A few months ago, I posted an article on AVfM talking about the use of language within the MRM. In particular I mentioned my own preference in avoiding use of the word mangina. My stated reason was that the word – appropriately insulting to collaborating male feminists – lacked in explanatory power to members of the general public.
Another reason I left unstated was beyond addressing an audience of informed men’s rights activist readers, the writing on this site has an unceasingly broad audience of the undecided public. In addition to providing A Voice For Men who’ve realized they’re effectively silenced and ignored in most other public venues – this site has the goal of illuminating the phenomena of male dispossession in an increasingly misandric culture.
One of the measures of our success is the appearance of mainstream writing which lifts content and ideas directly from articles on this site and others. When MRM writing appears in places like the washington post, huffpo, and the times online – we’re winning.
This returns us to language, and the impact of how we use it. A great example of how to alienate an undecided audience was provided by our dear comrades over at feministing dot com. In an August 25 article called “Fear Factor: Mansplaining edition,” Chloe Angyal used the term in apparent ignorance of how revealing it is. “Mansplaining” for those recently arrived on the planet is a term employed by feminists to belittle and deride any argument fielded from a male perspective. An explanation is something to consider, reject, or understand. However, by employing the comical and derisive term “mansplain” – any argument can be dismissed without consideration.
Lets assume person A and Person B are debating two different theories of economics.
Person A presents their case and lays out the logic. Person B then presents an alternative argument, laying out a logical path to their own theory. It happens that person B is black, or African-American, or whatever politically correct term you like. Their surplus of melanin has no impact on the argument presented by person B – and in fact, they may have presented a stronger argument in this debate. Person A responds to the argument of person B by ignoring the details and denouncing the entire train of logic with the comical characterization “nigger-splaining”. The audience laughs, person B’s argument is not considered.
This is nothing new from big feminism, but the term shines a bright light on the hatred and sexism underlying an ideology claiming to pursue “equality.”I’ll thank the editors of feministing for so neatly outing themselves, and for the salutary lesson to writers and activists actually pursuing human rights.
With respect to my esteemed philosophical opponents, it could be that your purpose is to serve as a warning to others, and that is a noble purpose. However, as a contributor and writer on a MRM-themed site, I have to assume an audience sufficiently astute that bludgeoning readers with hyperbole, distilled hatred and obvious sexism would be counter-productive in presenting my views. When building arguments based on truth, and with a broadening audience, one of the goals of my writing is to encourage borrowing of content by mainstream channels. In pursuit of this, I’ll be developing what Fidelbogen has recently and beautifully described as rhetorical discipline.
This does not mean I will be softening my stated position. In fact, I’ll offer none of the concession to sensibilities of the wacky-cheese-fries eating public accommodated in previous content on this site.
The increasingly diverse audience of MRM writing on AVfM and elsewhere signals a change in the landscape. The issues addressed in men’s movement writing are increasingly adopted by writers for major media outlets, and this presents an opportunity which will be missed if we don’t shape our rhetoric to a wider audience. That means, my brothers – I will be sharpening my pen – and I encourage you to do so also.