Josh Fadem & Wendy mccolm
"Getting It Off"
Elliott Rodger killed six people. Already, there are articles citing his “disturbing internet footprint”. Elliott Rodger killed six people, and his internet habits are not unique in the least. In fact, a cursory glance at any comments board on any page on the internet, will show you the disturbing internet footprint of countless young men. Elliott Rodger is not an anomaly, Elliott Rodger is the inevitable conclusion of believing you are owed the world, owed affection, and that you own women. Violence is always the inevitable conclusion of believing a man is above women and simultaneously threatened by women.
It is the paradox of male identity crystallized in the pick up artist community, but is a concept that is at the heart of sexist traditional masculinity. Rape threats are met with shrugs. Men use rape as the only tool of complete psychological impotence. Whether as a threat of violence or as actual physical violence, it is the only act that can not be checked by calm, rational discussion. No debate can stop violence, call-out culture can’t stop violence. Asking your brother, friend, acquaintance to not make rape threats, won’t stop violence. And so all our discussions about violence face the same dilemma – powerlessness. There are wolves in society, and lambs look no less appetizing after a lecture on rape-culture.
Rape is used in the animal kingdom by males who are unable to compete effectively to spread their genes. But in modern society, where procreation must be sublimated to distorted hyper-sexuality, the most base impulses still remain. When men are faced with their own obsolescence they react in the same way as out-competed males in the animal kingdom. What is more useless than an animal who’s genes won’t thrive? What is more useless than a man who’s been taught he alone will inherit the earth, and that he earned it.
Many will call him a misogynist, but misogyny isn’t like a dude who converted to Islam. He is as much of a misogynist, as he is also an American. These colors don’t run, because these colors run the world. We are all misogynist, because to function in a broken system, one must bend to the system. The nails that stick out, get hammered down. The narrative of success is the story of the White Man, and sure, you can have your own success stories, but best believe when they make your “Based on a True Story” film, it’ll be directed by a white man, written by a white man, and possibly your part will be played by a white man. We must all break ourselves, break our identities, to succeed in America.
I wrote before how i need feminism to try my best to not be as much of misogynist. In fact, not too long after i wrote that piece, i had someone write me to tell me that everything i wrote was bullshit, cause they knew for sure multiple instances where i was a sexist pig. But that’s exactly the point, there’s no one out there who’s gonna win the gold star for Best Feminist. And if you’re a dude, you most certainly don’t deserve any accolades for trying your best to not be your worst. It is precisely the worst of us, who will do the most harm. It is the worst of me, who I’ll have to apologize for. It is the worst of all men, that we have to be forced to choose between believing the worst of ourselves, or the weakness of ourselves. The dichotomy of masculinity MAN UP or PUSSY OUT. When you’ve chosen from this rigged system, you find that you’ve been ripped off.
But this is part of the public conversation of “What/Who’s a feminist?” On the outside, the public perception is completely wrong, Feminism equals Misandry. On the inside, Feminism is constantly policed from within on a checklist of “Are you or have you ever been, a member of the Misogynist party?” If you don’t got your papers in order, you’re feminism is revoked. All we are left with, is Feminism as another meme. A meme that does nothing more but propagate itself like a virus. When years and years of academic discussions of racism/sexism/any-ism gets condensed to soundbites, 140 character tweets, and tumblr reblogs, we are no longer affecting change. We are now the problem. Feminism has failed every single time a guy decides to say “I prefer to call myself a Humanist,” when that dude is more likely to call himself a WWF fan on a job resume. The conversation is not reaching the population. In fact, i believe the conversation is becoming more and more insular.
The meme-ification of -Isms, means there’s no actual analysis of our own positions. We are right, they are wrong. There’s also never any exposure of our vulnerabilities. There’s no examination of the enemy, and let me be bold, but a man killed six women because he was lonely yesterday. The enemy is real, and we’re losing. Many people slam the Pick Up Artist community, myself included. But i don’t know how many conversations i’ve had with people who have never read one pick-up artist book, or hung out with a pick up artist, or had any kind of conversation with one that didn’t start out with the premise that they were gross and sexist. The most famous book, “The Pick Up Artist – the New and Improved Art of Seduction,” is at its core, a sales marketing manual repackaged with sexist terminology. It is genius marketing in itself, because sex doesn’t sell (the porn industry is bleeding since porn went free) sexism sells. Get rid of the sexist coat of paint, and you have the concept of negging, and girls be like “DOES THAT EVER WORK ON ANYONE?” The answer is Yes and no. When you’ve got a product to sell, even if it’s the same old shit as last year, you tell them that their dishes aren’t clean enough, their linens aren’t white enough, their skin isn’t young enough, their waist isn’t thin enough. Every single ad directed at women is a form of Negging. And the advertisers have proven that yes, it does work on enough people to make a profit.
Elliott Rodger is the death of the salesman. But rather than running out and killing himself to exercise some degree of control over his life, the new Willy Loman goes out and blasts some people before leaving the stage. Willy Loman in Boston, Willy Loman in Sandy Hook, Willy Loman in Virginia Tech, Willy Loman in Aurora, Willy Loman in Columbine. A society-wide delusion, that all men are created equal, that all men have earned their position, that all men are glorious. Every time it happens, we have a discussion on gun laws. Pointless – a man will find a way to kill six people because he is lonely, with or without a gun. We have a discussion about misogyny. Pointless – we are all misogynists and the individual agents are as obsolete as paper-encyclopedias. We’ll focus on the lone gunman. We have a discussion about feminism. Pointless – a lone gunman isn’t listening. He has tuned out from any conversation, years ago.
We get so stuck on having a conversation about the conversation, that dudes go there whole lives without ever considering “Do you want all mothers to be treated how you love your mother? Do you want all sisters to be treated how you love your sister?” I am careful to say, not how they treat their mothers or treat their sisters, but how they love them. We never have the conversation about how we fail ourselves and others, because the way we treat people is different than how we love them. If you’re a dude that calls himself a humanist, then you have to start treating women as human. Humanism should be enough. “All men are created equal” still found plenty of room to not include most men, women, and children.
He didn’t just kill six people. He killed 4 men, 2 women. Misogyny doesn’t mean he just hated women, he hated other men just as much. He called them losers. In the cruel arithmetic of his mind, the women were simply objects. Why did these objects hate me? Not “I hate these objects” He still coveted them. The men, they didn’t have his looks, his $300 shades, his BMW, his clothes. All objects. He killed the owners of objects, then killed himself, because he owned the one thing every man has to get rid of - virginity.
It all adds up, not just to him, but for so many men, that we aren’t worth anything at all. But if we’re supposed to be at the top, you lose faith in everything else. Nothing is worth anything if i’m worthless. A voice that is not worth listening to, ‘mansplaining’. But until feminism finds a way to reach the most vile, we remain sheeps to the slaughter.
How do we try to elevate ourselves from the position of livestock? How do we lower ourselves to speak in the language of a savage? This is what is missing from any discussion, from every conversation where we end up speaking past each other. For me, i drop the academic parlance. I’m not a women’s studies major, i’m not even a college graduate. I drop the moral high ground. I’m not good at ‘examining my own privilege’ cause that’s the god damn privilege of privilege.
I drop out of calling people out. Even when i’ve done it, i know that its 100% about me and never about who i’m calling out. When Brendan McCarthy (a comics dude) said some racist shit, yeah, i “called him out”, but not because I particularly cared that he said some racist shit, but because he was drawing the covers to the comic i was working on. Cash rules everything around me, CREAM, Get the dummy, don’t bother my dollar bills y’all. I won’t ever pretend that I want to change his mind, that i will change his mind, or that i’ve helped make the world a better place. I’ll call someone out if it affects my day-to-day life, because being offended is not about making change. Being offended is about me. Its not enough to just be offended. Congratulations on doing nothing. Being offended doesn’t mean you care. Actions are the only things that create change, and no, twitter doesn’t count. I’m only as much of an ‘activist’ as “How can i draw this comic differently according to my beliefs?” Thats as much as i care about any issue. I’ve got no authority on this subject.
I once was hanging out with three dudes. Two guys my age, one guy was in his forties/fifties. One guy from the east coast, the other two from the midwest. We were all out drinking beers, at a bar with a racist name, all talking about the shared experiences of different types of violence. Getting in a fight, having a fight for fun, getting hit by our fathers, and then, tragically, the oldest man spoke about getting beat and humiliated by his father and mother. It was disturbing to hear, but it was a necessary experience to learn for the rest of us, just kinda casually discussing some minor scuffles in our young lives. It was some real talk, and then the oldest man started dropping the N-bomb. I respected the guy, and he respected me, and so as a joke, i said how i voted for Obama because he was black (That’s actually true, but it was still phrased as a joke at the time). He went crazy! He asked me “I know you’re a smart guy, talking to you, i know you got your head on straight. But you must be lying. I know you’re not a liberal!” On and on. And so i asked him “Is it possible that talking to me is better proof of what a liberal is, than what you’ve decided in your head?” I’m a cuban american from NJ, my mom is blacker than me, my dad is more spanish than me, i’m also mostly liberal, mostly straight, and if i spent the whole time explaining exactly what those all meant to me, he’d never would’ve been vulnerable to admit that the violence in his life should have never happened to anyone.
What haven’t we learned, every time we tune out, turn off, drop the convo? For men, there’s a war going on inside, no one is safe from. Silence is a loaded gun.
I have black friends, spanish friends, and I’m a mix of mexican and white. But there is nothing more I hate than driving through the ghettos and seeing people not take care of where they live. Waiting for the government to do something about it. Is that racist?
The government is a magical thing. They are simultaneously the most and least capable group of people on the planet. Which government? Any government. It allows us to blame a higher power for all of the bad things and good things we believe exist. But unlike God, we can prove that a government exists. But also unlike God, it is not nearly as powerful as you think it is.
The delusion that poverty is deserved, that poverty may also be a result of of a person’s race, and that a symptom of that race is laziness, isn’t just racism…it’s stupidity.
You get so angry that you have to give your precious dollars to feed hungry kids and hungry old folks (which makes up more than half of the recipients of food stamps), you get so angry that minorities are just acting like savage animals, and you get so angry that ghettos exist taking advantage of the poor gullible Government. The same government that you probably believe is manipulative, greedy and taking advantage of you.
There’s a reason it’s called government housing, because the gov’t came up with the idea. Its no coincidence that ghettos look like Prison Industrial Complexes, that the creeping police cars and closed circuit cameras function as a virtual panopticon. The ghetto isn’t an accident, and the people living there aren’t waiting for the gov’t to help them out, they are wishing someone would open the cage. Instead, you drive on by, like a man gawking at Ota Benga, believing he’s taking advantage of the zookeepers.
Your language implies that you believe these people are parasites, but they are not.The ghettoes aren’t the parasites on society, the completely corporate controlled government is the parasite on the people. And hundreds of years of racist policies have been designed to disenfranchise whole segments of the population. These same racist policies haven’t stopped at just affecting one race, it has become full on class/race/gender warfare.
Keep the proles hungry and stupid, fighting each other, and they will never rise up. You should’ve read 1984 when you were in highschool. But instead, you probably believe 1984 was the year of the last great American President - Ronald Reagan. The almighty god of the conservative right, who wages a war on terror from the grave. Freedom from the tyranny of the unwashed masses. A holy crusade against everyone who isn’t a rich man. There ain’t no section 8 housing in their heaven.
Oftentimes, when a repugnant thought enters the cultural consciousness, it cuts through people like two land masses experiencing a seismic rift. One side defends it “It’s just a joke!” or “It really happens!” and the other responds “That is offensive, women owe you nothing,” “You’re a neckbeard loser”. But no one really ever sits down and think “Why the fuck are we even discussing this?” Even repugnant ideas come from somewhere, and enough people must experience them for it to catch on as a meme.
Even Fedoras were once cool, so cool, that every dude almost had to wear them. Now Fedoras exist in the uncomfortable realm of Bros, Nerds, and the Pickup Artist Community (THE LOVECHILD OF BROS AND NERDS). The Pickup Artist community deserves its whole separate deconstruction, so i’ll save that for later. But the Friend-Zone didn’t just appear as a boogie man of men’s rights activists. The Friend-Zone exists because men and women have been socialized to ignore each other and suppress their desires.
What we’re talking about when people discuss the Friend-Zone, has been unfortunately gendered and distorted. It simply is the very modern result of relaxed sexual mores coming into conflict with traditional gender roles. There does exist an uncomfortable situation that occurs before or after sex occurs with a new person-of-interest, where one of the persons (at least) is unsure of what role the other should take. When you hear nerds and bros and PUI’s speaking about this, this is why they need feminism. Unfortunately, they are often too pigheaded and stubborn to see that. The patriarchy has failed them, because when the strict codes of behavior begin breaking down towards how to interact with women, those last vestiges morph into an artificial reward/punishment structure….a game.
There are nice guys, and bad boys. Sluts and Virgins. How to score. How to get pass “No”. Even feminist theory plays the game, “Yes means yes” “Are you privileged?” “Weight loss and Feminism”. Each person has their avatar, and each person must play the game of interacting with the opposite gender in such a way, that a winner is you.
Unfortunately, all a game amounts to in the real world, is manipulation of others. And you only need to manipulate others, if you’re unsure you’ll get what you want by simply asking for it. We can’t just ask for it though, because there’s the undeniable fear that removing oneself from the game, also removes yourself from the rewards. One tolerates the punishments, in hope of eventually obtaining the reward. Its the sunk costs fallacy writ large. We’ve been playing this game for so long, for generations, that we can’t discard it without tearing each other apart.
Why is the Friend-Zone a meme so easily grasped by Bros and Nerds, opposites on the social stigma spectrum? Perhaps Bros & Nerds are identical in their complete social-acceptance of modern male-chauvinist brainwashing. The Bro is an alpha dog, the nerd is King of the Nerds. The Bro says she deserves it, the Nerd says she doesn’t even know who Rocket Raccoon is. United are they, in their inability to see past their limited male-centric bubble. All the while, dating remains with the male’s sphere of influence. The old traditional ways still define that the man pursues, the man is hyper sexual, the man provides. Sadly, this also means the man isn’t responsible for his emotions and his mistakes.
Dating still exists, but its also dissolved into hooking up, hanging out, casual sex, open relationships, “it’s complicated” status changes, FB stalking, Snapchat, Tinder, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, try-sexual. The BroNerd is a caveman in an increasingly complex world. Traditional roles only allowed for so much complexity. You could only play if you were straight and stayed with your own kind. Gay? Sorry, can’t play. Get out and die. Interracial? Sorry, can’t play. Get out and die. BDSM? Sorry, can’t play and SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUTUP! If you wanted to just get a god damn blow job, you had to pay for it. Literally. Don’t ask your wife to do that. The BroNerd doesn’t have the vocabulary to even discuss what he wants, but he also hasn’t been given the emotional complexity to vocalize it even if he could.
I’m focusing on the BroNerd, and speaking about men, because it’s what i know from first hand experience. I am a mostly straight dude. I’ve been “friendzoned” (I was afraid/unable to tell a person what i want and the person didn’t know what they want enough to tell me). But for every bro, for every nerd, there’s also a woman who has grown up believing the exact same quasi-traditional American beliefs. Women are just as socialized to be pursued, to be demure, to receive. This also means that a woman, in American society, is completely responsible for all emotions (the male’s too) and for all their mistakes.
What you end up with, is the broken situation where a woman is unable to be sexual, but wants sex, but will be punished for wanting sex, so often learns that to be pursued provides the most rewards in life. Even something like ‘slutwalks’ or naked protests, quite obviously traffics in agreeable male patriarchal desires, while simultaneously attempting to subvert them but reaping the traditional rewards – attention, consideration, discussion. How often do feminist articles explore questions like “Is Miley Cyrus a feminist?” “Is wearing a hijab feminist?” as a result of the inability to separate a woman’s appearance from the reward system of the male gaze. Those questions would be as irrelevant as a man’s nipples, if a man’s gaze didn’t value women’s nipples. Existence is a reward itself, when your very gender makes you invisible in many walks of life. Modern dating rewards women who are pursuable, but does not ever reward being the pursuer, or the result of being pursued: sex. It does however reward being purchased: traditional marriage. How can a woman define what they want, when all the new choices afforded to her are still linked with punishments. Own your sexuality? You better be ready to discuss it. Don’t want to have children? You gotta talk to a man about that first. Silence is the only refuge, and that’s perfectly okay for men who don’t want to listen.
For a man, conquest at any cost is rewarded. Even if it destroys your own soul. A “nice guy” values conquest too, he only defines it as a “girlfriend”, but its really a wimp’s way of making a marriage purchase. The BroNerd is a caveman, only able to communicate in grunts. And grunts are all it needs. He doesn’t have to discuss how much sex he wants or how he goes about getting it. He doesn’t want children, he’s just a busy guy. Grunts are good for aggression, and that’s perfectly okay for men who don’t know what to say. Together, cavemen and cavewomen get along just fine, one grunts while the other is silent. The world is changing however. As we navigate these changing social norms, we are all evolving, because we are all in some way dealing with our traditional gender role baggage. Evolution occurs when an animal must adapt to a changing environment. Those who do not adapt, perish. The caveman is going extinct. And it’s death is seen on arguments on a facebook wall. In death, it is flailing about in complex new encounters between the sexes, like a cricket with broken legs trying to sing a song of seduction.
Traditions seek to control the environment, by limiting the amount of possibilities. Ain’t no bird gonna fly if you always get shot. But our world has become truly global, and our traditions are crashing against other traditions, and creating new ones. Thats where the Friend-Zone came from, and it won’t go away until we’ve discovered a new paradigm. Until a woman won’t be punished for just wanting a friend, punished for just wanting sex, punished for just wanting to be monogamous, then it’ll be impossible to tell a man exactly what they want. Nor will men, who treat sexual conquest as a reward, who see friendship as simply a path to conquest, and face no consequences for being single or married, ever be able to see past their socially impaired tunnel vision. Caveman can’t talk, caveman can’t understand. Cavewoman gets hit when she speaks, cavewoman can’t understand why.
For now, when I go on a date, i try to pay for it while looking really cool and i didn’t really even think about it, so that she doesn’t think i’m trying to be some throwback but still values traditional status symbols like affluence and confidence, and if she really wants to pay for her, i just ask three times – very casually – and then let her. That’s a lot of complex decision making just to pay for a burger. Its really annoying, but BroNerd’s just ain’t got the higher reasoning skills to deal. Also, yes, i just humble bragged cause i’m still playing the game. Don’t hate the player, hate the game, it makes losers of us all.
further reading -
— Roma (via shitmyphotoprofsays)
Anonymous said: What do you think of a fit guy with a plus size woman? and would you date a plus size woman?
Dear Cooking for Cannibals,
I would think the only time this should matter is if you’re worrying about lean meat vs. some nice marbling in your long pig. Otherwise, i’m a firm believer in infinite diversity in infinite combinations.
And anyone who is friends with me in real life knows i answer “Yes.” to “Would you date a ______ woman?”
— Part 2 of Feminism as Self Protection
"Feminism will protect all the boys. No boy should have to learn these lessons this way. You shouldn’t have to grow up into a man feeling like you never learned how to do this. Hyper sexuality, braggadocio, machismo – all things that i’m guilty of. I shouldn’t be afraid of other men, i shouldn’t be afraid of myself.
But i am, and feminism is the only way i know to keep the violence in me from spreading to other men and boys.”"
Marvel art piece by Ulises Farinas
Wow, Brian Michael Bendis reblogged one of my drawings. Feels pretty good.
livy101 said: Do you really hate it when you're confused ?
I don’t really feel confused too often. Most of the time, the things that confuse me are other people’s feelings, but i try to remember that i shouldn’t try to guess at what other people are feeling unless i’m willing to ask them and accept what they tell me
Anonymous said: what's my name
a library of selves
— I’ve dealt with being depressed for a good while now. I wrote about my coping strategies, and how i’ve come to accept it.
Also, if you’re feeling depressed, or worst, suicidal, always talk to someone. You never know how many people are dealing with or dealt with similar feelings. The world can be cold, and cruel, and heartless, which means you’ll always find someone who would enjoy huddling together with you for warmth and comfort.
I was really ashamed of myself when i was depressed, and my friends and family were the ones who showed me i had nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not who you are, its just the weather in your head.