The Myth of Male Power – a review

Initially discovering Warren Farell through references by youtubers I watch, I have been intending to read The myth of male power for some time as it’s often regarded as a good read by those who’re similarly  sceptical of the contemporary 3rd wave feminist and social justice movements.

I approached the book with a high degree of caution as I feared that he would be as unrelentingly dogmatic and biased as those he critiqued, within the chapters. I purchased the abridged a-book through Audible and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. Rather than simply being a narration of the 1993 work, the audio book is actually a 3hr dialogue between Farrell and Tom Howard whose probing questions give Farrell the opportunity to respond in depth with examples from the book. I think this is done well however my only criticism is the lack of an accompanying written bibliography so that the authenticity of citations can be verified.

There are 6 Chapters in total and in each Farrell debunks various generally held preconceived notions about male power. He argues that men throughout history have been the disposable sex, that gender roles were functional for historical times but not for society today and that in our strive for equality, we have tended to the needs of one gender but not the other.

I was thoroughly captivated by the book and found myself considering ideas that I’d previously not thought about or had merely glossed over. For example, there is the fact that many low paid manual jobs, where men are the majority of the workforce, are in deplorable conditions. We turn a blind eye to miners who are subject to injury from falling rocks and electrocution via the underground wires and yet there would be riots if office workers were subjected to similar hazards. We glorify the stay at home mum who leaves her career in order to spend more time nurturing the children and yet fathers who work long hours to provide for their families can be contrastingly vilified.

Despite making these points, Farrell repeatedly reminds the audience that the ideal he strives for is gender equality, he faults men for not voicing their concerns and struggles (explaining why this might be the reason why there is no menimism movement) but also states that pointing out male issues does not delegitimize problems that females face.

I would give the book 9 stars as it’s well-balanced and informative and would definitely recommenced it to like-minded readers and friends.

My first band concert

As I sit here in my briefs listening to Something’s Gotta Give, I smile as I recall the concert which I write about. The day before I went, I never would have predicted such a reaction. The post-hardcore concert took place in early April at the Manchester Academy. Issues opened, followed by Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens.

Prior to the big day, I’d asked a few people whether they wanted to attend but unfortunately received a chorus of “no”s. I resigned myself to the fact I’d be attending alone and as the date grew closer, my anxiety began to increase exponentially. I grew more and more terrified about going and began to hope that something would occur which would provide a convenient excuse for my absence. Nothing did, of course so the afternoon of the concert, I donned my outfit while expecting to die from embarrassment.  When I arrived – about an hr or two before the show was meant to start – there was already a considerably large queue which waned for what seemed like forever, twisting and turning around buildings. Annoyingly, my phone was almost dead so to distract myself from the nerves, I tried making awkward conversation with the boy stood to the rear of me. We exchanged some words but his friends soon arrived – grabbing his attention. Their sudden appearance and his apparent relief at ending our discourse set the good old insecurities ablaze and I felt fat, ugly and old. I couldn’t help comparing myself to the younger, thin and edgily dressed emo kids around me. One to two hellish hours later, I entered the venue.

I wasn’t at all aware that Issues was the supporting band and so was completely unfamiliar with their set. I tried to keep myself enthused for the music which I really wanted to hear: that would follow. Dancing and jumping around was initially awkward but I soon stopped noticing the passage of time; I cared less about perfectly mimicking the movements of the crowd around me and I began to truly enjoy myself. Pierce the Veil were absolutely awesome. I knew most of the sung songs and was able to sing and growl along for good measure. The last song was King for a Day which Kellin Quinn came on for. It was the perfect segue for Sleeping with Siren’s entrance onstage.

SWS, I knew less but I happily danced along, mouthing along to popular songs which I knew like Kick Me. The most memorable part of the night was Kellin’s inspirational speech. To summarise, he expressed his eagerness to be in Manchester and told us to forget about the hate(rs) outside and then urged us to remember that everyone there within the venue was there for the same thing. While simple, it was a powerful message which further uplifted me. I felt connected to the fellow concert-goers and although I was unaccompanied, I didn’t feel alone.

By the time it had drawn to a close and I’d purchased some merchandise, I was a bit tipsy from some drinks I’d bought and my legs ached :p. Overall though, I was in a state of bliss. The feeling will probably get old as I attend more things but I’m glad I went, that night I was made to feel beautiful again.