And an introduction to Salientsights, a new blog featuring John the Other, Integralmath (Justicar), NurdyDancing, myself and others! The full transcript of this video (I'm posting but a teaser, how manipulative!), posted on Salientsights, is linked at the bottom. :)
a while ago, I stumbled on a video from TheTruePooka (link in the low
bar) attacking MRAs such as myself for "blaming feminists for
the male-only draft." It leads me to wonder if Pooka has
problems listening when a woman speaks.Very
few MRAs would blame feminism for something that's been happening
throughout most of history, or even lay blame on feminism for being
unable to change the situation Pooka. I certainly never have. Feminists
DO, however, get criticized by MRAs for their MARGINALIZATION of the
draft and their dismissal of it and other traditional male
obligations when offensively speaking about so-called historical
"male privilege" and "patriarchy." So let me try
to spell this out for you so we can clear the air a bit.
It wasn't even 90 seconds into your
video when you drop this astounding strawman: "lately the people
who are putting this argument forward are saying it with an implied
hostile tone that suggests that America's male-only draft is the
fault of women, especially feminists."
Years ago, in my travels within the book publishing industry and in my incarnation as a writer of erotic fiction, there existed a hot debate. The debate was over text-to-speech enablement of digital books, and whether the accessibility of this software was a violation of the author's copyright.
Even Wil Wheaton chimed in, in his capacity as a narrator of audiobooks, providing a wonderful demonstation of the distinct difference between an audiobook and a digital book rendered into audio by text-to-speech software.
The scandal itself was instigated by the Authors Guild issuing a warning to all member authors to reserve digital rights to their books when negotiating contracts with publishers. The gist of this is that this association was recommending authors not permit digital publication of their works at all, because the text-to-speech software available was a potential violation of often lucrative audiobook rights.
The consensus among most authors--at least those I hung around with--was that the robotic voice of a computer is no substitute for a professionally narrated audiobook, and that TTS is a reading tool, not a book format. That at its essence, TTS was not even the equivalent of a parent reading a book aloud to a child, or a family member or friend reading aloud to a convalescent or visually impaired person. TTS is an imperfect tool for reading used mostly by the visually impaired out of necessity.
As a caveat, I will say I am a staunch defender of intellectual property rights. As a copyright holder, it annoyed me to no end to see conversations on pirate forums between people who had uploaded or downloaded my books illegally, or who were looking for illegal access to them because, "OMG, I LOVE HER WORK! SHE IS SO AWESOME, AND ALMOST NO ONE WRITES ANYTHING SIMILAR! SO CAN'T SOMEONE HERE PLEASE HELP ME READ HER WORK WITHOUT ME HAVING TO PROVIDE HER THE MONETARY INCENTIVE TO KEEP PRODUCING IT, OR THE FINANCIAL WHEREWITHAL TO ENABLE HER TO CONTINUE WRITING?? BECAUSE I LUV HER SO MUCH, I WANT HER TO NOT PROFIT FROM THE WORK SHE DOES THAT I LUV!!!" Can you say "counterproductive"?
I have never objected to book sharing between actual friends, and neither has my publisher. Their policy has always been something along the lines of, [paraphrasing] "If you love a book so much you want to email it to two of your buddies, well, we're not going to complain about that, because sharing an author's work in that way leads to more exposure for the author and his/her future works and backlist. However, given the ease with which one copy of a digitally published book can turn into a billion copies, we do take issue when a reader uploads a book to a website to 'share' with 8000 of their closest friends. We do not encrypt our ebooks with DRM, because this interferes with ease of use, and only penalizes the people who purchase our books--the people who are doing the responsible thing--and creates a product whose illegal format is superior to the legal one. We do not force our responsible and law-abiding readers to pay for the conduct of those who choose to pirate by inflating our prices, because this only penalizes those who reward the authors who create these works and the publishers who bring them to market, and incentivizes piracy. We ask that you respect our authors' copyrights, so they can keep writing wonderful books and we can keep providing them to you at a very reasonable cost."
This policy is one of the reasons I chose this particular publisher, as was their market pricing scheme. As an author, I want people to read my work. I want them to be able to read it without the annoyance of software designed to limit or place restrictions on their ability to do so. I want them to pay a fair price for this work, and have had a number of criticisms of traditional publishers' handling of pricing and rights management when it came to the brave new world of digital publishing. I want anyone in the world to have access to a legal copy of my books--digital rights need to be worldwide, not regional. And they need to be TTS enabled, so those whose eyes don't work so well, or those who need their hands free while they read, can enjoy them as much as anyone else, without having to wait for them to be rendered into audio or Braille by a charity, or be released in expensive audiobook format.
And in keeping with my stand on my own IP rights, I do not engage in pirating. I don't download anything illegally, and I remind my friends and family that illegally downloading pirated material--whether it's music, software or movies--only disincentivizes the creation of the very works they enjoy. If you like, say, hard sci-fi movies but the demographic most likely to enjoy them refuses to ever pay for them, fewer of those kinds of movies will be made. That's just the way these things work.
Wil Wheaton's demonstation of the differences between a narrated audiobook and a digital book read by TTS was striking, but essentially irrelevant. It wouldn't matter to me whether TTS sounded like a robot with a poor understanding of pronunciation, or if it sounded like Morgan Freeman on his best day. Using TTS is not "making a copy" any more than a parent reading to a child is. Using TTS is not violating audiobook rights any more than using the zoom function on your Kindle is violating Large Print rights. If someone purchases my book and then has their computer, their mother, their friend or his future android personal valet read it aloud to them because it is impossible or inconvenient for them to read it themselves, or because they just feel like it, I'm happy. To me, TTS is like a pair of glasses. It's a tool that enables people to enjoy work they've lawfully purchased from the creator and therefore have every right to enjoy. If my publisher had disabled TTS on their books, I would have parted ways with my publisher.
In my incarnation as a blogger and vlogger, I've been approached by a number of people asking permission to transcribe my vlogs or translate them or my blog posts into other languages. I suppose I ought to put a notice somewhere public, that states what my reply invariably is--that they are free to transcribe or translate my material, or upload it elsewhere, in whole or in part, as long as they provide a link to the original material. I have given permission for several websites--including the Good Men Project and A Voice for Men--to republish my work as they desire, so long as they don't edit it, and as long as they link readers back to my blog or channel. I have given permission for anyone to mirror my videos.
While I don't charge people to view my advocacy material, I do receive a substantial income from it through voluntary donations--a larger income than my four published books bring in. That income is not vital to ME, but it is vital to my ability to continue to produce this material in a consistent and timely way. I can always get more hours on the schedule at my job, if I need to. I could write that final 4000 words of that book I have on hold and submit it to my editor. I could up the rent my tenant pays. I could do any number of things to increase my income.
What the donations do is allow me to reduce my hours at my day job to the point where I can now spend more hours a day involved in MRM advocacy and gender analysis than I do in any other single pursuit.
The donations are important to me. My IP rights are important to me. But more important to me in this context is that people hear what I have to say. This is my work, and though I have a deep respect for any author's intellectual property rights, I'm decidedly moderate about the issue when it comes to my own. I have given permission for my work to be reproduced in other places online, or in other formats, and that is my right, to do or not as I please. Other authors may feel differently, and I respect their right to feel that way, and do as they please with their own IP rights.
So I want you all to keep that in mind when I weigh in on the latest Atheism+ fiasco. Here is Justin Vacula's account of it, complete with screencaps of conversations, and exposure of the tactics used by the feminist-leaning social justice avengers of Atheism+.
What these social justice avengers are saying is that they have every right to violate other people's rights to their own intellectual property. That they have every right to violate copyright law. They have every right to republish another author's work in its entirety--without that author's permission and against that author's wishes. And anyone who opposes them in their unilateral actions--even if it's in an attempt to keep them on the right side of the law so they don't end up prosecuted or sued--is an able-ist and a shit-heel.
I'm not an able-ist. I spoke out vehemently against the Authors Guild's stance on the TTS issue, because it was not only legally unfounded, but because it was morally repugnant. It is as morally repugnant to prevent people from using TTS as it is to tell a mother she cannot read a bedtime story to her child because she's violating someone's copyright, or to tell a Kindle user that the zoom function a violation of Large Print rights, or to tell a far-sighted person to take off their glasses while reading or else they're in violation of an author's rights, or to say that a friend sitting across a table translating a podcast into American sign language is plagiarism.
But what the Atheism+ Scribe people are proposing doing is publishing other people's intellectual property without their permission, and even against their express protests, outside of fair use provisions. They are proposing publishing other people's works, without permission, and even against their expressly stated wishes. This attitude could land them in a world of legal hurt, and yet an individual warning them, using very reasonable and non-confrontational language, of this very thing is cast as a bully and an able-ist.
What they're saying is that the law does not apply to them, because they say so. Because their ends are just, in their opinion, their means don't matter. And how dare anyone say that we can't or shouldn't or might be courting a law suit! We can't hear you, lalalalalala!
I actually hope that Atheism+ Scribe ignores Anna's warnings. The sooner these people get their asses sued, the sooner they'll be brought back down to earth where the rest of us have to live. You know, us people who understand that we are not the arbiters of other people's rights, and that our right to have our say ends the moment it materially harms another person.
All I can say is holy shit. The hubris, it is stunning.
Note: The first few paragraphs of the transcript are not a word for word transcription. Damn my occasional on-camera ad-libbing!
I don't even know where to begin to
As far as vaginas go, I don't think
I've ever heard that word uttered so many times in so short a period
in my life. I think her 30 minute keynote speech might rival a
gynecology textbook as far as mentions of vaginas go. At one point,
she even came out and admitted she thinks with her vagina. Don't
"I'm gonna tell you something.
Deep down, in my heart, in my soul, in my vagina, I know the women's
spring is here."
I suppose this would be one of those
"women's ways of knowing" discussed in feminist ethics,
Later on, she drops this bomb.
"You might even worship their
And there I am, in a room full of
cheering, applauding women, wondering what the hell planet I'm on.
These are grown women, for fuck sake. Anyway.
After showing us a video of herself
giving a speech on the steps of congress in Lansing Michigan (because
who doesn't love seeing oneself on video bellowing the word "vagina"
in front of an adoring crowd?) she got down to the nitty gritty.
And that nitty gritty was, of course,
rape. With Eve, you know it's gonna be vaginas or rape, right? The
entire speech was a paean to female victimhood, a celebration of all
the ways women and women alone are subjugated and subordinated and
disempowered in society.
I'm going to link to the video in the
lowbar for those who have the intestinal fortitude, and ask that you
please resist commenting on NOW's channel since it won't do any good.
For those who don't feel they can stomach 37 minutes of vaginas and
rape, I'll give you a summary:
About midway through, Eve shared the
story of Jean, a woman in the Congo who'd been the victim of rape as
a weapon of war and economic conquest. If Jean had a husband or
brother or son, we don't hear about him. Her village was attacked by
militants, and she'd been raped. She sought help for her injuries at
an NGO active in the area, and received surgery and treatment, after
which she returned to her village only to be tied to a tree by these
militants and repeatedly raped for a period of two months. When she
was released, she found her way to another NGO, and received nine
surgeries to repair the damage to her body. It was then that Ensler,
founder of the 85 million dollar V-day charity, found her recovering
from her surgeries and her trauma, and asked her what she wanted.
What this woman wanted was a village
where women and girls could be safe from the violence. This village,
City of Joy, was built in part by Eve Ensler's charity and outfitted
by google, and is a place where women and girls can be safe and heal,
learn, grow and become empowered--in her words, to become the future
leaders of the DRC.
Now please, don't get me wrong. I have
a great deal of sympathy for that woman, just as I would for anyone
who had suffered what she did. I really do. It horrifies me, when I
think of what human beings can do to each other. And if I hadn't
swallowed a red pill a long time ago, I'd have probably been thinking
exactly what every woman in that room was thinking. As it was,
knowing what I know now about such things, all I could think as Eve
was talking about the plight of women in the Congo was, if it's that
bad for women and girls, I can't even imagine how it must be for men
There aren't many mainstream venues
discussing male victims of wartime sexual violence, but I did stumble
across a recent documentary on BBC radio, and I've collected a few
other sources I'll link in the lowbar.
The BBC documentary reporter
interviewed a Congolese man whose family was attacked by uniformed
men in 2008. He was bound hand and foot and beaten for 3 hours,
during which he watched as they killed his whole family, including
his two children, before cutting off their heads. Then they left him
for dead. In 2010, he was attacked again by men in uniform. He
believes they targeted him specifically after discovering he was
still alive. They took him blindfolded and bound in a van, to a
barracks with other prisoners.
There, he was sexually tortured and
raped, for 4 or 5 days. He says he was semi-conscious for much of it,
the pain was so great. Then they loaded him into a van, drove him out
into the bush, and raped him again. He asked them to kill him. They
laughed and left him lying there.
When a passing car found him, he asked
them to drive him to Kimpala, Uganda, where thousands of displaced
people from DRC seek refuge.
Other male victims have been forcibly
circumcised, raped with objects like screwdrivers, castrated, or had
their genitalia completely amputated.
Unlike the woman Eve Ensler spoke of,
there's no heartwarming story of triumph for any of these men to
share. Not even one surgery, let alone nine, no City of Joy built for
him and furnished with computers provided by Google, no armed guards
patrolling his safe village to keep him from harm, no schools
provided through the charity of the more fortunate to help him get
back on his feet and make his way in life.
In fact, when interviewed, he said his
injuries are not healed, and he would rather die than live.
According to the Journal of the
American Medical Association, 22% of all men in the Congo, compared
with 30% of women, have experienced sexual violence as a weapon of
war. Considering the higher rates of general violent victimization of
noncombatant men and boys in conflicts like that in the Congo (at
least 2 to 1), the numbers of men who experienced sexual violence
before being killed by their rapists can't be determined by the
The men who survive almost never speak
of their experiences to anyone, because under the law, they are
guilty of a crime--the crime of homosexuality--and can face severe
punishment. They don't typically disclose to family, due to fears of
abandonment that are all too justified. One employee of the Refugee
Law Project says it's common for a woman, upon discovering her
husband has been raped, to pack up the children and leave him. "Is
this a woman? Is it a man? If he can be raped, who is protecting me?"
According to Dr. Lynn Lawry of Harvard
medical school, reaction within the academic, political and
humanitarian communities to the JAMA's study on male rape in the
Congo has ranged from shock to puzzlement to controversy to anger.
She wasn't prepared for the level of hostility to their findings on
the part of humanitarian NGOs. Not anger on behalf of male victims,
but anger over the public being made aware of them.
The findings defy the cultural
narrative--both that of patriarchy and of feminism. Dr. Lawry herself
was shocked not just by the prevalence of male rape in the Congo, but
at the level of female perpetration--some 40% of the sexual violence
against women in the Congo, and 10% of that against men, was
perpetrated by women.
The UN, the law, traditionalism and
feminism all view rape as something that only impacts women and girls
and something that is only perpetrated by men. According to Lara
Stemple of the U of California's Health and Human Rights Project, out
of more than 4000 NGOs reviewed, only 3% even mentioned the
experience of male victims, and none mentioned them as more than a
passing reference. I have to wonder if any of those NGOs mentioned
female perpetrators at all.
And while Dr. Lawry sees the resistance
of NGOs to address male rape victims as originating in a fear that
resources will be diverted from their chosen issue, that male victims
will take too big a piece of a finite pie, I think it's deeper and
more complicated than that.
Feminist activism may have brought the
issue of rape into the focus of human rights bodies in the 80s and
90s, but they weren't telling us anything we didn't already think we
knew. Our ideas of rape, in whatever context it occurs, have always
existed within a male perpetrator, female victim model. Rape of women
has always been acknowledged as a weapon of war and political
advantage, a means to demoralize the enemy and destroy communities.
Propaganda during the early decades of the last century clearly
demonstrates that it was a fear pervasive enough to be exploited, by
convincing men to enlist, or by demonizing the opposition.
In her speech, Even Ensler calls rape
"femicide", a systematic method of destroying women. And
while the rape of women is a horrible thing, rape doesn't destroy
only women. The systematic rape of women undermines their
relationships and community. The systematic rape of men annihilates
everything we believe about what men are and should be, and
completely uproots them from their roles in family and community. In
a traditional society, male rape tells people that ANYONE can be
abused in this way, and that those who have always been seen as the
protectors of women and children can no longer be depended on in that
way, that the defenders of everyone can't defend even themselves.
A woman who's been raped is a damaged
woman. A man who's been raped is no longer a man.
Eve Ensler claims that women's bodies
are the landscape upon which all of human conflict and avarice is
fought, but she can only believe this because the men upon whom these
same terrors are wreaked are silent--the silence of death or the
silence of social isolation.
She talks about the hundreds of
thousands of women and girls: 2 year olds raped to death, women who
are incontinent, leaking urine and feces through their wounds, the
walking wounded riddled with infection and wracked with pain.
30% of women in the Congo. But no
mention of the 22% of men--hundreds of thousands--who suffer the
exact same things without voices and without help or healing.
Feminist theorists were preaching to
the misinformed choir when they portrayed rape as at best, a
byproduct and at worst the primary motive, of traditional social
organization and male sexuality, and cast women solely as the victims
of this form of "toxic masculinity" and male predation that
exists to subjugate women. That there was ANYONE, in academia, the
law or wider society, who believed feminist ideas about rape were
revolutionary or novel or ground-breaking remains to me, one of the
biggest mysteries in existence. It's the same bullshit people have
always believed, and it's just as miguided.
Feminist theory in this area dovetails
perfectly with our instinctive perceptions and expectations of
gender, and traditional cultural and sociological memes that cast men
as moral agents capable only of performing good and evil, and women
as moral patients or objects, capable only of absorbing good or evil.
Feminist thought concerning sexual violence was never innovative--it
was always same shit, different pile.
Still, when you think of how feminists
utilized these theoretical models of rape and domestic violence as
supporting evidence for their overarching theory of how society
works, it's pretty clear why someone like Eve Ensler would be
resistant to acknowledging both male victims and female perpetrators
of sexual violence. This will be especially true of wartime sexual
violence, since everyone, especially feminists, views bloody conflict
as a solely male domain.
And while this view is certainly not
just a problem with feminism--after all, it wasn't feminism that
passed laws in the Congo that punish the victim of a male rape as
harshly as the perpetrator--feminist theory seems woefully inadequate
to address any human phenomenon absent the lens of the male agent,
female object dichotomy.
Ensler's speech at the NOW conference
only hammered that nail home for me. Addressing the gathered women as
"vaginas" and the male audience members as "vagina-friendly
men" was freaky enough--referring to the men as men, but the
women as body parts?--but when she spoke of what's going on in the
Congo, her every word reinforced the idea that men act and women are
acted upon, that the sum of woman is only what is done to or for her,
and the sum of man is only what he does to or for others.
What are men to Eve Ensler? They are
the evil white westerners out to rape Africa of its resources. They
are the evil militants who brutalize and murder innocent villagers.
They are the unwilling tools of those evil men--forced at gunpoint to
rape their mothers and daughters, not to be mentioned by her again.
They are the doctors performing the surgeries that saved that poor
woman, the people who built the safe village where women and girls
could escape sexual violence, the guards who undoubtedly march the
perimeter of that village, and the people who supplied them with
computers, internet and a shot at an education. The only mention of
male victims in her entire speech was still framed in the context of
perpetration--a father forced to rape his daughter, or the son his
mother. Once she was done conveying what he did, it was like he
didn't exist to her anymore.
The men are the doers, in Eve Ensler's
narrative. The women are merely done to, or done for.
How the fuck is this challenging our
gendered views on anything? How are Eve and her ilk going to
overthrow patriarchy when all they ever seem to do is preach it?
And how will anything ever change when
the people who are supposedly defying the status quo are only
entrenching it ever deeper? Feminism is the privileged voice on
gender issues, and its as silent about the suffering of sexually
victimized men and the actions of female rapists in the Congo, as the
staunchest trad-con, because feminism's entire body of work rests on
the necessity of those men and those women not existing.
At present, there are no agencies
providing funding to male victims of rape in the Congo. Dutch Oxfam
has even gone so far as to threaten to pull its funding if too much
is spent on the few male victims who do seek assistance. Other human
rights advocates, few in number, complain that the focus of the UN
and the media, on women as a monolithic victim-class and men as a
monolithic perpetrator class, undermines not only their effectiveness
in helping and protecting male victims, but in bringing female
perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.
Adam Jones examined the activities of five of the “female
architects of the Rwandan genocide”, he noted they not only
participated in selecting thousands of Tutsi men and boys to be
killed, they were often the ones delivering death. Yet according to
author Tim Goldich:
cases of female leaders represent only a small part of the story of
women’s participation in the genocide. At the grassroots, “very
often, groups of women ululated their men into the ‘action’ that
would result in the death of thousands of innocent men, women and
children, many of them their own neighbours.” Their role was
dominant in the post-massacre looting and stripping of bodies, which
often involved climbing over corpses (and those still alive and
moaning in agony) piled thigh-high in the confined spaces in which
many Tutsis met their end. Frequently these women assisted in
administering the coup de grâce to those clinging to life."
Eve Ensler believes women are uniquely equipped to lead without
descending into violence, she needs to open her eyes.
The model with
which we as humans view gender makes us so reluctant to not only feel
compassion for male victims of crime, hardship and suffering, but
also to deliver accountability to women who do horrible things.
Taslima Nasreen's childish narrative, "Men throw acid on us, but
women still love men," ignores the 30% of acid attack victims
who are men and boys and the significant number of perpetrators who
are women, Eve Ensler's tale of Jean from the Congo ignores a very
great deal of suffering and marginalization, simply because in her
mind, all women are victims and that is all they are. And all men are
is how they affect women.
And I'm sorry,
but Eve Ensler, in her call for women to rise up--a billion of them
worldwide next February 14th, to represent the 1 out of 3 women
globally who will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes--is
apparently thinking with her vagina. Because I'm almost positive
she's never even thought to even ask the question, "how many men
will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes?" for comparison. If
she had, I wonder if she'd like the answer.
doesn't get the idea that humans--men and women--are in this
together, and that the warp and weft created by our equilibrium is
what society is built on. To her, men exist only to help or to harm
women, and that means a man who's been raped is of no use to anyone,
least of all her.
Eve Ensler is as much a slave to her
hominid programming and traditional views of gender as anyone else--a
slave to the idea that men do while women are done. And while she
noted that since spending time in the Congo she's become fully
radicalized, becoming a radical proponent of traditional ways of
viewing gender doesn't make her any more special than Rush Limbaugh.
But I think the most cynical and
stomach-turning part of the entire speech was the way she drew
equivalence between the struggles and suffering of women in the
Congo, a place where there is a war on EVERYONE, and the
inconveniences of women in the west who are oppressed by lack of free
birth control. It's all one big war on women, don'tcha know? And men?
If they aren't harming women, or being useful to women, they don't
exist at all.
I just read an interesting article over at thunderf00t's blog on Atheism+ and the divisive and polarizing tactics they're now using to gain support for their splinter movement. The conflict that began with Elevatorgate has now overtly become "us vs them", with battle lines drawn by righteous feminists and vilification and exclusion of any who voice the slightest dissent. The "Four Horsemen" of atheism have been recast as the perpetually evil "old white patriarchs", an identifiable group which according to feminist agitprop should be dismissed out of hand. If a powerful, educated old white man said it, you can be sure it's garbage, right? Why? Because we say so! We're just trying to be inclusive!
The tone of the article was one of bemusement, which only tells me thunderf00t has not descended remotely as far down the rabbit-hole as he needs to to get a clear picture of what exactly is going on in his community. I know that someone posted my video on female hypoagency by way of explanation, and I've picked up a lot of new subscribers from the atheist/skeptic/rationalist community as a result of his attention. At the same time, he seems hopeful that all of this brouhaha will reach some impervious barrier of rationality, at which point, Atheism+ will fizzle, and I find I can't share his optimism.
He writes in conclusion:
I expect that they will now start trying to weasel their way out of this by any and all means necessary as long as the conclusion is ‘no, it’s okay for ME to attend mere atheist conferences, its just everyone else who should shun and marginalize these mere inferior atheists’
I'm sorry to break it to you, thunderf00t, but I don't foresee any "weaselling out" occurring anytime soon--only more "weaselling in". My prediction is that the conflict in your community will escalate, with the Skepchicks and other feminist "atheists", and Atheists+ pushing their dogmatic agenda ever harder in every single arena, and continuing to pit the men in the community against each other. Give it a few more months, and American Atheist will have a shiny new "plus" sign on their letterhead.
It's amazing how closely this collective aggression and irrationality mirrors what's known in the pick-up artist community as the "shit test". A shit test is basically an irrational, manufactured conflict, attack or complaint on the part of a female partner against her male partner. This is not a "real" complaint, though it may be based on actual annoyances (like leaving the toilet seat up), and though usually interpreted by a man as a sincere concern or upset on the part of the woman, the underlying goal of the shit test is to compel the man into setting reasonable boundaries and maintaining his autonomy--that is, a demand to have the man put his foot down and not be bullied. This has been posited as a subconscious psychological strategy on the part of women to test the mettle of their mates--"if he can't stand up to ME when I'm bullying him, then how's he going to fend off those sabre-toothed tigers?"
The more the man tries to appease the shit-testing woman, the more she will escalate the conflict. The only way to pass the shit test is to put one's foot down. A relationship where a man is easily bullied (by anyone) is one in which a woman will feel more insecure, not less. The more insecure she feels, the bigger and more overt the shit tests will become.
And the horrible thing about shit tests is that they are a subconscious behavior--the woman sincerely believes that what's bothering her is that her man keeps leaving the toilet seat up, and not that she needs reassurance that he's an adequate protector and therefore worthy of respect.
I mean, look at how the conflict in the atheist/skeptic community began--with Elevatorgate. For those not in the know, Elevatorgate was what ensued after a man politely asked Rebecca Watson up to his hotel room for coffee, and then politely took "no" for an answer. It culminated with a call from feminists to boycot Richard Dawkins' books, when he had the temerity to call bullshit on the whole debacle.
You now have Surly Amy, in a recent interview with Amanda Marcotte, explaining what a sexual harassment policy at TAM should look like. At one point, she claims that no one is saying people can't hook up at conferences, and describes "the appropriate way to hook up"--basically, to introduce yourself, to flirt a little, talk a little, and invite someone to have sex with you if they wish. What she's describing as "the appropriate way" is exactly what sparked Elevatorgate--a polite invitation. So what the hell was Elevatorgate all about, then? A months-long screaming match among atheists over a man who behaved appropriately?
Surly Amy goes on to say that the kind of inappropriate behavior she wants covered by the sexual harassment policy is, for example, walking up to someone and starting to have sex with them without asking. So basically, the sexual harassment policy at TAM must include the phrase, "No raping, please"? Seriously?
This entire fiasco is a classic irrational, manufactured complaint on the part of feminist "atheists". And though it may seem as if it's the "no-bullshit" response of rationals like Justin Vacula, integralmath, Richard Dawkins and you, thunderf00t, that is what's causing this splinter-group to escalate the conflict, it's actually the appeasement and supplication of men like PZ Myers that's driving the female psychology underlying this collective shit test to a fever pitch. Validation of the insecurity that lies at the heart of this conflict only generates more of the same.
Meanwhile, true to the tactics of the shit-testing woman, the Skepchicks' own conferences now include a panel discussion of how the male brain is a female brain that's been "damaged by testosterone" and that men are "defective women". Rebecca Watson's platform as a skeptic speaker has transmogrified from actual discussion of atheism/skepticism into a sermon railing against the misogyny in the atheist/skeptic community, an airing of grievances concerning the "thousands of rape threats" she's received from "hundreds of atheists", described in detail but never backed up with screencaps. Demands for evidence of the existence of these threats, and, further, evidence that if they exist they come from within the atheist community, are met with accusations of misogyny and rape apologia.
The women driving all of this are supported and validated in their efforts by supplicating men, men desperate to tell them, "We're the good men, we're not like those bad men over there. We understand why you're so terrified of this HUGE problem of sexual harassment and misogyny in our community, and it's all down to male badness. But not me, because I'm a good man, not like those guys over there, the bad ones..."
They're doing the equivalent of telling a child that the monster in the closet is real, and it's particularly interested in eating small children, and they aren't even doing it to protect the women in the atheist/skeptic community from that monster. They're doing it to distinguish themselves from the "defective male" rabble in the group--you know, the thunderf00ts and the Justin Vaculas--and they'll happily cast you all as monsters just for the opportunity to portray themselves as monster-slayers. They're quite prepared to burn the entire house to the ground to do it, even though the closet monster doesn't exist, and even though they aren't even conscious of why they're behaving in this way.
The people behind this schism are not behaving or thinking rationally. Look at this hypocrisy from FTB over one of hundreds of comments I've made over the last two years concerning domestic violence:
I used to live under a young couple with a baby. I’d listen as she followed him from room to room upstairs, stomping, slamming things, throwing things, screaming. After about an hour, he’d eventually hit her, and everything would go quiet. An hour after that, they’d be out with the baby in the stroller, looking perfectly content with each other.
Here is the response from FTB (complete with photo of man's head exploding) to such a comment made by an "enemy":
So, if you’re annoyed at a woman, that justifies hitting her? In fact, you should hit her early in your annoyance, lest you beat the living shit out of her later when you’re reallymad? Of course, the fault will be hers for annoying you, not yours for having the physicality of a grown man but an infant’s mastery of your emotions.
I wonder if she has ever say gone out to lunch with that couple? If she has, I wondered if she noticed that the wife cowered like a fucking sheep when her husband spoke. I wonder if she just so happened to notice that the poor woman’s husband spoke for her, talked down to her, criticized her, all while she sat there and took it. Did she react when he made a swift movement? Does she carefully and painfully choose her words to avoid his wrath?
Okayyyy.... so a woman chasing her boyfriend from room to room, screaming insults and profanity, throwing heavy objects at him (in front of their infant, no less) while refusing to allow him to exit the situation is a clear sign that she's living in terror of him. Huh.
But it was the response to THIS comment that really told me who we're dealing with:
Normally I would say that violence towards women is never justified, however, I did see my dad hit my mom twice. He stayed and put up with her because of me, and every few years she would get in one of these moods where she would ride his ass and tell him what a loser he was for not making enough money, losing his hair, or whatever, put her finger in his face, scream at him, shove him, etc. This would go on nightly for weeks until he would beg her to stop because he was about to snap, which only encouraged her. She got off on it. He would try to go for a walk to get away from her before he lost it, and she would grab him and keep on and on, until he would start shaking and crying uncontrollably, and then he would snap. He said he would literally see red, then have no memory of what happened. I have snapped like this once after having been bullied for years and years, and I couldn’t remember, either. He felt cornered and tried to do the right thing and take a walk, but she wouldn’t let him. I can’t fault him for that. If anyone deserved a backhanding, it would have been her.
Go ahead and tell me I’m evil. I can take it. I think violence against women is deplorable, and I wouldn’t put up with it myself, and would tell anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out. But I can also understand why someone would snap if they were incessantly poked and prodded and then reacted accordingly.
Wow, an almost identical (if more embellished) situation to the one I described, so you'd expect a TON of exploding heads, right? Oh wait, but that comment came from a "friendly", and is therefore "different":
Your mother was the one being abusive. Men are victims of domestic violence too, not as often, but it still happens. I do not know often women act like this in the US or around the world, but reported domestic violence case statistics say that men are more likely to be a the abuser.
I don’t think it was right of your father to hit her, because I don’t think that hurting anyone is okay. But I think he was justified to fight back.
That kind of situation is not what GWW is advocating though. And even if that’s -all- she was advocating I’d still encourage her to change her stance and encourage the men to get help instead of hurting the women they are with.
Um, wow. And this guy's mom didn't even throw anything at his dad, but somehow the commenters at FTB are prepared to accept that she was the abusive one! Couldn't they tell she was terrorized and cowed, living in such fear of his wrath that she barely spoke without permission?
And if we're to apply the same rules here as were applied to me, relating a situation you've observed means you advocate for it. This must be the case, since me attempting to have a frank, meaningful, grown-up discussion of the complexities of domestic violence--you know, how it goes down in the real world among real people, as opposed to how it goes down in Feminist Theory--is the same as me advocating beating women.
Therefore I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you, about how absolutely no heads exploded over this guy's domestic violence apologia! Look, here's another understanding comment:
Your mother was the abuser in this situation. Hitting her was probably not the *best* solution, but I certainly am not going to fault your father for it in this case.
I can't believe these three commenters at FTB are advocating for men being allowed to beat their wives! Where are the bits of brain and skull all over the place from everyone's heads exploding? Nary a fragment to be seen, which means they must not only be excusing violence against women, but actively supporting and encouraging it! Where is the outrage? If there's no outrage, that's exactly the same as endorsement!
So from what I gather, what is considered an abhorrent thought when it comes from an enemy is permissible and even apt when voiced by a friendly. For a community that supposedly prides itself on empiricism, universality, evidence and logic, rather than hyperbole, emotionality, and kneejerking, that's really all you need to know to understand how far gone these people are.
I'm sorry, thunderf00t, but your community is in huge trouble. There will be no retreats, tactical or otherwise, not at the American Atheist convention or anywhere else. Only an ever-widening circle of conversion into this new religion where the devil has been usurped by Patriarchy, and god by "women's feelings".
They are the "us" and you and any other rational person who attacks arguments rather than the people speaking them... you are the "them".
And as long as there are men--and yes, I mean men, not just people, but men--in your community who are prepared to preen as heroes by validating and reinforcing the irrational beliefs and closet monster fears of a few hysterical (yes, I said it, hysterical) women, the conflict will only continue to escalate until the entire house goes up in flames.
I'd advise you to call the fire department if I thought for a second that it would help.
ZOMGitsCriss is all over my channel (and twitter, apparently, though I can't be bothered to go look--hearsay evidence so take it with a grain of salt) [HEARSAY EVIDENCE UPDATE: ZOMGitscriss is not accusing me of accusing her. She has been accusing me of accusing FTB and/or Skepchicks of the fraudulent DMCA claims, and others have been accusing me of accusing her specifically and demanding I "leave her alone".] demanding evidence of the accusations I've made against her. That is, the accusations I've made that she is behind the fraudulent DMCA claims against me that occurred earlier this week.
And I would be happy to provide evidence to back such accusations, if I'd actually made any such accusations. In fact, the only accusations I ever made regarding ZOMG is that she deleted my comments from the thread of her video. A cursory search for "neoteny" did not turn up my initial comment, nor other comments in which I had included this word, and I assumed, wrongly, that some or all of my comments had been deleted.
The instant I had ascertained that I was mistaken, I amended my video with a speech bubble, and posted edits on my blog post and the info section of my video to that effect. The edits in these two locations also included a disclaimer that I was not accusing ZOMGitsCriss of the attack on my channel, or of being personally involved in any of this.
More than that, I exchanged a brief series of personal messages with ZOMG, in which I said to her:
I also want to make clear to you (I've tried to publicly, as well) that I don't at all believe this is your doing, but I do consider it very likely that this might be fallout from my participation in your video thread. This is the first trouble I've had on YT, and there's been some serious resentment among atheists/skeptics of thunderf00t subscribing to "the tokyo rose of men's rights".
If you like, here's a screencap of that message:
So what ZOMGitsCriss is demanding on my channel and (apparently) on twitter, and is criticizing me for not producing, is evidence of a claim I never made, and which I have conveyed in three places--two of them public and one of them directly to her--that I specifically was not making.
What I HAVE done is note that this attack on my channel--an attack that occurred the exact same day Justin Vacula was dealt a false DMCA claim against one of his videos--is something all too common within the Atheist/Skeptic community, that stalking has been an issue there as well, and that this attack occurred two days after I made my first foray into the increasingly feminist environment of that community. My channel has been pissing people off since last October, and two days after a comment of mine received 117 upvotes in a thread where ZOMG was downvoted
I get (allegedly) two claimants filing false DMCAs against me with the implied threat that my channel would go down if I don't provide them my personal details.
I'm well aware that it could be any number of people within the FTB or skepchick communities, or none of them, or all of them, or someone completely different. But as I said, the timing is awfully iffy.
Again. I did not accuse ZOMGitsCriss of anything. In fact, I went out of my way to say I was NOT accusing her of anything--both in public and in a personal message. Yet she demands evidence of my accusations that she is the culprit behind the false DMCA claims filed against me.
Of course, it's not like I'm not used to this crap. Here is a screencap of a post on FTB (apparently they've acknowledged my existence now):
Now, let's consider what they're implying here. They're implying that by saying "I don’t really find too much in the article that strikes me as seriously ethically questionable," that I find nothing in the article that is seriously ethically questionable. More precisely, they post that comment immediately after posting the most seriously ethically questionable portion of the article in question.
I'm going to allow that these people are unfamiliar with the MRM's general sentiment toward Ferdinand Bardamu, which is that pretty much everything he writes is expected to be so awful that we no longer even remark on the awfulness, but concentrate our discussion on the things he occasionally says that are NOT awful. But let's deconstruct this a little.
"I really don't find too much in the article that is seriously ethically questionable." From this, we can infer that some of it IS seriously ethically questionable, but other parts are insightful or morally neutral or contributory to a discussion of the real dynamics of domestic violence.
Yet my assessment that there was not "too much" in the article that was seriously ethically questionable was interpreted and portrayed as complete agreement with the most seriously ethically questionable portion of the article (and you know that the worst bit is going to be the bit posted, right?).
So by essentially saying that I find a portion of the article seriously ethically questionable, while most of it is just observations of human nature, I am portrayed by the folks at FTB as condoning and agreeing with the most seriously ethically questionable part of the article.
So here we have a group of people who claim I am accusing someone even after I have specifically and unambiguously stated, publicly in two places and privately to her face, that I am not accusing her, who then go on to impute beliefs and values on me based on the fact that I found some, but not all, of a Ferdinand Bardamu article ethically questionable.
The intellectual dishonesty, it hurts. It hurts SO BAD.
UPDATE: it appears that the pathetic cowards who perjured themselves filing these maliciously false copyright infringement claims have chickened out, and retracted their claims. My account is back in good standing, with zero copyright strikes, and the videos in question are back up for the illumination of the viewing public.
I am currently under attack from one or two individuals who are attempting to gain access to my name, address and phone number, through claiming my videos are infringing on their copyright.
They have posted two claims against three of my videos, "LPS 2: the Rights of the Child"; "Fempocalypse!" and "LPS Part 1 - Men have an equal responsibility." These videos have been removed by YT.
Their claim is that I am infringing on their original works, "Femdompocalypse"; "The Rights of a Child - Part 2"; and "Men Have an Equal Responsibility", which they claim are not hosted on YouTube. Googling of these titles receives no relevant hits.
Copyright infringement claims by one more individual will result in the deletion of my YT account. Only two individuals have lodged complaints thus far, within minutes of each other judging by the fact that the notifications from YT hit my email account within minutes of each other.
As you can see in the screenshot, to file a counterclaim, I must make my personal information, including legal name, address and phone number available to the claimant.
There is NO unoriginal material in these videos. Anyone who has watched these three videos will know that in them I am sitting at my kitchen table reading from a script I have written. These are MY original works, with NO content from other copyrighted works in them. I own the copyright to these videos.
I am unable to contact the administration of YouTube. The system is now automated, removal is instant, and counterclaiming requires I disclose my personal information to the individuals who have made the claim against me.
THIS IS A DISGUSTING ABUSE OF THE SYSTEM, IN ORDER TO DOXX ME. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE THERE WERE ONLY TWO CLAIMANTS. THEY DO NOT WANT TO SHUT DOWN MY ACCOUNT--THEY WANT ME TO COUNTERCLAIM SO I WON'T GET A THIRD STRIKE, SO THEY CAN GET MY PERSONAL INFORMATION AND BEGIN A CAMPAIGN OF REAL LIFE HARASSMENT.
I find it so very odd that this attack occurred only a day or two after the first highly upvoted (over 100 upvotes), and since removed, comment I left on the channel of Free[from]thoughtblogger and popular Atheist-turned-feminist vlogger ZOMGitscriss. According to people in the Skeptic/atheist community, there have been incidents of stalking and harassment of individuals in that community who do not toe the FTB feminist party line.
I am not going to cave in and provide my personal information to potential stalkers by engaging YouTube's counterclaim process. If these people want my personal information, here's the only process through which they I will give it to them:
I will engage an attorney and file a lawsuit against YT for their irresponsible automated copyright infringement claim process, which exposes individuals like me to the risk of real life harassment. At which point, I'm sure YT will be interested in determining who abused their system and saddled them with a law suit. I'm sure in the legal mayem that ensues, my real name will have to come out. But at least it will be worth it, you fucking cowards.
Edit: It seems my comments are still up at ZOMGitscriss's video--in my frenzy to deal with the situation, being unable to find the initial one in the slew of comments there, I did a search of a word I'd used that came up blank and assumed it was gone. And let me be clear--this post was in no way accusing ZOMGitscriss specifically for anything, other than posting a video I felt compelled to comment on, that brought me to the attention of a community known for stalking less than 48 hours before the notices hit my inbox.
Angel Clark, who interviewed me a few months ago on her libertarian radio show, just emailed me tonight to share a couple of press releases. Little did I realize that the subject of these press releases was a man I met at the False Allegations Summit in Washington DC a month ago.
Press Release: July 12, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A lawsuit has been filed against Delaware State Police and several other Delaware agencies and four individual officers for failing to arrest individuals who made proven false police reports, failure to conduct investigations prior to making arrests, and falsely entering the Plaintiff into DELJIS resulting in his false arrest and incarceration in a Delaware State Prison the day after he conducted a demonstration outside Kent County Family Court.
The lawsuit was filed by Gordon Smith, in Superior Court seeking damages for numerous torts and civil rights violations. Had Mr. Smith not been able to prove his innocence, in the face of false reports by his ex-wife he faced a year in prison on each of the false charges.
Despite the fact that in one case he was able to prove that he was miles away when the ex-wife, her sister and her boyfriend told Delaware State Police that he was at her home, the Delaware State Police refused to arrest the individuals that made the false report that resulted in his arrest. In another case he was at Family Court, which is under video surveillance when his ex-wife alleged that he made a call to her in violation of an ex-parte protection order. The police officer that arrested him admitted that he saw Mr. Smith in the court at the time he was alleged to have been making the phone call but refused to review the video tape to confirm that he was not on a phone at that time. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in Delaware Family Courthouses. In another instance the ex-wife alleged that he called and text messaged numerous times, when he had not and he was charged with harassment by phone with the domestic violence modifier because he was a divorced spouse. The Delaware State Police failed to look at the complainant's phone records which would have shown her statement was another false report. His ex-wife had him falsely arrested twice in one day and three times in that one week period.
According to Mr. Smith the pendulum on domestic violence has swung from thirty years ago when it was ignored as a private matter, where abused women were not protected to the same extent that non related individuals would be if victimized to a point now that men are not given the same due process or equal protection when accused of domestic related crimes in comparison to those accused of any other crimes that are not considered domestic. Smith says “in the instances where I was arrested the police didn't even contact me to see if I could prove that I was innocent, in other instances when my ex-wife made reports to police and they did investigate I was not arrested”. He said that “failure of the Delaware State Police to enforce Delaware law on filing false police reports encouraged his ex-wife to continue to file false police reports” in an effort to have him incarcerated because he had moved on in his personal life and was involved with another woman. Men in Delaware are subject to arrest at any time when they haven't committed any crime.
Smith stated, "You can get up and go to work and not know there is a warrant for your arrest on some made up allegation and be in prison that night for something that you didn't do. No evidence is required, all a woman has to do is say that you, a current or former spouse or domestic partner, did something and the State Police will run out and get a rubber stamp warrant from the JP Court. You have to prove that you're innocent instead of them having anything more concrete than verbal allegations that you committed a crime."
For Mr. Smith this has resulted in five arrests that were nolle prossed but show on background checks preventing him from being employed in his field, despite no convictions and resulting in his being financially crippled. In Delaware, unlike neighboring Pennsylvania, it is not against the law for employers to consider arrest that did not result in conviction to make adverse employment decisions.
Mr. Smith is the co-founder and Executive Director of a family law reform and advocacy organization and the Delaware State Coordinator for an organization that lobbies for changes in Federal and State laws to address the proliferation of false allegations of domestic abuse and for enforcement of laws on filing false police reports.
Smith said that he is looking for other men in Delaware who have been the victim of proven false police reports of domestic violence or violations of PFAs and would consider being part of a class action lawsuit, in Federal District Court. They can contact him at email@example.com
Second Press Release:
Gordon Smith, the Delaware activist and man suing Delaware State Police and other agencies for false arrest has been arrested again on yet another false report to the police by the same individual, his ex-wife, of Dover, DE. She told police that he threatened to kill her. That is untrue and she had no substantiation or witnesses but Dover PD has a policy of mandatory arrest. He has been charged with terroristic threatening. All it takes is an unproven allegation of a crime if it's related to an intimate partner or former intimate partner and made by a woman against a man and they make an arrest. In the past this woman has made eight false reports to the police and up until now anytime the police agency investigated there was no arrest. Five times in the past, no investigation was made by Delaware State Police Troop 3 and once before by the Dover Police and they obtained warrants on the false reports. Twice other police agencies received false reports and investigated and did not make an arrest. Twice Mr. Smith had physical evidence, including video tape of his innocence that proved the reports to police were a lie in violation of 11DE1245 yet the perpetrator, his ex-wife,, was not arrested.
Smith alleges in his suit that he and men in general are denied equal protection and that failing to arrest people who make false reports to the police encourages them to continue to maliciously file reports in the future. The Delaware Department of Justice has a no drop policy and despite exculpatory evidence continued the prosecutions of Mr. Smith up until the day of trial when previous charges were dropped.
"It is a disgrace", says Catherine Gibson, Managing Director of FLAIR: Family Law Advocates Initiating Reform, "that innocent men are routinely thrown under the bus by certain but not all police agencies in Delaware and the Delaware Department of Justice in the name of protecting women from domestic violence". She said that it demeans the true victims of domestic violence and is unconscionable that when there is physical evidence that a police report was knowingly false the women are not arrested.
Mr. Smith has been on WBOC, WDEL and published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today as well as the Delaware State News, The News Journal and several other regional newspapers. Recently an opinion piece on Pro Se was published in the State News. Anyone who was the victim of a proven false police report related to dv should contact Mr. Smith firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a class action lawsuit in Federal Court.
Anyone in Delaware (or elsewhere, frankly) who has a moment to spare is encouraged to contact Delaware's DOJ here: http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/office/contact.shtml to express their objection that this woman, who has made 8 proven false accusations for the purpose of abusing legal process to harass another individual, has faced no charges as yet.
And anyone in Delaware who has been the subject of a proven false accusation, please contact Gordon in regard to his class action lawsuit. I met this guy. He's sincere and seems decent, and he certainly doesn't deserve this bullshit.
Between tripping over my kids and taking a back-hoe to my basement, I had a little time the other day to do an interview with Jan Irvin at gnosticmedia.com. They take on a lot of interesting topics there, and one of them is the Feminist Fallacy, which we probably could have discussed for longer than the 2+ hours we went at it. If you all want to go give it a listen, consider yourselves invited.
For all of you Canucks out there--not just those of you from out here in the Wild West--there is big news soon to be forthcoming. I'd like to ask any and all interested parties who want in on the goings-on and general happenings to shoot me an email.
What I'd like is a bunch of email addresses on file so when I have details to report, including how those who are interested can get involved, I can do up a mass mailing.
So send to girlwriteswhat AT gmail DOT com, and put "Canadian MRA" in the subject line. No need for anything in the body of the email. I will protect everyone's confidentiality, and promise not to use your email addresses for evil.
So again, if you're Canadian and you're an MRA, or even generally interested in some men's rights issues, I want to hear from you.
Okay, so an online friend of mine was spitting mad after reading this recent effort on the part of I can only assume to be a traditionalist woman, in trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with men these days. As so many traditionalists and feminists before her, she missed the mark by a freaking mile, even though she did dance dangerously close (within 100 miles or so) of a few of the core issues that currently discourage men from being good little married drones like they're supposed to be, dammit.
Despite being critical of feminist attitudes that she rightly sees as anti-male, the article was absurdly gynocentric. It was very much about what women want, and there was a lot of expectation that men *should* do what women want when they want it--that is, get married and have babies on HER schedule as decided by her. One has to wonder if she even bothered to ask any actual unmarried males WHY they are refusing or not bothering to "man up" before writing her article.
But as I said, it did at least poke at the surface of the festering boil that is the systemic nature of "the problem", even if it didn't give it the lancing it truly deserved. Her conclusion was "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? And why get a good job when women are so independent they can just give the milk away for nothing?" Both are backhanded criticisms of women's behavior (yay, for someone brave enough to blame women for their own troubles), but they fall far short of any sort of true examination of the issues.
So I'm going to give it the old college try, and give a bit of an overview of what I believe has become a multifaceted problem.
A recent examination from Heartiste said a very great deal, and with some serious literary flair (pearls of wisdom from that pit of social nihilism that is the pick-up artist community). I'm just going to quote some of the relevant bits and leave a link to the article below:
If you want to know why men are running away from marriage, children and beta provisioning, one major reason is that the women available to these working class men are flat out disgusting. Take a look for yourself. What man of normal mental health and active libido wants to romantically woo and date, let alone marry, a beastly, waddling tatted mountain of pustulence with the issue of three other men barking and nipping at her cankles?
And let’s not forget that economically empowered and government-assisted women, slaves to their hypergamous impulse for higher status mates than themselves, can’t help but winnow the pool of men deemed acceptable marriage material. When women say “there are no good men left”, what the astute observer hears is “there are no good men left thanks to a combination of my increased expectations and decreased attractiveness.”
He goes on to say:
to the factory-farmed ivory tower sociologists studying marriage trends and turning out paper after paper of half-assed hogwash: there’s a whole other world out there. It’s the world of men, and in that world, men’s desires matter. You should think about incorporating that ugly reality into your theories.
Hey, Heartiste--why don't you tell us how you really feel. As blistering as that little snippet was, it raises some very important points, I think the most important of which is that MEN'S DESIRES MATTER. When men cannot find women THEY desire who are willing to partner with them, why would they partner?
And I think it's important to note that the reality of divorce and family law in our culture plays a HUGE part in men's growing contempt for marriage as an institution. It's not that men are commitment-phobes. It's that women seem increasingly commitment-incompatible. The word "commitment" has in fact, in female parlance, come to mean, "up until the moment I'm no longer 100% satisfied with the person I married". And that attitude is only going to lead to more and more divorces as more and more successful women effectively set their sights higher than they reasonably should while their youth and attractiveness wanes, leading to a growing number of them feeling like they settled even if they didn't--even if they scored someone 2 points above them on the overall attractiveness scale.
And oddly enough, no one, least of all women, seem to really give a shit what MEN desire in a partner. Why can't men just be happy with what's available? Well, let's look at what's available to the *average* man in his 30s: a 35 year old woman who hollers yes over the jangling of her biological clock while unable to keep the grimace from her face because he's a bigger loser than the 5 guys she dumped in her 20s and now she has to settle, a divorcee who's already financially annihilated and emotionally crippled at least one man, and a single mother who's collecting reams of child support from one poor schmuck while her other baby daddy manages to duck his obligations because he's a drug dealer and his income's off the books.
And yes, I'm exaggerating, but you see my point.
And no, not all women are like that. But frankly, the consensus among today's women seems to be that this state of affairs is the new normal, and even responsible women will often frame such destructive choices on the part of other women as somehow valid and defensible. The sentiment in the mainstream is that men should just man up and go along with Pairing Up 2.0: Who Cares What Men Want?, that essentially, a given woman's behavior and life choices should have no effect on whether she is able to attract a good, reliable man...this does not speak well of the principles of even those women who are more well-situated. In fact, I think it's safe to say that the fewer female voices of reason there are out there the more men are likely to wash their hands of the entire idea of partnering.
But I honestly think it goes deeper than even the baggage the average unattached woman now carries, or the danger of ending up an emotionally and financially devastated statistic with "generous" every-other-weekend access to one's children that is keeping men from "manning up".
I've been thinking of the White Feather Girls. For those who don't know, it was a group of young women in the UK during WWI who bestowed a white feather of cowardice on any man they saw in civilian clothes, to shame them into enlisting.
And when I consider how vulnerable so many men were to those kinds of shaming tactics, vulnerable enough to enlist in a war that killed 10 million to preserve their manhood in the eyes of women they'd never met, I simply can't believe that it's only the risks of marriage, as onerous as they are, that have rendered men impervious to the kinds of shaming tactics employed by traditionalists and feminists who seem increasingly desperate to strong-arm men into their old roles.
I think at the very core of it, it's about a positive male identity. Male identity almost always revolves around doing, rather than being. Most of that doing has always revolved around being of use in a uniquely male context. Most of men's usefulness through history has derived from learning "male" skills and performing them well, embodying a male role in the service of women or society. In the more turbulent past, those roles needed to perform a valuable service to women or the community that women could not--or should not be expected to--perform for themselves.
This is the most common path to a positive male identity BECAUSE MEN LACK A MECHANISM FOR AUTOMATIC OWN-GROUP PREFERENCE. Simply put, they do not relate to other men automatically, just because they're men.
Women have this bias, which provides them a natural ability to form cooperatives, relate to other women, and seek consensus though their strong mechanism for own-group preference based on gender alone. Given their gender roles through most of human history, this mechanism makes sense. Their individual value as, to put it bluntly, breeders, meant that in a survivalist environment, you didn't throw a woman on the trash pile without a pressing reason. Adjustments were made when possible to keep as many women as you could within the sisterhood. This is where you find a ton of attention in female spaces given to things like "tone" and "being nice" and "getting along" even when there are disagreements. It's all about comfort level and feelings of acceptance.
Men, however, lack the hardwiring to form a preference for maleness based merely on maleness. And that only makes sense when you think about men's roles for the last couple million years or so--roles that involved things like beating the guys down the valley to a pulp when they threatened his women and children, and competing against other males within his community for a shot at the mating game. Given those roles, automatically siding with one's own gender over the other is...well, it just doesn't work.
And it's not that men cannot manifest a form of own-group preference, it's just that when own-group preference manifests in males, it can't be based on maleness alone. There must be a common purpose, a common set of ideals, a common duty or cause, a common doing or a common position in the status hierarchy.
Men can indeed identify with each other and be team players among other men--you see it in churches, military units, fraternities, sports teams and even sports fans, political parties, movements, project teams. While they will often form hierarchies within those contexts, those realms can be sources of a sense of loyalty and brotherhood among men.
The myth among feminists that men will insult each other for displaying feminine traits because they see women as inferior is just that--a myth. Men do this because women have a trump card that bestows intrinsic value on them--their uteruses--and they retain that value even when they gender-bend a little. A woman who acts like a woman is not seen as inferior. A man who acts like a woman has always been seen not as a woman, but as a "woman without a womb". He has no female value, and he has no male value. Therefore, he has NO value at all. And unlike women, men who were not "useful" did--and still do--get thrown on the trash heap of society.
In the currency of reproduction, an ovum goes for a thousand bucks, a uterus is worth a cool mill, and an ejaculation about 10 cents. To be acceptable mating material, and worth keeping around, a man had to do more than generate sperm. And when the only thing keeping you from becoming completely disposable as an individual lies in differentiating yourself from the feminine, well, guys gonna enforce that shit.
This is why men have always tended to define themselves by their roles. Father, husband, working man, soldier, career man, family man, middle class man, politician, activist, etc...in other words, roles to exist in which allow them to relate to other men who also occupy those roles, and to derive a positive and meaningful identity from performing their masculinity through those roles.
And I think this may be why suicide rates for men skyrocket after divorce--you have not just taken away his kids, his wife, his assets and a chunk of his income. You've effectively stripped him of a huge part of the male identity he's built around himself.
So I'm thinking that for most men, forming a positive male identity in relation to other males requires a couple of things--a male role that is differentiated from the female one (or at the very least, a male-oriented environment) and, well, positivity.
Men used to be able to derive a positive male identity from marriage. That is, through the respected and uniquely male role of husband and father. When that identity is increasingly characterized by society as superfluous, obsolete, or in the words of Harriet Harman, unnecessary to social cohesion, it is no longer a way for a man to defer his disposability, is it? Moreover, when that identity can be unilaterally stripped from him on the whim of the increasingly fickle and hard to please female even when he does everything right, marriage ceases to be a positive way for men to define themselves as men. It becomes a way for men to define themselves as chumps and idiots, and who wants to define themselves that way? Moreover, from sitcoms to romcoms to TV commercials, to billboard ads, the role of husband/father is increasingly one of playing the incompetent buffoon to sassy, smart, together wife or even child. In the mass media there is nothing noble or respectable about husbandhood or fatherhood anymore. Further, when the roles within marriage become virtually indistinguishable and interchangeable, a man's role becomes less and less...well, uniquely male. It's just a role. It can be a path to meaning and fulfilment (if he's lucky), and it may be something he desires to do and become, but it's not necessarily a path to defining himself AS A MAN.
So we can scratch that one off the list--even for men who've been living under a rock when it comes to divorce law. Marriage and children no longer offer a reliable path to a positive male identity. It is no longer positive, nor is it significantly differentiated from the feminine.
The workplace is yet another milieu that has largely lost its maleness. And that's not to say that women ruined everything. It is not so much the presence of women but rather the alterations in environment and interaction many women demand when they want to engage the world through the paid workforce. A male space that leads to a positive male identity need not be free of women, but it still needs to be male--men need an environment that suits their psychology, not one in which they must be metaphorically castrated in order to steer clear of trouble with HR. And I'm not even talking about vulgarity or expressions of sexuality, but aggression, ambition, ribbing, competition, passion, authority, and plain speech--all of these are often discouraged when women are present, in order to spare feelings and prevent discomfort. Outspokenness is replaced with drawing room rules of discourse and ingenuity with protocol, all of which render a feminized workplace, though tolerable to men, no longer a path to a positive MALE identity.
Because it is no longer a male space, and no longer appeals to the psychology of men, the workplace has become a ladder fewer men feel driven to climb in order to construct their identities. Combine this with the fact that we handicap men through quotas and affirmative action for women, well... a large number of men are not only becoming disenchanted with the expectation to perform in an environment that does not feed their natures and has set them up to fail--in the absence of those uniquely male-centered psychological rewards and motivators, a growing number are finally opening their eyes and waking up to the negative aspects of wage-slavery. And that is a pill that, once taken, cannot be unswallowed.
In every space males congregate where women have elbowed their way in and demanded changes, you seem to find large numbers of men giving ground and eventually losing their drive to perform there. And again, I don't think it's the presence of women that does this--it's the enforced necessity to change one's behavior in order to maintain a proper decorum around them, and the changes in how those places function that women often demand. It's the expectation that the environment and the men in it adjust to suit women's needs, rather than expecting women to adjust themselves to the environment.
A few bastions of maleness remain, places where women are often welcome right up until they begin to demand the environment change to suit them, at which point the male protests begin. Hell, you can even see this tolerance on the part of men when women sneak into the men's room when the line-up is too long for the women's bathroom. It's all good unless she takes offence at men behaving the way men do in a restroom by farting and pissing in her presence.
So where are men retreating to? The internet, and the few men's spaces that have not tailored their rules of conduct to suit women's easily offended natures and need for comfort. The MRM, where a common set of ideals and values bonds the community and allows them to define their maleness irrespective of society's or women's approval. A place where words and ideas are more important than the tone or the smiles that may or may not lie behind them.
The hierarchy and uniquely male objectives of the pick-up artist community, where competition and scorekeeping are indeed still allowed, where there are men for others to admire or to mentor, and where they thumb their noses at what women say they want. Society wasn't working for them, so they invented their own society and they're running with by their own rules.
Video games and related forums. Online venues where refusals to police speech are deemed misogyny and the men there don't give much of a fuck.
Men going their own way, who've taken a stand based on a realistic assessment of what's in it for them, and maintain their self-respect not by complying with society's expectations but by disregarding them.
Beer and buddies, hook-up culture, and part time jobs men tolerate but don't care about.
Gynocentrism--the manginas and white knights who supplicate and pander to the feminine even when it's ugly or amoral, differentiating themselves from the feminine through their blind worship of it.
And why? Because all of the "approved" paths to a positive male identity, the paths society both endorses and depends on, are gone. And even when men don't consciously realize this, they know it somewhere in the backs of their brains. Men have always worked and sacrificed and sweated and bled if they were rewarded with a means through which to see themselves as worthy of respect. But when every role society wants to cram you into is no longer a way to respect yourself, then it's time to throw those roles away.
And one thing the apexuals at the top, like Bill Bennett and Obama, feminists like Kaye Hymowitz and Katie Roiphe, and traditionalists like Suzanne Venker, will never realize is that using shame to try to coerce men to do what is expected of them isn't going to work this time, because while it's possible to shame a man into giving his life for his country if there's a promise of respect in it, it's impossible to shame someone into working his ass off and risking his future just for the joy of looking in the mirror and seeing Homer Simpson or Ray Barone looking back at him.
When the cost of society's approval is the self-respect you derive from a positive identity, it ceases to be worth it to a lot of men.