A 1973 card I bought in my early teens, when I first began collecting quotes.
The Thoreau quote above struck a chord with me when I was around 13 years old. Most people go with the flow, but I’ve always been a contrarian. Sometimes, well, make that most of the time, life is probably easier if you don’t march to a different drummer. The thing about refusing to buy into things, just because “that’s the way it’s always been” or “experts say it is so” or “what makes you think you know more than all the brilliant people, who have come before you” is perhaps they never challenged the “accepted wisdom” or thought about it in the way I am thinking about it. I refuse to go along to get along if something doesn’t make sense to me. Of course, I keep trying to understand the “accepted wisdom”, but if I believe that is not right, then I will not say I accept it. I might be completely misguided in my views, but until I believe something makes sense, I’m not going to say I believe it.
One thing I tell my kids repeatedly is: “Don’t ever buy into other people’s bullshit.”
I believe America needs a whole lot more people to adopt a more contrarian viewpoint.
A few posts back I wrote about Charles Eric Maine’s 1958 dystopian sci-fi novel , World Without Men, which amazon.com’s blurb describes as:
Maine’s bases his vision of an ideological dystopia not on criticism of socialism or communism per se, nor of technocracy per se, but rather of feminism. Maine saw in the nascent feminism of his day (the immediate postwar period) a dehumanizing and destructive force, tending towards totalitarianism, which had the potential to deform society in radical, unnatural ways. Maine believed that feminism, as he understood it, derived its fundamental premises from hatred of, not respect for, the natural order. He also believed that feminism entailed a rebellion against sexual dimorphism.”
Not being a fan of science fiction or novels about dystopian societies, I felt relief when I finally received my copy of World Without Men. The novel is only 190 pages and a quick read. However, many themes in the plot evoke deeper questions about women, women in groups, men, and men’s influence on women’s behavior that left me pondering modern feminism. I’m already rereading several sections.
Before I begin the book report on an imaginary society in a 1950s sci-fi novel, consider that talking about males and females shouldn’t be complicated, yet many things in our culture today require a concentrated effort at suspending rational thinking to believe in the bizarre “gender issues”, because frankly, they’re made-up and have no basis in the world as we know it, scientific facts, or historical evidence. The feminist revolution spawned not just a battle for women to have equal access to jobs and equal pay for equal work, but an endless war against the patriarchal system (code for western civilization) and at its core a hatred and complete disdain for men and all things that are traditionally considered masculine, manly, or male attributes, beyond mere differences in genitalia.
I reject feminism, because it’s not just some benign battle for “fairness” in the workplace or expanding opportunities for women, it’s about tearing down the entire framework of western civilization. Maine’s novel, set 5,000 years into the future, describes a world literally without men. Although sounding totally implausible at first glance, Maine offers snapshot-like short chapters into the past, that lay out frightening events along the way to how this “world without men” came to be. While novels like this aren’t to be taken literally or as prescience for what is to come, like 1984, Maine touched on some issues that are worth thinking about.
Parthenogenesis, asexual reproduction where an embryo develops from an unfertilized egg cell, becomes the means of reproduction in this futuristic, totalitarian, lesbian world Maine created. The society, 5,000 years int0 the future, begins the story of a world of only women, who are controlled by government committees and artificial intelligence from computers, to believe in the Parthenogenetic Adaptation Syndrome (P.A.S.), that teaches women that nature has evolved to allow women to have babies without men. The official history teaches that men, over time, died out and offers some glimpses into a world with war, expensive space exploration and conflict in those ancient times. The P.A.S. requires rigid, cradle to grave conformity to all rules decreed by the government departments, like the Department of the Written Word and the Department of Social Stability.
All women are told when it is their duty to produce babies, which they never see and which are raised in government institutions. The women are told that these babies are born naturally through parthenogenesis. Relationships in this world are superficial and geared toward physical pleasure, not deep emotional bonds. Along with government committees tightly controlling reproduction, the governmental Department of Mortic Revenue controls who dies and when they die, to maintain a stable population. Even in this peaceful world, where no one is allowed to make waves or disrupt the social stability, rabble-rousers and contrarians keep emerging.
The official P.A.S. history teaches:
“There never could have been a Utopia while man survived and controlled human affairs, for his innate aggressiveness and insatiable curiosity forced him restlessly to pursue the ever-widening boundary of knowledge without giving a thought to the application of his newly found powers in the service of humanity. In abolishing man, nature had opened the way to the permanent establishment of peace and plenty. Several women scientists had pointed out that man had been necessary to nature’s purpose; he had tackled, with considerable energy and ingenuity, the problem of adapting his environment to himself, and had succeeded in wresting from the blind forces of the cosmos all the power he needed to secure the supremacy and ultimate survival of the human race as an entity. And at that point man became redundant. Worse he became an obstacle to the wise and peaceful exploitation of natural power for the benefit of his species. So man ceased to exist, and woman became mistress of her planet, and nature provided parthenogenesis to replace the outmoded reproduction mechanism that had vanished with the male sex.”
p. 35, World Without Men, Maine, Charles Eric
While the official belief is in P.A.S., secretly the government has scientists working tirelessly on trying to produce living male babies, because human parthenogenesis is a lie.
Maine has chapters that provide historical glimpses into how this all female world developed, beginning with a contraceptive drug called Sterilin, which creates temporary sterility in women, to allow women sexual freedom. Keep in mind this novel was written before the Pill was introduced. Another chapter moves further ahead where a reporter wants to break a big story to expose that the governments of the world are hiding an alarming decline in male births, attributed to nature overcompensating for artificially sterile females, by overproducing females. The imbalance at this point in the story is reaching critical mass, but to avoid widespread panic, governments are suppressing the demographic statistics. The reporter is assassinated before he can break the story.
Further along in the progression to a world without men is a short chapter on an old man, kept locked living in isolation, with caretakers. This man has been told he is the last living man on earth and his memories of younger days, being kept locked up with other men to provide, basically stud service and genetic material, sounds like how scientists today work to preserve endangered species. The male embryos keep dying off. Many aspects of this story fit perfectly with how scientists react to existential challenges, how most people adapt and conform easily to whatever rules they are indoctrinated into believing. And at each historical point in this story, there are people who rebel and believe in exposing the lies.
I don’t want to give away the ending completely, but like so many other epic stories throughout history a male child is born and his birth rocks the entire system. The committees and artificial intelligence, reach the verdict that the male baby must be destroyed. He will disrupt the stability. A revolt begins. Maine writes:
“It is strange how a small thing can unbalance a perfectly planned society. Perhaps stability is geared in some way to purpose and direction, and perhaps the stabilizing was research into the synthetic creation of a male human. Without that focal point of endeavor, like the nucleus of a cell, it may be that society tends to lose its purpose, to disintegrate. The psychology of a social perversion-neurosis in very complex.”
p. 189, World Without Men, Maine, Charles Eric
Although, this story is science fiction, modern feminism does tend toward totalitarianism, where whatever “gender theories” and pseudo-science, manufactured among feminist academics, get crammed down our throats through “experts” lecturing us in the media and through the K-12 public school system. Any who disagree are shouted down and ostracized. While no catastrophic decline in male births has occurred due to widespread use of contraceptives since the advent of The Pill in 1960, in Russia and several Western European countries that embraced both contraception, small families and abortion, demographics have reached a critical stage. These countries are not reproducing enough children to sustain their ethnic groups.
As bizarre as the P.A.S. belief in this story sounds, truthfully it’s no more bizarre than the current transgender myths and endless “gender variations” being sold by “experts” and LGBT activists. A very small fraction of the population was homosexual before the massive efforts to mainstream gay marriage and gay rights, but along with the mainstreaming is a full-court effort in Hollywood to produce movies and TV shows with gay characters to normalize homosexuality. As homosexuality is mainstreamed and promoted, more young people will engage in homosexual behavior.
The activists have carefully packaged all of their radical gender agenda as “civil rights”, casting any who don’t buy into their beliefs as “haters”. With the rapid successes with gay activism, the current transgender activism is intended to mainstream transgender behavior and teach children that despite being born male or female, they should feel free to choose their “gender”. The push to “treat” children before adolescence with hormones to stop puberty is already happening and some doctors also have begun administering hormones to cross-sex, beginning the sex change process in children as young as 12.
Maines’s fictional all-female society was thousands of years in the making, but looking at the LGBT transformation in society in the past 20 years shows how quickly people can be brainwashed, manipulated and led by relentless mass media saturation and social engineering to “normalize” just about any behavior.
As for me, I’ll remain a contrarian and insist that boys and girls should be allowed to be just boys and girls again, without all this gender-bending, destructive, pseudo-science robbing so many children of the innocence to just be kids. And we shouldn’t feel like we are being insensitive to politely say , “I don’t believe in 50+ genders.” or “I believe transgenderism is a mental disorder.”
The powers that be, in any human system, try to silence and squash disrupters, who challenge the system. Maine got that part completely right.