Is the MRM wrong but useful? How then can we fight feminism?

I’ve gotten lots of great feedback from men’s rights advocates, which is pretty big of them, given that I basically called them a bunch of socially-stunted monkey-spankers.  I’m still working through the comments, so please don’t feel insulted if I haven’t addressed yours yet, or if I addressed it only flippantly.

I especially appreciate Novaseeker’s thoughtful defense of MRM from a Christian standpoint here.  He makes a couple of important points that I would like to address.  First, in the political arena we must often form broad alliances which will necessarily include people we don’t like.  Refusing to do this condemns one to impotence.  He gives the example of the Democratic and Republican parties.  Now, to be honest, if the American electorate were evenly divided between three parties–the Republicans, the Democrats, and a men’s-rights party, I’d vote straight-ticket for the men’s-rights party at every election.  In a “who’s-the-least-evil” contest, they win hands down.  However, as it is, both patriarchists and MRM are politically insignificant, so these sorts of considerations don’t apply.  (I realize that Novaseeker will probably dispute this claim, but it seems depressingly clear to me.  The world is moving in a direction of more aggressive feminism, with no major force in the West standing in opposition.)  Supporting MRM or patriarchy won’t help you change the world, but it will change yourself.  I assert that embracing patriarchy will make a man better, while embracing MRM will make him worse.  Of course, there are many virtuous men, loving husbands and fathers of daughters, who support MRM, but I think their virtue exists in spite of, rather than because of, MRM.  No man was ever made a better person by being told that he’s a victim.  this does raise a problem: if both MRM and patriarchy are politically irrelevant, how should we address the larger culture?  Am I preaching political resignation?  No, I’m not.  In a minute I’ll tell you what I do recommend.

This brings us the Novaseeker’s second point, that MRM can be thought of as a sort of grab-bag of materials to help men navigate the hostile modern world.  Some of the tools in the bag are morally objectionable, but most are neutral–i.e. they can be used for good or evil–and so men, including Christian men, can use what they find morally unproblematic.  This is a good point, and it does cause me to qualify my condemnation.  There is some decent material on MRM websites.  There’s nothing wrong with men knowing how deeply the state is beholden to feminists and how greatly men are held in contempt by feminist activists.  MRM is a good place to learn about this.  However, Novaseeker and I disagree about the proportion of objectionable material.  He brings up the example of men learning game to improve their marriages, but in fact this is impossible.  Game is always morally corrupting, and it always poisons relationships, not because of any particular advice it gives me but because of the very framework I am to use when thinking about a woman.  The image of women as amoral, instinctive animals is the heart of game.  Take it away, and you’re left with common sense advice to be bold and self-confident, and one doesn’t need game for that.

Most of what one finds in the MSM bag isn’t distinct facts, but mental categories that one uses to interpret facts.  Nothing wrong with that in itself; no one can think without categories.  Some of the MSM ones are of questionable value in interpreting the world, though.  The idea of men and women as two opposed interest groups is feminist and evil, but it lies implicit in some MRA comments.  The category of “mangina” probably obscures more than it reveals, because it lumps together men who oppose MRM for very different reasons.

How, then, do we fight feminism?  First, some unpleasant facts:  both Christianity (patriarchy’s main support in the West) and classical liberalism (of which MRM is one of the better advocates) are doomed, at least as socially relevant forces.  The feminist steamroller is too powerful.  Another generation of persecution and propaganda will seal its control of the West.  Then two great forces will remain in the world:  the feminist-materialist Left and Islam.  These two will battle for the ultimate fate of mankind.  Islam has the numbers and fanaticism, but it doesn’t yet know the enemy it’s facing.  That’s where we Christian patriarchists come in.  We have studied this enemy; we know its tricks, and we have meticulously dissected its ideology.  When the time comes, when the Left throws off its pretended friendship with Muslims, we must offer Islam our services.  In the battle between Islam and the Left, there can be no doubt who we should wish to win.  A final victory of the Left would mean the extinction of humanity’s spiritual heritage.  Even with the help of Christianity’s remnant (which, truth be told, won’t be that significant), it’s not clear that the Muslims can win.  What is clear is that they’re the only ones left with a shot.

So you see, I’m not totally lacking in grim realism.

28 Responses

  1. I disagree with your linear thinking regarding the future because the current situation is not sustainable. A type of economic collapse seems at hand.

    Game is an unfortunate name, but it is useful. It helps to understand the differences in the way men and women think. It is helpful to understand women as a class of people that have different primary needs and different thinking than men. Those that reduce it to button pushing are missing the most of the subject. For instance, men generalize and women personalize in their thought processes. Men’s greatest fear is FAILURE, while women’s greatest fear is ABANDONMENT. Male and female motivations are different. So if something is considered a part of Game it may also exist as a general truth elsewhere. Therefore dismissing anything that is considered part of Game just because it is part of Game is painting with a brush that is too broad.

  2. There was a time in history very similar to our own. That was the Roman Empire. It too suffered from decadence and something very similar to feminism. Several emperors recognized the problem and tried to combat it, but they failed. The powerful forces of the time were powerless against moral decay. But there was one small group of people who offered an alternative. This group was tiny, insignificant, and powerless. Instead of fighting moral decadence, they simply offered an alternative which people could turn to as a refuge in a decaying world. Of course I am referring to early Christianity. I suggest this as a model instead of worrying about power and allying with the lessor or two evils (Islam).

    I am an atheist. What I wrote here doesn’t depend on religious belief, it simply depends on understanding history. Christianity today is corrupt, in many ways similar to the pagan religions in the Roman Empire. Most branches of Christianity are useless. But those few Christians and people of other religions who share a strong desire for morality and patriarchy could come together and offer an alternative similar to what early Christianity offered. What early Christianity did was to take the best aspect of Judaism and make this available to all of the people in the Roman Empire. The same approach is needed now, to take the best aspects of Christianity and make this available to people of all religions in the modern Liberal Empire as a refuge for people to turn to.

  3. Mr. Bonald (Vicomte?), I think you overestimate the left’s power.

    As long as Western states are liberal, you have the liberty to attend Latin Mass, dominate your wife, classically educate your children, et al. Yes, granted modern ideology is a two-headed monster whose other head is equality. If the 20th century taught us anything, though, it’s that a rational materialist programme to create equality is too opposed to human nature to survive, and the rapidity of its failure correlates with the rigidity of the attempt. The Soviet Union, which lasted but 74 years, was more moderate than Democratic Kampuchea which lasted but 4.

    As to sex roles in particular, they cannot be abolished without abolishing the fact that women bear and suckle children. Modernity is just another historical period. We who love God can wait it out.

  4. I agree with Rottweiler, the feminist left is self-destructing; they can only replicate themselves through education system for a while. All demographic models point to the demographic collapse of the feminist Western countries within a few decades. As the old saying goes “when you enemy is self-destructing. ..get out of the way”

  5. Let’s try to make it a three way contest.

  6. I’ve noticed something very similar going on among some white nationalists, or at least the ones that write for and comment on Alternative Right. Just as the MRM often repeats the worst feminist drivel, only with the genders reversed, ethno-nationalists repeat all kinds of PC, white-guilt drivel with the races reversed. They also seem happy to support any liberal idea that isn’t directly related to race — I’ve seen them speak warmly of everything from wealth redistribution to gays in the military. Additionally, most HDB people seem to be at least partly in thrall to scientism, materialism, and Darwinist reductionism.

    Also, “socially-stunted monkey-spankers” is now my favorite phrase.

  7. ‘Then two great forces will remain in the world: the feminist-materialist Left and Islam. These two will battle for the ultimate fate of mankind.’

    I remain thoroughly unconvinced of this scenario. It’s not impossible, but I have no reason to think that it’s more likely than any number of other scenarios.

  8. Your supposition that feminism/materialism is a greater foe to Christianity than Islam seems very dubious on historical grounds. We know what happens to Christianity under triumphant Islam: dhimmitude tending strongly towards annihilation (the *best* case appears to be the Copts in Egypt; their situation is dire but at least they still exist, after a fashion). What are your grounds for supposing that the same, or worse, would happen under the triumphant Left that you fear?

    I am inclined to think that the feminist-materialist Left is unstable over generations, whereas Islam clearly is very stable indeed. (At least under pre-modern conditions: I think it’s possible that Islam is a lot more brittle now than it looks on the surface.)

  9. […] So, I’m glad I took some time to cool off before responding, because I personally don’t have an issue with traditionalists, and I don’t think we need to be at each other’s throats. Novaseeker explained the issues in a clear way, and in doing so gave cooler heads the opportunity to prevail. […]

  10. Bonald —

    An interesting, well-written response.

    On your first point, I don’t agree, if for no other reason that MRA groups like Fathers & Families and the American Coalition for Fathers & Children actually *are* making real political progress as lobbying groups. They are getting bills into consideration about shared parenting, revision of custody and support rules and the like. And they are getting some results. It will take a long time to get all of the changes that are needed in these areas, particularly given that these are state-level issues meaning a much bigger campaign than a federal level issue, but there *is* actual lobbying work taking place on a wide canvas at this point, and it’s being done by MRAs. I’m not aware of anything similar being conducted on behalf of men by any traditionalist group. Are you? if so, I’d be happy to learn of it.

    Second, I think that the ideas of the MRA community really are spreading and having a cultural impact on a much broader basis than traditional Christianity is. As I mentioned in my post, one recent example of this is the recent (last weekend) Wall Street Journal article by Kay Hymowitz about male/female issues, which currently has more than 1200 comments. If you peruse the comments, MRA type ideas are rampant in them. I’m almost certain that the writers are not themselves MRAs in any meaningful sense — a broad mainstream tends to read the WSJ, people who are engaged in the world, in the economy and so on. But the ideas that were birthed and disseminated by people in the MRA community are now becoming ambient, and having a broader impact on how men are looking at these kinds of issues. This will eventually have a political impact as well, and perhaps it already has, in terms of the results in the US in November 2010. But the ideas are having a wider spread, I think, than traditionalist ideas are, at least at this particular point in time.

    Having said that, MRA is not a political party, because it has no comprehensive political worldview beyond helping men. So, in political terms it’s more like a lobbying group — or, rather, a clearinghouse of ideas and experiential exchange that has some lobbying aspects to it.

    I disagree with you about Game, but that’s probably best addressed elsewhere. Suffice to say that I don’t think that understanding what the opposite sex finds attractive and learning to be that is in any way inherently inconsistent with Christian moral teaching — attraction in itself is not really a moral issue.

    I would suggest a third option to the current malaise: a slow decline of the West that leads not to a violent confrontation with Islam, but rather a metamorphosis into something that is in substance different but is in name still the West. Liberalism as it currently extends is not really sustainable, but adjustments will be made. Probably too late to save the system, hence a metamorphosis. By the time this happens, the newly-rejiggered emerging Islamic republics will be so riddled with Western feminism themselves, in terms of their own women, as they become more democratic, that they won’t really be much of a force to be reckoned with any longer, really.

  11. Hello Brendan,

    Thank you for the response. I have not been following the legislative progress of the groups you mention. I will have to look into that. It may cause me to reconsider my claim about MRM’s practical irrelevance.

  12. Hell Craig,

    One ominous piece of data is that Christianity in Europe has disappeared far faster under liberal rule than it did in North Africa under Muslim rule. Christians were the majority in countries like Egypt for centuries after the Arab conquest. Islam has a place for dhimmis; the Left has no place for “hate”.

  13. As a traditional Catholic, I think there is extreme wisdom in “Game.” I was, and am, a traditional Catholic. But when I read Roissy and learned about game, it’s as if many delusions of women were swept away in one fell stroke. I realized how blinded I was to the existing culture, and how manifestly corrupt things have become, because I was pedastalizing women. In reality, Christianity teaches that no one should be pedastalized, that all are sinners. But in practice, especially today, the stink of Satan exists even in the Church and this stink has at its source the pedastalization of femininity.

    Patriarchal traditionalists claim that proponents of Game are engaged in an objective evil because Game treats as its baseline assumption the idea that a woman is at her core a biological organism that primarily responds to her biological influences instead of rational/moral influences, which is dehumanizing, objectifying and therefore evil. Women listen to their “tingle” instead of morality or reason, and the science of Game is to understand that fundamental female motivation.

    To this objection, I think that the patriarchal traditionalists are overreacting. Saying that a hungry man will eventually grab for food is not objectifying him by reducing him to fundamentals of gastro-intestinal chemistry. Likewise, it is not objectification to understand that a woman who wants exciting sex will therefore grab for exciting sex. Biological functions are a reality to be dealt with. If society made gluttony a fetish (and in some way, it has) and proclaimed that eating to obesity is the right and should be the desire of all women, and that 400 pound women were living life to the fullest and the subject of movies like “Eat, Pray, Eat Some More”, understanding the dynamics between that public call to gluttony and everyone’s basic need to eat would be very useful for a person looking to find a thin partner. Likewise, understanding society’s pervasive promotion of hypergamy, and how it turns a natural sexual desire into a fetish of misandry, is useful for a person either looking to avoid it or deal with it in his own way. That is what Game is about. It deals with the intersection of basic, fundamental biological urges and the cultural reality we are in today.

    Furthermore, patriarchal traditionalists objectify women anyway. They treat all of them as objects. Glass objects, to be revered and fawned over, but objects nonetheless. They have made femininity into its own God, violating a fundamental commandment that they claim to uphold. Yes, to the outside observer, when the traditionalist patriarch places women on a pedestal, he is making femininity into a New God to be worshiped in violation of the First Commandment. The actual teaching of Christianity is not so blind, which proclaims that all people (including women) are sinners and that the flesh is weak in all of us (including, and sometimes especially, women). Patriarchial traditionalists, with their pedestalization of femininity, have violated their own core beliefs and mock the tenets of their own faith. And God will not be mocked.

    I’m a practicing Catholic but I think that so-called “patriarchal traditionalists” are fundamentally blind to a big part of reality. In reality, Christianity is not going to improve things here. It has always failed to conserve its political strength, and it will continue to fail, because Christianity is not about practical politics. “My Kingdom is not of this Earth,” He said. And Jesus was right. His Kingdom IS not of this earth, and the world hated him and will continue to hate him. You want to be Christian, you’re going to have to bear a cross. And so Patriarchal traditionalists are chasing a dream if they think that their strong faith will produce practical results. It will not. Jesus has all but said it will not. There is NO prosperity gospel. Being a believer won’t earn you riches nor will it make society more fair towards men. If anything, it WILL get you thrown to the lions. And while a pagan society that fed Christians to the lions eventually converted to Christianity, it took nearly 300 years and the blood of countless martyrs. And unfortunately, we can’t wait another 300 years between the time Christians are fed to the lions and the State officially blessing Christianity. Men have problems now and can’t wait for the blood of martyrs to fertilize the ground.

  14. […] reader of Throne and Altar, named Kel, had the following to say recently: As a traditional Catholic, I think there is extreme […]

  15. Dear Kel,

    Thank you for this thoughtful defense of Game. You seem to understand very well what I find objectionable about it. I am therefore perplexed that you think that one must “pedestalize” femininity to find Game’s biological reductionism objectionable. If, as you and I both believe, women are sinners, they must therefore be free moral agents, and not complete slaves to their “tingles”. No doubt women have sexual desires, but common experience indicates that their sex drives are weaker than those of men, and no one would say that a man must commit fornication or adultery every time he has a “boner tingle”. Traditional patriarchism is not, I believe, burdened by Victorian sentimentalism about feminine moral purity to the extent you imagine.

    As for the question of who objectifies women, of course we all do. The subject-object distinction is unavoidable in human thought. (Perhaps even in divine thought, since the Father’s Logos is objectified in the Son.) The question is, what kind of objects are women? I say they are free, intelligent beings–subject to temptation but, at least with the aid of divine grace, capable of righteousness.

  16. As an atheist who supports patriarchy, I have problems with the practice of Game. Of course there is nothing wrong with studying and learning Game. There is nothing wrong with learning anything. Learning is a good thing, especially learning views that differ from your own. Atheists should study religion and Christians should study evolutionary psychology. My views supporting patriarchy and opposing Game are based on evolutionary psychology. But let me list the problems with the practice of Game.

    1. Game causes an “arms race” for sex. In a promiscuous society, women will only have sex with the “top” men, and as men increase their skills at seducing women, women just raise the bar. So while Game can benefit an individual man in the short term, it does so at the expense of other men. Game is literally a zero-sum game for men in general. To see the result of this Game arms race, read Roosh here:

    2. Game generally requires lying. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like to lie. I do try to understand how women work, and I use this knowledge to keep my wife interested in me, but I do this in a limited way that avoids lying. Using game to seduce women would require me to lie and to misrepresent myself.

    3. Game requires a significant time investment. Society cannot function when men’s primary goal is seducing women. Married men who have the “sex” issue solved can focus on the tasks required to maintain society.

    4. The practice of Game to seduce women is clearly contrary to patriarchy. When we lived in patriarchal society, Game practitioners were called “cads”, the male equivalent of “sluts”. These men were harmful to patriarchy because they threatened the chastity of women. Of course we no longer have a patriarchal society, so this objection doesn’t apply to modern society. But subcultures that do maintain patriarchy, like Anabaptists and Hasidic Jews, should prevent the practice of Game on their women.

    Now I would like to address Kel’s last point, that Christianity cannot improve things. As an atheist, I disagree. Even in Rome where some (actually very few) Christians were fed to lions, Christianity did greatly improve things for those who joined Christianity. It did this by offering an alternative subculture that preserved morality. As Rome decayed morally, Christianity offered a refuge for those who valued morality. Modern Christianity has decayed morally, so most modern Christianity is worthless. But some branches of Christianity still have value, particularly the Anabaptists and Eastern Orthodox. Some branch of Christianity could again offer an moral alternative in our modern decaying culture, and it should be easier now than in Rome, since Christians are no longer fed to lions. A group doesn’t need to dominate society in order to establish patriarchy. All it needs to do is to establish patriarchy among its own members.

  17. This is Madness! Throw in our lot with the Islamists so that future Christians will one day have to grovel before the Great Caliph just to keep the Muslims from turning the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran into a mosque???!!!

    Both the feminist left and Islam are destroying themselves. Witness the spreading carnage in the Arab world and the rising dissatisfaction in the West with the fruits of feminism. Why is this happening? Both feminist left-wing thinking and Islam are heretical errors and they will be proven wrong eventually, as with all the great heresies. It just takes time.

    All we have to do is stay true to our Faith, support unwaveringly the one true Holy and Apostolic Church and watch the heretics destroy themselves. There can be no compromise with heretics, EVER!!! Anyone who suggests it is a heretic himself. You need a serious self-examination of conscience, Bonald.

  18. Svein Sellanraa has a great point. The MRM is at it’s roots liberal and merely a reflection of the current disease since it concentrates too much on autonomy and rights, rights, rights. Traditional conservatism isn’t infected with “Victorian ideals” contrary to what gamers and social darwinists believe. This is again something liberals do to traditional conservatives to try to infect conservatism from within (kind of like neoconservatism and libertarianism). Liberals believe in no morality or immorality and at the same time believe themselves to be more moral than conservatives. It’s a fairly common liberal trick and I hope bonald has caught unto this. I just read despicable comments by some gamers insulting Christians as “Nazis, theocrats, fascists, etc” and talking about “progressives are the true ‘puritans’ ” (this is no joke). By the way bonald the West (in particular the USA) is in the midst of an economic collapse and though it won’t change everything it will change some things for sure. Reactionaries and traditional conservatives just need to leave liberalism to itself so it self-destructs at a faster pace.

  19. Hello Elizabeth,

    “Liberals believe in no morality or immorality and at the same time believe themselves to be more moral than conservatives.”

    I am often astounded that liberals–including ones who are intellectually brilliant in other areas–fail to notice the most obvious contradictions in their belief system: “It’s wrong to make moral judgments.” “Gender is fluid, but homosexuality is innate.” “‘Race’ is an imaginary idea invented by whites to exploit blacks.”

    On the other hand, I have no confidence that liberalism is about to collapse on its own. We’ve been expecting that to happen for a long time, but Whig triumphalism has always ended up predicting the future more accurately.

  20. Hello fschmidt,

    All good points. #4 deserves special emphasis. Trained seducers are a menace to a patriarchal order.

    I also think you are right that forming closed subcultures is our only hope now. The challenge, though, is that while we don’t need to dominate society, we need to be able to exclude the wider society from our subgroup’s affairs. First we must make the separation. Then we must find a way to discourage the state from using its police power to smash us (“Operation Anabaptist Freedom”).

  21. Dear Jack,

    I agree with you that we should never compromise on doctrine with heretics. However, it may at times be necessary to make political compromises with heretics, especially when we are weak, as we most assuredly are today. Many conservatives are pushing for an alliance with liberalism against the Muslim threat. I think that’s an error. Liberalism is a far greater danger to the Church, and it is far more wicked in itself. Things could really change if the Muslims started to realize that we, rather than the Left, are their natural allies at this time.

  22. As disheartening as it is, never underestimate the strength of liberalism; not only in its command of the heights of the various institutions of Western culture, but its pleasure in making it known:

    A closed subculture has to be able to be well and truly closed on definable rules and a principled basis for excluding liberalism. I used to think that Mormonism and traditional Catholicism were the two institutions capable of doing this in contemporary America, but Mormonism appears to be selling itself into the mainstream. Traditionalists of all stripes are still underestimating how far out of the mainstream you have to be to reject liberalism.

  23. Casaubon, I agree with you. A great example of what is possible is the revival of Hasidic Judaism in America after WW2. Hasidic Judaism was basically dead in America when a few rabbis from Europe came to America with the goal of reviving Hasidic Judaism here, and they succeeded brilliantly. Hasidic Judaism well meets your requirements. They are very far out of the mainstream and they have successfully kept liberalism out of their subculture. A good movie explaining this story is “A Life Apart: Hasidism in America” which can be seen on Netflix here:

    Of course, Hasidic Judaism is not a solution for most people. As you say, Mormonism appears to be selling itself into the mainstream. I know little about traditional Catholicism, but my local traditional Catholic church seems more interested in fighting political battles, like fighting homosexuals, than in solving the social issues of its own members. A successful closed subculture should avoid politics except for political issues that directly affect its members.

  24. Fschmidt, Hasidic Judaism is a great example. Another trite one is the Amish. Essentially what we’re talking about is what Christianity did under Roman rule until it was stronger than the pagan culture.

    I suppose that Catholics still feel invested in America and Western society and thus are interested in political attempts to change it: that’s probably unwise, though Catholic-dominated political projects like the Federalist Society and the postwar anti-Communist movement have been surprisingly successful. I agree that politics is a dead end, as it has been more or less since the 1930s.

    I just had a look at your site: interesting stuff. I was until recently an atheist, so a lot of what you say makes sense. Kudos to you for going from talking to doing.

  25. Life=shopping. The liberal worldview.

  26. Here is a recent comment on The Spearhead:

    Be the boyfriend, not the husband of an American wife this story tells me.

    Are eyes opening?

    Life can be so easy.

    Bang a wife today!


    This comment was liked by 43 readers and disliked by 19 readers of The Spearhead. Are these the kind of men you really want to align yourself with?

  27. It certainly doesn’t cause me to reconsider my “shunning” policy.

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