An open letter to feminists

Dear feminists,
It has recently come to my attention that many of you are missing the point of the MHRM. I won’t pretend to know what it’s like anesthetized to the world around you by a single-minded fixation, but it’s getting to the point where someone needs to sit down with you, calm you down, and explain the current situation. I know, that sounded terribly oppressive, and I know how much you hate mansplaining, but if you’re going to pretend you fight for men’s rights you may need to listen to men once in a blue moon.
And yes, I’m aware that your domesticated pet-feminist male sycophants agree with you, but thankfully they don’t speak for all men, even if it is comforting and convenient for you to believe otherwise.
Let me first say that I honestly see the validity of feminism, I really do. Many of you have gone insane, but somewhere buried in the ravenous culture-destroying sandstorm of your discontent lies the simple validity of your movement. Feminism is merely an expression of post-industrial female humanity that seeks to free itself from male authority. I get that. My grandmother was a feminist and a wonderful lady. What many contemporary feminists don’t seem to appreciate is that there is a flip side to this coin. With authority comes obligation, and the validity of the MHRM is that it seeks to free post-industrial male humanity from obligation to women.
Both of these post-industrial egalitarian goals, freeing women from male authority and freeing men from female obligation, could easily have coexisted under the same roof. Instead, for the past 50 years feminism has insisted on making the discussion one entirely about male authority. Those people intelligent enough to see this are now mostly pissed off about it, and attempting to convince us that misandry doesn’t exist or that women are de facto oppressed will no longer work. Many men and women see an unfair and ever-expanding unhealthy male obligation to women in our culture.
Unfortunately for everyone, you insist on understanding and processing everything in terms of male authority. You see our movement in terms of male authority, and you thus miss the point entirely. This movement is about male obligation. We support your equality, we simply want to be freed from our obligations to you, which is why we often ask some of you to please grow up. Many of you apparently believe the MHRM is somehow trying to reassert male authority. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, judging from the rapid growth of MGTOW philosophy, it’s probably more accurate to say that many men in our culture are fed up and want out altogether.
Whether men are even in a position of authority anymore is debatable, but ignoring that, let’s agree to define pre-feminist Western culture as “patriarchy.” I don’t think anyone can deny that the last century of feminist activism has worked only to free women from male authority, and has even fought to keep men bound to their obligations to women. Female patriarchal roles have been discarded, while male patriarchal roles have been entrenched. In other words, feminists have selectively supported one half of the patriarchy while attacking the other, even while claiming universal opposition to the patriarchy.
Thus, patriarchy doesn’t hurt men, the current scenario of double standards that have been put into place by 50 years of unopposed feminist activism hurts men. Stated more generally, feminism hurts men. Most men in the manosphere have done this math and come to this conclusion. So trying to convince us that “patriarchy hurts men” just won’t cut it anymore.
And even if this were the patriarchy hurting men as you claim, why should this notion stop men from attempting to free ourselves from it? Why should such a notion compel men to be feminists instead of fighting on our own behalf? At best, the whole discussion on patriarchy is a semantic one, which doesn’t change our condition or our efforts. At worst, the word patriarchy is a weapon; a distortion meant to validate your ideology and deny the legitimacy of men’s views. This, by the way, is starting to piss men off.
And indeed pissing men off has become feminism’s bread and butter. The expansion of anti male legislation is as common as it is unbelievable. I sometimes believe feminism has become the dominant force driving the expansion of misogyny in Western culture. This alone is enough to validate opposition to it. But more than this, your fight to free yourself from any semblance of male authority, real or imagined, is now infringing on our human rights as men. And when we attempt to discuss how our human rights are being violated, you even attempt to silence us by rolling over other fundamental human rights. This is why many of us laugh so heartily when you claim to fight for men’s rights.
For fun, however, let’s grant your thesis that you truly have men’s interests at heart. Let’s rewind a week and consider what happened at Donglegate, the recent spectacular debacle that redefined our state of millennial gender dysfunction, and in particular, let’s examine how effective feminism’s activism was on behalf of men. If feminism had men’s issues at heart, it should have been apparent. Well here’s what I observed:

1) You see men wanting to be half the picture as oppressive behavior.

Men valuing themselves and wanting to avoid being cut out of the picture is seen as men rising up to oppress women “again.” Men speaking out about a man’s career being thrown in the trash can wasn’t merely men being angry about being cut out of their rightful half of the picture, it was a reflection of a misogynist culture trying to keep women out of tech. In other words, you see nothing but men attempting to assert their “authority” over women.
You fail to see men that are angry about being obligated to the increasingly fragile and volatile feelings of pampered, childish feminists. And I know how irate it makes you to see me use the word “half.” How dare I say half when women are only a tiny fraction of those in the tech industry? The distribution of population by sex in the tech industry isn’t as important as men and women in any industry being valued equally. Right now you are using an assumption that the population should be 50:50 as a pretext to devalue men.

2) You treat males as disposable.

A man’s livelihood was disposed of for using the word “dongle.” Well, no, that’s not entirely accurate. A man’s livelihood was disposed of for offending the delicate sensibilities of an adult-shaped Disney princess. The exclamation mark on this mystifying orgasm of male disposability was Doug Barry’s recent article over at Jezebel arguing that the Adria Richards firing will be “hard to defend” in court before saying the following:

Maybe those two hapless conference-goers didn’t deserve to lose their jobs at PlayHaven and have their lives interrupted, but, then again, maybe women in the tech community deserve to attend a professional fucking conference full of professional fucking people without feeling like outsiders who have just accidentally interrupted a Halo circle jerk tournament in someone’s windowless basement.

I guess the firing of these men is defensible then since we’re pursuing a “higher” calling.

3) You make no boundary separating healthy female behavior from dysfunctional female behavior.

You view both equally as empowerment. If a female is behaving in a healthy way, sure it’s empowering, and reflects a strong, independent, adult woman. Fine, I get that, and I agree. I see my own girlfriend as such a woman and she has my love and respect for it. But if a female is totally disrespectful and is behaving in a socially toxic manner, for some reason this is viewed equally as her right to feel empowered.
No one in the mainstream called Richards’ behavior what it was — socially toxic. In keeping with the “empowered female” archetype, the consensus instead shifted the focus to the actions of the men being immature, juvenile, infantile, puerile, and any other word to portray their behavior in as irritating a light as possible. The distortions on their behavior were calculated to implicitly validate her actions and shield her from condemnation. This obligates these men to her “empowerment.” Men must behave in a very specific manner so that a woman can feel welcome and empowered. No expectation exists for her to be a grown up. Supporting her empowerment is considered so important that nobody should ever condemn her dysfunction.
Kate Harding’s tweet on the matter provides a good example of this lack of boundary. She summed the whole affair up as what happens “when women in tech speak out.” Her summation doesn’t allow room to consider whether Richards was speaking out in a healthy and functional manner or whether she was acting inappropriately out of hatred and spite to publicly shame someone. In Harding’s mind, this was simply female empowerment being quelled by male authority. Harding simply can’t see men being angry about a continued relationship of unhealthy obligation. As a result, her evaluation misattributes the resultant outcry as sexist, and mistakenly blames men for the problem.

4) You make no boundary separating healthy male behavior from dysfunctional male behavior.

Generally speaking, you don’t make this boundary because you tend to see male behavior as inherently authoritative and oppressive either way. Jessica Valenti’s tweet on the Donglegate matter provides a good example of this. “This is a joke, right? A woman is being fired for reporting harassment?” Here Valenti is equating an innocuous comment about a “dongle,” one not even directed at Richards, with real harassment. Again, no expectation is made for women to be remotely adult about it, it’s merely a form of harassment just like any other that victimizes women. As a result, the man immediately becomes judged a harasser, and his behavior is criminalized. His humanity and rights are denied and ignored in this process. He becomes obligated not to a reasonable and objective definition of harassment but to a woman’s feelings.

5) You accuse men of being privileged no matter the circumstances.

When you accuse men of being uniformly privileged based on your narrow view of male authority, it delegitimizes any and all discussion of male obligation. You give yourself permission to ignore and marginalize the male perspective, and subsequently to ignore men’s issues altogether. Lindy West provides a good example in her analysis of Donglegate over at Jezebel. From her article, “Woman in Tech Tweets About Sexist Dudes in Tech. Dude Gets Fired. Internet Meltdown Ensues,”

Men, if you don’t get that, it’s because you don’t have to get it. You are not qualified to be dismissive of a lifetime of microaggressions until you have personally experienced a lifetime of microaggressions. So if you don’t get it, be thankful.

This is the accusation of privilege. Notice how it is designed to immediately silence and delegitimize any form of protest or any conflicting male perspective on the matter. Notice how her belief in male privilege has apparently prevented her from considering any “microaggressions” men might deal with. Notice how if we don’t accept her frame and her rules we’re fortunate for our ignorance. The men who lost their jobs might not feel privileged, but never mind them, they’re ignorant. Lindy, you only piss men off when you ignore their views and shut down discussion with this type of adolescent behavior.
Thus if I were to grade your recent activism on behalf of men at Donglegate, I’d be forced to give you a D-. You should probably put in a better effort if you’re going to claim to support men’s issues. And there’s a good reason for you to do so. Our culture is stuck in a destructive cycle of self-validating viewpoints. You continue making demands which show a callous disregard for the interests and well being of men, because you see women as de facto oppressed.
You then fail to acknowledge and legitimize any resulting anger, because you don’t have the cognitive tools to acknowledge and legitimize any views that deviate from your own. And when public outcries like the one over Donglegate turn into public outrage, you often write it off as misogyny, and double down on your views.
This cycle of destruction needs to stop. We don’t need to be enemies, but you need to acknowledge male obligation to women and society as exactly one half of “patriarchal” oppression and start working harder to free men from it. If you continue to refuse, we will continue fighting your ideology, and events like Donglegate will be the Friday night lights of FTSU.
You’ve undoubtedly seen an explosion of what can at times fairly be called misogyny all over the internet. Can you honestly afford to keep writing it off and attempting to shame it out of existence? Can you honestly afford to keep throwing it all in one basket with the MHRM? Can you honestly keep attributing this outcry to a male proclivity for misogyny? Please consider those questions carefully.

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