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>Incredibly Strange Antifeminist Bedfellows: Kay Hymowitz defends her attackers

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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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*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.

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Cold
11 years ago

>Cold, are you actually saying that you think it's likely that if you stepped in to help a rape victim she would accuse you of rape?I've proven that the possibility exists. Risk assessment requires looking at both the probability and the potential damage, and in this case the potential damage is having my entire life destroyed so the probability doesn't have to be high to justify caution. You can feel free to do what you like, of course, just don't come crying to me if you end up being accused.

Cold
11 years ago

>You're right, that would be difficult if it were true.It's true.Now imagine all the women here in the real world who have to stand up against a corrupt, misogynist legal system and media.Imagining things isn't how we ascertain what is going on in the real world. There's this thing called "evidence" and it shows that the legal system is misandrist, not misogynist, and that the media publish the names and photographs of men accused of men accused of rape while keeping the identity of their accusers secret.But of course that would require you to sympathize with women, so I'm guessing it's not going to happen.Manginas like you ignore evidence and reality so that you can believe the feminist bullshit and always sympathize with women, even when they are not deserving of sympathy. I go by the evidence, first and foremost.I love your penchant for strawman arguments and other forms of intellectual dishonesty. It's classy. Stay classy, Triplanetary.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>evil, rape is about a number of things — like power, desire for control, feelings of entitlement, and, yes, sex. There's no monolithic feminist "line" on rape that says it's only about power, not sex, and I don't tbink any feminist on ths blog has ever claimed that it's only about power. Once again, you're arguing against a straw man.

Elizabeth
11 years ago

>Richard-let me see if I understand your second scenario correctly…a little girl comes up, asks for a phone and when someone said "bitch I am going to kill you" you immediately left her to her fate.Yes, that is not white knighting there-that is letting a little girl be hurt since you automatically assume that any effort (like say knocking on a door and standing away from it if you are that terrified of being shot) will result in your life being made difficult.There was no requirement that you enter the apartment to create this imaginary scenario that you have where any police officer would be sending you to jail to get anal raped after smashing your face in. And Evil-please, grow up. That was even weaker then Richard's comment on restraining orders showing he knows fuck all about the legal system or how evidence is admitted.

triplanetary
11 years ago

>just don't come crying to me if you end up being accused.Oh, I don't think you'd be our first choice to come crying to, don't worry.On a side note, a link to a MRA blog does not equal evidence. If somebody said to me "prove misogyny exists" I wouldn't just say "manboobz.com QED." That's not an argument.

richard
11 years ago

>@ ElizabethThe threat was directed at the woman inside the apartment (who I did not see) not the child. And as for allegedly leaving anyone to their fate, had I entered that apartment whatever domestic problem they were having would have greatly escalated.Random Brother

richard
11 years ago

>@ ElizabethI forgot to add something.You claim I don't know how the legal system works, the truth is you feminists don't know how it works. You may know what some of the laws say, but not what happens on the ground, so to speak. Restraining orders are not impossible to get, in fact depending upon where you are they are given out to women like candy on Halloween.Random Brother

triplanetary
11 years ago

>Restraining orders are not impossible to get, in fact depending upon where you are they are given out to women like candy on Halloween.Assuming for a moment that this were true… so what? Are you arguing that men should have a right to ignore women's wishes with regard to contacting them?

richard
11 years ago

>You really don't understand how a restaining order could be used as a weapon against a man, espeically in divorce proceedings? Really?Random Brother

Cold
11 years ago

>On a side note, a link to a MRA blog does not equal evidence.The specific blog to which I linked is chock full of documented cases that showcase the misandry and corruption in the legal system. The bulk of the posts are summaries of cases complete with links to reliable sources to provide more details. Spare me the lame excuses for your intellectual laziness; if you can't be bothered to actually read any of it then just say as much.

triplanetary
11 years ago

>You would have a point there if my denial of de jure misandry were based on ignorance. I've seen the "evidence" and "arguments" MRAs use to deny the frankly undeniable existence of patriarchy. Linking me to a blog that rehashes them isn't proving anything, any more than linking someone to answersingenesis would prove the truth of creationism.

Cold
11 years ago

>frankly undeniable existence of patriarchyThat, along with comparing actual documentation of actual cases to bible quotes demonstrates that you are a mindless fanatic. You probably wouldn't come to your senses even if you found yourself directly on the receiving end of a false rape accusation and a complete tour of the corrupt, misandrist legal system. You'd probably use some kind of "patriarchy hurts men too" bullshit to avoid any cognitive dissonance.

triplanetary
11 years ago

>You're halfway correct in that, were I falsely accused of rape, it would not stop me from being a feminist. As for your blatherings about this imaginary "misandrist legal system" let me just point out that for every instance MRA blogs point out of a man falsely accused of rape, there are many, many more instances of a rapist who gets away with his crime, and of a woman who reports a rape and isn't taken seriously. This is because here in the real world, where men are the privileged gender, the court system is actually pretty damn misogynist.

Cold
11 years ago

>For all of your babbling about "the real world" you sure are reticent to show any actual evidence to back up your claims. You know, evidence, that stuff that's used to prove that a claim is actually true in the real world and not just in the fantasy world inside your head.The blog to which I linked provides many, many documented instances of men who were falsely accused and who were treated as if they were guilty until evidence came up that exonerated them. Since you claim that for each of these there are many, many more rapists who got away with it, you have a lot links to give if you're not talking out of your ass. You'll need to show me a hell of a lot of documented cases where there was sufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a rape occurred and yet the rapist was either acquitted or never prosecuted. For each documented case on The False Rape Society you will need at least two cases to counter it in order for your "many, many more instances" claim to hold water. Naturally I won't be holding my breath for such evidence as I'm pretty sure you were talking out of your ass, but feel free to surprise me.

Elizabeth
11 years ago

>I am reading that blog you cited and on the top story: why are they blaming the woman for the police not doing their job right?Every part they talk about is where the police not the woman are the ones screwing up the details.She can walk in and make all the claims she wants-that does not mean that the police have the obligation to screw up the investigation. Or that it is her fault when they do that.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>Elizabeth, that's pretty typical of the "false rape society" blog, which MRAs tend to cite as if it is some sort of objective source of information. The comments there, of course, are even worse. But extremely predictable. Someone could probably write a simple piece of software that could generate MRA comments on allegedly false rape accusations.

Cold
11 years ago

>You didn't read very carefully, although your intellectual laziness no longer surprises me at this point. They clearly blame both the woman and the police.The issue of false rape accusations is my litmus test for distinguishing well-intentioned people who have been misguided into feminism from the real misandrists. To trivialize the issue or to make baseless criticisms of the False Rape Society can only be motivated by hatred of men.

Raoul
11 years ago

>@ shaenon, March 1: "I tell you, today's young misogynists have grown weak and feminized compared to the robust misogynists of yore."It's clearly the Pussification of America at work. In the 40s every adult male had to spend time under the care of drill sergeants. Not only didn't those exemplars of American manhood have much use for women, they didn't think highly of most kinds of men, either.

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