20 December 2009

Room for Improvement

Framing an Objective

The men's movement has come a long way in the past 8 years, when I was first introduced to it. Back then, the only site I could find that spoke to the inequalities I was living with was NiceGuy's, which was far from perfect. It wasn't always objective, it alienated people because it focused on criticizing women rather than solving problems, and so on. I'm not saying this is necessarily bad - catharsis and community are great - but it's far from the website you'd want to use as an introduction for a skeptic: someone who may be persuaded that feminism is bad, but who isn't sure just yet.

Further, after a few years, it seemingly dropped off the face of the earth and was hard to find. (It was recently resurrected, mind you, but my point was that even if there were sites that would crop up here and there about men's rights or critical of feminism, they were just as apt to disappear or fall into disrepair, too.)

As many have noted, feminism has made it extremely hard to get to the truth of the matter. To quote another blogger:

Being of an intellectual bent, I started investigating to see if my impressions were supported by facts.

It took a lot of digging. Feminists try to present themselves as a beleaguered minority, surrounded on every side by Neanderthals who constantly preach the inferiority of women, but try to find male chauvinist books and see if you can keep believing that. But I persevered, ordering expensive out of print books, scouring the internet, hunting through long books about neurology and history and so on to find one or two pertinent facts that had been allowed to slip through.

This is a problem that I would argue is alienating many potential allies. Many reasonable people might be thoroughly convinced, if only they could be led to the facts presented in an unbiased, impersonal and objective manner. (Free of the sort of justifiable yet off-putting indignation on display when NiceGuy greets users to his website by asking "Ever thought women suck? Then welcome!") Being that I am of a military bent these days, let me frame the problem using some military concepts.

Before enlisting in the Marine Corps, I decided it might be wise to familiarize myself with doctrine, and being that the Iraq War was the major conflict of the time, I thought it would behoove me to read the then brand-new Counterinsurgency Field Manual, produced in a joint effort between the Army and the Marine Corps. Perhaps it is a bit extreme to describe the situation with feminists as an insurgency, but the analogy does tickle me. In either case, paragraph 1-108 in the field manual states (emphasis my own):

In almost every case, counterinsurgents face a populace containing an active minority supporting the government and an equally small militant faction opposing it. Success requires the government to be accepted as legitimate by most of that uncommitted middle, which also includes passive supporters of both sides. (See figure 1-2) Because of the ease of sowing disorder, it is usually not enough for counterinsurgents to get 51 percent of popular support; a solid majority is often essential. However, a passive populace may be all that is necessary for a well-supported insurgency to seize political power.

Let's do a word swapping exercise. Way back in 1995, Christina Hoff Sommers wrote a book called Who Stole Feminism? and demonstrated that a (I think "militant" is a fitting adjective here) minority of feminists had stolen the mantle of the larger movement for nefarious purposes. From page 22: “Sex/gender feminism (“gender feminism” for short) is the prevailing ideology among contemporary feminist philosophers and leaders. But it lacks a grass roots constituency.” This is the "equally small militant faction" opposing the "government" mentioned above. For our purposes, replace the word "government" with something more relevant - like, say, sanity, society, or whatever.

Meanwhile, the active minority that can be found supporting sanity/society/whatever would be places like The Spearhead and NiceGuy's MGTOW Forums, among other sites. The vast majority of people, however, exist in that large undecided middle, and that's where the true contest is. Being that feminism has all of the current political support, it isn't necessary for this middle to actively believe in their philosophy, so long as they aren't actively trying to destroy/inhibit it. Passive acquiescence is all feminism needs of the majority of people at this point; the men's movement needs something more substantial from that, and would benefit most by having a targeted effort to get that large, undecided majority to do something about feminism. And an important point to consider is the "ease of sowing disorder," which I think is pretty self-evident. Even reasonable people can be convinced of unreasonable things. I think many of us have had the experience of coming to the light from out of the darkness that is the feminist doctrine and all of its lies. They have proven themselves to be very good at sowing disorder indeed, but this could be combated by a reliable website with easy to navigate links to all the sources, facts, and figures that prove feminism isn't what it claims to be.

Luckily, the situation isn't an actual insurgency. We don't have to worry about massive undertakings like providing a stable infrastructure to the undecided middle (electricity, plumbing, access to food and security, etc) and waging a literal war with bullets and IEDs and so forth. However, in keeping with the analogy, let's talk about "infrastructure" for a bit.

Making Progress

If we liken the progress made by the disparate elements of the men's movement to a military assault, we're now in the phase where we need to consolidate. As far as I can tell, we have a whole bunch of great people working towards the same ends but in their own ways and with their own direction. Collectively, it's apparent that headway has been made, but to truly capitalize on the progress that's been made it is necessary to regroup before pushing forward. By regrouping, we can: assess where it is that we stand relative to our opposition, take a tally of our progress and figure out what battles we've won, and most importantly chart a course for the future.

Another part of consolidating our effort would be to potentially bring more people into the fold. To get back to the first quote I brought up, it is currently very hard to dig for information regarding the true state of affairs with the feminist movement. To that end, I propose someone design a single website to address this issue. While the sites I've mentioned before may be great for communities of like-minded individuals, what we really need is a website that addresses the undecided, middle-ground skeptic I've been talking about in this post.

The web-site should be a concise and articulate distillation of the very best essays and posts that the men's movement has created so far. It must be designed with a purpose in mind, the purpose being to convince skeptics that feminism is not a healthy philosophy to adopt, support or even abide through passivity. There should be a clear introduction, then pages that expound a bit on various issues the introduction brings up, and then a conclusion that directs readers to where they can get more information or start doing something about the problem.

Something kind of like this, except for the men's movement.

If there already is a site of this sort out there, I haven't found it. That's kind of telling, considering I've been looking for one like it for a long time (to include a pretty thorough search over the past few days). Whether or not a site is out there or we need to create one, we need to promote it. Realize that the undecided middle probably isn't going to be able to devote every waking hour (or perhaps not even a full waking hour each day!) to this cause or to researching it. That is why it is important to distill the crux of the movement down to some concise and potent analyses. Once someone's mind has been opened that way, they can then utilize the site to more fully explore the issues that concern them.

This website would be analogous to building infrastructure in a counterinsurgency operation to win the faith of the undecided majority. It would provide them with all the resources they would need to answer questions and criticisms that would arise from shrugging off feminist doctrine. It would point them to communities of like-minded individuals with a wealth of experience dealing with the problems that could arise from shirking off such a philosophy.

What do you think? Comments are welcome and encouraged.


Solaris said...

JJ, I love reading your stuff. I don't often comment, but you go into so much depth and detail that I really feel I get a good insight into where you are coming from. Keep plugging away dude. Like Rocky says, it isn't about how many times you hit, but about how many times you can GET hit and keep standing.

NiceGuy eventually found Haruna, and I don't doubt you'll find what you're looking for, regardless of what form it takes.

J. Durden said...

Thanks Solaris. Niceguy was one of the first bloggers I ever started reading, back when I was 12.

I also have some posts over at The Spearhead you might enjoy reading.