly in the past. And this is today’s men doing it, not yesterday’s men. Yesterday’s men are where they must answer to God for their action but today’s men have the opportunity to reverse things.

    Balance is needed now. Balance in all ways of doing things. Honesty and integrity must be the actions of the day. Truth of what is truly happening and the willingness to stop denials and take steps to change. Time to change what we as a human species have been doing to one another and to our world. We are now on the brink of self annihilation. Do we stop the insanity? Cure ourselves of our madness? Do we go down with our heads in the ground, pretending and worrying about whose to blame or do we step up to the plate and make the changes necessary?

    We are not our religions. We are not our political party choice. We are not our programming. We can be and must be better than that and beyond that. We just need to open our eyes and look at ourselves for the first time with honest eyes. Eyes wide open. Willing to love one another and support one another to prosper as a whole. Guess what — you can fight City Hall! You can let go of prejudices and bias. You can be responsible. You can be better parents. You can be better citizens. You can respect all living forms and work toward living in harmony with all. We can become what we were created to be. Stewards of a loving, healthy, thriving world wherein all creation thrives. Its up to us.

    Together we thrive, divided we fail. Stop the bickering, denying, rationalizing, fearing and hating and step up. Move up and evolve yourselves by appreciating all around you. Volunteer to do something without a price tag attached. Its not about “You” … its about all of us and how we want to live in this world.

  20. JamesD Says:

    Good grief……….have these freaks been castrated?

    News flash creeps – women want and desire real men, albeit a few cuckold dominatrix Neo Nazi feminists would prefer your type.

    Turn in your man card(s) NOW!

  21. forweg Says:

    “Any feminist worth her grain would have a fieldday deconstructing this naive, flamboyant and male-chauvinistic-due-to-objectifying-of-women message.”

    Feminists may voice faint objections, but the men in this video are the natural end-game of feminism.

  22. Rod Says:

    I love what Writ has said she is so on the mark, as is Joseph Guilfoyle. As to Hendricks and Ardagh’s manifesto, personally I underwent a deep spiritual shift when listening to it on youtube. I consider myself to be a real man firmly in control and possession of my testicles, and don’t see that this manifesto is anything more than moving to balance femine and masculine energies. For me the Feminist movement is has often gone to far in demonising men. By doin so they make them selves no better than those they put down. As we can see by mens’ reactions to it. It doesn’t make us want to change, it makes more angry and resistant to womens’ needs. Conversely I think the Concsous Men manifesto is carries a deep spirituality, and some men are not ready to go there. This is ok, to each his own, one can only facilitate and be the change, never force it. each will awaken their own consciousness at their own pace.
    PLato said “Men are in a constant war, and the battleground is his masculine psyche, and the battle is between ‘I should and I want’. And until he has come to terms with his own masculinity and enters into a healthy relationship with himself he can’t have a fulfilling relatioship with the opposite sex.” I believe that is still ti true today and this manifesto is a place to start to end that war.

  23. Yoshiyahu Says:

    I LOVE Writ’s logic. If you have a problem with the Manifesto, well, you are maligning a Truth-Teller!

    The reality is that the Manifesto is poorly-written and confused. The Manifesto, among other things, confuses masculine and feminine archetypes with men and women. We all have these archetypes within us. This does not mean that men are embodiments of the Masculine or that women embody the Feminine. In fact, we are growing more aware of how each person is somewhere on a continuum of having a mixture of attributes labeled ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine.’ this is especially true when you look at gay/lesbian/transgender folks, but is also true of heterosexuals.

    These men are continuing the objectification of women by imbuing them with only certain attributes. Women are Intuitive. Connected to the Earth. Gentle. Etc. All standard Victorian attributes assigned to the ‘fairer’ sex. I am a Feminist in that I hold that women are free to embrace and accentuate whatever archetypes and attributes that they damn well want, whether traditionally labeled ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine.’

    Also, the exercise is breathtakingly sexist in its portrayal of history. It’s not that what they say about men and women isn’t true. It’s not that women aren’t abused and enslaved and victimized by men. It’s that women have led strong, passionate lives, finding ways to be powerful and support each other no matter the circumstances in patriarchal cultures, but these men want us to believe that women have had no role other than victim. And now the powerful men are going to apologize to the weak and persecuted women. I say, screw that.

  24. myriel Says:

    http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Ouattara-forces-commit-abuses-report-20110410

    Duekoue – Forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s democratically elected president killed hundreds of civilians, raped his rival’s supporters and burned villages during an offensive launched in the country’s west, a human rights group said.

    Human Rights Watch called on Alassane Ouattara to investigate and prosecute abuses by his forces and those supporting his rival, strongman Laurent Gbagbo.

    The group also said that forces loyal to Gbagbo killed more than 100 civilians to retaliate against pro-Ouattara fighters who launched a major offensive advancing toward Abidjan.

    More going on

    But the human rights group warned there is more going on outside Abidjan.

    “While the international community has been focused on the political stalemate in Abidjan over the presidency, forces on both sides have committed numerous atrocities against civilians, their leaders showing little interest in reining them in,” said Daniel Bekele, Human Rights Watch Africa director in the report obtained by The Associated Press late on Saturday.

    People interviewed by the group described how pro-Ouattara forces “summarily executed and raped perceived Gbagbo supporters in their homes, as they worked in the fields, as they fled, or as they tried to hide in the bush”.

    The report said that many of the abuses occurred from March 6 to March 30, as villages in the west including Toulepleu, Doke, Blolequin, Duekoue and Guiglo fell to pro-Ouattara forces.

    The UN said peace keepers and human rights officials discovered about 60 bodies in the western town of Guiglo. The UN human rights agency said another 40 corpses were found lying the street in Blolequin, and many of them had been shot.

    Fifteen other bodies were found in Duekoue, where violence already has left at least 229 dead in recent weeks.

    The report said that many were targeted for their ethnicity and Ouattara’s Republican forces have killed, raped, and pillaged the predominantly Guere population, who largely supported Gbagbo in the election. Abuses continued through March, culminating in the massacre of hundreds in Douekoue on March 29, the report said.

    Mission refuge

    On Sunday, rebels at roadblocks in Carrefour were armed with AK-47′s, shotguns, hunting rifles and knives. They stood across from the charred shells of former homes.

    Thousands of people gathered at the Roman Catholic Mission of St Theresa of the Baby Jesus, which has become a refuge for 30 000 people. Rice was being distributed and Medecins Sans Frontieres had set up a clinic.

    Ouattara had long tried to distance himself from the northern-based fighters taking up his cause who fought in a brief civil war almost a decade ago that left the country split in two. Those fighters were accused of many atrocities at the time. But he appeared to change tack as the rebel fighters, which he renamed the “Republican Forces”, began their lightning assault on Abidjan.

    In recent weeks, a pro-Gbagbo militia had also been targeting Ouattara supporters, refugees told the AP.

    On March 28, pro-Gbagbo forces massacred more than 100 people in Blolequin, and killed 10 more northerners and West African immigrants in the town of Guiglo, the group said.

    “To understand the tragic events in Ivory Coast, a line cannot be drawn between north and south, or supporters of Gbagbo and Ouattara,” Bekele said.

    “Unfortunately, there are those on both sides who have shown little regard for the dignity of human life.”

    In the report, Human Rights Watch called on Ouattara to “take decisive measures to address serious violations of international law by all forces, prevent further reprisals and acts of collective punishment, and urgently investigate and prosecute all those responsible for abuses.”

    More than a million people have fled their homes since the November elections, with some 130 000 cross the border to Liberia.

  25. Pat Kibbon Says:

    We have an organized movement insisting that we owe them a confession of our transgressions and an apology. And, for our convenience, just in case we can’t identify the appropriate transgressions, they have written the text of the confession and apology for us.

    “Here is a description of the transgressions to which you must confess, and for which you must apologize; just sign on the dotted line.”

    Where have I seen a set-up like this before?

    ***********************************************************

    Writ Says:
    April 9th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    …the truth is, men need to change their ideas…

    Why should I believe that your words are a source of truth?

    …Men have oppressed women over time…

    “Men” have not oppressed women. If women’s circumstances constitute “oppression” then their “oppressor” is not “men”; their “oppressor” is the social system of which they are a part. The social system emerges in response to interactions among both men and women.

    I, for one, do not recognize women as an “oppressed class.” I invite others to share my view.

    …collective mindset declaring it so…

    What is a “collective mindset” and how does it declare things?

    Its become a practice to malign the truth teller.

    Being “maligned” doesn’t make you a “truth teller.”

    …why so many people are dying of cancer?

    Because they’re not dying of other things first?

    Everyone should have the right to good food, good health, an education and affordable shelter.

    And who has the obligation to provide “everyone” with these benefits?

    Is this women doing this? No, its predominately men.

    …predominately men doing things for the benefit of women.

    …Stop the bickering, denying, rationalizing, fearing and hating…

    I’m ready when you are.
    =

  26. Capn Teach Says:

    HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! What sort of mindless, feeble, limp-noodled ridiculous crap is this!! Had actual men ever really been like these deeply self-hating fools, they’d have been eaten by cave bears, or even by fuzzy little bunnies. Men, actual men, find this nonsence utterly amusing, especially the incomparable arrogance of referring to self-debasing weakness as being “conscious”.

  27. Michael Says:

    A woman friend of mine sent me this video, saying it reminded her of me, because I adore women. Somehow it rubbed me the wrong way. This is a paraphrase of my response to her:

    Interesting. It evokes a lot of thought in me on my past and present intimate relationships with women, both physical and emotional. All I can say at this point is I’d be interested to see how many more women receive that, and if any of the men in that video they would realistically be attracted to. In my personal experience and often in the experiences of most of my few guy friends, many of the not-so-horrific traits that these men are apologizing for are in a lot of ways exactly the things that many, if not most, women are attracted to on some level. I am coming to the realization that women have just as much responsibility in choosing an adequate mate that is strong and responsible enough to fill the masculine role but balanced enough to not raise children that perpetuate misogyny. I have found that a large percentage of women choose exactly the opposite. It used to make me a little bitter, but then I realized I wouldn’t choose to be any different if I could. I wouldn’t want to be with a girl , no matter how hot, that didn’t Love me for being respectful towards her at all times, but that also means respecting me. To pretend or act otherwise seems exhausting and, is one of the few things that makes getting laid not even worth it. I don’t know how couples do it for years. Or maybe they don’t, given the divorce rate. Even my mom says “If he hits her once, shame on him. If he hits her twice, shame on her for sticking around with the @#%*!”

  28. Pelle Billing Says:

    Michael,

    I think what you’re touching on is that the sexes have co-created a lot of the problems that exist. I agree with that general sentiment.

  29. Hunt Brown Says:

    Here’s the truth: if you want to honor and respect the woman in your life, understand and honor the woman in your life and not some pseudo gaia projection of collective male guilt. The better man desires to have a mature and meaningful relationship with his beloved and that, my friends, requires first and foremost bringing his best game to the table and second, not polluting his mind with false expectations of what his wife is.

  30. denis Says:

    so…who raised all these men, the oppressors and apologists anyway?

  31. F S McArthur Says:

    Imagine an America where women are beating, abusing, intimidating, threatening and controlling their husbands and boyfriends by the millions.

    Imagine an America where men have had to organize against a
    tide of sexual discrimination and assault, economic and political
    deprivation, as well as physical, emotional, and verbal abuse.

    Imagine a world where men have had to create a network of
    organizations to support and shelter men who are battered and
    raped.

    Imagine an America where women and girls are the perpetrators
    in the vast majority of violent crimes like murder, rape, child sexual
    abuse, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

    Imagine a world filled with men appealing to their governments
    and non-governmental organizations for help in stemming the tide
    of female violence against them.

    Imagine a Darfur where roving bands of women on horseback are
    murdering and raping an entire people.

    Imagine a Congo where the majority of men have been gang-raped
    by women and suffer major damage to their penises.

    Imagine hospital emergency rooms where one out of five men who
    go there do so because their wives or girlfriends have beaten them
    up. Imagine those same ERs where sexual assault nurse examiners
    (all men) are dealing with men who have been raped, mostly by
    women they know.

    Imagine a video game industry that glorifies violence by women
    against men. Imagine a video game—“Grand Theft Auto”—
    filled with male prostitutes who are purchased for sex by women
    characters and then beaten to death with a tire iron by the main
    female character. (Yes, yes, don’t bore me with examples of the relatively few female “action figures.”)

    Imagine a male victim of rape being told by a woman judge that he
    cannot even use the word “rape” in his testimony about the assault because it’s prejudicial. How do you think all the men in prisons who are raped think about that? They are not raped?

    Imagine a world where women’s economic and political power is
    taken for granted as the dominant and ruling force in society, and
    where men are struggling to achieve equality and parity.

    You cannot imagine any of this, because it turns reality on its head. War is gendered, violence is gendered, rape is gendered, porn is gendered, the oligarchy is gendered, religion is gendered. Fear is what drives the denial and minimization of the culture of male violence.

    I am not interested in apology, or guilt, or shame. As a straight white male who acknowledges the reality of misogyny, I am interested in change. Those opposed to change or even the idea of change rooted in an understanding of our patriarchal history are supporters of the status quo, opposing their own human interests and not even aware of it.

    So few men have the strength to face the reality of our dominance, oppression, and power and control over women and girls (and over other men), much less the ability to openly stand up against this misogyny. Worse, so few men who wield power want any of it to change precisely because they fear it would diminish their power. And those men who wield the power in our socio-economic world easily convince way too many other men how right they are. Most men are not violent, but almost all men are silent, or they excuse it and enable it and apologize for it. That’s the tragedy.

    Get real, guys. We all know who has exercised power and control in this world for centuries and it certainly has not been women. I would understand it alot better if men were just honest about not wanting to give up their ongoing privileges and entitlements, but trying to blame women equally for abuse and violence and war and all our social, cutlural, religious, and economic ills is just laughable.

  32. Axehead92 Says:

    “Imagine an America where women are beating, abusing, intimidating, threatening and controlling their husbands and boyfriends by the millions.”

    I don’t have to,women are in fact doing all of the above or would you really be so heartless as to ignore the current case regarding the boyfriend stabbed by that accuser abusing a perfectly well-intentioned system. Would you really ignore the fate of Phil Hartman? Without those in mind I have seen horrible abuse,intimidation,bullying,and control from both sides man and women. It to is in millions,but at least there are centers and legislative processes for them.

    “Imagine a world where women’s economic and political power is
    taken for granted as the dominant and ruling force in society, and
    where men are struggling to achieve equality and parity.”

    I challenge you to imagine a world where women are constantly deployed to die,work hard for their families whom they never see,where anything they do to a man could be twisted into sexual assault before court,where their husbands will always get the kids in divorce cases despite having an equal part in the conception. Where women are constantly looked down upon as dominant,no matter what they do to help men will always be ingrained as evil.Where women work longer hours in jobs that are more likely to kill them only for men to demand more despite being free for easier jobs.

    “Imagine a male victim of rape being told by a woman judge that he
    cannot even use the word “rape” in his testimony about the assault because its prejudicial. How do you think all the men in prisons who are raped think about that? They are not raped?”

    Indeed that is what happens when all we see of men are potential rapists with muscles and wallets,which your rhetoric reeks of. A physically weak person will always get raped if the strong person abuses such,and that is true no matter which gender.As long people like you think like this,men who have in fact been horribly raped and assualted will be damaged and without help and if pushed the wrong way become the stereotype which would only make things worse.As it is men are more likely to go to prison than a woman even they committed the same crime

    “Imagine an America where men have had to organize against a
    tide of sexual discrimination and assault, economic and political
    deprivation, as well as physical, emotional, and verbal abuse.”

    This movement,this website is organized for it. All the time the gender roles that we foolishly put on ourselves and women in turn have helped reinforce have led to horrible crime rates,murders,outbursts,and the tragic cases of domestic abuse which could’ve been stopped if we did not constantly demonize men.Everyday men work to get the reproductive rights they to deserve,change hypocritical rape shield laws,and get jobs that do more than rake in the cash. Everyday we are expected to pay and protect. Politically feminists use jargon like that above to bring in psychologically damaging “gender studies” classes and hide issues men face alone.

    “You cannot imagine any of this, because it turns reality on its head. War is gendered, violence is gendered, rape is gendered, porn is gendered, the oligarchy is gendered, religion is gendered. Fear is what drives the denial and minimization of the culture of male violence.”

    Indeed reality is a monster and indeed all the above are true. It is indeed fear that drives the denial and minimization of male violence because we have not a strong movement that has tried to challenge that,women have a strong base that has allowed us to view them in more ways and not trap them,what may even scare men into becoming such monsters because they are too afraid to do anything else.Fear however is what denies all acts of violence,including rape at the hands of a woman who cannot always be innocent.

    “So few men have the strength to face the reality of our dominance, oppression, and power and control over women and girls (and over other men), much less the ability to openly stand up against this misogyny. Worse, so few men who wield power want any of it to change precisely because they fear it would diminish their power. And those men who wield the power in our socio-economic world easily convince way too many other men how right they are. Most men are not violent, but almost all men are silent, or they excuse it and enable it and apologize for it. That’s the tragedy.”

    It is true that we must do our part to change the horrors of misogyny and the acts of violence and oppression we commit.However more of us must face the realities of vulnerability,weakness,and love all of which are forgotten by hateful statements like the one above.Men indeed are silent to both because we constantly demonize them and tell them how to be,which is a self-interested jerk which in turns counters everyone’s freedom and safety,not just women’s.Indeed all acts of oppression on women have in turn caused misandry. What’s worse is women to have played a part in this.As a poor white man who started his early years off with autism I have seen both genders equally causing all of the above,I have grown and developed greatly since then and I know the hatred the flares when you blame one side and one side entirely for all the troubles and I know that all the same the man has a point.I will not apologize for what I have no part in,and I will not allow any group of people to tell me otherwise.

    “Get real, guys. We all know who has exercised power and control in this world for centuries and it certainly has not been women. I would understand it alot better if men were just honest about not wanting to give up their ongoing privileges and entitlements, but trying to blame women equally for abuse and violence and war and all our social, cutlural, religious, and economic ills is just laughable.”

    Why don’t you get real and stop being a masochist,it will do no good.It makes you feel worse and allows women to complain about the things they don’t have and then be dishonest about ironically the privileges they do in fact have,not that I as a man have no privileges,I know that I have some privileges,but I also know that I cannot be protected in cases of murder or abuse or extortion to quite the same extent as a woman becuase I lack the privilege of being innocent..We as people need to own up,not men,people. I guess you really never have heard of Catherine the Great,Cleopatra,Queen Mary I,Queen Elizabeth I,or any of them since by your logic women have never had power or ruled anywhere or sent men off to die,nope not at all. Blaming men and yourself entirely for all problems and ignoring our issues is certainly not laughable,it’s sad.

  33. F S McArthur Says:

    About what I expected. A response replete with exceptional anecdotes, blame towards women for things that happen to men that other men are doing to men, equating women’s rising up against misogyny with misandry (men are so touchy), the equating of men’s violence with women’s violence (not even close).

    Who do you think does the deploying, Mr. Axehead? Is it all those female generals who are sending men to die in wars that serve the purposes of a few rich women? What utter nonsense. Men die in wars because other men want them to and for reasons that have everything to do with serving the interests of rich men. Don’t bring women into the equation when they have absolutely nothing to do with decisions to wage war.

    And do you actually believe that there is equivalence between men’s physical violence and women’s physical violence? Are the occasional stories of a woman killing a man or stabbing him sufficient for you to actually conclude that it’s equal? I’m sure that’s what you’d like to believe is reality but you know it isn’t. Men’s violence saturates every nook and cranny of our society, our culture, and to deny it is to mock the truth. We need a movement of men which looks at ourselves not at what we think is wrong with a women’s movement born of necessity, born of fear and violence perpetrated against them by men. We don’t condemn men as a gender, we don’t “hate” men, there is no misandry at large (yes, there are a few women in the movement who “hate” men) but to condemn an entire movement that seeks redress of real grievances because of a few is a convenience for misogyny.

    “Masochist?” I feel proud to do the work I do, as a man. I work on violence prevention with boys and girls in high schools, I work with victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. I have done so off and on since the mid-1980s. There is no evidence that intimate partner violence perpetrated by women against men even comes anywhere close to the level of violence committed by men against women. Anyone who suggests otherwise is lying, prevaricating or persisting in maintaining a position for reasons that are unjust and purposefully ignorant. Can women be violent and abusive? Of course they can. But get over it guys, it’s doesn’t even come close to the amount of abuse and violence exercised by men who seek power and control over their female partners’ lives. The emotional, psychological, economic, sexual and other forms of coercive control that some men exercise over women is an ugly truth few men want to face. It takes much more strength for men to face the changes we need to help make. I understand that, as evidenced by this site. No one, least of all me, said anything about blaming men “entirely for all problems.”

    The very few examples of women who have wielded power (wow, Cleopatra!) is a form of grasping at straws to attempt to explain some kind of symmetry between men and women in terms of the historical exercise of political and economic and religious power. It is so lame as to be laughable. Please, look at ALL of history, not some tiny slice. What compels you to grab at the small exceptions? What about women drives you to this denial and minimization, not mention fixation on this rewriting of history and reality?

    Of course, women have problems, women commit crimes, women kill. Ok, now that that is established, look at the prevalence of who commits the crimes, the violence, wages the wars, rapes and pillages. Isn’t there something men could spend their time more productively doing than blaming women, trying to turn reality of our violent male culture inside out?

    So, yes, get real, guys. By persisting in such denial and blame, not to mention in incorrect characterizations of what I say, your true attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs about women are showing. And this is not a “people” problem as much as you wish it were. Trying to define it as people is just more denial and minimization.

  34. Pelle Billing Says:

    F S McArthur,

    What are the relevant “guilty by association” topics in your opinion?

    Obviously, you consider a peaceful and law-abiding man to be guilty for what male criminals do, since the peaceful man should apologize for what the criminals are doing.

    How about race and nationality? Am I responsible for what every white person has ever done? Am I responsible for what every Swedish person has ever done?
    And what about class? Are poor people responsible for what other poor people do?

    Why do you suggest collective guilt based on gender, when you do not suggest it for other categories? Or perhaps you do?

  35. F S McArthur Says:

    Mr. Billing —

    I am not talking about “guilt.” never mentioned the word. I never asked for any apologies. I am interested in change, not blame. But before anything can be changed it has to be faced, to paraphrase James Baldwin. It’s the denial and minimization of reality that prevents you from working on change. “Guilt by association” has nothing to do with what I am talking about. You miss my points entirely, either by intent or incapacity( but I suspect you’re a pretty bright guy so I worry it’s intent). Anything to avoid reality, apparently. Each man must hold himself accountable for his behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and actions. That is true for women. as well. It’s just that men have a huge amount of extra work to do when it comes to unhealthy, abusive and violent behaviors, attitudes and beliefs.

    Unfortunately, most men are silent about our culture of male violence and so it continues to be enabled and empowered.

    But fortunately, I see more and more young men growing up with tolerance, respect, honesty and a recognition of how destructive coercive control and violence against women is. Most young men want to have healthy relationships and work towards it. But they still have a very hard time confronting the violence and abuse of other young men around them. It’s not an easy thing to do. Thus, the silence and inaction and head-in-the-sand behaviors.

    Get real, guys, because reality won’t change unless we, as men, stand up against the culture of male violence all around us. Why not work on this together? It hurts us in so many ways, not just women. Again, this is not about blame or guilt. Maybe some men feel that, but it helps no one, least of all men.

  36. F S McArthur Says:

    Listen, I know this site is for men who think differently than I do, so I’ll back off. I appreciate the dialogue, but I don’t want to inject disruptive ideas into what is probably a pretty focused place otherwise. Set aside whatever anger or hatred you have for a specific woman — wife, mother, aunt, Cleopatra, Hillary Clinton, or some woman who turned you down, or divorced you, or who won in court. I would just like you to take a little more time and examine just the harm men do to other men (forget about the harm we do to women) and think about the dominant male culture we live in, dominant in every way. We owe it to our sons and daughters to work to change that culture. Thank you.

  37. Axehead92 Says:

    I’m not suggesting that men are free at all,indeed men to have caused trouble because of what we do.Men would not get sent to wars alone if men did not value women enough or as seen would.

    Although it is true that this generation is changing and becoming more tolerant which is good.It is also true that men do tend be more abusive,sexually and physically which can easily be equated to the gender roles in which we consider that the man bein’ the boss which is really just a perverted interpretation of the protector role.However it is because of that that so many the other way around go unreported,which in turn leads to such a conclusion. It also leads men considering other men competition on just about everything which of course leads to men beating other men and those beaten to kill themselves from depression.

    I do agree the culture of male physical dominance hurts both sides,as does the culture of womens victimhood,neither helps the other and both must be changed men to thinking less about being on top and more about the costs if you fall back down and women into survivors who do for themselves.I agree that is on our children to change that.

    No one here will dare argue against the statement that we as men must be accountable,most people here believe in gender liberation which depends on everyone holding themselves accountable

  38. Blackie Says:

    I think everything that has been said here against the manifesto is the exact reason why it is needed in the first place…..

    Assuming many of you who have commented live within Western culture, you have little idea of the abuses and deprivation of women living in developing or third world countries. I recommend you read the book ‘Half the Sky’…perhaps then a more balanced view might be offered.

    Do you know that over 20% of all girls under the age of ten (yes, 10 years old) who live in the poorest areas of India are trafficked into prostitution… they are drugged, raped and beaten until they get to about 14 and then they are ‘disposed of’…because by then they have aids (did I forget to mention that they are forbidden to use a condom?)….lets be clear here…this isnt happening because women want to have sex with a young girl….

    Do you know that there are more women trafficked into prostitution today (3 million+ per year) than there were ever black Africans transported into slavery?

    These are the facts….

  39. Pelle Billing Says:

    Blackie,

    Why do you assume that people do not know about third world countries?

    Also, you do not seem to understand the core criticism leveled at the manifesto. It doesn’t matter if we lived in a world where every single man except one abused women daily. If I was that man then it wouldn’t be my job to apologize for what the other men were doing.

    Guilt isn’t passed along collectively among people who share the same genitals. What on earth has made you think that it is?

  40. keith Says:

    To the “conscious men” I say.

    I am a humble man amidst the righteous and their proclamations. I till the fields of my life and harvest the fruit of my labor. Of that fruit I taste the sanguine and sweet. I am alive and thus toil for it. If a tree in my garden bears bitter fruit, I may heal the root, or prune it’s bow or lovingly burn it as sacrifice to the stronger, so that they may have more and live. But in your garden of sand where you plant new deities, I will pay no tax to new miracles of governance. Bring forth your fruit and feed the hungry that you weep for, conjure your flavors and your fruit. Drink it like wine from the press. I love my children by the hour and my orchard by the day and I love myself by the moment, so that I may fulfill it. You may rest in the shade of my labor and speak to me of far off places and new Gods to worship like children at play. I will speak to you of sweat and toil and love and life. But I will pay no new tax for your dreams while you rest in my grove and my safety. Bow your head to me and I will kneel before you and love you this way. I will share my toil and my fruit and I will love you as a wife loves her children. I am as you are like an oath to the rain and food to the fruit. I will make no testament before the sun save the fruit of my garden. Walk with me awhile in a garden that is ours and love with your eyes and see, breathe and be filled. Listen awhile and learn, speak softly and understand.

    Messianic poetry should be read more than once and contemplated. It is food.

  41. keith Says:

    There once was a man who spoke about collective guilt. The crimes committed and the justice required for absolution. He was an intelligent man who was able to express his insight into a single synergy of one word………………………………………

    JEW!!!

  42. T. Rose Says:

    I take offense to that statement,I may in fact be a Westerner,but I’m know very much of trafficking rates among women

    In turn I also know of the little boys trafficked and abused that feminists don’t talk about,I also know of the men in Somalia murdered by the pirates trying to protect their families. And I know of the men killed to protect these kidnapped daughters

    Yet I do not wish for women to apologize for not being any of these,I do not wish for women to apologize for the actions of those women who have assisted in the kidnapping of those girls in India,nor do I expect all Americans to apologize for what happened to the Japanese-Americans,that lies on the government alone.

    We cannot progress if we demand apologies all the time before forgiveness like the misandrists insist on. Collective guilt lies only on those closer associated or the government and having a penis or having blond hair cannot justifying making all Germans gulity for the Holocaust just because the Nazis liked blond males most. An ex-neo-Nazi on the other hand is a case where it’s justified.

  43. Snowhawk Says:

    I think it’s simple: We all are one.

    And when you look at this video in this perspective, the feeling changes, perhaps. It’s not about you personally. It’s about understanding that we all are one. And that’s why you cannot look away from what has happened in the past and is still going on with women today.

    It’s about understanding that when another man hurts a woman in any kind of way, it can happen because you allowed it to happen. You allowed the world to be a place where such things can happen. That is your responsibility. By denying this you’ll allow the world to be as it is now.

    Of course such things can be said about women also. But by saying so and perhaps even acting on it you’ll still deny your responsibility.

    Every woman I have spoken to who have seen this video are touched, right in the hart. And that’s what spirituality is about.

    I’m dutch, not used to write in English so I hope I didn’t make to much mistakes. ;-)

  44. Pelle Billing Says:

    Hi Snowhawk,

    Thank you for your comments, I think they are important, so I will answer them in some detail.

    “And when you look at this video in this perspective, the feeling changes, perhaps. It’s not about you personally. It’s about understanding that we all are one.”

    Yes, there is the spiritual dimension for sure, and in that place we can ask for forgiveness for all of humanity, all of our gender, all of our race, or something else. I have no problem with that, and if that was all the manifesto did then it would be fine. But the manifesto confuses the personal and the transpersonal, and this makes it a mess. If they were clear on what they were doing, and able to communicate that clearly, it could be a very different story.

    “It’s about understanding that when another man hurts a woman in any kind of way, it can happen because you allowed it to happen. You allowed the world to be a place where such things can happen. That is your responsibility. By denying this you’ll allow the world to be as it is now.”

    No, this a misunderstanding. It’s a big misunderstanding. There are many men who work hard at making the world a better place, and making it safer for women (and other human beings). There are many men who live their own life with integrity and honor. Why is it their fault that other men behave badly? They may be doing their very best to live good lives, but that may not be enough to change the world overnight. So when you say that it is their responsibility that these good men are responsible for what the bad men do, you are misplacing blame. Think about what you are saying – it’s 180 degrees wrong.

    “Every woman I have spoken to who have seen this video are touched, right in the hart. And that’s what spirituality is about.”

    Yes, they are touched about the authentic spiritual component that simply apologizes for what has happened in the world. They are touched by the fact that men are committed to changing the world, and wanting to have better relationships with women. All this is fine and good. But it doesn’t change the problematic and unhealthy components about the manifesto and the video.

    If these comments sound harsh it’s only because I believe that this is an important issue. I respect the fact that you want to talk about this in a civil tone, and I hope you will think about what I wrote.

  45. keith Says:

    “It’s not about you personally. It’s about understanding that we all are one.”

    Given the fact that the video clearly delineates victim and perpetrator and segregates them to gender does not represent “one”. This is poisonous kool-aid.

    If we govern ourselves with our beliefs and choose to believe this video how shall we govern ourselves in that context. When you begin to divide people and the tools of that division are based on good and evil, right and wrong, guilt and innocence, you submit everyone to scrutiny while attempting to hold yourself exclusive as self appointed judge. It is a game of deception designed to further divide till it reaches the individual. Can we say women have committed no wrong against women? Can we say women have committed no wrong against men? Shall we say poor men have committed more wrong than rich men, or that a laborer commits more wrong than an accountant. Who will decide these judgments and when? You or someone with power over your life.

    In case you have not considered it, before assigning a sentence you must first assign guilt. One follows the other. Otherwise guilt has no purpose.

  46. Will Ferrell Parodies The Manifesto for Conscious Men Says:

    [...] you may know, I’ve commented on The Manifesto for Conscious Men before (here and here). I believe that the intention of the creators is good, but that they miss the mark by [...]


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