Jessica Valenti on explaining feminism to men

Do you ever try to talk to your brother, your father, or someone in your life about feminism, but you get the sneaking suspicion (or the clear-as-day realization) that they just don’t get it?

So begins our old friend Jessica Valenti’s second effort at video blogging for her new feminist masters at The Nation magazine. Like a hypergamous woman trading in one husband for another, Valenti has aborted her motherly duties at Feministing in favor of a subordinate position at The Nation, a long-time liberal rag that doesn’t like her very much.

As if to underline their intense hatred of Valenti, her new owners insisted that one of her new job’s early efforts be #AskJessica: How Do You Get Men to Understand That Feminism Is Important? – which, ironically, is such a fabulous, unexpected gift to the Men’s Human Rights Movement (MHRM) that we should all be squealing and queefing with delight, if, in fact, men were permitted to do such things.

Bear with me while I explain.

Have you ever heard of the expression “to talk out of the side of one’s mouth”? The idiomatic meaning of this phrase is “to lie”, “to say contradictory things” or perhaps, “to speak in a disingenuous fashion”. In the video Valenti displays a distracting facial tic wherein her mouth seems to drift to her right side even as she spouts some of the most disingenuous crap ever mouthed by a feminist – and that is saying something. I mention this tic as the elephant in the room that made me determined to deconstruct Valenti’s rhetoric for the edification and education of us all – and, as a poorly linked (and edited) entry in Wikipedia asserts, “People are biologically evolved to detect the deceptive intention of other people by observing the asymmetry in the face. When people are lying, their muscle on the face[sic] gets very imbalanced.”

So, how does Jessica advise feminists to get hesitant or doubtful men to understand that feminism is important?

Jessica’s first point is: “Don’t talk to brick walls.” At first blush, one might ask, she is surrendering? Could Jessica seriously be telling feminists to NOT talk to men about feminism? Well, not really – a man dubious about feminism is a “real-life troll” to Valenti, and not to be bothered with – or so she says.

What Valenti doesn’t say is that, in the gynocentric blue pill world where men define themselves by their utility to women, a woman who is miffed or tearful is placing a lot of pressure on the men in her company to do something – ANYTHING – to ease her discomfort. A woman who suddenly goes silent when discussing feminism sets off alarm bells in blue-pill heads that the Lady is Hurting, and men will quite literally kill themselves and/or each other, if necessary, to appease such women.

How do we know that this is Valenti’s real point? The shaming comment about “real-world troll” is all the proof needed – Valenti is instructing feminists, in effect, to insult the living shit out of resistant men in order to beat the resistance out of them. It takes a lot of red pills for men to recognize this tactic for what it is – the men at freethoughtblogs, for example, will never grasp how they have been manipulated by feminism into abandoning their beloved skepticism – but we can see it in all of its painful clarity.

Valenti, of course, can’t say “shame men” this explicitly, because that would mean she would have to take responsibility for her emotional brutalization of men, as well as it would prove that her claim of patriarchal men always oppressing women was crap. Her passive-aggressive assault maintains her plausible deniability while being absolutely clear in her message of feminists asserting and maintaining dominance over blue-pill men’s emotional lives.

If a feminist called me a “real-world troll”, I might reframe the point explicitly, and say something like, “Oh, how lovely – you can’t prove your point logically, so maybe inflicting pain on me will help. Try crying instead. Maybe that will work. Waaaa! Waaaaaaaaaa! Nope, maybe not.”

If you are lucky, she’ll shut up and leave you alone after that.

Jesus, that was fun – and the fun is just starting, since we’ve got 5 more points to go.

Jessica’s point two is “Meet people where they’re at.” In other words, use the pop culture interests of the men as an entry point to introduce feminism. Jessica uses the HBO network’s show Game of Thrones or, alternatively, a feminist musician whose music the guy already likes, as examples of subjects that can be used to inject feminism into an otherwise innocuous conversation. Jessica apparently misses the point that the extreme privileges of pop culture icons make them discordant subjects for a Marxist philosophy that seeks to kill both privilege and those who supposedly have it.

If someone pulled that Game of Thrones crap on me, I’d point out that Game is pure fantasy that pales in comparison to the Starz network’s series Spartacus, an adaptation of the historical story of male gladiatorial slaves rebelling and fighting for freedom against the mostly female characters that exploited them cruelly. And, anti-feminist musicians like Woman of the Year winner Katy Perry and Album of the Year winner Taylor Swift are hotter than Helen Reddy any day.

Jessica’s point three is “Try not to get angry.” Seriously, that is what she says. I fell out of my chair laughing when she first said it, and it still makes me chuckle. Who the fuck does she think she is kidding? A calm, happy feminist is a shitty feminist, and Valenti knows it – moments later she rephrases it as “don’t get too angry“.

Shut the fuck up, Jessica.

Before I tackle this point 3 in detail, I should note that like point 1, this is (explicitly, at least) not a “way to talk to men”, but rather, an excuse for failure in talking to men. Point 2 is the only “actionable” point of the entire video – the only point where women are asked to assume some agency or action. Points 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are all designed to make feminists feel better about their failure and passivity. No people of action would ever tolerate an instruction manual that is more than 80% devoted to explaining why it is okay to fail.

This feminist devotion to passive failure robs women of the very goals of equality that feminism allegedly supports, and it plays out about across women’s lives, even in their sexual dysfunctions. Men having sex expect to orgasm, and it they fail to climax, they actively seek to address the situation. Women, by contrast, are told it is okay if they don’t orgasm – they can just blame their orgasmic incompetence on their partners.

The only oppression here is feminist Valenti’s repeated message that women are failures who can expect to keep on failing, and failing, and failing….

I’d guess that Valenti also knows that women have little to no control over their anger, and that ordering them to control it (as Valenti suggests) only makes the ensuing explosion of anger all the more violent. The more one violently abuses men, the more care men take to “walk on eggshells” and become hyper-vigilant, which Valenti hopes will force men to engage with feminism. Again, saying “don’t get angry” is like saying “don’t think about pink elephants”, and again, Valenti preserves her deniability.

When I speak to people in my life about Men’s Rights, I tap into my anger – it gives me a laser-like focus and a demeanor that grabs people’s attention. Styles of the expression of male anger include the “pit bull” (loud, red-faced barking, about 3/4 of men) and the “cobra” (cool, deadly focus, about 1/4 of men). My cobra-style has served me well, and if your way of expressing anger trends more pit-bullish – well, I’m not sure if that will work for you in discussions of feminism and men’s human rights, but if you can master the focusing of your anger, I’d say, go for it – it works well for me.

As Jessica expands on this point, she says that asking questions can get past men’s defenses – questions like “why they believe pay inequity is not a problem” (because the notion that women are paid less for identical work is a bald-faced lie, Jessica – if it were true, then women would be 100% employed, because it would be more cost-effective to hire cheaper women than more expensive men).

Jessica’s point four is “Expect pushback.” Yes, this is not a way to talk to men, but rather, it is just an excuse to fail. Another one. “How to deal with pushback” is the obvious and more proactive choice, but feminism and women’s agency are two things that are rarely seen in the same room together.

Jessica’s point five is “Fighting for gender justice is not a zero-sum game.” Of course, Jessica doesn’t include gender justice for men at all – she is talking about fighting for gender justice in the developed world (where things are great for women, comparatively speaking) as opposed to fighting for gender justice in places where female genital mutilation is commonplace. Jessica is suggesting, in essence, that a woman in America with a fading manicure needs as much attention as a young girl facing a rusty razor blade clitoridectomy elsewhere. Of course, men facing genital mutilation only show up on the feminist radar as a point of humor and derision. Nor does she allude to the numerous feminist groups and feminist-influenced agencies that have written the zero-sum game into political and legal policy and promoted it culturally in federally funded campaigns addressing sexual abuse and domestic violence in a one-sided, zero-sum manner.

She also doesn’t seem to realize that conceiving of gender justice as a “non zero-sum game” requires women shutting up and listening to men now and again.

Hmmm. Maybe that’s one way you could sell feminism to men: by listening to them for a change. Jessica encourages feminists to ask questions of men but only as a means to find entry points for her ideology. But listening and engaging with men’s concerns is a surprisingly active activity and we all know feminism’s stance on female agency and men’s real issues – they have time for neither one. Anyway, I digress.

Jessica’s point six is “You’re not going to change everyone’s mind.” Again, we see the culture of female hypoagency – women expect women to fail – and then, have men rush to the rescue.

At the time of this writing the Youtube page for #AskJessica has about 5000 views and the downvotes are outpacing upvotes by about 3 to 1. The comments are being heavily censored but the most highly upvoted comment suggests a debate between Valenti and our own Karen Straughan (GirlWritesWhat). Of course, Karen would obliterate Jessica in such a contest, but it would be interesting to see an actual test of Valenti’s 6 talking points play out in the real world.

Still, if Valenti loves medieval fantasy worlds, then a debate with GWW is a consummation devoutly to be wished, if only to see a thousand natural shocks play across Jessica’s twisted, mocking maw.

After all, debate is active, and I’d put my money on the woman with agency – who doesn’t pre-excuse her failures – any day of the week.

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