A reply to Jay Batman’s Why I Am an Anarcho-Misogynist.
Part of me wonders whether I should even dignify a response. So manywords have been used, explaining why Feminism is important that there’s not really much I can add to explaining the basics. Simply put, Feminism is and always will be an integral part of Anarchism ,and when it’s cut out whatever it is that’s left, is not Anarchism. I’ve got no time for Paleo apologetics. We’ve all probably done this dance, and done it to death. Feminism is just woman’s liberation (though it does not and should not exclude men either).I’m honestly confused why rightly understood, anyone could oppose that. However it seems to me, you don’t understand and that’s where the problems lie. Hopefully I can at least allow you a glimpse of understanding. If not, I think there’s no hope there.
You say, “The welfare state, the nanny state, all of the major advances of the state into social concerns over the past fifty years is undeniably matriarchal in their concerns”. Let’s examine that. It seems your equating concern for others with the feminine – a stereotypically sexist gender role equation. Apparently, men can’t be caring now. It you truly looked at these issues you would see that these institutions in fact mirror the authoritarian parent or family particularly the out-dated patriarchal father of older times.
When you write “societal conventions that deny a man’s natural and innate inclinations to preach some false idea of domestication as the ideal are the creations of a matriarchal tyranny”, I think you have it round the wrong way. This applies more (though not exclusively) to women than to men. No one is( or should be) denying that gender roles oppress both men and women.
With sentences such as “Women have appropriated the state and religious institutions to systematically de-masculinize men and relegate us to a less virile, less potent existence”, you appear to be suggesting there is some sort of inherent thing called ‘masculinity’ which can be eroded or attacked whereas it is really socially constructed and defined. What is ‘masculine’ is determined by cultural norms. It can either be the stereotype of watching sports, as in the west or holding hands with friends as in Middle Eastern cultures. I think you would struggle to define that concept without implying that only men can exhibit that behaviour, that it’s inherent to men or without arbitrarily assigning someone common to all humans as distinctively male. If I were to question what is ‘masculine’, you would answer ‘manly’. I would ask, what is ‘manly’ you could give a list of traits but to claim they are inherently bound to the nature of being a man is to fall into the trap of thinking in gender roles- to say men always do(descriptive) or should( Normative sexism) act in x,y,z ways. I’ve discussed this before in the topic of Dehumanization. Your thinking treats human beings with will and rationality as mere objects.
Essentially it seems you’ve failed to engage with the relevant literature and philosophy and instead ride the bandwagon of a minority of masculists who wrongly see men and women as inherently opposed and thus reject feminism as competition.
“The two are mutually exclusive, because the feminine paradigm of thought is largely concerned with the oppositional, either/or mutually exclusive dichotomy.” fails into the same error that some so called feminists have when they have claimed that men have an exclusive way of thinking such as rationality while women are more emotional suggesting that women should be less rational which is altogether insulting and sexist in of itself. No, it is not true there is ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ ways of thinking. There is merely ways of thinking, common to both. It was Aristotle who first widely propagated the idea of mutual exclusivity. Is he dominated by this way of thinking, even though Feminism as an organized movement did not exist in his time?
Furthermore the schema you are proposing of male vs. female, ‘masculine’ vs. ‘feminine’ is but itself, a false dichotomy based on gender role and out-dated gender binary.
“a life built on the idea of reproductive responsibility for men and reproductive emancipation for women, are indisputably the province and idea of women.” ignores the fact that marriage was to some extent created to allow men to reproduce and claim exclusivity over women and thus control their bodies. We can see this playing out via statism with men allowed ownership of women’s bodies and possessions and in the fact that up until quite recently, rape within marriage was considered acceptable. Marriage can be oppressive for men and women-there is no doubt about this. Anarcha-Feminists have acknowledged this fact for years. Again, ignorance leads you to overextend your points.
“The correct answer is this: a man has a choice, a free choice, and he should be allowed to choose whether or not enter into the child-rearing with a woman”, is of course absolutely true and I think no one should deny the tyranny of things such as enforced child support regardless of which parent of which gender it falls upon. Again this is an issue Anarcha-feminists do not have. The ethics of this however may be a different matter.
In writing “anarcho-misogyny is a new way of viewing antiquated arrangements like family and monogamy, neither of which can be said to be the natural state of males”, you are really making Anarcha-feminist arguments but from a masculist perspective. There is nothing wrong with that provided you understand the worth of feminism and it’s opposition to sexism, gender roles and the like.
To claim “Moreover, a woman within a monogamous relationship has a monopoly over the only asset sufficient to make any man entertain the prolonging of marriage: sex” is a thoroughly cynical reductionist view which excludes love from marriage.
The piece begins to have a personal ring to it when you say “but the simple truth is that he is a man engaged in the fullness of manhood.” I find it difficult to reconcile sleeping around with feminism. Furthermore, I see nothing which indicates that kind of behaviour is more ‘manly’ than not doing it. Again a gender role is assumed.
It’s a whole other debate whether “We are hardwired for polygyny, and our physiological realities prove as much.” but initially it seems this does not hold, current rates of divorce to the contrary. The reasoning of “Typically, human males are 10 percent taller and 20 percent heavier than females. This suggests that, throughout history, humans have been mildly polygynous.” is not immediately obvious neither does it follow from what of it you’ve presented.
“[W]hile powerful men throughout Western history have married monogamously (only one legal wife at a time), they have always mated polygynously (they had lovers, concubines, and female slaves)” speaks more to the use of women as objects of reproduction than as an inherent tendency against monogamy. Remember as biologists are found of reminding us, biology is not destiny.
It was a mistake to say “The answer is female-dominated and defined religion, specifically Catholic sexual mores, with their veneration of virginity ” since this ignores the clear understanding that the belief that women should remain ‘pure’ and virginal until marriage is clearly intended to be a means of control of women through male exclusivity. Remaining a virgin is not a ‘feminine’ value inherently.
It’s not entirely clear what you believe “equality of outcomes and results” involves, but I will say that Feminism is advocacy of equal treatment for women-i.e. that women and men be treated equally well. That’s part of opposition to Dehumanization which is involved in hierarchical relations of which sexism and larger Patriarchy, is a kind.
Unless under the influence of Paleo-libertarians or misguided anti-feminist masculinists, it’s unclear why you’d argue ” The state has been redesigned to care about health, about education, about egalitarian outcomes, and about promoting the universalization of said concerns throughout the globe through NGOs and other institutions” and lay the blame exclusively on women. These measures existed before organized feminism arose throughout globe, throughout history and were more about a political embodiment of the model of authoritarian parenting than women’s interests.
You haven’t defined you the meaning of “doubtful masculinity” and let the door open for a wide array of accusations of homophobia. In the one swipe your paragraph, in which you state “To allow socialism and other communitarian ideals to have their way is execute the Promethean impulse within men that reaches towards fire to achieve greatness on an individual level. Feminization teaches us that individual achievement, and any insistence on reaping the rewards of individual achievement as an individual, is selfish and evil. It denigrates that within ordinary men that might give them the chance to be extraordinary.” has misunderstood Socialism, implied Feminism inherently opposes self-interest with some randianesque rambling and set up Feminism as some sacrificial cult. Quite a feat!
In your mention of Warren Farrell, I would say that while he speaks much true about sexism against men, his philosophy is out of balance in excluding women or at least going on the offensive against Feminism without depth thought.
I think you’re wrong to “reject categorically the idea of sexual harassment” as if it can never occur and there are no ethical concerns involved. What you should have said is rather that it’s complex and beyond Freudian bizarreness, “dedicated to all of the women who covet what a man has ” is a pretty absurd statement.
NB: I consider this the end of the debate on my part.I don’t really have anything more to say.