MRA’s don’t have the attention spans necessary to listen to talks like the one I’m posting here. It’s part of a UK campaign called BAM (Being a Man). The ratings on the video will go rapidly down without being watched by the overwhelmingly male audience that inhabits Youtube and the Manosphere. They’ve already dismissed the speaker, Michael Kaufman, as a white knight and mangina.
The males rating down the video are drop-outs, men who have chosen to sit online and the sidelines and make up statistics based on pseudo-scientific biological determinist theories that they claim support the traditional power structure of the 1950’s. Some of them go back to caveman days and talk about hunting mammoths (much love to Manboobz).
I always say to the creeps that inhabit the Manosphere that what they’re doing is useless, and it is, unless shouting out various forms of woman hatred can be considered a job. Yet, it is a job and its been a position filled since women said ‘I’ve had enough of this’ and acted upon it. Feminism was born.
From the beginning, when women got together and thought about this thing called equality, men have been on the sidelines screaming about it. It didn’t stop women from getting the vote, gaining some reproductive rights, and pushing for equal pay. Women don’t have ALL of those things universally and we’re still working toward that but as long as we do the Manosphere will sit on the sidelines and scream. In other words, get used to it ladies. It’s nothing new.
One must understand that there’s a difference between men on the sidelines and men on the frontlines. The men on the frontlines are men like Michael Kaufman, co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, who travel around the world talking about our male dominated society and the performance of masculinity, and satisfying a gender role that’s unhealthy. He also teaches men about Feminism, something the Manosphere sorely needs.
He’s teaching men that Feminism is not the big, bad fe-monster that the Manosphere thinks it is. Let’s face it though, when you ask Manospherian’s what feminism is they’ll give you a distorted definition that usually includes the term ‘radical feminist’ and ‘Gynocracy.’ The idea of a Gynocracy where women are ruling over men in every facet of life, is a mental invention. It’s an enemy carefully crafted that gives them something to hate for their own shortcomings. We must be clear here that the ‘Gynocracy’ is a ghost, an imaginary visage, and a purposeful one at that.
These sideliners could’ve picked things like the failing economy, the wage gap, and war to rally against but it’s still all too easy to target women. Choosing women as a target is simply another display of Patriarchy and male privilege. That’s the irony of their ‘movement’ (if you consider online blogs filled with bitch, cunt and whore to be a movement).’ While denying Patriarchy vehemently, they actively engage in every behaviour typical of it.
I often wonder about MGTOW’s (Men Going Their Own Way), which in my view, is the same as an MRA, PUA and the rest of the loose matrix of the Manosphere because of the vigorous online displays of misogyny . This overlap group is fascinating to me because they stridently claim they’re ‘going their own way’ and as many have pointed out, they never do. They devote countless web spaces to endlessly talk about women, who they say they want nothing to do with. If you make a video critical of their stance they’ll flock to the video and make endless comments to show they care about it even though they tell each other they don’t. In fact, I was mentioned just recently on a MGTOW invisible forum. They make invisible forums to talk about people like myself and David Futrelle because they don’t want to admit it in public. These guys don’t like being wrong, and they are.
I made a video, on request, about what I thought of MGTOW’s. There are a few keywords that I used. The misogyny makes them pathetic but I can see that these guys are totally lost, depressed. I saw a need in them to be disconnected from life and they’ll outright tell you they’ve unplugged from our society and they’ll blame it all on women. It’s not women that did this to them. Psychologists have come up with a pretty good reason for this MGTOW behaviour: Failure to launch syndrome.
If you search on Google for the term ‘man going his own way’, you’ll get 872,000,000 results. If you search MGTOW you only get 213,000 hits. Don’t make the assumption that there’s a significant amount of them because there isn’t although their stated aim is to get more men involved and it’s one of the pillars of being a MGTOW: create more. In my view, that’s the most interesting thing about MGTOW. You would think that all the effort put into living your life to the fullest wouldn’t include the staunch need to tell other men how to live theirs. My theory is that they know they are alone but don’t like the feeling of it so they try and get others in the boat so to speak. Feeling like a failure is hard enough but why stop there when you can get others in your boat with a misogynist tale of woe?
Recently I saw a video by a self-identifying MGTOW (who even wore a MGTOW shirt) who had a short relationship with a woman (a few months) and after its short duration made a series of videos describing all women as whores and prostitutes (which he did before but not as shrilly). The main point of his videos though wasn’t his endless misogyny but the need to warn other men that because his relationship failed other men needed to know about it and never allow women in their lives. He called all women prostitutes who only want his money along with the idea that giving money to a woman means that women owe him sex. The interesting thing is that his ex left a comment on one of his post-breakup videos stating that he owed her money but she didn’t care if he paid her back.
For all the brouhaha that MGTOW men post online about the value of traditionalist relationships, where men are financial providers and women stay home, it appears that they don’t have them. For all his rants about women being sluts and only wanting money it was the woman in his relationship that ended up being in the red. Does he have failure to launch syndrome? I say yes.
While misogyny is the component that connects PUA, MGTOW, and MRA websites it’s just a poor front. The real connection has to do with the avoidance, the main symptom of failure to launch. Todd and Victoria Bucholtz think the symptom has many causes, one of them being unavoidable: born in a recession. Psychologists have started to unravel other potential factors such as addiction to video games and easy-to-access highly addictive internet pornography. They are clear though that the avoidant attitude is the causal agent and the video games and porn are just results of that attitude. Is it no wonder then that the Manosphere, which is a strict online phenomena, exists?
The misogyny, as I said earlier, is just a flimsy cover, a ghost that’s easy to blame for failure to launch which is primarily affecting males. Hannah Rosin posits lack of adaptability as the sole reason why men are failing. Women, who have always been second class, have been keen to explore our new economic and social terrain while men have remained stuck in traditional masculine roles. These men haven’t yet got the memo that our world has changed or they have and can’t deal with it. Couple that with an avoidant personality that includes massive amounts of time online and you’ve got the Manosphere. It’s a need for them to take up space, and in their minds, they see the internet as the last bastion of maleness.
These men are wallowing in self-pity, depression and anxiety because they have this romanticized version of the world as it was in the 50’s, rolling around in their heads. If you spend any time perusing the Manosphere you will see two major themes. The first one is this longing to return to the traditional nuclear family where women are limited to housework. This is evidenced by memes like this:
Psychologists say a main element of failure to launch is the need to be cared for the way you were as a child. Nowhere is this more evident than the Manosphere. Many of the men in the Manosphere claim that single motherhood is the biggest cause of male issues. What I think they’re really saying is they need Mom and Mom is probably saying ‘Grow up.’
The second theme in the Manosphere is ironically a need to move away from traditional masculinity, though most men who write about it never quite comprehend that that’s what their actually saying, They chide programs such as ‘The Mask You Live In’, a critical analysis of hyper-masculinity and any and all public awareness campaigns having to do with male rape of women and male domestic violence against women.
The Manosphere is a distinct phenomena with a few prominent caretakers who reinforce the avoidance and give an outlet to these guys so they don’t have to confront reality. The most prominent baby-sitter is Paul Elam and his services aren’t cheap. He runs *A Voice for Men, a website that claims to help men and boys but which really keeps them online, angry and avoidant. Paul and his staff of writers continually post that women and feminism is what’s keeping men and boys down and it needs getting rid of. Every post is chock-full of misogyny and hatred of men who aren’t falling behind. Men who have careers and healthy relationships with women are called ‘mangina’s’, ‘white-knights’ and ‘blue-pillers.’ These terms are used in a transphobic, homophobic, and misogynist fashion to shame men who’ve managed to launch successfully.
Paul Elam is also known as the Happy Misogynist. He collects donations from his angry male audience. He makes roughly $100,000.00/year for his baby-sitting efforts. He’s been called a charlatan by Charles Clymer of the Huffington Post. Paul gives these men a place where avoidance is the name of the game. His ‘blame women’ strategy has worked quite well as his website is the most popular in the Manosphere. It’s also the most mocked.
I’m amazed at how many men send Elam money when he clearly told every donator that he pockets the money. For all his talk about men being the primary victims of domestic violence he’s yet to start ONE program in order to help those victims. His website offers no real help for men and boys who are suffering from failure to launch syndrome. In fact, his website was listed as a hate site by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It should be a crime to take advantage of people this way but that’s capitalism I suppose.
There is hope for failure to launch syndromers. Psychologists say drugs have to go and strict boundaries and expectations need to be enforced by parents. This sounds easier than done but coupled with therapy and positive reinforcement it’s achievable.
When I critique the Manosphere on this blog I always keep in mind the misogynist charlatans like Paul Elam who are robbing these men blind. Women and/or feminism are not ‘the problem.’ If there’s a man out there reading this, my hope is that you get well, keep your money, and spend it on yourself. The only person that can change your life is you. Not Paul Elam and certainly not the Manosphere.
*I rarely link to the site since it’s considered a hate site.