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AlexReynard

Digging Feminism's Grave

This is an essay about why feminism is wrong, why it has always been wrong, and why it cannot help but be wrong.

At best, feminism can only ever be half-right.

It has nothing to do with women; plenty of men identify themselves as feminists too and all my criticisms here apply to them as well. It is a mistake to blame women for the problems of feminism, as I've seen some people do. Gender isn't the problem. Ideology is.

Ideology is like a cheat sheet that always has the answer to all of life's problems. Except it's rarely ever the correct answer. It's just the easier, lazier, more emotionally satisfying answer. The answer you want to be true. But an idea that is rooted in a fundamental error can never magically become right (no matter how offended its adherents act when you call them out on it). Whenever feminists have been right about something, it has been despite their ideology, not because of it.

How can I say that, considering all the unspeakable institutionalized sexism we've had in the past, which feminism has made great strides in eradicating?

As I've read essays written by feminists, talked with them, and watched their videos on YouTube, what I've realized is that, most of the time, I don't disagree with their facts. What I disagree with is their conclusions. They will show you point A, point B... and then Point F. Well, no. Point C logically comes next. Except, when you have an ideology to make all your conclusions for you, Point F is always the end point, and you only have to vaguely hint at that direction to triumphantly conclude it.

Feminism is far from unique in putting the conclusion before the evidence. "I had terminal cancer, but then I bought the Zambeezy Prayer Beads and my cancer miraculously disappeared!" "The subprime mortgage crisis is proof that banks need more deregulation." "Homosexuality is unnatural, therefore it is evil." "I found a quarter on the sidewalk; this must be my lucky day!" We all do this. We all think this way. We are all bad at drawing logical conclusions because our brains evolved to prioritize drawing up patterns quickly rather than accurately. So this is a universal human trait. The problem is, ideologies reinforce this behavior and try to make it immune to questioning.

What is the ultimate conclusion of feminism? Equality, of course! They will tell you, and TELL YOU, that feminism is all about gender equality. And if you disagree with them then you just don't understand feminism or you need to read their literature or you're judging them by the actions of their extremists or blah-de-blah-de-dah. I've heard the exact same gobbledygook rationalizations from Christians, Muslims, Mormons, social conservatives, free-market capitalists, hippies, conspiracy theorists and other miscellaneous crackpots. Their arguments and argumentative style is so similar, after a while it's like they're all speaking in the same voice.

My disagreement with these ideas is not because I don't understand them, it's because I do. And what I see I don't like.

(Also, FYI: All groups are judged by the actions of their extremists. Any group that thinks they're somehow unique in this regard needs to stop whining and maybe do something to corral their nutballs...)

I've heard it said, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."

Well, no. Actually, feminism is the radical notion that women are victims.

All women, all victims, all the time.

And why? Because of the Patriarchy! You know, the system whereby men rule the world and women are subjugated and objectified? The reason why women have always been voiceless for thousands of years? The culture-wide, inescapable, godlike explanation for all of society's ills and evils? Kind of like the Illuminati, or the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy? (I kid! I kid!)

Though the truth may surprise you: I Don't Deny That Patriarchy Exists!

What I do deny is that it's the last word on the subject.

I've heard some feminists mention Kyriarchy, which I think is a bit closer to truth because it acknowledges that there can be various different levels and layers of oppression depending upon gender, race, sexuality, religion, etc. However, both ideas fail because they ignore the fact that almost everything in nature balances.

Patriarchy is only one facet of the entirety of human interaction. When it comes to gender, society has deeply-ingrained roles that formed through millions of years of physical and social evolution, even before humans existed. These gender roles aren't forced upon us by society. That's ridiculous. We exist BECAUSE of them. Every difference between men and women exists because evolution selected for it. It was the set of behaviors most likely to increase the survival rate of the species during prehistoric times.

Problem is, this isn't prehistoric times anymore. We have made ourselves a world where we are no longer at the mercy of the weather, huge predators or most diseases. We're safer now than we have ever been in all our existence. Yet we are still wired to exist constantly in Emergency Survival Mode.

The gender roles evolution wrote for us have given both benefits and drawbacks to both genders. Society treats men like adults: men get more power but are also expected to face greater risk and die whenever the greater good determines. Society treats women like children: we instinctually want to protect them from harm, which often results in them being 'kept in their place' with men making their decisions for them. And both genders are ridiculed and persecuted for acting like the other. A woman trying to perform a traditionally-male role will be patronizingly shooed away like an annoying little kid, while a man who is victimized and asks for help is ignored and told to 'suck it up'. (I won't even go into the shitstorms caused by the differences in how we perceive and pursue sex.)

If you're a woman, you're treated like an object: only there for ornamentation and reproduction.

If you're a man, you're treated like an object: disposable.

To believe that the Patriarchy is purely 'bad for women, good for men', is to be willfully blind to half the equation. Men's Right's Activists (MRAs) will point out example after example of how men get screwed over as bad or worse than women in our supposedly paradise-for-men culture. Women aren't forced to register for selective service; fathers are treated like dirt by family courts and divorce courts; society ignores men who are the victims of domestic violence or rape; there are battered women's shelters but no corresponding support for men; juries are far more likely to convict a man than a woman for similar crimes; female circumcision is considered a human rights violation but men are laughed at for daring to suggest that mutilating baby boys might also be wrong; men are more likely than women to be homeless, to commit suicide, to die in war, to die in work-related accidents, and are more likely than women to be the victims of ALL types of violent crime.

But as feminists will tell you, "Patriarchy hurts men too."

Excuse me? You define the Patriarchy as a system which benefits men over women, then when that's demonstrated to be false, you still make the claim anyway?

The reality is, to believe in Patriarchy theory, you have to focus all your outrage on one gender's problems while doing everything possible to diminish or dismiss the other's. When bad things happen to women, it's a national emergency. When bad things happen to men, it's business as usual. (More on this later.)

Feminists will say that men simply can't see Patriarchy at work because they have on the blinders of Male Privilege. If you are the same race or gender of the oppressing class, you can't possibly understand what the oppressed go through. And that has some truth to it, certainly. We can never perfectly empathize with one another.

But the Male Privilege argument relies on the premise that women's suffering is unique. That, if you're male, nothing you've been through is equal to what a women goes through. This argument was elegantly laid waste to by a fellow on YouTube who said, in response to a feminist blogger's assertion that men can't know what it's like to be a woman and fearful of rape all the time, that he spent three years stationed in Kabul and returned to the states with PTSD, afraid of every stranger around him, afraid of every car driving too close to him, and having to hide in the basement every 4th of July like a terrified dog. But he's a man. So of course he can't understand how hard it is to deal with the fear of being a 21st century American woman.

It is stated as if it's a fact: white males run the world. Dare to disagree and feminists will say you're chock full o' privilege. Well, I'm going to disagree. I'm white. I'm male. Do I rule anything? Shit no. Why? Because I'm DIRT POOR. I won't deny that there's likely privileges to my race and gender that I'm probably not even aware of. But nothing offsets any other kind of privilege like poverty. The single biggest gap between oppressor and oppressed is economic. Who truly runs the world? RICH PEOPLE. Just try to argue that my pale penis exerts the same influence on the world as seventy million dollars would.

Privilege is a bigoted argument. It exists as an excuse to ignore criticism. 'Oh, you're from an oppressing class? Too bad! Nothing you have to say has merit!' It presumes that everyone of a group all thinks the same. Funny, we don't tolerate that when racists do it.

There's a lot of bigotry that creeps into feminism. Has it ever occurred to you to wonder WHY there are battered women's shelters in the first place? I fully understand why someone who's been the victim of violence, especially from someone close to them, would want to flee to a safe place and feel protected. But why do these places turn away men and boys in need of help? Are women unable to realize that all men aren't abusers? Would a white victim of violence be taken seriously if they asked to go to a shelter where no black people were allowed? Because black people remind them of crime too much? Would we even allow a Holocaust survivor to request that their landlord not rent out to any Germans? Are these questions making you uncomfortable?

There is a danger in accepting at face value that something is good, simply because a majority says that it is. Raising awareness for breast cancer is good, right? Pink ribbons and survivor walks? I understand why there is so much talk about breast cancer. Before Betty Ford publicly admitted to having it herself in the 70s, it was a taboo subject. Awareness of it needed to be raised. But now, breast cancer receives the lion's share of all cancer funding, despite it's relatively high survival rate. Four times as many people die from lung cancer, yet lung cancer gets only ONE EIGHTH the funding breast cancer does per death. Why? Because a movement with a noble aim outlived its usefulness. Breast cancer awareness had a goal, met its goal, then stayed around because the money was too good. Such is the case for a lot of good causes: the purpose evaporates but the structure is still there, ripe for misuse.

To give another example, is there any reason to have gay pride parades anymore? For fun, I guess, okay. But we're past the point where we need guys in fishnets marching down the street to force the mainstream to acknowledge their humanity.

Similarly, do we really still need feminism?

'Well of course!' some would say. 'Sexism still exists!' Yes, it does. But that's missing the point: sexism is always going to exist. We are a species hardwired to think in generalizations. We are a species with undeniable differences in how both genders think, feel and react to one another. We're a species that is clumsy as hell at being empathic. And we are a species with extreme fluctuations in behavior among individuals (meaning, we will always have assholes).

We will always have war, we will always have murder, we will always have bigotry, we will always have rape, and we will always, always, always fail to understand each other.

The solution is not, 'Give up because nothing can be changed'. And the solution is also not, 'Quixotically crusade to change everything anyway'. The solution is, 'Learn to choose your battles wisely'.

Not too many decades ago, there was appalling institutionalized sexism. Everything the feminists say about Patriarchy and male privilege used to be true. But the early feminists kicked a lot of ass and changed a lot of laws. Yet modern feminists seem to be unaware of that fact. It's not enough for them that sexual discrimination and harassment is no longer legal. They want it GONE. I can understand that frustration (I can't tell you how many times I've wished that willfully lying would cause people physical pain), but frustration doesn't change things. Wishful thinking Does Not Change Things.

Feminists have accomplished their most important victories. Women can vote, run for office, have kids out of wedlock, wear what they like, take any job they choose, get a higher education, be homosexual, and even buy dildos without getting arrested. But so long as even a little bit of the old sexist attitudes remain, they're unsatisfied. Like a kid on Christmas who barely waits after unwrapping one present to start on another one. The biggest enemy of feminism now is biology. Their biggest targets are the engrained, instinctual behaviors embedded in humanity, which will only change over a long, long period of time. But that's not good enough. Feminists want sexism ended NOW! Because they WANT IT!

The greatest victory it's ever possible to have over any kind of human behavior is 1) illegality and 2) near-universal societal condemnation. Until the point in time when we understand the brain enough to consistently prevent crimes before they happen, that is as good as it gets. Murder is both illegal and socially condemned. So is racism. So is being a jerkass to the disabled. Even the laws and attitudes against gays are rapidly changing for the better. As for sexism, I don't know of any workplace where discrimination against women is still legal, and I can think of very few stories (real or fictional) where a man treating a woman like shit is ever portrayed positively.

I am not saying everything's fine. I am not saying that we can just stop fighting sexism because there's nothing left to fight. No: I am saying that keeping around the old tactics is ineffective at best, and at worst, sexist in and of itself.

For instance, right now there are probably more women in positions of power than there ever have been before. It's not enough, say the feminists, there needs to be more. How? Legally force them in? Make a law that says every parliament and board room must be 50% male and 50% female? Is that moral? Is it possible that maybe time will do a better job of changing social attitudes than any law ever could? And I know you don't want to hear this, but is it possible that there may be some biological reasons why men and women might gravitate to different types of work in unequal numbers?

Feminism has yet to accept what the Rolling Stones knew: "You can't always get what you want." Unfair as that may be, it doesn't matter. Or to put it a little more reverently, there's the Serenity Prayer: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

(Yes, you heard right: big mean atheist Alex Reynard just quoted a prayer. Hey, it ain't ALL bullshit!)

The reality is, life sucks for everyone sometimes.

But for feminists, that's not true.

Remember how I said that under their ideology, every woman is a victim? Well, the flip side of that coin is that apparently, no one else is allowed to be.

I recently saw an essay describing how misandry is a myth; that every single instance of systemic male oppression is actually proof of misogyny! In other news: the sky is green and the grass is blue! This essay was one of the most repellently hateful, inhuman things I've ever read. This writer was so outraged by the claim that other people were suffering, she felt a need to not only invalidate their victimhood, but to steal it for herself. This is the thought process of a person devoid of empathy. The very fact that she chose to write this essay disproves it's point.

Why would someone be so insanely jealous of victimhood?

Because under the right circumstance, being a victim is actually a position of power.

A while ago, a YouTuber I really like received a torrent of condemnation for some admittedly-despicable things he'd said to a rape victim. I saw the quotes, I was shocked. They are horrifyingly ugly and insulting. But I refused to judge the situation because all the articles were only showing the same batch of quotes from him, not anything that was said to him. I told one person that I wanted to see the full context. They told me that context didn't matter; saying what he did to a rape victim was always unacceptable.

Excuse me?

I don't need to see context?

And does being the victim of a certain crime automatically make you the good guy forever?

I'm sorry, but context is damn important. Always. It's totally possible that YouTube Guy was simply being a heartless bully to Rape Victim. But this was on a forum thread. Was anything said to him to provoke him? Was this a huge flamewar with everyone being as vicious as possible to each other? If that's the case, I think it changes things a little, don't you? If I say 'Fuck you!' to a stranger, doesn't it matter a lot whether they said 'Fuck you!' to me first?

Also, how do we know the person he insulted was really a rape victim? I'm sorry if I'm not allowed to ask that question, but I'm asking it anyway. Considering that this incident demonstrated how being a victim could grant you immunity in an internet debacle, it's conceivable that someone could simply claim to be a victim in order to gain that immunity, plus a legion of strangers ready to jump to their defense. This is the internet after all; the easiest place in the world to be something you're not. You'd think by now that people would be a little more skeptical of claims made in forum comments.

Starting to see how victimhood has its perks? Starting to see how someone who isn't really a victim of anything might gravitate towards an ideology that says they are? With all the freedom from responsibility for one's actions that comes with it?

I am not slamming actual victims here. I highly doubt that any real victim of a real violent/sexual crime would callously use what happened to them to such petty advantage. (And if any do, they can go to hell.) I am slamming people who will say 'You don't understand the trauma of rape!' to a person like me for writing an essay like this, then write a blog post about how some creepy guy hit on her at a party and she felt like he might have wanted to rape her: cue torrent of comments extolling sympathy. Even if that hypothetical incident really happened to that hypothetical person, being afraid of rape isn't the same thing as rape. It simply isn't. Thinking that you are in danger of being raped doesn't mean that you actually are. And expecting me to feel the same sympathy for you that I do a true victim... that's not going to happen. Your victimhood is not equal to theirs. Not even close.

The culture of victimhood that feminism fosters pisses me off because their definition of what a victim is doesn't match reality. You can be a victim simply by saying you are. A woman is a victim if she receives unwanted attention from a man she doesn't like. He is, in their terms, "Schrödinger's Rapist": maybe he will, maybe he won't.

Well, let's do a little experiment. According to FBI.gov, there were "an estimated 84,767 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement in 2010". Since they're only counting what Republicans would call 'legitimate rape', let's double the number to 169,534 to include things like date rape. And since feminists claim that most rapes go unreported, let's double that number again to 339,068. Fair enough?

Now, let's divide that by the U.S. Census' population estimate for the United States: 311,591,917. And since the FBI doesn't bother counting male rape victims, why should we? Let's cut that population in half: 155,795,958.5.

So, guess what percentage we wind up with?

0.21763.

Zero point two percent of women were raped in the United States in 2010.

Yeah, that's a perfectly legitimate fear you have. It's perfectly rational for you to look at any given man and worry that he'll rape you. While it's true that if you'd said you fear rape from black men specifically, you'd look horribly bigoted, but since you categorize 50% of your fellow citizens as potential rapists instead of 7%, why, that's not prejudiced at all!

I do not care how afraid of something you are if that fear is irrational. Remember the soldier with the PTSD? He asks his friends and family to not coddle him. He knows his fears are irrational and, by working hard to confront them, they slowly ease over time. He has the right idea. Period. Victims do not grow stronger from being surrounded by people who encourage them to let their fears control their lives.

Some people even police the web, demanding that "trigger warnings" be added to anything that mentions rape or domestic violence. These are not trained psychologists, they are people assuming what a trigger will be. Plus, most of them are getting offended on behalf of purely hypothetical victims. And I would bet that, most of the time, it's not done for the sake of helping victims, but for the rush of feeling morally superior. Even if their efforts are completely sincere, all they are doing is training victims to never let go of their trauma.

In Feministland, victims must be kept victims. And why would you ever not want to be one? When you're a victim, people treat you like a saint! If you work hard to grow past your trauma, you can't blame all your mistakes on it anymore! If you pick at your booboos instead of letting them heal, you can milk the sympathy forever! People will pamper you like a little child! Taking responsibility for your actions means acting like an adult! Yecch, who'd want that?

Not surprisingly, another thing feminists hate is what they call victim-blaming. Well, I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but sometimes victims are partially (or fully) to blame for the bad things that happen to them. That's reality. If you leave your valuables lying in plain sight in your car and they end up stolen, of course it's primarily the thief's fault for committing the crime. But it's also partially yours for making it so damn easy. If you walk along the railroad tracks with your mp3 player blaring, it might be terrible for you to get hit by a train and end up with your legs in your lungs, but you wouldn't be in that position if you hadn't put yourself there.

Am I saying that it is ever someone's fault they get raped because of how they look, dress or behave? Fuck no. That's what assholes like Limbaugh would say. That is genuine victim-blaming. Am I saying that it's partially your fault if you go to a party and let yourself get Ke$ha-drunk without letting friends or family know where you are, and the next morning you wake up in a place you don't want to be in? Fuck yeah I'm saying that. If you make the choice to incapacitate yourself for fun, you have given up control of your life. Whether you wake up at the bottom of a stairwell or in a sweaty bed, if you chose to raise your glass, you chose to put yourself in a bad situation.

I know a lot of people don't want to hear that. It can be hard, when you're suffering, to be told you're partly responsible. All of us remember when we were kids, some situation that left us blubbering with tears and our parents lecturing us about how we brought it on ourselves. That hurts like hell. Because it's supposed to. Because shame exists to teach us not to repeat our mistakes. If someone tries to protect you from feeling shame, they are not helping you. They are keeping you in a babylike state, preventing you from facing the consequences of your choices. It doesn't matter that sometimes facing consequences is hard. It doesn't matter that it causes icky, feel-bad emotions. Act like a grown-up and fucking do it. Or else you let yourself exist permanently in a state where all you do about your screw-ups is run to someone else so they can kiss your tears away and tell you it wasn't your fault.

Denying someone responsibility denies them power over their life. How does it empower anyone to tell them, 'Rape is NEVER the victim's fault'? By saying it's never the victim's fault, they're also saying that the victim had no responsibility in preventing it. The victim is helpless to do anything about it. Hey, getting struck by lightning or swallowed by an earthquake isn't anyone's fault either! Isn't it more empowering to say, 'Here's how you can keep yourself safe'? To tell someone that the direction of their life lies within their own hands?

I don't believe feminists actually want women empowered. Because a truly empowered woman wouldn't ask for anything from anyone else that she could get for herself. Feminists want attention. Not just from you, but from governments and donors. They will always want more laws, they will always want more funding, and they will always want more public sympathy so they can get more of the first two.

There are legitimate things a citizen should expect from their governments. But when a benefit is given to one group and not another, based on race or gender, I am not okay with that. There are sensible exceptions, certainly. Women should have their birth control covered by their medical plans. Laws regarding abortion should not be solely written and voted on by men. Women should not be afraid that getting pregnant will lose them their job. But when a man makes bad decisions and fucks up his life, he's not likely to ask the government to bail him out and get much more than a derisive laugh. The same should be true for women. A woman should be ashamed to get into college or a job because of gender quotas. A woman who has a baby she doesn't want should be told the same thing a man is told, 'Shoulda used birth control!' Women and men should receive equal protection from violence, and equal sentences when they commit a crime.

That's the reality of equality. Equal freedoms = equal responsibilities. If you want more rights, you ought to be willing to accept more obligations. Isn't that what any teenager's told by their parents?

Equality is not what feminists want. It doesn't matter how many times they say it; actions speak louder than words. The actions of feminism as a whole, not just its fringe radicals, shows their true character.

And it is one of infinite selfishness.

I simply do not see any evidence that the feminist movement is working for anyone's benefit besides their own. I've looked. I have seen nothing but short-sighted, greedy self-interest. I have seen a movement that doesn't care what the consequences are to anyone else, so long as they get what they want. But maybe I'm biased. Anyone is welcome to try proving me wrong. And it wouldn't take much. Just link me to examples of large amounts of mainstream feminists working together on an issue that does not benefit only or mostly women. Or show me one instance of feminists doing something that actually benefits men more than women, purely for the sake of righting an injustice. Show me proof that feminists are against all double standards, not just the ones they can't use to their advantage. Show me anything at all demonstrating that feminists care more about human suffering than women's suffering.

Because do you know what I see now?

'Me first! Me first! Fund my problems first! And don't you dare tell me about yours or I'll get offended! No one else could ever suffer as much as me! There is no problem facing humanity that doesn't impact me the most! Every man is against me and everyone else needs to save me! I'm just a blameless victim and I need to be taken care of! And if I don't get everything I want, it's just more proof of how oppressed I am!'

Feminism embodies the stereotypes it claims to hate. Their embrace of victimhood fosters more of the same, encouraging behavior that says, 'I am not the problem. Everyone else needs to change their behavior. Not me.' And when bad things happen to women, they must never be blamed for it. No acceptance of blame means no guilt, no  self-reflection and no growth. Feminists want women to be able to act like children, but be treated like adults. And then they throw tantrums when anyone won't comply.

By focusing only on their own problems, they dehumanize the other half of humanity. And when they act as if it's oppression to suggest that they may ever be the cause of their own problems, they dehumanize themselves.

When you don't allow criticism, you don't allow yourself to learn. When you don't allow someone to be portrayed with all their faults, you are denying their personhood as much as if you'd portrayed them without virtue.

You know who else is fully empowered, loved by everyone, is never wrong, never gets in trouble for their mistakes and commands all sympathy when anything bad happens to them?

A Mary Sue.

That is what feminism reduces women to.

But nowadays, there's a change on the wind. There's a stranger comin' to town.

It's called the Men's Rights Movement.

And they are gaining ground. They are making people aware of the sexism that men have to deal with. They are compiling statistics. They are poking holes in long-established feminist arguments. Increasingly, I see MRA-written essays popping up on the web, and their videos getting overwhelmingly positive ratings on YouTube. People are getting sick of feminism and are glad to see someone finally standing up to them.

Sure, some MRAs whine and bitch and distort statistics and attack strawmen and use logical fallacies.

Gee, just like some feminists do.

Sure, some MRAs openly hate women, writing disgusting comments and threats on their forums.

Gee, just like the commenters at RadFem Hub who cheerfully discuss how nice it would be to commit genocide against all the world's men, including boys and even babies.

In fact, the more I think about it, there is not a single criticism feminists have thrown at MRAs that doesn't apply equally to them as well. And vice versa! Suddenly there's ANOTHER loud, rude, incredibly selfish movement devoted entirely to hogging all the attention for their own gender's problems!

Why, it's almost as if feminism and the MRM are mirror images of each other! Kissin' cousins!

You can guess why feminists hate them so much, right? Those goddamn men are cutting in on their action!

But I sit back and smile. Because as the men's right's movement grows in influence, and feminism increasingly shows its true colors in their fascist opposition to them, I think there's hope that the two groups might eventually reach a strange kind of balance. Not cancel each other out, but have their voices heard equally loud. As they should be. With two groups both selfishly bellowing for their gender to get the most governmental attention, maybe both sides will get a decent amount of what they want. Maybe eventually there'll be more female business and political leaders AND fathers will be treated the same as mothers in family court. Maybe women will feel safer from sex crimes AND men will feel safer from false sex crime accusations. Maybe abortion will be made fully legal and easily attainable for women AND men will have the same fairness extended to them by allowing them to financially separate from a child they don't want without facing the threat of debtor's prison. Maybe we'll even see pop culture change, so that women committing violence against men will be portrayed less often as comedy, and men aggressively pursuing women to the point of stalking and sexual harassment will be portrayed less often as 'romance'.

True equality. That'd be nice.

So no, I'm not a feminist. But only if I'm not a men's right's activist either.

Or I am a feminist. But only if I am also a men's right's activist too.

Both or neither; never only one. One half without the other is irreparably broken.

You cannot achieve gender equality by focusing only on one gender's problems. The selfishness of the movement is its fundamental lie. And it's right there in the name. Feminism. Not equalism, not egalitarianism. Nope; ladies first. The very same chivalry they claim is the problem. You cannot expect only half a problem to go away, to retain only the unfairness that benefits you.

Feminism as it is today embodies a particular Orwellian idea. If I may be so bold as to paraphrase: 'All humans are equal, but some humans are more equal than others.'





P.S. The wage gap. I have to mention it. It is one of feminism's most-used arguments and one I believed in for quite a long time. Until I thought about it a little. Men are paid more than women for the same work? Does that mean that there's some guy in almost every business who looks over all the paychecks and reduces all the women's' income? Surely that would be incredibly illegal, not to mention impractical. Oh wait. It turns out that the wage gap all but vanishes for women who are willing to do the same amount of work as men. Men, it seems, are more willing to put their career ahead of their health, relationships and sanity by working long hours and overtime. And if you're that masochistic, I'd say it's fair for you to bring home more money. Women are more likely to have a stronger commitment to self and family. So they spend less time at work and more time with people important to them. Hence, lighter paychecks.  Certainly, sexism plays a role in some cases, but I think its simplistic to not consider that both explanations may be true.
Viewed: 341 times
Added: 6 years ago
 
soggymaster
6 years ago
Re:  Mens and women's wages

My mother's best friend was in such a position back when I was a kid and teen.  When she was finishing up high school (she's older than me, but not old enough to be my mother, so roughly half a generation), she worked at a tool store.  She had extensive knowledge of the tools her store carried and sold.  At one point she ran the store until it went under.  She then got hired by Home Depot and was put in the tool crib.
Home Depot's employment crap is a rant all unto itself with (at least at that time) full-time hours which made it almost impossible to a) hold a second job, b) go to school or c) be a single parent (which she is).  Her situation added d) care for about two dozen horses - at that time.  
Now it would include more horses than even she dares count that she either owns or is boarding and even she loses track of all of the other farm animals she's rescued or otherwise agreed to care for, on top of two teenage human kids.

If you ignore the fact that my mother's best friend was female off of a resume for Home Depot, Lowes or any other store which sells tools, she would likely be made an assistant manager of that store/department instantly upon hire.  While I believe she eventually did become department head, she was paid woefully less than men with similar experience, position and seniority.

Now that she is an ER nurse, she's paid about as much as my father would if he were still working (he's retired).

She's the hardest working, kindest, doesn't take shit from anyone, someone who has been poor most of her life, yet somehow she's managed to make things work.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
>While I believe she eventually did become department head, she was paid woefully less than men with similar experience, position and seniority.

I won't deny this kind of unfair shit happens. But it's on a statistical level that the wage gap is brought up and that's how I responded to it. Certainly, some of the wage gap happens because of bigotry, but it's not acknowledged that maybe some of it's caused by the genders having different priorities in how they work.

Still, this incident sounds like it's very likely sexist and therefore very likely illegal. Like I said in the essay, you can criminalize behaviors but that doesn't stop people from doing 'em. The real problem then would be prosecuting Home Depot. And if the police wouldn't hear the case, the other problem is the fact that whether or not you can successfully sue a corporation depends on whether you have tons of money and free time to pour into a legal battle.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
BTW, I edited the last sentence to reflect that I'm not saying that sexism never plays a role. I should've made that clearer, so your response was helpful. Thanks!
yiharbin
6 years ago
Wow, dude..... I honestly think you are a genius right now. I Read through all of this and love your conclusions and completely agree with all your observations.
I have avoided the topic because there are feminist extremists about that are.... problematic at best.... But, I honestly  agree with everything here... which is weird, I usually find counter points at least somewhere.... So, you did a pretty damn good job! ^^
AlexReynard
6 years ago
Thanks very much. :)

>I have avoided the topic because there are feminist extremists about that are.... problematic at best....

Pretty much any time there's a topic where you're not allowed to voice a certain opinion because you'll be called a monster by a certain group of people, that's the opinion I'm interested in exploring. If your beliefs prove themselves, then there's no reason to bully people who disagree.
DraculJOSHI
6 years ago
It may be the wrong time to mention that I am a conspiracy theorist and know of the illuminati and templar's doings, is it?

Well, I call myself a feminist and I am male, but I neve say it's about equality, because for me it isn't.
For me, the whole thing about feminist is that females naturally display a more social behaviour than men, which would in turn make them superiour leaders. That's it. Of course that loses a lot of practicality due to modern society being a fair bit influencial in desocialicing females and people in general.

And don't give me the 'equal gender' bullshit. Genders aren't equal, can't be equal and are not supposed to be equal... unless humanity becomes single-gendered of course.
Wolfblade
6 years ago
Saying "females naturally make better leaders than men" - as if ANY female would be better than ANY male in a leadership role - is EXACTLY the same kind of completely and unarguably >WRONG< as people saying ANY male would be better than ANY female.

EVERY PERSON IS DIFFERENT. NO role, position, status, NONE of it will ever be universally more suited to one gender over the other except the basic biology of reproduction. If males were capable of being pregnant and giving birth, you would have cases of specific males who are better suited to it than other specific females. You'd still probably have an overwhelmingly skewed general statistic of >most< females being better suited to it than >most< males, just as ALL gender differences DO have an impact on general trends of each gender's aptitudes for varying roles.

But that's the whole point. Acknowledging that the genders AREN'T equal is part of the solution, but so is acknowledging that no matter what general trends or aptitudes may be, there will always be exceptions. Blanket statements and favoring one side over the other is never an acceptable stance to take. Every single person needs to be examined and judged on their own specific merits.
DraculJOSHI
6 years ago
"Saying "females naturally make better leaders than men" - as if ANY female would be better than ANY male in a leadership role - is EXACTLY the same kind of completely and unarguably >WRONG< as people saying ANY male would be better than ANY female."

-that's why I didn't say it. I sayed that it's a natural thing for women to be more social than men and that more social people make better leaders and that it is thus more likely to find a good leader among women. I didn't any women is a good leader.

"EVERY PERSON IS DIFFERENT. NO role, position, status, NONE of it will ever be universally more suited to one gender over the other except the basic biology of reproduction. If males were capable of being pregnant and giving birth, you would have cases of specific males who are better suited to it than other specific females. You'd still probably have an overwhelmingly skewed general statistic of >most< females being better suited to it than >most< males, just as ALL gender differences DO have an impact on general trends of each gender's aptitudes for varying roles."
-true, but only to a degree. There are natural differences between genders, females for example are more social due to them being the ones who have to care for newborns. Also, roles ARE assigned to people fitting for this and there ARE general truths depending on location/race/culture. For example, it is a truth that negroid humans have generally bigger penises or that people with a strong religious culture are less tolerant of other people.
And people should learn to accept their roles. A palladin shouldn't act as if he was a wizzard or a ranger.

"But that's the whole point. Acknowledging that the genders AREN'T equal is part of the solution, but so is acknowledging that no matter what general trends or aptitudes may be, there will always be exceptions. Every single person needs to be examined and judged on their own specific merits."
-True.

"Blanket statements and favoring one side over the other is never an acceptable stance to take."
-I dissagree, If one side is more likely to be better for something, it is only natural to favorite it. That's natural selection.
Incaros
6 years ago
Men can be just a social as women, you know. Humans as a hole are a herd/pack species. There are few exceptions where humans are better off completely alone.  I honestly wouldn't say its more natural for a woman to be a leader then a man. And I wouldn't say women are more social. just a different KIND of social. Unless you have a degree in psychology, or something else that tells me you have knowledge of the inner workings of the human mind, don't try to make me think different. You can voice your ideas, but I'll likely keep my own, just as I'm sure you'll likely keep your own ideas after reading this.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
>It may be the wrong time to mention that I am a conspiracy theorist and know of the illuminati and templar's doings, is it?

Personally, I've not seen many reasons to believe that there's anything more sinister out there than what governments and corporations are doing largely in plain sight.

>Well, I call myself a feminist and I am male, but I neve say it's about equality, because for me it isn't.
For me, the whole thing about feminist is that females naturally display a more social behaviour than men, which would in turn make them superiour leaders.

Now that's interesting. I suppose it's fair to be a feminist if you're upfront about it not being about equality. If you're in it because you think females are better, that's at least consistent. I often find that the people/groups I hate most are ones that won't be honest about their motivations.

>And don't give me the 'equal gender' bullshit. Genders aren't equal, can't be equal and are not supposed to be equal... unless humanity becomes single-gendered of course.

Maybe not perfectly equal, but I think we can certainly strive for balance. As in, both sides differences are acknowledged and accepted. And both genders are seen as equal under the law.
DraculJOSHI
6 years ago
'Personally, I've not seen many reasons to believe that there's anything more sinister out there than what governments and corporations are doing largely in plain sight.'
-well, america's goverment and corporations consist of quite a large number of illuminati... so... heh... no, there's technically nothing more sinister than corporates are largely doing in plain sight...
The templars are a fair bit more hidden and aren't nearly as destructive... still destructive... but since their number has significantly dropped, not nearly such a big threat anymore.

'Now that's interesting. I suppose it's fair to be a feminist if you're upfront about it not being about equality. If you're in it because you think females are better, that's at least consistent. I often find that the people/groups I hate most are ones that won't be honest about their motivations.'
-not better, better leaders and waygivers for a society, since societies are best kept social and women tend to be more social by nature. Men DO have their rightfull place in society... just maybe not this much on the decision making point. I am not fighting against men's right to vote, I just say that women may have better stuff we should vote on... if you get me, it's kind of hard to explain.

'Maybe not perfectly equal, but I think we can certainly strive for balance. As in, both sides differences are acknowledged and accepted. And both genders are seen as equal under the law.'
-I never wanted anything else. ^^
(which is why I don't support extreme feminism... like... not even serving male visitors a caffee and stuff)
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>well, america's goverment and corporations consist of quite a large number of illuminati... so... heh... no, there's technically nothing more sinister than corporates are largely doing in plain sight...The templars are a fair bit more hidden and aren't nearly as destructive... still destructive... but since their number has significantly dropped, not nearly such a big threat anymore.

I know fuck-all about either group and not much could convince me they're more evil or more powerful than the Vatican, the Bush administration or Halliburton.

>not better, better leaders and waygivers for a society, since societies are best kept social and women tend to be more social by nature. Men DO have their rightfull place in society... just maybe not this much on the decision making point. I am not fighting against men's right to vote, I just say that women may have better stuff we should vote on... if you get me, it's kind of hard to explain.

Yeah, I'm not sure I get what you're saying here. Explain a bit more?

>(which is why I don't support extreme feminism... like... not even serving male visitors a caffee and stuff)

Wow, I can't help but be reminded of Muslims refusing service to women in exactly the same way.
squirrelfox
6 years ago
I wish I could fave journals.
Wolfblade
6 years ago
Any person who believes it is okay to judge any other person because of what demographics they are or are not part of; that it is okay to base your treatment of a person on the actions (real or perceived) of some other person; to give no regard or concern for whether any of the assumptions of thought, belief, or action they hold for these people are remotely true, is a bigot.

I don't care what group you define yourself by, what wrong (real or perceived) you've chosen to make the defining aspect of your being: fuck you. If you're white and you think all blacks are niggers, fuck you. You're a man and you think all women are weak-minded cunts, fuck you. But if you're black and you think all whites are racists, or a woman and think all men are misogynist, fuck you too. If you're a rape victim and you dismiss victims of racial discrimination, or vice versa, ANY person who wants to act like THEIR suffering is the only TRUE suffering, just fucking shut up and get over yourself already. ALL bigotry is wrong. Wrong is wrong. ANY people suffering from ANY of this shit deserve acknowledgement and ALL these problems deserve attention and work to correct them.

But no problem can EVER be fixed if the people crying about the problem deflect any and all realistic assessment of it. The more the Victim Parades insist on acting like they have made ZERO progress in the last century; the more they dismiss and disregard the gains and advances THEIR OWN MOVEMENT has achieved; the more clearly and inescapably the picture they paint fails to reflect the reality anyone outside of their parade can look around and see for themselves; the less anyone gives a fuck about their cause, and the more people will start to see them as fucking lunatics not worth listening to.

Which sucks for those few who ARE still having to deal with the remaining valid incidents of bigotry that might still be able to be further reduced if more sane and rational attention was spent on the problem. There ARE racists and misogynists and everything else still belittling and disregarding these problems, but it only makes it easier for them to seem like they have something of a point when the people championing these discriminated groups >choose to make themselves the embodiments of every negative stereotype their group bitches about having applied against them.<

So, so, so many groups dedicated to trying to elevate their one pet issue as being the ONLY issue, and comparatively so few that try to stand up for >every< injustice they see.

You want to see two bat-shit extremist nutjob my-pain-is-the-only-pain trains collide headlong, look into the 'die cis scum' thing. Genetic males who identify as female (whether they have surgery or not) wanting to get into the radfem penis-haters club, and then completely unable to comprehend why these psychotically extremist we-hate-all-men-and-want-them-to-die lunatics don't accept "but I cut it off, or I'm seriously wanting to cut it off" as a full-fledged certification of womanhood and welcome them with open arms onto the man-hate train.

Remember Uncle Ruckus from Boondocks? Imagine him trying to join the Klan, then when they don't let him in, he starts a hate crusade against them - not because of their hatred for him and his kind - because they won't let him join them in their hating. This sounds like something I'd actually expect to be an episode, but I didn't see a lot of that show, so if it was, then imagine it happening in real life and becoming an actual movement by more than just one fucked-up loony.

"The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract."

^ One of those appropriate quotes that the people it most applies to will try to apply it right back at you (and accuse you of being the one doing exactly that - paradoxes! @_@ )
Wolfblade
6 years ago
This journal is fucking awesome, btw. You should spread it around to any of these groups and boards that you can. It's an excellent article/essay/etc, and would be of good use to people wanting to stand in the way of this one-sided crap.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
>ALL bigotry is wrong. Wrong is wrong. ANY people suffering from ANY of this shit deserve acknowledgement and ALL these problems deserve attention and work to correct them.

Yes, yes, YES, goddammit!!! I often wonder how much more social progress we'd make if the various 'victimized' groups would lend each other a hand instead of bickering over who's got it worse. Why can't we just acknowledge that cruel behavior is unacceptable no matter who's doing it to who?

>the more clearly and inescapably the picture they paint fails to reflect the reality anyone outside of their parade can look around and see for themselves; the less anyone gives a fuck about their cause, and the more people will start to see them as fucking lunatics not worth listening to.

*coughPETAcough*

>Which sucks for those few who ARE still having to deal with the remaining valid incidents of bigotry that might still be able to be further reduced if more sane and rational attention was spent on the problem.

EXACTLY. It's like The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

>There ARE racists and misogynists and everything else still belittling and disregarding these problems, but it only makes it easier for them to seem like they have something of a point when the people championing these discriminated groups >choose to make themselves the embodiments of every negative stereotype their group bitches about having applied against them.<

I wish I ha something more intelligent to add than HOLY SHIT DO I EVER AGREE. I get so sick of people and groups who think it's everyone else who needs to change how they act.

>You want to see two bat-shit extremist nutjob my-pain-is-the-only-pain trains collide headlong, look into the 'die cis scum' thing.

<vomiting noises> I think I'll just take your word for it. One of the reasons I titled this 'Digging Feminism's Grave' is that I want this to be my last word on the subject for a good while. I've taken in a LOT about the subject in the last few months, to the point where I realized my friends were getting sick of me talking about it and I was getting sick of feeling so disgusted and enraged by all the bullshit I was seeing. It was like leaving FA all over again. This was my attempt to just condense everything I've learned on the subject into a single essay and stop dwelling on it for a while.

>This sounds like something I'd actually expect to be an episode,

It does, really.

>One of those appropriate quotes that the people it most applies to will try to apply it right back at you (and accuse you of being the one doing exactly that - paradoxes! @_@ )[/q]

Oh my yes. Some of the quotes I've seen on feminist/MRM forums have been so ironic I've nearly felt my colon rupture upon reading them.

>This journal is fucking awesome, btw. You should spread it around to any of these groups and boards that you can. It's an excellent article/essay/etc, and would be of good use to people wanting to stand in the way of this one-sided crap.

I dunno if I've got the energy for it. But if you (or anyone else reading this comment) wants to spread it, you totally have my blessing.
caramelthecalf
6 years ago
This is so clear, that only people who are purposely abusing either side of the coin, would ignore it.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
Thanks very much. I really did my best to stick to facts and put blame only where it belongs. If anyone reads this and calls me a misogynist, they'd pretty much just be outing themselves as exactly the problem I'm describing.
SenGrisane
6 years ago
Your post would put long cat to shame ^^

Well written. I don't think I found anything to disagree with.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
Thanks!

Y'know, I rather like that I have friends who actively look for things in my journals to disagree with. I never want to construct an echo chamber. I want friends and fans who will tell me when they think I'm wrong. Like I said, I hate ideologies. I never want the easy answer. I want to be right only if I've come to the conclusion the facts most logically lead to.
Norithics
6 years ago
Oh, hey, I wrote about this some time ago!

Not a bad composition. I think that most of our social progress from this point forward will have to be... well, social. We need to get a handle on Psychology as a science- we can't go forward until we conquer ourselves.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
>Oh, hey, I wrote about this some time ago!

Ooh, I shall read it ASAP!

>Not a bad composition. I think that most of our social progress from this point forward will have to be... well, social. We need to get a handle on Psychology as a science- we can't go forward until we conquer ourselves.

Very agreed. That's a big theme of my recent novel, War Is Peace.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
Also my novel is big on the idea that we can all be both equal and different. That we can be equal in terms of how we're treated as citizens, but in our interactions with each other we should embrace and celebrate our differences in terms of individuals, gender, sexual orientation, species... ;)
FoxxieKun
6 years ago
What it boils down to is "No one is equal, but all should be treated equally", which is one philosophy I try to live by. Some are smarter, some are darker, some are feminine, some are sarcastic, but equal treatment is what every single individual deserves. I think I'm one of the few white men who truly takes to heart what Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. said; That one should only be judged by the content of their character.

Hell, the ultimate kicker is that numerous blacks and Latinos, like Feminists, love acting the victim, love painting whites as the fascist overlords chaining them down. So much for Dr. King and his ideals, eh? Abandoned as soon as the people he died for could exploit the victim mentality...

Another thing I find ironic is that, even though African-Americans are PHYSICALLY free from public/state persecution and slavery, they remain shackled to a God that was forced on their earlier ancestors during the slave trade. Whites did their damnedest to destroy their pride and faith as a people and replace it with subservience to both white men, and the white men's God. Modern African-Americans have only bothered to free themselves from the shackles placed on them by the former, whilst wallowing in the filth that is the white man's indoctrination of their ancestry into the very religion that justified their slavery, rape, and murder for two centuries.

Worse yet are the streets and avenues unlucky enough to be named "Martin Luther King", as these commonly become public cesspits fraught with danger for anyone not black/Latino and/or wearing the wrong colored clothing. The ultimate insult, even worse than simply vandalizing his actual grave.

The victim mentality even goes to religious institutions. Any time people can band together on common ground to proclaim persecution and make some kind of profit on the victim mentality, they usually do. Women, blacks, Latinos, men, Asians, Native Americans, even Furries aren't immune to the whole thing (Hell, Inkbunny has quite a few extremist cubs who proclaim anyone who doesn't draw/write exclusively cub is persecuting them or "attacking" their right to be cubs...). Similarly, there are people who wish to MAKE victims of others (The KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, the REAL Anti-Cubs, Misogynists, Misandrists, etcetetera ad nauseum). It's really quite tragic that very few people can think rationally and apply rationality and objectivity to their world views and actions, but then it's easier to punch someone in the face for having a differing opinion than to admit that their opinion has a right to exist and (may) have merit.

Emotions run hot on many topics, and as we go on our society is rapidly going the way of "Sacrifice Freedom to maintain Safety", which is a mindset that will provide neither safety nor freedom to anyone. I'd sooner know that someone goes to street corners waving "God Hates Fags" signs than be forever ignorant of a guy I know who hates me and has a motive to murder me, to be honest.

I forget who exactly said it, but I love the quote "Your right to throw punches ends at my face", which applies to really everything we do. We can speak as we wish, do as we wish, but the moment it threatens, enables, or actually does immediate harm, we must be held accountable. People say "I hate [insert person's name here]" all the time, but only if they say "I'm gonna kill [insert name here]" are they incriminated. Intent to harm in the statement is key. That's why Westboro says "God Hates Fags" and not "Let's Kill all the Fags", as the latter is a direct threat of violence to a specific group. I say let them have their protests, and if I want to I'll stand nearby with a sign that says "Fuck these guys, they need a good lay."
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>What it boils down to is "No one is equal, but all should be treated equally", which is one philosophy I try to live by.

Hear, hear!

>Hell, the ultimate kicker is that numerous blacks and Latinos, like Feminists, love acting the victim, love painting whites as the fascist overlords chaining them down. So much for Dr. King and his ideals, eh? Abandoned as soon as the people he died for could exploit the victim mentality...

Hey, they're far from the only one! Look at Christians, a 90% majority in this country, crying their eyes out on TV because a handful of atheists want to put up a billboard or enforce the separation of church and state. It's anti-religious persecution! (There's a war on Christmas, y'know!) Look at the Republicans who endless talk on conservative radio and TV shows about how they don't have a voice in the media. Look at the white supremacists who actually believe there's an anti-white genocide going on, because other races are breeding more than they are.

There is literally no majority, no matter how completely in power, who won't whine about how the whole rest of the world is against them.

>Modern African-Americans have only bothered to free themselves from the shackles placed on them by the former, whilst wallowing in the filth that is the white man's indoctrination of their ancestry into the very religion that justified their slavery, rape, and murder for two centuries.

That is a hell of a good point. Uncomfortable, but good. Makes me want to ask them, 'Do you think your great-great-grandparents had ever heard of Jesus before they found themselves chained up on a ship heading for America?'

>(Hell, Inkbunny has quite a few extremist cubs who proclaim anyone who doesn't draw/write exclusively cub is persecuting them or "attacking" their right to be cubs...)

<eyeroll> And Inkbunny's probably the most cub-friendly site they're likely to find!! Why is it that when certain victim-type persons find a 'safe space', all they can do is bitch about how much 'safer' it still needs to be?

>It's really quite tragic that very few people can think rationally and apply rationality and objectivity to their world views and actions, but then it's easier to punch someone in the face for having a differing opinion than to admit that their opinion has a right to exist and (may) have merit.

True. I sometimes want to lightly electrocute people who display blatant double standards in their behavior. 'It's okay for me to do this, but if you do it I'll be deeply offended and scream insults at you for being so horrible.' It seems like sometimes people get the idea that they are The Good Guy, which means that anyone who disagrees with them must be The Bad Guy, and of course it's justified for the good guy to do anything they want to the bad guy.

>I'd sooner know that someone goes to street corners waving "God Hates Fags" signs than be forever ignorant of a guy I know who hates me and has a motive to murder me, to be honest.

"I'd rather someone say the most hurtful insult imaginable to my face instead of behind my back" -Me

>That's why Westboro says "God Hates Fags" and not "Let's Kill all the Fags", as the latter is a direct threat of violence to a specific group. I say let them have their protests, and if I want to I'll stand nearby with a sign that says "Fuck these guys, they need a good lay."

Actually, I've heard that their entire schtick may be all about provoking people to violence so that they can file a lawsuit against them. If that's true, then I hope one day someone walks up to them and just sprays them head to toe in birdshot. Or maybe rock salt. Not enough of a blast to kill them; just enough to hurt like hell and permanently disfigure their faces with tiny little scars. Then it turns out the shooter has no money, nothing to lose and is perfectly willing to go to jail. "You can sue me all you want but I've got nothing to give you! Was it worth it?"
Incaros
6 years ago
I agree with you, more or less. Femminism isn't really no longer needed....it was a Champion when humanity needed it, but now it seems to have corrupted itself into something completely oppisite of what its original purpose was. Making people into people. Now that women have a more equal and fair (maybe not completely) playing field with men, it seems to have warped into shoving men far, far down the totem pole. We don't need Women's rights activist, or Men's rights activist (not in the US at least. Some countries probably still need feminist, namely in the middle east if anywhere)  we need equalist. People who work for the equality of BOTH genders, instead of just one.
AlexReynard
6 years ago
Unfortunately, I don't see a huge movement of Equalists arising anywhere. That's why I honestly do think the rise of the men's rights movement is as good as it's gonna get. Feminism isn't going to back down anytime soon, but at least they can be countered by an opposite, opposing force.
ScottyKat
6 years ago
this needs to be published
AlexReynard
6 years ago
If you can think of anywhere else I could post this, lay it on me. I'd love for more people to see it.
PeachClover
6 years ago
*sigh*  I wake up and read a book by Alex posted in his journal.  I get upset for being made aware of problems that I don't want to think about, but all I have to say is; you're right.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>I get upset for being made aware of problems that I don't want to think about

That. Holy balls, do I ever empathize with that. Sounds like every other day for me. Sorry to have caused it, amigo!
Blackraven2
6 years ago
Regarding "patriarchy". I think it would be interesting to shed some light on some historic developments leading to the system we have nowadays.

The gender roles of men and woman - like all roles in society (look at the Indian caste system) are mostly a result of cultural customs and to a far lesser degree preset by human nature.

Some cultures - which evolved pre-dominantly in the mediteranean area - see woman as little more than property to males. Titles, surname and inheritance go to the male offspring, while females are to be married off.
Unfortunately one society that shared this custom was the romans, and thanks to the roman empire it became pre-dominant throughout Europe, which set the scene for the entire middle ages (and with that for the colonialisation). The role of the woman in both the western world and partly also in the Arab world goes back to the role of the woman in classic roman empire, which was predominantly patriarchic. The roman empire had managed to cement that system across their entire realm,

At the same time there were other cultures where the gender roles where vastly different. Before the romans, Europe was dominated by the Celts, which had a relatively evenly powered gender role distribution, and inheritance was afaik passed down the female line (although, like all societies, they did have gender roles, very strict ones even, they were just different.)

One can question both gender roles in general, and unfairness caused by them. The roman system (and to a bigger degree what evolved from that thanks to both Islam and the catholic church in the middle ages) is highly unfair towards females as far as power goes. However these legal oppressions have been abolished in most western countries over a hundred years ago, and woman have gained all the rights they had been denied - like voting, inheritance, keeping their name in marriage, ..., ...

Nowadays the law treats men and woman (mostly) equal, which is a good thing. Society as a whole does not, there are still gender roles, and they affect everyone. Some of the effects of that are unfair (for example the discrepancy in wages) and any difference in how ppl are treated causes desires and greed in those who think others get more than they do.

But in fact male and female are not equal - neither physiologically, nor psychologically, and over-enforcing equalness where there is no base for it would simply - fail.

Many companies are (not so) secretly run not by the boss, but by the secretary who keeps everything together. Usually the boss is male - the CEO needs to be a leader who others eagerly follow. There are woman who can be very good in that role, but statistically, most who are good at that are male. (The same applies to military leaders btw)
Usually the boss would be helplessly lost without the power of the one who keeps everything together, keeps track of contacts, appointments, resources, and another hundred little things at the same time. Someone to pull the strings and keep everyone in line. Usually this secretary job is done by a female. There certainly are males who are good at that but statistically the majority of those who are are woman.

And no matter how many self proclaimed feminists bitch around that they want to see an equal number of female CEO's will ever change that.

What I do agree with them however is, once there is a female manager in charge, and she is good, she should by all means earn the same as their male colleagues.

What is also bullshit is the implicit assumption by most in charge of hiring, that females or males in general are better or less suited for a certain job - and discard applying employees based on gender before even looking at their actual qualification. Which does happen. A lot. (They use a whole bunch of other stupid criteria too though!)
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>The gender roles of men and woman - like all roles in society (look at the Indian caste system) are mostly a result of cultural customs and to a far lesser degree preset by human nature.

I'm sorry, but I've just never seen any evidence that's true. I've studied instinct a lot. It plays a frighteningly large role in our lives and I can't see why that'd be any different for gender roles. Think about it this way; society has influenced gender for, what, a few hundred thousand years? Whereas evolution has influenced gender for millions of years longer than humans have even existed. Which is gonna exert a greater force on us?

>Unfortunately one society that shared this custom was the romans, and thanks to the roman empire it became pre-dominant throughout Europe, which set the scene for the entire middle ages (and with that for the colonialisation).
>At the same time there were other cultures where the gender roles where vastly different. Before the romans, Europe was dominated by the Celts, which had a relatively evenly powered gender role distribution, and inheritance was afaik passed down the female line

Right here, you've kind of proven my point. The Romans were able to successfully spread patriarchy across a good patch of the globe. Whereas the Celts kinda got their asses kicked. Why? When you study evolution long enough, you realize that, if anything exists in nature (or society) for a great length of time, there is a reason for it. Natural selection weeds out things that don't work. Like it or not, fair or not, patriarchy is a more successful societal model than egalitarianism. Note that I'm talking 'successful' in the pure evolutionary sense, where what's best for a species survives regardless of whether the individuals within that species like it. A society that treats men as disposable soldiers and women as reproductive objects to be protected has an evolutionary advantage. I'm certainly not saying we have to keep going like this, especially now that we have medical technology to erase the imbalances that made patriarchy necessary in the first place. But I do think that we have to acknowledge and accept the biological side of things before we can progress.

>Usually the boss would be helplessly lost without the power of the one who keeps everything together, keeps track of contacts, appointments, resources, and another hundred little things at the same time. Someone to pull the strings and keep everyone in line. Usually this secretary job is done by a female. There certainly are males who are good at that but statistically the majority of those who are are woman.

I'd love to see some data on specifically this. It's been proven to me pretty convincingly that there are some jobs to which men will tend to gravitate to and women avoid, and vice verse. It seems like men are more naturally drawn to public leadership roles. They're more wired for the kind of chest-thumping, backstabbing egotism it takes. At least, that's my guess. Women seek power too, like all humans, but in different ways. Women seem to prefer to hold power quietly.

>What I do agree with them however is, once there is a female manager in charge, and she is good, she should by all means earn the same as their male colleagues.
>What is also bullshit is the implicit assumption...that females or males in general are better or less suited for a certain job - and discard applying employees based on gender before even looking at their actual qualification.

VERY AGREED. Acknowledgement that, for instance, there are way more male engineers and way more female nurses doesn't mean you restrict either gender from either job. You've got to accept probability but allow for statistical deviation. Just because something is "a man's job" doesn't mean a woman who wants to do the job and can do the job should ever be turned away from it. And a man wanting to do "women's work" shouldn't be ridiculed for it or have his manhood questioned.
ProjectDemise
6 years ago
You, sir, deserve a beer *Holds out beer*

The whole 'feminist' thing reminds me, oddly enough, of Beavis and Butthead.  There was an episode where there was a feminist movement going on, which they attended in the hope of finding horny women who would sleep with them.  During the rally, the speaker starts going off about how they should change the spelling of 'women' to 'womyn' because, in her words, "We aren't just men plus two little letters."  And then the two do something incredibly stupid and get their asses kicked by a couple of tough army chicks.  They said women were victims, yet instead of tossing out two teenage boys for being stupid, they beat the hell out of them.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
This is why I like Beavis & Butthead: when smart people write really dumb comedy, a lot of good satire gets in there too. ;)
Winterimage
6 years ago
It's time for humanism; equal rights and obligations for all human being regardless of gender, skin colour, nationality, religion (or lack thereof), health, sexuality, appearance, political views or income.

A novel idea, maybe, and probably preposterous to most, but if we all fight together, we can win!
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
Hear, hear! :D
Humbug
6 years ago
I think there's a movement that addresses this problematic thinking, actually. "Humanism." Haven't done much research on it, so it might just be a general philosophy more than a movement, but I've heard it brought up here and there when this topic's surfaced. Regardless, I think it's more along the lines of what we ought to be pursuing.

But yes. Institutions have a tendency to stay around long after they've served their purpose, whether it's a committee or a movement. I'm glad you brought up the gay rights parades as an example of that, because I've been arguing that they once served a purpose but are now actually detrimental to the cause they're espousing for some time now. Hell, even "furry pride" is outliving its usefulness. Internet people in general know what a furry is, so awareness is no longer necessary. What so many of these groups fail to do, whether they be furries, gays, blacks, hispanics, women, or whatever, is taking the next step and working toward gaining acceptance or at least understanding. Far too often, this shit just turns into an "us vs. them" scenario that divides people and is completely counter-intuitive to the original goal of the oppressed group. I think the only oppressed minority I've seen overcome this kind of bullshit attitude are Asians. That's in general, by the way; there are still a bunch of obnoxious Asian Pride people out there, but for the most part, Asians tend to incorporate fairly well, and have gained a general acceptance among the majority. That said, even the song "Asian Pride" is about equality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOi3yAdqTYA
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>I think there's a movement that addresses this problematic thinking, actually. "Humanism." Haven't done much research on it, so it might just be a general philosophy more than a movement, but I've heard it brought up here and there when this topic's surfaced. Regardless, I think it's more along the lines of what we ought to be pursuing.

Ideally, yes. But I'm not sure a movement that broad can hope to gain momentum. It seems like a more successful movement would be one that focuses on a specific topic, devotes itself to those issues, and doesn't try to take on more than it can handle. That's why I said I hope for a future where feminism and the men's right's movement are equally powerful and constantly at each other's throats. I think that way, they'd both cancel out some of each other's excesses and meet some of the goals a humanist movement would aspire to. I've seen examples from history that sometimes competition is the most powerful creator of innovation and results.

>I'm glad you brought up the gay rights parades as an example of that, because I've been arguing that they once served a purpose but are now actually detrimental to the cause they're espousing for some time now.

I don't know if I can agree to that until I see some evidence. They might be a bit obnoxious, sure, but no moreso than sports fans.

>Hell, even "furry pride" is outliving its usefulness. Internet people in general know what a furry is, so awareness is no longer necessary.

Yeah, but most of the 'real' world still only knows us through shit like that fursuit-wearing, plushie-fucking episode of ER.

>What so many of these groups fail to do, whether they be furries, gays, blacks, hispanics, women, or whatever, is taking the next step and working toward gaining acceptance or at least understanding.

I'll definitely agree there. Groups who declare themselves victims and then just stop there have failed themselves. This reminds me of writing War Is Peach, how I tried to really push the idea of the two split societies both accepting who they are and also integrating and loving each other for their differences.

>I think the only oppressed minority I've seen overcome this kind of bullshit attitude are Asians. That's in general, by the way; there are still a bunch of obnoxious Asian Pride people out there, but for the most part, Asians tend to incorporate fairly well, and have gained a general acceptance among the majority.

Hm, fascinating. I'd never thought of that before, but it does seem to be true. Maybe it's because there's a greater sense of community-over-individual in a lot of Asian countries.
Humbug
5 years, 11 months ago
>That's why I said I hope for a future where feminism and the men's right's movement are equally powerful and constantly at each other's throats. I think that way, they'd both cancel out some of each other's excesses and meet some of the goals a humanist movement would aspire to. I've seen examples from history that sometimes competition is the most powerful creator of innovation and results.

Sounds legit. I'll agree to that.

>>I'm glad you brought up the gay rights parades as an example of that, because I've been arguing that they once served a purpose but are now actually detrimental to the cause they're espousing for some time now.
>I don't know if I can agree to that until I see some evidence. They might be a bit obnoxious, sure, but no moreso than sports fans.

That's just it: Have sports fans' hooting and hollering ever pulled you over to their side? Unlikely. Now imagine if you thought that enjoying sports was destroying the moral fabric of society. Having that stuff pushed in your face is more likely to make you fight against it and hate those associated with it.

>Yeah, but most of the 'real' world still only knows us through shit like that fursuit-wearing, plushie-fucking episode of ER.

True 'nuf. I was just thinking Internet culture, but you're right: No awareness in real life. Gettin' that out is a positive.

>This reminds me of writing War Is Peach, how I tried to really push the idea of the two split societies both accepting who they are and also integrating and loving each other for their differences.

Nice! That's the ideal. :)
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>Sounds legit. I'll agree to that.

I have no idea if things'll work out that way, it's merely my best guess. All I know for sure is that having only one movement devoted to just one side is definitely not balancing the scale; it's just unbalancing it in the opposite direction.

>That's just it: Have sports fans' hooting and hollering ever pulled you over to their side? Unlikely. Now imagine if you thought that enjoying sports was destroying the moral fabric of society. Having that stuff pushed in your face is more likely to make you fight against it and hate those associated with it.

Maybe. I dunno. Like I said elsewhere, maybe gay pride people oughtta just have a convention instead. So at least it's inside.

>True 'nuf. I was just thinking Internet culture, but you're right: No awareness in real life. Gettin' that out is a positive.

I'd be worried about mainstream RL reaction to knowing that furries exist, but I think we may be too inherently ridiculous to really be afraid of. Hopefully.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
*PEACE!!! Oh Christ, I cannot believe I made that typo.
fullmetal53
6 years ago
While I certainly run the risk of belittling the issue, I must wonder how many females (feminists and non-feminists alike) agree with this. Or even what their thoughts on this are. As you pointed out aptly in middle of this admittedly well written piece: "But maybe I'm biased." I agree with what this article says and the sentiments in this essay are ones that I have echoed in past discussions of the legitimacy and the problematic (read: paradoxical) nature of feminism as we know it (though to be sure, your explanation is clearly more thought out). The most difficult thing for me when it comes to subjects of this nature (subjects concerning  an exceptionally powerful and seemingly appropriate movement that tells a group of which I am apart that it is part of the problem and not the solution) is that to mount any defence against such an accusation is confirm those very accusation (I.E.:  see, you're bigoted because you don't agree to our terms of "equality"). Though the possibility that I agree with what you have proposed in this essay because I am male has not escaped me, but it seems that the points you have made here are AT LEAST valid.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>While I certainly run the risk of belittling the issue, I must wonder how many females (feminists and non-feminists alike) agree with this. Or even what their thoughts on this are.

Shortly after I wrote this, I signed up for a forum that some guys on YouTube were claiming was just crawling with feminists. I was willing, and hopeful, of having my beliefs changed. It really wouldn't be hard, because I've only been seriously studying gender for a short time and it's a lot less certain than, say, arguing evolution vs. creationism. But what I found there confirmed a lot of my worst impressions. It got ugly. I asked questions, and got very few straight answers. I didn't see a lot of people trying to prove their side with arguments, but I did see a lot of offense that I would dare question their obviously-self-evident beliefs. It was disheartening. I wanted to be proved wrong. I wanted to find good, open, honest discussion. I got a bit, but it was quickly drowned out with bullying so vicious I could hardly sleep and it actually drove me to tears one day. (I'm hoping to release the entire encounter as a series of screenshots soon.)

>Though the possibility that I agree with what you have proposed in this essay because I am male has not escaped me, but it seems that the points you have made here are AT LEAST valid.

Thanks. And I wouldn't worry about it too much. Do I believe in evolution because I'm an atheist? No; I believe in evolution because it has a mountain of evidence supporting it. If you're worried about bias, take yourself out of the equation. Whenever possible, look for statistics. Cold, unemotional numbers. See if the facts present a picture of reality more consistent with what the feminists say, what the men's right's movement says, both or neither. That's what I've tried to do. And unfortunately for feminism, the facts do not logically lead to the conclusions they've drawn. They say that women are uniquely disadvantaged and discriminated against in our society, but I cannot find evidence supporting this. At least within this society. Frankly, the more I've looked into this, the more I've come to realize just how much better the women in America/Canada/most of Europe have it than women just about everywhere else in the world. "Miss, you're screaming about how oppressed you are, but I can see that your face is uncovered, your clitoris is still intact, you're allowed to drive and go to college, and nobody's murdering you for being a witch or for being raped. Where's this oppression you speak of?"
Rakaziel
6 years ago
There is not much I can add. As far as I have insight into this issue, I agree with your points.
Feminist organizations have made the same mistake as the unions before them (let's be honest, they are a union, only that they select their members by gender and not by job), which is in turn based on an instinct of pack loyality - they stayed within their own borders and mainly focused on what happened within them. This leads to the point that within their borders, they reach the point of dimishing returns and get rabid about it, while outside of their borders they still do very little agains the exploitation of people in other nations.

The sane solution would be to go international, kind of like the United Nations, and actively help people who are suffering under economic or sexist oppression in other countries. That would keep them busy, and it would help those that need it most.

We live in an age in which both genders may become obsolete for reproduction within our lifetime (men technically already are, scientists managed to create viable sperm cells from stem cells. Egg cells were also successful, and several people try develop artifical wombs - the alternative to that would be using animals as surrogate mothers), which could theoretically lead to the construction of monogendered societies.
Not exclusively, but it would not surprise me if they pop up in some plates. Extreme feminists, the MGTOW guys, some religious extremists, possibly even as an experiment to breed people for specific purposes as it gives ample opportunity for genetic engineering. On the one hand the genders would no longer collide in there, on the other hand they would not mitigate each other's extremes, and it would slowly alienate the genders from each others.

Given that imo we get reincarnated to learn more about the laws of nature and how to get along with each other, the purpose of this continued learning being to ultimately attain godhood to further improve the universe as a whole, it is hard to say if it would be detrimental to the learning experience or if it would provide unique learning experiences that would be otherwise impossible. Most likely both, but then there are multiple reincarnations and I do not expect the mongendered factions of humanity to make up a big portion of the total population.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>Feminist organizations have made the same mistake as the unions before them

Interesting comparison! Hadn't thought of that.

>The sane solution would be to go international, kind of like the United Nations, and actively help people who are suffering under economic or sexist oppression in other countries. That would keep them busy, and it would help those that need it most.

I AM AGREEING SO MUCH IT HURTS.

>Not exclusively, but it would not surprise me if they pop up in some plates. Extreme feminists, the MGTOW guys, some religious extremists, possibly even as an experiment to breed people for specific purposes as it gives ample opportunity for genetic engineering. On the one hand the genders would no longer collide in there, on the other hand they would not mitigate each other's extremes, and it would slowly alienate the genders from each others.

I'd actually like to see little colonies like this pop up. Specifically, I'd love to see all the hardcore neocons secede and make their own nation. Or the Objectivists. Or one of the race/gender separatists. The reason is simple: I want to sit back and watch them fail. I want to see a living example of how a segregated society is doomed to fail. Strength comes from variety. Trying to create unified purity of any kind results in the kind of inbreeding that plagued various royal families. Or do we need another example of what happens to societies that try to improve themselves through making everyone the same? *coughcoughWORLDWARTWO*

>Given that imo we get reincarnated to learn more about the laws of nature and how to get along with each other, the purpose of this continued learning being to ultimately attain godhood to further improve the universe as a whole, it is hard to say if it would be detrimental to the learning experience or if it would provide unique learning experiences that would be otherwise impossible. Most likely both, but then there are multiple reincarnations and I do not expect the mongendered factions of humanity to make up a big portion of the total population.

I'd love to believe in reincarnation, but I think the single factor that keeps me from accepting the idea is that, if it were true, I would expect to have seen the human race get smarter a hell of a lot faster.
OsirisPM
6 years ago
Hmm. I never know what to say. On one hand, I believe women have suffered unjustly under EVERY form of government (including, paradoxically, any Stone Age Mother Cults, which treated women as so holy they have to be kept safe in the dwelling, away from the work of building a civilization). I correct any such injustice when I see it. On the other, I am a pervert and a gentleman. I think of the human body as a sex object, and I believe that if someone needs a door opened, I will open it, regardless of gender, religion, or marriage status.
For me, the whole problem of feminism in the twenty-first century lies in poorly constructed theories of sociology--these were not an issue for earlier Women's Rights movements (a more comfortable feminism, and one I would consider joining). Talking about patriarchy as more than a CONSTRUCT or METAPHOR to explain the bad stuff that happens to women creates the false reality of a conspiracy against women, BY MEN (this may explain the genocidal feminists out there). Of course, once you have THAT going, it's impossible to suggest that the world's civilizations also contain bad stuff for men, since then, the conspiracy is called into question.
Eventually, we'll get it all right, and everyone will be content. Until then, we'll just have to keep on moving, correcting injustices as they appear in our sight, and trying to maintain what few good choices we've made.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>On one hand, I believe women have suffered unjustly under EVERY form of government (including, paradoxically, any Stone Age Mother Cults, which treated women as so holy they have to be kept safe in the dwelling, away from the work of building a civilization).

And isn't that just another form of keep-the-women-in-their-place patriarchy? ;)

>I correct any such injustice when I see it. On the other, I am a pervert and a gentleman. I think of the human body as a sex object, and I believe that if someone needs a door opened, I will open it, regardless of gender, religion, or marriage status.

Sounds good to me. I always wince to see feminists who can't stand a little basic chivalry. On the one hand it's nice to see them not accepting double standards that benefit them, but on the other, meeting politeness with rudeness makes you an asshole.

>Talking about patriarchy as more than a CONSTRUCT or METAPHOR to explain the bad stuff that happens to women creates the false reality of a conspiracy against women, BY MEN (this may explain the genocidal feminists out there). Of course, once you have THAT going, it's impossible to suggest that the world's civilizations also contain bad stuff for men, since then, the conspiracy is called into question.

JESUS JUMPING FUCK, THAT IS AS PERFECTLY PUT AS I'VE EVER SEEN IT. While I do think that 'patriarchy' exists as a type of naturally-occurring societal structure, you're absolutely right to say that it's delusional to imbue it with *intentionality*. As in, the men are knowingly perpetuating it because they just hate womens. When you choose to see it that way, the logical conclusion is that men are the enemy, and that does lead quite logically to genocidal ideas. (GirlWritesWhat on YouTube did a magnificent video about how the idea of 'let's kill all the men' comes from seemingly nowhere else in the world but feminism, and that's no coincidence.) I genuinely believe that our gender roles originate in our instincts. And that's no fun because then there's no one to blame. If you're the type of person who likes to feel morally outraged and spit vicious hatred at 'oppressors', then it's far too unsatisfying to blame gender roles on biology. You can't scream at evolution after all. The simple solution is to convince yourself that another group of humans is entirely the problem, and if we'd just get rid of them then everything would be fine.

>Eventually, we'll get it all right, and everyone will be content. Until then, we'll just have to keep on moving, correcting injustices as they appear in our sight, and trying to maintain what few good choices we've made.

Well, as much as we progress, I hope we never get *perfectly* content. That'd be boring! ;)
talinuva
6 years ago
Nothing will be equal until we get Masculinists, Caucasian History Month, and Gold Star Voyeurist Pride Parades.

Okay, two out of three statistical majorities isn't too bad, is it.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
We already have the men's rights movement ('masculinists' just sounds wrong somehow); judging from all the history classes I ever took, every month is Caucasian history month; and if they had a voyeurist pride parade, everyone who was supposed to be in it would crouch behind bushes to watch it instead.
sigmaweapon
6 years ago
The whole thing reminds me of a gay pride parade scene in The Simpsons. The gay marchers were marching and chanting, "we're here! We're queer! Get used to it!" as they tend to do.

Lisa interrupted saying, "You do this every year. We are used to it."

The gay marchers' response? "Spoilsport!"

But that little humorous quip aside, I actually understand the desire to think all injustices are caused by some sort of enemy acting against them--whether it be feminists with men, conspiracy theorists with the Illuminati, furries with Chris Smith and Sam Brownbeck... though I really want to believe that last one.

Anywho, I understand this desire because I took intro to chaos theory, which is a purely conceptual, non-mathematical class--chaos theory is about as beyond calculus as calculus is beyond beginner's algebra.

And you know what chaos theory is? It's fucking scary! That's what it is! Perhaps you've heard of the butterfly effect? A butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, stirs up pollen from a flower, making a Wildabeest sneeze, causing the Wildabeest next to it to panic and start running, causing the whole herd to stampede, throwing up a massive dust cloud, that moves over the ocean and causes condensation and thus rain, causing the air current that hits the US to be hot and dry, thus drastically changing the weather in your own backyard.

If you don't understand what the fuck I just said, don't worry about that. I'll sum it up like this. What you learn in chaos theory is that a: incredible effects can and often do have insignificant causes, and b: many major world events really are dictated by random happenstance.

Do you know what that means? There may or may not be a purpose behind any good or bad thing that happens. Fortune and disaster could be deliberate, or partially the result of ignorance, or completely random and haphazard! It means you can never be sure of why anything happens--or that there even is a why at all!

Can you possibly imagine how frighting it is to some people to think that many of the things that befall them might be completely haphazard? Senseless? Avoidable in theory but not practice because they are unpredictable?

At the very least, if all your ills are inflicted upon you by an enemy, then you can be sure of why you suffer, even if said enemy is so powerful that nothing can ever hope to confront it--the Illuminati for instance. That kind of despair is terrible, but still nothing compared to the despair felt by knowing that many of your ills are inflicted upon you by sheer happenstance.

To some people, the fear of knowing that purposeless events wait around every corner is greater than any other fear that can ever be felt.

And I have an example of exactly this kind of thing changing the history of the world as we know it! The US constitution was, in fact, the result of such purposeless happenstance as I described!

The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia spent an ungodly amount of time in petty bickering over what should be written in the US Constitution, all while the British Empire prepared for war. Perhaps the Constitutional Conventioners were so ornery because it was so goddamn hot and muggy at that time!

This idea is given merit because the day they finally agreed upon, and ratified the US Constitution happened to be the very day that it finally became overcast and cool. Had they argued for a great deal longer, perhaps the British Empire would have been too well prepared to defeat in the Revolutionary War.

It just might be, that the United States of America owes its existence to one day of nice weather.

But if something so incidental as a cloudy day can determine the fate of nations, what else can chance do? How frighting is that thought? Isn't it much more comforting to know that a unified enemy is always working against you? And that it is the sole cause of all misfortune brought upon you and your kind?
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>The gay marchers' response? "Spoilsport!"

LOL! That's pretty damn good.

Maybe instead of parades, gay pride folks should just have a convention. They're all still in one place, celebrating being who they are, but clogging up less downtown traffic.

>furries with Chris Smith and Sam Brownbeck... though I really want to believe that last one.

I do not know who either of them are, and from the context I think I'm kind of glad I do not.

>Perhaps you've heard of the butterfly effect?

Oh, you mean that Ashton Kutcher movie that I am apparently the only person in the world who thought it was really good?

>Do you know what that means? There may or may not be a purpose behind any good or bad thing that happens. Fortune and disaster could be deliberate, or partially the result of ignorance, or completely random and haphazard! It means you can never be sure of why anything happens--or that there even is a why at all!
>Can you possibly imagine how frighting it is to some people to think that many of the things that befall them might be completely haphazard? Senseless? Avoidable in theory but not practice because they are unpredictable?

Oh, of course. But even beyond the fear of there being nothing to blame, there's the frustration of there being nothing to direct one's anger at. So we choose designated scapegoats. 'The economy's in the toilet! Those goddamned illegal immigrants!' And I totally understand about the conspiracy theorists. I've defended 9/11 Truthers. I think it's perfectly okay to call them wrong, but it's insulting and unfair to simply dismiss them as crazy. The impulse to think that there must have been a conspiracy afoot is almost inevitable. I think that the idea of an incompetent government that couldn't stop the terrorists is a lot scarier thought to deal with than one that's totally evil but still competent enough to pull off a major conspiracy.

Still, I don't know if things are quite so random as your Constitution example would suggest. Sure, world events (and even events in my own life) have turned on tiny choices or changes. But I don't think it happens quite like that very often. There's lots of factors that influence probability. There's reasons why certain outcomes happen often enough to be statistically predictable. Yes, the weather might have played a factor in that day's agreement. But it seems more likely that maybe they'd talked long enough to get through most of their major arguments, or that maybe someone simply made some excellent points that day.

I don't think that we're anywhere near as in control of our lives as we like to think we are, but neither do I think that we're simply dust motes floating on the whims of the wind.
WhyteYote
6 years ago
Once again, everything I believe, and can't express as well as you can.  And this, coming from a guy who writes.  

Well said, pretty much all the way through.  I know a few people I could send this to, and I wouldn't mind pissing them off.
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
>Once again, everything I believe, and can't express as well as you can.

Wanna know what helps? Get in lots of internet fights. After lots of practice expressing your opinions over and over and over again, eventually you get good at condensing them to their absolute essence, and also you begin to see more and more connections between them. Pretty much everything in this essay was thoughts I'd expressed elsewhere, reassembled, condensed as much as possible, then grouped carefully so they flow into one another as best as possible. Lots of practice and repetition, that's all.

>Well said, pretty much all the way through.  I know a few people I could send this to, and I wouldn't mind pissing them off.

Do it. Share their reactions. People who throw hissy fits at opposing viewpoints amuse me. :3
MrDumbass
6 years ago
As a Christian, I agree with pretty much everything you say.  The stuff I don't agree with, I won't argue, because:

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend, to my death, your right to say it." ~ Voltaire.

Cheers, friend.  *raises a large mug of root beer*
AlexReynard
5 years, 11 months ago
<nod of approval> Glad to hear that, it's a good attitude.
PsyChuan
6 years ago
/r/MensRights
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