Monday, June 24, 2013

New Mixed Review Of The Manosphere Book By Matt Forney

As I promised, I point out bad reviews as well as good ones.  This one at the venerable Matt Forney's site is mixed, but doesn't recommend the book for reasons he points out in the review.  Essentially, sloppy scholarship (particularly in the MGTOW section).

As I said in the comments section, I'll cop to that.  If I could have, I would have spent another year on the book and refined it, annotated it properly, and had it meticulously fact-checked . . . but when your choice is "publish it now or abandon it altogether", you go to print with the book you have, not the book you want.

That being said, Matt's criticisms are well-taken.  The biggest one (besides sloppy scholarship and some editing issues) is the supposed failed take over of The Spearhead by white supremacists, and I do feel this needs some note of explanation: after I'd written the MGTOW section, it became clear that the Southern Poverty Law Center was investigating various Manosphere sites, and ultimately listed Roosh as some sort of thought criminal because, well, his kung-fu works.  But they apparently (from what I understand) became aware of the whole 'sphere while tracking white supremacist trolling, and that's what led them to The Spearhead.  And that much activity was enough, apparently, to rationalize a full-scale "investigation" of the Manosphere.  So from the interior perspective I can see how this would be a glaring error, but as I was examining the movement from an exterior perspective and this alleged fact was used to attack the movement, I felt it was worthy of inclusion.  A second edition may see the section re-written as events unfold.

And that brings me to the other point I have in response to Matt's cogent review: as he says, trying to define the Manosphere is a big task.  What he doesn't emphasize is just how fast the Manosphere changes, and how difficult it is to pin down a "history" or even a helpful survey of something that is evolving so rapidly and in so many different directions.  A book is a static thing, just as a blog is a plastic one.  Worse, you can be focused on one section and miss important developments in others.

For example, when I started the book In Mala Fide was the ex officio New York Times of the Manosphere, and Return of Kings hadn't been launched.  My first version of the MGTOW and MRA sections was based on that.  By the time I came back around to a re-write, I had to include RoK because of its obvious importance in the 'sphere . . . but my editor thought we'd covered MGTOW and MRA exhaustively and didn't think we needed to include "every new blog that pops up".  In fact, it was one of the issues leading up to the decision to publish on my own, instead of abandoning the effort.

When a writer tackles a subject like this it can be difficult to separate his personal perspective from the objectivity needed to do a subject credit; while Matt's criticism is well-taken and deserved, his perspective is skewed in the sense that he is part of the thing I was attempting to describe; I'm guessing that being at the center of it, he doesn't see the popular reaction to the idea the way I do, or how the basics of the MGTOW movement have been co-opted and mixed with other ideas and sprouted new hybrids.  That's perfectly understandable, from Matt's position.  I'm not arguing I got some of the facts wrong (or didn't relay them well), but the fact is that MGTOW has grown beyond the ideals of the original movement, it has influenced a lot of other ideologies and responses, and it has inspired thousands of men to do things with their lives that perhaps the originators of the ideal hadn't considered.  

Other issues:

I know there are gay men lurking in the Manosphere because they have written to me, ostensibly because I'm less homophobic and judgmental than other areas in the Manosphere.  In fact I'm working on a post about the nature of masculinity and homosexuality, and the role gay men can and should play in the Manosphere, but as that subject is still fairly nascent I may wait until it develops further.

I chose the term PUA because terms like "Game Artist" or "Game Theorist" get confusing.  The common perception of Game bloggers is that they are "PUAs", and since that's how they are commonly (if erroneously) referred to, that's the term I used.  I can see Matt's point, but I can see my own as well.

Yeah, politics always comes into it, and it could be argued that mine have gone more conservative over the years.  On the other hand, I'm still just as pro-2nd Amm, as I was when I started, and I'm no less enamored of the corporate ruling elite, the tax system, the federal bureaucracy, and all sorts of other issues.  I am one of those surprisingly common dudes who fits into neither Left or Right when my aggregate politics are examined.  While I'll be the first to insist that the Democrats are the Party of Women and Women's Issues, for example, I cannot in good conscience say that the Republicans are the Party of Men and Men's Issues, because the fact is they really aren't.

All in all, it's a good, thoughtful, intelligent review that ultimately doesn't recommend the book for dudes in the Manosphere.  Hell, I can live with that.  I wrote this book to be an introduction, a survey, a place for the man ignorant of the Manosphere to get an idea of where to go to find what he needs.  Dudes who are already neck-deep in the Manosphere know most of this stuff already, as Matt points out.  This is for the guy who heard the term, was curious, and wants to know more.


  1. THere is a thread on this review of your book here:

  2. Wow, an author who actually accepts valid, constructive criticism! You are a rarity indeed, sir.

  3. Wow, an writer who actually allows legitimate, beneficial criticism! You are a scarcity indeed, sir.
    rs gold
    WOW Gold Kaufen
    cheap blade soul gold

  4. Its defo a mistake to link to such scathing criticism.

  5. politics is dirty, use anything to win. No more leaders like the king dongen about people who do not eat because of hunger

  6. Dubai Escorts with Indian and Pakistani Girls in Dubai.
    Dubai Escorts
    Dubai Escort
    LovelyEscorts Dubai
    Fresh Escort Dubai
    Hot Dubai Escorts
    Whatsapp/Call at: +971 564 314 254


  7. We have some selective Indian call young ladies in Dubai who can be your ideal partner in your

    spare time and can engage you in Indian Escorts in Dubaieach

    and every way you can consider. Our young ladies originate from good instructed families in India

    and in this way they are advanced and very much carried on.

    call and whatsapp number +971561616995


  8. Remain with the young lady for a couple of days and quiet down the strained nerves. The clients

    will love to interface with the escort Indian Escorts

    in Dubai
    young lady and engage in sexual relations with them. Venture into the exhibition and

    have a look at the delightful young ladies working in this exceptional escort benefit.

    call and whatsapp number +971561616995


  9. you should realize that they convey ailments. Indian escorts are free from all sicknesses as they

    are tried for all STDs previously coming UAE.Indian Escorts in Dubai Additionally, in the event that you think about cost,

    Indian escort young ladies come at a small amount of cost when contrasted with different

    call and whatsapp number +971561616995


  10. these escorts are affirmed escorts. we give you the best organization we can give you an

    affirmation that the organizations JLT ESCORTS

    gave by our young women will be the best organization in thorn Dubai in every way.

    these young women are the best in their movement. most indispensable thing our organizations are

    the sensible organizations in case Dubai.

    call and whatsapp number +971561616995