Terry Egli Davis
Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (01/15)
During my college years I had to listen to my male friends lament about taking Women Studies, a/k/a “Man Hating 101.” I felt that by reading “Seminal Emissions” by Terry Egli Davis, it would only be fair for me to learn about life from a man’s perspective. The author refers to this body of work as, “Semi-autobiographical musings and rants of a regular guy.” Given the depth of introspection that he shares with us, I believe he is more than just a “regular guy.” He really opened my eyes to things that I hadn’t considered about issues in which men are confronted. He uses poetry, tales and archetypal stories with which to express his points.
Pointing out that gender studies mainly focus on women, this demonstrates that men’s issues are not well represented and often misunderstood. This results in accuracies regarding men in general. Davis discusses a variety of topics that cover men’s roles in regard to rituals, fatherhood, relationships, work, marriage and violence. The information that he presents is based upon knowledge gained from his own educational, professional and personal life. He uses archetypal identities in his poetry and tales to help convey meaning to support these thoughts.
By promoting attention to men’s issues one would hope that this would help men engage more in their roles as husbands, fathers, sons and companions. He recommends co-mentoring between the youth and aged so that both can share their knowledge and experience to help each other learn and to create beneficial relationships. I feel that it is important to note that his ideas in no way detract from the women’s movement, he just helps give men their own voice.
The author points out that some major issues that women have to deal with are also shared by men. These issues include war, molestation, betrayal, abandonment, and losing children. A thoughtful comparison is made between the feminist movement’s arguments that women have a right to control their bodies in regards to abortion. From a male perspective, men have to give up rights to their bodies because they are required to register for Selective Service when they turn eighteen. This means that they could be drafted into military service without a choice. Women have won the right to control what happens to their bodies by preventing pregnancy, however, men still do not have any rights if they are called up to go to war. Men also do not seem to have a say in regards to stopping a woman from aborting a life that they might have helped to create.
“Seminal Emissions” by Terry Egli Davis has definitely opened my eyes to looking at issues that face the opposite sex. I appreciate that the author lets us in to his private world by sharing his wonderful writings because as they help illustrate his points, they also give me a better understanding from his perspective. Perhaps someday they will have a class called “Men’s Studies.” For now I recommend this book for men to read and share with their sons.