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September 06, 2016

Lena Dunham, Most Days: The Male Gaze Oppresses Me and Is Hardly Different From Visual Rape
Lena Dunham Sitting Next to an Athlete: Why Won't This Asshole Give Me the Male Gaze?

This interview, talking to Amy Schumer (!) of all loathsome people, helps explain why people hate the shit out of feminists.

It's not that there cannot be a decent feminism that most people could support.

It's that the Murderer's Row of idiots and monsters who define feminism insist only on the indecent varieties of it.

Here's the background, which is absolutely necessary for understanding how indecent this all is:

Recently, feminists went ber-fucking-zerk over an internet article written by a dude explaining how to pick up girls who are wearing headphones (that is, who aren't likely to hear you, because they're listening to music).

Feminists went absoultely ape-shit over this, as Mollie Z. Hemingway discusses in this Federalist podcast.

How dare this man give you advice on how to talk to a woman who is strongly signalling she doesn't want to be spoken to! Why, it's akin to a violation! She's carved out a safe space for herself using her headphones as gates and you, Rapist, are trying to break through those gates!

The insane fury of the feminists that followed can be said fairly to have broke the Internet.

So you have that? If a woman is trying to not notice you, it is a Violation and a fairly serious one to attempt a claim on her attention.

Feminists have spoken. This is now the Sex Law.

Well.

Turns out that rule only safeguards women who are using their phones to screen out attention from less-attractive men.

It turns out that fairly unattractive women can demand the attention of more-attractive men who are similarly using a phone to create a Bubble of Solitude around themselves, as Lena Dunham told Amy Schumer.

See, when Lena Dunham wanted attention from a pro athlete -- Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants -- but he just looked at his phone instead of looking at her and chatting her up -- it provided her good reason to attack the horrible disrespect that men visit upon women less attractive than themselves.

I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, “That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.” It wasn't mean—he just seemed confused.

The vibe was very much like, “Do I want to fuck it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.” It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie.

I don't know how she squares her criticism of men who are unwilling to make pointless chit-chat with a woman they don't know ans also aren't interested in with the internet feminist freakout about men trying to get the attention of women who are unwilling to make pointless chit-chat with men they don't know and aren't interested in.

I guess Lena did as feminists say that men should do: She left Odell Beckham Jr. inside his Bubble of Solitude and did not (per her narrative, anyway) attempt to get his attention.

But she does complain of it afterwards, and accuse him, basically, of being an anti-feminist Woman Hater for refusing to take an interest in a woman he is not physically attracted to.

So which is it? Do people -- people, whether men or women -- owe someone who is less attractive but trying, gamely, to chat them up some polite responses?

Or do they not owe them this?

If someone appears to be Socially Unavailable -- listening to headphones, checking a phone -- do people (again, without specifying if they are men or women) owe that Socially Unavailable person the respect of leaving them the hell alone, or does the Socially Unavailable person owe the people around them some polite, empty chit-chat?

It cannot be that men owe women chit-chat if the woman wants chit-chat and the man doesn't, but that a woman owes the man nothing if the man wants chit-chat and she doesn't want it (or, in fact, the man actually owes the woman the security of leaving her alone, unharmed by his Word Rape).

You can create whatever ethical principles you want, but they must apply to all people. You cannot create vindictive and limiting rules to apply to others -- the Out-Tribe-- while not only affording your own Tribe endless latitude and licence, but in fact grant them the affirmative right of compelling people from the other Tribe to behave as they wish.

In other words: If feminism is to be a genuine philosophy with rigorous ethics that apply universally, it has to be ripped out of the hands of those who think "feminism" is merely a daily-changing list of Things That Princess Wants.


By the way, small humor in that Slate article. You know how feminists complain of men who, finding that the woman is not interested in them, say "oh she must be gay?"

That's the most pathetic form of woman-hating man-boy RedPill Mens Right Activist ultradweeb, right?

Well, not so much.

Because when Lena Dunham found that she could not attract the attention of a pro athlete (who I've never laid eyes on, but I assume he has a good body for a dude), the Slate writer was fairly quick to go to the "maybe he was just gay" well:

This may or may not be a fair characterization of Beckham’s behavior at the Met Ball. Maybe Beckham is just shy, or maybe he was in the middle of an important text conversation on his phone, or maybe he was just having a terrible night and didn’t want to make small talk. Perhaps (as the eternal rumors have it) he’s gay. Regardless, Dunham has tapped into a real phenomenon—men who really don’t know what to make of women who don’t sexually interest them—and I, for one, intend to borrow her marshmallow line the next time this happens to me.

So, again, Princesses: is the "maybe she's just a dyke" thing now fair for men to postulate? Or is it only when Princess says "maybe he's a fag" it's totes adorbz?

One rule, Princess. Not one rule for you and another rule for your enemies (all men).

It's shit like this -- shit that's unworthy even of the smallest, most selfish child -- that convinces people that you're just not serious minded people, and are just immature whiners who argue one way and now the other depending on whatever Princess Wants Right Now.

By the way: It's my own guess that a gay guy would have been pretty happy to talk to Lena Dunham. The fact that this guy said "I'd rather just look at my twitter timeline" suggests to me he's straight.

Just keepin' it real.

But let me speak a little less harshly here and explain something.

What Lena Dunham experienced is what the very same "trolls" of the RedPill and PUA community have experienced: the bruising, painful communication that someone you think is attractive doesn't find you attractive. That someone you find worthy doesn't also find you worthy.

There is no difference between men and women on this score, except for one, which i'll get to in a minute. All men have suffered the pains of rejection, and have had a bad night as the mulled over the sad fact that yet another person in the world doesn't think they're worth any romantic energy.

All women, too, have pined for a guy just a bit too far out of their league, and have been similarly bruised.

This is not a man vs. woman issue. This is something that joins us all -- we have all suffered this.

Well, maybe not all; the top 10% of the most physically attractive people of either sex have probably never been turned down (or at least have never been turned down flat in that way that says "You're not even worth a courtesy smile").

But that isn't a women vs. men thing. That's a Genetic Lottery Winner vs. The Less Fortunate 90% of Society thing.

But rather than recognize this -- that both men and women face hurt and humiliation by being rejected as we pursue the unquenchable, unstoppable drive to try to attract people of the opposite sex -- feminists turn this shared human experience into an experience in which only one gender is human and worthy of human sympathy, while the other is altogether inhuman, and unworthy of human sympathy.

Little secret about the Pick Up Artist guys the feminists despise so much, and so frequently deride as Trollish Sub-Men Not Even Worth A Courtesy Smile: these are men who especially feel the sting of rejection, and join the PUA groups to try to de-sensitize themselves to that bruising experience.

That is to say, the PUA guys are largely not the guys with the arrogant swagger that says "Yeah, I could have you, if I wanted to."

It's largely the guys who don't have that, but have noticed that the guys with that swagger tend to go home alone less frequently than others, and are trying to fake that sort of "I could care less if you come home to me tonight, but sure I'll make out with you as a goof" aloofness.*

I don't understand how people who are sensitive to their own insecure place in the Sexual Desirability Pecking Order can be so profoundly, vindictively insensitive to the exactly similar sensitivity/insecurity of others, simply because they're from the Enemy Gender.

But you do see a lot of this, alas, coming from both directions: A lot of guys who I'm guess are not exactly Crossfit Trainers are very vehement in their dismissal of women for the smallest imperfections (the "her elbows are too pointy" crowd)


But an awful lot of feminists, themselves not exactly in the top ten percent of feminine desirability, seem to harbor and equally vicious attitude to the "Trollz" who would dare to speak to them.

It's an uncomfortable thing on both sides when one party is interested and the other party is not. Everyone has been on both sides of this. The more attractive you are, the more you've experienced the "I'm just not interested" awkward/embarrassing side of it; the less attractive, the more you've felt the much more bitter sting of rejection.

But everyone has been on both sides of this.

Why so much venom for those on the rejection end of this, why so little sympathy, just because of this absurd ego-boosting pseudo-politics called "feminism"?

Personally, I have sympathy for the less-than-beautiful and the more-than-thin, claiming longtime membership in both clubs. And that sympathy extends to those similarly situated in the No One's Idea of a Looker club of both genders.

As a Wallflower myself, I understand full well that Wallflowers are shy, and easily hurt, but often kind of nice when you get to know them.

And that sympathy for Wallflowers extends to Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham.

I just don't understand why their sympathies don't extend the other way.

Well, that's a lie; I do understand. Because they subscribe to a self-justifying, ego-stroking fake "politics" which is no politics or philosophy at all but just a series of wildly inconsistent self-validations, a pseudopolitical hash of self-justifications united only by the basic theme that they should have whatever they want and should not have whatever they don't want.

If they want the attention of someone out of their league, they should have that; if a Troll Sub-Man below their standards wants their attention, the Troll Sub-Man should retreat to his Beta Shame Cave and just fuck off to die and leave them to listen to their iPod.

By the way:

I said earlier both sexes are similarly situated. That's 90% true.

It's false in one way: Men are expected (and probably biologically programmed) to be the initiators in any male-female exchange, and women are expected (and probably programmed) to desire the initiation of an exchange by an attractive man, but otherwise just wait for it.

I get that waiting for attention that never comes is frustrating as hell. When you wait for something, you feel quite powerless. You're quite at the mercy of someone else's initiative. Waiting can be painful.

But women ought to know, just so they know, that being the initiator is no walk in the park either. For the 30% of men with little sense of social inhibition and fairly resillient egos, getting rejected is no big deal.

And maybe women think that most men are like that, because those are the guys making most of the off-handed, casual propositions.

A lot of men want to say hello and offer to buy a drink, but remain frozen, due to fear of rejection.

The great majority of men, 70% or so, feel rejection just as acutely as women, and actually don't enjoy having to play the role of initiator. For a lot of guys, the thought of having to cross a room, gain a woman's brief attention, and then say something witty and winning is more unnerving than publicy addressing a room of strangers (and addressing them about a topic you know nothing about).

I really do understand the woman's side of this is tough sledding.

But I wish more feminists would understand that the male end of this isn't any easier. (I think non-feminist women get this, but most feminists chose vindictively not to sympathize with the poor, unattractive fool who just crossed the room only to be shot down instantly.)

If feminism is a sub-type of humanism, maybe it's time for feminists to allow more humanity in their sexual politics.

* My own theory on why the Jerk Initiation seems to work is that the guys using this I-really-don't-care sort of strategy are sexually confident because they're already good looking, so this is a less a case of "Act like a Jerk and the Women will come panting" than "Yeah these guys are good looking enough that any stratagem has a fair shot of working."

They don't need a pick-up line, see? That's why they get away with offering such low-quality ones.

So I personally wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't already found great success with it.

You guys know who you are already. Lucky bastards.


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posted by Ace at 05:58 PM

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