#MeToo is a deeply flawed movement – and, besides the innocent lives that it’s claimed, one of the most pernicious effects it’s having is the re-engineering of human interactions. Men, collectively, have been doing nothing wrong. Women, collectively, have no aversion to men showing sexual interest in them. And yet, I keep seeing young men wracked with shame, believing that their instincts are base and promising to lead their lives according to feminist dictates. Gentlemen, you are breaking my heart and you are on paths to break your own.
Before I go on, I want to address the MGTOW reader: I fully support your decision and I wish you a secure and fulfilling life. With this piece of writing, I am not advocating for young men to choose to pursue romantic relationships with women – I am, rather, aware that many will choose to do that and I want to talk to them about navigating that way of life without the undue shame that so many are self-reporting.
Historically, there have been swings between prudish oppression of sexuality and liberation. We are highly lucky to be living in a time of relative liberation. But we need to defend our freedoms. There is an innate goodness in the natural romantic interplay of human beings – sometimes funny or tragic when misdirected, sometimes utterly beautiful when it brings two people together to create something meaningful.
#MeToo tells us that women suffer a lack of respect from men – that this is a societal problem and that it needs to be fixed. This is a delusion. Women in our society are privileged, celebrated, shown concern and support by men on individual levels and in policy. The worlds of men and women have collided in recent history – and the experiment has gone remarkably well, especially for women. In the vast majority of cases, people have proven themselves to be capable of navigating complex relationship events completely without reference to feminism.
Of course there are antisocial individuals, male and female. And the best safeguard against children growing up to engage in antisocial behaviour that we know of is (as a rule) ensuring that they have meaningful relationships with their fathers as well as their mothers. Funny then that we don’t see many feminists protesting the systemic destruction of father-child relationships in family courts. What will not help is demonising an entire sex, driving a wedge between men and women and harking the archaic notion of female moral superiority.
Young men: your desires are not shameful. Your techniques to express sexual interest in women (even if they’re clumsy, as long as you take no for an answer when clearly expressed) are not shameful. Romantic experiences are not always going to work out as you would hope – but if some radical extremist overreacts, then the problem is with her, not you. I worry that you’re internalising feminist narratives but I think you have the capacity to recognise such situations. If your intentions were good and her response leaves you shocked and confused (if she tells you that your expressions betray misogyny or entitlement in particular) – there is a strong likelihood that you are a victim of hysterical and prejudiced emotional abuse with nothing to apologise for and nothing to beat yourself up over.
I highly recommend Darren Deojee’s engaging and important International Conference on Men’s Issues talk, ‘Positive Masculinity: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’. In it, Deojee advocates for young men to be shown patience and love and given space to mature emotionally. This culture of bullying men and boys needs to stop.
Think about the kind of language and the accusations that #MeToo advocates are using about men. Privilege, entitlement… They are all designed to perpetuate a cultural Marxist (oppressor/oppressed) narrative wherein the ends (protecting women from men) justify the means. This attitude has been shown consistently to be massively harmful – and the fact that it’s now being applied to gender relations (the foundation of society) is utterly disturbing and tragic and we should all be furious about it. It is this myopic misandry that is cultivating atmospheres where wolf whistling or asking for a woman’s phone number can be considered hate crimes.
There’s a thoughtful piece by David Shackleton in ‘Sons of Feminism’ that describes, amongst events, an experience he had when he led a men’s group. Three feminists came in to facilitate a discussion on whether men as a whole benefit from male violence against women in society. Without getting into details, nearly everyone in the room experienced others as powerful and themselves as disempowered. Shackleton writes that “power, between the genders at least, is very much in the eye of the beholder”. This suggestion that men express sexual interest in women (by vocalising it, looking at women, touching their knee…) because they feel entitled to women’s time, attention and bodies is ludicrous. It is my belief (tell me if I’m wrong) that you guys feel more like I have when expressing sexual interest in a potential partner – anxious, hopeful, and fundamentally certain that the power in the situation lies with the person in the position to accept or reject the offer.
Masculine energy is a powerful force (as is feminine energy) but our societies are not showing you how to harness it and they’re shaming you for your innate natures. Natures that are critically important to our societies, in large ways (that drive our development) and in small (personal) ways. Don’t accept the shame. The shame is rightfully on our societies. On our institutions, who have allowed a feminist minority to speak for us. On #MeToo that wants to govern the minutiae of your behaviour and subordinate your soul. Most women are non-feminist and more are waking up every day and rejecting this toxic ideology. We don’t hate you, because despite what Suzanna Danuta Walters claims, we have no right to hate you. Be authentic anyway – “it’s better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not”.