In response to GOM

Grumpy Old Man posted a comment early this morning, copied and pasted here in full:

I guess what I was expecting based on the reason I brought to the forums in the first place…to discuss men’s issues with men, that you’d listen more and refute less. Not saying all we do is correct, but men are talking and if all you do is refute then maybe they are not the problem. The MHRM has been dealing with this for a long time and I think you know that. I’m listening to them and Feminism and I see the poison for what it is. It is not the group of men expressing anger. You are a woman and you took it personally, maybe you should step out of your XXXXX pass and personal situation and listen to what they are saying, just listen. These guys are saying hey and in many respects it may not apply to you personally, this is why I felt you might be a good person to invite, you come from a different place than the Feminist we are concerned with. They are thinking outside the box the same as you. This is why I say I have miss judged your character when I invited you.

My reply to this will probably be lengthy so I’m opening this new post up to address him specifically.

GOM, you thought I would listen more and refute less…hmmm…reading back on the first post on AVfM that I responded in titled “Byenia Addressing Bar Bar’s admirers” that you posted up including a video I created, my initial comment was in response to Astrokid on page 3, he being someone I’ve debated already on YT comment threads. He takes issue with some of my positions and likes to oversimplify my views everywhere he goes. I refute him because he aims to flatten my position down to nothing more than distaste for generalizations, which he’s repeated again and again in comment sections. While he gives me grief for taking issue with blanket stereotyping of all who happen to be female, I’m quite sure he wouldn’t be nearly as open to stereotyping all who happen to be male in a similar fashion. But my main point is my brain simply cannot operate that way and separate all males and females off into generic categories for discussion. That he aims repeatedly to try to pigeon-hole me into doing so is a bit irritating, and after reading this time and time again, am I to simply accept what amounts to a strawmanning of my views everywhere that guy goes? It’s not as if I told him off in response, I simply stated:

I’m not claiming to be on “Team Woman,” but I am a woman after all. Hard to have conversations with others when the focus is on categorizing “my kind.” That’s the way it feels for me anyway.

And no, I don’t like terms like “white knight” and “mangina,” much as I don’t like terms like “slut” or “friend zone.” But whatever, my own preferences are my own, as yours are yours.

What’s the harm in stating that? I see none.

On page 4 I replied to Reyeko’s question on how I define “friend zone,” and I told him it’s not a term I find very useful.

People, including Astrokid, then went into making this about “cult-like behavior” in reference to MGTOWs, claiming that’s what I was getting at, then Astrokid tried conflating my message as somehow being in line with FreeThoughtBlogs and Affirmative Action- and VAWA-supporters, and I called him on that since it’s an unfair depiction intended to tar me over matters that have nothing to do with me. I’ve stated plainly in at least one video that I’ve never been a supporter of Affirmative Action, and I’ve stated in my “Why I’m No Longer a Feminist” video comment thread that I’m not even familiar with VAWA legislation, BUT Astrokid would not know this since he openly admits to not caring to watch any more of my videos, yet he then criticizes me and claims to only be going off of what he has gleaned from watching the videos he did care to watch (excluding the one you posted up).

I don’t know about everybody else but I find it a bit frustrating to lay out some of my views and have them overlooked and then contorted to fit in with some preconceived idea that some folks wish to project onto others. What’s the point of even making a video then? What’s the point of even writing out some of my views on this blog or anywhere else if they’ll just be ignored so that someone can insert their own assumptions in place of what I’ve stated? It’s rude, but more so it’s misleading. I refuted him only because of that, and I didn’t tell the guy completely off or make a big fuss, though I did state what he was claiming was bs:

That is so much bs, Astrokid. You don’t like me because we got into a comment thread argument once and I couldn’t see it your way. If you want to dismiss me as “non-feminist in name only,” then fine, but that’s not accurate. My issues with feminism are my own, and pardon me for caring about myself as a woman nevertheless.

And I’ve never supported VAWA, Affirmative Action, and never been associated with FreeThoughtBlogs in any way, so you’re conflating something here that creates a distorted impression.

To Bolo I replied:

I never called MGTOW a cult. That’s a fabrication on the part of Astrokid. I am, however, very skeptical of ALL movements and how they’re inclined to transform over time, and I do speak about groups generally in my videos, with much of my focus paid to the feminist movement and what it’s become.

Since they kept putting this “cult” talk in my mouth, as if it actually came from me.

Astrokid went on to claim I had made “several” videos “attacking” the “manosphere” (though at that time I had not but a couple, one of which hardly could be taken as an “attack” and was rather offered as a comparison between feminism and what I’d learned so far in the “manosphere” in terms of objectives argued in favor of and styles both movements appear to embrace — wasn’t a good video, but wasn’t an “attack” either). That Astrokid dude wanted to paint me as some sort of enemy right off the bat to yet another group of people, basically encouraging them not to watch my videos since they’re more or less about “cult-like behaviour.. violence against women LOL.”

Then Shadizar jumped in with his usual knee-jerk reaction. I responded sensibly, reasonably, so far as I can tell. And Shadizar came back with his usual hating attitude:

Nuances huh?

You know what PC is? Politically Correct speech. It’s the unforgiving tyrant which would make free speech punishable by death. All PC needs, is for a few people like you to go, “hmmm, well, hmmm, it’s not very nice to hmmm… hurt anyone’s feelings and, hmmm… make sweeping accusations, hmmm… isn’t there a better way to communicate?

I’m going to paraphrase a few great revolutionary men… FUCK YOU!!!

I say “usual” because I’ve since read plenty from the guy and see him jumping to conclusions and being a jerk pretty regularly. That’s just his way apparently.

I’m not a proponent for political correctness, but who really cares, huh? If they say I am, it must be true. And I shouldn’t refute them, I should just sit and listen, right? All I said back to him on that was this:

Oh Lord, as I’ve stated over and over on these forums since joining yesterday, SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT. Because I disagree with you does not make it censorship. Am I wrong to express my own point of view here?

To which he replied:

Hinting that we should change the way we argue IS censorship. You don’t like the use of generalizations, well tough shit, they’re real, they’re insidious, and just because they make YOU look bad, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use them; that’s the whole POINT of using them, it’s to Fuck Your Shit Up.

I don’t care if gold coins fall from your ass, and your cunt smells of lilac and lavender, you do not represent the general female population.

I would never claim to represent the general female population, so that’s totally confusing right there. I replied to him:

Expressing my own viewpoint is censorship? Now you’ve gone too far. People will disagree and will state as much. But you can continue saying whatever you wish whether I like it or not.

I’m not so sure your generalizations make me look bad so much as they leave me out of discussions, which can’t help but bother me when I feel I have a perspective to share.

Never would claim to represent the female population.

And that’s all I said in that particular comment thread. That’s it. Wasn’t trying to have some major argument, was just aiming to clarify my own views, though that didn’t go over well. And people continued on commenting for several pages. There was plenty I could have taken issue with before Astrokid jumped in, such as MGTOW4Ever’s comment:

I don’t like this cow. I was almost beaten to death not once but twice by a female or because of a female, I was sexually abused by a female as well. I have a health distrust for Females. Being a Dick is a natural response for self protection and self preservation. If she doesn’t fucking get that fuck her.

But no. I didn’t say a word to that guy.

Could have taken issue with Reyeko’s claims:

All statistics which don’t match her life experience are wrong.
All generalizations which don’t perfectly describe her life experiences are wrong.
She uses all the same shaming rhetoric and feminist non-arguments like violence against men not mattering because it’s other men doing it and shit like that.

The sad thing is that she is not stupid, she is willfully ignorant about things which she doesn’t agree with.

But I let that slide too and said nothing.

Could’ve refuted Deucalion’s conflating my disgruntlement with Bar Bar’s admirers (specifically) with the AVfM, as if I was addressing them all, but I didn’t. Let that slide (even as the outpouring of ridicule from some of these AVfM guys did wind up mirroring Bar Bar’s minions’).

Bit my tongue when Eriu started in with her usual buttholish drivel. Read her reply to another video of mine you posted up and already figured out what she was about, so no need saying anything to that chiquita. Though now I will say something in reply to one of her comments on there where she stated the following:

What the hell did she think was going to happen on a website called A Voice FOR MEN???? Dinner party conversation? Poetry? She was a guest and she behaved like a visiting member of royalty, demanding special treatment, requiring her hosts to pander to HER wishes, HER needs, HER “standards” ppppft.

I didn’t entirely know what to expect when I went on there after you invited me, GOM. But I thought it was possible that things could be kept a bit more civil, and that proved to be a naive expectation on my part. Hence why I left them to do and say what they wish without my direct interference.

But, while that thread was winding out, I commented on one other thread as well, titled “what to do with arsehole’s ?“, where I jumped in on page 2 to reply to ComradePrescott. My comment didn’t go over well since I was (not too clearly) insinuating that both men and women work and use their assets to get by. That some of these guys see it as women simply standing idly by, letting others carry them while they contribute absolutely nothing, is one of those generalizations I think gets taken too far. It’s just not a realistic view of most folks out here in society, whether male or female. Should I have remained silent on that point? Perhaps so. But by then I was getting a bit irritated with the attitudes expressed and wanted to offer a counter-argument.

In reply to Reyeko’s talk about us “princesses” having everything done for us, I replied:

Right. And lord knows that’s what most of us women are used to. [sarcasm]

You’re operating with a very caricatured distortion of womankind.

What I was comparing is the use of one’s assets to get by in this world, and all come with risks attached. I thought we were talking about work here, not merely mooching, and most women indeed do have to work (to state the obvious). I’m wondering where all these women sitting around eating bon-bons and never having to work or lift a finger to do for themselves are hiding out here in society, because I’m not meeting them.

And for the record, it’s very convenient to toss around statistics on men’s workplace risks and injuries, though I personally find it troubling that so many men not working in those sort of capacities lay claim to those men’s reality as if it universally applies to all of mankind. No, the stock broker or accountant isn’t facing the harsh and dangerous working conditions of the mechanic or commercial fisherman, yet they like to parade around statistics as if they’re all one and the same simply because they belong to the same sex. That strikes me as a very strange as well as disingenuous, not to mention disrespectfully using men who are in those positions to bolster some “movement’s” objectives.

I mentioned men’s workplace risks because I see this same sort of things bandied about in other groups who parade around statistics pertaining to the “less fortunate” so as to bolster their own causes that tend to cater more to higher-class folks than those offered up to pull at people’s heartstrings. It’s a real concern, and it demonstrates my interest in working-class men in particular and the disdain I have for middle-class men to stand on their backs so as to draw attention to their political cause. It’s not a popular viewpoint, okay — I never figured it would be accepted as such, seeing as how it highlights hypocrisy in these sorts of movements. But it is genuinely a concern I have for males I personally know and am related to. I continued on in reply to Reyeko:

Scroll back. ComradePrescott stated: “I think that it’s probably that guys don’t usually ever experience getting carried through life based on their gender.” And that’s who and what I was originally responding to.

My point is that most of us have to work and are not simply “carried through life.” So stereotyping the situation that way is what’s dishonest. And what’s also dishonest (in reply to your last paragraph) are men who lean on and use examples of other men working in hard labor to back their own ideologies. Plenty of men working in dangerous positions themselves claim to not respect other guys trying to piggy-back off of their personal efforts. In other words, not all men out here are facing dangerous work conditions, and in fact fewer are, and that deserves to be acknowledged when we’re talking about how hard one sex has it comparable to another.

I didn’t have “housewifery” in mind, but rather prostitution since plenty of people look down on that and consider it “easy money” without seriously considering the risks inherently involved in such a line of work. You may call it comparing apples to oranges, but the point I was trying to make is that 1.) most people have to work (including most women), and 2.) most folks have to work with the assets at their disposal. And commonly, the poorer a person is, the more likely they are to fall back on utilizing their physicality (i.e., base assets) to earn a living and get by.

Hopefully that was made more clear.

And I replied to Iron John below that:

I’m not attacking you. But I am noting how many men like to claim other men’s efforts and problems as if they are their own.

That back and forth carried on into page 4 where I asked to see Shadizar’s source material for his claims, which he never provided. Last I read, at least 70% of women are in the workforce, and if he wants to claim that’s mostly part-time work then I’d need to see what data he’s operating with. But that wasn’t forthcoming, as to be expected.

So basically I’m presented with a situation here where people can and do generalize to great extremes without feeling it necessary to provide documentation to back their assertions, yet if I don’t accept these claims hook, line and sinker, then it is I who has the problem and no one else. See, that’s not how this shit works. Nor does it work where I or anyone else must stand idly by and be told what’s what without delving into these topics ourselves. We’re just supposed to stand on the sidelines and read and listen and see how it is they do things and what it is they purport to believe in (gee, where have I heard that sort of thing before?).

I didn’t really get testy until the end of page 4 of that thread, and then yeah, I’d had quite enough of the attitude problems from Shadizar, Eriu, and Reyeko in particular. And this continued on until page 12 where I bowed out rather than let things boil over any further, seeing as how my own position was viewed as completely ridiculous to those folks. (But still, it didn’t turn into some major brawl, so I didn’t think the discussion went terribly, even though I inevitably chose to walk away.) Okay. Well, as you know, I’m coming at this from more of a working-class perspective, so I can’t help but see most women out here working just as men must. And yet because there are members of the middle-class who sit around watching soaps all day (allegedly), I am supposed to let that shape my worldview at the exclusion of all experiential knowledge and personal observation I’ve picked up out here in the world?

That’s not how this is going to work, at least not for me, not anymore.

You didn’t want me to refute them… hmmm… lol.  You wanted me only to listen to them, even when they criticize me based on one video I created. Even when they frame the gender issues from a solidly middle-class women vs. working-class men perspective that leaves out a whole lot. Okay. Well, your wish was granted. I retreated to my own space where I can speak freely without obstructing them in any fashion, and I continue to read what’s been posted there from time to time to better acquaint myself with their views without me feeling the need to weigh in in their space. Best of both worlds, so far as I can tell.

Now, you stated:

You are a woman and you took it personally, maybe you should step out of your XXXXX pass and personal situation and listen to what they are saying, just listen.

And listen…  GOM, can you perhaps imagine that I have actually spent many years listening to men? It might be very difficult for you to understand seeing as how you and I don’t know each other beyond these little backs-and-forths online and video content, but it’s clear that you project on to me a lot of assumptions, such as that I am merely coming at this as some closed-minded female who lives in my own little world and who can’t concern herself with what men are going through. And that is patently false. Since you want to go there, let’s go there. Let me tell you a bit of TMI about me that I’ve been waiting to open up about in this venue.

From roughly age 21-28 I worked as an escort, a prostitute if you prefer, and during those 7 years I spent a lot of time listening to men, caring for men, concerning myself with what all they’re going through, particularly middle-class men. I bit my tongue plenty, and I sat through all kinds of smart remarks not intending perhaps to be painful, just men speaking freely where they feel they ought to be able to. And I took it all rather graciously and had many reviews attesting to it. I participated in sex industry-related forums, both nationally and locally, and even was left to manage our local board when the previous manager had to move. I read and heard plenty for years and years, and it was my job to be pleasant regardless and to act “classy” enough to not take things too personally, even when guys said harsh things about women in general and “hookers” in particular, even when guys expressed extremely classist attitudes against their “lessers” of both sexes, and even when some guys took it upon themselves to tell me how to do my job, how to live my life, what I ought to be majoring in in school, what kind of man I should be dating in my personal life, where I should be living, etc. Hell, I even moved on account of their preferences. I resisted quite a lot based on my own integrity and principles, but I gave in on lots of matters, particularly when it came to tolerating shit men say.

Now, let me be clear that I am not 100% opposed to the industry, nor do I take issue with everyone within it. I am not an activist against that way of being, though my views have certainly changed over time in relation to that sort of lifestyle. But there are cretins among men, that I knew already but definitely got to learn even more about through that venture. And I’ve come out recognizing that I am not on the side of ALL men or ALL women, because there are pathetic examples of both sexes, so no, I cannot and will not simply stand by and listen without saying a word in my own defense or in the defense of others just because a man’s group or a woman’s group see themselves as entitled to behave any which way they choose. I have no reason to remain silent, but that doesn’t mean I shut my ears and eyes simply because I disagree. I’ve been more than fair with lots of people who frankly deserve to be told to shove their egos and unwarranted assumptions up their asses.

So, if I am trapped in my “XXXXX pass and personal situation” at this time, then so be it. I perhaps need to be, because this life isn’t just about pleasing everybody else. My own views may seem entirely inconsequential to some of the folks at AVfM, and that’s fine — no skin off my back. But I feel I have earned my right to turn inward and do my soul-searching and fact-checking and life-exploring without being shunned for not toeing another damn line set up by people with interests that tend to run counter to my own. If that is selfish, then so be it. We work with what we have, from where we stand. I don’t doubt you did “misjudge” my “character,” considering you haven’t had that much to really go on.

I cannot completely separate my sex from these discussions, and I’m not interested in joining an activism movement, so there’s really no need for me to try to jump back in with those folks at AVfM or any similar sites. But it’s been interesting observing and interacting to the extent that I have.

[Updated to fix typos: 7:26pm 12/22/13]

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8 Responses to In response to GOM

  1. Lany says:

    This was a really brave post Byenia. I’m very curious on your views of the industry as they stand today. It’s a subject I’m very interested in myself. Did you find that your experiences with men gave you a deep understanding for some of their issues?

    • Byenia says:

      Hi Lany,

      Hmmm…yes and no. In terms of dealing with working-class men I received much more of an education in my personal life and family, since my clients tended to belong to the middle class. As far as middle-class men go, yes, it definitely gave me a glimpse into what many see as important to them. Some I sympathize with far more than others, particularly those who experienced health conditions or injuries and wound up being served divorce papers during their recovery. That was tragic to learn about, and my heart still goes out to the men in those situations, as well as those who were morbidly obese but very kind and were unable to attract a woman for an ongoing relationship. There’s a good bit of that out there, and I could tell a few stories that stay in my mind.

      BUT, so far as the rest go…. I discouraged my clients from complaining about their wives to me, seeing as how that felt like adding insult to injury, IMO. But some still did anyway. Many complained about not receiving enough sex or particular types of sex (namely, oral). I witnessed a handful of men go through divorces, sometimes very nasty ones, and one particular case comes to mind because this man and I spoke frequently on the phone (off the clock) over the span of about 2 years, and I’d warn him that he shouldn’t do his wife like he did, but he was very pompous and arrogant and went on pushing her buttons until she finally filed for divorce. He was quite smug in his attitude that she wanted to adopt the kids when he didn’t, so he saw it as her responsibility to raise them, even though both of them worked 40 hour weeks in corporate America. And she suffered from endometriosis, which made sex painful for her, and yet he ridiculed her for this (and laughed about it to me). I told the guy this wasn’t going to work, that he was being a jerk, but it all just ran right off his back. She finally caught him messing around with another woman and decided to take him to the cleaners. I actually met that woman once since he’s an idiot and took me out to lunch at a restaurant one block from her workplace, and she stopped in to grab lunch to-go for her and her coworkers. Put me in a strained position, to say the least. But to hear that guy tell it, he’s just a big victim of circumstances. Cruising around is his fancy sports car, living it up, but oh no — he owes no responsibility to the situation (and is now remarried, he recently informed me).

      I’ve met men who had wives with serious medical conditions, some who showed sympathy about the situation, others who seemed purely disgruntled and inconvenienced by her malady. I remember twice meeting a young Catholic man who was newly-wed to a young woman who developed a psychological issue referred to as vaginismus. And he was extremely torn up about it because he did love her. And he cried both times we met and left right after sex. I feel bad for that guy still. He was torn between physical needs and desires after a stressful year of being unable to help her, yet he really only wanted her and I guess met with me to prove that to himself.

      I met a man once who I drove to another state to visit due to his disability. The man was a quadrapalegic who had been injured in an accident at home. His wife served him papers while he was still in the hospital, and he told me over lunch how his wife had turned their son against him, and how the kid would disrespect him when he came over, letting doors slam on him and whatnot. He told me of how impossible the dating scene had proven to be since his divorce, seeing as how women didn’t seem too interested in a man in his condition. He had called me down to sit with him and talk and then lay my body against his, because he hadn’t felt and smelled a woman in years. I think about him all the time. (And, for the record, I discounted the visit and covered the 4-hour trek out-of-pocket.)

      But I also met gamblers and “hobbyists” who see lots and lots of escorts. I met business owners and professors and a couple lawyers (one of whom I actually walked out on during drinks because he was a jerk). Met several veterans who shared their stories with me, and I feel I learned a lot from them. But some of those guys were just takers, users, liars who delighted in their savvy ability to “get away with” what they were involved in (usually the “hobbyist” types). I met men who had inherited trust funds, men who worked in middle management and set their own schedules and charged our hotel rooms and dinners to their companies.

      But I’m running on here….

      It gave me a glimpse into men, sure, for better and worse. I came out realizing the strongest men with the biggest hearts weren’t the loudest complainers, yet there were plenty who bitched about everything despite already appearing to have it all. I guess it’s difficult for me to answer you briefly. I can say that of those men I knew who divorced, most didn’t complain much about their circumstances, though some did lament not seeing their kids frequently enough, and that impacted me. Though some were single dads too, having received full custody. I certainly didn’t see this major split that the MRAs and MGTOWs are talking about where women were all just sitting at home raising the kids, waiting for the day to rob the man of every asset he had. Most of their wives worked, though some had wives that didn’t. Most were on their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd marriage, but plenty were still working on their first. Many talked about their kids being close to my age and told of what schools they went to and bragged about their successes, so it didn’t sound like a downtrodden existence. Certainly was quite different from what I observed among men in my own socioeconomic class in terms of the options available to them, the lifestyles they led, the educational opportunities they, their wives, and their kids had access to, etc.

      I remember one man who did tell me his wife was an alcoholic who hit him at times, and I gotta tell ya, the man was awful — the biggest pain in the ass in the world. He went berserk on me in a hotel room down in Atlanta one weekend and I had to lock myself in the bathroom. The guy was a fucking nut, and he harassed me on and off via phone and email for a few years after that (having only met him twice). Personally, to be honest, if he were my husband I’d be a drunk bitch too.

      So, anyway, I doubt I answered your question. Sorry. I get kinda rambly on this topic. Perhaps I should find a point to start at and then branch out from there. Because the guys were all so different that it’s nearly impossible to frame them as sharing interests or issues in common across the board. They were unique individuals, some who were very endearing and wonderful, others whom I hope to never see or hear from again.

      • Lany says:

        No need to apologize. I found your answer very interesting. My own life has intersected with the sex industry in a couple of places. One thing that struck me hard was how very different men are sexually to women. You never (or super rarely anyhow) will find women that will spend all their disposable income on sex, companionship, the facade of desire, etc. Men’s sex drive makes them very vulnerable in a way that neither men nor women tend to discuss. I just found that my understanding of this gave me a sort of sympathy for their sex that I hadn’t had previously. I was wondering if you had similar feelings.

  2. Byenia says:

    Hi Lany (re comment: Dec. 22, 2013 8:45pm),

    That’s an interesting question. Generally speaking, yes, men do possess a vulnerability when it comes to feeling they *need* sex. It tends to taper off for most as they age, but there’s definitely truth in the old joke that there’s only enough blood to supply one of men’s heads at a time. Ha And many definitely are driven that way, even when it hurts them, even when they recognize what they’re doing is wrong, even sometimes when it hurts their partner(s). Yes, I can see that.

    While that appears true, I also think what we’re witnessing today has to with men not having other avenues for their masculine energy to be directed in, creating a situation where they’re almost like an animal pent up in an enclosure, pacing back and forth and not knowing what to do with themselves. It can create an obsessive fixation. Then there’s the pressure they feel coming in from the outside world that says their sexual prowess defines their masculinity. For a man to not be sexual is to be viewed by some (many?) as not being manly at all.

    And this is where the topic circles around for me to men feeling very self-conscious not merely of what women think of them but most especially what other men may think of them. That was something the “hobbyist” groups really highlighted for me, and it’s what I refer to as men bonding with one another through using woman as prop. That may seem strange to say, but I’ve witnessed this a good bit and have been wondering about it for years. In that sort of scenario, it’s not so much about actual sexual fulfillment or release so much as giving the impression to others that they achieved this. It’s something that really confuses me about men, or at least the types driven in that way (not all are, IME).

    So that kinda throws something extra into this consideration. Because I’ve personally dealt with clients who didn’t want to engage in sex (or couldn’t), yet they wrote exaggerated reviews claiming we were practically hanging from the light fixtures in getting it on. It was meant to impress other men in their group, to demonstrate their virility not to me or to other women but to men they aimed to be accepted among.

    Different topic, but related.

    As for men’s sex drives putting them at a bit of a disadvantage with women with lesser drives, yes, we see this all the time. This disparity allows for quite a lot of manipulation to take place by the “supplier” or “provider” in negotiating with a man, whether that be in a dating environment or while married (or perhaps even among homosexuals where one possesses less drive than his partner). Men can definitely become irrational when it comes to acquiring a “sexual fix.” Some of that I must attribute to a lack of self-control (seeing as how we live in a society where few of us seem capable of exercising restraint and delaying gratification), but it’s also evidently related to the core of the masculine drive.

    [Deleting my last paragraph due to it being presumptuous. Sorry Lany, share whatever you care to on that topic.]

  3. Lany says:

    The idea of “hobbyist” is strange. What exactly are they so proud of? It’s not really much of an accomplishment to sleep with a woman who you are paying for that exact service. Oh well.

    “As for men’s sex drives putting them at a bit of a disadvantage with women with lesser drives, yes, we see this all the time….”

    I’m rather fixated on this lately because during my short time on AVfM I saw so many men complaining about this. It was almost like some of them thought that women’s drives and desires “should” be the same as their’s and that women were doing something unfair to maintain a power imbalance. The fact is, that in a culture where women have control over their own reproduction and are able to support themselves if they choose this power imbalance has grown even greater; since women no longer have to marry or stay married if they are unhappy. What these men don’t seem to get is that most women WANT to make a life with a guy and are not just always looking around for the next great catch. Women, for the most part, are looking for a partner that will satisfy their needs, just like men are. What some men don’t understand is that those needs are NOT exactly the same as theirs. Also, these needs don’t disappear once you marry.

    The MRM has several real issues that deserve attention. Unfortunately so many of the men that are attracted to the movement are just disgruntled that women don’t behave the way they “should” and they don’t really care that much about these issues. They are looking for a movement that offers them a hope of a utopian future where women will want them and stay with them no matter what.

    (Don’t worry Byenia, I didn’t find it presumptuous since I brought it up in the first place. I do prefer not to say any more, though, on a public forum.).

    • Byenia says:

      I’ve befriended a few “hobbyists” in the past and learned about their private men’s boards and a little about what they discuss on there, and all I can say is they’re kinda kooky. Try as I might, it’s tough for me to grasp why their boys’ club is so important to them, but then again, there are lots of guys’ groups out on the internet that behave kinda similarly in establishing informal hierarchies and tying their egos up in that sort of thing. Maybe the “manosphere” would refer to men prone in these ways as “betas”? (Not that I really subscribe to divvying men up under labels like that, but their description seems in line.)

      All I know is I preferred dealing with non-“hobbyists.” Even when they were friendly and generous, they still struck me as odd.

      I see what you’re saying about the attitudes expressed on AVfM (and similar sites and related videos). It’s a weird thing to me — on one hand, men seem to expect women to be like men; on the other hand, men want us to preserve our femininity in contrast to their masculinity. Well, they can want what they want, the truth is men and women *tend* to differ when it comes to our sexuality and relational wants and needs. I hear what you’re saying on all of that.

      I get to thinking this is part of our cultural problem in a nutshell — we no longer know how to relate to one another, what with roles all up in the air and everywhere, and so much is coming down to satisfying our own desires. We (people in general) want to explore, and yet we want to be loved and kept unconditionally. Meaning, we aren’t doing so well with the whole give-and-take idea. Everybody wants to have it all, and we’ve been raised up fed so many fantasies that do not compute with reality, so then folks get mad at and disillusioned with reality. I can see where both men and women are expecting more out of marriages and romantic relationships than is oftentimes realistic. And it certainly doesn’t help that the sexes like to view one another as coming from different planets, though it’s true we can’t help but differ.

      As for how women “should” act…. I’ve been wondering for a while now why so many men seem utterly shocked to discover women are fallible human beings, each capable of being just as corrupt as the worst man. It’s like folks have come up with fantasies sold to them (and shallow ones at that). Been reading a book that has been giving me more to chew on lately with this topic, talking about this notion of persons coming up struggling with reconciling the seeming contradiction of mother as protector and wholesome provider vs. a sexual animal. People today see all these young gals out here in their sexual prime flaunting their sex appeal, and it seems to both captivate and anger us all. So then people want to divide the woman in two using the traditional madonna/whore complex, then men try to seek out the “madonna” to marry and raise kids with and the “whore” to keep on the side for passionate play. Creates a schism. And today’s there’s fewer women interesting in playing the “madonna” role in its entirety.

      Nothing new there, except that now we’re in the technological age contending with information overload and 24/7 hardcore perversion porn. Reality can’t compete with the fantasies broadcast on television, in movies, on commercials, and online. Then we have all this scientific information that examines various aspects of humans and our lifestyles under a microscope, and their dry depictions can serve to further disenchant us (consciously or otherwise). It’s a wild time to be alive, that’s for sure. I can understand why people are so confused and over-burdened with what all’s happening to us, though we tend to look for an external source to blame. And up pop ideologies to cater to that desire for a simplified explanation. MRAs are laboring under the assumption that feminism all unto itself is to blame, which then spills over onto Western women in general because we appear to either directly support its efforts or to at least potentially benefit from legislation promoted by prominent feminists. So trust is seriously undermined right there, at a time when women can support themselves and move in and out of marriages at will.

      Though I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say most women today want to make a life with one man. Seems we’re all prone toward serial monogamy (that is, if we’re embracing any kind of monogamy at all). While I can see men are having trouble providing their partners with what they need emotionally, women also seem not to know what we ourselves want and it’s not uncommon for us to hold too high of expectations for our male partners.

      The notion of unconditional love comes to my mind pretty often these days, and it does seem a pity how quick people are to throw in the towel and how little effort is honestly devoted to our relationships with one another. The social fabric has been torn. While obviously love can’t be 100% unconditional except perhaps between a parent and child, how adult lovers treat one another can be so harsh and cruel. Not uncommon unfortunately. I think it also ties in with maturity and how many of us out here haven’t figured out what all that entails and are hindered by our insecurities in a rapidly changing society.

      So yeah, a utopian future some might want, but it’s not where we’re headed. I’ve noticed that some MRAs are traditionalists wanting to see women be, as you suggested, unconditionally bound to them. Then there are some who want to keep completely financially segregated from women, meaning they obviously expect all women to work and support themselves. The utopian future some are envisioning sounds eerily similar to that laid out in the book “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. Sounds extremely unhealthy and unsatisfying to me, but then I’m apparently obsolete and have no dog in that fight. People like to think all that is scientific will resolve what’s damaged between and within us, but that’s not possible. Nor is a widespread return to outdated gender norms — the genie’s out of that bottle.

      I don’t know what to think of the situation most days. It’s nuts how complex everything’s been made, and sadly by our own (unintended) doing. Better sign off before I run on any longer. Take care.

  4. Lany says:

    “All I know is I preferred dealing with non-”hobbyists.”

    I haven’t been in this line of work so I’m really speculating here but could it be this: With the lonely guy, or the guy who has trouble with women for whatever reason, or the guy with a fetish that can’t be met easily, or the even the married guy having trouble at home, you are providing a service that feels like you are helping them. You can come away feeling you’ve made someones life a bit better even if it is shitty work most of the time (I’m guessing here). With the hobbyist though, you become part of a sport, a football, to be used in a game. I don’t see any satisfaction to be had in that, only a feeling of degradation.

    “Though I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say most women today want to make a life with one man.”

    I find this interesting because it’s not my experience at all. I’ve been with the same guy for 26 years since I was 19 years old and although I tried several others before him I was very happy to find someone who suited me and only once, at around the 7 year mark, did I ever seriously consider ending it. Further most of the people I know have been in very long term relationships stemming from their college years. I agree that serial monogamy has become much more prevalent, but surely, if asked, most women would still say they would like to find a mate for life. Or do you disagree? I think there are many reasons why people are dissatisfied in relationships these days, and you elucidated many of them in your last comment, but I still think the ideal for most people is to find a partner to share their life and memories with.

    I’m not too pessimistic about the future of male-female relations either. I agree that things are kind of screwy right now but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we are in a transitional period. Men and women today still remember a different time and this confuses them, also the laws concerning sex and family are still in turmoil. I really think this will straighten out with time. It will straighten out all the sooner if there are activists concerned with fixing the bad laws; and for this some of the MRA’s are doing good work. What doesn’t help is turning the MRM into feminism 2.0, with a pile of equally stupid ideologies for susceptible men to glom onto.

    • Byenia says:

      Damn. I just responded, and then the comment evaporated. Trying this again…

      I didn’t mind the work most of the time, except when dealing with the “hobbyist” types. Your sports analogy hit it on the head.

      Personally, I’m not exposed to enough women to claim much certainty about what their ambitions are or aren’t, so I based much of this off the rising divorce rates, the prevalence of “hook-up culture” (along with the “cougar” trend), and basically the decline of dedication all-around (for whatever reasons this is occurring). While I can see people holding to long-term partnership as an ideal, it seems fewer and fewer of us (people in general) know much about going about holding that sort of arrangement together these days. But then again, there’s a lot working against such efforts now that we live in the age of temptations and distractions galore.

      So far as the sexes go, I figure those who want to work together will aim to do so, and the rest will wage their “gender war.” My pessimism is directed at the future generally, seeing as how everything is being turned into a big competition and more people seem more worried with coming out on top than striving to uphold what’s just. Folks seem bent on using the political/legal sphere to wage their battles with one another, and in my view that is detracting from taking personal initiatives where we are able in our own lives. Vying for victim status is the name of the game these days. And yeah, the MRM *could* wind up doing good if it lay off on the anti-feminism fixation long enough to draw warranted attention to issues impacting boys and men. Their battle with feminism is obscuring their message since some of the guys within their ranks come across as contemptuous toward everything remotely related with feminism and also women in general. The most vocal MRAs give the impression of their movement mirroring the worst aspects of feminism, and that’s a shame. But when anyone tries telling them that, they slam their eyes and ears firmly shut.

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