Men and War

I have been thinking a lot about feminism and equality nowadays partly because despite my innate sense of I can do whatever the f*ck I want regardless of my gender, I somehow have ended up a married, subjugated, incarcerated, unpaid slave to my children and husband. Oh yes, and I earn money too. How the f*ck did that happen? The conclusion that I have come to is that the journey for equality is an impossible destination. Men and women are not equal just like salt and pepper are not equal. How do you make salt and pepper equal? You can’t – it’s impossible. Men and women can never be equal because we are completely different.

Before I get sucked into a debate of outraged hens clucking about equality – I am not saying that we give up the fight girls – I am just saying we need to change our tactics and play a different game. Salt and pepper, yin and yang, black and white – diametrically opposed differences between men and women has never been so heavily illustrated then in the film Restrepo, the documentary that accompanies Sebastian Junger’s book War. London City Mum and I had our first date, popcorn free in a private cinema in Soho House. (I loved the venue – in fact, I was struck by the notion it would be a great place to hire for a film and dinner night.)

The film is brilliant and compelling viewing but it’s not for the faint hearted. It’s like watching Band of Brothers, or Pacific but it’s not a drama with actors – it’s real. People really die. It’s raw and honest. But I sat in the cinema saddened by the impossible war. Like salt and pepper, like men and women, the Taliban and the US soldiers are diametrically opposed and they will never find solution, not in this decade. The only common ground is that both sides are fighting men and men need war.

I watched this film and I thought men really do need war. War is about the size of your penis. It is the ultimate knob battle. Men create weapons that are an extension of their penis and discharging these weapons is about hosing the planet with an explosively packed charge of destructive semen. The bigger the weapon, the bigger the penis, the more intensive the explosion, the more intensively they shoot their load. War and fighting is about men, hard ons and ejaculation. They are programmed to hunt, kill and protect their territory. But the men are out of control because the universe is out of balance.

Is America imperialist? “If you help me, I will make you rich” said the Major, to the Taliban elder. I am afraid my Star Wars analogy still stands. This film did not dispel it.

I have never shot a real gun but I am interested to know what it feels like because I can imagine it’s very empowering. Are there any weapons that can’t be matched with my penis and ejaculation metaphor? I don’t know enough about warfare and weapons to say this conclusively but this is what my instincts are saying.

Men like fighting and they like blowing sh*t up. They are united as a gender and they are in charge. Women fight with each other and let men get away with all sorts of unacceptable behaviour. We are not united. If women really united would we be able to stop war happening? It’s a pretty massive ask isn’t it? But someone has to cuff those men folk around the ear and put them on the naughty step. Let’s face it you wouldn’t let your husband and son masturbate in the living room would you? But it’s all right for them to go discharging their weapons when someone takes their lolly is it?

You can make up your own mind. If you want to see Restrepo there’s another preview 24th August, 6pm Soho House – email: Anna Sissons – sissons@dogwoof.com – You can tell her I sent you 😉

27 Comments

  1. I honestly believe if women stopped all the infighting and stupidness, all the ‘I’m a better mother/person/whatever than you’ rubbish and came together we could achieve great things. Including clipping these men around the ear and sending them to the naughty step. But how the hell do you make people stop bitching long enough to get them to see that?

    the film sounds brutal. I could perhaps read the book but not sure i could manage the film.

    I have shot a real gun, machine guns and rifles, several times and to be honest I didn’t find it empowering only heavy and cumbersome. Alien with it’s oily smells and clicky, smooth mechanical parts. It’s not something I enjoyed and the only reason I could ever raise one against another person would be in a me and my family or them situation, but I know how they work and know how to use one, which I think is a good skill to have in life. Here guns are a part of life, we have several in our house, they are hunting rifles and pistols. The kids learn to shoot early, maybe around aged 8 or so. It’s a man’s world i think, this hunting and shooting stuff, but as much as I don’t like it personally I will do my damndest to make sure my daughter gets taught and not just my son when they get to that age.

    Anyway…not really sure how relevant that little ramble was to your post. Sorry 🙂

  2. Our first date *sigh*. You certainly know how to show a girl a good time.

    Actually, irony aside, great post. I am still reflecting about the film. I thought it was very powerful and insightful and agree with your points above.

    There is no ‘easy’ solution.

    LCM x

  3. You make some really valid points here. Could we women make the difference? I have to hope the answer is yes. We have to get out there & start making some noise or at least flag it up when we get the opportunity! Like Heather I’m not sure I could manage the film.

  4. Good thought. I’m not sure even the united force of womankind is enough to cull the behaviour that testosterone fuels – along with a smattering of religion as a “cause”. They say women are slaves to their hormones, well, I think men are too, as you point out…the ultimate demonstration of maleness is to hunt and kill. Be that animals for food (acceptable), sport (unacceptable) or a perceived enemy – and it hasn’t changed over millennia. Cavewomen would have chosen a male for a mate who could catch dinner, they weren’t big into veganism if they could help it. Therefore, we have selected for those traits in our males now, the diversity of the Y chromosome is small, and we can trace all males to a very few common ancestors who must have been able to get the chicks, create offspring, then feed and protect them. What more could a girl ask for??! I’d love to be a Miss World candidate (HA!) and say “world peace” but I’m not that naive, even if it would be better for everyone.
    Power is intoxicating and people have invented reasons why they should have the power in the brokering arrangement – our god is better than yours, you don’t behave in a way we like, you took my stuff so I’ll take yours. Vindication for their behaviour which would be unacceptable otherwise.
    I’m all for a united XX front to tally the bizarrely united warring XY version – but can we really alter the balance? What we originally loved them for (thousands of years ago), we now want to change. Ah, the joys of Venus and Mars.

    1. We can reset the boundaries, we make them, we raise them – we educate them in what is ok and what is not ok. Yes, dear, of course, go and hunt some bore (I mean boar) but do not nuke another country while you are at it.

      Ants are very effective when they unite. I don’t want to change them but control and manage them better. They are not capable of being in charge. They have enslaved us. Women are repressed. Men would rather be ruled by an incompetent man than a competent women.

  5. As usual, a topic close to my heart. Equality. Paf. In my own wisdom, I have decided to be good at it all domesticity and work and treat the entire situation as a business project. I have to manage it and pull out every stop to make it work. Its not fair, but thats just the way it is as Im the only one with Balls big enough to do the job well.

  6. Yet another fab blog MMM with interesting points.

    Do you think women can ever be united as a whole? I am not sure I do. We (and I include myself in this generalisation) are ok in small groups with other women we have interests/hobbies in common and even then those groups shift and change with age/postings/children. Men seem to be much more able at keeping and enlarging their groups of friends, maybe that is why they are so united?

    Either way the book and film sound very thought provoking, although I am not sure I can approve of the absence of popcorn!

    1. Thank you Pixie – thanks for commenting too. I hope it’s the beginning of many 😉 Men are loyal to each other even if they don’t like each other. Women need to like someone to display loyalty plus we like to bitch about each other, and put each other down it’s a female hobby but I guess it depends how much we want to stay enslaved. We are slaves of men and so unless we demand our freedom and recognise in order to get our freedom we need to unite regardless of whether we like each other or not – I believe it can happen. Imagine if I charged my husband an hourly rate for all the free work I give him. (Not including the bedroom duties!)

      A milly wife said to me – ‘my hubby doesn’t mind me not working as he would have to pay £30k for a nanny’
      ‘and the rest’ I said. For a man to go on a 6 month deployment without his kids – he would need 3 nannys (£45k pro rata 6 months 90k per annum), a housekeeper (£7k pro rata 6 months – £14k per annum) and a gardener, (£3750 pro rata 6 months – £7 k per year for a contractor) that’s a cost of £55k for six months for £111k per annum. I guess he wouldn’t be able to afford to deploy then!!

  7. Interesting post as always, I love the way you speak your mind.

    I’m not sure I agree with you though. I have shot a gun, in fact I am an excellent shot. Yes I did find it exciting, but then maybe I have too much testosterone or something. I don’t think it really is the same ‘release’ as men receive from ejaculation, I think that’s taking the phallic metaphor a little too far. After all ejaculation occurs after a rythymic sustained effort, from what I’ve observed. ;-p Firing a gun is that. Firing. Done. And done. And done. Depending on the type of gun of course. There are weapons that are completely different from the whole phallic imagery such as explosive devices, and biological weapons. Devices that are buried inside human bodies and detonate turning that body into a crimson shower are not sexually powerful in any sense. The guys I know who deal with these things do get off on war though. They do get off on explosions, but that is largely due to their overdeveloped sense of heroism. Their egotistical desire to protect, to be honoured as the one who is the saviour. If anything it’s a God complex. Most of the men who perform these tasks are intelligent, quick witted and risk takers. A type personalities all of them, they are not always turned on by the hard and fast of it, but are (in my humble observation) always turned on by their role as the shiny protector. I’m not sure war is about man’s inability to satiate his sexual need for destruction. I think it is more about man’s need to be confirmed as the hero, the brave, the strong, and the right. The Taleban and other enemies are also fighting for the right – their right that sanctions any manner of evil or destruction.
    I love the idea of womenspirit overwhelming the brutal innate warrior instinct of men, but it will never happen. Despite the fact that there are women who are almost as brutal and bellicose, I really don’t think we could be successful. For as long as there is opposing view and religious fanaticism there will be war between men, and women. Film sounds interesting.

    1. There’s a gun and then there’s the Pig (M60)! There’s a scene in the film where there’s a gunfight and they were bouncing around like atoms. One stoked, buzzing soldier shouted – “That was f*cking awesome. There’s no coming back from that, that was the best f*cking feeling in the world!” That wasn’t scripted that was an honest reaction from an infantry soldier who just been in a firefight.

      I think if a man could shoot his load at the same rounds per minute as the fastest gun he would be in heaven. Men love cumming – if they could cum, and cum and cum and cum – they would.

      “Devices that are buried inside human bodies and detonate turning that body into a crimson shower are not sexually powerful in any sense” Not you or to me – but the explosion is still a sexual metaphor because the penis explodes it’s ejaculation.

      Do men blow stuff up because they want to be heroes or is it because they like loud bangs and watching sh*t scatter. Most of the soldiers I know just like fighting. The soldier’s in the book War just like fighting – if they are not fighting the enemy they beat up each other. If there were no women to protect they wouldn’t stop fighting, they fight because they like it and on some level need it. Both the Taleban and the infantry were guns for hire – they weren’t fighting for a cause they were both fighting because someone paid them too. Some men fight for a cause but many men fight because it’s all they know and they are good at it.

      It will never happen it we state it will never happen. What if it could happen? What if we could make it happen? What if we believed it was possible? Mother and Father Nature were a team that created a balance – the universe needs re-balancing and I believe it is time to redress the balance before it’s too late and we allow men to destroy our world.

      There’s another showing next week – take The Englishman with you. He would definitely enjoy it – just email Anna. They would love you to go – they want women to see it and share their views.

  8. I agree 100% with your salt and pepper analogy! Women and men are, and always will be, totally different. We have different strengths and we should play to them. Screw equality, that’s what I say!

  9. But achieving equality doesn’t mean being the ‘same as.’ It means equal rights and equal freedoms. Of course men and women are not the same, but to say ‘screw equality’… I mean what would you have instead?

    War is without doubt a masculine phenomenon and women and children suffer disproportionately as a result of it. I’m sure some men find that sexy – I don’t.

    Where I do agree with both you and Heather is that in order for women to achieve anything like equality, we have to stop fighting amongst ourselves. It’s the old law of divide and rule: stay at home mothers versus working mothers, bottle feeders versus breast feeders, ‘good’ girls versus ‘bad’ ones e.c.t. We have got to start supporting one another more and judging each other less.

    Brilliant post by the way. Really interesting.

    1. Thank Gappy – yes, obviously I agree, I know we should have total freedoms but unfortunately it is often interpreted as be exactly the same as, which is why I didn’t want to get suckered in to this debate. I think we first need some female solidarity like you say that is the key.

      What we want is women to be incharge!! That’s not equality!!

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