Not many books arouse me as much as Stand By Your Manhood did. From the day I laid my eyes on it, sitting pretty on the bookshelf at KwaHaraba, I figured I had to buy it. That came at a cost of having to battle a friend who felt entitled cause the book was obviously for men. By the way, I won that fight and got it for me. With a punishment that all he could ever do was read the book review I write. Ha! Got the last laugh.
When I finally opened the first pages of the book, I felt like a young girl sneaking her way into the men’s conference. Hiding behind the curtains as men discussed their evil plans. Not once did I think I would relate to the words in it. In fact, 5 pages in and I thought it a great insult to girls. Thus, I closed it and gave it a break.
That was until a Wednesday came, and Afrobloggers through their Twitter page asked us what we were reading. A great shame fell on me, cause I had shut off a book without finishing and drinking in the message. With that shame intact, I reopened it and welcome new ideas to be instilled with me.
Before I go on to share my review of the book, let me make something clear. This book requires an open mind, more especially if you are a woman. It requires one to leave their entitled self aside, see the world in its entirety and comprehend what has been shared. If you read it with a closed mind, you could loathe the author and the whole male gender.
Stand By Your Manhood
The Guy Code is taken as the men’s bible, but maybe it is time men changed and actually made this book their bible instead. I say this, not as a woman who has just read it, but as a woman who has read it, understood it and somehow seen it important.
Stand By Your Manhood is a book that explicitly shares some of the most crucial issues that modern men face today. Again I say, if you’re a feminist (more especially on the extremist side), you might not like this book. So, don’t even bother reading it. And close the browser right now, cause you might end up loathing me too.
The book is not only thought provoking, but it challenges one to see the world for the entire bullshit it stands on. The double standards we have been built to believe, and just how bad it will get in the future. It shows that the current world as we know is going through a war, the battle of the sexes.
Instead of fighting for what is right from all wrongs, we are invested in gender dominance. Again, it shows how redundant the many works of people that have worked for equality has been set to be, all because some chose to be extreme.
Prominent Issues I Found Interesting:
1. Suppression of Choice
a) The issue of circumcision
Up until now, I would not have guessed that so many men feel ashamed for being circumcised at an early age. In fact, up until now, I regarded male circumcision as something beneficial to both sexes. Considering it states, it helps to prevent viral and other STI infection by 60%.
However, men wish they had a choice to do it. Again, something mind blowing was that, there is a great chance of men losing feeling or sensation in their dicks as they grow old. That is, if they circumcised.
So, as most of us find a problem with female circumcision, I think it is time we also learned about the hood taken from males.
An interesting quote on the subject said:
We see our kids as children, never potential sexual beings, so don’t bother to question how it may affect their future pleasures
So, next time you are told that it is a boy, and before you make the decision to circumcise your child, maybe consider this. And hopefully, allow them to make that choice themselves when they grow old. As it is their right.
b) Choice to be a father and choice not to be
This subject was touching altogether. Often, kids that grow up without their fathers state they have daddy issues. Something that is understandable, because he love of both parents is important. However, unlike the men that choose to leave their children and not ever see them ever again, this subject was met with something entirely different.
Firstly, men being tricked to be fathers when they were not ready. Having a child is a decision couples are meant to enjoy together, however, that wasn’t the case in most examples put in.
It was sad to read stories of men who never enjoyed that decision and were thrown to undertake the parent role. Having women put a hole in the condom before intimacy just to make sure they got pregnant. Using semen in the condom to impregnate themselves without their partner’s permission and many more.
Then there was the choice not to be fathers. Men that had either divorced or broken up with their partners being withheld from seeing their children. By the courts, they are obligated to pay monthly stipends for their children, but as form of revenge for breaking their hearts, women chose to not allow them the chance to be fathers to their kids.
2. Double Standards
Many times, as people that fight for the equality of women, we fail to see our double standards on issues. Something the book greatly drilled on. The double standards that the world lives on.
The second chapter of the book, The Politics of the Penis, discusses some things that men are taught. Such as, the insecurities with the size of their penises. As a woman, I realized the problem of finding humor in the size of a penis when I would be livid if a man made a joke about the size of the vagina. Something some of us are greatly guilty of.
Then again, there is the issue of some feminists finding it sexist for men to appreciate women who work as erotic dancers, nude models or sex workers. Forgetting that the women they are fighting for have a right to choose the work they indulge in.
I found it funny when he stated that a lot of men are very okay to date a bisexual woman, but that isn’t the case with women. I went on to create a Twitter poll and these were the results.
But then, 25% is maybe not that bad. Another issue he raised was the incident between Jay Z and Solange Knowles. You know, that elevator incident we all laughed to. Then he asked, what if the roles were reversed? Would we laugh? Or would women’s organizations have had a field day? Something to think about perhaps.
3. False Accusations
This brought a different dimension to issues of rape, domestic violence and all that. No, the author did not condone it, however, brought a male thought on an issue that persists.
Often, we sensitize fellow women on the dangers of false accusations when it comes to issues of rape, sexual violence and more. We talk about how it puts actual victims in danger of not being believed when they open up about their experiences. However, we often do not talk about the men that are named in such false accusations.
In a way, we just sweep the issue under the rug and keep it moving. Something we should not do. Such men are not meant to be neglected. Their names are tainted and have to face consequences of things they did not do for a lifetime.
While some would assume that the book bashes feminists and their work, it actually stands with them. It however shows disgust with those that are extremists and have gotten to hate men for just being men.
One major issue was, if as a feminist, you meet a man who is uneducated about the cause, instead of telling him to shut up, it is best to teach them.
Considering we want a world with equality, it is best we learn to coexist and teach those that are unaware.
However, the book does give a glimpse of how extreme the system has gone to hate men. From the government, the health system, justice system and even education.
In the book, an English professor from University of Ottawa stated
As a whole, these programs are not about the pursuit of truth; they are about theories of oppression to be accepted rather than examined. Very few are interested in facts and evidence. They’re about presenting a worldview in which patriarchal evil must be fought and heroic female victim hood defended….. The emphasis is unremittingly on female grievance and supposed male privilege, never the other way around.Stand By Your Manhood
Now that calls for concern. If indeed we are being manipulated in hating the other gender, then it will be a while till both sexes actually sit and understand the pains they go through.
5. Money is the Root
At the root of everything is the evil known as Money. And Paul makes that very known. The root of the battle of the sexes could also be attributed to money. Imagine the amounts of money people make in conferences just to discuss more ways of being extremists.
Then there is women marrying men, then divorcing them knowing fully well that there is a big cheque awaiting them.
Women keeping children away from their fathers while still getting damages in money.
The continued good PR towards circumcision because many companies make money off of the foreskins removed.
Like I said before, the book requires an open mind, more especially from women. It requires empathy and understanding that men do go through problems of their own that are not highly talked off.
If you do decide to get a copy, then you will thank Paul for also making it witty and funny as an attempt to lighten up the mood. So, not only will you be learning, you’ll also be laughing your ass off.
Liked the review? Comment your thoughts down below.