Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

The Meek Inherit Jack Shit; or, Why the Manosphere is Angry


Last week, I was interviewed by a major news outlet who is working on a story about the manosphere. It went better than I expected, but midway through, the reporter asked me about the level of “hatred” and “vitriol” in the manosphere and what I think of it. My answer ran along the lines of the Private Man’s recent arguments that masculine anger is a necessary and transitional aspect of the manosphere; men who have been screwed over in more ways than one over the course of their lives have every right to be angry, and that with the exception of the MRA/MGTOW permavirgins, men get over their anger eventually and move on.

But from a more practical standpoint, what do men have to lose from being angry and confrontational?

The answer is nothing, because in the past three decades, any man who so much as deviates from the accepted script of eternal female victimhood and eternal male oppression is tarred and feathered as a irredeemable misogynist. It doesn’t matter how conciliatory or polite they are, how carefully they phrase their arguments so as not to offend anyone, or even how much legitimate work they’ve done on behalf of women’s rights: they are automatically kicked out of the club.

My personal favorite examples of this are Warren Farrell and Robert Bly. Farrell’s masterwork, The Myth of Male Power, is easily one of the most influential books in the manosphere and modern masculine thought; even if you haven’t read it, you’ve read its ideas regurgitated on the Internet somewhere. Published back in 1993, The Myth of Male Power was one of the first books to confront the feminist idea that men are a monolithic oppressor class by showing the many spheres of society in which men are disadvantaged, from education to homelessness to the military.

And it was written by a lifelong feminist.

Actually, calling Farrell a mere “feminist” is like saying that Bull Connor didn’t like black people; not only is he committed to equal rights and a former women’s studies professor, Farrell remains the only man who’s been elected three times to the Board of Directors of NOW’s New York City chapter. Indeed, it was Farrell’s commitment to feminism that inspired him to write The Myth of Male Power to begin with; he noticed in his studies and work that many of the claims about men pushed by feminists, such as the pay gap, were either exaggerated or simply untrue.

How did feminists react to the book? By giving Farrell the Night of the Long Knives treatment.

When The Myth of Male Power was published, Farrell’s former friends and allies kicked him out into the cold without a second thought, despite the fact that he wrote the book from a feminist, egalitarian perspective. To this day, his speeches at college campuses and other locales are marked by throngs of feminist protesters calling him a misogynist, a woman-hater and every other name under the sun.

As for Robert Bly, he came to fame around roughly the same time that Farrell did, as the head of the “mythopoetic men’s movement.” Bly’s philosophy, as detailed in his book Iron John, is about re-imagining masculinity to be less violent, less macho, and more sensitive, a bizarrely selective reading of history married with a New Age mindset:

Bly understood some of the problems men and boys were facing as they stood in the rubble of patriarchy, looking up to rising women. However, his solutions were forced and his New Agey tone had limited appeal. The idea of grown men going out into the woods to sit in drum circles, read poetry and talk about their feelings was cringe-worthy. It also seemed spoiled and self indulgent. But the biggest problem with Bly’s reimagining of masculinity was that it lacked balls.

Bly’s “wild men” are basically a bunch of fags. Anyone who’s seen or studied their movement in any detail can see this for themselves. A few years ago, The Daily Show did a segment on the mythopoetic men’s movement in which correspondent Samantha Bee called the men “pussies” to their faces. Only the most paranoid, emotionally fragile feminist could find these guys offensive.

You know what’s coming next.

When Iron John was published in 1990, it inspired a hysterical feminist response in the form of The Politics of Manhood: Pro-Feminist Men Respond to the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement (and the Mythopoetic Leaders Answer). As Jack Donovan writes in No Man’s Land, the book accused Bly of being homophobic and misogynistic, among other ridiculous claims. Michael Kimmel, the editor of The Politics of Manhood, would later go on to write his own book attacking mythopoetic men:

In his 1996 magnum opus, Manhood in America, Michael Kimmel hypocritically employed the script of traditional strength-based masculinity to shame Bly and Keen in his chapter on “Wimps, Whiners and Weekend Warriors.” Their attempts to nurture some meaningful connection to the myth and history of men—however carefully edited, pacified and conciliatory to feminists in spirit—were still perceived as too much of a threat to the agendas of feminist activists and academics. As an alternative, Kimmel offered what he called a “democratic manhood.” He defined this as “a gender politics of inclusion, of standing up against injustice based on difference,” and suggested that men should embrace feminism, gay liberation, and multiculturalism as a blue-print for the reconstruction of masculinity. Kimmel decorates his democratic manhood with a sense of struggle against adversity and vague feel of heroism, but calling this “manhood” is a crass and condescending manipulation. Kimmel’s profeminist man is a no-man.  His masculinity is defined by the rejection of traditional definitions of masculinity, save for its reliance on a narrative of self-sacrifice. This democratic no-man must renounce his own sense of identity and devote his energies to helping others attain a “sure and confident” sense of themselves and “their rightful share of the sun.” He must commit himself to selfless toil on behalf of others, and he must do so without question or complaint. Kimmel assures men that somehow, by giving up the struggle to “prove manhood,” men will finally be free, and be able to “breathe a collective sigh of relief.”

And this was back in the nineties, back when people were still relatively sane and before the Internet gave every maladjusted whiner a bullhorn to organize virtual lynch mobs. Is there any benefit to being conciliatory or even nice to people who think nothing of gang-stalking their enemies and trying to destroy their lives?

Give the feminists an inch, and they’ll take the whole yardstick, beat you to death with it, then claim it was your fault.

This is why the manosphere is harsh, confrontational and provocative: because being provocative is the only way to get our message heard. It’s because the feminists treat guys like me and their supposed allies like Warren Farrell—guys who spent the better part of their lives fighting for women’s rights—with the same cruelty and amorality. It’s because waving a flag of truce at an enemy who doesn’t want to compromise is a waste of time.

Trying to find common ground with feminists and the left in general is pointless because they will always throw you overboard for being insufficiently progressive. Be angry, and take pride in your anger; despite what you’ve been told, it’s a perfectly normal reaction to how you’ve been treated in life, and it’s one of the best ways to get your point across.

By the way, this is the last day to get Three Years of Hate. Grab it now if you haven’t already.

Read Next: No Man’s Land by Jack Donovan

  • TZ

    Trying to find common ground, better understand, relate to, and giving ground – be it an inch or a mile is the same approach that the progressive mindset applies to most conflicts. These same follies continue to be the fallback position in the “war on terror”, which is to say (but the progressives will not say it) the underlying conflict with the rarely discussed driver behind the terror: Islam and its susceptibility, tendency, and consistency in falling to hatred, violence, intolerance, and other adulterations resulting in most of the conflict and violence around the world. It is no different with confronting feminism.

    The constant retreat into self-exploration or other mental masturbation in order to find the “reasons” why, “understanding” why other side is attacking our position, way of life, what we are doing (wrong) or not doing (right), and the resulting sublimation in dialogue and rational/critical problem solving feeds right into their view of our weakness, our apathy, and unwillingness to take to task threats to our beliefs and that way of life.

    That approach is precisely how you lose a war of attrition – and in the case of feminism, end up ceding so much power to the other side that diplomacy is no longer a viable option. The ground must be retaken the hard way; it must be attacked from all sides by men who are prepared take great personal risk in doing so, men who are prepared to raise their voices, fix bayonets, and get into the muddy trenches.

    Feminism at its roots of equal rights and opportunities has been adulterated, co-opted by hatred and discrimination and power mongering to the point where there is now no value in attempting to “understand” anything that comes from that side of the fence. Time and again, any attempt at dialogue or rational debate between the MRA and fems descends into pointless volleys of their twisted emotional machinations, self-hatred, and privilege. Yet we continue to cede pawer, give ground in the name of equality and fairness.

    As long as our culture values image over substance, political correctness over truth, antagonistic rhetoric over rational, and operates under the model of victim-oppressor, it is men who have no homeland, no safe harbors, no representation. We have bowed to the second wave fem and are now securely under its yoke. The elevation of equality above all else, at a great cost to only men, has secured men as second-class drones, carriers of all responsibility and few meaningful rights.

    Displaced and disenfranchised, men are the insurgents now. And from those corners of the internet and communities and churches and block-parties, angry men will spring forth. And they must because at this point there is nothing outside the ‘sphere that will carry the flag. Men must first re-assert themselves with their natural god given power. We must continue to take the high road, but not at the cost of giving ground. So into the muck some must go. And in the name of Col. Jessep, I want those few good men to be angry, I need those men to be angry.

    Yes, it is necessary and not all “bad”. Sad indeed. But for every shouting voice of anger in the sphere, there are still hoards of men going silently into desperation, despair, or blind ignorance, taking their soma and working and consuming like good little children. And then there are the men leaving, turning their backs on their natural place as producers and leaders. This is their right and not an irrational choice given the culture. But if this is now a reasonable option for men, it is only a matter of time before our society collapses into itself and all is lost. That should make more than just MRA/’Sphere men angry.

  • Slumlord

    Careful of the media Matt.

  • Brononymous

    If you are interviewed, have someone else present to film your interview so you have your own footage, in case of obvious manipulation and recontexualised soundbites.

    To be honest, media is too driven by advertising, which flourishes on creating insecurity and is largely driven by female consumer choice. I wouldn’t expect any kind of fair and accurate reporting to happen.

  • Matt,

    I was contacted by the same news outlet, and I’m leery of doing an interview with them. E-mail me and I’ll tell you more.


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  • Yep It’s Me

    Matt – thanks posting and glad you’re getting the word out.

    I agree, anger create motivation. As my Mother has told me over and over again in my life…”you won’t do anything until you get sick and tired of being sick and tired”…so, you have to get angry first, that can (for some) become the fuel to take the journey to change.

    So get angry, then get busy.

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