I am also a male, because I have a decently-sized penis and huge balls that produce testosterone and jizz, in alarming quantities. In addition, I comply with cis-hetero-male socio-cultural norms and stereotypes. Is it the "right" way to life? It's right for me, I know that much. I'm glad that I'm not a girl, because I would be ugly. I guess you could say that I'm a male; rights activist.
However, I cannot refer to myself as a male; rights activist, because to cabal of raging douchecanoes who call themselves the Male Rights Activists (MRAs). In this post, Ryan Coons will mansplain the Way of the MRA.
Male Rights Activism came to light in the 70's, as a knee-jerk reaction to the feminist movement, which sought to disrupt the status-quo. Along the way, they sought to tackle some social issues that were discriminatory against men, like the draft, or the preference for mothers to be awarded custody. This movement never got very far, causing massive butthurt for all those involved. In recent years, the MRA movement has seen a tremendous upswing in popularity. The problem though, is that all of the new MRAs all tend to be varying shades of this grundlebrush:
|FIG 1. Ariel Rebel.|
Before we can understand how MRAs think, we must first ask ourselves: what is a man? The American philosopher Trey Parker argued that a man is defined neither by power, nor by the acquisition of power -- but by his notoriety. This is notoriety, is in turn, defined either by the ability to court large-breasted women, or by embracing a life of constant struggle. Parker then posited that acquiring large-breasted women was likely the true measure of a man. However, placing a premium on large-breasted women is intrinsically racist (since it excludes Asians). Furthermore, there exist many smokin'-hot A-cup girls, as demonstrated in Figure 1, with whom successful mating would cause a net increase of notoriety equal to that of their tig-bittied colleagues.
This leaves constant struggle as what defines a man. To have me be the one to explain what it means to be a man is tragicomic. It would seem forced; inauthentic. I'm in no real position to give anyone fatherly advice, because I wear rubbers -- even if she's on the pill -- defense-in-depth, man. No, all jokes aside, it's because I realize I have much room to grow as a person. I don't feel like I have the right to lecture on this, but I do feel that I can chime in with some commentary:
I've been though some tough spots -- not as many, or as bad, as some other people -- but some. Some people have called me tough in the past, but I don't know if I stack up to some of the people I've met. I don't have all the answers, either -- but I have some of them -- and I know this much: being tough isn't something you can do voluntarily. Being tough is only a reaction to the unfavorable, to be able to embrace the suck for the lack of an alternative, as demonstrated in Figure 2.
|FIG 2. Manly men who do manly things. Note the lack of options.|
I don't know what it means to be a woman. I never took a women's studies class, but I had a pet women's studies major when I was at Purdue, so that has to count for something. No seriously, she was a pet; in that she slept of my floor and ate strange meats from little tins. That probably sounds like some kinda weirdo BDSM thing, it wasn't -- she was double-majoring in fine arts, and that's par for the course for them. From what I've picked up, feminism aims to weaken and purge the various taboos, biases and mores that keep women from gaining the same socio-political and economic benefits of men -- in other words, to make options available. Combining this with the discussion above, we see that feminism is about having choices; masculinity is about not having choices. MRAs, who are apparently not sturdy enough to fact the world as it is, cry like a buncha crybabies, and go on with their diarrhea of the mouth about life ain't fair. Sitting around and talking about your problems can never fix anything -- my therapist taught me that, inadvertently. Only self-cultivation can make things better, because it grants the skills to survive.
I'm sure some of my readers are outraged by that last paragraph, especially from the women who enjoy the challenging or hard-pressed situations where toughness, or the cultivation thereof, is requisite. That's not really an issue though; under this model ladies are free to do all of those things. Not having options is itself, an option -- and you have options ladies -- but not for you sir: get tough or get dead -- I don't particularly care which.
* * *
Now, a class feature of the MRA is a staunch resistance to being binned into a "friend-zone." The friend-zone is the central bullet-point of the Ladder Theory of Human Social Dynamics. Basically, in regards to the gender of their sexual preference, males show no differentiation between eros and philia; love and affection are one and the same. However, women do differentiate between eros and philia, leading them to exclude Platonic friends from the pool of potential mates. This section will mansplain how MRA complaints about being friend-zoned, no matter how justified, are intrinsically unmanly, because complaining is an unmanly action. In fact, the only way a man can ever complain without an irrevocable loss of credibility is to immediately dismiss their own complaint after making it.
I for one, have experienced chronic shoulder pain for ten years. Sometimes, when I've been slacking off with my pushups and kettlebells, I can feel it start to slip out of its socket again, and I have to jam it against the edge of a table or something to put it back -- but hey, whatever.
The sad part is that complaining about being friend-zoned is itself, grounds for friend-zoning. To talk about the friend-zone is to have a long discussions about emotions and relationships; this is something that women do with their friends, while drinking international coffee and wearing sweaters. The MRAs are only setting themselves up for the fall; a viscous circle of self-degradation.
The friend-zone exists, but that's not a problem because no one ever gets sent there by accident. The problem is that MRAs demonstrate a staggering lack of self-awareness, and this is largely responsible for their situation. Having spent my entire adolescence reading Marvel Comics, I know that keeping character flaws in check is all that separates heroes from villains. Taking on full responsibility for everything that happens to oneself is the only error detecting and correcting method I know of. I am aware of what I am -- and out of the (as of 2015) sixteen meaningful relationships in my life, I have been more-or-less friend-zoned in fifteen of them. Am I bitter about this? No, the ladies in question were not crazy or flaky, nor where they manipulative or mean. I can't be bitter at the people in my life because they're not the ones with the problem; I am, for a variety of reasons -- but mostly because I am like, way-fuckin' creepy.
Hell, I'd go as far as to say that I am the creepiest person who is not at the nudie bar right now. Of course, being inside the nudie bar is a whole different story; that's the nudie bar's killer app: it's the only place where I am one of the top-5 least creepy people. Together, those factors place me as at least a 4 on the Pennywise-Gosling Scale, which is clearly inside the no-go zone; see Figure 3.
|FIG 3. The Pennywise-Gosling Scale is an empirical figure of merit used to ascertain the relative creepiness of individuals. Ranging from 0 < x < 10, the bounds are arbitrarily set to Pennywise the Dancing Clown (who will drive you crazy) and Ryan Gosling (who is apparently both a real human being, and a real hero.) All Pennywise-Gosling values are approximations, because there currently exists no rigorous mathematical model to describe creepiness (though it is believed to take on the form of a multivariate linear function).|
Don't try to coddle, or console me -- I don't want it, because I don't need it. I'm mature enough to understand my shortcomings; though we can hide the truth, we cannot hide from the truth. By accepting my faults, and not projecting them onto others, I am still able to maintain warm relationships with each of those sixteen who either loves or had loved me, each in their own way -- regardless of how they chose to love me, I am loved -- and that's more than Mr. Stay-Puft at the top of this post can say.
TL;DR: MRAs need to actually embrace the ethos of manliness which they claim to be defending, and then utilize it to realize their own shortcomings and unfuck their lives.