First Annual Convention of the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club

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Feminism, Women's Issues

This weekend the International Conference on Men’s Issues was held in a VFW hall in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. It was originally going to be at the DoubleTree Hilton in Detroit, but some feminist groups protested and the terrorized He-Men chose to move the venue, adding that they had sold too many tickets to remain at the DoubleTree. The surplus of ticket-buyers apparently couldn’t find the VFW hall, however, because by all accounts only about 100 guys showed up.

I direct your attention to what TBogg wrote about it. He nails them pretty darn well. But I have a little more to say.

Like BooMan, I am prepared to acknowledge and address systemic bias wherever it might be found. However, as BooMan says, the He-Men seem less interested in actually doing something about these alleged systemic biases than in expressing hatred for women, particularly feminists. I’ve run into this with these guys many times before. Whatever their cause du jour, they are incapable of rational, productive discussion about it because within seconds they will turn the conversation around to how those evil women hate them because they are men and how feminists are destroying manhood and America and western civilization generally. It’s all they really want to talk about.

I do think there are factors in our society and culture that impact men in harmful ways and which need to be addressed. But these trends had been written about long before second-wave feminism emerged in the 1960s. Back in the late 1940s, for example, Joseph Campbell wrote some interesting stuff about how industrial-age culture had alienated men from their families and made them more emotionally infantile and brutish.

The post-World War II era really did lock both men and women in tightly confined gender-role boxes that restricted their emotional and personal growth and perpetrated a weirdly adolescent view of sex, as exemplified by Playboy magazine and the auxiliary clubs and bunnies. In the 1960s women rebelled, but men, on the whole, did not. Individual men grew out of it, but men collectively never had the cathartic consciousness-raising moment when they perceived the confinements of the box they’d been shoved into.

I see the He-Men as guys locked tightly inside a conceptual box — the box of who they think they are and how they think life should be — that is out of sync with what’s going on in our culture generally. And they feel great unease about this, no doubt. But instead of confronting what’s really wrong they hunker down and scapegoat “feminism” as the source of their unease. Most “men’s movements” that have emerged in the 50 years since Betty Friedan wrote The Feminist Mystique have been reactionary attempts to reinforce the box, when what they really need to do to be happy is break out of the damn thing.

And I don’t know of any way to reach them; they’re too invested in their collective fantasy to accept help. I only ask that the majority of men who have outgrown the box to more frequently stand up to the He-Men and say, no. This is not who we are. This is not what manhood is. Maybe fewer younger men will get sucked into it.

I also want to address the women speakers at the conference. TBogg wrote of one:

Surprisingly, many of the speakers at Manstock, were women who were there to validate the attendees worst fears…. for a modest speaking fee:

Dr. Tara Palmatier, a men’s rights activist who advertises herself as a “shrink for men,” explained that “feminism has evolved from the radical notion that women are people, to the radical notion that women are superior.”
She diagnosed some women with what she called “golden uterus syndrome,” which she explained as what happens when a mother will “fleece your ex-husband in divorce court and take assets you didn’t earn, you deserve it, take that bastard to the cleaners, force a man into fatherhood with an accidental pregnancy, hey, if he wouldn’t commit, sometimes you gotta push him into it.”

So, instead of fleecing “your ex-husband in divorce court and take assets you didn’t earn,” Palmatier fleeces men by telling them that their problem is not their own shortcomings. Nope, it all on their ex-wives. That’ll be $220 please, same time next week?

Yeah, there always will be people who will exploit the pain of others to make money. But women do occasionally exhibit what I call the “Daddy’s Good Girl” syndrome. It’s basically a strategy to gain the approval of men by giving them whatever they want and being whomever men want them to be. Show me a “Daddy’s Good Girl” and I will show you someone who is desperately and neurotically needy. Tara Palmatier sounds like one, although she may be just an old-fashioned grifter, of course.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 30, 2014 @9:05 am

    As a male, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me, because I don’t feel like I’m afraid of, or hate, women.

    Where did I go wron… right?!?!?!?!?!

  2. maha  •  Jun 30, 2014 @9:09 am

    gulag — Thank your mother. 🙂

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 30, 2014 @9:35 am

    I do every day, maha! 🙂

    She went from surviving the Battle for Stalingrad, to working in German Labor Camps, to being in a Displaced Person’s Camp, to finally moving to NY City with her family.

    She got married to a very smart and funny man, and they raised my sister and I.

    All of that, and working various jobs, and Mom still managed to succeed as a classical singer – twice holding solo concerts at Carnegie Hall (and getting wonderful reviews in the NY Times!).

    My Mom’s a class act. And so was my late father. FSM, I miss him! :’-(

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 30, 2014 @9:43 am

    ‘…my sister and me.”
    Oy…

  5. joanr16  •  Jun 30, 2014 @10:37 am

    by all accounts only about 100 guys showed up

    Further evidence these a-holes are the marginalia of society. Hooray for decent blokes* everywhere!

    *Sorry, watched a lot of PBS this weekend….

  6. Doug  •  Jun 30, 2014 @11:56 am

    The anti-feminist movement might have a legitimate argument on a few issues. I was questioned once – not quite accused – of harassment at work, years ago. It wasn’t true and it was resolved without repercussions. But I’m sympathetic to the fact that not all accusations are founded in fact and the accuser can be malicious.

    This inequity (and it happens) is often the premise that the misogynists use to introduce their bigotry, but then it leads to a bait and switch. Instead of an objective discussion of dealing with the process of determining the factual basis (guilt or innocence) where there’s the suggestion of improper advances or retaliation for rejection, the hater wants to blame ALL accusers and fault ALL accusations. As if rape and harassment don’t exist in any universe where false accusations can exist.

    The flip side can be true as well. Some feminists are loathe to admit that “hell hath no fury as a woman scorned”. For some women, getting even means there are no rules or limits. That said, it’s not an equal fault. Anyone who observes reality will see women are victims of rape and harassment far more often than men are victims in phony charges of rape or unfair divorce decisions.

    Barbara, ‘Daddy’s good girl’ taken to the enth degree is a good girl as long as she’s getting all she wants – everything she wants – from ‘daddy’. If daddy even looks like he’s become bored with her or interested in some other Barbie, she can turn into something that makes ‘Predator vs Aliens’ look benign.

    We start to have a mature discussion when we acknowledge that neither gender is without fault, but real violence is coming almost exclusively from men against women – it’s common, not rare. Abuse by deception happens both ways. Because men get positions of authority more than women, the potential for harassment and pressuring women into concessions they don’t want to make is more common than the reverse. Men are more likely to be sexually aggressive and insensitive to signals of rejection.

    Is gentlemanly behavior mostly genetic, affected by environment or mostly environment, affected by genetics? Gulag seems to be evidence that gentlemanly behavior is environmental, while the pattern for jack the Ripper types frequently has an overbearing mother that the aggressor is acting against in acts of random violence. Either way, (and my observation is hardly scientific) the influence of the mother seems to control.

    Which means it’s always the woman’s fault. 🙂

  7. Swami  •  Jun 30, 2014 @12:09 pm

    In a 2010 post on A Voice For Men Elam wrote about rape:

    I have ideas about women who spend evenings in bars hustling men for drinks, playing on their sexual desires so they can get shitfaced on the beta dole; paying their bar tab with the pussy pass. And the women who drink and make out, doing everything short of sex with men all evening, and then go to his apartment at 2:00 a.m.. Sometimes both of these women end up being the “victims” of rape.

    But are these women asking to get raped?

    In the most severe and emphatic terms possible the answer is NO, THEY ARE NOT ASKING TO GET RAPED.

    They are freaking begging for it.

    Damn near demanding it.

    And all the outraged PC demands to get huffy and point out how nothing justifies or excuses rape won’t change the fact that there are a lot of women who get pummeled and pumped because they are stupid (and often arrogant) enough to walk though life with the equivalent of a I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH – PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.

    Elam told The Huffington Post that the post was intended as provocative satire to highlight how, in his opinion, it is impossible to even suggest that women take measures to protect themselves without being attacked for victim blaming.

    Provocative satire?… I don’t see the humor in it. Maybe if he included some mention of guys having to protect themselves by wearing a little yellow Gadsden type flag on their heads that said: Don’t tread on my libido, I might of caught the satire aspect of his post.

  8. Swami  •  Jun 30, 2014 @4:58 pm
  9. Stephen Stralka  •  Jun 30, 2014 @7:21 pm

    Doug, I understand your concerns about false accusations, but I don’t think “anti-feminist” is the right term for what you’re talking about. In fact, I would say that your experience is another example of why feminism is for men, too. Because the reason why we need sexual harassment laws in the first place is that so many men are such jerks, not that women don’t know how to take a compliment. And then other men who aren’t jerks, like you, can get caught up in that.

    In his post on the conference, BooMan asks what a real men’s advocacy group would look like. My response to that is that we already have a real men’s advocacy movement, and it’s called feminism.



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