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The Crux Project Archives: Literature
SINGLE MALE ALONE. . . AND ON FIRE
Review of The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism,
Political Correctness, and Basically Everything
by Thomas Ellis
I was at a job interview last year, and the administrator before me was in her late sixties and outfitted in a traditional tweed business suit. Halfway through the questions I started to get the distinct impression that she liked me. She then critiqued the habits of the person who previously held the position and dismissed her as being “such a woman.” She then asked if I knew what she meant. I suspected a trap, so I told her uneasily that I did not. The administrator remarked that she hated going into meetings without a man at her side:
“No conference goes smoothly without a man in your corner. Women can do a lot of things, but they’re just not as effective in showdowns as men.”
Didn’t I think so? I gave no answer and hoped she’d move on to another subject. She did not. The question was repeated. Sheepishly, I confessed that I did not know because I had always been present in the meetings I attended. I had to say something cowardly along those lines, as her commentary was so politically incorrect that I doubted it to be genuine.
I’ll never know whether she was toying with me or not, however, as I did not hear back from that employer. If she was being sincere, such women, and men for that matter, are about as rare as girls who scour the unemployment lists in the hopes of finding future husbands.
We can be sure of one thing, however: author Thomas Ellis has met precious few women like the one who interviewed me, but in his life there has been no shortage of radical feminists, lipstick feminists, butch lesbians, lesbians in non-Wrangler clothing, herbologists, paranormal photographers, and occultist hangers-on. As the saying goes, “He has lived.” A great many of his experiences are described in depth as a supplement to his meticulous analysis and observation concerning men, women, government, and nearly every element of our sexual lives in his recent release, The Rantings of a Single Male: Losing Patience with Feminism, Political Correctness, and Basically Everything.
Yet, his title is oddly inappropriate. This compendium of wisdom is written in a calm and (nearly) respectful tone. It is not a rant in the least. Ellis offers up a work of logic. He never lets emotion obscure the points that he makes. The narrative is joyful and more reminiscent of boys blowing up Blackcats and Ladyfingers in the backyard than of a forsaken heretic clacking away in a dungeon upon a keyboard. Ellis is more Fred Reed than Matthew Fitzgerald. Very few gross overgeneralizations can be detected in these 26 alphabetically organized chapters. Ellis counterattacks the feminazis and man-haters with reason and wit alone. Yes, there are insults on many a page, but they are directed at specific types of lunatic instead of being declarations of war against 51 percent of the population.
Roger Kimball once referred to the works of philosopher David Stove as being “Against the Idols of the Age,” and this phrase is likewise descriptive of Mr. Ellis. He takes apart all oppressors, and by this I do not mean apocryphal baddies such as men in general, but instead the real sadists of the social fabric—such as the gay goodies lobby, the feminist majority (read: minute minority of women), the racist devotees of affirmative action, the “any unwanted touching is synonymous with rape” organizations, and anyone who repeatedly lies about men. Ellis writes with the freedom of a man who is independently wealthy and might never be required to work again. To quote the excitable lyrics of Robert Smith of the Cure, I would greatly like to ask Ellis, “Why can’t I be you?”
The honest truth is that I was not prepared to enjoy this tome as much as I did. Upon leafing through its pages, I expected it to be overstated and vulgar, yet the author clearly is in earnest and conducted a great deal of research before putting it together. Ellis is intimately familiar with the feminists’ writings and the responses that have sprung from brave and defiant men. For those readers who follow the literature of men’s rights, I would place The Rantings of a Single Male as being a rung above The Miseducation of Women but a notch below Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture in terms of value and message.
Amid the tales of old girlfriends and hitchhikers arises considerable insight and wisdom. Most of Ellis’s views are steeped in common sense. For example, few men could argue with statements such as this:
I support social engineering only when it is used to eliminate itself. I say,
feed women “equality of results” until they gag on it. If we can’t have equal
justice, then injustice needs to be applied equally. If we are to give preference
to lesser qualified women over more qualified men in the name of equal
opportunity, then less capable female soldiers should be doing equal amounts
of killing and dying in combat. . . . Let’s require women to engage in street-to-street combat the same as men. I just hope they have entire female divisions so that men don’t have to die rescuing them.
Bravo! And the argument becomes all the sweeter when one fantasizes about its dynamics. Entire armies could be forged from overweight, oversensitive, overindulged, radical feminist letharg-o-crats. The Pentagon could field an Army Group Ensler or even a Dworkin Division that specialized in exporting paranoia to allies-in-name-only such as France and Germany. We could empty out the Womyn’s Studies programs and have them meet actual sexists in distinctly unfashionable corners of the globe, instead of allowing them to remain here and drearily complain about a patriarchy that is so unsettling it forces them to perform actual work during the work day. A minesweeping brigade could fly the banner of “Fat is a Feminist Issue” and do great service for our nation. They could hew a path, one way or another, for our armor to roll through No Man’s Land.
Ah, how sad that these contingencies are as yet only a pipedream!
Ellis’s 261 page confessional is, alas, not perfect. Some of his shots are misdirected, and at times his arguments are too ardent. Occasionally, he uses the word “women” when he should use “feminists” or, more accurately, “radical feminists,” because no man in his right mind would ever have anything bad to say about the arguments of equity feminists such as Christina Hoff Sommers and Daphne Patai. An example of this is to be found in the following sentences:
Still, I hear women’s sports being hyped and marketed to men, as if we should
rush in and save them. I would ask, why should men support women’s sports
when women are doing all they can to destroy men’s collegiate athletics?
Here he is mistaken. “Women” in general do not view men’s athletics in a negative fashion. They’re usually only too happy (particularly in those years just after college) to watch basketball and football games on Saturdays in the various bars and taverns which beautify our American landscape. In fact, I have never met a heterosexual woman who was even remotely interested in the WNBA or ever mentioned having an interest in women’s athletics of any kind—even though I’ve known many who played them while in high school and college.
Such erroneous thinking sadly suggests that I can only endorse 99.7 percent of this book, yet, concerning the other .3 percent, I will be content to look the other way.
While rife with intentional humor, The Rantings of a Single Male is a work of tremendous importance. It draws all the right conclusions about the serfification of the modern male. We are, thanks to the government, now the inferior sex, and it’s time people started talking about it. This book jams a piece of soundproofing into the Leviathan public address system that is political correctness, but we are still thousands of sections away from silencing it.
Perhaps Ellis’s book will never be a bestseller, but it is essential reading for anyone who despises the fascist version of tolerance that pervades our culture. Anyone who refuses to apologize for their sex, skin color, or nationality should buy a few copies for their friends, or better yet, leave them on the doorsteps of their enemies. Who knows, maybe they might even peruse a couple of pages and begin to question their masters. If more of us took a courageous stand like Thomas Ellis, men wouldn’t remain leaden tackling dummies in the endless powder-puff scrimmages that constitute gender relations in America today. •
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