It’s been nearly two years since British author Peter Lloyd released his provocative book, Stand By Your Manhood: A Survival Guide for the Modern Man. But he’s still driving the feminists mental. Most of the news interviews he did when his book dropped have been turned into viral memes and videos, one of the most popular being from Sky News, when he closed a segment by saying, “It always goes back to that old adage, sticks and stones may break my bones, but there will always be something to offend a feminist.” (Needless to say, the woman he was debating gave the reaction Lloyd was looking for.)
Stand By Your Manhood was dubbed “The Bro Bible” by the press, and men everywhere were pumped on Lloyd’s dry wit. But unlike Jordan Peterson’s best-selling book, 12 Rules for Life, Lloyd poses funny hypotheticals, like the politics of penis size or if watching pornography makes you a misogynist, while also addressing more serious topics like rising suicide rates and how the school system is failing young men. Lloyd was ridiculed by female talk-show hosts while on his press tour, but he laughed along with the jokes and reminded them that almost all the professional references in his book were from women, and that his editor was also female. We asked Lloyd for his two cents on all the so-called man-bashing that’s taking place today.
I wanted something that countered that toxic narrative and gave men the affirmations they deserved, while also being funny. Bizarrely, these feminists often hate women, too–especially the sort who appear in Penthouse. So while the book gives blokes their balls back, it also serves women, too.
Is there a feminism you could get behind and, if so, what does it look like?
Oh yeah, but it would be a feminism that didn’t require reference or a name. It would just be women living fully-realized, self-determined lives alongside men, and thinking nothing of it. I don’t want women to be indebted or answerable to the sisterhood in any way, shape, or form. I don’t want them to be bogged-down or distracted by the politics of the past. They’re better than that. Personally, I love women like Camille Paglia, Ronda Rousey, Christina Hoff Sommers, Pamela Anderson, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali–they’re all very different women, but they all embody these qualities. They’re free-thinking, free-living people who are also fucking fabulous. They just happen to be women.
So many books have been written for women on this subject. Why has your version for men caused so much controversy?
Publishing is a very political, female-dominated industry and its output is tightly controlled, so I guess they think my manuscript slipped through the net, and it drives them nuts! To me, that’s deliciously funny. Not least because, years ago, women with a voice were seen as dangerous. Now it’s men like me–but I love that. It means the book is countercultural. It’s a little bit punk rock, which is way more fun than being the status quo.
Image courtesy of Peter Lloyd.