Friday, May 15, 2015

The Rational Feminist Unicorn

After five years of carefully and cautiously - okay, perhaps not that cautiously - but deliberately attempting to elicit a reasonable, rational response from feminism to the issues of the Manosphere, I may have finally found my unicorn.

Here's the backstory: I occasionally indulge in some friendly Twitter engagement with feminists, taking a strong anti-feminist position.  I'm openly and un-apologetically acting as an agent provocateur, Understand, while this may be seen as trolling, I am extremely polite in my engagements with feminists and never cross the line into "bullying".  That doesn't mean that some don't get hurt feelings, but in most cases that was a pre-existing condition.

Now, while many of you will shake your heads over the utility or the practicality of attempting such engagement, I do so for higher purpose, not just because I like yanking pigtails.  I'm not there to make feminists mad, I'm there to challenge and give honest criticism, to make them think more than to make them angry.  I'm laying out, in as practical and simple terms as I can, why the Manosphere and men in general have taken issue with feminism, as it has presented itself.  I've done this over and over again, searching for a unicorn: a feminist who is willing to look past the rhetoric of the feminist movement and address the issues with it that men and the Manosphere have.

Why would I want to do such a perverse thing?  While it would be much easier to just hurl mindless vitriol, as I said, I'm not into yanking pigtails for fun.  My goal is to actually open some sort of reasonable dialog between the two spheres.

So, after responding to a fairly reasonable post by a young feminist woman who was confused and upset by the anger she detected from the anti-feminist movement on the #HowToSpotAFeminist hashtag which started to get meme-y (and then posting my reply to as many retweeters of the original as I could find) a bold feminist unicorn stood forth from the herd, and responded on her blog.

To avoid any miscommunication, I'd like to reprint her post in its entirety before I respond:

Hi Ian,
thanks for your thoughtful response! I appreciate your civil discourse and lack of ad hominem attacks. Seriously. 
Due to your lack of actual citation beyond the link to a blog post that itself looks at largely anecdotal data, I will also respond using broad strokes and summaries. I can provide factual citation and data from research on historical trends from non-biased sources as requested, if necessary. Also, while gender and sexuality are multivariate, not binary, in order to most directly and efficiently respond to your letter, I will mostly be talking about feminism in largely binary terms. 
So, I see your hurt feelings. They are true and valid. I will not dispute that they exist. However, I think that there’s some conflation going on assigning causality in incorrect ways. I am not saying that nothing was done, or that no one did anything. Things were done. People did them. But from where I’m standing, there’s been some conflation of separate entities in what all went down. 
Yes, feminism has pointed out that there are issues that exist with men, masculinity, fatherhood, and male sexuality. It has not, however, said that those categories are the issues. They have the issues. And lots of those issues have affected women at a systemic and subsequently individual level. Yes, women, femininity, motherhood, and female sexuality also have issues. And those issues have affected men on a systemic and subsequently individual level. But feminism posits, with the whole of history that I won’t repeat here to back it up, that men’s issues have had the harder hit, when it comes to the way society has shown bruises. The phrase “it’s a man’s world” is an incredibly crude phrase, but it is a good summary of what the main problem throughout history has boiled down to. 
You say that feminism has not been inclusive of men’s issues. I say that this is an unfair critique. Every activist movement only has so many resources to go around. You wouldn’t criticize a puppy rescue for not seeing to the homeless kittens out there, too. It’s not their scope. Do they care about kittens? Yes. Do they want organizations to exist to get the kittens help? Yes. Do they think that by addressing the cause of homeless pets while working specifically with the target population of puppies their work will also help kittens? Yes. When they go out to the public to talk about their mission, are they going to use their limited time and resources to talk about kittens? No. Feminism works on the overall condition of human rights by focusing on a target dynamic. We think men and their plights are important too. We’re just not that organization. 
Finally, there is the important distinction between “the actions of an individual who claims a label” and “the definition of the label itself.” A person can claim that they are a certain thing, and then act in no such manner. It’s been the recognized case with religion for years. People claiming to be Christian and to believe in love and forgiveness have gone and slaughtered millions in crusades and KKK rallies and abortion clinic bombings. Were those actions produced by Christianity? No. They were actions produced by angry individuals who falsely claimed the nearest convenient label as a justification for their own independent action. 
Feminism is not about taking advantage of or attacking men. Feminism is in fact exactly the opposite, about righting a systemic abuse of power to bring us all back to a playing field of being reasonable, decent humans to each other who don’t make assumptions based on stereotypes, whether about males or females. The actions of not-actually-feminists only “stain” the movement as much as the action of male rapists and serial killers and bigots and otherwise terrible humans “stain” the whole of manhood.
As Katherine mentions in her blog post, true feminism does not discount subsets of feminist interests. Women are allowed to want to be mothers and wives and mascara-appliers and hair-doers and skirt-wearers. They are allowed to care about their high heels and children. That is fine. Acceptable. Laudable. As is not wanting to be a wife or a mother or to wear makeup or do anything remotely similar. Or, to be a male and to want to be a husband and father and to wear makeup and do hair and wear skirts. Or, to be someone who falls in none of those categories. Feminism is the idea that boxes are idiotic, and no one should be trapped in them – or outside of them. 
You say my idea of feminism is naïve, but I would counter that perhaps your experience of it is limited. I do not deny that there are angry people out there calling themselves feminists and acting the opposite. They are visible. They are loud. They are really quite noticeable. Yes, they exist. But feminists who are reasonable and don’t go gutting others in the style of exactly what we’re trying to end exist, too. The “warm, happy, sunny feminism” you claim I know because I practice it, or at least try my damnedest to. Katherine does as well. There are others – women and men – in my day to day life who practice it, too. I see them. I know they are real. I’m sorry people like them apparently don’t exist in your personal world. Though when presented with two people – one who’s smiling at you and the other who’s about to stab you with a knife – I can understand how the knife-wielder might take more precedence in what you’re remembering came at you that day. I promise there are more of smilers out there, somewhere around you. 
But don’t get me wrong – people who are good feminists, are decent humans are allowed to get angry, too. Just like you, we’re allowed to feel hurt at our own knife wounds. And we’re allowed to fight back. Just as you are.
Miceala Shocklee

Dear Miceala:

Thank you for your polite and civil response.  I do try to avoid ad hominem language, even if my language is often considered caustic, because the fact is my issue is with the feminist movement and a few particular leaders more than it is with individual feminists.  My purpose has always been to arouse discussion, not foster an environment of hate.  So your civil and reasonable response to my posting is very, very much appreciated.

I'll begin by saying that I avoided actual citation and stuck to generalities on purpose, to avoid getting entangled in dueling statistics.  Thanks to the internet, citing stats and studies and then undermining their worthiness has become an artform, one which rarely accomplishes anything.  I am trying to discuss the inter-gender situation in general, so I appreciate you keeping your response equally high-level.

First, let me thank you for acknowledging the validity of our feelings.  That's bigger than you know.  Men in the Manosphere (for our purposes, the combined MHRM/MGTOW/PUA/OMG and other advocates of positive masculinity) frequently express their strong emotions and feelings, though with varying degrees of eloquence.  These expressions, ironically, are largely due to an upbringing in which we were encouraged by feminism to "express our feelings" instead of bottling them up in traditional masculine Stoic (and, according to feminism, "unhealthy") fashion.

now those expressions of genuine feeling, when expressed about feminism, are used against us.  To feminism-at-large we are "bitter, whiny, angry, frustrated men consumed with rage".  Rarely is the question of whether or not our feelings are valid and justified considered by feminism - it uses our bitterness as proof of our "toxicity", not as a token of our righteous anger.  Instead, the emotions that feminism encouraged us to share, back in our youth, are now being used to shame and denigrate us because we dare share them.  So your acknowledgement of their validity is refreshing, and I do genuinely appreciate it.

I can also appreciate your frustration with the Manosphere/anti-feminists consistently finding fault with an ideology that you have invested so much in, and that you see as being responsible for so much good in the world.  Your point about conflation of causality is well-taken . . . but then when it comes to the details, that's where things start being a problem.

You agree that stuff was done, and people did them. That's a good start - too often feminists are unwilling to even admit that feminism has caused harm because of their investment in the ideology.  I'll agree that the specifics are open to debate, but the very fact you admit stuff was done and something went down is a HUGE step . . . because feminism has been very, very reluctant to take responsibility for what the feminist movement has done. The specifics, you see, are very important.

When feminism began to critically examine the the role of men in the late 1960s-1970s, I think we can all admit that some serious examination was necessary: the economy and society of the world had changed with industrialization, and our social system had to adapt to keep up.  Moving forward into a post-industrial age in which women and men could both compete in the labor marketplace required some dramatic and frightening changes to our agrarian-oriented society.  Technological innovations like the birth control pill fundamentally altered how human sexuality functioned, and our culture, our laws, and our society did, indeed, need the first two rounds of feminism like a shot of antibiotics.

Keep that in mind: despite the churning anger of the Manosphere, the vast majority of men involved do not, as feminism accuses us, want to curtail the basic gains made in women's rights and women's empowerment.  By and large we don't want to restrict women's rights to vote, hold office, own property, or compete on an equal footing in the workplace.  The vast, vast majority of men in the Manosphere and in the anti-feminist movement approach their activism with a humanistic perspective that has no desire to undercut the equal rights of women.

When feminism examined the issues of "toxic" masculinity in the 1970s, it didn't stop at a mere critique; it unilaterally decided on a reconstruction.  Fatherhood, masculinity, men, and male sexuality were not only put under the microscope by feminism, to the vast majority of men it felt as if we were going under the knife.  Traditional refuges of masculinity were attacked and criticized by feminism without understanding of their utility and usefulness to men, or the long-term effects of their assault on our society.  In the pursuit of gender-based justice, feminism threw men and masculinity under the bus.

I can appreciate your point that both men and women have issues - but the difference is that feminism has cultivated a climate in which women are allowed to comment on male issues and women's issues, but the moment that men voice an honest opinion about either they are attacked without consideration.  And while I can also appreciate that, in feminism's perspective, that men seem to have gotten away with an awful lot of masculine "privilege", that belies the truth of our own perspective.  For millions of men over hundreds of years, their "male privilege" began and ended on the battlefield, while women were largely protected by their sacrifice.

When feminism speaks of equality, which it does often as a fundamental ideal, it assumes that the social and legal dynamic places men in a "higher" class than women institutionally, that men enjoy "more" rights than women, and that women must therefore "equalize" our institutions to correct this imbalance.  Yet rarely, if ever, does feminism appreciate the large number of gender-based masculine obligations, both legal and social, that men incur as a penalty for our sex.  In other words, while the rights to vote and sit on a jury and have a credit card are necessary for a woman's equality in our society, then logically the duty to register for conscription and the willingness to sacrifice your life for your society and nation are two profound areas in which men and women remain glaringly unequal.

Feminism has always ignored the profound effect this existential threat holds over men; when the subject is brought up it is dismissed either by denying the importance of an archaic institution only intended to serve in direst emergency, or the evils of conscription are thoughtfully acknowledged with a shrug of feminist shoulders and an occasional finger pointed at "the patriarchy".  Yet when it comes to defining our gendered experience, the solemn fact is that women are protected from this specter by the virtue of their gender in a very un-equal way . . . while men are still expected - even by feminists - to be the first to sacrifice their lives and their interests for the sake of the greater (largely feminine) good.

I can appreciate the frustration implicit in such foreboding sayings as "It's A Man's World", and how that seems like a near-insurmountable challenge for women.  Yet while that phrase is easy to employ, rarely does feminism stop to give consideration of just what this "Man's World" has accomplished, or appreciate the breathtaking achievements masculine ingenuity and inventiveness have wrought on behalf of all of humanity.

This "Man's World" feminism rails against gave us the industrialization that allowed women to earn their own incomes; it gave us advanced medicine and technology to reduce or eliminate problems women have complained about for literally thousands of years; it has reduced infant mortality and increased life expectancy, ensured food security and provided physical security, and granted the women of our time a standard of living not even monarchs could boast of two hundred years ago.

When feminism attacks the "Man's World", it is also attacking all of those things.  It is attacking the social welfare system, the social and legal institutions we men established, and the underlying masculine pride we men rightly feel in what our ancestors accomplished in building our great civilization.  Feminism has successfully demonized the legacy of men who toiled and gave their lives to build the society in which they live and thrive.  It has reduced the breathtaking explosion of masculine achievement and ingenuity that has transformed our culture since the industrial revolution to a handful of imperialistic overlords and despotic oppressors.  Feminism has, in other words, fostered and encouraged an environment in which masculine perspectives are at best untrusted, and at worst actively challenged.

Your point about feminism lacking room or energy for pursuing "men's issues" is well-taken. Yet advocating for equality for one side of the equation without consideration of the other is inherently frustrating.  Unfortunately, feminism has not just ignored men's issues in the past, oftentimes it has actively worked against them, and the hard-working, dedicated men who are trying to bring them to light on their own.  Many of us in the Manosphere were, at one time or another, affiliated with feminists and feminism, and when these issues with pursuing true equality were brought up, we were told smugly "sure, go start your own movement, then!" with a matronizing grin.  In the face of feminism's indifference to our issues, that's exactly what we did.  You wouldn't rescue puppies, so we started rescuing puppies.

The MHRM is the result.  Yet feminists regularly blast this network of organizations and its activities (pursuing basic equal human rights for men) regularly and repeatedly . . . on the basis of your claim that men's issues have had "the harder hit".  The perception of historical "oppression" by men has allowed feminism to rationalize such radical notions as enforced male sterility and male genocide without criticism.  I admit, these are radical voices of an increasingly radicalized movement, and hardly representative of the feelings of feminists overall . . . yet these voices are not only uncriticized and left unjudged by feminism in general, the authors of these horrific ideas are celebrated and touted for their advanced thinking.  The crimes of the Manosphere may be many, but advocating genocide among women is not one of them.

When men attempt to go rescue our puppies, feminism has consistently tried to cut us down.  When Warren Farrell, originally a member of the feminist movement, dared to criticize some of feminism's fundamental concepts, he was ostracized from the movement and denigrated.  Now one of the leading figures of the Men's Human Rights Movement, he is regularly attacked by feminists for the crime of suggesting that maybe men suffer from inequality in some important ways, too.  When feminists attack shared parenting initiatives or advocate for lighter sentencing for female criminals, using a "patriarchal society" as their straw man, they not only undercut their stated dedication to equality by demonstrably working against it, they profoundly alienate otherwise reasonable men who are passionately advocating for their human rights away from feminism's stated goals.

We understand you "aren't that organization".  But the issue of, believe it or not, equality comes to the fore.  Feminism regularly beseeches society at large (which is made up half of men) to pay attention to feminism issues and the plight of women and girls all over the world.  But when the MHRM attempts to call attention in return to the plight of men and boys, feminism attacks us for attempting to steal their thunder.  Pleading with us for change and understanding, on the one hand, and then refusing to even listen, much less improve your understanding, on the other is a very poor way to solicit the meaningful cooperation of men.

I can also understand your desire to distance yourself from the radical positions and proposals that Third and Fourth Wave feminism have inflicted on men.  You ask that we not conflate the imperfect actions of some individuals with the noble ideals of an entire movement.  The common summation of this position is "Not All Feminists Are Like That".  You ask for us, as men, to accept the ideals of equality and ignore the hurtful, hateful speech directed at us for forty years by your radical wing.  You ask us to sacrifice our interests and issues for the greater good of social equality, while allowing your self-labeled sisters to call us rapists and violent psychopaths to our faces.  You ask us to ignore the hateful language of those who feel entitled to accuse us unjustly, and then help you create a "better" world.  Seeing the individuals - folks like Amanda Marcotte and Jessica Valenti - as representative of all feminists is unfair, you seem to say.  Yet just as only a tiny minority of male rapists has succeeded in tarnishing the good name of male sexuality for all men, these aggressively vitriolic heralds who claim to be feminists have seriously tarnished any hope of us men seeing the feminist label, no matter how lofty its ideals, as anything but a brand by which we are being savaged.

Your perspective on feminism's goals and ideals is noble . . . but the execution has indeed both taken advantage of and attacked men as a natural social and cultural consequence of its ideals.  While insisting on the goal of a world without damaging stereotypes, feminism itself propagates the most damaging kinds of stereotypes about men.  You ask us to use our judgement about just who the "real" feminists are, after calling our collective judgement into question for forty years and demanding that men have no role in determining women's self-image, interests, or issues.  Plenty of men in the Manosphere strongly and profoundly condemn the rapists and murderers among us as a natural course of instinctive masculine protection of our society, but even mild criticism of the not-actually-feminists by the "real" feminists is thin on the ground.

Our issue isn't necessarily with what women want to do with themselves and their lives - but the insistence that you do so without fear of consequence or criticism from us is unreasonable.  The lives of men are inextricable interwoven with those of women, and your choices, your decisions effect us intimately, whether you are our mothers, our sisters, our girlfriends, our wives, or our co-workers.  While it might seem of only academic interest to feminism what individual women do with those choices, it is of very real interest to the individual men who must contend with them.  It's not about whether or not you want to become corporate powerhouses or domestic goddesses; it's about which of those we're more comfortable associating with, and which we prefer to pursue romantically.

Feminism is great about advocating for men and boys to become more feminine in their outlook, but it punishes us when we try to exercise our inherent masculinity.  Yes, it's fine if boys want to stay home and be house-husbands . . . but the fact of the matter is that not only is that almost entirely untenable for a man in our society to do so, but when given a preference most men want to pursue more traditionally masculine pursuits and activities, not become househusbands . . . for which we are castigated.

Feminism's willful ignorance of masculinity's interests and issues projects common female concerns onto men in the mistaken belief that our goals and aspirations are equal.  They are not.  They are very different.  Little boys don't want to grow up to be househusbands because they're being poisoned by the patriarchy with toxic masculinity . . . they don't want to grow up to be househusbands because they see the disrespect and condemnation that such men receive not from their fellow men, but from the women around them.  This has not changed in forty years of feminist activism.  For while feminism will fight to the death for a boy's right to cry out his feelings, it goes up in arms when that same boy wants to invest in his masculinity in ways that is not in service to women.  Feminism has attempted to ignore the very real factor of intersexual and intrasexual competition, and as a result the personal lives of millions of men have suffered because our natural masculine inclinations are viewed as uniformly toxic.

I would have to counter that my experience with feminists and feminism isn't limited - I spent six years in an environment of academic feminism, and continued to support feminist-oriented causes and activism for years.  I know literally thousands of feminists, from Old Guard 2nd-Wave Equity Feminists to Radical 3rd Wave Riot Grrls, moderates, radicals, intersectionalists, Marxist feminists, and every shade in between.  My problem is not too little exposure to feminism, but such a grand exposure that I have seen up close and personal it's inherent flaws and failings.

The fact is, plenty of "sunny, happy feminists" exist in my world. And they are part of the problem.  Not because their intentions or ideals are in error - they're good people, trying to make the world better the way they've been taught to.  But because their intentions and ideals are not fulfilled by their actions and activism.  Standing firm behind the inherently misandric concepts of "patriarchy", "rape culture", and "misogyny" while the vocal component of your movement uses them as weapons to actively shame and emasculate all men means that you are providing political and social cover for folks who are stomping all over the ideal of equality . . . and we're watching you do it.  While you were smiling at us, assuring us that you were not a threat, the radicals have been hiding behind you and stabbing us repeatedly while you watch them do it.  Would you trust a voice who endorsed that?

In the end, the issue is one of accountability.  Feminism's goals and ideals are lofty, but as they have been executed they have caused incredible damage to men that feminism - and feminists - are unwilling to be accountable for.  More, despite your assurances about labels, feminism has regularly and routinely savaged women who disagreed with them and viciously attacked their decisions.  Pretending that all feminists (or even a majority of feminists) think its equally acceptable and valid for a woman to choose whichever path she likes belies the thousands of articles from within feminism's own ranks which prove otherwise.  Women who marry early, don't go to college, and condescend to devote their lives to their husbands and families are frequently harassed and demeaned by the feminist narrative.  Motherhood and domesticity - hallmarks of femininity and parts of the essential self-image of women for thousands of years - are regularly debased as unimportant by feminists, scalding the millions of women women who decided their reproductive future was more important than their career future.

But feminism won't own its own savaging of women.  It won't own the millions of men who have suffered because of feminist-inspired culture of serial monogamy and divorce.  It won't own the blatantly unfair and unequal treatment it has given fathers over the years, the cynical attacks on fatherood and father's rights.  It won't own the reality of false rape accusations, because the supposed effect on the alleged victims far outweighs the legal and moral rights of anyone accused of a crime to due process.  It won't own the millions of families shattered by the feminist movement's unintended consequences.  Or the dramatic social and cultural impact feminist initiatives and programs have had on men and children.

So regardless of the smiles, we see far more knives . . . and even one knife is too many.  After forty years of relentlessly using men and masculinity as a punching bag without fear of serious consequence, the result is what you see before you: two generations of men confused, angry, bitter, and nearly hopeless about our futures.  Being lambasted for our male privileges while 70% of homeless and suicide victims are men galls us.  Being accused of perpetrating "rape culture" while the majority of us have been so heartlessly attacked for our sexuality that some of our best minds consider chemical castration and self-imposed exile from the gene pool because of the terror feminism has inspired in men about sex is insulting.  Feminism has succeeded in nearly criminalizing and certainly demonizing normal, healthy male sexuality - and undermining the social stability of family life and long term monogamy that men have been traditionally dependent upon for our motivations.

If feminism is to be true to its ideals and pursue a culture of equality, not only can it not do so without taking the issues and interests of men into consideration, it will never happen without the active and enthusiastic cooperation of men.  Using shame, ridicule, disrespect and outright antipathy to motivate us just doesn't work. In fact, it produces things like the Manosphere as a direct result.

Nor are we as "fringe" as you might imagine.  Over the course of the last several years the Manosphere has exploded, thanks to information technologies, and part of our continuing efforts involve educating young men and boys about our perspectives on feminism.  And it's catching on.

 We are purposefully - out of sheer desperation - doing our best to inoculate young men from feminism and demonstrate that feminist perspectives do not have their best interests in mind.  We are encouraging them not to marry, and when they do, to have ridiculously high standards for their wives.  We are encouraging them to pursue their natural masculine goals and interests without regard to the concerns of women.  We are encouraging them to reject women with a high partner count as poor long-term risks for matrimony, but good short-term prospects for sex.  We are teaching them to be more callous and calculating in their personal choices because in our collective experience it is the attitude that will serve them best in this environment.  We are teaching them that there are enough women in the world to consider for sex and dating that becoming reliant on any one is a poor idea.  We are teaching them that girls are not their friends, but their competitors and sex interests alone . . . because we've seen how women treat their male "friends".

I know, all of these things will horrify your average feminist.  But just as the radical wing of the 3rd Wave (Dworkin, McKinnion, et. al.) saw the cautious attempts of men in the 1970s to contend with feminism as proof of the inherent "male oppression" that justified thirty years of misandry in the feminist movement, as reasonable men we look at the future that our sons have, and we don't want them to experience the same hateful and hopeless dance with feminism we were forced into.

Instead, we will teach them to be masculine Men, according to their own desires and needs.  Which includes a healthy amount of male sexuality.  Yes, getting laid is a primary male interest.  So, ironically, is getting married.  So is having children.  But the days when a man could safely count on good opportunities for all three of those are over, and we have to teach our sons how to deal with the world they will live in, not the ideal we want for them.

So we're telling them to drop out.  Drop out of college, turn their back on corporate achievement, and withdraw their active support and energy from society until feminism relents and decides to actually talk to us, not merely scream at us.  We're telling them to withdraw their participation and focus solely on their own well-being.  We're establishing the meme that a man who works on a woman's behalf has betrayed his self-interest and that of his fellow men.  We're telling our boys that feminism is a foe, that women are all suspect, and that they should have fear and suspicion in their hearts when approaching the topic . . . because any other perspective for men in a post-feminist world is not going to be in his best interests.

It's sad, it really is.  But this is not the world we wrought - this is the world that feminism gave to us.  Our mothers were divorced and bitter, our fathers were estranged and disrespected, and you've tried to make us feel ashamed of our masculinity for so long, we just don't trust you any more.  Every time we do, we get hurt - it's like an abusive relationship.  It will take a lot of effort and a lot of energy to reconcile these perspectives, I know.  And yes, that might be easier to do if men and the Manosphere would take a more conciliatory, less-caustic tone.

But the problem is we tried doing that in nice respectful language for forty years, and you ignored us and humiliated us.  We CAN'T trust feminism any more, and we HAVE to treat it with suspicion, because it's clear that the future it wants for men is not one that men want for themselves.

I hope this inspires you to continue the dialog, and I invite your thoughtful response.  But if it follows the usual pattern of our discourse with feminism, you will likely shrug your shoulders, write us off, and ignore what we've been saying while you go rescue another kitten.  That's your prerogative, of course.  But don't say we didn't try.

Very Best Wishes,

Ian Ironwood

Monday, May 4, 2015

Amanda Marcotte's Nervous Titter (Double Feature)

This recent diatribe by Amanda Marcotte, disguised as “helpful advice” to regular men about avoiding the Manosphere, is in reality the moral equivalent of feminism attempting to cockblock mainstream masculinity from the font of wisdom available from their peers and elders . . . specifically wisdom about women (interesting note, the same piece, entitled "4 ways mens' rights activists actually hurt men" - apparently, we're undeserving of Title Case - in Slate was entitled "How The Bitter Men Of The MRA Ruin Things For Other Guys" for Alternet, for what it is worth).

But this isn't mere feminism-as-usual.  No, this is an increasingly desperate attempt to convince the vast sea of Betatude out there not to look behind the curtain and see the reality of the situation.  One can almost hear her nervous titter and anxiously darting eyes as she tries to compel through emotion what she clearly cannot through reason.

This little puff of pouting is no less than complete validation of the Manosphere.

I don’t often do a complete exegesis on something as banal as this, but properly read it communicates some important points about the intellectual opposition to the Manosphere.  The fact Marcotte is addressing the issue of “MRAs” in the first place is a bit of a victory – even five years ago mainstream feminism barely acknowledged the existence of masculine issues, much less entire movements grown to pursue them.  The fact that Marcotte is attempting this hatchet-job proves that we’re getting to her and her spiritual sorority in a way that disturbs them, but that they don't want you to realize how disturbed they actually are.

Marcotte’s ostensible titular audience is “Other Guys” (note she refused to refer to them with the respectful “Men” tag on Alternet, as she wants to appear casual in her approach even as she emasculates them) but her dichotomatic word choice is intriguing: the “Bitter Men” are ruining things for “Other Guys”.  She begins her run by attempting to conflate feminist interests with the interests of these poor “Other Guys” – guys who, presumably, have yet to hear about the bad ol’ Manosphere.

Resurgent masculinity is, in other words, ruining things for . . . just whom, exactly?

Presumably it’s “all those men who haven’t heard of the Manosphere”, because this is straight-up preventative propaganda.  When you take the time to analyze her darling little listicle, you start to see the doublespeak ooze in.

She unsheaths her claws from the first paragraph, filled with catchy buzzwords designed to automatically discredit her opponent without actually addressing the issues: weird, loose, embittered, confederation, attempt, reframe, racism, harassing, pushing, gold-diggers, . . . why, one would almost think she was referring to a Women’s Studies department in a third-rate state school.

But no, Marcotte’s venom is for us.  She plays the misogyny card, the race card, the rage card (Men aren't allowed to get angry and be taken seriously, in Marcotte’s world – and when they aren't angry, there’s no reason to take them seriously) and the bully card.  She paints the Manosphere as ugly to the core, without quoting a shred of evidence or a bit of reasoning.

It's almost as if she were rationalizing in advance the entire “Manosphere Bad!  Don’t Look Over There!  I’m Being Oppressed!  Look At Me, Not Them!  They’re Lying Liars Who Lie!” script she’s about to lay out for the poor, stupid sap who is, apparently, not intelligent enough to make up his own mind about his own masculine identity.

Marcotte claims that the Manosphere (MRAs, PUAs, etc.) is “bad for men” as the crux of her argument.  

Let’s take a look, shall we?  Let’s see just whose interests are damaged in the course of the Manosphere’s relentless onslaught:

1. They sow paranoia about false accusations. 

Despite the Duke Lacrosse team, Rolling Stone UVa, Mattress Girl, Lena Dunham, and the thousands of first-hand accounts of men who have been provably falsely accused (and the women who accused them), Marcotte would have you believe that your chances of having a woman misconstrue some minor point of law during the tedious consent process now expected in the dorm rooms of most third-rate state universities and accuse him of an unspeakable crime are, in fact, quite low –NOTHING to worry about, boys!

She throws around some compelling-sounding statistics about how darn rare the occasions of “false rape accusations” are, without really going into just what those stats actually mean and what they don’t, and she leaves you with the impression that false rape accusations are a myth, and men who are concerned about them are “paranoid”.  Worse, men who actually listen to other men about their experiences being falsely accused of rape are “sowing paranoia” and "undermining trust among the genders", because misogyny.

She ignores the strong cultural prevalence of false rape accusations as a cultural meme – present in everything from To Kill A Mockingbird (“Atticus Finch: Rape Apologist!”) to Orange Is The New Black.  She ignores the instant attention an alleged rape victim gets from their accusation and ignores the very real fact that some mentally ill and emotionally disturbed people – even pathological liars – can be girls.  And she seems to be trying to downplay the rampant paranoia feminism has already sown about rape accusations in general within the souls of men.

“But it’s possible that young or naïve men could see all this fear-mongering online and start to legitimately believe they are in grave danger of being falsely accused, a belief that might make them fearful of women and hesitant to date with confidence." 

Oh, why not cite feminism’s vicious attack on all men as potential rapists, “It’s On Us”, “HeForShe” and other misandric terror campaigns against all masculine sexuality as a contributing factor to that fear? Of course feminism has NOTHING to do with the fear and hesitation young and naïve men feel about dating.  That all came from the Manosphere . . . 

Marcotte is, of course, utterly fabricating the idea that young men have no real chance of being falsely accused of rape . . .

"But the odds of it happening are infinitesimal and exponentially lower than the odds a woman faces of getting raped."

The Justice Department of the Obama Administration recently showed that a woman who attends college has among the least chances, statistically speaking, of being raped, around a .2% chance. 

That’s against the national average that gives all women a 2.6% lifetime chance of getting raped.

But I’m not here to debate statistics.  If I was, I’d point out a recent bullshit show of hands, among 41 men present (across a range of ages, educations, socio-economic and racial lines) 19 had been accused of some form of non-consensual sex by a woman over the course of his lifetime, though only two were charged with any crime (indecent exposure in both cases).  While it’s wildly unscientific it’s also demonstrative of the real threat of false rape accusations are to every man.  That seems to fly in the face of Marcotte’s argument as neatly as the “1 in 5” stat falls apart under scrutiny.

But it is the breakdown on this point that is revealing: Marcotte’s ostensible sympathy for the poor, naïve young men who will be “fearful of women” and “hesitant to date with confidence” is not borne out of concern for their poor fates.  No, Marcotte is worried about the Manosphere because it is, at long last, starting to impact the social and reproductive futures of women in Marcotte’s educated home demographic: the university system where career feminists are born.

That can only mean that college dudes are starting to #dateoffcampus or otherwise socially ignore the horny coeds around them.  Some of them might even be spending time at the gym, reading, and getting an education with absolutely NO plans to settle down with that nice young feminist Women’s Studies major across the quad after graduation, ignoring what he heard about her over Spring Break.

If fear of false rape accusations plays a role in a young and naïve man’s confidence – and it should – and keeps him from being some debt-laden feminist’s meal ticket out of student loan hell and into the suburbs, then Marcotte just naturally blames the Manosphere.  Blaming the twenty years of vicious campus feminism attacking everything with a masculine smirk would be just too honest for her to contend with.

Let’s continue.

2. They encourage men to become consumed with irrational jealousy. 

Marcotte is suddenly, terribly concerned that men will fall prey to the horrendously mistaken belief that women might cheat on them . . . or do cheat on them . . . or will cheat on them.

As her basis of argument she attempts to refute the common evolutionary biology theory about female attraction patterns (ignorantly mistaking it for evolutionary psychology, a different field entirely) that has been borne out by essentially every honest attempt to evaluate it.  Marcotte wants you poor, naïve young men to ignore the Manosphere and its evil ways because the very idea that women are sexually attracted to rich, powerful, physically strong men with well-made features is just hooey.  

She does this by hammering on a key Game concept (more on this in a moment) about socio-sexual attraction patterns in human females, namely that strong, silent handsome dudes get more tail than whiny little beta male feminists.  She tries to poke fun at the “Alpha Male” concept as degenerate and archaic, some sort of “pseudo science” . . . when the evidence says that just ain't so.

She tries to play up one minor aspect of Alpha Maledom, pointing out that they are callous and hesitate to commit to females . . . despite popular culture and personal anecdote alike demonstrating that handsome, rich men just don’t commit to the first piece of ass they find. And in many cases, not even the last.

The idea that she’s trying, ineptly, to demonstrate here is known as the Dual Sexual Strategy model of female mating patterns wherein women instinctively seek the best possible mates both physically, to produce quality children, and provisionally, to see those children succored through adulthood.  The fact that few women find both stunning good looks and incredible financial success in the same man often means that they are tempted to split the difference between two – often without either one knowing it.

Marcotte seems to want to convince you that women do not want to date ruggedly handsome, cocky, successful guys when even a casual survey of any non-lesbian population of women will refute that utterly.

She also wants to convince you that those same women would NEVER cheat on their husbands, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Enough of lived through the Great Divorce Epidemic of the 1980s to know that “irreconcilable differences” usually meant “Momma found a bigger dick” somewhere along the line (or, more rarely, “Daddy found someone who would screw him regular”, but that’s another story).

Marcotte wants to try to convince you that female infidelity is something you shouldn't let the mean ol’ menz of the Manosphere make you afraid of . . . despite the fact that this Hypergamy (the condition in which women will attempt to mate “up” with a higher quality or social status male than themselves) is so rampant as to be openly celebrated by global-class feminists like Cheryl Sandberg (to whom I respectfully pay my condolences on the tragic loss of her husband).

When you have mainstream feminists like Sandberg encouraging young women to get themselves pumped and dumped by a long line of bad boys before they decide to settle down (at least long enough to have babies) with a “good guy”, it’s clear that feminism has lost touch with even the basics of true masculinity for so long that it doesn’t appreciate or even acknowledge common masculine desires like not having your woman cheat on you.  “This myth is complete nonsense”, she says, though the celebrity pages for the last sixty years say otherwise.

For some of us, we feel quite strongly about it.

But Marcotte’s motivation here is clear, too, and it isn't to “protect” the poor men from unrealistic jealousy, as she says . . . its to shame them out of the very real suspicions they hold that their “devoted” wives and girlfriends are looking up old flames and ex-lovers on Facebook while they aren't looking.  

And we've never heard of anything like that now, have we?

By shaming you out of wanting to protect your emotional (and often financial) investment in a relationship, Marcotte hopes to continue to facilitate the very Hypergamy she tries to dismiss in the opening of the item.  Men are “consumed by jealousy” only when there’s a reason to be . . . and under the feminist encouragement to fulfill female sexual desires with a long line of bad boys – far beyond the “wild girl” stage of the early 20s – there is plenty of reason to be suspicious of a woman claiming she’s “reformed” from her wild ways and willing to be satisfied by you for the rest of her life.

It’s a blatant way of trying to control your sexuality, Gentlemen, and it’s Marcotte who should be shamed by the attempt.  She’s essentially advocating you looking the other way if your woman decides she wants a turn on the company doorknob, or a quickie with a handsome stranger in a bar, drunk and on the road.  It’s called the Feminine Imperative, and feminism supports it blindly when it doesn’t run afoul of it.  And the Feminine Imperative essentially demands that you look the other way while your woman steps out on you.

Marcotte’s motive here couldn't be clearer or more blatant.  It’s not suspicion and jealousy that tear men apart.  It’s unfaithful women who lie to them that tears men apart.
Let’s move on.

3. They discourage men from actually making their lives better. 

This is among her most laughable assertion that Macotte throws at the Manosphere.  Invoking the dreaded PUAs and demonstrating a toddler’s understanding of Game, Marcotte attempts to convince you poor, stupid men that learning how to get laid actually makes your lives worse.

Thing is, PUA in its various forms has not only evolved, it’s gotten ridiculously sophisticated . . . sophisticated enough so that modern Game works so predictably for those who invest in it that it often seems like having superpowers, at first.

Far beyond simple “negging” (a technique PUAs picked up from observing intrasexual competition among women) modern Game is a sophisticated set of tools that prepares a man to compete for female sexual attention in a very proactive way.

That’s why Marcotte and feminists HATE it: Game works.

It works so well and so predictably that even formerly low-status dudes are picking it up and getting laid.  And that’s upsetting to feminists.

Marcotte makes the common mistake of projection, here, by not understanding that, to men, SEX IS A PRIMARY MOTIVATOR.  Sex is important to men in ways that it is not important to women.

Being a “better man” who doesn’t get laid as much just doesn’t jive with the common perceptions of masculinity anywhere outside of the celibate branches of the Catholic Church.

The basis of Marcotte’s argument is that we evil PUAs of the Manosphere will convince you that girls really don’t like “nice guys”, based on nothing more than careful observation and evidence. That’s because feminism’s essential hypergamous strategy involves sidelining “nice guys” during a woman’s peak reproductive years until said woman has an “epiphany” about her exploding sexuality, a couple of tattoos, and a whole lot of regrets.  THEN she needs a “nice guy” who finally thinks he’s getting his turn, when in fact he’s getting the lean leftovers from someone else’s party.

This is the famed “Alpha Fux/Beta Bux” strategy underlying Hypergamy (above).  After insisting that women don’t follow this strategy in listicle #2, Marcotte turns around and encourages men to actively conform to the “Beta Bux” side of the equation . . . not because feminism wants there to be a lot of nice guys around to be nice to women and buy them things (although that certainly SEEMS to be her message) but because feminism doesn’t want every dude in the world to start suddenly ACTING like a “bad boy”, because then they can’t tell who the real bad boys are and who are the dudes who just learned decent Game.

That’s a serious problem for women in general, I won’t deny – when you can’t tell the good providers from the bad providers, the good physical specimens from the bad physical specimens, it’s really hard to make a decent mating selection about the father of your children.

But that’s kind of the point.

Since the advent of the Pill and the surge of 3rd Wave feminism on the public consciousness, the assault on masculine sexuality has driven the majority of men into a mode of appeasement, when it comes to their mating selections.  They rarely take initiative and they’re often content to wait on the sidelines while the object of their attraction is off sowing her oats in Cancun.  That has suited feminists well, for the last decade or two, because the sexy entitled jocks or I-don’t-give-shit guitar players they so freely fornicated with were clearly above the general tide of mediocre masculinity.

But now that Game has invaded the public sphere, even in a small way, suddenly feminists are very, very nervous.  Suddenly they can’t tell the “good guys” from the “bad boys” because the good guys are learning Game and the bad boys already knew it.  And when a faux “bad boy” witnesses the wild excesses of her youth, he isn’t NEARLY as eager to attach his fortunes to her.  Instead he continues to Game other girls until he finds one far more suitable to his long term goals.  That girl is the one who gains his commitment and his provisioning, when it was “supposed” to go to the feminist.

Worse, the general feeling toward feminists and women in general has taken a downturn, thanks to more men learning Game.  Game holds women accountable in ways feminism would never dream of.

 When most men understand the motivations and machinations of most women, enough to realize that they tend to be attracted to Nice Guys but are usually far more aroused by Bad Boys, then a basic and fundamental element of female mating is in jeopardy.  That’s got alarm bells ringing in the Bat Cave of feminism.

There is already a growing chorus of women approaching 30 who are beginning to realize that the handsome, successful college-educated men who were supposed to be standing around waiting for them to finish “exploring themselves” and settle down are just. Not. There.  This trend will only increase in the next few years as the Millennial women start approaching the Wall and panicking.  Their grand life plans for career, love, husband, family, house, Happily Ever After, come crashing down as they see one relationship after another sputter out before a ring is produced.

Feminists aren't supposed to freak out about marriage – marriage is a patriarchal construct designed to oppress women, remember?  But the fact is that women, particularly college-educated women, depend on marriage to fulfill their dreams and their goals.  Marriage is the best way to raise children and conserve community assets, when divorce doesn’t loom over every conversation.  Marriage has untold benefits for women, far beyond the few small benefits men receive from it.

But the thing is, the men who they would have married are looking for sex, not commitment.  They don’t WANT to settle down, they’re having too much fun . . . and we all know what happens when you get married, right?  Half the time you get divorced, half the time you wish you would.  Feminism has help make marriage a miserable sentence for most men, with hypergamous divorce and brutal family law designed to humiliate, impoverish and emasculate at every turn.

Marriage is a bad deal for men because men like to have sex a lot.  Marriage is a permanent surrendering of your autonomy and your self-hood, in return for huge risk and an empty promise of a reasonable amount of sex with the same person.  The reality, as it usually happens, is much different.
 And we all know it.

That’s the other reason that Marcotte is so adamantly against PUAs, because they discourage men from committing lightly to one woman.  They teach men how to have sex with a LOT of women, especially younger women, and teach you how to improve your chances with those younger, higher-value women who are in their prime . . . and that’s a huge threat to the feminist establishment.  Men just going around and knowing how to seduce women?  They can’t have THAT, can they?

In fact, having a lot of sex and knowing how to convince women to have sex with you is, officially, a Good Thing to the vast majority of heterosexual men.  I don’t think I’m stepping over the bounds and “speaking for all men” out of turn – men love sex, and will do whatever they have to do to get it.  All the sensitivity training classes and screeds on male gaze aren’t going to change that fundamental biological (not cultural) fact.

Men like to get laid.  Learning how to get laid makes us feel like better men.  As we define what “better” is, then learning how to get laid with the least amount of effort expended, as Game and the PUA community advocates, really is in our best interest.

Let’s take a look at Marcotte’s objections:

"There’s nothing wrong with one-night stands, but this mentality is discouraging and cruel to men who are hoping to form a lasting, intimate relationship with a woman."

Setting aside the moral value of ONS for a moment, there is nothing cruel about this mentality for men who want to form a lasting, intimate relationship . . . with a QUALITY woman.  Marcotte objects to PUAs and Game because it encourages men to be better deciders, selecting which women to pursue merely for sex (most of them) and which to pursue for a lasting, intimate relationship that leads to a commitment (the precious herd of unicorns bereft of feminists).

There’s no cruelty in PUA for men.  It just makes them better judges of women.  That’s a problem for Marcotte and her pals.

Then she continues,

"Nor is there any reason to think this strategy works."

Actually, there’s every reason to think this strategy works: we see it working.  

Game is transformative to your masculinity.  Once you understand the male-female sexual dynamic in its context, entire realms of our culture are revealed to you.  Once you understand female sexual psychology enough to have a reasonable chance of seducing any given woman, it’s easy enough to apply in any given circumstance.

The field reports Marcotte disparages are signs of Game working . . . because the dudes posting these reports aren't merely bragging of their conquests, they are deconstructing their failures and sharing that information with other men to increase the knowledge base.

Game, and the PUAs who built it, are essentially teaching men skills they desperately want to get better at . . . but that women in general and feminists in particular desperately don’t want them to know.

Here’s the kicker:

"But it’s also hard not to wonder if men would do even better if they learned to treat
women with respect and kindness, instead of like unfortunate obstacles to be overcome in order to get laid."

This is the part where every normal male has permission to roll on the floor laughing.  Even the most pathetic Omega can see that “treating women with respect and kindness” doesn’t help you get into their panties.  Quite the contrary, thanks to the cultivation of bad boys and the utterly predictable response to it women have, treating them with respect and kindness is demonstratively the best method to get locked into the friendzone, utterly removed from any hope of getting into her panties.

Women don’t get aroused over respect and kindness.  That’s one of those “PUA Secrets” she’s afraid of.  Female sexual desire is responsive in nature, say all the best feminist sex scientists, and women generally don’t have an arousal response toward respect and kindness.  Quite the opposite.

So as far as getting laid goes, Marcotte’s suggestion is just hysterical.

In fact Game does teach men to be better at dating, and no, that doesn’t mean poaching drunks at Last Call, as Marcotte suggests.  Indeed, that’s the desperate game of those “nice guys” she’s encouraging you all to become.  Actual Game teaches you how to pre-sort potential women and discard the ones who are unlikely prospects to have sex with, and then teaches you how to overcome or outmaneuver common female sexual strategies to encourage her to have sex with you.

Along the way, Game teaches you to invest in yourself as a man, educate yourself, inform yourself, invest in your body through physical activity, learn adequate grooming, and perfect rules of social behavior to suit your purpose, i.e. getting laid.

In other words, stuff that will ACTUALLY help you in dating.

The difference is that Marcotte doesn’t recognize (and doesn’t want to recognize) that the primary reason men date isn’t to meet interesting women and spend money on them, it’s to get into their panties as quickly and as thoroughly as you reasonably can.  Without Game that struggle might take weeks of expensive dates.  With Game, you’re either in quick or it isn’t going to happen – move on.

Game and the PUAs represent the most heinous aspect of the Red Pill culture to Marcotte because it is the most threatening.  Her actual listicle should have read: They Discourage Men From Making Their Lives Better For Women.  That would have been more sincere.

What’s next?  Oh . . .

4. They poison the well for good men on the dating market. 

Funny how she doesn’t mention how feminism has poisoned the well for good women on the dating market for forty years.  But that’s not what Marcotte is talking about.  That would be something like equality, and that’s not her purpose in this propaganda.

Here Marcotte is doubling down on the shame, in case you missed it the first time.  Her idea is that there are so many dudes out there swallowing the Red Pill and being, well, dudes, now that it’s just ruining feminist dating prospects.  You never know when a man is going to start quizzing you about your Number, for instance, or asking you to make a sammich.

In all seriousness, Marcotte’s plea here is one borne of real frustration and a growing fear.  That fear is that men, in general, will start to call bullshit on feminine caprice and hold them accountable.  “Good Men” (the Better Betas the GoodMenProject is trying to build) clearly will allow women to step all over them, take them on expensive dates, work hard for the promise of sex that never quite comes through, and generally perform like dancing monkeys in return for the privilege of enjoying a woman’s company . . . a woman who, if she’s so inclined, might deign to have sex with you.

The Manosphere fucks all that up for her and her ilk.  When a plurality of men begin to adopt Red Pill standards for their dates and understand their own great value on the Sexual Marketplace (SMP) and the Marital Marketplace (MMP), then female bargaining power plummets.  Without the bonds of matrimony and the promise of security all that leaves women with to entertain men is their sexuality.  

This is highly inconvenient to women, particularly feminist women who are used to demanding equality and special treatment at the same time.  For two generations they've been able to exploit their sexuality while demanding equality and gotten away with it.  The entire feminist dating biosphere depends upon it.  As long as there was a steady pool of reasonably attractive men who would compete for their sexuality, they could parlay that into an opportunistic lifetime of fun and profit.

But when a significant percentage of that pool isn't willing to play that game, essentially forcing women to compete with their sexuality for male attention and the dying promise of commitment, that’s just too darn much work.  Women are supposed to control sex, not men.  Men understanding their value and exploiting female desires for security and attention is just too darn unfair for Marcotte.

Let’s break down Marcotte’s objections and run them through the Feminization Translator:

They treat women like crap and demand sex.

Translation: “They aren’t buying us stuff and kissing our asses!  They want us to put out in return for their attention!  Wah!”

This sucks for women. But it also sucks for men, especially men who aren't PUAs or MRAs. After all, dealing with creeps and entitled misogynists makes a lot of women wary of dating.
Translation: "If we can't tell the REAL Alphas from the "fake" Alphas by their covers, it makes us work too hard! Wah!"

Actually, that doesn’t suck for men NEARLY as badly as it sucks for women.  Men are used to being rejected by women for all sorts of dumbass reasons – from shortness to balding to ‘chemistry’.  One more bullshit excuse why a woman won’t sleep with you, more or less, isn't going to impact men in the slightest.

Well, not men who learn Game, certainly.  But even those who aren't Game-aware are going to learn about Game from these distressed women.  They will assure those women in no uncertain terms that they are nothing like those nasty PUAs and MRAs.  And those women will therefore shower them with their sexual attention . . . right?

Of course not.  Marcotte is making a false threat here, equating a few dudes who weren't going to get laid anyway with the struggles of women who suddenly are being held accountable by some of their dates, and that just doesn’t work for them.  Indeed, all that this is doing is attempting to stir up antipathy between the Blue Pill masses and the Red Pill intelligentsia.  By invoking the latent White Knight in as many dumb guys as possible and telling them that paying attention to the Manosphere might not get them laid, she’s blatantly pandering and shaming her ostensible audience.

Let’s see what other horrors await you poor stupid men if too many of you learn of the dark secrets of the Manosphere:

Women who might otherwise be interested in speaking to strangers, now largely avoid talking to men they don’t know.
Translation: "If too many dudes actually learn Game, we won't speak to ANY dudes anymore, no matter how smooth their Game is!" 

Yeah, right.  That's going to happen.

Considering feminism has made talking to a strange woman tantamount to rape and sexual harassment, I don’t think you can pin this on the Manosphere, Cupcake.  Sorry.  It was feminism, not the Manosphere, who made speaking to strangers dangerous.  This is Marcotte attempting to foster a Scarcity Mentality in men, when in fact they should be cultivating the Abundance Mentality that actually fits the facts on the ground.  She continues:

A lot of women abandon dating websites because of all the creeps. 
Translation: "Women are striking out on dating websites because they're figuring out that the only men there are either looking for just sex, or that their standards are far too high for the average post-feminist woman to meet, so blaming it on 'all the creeps' (thus demonizing the sexuality of the men who are confident enough to pursue it unashamedly) is the best rationalization they can muster to explain all of their failures."

Since “creep” in this sense means “any man who has sex as a primary motivating factor”, it’s hard to take Marcotte’s claim at face value.  A more compelling explanation is that women are abandoning dating sites because they cannot endure the perceived criticism implicit in not finding Prince Charming, and instead finding a man who is wondering how old that profile picture is and how many cats you have.

Women leave dating sites because, in general, women are terrible at online dating.

That’s a fact.  Women in general are far better at making an impression and selling themselves in person, and resent the casual nature with which most men “next” them based on appearance alone. It's the  ultimate exercise in female competition . . . and male rejection.  Since it's usually when the dark shadow of the Wall approaches that women tend to turn toward on-line dating, there are issues of youth at play.  And women largely turn to online dating when they have exhausted the pools of eligible men and found them (or themselves, though few have the character to admit it) wanting.

The problem is that men don’t go online looking for Princess Charming.  They go to online dating to find a retired pornstar or other potentially easy lay.  Women who figure this out quickly do well at online dating, within certain parameters.  That is, they get laid a lot.  They don’t necessarily end up with meaningful relationships.

It damn sure ain't because of all the PUAs.  Most PUAs eschew online dating, save Tindr, as a poor return on your investment.  It’s a lot easier to seduce a woman in person.  At most, online dating gives you a wider pool to preselect from.

Once you filter out the "losers" who are ready to commit to the first vagina that will talk to them, that pretty much just leaves the Red Pill-type men looking for wives, and that’s what really annoys Marcotte:

Even if they stay on the sites, a lot of women quit bothering to look at messages from men they haven’t messaged first, since experience teaches them that a lot of them will be from MRA-types. 

Translation:  "The only men who seem willing to be open to committing in the dating realm are the ones who understand their own value and want a woman of high quality, and would dare hold their dates up to those impossible-to-meet standards involving such lost arts as sweetness, warmth, and domesticity.  There just aren't enough Beta Bux dudes on there to make it worthwhile.  Everyone else just wants pussy."

This is the most boldly pathetic cop-out about women’s utter failure at dating in general that I’ve ever seen.  Really, if a woman rejects every man who approaches her on the presupposition that such a man MUST be an “MRA-Type” (a dude who wants sex more than he wants a marriage) then it’s obviously THEIR fault she can’t get a date.

So how does this supposedly make things worse for “good men”?

It really doesn’t.  In fact, unless you define “good men” solely in terms of “men good for women”, PUAs, MRAs, Red Pill men and the fellow travelers across the Manosphere have really done nothing to decrease your chances of dating.  In fact, they have increased them enormously, especially if you define “good date” in terms of access to sex.

You see, one thing the Manosphere has been preaching that Marcotte didn't dare touch upon was the essential fungibility of women in the arena of intersexual mating.  That is, no matter how badly you get rejected or dumped this year, next year a whole new crop of young women will be hitting the dating market.  To them, you will be a little older, wiser, more exciting and adventuresome, compared to their “boring” contemporary boyfriends.  

Meanwhile the woman who rejected you last year got one more year older, more jaded, and closer to the end of her active fertility.  Eventually, she won’t even be considered datable, much less marriageable, and if she doesn’t convince some poor sap to overlook her storied past and the number of bad boys lingering in her Facebook account, she’s going to start getting desperate.  While you get more desirable.

And this happens every year.  

The Manosphere teaches the cold, brutal biological truths of human mating and pairbonding, not the idealistic musings of feminism’s fictional take on mating.  And the cold truth is that women age, and that men prefer beauty and youth when they make their sexual decisions.  Women have a shelf-life. Men age like wine.  That’s not a political statement, or misogyny, or sexism, that’s the observable fact for the vast majority of our human species. 

It’s just as cold a truth as the fact that women prefer height, strength, and success in the men they prefer to mate with.  No five-foot-one guy wants to hear that, but it’s the truth, one that must be contended with if he’s going to pursue women.  But he might enjoy hearing that a twenty-six year old five-foot one man looks really good to a twenty-year old woman who is tired of “boys” and prefer his success to their youthful bullshit.

These are the truths that Amanda Marcotte doesn’t want you to know – she doesn’t even want you to suspect that they exist.  If there was, Goddess forbid, a secret method by which nearly any man could, with practice and persistence, end up bedding far more women than was seemly to feminist sensibilities, do you really think Marcotte would be celebrating it?  Or would she be trying to convince you to ignore or fight it, like the nerdy girl at the dance nervously, desperately trying to distract the cute boy from noticing how easy the Easy Girls are? 

Here’s the thing, Amanda, a fundamental truth from the Manosphere: you cannot negotiate desire.  Trying to tell non-Red Pill men about the evils of the Manosphere in an effort to turn them off the idea isn’t going to work . . . when our stated purpose is to get them laid and your stated purpose is to keep them stupid, docile, and tractable.  Our methods increase their chances for actually having sex.  Your methods . . . don't.  They don't increase their chances of having sex.  At most, they increase their chances of spending their weekends for the foreseeable crafting with their sexless girlfriends and wondering why the hell they ever decided to be “nice guys” in the first place.

She’s trying to scare you, Gentlemen, scare you by convincing you that our kung fu doesn’t work when it does; convince you that girls like to fuck “nice guys” when they don’t; convince you that your Red Pill brothers hate women and want to screw you over when we don’t; and – most damnably – convince you that doing the bidding of women in a frustrated attempt at having sex is somehow preferable to the pursuit of masculine interests and male values that will benefit you, not some babe you met in the bar.

She’s trying to scare you, shame you, and humiliate you.  She’s trying to get you to fight us.  She’s trying to manipulate you by your fears of rejection and your feminist-inspired shame over your own desires, the same way women have tried to control masculine sexuality since the dawn of time.  She’s trying to convince you that cold hard truth is wrong, that the Manosphere is actually hampering your desire to get laid, not assisting it.

She’s giggling nervously and being catty and trying to shame you and make you do what she thinks is best for you.  She’s especially trying to shame your fellow men in your eyes, the PUAs who have dared to undertake the deconstruction of the feminine sexual psyche, the MRAs who advocate for basic human rights for men, the MGTOWs who humiliate Marcotte and her sisters by refusing to treat with them at all in their lifestyle, the OMGs who persist in happy patterns of productive patriarchy and benevolent sexism, all of your fellow men of the Manosphere.

Seriously: who do you think REALLY has your best interests in mind? For Marcotte, she's been peddling this same tragically flawed, blatantly self-serving message for years, now.  And her titter has only gotten more shrill and nervous as the years roll by, and hundreds of thousands of men are discovering "PUA advice": the Red Pill.


While researching this piece, I came across THIS gem from Marcotte, offering her advice to dudes about what REALLY works in dating.  Of course it was offered over at Manginaland, TheGoodMenProject ("Teaching Men How To Be Better Servants To Their Feminist Overlords!") and of course it's essentially a poorly-reasoned argument for why you should be a Blue Pill Doormat in the dating world.  Let's see how it stacks up, compared to the RP Praxeology, in terms of success. (Oh, and this was published all the way back in 2011, at the Dawn of the Manosphere, in its present incarnation.  This tepid, poor advice was pretty harshly criticized then, but it bears backing over).

 Then let's file this under Feminist Dating Advice:

1. Be generous about women’s motivations.

"...women’s choices make much more sense if you assume women date for fun and companionship, just as men do." 

TRANSLATION: "If you'd just project our perspectives on yours like we do, and ignore the blatant scheming of the Marital Marketplace, then you might enjoy an enchanting evening with a woman that may or may not lead to sex, may or may not lead to marriage, but that's OKAY . . . because Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! We don't want your money!  Really!"

Actually, men tend to date for just two reasons: to get laid or to interview a potential long-term mate.  Fun and companionship is what we get with our male social circle.  Rarely do we think, "gosh, my life would be better if I paid for some woman to have a good time and then sexually reject me at the end of the evening!"

What we actually, truly want from women on dates is decidedly different.  And we understand that women are either out for "fun and companionship" (desperately seeking Alpha) or "investigation of long-term resourcing potential" (pragmatically seeking Beta).  We're not, as she implies, completely stupid.

What Marcotte does here is try to convince you all that women aren't REALLY dating looking
for Beta Bux, they just want fun and entertainment.  Of course, it's in the feminist/Feminine Imperative's best interest to convince Betadom that they don't really exist, and that all dudes have a more-or-less equal chance if they're fun and entertaining enough.  Then, if the stars are in the right position (NOTHING to do with hormones, natch) then she may reward you with her Sacred Snowflake Vagina just because she's so darn swept away by your charm and character.

No promises.

In reality, it's usually pretty easy to discern a woman's motivations on a date.  You can tell within the first fifteen minutes, and discern a lot just from her station-in-life, pre- or post-Epiphany.  If she's looking for Alpha, you make a play.  If she's snooping around for Beta, unless she's proven her quality, you drop her like a hot rock . . . because it's unlikely she's going to be a productive encounter.

(That means "sex", to dudes)

Marcotte Is trying to use obfuscation to convince the Betas of the world that they have an equal chance with all the Alphas, and that if they just approach a dating situation with no suspicions and open wallets, their lives will be much better.  

This is fun!  Let's continue!

2. Believe that sex is not a battle.
"The PUA model of dating is one where men are buying and women are selling, and therefore men’s job is to try to get as much sex out of women for as little a “price” as possible. . . . You have more fun when your friends are having fun, right? Apply the same attitude towards dating, and you’ll become immediately hotter."
 TRANSLATION: "Quit trying so hard to get laid! Don't you idiots know that women control sex, and you exist only as our entertaining dancing monkeys?  We will give you sex where and when we choose, and your unashamed pursuit of it makes us anxious, forces to admit we are in a sexual competition, and undermines our strategy of attempting to gain as much resources and attention out of you with the least amount of sexual effort expended!  Get with the program!"

I just love it when feminists try to talk men out of their best interests.

Marcotte, here, is trying to soothe the poor Beta ego about his string of rejections and relationship failures.  She's also trying to talk him out of appreciating the current post-feminist dating situation (or even the prefeminist dating situation) through the helpful optic of a Transactional relationship.  CLEARLY, this is because he's focused on SEX, not providing a "good time" to the women he dates.

If he would JUST REALIZE that dating is about FUN, not SEX, then she's just super-sure that the women he dates are going to sprawl with their legs open around such a generously fun guy.  And if he would JUST quit thinking about all the MONEY, TIME, ENERGY, and RESOURCES he's expending in the quest for the sex he's given up pursuing, he could relax and enjoy the display of his resources vanishing for the entertainment of others.  Once you give up pursuing sex and thinking about it like it's, y'know, something valuable, your life will be much, much happier.

Gentlemen, is that your experience?  Does ignoring the pursuit of sex in dating actually lead to more sex . . . or do you find you learn, pretty quickly, that if you do not keep the focus of your date on sex, that sex just naturally ain't gonna happen?  Marcotte is trying to convince you that Sex isn't REALLY part of why you date women.  Instead, it's something that women reward you with if you are properly entertaining and they damn well feel like it.  YOUR native sexual interest is to be sacrificed for the sake of THEIR entertainment.  

You see, feminism doesn't want you to think that sex is a primary masculine interest, because the Feminine Imperative, and feminism in particular, has claimed control of sexuality and managed the SMP and the MMP for millennia, now.

If you fellas continue to act like you're dating to get laid, then you blow the delicate illusion of women everywhere, and force them to face the real, pragmatic, and utterly draconian competition for decent mates they ACTUALLY face, not the rosy romantic Disney Princess fiction they've been pumping since birth.

When men understand their value, and realize that sex IS their primary masculine interest, it's amazing how much of the bullshit falls away from the dating world.  And that's EXACTLY what Marcotte, on behalf of her scared sisters, doesn't want you to do.  They THRIVE on that bullshit, and you're taking it away.  Stop it.

3. Make a list of traits you’re looking for in a woman. 

"Be excruciatingly honest, even if it means writing down embarrassing things like “submissive” or “sexually inexperienced.” Physical characteristics are OK, but it’s more important to talk about stuff she can control, like her self-presentation. Be as specific as possible. If the ideal woman in your mind has a job in a creative profession and knows how to cook, write that down."
 TRANSLATION: "Girls always write down exacting criteria for their The One, so you should, too!  It's okay if you put down misogynistic, manly things on the list - we don't expect you to pay attention to it, anyway!  We like hearing your high standards for women, and then pretending that we live up to them.  Just don't expect us to actually try."

This isn't exactly bad advice, but from Marcotte it's just disingenuous.

Ordinarily TRP encourages a man to be extremely exacting in knowing what he wants in a potential mate, but the focus is on LTRs/Marriage, and the criteria are encouraged to be high to discourage future ex-wives.

Marcotte doesn't want you to really take this list seriously - hence the issues she proposes, including the idea that men should be embarrassed about their sexual choices because they conflict with feminism - she just wants you to make a list, because that's the feminine approach to the matter.  Girls have their List before they leave Middle School, whereas I and every other cishetero dude was heavily criticized during the same period for voicing ANY preference for a future mate as "sexist and misogynistic".

And that's the point: feminism has dared men to hold them accountable under threat of social punishment for their personal mate-selection choices, so by spelling them out ahead of time, Marcotte isn't asking you to hold the women you date accountable to that standard; no, she's giving you a list from which to find exceptions to your own rules.  And she's attempting to eliminate the LTR side of the equation, because she doesn't want you getting any ideas about the realities of commitment.  No, this is just a "fun" list of things you'd like in a date, not a pragmatic Dealbreaker list that will exclude the vast majority of the women you date from consideration as anything but a bedwarmer.

But perhaps Marcotte has another motivation . . .

4. Use that list to do an honest self-assessment.

Oh.  Of course.  That makes MUCH more sense.

"How much do you resemble the person you just listed? It doesn’t have to be across
the board, but if you have little in common with the imaginary woman you conjured up, you have a problem. . . . You can’t fault women for giving you a pass if you’re not what they want, even if they’re very much what you want."
TRANSLATION: "Remember that List? Well, we have a List, too, and according to that list . . . YOU SUCK!"

Marcotte's position here is pretty straightforward: YOU DON'T DESERVE A PORNSTAR, YOU MISERABLE SLOB OF A BETA!  YOU DON'T EVEN DESERVE TO GET LAID!

She just couldn't resist a little bit of implicit misandry and "victim blaming" here: if men aren't getting nookie, then clearly it's just THEIR FAULT because they suck so much.  It has nothing to do with the current flaky, self-absorbed, iPhone-attached Twitterfems insisting that they "deserve" better than you.  It's all YOU, and Marcotte wants to drive that point home with the heel of her sensible shoes.  Marcotte is doing her best to pre-reject you poor AFCs because that's her goddess-given right, and it serves both the Feminine Imperative and the feminist agenda to keep you fearful of women and in awe of their ability to dispense sex without your influence.  

You see, if single men start feeling a sense of self-worth commiserate with their actual worth on the MMP, they might start understanding that there are literally THOUSANDS of women out there, hungry to compete for them, and that would utterly wreck the Pussy Scarcity Mentality that the Feminine Imperative/feminism thrives upon.  

The Red Pill, by contrast, encourages you to delve into serious self-improvement . . . but to serve your own interests, not merely to make you a bit player in some woman's living romance novel.  Marcotte's motivation isn't to encourage you to build yourself into a better man, it's to chastise you for not properly fitting the FI/feminism's ideal of who you should be, and using the implicit threat of sexual rejection as a club to keep you in line.

5. Make the necessary changes.

Ah, the Call To Action!

"We’re often attracted to what we wish we were like as well as what we’re already like. Instead of bemoaning this, embrace it....Of course, in some situations this isn't going to work. You may not want to have a certain trait you want in women, because you think it’s demeaning. Or you may not be able to achieve it, as is the case for men who want to date much younger women. In these cases, I advise that you either rethink your desires or accept that you’re likely to have a lonely existence....You can’t expect women to put time and energy into her looks or profession or home or even sense of humor and expect nothing in return from men she dates."
TRANSLATION: Alpha Up, or you're a fucking loser, you Fucking Loser! How can you possibly expect some woman to grace your unworthy dick with her pristine vagina because you suck so badly?  Your desires and expectations are unrealistic and no decent woman will ever love you, unless you drive yourself to meet our ephemeral whims!  The sooner you accept the fact that you're a Fucking Loser, suitable only for subsidizing the good times of your female-gendered betters, the sooner you can face up to your Fate as a desperate Beta Bux future ex-husband and accept it."

This . . . is just galling.

Apparently the "changes" that Marcotte and her feminist friends want you to make is changing your expectations . . . because men shouldn't have real expectations about their relationships.  Marcotte does her best to talk you out of all of those criteria for a woman you drew up in the last listicle, and doubles down on the meme that you, your goals and aspirations (particularly if they have been influenced by the Evil Patriarchy, your own misogynist masculine sexuality) aren't important . . . only the goals and aspirations of the women you date are.

Marcotte desperately tries to kill the idea that you could actually find, say, a much younger woman to date you if you wanted.  Not because it's unlikely, as she tries to convince you, but because she doesn't want you to understand the importance of the Wall in a woman's life, how her sexual values change in relation to it, how men can exploit that for sexual success, and the nature of masculine sexual attraction increasing slowly over time.  That's a LOT of secret information that essentially fucks up feminism's mating strategy.  If THAT happened, then you'd realize that a 40 year old man with a secure job is as much catnip to a 25 year old woman as a 25 year old woman - but she's trying to fool you into thinking - like she does - that you're of declining sexual worth as you age.  That's a chick thing.

And look how she tries to shame you for your own sexuality: "You may not want to have a certain trait you want in women, because you think it's demeaning".  Parse this through, a moment.  If it's a trait you WANT in a woman, then why WOULDN'T you want it, just because it's "demeaning"?

Marcotte's representative self-interest comes out boldly, here: her goal isn't to make men work harder
to be better men, for their own ambitions, but to convince men that their own interests (sex, just the way they want it) is, actually, NOT in their interests, encouraging them to self-shame because "it might be demeaning".  

When was the last time you heard a real dude actually voluntarily give up a favored sexual practice, or a preference in his womenfolk, because it was "demeaning"?  Only in Blue Pill Future Ex-Husband Land.  Instead of encouragement to better themselves, Marcotte's call to "make the necessary changes" is nothing more than a plea to lower standards and a shameful argument against your own sexuality.

I mean, how often do you think Marcotte has advised women to "rethink your desires or accept that you’re likely to have a lonely existence" if their List was idealistic, unrealistic, or unobtainable?  

6. Develop real self-confidence.

"Pickup artists are right that confidence is sexy, but where they mislead is claiming confidence can be gained through simple social tricks....hiding your feelings of inadequacy behind tricks probably just reinforces the sense that the real you can’t be good enough. Real confidence, in my experience, is a combination of having concrete things to be proud of (traits and accomplishments, not possessions) and a focus on the positive over the negative."
 TRANSLATION: "We hate the fake confidence of pretend-Alphas - we want the REAL confidence of REAL Alphas!  The rest of you just 'be yourself', so we can figure out who the actual Alphas are and aren't confused by guys who understand Game!"

It just keeps getting worse.

In this directive, Marcotte attempts to be the fish giving advice to the fisherman, but what she's actually doing is Beta-shaming and attempting (a bit desperately) to convince Betas that they just need to "be themselves".  "Real" confidence (and Marcotte is some sort of expert, apparently) is elusive to the poor AFCs struggling with women, so instead of trying they should just be the bumbling walking wallets she expects them to be happy playing, and be self-deprecating about their "flaws" to boot.

Rarely have I seen such a blatant attempt to force clueless Betas back in their box.  The shaming, the pre-rejection, the purposeful undermining of key issues like Abundance Mentality, Male Self-Worth, and Masculine Sexuality is textbook FI/feminism wish fulfillment in the dating realm.  It's purpose IS NOT TO HELP MEN HAVE BETTER DATES.  The purpose is pretty clearly to MAKE MEN BETTER DATES FOR WOMEN.  

Nowhere is masculine interest invoked - on the contrary, it's denigrated and devalued.  Nowhere is there an encouraging word about your own masculinity - on the contrary, the piece is designed to humiliate and shame.  Nowhere is there any incentive for men to actively and purposefully pursue their dating, mating, and reproductive strategies - on the contrary, the focus seems to be to convince men to abandon any real desires or goals they have for themselves to the whims of greater femininity.

So when you're considering whether or not to follow TRP's praxeology, and pursue the masculine goals and interests YOU decide, or continue to follow the feminist-written, Feminine Imperative-approved Blue Pill script they've provided for you, try to keep all of this in mind:

Amanda Marcotte doesn't want you to get laid.  She and her sisters just want to use you for entertainment value.  And they're all scared shitless because, increasingly, the men in this culture are starting to realize just how full of it they are.