Esther Vilar published The Manipulated Man in 1971 and at the time it caused quite a stir.
The book went against common held beliefs in Western society by outlining a narrative that women are not oppressed by men but rather manipulate men to their advantage.
“Why do women not make use of their intellectual potential? For the simple reason
that they do not need to. It is not essential for their survival. Theoretically it is
possible for a beautiful woman to have less intelligence than a chimpanzee and still
be considered an acceptable member of society.
By the age of twelve at the latest, most women have decided to become prostitutes.
Or, to put it another way they have planned a future for themselves which consists of
choosing a man and letting him do all the work. In return for his support, they are
prepared to let him make use of their vagina at certain given intervals. The minute a
woman has made this decision she ceases to develop her mind. She may, of course, go on to obtain various degrees and diplomas. These increase her market value in the eyes of men,
for men believe that a woman who can recite things by heart must also know and
understand them. But any real possibility of communication between the sexes
ceases at this point. Their paths are divided forever.”
Aside from its ground-breaking content, there are several reasons why this book is remarkable. It was published almost 50-years ago when the rise of the women’s liberation movement was gaining maximum media coverage. It took a brave woman to lead the back-lash on behalf of compliant men to expose her fellow sisterhood in a no-holds bared, brutal manner. And although the book was written in a completely different era, the viewpoints raised are even more relevant today.
“If men would only stop for a moment in their blind productivity and think, they could
easily tear the masks off these creatures with their tinkling bracelets, frilly blouses
and gold-leather sandals. Surely it would take them only a couple of days,
considering their own intelligence, imagination, and determination, to construct a
machine, a kind of human female robot to take the place of woman. For there is
nothing original in her – neither inside nor out – which could not be replaced. Why are
men so afraid to face the truth?”
The book is a wake-up call by outing the many differences between the sexes and how this influences relationships. In particular the traits and behavior of woman are brutally unmasked and this is blunt and confronting.
Surprisingly, another confronting aspect of the book is that many paragraphs are devoted to relentlessly praising men as the more noble, heroic and superior sex that uses his intelligence to create and protect.
However, maybe the book is giving men a back-handed compliment as it outlines a woman’s cunning and ability to manipulate a man to become a selfless life-time provider?
Men are especially guilty of choosing to ignore and bury deep within their consciousness the unsavory behavior of many woman.
Men not only give woman a pass-card for general bad behavior, they also relish adopting a White Knight persona. Men seem to enjoy being taken advantage of as evidenced by their continued selfless and sacrificing actions of rescuing woman.
I would recommend men (and woman) read this book. It will confront and challenge your mainstream outlook on how men and woman fit into society.
My own takeaway is that it is men that need to take responsibility and change their behavior towards woman. It is men that have created and allowed a woman’s unrealistic expectations. Relationships have become a platform where men are expected to provide a life-time of resources to a woman for little benefit in return.
It is men that need to look at their place in society with honesty – take this from Esther Vilar that could see this almost 50-years ago.