The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTom Engelhardt Archive
Ann Jones: Out with Monstrous Men
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Sometimes I wonder what school I went to. I mean, I know perfectly well. I attended a place I never wanted to go: Yale. But when I was 17 years old, my parents — and a familial urge to be upwardly mobile — more than overwhelmed my personal and private desire to go elsewhere. So, in 1962, I ended up at that all-male college in New Haven, Connecticut, and, despite the education I received, much of which I genuinely enjoyed, I’ve regretted it ever since. It was that school’s particular version of all-maleness that did me in — an elite, powerful style of masculinity that I found painful and eerily shameful even then (though men, or boys pretending to be men, didn’t admit to such feelings in those years or, until recently, in these).

I’ll never forget the bravado, the grim over-the-top bragging about what you had done to women. I remember, for instance, my roommate, a rare working-class kid at Yale in those years who had absorbed the ethos of the place, returning from spring break and shouting — I was in our room on maybe the third floor and could still hear him from the courtyard of our quad — that he had done it, lost his virginity, including other grim details of his conquest. The bragging never seemed to end. I was, in those years, unbearably shy when it came to sex, or perhaps to my own lack of experience and pure ignorance about it, and repelled by the version of it that seemed to be the essence of that world of boys being oh-so-male. My only recourse — the only one I could at least imagine then — was to fall into an expressionless silence when the braggadocio began until I could figure out an excuse to leave the room. This, however, proved to be another kind of disaster, since it was more than once mistaken for experience, which meant, for instance, that my roommate would later pull me aside and confess that the “conquest” he had just spent the last day bragging about had actually been a total horror show.

I knew a little of his history before he blew his brains out 40-odd years later and he had, by then, turned into a Roy Moore-style predator, which I always blamed on the world we had both emerged from at Yale. I’ve never forgotten its style of masculinity or, in a way, recovered from it — from the feeling, that is, that I wasn’t a man but just some sort of sorry failure.

While I did, in the end, go on to graduate school, I evidently didn’t go to the one that any number of the men of my generation and after seem to have attended — you know, the one that, as TomDispatch regular Ann Jones explains today, taught you how “manly” and perfectly appropriate it was to enter a bathroom while a woman was in the next room and reappear naked to make grotesque sexual demands.

ORDER IT NOW

All I know is that now it’s somewhat easier, thanks to the bursting dam of news about the grotesque (and grotesquely repetitive) experiences that women have had with male predators, to see what that world of supposed maleness was all about and why it felt so shameful to me, even if I then thought that the fault, the lack, was all mine. We are now, it seems, in a different moment. However, let’s remember that, as Jones suggests today, sometimes such moments — take, for instance, that of the first black president of the United States — aren’t followed by a kind of enlightenment but by the angriest of backlashes.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Feminism 
Hide 3 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It was that school’s particular version of all-maleness that did me in…

    And into the trash it goes.

  2. All I know is that now it’s somewhat easier, thanks to the bursting dam of news about the grotesque (and grotesquely repetitive) experiences that women have had with male predators…

    I recall a recent Yalie president against whom some false charges may have been made, but none by women. Later, his prison-bitch wife was nominated for federal public office at least three times.

    How did Mr Engelhardt react then?

  3. Hu Mi Yu says:

    All I know is that now it’s somewhat easier, thanks to the bursting dam of news about the grotesque (and grotesquely repetitive) experiences that women have had with male predators,

    As if there were no female predators seducing young men and ruining the rest of their lives with demands for child support and alimony. Let me tell you something. When all the women are out of the room, young men display the same “grotesquely repetitive” behavior with each other. If you don’t like men, fine. Stay away from us. Stop insisting that every profession should have equal representation of women, while the menial jobs are left for males. Instead of forcing your way into male workplaces and then complaining that men are what they are, spend a little more effort caring for your children; so they don’t grow up to hate you.

    However, let’s remember that, as Jones suggests today, sometimes such moments — take, for instance, that of the first black president of the United States — aren’t followed by a kind of enlightenment but by the angriest of backlashes.

    You have it almost right, but you have reversed “backlash” and “enlightenment”.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Tom Engelhardt Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Eight Exceptional(ly Dumb) American Achievements of the Twenty-First Century
How the Security State’s Mania for Secrecy Will Create You
Delusional Thinking in the Age of the Single Superpower