Why might some men believe that women cannot empathise with them?

2014-03-26. Note: I recognize that this is a very poorly written article. A point that I have failed to be explicit about is that each of these issues are descriptions of what men perceive though their various phases of mental, physical and emotional maturation. I occasionally remind myself that I would do well to re-write this, but time and energy are costs that have to be measured against the benefit of re-writing. In the meantime, I hope this short note suffices. The task is in my to do–someday box.

 

This is a reply to Kerina comment, and the length of the comment just got out of hand. Since I put so much work into writing it, I thought I’d post it.

Kerina said:
I was trying to object to is the idea, which I have now heard many times coming from some MGTOWS and MRA’s, that women are biologically incapable of empathizing with men’s issues. I think this assumption is, not only totally untrue, but very hurtful to the MRA cause because it prevents MRA’s from trying to convince women of their plight.

I agree with your objection. It is false to claim that all of any one group is deficient in any particular capacity. To make such a statement would be the exposition of bigotry.

I don’t want to excuse the above as being acceptable, but if I may, I’d like to offer some insight as to what might cause an individual to make such erroneous statements.

Pain.

We live in a society that places a very high emphasis on women’s comfort and well being. We care about their sense of security as much as their actual security. We care about women’s pain–tremendously, and I would argue, often, excessively.

We live in a society that infantilizes women because we are instinctively triggered to love and protect babies. These triggers are signs of neoteny: big eyes, high-pitched voices, demonstrations of vulnerability.

Women, if not consciously, then unconsciously know this and use their own neotenous traits to their advantage. Image: a woman adopts a “baby voice” and says “Ooh! You great big man!”. These trigger in men the desire to protect and provide in some measure, much as a woman responds to a child’s need for protection and provision. Consider how difficult it is for someone to walk away from a lost child crying in pain.

Where men take direct action, women tend to indirect action. Genetic masters of the game of socialization, plausible deniability is the name of the game. Women typically don’t tell, they hint. They don’t approach, they invite–subtly, deniably. “Just because I looked at you doesn’t mean I wanted to talk to you!” Women don’t usually attack physically where they might face danger, they attack socially, or create violence by proxy, that is, using men to do their violence. Women use men to as tools.

They use men as sources of income, as sources of strength, as sources of protection, as sources of violence. The do this by triggering instinctive and socialized responses in men.

“Never hit a girl”, but “Boys are tough”. She is the princess, he is the White Knight in shining armour, to rescue the helpless princess.

Incidentally, a knight is a high-status position that implies power and authority, a horse implies it’s expense, and armour, let alone polished armour could be worth a years worth of a knight’s wage. Let us not forget that a knights job is to inflict and receive violence on the behalf of his betters.

Back to our subject: Women are trained that they are the princess–the social superior. One must never hurt a girl. Not her body, not her feelings. He, however, not only may be, but must be trained to endure hardship if he is to master the physical world. Though her facade of weakness, she becomes his master–and this is as it has ever been.

To paraphrase Warren Farrell: a woman’s strength is the facade of weakness, and a man’s weakness is his facade of strength.

He must become the master of the world, for two basic utilitarian roles are expected of him: provider and protector. If he is neither, he will likely not mate, for he is measured not only for the service that he must render her, but also to her potential children. If he is ever to find a woman’s love and acceptance, he must demonstrate both. When he succeeds, he attracts women, when he fails, women shun him, or, at best remain amicable, but never intimate.

Let us now introduce feminism, in my opinion, is female instinct gone unchecked and rampant. Feminism used these instinct triggers. As uncharitable as it sounds, the strategy that allowed feminism to flourish was women telling men “Please us, or we’ll nag you to the ends of the earth.” Failure to meet their demands, the feminists would claim, would be the equivalent of direct harm.

Among the demands were that men must give women the benefit of access to the power that they’ve created though safe, medically, politically, technologically advanced civilizations. Advanced societies hide the value of hard physical labour, and when one has no experience doing hard physical labour, it is easy to look upon the fruits of it’s results as easily come by. The sacrifice is easy to ignore or dismiss. [Tangent: this, incidentally, applies to both men and women, and explains much of current society’s behaviour. “Kids don’t know the value of hard work”]

The overall message that society expresses is that women are important, men are not. What men do is for women. Men give, women receive.

Imagine now that as a male infant, a child, a prepubescent, an adolescent, a young adult, an adult, you observe that women though all of their deeds, gestures and words invariably reflect the above attitude. Imagine that a male who is growing throughout his formative years sees and hears nothing else–constantly as presupposition and subtext in every single interaction.

This is how the world is, he accepts, unquestioningly.

As he grows in age, and social experience, a man may notice that females use a strategy of doling out attention, approval, acceptance, sex and love–or the opposite, ostracism, disapproval, shaming, sexual or amorous rejection based on how well she is treated; based on how well she is protected, or provided for. Men, who are desirous of having partners, then learn that if two men want the same women, they must compete with each other to show a woman that he can do more for her than the next guy.

Women learn early on to play the game of extracting the greatest amount of value from a man as is possible. His lesson: if he wants to share his life with a woman that he has to do two things: 1. pay the price of sacrificing himself and his value to women for their approval, and 2. be seen by women to apply this rule to men, so that both sexes are now playing the same game. Her lesson: she is wanted, loved, desired and must fight off a flood of men, so can continually raise the bar of her expectations, based on her desirability.

Men are humans. Humans are social creatures. The desire for sexual expression and feelings, approval, belonging, respect, simple human social enjoyment is part of the psychological needs of all humans. I refer you to Maslow.

Johnny who has learned these lessons early on recognizes that he is valued for what he can do for another (rather than for who he is), and that the meeting of his basic needs are a prize that is doled out at the whim of women, that it must be earned, yet he sees that women have none of these issues. Women are given love, acceptance, sex, approval and respect for no reason other than they are female.

Johnny becomes John, works away his youth, creates a career, finally manages to buy a car, a house and eventually has children. Jane, for whatever reason, in the land of no-fault divorce, takes it all away from him–with the support of the court, enforced by large men, trained to dominate via the violence of numbers, clubs, tazers, guns and a system that will take money out of his paycheck without his consent.

Not only does John spend his life catering to women to get some of his basic social human needs met, that is, he is the provider of mostly everything, but later, all that he has built for himself is taken from him. He is forced to involuntarily provide to someone who no longer meets his needs and who simultaneously prevents him from meeting his own needs. This is done by forcing him to put her needs above his own via state-proxy violence.

A man notices from the time he is young is that he must always be the giver (first dates, courting gifts, wedding rings, the home of her choice, etc), and that she will always be the recipient. When she is expected to offer something in return (rarely money, or practical goods that must be worked for), when she is expected to offer something as simple as human respect, there is no social obligation on her part to do so, and if she wishes to dismiss that obligation, what she can do is turn to the sisterhood, supported by Feminist lobbied laws and rules and attitudes for justification and validation that he is no longer useful, acceptable or worthy of respect.

After having been ground up and shredded to blood and bone by the courts, having lost his home, a large part of his money and his children, after having had to pay for her lawyer to get screwed over by an unjust court system, he is then faced with endless media that accuses him (more precisely men in general) of being violent, insensitive, uncaring, Schrodinger’s Rapist, a pedophile in waiting. He observes that women are constantly speaking of him as a potential monster out to club the baby girls, that he is violent, that he is dehumanized to the point of being little more than a machine to create money for women and state, what is he left with?

He must work for and pay a woman even when she changes from someone who met his basic human needs to being someone to someone who creates a deficit for him in terms of money, family relationships, love, affection, etc.

He must give the woman what she asks for because it is enforced by the state. Should he fail to do so, he is legally sanctioned and can be taken to the modern day equivalent of debtor’s prison.

Throughout, we find that he is reviled socially, culturally and politically.

John sees this happening to most of the men that he knows in life. There are exceptions to everything, of course, but let us remember cognitive bias: “Oh! She took you for everything that you had? Me too! Same happened to Joe and Fred and Bob and Steve. Poor sap! Ha ha ha!”

This is an extremely common life history for men.

Do you see how a man might come to the conclusion that women cannot empathize with men? She is raised from birth to have more social value than men, to expect that her role is a recipient of the value of his work, having cultural and political support to choose whether she engages the workplace or not, and if she does, having no duty of reciprocating to the man all while having elevated expectations of him.

These are choices that are not available to a man. He makes, he gives, she takes. If she makes, she keeps. For him to even consider asking is beyond outlandish; it is the field nigger having the temerity to ask to sit at the master’s table.

Generally, that’s just how reality works.

Can you see where their pain and hopelessness and a sense of helplessness, a particular affront to men’s dignity, as he is taught that his worth a person is based upon his ability to move the world, might cause him to generalize and claim that “women are biologically incapable of empathizing with men’s issues”?

It has taken me until middle-age until I could articulate this. When one doesn’t know what the cause of his conditions are; when a man doesn’t have a wide-ranging view of how the world functions, can you see how some might arrive to this conclusion, to use that claim as their best explanation as to why his experiences are so common-place, on a person-to-person level, globally?

Imagine your life a constant series of unexpected shocking betrayals, a series of randomly occurring, high-powered, solid-to-the-spine gut-punches. Do what you’re told, someone stabs you, don’t do what you’re told, someone clubs you. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for it. Imagine being accused of domestic violence when you were the one who was attacked, yet arrested. Imagine an ex-parte restraining order where suddenly you are exiled from your home. Having lost your friends over time, (men spending time with friends is typically frowned upon by women–remember the indirect persuasion) you have no network to fall back upon.

The woman that you loved is now your avowed enemy, and using the power of the state, she is tearing your life to shreds.

Imagine the raw, vivid emotion of having your children taken from you. Or being sent to jail due to a false rape accusation.

Can you sense the fear, the anger, the bewilderment, the sense of having no control or say? Imagine what it’s like to speak up on these matters, having these emotions only to have people scoff at you, mock you, ignore you, and tell you to shut up or else. To have moralistic fingers wagged at you and being accused of being a stupid, self-centred abuser?

Imagine that this was your life, Kerina. Does this help you understand why some men may think that women simply view men as little more than utilities?

Some of the above is admittedly florid. There are two sides to every coin. This is the side that most people don’t bother asking about. The intent is to put you in a man’s place.

Men have feelings, men respond to stress and men can be crushed by it. This is a story that nobody really wants to talk about, and certainly not hear. When in a double bind, where action or speech yields no results, can you understand where some may feel bitter and make sweeping claims?

You had said:
I think this assumption is […] totally untrue

The sad reality is that what I’ve described above not an assumption, but fact, verifiable by court documents, a legion of law firms and countless male suicides. We have literally had men self-immolate on courthouse steps to express their despair at the whole situation.

Not only is the above frequently true, but it is common.

I agree with you in that it is not the only story.

I have, in fact, read more than one such story from the feminine perspective and from the feminist perspective. The princess has no power, only the knight does. He has the freedom to act overtly, and she is relegated to appealing to his agency. If she dare act, she is shamed, etc. Both sides have a bit of truth and a bit of falsehood in them, intentional or not. What they both share is pain.

Is it true that no woman can empathize with men’s pain or issues? Of course not. The world is not homogeneous. Despite it all, there are good people of all kinds everywhere.

You have a slight disadvantage: you’re a decent person. You’ve had a life where people were mostly good to you, and you’ve had good role models and examples of how successful relationships can work. Good people often have difficulty imagining the terrible, selfish and hurtful things that people will do to each other. You may have the equivalent of social herd immunity to such things. I don’t share the same disadvantage.

Also recognize human psychological traits at play: we notice pain more than we do pleasure, because biologically, pain is a survival signal. It takes precedence over pleasure in the attention circuits. We have tiny little cobbled-together monkey brains. We like simple, effortless bits rather than more complex notions, which require more processing energy. Homoeostasis is at play. We follow the path of least resistance in almost all cases. That is human nature. This applies to both men and women.

I could solve the whole problem in a few words: make character-building for men an women THE dominant value for all societies. Make empathy as important as self-fulfillment. Make long-term vision over short-term results the dominant human mode. All that is required is the mass production of Djini Lamps.

To summarize what is one hell of a long response, is that I agree that some people make bigoted and erroneous claims about women, but understand that, even if false, that this mindset stems from lived experiences rather than having been invented from whole cloth.

Anger, resentment and frustration are all derived from some form of pain. Take away the pain, and watch how a relaxed, confident, happy person behaves differently.

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18 thoughts on “Why might some men believe that women cannot empathise with them?

  1. I don’t often disagree with you, but I find this a bit unbalanced. The facts are true, the stories are true, the general gist is true, but it’s only half the truth. People do behave like this, but mostly well within reason. Most people are good people. Most women do empathize with men. When talking about toxic women that maliciously and intentionally take these actions we are talking about a very small handful of women. Just as actual rapists are a very minute portion of males, These females are very rare, but cause a great deal of damage to a great many men.

    The assertion that it’s valid to fear or hate women because a few women are horrible people is the same assertion that it’s valid to fear or hate men because a few men are horrible people. It’s not valid in “Rape Culture” and it’s not valid for MRA’s.

    This is a problem with feminism. The social narrative of female victimization and the promotion of women gives cover and support to the hateful bigots that use their female privileges to destroy men.

    • Francis Roy says:

      I have a terrible habit of publishing first, then re-editing quite a bit. Scan toward the bottom of the article. I’ve made my last update.

      This is an exposition of the thought process of why some men might come to the conclusion that women are biologically incapable of empathizing with men. I was exposing the mindset of pain.

      I personally believe that people some can empathize with others, and some cannot. I do not believe that it is genetic, I do believe that of those who cannot, that there’s a plethora of social and interpersonal and psychological reasons for it.

      I have encountered such creatures. I have also met sublimely divine humans, one who simply by being who she was, even though I knew her only for a short time altered my mindset and my life.

    • Francis Roy says:

      The assertion that it’s valid to fear or hate women because a few women are horrible people is the same assertion that it’s valid to fear or hate men because a few men are horrible people.

      Woops! Waidaminit! Where on earth did I say this? I suspect that due to the length of this article that you might have skimmed it and gut reacted. I know it’s long, but if you do have the time to go though it, you’ll find that there’s no such claim.

      As an aside. I’m teaching myself to write and learning to better express myself, I recognize that I have five fatal flaws at the moment, many of which may lead to occasional confusion:

      1. Continuity. I move paragraphs around, delete others, suddenly it makes no sense, but I’m lost in detail so don’t see it.

      2. Keeping the same voice. I mix “one” with “you” and “John”, etc.

      3. Deleted referrers. I tend to use “it” when I should be using a noun that specifies what “it” is. It gets lost over many sentences :)

      4. Sucks, my grammar does.

      5. And my sentences are too long and complex.

      Thank you for your patience :)

      • Your first comment explained it just fine. It is part of your editing process.

        There is is big issue with any communication, an issue that is big in writing. Message sent Vs Message received. The message you intend to send is not always the message received. I think that is what is happening here.

        You get better at writing by writing. Keep writing your process and results will improve over time. I know mine has.

  2. Tarnished says:

    I plan on writing about this subject next week on my own blog. Would it be okay with you if I linked back here, or even quoted you directly? I’ll post a link back to it when I’m done so that you may read it, too.

  3. Kerina says:

    I have a lot to say about your post. I disagree with almost everything in it and I want to address it. However, there are a lot of points to cover and so it may be that the only way we can get to it all is to have another hangout. What I am going to say here is that I find it interesting that MRA’s don’t think they have an ideology. When I look at a post like this I see almost nothing but ideology. You’ve formed a grand narrative around the core of a few very real inequalities. MRA’s talk about swallowing the red pill. I find that silly and self congratulatory. What most people see when they look at this narrative is a bunch of people who have gone down the rabbit hole. It looks almost exactly like feminism in reverse and that is why so many people who both don’t like feminism, and see the value in some of the causes of the MRM, still shudder when they look into it too deeply. It’s why people are trying to find words like humanist and egalitarian to describe themselves. It’s not because they are afraid to be associated with the MRA but that they absolutely reject this narrative.

    For now I have this to say. You wrote:

    “You have a slight disadvantage: you’re a decent person. You’ve had a life where people were mostly good to you, and you’ve had good role models and examples of how successful relationships can work. Good people often have difficulty imagining the terrible, selfish and hurtful things that people will do to each other. You may have the equivalent of social herd immunity to such things. I don’t share the same disadvantage.”

    I know you a little bit Francis, and I like you, so I’m going to chalk this up to a simple mistake on your part. You know nothing about me except that I am in a good relationship that has lasted for many years. I have not had good role models in my life, nor good examples of how successful relationships can work. Both my mother and father were married thee times each and my mother divorced all three times. I have no trouble imagining the terrible things people can do to each other either. I watched my mother in relationships with two men who battered her. Further, my own story of woe at the hands of my mother’s third husband would certainly break your heart, yet I’ve never hated men. I’ve always been able to see the difference between the few bad men that I’ve met and been hurt by in my life and all the rest who have been lovely to me. This is the difference between me and a woman who is hurt and gets sucked into the patriarchy narrative.

    But I want to get to a more important point. When you say:

    “Good people often have difficulty imagining the terrible, selfish and hurtful things that people will do to each other. You may have the equivalent of social herd immunity to such things. I don’t share the same disadvantage.”

    you are basically saying that I don’t have the history that would allow me to see the world as it really is. This verges on a conversation stopping move. You are saying “I see the world as it really is and you can’t because your experiences are protecting you”. Do you see how when you do that you are invalidating my opinions out of hand. I shouldn’t have to prove to you that my life has been as shitty as yours for you to take my arguments seriously. What you have written here is an instance of the Fundamental Attribution Error and what makes this an error is that it is an instance of the genetic fallacy and argumentum ad hominem. It would be just as easy for me to dismiss every sentence you wrote by chalking it up to bad experiences you have had. No doubt you have heard people say exactly that about men in the MRM, and dismiss the entire cause as being the rantings of a few angry, frustrated, dissatisfied men. It is a bad argument when directed at you and it’s a bad argument when directed at me. By the way, I’m not at all angry. I just think it’s very important that this sort of thing be avoided by people interested in honest discourse, and I very much believe you are such a person.

    I have more to say about the body of your post. Hopefully I will get to it before you hit me with something else I feel compelled to respond to!

    • Francis Roy says:

      [Edit: re-read this. FFS. I don’t know if I’m long winded or just have a lot to say.]

      Francis said:
      “You have a slight disadvantage: you’re a decent person. You’ve had a life where people were mostly good to you, and you’ve had good role models and examples of how successful relationships can work. Good people often have difficulty imagining the terrible, selfish and hurtful things that people will do to each other. You may have the equivalent of social herd immunity to such things. I don’t share the same disadvantage.”

      Kernina said:
      I know you a little bit Francis, and I like you, so I’m going to chalk this up to a simple mistake on your part. You know nothing about me except that I am in a good relationship that has lasted for many years. I have not had good role models in my life, nor good examples of how successful relationships can work.

      Point taken. I accept the rebuke. I knew that I was extrapolating when I said this. I balanced the probabilities in my mind. I stand corrected, and offer my apologies for speaking with insolent presumption.

      Kernina said:
      You are saying “I see the world as it really is and you can’t because your experiences are protecting you”. Do you see how when you do that you are invalidating my opinions out of hand.

      That is what I was saying, based on my admittedly incorrect presumption, but I also think your response implies an intent and disrespect that wasn’t intended. Let us start off by pointing to my above concession, and hold that in the background as I continue on. The intent was not that of invalidation, but of information. Based on our previous conversations, I did get the genuine sense that your life was one in which you had dodged a lot of bullets. In the broad world, there are some people who simply don’t have certain classes of experiences. This does not reflect on a person’s qualities, it makes them fortunate. A never-married person might have nothing but excellent qualities, but it still does not give them the background of living together in a long-term relationship, a context that provides experiences unique to that context. The intent, based on my acknowledged incorrect assessment, was to share information that is available only within a context that the person is not experiencing. I hope I expressed this clearly.

      What I am going to say here is that I find it interesting that MRA’s don’t think they have an ideology. When I look at a post like this I see almost nothing but ideology. You’ve formed a grand narrative around the core of a few very real inequalities.

      I did a quick look up on the term “ideology”: a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

      I stand to my point. There MRM does not have a political theory, policy, or a system of ideals. There are 3.5 billion men on the planet. An infinitesimal number of of men are speaking out. It just turns out that these are issues that we have in common, and it is an ever-evolving best explanation as to why things are.

      What I’ve shared with you is 90% my own daily-lived experience, long before a men’s rights movement became popular. The other 10% is the experience of people close to me, who shared their experience with me, unsolicited, and again, long before I’d heard of any men’s movement. I’ve known men who have been falsely accused of rape. In one case I was the alibi that prevented a man from getting dragged away by the cops. I know of a number of men who have lost everything in a divorce, and have gotten drunk with friends who just needed to dump the pain of losing their kids and being screwed over by the court system. These are all things are common in my life.

      I have created a narrative in this one post to explain to a woman what many men’s life looks like, to support my point: many men believe that women cannot empathize with men. I’m pretty sure that the whole growing up story is near universal to all human males. Stories of divorce are more a by-product of current culture, I believe.

      For years, I had these experiences. I didn’t know how to classify them. I did not know how to express them, but they had a very powerful and deleterious impact on me. I would like to do another Hangout, because there are things that I simply won’t address in a public forum.

      What you refer to as “very few inequalities” is where I turn the table and suggest that perhaps, based on your point of view, you could potentially be dismissing parts of mine. It’s a bit like saying that the fabric of one’s life is made of a very few threads.

      MRA’s talk about swallowing the red pill. I find that silly and self congratulatory.

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. The red pill experience is when you can suddenly make sense of much or all of this unexplained stuff men have been experiencing.

      An analogy: Imagine the child of an alcoholic, too young to understand the psycho-social complexities of alcoholism. Too young to make sense of it, they still know than when their parent(s) drinks, that they do things. Having been raised that way, the child simply assumes that this is how life is, because they know of nothing else. The child then sets up self-protective mechanisms. They might not understand that alcoholism is not the root of the parent’s issue, but that it stems from deeper issues. A kid doesn’t know this. But they know, without being understood, that they are being made a surrogate mate, given an adult’s responsibility to treat the parent as a child, so on and so forth. They may live this, yet not make sense of it.

      One day, while the child is older, they run into books or people speaking about alcoholism or psychology and suddenly the child understands. First they relate. People who have come before them use precise terms that express a feeling, or situation well. They put these ideas in logical sequences that matches the child’s experience. The child can then can organize their thoughts, their life experiences, see the patterns and take a step back. Suddenly they see that this is a common trend in society, not “just the way the world is”.

      That’s the red-pill moment: moving from amorphous confusion to having key pieces of information and a structure that allows them to explain, relate and predict. It is mystery revealed.

      Second analogy: It is like the christian, born and raised, that by encountering and studying atheist counter-arguments view their life-long experiences in a new light. Having let go of old beliefs, they may simultaneously disbelieve at the intellectual level and yet have a deep unconscious fear of hell and utter shame for being a sinner. This is a good analogy as to where many men, including myself, currently stand.

      That having been said, I’d like to go over the post one final time, to satisfy myself that I’ve expressed myself clearly.

      The question was “why might some men think that women are incapable of empathizing with them”. My answer was “pain”. I then went on to expose various experiences that all or many men who think this way may have had. Note that I started with, ended with and interspersed throughout “the belief that one group of people have an exclusive negative trait is bigotry” in various forms.

      I think I can speak authoritatively on the subject, because I used to think that way. I honestly believed that all women, without exception, viewed men as little more than tools. I have exposed my observations as perceived at that time. I have shared experiences of men who believed this, and offered what experiences they used as the basis to form that conclusion. I have further given my own understanding of why these beliefs may be accepted by those in that position, and why they may be wrong.

      From the few responses that I’ve received so far, people seem to be reacting to the entirety of the article with “You’re wrong!” while not noticing the beginning, intersperse and ending statements of why I do not believe this.

  4. Kerina says:

    Here are some thoughts on the first part of your post.

    You wrote:
    “We live in a society that infantilizes women because we are instinctively triggered to love and protect babies.”

    You’ll have to give some examples. This sounds to me like part of a narrative. Individual men may infantilize women, some women may even like it, but I don’t see any social forces doing it.

    You wrote:
    “These triggers are signs of neoteny: big eyes, high-pitched voices, demonstrations of vulnerability.”

    Women do have some neotenous traits that men do not have such as high pitched voices, less body hair, and no Adams apple. The more neotenous a woman is the more attractive she is to men. Men find women with larger eyes, bigger lips and smaller noses much more attractive. Women want to be attractive to men and so enhance the size of their lips and eyes with makeup and shave off much of their remaining body hair. Men are also attracted by demonstrations of vulnerability and weakness of any kind. I remember very clearly as a teenager and young adult dumbing myself down to make myself more attractive to a greater number of men. Men are attracted to greater neoteny in women. Women want to be attractive to men. This is not something bad women are doing.

    You wrote:
    “Women, if not consciously, then unconsciously know this and use their own neotenous traits to their advantage. Image: a woman adopts a “baby voice” and says “Ooh! You great big man!”. These trigger in men the desire to protect and provide in some measure, much as a woman responds to a child’s need for protection and provision. Consider how difficult it is for someone to walk away from a lost child crying in pain.”

    You often talk about how men are in a double bind. Here you are placing women in one. Women make themselves more neotenous to please and attract men. We praise men for their strength and ability in order to make them feel good about themselves. Are you saying we shouldn’t do that? Men and women are attracted to different things in the opposite sex. These are to some extent biologically hardwired. Women will only stop trying to make themselves more neotenous when men stop preferring women who display greater neoteny.

    You wrote:
    “Where men take direct action, women tend to indirect action. Genetic masters of the game of socialization, plausible deniability is the name of the game. Women typically don’t tell, they hint. They don’t approach, they invite–subtly, deniably. “Just because I looked at you doesn’t mean I wanted to talk to you!” ”

    This is interesting and comes down to a biological difference between the sexes that leads to miscommunications. There is a ton of research on the subject. Women are much better at picking up subtle social cues then men. This leads women to make the mistake of thinking a man will pick up the cues she is throwing down as well as she would pick up the same cues from another person. The difference between a friendly smile and a ‘come hither’ look is blatantly obvious to most women but escapes most men, especially young men. You’re absolutely correct in saying women wants deniability in courtship. No women wants to be rejected any more than a man does. You are incorrect in saying men don’t want the same deniability, they just go about it in different ways. Again, your narrative is telling you something bad is happening here when it’s just a behavioural sexual dimorphism in action. Trust me, there are lots of things women have a hard time understanding that men do.

    You wrote:
    “Women don’t usually attack physically where they might face danger, they attack socially, or create violence by proxy, that is, using men to do their violence. Women use men to as tools.”

    I’m not at all sure what you are talking about here when you say “attack socially”, “violence by proxy”, and “using men to do their violence”. Are you just saying we use police and the military? Shouldn’t we? I don’t know what you are getting at here so I will leave it to you to expand the thought if you want. The idea that women use men as tools, is again, a part of your narrative. Women don’t use men any more than men use women. Feminists say the same sort of stuff “men use women as cooks, cleaners, free child care, and sex toys”. This idea that has filtered through the MRM that men are the primary givers and women the takers in relationships is just the flip side of the feminist claim that the opposite is true. I see both of these as one-sided generalizations. Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses. There is nothing wrong with someone using their strengths and depending on others to help them where they are weak. What we don’t want is a society that favors certain people over others, but there is nothing wrong with individuals using their natural strengths to help them navigate life successfully. The beautiful will use their beauty, the strong their strength, the intelligent their minds, and where they are weak and in need they will try to marshal others to their aid. How is any of this bad?

    more to come.

    • Francis Roy says:

      If you don’t mind, give me a day or so to reply–or perhaps we can setup a hangout early after the weekend? You could post your observations and we’ll use that as fuel for the discussion, what do you think? The only reason I ask is a time consideration, I have a number of important high concentration work-related tasks that are soon to be due.

      • Kerina says:

        That’s totally great. I prefer a hangout. Every time you post something I have something to say and then when you respond I have something to say to that. This is really no way to have a conversation as the topics keep multiplying and there is no closure on any one of them. It’s up to you if you want a private or public hangout. Let me know. Talk soon!

  5. Kerina says:

    I never said “very few inequalities”. That would have been dismissive. I said “a few very REAL inequalities”.

  6. Kerina says:

    You wrote:
    “The question was “why might some men think that women are incapable of empathizing with them”. My answer was “pain”.”

    I actually completely agree with this main point and there were some paragraphs at the end of your post that were about how people respond to pain that I thought were exactly right. Pain may be the reason for the bigotry we see in so many who are attracted to the MRM but it doesn’t excuse it and it should be pointed out and corrected wherever it’s seen. When I read the comments on A Voice for Men I do not see much of this and that is a problem. The therapeutic approach where people are simply allowed to vent and commiserate results in a self reinforcing culture of victim-hood; the very thing we see in feminist discourse.

    • Francis Roy says:

      When I read the comments on A Voice for Men I do not see much of this and that is a problem. The therapeutic approach where people are simply allowed to vent and commiserate results in a self reinforcing culture of victim-hood; the very thing we see in feminist discourse.

      I understand what you’re saying. It’s not a problem–you just don’t like it, it doesn’t appeal to you. There’s a difference. I also would prefer if everyone were always at their best behaviour, and were peaceful, and kind and sympathetic and measured in their words. I really do want a planet where every single person is just and fair and kind at every moment of the day. That would be great, but it’s not the way it is. Not on a website, not in any movement, nowhere on the face of the planet save small pockets of people.

      I spent a certain amount of time chewing bitter cud too. I got though most of it. I moved on to doing things that are useful. Each person must move at their pace.

      Consider: I am only one of countless people. I encountered people whom I enjoy, and that share common values. If I was in any way able to influence you to consider another side of the cultural story, and you brought the notions up to others, that is a success. There are those who absolutely will not respond to my way of doing things.

  7. Kerina says:

    You wrote:
    “Women use men to as tools.

    They use men as sources of income, as sources of strength, as sources of protection, as sources of violence.”

    Saying women use men as tools suggests no agency on the part of men. Men are not tools and cannot be “used” unless they let themselves. If you are suggesting that women choose partners, at least in part, on the basis of traits such as strength and the likelihood that he can contribute to a well provisioned, safe life then I agree with you. Is that wrong? What should a woman be basing her decisions on? How is this any worse than what men do when they place a huge premium on youth and beauty. We each are biologically driven to favor certain traits. It’s just sexual selection and it occurs in every species on the planet. There is nothing good or bad, right or wrong about it. Does it suck for ugly girls and small, weak, or unambitious men? Sure. When you write sentences like the above you are implying that women are doing something they shouldn’t be. What should they be doing differently in your opinion? Should they be choosing men by lottery?

    The implication that women “use” men as sources of protection and violence is even stranger. When men and women need protection in our society we call the police. I do not know one single woman who believes that she needs a man for protection in our society. Men do exhibit behaviours that lead to feelings of safety and security in their mates, but that is not something women are doing to men. Men simply are protective, they have all sorts of hormones that go into overdrive when they think there is a threat. My husband, when he hears a strange noise late at night will pick up a club and search the property in a revved up, hyper masculine, state that is completely out of his normal character; while I do absolutely nothing or sleep though it. This is not because I think it is his job to protect me but because I am completely unconcerned that there is a threat. I think males have evolved to be hyper-conscious or danger and threat and women have not. The idea that women use or choose men for protection is pure male fantasy.

    Women do choose men in part on the basis of strength and body size, and those traits, in our evolutionary past, would have be correlated with the amount of protection such males were able to provide. Choosing strong, large, athletic males would therefore lead to greater numbers of surviving offspring and so women who preferred such traits would pass on more of their own genes leading to greater numbers of women with such preferences in succeeding generations. This is how evolution works. Protective ability would not have been directly selected for since that is not likely something a female SAW before she chose her mate. Selection occurred on traits that were easily identified and highly correlated with protective ability. What this means though, is that women do not have to care one bit about protection in order to still select men that offer it. The same exact thing occurs in men. Men prefer females who are young, and have certain body shapes. These traits correlate very highly with female fecundity. Men, when they are attracted to a women, are not thinking “boy, I bet she’s fecund”. Nonetheless men who chose on this basis had more surviving offspring then men who had other preferences. Evolution is a non-purposive, non-teleological process. The evolutionary reasons why certain preferences are selected for in a species, or sex, need never be consciously thought by the individual organism. As an example take food preferences. We favor fatty and sweet foods because they are calorific. That is the relevant evolutionary factor for why we have the preferences that we do. That is not part of anybody’s reasoning process, nor has it ever been, it is simply the reason we evolved to like the taste of these kinds of food. Nobody thinks “I need high calorie food, get me some ice cream”; people just like ice cream, and the evolutionary reason is that sweet foods are high in calories. Your analysis that women use men for protection is predicated upon the assumption that women have in their minds a desire to be protected by men. they do not, nor did any women ever need such a though in order for evolution to have given women the preferences that they have. Women seek out traits that correlate with protectiveness in males, but it is men who are consciously concerned with protection. Natural selection has favored men who are preoccupied with providing protection. You and other MRM are projecting the thoughts you have onto women. Protection is a male preoccupation.

    You wrote:
    “….The do this by triggering instinctive and socialized responses in men.”

    and

    “Women are trained that they are the princess–the social superior. … Though her facade of weakness, she becomes his master–and this is as it has ever been.”

    Again, the implication here is that women are DOING something bad to men who are the victims. You need to look closely at how similar this all looks to the feminist narrative. Feminist discourse seeks to shame men for their very biological natures; traits such as the manifestation of their sexuality and their higher levels of aggression. When you suggest that women are enslaving men by taking advantage of men’s instinctive natures you are taking all agency away from men and attributing the blame, for men’s biological responses, to women. This is victim psychology at work; it infantilizes men.

    You wrote:
    “He must become the master of the world, for two basic utilitarian roles are expected of him: provider and protector. If he is neither, he will likely not mate, for he is measured not only for the service that he must render her, but also to her potential children. If he is ever to find a woman’s love and acceptance, he must demonstrate both. When he succeeds, he attracts women, when he fails, women shun him, or, at best remain amicable, but never intimate.”

    Once again this seem like pure fantasy. We are living in a a society where a great many men are in relationships with women who are primary or even sole bread winners. According to your above paragraph there is no reason for these women to be with these men. Your theory is failing to account for the facts. That is the mark of a failed theory. Women choose men all the time based on traits that have nothing to do with provision (I’ve already explained how I do not think women ever choose a man on the basis of protection). They choose intelligent men, and men who make them happy, and men who share their interests, etc.etc. They do also consider traits such as ambition but not necessarily as a primary consideration. Certainly, some women are gold diggers and value income over all other traits, but it is false to the very facts we see all around us to suggest that most women do.

    You may wonder why I am putting so much energy into this when I am neither a feminist nor an MRA. The reason is precisely because I am not an MRA. I find myself horribly conflicted by agreeing with the stated individual legal causes and inequalities on the one hand and being repulsed by the ideology and narrative on the other hand. I fear that the causes of the MRM will not get the traction they deserve as long as most men and women are turned off by an ideology that is as wrought with victim-speak and bigotry as feminism.

    • Francis Roy says:

      You is as bad as I is for the long posts (Yay! I have an excuse! :) ).

      We’ll talk about in on the hangout. I’ll print this out and make notes.

    • Francis Roy says:

      By the way, I just wanted to mention that I really appreciate these discussions with you quite a bit. First, you challenge me on what I say, and honestly, I enjoy and appreciate it. My ultimate goal is an internal sense of reality-based truth and clarity. When I’m wrong, it’s (usually) a pleasure to discover it. Second, you provide alternative points of view that might either refute, re-enforce or reframe my current views. You force me to think more clearly, and motivate me to express myself more clearly. I enjoy this more than you can believe. So thanks! :)

      • Kerina says:

        Hehe. I like you so much Francis. I just spent the last hour worrying that my tone was too unfriendly in the last comment. Honestly, I haven’t felt this passionate about a subject in a long time. I’ve been really enjoying this!

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