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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Observe But Don't Engage!

That's the opinion of my partner regarding commenting on manosphere blogs.

She's worried about my safety of course. She also thinks that by engaging with them, I am egging them on.  She thinks I'm on a Joan of Arc trip.  "Don't make yourself bait for a nut case," she pleads.  There is merit to this argument.

She assures me, as does my young male colleague, that the "manosphere" is a tiny group of delusional and paranoid misfits who are mostly all bluff, anyway.   "But there seem to be thousands of them," I protest.  "Maybe, but I doubt it," says my male colleague.  "I'm a guy, and I'm all over the internet, and I've never heard of any of this crap.  Anyway, there are millions of other people."

I know thousands is a lot less than millions, but it still seems like rather a lot.  Of course, if most of these guys were dragged out from behind their computers and exposed to the full light of day, it's likely I'd find them more pitiful than threateningAlthough they fantasize a lot about running away to various poor countries where the living is easy and the girls are cheap, I suspect most of them never go farther than the local convenience store for more beer.

For example, they idealize angry old gasbags like Mark Minter, an MGTOW who brags about living off the local economy in Colombia, and you know what?  I too tried escaping from the U.S. (in my twenties, a lifetime ago), but it got pretty damn old, pretty damn fast.  In the hothouse environment of most expatriate communities, it takes about two weeks to recreate whatever social straight jacket you thought you'd escaped, only now it's even worse because there's no reliable electricity, hot water, or public libraries.  You learn after a while that wherever you go, there you are.  

If it seems like you're an outcast in your own land, and everything and everyone is rubbing you the wrong way all the time, and you are casting about for someone or something to blame, take it from meLook in the mirror.

Don't take these buffoons seriously, I think.  And then I remember, wait, Isn't that what a lot of Germans were telling each other in Berlin in 1930?

I've promised my partner to step away from this for the sake of my sanity, but I'm of two minds.  Does one just ignore bullies, hoping they'll get discouraged and go away?   On the other hand, do they "win" if they chill or silence feminists' public voices?  I'm thinking of course of the redheaded protester doxed and harassed by "A Voice for Men" readers this week.   

How can these guys scoff at the existence of "rape culture" when their widespread response to rude or uppity women is to advocate gang-raping, torturing, and murdering them?

The answer is, of course:  They don't care.  They're not looking for truth, or compassion, or mutual understanding.  They are angry white guys who have lost (or never developed) the capacity to engage in rational debate or self-analysis.  That leaves them to spinning fantasies of escape and revenge rather than doing the hard work of engaging in any effective way with the rest of society or taking any positive actions.

1 comment:

  1. Zosimus the HeathenApril 17, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    I understand your dilemma, having long been tempted to start poking that particular hornets' nest myself. For now, though, I've decided that, for the sake of my blood pressure, mental health, and faith in humanity, I need to not just resist the above temptation, but to stay away from manosphere blogs altogether. While undoubtedly morbidly fascinating, I've found that this particular, seamy part of the internet messes with my head if I spend too long in it, particularly if I start delving too deeply into the parts of it that overlap with such other lovely movements as white nationalism or Christian fundamentalism (so much for it being the big modern, progressive (and super, super important) social justice movement its adherents constantly try to portray it as).

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