In the first installment of this series, I introduced my ex-friend W. and explained how we met, became friends, fought and broke up. This installment describes what happened after that.
Tight Angry Circles
I emailed him offering to return the graphic tablet he had given me. In the email chain that followed, he blamed me for his fit of rage:
“The reason why this exploded is that you said the following things:
“There can be no sexism against men.” and I can not believe that someone who fights against discrimination (and I count feminism fighting against discrimination of women on the same page as any other movement fighting against discrimination and one of the most important things in our society) would fight this fight by being discriminating against the other side.”
“I understand that women have it bad, but telling the other side they have nothing to do but shut up, is not going to help solving the problem. You don’t get people on your side by automatically pigeonholing them based on the fact they were born a different gender and therefore are part of the global patriarchy conspiracy oppressing women JUST because they were born a man.”
- No one ever told him to shut up. He’s strawmanning.
- Women don’t need to mince their words lest they scare the men away. That kind of tone policing is routinely deployed to silence women.
- He claims feminism is important but that patriarchy is just a “global conspiracy“.
He thinks feminism should be some kind of “feminism” that placates men – and that he himself is not part of an oppressor class keeping women down, but a special snowflake who should be exempt from any criticism or responsibility because he considers himself a good guy.
“I never told you to shut up. I did tell you that you passively benefit from sexism even if you personally don’t do anything to harm a woman. ” – me
( The next two emails from him are just links to propaganda written by female MRAs, including some antifeminist handmaiden named Erin Pizzey who makes a lucrative living lecturing about how domestic violence statistics are false and that women are equally to blame for domestic violence and that radical feminism is some money-making racket. I will not include those links here, as those sites don’t deserve more traffic).
“Yeah, I get it. You hate feminism. Anything else new?” – me
“Have you ACTUALLY listened to what that woman had to say?
You want me to educate myself, but you need to look at more than what you are being fed by one part of feminists. There’s a much bigger picture than ‘women are victims of men, period.'” – W.
If you say ‘not all men’ when a woman discloses her horror at the violence committed against her and other women because they are women, you need to ask yourself why you are so defensive. And then you need to listen to what women are saying.‘Not all men’ is a derailing tactic. It forces women to stop talking about the violence committed against us, and instead start reassuring men. And then the conversation comes to a halt. The conversation stops being about male violence against women, and instead becomes a cookie hunt.— Sian, from this blog post.
- Yeah, I tend to refuse to believe bullshit. It’s a personal quirk of mine.
- Insinuating that victims are really just victimizing themselves is gaslighting and a hallmark of a verbal abuser. But as far as victimhood goes, let’s have a look at that:
When we look at homicide, there is no sex equivalence, women are overwhelmingly killed by men; men too, are overwhelmingly killed by men. When men kill their women partners and ex-partners, it is usually after subjecting them to years of abuse, the comparatively few women who kill male partners or exes, usually do so after they themselves have been subject to years of abuse. There is no equivalence, not in rate, not in precursor to killing. — Karen Ingala Smith
- “Feminists are oppressing women! They’re just as bad as men!” is yet another classic MRA derail.
- “…total refusal to look into matters.” Because he’s so open-minded!
- “…other forms of feminism” = “some kind of ‘feminism’ that doesn’t hold men responsible for what they do to women”
“I don’t want you to educate yourself. Not if it means going to MRA sites and buying into conspiracy theories about domestic violence statistics. Reading those sites is only going to make you even more full of rage than you already are.” – me
“Yes, you’re a victim and your feminism wants you to stay a victim. You should maybe have a long think about that concept. You are totally not open to the fact that the whole men/women dynamic is so much more complex than “women are victims“. -W
“And that’s not disrespecting your views, it’s questioning them and trying to show you things that actually also make a lot of sense and could be a positive thing instead of ‘being a victim and being oppressed every day.'” – W.
- He denies disrespecting my views while trying to foist MRA sites on me. And then accuses me of being closed-minded. Ha! It’s not clear to me how he thinks MRAs could be a positive thing. I can’t sink to that level of stupid.
Speaking of being oppressed:
“You’ve constantly been linking articles to me that only enforce your view on the matter and confirm your beliefs. But any other voice is just anti-women propaganda even if it comes from other women. (Who are then in league with the patriarchy for their own benefit probably).” – W.
Here’s another video from Steve Shrives, who doesn’t even like radical feminism, but who does know that women are actually oppressed. Because I’m so narrow-minded and only link to radical feminist stuff.
“A movement that fights discrimination of one group of people based on their gender does not fight it by lobbing everyone of the other gender automatically in one group to be fought because it would mean they do the exact same thing they are fighting.” – W.
- Women can’t do “the same thing they are fighting”, because they don’t have the institutional power or privilege to oppress men. This is Feminism 101. Sorry, dude.
- “Not all men….” the classic MRA derail.
The fact that someone says that radical feminism is about money is probably very shocking to you. Watch a few more videos about or with Erin Pizzey. I found her very honest and having good arguments and she wasn’t hating on women unless you think someone who was like the first person to provide women shelters a woman hater.” – W.
- “Honest” to W. means “sharing W.’s perspective and opinions.” “Dishonest” to W. means “not sharing W.’s perspective and opinions.”
- Erin Pizzey gets paid a lot of money for saying radical feminism is all about money. Ironic, no?
- He loves Erin Pizzey and thinks she’s so “honest” because she plays to his prejudices. She sucks up to men, so of course men are going to love her. And, yes. She is in league with the patriarchy. Quite a few women are; they value the short-term benefits of aligning themselves with men more than the long-term progress of women’s rights.
Patriarchy is not men. It is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.
— Ashley Judd
The positions of power are arranged in a patriarchal society in such a way and are defined in such a way that almost always it seduces women into selling out other women.
— Mary Daly
So I’m not surprised, much less shocked, that the Erin Pizzeys of the world are willing to throw other women under the bus for a few extra bucks.
“Women hating women is nothing new. Women who hate women get rewarded by men who hate women. Radical feminism is not about money. Few of us have any. By the way, the first people to provide women shelters were radical feminists.
If you’re going to critique radical feminism, try actually critiquing what actual radical feminists have to say, rather than relying on the criticism of others.
Speaking of questioning views, I notice that you get very angry when YOUR beliefs are questioned. And you seem to think mockery and bullying are going to convince me that your viewpoint is best.” – me
“I don’t want to argue about it. I’m trying to make you think and look beyond what radical feminism feeds you.
I have nothing to gain from it. Nothing I can say makes any difference anyway. Even telling you in all honesty that you’re not ugly is questioned because I am a man and therefore automatically dishonest. If you think that is normal I don’t know what to tell you, nor do I want to continue the argument. I am a man, my arguments are invalid because I was born with a certain set of chromosomes.
No worries I will not blame women nor will I sign up for the men’s rights movement. I simply don’t care anymore at this point.” – W
- He doesn’t want to continue the argument, because his reasoning is poor and he knows it. So he shits out the same shit as ever, and then runs away.
- He has “nothing to gain” but the pleasure of dominating another person, of Being Right, of browbeating them into changing their worldviews to suit his own.
- Why is he trying to “make me think and look beyond what radical feminism feeds me“? Like I’m a stupid little sheep? Radical feminism is not some kind of cult that brainwashes women. He, on the other hand, is showing way too much interest in making me think a certain way – HIS way. That’s either rank hypocrisy or a stunning lack of self-awareness on his part.
- He assumes that I’ve never thought or looked at or tried any other worldview than a radical feminist one.
- I never said he was automatically dishonest because he’s a man. I’ve told him this over and over. He keeps repeating it. He’s deliberately misrepresenting my position so that he can tear it down. This from a person who supposedly values honesty above all things.
- He denies blaming women or being an MRA, but his language and arguments are straight out of the MRA playbook. He might as well sign up for the men’s rights movement and make it official. In a way he’s worse than the obvious MRA losers, because he keeps up this facade of being reasonable until you get closer to him.
The story doesn’t end there, though it probably should have. Despite all that had happened I was still emotionally attached, and probably it was wishful thinking that made me believe if I only found the right way to explain my views to him that he would finally understand.