An open letter to all men

Content note: this post discusses violence against women and misogyny

Dear men,

I’m addressing every single one of you. If you think this isn’t for you, it probably is. If you’re itching to complain that I’m making generalisations, this is definitely for you. Sit down, shut up, and maybe try not to prove me right.

It’s been in the news that Elliot Rodger murdered six people because women weren’t giving him the time of day. I’ve seen you struggling to make sense of this, putting what he did down to mental illness, or neurodiversity, or being mixed race, or even being a repressed gay man. You’ve been twisting the truth to make it seem like he’s not like you, that he’s a deviant.

You’re wrong. Elliot Rodger murdered six people because of a feeling that all men are taught to feel. Elliot Rodger murdered six people because he felt entitled to sex and emotional labour from women. Elliot Rodger murdered six people because, like all men, he was taught he had every right to feel angry at not getting his own way.

We were all born and raised under patriarchy. These beliefs about men and women are prevalent. You can trace a direct line between that sense of entitlement and Elliot Rodger murdering six people. You can also trace this direct line between that sense of entitlement and much of the other violence men inflict upon women: the rapes, the beatings, the random acts of street harassment.

By now, your fingers are probably twitching with the urge to scream NOT ALL MEN ARE LIKE THIS. I can almost feel your agitation, and your desire to say this. Guess what? That desire to burst in and announce NOT ALL MEN is tied in to that self-same sense of entitlement. You say it because you feel entitled to my time and attention. You say it because it horrifies you that I might feel negatively to you and you want to show off what a nice guy you really are.

Last night, I talked about this on Twitter, and was deluged with men screaming NOT ALL MEN. Take a look at your brothers. Take a look at the level of misogyny seeping from all men who screech NOT ALL MEN.

It’s easier to say that not all men think like Elliot Rodger, because that stops you having to worry about structural misogyny. You can pretend to yourself that you’re a special snowflake who is above all of that. The truth is frightening: sure, you probably haven’t murdered anyone, but that doesn’t mean that you have a hell of a lot in common with that mass murderer. Instead of trying to distance yourself from Elliot Rodger, you need to take a long and hard inventory of the things that make you alike. Only then can you kill the Elliot Rodger inside your head.

I’m sick of you men whinging that you’re not all like this. Every time you do, it makes you seem all the more similar to me, a writhing mass of entitled misogyny. You need to accept this problem that you have and solve it rather than continuing along this path. End your complicity now.

NOTE ON COMMENTS: I’ve not been moderating comments like I usually do, because they all kind of prove me right. Content note for misogyny, racism and disablism because men are pigs.

77 thoughts on “An open letter to all men”

  1. He felt depressed, isolated, and lonely and this turned to anger. Yes, all men feel that way when rejected. So do all women. It’s not something that needs to be taught to anyone. What needs to be taught is how to deal with those emotions, something this guy obviously never learned.

    1. I mean literally, how can you construe a man who OUTRIGHT SAID HE WAS TAKING REVENGE ON ALL WOMEN as a problem women have too.

      1. Yeah! Women are special and different from this, I bet no women ever had any feeling of hate and aversion from all man. No women ever handled wrongly their feelings when lonley or rejected.

        1. “wrongly” isn’t killing 6 women who did not want to sleep with him.
          Sure, maybe there was a case where women killed men, but I highly doubt it was 6 of them all because they denied, and rightfully so, sex

      2. He also said he was taking revenge on the undeserving guys who were successful with women. His hatred wasn’t reserved for women.

        1. “He also said he was taking revenge on the undeserving guys who were successful with women. His hatred wasn’t reserved for women.”
          It wasn’t that they were “successful with women” (like in sports!) it was that the “sluts” “gave themselves” to men who weren’t him. It’s all through the prism of being entitled to women’s attention and bodies. It should go without saying that all these deaths are horrific and should never have happened, it’s the reason they happened that matters.

      3. While his actions and motivations are down-right deplorable, you’re the reason why mental illness is still a taboo. Shame on you.

      4. Thank you so much for this post.

        I am a man, and only now have I realised how misogynistic I’ve truly (and unwittingly) been all these years. After carefully reading your post, I have finally understood that you are completely right. It DOES relate to me, and I am NOT exempt from the evils that have affected this monster.
        You are right: all men should realise this, having grown up in an atmosphere of constantly promulgated patriarchy.

        Truth be told, as you said, I WAS afraid of looking deep into myself. I was truly fearful of finding the same homicidal, entitled maniac within me, of finding the same human scum as Elliot Rogers in my mind. But I looked inside, and I did.

        It still stupefies me, realising just how much of myself and my male acquaintances is similar to this freak. I share over 95% of my genetics with that man, for crying out loud (just like everyone else on the planet.) Just like him, I am a closet homosexual. Every fibre of his being is disgusting, and yet, to my horror, resonates with me.

        Miss Stavers, I ask you sincerely for your help. Please, tell me: how do I kill this monster in my head? How do I become a decent human being? Surely you have the answer to what I can do to end this???? I feel like I have to end my complicity to patriarchy before I do something terrible, but I just don’t know how…

      5. We live in a world where families, including interracial ones, would rather have sons and terminate daughters instead, which leads to having more men than women in the world and lots of violence because men are competing with each other over women. Chances are, if you’re a mixed race man, no woman will choose you because she doesn’t think you’re manly enough for her, even if you’re handsome. She will choose a monoracial male. And if that monoracial male is handsome, he won’t be as handsome and unique as you are nor more handsome than you. Women don’t like unique-looking men at all. They like common, yet simple and boring-looking men instead. They can protect women better than unique-looking men.

      6. He said he was taking revenge on white blondes, the kind who rejected him and also on the frat boys who made him feel inferior.

      7. The emotions he felt were the same, the response to those emotions (violence) was different. Telling people they shouldn’t feel angry when they are rejected seems like a losing battle. Telling people to deal with their rejection like adults instead of animals? That’s somethign we can do something about. Stop giving violent animals weapons of mass destruction? That can happen too.

    2. It’s worth noting that anecdotal accounts suggestion that he was never actually ‘rejected’; he simply *expected* women to jump into his lap and slobber all over his ‘perfect man’liness. He never even got as far as rejection because he believed he was entitled to “all those blonde sluts”. This post makes me ashamed of myself, as it damn well should. As a younger man I have held similar expectations myself, and it makes me want to go back in time and smack my younger self in the face. Hard. But being ashamed is not enough; I need to take the best of what I can hope to learn from this, form any enlightenment of my understanding through any means, and pass it on. Because that’s the only way there’s any possible hope of a change. And holy fuck does there need to be a change.

    3. Yes, all men feel that way when rejected. So do all women.

      And, just like men, large numbers of women rape, assault, and murder men when their sexual and romantic attentions are ignored or rebuffed?

      There’s a particular phenomena among those with greater social power that is all too common: when their needs and privileges are denied by those with less power, the powerful will use their greater privilege to manipulate others through a threat of violence and abuse (both implied and real)… and they are often able to get away with this because their position of dominance is accepted as normal by the larger culture… so normal, in fact, that the dysfunction of the underlying attitudes which lead to abuse are rendered invisible.

      That’s the point of the original post: the same attitudes which maintain men’s position of social privilege—a place of power enforced by the threat of violence: social, institutional, and physical violence—also lead to the murder and assault of women. Unconscious attitudes which lead to commonplace, privileged behaviors in the average man also lead to the less common horrors of misogynistic violence.

      1. The point of the original post focused on the feelings, not the reactions to those feelings. Those feelings in general are natural, his reactions (and the reactions of lots of people) are fucked up. Yell at men for responding with violence, and society teaching violence, by all means.

        1. Please, reread this part of the original post:

          Elliot Rodger murdered six people because he felt entitled to sex and emotional labour from women. Elliot Rodger murdered six people because, like all men, he was taught he had every right to feel angry at not getting his own way.

          We were all born and raised under patriarchy. These beliefs about men and women are prevalent. You can trace a direct line between that sense of entitlement and Elliot Rodger murdering six people. You can also trace this direct line between that sense of entitlement and much of the other violence men inflict upon women: the rapes, the beatings, the random acts of street harassment.

          This is about far more than feelings.

          The point of the original post clearly embeds those feelings within the larger social context of male privilege which accords many men with the expectation that women exist to serve their needs. Hence, the sense of entitlement which then leads to feelings of rage when women refuse to meet those needs.

          Your analysis ignores the power differential between men and women and the privileges accorded to men by that differential. Sure, men and women both experience rejection and they both feel negative emotions in relationship with that rejection. People’s reactions to those emotions do not exist within a cultural vacuum, however. Their reactions are influenced by and embedded within a hierarchy which empowers men over women.

          Yell at men for responding with violence, and society teaching violence, by all means.

          Yelling at violent responses is fine. Yelling at society “teaching violence” is also fine. Doing so while not recognizing the power structure which ensures the continuation of this violence will change very little in the long run. A sexist social hierarchy enfolds the very potential to unleash violence upon women.

  2. I so agree. In the 1980s, learning from active members of the college’s Women’s Group, I started Gender-Agenda – essentially a men’s group that was looking at how patriarchy traps us into modes of thinking and behaviour we woild rather not recognise. It was a small group with only about a dozen regular attendees but it revealed that all of us had at some time either; perpetrated actual physical or verbal violence or simply behaved really badly towards men and women. We told our stories and looked at how we. as individuals could come to terms with the structural issues. Some thought it was capitalism, some thought it was tribalism, we all thought it was education and the way nurture might be used to overcome nature and so-on. None of us came up with answers that were easy or even credible. After I left the college, I believe the groiup ran for some years before folding in the 90s. Since then, I have noticed the massive difference between ‘our’ mens group and the sorry modern equivalent that seem to be all about ‘mens rights’ and the disparity between the ‘male feminsists’ of the 1980s and the ‘lads’ of today. Of course, a handful of left-leaning blokes at a college are no real litmus but, nevertheless, we thought we saw changes for the better that did not include the current spate of anti-feminism from all quarters. How wrong we were.

  3. What makes your angry women sexist rantings any better than all men you are criticising. I am female, I’ve been raped, I’m successful (Doctor) in a man’s world and I’m also married to a wonderful man who is none of what you describe above. NOT ALL MEN ARE LIKE THAT

    1. “sexism” = prejudice plus power
      Not all men kill because they feel entitled to women’s attention and bodies. But all men grow up in a patriarchy that teaches them that sense of entitlement. And it’s that entitlement that leads to violence. It’s all right there in the original post.

      1. Firstly, I think think this definition of sexism is a conveniently narrow and dangerous one. It’s the politics of ‘we’re right until we’ve committed so much wrong that we’ve balanced the scales.’ It’s the mindset that leads to many women thinking it’s ok to physically abuse their partner (something I put up with for years) because what’s a male black eye or a bloodied nose compared to all the male power he has stored up but never once used in his dormant, stronger fists? (One of the worst occasions was on the morning before I accompanied her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with a hormonal disorder. No we’re not still together.)

        Right. Anna, in the particular borough of the patriarchy in which you grew up – family home – did you feel you were being taught by parents that men were entitled to women’s bodies? I’d guess you had fairly well educated liberal parents who didn’t do that. Do you think if you’d been a boy it’d have been so different? Would they have changed their tune?

        Would you have made easy friends with the boys at school who had been taught similar ideals of equality by their parents or the ones taught about the primacy of machismo?

        There is a patriarchy out there and it is insidious but it does not affect all male minds equally through some magic osmosis. People do, to some extent, choose whose truth to believe.

  4. You know, it’s actually kind of funny. I’ve been playing those exact words in my head all day, but I never thought anyone would have the forwardness to say them. I didn’t think anyone would be direct enough to say that Elliot Rodger was fighting to protect the platform he felt he was entitled to. Because, as you put it so eloquently, the idea of superiority over a sex is a platform. A dying one, but one which still exists and plagues society. So I applaud you for coming out and saying that.

    But you are /completely/ wrong for two reasons. First, you refuse to acknowledge that he killed indiscriminately, a clear sign of severe mental anguish. At some point, that platform no longer mattered, so you can’t use it as an argument that this was purely an attack on women.

    But second, and perhaps more importantly, YOU ARE ACCUSING EVERY MALE ON THIS PLANET OF PERPETUATING THAT PLATFORM. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. And there is only one reason I can think of for you taking that route: it’s if you want all men to be punished for the sake of the few.

    Saying every male has the propensity to objectify women is telling every man past-present-future that they are going to fuck up, therefore they should apologize now. And keep apologizing day after day. It is its own form of domination and control over men. It is an attempt to make men feel inferior, and it is the same tactic men have used in the past. Just what are you trying to prove with it?

    Look, I am all for pushing equality and prevention of violence, but this is /not/ the way to go about it. It’s using very loose examples to incite guilt. That’s one hell of a hollow victory for womankind.

  5. Anti-intellectualism:
    1. Write/say something
    2. Have it picked apart
    3. Respond that criticism is illegitimate because of the sex/sexuality etc. of the critic and that anyway facts/evidence don’t matter; just ‘perspectives’ and ‘experiences’
    Must be great to be able to say the most unbelievably stupid things with no recall whatsoever. It’s not a privilege most people have.

  6. Osama Bin Laden killed hundreds if not thousands of non-believers. I hear your cries of NOT ALL MUSLIMS, but it’s wrong. They are all killers.

    The crusades caused death and suffering across all of Asia Minor. NOT ALL CHRISTIANS. No, all Christians are baby-slaughterers and rapists.

    Maria Swanenburg murdered up to 90 people for money. NOT ALL FEMALES. Think again, with your logic all women will poison for cold hard cash.

    Robert Thompson and Jon Venables killed a 2 year old boy. NOT ALL CHILDREN. Well, I say we line them all up against the wall and shoot them for their own good.

  7. Firstly you do realise you are addressing men like Ian_McKellen when you say all men. Secondly I’m not sure why you think causing anger is going to help anything? Understanding is the path to changing things not insults. I do however realise that you are trying to address all the men who are unknowingly toxically sexist, but this will not make them realise that they are.

    We do need to change the whole system of male entitlement. We have a very long way to go before equality but reverse sexism is not the answer. Please keep up the otherwise good work.

      1. I apologise.
        We do need to change the whole system of male entitlement. We have a very long way to go before equality but SEXISM is not the answer. Please keep up the otherwise good work.

        To address it as the idea that “sexism is predicated on having institutional power over a group, and since women do not have that power, they cannot be sexists, reverse or otherwise.” The internet has created a much needed voice for women and one that can more easily reach many ears. The idea that an institution is need to spread good or bad ideas does not hold so much weight any more. If you can influence someone else’s mind while never having met them, then you hold some power. Is the power equal? Not at all, which is why feminism is so important but it must be a force for change not venting anger.

      2. We can all trade definitions but the person you’re replying against is clearly pro-feminist and not defining feminism as sexism. I could post up the definition of prejudice here but we all know that it means saying “All X people are Y”.

  8. I love when feminazi whores try to hate on men, makes me feel warm and fuzzy, I hope nobody takes this shithead article seriously, it is almost a troll article.

  9. You’re spot on with the “not all men are like this”. Successful and confident males do not feel entitled to sex, they want it and chase after it but do not feel entitled to it – in every circumstance save one. Spending time with a kind of woman who adds nothing intelligent or meaningful to a conversation because they are either to vapid or too stupid to do so. They get attention because men want to fuck them, end of story.

    When a male spends time listening to the ramblings of a woman like this he does so expecting if he plays the game correctly he will end up with his dick wet. This isn’t misogynistic or sexist, it’s cool reasoning. “she;s dressed so I can see most of her naked body, she is stupid and racist and a bigot, has no skills of any kind and spends all her time making her self look attractive to males – therefore if I put up with her idiocy long enough I will receive the sex she must be looking for – or else she would educate herself and stop relying on her looks”.

    The “friend zone” is used if a woman like this thinks you actually enjoy hearing her idiocy so much you will do it willingly and without hope of sex. These women are wrong, and any confident male will only coddle them enough to keep them from not hating them – in case the opportunity to sleep with them again arises.

  10. “Aren’t we all, in some way, a dangerous mass murderer with massive entitlement issues and a BMW?” -Darren MacLennan, summing up the nerd community’s reaction to the Santa Barbara tragedy

  11. I’m slightly worried by your characterisation of structural misogyny as a system actively perpetrated and continued by men because of their feelings, rather than also as built into social structures all around us, perpetuated by men and women bu also by organisations (inc states), reinforced by social messaging.

  12. Check this out:

    I’ve read some of Rodger’s manifesto, and he was clearly afflicted with this disorder, and I’d say that without it, he’d never have done what he did (or felt much entitled to much anything except what he had achieved with his own work).

    It’s an unfortunately common disorder among today’s American youth, culture may have something to do with it, but it nevertheless affects only a rather small minority of men.

  13. Iread your outburst you obviously have hatred of men may you be informed there are FEMALE MURDERS ,CHILD MOLESTERS, AND RAPISTS  fact, so before you end up an embittered lonely saddo get a wiser view point to life I do like and respect women and have no bias in any way but lady your well off course?

  14. Distorted thoughts from a narcissist intend of making herself the victim in every scenario. Stavvers, you should understand the craziness behind this guy better than anyone. Yes he had an absolutely revolting antiquated view on women, but lets not forget the guys was quite purely mentally and emotionally fucked, it is not normal behaviour and all of his on-line activity shows no one sympathised with his views. I imagine you will block this comment regardless of your note, because hey, narcissism

  15. Um, I haven’t been taught to be entitled to sex and emotional labor. So I stopped reading when I got to that sentence. You obviously WEREN’T talking about me, regardless of what you say.

    I also haven’t spent enough time thinking about that mass shooting in Santa Barbara to come up with a “justification”.

  16. The trouble with “all men” is that in a world of 4 billion of them and many very different cultures and to have never have seen an enlightened man yet, it’s got to be genetic and there’s no hope.

    Of course, there is the hope embodied in your words, “End your complicity now”. Maybe since this watershed of a blogpost, somewhere in the world the first Awakened Male has been born.

  17. Took a look at your storify and decided you definitely are being hyperbolic for effect rather than actually believing it.

    You said “I’ve come across men who think like Elliot Rodger almost every day of my life.” By that I don’t think you meant every time you’ve caught sight of a male.

    Still, I take your point that this toxic attitude is rife and goes deep enough that occasionally I catch myself (or my gf catches me) in completely socially acceptable misogynistic attitudes. It’s just that for me, as a now born again ex-Christian, feeling entitled to sex was not one of them. If anything it was the opposite problem: I refused to believe any girl found me attractive as a teen so of course every other guy must be entitled to sinful sex rather than me.

    I think many of these hurt men believe they’re entitled to sex as much as you genuinely believe gay pride parades are just great big rainbow coloured blankets of repressed entitlement to women’s asses.

    The Nice Guy Brigade want to turn their hurt at feeling completely unworthy and un-entitled to something they can process. They flail around trying to find something to make sense of this trauma and they find men with a message of “Don’t worry. At least you’re a man and that in itself is why you’re better.” It gives them a chance at self esteem because it addresses their greatest fears head on. They don’t need to skirt around their feelings of having no claim because all they need to do is stand up and say “I have a claim! Honest i do because I’m a man see, and you like it when I act confident like this…Right? Girls, you do right?”

  18. This has reminded me of a Muhammad Ali quote when talking about racism and white people who aren’t racist and are on the side of the African American (Thought I don’t remember it perfectly so it’s a bit of paraphrasing)

    “If I’m in a fort and there are 1,000 venomous snakes outside and 1 non venomous snake am I going to let all those snakes in so I can make sure I let the 1 non venomous snakes in? Of course not.”

    That’s what this feels like. Sure it’s not all men who are like Elliot Rodger but how are women to know? It’s up to men who are not like Elliot Rodger to make sure that no men are like Elliot Rodger and burying our heads in the sand of “not all men” isn’t going to achieve that.

  19. So wait, you’ll accept – without question – the stated motivation of someone who killed 9 people, but when droves of men tell you they don’t think the same way, you know their own minds better than them? It sounds very much like you’re picking and choosing what you do and don’t accept according to whether it fits your preconceived views.

    And as for people saying that Rodger was mentally ill: he killed 9 people. What more proof do you need? That is NOT the act of a sane person.

    I am worried for your sake that your world view is so twisted that you believe all men are capable of doing what Rodger did, simply because they’re men. This is paranoid and delusional. Please, get help. All men are not your enemy.

  20. Well no one taught me anything like that. But you probably know this better than me. Or maybe you are just dumb?

    Stupid shit doesn’t deserve attention.

  21. When you label an entire group of people of being “this” or “that” you’ve engaged in hate speech, bigotry, and have lost your audience to whatever validity in your point of view. And lost the chance to make a real change in what you’ve been lobbying for.

  22. When you label an entire group of people of being “this” or “that” you’ve engaged in hate speech, bigotry, and have lost your audience to whatever validity you may have in your point of view. And lost the chance to make a real change in what you’ve been lobbying for.
    (sorry for the double post – I copied and pasted the wrong version).

  23. This is to criticise the ignorant for their ignorance. I can see truth in it, but I can’t see the point. I find the best way to tackle a problem is to fight the source rather than the result.

  24. I understand what you’re saying, but aren’t all women deep down a Lorena Bobbit? I mean sure, there are times that my wife will do or say something that makes me want to choke the ever loving shît out of her, visualizing my hands clinched, eyes wide, tongue hanging out. Like Bart Simpson when Homer gets a hold of him. “Why you little !”
    The difference is, you just don’t freaking do it. How many times have you imagined chopping a man’s penis off? From the tone of this post you were imagining chopping off every man’s thats ever lived. But it wouldn’t be fair to lump you in the crazy psycho bitch category simply because you get agitated with certain men. So how then is it really fair to say all men are like this freakng psycho who killed women because he wasn’t getting any?

  25. I agree with what you wrote. Many other commentators appear to have read a completely different post, in which case they should probably go and comment on that one (which is, I suspect, entirely within their heads).

    One nitpick: I think you meant: “but that doesn’t mean that you *don’t* have a hell of a lot in common with that mass murderer,” didn’t you? Awkward double-negative is awkward.

    1. It really is possible many of us didnt get it if you’re fully agreeing. You believe that you yourself harbour a superiority complex that makes you feel deep down that women owe you sex?

      Now, fair enough, maybe despite all knowledge of myself I also want to shag my mum. I can’t prove that I don’t so I probably do. Also, I believe all lesbians secretly just want a good man and everyone is repressing their carnal desire for canned tuna (sunflower oil). Right now I can feel you itching to type ‘NOT ALL!’. Ha I was right, so now i’ve preempted you i leave you no option but to agree that whilst brine may split us, we all like it oily. Or else you could just out yourself in your protestething to mucheth as the filthy can cuddler you are.

      This trolling is about as clever and ‘Alpha’ as Rodgers’ big manly finger, able to pull a trigger all by itself.

  26. One could argue that as a member of western society, you are implicit in the genocide of Middle Eastern peoples through war and destruction and those in Africa through the medium of abject poverty. Would that be true? Of course not, clearly you are above all that as you ‘object’ all whilst living like a good little citizen, milling about pretending to care. Perhaps you went to a war protest or two, that shows you care. The problem with Humanity is Humans, not just men. Woman are complicit with violence to, even if they don’t generally commit it. Would the world be better with a Matriarchal society? Maybe so, but I doubt peace and harmony would last for long. We are predators who are territorial and greedy, regardless of gender. I love the way you word your ‘argument’, that if one disagrees with you it only strengthens it. It is akin to a 3 year old child’s. The only thing that makes us different from animals is our ability to deliberate, something clearly lost on yourself.

    1. I like how you think “white people are complicit in white supremacy” somehow means NOT ALL MEN. Because yes. White people ARE complicit in white supremacy, just as ALL MEN are complicit in misogyny. 6/10 try harder next time.

      1. I never said it did. I’m just pointing out that the high horse you sit atop has a very obvious limp. I stand by my point, regardless of ones genitalia, we are all inherently selfish, evil and complicit in violence. I don’t need to try harder, I am making a statement about human nature not trying to sway your opinion (as you have so ‘eloquently’ done in your article). A Matriarchal society would be different yes, better? Probably not. I’m not saying misogyny doesn’t exist, it does. But it exists along with many other prejudices, what makes it more important to you? Is it because it effects you? That is the root of the problem. Ego. It is the apple plucked from the tree. Unless humanity overcomes ‘ego’ then prejudice will continue to proliferate. that is humanities cross the bear, not just mans, not just woman’s.

  27. “The hand that rocks the cradle”.

    We do indeed live under patriarchal society – but most of us are raised by both a male and a female. Some might even argue that a mother plays a much more important/dominant role in the upbringing of children. In this respect we need to look at how children are being raised (particularly boys perhaps) making this both a male and a female issue.

    My father died when I was young and was raised by by mother and two older sisters. I was brought up with no sense of entitlement to anything.

    To my mind this tragedy has far less to do with patriarchal society and has much more to do with US culture (home of the “mass shooting”) mental illness and love of the gun.


  28. “We were all born and raised under patriarchy.” is true for our society. And I agree we need to change it. But it’s not true for every individual. You can’t possibly know every individual.

  29. I’m not sure I see this as true. Certainly I have never felt entitled to anything from women. But i accept the possibility that this is due to my own self delusion or that i am not doing enough to stop it in other men.

    So how exactly can we as men help? and please lay out the end-game. what will have to change for you to believe the “culture of misogyny”, the cascade of men being raised to feel entitled to women, has ended? we need something to shoot for here. and no trite answers like “no pornography” or something simple like that.

    i honestly, genuinely want to know.

    1. I should also add that I don’t see that entitlement in the people I deal with on a daily basis so a grass roots sort of “don’t be that guy” won’t work in a lot of these cases.

    2. Yeah, sweetie, I’m going to assume you’re in good faith here, but maybe don’t expect us women to have to do all the heavy lifting affective labour here. You see how entitled you felt to answers from me? Let that go. Sit back, and proactively search out solutions.

      1. Sigh. Wow. Yes, I guess i did expect a reply in keeping with the spirit of the question. I expected common courtesy and. I expect this from both men and women i suppose. I dind’t get it here. I guess i should have known better.

        but at least you posted the comment. Maybe someone who has actually thought about it will answer. someone who actually cares more about making change happen than standing on her soapbox.

        1. I would love to give this person a medal. Stavvers, you show little sign of genuinely caring about your cause. There are many feminists, even some with similarly uncompromising views who consider practical actions they use their platfprm to encourage. Everything about your style seems grounded in the desperate, grasping narcissism of the marketeer.

          You’re to feminism what a youtuber lighting his farts is to short film making. (And yes, men insult other men on the internet too. It’s their male privilege see.)

    3. If you hear one of your friends make a joke about rape, call it out as not being funny.

      When you hear someone use the p-word as an insult, call it out as misogynistic. If you use it yourself, stop.

      That’s how deeply misogyny is rooted in our society, see — the fact that one of the most common epithets leveled at men is also slang for a woman’s genitalia, effectively insulting a man by calling him a woman. Misogyny is even embedded into *our linguistic system*.

      The fact that not all men receive the misogynistic messages that our culture delivers at the same rates or in the same ways does not mean that the messages are not there. Decode them and dispel them, when you can.

      Oh, and if a woman tells you that she has been assaulted, harassed, or that a guy is doing something creepy, believe her. Also, do not in any circumstances mansplain to her the guy’s perspective on how she might be misinterpreting/may be wrong/he’s not so bad/etc.

      An individual can have an effect on their social group and in the lives of other individuals.

      1. first of all thank you for an honest reply in the spirit of the question. i have female friends, acquaintances, lovers, nieces, sisters and a mother. i genuinely want to help.

        I have had women tell me they’ve been assaulted and harassed in the past. i know for a fact this happens way too often. i would never try to stick up for the perpetrator. again,i do not know any men in my life who would. if i came across these men i would certainly call them out on it. internet trolls not withstanding, i don’t see this in my personal life at all. i do not see men being raised to disregard women’s views on this. and i don’t even mean in an agenda form; i just can’t see it happening even indirectly. but please point me to where this is happening. i would love to take up a stand against it. i simply need to be enlightened here.

        even though i admit to laughing at some rape jokes the idea of actual rape is one of the most horrific of crimes. just as i’ve laughed at other things that would be horrific if it actually happened. many people don’t believe in sacred cows for comedy. it’s hard to believe that laughing at a rape joke in some way makes you think raping is ok. it certainly doesn’t in my case.

        calling someone the P word has nothign to do with the root of this problem though, of men feeling a sense of entitlement to women’s affections. if your argument is it belittles the actual vagina, makes it seem less valued then maybe i can get onboard with that idea. but i’ve heard people called dick too, should we stop that? no one is arguing that calling people a dick makes women feel entitled to getting stuff from men or that it makes women value a penis less.

        and anyway, this kind of cause and effect is often reversed. strong female characters in media didn’t pop out of nowhere, for example. as women became stronger and got more equal footing with men strong female characters in movies and tv shows became more common, less fantastic seeming. pushing an agenda before society is ready generally won’t work. look at other countries like afghanistan for examples of this.

        but let’s try veer back on topic: how can we as men help stop this epidemic of men being raised to think women owe them sex? i’m sorry but your response really doesn’t address this. where is it happening? how can we help stop it and what will have to happen before you think it’s getting better?

  30. it’s hard to look for answers when i don’t believe there is a constant raising men to feel entitled to women. I feel like the pickup-artist thing is a reaction to that old system failing and men trying to cling on to something that’s gone. I’m willing to admit I may just be too entrenched in the system to see it. and I’m willing to assume it’s there and now I want to help. Where is it being pushed down that i don’t see? What will have to change before you can see things are getting better? it;s hard to go hunting for somehting i don’t believe exists.

    1. Just one example of how our society delivers the message that men are entitled to women: a trope.

      Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it, but I can guarantee you’ve seen it in at least one comedy. There’s a hapless husband; the wife’s gone; the husband mucks everything up in a comedy of errors; the wife returns and fixes all the problems.

      Ergo, the cultural message that it’s a woman’s job to fix a man’s problems for him, and that he is entitled to this fixin’.

      And that is generally, I believe, to what the OP’s response to you was alluding to.

      This is incidentally also an example of while sexism hurts women (because we are supposed to be perfect and always on top of things), it also hurts men (because they are supposed to be too stupid to live).

      1. unfortunately i see a lot of these stereotype situations played out among both genders and along many racial, age-related and spiritual lines in entertainmnent media. this is, i think, an example of the horse following the cart. and has nothing to do with the idea that women owe men sexual favors.

  31. Yeah! Who needs men anyway? It’s not like they’re needed for reproduction or anything! I am glad that I exist and can live life happily knowing that no men were involved in my creation. Gah, wait that doesn’t make sense. Okay fine, a man played a role in me being born but since I am already here, let’s shame all men (from now on) for having desires and thus continuing the cycle of human life. They should all feel inferior to me because I had a few bad experiences and chose to write angry blog posts seething with feminist rage.

    I haven’t yet addressed or come to terms with my own issues but I want all you men out there to feel bad about yourselves for the way you evolved. How DARE you try and carry out your biological urges. I mean doesn’t anyone else see just how crazy they’re being? Don’t all you women out there understand that the entire male population operates under a hivemind? Their gender is INCAPABLE of independent thought; it is devoid of all reason and lacks the capacity for compassion. All they want is sex and they will do ANYTHING to get it, including having the audacity to have a sense of self-worth or pursue their goals. It astounds me that they would even dream of wanting to be with someone. Regardless, I am entitled to shove my opinion down everyone else’s throats. I am entitled to take any disagreements and write them off as irrelevant misogyny. I am entitled to cuss at, belittle, and shame any and all men (and also those ‘women’ who sympathize or even agree with them) because their opinions differ from my own. I am entitled to claim to want equality while simultaneously denying half the population the right to want the same.

    Deep down I just wish I could find a man to love me so I wouldn’t have to keep denying it to myself and others in a hopeless attempt to convince them that I am a strong, happy, content woman who NEEDS NO MAN.

  32. My two cents:

    Of paramount importance in deconstructing part of the patriarchy and at least some sexual violence is changing the cultural notion of sex as something a woman “gives” and a man “receives,” rather than an act mutually engaged in equally by two parties.

    It’s an idea deeply embedded in our culture and is responsible for a great number of bad things, including but not limited to: (1) the vast number of people who think it’s impossible for women to rape men (because a woman can only “give” sex and not take it, under the current paradigm); (2) the idea that if men “gift” a lady a number of things, sex is her “gift” in return, which is part of what fuels dudebro rage; (3) the very troubling general public attitude about what constitutes consent; (4) women being the sexual gatekeepers, notions about sexual purity, etc.

    If I could wish away just one part of the patriarchy, it’d probably be that. JMHO and MMV, etc.

    1. I am and have been totally on board with this. I know a lot of men don’t think this way and i can see that this should be taught. that sex is an act between two adults, both of whom benefit from it. it’s no one-sided gift, thought it can be i suppose, on both sides.

      i honestly think this is already veering over to the other side in our society. the tide is already turning about this. but work still needs to be done i suppose. there is some education that needs to happen with women too, i suppose.

      now where is this being pushed down, directly or indirectly? how can we help stop this mentality?

  33. You’re right, you’re absolutely right to say “all men”. I consider myself a feminist, but don’t see it as a badge of honour. I’m still a man, tainted by patriarchy and the structural benefits it gives me. Besides, feminism means treating women with the basic level of decency everyone deserves and no one should get a medal for that. And I slip up quite regularly and fall into misogynist thinking, and fail to listen to others when they call me out.

    None of us men are free, no matter how “good” we think we are, from Rodgers’ violent patterns of thought.

    We need to opt out and smash the patriarchy. And of course it’s got to be women leading that fight. But men should be doing the hard work of self-criticism and sometimes, just shutting up and listening.

  34. I do feel like Rodgers. I think the difference is I have a voice inside me that shouts NO whenever the thoughts arise. I do my best not to act on the thoughts but we are taught this shit under patriarchy and we need to develop coping mechanisms so that taught abuse doesnt get let out. Its fucking depressing but its true.

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