With Friends Like This…

Originally posted on August 24, 2010

As I wrote before, to a certain degree I pity male feminists. They are in an unenviable position. Their actions are scrutinized as suspicious. Their views are contorted and thrown back in their faces. The more they attempt to appeal to feminists, the more they find that they are “sexist” and “anti-woman.” They are in a no win situation where they must constantly prove their worthiness to female feminists. The women who treat male feminists with suspicion justify it by citing examples of male feminists behaving badly. However, those examples seem like red herrings since most feminists already treat men with suspicion. Whether identifying themselves as allies or not, men must prove themselves to feminists even as feminists state that they probably will never trust men. This is not a tenable position to be in.

It is even worse when male feminists support the position by stating things like:

Stepping up means being willing to listen to women’s righteous anger. That doesn’t mean groveling on the ground in abject apology merely for having a penis — contrary to stereotype, that’s not what feminists (at least not any I’ve ever met) want. That means really hearing women, without giving into the temptation to become petulant, defensive, or hurt. It means realizing that each and every one of us is tangled in the Gordian knot of sexism, but that men and women are entangled in different ways that almost invariably cause greater suffering to the latter. Stepping up doesn’t mean denying that, as the old saying goes, The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too (TPHMT). It means understanding that in feminist spaces, to focus on male suffering both suggests a false equivalence and derails the most vital anti-sexist work.

and:

Stepping back means acknowledging that in almost every instance, feminist organizations ought to be led by women. It means that men in feminist spaces need to check themselves before they pursue leadership roles. While that might seem unfair, arguing that biological sex should have no bearing on who wields authority in a feminist organization fails to take into account the myriad ways in which the wider world discriminates against women. Even now, we still socialize young men to be assertive and young women to be deferential. (Yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but not enough to disprove that rule.) Part of undoing that socialization for women means pushing themselves to take on leadership positions even if they feel awkward about doing so; part of undoing that socialization for young men means holding themselves back from those same offices.

or:

I am keenly aware that a great many women are deeply cynical about men who claim to be feminists. This mistrust is rooted in real experience. The consequent desire to exclude men from feminist spaces is understandable.

As I noted on that blog, if one always assumes the worst of people, one will have little trouble proving that assumption correct. It takes effort and humility to step back, check your ego and defensiveness, and allow someone the opportunity to prove you wrong. It is unreasonable to tell someone that you will never trust them and then demand that the person try to earn your trust. It is also hypocritical to claim that you want a partner and colleague and then demand deferrence and subserviance. Perhaps the reason so many men fail in feminists’ eyes is because of  the impossible (and sexist) expectations those feminists place on men.

The irony is that feminism is supposedly about “building a genuinely egalitarian and non-violent society.” How can one do this if one favors one gender over the other? How can one promote equality when one unfairly guilts an entire gender, minimizes their feelings, denies the validity of their experiences, mocks their pain, and victim-blames them? How can one want men to be involved in feminism when one puts them in a catch-22 in which they must do feminist work or they are sexist, but if they speak too much or at all they are also sexist? How can men truly be allies if everything a man might do to ingratiate himself with feminists can be construed as sexist, especially if he voices his feelings or speaks about his own experiences? How can one simultaneously demand equality while expecting deference?

These seem like rational, logical questions to ask, yet one commenter did not understand them. Hobbes stated:

I don’t understand where Toysoldier is coming from, because he seems to forget the fact that the movement is about female empowerment. Yes, it involves masculinity, but- let’s be honest- primarily to the extent that it relates to femininity. There are exceptions, of course- Hugo writes about men often- but the feminist movement is about women and women’s rights. It assumes that women are disadvantaged in relation to men, and works from there.

If that is so, then why is it that feminists claim that feminism is about creating and promoting equality? It seems like feminists want to have it both ways at their convenience. Feminism is about equality and for everyone until men want acknowledgement, at which point it becomes about empowering women and women’s rights. Feminists oppose rape until someone mentions male victims, at which point feminists say they are only concerned about female victims. Feminists oppose violence until someone mentions male victims, at which point feminists say they are only concerned about violence against women. Feminists support equal access to education until someone mentions boys failing in school, at which point feminists say they are only concerned with educational disadvantages girls face. Feminists support treating people’s voices and experiences as equal until men speak, at which point feminists say men speak too much already, and so on.

Feminists want men to treat women’s experiences with respect, yet feminists, by their own admission, do not and will not treat men’s experiences with respect. In short, they demand something they are not willing to do themselves. That kind of hypocrisy and contradiction works against the purported goals of feminism, and it also prevents men who consider themselves allies, or might have, from being able to fully participate in the movement. Feminists essentially set men up to fail and then point to the men when it happens and go, “See! I fuckin told you!”

Of course men will fail. The expectations they face are impossible.

Hobbes went on to state:

If Hugo had said that men should *always* step back and allow women the spotlight, obviously I would disagree. But he didn’t. This particular movement concerns itself with the advancement and leadership of women. Therefore, as a man, I am going to step back in this sphere. This doesn’t mean, for example, that I’m going to be granting female executives precedence at a board meeting. I mean, I don’t think that it would be appropriate to see a white head of the NAACP, no matter how devoted he or she may be to civil rights. Let’s go further- I wouldn’t want to see a woman in charge of father’s groups. Why? It’s not about her.

Again, feminists state that feminism is for and about equality. It is only when men want to play an equal role that feminism suddenly becomes just about women. Hobbes has a point that if a movement is about a specific issue then it is best that a member of the group lead it. However, if that movement’s position is that differences between people should or do not matter, then anyone who can adequately represent the concerns of the group should be allowed to lead. In other words, if the NAACP were only about preventing racism, then it would be fair to say no white person should head the organization. Since NAACP is primarily about promoting racial equality, white people should not be excluded from being potential presidents of the organization.

Setting that aside, the problem does not just lie in the overt misandry in the feminist positions presented above. It also lies in hypocrisy of condemning one’s own second-class treatment while demanding that other people accept second-class treatment. Feminists want women to be treated as equal to men, yet in their own movement they refuse to treat men as equals. Feminists object to women entering men’s spaces being treated with contempt and suspicion, yet they openly treat men with contempt and suspicion when men enter feminist spaces. Feminists want men to respect women’s voices, yet they refuse to respect men’s voices.

That there are men who ally themselves with feminists and put up with this should be in and of itself a testament to their resolve to support feminism. In no other instance would a person willingly step into a deferential, second-class status. To then turn around and vilify and ostracize the men willing to take the hits makes no sense. It is reminiscent of someone teaching a child to perform sex acts to the person’s pleasure, which the child does only to be called a “whore” when he does the acts properly.

Male feminists do what feminists tell them to do only to be chastised for doing so. What more can those men give that they have not already given?

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33 thoughts on “With Friends Like This…

  1. Feminism is a hate movement which, at its very core, is misandrous. As one of those you quoted puts it, “… the feminist movement is about women and women’s rights. It assumes that women are disadvantaged in relation to men, and works from there.” This statement is absolutely correct, which is why male feminists are not appreciated or even desired except for their utility in convincing other men to role over and play dead.

    But the basic assumption is a fallacy. Women are not, nor have they ever been, as a class, disadvantaged relative to men. There have been certain areas where they have been disadvantaged, but there have also been other areas where they have held the advantage. Feminism refuses to recognize this and as a result has created a world view where men are evil and women are their victims. As a result, the feminist agenda addresses women and women’s rights, by attempting to change men and destroy men’s rights with at least the same veracity as it attempts to improve women and women’s rights. men are to blame, no matter what. This is what I mean when I say that it is misandrous at its core and therefore a hate movement.

    TDOM

  2. Feminism is a hate movement which, at its very core, is misandrous.

    That is a pretty extreme statement. I would agree with you that feminists present an extreme world view that paints men as evil and women as victims. I would also agree that misandry plays a role in feminism, and that it likely informs many of the tenets that feminists support.

    However, a hate movement implies that opposing another group of people is the primary goal of the movement. That is not the case with feminism. Its primary goal is focusing on women. The misandry is their justification for doing so, as well as the by-product the dualistic, adversarial nature of the feminist movement, but it does not appear to be the overarching cause for the movement. So I disagree that feminism is a hate movement in the same way that I would disagree that neo-conservatism is a hate movement.

  3. “However, a hate movement implies that opposing another group of people is the primary goal of the movement. That is not the case with feminism. Its primary goal is focusing on women. The misandry is their justification for doing so, as well as the by-product the dualistic, adversarial nature of the feminist movement, but it does not appear to be the overarching cause for the movement.”

    I believe that the misandry contained in the movement is the primary tool of the movement. This is particularly true when you consider the influence of second wave and gender feminism on the movement itself. Misandry was the very basis for this type of feminism and provided the movement with the impetus to achieve its goals. Changes in Family Law, child custody, domestic violence and rape laws, education, and even the negative stereotyping of men and their portrayal in the media have depended upon the misandry promoted by the movement. It is the tool the movement uses to achieve its goals. I disagree that it has to be the cause for the movement, if hate is what drives its success, then it is a hate movement.

    TDOM

  4. “the movement is about female empowerment”

    This is the bit that always gets me.

    Women are sleeping around like there’s no tomorrow (I know a woman who slept with 8 men in one night recently), they own their own property, have careers, have children without men, run businesses, and generally do whatever they want with virtual impunity.

    How much more “empowered” can women get????

  5. TDOM:

    But the basic assumption is a fallacy. Women are not, nor have they ever been, as a class, disadvantaged relative to men.

    I have to disagree with that (which I think you say yourself in your next line). There is no question that there are metrics in society in which women have advantages over men and vice versa. I agree that there are some feminists who go take those metrics and then declare that women suffer all the pain while men get all the pleasure but there are a few out there who realize that such a presumption is false.

    I believe that the misandry contained in the movement is the primary tool of the movement.

    I don’t think this is the case. As I said there are certainly metrics in which men have unfair socialized advantages over women and I believe that at its core feminism is an attempt to correct those things. However I do agree that misandry is in the mix as well. This is how the most feminists think the only problem with Mary Daly’s material was her transphobia.

    Feminism as it stands today is most certainly flawed. The thing is its hard to pin the flaws down because feminists selectively band/disband when it suits them. But in the end I think the flaws are in the people that claim the title (and the people who turn a blind eye to actions/words that contradict that label) not the title itself. (But frankly those flawed people are more than enough to convince me that the title itself doesn’t mean anything. Many feminists tend to act like the title is more important than their words/actions.

  6. TS: This is something I noticed about 10 years ago and I don’t think anything has changed since then.

    On a similar note, over at FC, ballgame recently posted a link to a video showing two gynocentric feminists having a discussion and made the observation that the conversation “isn’t accompanied by much hand wringing or angst about men not getting a fair shake”

    DUH. And in other news, water’s wet.

  7. Interesting post, Toysoldier.

    I guess I wouldn’t be as bothered as some people here by the insistence on male deference in feminist spaces if gender was as one-sided as gynocentric feminists paint it. For example, I can well understand why many African Americans and other POC might be wary of a white person who insisted on bringing his or her POV to their organization, and I can see how politically important it might be for POC to have their own organizations before a truly color-blind society can develop.

    But the fact is — as I think everyone here knows — gender isn’t as one-sided as the dynamics of race and class, so the insistence on female domination of gender groups only serves to promote the agenda of female privilege denialists.

    By the way, you have the paragraph immediately following the first paragraph from Hobbes that you quoted as a blockquote, as if it were Hobbes still talking. (This is the paragraph that begins, “If that is so, then why is it that feminists …”) But I’m pretty sure that’s you talking, and not Hobbes.

  8. Imagine a man say this to women;

    “It means that men in feminist spaces need to check themselves before they pursue leadership roles. While that might seem unfair, arguing that biological sex should have no bearing on who wields authority in a feminist organization…”

    Yep. So when women are alledgedly told to know their place, it is sexism etc… but when men are told the very same thing.. it’s empowerment and justifiable….

    Typical.

    TMOTS

  9. Is there any pro-female double-standard out there that Hugo and friends could NOT rationalize?

    I get the sense that if the government legalized women murdering men, Hugo & co would find a way to argue that it’s all for the best.

  10. Danny:

    “As I said there are certainly metrics in which men have unfair socialized advantages over women and I believe that at its core feminism is an attempt to correct those things. However I do agree that misandry is in the mix as well.”

    I think few will argue that some of the biggest issues addressed by feminists over the years are family law and child custody, reproductive rights, the gender wage gap, education, domestic violence, and rape. In each of these areas feminists have successfully used misandry to help achieve success in advancing their agenda. Last night I wrote an article for my own blog using these examples to illustrate how feminism fits the definition of a hate movement. I’ve scheduled it to post in 3 segments. The first will define a hate movement and the next 2 will demonstrate how feminism fits the definition. The first will post on Friday 8/27, the 2nd of Mon. 8/30, and the last on Wed. 9/1. Just click on my name to follow the link.

    TDOM

  11. By the way, you have the paragraph immediately following the first paragraph from Hobbes that you quoted as a blockquote, as if it were Hobbes still talking. (This is the paragraph that begins, “If that is so, then why is it that feminists …”) But I’m pretty sure that’s you talking, and not Hobbes.

    Thanks for the correction.

    For example, I can well understand why many African Americans and other POC might be wary of a white person who insisted on bringing his or her POV to their organization, and I can see how politically important it might be for POC to have their own organizations before a truly color-blind society can develop.

    While I understand your argument, I still disagree. If their purpose is to promote equality, then I do not think deference should play a role in the organization. Doing so creates a situation in which one group’s voice takes precedence solely due to their race. That is the very thing they are fighting against, so why perpetuate it? Now, if it is about how a particular race is impacted by racism, then I would agree that members of other races should defer.

    But the fact is — as I think everyone here knows — gender isn’t as one-sided as the dynamics of race and class, so the insistence on female domination of gender groups only serves to promote the agenda of female privilege denialists.

    I think that at its cores this is really about power and control. I also think that is a result of projection, i.e. that feminists project how they feel on men by requiring men to defer to them. There does appear to be a correlation between extreme feminist views and demands of male deference. The more radical the feminist, the greater and more stringent the demand that males defer to feminists.

  12. Yep. So when women are alledgedly told to know their place, it is sexism etc… but when men are told the very same thing.. it’s empowerment and justifiable….

    As I said above, I think that kind of sentiment is the result of feminists projecting their feelings on men. I doubt that any feminist would agree with the “know your place” argument if it applied to any special interest groups. It is only supported by progressives when it is applied to the “oppressor” groups. That sort of flippant double standard is part of the reason feminists have such a difficult time being broadly accepted.

  13. The Man On The Street:
    Imagine a man say this to women;

    “It means that men in feminist spaces need to check themselves before they pursue leadership roles. While that might seem unfair, arguing that biological sex should have no bearing on who wields authority in a feminist organization…”

    Yep. So when women are alledgedly told to know their place, it is sexism etc… but when men are told the very same thing.. it’s empowerment and justifiable….
    To a point I can actually understand women taking the lead in feminism. My problem is when that mentality goes outside the movement and into the rest of the world. its one thing for women not wanting men to crowd them out of a movement named for helping women. Its quite another when women start trying to speak for men in the name of feminism.

  14. TDOM Said:

    “But the basic assumption is a fallacy. Women are not, nor have they ever been, as a class, disadvantaged relative to men.”

    in response to which Danny said:

    “I have to disagree with that (which I think you say yourself in your next line). There is no question that there are metrics in society in which women have advantages over men and vice versa.”
    —————
    Undergirding all if this is the premise that discrimination is wrong. However, if groups differ intrinsically in performance, shouldn’t they be treated differently? For instance, women today, on average, earn X cents on the dollar compared to men, where X is less than 1. Wouldn’t it make economic sense to hire men instead of women because women are relatively less productive?

    Is the equality of human rights purely a religious concept? What is the basis for an atheist to believe that all humans should have equal rights?

  15. @ Davout

    “Undergirding all if this is the premise that discrimination is wrong. However, if groups differ intrinsically in performance, shouldn’t they be treated differently?… Is the equality of human rights purely a religious concept? What is the basis for an atheist to believe that all humans should have equal rights?”

    I don’t think you need religion or God to tell you that something is right or wrong. One does not have to believe in absolutes to have a sense of justice or fairness. Discrimination based on group membership is wrong. One group may outperform another on average, but this does not mean that the other group will not have individual members who can outperform individual members of the other group. These individuals deserve a chance based on their individual performance. That being said, if one group outperforms another an then more of its members are hired to perform a specific job than of the other group, it would make sense and not be due to discrimination, but individual performance. This is why equality cannot be measured in equal outcomes unless the groups are actually equal.

    TDOM

  16. @ TDOM,

    I disagree that morality and theology can exist as mutually exclusive concepts because one’s fundamental rights must come from a higher entity and not from a mere mortal. If man gives you your intrinsic rights, man can take them away too. Since these intrinsic rights define morality, it follows that others can dictate your morality in the absence of God. A great part of the malaise in the West has been due to the fact that progressives have been eroding morality by legislating increasing numbers of unjustified freedoms for selected groups.

    Returning to the matter of justifying discrimination, suppose you have two people: a man and a woman competing for a job. You know that the man is slightly less capable than the woman but you also know that the woman is likely to engage in at least some behaviours which cause a loss in company performance. The behaviours cause the man’s integrated performace over, say, 10 years to be significantly higher than the woman. It makes economic sense to hire the man even if he is somewhat less capable than the woman because in the long run, he will most likely outperform the woman.

    There are undoubtedly women who are more capable than the majority of men but people tend to stratify according to their capabilities which means that the most capable women will hang around the most capable men, allowing for the possibility that even such women can be justifiably discriminated against.

  17. TS: About this pity that you feel (to a certain extent) towards male feminists and the shabby treatment they get… their feminist status is VOLUNTARY and they rather seem to find it appropriate. What pity is due to someone who wants what they get?

    Furthermore, this Hugo fellow seems to find a great deal of fulfillment in using feminism as a venue for him to pound his chest and place himself above less-enlightened men. So, although he’s a second-class feminist, he fancies himself as king among second-class feminists. What pity is due to him?

  18. About this pity that you feel (to a certain extent) towards male feminists and the shabby treatment they get… their feminist status is VOLUNTARY and they rather seem to find it appropriate. What pity is due to someone who wants what they get?

    They deserve pity for thinking they have to defer their own feelings in order to belong to a group they value. No one should have to believe their own pain and suffer does not matter just to be accepted. They also deserve pity for having to put up with being treated like crap by people they want to help. That sort of thing is not unique to feminism. Many people who want to help others, especially if they are not members of the others’ group, get treated poorly by those they reach out to. However, feminists are far more deliberate in their mistreatment, and they do it not only as they demand that women not be treated in the same manner, but also as they demand that men step up and help them. This strikes me as an overall sad situation, hence my pity for male feminists.

    Furthermore, this Hugo fellow seems to find a great deal of fulfillment in using feminism as a venue for him to pound his chest and place himself above less-enlightened men. So, although he’s a second-class feminist, he fancies himself as king among second-class feminists. What pity is due to him?

    Pity for his self-righteousness. I am certain that Hugo does believe he is doing the right thing. I think he may believe that so much that his need to do “God’s good work” blinds him from seeing any other point of view. He reminds me of Evangelical preachers who rail against homosexuality or pre-marital sex. They are often so caught up in doing what they think is right that they fail to see the harm that they do. More so, because they believe they are doing the right thing they will dismiss, often without any consideration, anyone telling them that their words or actions hurt them. That is a pity not only because it undermines whatever good comes from their actions or words, but also because it alienates people they probably want to reach and talk to the most.

  19. I am most glad that feminists abuse would be adherents to their dysunctional ideology because that abuse restricts membership to sufficiently deluded masochists.

  20. TS: Well, a lot of female feminists don’t make it a secret that male feminists are required to be punching bags once in a while. If male feminists don’t like it, then they can choose a different kind of voluntary association. Male feminists presumably accept these rules so if they get a raw deal, they get a raw deal by choice.

  21. Pingback: Stumped « Toy Soldiers

  22. I am kind of curious if this “Wrath of Feminists” will cause Tom Mallack to have some sort of an epiphany; that feminists are not interested in equal rights, only in shaming men, promoting ideas like “all men are guilty in rape culture” and stuff like that.
    Tom openly admits that “he thought MRAs are crazy until he was treated like this” by his “friends”.

  23. I have it on good authority from a number of feminists that what you are describing… simply neith happens nor exists.

    After all, feminism is about equality. Now shut up and do what they tell you.

  24. Wirbelwind, I doubt Matlack will have an epiphany. When I look at what happened to Matlack, the first thing that comes to mind is, “See how different it feels when it happens to you.” For at least a year Matlack has seen the same kind of attacks by feminists in GMP comments and in several articles and he had no problem with it. The editors — possibly just Schwyzer — went so far as to remove comments mentioning male victims or critiquing feminism. However, after presenting GMP as a feminist-leaning site, it is only now that Matlack found out how feminists respond to anything written about men from a non-feminist perspective. I imagine that many feminists, including Schwyzer, felt that GMP would be a platform to bring men into feminism. Matlack’s article challenged that by supporting men’s feelings, and feminists reacted as they typically do: attack the messenger.

    I do think that Matlack learned that men’s rights activists were not kidding about how feminists treat them. Granted, the evidence has been online and offline for years, but there is something about going through it yourself that really brings it home. Matlack now knows what male victims and men’s advocates put up with. I doubt it will change his opinion of feminists per se, but hopefully it will stop him from rolling his eyes at men who complain about terrible treatment by feminists.

  25. For me – being very much an outsider to both camps (I deal in equality, all streams, and Abuse equally) I keep seeing such an odd dynamic.

    Many assume that the Internet is just electrons, but in reality people set up home on the net. It gets very domestic. GMP has two main figures living in it Tom and Hugo. It got domestically abusive. In my opinion Hugo was the aggressor and he has shown repeatedly on the record how he switches words and meanings, is passive aggressive and very domineering, whilst Tom is on the record that he’s not a debtor type, he’s just heart and words. It’s a very female male dynamic and polarity on classical gender lines.

    There has been evident discord for some time – Tom pushes back – Hugo ups the power games – Tom Refuses – Hugo leaves. Twittergate is just a means to an end.

    It has a whole domestic abuse dynamic about it with Tom cast as male and Hugo in the feminine role – Hugo even dashed to a shelter and is surrounding himself with concerned supportive women. It’s even the Holidays the most common time for Domestic Crisis.

    I have seen the dynamic before, and I would advise the shelter that Hugo has run to that they need to be very cautious. It is a common and well known trick for some Domestically Abusive females to claim abuse and seek shelter and support, when it is them who is the perpetrator and not a victim at all. They attempt to shift from one venue for expressing power to another.

    Of course as a Supposed Gender expert he should be fully aware of all these dynamics. It is so odd to see them played out in such a public manner.

  26. What a fascinating analysis MediaHound…. That would make a great posting. Seriously…

    I tend to resort to the “victim triangle” lens a lot. And how I see Hugo taking the roles of victim, perpetrator and rescuer over and over. Behind the triangle, is a shame based identity, and exposing the shameful truths with love and acceptance breaks the triangle. But that is not easy to do, because it requires feeling a lot of pain and shame to make it conscious.

    I didn’t completely follow all of the whole drama nor all the personalities… It seems like a rerun I’ve seen before. Tom got very real and vulnerable. Hugo attacks in the perpetrator role. Tom pushes back. Hugo switches to victim. Leaves, back to him site as a rescuer of victims. A lot of feminists seem stuck like this. Victim, perpetrator, rescuer. It attracts people with histories of unhealed victimization. Sadly, a lot of victims just recreate their victimization which feels quite “right” and familiar to them. Equality, respect and empowerment are pretty foreign to perhaps most, of us.

  27. Allen – the “victim triangle” lens only works if the person is trapped within it. There are some who are not. When that happens they can play multiple roles at once very effectively. They can appear Pure Rescue – but in fact it’s Pure Perpetrator and other combinations also apply.

    There are some who are even better! They will paint a portrait of a role and have none of the three as a reality at all. That is the most spectacular of manipulations.

    Some look through the lens – but there isn’t one at all. The theories and practices are built upon normative models of behaviour and perception. There are some who are not within those boundaries. The models just don’t apply or work.

  28. “Of course as a Supposed Gender expert he should be fully aware of all these dynamics. It is so odd to see them played out in such a public manner.”

    I am not sure Hugo is that self aware. If he is he must be hugely narcissistic in justifying himself. The only thing that makes sense to me is if you interpret everything he writes as an attempt by a middle aged white professor trying to get sex with naive 18 year old college girls. Perhaps I’m being too cynical?

  29. @ leta
    “Perhaps I’m being too cynical?”

    Maybe not! Diogenes The Dog did wander the streets in daylight with a lamp looking for an Honest Man – or Woman for that matter. There is quite a difference between “Cynicism” and Cynical Exploitation.

    One looks at, acknowledges and addresses self interest and the other just uses them and sees them as permissible for self interest and gain, no matter the form of that personal gain or the expense to others.

    It’s the difference between asking someone If they are a sucker and telling some one so long sucker! One empowers the individual, the other just uses and takes.

    When an individual has clear knowledge and understanding of human social dynamics, and there is concern as to cynicism, where there is even a whiff of So Long Sucker, it is not Cynical at all to see well lighted self interest over a more “Cosmopolitan” world view and attitude.

  30. hmmm media hound that comment about repeating the victim triangle i thought of it whilst reading this on feministe… (i am that bored thank you for asking)

    “Echo Zen: Schwyzer has actually written publicly about being diagnosed with narcissism and his efforts to overcome it. Maybe I’m just partial to transparency, but I sure prefer honesty over a gendered male feminist pretending he doesn’t have problems (anymore). And yes, I understand people think he’s exploiting transparency for fame and fortune. Frankly that’s something for psych specialists to figure out — I can only judge him based on his present work, while forgiveness is something only Schwyzer’s ex-partner can parcel out.”

    There seems like there is an element that likes the fact that he is bastard.(no insults – TS) They believe that men are so awful that unless a guy meets their expectation of bastardy they don’t believe a guy is honest. I don’t know you are better at diagnosing over the internet than I am.

  31. @ leta

    I don’t diagnose – I observe!

    “Narcissism” is interesting, as in so many ways we are all narcissistic. It can be used as convenient buffer too, to discourage deeper contemplation. Let he who is without “Narcissism” throw the first stone etc…

    Social Manipulation and control take many forms when you are dealing with those who love to create fun houses filled with fractured and distorted mirrors. They also demand rent from anyone who enters – beware a free ticket. They see themselves as owning the whole theme park. They will seek to envelop others – take one part and control it from their own bigger perspective and views that range well outside of any theme park boundaries and any conception of fun.

    As I often observe, the Internet is filled with antisocial types, who display personalities that thrive on disorder. P^)

    When you find such a setting, it places all involved under a burden of suspicion. Wood and Forests are like that. I just keep looking for the Forester who is the one who believes they own all the forest, even if it’s others who are the one’s who planted all the trees on commonly owned land for public service. Communities have public servants not controllers. Corruption is not only for the town hall.

    In other settings such people are rooted out due to liabilities, financial risk and corporate identity. There has to be a quantifiable risk in money to motivate action in dealing with them. Motivation and action else where is a very different issue.

    Elsewhere, in particular on the Internet, such characters roam freely, and Social Networking Sites in all forms have yet to get with the program as to how malignant and plain damaging such characters can be. It’s easy to paint a portrait – and some love the Impressionist school of painting. If they can gain some form of central role, they love to attract those who can act as validation and also Lieutenants and a buffer zone. Why fight when you can get others to do it for you by reflex?

    The stone Idol does not fight, the followers do – to protect that which they worship. Show me a priest who apparently speaks for the stone idol and I will show you someone who is either barking mad, or who loves to control and manipulate others whilst defending the stone idol.

    I do find it fascinating how some characters thrive on controversy – and seek gatekeeper functions and roles – the protector or guru. Even using the supposed negative, which they claim to have overcome, as credentials for Empowerment and Guruhood. Humans love to see the good in others – and that is a trait wide open to manipulation by those who do not share such a normative social view.

    When the central character gets called out they defend in an identifiable pattern – denial – retaliation – victim-hood, all feigned and lacking sincerity and even reality. It’s a set pattern, not because of how they think, but because it’s a form and pattern of social manipulation using the normative behavior of “Normal” people.

    It’s The “Pattern” that you look for and how it’s used, not how it’s created in particular circumstances. It’s more about playing the odds and rigging the game – it’s all about manipulation of the social normative and not about reality. They role the dice, but once the rigged table is addressed, it’s snake eyes all the way! Even then they will try and blame it all on lady lack! That denial of any person responsibility and liability is always there.

    It’s also interesting how some will not respond when asked questions, or when errors and fallacies are pointed out. That’s denial by Omission. That shows how they seek to manipulate people away from such observations. They fear anything that can show the cracks and even the facade that some cultivate and present to the world. Recruited Lieutenants will often attack out of misguided loyalty- but one thing they can’t attack is truth. Truth ignored by Central figure and Lieutenants is “so” revealing.

    It also identifies the lieutenants. P^)

    The Lieutenants all too often respond in nonsensical ways – revealing patterns of Cognitive Dissonance, that just need to be pointed out. You did not answer the question – You misrepresented what was said – and even You have deliberately de-contextualized what was said in an attempt to imply the opposite and even accuse. It has all played out in public view, but so many have not noticed because they were in the orbit of the central attractor.

    “Sounding Brass” is an odd thing. When I see it – and hear it, I wonder what is going on. There is a lot of noise, maybe a tune that is all too often off key, and people end up looking into the the mouth of the Big Brass Horn. When you look there you are presented with a distorted reflection of the world – it’s almost like a black-hole that sucks everything in. The Bigger the Brass Instrument and Mouth the louder and more distorted.

    Humans are very good at looking at distorted reflections and identifying themselves. A sort of perverse vanity does the rest in dragging people in. It’s a sort of relativity, and a very special form. The brass distorts the image – people recognize themselves and start to deform to remove the distortions. Ooooppss – That’s going beyond the event horizon.

    Those who fight against the gravity are seen in other ways, always relative to the black hole and people who circle it and those poor unfortunates who are beyond the event horizon. It is all very turbulent with poisonous radiation around it all. The person at the center always claiming the gravity of the situation is misunderstood – and so are they. Denial plays out and people are even attacked as the counter attacks play out.

    I look at the Brass Player and not the Instrument. I analyze the tune played and analyze the technical faults of the player. Virtuosos are not limited and even turn limits to their advantage. That comes from passion and expression where the instrument is a means in itself.

    When there is no real passion or ability to express, I know it’s not a Virtuoso playing. The Instrument is just a means to an end and not an end in itself. Other’s use volume as a distraction – and even just keep playing familiar tunes to induce a sort of hypnotic effect where a few bum notes are excepted and never enough to break the trance.

    There is a nice joke about Musak in a shop. You can always spot the people in the Marching band. If you stop the Musak suddenly they stumble. P^) Lock step is like that.

    Truth tends to cause many to stumble and that lock step once broken gives one hell of a jolt. Some Lieutenants leave the battle field. Other’s get back up and continue the defense, and you will even see reinforcements being brought in with a view to restoring control. That plays out in denial and counter attack, and yet the one thing that they all hate is truth and even being shown a different way to look at the whole thing. They all hate any potential loss of power – and deny it even as a potential where the power could be redirected for mutual benefits.

    I’ve seen it all so many times. I have only come across some characters very recently. Twisted and distorted words and meanings – crowds who fight, some in defense, Some against the music that is played.

    I look at the concert hall, not at the individuals. It does not take long to see the hallmarks. When you believe you have only one seat at the concert you are limited in where you can go in the concert hall. I never accept a back row seat when I desire to see the way the Instrument is being played and even study the sheet music up close. I give myself a back stage pass, and that is ever so revealing.

    There was an interesting discussion on GMP about dialogue and boundaries “The Problem With ‘Isms’. I had to point out how the discussion addressed the vast majority of people – but there were some who it would never work with. They are a small but very real minority that you do have to guard against.

    Humans as social animals actually like boundaries and even live happily with them. We even like to see the good in other people and act co-operatively. It can get very messy when you encounter people who by their nature simply have no social limits, no psychological limits and no personal limits to hold them back. Of course they do not come saying look at me I’m not like you in any way. They just join in and so many find it impossible to recognize the unlimited nature of the person next to them. Some of the people who lack any limits don’t even recognize that deficit in themselves, but those who do are the most pernicious. They will actively use their unlimited nature in social settings, and as so many just assume social fraternity so many don’t even recognize what is going on.

    You will also find that the Unlimited Person is an “unreliable narrator” and as they write and communicate more, there are holes, distortions, fabrications even Pseudo Fabrications as self portraits become supposedly more detailed and even multi dimensional. They will point at the self portrait they have painted, telling you to look at certain brush strokes. I look at the whole picture and wonder at their artistic ability and I do note the errors and even where they are working to make people NOT look. Blank canvas on a supposed masterpiece indicates that someone does not want to paint a sincere portrait or a valid likeness of the self. They are an “unreliable narrator” in the portrait of their own life. I always wonder why some juicy morels of a persons life are served so freely, and why some cuts of the meat from their personal carcase never make it to the table.

    Acts of Commission can be equal to acts of Omission when you look at outcome and track backwards to see intent. Omission is all too often seen as accidental, but for some it is no accident at all and more than deliberate.

    They will confess to much, and people accept the confession as contrition. But as you look you see that there has never been an admission of contrition. People are manipulated into belief and will even state that they did read an apology, an admission of guilt, a statement that the person had changed – that they were and are contrite. But when you go back and look – well none of it is there. People find that confusing and will even start to explain it away. It’s that black-hole thing, drawing people in.

    I have even come across people who will state they Know The Person, and yet all they know is what they have seen on a computer screen, and they hate to consider the Phishing activity they have been drawn into. Phishing is not just about passwords and credit card details – it has as it’s center a motivation which comes from masquerading as a trustworthy person to gain consent and access. Phishing is pure social manipulation raised to the level of criminal activity. It even shows entrepreneurial versatility in the business of social manipulation and control.

    Phishing is always quantified due to financial loss and risk, and then by inconvenience to the target. The main defense is “Social”, which is so revealing. It is a Social Manipulation matter which does have costs that go beyond mere money.

    B.I.T.E. is a model of manipulation that plays out in groups, but also in social networking. Control Behaviour, The information people have and are given, their thinking and with that their emotions. It’s a model used to dissect cults, but it is just as revealing when it comes to Cults Of Personality. People who have been bitten find it hard to accept – they like the old faithful dog they have come to believe in, and refuse to see how their beloved pet has most antisocial and dangerous traits and had bitten them in an appreciably gentle way. They can see the teeth marks, but can’t figure out when the old dog had their fangs out. The fangs were always there – the belief in a good faith pet did the rest. Some will even call others Rabid Dogs in an attempt to explain away the bite marks.

    ….and I’m so glad you noted my observation that any lens can distort what people see, are willing to see and even can see.

    Two Dimensional Triangles have their uses – but they also the most basic component of a Geodesic Dome alla “”Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller””.

    Such domes are unlimited in scope and very “Three” Dimensional – they can sustain their own weight with no practical limits – and it’s just a set of two dimensional triangles ever so artfully arranged in “three” dimensions and not “two”.

    A Triangle is limited, but when used by some and it’s limits “Transcended” you have a self sustaining unlimited structure that is used to contain much, and so many people have a real hard time figuring out how it’s all kept up in the air with them inside! P^)

    I just call it “Antisocial Engineering”. P^)

    I often use The Eden Project In Cornwall, England to illustrate. From the Outside people are amazed by the Geodesic Structures. They are Awe Inspiring – and I have seen them close up. It takes one hell of a lot to leave me with a sense of Awe. But once inside you are lost in a forest and get so little opportunity to see any structure at all. People are dwarfed by the construct and just meander about.

    It leaves people peering “Out” and not looking “In”. It makes it even harder to recognize the problem as people all too often can’t believe they are on the inside of an “Antisocially Engineered” structure. No one likes to see themselves as an ant on the inside of a ping pong ball, endlessly seeking the edges so they can get out.

    I do like it when people who are being viewed and treated as ants explode. I even encourage it.

    That explosive energy fractures the Ping Pong Ball view being imposed by the Antisocial Engineer – and once that starts, the Antisocial Engineer is loosing power and control. I just watch for the three defensive positions to be played – it’s such a hallmark and thereafter prediction of outcome is easy! P^)

    Even seeing people ask if they are themselves anywhere near the inside of an “Antisocially Engineered” Ping Pong ball is noteworthy, and when that happens I may even loosen a few Triangular Edges on that Well Constructed dome, so that the smoothness of the Ping Pong ball interior is shown for the false surface that some love to present and use for control.

    Models are very useful, but they should never be used to imprison your own mind. If there are bits left over when you have built the model, you have not built a true model that encompasses all parts. That is also a warning that there may well be yet other parts that you have not recognized and gathered into one place.

    In fact, the absence of parts is as revealing as the presence of others. P^)

    Physical abuse is easy to detect. Psychological abuse is far harder – especially when dealing with it from that Engineered View of the Ant inside the Ping Pong Ball – and great Three Dimension Structures of unlimited capacity artfully made from a simple two dimensional triangle. The ant will find it hard to find an edge to hold onto and make sense of the endless trudge forward.

    I like edges – it’s where real change starts. Once an Antisocial Engineer is found out, they can never recover. Constructed Ping Pong balls have no foundations – and neither does the engineer. Societies are built upon foundations communally agreed and held.

    A person without foundations, and who builds structures to contain others that lack by definition any foundation, that person is by definition anti-social and it shows in all aspects of their personality and the disorder they thrive within.

    “Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.”
    Albert Einstein

    Some present a supposed Chief Interest, but it is always missing or presented ever so oddly in all their endeavours, no matter how it’s equated and drawn out on paper.

    Humans are by nature Flat Earth Dwellers – We all too often draw our models and ideas on a two dimensional piece of paper. Those who can only live by presetting all matters stretched over, and even distorted, by a curved surface have a balloon existence that can so easily go pop. Two dimensional paper has it’s limits, but many sheets can make a very interesting and illuminating text book.

    Old Albert also issued another warning too;

    “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.” P^)

    If the model has bits left over – it’s not a good model – it can be easily manipulated by those who keep extra parts hidden and have many extra dimensions to play within.

  32. That’s an interesting read. I don’t know if I can produce an appropriate response other than that.

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