Matt Forney is desperate for attention; it’s as glaringly obvious as the giant MATT FORNEY that adorns the top of his blog, creatively named MATT FORNEY. And like some caricature of an emo teen “acting out,” the misogynistic manosphere blogger has decided that any attention — even bad attention — is better than no attention.
And so, perhaps at least dimly aware that his ideas are and his prose are both too lackluster to command much attention on their own, he seems to be trying to rile up as much of the internet as possible with posts that are deliberately designed to offend liberals and feminists and pretty much anyone who is not a woman-hating douchebag. He had a minor hit a this spring with a post entitled Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved, which did in fact live up — that is, down — to its title.
Now he’s got an even bigger hit in a post titled The Case Against Female Self-Esteem.
Originally posted in mid-September — people have been sending me notes for weeks asking when I would be writing about it — the post has blown up in recent days, inspiring countless angry Tumblr posts and Tweets from feminists pissed off at its, er, argument. It’s even inspired some threats of violence from Feminists, which Forney seems to regard with glee, reposting them on Twitter alongside boasts about how much traffic his post has generated thus far — last count, 90,0000 views.
So what is there to say about the post itself? It’s already been ably dissected, line by line, by Stephanie Zvan at Almost Diamonds. Some of its more absurd assertions — 60, to be exact — have been highlighted in this post by Clara on That Girl Magazine. There’s nothing original about most of Forney’s argument; it’s merely a collection of misogynistic manosphere tropes arranged into an “argument” against female self-esteem that Forney clearly intends as a provocation.
But ironically this paean to female insecurity offers interesting insights into Forney’s own insecurities about women, and more broadly into the insecurities that seem to drive so much of the manosphere’s misogynistic rage. That makes it worth examining in some detail.
Forney starts out with the sort of confession that most men would save for their therapists, announcing his love of insecure women, and declaring:
Whenever a girl I’m talking to brags about how she’s “confident” and “strong,” I can feel my dick deflating like a punctured tire.
Yep, he said it: confident women render him impotent.
“I’d still bang her, of course,” he quickly adds, somewhat unconvincingly. With what? While there are plenty of ways to have amazing sex that don’t involve an erect penis at all, somehow I don’t think Forney is much interested in that kind of thing.
Eventually Forney gets to the thesis of his piece:
In order for America to right itself, there needs to be a massive and concerted war on female self-esteem.
He rehashes tiresome antifeminist arguments suggesting that women are pumped up from birth by too much praise, and grow up into stuck-up princesses who won’t give the Matt Forneys of the world the time of day.
Sorry, that last bit is just subtext. He doesn’t actually say that out loud.
Then he goes on to rehash more tired manosphere arguments about how women are worthless nothings compared to hard-working manly men.
Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem.
In the world of men, respect—and by extension self-esteem—is based on actually achieving something of worth or having some kind of skill or talent.
Says a man whose only real accomplishment in life has been offending people on the internet.
Most girls’ so-called achievements, the ones they take pride in, are complete jokes. Wow, you have a master’s degree in puppetry?
Huh. Not sure where that’s offered. Meanwhile, Forney is involved in studying a far more serious subject: how to con women into bed using the science of “game” developed by eminent scientists on the internet with names like Heartiste and Badger Hut and The Captain Power.
Then it’s on to the similarly tired notion that women don’t work “real” jobs:
The vast majority of girls work useless fluff jobs … If every girl was fired from her job tomorrow, elementary schools would have to shut down for a couple days, but otherwise life would go on as usual.
If every man lost his job tomorrow, the country would collapse.
Yeah, I’m sure the world would tremble if Matt Forney stopped writing his blog posts.
Forney returns to the topic of insecurity, and the embarrassing personal revelations begin to flow once again:
[T]he girls I’ve loved the most were the ones who were the most insecure, the most emotionally vulnerable.
Somehow I don’t find this hard to believe.
So what group of men is sort of famous for being attracted to vulnerable women?
(Hint: It starts with “abus” and ends with “ers.”)
Forney tries to justify his own skeeziness with some good old-fashioned misogynistic nonsense — complete with societal collapse and a side order of rape.
Insecurity is the natural state of woman. How could it be anything else? Given their lack of physical strength, a woman on her own should be frightened as hell without men to protect her. If society were to collapse, all the Strong, Independent Women™ who read Jezebel and xoJane would last about five minutes before they either found a man to cling onto or got raped and killed.
Now, I don’t actually believe, as Susan Brownmiller once famously wrote, that rape is “a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”
But “arguments” like Forney’s above certainly give one pause. Essentially he’s saying the same thing as Brownmiller — except that he thinks this is good for men, good for women (and perhaps most importantly) good for his boner.
And, yeah, he actually spells that last bit out as explicitly as he can:
Confidence doesn’t give men erections; vulnerability does.
After saying that the fear caused by the threat of rape is good for women, Forney has the gall to suggest that feminism is causing mental illness among young women. Of course, like many backwards-thinking wannabe social critics, Forney thinks that psychiatric drugs — which can be quite effective in alleviating these illnesses — are just as bad as the illnesses themselves, because they remove the insecurities that make “girls” so sexy:
Ordinarily a depressed or insecure girl would seek solace in the loving embrace of a man, but daily hits from her good friend Saint Xanax short-circuit her feminine instincts.
Forney even throws a bit of evo psych paleobabble into the mix:
In squelching her inborn insecurity with you-go-grrlisms and drugs, the modern woman has become an emotional cripple. Like a fat slob eating Big Macs instead of a juicy steak from the supermarket, she substitutes having a dominant and confident man in her life with lotsa cocka and dating where she considers herself an “equal.”
She views men as a life support system for a penis, an accoutrement, no different than her Manolo Blahniks or snazzy new iPhone. When she gets bored of her boy-toy, she tosses him in the trash and moves on to a newer, shinier model, and if she can get cash and prizes for trading in her old clunker, that’s just the icing on the cake.
Essentially, “confident” women are incapable of viewing men as human beings.
Gender-swap this little tirade (minus the MRA-lite bit about “cash and prizes,” code words for child support and alimony) and you have a capsule description of pretty much every “game”-obsessed dude in the manosphere
When manboobs and feminists say you should be happy that women today are “independent,” this is what they’re arguing for; a world in which romantic relationships are impossible.
Uh, most “manboobs and feminists” I know are actually in romantic relationships. Some of them with more than one partner.
Where men are nothing more than fashion items to help women show how cool or sophisticated they are. Sorry, but homie don’t play that game.
Sorry, homie, but I don’t think anyone is inviting you to that particular game. I’m trying to imagine a world in which the seething, petulant, hateful, overgrown emo kid that is Matt Forney is considered a “fashion item” to anyone, and my brain is seizing up.
And we’re on to more self-revelations:
So-called confident women are as threatening as a pile of dog turds. Sure, you can scrape them off your boots when you get home, but it’s better to not step in dog shit to begin with.
And more convoluted justifications. Now Forney wants to convince us that women don’t even really want self-esteem in the first place. No, they’d rather be spanked.
[I]n their bones, girls know that their toxic, feminist you-go-grrl ideology is a lie. …
They want nothing more than for a man to throw them over his knee, shatter the Berlin Wall around their hearts, and expose the lovestruck, bashful little girl within.
Now, there are plenty of women (and plenty of non-women) who like a bit of spanking now and again as part of a consensually kinky sex life. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what Forney is talking about here. He seems to be suggesting that women want to be physically abused.
Game, at least as it was conceived by the seduction community, was all about this. All the hysterical nitwits blubbering about how “negging” and the like was designed to hurt girls’ self-esteem were precisely right, but that’s the thing; women are crying out for a man who will wound their self-esteem.
So I guess in Forneyland women love verbal abuse too.
“Confident” women are still women, and they still lust after men who dominate them, even if they can’t admit it to themselves. Because their self-esteem has been artificially boosted by society, today’s girls need extra-concentrated doses of dominance—i.e. game—in order to feel womanly, like a junkie chasing the dragon.
So women want to be treated badly, “even if they can’t admit it to themselves.” So if they say “no,” or “stop,” or “why are you doing this to me,” I presume Forney thinks that’s just their false consciousness speaking?
This is how abusers think.
And then Forney moves on to another favorite MRA trope: the idea that feminists fight rape because it secretly turns them on.
Girls will all but die without masculine attention. Hell, I’m even starting to think that the feminist agita about “rape culture” is part of this as well. Pushing lies like the claim that one in three women will be raped during her lifetime and their constantly expanding the definition of rape are ways for feminists to indulge their desire for vulnerability in a way that doesn’t conflict with their view of themselves as “strong” and “empowered.”
Forney winds up the post with a concentrated dose of abuser-think:
At the end of the day, there are no Strong, Independent Women™. There are only shrews pleading for a taming.
That’s how abusers think.
All the posturing, the pill-popping, the whining and demands for “equality”; they’re a cry for help.
That’s how abusers think.
Girls don’t want the six-figure cubicle job, the shiny Brooklyn 2BR, the master’s degree, the sexual liberation, none of it. They want to be collectively led back to the kitchen, told to make a nice big tuna sandwich with extra mayo and lettuce, then swatted on the ass as we walk out the door.
That’s how abusers think.
I say we give them what they want.
That’s how abusers think.
And that’s how Matt Forney thinks — though how he thinks he’s going to be able to support a non-empowered, kitchen-dwelling woman off of his paltry e-book sales I have no idea.
So what have we learned here?
Matt Forney, who literally admits that his penis wilts when he’s faced with a confident woman, needs insecure women to bolster his ego and his erection. And if he can’t find them, he wants to make them, to undercut the confidence of women with insults and fearmongering, “warnings” of rape and threats of violence and verbal abuse.
And that’s the real problem. Forney may write posts like this for attention. But he seems to believe this bullshit sincerely. And so do many of his readers. And that’s why his posts are worth paying attention to, even thought that’s exactly what he wants us to do. Because he reveals a lot more about himself than he thinks in his writings. And the better we understand these guys, the better we can fight them.