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No, Liz Bruenig, incels aren’t incels because of “a lack of opportunities for heroism”

Captain Hero from Comedy Central’s Drawn Together

By David Futrelle

Yesterday, Washington Post writer and putative progressive Liz Bruenig tweeted out a few thoughts about the Joker movie and “the lonely, disaffected” men and boys who identify the most with the movie’s antihero.

And she offered these sad men — that is, incels and others of their ilk — far more sympathy than they deserve. While critics (of the film and of incels) “assume he issue is aggrieved fury resulting from frustrated entitlement — e.g., “tfw no gf,” no automatic status or power,” she argues instead that these boys and men suffer instead from a society that thwarts their desire to be heroes.

but i tend to think the issue is actually a lack of opportunities for heroism. i think all people naturally want to be heroic; they do this in all kinds of ways, making personal sacrifices for others, maintaining difficult moral regimens, joining social/political movements.
for the lonely, isolated, downwardly-mobile male, the sense is that all the usual opportunities for heroism (supporting a family, achieving things for one's community, fighting in a meaningful conflict, etc) have been foreclosed by various material/cultural shifts

I responded to Bruenig on Twitter, but in retrospect I was too kind to an argument that is both fanciful and pernicious. To begin with the simplest and most obvious flaw in her argument: the notion that there are no opportunities for heroism in the world today is absurd. In this highly fraught moment in history — with the US and other democracies at risk of sliding headlong into outright fascism — there are more opportunities for heroism than there are people.

Consider those who risk their own lives taking on fascists in person or online; think of those who confront the horrors of ICE and the plague of police violence; remember those women who’ve stood up to report their assaults at the hands of powerful men. I could go on, and on, and on. Even those who lack the ability or the courage to put their bodies or their lives on the line to fight the backlash can offer support to those who do; that in itself is a small act of heroism.

The reason incels and so many other “lonely, isolated, downwardly-mobile male[s]” don’t become heroes isn’t because they lack opportunities; it’s because they don’t want to be heroes, except on their own twisted terms, taking “revenge” on the so-called normies they believe oppress them — if not through mass shootings than in acts of everyday terrorism.

Incels idolize misogynistic mass murderers Elliot Rodger and Marc Lepine; they also cheer on more modest terrorizers of women like this man:

I wrote about this remarkable Incels.is post when it first appeared; it’s been making the rounds on Twitter over the past few days. When I went back to check on the original thread, it had been deleted, but commenters on the site remember it (and its author) well, with one recent commenter declaring Classic_Jarvis a “low inhib” — that is, low-inhibition — “God.”

To any of those seduced by Bruenig’s argument: how many times do incels have to show you what they are before you believe them? Sites like Incels.co — and the recently banned Braincels subreddit — are as hateful and vicious as The Daily Stormer forums. In many ways they’re worse, at least in their open glorification of violence.

I understand that, in the abstract, it’s hard not to feel a little natural sympathy for the “lonely [and] disaffected” of whatever gender. But incels and others with similarly hateful ideologies have disqualified themselves from this sort of blanket sympathy with their hatred of women and “normies” in general, just as neo-Nazis have with their hatred of Jews and indeed most of humanity. Hate groups are hate groups.

Bruenig does acknowledge, in a later tweet, that “all kinds of horrible things arise from frustrated attempts at heroism” — which is putting it mildly — but then she goes on to say this is “a problem for society to solve, not the individual. i.e., the answer isn’t ‘get over it, loser’.”

And how exactly would society “solve” the problem of incels other than making mental health available to all who need it without cost? The path of actual heroism is as open to incels as it is to the rest of us; the incels have refused it. In her tweets, Bruenig offers no solutions herself, only a few vague (and not exactly inspiring) hints. Should we drive women from the workforce so that men can feel the heroism of “supporting a family?” Should we enter into some new war so that young men can fight in a “meaningful conflict?” Somehow I doubt that even Bruenig thinks either of these things would be a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, the solutions that incels themselves demand for their supposed problems range from “enforced monogamy” and government-supplied girlfriends to the literal destruction of the entire human race, or at least the “normie” portion of it.

“Get over it” — we can drop the “loser” part — is in fact the only viable solution to the problems of the incels. They need to reject an ideology that destroys their own self-esteem even as it increases their hatred of others and encourages suspicion of mental health professionals who could offer them the only help that might make a difference.

Only those incels who’ve reached a place where they want to be helped can be helped. Committing to real self-transformation is difficult; rejecting the ideology of a community you’ve been a part of, and the community itself, can be wrenching. But it is also — dare I say it — an act of heroism.

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Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

Another skidmarxist, I presume? I’m getting really fed up with the incel sympathizers.

Left_Wing_Fox
1 year ago

@Naglfar: Yeah, Liz Bruening is both a socialist and a trad Catholic, and is very, very quiet in any situation where those two views come into conflict.

Donna G.
Donna G.
1 year ago

Liz is anti-abortion and believes birth control access is mainly bourgie feminists doing eugenics so you can guess what her solutions for these disaffected young men might entail. Rhymes with borced firth.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Donna G.
I’m guessing she’s a fan of Jordan Peterson’s “enforced monogamy” plan as well.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

The reason incels and so many other “lonely, isolated, downwardly-mobile male[s]” don’t become heroes isn’t because they lack opportunities; it’s because they don’t want to be heroes

It’s maybe not so much that they don’t want to be heroes, but more that they want to be treated as heroes without actually doing anything heroic.

Ariblester
1 year ago

Captain Hero was a low-inhibition, egomaniacal rapist, so I’m assuming the header image is knowingly arch.

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

some people really don’t grow out of the “Disney princess waiting for someone to save them” phase do they?

Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

I keep thinking of an exchange in an early episode of L&O: Criminal Intent:

Sylvia Moon: [crying] You don’t know what it’s like!

Detective Robert Goren: What, to work so hard?

Sylvia Moon: Yes.

Detective Robert Goren: And still be a nobody.

Sylvia Moon: Yes.

Detective Robert Goren: Welcome to the human race.

Ian
Ian
1 year ago

some people really don’t grow out of the “Disney princess waiting for someone to save them” phase do they?

Except they both expect someone to save them….and then expect to be treated as the savior.

JenniferAndLightning
JenniferAndLightning
1 year ago

I know so many heroic people, although admittedly most of them (not all) are women. I work in a non-profit law firm that focuses on immigration issues, serving victims of violence, and foreclosure defense. I know people.who staff homeless shelters, advocate for the disabled, and rescue animals. I know ER nurses and teachers and social workers and activists.

All of these people have found ways to be heroes. No one os forced to spew haye on the internet. They can easily spend.that time volunteering instead. Not that society deserves hateful volunteers, but that kind of hate is a choice.

aCultureboy
aCultureboy
1 year ago

I’m not diminishing the fear and trauma he’s causing women and girls by following i.e stalking them. But it’s also behavior that smacks of escalation. What happens when the sick little hit of power that Classic _Jarvis and the people he influences gets isn’t enough?

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
1 year ago

Being a hero means helping others in need. Hard to do that when you have nothing but contempt for vulnerable people.

Fabe
Fabe
1 year ago

hey incels ,If you can’t be the Hero can you at least try not to be the villain?

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

Well, to summarize the Canadian leaders’ debate …

Trudeau: If you’ll just trust me for another four years things’re gonna be great! Meanwhile, Scheer’s platform isn’t fully costed and everyone else here is a wingnut from one end or the other.

May: But what about the climate?

BQ guy: Muh state province’s rights!

Scheer: I’m a man of the people! (Just please don’t notice I’m in a really expensive suit!) I’ll wave my wand and somehow lower the cost of living without deficits or raising taxes! (Or what I blurted out about how little I care about a woman’s right to choose!)

Bernier: <keeps talking over other candidates> Deficits! I’m the real fiscal conservative unlike that pinko Scheer guy. Also, brown people bad!

Singh: <an actual, costed, left-leaning platform with higher taxes on the wealthy> Oh, and Trudeau, why did you buy that pipeline? <gets into a green-off with May over who will lower carbon emissions more>

I’m voting NDP, by which is meant I’ll say I’m voting NDP right up until the voting booth, where I’ll almost certainly end up holding my nose and voting Liberal to minimize the chances of the Tory here winning.

(And did anyone raise the topic of ending first-past-the-post? Only one: May.)

Both Bernier and BQ Guy supported the racist law stirring controversy right now in Quebec. That insta-disqualifies both of them in my view, the pro-life comments, brazen claim to be able to magically please everyone all the time, and being a friggin’ Tory disqualify Scheer, and May will be lucky if she has a single other member of her party in Parliament to caucus with, so it better be a Grit or NDP victory…

itsabeast
itsabeast
1 year ago

The hardcore incels are probably pretty unreachable until they take some serious personal initiative. The ones on the edge and the ones just starting down that path are probably pretty reachable. Liz’s approach seems clueless, but Contrapoints’ model of sympathizing while still acknowledging the awfulness is probably helpful.

There are definitely ways that society could be changed that would at least prevent more incels, and would benefit everyone. Creating more social cohesion and challenging hyper-individuality. Dismantling toxic masculinity, especially the ideas that true men aren’t empathetic and that men’s worth is based on how much sex they have or how much money they make. Improving the economic system to leave fewer people behind. Obviously people need to take personal responsibility, but the conversation shouldn’t end there.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

I wouldn’t say Bruening is sympathetic towards them so much as she’s a colossal fool. The idea that some people have neither the desire more the inclination to be “heroic” obviously eludes her, and her sheer ignorance about how the average incel behaves makes me wonder if she’s even encountered one before now.

QuantumInc
QuantumInc
1 year ago

Maybe for a very narrow and toxic definition of “hero” that has more to do with movies and video games than real life, and even then usually misses the point. They watch Scarface and think that the Tony who kills is better off than the Tony who smiles because he has a high Kill-Death ratio and Call of Duty multiplayer is explicit on the importance of a good Kill-Death ratio. Mild exaggeration but the story writers try to be as clear as possible as to what happens to the protagonist who gets involved with violence but there are still people worshiping the power and violence portrayed. Admittedly way too many video games, movies and such rely on conflict in the form of literal, physical, violent combat. Usually there is a deeper theme that actually relates to healthy real world behavior but seeing it requires a slight amount of critical thinking.
With Incels it is more about sex than violence but it is a version of sex that is believed to be nearly synonymous with power the same way violence is. They don’t imagine Chad being intimate with anyone, rather Chad desires a woman, makes an effort and gets that woman. Ultimately they are angry at women because they don’t work that way. I guess you could say they claim they are angry because women only sleep with Chad, but in reality they are angry because women DO NOT sleep with Chad. The rules they know don’t really work but they could never admit it because they are incapable of learning another set of rules.
Sorry for the rant, but it is clear that there are serious problems in the culture around gender and sexuality and Incels are so emblematic of it.

Frederic Christie
1 year ago

One of my biggest problems with the approach of people like Bruenig is that it isn’t sympathy, it’s patronizing. It is possible to recognize why people do crappy things while also recognizing that those things are crappy. Doing the latter is actual sympathy: instead of euphemism, we acknowledge how ugly the idea is and pity the person who got that angry. Acting like a cornered animal isn’t going to bite because it is sad that it is cornered is silly.

Ucalegont
Ucalegont
1 year ago

To my ears, the word ‘hero’ has death cult overtones. Like, a hero is someone who sacrifices, or even annihilates themselves for a “nobler cause.”

There seems to be also an implication that me and not-me are enemies, that you can only serve one at the expense of the other. Either you renounce, surrender, sacrifice yourself and your wishes, or you’re a bad person.

Of course fighting unjustice or helping others or having any kind of positive impact on the world is very valuable, but I’m not sure where the word ‘hero’ comes in.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
1 year ago

I think inceldom is more a result of lack of compassion for others and extreme objectification of others.

They treat people as things and if a person is not a sex object they are just a NPC in the game of their life.

This lack of compassion is the result of entitlement. And most incels have been raised with an extreme sense of entitlement.

This is a societal problem. Men are bombarded with the message that getting whatever they want is their due and easy.

It’s easy when you’re born rich.

Whereas AFAB people are taught from the beginning to delete their self and be subservient to men.

Lack of opportunities for heroism isn’t the problem. There are plenty of meaningful things you can do if so inclined. I knit clothes for preemies and stillborn babies.

The problem is that, as a society, men are raised as spoiled, entitled brats.

And this is one part of what we mean by toxic masculinity.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Itsabeast

There are definitely ways that society could be changed that would at least prevent more incels, and would benefit everyone. Creating more social cohesion and challenging hyper-individuality. Dismantling toxic masculinity, especially the ideas that true men aren’t empathetic and that men’s worth is based on how much sex they have or how much money they make. Improving the economic system to leave fewer people behind. Obviously people need to take personal responsibility, but the conversation shouldn’t end there.

There are definitely problems with our society that relate to this. However, the problem with incel sympathizers is that when they suggest societal change, this isn’t what they’re taking about. They’re talking about appeasing the incels, and trying to avoid having them take any sort of personal responsibility. Bruenig isn’t saying to fix toxic masculinity, but to give incels what they say they want.

@Anonymous

I wouldn’t say Bruening is sympathetic towards them so much as she’s a colossal fool. The idea that some people have neither the desire more the inclination to be “heroic” obviously eludes her, and her sheer ignorance about how the average incel behaves makes me wonder if she’s even encountered one before now.

I’d say she’s both sympathetic and a fool. She reminds me a bit of Cassie Jaye, in that she seems to have a very skewed view of it all.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

I understand that, in the abstract, it’s hard not to feel a little natural sympathy for the “lonely [and] disaffected” of whatever gender.

The MRA types in my family who tried to destroy me lived desperately unhappy lives. I could go down the rabbit hole of feeling very, very sorry for them. But I have to look after myself instead. It’s them or me. I choose me.

Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

Giving sympathy is like being a lifeguard. In the lifeguard training I had years ago, the first rule hammered into our heads was “Don’t go out unless you’re sure YOU can come back.” One funeral is bad enough; don’t make it two.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

This whiffling about heroism reminds me of a recent piece on Sententiae Antiquae about how the simplification and democratization of the concept of “hero” in modern culture has a lot of unfortunate consequences:

When the cultural messages we have received have not taught us humility, compromise, or to accept complexity—indeed, when they have formed us instead to expect reward, a clear place in society, and an expression of value through access to sex, adulation, and freedom to do as we wish—we are ill-fit to respond to different contexts and new information. Some people adapt and thrive; the vast majority struggle emotionally. Many fantasize about different possibilities, about breaking the system that disappointed them. A small few turn brutally, unforgivably, and irrevocably nihilistic. And this turn is embedded in heroic narrative itself: if you cannot be the avenging hero or the savior, you can still be the suffering rogue or the tragic king. One city’s savior is another’s slaughtering demon. And when there is no city to save, what remains?

If that isn’t the incel mentality, I don’t know what is.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

I’m having a lot of trouble with the idea that incels should receive any sympathy, at all. Compare the amount of sympathy incels get, with the amount of genuine, unconditional sympathy sexual assault victims get. Maybe I’m comparing apples and oranges here, but I don’t think so.

Katamount
1 year ago

There’s critiques of the system a-plenty to be had. It just feels strange that we keep having to “puzzle over” and “figure out” these people, seemingly in fear of them snapping and driving over more folks on lunch break at Mel Lastman Square. Frankly, it feels like we’re still re-treading the ground of Fight Club where some disaffected 30-somethings who conformed to societal expectations are upset about not having a “Great War” or “Great Depression.” Much like that line from Fight Club did, Liz Bruenig is definitely narrow-casting “heroism.” Just yesterday, a bunch of people blocked the Prince Edward (AKA Bloor) Viaduct as part of a climate protest. They were arrested for it. There’s always been a very cowardly aspect to the internet edgelord’s vision of themselves. Something very middle-class where the minute there’s some actual repercussions, they’re scurrying back to their keyboards. Hence the admiration of spree-killers that don’t survive, who do one thing that defines them and don’t have to deal with any of society’s limitations after the fact.

“Heroism” isn’t just combat and child-rearing. Sometimes it’s just living life day to day. It’s times like this I get wistful about what my anxieties have prevented me from doing. Could I have made a living out of art? Probably not. But then I’m forced to wonder: do I really want to go around chasing attention? I’ve always been one to question whether or not what I do actually matters. I draw lewd pictures and write stories about the characters because I enjoy doing it. There’s a fulfillment in what I do, even if I hold a lot of it close to the chest. It’ll come out eventually, to little fanfare, but it’ll be mine. Probably can’t be considered “heroism”, but it took effort and time.

Frankly, heroism is overrated.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

I need hope….

I googled “where is hope?”

I got “Alibaba offers GOOD DEALS on hope”

🙁

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
1 year ago

@Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie

I’ve had to find hope in the smallest things. My shy, skittish cat curling up against my chest. My angry boss having an encouraging word for an upset co-worker. My father being accepting of my ethnically different partner, that was a big thing. He’s still an ass, but he didn’t bat a lash at my partner.

The world is a hellhole right now, but it’s not completely dark as long as we have the little things, and as long as there is a bit of light there will be people out to make it shine brighter.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

Thanx, Cat inna Hat!!

as long as there is a bit of light there will be people out to make it shine brighter

back on topic, people who DO that are called “heroes”

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

And all of those old hero myths where they reintegrate very poorly into society afterward are no doubt based on the reality of returning war veterans who have seen, and often committed, horrors …

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

O/T: Just seen this on Twitter: a report on PBS about cosmetics for the vulva/vagina. I can’t even. It’s like someone saw Gwyneth Paltrow’s jade eggs and was like, “hold my beer pessary”.

The awesome Jen Hunter is quoted, so that’s something.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

@Cats In Shiny Hats

Strangely enough, I feel like abandoning explicit grounds for hope has actually done more to help me than trying to look for a lighter side in things that may not exist. When you have a reason for hope, it’s just as easy to lose that reason as it is to gain it.

It’s very difficult for me to explain, but what I have isn’t hope so much as sheer stubborn determination to keep enduring for as long as I can manage. Perhaps that’s a bit more negative in nature than hope, but it works well enough for me. Right now, at least.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Weird Eddie
Re: where is hope?
She’s sometimes visible here: https://www.seewinter.com/animals/webcams/winter-zone-cam-1/

(For those who don’t feel like clicking through, this is one of the dolphin webcams at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. One of their dolphins is named Hope. Anyway, I just like watching the dolphins. May give actual hope.)

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
1 year ago

@Ben

TBH I’m more inclined to point a finger to the role of hero worship and notions of heroism in Nazism, and how very similar that looks to what the US has going.

(Since you’re linking to an article on a site about Classicism with lots of Greek, I’ll assume you’re already read Eternal Fascism; you seem like the type.)

Bananananana dakry: Short-Haired, Fat, and Deranged
Bananananana dakry: Short-Haired, Fat, and Deranged
1 year ago

Bruenig seems to have an awfully narrow idea of what ‘heroism’ entails. I get the uncomfy feeling that the kind she’s thinking about is the kind where the knight in shining armor rescues the damsel from the dragon/ sea serpent/ jabberwock and is therefore of courseentitled to the ‘traditional’ reward of the damsel herself regardless of what she might feel about it.

Never mind the vast majority incels would shit their pants and run the other way even if such ‘heroism’ opportunities arose, and even in the ridiculously unlikely case a rescue happened the princess might consider being eaten by the monster to be a more merciful option than dealing with one of those chucklefucks. Can’t let reality get in the way.

Donna G.
Donna G.
1 year ago

No need to overthink St. Liz of WaPo. She’s basically Crunchy Serena Joy.

Jayne
Jayne
1 year ago

I can see why incel-types might think there are few opportunities for heroism – true heroism often involves both empathizing with others & being willing to not get any glory for doing the right thing.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Bananananana dakry

Never mind the vast majority incels would shit their pants and run the other way even if such ‘heroism’ opportunities arose, and even in the ridiculously unlikely case a rescue happened the princess might consider being eaten by the monster to be a more merciful option than dealing with one of those chucklefucks. Can’t let reality get in the way.

They’d run the other way, shouting about how the woman was a ‘hypergamous slut’.

I think on some level incels realize they’re the villains. Calls to mind this old sketch:

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

folx, this ain’t about “heroism”, at least not the way you and I understand it….

It’s about BEING the hero, GETTING the recognition (and the WEALTH… and the GIRL…)

It’s not about DOING heroic deeds, it’s about ALREADY HAVING DONE them, and now being rewarded for it.

The fantasies have kind of a “generic” battle, in which the incel kicks the shit from a host of bad guys, using martial arts techniques seen in movies but never actually emlearned/em, and THEN the actual fantasy starts

Liz’ idea of “not enough room for heroism” is just complete bullshit. Needs to be changed to “not enough recognition for men who WOULD LIKE to be recognized (and rewarded) for heroism

at risk of self-aggrandizement, I’ve done quite a few heroic things in my time. Doing things FOR others without expectation of recognition is its own reward..

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

O/T; but you may be aware it’s all kicking off here with our little eco protests. Boris Johnson said it’s just a bunch of uncooperative hemp smelling crusties. Here’s one of them. Sunday dinner must be awkward because that’s his dad.

comment image

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

@Alan
You go, Boris’s dad! (Sorry about your son.)

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
1 year ago

@Alan & Kat:
would love to be a fly on the wall for those Sunday dinners (though I’d want to ask “Poppa Johnson, what the hell happened?”)

Linda Phillips
Linda Phillips
1 year ago

The problem with Bruenig’s take is its logic: heroes are Good Guys battling against who? what? Bad Guys! Bad Shit! So if the problem with Bad Guys is that there aren’t enough opportunities to be Good Guys so “guys” resort to being Bad Guys — which, natch, creates more opportunities for Good Guys — you have a nonsensical circular reasoning embedded in the argument. It’s impossible for this line of argument to explain *why* Bad Guys of today are any different from Bad Guys of yesterday.

Thank you, btw, for sharing that *amazing* recommendation to incels for engaging in the “harmless fun” of hunting females without killing or raping them. I’m serious. I believe *every* *woman* *who’s* *ever* *breathed* *air* has encountered bully men doing exactly what he described. I encountered these kinds bullies first hand more than 50 years ago — they’re NOT new. It’s not “heroism”, and more importantly, it’s not really about women. It is about status – and bullying women solidifies one’s status in dysfunctional **********male*********** dominance social spheres. Women are not people – we’re tokens. We’re mere game pieces in a man-o-sphere hierarchy.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
1 year ago

Cat Mara:

The awesome Jen Hunter is quoted, so that’s something.

I think you mean Jen Gunter, although “Hunter” feels oddly appropriate too since she’s basically a latter-day Artemis.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

Ugh, damn autocorrect ☹️

Curious_Diversions
Curious_Diversions
1 year ago

The entire construct of The Lone Heroic _______ (Warrior, Artist, Athlete, Reformer, Family Man, Business Man) is nonsense propaganda. It is intentionally exclusionary. It’s no mistake that most people who are held up this way are men and frequently white.

It ignores the huge support system of people who provide opportunity and work, often unpaid and unacknowledged, that enables their success. It also disregards the societal structures that give them a leg-up.

The message is, “Look at what this Great Man has achieved, all on his own! YOU could never live up to that standard. Don’t bother trying.” The goal is to keep most people satisfied being part of the extensive support system for the people generating the messages.

Regarding recreational stalkers. This happened to me many times when my “sexual market value” was higher. I’d usually duck into a store, wait for some guy to head for the door, and ask him to walk with me down the block because of creepy stalker. The stalker pissed off and the guy who, due to basic human decency, helped out would be very proud of himself. Glad I could reinforce basic decency, but a nuisance anyway.

These same “gentlemen” who enjoy recreational stalking are the same ones who get pissy when the woman they are following turns around and points pepper spray at them. Sometimes women react negatively to them when they are *just walking* and aren’t trying to freak them out. The nerve!

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

These same “gentlemen” who enjoy recreational stalking are the same ones who get pissy when the woman they are following turns around and points pepper spray at them. Sometimes women react negatively to them when they are *just walking* and aren’t trying to freak them out. The nerve!

Yup. Run into this type a lot. Mine must be pretty high at this point then. This is the reason I’ve got so many weapons on my person when i go out places

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
1 year ago

The entire construct of The Lone Heroic _______ (Warrior, Artist, Athlete, Reformer, Family Man, Business Man) is nonsense propaganda.

Don’t forget “scientist”. It’s Nobel awards week right now!

Allandrel
Allandrel
1 year ago

So, since we’re talking about being told to be super compassionate to awful people…

I’m done with my therapist.

I’ve been seeing her for eight years, and I’ve experienced problems before, with her engaging in moral equivalence BS (nothing is bad or good, except for me thinking something is bad or good, which is bad; I think conservatives are bad, but they think liberals are bad, so really no one is wrong) but today’s session was just awful, my first access to some real support since the start of the whole “Ohio trying to take away my life-saving healthcare” things started two weeks ago.

When I am upset and condemn people for doing horrible things, including trying to kill people like me (Paul Ryan’s declared life dream), I am not being compassionate, and my anger will make them defensive, which is not how to reach them.

This is victim-blaming BS.

I think the people caging children in concentration camps, and those supporting it, are terrible people, but they think the same thing about the people ho oppose them.

That doesn’t mean their opinion is correct, or that mine is incorrect. Only one of us is caging children in concentration camps.

I pointed out how many of the conservative “liberals are doing evil” talk is pure projection of what they are doing or want to do. I call it “Sauron thinking,” easily summed up as “terrible people think everybody else is as awful as they are.”

She responded “But that’s what you’re doing.”

So, I only think they’re terrible people, not for things like “children in cages,” but because I’m projecting my own evil desires onto them.

I did not scream at her. I just heatedly said “I don’t want to hurt anyone.” And I don’t, no matter how angry their evil actions make me. I just want them to stop hurting people.

She responded that I was hurting people by not being compassionate and trying to reach their better natures like a Jewish guy who befriended a Klansman and doesn’t this make me a bad Quaker?

I’m effing done.

I’m super proud that I did not storm out. I need to get a new therapist. I don’t know the procedure, and as much as I need help in the next few weeks I just don’t have the spoons for any of this, and will just cancel my appointments until Ohio decides whether I live or not next month.

Donna G.
Donna G.
1 year ago

Holy shit, Allandrel, that therapist has a serious case of the Marianne Williamsons. Just awful.