“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them…most men cheerfully affirm their deadly class privileges and power. And I hate that class.” –Robin Morgan, April 14, 1973
What is “Male Bail”
I picked up on male bail through Facebook, via one of my friends on the far left of all issues. She’s a committed Jezebel reader, and if you know how I feel about Jezebel, you’ll also know that my friend and I don’t agree on much. I keep her on my news feed solely because I get glimpses of the fringe left without having to read myopic publications like Salon, Mother Jones, and The Daily Kos. I keep Tea Partiers around for similar reasons.
My friend had responded harshly to a Breitbart article by Milo Yiannopoulos called “The Sexodus,” Parts 1 & 2. It’s basically a treatise on how straight men are clocking out of society due to the growing pressures of living within a prickly culture set against masculinity. The article’s apocalyptic tone elicited my concern at first, but I’d seen all the content before. For example, the explanations on causality (i.e. why men are leaving) have been around for a while, and a female writer for The Blaze had covered a lot of material a month earlier.
The “young German video game enthusiast” used to introduce The Sexodus in Part 1 was a questionable choice for protagonist. It’s clear to me, at least, why a young person would be intimidated by women, and why a video game enthusiast would naturally engage the world less. I can promise you that World of Warcraft is far less complex than the World of Women. Unfortunately, Milo relied heavily on similar young men as his data set.
The author’s sexuality also created an intriguing conflict of interests. You can imagine the convolution of a gay European explaining why a host of straight Americans are leaving society, if indeed they are. It’s not that his observations were erroneous or unwanted – I welcome any unbiased, arms-length analysis by capable writers – I just question how deep into the psyche of straight America a gay Brit can actually go.
For example, his assumption in Part 2 that casual sex and video games were the straight, male’s response to failed relationships with catty females wasn’t entirely accurate. If I get fed up with a woman, or she gets fed up with me, that’s just bad chemistry. I’m sure plenty of confident gay men can relate. If I’m single for a while, it’s not because I gave up on women, it’s because I’m waiting for a preferable one to come along. I’m picky, and I definitely don’t resort to casual sex and video games just because one relationship (or several) didn’t go the way I planned. That’s defeatist, and anyone giving up so easily won’t be much use in a gender war, anyway.
Furthermore, I resent any implication that sex is first and foremost on my mind as a straight male, because I can list plenty of things I’d rather do than have sex with a woman: watch a movie, cook dinner, play guitar, troll Facebook, eat sushi, drink a beer, play chess, call my mother, play basketball, learn Spanish, read a sports article, go for a walk, write an article about how many things I’d rather do than have sex…
After all, could a straight guy comprehend why some gay men turn asexual? General unhappiness with the lifestyle is an easy response, but that might ignore the possibility that they were never gay in the first place. For that matter, could a straight American male explain why straight Japanese males are turning asexual, too? The gender reallocation happening in both the labor market and domestic life is to blame, but a Japanese guy could summarize the whole thing better than I can.
The irony, of course, is that gay men have been leading the defense of men’s rights against third-wave feminism for years now. Milo even points this out himself in Part 2:
One of the remarkable things about recent high-profile skirmishes with feminists is how few mainstream heterosexual men have been involved. In the GamerGate video games controversy, opposition to “social justice warriors” and their attempts at censorship on Twitter has come from older gay men in public life and younger geeks, gamers and drop-outs…
Straight young men simply don’t want to know any more. They’re not getting involved. Some women, too, horrified by what lesbianised third-wave feminism claims to do in their name, opt out of the argument. The absurd result is that geeks, queers and dykes are dominating the discussion about how men and women should interact.
As a sexually confident representative of my gender, I’m not emasculated by any of this. If there’s a war on, I’m happy to have gay men defending my rights the same way I defend marriage equality. Furthermore, as an analyst and former gamer myself, I’m glad to have the geek, dork, and dweeb community along for the ride, too.
But who’s war is this? I don’t feel threatened, yet Milo makes it seem like I should be.
And if straight males are under attack, where the hell is the rest of my constituency? The Joker asked the question better than I can…
Are my straight, American male counterparts really prepared to turn over the reins of negotiation to an interest group who already left (or was never part of) the heterosexual male interests up for debate?
…then again, maybe it’s better to let gay men and feminists duke it out for whatever they think gender equality should look like. After all, nothing elicits more sympathy for feminists than open conflict with straight men.
If straight men aren’t praising feminine culture, they’re accused of denouncing it. For example, it doesn’t matter that I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2008, my disillusionment with her now, and my continued distaste for Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi, frames me as a woman-hater.
Therein lies my biggest concern with what’s going on in America.
The Double-Standardization of American Social Commentary
In America, straight men can’t talk about gender equality without first announcing themselves as fellow social progressives. You know, the whole “I have a lot of black/LGBT/etc. friends” disclaimer. The whole ordeal is pretty useless for determining your allies – after all, Saddam Hussein said a lot of glowing things about Iraqi women a year before the Dujail Massacre.
Still, bypassing such introductory qualifications endangers your entire position on issues like rape. I can think of few things more revolting or disheartening than rape, but what has the world come to when I have to clarify that? Maybe I should start wearing campaign buttons that read “I’ve never raped anyone” or “I’ve never shot a black man,” just so everyone knows.
It’s tricky for me to point out that the Duke rape case was a total sham, or that the more recent events at the University of Virginia also turned out to be fictionalized, without coming across as an unfeeling jerk. The truth is, the reputations of both those groups of young men are now irreparably scarred, all because a couple of girls wanted to “take back the night” that never happened.
I also can’t question the practicality of “yes means yes” laws intended to bureaucratize youthful cultures of alcohol and drug fueled decision making. Next thing you know, all regrettable sexual activity will be subject to a rape tribunal, and there better be a signed and notarized letter of mutual consent. Then again, law professor Catherine MacKinnon thinks consensual sex between married couples is an act of violence against women, so nobody is really safe anymore.
Unfortunately, American feminists have realized the convenience of such a large target as the straight, American male, and my views are largely dismissed as status quoism. Any defense of my own gender is immediately tossed into categories marked “sexism,” or worse, “misogyny.” I bet you didn’t even realize the latter term was categorically worse than the former, but that just goes to show you how quickly and irresponsibly people throw around labels in America.
The harsh reality for American men is that their entire portfolio of interests is a target for social justice warriors. The NFL’s biggest enemy is women following the Ray Rice fiasco, and even college football is being attacked by the unionized left. Custody battles favor women 90% of the time, and alimony is a default setting for judges, even if the woman makes more than the man. Hell, even the Mormons require beard permits on their school campuses.
American women are now legally superior to men in every way, but the double-standardization of American social commentary has managed to victimize women, while simultaneously casting men as fire-breathing rapists.
Gender Reallocation in America
It’s not as if American women don’t have rights. In terms of women’s rights and quality of life, Newsweek ranked the United States #8 globally in 2011, and even the Global Gender Gap Report constantly puts American women in the Top 25. In 2010, women gained the majority in the American workforce, particularly in management-level positions. Women have also earned 10 million more college degrees than men over the past 30 years.
Women have been entrenching their American social freedoms since Anne Hutchinson started holding religious meetings in the 1630s. Nevertheless, American women felt cheated and disenfranchised by historians, because too few people knew or cared about women like Ms. Hutchinson. So acute was this inferiority complex that women joined the profession in droves and began rewriting the histories themselves, subsequently undermining their own minority status in both the profession and in the American historical narrative.
The data reflect this reprioritization of the historical record. The share of female history professors rose from 14% in 1980 to almost 35% in 2007. The share of female staff across all the humanities rose to a staggering 51%. Over a similar timeline, the number of social historians, male or female, rose from 31% to 41%, and cultural historians grew from 14% to 16%. At the same time that political, economic, and diplomatic histories were declining, historical topics focusing on women and gender expanded rapidly.
The “golden age” of social history ended during the Reagan Administration, but the academic consensus behind feminist revisionism continued long after the faculty bubble deflated. Today’s opponents of Common Core would be shocked to learn that standardized gender reallocation in American history textbooks was approved 20 years ago. American universities have since actively encouraged minority histories from undergraduates, warning them that everything has already been written about wars, economics, and great men.
The K-12 education industry has long been dominated by women, so it’s curious why they feel so left out of American classrooms. In revenge, students are now directed away from James W. Marshall and the the California Gold Rush, and toward Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Seneca Falls Convention. Both happened in 1848, but having only 90 minutes to cover a period of American history means you can only teach one. A century later, Orwell’s 1984 and Beauvoir’s The Second Sex were published. Which one should high school seniors critique?
Outside the classroom has also seen a gradual expansion of female interests. Reproductive rights were affirmed in 1972, with the right to use contraception outside of marriage (Eisenstadt v. Baird). Abortion legislation soon followed, and has determined party lines and presidential elections since 1980. I personally try to avoid the abortion issue, but I would like to point to it as another legal matter favoring women and disparaging the opinions of men, who are technically 50% shareholders of the fetus in question.
Throughout the 1970s, “sex” was added to various pieces of anti-discriminatory legislation, especially those related to housing and obtaining credit. This was amusingly counterproductive, since the 21st Century woman’s higher credit score would actually benefit from gender profiling. The second-wave feminist onslaught only came to a halt when its members couldn’t agree on the divisive topics of sexuality and porn.
Feminism’s march against men has yielded impressive results. The nuclear family is dead, which delights many women (especially Linda Gordon) who didn’t care much for Norman Rockwell’s America in the first place. Sexual promiscuity has been embraced by feminists and repackaged as sexual expression, yet I castigate members of my own sex for repulsive behavior and embarrassing indiscretions that might otherwise make me look bad, too.
Bitchiness is now encouraged by the Ban Bossy lobby, who think that being loud, obnoxious, and meddlesome in the classroom and workplace is a sign of leadership. News flash: When someone acts that way to me, man or woman, their requests get deprioritized. It’s hard to be an “exemplary leader” when Friday’s project is being held up by an analyst you cocked an attitude with on Tuesday.
Affirmative action (i.e. “positive discrimination”) was extended to women by President Johnson in 1967. I find it strange that Executive Order 11375 was signed before “sex” was even added to anti-discrimination laws. Affirmative action has been so damaging to equality that some of the most liberal states have passed constitutional amendments banning its public implementation: California in 1996, Washington in 1998, and Michigan in 2006. Even so, affirmative action policies are alive and kicking elsewhere. For instance, despite the New York Times‘ claim in June that “affirmative action is doomed,” the NYFD dropped its physical test requirement in order to admit more women.
From my perspective, feminism isn’t about equality anymore. Women already have the legal advantage, so feminist references to egalitarianism are part of a collective, perverted belief that “equality” means “more.” Feminists continue to reappropriate all things masculine, chop away at the straight, American male’s foundation so that we’re too busy defending and rebuilding masculinity to notice their own renovations on what it means to be feminine.
Radical feminists have appointed themselves the arbiters of womanhood, which is damaging the reputation and legitimacy of American women who are completely satisfied with their lives and their freedoms. This is why #idontneedfeminism appeared on Twitter. Simply put, a majority of women aren’t as unhappy with themselves as radical feminists are, yet they are still dragged into gender conflict. This requires hashtag clarifications not unlike what straight, white males have to go through whenever broaching controversial topics like gender or ethnicity. Welcome to my world, where supporting men’s rights automatically lumps me in with wife-beaters, rapists, and the cast of the Jersey Shore.
Meanwhile, even moderate feminists continue to legally and culturally handicap men in order to make life feel more equitable, and some have started cutting their hair, wearing men’s clothing, and engaging in physical violence against men, who have been taught (by women) not to hit back.
Could the steady increase in divorces through the 1970s have led to a nationwide Electra Complex? The American divorce rate has hovered around 50% for decades now – just flip a coin when you get married, heads you’ll stay together and tails you’ll split up. That kind of uncertainty is bound to keep plenty of people away from the other sex, but is it enough to drive men out of society?
Does Male Bail Exist in America?
I would question whether The Sexodus is occurring at all in America. I’m certainly not noticing anything. State-sponsored feminism is in regression, and let’s consider for a moment that if straight, American men are leaving society, it’s probably for reasons far more productive than casual sex or video games.
For instance, while labor force participation for American men has declined since 1948, three quarters of all men still worked full-time in 2009 (a major recession year), compared to less than two-thirds of women. Affirmative action through the ’70s and ’80s hurt men, a lot. It sent the percentage of American managers who are women skyrocketing up 20 points in as many years, but women managers flatlined at ~38% in 1990. Now that quotas have been met, women are on their own to wrestle for a larger share of the workforce against workaholic American men, 37% of whom work more than 40 hours a week (compared to only 20% of women). A lot of American men aren’t clocking out of society, they’re working 40-60 hours a week, which is 5-25 more hours than most Europeans.
Outside the workplace, apathy and dissociation sound like typical straight male responses to a lot of things, but I don’t actually see male bail taking place because of women. Milo’s articles suggested that men are consciously leaving society in response to actions and events they find unnerving or undesirable. In truth, none of my friends even know what third-wave feminism is, much less that it might pose a risk to their interests. I have seen literally no difference in how straight, American men and women operate alongside one another, much less the exodus of my straight friends from society or the dating world. If anything, more of my friends are dating and getting hitched than ever before.
I’m sure throughout the last two waves of feminism, articles were written about the impending doom of the male sex if women launched birthing strikes or started aborting their sons. That obviously never happened, and straight men have succeeded in the face of federally mandated affirmative action campaigns and social justice movements committed to their vilification. Even if corporate America is taken over by women (which is the trend), I know a lot of guys who wouldn’t mind sleeping their way to the top.
I don’t mean to sound flippant about the plight of American women, but feminists have made a mockery of their entire message. Fringe elements tend to do that: Black panthers make African-Americans look bad, Westboro Baptist Church makes Christians look bad, Islamic militants make Muslims look bad, etc. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of scumbags out there to make me look bad, too.
If feminism is perceived as a danger to straight males, it’s because of perceptions resulting from the double-standardization of American social commentary, not because feminism poses any profound risks to masculinity. The moving parts of feminism are rusty – the aging gears still function, but they inherently make a lot more noise and get a lot more grease. Radicalism is inherently perceived as a more serious issue than it actually is.
Admittedly, some men are freaking out because the internet blows things out of proportion, but just because third-wave feminism benefits from better exposure on the internet doesn’t mean that exposure vindicates their position. If anything, it’s easier for me to fight it, since I can link to videos like this, or this, or this, or this, and of course, this lovely specimen…ahem, sorry: speciwoman.
Finally, if gay men are fighting a war against feminists, it’s their war and I probably shouldn’t get involved. It might come as a shock to some, but feminists and gay men don’t really get along. Sheila Jeffreys has led a feminist attack on gay men, claiming they perpetuate things like dominant/submissive gender roles, aggressive male sexuality, and even sadomasochism. Lesbian feminists in general don’t see male homosexuality as a particularly compelling moral cause, and generally classify gay men as members of an amoral cultural phallocracy.
If my fellow men want me to help fight radical feminism, I’ll gladly write a few more articles, but I find it presumptuous that gay men and computer nerds would wage a war against radical feminism, and then claim that I’m not participating when the call to arms never went out to me in the first place. I had a hard time deciding if Milo’s article was an invitation or an accusation.
The American Label War
The ongoing Label War in America is getting tiresome. Unfortunately, straight males in America have everything to lose and nothing to gain from labeling, which is why we’ve been avoiding labels our entire lives. The tiniest accusation has a profound effect on how we think the world perceives us. The straight (especially white) male is a blank canvas on which anyone can paint a villain: We’re all racist. We’re all sexist. We’re all xenophobic. We’re all rich. We’re all privileged….when I am absolutely none of these.
Even label wars experience burnout, and terms like “sexist” and “misogynistic” will mean less as they’re used more. Labels will always be dangerous for the straight, American male, but the people labeling us will all suffer a legitimacy crisis that will diminish the value of whatever labels we’ve earned.
This is already happening with the term “racist” in America. A decade ago, white Americans would panic at any rumor or misconception that they were racist. Today, white people are shrugging the label off more, because 1) they know they’re not racist and don’t have to prove anything, or 2) the term is coming from someone with a limited vocabulary searching for a word to express their own dissatisfaction with the inherent inequalities of life.
Labels are a foundational method for social categorization, a natural tool for understanding the world around us. Yet, one of my biggest frustrations with American culture is that radical people with voluntary labels (i.e. people self-identifying as gay, feminist, hipster, pro-something, anti-something, etc.) aren’t comfortable with my lack of a label. They resent my blank canvas, and it’s always one of these radicals who try to equalize the world around them by forcing me into a category.
The hypocrisy of some people is boundless. Luckily, the gender war being waged on the internet appears to be one of rhetoric, so I’ll just sit back and watch the feminists lose. Their message is consistently vitriolic and far more hateful toward me than I’ve ever been toward any woman. I’m not bailing on society, I just don’t take radical feminism that seriously, and that probably infuriates them more than anything.