Men are not Allowed to Tell Women What They Like in a Woman
As we discussed on ‘Regarding Men’ this week, the 22 Convention to “Make Women Great Again,” slated for May 1-3 in Orlando, Florida and organized by Anthony Johnson, is causing a great deal of near-hysterical (and in some cases downright hysterical) outrage in all the ways one would expect.
An article by Solomon Gustavo in the local Orlando paper, the Orlando Weekly, presented most of the expected talking points, his main thesis being that any group of men daring to advise women on how to be attractive, better at relationships, and more successful in starting a family MUST be misogynistic dinosaurs motivated by ego, insecurity, and ill will.
When women convene meetings, workshops, or public panels to instruct men on how male behavior should change to be more acceptable to women, the women are never accused in the mainstream media of ego, insecurity, or ill will, though their statements about men are often far more dictatorial and mean-spirited than what we find on the 22 Convention webpage. Last November, Australian public television featured a panel of 5 feminists making sweeping anti-male statements; Egyptian-American Mona Eltahawy went so far as to call on women to commit deadly violence against “abusive” men.
The 22 Convention, in contrast, is about love, romance, and having babies—and the pundits are outraged. The “Make Women Great Again” webpage states that the purpose of the weekend gathering is to help women avoid the social maladies of “broken families, a documented decline in female happiness since the 1970s, endless social and dating dysfunction, and America at the #1 spot in the world for single motherhood.” No woman will be forced to attend the conference, to lose weight, or to have more babies than she wishes. But if some women wish to pay the ticket price to hear YouTube personalities like Stefan Molyneux and Mike Cernovich talk about augmenting their feminine attractiveness, why should anybody object?
But the critics do object—vehemently. The Orlando Weekly article is designed to smear and malign the conference organizers’ objectives, and the smear tactics will be familiar to anyone who has ever disputed feminist orthodoxy in public. When the actual words of the event description are not in themselves alarming or vicious, critics must resort to distorted paraphrase and presumed mind-reading. When the website promises positive messaging and hope restored, critics allege malign intentions.
After reciting for readers the topics on the conference agenda—“the ills of feminism, the war on motherhood, beauty and obesity, love and dating, getting pregnant and having ‘unlimited babies,’ getting in shape, beating the competition to ‘become the ultimate wife,’ and boosting femininity—Solomon Gustavo must have felt that the list was not nearly horrifying enough. What could be said to show why it was SO wrong—and SO dangerous–for popular content creators and health gurus to address such issues, many of them evidently of interest to at least some American women? What exactly IS wrong with encouraging women to have babies, if they want them, or to get in shape, lose weight, and become more attractive?
Gustavo can’t say. But he can tell us that these men care only about themselves and about controlling women. So he resorts to outright fabrication, telling readers what is really on the minds of the 22 Convention organizers: “Their message is, when women do anything that these bros don’t like—anything that goes against the most antiquated notions of women—it’s a woman acting like a man, whatever ‘acting like a man’ means. And a woman acting this way confuses the order of things and ruins the world, say organizers. Only men can say what is proper womanly behavior.”
While it’s true that the conference website does clearly indicate that feminism has ruined femininity and significantly ruptured relations between men and women (which might be interpreted to mean ‘ruining the world’), there is no indication whatsoever that only “antiquated notions of women” are acceptable to the men running this conference, or that “Only men can say what is proper womanly behavior.” It stands to reason that men will have a particular knowledge of what men like in women since men are the ones who do, most often, like women, sexually and otherwise, and who regularly seek out attractive women to marry and have children with. The suggestion that there is anything sexist or misogynistic in one sex giving friendly advice to the other would, in a more sane era, be seen immediately for the utter nonsense that it is.
Gustavo is most irritated that the conference organizers have the temerity to criticize feminism: he reports that the organizers allege that it has “led millions of women down a path of endless heartbreak [and] dead-end relationships.” Are they wrong? According to Gustavo, “Other people, like actual women, might say feminism has opened their eyes to the treachery that is a life consumed by winning the favor of idiot men.” Wait a minute, Gustavo! Are you speaking for women? Tut tut. Or is that what your woman told you? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself, because that’s all Gustavo has got. He resorts to the most insulting language he can think of to explain that Johnson’s account of feminism reflects Johnson’s own personal (sexual, of course) failings: “A woman being comfortable in her skin, and not bending over backward to give Anthony Johnson a boner, isn’t just making Johnson and other locker-room talkers feel bad—they want you to know it’s really, really bad for the ladies too.”
Gustavo might be interested to learn of the psychological theory of projection, whereby individuals project their own undesirable feelings and anxieties onto others rather than admitting and dealing with them. Perhaps the male feminist doth protest too much. Anthony Johnson and his team, in contrast, are forthright about their goal to help men and women be the best they can be: to attract each other, form lasting families, and have ‘unlimited babies.’ It’s an age-old purpose, and if there’s something wrong with it, critics should at least try to say what it is without resorting to irrelevant personal attacks and argumentative dishonesty.