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The Betrayal of the American Man

by Susan Faludi
Book review © 1999 by Bert H. Hoff

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Susan Faludi, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man (New York, NY: Putnam, 1999). Order on-line

Book cover
Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man
by Susan Faludi
Order on-line

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WebMaster Bert Hoff appears on TalkBack Live! with Susan Faludi to discuss her book.

Cathy Young
by Cathy Young

Comparing Warren Farrell to Susan Faludi
An article comparing Warren Farrell's new book Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say and Stiffed.

Book cover
Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say: Destroying Myths, Creating Love
by Warren Farrell
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Kathleen Parker column
Sorry, guys, Faludi is no friend of yours

First chapter on-line
Newsweek featured the first chapter of Stiffed as its cover story for the Sept. 8, 1999 issue. Here's a link to it.

Dear Newsweek Editors,

What a wonderful, long overdue milestone in U.S. gender relations is your 9/13/99 cover-story of Susan Faludi''s new book, "Stiffed: The Betrayal Of The American Man". It is well beyond time that men may be seen as merely desperately mortal human beings, instead of being incessantly demeaned and popularly dismissed as a morally, ethically, even biologically inferior class of sub-humans. Thank you. This milestone is not one gun shot or bomb-blast too soon.

However, Ms. Faludi's work barely touches the surface. While her prose are poetic, and her conclusion that American men are getting a raw deal is just and somewhat hopeful, she falls way short of a comprehensive, fair, anthropological understanding of cultural mechanics. Though she and Newsweek deserve maximum applause for this brave attempt, alluding finally to equitable compassion for men, she remains understandably shackled by her sexist-feminist semantics and evil stereotypes of men, and by her loyalty to the self-serving moral superiority of sexist-feminism. (Of which she knows she is perhaps the preeminent author).

For instance, after six years of research to tritely explain today's boys as the product of their wartime forefathers' failures, (what less could you expect from such a feminist icon?), how could Faludi avoid the following statistics? Our WWI drafted grandfathers could expect to live nearly as long as our suffragette grandmothers. Only three to four generations later, and after approaching a half century of feminism, we U.S. males today can expect to live 7.5 years less than the women we men are still mortally obligated to protect and provision! And this mortal exploitation is largely because we males are 95% of workplace mortality. As men, we are obligated to lifetime careers of providing the wealth, infrastructure, and resources for women such as Faludi and her sisterhood to do 82% of U.S. consumer spending and receive 89% of tax-paid government entitlement funds. Not to mention therewith America consumes 65% of the Earth's resources, by some reports. Where do all the 175 millions of American women get all that money, ability, environmental impact, and longevity, all so blindly taken for granted as their gender right (not privilege), if not for the blood, sweat, tears, sacrifices, generosity, and goodness of us mortally disposable American males? Also, how is it that feminists fail to acknowledge the massively dominant cultural power of motherhood, as Faludi here does?

Fatuous Faludi is disingenuous in her avoiding ownership of how the hurt, betrayed soles of U.S. men have been stiffed. Largely because of her prior Pulitzer prose, "Backlash", today men are systematically denied freedom of speech, the right to assemble, equal protection under the law, equal parenting, equal alimony, equal property settlements, equal social welfare programs, equal entitlements, and are systematically fired for the mere comfort and rumors of female employees. Let alone denied equal compassion. (Faludi should interview me. I have a hell of a story to tell her about the inequitable treatment of genders in the workplace. Though I'm hardly unique among men who are violently, if not directly physically, abused by power-mongering, vindictive anti-male spinsters nurtured by Faludi.) Largely because of Faludi we as a society dwell on the freedom and choices of women to be- or not to be- mothers, but on the obligations of unintentional, disposed,-- so-called "dead-beat"-- fathers and husbands. (How is it that men are characterized as afraid of commitment, when women initiate 72% of divorces?) We dwell on the taboo violations of sacrosanct female bodies, but ignore the circumcision, conscription, and unequal death rates of male bodies. Let alone male soles. (Why is it that domestic violence and male behavior are virtually synonymous in Faludi's writing, when the vast majority of physical child abuse is inflicted by mothers, and the vast majority of that abuse is inflicted on boys, boys that may survive to be men, men told that women want equal treatment? Let alone emotional abuse. Does Faludi not acknowledge the power of her own mother because of some legacy of emotional abuse? If so, she would not be alone in her ilk.) Per the same cultural mechanisms, we dwell on the feminist semantics of "glass-ceilings" and "comparable worth", but ignore unequal compulsory risks, stress-related mortal illnesses, and life-long loyalty, obligations, and death rates in the workplace. All these disproportionately effect men, that men may win success (what ever that is), may be valued and approved of, and regardless of those elusive personal rewards-- men obligated to provide for women and children. Per feminist values and our consumer responsive media-- we dwell on the self-serving feminist proclamations of the misogyny of a patriarchal society, as evidenced by women reporting attempted suicide ten times more than men. We are feminist engineered to dispassionately avoid the larger truth that males (being alienated, marginalized, isolated, and abandoned in a feminist consumer convenient throw-away society) actually commit suicide four times as often as females. Women intuitively talk and socialize as an end in itself; while lonely hurt men do physical things. The squeaky wheel gets the attention. Dead men don't squeak. Patriarchy? Where gender discrimination is absolutely illegal in government we sell government postage stamps to benefit female breast cancer, ignoring that prostrate cancer is nearly as common but only one tenth as funded as breast cancer. Per the same mechanisms, we assiduously avoid the understanding and semantics of misandry. Men are so stiffed and disposable that the word misandry is not even in most American dictionaries. Including Faludis?

A major reason why a men's movement has not evolved is a simple matter of fact-- of disposable time. Men have been, and remain, more time-constrained to appeal to, to protect, and to provide for others (mostly women) through lifetimes of mortal obligations. Men went to Vietnam, and still go to Selective Service, and to trade and career-training schools to chase careers unto death and to seek women's approvals and intimate favors. Men do not go to academia to amass four decades of narcissistic sexist libraries, narcissistic sexist academic disciplines, narcissistic selfish political movements, and lucrative narcissistic pop-journalist celebrity status, all whereby to objectify, manipulate, exploit, and dispose of the other gender as ever-more inferior-, yet ever-more responsible-, hate-objects. Here in Seattle, at the University of Washington, .02 percent (that's two one hundredths of one percent) of the shelf-space of gender-studies literature is given to male-friendly treatises. How have men been stiffed? By men buying into feminism, believing that feminism is palpable, new-generation humanism. By building ceilings and doors since the Paleolithic to shelter women, then opening doors for women, to then be despised, demeaned, and rejected as evil patriarchs for holding doors open for women. And when men don't hold doors open for women then, no matter, men are characterized as evil discriminating patriarchs of closed glass ceilings. men are stiffed by expecting that in yielding space, responsibility, obligation, and effort to women in the traditional hazardous male workplace, it would mean that women would be equally willing, responsible, and expected to suffer the equal mortal risks, insults, hazards, hostilities, limitations, and debilitations in order to achieve status and success in the workplace. But instead, men in the workplace, finding themselves immediately disposable for the mere sense of security, protection, and power of women in the workplace. It's OK to obligate disposable male bodies to be vaporized as combat pilots; but by God and Tailhook, those same men are destroyed and pilloried for the taboo of offending and touching sacrosanct female bodies. Stiffed? When will we be equally protective of men's bodies, psyches, and welfare the way, and to the degree, we are about females? When will we care equally about males as people? Faludi and Newsweek may now be the start. But its a suspect commercial, self-serving beginning. When will it be equally unacceptable to sexually mutilate 80% of American males as infant baby boys, one every 20 seconds, as it is to merely touch a woman? A major reason a male movement is lagging is because male reactionary anger to such ubiquitous double standards is treated as a biological, chromosomal defect. Faludi acknowledges that male anger is given no legitimacy. We've been socially engineered (mostly by HER!!) to avoid seeing male anger (i.e., backlash) as a predictable response by naturally sensitive humans to ubiquitous, exploitive, endless, mortal social injustice. Instead, because of her, male reactionary anger is aggressively fired, divorced, prosecuted, and incarcerated. Such anti-male culture is a direct result of Faludi's massively influential history of wrongly and unjustly asserting that men are dominant and in control, and are morally inferior for their backlash to feminism. She reaped massive income and icon status for a book that chewed up, spit out, raped, and abandoned men.

Another reason for an unequal male-movement is that Newsweek did not give a cover-story to Warrren Farrell and his 1994 book, The Myth of Male Power. Farrell's work was vastly more scientific, encyclopedic, and conclusively documented to make the very same points as now does the Pulitzered, more florid Faludi five years later. But in this consumer society, a truth, a notion, or a perception of gender is not valid or socially acceptable until a female feminist says it. A man does not have the power to say in his gender's behalf what a Christina Hoff Somers, a Cathy Young, a Kathleen Parker, a Camille Paglia, or now a new Susan Faludi can. This clearly displays the massively superior moral power and social credence that women hold over society in general and over men in particular, as mothers, lovers, wives, as coddled dilettante feminists, and as anti-feminist journalists. This female power is the primal, dominant force of human evolution. When it is realized (1) that the instinctual doll play of girls (, i.e., the resourceful objectifying and engineering of humans and society for self-centered, self-actualizing gratification and affirmation) is unfathomably more powerful in human culture than is the more physical instinctual play of boys, and (2) that dolls appear in girl's graves at the emergence of Homo-sapiens and of human culture 30 - 35,000 years ago, when it is realized (3) that for the 700 generations of humanity since then it is the women who have been given priority in the lifeboats and given the priority protection and welfare of sacred domestic environments, and when it is realized (4) that the interests, preservation, and intimate authority of females (as mothers , lovers, and wives) remain the dominant ends of human evolution and of virtually all human behavior of both genders, etc., and when (5) it is understood that the booty of marauding men, be they Scythians, Huns, Vikings, Conquistadors, or Walter Mitty, ends up in the graves of their contemporary women, when (6) these things are gratefully acknowledged by national celebrity feminists such as the here failing Faludi -- (7) only then will the rapacious feminist lies of so-called "patriarchy", "male power", and "female victimhood", etc., ad naseam, all be realized as absurdly cruel and evil doll-play behavior. I.e., by the most enviable, privileged recipients and products of all human evolution, so far. I.e., by Ivy-League, dilettante American feminist high-priestesses. I.e., by sexually stunted, sociopathic spinsters self-actualizing in complete academic and capitalistic freedom. How insane it has been for the Katherine MacKinnons, Andrea Dwarkins, Gloria Steinems, and the former Susan Faludis to lucratively assert that males, male power, even sex itself, are a conspiracy to subordinate women. If men and patriarchy really ruled, such events and celebrities of insanely selfish feminism would not be possible, not explicable, not even imaginable. More worldly, feminine, European women are baffled by the hostility, prudery, ignorance, and power of American feminism, and by how it is demeaning, destructive, and uncivilizing to both women and men. And the world is baffled by America's violence.

Men are not so stiffed by the failings of their fathers per feminist Faludi's assertions, as they have been stiffed by Susan Faludi, herself. Until Faludi has the integrity to acknowledge and apologize for her own monumental contribution to our social morays of gender lashings and backlashes, her pretty prose and cover-girl pose now on newsstands across Western Civilization are largely commercial opportunism. Until Faludi, the arch-feminist, admits her own stiffing of-, and the subsequent alienation of-, males, and until Faludi acknowledges her own contribution to the endemic desperate reactionary "backlash" of male anti-social violent behavior, and until Faludi aggressively demonstrates her deliberate distancing from her evil sisterhood ilk of MacKinnon, Jill Ireland, Steinem, Dwarkin, etc., beware of this commercial hypocrite lioness, Newsweek-covered in sheep's skin. Faludi has much too much to answer for, before she so gratuitously asserts, 'that feminism is so big-hearted that it can encompass an enlightened welfare and justice for men'. What?!? No comment could stiff men more than such a fatuous and absurdly vain assertion as that!!! (And men are inferior if they use the word "fisherman" instead of the feminist word "fisher"?1? While feminism is to represent men?!?) Feminism is NOT neo-humanism!! Feminism is sexism, pure and simple. Feminism is institutional, systematic, comprehensive, bigoted, selfish, government supported, tyrannical, even religious sexism. Period. It objectifies, dehumanizes, exploits, suppresses, marginalizes, fires, kills, and disposes men. Persona non grata. It even has narcissistically disposed of males as pronouns from much of our now dysfunctionally self-conscious language. Feminism is no more humanistic, and no less pernicious and hurtful, than is racism. All this in large measure is due to a decade of Faludi's monstrous influence on gender perceptions in America. Faludi's condescending self-justification for sexist feminism and her own historic central role in it, shows how absurdly myopic, hopelessly narcissistic, and cruelly inhumane are American feminism's high priestesses.

All critically said by someone who a dozen years ago was the most ardent feminist of anyone I know; i.e., myself. Still, Newsweek and Susan Faludi now demonstrate an unprecedented milestone of necessary gender reconciliation in America; that is, if civilization is to advance to a more compassionate, inclusive humanism. Let alone survive. Due to anti-male feminism, many have not survived. Tragically, for all those victims of desperately inarticulate backlash male rage, Faludi's now new, marketable, bigger heart comes meaninglessly too late. Tellingly, Newsweek's current cover story could not be achieved by any man on behalf of men. Look how feminist-dominated New York publishers black-balled Warren Ferrell. Maybe, just maybe, Columbine High, Springfield, Oregon, Oklahoma City, etc., ad naseam tragedies of backlsashing "dis-ed" males, would not have happened if five years ago Newsweek made Warren Farrell it's cover-story of a newly legitimate social movement of care and compassion for males. Maybe, just maybe, 100 million socially diffident people having an accidental y-chromosome would not have need nor occasion to vent such suppressed anti-social anger in their own domestic privacy, if bravely nowhere else.

Nonetheless, thank you, for this surprising milestone, for anything male-compassionate, finally in the major American commercial news media. Why has there been no comparable male-movement? As Faludi points out in her interview of Shanyika Shakur, male anger is not legitimized until it is recognized by the media. Maybe now the legitimacy of male backlash rage can be given equal free speech, safe to assemble in public and not diffidently coerced in the bedroom. Maybe now a legitimate social movement can arise with such inclusive humanism that it can recognize the goodness of men, even white males, as people, too. But not if it's "stiffingly" called "feminism".

Respectfully yours,

Peter Maule
Kirkland, Washington

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