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feminism

Esther Vilar, very catty

In 1971, writer Esther Vilar banged out what she later called a “pamphlet written in great anger against the women’s movement’s worldwide monopoly of opinion.” This pamphlet became a small book called The Manipulated Man. Largely forgotten today, the book has nonetheless been hailed as an underground classic by many in the Men’s Rights Movement.

It’s not hard to see why. It’s an entertaining rant, written with style and verve, an interesting reminder of the passions (pro and con) that the women’s movement inspired in women in its early-70s heyday. What really endears it to Men’s Rightsers, though, is that it’s full of catty, often quite vicious, attacks on women and enthusiastic paeans to the glories of men. None of these are supported in any way by actual evidence, of course, but that’s rarely a drawback to MRAs. (You can buy the book on Amazon, though I bet that if you look around a bit you might be able to find a pdf of it for free, wink wink.)

Vilar pulls no punches:

Women let men work for them, think for them and take on their responsibilities – in fact, they exploit them. Yet, since men are strong, intelligent and imaginative, while women are weak, unimaginative, and stupid, why isn’t it men who exploit women?

Zing!

Why do women not make use of their intellectual potential? For the simple reason that they do not need to. It is not essential for their survival. Theoretically it is possible for a beautiful woman to have less intelligence than a chimpanzee and still be considered an acceptable member of society.

Oh, snap!

By the age of twelve at the latest, most women have decided to become prostitutes. Or, to put it another way they have planned a future for themselves which consists of choosing a man and letting him do all the work.

Oh no she didn’t!

As zingy as these zingers are, they don’t actually describe any human females I know. (Well, ok, they describe a tiny handful of women I’ve known.) But as I read the book I realized that they described a non-human someone I know very well:

My cat.

Yep, by simply replacing the word “women” in the book with the words “cats,” and making a few other minor adjustments, I discovered that Vilar’s angry, anachronistic rant is actually a detailed and unflinchingly accurate description of life with my cat. Consider these altered passages:

It is true that cats get progressively more elegant, more well-groomed … but their demands on life will always be material, never intellectual.

The sort of independence men have means nothing to cats, because cats don’t feel dependent. They are not even embarrassed by the intellectual superiority of men because they have no ambition in that direction.

There is one great advantage which cats have over men: they have a choice – a choice between the life of an alley cat and the life of a dimwitted, parasitic luxury item. There are … few cats who would not select the latter

A cat will always be pleased if a man turns to look at her … . Her pleasure may be compared to that of a shareholder who finds that his stocks have risen. It will be a matter of complete indifference to a cat if he is attractive or looks intelligent. A shareholder is hardly likely to notice the color of his dividend checks.

A cat’s greatest ideal is a life without work or responsibility – yet who leads such a life but a child? A child with appealing eyes, a funny little body … that darling miniature of an adult. It is a child that a cat imitates …  its helplessness, its need for protection. A cat must be cared for; it cannot look after itself. And what species does not, by natural instinct, look after its offspring?

A cat takes interest only in subjects that have an immediate personal usefulness to her.

True, true, true, true, true, and true.

It’s too bad Vilar chose to market her book as an attack on women. She could have had a long and happy career as a cat whisperer.

More on Vilar in a bit.

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tec
tec
9 years ago

>Bahahahaha LMAO

Aydan
9 years ago

>So if women go the traditional housewife route, they're parasites, and if they don't, they're unfeminine and stealing jobs from men. Darned if you do, darned if you don't.

Eoghan
9 years ago

>There is lots of similar stuff written by women for women, "the rules" and others of that ilk have been very popular.This post is interesting, how the correctness of a message depends on which group recieves it. The marvels of politically correct sexism.

Eoghan
9 years ago

>Feminist rhetoric relies heavily on these age old techniques for minipulating men. The shaming language, attacking the ego, playing the victim..I just typed "train your man" into google and it suggested "train your man like a dog", 69,000,000 results came up for "train your man like a dog".http://www.google.ie/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=www,google.com#hl=en&expIds=17259,17291,25532,26637,27284,27357&xhr=t&q=train+your+man+like+dog&cp=20&pf=p&sclient=psy&aq=f&aqi=g1g-o1&aql=&oq=train+your+man+like+&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=61d923389d31ad8f

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>You do realize that most feminists are as appalled by The Rules as you are.

tec
tec
9 years ago

>@EoghanYou do realize that several feminists (including myself) agree that such dating advice is drivel, degrading to men, and perpetuates the infantilization of men as well….eh?You know people who throw shaming tactics stones, shouldn't live in shaming tactics glass houses….eh?

tec
tec
9 years ago

>And look 19,100,000 for "train your woman"http://ca.search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=slv1-adbe&p=train+your+woman&type=Yup. Obvy men don't use degrading terms (sarcasm)…

Eoghan
9 years ago

>The point was that the author of the minipulated man isnt just inventing things, women minipulate men and likely have done for a very long time.I know most feminists are appauled by "the rules", at the same time the movements main tool so far has been playing the victim and many men have fallen for it.

Eoghan
9 years ago

>Men are only just waking up to it, its been happening for so long and so entrenched in male female relations its invisible to most..Anyway, I've only read a few pages of that book, tahsa has said she's getting me a copy, but Im still waiting…

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>"at the same time the movements main tool so far has been playing the victim and many men have fallen for it."Couldn't the exact same thing be said of the Men's Rights movement?

Eoghan
9 years ago

>The mens movement points to specific leglislation, biases and attitudes, its in the same place that the womens movement was in some decades ago. It does point out the fact that men are abused, but again, thats just the same position that the womens movement was in decades ago. The two movements actually have a lot in common. As for men playing the victim, polemics victimise whatever group they are aimed at. Men are in fact victimised by feminist polmics and leglislation,pointing that out is not part of a game deceptive attempt to minipulate society, garner sympathy and raise funds as is the case with promoting the lie that abuse and victimhood are gendered.

Natasha
9 years ago

>@Eoghan –Keep your pants on cowboy, it's coming ;)And where's my CD? lol

Eoghan
9 years ago

>ah speak of the she-devil ;)Hey, what do make of this conversation, is Esther Viler crazy and is the whole mens movement in disrepute because a few of them recommend reading her book?

Eoghan
9 years ago

>Im just reading a bit of her book, she makes a point about consumerism that I have often made.If you look at the spending gap, the average woman spends x5 more of the family's budget in herself than her husband does, who ever heard of an oppressed class more pairs of more expensive shoes than their oppressors?!

Natasha
9 years ago

>@Eoghan—Hah! You know you love my forked tongue ;)Ok, in all seriousness–No, I don't think she's crazy. As a woman who is a mens rights supporter, I identify with her on a lot of fronts; in particular the fact that we are vociferously criticized for supporting mens rights and labeled as having a hatred for our own gender. She says in her book that women cannot criticize women, and this is largely true. Women, both feminists and non, tend to operate from a position of 'inherent gender rightness' which is merely the belief that the female sex is more sympathetic, more of the default position for 'right' (as in correct, not 'wing'). I think this is what Vilar means when she discusses the clout women have with advertising and politics (i.e. if a publication isn't sympathetic enough to women, we will boycott it, if we boycott it, the advertisers withdraw due to low circulaiton or bad press…same with politicians, none can afford to offend women).Clearly I could go on for a bit here, and I might add more later, but to finish answering your question, Eoghan, I think that both sides of the argument would be remiss in ignoring any literature, especially that which was so influential at the genesis of what we know call the modern feminist movement. I think that on the whole, Vilar has valid points in many areas, not all, but many. To dismiss her out of turn is somewhat imbecilic.

Eoghan
9 years ago

>She outlines something here that I have frequently seen feminists and younger women doing…."Young boys are also discouraged from masturbation by the use of guilt and shame (i.e. "I guess you're going back home to your hand tonight""Another common theme found in feminism.."When a man helps with the burden of household chores and raising the children, he is called a "good father". However, if he is the sole working parent and he does not help out with the children, he is labeled a "bad father".Going by her wiki page, the book talks about tricks that most men will be at least aware of if not experienced with , emotional blackmail, shaming language, sex as reward or lack of as punishment… and so on.Did you know that she is one of the people whos life and family have been threatened by feminists? It looks like a good read…

notanmra
9 years ago

>Interesting.A woman writes an alternative school of thought to feminism: and she gets called a "Crazy Catty Lady".I wonder Manboobz: What would you say about some of the things radical feminists wrote in the past?Would you call any of them "Crazy Catty Ladies"?If so: which ones?Or: Are you too frightened to do so?

David Futrelle
9 years ago

>I have no problem criticizing radical feminists. I'd say Andrea Dworkin was a crazy lady, though to call her "catty" would be a bit of an understatement. Here's a review I wrote of one of her books:http://articles.latimes.com/1997-03-16/books/bk-38664_1_andrea-dworkinAnd here's something I wrote about Gloria Steinem. It's not exactly flattering either. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/reading-the-feminine-mistake/Content?oid=879148

bishopsinister
9 years ago

>What the hell happened in 1997 that grew you a set for a minute?The second link I dismissed as you are crticizing her stupid self help book, not the evil witch herself.Random Brother

notanmra
9 years ago

>@Bishopsinister:Wrong.Both links are hardly what I would call "criticisms": at least no where near the criticism that Esther Vilar got in this post.Neither of those two links criticize the "crazy catty ladies", they are simply book reviews: and boring ones at that.Irrelevant anyway.What MRA's do not understand is that Vilar's book is simply feminism: albeit cleverly disguised as "pro-male" dribble.

Eoghan
9 years ago

>Notanmra"Vilar's book is simply feminism"Can you elaborate on that a little for me?

Lydia
9 years ago

>Actually, after reading this, I noticed some parallels between antifeminists and "antifelinists": They both tend to troll blogs and sites they don't like and share their violent fantasies with everyone there. If you listen to both women- and cat-haters on why they hate women respectively cats, it's usually because of their independence and the fact that just because you're a man/their owner, they won't take your superiority for granted. Women have been compared to cats throughout many eras, and they have been equally demonised in the Middle Ages. They're still being demonised nowadays, and often, when men talk about supposedly "bitter" and lonely women, they suppose these women own cats.It's no surprise that most cat-/women-haters are men, yet the most vicious misogynists/misofelinists are female – just like Ms Vilar (and I'm SURE she hates cats too!).Men who like cats are still considered "weak", just like men who fight for the independence of women (and I'm sure you know stories of both, don't you, David). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was actual statistical evidence of a correlation between hatred towards women and hatred towards cats.I believe it was just a funny coincidence that you compared Vilar's description of hers…um, I mean, women in general to your cat, but actually, seen from this point of view, there are some stunning similarities, aren't there. I'm waiting for the first "I hate cats"-comments from Random Brother, nick and co.

Sharon
Sharon
8 years ago

Thanks for posting these excerpts. I remember reading this vile piece of raw sewage several years ago, and it seems to be even worse than I remembered it. It’s always amusing to see how MRAs complain about the SCUM Manifesto when they praise stuff that’s just as hateful.

Troy
Troy
6 years ago

Your lack of experience with humanity is astonishing, Dave. I think folks like Vilar, Bukowski, and Farrel and even myself have had far more contact than you have. You demonstrate it time and time again. I’ve seen so many friends of mine go through what Vilar describes in this book that all I can do is shake me head when clowns like you attack it.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

You necroed a thread from 2010 to splurge that? Pathetic.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Hi Troy!

Thanks for necro’ing a thread from 2010!

Your timeliness is so impressive!

What part of

women are weak, unimaginative, and stupid

do you find particularly unworthy of attack?

Thanks!

~cloudiah

Unimaginative
6 years ago

Women are me? All women? Wow!

Pretty sure this is 3 necrotrolls today, but I might be missing one.

brooked
6 years ago

Troy has far more contact with with 2010 than David apparently.

I don’t know who you are, so you may be simpatico with useless crackpots like Farell and Vilar, but leave a real writer like Bukowski out of this. I’m not a fan of his, but he deserves more respect than being lumped with dated curiosities and literary detritus.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Pretty sure this is 3 necrotrolls today, but I might be missing one.

Four if you count the late last night (in my time zone) troll who necro’d a thread to helpfully inform us that Muslims invented the term homophobia to distract people from their evilness.

Fibinachi
6 years ago

Your lack of experience with humanity is astonishing, Dave. I think folks like Vilar, Bukowski, and Farrel and even myself have had far more contact than you have. You demonstrate it time and time again. I’ve seen so many friends of mine go through what Vilar describes in this book that all I can do is shake me head when clowns like you attack it.

Having read both Farrell and Vilar and a tiny bit of Bukowski, I’m going to reply in the most literate, articulate and eloquent fashion I can envision in order to properly express my sentiment towards your statements:

“Blrllrlrlrlrlrlrlrlrlrlrlrrlrrlrrl”

It’s the sound of someone sticking their tongue out at you.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I read Bukowski for a while in an attempt to see why so many of the men I knew found him so amazing. Those are some hours I wish I could get back, but on the plus side I learned that a love of Bukowski is a pretty solid indicator that you should get as far away from the man professing it as possible.

Fibinachi
6 years ago

Heheh.

I guess I share the sentiment, along with the idea that anyone who really, truly, entirely likes The Sorrows of Young Werther, Catcher In The Rye or a few choice danish and norwegian works I don’t know if translations are available of. Especially if they ever mention any sentence along the lines of “The main character just gets me, man”

It’s not really that I mind any of those books, or that Bukowski was bad, it was just… An overwhelming sensation of “Eh?”. Ham On Rye. Eh? Post Office. Eh? That book about the antisocial hunter living in the north with the picturesque descriptions of wonderful nature, joyous hunting, and a constant aggravating on and off relationship with the engaged woman who didn’t know what she wanted. Eh?

Come to think of it, a astounding amount of the Scandinavian books I’ve read rotates around the theme of a wild, antisocial male brooding hero too good for a materialist society who falls in love with a woman who is flighty and unpredictable and which ends in tears because of their mutual complete inability to communicate like human fucking beings.

Denmark! Danish design, bacon, football, happiness and fucking miserable litterature

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

I had to look him up, and this bit in Wikipedia sounds like just the sort of thing MRAs and MGTOW would love: ‘One critic has described Bukowski’s fiction as a “detailed depiction of a certain taboo male fantasy: the uninhibited bachelor, slobby, anti-social, and utterly free”, an image he tried to live up to with sometimes riotous public poetry readings and boorish party behaviour.’

Man-child, maybe? Sounds like it.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

If the main character in Catcher in the Rye just speaks to your mental state, man, then you should be concerned. Like, um, maybe talk to someone about that? Because that’s not a healthy place to be.

Pretty much everything Bukowski ever wrote about sex or women made me seriously contemplate saying “sure, I’m bi, but why not just stick to women?”. Henry Miller too.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Denmark! Danish design, bacon, football, happiness and fucking miserable litterature

Scandinavia! If you were to ask me my overall impression of that part of the world, “cheerful” definitely wouldn’t be the first word I’d think of.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

(Though, hey, dark sense of humor works for me, and some of my favorite writers are Russian, if we’re going to talk books with a fundamentally depressing outlook towards life and not so positive outlook on human nature.)

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Troy the male supremacist doesn’t know much, but he’s pretty sure he knows women are awful and that men who disagree must have somehow managed to have no life experiences. His friends, it needs to be said 4 yrs after this was posted, have experienced other vague “evidences” that 12 yr old’s usually choose to be prostitutes and that women are lacking in every way but also control all men with our butts.
Wow, that definitely needed to be said in a thread from 2010.
Thanks, Troy.
We’ve all learned so much from your comment.
David must feel especially enlightened to know so much more about himself and his life.

Troy,
One little suggestion for the next time you drop in to tell David of your superior knowledge of women: Don’t call experiences with women “contact”, like we’re aliens from another planet. It sort of makes me doubt your estimation of how much of an expert on women you are.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Before encountering the manosphere I thought that my butt was just a thing that’s useful for sitting on and pooping. Little did I know that butts were actually the secret to world domination.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Scandinavia! If you were to ask me my overall impression of that part of the world, “cheerful” definitely wouldn’t be the first word I’d think of.

Every episode of Wallander I managed to sit through, I wanted to shout at him “QUIT YOUR JOB AND GET THERAPY YOU DISMAL SPECIMEN. And get a less fucking annoying ringtone on your phone.”

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Little did I know that butts were actually the secret to world domination.

They are, but it’s not women’s butts.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Did the keychain really need all that puckering?

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

I would say no.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

Speaking of writers who speak to men, did anybody see Chuck Palahniuk’s screed the other day about how he hopes writers will start catering to men soon?

It was one of the most epically clueless things I ever saw. Ever.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Howard, the mind boggles.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

@Howard: that explains why male literacy rates are so low compared to female literacy rates. The mystery is solved.

I hated Catcher In The Rye. It was one of those books where I hated it fast, but read it to the end hoping it would improve.

Stephen
Stephen
4 years ago

I’ve spent a fair amount of time using online dating in the past year, and been on probably 30 first dates by this point. I’ve had some great relationships with a couple people.

But here is the truth. Looking back on my experiences, I’d say around a full half of of the women I met with in real life from OKCupid and Plenty of Fish in the late 20s/early 30s age bracket were either serial daters, or prostitutes in all but name.

It’s obvious to anyone with even the smallest degree of emotional intelligence the difference between a date with a person which simply doesn’t go well, and the other person just isn’t into you once they meet you in real life, and a date where the other party has no intention whatsoever of being open to building any type of emotional “connection” right from the beginning, and is simply there because they wish to be entertained, or to evaluate what you’re good for. I’m glad to be found wanting in that regard, and have gotten pretty good at the art of sussing out serial daters within the first half hour of a date, and rapidly ejecting before they’ve finished their first drink.

Deny what you wish, but Esther Vilar’s criticism rings true, and myself and many other men have the “boots on the ground” experience in the current dating arena to confirm it. Hopefully, in time, more men will come to realize what the reality of the situation is, and ignore the endless, histrionic protestations of modern feminists to the contrary.