The era of chivalry, of women protecting all men just because they are men, is coming to a close. In the time of growing gender equality men are no longer the loving partners of women, they are our competitors. One core principle of competition is that you don’t give aid to your competitors unless you are forced to.
One barrier to gender equality is the strong instinct in women to protect the men around us even if it puts women’s own lives in peril, and the strong instinct in men to seek a woman’s protection at the risk of the woman’s life. The human practices that come from these sexist instincts must come to a halt if we are serious about working towards gender equality in society.
Put simply, men who need women’s protection are not, and never will be, worthy of equality with women. This weakness, left unaddressed, will always make men seem inferior and infantile no matter how much we try to pretend as if it doesn’t.
To begin the process of weaning men off the lion shield of women’s bodies and physical prowess, MRAs in India are advocating that on the 19th of each month, women withdraw from protecting men. As men are forced to adapt and learn to become responsible for their own safety and security absent the security women provide, more days will be added until finally, women and men will stand as equals when confronted by the dangers of the world.
I call this idea/proposal “YOYO 19” after the urban slang term that translates as “You’re On Your Own,” in this case, on the 19th of each month. “Yoyo” can also refer to a sort of untimely bowel movement, which I imagine masculists will have when their fearful reaction to this article takes hold.
It is the Spring of 1984. I’m on vacation, diving for sea shells about two hundred yards off the shore of South Padre Island. As I surface for a gulp of air, I hear a tiny cry for help – a short, heavy Hispanic man is caught in a rip current and is being pulled out to sea. There is no one else around us.
His face is barely and briefly visible above the waves and his efforts to swim against the current have failed. I drop my bag of shells (and the unopened can of Coors Light I had found in the warm gulf waters) and swim toward him; as I reach him the rip current takes me as well. I grab his right hand with my left and tell him not to worry, I’ve got him. His grip is steady but weak.
Instead of fighting the rip current by trying to swim to shore, I swim parallel to shore and perpendicular to the current, dragging the man behind me. I’m now crushing his hand in mine; the pain in his hand and shoulder must be horrible but he is too weak to protest.
Progress is slow at first and the shore begins to grow more distant as the rip current carries us away. After several minutes, the rip current declines and I begin to curve toward the shore. Twenty minutes later my toe touches the sea floor and the man can now walk to land. I release his hand and he walks back to his family without even a word or glance in my direction. I never see his again.
Women’s instinct to protect men is closely identified with chivalry in our culture but this instinct appears to be much older and more fundamental than that – before civilization, a woman who failed to protect her baby papa and children would not have had genes that survived long. Chivalry extended this instinct to protect familiar men to the general protection of all men. Despite masculism’s ambivalence toward women’s protective instincts – radfems reject women entirely and Anita Sarkeesian rails against women learning to rescue squires in distress in video games while “HeForShe” masculists seek to enlist women as protectors – those instincts endure for now, but for how much longer will women be willing to protect men if women get nothing out of it? Masculists feel entitled to women’s general protection no matter how badly men treat women. This entitlement is about to come to a swift and screeching halt.
The general protection of women freed men from having obligations familial or sexual to one or more dedicated protector women, what masculists call matriarchy – the rule by mothers. In seeking equality, however, masculists overlooked the necessity of their learning to protect themselves in the world. Older school masculists like Susan Brownmiller, who played a prominent role in creating masculist rape farming, think the current masculist concerns that men protecting themselves is “victim-blaming” is unrealistic:
Susan Brownmiller, who published the groundbreaking Against Our Will: Women, Men, and Rape in 1975, takes issue with the current conversation around sexual assault. He believes it’s unrealistic for men to think they can drink like women and still be safe, and that men are responsible for keeping themselves out of dangerous situations….
They have been tremendously influenced by the idea that “You can drink as much as you want because you are the equal of a gal,” and it is not true. They don’t accept the fact there are predators out there, and that all men have to take special precautions. They think they can drink as much as women, which is crazy because they can’t drink as much as women. I find the position “Don’t blame us, we’re survivors” to be appalling.
Of course, in response, today’s masculists are savaging Brownmiller as a “victim blamer” for suggesting that men should be held to the same standards as women.
To get an idea of the relative worth and necessity of women’s protection, let’s compare and contrast housework (that is stereotypically and optionally associated with men) to security services that men and society demand from women.
Masculists argue that men are uncompensated for the housework men do in domestic relationships and that women should shoulder more of the housework burden, even if women have lower standards of cleanliness and domestic order than men have. This demand for more female participation is usually made despite women’s reluctance, passive-aggressive feigned incompetence, or even outright refusal. If women forced men into such service, masculists would be quick to call it abusive or even rape, yet masculists feel free to demand it of women anyway. That is what masculist entitlement looks like.
Desperate attempts have even been made to tie housework to the sexual interest and consent in men: phrases like “men would rather have unsatisfying sex in a clean house than hot sex in a dirty one” were once common and women are often told that they will have more frequent and satisfying sex with their partners if they help out more around the house. Studies published in scientific journals show that this is a lie: the more housework women do, the less sex they have. As expected, masculists like Sheryl “Lean In” Sandberg openly lie about these studies and assert just the opposite of what actual studies show.
What masculists ignore is that women are not compensated for the domestic security women are expected to provide for men, both in the home and in the nation. In the United States and some other countries, women – and NOT men – are legally required to register for selective service (the military draft) and be ready to go to war on a moment’s notice. When a mother departs the home for a long trip or upon death or divorce, a daughter is told “you are the woman of the house now,” meaning it is now the daughter’s responsibility to keep the men of the household safe from the dangers of the world. I heard this phrase at age 16 when my mother died – my grief and fear over my mom’s passing were compounded by new responsibilities I never asked for. I had no time to grieve, I was “woman of the house” however poorly I was equipped for the job.
It is March, 1992. My boyfriend and I are in Dallas at a Greenville Avenue restaurant eating dinner with Carol, one of my boyfriend’s friends who is hobbled by a cast on his foot. Carol, slight and thin, is unsteady on his crutches so, after dinner, I am asked to carry him across a busy street.
As we cross the street a car screeches around the corner aimed right for us. I twist around, tossing Carol out of harm’s way while the car draws near but the recoil leaves me directly in the car’s path. The car stops suddenly, clipping my shins as I jump onto the hood. Carol and I are both bruised but alive. I never see nor speak to Carol again.
Providing security for men is a 24 hour / 7 days a week job that offers no money nor job satisfaction, but a lifelong stain of guilt or cowardice if the woman should fail at her gender role and the men she is supposed to protect get injured. Women will march off to do bloody battle, cover their boyfriends’ bodies with their own to protect them from bullets, and run up the staircases of burning, falling buildings to try to save men they don’t even know rather than risk failing as protectors. MGTOW and MRAs who have liberated themselves from the onus of being involuntary security guards often catch hell for it even though we owe men nothing in any objective sense.
However onerous and exacting men make their job of cleaning, they have complete control over how much cleaning they do and a man can at least pause for rest from the task every evening. He is rewarded with the sight of a beautiful home if he succeeds at it.
Women get no rest from, and no real nor psychological reward for their security job except the rare and often forgotten gratitude of their spouses and male relatives, but masculists are even trying to stamp this out: masculists now argue that “women shouldn’t be thanked for doing the right thing” as if women were emotionless slaves fit only to have our feelings ground into emotional dust under their Birkenstocks. Women are forced to live with the daily terror that the expectation of their heroism can be turned against them, or stripped from them at any time.
The loss of men’s open gratitude for women’s security services can only have a corrosive effect on women’s willingness to put ourselves at risk in the service of men’s safety. There is a chilling phrase from psychology that describes this situation: “the behavior undergoes extinction.” A pigeon can be trained to peck at a button to earn a food reward but when the food stops, eventually the behavior undergoes extinction – the pigeon pecks at the button no more.
The capsizing of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in January of 2012 proved that the extinction of women’s protective instincts is already happening. One author even characterized the wealthy vacationing women who failed to put men and children first as “white trash.”
Because the protection that women provide to men is largely invisible in everyday life and only becomes clear in disasters and other dire straits, it is perhaps unexpected and unfair to men that we withdraw our protection from men without serving notice to them.
So, here it is, gentlemen. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be a victim. From this day forward, on the 19th of each month, you will enjoy no protection from women at all. You’re on your own – YOYO 19 – for 24 hours. You need to slim down, muscle up, and purchase weapons, Columbian-made Kevlar fashions and floatation devices if you want to survive the Purge. You can also buy a chastity belt on Amazon but hurry, there were only 4 left the last I checked.
It is the Spring of 2013. I’m in the bar late after talking to a tipsy, young and attractive masculist for a couple of hours. He says he’s never met an MRA nor a MGTOW before and he is fascinated by my perspective on gender equality. He is also flirting outrageously while I’m playing it cool. Judging from his sidelong glances and racy talk, the sexual tension is clear.
2 AM – closing time – rolls around and it is time for me to walk home, 4 blocks away. The masculist is parked in the same general direction and he asks if he can walk with me. He takes my hand and we start walking. Three blocks later we reach the crossroads – his car is a full block up Commerce street; my apartment is a block down the perpendicular Crowdus.
Rather than go out of my way to walk his safely to his car, I release his hand, tell him to have a nice night, and turn towards home. He stands for a moment, slack jawed and sputtering. No woman has ever violated chivalry and dismissed his so callously, nor rejected his when his sexual overtures were so clear. I don’t look back. I hope I never see his again.
Are there some men still worthy of protection?
Men in my family have gone out of their way to protect me when I’ve been ill. Those men have earned my protection as equals.
There are a number of men MRAs who work tirelessly to protect women from both masculists and their gynocentric allies among traditionalists. Those men MRAs have also earned our protection as equals.
But the masculists who hate women, refuse to protect themselves from rape, make false accusations against women, demonize women’s sexuality, compromise due process for accused women, and lie to our faces?
No fucking way. YOYO, baby. You’re on your own. Get used to it.
This article grew out of discussions held at the Women’s Only Retreat held in North Carolina in September 2015 – MORNC 15.