Friday, July 5, 2013

About 'All but one'...

I had an answer for Lonely Himalayan Bear that I was going to post up today.

And then someone else pitched up and blew my mind :-)
Ezriel says something that I have heard before. But not quite like this :-)

Ezriel is a MGHOW and a storyteller. And I like this story he tells:

"The others will not come back.

Women only want heroes on their parade.

The women rejoice at their returning heroes. A great celebration is held for the new members of the village. They feel the love, admiration and respect of everyone around them.

All but one.

Quietly a father searches the perimeter for his son. “He’ll make it”, he says to himself. But as the hours pass, he is forced to return home and comfort his mate over what is increasingly obvious even if he won’t admit it to himself. His mate is sad, but resolute. “It had to be done”, she remarks. “Only the strong have the right to survive.” As the night falls and his mate drifts off to sleep the father cries for his son.

When the morning comes, the father’s mate rolls over and finds a cold, empty bed. Sure that he is hunting she busies herself with her daily tasks. As the day goes by, more and more of the hunters return to smiling families, marveling at bounty they provide. A niggling doubt creeps into her thoughts, her mate has yet to return and night has fallen. She asks the other hunters if they had seen her mate to no avail. No one has seen him since the celebration.

Deep in the jungle, a father hunts not for food but for his son. He uses every trick his father taught him but it fails him. No blood, no body, no trace whatsoever. Sure that his son survived after all he rushes to the village expecting to find his smiling son, now a man!

Nothing but emptiness greets him. He knew then that it will never be the same.

Time passes: days become months, months become years but the father never forgot. Couldn’t, no matter how hard he tried. Everyone’s life continued as nothing has happened. Sick of it all, he drifts off to the jungle never to be heard of again.

Even without one of their hunters, the village prospered and grew. Their time honored tradition has served them well. The strong live, the weak are culled. The women prepare for that night’s celebration and as the boys, now men, return. The celebration is held and the men can feel the love, admiration and respect of everyone around them.

All but one…


I hope you don’t mind Spacetraveller, I took your narrative and made one of my own. It’s shorter than I wanted it to be but I’ve a limited space. I apologize in advance as English is not my primary language. What I’m trying to illustrate here is that, at least for me, the system becomes unsustainable. It works for a while but it will implode at some point. More and more men are drifting away from the village, if they make it back to begin with.

I turned 30 last month and it has turned my sight inward. I look back at the roads I’ve traveled; that my father traveled and his father before him. The beaten path is familiar to me, but no longer fulfilling. Somewhere along the line, something fell off and broke. Whatever it was, I couldn’t fix it. I had to make something new to replace it with but that something, that elusive thing, is now tugging at me towards a new path. One away from what is expected of me. But I don’t see it as a loss, more and more I see what awaits me at the end. It is not without its peril, to walk this path I must discard everything that has led me this far and remake myself anew. But what awaits me at the end is more precious than diamonds, more beautiful than your child’s first word, sweeter than a woman’s first kiss.

What awaits me at the end is freedom, and I like it."

Ezriel's story is easily recognisable to any man, I am sure.
I know this is every man's story.
I also know that many modern women do not know this story.
I know this story because I was fortunate enough to find it 'by accident'.

I post all of Ezriel's comment here in the hope that women will find it and read it. Again and again.

All but one.

If I didn't know this before, I can categorically say this now:

As a woman, I have never feared being that 'one'.

The one who never comes back.
The one who is 'missing in action'.
The one who is 'lost at sea'.
The one who is just 'lost'.
The one who is no more.

This is not a woman's reality. It just isn't.
Sure, there are women who are truly heroic, but this characteristic is not intrinsic to womanhood. If it happens to a woman, it does add extra depth to her character, to her fortitude and to her sense of self, yes.

But it is not what makes her a woman.

The 'All but one' phenomenon is unique to men, as well you know, Ezriel.
So I cannot pretend to know all about it. But what I can say about it is what it looks like from the other side of the fence. Which is all I can offer on this subject. And I hope it is of some value to you.

Yes, women want heroes. I agree, Ezriel.
It is an essential part of our make-up.
And what's more, we cannot lose this aspect of our wiring.
Because the minute we do, we are no longer women.

You already know the score: nothing new here.
You don't want the 'Strong and Independent' types who don't need men.

So we agree that men actually want women who want men. And to an individal woman, that man has to be something more than a man, to be special. He has to be somewhere between a man and a god. (No exaggeration :-)

And what's more, you do want to be a hero - not necessarily for a woman, but for yourself.

We women do not need to be heroes. Of course we can be, if the situation calls for it. But no-one expects it of us. So we don't seek to be anyone's hero.

But you, you need to be. Because your sense of manhood depends on this. In an outcome-independent kind of way.
But hey, you wouldn't complain if erm, you get some 'perks' along the way :-)

Unfortunately, not everyone can be a hero.
Indeed in chasing 'herodom' as you are wired to do - and society eggs you on to do it if your own Nature doesn't - you run the risk of losing life or limb, yes.

This is not woman's fault. But woman is designed to take advantage of this need of yours.

So if you come back from your sojourn, life and limb intact, you should be a hero to some woman, somewhere.
If you don't come back, you are the 'All but one'.

It is sad, and I lament this fact of life.
Which is why I think women should be more aware of the natural plight of men and not add to their troubles with unpleasantness, deceit, divorce rape and cuckoldry.

But no-one can help the 'All but one' phenomenon. Not men (who must compete fair and square to avoid being the 'one' and certainly not women who must definitely not meddle in the business of man-ness :-)

So I receive your heartfelt lament in the spirit of shared friendship ("good on you for revealing your inner pain - I sympathise with you, my friend") as opposed to a wistful attempt to circumnavigate an essential pillar of male upbringing.

There must be a reason why all successful societies put their young males through brutal rigorous rituals such as that which you describe.

Once again, it is not women's fault that these harsh sojourns of mind and body are in place for young men like you.

But I agree that at some point, you ought to be rewarded for not being the 'one who didn't come back'.

That is what is missing in today's world for the men who did 'make it back'.
They are not getting any sort of recompense for their fear, their pain, their sweat, their toil.
In fact, very often they are punished for coming back!

This is wrong. This is unfair. This will and is coming back to haunt womanhood...

In my view, before you are 'tested', you shouldn't be asking any woman, 'Will you cry if I don't come back?'
The answer will be 'no'. You already know that.


But once you are back, you shouldn't have to ask too many women if they will watch your back until the day you die.
The answer to that rhetorical question should be 'yes'.

In fact, it should be a given that you are shown the basic respect and possible affection reserved for someone who is 'back'.

But this part is missing in today's SMP.
I understand that...

Thank you for your story.

But I think your lament should be less about your fears about someone not coming back, and more about what should be your rightful bounty for actually coming back.

Which you do. Over and over again. Day in day out.

In your mind at least, you are a hero. Which means you made it back.
To your close family and friends, you are a hero too, perhaps.
But not so much to the wider society.

And yet, the wider society expects much of you.

This is where I see a disconnect.
And this is where I rejoice with you that you see freedom somewhere in this awful mix.
And I admire you for this, because I find it very difficult to see anything good in this sort of situation, as it currently stands for men.

But in all honesty, Ezriel, I cannot do anything for the man who didn't make it back.

But I think society can definitely do more for those who did.
That is where I focus my energies.

That is what this whole blog is about.

And now I feel compelled to ask you men:

What do you make of the man who didn't come back?

Do you share Ezriel's compassion for him?
Do you have the loyalty of Snoopy?

Or do you see him as a fallen rival, and therefore 'good riddance'?
Or do you, like socety in general, feel that his Worth is in his making it back?

Is this locker-room stuff that I should keep away from?
I shall understand if the answer to this not-so-rhetorical question is a firm 'yes'.


Unknown said...

What the men who come back feel is enormous guilt towards those who did not.

Ever see "Saving Private Ryan"? The scene where the men fall on their knees and start crying before the graves of those who did not make it really happened.

I've known guys who did it.

Anonymous said...

24 MAU

"They Came in Peace"

The Navy Corpsman

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reply Spacetraveller, much appreciated. Before I start though, I pose a question.

Am I the father, or the son?

I like your take on the story. I had some of my friends read it and they had wildly different perspectives. All interesting but my brother, being a father of two boys, asked What happened to the son?

When writing the story I was coming off a week long research binge that ranged from Men’s rights to marriage to fertility rates. In that list, the last item really caught my attention. It becomes increasingly harder to deny; more and more countries have falling into the sub-replacement fertility. In my country it’s at 1.64 children per woman , below the necessary 2.1 needed to just maintain the population.

And so, we get the story. A son disappears; a father abandons the village. The cycle repeats itself, as it always has, but as expectations increase, so do the casualties. More fathers and sons are lost. That’s the world in which we find ourselves in, a world that can’t afford it.

So I ask: what happened to the son?

Spacetraveller said...


I can understand the guilt. And perhaps underneath the guilt, relief that 'it wasn't me'.

I think Ezriel's point is about this guilt.

But tell me, is this anything to do with women ?

These brutalities on young men are ordained and imposed by older men, and not by women.

When I mentioned in the MGTOW post that I thought that the trials women put men through are like another 'initiation' for men, many men strongly disagreed with me.

So is Ezriel right to link the loss of this 'one' to womanhood's ills? I think not, personally, but perhaps someone could expand this argument as to why he might be right on this point?


Harrowing story.


You are welcome. Your story really moved me.

In answer to your first question, I see you as the son, purely due to your age. I think Patriarchy is actually quite harsh to young men, which is something feminists don't understand!

I think the father may be searching sorrowfully for his lost son, but he knows that the son HAD to go through the rigors which ended his life, because without it, he (the son) would have had no hope of ever becoming a man. Of course, the father wishes that the son had come out of the 'forest' alive like him (the father) had in his day.

What happened to the son?

Interesting question.

I make the assumption that he died due to some inherent danger in the 'forest'.

But I could be wrong. The only fact of the matter here is that he never came back. This does not mean he died.

He could have chosen not to come back. He could have decided that life in the forest was not so bad afterall :-)

But... at the end of the day he is seen as the guy who didn't come back. If the objective was that he come back, that means he was a 'no show'.
That means that in the eyes of other men he was a failure.

This is not good, I imagine.

This man from this point onwards is a condemned man, no?
Correct me if I am wrong.

Suppose he managed to have a life in the forest, let's say he found himself a 'forest woman' and formed a life with her, he would still feel he was missing something, no?

Perhaps a man could enlighten me on this one.

I know that a woman who has 'failed' as a woman will do everything to take away the pain of this. Much of the point of feminism is to allow a 'way out' for women in this position.

So, to give an example, if a woman is fat, well, let's solve that problem with 'fat acceptance'.

If she is too erm, accommodating of men, let's join a slut walk :-)

The correct thing to do is to stop the errant behaviour, not find a way to circumvent it, of course. But who said feminism was a moral movement?

So in the case of the 'condemned man', what would he do to correct his status among men?

Try to come back at all cost (if he didn't die in the forest), or rationalise that he didn't really like the village in the first place and leave it at that? (Assuming of course that there was nothing wrong with the village in the first place, which is clearly not the case nowadays).

I don't know the answer to that question.

Mule Chewing Briars said...

He would have to stay in the village, hang out with the young girls at the tanning racks, coo over the hunters as they came trouping home, and write really witty musical theater.

Spacetraveller said...

@ MCB,

Sounds like a good deal to me !

Live Free or Die said...

According to society, men are disposable.

The only way to win is to play by your own rules and genuinely not care what anyone thinks. Examples include:

have a monster porn collection
pump and dump
learn game
never marry or cohabit
get a vasectomy
start your own business
shamelessly visit prostitutes

Spacetraveller said...


I agree that in THIS modern society, men are disposable. Sad but true.

But remember that individual men are not disposable to their own families.

It is the faceless crowd of men that are disposable.

Does this make sense?

One could argue of course that with current laws, every man is potentially disposable, as soon as his previously happy wife becomes 'unhappy' and presses the 'eject' button.

This is an example of how women's 'inner savage' has been unleashed with no adverse consequences. Previous generations of women were 'put in check' so men could never be as disposable as they have become today...

Your solutions are reasonable for some individual men. But what about those who want to be moral/legal/and especially fathers?

What can they do?

Fight for a reversal of the useless laws or find a woman who also renounces said laws...