Saturday, December 20, 2014

Repost: Manhood Academy

Some context is going to be necessary here.

I used to have a (now hidden) general comedy blog where I just wrote about internet culture, all loose and breezy and hopefully funny. I wanted to write comedy. I wanted to be a comedian, because making jokes and making people laugh made me feel happy and in control of all the badness. That's what that blog was about. It was badly organized and I said a lot of things there that I regret now, but that's not the reason it's gone now. The reason is the post below the cut.

I was a little naive when I wrote it. I hadn't yet fully understood how MRAs operate, how damaging they truly were, what the social implications of their existence were and what lengths they would go to to defend their privilege.

I found out.

They found this post. After a flood of intensely abusive and scary comments, emails, tweets, posts on forums I visited and other communications, I folded and hid the blog, changed my online information, whatever it took to get these abusers off my back. I was scared and I was hurt. Most of all I didn't understand why this was happening to me.

I'm not scared anymore. I'm still hurt, but I refuse to let that rule me. So here it is. The old post that marked the beginning of my first stint as an online abuse survivor. I earned my stripes with this one. You're not a feminist blogger until you've been threatened with rape and murder fifty times in a day. It's like getting a badge of honor pinned right into your flesh.

It made me a feminist. Not just a person who hated sexism, but an active feminist wanting to learn and grow in that movement. It didn't make me a decent person right off the bat though. But there it is. I think this is what Jessica West was talking about.

"The real force that made the suffrage movement was the quality of the opposition. Women, listening to anti-suffrage speeches, for the first time knew what many men really thought of them."

Please note that I wrote all this a long-ass time ago, when I hadn't yet learned how to be a fucking person, let alone an intersectional, relatively-privileged feminist. I was still in the very early stages of scrubbing the kyriarchy out of my brain and this post reflects that mentality. I'm not proud of some of the things I said there. It does not reflect me as a I am today, but it does reflect who I was, what I thought and how I got punished for saying it. Posting this here is nothing more or less than a statement that I'm done being scared. I haven't altered a word since I first posted it, because that would defeat the entire point. But in the intervening years, I've really worked on becoming a smarter, more compassionate, more mature person.

With that said...

(Content note: ableist and homophobic language and slurs, many swears, many mentions of rape and sexual abuse, images and quotes depicting abuse victims, copious MRA language, mention of suicide... Look, it's just a big ol' triggery mess. Basically I throw a lot of groups under the bus to make fun of these people. It's allies behaving badly. I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry.)

Comments are heavily moderated.



Getting laid is not hard. Not being a raging asshole works for most people.

That took me two sentences and only slightly under a minute to explain. Less than a decade of sexual activity, and I think I've got a handle on this "getting laid" stuff. Maybe I'm just gifted that way. And yet there's an entire subculture of men who can't seem to do it. This is baffling to me. "Straight male" is to sexuality what god mode is to video games.



The internet is absolutely lousy with socially incompetent men telling other socially incompetent men how to get laid, a circle jerk of misogyny and frustration so utterly fucktarded it qualifies as fetish porn. They're everywhere, the gimmicky "techniques" and step-by-step walkthroughs to defeating my vagina, and they have a few things in common: they hate icky women so badly you honestly wonder why they want to stick their penis in one, you can smell the Rohypnol wafting from the very page and they hate feminism the way religious nutters hate gays: blindly while filled with semen. I could pick them all out one by one, but I'm pretty sure that would end with me in a windowless van with a pickup artist sobbing muffled apologies on my shoulder. Instead, I'm just going to take you on a tour of the place that exemplifies the entire subculture. And I promise you, you're in for a treat.




Riddle me this. Is this a paragraph from a manual on:

A) training your pet?
B) training your woman?
C) being a more socially competent individual?
D) eradicating feminism?

If you answered "all of the above, because that makes sense", congratulations, I have your IP and I'm notifying the FBI. Also, you're totally right.





So there's lesson one, free of charge. If you want your dog/woman/victim to accept your meat-filled bone, make sure it fits. And this is just the very first gem in a veritable treasure trove of shiny, shiny advice. Manhood Academy (oh boy) promises to "train men [...] in social competence" and "cut through the bullshit".

SPOILER ALERT!

The bullshit is whatever noise comes out of these goddamn women.


The Mission Statement

Are you a guy whose honest affections have been spurned? Do some women not appreciate you for who you are? Do you sometimes not get laid even though you really want to? I empathize. I'm a completely normal human too. 

"You are drowning in a sea of confusing advice, prescription meds and chronic insecurity. You're obsessed with your appearance and ruled by your unstable emotions. You dread talking to women, resent your peers and couldn't care less about the world.
In short, you feel stuck and unable to do anything about it. Your frustration is understandable." 

And it really is. You may recognize this as a list of symptoms of being fifteen and alive. Manhood Academy is here to fix that though. Not the being alive part. That would actually be helpful.

If this tagline was any more unintentionally hilarious it'd be Christine O'Donnell.



One could argue that when you're a chronically insecure bipolar mess who's drowning in anxiety medication, you're not qualified to give advice on being socially competent. One would be a fucking moron. These guys are qualified as hell.


Here's the only piece of honest, solid advice you're going to find in this entire post, so you better take this to heart: if someone's qualifications are entirely comprised of nine years of teaching and zero years of studying, chances are you're dealing with an actual medically crazy person.

Speaking of madmen, you may sort of recognize Prof. Plum here as the genius who wants to kick the lizard folk in the nads. Coincidence? I wouldn't want to live in a world where it is.


The Site

To be honest, you wouldn't think things were about to go batshit insane from looking at this thing. The site itself is just a the hard taco shell of anticipation that houses the manly meat that is their e-book. More on that later. It's a decent warm-up, but it's nothing you haven't seen before. The welcome page hates women so hard it's Protocols of the Elders of Zion with boobs, there's lots of bullshit about eliminating the bullshit, forums, news, blah blah blah, until-

BAM!!!

It's an actual academy.
Not for all the roofies in the world.

For the low, low price of $10/month, you can join these dudes in California to bask in their hard-won wisdom and learn how you, too, can become as universally liked and socially competent as them. I'm obviously not qualified to join because of my raging case of having a vagina, but I imagine this trip will involve a lot of punching Real Dolls in the tits and daily games of Soggy Biscuit (don't Google that). I wonder why an organization that is purportedly all about teaching social skills pretty much up and bans women, but what do I know. I have a brain made of jelly and a heart full of glitter. What were we talking about? Shoes?

This is all I need to know about a site I only found in the first place because I was looking for gay porn. We shall speak of it no more.


Intermezzo: An Honest Review

Lest you think all this whining about cutting through the bullshit is just beta-male chest-beating, these experts on social interaction are ready to back up their claims. They have a free e-book. Of course they do.

Now listen up, because this is me at my most honest.

I was going to skim this e-book and pick out the juicy bits to make fun of, because fuck it, I'm not an investigative journalist and nobody pays me to wade through this crap. Then I started reading from the top. I read the index. I read the intro. And I kept reading. Because this e-book is glorious.

Leaves. Watches. Fish. AWESOME!

The hilarity on display in The Principles of Social Competence starts with the title and never lets up. It is comedy without dead spots, upping the ante on every page, pummeling you with astounding observation after observation until you hurl with laughter. Every time you think it can't get any more brilliant, it whips out it's tiny limp cock and fucks your PC mind. Reading this thing is what it feels like to temporarily see the world through the eyes of an honest-to-god shithouse crazy lunatic. If anyone else had written this, it'd be sad, offensive and depressing. In the hands of these guys, it turns into cringe-comedy gold the likes of which I haven't seen since Arrested Development stopped airing. Understand that I did not cherry pick the good bits for this post. You can skip to any random page and find something to marvel at.

Fucking read this thing.

It's 292 pages, but don't let that turn you off. 292 pages are easy to fill if you use a font bigger than my bitch mouth and scatter the pages with a mix of pictures that could only have originated from the most awesome depths of Google Image.


This is my Mona Lisa.


It's free, in a way that implies the authors know what the word free means as thoroughly as they understand why misogyny is wrong. You need to put this sweet, sweet thing in your Kindle, so here it is, courtesy of me. You're welcome.

If this book was a movie, I'd force all my friends to watch it. If this book was running for president, I'd get US citizenship just so I could vote for it. If this book was a bomb, I'd throw it at your house. If this book was a woman, I'd hatefuck her right in the dumb bitch face until she fucking choked!

Wow.

That was dark. I went to a dark place there.

Maybe don't read all of it at once like I just did.


Part I: Identifying The Problem

To understand this baffling masterpiece, here's one phrase that's is absolutely vital, straight from the intro:

This is the key to understanding every single thing that comes after it. This is a book written by people to whom the concept of "dealing with other human beings without getting punched in the throat" is so utterly alien they cannot conceive of other people picking this skill up as they go along. Apparently their near-decade of teaching hasn't brought them into contact with fringe sciences like sociology.

Part one needs 67 pages and roughly 200 images to identify the problem, while I can do it in two words: goddamn women.

That's it. You'd think it'd be a pretty offensive read, but it jumps the shark so badly it turns right back around and becomes zany comedy again. What's the problem with women, you ask? Feminism.




I want to be 100% clear here, so there's absolutely no possibility for confusion: if you're a middle class white male and feel threatened by feminism, you are failing at life on easy mode.






Here's a true fact about the extremely deranged: they assume everyone else is at least as deranged as they are. So if your whole life and every waking thought revolves around stabbing your purple groinsword at every warm body in proximity, it's hard to imagine other people have better shit to do.




That sentence is actually continued on the next page, but while we have strippers, let's make stripperade. Guess how the sentence ends. Go on, it's fun. Fucking guess. 

No? Give up? Okay.







Awesome.

And here I was thinking these guys were such pussies their balls had retracted all the way up to their nostrils. I take it back. Talking earnestly and passionately about exploitation in the sex industry of men, by women takes big hairy elephant balls the likes of which haven't been seen since Alexander got bored in the Alps.

At this point you may get the impression they're pulling that shit out of their ass, or whatever place their uncle keeps his dick this week. Not so. All this stuff is meticulously researched and impeccably sourced.



I love this book with a panty-wetting passion I usually reserve for lady-mouthed man-whores.


Some day, I'll use my body to defraud this man out of his 
hard earned money, and he's going to hate it.


Part II: Understanding The Solution


Oh, we're nowhere near done with part one. It goes on to explain how awful it is that women have an unfair financial advantage over men, uses Idiocracy to prove a convoluted point about why women shouldn't be able to vote (the reason is ice cream) and hates women for putting out too much and not putting out enough in the same paragraph, all of it sung to the major key of whine. It's brilliant, and you should read it yourself.

But we must move on to part two, which is going to solve the problem (the problem, lest we forget, being feminism). After 60+ pages of butthurt about how bitches don't know their place, it's forgivable if you've forgotten that this is supposed to be a book about improving social competence. So with all the above firmly in mind, prepare to use that knowledge to become a more likeable person.

Oh, no, wait, it's about hating women some more.



The thesis statement of this chapter can be summed up in one handy chart:




If you need 300 pages of limp-dicked diatribes about how unfair it is that feminism is denying you your godgiven right to lord over your harem to understand that order is more orderly than disorder, boy, have I got the book for you.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Part 2 is where this book veers into, dare I say it, reasonableness. This is where shit gets downright devious.

First, it wants to change you, the insecure, unpopular male, from a beta into an alpha. Okay. I can see why a guy would like to do that. The motives may be a little misguided, but I get it.

Then it brings it all back to authority, and how self-imposed authority and discipline are tools to bring order to a disorganized life. Yeah, sure, I buy that. Self-improvement is important.

Then, in the same breath, it goes on to teach you how to impose that authority on others, whether they like it or not, because they don't know what's good for them. But you, the newly minted alpha, do.

And that's when you remember you're reading a book co-authored by a dude who's idea of politically charged satire is laughing at rape victims. You know your misogyny has turned into a certifiable mental disorder when a guy who chose "antifeminist" as his whole identity thinks you've gone too far in a few places.


Aaaand we're back. Lovely.

Take note, gentlemen. If a woman rejects your natural authority, for example by throwing her drink in your face, it's only because you hurt her feelings and attacked her self-esteem.

No, wait, that sounds about right. Fuck you for making me agree with you, you sexist sack of shit.



Guys, let's talk like adults here. I know you're not going to believe me after all this ribbing, but you know what, here's something I need to tell you in all seriousness: your problem is not that you're too nice to women.



ORDER IS MORE ORDERLY THAN DISORDER!

I cannot stress that enough.

I'd walk you through the rest of part two, but I'm confident that if you've spent any time around the perpetually victimized at all, you can take it from here: I'm such a Nice Guy, but guess what? Bitches don't want a Nice Guy, do they? Bitches want an asshole. Fuck those bitches. I'm going to be the biggest asshole on the block and get a bitch of my very own! To cherish and protect! That'll show that bitch Emily for not going to the prom with me! Then I'll be waist deep in writhing bitches like a boss and I'LL BE HAPPY FOREVER SO THERE!

Instead, I'll just leave you with this handy map. That should explain everything.



PART III: APPLYING THE SOLUTION


No, I don't know why we've switched to ALL-CAPS!!! all of a sudden, but I'm excited!

So, to summarize:

Problem! Bitches be crazy.
Solution! Show bitches who's boss.

The authors are right in assuming this is easier said than done. You can't just waltz into any women's rights meeting or strip club and demand a sandwich. As noted above, many women suffer from self-esteem. It's very important to keep that in mind, because you're going to need a woman who has none of that going on for this to work.

In case I hadn't made it clear enough that this book was created by dudes circle jerking until their rape fantasies exploded onto the internet like so much wasted semen, please enjoy this unaltered paragraph.



Sarcasm leads to rape. Rape leads to arrest. Arrest leads to prison. Prison leads to rape. Thus the natural order is preserved.

Did I mention this chapter is all about how to punish and reward your domesticated woman? Because it is. This is baffling to me, because they straight up forgot the part where you get a woman to agree to live with you. It goes discipline, authority, exert authority, control your woman. How the fuck do I get a woman? Seriously, I'm asking. eBay? Is this somehow linked to the fact that you're professionally entertaining socially awkward dudes on a ranch in California?




In a chapter about keeping the pimp hand strong and the bitches in line, this definition of torture reveals more about the perpetrators of this book than the semen they left in the body of their latest victim.

After paragraph after paragraph about how to be a man, the whole thing suddenly devolves into a whinefest about how your bitch behavior hurts their feelings. For a moment there, the psychotic pimp vibe collapses like a bad soufflé, and it is wonderful to behold. Girls, I don't know what the living fuck you did to this guy, but a psyche hasn't been this thoroughly destroyed since a Hitler got kicked out of art school. Bless you.

This chapter is just lousy with little peeks into the carnival of terrors that is the authors' sad, sad lives.


To be fair, that shirt clearly does prefer the company of men.

This just explains everything. If you ever wondered how many swirlies you need to be subjected to before  the cleaning chemicals seep into your brain, these guys have the answer.


As much as a Stockholm sufferer can love a psychotic rapist.

If you're going to read one part of this book though, make it the conversation that starts on page 246 in which the authors straight up lose whatever tenuous grasp on reality they may have had and start writing the most hilariously uncomfortable erotic fiction you've ever read. Spoiler alert! It's a novelization of this:



I'd go on, but do yourself a favor and read this motherfucking book. Then you too can know the context of phrases like these and how they relate to getting back at that bitch Emily!






You know what, authors? I get it. I can summarize this book in one sentence. You want to be waited on hand and foot by a woman who loves you unconditionally and lives her life in service of your every need and desire, but guess what? You blew it by not being five anymore, and shit like this is exactly why your mom keeps telling everyone her son's in prison.




Beautiful.

I have no parting words more inspiring than that. Instead, I will leave you to entertain yourselves with the full story of what happens when a misguided member of the gender these guys want to cherish, protect and keep safe from all harm dares to ask the esteemed authors a question on the forum. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but the answer involves Carrot Top, an answering machine and 26 instances of the word "cunt". If you want all of it, the real mission statement of the site and the book and the courses, all of the life lessons boiled down in one handy sentence, this is it:




God bless us, everyone.
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