The video above, which has been making the rounds of the manosphere, is one of the creepiest and most off-putting things I’ve seen since watching Dogtooth a couple of weeks ago. Actually, I take that back: Dogtooth was much less creepy and off-putting. I was so repelled by what I saw in this video that it literally took me several tries to get through the whole thing. And no, it’s not some weird misogynistic rant by the likes of Bernard Chapin. Oh, no no no. The misogynists of the world are as repelled by the video as I am, though for radically different reasons. Titled “Dear Woman,” the video was actually put together by a couple of self-described “conscious men” who think they’re doing a great favor to the women of the world.
To which I can only say: Guys, stop it, you’re not helping.
If you can stomach it, the video is worth watching in its entirety. If not, here’s what you’re missing: The video is the work of a couple of New Age gurus — Arjuna Ardagh and Gay Hendricks, Ph.D – who, with the help of a little gaggle of guys, have written a little manifesto “apologizing” to the women of the world for all the bad shit done by men to women over the centuries. Or, as they put it:
I feel deep love, great respect and a growing sense of worship for the gifts of the feminine. I also feel deep sorrow about the destructive actions of the unconscious masculine in the past and present. I want to apologize to you and make amends for those actions, in order to bring forth a new era of co-creation with you.
The first step in “making amends,” evidently, was to gather together a group of men – some of whom seem to have been roped into it in the middle of a garden party — and to somehow convince them to read out loud the entire text of this manifesto. (The full text is here, but it’s much creepier when it’s read out loud.)
There is something about this manifesto, and the men reading it, that is so “off” that it may well make your skin crawl, and make you wonder how many of the men in the video have dead bodies secreted away in the crawl spaces under their homes. A female friend I showed the video to could only make it through the first couple of minutes before switching it off in horror; one commenter on Metafilter reported that it “made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and not in a good way. Eeew.”
The creepyist, skin-crawliest part of the video has to be the section in which the assembled men talk about women’s bodies:
I honor the beauty and integrity of your body. When we worship each other through our bodies with awareness and devotion, there are no boundaries to the love that we can generate. I feel sorrow that men have used your beauty as a form of commerce in prostitution and pornography. In the grip of lust we have often lacked the skills to ask gracefully for intimacy or to take ‘No’ for an answer. I take a stand against any form of enforced or soulless commercialization of woman’s beauty, and I respect that your body belongs to you. …
I honor your capacity to listen to your body and its needs for food, rest and playtime.
I feel confident that I speak for many when I say “ewww.” Somehow I’m reminded of Saturday Night Live’s hot-tub-loving “lovers.”
As one commenter on Metafilter put it:
“We worship women” sounds like something Buffalo Bill would have said if he had a PR agent. My guess is that they’re sickos who seem really earnest at first but it turns out that they’re actually trying to collect used tampons for onanistic purposes or something.
So what is it, aside from all this worshiping, that makes the video so creepy? Part of the problem is that these “conscious men” are, in their own way, as patronizing and sexist as any manosphere dudes “mansplaining” about how all women only want to fuck alpha guys. Women, in their view, are inherently peaceful earth-mother types. “I commit now to … honoring the spirituality of the divine feminine,” the guys tell us. “I honor your deep connection to the earth.”
From this day, moving forward, I vow to treat your heart as the sacred temple it is, and I commit to honoring the feminine in you and me and in my relationship to all life.
I know that by leaving the past behind and joining hands in the present, we can create a synergy of our strengths. Together, there is nothing we cannot do.
If you enjoyed this post, would you kindly* use the “Share This” or one of the other buttons below to share it on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or wherever else you want. I appreciate it.
*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.