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Culture War Roundup for the week of March 11, 2024

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Society vs Male Radicalisation II - Male Role Models/Surely This Time Our Plan Will Work

I was on the internet this week, and I found this:

Labour to help schools develop male influencers to combat Tate misogyny

It is interesting to note that there is an increasing shift towards talking about "role models" for young men and boys as a means of cooling the gender kerfuffle, rather than by repeating feminist talking points at males until they concede as was the case when I was a teenager. The Labour Party, the UK's apparent next government, has come up with policy to reduce the influence of Andrew Tate among schoolboys with the intended aim of safeguarding women and girls. It means to do this by creating counter role models to whom boys can look up to. This would not even the utterly embarrasing 30 year old boomers trying to guess what resonates with children, but would consist instead of older volunteer boys taken from within the same school. This if it is implemented, will have educators select the real life version of Will from Inbetweeners as its senior male role model and think themselves of sound mind for doing so. You are only ever going to get uncool loser types volunteering, and it is the fear of becoming an uncool loser (or worse) that motivates young men to go and consume manosphere content.

Feminism's defenders will counter that there are many existing role models available for men, often listing real or fictional people like Ryan Gosling, Marcus Rashford or Ted Lasso. These men are either fake or literal one percenters whose lifestyle an average young man has no hope of to attaining. This betrays a complete lack of understanding about why men choose the role models they do and how they attempt to emulate them. These role models are deliberately or implicitly chosen as role models for young men by people who aren't young men often because they display qualities that are useful, rather than valued, to society. This is because almost all policy dreamt up by institutions concerning Men and Boys is not to their benefit, but instead to neuter a perceived threat against Women, Girls and the wider society. For every Marcus Rashford, there are multiple Mason Greenwoods or Kurt Zoumas who continue to receive all the signifiers of male success and receive no punishment for any of their transgressions.

It is clear that what educational and social institutions want are meek, inoffensive and productive men who do not question the rules of society. This is in direct contrast to what young men want, which is to be outspoken, to be popular with women, to be socially and economically successful. No role model ever produced or selected by the state could manage this, particularly not when operating under the notion that it must maintain women's liberation, which itself requires the stifling of men. I question for how much longer this approach will be kept in place. There are hundreds of people like Andrew Tate across SM, each ready to teach boys what society is unable to teach them. Educators can more easily dispel Tate because of the sex trafficking offences and because Tate himself is a clown, but people like Hamza, whose lived experience is much closer to the boys he is trying to proselytize to than that of Tate's, they have no counterargument.

It is clear that what educational and social institutions want are meek, inoffensive and productive men who do not question the rules of society. This is in direct contrast to what young men want, which is to be outspoken, to be popular with women, to be socially and economically successful. No role model ever produced or selected by the state could manage this, particularly not when operating under the notion that it must maintain women's liberation, which itself requires the stifling of men.

I agree, there's an inherent conflict between what institutions want people to want, and what individuals want for themselves. No one wants to a worker bee, but we can't all be the queen.

For a "role model" that is actually attainable for normal people in society, what about Homer Simpson? He has many, many flaws. He's dumb, fat, uneducated, bald, loses his temper, borderline alcoholic, eats like a pig, and lazy at his job. Nonetheless he's a good guy who loves his family and holds down the same job for his whole life, which provides enough for his family to have a nice house and two cars. He's not a very good father, putting very little time or effort into it, but he still does it which seems better than just never having kids at all because "it's too much work." He's vaguely Christian, in the sense that he doesn't really know or care about the bible, but he does shows up to church once a week and occasionally asks God for help when he can't think of anything else. He doesn't really agree with his daughter Lisa on any of her leftist political views, but he's willing to support her and seems to accept that she's smarter than he is. He gets dumb ideas on how to make money, and they never work, but he still has fun trying them and going on adventures with his friends. He has a wife who loves him, and seems generally happy with his life. It doesn't take much to keep him happy either: He's pretty happy with just his average wife, weird kids, cheep beer, cheep junk food, and watching junk TV or hanging out at the dive bar with his work friends.

That seems like a role that could actually work for society, instead of holding up some impossible ideal (rich famous movie star), castigating them as monsters, or expecting them to live as a silent sexless "ally."

Due to wider economic changes, Homer Simpson's lifestyle and achievements are no longer feasible for the rate of effort that he puts in. One thing I didn't point out in the above post is that men now face vastly increased competition for all the signifiers of male success from not only women in their labour pool but also globalisation. Had he been born 20 years later, Homer would have turned into Lenny or Barney.

That's a common criticism of the show. I'm not sure I agree with it, though. First, a lot of that is addressed in the show itself. Homer is constantly broke and stressed about money, that's like the setup for half of of all plots. Some of the first season plots about that are really dark, like one where he loses his job and gets so depressed that he tries to commit suicide. Luckily this ends up in him getting another, better job, but it does show us just how lucky he is to have his current job.

In the real world, there are plenty of blue-collar union jobs that pay pretty well, especially if you can get them while living in a low-cost small town and work your way up the seniority ladder. It's just hard to get those jobs since they're kind of a closed shop, and of course you can't be as lazy as Homer Simpson. But you're right, the constant push in the business world to be more efficient and competitive has unfortunately squeezed out a lot of the best working-class jobs. I still think it would be good if that was the sort of role that a normal person could use as their goal and blueprint through life, rather than expecting them to be either a high-powered executive or a miserable wage slave, with nothing in-between.

He's not a very good father, putting very little time or effort into it, but he still does it which seems better than just never having kids at all because "it's too much work."

I don't think that's better at all. The kids whose parents put no effort in generally grow up to be a serious drain on society.

For Homer it's not like he's completely no-effort. He does occasionally do things for them like buying Lisa her saxophone, or going to Bart's parent-teacher conferences. Plus he has Marge as a full-time homemaker. It's just that he's happy to let them do their own thing most of the time while he watches TV or whatever.

But yes, of course you have to make some effort as a parent or it turns very bad.

I was on the internet this week

That was your first mistake.

It is clear that what educational and social institutions want are meek, inoffensive and productive men who do not question the rules of society. This is in direct contrast to what young men want, which is to be outspoken, to be popular with women, to be socially and economically successful. No role model ever produced or selected by the state could manage this, particularly not when operating under the notion that it must maintain women's liberation, which itself requires the stifling of men. I question for how much longer this approach will be kept in place.

Market forces will kill any initiative like this. There is no demand for role models that don't teach young men what they want to learn (at least from the young men themselves).

The same thing happened with injecting progressive politics hamfistedly into tv, movies and video games. The market will just flow around and find what it demands elsewhere.

Market forces will kill any initiative like this. There is no demand for role models that don't teach young men what they want to learn (at least from the young men themselves).

The same thing happened with injecting progressive politics hamfistedly into tv, movies and video games. The market will just flow around and find what it demands elsewhere.

Market forces are not all-powerful. For example, video games are an utterly male-dominated hobby, and most men would prefer to look at beautiful women ceteris paribus, yet large western studios have done everything in their power to eradicate attractive women in AAA releases to appease their loud contingents of leftist female employees. It's not a total ban, indies and Japanese games still have attractive women albeit with large pushback from woke forums like Resetera, but the difference overall is still quite notable.

appease their loud contingents of leftist female employees

You would think so, but apparently not. It has little to do with female appeasement, and has far more to do with trans appeasement.

How did you dig up such a horrendous youtuber...

For all Functionalpurposes Truth is inversely proportional to pleasantness.

If it is true and known it is not new information and you won't pay attention to it, it's already known... If it true and inoffensive and unknown, then scientists, academics, and hobbyists have been competing for it for hundreds of years and you're basically trying to out-arbitrage the stock market.

But if its true and violates every societal value then it's going to be suppressed, you can discover troves of new (to you) knowledge by just seeking out the most hateful, unpleasant, immoral sources.

Truth Hurts.

Truth tellers are people who hurt you.

He's a good guy and has interesting things to say. Doesn't his voice sounding like a thousand nails scraping a chalkboard remind you of better times before the Internet got commercialized, when the "you" in Youtube actually stood for average schlubs, and just anyone could show up on the internet, and make some sort of a splash?

It took him about 30 seconds to blame Nancy Pelosi, Democrats in general, and "academia" for ruining Lara Croft. I mean, he isn't holding up literal applause signs, but it's not what I'd call interesting.

Not "I'd post that on the motte" interesting (which is why I don't), but he does have an interesting angle every once in a while.

large western studios have done everything in their power to eradicate attractive women in AAA releases

I don't know how anyone can believe this unless their primary source is Internet controversies, rather than playing video games.

Here are some popular games released by large American studios with attractive women: Cyberpunk, Street Fighter 6, and Overwatch 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider (et al), League of Legends (et al), Red Dead Redemption 2, Fortnite, Alan Wake 2.

I'd buy the claim that there are more, less attractive women in modern western games than there were 10 years ago, but I don't know how you can claim the The Woke are preventing American corporations from making games with attractive women at all.

Could you show me a AAA game with more than 2 women where none of the women are attractive?

Perhaps the way I wrote my earlier comment lacked nuance, so I'll add it here. There more fanservicey female is basically extinct from western AAA games these days. At best, large Western studios are going for what could colloquially be described as "safe horny". Your example of Tomb Raider exemplifies this, as the original protagonist was pretty openly sexualized, while the later incarnation is perhaps conventionally attractive, but almost always fully clothed. A few games like WoW actively removed some of their sexualized elements, while I think basically anyone who plays games will notice they've generally become a lot less common than they once were. Some men don't like this type of titillation, while others (like me) enjoy it in doses, and some actively seek it out. No matter your opinion though, it's undeniable that there's a market for it, a market that is now almost exclusively served by non-Western studios with games like Xenoblade 2, Nier Automata, and others. "fanservicey female characters" is basically Stellar Blade's only claim to fame, yet it's looking like it's going to be a huge hit no matter the gameplay simply because of this. Of course the woke side of gaming threw a giant fit about it.

So Western games still have a fair share of non-sexualized but conventionally attractive females. But even on that side there are problems, as going for "realistic" women means subpar implementations end up looking like gremlins in ways unique to Western implementations. One example of a game where no women were attractive was Mass Effect Andromeda, as even though the female protagonist was based off a pretty good looking woman, the end result looked like she had crippling autism since they didn't get the animations right. Another example is basically any game involving Debra Wilson. She seems like a perfectly nice individual, but she's pretty plain to start with, and she ends up looking like a total gremlin in the games she does mocap work for.

I play a lot of Warhammer: Darktide, and it's a running joke in the playerbase that it's impossible to make an attractive female avatar.

I think that's more of a deliberate setting choice rather than being downstream of politics; it makes sense in-universe that the rejects would be ugly and it's not like the male characters you can create are any better looking. Everybody in that game is ugly.

Cyberpunk comes from Poland. Street Fighter 6 comes from Japan.

Thanks. For some reason I thought Microsoft owned Capcom

The same thing happened with injecting progressive politics hamfistedly into tv, movies and video games. The market will just flow around and find what it demands elsewhere.

Which is why we have all the non-progressive TV, movies, and video games..... oh, wait. It turns out that solving the coordination problem allows you to beat the market.

I should have been more clear. They can flood the 'market' with unwanted role models, but the kids won't absorb their values. They know what a man is, intuitively.

Which is why we have all the non-progressive TV, movies, and video games..... oh, wait. It turns out that solving the coordination problem allows you to beat the market.

Progressive movies keep tanking at the box office. People are increasingly turning to alternatives like anime and k-drama. Wokeness doesn't control the whole world (yet; growth mindset!)

And just supply-side issues. What conservative wants to be an actor, TV writer, comedian etc.? Everything I know about political psychology suggests that these professions should repel the vast majority of conservatives: insecurity and family-hostility in return for wild adventures and living in a world of creative ideas.

The obvious problem is that boys will ultimately reject the role models given by the school whether fictional or real or other children. Boys want to become men and they have a strong bias against boys or man-babies who are not real men. And this is why they aren’t gravitating to liberal adult male role models (and the boys who will be selected for the program) — they are not anything like a man.

The role of man is pretty specific: self-possessed, strong both physically and mentally, responsible, self-confident, a leader, and so on. Liberal men are simply not like this. They’re meek, weak, u confident and quite often suffer from anxiety or depression, often while barely being able to support themselves. None of that is going to capture the attention of a boy looking to find someone to make a man of him.

I personally think this is how the supposed pipeline works. Boys are looking for a man to teach them to be men. The left doesn’t have them, but the right does. So it’s easy to get a boy to follow conservatives because their men are men in the capable and self-assured sense that boys want to be, thus the boy becomes conservative as a result of the influence of men he wants to be like.

Liberal men are simply not like this. They’re meek, weak, u confident and quite often suffer from anxiety or depression, often while barely being able to support themselves.

Ya know, stereotypes exist for a reason and I'm not going to say you aren't waving in the direction of a generalization that has some truth to it, but this is still pretty boo outgroup. Making a flat statement that liberal men are pussies (which is basically what you said with a lot more words) is not acceptable.

The obvious problem is that boys will ultimately reject the role models given by the school whether fictional or real or other children. Boys want to become men and they have a strong bias against boys or man-babies who are not real men. And this is why they aren’t gravitating to liberal adult male role models (and the boys who will be selected for the program) — they are not anything like a man.

I profoundly disagree with this statement as written, but I suspect this is not a real disagreement. Boys don't want men as role models - they want older boys (edging into young men as they get older), who they perceive as manly. This is based on my experience of being a boy, teaching boys, and being a father of boys. Someone who is more than 10 years older than me is a poor role model for that reason alone (this applies less to historical and public figures whose youth is well-documented - in that case your role model can be the Great Man when he was younger). The institutions which are best at turning boys into men (traditional boys' schools and the military) work on this principle.

The role of man is pretty specific: self-possessed, strong both physically and mentally, responsible, self-confident, a leader, and so on.

All of this is helpful at the margins, but in a healthy male-dominated community, prowess is necessary and sufficient. Boys and young men respect people who are good at something they value. A huge part of the role of the teachers (and particularly the younger teachers who are the right age to be role models to the older boys) at a traditional boys' school is to maintain a culture that values the right things - academics, athletics, fieldcraft (developed through the cadet corps or through adventurous school trips), male-coded fine arts, effective public speaking. Sensitive new-age guys and nerds who were high status in my school included the virtuoso solo cellist in the school orchestra, an internationally competitive fencer, two geniuses who won national competitions in their subjects, and the guy who repaired hi-fi equipment to a professional standard using the school workshop.

I agree that the role models presented by the school will probably fail but that is not because liberal men are meek, week, unconfident, and so on... it is because very many boys want to rebel and so will reject the role model given to them by an authority.

The reality is that there are plenty of self-possessed, strong, responsible, self-confident liberal men with leader energy. I personally know a few. It's just that none of them are the sort of highly online extremely SJW liberals whose politics has completely consumed them and turned them into a caricature that is easy to make fun of (as, also, it is easy to make fun of such people's counterparts on the right).

This if it is implemented, will have educators select the real life version of Will from Inbetweeners as its senior male role model and think themselves of sound mind for doing so. You are only ever going to get uncool loser types volunteering, and it is the fear of becoming an uncool loser (or worse) that motivates young men to go and consume manosphere content.

This is the most likely (and least interesting) outcome. More interesting is what would happen if they got the actual cool kids to do it. Coolness is sort of inherently unteachable. It would be like implementing a program to provide role models for trading stocks. Some poor sap (i.e. a rather large fraction of the male population) is going to follow all of the advice and get left holding the bag because he bought Bear Stearns in 2007 and not 2005.

It is... interesting... to see all this discussion about "progressive male role models" given that the progressive memespace has long been, and mostly still is, dominated by gender eliminativists. The elevation of fringe-of-a-fringe transsexual issues to the "cause du jour" has of course introduced irreconcilable metaphysics into the discourse, but coalition building has ever been thus. The philosophical work underpinning extant views on gender goes back over a century, to Nikolay Chernyshevsky's declaration that

people will be happy when there will be neither women nor men

and philosophical feminism has been broadly gender-eliminativist pretty much ever since.

All of that to say: progressives can't do "male role models" because progressives are fundamentally opposed to the existence of men. Sure, sure--ask your local progressive, they might very well deny it. But this is the standard motte and bailey that exists between thought leaders and political movements everywhere, the disconnect between political theory and political practice. You can't read feminism without stumbling over gender eliminativism, and progressivism is avowedly feminist. "Eliminate gender" is right up there with "abolish the family" on a list of things progressives explicitly and actually want to accomplish, even if these are things they're willing to compromise on for the moment, for the movement.

And you can't really believe that gender needs to be abolished, while simultaneously believing that anyone needs male role models. At best you might say something like, "well, we have to meet the little troglodytes where they are, so we need some... mannish... role models--but not too mannish! Nothing, you know, toxic, nothing overtly heteronormative..." and you've already lost the plot.

This is just another clear case of progressive dreams running headlong into the unyielding embrace of biological reality. People are incredibly plastic! And yet we are not, apparently, infinitely plastic. "Cultural construction" can do a lot, but it cannot lightly obliterate thousands of years of natural selection.

Talk of "misogyny" simply misses the point, and the problem. The only really committed misogynists I've ever met have been women. The men I know who seem to hate women, very obviously genuinely love women--but are angry that they have been denied access to women, by whatever means and for whatever reason. Sometimes it's literally just their own unrealistic expectations. Sometimes they have been badly mistreated by women. Sometimes they are bewildered by the refusal of women in their lives to behave as women. You cannot use "role models" to train people away from this kind of behavior; heterosexual men denied access to women will never just accept that fact. At best, maybe you build sexbots sufficiently indistinguishable from tradwives or something, allowing biological women to pursue whatever bland "non-binary" life they imagine lies at the end of the eliminativist project, but until those bots can do particularly biological things like have babies, there will still be men who dedicate their lives to finding a woman--and, sometimes, going off the rails when faced with sufficiently brutal failure.

Or so it seems to me. I think the progressive response is probably retrenchment on the idea that, surely, anyone can be taught to be anything, given sufficiently quality teaching methods. ("We just need more government!") But their real goal isn't to make better men, it's to make a world where there are no men, in the sense that the social gender binary has been eradicated. Recruiting masculine role models to achieve that end is flatly contradictory.

heterosexual men denied access to women will never just accept that fact

They have in Japan.

Sex bots will never be legal (in the US) for the same reasons prostitution is illegal

Porn is legal, but it almost feels like it was grandfathered in. I can imagine a world where Google search was released in the modern day and every official communication from Alphabet included something about how diligent they are at filtering all "inappropriate content".

Nothing, you know, toxic, nothing overtly heteronormative..." and you've already lost the plot.

So progressivism isn't feminist, it's gynosupremacist. I'm not surprised that obligate misandrists think their enemy thinks exactly as they do with the valence switched; hence the claim that everything a man does is "misogyny", and other misunderstandings where critiques of behavior are not understood to be distinct from critiques of identity.

"Cultural construction" can do a lot, but it cannot lightly obliterate thousands of years of natural selection.

And this is something progressives/gynosupremacists are on the high side of now. Physical equality between the genders has resulted in a major power imbalance in favor of the one that had to evolve a separate system to compete for resources; it's not a fight men are going to win in the short term seeing as how the weapon that is "200,000 years of sociobiological specialization in getting men to do things on your behalf" is parked right on their doorsteps with very little in the way of counterbalance. The sexes did not evolve co-operatively (and any co-operation that does exist must be defended by mothers for sons, and fathers for daughters; most of the post-1980s lack of male role models is mainly due to women having done away with them- claimed it was "unsafe", if I recall correctly).

I think the progressive response is probably retrenchment on the idea that, surely, anyone can be taught to be anything, given sufficiently quality teaching methods.

I dunno; judging by how they vote, teaching young men to work against their interests is pretty effective, actually.

I agree with @To_Mandalay. I think the “misogyny = hating women” definition allows for all kinds of weaseling around what exactly ‘hate’ means, kind of like how “homophobia” always gets debated by people who don’t like gay men who declare that they’re “not scared” of homosexuals in the way that the literal meaning of phobia colloquially implies if you don’t also use the other meaning of aversion etc. It’s a boring semantic debate.

I also agree with you that a substantial proportion of people who have a fundamental problem with women are women, because the way that women’s intra-gender social organization works involves a strict, often unspoken hierarchy of labor, deference and gestures of status that a substantial minority of women find impossible to accept and which then leads to issues with women in general.

But there are many male misogynists. And it’s no more obvious - as Mandalay says - than among gay man, where there are some men who like women and who spend a lot of time with women, have predominantly female friends etc, and some men (and I’ve known a number) who have nothing to do with women, are entirely uninterested in them, and openly consider them lesser - indeed contemptible - in almost every way imaginable.

In straight men this is typically subsumed by the fundamental biological impulse to fuck, to have children, to raise a family. But it does slip out. Often it’s relatively mild (most misogynists don’t ‘hate’ women, hence the comparison to x-phobia), but it’s things like whether a guy likes talking to his wife or whether they spend dinner sitting on their phones, whether a man is genuinely interested in conversation with women, that kind of thing. I find I can tell a lot of the time.

Likewise I have met many women who were genuine misandrists. Mostly, though, they’re not chubby lesbian radfems; they’re hot, skinny BPD chicks, and men love them until they get burned.

It’s a boring semantic debate.

To some extent I'm sorry I mentioned it, because I don't seem to have communicated what I was thinking with sufficient clarity. It is kind of like the debates about homophobia not being about fear, insofar as both words often misdiagnose the problem at hand, sometimes in ways that result in exactly the kind of fumbling non-solutions under discussion. What you and Mandalay are describing really is more like "gynephobia," particularly with some of the gay men I've known over the years. And what makes that more than a "boring semantic debate" is that you don't see gay men going on misogynistic murder sprees, so using the same word to describe the disdainful gay man and the seething incel looks like more than a merely semantic mistake.

This is where I probably should have said more: I don't object to the word "misogyny" in the sense that I don't think many of these men do hate women, such that the word is semantically appropriate. I was only trying to note that it is the kind of hate that is born of desire, not the kind of hate that is born of disdain--because once you notice that, you realize that you can't stop incel-style misogyny by teaching them to like women more. That's not the problem! The problem is that they do like women! If they didn't like women, they wouldn't hate women.

The contempt you describe is, I think, mostly separate from either the gynephobia of certain gay men or the misogyny of the isolated and unloved. Such men seem to follow the old Aristotelian style of viewing women and children as simply less than human (I can't think of a single example of the kind of man you describe who was contemptuous of women but not children--YMMV!). I don't think it would be a mistake to think of this as a species of sexism, but neither do I think it is merely a "boring semantic debate" to suggest that misogyny doesn't capture the phenomenon as well.

But, maybe it is just a boring semantic debate, and attempting to use different words to describe the different kinds of problems individual men have with women generally is a distraction. Certainly it was not the substance of my point; what I was mostly interested in pointing out is that gender eliminativists aren't in a position to provide "masculine" role models to anyone.

All of that to say: progressives can't do "male role models" because progressives are fundamentally opposed to the existence of men.

There is certainly directional truth to this, but I think that you are going too far. Certainly, some progressives are fundamentally opposed to existence of men. But there are also progressives who barely care about gender issues at all and focus on other things like race. There are also dirtbag leftists who self-identify as progressives and are certainly progressives in that they want Bernie Sanders-style politics, but are fine with masculinity. I guess you could say that those are not real progressives, but then your statement just becomes the tautological "progressives who are fundamentally opposed to the existence of men are fundamentally opposed to the existence of men".

The men I know who seem to hate women, very obviously genuinely love women--but are angry that they have been denied access to women, by whatever means and for whatever reason. Sometimes it's literally just their own unrealistic expectations. Sometimes they have been badly mistreated by women. Sometimes they are bewildered by the refusal of women in their lives to behave as women.

To me that does not seem like it is necessarily actual love. A man can enjoy eating fish and be angry that he does not have access to fish, yet without loving fish in any way other than for their taste. Which is a sort of love I guess, but it's not the kind of love that, say, friends feel for each other. In any case, I think that the idea of loving an entire gender doesn't really make sense. I like certain women, I dislike others. I think it would be strange to feel an emotion like love for all women.

That said, regarding hate... I think that we generally hate that which has power over us. You are right to point out that much male hatred of women is fundamentally driven by the man wanting women, which means that women have power over him, but not being able to get them. The kind of misogyny that is fundamentally driven by, say, thinking that women are boring, useless, or weak is fairly rare. There is a parallel there to racism in that I think the majority of white anti-black racism in the modern West is not the old-school Southern plantation owner's kind of racism that is based on thinking that blacks are inferior - rather, it is based on dislike of various ways in which some blacks have power over the person who hates... such as through street crime, selective hiring practices driven by wokism, making fun of white people in the media, etc.

The kind of misogyny that is fundamentally driven by, say, thinking that women are boring, useless, or weak is fairly rare.

Or is this even “misogyny”?

A lot of “misogyny” is just holding women up to the standards that you would expect out of a man, under the paradigm that women have the same rights and status as men, and that women are just as strong and independent as men.

The median woman is boring relative to the median man, much less the 90th percentile or so woman vs. the 90th percentile man (given tail effects) in terms of worldliness, funniness, interestingness. Many women and men would agree, regardless of their political orientation.

Women are physically weak. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be re-litigated here. But also perhaps mentally weak, in terms of being more subject to crying randomly, Stockholm Syndrome, being more prone to social trends, memes, preselection and female mate-choice copying. Women tend to be less agentic and more passive.

Women can be more useful in certain contexts. However, in a lot of contexts, they’re also quite useless. For example, screaming “STOP” or “STAHP” but doing nothing is a common feature in fight and/or crime videos on a worldwide basis. A lot of times, they’re but exacerbating the situation with their histrionics. Pointing it out is trite nowadays, like pointing out that there are clouds when it’s raining.

In a similar vein, children might be boring, useless, weak. Yet, men would hardly be regarded as mis-children-ists if they viewed children as such. In concept-space, women are tilted toward children relative to men, when it comes to standards and expectations.

I am not saying that thinking that women are boring, useless, or weak on average is necessarily misogyny, although of course thinking that literally all women are boring, useless, or weak would be misogyny. I am just saying that thinking that women are boring, useless, or weak on average can in some cases inspire misogyny.

That's fair.

Although I would add, conversely, misogyny (in the strict sense of hating women for being women) can in many cases inspire thinking that women are necessarily boring, useless, and/or weak just because they're women (where "weak" is probably the... weakest... part of the statement, as women are almost always indeed physically weaker than men, and in many cases psychologically, as well).

The philosophical work underpinning extant views on gender goes back over a century, to Nikolay Chernyshevsky's declaration that

people will be happy when there will be neither women nor men

I think it goes back a bit further than that....

The people feminists describe as misogynists are usually not men who hate women but men who women find repellent; almost exactly the opposite thing. But there are real male misogynists; the bitter divorcee stereotype isn't without real examples, and some chaddish types hold women in contempt because they are able to manipulate them into bed so easily. I knew one guy who was actually both. Of course divorcees are not really looking for role models, and even young chaddish types aren't likely to accept role models who aren't also chaddish (it's not like they don't know they have it good!), so this seems doomed to failure.

For the men that women find repellent, none of these people are actually looking to help them and they damn well know it, so that ain't going to work either. If it did, it would make the problem worse (because imitating the role models provided wouldn't solve their problem).

The men I know who seem to hate women, very obviously genuinely love women--but are angry that they have been denied access to women, by whatever means and for whatever reason.

It's not impossible to hate someone you want to fuck. My experience is that a minority of men do in fact hate women, insofar as they have visceral contempt for the interests, behaviors, habits, and mannerisms of women, and if you zapped these men with a ray that made them gay or asexual they would never interact with another woman again if they could help it. My experience is also that women are much freer with casual "men suck" and "I hate men" talk but women who actually walk the walk and really seem to hate men on a gut level are rarer than the reverse.

I love women and it’s far more than just wanting to Fuck.

If you made me gay or asexual I do not see any reason to ever talk to a women again. I can barely think of any women with any capability to be interesting. There are no female Elon Musks. No female econ writers I’ve ever read. The only fintwit personality I follow ended up being tran. Ruxandro Teslo is the only female writer I’ve found that has said interesting things. Jane Fraser is the only female executive I know of who seems to be talented. I feel like I’ve looked for smart females they are just very hard to find. When you remove the female energy and traits there just aren’t many doing anything.

I don’t believe I’m discriminating and setting a higher bar for female writers and thought leaders but it seems statistically significant of the two twitter “females” I found worth a follow on Twitter one ended up being a man.

I love women and it’s far more than just wanting to Fuck.

If you made me gay or asexual I do not see any reason to ever talk to a women again.

One of these things - well, here we go again.

I wouldn't take a man as a spouse/romantic partner if you gave him to me in a box with a ribbon on the top. But I do talk to men anyway - I'm on here with youse guys, ain't I? 😀

There is nothing more beautiful than watching a commenter lay out a considered plan to capture the Bailey only to have a reply that is ostensibly on his side of the debate shit all over it in real time.

I can barely think of any women with any capability to be interesting.

It doesn't sound like you like women that much beyond wanting to fuck them.

I've always liked hanging out with girls, even (or especially, since it can get weird otherwise) ones I'm not sexually attracted to. I'm not really bothered by the dearth of female CEOS or substack pundits.

You just go too far saying men would have to hate women.

A simple thought experiment for me is if I were the coolest guy in the world and anyone who I wanted to be my friend would gladly be my friend and I then I got to pick 5-10 people as my crew all the people I would choose would be male.

Now if I lowered the standards to those who would be my friend as I am now and not picking from my betters a few women would make the cut.

Out of curiosity, what kind of hypothetical friends are you thinking about? No need to be specific.

I find that I can't recall any person I'd want to talk to who's currently "too cool" for me.

I thought about this but if I created my crew it would be something like Elon Musks, Michael Jordan, Milton Friedman, MBS, Milei. Visionary people with a lot of accomplishments.

MBS

As in Mohammed bin Salman? He sounds very wealthy and not particularly interesting, possibly convinced easily by idea-guys, and rather thuggish. Certainly not someone I’d choose to hang out with if I could pick anyone in the world.

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I know you're just giving a fantasy scenario, but that doesn't sound like a "crew." They'd all have huge egos and would fight like crazy on who gets to be the leader. Not to mention they mostly have totally different interests and skills. They'd probably just leave and go their own way. Wouldn't you rather have friends that would stick with you?

I'm not so sure that the progressive agenda is to remove gender. There is a lot of progressive effort to promote female role models and that doesn't seem consistent with removing gender unless the goal was to promote female role models that would influence women to act more like men.

Any discussion of the progressive agenda is going to be confounded by the fact that a) there is no pope of progressivism, empowered to speak on behalf of progressives or set doctrine progressives must adhere to in order to be proper progressives b) not everyone is even referring to the same groups of people when they talk about progressives (elected officials like the CPC make an obvious standard, since they actually represent millions of people and have a hand in making laws, but they're usually not going to be avant-garde as academics/activists/pseudonymous bloggers).

I'm not so sure that the progressive agenda is to remove gender.

I mean, you're not obligated to agree with me, but I did provide a fair bit of evidence you don't appear to have actually gone over.

There is a lot of progressive effort to promote female role models and that doesn't seem consistent with removing gender unless the goal was to promote female role models that would influence women to act more like men.

Female role models, yes. Feminine role models, no, at least not qua feminine role models.

I included the links I did quite deliberately; the Louise Antony interview concludes with her commentary that she supports the transsexual movement to the extent that it undermines the gender binary. To add to that, Sally Haslanger has written that "when justice is achieved, there will no longer be white women (there will no longer be men or women, whites or members of any other race)." Any time you see the phrase "eliminate gender inequality" you are looking at words that mean "eliminate gender differences" which is functionally equivalent to "eliminate gender"--because if all genders are identical, then there is only one gender, and since gender exists to distinguish different things, collapsing gender into socially identical constructs collapses gender entirely.

I also found this blog which agrees that

Gender, or some forms thereof, is seen by the vast majority of feminists as undesirable in many ways

The article goes on to note that some feminists think that gender can't be abolished in every possible way, but even this is marked as "unfortunate":

One can wish to abolish gender roles and gender stereotypes, but preserve gender identity and gender norms as unfortunately inevitable in some way.

Feminism, as I said, has been broadly gender eliminativist for more than a century, and progressivism is avowedly feminist. It's not a selling point! It's not something you're likely to hear from a Democrat politician any time soon--any more than you will hear them say "abolish the family." But it is one of the core values of the whole movement, something that informs every other action, even actions by people (most people!) who have no idea that the point and purpose of their activism was written long ago. As Keynes observed:

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas. Not, indeed, immediately, but after a certain interval; for in the field of economic and political philosophy there are not many who are influenced by new theories after they are twenty-five or thirty years of age, so that the ideas which civil servants and politicians and even agitators apply to current events are not likely to be the newest. But, soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.

I agree with your premise but I disagree with your conclusion. I think it's too far of a jump to say this:

what educational and social institutions want are meek, inoffensive and productive men who do not question the rules of society

The fundamental flaw with any line of reasoning that puts agency into "educational and social institutions" is that it assumes way too much competence from those "educational and social institutions." The administrators in charge of school boards and government departments do not comb the web to identify thought-patterns that might move society in a dangerous dangerous direction so they can neutralize them with insidious social engineering campaigns. The administrators in charge of school boards and government departments read their Facebook feeds and uncritically absorb whatever their (overwhelmingly left-wing) social circles are talking about.

Accept this premise: Andrew Tate is a Bad Influence on Young Men.

Put five 30-60 year old out of touch midwits in a room and tell them to brainstorm a solution. By 'solution,' what you actually mean is some vaguely pro-social program you can announce to make it seem like you're doing something - the question of whether the problem can be solved never comes up. Also unmentioned are the question of whether the framing of the problem is useful, or even whether the problem exists in the first place. The metric of success is the amount of positive attention generated divided by the cost of the program - or likes/dollar, if you prefer.

What you'll get is something like, "Let's make our own influencer to be a positive influence and counter out the negative influence."

Put five 30-60 year old out of touch midwits in a room and tell them to brainstorm a solution. By 'solution,' what you actually mean is some vaguely pro-social program you can announce to make it seem like you're doing something - the question of whether the problem can be solved never comes up. Also unmentioned are the question of whether the framing of the problem is useful, or even whether the problem exists in the first place. The metric of success is the amount of positive attention generated divided by the cost of the program - or likes/dollar, if you prefer.

I suspect the reason why this is the case has nothing to do with people not being able to imagine a solution. The obvious ones on the table would get them ran out of the room with the tiki torches if any of them dared to say what it was, because it's antithetical to the progressive agenda.

Progressives can't forward a solution to the problem because they don't have a sensible take on gender in the first place. It reminds me of Thomas Sowell's axiom, "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good." If the benchmark to judge a successful solution to the problem hangs on whether or not it makes people happy, then you're never going to able to come to a resolution. Most of life is about making your way in the world, doing a thousand things every day that you don't want to do. Tate is a moron in my opinion, but his side of the aisle can provide better male role models than almost anything the left can field.

What are Tate's young followers often drawn to about his message? "Subjugate the bitches, keep them in the kitchen, get that paper and work them muscles out." And it isn't just his message they like. A lot of young men can 'relate' to that message, experientially.

What are Tate's young followers often drawn to about his message? "Subjugate the bitches, keep them in the kitchen, get that paper and work them muscles out." And it isn't just his message they like. A lot of young men can 'relate' to that message, experientially.

Hard disagree here. That's not what draws people to his message - that IS the message. What draws people to his message, especially young males, is the promised benefits/rewards. Tate positions himself as a teacher who can guide young men out of a state of lack/want/need - what you're describing is how they get there. He's promising young men a way that they can get laid, paid and (more importantly) respected, and his message is resonating precisely because young men can see that following the socially approved pathways will probably result in them becoming losers.

Lifting weights is an activity undertaken not for the pleasure and joy of lifting weights but for the positive outcomes that result - being swole and physically capable. Tate (presumably, I haven't read any of his content beyond that one post from ages ago about how star wars sucks) tells people that "actually, physical instrumentality is important for men and you will have an easier time getting laid and respected if you are in good physical shape" and the message resonates because that's straightforwardly true. At the same time, his message doesn't attract men because he's telling them "you need to keep women in the kitchen" but because he's promising them sexual success (which is incredibly meaningful for young men!).

Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

Holy shit, that's a good quote. Is it from anything in particular, like a book of his or something?

Thank you!

One's father is always the primary male role model. I never had any male role models as a child, never understood why sports stars were looked up to... I just looked up to my father. I think it was so natural that I never realized I was doing it.

Is the subtext to this 'we're only focusing on fatherless boys, the real problem makers'? If pressed, I guess I took some supplementary inspiration from fantasy heroes like Rand Al Thor but only in a minor way like 'how can I complain about my problems compared to the problems he faced'. Is it common to have role models apart from your father, for happily married parents?

Older guys in my youth organisations, primarily sports, were important to me in addition to my father. They informed and helped my social development quite a bit in ways that other fully adult men couldn't. They were just 2-6 years older than me but when you're like 14, even 2 years is a lot.

That said, I really agree about role models. I never understood having famous people as role models at all and it felt completely astro turfed. Perhaps things are different now with all the online parasocial relationships, I don't know.

They were just 2-6 years older than me but when you're like 14, even 2 years is a lot.

This is also why kids’ TV shows cast characters 2-3 years older than the audience. For example a Disney show aimed at 10-11 year olds will cast 12-14 year old actors, because those very same 10 year olds will consider a show that casts children their own age as “for babies” or too uncool and young for them.

Older guys in my youth organisations, primarily sports, were important to me in addition to my father. They informed and helped my social development quite a bit in ways that other fully adult men couldn't. They were just 2-6 years older than me but when you're like 14, even 2 years is a lot.

This is something modern schools struggle with, as they separate the children by age and various cross-age activities are often electives. This is especially important now, when children have fewer older siblings and don't hang around the neighborhood in mixed-age companies. Perhaps the Japanese are right when they force everyone into clubs.

Perhaps the Japanese are right when they force everyone into clubs.

Do they actually force everyone into clubs in schools? Anime left me with the impression that joining a club is just something that you have or want to do because it's part of high-school life, not something you need to do by actual requirement.

As far as I'm aware there isn't some national legal requirement but many schools have it has a requirement and for the rest the expectations is so strong that there might as well be a literal requirement.

That said, you could always join something like a self study club if you don't want to interact with others.

Is it common to have role models apart from your father, for happily married parents?

My grandfather, for one. I can think of a teacher or two, a scout leader, and maybe one or two others if I put my mind to it.

Is it common to have role models apart from your father, for happily married parents?

Older brothers?

More generally, I guess the pre-requisite for a male role model is that you spend a significant amount of time with men as a child. I feel like, for most boys in the US, only the men in their nuclear family qualify.

Great post. But where's part I?

You are only ever going to get uncool loser types volunteering

While I think the entire effort is doomed to accomplish nothing I don't think that the above is necessarily true either. When I look back on who accepted these kinds of things when I went to school (at that time it was anti-bullying), the organisers were savvy enough to not ask the losers. They didn't get anyone cool to do it of course but they managed to scrounge up some well meaning and naive normal guys. This of course did help at all, but I don't think it made things worse either.

Other men are competition. Unless a nation is facing a strong external threat, and the nation wants its men to be stronger in order to make the nation stronger at resisting, there is little incentive for "society" to give accurate information to men about how to be strong, or how to actually win sexual-attraction, or how to actually win at the power-game. In the first generation, the incentive is to spread public lies about how to be a man, while privately teaching your kid the truth. But public lies in one generation lead to the classic "kids don't get the joke" problem and the next generation simply does not know the truth. "Society" couldn't even tell the truth if it wanted to.

I feel like this story is really at odds with capitalism?

People really want to get laid, they'll spend a lot of money on it. If you can offer good advice, they'll pay you a lot more than the cost of having them be good competitors with you, especially if they live in a different state. So I don't think such a 'veil of bad advice' could be maintained against defectors looking to make money.

I think the actual problem has to be dumber and more organic than that, like 'bad advice on how to be a man is more appealing to many people than good advice'. That's a credible problems for lots of advice - good advice is constrained by being good, bad advice can focus entirely on being appealing to the receiver, so it has a huge memetic advantage.

It is interesting to note that there is an increasing shift towards talking about "role models" for young men and boys as a means of cooling the gender kerfuffle, rather than by repeating feminist talking points at males until they concede as was the case when I was a teenager.

There's been a fair amount of discourse in lefty spaces over the last 2-4 years about how feminist/progressive ideology is good at telling men what things to stop doing but bad at teaching boys what they should do instead, leaving a lot of young men who want to be progressive without a reliable script to follow. Presenting and promoting role models is the solution, that project is very much in early days and not going to be very good at first, but in the long term it's the only way to stabilize a new normal.

These men are either fake or literal one percenters whose lifestyle an average young man has no hope of to attaining.

I mean if you ask anyone to name some role models off the top of their head, those people are going to be very famous and therefore almost-by-necessity rich or fake, almost by definition. A non-famous role model isn't necessarily a contradiction in terms, but it wouldn't be the first example most people think of. And it's hard to be famous in a positive way without being rich or fake these days.

But there are plenty of viable non-famous candidates that the community is growing and embracing on its own in the normal, market-driven, organic way. Just like I've never heard of Hamza, I'm guessing you've never heard of FD Signifier, but he's an example of an organically-grown explicitly leftist microceleb who can serve as a good role model for young black men. And of course there are plenty of creators who aren't explicitly politically aligned but exhibit the virtues of non-problematic masculinity and are popular with younger boys, like Markiplier or SuperEyepatchWolf or etc.

There's been a fair amount of discourse in lefty spaces over the last 2-4 years about how feminist/progressive ideology is good at telling men what things to stop doing but bad at teaching boys what they should do instead, leaving a lot of young men who want to be progressive without a reliable script to follow.

There's never been a shortage of demands on men from any direction.

The first gender ideology that finds a way to offer men not just a list of demands, but attach an actual stake in their society to it will win young men.

Modern right-wingers don't do this either. You can see this most clearly whenever someone criticizes the current marriage regime. The insistence is that sure it has problems, but you need to just stop asking questions and do it anyway. This often doesn't even come with a promise that it will ever get better. The fact it's a bad deal doesn't matter, as a man you don't have a stake in the family unit. You're there to serve it, that's it. Three P's: protection, provision, procreation. Stake ain't a P-word.

I think part of the reason JBP became so popular is that it kinda sounded like he was proposing a vision of masculinity that offered some kind of stake. This turned out to be wrong, but some men understandably but erroneously assumed that all of this talk of bearing the load would come with a stake attached. It didn't.

name some role models off the top of their head, those people are going to be very famous

Those are figures, not roles. A role per the examples offered would be actor, footballer, and whatever Ted Lasso is. You can't play the role of being Marcus Rashford, but you can play the role of being a footballer and associate other pro-social behaviours like fair play, fitness, practice and respecting the rules with that role.

Influencer is a shitty role because the common behaviours are a blend of populism and commercialism by the nature of the business. Good editing and production skills aren't the basis for a society.

a lot of young men who want to be progressive without a reliable script to follow

The difficulty progressives have with promoting more general role models (train driver, doctor, policeman(!)) is the ""problematic"" nature of lauding people who work hard and take responsibility. It's too close to the small c conservative script of studying hard, working hard, following the rules, saving your money, having kids and raising them right.

The progressive role models are often more akin to radical activists of one stripe or another who rebelled against what society told them they should do... ironically like Andrew Tate.

It's like it's not enough for a plain old teacher to instill good study habits, they have to instill Critical Theories too. Just look at the flack Katharine Burbalsingh catches for being a non-white woman who opens a school in a deprived area and turns it into an academic success story through presenting high expectations for her students, or hardship afflicted single mother and feminist turned squillionaire children's author JK Rowling. In progressive's eyes Marcus Rashford isn't popular for his personal success, he's popular because he scored one for team social justice against the Conservative government. Stormzy raps about spunking on your girlfriend's face after going church but he also dropped that angry outburst for the social justice crew dem about Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May. Those are the roles they're promoting.

If you are cis-gendered male, I'm curious if you feel that you had any good male progressive role models growing up. Even non-famous ones like a teacher or family friend.

I wasn't really looking for potential progressive male role models growing up, but no examples comes to mind. Hard left economic male role models, a few. Libertarian male role models, many. Republican male role models, countless.

I'm still mentally stuck in thinking what such a progressive male model is supposed to look like, even if we are talking about purely fictional characters. Unironically "PC Principle" from south park comes to mind. Many actual male progressive heroes that I can think of are gay or a minority, which isn't going to work for most of the white male population.

If you are cis-gendered male, I'm curious if you feel that you had any good male progressive role models growing up. Even non-famous ones like a teacher or family friend.

There is no shortage of men with progressive political views who possess the classical masculine virtues, and are therefore appropriate role models for young men. As an existence proof, we can look at male leaders in progressive politics. If you look at Barack Obama's engagement with his faith, family, community and career, it is obvious that he is good at being a man. Unless you think progressive politics is per se wicked, he also appears to be a good man. The same is broadly true of Joe Biden (he may be old, but he isn't effeminate), Justin Trudeau, Keir Starmer etc. Pajamaboy didn't become a meme because all left-wing "men" are like that - he became a meme because Team Obama chose to make Pajamaboy the public face of a campaign. If they had shown Obama (or most of his male cabinet members) lounging on a couch in pajamas, he would have looked louche rather than soyjack.

Given the political demographics of the community I grew up in, I can assume that almost all the older boys and young men I looked up to as a teenager were either Lib Dems or centrist Tories who would go on to back Remain. There were the usual number of men who met the requirements of a good role model.

So why do we say there are no good male progressive role models? There are multiple reasons, but in my view the most important is that the status-conferring institutions that boys and young men use to determine who is good at being a man are not working in the way society wants them to. There are environments (particularly if you are a black American teenage boy) where there are no available role models who are both good men and good at being men, but most of the young men who are looking up to Andrew Tate (or other bad men) have chosen him as a role model over good men because they think he is much, much better at being a man.

How did that happen? There are bottom-up and top-down factors. The main bottom-up ones are:

  • Mass media now treats outlawry as high-status, not low-status. This was a left-wing thing for most of the back half of the 20th century, but is increasingly a right-wing thing too. In a sane world, getting arrested would have done a number on Andrew Tate's social status and his continuing male fan-base would be the butt of jokes about their idol being some gypsy's prison bitch - even among Red Tribers. In the world we live in, he is seen as a brave rebel Fighting the Power.
  • The life script among Blue Tribe members and PMC Red Tribe members is that you shouldn't be on the relationship escalator until you have completed your education. This changes the way girls function as a status signal. Back in the day, having an 8 from a good family making puppy-dog eyes at you and telling her girlfriends she wanted your ring was higher status than banging half a dozen slutty 6 goth-girls in the back of a beaten-up Ford Focus. In a time when getting engaged as an undergraduate is slightly weird and creepy, the opposite is true.

But the easiest thing to fix is the top-down issue. The top-down status-conferring mechanisms in progressive spaces are not conferring the status on good men which would make them good role models. And the reason for that is that it is that said institutions are using all their authority to praise women who display the classical masculine virtues for reasons which are good and sufficient if you are a feminist. When the physics textbooks portray Albert Einstein and Marie Curie as the two greatest physicists of the 20th century, they are stealing Richard Feynman's rightful status as number 2. The same thing happens on a smaller scale with girls in STEM, girls' sports, girl leaders etc.

I can think of a lot of progressive musicians or artists who I admired but none of them seemed like they had a life I could ever achieve. Or necessarily ones I'd want to achieve. So, probably not fair to say they're role models. At least for me.

I do wonder if progressives think these role models are actually a lot more legitimate because they could imagine themselves getting great at guitar and being world famous musicians and touching people through beautiful music or whatever. Whereas those conservative role models are such conformist boring trad-squares.

EDIT: actually, Anthony Bourdain. I'm sure a lot of progressives consider him a role model, though in the wake of his suicide all of his romantic world-spanning zeal seems like a desperate cry for help slash running from his demons or whatever.

EDIT2: thinking further, I'm really amazed by what a perfect progressive role model Anthony Bourdain is. Holy shit.

I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on Anthony Bourdain, you've got me curious.

I should make this a top-post. But for now: Anthony Bourdain. Humble beginnings doing "real" work as a cook and a chef at a string of New York City restaurants. Has a passion for French cuisine. Then struck out as a writer who published Kitchen Confidential, sharing this quaint but authentic view of a working class life with the world. All of these honorable professions go far among progressives. They are relatable, humble, involve zero obvious exploitation. True honest work.

I've seen this quote of his pop up at various art festivals:

“Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”

From humble beginnings, he was signed to do two travel shows, No Reservations and then Parts Unknown, glorfying open-minded exploration and celebration of other cultures: their food, their traditions, their people, etc. Super romantic while still keeping an edgy down-to-Earth quality. Alludes to having lived a life of mild depravity but in a cute way. Seems like he could come up with an amazing wine pairing with seared sea scallops but you can also have a beer with him and shoot the shit. The worst thing you could ever do is suggest going to McDonalds.

He cannot possibly be a better progressive role model. He even struggled from mental illness! Showing that even hard working, successful and productive people who seem happy on the outside can suffer from depression and bring themselves to suicide.

Mild tangent: I can't shake the feeling that his romanticism, attempts at authenticity, never losing his edgy side belied a somewhat destructive live fast die young ethos and may have all been a big cry for help but progressives I've discussed this with don't believe there's any connection between the two at all whatsoever. He just caught mental illness the way anyone can catch flu.

I'm still mentally stuck in thinking what such a progressive male model is supposed to look like, even if we are talking about purely fictional characters.

A conservative male role model with progressive political and social views :V

I'm only being slightly facetious. I think you can point out some culturally-specific differences on the margin (e.g. conservatives are more likely to idealize aggression and embrace sharp gender divisions in interests, progressives are more likely to praise emotional openness and lean away from idea of a man as protector/provider), but I would posit that (at least in the American context) the behavioral ideal of manhood isn't that far apart. And even some apparent political splits are more subcultural than partisan (e.g. compare and contrast Mormon and Southern masculinity)

quoth @dr_analog on conservative* role models

  • happy embracing fatherhood
  • devoted/providing husband
  • works hard
  • successful at work
  • proud of work

We could strike the word "providing" and have a list that is agreeable in practice to most progressives. Their bigger issue is a more generalized discomfort with openly articulating an ideal of manhood for fear of harming both women and not-traditionally-masculine men, so instead most of these go unstated and you have to infer them.

*normiecon rather than redpill con

quoth @dr_analog on conservative* role models

happy embracing fatherhood devoted/providing husband works hard successful at work proud of work

I'd add brave and principled. One of the organic male figures, developed in living memory, is Rocky Balboa, who appeals to lots of different Americans, but who perhaps fits best with normie conservative ideology. He's brave (willing to e.g. risk losing his eyesight or his life to provide for his family/get revenge) and principled (plays by the rules, tries to live up to standards of masculinity etc.).

I mean, I grew up before 'progressive' was a commonly-used political term. My dad was certainly a good feminist role model, I guess that would be the analogy from the time period, and we had several family friends who also would have served.

But I mean, like, Mr Rogers? Bob Ross? David Bowie? Steve Irwin? None of these people are, like, explicitly virulently feminist, they're just normal men who don't exhibit most of the 'toxic masculinity' traits that the left finds fault with on some male role models.

That's really all we're asking for here, I think, role models who demonstrate a successful life and way of interacting with the world that doesn't rely on those 'toxic' behaviors and traits.

I think the idea of 'explicitly politically-motivated role models' is a dead end here. A role model that progressives can embrace is not the same as a loudly progressive role model.

Mr Rogers was quietly Republican.

Bob Ross was a womanizer. David Bowie had sexual relations with 15 year olds during his stardom. They kind of strike me as part of the 70s era sexual liberation generation. And there are plenty of male "role models" from that generation. I just feel that after the MeToo movement that these types of men would be examples of "toxic masculinity".

I didn't want to look too deeply into Steve Irwin, but he mostly wrastled large reptiles into submission in his public appearances. I'll grant him as maybe a good environmentalist role model. Not quite sure how that translates as a role model for human interaction.


I think the idea of 'explicitly politically-motivated role models' is a dead end here. A role model that progressives can embrace is not the same as a loudly progressive role model.

I think it's a dead end for modern progressives hoping for straight white male role models. I think it generally is not a dead end for just about any other situation.

I didn't want to look too deeply into Steve Irwin, but he mostly wrastled large reptiles into submission in his public appearances

https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/crikey-praise-for-pm-puts-you-in-a-snake-pit-20031109-gdhqvg.html

Praised a conservative PM who campaigned on stopping illegal immigration as the greatest PM the country ever had - he was a conservative, so he's actually another example of "toxic" masculinity.

This is like the uno reverse card of that male feminist meme where you name a male feminist and it turns out they have accusations of sexual impropriety in the closet. Apparently "name a successful male role model with a happy home life" nets you either conservatives or, occasionally, actors who just follow the Holywood culture.

Maybe we should talk about woke executives? Is Bob Iger happily married?

Maybe we should talk about woke executives? Is Bob Iger happily married?

Once divorced, married to his second wife since 1995, two children from each marriage.

By all accounts Steve Irwin was a devoted family man who really loved and was very good at his extremely dangerous career, who had outspoken environmental views.

I think we should probably give him that one.

I never noticed this but all the ones I can think of, and there are quite a few, all seem to fall into the hard left. What few now qualify as Progressives fell into it and were disgraced by it in my eyes but were only admirable insofar as they were, well, revolutionary class reductionists.

feminist/progressive ideology is good at telling men what things to stop doing

I'd argue that it actually isn't.

Would like to hear more, at least the framing that you're interpreting that into.

They certainly do a lot of telling. Not sure if you mean they're bad at getting men to listen, or point out the wrong things, or are too vague, or what.

I definitely think they're bad at getting men to listen, yes. I wouldn't say they're pointing out the wrong things per se, but that's not the main problem. It's that their messaging never reaches the men it's supposed to reach, and it's reaching only men who don't need their advice anyway.

And conservative communities have little difficulty producing positive role models for boys. Which seems like an obvious drawback- leftist communities need to astroturf someone into a role that is already filled elsewhere.

Leftists want to change society and select for people interested in that. It's thus harder to depend on existing role models.

... They have a lot of difficulty producing positive role models for boys, from the perspective of progressives.

A disagreement about what traits are 'positive' is the entire crux of the issue, here.

Yes, conservatives have had more time to put their systems in pace than progressives, that's pretty much definitional to the words 'conservative' and 'progressive'.

It's always the case that progressives are trying something new, and you can always walk in on that first-draft process and point out mistakes and absurdities, and feel superior.

Lets check back in 30 years to see how it went.

Feminism and social progressivism has been mainstream for more than 30 years, no? Seems like they should’ve figured it out by now if it’s a solvable problem.

I think it isn’t a solvable problem, and the main reason it isn’t is that feminist or social progressive ideas of the male gender role vary from ‘umm..’ to ‘defective women’. It is very hard to make that into a role model, and that’s because a role model models a role.

But, more to the point, I’m not convinced that the scoutmaster or assistant to a youth pastor is, from a progressive standpoint, a bad role model in terms of the role he models. Like, Twitter progressives obsess over hank hill constantly, and he’s pretty conservative coded.

And conservative communities have little difficulty producing positive role models for boys. Which seems like an obvious drawback- leftist communities need to astroturf someone into a role that is already filled elsewhere.

Asked with genuine and humble curiosity, what are some positive conservative role models for boys?

I think a rising one could be Mike Gallagher:

  • Former Marine Officer
  • Has a PhD, but in intelligence studies, not weird university nonsense
  • Congressman before 40
  • Wife and kids

What sets it over the top is that he announced he's not going to seek reelection because "being a full time politician isn't what the founding fathers intended." That sets him pretty distinctly apart from conservative politicians who talk the talk and do vote the vote ... yet have only ever had the job of "man who talks in front of cameras about politics and stuff" so they come across as disingenuous. See, for instance, Josh Hawley - he's trying to lead their weird masculinity revival ... but he's wholly from the path of Harvard-Yale-Lawyer-Congress.

The ones that exist in their IRL communities.

Celebrities and influencers and pundits are not role models. Most people live essentially boring, normie lives and need role models that are people like them. This seems kind of obvious, but a lot of people miss it- neither a celebrity nor a fictional character makes a good role model because they aren’t normal. And the people you’ve heard of from beyond your Dunbar group are mostly celebrities, fictional characters, and a few cousin’s boyfriend types.

Conservative communities are generally quite good at positive IRL role models for boys from within or maybe just beyond the Dunbar group.

Mr. Rogers? Although I guess he was progressive back then.

Unironically, Mike Pence.

The "I can't be trusted alone in a room with a woman that isn't my wife" mike pence?

During an interview in 2002, Pence told a reporter that he would not have dinner alone with a woman other than his wife.

The "I want to force people to have funerals for their miscarriages" mike pence?

The "retarded children should be forced to full term" mike pence?

In March 2016, as Indiana governor, Pence signed into law H.B. 1337, a bill that both banned certain abortion procedures and placed new restrictions on abortion providers. The bill banned abortion if the reason for the procedure given by the woman was the fetus' race or gender or a fetal abnormality. In addition, the bill required that all fetal remains from abortions or miscarriages at any stage of pregnancy be buried or cremated, which according to the Guttmacher Institute was not required in any other state.[155][156][157] The law was described as "exceptional for its breadth"; if implemented, it would have made Indiana "the first state to have a blanket ban on abortions based solely on race, sex or suspected disabilities, including evidence of Down syndrome".[156]

"Coal is the future" mike pence?

Pence has been an outspoken supporter of the coal industry, declaring in his 2015 State of the State address that "Indiana is a pro-coal state," expressing support for an "all-of-the-above energy strategy", and stating: "we must continue to oppose the overreaching schemes of the EPA until we bring their war on coal to an end.

He is your hero?!

Updated with the appropriate context.

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If a conservative shares these views (strawman/slanting aside) why do you expect this to be a problem for them?

We've just had a comment elsewhere about a guy that got crucified when his workplace fuck buddy turned on him. Wanna take another go at the Pence Rule being dumb?

He didn't say he couldn't be trusted alone in a room with another woman, he said he adopted a form of the Billy Graham rule: when in public, at an event that involves alcohol, one-on-one with a woman not his wife - don't. Have at least a third party there.

And seeing as how there were plenty of people willing to dig up dirt on Graham and others, any kind of E. Jean Carroll "he raped me in fifteen seconds, no I don't have a witness, that'll be $83 million thanks" accusation would have been smeared all over the media. Same with Pence, same with anybody not 100% on board the liberal agenda. Bill Clinton can be promised that the feminists will strap on the presidential kneepads to give him blowjobs, Joe Biden is of course innocent and we never said "believe all women", but if you're the wrong party or the wrong kind of opinions, we will hammer you to the wall for #MeToo.

Why do you think there are glass panels in meeting room doors? Why do you think there are guidelines around being alone with children/vulnerable adults? You're fully entitled to sneer at those precautions if you want to do so, but you can't blame it on Pence alone as being a dumb horny redneck that can't be alone with a woman without wanting to rape her.

We've just had a comment elsewhere about a guy that got crucified when his workplace fuck buddy turned on him.

Link?

Okay, I know I replied to someone quoting the case of David Sabatini on March 12th, according to the search history, and I'm fairly sure it was on here but I don't think I can find it. Unless I'm hallucinating like ChatGPT and it was a discussion elsewhere, entirely possible.

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During the height of MeToo, >50% of men working normie corporate jobs implemented the Mike Pence rule, even if they didn't announce it.

For male managers / any position with real authority (hire/fire, performance reviews, etc.) this was >80%.

You've gotten a ton of reports for this comment. While we are less strict about straw manning and insulting public figures than we are about doing so to other posters, this still isn't a very good post. In response to someone who says "I admire Mike Pence" you kind of sneeringly rattle off reasons why he shouldn't, and the sneers are at best uncharitable interpretations of his positions. And below you get indignant when someone reverse unos you.

You are not ennobling the discourse.

I mean are all the comments about biden being a child sniffing senile corruption magnet getting the same treatment?

https://www.themotte.org/post/865/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/185995?context=8#context

Maybe the alone with women one is a bit misrepresentative, although he went about it in a weird way, no one else seems to publicise their avoidance of alone time with women the way he does. But the others are all dead accurate and I stand by them. They are not "straw-men" in any way shape or form, but actual policy positions taken from reputable sources.

These are all political positions and not matters of character.

Insofar as they reveal character, they are virtuous, in the Aristotelian sense, which is to say that the virtuous man has made habit of preventing himself from moral failure through self discipline.

What exactly isn't heroic about Mike Pence? Not sharing your views isn't disqualifying.

So you think it is "heroic" to not allow yourself in a room with a woman that isn't your wife? Falling on a grenade for your buddy in a fox hole is heroic. Forcing a family to have a funeral after a miscarriage is about the furthest thing I can imagine from being a hero. Making a poor mother bring a retarded child into the world is about as anti-heroic as you can get. Not to mention a burden on society and the family, and the child.

You have a simplistic understanding of heroism that doesn't allow for it in anybody that doesn't agree with your terminal values.

I hate communism, and yet I wouldn't pretend Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov's hero of the Soviet Union awards were undeserved.

If maintaining one's moral standard and virtue in the face of prevailing social mores or any form of great difficulty is not heroic, the word has no useful meaning except to honor one's friends.

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He seems like a good role model to me. An honest person. A good family man.

Actions matter than words.

Even if we do care only about words, no one's words can survive a motivated effort to strawman their belief system as you have done for Pence.

That isn't a straw man. Those are stated beliefs/actions on his part. It is all on his wikipedia page even.

The dude probably wouldn't even be able to articulate his views in a satisfying way. I'm sure you could beat him in a debate.

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It is all on his wikipedia page even.

tl;dr, "not an argument".

Argumentum ad Wikipedium is not sufficient support for any point, especially around political figures. Have you ever interacted with the users who actually edit those pages on the regular? A charitable description would be "opinionated control freak with a lot of free time". Any information you get from them beyond the object level "thing happened" is suspect, and even the object level descriptions are often maximally uncharitable or tactically out of context.

The dude probably wouldn't even be able to articulate his views in a satisfying way. I'm sure you could beat him in a debate.

Could you? You're welcome to re-watch the VP debates against Kaine and Harris. Or I suppose you'd be watching them for the first time, since it sounds like you haven't seen Pence debate before.

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Show me the part of his wiki page that says he can't be trusted with a woman?

I don't even care about pence but this is just a ridiculous strawman.

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The "I know this will cost me my political future, but I'm not going to subvert the Constitution" Mike Pence.

Thank you for addressing zero of my points and substituting your own. Maybe he was just smart enough to know taking over a building doesn't actually topple the government.

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When someone does something brave in service to what is right, it is understandable that others may call him a role model. As for your points, they are not addressing the question at hand which is "what are some positive conservative role models for boys?" For a conservative the fact that Mike Pence commits himself to virtue in the sexual sphere, believes consistently in the sanctity of human life, and is pro coal are positives, not negatives. They would be good reasons for Mike Pence to not be a progressive role model, but are no obstacle to being a conservative role model.