I had read and enjoyed Jack Donovan’s book “The Way of Men” and when I came across Androphilia, while browsing the net, I decided to give it a try. I was probably not the author’s target demographic as he describes his book as a ‘rant‘ and ‘manifesto’ for homosexual men to encourage them to throw of the chains of the gay culture and to rediscover masculinity. That being said, only half of the book is about the gay culture and gay identity, about half is also concerned with the nature of masculinity itself.
I suppose it should be no surprise that someone who has found his desire is directed towards other men would have thought about masculinity and have useful and interesting insights into the nature of ‘manliness’. This is not a minor point as Mr Donovan points out :-
“Being male is the fundamental source of identity for every male—before race, class or creed—and being a man affects virtually every aspect of a man’s life”
However, despite the importance of the topic maleness and masculinity receive scant attention in current culture. Indeed, when it is addressed it is more usually in terms of the problems of masculinity rather than consideration of its essence and utility. This unfortunately leaves men, both heterosexual and homosexual, with little opportunity to discuss how to live a life of a good man. Masculine virtues tend not to be recognised and we have a regrettable tendency to pathologize boyish behavioural patterns. He argues we need to try and re-find the masculine codes of behaviour, and this seems pertinent to all men.
“What I’ve suggested here is a loose code of masculine honor, based on values like self-reliance, independence, personal responsibility, integrity, self-respect and respect for other men, that have resonated with males throughout the ages. These values have been common themes in many codes of masculinity, and they’ve inspired countless males to be better men“
The other half of the book concerns the gay culture and I am really unable to appraise this aspect as easily. I share his belief that “Men should be defined by what they do, not who they screw.” but I am less certain that gay culture tends to have deleterious effects :-
“The word gay describes a whole cultural and political movement that promotes anti-male feminism, victim mentality, and leftist politics.”
“In response, I believe gay culture is a reproach to manly men. Gay culture critiques, stifles, and qualifies masculinity. It encourages effeminate affectations and effeminate interests.”
Though his arguments sound logical and coherent I have no idea how many gay men reject the effeminate aspects of this culture, nor how many share his appreciation of manliness. But I would agree that “The gay community makes sexuality a complete lifestyle, instead of merely a part of life.” is a dangerous strategy, a dangerous strategy also promoted by other identity groups.
He can be very scathing in this area, as righteous as only an ex-sinner can be, but sometimes in these, more rant heavy passages, his writing does reveal his humour and wit more clearly.
“It has always seemed like some profoundly ironic cosmic joke to me that the culture of men who love men is a culture that deifies women and celebrates effeminacy.”
I’d recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject of masculinity, whatever direction their libido takes, there is a lot of meat in this short book. The present kindle version also include a few essays as appendices which are a pleasant addition, especially his rebuttal of same-sex marriage (or perhaps just marriage) which shows a fresh viewpoint on the subject.