One favorite tool in the misogynist’s toolkit is the old “if women want to be protected from violent men it proves they need patriarchy” argument. It’s a rather silly argument, but those making it tend to do so with enormous smugness, feeling that they’ve got the ultimate “gotcha” to use against feminists.
Cast in point: A post today on Roosh V’s reliably horrendous Return of Kings blog arguing that, as its title puts it, “#TakeDownJulienBlanc Shows Feminists Need The Patriarchy To Protect Them.” Never mind that the woman-led campaign against the abusive pickup artist seems to be doing pretty well already.
“Well feminists, I’ve been waiting for this a long time, and it’s finally come,” the ROK contributor who calls himself runsonmagic writes. “I’ve been waiting for the day you’d ask us to bring back patriarchy.”
He’s so obviously and so extravagantly pleased with himself here you could probably see his smug grin from space.
His “smoking gun?” A comment that #TakeDownJulienBlanc organizer Jenn Li made in a video about the campaign she started.
Describing the video in which Blanc told a room of tittering men that the best way to pick up women in Japan is by literally grabbing them while shouting “Pikachu,” she wonders aloud why women should be put in the position of having to defend themselves against being assaulted by socially stunted wannabe PUAs.
Or, as she puts it,
The responsibility shouldn’t be on the women. It should be on these nasty ass men.
That is, she thinks that the “nasty ass men” in Blanc’s audience giggling at his stories about assaulting women should have enough self-control to, you know, not grab women they don’t know and put them in headlocks because some creepy “dating” guru tells them it’s a good idea. That sounds pretty reasonable to me, as I suspect it does for most non-nasty-ass men.
But runsonmagic decides that what Li is really saying is that she
doesn’t want to fight her her own battles. She wants a men [sic] to protect her. And she isn’t alone. Many of the #TakeDownJulienBlanc tweets echo the same sentiment. Why aren’t men stopping men like this?
His conclusion: “Feminists Need Patriarchy To Save Them From Julien Blanc.”
Filling in the rest of runsonmagic’s post is a bit like playing connect the dots; you pretty much can tell what the picture is going to look like by just glancing at it.
He begins with an idealized vision of patriarchy in which men are the wise protectors of their women.
It used to be if a man was abusing or harassing women, the older men of that community would get together and teach the young man a lesson. Fathers in particular would teach their sons to be respectful of women. This system of men maintaining order was known as patriarchy. The word patriarch literally means rule by fathers.
Now, in the absence of patriarchy and male organizations, women only have ineffective government organizations, Twitter, and change.org petitions to turn to.
Huh. Men have access to all these things too. And the women, men and everyone else involved in #TakeDownJulienBlanc has been doing a pretty good job of making use of the tools that are open to all of us in democratic societies.
Apparently forgetting that he has been mocking feminist women for relying on men for protection, runsonmagic takes a few swipes at Li for talking about defending herself from assault with a taser.
Are you so frightened of men that you carry a weapon at all times? Or is this just a violent power fantasy you indulge in, in the absence of any real power? You live in Washington D.C. If you don’t feel safe walking the streets in the city with the most government of any place in the world, who can you turn to for protection?
Uh, possibly the police? The people we pay with our taxes to ostensibly “serve and protect” us from crime?
Yes, proud patriarch, most police officers are men. Is this proof that women need “patriarchy” to protect them? No more than the fact that most teachers are women means that men need matriarchy in order to be educated.
But to runsonmagic
#TakeDownJulienBlanc is a cry for help, a damsel in distress trope.
Oh lord, is runsonmagic a #GamerGater too?
I say this not to be mean, because I truly want each and every woman tweeting that to feel safe and secure, but because I believe what will make those women most secure is being surrounded by strong men, who’ve been raised by their fathers to behave honorably and justly. Patriarchy is what make women feel safe, which is why survey after survey says that conservative married women are the most happy and sexually satisfied demographic in America.
This is a favorite argument of patriarchy (and marriage) fetishists, but it’s not that simple. The study often cited as proof that married women are safer than single women also notes that the safest demographic of all is … widows.
So instead of arguing that women who want to feel safe should run out and marry the first guy who seems interested, perhaps the marriage-promoters should be arguing that women should marry and then, er, somehow have their husbands die?
These dark speculations aside, study after study after study after study find that domestic violence rates tend to be highest amongst those with traditional – that is, patriarchal – values, as I pointed out in a previous post. Blanc’s own behavior towards women seems to be rooted, at least in part, by the notion that in some fundamental way their bodies belong to him to do with what he pleases. That’s a pretty patriarchal idea.
But runsonmagic has moved on, declaring (based on nothing but speculation) that Julien Blanc’s seemingly sociopathic behavior must be the fault of his mother, whom runsonmagic has simply decided was single. Noting Blanc’s evident delight that he was able to assault multiple Japanese women and get away scott-free, runsonmagic writes
“I didn’t know how much I could get away with,” is the voice of a child who was never taught boundaries. It is the voice of a child who never had a father to teach him right from wrong, or to give him meaningful challenges by which to discover the limits and abilities of his own powers. …
I have no doubt that Julien is relishing much of the controversy that surrounds him now. No one would give him attention when he was a fatherless young man who wanted girls to talk to him, and now he’s got his own hashtag. …
When I see Julien, I don’t see a monster. Julien is what men become when they are raised by only women, and told women’s attention is what defines their worth.
I tried to find evidence of Blanc’s alleged “fatherlessness,” but was only able to find evidence that there was a famous French “romancier” by the name of Julien Blanc who was fatherless. And apparently motherless, too, after the age of eight. They’re definitely not the same guy, as the older Blanc died in 1951. Presumably the current douchebag “romancier” calling himself Julien Blanc borrowed his name from the dead guy.
If feminists truly wanted to #TakeDownJulienBlanc and keep men like him from ever becoming a problem again, they would make sure their sons grew up with fathers who were present active parts of their life. They would give attention to men they respect, rather than only engaging men who choke them and call them “dog.” And they would encourage the men in their lives to band together and lead their communities.
Or they could, you know, organize on the internet to shut down Blanc’s venues and get him tossed out of the countries he tries to bring his toxic teachings – and behavior – to. So far, that’s been working.