Riding to the Sound of the Guns; Defending Men

I’d guess that by now you’ve all heard of the American Psychological Association’s guidance for treating boys and men. No, I haven’t read it, nor do I intend to. Most of what I’ve heard is intensely negative, making ‘pure crap’ sound like a compliment. Plus I’m a technical, engineering type guy, you know, yes or no, right or wrong.works or doesn’t work, ‘0’ or ‘1’. If it’s not absolutely right, it’s completely wrong. I’m mostly digital, not analog, although I do tend to have quite a lot of empathy for the fixes people get themselves into. Been there, done that. I still sort of believe the engineering school definition of psychology: “Nuts and S**ts. Deal with it, that’s the sort of guy I am.

But I’m not everybody, and more and more I notice a lot of young guys (girls too) seem a bit screwed up, so maybe somebody should help them and I’m very likely not that guy, so maybe psychologists do have a place. But I don’t think these guidelines, or at least what I’ve read about them, are helpful.

Quillette Magazine reached out to 12 well-known practitioners (some I’ve even heard of, and even read some of their stuff). What they said is about as balanced as I’ve seen. And it is interesting. A few excerpts follow. much more at the link.

Introduction — John P. Wright, Ph.D.

Thirteen years in the making, the American Psychological Association (APA) released the newly drafted “Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men.” Backed by 40 years of science, the APA claims, the guidelines boldly pronounce that “traditional masculinity” is the cause and consequence of men’s mental health concerns. Masculine stoicism, the APA tells us, prevents men from seeking treatment when in need, while beliefs rooted in “masculine ideology” perpetuate men’s worst behaviors—including sexual harassment and rape. Masculine ideology, itself a byproduct of the “patriarchy,” benefits men and simultaneously victimizes them, the guidelines explain. Thus, the APA committee advises therapists that men need to become allies to feminism. “Change men,” an author of the report stated, “and we can change the world.”

But if the reaction to the APA’s guidelines is any indication, this change won’t happen anytime soon. Criticism was immediate and fierce. Few outside of a handful of departments within the academy had ever heard of “masculine ideology,” and fewer still understood how defining traditional masculinity by men’s most boorish—even criminal—behavior would serve the interests of men or entice them to seek professional help. Instead of passing quietly into the night, as most academic pronouncements do, the APA’s guidelines did what few such documents have ever done: They engendered a social media maelstrom, and likely not only lost professional credibility, but potentially created new barriers for men who need help. […]

We are heartened by the criticism that emerged from the APA’s guidelines. Why? Because we don’t believe that most of the backlash resulted from crass political motives. Instead, much of it was rooted in a deep concern about men and boys. The culture wars have not been kind to men, and data from an assortment of surveys tell us that boys and men are not thriving. Documents can be edited, but goodwill is a commodity no one should erase. If the APA is truly concerned about the mental and emotional health of men, it will recognize the goodwill and constructive intent underpinning much of the criticism, and consider the feedback as a starting point for a broader and more productive discussion of how to most effectively provide successful treatment for boys and men.

A sample from one contributor.

Who Will Mount Up and Ride to the Sound of the Guns? — B. Christopher Frueh, Ph.D.

The APA’s latest manifesto is an embarrassment to the discipline of psychology. It is an abdication of scientific responsibility, denying biological and evolutionary realities in favor of a progressive fantasy pushed by “social justice” and “feminist” ideologies. It is harmful to all members of our society and dangerous to our national security. Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others helped secure the freedom and prosperity that so many now take for granted.  

At a time when many academics are virtue-signaling by whining about “toxic masculinity,” taking offense at every imagined “microaggression,” and listing their “pronouns” in their email signature blocks, we should ask where does this line of absurdity end? Perhaps the next APA manifesto will seek to abolish religion, athletics, heterosexual marriage, eating meat, etc. Whatever happened to common sense? And where does this take us? Will we next ban books, movies, and podcasts by people named Ernest Hemingway, Clint Eastwood, or Jocko Willink?

OK, I’m not neutral in this fight, and Dr. Frueh says what I think, so I featured him here. That makes neither him nor me correct, but he damn sure raises a valid question. Read the whole thing, I found that each of the 12 contributors has something valuable to add. None of this is simple. I can’t speak for you, of course, but often I wonder exactly why I think, speak, or write as I do. Dr. Frueh also quotes one of my favorite authors, and it is important that we keep it in mind as we move forward. Remember, life is movement, if we’re not moving forward, we are slipping back.

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

—C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)

Saddle Up!


About NEO
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13 Responses to Riding to the Sound of the Guns; Defending Men

  1. Scoop says:

    You don’t need to be a psychologist to see the destruction of men and family and much of what is needful for societies abounding in our day. The ultimate outcome is what we are seeing growing like a cancer all around us: effeminacy, isolation, divorce, fewer marriages and fewer children if we marry. Men are isolated and women are competitors not only to men but to one another as well. Men are no longer needed or useful in this new society so they become a merely a menace. So men either adapt to being more female or they are seen as brutes, criminals or even worse. Is there any wonder why men are becoming transexuals, or gender fluid and are more likely to be confused about their own sexuality though they know they are men and find themselves ashamed of it? And if not ashamed; they have no idea what manhood consists of and how to be a better one.

    Another piece worth reading on this: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4322-how-toxic-femininity-left-us-all-isolated-and-alone

    Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      Yep also good. I’m not quite that bothered, mostly because the maelstrom it raised was pretty much across the board, as the dozen that Quillette (which is becoming essential) printed showed. But that they would even put such tripe out is troubling, as your article notes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Scoop says:

        What is troubling to me is the state of psychology these days; largely taken over by feminists, the effete and those who are out of the closet. They have changed the psychology and psychiatric books used to train each new generation of academicians to accept their upside down world. They changed things previously classified as clinical psychological disorders into mainstream normalcy and have taken the normal behavior as witnessed since the beginning of time as a psychosis that needs to be fixed or eliminated. These people are a radical as any revolutionary socialist or communist and probably will have a more lasting effect on the destruction of society than will the economic and political crazies who are running about today. The biggest problem in my mind is how small the world has become . . . that if we don’t fix our own problems then there is no place to run away to in order to escape this madness.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          I don’t think much of psychology, as distinct from neurology, as a discipline. Way too much in the way of methodologically suspect material. Even studies that try to be empirically rigorous fail to live up to the kind of standard required in hard sciences. If the variables aren’t well and truly isolated – and they cannot be given the subject matter – then the conclusions are not safe.

          This psychologising approach is really another form of brainwashing and manipulation. Making society conform to the will of psychiatrists and psychologists, where their will is at variance with the will of God, is not righteous. The answer to this kind of deception and spiritual war is the proclamation of truth. God knows what humans are, and has told us plainly in Scripture: humans are sinners, men and women, young people and old people, rich and poor, slave and free. The sooner we learn to shut out the voice of Satan and the voice of the old man, the happier we will be.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Manipulation is what it is alright and if I were to guess, it is motivated by trying to delegitimize the sins that they themselves are attached; a pretty obvious self-service to freeing themselves from being viewed as having certain demons.

          Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          Yep. It’s what happens when people make themselves god. And why pride is such a deadly sin.

          Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          I agree, and the changes have led to a trivializing of much that was worthwhile.

          Last, Best hope was never more applicable. If we don’t fix at least some of these things, they won’t be.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Very true. We have listened to them as though they are gods of the inner workings of the human person; they are not. They are, on a whole, to the best of my understanding, simply easing their own consciences from that which they themselves suffer.

          Liked by 2 people

        • the unit says:

          And those 12 persons not adhering to the gotta conform bunch gonna have their smiles and smirks evaluated personanongrata.
          And one frowning. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

  2. the unit says:

    No doubt I need psychoanalysis and therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

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