Rude assholes make for shitty public relations, and other observations on the “manosphere”

Came across this video tonight:

[Which appears to have since been removed. Pity, that.]

That was the WoolyBumbleBee critiquing common MGTOW attitudes expressed on YT and on forums she’s affiliated with. Huh. Sounds like she and I reached pretty similar conclusions. Haven’t watched but just a few videos by her in past months and am not up on all the drama involving her and AVfM (now have listened to her and Paul Elam’s last phone conversation posted on dailymotion and that’s enough for me). Not too shocking that we made some similar points in places seeing as how it’s a glaringly noticeable problem within the whole men’s rights/MGTOW online environment.

Ya know, last year when I first stumbled across GirlWritesWhat’s channel and began watching her videos and became a bit riled up in reflecting back on how bewildering my own dealings with feminism turned out (as discussed elsewhere on this blog), I told myself I’d say what I had to say in a few videos maybe but wouldn’t get re-caught up in “gender war”-related bickering. But then I kept watching people’s videos and checked out the occasional forum. Then I started getting a bit irritated with super-biased “minions” in comment threads and their pseudoscience-peddling, woman-denouncing “leaders” preaching from their YT pulpits.

But I resisted diving too far into that bullshit. As soon as I stumbled across that load of characters last year they went to jumping to conclusions and insulting — right off the bat. What was my original crime? I created my “Why I’m No Longer a Feminist” video. So they got to grilling me and leaving comments saying things like I deserve to live out my life alone and shame on me for having ever been so naive (heaven forbid a college student might not know it all). Just stupid horse pucky. People say, “oh, don’t worry about people in comment sections,” but if they’re crawling all over every MGTOW or MRM-related video and site—plus my feminism-related video that didn’t mention anything related to the MRM even in the tags—how can onlookers ask questions and engage in worthwhile discussions? We really can’t. But we can show up to be harangued by people thinking they belong to some “in-group” and therefore are at liberty to stereotype and heckle anyone who comes across as even remotely critical of what they wish to believe.

That’s weird and it’s stupid. And the reason some keep telling these guys that they’re behaving like stereotypical feminists is because it’s true.

Let’s break MRAs down (and MGTOWs where applicable):

1.) Behaves as if the narrative he/she wishes to subscribe to is the only real truth and dissenters or critics are automatically the ones operating with flawed logic and irrationality.

2.) Argues from emotions that what he/she assumes trump all else, and is found too often to be largely uncritical of what it is they’re devoutly supporting.

3.) Firmly believe their narrative is supported by statistical data and scientific evidence, nevermind that statistics are commonly warped and misused, nevermind that the “science” involved is selectively cherry-picked and all other conflicting information is ignored.

4.)  Coddles members of its own “in-group” while demonizing, wholesale blaming, trivializing and ridiculing, or ignoring those outside of it or who won’t toe whatever line is being drawn.

5.) Commonly speaks in “victim speak.” There’s a great deal of focus on oppression and institutionalized sexism, and terms like “abuse,” “rape,” “harassment,” “violence,” “coercion,” and “crime” are broadly applied when discussing interpersonal interaction between the sexes.

6.) Blame the other sex for having started this whole mess.

7.) Claim to be seeking “equality” under the law, and somehow seem to think the legal system is capable of ironing out all of our differences and disputes.

8.) Treat members of the opposite sex with undue hostility and condescension.

9.) Tell people not already affiliated with their “in-group” that they should read and listen more to the arguments being made by members of their community, especially before attempting to converse with them in “their” online spaces. If you open your mouth and state something many of them deem to be ignorant or wrong-minded, they parade you as an example of “the enemy” and again direct you back to reading and listening more to what they have to say. Because their concerns trump whatever you might have to say, automatically. And if your own experiential knowledge conflicts with the claims they’re making, you’re just not paying close enough attention to their “big picture.”

10.) Use examples of poorer persons facing harsh economic and/or social conditions here or abroad to bolster their own movement’s causes and arguments, even if their proposed “solutions” would in virtually no way actually impact those people’s lives for the better. And a good many belonging to the “disadvantaged” class in question aren’t actively involved in the “movement” online or offline and therefore aren’t having much of a say.

That’s what I’ve got right off the top of my head this evening. But tell me those examples don’t appear applicable to either gender-bent movement. And based on the nastiness I’ve witnessed in those calling themselves MRAs and/or MGTOWs and/or PUAs over the last year, I’d actually have to say my past run-ins with feminists online weren’t nearly as rude. They just tended to ignore me, which wasn’t much fun, but they weren’t calling me out as a “cow” or a “cunt” or a “fat bitch” or a “whore” or a “nobody” just because I expressed disagreement with them. That juvenile behavior is a major turn-off that ultimately is going to keep men’s rights-related issues and sites from being taken seriously.

For “leaders” or “big dogs” within these “movements” to defend these ways of being as just the result of “men in pain” who deserve the right to air their grievances is bullshit when they’re lashing out at strangers who haven’t done a thing to them. They’re projecting onto others what they wish to see, and if enough people behave this hostilely it will likely create a self-fulfilling prophecy. And that seems precisely what some are pushing for.

Ya know, when I started looking into all of this initially I did aim to reserve judgment and to not accept people dismissing the MRM as a cult, but now I’m just not sure what to think it is. My heart goes out to those who honestly are just trying to help men to receive equal consideration when it comes to custody of their children and fairer treatment by the courts, because the vocal hooligan fringe (or is it the core?) of their “movement” is serving as their loudest PR, and the impression given is pretty atrocious. And I wonder how might decent people within that sort of setup distance themselves from the clowns?

But it’s not just about “idiot minions” on comment threads; it’s about deluded “leaders” too. Look at this blog post, read the comments snipped and click on the links to verify the original publication and for context. Doesn’t matter who the source is that compiled those statements — it’s about the content. Now tell me, why should someone with a mind like that be leading anyone anywhere? This is a legitimate example of whom and what others partaking in that “movement” respect? I’m honestly asking and would appreciate feedback if anyone would care to wade in civilly.

There are limits. Nobody wishes to sign up for being given a hard time unnecessarily. Because men have been wronged by women, or women have been wronged by men, does not give us a free pass to treat perfect strangers like dirt. People are going to defend themselves, and why wouldn’t they? What kind of masochist would hang out on a “manosphere” or feminist or atheism+ forum (or wherever) where people are greeted by messages informing them essentially that ‘their kind’ won’t be tolerated to speak freely, even honest attempts in good faith being irrelevant since the whole place revolves around their own ideological narrative? Period.

No.

How exclusive and unproductive. But whatever. People will do what they’re driven to do.

 ~

“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” — Demosthenes (350 B.C.E.)

“No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself.” — Lord Greville

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” — George Orwell

“He that is not aware of his ignorance will only be misled by his knowledge.” — Richard Whately

“Oh God, how did I get into this room with all these weird people?” — Stewart Brand

Quick clarifications

Thoughts strike me from time to time that I’d like to share on here but don’t due to not being up for writing some long piece. Blame laziness and beer. Worn out. Had a LONNNG month. August will be busy as well. Which is good, not complaining, just not up for doing much in the evenings that requires concentration.

So, tonight I’ll stick with basic, quick replies.

I’m not anti-feminist, per se. Feminism as a movement is problematic, as are plenty of people who refer to themselves as feminists. BUT, lots of women call themselves feminists yet don’t deeply look into or keep up with what their movement is up to. So I try to be clear that I take serious issue with the direction the feminist movement is heading in, but not with each and every person who happens to call themselves feminists for whatever reasons.

Don’t see myself as an anti-natalist. Love it when people use birth control and wait to plan their pregnancies with one another when they’re ready and after they’ve thoroughly assessed their situations. But I’m not against all breeding, even though I do use the term “breeders” sometimes.

Not a foreigner, for those out there who keep telling me to go back to my native country on YT comment threads.  lol   american_smilie

And I’m not Hispanic, for the record. In everyday life people mistake me as well sometimes, even actual Hispanics. *shrugs* Took some Spanish courses in high school, and have tried learning the language via instruction CDs. Haven’t had much success and probably never will considering how much English trips me up already. haha  But yeah, not of that ethnicity.

What else?

Ya know, returning to this entry a couple hours later while listening to Mama Cass sing:

…I’m struck with a thought that dumbfounds me regularly when reading comments or watching videos posted by disgruntled men, some of whom refer to themselves as MRAs. They talk like women have always been using men, never giving them their props, not loving men, just using them. Yeah, right. That’s asshole talk. If you can’t look back in history and around you and see that there’s plenty of evidence of love and gratitude (though it may be waning), then what’s there to discuss? Love was real and always has been. Daddies and Papas mattered and plenty still do. How is that not noteworthy?

Johnny Cash wrote in his memoir how much his family meant to him and how much joy they brought to his life. They shared real, deep love and committed bonds. They were right for one another. They stuck by and aimed to be good to one another.

Love is not dead. Yet people speak as though it’s a non-issue, like it’s somehow becoming irrelevant. And to that all I want to say is it’s the only thing that is truly relevant anymore. Extremely relevant. Without the bonds of love, who and what are we all? Strangers who go bump in the night?

We’re not all going to love one another, that’s a given, but we can carry a love for humanity, and we can and do form close bonds with special others. And that’s life’s joy. That’s what makes this stupid rat race tolerable. That’s what makes us look forward to coming home at night and motivates us to head out to work everyday. Love is what challenges us at our core to change our evil ways, because we hurt people when we act recklessly, impulsively, compulsively, selfishly, without thinking deeper about the consequences of our actions to ourselves and others. I’m typing this to myself mostly, because I need to read it.

Life is crazy, life is mad…. to quote an Enigma song. That’s all I’ve got this evening.

Disputing legal reproductive rights

Okay. Think I’m finally ready to start broaching the topic of gender/sex on here. It’s not what I consider my primary focus, but gender relations are a significant concern today, me speaking as an American. Can’t deny it, can’t get around it, so might as well confront and dissect it and see what sense can be made.

To start with, I offer up a video from JohntheOther titled “Reproductive Rights” where he advocates on behalf of men saying that they deserve the right to decide whether or not to be parents, and if men choose not to they ought to have the right to refuse parental involvement and child support expectations. An argument he puts forth is that abandoning live offspring financially and legally is the male equivalent of a woman opting for an abortion, claiming the two situations are “parallel.”

I actually can understand, to a degree, where JohntheOther is coming from in terms of men gaining legal reproductive rights. He’s right that women have an option to terminate or prevent pregnancies, though I argue that men do also have power to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies occurring. Because men currently lack as many options as women does not negate that truth.  Pregnancy can be and often is imposed on both parents without that result intentionally being sought. Women have more options for avoiding pregnancy, but men do have options and that should not be ignored or trivialized.  Because women are now granted self-determination in terms of legal reproductive rights does not imply men have no such legal self-determination themselves. Abstinence is a choice too, as is undergoing a vasectomy, as is the decision to engage in sex with women who for whatever reasons are unable to become pregnant.  Those are choices men do possess, and let’s not reduce that down as if it ceases to matter. Unequal rights under the law, yes, but still both sexes do confront choices and options that can determine their fate.

In a society where women have to take abortion into serious consideration as an option when men are no longer held legally or financially responsible for providing for an unwanted child’s care, I imagine that will lead to women retreating back to past standards of conduct when abortion wasn’t an option. Meaning this legal shift will likely result in women becoming much more selective when it comes to partners they engage in sex with, assuming that many women continue to have moral qualms with undergoing abortions. Otherwise abortions will become the norm, and both sexes will have to cope with that (which I don’t think people will be able to without more resentment and disrespect coming between us). Perhaps a shift in attitudes where more caution returns to women when it comes to our sexual choices wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Feminists and others have declared for decades that women’s right to choose should be respected, and now that choice has come home to roost it appears. If women do have a choice, shouldn’t prospective fathers also be provided a choice?

My primary concern here is with children’s need to be cared for and loved and not wind up warded to the state by parents who bring them into this world and then abandon them. That is my moral qualm, which has been touched on in a video I posted on YT and will be expanded on here in a future post.

But let’s focus here on the dialogue going on back and forth between JohntheOther and Friendough. Friendough’s original video is viewable here.

JohntheOther’s analogy involving a gay couple where one opts to buy a boat compared with a man and woman determining care for a child are so completely separate and different that it strikes me as insulting. A child is not a piece of property, not an inanimate object. A child requires significant care provided to him or her that extends far beyond financial concerns. This is a question of how to manage bringing new human beings into the world and determining who ought to be held responsible for their upbringing — caring for our young being an extremely serious matter that extends also beyond legal concerns. It’s the creation of a new generation of people, and the quality of their upbringing has a significant impact on who they become as they grow up. Neglect and abuse them and you may psychologically destroy those individuals. Leave them warded to the State and let them be transitioned from foster home to foster home, where the chances of being sexually violated is 30% higher than in regular society, and I assure you that many will come to resent us all.

We are not simply determining legal responsibility here; we are actively deciding how to  fashion the future. We are determining what sort of existence future generations may face, and that is a heavy burden to consider. We must step outside of our own wants and desires long enough to take in the hefty implications of what is being proposed by both feminists and MRAs in agreement with JohntheOther. They are proving alike in their pushing for each respective sex to have the right to terminate care and/or walk away and leave living beings to be cared for by others or possibly institutions. I am arguing for a third way, perhaps viewed as more traditional in some aspects, though one of my major arguments is that it would be seriously useful at this point if more people paused and deeply considered how little reason there is to bring so many new beings into existence at this point in history. An argument to be expanded on as time rolls on.

And here’s Friendough’s response to JohntheOther:

The consequences of pregnancy do indeed occur whether or not we want this. We can do what we’re able to prevent it, but sometimes it does happen anyway. That is a fact of life.

But that does flip us back to women’s options to terminate pregnancies or abandon newborns. Personally, I take serious issue with women being granted the legal right to “surrender” their children (within a certain amount of time and depending on state laws) to so-called “safe havens.” That’s a bad law, IMO, and it complicates this entire situation by neglecting the interests of the child. I am aware of why these laws came into being, but because some women choose to criminally commit infanticide is not a good enough reason to make it legal for women to abandon their babies in a society where abortions are pretty much freely available during the first and at least part of the second trimester of pregnancy.

Life comes with all kinds of consequences and responsibilities, chosen or not, and that applies to both women and men.

There is a TREMENDOUS difference between abortion and abandonment, that I do completely agree with. Abortion terminates a life, whereas abandonment involves a human brought into full existence. I see abortion as clearly preferable to abandonment in nearly all conceivable cases.

I get the notion that women reserve the right to terminate pregnancies, whereas men lose control once conception occurs, and this leads me back to what I said up above about perhaps this leaving us little option but for women to return to being more discriminating with sexual partners and to become dedicated in their use of available birth control options if they wish to avoid undergoing abortions, or else get used to undergoing abortions if casual, unprotected sex is to persist. Apparently this is where we stand today.

That we devote this much time and energy debating the legality of these matters is what I’ve come to see as folly. Where is the moral consideration in people’s arguments? Has that dimension ceased to be important to some people, perhaps because we live within such a diverse social climate that morality seems too subjective to bring up in public debate?