Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Roosh Channels Brillat-Savarin

One of the paradoxes of the New Misogynists is that they consider women so vastly inferior to men, yet simultaneously invest women with almost magical power over a man's psyche or social status.  In fact, according to Roosh, a woman (or rather, a woman's appearance) has the power to define a man, even providing "a strong indication of [his] value, though of course not the sole determinant."

In "You Are The Last 3 Women You've Slept With," Roosh instructs his readers to assess their past three conquests with a critical eye in order to identify their own weaknesses and limitations.  Because those ladies, for all intents and purposes, represent him.

Wow.  I knew I had influenced a few past boyfriends (I hope in mostly positive ways), but I had no idea that I had defined them.  I'm almost tempted to ring them up and let them know.

But wait a minute.  At the risk of discouraging the hapless lads (who are now regretting that tattooed land-whale they went home with at closing last Saturday), Roosh hastens to reassure them that in fact, her deficits do not necessarily reflect the inherent value of the player himself.  Sometimes the limitation is a matter of geography:  "I believed Washington DC was the biggest one for me, so I got up and left, to find that the ceiling was lifted in what I could sexually accomplish."

Then Roosh segues into one of the strange metaphors for which he is renowned, wherein women become food, and average looking women are "fast food."  And once Roosh sinks his teeth into a juicy metaphor, there's no stopping him!

"The day after eating McDonald's, when my bowel movement becomes problematic, I regret my decision to eat there."  Now, anyone who has read Roosh's travel books knows that he is apt to become uncommonly obsessed with the state of his bowels, so it's natural that the sex = digestion metaphor springs so readily to his mind.

Anyway, at the risk of becoming "morbidly obese" or even courting "diabetes," Roosh realized he had to return to his higher ("gourmet") standards in women and so he "made the choice to hit the farmer's market and buy the freshest produce and meats."  I assume that open air market is located in Odessa?  (Poland, once vaunted as the perfect "poosy paradise" has now been relegated to the status of a Safeway or a Publix.)

I'll admit I'm rather confused.  This sounds more like nutritional advice than anything; perhaps Roosh should call this post "You Are What You Eat," or even better, "You Are The Last Three Things That You Have Eaten."  

In which case, at this moment, I'm a taco, a diet Coke, and a bowl of lentil soup. 

Please don't judge me.

Put That In Your Funk & Wagnells!

If you aspire to become a serious scholar of the manosphere, like me, you've got to learn the lingo.

Yes, like any subculture, the manosphere has its own specialized jargon.  You may not find these terms in your standard dictionary, so here are a couple of links to consult when you run across a cryptic reference to, say, "hypergamy" "gynocentrism" or "pussification."

David Futrelle has put together a glossary at his website.  The webmistress of Bodycrimes has also compiled a helpful "Dictionary of Misogyny."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Coming Soon to a Youtube Channel Near You!

Woud-be auteur Davis Aurini of StaresattheWorld is seeking your support in bringing his vision of the "casual cruelty" of modern life to cinematic fruition.  Mr. Aurini's vision is as dark, potent, and singular as the man himself -- and it promises to "revolutionize" the contemporary narrative.

Friends, if you have ever dreamed of getting into an indie film production on the ground floor, this is your opportunity.

"Lust in the Time of Heartache" is a dark meditation on the state of our culture and our love lives, combining elements of Film Noire with marital arts action sequences."

Watch the clip for lulz.  Try to ignore the way the microphone neatly obscures the ever-natty Mr. Aurini as he swings a pair of nunchucks in a deserted parking garage, or the near inaudibility of the innocent bystanders "colleagues" who are endorsing Dr. Demento's Mr. Aurini's latest project.  And who's the jarringly-loud Slavic chick with the manic gleam in her eye at the end?  So many intriguing mysteries here, and this is only the pitch!

The theme of the proposed film is "man against himself" -- which pretty much sums up the nutty manospherean philosophy in a nutshell.
Speaking of Dr. Demento, remember "They're Coming To Take Me Away?"  I remember hearing this on the radio as a kid and responding with a queasy admixture of humor and horror -- which also pretty much sums up my reaction to the nutty manospherean "philosophy."

Friday, April 25, 2014

Save the Date!

If you're an Incel / would-be player who is planning to be in Washington, DC on April 30, Roosh will be hosting an opportunity for "intimate conversations" with the Game Master himself (at a location TBA on his Facebook page and twitter feed).  

There's even a secret handshake and greeting so that the boys will be able to identify one another, just like the underworld conspirators they aspire to be.  No mention of secret decoder rings, but maybe those will be in the goodie bags.
"Non-obese" (fat-free?) women are invited to attend, but only provided they agree in advance to "fornicate" at least one of the lads that evening.  
Don't plan on winning brownie points with Roosh by buying him drinks, however:  "For such an event, I have to maintain my mental faculties at the highest level of sobriety for the philosophical and metaphysical conversations that are likely to take place."

Thanks for Noticing

Bonald at Throne and Altar posted thoughtfully about the "catfight" between Sunshine Mary, Lena, and Laura that has got half the manosphere chirping like an aviary full of parakeets.  (See also Jim's Blog for a measured response to SSM's "doxing" and manospherean reaction.)

Identifying "The Real Danger to Pseudonymous Bloggers," Bonald concludes:

So anyway, if you’re writing an anti-feminist blog, your main danger of being outed or made the target of hostile internet campaigns comes from the lunatic wing of the manosphere, not from actual feminists.

True, and thanks for acknowledging it.  Whether a female blogger is a "feminist" or an "anti-feminist," the real danger (of being doxxed, maligned and harassed) is from the manosphereans.  Blogging-while-female is asking for trouble, regardless of which team you're playing on.

What is "the real danger" of being doxxed and maligned, even libeled online?  The potential consequences are widely acknowledged to be so severe that most people consider doxxing their ideological opponents beyond the moral pale. The intersection between one's "online persona" and one's public face is a fragile membrane; in some cases, it is a horrific car crash just waiting to happen.

Being doxxed online is, in a way, to suffer the exposure of celebrity with none of its perks.  It's disconcerting, at least, to know that thousands of people can identify you, while you have no way of knowing who they are.  (Of course, I am not suggesting that thousands of people care who I am; in fact, it's obvious that they do not.)

The greatest threat to the victim is the possibility of suffering bodily harm or exposing one's children to physical harm (or humiliation).  The fact that it is statistically unlikely does not lessen the psychological impact of the threat.   

If you're blogging under a pseudonym, you'd better be prepared to be identified with the material you post in your personal and professional life, and be willing for your family members to be identified with it as well, because you are just one "Matt Forney" away from having to slap your John Hancock on it forever.

Being doxxed and my name linked to a "character assassination" was a personal violation that I would not wish on anyone, no matter how abhorrent I found his or her opinions.  But I'm also very fortunate.

I'm fortunate in that there is little that I have posted here that could ruin my professional or personal reputation.  Indeed, I live so transparently that there is little here that would surprise anyone who knows me.  That's probably why my blog is kind of boring...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ROQ Makes Me Laugh (On Purpose)

A lot of stuff on Return of Queens makes me laugh, but in a way that probably does not reflect well upon my own character.  The writers on ROQ make a fetish of their femininity and constantly admonish their readers to be "lady-like", but their blatant bigotry makes a mockery of their class airs.

You see a true "lady" (or anyone born of the professional or upper middle class in the past fifty years) may be as racist as they come, but she would rather die than admit to it. So that's what I laugh about: the ladies at ROQ are hicks, and -- sorry to say it -- white trash to the core.  Their attempts to pretend otherwise are what make me laugh.

What's different about this ROQ post, "a cutting edge documentary of the MGTOW movement," is that is is supposed to be funny. Kudos to Meredith Knight, the contributor who posted it.

In fact, all of Meredith Knight's posts so far are decent, and show a degree of wit and humor noticeably lacking in most of the anti-feminist female bloggers. Not surprising, perhaps, if she is a Registered Nurse (they're usually pretty smart people).  I wish I could persuade her to switch teams.

I'd leave a comment on the site about how tickled I was, but I am sadly not welcome there, since according to their policy, "No hybrids of either are welcome, especially feminists.  Included in the list of excluded are trans-gender [pre AND post op], gender fluid [whatever the hell that means], gay men, lesbians, male feminists [yes they do exist], and any combination of those previously listed."

I just hope Knight, with all the biology classes she's surely taken, does not seriously believe that "human hybrids" exist.

Don't Let the Door Hit You in the Ass

Not Going Back, Nu-uh, No Way

When George W. Bush was re-elected, some people in the Pacific Northwest expressed a longing to secede from the Union, perhaps incorporate with British Columbia and form a new state:  Call it "Cascadia." 

We were joking.  Kind of.

A recent post by The Practical Conservative reminded me that the impulse to break away from the mainstream and form utopian communities is an enduring theme in American history.

My mother's family were Mormons, my father's were Anabaptists, so I come from a long line of people on both sides who were utterly convinced that there was "one correct way" to live, and I was weaned on tales of the hardships they endured, the sacrifices made,  to achieve their utopian visions.  I am the offspring of two people who escaped from religious-based communities governed by rigid patriarchal ideals, and who never looked back. And I don't want to go back either.  In fact, I would be willing to sacrifice everything to maintain my individualism.  And if I had to be dependent on a community where people like SSM or the Queens set the standards of socially acceptable behavior, I'd take my chances on surviving in the wilderness.

This I believe:  There is more than one way to be a human being on this earth.  There is no one "correct way" to live. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's the Economy, I Tell You

In case you didn't see this excerpt from the upcoming book Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family, authors Naomi Cahn and June Carbone find that working class women (in contrast to upper middle class women) do better economically as single moms.  I didn't find the authors' conclusion in the least bit surprising: I see evidence of it all around me, every day.  

In today's economy, many working class guys can't get or maintain jobs that allow them to contribute much in the way of financial support.  Marrying such a man makes the woman responsible not only for providing for the child, but also her partner, and gives the man parental rights (i.e., shared custody) or control over her life that he wouldn't easily enjoy if she did not marry him.

Under these circumstances, choosing not to marry the father of her child is kind of a "no-brainer," especially if a woman has parents or other family members willing to help out with child care. 

Is it possible this phenomenon is fueling the backlash that the "manosphereans" represent?  Their fear of obsolescence is, after all, not unfounded.  As the middle class continues to erode, and the former working class slip into chronic, inescapable poverty, the trend of mothers unwed by choice is unlikely to reverse itself, however much they are berated by the religious right wing.  And the impotent efforts of the New Misogynists to shame these women are less menacing than pathetic, for they know and we know that those women they call "sluts" or "feminists" not only don't want them, they are better off without them.


The webmistress of Return of Queens has promised that readers will be treated to an exposition of each Deadly Sin in the near future.  So far the Queens have tackled "Envy" (that is, the envy of feminists women of other women), and "Gluttony."

Now, looking at me, you would naturally assume that I was most afflicted by the the sin of Gluttony.  It's manifestly true that I eat too much and too often.  I joke that a day doesn't go by that I don't consume something from each of the Four Major Food Groups:  (1) chocolate, (2) cheese, (3) caffeine, and (4) alcohol.  

It isn't that I don't know better, either.  I have a college education I watch enough television to know perfectly well that a "proper" serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards, not a 12 ounce slab of tenderloin (Make mine rare!).  But who wants to eat a deck of cards?  I know that an array of fresh, lightly steamed vegetables should be adding the color to my diet, not a random bag of Skittles.  I know nuts are an excellent source of protein, but seriously, who can confine a serving of those to "five almonds" (unless they're really stale)?

"Ladies, obesity isn’t pretty.  It isn’t lady like.  Its not Queen like.  Obesity is (among other things) a disease of gluttony.  Gluttony is my pet peeve because it indicates a lack of self control.  We as women should be known for self control, and the ability to monitor our urges."  

The problem is that as soon as someone starts admonishing me to exercise "self-control" over my various "urges", my Inner Child digs in her heels and begins to howl vociferously in protest.  

Look, I've lost over one hundred pounds.  Twice.  So I am not incapable of extraordinary self-discipline for months at a stretch.  What I can't figure out is how to sustain the desire to exert that degree of self-control every day for the rest of my life.

I just sat through a lecture, part of the "Six Weeks to a Healthier You" that my school sponsors every spring.  Of course, there was not fact or figure (BMI, calorie counts, longevity tables... zzzz) that was new to me (nor to any of the other anxious Baby Boomers filling the hall).  I was there to pick up my free water bottle, grocery coupons, and discounted athletic club membership.  What I need is to want to do the things I already know will make me "healthier."  No dietician or personal trainer can give me that kind of motivation.  I guess that's what shrinks and clergy and lovers are for.

As for obesity not being "queen like," may I introduce you to Catherine the Great?
Catherine II
She was not crushed by a horse.
How about Queen Victoria, then?
Even in her youth, you could see the fat lady waiting to emerge.
ROQ's notion of "queen like" figures may be based on Disney fantasies and "Game of Thrones," but history shows us that plenty of fat gals have commanded nations in their day.  It's only in the past 100 years that a svelte physique has been the hallmark of class and status.  

All right, I'll concede that "obesity isn't pretty" even though a lot of fat women are.  And it's rough on one's knees.  I'll concede that I suffer from the sin of Gluttony, big time.  (There, are you happy now, you sanctimonious twats?)

However, I steadfastly deny that Gluttony is my worst offense.

My worst sin is Sloth. 

Now, by "sloth" I don't mean mere physical laziness, although it's generally true that I would much rather curl up in bed with a pile of magazines than do... well, just about anything else you can name.

By "sloth" I mean "dejection and listlessness."  In other words, probably what a lot of people nowadays call "depression."  Sloth, then, is a manifestation of a kind of despair and helplessness.  It causes me to withdraw from others because their presence makes more demands of me than I am able willing to respond to. It causes me to internally shrug at the bazillion brain cells I am blithely killing with each martini I imbibe.  The boredom I often complain of is just another word for "sloth."

My friend's death last weekend, last night's foray into "activism" are reminding me that Sloth really is My Worst Deadly Sin.

Of course, I'll have to wait to learn what the Queens have to say when they weigh in on the subject.

Free Tilly

Looking good for a centenarian, isn't she?

My happiest childhood memories were formed when my dad took us out to the San Juan Islands on our little pink cabin cruiser.  We trolled for salmon, back then so abundant that they were easily caught in view of the downtown landscape.  Sometimes we were lucky enough to sight orcas.  Once -- to my mother's mortal terror -- one of those orcas swam so close to our boat that I was able to reach out and stroke its back. 

A typical Seattle native growing up in the sixties, I took these casual interactions with the natural world for granted.  The orca, like the salmon, are still our totem animals, and we hold them in reverence, and feel that they somehow "belong" to us.

Of course, the Pacific Northwest has changed a lot in my lifetime.  The middle aged "natives" grump about these changes endlessly, and are always taking stands on what and what is not a "permissible" development, as though our disapproval made one iota of difference in stemming the relentless tide of "progress."  How pathetic and self-righteous we can be!

For example, as a typical Seattle native, there are some places I never will go.  One of them is the EMP (Experience Music Project), Paul Allen's architectural monstrosity controversial contribution to the Seattle Center.  I still haven't visited the museum, but last night I did go to a concert there to raise money for the Orca Lab.

If you have been following the aftermath of Blackfish, you probably are aware that a number of big-name acts pulled out of performing at the Florida Sea World last summer in protest of its captivity and exhibition of orcas (killer whales) and other marine mammals.  And several of these acts got together to put on a show last night.

I was happy to fork over $200+ to take my place in the standing room only crowd.  For three hours we rocked out to Country Joe McDonald, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Heart, and others.  I was most looking forward to Joan Jett, and she didn't disappoint,* but surprisingly it was Graham Nash who made the biggest impact.  It had been a long time since I heard those Crosby Stills and Nash classics, rendered so sublimely fresh and sweet with harmonies provided by Ann and Nancy Wilson and Jami Sieber's cello accompaniment.

Paul Spong, director of the Orca Lab, spoke about his lifetime commitment to studying orcas in the wild, recording their language and music, analyzing their complex culture and family structures.  He talked about the rehabilitation of Keiko ("Free Willy"), a project that proved orcas can be successfully returned to the wild.  (Although Keiko was not able to rejoin his family of origin because they were not identified during his capture, he was able to swim free for five years after his release before succumbing to pneumonia.)

It's perhaps too late for Tillicum, the whale featured in "Blackfish" who has killed three humans over the course of his imprisonment, and now spends his time in isolation, listlessly floating, staring at the wall of his tank for hours at a time.  But it's not too late for Lolita and others.  Lolita, who has been circling a concrete tank the size of a hotel pool for 44 years, is considered healthy enough to be released.  Her mother is still alive, and there is every reason to believe her pod will recognize her and welcome her back when she is repatriated to her home waters.

Sea World lies and lies and lies.  It lies, for example, when it claims orcas in captivity outlive free orcas.  Granny, the matriarch of J2, is 100 and is still the leader of her pack.

It was easy to summon the spirit of the 1840s abolitionists last night.  The capture, enslavement and exploitation of animals that rival us in intelligence and social complexity is clearly indefensible to anyone whose heart is not made of stone.  It must stop, and it will stop... The only question is, How long will we allow these creatures to suffer in order to fatten the shareholders of Sea World? 

What can we do?  For starters, refuse to go to Sea World or take kids to any aquariums that feature performing marine mammals.  Challenge the message these corporations are sending children about our rightful relationship with nature.  Resist the temptation to "swim with the dolphins" on vacation (so much fun for us, not so much for the dolphins who have no choice to interact with us in those environments).

Come to Washington State during whale watching seasons.  There are several local charters that will take visitors out to observe killer whales from a respectful distance.  If you're a regular reader, shoot me an e-mail and I may even accompany you to the top of the Space Needle (I have to go some time, I guess). 

* OK, I was a teeny bit disappointed she didn't play "Androgynous," so I'll just play it right now:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Agnostic at Easter

As anyone who has read my blog can readily ascertain, I am not a religious person although I would not define myself as an atheist, since even that label implies a measure of certainty I can not claim.  

I see no reason to believe in an After Life, at least not one in which I will exist as a conscious being.  This lack of belief is not a choice on my part.  Indeed, I would much rather believe, for I imagine it brings great comfort to those who do.  Some of the people whom I most love and admire are Believers, and it would be presumptuous, even cruel -- not to mention pointless -- to challenge their faith.  I once tried to explain this to a friend: how I envied her gift of faith!  She sharply reprimanded me, explaining that faith was not a gift: rather, it was something a Christian had to work at.  I've often thought about that; maybe she's right.  But trying to convince myself that something I don't believe is true is like trying to pretend you're in love when you're not.  I'm not willing to lie to myself or others in that way.

Yet, I try to keep my heart open to all possibilities.   

When I look out upon the grass growing lushly, the daffodils and tulips blooming, I wish I were reminded of the Resurrection and the promise of Eternal Life. Instead, I find myself remembering my father's premature death twenty-five years ago.  He died suddenly and unexpectedly the Saturday before Easter, and his death was so shocking and terrible to us that Easter has become an anniversary of this event, a day of remembrance and some sorrow for both my sisters and me.  As the years pass, I am more inclined to contemplate the great gifts he gave me, the occasions of joy we shared, his wisdom and humor, but there is always a part of me that mourns his loss afresh on Easter Sunday.

And this Easter, I learn of the death of a friend, only a few years older than myself, and I am reminded of the ephemeral nature of life.  This is a woman who I thought would live to be very, very old.  Both her parents had lived well into their nineties, and she seemed cut from the same enduring Norwegian peasant stock.  But more than that, I have never known anyone who had more zest for life than she.  I have never known anyone who laughed as much, gave as generously, took more pleasure from this world.  How could death defeat her unassailable energy and boundless cheer?  I used to gently mock her, call her goofy and giddy, but honestly?  I was always a bit envious of her capacity for joy.

It really seems impossible that we will never meet with her again in some cafe, to be regaled with tales of her latest adventures or admire her latest thrift shop acquisitions. 

What kind of woman was she?  She was the kind of woman who wore unusual hats, and carried a handbag with a clock embedded in it (because she was chronically late).  She made krumkakke every Christmas.  She hired a belly dancer to entertain her guests at her sixtieth birthday party.  She spent every penny she had (never much) and dealt with her lack of medical insurance by cheerfully resolving never to get sick.  She had a series of (scandalously) younger beaus, and then settled down with a much older one -- who died in her arms.

Tonight some friends and I will gather, a sort of informal wake I expect, and reminisce.  I will probably drink too much wine and I am sure that I will cry.  I will try to take comfort in the fact that she spent the last two years of her life with the people she loved most, and lived long enough to hold her only grandchild.  I will try to learn from her example how to embrace the life I have, and not to squander another moment of whatever precious time is left -- be it counted in hours, weeks, or years -- in misery or despair.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mary, Mary, Mary!

Over at Return of Queens, a lady with dubs herself "Charity Love" (without apparent irony) has written a piece about "Envy."  This is part of the Queens' series on the "Seven Deadly Sins," and I cannot wait to read each and every one.  Miss Love is specifically targeting the indisputable envy that fugly "feminists" have of beautiful feminine women (like the gals at Return of Queens no doubt). 

And guess who has popped up there in the comments section, not two hours ago?

"What I find is that gossip and unsubstantiated accusations are tools that women sometimes use against other women of whom they are envious. I suppose if we are honest, nearly all of us have engaged in such behavior at one point or another, so we probably all have some room to grow in this area, and I'm not too proud to say that I certainly need to ask God to set a guard over my mouth sometimes." [italics mine]

Pardon me for taking the Lord's name in vain here, but Jesus H. Christ, it appears that SSM is blaming her recent (re) doxxing and character assassination on the envy of other women!  

Proving, in case anyone had any doubts up to this point, that, as one parody blogger observed, "SSM has the self awareness of a taco."  And I think the taco could sue for defamation in this case.

Heavier Than Heaven

The fact that I can still vividly remember where-I-was-and-what-I-was-doing the first time I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (and also where-I-was-and-what-I-was-doing when I learned of Kurt Cobain's suicide) is a measure of how powerfully the music of Nirvana moved me.  I may be a "baby boomer," but I've always identified, culturally at least, with the Generation Xers.

I've been observing the twentieth anniversary of Cobain's death by reading Charles Cross's "definitive" 2001 biography of Cobain, Heavier Than Heaven.  And trust me, this book is "heavy" in every sense of the word. 

There are no great revelations here:  Cobain was a sweet, sensitive child with artistic inclinations who grew into an incorrigible, depressed adolescent who was a complete pain in the ass to everyone who cared about him.  What ultimately (and narrowly) saved him from becoming a professional homeless person was his commitment to his music.  Cobain was, in fact, extraordinarily ambitious and driven.  He was cunning, manipulative, conflict-avoidant, self-mythologizing, and had no qualms about taking advantage of anyone who lent him a hand. 

None of which diminishes his musical legacy of course, or even makes this reader dislike him personally.  In fact, I am in admiration of his monomaniacal quest to achieve popular success.  The fact that this success did not, in the end, make him happy is the most tragic aspect of his life ("answered prayers" and all that).

Part of the reason I am finding the book an interesting, albeit predictable, read is that I have spent a lot of time in the places Cross describes.  In the early nineties, I even considered moving to Aberdeen -- probably because the rents were so incredibly cheap there and I briefly fancied the romance of living in a modern ruin.

Anyway, I'm developing a lesson built around Nirvana for one of my classes next week.  One of the perks of being a teacher is that I get to inflict my musical and literary tastes on my students (most of whom have never heard of Cobain, but all of whom will recognize the opening bars of "Smells Like Teen Spirit").

Friday, April 18, 2014

They Walk Amongst Us

I've spent some time musing over whether certain prominent "manospherians" are psychopaths or sociopaths.  I was recently referred to this link which distinguishes the two conditions. 

One of the differences appears to be that sociopaths tend to act out in controlled, premeditated ways, to indulge in "calculated or opportunistic violence," and are "often social predators."  Psychopaths, on the other hand, tend to be impulsive, and more likely to run afoul of law enforcement.  So I will continue to use the term "sociopathic" to describe many of the behaviors I have observed by reading the manosphere.

We are learning that sociopaths are more common than previously acknowledged, and they often function at very high levels.  I've read several articles or books in the past year written by people who identify as sociopaths.  There is even considerable interest in whether, and in what ways, sociopaths serve society or whether sociopathy is an evolutionarily advantageous trait.  It's a topic that the manosphereans themselves occasionally discuss, often with some anxiety.

Personally, I have known two people in my life that I suspect were sociopaths, one a (now deceased) member of my own family.  Intelligent sociopaths perform "normalcy" so well that in the context of superficial relationships, their sociopathy is not detectable.  So it is reasonable to assume that most of them walk amongst us unrecognized.

And that's probably true of many of the "manospherian" bloggers themselves. Some of the manospherian bloggers and their commentators make such chilling pronouncements, evince such utter lack of empathy and such endless wells of rage, that it's hard to deny they exhibit sociopathic tendencies.  Of course, they're doing so, in most cases, under the cloak of anonymity.  Part of the threat of being "doxxed" in this 'sphere is that the disparity between their online and offline personas is so great that they have much to lose by being attached to the opinions they fearlessly share online.  They are well aware that by being doxxed, they will be exposed as freaks, objects of scorn, pity, and fear, to the very people they depend on most.

Of course, despite the handles they hide behind, the active participants inevitably drop clues when they refer to their "real" lives, and from these scattered crumbs it's clear that some of them occupy positions of considerable authority and public trust.  (It's enough to keep a person up at night!)

On the other hand, the same anti-social traits that make them "scary" (or at least damned peculiar) as individuals also keep them immobilized as a social or political group.  As the recent frenzy of doxxing and smearing proves, the most popular bloggers, despite being charismatic enough to generate followers, cannot form the kinds of strong alliances that would allow them to organize an effective campaign or exert much influence on society in general.  They can only wreak havoc on each other, the unfortunate people in their immediate circle (i.e., spouses and children), or upon targets that they perceive are lone, weak, and unable to retaliate (although I think Paul Elam of AVfM may have seriously miscalculated when he decided to take on Prof. Mercier).

Is it possible that the "manosphere" is a symptom, not of some broad-seated social malaise, but of the internet giving the sociopaths who have always existed a loud (albeit rather impotent) "voice?" 

Note bene: Now I am in no way suggesting that everyone who has taken "the Red Pill" is sociopathic.  In fact, most of the traffic on those sites is probably coming from very young disaffected youth who are looking for answers, an outlet to safely vent their frustrations, or a forum in which to entertain their fantasies of dominance.  A recent reddit survey indicates that the majority of respondents who characterized themselves as MRAs are between the ages of 17-20, white, and, while politically "extremely conservative," are not religious. Is it overly optimistic to trust that as they gain experience, intelligence, and find their paths in life, they will wander away from these dark recesses and integrate themselves into the mainstream?

See also Is Roosh a Sociopath?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

This Could Be Dangerous For Me

Here's a clip of Emily Davison throwing herself under the King's horse, an act of suicidal defiance that is credited with helping win the vote for women in the UK:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Studies Show Trolls Often Sadists

Well, that's hardly surprising, is it?

What surprised me is that that any psychological research had been done on internet trolls.  Here's a link to a Mother Jones report published a few weeks ago.

UPDATE:  And in related news, This Ruthless World explains why some people who make "stupid jokes" anonymously need to be identified and sharply brought to heel.

Monday, April 14, 2014

An Open Letter to Sunshine Mary

You may never see this, but I'll post anyway.

I know you gloated when I was doxxed and my name was smeared, and I know you think my blog is "batshit" (and you know I thought yours was too), but believe me when I say, with utmost sincerity, that I am sorry to read this attack on you.

Your attacker didn't reveal anything new to anyone, really.  He certainly didn't "prove" you were a fraud and he sure didn't prove you were "dangerous" or merited a full frontal assault of this nature.  By violating a basic tenet of internet discourse -- respecting people's rights to post anonymously, to have a voice on the internet without compromising their personal lives -- your attacker simply demonstrated once more his weak and ruthless character.  Anyone reading his post can see that he is motivated by envy of your success, self-hatred, and (I am sorry to point this out to a Red Pill Woman), his own deep-seated misogyny.

Believe it or not, I hope you'll come back.  Your blog was very popular and provided a lot of entertainment to people, regardless which side of the fence they were on.  

I won't promise to read what you write, and I can't promise that if I do read your posts I won't gleefully shred them to pieces, but I absolutely support your right to express your beliefs without fear of reprisal.   

CORRECTION:  SSM did not describe my blog as "batshit" (see comment below). Although if she had, it would be entirely within her rights to do so!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunshine Mary and I Have Something In Common

It's not simply that we're both emotionally labile middle aged bottle blondes who look at least ten years younger than our chronological ages. 

No, what Sunshine Mary and I have in common is that we're both absolutely flummoxed by the new technology. 

Really, old bags like Sunshine Mary and me have no business on the Internet because we can't for the life of us figure out how the darned thing works.  It's clearly all too much for our age-addled hamster brains to absorb.

When I read that the author of SunshineGary -- that arrogant sprout! -- had ridiculed SSM for having the internet skills of her 91 year old great-grandmother, I felt a certain pang of empathy for Mary.  After all, if I had known anything, I wouldn't have gotten doxxed, would I?  Some people are so mean, aren't they? Probably because they're jealous of our accumulated womanly wisdom. That's why I am going to take a leaf from Sunshine Mary's good book and start praying for them.

I didn't know Mary was renouncing her blogging addiction vocation until this morning, when I checked my oh-so-modest stats to discover a dozen readers popping in from a link on Sunshine Mary's blog.  Since I've only mentioned Miss Mary a couple of times*, I was puzzled.  Imagine my surprise when the link took me directly to her more "exclusive" Word Press blog in which she had posted an extremely lengthy and incoherent "farewell" to her most special fans.  Embedded in this byzantine (and to an "outsider," incomprehensible) post was a link to a comment an anonymous reader, a former acquaintance of Mary's,  had posted here on my (her words) "batshit blog" many moons ago.

It seems to have taken Mary a full day to figure out what she had done ("Oops!"), at which point she set her blog to "private," but the readers keep trickling in, now from a site called Get Off My Internets

If I'd known most of my traffic would come from people so hungry to read about Sunshine Mary (and JudgyBitch), I'd have blogged more about them.  

Lordy, lordy, the manosphere IS all about the red pill women, isn't it?
* I just can't get into that Christian submissive red pill wife melodrama!  It's too kinky for a vanilla "hetero-flexible" feminist like me!

Trolling in the Manosphere

The other day I received an e-mail from a gentle reader who had just tumbled into the toxic waste dump that is the manosphere.  Specifically, she had found an article on Return of Kings by one "Raywolf" that purported to expose the cruel, bestial nature of womankind.  Although the article itself is horrible, it's pretty much run of the mill fodder for a website run by Roosh, and hardened veteran readers of the New Misogynists, like myself, will hardly raise an eyebrow.  This gentle reader, however, had then made the fatal error of reading the Comment Section.  (There is good reason that PZ Myers often implores his readers, "Don't read the comments!  Don't read the comments!")

But Gentle Reader had no way of knowing that she was proceeding into ever more dangerous terrain where no novice should venture without a seasoned guide (or at least a torch, a strong hand to hold, and a barf bag).  

She discovered comments by someone calling himself "Ruler" that disturbed even the other commentators since "Ruler" was clearly extolling the virtues of rape and was actually using that word, "rape."  (Because while the act of rape is fun, natural, and necessary, the word "rape" is generally verboten -- unless, of course, it is used to explain how rape is not "rape.")

I took a quick peek at the comments, and didn't know what the hell to think, so I turned the matter over to the webmistress of Bodycrimes, who is, like, five times smarter than I am, for her take on what "Ruler" was all about.  She graciously dashed off a brilliant assessment of the post, "Raywolf," and "Ruler" that I am re-posting here.  Please read it and please, please do not go over to the article on Return of Kings; rest assured the relevant passages have been summarized and extrapolated here:

Does misogyny cause reading problems?

I’ve been so busy lately I’ve mostly stopped reading Manosphere websites, much to the relief of Mr BC. But this morning I received an email about an article, so I went and took a look. The article in question confirmed my opinion, once again, that hard-core misogynists have something of a reading problem.

They want so badly to believe whatever it is that they’re reading is true, that they literally fail to comprehend what’s right in front of them.

The article in question is ‘Women Can’t Control Their Animal Instincts’ over at Return of, written by one ‘raywolf’. Basically, the article is your common-or-garden women-hating tripe. Raywolf starts with an anecdote about how a pet lioness took a swipe at someone, to establish the fact that women can’t be trusted, and then he starts riffing on how women have had a negative impact on his own life.

None of his anecdotes make him look good. He details a broken marriage that was partly based on him marrying someone so he could get a diplomatic passport. (Thus proving he was much too young and dumb to marry, as he evidently didn’t realise – and perhaps still doesn’t – that the only non-spousal family members who can get an ‘A1′ passport are legal dependents a.k.a. children.) Then he talks about being taken advantage of by a flaky flatmate, and then about his relationship with a psycho woman who compelled him to make poor business decisions, which is why he missed out on being part of the global enterprise his former business partner then went on to build.

In other words, RayWolf is the last person any young man with prospects should be taking life advice from. Still, readers were quick to congratulate him on writing such an insightful and helpful article, as RoK readers are wont to do.

And then the weird thing happened.

A commenter called ‘Ruler’ came along and wrote this:

Men are gods and women are less than soulless beasts. But men are partly controlled by biology as well, in the matter of sex, as raywolf says. While rape where a male is the victim is a monstrous, unnatural act, men have a deep-seated, completely natural, biological need to rape girls and women, and should never be shamed or punished for this basic male right and need…

Now that’s some hard core misogyny right there! So hard core, that it even upset some RoK readers, who took ‘Ruler’ to task for advocating rape. This is RayWolf’s reply:

You have to be careful how you word statements like this….. the original point of a marriage contract was to show the women had offered herself up to the man, as and when he felt like it….. thus a man could basically force himself on his woman….. and women do actually like that kind of thing in the right context….. princesses were married off because it suited the politics of the day, and essentially their new husband ‘raped’ them on their wedding night…. (so much for the Disney princess fantasy…. ) but after a while the woman got experienced and grew to like it…. but none of this means you can go trolling the streets at night for pretty young things…… NO WAY!

In other words – way back when, aristocrats regularly raped one another, to their mutual satisfaction. But that doesn’t mean us plebs today could or should do it!

Nothing daunted, Ruler cheerfully responds by saying:

OK, good point. Don’t rape. But it is every man’s biological need to force sex on girls of his choosing, teaching her that she is less than nothing and is only here to serve men. And I am clearly not a troll, as I am only repeating what many on here have said, just mistakenly used the word “rape”.

See what Ruler did just then? Outed himself/herself as a troll. S/he gives it away right smack in the middle of a clearly sarcastic comment. At least one reader did understand it was a troll at work. And RayWolf was promptly called out at least once for suggesting that women grow to like forced sex, which is somewhat heartening to see.

RayWolf should have stopped at that point. The conversation was getting close to advocating violence and some readers were clearly uneasy. But RayWolf didn’t pick up on the tone. Which led him to write this:

Actually [forced sex] works brilliantly and i’ve tried it with girlfriends…. you obviously have to know them well, but forcing yourself on them, and forcing yourself inside her when she’s still tight, dry and trying to resist makes for great sex, and is very alpha…. the marriage contract was originally all about this act… AND… in my opinion the reason that most LTRs fail is because men don’t have the balls to do this more often… although admittedly it can be hard if she’s in a boner killing mood…..

Oh dear. Tricked into revealing his unsavoury sexual practices by someone who was obviously a troll.

Just why are young men taking advice from this man again?

This is something to bear in mind when reading the manosphere: it is riddled with trolls.  In other words, these guys are often hoaxing each other.  Who is "Ruler" and what is he/she playing at?  We can probably assume he/she is a "manosphere antagonizer" if not a "feminist sympathizer."  On the other hand, he may just be a bored lonely dude with a couple of hours to kill who, due to his own low esteem, finds it validating to "prove" he is smarter than a bunch of morons.  

And furthermore, as Ms. Bodycrimes points out, why are RoK's readers so eager to take advice from some random dude ("raywolf") who admits his own life, in every respect, is completely fucked up?  Why do they cluster at the odoriferous feet of Roosh, whose life by any rational measure and by his own admission is pretty damn miserable and unsatisfying, and whose central ambition at this point is to persuade Russia to take him in?

Once I had read Ms. Bodycrimes' post, I couldn't believe how I hadn't spotted the trollery myself!  Maybe because, no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand what motivates the New Misogynists, who have nothing to gain and everything to lose by adopting such bleak, amoral philosophies.

But paranoia is infectious.  As soon as I realized that "Ruler" was a troll, it made me wonder if my Gentle Reader was, too.  Was Gentle Reader one of Ruler's alters?  Because what could be more delightfully malicious than to get me to respond to a troll's comments by bewailing the new depths RoK had sunk to? Trolling x 2!

And guess what?  Gentle Reader really was a gentle reader, after all. The wolf in sheep's clothing was, after all, a lamb. Thank you, Gentle Reader, and I'm sorry I doubted you. 

By the way, if you are interested in following the New Misogynists, I advise you to start by reading "secondary sources" like David Futrelle's manboobz or any of the blogs listed to the right.  This helps "filter" the content and places it firmly in the mocking or critical light it deserves.  Direct exposure to the manosphere can be psychologically traumatizing for the uninitiated.  I'm serious!

Meanwhile, the sun is shining and my papers are calling, and bless us everyone.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Transmisogyny = Misogyny Squared

"AkioFlip" is so fearful that he might be unknowingly seduced by a postoperative transsexual woman that he writes a post on Matt Forney's website practically begging transsexual women to stay away from him.  As usual, a "manosphere" post reveals more about its author's tenuous grasp of his own "masculinity" than any objective reality.  A guy like Mr. Flip is so afraid that he might be attracted to a trans woman that he puts the onus on her to announce her "trans" nature to the world like a leper ringing a bell.

The trope of the "deceptive tranny" is so embedded in our popular psyche that it is difficult to think of a movie or book that features a trans woman character that does not, to some degree, reference it.  

Even Emily Yoffe over at Slate recently addressed a question (rather horribly) about a family squabble instigated by a trans woman's "failure" to disclose her trans status in a manner deemed timely by the writer. 

Akio? Mr. Flip? envisages bands of roving trans women "on the prowl trying to have sex with heterosexual men," who feel "they have full right to violate straight men who wouldn't otherwise have sex with another man." 

Mr. Flip is so preoccupied with the statistically remote possibility he might be fooled by some mythical predatory trans woman that he actually links his readers to a photograph of a vaginoplasty.  He has, no doubt, spent many hours anxiously scrutinizing such photos for evidence of some "telling" feature that distinguishes a trans woman's vulva from any other woman's, either in appearance or function.  (Of course, if the surgery was competently performed, even a gynecologist can't tell by superficial examination, never mind a typical "manospherean", whose familiarity with female anatomy we should not presume.*

He writes that "having their penises removed, taking hormones and proclaiming, I'm a woman, is enough to become a real woman."

He seems utterly unaware that many trans women never have surgery (whether by choice or financial constraints or age/health conditions).  Some trans women don't even take hormones.  And yet they are women too --  not because they "claim" to be, but because they have been born with an unconscious, and almost certainly hardwired, gender identity that is at odds with their genitalia.

The fact that a certain percentage of the population is (and always has been) transsexual forces us cis-gendered folks to acknowledge that a person's gender identity develops to some (as yet unknown) extent independent of chromosomal configuration.  The fact that trans sexuality exists (not only in humans but other animals) certainly makes me ponder what it is, exactly, that supports my own conviction that I am, indeed, "a woman."  Sure, I can look down and see my genitals match my internal sense of self, but I know that even if I woke up tomorrow with a six inch clitoris and a full beard, I would not feel any less "female."  I have had a hysterectomy and no longer produce estrogen, but ain't I a woman?  My vagina, breasts, fat distribution and passion for bright nail polish do not define my gender, although the fact that everything "matches" makes my life easier.  Does Akio Flip's penis define his "manhood?" (Wait, better not answer that, I'm afraid what the answer might be.)

"Cis-gender" may in Matt Forney's opinion be just a politically correct way of defining "normal," but in actuality it's a very specific and invaluable term that allows us to conceptualize and discuss gender more accurately.  It's an important word because if science and human experience tell us anything, it's that gender is a lot more complicated than we realized. And that Mother Nature loves diversity, even if her children don't always.

Mr. Flip cites Janice Raymond's notorious rad-fem screed, The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, to support his view that transsexual women are not accepted by the lesbian community either.  In fact, this book is widely dismissed as a kind of hysterical historical curiosity and the philosophy it outlines is widely rejected by most feminists.  Of course, TERFs still exist, but they are as much dinosaurs as the new misogynists are.  Mainstream feminists are gradually but inexorably moving in the direction of embracing their trans sisters, in part due to the activism and educational efforts of transsexual women like Julia Serano and Janet Mock, and because most "mainstream" feminists are committed to inclusion, respect and tolerance for everyone.

According to Mr. Flip, "Shemales have tried to argue that our aversion for transsexualism is a by-product of our gender roles, which according to them were assigned by artificial social constructs."  How many lies can be packed into one sentence?  First off, there are many cultures that have no particular "aversion for transsexualism."  Second, I have never read any trans writer argue that all "gender roles... were assigned by artificial social constructs."

Mr. Flip claims that "anyone who requires advanced medical procedures to “realign” their entire physiological makeup isn’t in any position to deem what is or isn’t natural."  This will be news to anyone who has undergone medical treatment for any systemic condition.  It also vastly overstates the complexity of the kind of medical intervention most transsexual women require to "align" their bodies.  Transforming a penis and scrotum into a clitoris, vagina and labia requires expertise, but is surprisingly "simple" -- perhaps not surprising, after all, in view that male and female genitalia are highly parallel structures.

Mr. Flip argues that the "evolutionary reasons for the distinction between male and female remain."  Again, his assumption that all trans women elect to have surgery that sterilizes them is fallacious.  My partner has five biological grandchildren (so far).  Despite being a transsexual woman, she has certainly outperformed me in terms of reproductive success.

Mr. Flip encourages trans women to seek acceptance in the arms of "gay and bisexual men," ignoring the fact that gay men are by definition not interested in having sex with women and in fact generally evince a strong preference for "masculine" partners.  Although transsexual women sometimes emerge from the "drag queen" community, the conflation of feminine performance and feminine gender identity is an endless source of confusion and obfuscation.

Mr. Flip also implies that all transsexual women are attracted to men, which is obviously not the case.  The sexual orientation of trans women -- like women in general -- is all over the map.  Many identify as lesbians.  Some are strictly straight.  In terms of preference, a number are somewhat fluid (for lack of a better term, "bisexual").  I've met trans women who are only interested in other trans women, or who wind up partnered with trans men.  And I'm confident they are represented in the asexual community as well.

Mr. Flip claims that "most straight cisgender men... gag at the mere mention of kissing a so-called transgender woman."  If that is true, it is a measure of those men's internalized homophobia and fragile sense of their own heteronormativity.  The fact is, a lot of straight men (and lesbians) are attracted to women they know to be trans.  They're attracted to them for the same reason they are attracted to other women:  because they're beautiful, because they're feminine, because they're clever, because they're strong, authentic people who are often more self-aware and more compassionate by virtue of their own personal gender struggles.  And a lot of them are coming out of the closet too, despite efforts of people like Mr. Flip to "shame" them too.

I appreciate the trans woman in my life because, having lived the first half of her life "as a man," she can give me insights into what it is like to be socialized as a man, and yet because she explicitly identifies as a woman, she inspires me to embrace my own feminine nature. Trans people have so much to teach us cis-genders about what it means to be a Man or a Woman.

Mr. Flip concludes his post by reassuring trans women he doesn't mean them any harm, while at the same time warning them that "the average heterosexual... if he learned he had sex with one of you... would scream, become physically ill, and maybe even try to kill you."  [italics mine]

Yep, the good ole "panic defense," the one that (almost) got Gwen Araujo's murderers off the hook. Wow, blaming violence on the sexuality of victims.  Where have we heard that before?  Sorry, buddy, that shit don't fly anymore.

It's posts like this that contribute to the disproportionate risk trans women face as victims of violence.  Like most of what is posted in the "manosphere," it is hate speech, straight up, pure'n' simple, and not even thinly disguised.  

Here's a young trans woman's humorous response to a Return of Kings article, "8 Ways to Spot a Transsexual."  As for me, I have given up on trying to identify transsexuals since I find I am dead wrong at least half the time and since I have been misgendered myself more than once, a phenomenon I attribute to "trans-by-association."

* Hey, speaking of which, remember "The Thirty Types of Pussy?"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Light Housekeeping

I was getting my hair colored at the beauty school yesterday.  The students always do a nice job and it's certainly affordable, but the client pays in time.  It can take close to three hours all told, although most of that time is just sitting in a chair waiting for the chemistry to happen.  So I usually remember to BMOB (Bring My Own Book) -- but yesterday I forgot.  With a sense of foreboding, I surveyed the literature piled up around the coffee urn.  Fortunately, amongst the stained and tattered copies of old Us and Today's Spa, I found a current issue of Esquire.  Actual reading material.  Score!

I hadn't read Esquire for a long while.  I can't tell you what a relief it was, after a year sounding the depths of the "manosphere", to read a mainstream "men's lifestyle" magazine.  I scanned the issue:  the return of the "cocktail cuff" (whatever that is), a lame joke attributed to a beautiful woman I've never heard of, a Prada suit made of flower-printed brocade that maybe Jared Leto could pull off  -- the usual fare. Then I stumbled on a column by Stephen Marche, whom I'd also never heard of, but which caught my eye since he seemed to be the magazine's resident "gender" expert.  It was an interesting article about what a freak show media depictions of masculinity have become.  I really wanted to tear it out and take it home, but I restrained myself. 

When I got home and read more of Marche, I learned he had written an article a few months ago, "The Case For Filth," that had got bloggers a-bloggin'.  I'm late to the party as always, but the topic is one that got me thinking since I often hear women bitching and moaning about how their husbands slack off in the house cleaning department.

Basically Marche's thesis was that the fact that wives are still doing more housekeeping than their husbands is primarily a matter of the women's choice.  And the solution to the endless wrangling over who does the lion's share of household chores is for both parties to relax, kick back, and embrace a bit of mess.

 Frankly, I agree with him.  Of course I'll admit that I'm a perfectly lousy housekeeper.  Because I'm a spinster, I can't really blame the fact that my house is in a chronic state of disarray on my husband + children.  (So I blame my dogs, LOL.)

The fact is, I don't give a damn.  There are two tasks I will never have time to do: ironing and dusting.  I rather subscribe to Quentin Crisp's philosophy, that after seven years, a house just can't get dirtier. And seriously, folks, if I can't run it through the dishwasher or the washing machine, I don't want it.

I do have a "zero growth" policy:  for every book, every can of food, every piece of clothing I acquire, I try to toss out something that takes up an equivalent amount of space.  And I like to be able to locate my stuff, so I maintain highly structured piles of crap.  My house isn't so much cluttered as it is just plain dirty

On the other hand, I do like to be personally clean, so I have no problem keeping up with laundry and washing dishes.  But everything else can go to hell.

BTW, although I'm not married, I have cohabited with various people over the years.  And we never argued about housekeeping.  Once in a while, I would pick up a boyfriend's sock and throw it in the laundry pile, and if he wanted it washed, he knew where it was.

This laissez-faire attitude could be a problem in the future though.  My girlfriend is kind of a neat freak.  If we ever move in together, I'm going to have to clean up my act, or else we're going to have to move into adjoining units in a duplex (and I probably don't have to tell you that I favor the latter option).

Anyway, poor Stephen Marche!  The ladies really took after him. First, Amanda Macotte took him to task.  Another female blogger pitied his wife.  Some women railed, Think of the children! Think of the germs!  It went on and on:  Obviously, this topic touches quite a nerve -- a source of angst and endless wrangling that I, as a barren spinster, am blithely oblivious to.  

Here's my take on Housework: it's kind of like Sex.  With sex, the one with the least desire controls the show, whereas with housework, the one who is least fastidious gets to opt out.  This isn't so much a man/woman conflict as it is a slob/clean freak conflict.

I must say that I thought the study Marche cites that suggests women who out-earn their spouses do MORE domestic tasks rather interesting.  And it supports my theory that part of the reason wives continue to do the lion's share of household duties is because they don't really want to forfeit their "traditional feminine" roles.

Matt Forney: Not a Guy, Not a Male, But a MAN

Ah, here goes Matt Forney again, revealing to the world how cripplingly, heartbreakingly insecure he is.  In his latest post, "The Myth of Female Intelligence," Matt explains that, just as womanly self-esteem causes his dick to wilt, "girls who tout their intelligence" make him "nauseous."  Furthermore, Matt feels confident in asserting that he feels that way, ergo all men feel that way.

Anyway, I have no reason to doubt Matt when he claims that in all his 25 years he has only met one girl who was smarter than he was.  That is because I am willing to bet that the number of girls Matt has "known" (not in the biblical sense, merely those who have willingly interacted with him for an extended period of time) can be counted on the fingers of just one of his damp, pudgy little mitts. 

Matt supports his assertion that female intelligence is a myth by arguing, among other things, that girls pick "soft majors like English... where there are no standards."  Hey, wait a minute, I thought Matt was an English major!  (BTW, I myself was an anthropology major because, believe it or not, I thought a social science major was more "practical" than one in the humanities -- but then, I am not going to argue that I am smarter than Matt Forney...)

The notion that women are valued for their intelligence is "laughable" according to Matt, although I must say, in my experience, intelligent men tend to prefer intelligent partners, if for no other reason than to validate their own smarts.  I mean, what fun is it if she doesn't appreciate how witty you really are?  What's the point of being able to make references to "Petruchio" and "Kate" if she's never read Shakespeare?  

"As men, it is our responsibility to bring girls back to their proper place. To lead them into their natural roles as wives and mothers. We men do not choose or reward girls for their clown college degrees, their meaningless cubicle jobs... We reward them for their willingness to please us and make us happy ...  No amount of phony education or career “success” will scratch that deep itch in a girl’s soul: the desire to serve a man.  Not a “guy,” not a “male”: a man." 

A man like Matt Forney, of course.  In my mind's eye, he is typing all this while holed up in his childhood bedroom in his parents' house somewhere in upstate New York, waiting for his mom to call him downstairs for dinner, perhaps mashed potatoes and meatloaf?  But no worries: after several years of nonstop blogging, he is generating almost enough income to support himself thanks to the mysterious "unethical" gig he has recently scored.  With a little more effort, he will soon be able to "reward" that elusive "suppliant" female of his fantasies...

Oh, Matt, never give up on your dreams.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Why Blog

Kate Harding, whose Shapely Prose was perhaps the most beloved and influential feminist blog ever ever ever, last year wrote an article "That's All She Wrote" about why she decided to "retire" from blogging (and it wasn't only because she got a column in Salon and a book deal, either).  

"I occasionally teach Blogging 101 classes now, even though I haven’t had an active blog in almost three years. The first thing I tell my students is: Do not even bother to blog unless you find it fun or someone is paying you for it. Those are the only two good reasons to do it. The second thing I tell them is: Probably no one will pay you for it. Fun is actually the only good reason to blog."

"Fun" is a subjective concept, isn't it?  There are certainly a lot of activities that are worth doing that aren't necessarily fun ("physical exercise" springs to mind).  I would rather substitute "engaging" for the word "fun" here. I have to admit that reading and writing about the manosphere initially captured my interest, even my fascination.  With over a year of exposure, my interest has waned considerably.  Once a person gets inured to the jaw-dropping horror that passes for discourse on most manosphere sites, they get mind-numbingly tedious.  And depressing.

I honestly don't know how David Futrelle keeps it up.  P.Z. Myers has likened Futrelle's job to "mining for turds under an outhouse.  You simultaneously think, “OMG, that’s the easiest mission in the world” and “OMG, that’s the most horrible mission in the world.”

I sincerely appreciate Futrelle for being willing to do what he does, because God knows someone needs to monitor these groups and keep them in the proper perspective (that is, viewed strictly through the prism of mockery).

I started a blog to practice my writing skills, but until I ran into the "manosphere" I must say "feminism" was not a subject I had much interest in at all.  I'm still not very interested in reading much feminist theory.  I may never get around to reading The Feminine Mystique and I will almost certainly never read The SCUM Manifesto, Andrea Dworkin, or other radical feminist works.  Last year a friend kept pressing me to read The End of Men and I refused for no better reason than I really detest that hyperbolic title.  So it seems rather artificial and strained to be characterized or encouraged to characterize myself as primarily a "feminist."

One of my favorite bloggers, Eseld Bosustow, announced today her intention to write about whatever she damn well pleases.  She is also burned out on the MRA.  Her appetite for logic and constructing clean, tight logical arguments is, of course, wasted on responding to intellectual pygmies.  I hope she'll keep writing, though -- on whatever topic she fancies.  Similarly, I hope Ms. Bodycrimes returns to writing on the far-reaching theme ("the ways that the body intersects with commerce") that initially inspired her blog. 

For the kind of writing I am interested in, which is personal response, bordering on confessional, a blog that is now inextricably linked to my true identity is probably just about the worst medium.  I can no longer do the kind of writing I want to do here, since I am now constrained by the knowledge that everything I write Can and Will Be Used Against Me.  And hence I have developed a kind of visceral distaste for blogging in general.  

And so it comes down to Ms. Harding's point:  If it's not fun, and you're not being paid for it, why do it?  To which I would add, if I have nothing particularly fresh or insightful to contribute, that hasn't already been said (by Ms. Harding and so many others), why bother?

And really, when it comes to the Men's Rights Movement, Ms. Harding has already said everything that ever needs to be said: "Fuck You Men's Rights Activists."