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antifeminism dude you've got no fucking idea what you're talking about Dunning–Kruger effect mansplaining MGTOW misogyny

Is The Handmaid’s Tale a parable about “the folly of the liberated woman?” One MGTOW says “yes.”

What the fuck are you talking about, MGTOW?

Margaret Atwood has a unusual new fan — a commenter on the MGTOW2 subreddit who thinks that The Handmaid’s Tale is (unbeknownst to even Atwood herself) not a dystopian vision of a patriarchal theocracy but rather a sort of Red Pill parable on “the folly of the liberated woman.”

“As I expected to find, there are red pills in it,” writes immortal_coherence. “It’s a good read so far.”

The main point of Atwood’s novel, as Mr. Coherence sees it, is that women fuck up when they’re given too much freedom, thus destroying society and quite possibly ushering in a patriarchal, theocratic government.

“The author does a really good job of showing the [real] folly of feminism without being blatant about,” Mr. Coherence writes.

Some people could probably read it and not see that she is calling out feminism. Heck, I’m not even sure the author is aware she is doing it.

Other commenters are not quite sure that Mr. Coherence is really grasping the point of the book.

“Are you sure you’re interpreting it correctly?” asks someone called Solo_and_Simple,

This is from the wikipedia entry: “The novel explores themes of subjugated women in a patriarchal society and the various means by which they resist and attempt to gain individuality and independence.”

Also, ” The Handmaid’s Tale is a feminist dystopian novel.. with the feminist utopian ideal which: “sees men or masculine systems as the major cause of social and political problems…”

Mr. Coherence is not swayed.

I’m far more black pilled than red. From my perspective the feminist agenda to “resist and gain individuality” in the novel is juvenile and lacks strong leadership and direction. Even in the book it only led to stricter control over women. There wasn’t a greater vision for them, on how society can benefit from their liberation.

If the liberation of women equals a better society, how does it happen? In the book they sought for more freedom before SHTF [Shit Hits The Fan]; the protagonist’s best friend and her mother specifically. Yet, there wasn’t a greater vision or an end goal.

He offers up a Bible verse to reinforce his interpretation.

Ecclesiasticus 26:10 If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty.

This scripture speaks to the folly of the liberated woman, and how she tends to self destruct. Margaret Atwood doesn’t mention this scripture in her novel, but through subtlety she highlights this truth. Whether this is intended or not I don’t know.

I’m going to take a huge leap and say “no, dude, it’s not intended. You’re just spectacularly missing the point.”

When you read between the lines, you can see how the feminist in Handmaids had no understanding of how their liberation would contribute to the benefit or potential collapse of the pre-Gilead society, same as the feminist today.

I don’t think Atwood is suggesting that too much feminism made most women in Gilead infertile.

To summarize, I don’t care much for the spoken intention behind the works. What they reveal through those works though, be it intentional or not, is where the truth lives, and from my black pilled perspective Margaret knows that feminism could lead to a dystopian future like this.

Somehow I suspect that Margaret — I guess we’re on a first name basis with Atwood now? — isn’t convinced that feminism is going to destroy the world; after all, she’s a feminist and the main world-ruiners in her novel are pollution and radiation. The book is not a warning to feminists telling them to be less feministy.

I know the meaning of a text is dependent at least in part on what readers make of it. But I don’t think I can blame Atwood or her novel for Mr. Coherence’s epic misreading. Sometimes MGTOWs are just plain idiots.

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Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
2 days ago

@ Naglfar

*I think that although occasionally short term partnerships around a common enemy can benefit individuals or groups, these kinds of arrangements pretty much never work in the long run and can often make matters worse.

I don’t know if it’s because of examples from popular culture, but to me at least “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” sounds suspicious from the start. Even if it works out for the best, you’ll probably have to answer a lot of questions afterwards, possibly for all eternity.

I don’t know that much about Finland in the Second World War (I should really remedy this), but even when I was way younger, all the handwaving about how we only allied ourselves with the Nazis bacause they were against the Soviet Union too and how absolutely no one in Finland *ever* supported the Nazis ideologically was extremely suspect. Like, “I didn’t even care about any of this, but now that you’ve told me this Very True Actual Fact five hundred times in a row, I feel like I have to get a second opinion.”

Dalillama
2 days ago

@Masse_Mysteria
That’s actually pretty accurate. Finland was a bit of a pingpong ball in the mid-20th. The short version is as follows: Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide the Baltic area between them (keywords:Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact), Germany invaded Poland, the Sovier Union invaded Estonia, Latvia, and Finland, the latter of which was unsuccessful (keywords: Winter War, White Death).

Finland got very little support from the League of Nations or their allies (due in part to the German blockades), but made an agreement with the UK to get arms sent to help against future attacks by the USSR. Shortly thereafter, the USSR invaded Finland again, Germany invaded the USSR, and the Allies stopped sending arms to people fighting the USSR. (Keywords:Continuation War)

Finnish military leaders then schemed with the Wehrmacht to get arms and cooperate against the USSR, and when this went public the government and public went along with it because they were feeling pretty hard done by at that point. Eventually Finland and the USSR agreed to a peace where Finland expelled all the German troops and agreed to come in on the Soviet side in the case of future Western agression, and in exchange didn’t become part of the Soviet Union and remained the independent nation you reside in today.

The Germans objected, and so the Finnish army had to go shoot them some (keywords: Lapland War). On the whole matter of the Holocaust, Germany demanded that Finland round up and hand over all the Jews in the country and the Finns told them to get bent, so I think it’s fair to say there was not a huge amount of Nazi sentiment there, although I also have no doubt there was some, people being what they are.

Last edited 2 days ago by Dalillama
epitome of incomrepehensibility

@Naglfar – Yeah, that’s a good analysis. Although I don’t know as much as I should about 2nd-wave feminism.

Oh, I did read a book from the 60s that focused on workplace/economic discrimination against women. I think it was Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. I don’t remember anything specifically about sex work in it, and as far as I know, she didn’t become an anti-trans sort in her later life like Germaine Greer did. And the main points seemed sound. A lot of things I hadn’t thought about.

The only thing I found odd (*CW for mention of sexual assault*) was a sentence stating that only men could rape people. It was part of a side point and I don’t think maliciously intended, but it showed she had a really narrow definition of the term. It’s not like you can’t find examples of women forcing/coercing others into sex in literature. I thought of the Bible: there’s a story in Exodus where Lot’s daughters get him drunk and rape him because they want children and he wouldn’t let them marry anyone in the land they were in (I think that’s the gist).

Tangential, but it seemed to me as a EnglLit major, agnostically Christianish & bi 20-something (takes breath) that Sodom’s problem was a tendency towards sexual assault, not “sodomy” – see the other story about Lot. But I guess non-literalist Biblical scholars would think more about the purpose of the stories, that they were meant to paint ancient Israel’s rivals as bad.

Okay, back to the point, my creative writing teacher was a kid in the 70s and she mentioned thinking early on how there was still a double standard against women that the 60s sexual revolution didn’t address – now women were blamed for being too prudish as well as too “loose.” As a woman, you couldn’t win. So her feminism was aimed at addressing that problem – not to stigmatize women for different sexual choices, or say they just had to be one thing.

Two problem with conservatives, IMO: dividing people into more and less worthy, and then denying the “lesser” people choices.

Maybe-related point: in my experience, religion often seems to divide actions into good & evil w/o leaving room for “neutral.” But I’m sure this isn’t unique to religion.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

@Dalilama – Reminds me (from the little that I’ve read about it) that Latvia had a kind of similar experience to Poland in WW2: first had a dictator of its own, then got batted about between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

As for Poland – I didn’t know until last year that my cousin L’s zeyde (grandpa) came from there. Here I was thinking that our shared grandfather, a veteran, got the “Most Likely Close Relative to Have Died in WW2” Award…but consider the chances of an 11-12 yr old Jewish kid surviving Nazi-occupied Poland. His family was able to get out when the war started.

Explains why I felt …awkward/anxious?… when my brother was talking to her over the phone this past Dec 25th & twice called Trump “American Hitler.” I mean, her relatives who died because of non-American Hitler weren’t close ones, but it still set my teeth on edge.

Mind you, that’s me. I can’t project my feelings onto her. Unlike her, I don’t have that much intuition for what others are feeling (and that contrary to stereotypes: she’s autistic and I’m not) so I mostly guess.

Sorry for my rambling. I need sleep!

Last edited 2 days ago by epitome of incomrepehensibility
Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 day ago

Dalillama wrote:

the Sovier Union invaded Estonia, Latvia, and Finland

Don’t forget Lithuania and Romania, or someone from those countries might get irate 🙂

Shortly thereafter, the USSR invaded Finland again, Germany invaded the USSR, and the Allies stopped sending arms to people fighting the USSR. (Keywords:Continuation War)

Finnish military leaders then schemed with the Wehrmacht to get arms and cooperate against the USSR, and when this went public the government and public went along with it because they were feeling pretty hard done by at that point.

Finnish-USSR relations were constantly on hair trigger after Winter War. There was a growing consensus that if a war broke between Germany and USSR, especially if Finland couldn’t avoid being sucked into it anyway, we’d side with Germany. The scheming with Germany and other war preparations began at least weeks before Operation Barbarossa. Once Barbarossa began, the USSR soon started a bombing war on Finland, but didn’t really try to invade. Shortly after that, Finland began invading the USSR, looking first and foremost to retake the territories lost in Winter War.

Historians still argue on whether or not all of this was avoidable. I think, in aftersight, that we could’ve at least skipped most of the invasion of old Russian Karelia; the tentative attempt in opportunistic small scale imperial expansion. This project, again, had roots in our pre-1920 ethnic-territorial aspirations.

Eventually Finland and the USSR agreed to a peace where Finland expelled all the German troops and agreed to come in on the Soviet side in the case of future Western aggression

Actually, it was in the case of then-ongoing German aggression. In the aftermath of WWII, it was clear that Finland wanted to side with the West, but practical relationship with the USSR required at least a careful neutrality. Naturally, during the war, Western Allies already recognized Finland as an “enemy of my enemy’s enemy” rather than straight up enemy.

On the whole matter of the Holocaust, Germany demanded that Finland round up and hand over all the Jews in the country and the Finns told them to get bent

AFAIK the argument was mainly over deportation of refugees. Unlike Sweden, Finland
wasn’t quite able or willing to act as a safe haven for Europe’s Jewish
refugees, probably due to a certain amount pressure from Germany. Finland’s own
Jewish population was (and is) rather small* and therefore likely wasn’t a huge
sticking point for Hitler, at least in the short term.

*In earlier centuries, under Lutheran theocracy, Jews had been discouraged or
outright forbidden from settling in Sweden/Finland. In the 1930s there was
still some rank antisemitism, but overall Finnish Right was much more occupied
with russophobia than hating the handful of Finnish Jews.

I think it’s fair to say there was not a huge amount of Nazi sentiment there,

although I also have no doubt there was some, people being what they are.

Certainly. For example, some men from Finland, as well as Sweden and presumably
other countries volunteered to fight directly on German East Front, witnessing
and participating in atrocities. As for Finland’s own atrocities during WWII, I
think those can be compared to various Allied nations.

I should note that while most Finns disliked the Nazi regime, most also disliked the Soviet regime *and* Russian culture, while looking up to German culture as the pillar of Western civilization. I hinted in the recent Stalingrad thread on how even non-nazi Americans might feel a twinge of sympathy for the “Western” side of East Front. This cultural bias has been perhaps as fundamental in Europe as for example anti-Hispanic racism in US.
 

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
1 day ago

@Dalilama & Lumipuna
Thanks for the history fresher. Good to see I still remembered most of it.

I really should read up on the stuff about Greater Finland and all that, though. It seems like most Finns (that I hear talk about this) either genuinely assume that our history has somehow been written without any ideological lenses and that we certainly only teach the facts at school, or just flat out pretend that for the sake of their arguments, but I’m pretty sure I was at least very nearly an adult before I heard we’d invaded Karelia at some point.

(… though now that I think about it, we covered the Finnish civil war and such in upper secondary, so maybe it just wasn’t on the curriculum when I was younger; nevertheless, seems like something I could’ve heard before since I was more than tangentially aware of the Karelian evacuation way earlier.)

Last edited 1 day ago by Masse_Mysteria
Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 day ago

Masse Mysteria,

I was certainly taught about Finnish-German alliance (or “co-belligerence” as it’s often framed) in school, but I hardly remember being taught anything about the Holocaust, or the nature of German fascism, or the Finnish far-right Lapua movement. Maybe I didn’t pay much attention to those parts? Not as interesting as dramatic military developments, even for a history buff teenager.

In modern Finnish consciousness, the Finnish-German alliance is somewhat poorly acknowledged, very much like the alliance with USSR in English-speaking nations. I think most people tend to sleep during school history classes, and then absorb their ideas of WWII from pop culture. Often, it boils down to two mutually unrelated narratives: Finnish heroes fighting against Russians, and American/British heroes fighting against Nazis.

As for the invasion of East Karelia, IIRC that was also covered in school, but very briefly, and overall I think the complicated historical relationship between Finland and Karelia is woefully ignored. I think people tend to get lost if they ever try to understand the difference between East Karelia and West Karelia, since they don’t know the background history. Karelian language was mentioned in our Finnish language textbook, but when I wanted to discuss it with the teacher, she seemed to think they speak Finnish over there. Recently, Finnish mainstream media has at least begun discussing the human rights abuses of Continuation War.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
1 day ago

@Lumipuna
My memories are pretty vague when it comes to history lessons. I seem to remember a discussion on “what to call the 1918 war” and I felt that if we can’t even agree on that, this whole thing is a real piece of work and I guess I just didn’t feel like committing to the subject.

In retrospect, this has made for some interesting moments when foreigners have asked me about things related to Finnish history, even if they’ve been something as basic as “What is Karelia?” and “Why would you have Swedish as a compulsory subject in schools?”

I’m certain that when I was a child, I was taught that Elias Lönnrot just walked around writing down the old poems (verbatim, it seemed like). I think I was in my teens when some teacher admitted that there was some heavy editing done, and as an adult I’ve heard that Lönnrot wasn’t even the only person doing the collecting. All of this makes me wonder how simplified everything else was.

Last edited 1 day ago by Masse_Mysteria
Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 day ago

“what to call the 1918 war”

Apparently, the older folks in my mother’s family didn’t call it much anything, it being a taboo subject and all. Growing up, I heard something like my great-grandfather was briefly held at a prison camp, not because he was a rebel or anything, he was just friends with some local socialist activists.

A couple years ago, my mom went digging through the archives about her granddad. Result: Holy fuck, he was basically a real world Akseli Koskela. A Red troop leader who barely got away with his life. The Whites even executed his father out of spite, while the famous fictional character lost two brothers that way.

Also, while I knew that his son, my grandfather, was drafted as a young boy near the end of Continuation War, only now we learned that he actually fought at the big battle of Tali-Ihantala in summer 1944.

(My father, also from a southern Finnish working class background, still maintains that his family minded their own business during the 1918 thingy.)

Dalillama
1 day ago

Today (well, from this conversation) I learned that Karelian is an ethnic group different to Finnish or Sami.

Re: Lönnrot, he definitely did add a bunch of his own stuff, ethnographers of that era were very bad about things like that. There’s a fellow name of Hogg who collected a whole bunch of Scottish folk songs around that time. He also wrote a number of songs himself, and included them in his collections without attribution, and folklorists have spend ages trying to figure out which ones those are.

Last edited 1 day ago by Dalillama
Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
1 day ago

@Dalillama:

Re: Lönnrot, he definitely did add a bunch of his own stuff, ethnographers of that era were very bad about things like that.

If you think that’s bad, Snorri Sturluson invented an entire Nine Realms realm out of whole cloth, or rather, replaced one (Nidavellir, inhabited by dwarves) with another (Svartalfheimr). And that isn’t all.

If anything from Norse mythology has no other attributed sources than Sturluson, take it with a grain of salt.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 day ago

Finnish folklore collections have been archived, published and studied separately from Lönnrot’s famous works, the Kalevala and Kanteletar. It’s just that many non-scholar enthusiasts over the years have mistaken those works as authentic folklore.

The original material is in various dialects, both Finnish and Karelian, often several local variants of same or nearly same narratives. In a sense, Lönnrot continued the creative folk tradition of modifying and adapting existing poems. The language of his poetry is kind of generic East Finnish with some Karelian influence. Some have recently accused him of appropriating Karelian folklore, but I think that’s a stretch.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
19 hours ago

@Dalillama

Today (well, from this conversation) I learned that Karelian is an ethnic group different to Finnish or Sami.

There are pretty big genetic differences between Eastern and Western Finland. Apart from the Sami, we don’t usually speak of different ethnicities within Finland*, which is probably why I only realised a couple of years back that I’m half Karelian and this might have some significance if things were different on that front.

There are of course people who want Finland to be a Finnish ethnostate. It’s almost a shame that they seem to just think about skin colour, since I’d be interested to know which ethnicities would be Finnish enough (I assume the Sami are out?). Some of the “Finland for the Finns” peeps certainly have ideas that are simultaneously very strict and extremely vague.

When we talked about the Karelian evacuation at school, I remember saying to the person next to me that two of my grandparents were among the evacuees. She turned to look at me and said (with apparent horror), “Are you Russian?”

I still don’t know if she hadn’t been listening to anything during that lesson or if she genuinely considered Karelians Russian. Now that I think about it, maybe she just thought there was finally an explanation for my strange surname (which is very Finnish but in such an old school way some may assume it’s foreign).

*There are old-timey sentiments about tribal differences between the regions, but I don’t think they have a lot of relevance these days.

Dalillama
17 hours ago

@Masse_Mysteria

I assume the Sami are out

Very much so. As I understand it, the history of Finnish interaction with the Sámi has been much on the model of American treatment of the Natives or Japan’s treatment of the Aino.

There are pretty big genetic differences between Eastern and Western Finland.

Intreresting. I was thinking more of cultural/linguistic differences, (like in Scotland, although less so since the genocides(there really aren’t Highlanders anymore), the Lowland Scots and the Highland Scots were mostly genetically the same but had variant languages and bitter regional and religious feuds pretty much continually) but that’s good to know as well.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
17 hours ago

@Dalillama
There for sure are a lot stereotypes and such about the Sami, but I don’t remember hearing white supremacists say much about them. I always kind of assumed that if the “Finland for the Finns” types got their way, they’d first get rid of those with too dark skin and then move onto anyone with Slavic ancestry or something (whether they’d like to get rid of the Swedish speakers might depend on if and how this cleansing was coordinated with the rest of the Nordic countries). To my knowledge most of the Sami speak Finnish and a lot of them also have Finnish names, so maybe it would be enough to deny them the rights to their ancestral lands and all that, but they’d be Finnish-passing enough to stay?

The east-west genetic divide is another thing on which I have pretty vague impressions, but IIRC, there are differences in the occurrence of hereditary diseases or whatnot, and all of this has something to do with how people in the west mixed with immigrants coming across the gulf of Bothnia.

Also, Finnish dialects are broadly divided into eastern and western dialects, so it’s not like there aren’t cultural aspects to all of this.

Last edited 17 hours ago by Masse_Mysteria
Lumipuna
Lumipuna
12 hours ago

Masse Mysteria wrote:

There are pretty big genetic differences between Eastern and Western Finland.

Just to be clear, this was only recently discovered; it’s not physically evident or anything.

Apart from the Sami, we don’t usually speak of different ethnicities within Finland*,

Nowadays, people might speak of “etnisyys” in a way that corresponds to various English concepts of ethnicity. The old-timey Finnish term associated with the ethnic nationalism of 19th and 20th century is “kansallisuus”, which in different context can either mean national origin or cultural/language-based ethnicity. This distinction is very easily lost on people who aren’t ethnic minority in their home country, such as Finnish nationals who are also ethnic Finns. Of course, ethnic nationalism tends to erase ethnic minorities by design, and also, traditionally Finnish nationalists tended to actively appropriate related ethnic groups such as Karelians under their own nation-building project.

There are of course people who want Finland to be a Finnish ethnostate. It’s almost a shame that they seem to just think about skin colour, since I’d be interested to know which ethnicities would be Finnish enough (I assume the Sami are out?). Some of the “Finland for the Finns” peeps certainly have ideas that are simultaneously very strict and extremely vague.

Old-timey Finnish nationalism was built around the idea of “Finns” being the community of people who speak Finnish as their first language and carry associated cultural heritage. I personally like to identify myself ethnically this way, while acknowledging that a) Finland doesn’t belong to just ethnic Finns b) we aren’t culturally as monolithic as the nationalists of yore envisioned and c) we aren’t that special or different from other people.

Nowadays, the popular framing is between “native Finns” vs. “immigrant Finns”, the latter meaning people belonging in cultural or racial communities that weren’t present in Finland until recently. The Sami are nowadays commonly recognized as indigenous, though many people fail to grasp how that’s different from being native. Racists love to rail against immigration, portraying all immigrants as racially non-white and culturally non-European even though this is not nearly always the case. While 100 years ago Finnish hardcore nationalists wanted to throw ethnic Swedes out of Finland, nowadays white supremacists across all nations tend to stick together and happily appropriate Nordic symbols. Of course, if there were no POC around, Finnish and Swedish nationalists would once again start beating each other bloody with hockey sticks.

When we talked about the Karelian evacuation at school, I remember saying to the person next to me that two of my grandparents were among the evacuees. She turned to look at me and said (with apparent horror), “Are you Russian?”

I still don’t know if she hadn’t been listening to anything during that lesson or if she genuinely considered Karelians Russian. Now that I think about it, maybe she just thought there was finally an explanation for my strange surname (which is very Finnish but in such an old school way some may assume it’s foreign).

I hinted previously about the cultural divide between Protestant West and Orthodox East. This was the major identity factor for common people before the rise of linguistic and political nationalism in the 19th century, and to some extent long after. The centuries-old political and cultural divide between Sweden/Finland and Russia also helped Finnish and Karelian languages to diverge from each other. Western (Finnish) Karelia ended up being a mixing zone between the two cultures, but even as such, Western Finns traditionally often looked at them with suspicion.

redmanticore
redmanticore
3 hours ago

@Dalillama, the Sami, and Nordic governments are not completely comparable with Japanese Ainu nor American Indians. we never mass killed the Sami.
there has also never been a mass-scale war(s) between our people like there has been with American settlers and American Indians and between the Japanese and Ainu.

The strongest pressure took place from around 1900 to 1940, when Norway invested considerable money and effort to wipe out Sámi culture. 

On the Swedish and Finnish side, the authorities put less pressure on their efforts than the Norwegians. Nobody was ever literally militant.
A single Norwegian defense minister, Vidkun Quisling, who was a nazi collaborator, shouted that Sami should be eradicated, but nothing came of it. Vidkun was later executed for treason.
The word “quisling” became a byword for “collaborator” or “traitor” in several languages.

just saying.

“As I understand it, the history of Finnish interaction with the Sámi has been much on the model of American treatment of the Natives or Japan’s treatment of the Aino.”

Last edited 3 hours ago by redmanticore