Like A Girl

The filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield, created an advertisement to market and sell sanitary rags and other feminine products for the Always brand. This advertisement is a short documentary in which the filmmaker interviews folks on camera and has them act as though they are doing various physical activities like a girl. The video is titled Always #LikeAGirl and was published to YouTube a few weeks ago. At last check, the video has over thirty-four million views.

The advertisement is also accompanied by the hashtag, #LikeAGirl, on Twitter and there are thousands of folks tweeting about the video. The overwhelming response to the video seems to be positive. The video and hashtag are clever in that they invite consumers into a discussion about gender-related issues.

One of the primary issues discussed is the dive in self-confidence felt by girls during puberty—how being like a girl is supposedly the worst possible thing that a girl can be—how saying that somebody runs, fights, or throws like a girl is an insult that contributes to this decline in the self-confidence of girls.

Lauren Greenfield calls this a “confidence crisis” that is “profoundly disempowering” for girls. Greenfield also says that she is “excited to be a part of the movement to redefine ‘like a girl’ into a positive affirmation.”

The movie, The Sandlot, does a fine job of showing how this insult is typically used. Telling a boy that he plays ball like a girl is the ultimate insult to a boy, worse than scab eating, fart smelling, butt-lickers who mix Wheaties with their mother’s toe-jam.

The insult is used primarily against boys who are not very competent athletic-wise. If a boy is told that he fights, hits, or throws like a girl, it means that he isn’t valued as a man…and neither is he valued as a woman. As such, the boy is just plain old worthless.

If a girl is told she fights, hits, or throws like a girl, it means that she isn’t valued as a man either, but, assuming she identifies as a woman, she still may be valued as a woman (or girl). As such, the girl isn’t seen as plain old worthless, like the kinesthetically impoverished boy.

So, when feminists try to spin this insult, when they say that our culture disempowers women via this insult or that there is no worse insult than being like a girl, they are failing to articulate the depths of meaning within the insult. They are failing to comprehend how that insult applies to boys and men and how that insult is more harmful to those within the male body.

I don’t really expect much more from our gynocentric culture. That feminists would spin this insult as a form of misogyny is to be expected. When an ideology is primarily fixated on the problems of women, of course those ideologues wouldn’t bother to understand the nuance of the insult. Of course they wouldn’t comprehend how it harms boys more than girls. Of course they wouldn’t bother to articulate how this insult actually contributes to a culture of male disposability, sacrifice, and heroics.

The insult has more to do with reinforcing the traditional gender roles of men. Those roles are a form of cultural misandry. Those roles reinforce the notion that the male body is nothing much more than a tool—a labor machine. There is very little, if any, misogyny in the insult because it primarily targets and degrades men with a male body who don’t fit a certain stereotype—an athletic-aesthetic and prowess. It’s a way to enforce a sort of gynocentric masculinity—a masculinity marked by chivalry, disposability, sacrifice, and heroics—primarily for the benefit of women—in deference to them.  It highlights the distinction between the performance value of a man versus the inherent value of a woman.

As noted above, if the girl is told that she throws like a girl, nothing is subtracted from her value as a woman. That insult takes nothing away from her because she is…a girl. And there is nothing wrong with that. The female body isn’t typically expected to be subjected to use like a male body and neither is it expected to perform like one. So, if a girl is told that she throws like a man, she is being told that her body is mannish…and that’s probably a more harmful insult to lob at a girl who may already be suffering with self-esteem issues.

It would have been interesting to see the reactions of the folks in the video had they been asked to perform like a man. Folks likely would have walked with a swagger, opened their gait to seem macho, and moved their arms like an ape. Hidden beneath the surface of these machismo motions of the male body is the abstraction of manliness—the self that tries to exist in a space where he is valued primarily as a labor machine—something of a performing monkey. Telling a man that he acts like a man is telling him that he is valued for what he does. Our culture doesn’t really place much value on a man apart from what he does. He doesn’t have much, if any, inherent value outside of his performance. As such, his value seems tethered to the performance of his male body—while simultaneously and seemingly contradictorily being reduced to a thing of abstraction—a disembodied and disembedded self.

In contrast, a woman can do practically nothing, sitting on ass—watching TV all day. So long as she doesn’t eat like a hippopotamus and gets a couple hours of cardio or yoga workouts in every week, she has a sort of inherent value—even though she does barely anything above the level of a slob. She could be a damn princess and nobody would be able to distinguish much of a difference.

The female body isn’t expected to throw, fight, hit, or run like a male body. As noted above, if a boy is told that he throws like a girl, he is just plain old worthless…because not only is he not valued as a man in a male body, but he is also not valued as a woman in a male body. Aside from the misandric nature of the insult, it also has transphobic and perhaps homophobic implications too.

The insult, when hurled at a boy, is meant to demean and police that boy into compliance with a masculinity that submits the male body to a dominance hierarchy of status. The insult is the inverted way of saying man up or be a man. It plays on the chivalric tradition that binds men to the role of provider and protector of women through the use of their disposable male bodies.

Yet, feminists seem to see this insult as one that mostly harms and disrespects girls by supposedly being profoundly disempowering to girls. This focus on how the phrase primarily harms girls is also an example of the gynocentric and chivalric tradition that continues to perpetuate the cultural norms that place women first—at the expense and sacrifice of men.

So, the insult is more harmful to boys because it reinforces the gynocentric and chivalric cultural norms of the traditional male gender roles—something that feminists ostensibly claim to be fighting against. The population that needs liberated from these gynocentric and traditional gender roles is the male population. Women already experience a great deal of liberation from these roles. Women are empowered to be caregivers or breadwinners. Men are empowered to be breadwinners or bums.

 So, you’re a stay-at-home dad, like a girl? Why don’t you get a real job, like a man?

When I was in my early twenties, I watched Saving Private Ryan with a half-dozen or so of my friends. I’ll never forget that opening scene on Omaha Beach. I’ll never forget how my friend leaned in to ask if I was OK. I’d never really seen anything like that—the way Spielberg used the camera to move in and out of the action. The opening scene captured the fear and courage, the duty and sacrifice, the male body and heroics—the disposability of men.

This is what it has meant to be a man. Being like a man has been (and continues to be) tethered to the willingness of men to do things like in this opening scene–to throw one’s body into the water and run headlong for cover—up a beach peppered with bullets, grenades, mutilations, and death. Being like a man, like the men who stormed Omaha Beach, means using one’s hands to try and keep from bleeding out while crying out for mother. Being like a man, for thousands of men who suffered dismemberments, meant using one good arm to pick up the other arm—the one that had been blown to bits and now lays apart from one’s male body in the sandy blood-soaked beach. It means detaching. It means becoming a disembedded and disembodied self—a thing to be used like a pawn, a tool, an object-of-utility. Yet, according to feminists, being like a girl is so profoundly disempowering for women. Where is my fainting couch?

fainting-couch

The opening scene of that movie made me feel queasy. Ever since I filled out my Selective Service card so that I could get my driver’s license, I’d wondered about what it’d be like—going to war. My friend’s father was a Vietnam veteran and had multiple purple hearts and stories from the injuries sustained in battle. He, my father, and my grandfather had tales of duress, disposability, combat, and war, but those stories were just words. The visuals from the movie gave more meaning to those words and suffering.

I’m sure that these men would not have reacted kindly to anybody saying that they do anything like a girl. However, if asked whether they’d choose to live their lives again, as a stay-at-home dad or as a veteran of war, they’d likely choose the former, assuming they had experienced liberation from their traditional gender roles.

So, when I see this moving advertisement about the confidence crisis that girls face, I can’t help but condemn it for being gynocentric, for its reinforcement of traditional masculine gender roles, for its callousness towards men, and for it being a piece of propaganda to sell sanitary rags to women and girls who may feel profoundly disempowered about being like a girl. If we want to be liberated from traditional gender roles, perhaps we should stop reinforcing them with empty, but feel-good #LikeAGirl propaganda.

Most sentences and blog posts are like a girl. They usually end with a period.

The White House Counsel And Paid Liar Tripe

Somaly Mam (Small)

 

Simon Marks penned a fascinating article and work of journalism about one of the world’s most prominent anti sex-trafficking activists. It’s entitled, Somaly Mam: The Holy Saint (and Sinner) of Sex Trafficking. The article exposes some of the lies, half-truths, and inconsistencies told by Somaly Mam about her contextual history as a victim of sex-trafficking. The fabrications that she told gave rise to her prominence as a courageous face and voice of women and girls who were sold into sexual slavery. The fabrications that she told about herself and the fabrications that she helped others concoct and tell were also her downfall. She resigned from the Somaly Mam Foundation only a few days after the Marks article was published.

A woman was caught lying about her victimhood. This woman used her false victimhood narrative to raise millions of dollars for her foundation. She became a sort of celebrity, appearing on Oprah and making other television appearances. She visited the White House, gave speeches, and even met with the pope. She penned a book, detailing her made-up suffering. In short, this woman glamorized a false narrative of victimhood for personal gain. She is a liar.

Chemaly Tripe

According to the prominent feminist, Soraya Chemaly, we live in a misogynistic culture where we teach our kids that women are liars. According to Chemaly, we are taught to believe that women are liars. Chemaly doesn’t blame lying women for perpetuating and reinforcing such beliefs—that women are liars. She doesn’t advise women to simply stop lying.  Instead, Chemaly blames this distrust of women on misogynistic cultural attitudes about women, failing to articulate that these cultural attitudes may, in fact, be rooted in the reality of lived-experience—that women do lie—just like Somaly Mam and all the other paid liars who glamorize their false narratives of victimhood.

In her article, Chemaly tries to be ironic by noting that even though our culture has this supposedly misogynistic distrust of women, our culture tends to trust women to be mothers—“the largest pool of undervalued economically crucial labor.” The real irony here is that Chemaly, by painting mothers-as-victims of economic exploitation, perpetuates the very lying that reinforces these so-called misogynistic cultural attitudes—the very same grievance that she claims to be fighting against.

Just because mothers or mothering persons are not on a payroll for being motherly doesn’t mean that we, as a culture, undervalue them or that we exploit them economically. Just because babysitters don’t get paid as much as civil engineers doesn’t mean that we are biased against mothering work. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if we were to make mothering into a commodity, we’d actually be devaluing it—making it a sort of capitalist trinket to be bought and sold in the marketplace.

The fact that mothering labor has largely remained free from capitalist market exploitation is evidence of the fact that we actually do value mothers, mothering persons, and their labors. However, this doesn’t stop Chemaly from perpetuating the lies and false narrative of mothers-as-victim. Chemaly knows that we, as a culture, have tremendous respect and care for our mothers. That is why she perpetuates the lie that we undervalue and don’t care about mothers or mothering persons.

We all, as a culture, care about our mothers. That is what makes her false narrative so powerful. It is precisely because we care so much about our mothers that we listen to anybody (including Chemaly) who says that mothers may be victims of exploitation. It is precisely because we care so much about our mothers that victimhood narratives about them are so easily glamorized by Chemaly.

This is why Somaly Mam was so successful at raising funds. It’s precisely because we care so much about women and girls that Mam’s false narrative was so glamorized and powerful. It moved the powerful, the elite, and the wealthy to donate millions of dollars to her cause—to her foundation, ostensibly to help victims of sex-trafficking.

 If we really lived in the horribly misogynistic culture, as Chemaly would have us believe, then Mam’s glamourized and powerful story of victimhood wouldn’t be glamorous and neither would it be powerful. It would be a story that wouldn’t evoke much emotion at all—perhaps only the absence of emotion, a callous indifference.

This reality is something that Chemaly will likely never articulate in any of her articles. Her article detailing how women are victims of misogynistic cultural attitudes depends on the lie-by-omission of this reality—that, as a culture, we do care about women, mothers, and girls. Without this lie-by-omission, her work, career, and writing wouldn’t have any traction or weight. Nobody would pay any attention to her or her articles. Nobody would read her. Nobody would pay her. And nobody would care.

It is precisely because we, as a culture, do care about women that we pay women like Mam and Chemaly to give and be a sensationalist voice to women victims—even if that voice is a lying one. It is precisely because we care about women that we are willing to blame these so-called misogynistic cultural attitudes for painting women-as-liars, rather than blame the liars who lie. Chemaly would have us believe that these so-called misogynistic cultural attitudes precede the actual facticity of our lived-experiences with particular women—our experiences and interactions with liars.

Chemaly writes that “The pervasive message that women are untrustworthy liars is atomized in our culture. There is no one source or manifestation. It fills every nook and cranny of our lives. I find it sad and disturbing that children learn so quickly and normatively to distrust women. Any commitment to parity means challenging the stories we tell them. It means critically assessing the comforting institutions we support out of nostalgia, habit, and tradition. It means walking out of places of worship, not buying certain movie tickets, closing some books, refusing to pay for some music, and politely disagreeing with friends and family at the dinner table. It’s not easy. But, really, what’s the alternative?”

What’s the alternative? For starters, how about Chemaly, Mam, and other paid liars stop lying? Don’t lie. Somaly Mam can stop spreading lies about victims of sex-trafficking, undermining the real suffering of real victims. Chemaly can stop spreading lies about mothers-as-victims. She can stop spreading invective and misandric lies about men—their supposed culturally ingrained hatred for women as born liars. She can, instead of blaming cultural misogyny, tell women to not lie.

How about we teach women to not be liars because lying makes a person untrustworthy? Cultural misogyny doesn’t make a person untrustworthy. Lying makes a person untrustworthy. That is the “one source or manifestation” that Chemaly fails to address…perhaps because she is a paid liar? Not once, in her whole screed, does she address the fact that women lie and neither does she hold women in-general or any particular woman accountable for lying.

Instead, she blames The Patriarchy™–philosophy, institutions, traditions, religions, movies, books, music, and interactions with friends, family, and neighbors. Rather than hold folks accountable for telling lies, Chemaly suggest that we should simply label anybody who doesn’t trust the word of a liar as a misogynist.

Anybody who doesn’t believe a woman who claims to have been raped—that person is a misogynist, according to Chemaly. Never mind the fact that there may have been no evidence to back up the allegation, if you don’t believe her, then you are a misogynist because you aren’t gullible enough to believe. This is precisely the twisted spin that we should expect from a paid liar.

Here is a Gallup poll from 2013 regarding honesty in various professions. Notice that lobbyists, members of congress, car salespeople, state officeholders, and advertising practitioners round out the bottom five least trustworthy people. There are good reasons to believe these people to be untrustworthy. They are paid liars, just like Somaly Mam and just like Soraya Chemaly. Their livelihoods depend on how well they can tell lies.

Marcotte Tripe

Take Amanda Marcotte’s perspective on the Somaly Mam scandal as a prime example of how to spin lies. In her article entitled Somaly Mam And the Cult of Glamourized Victimhood, Marcotte, similar to Chemaly, blames misogyny and The Patriarchy™ for the lies told by Mam.

According to Marcotte, if we didn’t live in such patriarchal and misogynistic culture, Mam wouldn’t have had to tell such lies about victims of sex-trafficking. If only our culture valued women, girls, and mothers, then Mam wouldn’t have needed to fabricate such outrageous lies about the suffering of women and girls. If only women and girls weren’t devalued so much, then the elite, the powerful, and the wealthy would have been more willing to donate to her cause—funding her foundation, and to other feminist causes. Yes, if only the elite, the powerful, and the wealthy were more gullible, then Marcotte and other liars wouldn’t have to work so hard at spinning lies to get paid.

According to Marcotte, Mam’s foundation and work (as well as similar work by others) is “feel-good feminism.” She says this kind of feminism sets the moral bar too low and that it plays on the desire to rescue poor damsels who are trying to overcome their tragic conditions—a morally easy position. She writes this, all the while peddling the lie that we, as a culture, don’t care about women, girls, and mothers.

She goes on to write that “It’s hard not to wonder if the bar is being set awfully low here. It’s easy to take a stand against underage sex slavery. It’s harder to take a stand against the widespread objectification and marginalization of women in the entertainment community, forces that help shape a culture where men feel entitled to have sex and act indifferently to the humanity of women…What women around the world need is not just people who stand up for them when it’s easy, when the villains are predatory pimps and faceless rapists. Women around the world need people to stand up for them when it’s hard.”

Notice how Marcotte spins the lies. Marcotte, spreads the invective lie that men feel entitled to sex with women because The Patriarchy™ and misogyny are so pervasive in the entertainment industry. As with Mam and Chemaly, Marcotte knows that we, as a culture, do care about women and that is precisely why she spins yet another victimhood narrative about women being objectified, marginalized, and dehumanized by powerful and wealthy men, forces who control the entertainment industry.

In order for Marcotte and other paid liars to procure more funding from these elite, powerful, and wealthy men, she spins the lie that these men are moral cowards, afraid to “stand up…when it’s hard.” This is simply another, but more subtle, exploitation of men who demonstrate care for women through their desire to rescue poor damsels—the very white-knighting and benevolent sexism that she referred to as “feel-good feminism.”

Marcotte goes on to describe the Mam scandal not as an “anomaly, so much as the inevitable result of a culture that puts more emphasis on heroic tales of triumph than on the bigger picture question of health and inequality. Mam made up tales of woe because she knew it would attract attention and fundraisers that a more sober assessment of realities would not. That she was right should give us all cause to wonder about reorganizing our social justice priorities.”

Yes, according to Marcotte, paid liars shouldn’t have to concoct outrageously fabricated tales of womanly suffering and adversity to procure funding for their causes. Paid liars shouldn’t have to work so hard. Fundraising for paid liars should be as easy as spreading invective lies about how men feel entitled to women’s bodies. Anything more is simply proof of misogyny and patriarchal objectification, marginalization, and dehumanization of women.

White House Counsel for Boys and Men

To put into perspective the effectiveness of these paid liars and how much our culture actually does care about the well-being of women and girls, it’s important to note that the Somaly Mam Foundation, since its formation in 2007, raised millions of dollars to touch “the lives of over 100,000 women and girls…” Here is a copy of their 990IRS tax form for 2011. What makes these charitable contributions to the foundation so remarkable is the fact that there were estimated to be 1,809 sex workers in need of rescue for all of Cambodia (217 in Mam’s Phnom Phen province). (See page 32 of this extensive Thomas Steinfatt study.)

Millions of dollars were donated and spent to rescue roughly 1,800 Cambodian girls. To put into perspective how much our culture actually doesn’t care about men and boys, contrast that fact with the reality that we can barely manage to scrape together 2,500 signatures petitioning the White House to create a counsel on men and boys, something that was created back in 2009 for women and girls. However, we can get nearly 300,000 signatures petitioning the White House to have Justin Bieber deported…for being an annoying boy.

At this point in time, men would be lucky to get some rope, a wobbly stool, and a hook for making their own noose to hang themselves. All the while, men face constant cultural opposition from morally retarded scumbags like Chemaly and Marcotte, claiming that The Patriarchy™ (and by extension, men) are a privileged class—a class so privileged that we can’t get shelters, White House counsels, or proper mental health treatment.

The scope of the problems facing men and boys is not simply a matter of whether or not there are fundraisers. There is the difficult problem of the empathy gap that biases against men and boys. There is the “Women are Wonderful Effect,” which is contrary to and often contradictory with the blatant lies and spin that Chemaly and others would have us believe about misogynistic cultural attitudes of bias against women. There is the women’s “automatic in-group bias,” which is remarkably stronger for women than men.

We could hold fundraisers 24-7-365, but if funding isn’t raised because folks don’t care, then there’s no point in holding fundraisers that don’t raise funds. Even if we were to procure some funds through private charitable donations, most funding for domestic violence shelters stem from government aid (primarily through the Office on Violence Against Women), not private fundraising donations.

Chemaly posed the question. “What’s the alternative?” The alternative is the demonstration of care for men and boys—something that is sorely absent from our culture. One of the most radical socio-cultural changes that could happen would be the cultural application of care for men and boys. If we want to change society, if we want to end violence, gross economic disparity and stratification, racism, colonialism, wars, the inhumanity of our prison systems, then we will need to radically shift and change our cultural attitudes and biases against men by demonstrating real care for them.

The first thing we can do as a demonstration of our care—sign Warren Farrell’s petition to create a White House counsel on men and boys. If we care at all about the well-being of men and boys, we can demonstrate it by taking 2 minutes of our day to sign the petition. It’s a simple and easy start.

 

For a more in-depth consideration of this White House counsel on men and boys, please read about Warren Farrell’s efforts and attempts to create it.

Rape, Special Snowflakes, and Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer Rape

It’s just harder to be a woman in general, and you get treated differently in the world in general. Everyone deals with you a little differently. But I can’t complain about being a female comedian. For me, I can’t say it’s been harder. I’ve had a really nice road to where I am now and I’ve worked really hard and it’s paid off. –Amy Schumer

 

It’s just harder to be a woman. This seems to be the premise underlying most of Amy Schumer’s comedy. Going through a synopsis for each of her TV show episodes is like reading a litany of feminist grievances about how it’s so much harder to be a woman.

There’s the usual whining about menstrual cycles. And she does a lot of whining. There is a heaping helping of how women struggle with body image and how women’s bodies are objectified. There are complaints about double standards—one for sluts and another for studs. There seems to be a lot of comedy about sexually transmitted diseases. And, of course, rape is a topic in her comedy.

Amy coined the term “grape” in one of her comedy routines. The term references the so-called gray area of rape. Schumer describes this gray area in her own words:

“It’s not whether or not something is rape. It’s the gray area of how to handle it. It’s not always black and white, ‘he did that and he’s going to jail.’ It’s a really hard decision—how to handle it. Every girl I know has had a sexual experience that they’re really uncomfortable with, that was really questionable. In some cases it was absolutely rape, but they didn’t think it was the best idea for them to try to prosecute it.

So when I say the part of that joke—which I don’t say anymore because I did it on the show—‘some guys think a girl sleeping is a suggested no. That’s a no!’ When I say that, the whole joke is the hope that maybe a guy will hear that joke and know that this isn’t ok, because that comedian talked about it. And a girl will hear it and feel less alone, because she knows that it happens to other people. That’s my goal with that joke. I would never just make a rape joke to make a rape joke. It needs to have a point and be really funny. I think rape is the most horrible thing you can think of and that’s why people use it as a punch line.”

It’s all a very clever and comedic way in which to draw attention to some of the complex problems women face in regards to rape. According to Schumer, it’s also a very personal issue. During one of her appearances on “The Opie & Anthony Show,” she described her first sexual experience as rape, saying “one of my boyfriends kind of raped me. That’s kind of how I lost my virginity…I was like seventeen, hahah…we were drinking and hanging out and then I passed out and I woke up…and I go ‘what are you doing!’…I woke up to him having sex with me…We went and visited a college together the next day.”

She goes on to describe another gray area, saying “This never happened to me, but they’re like starting sex…and the girl falls asleep and the guy finishes. That’s a gray area… I don’t know. I’ve never fallen asleep, but I’ve had like two guys fall asleep while they were going down on me…I just like kneed him in the ear [and said] ‘get back to work!’”

Amy goes on to describe how it would be tough to date rape a guy who is passed out drunk or asleep, saying “That would be pretty tough…for you to be asleep, that would be so much more difficult…to rape a guy…I mean. I’ll try it.” She later describes herself as a “sociopath” and says that she likes to watch rape “porn, where the girl is sleeping and the guy wakes her up.”

This all provides a very interesting backstory to a speech given by Schumer at the “Gloria Awards and Gala” that was hosted by the “Ms. Foundation for Women” in honor of Gloria Steinem’s eightieth birthday. The speech went viral when Jennifer Vineyard published a transcript of it on Vulture. At last check, the article had over 186 thousand “likes” on Facebook and thousands more tweets on Twitter.

Schumer posted a tweet thanking those who passed around her speech.

Passed Around

According to those in attendance and many more who read the transcript, the speech was inspirational. Contained within was a powerful message about womanly self-esteem. There was also, contained within the speech, the description of a possible sexual assault, or, as Schumer might say, a “grape.”

 Folks were so busy indulging in Schumer’s message about womanly confidence and lauding her about it that they missed what may have been Amy’s admission of her sexually assaulting a man too “wasted” to give meaningful consent. An anonymous writer over at Thought Catalog published an article about this admission.

In Schumer’s speech, she talks about how great high school was for her, saying “I was running my high school…People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty. I felt funny. I felt sane.” High school was great for her. She was a special snowflake there.

The transition to college didn’t go so well for her.

Schumer says that “being witty and charismatic didn’t mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body…I was getting no male attention, and I’m embarrassed to say, it was killing me.

Schumer talks about how she put on her Freshmen 30 pounds in “record-breaking time” and blames men for being too shallow to appreciate her. She blames men for her loss of confidence. She blames men for her experienced loss of status as a special snowflake.

Clearly, college was traumatic for her. The unchecked narcissism of her female ego was forced into a confrontation with the reality that she may not be a special snowflake—that she may be alone and indistinguishable—something that men learn to deal with when they experience rejection—something that Amy had little, if any, experience with until college. She seems to be completely unprepared and not equipped emotionally to deal with rejection. She seems unaccustomed to the lack of attention paid to her throughout childhood and high school.

This is all very traumatic for her and she is desperate for attention and restoration of her status as a special snowflake. She seems to believe that she is entitled to that status and so proceeds to entitle herself to the attentions of Matt—the first guy in college to finally pay her what she is owed.

Schumer says, “He barely spoke, which was perfect for all the projecting I had planned for him.” Make no mistake about it. Matt was nothing more than a tool to Amy. She used him as a tool to try and restore her self-esteem. To her, Matt was a means to an end. She wanted him to call and pay her with attention—something that other men had refused her.

When Matt finally did call, Amy was filled with a rush of excitement and began feeling like a special snowflake again. She shaved her legs and washed her armpits, running over to his dorm room, expecting to have a fun-filled day—a new day of many forthcoming days in which Matt would pay her the attention that she deserved.

Amy finally arrives and discovers that “It’s Matt, but not really. He’s there, but not really. His face is kind of distorted, and his eyes seem like he can’t focus on me. He’s actually trying to see me from the side, like a shark…He’s fucking wasted.”

Schumer goes on to disregard any moral responsibility to actively care about Matt. She disregards the fact that he is too “wasted” to give any meaningful consent to sex. She puts the narcissism of her ego before Matt and expresses that she “wanted to be held and touched and felt desired.” She says, “I wanted to be with him. I imagined us on campus together, holding hands [so that others could recognize that]…I am lovable.”

She gets into bed with him, but he smells like “skunk microwaved with cheeseburgers.” She says that they tried kissing, but his “9 a.m. shadow” scratched her face. His “alcohol swollen mouth” was like the mouth of somebody who had just been given Novocain. His penis was too soft for penetration.

At this point, she realizes that Matt is too “wasted” for sex and not worthy to restore her status as a special snowflake. Amy begins to again feel the deficit of attention owed to her. She begins to feel alone and indistinguishable. She feels “faceless and nameless…just a warm body…” She looks around the room and hopes to “distract” herself or “disassociate” herself from the surroundings and escape the depths of her low self-esteem.

Matt starts to go down on her, but he “falls asleep every three seconds and moves his tongue like an elderly person eating their last oatmeal.” His drool is the only wetness between her legs because Matt has passed out and is now snoring into Amy’s vagina. Matt’s failure to give good head is the last straw for Amy. She “escaped from under him and out the door,” never hearing from him again.

Let’s be clear. Matt was never anything to Amy. He was nothing other than an object-of-utility—a means to an end. She saw him as a means to restore her status as a special snowflake and demonstrated no care at all about him as a human-being. His extreme intoxication and inability to give meaningful consent was seen, by Amy, as a hindrance to her goals.

Not once did Schumer express or demonstrate an iota of care for his well-being as a human-being. Not once, as a sober party, did she act on her moral responsibility to refrain from having sexual relations with a person too “wasted” to give meaningful consent. Not once did Schumer grant a concrete context to the personhood of Matt. Again, he was nothing other than an object-of-utility.

She took from him all that he had to give and it wasn’t enough. She actively engaged in her own narcissistic self-indulgence and desire for attention and status, neglecting her moral responsibility to care for another human-being.

Schumer says that she is a sociopath. Given the lack of moral responsibility and care described in her speech, I’ll take her word for it. I believe her.

Schumer’s comedy is celebrated by various feminists as a different voice—a woman’s voice in a sea of misogyny. However, it may turn out to be a voice of unchecked narcissistic female ego, wrapped in sociopathic charisma and attention-seeking. That’s not really a different voice and neither is it a special one.

It simply is a voice—one in a sea of many who routinely claim that it’s just harder to be a woman because everyone deals with you differently.

Amy Schumer Gloria Steinem Rachel Feinstein

The Guilty Pleasures Of “Feminist Philosophers”

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[Here is a trigger warning for immense selfishness, hypocrisy, stupidity, and moral retardation cloaked as philosophy.]

Those of you who read my blog know that I have a guilty pleasure—“feminist philosophers.” This guilty pleasure is better than chocolate. They are usually a bit more challenging than typical feminists in that they at least try to obscure some of their misandry, dog-shit ideas, and immense stupidity within the container of philosophy. They are usually a bit more cunning.

However, over at “feministphilosophers,” I found this article disguised as “Some Thoughts On Epistemic Responsibility.” I’m not going to bore the reader with a discussion on epistemic responsibility. I am, however, going to show the immense selfishness, hypocrisy, and stupidity of this “feminist philosopher,” one who calls herself “themistokleia,” the teacher of Pythagorus—“the father of philosophy.”

In her own words:

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This woman “ran to a man” for protection. She specifically and deliberately brought danger and the threat of harm to this man. He voluntarily allowed himself to remain in harm’s way for two hours to protect her. He was willing to offer up his male body as a sacrifice to this damsel in distress.

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As such and according to this “feminist philosopher,” this man’s sacrifice was more “traumatizing” than assault and attempted rape. The two hours of his risking bodily harm to protect this damsel was not sufficient. He should have done more. He should have risked more for her, “but that was all he did…”

Such is the mentality of many men, women, feminists, and even feminist philosophers—those who should know better. Such is a total lack of other-awareness—total gynocentric selfishness. She was not aware of the sacrifice that this man made by allowing his male body to endure the risk of violence for two hours—all to protect her. What if he had an anxiety disorder? What if he had PTSD and was suffering from previous experiences of violence against his body? What if he was a survivor of rape or assault and running to him for protection forced him to relive all those feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, and suffering? Selfish people like Ms. Themistokleia do not consider these other possibilities. Doing so would require other-awareness and empathy—something contrary to their total gynocentric selfishness.

If she wasn’t so selfish, she’d have realized that this man could have been assaulted, maimed, mutilated, stabbed, shot, or otherwise also be made into a victim of violence that she brought to him—making him responsible not only for her safety, but his as well. She was not aware of the danger that she put him in to protect her. She does not value his body at all or even care that she put this man’s body in harm’s way by deliberately running to him for protection. She does not at all acknowledge his sacrifice or the sacrifices made by men who have been cultured to perpetuate violence against men in defense of women like her.

Such are the expectations placed on men in our culture—to “be a man,” be brave, and make your body an object-of-utility for women and for society in-general. She used this man as an object-of-utility, as a protector—putting his body in harm’s way before her own, only to berate and shame him later for not doing enough to protect her. Women like this “feminist philosopher” demand it and say that if a man doesn’t sacrifice enough, then he is even more traumatizing than assault and attempted rape. This is another way in which the male body is made the most culturally acceptable locus of violence—through the gynocentric selfishness of women like “themistokleia.” As she writes her “thoughts” on the morality of epistemic responsibility, she neglects to fix her own moral retardation and hypocrisy.

I don’t know for a fact that Ms. Themistokleia supports Anita Sarkeesian’s critique of the video games industry, but I think it’s a fair assumption that she does, as do most feminists. If Ms. Themistokleia does support such a critique, then she is profoundly hypocritical. As a philosopher, one would think that she’d have the clarity of thought needed to identify hypocrisy. However, as a “feminist philosopher,” she may lack the clarity needed to realize that she is simultaneously arguing for and against the actions of men who rescue damsels in distress.

On the one hand, she is arguing that a man didn’t do enough to rescue her. On the other hand, she would be arguing that men who rescue damsels in distress are perpetuating the soft-sexism of benevolence—a form of white-knighting, where men rush in to rescue the poor and weak women who are believed to be incapable of defending their own stupid positions or rescuing themselves from their own stupidity.

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I’m not going to rescue you from your own stupidity, Ms. Themistokleia. I’m going to point at it, laugh, and enjoy it for all its guilty pleasure. Such things are better than chocolate. If you’re too stupid to see your selfishness and hypocrisy, you have no business in any philosophy department. You have no business doing any philosophy at all. The only academia for you is some gynocentric women’s studies department where you are free to escape any and all rigorous or critical thought. Only there will you be free to perpetuate a culture of violence against men. There you will have the freedom to be callously indifferent to male suffering and sacrifices that are made for you by men who don’t even know you—free to be as selfish, hypocritical, and stupid as you like.

As you wrote, “I don’t ever want to be the man on that bench to someone else,” and so should nobody ever want to be as selfish, hypocritical, and stupid as you. At least the man on the bench had empathy, compassion, and enough morality to recognize that you were in danger…and that’s a lot more morality than you have—completely failing to recognize the danger you put on him and the sacrifice made by him to protect you. Fuck off with your moral retardation, Ms. Themistokleia. Also, drop the mockery you are making of Pythagoras’ teacher. You’re not worthy of the name.

The Male Body And The Masculinity Police Part II

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We live in a culture where violence against men is prevalent, normalized, excused, and celebrated by the media and in popular culture. Laugh if you want, but the best humor is practically indistinguishable from tragedy. The best comedians understand suffering. The best jokes are lamentations.

We have multi-billion dollar “sports” industries (e.g., the NFL and UFC) that glorify this violence against men. Families gather on Sundays to celebrate this violence. Corporations make billions on the cultural normalization of this violence against men–making the male body the most culturally acceptable locus of violence. All the while, folks scream “CONSENT,” failing to understand how these cultural norms influence consent, failing to understand that freedom is not the perpetuation of violence against men, failing to understand that consent does not change the underlying fact of violence committed against men. Freedom is not two men beating each other unconscious for entertainment or some false idea of sportsmanship and competition. If you believe such types of violence are freedom and sportsmanship, you have an impoverished sense of both and you are likely perpetuating a culture that glorifies violence against men.

We have a war machine that keeps turning–making billions more in profits off this exploitation, destruction, mutilation, and expendability of the male body. There is no end to it. It never stops because our culture demands it. We defend our freedom to consent to violence against the male body. We are proud of our “heroes.” We celebrate them. We love them for subjecting their bodies and the bodies of other men to violence.

If we learn to hate this violence against men and speak out against it, we are told to “shut the fuck up.” If we learn that all war is anti-male because all war is violence against men, our masculinity is policed and threatened because we must be “weak bitches” to complain about male suffering. Even feminists who claim to be working on male issues mock such complaints about male suffering as “man feelz.” Some of these feminists insist that male suffering is actually male privilege.  Anything else is “assholery.”

Assholery

There is real “assholery,” our prison systems. They are monstrosities of prison guard unions, corporations, legal institutions, and law enforcement agencies that are partially sustained by our war on drugs. It is a war that throws men into cages and commits violence against them for non-violent drug “crimes.” Instead of “rehabilitation,” we punish these men with prison rape and other violence. Instead of recognizing our sick culture, we blame the drug addict for wanting to escape. As Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” While the “right” wags their finger of shame and screams for harsher punishments and more violence against these men, the “left” wags their finger of shame and clamors about “rehabilitating” these men to a profoundly sick culture that demands their submission, failing to recognize that our culture may need more rehab than these men, failing to recognize that these men are not dominating and that such violence against them is not male privilege and neither is it the privileging of masculinity. In fact, they often claim that such suffering of men is actually the devaluation of women.

Yes, in our sick culture of male submission, the suffering of men is caused by a society that doesn’t value women. In fact, it is claimed, that violence against men is actually the oppression of women. That’s what makes sense in our sick culture because the obvious truth is “assholery.” If a man learns to say that men suffer violence because men are systematically devalued in our culture—that man speaks pure misogynistic truth.

Male suffering is caused by the devaluation of womenOnly in a profoundly sick culture would violence against men be interpreted primarily as the devaluation of women, rather than the obvious–the devaluation and oppression of men. Only in a profoundly sick culture would violence against men be seen as the overvaluing and privileging of men and masculinity.

Fuck that and all you folks who fail to recognize that the male body is the most culturally acceptable locus of violence. Violence against one man is a “degradation, terror, and limitation to all” men. Most men and boys limit their behavior because of the existence of potential violence against them. Most men and boys box their emotions away to create a front of stolidity, an avoidance of the crushing reality that our culture demands their submission, obedience, oppression, and acquiescence to a culture that doesn’t value them, considers them cannon-fodder, expendable capital, human resources, objects-of-utility.

My dad is 76 years old. I had the “freedom” of watching him break into tears a few weeks ago as he recounted some of the horrors that he saw while in the Army. This is a man who never shed a tear or spoke a word about his suffering and the suffering of his Army buddies until he was no longer strong enough to “be a man.” At 76, he’s no longer strong enough to keep that shit boxed in. It was an emotional prison for him. There is nothing heroic about it. PTSD, survivor’s guilt, and being used as human cannon-fodder is not and should not be celebrated as awesome heroics of willpower. It’s a prison for men. It isn’t male privilege and it isn’t male domination. Such things are male submission. Such things are what my father did and experienced in submission to a culture that demanded it of him. Such things are what men do in submission to a culture that doesn’t value them.

This is our culture. This is violence against men. It is prevalent, normalized, excused, celebrated, glamorized, and glorified. If you speak out against it, you will be subjected to further ridicule, shame, aggression, and oppression by the masculinity and language police. You will be accused of misappropriating words that are reserved for women because there is no such thing as violence against men. It’s not a real thing. It’s just plain old violence. Laugh if you want. It’s funny how that works–how tragedy becomes comedy, how the best jokes are lamentations, how the suffering of men makes for the best punchlines.

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The Male Body And The Masculinity Police

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The most culturally acceptable locus of violence is the male body. The policing of masculinity assures this fact. Call this policing and violence whatever you want. Call these things The Patriarchy™ if you want, but neither of these things are male privilege and neither of these things are male domination. I prefer to call these things the lived-experiences of men.

I generally dislike “The Good Men Project” because most of their articles are milquetoast and because they try to understand the lived-experiences of men through the lens of feminism(s). This is problematic because ALL feminism(s) assume The Patriarchy™ (so far as I can tell) and proceed from that problematic assumption to make what are often wrong-headed assumptions about masculinity and men. However, I will give credit where it is due. Beth Leyba wrote this article the other day, “I Hate the Broncos: Daring to Question Whether Football is Worth It.”

In her “daring” article, Leyba gets a few things right. She writes. “Football is a brutal sport that sometimes ends up destroying the lives of those who play it.” She says that she was never a fan of football, but that her apathy about this sort of violence against men “morphed into moral opposition” because of the costliness of the sport.

She notes the physical damage done to men via multiple concussions and relates this to her own experiences with an injury that she suffered on a swing-set. She writes about football being a sport that “literally chews people up and spits them out.” I agree with her, but swing-sets, unlike football, don’t generally chew people up and spit them out. Note how it takes a remotely similar and personal experience of injury before she is willing to toss out her apathy regarding this sort of violence against men. I really want to give her the benefit of the doubt and be kind here because we have similar conclusions about violence against men; though we arrive at these conclusions through very different routes. From her feminist lens, a swing-set accident “has helped to crystallize” her feelings about the grotesque amounts of violence against men that exist in our culture.

I’m not sure that she understands the depths of this violence that permeates our culture, considering how it took the traumatic swing-set accident to cause her to shed her apathy, but she can see that our culture celebrates this violence against men. She notes that “football brings people together” for tailgate parties, for thanksgiving tradition, and etc. Hell, if not for this culturally accepted violence against men, most sports bars would probably not exist.

I just finished watching “Super Bowl XLVIII,” where millions of people all across our country and throughout sports bars tuned in to cheer about this violence against men. I’m not going to link to the tweets, but there were assholes celebrating the fact that Richard Sherman (a player for the Seahawks) suffered an ankle injury during the game.

There is also human cock-fighting, better known as the “UFC.” Yeah, sycophants can dress it up as strategy and as a violent form of chess, but it’s still primarily violence against men. It was only a few weeks ago where millions of people tuned in to watch Anderson Silva kick another man so hard that Silva horrifically broke his own leg.

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Look at the suffering of this man. Anybody can see that these sports are a form of violence against men. This fact is so obvious…just look at him.

It shouldn’t take a traumatic swing-set injury for a woman (especially a feminist who is supposed to be knowledgeable about gender issues) to acknowledge this fact and sweep aside her “apathy” about this violence. It shouldn’t take one’s own personal experience with a loosely related concussive injury to bring about the empathy needed to understand such blatant suffering of men.

If you can’t see this suffering, or if you’ve only now begun to see it, perhaps you have been blinded to it because your theories about The Patriarchy™ have blinded you to it. Perhaps you have been so busy in-fighting with other feminists and jockeying for status on various feminist hierarchies of oppression that you have simply failed to see the obvious. These men are not dominating. These men are submitting to a culture that glorifies violence against them. These men are submitting to a culture that demands their suffering through the policing of masculinity.

We live in a culture where violence against men is not only culturally permissible, it is celebrated as heroic. Our president and congress perpetuates this norm. President Obama delivered one of the biggest standing ovations at the SOTU address. (You can watch the ovation here.) The ovation was for Cory Remsburg. It was an ovation to celebrate his heroics—being deployed 10 times by our military, having his body mutilated and sacrificed, paralyzed, blinded. The standing ovation was a policing of masculinity such that men-as-cannon-fodder are praised. Our entire congress cheered about the dehumanization of this man. They cheered that he was put through a meat grinder and spit out as a hero “who never quit.”

“Ahhh…but these are adult men who are well-paid to take these risks and subject their bodies to violence,” say fans and apologists of violent sports and the military. I say rubbish. These men were all conditioned via culture to “be a man.” One of the first questions I was asked when I spoke with military recruiters was whether or not I played high-school football. I don’t think this was any sort of unusual question asked by military recruiters. It makes sense that the military would want boys and young men who have a history of having had their personhood mutilated through violent “sport.” Hell, one of the first things done to young men, when entering the military, is the shaving of their heads—to try and strip young men of individual personhood differences—making new recruits a gaggle of “maggots.”

This conditioning (abusing) starts at a young age. Take, for example, the horrific show, “Friday Night Tykes.” It’s all about the policing of masculinity in boys, making them into violent monsters who are willing to harm other boys, robbing boys of their emotional well-being, robbing boys of their personhood, distorting masculinity into this grotesquery of socio-culturally acceptable violent behavior.

This kind of policing of masculinity ensures that the male body becomes the most socio-culturally acceptable locus of violence. This is not male privilege. This is not male domination. This is male submission. These are the lived-experiences of men.

So, when Ms. Leyba and other feminists write about shedding their apathy toward this violence against men, it’s hard for me to take seriously their often made claims about feminism working on men’s issues–how feminism cares about men, and how The Patriarchy™ hurts men too. If Ms. Leyba had actually cared about men, she would never have had apathy about them in the first place.

Ms. Leyba, take off your feminist goggles for a moment and try to understand the lived-experiences of men. You don’t need to be bonked on the head in one of your swing-set accidents to do this. Simply look around. You will see the policing of masculinity. You will see a culture of male submission. You will see the male body as the locus of culturally acceptable violence. That is not male privilege. That is not male domination. Such things are the lived-experiences of men.

[Edit: Part two is published.]