Going mainstream or: How I learned to stop saying “fuck” so much and love polite dissent.
The men’s human rights movement (MHRM) is going mainstream. A Voice for Men is also becoming a respected publication, of sorts, but it seems the sort of respect afforded to a bear by wary hikers, not so much the respect a senior credentialed professional enjoys. No matter, it’s a start.
The site founded by Paul Elam as a chainsaw-flavoured men’s rights blog now attracts a growing number of contributors whose established work features prominently in the mainstream. The success of the site, and its continued growth, comes with this mainstreaming effect. For some time, the ideas and opinions published here have been adopted and repeated by writers elsewhere. However, as the site gains traction, and indeed, as we temper the style of our commentary to encourage participation from high profile contributors, those new voices will inevitably bring some of the assumptions of populist public narrative into the landscape of this site.
One such is the phrase “failure to launch”. Popularized by gender ideologues including Kay Hymowitz and Micheal Kimmel, along with conservative traditionalists such as Penny Nance and Bill Bennett. That phrase has been widely adopted since then.
The term refers, of course, to our present mainstream’s characterization of the growing segment of men in the culture who have, whether consciously or not, decided not to mount the traditional treadmill of self sacrifice, career, and marriage. Sometimes this is talked about as “the marriage strike” – another phrase popularized in mainstream commentary. Within the men’s rights community, we have a few terms for such men, including “zeta males” and “and men going their own way” (MGTOW). But there’s more to the difference in label inside or outside the MHRM than a simple preference of wording.
The phrase “failure to launch” is a transparent attempt to induce compliance through shame. You are failures! Not earning your status as “real men” via enthusiastic buy-in to the inequitable deal our culture affords to men. However, beyond the attempt to shame men into compliance – something MGTOWs quickly learn to swat aside, the term “failure to launch” is factually incorrect.
Failure to launch is a mischaracterization. The phenomenon of men refusing society’s rotten deal is not their failure. It is their refusal to be slaves.
This is just one example of populist rhetoric we will increasingly see from respected and well known commentators entering the men’s human rights movement from without. We will all need to learn to identify the unrecognized falsehoods repeated by those with good intention, joining this movement, and writing or speaking on behalf of men and boys.
However, in refuting and correcting the falsehoods embedded in items of mainstream rhetoric, we’re going to have to learn a skill some well known and successful MRAs have trained themselves away from: we’re going to have to be nice.
At the very least, we will have to, on occasion, practice a little bit of diplomacy. The problem is that, for many writers and activists who have established themselves in the MHRM, the sadistic and dishonest counter-narrative we face from gender ideologues is considered normal, and ignorable. Indeed, many writers who have learned their skills addressing inequities felt by men and boys have developed a necessarily rough and tumble prose.
When refuting “traditionalist” or so-called “progressive” opinions in the mainstream, calling for men to quietly suck up abuses heaped on them, men’s rights advocates on and off this site have an earned reputation for eschewing the conciliatory phrasing often found in more consumer-friendly media.
So, when a highly esteemed guest writer, new to AVfM’s particular flavor of commentary inadvertently includes public rhetoric this movement rejects due to embedded assumptions, we’re going to have to address such gaffes with kinder language than: “the esteemed Professor Fuzzyface is full of crap, and here’s why…”
In fact, “we” have been culpable of just such plain spoken opinion towards respected contributors in past commentary. But, observing a difference between friendly pugilism among men’s rights advocates and a more collegial style employed in “respectable” circles is a necessary part of this site’s continued success.
To be sure, development of such dexterous delivery does not diminish our disposition towards the practice of F-ing Their Something, in the direction of Up.
And just as a chainsaw should be sharpened and oiled before it is stored; so, gentlemen and ladies, be assured I am hard at work, sharpening my own pencil.
And, as always, I thank you all for your very kind attention.

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