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  1. #1
    bachelor tom's Avatar
    bachelor tom is offline Established Member
    Member Since
    Nov 2006

    A Man In A Woman's World (book)

    Another former feminist leaves the fold:

    Alienated by sisters who simply won't listen

    That they can lose the active support of Jackie Hayden is a dreadful indictment of feminists, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

    THE injunction to never judge a book by its cover was never truer than when applied to Jackie Hayden's new book, A Man in a Woman's World.

    At first glance, the dreary front photograph of a barefoot woman sitting with her head in her hands against a blank wall, with the "man" of the title written in lurid blood red, seems to place the book squarely in the subgenre of true life abuse memoirs which have enjoyed a bewildering popularity among readers in recent years. Maybe the publishers were hoping to pick up some of the overspill from book buyers who've exhausted their Dave Peltzers and Kathy O'Beirnes and are on the lookout for some more broken relationships to salivate over.

    I know that if my eye passed over Hayden's book in Eason's, it wouldn't linger -- which is a shame, because it's a much more subtle and important book than that.

    Jackie Hayden has certainly lived a full life. He was involved in signing U2 to their first record deal (I suppose we must forgive him for that); he was closely involved with Hot Press magazine; he wrote the book My Son, with Phil Lynott's mother.

    He was also on the management committee of the Wexford Rape Crisis Centre for eight years, four of which were spent as chairperson. He was the first man in Ireland to hold such a position.

    So when he says that, by the end of his time with the Rape Crisis Centres, he had "become thoroughly disillusioned with what I saw as a deeply hypocritical strain of anti-male sexism" there, and had come to see their attitudes as "fundamentally disempowering of women" thanks to a "constant tendency to portray the female of the species as helpless lumps of victimhood", then he surely deserves to be heard.

    Jackie Hayden is not some caricature bar room boor, after all, but a child of the Sixties, fully signed up to anti-sexist, anti-racist spirit of the time. When he speaks out now against the disintegration of the feminist ideal into bitter sectionalism, it genuinely is more in sorrow than in anger.

    Will Irish feminists listen to the advice of an old friend any more carefully than they do to those they see as their enemies? It's doubtful.

    Feminism long ago retreated into its shell, dismissing all criticism as a misogynistic backlash -- which is why it is more like a cult, a cabalistic inner circle, these days than the intellectual and political force for change it could and should have been. The sisters simply don't listen anymore to anyone who doesn't sign up 100 per cent to the catechism. In that respect, Hayden is most likely wasting his breath, but he does it with such vigour and honesty that we should just be glad he did it anyway.

    One by one, he tracks his growing distance with the basic tenets of the feminist creed. That the media is responsible for violence against women, for example -- he just doesn't accept that as an article of faith.

    Hayden acknowledges that those who are predisposed to hating women might be influenced by what they see, but equally he doesn't turn his back on evidence that pornography can be a "defusing mechanism" for others. The picture is complex, and he doesn't run away from the complexity.

    He has seen, too, the way in which problems which afflict men have been sidelined and ignored, and no one seems to find it at all strange that they should be, while those affecting women are automatically assumed to be more important. He even details one shocking incident when, in a piece he had written for Hot Press, he mentioned the need to help victims of domestic abuse "to return to a life of non-violence that is the human right of every woman, man and child", and was urged by the female director of the Wexford Centre to drop the word "man" from the sentence because it was "inappropriate in the context".

    He has seen how women are allowed to joke about men in a belittling and derogatory way and no offence is allowed to be taken, whereas men are "permanently under scrutiny and threat" for the slightest remark. He knows that relations between the sexes are constantly shifting and under negotiation -- "Human behaviour," he writes, "is not robotically controlled." But still feminists speak as if all social and sexual interaction can be subject to cast-iron rules, with the severest punishments for transgression.

    He also knows that women sometimes lie about their own sexual behaviour, and even about rape, but that's not supposed to be talked about openly lest the blame shift from where it really lies: namely, with men en masse.

    Not for one moment does Jackie Hayden deny the reality of rape and sexual abuse. The statistics are all here, and they don't get any more palatable for being so familiar. What he objects to is the way in which feminists have demonised all men, and male sexual desire itself, as predatory and sinister.

    One result of this has been to make every lighthearted or flirtatious conversation a potential cauldron for claims of harassment, especially in the workplace, though women frequently use their sexuality to get what they want without any of the same censure.

    A Man in a Woman's World is full of such cool blasts of common sense -- not least his scepticism about the all-healing power of therapy, which is worth a book in itself.

    What's most refreshing about it, though, is that Jackie Hayden doesn't pretend to have all the answers. He's simply sharing his own experiences and observations over time, and his conclusions are nothing if not modest: proper funding for rape services, yes, but also an acceptance from women's aid organisations that women can be violent and predatory sometimes too; that not all women involved in pornography and prostitution are there because men forced them into it; likewise, a desire that women who espouse dysfunctional views of men be challenged about them. Is that really too much to ask?

    His chatty, unpretentious, discursive style also neatly sidesteps any accusations that he's engaged in some kind of polemical rant here.

    Hayden emerges from the page as a decent, humane, humorous man who has found himself sadly alienated by the attitudes of many women who, while spouting slogans about equality and respect, are profoundly derogatory deep down about his identity as a man, and, by extension, all the other men he knows to be honourable and caring too.

    That they can lose the active support of a man like Jackie Hayden is a dreadful indictment of Irish feminists and should give them pause for thought at least.

    That it probably won't is profoundly depressing. When he contacted former colleagues to ask for their help in writing this book, they didn't want to know, replying to his letters instead with a "veiled threat of legal action". Whatever happened to free speech?

    A Man in a Woman's World is published by Killynon Books and Hot Press Books

    this link is from cooltools4men, posted by khankrumthebulgar
    Feminism = Fear + Flattery

  2. #2
    Percy's Avatar
    Percy is online now Knackered old Knight
    Member Since
    May 2006
    Overlooking the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. The views are magnificent.

    Re: A Man In A Woman's World (book)

    Let this be a lesson for all those who erroneously think that manginas and feminists must be excoriated at every turn. Some can become enlightened. The more reasonable and open ones must come over to our side if our society is to be restored, or at least changed for the better. And 'our side' must be rational and welcoming. It is encumbent upon us all to recognise people who are willing at least to try to learn.

    Thanks BT.
    When in need of a drink to Refresh the soul
    Drop into the Knight & Drummer Free House.
    Always leave a Comment as a tip.

    Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum
    Love the Sinner but not the Sin.
    (St. Augustine)

    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against Principalities, against Powers,
    against the Rulers of the Darkness of this world, against Spiritual Wickedness in high places.
    (and within ourselves)

    A Feminist is a human being who has lost her way and turned vicious. If you meet one on the road as you
    Go your Own Way, offer kindness but keep your sword drawn.

  3. #3
    christianj's Avatar
    christianj is offline Moderator
    Member Since
    Jul 2006
    My Blog Entries:

    Re: A Man In A Woman's World (book)

    It does sometimes annoy me when people are this obviously correct..

    Well stated P.

  4. #4
    ooftus goofus's Avatar
    ooftus goofus is offline Established Member
    Member Since
    Nov 2007

    Re: A Man In A Woman's World (book)

    Quote Quote from Percy View Post
    Let this be a lesson for all those who erroneously think that manginas and feminists must be excoriated at every turn. Some can become enlightened. The more reasonable and open ones must come over to our side if our society is to be restored, or at least changed for the better. And 'our side' must be rational and welcoming. It is encumbent upon us all to recognise people who are willing at least to try to learn.

    Thanks BT.

    I always wondered if it was possible for a "feminist" to be enlightened.So many seem disturbingly and hopelessly brainwashed and unwilling to "open" their minds.Didnt Nelly Furtado also leave the feminut fold?

  5. #5
    Dr David Banner's Avatar
    Dr David Banner is offline Established Member
    Member Since
    May 2006

    Re: A Man In A Woman's World (book)

    At college I remember feeling revulsion and yes I confess freely HATRED of feminism when I saw as a young student the bile the hypocisy the LIES and the fecking obvious lesbianism...He was a magina and there are many like him feminism has no good in its rotten to the core.

    Well, thats not even half the battle, and sadly, that is where 90% of all energies in the antifeminist arena are spent.. Making observations is easy.. solutions are far harder../QUOTE]
    Too right Drex I am really fed up most of my fight is supressing anger to keep peace where I work...
    feminism is a disease the Doc is working on a cure. Symptoms include compulsive liar, constant aggression, allergic to logic, often affects women who are fat with short hair and big earings, but can be normal looking.
    Reason tablets three taken daily. If the sufferer displays shaming tactics double the dose. Remarkably the illness disappears in disaster zones.


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