What’s going on? I keep hearing about an organisation and everything about it is derogatory, inflammatory, or just plain gob-smacking. I always hear about it via the numerous online channels I follow. It goes like this:
1) Some guy (an ‘activist’) makes a remark or takes an action about women, or feminism, or feminists, or attacks a movie containing a woman, or something …
2) … and his remark/action is quickly and widely reported, and …
3) everybody (EVERYBODY!) either jeers at him or rushes to take his side.
4) Millions or words are tweeted/blogged/printed/turned into entire paying articles
5) and everybody (EVERYBODY) becomes more entrenched in their gender politics.
It is a war. A contrived war. A propaganda war. It has been going on for millions of years and it is now entering a new phase of viciousness and intensity.
I can understand why. As we dance upon the three swords of the Victim Triangle (forced by our forebears who were also forced into it) and as that triangle forces us to choose a corner by the combined weight of our upbringing and conditioning, tropes and fairy stories and general cultural baggage, not to mention (for some) a literal struggle to survive appalling poverty, class-ism, racism and sexism …
… As we do all this, we take sides. Whether by conscious choice, or unconscious. (Or if you are in that final category you’re taking a stance or a position of attitude in order to not get raped, or shot, or enslaved, or starve, or all of the above.)
And who are the enemy? MEN!
Heh. Just yanking yer chain. Did you suddenly feeling agitated? Did you shout in agreement? Did you abruptly stop reading? Good. I got you hooked. <evil laughter>
The real enemy, and the only enemy, is the Patriarchy.
It’s not a single person or a single gender. It’s not an Evil Mad Scientist or a Superhero Turned-Bad. It’s damn-near immortal. It resides in every one of us to some degree or other. It is self-replicating and is doing exactly that right now in almost every family in the world, in every school, in every love-affair, in every chamber of government, in nearly every movie ever made; book written; play staged. Nearly every news editor is re-iterating it daily. Nearly every film director; writer; animator; trope-user; headmaster; PR or marketing exec; they’re unconsciously re-injecting it into our veins. I’ve probably done it in every book I’ve ever written, despite trying not to.
It’s damned hard to declare war on something like that. It would be easier to defeat Godzilla. Or Batman. Or Theresa May. Or a … no, not a volcano. No.
One of the joys of privilege is being comfortably numb. And the very best-est privilege in the world is White/Male (I-Had-Wealthy-Parents-and-I’m-Heterosexual) Privilege. If you’re that guy then the Patriarchy is for you. It’ll smooth your way to the very top, where you can be … Oh; say: President … while retaining your right to be a totally racist sexist pussy-snatching domineering (probably rapist) arsehole.
But it’s a prick of a thing too. It’s vicious. If you don’t make it to the top, you’re trampled. It will target your every weakness. “Oh, so you’re still in touch with your feminine side? Ya girl’s blouse!” “Ah, so you care about the environment? Geez, mate, we don’t need your sort on the top table!” “You’re Aboriginal? – Go to Jail!” … Etc.
<Hushed voice> “… here we see the Alpha Male surrounded by his harem of fertile females. He will mate with every one of them as they come on to heat, but he has to fight off his rivals every time. They are drawn to his privileges by raw biological compulsion. Eventually, one of them will win and a new alpha male will take the throne, immediately forced to play out the same vicious, life-and-dead game …” [**]
Human societies, with few exceptions, have been structured on the same model ever since. That Weinstein creep? He was acting no different to his alpha male forbears. Capitalism? – It’s just ‘Patriarchy’ written with cash.
And it sucks. It has always sucked. Every one of us is a victim: the environment; a multitude of ethnic groups and cultures (some completely wiped out); men, women. Even Donald Trump. Yes, because in order for any man to climb the entire Pole of Privilege, he has to destroy dozens of vital parts of his humanity. It’s simple math: You cannot be an utter arsehole until you’ve killed 98% of you human soul. The Patriarchy teaches boys that from the very get-go. I learnt not to cry, then I learnt to kill.
Anyway, back to that mystery I opened with. The organisation is called ‘Men’s Rights’. I know nothing about it except what I receive via social media, news sites and discussions. The impression I get is that the Men’s Rights organisation is made up of jerks uttering the worst possible extremes of chauvinism and sexism – arrogant bleatings from frightened men. Fearing for their very balls, you’d think. Throw-backs. Cavemen.
And maybe they are.
OR: maybe it hides a few trolls, and they make it their business to rush forwards at pre-determined times to lob their troll-grenades, and the Media love the grenades so much they rush them into the centre of town and make sure they explode to maximum effect.
And thus the Troll-grenades achieve the perfect result: everyone takes sides. Everyone becomes entrenched. Feminists are disgusted. They jeer (rightly so) – which the media then reshapes to make them look as bad as the trolls. In fact the whole world jeers, but every undercurrent is media-shaped. The tides of opinion shift a little more, attitudes harden, and the possibilities of a united front retreat even further. We’re being used.
This is what is Happening: The masses are being shaped to believe any organisation advocating for men is silly, or dangerous, or full of pathetic whingers with a trite agenda. (It’s happening for me, I’m believing it, yet I actually belong to a men’s organisation!)
Notice the perfection in this: Instead of seeing the real enemy (Patriarchy), everyone sees the false enemy: That Other Gender. “Women are to blame for our problems! Look what they’re doing to us: destroying our manhood. F*king Feminists!” “Men are such idiots! Worse than that, they’re all rapists at heart! Keep attacking their centres of power!”
This is what is happening: The Extreme Right, bastion of male power and privilege and Capitalism (identical, really), are afraid. These mega-billionaires (like that alpha-male anxiously herding and palisading his harem while the buck-males constantly circle), are living in fear of losing it all. The thing they fear the most is the power of women, and the very worst thing would be if the most insightful, most emotionally evolved and self-aware men in the world were to ally themselves with those same scary women.
But today’s alpha males got to the top by cunning, not by brute strength, and I believe their rat-cunning is now proactively operating a well- known tactic: Divide & Conquer.
This is what is happening: The Extreme Right are paying their minions to find and fund* the trolls, egging them on to make yet another dumb-arse pronouncement about Star Wars, or worse (Hot topics? Perfect!). Cue Hot-headed/dim-witted Troll; he dashes out of the Troll-Gate, lobs his grenade (which, seriously, isn’t worth shit), and The Extreme Right, via their other minions the Media, make damn sure the resultant shit-storm gets full, foaming-at-the-mouth coverage. And the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ gets another boost. Another win to ‘Them’, another loss to humanity.
This is what is happening: The two sets of activists who really need to work together are constantly getting tricked into fighting each other. Every time we buy into Their carefully engineered game-plan, we get screwed. What do you think?
[ * I have absolutely no proof, but hell: we can detect planets around distant stars. My conclusions are based on the same extrapolative methodology.]
[** Bonobos are actually a matriarchal society, but the photo was just perfect!]