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

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Matt Forney is desperate for attention; it’s as glaringly obvious as the giant MATT FORNEY that adorns the top of his blog, creatively named MATT FORNEY. And like some caricature of an emo teen “acting out,” the misogynistic manosphere blogger has decided that any attention — even bad attention — is better than no attention.

And so, perhaps at least dimly aware that his ideas are and his prose are both too lackluster to command much attention on their own, he seems to be trying to rile up as much of the internet as possible with posts that are deliberately designed to offend liberals and feminists and pretty much anyone who is not a woman-hating douchebag. He had a minor hit a this spring with a post entitled Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved, which did in fact live up — that is, down — to its title.

Now he’s got an even bigger hit in a post titled The Case Against Female Self-Esteem.

Originally posted in mid-September — people have been sending me notes for weeks asking when I would be writing about it — the post has blown up in recent days, inspiring countless angry Tumblr posts and Tweets from feminists pissed off at its, er, argument. It’s even inspired some threats of violence from Feminists, which Forney seems to regard with glee, reposting them on Twitter alongside boasts about how much traffic his post has generated thus far — last count, 90,0000 views.

So what is there to say about the post itself? It’s already been ably dissected, line by line, by Stephanie Zvan at Almost Diamonds. Some of its more absurd assertions — 60, to be exact — have been highlighted in this post by Clara on That Girl Magazine. There’s nothing original about most of Forney’s argument; it’s merely a collection of misogynistic manosphere tropes arranged into an “argument” against female self-esteem that Forney clearly intends as a provocation.

But ironically this paean to female insecurity offers interesting insights into Forney’s own insecurities about women, and more broadly into the insecurities that seem to drive so much of the manosphere’s misogynistic rage. That makes it worth examining in some detail.

Forney starts out with the sort of confession that most men would save for their therapists, announcing his love of insecure women, and declaring:

Whenever a girl I’m talking to brags about how she’s “confident” and “strong,” I can feel my dick deflating like a punctured tire.

Yep, he said it: confident women render him impotent.

“I’d still bang her, of course,” he quickly adds, somewhat unconvincingly. With what? While there are plenty of ways to have amazing sex that don’t involve an erect penis at all, somehow I don’t think Forney is much interested in that kind of thing.

Eventually Forney gets to the thesis of his piece:

In order for America to right itself, there needs to be a massive and concerted war on female self-esteem.

He rehashes tiresome antifeminist arguments suggesting that women are pumped up from birth by too much praise, and grow up into stuck-up princesses who won’t give the Matt Forneys of the world the time of day.

Sorry, that last bit is just subtext. He doesn’t actually say that out loud.

Then he goes on to rehash more tired manosphere arguments about how women are worthless nothings compared to hard-working manly men.

Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem.

In the world of men, respect—and by extension self-esteem—is based on actually achieving something of worth or having some kind of skill or talent.

Says a man whose only real accomplishment in life has been offending people on the internet.

Most girls’ so-called achievements, the ones they take pride in, are complete jokes. Wow, you have a master’s degree in puppetry?

Huh. Not sure where that’s offered. Meanwhile, Forney is involved in studying a far more serious subject: how to con women into bed using the science of “game” developed by eminent scientists on the internet with names like Heartiste and Badger Hut and The Captain Power.

Then it’s on to the similarly tired notion that women don’t work “real” jobs:

The vast majority of girls work useless fluff jobs … If every girl was fired from her job tomorrow, elementary schools would have to shut down for a couple days, but otherwise life would go on as usual.

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

Yeah, I’m sure the world would tremble if Matt Forney stopped writing his blog posts.

Forney returns to the topic of insecurity, and the embarrassing personal revelations begin to flow once again:

[T]he girls I’ve loved the most were the ones who were the most insecure, the most emotionally vulnerable.

Somehow I don’t find this hard to believe.

So what group of men is sort of famous for being attracted to vulnerable women?

(Hint: It starts with “abus” and ends with “ers.”)

Forney tries to justify his own skeeziness with some good old-fashioned misogynistic nonsense — complete with societal collapse and a side order of rape.

Insecurity is the natural state of woman. How could it be anything else? Given their lack of physical strength, a woman on her own should be frightened as hell without men to protect her. If society were to collapse, all the Strong, Independent Women™ who read Jezebel and xoJane would last about five minutes before they either found a man to cling onto or got raped and killed.

Now, I don’t actually believe, as Susan Brownmiller once famously wrote, that rape is “a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”

But “arguments” like Forney’s above certainly give one pause. Essentially he’s saying the same thing as Brownmiller — except that he thinks this is good for men, good for women (and perhaps most importantly) good for his boner.

And, yeah, he actually spells that last bit out as explicitly as he can:

Confidence doesn’t give men erections; vulnerability does.

After saying that the fear caused by the threat of rape is good for women, Forney has the gall to suggest that feminism is causing mental illness among young women. Of course, like many backwards-thinking wannabe social critics, Forney thinks that psychiatric drugs — which can be quite effective in alleviating these illnesses — are just as bad as the illnesses themselves, because they remove the insecurities that make “girls” so sexy:

Ordinarily a depressed or insecure girl would seek solace in the loving embrace of a man, but daily hits from her good friend Saint Xanax short-circuit her feminine instincts.

Forney even throws a bit of evo psych paleobabble into the mix:

In squelching her inborn insecurity with you-go-grrlisms and drugs, the modern woman has become an emotional cripple. Like a fat slob eating Big Macs instead of a juicy steak from the supermarket, she substitutes having a dominant and confident man in her life with lotsa cocka and dating where she considers herself an “equal.”

The horror!

She views men as a life support system for a penis, an accoutrement, no different than her Manolo Blahniks or snazzy new iPhone. When she gets bored of her boy-toy, she tosses him in the trash and moves on to a newer, shinier model, and if she can get cash and prizes for trading in her old clunker, that’s just the icing on the cake.

Essentially, “confident” women are incapable of viewing men as human beings.

Gender-swap this little tirade (minus the MRA-lite bit about “cash and prizes,” code words for child support and alimony) and you have a capsule description of pretty much every “game”-obsessed dude in the manosphere

When manboobs and feminists say you should be happy that women today are “independent,” this is what they’re arguing for; a world in which romantic relationships are impossible.

Uh, most “manboobs and feminists” I know are actually in romantic relationships. Some of them with more than one partner.

Where men are nothing more than fashion items to help women show how cool or sophisticated they are. Sorry, but homie don’t play that game.

Sorry, homie, but I don’t think anyone is inviting you to that particular game. I’m trying to imagine a world in which the seething, petulant, hateful, overgrown emo kid that is Matt Forney is considered a “fashion item” to anyone, and my brain is seizing up.

And we’re on to more self-revelations:

So-called confident women are as threatening as a pile of dog turds. Sure, you can scrape them off your boots when you get home, but it’s better to not step in dog shit to begin with.

And more convoluted justifications. Now Forney wants to convince us that women don’t even really want self-esteem in the first place. No, they’d rather be spanked.

[I]n their bones, girls know that their toxic, feminist you-go-grrl ideology is a lie.  …

They want nothing more than for a man to throw them over his knee, shatter the Berlin Wall around their hearts, and expose the lovestruck, bashful little girl within.

Now, there are plenty of women (and plenty of non-women) who like a bit of spanking now and again as part of a consensually kinky sex life. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what Forney is talking about here. He seems to be suggesting that women want to be physically abused.

Game, at least as it was conceived by the seduction community, was all about this. All the hysterical nitwits blubbering about how “negging” and the like was designed to hurt girls’ self-esteem were precisely right, but that’s the thing; women are crying out for a man who will wound their self-esteem.

So I guess in Forneyland women love verbal abuse too.

“Confident” women are still women, and they still lust after men who dominate them, even if they can’t admit it to themselves. Because their self-esteem has been artificially boosted by society, today’s girls need extra-concentrated doses of dominance—i.e. game—in order to feel womanly, like a junkie chasing the dragon.

So women want to be treated badly, “even if they can’t admit it to themselves.” So if they say “no,” or “stop,” or “why are you doing this to me,” I presume Forney thinks that’s just their false consciousness speaking?

This is how abusers think.

And then Forney moves on to another favorite MRA trope: the idea that feminists fight rape because it secretly turns them on.

Girls will all but die without masculine attention. Hell, I’m even starting to think that the feminist agita about “rape culture” is part of this as well. Pushing lies like the claim that one in three women will be raped during her lifetime and their constantly expanding the definition of rape are ways for feminists to indulge their desire for vulnerability in a way that doesn’t conflict with their view of themselves as “strong” and “empowered.”

Forney winds up the post with a concentrated dose of abuser-think:

At the end of the day, there are no Strong, Independent Women™. There are only shrews pleading for a taming.

That’s how abusers think.

All the posturing, the pill-popping, the whining and demands for “equality”; they’re a cry for help.

That’s how abusers think.

Girls don’t want the six-figure cubicle job, the shiny Brooklyn 2BR, the master’s degree, the sexual liberation, none of it. They want to be collectively led back to the kitchen, told to make a nice big tuna sandwich with extra mayo and lettuce, then swatted on the ass as we walk out the door.

That’s how abusers think.

I say we give them what they want.

That’s how abusers think.

And that’s how Matt Forney thinks — though how he thinks he’s going to be able to support a non-empowered, kitchen-dwelling woman off of his paltry e-book sales I have no idea.

So what have we learned here?

Matt Forney, who literally admits that his penis wilts when he’s faced with a confident woman, needs insecure women to bolster his ego and his erection. And if he can’t find them, he wants to make them, to undercut the confidence of women with insults and fearmongering, “warnings” of rape and threats of violence and verbal abuse.

And that’s the real problem. Forney may write posts like this for attention. But he seems to believe this bullshit sincerely. And so do many of his readers. And that’s why his posts are worth paying attention to, even thought that’s exactly what he wants us to do. Because he reveals a lot more about himself than he thinks in his writings. And the better we understand these guys, the better we can fight them.

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Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

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

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

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

$7.50, sorry

titianblue
6 years ago

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

QFT

melody
melody
6 years ago

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

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

Dvarg – fluff job: grooming furry critters!

Obviously! 😀

Love.
Love.
6 years ago

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

Communication ASP
Communication ASP
6 years ago

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

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

LOL, obvious troll is obvious

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

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

katz
6 years ago

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

sarahlizhousespouse
6 years ago

Yesterday was Painfully Stupid Troll Day.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

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

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

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

*happy dance*

/totally random comment

Wetherby
Wetherby
6 years ago

Huh. Not sure where that’s offered.

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

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

katz
6 years ago

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

RWMendez
RWMendez
6 years ago

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

Angela Wilson Jahnel
6 years ago

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

Clara B
6 years ago

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

Miss Casey Jayne
Miss Casey Jayne
6 years ago

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

Anna
Anna
6 years ago

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

Anything You Can Do
Anything You Can Do
6 years ago

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

roxanne
roxanne
6 years ago

@david

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

Laura
Laura
5 years ago

FYI his comments on “if all women went on strike” well they did in Iceland in 1975. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/18/gender.uk

Janeane
Janeane
5 years ago

I was thinking of responding to some of Matt Forney’s railings against the women he can’t have, but had better things to do. There are so many more worthy, intelligent people to spar with on the internet, I just decided to give the poor, fat, piece of shit a break. At first I thought he might just be lashing out after a break up, but on second thought, I find it highly unlikely that he has ever gotten that far in his personal life. Anyway, thank you for your seriously funny and well-written retorts to the biggest loser on the Interwebs. At least you rendered his pathological hatred of himself comical. That’s a remarkable literary feat. See, even Matt Forney is good for something: a good laugh.

Meow
Meow
5 years ago

Lmao Matt Forney is such a joke, just because he got rejected by pretty much every woman he’s decided to write his idiotic blog posts trying to shoot em down, that’s all he’ll ever be remember for (if at all) some guy that sat in his basement and wrote his misoygynist articles of the past

L
L
4 years ago

What do you expect from a guy who doesn’t like the cowgirl position or cunnilingus because it makes his pee-pee feel sad to not be the centre of attention 24/7? He looks like he has scabies and his beard smells like stale shit.

Mattie
Mattie
3 years ago

Just to let you know…when I tried to share this on Tumblr, instead of creating a link to this article automatically, the post defaulted to a video post of Ellen Degeneres reading Fifty Shades of Grey?

I don’t know if something’s wrong with the post formatting there or if anyone else has reported this, but JSYK.