How I Became a Mensch

July 10, 2010

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After Feminism Stole My Identity


(My first Internet article, from Aug. 2000,  revised. It shows how I developed my ideas on heterosexuality. "Mensch is Yiddish for a real man. It means 'human' in German.)

When I was 21 years old, and living in Israel, I received a letter from my mother. She had taken my savings and invested in a town house.

"Now, you are a mensch," she said.

I wondered what she meant.

How did owning a house make me "a man?" 

I came of age at a time when youth was "looking for identity." I was searching for it in Israel. Later, I became a Canadian nationalist. In each case, I didn't find identity in "community."

I had a strong patriarchal father, an excellent role model. He built a successful career, and supported a family.

"Work is the backbone of a man," he would tell me. "It's the most important decision a man makes. A wife is the second."

But for some reason, his example didn't register. Why not?

For centuries, men defined themselves in terms of masculinity. Why was I so clueless?

I was a feminist.


ATTACK ON GENDER AND FAMILY


I grew up in an era that bought the feminist lie that men and women are identical. In our culture, women are encouraged to be "equal" -- do everything men do, and vice versa.  "Equal" became "identical."  This retarded my personal development by 25 years. I doubt if I am alone.

"Identical" made me look for for myself in a mate. I was literally attracted to lithe young women with cropped boyish haircuts: my own persona.

I put a woman on a pedestal because she had my identity. She could give it back to me. Some women were immediately repelled. Others enjoyed the adulation for a while, but eventually lost respect.

What I needed was someone quite different from me, my feminine complement.

Eventually feminism will be recognized for what it is: a virulently anti-social, anti-women, lesbian ideology that achieved power by pretending to champion "women's rights." By taking power,  feminism has been able to emasculate men and masculinize women. In other words, women have usurped the masculine identity, and in the process, both sexes have lost their own.

Incredibly, the destruction of heterosexuality is the hidden agenda of feminists, who think gender difference is the source of all injustice.

Most people don't realize that the feminist movement literally is Communist in origin.Most of the leading feminist thinkers, including Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir, were Marxists, and many also were lesbians. 

Feminism is about power not choice. "No women should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children," said feminist founder Simone de Beauvoir. "Women should not have that choice, because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one" (Saturday Review, June 14, 1975).

If feminism were really about choices, it would not indoctrinate women to enter the work force and become "independent." It would not demonize men and heterosexual love. It would not ostracize feminists who marry and start families. 

Lesbians have always been women who coveted the male role. It is based on Marxist notions of "equality" and class conflict that have no relevance to a mystical and biological reality such as love.

The breakdown in the traditional family caused by feminism is the main reason for our social, personal and existential problems. People have always derived meaning and purpose from familial roles (e.g. daughter, wife, and mother) and from life-cycle rituals, (marriage, birth and death). Indeed, marriage and family are a God-given path to achieve love and personal fulfilment.

We do not find wholeness by incorporating masculine and feminine in ourselves but by uniting with our opposite. Heterosexual love is the attraction of opposites. Indeed, as heterosexuals we define ourselves in terms of these differences. If we are male, we are not female, and vice-versa, like dark and light. Because I denied these differences, I didn't know who I was. I didn't understand women, and I didn't know how to approach them.


RECLAIMING MASCULINITY

I was almost 50-years-old before I solved the riddle. A book The Flight from Woman (1964) by Karl Stern, a Canadian psychiatrist, confirmed what my instincts were saying. My mother had been right all along. A man makes the house; the woman makes the home.

According to Stern, masculinity is defined by "power" over the natural and social environment. Men provide the physical and cultural context for the domestic world. They are do'ers: adventurers and builders, protectors and providers.

Femininity is defined by "love." Feminine psychology is founded on nurturing and loving husbands and children, and thereby being needed and loved. Women are the engines of love, acting much like the heart in the body. The family is the fundamental building block of society and foundry of the future.Women are its foundation.

Men define themselves by deeds; women simply are love: beauty, grace, faith and goodness. Men tend to be rational and objective; women subjective, intuitive and emotional. Distinctions like these need not constrict us. They are a theme upon which to play our own variations. For example, my wife mows the lawn; I do all the shopping and cooking. But without the theme, there is confusion and chaos.

The feminist gospel that traditional sex roles are "oppressive" is wrong. For many people, a flexible interpretation of traditional roles are essential for happiness and fulfilment.

I extrapolated from Karl Stern's distinctions. If man is motivated by power and woman by love, heterosexual love must be an exchange of the two.

A woman surrenders her power, in trust. This is how a woman expresses her love. By trusting. In this way, women actually empower men. If a man betrays this trust, he loses his power.

In return for her power, a woman gets what she really wants: a man's power expressed as his intense, undivided love.

He includes her in his sphere of self-interest: this is how two people become one. Her happiness is his happiness. He can't hurt her without hurting himself.


RECLAIMING FEMININITY


Teaching women to seek masculine power prevents them from getting what they really want. Women want to be possessed by a man's love.

God's love of Creation is mirrored in a man's love of a woman. A man channels God's love to a woman by making her a wife and mother. Women want masculine power, but it must be in a man.

A girlfriend once told me, "I want to be used." The same girlfriend also said that without a man, she feels "like a rudderless boat." Similarly, a man without a woman is a rudder without a boat.

A man cannot love a woman who is competing with him for power. Relationships between so-called "equals" are like mergers, or roommates.

Psychiatrist, Irene Claremont de Castillejo, calls them "brother-sister" marriages (Knowing Women: A Feminine Psychology, 1973).

They cannot achieve the intimacy as when a woman surrenders her will to a man, and a man returns this trust with his wholehearted love. Some psychiatrists say a woman's sexual satisfaction is also linked to her ability to trust and surrender.

Feminine women are creatures of God. In love, they sacrifice their "selves" for love, which in many religions is the key to transcendence. Helen Deutsch remarked on this"masochist-narcissist" syndrome (sacrifice for love) in her The Psychology of Women: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation (1944). The majority of women only achieve fulfilment as wives and mothers. In their hearts, they know it.

Nor can women love men with whom they compete. Women are hypergamous which means they seek men of higher status than themselves. Even the most ardent heterosexual feminist only can love someone more powerful than she.

The struggle for power is poisoning male-female relations. It is the death of love. Men cannot give up their defining characteristic (power) and expect to be men. Women cannot criticize and challenge men and expect to be loved.

When I comprehended this, I felt liberated. I established a healthy relationship with a woman who is my female complement, and married her.


CONCLUSION

The universal complaint is that men don't know how to be men; women don't know how to be women. It helps to see heterosexual love as a mystical dance. The male leads; the female follows. You can't have a graceful dance without each partner playing his part.

The dance is based on love. The male is always considering his mate's wishes because he loves her. In some cases, he will ask her to lead.

As in a ballroom dance, who can say which role is more important? Both partners are of equal value. The dance requires both the leadership and dynamism of the male; and the beauty, love and grace of the female.

In the dance of love, two people become one, and the fruit of this mystical union, is often a child.


Comments for "How I Became a Mensch"

Michael said (April 16, 2008):

Your piece on "Becoming a Mensch" was beatifully written. If the die-hard feminists only knew the real impetus for the movement, they would march on Washington. Gloria Steinem now admits she was run and paid by the CIA. As you alluded, Nick Rockefeller confided to his friend, Aaron Russo, that the feminist movement was all about ensnaring more suckers into the role of "taxpayer." Russo's video, 'America, Freedom to Fascism,' is the crowning achievement of a life cut short in its prime. I highly recommend it to all who put their faith in "their" government to do the right thing. The scene where he deflates a former IRS Commissioner and legal counsel is worth the price alone.


Elizabeth said (April 16, 2008):

Henry,

You don't know how much of a blessing your article was to me! Everything rings so true, and it answers a LOT of questions for me. I do believe, hard as I may try to the contrary, that I have one of those brother-sister marriages. The problem is two-fold. The night before I read your article I was talking to a friend and explaining that I can't TRUST my husband; not trust him as in not to cheat, but simply to trust him to do what he says, not change the plan or the direction on a whim and leave me stranded. He is cold, aloof most of the time, and this part of your article really hit home:

Women want to be possessed by a man's love. God's love of Creation is mirrored in a man's love of a woman. A girlfriend once told me, "I want to be used." In a way, a man channels God's love to a woman by making her a wife and (possibly) a mother. Women want masculine power, but it must be in a man. The same girlfriend also said that without a man, she feels "like a rudderless boat." Similarly, a man without a woman is a rudder without a boat.

A man cannot love a woman who is competing with him for power. Relationships between so-called "equals" are like mergers, or roommates. One psychiatrist, Irene Claremont de Castillejo, calls them "brother-sister" marriages (Knowing Women: A Feminine Psychology, 1973). They cannot achieve the intimacy as when a woman surrenders her will to a man, and a man returns this trust with his wholehearted love. Some psychiatrists say her sexual satisfaction is also linked to her ability to trust and surrender.

I think I'm the flip-side of this. I am a REAL woman who is seeing the effects of being married to someone who isn't a real man.

I always thought deep down there was something wrong with me. Try as I might -- I've stuck in there for 21 years -- most of the time I feel lost. I feel like a boat without a rudder! Sometimes I want to scream STAND UP AND BE A MAN! Stop being ruled by your emotions!! I realized with our kids he was fussing about the problem but hiding behind me to take the appropriate action, and when I stopped, when I stepped back and let him steer, take the lead, he backed down.

"What do you want for the future?" I would ask him. "All I want to do is to be with you... "

You would think that a woman would like that comment, BUT A REAL WOMAN DOESN'T! And I can see it now, Henry, from your analogy about the rudder and the boat. We want the man the have DIRECTION, to take control, and when they don't, we lose that attraction.

He also competes with me on things, whether its a diet, or exercise, or hobbies. I have no desire to compete with a man on anything. It is so un-manly, this competition; it makes him so unattractive to me.

I'm sorry, I went on so... I know this isn't Henry's marriage counseling service, LOL, but I just wanted to let you know what a blessing your article was to me. I have met a man, a REAL MAN, and I have been fighting an attraction for him for quite some time, the guilt building and building. But now, I understand. It is almost like it couldn't be helped. I am searching for a rudder. I feel lost and incomplete without it. This is the way God made me, and it is no wonder I've felt an attraction for this man, a yearning to be his compliment instead of the roommate sister/brother relationship. I don't desire to cheat on my husband, I desire to be a wife in the true sense of the word.

I guess I'll just keep praying about this, but I know your article was at least a partial answer to my prayer. Thank you for re-posting it. You must have been inspired to do so....


Axel said (April 15, 2008):

he key to a lasting relationship between two people lies in the -passion- of common interests because without this ingredient - there is nothing! It might be a common love of collecting antiques, golf, fishing, or whatever. This is
what binds the union - forever and a day; this is what in fact carries the union for decades.

The passion of common interests drives the relationship forever, within a context of mutual energy; not sex, but something that can be shared, and the role model stuff is all put on the back burner towards a common goal of
mutual interest such as collecting antiques for example.

This is were the passion lies which solidifies a love and mutual union for each other.


Max said (April 14, 2008):

You poor, deluded homophobe. You obviously haven't got a clue what it means to be Gay and it appears that you know very little about being staight. Do you REALLY want to know what the Gay agenda is? We want to be free to persue happiness and love in the way that we choose, with whomever we choose, regardless of their gender. Free from being labeled and stereotyped by bigots with Ph.D's, closed minds and loveless lives. Just because a few straight people hate Gay people doesn't mean we hate all straight people. In my observations, the most vocal homophobes/Gay bashers do so because they themselves have issues with their own repressed homosexuality. In my opinion, you all can stand at your pulpits and scream about conspiracies and condenm us all to hell, you're the only ones losing any sleep over it, not me. Look at the way things are going. Do you think you're making any headway? Every day women and Gays are gaining the rights that every other human on Earth has by right of birth, that's why they are called "Human Rights," and a few religious zealots with a following of social retards and teenage boys will every stop the progress of social change that will bring about equal rights for all human beings. Open your eyes to the world around you, how can you think that anything you say or do will stop the logical progress of society. But you don't deal in logic do you? You and your kind deal in paranoia, fear and bigotry. The dinosaurs perished when they couldn't adapt to the changing climate, and now it's the social climate that is changing and you are surely doomed.
Next time you are in the U.S. stop by Little Rock, Arkansas and we will go to church togather. You can go with me and work in the soup kitchen at the Salvation Army and feed a bunch of drug addicts, drunks and prostitutes. I do it every Sunday afternoon, because if I don't care who will. Because that's what Jesus would do, not encite fear and hatered for his fellow man.

---

Max, You are a dupe. If you weren't, you wouldn't react in a knee-jerk fashion to what I am saying: heterosexuals are being turned into homosexuals. Not wanting to be a homosexual, or see heterosexual norms replaced by homosexual norms, is not the same as "hating" them. Heterosexual society is under siege and dupes like you are running interference for the attackers.-Henry


Teresa said (April 14, 2008):

You know, after reading your columns, I have come to the conclusion that you need a good therapist who will help you explore your family and childhood issues...(who doesn't though, really, nearly everyone alive has been harmed in some way and in some degree by the faulty parenting instilled on us all as children......)

But to go around giving everyone your opinions as if they are truth, when in fact they are not, that is something different. Perhaps it would be best to keep your opinions to yourself. In the course of good therapy, you may see things differently, not the least of which, that your own opinions and ideas about the world around you are just that. Your opinions. No, not everybody's reality, or everyone's truth, but your own opinions and formulations of the world around you, shaped from childhood. Or possibly you may see your parents in a better light, and come to better understand the family who raised you.

But to try to keep blaming everything in your life on someone, whether it be women (mostly), or even "the CIA", is just wrong, and you are not helping things by teaching people, especially men, to just blame things on someone else.....Where is personal responsibility then? And that, dear sir, is the problem! I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there is NO ATTACK on gender and family other than the damage that men do! Men, yes even many "Christian" men run the other way when it comes right down to it; their personal responsibilities seem to fly right out the window when it comes to taking care of their wives and families. It's easier for them to run the other way, find another female and lay around and drink beer (or whatever), and not work all day. And so, we have generations growing up without their fathers, with many children living and growing up in poverty, without the things they need to grow up healthy and safe.... This has become the world we live in today, unfortunately. Whose fault is that? Women's? Mothers?? Do you really blame women for being cautious about who they marry and have families with ,then? Or for having to get a job, just to support the family that their husbands won't? Give me a break! Even if they are a stay-at-home Mom, statistics show that they are easily abused BY THEIR HUSBANDS, not only physically, but also financially, mentally, and emotionally! Is that also the fault of women? Many perfectly good, old-fashioned women have been ruined in many ways, by spouses who abuse the sanctity of marriage and family. And, yes, contrary to your opinion, it is mostly the MEN who ruin good families and marriages by drinking, infidelity, violence, laziness, sexual perversions, and so on.....Most men live through their sexuality, not their responsibility. Show me 1 decent man, just 1, who has lived a decent, faithful life; who has truly taken care of his wife and children......ha! It is hard to find even 1! And they've got NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THEMSELVES!

Like I said, you may want to consider a good therapist who will help you explore your childhood issues....until then, please stop trying to push your opinions on everyone else....I don't want my children to be harmed from possibly reading your viewpoints; then again, after what they have personally been through in life, I doubt that they would even want to listen to your crap....

Sincerely,

Teresa Marie Vicario-Sturgeon
--------

Teresa,

I have no childhood issues and am happily married. I have nothing to blame anyone for, except 25 years wasted as a feminist. I would be happy to refer you to dedicated and loyal family men. The Rockefellers admit they are behind feminism but your life is already ruined, so you cling to a false dream. Too bad for you --Henry


Mike said (April 14, 2008):

Media and the Feminist Agenda:

Dear Henry;

I want to point out to you, (as if you don't already know this), the incessant dumbing down of the male in society when it comes to advertising.

I find there are many food suppliers who tend to make men look like the idiot and the woman the smart one. I direct your attention to a cereal commercial where the man is pouring some of this "nutritional Cereal" into a bowl and while doing so mentions to his wife, (who is also eating the same cereal), "Are you trying to lose some weight?" From then on she begins to terrorize him into forcing him to tell himself to "Shut Up". At one point during the demeaning conversation where she is chastizing him you see his face, eyebrows up, shear terror and then her face looking all the features that one would expect of a Nazi prison interrogator.

Another commercial shows the "Breadwinner Woman" coming home after working all day, (bringing home the bacon), and the husband, (out of work looser) working on his hobby car. He says to her, "let me know when dinner is ready". The wife walks into the house and then immediately right back out to tell him "Dinners' Ready", to which the unemployed fool screams like a lady. This is to show he is an idiot, (can't cook dinner), (so stupid that he reacts with a girly scream) to the fact his dinner is ready so soon.

It would have people believe women can go to work, bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and the man can do none of these things.

Then there is the "Fragrant Candle Orgasim" commercial where a man walks up behind his wife hoping for some action only to be re-buffed by the woman who is totally sexually fulfilled by the fragrance of a candle. She walks away without even acknowledging his presence. I could go on and on but you get the point.
-----

Mike

As you point out, the mind control function of advertising has expanded from economic to include
social engineering and behavior modification.
-H


Myster said (April 14, 2008):

The ability to empower words comes from the mind, and the mind, from my own understanding, is the tool that shape the perception of «reality»...

Ideologies are works of minds empowering words and concepts, in order to achieve an influence on the minds of humanity, to induce a «meaning»; bending their reality toward a general conclusion.

Most traditional cultures always relate to nature as anyone can observe it in its never ending revolutions were men and women are not casual observers, but as part of it. Traditional cultures are aware that individuals as well as communities must find harmony with the self and the larger world in order to experience happiness and fulfillment.

Western culture is way off in that perspective, and I conclude with you that feminism, as an ideology, is really a poison to the mind because it is sophistic, artificial and perverse. It would be great if only we could speak of one form of feminism, but as you must know too, there are many strands to this ideology... and as we try to address this field of «study» it is hard to know from witch perspective we are talking about...

I can only praise your courage and dedication to denounce the ravaging effects of this ideology on the western cultures, but it seems to me that it is futile to do so if you cant expose the root of the hidden power that is empowering this ideology. Really, a feminist is a sick person living among his or her likes... being so similar to others around, he or she cannot imagine this sickness...

The healing possess can only be achieve, individually and collectively, by getting to the bottom of the logic of the ideology... if men is all evil to women, then by getting equal, whether men will become half as bad or then, women will become half as good...

The bottom line is that feminism is part of the constructivist psychology theory used by some peculiar interests, which are not necessarily trying to make life easier to women...


Robert said (April 14, 2008):

"When a man betrays this trust, he loses his power." I believe modern men share much, most, or, perhaps, ultimately, all, of the blame for their current crises, on the theory that only he who holds the power to begin with can relinquish it, surrender it, abuse it, sell it, prostitute it, lose it, or screw it up. Commentator Dennis Prager believes part of the ages-old contract between man and woman was that she would stay at home and take care of the home and the children, if he, in return, would be faithful to her, his wife, but that modern man has not upheld his end of the bargain, or contract, and therefore modern woman felt that she was no longer obligated to uphold her end.

---

Thanks Robert,

The media- culture conspired to make man "fail" by bringing in the "sexual revolution." Bigger forces are at work. -H


Udo said (April 14, 2008):

Reading your new article this morning there was an incredible relief in my heart.

First time somebody was saying what I was thinking over the years but could not (or dared not) express.

To put things in the right order is a big talent of yours.

That you manage to do this on a personal and social/political level makes it even better.
It brings nothing less than a feeling of rightness into the hearts and brains of the people.

Thank you for that.

Here in Germany (especially in Berlin where I live) we still have a big impact on guilt feeling as any kind of resistance or critic is banned by the words "antisemitic" or "conspiration theory". It is said that the Germans have to suffer 4 generations for the holocaust (as me being of the 2nd generation.)

Thus people are stopped thinking, publishing, acting.The focus is on some boldhead youngsters that have ugly feelings towards their society as being the real Nazi isntead of the real ones.

The control is all over. I had to stop doing journalism as my truth was no more to express in any place. But no worries on that. We are witnessing interesting times anyway and the thought is still free.

Even the relations to my former female collegues - strong feminists anyway- went apart because of these power games of feminism and (gender studies [what the hell is that??]).

I must say that something good came out of that, too:

Very often you find now these power games on a "higher" cultural level between gay, homosexual men and lesbian feminist women who anyway somehow managed to give birth to children rise them up.
In the end I found out that very often the women won just because they take over more responsability - especially for families.
To become "real Mensch" for me personally was only possible in a Rosicrucian Community were we meet 3 times in a month.

Whilst I am writing to you the prices for food are rising and more and more people are in danger to starve from hunger .
-----



Rick said (April 14, 2008):

Great article. I think of a statement by Byron Katie. "When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time."


Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at