New Proverbs for New Men


My brother, test my words against your feelings,
and see whether I am right;
say to wisdom, "You are my intimate friend,"
and call insight your confidante,
to preserve you from the fathers' hatred of love,
from the terror of touch they engraved on your heart.

Some women, my brother, who find the fathers' power alluring,

warp it for their own (and the fathers') use:
women who will use sexual appeal for conquest
and a sultry voice for domination;
women who will use sex to win and control a husband,
and religion and morality to justify their control;
women who see men as status objects,
and will use their wiles to get what they desire;
women who are filled with contempt for men's feelings
and will bruise us to show their ascendancy;
women who mimic the pornographic image in their own bodies,
the fathers' creation for sexual domination,
and enslave both themselves and their partners;
women whose self-loathing as the slaves of the fathers
makes them eager to bring their brothers down with them.
Beware of women like this, my brother;
their seductive gazes do not mean that they love you.
Their appeal and allure is a cover for hatred,
their promise a blind for contempt;
their words and their postures offer you healing
in order to turn you from the path of healing.

A hurt little girl will sometimes call out through their eyes,

but the girl is a prisoner of the fathers' sexual violence;
with great inner strength and patience you may reach through to her,
find the prisoner and abet her escape;
but always remember that the prison was built to last,
and many men before you have failed to break its bars.
You must learn to see through the lying appeal,
and to distinguish true passion from false;
you must learn to fall in love with a lover
and not be seduced by a seductress.
The god within you knows the difference, my brother,
and will tell you what you need to know,
if you will only learn to listen.

Rest assured, my brother, that not all women are like this;

others struggle to be free of the father's enslavement,
and hope that some of us will join them in their struggle.
They are the women who are forthright about their fears,
and do not try to cover them up with coyness;
they are the women who will look you straight in the eye,
without batting their lashes prettily;
they are the women who do not study deceit to win a man,
and who do not rejoice when they capture one;
they are the women who care more about who they are,
and who they are becoming (and with whom),
than about how they look;
they are the women who listen to the goddess within them
and love men who listen to the god;
they are the women who do not love power over other people
and will not use a man or a child to attain it;
they are the women who can love you like a sister
and make love to you like a wife;
they do not glorify the macho man or the coy woman,
but love the man and the woman they can feel comfortable with;
they are the women who will vent their anger openly
rather than letting it fester under a submissive front.

Love these women, my brother, and not the others;

for the others are not capable of love;
love these women, who are ordinary rather than sexy,
for in them you will find a loving friend.
Love a woman with whom you can grow,
and together you will grow toward health.

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