It’s been quite an experience watching the so-called manosphere take shape over the last few years. Its emergence was bound to come at some point, but origins do have an influence on how things turn out, so I’m honored to have played a part in building it.
Just a few years ago, your typical man would fall all over himself to accommodate feminists, and even men’s issues forum members often went out of their way to profusely apologize to women for any perceived slight. Men resorted to making excuses for standing up for themselves, and seemed ashamed to do so.
That’s changed, and now feminism is rightly identified as a special interest group. Feminists no longer have the moral high ground, and are now seen as the power-hungry, grasping and self-interested agents that they are. Although they’ve secured a place in the current ruling paradigm as coalition partners in the horde known as the Democratic Party, they no longer have the liberty to play the field. Like an aging harlot, their reputation is finally catching up to them, and the allure has all but worn off.
When I first started The Spearhead, the intent was for the site to serve as a catalyst for a new approach to dealing with feminism. I was partly inspired by Heartiste, who rapidly attracted a large following with his witty approach to Game and his incisive critique of contemporary sexual politics. His writing was fresh, new and a whole lot of fun to read. A number of bloggers saw his unabashed iconoclasty and found themselves agreeing wholeheartedly — these writers formed the real core of the emergent manosphere. Heartiste (then known as Roissy) wrote things that nobody dared say, but he did it in such a sophisticated, intelligent way that it was impossible to write him off as a primitive vulgarian.
Another inspiration was the work I’d been doing for years prior to starting the site. In the course of my work, I’d read and edited thousands of radical tracts (among other more mundane stuff) for publication in reference books. Everything from the Socialist Workers Party to Radical Women to Mafkarat al-Islam. Hell, I even waded through Juche screeds issued by the North Korean regime. It could be mind-numbing, but it was an education in radical political activism. It taught me a few important things.
First, I learned that feminists were extremists, and that many of the feminists in positions of power today were indoctrinated by far-out radical groups some 30-40 years ago. Radical Women, for example, may be little more than a worn out old core of radical feminists, composed of bitter, hateful crones, but it was a nursery for the types who now sit on the Supreme Court, in Congress and in city government and administration throughout the land. Even today, its members have easy access to mainstream media and frequently get the opportunity to voice their opinions in such staid institutions as network television and radio. This is because they have friends in high places. When women were hired for affirmative action purposes, these groups practiced cronyism, and placed their supporters in powerful jobs.
Another important lesson I learned was that these people will never play nice. They fight to win and play for keeps. Compromise is off the table. There is no compassion or sense of justice, fairness or any of that. The opponent must be vanquished. For feminists, the opponent is men.
Finally, I had the opportunity to learn about what had brought about the current state of affairs from men who saw it first-hand. These men, some of whom are gone or past retirement age now, took me through it step by step, and gave me some important history lessons that have helped me avoid some of the pitfalls that the rookie inevitably stumbles into.
So, armed with this knowledge, I decided that the only way to deal with them was to take the gloves off and fight back without mincing words. If they are willing to take away men’s children and reduce them to poverty, why not let them have it? Throughout history, these kinds of things were considered acts of war. That is no exaggeration at all, and it’s really quite amazing how docile and complacent men have been in the face of their dispossession. If men hadn’t been disarmed by easy access to sex (or the illusion of such) following the sexual revolution, I’m fairly sure they would have put a violent end to the injustices of contemporary family law.
It was a new approach, and it worked. It earned vitriol from feminists and attention online, but most importantly it emboldened more men to adopt the same tactics, and to get over their worries about offending feminists, being called names and other minor but understandable anxieties.
There were also some fortunate coincidences that contributed to the development of a new, more muscular form of male advocacy. Just as The Spearhead started to get going, Men’s News Daily started to scale down, and its editor – Paul Elam – offered to write some pieces for The Spearhead. Paul is uniquely suited to this new approach to feminism. More so than I am in many ways. For me, it was more of an idea – an abstract concept – but Paul lives and breathes ideological combat. He’s a bit of a volatile substance in that way, and probably ought to come with the same warning you’d see on a package of TNT.
Fortunately, he’s been able to harness that power, and A Voice for Men has been growing in strength and depth for the past couple years. I can’t say I exactly predicted that would happen, but I definitely had a hunch that it would, and encouraged the opening of his radio program. Since then I’ve withdrawn from that scene, mostly because I bit off more than I could chew in trying to be a family man, an activist and a writer and support myself at the same time. Sometimes you’ve got to recognize your limitations and be practical about priorities, so I avoided the activist part. I’m better with ideas than managing people anyway, so writing is probably a better use of my time. However, I think activism has a lot of potential to both grow and make a difference. It’s indispensable, actually, and it’s good to see that it is more or less converging with the new approach to confronting feminism that emerged online a few years ago.
For the future, I think what is needed is more narratives, more stories, and more compelling content that stirs people’s passions and imagination. You can only go so far with intellectual arguments, and few people are truly motivated by them anyway. One form of media that definitely needs to be exploited more is video. Documentaries, true-to-life stories, action shots of demonstrations and other video projects could have a whole lot of appeal. But rather than just raw video, there must be a compelling story behind it. Video of a raucous demonstration, for example, might get a lot of hits for some time, but it will quickly be forgotten if it doesn’t contain an element of drama. I’m convinced that human stories are the key to both sympathy and attention.
There’s a lot of opportunity out there to make a difference, and as long as I have the ability I’m going to keep doing what I can to bring attention to men’s issues, because it’s a worthy cause. Fathers and children belong together, brotherhood is a noble ideal, and freedom from tyranny is worth fighting for. These are timeless concepts that have animated men as long as humans have walked this earth. They are also directly responsible for progress; without them we’d still be living in a state of barbarism.