On Being In Between

Zek J. Evets doesn’t see any “side” in gender conflict that can help him come to terms with his bad experiences.

I was 18. She was 16. She had just falsely accused me of rape.

It was one of those moments when you realize you believed people were basically good, rational, understanding—and then those naive cobwebs were being ripped off my shoulders.

Flash-forward to the present. I find myself seemingly caught in the fray of today’s gender issues from extremes at all angles. The SPLC calls men’s rights a “hate movement” at the same time as Republicans are attempting to deny women the right to control their own fertility. On the radio women are being verbally attacked for speaking out on public policy and across the Atlantic there are men suffering from domestic violence with no resources to support them.

But where do I fit in? Pro-feminist, anti-misandric. Where do I fit in this Men’s Rights Movement? I’ve got Paul Elam supporting legally abused fathers who can’t even see their own children, but simultaneously testified that he won’t convict a man who has committed rape even in the face of overwhelming evidence. I’ve got David Futrelle mocking misogynist bullying on Reddit, but his comments-section hosts bashing of male survivors and men falsely accused of rape, including me.

How do I reconcile the cognitive dissonance of living as Schrodinger’s rapist and supporting women’s rights? How can I square the virulent misogyny of Roissy Heartiste to the intense social ostracism of my fellow gamer-nerds?

♦◊♦

When she accused me of rape, I couldn’t believe it. I stared at her, but not at her. I stared into the space your mind becomes when you’re suddenly hurled into the torrent.

I’d dumped her weeks ago. She kept arguing with my friends, and it was awkward dating someone in high school even though we were only two years apart. But that didn’t stop her from stalking me—at work, at home, at my college classes. I once caught her going through my garbage. Yet I didn’t say anything to anyone. I didn’t tell my Dad. I didn’t tell her parents. I didn’t tell the police. I kept it to myself, thinking I could just deal with it.

But I couldn’t. After my Dad and I moved to a new neighborhood, she started calling me every day. At 2:43 AM she threatened to chop my balls off. At 10:27 PM she was screaming that she’d shoot me with her Daddy’s gun. At 5:56 PM she left a message telling me that I’d pay for “breaking her heart”. She told me she had to do it because it was “empowering”; I had seemingly oppressed her by refusing her.

I eventually resigned myself to a meeting. I thought, well, if she can get some insults in, maybe try to slap me a bit, maybe she’ll leave me alone then. I was so anxious, so tired, so over it.

When we met up that day in Redwood park the first thing she said was she’d told her Dad. Told him what?, I asked. That you raped me, she said. She said it so casually, affecting nonchalance, that I almost laughed at it. But she didn’t smile. She just watched me. My mind and mouth sputtered in unison. That’s impossible, we’ve never even had sex! We barely made out…

She didn’t care. Told me it was for what I did to her, that if I went to jail for statutory rape I wouldn’t ever break up with her again. Despite my teenage feeling of invincibility, I got scared then. Very scared. I knew what happened to young guys in prison, how dudes in the locker-room would always joke, “Don’t drop the soap!”

I ran home. Started doing research. I called attorneys from the phone-book and pleaded for help. I went to the police, and they didn’t even believe my story. It took meeting her lawyer, alone, with nothing but statements from my friends as alibis and playbacks of the voicemails she left, for the nightmare to dwindle. The lawyer walked away when I played the message of her voice screaming that she was going to kill me. Her Dad started noticing holes in her story, but only after I showed him pictures of her waiting outside my intro to Anthro class. They eventually dropped the charges.

I came that close to being handcuffed before a judge. I came that close to becoming just another one of the 1.36 million men in prison.

But I soon learned that my kosher ass was the exception in a long line of falsely accused men, from Scottsboro to Hofstra. I soon learned that Black & Hispanic men don’t walk away from false rape claims like I did. I soon learned how poor boys and men went to jail because they couldn’t afford the cost of DNA testimony or a decent attorney.

Hyperventilation was the least of my worries on future dates. I took a long time to recover. I was afraid of women. I was afraid to trust, to even be alone with them. I dropped my social life and became a full-time Dr. Pepper & hot-pocket, cyber-cafe, World of Warcrack addict. It was so much easier to lose myself in some pixelated landscape, pretending to be a hero, than to think about going to bed alone every night and having nightmares of bars slamming shut, looking out towards a disembodied woman’s smile and some convict’s hands pressing me up against the wall a la American History X.

It was 4 years of celibacy. 4 years without a date, a kiss, or even a smile.

♦◊♦

Today I have a beautiful girlfriend and a healthy long-term relationship. It’s strange how things change, and how they stay the same.

Meanwhile I shake my head at how much male advocacy is wrapped in coatings of misogyny & misandry so thick that I can barely stomach the taste.

What do I say to the girl at my bus-stop reading the biography of Lorena Bobbitt after putting on make-up to cover the bruises her ex-boyfriend gave her? Sorry, I’m too busy worrying about teh menz? What do I say to the pick-up artist who wants to sexually use women like they used to emotionally abuse him? Get away creepster, women are more oppressed so we don’t have time for you?

Screw that.

Still I wish. I wish this Men’s Rights Movement was more about helping poor boys in bad schools go to college, instead of exploding Vesuvius-style over the latest Gawker article. I wish feminists wouldn’t justify their racism and transphobia in the name of women’s rights. I wish girls didn’t feel pressured to objectify themselves. I wish fathers had rights.

I wish, I wish, I wish. But it doesn’t build me any bridges. I don’t fit neatly into these shoeboxes made of outrage. I don’t know how to play this zero-sum game. Maybe I lost the instruction manual somewhere along the way between my own false accusation and the first time my girlfriend told me why she was afraid to walk alone at night.

But do you know what I wish for more than anything? That if or when I have a son, I can raise him to be a good man—whatever that is—that there’s a men’s movement out there to support him, and all of us. So instead of constantly antagonizing feminists for not being masculists, or wasting my time apologizing for a patriarchy I didn’t create, and which hasn’t done me a damn thing, I’m gonna make a break from partisan politics. I’m gonna go out and actually do something.

Is anyone with me?

Photo— pumpkinmook/Flickr

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About Zek J. Evets

Here's my bio: Zek J. Evets is a Writer. Musician. Artist. Anthropologist. Melancholic. Pessoptimist. Troubadour. Doodler. People-Watcher. Urban Explorer. Hopeful-Romantic. Pataphysician. Saboteur Academic. Now ten odd-jobs, seven near-death experiences, and three college degrees later Zek enjoys playing saxophone in the Oakland apartment he shares with his girlfriend, while working as a writer in the Bay Area. He blogs at zekjevets.blogspot.com

Comments

  1. Elam’s quote is not extreme, all legal students are taught that famous maxim, and the maxim is there to protect the people from tyranny. What he was saying was if they are going to take away the presumption of innocence and the system won’t up hold the maxim, we should take things into our own hands. Also what a lot of people don’t understand about the men’s movement is still at the agitation stage, at the moment there isn’t anyway for it to go other than to be controversial.

    • I don't know says:

      As a man who was raped, I’d sometimes like to take things into my own hands. But not in the way you’re talking about.

    • AlekNovy says:

      Paul Elam was not saying “If you know a man has raped a woman, make sure he’s released anyway”.

      He was saying that the system is set up in such a way that if you’re in a jury you have NO WAY of knowing if a man is guilty, becase of feminist laws. They’re set up in such a way that certain things can not be revelaed to the jury, even if they’re evidence against the accuser (due to feminist logic about protecting the woman’s feeeeelingggzzz).

      The law is set up in such a way that it says “Women’s feelings and reputations are more important than ensuring innocent men are kept free” – to the point where as a jury member you will not be allowed to learn all relevant information.

      • Alek,

        He was saying that the system is set up in such a way that if you’re in a jury you have NO WAY of knowing if a man is guilty, becase of feminist laws.

        Yes, he did say that as well. But he did not say we should refuse to convict someone we know to be guilty of rape based on that scenario. (At least, not at the same time that he made this next statement.) Rather, he said, if he were on a jury and even though the evidence was conclusive, and more importantly even though *he knew* the man to be guilty of the crime, he would refuse to convict him because the system is stacked. I’m not sure how this justifies it, but that’s what the man wrote. And he also advocated that other men do likewise.

        I’m kind of saddened that a significant minority of commenters here are so committed to debating this issue which is really non-relevant.

        1) There is no debate over what Elam said. Attempts to bring-up the questionable useage of rape shield laws, kangaroo courts, and mis-reporting by the media are red herrings to the above-noted issue that Elam advocated for. What he said has been almost universally condemned. It’s been shown to be immoral, illegal, and impractical. It doesn’t help those falsely accused, rape victims, the MRM, or even women’s groups. In fact, outside of the MRA (which is but a small piece of the MRM) very few in the MRM support it.

        It’s like debating whether or not the Earth is flat. Sure, you can bring up all the problems with NASA photos or radio glitches you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Earth isn’t flat. Same here. The problem with the law doesn’t change the problem of refusing to fulfill your duty as a juror.

        2) My sentence about Elam is a small part of my total post, and so far none of the commenters supporting Elam have really addressed the actual issue I’m talking about with regards to “sides” or creating change. The insistence to nit-pick one piece of a larger world of gender issues is derailing, and tragic.

        But like I’ve said throughout my post and comments, that’s why I’m committed to actually enacting change instead of just talking about it.

        • “The insistence to nit-pick one piece of a larger world of gender issues is derailing, and tragic.” Thanks for this post, Zek.

        • I don’t care if libel you engaged in was only a small part of a larger article you wrote.

          I’m correcting you in terms of your horrible libel. Don’t give me this “bigger picture” nonsense. Engaging in libel is what “dennis prager” calls “the rape of a name”.

          Moderator’s Note: We moderate heavily for hostile commenting because it creates an environment non-conducive to community participation. If you have issues with the piece, the author, or the site you can contact any of the editors listed on the masthead.

          • @Moderator?

            How is it hostile to clarify the situation?

            He lied about something.

            Commenters called him out for lying.

            He said it doesn’t matter, since it’s not the point of his article.

            Note: Publications are responsibile for libel contained with their articles, not just the authors. You approve articles manually, you are not facebook.

            Moderator’s Note: If you believe that an author is responsible for libel, please contact the CEO, or Editor in Chief of the publication, and their emails are readily available on the masthead. Otherwise please take the accusations out of the thread.

            • Alek,

              I’m sorry that you personally feel that I’m lying, but I’m really not. Not about my experiences, or anywhere in my post. Despite your insistence to suddenly frame my comments as “libel”, they aren’t because: 1) libel has to be untrue, 2) libel requires knowing that it is untrue and proceeding with intent to cause harm 3) public speech is not covered by libel-laws. As a working writer I understand libel laws intimately. You may check my sources if you disbelieve my statements, but you’ll find they comply with libel laws and, more importantly, are wholly accurate.

              That said, sir, are you really calling me a liar, and comparing my post to rape? Because that *could* be construed as libel based on your apparent definition, ironically enough. Moreover, are you really presuming that I don’t care about the truth of what Elam said? I find your intent to derail my post and deliberately twist my comments to be in bad faith. It plays into exactly why I don’t care for the zero-sum game of MRA versus Feminists, nor the increasing radical fundamentalism in gender issues. This about people’s lives, not our personal prejudices; your comments further cement this truth in my mind, and hopefully in the minds of others.

              As for me personally, I thank you for your comments, but wish you could exercise better judgement.

            • You said “Rather, he said, if he were on a jury and even though the evidence was conclusive, and more importantly even though *he knew* the man to be guilty of the crime, he would refuse to convict him because the system is stacked.”

              What Elam actually said was ” Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.”

              Elam followed this up with “In this, the age of misandry, not one aspect of a rape case can be trusted. The accuser cannot be trusted. The police that take statements, gather evidence and make arrests cannot be trusted. The prosecutor trying the case cannot be trusted. The judge cannot be trusted.

              With rape shield laws and their trampling of every defendants right to a fair trial, the law itself cannot be trusted.”

              At no point does Elam say “And even if I know the man to be guilty, I will acquit”.

            • Blueface,

              Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.

              Apparently you’re making a semantical argument that what he says right there is not what he’s actually saying? Sorry, but I’m confused, and also shaking my head that you don’t see the problems with Elam’s statement. But as Vonnegut said, “so it goes.”

              Like I’ve said consistently, my post is about more than the semantics of Elam’s statement. Perhaps you’ll consider that too, even though presently you’re not. Read it, and read the links. There’s a lot of stuff in there people should learn about. Yes, even you.

              Take care dude.

  2. Since the author dodged the bullet of false rape accusation and it has just become a bitter experience of the past, he has trouble identifying himself with a side in gender conflict. If he had gone to prison like other unlucky men for even a single day for being falsely accused of rape, he would not even have had a pint of doubt on which side he should be.

    • Rapses,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I’m curious, how is any false rape accusation that doesn’t conclude in imprisonment “dodging a bullet” when taking into account all the shame, pain, suffering, and fear that comes of being falsely accused of rape? I know I don’t feel as if I “dodged a bullet” but rather dodged going to prison — and in that sense I’m lucky — and certainly other men falsely accused of rape who didn’t end up in prison would likely agree that the experience is harrowing whether or not you go to jail. Furthermore, I like to think that if I had gone to prison, I wouldn’t blame all women for the actions of one woman. I like to think I’m smarter than that.

      But I’m sensing so much anger from you that I have to wonder, has something like this ever happened to you? If so, do you feel embittered by it, or do you feel stronger by surviving it? You can choose to share or not. I felt stronger once I had finally dealt with the demons I was left with, and sharing has really helped me grow as a person.

      Also, why do there have to be sides in this gender conflict? Is the battered woman at the bus stop any better off than the emotionally abused Pick-up Artist? Instead of conflict, I’m looking for change. I can’t “pick a side” when so many of my loved ones are men AND women who have brought joy to my life.

      So let me ask you, what do you want to do to enact positive change on gender issues around the world?

      • You say:

        “How is any false rape accusation that doesn’t conclude in imprisonment “dodging a bullet” when taking into account all the shame, pain, suffering, and fear that comes of being falsely accused of rape?”

        Enjoying the hospitality of the U.S. government (imprisonment) for even a brief period can be really enlightening (traumatic) for the person concerned. There is a really wide difference in avoiding prison and going to prison. It mentally scars the person especially if he is innocent.

        You say:

        “Furthermore, I like to think that if I had gone to prison, I wouldn’t blame all women for the actions of one woman”

        The problem is not crank women falsely accusing men of rape, but the crank criminal justice system that takes her accusation at face value and starts treating accused as guilty. This crank criminal justice system has been seriously influenced by a certain ideology that ensures there are no consequences for false accusers. Moreover, the self-claimed victim is afforded anonymity, even though she might have a very bad repute of sleeping around and the same is never afforded to the accused even though his criminal record is squeaky clean. It is grave injustice.

        P.S. Zek – If you do not side with those who are fighting the nuisance (false rape accusation) which had affected you and hold them at par with those who facilitate this by manipulating the system. Then you are just a hypocrite. “Physician heal thyself”

        • Rapses,

          It mentally scars the person especially if he is innocent.

          I never thought, or said otherwise. But I’m confused as to how my own scarring is being portrayed as not that bad by you? For me it certainly hurt, and 4 years of my life were spent overcoming it.

          It is grave injustice.

          I agree, the criminal justice system does exhibit far too common tendencies of injustice regarding rape accusation. I touched upon those issues when I mentioned Hofstra and those poor guys who were instantly branded as rapists despite no evidence, and it was fueled by racial prejudice because Black & Hispanic men apparently are de facto seen as inherently criminal by the system. It disgusts me.

          That said, I still stand by what I said. I wouldn’t blame all women for the actions of one.

          If you do not side with those who are fighting the nuisance … Then you are just a hypocrite

          You’re welcome to believe me a hypocrite, but I’m not taking sides because this isn’t about sides. It’s about making a better world. I side with women as much as men who are invested in this goal. I just can’t polarize it like you have.

          By the way, you never answered my question. What positive change for gender issues would you enact? You seem to have a lot of problems with my article, but I’d like to hear about what you are doing to make things better.

          And again, thanks for commenting!

          • You say:

            “But I’m confused as to how my own scarring is being portrayed as not that bad by you? ”

            I do not mean to say that your mental scarring was not bad, but it could have been worse if you had to spend few nights in government hospitality (prison) for no fault. It is not a nice place to live.

            You say:

            “I wouldn’t blame all women for the actions of one.”

            Nobody can blame other person for the cruel actions of one person, but the movement that gave the particular person the power to falsely accuse somebody of rape without any consequence shares the blame for the injustice.

            Personally I believe in letting the nature take its own course on gender issue and government should keep its hands off from any kind of social engineering which only causes bigger problem.

            My motto in life is “Justice for all, appeasement of none.”

  3. Justa Mann says:

    From the shallow interpretation of Elam’s stance on nullification (he did publish a lengthy and detailed rationale that you did not link to)., to the really outrageous claim that republicans are trying to deny women reproductive freedom (oh, gosh, war on women, anyone?), you have painted a picture where your confusion could be cleared up with a more honest examination of the facts.

    I am not trying to be too hard on you. You do appear to be making an honest search, and I won’t allow the fact that this was posted at GMP to color my opinion too much, but you do need to dig deeper.

    And while feminist/traditionalist policies disproportionately affect minorities, you are mistaken to think that your white ass got you out of anything. Ask Marv Albert. He was white, rich, male, innocent. – all the good shit – and it got him a conviction and a ruined career. You would know that if you had read more of Elam’s position on nullification.

    I hope you find your way. It takes a lot of digging, though. More, it seems, than you have done.

    • Justa Mann,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I respectfully disagree that my interpretation of Elam’s article was “shallow”. Mental gymnastics on his part notwithstanding, there is no legal or moral justification for advocating jury nullification over rape based on gender. It’s illegal, and does irreversible harm to an already twisted justice system that subsequently makes it that much harder to advocate honestly for Men’s Rights.

      you are mistaken to think that your white ass got you out of anything

      Again, I respectfully disagree. your example with Marv Albert is truly saddening, but singular examples do not a trend make. There is a documented historical, and present trend whereby Men of Color are demonized, and their actions exaggerated to the point of racist prejudice. They are seen as inherently criminal in a way my White Privileged *kosher* butt will never be. Furthermore, acknowledging that truth does not in any way diminish my own suffering, but rather includes the equally different and equally tragic suffering that our Black & Hispanic brothers go through on a daily basis in this country.

      I hope you find your way. It takes a lot of digging, though. More, it seems, than you have done.

      I’m curious, you seem to have trouble believing many of the occurrences I listed in my post. Did you by chance read the links I dug up? They are quite varied, and quite well-supported. More to the point, they are factual. They are happening. Every day. And not a single one of them diminishes any other. Multiple systems of oppression can and do exist. The denial of birth control is one such example. The lack of DV resources for men is another. I think to deny that any of these are happening is to ignore the lived experiences of too many people for me personally to be comfortable with.

      So perhaps then it’s not that I haven’t been honest enough, or dug deep enough, but perhaps it’s that I haven’t been partisan enough. And coincidentally, that’s my whole point =)

      • Justa Mann says:

        Yes, sir, I read them. In fact, I had read much of it before you wrote your article. I keep up as much as possible.

        I think you are avoiding several key issues here, but the primary one has to do with nullification. You state, in uncompromising terms, that it is illegal and unjustified. First things first, it is not illegal. Nullification has a long an illustrious history in the US and was supported by some of our founding fathers. There is no law that instructs anyone on how to vote on a jury. You are just mistaken on that.

        Whether it is justified is a matter you have opted to handle with summary dismissal.

        That is where I am supported in alleging shallowness on your part. Are you familiar with rape shield laws? Do you know how they affect the rights of the accused? Do you think they are fair?In other words, do you support withholding evidence of the credibility of an alleged crime victim out of sensitivity to what their experience as a victim is alleged to have been? Would you be willing to accept whatever evidence is handed to you in a trial when there is reasonable question as to whether you have the whole truth?

        Those are the questions surrounding nullification that Elam has raised. You have not come near any of them.

        Clearly we agree that racial discrimination continues to be a serious problem, but your treatment of this subject is akin to that of alleging the existence of a “white pass.” It is not just Albert that demonstrates this to be in error, but Duke (where the real victims were white and wealthy and the real perpetrator was black); and with a significant amount of false allegations victims who were white, but not as luck as you. If you understood the problem better, I offer, you would have already known this.

        Even the IMF head was ruined, completely, by a false allegation from a black maid. Surely you have heard of some of these cases?

        Again, I wish you the best, but your case(s) are weak. Staying in what appears to be the safety of the middle of the road won’t keep you from getting run over.

        • Yes, sir, I read them. In fact, I had read much of it before you wrote your article. I keep up as much as possible.

          No need to call me “sir”, haha. But I asked because it seems like you haven’t, and judging from the rest of your comment that if you did read them you appear not to have understood them.

          Nullification has a long an illustrious history in the US

          I understand jury nullification, but Elam wasn’t talking strictly about that. He was advocating for jury-tampering by refusing to convict someone who you know to be guilty. That said, jury nullification is a far cry from the “long an illustrious history” you wax nostalgic. It was used extensively in The South to thwart attempts at justice for Black people who had been victimized by Whites.

          Those are the questions surrounding nullification that Elam has raised. You have not come near any of them.

          I am familiar with rape shield laws, and I do have issues with them. But I do not see that as a justification to refuse to convict a person I know to be guilty, particularly of a crime as heinous as rape. Your attempts to minimize, dodge, or dismiss this fact notwithstanding, I am glad to know that most people view such behavior Elam advocates to be wrong, in addition to the points I raised above that you haven’t yet addressed.

          If you understood the problem better, I offer, you would have already known this.

          Oh, I understand it alright, having experienced it for myself and studied it extensively.

          It is notable that the majority of cases you’ve given are for White men who did not end up falsely imprisoned, though they did suffer unjustly. Men of Color are not so fortunate as they or I; and your examples do not change this. I’m not talking about singular instances but trends. Barring wealth, fame, or advocacy for their case by special interest groups, Men of Color charged with any crime, including/especially rape are imprisoned without regard to justice or law. That’s just the factual truth of history from millions of people’s lived experiences.

          But your lack of understanding prompts me to ask, do you not understand how White privilege operates? It’s okay if you don’t – most don’t – but it does significantly hinder our conversation.

          Again, I wish you the best, but your case(s) are weak. Staying in what appears to be the safety of the middle of the road won’t keep you from getting run over.

          I would thank you for your well-wishes, but you don’t seem to be very sincere in giving them judging by your comments and condescension. However you are entitled to your opinions, whether or not they are grounded. As for me, I don’t really see any weak cases, middles of roads, or potential for getting run over in your sense of these expressions. This isn’t a zero-sum game, despite your insistence to frame it in those terms.

          Nonetheless, I appreciate your comments! They illustrate the issues I’ve been talking about quite nicely. Thanks, and take care dude.

          • Justa Mann says:

            Man, oh man, this just keeps getting worse.

            I understand jury nullification, but Elam wasn’t talking strictly about that. He was advocating for jury-tampering by refusing to convict someone who you know to be guilty.

            Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. (and the wrongs are starting to pile up). You clearly don’t know the difference between jury tampering and nullification. It’s comical actually, since you are trying to assert that voting not guilty when the evidence you are shown points in the other direction is jury tampering. Tampering with who? Yourself? NO! Tampering with the members of a jury is a different matter entirely.

            For a person to commit jury tampering they have to try to hold illegal influence on the vote of SOMEONE ELSE. It’s very basic. Refusing to convict in spite of the evidence is the very definition of nullification.

            Your lapses of understanding of the basics points again to shallowness in research and poor diligence. You should have prepared yourself to field questions, as well as for writing the article itself.

            It [jury nullification] was used extensively in The South to thwart attempts at justice for Black people who had been victimized by Whites.

            True, but another partial picture. Nullification was also used to refuse to convict people charged with violating laws against giving refuge to escaped slaves. It has also been used to acquit gay men charged with anti-sodomy laws and even medical marijuana patients charged with possession.

            It is a simple, legal device in the hands of the people that is available when the conduct of the system itself is criminal or oppressive. That is why John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were big supporters of it. Oh, and they knew it wasn’t the same things as jury tampering, either.

            I would love to explore your notions of white (and I am sure, male) privilege, but you haven’t earned your keep as it relates to intellectual honesty and diligence. If you can’t get the basic difference between jury tampering and jury nullification, a very, very black and white issue, then it would be a waste of time to entertain your thinking on much more complicated ideas.

            Thanks, but I will pass.

  4. Zek—

    Wow, what a psycho! Sorry you had to got through that! Looking through the retrospectoscope, were there red flags prior to the big blow-up that you were not dealing with someone who was mentally well-balanced?

    • Leia,

      Y’know, I’m sure there were red flags but I’m stumped as to what they were. I mean, she fought with my friends, she was clingy, and she was very immature, but those are benign things that could be said of anyone who wouldn’t necessarily be as unbalanced as she was.

      Thanks for your comment =)

      • Zek

        Leia is a feminist here that often makes misandric comments that frame women as victims of male abuse and what she did there in her comment to you was shift the responsibility of what happen to you, on to you, then you thanked her for it.

        • Nope. She did what everyone does after a traumatic event, which is to ask if he was the kind of person to look back and see what could have been done to prevent the trauma. People do this all the time whether it is a car accident, a death, an assault, a robbery. In this comment it reads weird, I’ll agree, but my guess is Zek has had plenty of time looking back etc.

          Humans make up narratives to help justify decisions, explain events, and soothe themselves when it feels like everything is chaos.

          Now, it can indeed get turned into self blame, or victim blaming, that’s true. Often the person asking “Did you see red flags.” Is not asking for the person traumatized, but in hopes that they themselves will never be in a situation like it. Almost a like a totem….”If I can see better than him, I won’t get in trouble.” I have no idea if that’s why she asked the question.

          But in it’s most benign form, it’s just a coping mechanism. Ultimately, one can look back and see red flags, but the healing comes in when one realizes that the red flags are usually never truly visible beforehand. Looking at those flags in retrospect can sometimes help avoid problems in the future

          • Julie, I was speaking specifically about Leia. In Leia’s circles its blasphemy to talk to victims of abuse that are female what they did wrong, she’s well aware of that.

            • Were it a good faith comment from someone that’s not peppering comments section with hate when it comes to male on female abuse, I would be more open to talking about these red flags with them.

          • If you ask the same question to a women who has been abused by man, then it is called victim blaming and not introspection.

            • I’m aware of that. Re read my post. Lea might be doing that or she might not. I’d like to hear Zeks take on it.

            • Well, I don’t feel that she did that to me. If she’s done that, I’m saddened to hear it (though not necessarily surprised) because she seemed to agree that the girl who had falsely accused me was/is a psycho. So, no, I don’t feel blamed, attacked, or maligned at all.

              P.S. I’m sorry to hear Rapses that you’ve met so many women (whether Feminists or not) that have been unwilling to talk about “red flags”, because I’ve talked about them in person with many women who’ve suffered DV, abuse, etc., and while it’s often painful it is also normal for people to do. Red flags seem to be something we all look for in retrospect as if to try to understand what happened, or maybe even sometimes because we blame ourselves…

              In the end though, we all can agree that it is no one’s fault but the victimizer. I know it certainly wasn’t my fault what happened to me.

  5. “How can I square the virulent misogyny of Roissy Heartiste to the intense social ostracism of my fellow gamer-nerds?”

    What does this sentence mean?

    • I think that he’s saying that gamer-nerds are generally not doing well with women, and are turning to Roissy and when he publicly objects to what he sees as Roissys misogyny, his gamer-nerd friends marginalize him.

    • Forweg,

      Roissy promotes an extremely misandric, and often misogynistic form of social interaction between men and women that my fellow gamers, who often have trouble getting dates/relationships are desperate enough at times to embrace because of their frustration at being romantically ostracized — often because they don’t conform to mainstream notions of masculinity.

      My sentence was trying to elucidate the conflict I have between the immorality of PUA to the suffering of people in my subcutural community.

      Also, in response to Eoghan, my gamer friends don’t “marginalize” me, haha! They’re actually happy for me, because they want the same thing that I have with my girlfriend and understand how great it is/can be.

      • AlekNovy says:

        Forweg is no fan of Roissy.

        I blame feminism for Roissy/PUA having so much success among desperate men. Feminists have been bashing and demonizing nerds and treating them like crap for years – to the point where nerds find themselves turning to someone like Roissy.

        When you kick a dog over and over and over and over and over again, it’s gonna bite back.

        Of course bitter, angry nerds will turn to a bitter-angry-woman-hater such as roissy. But who made them angry in the first place? Feminists who sacrificed nerds at the altar of female privilege.

  6. Thanks for writing this, Zak.

    I certainly wish I was as emotionally developed as you are. Over 10 years ago, my (now ex-)wife falsely accused me of raping her. There were no police involved – the only ones involved were me, her, and some therapists – but even after 10 years, I’m not over it. I probably never will be, and I certainly will never trust a woman again. I wish I could. You’ve somehow been able to overcome it, and kudos to your strength. Were that I was that strong.

    • Bob-O,

      Please, call me Zek ; )

      And thanks for your comment. I appreciate you sharing the pain you suffered at the hands of your ex-spouse. These kinds of structural abuses and micro-aggressions against men are something I am passionately opposed to.

      While I don’t doubt you are hurting, I do also hope you can find yourself able to trust again when you are ready to do. Perhaps even find yourself someone who has earned and is deserving of your companionship. I’m serous; we’re capable of being much stronger than we think.

      • Sorry Zek. :-/

        Yeah … believe it or not, I’m married. It was probably not the best idea to get married again when I feel this way, but the courtship and all came while I was feeling slightly better. I love my wife. She’s a terrific person. I, however, am not so terrific and often find myself wondering if I should let her go. It can’t be much fun married to someone who can’t trust you.

  7. Seeing as we’re all being brave and all, you get falsely accused of rape related things all the in the gender debate, I couldn’t begin to count all the times, that’s not so bad. I’ve been falsely accused of rape to cover up someones cheating, there were no authorities involved but there was a beating, and I’ve been falsely accused of DV and the authorities were involved. Its absolutely horrible, worse when its rape no doubt.

  8. Zek, I’m glad your article was posted. I often feel like some of the commenters are too quick to jump on something small and make it about who hates who more or who has it worse or blah blah blah. We’re all people, and men and women both have issues with inequality. Thinking of one group as the opposition or the enemy doesn’t make anyone happier. It’s time to work together and try to understand the other side, instead of thinking of who to blame.

    I think the fact that after your 4 year hiatus from dating, you were able to see that one crazy girl as an individual and not as a representative of all women is why you were able to move on and find someone to be happy with. I had some bad experiences with men when I was younger, and it took a while for me to realise I was blaming all men for those bad experiences. Once I realised my mistake and started working to change it, my life improved considerably.

    • Donna,

      Thanks! I agree, I feel that too often the really important issues are derailed by semantics and stubbornness. The only way we’re going to make things better is together, and history has shown this to be true.

      I’m glad you also were able to work through your own issues with men and become a stronger person.

      And thanks for your comment! =)

    • I see you’ve deleted a ton of inoffensive comments. Nice propaganda you got here.

      • John,

        I see you’ve deleted a ton of inoffensive comments. Nice propaganda you got here.

        I’m sorry, do you mean me? I don’t even think I have access to moderate comments, let alone delete them. Shoot, some of my own comments got stuck in moderation, and I’m the post-author, haha!

        But I’m not sure if you’re aware… Propaganda is currently defined as, “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.”

        So wouldn’t the DELETION of comments be closer to censorship? However, even that wouldn’t be quite accurate since censorship is a structural activity reserved to governments and related institutions and cannot be done by journals or online magazines. Also since the moderators have apparently allowed many divergent viewpoints to be posted wouldn’t that kind of undermine your claim that they’re engaging in any propaganda/censorship?

        Perhaps if you write a comment you can see for yourself. Like you just did =)

        • Comments are moderated by a team of volunteer comment moderators trained and managed by the staff of GMP. Their job is to keep an eye on threads, note when threads are becoming hostile (getting derailed, ad hominem, agenda pushing, repetition) and the commenting policy can be found here. Some comments are given a notation in italics allowing the comment to stand, but with a warning and some are immediately taken down. If commenters continue to post against our policies, they will be placed in moderation, sent an email referencing this. If they continue to post against policies, they are usually banned with an email explaining why.

          We want this site to be a place for civil discourse and dialogue. Arguments and conflicts will occur but we won’t allow for the space to become so hostile that people won’t comment.

  9. Jatkoroikka says:

    This is the best gender issues post I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for the brave compromise and even braver self disclosure. I think the world needs voices like yours. After a lot of inappropriate rhetoric from the MRAs and the radfems (and some of the fems without the rad), this was… very peaceful.

    You write in a manner that’s free of hate and even sarcasm. I think that’s enough.

    • Jatkoroikka,

      Thank you! I appreciate your support. It’s hard being a writer and sharing something extremely painful and personal online where you’ll be subject to endless, and often harsh, scrutiny by people who are themselves protected by virtual anonymity.

      You write in a manner that’s free of hate and even sarcasm. I think that’s enough.

      I hope it is, because sometimes… it’s tough! ; )

  10. young man,

    You, sir, are a coward.

    Really? Because it takes great cowardice to talk about being falsely accused of rape? I’m confused as to how this also means I’m throwing — not just men, but anyone “under the bus” since I support advocating for Men’s Rights. However you are welcome to your unfounded opinions about me, sir.

    Perhaps you should think of contributing your own experiences instead of attacking me for mine?

    Though, quoting Thomas Jefferson is hardly appropriate, particularly since he knew slavery was unjust but did NOTHING to end it, nor freed the majority of his slaves, even after he died. So I fail to see the connection you’re making.

    • young man,

      he point isn’t the individual case, it’s an attack on the system by refusing to play ball.

      Really? So you’d rather take your ball and go home instead of trying to make a difference? And you call me a coward for calling out the injustice the afflicts men? You say I think only of myself because I have the audacity to write honestly about gender issues affecting millions of people? You say I paint the male gender with a brush of disdain as I advocate for a men’s movement to support all of us and our future children?

      Really? For real? For really real? And then, in your tirade against injustice you quote someone who allowed injustice to continue under his leadership???

      You, sir, apparently have no idea what you’re talking about. Please, actually read my post, and the embedded links BEFORE commenting. Oy vey.

  11. “Otherwise please take the accusations out of the thread.”

    LOL!

  12. The Bad Man says:

    Sad story bro, too bad you were never innocent until proven guilty. Feminist jurisprudence has effectively institutionalized feminine virtue and male culpability and stacked the deck in women’s favor.

    Maybe I’ll be with you on an issue by issue basis, whenever you actually involve yourself in some form of activism with a clear agenda. There’s far too much infighting and divide and conquer politics going on for me to take sides with someone who is deliberately divisive and condescending.

    Not sure what any of this has to do with Chateau, you must be new to all these issues and men’s groups. Maybe gamer geeks should learn to be happy with who they are and not be so desperate for women’s attention.

    • The Bad Man,

      Thanks dude. It was kinda traumatic. And I agree that institutional radical Feminist policies have effectively reduced our judicial system in many respect to vehicles of structural oppression for negative cultural images of men. It’s like we’ve become the punching bag for someone else’s liberation.

      That said, you don’t need to “be with'” me on anything. I’d rather encourage you to support the issues you care about. Maybe try creating a petition to fix rape shield laws? Or contact your representatives? I’ve written petitions, letters to congress, the president (both Dubya and Obama), and even the judiciary on behalf of myself and other men. You could also try forming or joining a group online/offline that supports Men’s Rights. I’ve found that the offline groups I’ve worked with in the BA are the best though. You get to really see the impact you can have.

      Y’know, that was actually something I mentioned in my post, that we men in the MRM often do very little direct activism and far too much armchair criticism. We need to be proactive in order to help each other because, sadly, other groups have organizations that would trump ours.

      There’s far too much infighting and divide and conquer politics going on for me to take sides with someone who is deliberately divisive and condescending.</i.

      I'm sorry you feel that way, especially since I don't take sides. I'm too busy trying to make things better. I've been writing and promoting the MRM for years, since I was a much younger man, contrary to your belief that I'm "new to all these issues". In fact, my post is directly about the problem with "sides". It's better to work together on the issues instead of worry about what side a person is on.

      Either way, I hope my post helped in some way. Thanks for commenting!

      • The Bad Man says:

        I think the point I was making is that there is no “we” and there is no MRM. There are only individuals jockeying for position and trying to find their place in the heirarchy, the way it has always been. It’s much easier to get something done as an individual than trying to herd cats.

  13. Transhuman says:

    Zek, there is a men’s movement, it has a wide spectrum of members from the men screwed over by the feminist laws in divorce court, to the men who have experienced the appalling Police policies concerning removal of men from their home in all cases of DV, to the PUAs like Roissy to feminist apologists like Futrelle to legislation that ascribes ownership of children to their mothers, but not their fathers. The MRM is still somewhat new, it doesn’t have the easy boost that society has always thought men should be protected and kept safe, men are considered by society at large to be capable of looking after themselves; men were the first to go into danger and to provide for those weaker than themselves. The women and the infirm. This old, and somewhat dated, idea has translated into being a sign of weakness if men don’t, or cannot, look after themselves. This is changing, albeit slowly.

    So, the MRM will be old-style masculine for a while; it will respond with anger (the one emotion men are socially “permitted” to display), it will have oppositional politics, some of the bitter and harmed members will want revenge. These are the early days. Already there are men contributing to the MRM that can see a better direction; that are willing to offer a sympathetic ear to men who have been told to “shut up and just deal with it” or the reprehensible “man up”. Men that are encouraging other men to feel that other emotions are right and true and that all men should feel supported in expressing themselves, without needing to seek approval from women.

    Feminism remains a primary antagonist for many in the MRM because it actively works against men’s rights and seeks to deny men equality. There are influential feminist-backed groups that define society’s view of issues concerning men and some in the MRM believe a head-on attack is the best approach. Yet there are some men who see that feminism is becoming a side issue; men do not need to define themselves in any manner relating to women. Without women, men will still work in the most dangerous jobs done by people, they will work longer hours, they will innovate and invent and develop this world. Men have a raft of issues they need to attend to for their own health and well being and the only people interested in helping men are other men.

    There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel, it is a train with men on it ready to get the job done. It will take time, there will be slings and arrows from detractors of the MRM but in the long run only we can stop ourselves from being successful.

  14. Peter Houlihan says:

    You make a good point. I don’t stand behind misogyny in the MRM and I’m sick of having to explain that they don’t define the movment. If we’re supposed to wait for either feminism or masculism to clean up their act then we’ll be waiting forever. I’d be up for joining a group that opposed misogyny while still insisting that men’s rights issues exist. I’m deadly serious about this, email me: [email protected]

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  1. […] just like a bunch of bra-burning, armpit hair-having radfems. A commenter by the name of Transhuman put it like this, “So, the MRM will be old-style masculine for a while; it will respond with anger (the one […]

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