You can't tell a fish he's all wet!



You can't tell a fish he's all wet!


You can't tell a fish he's all wet! No, I'm not just being my usual wise-ass self. As I've been experiencing our frustration, I've been thinking back to one area of communication that has always fascinated me. In essence it says that people make decisions based upon their cultural perspective, while not realizing that cultural perspective has anything to do with that decision. It's why the Plato's Cave conundrum which I've shared with you has always fascinated me.

I also saw Michael Moore's film SicKo recently. Not sure it was a wise decision as it left me rather depressed. What struck me was the way folks from other countries looked at Moore strangely as he asked them how much certain proceedures cost. From their cultural perspective health care is something that's provided as a function of need. It is not part of the profit system.

A British philosopher interviewed by Moore also said something curious which I'm still digesting. He said that if you keep people fearful and in debt, you can always control them. When asked if the American system will change, he said point blank, "No!"

So just as the gay cultural perspective leads men to engage in anal sex, so too does the prevailing politico-medical system lead people to believe that they are making "Evidence-based" decisions even though the data proves otherwise.

Yes, the fish is all wet. Just try to tell him.


Bill Weintraub

Re: You can't tell a fish he's all wet!


Thank you Chuck.

Chuck is the author of Musings of a Black Gay Man into Frot, among many other excellent articles and posts on this Man2Man Alliance site.

He's also a communications expert, so when he talks about communication and cultural messages and the basis on which people make decisions, what he has to say is always relevant and very significant to our work here.

And this truly excellent post, is, as it happens, particularly germane to our recent discussions.

Germane to all our discussions, actually, since what we're fighting is a number of different but interlocking *cultural* tyrannies:



religious fanaticism


Chuck says,

people make decisions based upon their cultural perspective, while not realizing that cultural perspective has anything to do with that decision.

That's exactly right.

And we see it over and over again.

We saw it for example with the promiscuity survey, in which straight-identified men, responding to a cultural expectation, inflated -- whether consciously or unconsciously -- the number of their sexual partners, while women reduced the number of theirs.

We saw it in the bisexuality survey, in which men who call themselves "straight" -- are having sex with other men.

And we see it most particularly in the assumptions made by men living in gay male culture.

Two of those assumptions are prominent and pre-eminent.

And both are false:

  1. That if sex isn't anal it isn't gay.

    In reality, "men who have sex with men" do many things in bed.

    Surveys indicate that the vast majority of MSM never do anal.

    And we know that the emphasis on anal among the gay-identified minority is very recent.

    Dating no farther back than the 1970s.

    Yet most gay males assume that not only is anal penetration the be-all and end-all of "gay sex," but that it's always been.

    Since time began.

    That is a cultural, or properly speaking, subcultural perspective, and leads directly to the decision to engage in anal penetration, while, as Chuck says, "not realizing that cultural perspective has anything to do with that decision."

  2. That all men are by nature promiscuous, and that giving free rein to promiscuity is therefore a social good.

    adrift in the sea of promiscuity

    In reality, men's promiscuous impulses differ, and different societies over time have had different attitudes towards male promiscuity.

    While promiscuity, as study after study has shown, is far from a social good.

    Moreover, among Men who Love Men, as we refer to ourselves, the historic reality is that Men have been Faithful to a single Male Partner -- a Warrior-brother.

    That far from being promiscuous, the norm among Men who Love Men has been Fidelity.

    Faithful unto Death
    Harmodius and Aristogeiton

    Yet once again, it's next to impossible to convey that FACT to males who've been acculturated into analism.

    These males "choose" to be promiscuous; and, as Chuck says, "make the decision based upon their cultural perspective, while not realizing that cultural perspective has anything to do with that decision."


In other words, they assert that their behavior is "natural," when in reality it's culturally determined.

Clearly, this is a huge problem in attempting to work with Men to change the culture.

We also see this repeatedly and very clearly in AIDS prevention work, in which, as Chuck says,

the prevailing politico-medical system leads people to believe that they are making "Evidence-based" decisions even though the data proves otherwise.

This is extremely common among "AIDS activists" and "AIDS preventions experts," who almost invariably bring HUGE cultural biases in favor of what they term "sexual freedom" to the question of how best to prevent HIV infection.

The EVIDENCE on how to avoid HIV infection is clear.

HIV is a disease of risk-behaviors.

And among "men who have sex with men" (MSM), the risk behavior is anal penetration.

No Anal -- No AIDS.

Couldn't be simpler.

But that simple fact flies in the face of the cultural bias in the "prevailing politico-medical system" not just in favor of "sexual freedom" but in favor of anal penetration itself.

So: the politico=medical system ignores the central role of anal in creating and perpetuating the HIV epidemic, and instead focuses on side-issues, like homophobia, depression, and drug use.

Yet NONE of these factors have ever been demonstrated to actually cause or even play a significant role in HIV infection among MSM.

Anal has -- in study after study.

But the fact is that men living in gay-tolerant cities and countries -- such as Berlin, which has a gay mayor, and Germany, which is very tolerant of gay males, including admitting them to the armed forces -- get infected with HIV, as do men who aren't depressed and who aren't using drugs.

Those men get infected through anal penetration.

Anal penetration is the risk behavior.

No anal -- No AIDS.

But don't try telling the fish of the powerful politico-medical system known as AIDS Inc that plain truth.

They just won't listen.

Similarly, "AIDS activists" seeking to address the huge disaster of AIDS in southern Africa, constantly ignore the biggest risk factor, which evidence has demonstrated repeatedly is sexual infidelity.

Instead, they focus on "consensus-based" -- which means "culturally-based" -- issues such as poverty, war, stigma, and gender inequality.

Even though study after study has demonstrated that in Africa there's no relationship between poverty, war, stigma, and HIV infection; and even though in Uganda, the one country which reduced HIV infection, the policy focused not on gender inequality, but in simply telling people to be sexually faithful to ONE partner.

So there's a vast difference between evidence-based AIDS prevention, which is effective;

and "consensus-based" AIDS prevention, which looks not to the evidence of what causes HIV infection, but to the prevailing views in what Chuck calls the "politico-medical system."

And please remember that what sounds like an academic discussion of the efficacy of evidence- vs consenus-based HIV prevention -- is not academic at all.

As I said, evidence-based AIDS prevention is effective.

Whereas, and not surprisingly, "consensus-based" AIDS prevention has failed repeatedly.

Southern Africa, for example, where infidelity was ignored in favor of "preserving sexual freedom" through the massive distribution of condoms, has the highest prevalence of HIV and the greatest number of AIDS cases in the world.

And most of those who've died of AIDS, have been southern Africans.

That's 25 million people -- at least.

Those 25 million Africans paid the ultimate price -- for their American and Western European advisors' adherence to the "prevailing politico-medical system."

Similarly, here in the US, 40,000 people per year become infected with HIV -- and have for at least the last fifteen years.

There are now in the US more than 1 million people infected with HIV, of whom more than half are "men who have sex with men," and who have become infected because the "prevailing poltico-medical system" refuses to address anal penetration.

Similarly, many of the women who are infected sexually, are infected by men who've themselves been infected through anal penetration.

And some of the women who are infected via the sharing of needles, are still being infected by men who got infected anally.

So in the US, where the bulk of the epidemic has been among MSM, the vast majority of cases can be attributed to anal penetration.

Which and nevertheless, no one in the "prevailing politico-medical system" is willing to call into question.

Now, there's another area in which Chuck's analogy holds absolutely true, and that's in the question of Fidelity between Men who Love Men.

As I've demonstrated repeatedly in my writings on this site, the historical record is clear that Men who Love Men have been, throughout history, FAITHFUL to their male lovers.

That they have not been promiscuous.

AND -- that society after society has considered the Love of Man for Man to be the strongest and purest love.

Yet, what I see among far too many of the gay-identified men who use this site, is a reluctance to abandon the myth -- not to mention the practice -- of male-male promiscuity.

And I see an enormous reluctance on the part of the straight-identified guys, who are usually married, to acknowledge that LOVE between MEN might be at least as powerful as love between man and woman.

And that if such is the case, sneaking off to have furtive sex with another man, though perhaps helpful in meeting their need for male-male sex -- ignores their need for LOVE with a guy.

A LOVE, once again, which historically most cultures have viewed as highest and noblest, strongest and purest.

So: you can't tell a fish he's all wet.

Human beings live in culture the way fish live in the sea.

It surrounds them and determines everything they do.

But they're unaware of it.

They pass not just their days, but their lives, in not-so-blissful ignorance of the forces which are actually making their decisions for them.

For Men in particular today, who are living through an anti-Masculine and MAN-phobic era, such ignorance can lead only to unhappiness and misery.

Men have to look closely at the culture which surrounds them and which informs their lives, and they need to learn to QUESTION that culture in its every particular.

Their survival depends upon it.

We see what happened and continues to happen to gay-identified males who didn't, wouldn't, and won't question what I call the dominant culture of anal penetration.

In America alone, about 500,000 of those men died, while another 500,000 are infected with HIV, and far more than 500,000 are infected with anal HPV, which causes anal cancer.

And no doubt other diseases are in play as well.

While straight-identified men who fail to question the dominant heterosexist and heterosexualized culture have passed and will continue to pass their lives without the love and support of their Warrior-brother.

The ONE relationship which is crucial to their lives as MEN.

"You can't tell a fish he's all wet," says Chuck.

But somehow you guys need to break through to that realization.

Otherwise, caught in the vast nets cast by analism and heterosexism, your lives will remain cramped and constrained, unhappy and unfulfilled -- to the end of your ignominious days.

Bill Weintraub

August 23, 2007

© All material Copyright 2007 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.


In my reply to Naked Wrestler's MAN-Phobia, I noted that the gay-identified among you live in buttboy land.

While the straight-identified live in straightboy land.

But nowhere do you live in your OWN land.

The Land of Man.

That's where you need to be.

In the Land of Man.


A Land of Brotherhood.

A Land of Warriorhood.

A Land of shared and communal Manhood, in which the exaltation of Manliness and Masculinity is the pre-eminent value.

A Land of Phallus and Fidelity.

A Land of Strength and Honor.

Don't tell me you wouldn't rather be there -- because I know you would.

But you're not there.

Instead, you're all males without a country.

It's impossible to overstate how destructive that homelessness is for you.

Because it negates and destroys everything you try to do.


Believe me, I know.

Somehow you need to find the strength to FIGHT for your Life.

To Fight for your Land.

The Land of Man.

Somehow and somewhere you need to find the strength to do that.

In his post, Chuck spoke of a philosopher who said that

if you keep people fearful and in debt, you can always control them.


Do you remember the story about the stallions, a story my foreign friend related in The Power of the Masculine?

He said that in his country, where horses are still working animals, animal trainers have learned that two stallions, once bonded, are impossible to control.

And so, he said, the trainers take a stallion early on and separate him from the other males, and then keep him stabled with a mare.

And over time, the stallion becomes docile and easy to control.

My foreign friend:

I have already mentioned that male-male bonds are considered a menace and the trainers prevent male horses from developing intimacy by not putting them together. Sex between males in horses is a well known fact (a horse breeding site also talks about this). But it is the way they are forced to bond with female horses which is more telling.

When they put the male horses for the first time with a female --- the horses react extremely negatively, even in an hostile manner. In the case I'm describing, the male horse had not eaten for a week when forced with the female. He must have been still young. I don't know if he had a male buddy before that. Then slowly he learned to adjust with the female. He had no other option, plus they trained him through rewards and punishments. And finally, he developed an intimacy with the female so much so that today he is inseparable with the female.

Isn't it how they treat humans? Does it tell us anything about human [exclusive] heterosexuality and how is it made possible? Doesn't the society use various mechanisms to psychologically keep men away from men sexually so as to keep them from forming intimacy?

Doesn't the society punish and reward men in order to train them to bond with women? And then claim that heterosexuality is natural / normal?

Good questions -- aren't they?

Doesn't the society use various mechanisms to psychologically keep men away from men sexually so as to keep them from forming intimacy?

Doesn't the society punish and reward men in order to train them to bond with women? And then claim that heterosexuality is natural / normal?


And doesn't the society then, as Chuck's philosopher mentioned, keep Men fearful and in debt -- all their lives?

In a Warrior society -- in Warriordom -- Men aren't afraid.

Because they're always in the company of other Warriors.

And with those Warriors they form a Brotherhood -- what Redd has called Warriorhood.


Think about it.

Isn't that what you want?

I remember talking once, years ago, to a gay-identified young man who was about to go into the Marines.

He came from a military family.

His father had served, and he had one brother in the Navy and the other in the Marine Corps.

I asked him if he might not be lonely in the Marines?

He said, I'll never be lonely, because I'll always be with other Marines.

He was confident of that.

Very confident.

He would never be lonely.

And never afraid.

I've said that Warrior society is austere, affiliative, and aggressive.

The Warrior lives simply.

The Warrior is affiliative -- he bonds with his fellow Warriors --

and Warrior.

The Warrior knows how to be aggressive -- he knows how to fight -- if he needs to

-- or wants to.

And the Warrior understands the relationship between Attraction and Aggression.

He understands that his embrace of his Natural Male Aggression

frees him to acknowledge his Natural Male Attraction.

The Land of Man is where you need to be.

Not buttboy land;

and not straightboy land.

The Land of Man is where you need to be.

Think about it.

Think about what you've got.

And what could be yours.

Bill Weintraub

August 23, 2007

© All material Copyright 2007 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.

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