Lindy West recently wrote a disingenuous femifesto on Jezebel titled, If I admit that ‘hating men’ is a thing, will you stop turning it in to a self-fulfilling prophecy? Gordon Wadsworth did a brilliant job of addressing Ms. West’s dubious assertions here.
Ms. West claims that:
- Feminists are aware of the problems men and boys face and that they really care about them, really, really;
- “Patriarchy” is the cause of these problems;
- Misandry does not exist. Those who insist misandry exists are angering feminists who believe in things like the patriarchy, rape culture, that telling men and boys (most of whom are not rapists) not to rape is a viable solution to sexual violence and that women in the western world still face large scale discrimination and disadvantage;
- Feminism and feminist sponsored legislature/initiatives that favor women and girls in all things are the antidote to the problems faced by men and boys, not the cause of them; and
- Some feminists do hate men, however, if more and more men and women keep complaining and insisting on equal treatment under the law and resources to remedy these problems, feminists will start hating on men for reals. So, if you think feminists hate men now, keep complaining and demanding redress and they’ll really give you something to complain about.
Pardon the crassness, but Ms. West just peed on your leg and told you it was raining — or what some mental health professionals call gaslighting. Feminists know what gaslighting is, too. It’s listed as a form of psychological abuse on most women’s domestic violence websites.
Gaslighting is a term derived from the 1940 film, Gaslight, in which the husband character attempts to make his wife believe she’s going insane. He causes her to doubt her perceptions and memory (gaslighting). His wants to institutionalize her, so he can take off with a fortune.
Who is likely to engage in gaslighting?
Sociopaths, personality-disordered individuals, bullies and abusers. Children who are unable to distinguish between magical thinking/fantasy and reality do as well. It’s a non-clinical issue until a certain age – unless the parents fail to foster the child’s critical thinking and reality testing abilities and fail to teach the child that, unless they grow up to be a fiction writer or a gender ideologue, making stuff up is called lying and lying is wrong.
Martha Stout, PhD (2006) states it’s common for sociopaths to deny their misdeeds, abuses and/or crimes. They can be such charming and practiced liars that their victims may doubt their own experiences and believe the lies of the sociopath.
Many of my clients have been gaslighted by their abusive, personality disordered and/or sociopathic wives, girlfriends and exes. For example:
- Husband always places his car keys on a hook by the front door. Wife takes car keys and hides them unbeknownst to husband. Husband asks wife if she has seen the keys. Wife tells husband he needs to be more responsible with his things and then later hangs keys on hooks after husband spends hours looking for them.
- Girlfriend constantly ridicules and denigrates boyfriend. Boyfriend tells girlfriend he is hurt by her criticisms and name-calling. Girlfriend becomes outraged when held accountable and denies having said these things. She tells boyfriend it’s “all in his head,” he “misunderstood,” is “too sensitive” or she’s doing it to “help him be a better man.”
- Ex-wife sends hostile email to ex-husband to say she plans to violate their custody order by not having kids at the designated exchange time and place because (fill in self-centered, self-serving, PASing reason here). Ex-husband replies and asks ex-wife if she is planning to violate the court order to clarify (yes, you really have to spell these things out for some Family Court judges). Ex-wife becomes outraged at having her pending violation of the court order pointed out to her and sends another hostile email denying what she wrote in the first email (even though it’s in writing) and accusing ex-husband of “always twisting things around” to make her look like “the crazy problem parent.”
Over the last year, the MSM has begun to report on men’s issues and the MRHM after ignoring and occasionally ridiculing both for decades. Since feminists are unable to sweep these matters under the carpet anymore and the MHRM isn’t shutting up, feminists are changing tactics. In a painfully obvious attempt to maintain their stranglehold on the narrative, feminists are now insisting feminism has been and is fighting for men and boys and that they care about the much higher rates of male suicide, unemployment and homelessness and male victims of violence, the female bias in family and criminal courts and the academic underperformance of boys.
Feminist organizations care about male victims of DV? Where are the shelters offering beds to men and their children? Most DV centers have discriminated against men and boys since their inception based on their sex and yet receive millions of dollars in state and federal monies. Meanwhile, there are only a handful of men’s DV shelters, that is, if there’s even a handful.
Women, who already outlive men, continue to receive the majority of healthcare funding and research monies. Girls and women are still given more educational entitlements even though they outperform boys and outnumber them in colleges and universities. Where’s the help? Where’s the evidence of “working on it?” Is the “Dear Colleague letter” what feminists consider “helping?”
Men are sentenced to prison more often and for far longer than women who commit similar crimes (if women are punished at all). There are actually groups in the UK lobbying for the elimination of female prisons altogether and recommend sentencing female criminals to therapy instead of jail.
Therapy is not a crime deterrent. Kind of, sort of, not really holding a woman accountable for theft, murder, rape, violence or child abuse by sending her to a therapist’s office is not justice either. In therapy, the female criminal will likely be coached to blame her crimes on her parents, her boyfriend, her ex-husband or some random stranger that allegedly abused her thereby absolving her from any accountability and meaningful consequences for her actions. To repeat, this is not justice and it’s not a crime deterrent. It’s the enabling of criminal and aberrant behaviors.
Feminist organizations like NOW have built powerful political lobbies to discredit Parental Alienation Syndrome. They helped to block it from being included in the DSM-V despite years of peer-reviewed research proving it’s a real phenomenon. NOW claims PAS is junk science and a ploy by abusive fathers to take children away from loving mothers. NOW paints fathers who want equal parenting rights as potential deadbeat dads and potential pedophiles and abusers.
NOW and other like-minded feminist groups just aren’t harming fathers and children in their zeal to maintain a female-biased Family Court – they’re hurting grandmothers, aunts and mothers who are targets of an alienating parent, too. Millions of VAWA dollars are spent each year training judges and law enforcement to continue to see men as the aggressors and women as the victim despite evidence that there is gender symmetry in domestic violence (i.e., men and women abuse one another at nearly equal rates).
There is an ongoing battle across the US to make 50/50 parenting the default and to abolish lifetime alimony. Are feminist organizations fighting that battle? No, Fathers’ Groups and the MHRM are fighting the battle. Where are the feminist organizations fighting for these changes? (*Saying you’re working on it by dismantling the patriarchy doesn’t count.) The reality is feminist organizations are actively lobbying for even more female-friendly Family Court laws while cranking up the erosion of men’s rights and equal protection under the law. And VAWA? It ought to be renamed VUAA, the Vaginas Über Alles Act.
Ms. West’s article also calls to mind a scene from “Brawl in the Family” (The Simpsons, Season 13 Episode 23, 1:21-1:57 – funniest episode ever) in which Nelson Muntz, Springfield’s town bully, gives a spotted owl a noogie while taunting, “Stop endangering yourself! Stop endangering yourself!”
Despite all evidence to the contrary, West claims that feminism is on the side of men and boys. She blames the problems men and boys face on the “patriarchy” and patriarchy equals men and that means y-o-u, men and boys. The reason you’re committing suicide at 4x a higher rate than women, represent more of the homeless, the unemployed, etc., etc., etc., is you. If men are to blame for the problems they currently face, it because too many men (and women) have stood by, ignored the growing problem and done nothing.
Earlier, I said Lindy West was peeing on your leg and telling you it’s raining. I’d like to amend that. Lindy West is telling you it’s raining when you can clearly see the stream of urine soaking your trousers, that you’re crazy and are just making up the urine and, even if it really is urine, hey, you brought it on yourselves and don’t you know how hard feminists like Lindy are fighting you to help you and how tired feminists are of the injustices and inequalities men and boys suffer? What’s wrong with you? Where’s your gratitude? Sheesh!
Forget microagrression, Ms. West is committing a macroaggression on your intelligence.
West’s line of “reasoning” is not unfamiliar. My therapy and coaching clients sometimes send digital recordings of their partner/ex’s abusive diatribes, blame-fests, rages, etc. There are similarities:
I wouldn’t have had to kick you in the balls and screech at you for hours if you hadn’t been 10 minutes late coming home from work, leaving me alone with the kids because you have no idea how hard it is to be a stay-at-home-mom when the kids are in school all day, and I know you weren’t stuck in rush hour traffic, you were probably cheating on me you pig, and hey, don’t bring Facebook Freddie into this, if you were a real man capable of meeting my needs, I wouldn’t have to turn to someone else, oh, big deal, so you work 60 hours a week, so I don’t have to, so what? What do you want? A fucking medal? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF ME! Keep pushing me and I’ll take the house and kids and have you arrested. Who do you think the cops are gonna believe? You or sweet, lil ole wouldn’t harm a fly me? I wouldn’t have to get like this if you weren’t such an asshole! This is all your fault!
These are the words and behaviors of a bully who is blaming her abuses on the victim and so is the gaslighting attempt by Lindy West.
Stout, M. (2006). The Sociopath Next Door. Random House.
Coaching and Consulting Services:
Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.