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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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Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

I think this guy read the book and jacked off to it like ir was porn

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

I just…what? This is on the same level as how TERFs misread it.

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.

Yeah, when the author is not aware she’s calling out her own ideology, maybe that’s not what she’s doing.

Margaret Atwood doesn’t mention this scripture in her novel, but through subtlety she highlights this truth.

AKA through not actually doing that at all.

Trying
Trying
1 month ago

My favorite professor told us we could interpret texts any way we like provided we can support our interpretation using the text. This fellow would never be able to defend his thesis using the book itself.

Seth S
Seth S
1 month ago

I guess on some level I’d always known we would one day reach a point in toxic masculinity where a man viewed Handmaid’s Tale less as a dystopian horror and more as a “how to” manual….

Yltra
Yltra
1 month ago

Very telling that this guy keeps repeating that he doesn’t see what the “end goal” is of feminism, how it would “contribute to society”. Apparently, women having control over their own lives and destinies, being full human beings and all, doesn’t register as worthy in and of itself to him.

Chris Oakley
Chris Oakley
1 month ago

Sometimes MGTOWs are just plain idiots.

“Sometimes”?!! The MGTOW community is a veritable breeding ground for stupidity. (Along with selfishness, misogyny, entitlement, bigotry….)

Crip Dyke
1 month ago

@Lumipuna:

It’s even further from the point, though pretty closely related to yours. I’ve had a couple people cite my own research on trans & intersex experiences of domestic & sexual violence (inclusive of domestic/sexual child abuse) to justify grossly wrong statements. One of those was in a forgivable context, one was not.

More often it’s just people who think they know something when they clearly fucking don’t – they’re not even bothering to cite anything to justify their bullshit as fact. They just think that since they thought it, it must be true. I’ve had that experience hundreds of times.

The most classic example of that from my own life is cis men telling me what happens inside domestic & sexual violence shelters & how it’s different when trans people are allowed to participate in those programs.

I tell them that I’ve worked in those shelters & asked how many days, months or years they’ve worked in an anti-dv shelter… and they just zoom right by like I hadn’t said anything, talking like they know everything about in-shelter dynamics. Some will say “I’ve read a lot about it,” but they’ll never say what they read. Probably all of it is just rantings on the internet from people who hate trans people the way the asshat in the OP hates women, and have the same general level of interpretive and explanatory competence.

M M O'Donnell
M M O'Donnell
1 month ago

@Lumipuna:

That thread would be surreal in its metaness if it weren’t so commonplace: wall-to-wall men mansplaining mansplaining.

rv97
1 month ago

I hope everything terrible happens to these malicious MGTOW fucks if they don’t leave women alone.

rusalka
rusalka
1 month ago

@ Elaine The Witch

Wasn’t there some PUA (I think it was Roosh?) who described “Irréversible” as too violent to comfortably whack off to (which he would have done otherwise)? I often ask myself how big of a role a lack or reduced sense of empathy might play into the worldview of these people.

Maybe that also plays into OPs nonsense? If I’m unable to put myself into the position of others, how can I ever develop a comprehensive grasp of the world? It’s the way all humans learn but I guess empathy as a means to that becomes too much of a hassle for many people as they age

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@rusalka

Honestly, with these people I think you could just call any woman a feminist even if she’s not, and then when something horrible happens to her these people would jack off to her suffering. It could be a little girl or an elderly nun, someone would just have to go “this female is a feminist” and then they would jack off to her getting beheaded or something.

They hate women, but they know at least that there is suppose to be some “good women” out there, but they think all feminist are bad, their the enemy, their sub human. So you put that title on any woman and then it’s free game to jack off to their suffering.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
1 month ago

@Trying

My favorite professor told us we could interpret texts any way we like provided we can support our interpretation using the text. This fellow would never be able to defend his thesis using the book itself.

I think he’d be able to defend it to himself and according to his standards, so he probably thinks that means it’s legit.

I feel like he could’ve gone down the easier route of just calling the book a self-own. Acknowledge what it’s supposed to be saying and then describe all the ways it (allegedly) says the opposite. It would seem much more reasonable than claiming everyone, including the author, has been wrong about the book for decades.

But no. He sees it, so everyone who doesn’t is either lying or blind.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
1 month ago

I think maybe a lot of those DV shelter transphobes have fundamentally misunderstood the purpose of the shelters. Their position makes somewhat more sense if you think they are to shelter people from penises rather than from violence.

Of course, the word “violence” is right there in the name …

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
1 month ago

@ Rusalka:
“Wasn’t there some PUA (I think it was Roosh?) who described “Irréversible” as too violent to comfortably whack off to…”

Wait? “Irreversible?” Are we taking about the Monica Bello film? The one with the 10 minute rape scene that’s so brutal it seems far longer than 10 minutes?

If we are just…eew, eew, eew.

Now I need a bath in something suitably caustic.

No, I haven’t seen the film, nor am I likely too–any more than I’m likely to subject myself to “A Serbian Film.” I’ve read enough about both movies (and a host of others) to know I’d put myself into a blinding rage.

Just…ugh.

Otoh, I did enjoy reading the Twitter thread re mansplaining. Some excellent retorts by the women.

Last edited 1 month ago by ObSidJag
Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Surplus

I think maybe a lot of those DV shelter transphobes have fundamentally misunderstood the purpose of the shelters.

I think they know the purpose, but they care more about hurting trans people than they do about protecting women. I think a few might genuinely be concerned or uncertain, but most know full well what they’re doing.

Trying
Trying
1 month ago

48 Hours did an episode on Roy Den Hollander, the jerk who killed the MRA lawyer and a judge’s son. Cassie Jaye is prominently interviewed and talks up “men’s rights.” Sigh.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

I agree with Elaine. He really got off on it, and obviously spent a fair amount of time thinking about it.

Not about the actual book, of course, but about his fever-dream of it.

There might be a glimmer of hope for Mr. solo_and_simple, who still seems able to sometimes glimpse reality. Won’t last if he keeps hanging with miggies, though.

I am a cis woman who has spent time in science fiction fandom, computer science, and engineering environments. I wish the term mansplaining had been invented sooner, but at least now I can retroactively describe my life.

Lukas Xavier
Lukas Xavier
1 month ago

There wasn’t a greater vision for them, on how society can benefit from their liberation.

The benefit of women being free is that women are free. If you need more than that, you’re part of the problem.

rv97
1 month ago

Taking a glimpse at Twitter’s trending topics, I’ve seen March the 8th trending. In advance, I want to say that the nation that has started it and continues to celebrate it (Russia) is now a fascist piece of shit that should have no voice with regards to what women can and can’t do.

Unfortunately most nations that still celebrate it are countries that, although are nominally communist (or were), but lack intersectional understanding and any real commitment to women’s liberation.

epronovost
epronovost
1 month ago

@Lukas Xavier

I disagree. I think this type of deontological ethic is weak and often ruinous. Though how women’s freedom is a net benefit for society and women is extremely easy to assess from a more consequentialist point of view.

The man in the OP did grasped a reality in his bizarre interpretation of the Handmaid’s Tale. Feminism doesn’t have a central leadership, never had and neither does it have a clear and common objective outside of the vague-ish statement of “gender equality”. In my opinion this is more a strength and something to be praised than a weakness. It’s also a clear sign that it’s a genuine liberation movement.

Who?
Who?
1 month ago

I haven’t read it, shocking overside of me, but there was a continuation last year, that sounded like me, like Gilead was loosing this one.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@epronovost

Feminism doesn’t have a central leadership, never had

This is the case for most human rights movements, see also antiracism, LGBTQ+ rights, disability rights, etc. While each of those may have individuals who are prominent at a given time or for a given region, none have a formal leadership. In fact, if a social movement does have a formal leadership I find that very suspicious, as usually that’s a sign that it isn’t an organic movement but an astroturf campaign.

Lukas Xavier
Lukas Xavier
1 month ago

Though how women’s freedom is a net benefit for society and women is extremely easy to assess from a more consequentialist point of view.

Sure, you can do that and it might be helpful to do as an exercise or as a way to get through to certain people.
However, if I really need an argument beyond “it’s the right thing to do”, then we clearly have some fundamental disagreement about what kind of world we want to live in and that’s going to affect how much I can trust you (generic “you”, not making assumptions).

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ naglfar

if a social movement does have a formal leadership

I had to learn what a holacracy was for something I’m involved with. I was sent a big reading list. I barely understood it. Then, at the first sort of ‘formal’ meeting to set out the constitution* the opening words were “Of course, our proposed structure is not a true holacracy…”

I gave up then and just said “Email me with what you need me to do.”

[*and apparently it wasn’t technically a constitution either.]

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

you are also never going to get feminist who all believe in the exact same thing which is part of the problems. Terfs will have some great points about domestic violence and abortion rights. They fight very hard for that which is a good thing, and yet many terfs are still going to bend over backwards to kiss anyone’s ass who will hurt trans women for them. Even if it hurts cis women in the process. they buy into the belief that women are especial because they have periods and can give birth, which is a boat load of problematic.

Then you have racist feminist who will talk down to black women and treat Muslim women middle eastern countries like children.

Both only want to protect a certain type of women. Which is a huge part why we can’t all aline under one leadership. MGTOW, MRAS, all of them have one specific goal they can try to get behind which is hurt women. Any women in any way possible.

Dalillama
1 month ago

@Alan
I went and looked up what the hell a holacracy might be, and immediately became deeply angry. It’s like a weird corporate parody of a cooperative workplace.

Who?
Who?
1 month ago

@Elaine: The other reason why feminism hasn’t leaders, it’s an ideal, such thinks are not political partys. And there are too many people who suscripe to at last parts of it. For women the point is probably I want that right, if they are racist or TERFs, they don’t want to give the right to others.
Also there are people who see: Oh this is shinny, I use it to make my argument look better.

bcb
bcb
1 month ago

The hypothesis that MGTOWs and GenCriters have the same ideology continues to gain evidence at an alarming rate.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Elaine

Terfs will have some great points about domestic violence and abortion rights.

This may be the case for some of them, but TBH I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. Most vocal TERFs that I’ve seen are indifferent to either of those and only talk about them when they can use them as wedge issues (i.e. only care about DV when they’re excluding trans people from shelters). At worst they’re actively opposed, I’ve seen a significant chunk of TERFs claim they’d rather lose the right to abortion than allow trans people to have rights, or attack trans inclusive DV shelters and organizations.

rusalka
rusalka
1 month ago

@ ObSidJag
Yep. That movie. Although I really can’t say who it was… But I remember feeling sick to my stomach because it was an example of this weird crippled sense of empathy: Instead of feeling empathy for the victim – some people will identify with the supposedly worst kind of human: a rapist (and isn’t that what all this assault voyeurism is about? Why rape is just necessary “realism” in GOT with all its dragons and hairless arm pits?). And I choose to believe this is not just a men’s thing because it’s usually male perputrators. I think it’s got a lot to do with identifying with the powerfull.

@ Elaine the Witch
That’s good point… It’s certainly not just a lack of empathy and disregard for another persons lived experience that motivates them. It’s outright hate. Which is why MGTOW will never be able to just fucking leave women alone. I read an article on delusional disorders yesterday (actually in the context of conspiracy theorists, the corona pandemic and a racist shooting rampage in my home country), but I think many, many mra of all sorts are well on their way into that. Actually. OPs interpretation of handmaids tale is a pretty good example of that, now that I think about it…

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@Naglfar

I have met a lot that have some good points and facts about things like abortion and body autonomy for cis women. They lack in feminism in ever other way and many of them are more then willing to do something that hurts cis women if it also hurts trans people. They aren’t good feminist by any stretch of the imagination.

rusalka
rusalka
1 month ago

Regarding feminists not being able to allign under one leadership is caused by different views on the world itself I think. The overall goal might be to free women and build a fair world to men and women – but if got a conservative idea of what men and women are, if your worldview is informed by racist, sexist stereotypes, you’ll arrive at TERFs and “raceblind” feminism. Intersectionalism is where those fail. But that’s just a shortcoming to an otherwise progressive movement that tries to improve the way people live together. MRA and MGTOW isn’t trying to improve anything for anyone. Those aren’t movements to anything but failure itself.

Last edited 1 month ago by rusalka
Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Elaine
Fair, I recognize that they are varied on these things.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@naglfar

Yeah, it’s kind of funny. cause there are some terfs that are feminist if they aren’t to far down the terf hole. they care a lot about things that do effect cis women, but there are a majority of terf that are so afraid of this trans enemy they have in there head which is an adult man assaulting women in bathrooms and changings rooms (already happens with or without trans people, not trans people fault) or the corruption of young impressionable lesbians.

Meanwhile MGTOW try to pretend like there hatred for women doesn’t come from horiness is funny to me. Like this guy pretending like his weird boner he got from the suffering of women has a deeper meaning about the nature of women, and not just you know, him thinking with his dick. I swear ever MGTOW has their own special little hate boner for at least one woman who upsets them and they try to turn that into something with a deeper meaning on the woman’s part.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

I have a guess where the (willful) misunderstanding came from.

I read the book years ago, so I’m not so fresh on it, but there’s a mention of a minority of feminists making common cause with religious misogynists against porn (the former thinking it’s exploitative, the latter thinking more like “wanton sex = bad”). But it was clear that this wasn’t everybody.

It’s like @Elaine the Witch just wrote: not all self-proclaimed feminists are committed to justice for everyone. (And anybody can be misguided or make dubious alliances in the hopes of achieving a greater good.)

Also, the story doesn’t say at all that too much freedom for women was what caused society to collapse in the first place. This person probably thinks it’s the supremest of ironies that women’s freedom led directly to women’s oppression, but I don’t see how you can read the book in good faith and come up with that.

In short, it’s still a huge misinterpretation.

Last edited 1 month ago by epitome of incomrepehensibility
Wizling the Wiz
Wizling the Wiz
1 month ago

Yay! More infantilization of women! We can’t handle anything, not even ourselves!

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@epitome
That also provides a good example of how “the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.”* I do not agree with the 2nd wave position that all sex work is bad, but I do think that a lot of pornography and the sex industry has the potential to be exploitative and this warrants discussion in feminist analysis. However, regardless of one’s view on pornography I do not think feminists should ally with conservatives, as conservatism is fundamentally antifeminist and some goals are not worth long-term bolstering of opposition or corruption of an entire movement. From what I know, this is how some TERF groups get their funding, they may at one point have been legitimate feminist organizations but realized they could get more money by taking money from conservatives and were corrupted into transphobia and accompanying far right bigotries.

*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. See: Soviet-US relations post-WWII, the current state of the Democratic Party, and the infighting of various far right groups due to bonding around a common enemy.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

So this is OT but I’ve got to tell you guys this cause I think it’s funny. My husband valentines day present just got to me. We don’t take valentines day seriously. we’ve turned it into a challenge on who can buy the other the funniest sex related gift that we can find. He found me a “memory foam couple support pillow for knees” which is a pillow that is just meant to support the knees while someone is giving a blow job. it’s hilarious this exist to start with but the best part was that he printed out a screen shot from one of the reviews from amazon. it was by an elderly Muslim woman who gave it 5 stars and said that it made praying on her arthritic knees so much easier and she loves it so much more then the knee pads her husband got her.

Critical Dragon1177
Critical Dragon1177
1 month ago

David Futrelle,
Tell me if I’m wrong, but in the novel, doesn’t Gilaad eventually get overthrown and the “evil,” “selfish” “destructive” feminist win? If that’s the case than Immortal Coherence’s take makes even less sense doesn’t it?

Chris B
Chris B
1 month ago

I’ve heard of (a literary term I forget) where authors unconsciously put in themes, but this has to be the biggest stretch

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ chris

You piqued my curiosity so I got googling. I didn’t find any phrase as such. There was some material on conscious versus unconscious thought in themes; and the difference between themes and controlling idea.

But what really intrigued me was how, in Greek, you can’t say “I think” only “The thought occurred to me”; and that’s sent me down a real rabbit hole about creativity.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 month ago

Welp. William Shatner has been trash for awhile, but he’s now gone full MRA

https://twitter.com/WilliamShatner/status/1363880170499661824?s=20

SpecialFFrog
SpecialFFrog
1 month ago

@Critical Dragon: you are correct. The novel has a framing device in which academics are discussing the main text, which are a a relic from the now collapsed gilead.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

@Alan: that’s a new one on me, too. A quick look at the Wiki page had me immediately thinking “oh god it’s going to lead to even MORE meetings, isn’t it?” Also I think it ought to be “holocracy”, dammit. “Holacracy” seems to imply “rule by people who say hello in Spanish” to me.

I’m going to tell my husband we have a holocracy, and then the cat will remind us of how oppressed he is and why can’t he have more input into how often the small cans of processed meat are opened (Because he’s already a chubby little bastid, that’s why). Meanwhile, the neighbors across the street have a hola-cracy, which seems to run well.

I try to live up to “my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit”, as hard as it is. But I cheer myself up by realizing I’m already more intersectional than TERFs and Karens. Which is a low bar, but I gotta start somewhere.

@Elaine: That’s funny! High five to the elderly Muslim lady, and may Allah look favorably upon her.

I guess Mr. (Lack-of-)Coherence just missed the framing story altogether. Maybe the miggie edition omits that?

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@GSS ex-noob

“Holacracy” seems to imply “rule by people who say hello in Spanish”

That was my first thought as well.

happy cat
happy cat
1 month ago

This reminds me of what happens when people tell Lori Alexander she sounds like “Aunt Lydia” from the Handmaid Tales. She just doesn’t get it.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
1 month ago

I admit I had some problems with The Handmaid’s Tale (mostly over the worldbuilding of the setting and the main character being very passive with an unacknowledged mean streak in her – though the latter could be deliberate?), but even when I first read the thing I didn’t think the main theme was anywhere close to what the OP thinks it is. Then again, I suspect the OP might have just read the summary of THT instead of the book itself (less likely to get cooties from ‘girl books’ that way), so… *shrug*

Moggie
Moggie
1 month ago

@GSS ex-noob:

I guess Mr. (Lack-of-)Coherence just missed the framing story altogether. Maybe the miggie edition omits that?

Well, he does write “It’s a good read so far”, so he’s commenting before finishing the book. Who does that? There are so many books where you’d make a complete fool of yourself if you gave your take when you’ve only read half. In fact, if he was writing after the sequel was published, he ought to read both. The Handmaid’s Tale tells us that Gilead failed, and The Testaments tells us how.

Moggie
Moggie
1 month ago

@happy cat:

This reminds me of what happens when people tell Lori Alexander she sounds like “Aunt Lydia” from the Handmaid Tales. She just doesn’t get it.

Telling someone they sound like Aunt Lydia hits differently if you’ve read the sequel.