If women ran the world, there would be no war.
This isn’t a quote easily attributable to any one particular person, but it’s an idea which has entered mainstream thought and finds easy agreement. The quote is actually a mis-quote of the actress Sally Fields who said during an Oscar acceptance speech in 1980, “If Mothers Ruled the World There Would be No War”.
Violence, or the threat of violence – attributed to the MRM, is one of the principal foci of attack by opponents to the movement seeking human rights for men and boys. These attacks are not merely false; they are the opposite of the truth. While it is not complete to say so, it is true that the men’s rights movement is an anti-violence movement. In fact, one of the principal points in rejection of ideology opposing male human rights is the violence inherent in that oppositional ideology.
This is frequently repeated within men’s rights writing but is then either ignored or misunderstood by ideologues clinging to oppositional systems of dogma. Conformist writers following a populist narrative continue to recite versions of the simplistic and false claim that violence is gendered or that men are, by virtue of sexual identity, the source of violence or predation in human affairs. When examined in a clear light, the absurdity and hatred of these claims is obvious. However, in order to understand the basis for rejecting the ideology opposing male human rights, due to that ideology’s reliance on violence, the use of force through proxy must be examined and understood.
If two people have a disagreement of opinion and one of them attempts to sway the other’s point of view or change their course of action using violence, this is direct violence, which conforms to most people’s understanding of what violence is. This exists in the real world, but to imagine that all, or even most, violence fits into this extremely simple model is an incomplete concept. In the real world, violence is rarely placed in demand and initiated by the same individual. Most real-world violence is enacted by proxy.
Soldiers deployed to foreign countries and given duties which include killing brown people on oil bearing land are performing the proxy violence of the politicians whose executive instructions sent them there.
Police officers responding to a woman who claims her boyfriend did something which frightened her, who place him in handcuffs or remove him from the house prior to asking questions, whether her complaint had merit or not, are enacting proxy violence on behalf of that woman.
A man who uses violence on another man because the target of that violence offended or insulted somebody whose favor the aggressor seeks is enacting proxy violence on behalf of that person.
A woman who broadcasts her own grievance of impugned honor to chivalry-practicing males for them to redress on her behalf is, in many cases, making a plea for proxy violence.
These are blatantly obvious examples of violence by proxy, but many more types of violence, effected at once or more remove, can be listed.
In a society in which one demographic is known to carry the majority of violent criminal victimization (men), exclusive direction of efforts to reduce that violence to the demographic least impacted (women), is the implicit promotion of the ongoing brutalization of the first group. This is the maintenance of violence by proxy.
Many more examples could be listed, but are omitted here for brevity. The point being that violence in the real world doesn’t too often occur in a vacuum in which the direct participants, the aggressor and the subject of a violent action operate without relation to other indirectly participating actors. Adults with a functional grasp of reality will already be aware of this; however, such individuals form a small, vanishing fraction of the general public.
A number of writers addressing sub-cultures growing within the MRM, such as zeta masculinity and MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) – including myself – have explicitly rejected violence in their own philosophies. This includes the social expectation of enacting the proxy violence of others which seems to be accepted as normal within social conservative rhetoric. This is the assumed requirement for men to automatically participate in or to volunteer themselves as targets of violence on behalf of others. This social expectation is wholly irrational, not only in the automatic acceptance of or enactment of violence, but also in the de-valuation of the life and safety of any individual expected to buy into socially required violence by proxy.
It is startling when critics of this point of view characterize the explicit rejection of violence as if it is an endorsement or advocacy of the violent use of force. The degree of ideological distortion necessary for the rhetorical transmogrification of opposition to violence into enthusiasm for violence provokes the need to explain this reaction. Can these critics be simply lying? Perhaps they suffer from some form of dementia? Or is their ideology so immovable that a wholly fictional reality is superimposed on what filters through their eyes and ears before it is processed?
One example of this might be the oppositional reporting on a group of ideologues whose public rhetoric makes open advocacy of eugenics. A writer using the pseudonym Vliet Tiptree published this emotional call for an engineered program of extermination. Many months later, this nightmarish diatribe remains online, despite the public notice which followed commentary on that insanity by MRAs on this site. However, other ideologues, who claim a mandate to oppose violent hate organizations, listed as dangerous the activists exposing and opposing this endorsement of eugenics, omitting the author and supporters of the still-publicly visible call for human extermination by sex as violent hate mongers. Worse, the same organization previously exposed for their advocacy of eugenics and infanticide are now openly raising money on behalf of that self-styled anti-hate organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is now being openly funded by an organization which publicly calls for sexually selective eugenics and infanticide.
Neither hypocrisy nor corruption is adequate to any attempt at description of this situation.
To return to the discussion of indirect violence and violence by proxy: All over the world, violence by proxy is the rule, rather than the exception. Starting in January 2011 and continuing to the present, Egyptians have protested and assembled in public in opposition to President Mubarak. In these demonstrations, Mubarak’s security forces have brutalized, batoned, water-cannoned, run down with trucks, and shot hundreds of young Egyptian men. These security forces rain a torrent of brutal and deadly violence against the Egyptian civilian population.
Throughout this brutality, it’s necessary to note that all of this is violence by proxy, not the individual volition of members of those security forces to engage in coordinated campaigns of public abuse and killing. However, in December 2011, during a protest in which hundreds of civilians clashed with security forces inflicting Mubarak’s violence – a woman was shoved to the ground, kicked, and beaten by several baton-wielding security members and had her garment partially ripped, revealing her blue bra. This was certainly not the only woman subject to public abuse by Mubarak’s forces – and it must be noted that thousands of men were brutalized compared to relatively few women. However, in the international outrage that among the thousands of men killed, shot and bludgeoned, some women were similarly abused – nobody seemed to catch the meaning of Egyptian women’s protest in response to this incident.
Outraged that a handful of women were subject to the beatings and violence, which thousands of protesting men suffered, on Tuesday December 20, hundreds of Egyptian women took to the streets chanting “Drag me, strip me, my brothers’ blood will cover me.”
Piling on like lemmings, the international media roundly denounced the horrible, horrible brutality suffered by a handful of Egyptian females – as if the thousands of men truncheoned, run down with trucks, tortured, and variously murdered just didn’t count. But nobody seemed to grasp that the thousands of Egyptian women protesting the public beating of blue-bra-woman were pledging not themselves in protest, but their brothers. “Drag me, strip me, my brothers’ blood will cover me.”
The abject moral bankruptcy innate in this pledge, and the international community’s total failure to even notice that in a nation ruled under the supposedly woman-oppressing rule of Islam, thousands of women outraged that a handful suffered violence similar to what THOUSANDS of men suffered – these women pledged their brother’s blood in retribution.
This is the abject and total disposability of men, the promise of participation in violence and receipt of violence of men as proxies for the female protesters – shown in front of the entire world in bright Mediterranean sunlit illumination – “my brothers’ blood will cover me” promised in the public pledge of outraged Egyptian women. This is violence by proxy, and most of those brothers will take it, never even realizing that they count as lesser human beings to be used and killed to assuage their sisters’ and mothers’ outraged privilege.
Once the proxy violence is understood and recognized apart from the commonly held and simplistic view of direct violent application of force, it becomes useful to revisit the obvious fact that violence is abhorrent and repulsive to ethical human beings. That is to say, direct violence is repulsive and abhorrent to most of us, for some very practical reasons. Violence carries a high social, moral, and physical cost to anyone directly using it. Administration of direct violence against another person will produce social ostracism, penalties of law, as well as the real hazard of personal injury or death. All adults understand this instinctively, so of course we find it repulsive. This is why violence by proxy is so universally preferred by those whose ethical or moral failings lead them to the use of force in worldly dealings.
War is one of the most common and is the largest scale application of proxy violence in human affairs. However, to accomplish the sleight of hand necessary to manipulate thousands of young men to travel overseas and murder foreign brown people on oil bearing land, as well as cheerfully fill the role of receptacles for violence, is no simple task. In the run up to a government shipping men overseas to die, be maimed, and kill and maim foreigners it’s necessary to cultivate a public perception of the foreigners as either victims to be rescued or portrayed as horrible evil sub-humans who must be stopped. This is recognizable as an established pattern preceding every incident of the United States flexing their empire in the past several decades.
Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. Iraq under Saddam is an existential threat to peace. The Iraqi people are to be liberated from the oppression they suffer under the despotic regime of Saddam Hussein. All of these arguments were routinely circulated in mainstream media prior to the American invasion of Iraq. That is to say, the narrative of a deadly dangerous threat was fabricated and evangelized, in preparation for hundreds of thousands of young American men to enact the proxy violence of the American state against millions of Iraqis who were murdered through that proxy violence.
This is the creation and sale of a public narrative of danger and dehumanization of a target to be rendered an acceptable target of future violence. A similar phenomenon occurs as the pseudo-statist apparatus of the Southern Poverty Law Center propagates lists of hate groups, or “potential” hate groups, including pick up artists, social conservative women’s organizations like the Concerned Women of America as well as men’s rights activists. This is nakedly obvious as the cultivation of public acceptance for later proxy violence against named targets. Carefully omitted was an organization still openly advocating sex-selective child murder and eugenics. Although possibly their fundraising on behalf of the SPLC explains that omission? Of course, in pointing out the financial relationship between a group calling for the extirpation of humans based on their sex and an organization claiming to oppose hate organizations the hypocrisy is so blatant it has becomes unintentionally comic.
However, in spite of most people’s natural aversion and repugnance to direct violence, the indirect use of violent force comes easily to anyone able to disconnect initiation of violence from the direct practice and application thereof. There may be an argument to be made that males, traditionally both the actualizers and the recipients of the proxy violence of others, have a superior understanding and greater aversion to violence than women. But this is only conjecture, and posited as a question for later exploration rather than assertion as opinion.
Despite this, men and women both seem blithely willing to ignore the violence done by others, or to others, for their own benefit or convenience. Violence done on their behalf is what almost everybody is willing to ignore. What’s more, the violence done to them through indirection, the violence in the form of an invisible gun in the room while we all make believe that we are not being threatened with death or imprisonment whenever we have a pretend conversation. A conversation about how violence is gendered, that men are the violent, the brutal, and the evil. We will congratulate ourselves that rather than those bad men, we are good men, and in the case of women, of course, all women are good, because women, for their part, don’t generally do the heavy lifting of dispensing and, most convenient for everyone else, absorbing the proxy violence of others.
But we’re all willing to pretend proxy violence doesn’t curtain our decisions and we pretend we are above it, that the violence we denounce is not our own. It’s somebody else’s. Rather than see the moral cowardice of accepting proxy violence, we simply contrive to have its cost in damage, pain, and moral failure carried by somebody else. By men, obviously, and that fits in perfectly with the preferred narrative – that violence is simple, and direct, and that men are the ones who do it.
Because the critics of the men’s rights movement persist in behaving as if they are learning disabled, reality impaired, and bereft of comprehension, I’ll finish this with one more re-statement of what must in a sane reader now be known in the marrow of their bones. Violence is abhorrent to ethical human beings.