Each Friday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
Understanding the Male Temperament
Author: Tim LaHaye
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company, New Jersey
Discovered at: Thrift Town, El Cerrito
The Cover Promises: With some clever shaving, you can create a face out of chest hair.
"A large percentage of women's and children's attire is designed by homosexuals, who can hardly be expected to highlight the differences between the sexes. Because the mother is so feminine, what she considers 'darling' or 'cute' may really be harmful for a boy." (page 154)
Quick, America! Gather your sons and inspect their pants! Are they wearing manly Wranglers or flouncy Pajamajeans? Is that a Boy Scout kerchief or some kind of ascot? Can you confirm that your boy is wearing Hanes His Way?
Threads of insufficient manliness are a serious problem, according to Tim LaHaye, the apocalypse-profiteer whose Left Behind books inspired millions to fantasize about all the awesome adventures they're sure to have when God any-day-now decides to destroy Creation. LaHaye, of course, is an expert on masculine clothing, as we can see from the back cover of Understanding the Male Temperament.
This is how boys should look: like they're guest-starring in some Sears-sponsored knockoff of Magnum P.I.
Anyway, like How to Be Happy Though Married, The Act of Marriage, and all the other volumes that LaHaye has pumped slick and fetid from his book-secreting sac, Understanding the Male Temperament purports to instruct middle America in all the ways they can fight against godlessness, especially within their own bedrooms.
LaHaye indulges much "Are today's men manly enough?" nonsense familiar from 1978's The Unhappy Gays, a book so wretched he no longer includes it on his lists of published works. Also familiar from that "a penetrating book on homosexuality": sentence after sentence that suggests, hilariously, the homosexuality he fears so much. Consider:
LaHaye believes a boy bobs like a cork in the folds of all men?
As always, LaHaye encourages his readers to shun contemporary standards in favor of his best guess at the meaning of vague general principles set down thousands of years ago. In a chapter titled "Special Note -- To Men Only!" he writes:
"Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be placed in submission to another human being on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year -- for life? That is exactly what God demands of your wife."
It's crazy, he seems to be saying, but that's just how God wants it! Fellows, remember that next time the missus proposes you watch Steel Magnolias instead of Spike TV.
Still, LaHaye tries to be understanding about the whole wifely submission thing. He argues that it's neither "servitude nor slavery," and he suggests that husbands demand submission without making women feel like "second-class citizens."
He's even open-minded enough to trust his wife, Beverly, with entire areas of decisionmaking. He writes, "Frankly, I have found that my wife is a perceptive judge of colors and has better taste in clothes, furnishings, music, and many other areas than I."
(But as he's already pointed out, she can't even get all that right -- he keeps having to warn her away from gay clothes.)
He offers a practical solution to the problem of making a wife submit. The husband should run the family as if it is a company and he is the president; the wife and the older children can be vice-presidents whose input is considered when the president selects a course of action. The principle behind such husbandry is exactly like the one behind giving kids Fisher-Price steering wheels in the car: something for them to fuss with so that they feel like they're driving.
Another LaHaye standby is his pioneering work in man's four humors. Seriously, in book after book, he eschews all psychology in favor of diagnosing everybody as phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine, or melancholy. Then he cutes it up:
Yeah, sure, that's in the Bible someplace, right next to the prosperity gospel.
Also, you can spot a melancholic by the way his hands are always in his pants.
At Thrift Town, I found this book shelved next to Lacan's Feminine Sexuality.
Woe to the evangelical who grabs the wrong one!
The store also had this copy of the strangest project Yakov Smirnov ever attempted:
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