Fifth Wednesday Post

On Magic, Manhood, and Masculism

One of the traditions that’s evolved over the lifetime of this blog is that whenever there are five Wednesdays in a month, the readers get to vote on what subject I write about for the fifth Wednesday post.  That’s landed me in some complicated territory over the years, and this month will be no exception. In recent votes, the subject of “sacred and toxic masculinity” began to field a good share of votes, and this month it came in a little ahead of the competition.

Left to myself, that’s not a subject I would have chosen to write about. Partly, of course, the entire tangled mess of issues summed up very imperfectly by the words “sex” and “gender” is among the hottest of hot-button issues these days. I have no objection to offending people; in fact, if a post of mine doesn’t field at least a few screams of outrage from both of the armed camps into which corporate mass media have driven most Americans of late, I try to figure out what I did wrong.  That said, I like to aim these essays so that at least some of my audience will get the point I’m trying to make, rather than simply shrieking like a pack of gutshot banshees.  When it comes to sex and gender, that’s not exactly easy these days.

Some girls are like this…

I also have a good many old and unpleasant memories tangled up in this whole issue. As a child I found the cultural definition of maleness that was loaded onto me by parents, schools, media, and other children to be a reliable source of misery.  Partly, for reasons I didn’t figure out until I turned forty and was finally diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, I was supremely clumsy as a child—not once in all my childhood did I ever manage to hit a baseball with a bat, for example—and there was no room in the collective mindset of the time for a boy who was a total loss at sports, and was bored by them into the bargain. But there was more to it than that. A lot of other things that were standard parts of boy culture at the time didn’t interest me at all.  I liked to wear my hair longer than was fashionable for boys, and I cried easily, which didn’t help. I wasn’t into dolls or frilly clothing, but other than that, yeah, I was pretty much a janegirl.

Given the current climate of opinion on the subject, I probably need to clarify one detail before going on. I was not (and am not) uncomfortable with having a male body. It doesn’t distress me in the least that I have an outie rather than an innie between my legs, and when I got old enough to start growing a beard, I was delighted. (I decided at the age of ten that what I wanted to be when I grew up was Gandalf, so facial hair struck me as a step in the right direction.)  These days, as often as not, a boy who doesn’t fit the current stereotypes of budding masculinity right down to a T will get pressured by school counselors and the medical industry to redefine himself as a girl.  There’s no room for tomboys and janegirls in our frantically rigid society, where everyone must be crammed into the narrowest possible pigeonhole.

…and some boys are like this. Deal.

I came of age long before that became fashionable, so I didn’t run the risk of being bullied and wheedled into getting castrated and stuck on a lifelong cocktail of “gender-affirming” drugs with a list of nasty side effects longer than your arm. I simply had to put up with a childhood in which media-enforced standards of masculinity were weapons used against me at pretty much every available opportunity. By the latter half of my adolescence I’d discovered the movement then called “humanistic psychology,” which has been almost entirely erased from our collective memory these days because it offered troubled people a lot of options that didn’t involve surgery and drugs.  One of the things it pointed out to me is that there are many different ways to be a man, and most of them have nothing to do with the caricatures of masculinity pushed so enthusiastically on everyone by the corporate media and the mass-minded.

But of course there was another resource I found during those same years, and it had an even deeper impact on my approach to my own masculinity and to sex and gender issues more broadly. Yes, that was occult philosophy.  I’m going to talk about that in this post.  That’s partly because I have no clue what the term “sacred masculinity” might mean; like its counterpart “sacred femininity,” it’s thrown around freely in certain circles these days, but it makes about as much sense to me as, say, “sacred gravity.” Masculinity, like femininity (or gravity), is neither sacred nor profane. It’s a basic mode of existence, it manifests in all things and all persons to a greater or lesser extent, and it functions on all planes from matter to spirit.

There’s another reason, though, why I plan on talking about what occult philosophy has to say about masculinity. What I found in my teen years, and have found even more generally since then, is that the old occult teachings about sex offer a way to cut through a vast amount of balderdash and bring clarity to a realm of experience our society goes out of its way to make as opaque as possible. So climb in and brace yourself; we’re about to launch into a brief survey of what the mages of an older era called “the Mystery of Sex.”

William Walker Atkinson. Yes, he was all three of the “Three Initiates” who wrote The Kybalion.

We can start with one of the classics of occult philosophy, The Kybalion by William Walker Atkinson. One of the seven fundamental principles of occultism Atkinson sets out is the  Principle of Gender: “Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes.” Take a moment to think about what this implies. The masculine principle creates by projecting something out from itself; the feminine principle creates by receiving something into itself. If this confuses you, think of the way that human beings and other mammals reproduce.  This is a reflection, on the material plane, of the way that all creation happens:  one principle projects, the other receives, and new life comes into being.

In this sense, gender is a universal function, of which biological sex is only one expression on one plane.  Furthermore, nothing in the entire cosmos is entirely male or entirely female.  All things and all persons embody both principles—but they don’t all do it in the same way.

In occult philosophy we talk about different planes of being.  Human beings are conscious of four of these, though our culture insists on treating only one of them as real and consigns the other three to a sort of limbo of subjective not-really-thereness. To occultists, by contrast, the material plane—the sort of reality we experience with our five material senses—is no more and no less real than the etheric plane, the plane of life force; the astral plane, the plane of imagination and dreams; and the mental plane, the plane of meaning and value.  As human beings, we are souls that incarnate in bodies drawn from the substance of these planes; we currently have senses that perceive the first three of these planes, and we are evolving the senses necessary to perceive the fourth.

Each of these bodies, by the way, has its own gender.  The gender of the material body—that is to say, its sex—is determined by its chromosomes and expressed by its primary and secondary sexual characteristics at birth. The genders of the etheric body, astral body, and mental sheath (technically speaking, we don’t have a fully developed body on the mental plane yet, but the sheath functions as the first draft of one) are determined by structures on their own planes.  They are also independent of each other.  That is to say, the genders of your etheric and astral bodies and your mental sheath may or may not be the same as the gender of your material body.

It’s almost universal for people to have two bodies of each gender, and in most cases, the bodies are of alternating genders. Thus if you’ve got a male material body, most likely you have a female etheric body, a male astral body, and a female mental sheath. Similarly, if you’ve got a female material body, most likely you have a male etheric body, a female astral body, and a male mental sheath. Much of what counts as “male” or “female,” and a great many of the differences between the sexes, are reflections of these alternating polarities.

I’ll take a deliberately crude example: masturbation.  Most men, if they masturbate a lot, end up feeling weak and drained. Most women, if they do the same thing, end up feeling clogged and congested. Why?  In ordinary heterosexual intercourse the life force, the substance of the etheric plane, flows from the woman (who usually has a masculine etheric body) into the man (who usually has a feminine etheric body). Lacking a partner to provide him with etheric energy, the man who masturbates feels weak; lacking a partner to draw out and receive her etheric energy, the woman who masturbates feels clogged. It’s all very straightforward.

The same thing works on the other planes. It’s very common, for example, for male artists, writers, musicians, and other creators to need female companionship in order to create; it’s not that they get ideas or imagery from the women in their lives, it’s a subtler and more profound sense of inspiration.  Female artists, by contrast, rarely have a comparable need. Why?  Most men have female mental sheaths, which need fertilization; most women have male mental sheaths, which need to inspire rather than to be inspired. On the astral plane, it’s the other way around.  Have you noticed that fanfic—fiction that takes some existing set of characters and settings from media and spins stories about them—is mostly a women’s habit?  That’s because most women have female astral bodies, and so their imaginations work best when fertilized with images and ideas from some outside source.

Notice, however, the presence of words such as “most” in the paragraphs above. It’s very rare for men (i.e., people with masculine material bodies) to have male etheric bodies; and equally rare for women (i.e., people with feminine material bodies) to have female etheric bodies. The two higher bodies, though, are tolerably often reversed—that is, in something like ten per cent of the population, you find men with male mental sheaths and female astral bodies, and women with female mental sheaths and male astral bodies. I’m an example. My imagination needs to be fertilized by outside images and ideas, which is why my most successful fiction to date is basically an elaborate H.P. Lovecraft fanfic. On the other hand, I don’t need the kind of mental-plane fertilization via female companionship that so many male writers and artists do.  I’m happily married, but my wife doesn’t have to do double duty as my muse.

These are only two of the many variations in human subtle body structure. Most of the others have to do with less general aspects of the subtle bodies. The differences between straight and gay or lesbian orientation are a function of some of these other variations. So are many, though by no means all, of the subtle complexities of polarity that attract certain people to each other and repel certain people from each other.  Sex is complex; love, romance, mutual attraction and repulsion—all of it is complex, and all of it relates to the complex structure of human gender and human subtle anatomy. Attempts to simplify it in the service of some arbitrary ideology or other (whether the ideology is liberal, conservative, or something else) inevitably fail, and cause a hefty quota of human misery in the process.

Human existence is complex. Trying to restrict it via some rigid ideology is only useful to people who want to control you.

Entire books have been written on the subject of the occult dimensions of sex.  I’ve got such a book in process right now, focusing on polarity magic—the art of sublimating erotic energy for magical purposes. Still, I think I’ve covered enough of the subject at this point to go on to what I suspect most of the readers who asked for this post want me to talk about—the complex and difficult experience of being male in American society today.

It should be clear, to begin with, that gender is not a simple thing. It’s just as mistaken to insist that your physical sex doesn’t matter as it is to insist that your physical sex defines everything about who you are and what you ought to think, feel, and do. Whether you have an innie or an outie between your legs, whether you have Y chromosomes or not (and all the intricate biochemical changes that their presence or absence causes), makes a big difference, but they’re not the only things that make a difference. Furthermore, there are many different ways to be male or female; if you don’t happen to fit the currently fashionable stereotype of your material plane sex, that doesn’t mean you’re the other sex, it means the stereotype doesn’t work for you.  A society that makes room for tomboys, janegirls, and the like is going to be healthier and more humane than one that refuses to do so—provided, of course, that the rights conferred on those who vary from the majority aren’t permitted to run roughshod over the rights of those who don’t.

Yet there’s more going on in the tangled mess around masculinity in today’s America than a failure to grasp the points just made. An indirect approach is helpful here, so let’s take a moment to talk about what launched second wave feminism in the wake of the Second World War.

Welcome to suburbia. The price of admission includes your friendships, your sanity, and your soul.

The rise of America’s suburbs in the postwar years drove a great many drastic cultural shifts, but one that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves is the destruction of women’s culture in the middle classes.  Before suburbanization, most middle class women lived in upscale city and town neighborhoods in which homes, businesses, and social venues all existed cheek by jowl. A very large share of women belonged to clubs, lodges, and other women-only social groups, and less formal interactions were constant—it was routine for women to get together for coffee, shared work projects, mutual aid, and many other reasons.  That fostered a distinct women’s culture, varying by class and ethnicity but present all over America.

The suburbs wrecked that. Suburbs by definition consisted of vast tracts of housing isolated from businesses and social venues, and the flight to the suburbs disrupted generations-old networks of family and friendship, leaving suburbanites isolated among neighborhoods of strangers. Men had their workplaces, but in the wake of the war, middle class women were expected to leave the workforce and stay isolated and bored in their suburban homes. Meanwhile saturation propaganda over the newly deployed medium of television pushed new definitions of womanhood at them—definitions that had been manufactured mostly by men, embodying masculine perspectives, without any input relevant to the actual lives that women led.

It’s remarkable how many people now pretend that this never happened.

That was what made the explosion of second wave feminism inevitable. You can impose horrific repression on a population and still get obedience out of them—that’s happened countless times in history. What you can’t do is subject them to extreme cognitive dissonance. “This is your life, this is what it means to be a woman, and if you’re not happy with it, there’s something wrong with you”—that was the message that corporate media, the advertising industry, and the medical profession pushed at women night and day, until women started pushing back.

The aftermath, though, is what matters here. It’s one of the reliable ironies of history that most revolutions end up copying at least some of the worst features of the regime they overthrew. One of the central themes of the feminist revolution was accordingly the destruction of middle class men’s culture, and the abolition of the masculine social spaces that once gave men venues to define themselves. Instead, men in the middle classes are now expected to accept new definitions of manhood which are largely manufactured by women, embodying feminine perspectives, without any input relevant to the actual lives that men lead.  We’re currently in the very early stages of the explosion that this burst of cognitive dissonance makes inevitable.

As rigidly scripted a set of behaviors as any pickup artist’s game.

What fascinates me about the rise of what we may as well call masculism is the extent to which it’s copied the successful strategies of the early feminist movement. Readers of a certain age will recall Helen Gurley Brown’s championing of the “Cosmo Girl,” the liberated woman whose entire life focused on exploiting men for whatever she could get. The precise masculist equivalent is the pickup artist (PUA)—for some reason today’s masculists adore acronyms—whose entire life focuses on exploiting women for whatever he can get.  Now of course the Cosmo Girl used sex for the purpose of manipulation, and the PUA uses manipulation for the purpose of sex; aside from that, there’s not much to choose between them.

Readers of a certain age will also recall the separatist feminists of the 1970s, whose core strategy involved building successful lives for themselves in which men had no place—remember all those buttons and bumper stickers reading “A Woman Without A Man Is Like A Fish Without A Bicycle”? Their masculist equivalents are Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), who have embraced the same strategy of building successful lives for themselves in which women have no place. Then there were the women’s rights activists of the same decade; their equivalents are today’s Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), who are just as shrill and belligerent as women’s rights activists so often were back in the day.

Remember these? A growing number of young men these days have similar ideas.

One measure of the potential of these strategies is the frantic, saliva-flecked denunciations all three of these small and marginal movements of the cultural fringes are getting from the feminist end of mainstream corporate culture. (The mere fact that it’s possible to talk about “the feminist end of mainstream corporate culture” these days is a good measure of just how much things have changed over the last fifty years.)  I gather that the women involved in that pushback don’t remember just how much the equivalent male denunciations in the 1970s did to publicize feminism and convince women not yet involved in the feminist movement that there was a point to women’s rights. I expect the same effect to benefit masculism over the next decade or so.

I’m not saying, by the way, that this is a good thing.  Nor am I saying that it’s a bad thing. I’m simply pointing out that it’s happening. The mythology of progress has made it very hard for a great many people to see that forcing change in one direction very often results in an equal and opposite swing in the other direction. Just as the unbridled sexual license of Britain’s Georgian era set the stage for the straitlaced sexual repression of the Victorian era, and extreme Victorian prudery then made the sexual revolution of the 20th century inevitable, the attempt to redefine women in terms framed by men gave rise to a comparable attempt to redefine men in terms framed by women, and the rise of feminism has driven the corresponding rise of masculism.

It would be helpful, to use no stronger word, if men and women could accept that people of both sexes (and the very small fraction of people who are intersex, too) have the right to define themselves, create spaces and cultures relevant to themselves, and negotiate the relations between the sexes, rather than trying to exploit positions of power to impose arbitrary rules that advantage one side or the other. It would be helpful, too, if the people who love to talk about “toxic masculinity” would recognize that toxic femininity is just as common, and that both are subsets of a much larger range of toxic behaviors that human beings irrespective of gender inflict on each other. Mind you, I don’t expect that; human beings are what they are, a giddy mix of virtues and vices, strengths and weaknesses, the sacred and the toxic.  But it’s an ideal to keep in mind, and those who try to move toward it may find that it has some advantages after all.


  1. It makes me happy to hear that you’re working on a book discussing sex and occultism, because that’s a subject that I’m interested in finding sources on that approach the issue in a healthy and ethical manner. If there are already books on the topic that you recommend in the meantime, I’d love to know about them—I’m mistrustful of the hedonistic approach that I think a lot of sexual magic stuff leans towards.

  2. “Who wants to be the god of toxic masculinity?”

    “Put your hand down, Zeus. We all know you want to do it.”

    *waits for lightning bolt*

  3. One of the remarkable things in Susan Faludi’s Backlash: the Undeclared War Against Women was how companies chose disciplining women over profits. In the 1970s several clothing stores and clothing manufacturers started departments for women’s business suits. One marketed itself as the female Brooks Brothers. They were incredibly successful. But when the backlash picked up and started demanding women wear frilly things, these companies went along with it. They started promoting mostly frilly things, and reduced or closed down their executive lines – despite demand being higher than ever. Some rode this all the way to bankruptcy. Similar things happened in other industries. When feminists say the needs of patriarchy outweigh the needs of capitalism, they’ve got a point.

  4. Fascinating and thought-provoking as always. . . Can you expand a bit on how a person discerns the gender of their sheaths?

  5. Can’t wait to dive into your book (or future blog posts) on the topic.

    Gender is so inherent to the complexities of our world and life. With angry PUAs and brain-dead leftist sloganeering dominating the discourse so much, there’s an urgent need for better, nuanced insights on this based in deep wisdom.

    It seems like a topic that so many men for so long have just averred to think deeply about for decades. They would either go blindly along with the 2nd wave feminists (“yes dear”) or get angry about it and become embittered PUAs.

  6. JMG: I understand completely should you not decide to publish this.

    One of my ex-wife’s greatest statements describing me (while she was two margaritas in at a friends party) was:

    “Oh, John has a feminine side, she’s just an ugly b***h though”

    Great post today

  7. “The rise of America’s suburbs in the postwar years drove a great many drastic cultural shifts, but one that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves is the destruction of women’s culture in the middle classes.”

    Many authors would argue this happened long before then – or at least has happened so repeatedly as to rather be the dominant or increasingly dominant state of women’s culture in the West on a long slow slide, punctuated occasionally only by slight recovery.

    I would agree that while Simone de Beauvoir got many things eye-poppingly wrong, the fact that there has never actually been a cogent western vision of what a “woman” was, except as a negative space of “man”, is true, and she backed it up painstakingly in the 700 page tome The Second Sex. Of course, she was, for her time and place, rightly rather brittle, so didn’t seem to notice that that put the definition of “man” as similarly on somewhat shaky territory as only not-whatever-we’ve-thrown-in-the-woman-box! But the fact that the one was a subordinate and following definition certainly has still stood, in the west.

    In Women, Race, and Class, I think Angela Davis makes a compelling argument that the destruction of women’s culture in western women’s spheres was also evident well before the second world war, and was what allowed the white suffragists to be such effective weapons against the black civil rights movements; the working and middle class women were better allies, because they shared access to a working community outside the home (the middle class only losing even that, as you write, after the second world war), but for a lot of them, it is critical to note that it was still a work environment predicated entirely on the male working world – factory and farm work, which, while dominated by female labour a lot, and still is in most parts of the world, lacked the capital control (the part where the Marxist analysis got it right) that indicated it was a true social form. The fact that Davis goes loony loony in her last chapter on liberating housework, because there is not even a model of non-slavery feminine culture she can summon around that in her centuries of american work review, is telling.

    And the reason Davis can’t manage to resurrect the concept of a healthy women’s culture with domestic work in it is because it was destroyed by the forces that essentially start her timeline of american culture; as Elizabeth Wayland Barber demonstrates fairly well in her book Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years using archaeological and mythological evidence around textile manufacture, women’s culture has been destroyed in every major technological innovation that creates a new cultural epoch – so the Industrial Revolution was our final coffin nail. The civilization essentially only falls hundreds of years later around the time that the changes that created it finally come around ouroborous style for the men’s culture, too.

    Thus, I would say that the people here, and here talking about the masculinity crisis, agree quite well with Barber’s timeline, as they are talking (somewhat stupidly, because Beard has spent too much time hosting TV shows by now, but the scholarship is sound) about the destruction of men’s culture having a seed within the western definitions baked in over 2000 years ago, and it being most clear that the final death blow to men’s culture was actually around the world wars last century.

    As the Tragically Hip sang, “You are ahead by a century”, but I’m really, really hoping that the implications that follow from those relative timelines for cultural revival won’t actually be too disappointing, and people can handle the fact that any new non-pseudomorphic in western culture in north america to come out of this final death looks like it would be more likely to come from a new women’s cultural force, or women and their work having once again a central cultural role, as again, based on the archaeological and mythological evidence from the past 20,000 years, that is how a culture starts, and the new men’s culture nucleates around that (not the other way around), and allows the wholistic culture to then grow.

  8. At this point, one of the issues between sexes/genders (races/identities as well) is that it has become a fount of power for the aggrieved party to the point where any dialog is perceived as ceding terrain in a war of attrition.
    Linking this to the alienating built environment (suburbia) is a very interesting twist in the analysis.

  9. I have a feminine astral body and masculine mental body as a straight male, which is hard socially and romantically. Women are attracted to me but my astral reservations pretty much prevent me from dating. The only girl I dated was very extroverted and dating her made me significantly more extroverted which I understand is a form of polarity magic. After we broke up I slowly become more reserved again. Thanks for the post!

  10. A sound began throb in Bilbo’s ears, the gurgling noise of some vast animal snoring in its sleep down there. Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the was the bravest thing he ever did. Before him, at the Mountain’s root there is a great glow. The glow of Smaug!

  11. Thank you JMG for another insightful essay! I am interested in this topic as I think about how to guide my 2 (12 and 14) kids through this time. My son, when he was 4 or 5, a sensitive soul and a bit uncoordinated, was drawn to dolls. The sweet and kind faces of princess dolls were appealing to him. We noticed that other people subtly reacted to this, it was clear they thought it was odd. And that is when we realized how rigid our society’s ideas of gender actually are. At 7 he moved on to a new interest, animals and nature. He is now 14, still a sensitive soul, but comfortable in his own body. But how to explain why every activity they may be involved in now asks that they first introduce themselves with their pronouns, and how to explain why so many kids feel they need surgery to change themselves, without saying that society has just gone crazy. I believe those may have been my words to my 12 year old daughter this morning. I’m not sure if that is helpful. I’ll have to reframe my discussion a bit. This article will help me with that! Thank you.

    I have heard from a friend with younger children, 5 and 10, that 4H is also asking for pronouns from the younger set which is very confusing to them. They haven’t even learned what pronouns are.

  12. Mr Greer

    This is a copy of a comment I put in you “Our Werewolves Ourselves” post at the beginning of May. You have touched on the trans issue in your current post, so I hope you don’t mind if I repeat myself, because it is easy to get the impression that all Trans people support what is going on with the trans movement. This is not true. I am Trans and have had the op, hormones and am one of 5000 people in the UK to have a gender recognition certificate. This means that I am in a position to know what is really going on and I can tell you that the current trans movement have pushed their ideology to such an extreme that the pendulum is going to swing back on us and a lot of trans people who have nothing to do with this are going to get hurt. This is my attempt to try and mitigate that push back.

    For over 40 years Terfs and the right have been accusing trans women of being potential rapists who are a threat to women. Around 2017 Stonewall started pushing the idea of self id for gender recognition certificate. The problem with this idea is that it failed to take into account a persons motivation for changing their gender. There would be nothing to stop a rapist or sex offender from getting a gender recognition certificate so that they could gain access to women’s spaces in order to rape them and would go to a women’s prison if they were caught. Roy the rapist could just ruck up to gender recognition certificatsRus with out a diagnosis of gender dsyphoria to prove that they were trans and without the two year real life rest to show that they serious about it. And please don’t think that this fear of rapists exploiting self ID is a fantasy of a terf’s fevered imagination. Look at the case of Karen White (Guardian 11/10/2018) who was admitted to a woman’s prison when the prison service introduced a policy of self ID.

    I cannot think of a better way of inciting hatred against trans women then allowing rapists to exploit the system to get a gender recognition certificates. As someone who experienced a lot of harassment 20 years ago when I first transitioned and had people calling me a nonce, throwing stones at me and threatening to stab and shoot me, this frightens the hell out of me. I have never known so much hatred towards trans people on social or main stream media since the idea of self ID came in. 10 years ago this hardly happened as the majority of people had no interest in trans issues. This whole backlash lash against us has been stoked by woke ideology.
    Stonewall like to claim that it is difficult to get a gender recognition certificate and this will make things easier for trans people. I can tell you that this is a lie. Getting the gender recognition certificate was the easiest part of the whole process.

    There are also people who are confused or have mental health problems who mistakenly think that they have gender dsyphoria, and could be making the biggest mistake of their lives if they go on to have hormones and the op. The last thing they need is for the law to confirm them in their delusion by giving them a gender recognition certificate.. This is why they need to see a doctor to get a medical diagnosis to that they can be directed towards the therapy or treatment they need. Even if they are unable to get the op in this country, they can go to Thailand where they won’t require a psychiatric assessment before they have it done. I only ever met one person who regretted having it done and they had obvious mental health problems and they went to Thailand. The trans movement and woke ideology do not care about this.

    The risk of this happening with children is much greater as they are still developing and do not understand themselves. Many children go through a phase of identifying with the opposite gender and then grow out of it. And yet the trans movement and woke ideology want children to be able to get the op. This is likely to get a lot of them to regretting what they have done. If children end up mutalating themselves then a lot of people will get very angry about this. Again I can’t think of a better way of inciting hatred against trans people. It will also lead to a backlash against the whole idea of gender reassignment operations. I want these operations be available to people who need them. But in order for this to happen we need to have reasonable safeguards in place to try to stop people who mistakenly think they are trans from having the operation. This is even more important with children. No one under 18 should be having this op.

    As far as I am concerned the trans movement is a suicide squad. It never used to be like this until the woke ideology took up the cause of trans people. I know that straight white men are treated as the enemy by the woke ideology and have a hard time of it. However I think you should get down on your knees and pray that the woke ideology doesn’t start treating you as a victim and stand up for your rights. Things will get far worse for you if this happens.

  13. Mr Greer

    I have just posted a comment about what is happening with the trans movement. I also have a question for you. You talked about the fact that we have different genders on the astral, etheric and material planes etc. Does this explain why people like me feel that we have been born into the wrong gender?

    It would be interesting to know if you have any thoughts on this.

    PS I would like to thank you for all the effort you put into answering our questions.

  14. “shrieking like a pack of gutshot banshees.”

    Thanks for the simile of the day. 🙂

    I was also terrible at sports due to poor coordination. But I still ended up an engineer. But I don’t have an urge to fix old cars either. But designing and building a chemical plant is great fun. So some male stereotypes I fit, some I don’t.

    Both (all two of them) of the girls that started in my freshman engineering class switched majors. The dropout rate was much lower in chemistry (my other major). And a surprising number of chemists of either gender are good cooks.

    The engineering department was trying really hard to get more girls into the program with limited success, and having even less success at keeping them there. There is a whole lot of whining about that from those who confuse equality of opportunity with equality of outcome, but they demand inequality of outcome in sports. No ties allowed, play until someone wins!

  15. Thank you for writing this despite your reluctance JMG. Good stuff that needs to be said.

    I was born in 1961. Both parents were 30 years old. Never got their perspective on the feminist movement.
    Struggled with my own sense of masculinity through the years, but done pretty well muddling through.
    Nice to get a sane perspective, with the distance of time, on that time period.
    My mostly disgust and ignoring the current PUA culture had me miss that it is the logical structural response to feminism. I appreciate having the light shed on that.

  16. Great essay, and thanks again for reminding me to accept my inner etheric lumberjack dude. He’s…ambitious.

    To my mind, toxic masculinity had its peak around 1985 or so, and was epitomized by televangelist Christian preachers, stockbrokers, and politicians who lived in McMansions and had unfortunate, predatory relationships with underage twinks. Peak toxic femininityis right now, and it looks like it is cresting and about to recede with the crushing defeats of Bud Light and Target (they lost 10 billion dollars in 10 days) proving that to get woke is to indeed go broke.

  17. Well, JMG, I didn’t fit the “model” of masculinity either when in school (and afterwards). Bookish, into classical music only until I discovered the Beatles as a senior in h.s. (they’d been around a while but it took me a while to appreciate them). I was somewhat oblivious at times. At other times, I felt my ostracization by family, friends, teachers and schoolmates keenly. Which is to say, I can relate to what you went through.

    Thank you for your meditation on the esoteric dimensions of “masculine/feminine”. It comports well with the Dion Fortune works on the topic, but is, thankfully, more explicit. She had to dance around a lot of things although it’s obvious she understood much. Perhaps the times of crazy constriction will eventually relax a bit as the train of our civilization crashes slowly into the limits imposed by reality!

  18. From what you’re saying, my particular polarity (Male on physical, etheric, and astral, feminine on mental) is exceedingly rare. I wonder if this helps explain my very lackluster dating life. I’ll be attracted to people, but when I try to pursue it, there’s no spark, no chemistry, and it just never seems to go anywhere. Could this be the result of my weird polarity?

  19. I’m reminded of a joke, which is a pretty good litmus test for 2nd wave feminist fanatics.

    How many feminist does it take to change a light bulb?
    -That’s not funny!

    The point being that a movement has clearly gone overboard when it loses its sense of humor. If making light of something is automatically hate speech or cancel worthy then it has crossed the boundry of productive dialog and become a source of cognitive dissonance that will be its undoing.

  20. I’ve often wondered if the stereotype of masculinity in the latter half of the 20th Century came from the idolatry of the WWII soldier. As I was growing up, the mass media was saturated with WWII stories and imagery, all the way into the 2000s. Most of my male friends revered soldiers and watched endless war movies. But if I look back before WWII, I don’t see the same extreme. Men in the 1920s and 1930s seemed more dandyfied.

  21. Do you have any thoughts on why some societies seem much more rigid than others on what gender roles, identities, etc. are tolerated? Monotheistic ones seem generally less tolerant of human variety but correlation is of course not causation.

  22. Erika, thank you. My hair at the time was light brown, though, and I didn’t get to grow it as long as I wanted until I left home at 18.

    Alex, there’s very little in print and what there is tends to be very dated. Dion Fortune’s books The Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage and The Problem of Purity may be worth your while, though you’ll have to correct for some of the differences in attitudes between her time and ours. You’re right that most of what’s written on the occult side of sex tends to be from the libertine end of things — it’s been forgotten that sex magic in the obvious sense, i.e., penetrative intercourse in a ritual setting, is only one way of working with erotic energies, and it’s neither the most interesting nor the most effective.

    Yorkshire, does “toxic masculinity” mean anything but “male behavior the person speaking doesn’t like”? As for the clothing thing, that’s one way to interpret it, of course. Do you consider what’s recently happened to Bud Light another example of the patriarchy at work?

    Jsabrina, it’s a long process of reflection and self-assessment. I’ll be discussing that in my upcoming book on the subject, where it’ll get a good half or so of a chapter.

    NMG, I know. That’s one of the reasons I’m trying to provide a third option.

    John, I can see why she’s your ex!

    Sarad, one thing I’ve noticed is that many modern feminist scholars go out of their way to erase the existence of women’s culture in modern times. I had the advantage of knowing many elderly members of women’s lodges in Seattle back some decades ago; these were women whose social lives revolved around the kind of organized, long-established women-only groups that existed all over the place until suburbanization set in, and survived in odd corners until more recently. (I knew them because they also belonged to the women’s branch of the Odd Fellows or to the Grange, both of which admit members of both sexes.) I’d listen to them talk about the Royal Neighbors and the Daughters of Norway and half a dozen other groups. Whether or not these conform to academic models of “women’s culture,” these were venues where women spent time together, evolved their own rituals (as in, explicit initiation rituals and more) and traditions, and defined an entire social world on their own terms. I’d be curious if you’ve seen any discussion of this in the sort of feminist literature you’ve cited. I suspect you won’t have, because there’s another feature of these groups and the women in them — they were all religiously and socially conservative. Thus they’ve been erased in the service of an agenda that insists that nothing counts as women’s culture unless it aligns with a particular set of political agendas.

    Rashakor, that’s why dialogue has to be introduced in a deliberately challenging way, so it doesn’t cede territory — it defines a debatable land between the lines, and then suggests a temporary ceasefire to enable talk.

    Luke, one of the reasons I want to introduce more people to the concept of differently polarized subtle bodies is that it’s helpful for people of both sexes who are having trouble finding partners. Once you know what to look for, it’s a little easier.

    Raymond, you’re most welcome.

    Tony, or Shelob, as the case may be.

    Tamar, I’m glad to hear that you’re giving your son the support he needs! I could have used that… As for the pronoun business, I just don’t have words. (Well, clean ones, at least.)

    Anon1, thank you for this. I have trans friends, and the great majority of them are like you — people with gender dysphoria who just want to live their lives unhassled. Unfortunately the entire movement has been hijacked by a very small but very loud minority of activists — and more importantly by the decision makers of corporate culture, who have apparently decided that this is the next wedge issue they want to use in order to keep ordinary people divided and distracted. I’d like to encourage you to post this same comment, or a comment like it, on conservative forums; I think you’ll find that a lot of people will be relieved to know that it’s just a loud minority and their corporate enablers who are behind all this.

    With regard to the sources of gender dysphoria, my working guess is that they’re complex, but there’s one factor that stands out very strongly. Because there are so many human bodies being born at this time in history, very few souls get enough time between lives to process the memories of one life before going on to the next, and so it’s quite common for people to come into incarnation with unconscious or half-conscious fragments of memory confusing them. If you were a woman in your last life, especially if you died relatively young, and then didn’t have the time to process between lives, it’s very likely that your new body will feel wrong to you because it’s not the body you’re used to. I suspect that’s behind a lot of cases of gender dysphoria these days.

    Siliconguy, there really are differences, no matter how politically inconvenient that is for some people. Equally, though, there are always exceptions, no matter how politically inconvenient that is for some people!

    Steven, you’re welcome. I’m no fan of the PUAs either, but I understand some of what motivates them — and I’m no more supportive of the Cosmo Girl “I’m going to wiggle my sex at you to get you to give me goodies” business, the exact feminine equivalent of the PUA scene.

    Kimberly, I hope you’re right. We could do with less toxic humanity of either kind!

    Clarke, you’re welcome and thank you. I’ve studied Fortune’s work very closely, of couse, and most of what I have to say on the subject is a matter of adapting her ideas to a time where frankness is more of an option.

    Joe, it’s a little less than half written at this point, though I’m working on it steadily, and the title will be negotiated between me and the publisher. The working title is A Secret Wisdom of Sex: The Philosophy and Practice of Polarity Magic, and one of my publishers has already indicated a strong interest in it, but it probably won’t be in print before 2025 or so.

    Anonymous, yes, it’s very rare, and yes, that’s probably an important source of trouble in that regard.

    Team10tim, that’s true. At the same time, there are a lot of “jokes” — including quite a few directed at women — that are really pretty hateful. The solution isn’t censorship, granted, but there is a middle ground.

    Jon, hmm! That’s a very plausible suggestion.

    Isaac, there are plenty of polytheist societies that are just as rigid in their gender roles, for what it’s worth. No, I’m not at all sure what social forces determine rigidity or lack of same in such things. One factor that seems to play an important part, though, is collective stress; the more a culture is under stress, the harder the lines tend to be drawn.

  23. Thanks again for a thoughtful insightful essay. I’m guessing about 20% of the votes for Orange Julius have to do with blow back against the current male role definition, and an even larger percentage of the votes against OJ are because he doesn’t fit that mold. What an artificial dilemma. When are people going to wake up to the fact that money driven interests have defined far too much of our culture along the lines of their interests rather than ours? Is this why you don’t do visual media?

  24. Jon G #23, this is an interesting video that traces American body image problems back to comparing themselves to Nazi soldiers: Amusingly not to Soviet soldiers because they were always wrapped up in winter coats so there was no way to tell what their physiques were like. 🙂 The video’s about gay male body image but the cultural setup affected heterosexual men the same way.

  25. You spoke a bit about how male and female subtle bodies interact and influence each other (creative men needing their female mental sheaths fertilized by a woman’s male sheath, for example). I don’t have a very good understanding of the mechanics of the subtle planes. My question is, can this sort of influence still occur over long distances? Let’s just use a long-distance relationship as an example. Or is direct physical contact a prerequisite for these effects to occur? Thanks for your time.

  26. “One of the things it pointed out to me is that there are many different ways to be a man, and most of them have nothing to do with the caricatures of masculinity pushed so enthusiastically on everyone by the corporate media and the mass-minded.”

    I agree with you, there’s life beyond the sportmen and romantic heroes…
    Related with not-stereotyped manhood:
    What do you think about “men for Equality”, I mean, “feminist men”? Are they pretending about it in order to accomplish woke agenda, or they deserve more attention to learn from them?

  27. What advice do you have for those of us with rare polarities who are looking to find partners? My own, as mentioned in an earlier comment, is the exceedingly rare arrangement of male from physical to astral, and feminine mental.

    Would it be best to try to find someone who’s got the opposite arrangement? If so, how does one go about that?

  28. Greetings JMG,

    Nice balanced post.

    I have found that the masculine likes to communicate with reason, and the feminine with emotions based on archetypes or social conventions.

  29. Thanks for the article JMG. I for one would be happy to see your book on the topic published.

    This model does help explain why I’ve run into difficulties dating. Physical Male, Etheric Female, Astral Female and Mental Female body pattern. I’ve had multiple partners complain of me being feminine in nature, which has been a bit of turn off for them. My only successful solution I’ve found in dating matters, and which only seems to be succesful for so long, was utilizing the energy of 100% celibacy and then forcing myself to act in a more stereotypical astral male way to attract a partner into my life.

  30. I greatly appreciate your posts on this topic, as they’ve helped clarify a lot of details about my own life that never made sense otherwise. I doubt I’m the only one that feels this way– Thank you very much.

    I shared this when this subject came up a few weeks ago, but I don’t know if my comment was eaten by internet goblins, or if it was simply too off topic for that week. Either way, in case someone might find it useful–

    I find it helpful to view masculinity and femininity as virtues, or rather, as constellations of virtues, since each is comprised of a number of different things. This helps both to frame them, but also to understand how they can go wrong, because as virtues, they are each the midpoint of two equal and opposite vices. One is a vice of excess, the other advice of deficiency. Vices of excessive masculinity are what can be called toxic masculinity, while vices of excessive femininity are what ought to be called toxic femininity.

    Framing it this way also makes the important point that a man who possesses the feminine virtues, but not the masculine, is nevertheless virtuous, not vicious. On the other hand, a man who possesses the masculine vices, but no corresponding virtues, is vicious. (See: PUAs, and the hundreds of internet “masculinity gurus.”) And the same holds good for women who possess masculine virtues, or feminine vices.

    And the term sacred masculinity or sacred femininity, then, makes sense, as it places the entire discussion in the realm of the gods. To frame virtuous masculinity as sacred masculinity makes the point that God is the source and summit of all virtues. It also allows us to turn to mythology as a guide to understanding masculinity and femininity

    As an astrologer, the model of the divine hierarchy that makes most sense to me is that of the seven classical planets. Three of these are masculine, viz, Jupiter, the Sun, and Mars. Three are feminine– Saturn, the Moon, and Venus. This suggests that there are three different archetypes of masculinity, and three of femininity. Call them the warrior, the king, and the priest, and the maiden, the mother, and the matriarch. Every person is governed by one of these overall, but each has its influence on every soul, and each is active especially at different times of life. Mercury, meanwhile, is hermaphroditic, and covers the number of us, who are probably vastly overrepresented in this particular form, who don’t fit neatly into any category.

    The point, ultimately, is that there are different ways of being masculine, different ways of being feminine, and many ways of royally screwing up either!

  31. I think there is a such thing as sacred masculinity and sacred femininity though. Sacred masculinity takes some typically male traits such as boldness, severity, and speed and balances them on a sword tip between two extremes. Boldness is the balance between rashness and cowardice, severity is the balance between cruelty and enablement, and speed is the balance between rushing and dragging. Some sacred feminine counterparts would be nurturing, healing, and solving. Nurturing is the balance between molly-coddling and neglect. Healing is the balance between leaving a medical condition completely untreated and the creepy solution-first problem-second approach medicine, such as one famous actress’s decision to get a full mastectomy in complete absence of a breast cancer diagnosis and the current push to chemically castrate children. As for solving, that is what a good woman does: she learns, she solves, and then teaches. Our era featured both severe imbalances, where women don’t have time to learn and solve because they’re busy busting heavies at the office right alongside men. There is also the imbalance of “solving” overkill, which is to pretend that high tech doodads and $$$ can fix any problem. I hope this makes sense.

  32. I thought I was alone in this respect. I also have never been able to connect a bat with a baseball. It seems an impossible task. My problem is dyslexia, or perhaps I’m just clumsy. In any event, it separated me from the other boys – maybe a blessing in disguise.

  33. “It would be helpful, to use no stronger word, if men and women could accept that people of both sexes (and the very small fraction of people who are intersex, too) have the right to define themselves, create spaces and cultures relevant to themselves, and negotiate the relations between the sexes, rather than trying to exploit positions of power to impose arbitrary rules that advantage one side or the other.”

    Hear! Hear!

    …and also, well done. I know how much you did not want to do this topic, but having set your mind to it, it is an excellent post, and I thank you!

  34. This is a remarkably cogent essay for one you had little interest in writing.

    Is it really true that there is no room for tomboys or janegirls anymore? I was relentlessly bullied and then shunned for many years by the sorts of boys who grew up to be pick up artists, because I was feminine in my interests and total abhorrence of violence. I don’t have any issue living in my own body and I don’t believe I have much of a problem with toxic masculinity. The trans people I have talked to were TORMENTED by their bodies. The metaphor I kept being presented with is handedness. Imagine doing everything with your non-dominant hand, and then extend that feeling over your entire body, 24/7. When you stop punishing people for who they are, the number of lefthanded/trans people skyrockets. That said, I feel like there are many people with a sensitivity to gluten who call themselves celiacs, and people with an appreciation for orderliness who refer to themselves as “OCD”, and so on….I have little doubt there are people out there who don’t fit the standard conceptions of one gender and so assume they MUST be the other extreme. You’ve only talked about the trap of binaries for years, after all.

  35. I grew up in Washington DC in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There were still public horse watering troughs then. And street cars. Lots of what used to be called “tinkers” people who travelled about the area providing services such as knife and tool sharpening and repair, along with fixing pots and pans. There were also many small groceries and shops every few blocks, with the store on the ground floor, and living quarters on the floors above. Milk and dairy deliveries were common. Also, there were many, many women only groups and events. Even women’s pages in the newspapers. The churches even had women’s groups. People knew their neighbors, and the shopkeepers too. Then came the move to the suburbs. All that community was deleted. All those small shops and businesses are long gone.
    As far as the trans issues, my trans friends, some transitioning 40 years ago, would agree with Anon1 @ #14 about the self ID, and the slacking off from the vigorous medical and psychological steps they had to go through. They too fear a backlash, no matter their political leanings.

  36. @Kimberly Steele, #18: I think it’s a little more complicated than “go woke, go broke”. Acknowledging certain demographics and merchandising towards them should not provoke backlash from anyone sane. And The Little Mermaid, another object of right wing ridicule for representation, is currently the #1 movie on the planet.

  37. Here is a question for the commentariat: I don’t understand the hormone/surgery part of the whole trans thing. Dress, act, and be whoever you want, but why get a doctor involved? The thing I don’t understand is the trust in the medical industry for something that has to work every day — you gotta pee! The medical industry is just not that good. I can’t fathom why anyone would trust them to build working genitals from other body parts. Maybe it works out okay some of the time? But the risk of having a mutilated body that never works right seems really high. And here is the final nail in the coffin of the idea for me: sterilization. You get the surgery, male or female, and you can never, ever produce a child.

    I knew a trans person who used to come into an herb shop I owned. This person was born with both ovaries and testes. She identified as female, but had terrible health problems, because her hormones were messed up (her words). She was using herbs because the doctors had no answers for her. She didn’t want surgery. She wanted to be who she was…and live with what she was born with.

    I also know several straight men who suffer from urinary tract issues, i.e., enlarged prostates that make peeing agonizing or impossible without catheterization. Urologists don’t help. My neighbor who went in for enlarged prostate treatment died from the surgery.
    Based on what they are/were going through, I wouldn’t let a urologist surgeon anywhere near my genitals, male or female.

    I believe there are some trans people in the commentariat and I would very much like to understand why the surgery?

  38. “The mythology of progress has made it very hard for a great many people to see that forcing change in one direction very often results in an equal and opposite swing in the other direction. …” Ah, yes. Martin Luther’s famous analogy to the drunken peasant trying to ride a horse, “falling off first one one side, and then on the other.” Except that Dobbin knew the way back to the barn …and that’s what we need right about now. (And a bucket of cold water in the face, and being hit over the head with the barn broom accompanied by a long string of profanity, until someone chases us back to our little house and lets us know what’s what.)

    Thanks, BTW – I now know I have a female astral body (and a large body of fanfic, written and unwritten), and am pretty sure the rest falls into the standard female configuration.

    And thanks for the accompanying pictures.

  39. This is a fascinating topic for me. Where could I go to learn how to become aware of my own subtle bodies’ polarities, and work with them in a healthy way?

  40. I am someone who was/is in the PUA community for a LOONG time (since its earliest days nearly 20 years ago), and learned everything I could from it and moved on and now happily married with kids etc (but still keep an eye on it from time to time). There’s also the Red Pill movement which is kind of PUA aligned but is a sort of theoretical underpinning of sexual dynamics, while PUA is the “practical” side of how to apply the principles (massive oversimplification if you know the communities, but close enough).

    I think it’s been rather unfairly stereotyped here. I broadly agree with JMG’s classification of it here as a structural response to societal changes against men, just like earlier stages of feminism were structural responses to pressure against women (had never thought of that connection before).

    But as for the PUA movement itself – there ARE some people to whom the stereotypes here apply but they had their heyday many years ago (in the late 2000s/early 2010s – there was even a brief moment of mainstream acceptance and a VH1 TV show – forget the name, but the video clips are on YouTube – of men picking up women in nightclubs) and there aren’t many of them like that.

    While there are still extremes in it, and there are a few men who are genuine misogynists, there is a huge amount of value in it as well – at a very basic level for me and many other men it was the first place where I learned not to take “mainstream” views on things uncritically and that what the New York Times said was not automatically right (if I had not been exposed to that, I would never have been open years later to JMG’s opinions and even later to alternative views on COVID etc). It is where a lot of men, particularly directionless young men learn about social skills and self-improvement and making themselves better and what *really* works to get a girlfriend and improve their self-esteem and so on.

    Through it all, the dominant thread (when you succeed) is of leaving a girl better than you found her, and to find the right kind of relationship for you – whether that means many women or just one – it is at its best about giving you the tools to understand the world, improve yourself and meet and date and marry women on your own terms – which is all entirely compatible with everything JMG teaches.

    I could go on and on but happy to answer questions anyone has about PUA on this thread as someone who is now happily settled and in marriage with kids but was a virgin with no social skills until well into my twenties when PUA saved me and changed my life – I still remember reading on an obscure Usenet forum (remember – 20 years ago) about someone learning this underground thing – and thinking “Wait – so this isn’t something you’re BORN with? You can actually IMPROVE yourself and your social skills and make yourself more attractive to women??|” – to this day one of the most important epiphanies in my life.

  41. @JMG Hmm… if the groups you are describing are passing on skills that give women a sense of place in society, a script by which they can organize their identity around and a sense of belonging – in the sense that they are right and belong in the world – they would certainly be women’s culture. I haven’t read about them myself, but not because no one has written about them, I’m certain, but because that’s not where my reading interest has been – Barber’s book is considered somewhat of a groundbreaker in the documentation of weaving as an archaeological artifact, but I imagine that people using that as a springboard to trace forward, to, say, knitting circles would certainly be talking about those. I don’t knit, though, so probably wouldn’t read it 😉 I think that Gloria Steinem talks about rural conservative women’s culture very nicely, actually, in several of her essays in her collection Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. Her description of the travelling feminist talks all over the USA, and the way women, and then men, from all walks of life came was really fascinating to me – it’s very classic grassroots American politics, though the best examples of it I have read of recently are things Ron M has written about happening in Canada. So despite Pierre Burton’s documentation of the way our entire national identity was built on keeping American culture out, something must have nevertheless snuck in the back door 😉

    I don’t think the existence of those groups until more recently in some areas negates any of the other main arguments at all – the cycle you are discussing is also not untrue, it’s just a nested mini-cycle within I think the broader, longer and slower cultural cycles the other sources are also describing. My co-operative preschool organization would also be an excellent example of such a women’s culture persisting, and it is technically still going… but probably for the last year.

    There are other preschools within that umbrella org that are still strong though, and may persist maybe for decades. And the coming women’s cultures may look very similar, and use them as an example! But they probably won’t come directly from them, any more than your Merlin’s Wheel came directly from the Eleusian Mysteries without having first been broken in transmission.

    Thinking about it more – forgive the length of comment, if I have further thoughts I’ll put them on my own dreamwidth and just link them – but I would say that the other half of my brain (possibly my animus, as it insists it is right, and it seems it always is <–Jungian humour) reminds me that the media I consume now that discusses any of the things here that might be thrown into the "gender issues" bucket would never discuss this from a dualist lens of mens/womens, progressive/conservative, urban/rural, because thats Gender Studies 100, and it's all intersectionalism now, baby. They would definitely discuss that there ARE ways those differences impact the world people navigate, and their identity formation and persona crafting, because that's… the point of intersectionality… but never in a sense that there are "sides" that one got an issue "wrong" on. Anyone trying to One True Woman or Man would immediately be asked what her or his race, economic bracket, disability status… etc. was and laughed offstage. Of course there are people who use the word intersectional (the way some people claim to be Christian, and yet clearly aren't; or feminist, and yet clearly aren't) who write things that would do so – and they are bad bad wrongheads with icky wrongthink, obviously, so I don't pay attention to them or link to their stupid hypocritical books even for the purpose of explaining how wrongsay and badthink they are 😉

    Heck, even Judith Freaking Butler is apparently writing a book that should be out this year that is meant to be read by the average person. With very hilarious self-knowledge she admits that she enjoys and has deliberately always used writing that is utterly impossible to understand to a nonacademic. So perhaps the reason no one got her and hated her so much was partly her fault. So now, what 50 years later… maybe she’ll stop being chased with pitchforks through Brazilian airports (true story) because what she says is fairly hard to argue with, on a basic human level. I could not but shake my head – if she’d just written this book first.

  42. To everyone who participates in these weekly prayer lists— both those who pray, and those who request and accept prayer– my heartfelt thanks for joining in. 

    There’s now a new optional feature to the weekly prayer list.

    After some discussion on the matter, a sizable majority of the prayer list participants who made their voices heard agreed: we are of the opinion that when neither privacy nor modesty is a concern, it is generally more efficacious for the requesters of prayer to provide their real names, location, and even pictures of themselves. This both makes it easier for those praying to focus their intentions, and it requires the prayer requester to put some “skin in the game”, opening the gates to more easily let in the powers who answer prayer.

    Of course, modesty and especially privacy are a real concern. Also, everyone agrees that praying on behalf of pseudonyms, or even simply to “anonymous”, can be efficacious: as was brought up in the comments of that conversation, two of the most dramatic successes of the prayer list so far were on behalf of pseudonymous handles. 

    With all of this in mind, here is what we will try.

    (1) For prayer requesters who don’t wish to do anything differently, nothing will change. Please continue to only share what information you are comfortable sharing of your personal information with the main prayer list, just as you have already been doing, and rest assured that your prayers will be heard.

    (2) *After* you have shared your prayer already on the main prayer list, those who wish to do more to increase the efficacy of their prayers also have the option of sharing information they wish to remain discreet by e-mail. This information will be shared semi-privately only on a weekly mailing list version of the prayer list. It will never appear on the main prayer list page, and nobody will be able to search for your information on the web. If you wish to take this option for your prayer request, the e-mail address to send this information to is: “ecosophia prayer list” with no spaces at the care of the leading email domain of the company whose name is honomynous with the mathematical term for “ten to the power of one hundred”.

    In the message, you might include:

    –the prayer target’s real name
    –the prayer target’s location
    –a (please keep it short!) description of what you want others to know about the prayer target
    –the prayer target’s ambition in life (taking a cue from The Crystal Silence League
    –a relatively recent photo of the prayer target (if you know how, I request that you reduce this size of the photo if it’s enormous)

    The first version of this expanded e-mail version of the prayer list will go out early next week. If you are interested in receiving it and you’re not signed up already, please send me a message at the aforementioned address.

    On a different matter, this is the last week of the month. Anybody who has not given an update on their prayer request within the last month, who has not already arranged a longer prayer duration with me, is subject to the whims of my simple divination, and may be removed depending on the result.

    With that, we return to our normal, regularly scheduled Ecosophia Prayer List notice!

  43. Here are all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared at and, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

    If I missed anybody, or if you would like to add a prayer request for yourself or anyone who has given you consent (or for whom a relevant person holds power of consent) to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below.

    * * *
    This week I would like to bring special attention to the following prayer requests.

    Nichole Cardillo had a cancerous tumor in her duodenum (in her small intestine) and she had surgery on May 1st to try to remove it, but there was a complication, and she is still recuperating; that her surgery was successful and completely removed the cancer, and for blessings, protection, and a full return to health.

    Tanamous’s friend’s brother David got in a terrible motorcycle accident and has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic given the resultant spinal damage; for healing and the positive outcomes of upcoming surgeries and rehabilitation, specifically towards him being able to walk and live a normal life once more.

    Nicole’s (shewhoholdstension) 41 year brother Robert died suddenly in bed on May 15th; for a smooth and blessed journey on the other side. Robert was a single dad and he leaves behind three children: Hannah, Zack, and Jordyn; that they and Nicole be blessed and protected, and find what comfort they can during this very difficult time. (Update here.)

    T.A. (“Epileptic Doomer”) has seizures that have been increasing in intensity, and worries about it causing further brain damage and even costing them their job; for blessings, protection, and healing, a reduction of intensity and frequency to the seizures, and for a path for navigating their illness in a way that helps them lead their best possible life.

    Patricia Mathew’s friend Al (Alison Kulp) was, the last we’d heard, in the hospital with a nasty life-threatening MRSA infection; please pray for her to be blessed, protected, and completely healed as soon as is possible. (Update here.)

    Lp9’s request on behalf of their hometown, East Palestine Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people and all living beings in the area. (Lp9 gives updates here and most recently here, and says “things are a bit… murky”), and the reasonable possibility seems to exist that this is an environmental disaster on par with the worst America has ever seen. At any rate, it is clearly having a devastating impact on the local area, and prayers are still warranted.

    * * *
    If there are any among you who might wish to join me in a bit of astrological timing, I pray each week for the health of all those with health problems on the list on the astrological hour of the Sun on Sundays, bearing in mind the Sun’s rulerships of heart, brain, and vital energies. If this appeals to you, I invite you to join me.

    Guidelines for how long prayer requests stay on the list, how to word requests, how to be added to the weekly email list, how to improve the chances of your prayer being answered, and several other common questions and issues, are now to be found at the Ecosophia Prayer List FAQ.

  44. Bradley, no, I don’t do visual media because it bores me. It’s all just little colored blobs dancing jerkily around on a glass screen — distracting and irritating. But you’re right about the money interests!

    Untitled-1, the further you go up the planes, the less effect distance has. Etheric exchange has to happen in person, and usually through close physical contact; astral exchange can happen over a distance, though it works best when anchored to physical objects (which is why love letters used to be so effective); mental exchange is irrespective of distance on planetary scales.

    Chuaquin, why, it varies from person to person, of course. Some feminist men are genuinely trying to do the right thing, some have been bullied into behaving according to someone else’s rules, some have embraced it as part of a political ideology, and still others are hoping to use it to manipulate women into bed.

    Anonymous, yes, it’s generally helpful to find someone who has the opposite polarity of subtle bodies, but there’s no easy way to do it. In a society well equipped with competent matchmakers, that would be easier, but we don’t have those.

    Tony C, those are culturally defined habits present in most Western countries. Within that context, sure, it’s more common than otherwise.

    Tamanous, you’re going to have a very difficult time finding someone, then, because you’ll need a partner who is masculine on all three subtle planes, and those are as rare as your pattern. I wish I could offer some other option, but I don’t know of one.

    Steve, thanks for this. That’s certainly one useful way to analyze it all.

    Kimberly, it sounds as though you and Steve T are speaking the same language here!

    Greg, in my case it was motor dyspraxia, which is a common codrome with Aspergers syndrome. I wish that was recognized as a reality more often; I got so very tired of being told that if I just tried harder I’d be able to do the thing!

    Scotlyn, you’re welcome. It was not an easy essay to write, not least because it involved stirring up a lot of miserable memories.

    Ken, of course. There are certainly people with gender dysphoria, but there are also people who are shoved into that category when they have no business being there. As with everything else, it’s a mixed bag.

    Marlena13, exactly! That’s what I was talking about. I grew up in suburbia, I’m sorry to say, and got to see that kind of real neighborhood only later, in fragments.

    Jean, I’ll definitely leave that one for the commentariat.

    Patricia M, I’m definitely in favor of the bucket of cold water. Maybe that could be thrown over the activists on both sides, the way you do over a couple of fighting dogs…

    Phutatorius, I don’t happen to know who that is, but I’ll pass on the video.

    Josh, I’m still working on the book!

    RTPCR, interesting. What I saw of PUA culture was purely a matter of lurking on the occasional website and listening to guys talk about “game,” so I don’t claim to have a complete view of the movement. Thanks for this.

    SaraD, can you point me to some feminist literature that discusses the world of women’s lodges? I’d be interested to see what they have to say.

    Quin, thanks for these.

  45. Well Ken Breadner, “get woke, go broke” may be an overgeneralization, but this is not my blog and I don’t feel like writing a novel.

    As for The Little Mermaid, I see you’ve been visiting my blog. 50 Shades of Grey stayed at No. 1 for most of the 2010s. Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You has been No. 1 every year since it was inflicted upon the general public in 1994. When something is No. 1 these days, it is often an indicator that it is terrible and appeals to the lowest and worst instincts of humanity. I don’t see how No. 1 status sanctifies The Little Mermaid, and as someone who is exactly as white as Barack Obama, I can only speak for myself. I am boycotting the film because its star actress is a vicious, race-baiting harpy who should be glad I’m being nice and not letting my personal meme-wolves out. Disney Plus stocks have been hemorrhaging lately, so maybe I’m not the only person outside China boycotting certain Disney products. There’s also the inconvenient fact that much of the “success” of any particular international corporate product is often hype, coverup, and fabrication (cough Covid quaxxines uncough).

  46. What would it look like if someone had the same physical and etheric gender? My suspicion is that that person would be much more likely to be homosexual than a person with opposite physical and etheric genders, since they’d be seeking the etheric completion normally provided by their own physical gender…

    Also – “Luke, one of the reasons I want to introduce more people to the concept of differently polarized subtle bodies is that it’s helpful for people of both sexes who are having trouble finding partners. Once you know what to look for, it’s a little easier.”

    Not Luke obviously, but… it strikes me that if you treat the mental-astral-etheric-physical bodies’ genders as geomantic sigils, the typical physical male equates to Acquisitio (ruled by Jupiter, the male greater benefic) and the typical physical female to Amissio (ruled by Venus, the female greater benefic), and also that Puer and Puella correspond respectively to male and female physical, astral, and mental bodies. Something something theme for meditation?

  47. Brilliant explanation of The Kybalion Principle of Gender. Made the concept most clear. Thank you.

    Also many Hatha Yoga techniques prescribe rarefying sexual energy in order to master the mind, increase awareness and de-limit experience so I too am really looking forward to your book!

  48. Hi John Michael,

    accordingly the destruction of middle class men’s culture, and the abolition of the masculine social spaces Is this another way of saying that energy pushed forcibly in one direction, will eventually rebound? 😉

    It’s not hard to open a dialogue with our fellow humans, although the way some folks act, you’d think it would be. It’s a subversive act!!! 🙂 Mate, it’s not lost on me that a lot of people I encounter are dealing with some serious issues where the world isn’t conforming to their ideals as to what the world should look like.



  49. When I was a young man in the early 90s, I was a raver and knew many people in the LGB community (there were fewer letters back then.) The thing about the whole trans movement that has me confused is why we settled on calling biological men trans women instead of trans men, and visa versa. Seems to me that we can all agree that a trans person is trans, but obliging folks to use confusing pronouns and reverse genders is where all the blow back come from.

    The first time I encountered this, almost 15 years ago now, I met a man named Brian who had a beard and a boob job. Every time I saw him, he insisted on giving me a big hug and pressing his fake breasts up against me extra hard to make sure I knew they were there. I have never had a woman hug me like that. To top it all off, he insisted that I call him her. Needless to say, we don’t associate anymore.

    More recently, a female friend was getting engaged to a woman who identifies as queer gender neutral, and prefers the pronouns they/them and in Spanish elle (which is not even a word.) I had to let her know that I don’t use preferred pronouns. She sent me a video on why pronouns matter and unfriended me until I comply, should I ever decide to do so.

    Seems to me that if the alphabet group wanted to just fit in (I am referring to the new letters on the end) that they wouldn’t make being associated with them so punishing to the rest of us, especially the going against proper grammar part. I have no problem with you dressing however you want and keeping your sex life private, but you don’t get to violate me with your surgeries and force me to speak an invented language.

    Personally, I am not interested in maintaining relationships that have so much drama involved. Am I the only one that feels this way?

  50. @JMG: Well, I thought maybe you’d have encountered Webb Wilder in your “misspent youth.” He’s an odd mix of macho geekiness, who really can rock! Mostly heard on college radio.

    And, if I may recommend a book, it’s “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s about a hermaphrodite teenager growing up in Detroit, with summers up near Charlevoix, Michigan. Reading it I was convinced that the author was writing from experience, but apparently that’s not the case. Interesting historical characters make appearances in the novel, along with the Detroit riots of summer, 1967; I happened to be quite near that action at the time.

    Finally, I shared with many others here, that youthful experience of being a guy who was more interested in music than in sports. I played high school football for the social advantages I hoped for, but I hated football if the truth be known.

    I’m quite happy that the trans stuff was not an option back then; I could have gotten seriously messed up by the medical profession. But trans medical practice is not the only form of medical malpractice; back in the 1950s, if you were “a little bit different,” you might have wound up with a “date” with a lobotomist named Dr. Walter Jackson Freeman II.

  51. Perhaps a question then. Is it possible to modify your existing astral body to become the opposite polarity? Magic is changing consciousness in accordance with will after all. (But as a counter example, it’s not like you can change your natal chart which shows the particular configuration of your 4 bodies. How you deal with them, yes, and there’s always the effort you can take to transcend the chart.)

  52. “Yorkshire, does “toxic masculinity” mean anything but “male behavior the person speaking doesn’t like”? ”

    That’s a good question. To me toxic masculinity is most simply described as pointless hyper-aggression. Is someone always trying to pick a fight? Does he have ‘HATE’ tattooed on his knuckles? Does he routinely drive in a reckless manner? Does he insult anyone who isn’t like him? Does he insist he can carry the very heavy object up the stairs with no help?

    Now toxic femininity, that I have trouble defining.

    Medically speaking, there are guys with two Y chromosomes, most of them seem to end up in jail, so there is definitely something going on.

  53. Thank you for writing about this. I appreciate your pov very much. I wonder if you have read anything about the relationship between autism and “gender nonconformity” (a term I really dislike)? There is an interesting correlation between those of us on the spectrum (hi! diagnosed at 50. It’s a been a lot. I digress.🙂) and folks who are more gender fluid. At any rate, I think we’re close in age, and I recall being told that sometimes you had crushes on your same-sex friends but that it’s a natural part of adolescent development. I really wish that was the message all young people heard. Anyway, cheers to you JMG. Voice of reason. 👍🏻

  54. Just re-read my first post and it is NOT what I meant to say. I meant, ofc, that I remember being taught about having crushes, etc. When I wrote “you” I was thinking of you in the plural. Lol. I’ll he alright. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  55. JMG,

    Excellent column as usual!

    I am so glad to see your definition of male and female here. It’s the first one I’ve encountered that is simultaneously not so broad as to be useless and that I actually fit the default male arrangement pretty well. I tend to get inspired rather than to inspire, work better with a woman to bounce my ideas off of (fortunately my wife is very patient), and have no trouble generating characters and story concepts of my own, but don’t really enjoy doing fanfiction much.

    I’ve never fit the societal definition very well. I’m not naturally very athletic, I like fashion and am a bit of a fop, I couldn’t care less about cars, and countless other examples.

    Of my four non-infant children, one of each gender is more typical and one of each is less typical. Fortunately, we don’t send them to any institutions where predatory ideologue adults prey on nonconformist children.

    Although we follow a traditional household model, I try to model and promote the positive traits in all of them. My question, for you and any commentariat, is: is there anything that a parent did, or should have done, that could help the nonconformists gain enough confidence to withstand the cultural straitjackets once they’re negotiating this environment more independently in adolescence?

    — John B

  56. @JMG – I’m sorry – I don’t know any. If I find any, I will definitely pass along. I actually would have found that cool, I did even look for lodges that took women around where I live, but there weren’t any, so I don’t even have a personal in on where to start looking. When I tried googling around, I got no lodges or books but a lot of hits on women’s shelters… which… is possibly the saddest ironic hit I can think of. Um. Maybe a women closer to where extant women’s lodges are could do better?

    I did, however, write the longer response (with longer sentences!) wherein I then argue against myself, above, based on whether my leftist liberal intersection influences (I mean the good ones. Obviously. Not the ones with wrong think. No I won’t list which ones, the ones that disagree with me are too many and too wrong!) would even take the idea of “men’s culture” or “women’s culture” as a meaningful category that is meaningfully dying as a sound first proposition (and then they’d excoriate me for even using “women’s work” as a shorthand for “domestic work”, “care work”, “textile work”, or whatever anyway).

  57. Anon1 #14
    Thank you so much for your articulate & important reminder that when we disagree with a “movement”, it is not always clear who is part of it. We all need to take care not to harm the innocent when defending our own freedoms.

  58. Gainesville, FL, has an active Women’s Club which, among other things, sponsors a shelter for people subject to domestic violence. Most of the towns mentioned in Alachua Today have a Women’s Club, as do some of the towns the family drove through on our way to a resort way down where the Florida panhandle joins the rest of Florida. Judging from the attendees at one of their fund-raisers, the one in Gainesville tends to the woke side of things, because so many things here are based in the churches, rather than by secular organizations. The one in Alachua, whose column and recipes I used to send you until she stopped including the recipes, seems to be conventionally Christian.

    About women’s groups fading out long ago, they were definitely active in the 1920s and 1930s, including all-women residence hotels for working women. How active depends on the region.

    Interesting side note: if you want to see a matriarchy in action, a place where the default pronoun for a resident is “she”, as in “someone left her keys in the mailbox,” try an old folks’ home – pardon me, Senior Living Community. It gets so it’s a relief to have a man or two at the dinner table, preferably two.

    My comment on the PUA is sometimes guys who go through that in high school or college, and grow out of it slowly as they mature. Same goes for some girls.

    Cosmopolitan ended its days as a blatant trade journal for the muslin company (Georgette Heyer’s term for the demi-monde.) Is it still around?

  59. Yes, cold water. I loved that quote, and with the kind of mind I had, promptly came up with that scenario; our drunk asleep in the hay and the treatment he received – ending being chased back to his little house being beaten with the broom and the flood of – well, German had a rich vocabulary of vulgar invective – and the drunk’s wife taking him in hand; let’s just say, he was in the doghouse, as they said back in my day. Methinks circumstances are going to end up providing the beating for our activists on both sides (fanatics is a better word) with mundane reality in the role of the wife.

  60. A thought provoking expansion of a earlier topic similar to this.

    I feel as though that while aspects of this rhymes between MRA/Womans Liberation Movement and the disruption of the socially conservative (read it as Catholic non religious groups in the northeast and Midwest cities) womens groups of the earlier areas, I think that there is something missing somewhat.

    While the PUA aspect is somewhat accurate, this was mostly to compare notes. Things started to form where there was a praxis made on how best to handle relationships between men and women. Two aspects of the praxis was “Genuine Desire Can Never Be Negotiated” which pretty much states prostitution is wrong outright in any form (from Choreplay etc), and it was explained in how it used as a way for women who already have (even an Idea) of a ideal man to use other men to do favors for her (or the man she really wants to be with) even if the man doesnt exist or if he does – cannot be able to do by himself or doesnt want to do. You can cause how convoluted the scheme is, but it explains a lot in modern times on how women wait, and wait and then find a man she can deal with but as soon some other man fits her fancy she leaves. Its damaging to say the least and it not good on the other end of the spectrum as well.

    The second one is somewhat related to the first, you don’t go back to your ex in any form (outside of greeting etc) which is obvious if their was abuse and so on.

    When it comes to the move to the suburbs however? It was more of a crime issue late 40’s to at least the 60’s and little beyond that, the riots didnt help. The obvious liberal change over in the 60’s and 70’s caused even more of a move to the burbs.The rights movements beat down and basically glossed over the socially conservative womens groups. It is mentioned but it was way more involved.

    This will give me more to ponder – because those men who did aspects of the praxis are going through a rough time because the evangelicals and other “right wing folks” are using the “red pill” moniker to bludgeon men in accepting “converted” women in to the “Church/Rightwing etc” (when she is just tired of herself and is looking for security in the physical sense) just in time for the election…

  61. Yeah, I have a couple of visible scars on my face from being different. Way too smart, poor social skills, and no ability to play popular team sports. Awesome at solo sports, tho’. But that never helped any. I’ll have to ponder long and hard as to which plane is at cause tho’.
    I have to say, I’d rather hoped that at some point we could just move away from that extreme need to punish nonconformity and just get to something like ‘don’t beat me up just because I’m different’.
    Instead we have shot past that to the opposite extreme of ‘you have to totally accept and let me act out my wackadoodle sense of self or you are a horrible person for making me feel uncomfortable’.
    It is kind of entertaining to see the various flavors of dogmatic social justice warriors playing circular firing squad, but in the meantime, the intelligentsia are doing some horrific damage to a lot of vulnerable young people.

  62. Siliconguy #16 After all chemistry did start in the kitchen.
    Anon1 #14 Thank you for such a carefully thought and nuanced comment. People will keep ignoring that swinging pendulum though and that can have serious consequences for many.

  63. Bravo, JMG, for nimbly navigating such a minefield! If ever I sail the Mediterranean and attempt the strait between Scylla and Charybdis, you can be my navigator. Much respect!

    Sorry to hear about your baseball story. Too bad Americans don’t play cricket; if they did, you may have had a less traumatic story to tell. I, too, hated baseball, but I loved cricket.

    Certain sentences you wrote jumped out at me: all that was required was for me to substitute a few words in my mind and much of current ‘Agenda 2030’ dystopia that has shocked many of us to the core in recent years seems to be applicable, i.e.,

    “Meanwhile saturation propaganda over the… television pushed new definitions of XXXX at them—definitions that had been manufactured mostly by YYYY, embodying YYYY perspectives, without any input relevant to the actual lives that XXXX led.”

    “Instead, XXXX are now expected to accept new definitions of XXXX which are largely manufactured by YYYY, embodying YYYY perspectives, without any input relevant to the actual lives that XXXX lead. We’re currently in the very early stages of the explosion that this burst of cognitive dissonance makes inevitable.”

    I both yearn for and dread the various social explosions that seem to be ‘baked into the cake’ of our future, of which the whole politicized gender and trans stuff are only a small (but integral) part of our collective cognitive dissonance. May the gods spare us the worst of the madness and savage inhumanity that sometimes overtakes entire societies in times like these.

  64. E. Michael Jones’s “The Slaughter of the Cities” addresses the story of how the elite in America used everything from the Second World War to the Great Migration in order to increase their own power and marginalize any threats while the upstarts were still incipient.

    And the main threat?

    The “ethnics” as E. Michael Jones would have it (I’m sure the WASPs, Quakers, and eventually Jewish element of the ruling contingent would have less flattering names for these people), those people from the Old Countries, whose parochial loyalties and more literalist religious beliefs weren’t really compatible with central planning from on high (particularly from the Ivies and from Washington, D.C., the fonts from which we all still tend to receive our collective marching orders).

    “Slaughter of the Cities” is best when it focuses more on the granular details than on the macro-picture of how concepts like “blight” and “renewal” were used as proxies to block-bust ethnic communities and drive these people away from one another and their parish priests, and toward the burbs, where television, long hours of motoring, and mindless consumerism awaited them.

  65. Two attributes of wokeness are particularly pernicious. The first is that it seems to glorify and demand victimhood and being in a constant state of aggrievement. This drains a lot of vitality from a culture. The second is this idea that, based on your physical attributes–gender, color of skin–you can’t have an opinion worthy of consideration–unless it agrees with the woke gospel, of course. I’ve had this come up with a recent potential date partner, where I am being inconsiderate if I don’t acknowledge her victimhood status as a woman during virtually every discussion. Where I cannot have an opinion about abortion because I have never given birth (nor has she). Where, because I am a privileged white male, I cannot push back on her likening Ron DeSantis to Hitler because he signed a bill brought by his state legislators allowing him to run for President while he is Governor (as 46 other States also allow). Worse than that, I am a PWM that doesn’t keep up with all the terrible things happening on social media to everyone that is not a PWM.

    It’s frustrating and a bit sad, because it does seem we connect on at least one or two planes. But the lockstep autopilot thinking and full adherence to the mainstream spin is honestly a bit frightening up close. Though I certainly got more than a taste of how rabid people can get while I was expressing various contrary viewpoints during the lockdown years. It does help clarify and enlighten my view of history and its follies and atrocities. I sent her a link to this essay before I decided to comment. But I don’t think there is much changing of minds or meeting in the middle these days. Which well suits those running this failing enterprise, that’s for sure.

  66. JMG,
    Thanks for this. When you referenced Ian Stevenson I read cases in his research with females remembering a past life as male and vice versa. Until learning about those cases I admit to thinking that souls are reborn always male or female. After that it made sense to think that a soul would could be reborn as either, but maybe modes where it repeats one or the other. Is this consistent with the model you have presented? For the duality of reflective energy; male on this plane – female in the metaphysical and vice versa – is this something like the poles of a planet may flip? just curious your thoughts. My current thinking solidified that it was fluid and could change was based on the reference to Mr. Stevenson cases.

    Agreed. We have a crisis of social norm, at least. Interested to see what others in the forum see to that point.

    also thanks for the words on the project last week. I took your word as encouragement and moved forward to self publish a manuscript.

  67. Thank you for the response. That does make intuitive sense, as well. Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything, and feelings, thoughts, or ideas can be communicated over long distances, where symbols of many type can be especially helpful in crystallizing the intent. Meanwhile, one’s vitality and body are much more difficult to meddle with without physical proximity. It makes sense that these influences would follow the same basic logic.

  68. Dear JMG,

    the post on polarity you are referencing here was among the ones I found most helpful since you moved to, so I am very much looking forward to your book!

    It is an interesting idea to connect the rise of second-wave feminism to suburbanization. Spielberg’s recent semi-autobiographical movie shows this happening in action, as the family moves away from NJ extended family and friends, against the mother’s wishes, to far-off Arizona, and the marriage of the parents fails. My wife is unsure if it was so exclusively a middle-class movement, and I find it hard to think clearly about the whole idea because, even as a man who used to leave home for work, I loathed the idea of living in a car-only suburb (I never had to).

    By the way, not to forget first-wave feminism, my daughter used to “play” with the four female statues in front of the Quebec assembly. They fought for, and helped to gain voting rights and civil rights (bank accounts etc.) for women.

  69. I like being a man. I like being a man among men. I like women. I like letting women be women among women. I like letting kids be kids.

    I don’t like the Neo-eugenic attitude about gender, as if we are a plague upon the earth, making a few hundred billion $ for the medical cartel.

  70. Tomboy or Janegirl is no longer a catch all category that people on the fringes have the option to fall into… unless youth are educated about it. The (often very brief) instances of identity loss/confusion that happens in late elementary and early high school years is now being explored in terms of market potential. It certainly is fertile ground for profits for the gender affirming drug manufacturers. The whole dismal tide of corporate interests, media, political opportunists, and healthcare professionals are backing it. This is not an organic cultural phenomenon as is perhaps the case in Thailand. Dangerous times for kids.

    As for the whole “it’s hard being a male these days” thing;
    Educate children about what is happening and why. Explain corporate interests, mandatory curriculums, marketing strategies, globalism, the rescue game, identity crisis. Explain how extreme political correctness drives young men into the arms of ridiculously over the top manly men mouthpieces. And how social media is fueling absurdity and bizzare social behaviours. Engage male youth in martial, athletic, academic, or spiritual disciplines they like and validate the outcomes. Explain the neurological and relationship outcomes of watching pornography in developmental stages of life, the consequences of fully substituting skill building with video game playing. The middle ground is easier to define than ever really with all these lunatics running around.

    What is really interesting to me here is the karmic relationship between the feminist and masculist movements. This is a dimension I am going to have to meditate on!

  71. Brendhelm, that’s an interesting point. I don’t happen to have a good test for etheric polarity other than asking certain questions about what happens after sex. As for the geomantic sigils, why, I was about to suggest that very thing.

    Jill C, thank you. Yes, a lot of mystical practices all over the place work with sublimated erotic energies, many branches of yoga among them.

    Chris, that’s exactly the issue, of course. “What do you mean the world doesn’t have to conform to my expectations? You must be a racist or something!”

    Clark, I don’t pretend to get it. I really don’t. I’ve occasionally been tempted to claim that my pronouns are Cthulhu/fhtagn, but I’ve never actually been asked!

    Phutatorius, was he around in the 1970s? That’s when most of my insufficiently misspent youth happens. As for Middlesex, I’ll consider it.

    Tamanous, that’s a fascinating question to which I don’t know the answer.

    Siliconguy, there are also women with XXX as their 23rd chromosome — it’s called trisomy X syndrome — and they also have their share of problems…

    Nieve, I certainly didn’t have crushes on my same-sex friends, for what it’s worth — despite having been a janegirl, I’m about as straight as it’s possible to be. (Male bodies simply don’t turn my crank at all.) I suspect, for what it’s worth, that being on the autism spectrum makes it a lot harder to pick up the nonverbal cues that guide so much gender-specific behavior, and of course it also tends to make us care less! But I’d like someday to see more people noticing that not conforming to gender stereotypes doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gay or lesbian, nor does it mean that you’ve got gender dysphoria; some of us are just a little different, is all.

    Sirustalcelion, your question’s a good one. I can only answer it by thinking about what kind of help I didn’t get, because — well, I didn’t. The kind of parental love where you know your parent has your back no matter what would have given me a lot more confidence, for example.

    SaraD, thanks for this. I’ll be quite startled if you find any, but I’m prepared to be startled.

    Patricia M, Cosmo is still very much around: I’d gotten the idea that it was aimed mostly at the amateur rather than the professional market, but again, I’m prepared to be surprised.

    Novid, the suburbs were heavily marketed beginning in the late 1940s. Crime was part of the marketing; the real issues were, first, to make more money for the auto industry (many people in cities didn’t need cars), the real estate industries, etc., and second, to disperse the population to decrease casualties in the event of nuclear war. (There are documents from the Truman and Eisenhower administration discussing this in detail.) As for the pseudo-red pill business, yes, I’ve seen that discussed in my recent lurkfests on certain sites.

    Renaissance, I know. It’s quite the fetid mess.

    Ron, I might have been able to hit a ball with a cricket bat, but I doubt I could have made it go wherever it is that you’re supposed to make the ball go. I wasn’t any better at other sports, for what it’s worth. As for the search-and-replace, well, yes; the current system really is a one-note wonder.

    Bob, interesting. I’ll see if the local library system has it.

    Marcorollo, yes, exactly. The three great fallacies that define woke consciousness are, first, that being a victim makes you morally superior to other people; second, that this superiority can be inherited; and third, that this superiority is unaffected by your actions — thus you can be a bully and a tyrant, and still remain morally superior to other people because your ancestors were victims.

    Jstn, my understanding is that most souls alternate genders in successive lives, male in one life, female in the next, male the time after that, and so on. It’s part of the process by which we experience the whole range of human possibility.

    Untitled-1, you’re most welcome.

    Aldarion, the suburbs in the US were originally strictly for the middle class. Later on — say, after the 1960s — that began to break down, and these days there are quite a few suburban slums.

    William, I won’t argue at all. I’d have been happier if, when I was a boy, more people would have been comfortable with me being the kind of boy I was rather than the kind of boy I was supposed to be!

    Ian, it won’t work for me to educate children directly — any publicly known occultist who has anything to do with children is begging for a witch hunt, and there are plenty of religious zealots more than willing to provide one. What I can do is help get ideas into the hands of adults who might be able to communicate them to children.

  72. This multiple body explanation is the best one I’ve come across for why, in my life, I have had almost no dates, even though almost all women are quite sure I should be with someone (someone else, not anyone they know, but someone). They love me…just love me to be with someone else.
    While my friendships have been very few, they have been very solid, lasting decades, and mostly women.
    In 2020 (yeah, I, at least, had a fantastic year) I finally worked through enough of my issues, met a woman who is totally compatible with me in every way (so much so we joke about waiting for the day we actually disagree about something), we talk for an hour or so every day we can’t spend together, and love to go do the same things that we couldn’t do alone. We both wish we’d met 30 years ago, but here we are now.

  73. SaraD,
    Try looking for ‘clubs’ that focus on traditionally feminine activities. Spinning club, knitting club, button club (really, we collect buttons), etc. Those I have been part of do not expicitly exclude males but very few men are involved, and if they are it is very often at the behest of a wife/girlfriend/elderly mother. (You know, the “Joe doesn’t actually spin but he hauls Ethel’s spinning wheel for her and can you believe she’s eighty-three this year? so of course he’s a member.” sort of participation.) There is the occasional man who is into the activity itself, and he’s welcomed, but he’s not common.

    Another place you’ll find nearly or entirely female groups are home school groups. For whatever reasons most home school groups in my experience are mostly moms: I know exactly one primary dad home schooling family. (I was home schooled, my children are home schooled, and in the most easy to home school state, so while I don’t have an exact sample size, it’s one out of an awful lot.) Most home schoolers, again in my experience, home school because the wife wants it and has persuaded the husband.

    Of course, I’m active in Eastern Star, which does not exclude men, but restricts which roles they may hold.

    I was active in a women’s music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, in college (there is no local to me now chapter) and while you most likely are not qualified to join you might find us an interesting subject of research as well, and I think many of my sisters would be interested in participating in such research. Delta Kappa Gamma is a women’s professional educators association, open to women from librarians to professors and everything in between, and I think (my mother is a member) many of those women would also be interested in participating in research. Both of those orgs should have mapping functions on their national websites that will let you find closest to you chapters.

    Perhaps that gives you some leads on formal and informal women’s groups, what we name ourselves, and how to locate us.

  74. JMG, another stellar article and a very balanced look at what’s otherwise an intractable bundle of current-year culture war issues! I see plenty of things in this essay that will probably trigger people on both extreme ends of this issue, i.e. a job well done.

    If I could add a few things about MGTOW. As far as I know, the movement was founded by men who had been through a really rough divorce or two (or three!). Much of the early movement was about raising awareness to other men on how modern marriage is a total sham; on how it has become a very raw deal for men, especially men who get married without a prenup. Basically family law in the US (and much of the rest of the West, I can only imagine) has ben progressively gamed over the years to enrich a gaggle of unscrupulous divorce layers and connected feminist activist NGOs. The worst is in states with “no fault divorce” where someone can divorce their spouse at any time for any reason and still be awarded cash and prizes from their ex via the courts. In practice, this means the woman using the court system to steal half her ex husband’s assets, the house, and often custody of the kids with the added bonus of forced child support payments. In a nutshell, this is a form of state-enforced robbery. Divorce lawyers figured out how to weaponize “the grass is always greener” syndrome that many women experience after several years of marriage, in order to fatten their wallets over and over. Personally, I think marriage is a religious custom and it is absolutely no business of the state, and that atheistic/secular people who get “married” have no clue what they are doing and should just opt instead for a civil union; but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that modern marriage makes very little sense and has turned into yet another way for the soulless managerial state to interfere in our lives and control us.

    Later on a lot of incels (involuntary celibates, typically young men with terrible social skills and/or an unattractive appearance) and ex-PUA types made their way into MGTOW and steered the discourse off in a rather unhelpful direction. Instead of focus being on the corrupt family court system and slimy lawyers, the contemptible state of marriage and relations between the sexes gets blamed entirely on women collectively.

    Me personally as a single man who has been through many relationships with women but now has very little inkling to seek out another relationship? I prefer the term “Monk Mode.” The MGTOW scene has indeed become the mirror image of second wave feminism.

  75. This is such a good essay, Mr. Greer, thank you. It brought back so many memories of my grandmother in her Eastern Star and women’s church groups, and my mother, working so hard on our farm, but still having so many women friends. They’d get together to drink coffee and talk, and then go back home to their never ending farm and family work, baking all our bread, canning, sewing our clothes and knitting our sweaters and mittens, killing chickens for dinner, and on and on. My mother even sewed my dad’s underwear! Then sometimes in an evening they’d go to a meeting at church, that was a relaxation away from us.

    I was married in 1976, at the age of 22, and always thought I was a feminist, until I started having kids and realized I really wanted to stay home with them and cook, bake, sew, spin yarn and knit and generally run the household. So I did! I think I wanted to be my mom, I was so happy as a kid. All of a sudden that wasn’t good enough and wasn’t I bored? Bored? Are you kidding me? There was never enough hours in the day to do all the things I wanted to do at home. But by then there was very little of the women’s culture I had seen when I was younger. I envied the older women at my church who stayed home as a matter of course and never had to explain themselves. Thank goodness I met my best friend, a Muslim woman who also had four kids. Through her I met many women from more traditional cultures in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and places like that, that still had a more traditional culture. And I came to see a women’s culture in action. It was so liberating to me! Kids all over the place and us women sitting around and talking about our lives, our children, and everything, really, just as my mother and grandmother had. It was so wonderful. No, we didn’t have much money, but my husband and I loved it that way.
    Now I have grandchildren and my life revolves around my family and my church. I’m actually not even conservative, though people assume I must be, that’s the problem with assumptions!

    Thank you for such a beautiful, illuminating essay, and for all the wonderful, thoughtful comments.

  76. BTW, Kimberly Steele, just wanted to let you know that I am joining you on your clean toilet challenge!! I have always hated to clean, with a passion, actually, even though I make my environment very neat and organized. My mother used to say, Look how neat and organized Heather’s room is, but look at the dust kitties under her bed! So I’m glad of your kick in my rear end. Just what I needed!

  77. There you go JMG, changing my thinking again.
    You really seem to have made a habit of it over the last 16 years…
    Cheers, mate.

  78. @Jean #40: May I first just say – thank you for actually asking the people who are affected to weigh in. In my experience getting about 5 different answers from the group of people actually being discussed instead of asking just someone you like to hear talk, or who has a really strong theoretical opinion about it, who is not a member of that group would solve about 90% of the social panics.

    I suspect there are not a lot of trans readers due to just overall numbers, so I will do the next best thing and link to a trans person who does nothing but collect stories from other trans people all the live long day, and her research shows your question has really long, involved and nuanced answers, but the most succinct one that is most relevant, really, is “because wanting to have surgery, and getting it only in the pre-approved ways, became a legal precondition to be allowed to be legally trans”.

    Some trans people never wanted surgery or hormones. Some wanted only hormones. Some wanted maybe an orchiectomy or hysterectomy and then hormones. Some wanted everything money could buy. But when it became a medically diagnosable condition, and the insurance industries got involved (and this is all based on the US framework only, you understand… in other cultures, where the idea of ladyboys, hijra or two-spirit or any other term has been normalized longer, it varies even more from the US ideological straightjacket; thus, in non-white cultures even within the US, the public conversation doesn’t even apply).

    Using Ron M’s substitute XXX for YYY technique, I recommend anyone read this article on the fascinating hidden history of trans medical treatment: Doctors Who? Radical lessons from the history of DIY transition and apply it to, oh gosh, anything you’d like.

  79. Kimberley @49: while I’m on a Gill-Petersen kick, I have to say, that a boycott is a GREAT way to deal with LGBT political disagreements, as they are high camp, which is the best political language, and is, well, obviously appropriate to the subject matter!:

    “Famously, Anita Bryant was hit in the face with a pie during a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa in 1977. Tom Higgins, the pie-thrower, was part of a much larger activist response to her national campaign against gay rights that had begun in Florida. A boycott of Florida orange juice—Bryant was its spokesperson—had even led to gay bars refusing to serve it. Screwdrivers, a shockingly popular gay drink in the 1970s, were replaced in many establishments by “Anita Bryants,” which apparently were made with vodka and apple juice. A truly horrifying development from the point of view of good taste, but that’s politics for you.

    Bryant must have picked up a thing or two about camp from her gay enemies because she managed to get in a halfway decent retort after absorbing the pastry’s impact.

    “Well,” she quipped, “at least it’s a fruit pie,” before letting out a higher pitched “huh,” or maybe “hah.””

    She agrees that sanctification is never the goal, and a boycott, in high camp fashion makes that explicit:

    ‘[Using camp signals] that we are hopelessly, hilariously entangled with what embarasses[sic], shames, and harms us. And so our job is not to belatedly purify the world, which is precisely what our oppressors always claim to do when they single us out to eliminate us. We don’t owe the world respectability and sincerity in exchange for a life unharmed. We command respect because we are already here…And if you’re not going to laugh these days, I’m afraid all you’ll be left with is to cry. Or worse, to plot a politics based in resentment, just like the powers that be.”

  80. JMG
    Just like disenchantment we were discussing for the past few months, this one also looks like something that happens in the late stage of civilizations.

    In the later days of Ancient Rome too, relations between the sexes in a conventional marriage setup broke down. Men became reluctant to marry and have children, and instead preferred to drink, gamble and philander. No amount of Imperial decrees, laws and punishments could make them marry.

    I see what you are saying about a separate women’s culture and how it was completely erased with the rise of suburbs and second wave feminism. Instead of men and women having their own cultural spheres where they can freely be their natural selves, modern culture threw everyone into a giant cauldron. There is always some tension beneath the surface when people of opposite genders interact. It is unfashionable to acknowledge this but it’s not really a great idea to have people of opposite genders interacting side by side all the time. Even spouses need frequent time away from each other, otherwise they would get on each others’ nerves.

    The division of household work between a homemaker and working partner helped with this, but now everyone is expected to compete with everyone else in the workplace. One of the reasons why feminism became so toxic towards men was, once they decided that the main purpose of women’s life is to go to college, get a job, earn money and buy stuff, men came to be looked at as an obstacle and a threat to achieve those goals. We can see this mirrored in the Masculist movements prevalent opinions towards women. In essence, men and women treat each other like predator and prey.

    The other issue is the fact that relationship between men and women has been over-romanticized in the twentieth century, particularly after the films came in. Marriages have been a practical arrangement for centuries, for all classes down from royalty. Love rarely figured in the equation. Hollywood talked up love and finding your soulmates and whatnot. When you look for fairytale love in real life, you are bound to get disappointed and eventually start resenting the other gender as a whole for not conforming to your high expectations.

    I agree that this is a right royal mess now, and it will take a few rough tumbles down the staircase of civilizational decline before a sensible and more-or-less equitable way of structuring relations within the genders would start shaping up.

  81. JMG
    Well you can count on me for communicating your ideas. My post was a set of suggestions for anyone reading to help navigate young men through the mess, though I should have clarified that.
    Robert F Kennedy Jr. just posted this;
    He may be a decent example of a public role model for modern masculinity; A powerful man willing to draw sword against some of the bigger monsters out there. I guess we will see how successful the system is in turning him into controlled opposition.

  82. @Jean #40:
    Without experiencing it, it is impossible for you to understand that an erection can be a source of suffering.

  83. Thank you for this post. And please bear with me, if the first thing that I say is how pleasantly disappointing it is.
    „ I have no clue what the term “sacred masculinity” might mean“… „it makes about as much sense to me as, say, “sacred gravity.”“
    You have this wonderful capacity to ground concepts and meanings. And this post, plus my ongoing project to chew myself trough Herman Hesse shows me how important it is to be able to say that I know not what the right way for me is, but I know the given options are not for me and that it is right to take the searching road.
    Or from Dion Fortune ( a dialogue):
    „… so the devil be my good“
    „ no. No, not that. Something else.“

    The summary of the historical currents that made the gender relations into a literal desolate no man’s land is entirely greerish and brings the whole point across a second time.
    There is no given model, no identity to take on. You are an orphan in a wasteland. No not a wasteland, but a wilderness. Go and build your own life from what is around and what grows around. But the most important part is that you are doing it.

    I would like to second the commenter RTCPR, there was some philosophical underpinning to PUA. I found the whole red pill concept was quite useful in the day. There was a writer on some of the blogs and forums, who used to say that the best way to wake young men up is to clobber them over the head with their sexual frustrations. It certainly got me to clean up, work out and go make something of myself. Although the whole manipulation of women was not really my thing, it did, like RTCPR said pave a path to later development. It is nice to see the movement put into perspective. And I wish the younger guys good luck.

  84. @ marcorollo: You are absolutely correct about the aggressive, aggrieved victimhood of the current woke movement. It oozes off the screen at Tumblr and Twitter, its main habitats.

    If I might give some unsolicited advice: please be very careful in entering into a relationship where you are required to constantly apologise for who you are. As a ‘privileged’ woman who recently got out of a relationship with that kind of perpetual victim, I found it deeply demoralising and in the end did them no good at all.

  85. Our civilization’s hyper-rational way of thinking abhors things that can’t be rationally classified into neat categories. This thinking is prevalent on all sides. On one hand, Tomboys and Janegirls are forced into a rigid framework. On the other hand, even those insist that gender is a fluid spectrum say stuff like, “Trans women are women”. Err, why can’t they just be “Trans women”?

    What has happened is that a set of archetypal individuals have been created, and they are so removed from reality so that no one can be like them in real life. Perfect recipe to create a society that’s deeply unhappy, insecure, anxious and disappointed with itself.

  86. JMG

    In relation to the PUA caricature stuff – I am not at all surprised you picked up the vibes you did by hanging around in PUA forums. The principle applies to PUA but also any other subculture/skillset – you would see something similar (I assume – I have never checked) – on a large ritual magic subreddit, or a martial arts forum:

    A lot of people who know nothing doing a lot of the posting, along with a lot of people who know a little bit – just enough to be dangerous. All of them posting and sounding way more authoritative than their knowledge would justify. Then there’ll be a few “intermediate” type of people who know more or less what they are talking about but are not experts by any means. And finally, there will be very few people who are actually experts with deep knowledge in the field.

    Note that the experts are not only small in absolute numbers, they will also tend to leave “general” forums once they reach a certain level because there is not much scope for them to learn and grow there (except for a few who may stay around to answer beginners and help them like you do your Magic Mondays).

    But from the perspective of someone who is unfamiliar with the subculture – it’s very hard to tell who is actually knowledgeable and who is just talking nonsense authoritatively – because even a lot of the people speaking don’t you see a lot of clueless people with half baked knowledge using jargon about concepts they didn’t understand.

    The only way through (again in any field, not just PUA) is to develop your own personal experience and see what actually works for you in the real world by trying it and to have the guidance of good teachers who can show you the path to follow – and (in addition to the thousands of hours I spent talking to women in bars and nightclubs and on dates for the practical experience part), I will be forever grateful to half a dozen anonymous men online who played that role for me and changed my life forever (which is why I still keep an eye on PUA forums and try to help today’s young men when I have time and pay forward the gifts and training in social skills that I was given selflessly and for free by an earlier generation).

    On a sidenote, PUA is basically a branch of applied psychology – it didn’t come out of nowhere. It applies basic psych principles in practice to enable men to get what they want out of their dating lives and from the women in their lives. In practice, some of the founders of the modern PUA subculture in the late 90s and early 2000s reverse engineered the kind of behaviour they saw the most beautiful women engage in, as well as things like how strippers in strip clubs got men to spend a lot of money etc (I once – many years ago – saw a now defunct online forum for professional strippers and exotic dancers comparing notes and improving their earnings and skills – it read a LOT like a PUA forum), and also a LOT from the world of sales, especially door to door and telephone sales (Zig Ziglar type of stuff) – that is why a lot of the PUA jargon (like “closing”) is lifted directly from sales jargon.

    Human beings and psychology are all the same – the principles just needed to be tweaked a bit for slightly different circumstances and applied.

  87. @Anon 1

    Thank you for your account – of your life and of these stirrings around you, me and all of us.
    You present an insight to us other readers that is actually rare, despite being promoted otherwise.

    I always call these “social issues” and you know, “rights of minority X” and so forth, a “shield” to myself. The shield blocks the attacks (criticism, counter-arguments), the shield takes the force of the attacks (ie – you take the force of the upcoming attacks), and the shield covers the stabbing from behind it (campaign waging against individuals or groups of non-believers).

    I also sympathize with your story – what is worse than being blamed for a crime despite innocence, and being punished for the ill-will of others, essentially?

    Therefore I give you my best wishes, you may do what I guess many of us readers here should do in general for ourselves in these upcoming times – keep a low, low profile as much as possible.

    In March 2019, I socially met a crossdressing man and some friends of his. They were absolutely not woke, in fact we had a lively and refreshing talk about the insanity and the clearly manipulative nature of wokeness and woke signaling. Well, we did not call it “woke” back then, there was no real singular word for all these matters.

    You may remember violet cabra writing here, a prominent poster here on ecosophie for a long time, another crossdressing man. His accounts of his youth within the punk scene and a diversity of alternative outlets, how these once gave safety, companionship and freedom for creativity, and how these have degenerated into insane political manipulation.

    I always visit the site 9gag, to harvest funny pictures and memes, essentially. This website has a slight liberal bias (though not the commentariat, anymore), but it has never resorted to full blown one sided political advertising, not completely. It at least has always left some space for a multitude of different opinions, and that makes this site successfull, because people discuss a lot (there’s a discussion for every pic/meme).

    This site is my measuring scale for social trends, memes, and for the mood of a wider (mostly) western society. All relevant political trends and social trends of these past about 10 years have always reflected well in the discussions there, as well as the assortment of the posted pics and memes.

    There’s one trend that would, I’d say be more beneficial to you: the view and statement that wokeness is just a tool, while rich financial elites are those wielding it, and that the tool itself is not important, it is the will of these elites to divide the populace, with whatever means necessary, divide et impera, divide and conquer.

    I concur, I guess so do you.

    I wish you all the best, stay safe and don’t let dark clouds ruin your potential!

  88. JMG #48, I’ve asked these questions to yo, because I consider myself a “feminist man”(I don’t like male stereotypes), but I cannot withstand the fakery and wokery in some self-proclamed feminist men… For instance, a well known leftist politician in my country (whose arrogance and smugness aren’t compatible with a feminist approach to manhood).
    Thank you for your answer!
    I have other questions for you. I’ve heared a lot of talk here about “Feminism for the 99%”. Do you see a serious effort for leaving the woke impasse or do you think is a mere liberal propaganda? I’m doubting about it.
    On the other hand, I’ve read in Eckart Tolle books that it’s theorically good for a gay man coming out the closet, because this change challenge his pre-determined “plastic” identitiy as “macho man”; however, if that gay man adopts gaysstereotypes in his new life out the closet, Tolle writes that it’s bad for him, because he would be trapped in another pre-fab identity…What do you think about it?

  89. The rot started the day women were allowed into men’s pubs, IMO.

    We couldn’t get away from them and kvetch and moan and tell dirty jokes and talk sport and brag about our imaginary conquests. No wonder we became mean and resentful.

  90. @JMG: As for Webb Wilder, he may have been around in the 70s, but that could be a bit early. He gets played mostly on those little student run college stations, at least in my experience. The reason I brought him up in the first place is his form of geek machismo is near parody, but the music is good.

  91. Hi John Michael,

    Man, how are you doing? This would have been a hard essay for you to write, let alone responding to all the comments. I get that. I’ve written some of those myself over the years. I’ll tell you a funny story: I couldn’t give a toss if you couldn’t play sports. Seriously, it just doesn’t matter. Your skills lay elsewhere, and you have a clarity of thought, and ability to focus that can bring us insights and deliver them in a comprehensible form. Not many people can do that, even the one’s who are good at sports. 🙂 Maybe, Yogi Berra might be an exception to that observation. You have to admit, he’s very quotable.

    I don’t know what parents having your back feels like either. My dad left when I was very young, and my mum, well she was a bit volatile, maybe a bit more than that. Life may not have been working out like she expected. It happens. Truth to tell, I looked at both of them, and said: No. And did my best to dodge their attentions and be myself. Clearly out of your experience, you’ve fashioned your own path. A little spark of light in the dark. Sometimes, things that are worthwhile, don’t come easily.

    Over the years I’ve had a few Aspie friends. I enjoy their company, and being less emotionally volatile is a good thing for me. Dunno why! 🙂 Anyway, one factor with Aspie folk is that some can ‘flick a switch’ and go off and do something else with their time. If I dare but give you one bit of advice, don’t be bullied into writing about topics that pain you, it’s your blog man. Hey, do you reckon anyone has ever ‘got’ the name of the blog?



  92. Thank you so much for this.
    I didn’t know of the word ‘masculism’, but I’m certainly seeing these attitudes hand to hand with openly fascist groups, which are the only ones who don’t care being targeted by the corporate media.

    So, what girls and boys need to make their initiations into manhood and womanhood is simply men-only and women-only spaces. They will make up their own rites and find out how to be a person of their gender.

    That’d be funny if it wasn’t sad, that decades ago boys and girls weren’t allowed to have shared spaces, and now it’s almost impossible to find places where they can be separated. The opposite of a bad idea?

    The only problem I see with these man-only spaces is that children, left on their own devices, would just demand comformity to the majority. As it happens, my boy is being discriminated because he doesn’t like soccer (probably my fault!), and his male friends are all into soccer. His mother took him to soccer classes so that he could play with his friends, to no avail. He hates that his friends play no other than soccer. That’d be great if the other children were respectful with the different ones, but this simply doesn’t happen when the group mind is active.
    I didn’t have such places in my youth either, I was in a local music band with boys and girls, but we had a rather big group of male only teenager friends we used to meet and party, and where we could talk freely about females. I guess it’s just natural that, lacking a male only place, boys form their own social structures. It was the attitude of the elder boys what marked us the rules, the elders would not tolerate us to discriminate anyone for anything other than the music, and so I got my initiation into manhood in a very healthy manner. Had we had other elder friends in the group, maybe I would have risen thinking that’s ok to bully people not conforming to the normative manhood.

    The occult explanation about different genders, that’s something you already discussed in another post. That works well for humans, but it’s hard to apply it universally. Why are there beings that reproduce asexually, then? Aphids may clone themselves, without any respect for the gender theory.

  93. JMG #25, there seems to be a distinct difference between a company that withdraws products that people want, compared to people who decide they don’t want a product that is available because the didn’t like an advert.

  94. @JMG and Kimberly —

    Not only did we post uncannily similar comments, on a subject that neither of us has ever discussed with the other before, we also did so nearly at the exact same time. My comment is number 33 posted at 3:45 and Kimberly’s is number 34 posted at 3:56.

    That degree of synchronicity suggests to me that we are both giving expression to something that wants to be heard.

  95. To me, one of the real, historical characteristics of being a man is the ability to make and carry out hard choices. Women are hardwired to nurture and care for children and family members no matter what. Men have almost always been the ones to choose to eat the family milk cow when things are tough. Modern industrial civilization has spared most people and families from having to make the kind of hard choices that men had to make during most of history. This has caused popular culture to devalue the role of men because this role of ” making hard choices” is no longer valued. In fact, it is demonized and vanquished as many people believe we live in a time ( because of progress you see) where hard decisions no longer need to be made. We can help everyone, everyone can have it all.
    Cutting off the leg to stop the gangrene is no longer a choice we have to make. I think this is one of the things that is at the root of many of our current social problems. We are now at a point where hard choices are needed but we are tragically short of the manly virtues to make them. The homestead is no longer feeding the family so dad has to choose to send the oldest off to join the circus and walk 120 miles to work the copper mines in Butte ( my ancestors). Or the family is starving, so the oldest daughter must be offered up as a picture bride and sent to marry a 40 year old man in the sugar cane fields of Hawaii ( my wife’s history). I fear it will be many years, and much hardship and tragedy before our society regains its real Masculinity and makes these hard choices.

  96. Hey JMG, another great essay, and to everyone, some really insightful comments all around.

    I love the discussion of the suburbs here. It would be great to listen to you and Kunstler rap on that topic together.

    I really like what Aldarion #72 was saying too about extended family, and its diminishment in relation to the burbs. What do you think of the idea that the “nuclear family”, really a modernist invention, will dissipate as pluto fades? (A nuclear / plutonium phenomenon).

    I read this David Brooks article called “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake” a few weeks ago and thought he had some really good points. It’s from a few years ago.

    Add into that all the divorces most contemporary families contend and you have what someone I know called not a blended family, but going to his Irish roots, “A Stewpot Family”… where the different ingredients can still be tasted separately but are all in the same gravy. I think America now is a stewpot nation.

    Of course I also relate as a different type of male. A pacifist, mostly, though I had my share of fights. There is only so much bullying you can withstand before taking hitting someone with a hockey stick where it counts. That put an end to that round of bullying. But I had to fight again with others, though I never sought it out.

    Skateboarding helped put me in touch with my body on a sports level, though it wasn’t a typical sport. It still had a huge share of male competiveness, but within that also tight camaraderie among skaters. Back then there weren’t skate parks so much, and we all got harassed a lot by the police and others. There was bonding in that.

    Without skateboarding I might have drifted completely into my mind and the wild uncontrollable emotionalism I experienced at the time. Reading the Romantic poets and such. Mixing in magic when I was a teenager, and blowing myself up a few times. Anyway, I was glad to have some ways to connect to physicality. Because I really can be happy just reading and listening to music and thinking. Hiking & time in nature helped too. The “outdoorsman” type of male type (stereo or arch, not sure) was a mostly beneficial influence.

    @Phutatorius: My wife really loved Middlesex. I’ll consider reading it myself.

  97. Excellent article, JMG. Your point about the suburbs destroying the last remaining female social spaces reminds me of the thesis of Ivan Illich’s Gender, in which the transition from an agrarian society to an industrial one is seen as removing the discrete social and professional spheres that belonged to each sex, which Illich sees as disproportionately harming women.

    He was probably right when the book was published in 1982, but as you note, discontent has certainly been growing among men since that time. His work, although brilliant, is slightly dated in that respect. Life in an ostensibly pluralistic and highly globalised industrial civilization seems to consist of endless power-struggles between different interest groups, the fanatics of which seem intent on proving that they are the most hard-done-by, and everybody else should expect to reorder society around their own strange ideologies.

  98. As another man who didn’t comply with “typical” masculinity and paid the price as a teenager, thank you for this essay!

    With regard to the current transgender brouhaha, I noticed that you mostly echoed the conservative-pole perspective that pretty much all of today’s “trans” youth are tomboys and janegirls who are being convinced that they really are the opposite sex and ought to undergo transition.

    The liberal-pole perspective, which I find equally inadequate, says that these children really are “in the wrong body” (in the sense of experiencing the sort of body dysmorphia – dislike of one’s own parts and desire to have different ones – that is awkwardly named “gender dysphoria”), and therefore that they will benefit from interventions to change their bodies.

    I tend to think that the conservative pole is closer to the truth on this issue, but I maintain that there *are* some children for whom early, pre-puberty transition is the best option in terms of personal happiness and life satisfaction, and the challenge for child psychologists is to distinguish those from the typical teenage angst and self-loathing and identity crisis that seems to be driving the current trans fad and will likely lead to a great deal of regret in a few years.

    The most interesting question, which is getting ever more impossible to consider in the face the culture war entrenchment, is whether the rate of true sexual body dysmorphia – a mismatch between one’s internal conception of sex and one’s chromosomes – is increasing over time. In the past you have posited that this might be occurring due to a shorter interval between lives, with souls still attached to the sex of their previous incarnation. Other possibilities might include the widespread use of endocrine-disrupting chemicals or the same factor (for which a leading hypothesis starts with V) that is causing rates of childhood autism, allergies, and autoimmunity to skyrocket. Not having children myself, I sometimes wonder if what is being lost in the oceans of projection and assumptions is a way in which the children really are different these days – something that we either need to address on a causal level or else adapt to as best we can.

  99. A couple of further comments about gender and identity, from my personal experience. I’m going to post this anonymously to add a layer of deniability, but my identity is probably obvious.

    Like you, I was rather “gender nonconforming” as a child. We didn’t have the word “janegirl” when I was growing up in the ’80s and ’90s. “Tomboys” were treated with slightly bemused respect, but their opposite numbers were labeled “sissies” or “faggots” and violently targeted.

    Unlike you, I had the advantage that I wasn’t unathletic. I couldn’t catch a ball, hit a ball, throw a ball, or successfully compete in any sport involving a ball. But I was very capable at any sport that had an individual basis and nothing to throw or catch. It took some years to discover this fact, but once my natural athleticism came out it proved a huge advantage and made high school much easier than, say, middle school had been.

    In any case, I remain to this day not a particularly gender-conforming male heterosexual. Let me illustrate the point. During the Covid Revolution, it happened that my wife was able to go to work, but I was not, and it also happened that we had a new baby. So for two years I stayed home and looked after the house and the children, while she went to work.

    This arrangement suited us very well indeed. She is a hard worker, tough as nails, good at both making and saving money. I have much more patience than she does, and I’m much better at cooking, cleaning, and housework generally. During those years, our relationship improved dramatically in basically every area you can name. Eventually, the Big Lockdown ended and financial circumstances were such that I had to go back to work. Now we have twice as much money, but things just aren’t the same. It would be much better if we could arrange our finances so that I could stay home again, but it isn’t in the cards for right now.

    A few things I want to point out.

    1. Way back before the Revolution, I happened to know a number of transgendered people. In every case I had to be told they were transgendered, and often not by them; it wasn’t obvious. One was a member of a men’s group I was part of, and he never seemed like anything but another man; even after I learned he had once been a woman, I was never able to think of him as anything but some guy named Max.

    2. The house two doors down from us is owned by a racist couple, let’s call them “Ricky” and “Hannah.” I’m not using “racist” as a dogwhistle for working-class white people, or even for people guilty of noticing the way that (say) the media downplays black crime while demonizing white people. I’m calling them racists because they regularly make statements worthy of the Ku Klux Klan. During the time I was at home, their (then 8-year-old) son told us more than once that it was wrong for me not to work because “it’s against the Holy Bible!” He learned this at home, of course, where he’s also learning that it’s wrong for our other neighbor, who is Irish Catholic, to be married to a Middle Eastern woman because his children will be “genetically unrelated” to him.

    3. I work with a woman named Lisa. But Lisa recently decided she isn’t a woman; she isn’t anything. Lisa now wears a badge that says “They/Them.” We work in a healthcare field, and when she greets patients she says “Hi, my name is Lisa, my pronouns are they/them, and I’ll be working with you today.” Thus immediately making the interaction about herself– er, “Themself,”– and not the other person. It’s pure narcisism. And there’s a dangerous edge to it. People very often forget to refer to Lisa as “They,” probably because because it’s awkward to use a plural pronoun to refer to an individual. And because she’s obvoiusly a woman. But I’ve begun to notice that whenever people do talk about Lisa when she’s out of the room, they say “They” with a very specific inflection. Their eyes bug out, their jaw hardens; they seem to be at once trying to prove their own righteousness, and to challenge me or anyone else to slip up. An element of fear enters the room– and in nearly every case, Lisa herself isn’t there. Note that Lisa is white and lives with her parents in one of the wealthiest counties in America. But having attained to a Victim Identity, she now exercises Stasi-like power over our workplace.

    What I’m afraid is about to happen is that the Rickys and the Hannahs of this world are about to rise up against the Lisa’s of the world, and people like me, and like Max and the others in Point #1, are going to suffer for it. In the 20th century, a vocal minority of Jews were involved in Communism, which led to a backlash against the majority of Jews who were just trying to live their lives. It was said that the “Trotskys of the world make the revolutions, but the Bernsteins suffer for it.” I don’t want to be a Bernstein, but I’m afraid that Lisa Trotsky and her ilk are not going to be satisfied until they’ve brought on just that kind of backlash.

  100. @Siliconguy, #56

    Is it really that difficult to differentiate between a ripped guy with black teardrops and a big eagle-warrior skeleton all over his chest, and on the other hand a middle-aged geezer who is a little too proud to ask for help? I know you have been socially conditioned to not notice certain differences but; I call them as I see them, and I see failure of survival instinct.

    If anything, this gives me a new working definition of toxic masculinity: anything with measurable quantities of testosterone. So I will be sure to give the benefit of doubt to my black teared friends over there, than you very much.

  101. For all you guys that are having a difficult time finding a mate, perhaps my story will help. I am not the tallest guy (5’6″) and I am more cute than handsome. Some might say that I am elf-like. When I was younger, the gay men were quite attracted to me, and the women liked me because I was non-threatening and rather hairless. Some might call me effeminate. With all this, my interests lie in myth, fairy tales, the occult/esoteric end of things, and healing arts. And to make myself even less attractive to American women, when I was in my 20s I was vegan, made very little money, and I rode a bike or walked for transportation.

    With all this said, while one might assume I am liberal, I have quite traditional values. All this led me to look for a wife that actually wanted to be a mother, nurse, stay at home, the whole nine yards. During my 20s, I didn’t realize that I was trying to fit a round peg in a square hole with all the women I was trying to pursue. I would have been better off talking to conservative women, but even so I was so poor that most women were not going to find me attractive regardless.

    Either way, what I eventually did was move to Guatemala where I found a traditional woman who thought I was tall, good looking, and wealthy enough for her. I won’t say that our relationship has been easy, but we at least are committed to each other and not talking about divorce every time we have an argument. We have been married 17 years, have a wonderful 18 month old son who is going to be even more hairless than me. The indigenous here don’t grow body hair. And we have managed to accomplish many of our life dreams with more on the horizon.

    Like many of you, I am glad that the trans thing was not a thing when I was young. The teenage years and early 20s are confusing enough. We don’t need people making things more confusing and encouraging us to have non-reversible sterilizing procedures. At least when I was a kid, all we had were piercings, tattoos and to figure out who we preferred as sex partners.

    And I do believe that monk mode is a good thing for guys to try out. It is better to be alone than with someone who is not right for you. Taking the time to figure out who you are, before jumping into a relationship ensures that you are less likely be swayed into pretending to be someone you are not.

  102. Hey RTPCR,

    Thank you for making this important point about PUA. After peering into that world I came to the same conclusion, it turned out to be like so many other things. You drill down into it and realize the popular conception is mostly wrong and quite ignorant of the realities.

    PUA techniques strike me a lot like magic, you can you them for creating positive or negative outcomes. I didn’t encounter too many men online that fit the stereotype of manipulating women into sex, although I know there are plenty out there. Even the guys that start out like that…many seem to figure out the satisfaction is fleeting.

    Sadly I came across this important information later in life. I had the same sort of realization…oh we’re not born with these skills?

    Roger Devlin’s book Sexual Utopia in Power (was free online) explained what happens when intuitions like marriage break down and how each gender’s mating strategy changes in this enviroment.

  103. “Most men, if they masturbate a lot, end up feeling weak and drained. Most women, if they do the same thing, end up feeling clogged and congested. Why? In ordinary heterosexual intercourse the life force, the substance of the etheric plane, flows from the woman (who usually has a masculine etheric body) into the man (who usually has a feminine etheric body).”
    I wonder what happens with men who are “womanizers”…Are they wasting their “energies” intercoursing whith a lot of women? I have the same question about women with multiple male partners (whatever their status be: harlots or “simply” promiscous girls).

  104. I am so glad that the term Janegirl was not used in the community i grew up in.

    I would have hated that term with the passion of a thousand exploding suns!
    I probably would have gotten into fights if i was called that.
    This essay might be the first time i have heard of the term Janegirl and i hate it.

    I think i might have to meditate on why that triggers me so badly LOL

    The first thing that popped into my head “I am not a GIRL!!!!
    being kind and caring doesn’t make you a girl,
    Do you understand that you bleeping bleeper!!!
    It makes you a human being (PUNCH… PUNCH.. PUNCH)

    LOL i guess i got some issues to work through.

  105. Aldarion #72 and Justin #100 on extended family: while it sometimes has advantages over the nuclear family, the extended family can be just as bad, or worse. I used to romanticize about extended families until I moved to a state (NM) where extended families are common, and so, unfortunately, is intrafamilial violence including child abuse (perpetrated or tolerated not only by parents, but by uncles, aunts, grandparents, and “mother’s boyfriend”). In my case, if I had children, I wouldn’t let any of my (sociopathic) family members anywhere near them. Also, at least half the people who write to advice columnists are writing to complain about lousy behavior from parents, in-laws, etc. – and these are people who don’t even live with their relatives.

    Another example of extended family dysfunction is the mistreatment of daughters-in-law in some traditional cultures; the most extreme example is “bride-burning”: There’s a reason why a lot of people prefer the nuclear family – they want/need to keep some distance from their relatives!

  106. I was a nerd who read books and was hopeless at any sport that involved hitting a ball. Then at age 14 the family took a trip to a game reserve. Afterwards they were discussing all the animals they’d seen. I complained I had hardly seen any of them. My mother commented, “You’re just too lazy to look, that’s your problem.” My stepfather said, “Maybe it’s his eyesight” and held up his newspaper. “Read the headline.”

    When they saw how I squinted they took me to the eye specialist. I was very short-sighted. Mystery of why I couldn’t hit a ball solved. I couldn’t see it. But I never developed much hand-eye coordination afterwards.

    Regarding girls, I went to all-boys schools, including boarding school, then a year in the army. At home there wasn’t much chance to meet girls. The family lived on a table grape farm in the semi-country with few kids around, then, after a divorce, in a very Afrikaans mining town where English and Afrikaners were enemies, so again, few kids.

    Consequently, by the time I went to university I tended to regard girls as somewhat exotic. Not knowing any better, to put it crudely I put p***y on the pedestal. Plus, as a nerdy engineering student only 5’2″ tall I was no alpha male. Consequently my dating life then and subsequently was pretty dismal.

    Until PUA came along. I read a lot of the literature. I wasn’t trying to learn tricks to get a girl into bed, I didn’t think they should all be barefoot and in the kitchen, I just wanted to be able to relax and be myself in their company. And I think I achieved that by absorbing a different attitude from some of the PUA community. I’m still single. It doesn’t worry me a bit these days.

    Re toxic masculinity, I lived in a communal house with a guy who would qualify. There were four of us in the main house and he lived in the granny flat. My bedroom window looked over the back yard so I could see the women come and go. The guy was a PUA extraordinaire. Four different women in a day was not unusual. One in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the evening, then he’d go out on the prowl and come home with the fourth.

    He was average looking, average height, a bit overweight (he did a bit of weightlifting), so not physically particularly attractive. He was a computer technician, sorting out tape drives and printers, in the early days of mainframes. What he did have going for him was a magnetic personality. He would walk into a room and immediately be the center of attention. He was supremely self-confident, very funny, had all sorts of individual mannerisms, could be quite outrageous, and was generally enormous fun to be around.

    But there was a darker side. He drank heavily and was on drugs. He could be your best friend one day and drop you the next. If he saw a woman he wanted he would pursue her relentlessly and promise her anything to get what he wanted. Then he would drop her. One morning we were both sitting in the kitchen, heavily hung-over. He smoked Camel Lights, which were very expensive. “Martin, let me tell you something about women,” he said. He pulled a Camel from the pack, lit it, took another puff, then stubbed it out. “Women are like this cigarette. You get them, you use them, then you throw them away.”

    All those who had been attracted to him eventually turned against him, and he headed out of town. Behind him he left car wrecks, debts, and many disillusioned people. Some years later I bumped into him in a different city. He said he’d had a heart attack and married the woman who nursed him. He didn’t seem to be doing very well. I never saw him again.

  107. Before I start responding to comments, a brief note: I’ve fielded two very professional pieces of trolling in this comment thread, both of them very obviously trying to start a screaming fight on a current hot button issue (transgender rights in one case, racism in the other). It’s been a while since I’ve gotten that kind of attention from the commercial troll farm industry, and it intrigues me that this subject should have attracted two of them, from two different IP addresses. Of course both trolls were promptly IP-banned, but I’ll be keeping an even closer eye than usual on potential trollage here. With this in mind, I’d like to ask everyone to make an extra effort to keep it courteous and thoughtful.

    That said, let’s proceed.

    Renaissance, glad to hear it.

    Hypercosmic, thanks for this. As with the PUA scene, my exposure to MGTOW has been entirely a matter of lurking in forums in various places, so I appreciate the data points.

    Heather, thanks for this. I’m glad it worked out for you.

    Les, ’tis an ill wind that blows no minds…

    Collapsenik, exactly. One of the reliable features in the decline and fall of civilizations is the dissolution of social relationships into formless mass phenomena; one of the reliable features of dark ages is the rebuilding of viable social relationships.

    Ian, so noted and thank you.

    Marko, you’re most welcome. Thank you for this: “There is no given model, no identity to take on. You are an orphan in a wasteland. No not a wasteland, but a wilderness. Go and build your own life from what is around and what grows around. But the most important part is that you are doing it.” That’s a fine vivid summary of the situation we’re all in now.

    Collapsenik, exactly!

    RTPCR, oh, granted. Since I try to keep tabs on a whole series of subcultures, I don’t have the time to get deep into any one of them. It amuses me, though, that this post has fielded several responses from men in the PUA culture who are appalled at being compared to Cosmo Girls.

    Chuaquin, I think that “Feminism of the 99%” would be better called “Feminism of a Different 1%” — it’s a small movement of radical feminists who are upset that most of the benefits of feminism went to women of the wealthy and well-connected classes, rather than to political activists like themselves. (As always, the masses in whose name the radicals speak weren’t asked for their opinion) As for Eckhart Tolle’s comments, that seems very sensible to me. If you’re just replacing one set of stereotypes with a different set, you gain nothing. The goal is to shed stereotypes in general and live the life that’s relevant to you, personally and individually, whether or not anybody in the world does the same thing.

    Phutatorius, so noted. I’ll check him out as time permits.

    Chris, thank you for asking! I’m fine; I had to push through a few bursts of panic dating back to childhood experiences of being bullied, but that was worth doing, as it helped me release some more old emotions on that still-painful issue. I considered, before writing this post, whether I was going to say “sorry, that’s not a topic I’m willing to write about,” but decided to go ahead, and so far the results have been good; it’s always encouraging to get professional trolls trying to drown out a conversation, and there’s something very satisfying in banning them. 😉

    Abraham, it’s partly a matter of giving boys and girls their own spaces, and partly a matter of giving them access to same-sex spaces where they can learn from older men and women respectively. I benefited a great deal from spending time in fraternal lodges with older guys! Of course there are potential problems with that, as there are with anything and everything human. As for nonhuman life forms, the scheme I’ve outlined only applies to vertebrate tetrapods, of course; it’s a very complicated cosmos and there are many ways that even the most basic processes get done.

    Yorkshire, I think you’ve missed my point. In both cases the companies made business decisions on a basis of ideology, unrelated to what their customers wanted.

    Steve, you may well be right.

    Clay, hmm. Interesting.

    Justin, Jim and I have talked about suburbs more than once! As for the nuclear family, that’s part of the same thing — the normal extended family was torn apart to reduce it into a set of “consumption units” that had to buy goods and services to make up for the absence of the older, extended-family household economy.

    Luke, I think Illich was right, but there’s also a more recent set of shifts in the same direction that also deserve close attention.

    Mark L, I’m well aware — and have discussed this at length — that there are also people who have genuine gender dysphoria. No, I’m not saying that all of today’s “trans” youth are people who don’t fit gender stereotypes and are being pressured into redefining their gender — just that quite a lot of them are, and that I would almost certainly have faced that pressure if I was growing up today. I’m very uneasy with the claim that a prepubescent child is mature enough to make the kind of permanent decision involved in “gender affirming” treatment — puberty blockers, hormones, etc. by and large result in lifelong sterility, after all, and it’s normally not an option for children or youths to get medically sterilized in any other context. “First do no harm” is still worth keeping in mind, though it’s been abandoned by the US medical profession these days.

    SomeBody, I know. I’m very concerned that the blowback from the current antics of the far left more generally is going to hurt a lot of people who don’t deserve it. I don’t know any way to reliably prevent that, since there doesn’t seem to be any way to get the Lisas of the world to stop, or to get the Rickys of the world to notice that it’s just a small minority of activists backed by the enablers of the corporate system.

    Clark, thanks for this.

    Chuaquin, no, you’ve got it the wrong way around. Men receive etheric energy from women in the sex act, so “womanizers” (I’ve always wondered about this word; shouldn’t it be the term for physicians who do male-to-female gender surgery?) end up supercharged with etheric force; that’s why so many of them tend to be so charismatic. It’s women who lose energy if they have sex with many partners.

    JIm, fascinating. I didn’t grow up with the term either, but it made a lot of sense to me, along the same lines as “tomboy.” Yes, you might want to do some journaling about it.

    Lunchbox, ouch.

    Martin, and yet you notice that the guy in question never had the least trouble finding dates, and even after a heart attack he managed to put the moves on the woman who nursed him. That’s one of the fascinating things about the PUA phenomenon. The kind of men women say they want and the kind they actually tumble into bed with are not at all the same, and the PUAs did a fine job of demonstrating that.

  108. @SomeBody #103, point #3:

    I notice the same thing in my workplace with the they/thems. And the way they (my coworkers) talk about the theys when they are out of the room.

    Also the DEI policies making their way through my workplace are perfect excuse for this behavior to be condoned. Perhaps the backlash and backwash are already on their way. It is rather stasi like.

    And while I’m kvetching, I would also like to point out a lot of these same people suffer from migraines, so they can call in sick as much as they want. Migraines are of course invisible, to my knowledge. Therefore not easily provable? In any case, these people can “top from the bottom” and easily scare the PMC who put these policies in place.

    But maybe the migraines are from all the cognitive dissonance.

  109. If you haven’t already seen it….

    Here’s a link to a Substack article on this topic by John Carter of ‘Postcards from Barsoom.’ This is one of his most popular posts, as it turns out.

    (Tip of the hat to reader Kenaz Filan, whose own Substack blog led me to John’s Carter’s.)

  110. JMG, well, you have managed to become the Gandalf of our time, first with the Archdruid Report and then, with the Well of Galabes, Ecosophia and so on!

    About the genders of the subtle bodies (you had written about it in an earlier post), that was one thing which helped me quite a bit to understand some facettes of dating; and more broadly, the distance towards contemporary society, which the posts on The Archdruid Report and Ecosophia enabled for me, helped me to understand some important features of modern dating culture and why they are so unhelpful. For example, the discussion of the genders of the etheric body and other subtle bodies enabled me to better understand why online dating is so unsatisfactory and so often unsuccessful.

    Chuaquin, about prostitutes I know from reading that promiscuous sex often wears women out, although their part in sex isn’t necessarily exhausting in a sport-like way. Probably this has to do with some kind of subtle energy loss, with tainted etheric forces or something similar.

  111. @ Darkest Yorkshire

    That’s an interesting video and not surprising at all. I think everyone knows by now that the famous clothing designer, Hugo Boss, designed the uniforms for the German army. They are certainly made to accentuate the male figure. Friends of mine who would play Panzer Blitz and Squad Leader would muse that the Germans had the coolest uniforms in WWII.

  112. @Chuaquin, #107 and @JMG, #113

    If I may extend on our host’s response…

    There was this ancient Daoist teaching which said that people release energy during the orgasm; so for a man to not loose lifeforce during intercourse it was a must to hold off ejaculation until after your partner had already released. It was also said that women were “inexhaustible” in these releases while men had a much more limited amount of energy, so it was important for male health that this was performed correctly. I think this is a different interpretation of the same observation that males feel tired after masturbation/quick-sex but females feel “clogged”.

    (This is, by the way, the reason why in Ancient China male homosexuality was considered unsalutatory while lesbianism was considered a harmless pastime)

    As the religion became more organized (and therefore adopted by the elites), some darker aspects of this practice emerged. First, it was the practice of a high status man that would supercharge himself having ritualized, non-ejaculatory erotic interactions with lesser females and then go to impregnate his high status wife; all with the purpose of producing stronger, healthier and more intelligent offspring. The most extreme case is the Emperor who, according to Maccioccia, had 1 Queen, 3 High Consorts, 9 Wives, 27 Concubines… and I do not really recall if there were more but if it is the case they must have been 81 lesser harem girls. (I do not know where those guys found the stamina, I assume he’d just kiss and hold hands with the 81… but I digress).

    Much darker is a practice that amounts basically to sex vampirism, and was used by Chinese Alchemists to prolong their own life. You will understand if I do not go into details here.

  113. A Flood of Memories that Came to me in my Sleep after JMG’s Gender Post
    1950’s, 1960’s

    Janegirls. Never heard that one before. We had lots of Tomboys. I did sometimes hear the expression, “What are you a sissy?” But that was usually meant to manipulate the person in question into doing something they otherwise did not want to do. And it really only worked on boys that were a little macho and felt they needed to prove it.

    My brother could have been called a sissy, and maybe was, and he might have been hurt by it and he might not have, because he always seemed to be most determined to be not me! I fought all the time, I played all the boys games, hockey, baseball, football, basketball, lacrosse, I was extremely competitive. And my brother was none of these, he liked to paint, to draw, to write poems. But strangely as we passed our mid teens I became interested in acting, then writing, and he bought a motorbike and eventually joined a motorcycle group and became that kind of man. He still seemed to be trying to be the opposite of me.

    When I was young I more or less thought of boys and girls as the same, except for the differences. (Though I always showed girls more deference, and they were a little more complementary and less competitive. But even with boys who were competitive, it was only competitive to a point and then it was complementary, or we never could have gotten along.)

    For me for the most part the differences between boys and girls weren’t too significant, until puberty, and puberty hit the girls first, and even then it often appeared to begin lightly, not fully manifesting till grade 11.

    When I was young boys and girls played together much of the time. Since we, as boys, often liked team sports we were always short players, so the girls played with us too. And I think a lot of girls might have played sports like that even before I was born anyway, my own mother had more medals, and more statuettes for excellence in some sort of athleticism than anyone else I have ever known: Track and field, baseball, maybe lacrosse. When I was an infant I was taken to watch her play baseball in some sort of league under the big lights at night. I could see her in the distance, and I watched the game, but I didn’t have a clue why they were doing what they were doing. But I still found it all very interesting.

    At the young age of 4, according to my mother, and maybe older according to me, my mother taught me to cook, do dishes, clean house. She said the reason for this was she was pregnant and ill. Whatever the reason, my housekeeping continued long after the baby was born, I remember standing on a chair cooking and washing dishes. I could cook a roast, a ham, a turkey, a goose, Yorkshire pudding, make gravy, cut up vegetables, scrambled eggs, and easy over eggs, my father started screaming if the yoke were broke, make mashed potatoes, pretty much anything our family ate. As well I did the dishes and cleaned up afterwards. I was the only one old enough. And I was actually very proud of so doing and being capable and independent of my parents. And when I was a little older my parents left me alone in the house when they went on vacations, – I refused to go with them anymore – all it was, was a big fight which I got the worst of. All the neighbors complained I was too young to be home alone, how could I care for myself, but actually it was a lot easier for just one person, and there was so much peace.

    As 5 year old boys and older we were tough guys, we had codes, someone probably got from movies, and we never would squeal to the police. On the other hand I was always looking for something to do. I hated being alone, I always wanted to be doing something that was fun with someone. There was often a shortage of someones. Very often they were girls. My best friend when I was 5 was a little girl named Susan who lived across the street. And I used to go over to her house, to the back door, most every day and call out, “Susan, oh Susan,” children never knocked, and her mother Jean let me in, and I would go downstairs and we would drink pretend tea, and eat pretend dinners, and change the pretend diapers of the doll, our pretend child, and in pretend fashion do all the things we saw adults doing. Susan wasn’t especially beautiful, but I was in love with her, and who knows, I might have even married her if her family hadn’t moved away when I was 7 or 8.

    I liked with playing with her, she was my best friend at that age, but my father had a problem with it. He used to reproach me almost every day, and I’m pretty sure he beat me for it, but its hard to tell, as I was beat once or twice or thrice a day in any event. And as I was beaten every day it had absolutely no corrective effect. More than half the time I didn’t even know what I was being beaten for. My father had a thing where boys weren’t supposed to cry – like girls – and I always cried. I especially cried when my feelings were hurt, or I told the truth and wasn’t believed, or even punished for it. My father said I would cry if someone looked at me sideways. That wasn’t true but I couldn’t help crying, and I didn’t mind crying, and trying to stop only made it worse, and I didn’t see why he made such a big thing of crying anyway, but he did, and I was beaten for crying too.

    My year younger brother was nowhere near “as tough” but for some reason he didn’t cry much. Perhaps he got all his crying out of him in the first 3 years of life, when he had a very painful hernia, and could not walk, and did not learn to, and was not attended to, because my mother said there was nothing wrong with him, even though everyone else, including me, knew there was, and she would not take him to the doctor, until my father’s mother paid my father to take a day off work and take my brother to the doctor, and then the hernia was found. And before I knew it my brother could walk. I was 4, he was 3.

    In those days the girls, when there was enough of them, used to play skipping with a long rope. This for me was always a very exciting time because there was a whole bunch of usually older girls together having fun. I always watched, and as there was always a shortage of people, when I was old enough they let me turn the ropes, and then when I was older still they let me jump in the middle. I was good at it, or at least I thought I was, they praised me for it, I was young, no other boy could do it, but I never could do double Dutch, which is what I enjoyed seeing most. I could turn the ropes for double Dutch though, forward and back, and I could do Pepper etc, but I couldn’t do double Dutch skipping myself, though skipping alone with a rope was easy, and I discovered in high school most boys had difficulty doing it.

    I started regularly hiking to a local Falls, 3 miles away, with a cliff and a gorge when I was 7. I loved, woods, nature, Falls. I remember the first time I went to a woods, alone with a friend, when I was perhaps 6. and I was in such awe. All I could thing was GREEN.

    I was probably allowed to the falls with a friend at 7 because my mother had done it at the same age. We cooked a lunch. Jumped off cliffs and then slid down the hill, all kinds of crazy things. I took my brother there when he was six, and then I took each of my sisters when they were six. They had no problems. There was very little I did as a boy that the girls did not participate in. There were boy activities girls did not participate in as much, and girl activities I did not participate in as much, but that was the main difference. And in my first school, they separated us, boys from girls at recess, but in a later school not at all.

    Boys fought more, but girls fought too. There were some girls who were quite capable of beating up most boys, girls who climbed trees, and did everything the boys did. And there were some boys that never fought at all. I don’t think I would have fought if I wasn’t being beaten every day. And one of my first days at school I came home looking bloody. My mother asked me what happened. I said I got beat up. My mother said did you fight back. I said no. Actually, I was astonished anyone who didn’t even know me would attack me. I had to be angry to fight. My mother said, the next time someone hits you, you make sure you hit them back, and even if they beat you, you make sure you hurt them bad enough they never want to fight you again. And if you don’t hit them, if you don’t defend yourself, I’ll beat you even worse than they ever did when you get home. I was more afraid of my mother and father, they hit a lot harder, than any kid.

    I quickly got better at fighting and it made me into an unnecessarily violent child for a while. Two things cured me of that. My puberty was delayed, and I was a year advanced. In grade 10 I remember I got in three fights in one day, and lost every one of them. I was 4 foot ten, under 98 pounds, I won the wrestling championship for that category, at the end of that year, that’s how I remember my weight. My opponents were as tall as 6 feet, and perhaps weighed as much as 175 pounds, they were athletic stars. I don’t really recall what the fights were about but I think it was that they were slighting me because I was small, and I wasn’t having it. And if that was the reason it worked, because I became best friends with each of them, whenever they were in my class, and they always made sure I was included.

    The other thing that cured me of hitting was I had been begging for years and was finally allowed to have a dog at 15 (something/someone to love, obviously not my parents who were beating me), that was all mine that I was to take with me when I left at 18. (I left with the dog at 17.) Although I didn’t like being beaten, I beat the dog for a while almost as badly as my parents beat me, but the difference was the dog had teeth. She had to bite me several times, and not really that severely but she taught me. I think of her in this regard as a guru. And although I very much regret ever hitting her, she did save my children from abuse, who I never did hit.

    It is often thought that women aren’t as violent as men, but I don’t really think that is true. As I said at the beginning I don’t see as much difference as people commonly think. I have had women hit me over the head with a metal chair, break a picture frame with glass across my face, wake me from my sleep – my mattress was on the floor – only to kick me in the head when I sat up. I have also had them punch me, and strike me in more routine ways. Obviously it was the women I picked, but also it was because they knew I wouldn’t hit them back. One woman I knew struck me regularly like this for over a year, until finally I did hit back. I felt degraded and deeply ashamed of having capitulated to violence. But she did stop hitting me.

    Back before there were LGBQT, can’t remember all the letters, I usually call them LMNOP, but back before then I knew quite a few women, maybe thirty, who were what they called gay or bi-sexual – a girl friend had a sister who was gay. These were all dysfunctional. They were treacherous, malicious, back stabbers, cheaters, liars, untrustworthy. They made me wonder if all gay people were dysfunctional. I didn’t think so, but they were.

    Unfortunately as they became older and wanted to fit into society better they all went into the “caring professions.” This was understandable insofar as they knew what it was to be abused. The problem was they were still the exact same people they always were and they needed to be kept away from normal unsuspecting people, never mind vulnerable people. They could never do anything without a hidden agenda, they loved playing favorites, pitting one against the other, betraying. Not physically but psychologically they were more dangerous than lions or tigers.

    I knew another black woman who was gay, her name was Adrian, she was 6 foot 2, an athlete and a very good basketball player. She also liked to write. She wrote an article called, “The Hand that Beats is Not Always Male.” It was about her experience of being beaten by various different women. We became good friends, in part because her experience was similar to mine. She was bigger, and stronger than most the women that beat her, but she would not hit back.

    After she wrote the article and published it, Adrian was ostracized, pilloried, publicly derided abused and shunned by the gay community she had formerly been a part of. Nowadays you could say she was Cancelled. She lost all her friends, hence me.

    Young women are generally not as strong as young men but I have noticed they are much stronger and much more athletic than I currently am. And I have noticed they are also much more athletic than generally supposed. They lift, they hike, they surf, they push, they’re very physical. They are much like the men of their age just not usually quite as strong.

    One thing women like to do more than most men, is dance. I love to dance. I used to go to a club I liked very much that had live bands, that legally had to close at one pm. Nearby were all sorts of gay dance clubs that officially did not serve alcohol, that stayed open till 4 or 5 in the morning. I used to go their and dance. There was always one woman or another who was a good dancer, gay, who wanted to dance with someone preferably female, but did not have anyone to dance with, then along came me. It was clear we didn’t “like” each other but we had a lot of fun dancing, improvising on each other’s moves. I loved those times. And it was also great because it burned off the alcohol and by 5 am I was almost sober. As I am a night owl alcohol doesn’t never made me sleepy, and at 5 am I was wide awake.

    I have taken women hiking, camping on mountains, even in their 60’s, and they very much enjoyed it. The only thing that was really different was that the women are, as I have said, generally not as strong, but generally not that much weaker. For instance, when I was 17 I hitch hiked with a woman, and a dog, from the east coast to the west coast and eventually back again. My pack weighed about 40 pounds, hers 35, not really much different. The only weird real difference was we left with only $10, therefore not enough money for food, I just believed I could do it and had to leave. And I did do it. But when we left I was about 5 foot ten, or eleven, weighing about 145, and she was about 5 foot 4 weighing perhaps 120, and when we returned I weighed 108, and she weighed about 115. I don’t know how I lost all that weight and didn’t even feel it, whereas she didn’t lose a comparable amount of weight doing much the same things. I didn’t feel bad. I was probably as strong or stronger than I have ever been.

    In puberty women change, those changes are obvious, but I often wondered if much of it was just social rather than physical. Or maybe that’s the same thing. The person I was closest too as a child was my aunt, who lived a block away. For the first years of my life I lived in the same house and I thought she was my sister. I have now begun to wonder if she really was my sister. My mother would have been 16, grandparents taking on the children, of their very young children was very common in those days, as happened to Eric Clapton.

    In any event this aunt that I adored was smarter than me, could do everything better than me, was beautiful, we used to play together all the time. She drew the command controls of space ships on her 4×6 chalk board, we went to zillions of planets where we had zillions of great adventures. We were very close, but then puberty hit, and she and her new found girl friends were obsessed with boys. I had no problem with them liking boys, but they were excessive, and obsessed over guys I knew were in reality, really jerks. At that point we lost having anything common for a while.

    Then the psychedelic years, Sergeant Pepper’s, Jefferson Airplane, Vanilla Fudge, Mama’s and Poppa’s, Righteous Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, we were close for a while again. Then she got married, she was totally different, had a child, a child who she said saw things she couldn’t see, and maybe he did, I’ve seen things too, and she became obsessed with what he was seeing, and I lost all connection with her.

    For a while she was very conservative, afraid of blacks, afraid of the big cities, afraid to be in cities, outside of her gated community, after dark. But later she seemed to turn into a biker chic with tattoos all over her body. She had a second son who she became convinced was dyslexic or somewhat autistic. She made a big thing of it and had him all drugged up.

    I had a son very similar, who I was raising alone, who was also dyslexic and perhaps somewhat autistic, and I was dealing with him quite well without drugs. I met her son, he was bright, intelligent and engaging, he just seemed to want attention, especially with what he was interested in. I told his mother she maybe didn’t need to drug him all the time. She insisted he was just too much, and it mainly sounded like she didn’t want to be bothered with him. I don’t know what became of her. I do know from my grandmother her son stopped, taking all the drugs at 17, much to his mother’s dismay, and then left home, and was living in the city alone.

    The one big difference I have noticed between men and women (my peers, in my age group) is that women once they got past about 25 seemed to have a strong nesting urge, a strong urge to make a home. Men didn’t seem to have that. On the other hand men usually married around that age, so maybe they do.

    Gender, I think we make too much of it.

    I don’t like Pierre Elliot Trudeau, but I do agree with this quote.
    “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.”
    Pierre Trudeau, 1967

    But I also think people have no business telling me what’s happening in their bedrooms, or wherever and whatever they are into.

    As for the sexual mutilation of children. I don’t understand how, in an era, where children can’t drink till 21 (it used to be 18), and can’t have sex in most states until 18, and if they are both under 18 as soon as one becomes over 18, especially if it’s the boy its statuary rape, I don’t understand in such a society where we can no longer touch, that doctors and advertisers, and I don’t know who all, are allowed to encourage children towards change of sex surgically or chemically. In my opinion these influencers and or doctors should all be put in jail. Or a simple law, “not till you’re 18.” Might still be the wrong choice. I would suggest doing what you like with the body you have without altering it. You pretty much can nowadays. But if you feel the need to change waiting till you are at least 18, doesn’t seem like too much.

    I don’t have to worry about this, but nowadays, it seems you can’t even take a woman’s hand without being charged with sexual assault. Of course she can rebuff you, of course she should rebuff you if she isn’t interested. You got the message! And as long as you get the message and accept it, that should be the end of it. However, the way its going though we’ll all soon need chaperones. Or if our techno world does not self destruct – Big Brother- Chaperone, measuring, monitoring, approving and disapproving of every advance of every movement.

  114. Apologies if you’ve already answered this elsewhere and I missed it, but what happens with the etheric life-force transfer when a gay or lesbian couple has sex?

  115. So what are the results of being a PÚA, besides sleeping with lots of different women? Surely manipulating lots of women into having sex with you is going to have serious karmic consequences, both in this life and the next?

  116. “SaraD,
    Try looking for ‘clubs’ that focus on traditionally feminine activities. Spinning club, knitting club, button club”

    The local quilting club is quite busy. Quilting requires a sewing machine with a really long throat, if I’m using the term correctly. Out here in the country there is a riding club of the horse variety. There are also women’s motorcycle clubs, they can “pack up” and ride in a mutually supportive way.

    I’ve also seen small groups of women at the shooting range happily yakking and plinking. There are women’s group activities out there.

  117. Blue Sun, thanks for this.

    Booklover, glad to hear it.

    Rcastle, I know the feeling. I spent a lot of time sorting through memories of my own while writing this.

    Carolyn, I have no personal experience with that, for obvious reasons, and Dion Fortune’s writings don’t explain it. I’m planning on having some very explicit conversations with gay and lesbian friends on the subject to try to get some sense of what’s going on energetically. I assume there’s an energy transfer on some plane but I don’t claim to know how it works.

    Waffles, good question. Karma’s a subtle thing; if the PUAs who’ve posted here are correct and most guys in that scene simply use the techniques to give them the confidence they need to get a steady girlfriend, that’s one thing; if the Casanova stereotype is more accurate, that’s quite another.

    Patricia M, thanks for this. (And no, I haven’t seen the article and would be interested in it.)

  118. Bob

    PUA techniques are absolutely a form of magic. There’s more to it than just magic but a lot of the core principles relate to what Western magicians would call projecting engaging astral images and provoking strong emotional reactions etc – aka magic (you could say the same about sales, where a lot of PUA stuff is derived from)

    As you say – this is a skill and can be used for good or for ill but the skill itself is neutral – that is why a lot of early PUA culture focussed on “leave the woman better than you found her” (ie, don’t lie to her, don’t mislead her, and even if it short term, leave her with a memory of an experience she will cherish, not something that hurts her to think about it).

    There was actually a fascinating discussion in one of JMG’s Magic Mondays on the other blog sometime int he last few years – I can’t dig it out now but if someone can there was a discussion exactly on this subject where someone analysed seduction from a magical perspective and I think JMG said the analysis was quite plausible or something..

  119. Instead of saying “womanizers,” why not revive the old-fashioned term “tomcats?”

    What about the sort of men who genuinely love women and know how to please them? Not jerks like the PUA types, but truly good lovers? Or is that a fantasy for the romance market? I think Dion Fortune thought so; her preface to Sea Priestess referred to fictional “men on whom trousers would be wasted.” But then, she also apologized for writing characters who were quite unlikeable, being real, warts and all. sorry – I liked all of them. I note most of her villains were the very sort of woman people are complaining about today! Hugh Paston’s mother could give our Karens a run for their money.

    And didn’t her sorceress character bleed energy from the massively frustrated Rupert Malcolm therapeutically?

  120. How much of the current folderol over toxic masculinity is class-based?

    I’ll try to be coherent.

    I vividly recall reading servants’ memoirs where the lady of the house was a diehard suffragette carrying on endlessly about rights for women while ignoring the housemaids scrubbing floors at her feet. It was a remarkably common theme.

    Do high-status men respect low-status males for their physical prowess, athletic ability, courage, or other typically masculine traits? High-status women ignore the abilities of low-status women unless it scores them points.

    When you’ve got a society run by high-status women, why should it notice anyone’s abilities (inborn or otherwise) if those persons are of a lower status?

    I hope I’m being clear!

  121. @Know Brainer–

    As vulgar as it may be, I think your phrase “topping from the bottom” there really actually is a key to the whole thing. Just about every man– or every man who has been with enough women– has encountered the type of woman who is controlling, domineering, and authoritarian, but then wants to turn around and be extremely “submissive” in the bedroom. Which is actually to say, to force you to do all the work, just like she does in every other aspect of life. It’s more than a little telling that this is exactly how Roman men of the upper class treated their male slaves– forcing them, in Seneca’s memorable turn of phrase, to be “a boy at the table but a man in the bedroom.”

    Of course, just as some men apparently like that kind of thing, so too there is a considerable fraction within our society that seems to get off on playing the slave-buggerer…

  122. JMG, we sometimes forget you are human. Sorry to hear it was a painful experience to remember your childhood. I had the luck to find good friends in school that accepted me as weird as I was, even not being popular I never felt alone. Some of us still meet together.
    I remember to be despised by most children, since I was rather poor in a semi-private school. I think I should feel bad about that, and maybe I still hold some grudges. But what comes to mind when I think of that time is mostly the good bits with the friends who didn’t care about that.
    Also, you did a good job giving a broad answer. Maybe I was expecting something like the best rituals and lodges to initiate oneself in manhood, wooden wands included, and it ended up being something much more simple. I feel relieved, actually.

    Though I understand that there is concern about different sexualities and how they are treated. If I had to explain anything to my boy, I guess I’d just say that he is like he is, some other people are different, and all is good (the full version might be too complex for him). My grandmother used to say that there has to be everything in The Lord’s vineyard. She was a very pleasant woman. I’d want to pass the same message to my kids.

  123. This is great stuff. You rock, sir. I dont agree with every tiny thing, but you’re more on the ball than anyone in the western hemisphere. Fantastic stuff, who else tackles it. And a pretty clean tackle I may add. I remain a traditionalist about sex, because it seems to me primarily a celebration of the primacy of biology, but you open up some fascinating topics. Drink to your very good health!

  124. @phutatorius #54 when you recommended ‘middlesex’ my first thought was that it was Jane Austen lol I read Persuasion off my grandmothers bookcase one summer and it is so lovely and subtle

    @heather #79 I was so instinctually driven/subsequently blessed to marry myself into mothering in a big busy Mexican clan. It counteracted my own alienated wasp only-child-of-mom-busting-into-the-business-man-club I don’t know how I would have made it through motherhood without doing it the way I did and winning my treasured cuñada. i was very biologically and spiritually inclined towards mothering in spite of absolute lack of preparation from my family such as it (shriveled approximation) was in my younger years. Bring back the old ways !

    @luke Dodson #101 the first Ivan illich i read was shadow work and it gets at this cultural misalignment which disproportionately harmed women through the transition to industrial society. I was hooked as soon as i found that skinny gem working on a thesis about international adoption of Guatemalan kids into the US. Thanks for bringing that set of thoughts into this commentary!

    @kimberly Steele #34 I screetshot your description of core traits balanced on swordpoints. I just am finishing the magic mirror exercise of bardon and seeing positive and negative traits more clearly as points on spectrum teetering between too much or two little of various elemental tendencies. Your descriptions there were very helpful and elegantly put examples.

  125. Since the subject of the “pickup artist” or PUA has been raised, let us not ignore the male homosexual pickup artist, or MHPUA. I don’t doubt that the young boy pictured in the article (whoever he may have been) had to learn to deal with MHPUAs. (I know that I had to.) The Steely Dan song, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” comes to mind — even though I once heard Donald Fagan deny that THAT was what THAT song was about… I don’t believe him.

  126. I am single these days, but would never had any success with women without PUA literature – and all I really learned from PUA types was not to put the petroleum on a pedestal and treat women like human beings who could be gently poked fun at and who had their own desires, and that was enough. I suspect that PUA literature replaced the advice that young men might get from older men in the all-male spaces they were being initiated into around the same time they became interested in women. Of coursed, it is debased and stupid and zoomed off to extremes, but what doesn’t these days?
    Of course a lot of the literature was pretty misogynist, but both sexes have their mile-wide blind spots and common foibles, especially when they’re young, and the best thing to do is learn to deal.

  127. @Boysmom and Siliconguy – thank you for the suggestions! Honestly, I was looking at whether there were women’s groups with the lodges because I was interested in whether there were any groups running with an esoteric aspect – an actual initiatory tradition, rather than simply clubs. I am not really hungry, at this point in my life, for female-only groups – even the preschool was getting more of the dads involved every year. More couples were having stay at home dads or dads with better flexible hours, and it was a real joy, the kids loved having a more rough-and-tumble grownup around sometimes. When I’m ready to join groups again for me, and not just for the kids (sigh), I think it will be theatre or tribal bellydance again!

    Though, the homeschooler group is interesting – my one friend who homeschools says the local org fell apart a few years back when the organizers kids’ aged out, and there are so few around, they didn’t get any to pick it up again, really. Most people, if they are going to homeschool, do it in partnership with a distance ed school, or a registered nature school, so they organize with their attached school as a nucleus. My daughter does go to the summer camps with one wilderness school (where she met my friend’s daughter), and they do have a bunch of cool adult groups, too, so that is actually a good idea to look into, thanks for jogging my mind on that topic.

    The shooting range, I actually had encouraged my partner to go to before giving up a dusty air rifle. My aunt and her ex-husband go there together, sometimes (they’re friends… not to shoot each other….), and had encouraged us to try.

    @Hypercosmic – From what I have see the divorce law in the US is quite different from Canada, at least (for one thing – we have robust common law marriage protections, which I was astounded to see you virtually don’t at all in most states). If a couple were genuinely acrimonious, the courts fees and time I have heard it takes are awful, but not nearly so bad as the US – it is an exasperating game of Gotcha! with the correct legalese on the papers for us – but I’ve certainly not encountered, either from the lawyers we each hired initially (but we’ve done the rest with the free clinic ourselves), or from the family law documents, or the processes I’ve heard about from any of my friends from either sex, that the process was unfair due to sex, rather than the extraordinary ridonculousness of the system itself. The real hell is in, as Sartre says, the other people.

    I think – and possibly I’m biased, but it seems like a really likely explanation – is that a big reason for that difference in legal footing is that we enacted same-sex marriage federally in 2005, so all the laws have been written and updated a few times by now so that they can be applied equally to any partner based on primarily on income and employment history and child care arrangements that must be based on the best interest of the children, primarily (the primary driver of our Divorce Act and the much-publicized 2021 updates are, in fact, focused on putting the wellbeing of children in a divorce as the primary consideration due to some unfortunate child deaths). Since that has only been the case in the US since 2015, I would guess it may take a few more years to get that equalized federally there, too (sorry that doesn’t necessarily help you any… but it sets a timeline, hopefully, for the next guys).

  128. JMG – Thanks for clearing that up! When I asked about “sacred masculinity”, I had no idea what that meant, partly because I had seen the complementary term “sacred femininity” bandied about along with various images. So I had vague imagery in mind about sacred femininity, but no clear definition of that term. either. I thought maybe if I had some idea of the sacred masculine, then the term sacred feminine would make sense. I see now that neither term makes sense. (Well, maybe they do in marketing/advertising or other arenas that make use illusion and misdirection…)

  129. Sigh. The autism thing means I’m kind of androgynous, personality-wise (this is quite common among AS women). Neither properly feminine nor noticeably masculine. Moderately curious about the parameters for polarity on various planes, to see if it provides a useful model for this. I know it’s been discussed before over on the Dreamwidth– does anybody know if it has been elaborated on here or on the other site? Link? (she says, hopefully)

  130. JMG,
    Nice frontal assault on “sacred” territory. I’ve very recently received, “Gods.” I’m working on that right now. I’m placing it in Tiphareth. At times, I’ve seen it in my tree’s Kether, but I’m feeling it in Tiphareth. My “flow” from the veils on the stone assemblage front is a sideways profile of a carved jaguar warrior. It looks into the eyes of the celestial dragon in Chokmah, and sometimes its animal ferrocity confuses me. As so much about raw existence is confusing.

  131. Chuaquin and JMG:

    Your comment and your response helped clarify a known thing that I’ve read in some of those manosphere channels. Namely that men can go a long time without any sexual interest from the fairer sex, but as soon as they do find one woman to have intercourse with, interest from other women abounds as if a switch flipped. So that etheric boost from sex acts like gasoline on top of fire, so to speak.

  132. Hi John,

    I read that and felt less alone. I too have Aspergers, was terrible at sports as a kid and also cried very easily. I don’t think there was any Aspergers diagnosis taking place in the 1960s, so I was just the weird boy….

  133. JMG, the question was if second-wave feminism was an exclusively or predominantly middle-class suburb phenomenon. Didn’t women living in dense urban areas also protest for the right to work after marriage, for legal abortion etc.? I don’t know enough myself either way.

    Justin and Yavanna, it was not my intention to glorify extended family, the Spielberg movie simply came to mind as an example. And in the movie, the mother of the semi-fictional Spielberg character misses friendships more than extended family. It was the move to a place thousands of miles away, and then a second announced move hundreds of miles away, which broke the marriage.

  134. Patricia M, Hugh Paston was always my favorite Dion Fortune character anyway. As for men who genuinely love women and know how to please them, they do exist — just as there are some women who genuinely love men and know how to please them. Neither of these paragons are especially common, though.

    Teresa, that makes enormous sense, of course. I also note how many of the women who talk about toxic masculinity seem to find it an agreeable toxin in the bedroom. It’s a source of wry amusement to me that I know quite a few women who are very feminist in public, but in private are submissives who wear collars and call some man “master.” The return of the repressed is a powerful force!

    Abraham, your grandmother’s advice is good, and kind. I wish I’d had someone tell me that when I was a child; I had to figure it out for myself, and it took a long time.

    Celadon, thank you. That’s high praise!

    Phutatorius, true enough. I managed to avoid that particular issue, but then in adolescence I was gawky and rather pizza-faced, i.e., not a paragon of male beauty by anyone’s measure.

    Justin, so noted. Thanks for the data point.

    PatriciaT, fair enough. Maybe we should all start talking about sacred air pressure or something… 😉

    Methylethyl, that sort of astral androgyny is not necessarily a hindrance — it’s one of the reasons that male and female Aspies tend to make good partners. I haven’t really done a detailed discussion of sexual polarity on either of my online venues, but the book’s in process.

    Cobo, frontal assault is my usual strategy — the Path of the Arrow really does work.

    Peter, so was I. Glad this helped.

    Aldarion, here in the US second wave feminism was overwhelmingly a middle-class phenomenon. I can’t speak to what it was elsewhere.

  135. @JMG: I look forward to reading it! And yes, the androgyny… made dating awkward but I did end up happily married to a nice aspie fellow (who also doesn’t fit stereotype)– as I gather many of us do. It’s is a liability in dealing with other women, and a strength in dealing with men… maybe a wash, overall. But all this talk of women-only organizations… oi. Those are terrifying, and I would never voluntarily join one.

  136. Steve T., the synchronicity between our posts is uncanny. I’m working on a book called Sacred Homemaking that is essentially about sacred femininity. Maybe you could work on a man-guy-dude counterpart? Just a thought.

    Much of my magical quest is to figure out how the etheric plane works and to understand what has happened to the collective etheric. The etheric plane as I understand it is one plane more subtle than smell, in-between the plane of images (the astral plane) and the physical. We live in a time where the etheric plane has been utterly trashed. We have diseases of etheric starvation — autoimmunity, especially diabetes, acts on the body’s cells in much the same way as physical starvation. It is my educated guess that more people have problems with addiction than at any other time in human history: that’s etheric starvation at work. Etheric starvation is caused by ugly environments, lack of sunlight, de-vitalized food, and electronic interference such as microwaves and EMFs.

    By taking women out of the home and forcing them to either do it all by making them into working moms or worse, working single moms, civilization stripped its inmates of the protective force that allows the young to develop into fully realized and whole beings. Sacred homemaking is the feminine art of the house as a spiritual fortress. Through the creation of sacred astral shapes and etheric flows, the sacred home is the ultimate vanguard against the onslaught of all of the forces that actively or inactively seek to destroy human beings and to stifle the development of their souls.

    Thanks to all who are joining my Clean Toilet Challenge. As many have guessed, it is a magical campaign to improve the world one sparkling toilet at a time. KVD wrote a wonderful Substack article about the magic of the challenge here:

    You can personally join the challenge here:

  137. Sometimes the good Goddess Fortune, or to the more secular-minded, blind luck, steps in to rescue your butt. As a kid I was sickly, underweight, subject to frequent bouts of nausea and abdominal pain, plus I was quiet and bookish, the opposite of the healthy, vigorous, alpha-boy that my parents were hoping for. Sports? Forget it, the only time I altered the trajectory of a ball was when it hit me between the eyes. I was an extremely fussy eater, and I certainly didn’t eat enough and so meal-time was a battle between me and my mother. I would never make the grade said she, never become a man.

    Then Fortune (or blind luck) stepped in. Summer camp! A friend made mention of one not far off, my father insisted on it and so my friend and I were off for two weeks of arts and crafts and games and hikes and swimming lessons. And the terrors of the dining hall.

    For two days I hardly ate. Oatmeal looked like barf, chili looked like dog crap in a bowl, Scrambled eggs? No, no, please, just shoot me, I’d rather die.

    Then I saw another camper with a bowl of oatmeal. He put about half a pond of brown sugar and an ungodly amount of cream on it. I was starving and miserable so I did the same and I found I was eating the Food of the Gods. There were few problems that either ketchup or brown sugar or bacon (the latter in a sandwich with scrambled eggs and an absurd amount of Heinz) couldn’t solve, ravenous hunger did the rest. I ate chili, I ate sloppy joes, I ate everything but the drapes. I saw one kid eating sandwiches made with white bread, butter and sugar. A lot of sugar. Mmmmm, good. No seriously. Plus it was puberty and my body was trying to grow and change despite my best efforts.

    And so, in the fullness of time, not much time at that, my pain and nausea subsided and though I never became an Olympian, I grew, put on weight, developed muscles and stopped looking a complete loser and weakling. The purchase of a barbeque helped because it turned steaks and hamburgers that were formerly shoe leather and hockey pucks respectively when cooked in a broiler into succulent food that I ate by the pound. I became a financial burden.

    It was my buddy and summer camp (where I got my mother off my back for two weeks and where nobody gave a damn what you ate or if you ate) that turned the tide.

    And Fortune, or blind luck. I became a man after all. Never underestimate either one in the affairs of men and sick, depressed, underweight boys.

  138. Thank you for this, JMG!
    This comes at a rather relevant time!

    I was actually meditating on this a few days ago, about the energetic exchange of sex—that while I as a woman physically ‘receive’, sex always felt very much like ‘giving’. I thought it was a wonderful balance of energy, both giving and receiving back, this image came to mind: 🔁 The etheric exchange you described really puts it into words what is actually ‘given’ there!

    Also thank you for that wonderful description of the feminine energy in terms of the astral/imagination. It’s the best explanation for the actual essence of female energy I have encountered. I’ve noticed that my imagination too worked best when I took an existing idea and ran with it—but I always chided myself for that as an imagination deficiency to improve. Reading that it is actually meant to be that way for me is very healing!

    I’ve had to do some work accepting my gender as a woman in this life, and still am, but I’ve always felt the solution was becoming more comfortable with the essential qualities of female energy rather than changing my body. (I do wonder how much of the current trans movement could benefit from similar introspection.) Again, I feel like this post helped with that, so thank you.

  139. JMG and Luke Z, would you mind explaining how you found out about your set of bodies, and how it plays out in your relationships, please? I’m having doubts about mine…

  140. @ RTPCR #90

    First of all, may I say that I am happy you found a pathway to confidence and to marriage, and to happiness. All of these are good things, and may you continue to be blessed always.

    I would like to say, though, that this sentence of yours (which I’ve “ungendered” because its impact for me remains unattached to gender) troubles me:

    “PUA is basically a branch of applied psychology – it didn’t come out of nowhere. It applies basic psych principles in practice to enable [people] to get what they want out of their dating lives and from the [people] in their lives.”

    The thing is that, to my way of thinking, “applied psychology” is one of the dark magical arts, in that it often strays into perfecting techniques for “changing the consciousness [of others] in accordance with [one’s own] will”. ie – getting what [the practitioner] wants from people who were not [before the technique was applied] minded to give it.

    Much of the social, economic and physical devastation of the past three years, as well as of the long preparations leading up to them, were hugely enabled by practitioners of “applied psychology” – some of them setting up “nudge units” as semi-state organisations, for example.

    Anyway, I appreciate that you have a different perspective, I thank you for sharing it here, and I wish you well, always.

  141. I am noticing that romantic relationships have become very consumerist. You have a large collection of potential romantic partners. You pick the one you like, date them for a while, and when you get bored, break up and then do it all over again. It is known that more choice actually makes people unhappy, because your mind keeps thinking, “Why should I settle for this one? Maybe the next one is better?”. The mind craves choice yet is forever unsatisfied because of the same abundance of choices.

    I suspect that the vicious sniping and scorn that’s aimed at people of any gender who decide to disengage from the “relationship market” is partly motivated by the prospect of a smaller pool of partners to choose from — “How dare you take away my choices for dating?”, just like the tantrums we see on Black Friday stores.

    It also makes people miserable because no partner is perfect, and the thinking that there is someone better “out there”, makes people generally unwilling to make peace with even the smallest flaws in their partner.

    Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to what I have said above, but those are in the minority.

  142. The only gay pickup I can remember was in Geneva, Switzerland, of all places. I was having a pee in a public toilet. Next to me at the urinal was an older man in a crumpled brown raincoat. As I shook off and was about to zip up our eyes met and he winked at me.

    I shot out of there like a bolt of lightning and walked rapidly down the street. Two blocks later I felt rather chilly and realized I hadn’t yet done my fly up! Fortunately I wasn’t arrested for public indecency.

    (For non-penis-bearers, the protocol while standing at a urinal is to stare fixedly ahead or down, never sideways.)

  143. Thank you for this. I believe despite all the mess we are going through on this level, yet naturally we are evolving as well, some signs are obvious and one of them are these extreme reactions by both feminism and masculism. Those who are trying to emphasize the sacred and positive aspects to the sexes are helping in their own way, and I appreciate that. I love the concept of the body and matter as holy and sacred, I think that’s where we are heading to as a collective.

    On a local level, I’m seeing growing signs of accepting women and queer people as well, though within certain social and cultural codes, I’m really happy to live at these times, I just hope we learn the lessons from those who preceded us on this path so we don’t make the same mistakes.

    It’s important to mention the role of children and queer consciousness (I do believe they’re related) at these times as they work like a bridge between the male and female chasm, it’s sad that many don’t see this and they’re persecuted. I’m reminded of a beautiful quote on the artwork of an early T.Rex album, it says “in the head of a man is a woman, in the head of woman is a man, but what wanders roam in the head of a child.”
    I think it’s crucial to understand this as we move forward into the New Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child. 🙂

  144. JMG #113:
    A lot of thanks for your answers! I thought “Feminism for 99% in a more positive way, but I was doubting about their hidden agenda…I agree with you in the whole things.

  145. Booklover#116 and CR Patiño #118: Thank you both for your comment on sexual realtionships! It’s always good knowing that points of view and information…

  146. >Maybe we should all start talking about sacred air pressure or something

    That’s called “Altimeter Setting” or “QNH” if you live outside the U.S. Thou must always heed the decrees of the sacred air pressure readings from ATC. Ask the internet for something and you shall receive. You’re welcome.

    As far as making love to one the third rails of the internet (this whole thread and post) – nah, I’m not that interested. This may be my only comment on the whole mess, unless someone brings up a tangent. But like you said, if these man vs woman problems are really just symptoms of societal decline in general, then perhaps the appropriate response is what Aaron Clarey suggested in his book – Enjoy The Decline?

    Something something God give me the grace something something…

  147. @SomeBody #128:

    “As vulgar as it may be, I think your phrase “topping from the bottom” there really actually is a key to the whole thing.”

    I agree. I’m not into S&M but have been exposed to it at a liberal arts college I attended briefly. And, well, life, curiosity.

    I see this as one of the ways folks who are trying out for the oppression olympics are acting.

    They pretend to be the one who in the bottom, submissive role, all while dominating the situation.

    With regards to work, I’ve found myself increasing self-censoring over the past few years.

    Luckily silence is the fourth power of the sphinx, so just keeping my mouth shut can be wise. At the same time this sense of inhibition about what I can say, and whether or not someone will be offended is rather stifling.

    And with the growth of DEI department in my workplace I am rather paranoid about people being snitches.

    Snitch culture is such a drag. & there have been some a number of cold hearted snitches at my workplace.

    Also, I’ve been “corrected” for referring to people as having aspergers by said bottom topper in one conversation. Supposedly aspergers is/was a way nazis reffered to people on this part of the spectrum. (@JMG, have you come across that before?). (I guess it relates to this : … so because of that using the word is now a no-no)

    I get so sick of this tattle-taleism. So glad I dropped out of college before I got indoctrinated with a bunch of pomo bs. As y’all know already it seems that is one of the big ways all this bull shale entered our system. But I guess you have to have an “advanced” degree to keep up with all this stasi newspeak terminology.

    I guess it doesn’t help that I’m a white cisgender hetero male in a field that is traditionally mostly female, and many of them on the leftie end of the binary. I used to be a leftie myself, but now I guess I’m more of a escape-centrist.

    Well, I guess I gotta whip myself back into action and get back to work.

    (& that image of self-flagellation has got me thinking of the self-mortification of those original sinner sadomasochists, various Christian religious self-whippers. Thankfully Pelagius has helped me learn “original sin” isn’t the only game in town. Most of our sin we learned from watching others, and these bottom toppers are following suit for an easy meal ticket.)

    Thanks for the space to write & share this rant.

  148. Clay Dennis #99, I don’t trust anyone who defines themselves by their ability to ‘make hard choices’. You have to be careful around people who think of themselves as survivors because they have to keep getting into trouble to prove what they can survive. If someone is deep into an ideology of hard choices, will they forgo an available optimal solution, and instead sacrifice someone or something to reinforce their self image and signal their toughness? Would you want to follow a leader if your death would make their balls feel big? Make no mistake, I may order you to your death. But at least I’ll have the decency to feel bad about it.

  149. @Yavanna & Aldarion, et al: re: extended families.

    I don’t think extended families would solve all interpersonal problems. But they might solve some of the loneliness of “bowling alone” in our culture -and, importantly, relying on people within our family (blood or selected, chosen family -such as might occur within gay/lesbian subcultures, and other subcultures) to fulfill needs and wants that are now bought and paid for in the form of services and products from the soi distant corporate overlords who would have us replace those people with something they provide.

    Therapy is one thing. I know there are good, non drug pushing, psychologists out there. But how often could the advice they give have been provided by a trusted aunt or uncle, or a close friend? What about calling up a cousin who is a mechanic for help with redoing the brakes on a car, in exchange for something you can help him with? Business has inserted itself in place of this kind of familial network and now, as things have further eroded, a lot of those kind of relationships don’t exist for people anymore.

    I come from a large family on both sides. It has its pluses and minuses. We used to all see each other a lot more. Part of that is the natural spread and growth of the family with myself and my cousins all having our own individual nuclear families now, and all the other relationships those entail. Just before the pandemic my dad launched an annual family picnic, with his side, and me bringing in a lot of people from my late-moms side. It has grown a bit every year. People really love an old fashioned picnic at a park. These small things are a beginning way to reknit some of what became threadbare over the decades.

    My wife, who came from a very small family, really loved the way my bigger family took her in, and all the social things we’ve done with family over the years.

    Societies further unraveling will inflict other things on us, but perhaps we can begin to stick together, between blood relatives and adopted, chosen family in wider webs of connection.

    I don’t know the stats, but it seems there is plenty of domestic violence and abuse within nuclear families, so I’m not sure if that is a direct correlation, or just a general part of the human condition.

    It seems to me, as times get harder, the benefits of belonging to a larger clan will outweigh the minuses. & I say that as someone who also really values his solitude.

    I’m a social person, but if I don’t have time alone to recharge and do my own thing, I suffer. Yet, somehow, with all these things and needs, I think we’ll muddle along.

  150. I was glad to hear that you plan to publish a book on sex magic that addresses abstinence. I hope it will have useful information for those who, like me, are involved in life tragedies not of their own doing;

    Sixteen years ago, my wife had life-saving surgery, which unfortunately left her without a vagina. Also after the surgery, she found that she was attracted to women; no sexual attraction to men, not even me. I find that when I direct my perception towards a woman, I can tell if she is attracted to me (perhaps more on that later), but when I direct it to my wife, there is nothing there, through no fault of her own.
    I still love her and don’t want anyone else. She still loves me and does not want anyone else, but also has no sexual feelings towards me. For her, participating in any form of sexuality with a man, even me, has no appeal.

    You mentioned once that, in some magical lodge ceremonies, a man and a woman could participate with power if they were sexually attracted to each other, but had good reasons not to have sex; This is the situation in which I find myself.

    I am surrounded by women at work. All of them are attractive and some of them have sexual interest in me, but I have decided not to pursue any of them or allow them to pursue me, as this would devastate my wife. I do not want to be the object of pity, so of course, I can never discuss this topic with any of them! Nor, I suspect, would most of them want that.

    So then, what to do with the giant charge of male sexuality that keeps building up? Again, you have already been helpful– When you mentioned that priests and ministers sometimes get into trouble by retaining the energies of the congregation instead of sending them to the Divine, so that they may be returned to the community, I began to visualize sending my excess sexual energy to god(s) for that purpose– It helps me, and helps others.

    Masturbation? It reminds me that the sexuality of our marriage has been lost, so is an experience of grief, but sometimes necessary if the energy is too high.

    My big-picture goal is kindness to all and blessings to my community, and this seems to be working out. Seeing that others around me are blessed and lifted up makes the predicament of my own suffering much more bearable. I do get a sense that I am way off the usual map of human interactions. Perhaps my experience would be helpful to others.

  151. I was very lucky to grown up on a farm with several virtuous male role models and mentors. This left me with a view of manhood that is somewhat old fashioned and some would think cliche. These men were not cage fighters, or macho gunslingers or womanizers. And none of my lessons about manhood had anything to do with sports ( I was bad at them) or landing woman ( I was shy and bad at that too). In. my upbringing a man:

    1) Stands by his word.

    2) Does what has to be done, even if it is difficult, or uncomfortable.

    3) Is honest and does not lie or cheat others.

    4) Does not make excuses for his failures

    5) Is trustworthy so that everyone in his orbit knows that he will carry out his end of the bargain in all things.

    6) Is respectful of women and does not use them for his own purposes.

    I realize that these things mostly boil down to variations of the golden rule, but they were emphasized to me as manly virtues growing up.

    After making this list, I realized that one of the things that has put the US in conflict with Russia today is a conflict of these values. In addition to being senile and self serving the current US administration is decidedly unmanly. In the view of the men who raised me it would be shifty , dishonest, whiny, and untrustworthy.

    And like them or not, Russia is currently run by a group of men. They say what they mean, fullfill obligations, and generally carry out their business in a straightforward way. One can not look at Putin, Shoigu, Lavrov or Surovikin and not see masculine tough guys in the traditional mold. I think this is one of the things that angers the “woke” establishment and makes them want to vanquish the Russians. There has been every effort to eradicate these manly virtues from political life social life and to have the opposite thrown in their face by the Russians must be hard for the beltway denizens to accept.

  152. I think another serious issue worth mentioning is the push for hyper-sexualization. This leads to a lot of problems, and one which I’ve seen that has caused a lot of men a lot of issues is the rise of the porn industry. I’m not going to pretend to understand the effects it has on the people involved in it, nor on women, but the fact of the matter is that it causes a lot of serious harms to a lot of young men exposed to it; and that in many circles it is taboo to discuss the issues it causes. The backlash against it seems to be building as well, and we’ll just have to see where this goes.

  153. @Methylethyl #136 – you and me both, sister! Turns out my polarities are pretty normal for a woman – and from Day One, I always identified as a woman, which of course I am, and never once considered trying to be a man or a boy, except that it might be a helpful disguise in some sort of situations. And yet, I present as a baby butch. Though down here, I think they put it down to being a westerner/southwesterner/cowgirl type. In fact, I ran the look past Jean in Eastern Oregon and she said “farm & ranch gal.” And me a city mouse of very long standing!

    I’m so glad you found a compatible husband. I’ve essentially been in Nun Mode since my marriage went sour back in the late 80s, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me much. I had my friends, books, and cats – and friends, for a long time sf fan, tend to be aspie as well, some of them very much so.

  154. Abraham, your grandmother’s saying reminded me of some things my mother used to say to me. These are not exactly in the same vein, but the kindness is there. My mother said things to me like, “Have I told you how much I love you today?” and especially when I was single and having a hard time finding my wife she would say, “There is somebody looking for you, just like you are looking for them.” My mother always let me know that she would love me no matter what path I chose. At one point she gave me a hand-written laminated card to put in my wallet that said, “No matter how big you get. no matter how grown, I will always love you as a newborn.” And she signed it, Mom.

    My mother believed in tough love so she did not coddle me, but she wrapped it in kindness. She believed that I had to pull myself up out of my own messes and become better through my own efforts, but she let me know that she loved me no matter how many mistakes I made. I am forever grateful to have had such a mom. She allowed me the space to become the man that I am. My fathers did, too, but they did not have the words, or the hugs, that my mother had.

  155. @Ekaterina – Me, too! And everybody kept at me to outgrow fanfic and start writing in my own universe the way some of the others did. Couldn’t do it. Couldn’t even dream up a plot, no way.

  156. Other things that my mother taught pertinent to this conversation especially in regards to the new slant of PUAs: that I should not get a woman pregnant unless she was ready to get pregnant; that when looking for sex, I should look for a woman that was hot for me (strongly wanting sex with me), in other words don’t force yourself on women that don’t want it.

    And my fathers taught me to work hard to please the woman sexually if I wanted her to want more. Also, they let me know that a woman knows withing 30 seconds whether they wanted to have sex with me. This second one may be an exaggeration (perhaps not), but the general idea was to not waste time pursuing women that had friend-zoned me or were completely uninterested, which agrees with my mother’s point of looking for women that were hot for me.

  157. @Tamanous

    That is a well known phenomenon (of women finding you more attractive if you already have other women in your life) but I am not sure that is really etheric since it works even if you are not sleeping with the other women in your life (there could be an etheric component as well if you are sleeping with several women and are supercharged etherically).

    In my experience the phenomenon is extremely powerful and is a direct application of the “social proof” principle, first made famous in Robert Cialdini’s Persuasion book.

    Quite simply human beings are programmed to want things that others in the group also want – there’s a strong drive to go with the herd. For some reason – I am not sure why – in a dating context, women are *far* more likely to find a man attractive if their friends do, whereas for most men, their friends’ opinion of a woman will not affect his feeling about her attractiveness. it’s strange because men are just as susceptible to social proof based opinions in many other situations.

    In the dating context from a man’s perspective, there are different levels to it. At the most basic level, if you’re talking to a woman you met in a bar, even mentioning other women in your life (friends, sisters etc) is better than nothing (or for eg, speaking about past girlfriends). Or showing her holiday pictures on your phone where you are in the company of women – it means somethign that other women like you enough to hang out with you. The next level up is actually being in the bar in the company of a woman (it can be your sister or a friend – simply the other woman’s presence will make a HUGE difference to the kind of reactions you get from women in the bar).

    The ideal of course is for other women who are most similar to the woman you want, to approve of you and find you attractive – specifically, her own friends. If her friends find you attractive, it is all but certain that the woman you want will do too – and this is multiplied 10x if she can *brag* to her friends that she is dating you (the reverse is also true – if her friends don’t like you, it is very hard to climb out of that hole, even if the woman you want actually does like you).

    Taken to extremes on a global scale it’s the reason you saw the Beatles generate mass hysteria among young women in the 1960s, Justin Bieber in the late 2000s, and whoever the current rock star idols today are (I’m not keeping track).

    But anyway I digress.


    I appreciate your viewpoint, but if I understand correctly you’re basically saying that skills of persuasion can be abused and used to hurt people and infringe on their autonomy right?

    I agree with you, and it’s not limited to PUA of course. But I’m not sure how feasible it is to micromanage which tactics of persuasion are acceptable and which are not – human beings have always had the power to change each other’s minds and there’s nothing wrong in my opinion with persuading someone.

    I think the right approach – really, the only thing we can do – is teach the skills with an ethical framework surrounding their use – this is precisely why the traditional PUA community (there are exceptions of course) focuses so much on being honest, not misleading women, and “leaving them better than you found them” – with fond memories of their time with you, not feeling cheated and used and dumped. Same reason why ethical salesmen will not deliberately sell you a dud and cheat you, and so on.

    But you seem to be suggesting that changing someone’s mind from their initial opinion is somehow wrong in itself, even if it is done without lying or misleading? If you really are saying that, then I will have to disagree with you.

    For example, I am not ugly or anything, but I am not particularly good looking – average looking, average height (note: most women if you look at online dating sites will tell you they want a tall man over 6 ft, even though only 15% of men are over that). I have many times had the experience of approaching a group of 2-3 women in a bar or nightclub along with a tall, good looking friend.

    Almost invariably, at the start of the conversation, their attention and interest would be mostly focussed on him. Over the course of the conversation, as my charm and humour came out and they began to enjoy my company, their attention would turn to me (my friend wasn’t boring or anything – I was just more charming despite my average looks) – sometimes they would physically turn away from him to focus on me.

    Was I doing something unethical in changing their initial preference for my friend to a preference for me? In my opinion, I wasn’t (my friend and I treated it like a friendly competition and he “won” plenty of times too, but in any event that has nothing to do with the women).

  158. Methylethyl, my dating advice for aspies all along has been “find someone else on the autism spectrum” — a good quarter of the enduring marriages I know of are between male and female autists, and we’re not that big a fraction of the population. As for women-only groups, oh, they’re not for every woman, not by a long shot. The old-fashioned feminists who insist that women are naturally kind and mutually supportive and anti-hierarchical clearly have never watched a bunch of bitter old lodge ladies who have been carrying on a blood feud for longer than you and I have been alive.

    Smith, fascinating. I did Boy Scout summer camp, but I’m sorry to say it wasn’t the haven for me that summer camp was for you.

    Ekaterina, you’re welcome, and thank you for the data points!

    Njura, in my case it involved a great deal of introspection, especially focused on my own creative life. The dependence of my creative imagination on outside stimulus is really quite striking, for example.

    Collapsenik, indeed they have. That’s what happens in a society that’s adopted a self-image of disenchantment; the enchanted aspects of relationship are downplayed, ignored, and met with active hostility, so that relationships just become another set of pay-to-play experiences.

    Aziz, I just hope the “crowned and conquering child” doesn’t turn out to be a tyrannical spoiled brat!

    Chuaquin, you’re most welcome. It’s always necessary to ask, when somebody claims to speak for the 99%, whether the 99% had any input into what they’re saying…

    Other Owen, funny. As for third rails, why, that’s where all the power is, so of course I make good use of them.

    Predicament2, thank you for this; I appreciate the data points. Polarity magic might be one thing to try. It doesn’t require celibacy — the only requirement along those lines is that the two people doing the work should not be having sex with each other — but it can certainly function well in a celibate context.

    Clay, that’s a very solid point.

    Anonymous, that’s another very solid point. Thank you.

  159. Here’s a particularly cosmic (you’re welcome to omit the “s” if you prefer) instance of The Kybalion’s Principle of Gender: there’s a new hypothesis that black holes, those most receptively in-drawing of celestial bodies, are the cause of the apparent physical reality of the physical universe. By preserving certain information while also making it inaccessible, the hypothesis goes, black holes act as universal “observers” in the quantum-mechanics-experiment sense, focusing what would otherwise be an amorphous superposition of mere possibilities into a persistent actuality.

    I know you don’t have a high opinion of present day cosmological models, but this one has the kind of mythic resonance that I look for as the hallmark of a possible Deeper Truth. There’s a minimally technical treatment here.

  160. I will once again mention “art of manliness”, the website, it fits the discussion.

    Was it also our host or someobody else, mentioning this is a product or brain child of a mormon?

    However that is, it is an outlet in an ever polite tone, aimed at self improvement, featuring podcasts and articles from a wide variety of external authors.

    If we talk about manliness in its positive form, this is a good example, though I am certain many things there are helpful for women just so equally.

  161. @Anonymous collapsenik.

    Good point that too much choice is not a good thing. In China there are 35 million excess males, half of them in the 20-40 age bracket, the peak marrying years. So why are there so many “leftover ladies” that it has become a social problem?

    One theory is that with so many extra men a woman is expected to find a husband with a job, an apartment, a car, sober, from a good family, blah blah blah. And there just aren’t that many such men around. Since they can’t be seen to be marrying down, the women prefer to remain single.

  162. Fortunately, for all the normal bullying and belittling of nonconforming boys that I experienced, gender ambiguity wasn’t an issue for me growing up as a prototypical nerd in the 1970s (the latter half of which were also my teen years). Typically nerdy interests like computer programming, SF literature, and D&D were considered weird but not considered in any way feminine. Indeed, the supposed lack of any female interest in such pursuits was a large part of the social indictment against them. Of course “faggot” was freely thrown as an insult, but had little real connection to sexuality or sexual preference; in that context its only meaning was “male unwilling or unable to physically fight to deter being called it.”

    I could probably make a decent case that nerd-dom, at least back then, was as much of a “third gender” as any tribal shaman role ever was. Girls were as welcome as boys, but we made no more effort to invite them than we did to invite the football team, and boyfriend-girlfriend relationships were seen as at best extraneous to the pursuits at hand. Like Catholic seminarians changing their minds and going off to marry, pairs in relationships tended to quietly leave the scene. Or, if they stayed, caused friction—for instance, there used to hilarious cautionary tales in D&D circles about playing in a group with “the DM’s girlfriend.” (I wouldn’t call this misogyny, by the way. The issue was the relationship and the way both partners behaved because of it, not the gender or sex of either individual.)

    Fortunately for me, the supposed lack of female interest in nerdy activities turned out to be imaginary, at least beyond high school. The important lesson I learned is there’s a huge difference in attractiveness between the creative versus the passive consumer sides of such pursuits. Seeing how the straight women at SF conventions ignored the male fans but flocked to the male authors (however obscure or impoverished) made the point quite obvious. Heck, that’s the reason the DM was the one who had a girlfriend.

    Which is as clear and practical import of the astral genders that you’ll ever see! For astral males, having a nature inclined to odd solitary pursuits (e.g. being the one to post about black holes when everyone else is talking about social issues) need not lead to a solitary life, but your best chance by far is if those pursuits are creative ones.

  163. @Clay (#158), the ‘farmer’s values’ that you mentioned sound a lot like the values I was raised on, even though I did not totally grow up on a farm (rather it was a combination of small town, cabin in the woods and my big sister’s farm). Just the same, one of my grandmothers grew up on a farm and the rest of my direct ancestors were blue-collar workers (brick layers, sailors and the like).

    I’ve come across a saying lately that on the surface may sound terribly sexist, but I do not believe that it needs to be interpreted that way:
    Hard times makes strong men
    Strong men make good times
    Good times make weak men
    Weak men make bad times
    Bad times make strong men

    Just looking at the past few generations, I see a pattern like that very clearly. And there is absolutely no doubt which ‘kind of men’ we are dominated by these days!

  164. @ RTPCR #164

    Thank you for the time and thought you have put into your reply. I appreciate it. 🙂

    Also, I myself was often in the situation you describe, of sitting in a bar, or at a dance, with a female friend or companion who was attracting all of the male attention in the social situation we were in – as if I was invisible. In general, though, I tended to find this a relief, since I was never good at small talk. Big talk or no talk is my personal preference range. And whatever relationships I ever got into invariably started with a *big* conversation – something on deep themes. 🙂

    I can certainly tell you that after I met and started courting (yes, I did a fair bit of the “running after”) my husband, I found it very reassuring to meet the odd old girlfriend of his, because none of them ever had anything bad to say about him. Likewise, he never badmouthed any woman, and always gave the impression of being comfortable and happy in the company of women. I don’t know to what extent this confirms your theory about how interesting a man is when he gains the interest of other women. To me it just confirmed to me that he was a comfortable man for a woman to get close to and hang around with.

    However, all of the challenges that rocked our particular marriage boat over the years (which, to date, we have both managed to step up to and resolve) have involved matters of freedom. I have met challenges regarding the freeing release of him to his fate, and he has likewise met challenges regarding the freeing release of me to my fate. And both of these respective “releases” and the creation of mutual support for one another’s freedom seems to be what works for us. Obviously it is not necessarily what works for others.

    The point of telling you that, though,is to say it may well be that I am particularly sensitive to incursions on freedom and consent. And I am *highly* sensitive to the manner in which “applied psychology” is being used to fine tune the effects of such incursions upon us all – especially in the sphere of rule and governance of a whole society, as we are seeing in practice.

    That said, to leave someone “with fond memories of their time with you, not feeling cheated and used and dumped” sounds like sensible advice. In fact, it seems to be a good description of how former girlfriends feel about my husband – which was what I personally found so reassuring.

    It is certainly possible that we disagree to an extent, but sure that is bound to happen among the best of friends. 🙂 And I am thankful, again, to have your thoughtful reply and conversation.

    Be well, stay free.

  165. @Jean #40 and all: An intersex condition runs in my family. The person you described fits the definition of “intersex” rather than “trans.” This is important because many in the intersex community don’t want to be confused with trans. The intersex community in the USA has a history where doctors tried to “make them normal looking” via surgery starting in childhood, and this often interfered with functioning. There are also individuals who suffered greatly from “not looking normal” who support normalization surgery, though they seem to be in the minority. My personal impression is these individuals wish they could’ve just looked normal and have idealized normalization surgery as if it could’ve provided that when it really couldn’t, but that’s just one person’s opinion. Meanwhile, some members of the trans community argue that trans is just another form of intersex, “just in the brain only”; others do not, and many in the intersex community reject this argument anyway. BTW the term “assigned [sex] at birth” comes from the intersex community, and many are annoyed at the trans community for appropriating it. In the intersex community it describes what happens to those with ambiguous genitalia.

    The condition that runs in my family causes XY people with it to have ambiguous genitalia (for non-family-friendly drawings of what this can look like, search for “Quigley scale”), without affecting XX people like me. I am a carrier, so my husband and I have had to think about what to do if a child of ours inherits it (has not yet happened). Since chromosomal sex can now be detected around 10 weeks via NIPT, and genitalia are typically visualized at the 20 week “anatomy” ultrasound, we’d know in utero–something that didn’t happen for previous generations.

    My mom’s relatives that she either knew, or knew older relatives who knew them: one was assigned male at birth, received normalization surgery as a child, and committed suicide as a teen; one was assigned male at birth at a time before normalization surgery was common, identified as a girl by her teens, married, became an alcoholic and died from drunk driving, and she had seven assigned-sisters-at-birth and no brothers and we don’t know if some of these sisters may also have been XY; and one was assigned male at birth, seems to have had a good life, but never married and left money to a children’s charity because he’d always wanted children.

    My husband and I have decided that if we have an affected child, we won’t have normalization surgery performed in childhood. We’ll start by treating them as a boy because they will be XY, and because adults with this condition often can have children with women; but we’ll be open to it if they decide to identify as a girl instead.

    One big concern is that if you’re born with undescended testicles, the cancer risk is increased. Starting in IIRC the ’50s, many people born with undescended testicles have had them removed in childhood because of the cancer risk, but this of course causes sterility (and guarantees you’ll need artificial hormones later on). In theory you can sometimes do a surgery to bring them down and create an artificial pouch for them to be in, and we were undecided as to whether to pursue that for any affected child we may have. It’s surgery, with all the attendant risks, but it’s to preserve health and fertility, not appearance.

  166. Njura,
    Sure. Since the astral plane is the concrete consciousness outgoing people can be seen as positive on the astral plane and quieter people as negative. Do you naturally express thoughts and emotions to other people or do you reserve them? I reserve them, except in the cases where various kind of magic balanced me, but even then I was still astrally negative, just a more balanced astral negative.

    Mental body polarity is more tricky, but I think the easiest way to describe it is do you inspire others or are you inspired? Do your own values drive you or do you absorb the values of others? For me, I take in concrete content (books and videos generally) and I get a sense of meaning from them. I then make that sense of meaning my own and live my life according to it after synthesizing it with the rest of my sense of values/ideas.

    Two tidbits that suggest my mental positivity as well:
    1) I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been somewhere where nowhere is talking and I break the ice with some apparently interesting thought and the conversation rolls like a snowball down hill from there with me talking less than everyone else after that point.

    2) Historically, people I know have mimicked the things I do. Although I live like a hermit now so this doesn’t happen so much any more.

    All the theory in this comment is informed by what JMG has said in the past, and he has another essay The Metaphysics of Sex which gives a lot more info than this post.

  167. @Scotlyn @RTPCR

    Thanks for bringing up and calmly discussing this ethical dilemma.

    As I see it, the line between manipulation and confident authenticity is a matter of intent and respect.

    Is the goal to bring someone into your life for a mutually beneficial relationship, or to influence their behavior for your own benefit and pleasure?

    I’ve always been put off by discussions in groups of men in which women are discussed as some sort of different species whose inner lives are beyond comprehension and whose desires can be manipulated to obtain sex and companionship.

    Behaving in a way that makes a woman interested in you is not a problem, but ethically I would argue that comes with a responsibility to learn what that woman is actually looking for, and being honest from the start about whether that is compatible with your own goals.

  168. It occurs to me that every binary is subject to greater differentiation. In astrology, certain planets are masculine, certain are feminine, and certain are neutral. In kabbalah, of the ten Sephirot, one could be called exclusively masculine (Kether), one exclusively feminine (Malkut), and the other eight are either one depending on who is providing energy to the other. Also, the right side of the tree is predominantly “positive” (sort of masculine) and the over side is predominantly “negative” (sort of feminine) and the middle of the tree is balanced (sort of neutral). Then there’s the hidden sphere, Daath about which I have nothing to say in this regard except that it’s part of the middle too.

    All this is an elaborate and metaphorical way to engage in the issue of homosexual etheric energy and the gender of the other bodies. Which planet predominates may have more to do with how energy is exchanged than the general masculine/feminine divide discussed in this post by our esteemed host. I propose that once one gets into the weeds of the issue (how? I don’t exactly know) perhaps at least the etheric body of at least some homosexuals is deeply influenced by and/or governed by neutral planetary energies. Mercury, chiefly – but also Uranus and/or Neptune, which two latter planets modern astrology tends to assign rulership to regarding “unconventional” sexual proclivities. Note that Pluto doesn’t seem to align anywhere along this conversation directly. The Moon, which in the West is traditionally considered feminine, is not necessarily defined that way in other cultures, and given that it fits into the middle of the Tree for Yesod, can (I propose) be neutral or contra-sexual. And so on.

    These are just issues I’m raising to broaden the discussion beyond some of the anecdotal discussions found here, including mine. Each of the 4 bodies predominantly discussed can be (or are) worlds in themselves, with their own complete Trees, with strengths and weaknesses (however you wish to define them) in each sphere, with effects ricocheting up and down the whole shebang. I don’t doubt that an expert symbolist could make a beautiful and possibly illuminating exposition on this basis. I don’t think the modern writer sometimes called Halevi actually went there, even though he certainly got pretty complicated in what he explored.

    It will take lifetimes of meditating, has done, no doubt. But I suspect our host has more to say along these lines than he has done, at least possibly because people are so prone to bow down to perceived authority figures and he doesn’t want to taint the waters with his speculations at this point before he has a broader understanding himself.

  169. One of the three trans people I knew was a pudgy, unassuming man who, because he felt like a woman on the inside, went in drag in places when and where it was safe (and looked like his own mother(, and finally, when he moved back home and his parents were on him about all this, got a genetic test and turned out to be XXY. She’s now living happily as a woman, and looks very good indeed. But she got the most important surgery she needed: a parentectomy. I haven’t heard from her in ages, but wish her well.

  170. Very OT: symbolic straw in the wind. Having just sent off an envelope as a first-class flat, with stamps, I realized why today’s stamps look so cluttered. The old flag stamps showed the US flag, pure and simple. The current ones show three US flags – the rear one too big to see the whole, the center one is shown whole, and the bottom one, tiny. Not *one* flag, as in “One nation, indivisible,” but 3. Standing for….??? You could make a pretty long list here.

  171. JMG,

    Thanks for that post, and for the take on the different bodies!

    A question: All-female groups have quite a different atmosphere than all-male groups. From an occult perspective, is that caused by anything happening on a particular level, e.g. the astral? (And if not, do you have any hypothesis on what is causing this?)

    Also, if this is related to a particular level, single-sex groups might pose an issue for people with „non-standard“ genders on that level. I suppose there is no one-size-fits-all solution (as in most areas of life…).

    @Siliconguy #56:

    „Now toxic femininity, that I have trouble defining.“

    Hm, just a thought, but have you considered the thought that toxic femininity might be just as much pointless hyperagression, only expressed in a different way?

    @methylethyl #142:

    I know you‘re not the only women who feels that way about women‘s only groups, but, funnily enough, I‘ve yet to hear a man say that about men‘s only groups. I‘m wondering why… don‘t they just mention it for whatever reason? Or is it really the case that there are no men who can‘t stand men‘s only groups?

    Wishing all of you a great weekend,


  172. Curt,
    I read The Art of Manliness with great interest, although I don’t really need to know which pocket to put my wallet into. It could be called The Art of Adulthood.

  173. It occurred to me recently when re-reading Goethe’s Faust that Faust is the original PUA. He sees Gretchen on the street and seduces her. In doing so, he destroys her life but never shows any real remorse for this.

    The Gretchen plot line is almost identical to the story of Don Juan. In the older versions of that story, Don Juan goes to hell at the end or at least must repent his sins. Goethe has Faust go to heaven where Gretchen is faithfully waiting for him and we find that “the eternal feminine lifts us up”.

    There’s many ways to read this but I think it’s a continuation of the infatuation with the Virgin Mary that was around right since the start of Faustian culture. That was tied in with the problem of inheritance among the nobility. The eldest son was the son-and-heir. What happened to the younger sons? Many turned to crime, gambling and whoring. Others became the gallant knights, satirised in Don Quixote, who put women on a pedestal and went off fighting battles on their behalf.

    What was missing in all this was the simple question of what women thought of the situation.

  174. “it’s been forgotten that sex magic in the obvious sense, i.e., penetrative intercourse in a ritual setting, is only one way of working with erotic energies, and it’s neither the most interesting nor the most effective.”

    Speaking of Dion Fortune, I seem to recall this being a major theme between the male and female leads in her fiction. That is, having actual material plane sex would weaken the energy they’d been building up together.

  175. Hi Patricia M,

    Hmm. It takes a lot of energy to live and act as consciously as a person can, whilst noting that some are better than others at this, and yet others have larger reserves of energy with which to draw upon. With that point in mind, it is very possible that what you experienced (here I’m guessing based on your words and what the ticklish bits of my brain are informing me) is that interactions with other people tend to reflect the underlying reality as to whether the person sees you as an individual, or an ideal, or even worse, an archetype (or how you see them). Certainly, the further the interaction moves from that of the ‘individual’ when a deeper connection is sought, the greater the risk of failure. How could it not be that way? And it is worthwhile mentioning that this effect flows both ways, and it binds. I’ve noted that people can be fearful of vulnerability when confronted by that sort of energy.

    Spare some compassion for the PUA’s. I believe at the core of their actions is an expression of their inner fear, and so I’m guessing they seek to conquer externally, but really they’d be better to use that energy on themselves. And there’d be the inevitable blow back from their magical workings and it would be very real.

    Out of sheer curiosity, I read about their activities maybe about two decades ago. What may be of interest to you, is that what I’ve observed since then, is that plenty of people, both male and female, use the same techniques in all manner of settings whether appropriate or not, with the same resulting blow back.

    And I believe the core lesson is that before expecting outwards, a person must first address the inwards. Hmm. But this maybe just how I see the world. 🙂



  176. Luke’s comment sparked a thought in me, fueled by our host’s response, though I’m not nearly so chaste as either of them – my name is definitely not Galahad – which is, that I went out with lots of women between 18 and 28, and slept with more than my share, but only really jibed with a few of them, including my wife of 21 years, who was the last (and obviously best) of the run. Makes me wonder if I’m like you, JMG, with the two higher genders reversed. All the rest were very much women, and mostly very lovely women, but only a few mirrored my minority arrangement of genders, I’m thinking.

    This essay is really going to require some contemplation. I was aware of this – the alternating genders – before, but you’ve given me plenty of cud to chew with this one…

  177. Hi John Michael,

    Yeah, I could sort of tell, and was mildly concerned for you. Respect. Mate, it’s kind of like journalling don’t you reckon? It’s a powerful tool, that’s for sure. And I’ve done plenty of my own work on that front over the decades. I write in order to forget. I’d long considered the journal for a year business was a bit light weight, but hey that’s me – and I’ve noted that I make other people feel tired. It’s been said before! Hehe! 😉

    Oh man, the official winter long term forecast was for a drier and warmer winter. Warmer yeah, but drier dunno about that. So far it seems pretty average on that front. I’ll tell ya a funny thing though. Right now early in the morning, it’s 11’C / 52’F outside and the rain this morning had a real tropical feel to it. Not at all like the more usual winter rain where it rains for hours, and not much falls. I have an odd hunch that warmer = more tropical, and the forecast models have not yet adapted for the extra moisture in the atmosphere. But whadda I know?



  178. #162 @Patricia Mathews — exactly! I suddenly feel so much better about all the fanfiction I’ve written haha! Presumably I’ll get much more done now that I’m not trying to fight against the basic nature of my imagination…

  179. I started reading That Hideous Strength by cs Lewis as a result of earlier post on disenchantment series I guess. Had to buy a copy, not in the library. It is amazing. And devastating. In a way it’s a vision of today from 1946, and a fantastic work of fiction with the inner worlds written when more typical biologically inclined gendered voices would be expected— Lewis writes not the stereotypes but the experience combining differing urges and tendencies with the socially imposed masks. I didn’t remember reading in the earlier thread that Owen barfield was an executor of cs Lewis but there it is on the title page. Anyway thanks jmg and company for bringing me to this book.

  180. This is an excellent discussion. My hat is off to all those, starting with our host, who have braved difficult inner realms sincerely and taking responsibility for what they find. I hope to live up to that high standard.

    @Jean (#40)
    Thank you for asking and for explaining where you are coming from. I am sorry that that happened to your friend.
    Perhaps one way to understand why a trans person would want hormones and/or surgery is to think of immigrants or religious converts. Often someone who has chosen to join a nation or religion is particularly eager to establish themselves in that new reality and wants to be 100% in. No more speaking the original mother tongue at home. Only the language of the new country. Going to mass each and every week without exception. That kind of thing.
    For me, it was obvious to go all in. Not because of any pressure – my therapist presented many different options, including backing away entirely, in a neutral way. The one thing that she did wish for me was that I not sit on the fence in an agony of indecision for years. In those days, those fence sitters were the most visible trans-folks. Others of us moved through the trans space, out the other side, and went on with our lives.
    As to surgery and hormones, my experience is that living in a testosteronized body and living in an estrogenized one are meaningfully different. The effects of estrogen kicked in slowly and more subtly. The most noticeable was that my emotions went from being something like a singer-songwriter or solo rap artist to something more like a symphony orchestra. It was amazing how many emotions could be going on at once. The total volume of emotion did not change, just the number of different emotions at any given moment.
    Testosterone was much more dramatic. I took (under medical supervision) an adequate dose of a testosterone blocker one evening and woke up the next morning in a different world. I conceptualized it two ways. One was that I had been wearing a kevlar suit my entire life and now it was gone. The other was that I had had a Russian bodyguard – the large threatening kind stereotyped in Western media – and he had left. Whatever it was, it felt right.
    If someone is transitioning, their experience of hormone shifts can be a useful data point for them. Whichever direction they are going in, the new hormones should feel right, should feel like coming home.
    Since surgery, I only take a small dose of estrogen, something not uncommon among all women my (not so young) age. I have never needed other medications because of transitioning.
    I think it is quite understandable to expect the surgery to be dire, but with a good surgeon, it is not at all. When I transitioned, the best surgeons (and also some truly awful ones) were in Thailand. Mine and the others I knew of were plastic surgeons, not urology surgeons.
    At the clinic, I met a transwoman whose PhD thesis studied how to determine who were good surgeons and who were bad, for all types of surgery. She found that looking at success rates did not work because the moment success rates were given attention, surgeons would naturally select the easy cases and shy away from the more difficult ones. She found that the one reliable predictor of success was how often that surgeon performed that surgery. Not a similar one, not the same one but with a different technique, but the very same surgery. My surgeon performed the same surgery as mine four or five days a week nearly 50 weeks a year.
    Also, because we have so much sensation in that part of the body, the surgery might seem more dangerous, but it is less so than surgery in the middle of the belly or anywhere within the rib cage or inside the skull. People often assume that the surgery must be particularly painful, but that is not generally the case. Of course, they kept me well-opiated the first few days, but after that, less so than friends who have had other surgeries.
    The best surgery removes much less than one might think – certainly quite different from a castration – most of the skin and nerves are just rearranged. OK, very rearranged. (Of course, for someone who was not themselves genuinely eager for such surgery, this difference would be meaningless.) That entire area of the body is in shock afterwards, which blocks much of the pain one might expect. Then there is a race between the body healing in the new configuration and the nerves waking back up. The younger ones often had it hardest. Their nerves would start winning the race a week or two after surgery.
    After I came back from Thailand, I felt that I had undergone an initiation rite that gave me the right to be who I was.
    I wish that I didn’t have to say this, but no one should be pushed toward such surgery. Ever.
    But for a very few people, it is lifesaving, sometimes literally.

  181. As a transwoman, I don’t know what to make of stories I read now of people being strongly encouraged to undergo gender-shifting medical treatments. When I transitioned over 15 years ago, one still had to overcome hurdles to get such treatments. The idea that folks would be pressured into that was just no part of my experience then. But that does not tell me what things are like now.
    Half the stories I read are from sources who derive monetary profit and power from making trans folks out to be a huge problem for society. The other half are from sources who derive monetary profit and power from claiming that things are 100% hunky dory. I have no way to know.
    If one could gets one’s hands on unbiased data, the number of folks detransitioning after irreversible interventions would be a good indicator. That number should be extremely low. If it is not, something needs to change.
    I would agree that the shift from requiring rigorous proof to change one’s legal gender to letting folks self-proclaim a new gender was a step too far. To the extent that folks were prohibitted from objecting to the change, that was deeply anti-democratic.
    At the time, the step may have seemed safe. As long as there was strong prejudice against trans folks (and real danger of being attacked), no one in their right mind would claim to be trans unless they really were.
    In some ways, the desire for self-declaration of gender was no different from other desires to be free from interference by government, NGOs, and other powerful institutions staffed by educated busybodies. Medical treatment for gender change had always been intensely controlled by gatekeepers. The most extreme perhaps was in the early days of such treatment in the US. Any participant in treatment who indicated any interest whatsoever in any form of sex was thrown out of treatment. After all, real women had no interest in sex, so someone who was interested in sex was not a woman. (This was in the 1960s in the medical establishment, which was lagging behind the times.)
    By my day, the gatekeeping was less extreme, but there were enough hoops to jump through that gender-related medical care was far more difficult for working class folks to access. This was particularly true in a country in which medical care for anything is rationed according to wealth, but even in countries with national health care (the UK for example), gender related treatment could be scarce and have long waiting lines, so some who could afford it secured treatment privately. This was clearly unfair and was a powerful argument for abolishing all gatekeeping.
    It is clear that this has not worked. There needs to be some kind of means for separating out the wolves from the sheep, so to speak.

  182. JMG: “If you were a woman in your last life, especially if you died relatively young, and then didn’t have the time to process between lives, it’s very likely that your new body will feel wrong to you because it’s not the body you’re used to. I suspect that’s behind a lot of cases of gender dysphoria these days.”

    I was all ready to write and thank you for this interesting theory (and it is and I do) but to explain why it didn’t apply to me because in my last life, I was a very masculine man who died in combat. Then I remembered a very short life between that one and this one that I have had glimpses of. Those glimpses show death as a very young girl when a bomb dropped from an airplane came through the roof of the stone[?] house that I was in. Other curious data points are that even before I realized I was trans, something I fought off for a great long while, I always had the sense that I was supposed to have been born as a woman, but chickened out because the life of a woman has so much extra vulnerability to violence. To some degree that might even be true, but not to the extreme degree that I sensed it.
    I was raised in a very classical pre-feminist family. The men and boys were clearly more important, but where I grew up there was no particular sense of physical threat to women. Boys were not allowed to hit girls, so it was boys who were hit more, including by fathers. When I finally did accept who I am and acted on it, I had the sense that it had been necessary for me to mature enough in some way or another before I could have taken that step.
    Though I have a high level of curiosity about so many things, I’m not sure that explaining why I am as I am is important. I certainly have resisted it when people, well meaning though they were, attempted to explain why I am as I am in order to explain me away, but clearly that was not your intent in the least. I have the sense that the import of this understanding will come in time. Its own time.
    JMG, thank you for your clarity and sincerity on this and for creating a space where so many could discuss difficult matters safely and free of dogma.

  183. Re pronouns –

    Like our host, I am a heterosexual man – neither element of which has ever been in doubt – and also on the geeky / awkward / un-athletic side. I would be irked, if maybe perplexed and amused as well, if someone referred to me as “she” – but that is very unlikely to happen as I do look clearly masculine.

    For those of my friends and acquaintances who are trans or non-binary, they have had a long and often painful process to figure out what their sex is. It is not always obvious for people to guess their sex based on appearance, either – I have three friends of similar appearance who are a butch lesbian; non-binary; and a trans man. The latter two would also answer to Professor and Doctor (MD) respectively;)

    It seems to me a matter of respect and courtesy to address people they way that matches their identity, especially when figuring out that identity has been a difficult process and when they may be the target of scorn and violence because of their identity.

  184. @Jessica (#173) “BTW the term “assigned [sex] at birth” comes from the intersex community, and many are annoyed at the trans community for appropriating it. In the intersex community it describes what happens to those with ambiguous genitalia.”
    Thank you for this. The term never made sense to me as applied to non-intersex trans folks (of which, I am one). I wasn’t assigned male at birth. I was. Not in my heart of hearts, but in any way that the most caring adult could have detected in a newborn.
    As a term for intersex folks, it makes sense.

  185. John Michael Greer, can you recommend a way to learn to determine the gender of one’s different bodies? I know there is no simple test, but in particular, I am not clear on the difference between the astral body and the mental sheath or how to recognize their genders.

  186. @JMG: It’s good advice!

    @Patricia: Indeed! I’m no good at the social signaling game, so I figure whatever other people are assuming based on the way I “present” (as if it were deliberate!)… well, that’s their problem. I’m a bit old to be poring over this month’s Vogue to find out what I’m supposed to wear. Plus, none of that folderol would be remotely appropriate to wear for mulching the vegetable beds: I expect the high heels would get stuck. I prefer the company of tomato plants: they don’t judge me on my hairstyle or my handbag.

  187. What I’ve noticed about the trans messaging coming from the woke end of things over the past decade or so is that it’s changed the trans narrative from it being a decision that adults can make for themselves into a decision that’s made by medical “experts” and pushed on the population including children. To me, the woke trans narrative is part of the same push for medical authoritarianism as the mainstream covid narrative is. Both take it as a given that medical authorities know what’s right for the population. Considering there’s a lot of overlap in the people opposing both narratives, it’s surprising to me that there’s so little discussion out there about how they both come out of the same medical authoritarianism. is one of the few articles that I’ve seen discuss this connection, although it’s pretty far toward the conspiratorial end of things.

    Personally, I suspect the de-trans movement will become very big in the years ahead, and that may be what ends the trans narrative. Since pressuring large numbers children to transition is such a recent phenomenon, I suspect a significant portion of them will end up regretting it and become the fiercest critics of the narrative. We’re already seeing some of these stories, like but I suspect we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg now. The woke can’t imagine this happening for the same reason they don’t question the covid vaccines, because they have a lot more trust in medical authorities than I do.

    I think Mark L (#102) is right that some of the children undergoing transition will end up happy with it years later as well (at least as long as hormones are still readily available and affordable, which is a whole other issue). The same could also be said however about other things that we as a society restrict to adulthood. There are some out there who would be happy years later with a tattoo they got underage, but that’s not the case reliably. Sterilization is a far more major decision than a tattoo, and the backlash from those who later regret it is likely to be intense.

  188. Walt, as long as current cosmological models are understood as the folk mythology of late industrial civilization, I have a very high opinion of them! This one, for example, suggests that the universe has a great many black eyes. Maybe it’s part of a hypercosmic Fight Club…

    Curt, it’s a good site, and I know a lot of guys who have been helped by it.

    Clarke, thank you for this. That strikes me as a very useful way to think about it.

    Patricia M, a parentectomy can be a very effective surgery for a lot of problems!

    Milkyway, the difference is a function of astral plane gender, since that’s the plane on which group minds form. To get into the details would involve a couple of pages of magical theory, but you’re going to get a very different energy when everyone’s astral bodies are active than when everyone’s astral bodies are receptive.

    Simon, hmm! Yes, I could see that.

    Grover, exactly. If two people are going to do polarity magic together they have to refrain from having any sexual contact with each other. They can have sex with other people, but not with each other, because that will short out the polarity work.

    Chris, I suspect you’re right about the models. I wonder how people in the dry parts of the Outback are going to handle monsoon rains and huge pluvial lakes where there’s now just salt pans.

    AliceEm, I’m delighted that you’re enjoying it. To my mind that and Till We Have Faces are far and away his best fiction.

    Ariadne, I gather from what I’ve heard from transpeople I know that the pressure on teenagers to transition is very, very recent. One of my aunts, who used to be an uncle, had to jump through all kinds of hoops before she could transition back in the 1990s. Thank you, btw, for the feedback on the theory; it’s only one of many possible factors, but it’s one that strikes me as worth considering.

    Jessica, the astral body is the body of dreams and imagination. Its sense organs perceive images and emotions. To get a sense of your astral gender, reflect on how your imagination works. What gets you daydreaming, imagining, or (if you happen to have this habit) writing stories? Is your imagination set in motion by images you see, or music that you hear? Or is it a matter of images and feelings that come from within yourself? The former is a feminine astral pattern, the latter a masculine one. The mental body is much harder to gauge, because most people have so little development on that plane. Normally, though, your mental gender is the reverse of your astral gender, so that might be a useful clue. Generally, though, this is something that takes a lot of time and reflection to tease out.

    Kashtan, that doesn’t surprise me at all. I think it’s quite possible that the medical industry, which is scrambling to maintain its current rate of profit growth, has identified gender surgery and drugs as a new profit center and is doing everything it can to push transitioning onto people who then will become permanent patients. That’s basically what they’ve done with every other health condition, after all.

  189. @ Milkyway #179

    “Or is it really the case that there are no men who can‘t stand men‘s only groups?”

    I’m one. “Can’t stand” might be a bit strong, but the presence of some feminine energy (which doesn’t necessarily require a female body) goes a long way toward making me feel comfortable in a group.

    There is a way in which the behavior and conversation style of many men changes when there are no women around, and it both rubs me the wrong way and takes me back to the boys locker rooms and playground games where I was bullied as a child.

  190. @JMG

    Are these planes of being inherited. or developed, or allocated at birth? I ask because my parents were totally incompatible. My father was a dour rules-based lawyer, my mother was a free-spirited artistic type, and they argued about everything.

    I notice that my face in unsymmetrical. One side is longer than the other. This is quite common. If you take a full face photograph of someone, take the left side and join it with its mirror image, and the same with the right side, you’ll end up in many cases with two faces that seem to have rather different personalities. I was wondering if this might be because their parents were incompatible.

  191. Hi John Michael,

    It’s funny you should ask that question, but here is an example of what is going on up north of the continent: Kowanyama traditional owners fear climate change is happening before their eyes

    I’m of the opinion that parts of this mountain range may return to rainforest conditions. The plants are all there, just waiting for their day in the err, rain. The past three growing seasons have been very difficult due to the cooler and damper conditions. We’re adapting, but that takes a lot of work and involves risk.



  192. Mark L #175 – I’d rather explore troubling ideas in the kind of conversation that “opens them up” for all their parts to be viewed, than to “assume”. And I, too, am happy the conversation has come about.

    As to “I’ve always been put off by discussions in groups of men in which women are discussed as some sort of different species whose inner lives are beyond comprehension and whose desires can be manipulated to obtain sex and companionship.” Likewise.

    Groups of women can also discuss men as “some sort of different species whose inner lives are beyond comprehension”, or worse, assumed not to exist at all. Which is very uncomfortable to listen to.

    But, in general, this is probably a cultural feature, in that simply imagining that another being HAS an inner life belongs to the more “enchanted” sort of outlook which our civilisation keeps trying to mechanomorphically suppress – as we’ve been discussing through the course of various posts here.

  193. I just learned of this legal monstrosity from Scotland. It is a cosmic expansion of the scope of “hate speech” laws:


    The five new proposed criminal laws are:

    An offence of misogynistic harassment. This would make it a criminal offence for a person to behave in a way that amounts to misogynistic harassment directed at a woman or girl or group of women and girls.

    An offence of misogynistic behaviour. Intended to deal with misogynistic behaviour which is likely to have the effecting of causing a woman or girl to experience fear, alarm, degradation, humiliation or distress where that behaviour is not directed at a specific woman or girl (or group of women and girls) and so could not be described as ‘harassment’.

    A statutory aggravation concerning misogyny. This would be used where an offence had a misogynistic motive or a person demonstrates misogyny whilst committing a crime. The statutory aggravation would ensure that this motive is recorded and taken into account when sentencing.

    An offence of threatening or abusive communications to women or girls that reference rape, sexual assault or disfigurement. This offence criminalises sending an abusive message to a woman or girl that refers to rape, sexual assault or disfigurement

    An offence of stirring up hatred against women and girls. This offence is concerned with the effect that the behaviour may be likely to have on the people in whom the perpetrator is seeking to stir up hatred of women and girls.”

    Maximum penalty – 7 years jail time. The burden of proof will be on the defendant (man) to prove his innocence, not upon the woman, who will automatically be believed without exculpatory evidence.

    This insanity will quickly spread throughout the Western world.

    Therefore, I have decided that I will:

    * Install a 2-way dash camera in my car, to protect myself against false rape or assault charges. A taxi driver in New Zealand was accused of rape, and actually brought to trial. The only thing that saved him was the fact that his dash camera footage showed that the accuser was making things up out of whole cloth.

    * Purchase and use a body camera, like police officers use. You can get body cams small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, and download footage on your computer’s hard drive daily.

    Even these steps may not protect you, but they will help.

  194. Somewhat relevant to this week’s post:

    I recently acquired a copy of The Dark Twin by Marion Campbell, after a recommendation from a reader over at the Dreamwidth blog (I think it was on a Magic Monday thread). The story-behind-the-story, that Campbell took a nap on an ancient burial mound in her homeland of Argyll in the Scottish Highlands, and received a complete story in the form of a dream which she rushed home to write out, was sufficiently intriguing for me to invest in a copy.

    I’m about halfway through, and it is indeed a very evocative and well-written historical fantasy, with elements that come across as very plausible. Unfortunately, I suspect that if she was receiving any genuine echoes of the past through the astral plane, they were filtered through certain ideological narratives that were fashionable in the mid 20th-century, and even if they have lost academic respectability, they are still depressingly common today.

    The main narrative I refer to is that a peaceful, matriarchal, goddess-centred religion was supplanted by a violent, patriarchal god-centred religion, with disastrous consequences for the human race. As I haven’t finished the book, it remains to be seen whether this narrative gets a bit more nuance, but I have seen no evidence thus far. The worshippers and female priestesses of the “Old Way” (centred around a triple-goddess) are wise, kind, and trustworthy; the worshippers and male priests of the “New Way” (centred around a triple-god) are cruel, abusive, and duplicitous.

    Not only does this sort of narrative appear to have very little basis in the history of religion, it also conceals a very pernicious misandry, in which all the evils of the world are blamed on some vaguely-defined “patriarchy”. Regrettably, I encounter some variant of it on a fairly regular basis.

  195. @Milkyway

    I don’t really understand the dynamics of that. It’s painful and perplexing to me, as a permanent outsider to my own sex. But, in primitive terms:

    If you lack social skills, and you’re a man, you can generally still get along with other men– men tend to judge more on competence than how suave you are, and even if you’re bad at a lot of things, most people are good at *something*. Men can appreciate that.

    If you lack social skills, and you’re a woman, you can generally still get along with men (I thrived in male-dominated workplaces, where I could be appreciated solely for *doing my job well*). But among women? Women rank social skill above every kind of mental and physical competence, at least among other women. So there, none of the things I’m good at matter. The one thing I’m worst at trumps everything. I have had women friends, because I can overcome that barrier in one-on-one interactions. But in large groups the social-rules thing dominates, and there’s no way around it.

  196. From the opening of Chapter 10 of Fortune’s _The Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage_:

    “It was said by One who knew that in the Kingdom of Heaven there is neither marrying nor giving into marriage; this is erroneously supposed to mean that the spiritual man is sexless. Esoteric science, however, conceives him not to be sexless, but on the contrary, bisexual, and therefore complete on himself.”

    In that the same One said that in that sense we would “be as angels,” this rather alters the concept of the heavenly realm, with bisexual beings running about. Now, Fortune is speaking of sexual completion, not necessarily sexual activity, but the concept is still somewhat jarring.

  197. @ Ariadne #188
    I really appreciate you sharing your experience and what you say totally resonates. I admit to being very, very, very doctor shy and so any surgery to me sound like agony. I don’t even like tattoos, not because of how they look (many are AWESOME) but because all I can think is, “Wow, that must have really hurt!” But what you say about seeking out someone who does the surgery most days, several times a day makes perfect sense. I had all four of my children at home with midwives, and as I got older (last kid at 45), no one wanted to respect my wishes for a home birth with zero interventions. So I ended up with an “illegal” midwife, i.e., someone outside the medical cartel. She was the best midwife I had, as in the most skilled, best prepared, most knowledgeable. The reason for that was, she did a lot of births and would take the tough cases for home births. She would do the breech births and older mom births that the medical cartel insisted had to go the the hospital and straight into caesarian surgery. Long story to say, yes, my experience is also that the kind of person you want doing anything is someone who does it all the time and takes the hard cases.
    I didn’t know that there are different doctors for trans surgery. My only experience, albeit second hand through my husband, is with urologists, and those have been awful without exception. It sounds like you did a lot of research in getting your medical care. I shudder every time someone tells me that they are just going to “trust their doctor.” Of course, ultimately you have to trust whoever you pick, but sounds like you took your time to pick well. It is nice to hear a success story!
    Again, thank you for sharing. It helps me to understand the experience and to relate insofar as it is possible for me, with my extreme doctor-phobia. That helps me deal with all the people in my environment. So thank you. — Jean

  198. JMG,

    I think the question “What is the most successful/prosperous version of a man/woman going to be as things fall apart?” is driving much of the changes and confusion over gender and gender roles.

    People feel stuck between answers that used to work in the not so distant past and new answers that seem confusing or unworkable to them.

  199. With regard to your first response to sarad, my experience studying the history of feminism in college (at least the way it was presented to me) never made sense. Much like how the starting point of economics is supposedly an abstract buyer and seller plucked up out of nowhere and placed in some abstract “market,” feminism was presented as something whose roots ran way deep back into the ancient recesses of human psychology: the 1950s.

    I could never accept that as a starting point. Just like my experience in economics class, it seemed WAY too oversimplified. How could the thousands of years of male-female relations before the 1950s be irrelevant?

  200. #103 SomeBody — I think you are right about the uprising against compulsory personal pronouns. Witness the rise in visibility of Jordan Peterson when he protested publicly against laws in Ontario that compel the use of them–

    In Washington State, activists are shooting themselves in the foot by introducing legislature that requires all medical professionals to take two hours of compulsory gender sensitivity CE (continuing education). This, to include a written account of how the medico has used his privileged position to contribute to the systemic oppression of the LGBTQ+ community, and a written plan for taking steps to remediate this oppression.
    There are also laws to prohibit bias against LGBTQ+ persons which will be brought up. It pretty much comes straight from the writings of Jacques Derrida.

    It is pretty easy to see why blow-back is on the way. Consider a thought experiment–

    ‘Suppose there are identical twins. One is gay, and the other is straight. They both tragically have renal failure and require dialysis, but there is only one dialysis slot left in the health system. Which twin will get the dialysis?’
    The medicos on the board of review will be aware of the strict penalties for bias against LGBTQ+. To avoid any appearance of bias, they will choose the gay twin for treatment, and let the straight twin die–always.
    Rules and laws like this will bring LGBTQ+ people to the head of the line for services with limited availability, and other people will notice it and take offense.’

    Requirements for political re-education also removes legitimacy from the government licensing agencies that are behind it. The trick will be to find a way to direct the effects of the blow-back to the troublemakers who caused it, and leave everyone else alone.

  201. @Milkyway #179: I have never been in a formally men-only group, but often in social surroundings that were men-only in practice – anything to do with informatics, including going out to have some beers with colleagues. Working at a boys’ intern school, too. I must say I find that the presence of even one woman livens up the conversation, though this may be due to the fact that nerds tend to stick to some very narrow conversation topics 🙂 I can’t say anything about more “typical” male groups since discussion of or watching team sports bores me to death, followed closely by video games.

    So, I at least in semi-informal surroundings prefer mixed groups. A formal men’s order or lodge with a clear purpose might be something very different, though.

  202. Dear John Michael,

    I read with interest, and with sympathy and appreciation, your reflections on your awkward and non-standardly-masculine boyhood. I was also somewhat geeky, awkward and bookish in my younger years, and not very proficient at all with the team sports that were pushed upon us as THE defining characteristic of being “male” in the 1970s. And oh God, how I was bored to tears by spectator sports! I would have infinitely preferred to watch dandelions grow and go to seed than passively sit for hours watching grown men chase a ball around while playing a children’s game, whether on TV or live. To this day, all sports-related talk is nothing but white noise to me — the equivalent, I think, of your loathing of, and disconnection from, watching any sort of video images.

    But with all that said, I never felt myself to be anything but male, at any point in my life. I was just not in every way the stereotypical male that conformist 1970s Midwestern American suburban culture demanded — which later, in my late teens, I took to be a point of pride, rather than one of shame.

    By the way, I was amused by your use of the word “janegirl”, which I have never heard or encountered before.

  203. #209 I’m sure you mean his/her/their/(appropriate pronoun) privileged position vs the LGBTQ+ community?
    But what if the medical professional is part of that community theirself? Are they exempted from this, and who decides who is allowed to claim such an exemption?
    In the end, what is rewarded is having the ability to write essays, using the lingo of the current iteration of ‘woke’ thinking ‘correctly’. Some people are quite capable of doing this, without having a genuine reckoning with their prejudices.

  204. methylethyl @ 204, I have had almost exactly the same experience as you describe, of not being welcome in girl groups, and actively intrigued against by other women in employment. In my teen years it did not help that a controlling, manipulating mother imposed a clownish and unfashionable clothing and grooming style–cosmetics of any kind strictly forbidden, nylon stockings, de rigeur at the time, out of the question, etc. etc on me for no explained reason other than because she said so. Being plain and ordinary was not good enough for her, her kids had to be the weirdos everyone laughs at.

    I have to think this phenomenon hearkens back to the ages when women’s actual survival depended on social acceptance, and one rebellious spirit could put all women at risk.

    GlassHammer @ 207, I think it is clear that we are moving into an era where character and competence are going to matter more and more. For generations we have been told that it is personality! that counts, along with a nice appearance (and X corp. will be glad to sell you the products that will make you look just like our gorgeous model here).

    (OT if I may, I will revisit this at the next open post; there has apparently been an election in The Netherlands in which the Farmer’s Party–not its’ correct name, I think–did quite well. The screaming silence of our own Anglo American media tells its’ own story.)

  205. @Mark L

    I completely agree with you. The PUA world does not use the same terminology you do, but that’s what it is getting at, and while there are exceptions who are total scumbags (looking at you Andrew Tate), that is what the core principles of the community are geared towards. It’s not misogynists, despite what the mainstream media will tell you – it’s men who love women and are willing to put in a huge amount of time and effort and energy to get better with them.

    @Chris at Fernglade Farm –

    You’re absolutely right that the main struggle is internal. The struggle to be your own best self, confident and authentic and express it to others (not just women) without fear or self doubt. Sure, there are some “external” tactics and knowledge that are useful, but the heart and soul of it all is internal, or what old school PUAs call “Inner Game” vs “Outer Game”. Having the right internal attitudes and genuine authenticity and confidence will (mostly) result in the natural manifestation of the right “outer” tactics anyway.

    The point I think you’re missing though is that you can’t just “work on your internals” without working on the externals. The two are connected. This is a vast subject, but in the process of maturity, you cycle between the two – first you prioritize one, which leads to improvements in the other, which leads back to improvements in the first and so on. You need *both*.

    And you need both for much the same reason that you can’t just do “internal work” and become good or confident at tennis or golf (well, you could delude yourself about your skills I suppose and then get destroyed when you pick up a golf club). You actually have to play the game and see yourself building skills and improving to develop genuine confidence and comfort in your own skills.

    Social skills (of which PUA is a subset) are the same. The process (when done correctly and withotu going off the rails) is basically this: You start off without confidence and no skills, only a desire to develop them and improve yourself -> you force yourself to go and talk to some women (I know someone who used to be so nervous he couldn’t ask old ladies to tell him the time at the mall) –> You don’t need to make those women your girlfriends or anything; even the smallest positive feedback like getting a smile and a friendly chat when asking the time is a good reference experience for the subconscious and helps boost your confidence -> Build on that slightly increased confidence and repeat ad nauseum – moving up to asking the women on dates, asking them to sleep with you -whatever.

    Or to put it another way – the external stuff isn’t separate from the internal – it is the pathway or tool to improving the internal.

    @Michael Martin – yes, that kind of law (or proposed law) is a classic example of the kind of overreaching JMG is talking about in the essay that is creating a male backlash, equivalent to the feminism backlash of a couple of generations ago. There are many examples in many jurisdictions. It’s so vague and subjective that it essentially gives the state/prosecutors/women the unilateral right to make a man guilty. Of course men can and do harass women on the street and they should be punished, but the existing laws are fine for that – this is just a power grab overreach.

    In practice though, there was a Saturday Night Live sketch years ago that made the point (in the sexual harassment context) about this a long time ago – when offences are governed entirely by subjective perception, the exact same *actions* will end up being criminal or not, depending entirely on whether the woman finds the man attractive in that moment or not (or if she’s having a bad day and is more irritable than usual or whatever). So you could go up to a woman on the street in Scotland and ask her on a date. She’s of course totally entitled to say yes or no – but under laws like this, you could also end up a criminal if she says no. When exactly the same actions by another man she finds attractive would end up in a date and an enthusiastic story to all her girlfriends about the romantic stranger who swept her off her feet on the street…

  206. Bravery and skill may be expressed not only on a sports field or an actual battlefield, but on the battlefield of life. I am very grateful to the men here on this thread who expressed and shared their inner feelings, memories and stories. Fascinating, vital and informative, these stories have reshaped my outlook in many positive ways.

    Given my age (pushing 70), however, I would like to weigh in a bit re “second-wave feminism”. Like, well, everything!, this movement encompassed the good, the bad and the ugly. Here, I’d like to give you some of the good I’ve experienced first- hand.

    My father is first-generation Italian American. My mother was Irish-English second generation American. We had a very pleasant and loving seven-member family upbringing with my dad a prosperous blue-collar very hard-worker and my mom a stay-at-home do- everything else, organized and intelligent home maker. We grew up initially in the Italian section of town, then moved to the suburbs.

    However, like Lucy Ricardo, my mom was always interested in little outside-the-home jobs; yes, for added income but I think mostly for a more interesting, well-rounded life experience.

    This was a BIG bone-of-contention in my parent’s marriage as us kids grew up and out of the house and my mom pursued more working options outside the home. At that time, it was considered “a disgrace” for an Italian husband to have a wife that worked. My mom was also routinely shut-down whenever she tried to express her opinions on politics (or anything beyond the home), and my father never in a million years would consider cooking a meal or clearing the table etc. (Remember that scene from the movie Saturday Night Fever?)

    Now, granted, it was a good balance of divided labor when the family (with five kids) was growing up. But concurrent with the women’s movement in the 70’s were the ideals that, for some women, for their true development of well-being (while still raising well-adjusted, healthy kids too perhaps) they needed to go beyond the old-fashioned ideas of the 50’s and 60’s about “a women’s place”.

    After a near divorce, my parents shifted attitudes: my mom went on not only to work, but to become a well-respected city Council Woman who, with the help of my dad after he retired, worked to transform their new retirement shore town for the better. All the while, my dad realized he would still be taken care of after his retirement and enjoyed sharing in the work my mom was now doing!

    Maybe this would have all occurred without a “women’s movement” happening in the background, but I doubt it. And, just as re-enforcement to my point: an unhappy, unfulfilled mom can’t do anyone any good – everyone, every PERSON has different needs, and the more options available the better?
    Anyway, just some thoughts

  207. @MethylEthyl My second child was just diagnosed at age 19 as high-functioning autistic and ADHD. Our family seen it for a while, and an official diagnosis just confirms it.

    They are also non-binary and use the pronouns they/them/theirs; my image is that they are both male and female. It’s difficult for me and my wife to remember to use their pronouns, but we keep trying.
    They were born female, but really hated getting breasts and a period. My wife counseled them recently most women either are really glad to get breasts and a period or really hate them; my first loved her female parts but my second hated them.

    Since they are autistic, they don’t have lots of social skills, which I think makes female friendships difficult. They were recently snubbed by an old female friend, but I think it’s been so common that they barely care anymore. They tend to have only a few good friends, at the trans/gay/bi end of the spectrum. I think they find the whole male/female dynamic intensely frustrating, but I think they’ll end up with your experience of finding comfort in a male environment that focuses on competence.

    Unfortunately, their particular skill is words, and they are aiming at a career in publishing, which is intensely female. (About 90% of readers now are female.) So it could be a difficult path for them.

  208. @blue sun: wow academia is embarrassing sometimes. But hopefully more states will rock it like Illinois and ban book bans so that sort of revisionist history will become less easy to do.

    I was listening to podcasts yesterday for pure entertainment – apparently the live-action Little Mermaid is awwwwwful (but the best of the Disney live action remakes, which is like being the best of the raw bugs to eat), but in exactly the way I love a good B movie to be; it will generate hilarious tear down reviews. Worth the millions guys, make me laugh like that again.

    Anyway, it had my coworkers and I talking about how obviously tired everyone was with the multimillion dollar fanfic – because that’s all these things are -all-female Ghostbusters, remake Disney favourites and comic books with live action and racially diverse or queer casts. It’s not a bad impulse on the behalf of the writers and actors – in interviews it’s clear it really meant something to do it. But like most fan fic, it’s a fantasy fulfilment and only worth a dime to be printed on the pulp and that’s it. The fact the studios fund it is pure pandering.

    But it was clear that people hungered for more cultural stories – they loved The Woman King (good historical review here). Which is also pure fanfic, but of higher calibre, as it’s slightly closer to a new story because most in the west won’t have heard it before. But that example reminded me of the time I was in an anti-racist group, and this white woman automaton barfed out the line that history was the history of white supremacy, and this black woman chewed her out about how dare she, and gave her this short history of empires of which the latest European was relatively short, poorer than several, and emphatically less well educated than the one that had created the libraries of Timbuctu. Also nearly every other high culture that first encountered Europeans recorded how bad they smelled. It was really funny, but also demonstrative of the issue that applies to gender relations as well – no one needs to solve humanity, it’s just pointing out that whatever cultural form we’ve got now doesn’t work.

    Many cultural forms can create stable societies, and you can find nearly any arangement you’d like as evidence. But assuredly not everyone was happy in those societies – one woman king’s white English concubine captive from whom we know much of her history would describe how after “performing” for her (she’d kill him if he didn’t ) she’d go to the balcony of her bedroom, point down at clusters of Christian captives in the prison yard below by turn, and yell “burn alive! Boil in oil! Firing squad!” Then just wander back to bed. Those amazon armies massacred villagers in their sleep. Women are people, and people are terrible. (Except Tina. She is a saint ;-)).

    Likewise, men sometimes love to fantasize about the when-men-were-men-and-definitely-not-icky-gay-like-today Spartans – see that stupid movie – but probably haven’t read up much on that… that’s basically a cliché, like the rabidly anti-gay legislator who always turns out to be gay… any culture bros today think was a model of masculinity always featured a lot of really gay sex and more often than not condoned pederasty. And men who didn’t make the grade were killed with their family’s full approval – not exactly a panacea for solving male mommy issues.

    The problem is that cultural form is downstream of the cultural ideal, and the US created a new Ideal with the Declaration of Independence, and then made the own-goal mistake of spreading it around with the military, just like the Christians did with their morality. Until new cultural forms align with these Ideals, they will not be stable.

    I think the point when the culture really began to boil after what we now call first wave feminism and the civil rights movement was that once those became bad words, people kept insisting that the Ideals weren’t racist or sexist! How dare you! “‘Men’ is just how people back then wrote ‘human’, it’s not excluding women and it really does mean all men!”

    Kaboom! Own-gaol.

    It doesn’t matter what worked in any other society, if the cultural forms aren’t predicated on holding those same truths to be inalienable. It won’t work on humans bred on that feed. The blood will rebel – it needs to be a story that makes the pulse quicken for everyone who will act in it, not something based on intellectual theory or abstract reasoning about what men and women are.

    There’s never been a society with these specific Ideals in the past, so there’s no one right answer, it hasn’t been invented yet – it’s just spaghetti time – throw what we’ve got lying around against the wall and see what works. But it’s pretty obvious that basic bodily autonomy, economic self-determination and equality of access (with low capital resources) are going to be critical ingredients because of those bedrock Ideals, and any attempts to deny those to large swathes of the population will create a world of hurt.

    I think so much of the cultural capital-P Panic comes down to that Yeats quote, about how a man neither loves nor hates anything so much as his own destiny. He’s so maudlin, but that one I think is true.

    The terrifying liberty!

  209. Predicament2, do you not know that people become troublemakers in order to direct blowback onto others not themselves?

    We tend to forget just how revolutionary Christian marriage was when Christ imposed on his following the absolute prohibition of sex outside of marriage. What this new and radical understanding of the relations between adult men and women meant, ideally, however much honored in the breach, was not only no extra or premarital affairs, but no concubinage, no divorce and remarriage, no sexual use of enslaved persons, which was simply taken for granted in the Roman Empire. Every Christian man could hope to have his own wife and household, provided he secured her family’s consent and demonstrated his ability to maintain a household. Every Christian woman at every level of society could have her own household of which she would be mistress and suffer no subservience to First Wife, Mother-in-Law, Auntie, or Elder Sister. I think St. Paul’s alleged misogynist remarks, so much criticized in our time, were a way to make this revolutionary doctrine of marriage palatable to new Christians.

  210. @Luke Dodson #203 – that meme was all over the place in midcentury. Considering midcentury culture, it’s no surprise. As with any period piece, consider the times. But if it’s a modern work, yeah, trashcan it.

    @Methylethyl #204 – straight women, sure. The circle I was in was majority lesbian, with a gay leader, and while both of them called me to order for major social blunders (you do NOT leave in the middle of a ritual, however exhausted you are…Pat, you interrupted….) their attitude seemed to be more along the rural-male lines. I remember being unable to open something, and Pam saying “You don’t carry a pocket knife?!?” I mentioned having my pocket multitool taken from me by the TSA.

    @Glasshammer #207 – BINGO! I never thought of it that way. Though the answer is “all of them, under varying circumstances. Fictionally, the question has been thoroughly explored in two of the best post-toastie series I’ve ever read: Eric Flint’s 1632, and Steve Stirling’s Emberverse. ‘Ware biases… Though one superb quote from Flint: “If you could make something, grow something, or fix something, you were al right. The pastor was respected for his office, but considered useless otherwise [not the pastors that series is full of. You have to respect most of them. Me.] but the lawyer was never any good.” Doctors, BTW, fell under the heading of “people who could fix something.”

    But an underlying theme of both was that all sorts of people could take hold after everything went to pieces. it just depended.

  211. Sorry, seeing more posts to reply to:

    @Scotlyn – you beat me to it! Both men and women project their attitudes and desires on the other sex, and it’s kind of like a mini-superpower when you finally step out of that and learn to look at situations from the other sex’s viewpoint (but also REALLY hard to do, especially consistently).

    @Michael Martin – I just saw the second part of your post. I would strongly advise against getting a bodycam or similar sort of defensive move (even if you live in Scotland). The only exception is if you work in a high-touch public facing role (like the cab driver you mentioned) where the odds of such freak accusations, drunken passengers late at night etc is such that it is worth it.

    But other than that kind of job, you’re talking about lottery ticket odds, and the tradeoff isn’t worth it. Not in terms of money but the kind of defensive/fearful attitude to women that that kind of precaution implies. It’s entirely the wrong way to approach women (who are generally delightful, and rare exceptions aside – just like some PUAs are misogynists – are not out to “get” men).

    More than anything, having that kind of attitude in itself will damage your interactions and relationships with women. Even if they can’t see the camera, they will sense the attitude and the vibes and it will affect the interaction. Even if it is on a subconscious level, it will make them think something like “if he’s acting so defensive, he must have something to be so defensive about”.

    Let me give you an example or two –

    Once in a bar, I was ordering drinks and a young woman with a low-cut top came and stood beside me to order her drinks. As she did so, I looked over at her, and happened to glance down her top briefly (I wasn’t leering or staring or following her around – she came and stood next to me, and the height difference between us and the skimpiness of her top meant it was hard for me to avoid if I looked at her). She noticed and looked at me and said “were you just looking down my top?”

    NOTE: the tone of voice and vibe is CRUCIAL here. The communication was not really verbal. She said this in a neutral tone of voice – not aggressive or upset, but not happy either. I looked her dead in the eye, completely calm, but not serious or defensive – more like with a smile and said something along the lines of “..and very nice it was too”.

    She paused for a second, and burst out laughing and took it as a compliment and we chatted for a while and she invited me to her table to meet her girlfriends etc.

    Another anecdote: some years later, after I was married, I was sitting in a hotel lobby with my wife and her sister, and an attractive blonde woman walked past and I looked at her. My sister in law (who actually likes me a lot), said “Hey, [RTPCR] – were you checking out that woman?”. I just grinned at her and went “You know, I’ve always had a thing for blondes” and looked at my wife and smiled [NOTE: my wife is blonde] and both of them burst out laughing and my sister-in-law said “that’s how you know you’ve got a decent man” to my wife.

    It’s the same principle in both situations. I wasn’t doing anything *objectively* wrong in either situation. But if I had acted defensive or apologetic instead of owning it, the women concerned would have interpreted it as “wrong” or “creepy” – based on MY attitude – and the first woman would have probably had the bouncer throw me out and my wife would have started a fight and so on.

    Don’t make that mistake.

  212. @MilkyWay Here is one man who can’t stand men’s groups. I don’t even like workplaces filled with men. They’re just dull, and emotionally rather tricky.

    I’ve looked for friendships with men for years, but at my age, most men’s biggest relationship is with their wives, and they aren’t looking for much beyond that. I’ve found success in friendships focused common endeavors, like musical groups, book clubs, writing groups.

  213. With the number of people here expressing how difficult it is to date with a nonstandard gender configuration, I’ve taken the liberty to create a google document for folks looking to create personal ads that put their various genders front and center. I’m happily partnered so I didn’t put my own name up, but I created a couple sample profiles and a quiz people can take if someone’s using it to explain their configuration to a potential partner. Hope it sparks joy!

  214. Thinking back to school sports, there’s few things in the world more unfair than a game of rugby where only one of the players has gone through puberty. I’d be given the ball and could plod down the field with the entire other team hanging off me. I trampled people and I liked it.

  215. That was an interesting piece… It made me remember one of my most miserable childhood-memories… Summer. My parents, my much younger sister and myself, maybe thirteen. A “cottage” on the west coast of Italy. I warned my parents when I saw the picture: “You know, this is surely part of one of these dreaded holiday-parks where they play bad music all the time, entertainment program, bad food, you know the stuff we all LOATHE! Find something else!” “Really, you warned us?”

    Close to midnight the last beats of the most disgusting German “party music” faded into the night. Silence set in and with it fell the warm, heavy blanked of another hot Italian night. The scents and sounds of nature, the tiny fishing boats with their lights far out on the horizon and a sky full of shooting stars – they seemingly all had waited for their torturers to finally go to bed. I was there in all this majesty and I was alone as one could be. There was nobody I could turn to if I wanted, nobody who would answer my questions, or who was even stable enough to stand being asked at all, no matter how much they wished they were. I stood there, my heart pounding, my hands sweaty. Humiliation. In the past, in the future, now. Only a few weeks left until school would start again and I would be faced day after day with the “fact” that some guys are the real guys and some, well, are not.

    That was that. Today, I’m fine with it. I guess it possibly had to be this way. Or had it? I won’t argue, this question has become merely an “intellectual” one, which I feel is a good thing.


  216. Hi John Michael,

    Apologies, this is way off topic, but things are moving so fast, my head is spinning exorcist style – hopefully not with the pea soup. That bit seemed rather unpleasant, but you have to admit, the soup spit made a lasting impression. The things which did that trick seem to be running amok these days.

    Had to laugh about the debt roof business. If that lot weren’t broke, they probably wouldn’t have to do what’s just been done. Oh well.

    Cheers (although the word doesn’t seem quite appropriate this time)


  217. @Tomriverwriter – being good with words is how autism present in some girls, probably as many as the geek skills in boys. But…if they want careers in publishing where you have to have social skills, no. But as they said of the internet,”under your byline, nobody know you’re a dog.” I published as “Patricia Mathews” – “Patricia Shaw Mathews” after being confused with another writer named Patricia Matthews. And if any of you parents can dig up the old record “Free to Be You and Me,” dating back 40 years, it’s a good message for kids to hear.

  218. @Mary: I was one of the oddly-dressed ones in school too, but not because my mother enforced it. Sensory issues meant I dressed for comfort. Forget nylons: they made my skin feel like it wanted to crawl right off! I had comfortable jeans and a purple T-shirt for each day of the week. But here’s the thing: it’s not about clothes. There’s *some* social signaling going on with the clothes, shoes, accessories, hair, etc…. but it’s only a small part of the picture. I did spend a brief period in youth studying and experimenting with it, dressing just how the other girls did. It doesn’t work. If you don’t have the right *behaviors* to match, you might as well be wearing a clown suit.

    I think it must have some evolutionary basis in group rule enforcement that was necessary not just for survival, but for the good of all women: before contraception, say, where anybody violating sexual norms was actually a drag on the entire community– *someone* was going to have to provide for the resulting children, and any gal giving it away for free was lowering everybody else’s value on the marriage market. Yes, there were reasons for brutal social-standards enforcement. But somewhere between the invention of suburbs and the electric washing machine, and the advent of reliable contraception… that impulse has gone haywire. It didn’t go away, but it’s become sick and warped and dysfunctional, and now we exclude for things that have nothing to do with survival and cooperation, the rules get ever more convoluted, and we end up acting like baboons in a competition for the last jackfruit in a drought year.

    @tomriverwriter: my sympathies to you and your child, and I wish you both the very best. When I was that age, the “trans” and “pronouns” and “nonbinary” stuff just wasn’t a thing. And I’m extremely relieved about that because I was very vulnerable and insecure then, and that sort of insta-acceptance, solution-to-all-your-problems sales pitch might’ve hit home (and I wouldn’t now be happily married with lovely children). I’m sympathetic, but also scared for these girls’ futures. Until about age 25, I was extremely uncomfortable with anything to do with sex, female biology, dating, etc. and one strategy I used (not entirely consciously) to avoid the problem of unwanted male attention, was I shaved my head and adopted men’s clothing. This solved the problem overnight: men simply didn’t notice me anymore. It was nice, and it kept me safe and un-harassed for a few years when I needed it– some men are dangerous, I radiated insecurity and naivete, and I had repeated problems with creeps hitting on me, and not knowing what to do about it! Please, if you haven’t already, take the time to rehearse with your kid what it looks like when men are interested, what to do if that’s unwelcome, and strategies for staying safe when men won’t take “no” for an answer, or follow you.

    @Patricia: funny enough, yes, I get along great with butch women, lesbian or straight. The last one I had for a “boss” was loud, blunt, and direct… and I would follow her to hell and back because I *LOVE* working for such people (male or female): I always know where I stand, whether I’m doing a good job or not, what I’m supposed to be doing, expectations are clear, and when I’m doing it wrong *they TELL me*. I couldn’t ask for better.

  219. I have been accompanying with some interest the discussion about what constitutes (or constituted) PUA. The self-esteem and skill to talk confidently (with women or even with other men), the confidence to ask a woman out for a date (and handle a rejection gracefully) – those are traits every man would be better off having, even if he decides to never use them. However, just like our host I had quite a different image of PUA, and I think that hinges on the use of the verb “to pick up”. I have never lived in the US, so don’t really know the connotations, but always thought that “to pick up a woman” sounded somewhat demeaning and depersonalizing, and I also had the impression that it does not cover dinner dates, third date etc.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, and “pick up” does not have such a negative connotation. Would a man say he “picked up” his future wife?

    If my impression was correct, then I think the adoption of the moniker PUA was an unfortunate choice, and it is not surprising that the movement got a negative image in overall society. “The Art of Manliness”, on the other hand, strikes me as an entirely positive label.

  220. Martin B, the orientation of the subtle bodies seems to be at least partly inborn. They have very little to do with personalities, though; we’ve all known people who were powerfully attracted to each other even though they had completely incompatible personalities!

    Chris, I’ve been doing a fair bit of research on and off about the impacts of anthropogenic global warming, and one thing I’ve found that goes unmentioned in most official media is that it’s going to be very, very favorable for some parts of the world. During the postglacial warm period, for example, when global temperatures were as high as they’re going to be in the near to middle future, rain fell reliably in what are now the deserts of Arabia. Consider what it’s going to do for the Middle East when the central Arabian desert and the Sahara turn back into pasture and arable ground, as they were in the early Neolithic!

    JustMe, yeah, I saw that. Lawsuits need to happen.

    Michael, there’s a word for a society in which someone accused of a crime is assumed to be guilty unless they can prove their innocence. The word is “tyranny.” That said, if the Scottish people sit quietly and allow that to happen, it’s on them.

    Luke, yes, I remember the fuss about that book. I never read it; I’ve read a fair amount of feminist SF and fantasy, but I prefer the sort that is at least interesting — Sheri S. Tepper’s work, for example, or middle period Marion Zimmer Bradley — to the sort that’s just a pot of message thickly larded with misandry.

    David BTL, good. She meant it to be jarring!

    GlassHammer, that makes a lot of sense.

    Blue Sun, and it’s even weirder because the second wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s was also a reaction to the aftermath of first wave feminism, which dates back to 1848 and went through its own very complex evolution before it died of its own success after winning the suffrage fight in 1920.

    Alan, you and me both! I was always clear on the fact that I was male; I simply knew that I wasn’t the kind of male expected by the stereotypes of my time and culture — and once I learned about humanistic psychology and got a sense of the very wide range of options open to me, I waved goodbye to stereotypes I was incapable of fulfilling and never looked back. As for “janegirl,” I only encountered it recently, but was delighted by it — there needs to be an equivalent of “tomboy” that will allow people to shrug and say, “Oh, he’s just a janegirl. I’m sure he’ll grow out of it eventually,” as they do about tomboys today.

    Jill, thanks for this.

    Nachtgurke, interesting. I had to wade through a lot of memories while writing it, though none of them were particularly like this one of yours!

    Chris, pea soup is far too tasty to waste on evil spirits! 😉

  221. I have aspergers syndrome as well. The part where you talked about being clumsy as a kid and being unable to hit a baseball resonated with me. When I was in elementary school I hated P.E because I was clumsy and couldn’t intuitively understand sports like other kids could. I couldn’t kick a kickball or hit a baseball, and the rules of football never made sense to me.

    It didn’t help that I hit puberty early and was really big and tall for my age. I just couldn’t get my body to do what it needed to. I wasn’t coordinated. The other kids made fun of me and yelled at me and were pretty mean to me.

    I showed this blog post to my wife. She knows that I read your books and stuff (“Are you reading that wizard guy again??”) I was curious about what she would think about this one. She said she agreed with the thesis of the post. She’s also collapse-aware and amused by my interest in occultism.

  222. For what this is worth, I think it connects with the notion of polarity, and male versus female bodies on the different planes. It’s odd that it took me until tonight to even think of it, since this topic has been going now for several days; I knew, years apart, two women who were “good at math” and were, in fact, engineering majors. Both were pretty, too. Both were, like me, left-handed. I fell madly “head over heels” for both of them, but was unable to form a deeper relationship with either one. Alas.

  223. Christopher Jay Henningsen #222, I take offence that the options for body type don’t include ‘barrel’. 😉

  224. @David BTL: in my old book “The Myths of Plato” by J.A. Stewart, in the chapter on “The Symposium” the book tells an amusing tale about how humans originally had two faces, four hands and four feet and were round and were sexually complete in themselves. Zeus divided them in half so that they were sexually incomplete and had to walk on two legs instead of rolling around. What’s more, if these humans give him any more trouble, he’ll divide them in half again so they will be like bas-reliefs and have to hop about on one leg! (P.364) Maybe we’ve arrived at that point.

  225. @tomriverwriter (#216):

    You wrote, “About 90% of readers now are female.”

    Thank you for this data point. I had no idea!

    This is relatively new, I think. When I was young, back in the dark ages, boys and young men read lots of fiction.

    When I was actively teaching at my university, one thing I noticed over the four decades (late 1960s – early 2000s) was how the male-to-female ratio would suddenly change in various undergraduate concentrations (i.e., what are called “majors” at most universities).

    The usual pattern was that a mostly-male concentration would begin to attract more and more female students, until some sort of tipping point was reached — somewhere about 40% – 50%. Then, quite sharply, male students would abandon that concentration in noticeable numbers, choosing other concentrations instead, where males still predominated. (Computer Science seems to have been an exception here. Last I heard, that was the concentration chosen by a great majority of all undergraduates there.) Male students seemed often to be feel uncomfortable in majority-female academic environments. — Of course, this may have changed by now; I have been retired for almost 20 years now.

    I wonder whether something of this sort has been going on with reading (just fiction?), too, over the last few decades?

  226. Hi JMG,

    To follow up on your answer to Chris, could you please remind me of the article/link mentioning your theory in which the rain belt and the drought belt move due to air current streams ?
    Thank you

  227. Thanks very much for writing this post, it really did shed some further light on these issues and helped clarify a few things for me. I see from comments that you needed to delve into painful memories, and so I doubly appreciate that you wrote this.

    It’s been a while since I read Fortune’s Esoteric Theory of Love and Marriage but if I recall correctly, her idea of the bodies across the planes wasn’t as fixed as what you’ve described. It seemed to depend on who you were interacting with, such that your non-physical bodies could flip gender depending on the type of interaction and the person.

    If I remember and understand this correctly, then I have had that experience quite commonly. For example, I will be having a conversation with someone, and often they will speak and be the more active participant and I will mostly listen, and with others I will be the person who speaks more. I guess it depends on the topic of conversation, too.

    Whatever body is involved there would seem in me to be ‘constitutionally’ receptive, but it can seem to flip back and forth depending on all these variables. Sometimes I can somehow ‘sense’ a more active person or receptive person simply by watching them for a moment.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding this completely!

  228. @Kashtan & JMG

    1. I think that particular “conspiracy theory” is like most conspiracy theories these days, it’s more “spoiler” than “theory.” Here’s some investigative journalism from 2018 that attempts to answer the question “Who Is Funding the Transgender Movement?”

    I think it shows pretty convincingly the medical-industrial complex is pursuing a strategy of creating a market of permanent patients:

    There are many ailments more common than gender dysphoria that are arguably as bad or worse, yet we don’t see the medical-industrial complex pushing new treatments for any of them. That speaks very loudly to me that this is all about profit, not compassion.

    2.By the way, JMG, I think you showed prescience in your novel Stars Reach with the non-binary characters you created—I think you termed them “Tweens?” I think the jury’s still out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day it’s discovered that environmental pollution played a role in the recent explosion of gender dysphoria.

  229. “A pot of message…”

    What a nifty turn of phrase! Sounds like something that some will indeed sell their birthright for. Googling tells me it’s not new, and appears to have been popular in the late 19th-early 20th century, when the indirect Biblical reference, translation-specific to the King James Version, would have been recognized by more people. (I only know what “pottage” refers to from having looked into the meaning of a classic Zenna Henderson short story title half a century ago.)

    “Walt, as long as current cosmological models are understood as the folk mythology of late industrial civilization, I have a very high opinion of them!”

    Perhaps they’re intended to train the mind, not to inform it. (Or if not intended, maybe, best suited.)

  230. Ecosophy, I’ll gladly take the label of “that wizard guy”! Thanks for this.

    Phutatorius, hmm! It would be very interesting to run a survey and see if left-handers are more than usually likely to be nonconformists to gender stereotypes. I’m more left-handed than right, though I used to call myself ambisinistrous, i.e., having two left hands…

    Random, that sort of thing was fairly common. An interesting incident in the early history of Seattle is that two shiploads of unmarried women were sent from Boston to Seattle in 1864 and 1865 to provide the mostly male population of that isolated frontier city with potential brides.

    Foxhands, sure thing. It’s here:

    Jbucks, yes, that’s correct. I was speaking here — in the very short space I could assign to the subject — of general constitutional orientations. There’s a great deal of variation within that, and there are also cycles of mutual exchange.

    Blue Sun, (1) thanks for this — that seems about right. (2) Yes, the intersex people in Star’s Reach were called “tweens” in the language of the time, because they’re between male and female; I speculated in that novel that the huge amounts of mutagenic and hormone-disruptive chemicals dumped into the environment might cause a sharp increase in intersex people over the centuries to come.

    Walt, it wasn’t my invention. I think it was Ursula Le Guin, in one of her essays of science fiction criticism, noted that H.G. Wells had sold his birthright as an author for a pot of message, and the phrase stuck.

  231. @JMG (#141) and Owen (#153): I’m sorry Owen… but you asked the internet for a tangent 😉

    One of my gardening shirts is one I picked up at an open pen salmon farming protest in my callow youth when I thought protests mattered, and it says “” inside a graphic of a salmon. So I thought about it all yesterday while I worked. (In fairness, BC is shutting down our open nets, which may lead to a diversification into more shellfish and seaweed farming, so, maybe the protest mattered).

    At first it seems about as dumb as any other too expansive to mean anything definition, but then I looked up whether the website was still active, and got this: It’s a quote from biologist Alexandra Morton, the Rachel Carson of threats to west coast salmon that says,

    “If we lose the Southern Residents[orcas], it will be the first extinction where every individual’s name was known.”

    Now, leaving out that we don’t really know their names for themselves, the point stands – we named these orcas, and assuredly, like any cetaceans, they have their own names, too.

    The salmon are sacred to the people on the west coast, because they are what the entire civilization was built on; they feed the forests and form the first block of the food chain all the way up the rivers, as well as the people directly, and they are the sole food of the southern resident orcas. All the rest of us and the entire west coast ecosystem die slowly without them, but the orcas would be the first to go; they are the symbol of ancestral protection, and the nations believe that dead chiefs are reincarnated as southern resident orcas. The altimeter tells you you’ve decided to cruise at the wrong altitude when you kill them off.

    Tellingly, in the local mythology, the salmon were created from the masculine principle, symbolized as a young man: as a reminder from XALS, the Creator, what it’s job was: “take care of your relatives”, rather than… violate their boundaries… (the relatives being represented as the masculine principle’s sister, a common enough pairing).

    That’s why everything about the salmon harvest and the First Salmon ceremonies is based around ensuring that there is enough left over to spawn, enough for everything else and especially the future of the nation, and that the salmon are properly thanked.

    It’s an elegant story that captures the inextricable alternation of the masculine/feminine principles for balance to be maintained in all things – the human culture is both Man (dare I say… Human) who will be punished for violating the natural law, and the Salmon, whose correct behaviour is the foundation of the local ecology and future culture, but also right relation with the past.

    The civilizations here pre-western-contact were notable slavers to greater or lesser degrees, with caste systems and unmarried women were not allowed out of the house unescorted – none of the living descendants have expressed a desire to go back to that, and some have been forthright that the westernized and christianized values they absorbed have changed them too much for that; yet they are still active at bringing forward for themselves and the broader culture what they think needs to be brought back to heal their cultures.

    I appreciate that the metaphors you have chosen suggest that western occult understanding of the principles contain the same encoded information, so that we will hopefully adapt to them as well as they’re starting to adapt to us.

  232. JMG and Anon1

    late to the party and will keep it short.

    Anon1 – I remember you posting a comment way back and was so very pleased to find some one in broad agreement with myself. I’m F-to-M myself (old jargon, shows I’m a dinosaur from the ’90’s), totally disgusted that what was liberatory has now become oppressive.

    JMG – thanks for your writing on this, I don’t follow your writing (much) anymore, but you’ve said some things on the old ADR that I found useful – I think I owe you a post of thanks some time.

    Both – some random points:

    pronouns, schmonouns – I went to a lot of trouble so that I *don’t* need to tell people, for goodness sale!

    the situation is different in the UK, despite our efforts to catchup with n. america, it’s probably not quite as bad – and anyway, things in real life are not always as nasty as on the internet.

    I reckon that we’ve got … ten to thirty? years before the present situation collapses. But there might *not* be a horrible backlash because much of the shouting, on both sides, comes from pilers-in – seeing a fight and thinking “oooh! Good versus evil! I’m in!”. Once de-transitioning becomes more known about, and the pilers-in grow up and lose interest, the crazyiness will have nothing fueling it.

    Anyway no “transactivist” is any friend of mine, and I’m going to say this whenever I’m obliged to reveal my history.

  233. @Aldarion: PUA *does* have a nasty reputation, generally, and there is a seedy side to it. I think what some of our commenters are trying to point out is that… that isn’t the complete picture, and it was possible for socially awkward men to learn a few things about confidence and presentation from that scene… without becoming Casanova stereotypes.

  234. @methylethyl

    Working in a female-dominated office, I came to realize that among females, talking is a competitive sport. She who gets the most attention during a talking session wins. Now of course if you have a shocking announcement to make like you’re pregnant or divorcing or something, you will get attention for a few minutes. But the winner is usually someone with nothing particular to say but who can break into a conversation smoothly and parlay some mundane incident into a listenable contribution. It takes skill and chutzpah, and the average male has no chance in such a group and has to remain mute.

  235. That experience was certainly, err, a highlight – though it was embedded into a seemingly endless stream of humiliating experiences that lasted for years. You’ve raised the issue of not conforming to male stereotypes as a source of pressure but there are of course many categories of “otherness” that turn you into a favoured target for all kinds of harassment. These experiences – that has at least been my experience – are fed by the lack of orientation and the nagging believe that maybe something’s wrong with you. In the moment you realize that in fact nothing is wrong with you the drama’s usually over.

    The commenter Abraham told about what his grandmother had said to him and I think yes, those little things can make a big difference as they provide orientation and reassurance. Another excursion into contemporary German children’s literature follows – Because on the point of “(re)assurance” it is interesting that in Germany there’s a quite popular book series for children and young teens which my oldest son loves to read. It’s called “Die Schule der magischen Tiere” or “School of Magical Animals”. The stories revolve around a class of children who, one after another, are brought together with a magical animal that can speak to them (but to no other human with one exception). Yes, it sounds very much like a familiar. They usually meet in a situation of need and distress and become close friends. In most cases, through their race and character, the animals accentuate those aspects the respective child considers most problematic and thus provide orientation and reassurance and help to resolve the problematic situation. I think that the author has very a good sense for the different characters and problems children can have and the books have a very warm and empathic. No frantic ticking of diversity boxes, too, just pretty ordinary kids with ordinary problems. There’s enough junk out there that’s wildly read, for sure. But I think it’s a hopeful sign that these books are among the most read children’s books in Germany for some years now.

    And the books provide an interesting perspective on magic, too: Speaking animals, ok that’s magic, but the real magic – and the books emphasize this – is the change in consciousness that happens when child and animal meet.


  236. Rudolf Steiner mentions that the etheric body is opposite the sex of the physical body, and in that context cites the passage from Genesis, “male and female created He them”. In other words each human being was created both male and female. I mention this since another passage from the Bible came up in this discussion.

  237. We were talking about women-only and men-only spaces. I just read a passage describing the impact of the arrival of a woman on a group of men. Since the story is apparently not available in English, I won’t give away too much by saying that her husband, Soropita, had been meditating a murder. Doralda’s appearance is the most consummate description of feminine energy I can recall, though the translation will have spoiled a large part.

    “Dinner took long. Doralda would not show up[…] Zuz approached the dark of the window. He said, ‘Many stars out there …’ Dalberto got up. He paced up and down. Moura praised the quality of the boots, new ones. The crickets became more frenetic. Soropita also got up.

    Doralda appeared.

    Doralda coming – she said good evening: clear words, what she said, and her movement – the circling flight of a grand butterfly, the washed-out green dress, thin, almost colourless – passing by, and everything happening differently, without a shock, without a stir, Doralda seduced by spreading a breeze of well-educated peace and resolute pleasure – a man got hold of the certainty that she came with that serious happiness that was hers, hers alone, that showed it was not because of anything that would happen or that had happened, nor because of the people who were there – and a well-being that overwhelmed everybody; Soropita immediately, and he didn’t know why, stopped trying to keep watch over them[…]”

    (João Guimarães Rosa, “Dão-lalalão”, in “Corpo de Baile”)

  238. This is huge for me, JMG. I am pretty confident now that I am an astrally female man. This explains so much of my experience in this incarnation – rejection by males generally, finding it easy to strike up friendships with women but no close long-term relationships, generally enjoying and relating to music by female writers, long-term emotional dissatisfaction in my marriage and a brief, brutally intense romance with a woman who I suspect was astrally male. She lit me up in every way and I felt a greater connection with her after four weeks together than I did with my wife of 15 years, and more pain when it was over. It felt like I’d been waiting my whole life to meet her.

    This is a critical piece of self-knowledge, although I know now how short the odds of meeting someone suitable are. I bet if you cross-referenced men with the INFJ Myers-Briggs type with those having a female astral body, there’d be significant overlap, too.

    Would you consider putting together a post about how to Identify people with compatible polarities in more detail, or maybe just opening the floor on your dreamwidth page for people to share their experiences?

    Also, you’ve mentioned before that one theory has our astral bodies developing through a series of incarnations as plants. If so, I must always incarnate with an astrally female body, right? I think I have been on the path to becoming the intensely intuitive and sensitive shaman that I’ve become for a very long time, then.

  239. JMG, The two shiploads of unmarried women where arranged by one of Seattle’s founding fathers, Asa Mercer, who also founded the University of Washington. A 1960’s TV show, ” Here Come the Brides” was also based on this event.
    The ad that Random posted struck me in quite another way though. Here was a young man of only 18 years old, who had a good sized farm, ( by new england standards) along with crops, livestock and a house. An 18 year old today probably still lives with their parents, and dreams of renting a few hundred square foot apartment . To today’s 18 year old, a house of his own seems out of reach, let alone significant land. It is interesting that in the interest of the “religion of progress” we have had to define progress in terms of cell phone, automobiles and the internet because by many measures we have gone backward.
    It is also interesting that one of the effects of the woke agenda is to demonize this part of our historical past. Yes, there is no doubt that much of the 19th century ( as almost any other in history) was unfair, cruel, and tragic. But it is now forbidden to look back on it with anything but contempt. So todays 18 year old can’t look back and compare himself to the young farmer in Maine and start thinking dangerous thoughts.

  240. @Martin: I don’t pretend to understand the dynamics there. I’ve always been the magical workplace elf: nobody sees me, they just note that the big horrible tedious task that nobody wanted to tackle is now done. That’s my favorite task (whether it’s making fifty salads, cleaning the lobby after hours, or processing five thousand mail-in offers) because I don’t have to talk to anybody while I work.

  241. “The salmon are sacred to the people on the west coast, because they are what the entire civilization was built on; they feed the forests and form the first block of the food chain all the way up the rivers, as well as the people directly, and they are the sole food of the southern resident orcas. All the rest of us and the entire west coast ecosystem die slowly without them, ”

    The west coast ecosystem won’t die without the salmon, but it will transition to something else. The ice ages and the multiple floods that came with their end transitioned the PNW ecosystem multiple times. Something I read in Pielou’s book was that the Columbia River basin has one third of the species diversity of the Mississippi River basin because while species could migrate down the Mississippi to a favorable climate, the species in the Columbia had no such sanctuary.

    What the stable ecosystem might actually be is an interesting question. About 400,000 years ago Marine Isotope Stage 11 was a 40,000 year long interglacial period. Most interglacials, including this one if they read the Milankovitch cycles correctly, run around 15,000 years. That one may have been long enough to find an equilibrium.

    But cheer up, after the next ice age which should be a mild one as they go, the cycles line up for what could be another 40,000 year interglacial.

  242. (warning – long!)

    @RTPCR #220:

    Your point about body cameras is well taken, and I will cogitate on that one for a good while. I am still going to get a dash cam, because they can provide crucial evidence to police and insurance companies in the event of a crash or an accident. A friend of mine was in a crash, and his dash cam footage proved the other party was at fault, and enabled him to collect from his insurance company.

    As for your comment:

    ”you’re talking about lottery ticket odds, and the tradeoff isn’t worth it. Not in terms of money but the kind of defensive/fearful attitude to women that that kind of precaution implies. It’s entirely the wrong way to approach women. …. More than anything, having that kind of attitude in itself will damage your interactions and relationships with women.”

    the damage was done long, long ago for me.

    First of all, I have won the evil “lottery” not once, but twice, in my life. In the “Metaphysics of Sex” post, I spoke of a police callout I suffered due to a hysterical fugue on the part of a nurse.

    Twenty five years before that, I had another bizarre incident. I was working as a contract programmer at a company in Greeneville, S.C. One fine day, the head boss called me into his office and told me that a receptionist had complained to him about “sexual harassment” on my part. The fact was, that I had not only never been alone with this woman, but I had never even so much as spoken to her on any occasion.

    Fortunately for me, my boss (unlike my accuser) was clinically sane, and dropped the matter without further action. So, why did this woman spin a false accusation against me out of whole cloth? My best guess is, that she probably took a dislike to me (as an Aspie, I have often rubbed people the wrong way), and she decided, “let’s see if I can get him fired by filing a false complaint against him.” Yes, Virginia, women do things like this quite often. After all, a U.S. Air Force study concluded that over half of the rape accusations investigated by the Air Force’s CID were completely bogus.

    Nor is that all. For the first 45 years of my life, I was deeply socialised to believe that “all women all hate all men all the time, always.” It started with my mother in childhood. My mother had bad experiences growing up, first with the fact that her natural father abandoned the family as soon as she was born, and then when her stepfather (who was very dear to her) left my grandmother for another woman. So, she had a persistently negative attitude toward men in general, I got the business end of a lot of that resentment.

    Even worse, the full malefic force of second-wave feminism hit just as I was going though puberty. All the women of my generation, who I dated, (and I do mean all), detested their fathers. Big red flag – bad, bad sign! Any woman who hates her father will take it out on her husband at some point. My intuition was confirmed when, in the 1990’s, the women of my generation started chucking their husbands in the dumpster wholesale. During the period 1995-1998, not a day went by in the office but what I heard of another female boss or co-worker who was strapping her husband to the back of an ICBM and launching him to Mars.

    On the whole, for the first 45 years of my life, (with a few rare and precious exceptions) the only face of woman I was ever allowed to see was the face of Medusa. The only reason I escaped being “turned to stone” was the “Beatrice” experience I also related in the “Metaphysics of Sex” thread. Otherwise, I would likely have become a full blown misogynist. As it is, much lasting damage was done.

    I was baptised into the Orthodox Church at the age of 45, and there, for the first time in my life, I entered a community of people filled with (mostly older) women who were (and are) genuinely loving and caring. At the time, it was a real revelation for me. These church sisters have fussed over me and made sure I got things I needed when I have been in hospital or in other difficult situations.

    Being in my late sixties, it is much too late for me to have a family. However, being close to many young families with their children has been a consolation for me, and I am happy to support them any way I can.

    In the end, we all get “dealt a hand” in life, and the only thing we can control is how we play it. I cannot say that I have been a particularly skilful “player” in that regard, but I dare to hope that my balance sheet shows more good than harm in the end.

  243. Anon-two, thanks for the data points.

    Nachtgurke, hmm. Interesting.

    Asdf, yep. He was square in the mainstream of occult tradition there.

    Floored, thanks for this. The astral body isn’t preserved from life to life, but the basic pattern is stored in the soul; you’ll have had male astral bodies as well as female ones, but your condition in one life — astrally as well as on other places — is always powerfully shaped by previous lives, as well as by your destiny, which is the direction in which your higher self has been moving through all these lives.

    Clay, trust me, I know! We learned all about the Mercer Girls in elementary school; I grew up in the south Seattle suburbs, remember. As for the young farmer in Maine, that’s an intriguing point.

  244. Can’t trans people think of better pronouns than “they/their/them”? It’s very confusing. You have to really concentrate to sort out if we are we talking about one person or several persons.

    The local African languages don’t have gendered pronouns. “Yena” can mean “he” or “she”, or, presumably, trans. In fact they seldom use pronouns, and have difficulty with English because of it. You can see them screwing up their faces and trying to recall classroom lessons as they try to use “he” or “she” correctly, and I’ve been called “madam” by African supermarket cashiers so often I hardly notice it these days.

    As my contribution to smoother English I suggest the following neologisms when referring to trans folk:

    he and she = hae (pron. “hay” or “hayee”)
    him and her = haem (“haym” or “hayeem”)
    his and hers = hae’s (“hays” or “hayees”)

    They/their/them is fine for plurals.

  245. Even better, for trans “he” or “she”, what about “te”? (pron. “tea”)

    he and she = te
    him and her = te
    his and hers = te’s

    Re male: “I don’t mind him, or his crowd, but he doesn’t like me.”

    Re they trans: “I don’t mind them, or their crowd, but they doesn’t [don’t?] like me.”

    Re te trans: “I don’t mind te, or te’s crowd, but te doesn’t like me.”

  246. @JMG #196

    “the difference is a function of astral plane gender, since that’s the plane on which group minds form. To get into the details would involve a couple of pages of magical theory, but you’re going to get a very different energy when everyone’s astral bodies are active than when everyone’s astral bodies are receptive.”

    Thanks. Can you recommend any reading resources on group minds, potentially in combination with the different planes?

    And: If somebody doesn’t feel at the right place in groups of their own gender, would this be a potential indication of a “differently poled” astral body?

    @methyethyl #204

    That’s an interesting point of view about the social skills, thanks for that!

    @Mark L #197, @Aldarion # 210,

    Thanks for the data points. I’m still mulling over the consideration whether “having at least one woman in a group enlivens it”, i.e. not feeling quite at home in 100% groups of one’s own gender, is the same as feeling most at home in groups of 100% of the other gender (what some women expressed above). But then I suppose it’s somewhat easier for women to get into a male social environment (e.g. engineering) than for men to get into a female social environment (unless they enjoy knitting or such stuff), which might make things hard to compare.

    @tomriverwriter #221,

    And thanks to you, too.

    “I don’t even like workplaces filled with men. They’re just dull, and emotionally rather tricky.”

    This is funny – this must have been the first time I saw anybody referring to men as emotionally rather tricky – that’s usually how women are described… 😀


  247. Pronouns are not the biggest issue for me. The biggest issues are 1) pushing trans interventions on minors and 2) the invasion of women’s sports, shelters, prisons and other protected spaces by men.

    I simply cannot wrap my head around the idea that anyone would condone the ruining of women’s sports, for instance. I have to conclude that many of these transgender male to female people are simply raging narcissists who have found a new way to dominate and get attention. Why does society condone this? Why does society condone all kinds of other narcissistic behaviors? It is a mystery to me.

    A question for those of you on this forum who have identified yourselves as male to female trans: Do you feel that you have the right to be treated as a woman in all legal and social situations? You may know that you are not a threat to women in a changing room, for instance, but if you insist on legal access to such spaces, do you care that you are opening the door to men who are predatory upon women? I ask this respectfully, but it is hard to keep the anger out of my tone. I don’t believe that anyone here is of a predatory nature.

    Thank you

  248. @Milkyway: If you’re looking for examples of men in female-dominated environments… probably the people who’d know best are male teachers and nurses. There are always a few.

  249. To whoever suggested watching the John Wayne film “The Cowboys” (1972), thank you!

    It was terrific. John Wayne did indeed teach boys to be men in a harsh and unforgiving world.

  250. I woke up this morning thinking about trans and our general elite craziness and wondered if there really is a guiding hand that sometimes steps in to push humanity in the direction it should go.

    Think about it. If you voluntarily refuse to have children or you’re persuaded to self-sterilize, you’ve removed your genes from the larger gene pool.

    A celestial Darwin award program, so to speak, because the future belongs to the people who show up.

  251. Thank you for the many elaborations in the comments about gender and our spiritual bodies and how to figure them out. I finally understand my own. I’m Male physical, Female Etheric, Female Astral, and Male Mental. This explains why I have such a hard time formulating original stories ideas, but do a fairly good job of adapting existing stories for the purposes of RPGs i run. I am hopeful that this understanding will help me be more creative in the future, as I now know where and how I can find inspiration. I need to read more fiction! Thank you JMG!

  252. The masculinist backlash that’s been brought up in the comments on this post tie in with an insight, observation, or wild idea I had last week and put up on the Open Post just before it topped out. That is, we’ve come to the end of the current Crisis Era and are into the Recovery. Symbolically, it’s not 1939 – it’s 1946. The climax, after which nothing was ever the same, was not a major war, it was the Lockdown. Or, as most outsiders put it, The Pandemic. After which, The New Normal. I’d like to see JMG discuss that on another post if that’s okay. And BTW, it doesn’t mean we’re not still in a big mess. We were in a big mess at the end of the Civil War, until the end of Reconstruction brought a truce with the still-unreconciled South (“You beat us on the battlefield, but we’re still keeping things riled up here, you damyankees”) that lasted nearly 100 years. Anyway, I now return us to your regular discussion.

  253. @ Robert Mathiesen #236 and Tomriverwriter #216

    Don’t believe any statistics you see about readers and readerships.
    Much of it comes from traditional publishing and they see what they want to see.

    What they do not see is the vast number of indie writers and their readerships.
    Amazon doesn’t report numbers the way trad pub does.

    Moreover, even indie writers such as the ones in 20booksto50K are oblivious to one of the huge markets for young, male readers.

    They read online at sites like Royal Road.

    My son reads there, on his phone. Much of the fiction on Royal Road isn’t just fan fiction. It’s lengthy boys’ own adventure type which trad pub used to publish and no longer does.

    Think Doc Savage, Perry Rhodan, and the Executioner (which all sold like hotcakes) but for a younger audience.

    Trad pub doesn’t pay attention to their own bottom line. Ace used to publish Perry Rhodan and those paperbacks sold very, very well. But then the new boss of that division decided he didn’t like it and canceled the line, despite the sales.

    Are readers 90% female? Maybe of literary fiction, they are.
    Of space marines or Roman mercenaries? I doubt it.

  254. To Martin Black #255 256,
    Watch the grammar, please. Use tes or haes for his/her if you like but please no apostrophes for possessive in pronouns. The whole language will collapse if you do and perhaps the end of civilisation as we know it will come closer faster.
    Of course we could take the line that no-one is going to make us change the language to suit them.

  255. Hi John Michael,

    If I may, I’m of the opinion in this matter that people tend to believe that what is, shall remain. The facts on the ground, or even a cursory glance at history don’t support that belief, but it sure is popular. What do you do?

    This week’s subject got me thinking, and I dunno, to me it looks like the whole ‘divide and conquer’ thing all over again. As a strategy it’s certainly been used for well over a millennia, and hey, it must work. The thing is, this one seems really ham-fisted to me, the sort of thing only a decaying lot would attempt in order to keep benefits concentrated whilst pushing costs (not to mention risks) downwards. As a strategy, it’s a special kind of stupid.



  256. Late comment here, I have a lot to say about the topic and didn’t want to ramble on and on about it, so I hope I’ll be concise enough.

    I was a stereotypical nerd as a kid, who preferred books and video games to sports. A big part of that is that I was just complete rubbish at any sport; mainly due to poor coordination and a bad case of asthma. I did manage to hit a baseball with a bat once, but the ball went totally wild. Badminton is quite popular in my country and I’ve never been able to return a badminton serve! To be fair, I was never bullied because of it, though anyone who’d try to recruit me to a round of street basketball would end up quickly regretting it – I’m so bad at negotiating the chaos of competitive team sports and I’ve never successfully caught a pass from a teammate!

    That said, I didn’t grow up in America. I did get quite a bit of grief for something else, which was my extreme introversion as a kid. I didn’t have a large of friends, and during fourth grade I even remember my teacher calling me a “loner” who should “play with the other kids more”. That disturbed me enough to come to my mom crying, who to her credit reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me (at the time, I was in a new school and was slow to make friends). Much later when I got my first job, my then-boss also noticed that I wasn’t hanging out with my colleagues after work and tried to “mother” me by giving me a similar talk. At least by that time I was a bit more mature, so I just told her I had no issues with the team, I just preferred to do my own thing after a long day in the office.

    Word of the day: “janegirl”. Thanks for this, it’s very helpful! I wasn’t one, and it seems a bit more stereotypically male than JMG and most of the commentariat on this thread – I like doing car and electronics repairs, for example. But every time I try to work on something semi-complicated I’m reminded why I didn’t become a mechanic; my butterfingers show up and I typically end up dropping and losing a crucial part or tool in the middle of the job in some awkward place! At least I don’t (usually) end up damaging what I’m working on and/or injuring myself, but it’s never a clean job.

  257. Mr Greer, there an idea out there that women go with dominant men. Define ‘dominant’ as you will, maybe height, weight, strength, derring-do, wealth, intelligence etc.

    I read a blog posting maybe ten years ago by a chap that thinks that American men, because of their weakness, their meekness, their unwillingness to assert themselves or to take charge and all that stuff, will be replaced by men with no such unwillingness and no such weakness and meekness. Tougher, more aggressive dudes IOW.

    According to this chap, whose name I cannot recall, American men will be supplanted especially by Muslim men, and the pre-existing population of American women will be happy to don the headscarves and to go with Muslim men because Muslim men suffer none of the uncertainty and self-doubt of American men. Or similarly with men of other foreign cultures who make no bones about who sits where in the tribal hierarchy.

    In this view, the in-built biology of women, manifesting itself behaviorally, will prevail. They will get fed up with what they’ve presently got because it goes counter to several million years of hominid evolution, and they will choose men that act like men.

    Far be it from me to judge the rightness or wrongness of this view because I am utterly unschooled in behavioral evolution and cultural anthropology and I barely understand the wife I’ve got or my female relatives never mind the great mass of women out there.

    I do find it very odd however, that guys like Larry Nasser could carry out years of abuse of women he was coaching without getting his lights punched out by father, boyfriend, brother, hubby etc of the abused women. Many, many women were victims of this creep and not one punch thrown. Same thing with Harvey Weinstein.

    I know that these two situations aren’t a huge sample and as such are mere anecdotes. But it’s more than odd, it boggles the mind. At least it boggles mine.

    Could it indicate a deep problem in the perceived character of American men in that dozens of female victims of these guys either never approached their male relatives for protection because the women thought it would do no good? Something misfired here.

    I read that Brad Pitt threatened Weinstein for sexually harassing his then girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow. Hurray for Brad. Not quite a beating but better than nothing.

    A related point: hundreds of millions of firearms in the hands of tens of millions of owners. Are these arms being used to protect the border? Or to deal with country-wrecking miscreants on Wall Street? Or in Washington? No, they’re used to shoot kids in schools and shoppers in grocery stores. Something misfiring here too.

  258. Interesting. It sounds like all the toxicity can be traced back to the loss of community. That makes sense. Unfortunately, none of these reactions or solutions do much to defend or rebuild communities. It’s just my opinion, but I think putting effort into rebuilding community is probably one of the most efficient ways of responding to our varied crises. But I don’t know for sure. I don’t know of any way to have a community except to live in a really small town or to have a very big extended family (I am fortunate to have experienced both). So I don’t know how much effort it takes to build a healthy community from the ground up.

    Jessi Thompson

    I do know where “the sacred feminine” came from. It was the result of Abrahamic religions pushing women to lesser roles in their church, generally treating the feminine as entirely mundane and earthly. The reaction was to embrace the feminine expression of the sacred. Feminity is not sacred. Masculinity is not sacred. The sacred has masculine and feminine aspects. There’s nothing wrong with exploring what you find sacred, in whatever way it makes sense to you, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. I think because churches tend to change more slowly than the rest of society, men have not yet been cut off from being sacred leaders, so they have not yet felt that “coming home” of finding sanctity after it was cut off from them. So men looking for sacred masculinity have a similar problem that fish have when looking for water. It’s quite simple. Look at male gods and look at male religious figures and consider what it means for you to have a fulfilling life. And also look at female religious figures and goddesses so you can see a different perspective, which will help clarify your own perspective. It’s so important for everyone to be able to find the sacred within yourself, if you choose.

    Jessi Thompson

  259. @Seaweedy#258 – women’s sports, prisons, and other protected spaces have already been invaded by men, and not in a good way. Every once in a while, there is a scandal about male guards in a women’s prison sexually abusing the inmates with impunity. Male coaches in women’s sports, especially ones like gymnastics which are predominantly young girls, ditto.

    The Victorian reformers who fought long and hard for to get women out of the all-thrown-in-together prisons of the day, guarded exclusively by men, and to establish prison as a space where at least they weren’t at risk for molestation by men, have been rolling in their graves since some pack of fools decided that equal right meant an end to such single-sex facilities. The same goes for boys, who are not sent to adult men’s prisons for the very same reason.

  260. An informal survey of women I know, including my daughter who was very pretty in her youth and had scads of would be boyfriends, confirms what I have long suspected, that many if not most of us ladies actually don’t much like alpha men. We do like men who are capable, who can do things and make things, and who behave decently. Have you not noticed that farmers and craftsmen nearly always seem to be partnered? BTW, we also don’t much like goofball exhibitionism. Irreverence is fine, guys, but try to remember that maybe the lady you are with doesn’t like to be conspicuous.

    Consider the available choices of a working class girl of maybe average looks but who has some character and talent. Consider that she likely was saddled with a “different” name like Genesis or Trinity. She can trade in the stupid a** name for plain old Bob or Ethan, put on boy’s clothes, and, hey, she’s employable, her looks no longer matter, and she has insulated herself from most sexual harassment. Up to a point, I think that American men brought a lot of this gender hysteria on themselves, with their 1-10 rankings, their open privileging of “lookers”–we American women showed what we thought of that when we declined to vote for Ms. Palin, and I think we are going to decline to support Ms. Haley as well. Date and marry whoever will have you, guys, but Ms. modelling school dropout shouldn’t be getting paid more than the rest of us for ordinary non-modelling type work.

    I absolutely agree that gender reassignment surgery being pushed on school children is a form of outrageous child abuse, and I think the pushers will be facing retribution in the form of angry parents, or will be having to explain to unsympathetic judges and juries what were they thinking.

  261. @Smith, the leading gun deaths in America are first older men committing suicides, then younger men killing younger men in the realm of crime, gangs, and drugs, and third is domestic violence. These deaths are caused by societal deficits not the mere presence of weapons, though guns certainly do make killing easier. And the weapons generally used are not assault rifles. Wresting ordinary guns from older and younger men is a political and constitutional impossibility in the US. The type of widely publicized shootings are actually a small percentage of shootings that happen.

  262. @ Ron M – I like your saying.

    Have you seen RRR? I’m halfway through, I’m really enjoying it, despite the Bollywood length. I am completely in the camp of the people won over completely by this<a href="dance off.).

  263. “Mr Greer, there an idea out there that women go with dominant men. Define ‘dominant’ as you will, maybe height, weight, strength, derring-do, wealth, intelligence etc.”

    The perception that women go after the “bad boys” goes back a long way. Nice guys finish last and all. Jordan Peterson had a video about that, the six (I think it was) desired partners woman are after, billionaire, surgeons, pirates, etc. look over the covers of the romance section at the book store.

    Women value safety more than men. Bad boys are bad boys because they are willing to break the rules. If she can tame a bad boy, then later things go wrong the bad boy will break the rules in her favor, increasing the odds of her and children surviving. At least that is my explanation of it.

    Then again, I’m not a bad boy, and also completely unsuccessful with women, so what do I know. 🙂

    No six feet, no six-pack, no six inches, and no six figures, I’m completely unqualified for a partner by modern female standards. It’s not all that, I spent the search for potential mates years in target poor environments, the Navy, in college in the engineering section (being eight years older than the other students didn’t help) and then in the wilderness at a mining operation had a lot to do with staying single too. Watching friends get reamed in family court didn’t help my motivation either. MGTOW definitely has a point.

  264. Martin, there are dozens of alternative pronouns in circulation these days in the US. “Xe/xer” is one of the more common.

    Milkyway, Dion Fortune has a good essay on group minds in Applied Magic. Yes, feeling uncomfortable among groups of your own material-body sex can sometimes, though by no means always, indicate a nonstandard polarity arrangement in your subtle bodies.

    Teresa, given how heavily the transgender phenomenon is being marketed and supported by the corporate establishment, I’m by no means sure the helping hand is celestial.

    Trubrujah, you’re most welcome.

    Patricia M, well, we’ll see!

    Chris, since I started blogging I’ve been trying to get people to consider the possibility that the world is facing serious, drastic, irreversible changes. You know how much (or, rather, how little) success I’ve had at that!

    Carlos, thanks for this. It’s a useful reminder that different cultures have different hangups.

    Smith, it’s an interesting hypothesis, certainly.

    Jessi, I’m not at all sure communities can be made. I think they have to grow naturally.

    Mary, and yet the pushy alpha males somehow never seem to lack for female companionship — and you know as well as I do what kind of men feature most heavily in women’s romance novels, aka emotion porn. Women may not like them much but a significant fraction of them seem to be ready to bed them…

    Platypus, those shareholder lawsuits may well be game-changers. By law — it’s in the Uniform Commercial Code — corporations are supposed to put making a profit for their shareholders above everything else; since they’ve been playing social engineer instead, a lot of big companies are very, very vulnerable to lawsuits for damages on that basis.

  265. Patricia #270 – Thanks for the reminder of the work of Victorian reformers and how it used to be. I am amazed that modern liberals are so willing to give up those reforms in the name of “diversity.”

    There is truly some powerful brainwashing going on. I came across this writer, Jennifer Bilek, who has investigated the corporate power players in finance and tech who are bankrolling the legal changes we have seen and starting up transgender clinics, as well as funding the NGOs that are pushing transgender ideology into education. This is not an organic, grassroots movement. It is ultimately about the Silicon Valley dream of trans-humanism where we grow babies in bottles and upload our brains to computers so we can “live” forever.

    Here is her website:

  266. @Siliconguy: That’s just the fantasy version. IIRC the male iteration is lusting after Cindy Crawford (or whatever her hot young equivalent is this week). So yeah, in pulp romance novels it’s a surgeon pirate business tycoon who inherited a dukedom. But is that what women really date/marry? Nah. I mean, somebody does, but the supply is limited 😉 Out in real life, most men, and most women, wind up pairing off with someone roughly equal to themselves in looks, intelligence, and social class.

  267. >Correction, it was five, not six, arch types that women go for; surgeons, billionaires, pirates, vampires, and werewolves.

    So – Dr. Evil from Austin Powers? A billionaire pirate doctor? And here I thought they wanted the International Man of Mystery all this time. Just goes to show you. I’m almost compelled to put my pinky finger next to my mouth. Maybe later.

  268. @methylethyl, #280

    You’d have to watch the video, which I admit would be a hassle if you do not get hook up in the first three minutes or so.

    The gist of it is not that women want to marry millionaire were-pirates with degrees from John Hopkins. Instead, all this archetypes share some basic trait that many women find attractive, as much as men find the youth, health and fertility of Cindy Crawford attractive.

    Peterson argues that this attractive trait is constrained danger. In a primal sense, the capacity act kindly towards the in-group and neutral strangers but to unleash hell on earth upon predatory strangers. In a more civilized, abstract sense it is the capacity to be generous when the situation is relaxed but to turn into a ruthless problem solver when the going gets rough.

    Vampires and werewolves are literal monsters, but (in this kind of fantasy) they are never monstrous towards their love interest; it is Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, which is what JMG was talking about in his werewolf blog post a few weeks ago (but told from a female perspective). Pirates are basically monsters without the supernatural element. Millionaires are basically pirates who have found out that the pen is more powerful than the sword.

    Doctors, particularly surgeons, are a sublimation of these traits: they literally cut and eviscerate people for the greater good. They show care and empathy towards the patient, but when the time of bloodshed comes, they strike with their blades with cold, expert efficiency.

    So, Peterson’s point is that women are attracted to sublimated dragon slayers. Whether the dragon is a mortgage, a broken faucet, a petulant neighbor or a plot of land waiting to be plowed and seeded; men who shut up and fix the dragon are attractive, posers and whiners are not.

  269. @Clarke aka Gwydion #176 + JMG

    I’m interested in what the astrological natal charts of people who go down a different path in regard to gender. Gwydion, you write Uranus and Mercury may point to “unconventional” sexual proclivities. These two planets are prominent in my natal chart and while I am 100% heterosexual, I have always been attracted to muscular females, even many of the bigger women who look quite masculine due to performance enhancing drugs. I am also interested in average looking women and not hung up on looks too much, so I myself always found this interest in buff babes a little strange (normal to me of course) compared to the “mainstream”.

    I had a natal chart reading and the astrologer thought I could be a cam model of some kind due to Venus+Uranus in Scorpio on the Midheaven and Venus in mutual reception to Mars. This was the other thing that made me wonder about sexuality and astrology more. I am pretty far away from cam model as far as extracurricular activities go. If some of these sorts of things can be seen in a chart it could go a long way to helping people who may not be comfortable with their desires, let alone their bodies. I know it helped me accept many of my tendencies and inclinations when understanding them through my birth chart.

  270. Dear John Michael,

    I realize that this is a very late comment in a now-old thread, but after the repeated posts here touching on astral, etheric and mental bodies (and the fluctuating gender variables thereof), if I could vote for the next fifth Wednesday topic, I would choose the topic of reincarnation, particularly as it relates to the occult practices (Druidry) with which you are most familiar.

  271. Seaweedy (#258): “A question for those of you on this forum who have identified yourselves as male to female trans: Do you feel that you have the right to be treated as a woman in all legal and social situations?”
    It seems fair for me for post-op trans-women to participate in women’s spaces other than some sports. I would settle the sports issue empirically sport-by-sport. At the extreme ends, transwomen in American football or basketball would probably be unfair. Transwomen in ultra-long distance foot races would be fine, given that XX women sometimes win such races against men. In between, case-by-case. Women’s sports need more protection at the higher levels, where more is at stake, than at the youth or community level.
    I think allowing someone originally male who just self-declares as a woman into women’s spaces is unfair (except in cases where the women welcome such folks, for example in a small group).
    BTW, if women’s jails are staffed with a significant percentage of male guards, that is a major threat. If that does not generate the same level of outrage, then I have to wonder if the issue isn’t really about protecting women but about enforcing gender conformity.
    It would be a tragedy if the backlash against the real overreach by professional managerial class wokesters on trans issues was used as a wedge to bring to women the kind of gender policing that men have long suffered from (as a few have written about this week). I think that that is a real danger. To some extent, that is already happening, for example when masculine women are harassed for using women’s restrooms.

  272. “It’s almost universal for people to have two bodies of each gender, and in most cases, the bodies are of alternating genders.”

    Why would that be? And is that an optimal arrangement? If so why?

  273. “The mythology of progress has made it very hard for a great many people to see that forcing change in one direction very often results in an equal and opposite swing in the other direction. Just as the unbridled sexual license of Britain’s Georgian era set the stage for the straitlaced sexual repression of the Victorian era, and extreme Victorian prudery then made the sexual revolution of the 20th century inevitable”

    I do see that some of the Ascetics in the Church Fathers like Augustine and Jerome had quite deranged views on sexuality. I read some of their writings. And its bizarre that they also extoll prostitution as a way for men to spend their lust.

    As a Christian I see that both prudery and licentiousness is evil. But in different ways.

    Sexuality is like fire. And is quite dangerous in the wrong places. Hence Marriage acts as a kind of fire mantle or fireplace to contain what is otherwise dangerous and put it to work being useful.

    The extollation of sexuality within marriage(Proverbs 5). Where a man is encouraged to enjoy the wife of his youth and her breasts. And expanded upon in the erotic poetry of the Song of Solomon is a counter which Divine Prescience anticipated to the deranged prudery of the Victorian era and the deranged Asceticism that is frankly in many ways life hating.

    The so called Gnostics who hated materiality extolled both sexual promiscuity and extreme asceticism.

    I say denial of sex in marriage is as much an attack on marriage as adultery. Men I know who experience it have that similar sinking feeling with being denied sex. As cuckoldry by their wives.

  274. About romance fiction archetypes – it used to be “the knight in shining armor.”
    About sports – note that women excel in distance swimming, like swimming the English Channel. which is so far out on the fringe as to be almost a stunt, not a sport. I also note that women’s gymnastics is closer to dance than men’s, though I rememebr being blown away by a Chinese gymnastics troupe in an exhibition. Totally different style when it’s at home.

  275. I have Venus and Scorpio in Midheaven, and Uranus in Taurus. For what that’s worth.

  276. I’m commenting late here, but thank you, JMG, for the description of what men with female astral bodies are like (and vice versa). This essay and your comment hit the mail on the head in answering thoughts I’ve had for a long time, on feeling like I have some feminine quality I could never place which my male peers lacked. For all my life, my inspirations for my daydreams and writings have come from the media I consumed and people I met, not from my own headspace. No wonder I was drawn to writing fanfiction as a child. This essay will provide much to meditate on, so thank you.

    I’m also now made even more aware of the difficulties for me in finding a suitable female partner. As yet another Ecosophia reader with Asperger’s, I guess I should hope to be lucky and find an Aspie lady in my community outreach in the future.

  277. William Tenn had a typically amusing and pointed short story on this topic in 1965 – “The Masculinist Revolt”.

  278. Hello Matt #284,

    I don’t know if this one will get through, if not I’ll repeat it in the next post that makes that possible. The factors to take into consideration are the ordinary “sex” planets, Moon, Venus, Mars, and the “impersonal” planets Neptune and Uranus. Mercury can be a factor. All the personal planets can be transformed in non-ordinary ways by the “impersonal” planets, and of course we can’t ignore the limitations and “gifts” brought by Saturn and Jupiter. I would say you have an interesting combination there as you describe it, with Mars perhaps doing the heavy lifting towards musculature. With Venus conjunct Uranus on the Midheaven, you have an unusual “look” yourself, I’d say, possibly quite an attractive one assuming other factors play into the mix.

    Uranus is probably the factor nudging your Venus (the women you’re attracted to) in an unusual direction, a “martian” one given they are both in Scorpio. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but I’d say you understand the basics. I’d look forward to a conversation in the Open Post with anyone wanting to discuss how astrological factors influence how we manifest gender and sexuality.

    There’s a lot more that could be discerned from a full chart about the emphases at work. It’s kinda fun to explore the terrain we’ve each individually been given. Some people are bent out of shape about the supposed predictive qualities of astrology, as for me, I like understanding the hand we’ve been dealt. There’s some prediction, but more poker-playing, I’d say.

  279. Thank you to Anon 1 for the reminder to separate our distaste for political movements from our views of the people they supposedly represent.

    I would go a step further and just remind people of the obvious: that most humans are really rather dumb, and bad at being human. The wokesters that I know all have the best of intentions, but as with most humans, wherever they take direct action they tend to do a much harm as they do good. The same will be true amongst those of any political stripe.

    What I look for in a person is their ability to have compassion for those whose opinions differ from their own. For me, it is hardest to have compassion for social conservatives AND the woke activists, probably because they both seem to have so little compassion for their targets.

    I just try to remember that compassion is the very thing those people have to learn in this go round, and the most helpful thing we could do, if we ourselves have that capacity, is to have compassion for them.

    I really liked Kimberley’s point about the masculine and feminine virtues, and how they balance on the knife edge between two vices. The ones that apply here, to my point about compassion for those whose opinions differ, are the feminine virtue of nurturing as the balance between coddling and neglect, and the masculine virtue of severity as the balance between enabling and cruelty.

    (Of course, we all have both masculine and feminine virtues and vices within us. Labeling them masculine and feminine makes sense within the various occult systems we talk about here, but it could easily be misleading.)

  280. Clarke aka Gwydion #293

    That is great input! A solid analysis given you don’t have my chart.. other planets are ok except a lunar eclipse which is another major. Its that Venus/Mars/Uranus interaction…

    Hey Patricia Matthews #290

    Do the gothic cathedrals of Europe please you?

  281. @Patricia Matthews
    I think you’re right that words are a geek skill for them. As part of their testing, they were given an IQ test, which has ten subtests. For the subtests with language, they were very high, but of the other subtests, they were exactly average. They read vast amounts as a child and teen.

    They’re trying to figure out where they fit in. I’m sure it will be a lot of trial and error, but they have a good attitude now and good energy.

  282. @teresa from hershey, Robert Mathiesen

    I did a little more research. For mainstream fiction, including literary fiction, readership is about two-thirds female. Male readers dominate in history and biography. If you look at the best seller lists, except for some suspense, it slants strongly toward women. The days of white male authors is over.

    Teresa, you may be right about non-traditional publishers. More detailed information is hard to get, because the publishing industry is not transparent about their sales.

    Robert, your story of watching academic areas switch over from male-dominated to female-dominated is very interesting. It reminds me of patterns of Black ownership of real estate. White neighborhood would tolerate up to a certain amount of Black ownership (I recall 35-40%), then White flight would begin. The mechanism seems to be that Blacks and women were seen as lower status; when an area was seen to become dominated by the lower status, the higher status people got out quick.

  283. @MethylEthyl
    Autism is just part of who my kid is, and has been for a while. Their evaluation helped clarify their strengths and weaknesses, and clarifies what their struggles will be.

    I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties and confusion as an adolescent. I can see some of the things you describe in my kid. It seems like you found a solution, radical but effective.

    I had a high school friend who discovered in her forties that she was autistic. She just liked sex (she was a Scorpio) so sexual identity wasn’t difficult for her.

    Everyone seems to need to find their own way through the forest.

    For my child, non-binary seems to be a safe harbor, where they can delay choosing a sexual orientation or how to be intimate, until they are ready. Body dysmorphia is a great excuse! A few years ago, they talked about being asexual, but then they got a boyfriend. He’s a Christian homeschool kid, not sexually focused, so its a good fit for my kid for now. He’s pretty ADHD, so that kind of fits, but my kid complains that if you’re not right in front of him, you don’t exist. So my kid is finding her way through too.

  284. John Michael Greer-Thank you so much for this. I appreciate the difficulties you encountered in bringing up painful memories, and honor your peserverance and resolve despite your discomfort. This blog has been read and reread many times by me, and I have just now finished all of the commentary underneath it. Now I can go on to this weeks issue, but rest assured I will be referring back to this discussion repeatedly.
    I have nothing to add to the discussion at this time, but it has left an impression on me.
    Thank you, and thanks to everyone in the community for their insight as well.

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