Scary stuff, testosterone. I remember over twenty years ago as a spotty young oik, suffering the full effect of having large amounts of it coursing through my veins. For a rather difficult few years my brain felt at times like a barely manageable mix of aggression and carnal desire with a sensory focus between my legs.
I guess my contemporaries must have had the same experience, though their reactions seemed to be different. Slipping as I did into a cycle of depression that lasted for nearly two decades I never really participated in the meat market of teenage dating, they seized their new challenge with enthusiasm.
Against this background as we make the difficult move from teenager to adult we form a lot of the views and prejudices that stay with us for the rest of our lives. I pity young women in this situation, faced as they are with young men of their age driven crazy by their hormones. Their adult impressions of men in general are formed by observation of the gauche sex-crazed youths who employ ever more desperate tactics in an attempt to seduce them, and not surprisingly some of them exist in an atmosphere of contempt for what they see.
It's not the most attractive of traits, instinctive contempt for a group of people.
It's easy enough to foster. If a group tells itself another is worthy of contempt for long enough and it passes without challenge, it becomes received opinion, an attitude beyond reproach. The pages of history books are full of episodes of the unpleasant aftermath of those moments when contempt has been fostered between countries or ethnic groups.
I guess we are all guilty of it, to a greater or lesser extent, I for instance would readily admit to an instinctive contempt for the staff of some British tabloid newspapers. But that's a matter of personal taste rather than outside influence.
Contempt starts to worry me when it becomes a central plank of an ideology. And I see contempt at the heart of the ideology of Feminism. It's received opinion among Feminists, that you can advance the most outrageous statements about men, or even those born male-bodied, and they will pass without comment, be applauded even. And subscribing to an ideology within which such casual misandry is acceptable is not healthy.
Now you're probably getting ready a comment here about how laudable feminism is, and how I've got it so wrong. And at face value, you have a point. But take another look at the preceding paragraph. I've talked about Feminism with an upper-case F, as shorthand for its use as an Ideology, a Cause even. Consider the difference between a conservative and a Conservative as a parallel, or perhaps a democrat and a Democrat if you are American. With a lower-case f, feminism is self-evident. I doubt there are many women who would not call themselves some kind of feminist. I certainly think of myself as one. My concern is that with that upper-case F, Feminism is not doing enough to ensure that it does not become just another twisted ideology sustained only by hatred for an enemy.
And that is why I will never be a Feminist, only a feminist.