The Game/PUA and MRA factions are going after each other again, and I was going to weigh in on PMAFT’s blog with my own take on the situation. Well, my comment got kind of long, and when I’d finished I looked at it and said to myself “this isn’t a comment — it’s a post.” So I decided to throw it online, because I think it’s important, and worth thinking about.
Here it is:
As far as attacking people, there’s a lot of guilt to go around, so I’m not going to point fingers at one side or another, and quite frankly I try to keep it to myself and not make an issue of it when someone else attacks me personally. No sense in burning bridges until there’s no better choice.
Zed’s written about this problem before. He calls it the “circular firing squad.” Ah, la plus ca change…
Guys have big egos. We aren’t really that good at consensus. What men do well is compete, and organize toward a common goal — usually in competition with another group.
What’s going on here is competition between the younger game/PUA and older MRA/fathers’ rights crowd. I suppose I could say it’s a shame, and we shouldn’t be fighting each other, but actually I’m not too concerned. Competition can be a good thing, and so long as both are trying to win a prize that will ultimately benefit all men, it might turn out for the better.
Obviously, trying to score with various hot young chicks is not my thing right now. I’m past that stage, and to be honest it would probably get me in some trouble and could make my life a lot more difficult if I succeeded in such a pursuit. Last thing I need is another child support order, or some angry, spurned woman collaborating with my ex to screw me (some of them will do that stuff).
However, for a lot of guys under 35 or so it’s a very important quest. It strikes me as kind of myopic and bull-headed when older men dismiss their concerns and efforts. However, on the other hand, it looks really naive and self-defeating when younger guys declare the efforts of MRAs and fathers’ rights groups to be a total waste. Fathers’ organizations have been making a difference for years. Since they started working on the problems in the 80s, they’ve managed to contain some of the damage and roll back some of the crazier legislation. Take the limits on alimony for example. If it weren’t for these guys, a lot more states would still have punitive alimony laws in place.
Another example is visitation legislation. Women who repeatedly withhold visitation now face penalties that actually have some teeth. Presumed joint legal custody in dozens of states is yet another victory. I can only hope the young men who are trying to meet the future mother of their children (if they want to have kids, and most do) don’t ever have to deal with these issues, but if they do they’ll be happy they’ve got some men on their side. It sure beats nothing! Concerning strict MRA apart from fathers’ rights, it’s pretty new, so give it some time — give it a chance. You can’t expect immediate triumph, and there’s always going to be some trial and error, but don’t think these guys haven’t done anything so far; some, such as SAVE, have actually had legislative influence at the federal level.
As for the younger guys who are interested in Game, I think a lot of the men over 45 or so ought to consider the fact that when they were in their sexual prime, the atmosphere wasn’t nearly as bad as it is now. If you are a guy in his 50s who got screwed after getting married, think about how it would have been to deal with having the deck stacked so badly against you before marriage. That’s the reality for young men. Game is how they are dealing with significantly lower social status than men had as recently as the 1990s, and apparently it works.
What we have is two groups of guys yelling at each other from either side of the transition most men go through between youth and middle age. It’s a little odd when you think about it, because they might as well be shaking their fists at their younger or older selves.
As someone who still straddles both camps (although definitely moving closer to the latter), I try to present some balance. It might be a futile effort, and as I suggested the competition between the groups might not be a terrible thing, but it’s important for there to be a bridge, and I guess I’m going to stand here by that bridge with a fire hose to try to save it from being burned down. I have a feeling it will come in handy for a lot of men.