Showing posts with label Matt Forney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matt Forney. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Don't Feed the Animals

The newest post at Depressed Feminist makes me wish I could address all those people who are reacting angrily to Matt Forney's newest "click bait," a post in which he declares tattooed and pierced women to be, essentially, broken slags. No, I haven't read it myself and I'm not going to link to it here. Enough is enough! It's time to stop feeding this particular troll who makes his living (well, some kind of a living) generating "viral hits." 

We all need to consider that every time we link to Matt Forney or Return of Kings, we are putting a penny in their hate-filled coffers; we are financially supporting their own pathology.

Whatever one says about Forney (and I myself have obviously said entirely too much, to my own detriment), the kid is an indefatigable outrage machine. Every time he comes up with a new population to insult, their anger precipitates a volley of tweets and links to his monetized site. One of his admirers (and he does have some) once observed that Forney is a genius at "amygdala hijacking," and truer words were never tweeted.  

Matt Forney will post anything -- anything -- to generate publicity for himself. It doesn't have to be true. It doesn't have to be something even he, in his twisted amoral mind, believes to be true. It's all about "bringing down servers" with an avalanche of furious attention. For reasons only a psychiatrist could fathom, Forney is a young man who has elected to devote his considerable gifts to generating negative attention by lashing out at... well, pretty much everybody... in a desperate, relentless validation of his own importance. He will not only doxx and smear his critics, he will similarly treat his own (former) friends.

The best way to "fight" the Matt Forneys of the internet is to block them on twitter and only link to their posts through It's time to stop feeding these kinds of trolls. For his own well-being, Forney needs to be put on a diet of severely reduced attention. 

Really, it's for his own good.

And on that note... I've been listening to Lucinda Williams' new album:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Zoe Quinn

UPDATE: I came back to this blog after a few days off the internet, and was surprised to see the number of comments. Zoe Quinn is, to me, a complete "non-story" except insofar as yet another young woman being the target of online harassment. I'll admit I am not into games, and I'm in no position to judge whether or not she wrote a good one, but that is the only question anyone should care about. It's absurd to care a fig whether, or with whom, Ms. Quinn cheated on her boyfriend. Substitute the name "Tyler" for "Zoe," and imagine Zoe were the angry ex who had thrown up a website for the purpose of humiliating him. You can be sure "Zoe" would still be the target of angry, jealous little shitbots like Matt Forney. 
So apparently Matt Forney's latest "doxing" victim is Zoe Quinn, a talented young female game designer who had the misfortune of having a vindictive ex. And so it goes...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Is Matt Forney a One Trick Pony?

That aspiring professional troll, plagiarism enabler, wannabe journalist / musician / groupie magnet, and all around stinkbot, is back to his old tricks, er, trick of bringing down "feminist enemies" by (in his buddy Roosh's words) "raping" their Google-able identities.

I swear, this kid has the emotional maturity of a twelve year old. Matt, does your mom know what you're doing on the internet when she leaves you home alone? 
Gawker employee Dayna Evans recently (and apparently successfully) got ousted "Vice" founder Gavin McInnes' hands slapped for writing what has been widely described as a viciously transphobic screed that violated the standards of even Thought Catalog. I'll admit I haven't read McInnes' piece because I do have my limits, but I kind of doubt that Evans is gonna lose any sleep over this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

These Guys...

UPDATE: A couple of commenters have reminded me that the reason my story is significant to anyone except me is because it represents a broader pattern of harassment and intimidation by various manospherians of women bloggers or critics. The significance of my story is that it represents part of a deliberate malicious campaign to silence women by using the technology of self-publishing -- which, ironically, gives everyone an equal "voice" -- as a weapon against them.
Attila Vinczer's recent attempt to intimidate David Futrelle via Twitter by threatening to post scandalous revelations about him is pretty funny.  After all, Futrelle has nothing to fear from AVFM's attempts to "smear" him, being, as he is, an established (male) journalist who is recognized as such by the mainstream media. 

But for someone who has been the victim of "these guys," and who is an obscure female (non-professional journalist) internet "voice," it's not something to be lightly mocked, is it?

Several months ago, I was the target of another "manospherian," Matt Forney, who revealed my IRL identity, including my Facebook pictures, my home address and phone number, and my employer, and attempted to paint me (carefully couched in the language of "opinion") as "a dangerous feminist stalker."  I had annoyed Mr. Forney by mocking and critiquing his blog; in response, he attempted to frighten me into removing my blog and to discredit my words by scurrilously questioning my sanity.

The most intimidating aspect of being doxed, as Mr. Forney did me, is that I was initially very afraid of physical harm. The point in identifying me as "the enemy" and publishing my photos and home address was to send me a clear warning that I was being targeted for potential violence. The fact that Forney issued a "retraction" the following day via Twitter (that he did NOT wish me physical harm) was an acknowledgement of this: an intent to absolve himself from liability, in case a follower interpreted the dissemination of such personal information, along with my identification as "the enemy," as a kind of "call to action."

And initially Forney's plan worked: For several weeks, I patiently awaited the sniper through my living room window, the bullet in my back as I walked to my class, or, at the least, the message from my employers that they were being inundated with calls for my immediate expulsion. I'll admit here, once and forever: I was fucking terrified.
And make no mistake: That was precisely Matt Forney's intent.
What Forney failed to consider (because these guys really aren't that smart) is that his actions forced me into a defensive corner. In other words, had Matt Forney warned me, "Take down your blog or else...!" To be honest? I would have taken it down in a New York minute. However, I was not given that option (which would, of course, have constituted actionable extortion). After the fact, the damage (to my "google-able identity") was already irrevocably done. And once I had consulted with a handful of local attorneys, and realized that I had little legal remedy under current U.S. law (and being disinclined to throw money at a slender chance of proving that at least part of his post was pure "libel"), I had no practical recourse other than to mitigate the damage done to my online reputation.

I did so in the time-honored (or perhaps hard-wired) "female" tradition: I sought the protection of the group.  I couldn't "fight" nor could I "flee"; I could only immediately appeal to people whom I sensed would be willing and able to come to my aid. In other words, I appealed to bloggers whose internet voices were "louder" than my own. Since my own blog was pseudonymous, I had virtually no internet presence whatsoever. How hard could it be to find a more prominent blogger to publish a "favorable" post that would outweigh Matt Forney's hit job? Well...

I sent messages to a number of people whose blogs I followed or websites I routinely commented on and admired. Very few responded, and of the few that were kind enough to at least express sympathy via e-mail, no one was willing to devote even a line to remedying my personal (and admittedly very trivial, in the broad scope of things) "problem."

My dilemma was this: I was (and still am, and will forever be) a Big Fat Nobody. I was not someone who was worthy of A Story under anyone else's byline.  My tiny audience of twenty-odd regular readers could hardly help me either although a few bravely tried (and I -- and Google -- acknowledges your efforts).

I am not complaining, or indulging in self-pity here, by the way: I am simply acknowledging the unvarnished reality of what it means to be have an online voice as a woman. 

Nor was I willing or able to make my pathetic little tale into a story that would excite the interest of commercial websites like Jezebel or XOJane.  However, I thought that my very obscurity might, in itself, make this A Story. The fact is, groups like A Voice for Men or notorious misogynists like Roosh, very deliberately target female bloggers that are "nobodies," because we are vulnerable in ways that professional journalists or celebrities are not. The idea that ordinary female bloggers are being forced off the internet appeared to me -- and still does -- a very important story indeed. Unfortunately, Mother Jones could not care less.

P.Z. Myers did agree to post something that puts the whole contretemps into some kind of palatable perspective. Approaching him was the smartest, or luckiest, move I made during this curious, furious month of "damage control": His little post on Pharyngula "saved" my Google-able identify by putting the Forney smear job into a context that most employers will understand. It also spoke volumes about Myers' personal character.* 

I also quickly slapped my legal name on my hitherto-pseudonymous blog, confident that there is nothing here that was likely to compromise my modest professional opportunities. Let's face it, my blog is (in Lindy West's words), "pretty innocuous" stuff. I called out a handful of the manosphere for being liars, and misogynists, and being pretty much dreadful, all-around evil people, and I stand by pretty much everything I have written here. I shared aspects of my personal life that were true and that are not particularly damning or even surprising to anyone who knows me. Let history be the judge.

The only question future employers might have for me is this: Why did I devote so much of my free time in the past eighteen months to an online "movement" that is so marginal and patently unworthy of my attention? That is the topic of another post, but suffice to say right now that I didn't necessarily find it as "marginal" as most people would like to believe: Rather, I found the "manosphere" to be a kind of window into a hidden subculture of seething misogyny and masculine entitlement. It has not been a perverse waste of time; it has, rather, been a journey to the edge of the abyss of human dysfunction, one which has fundamentally transformed my perspective on the state of gender relations in the West today. It would not be an over-statement that these guys have made me the self-identified "feminist" I am today. The New Misogynists have taught me a lot more than they could ever guess, and there is nothing I have read in their blogs that I haven't, on some level, "recognized" from my personal experience. Are the manosphere blogs "triggering?" Hell, yes!

Meanwhile, I hearken to the words of Arthur Goldswag, the SPLC writer whom I had initially approached who was unable to "help" me in the fashion I had hoped he would:** 

If you really care about gender equity and empowerment, then the Andrea Dworkins and Paul Elams of the world are mostly a distraction. It's easy to demonize MRAs, but they don't do anywhere near the damage to women that, say, the Hobby Lobby is trying to do, or the GOP. They're easy to hate, but engaging with them is about as useful as it is for LGBT activists to fight with the Westboro Baptist Church.

I cannot help but feel that Mr. Goldwag is speaking directly to me here, as when, in his rather condescending personal e-mail to me, he admonished me to "try not to let these guys get under your skin."
* Prof. Myers is one of those people who is willing to make a difference in one stranded starfish's life, even while the beach is littered with them. A small act of generosity, perhaps, but he can never know how much it meant to me.

**I expected that the SPLC would report specifically on the ways that online female writers were being targeted, harassed, and intimidated by misogynists. I was very disappointed that responses to my reports to this organization consisted solely of relentless solicitations for donations and an unwanted copy of Morris Dee's biography.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dear Mr. Barnes...

So over at A Voice For Men, Jack Barnes critiqued Matt Forney's latest and most desperate attempt to garner attention, an ode to spanking in order to control women.  I will try to summarize it here as MRAs are notably long-winded, but the gist of it is that Forney is too EASY on women.  By proposing that women's bad behavior must be controlled by men (by physical discipline), he is actually letting women off the hook. And I think Mr. Barnes has an important point. 

Barnes starts by explaining that "strict gender roles, once necessary for human survival" restricted both men and women, but that it was modern women who "chose to case [these] aside... However, they have been reluctant to accept the responsibilities that come with being a fully realized and capable adult."

I myself have come across a few entitled princesses who thought that they should be able to enjoy both "equality" and the dubious benefits of "chivalry."  Whether they are representative of most self-identified "feminists" I doubt.  

I am a never-married woman nearly sixty who has been fully self-supporting since the age of twenty. I may have occasionally been "reluctant to accept the responsibilities," but I had little alternative. Although I often longed to be "equally yoked" to a caring spouse, the men who wanted to marry me were not capable or willing to pull their share of the freight. I put one boyfriend through college, another through truck-driving school, hoping they would prove to be the "responsible spouse" I longed for, but when, after considerable financial and emotional investment, neither came through, I had to cut them off and walk away, not because I didn't care about them, but because my resources were limited: it was literally a matter of survival.  But maybe I've just been unusually unlucky or inept at husband-hunting? I don't shirk responsibility for my own poor choices here, just telling you very frankly what the reality of my life has been.

The fact is, at the time, I loved each of these men, and wanted nothing more than to contribute to their happiness and success. That they turned out to be poor investments of my money and energy does not change that reality. I take some comfort in knowing that in my long, checkered history of pair-bonding attempts, I have at least never left any man worse off for having known me. Yeah, I may be a "snowflake" but I don't think my experience makes me particularly "special."

"Despite what feminists would have you believe, men are, in fact, human beings and deserve to be treated as such."

Mr. Barnes, you have a very warped perception of what a feminist is. 

Mr. Barnes, I am a "feminist" who strongly supports, among other MRM causes, fathers' rights, and the protection of boys and incarcerated men from sexual assault or other forms of violence. I hate those commercials and sit-coms that portray men as bumbling idiots as much as you do. I rail against an economy and a military industrial complex that treats working-class males as cannon fodder. I have no beef with couples who choose to organize their personal lives according to "traditional" gender roles either. I do not believe in the inherent superiority of either gender.

Here's the deal with Men's Rights Activists like you, Mr. Barnes. You simply do not understand what (mainstream) "feminism" is. If you did, you would see that our goals are very much aligned. It's ridiculous for you to allow your "movement" to be infiltrated with misogynists. You complain that Matt Forney's ideas are immoral and loathsome, and I agree. What are you doing to disavow those same loathsome and immoral ideas from being broadcast by A Voice For Men?

"Women need to grow up. They are adults, which means they and they alone are responsible for themselves."

I couldn't agree more.

"Forney’s belief that it is a man’s responsibility to shape and mold an adult woman into behaving like an adult is a burden that no man should have placed on him. It is a burden that any intelligent man would swiftly reject along with the woman who doesn’t know how to behave."

I absolutely agree.

"Let’s try the radical notion that women are adults... Let’s expect women to behave as adults, and when they don’t, we find another woman to spend time with."

Yes, yes, let's!

So remind me... What is it, exactly, that we're fighting about?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Your Looks, Your Call

Susan Walsh of dispenses the kind of crisp, common-sense matronly advice about dating and relationships that I wish I'd had access to when I was a young woman (instead of letting Helen Gurley Brown so seriously fuck with my head).  Today in a post titled "Your Looks, Your Call," she points out that women shape their own appearances to appeal to the specific men they wish to attract.

Pretty obvious, no?  Yet it's a great response to the readership of sites like Return of Kings that rail about the "unfeminine" look of many American girls: the tattoos, the short haircuts, the refusal to wear high heels or any of the other trappings of conventional "femininity."  These choices baffle and enrage young men who feel entitled to fantasy "cookie-cutter" ideals of feminine beauty they see in advertising and porn.

Walsh characterizes the deliberate tweaking of one's appearance as appealing to a "niche market."  Since my background is in anthropology, not economics, I am more inclined to see the way people adorn themselves and the artifacts they surround themselves with as tribal markings.  They signal that the bearers are only available for mating within their own tribes.  That girl with the full sleeve of tattoos and assorted facial piercings is no more aroused by a random dude's six-pack abs or Axe body spray than an African grey parrot is sexually stimulated by the flash of a blue-crowned conure's tail feathers.  SMV (sexual marketplace value) is a meaningless concept unless one recognizes that there many different markets.

This phenomenon applies to all genders, BTW.  Jezebel yesterday reported a story about a teenage boy whose drivers license picture was rejected because he was wearing eye makeup.  The women who commented on the story mostly remarked how attractive they found him.  Yes, there is a small but significant "niche market" for men who transgress conventional gendered norms too, as many young male cross-dressers bold enough to sally forth into a Capitol Hill nightclub are apt to discover. (Of course, that gender variant individual has to screw up the courage to present himself/herself in public in order to be identified by members of his/her "tribe" as a potential mate.)

The well-spring of the New Misogynists' fury stems from the fact that, on some level, they cannot fail to see that these choices in attire and body modification are deliberately made not only to attract members of the same subculture, but to explicitly repel "outsiders" (which is to say them).  It's evident that Matt Forney, for example, wants nothing more than to be recognized as an "intellectual," and part of the cool music crowd, and his obsessive hatred of "hipsters" and mainstream writers, and the girls who are part of those scenes, is a direct measure of how wretched he is to be excluded.  (The problem is, contrary to what a guy like Forney believes, it is not the deficits in his own physical appearance that are shutting him out of that specific market: it's the anger and self-loathing he wears on his own sleeve.) 

Walsh concludes by reminding her female readers, "You’re not trying to lock down all the boys on the boy tree. You only need one."  This is the best advice ever for both men and women looking for love, friendship, or even a vocation.  Figure out who you are, what you want, and tailor your image accordingly.

Of course, the challenge of adolescence and emerging adulthood is just that: to figure out, as individuals, who we are and what we want.  Indeed, some of us spend the best part of our lives endlessly experimenting in an effort to nail that critical element down!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Forney Hits the Big Time

There's a certain irony that Taki's Magazine has elected Matt Forney to write a piece castigating liberal media reactions to the Santa Barbara shooting.  After all, this is a guy who feeds, literally and figuratively, on the outrage of normal decent people "liberals" and "feminists" by writing the same kind of vile, misogynistic and racist screeds that apparently helped warp Elliot Rodger's worldview. 

Forney predictably attempts to distance himself (and his manospherean cronies) from the site Rodger's is reported to have commented on:  It isn't us, it's them!  He even manages to insinuate that anti-misogynist sites such as David Futrelle's We Hunted the Mammoth and the Southern Poverty Law Center were somehow culpable for failing to warn the public of the real danger of PUAHate.  

I mean, just look how spiteful and scurrilous the PUAHate boys were, trying to dox and intimidate Matt's pals (never mind that is precisely what Matt has been doing for the past few months).

Of course, PUAHate may have been at odds with pickup artists, but they were very much part of the "manosphere" at large, that loose confederation of malcontents that are united in their shared hatred of women and minorities.  The distinctions between these factions and these individuals are virtually insignificant to anyone outside their 'sphere.  Whatever their purported aims, whether a return to patriarchy, or a pussy in every pot, the blame for the disappointing ways of the world is always to be placed squarely at one source: the autonomy of women. And they are willing to employ the most violent language and imagery to achieve dominance over those uppity western females (who really haven't understood their rightful place since either 1920 or 1420, depending on who's fantasizing talking).

How dare the SPLC name Matt Forney and his friend Roosh's blogs as "hate groups."  Didn't they see that PUAHate was just as bad?  (Waah, waah, it's so unfair!)

"Could it be that feminists ignored PUA Hate out of a fatuous “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic? If so, their negligence just cost at least six people their lives."

Not bloody likely.  Even for a paranoid manipulator of facts like Forney, this is a bit of a stretch.  If PUAHate was overlooked before the shootings, it is because it was a relatively unknown site that did little to grub for attention from the mainstream, unlike Forney himself -- an indefatigable and shameless self-promoter who basically lives and breathes on twitter, re-tweeting his admirers and his critics with equal relish -- or other, more organized or widely read hate sites like A Voice for Men, Vox Day, Heartiste, etc. ad nauseum.  PUAHate was just one of literally hundreds of misogynistic blogs, with the sole distinction that it hated the "game gurus" who had failed to deliver them the promised sex-on-demand they'd paid good cash money for, almost as much as it did the women whose favors they furiously insisted they were entitled to. 

Show me a comment left by Rodger on PUAHate that suggests he was ready to commit mass murder, and I can show you scores more on Return of Kings or The Spearhead that are even more ominous.  

All of these sites are the same, and they're all horrible.

Even a dedicated follower of the manosphere like Futrelle cannot possibly monitor them all.  (And it's hardly necessary to do so, since they are all croaking in unison in the same fetid bog.)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Facebook Justice?

Facebook has banned Matt Forney's fan page and is preventing posting to his personal account.  It wasn't my doing, BTW.  They must have gotten tired of dealing with the avalanche of complaints from young women still outraged about his "self-esteem" post months ago. 

And he's promising to leave the country (at least temporarily).  Fortunately for those students with more money than brains, the Internet will allow him to plagiarize essays from anywhere in the world.

Bon voyage, Matty!  

Friday, May 9, 2014

An Incredible Job Opportunity!

UPDATE:  I had to edit this, since it turned out I'd inflated my normal annual income quite a bit (I had a "temporary" raise this year.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Matt Forney is now in the enviable position of supporting himself entirely through his own writing.  If you too are an aspiring writer, contact Matt immediately.  He'll show you how to throw off the shackles of working for the man nine to five.  If you've got a sample, go to the head of the line! 

300 words will net you up to $10.  That doesn't sound bad at all.  I write at least 300 words per day on my blog, just for fun!

Hmm, let me do the math here...  It will take a few minutes cuz remember, I'm a teacher...  OK, got it!  I currently support myself on $35,000 a year (sad, true, and easily verifiable since I am an employee of the state). To maintain this modest income, I would need to write nearly 3000 words per day -- three or four standard length college essays -- every day of the year, with little time off for holidays, church, or good behavior. 

And, yes, that does put my endless whinging about marking student essays in an entirely different perspective!  In other words, I'm pretty sure my head would explode after about one week.  I'm no Stephen King, that's for sure.  And although it's said that Hemingway dashed off three short stories in one particularly inspired morning + afternoon, he wasn't that productive every damn day.  (He had to squeeze in all that shooting, drinking, and womanizing after all.)

What kind of writing is Matt Forney doing, one wonders.  Could it be this or this? I'm dying to know, but if I send him an e-mail query, he's bound to claim I'm "stalking" him again, and thwarting an enterprising young chap like himself from making an honest living.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Listen Up Ladies!

Women who wear yoga pants in public disgust me. I don't care how good it makes your ass look, you still look like a lazy slob in them.

A pair of well fitted jeans, on the other hand...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Don't Let the Door Hit You in the Ass

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!

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

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.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools

It's April 1, in case you forgot, so Matt Forney has announced to the world he will commit suicide. Ha ha!  

It's obviously a joke.  Except that it isn't, really. Such a jest rings hollow when it's coming from a young man every cell of whose body is infused with self-loathing.  

It throws into sharp relief what a toxic stew the "manosphere" really is.  It's a place of darkness, delusion, and despair, of impotent rage, insatiable yearning, and misplaced aggression.  Anyone intent on exploring its depths for any period of time should be required to don full haz-mat protection. And then undergo several rounds of antibiotics afterwards. The scientist who discovers an antidote to the "red pill" should win the Nobel Prize.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Step Away From the Keyboard

A few days ago, Roosh V wrote an ostensibly serious piece, "The Internet Is Doing You More Harm Than Good" in which he points out that "The internet has solved the cost barrier to idea distribution... [but]... This ability, upon closer inspection, is actually causing us harm. We would all better off limiting our internet usage than expanding it further."  

He goes on to say, "There used to be a dearth of reading material for humans but now there is too much, and we are wasting time on content that we shouldn’t just to be entertained, just to feel a little emotional rush that we may not be getting through our normal lives. Consider that people now purposefully read content they hate just to stir their emotions. They do this as part of their daily routine."

This is an excellent point, one which even I have addressed.  We won't point out the irony that Roosh has made his living by publishing provocative material on his blogs, has crowed with delight when a particularly vile post goes "viral", and retweets every tweet that references himself (positively or negatively).  Let's not look at the way his example has inspired hundreds of men to beg for donations on their own little blogs.  Perhaps what he is really saying is "Quit talking and listen to me."

I will also refrain from pointing out that long before the days of "yellow journalism," much less the internet, the public managed to waste a lot of time on idle entertainments that included dog fighting, gambling, public executions, and mystery plays.  

A couple of days later, Matt Forney announced he was "unfollowing" people on Twitter in preparation for a social media blackout.  The "addiction" was too much and was interfering with his "productivity."  I think this is a good step for Forney.  Like Roosh, he wants more than anything to be taken seriously as a writer and an intellectual, an aim that is incompatible with "click-baiting."

It occurs to me that, besides being hypocritical to the nth degree, Roosh misunderstands the nature of the manosphere.  It is not a place to exchange ideas, obtain information, or engage in serious debate.  It is a place where disaffected men go to experience a sense of community and belonging.  The element they have in common is their hatred & desire for women; bashing "feminism" is just a pretext for bonding with one another.

And to be honest, the same could be said for the "anti-anti-feminist" bloggers like myself.  It's a place where we go to be reassured that we are not alone;  we have "friends" out there in cyberspace.  Of course these are not "friends" in a conventional sense.  We might find, as Eseld Bosustow has mused, that we actually have little in common besides a shared disdain for misogyny, bigotry, and ignorance.  And yet that is not an insignificant basis for friendship either, as it suggests a number of shared core values, a certain sympathy of perspective.

I have experienced and observed real acts of support -- the sort of reaching out I associate with friendship -- amongst complete strangers on the internet.  The fact that, as of today, Karen Stollznow's legal fund has surpassed its goal by over $10,000 is an example.  (I'll bet she's feeling the love right now!) The fact that a very busy man like P.Z. Myers agreed to help "rescue" my name is another example:  I can never not consider him a good friend although we will always remain "strangers."  And because he inspired others to champion me, I now feel much less alone.  There are a handful of readers here that, should the opportunity ever present itself, I would be delighted to meet in "real life."  Maybe we would find out we didn't really care for one another -- but somehow I doubt that.

Meanwhile, there is no question that when the internet starts interfering with the opportunity to mix and mingle with flesh-and-blood people, it's high time to step away from the keyboard and (in my case) toddle down to the Eagles for a round of bingo.

Monday, March 24, 2014

If Only He'd Use His Powers For Good...

Today Matt Forney revealed he is the creator of Virginia's Secret Garden, the confessional blog of a sexually submissive Christian housewife that somehow never picked up much steam in the manosphere.  Will we find out he is actually Femitheist Divine and Desiree Myers-Leibowitz next? 

The past few weeks have seen quite a flurry of hoaxes exposed and identities doxxed in the manosphere.  Their twitters and forums are buzzing with scandal and gossip.  The blatant contempt figures like Roosh and Matt Forney have for their own readership is shocking and, on some level, very pathetic.  I guess the good news is that it gives them less time to pick on women.

Matt explains his motivations here.  That he boasts of generating a "three figure income" from a crappy porn book reminds us, once again, that he is still struggling to find a way to make a living as a writer.  His claim that by writing porn (for men) he has mastered the feminine voice is debatable.  And his criticism of a buddy's wife (who chronicles her wifely sexploits in her own embarrassing blog) reminds me of St. Theresa of Avila's scolding remark to the Lord, "If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few."

However, there is no doubt in my mind that his observation that most "Red Pill Women" are complete nut-burgers℠ is right on the money. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
---Allen Ginsburg (1955)

I've seen the greatest minds of my generation destroyed by Twitter.
---Matt Forney (2014)

I hope this allusion is ironic.

Friday, March 21, 2014


I assume the following tweet is a dig at me, so I'll take the bait and acknowledge it.  Perhaps it's in retaliation for my recent observation that Matt Forney the Writer can be hired at astonishingly low rates. I can only guess what kind of "unethical work" he is alluding to, but I expect it's something along these lines.

It's strange that he should suggest the worth of teachers and adjunct faculty (or anyone) is measured by their paychecks. And while it's certainly true that a lot of folks make more money than I do, it doesn't follow they behave unethically in the process.  Hell, my manicurist makes almost as much money as I do (and, believe me, she's worth every penny).  Call me a schmuck (or the female equivalent thereof), but I take a measure of pride in knowing that what I do actually empowers people by teaching them skills that will make their own lives richer in ways that matter. Though a cost-of-living increase would be nice...  I suppose, at the end of the day, we all have to live with our consciences.
  1. Example: my current freelancing gig is the very definition of unethical. But I get paid more than most teachers and adjunct faculty do.

    America is a country where it's more profitable to cheat the system than it is to actually help people improve their lives.

Who the Hell is Belle Knox?

The other day a young manospherian blogger (whose name I may be linked to as long as we both shall live) tweeted, "How can ANYONE  defend Miriam Weeks/Belle Knox at this point? She's a living, breathing argument for both patriarchy and arranged marriages."

I thought, Who the hell is Belle Knox?

That's one benefit of monitoring the manospherians: they're constantly introducing me to names and stories that would otherwise have entirely escaped my notice.

Turns out Belle Knox is a 19 year old Duke University student who was doing a little porn on the side to pay tuition.  As the manosphere would have us believe, this has become a widespread phenomenon, and yet another portent of the imminent Collapse of Civilization.  Knox was outed by a classmate and quickly became subject to a horrendous, still ongoing torrent (well, what passes for a "torrent" on the internet) of public abuse attention.

Still, I had to wonder why this New Misogynist was so angry at poor Belle?  After all, she's thin, pretty enough (an "8" at least), and she makes porn, a genre I imagine this young man enjoys on a regular basis, along with 77% of his demographic.*  Physically (which is to say, in the only way that matters), she's the feminine ideal of wannabe rock stars and horny young PUAs, and judging by her demeanor on camera, quite a charming, articulate young lady.

The manospherian tweeter went on to grumble, "This is what a feminist looks like: self-mutilating, living in a crappy apartment, getting fucked for a living," and links to a predictably exploitative story in the Daily Mail that focuses on the severe depression Knox had suffered as a younger girl, who as a former "cutter" still bears the scars without shame. There is a subtext behind the rather shocking photos, of course: Only emotionally damaged people become porn actors.

I have to take that tabloid story with a few grains of salt because Belle Knox appears to be exploiting her, uhm, exposure for all it's worth, engaging in a blizzard of buzz, appearing on talk shows such as "The View," and making her brazen debut as a stripper.  And frankly, she looks to be having a lot of fun with her moment in the spotlight.

And then I realized what Matt Forney's real beef was:  Belle Knox has identified herself as a "feminist."  (Never mind that there are plenty of "feminists" who wouldn't necessarily agree.)  See, she's taken what the New Misogynists (and to be fair, most of the American public) see as "degradation" and proceeded to spin it into into a platform from which she can be be heard above the din, reveling in her fifteen minutes, and earning admirers for her sheer guts.**  It is for this transgression that Belle Knox must be punished!

For someone like "The Real Matt Forney," who has courted notoriety with every fiber of his being, yet still hasn't managed to sell a single $5 ad space on his website, the "overnight success" of this belle du jour has got to irk. 
Typical feminist / shameless hussy
* More fun facts about Americans' porn habit can be found here.
** My own views on pornography are ambivalent.  Basically, there is porn, and then there is porn.  Had I a daughter or a son, I would rather they didn't get involved in the sex industry for a myriad of reasons.  However, I have to credit Ms. Knox.  She's a role model for anyone seeking to turn the tables on "shamers."  I wish her the best in all her future endeavors.