As men we are not particularly good at political activism for our own wellbeing. Too many of us have grown up believing the ‘feminist fallacy’ ... that it is men that have all the power, and that we need to give it back. As a consequence, it is women who now have the emotional, social, legal and cultural freedom to wander into traditional male domains, whereas men do not have the same freedom to wander so freely in women’s domains.
What this book attempts is nothing short of revolutionary. Starting from the above premise, Kammer addresses the next generation directly: boys and young men between the ages of 13 to 23. His message is one of hope and political engagement.
This book isn’t about turning the clock back. That girls and young women have more choice then ever is a good thing. What Kammer advocates is extending that choice and freedom to boys and young men.
In presenting his case, this is a refreshingly brief and easy to read book. Yet its roots are deep. Drawing on an understanding of all human rights campaigns, and a sensible critique of the way power is distributed in society, Kammer invites boys and young men to join “The Blue Sky Rebellion” … his term for the political reconnection of boys and young men. In so doing he empowers boys and young men to address their very real alienation.
Kammers message is a tough one though. In order to generate and embody choice for ourselves, we must feel empowered to go into traditional ‘female’ emotional, social, legal and cultural domains, and feel comfortable there.
I have long held the belief that women benefit politically from homophobia. By setting men upon each other, they serve to ‘divide and conquer’. Kammer suggests that this political ruse is finally transparent.
If boys and young men want to free of the hypocrisy of contemporary gender politics, then all boys and young men need to be free. In this way ‘you’re gay’ and ‘you faggot’ should no longer serve both as terms of abuse for gay boys and young men, and as a way of controlling straight boys and young men.
Having laid out his store, Kammer then equips boys and young men with some of the tools they will need in their new political struggle. He offers skills for addressing the main ‘feminist’ arguments against male freedom. He shows how boys and young men need allies not enemies, and explains how to make friends with the world. Finally, he emphases the need for political engagement and networking between like minded boys and young men.
In short Kammer not only defines his own take on win-win gender politics – ‘the Blue Sky Rebellion’, but shows boys and young men how to be truly heroic in their challenge of creating it.
This book deserves the widest possible audience. Every boy or young man should have the opportunity to read it.
Dr Phil Tyson is a Men's Psychotherapist based in Manchester in the UK. He offers:
- Group therapy weekends for men in London and Manchester
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- Mediation for conflict resolution at work in London
- Mediation for conflict resolution at work in Manchester and the North West
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