Männerbund
12/04/2017
Hayden Macpherson
Philosophy
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Contra the Männerbund: Women, Homosexuality, and the Alt-Right

I recently read this interesting article over on Social Matter. While well-written (his arguments for disallowing homosexual entryism into Rightist movements are especially cogent) and thought-provoking, I do have some misgivings about the author's conclusions, and about the 'Neo-Masculinist'/MGTOW tendency in the so-called 'Manosphere' in particular, and the Alt-Right in general.  Here are some of my thoughts (make sure to read the linked article first, as my argumentation is articulated in response to his):

Firstly, I think Mr. (or should that be M.?) Perrilloux's analysis insufficiently takes into account the way in which men and women are designed by nature to be complementary/compatible, not only biologically, but also socially and psychologically. Simply put, men need women emotionally/psychologically as much as women need men physically/materially. Anti-feminists will sometimes assert that, if the hopes of many a lesbian radfem were to come to pass, and all the men in the world suddenly vanished, that society would swiftly collapse. Infrastructure and the economy would break down, there would be nobody to build or fix anything, and the feminine remnants of the human species would be reduced to a Stone Age-level subsistence. This is, no doubt, accurate. But, I think, at any rate, that if all women were to disappear overnight, and we were left on a planet populated entirely by men, while society would continue to function on a purely mechanical level, we would soon descend into a Hobbesian "war of all against all".  Untrammelled masculinity would reign without the gentling, moderating influence of the feminine touch, and anarchy (or tyranny), misery, and brutality would be the result. Male and female are two halves of the human psyche. Humans need a balance of feminine and masculine influence, and this is true at the individual level, the familial level (it is well-established that children need a mother and a father to emerge as well-rounded, functioning adults), and at the societal level. I will certainly grant that our society in its present state is far too feminised; but the solution is not to go to the other extreme of ultra-masculinity. Ancient Sparta may have been extraordinarily militarily effective, but it wasn’t a particularly pleasant place, was it? I, at least, would not wish to live there. Pure femininity indeed produces passivity, egalitarianism and weakness, but pure masculinity produces militarism, authoritarianism, and violence (of this we have numerous examples from history, not least the Third Reich).

Secondly, the argument that women should be entirely excluded from the professional/political sphere, and that close-knit, effective, mixed-sex working environments simply cannot function seems to ignore an abundance of empirical real-world evidence that points to the contrary. Male and female firefighters and paramedics, for instance, seem to do a fine job of working together professionally. No doubt there have been downsides to the opening up of formerly exclusively-male institutions (workplaces, universities, armed forces, political institutions, etc.) to women, but these have been counterbalanced by numerous subtle, but very real, benefits. In my own experience of the academic sphere, for instance, the greater preponderance of women in a space, the quieter, more civil, more focussed and professional the space is. Women are simply much more pleasant to be around and to work with (and that’s me speaking as a man).*

M. Perilloux says that homosexuals disrupt this ideal all-male ‘Männerbund’, but it’s hard to see how situational homosexual behaviour (i.e. sodomy, which he distinguishes from modern homosexuality, a distinction I find problematic) can possibly be avoided in an environment when men are exclusively/primarily associating with other men, especially when they have no other sexual outlet. Just think of the popular stereotypes surrounding navies, or (*shudder*) all-boys private boarding schools.**

 L'Angelus by Jean-François Millet

Sex segregation is totally unnatural and unhealthy, and is prone to produce generations of emotionally and relationally stunted young men with, at the least, strong homosexual inclinations*** and with a warped and misogynistic view of women. Just think of Saudi Arabia, and the Arab-Islamic world more generally, where you have an entire society of damaged men who have been raised to hate and fear women. It would also have been totally alien to our ancestors who lived and worked (apart from rare exceptions, such as monks and soldiers) in mixed-sex environments for most of history. If you visited a European village in the Middle Ages, you’d see women working in the fields and home, right alongside men.The 'Männerbund' ideal is thus at odds with millennia of European Christian history, as well as human nature itself.

Finally, in failing to condemn the depraved sexual practices of the Ancient Greeks and Romans (whose decadence led to their fall and replacement by Nordic-Germanic cultures, which were decidedly intolerant of sodomy), he ignores the particular evil of sodomy itself, which has been historically regarded in practically all traditional religions, but in Christianity especially, as one of the worst, if not the worst, sin imaginable. It was viewed by Church Fathers and Saints as a soul-destroying act, a violation of the most egregious kind, worse even than murder:

No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detested by all those who live according to God.… Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest, makes the person slothful, irascible, obstinate and obdurate, servile and soft and incapable of anything; furthermore, agitated by an insatiable craving for pleasure, the person follows not reason but frenzy.… They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy…. Just as people participate in the glory of God in different degrees, so also in hell some suffer more than others. He who lived with this vice of sodomy suffers more than another, for this is the greatest sin.

(St. Bernardine of Siena, Sermon XXXIX in Prediche volgari, pp. 896-897, 915.)

 

*I am aware this is merely my own subjective preference.

**Again, I am conscious my own personal experience has largely shaped my attitudes surrounding this topic.

***Male homosexuality itself being, according to interesting theories proposed in some radical feminist circles, a manifestation of extreme misogyny.

N.B. Interestingly, and in direct contradiction to the 'Männerbund'-model of homosociality so extolled by the Alt-Right, I stumbled across this quote from St Basil the Great, in which he specifically instructs young men (monks, in this case) to avoid the company of other young men:

"If you [O, monk] are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame. For through them the enemy has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire, hurling them into the vile pit of the five cities under the pretense of spiritual love. . . . At meals take a seat far from other young men. In lying down to sleep let not their clothes be near yours, but rather have an old man between you. When a young man converses with you, or sings psalms facing you, answer him with eyes cast down, lest perhaps by gazing at his face you receive a seed of desire sown by the enemy and reap sheaves of corruption and ruin. Whether in the house or in a place where there is no one to see your actions, be not found in his company under the pretense either of studying the divine oracles or of any other business whatsoever, however necessary"

(The Renunciation of the World [A.D. 373]).