|Damn you, you monsters! This scarf does NOT make me look gay!|
This is just embarrassing. A bit over a week ago, the Wall Street Journal published a chunk of antifeminist polemicist Kay Hymowitz’ new book Manning Up, which argues that young men today have turned into a generation of immature pre-adults as a result (to simplify only slightly) of excessive exposure to Judd Apatow movies and to young women who won’t let them step up and be real men. The article stirred up quite a tempest in the tea-pot that is the Men’s Right’s/MGTOW world online. Completely missing the antifeminist implications of her argument, manosphere men attacked her for impugning the honor of young men and their video games, and for generally being, to quote a few typical comments, a “bitch,” an “entitlement whore,” a “cunt,” “a fugly tranny skank,” and someone who “on her best day … has a face that reminds me a mule my uncle used to own.”
Now Hymowitz has responded to all this vitriol by penning … a partial defense of her attackers for the Daily Beast. While she notes that there are elements of “backlash” and, yes, misogyny in the rage of the manosphere, she’s quick to equate this manosphere tantrum with the feelings of men in general (as Amanda Marcotte has already pointed out), and to suggest that there are legitimate reasons for the hate. Which apparently have to do with, er, male frustration with having to ask women out for dates. Yes, that’s her real argument. Let’s let her explain:
[T]here’s another reason for these rants, one that is far less understood. Let’s call it gender bait and switch. Never before in history have men been matched up with women who are so much their equal—socially, professionally, and sexually. … That’s the bait; here comes the switch. Women may want equality at the conference table and treadmill. But when it comes to sex and dating, they aren’t so sure.
At this point, Hymowitz launches into a tired old litany of male complaints about the alleged horrors of post-feminist dating: OMG, in this crazy mixed-up world of ours, men don’t know whether or not to open doors for their dates! Some women want to pay their way on dates, even when they make as much as or more than the dudes dating them … and others don’t!
Men say they have no choice. If they want a life, they have to ask women out on dates; they have to initiate conversations at bars and parties, they have to take the lead on sex. Women can take a Chinese menu approach to gender roles. They can be all “Let me pay for the movie tickets” on Friday nights, and “A single rose? That’s it?” on Valentine’s Day.
As Marcotte points out, Hymowitz is essentially echoing one of the dopiest of manosphere complaints about the ladies, “that they’re all different people, instead of easily controlled sexbots.” Indeed, on many manosphere sites, one gets the impression that women are, or should be, a bunch of interchangeable sperm receptacles, differentiated only by how high they score on a “hotness” scale of 1-10. If you think of women this way, no wonder you’re confused when women have, you know, actual personalities and shit.
But here’s a hint for the angry dudes of the manosphere: once you realize that women are not all the same person inside, you can turn this fact to your advantage, by deliberately seeking out women who are actually compatible with your own personality. Don’t like paying for dates? Then find a woman who likes paying her own way! (Just don’t be shocked if she finds your retrograde ideas about women repulsive.) I know that this may come as a shock to some of you guys, but there are men out there who actually find women’s distinct personalities … interesting. Stimulating. Attractive.
Back to Hymowitz. As strange as it is to see her parroting some of the dumbest manosphere complaints about women and dating — some women want one thing, while other women want something different! some say they want good guys but then they date bad boys! — even stranger is her notion that manosphere rage has its roots in frustrations about dating. Given that she’s not a complete idiot, there are only two possible explanations for this strange conclusion of hers. One, she’s so eager to find evidence for her thesis that empowered women are the root of male immaturity that she is willing to overlook the crazy misogyny of angry MRA/MGTOW dudes because they, too, blame women for their dating woes. Or two, that she has not actually given the blogs and forums of the manosphere much more than a cursory glance. I think it’s a bit of both.
The list of manosphere sites she mentions in her article bear out the second of these theses — it’s simply cut-and-pasted from her 2008 article Love in the Time of Darwinism, and it’s pretty clear she hasn’t revisited any of them since then. Or, in one case, ever: EternalBachelor.com isn’t a Men’s Rights or MGTOW site at all. but a skeleton site for a web magazine “coming soon” whose only content at the moment consists of photos of buff, shirtless guys (and a page where you can order t-shirts, presumably to keep the poor fellas from freezing to death). I can only guess that Hymowitz meant to refer to the Eternal Bachelor blog, which has itself been dormant for more than three years.(Another site she links to, Nomarriage.com, is also “under construction.”)
Kay, if you read this, please take a moment to peruse some real MRA/MGTOW and related forums, like, say, The Spearhead, and take a look at some of the comments there. For example, this one, about you — which, last I checked, had gotten 33 upvotes and only a handful of downvotes from the Spearhead peanut gallery:
I wish I could reach through my computer screen and punch this bitch. …. this stupid bitch is using the pain of innocent men destroyed by the same misandric system that publishes her shit to make more money and she is probably part of the feminazi conspiracy to appropriate and colonize the growing MRM. …
WTF is up with jewish women? They seem to be the most misandric of all. They demand that baby boys get their dicks chopped off and grown men too, I have hooked up with a few and they all got weirdly gitty knowing I was uncut and then sad when they realized I wouldn’t get chopped up and submit to their version of a sky god. I mean, really, WTF? I haven’t read much into the torah but just scanning the feminists and other feminazi loons it’s is obvious that there are a lot with jewish names. … Really, I don’t get it and am not trying to sound like a nazi but I must be missing something.
Somehow, I don’t think the rage in this comment has much to do with confusion over whether or not guys should open doors for their dates.
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