Even though I run a blog with the deliberately ironic title “We Hunted the Mammoth,” I’m still regularly amazed by how eager men who’ve accomplished nothing of value in their entire lives are to claim a kind of vicarious credit, by virtue of being men, for everything good that we humans have accomplished here on planet earth.
Consider this astoundingly un-self-aware bit of almost literal we-hunted-the-mammothing from a recent A Voice for Men post, written (very, very badly) by Peter Wright and Paul Elam:
Harnessing men’s utility can be witnessed from the erection of Stonehenge to the Roman Empire to the moon landings. Cures for diseases and vaccines to prevent them happened from the intensely intelligent actions of the human male. Exploring new territories and engineering the transport to send people to new places has changed the world, almost all of it through risk and hardship borne by men. Men have driven civilization forward since we first walked away from the African savannah. Men’s blood, sweat, tears and sacrifices are the fuel rods that have always driven the big machine of our society.
So much passive voice! So many mixed metaphors! Can anyone explain to me how blood, sweat and tears (liquids) can be fuel rods (solids, specifically “long, slender, zirconium metal tube[s] containing pellets of fissionable material”)? Or how “sacrifices” (an abstract concept) fit into the mix?
I will give an official We Hunted the Mammoth Award of Artistry to anyone who can draw me a picture — or make a diagram — of Wright and Elam’s terrible paragraph.
Oh, in case anyone is wondering, the ultimate point of that Wright and Elam post is to try to convince troubled men not to go to therapists unless the therapists are wise to the alleged evils of “gynocentrism.” You know, the evil force that made men do all that hard work for the lazy women of the world, who apparently spent all of human history watching soap operas and complaining about the men who were doing all that exploring and engineering and utility-ing and intensely intelligent actioning for them.
If you are searching for a therapist make sure and ask one question: “Have you heard of gynocentrism?” If they haven’t walk away and don’t hire them. In fact be prepared to do so much walking away that your steps will number enough to walk around the entire planet three times.
Well, that last bit, however cringeworthy the prose, is probably true. Because blaming men’s problems on “gynocentrism” is not just psychological quackery, it’s a highly obscure form of psychological quackery.
What a strange way the folks at AVFM have of demonstrating “compassion for men and boys,” as their old slogan had it.
Also, I’m pretty sure that at some point in the development of human civilization, and possibly even before it, women did some things too.