Men’s Rights Advocates have often watched with bemusement as newcomers arrive declaring support for men, with a resume saying just one thing: “I’m an antifeminist,” as if that were all we needed to know.
Because antifeminism and men’s rights activism is synonymous, right? This is literally what they assume.
With the resume tabled they quickly move to promote a gynocentric tradition that gushes about males saving women from floods, fires, bullets, or sparing them from minor inconveniences in life – like discomfort, dirt, criticism or employment. Feminine women, they say, are best preserved as home-makers; each woman as precious as the fingers of a concert pianist which must never be put under strain. Men, they say, are heroes, put on this earth to lift heavy things as Jordan Peterson would say, and lift them specifically for the fragile, and of course pregnant, womenfolk.
“Life back then was as close as we can get to perfect” they foam, “it was an arrangement that saw feminine women give compliments to men for ongoing sacrifices — an arrangement far superior to the feminist approach which goes out of its way to denigrate men while expecting those very same sacrifices to continue.”
It is superior because massaging a man’s ego in exchange for expected sacrifice is somehow less denigrating than saying, as the feminists do, “we hate you.” But is such gratitude really better when both feminist and traditionalist women continue to expect male servitude – when they both reduce men to the role of ‘do things for me’?
That is the essence of the deal: a little ego-stroking in exchange for a man destroying himself. She inflates his ego like a helium balloon, at least in the area of saving, serving and pedestalizing her, and he signs up for a smorgasbord of self-destructive sacrifices and an earlier death.
We could be forgiven for interpreting the traditionalist woman’s complimenting of male sacrifice as superficial gushing, offered up with all the sincerity of a Miss World candidate saying she wants to bring about world peace, while watching the corpses pile up around her.
That appears to be the gynocentric tradition that most anti-feminists are peddling, the one they would substitute in place of feminist models. Here I should add that not all traditionalists are like that – at least not for the tiny minority of red pill men and women who seek to preserve the otherwise valuable, non-gynocentric aspects of tradition.
Some readers might protest that we should be grateful for those charging forward to destroy progressive gynocentrism (feminism) in order to substitute traditional gynocentrism in its place. But for this old timer that program reads like a rejection of Judas, in order to take sides with Iscariot.
I’m sure you all get the point.
As Paul Elam once summarized, ‘anti-gynocentrism is the only anti-feminism that matters.’ Or to quote another MRA who understands this problem, Bryan Scandrett has referred to such traditionalist men and women as “I’m-not-a-feminist gynocentrist” (INAF-G).
Compare the traditional gynocentrist as described above with women who are neither feminist nor traditional gynocentrist; women like Janice Fiamengo, Suzanne McCarley, Elizabeth Hobson, Alison Tieman, Hanna Wallen and countless others who are as quick to question the unbalanced privileges of traditional women as they are the privileges held by feminists. The difference in perspective between these two kinds of women couldn’t be more stark.
The rest unfortunately are frauds, women masquerading as allies while inviting men to adopt a women-serving scam with the bait of a 1950s smock and a demure look, women who are today unwilling to match men with reciprocal gestures or labor, nor the shouldering of life’s stresses. When traditional gynocentric women are featured in media interviews, gushing praise for the usefulness of “masculinity” and “real men” who save women from house fires, one can’t help but notice there’s an absence of discussion of what’s in it for the men, as if its not a relevant concern.
Perhaps praising is a form of respect for men, but respect for what? On face value it looks like that of a narcissist who “respects” others as food to satisfy his/her impersonal gluttony for special treatment.
Perhaps I could be more generous and say that rather than trying to enslave men, the I’m-Not-A-Feminist Gynocentrists are simply behind the times, believing that they are championing the lesser of the only two evils on offer. They view it as the lesser of the two evils because, under traditional gynocentrism, men were at least complimented for their labor, and given medals after their deaths – a thing denied under the feminist vision which sees men and women as competitors for narcissistic turf in which only women receive compliments. Not men, but women alone are the ‘Stunning and the Brave.’
Sadly, the traditional contract under which that situation worked, the one that limited men’s and women’s options in favor of narrow set roles, can no longer work in a culture that refuses to encourage and support that same contract. Wave after wave of feminist activity has seen the toothpaste squeezed completely out of the tube. Women will never go back to the “role” of baby-making, apple-pie cooking wives, because any attempt to reduce women’s “multi-option” life will be met with resentment, if not interpreted as abuse. Therefore any attempts to enact that traditional role today will amount to little more than cosplay.
Swapping progressive gynocentrism for traditional gynocentrism is going nowhere. We can no more turn back the clock on ‘Women’s Liberation’ than we should ignore the fact that’s Men’s Liberation now is due–men who no longer need to be tied to the traditionalist role of He-for-She.
Before bringing this article to a close I want to come back to the question of what, if anything, is the value of anti-feminism for the men’s rights movement. To that, two of the more obvious answers come to mind.
Firstly, antifeminist work pushes back against efforts to create more He-For-She demands, e.g. for men’s supposed responsibility to stop partner violence; for men’s responsibility to address the ‘wage gap’; for men to assist in promoting affirmative action policies; to do more household chores; for taking up too much female space on public transport, or for not setting the office air conditioning to women’s desired temperature. These and many more ‘patrarchy-do’ lists amount to little more than collective female nagging, which anti-feminists are helping to call out in the public domain.
Secondly, anti-feminists fight the widespread censorship of men’s issues by feminists. The problem of feminist-driven deplatforming and censorship was even apparent in Ernest B. Baxs’ day, which he described in the year 1913; “[Feminists] seek to stop the spread of the unpleasant truth so dangerous to their cause. The pressure put upon publishers and editors by the influential Feminist sisterhood is well known.” In response there has always existed people within the MRM who push back against feminist-driven censorship of men’s issues, and indeed censorship from other sources, and this needs to continue with full force.
To put these two concerns in context, pushing back against feminist demands on men, and feminist censorship, have never been the only goal of the men’s movement despite claims by some that the MRM is synonymous with ‘antifeminist backlash.’ To suggest equivalence is to confuse purely antifeminist movements with the much broader portfolio of the men’s human rights movement.
A survey of the last 100 years reveals that the MRM is concerned more directly with issues impacting men and boys such as alimony, genital mutilation of male infants, homelessness, mental illness, false accusations, family court bias, suicide, child custody, low funding for male health issues, legal discrimination, educational performance, and misandry in mainstream culture just to name a few. And just as important, a pressing issue today is fostering of more life choices for men: Its time for men to embrace whatever options exist beyond the narrowly prescribed role of serving women – just as women long ago rejected narrow roles and responsibilities toward men.
The time for the multi-option man is now.