Eamonn Kelly: On The ‘Backlash’

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From top The Irish Times, August 17 and August 26; Eamonn Kelly

It was never my intention to become some kind of ongoing critic of radical feminism. But I have noticed a pattern in how radical feminists deal with criticism, a pattern that others don’t appear to be reporting on or discussing.

The strategies radical feminists use to counteract criticism seem to be mainly concerned with tarnishing and maligning the critic. What used to be called, shooting the messenger. At least this is my impression.

The Irish Times in recent weeks has become an active outlet for this type of strategy, in the wake of what radical feminists are calling “the backlash”.

On August 26, The Irish Times published an article by The Guardian writer Laura Bates, with the rationally balanced, impartial, benign and non-inflammatory title of “The Rise of a Toxic Male Separatist Movement Who Hate Women”.

The piece was a promotion of Laura Bates’ new book maligning some men for taking the decision to avoid women who seem to those men to be overly hostile towards masculinity.

To put it absurdly, her book maligns men tired of being maligned by people like her for now avoiding people like her. Their dislike of being maligned now worn as a badge of victimhood by Bates to justify further maligning.

Ironically, a week or so earlier The Irish Times published one of those now jaded, supposedly humorous articles about “mansplainers” and so on, titled “Men To Avoid”, taking the ridicule angle on masculinity.

It seems it’s okay for women to avoid some men, but not okay for men to avoid some women. It would make you wonder what manner of machinations are going on in some back office in The Irish Times.

Cathy Newman

The failings of this strategy to discredit critics, or just people tired of being maligned, were most clearly and cruelly revealed a couple of years back in Channel 4’s now infamous 2018 interview of Dr Jordan Peterson by Cathy Newman. What the interview revealed was a startling lack of ability by Newman to engage in a fair debate.

Instead her strategy appeared to revolve around a determined effort to ignore references to scientific studies, accompanied by an equally determined effort to personally discredit the interviewee and provoke him to anger, which, if successful, could then presumably be framed as male anger and construed as an indicator of latent violent tendencies.

After that interview, a sympathetic Guardian journalist, Nosheen Iqbal, interviewed Cathy Newman about the interview and used the occasion to malign Peterson as “alt-right”, a charge he by now wearily denies. Newman used the same Guardian interview to assert that all men who critique feminism’s maligning of masculinity have hidden agendas.

Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson came to prominence in his opposition to Canada’s bill c16, which, he claimed, would mean that the improper use of a pronoun could be construed, in certain contexts, as hate speech.

Peterson’s opposition to the bill became controversial because the issue that had prompted the bill was a trans/gender issue.

This resulted in an invasion by student protestors of a lecture Peterson was scheduled to give at McMaster University in Ontario in 2017, on the grounds, in the estimation of the protesters, that anything Peterson said was hate speech.

This allowed the protesters, in their own estimation, to cancel his right to free speech, which they did by yelling slogans and standing in front of him at the head of the lecture theatre, drawing a banner like a curtain between him and his audience.

Peterson responded by taking the lecture and his audience out to the car park where he advised his audience to resist being provoked to anger by the protesters, and to simply allow them their freedom of expression so that the limitations of their expression could be clearly seen and heard.

So You’re Saying…

Feminists often counter criticism with similar obstructionist strategies and name-calling. The critic is framed as a misogynist, or is ridiculed, or is accused of having a hidden agenda and so on.

The strategy seems to be to simply silence and malign the critic, without making any attempt to debate the questions posed by the critic.

In the case of Cathy Newman’s interview with Jordan Peterson, Peterson undermined the strategy by keeping his cool and concentrating on the debate. Once he refused to respond to name-calling, Newman quite literally had nothing to offer the debate.

Many saw Newman’s repeated “So your saying…” approach as an attempt to misrepresent the interviewee by reframing his comments. But another take on this by cartoonist and satirist Scott Adams is far more interesting.

Adams saw Newman’s constantly repeated “so you’re saying…” as evidence of cognitive dissonance in the face of an irrefutable argument backed by science, and the dismantling of what Newman had taken to be a rock-solid belief system, (the patriarchy), clashing with her own professionalism as an objective journalist.

This collision of conflicting ideas and loyalties had the effect of causing Newman to kind of mentally short circuit, falling into that loop of “so you’re saying…” in the vain hope of somehow re-framing a losing position.

(Credit must go to Channel 4 for choosing to broadcast the 30-minute interview in its entirety. It  is one of the best available demonstrations of the limitations of this destructive mode of discourse favoured by radical feminists.)

Backlash

After that interview, as already mentioned, The Guardian helped to paper over the cracks by suggesting that Peterson is a product of the alt right.

But this attempt to tarnish Peterson after the fact was the same strategy that failed for Newman in the actual interview; was the same strategy employed by the students in McMaster, and is the same strategy currently being pursued by The Irish Times in a misguided attempt to counter the supposed “backlash” being suffered by the feminist movement.

But there is no “backlash”, there is simply criticism which is not being responded to, apart from the by now routine attempts to malign and discredit the critics. In fact, this is the main criticism: that these attempts to discredit masculinity seem to many men to be overt expressions of misandry.

The impression you’re left with is that this is a mode of argument – a deliberate undermining of debate – that has worked quite well in university women’s studies group, but when exposed in the real world its shortcomings are evident.

The inevitable response to a debate that cannot be dominated by either post-modern re-contextualising or attempts to discredit the opponent, is to simply shout down the opponent so that no debate is possible, as happened in McMaster.

Conclusion

After the incident in McMaster, Jordan Peterson said that he felt that the students had been let down by their own teachers and had been misled into an intolerant ideology.

Similarly, readers of The Irish Times and The Guardian are being let down and misled by editors in those newspapers who appear to feel justified, in the interests of gender equality, to publish articles maligning and ridiculing masculinity.

But it is disappointing that both papers seem blind to the fact that what they are participating in is the dissemination of gender prejudice and the deliberate undermining of rational debate.

Eamonn Kelly is a freelance Writer and Playwright.

Previously: Eamonn Kelly on Broadsheet

186 thoughts on “Eamonn Kelly: On The ‘Backlash’

    1. Termagant

      The definition of what constitutes toxic masculinity is nebulous at best and is all too often employed by the user to mean “things I don’t like”. Or sometimes, “things that people don’t like, so I’ll ascribe them to this person who is arguing against me, so people won’t like him”.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        There’s a huge difference between masculinity which is good and toxic masculinity which isn’t.
        Masculinity – Ask a woman out, she politely declines, you accept her response and leave her alone.
        Toxic masculinity – Ask a woman out, she politely declines, you insist on asking her again, she continues to decline, you call her names for turning you down and angrily stomp off declaring all women are slags for not going out with you.

        To quote Margaret Atwell – Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.

        1. Termagant

          But this is behaviour that would be negatively received regardless of gender. If a woman was declined by a man and she called him a small-willied homosexual, is she exhibiting toxic masculinity? It happens.

          Regardless, we’re talking about the brand of radical feminist who considers mansplaining not just real but a valid and important social cause.

        2. Clampers Outside

          Women do that to men too. Which would mean “toxic feminity” exists too.

          But it is the ‘concept’ that is nonsense.

          As many have pointed out before, it is the very absence of masculinity that gives rise to the behaviours deemed toxic. And similarly so for the idea of ‘toxic feminity’. It is the absence of feminity that gives rise to the behaviours deemed toxic.

          If you wish to give the behaviour a label, it is simply, toxic behaviour, which either sex is capable of.

          I say again, the concept of ‘toxic masculinity’ or ‘toxic feminity’ is pseudo academic gender studies level (that’s academically low) claptrap.

          1. Nigel

            Real bang of ‘the rich and poor alike are forbidden to sleep under bridges’ off this. Women can’t even talk about the negative behaviour they experience from men, why? Because that would be sexist, and haven’t you been saying all along that sexism is bad? Checkmate, feminazis!

          2. Clampers Outside

            Simpleton like response. Idiotic even.

            Please read what my point was again… Or here, I’ll spell it out slowly for you. ..

            T… h… e…
            The

            c… o… n… c… e… p… t…
            concept.

            Hope that helps with your understanding.

          3. Nigel

            The concept: toxic masculinity is a term used to describe certain types of negative male behaviour. Fragile masculinity is when men get offended because women experience such behaviour so often that they came up with a term to describe it.

          4. Clampers Outside

            Both of those made up terms are used derogatorially to discredit dissenters to the misandry inherent in them, and and those that use them.
            Quite pathetic really. Nothing at all fragile about pointing this out.

            And thank you for demonstrating exactly what the article is about.

          5. Nigel

            I’m sure they’ve been misapplied, even maliciously so, but to imply that they were not derived from women’s shared experiences is to completely dismiss those women’s shared experiences. Not just fragile, but also insecure.

            What is this article about? Feminists hate men and are undermining rational debate? This is a slur as old as feminism and all forms of proto-feminism.

          6. Clampers Outside

            They weren’t terms derived from women’s experiences, they were maladapted for a narrative, and applied with no scientific, nor researched basis, hence the term being called out for malintent, maliciousness as you state, and it being plain ol’ gobbledegook.

          7. Clampers Outside

            It’s not a slur, plenty of feminists call out the man hating cohort for discrediting the feminist movement… Do some reading ffs.

          8. Nigel

            Both terms grew organically out of women’s experiences – see also mansplaining and manspreading. But of course they’re not valid because they’re women’s experiences and therefore not scientific or researched, whatever that means for terms that are now everyday colloquialisms.

            Still not sure what counts as man-hating, no more than, going by this article, what sort of men avoid women who are overly critical of men, except that it’s feminism’s fault that women talk back or have opinions of their own or aren’t submissive enough, or whatever it is.

          9. Clampers Outside

            LOL! and nope :) A simple Google will tell you that the term ‘toxic masculinity’ came from a men’s movement, ya silly billy.

            Dunno what the other term is you are referring to.

            And as for ‘manspreading’ that’s just more sexist nonsense, and mansplaining is just another term for ‘condescending’ but genderised for a narrative purpose.
            If ‘mansplaining’ is a thing, there’s a whole tome of feminism that could be classed as ‘womansplaining’. But what is the point of using such juvenile petty language but to place oneself within the Critical Theory simplistic dualism of seeing everything through a lens of the oppressor-oppressed narrative.
            I’ve seen the setbacks in domestic violence intervention methods that such narratives have done, and I won’t take part in it, but work to replace it with research backed proposals such as those put forth in the book Rethinking DV.
            Well worth a read https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rethinking-Domestic-Violence-Donald-Dutton/dp/0774810157

          10. Nigel

            So, a complete dismissal of female experiences, good, yes. None of these have anything to do with DV, but I see you’re trying to use them to undermine the monumental work done by feminists in the area of DV.

          11. Clampers Outside

            I have not dismissed female experiences, what I have said is that the Theory behind the language, and the language used via Critical Theory is nothing but juvenile spite and hatred.

            There are many ways of expression, and I do not dismiss women’s points, I simply take issue with Critical Theory.

            As for DV… Stop Nigel, you have no clue what you are talking about.

            Feminists took the refuge movement from its’ founder Erin Pizzey, and literally ran her out of the UK.

            They then applied wholesale The Duluth Model of DV Intervention which places ALL instances of DV directly at the feet of ‘patriarchy’ and continually dismiss the research that is in the thousands of papers and hundreds of thousands of individuals upon whom that research is based, research that with no doubt tells us that ‘patriarchy’ accounts for single digit percentage of DV cases.

            I’ve explained this to you before and I’m damned if I’m doing it again.

          12. realPolithicks

            Clampers has a problem with women, he couches it around issues like transgender and feminism but at the end of the day its clear that his problem is with women.

          13. Nigel

            You’re replacing women’s experiences with something you;re referring to as Theory and dismissing that, and act of rhetorical substitution as dishinest as it is malicious.

            As for DV, I don’t remember the Patriarchy setting up any DV shelters or passing laws about DV or taking DV seriously until feminism came along, so I don’t have a problem with seeing the Patriarchy as being responsible for how DV was treated.I also know you’re not very bright and easily lead when some slick persuasive piece of anti-feminist propaganda gets fed to you. Imagine that, they turned you against the only people who campaigned and worked for DV to be taken seriously.

          14. Clampers Outside

            Feminism nor feminists did not start the refuge movement, Erin Pizzey did, and that is an irrefutable fact.

            Stop trying to rewrite history to suit a narrative, its pathetic.

          15. Daisy Chainsaw

            40 years ago, Erin Pizzey moved to the US. We’re not talking recent history here. She then joined an anti woman site https://avoiceformen.com/ run by a rape apologist, and this is some of what the website has done.
            Founded in 2009, AVFM and its podcast “Ear for Men” combines men’s rights issues and rabidly misogynistic and violent rhetoric. Elam’s writing and interventions make no mystery of his delight in violent fantasies against women. In 2011, A Voice for Men launched Register-Her, a website listing women alongside their picture who they argued belong in prison (the website has since been taken down). It included women deemed to have falsely accused men of rape or domestic violence, others for having protested men’s rights activist gatherings, or those Elam simply disagreed with. The effect of Register-Her was an explosion of online harassment. After finding herself targeted, feminist writer Jessica Valenti was forced to leave her home in fear of her safety. Elam, catering to these hordes of harassers, had no qualms egging them on.

            So you can see why women don’t see Pizzey as a person to be listened to.

          16. Clampers Outside

            Doesn’t matter what you wish to say about her, it does not take away from the fact it was she who founded the refuge movement, not feminists as Nigel said.

            That’s my point.

            You can do guilt by association in your own time.

          17. Clampers Outside

            She didn’t just move to the US.

            She left after feminist extremists made repeated bomb threats to her and her families life.

            These were extremists she had exposed for planning bombings and not some idle threats. These were bone fide nutjobs, who also ran her out of the refuge she founded.

          18. Lilly

            As per Helen Lewis’ recently published book, Difficult Women:

            ‘In the 70s Erin Pizzey cast sufficient light on the issue of domestic violence for it to be debated in parliament, and her shelter led to the creation of Refuge, the biggest charity of its kind in England, with an annual income of £13.3m. So does the “good” erase the “bad”? It’s complicated.’

          19. Lilly

            ‘it was she who founded the refuge movement, not feminists’

            No one owns feminism, Clampers. Erin Pizzey WAS a feminist. Look at what she achieved for women.

          20. Clampers Outside

            Fair enough, yes, but she is not of the man hating type as she has oft said of them. And she has said she is no longer one due that same hate.

            She still owns the credit for founding the movement, no question on that.

          21. Junkface

            Intersectionality, gender studies, and identity politics are all based on lies, baseless argument and complete lack of credible data. None of the papers they cite in their influential books have ever been peer reviewed (as even doing this is considered unwanted criticism and racist/sexist). So the whole cultural movement has no integrity when held up to the light of scrutiny.

            More than anything it is divisive, anti-science, and racist. Seeing people firstly as only a skin colour, therefore you can or cannot say x. It is an anti-progressive movement which demeans us all.

            As I mentioned before, read ‘Woke’ by Titania Mc Grath for an hilarious satire of the whole movement with actual quotes from these radical feminist / identity politics / gender studies scholars. You will hardly believe the things they say or believe, it is shockingly dumb and ignorant.

            Feminism is good. I support women to have the right to equality and fair treatment.

            Radical feminism seems completely bonkers from what I have seen in debates and articles. It actually infantilizes women and patronizes them. Terrible lessons to teach young girls.

        3. Daisy Chainsaw

          I’m not erasing Erin Pizzey from anything. I’m saying she’s not one who should be referenced without looking into who she chose to work for. Refuges and shelters for anyone experiencing DV are essential and deserve more funding and spaces. That said, there are probably people who’ve used shelters from people who subscribe to A Voice for Men’s philosophy.

          1. Clampers Outside

            By that mark, should we paint all the feminist extremists and anyone who worked for them in a similar way… I bet you do not. And wouldn’t that be a double standard.

          2. Clampers Outside

            You’d have to ask Ms Pizzey or the police that as she doesn’t give the individual person’s names, nor do the police bomb squad who monitored her post.

    2. EK

      Daisy, it is not making it specific that it is “toxic” masculinity it is referring to. Certainly not in the Men To Avoid article. The target is masculinity. And what is toxic anyway? Is there toxic femininity?

      1. realPolithicks

        Let me give you an example of toxic masculinity eamonn. My youngest daughter is 23 years old and told me this just yesterday. She was waiting in line in a store (masked and socially distanced) when a man that she described as around my age (57) stopped as he was leaving the store and literally looked her up and down for possibly 20 seconds before proceding out the door. My daughter and countless other women deal with this kind of behavior (and much worse) daily. Perhaps you don’t consider this “toxic behavior” but I can assure you that most women do.

      2. Daisy Chainsaw

        “Toxic femininity” is being offended by women saying no to you. I literally have a scar on my forehead due to my “toxic femininity” for ignoring a man who wanted me to smile for him. I didn’t and kept walking and he pushed me from behind and sent me flying to the ground and this happened before smartphones and cctv recording everything so he got away with assaulting me and insulting his masculinity.

        I know #notallmen and all that, but #allwomen have a story of being gawked at from the age of puberty, or running the gamut of comments, or being groped – I’ve had breast, bum, pussy all felt up in public places, even in broad daylight. So, if you’re looking for justification for your hurt feeling, you wouldn’t get it from many women and you won’t get it from me.

        1. Clampers Outside

          Sorry to hear of your experience Daisey. I’ve experienced similar, and can tell you of men glassed for not accepting a woman’s advances. That is, women too can commit such acts, but to call that “toxic feminity”, or “toxic masculinity” is stupid.
          I too could say that it was toxic feminity when I experienced domestic abuse for 7 years, last two of which were violent. But no, my years of reading on the topic since then tell me such labelling is useless.

          Its a personality and mental health problem of perps, regardless of their sex is the issue.

          There is no real benefit nor use of the label “toxic” in understanding the behaviour of a__holes. That’s the point of rubbishing the label, as it serves no constructive nor productive purpose in understanding the behaviour of such individuals. Its just name calling.

        2. Junkface

          @Daisy
          Sorry to hear about your assaults. One of my girlfriends had very similar experiences of being groped in public at a nightclub. I was furious when I found out! Total scumbag behavior, there are quite a few of these types of nasty pricks out there, especially on weekends in crowded places. It’s totally unacceptable and cannot be defended.

  1. broadbag

    (some) Men need to do better. (some) parents, which fascinatingly often includes a female parent, need to look at how they’re raising their sons to turn out like this.

  2. Micko

    I like Peterson. He’s a clever rational person, who makes a lot of sense and more importantly – isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. Something that is in very short supply these days.

    He also sounds like Kermit the Frog – which I like.

    1. newsjustin

      How is he? He had bad health and addiction issues in the last year or so. He seemed to take on himself this burden of “saviour of young men”, which was a bit OTT.

      He’s likable. You listen to him, you keep thinking he’s going to say something outrageous….never does….just (what seems like) common sense.

      1. Micko

        I know his wife had cancer and I think he went a bit off the rails on prescription meds trying to deal with it.

        He ended up in Russia at a treatment faclty, where he still is. Said he couldn’t find anywhere in the States or Canada to help.

        He was diagnosed with Covid a few weeks back. Havn’t heard much since

        1. Lilly

          He’s in Serbia AFAIK. He was doing well but Covid set him back. He was prescribed Benzos for anxiety, dosage upped to help deal with wife’s diagnosis and he became physically dependent on them.

          I like him too but his voice really grates after a while. No one has all the answers but he means well. I was surprised that the late Marian Finucane was so hostile towards him when interviewing him a while back instead of giving him a fair hearing.

    2. Bruncvik

      I like him, too, but I’m finding him sometimes too verbose. His otherwise excellent 12 Rules for Life, for example, could have been a long article, but instead it feels like a biography.

          1. EK

            Lily, do you even understand the theory of the central nervous system that the scientist was referring to in the lobster illustration, or can you not see further than lobsters?

          2. Lilly

            I haven’t read your article Eamonn or seen the illustration you refer to, but I’m entertained by the idea of Jordan hosting a televised lobster fight, if his Instagram is to be believed.

          3. Lilly

            I know. Winter is coming, I must sign up for an evening class at The Lobster Institute to rectify this ASAP ;)

        1. EK

          Art, please elaborate. I’d love to hear a detailed review of how that book is the funniest you’ve ever read. Have you read Catch-22?

  3. Gerry

    The mad thing about Peterson is the blatantly ad hominem, and demonstrably false misrepresentation of him and his views — that he is “alt-right” or (my favourite) “alt-right adjacent”. If you’re the wrong type of person to make an argument, then your views can be dismissed.

    Specifically, he isn’t hostile to interacting with his students and colleagues with whatever pronouns they want (within reason, i think he was resistant to the Ze/Zim/Zir etc.)

    What Peterson is against is any law that forces him to use such pronouns.

    Speech is not violence, the only speech that needs protection is unpopular speech. The solution to problematic speech is more speech, not less.

  4. Jimmy

    We should only be intolerant of intolerance but who decides what is intolerant and if you let them explain their intolerance, you will be tolerant of intolerance. Someone help me……

    1. Bruncvik

      No need for all this. It’s perfectly fine t just walk away from intolerance and not to engage with intolerant people. Live your own life, without stress from toxic people. I think that’s what some men do, and some women are furious about it (basically, a glorified “Don’t you walk away when I yell at you” situation). I’ve been practicing this for decades, and my life has been far more bearable (for the record, I’m happily married and with plenty of friends from both genders, so it’s not like I hate women).

      1. Nigel

        I think you equating walking away from an argument with women’s everyday experiences of toxic masculine behaviour really sums up the completely different worlds men and women live in.

        1. Clampers Outside

          He didn’t do that though did he, no.

          But, hey, nice to see you doing a Newman, in the comment section of a post that spends a good part discussing Newman.

          Priceless.

          1. Nigel

            Exactly, squeezing yourself down tight into your own personal limited experience while ignoring or dismissing others.

  5. Art Vandelay

    Whatever you could say about that interview, I dont think you could say Peterson was keeping his cool, he was clearly pissed off at her. In saying that he was probably off his head on Benzos so it was an admirable effort on his behalf.

    1. Clampers Outside

      He has admitted regret in his uttering ‘gotcha’. Saw another interview with him where they discussed the Newman interview. I found his frankness about where he let himself down quite refreshing.
      Being so long ago, I cannot recall which interview I saw that the discussion was in…
      Will post if it comes to mind.

      1. Art Vandelay

        I think I’ve seen the one you’re talking about. Its with two women and one of them is embarrassingly gushing over him?
        If it is that one, yeah its unique to see someone talking about an interview after that fact like that. He talks about how he was being photographed for an hour before hand or something and normally in that scenario the reporter asks you the odd question to keep it professional but she ignored him until the very start of the interview and then it was all guns blazing so he said he let himself get annoyed too quickly.

        1. EK

          Art, you “think” you saw the interview in question, and yet you recall, apparently vividly, someone gushing over Peterson and other details related, tellingly, to Peterson’s “anger”. Now, here’s my question to you. Do you think the emotion of anger is unnatural? You appear to, but I’d be interested in your views on this, because it is something you keep alluding to. Again, it seems to me as if you are holding on to this alleged personal flaw as a “proof” to disqualify every argument Peterson makes. This, I might say, is exactly the same strategy I referred to in my article. Do you have an argument or observation that doesn’t involve denigration of the opponent’s character? This is the core question of the article. It runs through everything I mentioned in the article like the legend in a stick of seaside rock, and it runs through every smart-arsed, ill-informed criticism I’ve seen here. The point is, denigrating someone personally is not an argument, it’s just an insult. And those articles published by the Irish Times, a paper that should know better, are little more than insults leveled against a target group.

          1. Junkface

            @EK

            Have you read Jonathan Haidt, “The coddling of the American Mind” or “Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose & James Lindsay? Both are very much worth a read and reveal a lot about these woke / identity politics / gender cultural movements.

    2. EK

      Art, he was angry at being provoked and at being called names, as anyone would be. The point is he kept his cool and presented a rational argument backed by science that Newman was unable to refute. But you’re doing exactly the same thing now as described in my article, by insinuating that Peterson was high on drugs. Can you prove that? Please do. Or are you just another name-caller/noise-maker without a rational argument?

      1. Frilly Keane, Rebooted, Live and Dangerous

        No.
        That’s kinda mansplaining – but in a bra
        But mainly because I’m just not bottomed

        And you’re a lad that treats comments here that’s aren’t gicky licky kisses that you can extract into a tweet to use as a plug, like splashes on a flimsy Edinburgh Fringe Show flyer
        As Criticism –
        that you manage with thin-skinned immature petulance
        And rudeness

        But I’ll leave you with the words of another theatrical man who didn’t cope with bad reviews, or with feminism
        Although he had to find another career to make a living

        Ronald Reagan
        “if you’re explaining you’re losing”

        You’re a man of words eEK, it’s your jobs n’all. So why don’t you swap out the word Feminism – even just for a few days eEK; and use Equality instead. Like a temporary sub. Ha! A Blood sub

        Cue the Mansheeters

  6. Nigel

    Great, a defense of incels and fragile masculinity. Just what Broadsheet needed. Doesn’t really dig in to the mind set of the ‘men who avoid women’ and rests its argument on the STYLE of one single interview, (of a lifestyle guru who nearly killed himself by going on a meat-only diet, currently undergoing some weird treatment in Russia, I think?) with back up from right wing knobhead, Scott Adams, while proclaiming the superiority of male rational discourse.

          1. Nigel

            No, seriously, you’ll rant for a hundred comments about style of debate and ne’er a single word about substance.

          2. Clampers Outside

            You sure are when you won’t bother to read on the topics you are so quick to take issues with.

  7. RobbieC

    Ah here, I don’t think you know what you’re referring to here. You’re conflating two very different things.

    Whatever about the Jordan Peterson interview (journalist is not great, expose shocker)… (and incidentally as a radical feminist myself, I really agree that defenders of the feminist cause can often be a bit shite, uninformed, and make moves that feel righteous but in reality harm the cause of genuine lived equality)

    But the movement in (mainly) America, men going their own way, chads and stacys, incels and shootings… this is a different kettle of fish. Its a movement of men who are incapable of recognising women as human beings. They’ve been brought up to believe being a man bestows an ultimate right to women’s bodies (wonder where they got THAT idea..) As this right has not materialised they have opted to denounce their whole society, as a form of “reject before being rejected”.

    I would imagine America’s lack of a social safety net means that wealth matters a lot more than here on the dating scene, and this movement is partially a reaction to elements of this. The kind of movement is like what we see in India (where due to femicide and sex selective abortion, men are outnumbering women and marriage is no longer an option for some men), and in some certain muslim countries where bride price ensure poorer men cannot marry, but wealthy men can have up to 4 wives), a subsection of men denied what they view as their right due to inequality, blame women for deeper problems, most often caused by other men.

    1. Janet, dreams of big guns

      interesting comment RobbieC
      I am aware of a growing movement in America that believes wemon are supposed to submit to men, I blame the growing voice of religious nutters

      1. Nigel

        A lot of the current crop rest their opinions (such as they are) on what they term science and rationality rather than religion (or along with religion and tradition.) It’s what Eamonn Kelly says in his article above, (the male sde of the arguments are apparently ‘irrefutable’ and ‘backed by science’) while studiously avoiding any of the details of what they actually mean.

        1. Clampers Outside

          Where does Eamon say that.

          Come on now. Give a quote. Or reference a part that you draw this inference from.

          This should be revealing in many levels :)

    2. Clampers Outside

      Sounds like incels are just the male equivalent of the misandrist cohort of feminism.

      They should get together.

        1. Clampers Outside

          The fact that you have to ask the question only shows how blinkered you are…

          Start by reading the posts by the feminists who post #killallmen

          Then go to established publishers like Washington Post and read articles like this one… “Why can’t we hate men?” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-cant-we-hate-men/2018/06/08/f1a3a8e0-6451-11e8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html

          There are many more like this, so just use Google to look for ‘similar’ articles which can be found in HuffPost, The Guardian, Salon, New York Times, etc…

          1. Nigel

            Sorry I don’t hang out on r/hemanwomenhatresclub or wherever you get your prejuduces flattered. What are these misandrists saying, exactly?

          2. Clampers Outside

            Pathetic and laughable, and exposed your own ignorance there.

            That is, If you don’t know, stop making comparisons of things you admit you have no knowledge of.

          3. Nigel

            Am I going to read this and find it says the opposite of what you claim it says? Becuase it’s become a cliche when following your links and it’s kind of depressing.

          4. Nigel

            THAT’S the best you can do in finding an example of misandry? I can see why you dislike it, since it lists a lot of bad things men have done to women, and the distinct slowness of any real structural reform, and why this could lead someone to want to hate men, but ultimately it’s about the astonishing restraint shown by women in not hating men, even as her own patience is fraying. I know you don’t do nuance and subtlety so I expect you did not conceptually get past the headline.

          5. Clampers Outside

            It’s one example. And you’re missing the point, it specifically argues the right to “hate” and be a misandrist. That’s the point.

          6. Nigel

            It doesn’t argue the right, it describes the impulse and reasons for doing so and shows the heroic restraint in not doing so.

          7. Clampers Outside

            She has no restraint, the whole piece is about removing any and justifying the hate and misandry.

  8. George

    Jordan Peterson thinks it is free speech to refer to a person by the pronoun of your own choosing. I agree with her.

    I haven’t heard much about her for a while. She was making her living giving life advice but then messed up her own life so much that she became addicted to drugs. She was then refused to listen to her doctor’s advice and instead flew to Russia where she found a doctor prepared to put her in an induced comma.

    1. Gerry

      I think you are being willfully obtuse.

      What Peterson is against is any law that forces him to use such pronouns.

      1. George

        He told the BBC:
        “There’s no way I’m going to use words made up by people who are doing that – not a chance.”

          1. George

            And that proves it is not just a particular law she opposes which was Gerry’s claim. And there is no way I am going to use Jordan Peterson’s preferred pronouns.

          2. Clampers Outside

            I see F_Lawless’s has put your selectively used out of context quite back into context below.

            Try again.

          3. f_lawless

            But George, isn’t this the article you’re getting that quote from?

            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37875695
            Here’s the paragraph that directly precedes your quote:

            “I’ve studied authoritarianism for a very long time – for 40 years – and they’re started by people’s attempts to control the ideological and linguistic territory,” he told the BBC.

            “There’s no way I’m going to use words made up by people who are doing that – not a chance.”

            The obvious inference here is that when he says “people who are doing that” he’s referring to the people who make “attempts to control the ideological and linguistic territory”. ie – those in power who would introduce enforced speech laws leading to a more authoritarian system of governance.

          4. Nigel

            This only really holds true if the efforts to control language are on behalf of the ruling class, or the already powerful, as opposed to on behalf of a tiny and opressed and victimised minority, or so it seems to me, Naturally, when the ruling class, or the already powerful, does it, they will claim to be opressed and victimised, as the right wing does routinely these days, claiming to be opressed because they have to call members of an actual victimised and opressed minority by their preferred pronouns, for example. Pronouns that are not ‘made up’ but in common everyday usage, I should add.

            I’m not a fan of that sort of legislation, for what it’s worth, but I’m way less of a fan of the reasons for it.

          5. Clampers Outside

            LOL! As if attempts at insults were anything to be concerned with coming from a gobdaw who is on record for arguing that accusation without proof is a legitimate form of debate. Pah! :)

  9. Gabby

    I support Eamonn Kelly for supporting freedom of discussion and for pointing out the verbal ploys of newspaper writers and others to try and curtail freedom of discussion.

      1. Clampers Outside

        It’s there already in all its pathetic glory sitting alongside the pathetic misandrists speech of the man hating cohort of feminism.

        1. Nigel

          Clamper, False Equivalnce should not be adopted as an overriding political philosophy, it’s a bad idea.

          1. Clampers Outside

            Hate is hate.

            Hate of the opposite sex by the other is hate no matter which sex is doing it…. no false equivalence made.

          2. Nigel

            Since one sex has spent most of recorded history opressing the other, we’re lucky at how little they hate us, and they’re certainly justified in fearing us. So hate may be hate, and hate is bad, but they will never be equivalent.

          3. Clampers Outside

            Spent most of recorded history oppressing the other….. Wtf…

            You really are an ideological zealot. There’s nothing I can say or do, nor want to at this point, as it is pointless when you refuse to read outside your bubble.

          4. Nigel

            I know you’re hypersensitive and extremely delicate about ‘are you saying’ sorts of questions but… are you saying men have not opressed women for most of recorded history?

          5. Clampers Outside

            I’m saying oppression was experienced by both sexes by monarchies and similar systems of power the elevated both men and women who oppressed the masses regardless of sex.

            Next you’ll be telling me women won the vote from men…. and that universal suffrage was won by women alone. Such is the Suffragette rewriting of history.

          6. Nigel

            All throughout history, no matter what class you were in, if you were a woman, you were inferior and subject to men of that and other classes. Bloody hell, are you really this stupid?

            I’m sure you have a perfectly fine rant about the evil Sufragettes ready to go, how about you spare us the deep weirdness where an entire gender being denied the vote was an opression experienced by both sides.

          7. Clampers Outside

            On the first para, you clearly don’t understand monarchies.

            On the second, dismissive nonsense, ignoring the point.

      2. EK

        Nigel, you didn’t read the article. You’re doing exactly what was under discussion. That was the entire point of the piece. That criticism is labelled as hate.

        1. Nigel

          I did read the article. There are men who avoid women, and a woman wrote about them in less than flattering terms, and there was one interview with a self-help guru beloved of the alt-right that wasn’t very good, therefore man hating feminists are threatening rational debate. You spent a lot of time on the one single interview as an exemplar of the threat to rationality, while avoiding the men avoiding women thing other than the rather general assertion that they feel maligned by misandrists, whereas I would have thought that if you were going to defend the men’s behaviour, you might have unpacked their reasoning in order to show that they were being unfairly maligned, rather than just asserting it.

          The fact of the matter is, women get subjected to a lot of hate. Loads of it. Unbelieveable amounts of it. Therefore if some criticism of women is labeled as hate by women, there are good grounds for investigating whether the label is accurate or reasonable before dismissing it as an effort to discredit masculinity. It may be an effort to discredit masculinity, but given the sheer weight of actual misogynistic hate versus efforts to discredit masculinity, it’s actually quite unlikley, and there really isn’t enough of it to pose a threat to rationality that’s comparable to the threat the unreasoning hatred of women already poses.

          1. Clampers Outside

            You only see the weight of one and not the other, even when the other gets to publish explicit hate pieces in mainstream media and persons like yourself Nigel see no issue with it…. That’s wilfully blind, to put it simply.

          2. EK

            Nigel, there is so only so much information a person can cram into a short article. Anyway, you seemed determined to grab the wrong end of the stick and take an obtuse stand. So if I had included the other examples I had gathered when researching the piece you would most likely have remained in more or less the same position with a different array of gripes to present. I chose the Newman interview because basically it covers the whole problem. Everything you’ve said is a repetition of the same old angles that I was highlighting in the article. Basically shoot the messenger. Like I said. You’re characterizing me as defending hate against women. That’s not the case. I am arguing against the Irish Times acting as a propaganda sheet for hatred of men. Two wrongs don’t make a right. You’re suggesting that because there is hatred of women that hatred of men then is “fair”. That doesn’t make sense.

          3. Nigel

            I’m not shooting you, I’m criticisng you. Remember criticism? You wrote an article about how women deflect criticism from themselves by rephrasing the criticism as an attack on themselves. Sound familiar? Perhaps you remember it? Seems like only the other day.

            If you’re going to write an article about ‘the sheer hatred of men,’ it behooves you to include pertinent and compelling examples, particularly when the example you do include is one single interview, and based entirely on how questions in the interview were framed rather than the actual questions. Which is to say – it is not a strong example of sheer hatred. Nor is mocking a group of men who have decided to swear off women because they’re not submissive enough. Swearing off women because they’re not submissive enough is a lot closer to sheer hatred, and you don’t have to dig far into that subculture to find actual examples of sheer hatred, but not against men. Women writing books and articles about men who swear off women is not an example of sheer hatred. Calling it such might even be regarded as a way of deflecting criticism of the subculture, though why anyone would want to do that i can’t fathom.

            In conclusion, if the Newman interview covers all the angles in the issue of feminist’s sheer hatred of men, (as opposed to hatred of Jordan Petersen – and when did it become wrong to hate self-help gurus?) I think that as a problem it may be wildly overstated.

          4. Nigel

            All the articles. Even Eamonn’s. You haven’t shown any actual misandry, and the one example you have shown seems to rely on your conviction that women have not been historically opressed by men. Of course, all instances of women talking about about being opressed by men will of course be misandry if you first stipulate that it never happened. Chackmate, I guess.

          5. Clampers Outside

            The ‘why can’t we hate…’ article explicitly says that she doesn’t mean it in any other way other than her desire to hate. There is no grey in that, its straight up, hate.

            How explicit do you want the misandry to be ffs.

          6. Nigel

            Yes, the desire to hate, the impulse to hate, and the why, to which there really is no answer, as well as the effort to not hate. I want the misandry to be actual misandry, not someone wrestling with their darker impulses.

          7. Clampers Outside

            She’s finished wrestling, she’s now hating, she says so. And calls for others to do the same.

        2. Clampers Outside

          +1 EK.

          Nigel has without intention demonstrated in numerous comments exactly what the article was about.

          I don’t always agree with your pieces Eamonn but you got plenty right in a short piece here, fair dues.

          Hope your weekend is going well.

  10. EK

    Thank you Clampers, and thanks to those who understood and supported the argument I was making. Nigel, I responded to an unfair criticism by you and an attempt by you to re frame my argument as being supportive of hate speech, the exact topic of the article. You can’t just do that and walk away whistling. You are actually demonstrating everything that the article set out to critique. I really have nothing more to say to you. BTW the Newman interview covered all the angles of the topic I was covering.

    1. Nigel

      Eamonn, your entire article is framing one interview as being indicative of hate speech, part of a concerted attack on science and rationality by a cohort of women who hate men. The one thing you fail to show is any actualy hatred of men. I leave the consequent disentangling of the layers of irony as an exercise for other readers.

      1. EK

        Nigel, No it is not. What you are doing is what Trump does, is what the students in McMaster did. You are making noise and sowing confusion so that Brandolini’s law will eventually undermine rational debate. You’re fooling no one only yourself. I see elsewhere you don’t know what know what misandry is either. It’s time you did some research for a change, and look up Brandolini’s law while you’re at it.

        1. Nigel

          Yet again you fail to show any hatred of men, instead attacking me. That’s fine, but let’s not pretend that’s not what’s happening.

          1. EK

            What do you think the sentiments in those Irish Times articles are motivated by Nigel? You tell me.

          2. Nigel

            An interest in a group of men who have decided to exclude women from their lives? Let’s be honest it’s pretty feckin’ weird. Unless you’re a monk or a Catholic priest, I suppose. Even then, it’s still weird, just… normalised… The fact thst it’s linked to women opening up with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse is not a good sign, to be honest. Anyway, what’s your point?

          3. Nigel

            You slopped up an entire article about women hating men with no examples of women hating men in it. That’s a lot of empty calories.

          4. Frilly Keane, Rebooted, Live and Dangerous

            After all the back an forth here
            On this thread
            Mainly between three men (assuming Nigel is male, or identifies as, btw, so hope I don’t offend)

            And some of the posts actually do have the potential to distress some women
            Not me, nothing here surprises me one bit

            So it’s a great relief to see this final post actually sum up the entire discourse under this column.

            You slopped up an entire article about women hating men with no examples of women hating men in it. That’s a lot of empty calories.

            Thank you Nigel
            Let myself and some of the girls buy you a pint sometime
            xV

          5. Clampers Outside

            Nigel supports Self ID… giving access to men to womens spaces…. Changing rooms, toilets, Refuge Centres, prisons, Sports, etc… That’s mysoginist, isn’t it… As many, many women are at pain to point out.

          6. AKA Frilly Keane

            And yet the point being endorsed – again, is
            You slopped up an entire article about women hating men with no examples of women hating men in it. That’s a lot of empty calories

            Par for course that you bring it back to your own issues

  11. EK

    Frilly, you borrowed that idea from Nigel. Clutching at straws I think. Do you have any ideas of your own? The same might be said of Nigel. Btw, you suggesting that the article is to do with my “issues”, again proves the argument of the article. Can you not make an argument with villifying the opponent? That’s the question. Apparently not.

    1. AKA Frilly Keane

      Firstly
      I didn’t borrow anything from Nigel
      I was endorsing and complimenting a single post of his/ their’s

      Secondly, I was referring to Clampers
      Not you
      But shur’ have your own way – since that’s what you are here to do

      Thirdly, if I may quote you without offending
      Do you have any ideas of your own?

      Please allow me to let the internet answer that

  12. EK

    Nigel, I’m not at all convinced by the argument you put forward. You had days to come up with something and all you managed was an evasion and another attempt to vilify someone. Please try again, in your own words…

    1. Nigel

      My arguments:
      1. You have written an article about women hating men with no examples of women hating men.
      2. That’s it. that’s the argument.

      1. EK

        Nigel, that’s not an argument. That’s an assertion backed by nothing. You really do have to do better. This is why I wrote that suggestion below, to help you focus on the issue. Earlier you suggested that vengeance justified the publication of material ridiculing and maligning masculinity. Please defend that.

        1. Nigel

          Well, it’s backed up by the lack of any examples of women hating men in your article. I’d make explicit references, but I can’t refer to what isn’t there.

        2. Clampers Outside

          Eamon, you should know that Nigel spent a day here arguing that accusations,?not unlike his assertions, regardless of any evidence to support them are legitimate debate tactics.

          It’s his bread and butter on here. It can get quite pathetically silly, yet amusing somewhat with the way he wallows in it with apparent pride filled ignorance :)

  13. EK

    Frilly and Nigel. I think a better approach to this might be if you both demonstrated why these articles in the Irish Times ridiculing and maligning masculinity are a good thing. What positive benefits do they serve? So far you’ve both only been attacking me, which was the subject of the essay. I critiqued those articles and the response is exactly what I said a response to such critiques are. So rather than do that, it would make more sense for you both to defend the negativity of such articles. Nigel already did so at one point by saying that women are hated, and I am quite aware of this and don’t condone this, at any level. But this appears to mean, that he justifies the negative content of those articles on the basis of revenge. Is that the case? Is the justification for such articles a belief that vengeance is due and deserved?

    1. Nigel

      You made some assertions about the article, and about the interview. The only textual reference you made, the only actual critique, to either was the interviewer’s repeated use of ‘so you are saying that…’ I don’t think anybody here disagrees that it’s a weak rhetorical technique to use for an entire interview.

      ‘Is the justification for such articles a belief that vengeance is due and deserved?’

      The purpose of the article was to inform. It seemed remarkably level-headed for an article by a woman about a group of men who have decided to exclude women from their lives, a group women would be well-advised to treat with caution. You did not draw attention to any inaccuracies, nor to instances of ‘hatred.’ Absent either, I’m not sure how an informative article can constitute ‘vengeance.’

      Incidentally, the idea that such a group could themselves form a threat to ‘rational debate’ doesn’t seem to cross your mind. In fact it seems to be taken for granted in your article that these men are acting rationally, and that Jordan Peterson (he of the meat-only diet) is a representative of science and rationality. Perhaps they are, but it doesn’t seem like a safe assumption to me.

  14. EK

    Nigel, you’re still attempting to discredit me personally. But the question is, does the fact of misogyny in some men justify misandry, which is the tone of those articles. And should the Irish Times be printing such material? As for proving that they are misandrist in intent, well that’s clear to anyone who wants to see. As such its unprovable. Your argument on that score is not unlike the tobacco lobby argument. Goodbye.

    1. Nigel

      No, I am not attempting to discredit you personally. I find your article to be fundamentally flawed. You are doing everything in your power to avoid addressing that flaw. You introduced the IT article, then went off to talk about a completely different interview. Now you are saying that the ‘tone’ of the article is misandrist, that this is clear for anyone to see, and also unprovable. Eamonn, nobody ever said the ‘tone’ of tobacco caused cancer and that it was clear for anyone to see and as such unprovable. They showed proof that tobacco caused cancer. The article is right there. Show me that it is misandrist.

  15. Clampers Outside

    For anyone with a genuine interest in the implications/impact of the use of terminology like “toxic” and attaching it to gender.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341832524_Reactions_to_contemporary_narratives_about_masculinity_A_pilot_study

    Abstract
    “Masculinity is frequently talked about in contemporary Western media as being in crisis, needing reform or even being ‘toxic’. However, no research to date has assessed the impact that this pervasive narrative might be having on people, particularly men themselves. This cross-sectional online pilot survey asked 203 men and 52 women (mean + SD age 46 + 13) their opinions about the terms toxic masculinity, traditional masculinity, and positive masculinity, and how they would feel if their gender was seen as the cause of their relationship or job problems. Most participants thought the term toxic masculinity insulting, probably harmful to boys, and unlikely to help men’s behaviour. Having feminist views, especially being anti-patriarchy, were correlated with more tolerance of the term toxic masculinity. Most participants said they would be unhappy if their masculinity or femininity were blamed for their work or relationship problems. Further analysis using multiple linear regression found that men’s self-esteem was significantly predicted by older age, more education, and a greater acceptance of traditional masculinity. Men’s mental positivity-which is known to be negatively correlated with suicidality-was significantly predicted by older age, a greater acceptance of traditional masculinity, and more education. Implications for the mental health of men and boys are discussed in relation to the narrative around masculinity in the media, social sciences, and in clinical psychology.”

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