A Voice For Men recently published an article by a dating coach named Jon Anthony. This article, entitled “How Unchecked Female Hypergamy Destroys Society” (see https://avoiceformen.com/featured/how-unchecked-female-hypergamy-destroys-society/), is frankly the kind of thing that validates what misandrists like to defame the Men’s Human Rights Movement as believing in. As an MHRA, I take it upon myself to critique Anthony’s argument and make it clear that Anthony’s argument is not representative of the MHRM’s beliefs.
Anthony presents an argument straight out of “Red Pill” (as in the subreddit) thinking. The argument he proposes is based on simple biological determinism, Freudianism, and a complete (if admittedly implicit) rejection of individualism in favor of a devout belief in the sustenance of “society” as the ultimate end. Most readers of this blog are familiar with the argument already, so I shall present it in a somewhat abridged format.
Anthony argues that there are two gender-specific forces which need to be tamed and harnessed by society in order for society to flourish. These are masculine aggression and feminine hypergamy. Masculine aggression is understood in a Freudian manner, as the sex drive being sublimated into ‘productive’ endeavours. To quote Anthony, “male libido… when channeled properly, will push a society onward to technological advancement, cultural accomplishment, and dominance on the world’s stage. When channeled improperly, however, male aggression can lead to an increase in crime, violence, and ultimately, the downfall of society.”
The second force in question is feminine hypergamy, which is “the reason why men achieve so many great things. Women are attracted to the top 10% of men, so naturally, men strive to achieve great accomplishments.”
The institution of monogamy functions to channel these forces in such a way as to provide all men with the hope that one day, “he might have a beautiful wife, and a family.” This, in turn, provides the motivating force for men to be productive.
Yet in the modern world, mandatory monogamy is no longer the status quo, and not only is male aggression discouraged to an unhealthy degree but female hypergamy is enabled to an unhealthy degree as well. This creates a sexual marketplace which essentially reverts to tribal-era polygamy, since “women are biologically attracted to wealthy, charismatic and successful men.” The result is that the majority of men have no stake in society since they have no prospect of having children. At the same time, feminists are apparently “discouraging men from being masculine” and thus preventing men from catharting excess aggression in an healthy manner.
The result? A powder-keg of men with nothing to lose and a lot of anger which has been bottled up. This is a recipe for something bad to happen. Not to mention, women (according to Anthony) have a natural desire to be dominated by men and feminism is repressing women’s desires.
How will this end? Anthony believes either some kind of “Great Replacement” will occur, where women import theologically-conservative Muslims to fulfill their repressed maledom fantasies, or that all men will somehow “take charge of their own lives” and go MGTOW… which somehow will correct female hypergamy by some mechanism Anthony doesn’t explain… or that society needs a “resurgence of Christianity and traditional morals” to re-institute mandatory monogamy.
Anthony And Male Nature
Anthony is correct that there is such a thing as human nature. He’s also correct that there are behavioral tendencies which, on average, differ at the population level between the sexes. But his model of what this human nature is, and what these masculine and feminine tendencies are, seems deeply confused at best.
For one, Anthony’s invocation of Freudian ideals does not bode well for his theory, given how Freud has been repeatedly debunked and most of Freud’s theories were personal projection. But Anthony misapplies even Freudian ideas. Anthony argues that men are driven by an “aggression” which is sublimated into productive creation, yet Anthony equates this with the male sex drive: he uses “libido” and “aggression” interchangeably.
Yet in Freudian psychology, the libido is a fundamentally creative and life-affirming thing, not an urge towards anger and destruction. For Freudian and post-Freudian thought, there is a dichotomy between Eros and Thanatos. Anthony seems to think of a unified male “id” that sees no difference between beating people up and producing beautiful works of art.
Anthony believes that the primary reason for men to achieve is to appease women’s hypergamy. At the same time however, he argues that men are channeling their sex drives into achieving great things. But this theory seems like two different arguments held together with a few strips of duct tape.
Apparently, being born into a world of material scarcity and having motivations like money, more goods, and social esteem from peers, isn’t enough of an incentive to encourage men to achieve. This is the kind of argument that only makes sense from the perspective of someone whom has never experienced poverty; they can’t even contemplate the degradation of such conditions and thus can only see motivation in the possibility of getting laid. But as Maslow’s Hierarchy makes clear, basic physical survival needs are exceptionally pressing concerns for those who lack them, and it makes no sense to think that these needs play no role in encouraging men to act creatively.
Additionally, if the sex drive is “sublimated” into other things, why would the sex drive need satisfaction from women if it were truly sublimated? Sublimation means that the desire for sex is quite literally displaced onto and fulfilled by something else. At the very least, Anthony doesn’t really understand the terms he is borrowing, or he is using them in a way that greatly varies from the original usage (but if this latter explanation is true, he should at least state when he is employing the terms differently to the original).
If men achieve to slake feminine hypergamy, they are not sublimating their sex drive into something else. Rather, they are working hard to appease women so as to achieve the satisfaction of their sex drive through actually having sex. Anthony needs to be clear what he is arguing: do men achieve to get laid, or do they sublimate their desire to get laid into alternative pursuits? If the latter is correct, then presumably men would still want to achieve even without the prospect of pussy (indeed, more men might sublimate their sexualities toward achievement if women don’t have to sleep with them, which would completely reverse Anthony’s argument).
Are Achievers Alphas?
Anthony seems to be, perhaps accidentally, making the same mistake Camille Paglia is prone to. Like Paglia, Anthony sees a deep connection between an essential masculinity and a drive to create, achieve and produce.
But I ask Anthony to contemplate what is considered the true height of “alpha maleness” in our culture. I ask Anthony to look at whether achievers in some of the most important cultural, scientific and artistic fields are thought of as embodying “real manhood.” I ask Anthony, in other words, to accept that perhaps Elliot Rodger had a point when he complained about women being attracted to “brutish thugs.”
Is Bill Gates considered a sex symbol? What about Albert Einstein? What about Dr Matt Taylor? Warren Buffett? Are many (or any) women sincerely attracted to Donald Trump? Were women really into Harvey Weinstein? It turns out that there are men whom are fantastically rich, or who achieved greatly in business or science or technology, whom are not considered very fuckable by the vast majority of opposite-sex-attracted women. Indeed, if we look at the kinds of people who frequently contribute to technological advancement, you’ll find a lot of (let us be blunt) sexually unsuccessful geeks.
Let us look at the “Gold Digger.” If, as Anthony argued, women are naturally attracted to rich men, there would be no Gold Diggers.
There are many examples of fantastic intellectual, scientific and cultural achievements produced by those who absolutely fail to fit what our society considers the height of real manhood. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, was not heterosexual and thus failed to embody traditional masculinity. Nicola Tesla was hardly a pussy-crushing Chad. Anthony endorses a return to traditional Christian morality, yet Yeshua of Nazareth was depicted as essentially asexual in the gospels and preached an anti-achievement morality that elevated the poor and oppressed and meek and lowly and weak to the pinnacle of moral stature. In addition, the most famous of those churches which claim to speak for Yeshua of Nazareth is led by a conclave of celibates (and some members of that hierarchy have been established to have sexual appetites which greatly deviate from those acceptable under traditional masculinity).
To bluntly summarize, very few people think that men such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Abelard, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, da Vinci, Blackstone, Locke, Mill, Tesla and such are the embodiments of masculinity. Rather, they tend to think of celebrity athletes, members of the military, and perhaps certain exemplars derived from superhero comics. But those people whom have produced immense wealth, and those whom contributed greatly to the arts and the sciences and to other cultural institutions, tend not to be thought of in such a way.
We can observe the real-world choices of women in sexual matters and see the reality is that, unsurprisingly, women are human beings and human beings are often shallow.
Utility, Society and MGTOW
Anthony openly argues that women are only attracted to the top 10% of men. Yet Anthony argues for mandatory monogamy, and thus dooming 90% of women to being perpetually sexually unsatisfied. He literally does not confront or mention this at any point, as if women’s utility doesn’t matter. Not to mention, that top 10% of men (although perhaps not his idea of what that cohort is defined by) will be getting much less sex, in Anthony’s world, than they otherwise would have been getting. At no point does Anthony confront these utilitarian realities, nor does he suggest perhaps Diminishing Marginal Utility of Sex is in play or anything which could underpin a redistributive case.
Instead, for him, the issue is “society.” But society is just an aggregate of individuals, and thus his failure to address the utilitarian problems his argument raises can only imply a collectivist mindset that sees the individual as nothing more than a means for the continuance of some great super-organism. This is not only deeply problematic from a men’s rights standpoint (which aims to free men from social constraints) but also on the terms of Anthony’s own argument; why would someone who wants a return to traditionalism and believes in a society greater than the individual advocate for men to go MGTOW?
MGTOW is inherently individualistic. By definition it is about rejecting society’s definition of what a “real man” should be and refusing to exist for either society in general or for women in general or for any woman in particular. This is an embrace of extreme individualism, and there is no reason to suspect it will result in a return to some collectivistic, constrained world.
Indeed, for all the concern for our society/our civilization that Anthony seems to have, the reality is that the trait which defines our society (which, broadly speaking, can be understood as liberal western modernity) is an embrace of the inalienable dignity and liberty of the individual human being. Anthony claims to want the perpetuation of our society yet also wants a return to fundamentalist religion and collectivist sexual morality. Anthony wants to, essentially, destroy our society in order to save it.
Is Feminism Feminizing Men?
One of Anthony’s arguments is that feminism is denying men the opportunity to be masculine or to provide catharsis to their innate aggression. This is an argument with a lot of precedent (for example, Sommers’ The War Against Boys). But I believe it is to some degree overstated.
It is true that boys are sometimes treated as ‘defective girls,’ particularly in education and psychotherapy (both fields which have become more gynonormative over time, as women and feminist perspectives have become more prevalent in said fields). There is, therefore, some truth to Anthony’s arguments. Yet it is an overstatement to suggest that feminism has been demanding that men act “more feminine,” because in many other fields feminists have been insisting that men continue to comply with or increase their compliance with traditional masculine gender norms.
Take the issue of domestic violence, where feminists regularly tell men to “man up” and protect women. Indeed, feminist campaigns frequently appeal to and capitalize upon men’s traditional place as protector of and provider for women.
Not to mention all the women, some of them feminists, whining about “Where Have All The Good Men Gone” and displaying atrocious levels of sexual/relationship entitlement (such as articles claiming that men who won’t date “woke” women are “dangerous”). This, again, is expecting men to “man up” and conform to traditional gender roles. Indeed, the feminist hatred of MGTOW is particularly surprising if one thinks of feminism as an anti-traditionalist movement; feminists often treat heterosexual relations as exploitative of women, and MGTOWs decide to refrain from engaging in such exploitation. Yet feminists consider MGTOW misogynist even when, by feminist logic, it constitutes a refusal to be misogynist (the same critique can be made of Radical Second Wave Feminism’s simultaneous hatred of heterosexual intercourse and male homosexuality).
Feminists habitually treat the denial of chivalry (i.e. men refusing to live up to their gender role) as misogyny. This makes it clear that feminists do not want men to be more feminized. Rather, they are demanding a kind of pro-female masculinity from men, a masculinity with all the ‘inconvenient-to-women’ components removed. They don’t want men to act like women, but to act in a way that’s convenient for and useful to women.
Indeed, Gamergate and the “Nerd Culture Wars” make it pretty clear feminists aren’t going after the “alpha males.” Instead they’re waging war on subcultures that do not meet the ideal of traditional masculinity. If the feminists wanted to feminize men, presumably they’d start with the most traditionally masculine subcultures and institutions, yet instead they laid seige to ones that are built on an experience of failing to meet traditionalist standards.
Anthony thus overstates and oversimplifies a complicated reality. Feminists are trying to change men, but not to make men into women. With the exception of certain areas (psychology and early education), we see feminists demanding men continue to comply with traditional masculinity, and even to comply with it more stringently. We see feminists attacking gender-nonconformist men. We see feminists demanding men be their protectors and providers. We see feminists being (to quote my co-blogger Jim Doyle) the Ladies Auxiliary of the Patriarchy.
Anthony’s fantasy fempocalypse begins with a theory of male nature that is, to put it politely, not well thought out. It then proceeds to ignore the reality that many of the greatest contributors to human civilization were not sexually successful or lusted after by women or even themselves particularly interested in women. Indeed, if men truly were capable of sublimating their sexual desire for women into productive achievement, women could accelerate social progress by denying men sex (!). He claims to speak in the name of the interests of society, yet treats this society as a transcendent entity that exists above and beyond the individuals that society is composed of. He claims to be defending our civilization yet calls for a return to a traditionalism fundamentally incompatible with the defining achievement of our civilization. He suggests, rather paradoxically, men’s consistent rejection of the gender roles and embrace of individualism will result in the sexual marketplace and broader society returning to a traditionalism, and doesn’t outline the process by which this is meant to happen. He claims feminism wants to feminize men, but ignores a whole host of narrative-complicating factors in this domain.
Anthony’s article may have been posted on A Voice For Men, but that doesn’t mean all MHRAs (or even most MHRAs) agree with everything in it. Anthony is, in my judgment, wrong on many levels. Not to mention he cites Roosh V of Return Of Kings to justify his argument; Roosh V is anti-MHRA and seems to habitually forget that in the pre-modern world very few men were kings and the vast majority were serfs.
The MHRM is not the movement of Jon Anthony. Nor is it a movement of dating coaches, PUAs or those seeking to get men laid. It is a movement for equality of the sexes which focuses on the ways in which men are unjustly treatred. The lubrication of vulvas is a perfectly legitimate purpose, but the MHRM is not here to serve it. This article may have found its way onto an MHRM website, but it should not be cited as an exemplar of MHRM philosophy.
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- Greta Thunberg And Female Privilege - October 22, 2019