The Insidious, Intractable Problem of Street Harassment

Street harassment of women is ubiquitous. It never stops and no one is ever immune. God help me, yesterday I got harassed at Costco by a guy half my age while looking at car mats!

“Baby, I’ma take you on a nice ride.”

Obviously, the only conceivable motive was to make me feel uncomfortable. And it worked – I was in a remote corner of the store and I felt scared. I fled without picking up the item I needed.

The defense that this is a form of compliment is totally bogus – the guy wore a smirk and clearly enjoyed my discomfort. It’s a form of bullying.

This short documentary on street harassment features a former Miss District of Columbia and is worth a watch.

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Female Economic Independence Changes Attitudes Toward Promiscuity

women networkingThe titillatingly titled article Why Some People Get Enraged When Women Have Sex in NY Magazine reports on an interesting pair of new studies. Female Economic Dependence and the Morality of Promiscuity (Price, Pound and Scott, 2014) asked 5K Americans what they believe about promiscuity both male and female.

They then analyzed the correlation between those views and female economic dependence within the subjects’ own social circles. Female median income alone explained male and female attitudes towards promiscuity.

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Your Looks, Your Call

There’s been a disturbing and predictable trend of guys getting online to lecture women on what’s hot and what’s not. A recent notable example is this video from Vine teen celebrity Nash Grier and pals:

The video generated a great deal of blowback. My favorite rebuttal is from Hank Green, (vlogger and brother of John Green of TFIOS fame):

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Manosphere Blogger Justifies Rape to Give Men More Control

Rollo Tomassi, male supremacist and founder of Rational Male, has suggested that rape and other abusive practices would allow men to control female sexuality, which is their right.

Tomassi provided this commentary when Rabid MRA and divorce-obsessed blogger Dalrock ridiculed a post at The Week by Damon Linker in response to the Eliot Rodger murder spree.

Linker writes:

“The woman you long to sleep with, like the world itself, owes you absolutely nothing.

Let that be seared into the brain of every leering, groping, cat-calling, date-raping, would-be mass-murdering man in America.”

One would imagine that the MRA/PUA community would be eager to deemphasize male sexual entitlement just at the moment, which was front and center in Rodger’s manifesto. Dalrock’s dismissal of Linker’s too real point about aggrieved entitlement is troubling to be sure.

But that’s nothing compared to the truly alarming reply from Tomassi:

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Eliot Rodger and the Red Pill

AVFM“At the heart of the malignancy that is the Red Pill is the conviction that there is only one true definition of masculinity: a large number of sexual partners.”


Since Eliot Rodger executed his plan of murderous retribution on May 23, there have been dozens of articles analyzing every conceivable angle of the tragedy: his particular psychopathy of malignant narcissism, gun laws, and his enthusiastic embrace of the Red Pill ideology of the “manosphere.”

Writing about relationships in general and hookup culture in particular, I have explored today’s sexual mores through the lens of political and social developments, including the Sexual Revolution. As someone whose blog was “discovered” and read widely by the manosphere for a time, I am intimately familiar with their arguments and beliefs.

Originally, I was embraced as the “Auntie” of the manosphere – one of the few women empathic to male concerns. But as young (and not so young) men shared their newly acquired Red Pill views, I began to analyze and test those theories, most of which strained credulity. For example, PUA/Red Pill ideology dictates that 20% of men get 80% of women, and 80% of men get nothing. (Professional Woman Hater Roosh now uses 10% as a figure.)

Using CDC and ABC News Poll data, I concluded that this claim was totally false, and documented my analysis in the 2010 article Sex and the Pareto Principle. I naively expected my male readers to welcome this as good news – after all, it suggests that mating opportunities are plentiful and widely distributed for both sexes. Instead I was met with anger and claims that my research was bogus. The CDC was dismissed as a biased, misandrist data source.

Two years ago I wrote The Definitive Survey of College Students’ Sexual Behavior by Gender. Again, I felt encouraged. The data from a dozen different sources clearly demonstrated that hookup culture might be the prevailing script, but only 10-20% of students were engaging in no-strings sex. (This finding has since been widely publicized in the mainstream media.)

That meant the prognosis for those young people wanting emotionally intimate sex was very good. But once again, I was shouted down for discrediting the “alpha male” myth, and for suggesting that those “lucky” males were not corrupting the girls otherwise earmarked for Red Pillers.

I was baffled. Here I was, trying to help young men get access to real and encouraging data. Yet with just a few exceptions, they clung tenaciously to their Red Pill beliefs – that women are sexually feral with top alpha males, and would rather have 5 minutes with one of them than a lifelong happy marriage with a disgusting beta male (another tenet of the Red Pill).

Jessica Hagy of Indexed fame nails it:

Mistakes made

The Red Pill lets guys off the hook. If they can’t get a woman, it’s due to the defects innate to the female sex. For many, the strategy of passing blame is more psychically rewarding than the strategy of taking responsibility.

The very men who considered themselves beta losers were desperate not to improve their lives by degrees, but to become “magnificent gentlemen” in that top tier of alpha males. This is precisely what we heard from Eliot Rodger.

For men who couldn’t or wouldn’t do the very hard work of real self-improvement, Pickup Artists offered a quick fix, which can pretty much be summed up as “Chicks dig jerks, so be an asshole.”

Over time the conversation here became increasingly hostile and ultimately I was forced to ban nearly 200 Red Pill males to rid my own blog of misogyny.

A Twisted Definition of Masculinity

At the heart of the malignancy that is the Red Pill is the conviction that there is only one true definition of masculinity: a large number of sexual partners.

Brett McKay of the Art of Manliness has written extensively about manhood as resting on three pillars: Protect, Provide, and Procreate. He explains how young men get sucked into this disturbing ideology:

When one or two of the other P’s of Manhood are weakened or non-existent, greater stress is placed on the remaining pillar(s). And it is usually sex, the lowest-hanging fruit of the manly imperatives, the charge that involves the least amount of risk and work, that endures.

Observe our current culture in the West. In the US, only .5% of citizens serve in the military, so that for the vast majority of men, being a warrior and a protector is more abstraction than reality. And whether it’s because women make up half the workforce, or that jobs are so hard to find, and those that are available are largely of the soft, white collar variety, the impetus to provide has lost much of its manly sheen.

So what remains for young men who yearn for manhood? Only sex. While the edifice of manhood is designed to be supported on a triad of columns, all of its weight now rests on the pillar of procreation, and even that pillar is a rickety shade of its former self.

Weighted with a load it was never meant to carry, the pillar twists and contorts, leading to perversions of the manly code – men who devote all their energy to becoming master pick-up artists or who stare all day at online porn.

The problem is that this creates a wholly unproductive segment of male society, who have little to do but obsess about not getting laid. When these men fail to improve their results with women by adopting Red Pill tactics, they grow increasingly angry and resentful. This is revealed in the increasingly prevalent sexual entitlement we see today.

When a man’s entire identity depends on what he is able to secure from women, whether voluntarily or by manipulative means, he has no purpose in life separate from females’ perception of him. He has ceded all control of his life to women.

Ironically, his very desire to be “alpha” has rendered him repellent as he practices elaborate routines designed to fool women into thinking he’s a natural.

He fails, and becomes increasingly resentful of the very people he is trying to attract. This is exacerbated by the fact that he has been encouraged by PUA gurus to go after the SHBs (super hot babes), because he is “the prize.” His misogyny radiates from him in palpable waves, creating a vicious cycle of failure and resentment. This is precisely the dynamic that PUAHate exploited, a way for the “losers” to vent their increasingly antagonistic views.

Most guys are not sociopathic and are instead drawn to the Red Pill in hopes of finding true love. Yet the entitlement still takes root. In Your Princess Is In Another Castle, self-described nerd Arthur Chu writes:

But the overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to “earn,” to “win.” That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.

…We are not the lovable nerdy protagonist who’s lovable because he’s the protagonist. We’re not guaranteed to get laid by the hot chick of our dreams as long as we work hard enough at it. There isn’t a team of writers or a studio audience pulling for us to triumph by “getting the girl” in the end. And when our clever ruses and schemes to “get girls” fail, it’s not because the girls are too stupid or too bitchy or too shallow to play by those unwritten rules we’ve absorbed.

It’s because other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned—they can be given freely, by choice, or not.

No matter how hard the guy works, female attraction is not guaranteed, and that’s where the rage comes from. They’ve gone through the steps, and now they want the pussy. How dare women deny them - it’s not fair! Women are obviously to blame for choosing the wrong men.

They complain bitterly about being “stuck in the friendzone,” a condition that is entirely self-imposed.

They describe “involuntary celibacy” as an intolerable condition imposed on them deliberately by women:

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The manosphere’s response to the tragedy has been to issue ominous warnings that the shooting will continue until men get the sex they “need.” One blogger at Just Four Guys suggested one day after the attack that the deaths represent an opportunity for the manosphere to generate good publicity:

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(It should be noted that these quotes are by middle-aged men, the group that was the most misogynist here by a mile.)

It is my earnest hope that the recent events in Isla Vista will expose not just the misogyny but also the fruitlessness of Red Pill ideology as a means of relating to women. Women never will hand out pity sex to unattractive men.

Instead of working to earn sex, men would do better do cultivate respect, affection and ultimately, intimacy. There are no shortcuts to quality relationships.