Saturday, 3 January 2015

An open letter to the Two Scotts | on Nerds and Entitlement

Not too long ago, in response to a murky sexual harassment scandal involving a professor at MIT, Scott Aaronson penned a blog post. In his post, he expressed a desire that MIT not penalize the thousands of online students who depend on that professor's uploaded lectures by pulling them down (perfectly reasonable), as well as some dissatisfaction as to the lack of transparency regarding what had actually transpired that was bad enough to see MIT strip a noted professor of his emeritus status. 

This is not an unreasonable request. Sexual harassment policies in universities and colleges are consistently vague as to what behaviors are in violation and where the line is between interacting with women and expulsion. Many such policies rely heavily words like "unwanted" or "unwelcome":

The definition of sexual harassment may differ slightly among educational institutions. The types of behavior constituting sexual harassment may vary in degree of severity. Its
definition always has one key element -- the behavior is uninvited, unwanted, and unwelcome.

His concern, which he went on to explain in the comments, and unlike that of a typical observing public, was not so much that he longed to enjoy the titillating and salacious nitty-gritties of the case, but that for many men, particularly nerdy ones, life is already fraught with the, to them, arbitrary, ephemeral and capricious rules of social and sexual interaction, and for those already living in constant anxiety about offending women, not KNOWING what offences had actually earned this man the complete annihilation being meted out... well, nerds across the globe were probably rushing to pharmacies to refill their anxiety meds. 

For a group of people high in IQ and low in social expertise, who were likely bullied in high school, who are frequently not conventionally physically attractive and know it (because they heard it, constantly, possibly amid the sound of flushing water while being held upside down, often by people who WERE conventionally attractive), the vagueness of these definitions, combined with the dubious competence of adjudication, the erosion of due process and the sometimes draconian punishments that accompany a finding of violation on a typical university campus, well, Aaronson's now famous Comment #171, posted under his blog post delves into the very heart of that particular darkness. 

And after exposing his vulnerability, fear and pain from a place and time where he has now worked past much of it, the response of the usual feminist suspects was typically brutal. 

The establishment feminists dubbed him privileged and misogynistic, accused him of viewing women as subhuman sex objects, and asserted that his entire heartfelt and heartbreaking post was merely an expression of thwarted male sexual entitlement to women's bodies, a projection of his bitterness at the women who rejected him (though he mentioned none) onto all women everywhere. He told them that feminism--an ideology he still mostly supports!--convinced him to loathe his own sexuality and consider himself simultaneously sexually unworthy and sexually privileged, convinced him that the mere biologically intractable fact of his desire for women posed a harm to women that he wanted to avoid at any cost to himself (even chemical castration), and they responded by saying, "it wasn't feminism that told you that, you entitled, unworthy, predacious, privileged, rapey oppressor, and daring to say it sucks to be male and shy and socially awkward and alone makes you even more of every one of those things feminism never told you about yourself. Signed - a feminist."

The level of overt cruelty displayed by bigots like Amanda Marcotte is breathtaking. And as this blog post (long but well worth the read) by another Scott demonstrates, even the most reasonable of all the feminist responses to Aaronson's pain is rife with plausible deniability and victim-blaming. "It wasn't feminism that told you you're a privileged, entitled, rapey creep, it was patriarchy. Also, women have it worse, so stop complaining, privileged man-baby. Also, your complaining oppresses women, so it's no wonder they don't like you, creep. Signed - a feminist."

As Scott Alexander points out in his delightfully extensive blog post:

The problem is that nerds are scared and confused and feel lonely and have no idea how to approach women. From this root problem blossoms both Aaronson’s problem – that sometimes all you can do is go to a psychiatrist and ask to be castrated – and Penny’s problem – that other times people go read pickup artistry books that promise to tell them how the secret is “negging” people.
But Aaronson’s solution to the problem is to talk about it. And feminism’s solution to the problem is to swarm anyone who talks about it, beat them into submission, and tell them, in the words of Marcotte, that they are “yalping entitlement combined with an aggressive unwillingness to accept that women are human beings just like men”
And while Alexander goes to extreme lengths to deconstruct and discredit virtually every feminist assertion on this particular issue (with links to research and studies and all kinds of goodies for people who operate on facts rather than emotion), and while he accurately identifies much of the problem to be binary zero-sum thinking on the part of feminists (that is, one class is privileged and the other oppressed, therefore the suffering of one is by default less bad than the suffering of the other, even when we are forced to acknowledge it), he does not seem to see Marcotte's final quoted sentence for the projection it is.

I mean, this proposition--that men do not consider women human--is the primary axiom of the feminist definition of "patriarchy", which has been the dominant social system for as long as anyone can confidently determine. According to feminists, the entirety of history is one where men arbitrarily, capriciously and unjustly oppressed and subjugated women, treated them as nothing more than objects of sexual enslavement and domestic drudgery, for the privilege and benefit of all men.

So let's unpack this. Men, all through history, were nursed by women as infants, had their boo-boos kissed by women, were cuddled to sleep by women, had their illnesses tended by women, formed their very first and most important (most important because an infant is entirely dependent on the woman who feeds and nurtures it) emotional attachments with women. And yet the men so overwhelmingly influenced by the care and nurturing of women for their formative years, indeed, the men who were molded in the cradle of female love, affection, care and forbearance, created a society that subjugates and oppresses all women for men's privilege and benefit. 

That is the real assertion Marcotte and other feminists have consistently been making since the Declaration of Sentiments of 1848: that men are so sociopathic and subhuman that they would, collectively, oppress and subjugate the very people they formed their most intimate and important emotional bonds with. That men are so universally beyond the pale that they consider the person who brought them into the world and was their sole tether to life for their formative years, and all others like her, as less than human, as a slave class, as undeserving of the smallest human decency or respect.

This is what feminism tells men about themselves (it's what feminism told you about you, Scott Aaronson), and it's what it tells women about men. Feminists like Amanda Marcotte (and the #yesallwomen and #notallmen hashtags, among others) just come right out and say it, and then pretend to be victims when men say, "we're not like that." And feminists like Laurie Penny, say, "well, men, you're kinda sorta almost human at this point, unlike all the other men throughout history, but you could still do better," all while portraying men as a class as uniquely capable of subhuman behavior and uniquely deserving of derision and scorn.

Alexander closes his blog post with this:

Once I see anyone, anywhere, publish an article that not only recognizes our pain, but doesn’t derail it into an explanation of why we’re definitely still terrible and there is no need whatsoever for them to change, then I will be more optimistic that progress is at hand.

This is one such article, but tellingly, it was written by an anti-feminist woman. And there lies the rub, and the kernel of the message I want you to hear.

You said that male nerds are not only more likely to be feminist than other men, but that the average nerdy man is more likely to be feminist than the average non-nerdy woman. The reason for this is not because non-nerdy women are less likely to consider themselves or other women human--it's because they are more likely than feminists to consider YOU to be human, and therefore capable of seeing your mothers, sisters, daughters and wives as human beings.

Feminism's most basic premises sees men and women as tribal adversaries when they never have been, not even prior to the emergence of homo sapiens sapiens, and they see men as the oppressors of women and women the slaves of men all through history when this has never remotely been the case. It is not men who see women as less than human--it is [female] feminists who see men as less than human, incapable of even the most rudimentary compassion for the very people in their lives they are closest to, and [male] feminists who are convinced to internalize this message not because it's true, but because it is the opposite of true. It is because you see women as human, even more human than yourselves and more deserving of human dignity and consideration, that you have always felt you could never treat them as human enough.

They are using your compassion for women to convince you that all men (including you) hate women and so much they designed an entire form of social organization that dehumanizes women. It is because you have so much compassion for women, and so little for men, or even yourselves, that you are able to believe it.

You have seen these feminists retreat to their motte when such allegations are levied against them, but they live their lives in the bailey, Scott(s). In the bailey, men are universally privileged subhuman monsters who oppress, exploit and subjugate the very people they love, on a macroscale. And because you are so incredibly compassionate toward women, in your own minds, you could never consider women to be as human as they deserve, you could never treat women compassionately enough, while in the mind of a feminist, you, as a male, are entirely undeserving of anyone's compassion because you're a subhuman monster, as was every man who came before you all the way back to the cave.

So my message to you Scotts and all the other shy, nerdy males out there, just let it go. Not your pain. Not your suffering. Not your anger. Not the injury you feel when your disclosure of your most deep and intimate pain earns you little more than a more vicious public ass-kicking by the very people you have begged for understanding, feminists like Marcotte.

Let FEMINISM go. In its entirety. There's nothing just or compassionate in it, and there never has been when it comes to mainstream feminism, not even as far back as the 1850s. There's nothing real in it, only boogeymen designed to terrorize women and teach them to live in a state of heightened fear and learned helplessness, and the encouragement of scab-picking and the nursing and expanding of female grudges until they contaminate every facet of the relationship between men and women, and to whip men into guilt, shame and submission as the subhuman beasts they are.

Yes, sexism is real (against both men and women), and yes, gender roles are too rigid (for both men and women), but feminism provides no insight into the actual causes of any of it, and can therefore never provide an effective cure. All it provides for women is a sense of perpetual victimization and undeserved entitlement, neither of which will ever help women succeed, and all it provides for men is shame and self-loathing.

This is an intervention, gentlemen. I'm a bisexual, gender-queer, divorced mother of two sons and a daughter. I want them to inherit a world where the humanity of all people is respected and where all people's pain can find a compassionate ear and some form of redress. Where even men are considered to be human beings, and where the content of a woman's character rather than her pants defines what she is and can be.

An ideology that sees men and women as warring tribes, with men cast as the bourgeoisie and women as the proletariat, cannot and will not bring that world into reality. An ideology that sees men as subhuman and women as beyond human cannot and will not bring that world into reality.

So please, I beg of you, and of all the sensitive, wonderful, sweet, considerate, compassionate yet awkward men like you:

Let it go.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas, all!

Well, the orgy of unbridled avarice known in our house as The Grand Unwrapping is done, the kids are at each other's throats downstairs in "kid-zone" playing MarioKart on the Wii U my oldest purchased for the family, I've almost recovered from a Christmas Eve spent with my mother in law drinking wine and enjoying a Planet of the Apes marathon (Rise of, and Dawn of), and all the tags, packaging and assorted nonsense has been trashed with the wrapping paper and all the new clothes are in a big pile to be washed.

It's not quite time to put the Christmas curry on (we're having turkey tomorrow at my mom's), so I have a tiny window of opportunity to write a post thanking all of you for your support over the last year, wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and sending out a special thank you to "Kris Kringle", who managed to get this incredible gift to me:

...with only my name and phone number to go by. I picked it up at the florist's myself, and when I went in, the owner was on the phone, so her assistant helped me carry it out to the car. She said whoever it was who'd ordered the flowers was so effusive in his appreciation for what I do, the owner decided to make the arrangement herself, and the assistant asked me who it is that I help with my advocacy. I told her I help people that most people don't think need much help--that I talk about father's rights and male victims of domestic violence and things like that. She said that was awesome, and that her boyfriend had been in an abusive relationship, and everyone he tried to talk to about it told him it was his fault, or that he was the abuser. 

As I was about to get into my car, the owner came running out in her shirtsleeves and gave me a hug, telling me that whatever it was I do, from what Mr. Kringle told her on the phone, I am obviously helping a lot of people, and...well, yeah. Mr. Kringle's real name remains a mystery, but I wanted to thank him for the wonderful gift, and for the almost more wonderful experience of picking them up and being hugged by the shop owner in the December cold of Edmonton because Mr. Kringle's words touched her so deeply.

So Kris Kringle, whoever you are, thank you. And thank you to the rest of you all for helping to keep me motivated and for all you do, in whatever way, to help turn things around for boys and men, and the women and girls who love them. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

False allegations are "rare"

Okay, so let's (as Bane666_au says) get stuck into it.

Feminists claim that false allegations in general, and of sexual violence in particular, are rare. Unfortunately, feminists (and other activists) have a long history of falsifying or exaggerating claims to promote an agenda. 

There is the hoax that Superbowl Sunday is the day of the year with the highest rate of domestic violence. 

There is the ongoing hoax that major sports events are hotbeds of sex trafficking (when there is no firm statistical evidence to show that). 

There is the hoax of the "Rule of Thumb", which was a carpenter's colloquialism until some judge over a hundred years ago was reported to have joked that it should apply to a man's right to correct his wife (for which he was lambasted in the press and ridiculed in political cartoons), which then snowballed into a false claim by feminists that it was an actual law in the UK and the rest of Europe.

 There is the "UN statistic" that 70% of the world's impoverished are women--a statistic with no source which appeared in a report in the 1980s, and has been repeated ever since. 

There is the claim that the majority of deformities at birth are caused by men who beat their wives during pregnancy, another statistic with no source, where the attributed source (March of Dimes) denies ever even conducting the research attributed to it, and which is disconfirmed by the CDC and other reputable sources. 

There is Eric Holder's blatantly false claim that domestic violence is the leading cause of death for young black women (even ALL homicides of young black women put together don't add up to the leading cause of their deaths). Incidentally, even though this claim has NEVER been true, after years of being called on it, the US government posted a clarification not that the claim was false, but that it was "outdated". 

There is the false claim that 98% (or whatever giant proportion they feel like using today) of all rapists are men, when more and more evidence is piling up that this is really not the case at all, at least according to the CDC. 

There is the false claim that domestic violence is almost entirely perpetrated by men on women, in the service of dominance and coercive control, when that type of domestic violence is the most rare form of all, half as common as the reverse. 

There is Charlie Rogers, a lesbian activist who carved up her own body and made a false report to police that three white men broke into her house, tortured her, and carved Christian and homophobic symbols in her skin. 

There is Meg Lanker Simons (a feminist activist with a previous history of gun violence) who was found to have sent rape threats to herself, something police discovered only after her university held rallies protesting the threats she received as evidence of a systemic "rape culture". 

Feminism is riddled with false claims. Almost all of them false claims indicting or vilifying men either individually, or as a group. 

Look at Anita Sarkeesian's claims about the game Hitman: Absolution:

The Lie - "the player" (you know, the everyplayer who is almost always male) is "invited" to kill female bystanders and sexualize their dead bodies

The Truth - the player, in the service of realism, CAN kill female bystanders just as they can kill male ones, but is actively discouraged from doing so through point penalties

The Lie - "the player" (again, the everyplayer who is almost always male) "can't help but" accept the invitation to kill female bystanders and sexualize their dead bodies

The Truth - the vast majority of playthroughs posted online show players avoiding all interaction with the female bystanders

The Lie - "the game" (developed and published mostly by men within a male-dominated industry) "carefully concocted" the scenario to compel "the player" (again, virtually always male) to kill the female bystanders and sexualize their dead bodies

The Truth - "the game" does not require the player to even interact with the female bystanders, actively discourages the killing of them, and the decision to do so earns the player nothing but a point penalty and grief

The Lie: "the game" dehumanizes the female characters as sex objects available for exploitation and violation on the part of the "everyplayer"

The Truth: during gameplay, the player hears the female characters discussing their struggles and problems in a way evokes sympathy for their plight. The women talk about their mean boss, their difficult lives, their vulnerabilities, etc, which the player hears whether he interacts with them or not 

In the service of these lies, it's almost certain that Anita actually, for the first time ever, used her own let's play footage in one of her videos, because the vast majority of players simply do not play the game in the way she needs them to to suit her agenda.

She's not only lying, but she lying in such a way as to lead people to believe the average gamer is a violent misogynist prone to necrophiliac fetishization of women's dead bodies, and that the game industry itself reinforces those attitudes about women or, worse, creates them. The parallels between her agenda and that pushed by wartime propagandists to demonize the enemy are astounding. And it's no different from what feminists have been telling us about all men since the Declaration of Sentiments. 

After 4 years of research into not just typical feminist claims and their utter lack of empirical veracity, but human psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, group psychology, mob psychology, etc, I have learned to be skeptical of ANY claim coming from a self-identified feminist. While I will certainly concede that women have problems specific to their gender, any feminist claim of causation will be heavily investigated by me, because so many such claims in the past have proven false.

A self-identified feminist could tell me her morning dump floated in the toilet instead of sinking, and I'd demand time-stamped pictures. That's exactly how trustworthy they are. 

Violence against women in any form has been a HUGE cash cow for feminism. The more they inflate their claims regarding its pervasiveness in society, the more money pours in, and the more power they have to tinker with legislation and policy. Because it is such an emotionally charged subject, any rational skepticism of these claims (as to whether they are true in the first place, or whether feminists are accurate in their estimates of pervasiveness), is easily deflected by attacking the skeptic.

Feminist: "1 in 5 women are raped on college campuses."

Skeptic: "Actually, that number doesn't represent rapes, but all sexual assaults, including forced kissing and attempted forced kissing. And there are reasons to believe that the research methodology is flawed in the direction of skewing the numbers higher than they actually are."

Feminist: "Rape apologist! Don't you CARE about rape victims? Do you hate women or something?" 

Very few people seem to notice that none of those accusations apply to the mere questioning of a claim. 

You can demonstrate until the cows come home just how much certain feminists are profiting from generating an inflated fear of violence against women among the public (the average [almost always feminist] director of a battered women's shelter here in Alberta rakes in over $100k/year, and in the US, that number can be significantly higher), and people won't care, because ending violence against women is THAT important. They won't see the people who claim to be working to end it as the exploitative con-artists or ideologically driven religious inquisitors that they are.

If you point out that a very lucrative industry has formed around these issues, and that like any organic entity, this industry will work to sustain and grow itself rather than the other way around, you get called a conspiracy theorist. Even though none of these claims require a conspiracy to be valid--all they require is human nature. 

The quasi-religious nature of feminism regarding how people psychologically identify with and attach to it, makes it such that those who believe will be VERY reluctant to ever concede that the goals have been achieved. To concede that means letting go of the religion. It is at this point that you see feminists claiming that universities that report many rapes through the Clery Act are hotbeds of rape and misogyny, while universities that report few or no rapes are hotbeds of rape, misogyny and underreporting. Rape is there, and rampant, just like sin--they KNOW it. And when they've all but stamped it out, it's still there and still rampant, because they KNOW it. 

When the inquisition runs out of real witches and sinners and heretics, it will begin to invent them to justify its own zealotry and its continued reason to exist. Just as the world will always be filled with sinners and heretics, it will always be filled with misogynists and rape apologists, even if it isn't. 

This is the one reason I see religion as in some ways less dangerous than secular utopian ideologies like feminism. Religion promises that the utopia will come when you're dead. The utopia is guaranteed to the chosen, no matter how imperfect the corporeal world is. Feminism desires a utopia on earth, where it is utterly unattainable even if it is (heck, even if it already exists!), due to the very nature of religious thinking. They could bring about perfect equality, but to justify their continued ideological zealotry, they will still perceive it as "a hell of inequality on earth". 

"The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism." All this translates to is, "The more people disagree with me, the more righteous I am. The more people claim women are already equal, the more I know they are not."

Feminists, in my opinion, are currently in the process of "doubling down". Their hand's been essentially empty for decades (women have better than equal rights and opportunities at the moment, as well as a massive, government funded advocacy machine in every western country) and people are beginning to call their bluff. Their response seems to be to constantly up the ante, claim feminism is more necessary than ever, and exaggerate every possible difficulty or obstacle in a woman's life, claim it's systemic oppression and screech injustice.

An interesting psychological mechanism is at play, I think.

"When in doubt, shout!: A seminal case study by Festinger found, paradoxically, that evidence that disconfirmed religious beliefs increased individuals’ tendency to proselytize to others."

There are numerous parallels between feminism and theism, not least of which is that its adherents integrate it into their individual personal identities. It possesses an orthodoxy, a set of doctrines, an etherial malicious force (Patriarchy), a way to "salvation" (feminist ideals), a definition of "sin" (sexism), aspects of the confessional ("I'm a straight, white male, and I acknowledge my privilege..."), and a utopian (yet ever-shifting) set of goals.

The more evidence you put in front of them that women are not oppressed, the more they will scream women are as oppressed as ever, maybe even more so. An example:

Only a few years ago, Gloria Steinem gave an interview where she asserted that women today are more oppressed than they were in the 1950s! And the kicker is, the greater oppression of women today, according to her, stems from the very things feminists of the 60s and 70s demanded--access to education, careers, and full opportunity for participation in the workforce! And of course, the proper response to this greater oppression that has resulted from 50+ years of feminism is more feminism, because reasons.

In addition, there's a thing people do when they become heavily emotionally and psychologically invested in a concept, cause, principle, course of action or what have you. They will continue to throw good money after bad.

"More recently the term sunk cost fallacy has been used to describe the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the cost, starting today, of continuing the decision outweighs the expected benefit."

Many feminists--the most dedicated and passionate in particular--have built academic and political careers on the dubious foundation of the Patriarchy hypothesis. They have built an entire academic (un)discipline out of it, constructed complex, convoluted and amorphous philosophical "tools" and "lenses" such as "problematization" in order to justify ignoring or dismissing evidence that contraindicates their grand unifying theory, and have devoted their entire lives to this belief system.

They're simply not going to declare all that investment worthless, are they? Like the gambler who justifies another gamble because he's already lost so much money, they are addicted to their past investment in what I can only describe as a psychological con on an epic scale.

The OECD's "Better Life Index" clearly indicates that in nearly every country in the west, women live longer, healthier, happier, safer lives than men. They have better access to health services, safety, education, work/life balance and housing, among other things. (click on the "gender differences" button)

Strange, when you think about it. According to feminism, the oppressed live longer, healthier, happier, safer lives than their oppressors.

Yet the feminist machine churns away, heaping guilt and shame on men all while screaming that the most privileged class of people in the history of humanity (western women of nearly any race or socioeconomic class) are systemically oppressed in every facet of their lives. Show them evidence to the contrary, and all they'll do is scream louder, because they've integrated a false belief system into their identities, and because they don't want to admit they've wasted their lives on bullshit.

As Gloria Steinem said in that interview, women in western countries are "more oppressed than ever" (a false accusation if ever there was one). And if you point out that she's objectively wrong in that claim, you're just part of the problem. And a misogynist, to boot.

I find it highly ironic that a group of people who claim that false allegations of violence and sexual violence are "rare" so frequently engage in making such allegations and others--not necessarily against individual men, but against all men, or against a "male-dominated system" that has always viewed male violence against women as socially and morally problematic, but which is constantly (falsely) accused of normalizing and condoning it.

According to Anita Sarkeesian, people should "listen and believe" when women disclose their experiences. Yet I have the feeling that she doesn't want people to "listen and believe" when I disclose my own experiences--that my life is a pain in the ass at times, but not unjust or oppressive, that I don't feel discriminated against or persecuted in every facet of my life (or any of them, really), that I think describing men as poisoned M&Ms is bigotry, that I think forms of entertainment that appeal to straight men are not inherently evil, and that most of her claims about tropes in video games are elaborate and convoluted lies requiring the internalization of anti-male biases and some serious mental gymnastics to validate. 

Which leads me to wonder why on earth do so many people, men and women, take these feminists seriously? When did the statement "never question a claim, no matter what" become a vaunted and desirable secular value, just because the claim is made by a [right-thinking] woman? 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

"Ban Feminism"

As it has done annually for the past few years, Time magazine recently ran a poll asking readers what words they'd like to see stricken from the cultural lexicon. In years past, successful contenders were "YOLO", "OMG" and "twerk".

This year's winner by a billion miles, earning 3 times as many votes as its runner-up, was the word "feminist".

In contextualizing the inclusion of this particular word, Time wrote:

“You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”

Reaction from feminists was swift and predictable. Outrage. Umbrage. Boycotts. Militancy.

Why, it's almost like feminists are unable to read or something, since they seem to have failed to absorb the first sentence of the disclaimer, which flat-out states, "you have nothing against feminism itself, but..."

For myself, I voted to "ban feminist" when I stumbled across the poll, and I too am guilty of disregarding that initial clause in the description. In fact, I was forced to disregard the entirety of it, because I disagree with the entirety of it. I do have something against feminism--many many somethings, in fact, which I will itemize further on. And, as I happen to have something(s) against feminism, I am fully in favor of celebrities openly stating their political position in favor of or against it, the same way I'd prefer to know if that thing slithering amongst the pole beans in my garden is a harmless garter snake or something more sinister.

But the disclaimer itself, clearly stating agreement with feminism's principles (such as they are purported to be) and its goals (however dubious), but rather an objection to its irresponsible use in media, ought to have served to defuse any feminist wrath over the inclusion of the word in the poll. That it did not speaks volumes about feminism and feminists. As did the poll results, and the desperate attempts by feminists to blame the entire debacle on that cesspit of white straight male privilege known as 4chan.

In fact, the feminist response to the poll only serves to reinforce all the reasons I myself voted to "ban" it (as if words can or should actually be banned, and as if I would desire that). To make it clear, given the way the poll was set up to allow multiple votes, and even given my decidedly anti-feminist views, I only cast one vote myself.

So, some of my objections to feminism include:

1) it cannot handle challenge or criticism of itself, or its premises, goals and assumptions.

I think the reaction by many feminists to the poll proves this point better than any anti-feminist ever could. After all, the justification provided by Time explicitly excluded disagreement with feminism, and specifically stipulated disagreement with the irresponsible use of it in a celebrity context.

2) it is populated by bullies who react with coercive tactics to any challenge (or even skepticism) of its precepts, or criticism of its followers' behavior.

Forcing an apology and retraction from Time for daring to include the word "feminist" demonstrates this tendency quite neatly. Step out of line, and you'd better issue a tearful apology or next week you could find yourself at a soup kitchen or applying for jobs at McD's.

3) it is based on emotional reasoning, delusions of persecution and projection of ill intent. Never attribute a charitable or individuated intention to anything a man (or the system) does when a malicious and collective one can be applied.

“...rape is nothing more or less than a conscious process by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” Susan Brownmiller.

 "...intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women." Andrea Dworkin

Despite the explicitly stated justification of "feminist"'s inclusion in the poll, the reaction was that the intention was profoundly different from what was stated. Just as heterosexual intercourse, the means by which all sexually reproducing species procreate, is not a simple biological reality but a conspiracy to subjugate women, and just as the reprehensible criminal act of a single rapist is not the act of a (typically damaged and dysfunctional) individual but a conscious collective effort on the part of all men to terrorize all women, this poll (and its result) was much more than a mere expression of cultural exhaustion to the constant demands that celebrities "pick a side" or justify their ambivalence or opposition to the feminist position. It is nothing more or less than a conscious effort to undermine feminism and reverse the gains women/feminists have made.

While I would assume that many who voted for "feminist" did so not because of the justification provided, but because they view feminism as an unhealthy, divisive and damaging ideology, none of this points to any popular view that women are or should be considered inferior, or that anyone wants to "turn back the clock".

4) if there's a man around, blame him and his misogyny, or the misogyny of the "male-dominated patriarchy". Whatever you do, don't engage in self-examination.

4chan is, as far as I know, predominantly male. Regardless of the actual demographic breakdown, it is perceived as a male space, and one that is hostile to women.

Despite numerous opportunities over the last few years for feminists to critically examine the behavior of their sisters, to reconsider their claims and their rhetoric, to adjust their beliefs and consider evidence that challenges them, whenever someone (or a bunch of someones) expresses dissatisfaction with or criticism of feminism, the go-to response is to shift the blame onto men and their misogyny.

#notyourshield is allegedly nothing but white, straight men creating sock puppet accounts to spew hatred of women, or marginalized "Uncle Tom's" who've internalized the misogyny and racism of the white, straight male-dominated culture. It couldn't possibly be that many women and minorities are sick to death of feminism's divisive and polarizing rhetoric and tactics.

Paul Elam's article, a clearly stated satirical work written to highlight Jezebel's genuine and febrile celebration of female-on-male intimate partner violence, is proof that he's not only a misogynist, but a misogynist who promotes male violence against women. (There are simply too many feminist references to this particular article, with the intention of vilifying Elam,, and all MRAs, to link to.)

5) authoritarianism.

Need I say more? In the last week, a genius who landed a space probe on a goddamn comet was bullied into a tearful apology over him wearing a shirt that was no more offensive than this one:

A month or so ago, a major news site, Forbes, was bullied into firing William Frezza over an article in which he expressed concern over the liability university men face when drunk women knock on the frat house door. The number of men who've been forced to step down from prominent positions because they offended feminist sensibilities (even, or perhaps especially, when their claims were backed up by evidence) are too copious to mention.

And here we see Time backing down from its moderate stance, due to the authoritarian leanings of feminist activists who will brook no questioning.

Without even going into my objections to the problems inherent to feminist doctrine, which I contend are unfalsifiable, biased, evidence-resistant and wrong-headed, and only concentrating on their tactics, feminists themselves have managed to reinforce every one of my opinions with their response to the Time poll. They have only served to bolster my anti-feminism, and demonstrate the very reasons why so many people voted to ban the word "feminist".

Here's hoping they keep up the good work.

Monday, 17 November 2014

A tale of two shirts

In one corner of the internets, we have Matt Taylor, a lead European Space Agency scientist on the Rosetta project, who just the other day successfully landed a space probe on a comet travelling tens of thousands of kph, millions of kilometres from Earth. The engineering and planning required for this achievement has to be at least 100 billion times more complex than using the Canadarm to thread a sewing needle during a meteor storm. I've heard the level of difficulty was akin to that of successfully hitting a moving bullet with a laser beam.

He wore this shirt during his press appearances.

As you can see, it has some sexy ladies on it, sporting... ahhh... hunting gear. Needless to say, the feminist shit hit the fan. 

Confirmed rumor has it that the shirt was hand-made especially for him by a female friend with a career in tattoo art. I suspect he wore the shirt to honor her, and possibly because he considered it lucky (oh the irony). Not really my cup of tea. But then, I still consider this MY lucky shirt:

Meh. No accounting for taste, especially among the nerd class. I'll leave it to you all to decide which is sexier--the rotting zombie head or the hot chicks with AK-47s. Either way, whether a nerd is going to show up for a photo op in a shirt like Dr. Taylor's, or something like this:

... I just can't bring myself to see a problem with it. While I would vehemently disagree with anyone who claims Kirk was the better captain (bastages, one and all), I defend their right to spread their folly and ignorance. 

As far as Dr. Taylor's shirt goes, though its aesthetic isn't really my thing, I will say that sexy does not equal sexist. Yet this was the very claim made by many feminists since Taylor made the news--in fact, the #shirtstorm seems to have overshadowed his incredible, astounding, mind-boggling scientific accomplishment. Led by the usual suspects--the very journalists, pundits, Tumblrites and Twitterites who've been attacking geek culture and nerddom since Eron Gjoni uploaded the Zoe Post and sparked a geek revolt months ago--progressive feminist media pundits and shit-stirrers have deemed The Shirt sexist, sexually objectifying and ostracizing to women. 

Worse than that, even.

Because it's not just a sexist shirt--its very existence is destined to make women feel unwelcome in STEM fields already filled with hostile male sexuality and rapiness (by unattractive geeks who wear glasses because they need them, not just for fashion, no less!). It's not just objectifying sexualized women, it's keeping ALL WOMEN in their place. Just like everything else this terrible Patriarchy creates, like meat and microchips, safety and servos, and space probes capable of landing on fucking comets. 

(In fact, I'm forced to wonder why a MAN was chosen to be media spokesperson for Rosetta. Where are the female role models at the ESA? Fetching coffee for their patriarchal overlords, I would guess, during their breaks from toiling in the Sammich Mines. Why haven't any feminists complained about this? I shall dispatch a pigeon to the NOW forthwith demanding they add this complaint to their charter, just to stay consistent.) 

A mob of Social Justice Warriors hoisted their pitchforks and torches, and Dr. Taylor, Grand Master Shitlord of the Evil Woman-Subjugating Patriarchy, was forced to issue a tearful, on-camera apology for offending the Oppressed Masses of Subjugated Women Who Are Routinely and Constantly Silenced in our Male-Dominated Woman-Subjugating Patriarchal Society.

Okay, are we all following along? 

1) we live in a society where women are oppressed and silenced by male dominance, and where the sexual objectification is pervasive and normalized.

2) brilliant scientist who made history is forced by feminist bullying to tearfully apologize to all the oppressed women of the world for offending them by wearing a shirt with pin-up girls on it.

But remember, kids. MEN are in charge. Male privilege and all that jazz. It's Dr. Taylor's privilege to apologize to all those subjugated females who don't like his choice of clothing, because the sexualization of women is wrong, wrong, WRONG, and never empowering, okay?


The backlash against the backlash against The Shirt has also come from the usual suspects--there was, understandably, a strong overlap with #GamerGate--a geek/nerd culture phenomenon populated by a lot of people who'd be more impressed by someone landing a probe on a comet than even the best feminist analysis of the oppressive implications of the guy's shirt. Some conservative publications, you know, those bastions of anti-sex rhetoric and "save yourself for marriage" sentiment, also came out against this tempest in a t-shirt, criticizing feminists for their hypocrisy and their bullying of someone who can only be called a "great man", and the relative harmlessness of a images of sexy women. 

Imagine that!

But apparently to feminists, sex-positivity is yet another gendered issue--gendered in the sense that it's permissible and empowering when women engage in it, but contemptible and malicious when men do. A woman's sexuality is a beautiful thing, right up until the first nanosecond a straight man gets turned on by it, dontcha know. Then the Sexualizing Male Gaze becomes just another tool of the Patriarchy to keep women Subjugated and all that. 

She has every right to dress as sexy as she likes and it's liberating and empowering, until a straight dude comes along and appreciates it, at which point it becomes oppression and slavery. Add a man to the picture and you can turn anything into the oppression of women. It's the feminist way.

As for the bullying Dr. Taylor endured, well, he totally deserved it. He was practically begging for it! I mean, did you see what he was wearing? *cough* You don't wear something like that out in public and not expect to get negative or unwanted attention and all kinds of people shouting things at you. *coughcoughhackHAAAAHHHACKH!* If he didn't want to get attacked, he shouldn't have dressed like that.


At the same time, even some progressive voices--Ana Kasparian, who became downright feisty, comes to mind--voiced their objections to the feminist furore over The Evil Sexist Objectifying Woman-Subjugating Shirt. 

And of course, there have been objectors to the objectors to the objectors to the objectionable shirt, most notably our old buddy David Futrelle, who seems to think it's somehow notable that many of the same geeks and nerds who care about feminist puritans like Anita Sarkeesian ruining their video games and comic books might actually have an opinion about The Shirt and its screeching feminist detractors. I mean, it's not like geeks and nerds totally geek out with copious nerdgasms over the kind of science Dr. Taylor does or anything. I bet they don't even know what a comet is, have never even heard of Neil Degrasse Tyson, and they probably think science fiction is pulp trash. And it's not like they haven't seen the very same vilification of males and male sexuality promoted by feminists in their own spheres of interest. Because that just doesn't happen. Feminists would NEVER do that, because as we all know, "misandry don't real."

Which brings me to the other shirt in this tale. And I suppose its wearer can be lauded for not engaging in the sexualization of either herself or those her shirt refers to:

No sexualization of anyone going on here (other than perhaps to people from Japan, for whom "male tears" is apparently a euphemism for semen, and who should thus be forgiven for thinking "BUKKAKE PARTY!", upon viewing it, and also forgiven for thinking, "barf, no thanks"). Nothing sexually objectifying about this picture at all. Nothing sexualizing, sexually objectifying, or even remotely sexy, though I suppose it's slightly less unsexy than this:

And, according to feminists, it isn't sexist, either. And here we come to the rub, as it were. Because to feminists, a straight man finding the idealized female form sexy, and expressing that, is sexist. But a woman, one with a weekly column in a major online newspaper, one whose book, Full Frontal Feminism, is considered a pioneering work of third wave feminism, one who has appeared on countless news programs, such a woman celebrating the suffering of an entire gender class is NOT sexist. It's not sexist because we live in an oppressive, male-dominated patriarchy that subjugates women. 

The same oppressive, male-dominated patriarchy that subjugates women that recently browbeat and harangued one of the most important scientists in living memory into tearfully apologizing in front of news cameras because a handful of perpetually offended, professional umbrage-taking feminists found it offensive to women. 

Dr. Taylor? For your next stunning accomplishment, do you think you could stop the world? Because I'd like to get off.

And in case anyone was wondering, an official Matt Taylor #ShirtStorm shirt (or a reasonable facsimile of) can be purchased here:

I won't be buying one, but in honor of the occasion I might just invest in a new SNFU tailored ladies' T to replace my 25 year old beaten up unisex one...

Monday, 3 November 2014

Back from Kennesaw

Hey all,

Got back from the Male Students in Peril conference at Kennesaw State University yesterday afternoon, then slept for 12 1/2 hours. The conference was awesome, despite some difficulties.

Both myself and fellow speaker Dr. Janice Fiamengo checked the weather forecast before packing for the trip, and the forecast was apparently written by radical feminists trying to destroy us. The morning I packed, meteorologists were predicting temperatures ranging from 12 (shirtsleeve weather) to 21 (swimming anyone?) degrees celsius, with plenty of sun. What greeted us upon arrival was a damp cold barely above freezing, with winds gusting up to 60 kph if my estimates are at all accurate. Janice had eschewed packing a winter coat in favor of making room for two bathing suits, and I had only two very light jackets with me. Lucky for Janice, she's not a smoker and didn't have to spend much time outside. For me and the other filthy cancer fetishists in attendance, we were stuck shivering completely unprepared as we indulged our vice. Rachel Edwards came to my rescue partway through, with a lovely purple sheep-fleece lined hoodie I put on over my jacket to keep the worst of the wind away. If she hadn't been there, I'd have been hypothermic by the end of the day, I'm sure.

Of course, this morning someone texted my cellphone to tell me that the day I left the temps rose to 21C. I was not amused.

As for the conference itself, it was a blast. I was especially impressed with Jonathan Taylor's (of AVoiceForMaleStudents) presentation on the difficulties and challenges male students at all levels face today, as well as his suggestions on how the situation can be rectified. My own presentation went all right (I hope! I can never tell until I actually see it, but the feedback seemed okay), and Janice was brutal as always in her spot-on criticism of feminist academia. Paul's presentation on rape culture was shorter than I'd have liked, but his Q&A was spectacular--he always seems to do very well off the cuff. Sage kicked ass when his mom stood up after Paul's talk to criticize him, myself and Janice for "bashing" feminism. The video of that bit is already uploaded, and I don't think he (or anyone) could have handled it better.

I'm not going to go to much farther into any of that, since there will be video footage of all of it soon enough.

The people were amazing, including the Uni cop who was posted outside the conference hall, who took me aside to inform me that 1) KSU is a smoke-free campus, and 2) what he didn't actually see wasn't his problem, and that until January no enforcement other than gentle reminders would be enacted by KSU personnel.

I met so many young men and women who told me they were fans, and are becoming passionate about the issues. One young man in particular has become a committed advocate for sexually abused boys, and has come to the realization that he can't address this problem without also being inclusive of the men those boys grow into. Talking to him was wonderful. A young woman who was reluctantly introduced to KSUM by her boyfriend has become interested in advocacy for men's issues, and a veteran towing his service dog-in-training who's been through an unbelievable difficulty in addition to all the terrible things he saw as a soldier gave me the best hug I think I've ever had.

It's always a humbling experience meeting people who know me, who I don't know yet. So many thank you's, so many hugs and handshakes, so many stories of how my videos helped someone through an angry, hurt faze and into a more constructive, comforting one.

Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini were there, too, to interview people for their project, "The Sarkeesian Effect". Hannah, Rachel and I had a nice chat with them late into Saturday night.

And so many people saying, "when are you going to make another video??!!"

Well, that will be soon. It would have been today, except for the lovely fact that when my boyfriend let the water out of the upstairs tub, it backed up the downstairs tub and toilet, flooded the floor, seeped into the carpet in the family room, and indicated to us that the drainage issues that have been plaguing this house for decades have finally come to a head. Not only that, but the downstairs toilet has begun to leak from underneath, indicating we'll have to pull it out and replace the seal and maybe the flange.

I spent the day ripping apart a wall to expose our main sewer stack, only to discover it has no clean-out outlet because the previous owner was an idiot, making frantic phone calls to the city, only to have them tell me they can't help us until we have a plumber install a clean-out branch, and convincing the kids it really isn't that horrible to have to pee in the yard for a day or two. I also finally looked at the floor around the upstairs toilet drain since we'll need one toilet while we're fixing the other, only to discover the subfloor is so rotten I could lift the flange off of it with two fingers. So I've been chipping away at the rotten plywood, so I can put down new and install a new flange.

And since I was gone all weekend, no one has been washing dishes, and I can't wash them when no water is draining from my house, so we're eating off of paper plates. Also, I can't wash my hair. Or much of anything until the guy from Mr. Rooter comes first thing tomorrow morning.

On the bright side, while I was in the smoking lounge at the Atlanta airport yesterday morning, an older lady sat next to me on a barstool and we got to talking. I told her I was in Atlanta because I'd been invited to speak at a conference at KSU by a men's issues awareness group that had recently been founded there. She said, "So someone finally did it. ABOUT TIME. I was a teacher for 30 years, and I could see even from the beginning how poorly boys were treated in school. I tried for years to get something done about it, but it only got worse. They got rid of recess, got rid of scorekeeping during gym, started punishing boys for just being boys. Deprived them of the physical activity they need, and then suspended them when they couldn't sit still. It's like no one wanted to let them just be who they are..."

So there's hope. Like I said in my talk, feminism is a minority position, and people are not so much waking up to the fact that men and boys have issues--they're waking up to the fact that they're not the only ones out there who realize it.

Anyway, here's hoping I'll be able to get a video out in the next few days. Sewers permitting.

Hugs all, and make sure you watch the KSUM conference footage once it's available.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Dear Jian Ghomeshi: an open letter

I have never liked your show. The primary reason I have always found you insufferable is because you have consistently pandered to feminism. You softball any feminist guest--hell, you tend to not just softball, but softball slow and wide and soggy enough to give them a walk every damn time, instead of ever asking them any difficult questions, or demanding they provide empirical evidence for their assertions.

And while I know that asking the really hard questions isn't what The Q is about, I have no doubt that had you ever interviewed me, you'd have been asking those hard questions. You'd have been demanding I prove every single claim I made. You'd do it the way every mainstream interviewer, whether on the political left or the political right, who has dared to talk to me has.

You have been told all your life that the rape of women is not taken seriously enough, even in Western cultures. That women who claim they've been sexually violated are not believed, and even when they are believed, they're blamed or dismissed. You've been told that we live in a rape culture where the sexual terrorizing of women is normalized, and men are absolved through the toxically masculine "boys will be boys".

You have implicitly agreed with that, every time you've swallowed any given feminist assertion at face value, instead of telling that person to prove it to you, and to everyone. You are now reaping what a feminist culture sows. What it sows is an assumption of sexual malice and malfeasance on the part of all men, and the attitude, to paraphrase Alan Dershowitz, that rape is so heinous a crime, even innocence is not a defence. You said yourself, the CBC doesn't give two shits about whether what you did with your partner was consensual--it's only concerned with the fact that some women have impugned your sexuality and your integrity. Some woman somewhere says Jian Ghomeshi is a creep? Here comes your pink slip.

I've been surfing on mainstream websites, and the "goss" is that you're a scumbag and a predator, all based on a single blog post about an alleged ass-grab, written by a female "writer" that "Literotica" wouldn't lower themselves to publishing, a story so cloying and saturated with rape-fantasy narrative that I'd be surprised the author doesn't masturbate to it every night before bed.

I have to say, Jian, I'm not happy with you. I'm really not. You've contributed to a culture where a woman's pointed finger is equivalent to a conviction. A culture Theodore Roosevelt predicted would eventually emerge all the way back in 1904--a future dystopia where any man so much as accused of rape would be as subject to public lynching as the black man was in his own day.

You have consistently and repeatedly enabled the architects of your own undoing, almost certainly thinking they would never, ever turn on you, and almost certainly thinking no man was ever accused of sexual misconduct who didn't deserve it. You were willing to believe the worst of every man who was not you--an entire society of them!--while simultaneously believing that playing by the feminist rulebook would somehow inoculate you against persecution.

I am a public figure who has spoken at political conventions and gender issues conferences, an advocate for men and boys, and a philosophical opponent of ideological feminism. I'm a high school graduate whose writings are currently included in the curricula of more than one university sociology or psychology class. I'm a waitress who is a friend of Warren Farrell (best-selling author of several books on the male experience), and Anne Cools, the first black female to become a senator in North America, and a leading opponent of ideological feminism. I am unusual in background. Atypical in my opinions and my associates. Not your average Jane. People like me have been out here all this time, for the 8 years you have hosted your show, and yet not once have you found any of us interesting enough to interview. Not when there's another Rape Culture hysteric to pander to, for lulz and listens, anyway.

I find you smarmy, self-satisfied, repugnant and unctuous in your 8 years of asking easy questions and avoiding controversy. I detest your smug interview style, your moralizing, prerecorded intros to the show, and your lack of journalistic integrity when presenting the status quo as truth by journalistic fiat.

But as much as I detest the way you've enabled and abetted what I have come to believe are the most insidious organized fraudsters in living memory, I detest even more the way you have been treated by them, by your employer, and by the general public.

Again, I don't like you, and I don't like what you have stood for over my years of listening to your program. But that does not mean I will automatically believe what is being said about you, and given the propensity for feminists to lie about men and about sex, I want to offer you my support, such as it is. I wish you well in your lawsuit.

If it turns out you are a scumbag (as many prominent male feminists somehow magically turn out to be, almost as if they view feminism as a means to groom their victims), I will condemn you as wholeheartedly as anyone else. But until the evidence surfaces to convince me of that, I will be in your corner.

Good luck to you, and here's hoping the all the evidence is heard.