This may get a bit ranty, but I’ve been holding back on writing this for nearly a year and recent events have pushed me into finally finishing it.
You see, I’ve found that in quite a few manosphere-based circles, it doesn’t matter if you support men and boys. It doesn’t matter if you believe the system is gynocentric, or that many situations favor women over men. It doesn’t matter if you say that you refuse to marry because of the inequality that current laws and policies push on the status of matrimony. What does matter is your worldview, and if it’s similar enough to theirs. If it’s not…watch out.
These are just a few examples of the types of charges and claims that get leveled against me;
The Charge of Falsehood
AKA You’re not actually gender dysphoric/gender dysphoria doesn’t exist. I get this one anytime someone doesn’t like my presence on a male dominant blog or forum. Oftentimes they will put gender dysphoria in scare quotes, as though that will eliminate it as a legitimate entry in the DSM-5. Basically, they dislike the fact that their opinion of “Female Body = Female Brain 100% of the time” (and vice versa) is proven wrong by the small percentage of the population like myself. Much like how some Christians believe gay people aren’t real, some believe G.D. isn’t real and will dismiss out of hand anyone who claims to.
The Charge of Inaccuracy
AKA You’re wrong about what you experience. Mostly used when I say something unpopular, like mentioning that I’ve noticed men often treat me very differently compared to my male coworkers. Or when I note that my brothers and I were given the same labor-intensive chores while growing up. I am told that I’m imagining things, that I’m being hypersensitive, or even that I’m looking for something to complain about. This charge is one that I particularly hate, because it’s so similar to feminists who tell men “misandry doesn’t exist, you’re complaining about nothing”. I loathe when feminists use it on men, and I loathe it when the people I’m trying to spread the word for use it on me. It’s as though they believe that in admitting sexism against females still exists, that sexism against men doesn’t. Guess what? It’s not a zero-sum game.
The Charge of Feminism
AKA You believe men and women should be treated equally, you must be a feminist. One of the most annoying ones, especially as a term is already in place to describe true attempts at equality: Egalitarian. Calling someone a feminist doesn’t make it so, and is getting to the point of being an ad hominin attack. Sorry, just because I have a clitoris does not mean I agree with feminist thought.
The Charge of Malcontent
AKA You’re just being a shit – stirrer. Usually used when I ask questions regarding deeply held or typically encountered beliefs about gender vs sex, or differences in brain chemistry, or even just division of hobbies/interests among the sexes. What I find to be absolutely bizarre is if you question X, people will automatically think you believe Y…when this isn’t the case at all. Maybe it’s due to my time on my school’s debate team, but I’m fully capable of listening to both sides of an argument and arguing for either side. Trying to get people to question their beliefs and actually come up with logical reasons for believing them (rather than taking the easy way out and pointing at just their own experiences as evidence) can be very rewarding. Sometimes new information will come to light that others in the group hadn’t considered before, or maybe we’ll find that despite the odds, we’ve all encountered the same. Yet it seems this also has the potential to upset people, as though they prefer to live an unexamined life of stagnant thought. Curious…
The Charge of Shaming
AKA You hate/shame men for showing weakness. When I say that men shouldn’t stay in abusive or unloving relationships, I’m “shaming” them. When I say that men shouldn’t be used by the women in their lives, I’m “shaming” them. Even if I say we need to teach men that they have inherent worth outside of having relationships with women, apparently I am “shaming” them. Will someone please explain how this is, when numerous males in the manosphere say the exact same words yet aren’t accused of shaming their fellow men?**
The Charge of Attention-Seeking
AKA You only talk about your experiences because they’re different. *Sigh* No, I talk about my experiences because they’re mine. Who else shall I speak of? I refuse to mindlessly agree with everything someone says is “True”, when my own life has shown otherwise. I don’t follow Team Woman just because I have a vagina, and I don’t follow Team Man just because I think like them. If this means creating my own path, so be it.
The Charge of Subterfuge
AKA You’re a spy. Now, who exactly I’m spying for I’ve never been told. Perhaps they believe there’s secret cabals of women who lurk in the shadows, cackling and wringing their hands, waiting for me to return with information on how to snag unwilling husbands? I’ve never understood this one…it’s not like many manosphere blogs or forums are password protected. Why would anyone need a spy, when they can just go read for themselves? It’s utterly nonsensical.
The Charge of Repressed Femininity
AKA You are capable of being feminine, you just don’t want to be. This is the only one that has any actual merit. Yes, I can pretend to be feminine…but so can any man. I can wear dresses, put on makeup, be dainty, speak quietly and demurely, let men pay for all my meals, and be the perfect woman. Heck, I’ve never had a fertility test, but it’s likely I can get pregnant and give birth/breastfeed. But in doing so, I’d be lying…not only to myself, but to everyone around me. At least with the way I naturally dress, speak, and act, most people assume I’m a tomboy and don’t treat me like a “lady” (and if they try to, I inform them I don’t like it). Denizens of the manosphere don’t quite grasp the concept of someone who is able to have the world on a silver platter, but specifically asks for a ceramic plate instead. I blame society, where most people, men and women alike, try to use every advantage they can to get ahead to the point it sounds like a fairytale when you hear of a female who declined using her female-specific school grants and signed up for the Draft with the other guys in her class. But it shouldn’t…that’s what equality is, and that’s what I’m all about. I can’t give myself a male body, but I will do everything in my power to topple the pedestal my female form gives me.
** I’ve actually done an experiment with this, to determine if it’s my message or my sex that is “bad”. For example, about a year ago, I posted on a YouTube video about female-on-male rape that men should tell their female partners about the crime committed against them (when they are comfortable enough to) because keeping it a secret has the potential to affect the relationship, create a gap in their intimacy, and even stress him out to the point he’ll have flashbacks during sex which can cause even more mental anguish if she doesn’t understand what’s happening or how to help. Well, from the resulting comments you’d have thought I kicked a man in the balls. I was told it was a horrible idea, that I only wanted to make rape victims ashamed of what happened, that it was impossible to find a woman who would care, and that I enjoyed seeing men shamed by their partners. Needless to say, I was shocked by these accusations…but I noticed one thing. Nearly half the comments made reference to the fact I had a female screen name and that this should disqualify my statement outright. So I waited 2 weeks, signed into my male screen name account, and posted the same message with minor rephrasing. This time, it received applause and up votes, with only one detractor.
I’ve often wondered if I should just let people believe I’m a man until they visit my blog, but that that seems dishonest. I’d rather be accepted for me being me than a lie. The problem is, people initially judge based on looks (irl, it is the first thing they notice about you, after all) and I’m unfortunately a female, and a feminine voiced/bodied one to boot. This may seem like a good thing to some of my readers, maybe even most, but for me it sucks. People go out of their way to compliment me…when I haven’t done anything special. Guys try to carry packages for me…when I can deadlift 70 lbs. Every time someone praises my body it should feel good because I take good care of it…but they always phrase it in a way to inevitably remind me I’m a female. The number of times alone that I’ve been told “you’re so good at your job/talent…and attractive too!” is sickening. All I want is to be valued for my work ethic, my compassion, my empathy, my personality. The things I do are a much better indicator of me than my mere looks, and they are what I’ll keep when my looks finally begin to “fade”. Were that I could be appreciated for what I’m capable of rather than just the fact I exist as a woman!