[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y upbringing was pretty uneventful in that I grew up in a financially and emotionally stable environment. I say this easily as my parents have always been tight yet never dependent together, and while I never wanted for anything I looked and found solace in a crowded dump of a place when I moved out of home at age twenty one.
Like many people, before twenty five or thereabouts, I felt an ache to express myself through a tunnel vision of extreme political leanings. I chose the left of left because all the other folk with any opinion were simply deluded, and if only I could have sat the whole world down and explained how wrong everyone was then it could have been all so good.
In this first home away from home I recall endless nights coalescing into dawns that blurred into long shadows the next day through a haze of Thai Buddha and Queensland forest THC. The bong gurgled without remiss like a forgotten percolator and the sex was a pastiche of colors I’d never seen before. I’d wake up stoned and bonk the girl next to me and then bonk another later that night. Pretty soon I worked out that the way to get all this bonking done was to listen to the feminist droning of the future bonkee.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]I left when one of the girls there stuck a box cutter to my throat and in a very quiet voice suggested to me that I back away from her “friend.” [/quote] I lived in a shared terrace house of six young people paying rent with a forever floating pool of four or more partying and smoking it up and maybe we got sex and definitely we got feminists. There we all were in a great big house full of serious people trading “love” for sex if you were a bloke and sex for “love” if you were a girl. It took me many years later to realize that the currency of all this required a stupidity within a plodding bubble of thought whose branches touched less than ten minutes ahead of the clock.
We were all taking ourselves tremendously seriously and none of us took seriously what any of us ever did.
There I was with hormones raging; more stamina and insight, and right before me was any number of lovely young girls aching to express themselves through the most important social cause of them all. Quite frankly I was always a goner. Ok, they were on a mission, and if I believed it, I mean if I really believed it then we could talk about it and I’d have sex. You want to talk about feminism, ok let’s gawk… I mean talk.
Do you think I was going to get anywhere if I let her know her beliefs stunk? I might have if I had thought about feminism for two minutes or if there were other young women there thinking differently. But I don’t recall this. I can say this assuredly as I would have remembered the communal screeching, and she would have been frozen out the door.
Also, as everyone was a feminist I didn’t need to think about existing differently. I have thought about this over the years and quite frankly I find this negligence more disturbing as time goes by.
In the beginning I knew nothing of feminism, not really, but then I studied it. I learned about the plight of rape victims and how Blue Stocking day was pretty brave and “leftish.” Someone mentioned “The Female Eunuch,” and I read the entire book in a cafe over a couple of days while buggered on Ecstasy.
My goodness it was terrific to be alive.
There I was, upgrading myself as a feminist foot soldier. I was hopped up on an alphabet of pharmaceuticals and turning those pages over one by one with a display of mechanical aptitude that would have the mannequins of the Prague town hall clock blush with envy.
When I finished it at three in the morning I knocked on the window of the girl that loaned me the book and I sobbed in her arms. Great big tears of manly shame just bled down my face as she told me I was different and special. I felt even more shame when I pressed my face deep in the softness of her wonderful bosoms.
Then I wondered why she was permitting me to be there while the terrible and grubby thoughts swirled in my head like piranhas in a whirlpool. Surely she could see my thoughts just as all feminists know how the duller and baser enemy thinks? She was truly forgiving to let me be there at all. Later that morning I was further blessed as she let us both frolic on her bed beneath the crisp satin sheets of her final judging. I knew she was by proxy the speaker of a huddle of feminists within a star chamber somewhere and the verdict was in that I was pure enough to be touched and could touch a little.
You might think here that I’ve made my point about a misspent youth with my personal tale of silly thinking and doing. I wish that you were right, but you’re not even close. It gets worse, much worse.
My second year away from home had me living in a quite amazingly lovely house, a mansion, in fact, whose previous occupants were emissaries of the Finnish government. The place was an architectural wonder of a dozen rooms, four fireplaces, several bathrooms and two kitchens. It’s no wonder it was the embassy for a country, and all of it set in the middle of an entire block of the intoxicating and primitive Australian native flora I love.
It was a godsend. I was sharing this incredible place with eleven other occupants and we all paid a ridiculous pittance for rent. My great big room in a great big house surrounded by a small forest and living with all these people I didn’t know at all made me drunk. Life was getting better and to cap it off every single one of my house mates was female.
Some were gay and some were not and I accepted the fact that all of the toilet seats were glued down. I scuttled about in the shadows when the girls got loud and deep in the common rooms, and learned that to be one of the chain-gang I would have to hand out fliers every now and then and attend meetings on campuses. No need to tell you here what all of this was about, I’m sure you get it.
A few months later I left when one of the girls there stuck a box cutter to my throat and in a very quiet voice suggested to me that I back away from her “friend.” I never knew who her friend was but I sure knew what an exit sign was and used it there only one time the next morning.
Just before I left that gorgeous house something happened that I’ll not forget, and it was this incident that had me questioning for the first time my gathered disgust of my very own gender.
I attended a rally of feminists outside a beauty pageant and was holding a sign I made bearing the words “Miss World is Mutilation.” That night I was safe and happy, scared and angry all at the same time. This was a strange combination of things, but then again so is a pressed cane-toad skin wrapped bolus of white powders, hash and prescription drugs the size of a golf ball.
Before I knew it I was really one of the chain-gang that night. Anyone that entered that municipal building that hosted that oppressive pageant was flayed alive by a great pond of loud chanting and imaginative phrasing that would have the sternest dock worker reaching for a pad and Biro. It all seemed to be going swimmingly with the belligerent group of twenty or so, and then someone lit a fire on the lawn there. In a few minutes a fire engine appeared and a long hose was unrolled in order to attend to it but the nozzle of it never made it.
The feminists in unison broke away from where they were and ran to the hose and stood on it. The fire, no bigger than a small bonfire, burnt merrily as the firemen stood about scratching their heads. There was nothing they could do as they looked upon the limp hose as it lay flattened on the grass with dozens of angry feet on it. Two of those feet were mine and what happened next I will never forget.
The chant became very loud and it was a new chant altogether. Now it was, “Cut it off… Cut it off… Cut it off.”
So here I was, a feminist with a penis holding a placard that said, “Miss World is Mutilation,” and at the same time I was deafened with the inference and endorsement of violence and barbarism through an enforced surgical procedure. The idea quite simply was to “Cut it off,” and it was at this exact moment that I felt deeply betrayed and used and the darkness of the irony of it all was in the wording of the sign I held. I let that sign fall to the ground and I walked to my car and drove away from that nasty circus forever.
It was a number of years later that I became an MRA The telling of that might well be pretty dull and it’s not relevant anyway. What’s important to me is not so much a climbing awareness of what I now know absolutely, nor is it the demise of what I once was absolutely.
What holds my interest in what I’ve told you just now is the fact that I was so much like that then and I am so much not like that now. In other words if I changed from an unpleasant micro eared macro mouthed sycophant with a tang of narcissism then there really is hope for almost all of us.
Yes we’re all different and there will be those that will never break from their hermetically sealed vacuole of dissonance. You know them and I know them. But then again, do we really?
Who are the ones like I once was who might, just might, be able to listen to themselves if only for a moment? I think this is not only hard to answer but it’s also a mere membrane away from impossible to answer. It’s very possible that there are many more feminists out there who could make great MRA’s one day. This is not Pollyannaism. It’s rational affirmation. If you don’t believe me just have a think about some of the things I’ve written about here in this article. Ironically, my personal history makes me a better men’s rights activist.
Maybe a trick, or strategy for the inclined is to watch carefully those we care about who are this way and ask them the right questions? Perhaps for others it might be to present at the right moment a paradox of reasoning that brings about a discomfort, or discord in their thinking. Who can say what the precise answer is? It’s not me, and I’m clean and sober of feminism now so if I don’t know now, I never will.
What I can tell you though with the sobriety and clarity of sea air, is that once I was a member of a feminist chain-gang and now I am forever a fugitive. So very completely and joyously free.