Monday, August 10, 2015

Ronda Rousey Needs to be the Face of Feminism, Gender is Biological, and an Explanation of Why San Diego Man Camp Will Change the World

Since I started the San Diego Man Camp project a few months ago, we've (expectedly) encountered a lot of criticism that's based on preconceived notions of what we're trying to accomplish instead of what we're actually trying to accomplish. I generally don't care if people disagree (it amuses me because it's so predictable), but some of the men that could find our work valuable might disregard us because they think we're something we're not.

This post will clear that up by outlining exactly how we frame the issue of gender and gender equality, why we disregard many modern third and fourth wave feminists, what will happen if we do not change, and a road map to a brighter future. For those that are functionally illiterate or those that don't have 30-60 minutes to read and follow the more interesting links:

tl:dr - Many flavors of modern feminism fuck up society by castrating men and making unhappy women; gender is a biological construct, not a social construct; many of our patriarchal social institutions were set up to control men, not women; if we don't solve this problem, we're heading towards a very bleak future that places our children in the crosshairs; and Ronda Rousey is a perfect role model for a new fifth wave of feminism.


The Problem with Modern Feminism

Back in the day, the first and second waves of feminism fought for voting rights and equality under the law and throughout the judicial system. This was a brave, virtuous fight, and the women that fought this battle are heroes. Many of my thoughts on gender have been influenced by the early feminists.

The third wave of feminism, which began around the early 1990's, started to transition the focus of gender equality from the legal arena to the social arena. In some ways, this was important, especially because feminists fully recognized the first two waves did not account for the diversity of all women. The third wave feminists also started questioning gender roles and stereotypes and tackling issues like sexual assault, domestic violence, and access to contraception. The sex-positive feminists are part of this group and were a major influence on my No Bone Zone project, which was designed to help couples overcome the dreaded "dead bedroom" scenario

While this should have been a good thing, far too many feminists bought into the idea that gender was a social construct that was infinitely malleable and had no basis in biology. This led some of the third wave feminists to advocate eliminating gender or suggesting there are no social or biological consequences for ignoring gender. I'll discuss that issue of gender as a social construct separately later in the post. Some of the third wave feminists also started redefining the very definition of "gender equality" from "equality under the law" to "everyone should be equal" or "everybody should have equal outcomes regardless of contribution or ability." That seismic shift led to the fourth wave of feminism where gender entitlement replaced gender equality.

Fourth wave feminism takes the idea that gender is a social construct and uses it as a justification to essentially attempt to create a weird fascist-like radical socialist dystopian social order. Sounds bat-shit crazy, right? One of the most concise, accurate essays on the matter was written by writer Zoe Zorka, and can be found here. Give it a read. She perfectly sums up the inherent logical and logistical flaws with the fourth wave feminists. 

The biggest problem I have with the fourth wave feminists is their tendency to flat-out lie to women. For example:

Fundamentally, modern feminists fail to ask - "Am I creating a world I really want to live in?" Given that 82% percentage of the U.S. population does not identify with feminism, the answer should be obvious. Modern feminism went from being a virtuous cause to a damn popularity contest with the cool girls bullying anyone and everyone that disagrees

Later in this post, I'll suggest a plan that will correct the course of feminism that accounts for biology AND assures all of us, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, culture, disability, age, or whatever other demographic grouping you want to consider - will live in a world where we have equal opportunity, equal possibility, and equal responsibility. First, I'll discuss the real purpose of the patriarchy that denied women rights, then I'll tackle the myth of gender being a social construct.

Gender is Biological

My academic background was in experimental social psychology with a focus on sex and gender, but I studied under a lot of evolutionary psychologists. A few were strong proponents of sociobiology. I had always assumed anyone that studied gender, including feminists, agreed that "gender" had a strong biological component because that's how all my feminist mentors operated. For close to two decades, I worked off that assumption. 

When I started studying the effects of gender on male and female sexual practices in long-term relationships for the No Bone Zone project, I was a bit shocked and dismayed that many of the people that wrote about gender issues sincerely believed gender was entirely a social construct. Many took it even farther and asserted that gender was created by men to oppress women. The result of this belief is some rather comical assertions, such as:
  • Physical appearance doesn't matter. When I first heard this, I assumed it meant "all of us have value as humans that transcends physical appearance", which is true. Our value to humanity isn't measured by our physical traits. But that's not what these folks meant. They were literally arguing that appearance has no effect on how we treat each other (they've never heard of the halo effect) or worse, we are attracted to everyone in the exact same way. That supermodel is as attractive as the diseased, morbidly obese addict sleeping on the street corner. My challenge to that sentiment is simple - let me choose a person as the genetic donor and co-parent to your children. If appearance doesn't matter, that shouldn't be an issue, right? To date, nobody has taken me up on the challenge. 
  • Gender is malleable. Gender, since it's biologically-determined, is a lot like sexual orientation. We can act like something we're not, but it's just not who we are. People can attempt to change our gender, which ends up looking a lot like "gay conversion therapy." That particular practice is so absurd, it's being outlawed. My own experiences with living as a beta male confirm this. I lived a lie for most of my life because that's what I was told I was supposed to be. Needless to say, life is a Hell of a lot better these days.
  • All men innately have all the tools to be a woman, and all women innately have all the tools to be a man. This takes gender malleability a step farther and claims any of us can successfully engage in gender thoughts and behaviors that fundamentally differ from the gender we naturally identify with. If this were the case, men and women shouldn't have any problems communicating with each other. Men should intuitively understand every aspect of the female experience, and vice versa. Anyone that doesn't live under a rock understands the silliness of these ideas.
It should be noted that the actual definitions of gender (and biological sex, genetic sex, sexual orientation, and all they gray areas of each) are operationally defined by people researching the constructs, the actual underlying principles are rooted in our biology. How any of those biologically-determined constructs manifests itself in society can be influenced by the environment, but that doesn't mean they are socially-constructed. That's the not-so-logical leap modern feminists seem to take. 

Even a VERY rudimentary knowledge of how the human nervous system and endocrine system works should dispel that notion... but apparently it doesn't. Or biology is simply ignored. This article in Psychology Today, by an evolutionary psychologist, provides a nice outline of the common feminist "gender is social" fallacies. We know men and women have a lot of significant differences in brain structures and function, and these differences cannot be attributed to social conditioning because they start in utero. We know men and women produce different combinations of hormones, and those hormones control a lot of stereotyped gender behaviors. We know we can alter stereotypical gender behaviors by artificially altering hormones

Yet all of that data is completely ignored by the "gender is a social construct" crowd because it invalidates their entire narrative and kills their pity-inducing tendency to play the victim

Interestingly, their take on gender not only ignores the biological basis of gender behavior, but it also dismisses all kinds of other issues of biology affecting behavior and famous gender-related cases. I already mentioned sexual orientation; it's pretty clear that there's a strong biological component at work there. What about mental disorders? If we say gender can't be biological in nature, then can we also say major depression, the personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are socially-constructed and people can "just get over them?" How about the John/ Joan or Caitlyn Jenner cases? Are we socialized for handedness, too?

Before we get to the discussion on where our society is heading, it's important to address the issue of "The Patriarchy." Aside from my training as an experimental psychologist, I also earned a history and social studies degrees (I wasted a lot of time and money on post-secondary education.) Social history was a favorite topic of mine, and I see a lot of complete and total misunderstandings about the how and why humans developed patriarchal systems from the earliest beginnings of our civilization. 

The Real Purpose of "The Patriarchy"

Fighting against "The Patriarchy" is a pretty common strawman argument used today to justify all sorts of attempts at silly social engineering. It IS true; we used to have a patriarchal system of government. Women were excluded from representation. Winning the freedom of equality under the law was the original goals of feminism. As I stated before, that was a great thing. People don't seem to understand, though, that patriarchy was a system to control men, not women. Women were oppressed under the system, but that was incidental to the real purpose of patriarchy.

The idea that men would have to create an entire social structure to control women should fall apart immediately when you consider one simple, irrefutable fact - men are physically stronger than women. Men don't need elaborate social structures like religion, codified laws and a judiciary, and social mores to control women. They can simply use force. Testosterone gives us a size, strength, and speed advantage, along with the capacity and primal drive to use aggression to engage in extreme violence.

Controlling each other, though... now that takes some work. THAT is the reason men developed "The Patriarchy."

To understand why men need to be controlled, you really have to understand the nature of masculinity. Masculine men have that shit-ton of testosterone flowing through our bodies, and that causes all sorts of well-documented behavioral and attitudinal characteristics. This effect leads men to follow one of three "paths" that are driven by our primal, biological imperative:

  • Create
  • Destroy
  • Enjoy
That's it. Those are the three options men have. If we create, we find a passion that helps our fellow man and follow it with all our heart. We become givers and strive to make ourselves the best version of us we can possibly become. This is the vehicle that has led to pretty much every major advancement of humanity. The problem with "creating" is that it's hard work. There are few tangible rewards along the way except for the journey itself. In fact, the overarching goal of the San Diego Man Camp (join our Facebook group if you haven't already done so.) This is also why I kind of despise beta males... they refuse to improve themselves or do the hard work to create. They sit on their asses, content with being "special for who they are." Anyway, I digress.

If we destroy, we become takers. This would include petty criminals, con artists, rapists, murderers, evil dictators, etc. Biggest problem with destroyers is that it's a lot easier than being a creator and one man can do a Hell of a lot of damage. A small group of men can do even more. We don't want men to do this; it sends society backward.

The final option is to simply kick back and do nothing productive OR destructive. Weirdly, men have the capacity to be ridiculously industrious AND complete and total lazy fucks. This is your typical lazy fuck beta male chump today, which is encouraged by modern feminists that attempt to "redefine masculinity."

So what does this have to do with patriarchy? 

Waaaayyyy back in our evolutionary history when we were still hunting and gathering, men didn't really have much of a choice. They were productive when they needed to hunt or build shit for the tribe. They were destructive when they had to protect the tribe or forcefully acquire resources from neighboring tribes. Finally, they were lazy the rest of the time to conserve energy for famines and other harsh environmental conditions. The tribes that had the most men that could successfully do all three survived and killed those that were less successful. See where those drives originated and were selected via natural selection? 

Eventually we discovered agriculture, which led to villages, towns, and eventually cities. Larger, more diverse populations and more specialization meant not all men needed to use all three of these drives, but we still possessed the potential. And sometimes bad shit happened when men decided to destroy. Or get lazy. The leaders, at some point, started devising ways to control and channel men into a pro-social way. Those methods fell into three categories:

  • Force
  • Bribes
  • Family Life

The problem with force is that it takes a lot of time and resources, and doesn't work especially well over a long period of time. Imagine a dude standing over your cubicle with a whip. Positive punishment, in operant conditioning terms, needs to be immediate, severe, and consistent to be effective. You end up needing almost as many whip-crackers as male workers. That's a pretty inefficient system.

The problem with bribes is that it takes a lot of resources and it causes an extrinsic motivation effect where we eventually hate what we're "paid" to do. Think of how many Americans today despise their jobs. Without kids to raise and sex (only the rich handsome males had regular access to women, that's why the ancients were polygynist), there was little motivation to work for rewards long-term because the rewards become ineffective. 

That left "family life." At some point, leaders realized men would be motivated to choose the "create" option if they were doing it to provide for a wife and kids. He would be motivated by sex from his wife and the desire to get his genes into the next generation.

The problem with family life is that we're not all that well-suited for lifelong monogamous pair-bonding. We're inherently kinda slutty AND there's the problem with polygyny I mentioned before where only the best males had wives. The idea of monogamous marriage and the expectation of sexual fidelity solves that problem because it gives a lot more men access to wives. However, it requires systems to control men's desire to fuck as many women as possible and women's tendency to always seek the best male they can attract. THAT is where all the oppression of patriarchy comes from. The oppression of females, which did happen, was just a consequence of controlling men. 

Today, we've effectively ended the patriarchy. Women now have all the legal freedoms men historically enjoyed. We now have a social, legal, and economic system that allows women access to anything and everything men have access to, which includes government support should they decide or become a single mother. It's easy to get married, easy to get divorced, premarital sex and cohabitation are common and accepted, serial monogamy has replaced "till death" monogamy as the norm, and ethical, consensual nonmonogamy is increasing in popularity

Needless to say, all of us have incredible freedom. But that freedom comes at a very, very serious cost because far too many of us still deny that gender matters. A lot

Thanks feminists. Thanks.

The Future We're Creating

I don't want to spend a ton of time discussing where we are as a society right now, as it's my favorite topic to discuss in this blog and over at my other Sexpressionists blog. Besides, I've linked to a thousand articles earlier in this post. Needless to say, we're not at the doorstep of the magical Utopia we dreamed about a few decades ago.

The saying "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." is entirely appropriate here.

If we continue the trend we're on where we try to engineer new definitions of gender and continue to blindly sabotage our primal, biological imperative, here are a few things we can expect:
  • Explosion of single moms. Since the 1960's the number of children being raised by single moms has absolutely exploded. As much as we'd like to consider this a "victory", the actual data on the outcomes of children raised by single mothers is terrifying. As I've mentioned in a few of the linked articles throughout, the erosion of pair-bonding as a result of the ease of divorce, the widespread use of hormonal birth control (ironic, right?), and the explosion of beta males all contribute to this effect, and it's only going to get worse. The effects we see today in the African American community will soon extend to most cultural groups here in the U.S. It benefits all of us to work to assure families stick together. 
  • MGTOW. The Men Going Their Own Way movement, sadly, is an often-mocked movement (via calls to "man up!" from feminists) of men that, well, have given up on women. Their rationale is simple. Men have been told they can't approach women without coming across as a total beta chump, all men are rapists, and if you get married you can expect to be taken to the cleaners and lose your kids when she leaves you. In a world where men are routinely vilified by women, this is an attractive option. We only have to look across the Pacific to see what effect this has on a culture. Or take a look at this piece
  • Alpha players will, well, play. A lot. A few days ago, I shared this piece on my Facebook wall. The gist - women were upset that a handful of very high value (i.e. - hot, wealthy, confident alpha males) were using Tinder to hook up with absurd numbers of women, but refusing to commit. Amusingly, the author seemed to be attempting to shame the men into stopping. Ladies, you're never going to be able to present an argument for change to a dude that's getting unlimited, free, hot women that are willing to have sex within a very short time of meeting. Ever. In a society that's becoming more and more saturated with beta males, the dividends of being an alpha are skyrocketing. Hell, that's the reason I started the SDMC! Modern feminism has sold the idea that dudes have to be a beta to earn a woman's love. The dudes that recognize those same feminists have zero sexual attraction to the dudes they're creating just smile. They're too smart to buy into the hype because, well, they have eyes. The situation described in this article will only get worse. Good for me and my alpha-making SDMC, but terrible for the ladies that can't get the alpha unicorns to commit AND the beta males that don't sexually arouse women. 
  • We can expect to see increased mass shootings, increased drug use, and an increased prison population. We can't just "redefine masculinity" and make testosterone go away. As those early leaders of civilization learned, men are either going to create, destroy, or sit on their asses playing Call of Duty, and the only way to control that is punishment, bribes, or family life. Guess which ones are more popular today, and even MORE popular tomorrow?
There's an important point that needs to be addressed before I get to my solution for all of this:

We live in the safest, most prosperous, most technologically-advanced free society in the history of humanity.

I honestly think we'd have to go back to the pre-European encroachment days of Native American culture to find a society that could have the potential we have right now. But we're fucking ourselves over because we can't see what's right in front of our noses. This will come crashing down around us if we don't change. 

How to we turn this ship around? We don't have to turn back the clock to the days of our patriarchal past. We don't have to smash any of our social institutions. We don't have to embrace a radical quasi-Marxist philosophy. All we need to do is make a subtle change in how we attribute gender from social to biological, really embrace that change, then find a role model and follow her lead. 

Here's my plan:

Why Ronda Rousey Should be the New Face of Feminism

Before reading on, watch this forty-five second clip:

Now read this post about why Ronda gives us a fear boner.

Okay, got it? The reason I believe Rousey needs to be the new face of feminism is because she perfectly exemplifies the definition of gender equality all of us need to use regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, culture, disability, age, or whatever other demographic grouping you want to consider - will live in a world where:

We have equal opportunity, equal possibility, and equal responsibility.

Nothing more, nothing less. 

The biggest misunderstanding modern feminists have (well, aside from the "gender is biological" thing) is that men aren't "entitled" to jack shit. We literally start with nothing. I honestly think many women believe men automatically get all sorts of advantages just because we have a penis. When women use examples of "male privilege", they hold up examples of rich, attractive, powerful men that have either built empires or inherited empires. They don't use the garbage man that's literally arms-deep in trash as an example. Or the guy earning minimum wage that loads packages on the UPS truck in the warehouse. Or the roofer baking in the summer sun. Or the high school dropout that couldn't sit still long enough to read MacBeth. 

Fundamentally, too many women don't understand men have to earn everything in life. It's not even enough to just work hard and you'll be entitled to the spoils of victory - you need to actually succeed. There are no participation trophies in real life. You need to have the urge to ruthlessly compete and utterly dominate in order to get anything in this world... if you're a man. 

Some women DO get this. Some women have that cutthroat drive to succeed, thus earn the respect of those they lead and inspire. Hell, Shelly (my wife) does just that whenever she takes the mat when training Brazilian jiu jitsu. You don't get respect by showing up. You get a little respect for working hard. But to get respect to get to the top of the social hierarchy? You gotta close.

And how about some golden words about what it takes to succeed from Arnold:

Now, I know my hippie readers will say "but women bring a different mindset to business, and we can win through cooperation instead of competition!" While that's a nice sentiment, it simply doesn't happen. We live in a global economy where there are winners and bankruptcy. Any publicly-traded company is beholden to their shareholders and will (must) do anything and everything possible to make as much profit as possible. We can wish that were different, but the moment one company tries, they'll be devoured by their competition. Only a fool would think otherwise. 

Feminine personality characteristics have an incredible utilitarian value; we cannot survive as a species without them. Hell, I'm a huge proponent of masculine men learning and developing their feminine characteristics because it takes the edge off the rough edges of masculinity. That's the whole idea of being a gentleman. We need a society where anyone and everyone regardless of any demographics has the freedom to express gender however their biological predisposition mandates. We have to stop trying to socially engineer gender just because we don't understand it. Anyway, I digress. Again.

So back to Ronda. 

I believe she is the perfect face for a "fifth wave" of feminism because she understands gender. As I discussed in the "fear boner" post, she has a crazy-competitive masculine side that is directly responsible for her effectiveness inside the Octagon. Unlike the entitled "do nothing bitch" that's not willing to compete and expects to be given what others must earn (which is perfectly fine for women that aren't competing), Ronda understands what is needed to get to the top. The fact that she has been able to balance that masculine side with her sexy feminine side is a powerful indicator that she really understands gender. She understands gender isn't something we need to destroy, rather it's something we need to embrace.  

The good news, as I see it, is that more and more women besides my wife and Ronda are starting to realize the abandonment of gender is a really, really stupid idea. Here's a nice quote by Zoey Deschanel about being an unapologetic girly-girl. Other women are on-board, too

Hell, even ardent feminists admit they're aroused by alpha men. We know this is biological. Why can't some of us drop this charade and realize we'll all be a lot happier if we accept the masculine and feminine are complimentary, not adversarial? 

Great things happen when we stop seeing the world we wish and start seeing the world that is. Every second we spend wasting our lives telling ourselves lies is a second we'll never get back. Do we really want to squander time, our single most precious resource? A whole lotta people, many of which are reading this right now, are doing just that. We only get one chance at life. You get to make the choice to make the most of it. 

Like the sentiment of this post? Please share!


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