Perhaps the most abused word in the English language nowadays is “misogynist.” Not since the Smurfs has a catch-all phrase been thrown around so willy nilly as to be rendered near-meaningless. The term’s power, of course, lies in this very ambiguity.
State your preference for skinny girls over fat girls? Misogynist.
Observe that a woman might be a bit too promiscuous for a long-term prospect? Misogynist.
Say or write anything that makes a girl “uncomfortable.” Misogynist.
Without patronizing my reader by reproducing the dictionary entry here, these are creative applications of the word to say the very least. Of course, all of this only applies if you’re a man.
People who know me know me as an inveterate eavesdropper. Even when I’m not trying, I often can’t help but catch some detail from a spirited chick-conversation. I especially can’t help myself when I see a gaggle of girls conspiring over something in a huddle. More times than not, my curiosity’s rewarded with some juicy morsel of information or insight on the opposite sex. I’ve been doing it for years, and the aggregate data I’ve unwittingly compiled has made innumerable improvements in my dating and social lives. More importantly, it’s taught me that American girls are some of the best public-relations people in the world. They’ve constructed a perfect public image that’s far from the truth.
Girls do and say just about everything me and my buddies say—and get called every name in the book for—except they replace pussies with dicks.
They openly confess to the most scandalous of behaviors, from surreptitiously juggling multiple partners, to having secret abortions, to milking unsuspecting friendzoners for meals and gifts. And these aren’t low-class ghetto broads either. They’re young professionals, elite-university students, or generally “nice girls.” Moreover, I’m not the only guy hearing this sort of thing. For every story I tell, I get three or four from my fellow eavesdroppers.
If clandestine abortions or extramarital affairs are a relative rarity, objectifying men and cynically stringing along “patient” guys are the norm. Girls talk about a dude’s height, job, even penis size, and other superficial traits in the company of their friends as a matter of routine. Somehow only men are “shallow” and misogynist for this kind of talk, while women are given a pass in the name of “empowerment.”
The charge of misogyny is even more epidemic in the online world. Sites devoted to plain-and-simple men’s issues are increasingly attacked by a powerful lobby dead-set on censoring, if not outright, criminalizing male spaces. Facebook repeatedly bans men’s interest blogs. Internet filters in public places block men’s sites (such as my home site, Return of Kings) as offensive, while permitting access to its equally scandalous female counterparts (like Jezebel).
The only men’s sites deemed permissible, it seems, are those that broker in sterilized, milquetoast content that merely repeat useless platitudes to guys.
Prominent female writers, like online feminist Laurie Penny, have made entire careers out of howling they’re being bullied into silence online. Stories of violent and sexual threats are the supposed smoking gun that they’re a group beset on all sides by men. Women, they claim, “aren’t safe on the Internet.”
If you’ve paid any attention to the controversy around my other work, you know that I received hundred—if not thousands—of menacing threats as the result of it. This was especially the case after my piece “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder.” People called for me to be “shot in the face,” sexually mutilated, and tortured. These came in every format of media—from Twitter to e-mail—and from women as well cowardly hipster men. I’m not alone in receiving these threats. Many of my colleagues in the so-called Manosphere have been the subject of similar bullying campaigns. The difference is that when we hit the report button or raise a concern, nothing happens. Instead, we accept that this is the price for standing up to the current orthodoxy that’s declared hurting a woman’s personal feelings tantamount to a crime.
What activist women—and their effeminized male enablers—don’t realize is that, apart from the rank double standard, guy talk is essential to creating the kind of get-shit-done men that women want to date and that men want to hang out with. The art of being a (real) man is honed through sometimes-ugly, sometimes-funny, but always-interesting conversations without politically correct redactions enforced by a mob of the fragile and easily “triggered.” In an increasingly digital world, we get what our fathers and grandfathers got—-when they went for a haircut, took their car into the shop, or played poker with their buddies—-online.
If you’ve ever been to Disneyland and ridden the “It’s a Small World” ride you can understand this process. It’s a slow-moving boat ride through a menagerie of animatronic dolls made to look like children from around the world. In each pavilion, the dolls sing the trademark, repetitive theme song while waving stereotypical emblems of their respective countries. The whole thing remains popular—-especially among women and children—-for its simultaneously kitschy simplicity and endearing optimism. Needless to say, behind the catchy song and friendly dolls lurks an ugly, greasy machinery that makes the illusion possible. If you look closely enough while you course through the waterway, you can catch tiny glimpses of it.
The front of the ride is dating a quality man. He’s in shape, he’s charming, and he has his shit together. Meeting him, exchanging phone numbers, and sleeping with him for the first time seemed to “just happen,” as if by chance. But the ugly machinery, that made that beautiful illusion happen, is no accident. It’s a physique hammered out through countless hours in the gym, “effortless” charm polished by talking to tons of women, and a seamless hookup ensured through planning and conspiring—all skills he’s likely honed through repeated conversations with his friends.
The bar wasn’t near one of your apartments—-so that if you did click, a little privacy was just a walking distance away—by coincidence. The condoms weren’t perfectly placed near his bed—-so as to not break the mood–because he dropped them there months ago and forgot about them. He didn’t just happen to have an extra toothbrush in the package and an unopened bottle of contact fluid—so that your walk of shame the next morning would be that much less “shameful” because he just got back from Target. He wasn’t great in the sack—-laying it down like a champ on the first date-—because he read an article in Cosmo.
Top-shelf men are made. And one of the key ingredients is guy talk. Men like me aren’t “misogynist” for engaging in it.