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>Guys, you’re not helping: The Dear Woman video

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.”

It’s worth pointing out that the written manifesto refers to men and women “nurture[ing]” one another’s body; apparently no one noticed that the dude reading this passage in the video had turned nurturing into “worship.”

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.” 

The manifesto is overflowing with this kind of shit. No matter how “New Age” these guys think they are, these are some truly ancient, and quite thoroughly retrograde, notions.
But that’s just what makes them wrong and misguided. What is it that causes viewers to pick up that whole serial-killer vibe?
I think the answer to this can be found in a book called The Gif tof Fear by security expert Gavin de Becker. The book attempts to explain why our intuitions about creepy people are so often correct. There’s a good reason you feel uneasy around certain people; that’s your unconscious picking up on real, if hard to pin down, signals of danger.
De Becker also lays out some of the techniques predators use in an attempt to allay the suspicions of those they’re trying to victimize. One of the sneakiest? The unsolicited promise, which often means the very opposite of what is said. When someone tells you, out of the blue, that they “aren’t going to hurt you,” it’s often a very good sign that that’s exactly what they’re going to do. When someone feels the need to tell you, apropos of nothing, that he “honor[s] the beauty and integrity of your body” and “respect[s] that your body belongs to you,” you may well want to run screaming. 
Even more than the unsolicited promises, I think it’s the unsolicited apologies in the Dear Woman video – so similar in intent to unsolicited promises — are a large part of what is setting off alarm bells in so many viewers. When a young guy in the video takes personal responsibility “for dragging you into … wars, and for the rape, murder, broken hearts and damaged families that resulted from them,” that’s just plain … weird, given that (unless he’s some young despot I’ve never heard of) he’s not actually responsible for any of this.
The “unsolicited promise” is similar to what de Becker calls “loan sharking” – offering unsolicited “help” in order to make victims feel obligated in some way to their unwanted helpers. In the manifesto/video, this “help” is abstract, but the strategy seems to be the same:
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.
 
Uh, who the fuck asked you to treat anyone’s heart as a “sacred temple?”
The manifesto/video is also filled with examples of “forced teaming,” another strategy favored by predators who want to convince their victims that they are in fact working together to do the very same thing:
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.
(For a fuller explanation of some of de Becker’s ideas, take a look at this post on saying “no” on Captain Awkward’s excellent blog, which I’ve drawn on heavily here.)
But there’s something else about the video that adds to the sense that something is not right here: no matter how earnest all the men in the video are trying to sound, none of them (except perhaps the two ringleaders) seem to really believe the ridiculous things they’re saying. Instead, they seem to be, with varying degrees of insincerity, mouthing a series of essentially meaningless New Age platitudes – in short, simply saying what they think women want to hear.
No one is buying this bullshit, guys. Give it up.

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.

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Discount
10 years ago

>"I'm not aware of anyone here disputing that there are differences in how men and women operate, they just want women to be treated equally." How are women treated unequally? How about how men are treated unequally and fair worse than women?

David Futrelle
10 years ago

>Discount, you are aware that what Cronin is suggesting is a *hypothesis.* I simply don't buy it. IQ and success are only loosely related; there are many other factors. Remember who was the last president of the US? Not what most of us would call a genius.

Discount
10 years ago

>"Women initiate 70% of divorce"-"Yeah, that's because women are more likely to be the victims of spousal abuse, so they have a hell of a lot more reason on average to get out of a marriage." LOL, no it's because the only domestic violence that matters is anything involving a woman. It is the only domestic violence that is measured and the only violence that matters. Women also enact most divorce for the simple fact that they can and bear no obligation, liability or responsibility in divorce…men do. Legally, women changed the law so that marriage is not a commitment from a woman to a man but a man to a woman. Women initiate most divorce because they can. Marriage is not about men..it's about women.

cboye
10 years ago

>I figured out why he's called "discount."Because we get more comments from him for the same price.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>Elizabeth said… Was that not the plot of Boxing Helen or whatever that movie was called?Yeah, but when a five year-old says it, it's kind of cute, but when an adult says it (let alone does it) it's frightening.

triplanetary
10 years ago

>How about how men are treated unequally and fair worse than women? Yeah but they're not.Because we get more comments from him for the same price. We're certainly getting what we paid for.

Geti
10 years ago

>cboye: Surely an alias is unimportant and a high number of comments isn't much of an issue, though? Seems a little like trolling to me.Most resources flow to women. They own 60% of the nations wealth, earn 60% of college degrees, have all the rights in marriage and thus divorce, are the only gender that has conception rights both pre and post conception, rights over the fruits of their labor and outearn men by an average of 8% in every major metro city in the U.S.They have better healthcare provided to them, better health in every measure, longer life span, are not required to serve their country by Selective Service OF ANY KIND, better educational opportunities through women first Affirmative Action and have ownership over men's bodies and the fruits of men's labor including owning children.Men are not even considered a necessary part of the process of conception. Male genes are sold through the mail according to what celebrity they look like. Men are not even considered a necessary part of the family.I have no idea what you are talking about! A lot of those facts are of dubious legitimacy and very US centric. Women are sold through the mail ("Mail order wives") according to how pretty and subservient they are. Women are sexually objectified daily by sexually focussed advertising and cultural stereotypes. Women make less money per hour.Or, since you seem to be fairly focussed on the male side of things – men are more likely to be in a position of relative power in the workforce, men are less likely to be the victim of spousal abuse. Men have all rights in marriage and thus divorce (no seriously, you can divorce your wife if you have reason to do so).Men more often rape women than women rape men.The exclusion of women from conscription is a women's rights issue and a human welfare issue, and is pretty well irrelevant in this discussion. Feminism generally supports women's ability to enter the military, and the laws preventing them from entering frontline service or indeed being conscripted are biased against women not against men.The American healthcare system is a different matter entirely.

Geti
10 years ago

>I might be able to continue with this discussion in a while but please, Discount, consider what you're saying before you say it – you've been making inconsistent and hurried points.You brought up advertising as something denigrating men when the majority of sexualised advertising focussed on objectifying women. That seems as though it wasn't well thought out.You've suggested I was playing stupid when you suggested appealing to the opposite sex should be a main factor in determining your career, which is just plain wrong.You've quoted scientific articles as "proof" when one of the founding principles of modern science is the inability to "prove" or "disprove" any given hypothesis, only to "support" or "counter" such a hypothesis. Even the great theories (for example, the theory of universal gravitation) that are generally accepted aren't "proven", they're simply supported by an overwhelming amount of experimental data and explain the related phenomena very well.Please make sure you're not undermining your arguments by making blunders like these in the future, as it's fairly hard to make strong arguments against vague statements or clearly biased rants.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>Wow…so much fail. I think he calls himself "Discount" because we can safely discount anything he has to say. (Sorry if someone upthread used the same joke, but it was apropos.)

Elizabeth
10 years ago

>I did CB but that is okay. He instantly said it was a lack of intellect that caused me to say it.I think it was because I lack the peepee that you have.

cboye
10 years ago

>Geti: True, and if I thought there was any chance of having an actual conversation with Discount, I would indeed focus on the actually-relevant stuff, as you are. (You're doing a great job of it, too.)But, as you have no doubt discovered, it's scarcely possible to find a coherent statement in any of his posts, and absolutely impossible to actually establish communication by saying something and having Discount understand you and respond in a meaningful or self-consistent manner.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>Elizabeth said… I did CB but that is okay. He instantly said it was a lack of intellect that caused me to say it.As they say, great minds think alike. 🙂I think it was because I lack the peepee that you have. Well, that's probably because I eat lots of asparagus. Oh…wait, never mind.

Discount
10 years ago

>"How about how men are treated unequally and fair worse than women?""Yeah but they're not."Lol, I just provided a list for you. "Yea but they are not"…. WOW…this will take days to ponder. What a profound response. The only people here who are able to communicate and manage some form of debate to any extent here are David and Geti. Your inability to care about anyone but yourselves is typical of women. The only safety, wellbeing, protection, provision and suffering that matters to you is that of women. You would rather men die in order to save yourselves. You are weak, selfish and you have no honor. I do not respect you. You bare forth nothing to men, not even children or family. Because of this you are owed absolutely nothing from men.

DarkSideCat
10 years ago

>IQ tests have massive cultural bias. This is a well established fact in psychology. Didn't we hash that issue out on another thread?"They own 60% of the nations wealth" Source? The data I have found on poverty rates and investment holdings directly contradicts that statement. You also lack data in regards to your assertion that women make more in all cities. I can think of one NY specific study that found this data for white single, childless adults, but I have never seen inter-city data to this effect or a finding to this effect when women with children and women of color were considered.

Amnesia
10 years ago

>Discount insults our honor. The time has come to challenge him to a duel.You know what? I'm fine with men owing women nothing. When it comes to relationships, I'd rather see people giving of themselves because they want to rather than give of themselves because they feel obligated to do so. The less guilt-tripping, the better.But employers are obligated to make sure they're paying the same wages to people doing the same job with the same qualifications, whether or not one of them might leave to have children someday. People are obligated not to threaten and harass other people on the streets. We are all obligated to make sure that an upper-class white boy and a lower-class black girl have the same opportunity to succeed in life, in any field they might wish to pursue.But we still haven't reached that point. And as long as people like you keep insisting that the Earth is flat, yet refuse to offer any support other than 'That's just the way it is, deal with it,' that point will be a long time coming.

Avicenna
10 years ago

>Discount. Women are oppressed quite horrifically to this day. By men who think as yourself. You aren't anything special, you probably are in the middle of the bell curve of intelligence. Women are equals, that's that. Otherwise we should discriminate based on IQ rather than gender (by your own argument) and a lot of us men who actually like women tend to have "really high IQs". And I am not a fan of the IQ test, it's culturally biased. Hard work, that's the key to success. IQ's are just a way for people to feel better than others. And this is coming from someone who thinks MENSA tests are easy. If you want a high IQ you teach your kids to do puzzles. If you don't want one you don't mentally stimulate your children. Mental stimulation is "play" and bonding and encouragement to go use their minds rather than watch telly or play videogames. There is a time and a place for them, but formative years of childhood are not it.

Elizabeth
10 years ago

>I would say that making the most of your talents is the key to success but that is me and feel free to ignore it.

cboye
10 years ago

>You aren't anything special, you probably are in the middle of the bell curve of intelligence.And you are exceptionally courteous.-katz

MertvayaRuka
10 years ago

>"Discount insults our honor. The time has come to challenge him to a duel."All I hear from his direction is a pointless barking, not unlike that of some rat-sized cur desperately trying to sound bigger and meaner than it is.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>You bare forth nothing to men, not even children or family. Because of this you are owed absolutely nothing from men. I dunno, I think Jayne Mansfield in the thread above is baring forth quite a lot…

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>The only safety, wellbeing, protection, provision and suffering that matters to you is that of women. You would rather men die in order to save yourselves. You are weak, selfish and you have no honor. I do not respect you. Yeah, women, when was the last time you hunted a mammoth?

Elizabeth
10 years ago

>Same time you did CB!

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>Um…yeah, I think I had a doctor's excuse that day.

triplanetary
10 years ago

>I registered as a conscientious objector. My faith doesn't allow me to kill mammoths.

Discount
10 years ago

>"Discount, women *also* get paid less per hour, on average."Yea….prove it.

Discount
10 years ago

>"IQ tests have massive cultural bias"Uhh huh…sure they are..that's why the curve is proportional at the top and bottom and the exponential curve is represented by the same exponential male presence in the areas Ms. Cronin mentioned.

Discount
10 years ago

>-"You know what? I'm fine with men owing women nothing. When it comes to relationships, I'd rather see people giving of themselves because they want to rather than give of themselves because they feel obligated to do so." How about people being force to give because the person they are giving to is a weak women who is unable to support herself and her own family?

Discount
10 years ago

>Family meaning women's families and women's children not a family of a man, woman and child.

DarkSideCat
10 years ago

>Oh, sure, I hunt mammoths all of the time. Fucking agriculture, how does it work?

Discount
10 years ago

>"Otherwise we should discriminate based on IQ rather than gender (by your own argument)"Nope…just equal opportunity. Men deserve the equal right to education based upon merit not women only Affirmative Action policies.

Discount
10 years ago

>"The only safety, wellbeing, protection, provision and suffering that matters to you is that of women. You would rather men die in order to save yourselves. You are weak, selfish and you have no honor. I do not respect you." "-Yeah, women, when was the last time you hunted a mammoth?" See who's lives, safety, welfare and wellbeing women value more when the time comes.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>Nope…just equal opportunity. Men deserve the equal right to education based upon merit not women only Affirmative Action policies. Aaaaand…here's where we ask you to prove it: how are men being discriminated against in university admissions?

Discount
10 years ago

>"They own 60% of the nations wealth" Source?-It's called google "women 60% of wealth"Furthermore more money flows from men and government to women than from women to men even in the personal realm. "You also lack data in regards to your assertion that women make more in all cities."http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048.html?mod=rss_opinion_mainTime Magazine: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IU3iQnIt6Nc/TOI70pL8FVI/AAAAAAAAAeY/2kkHVHRxun0/s1600/75179_1579626383548_1622331797_1399185_1851917_n.jpg

Discount
10 years ago

>There is simply nothing more anyone owes women to provide for and protect them. You will have to learn to stand on your own two feet like a man.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>See who's lives, safety, welfare and wellbeing women value more when the time comes The people they care about the most? I'd imagine that varies from woman to woman. I'm not sure what "time" you are referring to.

Discount
10 years ago

>The recent time when that airliner crash landed into the Hudson..that time. Women's lives, safety, health, wellbeing and equal opportunities are not more important than men's. Women do not see it this way. Very sad.

Discount
10 years ago

>Ask any woman who she would rather see a man pull out of a burning wreckage a man or a woman.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>The 60% of the wealth stat is widely quoted, but poorly sourced. The nearest I could find to a source was a study cited by The Economist which projected that women will control 60% of all the wealth in Britain by the year 2025.

SallyStrange
10 years ago

>You will have to learn to stand on your own two feet like a man.Right, just like a man who has had his bad behavior excused with that old aphorism, "boys will be boys," had his mediocre grades overlooked because of his family connections with the university, who got his job despite lackluster qualifications thanks to the same connections, who is able to save more of his paycheck because he has an unpaid secretary/accountant/babysitter/maid doing all the quotidian manual labor type tasks he prefers to avoid (a traditional-gender-role wife, in case you couldn't tell), who has been granted promotions and pay raises because "he has a family to support" (unlike the single mother, right?)–yeah, stand on your own two feet dammit! Just like those Real Men who do everything alone without any help from anyone ever!!So interesting how Real Men are nearly indistinguishable from grumpy toddlers.

SallyStrange
10 years ago

>Discount is making some pretty sweeping accusations here – really, all women prefer to see men die, as a universal rule? I mean, that just sounds incredibly stupid to me. If women were really possessed of that much unthinking gender solidarity you'd think McCain would have won the election.

SallyStrange
10 years ago

>Ask any woman who she would rather see a man pull out of a burning wreckage a man or a woman. Is the man Brad Pitt? This is important.

Discount
10 years ago

>"Right, just like a man who has had his bad behavior excused with that old aphorism, "boys will be boys," had his mediocre grades overlooked because of his family connections with the university, who got his job despite lackluster qualifications thanks to the same connections, who is able to save more of his paycheck because he has an unpaid secretary/accountant/babysitter/maid doing all the quotidian manual labor type tasks he prefers to avoid (a traditional-gender-role wife, in case you couldn't tell), who has been granted promotions and pay raises because "he has a family to support" (unlike the single mother, right?)–yeah, stand on your own two feet dammit! Just like those Real Men who do everything alone without any help from anyone ever!!So interesting how Real Men are nearly indistinguishable from grumpy toddlers." Lol…yea sure there are no "privileged" daughters of the world. What would you have society do, create "social justice" policies i.e. discrimination policies against men as you have already done? Your ideology is filled with the concept of a wide spread Marxist class oppression and embodies no values of Freedom, Independence, Liberty but most of all equal protection and representation under law. You believe in a nation divided by gender, race and religion and I believe in the founding values of my country which is to say that no law should be based upon these things.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>Discount said… Ask any woman who she would rather see a man pull out of a burning wreckage a man or a woman. I'll ask should the occasion ever arise.

Discount
10 years ago

>"Discount is making some pretty sweeping accusations here" You are the one making sweeping accusations and likewise seek to create all encompassing discriminatory laws and polices against the male gender.

Discount
10 years ago

>"I'll ask should the occasion ever arise."No you won't, you will help the woman first and so would a woman.

Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

>Discount said… "I'll ask should the occasion ever arise." No you won't, you will help the woman first and so would a woman.Naw, I'd get a stick and some marshmallows and cackle maniacally while making s'mores. Fuck everyone.

Discount
10 years ago

>Enjoy your women only loans, mandated contracts to women owned businesses, women only scholarships and "advancement programs", heavily structured female based learning models and most of all Affirmative Action "women first" policies. While men lost 82% of all jobs in this Recession I resent representatives from your now separate socio-political and socio-economic class who advocated for and won the diversion of Stimulus Package funds and associated economic policy based upon "gender class". http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/659dkrod.asp Make no mistake women as a class have made themselves the competitors and adversaries of men.

Discount
10 years ago

>You speak of a non-existent wage gap when for sake of argument if it were true the money which flows from men's hands into yours more than eclipses any disparity. You are heavily dependent upon men for your very survival. Those men who lost Stimulus funds and find themselves out of work are forced by women to give them what money they have left in savings and their UNEMPLOYMENT CHECKS GARNISHED like my brothers is. Barely able to feed themselves and survive while their ex is going on European vacations and getting spa treatments. I've seen the suffering "independent" women inflict upon men in their personal lives. These expectations of men are not supported by public policy which seeks to remove men from the equal opportunity to attend education and obtain work. Those men (who are now a minority) in the nations colleges and those men who are getting their unemployment checks garnished resent what you are doing. When the unemployment runs out the expectations of forced labor upon men, our bodies and the fruits of our labor are not relieved and instead these men are placed into cages for failing to give women their money. I and many men resent you for this.

SallyStrange
10 years ago

>You are the one making sweeping accusations and likewise seek to create all encompassing discriminatory laws and polices against the male gender. I appreciate your support, but I'm not actually running for office. So I haven't actually been elected and am not in a position to enact laws that would discriminate against men. If you want to make a donation to my PAC, however…

SallyStrange
10 years ago

>Make no mistake women as a class have made themselves the competitors and adversaries of men.That's adorable, really, but I think you're overstating your position. I regard you, personally, as an adversary, but hardly a competitor. And, as several other men here have pointed out, you don't speak for or represent all men. If you want to set yourself up as an enemy of all women, fine–have at it. But don't pretend as if 100% of y-chromosomal peoples agree with you.