“Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat. Women often have to flee from the only homes they have ever known. Women are often the refugees from conflict and sometimes, more frequently in today’s warfare, victims. Women are often left with the responsibility, alone, of raising the children.”
This is what Hillary Clinton said in 1998 in El Salvador at a conference on domestic violence. It has resonated among men’s activists for decades. And they have wrestled with the obvious insanity of that statement ever since.
How could women be more victimized by not dying in war than the men who die or who endure mind destroying violence?
That this question needs to be asked shows the absurdity and obscenity of Clinton’s public statement. Her declaration, that women who flee war zones are greater victims than the men who die, has been seen by men’s advocates as evidence of her malevolence. But the casual indifference of her female audience is just as telling.
How is it that the young men sent by politicians to kill and to be killed are not recognized as war’s primary victims? We will return to this question.
In 2013, a female traditionalist with a successful provider husband wrote a comparison of formal, public power and informal, indirect power. These are the two major categories of power exercised by humans. This blogger pointed out that most male power is exercised in the public realm, while most female power is exercised indirectly, in private spaces.
She illustrated her points with several observations, including the following passage.
“Of course there is a price to pay for surrendering formal power in favor of informal power. It means that our sons, our brothers, our fathers, our nephews, our cousins, our friends can be shoved off a cliff and the murderess will face little to no consequence for that.
In return for that sacrifice, we get the protection of men.”
It is not a secret that female violence against men carries little consequence to women who enact it. But even with this awareness, her statement’s conclusion is as puzzling as that of Clinton’s:
What sacrifice? Men being pushed off cliffs with little or no consequence is somehow women’s sacrifice? We can understand that a man’s death is a woman’s sacrifice only when we realize that the intended audience is solely female.
Now let us revisit the first question in this discussion, addressing the statements made by a woman who might still campaign for the job of America’s Commander in Chief. How is it that by not dying, Clinton has categorized women as victims, where the men who die in war are not?
It would be a mistake to attribute such statements to the ideology of feminism. After all, the example of tossing men off cliffs was posted by a vehement, anti-feminist, traditionalist woman. The ideal that a man’s death is a greater hardship to the woman than to himself runs deeper than modern feminism.
Men are not people. They are not even human beings. Men are women’s possessions. This is how those who run the world see the other half of the species: simply tools to be used. Women have always been the primary victims of war. This is not a discussion of people who die. It is a discussion of the loss of livestock and productive equipment.
But can it really be as bad as this? Surely, men enjoy a higher human esteem than simply beasts of burden and useful utilities. In fact, a number of prominent feminists have publicly disputed the status of men as useful utilities. The argument has emerged that men are actually obsolete appliances.
Are men obsolete? That question is the title of books, panel discussions, TED Talks and articles. And as men are sidelined in education, employment, and law these policies are cheered as a triumph of civilization.
And isn’t it amusing? Aren’t women smug and self congratulatory as they gloat over the marginalization, and indeed the criminalization of men. But guys, guys, calm down, because this is all just good fun. We’re just kidding. Don’t be so touchy. But they laugh right in your face about men’s suicide rates – well, just don’t take that too seriously, because they’re only joking. About your pain.
Whatever we conclude after after asking “are men obsolete?” it is a question you ask about a betamax video tape player or a daisy wheel printer, not about another human being.
How is it possible for women to be this callous? And here is where we musk ask ourselves how far we are willing to go in pursuit of truth. Are we ready to let the evidence lead us to uncomfortable conclusions?
A woman who “loves” her husband is expressing the appreciation that a farmer feels for a favored piece of farm equipment, or a prized horse. You may think you are a man but that’s not what you are to women.
You want to argue, or to lobby for your own basic civil rights do you? How very cute. How utterly, utterly quaint. Like a tiny child playing make believe, they’ll pat you on the head and give you a cookie.
And this realization is where men who have been previously ready to denounce women as cruel, and downright evil will balk. They will say “this has gone far enough.” According to them, these conclusions are unjustified and misogynistic, and I probably need to “take a time out, slow down and get a grip.”
Are we ready to follow the evidence to any conclusion or can we only come to conclusions which don’t upset us? If there is a line we will not cross then the project to free ourselves of harmful illusion is futile.
I have no such line or boundary. If you value the truth, you are ready too.