I’m not particularly fond of talking about the manosphere on this blog, or speaking on its related ideas and concepts, of which misogyny is one. It can be an interesting exercise on occasion, but I had believed it unwise to spend too much time and energy on such matters. That’s why I only posted about them once a month (at most). Unfortunately, the recent violence in California has made misogyny seem much less distant and much more relevant than it used to be. Thus, rather than waiting till next Monday to do a “manosphere” post, I’ll indulge myself and write a series of successive entries over the next few days to help work through my own emotions and reactions to this tragedy. I’ll begin with an abjuration of the misogyny Elliot Rodgers represented.
But first, a confession: I sort of bought into some of that misogyny stuff when I was younger.
Not that much younger—it was just a few years ago, in fact. It was well after I’d grown out of my angsty “internet fights all day erry day” troll teenager phase and had begun advancing my career, along with growing more satisfied and confident in myself. And it was never anything really crazy, either, before you guys get worried. Looking back on my old Livejournal entries, it was more of a sarcastic in-joke among me and my friends than anything else. See, whenever I’d make a criticism or (mild) joke at the expense of feminism, or even just women in general, I’d tag the entry as “Gunlord the misogynist.” For instance, I once saw a goofy flyer about some wacky feminist “radical witches and faeries” organization, so I made a “Gunlord the misogynist” LJ post making fun of it. That’s the sort of “misogyny” I engaged in, tongue-in-cheek more than anything else.
At that time, however, I was also growing more comfortable as a bachelor and figuring out what sorts of people I liked associating with. I came to the conclusion that I generally liked hanging around men more than women. I’m not gay, and I have many female friends online, but I’ve also had several bad experiences with women and found I was more comfortable and less stressed-out in primarily male communities. I made a “Gunlord the misogynist” entry about that, and I naturally got into quite a bit of hot water before I friendslocked my journal, as I probably should have done when I first made it. And I’ll also be frank, some of what I said in that old, ill-conceived post still applies to my personal life, as I’ve written here. While, ironically enough, my opinion of women in general is considerably more positive nowadays, I’m still content being single and, at the moment, generally prefer hanging around communities that skew male (The Castlevania Dungeon, for instance, is mostly male, though several of my moderator colleagues are ladies).
All that made and still makes me a fellow you’d think, at first glance, to be a good fit for the misogynists, within and without the “manosphere.” Indeed, I’m the sort they *ought* to be recruiting–by their own admitted standards. Young, in reasonably good health, happy being single, uninterested in a relationship, and definitely not some “pedestalizer” of women or fervent believer in feminism. You’d have a pretty hard time pegging a happy, accomplished, well-adjusted bachelor like me to be a “white knight” or “mangina.” I’m the exact type of young man their movement claims to represent and would likely rely on…
But it’s too late now. They’re not getting a recruit. Just the opposite.
In the interest of honesty, I’ll aver that I’d already rejected “organized” misogyny long before Elliot Rodger had even started attention-whoring on Youtube. I’d browsed some of their more popular sites both in college and during my brief ‘misogynist’ phase, like the Roissy/Heartiste blog; I was too unimpressed by the racism and butthurt whining to give much credence to their theories about women. If the blog owner wanted rant about non-whites being “orcs” and if his commenters wanted to cry about being “butthexed by the fed lzolllzzzz,” that was certainly their right. But I had no reason to take *anything* they said on *any* subject seriously. So, even at a point in life where I *might* have been convinced of *some* hardcore misogynist doggerel, the tinfoil-hat race-baiting and conspiracy theories managed to warn me away from all that nonsense.
But, as you might be able to surmise, I was more indifferent to that sort of thing than outrightly opposed to it. That has changed, thanks to the Isla Vista murders.
See, here’s the thing. Elliot Rodgers, hardcore misogynist, didn’t just kill 2 women. He also killed four men.
Some folks, particularly from the “manosphere,” have tried to pass that off as proof this weirdo wasn’t actually a misogynist. They also claim it’s unfair that four dead men are being ignored. I can muster a bit of sympathy for the latter point; I don’t believe any victim deserves to be forgotten on account of their gender–or race, or anything else. But claiming he wasn’t a misogynist? Utter silliness. Read his manifesto: He talks about how evil women are and how they need to be punished. That’s textbook misogyny. Now, you could say he hated men every bit as much. And he did. He also ranted about how useless and inferior men of other races were. But…that’s the whole point.
He was a misogynist AND a misandrist. In fact, when you get right down to it, his toxic hatred of his fellow men stemmed from his misogyny (not the other way around), because he was angry at them for having sex with women.
So I—as a man—look at that and think, “Why should I have any truck with that whole misogyny business?” Somebody who hates women ends up hating men too, and also ends up actually killing even more men than women! As a man, it seems that misogyny, as exemplified by Elliot, will end up hurting me or men like me as well. Therefore, it’s in my rational self-interest to reject it. That is, ironically enough, the same rational self-interest misogynists appeal to in trying to get men to hate women.
“Join us,” they cry, “fight feminism with us! Blame women and feminism for all your problems!” Well, the problem is, as indifferent as I am to women, I’m a man myself. I’m not going to subscribe to an ideology that seems to lead its adherents to kill men. And is feminism much of a threat to me? Nope. The “kill all men” types of feminist loonies pose virtually no danger; Elliot Rodgers killed 4 times as many men as Valerie Solanas did. I’m not married, so it’s quite unlikely I’ll be hit by “feminist” divorce laws. The way I live my life and the composition of my IRL social circles makes it extremely unlikely I’ll be the victim of a “feminist” false rape accusation. And I’m not sexually frustrated, either; “feminism” poses no threat at all to me enjoying the sorts of porn I like. Snuff, “loli” and things like that disgust me, so feminist disapproval of them doesn’t hurt me a bit.
All in all, the worst thing feminists have done to me is spam my Livejournal. Misogynists, on the other hand, seem to be after my life, and the lives of my male friends. Guess which of those people I’m going to consider my enemies?
So that’s why I’m formally and publicly abjuring misogyny, right here, right now. I was never a misandrist. As I’ve said repeatedly above, I’ve always gotten along with other guys, of all races, in fact. But it seems to me that shunting misogyny would make me even less of a misandrist. Being cool with women, after all, would make it easier to get along with men, since so many of ‘em like women. So I think that’s precisely what I’m gonna do.
From this day forwards, I’m not even going to make jokes about being a misogynist. I proclaim to all the world my rejection of the ideology, and the firm assertion that I have absolutely *nothing* to do with it.
I’ll also make it clear that I’m not an MRA or a MGTOW, or part of the MRM or MHRM or whatever, and I’ll not make any more jokes about those scenes either. I believe in being charitable, so I’ll concede that many, perhaps most of the above groups might well be reasonable people who completely disown Elliot Rodgers. Perhaps the same could be said for much of the “manosphere.” The thing is, none of those groups have much to offer me, for reasons I may explain in a future blogpost. There’s enough misogyny present in all of them, however, to make an open disassociation a good idea. I was never a part of them in the first place anyways, so it’s certainly no loss for me. Just ensuring that nobody gets the wrong impression I ever was.
And, if any manospambot or misogynist decides to wander in here and call me a “mangina,” or insinuate I’m just trying to curry favor with “feminist overlords” in the hope of “getting laid,” well, nope. You’re a fool. I haven’t cared about “female approval” for a while, and I still don’t. I’m merely acting in my own best interest. As I said above, misogyny offers me *nothing* and could conceivably threaten me someday—at least more than the feminists would be able to. Therefore, I’m going to regard it as something to fight against. And if that means fighting you—or anyone else—as well…so be it.
Sorry. Nothing personal.