Book Review: A Long Way to go for a Date

David Shackleton, editor of the Everyman men's journal, was kind enough to send me his review of Henry Makow's book A Long Way to go for a Date. The book is about Makow's experience with a "mail order bride" from the Philippines, but goes much deeper into gender issues, male psychology, and the often confusing and sometimes irrational state that men and women find themselves in, particularly in relation to each other. Click "Read More" below before making too many judgments - this is definitely an interesting book for those in the men's movement. Book Review: A Long Way to go for a Date, by Henry Makow. Published by Silas Green,
Winnipeg, MB, 2000. ISBN: 0-9687725-0-1. 128 pages, $12.95. Review by
David Shackleton.

I was touched by this book. I am always moved by courageous honesty. Henry
Makow holds a politically incorrect vision: to love a young, traditional
woman who, in her subservience, will love him simply because he looks after
her: the traditional masculine virtues of protection and providing. And he
is resolute in his pursuit of this daunting goal. He writes, I am an
explorer in the undiscovered continent of love, a scientist in the
laboratory of masculine longing. Can a middle-aged man, scarred by the sex
wars at home, find a new beginning on a tropical island where women are
still feminine?

A Long Way to go for a Date is the emotionally intimate diary of a man who
seeks, finds and marries Cecilia, a mail order bride, and brings her from
the Philippines to Winnipeg, MB. As we might expect in these feminist
times, nearly everyone in Makow's life disagrees with his plan. He
faithfully records these conversations, along with his inner thoughts and
feelings about the issues. The book thus becomes an intimate dialogue about
the merits of traditional gender roles versus modern notions of liberation,
informed by Makow's inner thoughts and experiences as he pursues his dream.
He is, of course, a protagonist for what we can call the light side of
traditional roles and the dark side of modern, feminist notions of female
emancipation. But this is refreshingly different to the depressingly
repetitive cultural mantra of today, featuring the oppressive nature of
traditional gender roles, and the self-righteous glory of the feminist
vision of female liberation. I enjoyed the difference and found it
stimulated fresh thought on the question of gender roles.

An appealing aspect of A Long Way to go for a Date is the way it unfolds
like fiction, like a novel. This is a consequence, I think, of the fact
that it is developed directly from the diary that Makow kept of his thoughts
and experiences, and so his ideas and conclusions develop and change as one
progresses through the book. This makes his moments of insight very present
and direct: the reader feels his worldview turn and alter. For instance, he

I tell [a Philippine friend of Cecilia's] that many women in America are
self-centred, neurotic, ambitious and masculine. The nice ones find me too
old. He agrees that Philippine women are 'very loving' and 'submissive.'
He seems to take that for granted, and instead, finds independent women more
Ed's use of the word 'submissive' rings a bell. I had told myself that I
wanted a 'traditional' woman. I did not dare to consider the word
'submissive.' But damn it! That's exactly what I want!
After talking to Ed, I decide to go back to the the house. I ask Cecilia to
come home and make a cup of coffee for me.
"Get it yourself, you fucking asshole," I can almost hear her American

She brings me the coffee. I put it aside and pull her down on the bed.

"Are you a submissive woman?" I ask.

"What does submissive mean?"

It means you obey your husband.

"I obey you because I love you," she says.

"And I'll never do anything to weaken your love," I vow.

Henry Makow is an exceptional individual, perhaps an eccentric. He is
willing to invest heavily in his own ideas, and I admire this greatly. From
a syndicated column for 38 newspapers called Ask Henry at age 11, to his
invention of the board game Scruples, to being fired from his University
teaching position for defending traditional gender roles, Makow has surely
cut his own path through life. The story of his mail order search for a
traditional wife told in A Long Way to go for a Date continues that pattern.

But what of his vision? Is it practical? Can the feminist genie be coaxed
back into the bottle? With some sadness, I have to confess that I think
not. Like a radio technician who insists on continuing to design using
vacuum tubes and avoids "those newfangled transistors and integrated
circuits," Makow's vision is, I think, doomed to failure. But like the
charge of the Light Brigade, his failure may well be magnificent, for he
does not lack courage. And then again, maybe I am wrong. Maybe Makow will
prove that the twenty first century can be wedded with the nineteenth. I
think that I would like that.

Makow's first experiment with Cecilia does not end well. On the back cover
of his book, he writes,

Things donĀ¹t look so good at this moment. Is my hypothesis wrong? Or will
it be discredited because I chose the wrong woman? I sense the satisfaction
feminists would be feeling now. But I am not about to panic.

Indeed he is not, for he has recently attracted a new 'traditional' woman,
from Mexico, into his life. Perhaps a further book will emerge to tell the
continuing story of his experiments with love and masculine identity.

An epilogue to A Long Way to go for a Date entitled "What I Believe" tells
in more abstract, theoretical terms how Makow sees relationships between men
and women, and how he believes modern feminism has poisoned the ground.
That chapter is excerpted/summarised as an article entitled "In Defense of
Heterosexuality" on page 48 of this issue of Everyman.

A Long Way to go for a Date can be purchased at

Contact author Henry Makow of Winnipeg, MB by email at

Reviewer: David Shackleton is a thinker and writer on gender, and editor of
Everyman; A Men's Journal (sample copy available on request). You may
contact him by phone at (613) 832-2294, or by email at

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