Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Honest Advice on How to be a Male Feminist

Have we atoned for the Patriarchy yet?
So, for reasons that admittedly sane and rational people should not be able to fathom, you're a male who's decided to become feminist in the social media era.

You poor, stupid bastard.

Well, sort of.  Nobody put a gun to your head and made you do this, after all.  Not yet, anyway.  Look, just being honest here.  I'm going to present the honest guide to being a male feminist.  And I'll start by expressing by utter disbelief and lack of understanding of why you'd do this.  The white male of the postmodern age must have a masochistic streak that would make the Marquis de Sade blush.  Perhaps you got tired of the conservative brand of S&M: you finally got fed up with voting away your economic and political rights so now you've decided to march in the streets in favor of having your rights removed in more private contexts as well.  Like I said, completely perplexed.  But I'll leave that aside for now and just get into being honest about how to be a good male feminist.  Starting now, I'll be writing this entry from the point of view of an honest female feminist, speaking on behalf of the movement.

1. This article is the one and only time you'll get a straight answer out of us about anything.  Feminism is just about equality, and the way we achieve equality is by treating people unequally.  Guilt tripping, manipulation and self serving double standards are sure-fire ways to promote mutual respect and understanding, and are a solid basis for relationships too.  Dialogue that is mutual, reciprocal and between real human beings with their own stories and contexts is off the table.  What you can look forward to from us is an unending barrage of jargon and buzzword filled articles lacking in substance, riddled with contradictions and present no real cohesive vision of social justice that you will then be expected to share and promote yourself. And you thought you were safe because the calendar year is no longer 1984.

2. "Power Plus Privilege" Rationalizes Everything.  And I do mean everything.  In case you don't know, this is that old canard about how women can't be sexist, minorities can't be racist, and so on.  An endless, non-revocable get out of jail free card that enables us to be as big of douches as we want and not get called on it.  There's no double standard, no moral hypocrisy and no excess that we feminists can not use the paradigm of male privilege and female marginalization to justify.  This might itself constitute a form of privilege, a sane and rational male might think.  This sounds a lot like two wrongs making a right, a sane and rational male might think.  But women have some privileges and advantages - a slavishly devoted mass media, education system and justice system, as examples - a sane and rational male might think.

Fortunately for us feminists, sane and rational males are rare.  Especially where it is important that they be rare: the media, academia, the justice system and the government bureaucracies.  We've seen to that, over the years.  You've chosen to be a feminist ally, so I think that rules you out of the sane and rational category in any event.

So here's the deal: because male privilege and female marginalization, feminism is infallible.  That simple.  Anything a feminist says is to be considered gospel truth. It is oppressive for a male to disagree with a woman about anything, unless that woman is arguing against feminism.  Then and then alone are you well within your rights to tell her how she should think.  Otherwise, we pontificate, you believe without question.  End of story.

3. When it Comes to the Misdeeds of any Male Towards any Feminist Woman, Collective Responsibility and Guilt By Association Rule.  But only when the following criteria are met:

  • The act is violent, or at least insensitive.  And mark these words: we'll come up with a rationalization to make sure damn near anything a non-feminist male does is offensive and oppressive. 
  • Bonus points if the act is of a sexual nature.
  • The perpetrator is male.
  • The victim is a pro feminist woman.
When those criteria are met, we get to weaponize the act and hold it up as an example of patriarchy and male privilege.  What patriarchy and male privilege do is enable a line of rationalization which suggests that all males benefit from the misdeeds of some men towards women, since gender relations are totally defined by absolute, zero-sum adversarialism with no room whatsoever for mutual benefit.  And if all males benefit, then we get to hold all males accountable for the actions of the few, and we therefore get to act morally superior and claim advantages in both public and private relationships as a result. This goes as far as the court of law, where due process and presumption of innocence should not apply when the alleged crime is sexual in nature, the victim is female and the perpetrator is male.  And because reason 2 above, you don't get to argue about it.  

Acts of kindness and support by men towards women don't count because privilege.  Misdeeds of women towards men are okay, encouraged even, also because privilege.  Feminists can't be held responsible for their own actions because women are oppressed and men are not.  When feminists do things sane and rational people would consider bad, males should instead blame themselves because the pay gap and rape culture.  When bad things happen to men, it's because patriarchy hurts men too.  And that makes it okay to blame them for it!

I'm starting to wonder why us feminists would ever want to actually get rid of patriarchy and male dominance.  Best not to wonder that aloud, though.

4. This is all about competitive victimhood.  How do we feminists determine truth?  How do we decide who's side to take in a dispute?  

Simple.  Everybody has a number of identities based on gender, race, sexual orientation, sexual identity and so on.  Each of these identities can be plotted on a single dimensional axis, with a privileged identity on one end and a marginalized identity on the other.  So for gender, male is privileged and female is marginalized.  For race, white is privileged and people of color are marginalized, and so on.  You then simply count out who has more marginalized identities vs. privileged identities.  

Whoever has the most marginalized identities wins!  And everybody gets to be an asshole to the side with fewer marginalized identities, because rule 2 above.  If you have marginalized identities, weaponize the hell out of them and double down on the guilt-tripping and police absolutely everything that more "privileged" people do.  That's what marginalized identities are for.  This is why it's so important that women can't admit that men face some disadvantages, except where rationalized as "patriarchy hurts men too" as per rule 3 above.  This is all about scoring points and using those points for social advantages, and we really can't do that if we break down and start admitting everything might not be wine and roses for you guys.  Sorry.

Yes, it's really that easy.  So much simpler than having to analyze facts, contextual variables and make nuanced judgements in dicey situations where both, or all sides, might have a point.  Too much thought and not enough self righteousness in that.  When you just want to virtue signal and really can't be bothered trying to understand hard facts, this is so much better!

5. We've cleverly made this a closed belief system, for our convenience.  It should be fairly obvious by now that you can't question us on anything without leveraging your privilege and being an oppressive shitlord.  More importantly, if we actually legitimize any questions you might have, it might occur to you to start actually challenging the manner in which we're so shamelessly exploiting our "marginalized" status and making our lack of privilege itself a source of privilege so flagrant and obvious that it would make George Orwell blush.  From there, the whole house of cards pretty much collapses and we can't have that.  

So if we say you're a racist or a misogynist for any reason, you are.  Denial of guilt will be taken as evidence of guilt.  We learned a thing or two studying those witch hunts, besides the fact that like everything else, they were all about misogyny.  

6. You Will not Have an Opinion of Your Own Regarding What You Find Attractive About Women.  Even though we mock the churches for their prudish attitudes towards sexual matters, we get to have just as prudish of attitudes ourselves and not actually be considered prudes for it, because male privilege.  See rule 2 above.  You see, when you have your own opinions about what you consider attractive in women, that makes us feel insecure.  And because patriarchy, we don't have to be responsible for our own feelings and insecurities.  We get to blame society instead.  And by society, we mean patriarchy.  And by patriarchy, we mean you.  

Feminist women can, will and must get offended if you - a male - dare think her or any woman beautiful or attractive.  Loss of your career and a nice fat lawsuit are perfectly just recompenses for any male telling a feminist woman that she looks nice today.  Because it's just that awful. The only motive men could possibly have for feeling that way about women is that they think women are objects put on this earth only to please men, because men can't both be attracted to women and respect them as equals.  Because "social context."

7. You Will Renounce All Sexual Agency.  If you ask a woman out on a date, that's harassment.  If you attempt to initiate any kind of sexual intimacy, you clearly hate women and that's rape.  If you even look at a woman, that's "male gaze."  I mean, how dare you think anything sexual natural and good?  Because of the magic of power plus prejudice, it is somehow "entitlement" to expect nature to be allowed to take its course between men and women, while a ceaseless cultural pogrom against heterosexual relationships should be taken as a necessary measure to achieve equality.  We're back to that calendar that should be on 1984 again. 

You will never refuse a feminist woman's sexual interest in you, however.  Power plus privilege, remember?  Feminist women can be as lewd as they want - and if libido is the means whereby we measure our vitality and masculine virility against the male's for the purposes of one-upping them, you'd better believe we'll be lewd as hell, and any judgement of that on your part is "slut shaming" because power differentials.  On the other hand, when one-upmanship necessitates a "you want me but not only do I not want you, but find your want of me offensive" kind of posturing, we'll be so puritanical and judgemental that we'll make the Virgin Mary look like the Whore of Babylon.  And just in case you might have forgotten, no arguing or we'll get offended.  We're very practised at weaponizing being offended.

If feminist women do not find you attractive, or prefer other women or dildos to you - and when that happens, we'll make damn good and sure you know about it - that is because you are misogynistic, whether you think you are or mean to be or not, and you must check your privilege, because centuries of patriarchal oppression.  We'll judge you on sexual characteristics, even though if you do the same to us, that's oppression on par with genocide because centuries of being invisibilized by male entitlement. You will be expected to remain loyal in a marriage even if your partner refuses sexual intimacy with you entirely, and if you leave the marriage for that reason, misogyny, fear of commitment and refusal to honor your vows.  And prepare to pay up!  See rule 9 below.  Should you act the same way towards us, that's emotional and sexual abuse, because centuries of male fear of female sexual independence and marriage is slavery.

If you are gay, that means you are misogynistic because you reject women.  If you are straight, that means you are misogynistic because you objectify women.  If you decide to talk to a woman, that's stalking, harassment or mansplaining.  If you decide not to talk to a woman, that's exclusionary, typical male non-communication and you're probably an internet troll who lives in your mother's basement.  If you express your feelings, you're a whiner who does not consider his own privilege.  If you don't express your feelings, that's typical toxic masculinity.  If you have sex with women, you're a misogynistic "pick up artist" or a "fuckboi."   If you can't or don't have sex with women, you can't get laid, and we'll mock the hell out of you for that, because we're classy and mature that way, even though we'll also tell you that gauging your manhood on your sexual prowess is toxic masculinity.  We'll tell that to your face, at any rate.  All of the above are perfectly justified, of course, because six thousand million years of patriarchy.

8. Because all oppression is "intersectional", being a male also means that you are racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, transmisogynistic, misogynoir, ableist, fat shaming and classist.  This is true even if you are gay, a person of color, able bodied or overweight.  This means that you are privileged and owe feminist women whatever they think you owe them.  Are you homeless?  Unemployed?  Drafted?  In prison?  Low income?  Privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege, privilege!  Because when you are privileged, equality feels like oppression.  So no matter your circumstances, be prepared to shut up and ... 

9. Pay Up!  Think equality means women are 50% responsible financially?  Think again!  We only want equality when we benefit from it.  Otherwise, because male privilege.  Is it date night?  Pay up!  Buying a house, car, home decor?  Pay up!  Remember, 50% of the housework and upkeep is your responsibility.  As are 100% of the bills, especially after separation.  When she leaves you or tosses you out of said house, which she can do at any time because it's your fault, get ready to pay up.  Whether you can afford to or not.  Denied access to your children?  Pay up!  Of course, we feminist women will say we're not in favor of such things, that we actually find all of this faux chivalry quite offensive.  But we'll also remind you that this is another example of patriarchy hurting men too (see rule 3 above).  And, to be completely honest here, it's all about cui bono.  Who benefits.  And as long as it's us feminist women, pay up!  Because we're passive aggressive like that.  But we're entitled to it, because heteronormativity.

10. Stop Thinking You're the Center of the Universe.  Because that's what feminism is.  If you don't know that by now, read a fucking book and just go die already.

11. Everything about everything is misogyny.  This might seem strange.  After all, we're all deluged on a daily basis with ceaseless social media shares, public service announcements and other media aimed at women and supportive of feminist ideology.  Feminist theory is heavily protected and privileged in academia, enjoys widespread favorable media bias across the political spectrum, and feminist lobby groups constitute a very real deep state in many polities, resulting in ongoing funding for a variety of women's programs.  The vast majority of people in the 1st world favor gender equality.  But still, power, privilege and patriarchy abound, and are everywhere.  

Well, maybe not really, but we ... well, we kind of need them to be.  Again, we just don't know what we'd do with ourselves if we honestly faced the fact that this whole intersectional social justice thing was just a big sham.  We need something to believe in and justify our lives with, after all, and religion is just so passe.  So we don't really have a choice except to turn just about everything that people do into misogyny.  Which is your fault.  And even if it isn't, don't argue when a feminist blames you anyway, because you'll never have to worry about rape or being paid less to do the same job.  

12. Conversion to Islam Exempts You From All of the Above.  Why?  Stop asking us to educate you already!  Feminism is alone among belief systems in that it is the non-believer's responsibility to convert to feminism, and not the responsibility of the feminist to convince the skeptic.  Because we're sick to death of male shit and being oppressed.  And don't get started on the abuses of women's rights under Shari'a law.  Remember what we discussed above about you're not having an opinion on anything?  Stop being such a racist.  Unless you've completed your pilgrimage to Mecca, of course.

13. We don't hate men, we hate male privilege.  Privilege which is an innate trait of being a male in a patriarchal society.  Which you can't help or control, but since you benefit from it, it's your fault anyway.  So we actually get to hate you all we want and just not be responsible or accountable for it.  When will we cease to be a patriarchal society?  Well, if that ever happens, you'll be the first to know.  I wouldn't hold your breath, though.  This patriarchy thing isn't a bad deal, really.  We'll always find some reason to insist we're oppressed.  Trust us on that one.

So we don't really hate you as a person.  We hate your privilege, so we get to act as if we hate you.  We can also get all sanctimonious about how you're "making it all about YOU" when you accuse us of man-hating, because that's such an obviously privileged and entitled male thing to do.  Even though we are making it about you.  Slick, eh?

14. Fucking enough already.  I'm literally shaking right now.  I just can't even.  I'm never having sex with another guy again.  I'm so sick of having to educate your stupid privileged asses when you haven't lived a fucking day as an intersectionally oppressed woman of color in a racist, capitalist patriarchy.  Just die already.  I'm cringing just thinking about getting naked with another one of you ever again.

Ha ha ha!  Who the hell am I kidding?  It's just a matter of time before I'm all decked out in a silky french maid outfit or something like that, making a hot meal for the next hot dude who sweeps me off my feet and I get the hot D from, because hormones.  The same hormones I'll insist up and down on every internet forum I can type on are the byproducts of white male science.  Hormones win in the end.  They always do.

The problem with that, however, is that I can't use that fact to exploit the sexual insecurities of young, socially awkward men on the internet.  So whenever I have a keyboard and screen in front of me, it's all about going full Dworkin and rattling that saber.  When I get called out on it, I'll be the one the site moderators believe when I report the dude for trolling, harassment or hate speech.  How's that for irony?

Just remember: Feminism is all about equality.  That's all.  Equality.

Are you sure you still want to be a male feminist?  Are you among the millions of men who are more than eager to sign up for all of the above?  Yes?

Wow.  Just wow.

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