A lot of Men’s Rights Activists, would-be pickup artists, and other so-called “Red Pillers” like to complain that feminists have so muddied up the issue of sexual consent that men today can never really be sure if the sex they’re having is actual consensual sex or some newfangled variety of rape.
But in fact the ones doing most of the muddying are them — in some cases because they would like to roll back the progress we’ve made on the issue of consent over the last several decades and return to a world in which pressuring and manipulating and even directly coercing a woman into saying “yes” to sex they don’t want was considered an appropriate “technique” in a man’s dating playbook.
Most of them would prefer not to state this outright, and instead talk endlessly about the evils of “regret rape” and an alleged epidemic of “false rape accusations.” But once in a while they let slip what they really mean.
Case in point: a highly revealing, and heavily upvoted, post from the Red Pill subreddit in which one aspiring “game” master calling himself Archwinger expresses his dismay that so many people think “any attempt to coerce a woman into sex is automatically ‘abuse.'”
He goes on to argue, remarkably, that his refusal to see coerced sex as rape or even abuse is a sign of just how deeply Red Pillers like him respect women.
Our detractors assume women are idiots, and therefore, it should be a federal offence to ever attempt to coerce a woman into sex, because women that agree to be with such men are apparently, by definition, mentally impaired.
In his mind, caring about abused women, and trying to understand the many complicated reasons they may choose to stay with abusers, is a sign that feminists “assume women are idiots.”
The occasion for Archwinger’s little rant was a post elsewhere on Reddit — he doesn’t link to it —
telling the tale of a 17-year-old girl and her controlling, manipulative, abusive 23-year-old boyfriend who took great pains to isolate her from her friends and family, demand sex on every occasion they would meet (and threaten to dump her or kick her out of his house if she didn’t comply), and some other really shitty behaviors, like physical violence and driving off and leaving her in another state.
The kicker: the abusive boyfriend in the story was said to be a big fan of, you guessed it, The Red Pill subreddit.
Archwinger quickly tries to distance The Red Pill from this douchebag, declaring him to be
a sniveling loser who had to resort to insecure, jealous, and controlling behavior because he didn’t have options with other women, wasn’t an attractive or valuable man, and was desperately afraid of losing this girl.
In other words, as Archwinger writes, “this guy isn’t the ‘alpha male’ a Red Pill guy strives to be.”
Archwinger seems to have forgotten that various “Red Pill” and “game” gurus regularly recommend “gaslighting” and other forms of emotional abuse in order to keep wives and girlfriends, as they see it, in line. Indeed, you may recall the time that the repellent “pickup guru” Heartiste actually suggested that a number of the abusive behaviors listed on the Duluth “Power and Control Wheel” — a tool used by anti-domestic violence counselors — were great ways to get the upper hand with women.
Even more ironically, after dismissing the “sniveling loser” of a boyfriend who is so un-alpha he regularly threatened to break up with his girlfriend if she wouldn’t have sex with him right then and there, Archwinger turns around and suggests that this kind of manipulative abuse isn’t abuse at all.
Assuming there’s “no perceived power disparity or significant age difference or anything like that,” Archwinger argues, telling a woman to “[h]ave sex with me or we’re through” isn’t abusive; it’s just a simple question a woman can say “yes” or “no” to. He complains that
The modern, anti-Red-Pill viewpoint is that no woman would ever put up with that garbage. The only correct choice is for that woman to dump the “abusive” shithead she’s dating (because any attempt to coerce a woman into sex is automatically “abuse.” You’re supposed to buy her jewelry every weekend, not say a word about sex, and hope she fucks you out of the goodness of her heart).
Well, no. No one needs to buy anyone any jewelry. And no one is required to pity-fuck anyone “out of the goodness of [their] heart[s].” If your girlfriend has sex with you, it should be because she wants to have sex with you (as you do, with her).
It’s kind of amazing that Archwinger — at least as he frames things here — seems to see no third option between a direct demand for sex in the form of manipulative ultimatum and a creepy, passively aggressive “Nice Guy” attempt to guilt trip women into having sex by buying them expensive presents.
There is another way, guys: you could just fucking ask her. Not out of the blue with someone you don’t know, and not rudely, but in some appropriate manner, at an appropriate time and place when there’s some evidence that she might be interested in having sex with you as well. The exact wording of your question isn’t really terribly important; just ask.
Naturally, the assembled Red Pillers largely agreed with Archwinger’s creepy, rapey analysis.
A few had quibbles. Redpillschool, a moderator of the subreddit, argued — in a comment that won more than a hundred upvotes — that Archwinger was too quick to assume that older men have more power in relationships with younger women. Because women have tits, and tits are power. No, really:
[W]omen are naturally turned on by and attracted to older, established, successful men. But if a man takes advantage of this — he’s wrong. He’s bad.
It becomes politically incorrect to use your advantages to attract women. You should date somebody your own age.
What about beauty? If age and status boost men’s SMV, then beauty and youth are women’s equivalent. Feminists don’t seem to care that a young beautiful woman has such an enormous amount of power, they can make a living off of just having tits, control men, get men to buy them things, and a variety of other things.
This is what Warren Farrell infamously (and a little anachronistically) has called women’s “miniskirt power.”
Another commenter had a more, well, fundamental issue with Archwinger’s analysis.
One issue I have with this post that is causing some dissonance within me is your assumption that women are logical and can think with reason. Though often written with snark, many posts here assume exactly the opposite. Therefore it is often suggested that men treat women as they would children (amused mastery) and take the lead in making final decisions.
Archwinger — you know, the great respecter of women — replied that women aren’t inherently stupid and illogical; society makes them that way.
Women aren’t stupid or incapable of reason. We just happen to live in a society where narcissistic bitches are lavished with attention and praised, and women never have to grow up, so the odds are that one or more women you date during your lifetime will behave in a manner that’s frankly kind of childish, and that you don’t want to validate. (insert obligatory “not all women” and “men too sometimes” language here so that nobody bothers replying with that idiocy)
Contrast that with feminism, which is advocating for a complete removal of all agency and responsibility from women, just not using those words because then it sounds stupid. …
Feminism seeks laws that remove agency from women. Did she have any alcohol in her system, then later regret sex? Rape. Man’s fault. Did she say yes, but not clearly and enthusiastically? Rape. Man’s fault. In a few years, you’ll probably see them push for expanding the definition of statutory rape to include an age difference of more than a certain amount (because a 35 year old man with a steady job dating a 21-year-old in college is clearly all about power and manipulation, because young women definitely aren’t attracted to good looks and social status and financial stability.)
There’s a lot of nonsense in his reply, but it’s that last bit that’s the most revealing: Archwinger understands perfectly that there’s a power differential between a thirtysomething man and a college-aged woman; he just wants to pretend it doesn’t matter.
Archwinger’s post, and the responses it generated, suggest that most Red Pillers are aware, as well, that when women end up “regretting” a sexual encounter that the man allegedly thought was consensual, it’s not because women are flighty and irresponsible and vindictive monsters out to punish innocent men. It’s because the woman in question was being coerced into it. And that isn’t “regret rape.” It’s just plain rape.
Red Pillers, or at least a significant number of them, are well aware that coerced sexual consent is no more valid than a “forced confession.” They just don’t want to remove coercion from their “seduction” toolkit.
H/T — r/againstmensrights
EDIT: A few additions and changes in the penultimate paragraph to make the point clearer.