12 Steps to Recovering from being Male
I am concerned at the angst showing in many recent posts on these pages. Some men are taking too long to climb out of their hurt and see all of the faces of the world surrounding us.
Are they taking responsibility for the hurts that they may have given?
12 Steps shows a good path, which includes righting the wrongs that you have done to others.
Wikipedia 12 Steps Programme
Was their frustration due to falling into traps set by people who would benefit from these hopeless victims?
Truthful communication of what is going on should protect more men from falling into these same holes? But the tirades demanding sympathy seem to just go on and on. In my opinion, their learning is too slow.
What are we doing wrong?
Why do happily married men not see what is happening to recently separated men and visualise that these forces might one day tear them apart?
Why do men who have been through malicious separation, go back for more and not see what is happening to recently separated men and visualise that these forces might one day tear them apart again? Like moths flying back into the candle flame.
The moaning seems to belie their own responsibility for the outcomes, even if only partial.
The old adage “look before you leap”, is as necessary today, as it ever was.
Maybe we need to share more the successful experiences and maintain a fairer balance in the stories that we share?
When a person sees themselves as defeated, then inexorably this becomes true.
If women are the creators, the givers and nurturers of life, are men just the takers, the murderers?
The first decade of Attachment Theory (by English psychiatrist John Bowlby) saw women as the natural carers for young children, (but not that this would always be the situation).
Maternal care and mental health; a report prepared by John Bowlby on behalf of the World Health Organization as a contribution to the United Nations programme for the welfare of homeless children. 1952
Later works by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth developed these ideas further, that a baby seeks out figures on which it can choose to become emotionally attached. In our societies present practices, this will typically be the mother (although father, sibling, wider family and for example nurse attachments will also occur).
Deprivation of maternal care; Mary Ainsworth Published: Geneva, 1962.
Maternal care and mental health; a report prepared on behalf of the World…
Author: Bowlby, John.
Title: Maternal care and mental health; a report prepared on behalf of the World Health Organization as a contribution to the United Nations programme for the welfare of homeless children [by] John Bowlby. Deprivation of maternal care; a reassessment of its effects [by] Mary D. Ainsworth [and others]
Published: New York, Schocken Books 
Attachment and loss.
Published: London, Hogarth P.; Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1969-1980.
The making & breaking of affectional bonds / [by] John Bowlby.
Published: London : Tavistock Publications, 1979.
However, when the development of this relationship is not fully satisfactory for the child, it will also actively seek to form emotional attachment to other caregivers in the immediate environment. Even if the primary attachment is fully satisfactory, other attachments will form, but with less driving force than when the first attachment is unsatisfactory.
Familycaughts in many countries have seized on the earlier 1950s (simpler) less developed form of Attachment Theory and proceeded with their own simplified-out-of-existence version.
Coincidentally, erring on the side of “giving” children to a mother is very safe from public criticism or exposure, in the present political climate, where fathers are presented as being incompetent carers and dangerous to children. The statistics show that a few fathers do a very small amount of extreme injury to children (dramatic and “newsworthy”!!!), but overall fathers do much less emotional neglect or moderate physical injuries to children — these being the hazards that the most children are exposed to.
Elizabeth Moore in her Masters Thesis at Victoria University NZ showed that about 60% of homicides and serious injuries were done by the mother of the child (but her sample was limited by restricted access to police and coroner files).
The Primary Caretaker Theory By Ronald K. Henry, Backsliding To The “Tender Years” Doctrine
Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest hazard to happiness and later developing parenting skills, is being emotionally neglected as a young child, prior to 3 years old. These injuries are not readily visible, cannot be seen using X-rays, but in terms of subsequent damage to their children — cause the most emotional injury. They are also much harder to recover from, than all but the most violent physical injuries.
Thus, if we want to protect children, for their own best interests, where the parents forced a situation that the children could be placed with only one parent or the other — then the parent with the more time should be the parent who can best attend emotionally to the children, as long as they don’t act to extinguish the children’s relationship with the other parent.
Notice that I used the word forced — the legal workers present custody as a saleable commodity, that can be taken and can be lost — to maximise their power to extort. Through this fear of exclusion from their children’s lives, the parent fights as to the death, like pit bulls in a ringed in prize fight.
Generally, when both parents are satisfactory caregivers, then the child is best protected by having a regular and secure relationship with both parents — even if this approach is less profitable for the paramount interests of legal-workers!
By way of general comment only, broken home, very unhappy or disrupted childhoods and adoption are warning signs, to look closely at that parent’s parenting skills.
The “better” parent will not necessarily be the mother at all. In most cases, it would probably be the parent who did not force the splitup. This parent is typically more emotionally mature or less emotionally damaged from their own childhood.
If Attachment Theory offers any guidance on placing children with only a mother or a father, then it would warn about mothers, as they typically have somewhat higher levels of psychiatric problems. (Perhaps men are more adept at hiding their psychiatric problems, but not their suicides?) This shows through in the child injury and neglect statistics.
More to the point, current Attachment Theory warns about the damage done to children, by arbitrary extinguishment of their significant relationships. Beware of the relationship vandals.
Thus, after separation it probably doesn’t matter much in most cases, who has the children for a little more time or a little less time.
It matters most how much each parent disrupts the other parent’s relationship with the children. I say that this matters most, because it is the variable that impacts most onto the children’s security, happiness and later development of parenting skills.
Are women the givers of nurture, the creators of life?
Although Mary Ainsworth and other women contributed greatly to Attachment Theory and in general mothers spend more time with young children, it was a man (John Bowlby) who first identified the issues that opened up the subject of children’s emotional development and the impact of “neglect”.
Lets consider the development of child development as a subject. Does it matter how much men contributed and how much women contributed?
In the present angst ridden put-men-down-as-caregivers, then it does matter!
As a rough measure of contribution, I counted the names of the people listed in the Wikipedia article Child Development. I identified their gender, by looking under their kilt with a candle.
The results were as follows:
Urie Bronfenbrenner male
Jean Piaget male
Lev Vygotsky male
John Bowlby male
Mary Ainsworth female
Erik Erikson male
Sigmund Freud male
John B. Watson male
William James male male
B.F. Skinner male
Maria Montessori female
Sylvia Ashton-Warner female
Thus at least 75% of the major contributors were men and under 25% were women. (Please excuse the deliberate mistake in my counting….. a bit of feminist academic analysis, just to be polite…. See if you can spot the exact error that I made?.)
Attachment Theory explains the link between childhood deprivation and many disabling psychiatric disorders, such as my well known impulse control problems. I use these to try to keep attention away from my more disabling problems, psychoses, ill reading of body language, chilling lack of empathy and pathological lying.
The happiest people I have known, were two of my Aunts. They sure didn’t have the most stuff.
Don’t these men know how good they have had it?
Are some men forgetting the trauma of “becoming” pregnant and then suddenly noticing that the smooth talker had disappeared over the horizon, quite against hopes and expectations. Then the icing on the cake, the baby disappearing over the horizon, just as assuredly. In many cases, the baby was taken by deceit, not by informed consent……. The desperate seeking of pleasure and respect, at absolutely any cost. Our society has partially turned around these incentives, but we have a long way to go, to understand the implications and respond sensibly to them.
Well, two wrongs certainly don’t make a right. Especially when they are separated by a couple or more decades and crash down onto different people.
Have these moaners just lost their perspective?
Careless talk might cost lives.
Too much hopelessness among us could be persuading some of our members to bail out, rather than choose life?
What one person states figuratively, a reader might take literally.
Do we have any duty to keep hope alive, for ourselves and for others?
Search on this website “Paulm”. This search gives a simple memorial. Last post before Christmas 2009.
Please, if you wish to comment on this memorial, show due respect.
Surely, we can offer strong doses of hope and pathways to worthwhile lives.
Who knows, maybe even happiness, if there is sufficient strength to make this choice.
I remember hearing that some jews, realising that they were being mercilessly herded to their deaths, sang hymns asking God to protect their tormentors. Happiness is a choice. (Anyway, as Oscar Wilde said “forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much”.)
Is there a Cure for Gender Male?
Is a cure really needed?
Thank god I was not born a woman — Did jewish men really say this as a prayer and teach their boys to say it too? I always found this story very hard to believe….
If they have to say it out loud, then it doesn’t really ring true — does it?
I always felt that actions speak louder than words and if you have to say it, then probably it isn’t true. The desperate seeking of pleasure and respect, at absolutely any cost.
Kate Bornstein clearly wasn’t impressed by this childhood prayer and rebelled scalpel style to try to gain entry to the superior side.
But did this really work?
KATE BORNSTEIN is an author, playwright and performance artist. Her latest book, Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws, hits the bookshelves in July, 2006. Kate’s published works include the books Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us; My Gender Workbook; and the cyber-romance-action novel, Nearly Roadkill with co-author Caitlin Sullivan. Kate’s plays and performance pieces include Strangers in Paradox, Hidden: A Gender, The Opposite Sex Is Neither, Virtually Yours, and y2kate: gender virus 2000.
Kate’s books are taught in over 120 colleges and universities around the world; and ze has performed hir work live on college campuses, and in theaters and performance spaces across the USA, as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria. She is currently touring colleges, youth conferences and high schools, speaking and leading workshops on the subjects of sex, gender, and alternatives to teen suicide.
Kate has two new projects ready to launch in the spring of 2007: a memoir and new solo performance piece, both with the same title: Kate Bornstein Is A Queer And Pleasant Danger.
Kate was born outside of Fargo, North Dakota in a log cabin ze helped hir parents build. Hir father was a Lutheran minister, and hir mother was Miss Betty Crocker, 1939. Kate has lived in the queer ghettos of Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. Ze currently lives with hir partner–sex pioneer, writer and performance artist Barbara Carrellas–in New York City, along with their two pugs, two cats, two turtles, and a thriving well-populated ant farm.
Well, it all looks pretty good (so far), for bailing out, cut cut cut, cut cut and be on the winning side,
not the men’s side……
Celebrated transsexual trailblazer Kate Bornstein has, with more humor and spunk than any other, ushered us into a world of limitless possibility through a daring re-envisionment of the gender system as we know it.
Well, maybe the bail out approach isn’t the easiest answer after all. Its so hard to escape from yourself. Damn, maybe I have to stay and face my problems. My blood is starting to boil. Where is my axe?
I’m starting to get a splitting headache, from the gloom, the unending hopelessness and the TooTall lack of better alternatives.
Everywhere I look, there are messages — be a man and be doomed…… (Just as many advertisements offering fear of aging for women — if you care to see them too.)
I just want to cut through the black and open up to warm, nurturing sunlight. The desperate seeking of pleasure and respect, at absolutely any cost.
Nurturing, the best parts are all so feminine, I just cannot escape from it. Maybe the moaners are right, there is nothing more to being a man, than cutting, smashing and destruction? I fondly remember as a young man being told by a spiky superior old women “All men are Rapists”. I’ve certainly gone on to do my fair share, but I don’t think that she helped.
But Kate, who escaped, warns that the Internecine Transgender Tribal Warfare just goes on and on, even on the superior side……
So this where the arguments come from, us moaners are just trannys who haven’t come out of the closet, endlessly attacking each other like rats in a sunking ship.
Oh Laura Dillon, where are you, when I need your support? I can only find Michael Dillon. So transgender ideation used to be mainly a women’s pastime. Just in the last half century, more men have been disaffected with their born gender. Maybe our advertising manipulated society leaves us all scared of being outliers under the gendered bell curves.
Search: “Laura Dillon” transexual
The weaker among us are just dreaming of being seen as “normal” or central in some manner. If the pressure is greatest at the margins, then this will be where the suffering is greatest and also probably where the creativity will be greatest too? The desperate seeking of pleasure and respect, at absolutely any cost.
Should gender just be a revolving door? How often can we change our mind, as quickly as you can wash off makeup? Should the Government place limits on gender changes, or just tax it, or give it free under Health Service? Should we offer it to our children? What is wrong with children who don’t want to do it?
Maybe the answer lies more with what we make of life, than what is simply given to us.
Said another way, what we make of life, is the active responsibility that we take for our own actions. To take it up, before it has all slipped away from us anyway.
Camille Paglia wrote:
“Masculinity is aggressive, unstable, combustible. It is also the most creative cultural force in history. Women must reorient themselves toward the elemental powers of sex, which can strengthen or destroy.”
“There is no female Mozart, because there is no female Jack the Ripper”
[Is she even partly correct??? Search: Monster film Aileen Wuornos.]
I assume that she wrote primarily from a woman’s perspective. I try to take on her challenges.
Do we need a woman to tell us about the experience of being male, or is it just that we need a woman to validate our experiences?
While some are fighting the battle of the sexes, most of us are just enjoying life, including the sexes. Are there really divisions?
The worry of all of this is taking away from the pleasures of my life. My psychiatrist diagnosed anhedonia. She judged me after not even one hour’s conversation. Her questions didn’t get near to the varied pleasures of axe-murder — she just didn’t seem to consider it. She judged me on the questions that she thought to ask, just her own projections. They did bounce nicely. She didn’t ask about cutting, maybe she noticed? How can I escape from this diagnosis? Is it final? Can it be cured? Does it need to be cured? Should I fight it by going with it?
Will anyone be normal? The Revenge of the DSM-V!!!
Specialized journal issue on issues related to the development of the new DSM-V manual
(2010, August). Journal of Mental Health, 19(4),
The pleasures of swinging, of catching the cleavee by total surprise and then smash…… The desperate seeking of pleasure and respect, at absolutely any cost. Adrenaline as a poor man’s substitute for testosterone.
Search testosterone patch for women
The only way to assuage the head splitting pain, is to cut right through the corpus callosum. When it happened to me, the axe overswing continued and went down through my bicycle too. Breaking the cycle.
I’ve never bothered to attack a lawyer, yet. I just couldn’t see any point. Their training to see legal relationships and be blind to human relationships, is just as good as brain splitting with an axe. I got there too late. Beauty, pleasure and humanity lies in the communication between the two sides.
A friend was moaning to me, that his lawyer had said “don’t pay me now, I will just take it out of the property settlement”. My friend did this and it was very convenient at the time. No looky, before leapy, just lazy careless trust.
When the final settlement statement came through, he was aghast at the meager crumbs that were left for him and his Xwife to share, after both the lawyers had taken their paramount interest from the honestly earned tax paid capital sum. It was too late to fight, the damage had already been done. The thieves were long gone.
It was then that I realized that lawyers could be worth splitting. If I sometimes delayed my stroke, so that they could see what was coming for them, I could enjoy the momentary look of fear in their eyes as they appreciated the inevitability and finality of their fate. This would be an enhanced pleasure.
If I were to sometimes deliberately mis-swing, I could let a few escape, to spread the story of the horrors, to enhance the fears of the still metabolising, when they meet their appointed axe. This could further increase the pleasures.
This is all the moaners are, to spread stories of destruction and fear, to enhance the legal-workers levers to extort from the rest. These selfish hedonists, who took nooky before looky.
I have to cut the hopelessness out of my horrible iApple-less life.
I will take the only escape that I think I can see. I hope like hell that it all works out the way that I desire. I don’t know where it will take me, just that every other option for my life looks dull and boring and hopeless. I just can’t see a good future, without cutting into myself. The desperate seeking of pleasure and respect, at absolutely any cost, just wanting to be on the winning side.
Henceforth, I wish to be known as Anne-Marie Hedonia. (still with two axes, just in case)