In Simple Answers To Overwrought, Hysterical Questions, published yesterday at Raw Story, Amanda Marcotte took exception to my essay Feminism turns women into maternal prostitutes and johns. The first thing my husband laughingly said when he read it was, “I notice she didn’t respond to what you, a woman, wrote but only to what the alpha male you quoted said. Women are all the same.” We laughed about that, but this morning I’ve decided to address Ms. Marcotte’s criticism. First, let us read her brief disagreement:
This irate ranting from a woman who wants the rest of women to stop being all feminist and shit. She quotes this supposed “wisdom” from a male reader:
Feminists lost long ago. Men are in control – at least the ones that understand. We get to call the shots – now instead of being able to keep house, have children, and cook (very, very few women can cook these days) women are ONLY sex-objects. It is the only thing they have to offer to a man, that will get a man’s attention and to hold it for a while. And we don’t have to marry them to get it [...]
He goes on to gloat that women totally do it now, assuming that it’s because they’re suckers and not because they get any pleasure out of it. To be fair, I have no doubt that the highly exaggerated number of women he’s gotten into bed probably didn’t get any pleasure out of the experience, so his anecdotal data set might be the problem here.
Unasked question: Why should women want the attention of men who see them as nothing more than unpaid servants and semen toilets?
If he had bothered to ask this question, he might see why his gloating rant makes no kind of sense. He starts with the assumption that male attention is so precious that women will and should subject themselves to any kind of degradation to get even a scrap of it, even if the man providing the attention is a terrible misogynist who sees women as subhumans whose only purpose is to clean after him and drain his cock without anything in return besides occasionally acknowledging her existence. This is a ridiculous idea, albeit one that is widespread amongst anti-feminists: That women need male attention, no matter how degrading it is, and therefore should do whatever we can to get it.
Even given the briefest of examinations, this premise falls apart. The alternative to having a hateful misogynist around who expects you to clean up after him, accept his ranting about how women are a repulsive subhuman class whose only purpose is service to men, and to masturbate him without any hope of sexual pleasure yourself is simple: Not being with such a man. As many feminists can tell you, there’s a really pleasant alternative: Men who like women and like to hang out with us and aren’t just tolerating us in exchange for sex and housework. But even if, like this commenter, you believe that such men don’t exist, well, so what? Being alone is better than being with a man who thinks you’re part of a degraded class put here to serve him. No matter how much misogynists may rant, they can’t get around this inherent problem in their philosophy, which is that “alone” is always a superior alternative to their company.
Ms. Marcotte’s unasked question – Why should women want…? - in response to my male reader’s comment is interestingly phrased. If you reread his comment, you will notice that he wasn’t advising women to want anything. That is because he does not much care what women want. After forty years of feminism, men are waking up to the realization that modern women do not care what they want, and some men are beginning to return the favor.
My reader’s comment had nothing to do with what women want but rather with how men perceive women. Anger at men for how they perceive women is a recurring theme in feminism, from the fat acceptance movement to the slut-positive movement. In the comment thread on Ms. Marcotte’s article, one feminist reader responded:
I do not need to define myself by what opinion a man has of me, I actually like myself enough to value my own opinion of me.
Fine, but that begs the question: if women are so secure in themselves and, thanks to feminism, don’t need to define themselves by what men think of them, then why are feminist women so angry about the low opinion the majority of men have of them? Why do they get so angry upon hearing that men see slutty women as only useful for sexual activity? You cannot simultaneously say that you don’t care about someone’s opinion of you while at the same time being enraged by their opinion of you.
One of the core pillars of feminism seems to be trying to control how men think about women. We want to be seen as smart, so by fiat order we’ll command men to see us as equally intelligent. We want to be seen as having the ability to be sexually promiscuous, so we’ll command men to hold a positive opinion of sluttery. We want to be seen as beautiful at 200 pounds, so we’ll command men to find us hot despite our obesity.
But it doesn’t work. Men don’t like slutty women for anything other than sex, as the last comment thread here rather conclusively proved. Men don’t find fat women attractive. Men don’t like bitchy, loud-mouthed mannish feminists. Men don’t care about women’s supposed careers. All the commands in the world will only cause men to keep their opinions quiet, but it does not change those opinions. All the attempts in the world at resocializing men to like what feminism has turned women into will always fail because it works against the natural order of things.
And this, I believe, is why feminists hate the manosphere so very much. They have to hear that they have failed; they have silenced men in the public arena, but online all’s fair in love and war and free speech, and they have to hear, possibly for the first time, what men really think. And they hate it because it is scary. It is scary to imagine that men will stop doing what they are told by women to do. It is scary to feminists in particular because, instead of being dependent on one man like I am, they are dependent on men as a group to fund them.
Men pay the majority of taxes in the United States. Without men’s taxes, student financial aid for Women’s Studies degrees will dry up. Without men’s taxes, baby mamas will starve. Without men financing it, women who are being placed into corporate leadership simply as a response to affirmative action and who then quit these jobs after a year to write tear-filled articles in the Atlantic about work-life balance, demanding even more subsidies from men to ensure that women never need to suffer the consequences for their stupid choices, will cease. I only have to manage my husband’s opinion of me in order to secure his provisioning; feminists have to control all men’s opinions of them in order to secure their provisioning. Hence the need to regulate how men perceive women, and a noticeable outpouring of fire ants from the feminist colony any time a group of men starts to express negative views of modern women. The reality of men’s views is very scary to women.
You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.
- John, Viscount Morley, On Compromise, 1874.