Archives for category: Gender and Sexuality

Even if everyone doesn’t love feminism, everyone loves talking about feminism. It’s so in right now, and everyone has an opinion. Hell, I have an entire section of my blog archives dedicated to it. However, as with many things that pervade cultural dialogue, nobody knows what the fuck they’re talking about. I am guilty of writing under the assumption that people actually know what feminism means when I write about political implications of feminism beyond gender and sex, when in reality, making those arguments is pointless if nobody has a clue about my basic premise. There are those who proclaim “feminism is cancer” because some overweight woman with blue hair wants Lorena Bobbitt’s face sculpted into Mount Rushmore or whatever, because carving dicks into jack-o’-lanterns is the bedrock of feminist ideology. These people then go on to use that same “sharp wit” to condone pedophilia, because it’s better to pork little boys than it is to demand better treatment for women. I’m not saying everyone who criticizes feminism is a pedophile apologist, but when your argument relies on trolling, then you’re not making an argument, and I have no qualms dismissing all of what you say outright.

Picking out the most insane diatribe from agitated people making unprepared statements in order to condemn an entire ideology, and then not really attacking anything outside of their appearance (granted, petty insults about appearance aren’t exclusive to the alt-right, and it’s dumb as hell wherever it happens. “Your face is stupid” is not the complex rebuttal you think it is), is like looking at Stalin and saying that Communism is a failed and terrifying social experiment.

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“Communism is a failed and terrifying social experiment.” …oh wait, I fucked that up. At least no one will ever target people as “communists” for their appearance

…I realize now that those who worry about feminism as a pestilent epidemic are probably equally worried about “cultural Marxism” as a similar contagion, and my example might not have been the most appropriate. How about this: you know how gun owners are always saying that mass shooters are the exception, and how most are decent and responsible people? It’s like that. Next time you watch those “Rekt Feminist” videos, defend with the same vehemence her blue-haired right to commit murder with unregulated semi-automatic weapons, figuratively-speaking.

We’ve established that people who say that feminism is a cancer are malevolently disingenuous or malignantly idiotic, but what is it? What is feminism?

I feel it’s a safe assumption to say that people have at least heard about the waves of feminism, so that’s a good place to start. The feminist waves are a very broad and murky way of understanding the history of feminism. I mean, there were feminist anti-suffragettes at the turn of the 20th century who were employing what we might call today a postmodern critique of democratic structures, and 2500 years ago Plato was saying that women ought to have the same rights as men, because regardless of ability, we’re all angling toward the same common good, and we need all the help we can get. Which waves would those fall under? None, really, but don’t worry about it. The first wave, as it’s described, was the quest to achieve basic legal rights, such as the right to vote or the right to own property. The second wave focused more on interpersonal imbalances, like sexual violence, discrimination and inequality, marriage laws and divorce, etc. Third wave feminism is about broadening the conversation to include the disparate predicament of women of colour compared to white women, as well as gender and sexual minorities compared to cis-gendered and heterosexual women. Those who typically complain about third wave feminism are in fact complaining about second wave feminism, since usually their complaints aren’t directed toward the woes of queer women of colour, but toward women complaining about the wage gap even though there are already laws against workplace discrimination, so it must be reverse sexism! What they mean to say is that their views of women have been shaped by the progressive discourse of the early 1900s, and are just as relevant to feminist conversations today.

Unfortunately, “feminism is cancer” has got that catchy vibe to it that makes it super endearing. It’s short, to the point, and tells you everything you need to know about that person’s deeply researched and well-thought out position. Luckily, real feminism has an equivalent maxim that is equally candid and memorable: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” This is from Simone de Beauvoir’s seminal work, The Second Sex, and conveys everything you need to know about feminism. What she means is that what determines ‘womanhood’ is defined by the world around her, rather than anything she was born with. Consider the gender reveal parties that parents celebrate when babies are imminent:

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I’ll give a more serious critique in a minute here, but first things first: that stud muffin looks like bran. Who would wish that upon their child?

Girls are sinfully sweet, like a cupcake, and boys are macho sex machines, like a… bran muffin with raisins. Ambiguous cake decorations aside, it’s easier just to delineate between pink and blue. Pink is the colour we ascribe to girls; what feminism is talking about is what it means to be pink.

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Note how all the Barbie ads are super white and super blond, for all you wannabe third wave feminists out there.

This shit matters. Epigentics shows that environmental and lifestyle factors impact people on a genetic level. Even addressing children as their gender (eg. “Settle down, boys!) rather than as individuals will imbue them with the social stereotypes. Bombarding kids with propaganda at a young age is going to impact them biologically, which explains, at least in part, the widening divergence of male and female brains as they age.

If feminism is addressing pink, what is pink? It’s basically what you’ll probably think about if you hear the word “feminine.” You know, dainty, submissive, meek, emotional. What it means to be pink is obviously much different today than what it was when the paragon of womanly virtue was an unironic Stepford Wife, but despite all the progress in pink that feminism has made, there are still dingleberries of stereotypes hanging on that continue to tinge our perception of women.

Pink is to be pretty. We start telling girls that they’re pretty, a measure of physical attractiveness, at an age when it is actually very illegal to consider them this way. To be pretty is so paramount to femininity that progressives would rather tell ugly people they are beautiful than admit that being pretty isn’t an absolute necessity for a well-balanced life. There’s a reason they do this, and it’s because a woman’s worth is almost entirely in her looks: from as far back as early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft saying that, “Tears are only eloquent when they flow down fair cheeks” to contemporary Youtuber ContraPoints showing that trans-women are only acceptable when they look like what pretty cis-women are *supposed* to look like. If you’re a woman and you’re not pretty, nobody gives a shit. This intense pressure, exacerbated by impossible beauty standards, leads to eating disorders being the mental illness with the highest mortality rate, leads to the commercialization of unneeded beauty products and anti-aging gimmicks, leads to a deluge of beauty-related effusion each time a girl smizes for her Facebook profile picture, reinforcing the cycle all over again. Consider my earlier point about how people frequently criticize feminists almost exclusively on their looks, their point being that these women aren’t real women because they don’t conform to pink standards, and if they did, they’d be happy with the way life had already set their path for them along the road to being beautiful at any costs. Life must have been fantastic for women back in those days, that’s why no one ever complained about it!

Featured: no one complaining.

Continuing the theme of pink being pretty is that pink is property. Women are still “given away” by their fathers at their wedding, since she has now transferred ownership from one man to another. Women are prizes to be won via sexual conquest, exemplified by a certain man who says that once you have a certain amount of power, “they let you do it” and “you can do anything.” Think of all those movies where after all the dust has settled, the male protagonist is rewarded with a beautiful woman. It’s most glaring in the movie Pixels where a female character, who does not have any spoken lines, is given as an actual prize for a male protagonist completing what amounts to a video game. He wins a beautiful, silent woman that he can have sex with. Sure it’s an Adam Sandler movie, but it was out in 2015, and it’s definitely not alone. “Getting the girl” makes a hero successful. This is because pink women do not possess autonomy, and therefore exist only at the whims of their blue counterparts. It’s what those feminazis means when they talk about male entitlement.

Wollstonecraft’s thesis of her book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, is that society has determined what it is to be virtuous, and then denied that virtue to women. If you’re going to say it’s super virtuous to be educated, for example, then refuse to even try to educate women, and then say things like, “Man, women are sooooo dumb! What hambeasts!” then Mary Wollstonecraft thinks you’re a moron. I do too, just to jump on the ol’ Wollstonecraft bandwagon. Consider the “myth” of the gender pay gap that refutes the wage disparity between men and women by saying that the average female wage is less because women choose more feminine careers like teachers and nurses instead of high paying jobs like engineers and lawyers. Women also put in fewer working hours, which reduces their average wage even further. Why are feminine jobs paid less than masculine jobs? It’s certainly not because engineers face greater personal risk than social workers who must deal with removing children from dangerous homes, because that’s a God damn lie. And why isn’t domestic labour, an area where women put in far more hours than men, considered when measuring the output of a human being? Could it be because society considers things that are pink to be inherently worth less than things that are blue? Economic value is determined by social value, that’s the entire premise of supply and demand, and pink jobs are worth less because society values them less. The wage gap, even with all its “debunking”, proves that society literally values women less than men. We actually tend to deny women social virtue by telling them that they shouldn’t even bother trying to bridge that gap to get into the successful fields today. Consider that women essentially began the computer programming industry, and then were slowly wedged out of it until Silicon Valley inevitably became a septic cesspool hostile to women. Women are forbidden, based on bad science, from the blue tech jobs because women are supposed to be pink, just as Wollstonecraft describes blue education being denied for the same reason in the 18th century. The same applies in the much vaunted society of economics. We’re stuck in a loop where we say that we respect women, but then we deny them the most respectable positions in society, and then berate them when they try to address that imbalance, again reinforcing that cycle of conformity to what it means to be pink. Are current blue virtues truly the most virtuous? Weeelllllllll, probably not, but my point is that whatever society seems to decide is most virtuous ends up being something that society decides women can’t be a part of.

There are some anti-feminists that say that since men receive harsher prison sentences for the same crime as a woman, and that men are discriminated against in child custody cases, that feminism is bunk because women are clearly privileged in these scenarios, and advocating for men would mean abandoning the sliced-dick imperative of the feminist agenda. Except, women receive less of a sentence because they are considered meek and inoffensive. They win a greater share of custody cases because women are seen to be more nurturing and caring than men. These imbalances are due to the perception of women as being pink, which means that criticizing these cases is… feminist? I guess we’re all a little SJW after all!

Is there something to being a woman beyond the pink that society dumps on her? Oh, who knows. Women have different hormones than men, and there are definitely biological differences in the brain that can be interpreted in many different ways. The thing is, society preventing women from possessing autonomy and prescribing behaviours and appearances is a bad thing. Yes, it happens to men too. There are problems with blue, but that’s the point. Defining human beings based on an impossible and demeaning dichotomy is a bad thing! Fuckin’ stop it! Tell girls they are other positive attributes besides pretty. Don’t assume you have access to a woman’s body just because Adam Sandler says it’s okay. Assume for the sake of decency that women are capable of succeeding in fields that are hostile to them, and that it’s the hostility that is holding them back rather than their capabilities. Women have historically always succeeded in areas that nobody thought they could succeed in before because they were not “feminine pursuits,” and I don’t see why that would end today just because the 1960s happened and women can get abortions now.

Even if you still can’t grasp that women just might be something more than the pink that society demands of them, you should at least admit that allowing greater freedom to women is a good thing. Do you hate freedom? It kinda seems like you do. Since I’m an MRA at heart, I’ll leave you with a quotation from an early male feminist, John Stuart Mill, who said that, “It is a benefit to human beings to take off their fetters, even if they do not desire to walk.” So stop with your dumb bullshit, and let the women dye their God damned hair.

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An Alpha male was completing his set on the bench press when he spied a Beta Cuck using the hip abduction machine. His masculine heart stirred at this tragedy, and he approached the poor wretch who by all accounts did not even lift.

Alpha: Hey buddy, I don’t mean to sound insulting or anything, but real men don’t use that machine. It’s for chicks. If you want to get built, you should focus on your upper body, and maybe some squats if you’re desperate to do legs.

Beta Cuck: Forgive me, I am ignorant. However, you seem to know a lot about masculinity! Perhaps you could share that wisdom and explain to me what it means to be a man!

The Alpha considered for a moment since taking the time to explain manhood to this Beta Cuck might mean losing his pump. The Alpha surveyed the gym to discover that there were few enough people to impress that he could spare a moment from his workout to enlighten this spindly creature.

Alpha: To be a man is easy. Being a man is being a provider. It means going to work, and taking care of your family. It means being strong, and lifting weights. It means enjoying a hot steak and a cold beer. Being a man means liking sports, and driving fast cars.

Beta Cuck: Surely women could do all these things as well!

Alpha: Women who like sports or lift weights are only performing those actions. They are not linked to womanhood, but to manhood. When women behave this way, they are deceiving themselves.

Beta Cuck: So to be a man is to perform acts of manhood. I see now! I think I’ve heard about this. Sex is the biological makeup created at birth, and gender is a social performance.

Alpha: No, that’s wrong. You’ve been deceived by SJW lies.

Beta Cuck: Oh dear me. I am more confused now than ever! You said that being a man is to perform manly actions!

Alpha: I did not say that!

The Alpha shook his head in exasperation. This was going to be more difficult than he thought! This Beta Cuck had endured some liberal indoctrination, but he composed himself and continued.

Alpha: What I *said* was that when women perform manly actions it is a performance, but when men do it, it is natural. Women naturally cook and clean, while men naturally provide. Those who stray from nature are performing, but those who adhere to nature are living authentically.

Beta Cuck: I see that you are being patient with me, and I appreciate that. However, I do believe I am more confused now than even before. You say that it is natural when men work and women cook.

Alpha: Yes, that’s what I said.

Beta Cuck: But within Judaism, for thousands of years there have been sects where men stay home to study the Torah, while women go out to provide for their family. This continues even today! And the most famous cook in the world is Gordon Ramsey, a man! Surely you would agree that it is incredibly unlikely that since the inception of humanity, we are, as a culture, only now and in this specific region aligning with what is naturally male.

Alpha: I suppose that is unlikely.

Beta Cuck: Men in India are accustomed to holding hands while walking down the street with no overtones except friendship. It used to be haute couture that men would wear makeup, wigs, and stockings. Even pink used to be a boy’s colour before the 1920s. If men were biologically inclined one way and women another, it would be impossible for them to behave otherwise since one cannot rebel against one’s true nature!

Alpha: It doesn’t make sense to believe that these behaviours are naturally masculine if they are only locally and temporally specific. Perhaps in the future to be a man will mean something entirely different!

Beta Cuck: But if that’s true, then what does it mean to be a man?? If masculinity is relative, then who is to say that being a man means anything at all!?

The Alpha male was struck by this. Though he had to admit, his initial impression had been faulty, he couldn’t completely disregard masculinity! He would not be able to describe himself as an Alpha Male at all if it didn’t mean anything. His interlocutor could not even be described as a Beta Cuck! His whole worldview was in jeopardy, so he decided to take a different approach.

Alpha: There is such a thing as being a man, but it has nothing to do with actions or performance since their relevance is only culturally specific. Being a man is about *who* you are. Men are stoic, rational, and assertive. Manliness is about character.

Beta Cuck: I’m sorry, I know you know more than me when it comes to being a man, but I do know *some* things. For example, temperament is related to genes, not to chromosomes. The emotional gap between boys and girls deepens as they age, with some studies showing that men are actually *more* emotional than women, which suggests that it is not a biological difference but a social one.

Struggling now, the Alpha Male began sputtering.

Alpha: But testosterone is more abundant in men, and estrogen in women! Surely that must have an impact!

Beta Cuck: It seems like you are asking me! I have already stated that I know nothing about being a man. Surely you do not mean that being a man is something that can be purchased in pill form, however.

Alpha: No! Being a man is more meaningful than that!

Beta Cuck: But you have not given me an answer as to what that meaning is at all! At best you have given examples of masculinity, though they were poor examples, when what I seek is what it means to be a man more generally.

Alpha: Being a man is… is…

The Alpha Male trailed off, and stood inert for a moment or two, before punching the Beta Cuck in the eye. The Alpha returned to a set of dumbbell curls, certain that the exercise would rid his mind of doubt. The repetitive motion soothed him, and he began to think of how much smoother his hands would be if he wore lifting gloves. For some reason the notion seemed less offensive to him now than it had previously.

The Beta Cuck lay on the floor dazed, as the gym staff rushed to his aide.

Beta Cuck: That Greek woman I white knighted on Twitter was right. I may not know what it means to be a man, but at least I *know* that I don’t know what it means to be a man.

Sometimes I like to peruse opinions that don’t align with my own. For example, I recently searched on Breitbart to see how ardent Trump supporters viewed his glaring and impeachable conflicts of interest. The comments mostly centered on the Clinton Foundation, and how if Hilary did it then it must be okay(?). I guess they forgot that they were chanting to lock her up just a few months ago. It was adorable. However, there is the odd occasion where oppositional opinions can make solid points. It was one such video from a Men’s Rights Activist on Youtube that brought together a lot of issues I have been mulling over into one cohesive package that really stuck out to me. It was the idea of the disposable male.

Men make up 95% of all victims of police shootings. For a point of reference, according to the US Department of Justice, 86% of all sexual assault victims are women. Black Lives Matter should in theory partner with MRAs to address police shootings, but somehow I don’t think they will. MRAs would have to admit that fighting for social equity makes them quite literally “Social Justice Warriors,” and BLM would have to admit that victimhood lies beyond their narrowly-defined spectrum. In any case, as far as gendered crime is concerned, this would seem to be a significant issue. However, in reality, it’s not a significant issue and mostly gets ignored. Men dying is essentially inconsequential.

Think of how we describe war. There are many tragedies in war, and when our side loses someone, it is described as the death of a soldier, or a loss of our troops. When tragedy befalls others, its victims are women and children. Despite their majority presence in war (men make up 98% of military deaths in the US), men seemingly do not exist in conflict. At best, soldiers are defined as boys or our sons, hoping to infantilize them to the point where sympathy becomes possible. Emily Cousens in my first hyperlink there describes the impact of intersectionality within masculinity, as men of colour become more hidden in the language of war casualties. We will at least hear about terrorist attacks in Brussels or Paris, whereas the ones in Arab countries are harder to find… unless of course an inordinate number of women and children are killed.

The expectation for men to be soldiers, with all that implies, carries over back home. Canadian men make up 72% of homicide victims and 87% of homicide accused. Men make up the majority of non-sexual victims of violent crime, and though my source doesn’t specify, I can reasonably assume the perpetrators are mostly male as well. These “bad” soldiers must be dealt with, and so men make up 85% of those suffering under the criminal justice system. Given that they were bred to be disposable in the first place, it is downright encouraged to discard them when they prove to be defective. Or rather, the wrong kind of effective since we’re essentially teaching boys to become this type of man in the first place.

There is more than just the obvious examples of crime and war statistics. In the US, men make up 92% of fatal workplace injuries while in Canada it’s 95%. Even in the workplace, it is just assumed that men ought to die for their employer. Men take up 73.6% of beds in homeless shelters in Canada, the very personification of being discarded. Even absurdities like having to be the one in a relationship to kill the spider or to investigate the weird noise at night shows that when faced with a threatening situation, the man is the one who has got to face it and bear any and all consequences from that encounter. Women typically seek a powerful partner to ensure as best as possible that when he is inevitably forced into a disposable situation, he comes back, but he is still expected to enter that situation.

How does one construct a disposable man? The best way to do so would be to deaden his connection to other people; the less attachment he has to others, the more he is willing to give up. bell hooks goes so far to describe the socializing of men as criminally neglectful, as the world rejects the boy’s emotional advances until he learns to avoid expressing them at all. Platonic human touch, one of the most powerful ways of expressing human connection, is forbidden to men which causes intense psychological damage. Since connecting to others is gradually beaten out of them, male friendships tend to decline as they age, completing their isolation.

Men must put on a mask of invincibility because that is the only way they can be respected as men. They must be seen to be able to survive their disposability. This means avoiding treatment for physical and mental well-being, avoiding help of any kind, even when it is clearly needed. It means acting reckless to prove they can endure any danger. However, feeling disposable and isolated means that a chip in the facade can throw men into a chasm of vulnerability. Vulnerable men join the discarded, and men in this pit make up the majority of drug addicts and suicides. Why seek help when you are inherently worthless? Why be vulnerable when depression is a weakness of character? Instead we must be pretend immortality.

The video that ultimately sparked this article advocated abolishing feminism in order to redress these issues, but fortunately this is where we part ways. Men’s rights have been fought for long before third-wave feminism was even around to be abolished: unions to improve working conditions, prison reform to rehumanize our discarded, or the anti-war effort to stop sending men to their pointless deaths. All of these could be considered examples of a Men’s Rights movement because they all promote the well-being of men against a system that treats them as worthless cogs and cannon fodder.

I think we need to look at abolishing feminism too. Not as a serious solution since identifying problems in masculinity does not negate any of the problems in femininity, but why people would even suggest that in the first place. I think part of it comes from feminism’s cry for equality, even though that is clearly a bad idea. Do women want to give up their friendships and spend more time in jail? Somehow I doubt it. It shows the picking and choosing of privileges, leading some to believe that women are gaining at a cost to men. This is why I argue that feminism isn’t about equality but about abolishing gender roles. Unfortunately, not everyone is me, so a lot of men who feel isolated and disposable are insulted by women who refuse to acknowledge and occasionally even deny that damaging and dangerous issues could even exist for men. They then become alienated from progressive gender movements, and become radicalized into your typical MRA misogynist.

We must love boys even as they grow into men, and allow them to love us in return. We must allow the mask behind which men hide to come off. We must abandon the oppressor and oppressed binary that clouds how we perceive men’s problems. We must allow our men to be who they are, whoever they choose to be.

Post-Script: I have seen several criticisms that since men are the ones predominantly perpetrating violence against other men, then the conversation must be discarded since only homogeneous collectives can be responsible for oppression, and the social whole is blameless: whites oppress black, men oppress women, and so on. This  mentality would interpret my blog as suggesting that if two men get into a fight, only the one who loses was disposable. The entire premise of being disposable is what started the fight in the first place, and victory is irrelevant. Soldiers don’t stop being soldiers if they manage to come back from the war. That’s not how it works. Social forces drive disposability, and we are all a part of that machine.

Consider the high rate of black-on-black crime that right-wing propagandists like to spout off on. They’re really the only ones talking about it, and they use it as evidence for the inherently violent nature of black people, since, you know, racism. However, the Disposable Male theory predicts this, since intersecting race with masculinity would create hyper-disposability in this population, which, when internalized, would lead to increased violent behaviour.