I’ve ignored the “Manosphere” here, but with a steady trickle of comments that sound like they come from the manosphere, I think it’s time to address it.
First let me try to define the manosphere for those who haven’t run across it. The manosphere is a subset of the blogosphere where men discuss how feminism has ruined Western society. There are various streams of the manosphere, but all of them agree feminism is the cause of all sorts of problems in our society.
- One slice of the manosphere is the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM’s). They’re clearly, openly, and even proudly misogynist. These men would say they are anti-feminist, but they seem more anti-women, or, at least, anti-Western-women.
- Then you have the “Men’s Rights Activists” (MRA’s) who are grossly misogynistic. This group says some of the ugliest and most offensive stuff and are the kind of men who say there is no such thing as rape.
- Another segment is the “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW’s) who seem to be against women, marriage, and Western culture. Some only date non-western women, some don’t date. These are the atheists and anarchists of the manosphere.
- Another part of the manosphere, the pick-up artists (PUA’s), are all about bedding as many women as possible, and they discuss ways to accomplish this. These men are a subgroup of MRA’s or MGTOW’s
- Finally, there’s the Christian segment, the group most likely to show up here. They would call themselves traditionalists or the traditional marriage camp. They want to return to what they think life was like in the past. This group is often violently angry at “feminised churches” and “castrated pastors” who they think have sold out to the feminist regime. They tell you what the Bible really says about marriage and women isn’t being preached in churches. They trumpet the manosphere as a place where they can discuss a truth too radical to be discussed in church. This group says churches teach things that cause divorces and refuse to get involved when women with no right to divorce do just that.
I’ve long said feminism was a wrong response to a real problem. I’m old enough to have seen first hand the horrible and completely unbiblical ways women were treated in the past. There was a problem, and most men and most churches (which were almost always ruled by men) chose to ignore, deny, or justify the problems. The situation was horrible, and it was only a matter of time before something happened. What happened did offer help for many, but it also created a good many new problems.
In the same way, the manosphere seems to me to be a wrong response to the real problems caused by feminism. The difference is while feminists took action, the manosphere seems to be mostly about whining to the choir. (Please note it’s no accident this post follows yesterday’s Choose to be Empowered post.
I have several problems with the “traditionalist” part of the manosphere.
- I don’t think they have a good understanding of the past. They see an idealised version of the past free from all the problems and failures that were an integral part of that life. Feminism was possible because so many women felt neglected or abused by the male-centric society in which they lived. This was not a few rabble-rousing college women, the problems were many, they ran deep, and most women were unhappy with some aspect of their lives. The situation was like that of any repressed group, and the “revolution” was inevitable.
- I don’t think they have biblically valid concepts of marriage or headship. I do think headship in marriage is God ordained, but because I don’t hold to the same radical version I’ve been accused of throwing headship under the bus. Headship is not about being a do-as-I-say-no-mater-what ruler; it’s about being a servant leader. It’s more about love than getting your way, and more about sacrifice than control.
- I don’t think what women want, need, or respond to is a “firm but fair” man who expects to be asked “how high” when he says “jump”. Neither do I think saying “you will have sex with me tonight, now get naked and in bed” is the solution to sexual problems. God didn’t design women to want to be bossed around;, He made them co-heirs who are supposed to be a vital and active part of the expansion of His Kingdom on earth. Our failure to understand and live this truth it is part of why the church has become so irrelevant in our world.
All that said, why am I crazy enough to strap a lighting rod on my back and go out into this storm? First because I want those of you who haven’t run across the manosphere to be warned about it. Some of them sound rational on the surface, so beware. Secondly, since we keep having men who ascribe to this making comments I figured I should address it.
The comments might get heated on this, depending who shows up. If this post gets circulated in the manosphere it could get pretty wild. I reserve the right to ignore things when I feel I’ve already addressed them or suspect my words won’t be heard.
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