Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Email from a new viewer

Hi there. 

I don't claim to have a particular political stance. I'm coming from a position of curiosity. I'm in the process of watching your YouTube videos after seeing you featured in VICE'S 'women of the men's rights movement'. I will mention I believe civil rights should be equal across the board. I don't know enough about any of the 'movements' to sympathize, however. What I'm curious about are your thoughts in light of Elliot Rodger and his manifesto. I have, since reading his manifesto, noticed a few men being able to relate to the sense of isolation, even at times entitlement to having a girlfriend. Understand, this was how the man I was speaking with chose to describe his personal feelings. I'm wondering if you feel as though what happened with Rodger could have been prevented? Where do you believe his inner dialogue departed from the men's rights movement? I understand that associations have been drawn between his rampage and men's right movement, I don't intend to imply they're the same thing. I just don't understand how this happened and I'd like to know your thoughts, I guess I figured you'd have an opinion on the subject.

Okay, first thing is to familiarize you with the Men's [Human] Rights Movement and its goals. What our movement is after is two-pronged: 

1) Equality in the language of the law

2) Equal application of the law

As for the first point, we're almost there. Many feminists claim to be fighting for "equal rights", however, there is no right under the law that I can think of that men have and women do not (can you?), while there are some rights women have that men do not. 

There are a handful of remnants of old laws that need equalizing, such as the gendered concept of dower rights in Michigan and elsewhere, the lower official retirement age of women in the UK, and the like. More importantly to many people in the MRM is unequal protection from infant genital cutting/mutilation in the West. In fact, some legal and ethical scholars have described the ban on female genital mutilation as unconstitutional so long as male genital cutting/mutilation is legal. Another glaring inequality between men and women under the law is mandatory Selective Service Registration in the US for men alone, and mandatory military service for men alone in other countries. While feminists fought for the "right" of women to serve in the military, the obligation of women to do so has never been adequately addressed in most countries where men are required to serve.

More sticky and difficult is unequal application of the law. One example of this is the "ungendering" of the Violence Against Women Act, which should, in theory, offer male victims of domestic violence the same protections and benefits women enjoy. Up until a couple of years ago, the wording of this piece of federal legislation WAS gendered, and men were specifically excluded from its protections and benefits in more than 60 passages. It was only through a procedural technicality regarding funding and different levels of government taxation that the old law was halted midway through reauthorization, and a new, gender neutral one was introduced. Women's groups, such as the National Organization for Women, fought hard to keep the language in the Act gendered, despite entreaties from LGBTQ groups to reconsider how the language of female victims and male perpetrators failed to serve their community.

So now we have a mostly gender neutral VAWA. Problem solved, right?

Unfortunately, no. Despite scads and wodges of evidence indicating that violence between intimate partners, and child abuse, are not gendered problems, much of the policy around them, and the implementation of services IS, in fact, gendered. The paradigm used to train police, social workers, counsellors, lawyers, judges, medical personnel, guardians ad litem and anyone else who may become involved in a domestic violence case is based on a disproven (disproved before it was even named!) model called "Duluth"--a brainchild of feminist academics and activists. This model characterizes domestic violence as a microcosmic reflection of "the patriarchy", wherein men batter their wives in order to assert patriarchal dominance and impose female subordination. It is the most widely used model in the world, despite it describing the smallest minority of domestic violence cases (in cases of one violent partner battering a nonviolent partner for, say, burning the toast, women are up to twice as likely as men to be the sole perpetrators).

So we are working from a faulty model when it comes to everything from training judges to counselling perpetrators and victims.

In addition, our cultural values tend to prioritize protecting women from violence and harm, while considering most violence against men commonplace and unremarkable, and female violence against men justified at best, hilarious at worst.

Predominant Aggressor policies (not laws, mind you--just "policies", so less subject to scrutiny) profile men through the use of sneaky language. They don't require "the man" to always be the one arrested--they simply require the larger, stronger, heavier, less visibly distressed partner to be considered the Predominant Aggressor and be subject to arrest. This is no less discriminatory against men than, say, poll taxes and literacy tests at the ballot booth were discriminatory against black and poor voters in the first half of the 20th Century. 

On top of that, despite equality under the law, the discretion allowed judges, police and others has caused men to routinely be more harshly treated by the criminal justice system than women at every stage. 

For the same crimes in equivalent circumstances, women are on average:

* less likely to be arrested
* less likely to be charged with a crime
* more likely to have their charges downgraded or dismissed
* less likely to be prosecuted
* less likely to be convicted if prosecuted
* more likely to be convicted of a lesser crime if convicted
* less likely to be sentenced to incarceration
* will serve a sentence less than 2/3 the length a man would, if sentenced to incarceration

All of these criminal discounts also apply in domestic violence incidents--in fact, they tend to be amplified in any situation where a man and a woman find themselves in a conflict under the aegis of the criminal justice system. 

If women and men were treated equally by the criminal justice system, and by enforcement policies, the ratio of men to women in prison would not be the current 94 men for every 6 women. 

Yet just as people used to do with blacks to justify the status quo in the 1930s, the mainstream looks at the overrepresentation of men in prison as an excuse to continue discriminating against them, or even to exacerbate that discrimination. The "logic" goes like this: 

* 94% of people in prison are men 
* given that, it's obvious that men are more prone to criminality than women
* men's propensity toward criminality justifies treating them more harshly than women
* 94% of people in prison are men
* wash, rinse, repeat

There is no law requiring that women receive these discounts when they enter the criminal system, or that men should be more harshly treated, just as there was no law requiring a woman to have a male cosigner when a she applied for a loan in the 1950s--there was simply no specific law or legal precedent that prohibited it until the women's lobby pushed for one.

Of course, it's more than feminist policies that have led to this disparity in how men and women defendants are treated when they commit crimes--there are social and psychological biases at work, as well. In fact, up until very recently, feminists had the rest of society convinced that women were more harshly treated in the criminal courts than men, despite hundreds of years of historical data proving otherwise. People believed them because we are predisposed to notice harms that affect women, sometimes even when they aren't there, and to be outraged by them.

Okay, I hope that I've adequately explained what kinds of issues the MRM is all about. It's about the equal treatment of men and women under the law, and about addressing some of the social prejudices that prevent equal treatment of men and women even when the laws are nominally gender neutral. 

If you want a really egregious example, look no further than the laws against all forms of FGM in the western world: regardless of how damaging some types of FGM can be, it is illegal in every modern nation to so much as prick a girl's genitals with a pin to draw a drop of blood for the sake of religious tradition (even if that might prevent some parents from taking their daughters overseas to have a more invasive and damaging type of FGM performed). However, it is perfectly legal to remove half the skin and 60% of the nerve endings of a boy's penis (without anaesthetic, mind you), which results in 200-300 deaths per year in the US, and very few people consider this a violation of equal protection legislation, let alone the basic human right to bodily autonomy. One can, in fact, find people openly expressing their sexual preference for men who have been subjected to this, and their disgust at the appearance of the genitals of those who have not. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey can also shill for cosmetics companies that use cells from amputated male foreskins in costly anti-wrinkle creams without mainstream censure.

ANYWAY. The above is the kind of thing the MRM is about. It's not about getting girls to like you, or not being able to get girls to like you, or how girls not liking you means you're a failure as a man--even if these are valid concerns and considerations for men in the modern era.

The MRM is not so much about whether you can get a girl to be in a relationship with you--it's more concerned with what she can do to you, with the assistance and full connivance of the government, once she is in a relationship with you. 

It's not about getting guys laid--it's more about getting them some rights regarding what their life will look like if there's a pregnancy or a break-up or an accusation of some sort of abuse or misconduct, if and when they get laid.

And in the more philosophical sense, it's about convincing men they shouldn't be basing their self-worth on whether they can get a girl to like them, or sleep with them. Despite the divisions within the wider "manosphere", there's a reason why MRAs and Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) are on more friendly terms than either are toward Pick-up Artists (PUA). 

MGTOW is about throwing off the yoke of female social and sexual approval (and the male policing of it), while PUA is about scoring poon (among other things). I personally have no problems with either group, but the larger MRM is much more at odds with the latter than the former, because getting laid means pandering to what women want. And feminists? Feminists want to call Elliot Rodger an "active MRA", despite not one word in his manifesto about either feminism or men's rights. Despite no connection to anyone but a couple of PUA channels and a forum devoted to hating PUAs.

And here is where we come to that dastardly metaphor: Blue pill vs red pill.

Whether you're an MRA, a PUA or a MGTOW, you've taken the red pill. You see things for what they are. You are not going to believe someone when they tell you women are more harshly treated by the criminal justice system. You're not going to believe it when people tell you that the men women get all soggy for are respectful gentlemen who treat them reverently. You're not going to believe it when Obama says "77 cents!" or "1 is 2 many, so step up, men!" You're not going to assume that the woman who wants you to propose, who will be handed a loaded gun by the state and the equivalent of diplomatic immunity when you marry, won't use it if and when she gets bored with the relationship. You aren't going to believe that random hook-up when she says she's on the pill, because you know what will happen to you if your trust is misplaced. And you know there's no way to win the game--you can be an asshole and get laid and have feminists call you "rapey", or you can be a decent guy and be taken for a chump, with the entire weight of the state ready to milk you for all you're worth.

Elliot Rodger was blue pill all the way, with a boatload of racism, classism and mental problems thrown in there. 

He stumbled across the PUA community, and rejected their advice to get his shit together, "man up" and give women what they respond to rather than what they say they want, because his classism wouldn't let him be anything other than the "perfect, magnificent gentleman". 

If he'd stumbled across the MRM or MGTOW communities, they'd have told him to stop measuring his self-worth by his sexual conquests (or lack of them), that women are not goddesses, they shit and fart and burp and the rest just like men do, and to stop feeling guilty and sinful for watching porn, and I expect he'd have rejected that advice too. We'll never know, because as far as I know, he didn't even know the MRM existed.

What I do know is that the MRM is a nonviolent movement, and that they'd have tried to help Rodger rather than let him fester in his confusion and resentment. And I'm almost positive, he'd have thought we were losers and crybabies, even as he himself wallowed in self-pity until he broke himself (and six other people) on the altar of his ideals. 

He didn't view women as objects to have sex with, as feminists in the mainstream have repeatedly claimed, blaming "male entitlement to women's bodies" while decrying those who talked about mental health as "excuse-makers" interested in shifting blame from the perpetrator. If he did see women that way, he'd have been a 22 year old rapist, not a 22 year old virgin. He viewed women as the yardstick by which he, as a man, should be measured. He viewed them as his judge and jury, the arbiters of his happiness and self-worth, goddesses who held his masculine identity in their hands, to be stroked or crushed as they saw fit. And he viewed himself as someone deserving of godhood, but unable to pass the test of it.

He had a god complex, and couldn't attract the affection and sexual attraction of a hot, white, blonde goddess to validate him. The fact that some of his confusion and concerns are mirrored in those of the young men you know is... well, it's beside the point. Or, at least, it's beside THIS point. 

The vast, vast, vast majority of men, even the staunch blue pillers, are not Elliot Rodger. The vast majority of men do not feel entitled to women's bodies, and the few who do don't tend to die virgins. The vast majority of men face certain forms of discrimination and prejudice that simply don't affect women, most of them exacerbated by race, sexual orientation and other factors outside of their control. Many of those forms of discrimination are at their worst when men come into conflict with women--in cases of divorce, parenthood, violence, sexual assault and the like. 

And feminism, for all of its talk about "equality" and "justice" has done little but lie to us. Like the feminist MPs insisting to backbencher Philip Davies (linked above) that the justice system is gender-blind, despite all evidence to the contrary, and like the feminists who instituted the "Duluth Model" years after the first studies were published demonstrating gender symmetry in domestic violence, feminism has misled us eight ways from Sunday. 

Most men are just trying to make their way in the world, trying to find and hold onto relationships and a sense of self in the face of a million conflicting messages. They hear feminists say, "men should be able to express their feelings, "boys don't cry" is a "patriarchal norm"," and then in the next breath, those same feminists accuse MRAs of being "whiny manbabies" and tweet pictures of themselves wearing shirts that declaim "I bathe in male tears" the moment a man objects to his treatment in society. 

You said in your follow-up email that you don't know how all this stuff got politicized, but the MRM is not the group doing the politicizing. We are trying to redress inequalities that have existed for centuries, now that our environment no longer justifies them, and trying to counter the feminist narrative that keeps men in their roles (stoicism, duty, support, protection) while simultaneously freeing women from any and all traditional expectations (chastity, fidelity, obedience, dependence). 

The women's movement has been politicized for over 150 years, since the Declaration of Sentiments blamed men as a collective for the blanket oppression of women (over the objection of a substantial percentage of women, FYI). 

That was the opening salvo in this gender war. A manifesto of bullet points all beginning with the word "he", but which were about "equality" and not about "blaming men". 

The purest testament to the forbearance of men and their love of women is that it has taken 150 years for them, as a collective, to get pissed off enough to return fire.


  1. "The purest testament to the forbearance of men and their love of women is that it has taken 150 years for them, as a collective, to get pissed off enough to return fire."

    If I didn't have 50,000 other reasons to know that feminists were full of shit, THAT right there would be more than convincing enough.

    As red pill as I am, I still very much feel the pull of my caveman half, that part of me that wishes it really was as simple as watching out for men doing terrible things, never worrying about mothers who will drown their own children in bath tubs. That aspect of mine is natural, no one raised me to suffer from the delusion that we have an entire half of the population that can be absolutely counted on to behave themselves at all times. I didn't have traditional values drilled into me. I was lied to about how you get women to like you, sure, and I heard stuff like "ladies first" quite often as a young lad, but the latter never stuck because it didn't make sense to me even then, and the former, I was pretty obviously susceptible to believing such things because of the way the girls at school weren't exactly owning up to how much they preferred guys with cars, part-time jobs, and career aspirations that held the possibility of fame and fortune for them somewhere down the road (being a guitarist or football player). If women had been more honest in their dealings, I'd have easily noticed that my dad didn't have a clue what he was talking about. So basically, I've never actually been inclined towards traditionalist views. I've always reacted to the world the way it was. I just haven't always been able to see everything.

    Despite that, my caveman half craves the simplicity of "men sometimes bad, women always good". That's how I know that the feminist spin on things is bullshit, because I'm obviously not alone there. Not even close. 90% of men in the police force would clearly love nothing more than focus entirely on finding men to clobber when they step out of line. Their policies prove that.

    Feminism never would have gotten off the ground in the first place if feminists were even remotely right about how men think. Women's Suffrage? Would have taken a gun aimed at President Woodrow Wilson's head to make him sign on the dotted line if feminist was telling the truth. But it didn't, because they're not right at all.


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  2. "...to get pissed off enough to return fire."

    Not sure this is the best choice of words given the subject matter...

    Otherwise, great post. Hope to see some more videos from you soon. I've said it before, but I'd really like to see you do a short well-produced video series that covers the issues for people new to this whole thing (rather than making points in the context of events that have come up as in most of your videos). Maybe you could do a kickstarter or something to fund them, and I'm sure there'd be talented people lining up to volunteer to do audio/video editing, overlays etc.

    By well-produced, I mean get rid of the constant Skype/IM sounds, no randomly smoking in the middle of videos, have a consistent backdrop (or better yet, green screen), use a dedicated video camera and microphone rather than a webcam, etc. I love all your videos as they are, and I wouldn't want you to stop doing that kind of "video blogging", but for an easily sharable link to some of your excellent material I think a little bit of work would go a really long way.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Eloquently written. One of the best pieces I've read on the subject. I hope it's turned into a video. Not enough sensationalism and shit-stirring, though, how do you expect to get hits?

    "The purest testament to the forbearance of men and their love of women is that it has taken 150 years for them, as a collective, to get pissed off enough to return fire."

    This seems to be a huge missing piece in the dialogue about gender. Men are more programmed to run into flaming buildings and into live fire, yet are also taught to be unquestioning and humble about it. In other words, be mortally devoted to those you care about, but don't expect even a congratulatory pat on the back in return. This allows any sacrifice to go unappreciated, and expected rather than applauded.

  5. Oh my god, my brain almost imploded on itself when I got to the so-called arguments of the fucking JUSTICE MINISTER Helen Grant in that debate on
    Sentencing of female offenders.

    She - the minister of justice - wouldn't even acknowledge HER OWN DEPARTMENT'S statistics, and responded to the repeated query of whether or not they were true by asserting that the courts were gender neutral, a response that's totally IRRELEVANT to the question of IF men are treated more harshly. It's a question of IF, not WHY.

    How does this idiot get into not only a position of authority, but into the position of authority of minister of JUSTICE...

    Sorry about this pointless comment, but I just had to vent about it.

  6. Greetings from Europe.

    I have to admire literary and verbal skills of US men! You there simply must have pretty good chances fighting the unwelcome sides of this feminist wave.

    And thanks to Karen; watched over some of your clips in YouTube and have to say you mostly present the things just like they are, fundamentally. Thanks. These things really are deep in us.

    In hard timres you easily confuse who's the friend and who's the foe.

    @"Email from a new viewer"

    For the most part this was so excellent piece of writing that I find it hard to justice myself criticising it . Only in the very end he started to drift away. So let me take a view of that:

    "They hear feminists say, "men should be able to express their feelings, "boys don't cry" is a "patriarchal norm"," and then in the next breath, those same feminists accuse MRAs of being "whiny manbabies"

    Well, it's man's life - and the reason really is and have always been women :D like it or not. You make us stronger. Like, hopefully, we do you. But feminism makes people weak. But yes, in this day man doesn't express his feelings in relationship due to fear of consequnses by his feminist woman. Crazy? No... it's just fight and test.

    "You said in your follow-up email that you don't know how all this stuff got politicized, but the MRM is not the group doing the politicizing"

    This I didn't understand.

    And, if you don't mind:

    Good bless you all there in USA. Whatever happens try to live in accordance with your fine constitution (it was the model to our constitution back in time, btw ). Do not let these turbulent times of crisis, of economical and social ones, to overcome you.

    Tuomo Niemelä

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  8. I wanted to say thank you for your videos and blogs because of you I don't feel like a bad guy anymore and I am starting to feel more like a good one

  9. After watching your YouTube video on benevolent sexism, I feel compelled to leave you a comment. You are a very articulate woman, and while I disagree with virtually every point you made, I still respect that. However, the power binary that you described simply does not exist. A compelling and thought provoking point that you made during your video is the idea that women have been at the heart of the decisions that have created the patriarchal (I understand you contest the idea of a patriarchy but bear with me) structure that we live in today, which does have merit in a sense. I can see how you could come to that conclusion because women do hold a prominent place in society, as wives and mothers, and always have. But anything beyond the position of wife and mother historically, women did not have any power or authority over, under, or aside so let's not pretend that this power structure extended to all elements of society. You equate the power of women to give birth to offspring and for men to want their offspring raised by desirable women (you call that being "taken care of") as a source of power that you believe was given throughout history. This is simply not the case. Women were traded as commodities throughout history from man to man, father to husband, and this is undisputed as there were times men actually paid other men to marry their daughters or vice versa. In many societies, women did not even have a choice as to which partner they would be passed off to (read marry and mother children..which you have stipulated was some form of power). Not only that, women were abused, mistreated, maimed, and killed if they dissented to the man's wishes. While I believe you are intelligent, at some point I have to assert that you are either woefully under-informed about women's history and/or you just choose to see a power structure that did not exist. If you are arguing that currently women are not oppressed, you are failing to take into account the way that an adversely weighted power structure can impact generations of a population. If you do not believe that to be the case, well, again, a history book would be a good guide here to illustrate how people overcame the plight of their ancestors historically and how imbalances of power can negatively impact people.

    Part 1 of 2.

    1. You seem like an individual with a penchant for knowledge. I would implore you to take the time to learn and understand evolution. Specifically read the book "The Red Queen" by Matt Ridley. It provides a framework for analyzing human behavior under an evolutionary lense which dictates that no gender can ever dominate the other without unbalancing sexual selection. Once you have a good grasp of evolutionary psychology you will see human action in a different like and your understand of history and it's major players will shift. Without a scientific examination of history however it is unlikely you will draw the same conclusions.

  10. The entire context of your video focused on denigrating female achievements and extolling male achievements. Whether intended or unintended it doesn't matter, assertions like "If women don't make it to the board of directors, we say that it must be because of discrimination, while if they do make it to the board of directors, we ignore that it may be due to discriminatory practices" is simply absurd and ridiculous. You do not even mention the POSSIBILITY that the woman achieved the seat in the board of directors because she was just as or more capable and qualified as any of her male counterparts, and this may be an unknowing Freudian slip on your part. You are very thorough in this video; it is not a coincidence you failed to mention that women are quite frequently more capable than all males applying for a position. Then you go on to state that men that don't make it to the board are being harmed by discriminatory practices and if they do make it are just simply more capable. Again, you are making a very damaging point here as you seem to believe that women cannot possibly be as or more capable. That if at any time a woman rises to a position of power in business, it must be due to her benefiting from "discriminatory practices" (yeah...that's a laugh in and of itself, considering discriminatory practices actually involve people hiring men over women when there is no basis or justification for it but to you discriminatory practices are practices that seek to give women the opportunity to achieve business positions that are ROUTINELY given to men. Unless you believe that women are inherently less intelligent and less capable, then you should obviously note that women accounting for 4.6% of CEO positions in fortune 500 companies indicates a discriminatory disparity, since women account for more than 50% of the population). You can't ignore reality, and that's exactly what you're doing. Just because you want to think that men are "oppressed" and live in a matriarchy that is misaligned to their interests doesn't actually make that so. All societal indicators point to the opposite problem being reality. All historical contexts, references, and resources demonstrate that women have just recently gained equality in legislation, as in women less than 100 years ago gained the right to vote on representatives that have a direct impact on their lives. As in, women's issues are now making headlines instead of being brushed under the rug. As in, domestic violence and rape culture are now being challenged instead of merely accepted as a part of life. To miss all of these poignant concepts of women's lives and to paint a picture of women as the emotional manipulators wearing frilly dresses and exacting power over men throughout the centuries has no basis in reality. It is pure fiction, and you are above perpetuating these falsehoods. And when I say you are above it, I mean yes, you are too intelligent for this. You are too articulate to take this narrow view on women's issues. You can do better than these half cocked half formed arguments that only look at half the problem and then manufacture facts to make them look the way you want to present them instead of how they actually are. I know you are a proud anti-feminist, which is sad because you don't see how feminism has helped give you the podium with which you spout your anti-feminist rhetoric. You don't understand that many years ago no one would have cared what you had to say or would have given you access to the same forums to provide your opinion that men were given. And that is the problem with "anti-feminist" women. You benefit from feminism in real, tangible ways and then shame women that are grateful for the movement that acquired them rights that you take for granted.

    Part 2 of 2.

    1. i was with you right up until you started toeing the party line and spouting this "rape culture" bullshit. for someone who accuses Karen of ignoring the reality, you really demonstrate this quality plenty.

    2. Why are so few women CEO? Do men have female gender roles to fall back on? A woman without a job can live off a man, a man without a job is a bum/loser.

      You are blind to your own privilege Lauren.

      Men are so sub-human that it is normalized to kick fathers away from their kids for any reason, on the whim of a woman.

      In the UK they are passing laws to jail men for 14 years for shouting at a woman.

    3. Also 100 years ago most men could not vote, can you stop the mental abuse and gaslighting of men with your false complaining?

  11. Hello - just thought I'd let you know that your comment on the UK is inaccurate, or at least a mis-representation of how the law stands over here. Easy to do with this complex & changing issue, especially when you aren't British!

    "the lower official retirement age of women in the UK"

    Not true anymore. We no longer have any official retirement age, since the Equalities Act 2010, with this part of the legislation coming into force in 2011.

    There is some discrepancy in the State Pension Age still, but this is being phased out, at the same time as the age is increased.

    (The difference in the terms is - retirement age = having to stop work, state pension age = can receive the universal government pension).

    By 2018 men and women will both reach state pensionable age at 65, and then this will rise to 68 for both.

    This means that for anyone born after November 1953, State Pension Age is already the equalised at 65. The legislation for this was passed in 2007.

    I am an admirer of your work and so know that you value accuracy. This particular issue is one where the battle for equality has been won and is being implemented. It might interest you to know that for the most part this legislation passed without much comment from the general public, being seen as obviously right to equalise pensionable ages.

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