Men Are Worthless
You probably all know about the White Feather campaign orchestrated by
the feminists during World War One that was designed to shame men into
signing up for the military, but the first time that I realised that men were considered to be almost
completely worthless and disposable was at about age seven.
There was a programme
on the radio about the Napoleonic Wars - or something similar. And the speaker
was explaining some battle manoeuvre - some stratagem - whereby General Whoever
ordered a few hundred infantrymen to charge up the hill simply in order to
figure out where the enemy's strengths lay.
There was no hope, or
intention, that any of these soldiers would survive. Or that they would be
rescued in any way. Their lives were simply expended in order to provide the
General with some information that he was keen to have.
Nowadays, I would see this
as an historical example of EXTREME 'oppression' against the male gender, but,
at age 7, it was simply just a sickening shock to discover how worthless the
lives of these men, and, hence, the male gender, and me, seemed to be.
This was confirmed further
when I discovered not much later that such wastage of life in similar
circumstances was not actually confined to the distant past, but that this kind
of thing also went on in WWII.
In other words, this somewhat unpalatable disregard for the lives of one's
very own soldiers - which made me gulp whenever I thought of it - had not been
Generals were, even
then, still at liberty to employ such methods simply to help them with their
The soldiers whom I saw
occasionally on the streets of London - and on trains - could actually be sent
up hills and straight to their deaths at any time if an important someone simply
to do a calculation.
It haunted me.
war was much more about numbers than about lives
Because my disturbance at
all of this impelled me to inquire about such things, I also soon discovered
that war was much more about numbers than about lives. And so, for example, the
General might send a thousand troops into battle knowing that very few of them were
likely to survive it.
"That bridge is worth
it, even if it costs 700 men."
And I also heard how in the first
stages of the huge allied invasion of France on D-Day - June 1944 - in the fight
against Hitler in WWII, a few hundred men were flown behind enemy lines in
gliders in order to help prepare the way for the invasion, and that fewer than 3
out of 10 were expected by the generals to survive.
"You are going out there to die."
I began to understand,
simplistically, the reasons and the justifications for such things - "Well,
that's war. What else can you do?" - but that didn't really solve the
problem. It didn't quite get to the points that disturbed me.
And there were quite a few of
The first was the fact that,
no matter what the reason, the men who were being sent to their deaths were losing all
that they had. All that they were. There was absolutely nothing else that they
could give. They gave it all.
And many had little choice.
Secondly, and almost as
chillingly, these men were little more than pawns in the eyes of those who
studied the maps. And the same was true for much of the country. There was some
sadness, for sure, when large numbers died. But, for the most part, they were
It was only those who were
directly and personally affected by the tragedies that befell those men who were
close to them, who were actually able to appreciate some small part of their terrible experiences.
these men were just numbers.
For the rest of the country,
well, these men were just numbers.
Throughout WWII, for
example, London was a popular place to where people flocked in order to enjoy the
nightlife. So, these people were hardly riddled or incapacitated with grief over
the war dead, were they?
They were going out and having
Yes, Yes, I know that people
have got to 'let go' and enjoy themselves - and put any thoughts about the dead
and injured soldiers behind them -
BUT THAT'S MY POINT!
They forgot about them!
Thirdly, of course, it was
quite clear to me that those destined to die were chosen - or they volunteered -
mostly on the basis of their gender. There was, therefore, something clearly
very different about men and women in this respect.
They were worth less.
Further, they were
expendable in the most horrible of ways.
While others danced and
forgot about such things.
And then, of course, there
were all those limbless and/or disfigured men whom I saw so often on the streets
in those days. Their shapes, their outlines, and the sight of their jackets or
trousers being pinned up where there was no limb to fill the fabric, were all
imprinted on my mind; not just visually, but in what it all meant for the
ex-soldiers who, even many years after the end of any war, were paying such a terrible
It was absolutely clear that
these men were still paying heavily, in some way, for every minute that they
were awake - and probably when they were asleep too.
You could see this in their eyes.
You could also see this in
their sad demeanours, in the ways that they had to struggle to deal with even the simplest of movements, and in the loss of dignity that many clearly succumbed to
as they grew older, more debilitated, more distanced and more forlorn.
At a later age, I often used
to think of how disheartening and soul-destroying it must have been for those
who returned in such a damaged state to discover that their girlfriends had
found someone else while they were away - or could not now face them with their
injured bodies, their absent parts and their disfigurements.
And I wondered how
they must have felt at constantly having to present their lessened selves to the
people who would have to deal with the consequences of such things.
To leave one's loved ones as
a strong, brave and handsome soldier, and to return as a seemingly unattractive
helpless burden - as it must have seemed to some - must have been
But, yes. I was about 7 when
I first realised that I belonged to the disposable gender. And most of what I have
seen ever since then has merely confirmed this notion.
But I'm not complaining
about the fact that our men went to war. Nor, particularly, that it was men
rather than women who ended up on the battlefield.
I'm not sure how we could
have done things differently - given the circumstances, the requirements, and
But, when feminists
continually complain to the world about how 'oppressed' were women in the days
of the generation that preceded mine, and I think of the generals sending tens
of thousands of men
to their certain deaths simply in order to do their calculations, or when I
think of those men who had to continue to live in a permanently-handicapped state for the rest of their lives, I have arising within
me - from somewhere - an almost
uncontrollable urge to spit at them.