Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Zenpriest #65 - Upping MRA "Game": Honing Our Rhetoric of Ridicule

Feminism is cultural-level Game being run by women, collectively, against men, collectively. Men and boys swim in a sea of negs, and the purpose is exactly the same as using negs in game – to keep the other side off balance.

While some serious practitioners of Game may be fine with the relative advantage that knowing Game gives them over a lot of other men, others cannot help but be aware that the playing field is tilted signficantly to the advantage of females and that leveling the playing field in general would probably help their overall percentages. As the trailblazers of Game have studied individual female behaviors and learned how to use those behaviors to their advantage, I think that men can certainly study collective female Game, or feminism, and use that understanding to improve conditions for men at the cultural level.

Nilk just made an interesting comment – “I don’t have the answers, but I suspect a part of it comes from beating the enemy at their own game.”

Let that one sink in for a minute.

In order to do that, first we must define the enemy, then identify their game, and finally analyze it so we can devise tactics to defeat it.

So, let’s start with who is the enemy. Are women “the enemy”? Yeah, yeah, I can hear the chorus of objections coming from all directions. Stow it. I’ll come back to this.

Is the NWO the enemy? They make a convenient scapegoat – like hobgoblins, evil spirits, and “patriarchy.” Sorry, but there have been more “new world orders” or “new orders for the ages” throughout history than wannabe prophets and messiahs, and there have been plenty of those.

Maybe Alphas, or SoCons, or maybe even “card-carrying-Kommunnnists!” And then again, maybe not.

Or maybe all of them are for one simple reason: their interests are not our interests, and they are going to pursue their interests and show no concern at all about ours – leaving that job to us. And if we don’t do the job of looking out after our own interests, then we are the ones who dropped the ball, not them.

So, let’s start with the enemy that looks back at us from the mirror and tackle that one first. What keeps us from actively advocating for our own interests? I’m looking for reasons, not excuses. (“Excuses are LIES, plebe!”) Identifying obstacles is the first step in the process of problem-solving, which we men are supposed to be so good at. Sorry, dudes, based on the performance of the past 45 years I would have to say we really suck at it. Let’s start by seeing if we can get out of our own way and start to do something effective.

Which brings me back to women and the game they have been running on men and boys.

While they may not be “the enemy”, they are certainly not our allies, either. Feminism has convinced a great many women that their interests and men’s interests are in conflict, mutually exclusive, and a zero sum game. That makes many of them our opponents, our competitors, and a group of people who generally view any gain for men as a loss for women. Many of them also view any loss for men as a group to be long overdue because every man throughout history has led a life of unbroken “power and privilege” don’cha’know.

So, one answer to this has been to run game on men and boys collectively with an unbroken and constant stream of negs – sometimes hidden behind “cuteness” and sometimes just flat-out man-bashing. The tiresome litany of complaints has become so cliched that most of us could write the entire kvetch based on the first line or two. Recently Novaseeker did a post about a post on another blog titled “94 reasons the guy I’m dating isn’t right for me.” A better title would have been “94 cliches negging men, repeated for the 10 millionth time.”

Whether they are “enemies” or not, you can pretty much count on most women playing for “Team Woman.” They are going to high-five each other over cutting those “over-inflated male egos down to size”, and nod their heads in enthusiastic agreement as the “you go grrls” give men their what-for.

And, betas just sit there with stupid Prozac grins on their faces and take it. Why?

There are a lot of reasons, but I want to focus on just a couple of them.

First, men have a very difficult time internalizing the fact that they are dealing with an opponent dedicated to stonewalling them and preventing from making any progress. For some odd reason, a lot of men unreasonably and irrationally cling to the “reasonable and rational” approach despite the fact that it has never worked.

Second, men generally lag behind women in the psychological warfare being waged. They do not realize that they have walked into a gunfight with a plastic spork, and when their patient explanations do not win over their opponents, they often get angry, flustered and inarticulate.

I think the next stage of evolution of cultural-level game will be for men to upgrade their skills in the rhetoric of ridicule. As things often play out now, one or two representatives from “Team Woman” can usually easily keep the issues confused and keep stinging men like hovering wasps with their crafted words which are skillful personal attacks designed to stonewall and derail discussion.

Our friend Anakin has done a very valuable piece of work with his “Catalog of anti-male shaming tactics” by identifying the most common games run on men to try to shut them up. I think it needs to be taken farther, however. While he identifies the mechanism – the emotional response of shame – it needs to be taken to the next step and how those tactics fit into an overall strategy needs to be subjected to the same sort of analysis.

This is why I have suggested no longer calling them “shaming tactics” and instead calling them “Personal Attacks and Mind Games Used to Silence Men.” The strategy is to shift the discussion from the subject at hand to being about the person, and with a personal attack put that person on the defensive.

So, this leads us back to the idea of beating our opponents at their own game.

The naive and simple Charlie Browns, thinking that they are not dealing with people who are actual opponents but simply people who don’t understand yet because it hasn’t been properly explained to them, will plunge doggedly ahead making points their opponents do not want to hear and will do everything in their power to prevent from being heard. The wasps will swoop in and start stinging – “loser, you hate women, you live in your mother’s basement, you must have a small penis” until they land one that hits a sore spot and triggers Chuck’s anger.

At this point he will lose his train of thought, and pop off with some terribly imaginative comeback like “bitch” or “whore” or “slut.” Contrary to all the nonsense about “slut shaming”, these terms don’t bother the attack wasps of Team Woman in the slightest. In fact, they are clear signals the wasps have hit their target, accomplished their objective, and reduced poor Chuck to barely articulate profanity.

So, it’s time for MRAs to up our game, and improve our own negging ability – to start honing our rhetoric of ridicule so we can sting our opponents as deeply as they are trying to sting us. This is where the masters of Game have a real advantage. They know how to go for the throat, how to undermine, and how to do it with a light touch so that objections can be dismissed as being thin-skinned, or having no sense of humor, or taking themselves too seriously.

Now, of course, this being Game, there will be the cultural level version of cockblockers. Most of these will be SoCons, or knee-jerk chivalrists, or manginas – “HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT ABOUT WOMANHOOD!!! Up with this, I WILL NOT PUT!!!”

That is probably where we need to start developing wingman skills. Instead of leaving our intrepid Man Who Is Concerned About The Status And Future Of Men (MWICATSAFOM? Nah, fuggit, “MRA” is much simpler) hanging out there on his own, we need to give him an assist.

Unfortunately, this will probably require going for the throat. It will require analyzing the areas where women really are insecure and beating on them the same way operatives from Team Woman will attack a man’s potential areas of insecurity in order to shut him down.

It’s nice to see that Paul Elam has resurrected A Voice For Men after a hiatus of several years. On his front page, he poses the interesting question which a lot of long-time MRAs have pondered -
“Suppose they had a gender war…
and men showed up.”

Are men ready to start taking the sticks of dynamite that Team Woman has been throwing at us for more than 45 years, lighting them, and throwing them back? Are we/they ready to take off the kid gloves, abandon their romanticized Victorian notions about women, and realize that many of them have no concern at all for us (best case) and some actually harbor intense and active malice toward us (worst case)?

Is Team Men ready to take the field? Is it time for “Game on”?

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