Hmmm… Thinking about the gender relations arguments online again. Would help if my YT subscriber feed didn’t bring so many videos of that sort to my attention, but it would require unsubscribing to a good many people in order to avoid them. Though it does remain a somewhat interesting subject, IMO.
These MGTOW guys like to think I hate them all categorically, but I don’t. Hate is too strong of a word to use there. More like I see the folly in going to reactive extremes, same as I observed happening among a good many feminists (and in myself to an extent in my late teens/early 20s). People don’t like to hear that, so they tend to get defensive. But it’s just an observation. Take it or leave it.
I find it strange that people freak out like they do just because you express a critical view of what they’re supporting and promoting. Those who wish to insulate themselves from any criticism or conflicting views will necessarily wind up in an echo chamber of their own making, which will just lead to further “radicalization” as they incubate together, segregated off from the rest.
It’s an odd situation to observe, made all the more frustrating since communication breaks down between them and nearly any female they happen across. I don’t know how to interact with people who speak to me as if I am some sort of spokesperson for all other women. I’ve stated a number of times that I don’t have hardly any close contact with women anymore, save for my Grandma and one long-term female friend, both of whom reside in other states. Otherwise it’s sporadic interaction with women who usually are 50 or older. Women have always tended to puzzle me a good bit as well, but I am one and don’t regret being one and have no interest in being viewed as “one of the guys,” nor am I claiming to be an exceptional female necessarily. But to just be able to communicate from where you stand — these guys deem that unacceptable for females they encounter, and that winds up being counter-productive. Women cannot cease being women, but that also doesn’t imply that all women behave or think in lockstep, just as men don’t as well. It gets rather silly pretending the world is so black and white.
People seem obsessed with binary divisions these days, and in all things. I struggle with accepting this since my own mind doesn’t operate that way and I can’t see the benefit in willing myself to do so.
Initially I wasn’t concerned about the so-called “MGTOWs” — I was trying to learn about the MRM (men’s rights movement). But MGTOWs heavily populate MRAs’ comment threads and forums, creating an atmosphere that’s unduly hostile toward women in general. That’s a bit irritating when plenty of us out here do care about all sorts of gendered issues and are interested in exploring what others are going through. The areas where my concerns intersect with those I’ve heard taken up by MRAs are as follows:
- Wishing to see circumcision become an outdated, abandoned practice for all minors.
- Opposition to “Dear Colleagues” decision on campuses that allows for penalizing students merely accused of sexual misconduct without turning over the matter to be investigated by police.
- Ending selective service requirements
- Fairer custody arrangements (for those who do have kids)
- Wishing to see a safe, non-hormonal, reversible method of birth control available to men (see: Vasalgel)
- Fairer divorce proceedings (for those who choose to marry)
- Critiquing feminism and its impact on our culture (speaking as an American here)
- Challenging the gender roles and the push for them to be universalized (due to my favoring individuals having the right to be their own persons not bound by societal scripts that hold them back from realizing their full potential)
- Challenging the psychiatry field and this push toward medicating children, especially boys since they’re disproportionately being targeted in recent years
- Challenging the education system and their “zero tolerance” policies that crack down most especially on boys (though I personally think a lot of kids would be better off home-schooled by a competent parent)
- I’ve even come around to the notion that men should be notified by the second trimester of a pregnancy (the sooner, the better) and given an option of opting out of financial and parental obligations while there is still time to terminate the pregnancy
- Examination into rising male suicide rates and their possible causes
- Examination into physical hazards in the workplace and OSHA’s role in permitting this to go on unchecked where dangerously faulty equipment is the cause
What am I leaving out? Talked about in one video how a grassroots effort might could be brought about to aid men seeking shelter (either due to homelessness or domestic violence), but I received a good bit of flak for that idea. People got grumpy because they want State-funded shelters that mirror those provided to women. I personally think the more we can keep the State out of our lives, the better, but plenty appear to reject this attitude.
Anyway, that’s a list of concerns that we seem to share in common (and that we share with some self-described feminists as well, for the record). And yet MGTOWs do everything they can to demonize and run off women who show up in MRM venues, which can’t help but diminish support for their stated causes. Not only from women but also from other men who don’t wish to identify or affiliate with a polarizing movement.
In short, the MGTOWs are fucking the MRM shit up.
I came into this with as open of a mind as I could muster. Being hounded right out the gate and referred to repeatedly as a “fat bitch” and a “cunt” certainly didn’t help matters (why do that?), especially not when I was trying to learn what the MRM was about and what its members stood for. I’ve since figured out that a lot of the most hostile male commenters refer to themselves as “MGTOW” (meaning: Men Going Their Own Way), which is an online social phenomenon that’s morphed into being about males rejecting marriage and having kids. Initially it sounded fine to me — sounded a lot like how I navigate in my own life (actively choosing not to have kids, doubting I’ll ever want to remarry). Sounded like people I might be able to relate with. And I turned out to be wrong. Because most whom I’ve come across online who hold or defend that label behave very antagonistically toward women. It’s not enough to choose not to marry and not to have kids, they feel the need to berate other men who do and to even go so far as discouraging cohabiting (nevermind that most of the U.S. has done away with recognizing Common-law marriage). Then they go to the next level and blame womankind (due to what they refer to as gynocentrism) for nearly all social and cultural ills, claiming that women more often than not have State backing in any given situation which they then refer to as the hypothetical “gun in the room” when it comes to females making false allegations.
I’ve listened to a lot of this, as patiently as one could hope. And if I ask a question or voice disagreement, this does not go over well. My job apparently is simply to listen to them, not to interact, not to share views that may conflict, not to question statistics being bandied about (though I notice some people continue to quote government-backed statistics, when it suits their purposes, even after knowing that the U.S. CDC promoted Mary Koss’ trumped-up stats for many years claiming that between 20-25% of all females will be victims of rape in their lifetimes). The only acceptable opinion expressed by a female must be completely favorable and entirely non-contrarian, or no opinion should be expressed at all. Well, good luck expecting people to care about your concerns if you take that approach.
These “MGTOWs” claim to not care about women’s opinions, yet they get very fired up by women’s expressed opinions. Including my own. Now, I acknowledge that I am a contrarian of sorts, perhaps more accurately described as a skeptic + a bit of an asshole, and I extend that to everything and everyone, including views expressed by people I like and even deeply care about. And I can get pretty hot-headed at times, especially if I’m being barked at over some dumb shit or when my own views are mischaracterized so as to serve as a strawman example that others can easily knock down. Most of my views aren’t set in stone and have great flexibility when faced with a persuasive argument and new evidence that challenges my previous assumptions. I do aim to be reasonable (at least when I’m sober, ha!), and even if I don’t agree with an argument I’m presented with I usually will take time to think it over going forward. My views have shifted many times as a result. Though it’s difficult to give credit when the argument comes weighed down with a bunch of other baggage and unwarranted declarations and biased assumptions that I reject and have to peel away from the central argument being made.
And there are some things I don’t expect to ever see eye to eye with most people on. That’s just life. Sometimes we must agree to disagree, but hopefully that doesn’t have to create a complete communication meltdown as a result. But with the “MGTOW” people it often does. They appear to take a very “with us or against us,” hard-lined approach, particularly when it comes to dealing with women.
Honestly, I do not comprehend their fear of women. I understand fearing some women, and I understand being leery of people taking advantage of you. But neither sex holds a monopoly on doing others wrong. In fact, most violence occurs between males, plenty of which has little, if anything, to do with any female (as in the cases of muggings and prison rape). And we’re all being screwed by the corporate setup that’s come to dominate, just as we’re all being screwed by a huge government that keeps injecting itself wherever possible into our private affairs. There are differences between what the sexes might typically experience, but there is also a lot of common ground that seems to be overlooked by gender ideologues on both sides of the fence.
Just reflecting on what I’ve watched and listened to and dealt with thus far. I honestly wanted to see the formation of a quality men’s movement and was saddened when I saw it devolve into something too similar to feminism in the worst ways. That’s not what I want to see happening. But I guess chalk this up to reason #208 for why I can’t stand politics and movements. Always seems things must be taken too far, too extreme, too divisive, too much groupthink encouraged and not enough openness to critical assessment. Gets crazy after a while. And it’s examples like this that really do drive it home just how impossible it may be for humanity to embark on a new trajectory. Always fighting and feuding and fussing and dividing off and demonizing foes. Most of us can’t even agree on a short list of basic principles to guide our choices and actions, let alone find ways for enough of us to come together to affect major political change that won’t devolve into a never-ending contest.
I don’t know what to do with it. So I’ll just be glad for the insight that did cause me to pause and to realize where I was fucking up in certain areas. But I doubt very many women will care to sit through all of that in order to uncover those valuable nuggets, not while they’re being barked at and blamed for everything members of their sex have ever done. I’d like to point to what I’ve found useful, but I hesitate to do so since some of what I gathered came from people who also said some seriously messed-up stuff that I don’t wish to promote. Raising consciousness of what a wider swath of men have gone through or fear confronting is helpful, but not if people will tune it out because they feel attacked for simply being born a woman or for being a married man or for not unquestioningly accepting all premises put forth by these folks.
Just my thoughts for the evening.