Judging by her comments, Natale is a feminist, and she doesn't much like me -- not only because I'm not a feminist, but because I am quite adamantly opposed to feminism ... although I am also quite certain that her concept of feminism and mine are very different. Then there's the little matter of my being a neo-Confederate (which is also likely defined very differently by each of us). But her biggest problem with me is the feminism thing.
At least twice in comments at Simpson's flog (that I know of) she's mentioned me and Paul Elam in the same comment. For those who don't know, Paul Elam is a big kahuna in men's rights blogging -- founder and publisher of A Voice for Men. But beyond a brief, nominal internet acquaintanceship several years ago, I am not connected with him or his blog in any way. I don't regularly read it, or any other men's rights sites or blogs, anymore.
Several years ago, when I was researching sexual harassment for the writing of Southern Man, I came across a blog titled The Spearhead -- and with that as my jumping off point, I went on a rollicking ride through the men's rights movement, online version. I had considered feminism to be anti-religion and destructive dating back to my first acquaintance with it back in high school. But I had never considered just how damaging to men it was until these blogs opened my eyes.
What I learned is that the men's rights movement has its excesses -- its fanatics, extremists and crazies, just like feminism, and the concept of men's rights runs the gamut from the Christian view of manhood to PUA/Game. But I also saw they had legitimate grievances, and I found many things I agreed with them about. I read the forums at AntiMisandry (even posted, very infrequently). I read sites like The National Coalition for Men, Dr. Helen, Hawaiian Libertarian, In Mala Fide and others. I knew what "MGTOW" meant. I knew who Roissey was.
At the time, Elam's A Voice for Men was just getting started. Since he and I had exchanged a few comments on other sites and blogs, I emailed him and asked him if he would read and review Southern Man, which I described to him as anti-feminist. He said he would read it, but also said it likely would not be compatible with his views, so he could not commit to a review. I mailed him a paperback version.
I didn't hear anything from him and no review showed up on his new blog. I checked for it a few times, and took the opportunity to look around his blog. And in so doing, I came to understand why he didn't review my novel.
The last scene in the book probably best sets up the explanation.
At home, Troy headed for the bedroom, suddenly drained, both emotionally and physically, and sleepy. He took off his shoes and coat and stretched out on the bed fully clothed. He drifted off only to be half awakened moments later by a soft, rustling sound somewhere in the room. Coming closer to consciousness, he recognized it as whispering. The whispers of his family.Best I can tell, this scene depicts the polar opposite of what Paul Elam believes, summed up in this segment of the mission statement of A Voice for Men: Promote a rejection of sex based chivalry in any form or fashion. More elaboration can be found in AVfM's editorial policies, which Elam identifies as his own opinion. He believes the era of traditional masculinity is over, and the "old world arrangement" is a death trap for most men. His site is "anti-marriage" and supports "post marriage culture." Anti-traditional also means "rejecting traditional values where they apply to expectations of men...including men’s roles as protectors and providers."
"He’s already asleep," Patty said. "Let’s let him rest."
"I’m not asleep," he said, slitting his eyes to see them hovering near the doorway. "Come here to me, all of you."
They piled into the bed and snuggled next to him. His arms stretched around them and he held them close. His eyes closed and he smiled.
"Y’all are what I live for."
Oops. Southern Man is saturated in sex based chivalry and in promoting men's roles as protectors and providers (but also in promoting women's roles as scripturally submissive wives and mothers). Eh bien... C'est la vie.
I hope Natale won't be too disappointed that Elam and I reside at opposite poles.
As for her comment about "pro-rape friends," I don't have any of those, nor am I "pro-rape" myself. (Good Lord, what a accusation). I simply retain the intellectual ability to distinguish between rape and not-rape. I know that feminists and leftists in general have a breathtakingly distorted lens when it comes to their viewpoints about rape. I actually had one anti-Confederate tell me once that female slaves would not have been capable of distinguishing between being raped and not being raped.
The feminist view, though, seems to be that the only thing necessary to punish a man for rape is a woman's accusation of it. Even if a man is innocent of the accusation, it creates a horrible trauma for women to acknowledge his innocence and let him go unpunished. I hafta wonder if, when it comes to false accusations of rape against men, whether Natale would agree with Catherine Comins, who argued (in Time Magazine in 2001) that men who are unjustly accused can sometimes gain from the experience.
"They have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. 'How do I see women?' 'If I didn't violate her, could I have?' 'Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?' Those are good questions."Or maybe her views are more in line with those of Amanda Marcotte. From Wikipedia: :
Marcotte attracted criticism in January 2007 for her views on the March 2006 Duke lacrosse case, when three students were accused of rape; the students were charged, but the charges were later dropped and the players charged were pronounced innocent by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. Marcotte declared on her blog that people who defended the accused were "rape-loving scum." One comment in particular attracted attention:Does Natal perhaps agree with Wendy Murphy, who famously told us, “Stop with the presumption of innocence. It doesn’t apply to Duke ... I’m really tired of people suggesting that you’re somehow un-American if you don’t respect the presumption of innocence, because you know what that sounds like to a victim? Presumption you’re a liar.”
I've been sort of casually listening to CNN blaring throughout the waiting area and good f------ g-- is that channel pure evil. For awhile, I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and f----- her against her will—not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out. Can’t a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.
In any case, when I was skating through the MRM, I came across a call by Pierce Harlan of The False Rape Society blog (now called The Community of the Wrongly Accused), seeking writers. I replied, and the upshot was that I wrote about 40 articles on Rape Culture and Gender Feminism for the FRS blog. I'm in the process of putting them online all in one place, and will make sure a link to them is very visible -- for Natale's convenience.
Until I get that done,, here's a sampling for her and other feminists and assorted leftists to get all bent out of shape over:
The Patriarchy I Grew Up With
Perhaps by now, regular readers of The False Rape Society may be wondering about my adamant opposition to feminism. In the interest of disclosure, here's a bit of background.
I grew up surrounded by a sea of good, honorable, gentlemanly men (and very good women, too, despite their not being feminists) -- men of principle, high-minded men who exercised self-control and who had huge hearts full of love, men who continuously did good things for others, and not for praise or honor, because most of it was unknown and unacknowledged except to a few others.
These were ordinary men untouched by celebrity, unacknowledged by the world -- men who lived quiet lives in small towns in the South, who worked at a variety of occupations and earned various incomes. Among the hundreds upon hundreds of wonderful, loving men in the churches where my daddy preached when I was growing up, there were a few bad apples; I can count them on my fingers.
The eight or ten bad apples I knew personally are the only men feminism would look at. It would try to smear all men with the deeds of those few. It's the same thing with patriarchy. All they want to look at is the bad it "caused." But when it comes to good things...well, look at the way feminists refuse to acknowledge the good men have done, including things that greatly benefited women, and that they would have gotten no other way.
I acknowledge and respect the differences between men and women and I don't denigrate men for being the way God made them. But I don't engage in male-hero worship. I do love, respect and honor men who are loving, respectable and honorable, and even some who aren't, when caught up in circumstances beyond their control. And I don't try to smear all men, or maleness, with the bad deeds of some, as feminism does.
That's why I have so little respect for feminism. I'm much more willing to acknowledge the few good things it has produced for women -- far more than feminists are willing to credit men's accomplishments. But just because some good things resulted from feminist efforts doesn't mean I have to swallow every chunk of bitter falsehood they're trying to cram down my throat.
Like claims of "rape culture."
Patriarchy has some bad aspects--it's an institution of flawed humans and cannot help being flawed--but it is not the total evil feminism would have us believe. I will always be grateful to those wonderful, honorable men of my youth, who showed me the reality of maleness and manhood, and thus inoculated me against the virulence of radical feminism.