Transcript after the cut.
You may have noticed that I haven’t been updating as frequently as I was.
In part this is because I’ve taken on another big project: Honey Badger Radio.
Honey Badger Radio is a group of women who don’t blame men talking about men’s rights, feminism, geek culture and men’s issues.
I know that women have a unique invulnerability to criticism when it comes to men’s rights; and this effect is exponentially greater with a group of women.
I see Honey Badger Radio as a vanguard, breaking the ice around men’s rights discussion, and framing it as not just socially acceptable but socially responsible.
If you haven’t already, please go and subscribe.
Now, I can say that I’m busy but the real reason that I haven’t been updating is because I’ve reached an impasse in my research on gender dynamics.
I’ve dug down deep enough on this issue that I’ve hit clay. I think I’ve done all the theoretical excavation that I can.
Anything further and I’m taking this channel even deeper, into the bedrock that lies under and goes beyond gender and men’s rights.
Having said that, I’m not abandoning this channel.
Let me tell you a bit about my history.
My interest in men’s issues started with “The Princess at the window”. At the time I identified as a feminist because I felt that if women had the vote they should also be subject to the draft. When I realized that this was not even anywhere near the list of important feminist issues, I felt betrayed by the movement.
Feminism is obviously about what society can give women; not what women can give society.
My own particular psychology rejected that role; the role of princess, damsel and moral patient. I’ve never been interested in what I can get, but what I can do. Feminism offered me nothing to support my understanding of myself as an agent, my understanding of my responsibilities to men and society; all it offered was the endless cry of infancy.
Not what am I capable of; what am I responsible for… no, what am I owed because I have a vagina and vaginas are always victims.
I went on to read all of the men’s rights literature in the single shelf devoted to it in my University Library as an undergrad.
After that, around 2003, I started commenting at usenet’s men’s rights. I didn’t start fully agreeing with the men’s rights mission; I was still somewhat blue pill.
After usenet’s men’s rights came “Stand Your Ground.” At the time the men’s rights movement was both stagnant and heavily influenced by conservatism.
After Stand your ground, I found feminist critics; which was the only non-conservative anti-feminist blog at the time. Great discussions were had, I highly recommend feminist critics for some very well researched articles on gender violence.
After feminist critics I launched into my own blog and also published some pieces at the Good Men Project and, of course, A Voice For Men.
That brings us to early 2012. At that time the SPLC appeared to label the Men’s Rights Movement as a hate movement. They then retracted their apparent proclamation, allowing them to absolve themselves of all possible repercussions while enabling the accusation to cast a pall over the men’s rights movement.
At the time, this pall caused several men—including one I know in real life—to consider suicide.
The Men’s rights movement has been the only place where some men have felt heard; when the SPLC sorta somewhat maybe declared it a hate movement, those men lost all hope.
That’s when I decided to take on the label of Men’s rights activists.
If the powers that be are going to refer to MRAs as hateful vermin; they can damn well call me hateful vermin too.
It’s easy to hurt a group comprised entirely of men; much harder when there are women in it. Such is the moral bankruptcy of these people. They have no problem calling a group of men who have no where else to turn every horrible name in the book; but add one woman in and suddenly it becomes “a thing.”
That brings us up to April 2013 and Earl Silverman’s suicide.
His birthday was yesterday, btw. He would have been 64.
Two years older than my father.
Up till april of 2013 I had kept my men’s rights related work anonymous behind a pseudonym. I am an artist and a wanna-be author, and I hoped that I could make a name for myself in both fields. Unfortunately both fields are dominated by feminists and opposing the party line is career suicide.
After Earl died, I realized that I didn’t want to continue to put my own interests first.
I decided I would help where-ever I was asked to help and that I would put my skin in the game.
So when A Voice for Men needed help with it’s editorial process in June, I pitched in.
When Men’s Rights Edmonton needed assistance for it’s promotional material for the patriarchy party, I did it.
When an individual in Saskatoon said they wanted a men’s rights group, I did the work to organize one.
And when I was asked to talk to the media about men’s rights using my real name I did that. Both in print and, even more irreversibly, on television.
I never wanted to be known for men’s rights work. At all. But I decided I wouldn’t make choices based on my insecurities and fears; Instead I’d make choices based on what’s right.
I take the history of the Janissaries as cautionary tale for men. The Janissaries—the sons of christian slaves, brainwashed to serve the ottoman empire—were heralded as heroes when they were useful to the Empire; but the moment the Empire decided the Janissaries were no longer needed and that they would prefer Turks to occupy those roles formerly occupied by the Janissaries… A threat narrative was directed at the Janissaries and eventually every Janissary who didn’t flee or hide was slaughtered.
This is the ultimate fate of any group defined by benefit to another. Ultimately their usefulness will cease and the people they served will suddenly decide that their former heroes are villains.
Sometimes they’re spared; sometimes they’re slaughtered. But this is the end game of being defined by your utility.
A hero is another word for servant. And when servants cease to be useful, they become liabilities. Liabilities are another word for vulnerabilities; and people who create vulnerabilities for their masters are bad servants. They’re villains.
The problem isn’t feminism, feminism is merely a the final step in the inevitable lifecycle from Hero to Useless to Villain.
Now back to the future of this channel.
In the beginning of this I said I’ve hit theoretical clay. And I think, for the most part, I have.
That doesn’t mean this channel ends, it means it changes.
And I’m going to need your help to do it. Up to this point I’ve essentially tried to get these ideas out as quickly as possible just to manifest them.
In the process I’ve sacrificed production values and even coherency.
So I’m asking you, the people who’ve taken this journey with me, to tell me what doesn’t make sense, what needs more explanation, what seems wrong.
I also want you to take these ideas and make them your own.
As for me, my uploads are going to remain infrequent, but with your help hopefully more accessible and definitely more polished.
We’re going places with our little rag tag group of misfits. And I intend to help pave the way.
Future’s so bright… gotta wear shades.
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I do not believe that the Honey Badgers are in the vanguard of the movement. To the vanguard is assigned the task of protecting those in the van of the attack who make the actual assault. Rather they themselves are the piercing tip which alone must make the breakthrough. This is a terrible burden and one they might wish was otherwise. At this juncture fate offers no other choice.
“A hero is another word for servant.”
Indeed. The German word that’s cognate with knight is Knecht, which means servant or laborer, not knight or hero. Maybe the two concepts aren’t so different after all.
Typhon and I have talked about soliciting articles for you commenters because frankly your comments are often as good as the post they are addressing and because they often raise really good related points.
I haven’t gotten around to contacting people directly, so think of this as an indirect appeal.
Excellent video, excellent mission. Thank you for putting up a transcript.
And truly thank you for placing your name out there for men and speaking your mind for us.
Consider that seconded by me.
If any of the commentators here are interested in writing an article for the site, we’d welcome one. You guys are all extremely insightful.
Also, are we meeting tonight Gingko? ; )
Gonna have to beg off – slightly under the weather and the grandson w/b here until 7:45 my time. Does tomorrow work?
I just wanted to thank you on behalf of Feminist Critics for the shout-out. I was particularly touched because I know you and I haven’t always been on the same page. However, I’ve often been impressed by your insights and your commitment to compassionate treatment for men, and it’s been great to see those qualities find bigger spotlights with your work here, on YouTube, and at A Voice For Men.
I hope 2014 is a great year for you.
Awesome statement. I like the idea of looking at how critiques of feminism fit into a larger picture.
Feminism: Ask not what you can do for society, ask what can society do for you!
Sure, let’s give it a try if you’re around.
Admirable integrity, Typhon! Look forward to seeing what HBR will go on to do 🙂
An advocate for mens rights must always be about restoring to men those rights which have been stolen. But those rights are individual rights. Individual men have had their rights trampled on.
If we now take those men, and restrict their rights, they become servants to us instead of servants to feminists. But they would still be servants. If we impose our agenda on what it means for a man to fulfill his “duty” to society, then we have simply exchanged one taskmaster for another.
If we force a man to give a part of his life for a cause he doesn’t believe in, we have made him our servant. If we take his production, and say that the purpose that we will use it for is a more noble purpose than the purpose he would have used it for, then we should just join the ranks of the feminists. If a man can’t choose his own purpose, and dedicate his life towards that end, then he has no rights. He is a thing valued only for his utility to society.
Duty means someone owns a mortgage on your life, and you must repay them. Love means doing something for someone because you care about them. Duty is the enemy of love.
Personally, I’m willing to give my life in exchange for loyalty and devotion. It is my right, because I’m the owner of my own life. Unfortunately, I’m the personal property of the majority. Whatever the majority wants to do with my life, they can do.
Any “mens rights” that doesn’t recognize an individual mans right to choose what is of value to him, is worthless.