A blogger calling herself stavvers at Another Angry Woman has an interesting post up. It is a real ball of sociopathic self-justification and gendercide fantasy. She starts out:
“Well, well, well. It seems the latest thing feminism is fighting about is the phrase “kill all men”.
Because apparently there is some debate to be had on whether or not this is problematic formulation. And this article just goes on and keeps getting worse, staring out with the usual bogus disclaimers, “This is all just a completely harmless hypothetical that reveals nothing about our entrenched bigotry…” before launching into denialism and self-justification.
“So, before I launch into this defence, let me point out that nobody is actually planning to kill all men. Not even some men. It’s just a phrase, an expression of rage, a rejection of a system which is riddled with violence.”
Well then it’s a completely ignorant expression of rage, since men are overwhelmingly the victims of deadly violence, usually at the hands of men – this is usually the only time these killings are punished and recorded as crimes –and often at the behest of women. If it’s intended as a rejection of violence, one has to wonder why it is directed at the primary victims of that violence.
One has to wonder at this blind spot and what might be causing it. One does not have to wonder for long; it will become very clear.
“Kill all men” is a shorthand war cry, much the same as “ACAB” or “tremble hetero swine” or “die cis scum”. It represents a structural critique, presented in a provocative fashion.
The difference being, and the reason this is dishonest, is that women are hardly the relatively powerless minority that gay or trans people are, so there is no real equivalence between these battle cries. Women are the majority of voters, have complete control over child rearing and enculturation in society and control the majority of disposable income.
Exhibit A: Manipulation (Appeal to pity)
“Patriarchy harms men, it’s true, but it oppresses the fuck out of women, and there are few, if any men who are not complicit in this oppression. Most men are not rapists or abusers, but many are complicit in perpetuating this violence by spreading rape apologist myths, by failing to stand against violence against women and girls, and by simply not nailing their colours to the mast and acting as allies.”
Let’s look at this a piece at a time:
Patriarchy hurts men too. Such a deep insight. Patriarchy oppresses women with food and shelter and protection and modern medical care, but it KILLS men to make that all happen.
Now we get the Pure Vessel thing: “if any men who are not complicit in this oppression.” Apparently no women are complicit in any of this, not even women who kill or rape other women, or who send men off to die in war.
Rape apology? Oh we know about rape apology. How’s this for some rape apology – “B-b-b-but it’s not real rape because patriarchy and rape is a crime of gendered oppression, and besides it’s not systemic, just him individually and it’s always really, really rare and anyway it’s not as bad when it happens to a boy as it is when it happens to a girl and he’s the real rapist here anyway, he forced her to do all this – the fact that he was an infant doesn’t mean he doesn’t have male privilege. Oh, and he got lucky so he should be grateful.” You can every one of those points in feminsts spaces when male rape victims are mentioned (with some shining exceptions).
And the appeal to White Knights – “by failing to stand against violence against women and girls,” – apparently stavvers is unaware of the degree and scope of violence that men will visit on other men in the defense of women and girls. There are plenty of examples of this from recent news articles in her own country, but we have our share of this mentality here too– this is how these people have acted in the past when a man offended the sacred person of a white woman – or even was simply accused.
And finally, “and by simply not nailing their colours to the mast and acting as allies.” Apparently for stavvers the alliance is all one way, women owe men nothing in return in loyalty as allies, men exist for and their value depends protecting women and nailing their colors to women’s flagpole. This the form of objectification Martha Nussbaum calls “Instrumentality”.
She goes deeper into this:
Exhibit B: Denialism (Lying)
“And this is because misogynists completely fail to understand how power works. They miss the fact that in this society, violence against women and girls is rife,…”
Well for one thing, all misogynists grow up under the control, nurture and guidance of mothers, so they almost certainly know exactly power, absolute power over food and shelter and punishment, the power of life and death, works.
And for another, the scale of violence in stavvers’ society is probably the same as in mine – several times greater than against men and boys. That probably is not apparent to stavvers because those deaths are invisible to her, probably because they are of no importance to her. They simply don’t count. This the form of objectification Martha Nussbaum calls “Violability”. This lack of empathy is sociopathic.
Exhibit C: Gaslighting
“I suppose it is hardly surprising that utterances of killing all men draw such ire, even from feminists. Under patriarchy, violence is the domain of men.”
So apparently India is not patriarchal at all, and not just India. Apparently neither is China.
“Even from feminists”? The mind vomits. Is this how a feminist refers to feminists who happen to have some human decency?
“There is no serious threat of the women rising up and actually killing all men, all the while the hum of background noise of another women raped, murdered or beaten by a man. That this culture of violence is gendered, and the system is set up in favour of keeping things that way.”
Then she really doubles down on the sociopathy:
“Part of the power of SCUM is the effect it has on men. At my reading group, the men present were allies, and I remember vividly one saying “I don’t think she went far enough at the end, letting some of the men live and act as the Men’s Auxilliary”. All of the other men nodded along. They got that this idea is just fantasy, just a satire.
On the other hand, it’s pretty difficult to mention SCUM (or indeed just cry “kill all men”) without the misogynists crawling in, crying misandry.”
So she sees value in a gendercide fantasy because its sociopathic bigotry offends men, and then she passive-aggressively ties it up with a swipe about “crying misandry”. There’s probably a clinical name for this kind of behavior.
“So no, we’re not actually advocating killing all men, but what we need is for men to understand why we might. A secondary function of this powerful little phrase is to seek out allies. Some men simply cannot fathom that we might be this furious.”
Oh the irony, this coming from someone who cannot fathom why men might be furious, and who thinks she can dismiss it with her ….
“And of course, all men are not deserving of death. In fact, most of them aren’t. I can think of a fair few I do wish painful, violent death on, although this remains but a fantasy. Patriarchy would destroy me were I to ever touch a hair on their head. Patriarchy already tries to punish me for merely expressing these thoughts, because they are unbecoming of a woman.
And of course, all men are not deserving of death. In fact, most of them aren’t.”
Oh how very generously lenient of her.
Patriarchy would destroy her…? This is denialism taken to the point of delusion. Patriarchy protects women like her and finds all kinds of excuses to dismiss her violence. The Battered Woman syndrome scam comes to mind, but more systemically the female sentencing discount is well-documented for almost any crime of violence a woman can commit, if it even gets labeled a crime of violence at all.
And when any of us finds any of this troubling, ha ha, it’s all a joke, are we really so stupid as to take any of this seriously? Are we really so crass as call it what it is and try to rip the gaslighting veil away? Besides, where do we get off privileging our own preceptions, so tainted by male privilege, over her reassurances? This is the form of objectification Martha Nussbaum calls “Denial of subjectivity”.
The Sociopathic Subtext
This is the sociopathic subtext to this attempt to explain all this away – that this is no big deal, that men are supposed to be men and just shrug this off. And “men being men” means men being tough and just sucking it up – an appeal to machismo. And men are just so big and strong, so all powerful, that a woman could never, ever harm a man, and he’s just a pussy if he has the temerity to complain. I thought feminism called machismo “toxic masculinity”, I thought feminism opposed all that.
The sociopathic subtext to just trying to pass this off as some kind of harmless joke and not the reflection of deeply entrenched attitudes with real-word consequences is that men just don’t matter enough for any of this to matter. It’s perfectly alright to treat men as violable and as instruments of women’s welfare and to dismiss men’s own perceptions of thier situation, because hey, they’re just men. Objectification is the center of sociopathy and the lack of empathy we see in stavvers’ post.
Solidarity with sociopathy
So this is the quality of the thinking and the depth of the pathology at work in this article. I have seen a lot of pushback in feminist spaces on this article, but tellingly not one person goes the distance and just says “She’s not a feminist”. Simple as that.That’s all it would take to prove that feminists really don’t tolerate this kind of bigotry in their movement. They just have to denounce it as anti-feminist. That’s all. Then again maybe that silence is consent.
And they wonder why we distrust them and their motives and their explanations.