THE MASCULINITY CONSPIRACY

08: Conclusion cont’d

with 2 comments

Further still, the conspiracy robs us of the critical thinking skills required to identify that it is hiding in plain sight in the first place, let alone to do something about it. This is achieved by the extraordinary dumbing down of information around us, which I have referred to in earlier chapters. It has been an interesting exercise as this book has been published online to witness a small but persistent number of readers complain that the style of writing is too complex and “intellectual.” On various occasions I have been asked to cut out the jargon, make it easier to read, provide allegedly “real life examples” and so on, which would all bring the text more into line with the kind of self-help books many folks seem to have become conditioned to expect.

The impression seems to be that this is an “academic” book trying to pass itself off a something altogether different. But this is genuinely not the case. If you think this writing is academic, you clearly have not read much academic writing lately (which often I can’t figure out either). The demand for ever-simpler writing, bullet points, instant insights, micro-summaries and so forth render books incapable of addressing the complexity of the issues at hand. Masculinity is a complex issue: you might think some of the popular writers are writing about it with “clarity,” but they are simply stripping it of all subtlety and nuance. It’s certainly desirable to aim for clarity, but at some point compromise becomes fatal: it might result in a slot on Oprah’s couch, but it will not result in anything useful. Complex issues require appropriately complex handling.

More than this, the status quo critiqued here requires people not to think with appropriate complexity, subtlety and nuance in order to perpetuate its nonsense agenda. So when I hear complaints about the book being too complex, my immediate thought is not that I’ve failed in my task to clearly communicate, rather that the reader is showing how far they are conditioned into the conspiracy (a classic example of conspiratorial logic, if ever there was one!). It also seems a bit fishy to me when critics will focus on what they claim to be stylistic problems rather than the topics under discussion, which seems a rather transparent diversion tactic.

CONTINUE >>>

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Written by Joseph Gelfer

August 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm

2 Responses

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  1. You say, ” On various occasions I have been asked to cut out the jargon, make it easier to read, provide allegedly “real life examples” and so on, which would all bring the text more into line with the kind of self-help books many folks seem to have become conditioned to expect.” It is a formidable task to appeal to everyone. The obvious next step is to create a workshop manual to demonstrate this. I have written a feminine model of this conspiracy about 7 years ago, which is more generic and sits on my desk requires editing. The point is that peopl are conditioned and they need real life application to fill in the blank – to create new nueronal pathways or patterns of bahaviour and thought.
    What is required is something that integrates, ie. Feeling or sensory faculites.

    Alisa Battaglia

    January 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    • The workshop manual is a good idea: someone else suggested this a few months ago. On the list, I guess 🙂

      Joseph

      January 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm


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