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Guardian Opinion: After El Paso and Dayton, the left needs to reach out to men, not condemn them

EviLore

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This far-left feminist Guardian writer seems to be on the verge of waking up, in-between all the intersectional gobbledygook and TDS. You can almost see her internal struggle as she writes the piece:

A horrific act of violence takes several innocent lives, a frantic live-stream details the events, terrifying mobile footage spreads rapidly online. Then come the tweets of condemnation from world leaders, followed by an onslaught of outrage split down partisan lines.

The way that shootings, or suicide bombings, or knife attacks are politicised depending on the backgrounds of the perpetrators and the victims shows how successful these acts are in deepening the divisions in society. And that is one of the intentions that the perpetrators share, no matter their race or politics.

Tougher gun laws would certainly help, but attackers will still use knives, lorries or homemade explosives to kill and maim, if that’s what they set out to do. And while President Trump’s words have indisputably fanned the flames of hate towards marginalised and minority groups, the anger and resentment he taps into existed long before he came along.
Surely the question we need to be asking runs deeper: be it anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim, anti-western, anti-women, anti-black, antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ, why are so many young men prone to being radicalised in this way?

I know that discussions around men and masculinity are just as politically charged as discussions around terrorism, which makes this a difficult area to address. This is partially what led to me to make a Guardian video series on modern masculinity this year.
As a journalist, I have covered stories in male-dominated spaces, from culture and sport to knife crime and terrorism. And I’ve noticed that conversations around the relationship between masculinity and violence were often dragged into a partisan debate where “the left” seemed to demonise men, and “the right” claimed ownership over masculine identity. This discussion has become even more charged with the rise of the #MeToo movement.

Jordan Peterson, whose book 12 Rules for Life is an international bestseller and whose videos on YouTube have amassed millions of views, remains a problematic figure due to some of his ideas. He has been accused of having an “alt-right” audience, although I was surprised when I went to an event of his in Birmingham to see quite a few men in the audience who described themselves as Jeremy Corbyn supporters, “lefties” and even Marxists.
Peterson’s main tenet was that men (and women) need purpose and responsibility if they are to find meaning and direction in life. In a Fox News interview last year, Peterson was asked why young men were “shooting up schools”. “Because they’re nihilistic and desperate,” he replied. “Life can make you that way unless you have a purpose and a destiny.”

In a seemingly fractured world where organised religion is in decline, this point strikes me as an important one – especially when looking at the profiles of the men who are committing these horrific acts of violence.

Men who have grown up in disrupted families, and gone through the care or prison systems, have been more prone to radicalisation. Often they have little to no engagement with spirituality, politics or religion earlier in life, but are drawn to a vision of the caliphate, posturing on isolated interpretations of the Qur’an to legitimise murders in the name of some higher cause; or isolated white supremacists imagine a race war that paints them as brave heroes on a great mission. These are, of course, horrific extremes but it’s clear that when people feel lost and disillusioned, there’s a push to tribalism – finding belonging and purpose in a greater cause.
Anders Behring Breivik sought to give meaning to his murderous rampage. He wrote a 1,500-page manifesto railing against “the Islamisation of Europe” in July 2011 before killing 77 people in Norway. Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who shot dead 51 people in mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, this year, wrote a 74-page screed citing Breivik as an inspiration, and posted it on the web forum 8chan. And last weekend Patrick Crusius posted his own manifesto on 8chan before killing 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in an attack aimed at Hispanics.

In the Fox interview, Peterson had noted how the shooters influenced each other, saying: “It’s like a psychological epidemic these people keep track of each other and there’s a competitive element to it … part of what drives them is motivation for notoriety – notoriety is better than being ignored.”
Rejecting tribalism?!

Whatever people feel about Peterson’s politics, there is undoubtedly something in what he is saying here. People on the left tend to respond to him tribally, rather than engaging with his ideas, but there are times when this is surely counterproductive. Peterson isn’t the first to explore these questions of purpose and meaning, but the way he packages them has made him accessible to a huge audience. In turn, this has allowed him to “own” the discussion around masculinity.

His biggest critics accuse him of being a pseudo-intellectual and dismiss him as an alt-right icon. Yet few on the left offer up well-developed ideas on the crisis of masculinity and the role of men – certainly there is no one who is speaking to lost and disenfranchised males with anything like his reach. It’s not enough simply to call out the patriarchy, toxic masculinity or misogyny.

"It’s not enough simply to call out the patriarchy, toxic masculinity or misogyny"
 

Whitesnake

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You’re telling me that demonizing an entire half of the population, telling them that they have it too good and that their struggles mean nothing in comparison to the struggles of [token minority] and that they should feel ashamed of the fact that they’re men, might make them feel angry and hopeless?

Who would’ve thought.
 

xandaca

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Amrani's actually very good (haven't read her article yet, though), she did a series of YouTube videos about masculinity a short while ago where she actually talked to men about it and engaged the topic seriously.


(Also worth pointing out that although everyone's blaming Trump for both of these, the media's been noticeably quiet that the Dayton shooter was a Democrat who had expressed support for the Antifa movement)
 
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GreyHorace

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It surprising that people (especially liberals) are slow to the realisation that this agenda against men is counter productive. The backlash against Gillete should have been an warning sign that we don't take kindly to being thought of as the bad guy.

Not that we can't just sit on our laurels of course. Jordan Peterson tells us we still need to take personal responsibility for ourselves, which is a good message to have. Why the hell do people think him a toxic influence?

We should also lay blame too to those beta cucks who seem content being a doormat for women. Bunch of whiners.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Another sign of the culture shift toward conservatism.

She misidentifies the source of the issue and does not take ownership over the causes of some of this strife. And on the sidebar, Guardian plays "both sides" by blaming men anyway:


However, the fact that even these outlets are beginning to change their tune should be taken as evidence that the 90s/00s orthodoxy concerning men and their role in society is crumbling, likely returning to older practices and beliefs. A left-leaning media outlet would have never challenged this orthodoxy in this way a year or two ago in the midst of #metoo, for instance.
 

Trojita

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Another sign of the culture shift toward conservatism.
My question is why should the position of not blaming all men, trying to help the disenfranchised, and solving social/mental issues even be framed as a conservative/liberal thing?
 
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#Phonepunk#

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Pretty much. imagine if instead of for instance constantly shaming gamers as inherently toxic they made a concerted effort to reach out to them? They highlighted the far greater number of good gamers instead of the tiny minority of loudmouths? a lot of Trumps online support is from people the left pushed away, right into his arms. this didn’t happen by magic

Imaging reaching out to people who have trouble finding love. Imagine not peddling a stereotype about gamers, instead accepting them and bringing that energy into your movement rather than shutting it out?

ah but then how would you get your easy dunks in? shut up stupid gamer!
 
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crowbrow

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Is she womansplaining masculinity to men!?

Now in all seriousness, is about fucking time.... hopefully
 

crowbrow

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My question is why should the position of not blaming all men, trying to help the disenfranchised, and solving social/mental issues even be framed as a conservative/liberal thing?
It shouldn't... but the identity politics left has promoted it with their constant screeching and finger pointing without allowing any type of meaningful dialog.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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My question is why should the position of not blaming all men, trying to help the disenfranchised, and solving social/mental issues even be framed as a conservative/liberal thing?
It shouldn't be.

However, a particular ideology has decided to make it a conservative/liberal thing through their framing of the issue. This ideology is on the "liberal" side.

It's not just about blaming men. They also seek to draw political conclusions ("ugh, all these politicians are men") and to push political action ("we need more diversity. More women should be in power because men are unsuitable"), so that is what makes it political.

EDIT: @crowbrow said it more succinctly.
 
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strange headache

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This far-left feminist Guardian writer seems to be on the verge of waking up, in-between all the intersectional gobbledygook and TDS. You can almost see her internal struggle as she writes the piece:
The crisis in masculinity is not the result of men's own doing, but conjured up by militant ideologues that are obsessively preoccupied with gender. I'm a male who feels confident with his own identity and until those gender warriors showed up, never thought of masculinity as being my defining trait. I still don't, but all this stigmatization of my own gender certainly made me reflect on it more.

Militant feminism conjured up this crisis, widening the gap between men and women by demonizing their male counterpart. From Alice Schwarzer in the 80s to Laurie Penny in recent times, it's not a new phenomenon. What's different is that this sort of militant tribalism has gained newfound popularity catalyzed through social-media group-think. It's easy and comfortable to blame males for your own shortcomings, but in the end it is nothing more than projecting your own insecurities upon somebody else. Incels, meninists and MIGTOW are a direct consequence to the radicalization among feminist intellectuals. They are nothing more than two sides of the same coin, equally as misguided in their views of the other gender.

I'm fine with discussing gender relations and their inherent problems, but current dialogue has degraded into reductive generalizations and unhealthy antagonism. Part of this is due to the increased competition between men and women, who nowadays find themselves struggling for the same limited economic and social positions on society. That's fine I guess, but the issue is that the dialogue between men an women has become entirely self-serving, losing some much needed rationality in the process.

Instead of promoting a holistic view on men and women, gender relations have become a zero sum game. Giving an inch to the other side is viewed as losing an inch on your own side. The patriarchy is just a means to effectively construct a Feindbild, from manspreading to mansplaining it is purposefully designed to make intersubjective understanding an impossible task.

It's gotten to the point where Jordan Peterson is considered a "polemicist" for formulating ideas that shouldn't even be considered all that controversial. Maybe it is true that females need more role-models, but it is also true that male rolemodels are increasingly stigmatized in our society.

Feminists are quick to point fingers at the other gender, but failed to identify the true enemies of emancipated women among their own ranks. One only needs to take a look at current popular female role models in modern entertainment and on social media who are trading sex-appeal for popularity. Women who are quick to throw out their own dignity in order to sell their cleavage and rotten bathwater for a quick buck. From Belle Delphine to Miley Cirus and the twerking dumb broads who are shaking their arses for desperate male attention, those are the true enemies of female emancipation.

Our hedonistic consumer orientated society has eschewed intellectualism, self-worth and discipline for carnal pleasure and being a slut is just as objectionable as being a skirt-hunting macho. Feminists want men to hold each other accountable, but I don't see them practicing what they expect of the other gender. It is a Peterson says, bring your own room in order before deriding others.

Hence why I consider myself an egalitarian but not a feminist or an MRA. I want men and women to have equal rights but am unwilling to engage in this stupid gender war and I certainly would never claim too speak for all men.
 

infinitys_7th

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Amrani's actually very good (haven't read her article yet, though), she did a series of YouTube videos about masculinity a short while ago where she actually talked to men about it and engaged the topic seriously.


(Also worth pointing out that although everyone's blaming Trump for both of these, the media's been noticeably quiet that the Dayton shooter was a Democrat who had expressed support for the Antifa movement)
The El Paso shooter was mostly left as well - his manifesto focused mostly on environmental issues, corporations, and universal basic income. He even brings up The Lorax.

The only two things he was "right" on were being anti-immigration (which was strangely fueled by environmentalism) and ethnonationalism (which, honestly, is just an identitarian movement like feminism, BLM, etc. and thus is collectivist and inherently left-wing).

What I found interesting is that he would be a pretty stereotypical leftist, a Yang or even Bernie supporter, but it seems like he got pushed out due to the new left's hatred of his race and sex. He joined ideologies which were opposed to that hate and which welcomed him, but maintained his other left views.
 
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Dunki

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This far-left feminist Guardian writer seems to be on the verge of waking up, in-between all the intersectional gobbledygook and TDS. You can almost see her internal struggle as she writes the piece:
But how long until she will be the victim of the toxic "progressive" left. But this reminds me ot this ted talk^^


More and more extremism on the left means people shifting more and more back. Which is a good thing. And people really need to wake up.
 

autoduelist

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Feminists are quick to point fingers at the other gender, but failed to identify the true enemies of emancipated women among their own ranks. One only needs to take a look at current popular female role models in modern entertainment and on social media who are trading sex-appeal for popularity. Women who are quick to throw out their own dignity in order to sell their cleavage and rotten bathwater for a quick buck. From Belle Delphine to Miley Cirus and the twerking dumb broads who are shaking their arses for desperate male attention, those are the true enemies of female emancipation.
I think you're correct here, but it goes deeper. I think the feminist movement has, in an attempt to define female power, denied the true source of their power [because they mistakenly define it as weakness].

And so we see varied attempts to define female power, all contradictory. We see proud 'sluts' reclaiming sexuality... from cam thots to twerking, but also extended into the political realm with everything from single motherhood through abortion being glorified. They are exploring the depths of sexual freedom provided by technology [birth control, tampons, safe abortion, etc], yet other feminists can't handle the fact they play to male desires.

Then we have those who define success by emulating male traits, as often seen in hollywood films. The female hero is a deadly fighter, a killer at heart. The boardroom female CEO is cutthroat. It's rare in media that we see a strong female blossom in femininity, but rather, we see Sarah Connor put on 25 pounds of muscle [I'm not saying Sarah Connor in T2 is bad - she's great, and a perfect way to do that 'strong woman' archetype, but i bring her up as an example of how difficult feminism finds it to define a strong women without resorting to masculine measurements]. We see this same odd rejection of traditional feminity in strong females all the time, from the new batwoman to Vasquez in Aliens [again, I love the Vasquez character, i'm simply illustrating a point]. Many seem to be unable to figure out the difference between 'grrl power' and 'be like a man', and it shows. That's why we see ghostbusters become women, then Bill Murray gets thrown out the window. Over and over, again and again, we see replacement rather than empowerment.

And i think we see this because feminism is ashamed of the true power of women, the thing that makes them inherently different from males, the ability to give birth. Because the female who embraces family and motherhood is the true pariah, rejected by all of the others. And i think this is the fundemental mistake of feminism, in that it seems absurd to me to attempt to define ones power in every way possible... yet excluding the one thing that makes you most powerful, most unique. And i'm not saying every feminist does [the momma bear stereotype exists, for example, though i'm not sure that stereotype is born of feminism but rather conservatism], but clearly we live in a time that does not honor motherhood in the way we did even 50 years ago.

And so the roles that show strong females as mothers, as nurturers, as healers, get thrown out because they aren't woke enough. When in fact those characteristics play directly to their strengths in a way men could never compete with.

Men are undergoing a similar identity crisis, also due to feminism, as all of our best traits have been villified, intentionally or not, under the wide umbrella of toxic masculinity. Boys are being mis-raised wholesale, drugged up, failed by schools, and left to rot.
 

Durask

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Whoever this Iman Armani person is, I expect a groveling apology for this article in 1...2...3
 

#Phonepunk#

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Feminists are quick to point fingers at the other gender, but failed to identify the true enemies of emancipated women among their own ranks. One only needs to take a look at current popular female role models in modern entertainment and on social media who are trading sex-appeal for popularity. Women who are quick to throw out their own dignity in order to sell their cleavage and rotten bathwater for a quick buck. From Belle Delphine to Miley Cirus and the twerking dumb broads who are shaking their arses for desperate male attention, those are the true enemies of female emancipation.
this is internalized misogyny iirc. chicks like Miley Cyrus are so brainwashed by the male driven corporate media that grooms and sexualizes them, it is all they know. interestingly enough to see the careers of Britney, Miley, Ariana, et al continue on similar trajectories, all coming from the same product factory. on many levels they are supporting the very system they think they are fighting.

that seems to be an internal struggle that has long raged within feminism. when does it cross the line from "owning your sexuality" to "whoring yourself out for the male gaze as usual" or is it even possible to differentiate the two? not a woman myself so i'm not going to comment, other than to say this isn't anything new. maybe more widespread...

it is funny to see them embrace other parts of misogyny as well. the constant cry of "manbabies" is classic male shaming, not really that different from what jocks or bullies do to other men. ditto all the "you are all virgins" stuff, again, they can't help themselves using these misogynist tropes to score a momentary win. all internalized.
 
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