Men. Women. Relationships. Surviving the Plague of Modern Masculinity (a review)

It’s with some excitement that I get to announce the release of a new book on the topic of men and relationships, penned by an author who has studied and expounded on this vexed topic for over 20 years.

The timing of this book couldn’t be better, with relationships between men and women increasingly severed from the gendered customs that once sustained them. The myths that once guided us toward mature, sustainable love are now cut to the quick by the sword of postmodernism. The result of that assault renders modern relationships chronically disoriented; in decay. This is not to say that relationship models of the past were without serious flaws and oppressive proscriptions. However, such complaints, while important, pale in comparison to the potential squandered by postmodern struggles; relationships concerned solely with power and control. We’ve traded in love and mutual reliance for a gender war, waged in an atmosphere of unabashed, socially sanctioned misandry.

Welcome to the brave new world.

Well-meaning solutions are as prolific as diet fads, each promising to put your life back on track. Such ‘solutions’ offer novel ways to repackage traditional gynocentrism; empty promotion of pussy hounding; feminist-inspired sycophancy; or alternatively a complete withdrawal from relationships and the world – strategies that rarely succeed in protecting us from the feelings of emptiness that plague modern relationships and which may even make the problem worse, with a few notable exceptions.

One of the more remarkable exceptions appears in the writings of Paul Elam which, as luck would have it, are now gathered into one volume entitled Men. Women. Relationships. Surviving The Plague of Modern Masculinity. In this work he digs deep into how we came to sexual warfare, while offering believable strategies to men on how to navigate through the mess and avoid many of the dangers.

Wary of the traditionalist’s appeal to relationship models existing before the appearance of feminism and post-modernism, Elam maps out a different viewpoint– i.e., not a nostalgia for more male chivalry and porcelain ladies of the past, nor for an engineered future utopia as described by today’s woke SJWs. Instead he proposes a classical solution based on upholding of individual freedom and liberty between relationship partners. That path, he writes, is based on appreciation of male humanity and particularly the affording of value to men rather than reducing them to mere utility.

Elam suggests that while severance from our gynocentric past is a liberating event for men, we still require a compass to give meaningful direction to our lives – because most men will still choose to remain in or seek relationships with women, even as some will justifiably swear off them. That compass, he contends, is the cultivation of strong personal values, including the ability to say ‘No’ when our personal values are being ignored, disrespected or refused. By sticking with our values – and demanding to be valued – we men can find a way out of the malaise and into meaningful engagement with the world. Or, as he puts it in the text, “Men are only as mentally and emotionally healthy as their ability to say no to a woman.”

For me personally these essays have helped to know where to place thick red lines that mark acceptable and unacceptable interactions between myself and the opposite sex, while also knowing to act when those lines are crossed. The result in my own relationships with women has been palpable, positive, and soul-preserving.

Written with humour and directness, Elam pulls no punches in his assessment of the modern relationship scene, while offering a path away from servitude toward a life of freedom that makes Men. Women. Relationships. Surviving The Plague of Modern Masculinity nothing less than a Red Pill Bible for modern man. If you are a man looking for a reliable way to navigate modern relationships, then this book is definitely for you.

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