Ok. I’ve thought it over a bit more. I do see where I lost my cool and became hyperbolic and antagonistic right back.
If you’ll grant me a few more minutes of your time, I’d like to explain a few things. My original goal wasn’t to come in “policing tones.” No, and I think I’ve established that. I came in to ask what seems to me a relevant question, though apparently it makes very little sense to hardly anyone else. That’s likely partly my fault for not wording my thoughts more clearly, that being something I actively work on. But to me the question is relevant on a number of levels.
To restate the question posed: How can the MGTOW “movement” be defined as completely non-violent when it’s composed of individuals who ultimately decide how to navigate their own lives for themselves?
First off, I assume not all of us embrace 100% non-violence or the non-aggression principle in full. That’s not talking about violence between the sexes specifically, just violence in general. And part of the reason this quibble gnaws at me is due to how broadly “violence” is being defined today. Beyond that, we do not all know one another and oftentimes have to take one another’s word as to whether we live out our personal lives in a completely non-violent or non-aggressive way. I personally won’t claim to, but the push these days seems to be for everybody to jump on board with the logic that all violence is automatically bad and completely intolerable. I don’t entirely see it that way and imagine there are plenty of others who don’t truly either. And this could apply to interpersonal relations as much as people choosing to take an offensive stance against institutions or other aspects of the System they are being squeezed by. Undoubtedly some folks could rationalize nearly anything as justified in self-defense, but that’s another talk for another time.
Therefore, when one claims that the MGTOW “movement” is completely non-violent, that’s tough for me to fathom, considering it’s populated by disparate individuals who subscribe to or are informed by an untold number of other philosophies and/or ideologies. This need to pigeon-hole all MGTOWs as non-violent strikes me as unnecessary and beyond being provable. More than that, it strikes me as the first step in the process of organizing into an actual movement versus a loose collective of individuals deciding how to navigate for themselves. One of the things I happen to appreciate about the MGTOW logic is how open-ended it is, because it seems every time a true movement winds up being formed the individuals therein wind up being pressed to conform more and more, to toe the lines being established. I respected MGTOW logic in so far as it appeared to stand outside of such ambitions.
Furthermore, it does strike me as rather odd that one can claim the MGTOW philosophy is inherently about non-violence while at the same time some of those who aim to “lead” within it are actually spreading messages that can be taken as encouraging increased hostility and painting their “opposition” as untrustworthy “enemies” (as they claim is biologically determined and incapable of being altered or reasoned with). Because there are enough people out here uncritically accepting such rhetoric and who do appear whipped into a terrified frenzy I cannot help but wonder if such arguments won’t in some way contribute to however many individuals freaking out and rationalizing that the “enemy” needs to be either physically taken out or treated to “just desserts” or what have you. That’s a legitimate concern since all throughout history we see dehumanization of “opponents” as the first step in that sort of process. I do worry about that, and how could I not, as someone branded as belonging among “the enemies” and as someone who wishes to not see history keep repeating mindlessly?
I doubt most MGTOWs are aiming for that sort of outcome, so I don’t worry about most. But I do worry about the young, disenchanted, and impressionable as well as those apparently lacking critical faculties who’re growing exceedingly hostile. That concern extends far beyond MGTOW or the “manosphere” for me.
The future I see unfolding around us does concern me, and I don’t know what to do about it either. It’s extremely depressing seeing how much humans are going at one another and stepping on each other’s necks. My goal is not to censor myself or others, but I, for one, would like to see more of us be cognizant of the effect we’re having on one another. That may be my pipe dream, but so be it.
To me, it is cowardly to refuse to consider dissenting opinions and to try to obstruct others by strawmanning their stated positions right off the bat so as to protect one’s own outlook from critique. I don’t respect that in men or women.
We’re not all going to see eye to eye on everything, and that’s fine. I’m not here to convince everybody else that my opinions reign supreme, but I do expect to be treated with a modicum of respect when I come in good faith and am not categorically demonizing others. Yes, I’m a hot-head who lost my cool, but a year worth of listening to and reading women generally being referred to in the “manosphere” as “whores,” “cunts,” “holes,” “twats,” “the enemy,” “good for nothing,” “free-loaders,” etc., has turned my heart cold toward those speaking out of both sides of their mouths. How can one hold those views and still claim they’re for “equality”? Equal what? Equal mistreatment of one another? Equal degradation?
Whether people care to know it or not, I find that shit heart-breaking. And repeatedly reading and listening to reminders that some of these men don’t care at all what I or anyone else might think, that “outsider’s” feelings are irrelevant, that we can just go “fuck off” if we can’t take the heat—well, don’t expect that sort of strategy to bring around much sympathy for whatever pains and problems you’re suffering with. And that right there is unfortunate too, because I know lots of people out here really do need one another despite what they might say. They want to belong somewhere and feel like they’re a valuable member of this society whose thoughts, feelings, and personal experiences do matter. And they do. But so do others’ as well. When we lose sight of that and go into attack mode, we do more harm than good, that I do believe.
On another point, no, I personally don’t have a lot of use for statistics, especially when they do not appear to jibe with what I’m seeing out here. But my own view can’t help but be limited and subjectively influenced, I do grasp that. I’m not claiming my views are always right, and nobody has to agree with me, but I do actively practice skepticism in dealing with nearly everything. That’s just me, and perhaps it’s possible to take it too far. *shrugs* The benefit of skepticism is that it forces me to maintain an open mind in realizing there’s just a lot I cannot know for sure, regardless of how many statistics are pointed at in relation to any given subject. The downside (in some people’s view) is it leads to a non-committal position seen as “wishy-washy” and incapable of taking a concrete stance on much. I don’t mind this, though it can prove annoying to others at times. But c’est la vie — we all explore life from behind our own eyes and work with what we’ve got.
Do I think some guys are freaking out a bit too much on the marriage and child support matter? Yes and no. Yes when it comes to that being the talking point tossed around so incredibly much that it seems little else can be discussed in public forums. And yes when we recognize there are things within our power we can do to better ensure our safety (such as not marrying and taking serious measures to prevent conceiving children with people we very likely would not want to co-parent with, or choosing not having kids at all). While I recognize there are fewer birth control options available to men, we must work with what we currently have (that’s just being practical, folks) and/or become involved in creating new methods. That’s all anyone is capable of doing. Life comes with all sorts of risks and I do not think it benefits us much when we allow ourselves to become so consumed with fear that we wind up obstructing our own selves and fail to see what power we do actually possess. That’s what I said to feminists, it’s what I have to say to myself, so I see no reason for not saying it to men who are getting “up in arms” in a similar fashion.
Now, as for the No’s, I recognize that our criminal justice system and courts are generally stacked against men at this point in time, and I sympathize with this conundrum, acknowledging how easy it is to be falsely accused and how many people out here appear to have no qualms over doing others that way. That’s a travesty, no doubt. We all might not agree on how it all is shaking out in terms of laying blame here and there and whether this phenomenon impacts men more than women, etc., but I’m not cool with anyone being unfairly taken advantage of in these sorts of ways. It’s corrupt and it’s encouraging more pain to pay forward. That is no good.
Of what little activism I remain financially tied to anymore, one organization I support and promote is The Innocence Project, which raises funds for DNA testing to exonerate the innocent who were pegged as being guilty and sentenced to years (sometimes decades) behind bars, with the possibility of being executed. My background in studying the criminal justice field led me there and plays into my reasons for why I personally chose not to go to work in Corrections (as had been my gameplan in college). But anyway, I bring this up to demonstrate that while I can’t claim to know a heck of a lot about divorce court proceedings or child support issues since I don’t have kids and my own divorce was very simple and straightforward (plus most of those closest to me are either still married or never married or managed an equitable split), I do care about other matters that are disproportionately affecting men. We can’t all be completely well-rounded when it comes to keeping abreast with everything going on out here in society, and my areas of focus will differ from those of others. There are enough eyes on the child support/alimony/divorce issue, and I’m not the one to go to for a debate on all of that. Again, I mentioned it in that video because I was getting ticked and because it’s a popular talking point that I seem to have to confront no matter what topic I bring up. All I can say on those sorts of things is do what you can to protect yourself, but why go for overkill? Those are just my thoughts, and people will do whatever they deem as best in their own lives.
I have come to see people like Bar Bar and now Paul Elam as advocating what I consider unnecessary overkill and divisive animosity. And Barbarossa’s lax use of censorship strikes me as uncalled for. But whatever. I’ll aim to avoid people like that and their virtual spaces going forward.
So, in closing, I wish there were ways we could communicate with one another more effectively and openly without us “outsiders” having to hit a brick wall of suspicion the minute we open our mouths or type something someone else perceives as remotely critical. It tends to help to ask questions in order to draw out more on where a person is coming from, and it certainly does not help to knee-jerk into an unwarranted conclusion and then just dismiss them outright. Not only will that not win people allies, it’s likely to generate real enemies. I personally would prefer not to contribute to a self-fulfilling prophecy of that nature and would like to communicate with and learn from others who share that aim (males or females, group affiliation being unimportant to me).
Recording of that written above: