incels and choices

A somewhat disappointing trend is the feminist article castigating incels for their misogyny. Well…yeah, but it REALLY doesn’t help the cause for women to respond by emphasizing incels’ unattractiveness.

Jill Richardson wrote a standard article in this genre: Want to attract women? Try not hating us.

These are straight men who, frustrated by their lack of romantic success, channel their feelings into hatred of women. Some even resort to violence. In Toronto, that meant striking dozens of people with a van, killing 10.

Others post online about how much they enjoy simply following women around in a threatening way, getting some kicks by scaring them.

True, and the word “misogyny” doesn’t do much to explain it. It’s like saying opium causes sleepiness because of its “dormitive principle”. This is the explanation Richardson proposes:

I would hazard a guess that many of these guys have been sold an unattainable model of masculinity. Sociologists talk about masculinities, plural. There’s more than one way to identify as a man. Just like there’s more than one way to identify as a woman.

Some men might want to be physically strong, fearless, or popular with women. Perhaps they see themselves as the providers and protectors for their families.

Men in professional careers might derive their masculinity through their role as experts. Maybe they couldn’t go out in the woods for a week and come back with an elk they shot themselves, but they can dominate a courtroom as a lawyer, or perform surgery, or even demonstrate more knowledge of Star Trek trivia than anyone else around.

Others might take a more modern view. A man can wash the dishes. A man can share housework with his partner. He might even take paternity leave and take pride in his role as a new dad caring for his baby.

This guy doesn’t have to prove himself with muscles or rigid gender roles. He can share decision-making and power with his partner without feeling like he’s doing “women’s work.”

Feminists said in the 1970s that being a woman is what each woman wants to make of it. If you want shopping and fashion and babies, you go girl! If you want to run for president, you go do that.

More men need to embrace this message for themselves. They can be whoever they want and their “manhood” isn’t at stake. It’s cool.

The real problem is men and women not understanding each other. “Sociologists talk about masculinities, plural.” And? First, there’s strong external pressure to be masculine in particular ways. On an existential level, it’s a choice. In practice, it’s the prevailing patriarchy, which determines the behavior of both men and women.

She lists examples of men that are good at masculinity in some way, completely missing the point that incels are bad at being masculine, in all ways that count towards sexual attractiveness. It’s involuntary, so what they think of themselves isn’t entirely the issue.

Richardson is writing as a feminist woman, being explicit about the type of behavior she expects from men, as a feminist. Feminists agree that the personal is the political, right? She’s laying out the rules for how to be attractive and thus not celibate anymore.

No, this is not about male sexual entitlement, in the sense of “you owe me sex for doing XYZ.” It’s about defining the general norms of society, which behaviors are rewarded and which are looked down on.

Richardson is announcing general guidelines for behavior, with the implicit promise that this is what feminists want. Men who want to be wanted will comply with the norms of society and do certain things.

On a basic level of interpersonal trustworthiness, feminist women damage the cause every time they make anti-feminist decisions in their personal lives and sleep with assholes. Women know this, which is why there’s a genre of magazine article about soothing guilt feelings for behaving completely contrary to one’s stated values.

The feminist gives a message of hope: you can transform yourself into someone fuckable. If said feminist actually fucks Chad and then Chump Who Listened To Feminists hears about it, said chump will then experience envy of Chad and a sense of the feminist having betrayed him. Nerd rage.

The problem with incels is that they also don’t see beneath the surface.

One of the girls said the most remarkable thing. She only has sex while shooting porn, because the pain from a relationship ending was so great that she can’t risk ever repeating it. Incels have a hard time imagining how life could be miserable even if you’re having sex all the time, so it seems implausible that the normal people are miserable and what they want so bad isn’t worth it. Easy to say for someone who had sex that morning…

A rational observer would be right to conclude that you’re more likely to have sex with that girl by mistreating her on camera than you are by connecting with the innermost self she dissociates away.

Another amazing scene in the movie involves a porn guy who starts dating one of the girls. At first they had porn-style sex, but lo!, they slowed down and it was, like, intimate. So much better, bro! In other words, even porn guys agree with bell hooks about porn sex vs. good sex.

The best sex and the most satisfying sex are not the same. I have had great sex with men who were intimate terrorists, men who seduce and attract by giving you just what you feel your heart needs then gradually or abruptly withholding it once they have gained your trust. And I have been deeply sexually fulfilled in bonds with loving partners who have had less skill and know-how. Because of sexist socialization, women tend to put sexual satisfaction in its appropriate perspective. We acknowledge its value without allowing it to become the absolute measure of intimate connection. Enlightened women want fulfilling erotic encounters as much as men, but we ultimately prefer erotic satisfaction within a context where there is loving, intimate connection. If men were socialized to desire love as much as they are taught to desire sex, we would see a cultural revolution. As it stands, most men tend to be more concerned about sexual performance and sexual satisfaction than whether they are capable of giving and receiving love.

Surely some of the many women Porn Guy slept with caught feelings for him, so the opportunity was there all along and wasted on him, spreading pain through the universe. It was just THAT important to repress tender feelings as much as possible at all times, or your dick shrinks a full two inches. How will you fuck bitches if you, yourself, are a little bitch?

Those guys, the most emotionally retarded of all people, set the tone of mass sexuality.

You know what isn’t cool, though? Taking your insecurity about your masculinity out on women. It’s not our fault you subscribe to some ridiculous idea of masculinity that says you must achieve prowess in the bedroom — and worse, that it’s our job to help you attain it.

The joy is evident when women make fun of men who can’t get laid. Be honest. This attitude is what’s fucking everything up.

If some guy wants to have good sex before dying, and he asks enlightened women what to do, and they tell him to fuck off, what then? He’ll turn to men who do, in fact, make a living off helping him attain it.

The view of women espoused by incels is, frankly, disgusting. It assumes we do everything with reference to men. We exist for men. When we get dressed in the morning, we’re trying to attract men. We want them to look at us. We consider ourselves successful when alpha male types want to sleep with us.

I don’t know even a single woman that would describe herself in that way.

Women exist for ourselves. We dress in ways that make us feel good, to express ourselves. Sometimes we do things for an audience of other women. (I often get compliments on my purse from other women, never from men.)

We aren’t looking for some stereotypical alpha male to pick us up. We want to meet people who treat us like human beings and engage with us as equals.

It doesn’t matter if the women behaving that way describe themselves as behaving that way. It matters that women behave in a way that describing them as such is convincing.

Without an idea of where desires come from, relying on the existence of a desire is incredibly naive. Everybody knows that we live in a society based on marketing and advertising, demand generation. Billions of dollars are spent by strangers to make us want things. Third wave feminist crap only makes sense if you pretend that’s not true.

The single biggest reason a woman might reject sexual advances from an incel isn’t because of the size of his body parts, his bank account, or anything else. It’s because he holds a view of women that’s hateful and disgusting.

Want to attract women? Try not hating us.

The idea is to prevent people from reaching the point of looking at incel stuff on the internet.

Stop lying that hating women is an obstacle to having sex with them.

It should be obvious that anti-feminist women hurt the credibility of feminism. It’s just like Kanye West does damage by saying slavery was voluntary.

Having alienated the men, women create echo chambers amongst themselves where they get each other’s blessing for all the things they know better than to do. Like to get tied up, beaten, and degraded? Go girl! Self-objectify? Make choices, sister! Sexually reward assholes to avoid intimacy? Sexual autonomy, babe! This is not good.

There you have it. Porn is the essence of capitalism. Rashida Jones thinks that means there’s some good to it. Ok…It certainly illustrates what Gail Dines is talking about here:

Jill Richardson’s article makes the same mistake. It thinks of masculinity as a choice instead of a social norm that’s created in part by the way women exercise their agency.