Friday, April 18, 2014

They Walk Amongst Us

I've spent some time musing over whether certain prominent "manospherians" are psychopaths or sociopaths.  I was recently referred to this link which distinguishes the two conditions. 

One of the differences appears to be that sociopaths tend to act out in controlled, premeditated ways, to indulge in "calculated or opportunistic violence," and are "often social predators."  Psychopaths, on the other hand, tend to be impulsive, and more likely to run afoul of law enforcement.  So I will continue to use the term "sociopathic" to describe many of the behaviors I have observed by reading the manosphere.

We are learning that sociopaths are more common than previously acknowledged, and they often function at very high levels.  I've read several articles or books in the past year written by people who identify as sociopaths.  There is even considerable interest in whether, and in what ways, sociopaths serve society or whether sociopathy is an evolutionarily advantageous trait.  It's a topic that the manosphereans themselves occasionally discuss.

Personally, I have known two people in my life that I suspect were sociopaths, one a (now deceased) member of my own family.  So it appears they walk amongst us, and pass as "normal" most of the time.

And that's probably true of many of the "manospherian" bloggers themselves. Some of the manospherian bloggers and their commentators make such chilling pronouncements, evince such utter lack of empathy and such endless wells of rage, that it's hard to deny they exhibit sociopathic tendencies.  Of course, they're doing so, in most cases, under the cloak of anonymity.  Part of the threat of being "doxxed" in this 'sphere is that the disparity between their online and offline personas is so great that they have much to lose by being attached to the opinions they fearlessly share online.  They are well aware that by being doxxed, they will be exposed as freaks, objects of scorn, pity, and fear, to the very people they depend on most.

Of course, despite the handles they hide behind, the active participants inevitably drop clues when they refer to their "real" lives, and from these scattered crumbs it's clear that some of them occupy positions of considerable authority and public trust.  (It's enough to keep a person up at night!)

On the other hand, the same anti-social traits that make them "scary" (or at least damned peculiar) as individuals also keep them immobilized as a social or political group.  As the recent frenzy of doxxing and smearing proves, the most popular bloggers, despite being charismatic enough to generate followers, cannot form the kinds of strong alliances that would allow them to organize an effective campaign or exert much influence on society in general.  They can only wreak havoc on each other, the unfortunate people in their immediate circle (i.e., spouses and children), or upon targets that they perceive are powerless, weak, and unable to retaliate (although I think Paul Elam of AVfM may have seriously miscalculated when he decided to take on Prof. Mercier).

Is it possible that the "manosphere" is a symptom, not of some broad-seated social malaise, but of the internet giving the sociopaths who have always existed a loud (albeit rather impotent) "voice?" 

Note bene: Now I am in no way suggesting that everyone who has taken "the Red Pill" is sociopathic, of course.  In fact, most of the traffic on those sites is probably coming from very young disaffected youth who are looking for answers, an outlet to safely vent their frustrations, or a forum in which to entertain their fantasies of dominance.  A recent reddit survey indicates that the vast majority of respondents who characterized themselves as MRAs are between the ages of 17-20, white, and, while politically "extremely conservative," are not religious. Is it overly optimistic to trust that as they gain experience, intelligence, and find their paths in life, they will wander away from these dark recesses and integrate themselves into the mainstream?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Studies Show Trolls Often Sadists

Well, that's hardly surprising, is it?

What surprised me is that that any psychological research had been done on internet trolls.  Here's a link to a Mother Jones report published a few weeks ago.

UPDATE:  And in related news, This Ruthless World explains why some people who make "stupid jokes" anonymously need to be identified and sharply brought to heel.

Who's the Real Matt Forney?

Has anyone noticed that Matt Forney has adopted a new gravatar, a symbol perhaps of his renewed sense of purpose now that he has divorced the manosphere?  While certainly more dignified than a cartoon penis-head, it bears very little resemblance to the way he actually looked a few weeks ago when he was staggering down frolicking on Bourbon Street with his former comrade Danny of 504.  In fact, it's such a poor likeness that if I were Matt, I'd demand my money back from the artist who drew it.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!
A gravatar of gravitas, befitting a Serious Writer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

With Friends Like This...

They look like they were having fun at the time.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
So today Matt Forney had an ugly break up with his old pal Danny (via blog, of course), apparently because Danny didn't spend enough time with Matt when they "met up" at Mardi Gras last month, and because Danny declined to pick up Matt and the rest of the gang at the airport, and then Matt sprained his ankle, and yadda yadda yadda.  And also Danny isn't nearly the player he pretends to be (gasp! say it ain't so!) and is really short.  And a bunch of other stuff too, it just goes on and on and on... Anyway, as a result of all this betrayal and the way the Red Pill guys have been sucking up to Sunshine Mary, "The Manosphere is Dead And You Killed It." Now, I don't know if the Manosphere is "dead" (we should be so lucky!) but I must say some of the key participants remind me of nothing so much as a clique of middle school girls. Very mean middle school girls.

An Open Letter to Sunshine Mary

You may never see this, but I'll post anyway.

I know you gloated when I was doxxed and my name was smeared, and I know you think my blog is "batshit" (and you know I thought yours was too), but believe me when I say, with utmost sincerity, that I am sorry to read this attack on you.

Your attacker didn't reveal anything new to anyone, really.  He certainly didn't "prove" you were a fraud and he sure didn't prove you were "dangerous" or merited a full frontal assault of this nature.  By violating a basic tenet of internet discourse -- respecting people's rights to post anonymously, to have a voice on the internet without compromising their personal lives -- your attacker simply demonstrated once more his weak and ruthless character.  Anyone reading his post can see that he is motivated by envy of your success, self-hatred, and (I am sorry to point this out to a Red Pill Woman), his own deep-seated misogyny.

Believe it or not, I hope you'll come back.  Your blog was very popular and provided a lot of entertainment to people, regardless which side of the fence they were on.  

I won't promise to read what you write, and I can't promise that if I do read your posts I won't gleefully shred them to pieces, but I absolutely support your right to express your beliefs without fear of reprisal.   

CORRECTION:  SSM did not describe my blog as "batshit" (see comment below). Although if she had, it would be entirely within her rights to do so!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunshine Mary and I Have Something In Common

It's not simply that we're both emotionally labile middle aged bottle blondes who look at least ten years younger than our chronological ages. 

No, what Sunshine Mary and I have in common is that we're both absolutely flummoxed by the new technology. 

Really, old bags like Sunshine Mary and me have no business on the Internet because we can't for the life of us figure out how the darned thing works.  It's clearly all too much for our age-addled hamster brains to absorb.

When I read that the author of SunshineGary -- that arrogant sprout! -- had ridiculed SSM for having the internet skills of her 91 year old great-grandmother, I felt a certain pang of empathy for Mary.  After all, if I had known anything, I wouldn't have gotten doxxed, would I?  Some people are so mean, aren't they? Probably because they're jealous of our accumulated womanly wisdom. That's why I am going to take a leaf from Sunshine Mary's good book and start praying for them.

I didn't know Mary was renouncing her blogging addiction vocation until this morning, when I checked my oh-so-modest stats to discover a dozen readers popping in from a link on Sunshine Mary's blog.  Since I've only mentioned Miss Mary a couple of times*, I was puzzled.  Imagine my surprise when the link took me directly to her more "exclusive" Word Press blog in which she had posted an extremely lengthy and incoherent "farewell" to her most special fans.  Embedded in this byzantine (and to an "outsider," incomprehensible) post was a link to a comment an anonymous reader, a former acquaintance of Mary's,  had posted here on my (her words) "batshit blog" many moons ago.

It seems to have taken Mary a full day to figure out what she had done ("Oops!"), at which point she set her blog to "private," but the readers keep trickling in, now from a site called Get Off My Internets

If I'd known most of my traffic would come from people so hungry to read about Sunshine Mary (and JudgyBitch), I'd have blogged more about them.  

Lordy, lordy, the manosphere IS all about the red pill women, isn't it?
* I just can't get into that Christian submissive red pill wife melodrama!  It's too kinky for a vanilla "hetero-flexible" feminist like me!