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What Matt Forney’s “Case Against Female Self-Esteem” Reveals About His Own Deep Insecurities

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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.”

The horror!

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.

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Posted on October 9, 2013, in advocacy of violence, antifeminism, armageddon, creepy, douchebaggery, drama, emotional abuse, entitled babies, evo psych fairy tales, excusing abuse, gender policing, grandiosity, man strike, mansplaining, matt forney, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, penises, PUA, rape, rape culture, reactionary bullshit, red pill, taking pleasure in women's pain, unsolicited penis updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 174 Comments.

  1. Who knew MRAs were such delicate little flowers?

  2. grumpycatisagirl

    LOL @kittehserf.

  3. It would be interesting to know, though, exactly what he thinks of when he talks about “fluff jobs”. I imagine he doesn’t really go out in the real world much, but get a lot of his world view from TV. On TV, people often have vaguely defined jobs that mean they have to be in an office everyday, and where sassy clothes and heels if they’re women, but have loads of time to gossip and scheme at the work place. It’s probably something along those lines that he has in mind.

  4. WEAR sassy clothes and heels. Sorry.

  5. Wow. There’s nerdy and then there’s that.

    I think the words you’re looking for are “totally awesome.”

    Those aren’t synonymous?

    Obvs, do whatever works for you, but I would find human relationships too subtle to model with SQL relationships. It would feel like a major oversimplification.

    I also tend to think that too many characters to keep track of in your head = too many characters, period, since the reader is certainly not going to use a database to keep track of them.

    I basically just use it as a notepad – my handwriting is monstrous and my brain is scattery.
    It’s complicated enough that I could model our fine Mr Futrelle’s relationship with this site and its readership to an acceptable resolution, taking into account the fact that he is the “boss” of the page, as well as a commenter, and also a double agent for the Kitten-Ferret Mafia. It wouldn’t necessarily give his underlying motivations for selling us out to the Kitten-Ferret Mafia, and plotting our gruesome deaths at their hands, but there’s also an “additional information” memo input which allows for such miscellany and irrelevancies.
    I also don’t really have that many characters. I have two ideas that I’m working on at the moment, one only really has three characters, one of whom is mostly just alluded to at the moment, and the others are just incidentals… it’s a cheesy super-hero thing, so most of the characters are POWfodder with the occasional “end of level boss” type person. The other’s more serious, including Commentary and everything but even that only has a handful of main characters.
    It’s really just a matter of building a skeleton around them so that I don’t forget something important two months from now and write something that contradicts their motivations. Plus, if I find myself suffering from writer’s block, I can fiddle with the database and keep myself at least being productive in the right area.

    Athywren — oh but I know enough PHP to have written my own WP theme from the bare bones hacked together from multiple themes, with shiny jQuery to top it off (subtle things, like making menus slide down instead of just appear, I’m big on things degrading beautifully if the user end doesn’t support that function)

    And after doing the survey data in excel, I sorta wish I knew SQL.

    PHP and SQuirreL are fairly similar (or, at least, I associate them closely in my mind) so I think you’d probably be able to figure SQL out relatively easily, and it really is good for taking in raw data like that. I actually find SQL easier to use than excel to be honest with you because, if you need SQL to do something for you, you can just write a few lines and it’ll do it… just don’t forget that comma or you’ll have a quest on your hands.

  6. Matt F. referred to his “legal situation” on Twitter. Does anyone know what his legal situation is?

  7. Dvarg – fluff job: grooming furry critters!

  8. 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.

    Aside from the telling revelation here, where are all these women who, according to MRAs, talk like they just escaped from a Destiny’s Child song?

    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.

    You’re only allowed to not hate yourself if you’ve done something objectively worthwhile. Basic self-respect is only for the worthy, and respect for others based solely on shared humanity is unmanly. Does that make Jesus the world’s biggest mangina?

    Also, dude, your use of “girls” is really telling. And really fucking annoying.

    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.

    A couple of days? Does he think the majority of substitute teachers are men? Or that men will quit their totally non-fluffy jobs to teach? And how would life go on as usual if half the workforce was suddenly removed from it?

    If every man lost his job tomorrow, the country would collapse.

    Inasmuch as this is true, could it be due to the systematic exclusion of women from education, certain segments of the workforce, and politics? Nah, must be because females be useless or some shit.

    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.

    So…rape culture does exist, and women have good reason to be afraid of men? I thought that was misandry.

    Girls don’t want the six-figure cubicle job, the shiny Brooklyn 2BR, the master’s degree, the sexual liberation, none of it.

    Even if we accept that the more recent generations of women have been led astray by the availability of these things, you still have to explain why the women who had the kitchen and the ass-swatting fought their asses off for access to the master’s degree and the liberation.

  9. Melody: I kid, I kid, about Evergreen.

  10. I forgot about Forney and his various other identities. Maybe he’s all het up about a woman having a degree in puppetry because being next to a professional makes his sockpuppetry look even more pathetic?

    Women are overwhelmingly nurses, aides, and CNAs–healthcare runs on the back of our girlie sparkly labor.

    Especially since, while doctors may diagnose and prescribe, the nurses etc do the vast majority of the actual patient care. Better hope you don’t need to be hospitalized after all the women get fired…

    I’m not sure how many elementary school teachers can afford to rock Manolos (which, seriously, there are way better high-end shoes out there. MBs are straight-up marketing, like Patron tequila). Has Forney ever met a woman, like, for real?

    You mean Sex & The City wasn’t a documentary?

    Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents……………66.1

    Is that in the US? OMG, the lolbertarian MRAs will love that one. “See? The feminists really are stealing our money!”

    Also, my favorite 50 Shades reading:

  11. emilygoddess:

    “You’re only allowed to not hate yourself if you’ve done something objectively deemed by Forney to be worthwhile.”

    FTFY

    Forney’s claim: “Girls don’t want the six-figure cubicle job,”

    Well, when I was a girl (ie. over thirty years ago) I’d never heard of cubicle jobs, for a start. Plus, if I was on a six-figure salary I’d be demanding a workspace a damn sight better than a feckin’ cubicle. Come to that, unless I loved the work, I’d be saving all the money and quitting the minute I had a retirement fund – which on that salary, wouldn’t take long at all.

  12. *math* in Pittsburgh I could live comfortably on $100,000 for 7~ years. Considering I’m still amazed I may actually live to 30, that sounds like an excellent option, seven years in a small but decent apt with money to spare? Yeah, I approve (I managed to stay relatively well supplied in weed while working 20 hours a week at like $7.25 an hour, so yes, I’m serious here)

    And as for the living to 30 part, I make a habit of trying to kill myself, so I guess failure is a success on this one? In any case, that’a why. Jury is still out on whether my knees will see 30.

  13. Even if we accept that the more recent generations of women have been led astray by the availability of these things, you still have to explain why the women who had the kitchen and the ass-swatting fought their asses off for access to the master’s degree and the liberation.

    QFT

  14. Hellkell no biggy.
    I was in a “serious” mood earlier.

  15. Dvarg – fluff job: grooming furry critters!

    Obviously! :-D

  16. Thank you, Futrelle. You’re really cool and I really like your work.
    Please keep it up. What you’re doing is really wonderful.

  17. Communication ASP

    Aside from the bit about video games (Video games ARE for losers, and I’m sorry for anyone who is still into them and doesn’t use them to make money) this is so sick I can’t even laugh about it.

  18. LOL, obvious troll is obvious

  19. Oh no! I play video games! Thank you so much for informing me that I’m a loser!

  20. *checks watch* Yep, it’s Boring Troll Day!

  21. sarahlizhousespouse

    Yesterday was Painfully Stupid Troll Day.

  22. Tomorrow will be Not This Shit Again day (again).

  23. IT’S ALIVE!! Win7 boots on my mac! Now I need to tweak shit so it plays nice with mac hardware and stuff, but the hard part is complete, and I didn’t break anything!

    *happy dance*

    /totally random comment

  24. Huh. Not sure where that’s offered.

    You can take degrees in puppetry in the Czech Republic – in fact, for many decades I believe the Prague Theatre Academy (DAMU) was the only place in the world that offered BA and MA puppetry studies. The program has at least one internationally famous alumnus in the form of animation genius Jan Švankmajer.

    There’s a huge cultural chasm at play here, though – the Czechs have always regarded puppetry as a serious and adult-oriented art form, and so it’s unlikely they’d read the phrase “wow, so you have a degree in puppetry?” as being an insult.

  25. Oh man, Czech puppetry is amazing. Švankmajer’s Alice is fan-effing-tastic, if creepy as all hell, but Jiri Trnka is still the original and best. Anyone who hasn’t watched The Hand: I promise it’s the best possible use of the next twenty minutes.

  26. Thank you for revealing the truth! Matt is a abuser who is disguising himself as someone who thinks they “found the problem.”
    People like Matt need to become extinct already its almost 2014

  27. I read the Matt Forney article a few days ago and was simply horrified that there are men who actually think like this. The comments section was truly scary! I couldn’t believe how many men (and women too!) agreed with him. You have shown me that most men are NOT like Matt Forney and I am so thankful. Fabulous critique of his article. Thank you so much.

  28. Hey I just saw that you linked to my post! I linked to Manboobz yesterday on That Girl Mag! sending bloglove your way all day long.

  29. Miss Casey Jayne

    Don’t you love how, as a woman, he just gets right into your head and knows what you’re thinking? This is why rape isn’t as much a thing as feminists make it out to be, REAL men can get right in a woman’s brain and know what she REALLY wants, regardless of what she says!

  30. Thank you for writing this article. You have no idea how much better it made me feel to know there genuinely are men who respect women, after having that illusion completely shattered by reading Forney’s articles. It is seriously hard enough being a woman and walking around feeling constantly judged for your attractiveness to men without having to see frightening blog posts that elucidate all the reasons why you are no more than a piece of meat.

  31. Anything You Can Do

    I got about four paragraphs into ‘The Case Against Female Self-Esteem’ and had to stop because the room started to spin and I had smoke coming out of my ears, so….yeah.

  32. @david

    Did you write about Matt Forney’s “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to be Loved”? If so I would love to read what you had to say about it

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