What is the effect of feminism on males? How does a constant barrage of anti-male/anti-heterosexual discourse influence men?
Newton’s Third Law of Motion — for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction — can be applied to group psychology. Confronted with hostile criticism, some people will comply (the equal reaction), attempting to conform to the views of critics, so that we see some men trying to placate feminists by refraining from whatever male behaviors or attitudes feminists say they find offensive.
However, some men will not merely reject feminist criticism as incorrect or unfair, they will exhibit the opposite reaction, deliberately saying or doing things that offend feminists.
This kind of Newtonian opposite reaction to feminism takes many forms, both conscious and unconscious. I’ve always considered the “macho man” trend that emerged in the late 1970s and ’80s — e.g., the body-builder culture, action hero blockbusters like Rambo and Terminator — as a psychological reaction to feminism. Sure, those movies were mostly just escapist fun. Sure, tough-guy heroes have always been a staple product of Hollywood. But the ultra-muscled physiques of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were cartoonish in their exaggerated masculinity, and the stories were cartoonish, too.
We also see the Newtonian opposite reaction to feminism in the whole “dudebro” male-bonding culture, where chilling with your buddies in your “man cave” playing videogames or watching sports on TV is venerated as the ultimate in leisure. And I would argue that a lot of what feminists now label as misogyny (a word that means woman-hating) could best be understood as a secondary effect of feminism.
Quite often, you see young men doing or saying things they certainly must know will drive feminists into a furious rage. This is the politically incorrect thumb-in-the-eye response to feminist rhetoric that routinely insults heterosexual males. It is evident that feminists, despite their constant disclaimers of desiring nothing more than an innocuous “equality,” are in fact advancing a totalitarian worldview, a zero-sum game in which women’s “equality” requires expropriation.
According to this logic, everything any man possesses — education, employment, family, property, a good reputation — can only have been obtained through his oppression of females. If your son graduated summa cum laude, was hired by a Fortune 500 company, married a beautiful woman, and bought a nice house in the suburbs, this just proves that your son has benefitted from male privilege. His success is a result of cultural misogyny and anti-female discrimination.
Male success is social injustice, according to feminism’s totalitarian worldview. The feminist demand for “equality” is actually a demand that society punish successful men, a demand for new policies in schools and workplaces, a demand for a system that can guarantee more success for women by systematically depriving males of opportunities for success.
The enactment of such punitive anti-male policies is what feminists consider “progress” toward “equality.” We can view the entire campus “rape epidemic” discourse — false statistics and false journalism intended to force the imposition of policies aimed at depriving males of due-process rights — as emblematic of feminism’s totalitarian tendency.
Young men sense this intuitively. They perceive feminism as a hostile force. However, more than four decades into the feminist revolution, with feminism now deeply entrenched in our culture, exercising hegemonic influence within academia, today’s 20-year-old has no access to a rhetoric by which he can effectively challenge feminism. There are no anti-feminist professors on campus and no anti-feminist books in the library, and so young men generally lack the intellectual resources necessary to countering feminist arguments. Very few opponents of feminism bother to study the subject at a theoretical level, and opposition to feminism is therefore often badly argued — or not “argued” at all, instead taking the form of crude jokes and insults.
Viewing all this in terms of psychology, rather than politics, is really the only way to understand it. Here’s an example: Some dude posts a genuinely offensive joke about tricking women into believing he’s wearing a condom during sex. This joke is so wrong in so many ways that you have to suspect it was deliberately wrong, intended as some sort of ironic spoof of Bad Male Behavior. But the reaction? Oh. My. God.
. . . and . . .
I’ve had a dude do that before. that sh–t is terrifying. . . . I didn’t know that he [wasn’t wearing a condom] until he pulled out. I FLIPPED. Cried all the way home. Cried for days. Got tested. Bought the morning after pill. Seriously, f–k dudes that do this.
. . . and . . .
Ever since the “safe sex” gospel took hold in reaction to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, young women have been learning painful lessons about human nature that their sex-education teachers never taught them. Anybody who actually buys into the In Latex We Trust mentality promoted by the “pro sex” evangelists is a fool, but these fools refuse to accept responsibility for the harms they suffer as a result of their own folly. “Safe sex” is a myth. There is no such thing as risk-free promiscuity. If you don’t know a guy well enough to know whether he can be trusted, sweetheart, why are you having sex with him?
The most ironic reaction, however, was this:
Uh . . . “sex work”?
The person who posted that describes herself as an “overeducated whore,” and provides this information about herself:
I have about 3 years’ experience as a stripper.
I have been escorting a bit over two years.
I have been sugaring for almost one year.
In case you didn’t know, “sugaring” is about so-called “Sugar Daddy” arrangements, which is prostitution by any other name. For an “escort” to admit that she’s lucky she’s not dead is a recognition of the brutal realities of that sordid business, and johns not wearing condoms is scarcely the worst of it. But, hey, feminists will condemn us for “slut-shaming” if we disapprove of prostitution, so once again we see how feminism’s totalitarian tendency to silence dissent serves to suppress basic common sense.
Easy money for easy sex ain’t so easy, is it, honey?
Moving on in our Bad Ideas Have Bad Consequences tour — try to imagine if Richard Weaver had a blog — let’s ask ourselves what kind of guy actually buys into feminist ideology?
Assuming that you are an honest, decent, law-abiding person, you realize that you are not to blame for creeps who slip Rohypnol into girls’ drinks at frat parties. You don’t engage in abusive catcalling. You are not producing “revenge porn.” You are not “oppressing” women. You genuinely like women and so you recognize that feminists are engaged in dishonest anti-male propaganda if they accuse you of misogyny merely for disagreeing with their ideology.
A clean conscience is helpful in confronting totalitarians, which is why most males enjoy mocking the feminist rhetoric that portrays us as Patriarchal Oppressors. What about those other guys, the ones who jump on the feminist bandwagon and start pointing the accusatory finger at other males? We naturally suspect they have some ulterior motive, and our suspicions of these “white knight” types are frequently confirmed: Feminist hero Bill Clinton turned out to be a sexual predator, and then there was the case of “male feminist” Professor Hugo Schwyzer.
Nevertheless, not every “male feminist” can be presumed to be a hypocritical worm who has figured out that he can get laid by hanging around liberal women and talking “pro-choice” politics. Some of these guys sincerely believe feminist theory, and one of them posted a diatribe against MRAs (Male Rights Activists) in 2012:
Misandry Isn’t Real Dudez
I’m a guy, and I need feminism. Not “men’s rights.” Feminism. Here is why.
Everything that MRAs talk about that men can’t do or are socially punished for arise directly and immediately from misogyny and transmisogyny. Not “misandry.” Misogyny.
Whether a man is expressing his emotions, playing with children, baking, having sex wherein he is penetrated in any way, wearing the wrong color, talking the wrong way, moving the wrong way, being sexually harassed/assaulted, or paying too little attention to looking like he’s not paying attention to how he looks, when society punishes him or derides him or marginalizes him for these things, it is happening because they are things associated with women, and our society at large f–king hates women.
Has that sunk in yet?
Men, can you even think of a single goddamn way you have ever been mocked that wasn’t somehow related to something that a misogynist society sees as feminizing? Even when large men are mocked for their bodies, they are referred to as having “man-boobs,” for f–ks sake.
How do you expect to improve those things with “men’s rights?” What right are you fighting for? I can tell you what I think you’re fighting for. I think you’re fighting for the right to contain and control misogyny, and direct it back at women, where you think it belongs. You want to maintain your privilege but erase its consequences, and that’s why your movement is farcical; it’s a big f–king feedback loop. How do you expect men to be free from the peripheral effects of misogyny and transmisogyny when you refuse to even f–king believe it’s real?
That 2012 male feminist rant went viral and has been endless reposted on Tumblr, where it is typically praised thus:
Here, then, we have a brilliant male feminist. This guy is the progressive beau ideal of a supportive ally for gender equality. Yet when we check out the guy who authored this rant . . .
Sure it doesn’t. Whatever you say.
First published at TheOtherMcCain.com
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.