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Don’t trust the “womanish” liars who say MGTOWs can’t marry; they might get you KILLED, Dean Esmay warns

Man Going His Own Way, apparently.
Man Going His Own Way, apparently.

So it’s another day ending in “y” and our old MRA sparring buddy Dean Esmay has gotten himself worked up about something again. This time, he’s pig-biting mad at “paranoid … YouTube MGTOW Sectarians” who have had the audacity to tell him, a married man, that real MGTOWs can’t get married.

Given that MGTOW stands for “Men Going Their Own Way,” and that the main thing these guys want to get away from is women, you might wonder why anyone calling himself a MGTOW would get married to one of those awful lady things.

But it turns out that some self-described MGTOWs “go their own way” by marching to the chapel to get married to the women they are afraid will ruin their lives. 

And this has caused a rift in the MGTOW movement, such as it is, with a small number of “married MGTOWs” like Esmay facing off against those in the MGTOW world who think that men should totally separate from women … except if they want to date them, or live with them, but definitely not marry them!

Blimey, this “going your own way” thing is trickier than I thought!

Now Esmay has decided to throw himself into the thick of it by posting a rambling, furious 4100-word screed on A Voice for Men accusing those who think MGTOWs shouldn’t get married of spreading an “indefensible false allegation leveled at innocent men” that “just might get you imprisoned or killed.” (Emphasis in original.)

Yes, that’s right. Esmay thinks that those who disagree with him on just who can call themselves MGTOWs … ARE GOING TO GET SOMEONE KILLED.

Let’s try to unpack his, er, logic, shall we?

Esmay starts off by offering his own take on the little rift that has formed between the handful of self-described MGTOWs, like him, who have aligned themselves with A Voice for Men, and pretty much everyone else who calls themselves MGTOWs. As Esmay sees it, these other MGTOWs are indulging in

a conspiracy theory that goes like this: scheming MRAs somehow discovered that “men’s rights” was going down in popularity but “Men Going Their Own Way” was growing, so Paul Elam suddenly decided he cared about MGTOW and got busy writing about it, but in an attempt to make it more mainstream and palatable, Paul Elam tried to tell MGTOW they can be married. But thankfully, alert and vigilant True MGTOW On YouTube exposed the dastardly plot and now all know the truth: Marriage and MGTOW never! Can’t be done! Un-possible! Only that lying monster Paul Elam and his cult followers say different!

As someone who’s been watching all this on the outside for several years now, this doesn’t seem like a conspiracy theory in the slightest. If you set aside some of its hyperbole, it seems like a fairly accurate description of what has gone down. You may recall, for example, the outcry amongst MGTOWs when Elam and his pal Peter Wright self-published their own little guide on the subject this past March.

But to Esmay it’s all a pack of lies. Correction: a pack of WOMANISH lies.

To be blunt, all that is an incredibly womanish lie; it’s dense, multilayered, and carefully crafted so that every reasonable discussion of it can be torpedoed by changing the subject, shifting the goalposts, and other Rationalization Hamster moves. Those who defend this lie, this indefensible false allegation leveled at innocent men, are also guilty of marginalizing the work of other Men Going Their Own Way who are certainly not named Paul Elam, and some of whom can’t even stand Paul Elam.

Did I say “womanish?” I meant “girlish.”

I honestly suspect that most of those promulgating this conspiracy narrative are the products of single mother homes, because they’re such girlish brats so much of the time, and their narrative is such pathetic gossipy schoolgirl drama and backstabby lies.

As Esmay sees it, no furshlugginer YouTube MGTOWs are going to tell him and his pals what MGTOW is or isn’t! Instead, he’s going to tell them:

The goal of movement MGTOW was to help individual men find themselves and find what they wanted, and help that individual man craft the best way to get it—for himself, in his own way.

Really? That’s what MGTOW is all about? By this expansive definition, I’m a MGTOW, and so are my cats. (Well, they would be, if they were dudes.)

But never mind, because Esmay is working towards his crescendo. Take it away, Mr. Married MGTOW:

This idea—that a married man may not be MGTOW—is a lie. It is an abusive lie that is sometimes harmful to the men who hear and believe it.

Apparently, any time anyone expresses an opinion contrary to his own it is not only a “lie” but is actually a form of abuse.

It is also spitting straight into the face of those who first founded the Men Going Their Own Way movement on the internet, some of whom remain active to this day. It is a betrayal of MGTOW. It is a subversion and hijacking of it. It is a redefinition, and a toxic one. And it should not be allowed to stand.

Dean then turns his invective-o-meter up to 11:

Why should it not be allowed to stand? Why should we not just accept that the popular YouTube set have helped MGTOW “evolve” to its current state? First because the original MGTOW have yet to leave the stage. Second, because the YouTube Sectarians are misleading people, including themselves in some cases. And their advice is dangerous.

Yes dangerous. Not to society, but to themselves and their followers. They’re a bunch of damned fools who are going to get themselves or their friends killed. And yes, I do mean that literally.

I would repeat that last bit about people getting killed, and put it in bold. But I don’t need to, since Esmay has already done so himself:

Repeat: if you say that there is no benefit to marriage to men, you are a dangerously ill-informed fool who is likely to get yourself or others killed.

Repeat again: the man who tells you that there is no benefit or protection to the marriage license just might get you imprisoned or killed.

It’s rare to see an MRA actually acknowledge that there are certain benefits to marriage; they’re much more likely to be railing against it at the top of their lungs.

But how the hell could suggesting that “MGTOWs can’t be married” possibly lead to anyone getting “imprisoned or killed?” Esmay explains that even though

marriage is generally a bad deal for men, cohabiting with a woman without a marriage license frequently, and indisputably, reduces your rights and renders you more vulnerable than if you got the state-approved piece of paper.

Esmay tells the story of a friend of his who committed suicide after being denied access to the children he’d had with a woman he’d been living with.

It’s a sad story, to be sure, but how exactly Esmay figures that his friend’s suicide is somehow the responsibility of “YouTube MGTOW Sectarians” railing against the idea of married MGTOWs and not, for example, the result of MRAs railing against marriage in general, I could not tell you.

Esmay thinks that “if you are telling men there is never any benefit to a marriage license, you are lying to those men and may get those men killed with your lie.”

But the fact is that MRAs and others in their general vicinity make exactly this argument all the time. Consider, for example, the thrice-divorced Men’s Rights blogger who, several years ago, wrote an angry post titled “Gay Marriage? How About NO Marriage!”

Modern marriage, in case these Einsteins haven’t noticed, has all the sanctity of a ten dollar hooker. Matrimony has devolved into just another throwaway institution in a throwaway culture …  an institution that is currently the most prolific source of oppressive discrimination against them? …

What remains of marriage is not salvageable. It’s water that can’t be decontaminated; a cripple that can’t be healed. And the best thing to do is to put it out of its misery and start the whole shebang over from scratch. …

MRA’s should do the decent thing with marriage and pull the plug.

And who wrote that? A blogger by the name of Paul Elam, on a little blogspot blog that he later turned into the A Voice for Men that we know and loathe today. (And he was proud enough of this post that he reposted it on the new and allegedly improved AVFM.)

Dean, I hate to tell you this, but your former boss at AVFM seems to be one of the “abusive,” potential death-causing “MGTOW sectarians” you’ve just devoted more than 4000 words to railing against.

 

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weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

The demonizing gendercomment image

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Rape jokes!?comment image

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

“In my honest opinion, I do not think that you really want to rape various women. Your attempt at humor falls flat.”

The best part of feminism is the ease with which you can toy with men’s brainwashing to provide and protect while simultaneously encouraging a sense of guilt. In this way, one can simultaneously attack men’s biological drives and psychological well being with both positive and negative psychological feedback.

comment image

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

NoMorePc

“Women are out to destroy men!”

Later

“I love rape jokes and I want to rape women”

NomorePc is, like every other manospherian, terrified that women will treat him the same way he treats women.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@NoMorePc Do you even dialogue? It feels like the longer we converse the further and further you jump down your well and you still have not improved your argument in any sense. You also seem to enjoy taking your notions out and smacking them into a nearby wall till all the sense has been whacked out of them.

I never said you had no sense of humor (though I am beginning to suspect it), only that your joke was ineffective. I don’t think it would have worked on anyone to be honest – however, it is plausible that it is popular back where you came from.

I’m also not protecting anyone here because as far as I can tell, you haven’t personally called out anyone on this forum, or even women in general. I have no targets to protect. Instead I simply pointed out the flaws in your ideas and arguments. You should actually make an effort to defend your assertions if you actually want to convince any of us here of their validity.

From what you are personally stating here:

“The best part of feminism is the ease with which you can toy with men’s brainwashing to provide and protect while simultaneously encouraging a sense of guilt. In this way, one can simultaneously attack men’s biological drives and psychological well being with both positive and negative psychological feedback.”

it clearly shows your desire to not have an actual discussion. I am always open to exchanging ideas with people regardless of their background and am saddened to see how easily driven you are by your own prejudices. Dial it down and talk like a person. No need to get all aggressive to ‘win’. Your ‘psychological’ tactics are dull and boring though you may think otherwise.

When you can get off your high horse long enough to actually talk I will be waiting.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@katz Sure! It is very possible that I don’t know enough about the word itself and would be glad to hear your point of view on it.

This is not so much ‘whackamole’ rather than watching a ‘very spectacular train wreak happening in slow motion’.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Really friendly
“When you can get off your high horse long enough to actually talk I will be waiting.”

He’s an Mgtow, mgtows don’t want to talk logically they’ll make up whatever and even say jaw dropping garbage becuase they’re misognists and want to do whatever it takes to get womens’ attention becuase it seems like they can’t live without us not for a second and that’s why they’re always popping up in female/feminist dominated places.

NoMorePc
NoMorePc
5 years ago

“This is not so much ‘whackamole’ rather than watching a ‘very spectacular train wreak happening in slow motion’.

The only spectacular “train wreak” happening tonight, in slow motion, is you, doll. But that’s OK. I don’t care. Know why? Cause I’ll win no matter what you write. It’s really that simple. Men gain by women not marrying. Men gain from women’s double standards, hypocrisy, illusions and enchantments.

Once upon a time, a prince proposed to a princess. The princess refused. The prince lived happily ever after. The end.

For centuries, the white knights of the patriarchy have been fucking men and granting women privilege over men. This little secret is out, sweets. Your little diatribe on my misunderstanding of feminists won’t stop that train from arriving on time. With each day that passes, I and all men win more and more. Don’t believe me? Give it ten years. We’ll meet up again right here and see who was right and who was the train wreck. Agreed?

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

The only spectacular “train wreak” happening tonight, in slow motion, is you, doll.

comment image

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

MRAs aren’t interested in defending human rights, PUAs couldn’t get consensually laid if their lives depended on it, and MGTOWs follow feminists around like lonely puppy dogs… Right-Wing Name Syndrome strikes again.

(Okay, so all three of those apply to all three “Groups,” but they’re the same damn thing anyway. =P)

Snuffy
Snuffy
5 years ago

So the University of Toronto is getting threats of a mass shooting targeting women by an anti-feminist.

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/online-posts-about-killing-feminists-prompt-university-of-toronto-to-increase-campus-security/ar-AAeaylN?li=AA59G3#image=1

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Men gain by women not marrying

Then why are you so mad at feminism? Shouldn’t you be trolling fans of Princeton Mom and evangelical Christian blogs? They’re the ones who are all hyped up on getting. Feminists generally don’t care whether or not someone of any gender wishes to marry.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Hyped up on women marrying I meant. Long day.

katz
katz
5 years ago

Once upon a time, a prince proposed to a princess. The princess refused. The prince lived happily ever after. The end.

I’d say the prince needs to rethink how he pursues his goals.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@NoMorePc Thanks for clarifying! I can add you to my growing list of ‘Anti-Feminists with no actual Argument’ which is pretty much all that I have engaged with. I was serious about sussing this out with you (as I am with anyone with an opposing idea) but it is clear that you have no desire for an honest conversation. I hope your ego was sufficiently stoked.

I now bid thee farewell, good sir!

@katz We can talk now. We have wasted enough time with this malcontent 8p

NothingClever
NothingClever
5 years ago

Can we ban the troll already? The rape jokes were enough, but they were also aggressively unfunny.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

NomorePc
“Men gain from women’s double standards, hypocrisy, illusions and enchantments.”

Earlier:
*Says women are out to destroy men but wants to rape women
*says feminists lies about rape but compares being divorced to rape
*says women have all the power and we live in a gynocracy
*says women and feminists are demonizing gender but calls men “not men” and “white knights” who don’t agree with him and who are married.

Instead of admitting you’re a misognist who’s sad that women don’t obey your every command and can’t get away with abuse, rape, abandoning women on your accord, etc you have to make up garbage to blame all women and feminists even saying women and feminists should stop with lying and complaining becuase they have privilege but all you do is being dramatic becuase for not feeling powerful and not getting laid. You are just like any other manospherian coming here saying women are evil becuase apparently we’re doing things that you are doing to us but it’s ok because you’re men and it’s science or whatever and also we don’t give you whatever you want becuase you been oh so nice.

I can go on but I don’t want to hurt your little dumb brain misogyny and logic don’t go hand in hand. So bye we want you to go becuase believe or not there are good men out there and when you pull yourselves out of the gene pool and dating market you’re leaving the awesome men to us and we have the confidence and knowledge to avoid men like you so thanks sugar 🙂

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@NothingClever

I emailed David after that “doll” comment.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

Hm, this seems as good a thread as any to ask advice in regards to getting through to people who are willfully ignorant.

So I had a discussion with my brother recently regarding why it is SIGNIFICANTLY worse for white people to use the n-word than it would be for a black person to use it. He trotted out the standard “it’s just a word!” and “free speech!” and “well, the DICTIONARY definition of racism doesn’t say anything about power and priviledge and pervasive cultural oppression, therefore anyone who is biased against another person because of their race is being racist” BS, and I tried to take that down. I found it difficult to impress upon him the reality of constant, systemic discrimination, because he is a white cis (likely) het male who is privileged on all axes and therefore has that issue with fish having no word for water. There wasn’t a good analogy from his experience to use.

All the same, I’d like to at least try to steer him away from being a terrible asshole.

Does anyone have some advice about how one would go about illustrating pervasive, cultural discrimination to someone who has never experienced it in any facet of their life?

cupisnique
cupisnique
5 years ago

aaaaand he finally got to the point where he declared that we will all one day regret how horribly mean we females were to all the menz!!! Oh how sad we will be when all teh menz go their own way. . . who will bring us our bon bons and mammoth meats?

katz
katz
5 years ago

Returning to misandry: Valerie Solanas kind of proves my point, because you have to go back 40 years to find a woman who might pass as man-hating, and that’s if you take everything that gets said about her at face value. She’s an anomaly.

But it really depends on how you define “misandry.” If you really take it to mean nothing beyond “someone who hates men,” then sure, you can use it that way. And presumably you’d use analogous words for anyone who hated any particular group, however idiosyncratic; say, anti-tall-people, or anti-redhead, or anti-lefty (we are a sinister bunch).

But that’s a pretty simplistic definition; generally, words we have for types of bigotry imply that it’s part of a trend and not a complete fluke (and even more generally, all words imply that the thing exists in sufficient quantities to be worth having a word for). As far as I know, MRAs coined misandry, and they certainly think it refers to a far-reaching “gynocentric” conspiracy.

So I think it’s a rubbish word because it implies that something is going on that isn’t. But it depends how you define it.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Catalpa
“So I had a discussion with my brother recently regarding why it is SIGNIFICANTLY worse for white people to use the n-word than it would be for a black person to use it. He trotted out the standard “it’s just a word!” and “free speech!”comment image
The n-word came from white people to dehumanize black people so no it’s not the same when a black person uses the word against a white person and it’s bad for a white person to call a black person that becuase it was indeed white people who created that word in the first place. White people have privilege becuase it was their ancestors who have enslaved, taken, etc people of color so a poc can’t be racist towards white people becuase they really don’t have any power. There’s nothing wrong to be a white person but we do benefit from racism becuase again it was indeed white folks who enslaved, committed genocide, etc towards people of color we need to clean up their mess and call each other out if we do/say something racist and we need to think of privileges we have like for example: if I go into a shop no one will think I’m going to rob it even when I’m wearing a hoodie and no one will call me a terrorist even when I threaten someone.
Sorry I don’t know if I explained clearly but I’m sure others here will help you.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

anti-lefty (we are a sinister bunch).

comment image

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

Maybe my tongue-in-cheek detector isn’t flawless, but I always thought The SCUM Manifesto was mostly snark. I mean, you start out

Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.,/blockquote>
And near the end she writes:

The few remaining men can exist out their puny days dropped out on drugs or strutting around in drag or passively watching the high-powered female in action … or they can go off to the nearest friendly suicide center where they will be quietly, quickly, and painlessly gassed to death.

Am I wrong in thinking there’s an ample dose of tongue-in-cheek there?

I think there is a not totally insignificant number of women who — based on particularly bad experiences with men, which are unfortunately all too common — dislike, distrust, and fear men, and male violence in particular. But I can’t remember having encountered or read about more than a very few women who hate men and would like to see them annihilated in the manner of Elliot Rodger and some other extreme manospherians. Hatred seems to be pretty much a manifestation of toxic masculinity.

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

One slip with the caps key, and the blockquote mammoth rules.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

Thanks, Fruitloopsie. I know that the historical and modern context that lies behind the word is what makes it so toxic and awful, but my brother was either unwilling or unable to understand that racism is more than just the singular action of individuals within a vacuum. And also that what we were discussing was not, in fact, a fun theoretical debate, but an actual matter of life and death for people struggling with racism. (I’ve had a similar problem with explaining the whole ‘shroedinger’s rapist’ concept to him as well).

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Catalpa
I’m not good at explaining/debates but it seems your brother just needs to have empathy for people, start reading about history and what he can do for those who are less privileged but sadly there are some people who cannot change no matter what you do or say.

And about rape it’s not “every man is a rapist and every rape victim is female” it’s anyone can be a rapist and anyone can be raped and the problem with victim blaming.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

..the problem with changing the definition of rape itself, etc.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

Good point, I’ll try to steer him towards some sources and narratives that might allow him to adopt a different perspective than his own, at least temporarily.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Catalpa
Maybe geek Feminism will be a good site? I’ll be careful of what sites to go to becuase I have been to some feminist sites that weren’t friendly to other oppressed groups and even compared religious people to abusers and mentally ill are a couple of examples I seen.

I wish you good luck and don’t be afraid to ask anyone here if you have any questions, etc. we be more than happy to help you 🙂

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@katz I see. I definitely don’t define it as loosely as the way the anti-feminists do. For me you will have to achieve similar levels of delusions to a MRA or MGTOW type for me to consider applying the term.

That being said, I do agree with you completely that such examples of misandry are almost nonexistent in comparison to misogyny but the mathematican in me is very leery of using the absolute notion that none exist. Of course one of the problems of the patriarchy is that it encourages this kind of hateful thinking towards women and hence why misogyny is so easily found.

I personally haven’t found anyone in my life that is remotely near to being a misandrist so I’m sure I will never have to actually apply the label at all other than historical figures if the facts support it.

@Grumpy In regards to the Manifesto the author herself said she was serious about everything she wrote. I can only take her word for it and her subsequent actions seem to support that claim. If she had not said anything I would have arrived at the same conclusion as well.

katz
katz
5 years ago

@reallyfriendly:

How man-hating a particular person is really isn’t the issue here, as I see it. The issue is that the word implies that it’s not completely anomalous. If you call someone “misandrist” that implies that there is lots of bias against men all over the place, both because we wouldn’t need a word for it if it was just one person 40 years ago, and because other words for types of bigotry, like “misogyny” and “racism,” refer to big systems of oppression, not just to individual people who hate other kinds of people, even if they hate them very very much.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@katz I understand and agree with what you are saying. Unfortunately the word does exist and it could very well have been created during a backlash to women gaining rights in the past (I tried tracking down the origin of the word and the only thing I found were dates).

Even if you and I understand how it can be abused and misinterpreted, I suspect that that knowledge is not common to lay people out there who are not a part of the movement. We do use quite a bit of terminology that is not as easy to understand just by referring to a dictionary.

I do find that when I explain these ideas to people who are not well versed in feminism and they hear that we specifically refuse to use certain words or ideas, especially the ones that our opponents like to point out as a form of our own bais, it makes it harder to convince them.

I find it easier to start with the more straightforward concepts first (like what we do and what has been done), before moving to concepts like patriarchy and proper language usage (which is unfortunately viewed quite often as a suppression to freedom of speech).

So if someone who doesn’t travel in the same circles as I do asked me about misandry, I find that I have to explain in what particular context it could apply before I explain why in our time it doesn’t really work. If I start off by saying that it is nonsense and it could never be used that makes it harder for people to understand how feminism could be about equality.

I suspect that is one of the reasons the anti-feminists like to hit us on this front. Our explanations make sense to those who are already sympathetic, but to fence-sitters and newcomers at first glance they will agree that we have an inherent and unfair bias. I want to deal with this in a constructive fashion and immediate exclusion of such terms I find only add to the misconceptions rather than dispelling them.

mockingbird
mockingbird
5 years ago

*looks at MGTOW’s idiocy*

Ohhh, so he was *trying* to get banned, most likely so he could then run back to his cirxle-her forum and proclaim, “See?!? They have banned me for speaking the TRUTH and for refusing to bend to their outrageously PC standards! They’re so emotional!” or something.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Katz & Reallyfriendly

Im on my phone at the moment so typing is v harf but I wrote something about this dictionary definition thing a while back if anyone can find it

Spindrift
Spindrift
5 years ago

@shalimar

Dean is the raving loon who thinks he can go his own way while still in a traditional marriage.

Let’s not call MRAs loons, please.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@ Alan I was not able to track down your previous comment. If you find it please link it and I will be glad to read it through.

In regards to using a dictionary to argue I understand that it is a fallacy called ‘Appeal To Definition’ hence why I go out of my way to try to explain concepts beyond what is narrowly defined in the dictionary. It is a tricky one to explain out of though as for many people (especially for those where English is a 2nd/3rd/etc language) the dictionary is the go-to resource to understanding them, hence I always start with a simple example of this fallacy by looking at the word marriage and how it was defined historically.

I am interested to what you have to say though 8p

freemage
5 years ago

Catalpa:

Some suggestions:

If your brother is an atheist, this is a (mild) axis of privilege he might have some sympathy for in American society, where it’s a struggle in many areas to not have prayers before public meetings, and so forth.

If he’s a religious man, then you might have some luck getting him to consider how the word “blasphemy” carries different weight in different societies:

In America, it means little more than social disapproval.
In some Christian European countries, it might mean a fine (Ireland, for instance).
And in some parts of the world, it can mean a death-sentence, and in many of those, Christianity is the blasphemous religion.

From there, it’s a matter of getting him to understand that because of our history, America is actually multiple cultures sharing a geographical location. The n-word, and what it represents, is an example of that. Within the African-American community, it’s can be an insult or even a friendly call. However, when spoken by Caucasians, it gains the implicit history of slavery, Jim Crow and lynchings. He can’t put that history away just because he didn’t participate in it personally.

This leads to my next suggestion:

Get him to resent the effects of his privilege. Acknowledge that it’s wrong that he can’t use the n-word without it carrying the baggage that it does or give a compliment to a strange woman without her worrying that he is impinging on her sense of safety, in much the same way that it’s wrong that he can’t leave his home unlocked, or that he can’t go walking through some neighborhoods without fear of getting mugged. Privilege is something imposed on us by society, and that’s as true of its bearers as of its victims.

There’s a scene in the movie F/X, in which the villain has had two unloaded guns superglued to his hands, and his mouth shut, and is forced to run out of a building at the waiting line of cops, who proceed to shoot him repeatedly, because in his panicked state he doesn’t think to just lay down. For a straight, white, cis- man in America, privilege is a lot like that–it’s a weapon we can’t put down, even if we want to, even if we’d never use it deliberately. The best way to remedy this, then, is to change the society so that our privilege no longer is attached.

Yes, this is a “poor menz” way of going about it, but it can be a useful approach at the start of a serious, ongoing conversion attempt. If he resents the effects his privilege has on himself, he’ll be more likely to notice it. Eventually, the goal is to get him to that point of wanting to change things.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

Hey have you heard of this new book of the Bible found written by St. Barnabas?

If it really is real wheheheheheheheheheh.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ reallyfriendly

Ha, you won’t be once you’ve read it!

Tried Googling; but no joy. It was in the last few weeks. About common usage of words and the danger of definitions becoming a shibboleth and alienating people.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw

Hmm the only comment from I could find from you regarding dictionary definitions was from here:

https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/08/01/oh-my-lorem-the-sarkeesian-effect-premiere-was-an-even-more-glorious-fiasco-than-we-could-have-possibly-imagined/comment-page-4/

which I suspect was not what you were referring to? I read it through and I agreed with it. Nothing in it about becoming a shibboleth though.

If my assumption is right about what you could be getting at (and I could be completely off please correct me if I am wrong) is that the common usage of certain words but with differing definitions has the risk of splintering people or groups up within a movement?

Hmm… if it is based on that assumption then I would point out that even within feminism terms are not universally defined. Even something like the ‘patriarchy’ which is commonly used I have heard slightly differing versions depending on what the feminist has read and their sources. For me definitions of concepts are always in a state of perpetual flux that gets adjusted along the way. Even ‘feminism’ itself has undergone changes to how it has been defined.

However, such variation has led to more interesting dialogue I feel rather than splintering. Some feminists have fallen far out enough that the mainstream of it doesn’t often mix with them but I find that it is always more on the ideals rather than a differing definition of concepts and themes.

Hopefully I talked about the right point here 8p

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Hi reallyfriendly

Yeah, it was another polemic, bit more recent than that.

To over summarise it was about how words are defined by common usage. The danger of insisting on definitions that are only used in very narrow technical circles is that it alienates people who actually agree completely but use the words conventionally; and also they become a bit of a Shibboleth to exclude those not part of the ‘in crowd’.

There was a bit more explanation in the original post; this is very much a limited précis.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Reallyfriendly

Found it!

This interests me; and comes back to that ‘defining words’ issue that crops up from time to time.

Before stumbling across this site I wouldn’t have known that ‘egalitarian’ was a bit of a dog whistle when used by certain people in the context of discussions about feminism. I would still regard it as something generally laudable if it was used in its ‘everyday’ sense. I suspect a random survey of my friends who produce the same result; especially my French friends, they positively rave about that sort of thing once a year.

Similarly with ‘thug’. I understand that has certain racist connotations in the US. In the UK has a fairly neutral meaning and just conjours up a certain type of brutish criminal. If you said to most UK people ‘draw a stereotypical thug’ it would probably some variation on a heavy set white guy with a broken nose and close cropped hair (or an Indian looking assassin if someone knew their history).

I can completely understand the rules on a site like this taking a ‘lowest common denominator; approach where people are wary of using words that may have negative connotations in some places if not in others. It stops mis-understandings.

I’d be reluctant for that to catch on generally though. Whilst I’m a committed Atlanticist, I’m less keen on US cultural hegemony. So I’m not fond on the argument tat “well, it means this in America so it should also mean it in England’. You’ve already put a McDonalds on every street 🙂

I think there’s also a danger when people who have a particular passion for social justice issues start to use the definitions of words as Shibboleths (thought I’d stick in a theological reference as there’s a lot of experts on here) for testing who’s ‘really’ on board.

The ‘dictionary definition’ issue is something I’d not seen before. I think it could be problematic in that it can be used to exclude people who actually support social justice issues and indeed are highly active in doing something about them just because they use words in their generally accepted sense.

I understand for instance that racism affects black people far more than it does white people, but to say racism has to mean prejudice + power means we have to totally redefine racism from its normally understood sense (and prejudice probably).

This was something we actually had a big public debate about in England a while back. We ended up with something called the McPherson Report. [As an aside I’d recommend something like that in the US to address what’s going on there]

Ironically that report did produce a suggested term ‘institutional racism’ to cover the idea of prejudice + power. It seems to have entered into common parlance and is generally accepted.

I do find all this quite fascinating anyway and it ties into all that stuff about some women (even though they clearly believe and support the tenets of feminism) refusing to use the term and how men who support feminists should identify. So I just thought I’d throw it out there. We still have six months to resolve the Valentines Day stuff. Well, by the sounds of it, six months + the day after.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

Thanks freemage, those are a bunch of good points. I’ll see if I can’t get through to him yet. The atheism angle is a good one, I can work with that.

We’re both Canadian, actually, but the white cis het male privilege remains, regardless. (I’m still privileged along two of those four axes and I’m trying to cultivate an outlook that combats that as much as I can, too.)

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw Perfect! While I suspect that you had a more detailed explanation about in original comment I can at least address the summary you posted.

It was one of the things I noticed once I became more active in feminism and one of the biggest obstacles I feel to getting people more engaged in feminism. There is an array of terms and definitions that we use that differs from its popular understanding in society. I can personally attest to the fact that I had to re-learn quite a number of words because of this.

This becomes an issue when we write articles or create videos discussing feminism that the greater public can access. These terms are frequently referenced without explanations and so when the public views/reads them and compares its usage with what they know, it tends to create more confusion rather than clarifying things.

In this age of bite-sized media consumption when the movement has laden itself with such baggage it makes it that much easier to misrepresent us. I am not saying that our re-definitions were in error – they were needed to better represent our ideas and our difficulties. However, with an inadequate translating mechanism that is easily available or advertised we have been in essence constructing our own ivory tower, or Shibboleth 8p.

The good news is that the main idea is still very simple and hence support is not fiendishly difficult to obtain, but I have talked to quite a number of sympathetic individuals who are surprisingly unaware of most of the finer details. One of the worst backfires due to this is when they cross a line (unaware) and then get angry about it because they have good intentions and think that we don’t understand that – most instances that I have heard/read about always falls back to a failure of understanding the details.

That was what I was getting at in my discussion with katz. I agreed with her points, but wanted to point out the issues with how we were trying to spread our ideas and the obstacles that we have to overcome – that to do that, we most likely have to flexible (to an extent) with how we use words and why certain exclusionary tactics tend to have only consequences rather than benefits.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw Ninja’ed 8p!

At least I did address your comment to some degree and I am appending this after reading through your post.

One of our most common criticisms is that we are overly obsessed with ‘political correctness’ and it feeds into the idea that we are high-strung overly sensitive individuals. Of course this is a very superficial understanding and also actually neglects why we try and exorcise certain words out of the popular vocabulary. It is also tricky because when we exclude a racist term, we do it for one reason, but when we exclude another term (like crazy) we do it for another reason.

This simply adds layers upon layers of re-education that needs to be fed to the general public who in some sense, correctly feel put upon and they may become indignant at our treatment.

The two approaches you point out: “lowest common denominator” and “use the definitions of words as Shibboleths… for testing who’s ‘really’ on board” have their issues.

I generally support the first one, but in the public sphere when I am introducing feminism to someone I dial it all the way down (in regards to their language) because it tends to aggravate them rather encourage them. Also, once they have a clearer understanding of our ideas it becomes much easier to explain the issues and why the lowest common denominator is a safe choice. It is very easy for them to assume this is an attack on their freedom of speech.

I strongly discourage the second approach as it is an exclusionary tactic more than anything else. While I understand the desire to screen to ensure a sense of security, when you apply this to any newcomer or learning feminist it really creates a hostile welcome more than anything else. Depending on the temperament of the individual some can accept this but others will be rightly annoyed at the whole thing. Not exactly the best way to encourage people to join the movement.

I suspect that before we can start redefining terms to the greater public we should first educate them as to why a re-definition is required before we do it. Sometimes it feels like it is done backwards, where the re-definition is done first and then we drag the public’s understanding screaming along with us. This makes it that much easier for dissenters to say that we are ‘thought police’ and cry foul – and unfortunately they have a point. We have not paid the public enough respect to actually teach them first before forcing this upon them.

I am not sure about any viable alternative but I do believe that making ourselves easier to engage up should be near the top of our list.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@Tracey

“Course here, we’re considered to be common-law which means if we split,”

Yeah, if you’re common-law married, you’re not cohabiting, which means that your relationship, as it stands now, is irrelevant. Full stop.

But I want to discuss this so I’ll go along anyway. 🙂

” We feel we benefit plenty, thanks.”

Cool. Name the benefits that you gain from cohabiting that marriage doesn’t provide.

” my fella and I have been happily unmarried and cohabitating for 19 years as of Sept 20th. So… meh?”

And I’m glad that you’re happily unmarried. I was happily unmarried myself for 11 years before we split; then it wasn’t so much fun. The same goes for many of my friends that never got married. Quite frankly I was talking about risk, and independence , not happiness. There’s an inherent risk to cohabitation that doesn’t exist with marriage. There’s an inherent loss of independence and power that is simply part of being in such a close relationship. But if you’re happy to accept that risk, and that loss in independence, then I say “your life, your choices.”

My entire argument was about brushing off these concerns and pretending that they’re not there. Cohabitation is a riskier alternative to marriage; whether it results in a marriage or not. It is not a less risky “test run” of marriage. A choice based on faulty information is no choice at all.

Remember, lot’s of people find that base jumping makes them happy and is worth it. Doesn’t make it safe.

@WWTH

“Aren’t marriages that started with cohabitation first better off? I always figured you shouldn’t get married unless you know you can live together successfully. But, what do I know?”

No, you know plenty about lots of things. I’ve learned a lot from you, but you’re wrong about cohabitation.

Let’s break it down.

A. I was talking about the inherent risks of cohabitation. Whether cohabitation makes marriage better, or worse, is irrelevant. Don’t strawman me, bro.

B. On top of the strawman, you simply assumed that I thought cohabitation made marriage worse . If you had actually asked me for my opinion, instead of making assumptions, I would tell you that it’s not cohabitation itself, but the reasons for cohabitation, that raise divorce risk.

People pretend that all cohabitations are the same, but there’s a large difference from the committed unmarried couple who chose cohabitation as a lifestyle, and the cohabiting couple where the guy leads the girl on because he wants easy sex and a housekeeper. (And let’s be clear, in several studies about cohabitation a portion of guys said this was literally what they were doing.) Just the fact that power-obsessed misogynists such as nomorePC describe cohabitation as a system where men don’t “have” to give power over to women should raise red flags.

Shitty thing is, whether genuine or bullshit, all cohabitations are subject to the same wild-west legal system when they fail.

B. As for the idea that cohabitation makes marriage better, just no. For evidence, I submit @kupo’s post. Marriages that started as cohabitations had the same rate of divorce as marriages with no cohabitation once you factored age into it. That’s the same , not better, as you would expect if cohabitation allowed people to “test run” of marriage.

To answer the question of why, I submit The Inertia Theory .

Here’s an overview…

“Although many have speculated that couples cohabit as a way to test their relationships, couples’ own reports suggest that many do not give the transition from dating to cohabiting quite so much thought. Instead, they report that living together just sort of happened (Lindsay, 2000) or that they slid into it (Manning & Smock, 2005). In one of the first quantitative studies of reasons for cohabitation, Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman (2009) found that cohabiting couples most often report that they started living together so that they could spend more time together. In fact, only about 15% ranked testing the relationship as the top reason for their own cohabitations. Nevertheless, the majority of young adults in general believe that cohabitation provides a good test for compatibility (Glenn, 2005) and that it lowers the likelihood of marital distress and divorce, once married (Johnson et al., 2002).” (bold mine)

“Selection vs. experience. Although the linkages for risk are well documented across many studies, there exists a debate in the cohabitation literature as to whether it’s the type of people who cohabit (i.e., the selectivity perspective) or the experience of cohabitation itself that accounts for the cohabitation effect. (e.g., Brown & Booth, 1996). There is evidence for both positions. As we shall make clear, both selection and experience explanations support the importance of having interventions take cohabitation dynamics into account. Selectivity can account for at least part of the association between premarital cohabitation and divorce.”

NOTE: Cohabitation effect = the effect cohabitation has on divorce during marriage.

“Inertia. Stanley, Rhoades, and Markman (2006) suggest that cohabitation may lead some couples to slide into marriages they otherwise would not have chosen. This “inertia theory” rests on both prior findings as well as commitment theories that distinguish between constraint forces and more intrinsic elements of commitment (see Johnson, Caughlin, & Huston, 1999; Stanley & Markman, 1992). Constraints reflect forces that can serve to raise the costs of leaving a relationship. They can come from many sources, such as financial limitations, the difficulty of dividing possessions and moving, legal considerations such as a lease or division of assets, fears of being alone, and moral dimensions. Theoretically, constraints can keep couples together, even when times are tough and when dedication may be low. Dedication, on the other hand, reflects the intrinsic desire to maintain the relationship into the future (Stanley & Markman, 1992).

There is likely great variability among couples in terms of commitment levels during cohabitation, but on average, cohabitation is a relationship form that, at least in the U.S., is associated with lower dedication than marriage (Stanley et al., 2004); yet, many of the constraints associated with marriage also apply to cohabitation. The key issue identified byStanley et al. (2006) is that the average couple would likely find it harder to break up if they were cohabiting than if they were dating and not cohabiting, all other things being equal, because cohabitation involves a higher level of constraints. For example, cohabitation may involve increased financial commitments (e.g., a lease), increased difficulty to move on (e.g., moving out and finding another place to live), and increased social pressure to stay together (e.g., friends and family beginning to expect more of the relationship, including, in many cases, marriage). Thus, cohabitation could increase the likelihood of marriage, even among couples who are at higher risk for divorce or marital distress. Stanley et al. (2004) speculated that some of the risk of cohabiting prior to marriage could be attributable to a process wherein some people marry a person whom they would not have married had they not cohabited, and thereby, increased the difficulty of leaving. If this reasoning holds, inertia (the increased energy needed to end the relationship due to cohabitation) could be part of the explanation for the cohabitation effect. Relatively higher levels of inertia would favor relationship continuance when levels of dedication and satisfaction were otherwise equivalent (Stanley, Rhoades et al., 2006). That is to say, inertia suggests that cohabitation makes some riskier relationships more likely to continue.” (bold mine)

[source][/source]

Let’s quote @Alpine

“I know I feel much better knowing all Mr. Alpine’s quirks…marriage is something to be entered with both eyes open…”

Truer words have never been spoken. Problem with using cohabitation to test drive a marriage is that it’s like test driving a car by taking out a lease on it. Perhaps it’s not a bad idea, perhaps it’s better than buying a car straight off the lot with cash, but it’s still something that you need to be 98% certain on before you act.

Cohabitation is something to be entered into with both eyes wide open. It’s not something to be entered into because it just happens, or because you want to save on rent, or because you’re not sure that he’s the one. Decide, don’t slide, because a split is going to hurt. Constraints are real!

Last, but not least, back to Tracey

“I’m not sure how either of us could make sure we had all the things before we split up, so we left the other destitute. How would that work? I can’t just have his car in my physical possession and keep it, for example. He can’t just snatch my iMac and go ‘nyah nyah’ and I make a sad face because now it’s his, and why didn’t I pay for cloud storage, dammit?? Why??”

Cars are an exception because they’re titled, but basically he really could grab your iMac and go ‘nyah nyah’. What are you going to do, beat him up and steal it back? No, you’re going to go to court.

So now you take a day (days?) off from work, pay court fees, and maybe pay a lawyer. He says the iMac is his. Do you have proof otherwise? And then there’s the judge. You could get the most paternalistic of all judges that coddles every woman he comes across. Or, you could get that judge that gives children back to abusers because Richard Gardner believes a woman getting upset is “hysterical”. Good luck with that dice roll.

You obviously have never seen two sociopaths try to ruin one another in civil court. Using frivolous bullshit and financial deception to bankrupt the other is the abuser special, so what makes you think that removing the protection of divorce laws makes anything better ? There is a reason why some lawyers describe cohabitation law as the “wild west” of courts.

Abuse is more common in cohabiting relationships because frequently abusers prefer cohabitation over marriage. They feel that cohabitation gives them more leverage, because marriage entitles both spouses to certain rights by law, and cohabitation largely doesn’t. This is probably the “power” that NoMorePC references. His shriveled heart doesn’t seem to understand that any power marriage gives to one spouse is by design shared with the other, who after all, is entitled to half of *everything*.

I know some feminists claim that “a marriage license is a hitting license”, but they’re fucking fools.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@reallyfriendly

“In regards to the Manifesto the author herself said she was serious about everything she wrote. I can only take her word for it and her subsequent actions seem to support that claim. If she had not said anything I would have arrived at the same conclusion as well.”

I believe she also said that it was a joke.

Solanas was a troll of biblical proportions, and she had a personal vendetta against Warhol. Too much of the manifesto is a simple inversion of old-timey, Freud approved misogyny for me to take it seriously. (Solanas was a psychology major, and would have been familiar with classical misogyny). I think she shot Warhol out of spite, and then pointed out the manifesto to troll everyone into getting all upset, and prove every feminists point ever.

Whether she was successful, well that’s debatable. We can certainly agree that violence is completely wrong.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
5 years ago

@mrex

Solanas should have been intelligent enough to understand the legacy she would have created in self-publishing her manifesto. As a joke it is quite a stretch in my opinion – people hardly take such pains for a questionable attempt at humor. She should have been aware enough that she was hampering her own movement with such an act.

I would not label her as a troll as there is sorely lacking evidence in that regard.

Yes, she did claim that it was not to be taken seriously later in her life, though it does bring up the question to why she would claim it to be ‘deadly serious’ earlier on. Also, if you do regard her as a troll then any claim she makes cannot be taken seriously, but this seems more like evasion rather than proper analysis to me.

For now I will base my understanding on her by her historical actions and writings as anything else will be at best informed assumption.