A More Measured Response to Male Confusion

Loki’s article on Bella Caledonia has certainly generated a lot of controversy, including two responses published on Bella, a republishing of my previous article on here, the other from Kirsty Strickland.  Loki himself has also responded to these articles both by video and in writing taking on board the criticisms made.  While I still think the original article was dangerous shite, I’m going to respond in a more measured way to the original article, and leave off the knuckle cracking in between writing each paragraph this time. 

Its worth noting that both responses, written quite independently, made reference to men’s whinging.  As background, perhaps I should point out that Loki probably got both barrels of pent up frustration at several weeks of a low level background hum on social media of men whining on about how marginalised they felt.  But its frustrating, the constant patient explaining, the tongue biting and the tiptoeing around male egos.  You get so tired of continually being nice to men.

The tone of Loki’s article – highly praised by some men as measured and balanced – set my teeth on edge.  The casual dismissal of “toxic masculinity” as radical idealism;  the characterisation of the serial rapist Roosh V as “a writer with some controversial opinions”; the glossing over of the violence aimed at Anita Sarkeesian; the lauding of a forced birther as a “strong ally of women” as well as the occasional chucking in of radical islamists as the go-to bogeyman that should let the white menz off the hook.  But I do appreciate that as Loki points out in his video response he was exploring why some young men get drawn towards this neo-reactionary philosophy, which is a worthwhile endeavor.

Several of commentators on my article have whinged remarked that I haven’t considered how men might reading the article might feel, and whined raised that they found the article condescending.  It doesn’t seem to occur to these men, that this article might not actually have been written for men, but hey ho, such is male entitlement that it cant conceive that someone might not actually have been talking to them.

Anyway, this article is written with men in mind.  I’m playing nice, so listen up.

The philosophy that Loki identifies as an attractive one to men, who are seeking an alternative worldview that doesn’t diagnose them as the problem is a dangerous one.  Its a dangerous one for women, but its also a dangerous one for men.  Feminists are diagnosing the problem but men don’t want to listen, they want to find another explanation that doesn’t involve changing their behaviour and usually that explanation that they come up with (as Loki did) is that the problem is feminism, too strident, too zealous, too  …feminist.  Women, huh?  But what feminism addresses is patriarchy, and patriarchy hurts men too.

Take porn, the vast majority of which is women’s bodies presented for male sexual gratification.  Heavy porn use is highly associated with impotence.  Now I care about impotent porn users about as much as I care about big game hunters that get mauled to death by lions, but in terms of men’s health pointing out that porn is harmful for male sexuality and potency (and makes them shit in bed) is actually quite important if we want sexually healthy men.

Perfectly normal, averagely sexist men, upset that their whingings aren’t being taken seriously, find themselves drawn to the manosphere, an entire community devoted to reassuring them that it is women who are the problem, where their sexism gets amplified into full blown misogyny.   The pick up artist element of this sub-culture draws in incels with the promise of sexual confidence and conquests in the face of hypergamous women and that they too can become an Alpha Male if they just buy this book, follow this technique, come to this seminar. Only what they get fed is a load of crap about how to con women into bed, which on a good day, women see straight through and give them a wide berth and on a bad day ends up turning them into rapists.

Its “The Game” where even if you win, you lose, and find yourself ten years down the line with a string of hookups based on dubious consent, without the basic relationship skills to sustain an intimate relationship based on trust and respect and with a deep sense of unease that actually really they are just a sad loser after all.  Women might be protesting against Roosh V because we would rather not have serial rapists encouraging men to get together to discuss techniques, but men should also be objecting to Roosh V and his despicable philosophy because that whole culture is deeply damaging to men’s psyches and sexuality.

In his video response Loki acknowledges that I consider Roosh V a rapist, and this is a “line in the sand” but then goes on to suggest that he hasn’t bragged about rape (he comes pretty damn close), and points out that he has never been convicted of rape, which is true, but hardly unusual.  The majority of rapists, approx 5% of the male population, are never convicted.  I appreciate that he isnt trying to justify or glorify Roosh V, but if you really want to address masculinity, then pointing out how the PUA community damages men is a far better way to go about it, then excusing it and asking feminists not to be so oppositional.

Ultimately by identifying feminists as the problem – if only they would be nicer, more helpful, not as shrill, then men might not be drawn to these anti-feminist subcultures is the wrong way of going about things if you really want to support men.  These anti-feminist subcultures damage men, they celebrate toxic masculinity rather than challenging it.  Yes, they make men feel better about themselves for a little while, reassuring them that they are not the problem, sympathising with their insecurities and raging alongside them about the errant nature of women, but ultimately they never actually solve the problem because never even name it.

The “Free Speech” argument of the neo-reactionary movement ignores that feminists are being silenced everywhere, by exactly that movement that is claiming that it is acting in support of free speech – free to threaten, free to doxx, free to verbally abuse.  Loki and I both run blogs, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that only one of us has ever had rape threats left in the comments.  Feminists are hounded on social media, have their personal details published online, face serious and credible threats of violence when they are booked to speak and have their talks cancelled.  Often these threats and harassment are justified in the name of “free speech”.

The silencing of women is goes back to antiquity.  Philomena had her tongue cut out to stop her revealing that Tereus had raped her. In the Burning Times, women whose speech was considered riotous or troublesome were forced to wear a Scold’s bridle.  In the 1980s, Andrea Dwarkin, in “Letters from a War Zone” highlighted how the idea of “free speech” was undermined for women, from the difficulties of access to media; the silencing of abused women and the harassment that women received if they said something that men didn’t like.  In 1983, Merle Woo made an impassioned plea for free speech, highlighting how Black women in particular were silenced by both their gender and their race.

Feminists do fight for freedom of speech when it is a real fight for real freedom of real speech.

Andrea Dwarkin, The Power of Words, 1978

There is a long list of British feminists who have been no-platformed in the past few years – off the top of my head I can think of  Maryam Namazie, Julie BindelSarah Ditem, Kate Smurthwaite and Jane Fae all from quite different strands of the feminist spectrum .  Attempts have been made to persuade authorities to formally cancel the talks of numerous other feminists.  In a number of cases the people demanding that the talks are cancelled identify as feminists.  While I’m not from the “takfemieen” school of feminism that denounces errant believers as infidels;  there is nothing feminist about shutting up women.

But this neo-reactionary movement aren’t really arguing for “free speech”.  They are arguing for “freeze peach” – the right to hate speech, the right to deny others speech, the right to harass and intimidate.  In the words of Christopher Hitchen (that well known feminist ally?!), they believe that “Freedom of Speech means Freedom to Hate“.

But then maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t with speech after all, the problem is with listening. As De Beauvoir observed “men describe the world from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth“, yet when women describe the world from their own point of view they are dismissed as not adequately considering how men might feel about such a description, and not taking the male viewpoint into account.

Which is why I appreciate Loki listening to the responses to his article, and taking them into account. Young men, especially those who have already faced challenges in their lives are at risk, but what they are at risk from is not strident feminists, its from misogynists seeking to recruit them into their ranks, feeding them myths of male supremacy, and silencing any dissenting voices that might show them another path.

Sometimes listening to hard truths can be difficult, and yes, sometimes it is nice if those hard truths are sugar-coated, patiently administered by doting mommas endlessly wiping the snotty little noses and patiently explaining physiology over and over again persuading them to take the medicine.  Or they can go the easy way and just take the red pill, it will make them feel better in the short term, but in the longer run its poison will damage not only them, but society as a whole.

But there is a third way.  Men that claim to be of the left can just man-up, cut the whinging, dry up those male tears, roll up their sleeves and give us a hand to smash the patriarchy, while caring for the weaker among their gender more vulnerable to red pill addiction.

This is as nice as I get.



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Updated: February 29, 2016 — 3:24 pm
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