Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Norwegian Terrorist Was Anti-Woman

In addition to being racist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant, it appears that the Norwegian terrorist responsible for the massacres in Oslo and Utoya was also virulently anti-woman.

Hugo Schwyzer at the Good Men Project writes:
His manifesto, which largely consists of uncited work from a host of other right-wing thinkers, is now available online. 2083: A European Declaration of Independence gives us a picture of a man who is deeply troubled by multi-culturalism, by Islam, by modernity, by feminism, and by what has happened to traditional masculinity.

Breivik’s manifesto features an extended section called “Radical Feminism and Political Correctness,” cribbed uncredited from an American writer named Gerald Atkinson. The section complains “that the ‘man of today’ is expected to be a touchy-feely subspecies who bows to the radical feminist agenda.” Feminism’s aim, the manifesto continues, is to “emasculate” men, and render them “unwilling to defend traditional beliefs and values.” This rage at women in general, and at progressive feminists in particular, runs through much of the long and unwieldy 1187-page text. It’s a rhetoric familiar to anyone who reads the writing of Men’s Rights Activists.

So are anti-feminists and Men’s Rights Activists directly to blame for the actions of Anders Breivik? Of course not. Most MRAs – perhaps almost all – reject violence and mass murder as a political tactic. To suggest otherwise would be an indefensible and tasteless attempt to capitalize on a tragedy. But to pretend that there was no coherent political component to the tragedy would be almost equally indefensible.
Michelle Goldberg at The Daily Beast continues:
[Breivik] picked up the argument that selfish western women have allowed Muslims to outbreed them, and that only a restoration of patriarchy can save European culture. One of the books he references approvingly is Patrick Buchanan’s The Death of the West, which argues, “[T]he rise of feminism spells the death of the nation and the end of the West.”


Nevertheless, the right clings to the idea that feminism is destroying Western societies from the inside, creating space for Islamism to take cover. This politics of emasculation gave shape to Breivik’s rage. Thus, while he pretends to abhor Muslim subjugation of women, he writes that the “fate of European civilisation depends on European men steadfastly resisting Politically Correct feminism.” When cultural conservatives seize control of Europe, he promises, “we will re-establish the patriarchal structures.” Eventually, women “conditioned” to this new order “will know her place in society.”
When tragedies like this happen, we like to pretend that they exist in a void. If we try too hard to understand their causes, we have to admit that they may happen again. It is easier to dismiss one person as crazy than to confront the fact that there are thousands of people in the world who feel this way about minority groups, immigrants, and women, and that Brevik is simply one who decided to take his views to the extreme. On this blog, we won't let you take the easy way out.

David Futrelle, a guest blogger at Shakesville who regularly visits men's rights and men's separatist blogs in order to discuss them at his own blog, writes about an attempted experiment. Someone posted some of the most anti-woman excerpts from Breivik's manifesto on a men's rights message board without identifying their author, to see how they were received. It should be no surprise that the posts were very popular until their author was identified.
But Reddit's Men's Rights subreddit is actually one of the most moderate and least misogynistic Men's Rights hangout online. Others in the manosphere have stepped up to defend Breivik's manifesto (if not his actions) plainly and explicitly, in full knowledge of just whose ideas they are endorsing.

On In Mala Fide, blogger Ferdinand Bardamu praises Breivik's "lucidity," and blames his murderous actions on the evils of a too-liberal society:
[A]nother madman with a sensible manifesto. Another completely rational, intelligent man driven to murderous insanity. And once again, society has zero introspection in regards to its profound ability to turn thoughtful men into lunatic butchers.
He's not being sarcastic here. He continues:
That makes HOW many rage killers in the past five years alone? And not just transparent headcases like Jared Loughner or George Sodini, but ordinary men like Pekka-Eric Auvinen or Joe Stack who simply weren't going to take it anymore. No one bothers to ask WHY all these men suddenly decide to pick up a gun and start shooting people – they're all written off as crazies. Or the rage killings are blamed on overly permissive gun laws …

Here's an idea – sick societies produce sick individuals who do sick things. Anders Breivin [sic] murdered nearly a hundred teens (not children, TEENS – they were at a summer camp for young adults) and must pay the price, but the blood of those teens is ultimately on the hands of the society that spat him forth. He is the bastard son of a masochistic, degenerate, rootless world that pisses on its traditions and heritage to elevate perversity, mindless consumerism and ethnic self-hatred to the highest of virtues.
That final reference to "ethnic self-hatred" seems to be Bardamu's euphemistic way of complaining that not enough white people are white supremacists.

Meanwhile, Chuck of Gucci Little Piggy offers what appears to be a somewhat more restrained, if ultimately more puzzling, defense of Breivik's manifesto – or at least that portion of the manifesto that Breivik borrowed from the writings of far-right blogger Fjordman.

After first complaining, incorrectly, that feminists are "try[ing] to blame Breivik on MRAs" (he cites me and Hugo Schwyzer as examples), Chuck goes on to endorse Breivik's (and Fjordman's) notion that feminism "grease[s]the wheels to allow Islam into his country," as Chuck summarizes the argument. The rest of Chuck's post elaborates on, and endorses, Breivik's/Fjordman's theories, arguing that feminism's "emasculation of Western men has taken the organic policing mechanism out of the hands of men in society" and thus rendered Western society helpless before the Islamic cultural invaders. (More on Bardamu and Gucci Little Piggy's arguments here.)


No, Breivik is not an MRA. No, he didn't take his marching orders from The Spearhead or In Mala Fide. But he is steeped in the same kind of hatred that is prevalent on those sites, and many of his repugnant beliefs about feminism and women in general are virtually identical to beliefs widespread in the misogynistic manosphere – a fact that a few in the manosphere are already willing to acknowledge out loud, as we saw above.
Further suggested reading: A Tale of Two Terrorists Redux

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