Mental Health vs 3rd Wave Feminism

By: Athena Brown

So one of my fine feathered feminist friends showed me this link the other day.

http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/06/13/3448871/if-you-give-a-guy-a-number-hes-going-to-get-some-bell-hooks-wisdom/

Go ahead and check it out.  At least give it a brief read through.

The article is titled “The Best New Way To Give A Guy A Fake Number”, which beats out it’s old title, “How To Trample And Stomp Someone’s Feelings Even Worse Than Rejection Already Does”.That might actually have been the title, except that men don’t have feelings.  Because patriarchy.

The very first line of the article mentions the “feminist phone intervention”.  That’s an awesome name.  Anytime a man looks like he’s about to put his own needs first, dial this number and hand him the phone, quick!  Before he asserts any rights he might have as a human being!

This is feminismIf you click the link, it takes you to a page that includes the following:

—- —-
because we’re raised to know it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to directly reject an aggressive guy.

because we’re raised to know that evasion or rejection can be met with

violence.because women are still threatened and punished for rejecting advances.
—- —–
.
And this is where we’ll dive right in.
.

Because you were “raised to know” something doesn’t make it true.  I’m sure if your mother was the victim of domestic abuse, she may have transferred a great deal of her resentment and coping mechanisms over to you while you were a child, and still very receptive to such influence without the filter of critical examination.  While I was young, I also knew someone who thought the world was a horrible, dangerous place, filled full of terrible people who were always waiting and watching for that one moment where you might drop your guard.When I grew up, I learned the world isn’t like that.  It’s full of people just like me – all of whom have their own hopes, dreams, and goals for the future.  And also just want everything to be alright.

Here’s a post I once saw on a facebook community for trans-women, which came from an obviously maladjusted individual:

—– —–
The further hormones take me the more anxious I get from the male sexual gaze.I can’t turn it off and I now carry my pepper spray at all times cause I so afraid of them and how they look at me.

I wasn’t even showing my figure and these fucking animals are undressing me with their eyes or just fucking staring at me emotionless.

I know its not as bad as the being read as trans look that I virtually don’t get anymore, but I can FEEL them look at me and its driving me batshit.
—– —–

This person is afraid of everyone around her, all the time, throughout the day.  She describes men she sees as “emotionless animals”.  Is this a healthy view of reality?

I’ve even sat in the park with girls who tell me, as a gentleman walks by and looks over at us – smiles and nods – then keeps walking… that he was “checking us out” and wanted to rape us.  If normal, ordinary, everyday interactions like this, brings on a flurry of a panic attacks and paranoid thoughts and behaviors, I very strongly suggest you seek counseling.  It’s rather unusual to think you’ll be suddenly raped by a man, in the park, at 2 in the afternoon, next to a playground where parents are watching their children play – and everyone will just stand around and be totally okay with it.  Because patriarchy.

Likewise and more pertinent to the article – if you’re sitting in a crowded bar, and a guy asks for your number, it’s okay to tell him no.  He’s not going to start beating you left and right, and everyone in the entire bar calmly sitting and enjoying their drinks, barely noticing, because they’re all completely okay with it.  It’s more accurate that you could just tell the bartender he’s harassing you and have HIM thrown out – whether he was actually harassing you or not – because you’re the one with the power of agency, and an entire social system that caters specifically and exclusively to your needs (as evidenced by the fact that you could simply breath a word, and have him thrown out on the spot).

From the site:

—– —–
In the real world, women are wary of escalating a situation with a complete stranger who could be drunk or violent or who knows what. Women who say “no” risk a whole bunch of trouble, from general douchery (your typical “what a bitch” under his breath as he walks away) to a physical confrontation.
—– —–

I live in the real world, and never experience this.  Neither does anyone else I know.  We don’t walk around with the persistent fear that someone will suddenly become violent for no reason.
 .
According to Dr Richard Carrier, the definition of “delusional” is:
.

—–
A false belief based upon incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained, despite what constitutes incontrovertible evidence or proof to the contrary.
—–

And this includes:

※ Conviction (you believe it with absolute certainty)
※ Incorrigibility (your believe will not change no matter what you encounter)
※ Impossibility or falsity of content (what you believe is verifiably untrue)

According to the DSM-IV, the criteria for delusion include:

❖ Non-bizarre delusions which have been present for at least one month (Non-bizarre means a belief that could plausibly happen in reality, like being watched, spied on, or being part of a conspiracy)
❖ Absence of obviously odd or bizarre behavior
❖ Absence of hallucinations, or hallucinations that only occur infrequently in comparison to other psychotic disorders
❖ No memory loss, medical illness or drug or alcohol-related effects are associated with the development of delusions

Like with other mental illnesses, there are varying degrees of severity, from mild delusions which cause very little friction in your day to day life, and may even be shared by lots of others, to extremely severe delusions which routinely prevent you from enjoying life or accomplishing daily tasks.

If for some reason you believe, and are seriously afraid that, an ordinary man who asks you out at a bar will suddenly BURST INTO VIOLENCE AND RAGE … simply because you politely turned him down… you may seriously want to consider your state of mind.  3rd Waver sites may actually be reinforcing your condition under the guise of helping.

Again from the site:

—–
A “sure, you can have my number” is the fastest way to make someone leave you alone.
—–

Mental HealthA much healthier way is to learn to assert boundaries between yourself and another person.  This can cause anxiety, and you may want to avoid this anxiety by finding justification for why you’re unable to assert such boundaries (such as believing that someone will burst into life-threatening rage as soon as you try – because as we saw earlier, you were“raised to believe” that).  You may even wish to project your anxiety onto the other person, and believe he’s acting the way he does because he believes he’s “entitled to your body”.  We can skip all this excuse-finding if you just learn to say “no thanks”.

What’s more, it can help to remember that you are not the center of the universe; there is more than just one person’s feelings at stake.

The guy who asked you out is going out of his comfort zone to do so.  He knows he might be rejected.  Have you ever felt rejected?  If so, then you know it’s not a good feeling.  He’s worked up the courage to come over and talk to you.  His words get choked up, his heart races, his stomach gets in knots, but he does it anyway.

He’s not doing this because he wants sex, although reducing all men to worthless sex-driven animals is part of the 3rd Waver narrative.  He’s actually doing this because, like you, he is human, and he wants someone to talk to.  He wants to experience life with another person.  And the way you start that is by walking up to someone and saying hello.

Women actually do have it hard in a number of ways.  There are serious, real women’s issues, that need to be addressed.  But being hit on by a guy who has mustered up the courage to approach you at a bar is not one of them.  And taking advantage of someone when they’re at their most vulnerable makes you an inconsiderate bitch.

Now immediately 3rd Wavers fire back “It’s not my job to make him feel better about himself!”

Right.  Not taking the feelings of others into consideration is exactly what “inconsiderate” means.  And that sense of self-entitlement to the exclusion of everyone else?  That’s pretty much what being a bitch means too.

Back to the site:

—– —–
This is where the feminist phone intervention comes in. Give a guy the number 669-221-6251. Whether he texts or calls, he’ll get some feminist wisdom courtesy of bell hooks, activist, author, and all-around feminist MVP.
—– —–

Ohhhh yeaaaaa!  And this is where it gets good!  Am i rite girls???

I can just see it now!

This fat, bald headed, grubby fingered freckle faced four eyed miserable little twerp who hit on you at the bar, runs to whatever dark corner he crawled out of, with this number in hand (because if he were a tall, handsome, 6 foot tall chiseled marvel, we would have given him our real number and swooned in his arms).  In the shadows of his dark and dingy lair, where filth and shadows of depravity plaster themselves across every wall, he dials the number you gave him, his face suddenly illuminated by the screen of his phone (damn, I’m a pretty good writer, aren’t I?)  After he punches in your number, he waits for the sound of your womanly voice, his drawbridge now erect from hopeful expectation (ok maybe not the best writer) – but suddenly, the voice comes over the phone says…

And from the site:

—– —–
“If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.”
—– —–

“My god” he exclaims to himself.  “Those words… such beautiful wisdom!  How have I not seen the truth for so long??  How have I come to treat women like pieces of meat??”  Realizing he has been going to the deli and asking every pork chop out on a date… because he’s treating women like meat… ok enough logic and back to the story – SUDDENLY!  He changes!  No more shall he disrespect women by asserting himself, recognizing his own needs – or worst of all – daring to say ‘hello’.  He shall henceforth and forever wait on every woman, hand and foot, removing any chance of ever establishing a real relationship initiated by mutual interests and built on reciprocated kindness.  Because he does not deserve such.  Because patriarchy.

Where do I even begin.

First, that nonsense about validating yourself is just a pseudo-intellectual way of saying “IPatricia Hernandez 1don’t need a man!”

*bobs head, snaps fingers!*

Probably sounds like pure gold to the people who’ve already bought into this narrative, but the fact is, we all need outside sources of validation and encouragement.  It’s emotionally unhealthy to isolate yourself from social support systems, whether it’s your boss saying “good job” and recognizing you for your work, or a family member watching a Christmas TV special with you over the weekend.  These are things which bring a sense of purpose, or legitimacy, into your life.

Second, your “power of agency” does not exist entirely on it’s own.  It exists in relation to everyone around you.  Life is all about give-and-take, respecting and being respected, acknowledging and being acknowledged.  Along the way, you will need to assert healthy boundaries between yourself and other people.  If someone asks for help, it’s okay to say no, that you don’t have time or that you’re too busy.  You don’t live to serve others – but at the same time, you don’t live only for your own selfish needs either.  There’s a healthy balance.  If I never ever extended my reach to help my friends, chances are, I pretty soon wouldn’t have any friends.

This same give and take exists when someone hits on you.  If a guy hits on me – which, believe it or not, sometimes happens – I usually respond with “Oh, thank you so much, but I’m really not interested.  Thank you though!”

Because I’m giving him respect, I get respect in return.  It’s an innate tendency – give it a try it sometime!  Like when you’re not busy being a conceited self-righteous “feminist”.  Address a man as “sir”, and watch how often you get addressed as “ma’am”.  It’s almost like a reflex.  By being nice, people are often nice back to you.  That’s how your “power of agency” works; your choice in how you act greatly determines how everyone acts towards you.

You’re actually giving up more of your agency by being passive-aggressive and giving someone a fake number to a feminist hotline.  You’re weaseling out of asserting your rights and politely saying no in a way that’s appropriate and graceful (and perhaps even womanly).  Which brings me to my next point.

Third, what exactly are you expecting to accomplish here?  Think about it for a second.  Do you honestly believe, after someone got your number and is excited about talking to you again, that he’s going to enjoy seeing 3rd Wave rhetoric?  Do you think that’s going to turn him more towards, or further against, your view on social theory?

We’ll cover one more little jewel of 3rd Waver “wisdom”, then we’ll move on.

—– —–
As all advocates of feminist politics know most people do not understand sexism or if they do they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.
—– —–

Most people don’t understand sexism?

3rd Wave Feminism currently has it to where being a man on a sunny day is a form of sexism.

Every “hello” is now a catcall. Every act of kindness is now an insult. Every show of affection is now sexism.  Think about it – when is the last time you’ve ever seen anything from 3rd Wave Feminism that depicts a healthy relationship between a man and a woman?

…………………… no I’m serious.  Go on.  Find me one single page anywhere on the entire internet that shows, according to 3rd Wave, what a healthy, normal relationship looks like, and how to achieve it and maintain it, then we might talk about how it isn’t anti-male.

And what does sexism actually mean?

sex·ism
ˈsekˌsizəm/
noun
noun: sexism
prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

Whistling at a woman on the street is not sexism.  It’s not exercising prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination.  It’s simply a mode of expressing interests.  Is it rude?  Sure.  Is it inconsiderate?  Yep.  But is it sexism?  NO!  But feel free to continue slapping that label onto everything a man does that you don’t like, then laud over it when no one knows what sexism means anymore.

More from the site:

—– —–
“Well, I guess the “best” would be if we didn’t live in a culture where men (but no, not all men) feel entitled to a date with every woman they fancy.”
—– —–

hillary-clinton-nypost-620x671

*sigh*… yea, you’re summarily deciding what ALL MEN EVERYWHERE think and feel.  Tell me again how 3rd Wave isn’t anti-male?

Even though it should be profoundly obvious and hardly worth mentioning… we don’t live in such a culture.  There’s no evidence, nor any reason to believe, that men think or feel this way.

I mean – go out and just ask a guy if he feels “entitled” to a date with every woman he sees.  He’ll of course say no – at which point, to make your theory still work, you’ll have to shift that goalpost to where he says he doesn’t believe this, but he actually does somehow.

We could then just observe him working up the courage to go talk to a girl he thinks is pretty, staggering, stammering, half-way panicking, then chickening out at the last possible moment.  If he “felt entitled”, why would he do this?  We’d have to shift that goalpost again to make it so that he “subconsciously feels entitled” or whatever bushwa  you can come up with to retain at least some credibility for your hopeless theory to continue.

We could then psycho-analyze him in a clinical setting, and establish firmly, with evidence-based practices, that he does not, in fact, feel entitled to anything; and like most guys, he probably feels intimidated speaking to most women.  For what remains of your theory to survive, it must continually retreat, again and again, behind continually vague and unfalsifiable postulates; this time perhaps, that all psychiatry is just another product of male-driven industry meant to oppress women anyway.  Because patriarchy.

 Just recently I expressed my interest in someone I met at work, who rejected me.  I felt a little down.  Had some self-defeated thoughts, and was kind of bummed out.  But I was never accused of thinking I was “entitled to date” her, or thinking she “owes me sex”.

And why is that?

Because I’m a woman – and for no other reason.  If I were a man, that’s the very first thing I’d hear from a 3rd Waver.

And how do I know?

Because I used to be a man.

Feeling down about being rejected is a perfectly valid emotion, no matter if you’re a man or a woman.  But 3rd Wavers only penalize men for feeling this way, and that’s a primary example of how their beliefs are anti-male.

And finally:

—– —–
The best would be if women were not required to engage in all this exhausting and ridiculous subterfuge just to ensure our own safety and happiness.
—– —–

Right.  It’s exhausting to be an adult and assert boundaries.  If only men didn’t force you to do this.

And since men are the problem, and women don’t treat women this way, here’s some thoughts I’ll leave you with.

– Domestic violence and rates of sexual assault in lesbian relationships are just as high as in heterosexual relationships.  Fromhttp://www.pandys.org/articles/lesbiandomesticviolence.htmlIt has been estimated that between 17-45% of lesbians have been the victim of at least one act of violence perpetrated by a female partner (Burke et al, 1999; Lie et al, 1991), and that 30% of lesbians have reported sexual assault / rape by another woman (Renzetti, 1992).

– Psychological abuse in lesbian relationships is extremely prominent – in some studies, up to 90% of those surveyed reported this, while 50% reported sexual abuse. https://mainweb-v.musc.edu/vawprevention/lesbianrx/factsheet.shtml

– According to https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/domestic-violence-rates-are-higher-for-homosexual-couples-than-for-heterosexual-couples/ – “The most recent statistics available on same-sex intimate partner violence from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which focuses on LGBT relationships, reported 21 incidents of intimate partner homicides in the LGBT community, the highest ever. Nearly half of them were gay men and, for the second year in a row, the majority of survivors were people of color—62 percent.”  There goes your “dude-bra neckbeard” theory – better find a True Scotsman to help you move that goalpost!

– From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9403987A sample of 283 gays and lesbians reported on their experiences both as victims and perpetrators of gay/lesbian relationship violence by completing a modified version of the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980). General results indicate that 47.5% of lesbians and 29.7% of gays have been victimized by a same-sex partner.” – gosh, if only we lived in a world where men didn’t explode into violence.  Because really, women never do that.  Especially not over incredibly trivial things.  Right?  Oh sorry, forgot, that’s not what you were “raised to believe”.  Gotcha.

– Domestic violence and sexual assault are human issues.  They apply to everyone, not just pampered rich women at the bar who spend so much of their time whining about the wrong guy hitting on them that they try building an entire scientific theory around it.

There are mentally and emotionally healthy ways of navigating life’s challenges, especially pertaining to social interaction and relationships.  Giving someone a fake number that doles out pretentious 3rd Wave rhetoric isn’t one of them.

 

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