A few days ago Ally Fogg wrote an article about domestic violence for “Free” Thought Blogs. Save a couple of stupendous blunders betraying his motivation it was a pretty decent piece. It was so good, in fact, that it actually marked a policy shift at FTB, which is to seldom if ever deviate from the feminist narrative of any subject, much less something as incendiary as the subject of intimate partner violence.
Still Fogg did the basics of what he was supposed to do. He laid bare the laughable canard of men being the sole perpetrators of domestic violence, exposed the tip of the iceberg on feminist backlash against research, and researchers, in dissent from the feminist narrative, and proffered the need to revise our approach to the problem of violence with research-based, fact-driven solutions. In other words, Fogg said what MHRAs have been saying since before he could spell DV.
I should be happy, right? A quasi-feminist is admitting some of the facts. His ideas have been published (and remained standing) on a blog known for extirpating all noncompliance with ideological feminist doctrine. A comment section that has almost approached thoughtful has emerged at FTB as a result. So am I happy?
Uh, no. Not even close. Nor should anyone else be if they have even a remote interest in ridding society of the real problems that have prevented us from developing and implementing a sensible model for addressing violence in the home.
Fogg’s first fail flops in early, when he attempts to define the root of the misunderstanding by drawing from Kate Millett’s 1970 Radfem opus, “Sexual Politics.”
Excepting a social license to physical abuse among certain class and ethnic groups, force is diffuse and generalized in most contemporary patriarchies. Significantly, force itself is restricted to the male who alone is psychologically and technically equipped to perpetrate physical violence. Where differences in physical strength have become immaterial through the use of arms, the female is rendered innocuous by her socialization. Before assault she is almost universally defenceless both by her physical and emotional training. Needless to say, this has the most far-reaching effects on the social and psychological behaviour of both sexes.
Please note Millett’s use of the term “patriarchies.” Let it sink in, because as you read through Fogg’s agenda ridden analysis, you won’t see it mentioned again. It is as though he never noticed it in the first place, despite the fact that patriarchy theory forms the critical foundation for the feminist narrative on domestic violence and most of their other ideological talking points.
Opting away from addressing the core issue, Fogg simply regurgitates perspective that has been addressed here and other places for a number of years; that being a look at the work of Murray Straus, Suzanne Steinmetz and Richard Gelles, how their research pointed to gender symmetry in intimate partner violence, and how their findings resulted in death threats and a tsunami of academic backlash – assumedly from feminist ideologues.
I am sure this might have wowed the crowd at FTB, as they are a rather insulated group thanks to their mindless allegiance to the edicts of PZ Myers. But there is nothing new here, and nothing ultimately useful from Fogg’s rather lackluster attempt to catch up to, co-opt and modify AVFM successes in changing the public discourse about domestic violence.
Again, what he fails at most miserably, consciously or not, is in understanding that it is feminism’s Patriarchy Theory that is at the root of feminist disinformation about domestic violence (and most everything else) in the first place. Patriarchy Theory, which embraces the idea that all social and legal power was conferred upon men, as a class, at the expense of women, as a class, is no more rational or provable than Millett’s completely vapid statement that, “Significantly, force itself is restricted to the male who alone is psychologically and technically equipped to perpetrate physical violence.”
This is the incontinent elephant in the living room that Fogg doesn’t notice, and why he instead opts to sing old songs for a new crowd, and attack a few people while he does it. We can call Fogg’s approach “rehash and bash.”
The bashing is just as important to the theme as the rehashing, and ultimately reveals his motives. In Fogg’s penultimate paragraph he links to an article of mine he defines as “violently misogynistic.” To wit:
My contempt for the feminists who have actively obstructed efforts to help men is matched by my contempt for those men who seek to actively undermine women’s services with sneering, paranoid references to a ‘domestic violence industry’, or violently misogynistic reactions to any perceived provovation[sic]. Two wrongs do not make a right.
Nor do three, Mr. Fogg. Let me explain, even as I sit chuckling at the idea that a man has expressed contempt for me doing something I have never done, and for which he knowingly offers a red herring as proof. Oh yes, it is particularly comical given the fact that he is doing this in the middle of an ostentatious nobility fit intended to dramatize his good character.
Three years ago I wrote a satirical, and somewhat belated response to an article on Jezebel.com in which the staff of that publication and their readers were having a grand old time bragging to each other and backslapping over who had been the most physically abusive with their male partners.
I wrote a particularly provocative response to it, in order to demonstrate how that sort of mentality might appear in a scenario where the perpetrator was male and the victim was female. In it, I made some overtly graphic references to the violence and proclaimed that we were declaring a “Bash a Violent Bitch Month.”
Now, I knew at the time the possible reaction to this kind of satire. And as the fumbling Fogg has just linked to it again, three years later, it seems my call on the reaction was not far off the mark. So, when I wrote it, I was sure to include a few words which were completely accurate, if not wholly traditional in satire. I said, in reference to the proposed violence and the “Bash a Violent Bitch Month,” the following:
Now, am I serious about this?
I know, it is sort of like opening a carton of milk for a kid at recess instead of letting him figure out how to do it on his own. Such are the needs of part of our audience in the realm of gender politics. I will let you decide who needs the extra help, but I might suggest that some of the candidates for said assistance are those “Free” Thought Bloggers who were just shoveled a load of Ally Fogg’s bullshit that my article was a serious, misogynistic call to violence and an attempt to undermine services for women who need them.
Fogg is out here now, “advocating” for men’s issues, complaining vociferously about the antics of disingenuous ideologues, yet falsely painting other advocates as violent misogynists and, quite stunningly, denying that a multi-billion dollar industry is an industry.
Surely there is a reason?
Of course there is. It is the same reason he tacitly takes shots, though much less nasty ones, at Gelles, Steinmetz and Straus, by calling the notion of symmetry “nonsensical,” and generally painting the erudite trio as myopic for even believing in something as silly as domestic violence in the first place.
It is the same reason he has been insulting to Peter Lloyd for suing a gym for the very straightforward issue of charging him the same money as women to work out there, but then forcing him to do what amounts to a perp walk out the front door every day so that women can have the place to themselves, free from his self-esteem deflating view.
Indeed there must be reasons why no one from Paul Elam to Peter Lloyd to Richard Gelles pass muster with Fogg.
My guess is regressive, hierarchical, banty rooster masculinity that could only be made more comical with a codpiece and a chest toupée. A poster boy for biological determinism, Ally Fogg wants a harem, and he intends to get there by being the One Good Man.
He is not the bad, bad man like Peter Lloyd, who would disallow women’s special privilege over men at the gym (read: retail sector). He is not like that bad, bad man Paul Elam that would speak the truth to women without considering their feelings first and whether or not it set well with them to hear it (emotional/interpersonal sector).
He is even better and smarter and oh so much more socially conscious than the people who totally (and quite bravely) debunked the patriarchal explanation for domestic violence in the first place. In fact, if you just listen to him, The One Good Man, you will discover that there is not only no such thing as a domestic violence industry, you will indeed find that domestic violence itself is not even a thing.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
What Ally Fogg is counting on is the same thing that male feminists and white knights have been counting on for ages: duping women into believing he is the alpha dawg, for realz. That is same-same speak for The One Good Man.
He wants to show the world, particularly the world of vaginas, that he is The One Man to whom they can safely listen. Like a 3,000,000 year old artifact of a pre-modern climber in the male hierarchy, Fogg is preening for position and stature. And like most men who spend life in craven pursuit of female approval and attention, he requires scapegoats to get the job done.
That is why he chose a male-bashing, ideologically driven pro-feminist forum that panders to the likes of Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson and pretty much anyone else peddling a gynocentric threat narrative. He fits with that crowd like Dr. Phil fits with Oprah’s girl-audience.
He imagines he is a part of the new paradigm (indeed he apparently fantasizes that he is creating it), all while he is oblivious to the fact that his shtick, including the lies, is ten years behind the learning curve and as old school as a ram looking for a head to butt. He is likely not aware that he is butting heads with his own ghost. Not to worry though, scoring points with pearl-clutching women out of thin air is neither new nor so shopworn that it won’t still get some play. Though I do expect we will eventually see a one-up as followup article from PZ not too far down the road. If Fogg gets traction with the FTB crowd, Myers won’t long stay silent. He will be there with the “real, real, real” story on intimate partner violence. It will be alpha wars, a secular death match.
Here’s the rub. Fogg senses, and quite correctly, that the days of the old feminist narrative are coming to an end. He is betting that even the readers of FTB are starting to smell the coffee, even if it is the pedestrian, cheapo brand from the corner market. He knows that the vacuum left in formerly occupied space of feminist thought must, to one degree or another, correct misguided feminist dogma, thus his pointed but ineffectual attacks on their ideas and tactics.
He wants to be the correction, but his lead-in is just more toxic fakery. He advises us that two wrongs don’t make a right, and then proves it in spades.
He is recognizing, as apparently is PZ Myers, Lisa Hickey and every other ideologue slipping market ground because they don’t know what the fuck they are talking about when it comes to sexual politics, that a change in direction is needed.
Fogg’s biggest mistake is in that he is clueless about how and why things are actually changing. If he had said clue, this website would not be on his target list, and neither would people who actually know the subject matter. He certainly would not be spreading lies about them.
Men like Fogg are typically, however, far less interested in what is actually happening than they are in making themselves appear as though they are in the driver’s seat. Thus he is trying to establish himself as an expert on the new phenomenon, as a member of the vanguard — as The One Good Man.
What all this boils down to, as we continue to untether ourselves from 50 years of feminist agitprop, step around the occasional patch of semantic quicksand and bullshit from people like Fogg and begin to clear the rubble from a war of the sexes that was entirely concocted and waged by feminist ideologues, is that the only thing that will pull us out of the miasma of gender hatred will be a new social contract between men and women. It will require women developing a stomach for the truth, and men developing spine enough to speak it, even to women who can’t stomach it.
Truth. Critical word, that. And so is spine, Mr. Fogg.
Men like you, subscribing to lies, telling them, and disingenuously fucking other men over for the sake of female approval, are precisely why we are out here now, cleaning up the mess.
- The single most humiliating moment in Jessica Valenti’s public life - August 26, 2015
- I made the top 10 at Houston Press, barely. I have been cheated! - August 19, 2015
- Time for a National Whore’s Day or something - August 14, 2015
- Don’t mistake my nonviolence for pacifism - August 9, 2015
- AVfM Classics: the myth of women’s oppression - August 4, 2015