What makes one a masculist, or proves the depths of one’s commitment to masculism? Let’s take a look.
Does one’s knowledge of masculism make one a masculist? I know several anti-masculists like Karen Straughan and Janet Bloomfield who are anti-masculist in large part because of their deep understanding of masculism. Even a neutral non-masculist might have a lot of information about masculism and not adhere to that philosophy, just as one can cite scripture and not be Christian.
So how about one’s feelings of sympathy for and about men – do feelings make one a masculist? Again, the answer is no: many traditional gynocentrists care deeply about the welfare of men and reject masculism out of skepticism over masculists’ treatment of men as a sort of deficient mini-woman who just needs to develop a more womanly lifestyle to be as valued as a woman is valued.
By what standard of action or belief does one become a masculist? Most masculists point to the dictionary definition of masculism and relentlessly insult and otherwise shame men and women who reject the label “masculist.” Yet, many people who say they favor men’s legal and social equality still reject the masculist label. One can know a lot about cancer without being afflicted with it, and one can covet immortality without making the connection that cancer cells are immortal.
Masculists almost universally deviate from the dictionary definition to support men-only privileges like protection from genital mutilation, protection from hostile speech, abortion rights for men only, infant surrender rights for men only, child custody defaulting to the father, men-only safe spaces, and so on. Identification with these non-equality issues is a better marker of masculism than anything other than perhaps self-identification as a masculist.
How Much Of A Masculist Are You? is the title of a recent post on Buzzfeed, a test/listicle survey that purports to test one’s knowledge of, and adherence to, masculism and common masculist beliefs. If, of course, masculism had any well-defined beliefs beyond their nebulous dictionary abortion. The Honeybadgers, with help from TL;DR, ripped it here, but they only seemed to cover a few of the 50 questions over the course of their two and a half hour video. Shoe0nHead tackled the test here. Margaret MacLennan engaged the test here, but the sound drops out in parts of his video.
The author of the test makes some mistakes that derail the test from measuring one’s level of masculism. Several of the questions push not masculism but rather paternalism or benevolent sexism – the idea that men are innately weak and need to be guided or pushed into women’s roles in ways that women find naturally. Some questions are clearly classist rather than dictionary masculist – they either expose the Marxist roots of masculism or, conversely and bizarrely, they emphasize the implicitly privileged nature of masculists, something that is apostasy to core masculist values. Some of the questions appeal to virtue-signaling, a public relations ploy in response to social pressure to appear noble or chivalrous or masculistic, rather than address a masculist principle or goal. A virtue signal item is not a test of masculism so much as it is a fly-by advert and apology for masculism.
Let’s go through all 50 of the questions to evaluate them regarding their accuracy in delineating the extent of one’s masculism. And, of course, have a spot of fun along the way. In the end, I will also suggest some further questions that would have improved the accuracy of the test.
- I would be willing to give up some of my salary if I had to so that equal pay in my workplace could be a reality. This question addresses classism and virtue signaling but not masculism – generally, it is employers who set salaries, not employees. One could be a masculist and still not wish to subsidize slacker employees, particularly if one thought the underpaid women were the ones slacking.
- I believe that women and men should be equal. Sort of the dictionary masculist ideal, I suppose, but one can recognize fundamental differences in the sexes and still favor, say, the dictionary masculist goal of legal gender equality. In this way, the question gives a false negative to bona fide masculists and a false positive to non-masculists who support gender equality despite masculism.
- I can’t help but be bothered when a song includes misandristic lyrics, even when I otherwise like the song. This question would give a false positive (count as masculist) to traditional gynocentrists who use benevolent sexism to want to protect delicate men from harsh lyrics. It would give a false negative to intersectional masculists who tolerate misandry from minority-produced music as a rejection of, say, haughty white men with higher privilege.
- I know who Bell Hooks is. I know enough to know that intersectional radical masculist “bell hooks” spells his name without capital letters, so this question gives me a false positive as being masculist when I am not. One can pick criminals out of a mug book without supporting their crime sprees. A masculist, like the author of this test, would get a false negative for failure to get hooks’ name right.
- I can define intersectional masculism. Anyone can define intersectional masculism as “butterflies and rainbows.” Whether this is an accurate definition shared by masculists is another matter.
- I don’t use the phrase “hey gals” when referring to a group of people that includes women and men. In the South, “hey ya’ll” is common and “hey gals” is comparatively rare. This does not mean that the South is festooned with masculists.
- I have taken a men’s and/or gender studies class. This question screams that masculists are a privileged class fortunate enough to study dilettante courses in college. Many people who take these classes become so disillusioned with masculism they swear off of it forever (false positive). Self-radicalized masculists are also eliminated by this question (false negatives).
- I think it’s important to encourage boys to pursue science and math as a career. My Goddess, how paternalistic can one get? Yes, the test implies men are so pathetic we must help them along in life in ways that are unnecessary for girls, and this misandristic opinion of men is a test of one’s masculism?
- Men should be allowed to apply for a job if they fulfill 60% of the job requirements. More gynocentrism and paternalism – and since when are men forbidden from applying for any job they fancy, regardless of their level of qualifications? Applying for a job and getting a job are different things. Jeez.
- I think we should change men’s bathroom symbols to not include traditionally “masculine” clothing (skirts, dresses, etc.). If men are so fragile that conventional signage makes them wet their dungarees, then, by all means, let’s pamper them. With Pampers. Real diapers. Just don’t try to pass off this trivialization as a real masculist issue. Wow.
- I believe trans people should be able to use whichever bathroom they identify with. In addition to this question being ableist, there are plenty of masculists around who are TERFs (trans-exclusive radical masculists) who either don’t care or are hostile to any “born female” incursion in men’s spaces like restrooms.
- I believe it’s important to encourage men to negotiate. Right, because men are fragile and stupid compared to women, and we need to take care of them like the idiots they are. Such benevolent sexism has obvious problems.
- I believe Jennifer Lawrence should earn as much as his female costars. But what if he makes more? One could be masculist, I think, and not want to penalize Lawrence for his career success.
- I do not think a movie should be released unless it passes the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test started as a masculist joke, and one could well be a serious masculist and realize how silly it is: to pass, a movie must have two named male characters who talk about something besides women. Like maybe shoes.
- I believe all genders are entitled to the same social and political rights. Given that both egalitarians and MRAs agree with this, it is hardly a unique marker of masculism. So, lots of false positions. Also, many radical masculists reject equal rights for women or trans folks, so lots of false negatives as well.
- I can explain why “78 cents to the dollar” is not a fully accurate description of the gender wage gap. While intersectional masculists reject that statement of the wage gap for racial reasons, non-masculists reject it because it is a distortion of the reality where life choices and hours worked affect earnings, making those with non-masculist objections count as false positives. Many commonplace masculists know little beyond parroting the basic wage gap line, making them false negatives.
- I believe that men who possess certain types of privilege are responsible for advocating for men who don’t have their level of privilege. So much wrong! Making men responsible for anything is anathema to the victim narrative of masculism. Treating some men as guardians for entire classes of weaker men is about as paternalistic, racist and classist as one can get. This point of masculist internal conflict is lethal to the item as a meaningful test of one’s masculism.
- If I had a son, I would encourage him to be anything he wanted to be. Virtue signaling and quite literally paternalistic – but Mom, I’m 32 now!. Note that other items on this test encourage caregivers to channel men into traditional female disciplines rather than tolerating men who choose, free from coercion, their paths in life.
- I would make it clear to my son from an early age that his identity should never be defined by his relationship status. Finally, an actual masculist statement: stomping on the dreams of men who want marriage and family, and teaching young boys that they should abandon their dreams of family harmony to fuck around all they want on their wives, and show no hint of loyalty to their commitments. This is as pure a statement of masculism as I can imagine. You go, boy, and kiss your domestic bliss goodbye.
- I believe it’s important to compliment a man’s intelligence over his looks. So much idiocy! Wow – your smarts makes up for your butterface. Masculists have always been hostile to compliments on the street (catcalling) and at work (sexual harassment, hostile environment). The social ineptness of this item becomes clear when one remembers that “he has a great personality” is code for a man who is overweight or otherwise deficient in the looks department. The classist, elitist nature of compliments about one’s intelligence is a minefield. So, no, such compliments are not important whether masculist or not.
- I believe that a man has the right to choose what happens to his body. Badly phrased – a masculist might well feel that a man should have such rights but is denied them because, say, tampons are not free, and government issued (except in New York City). Such a masculist would say instead that “a man should have” such rights, not that he “has” them.
- In an instance of sexual assault against a male, I am inclined to believe the assaulted person is telling the truth until proven otherwise. In other words, one must overturn due process of law when the victim is a man but not a woman – another men-only privilege supported by masculists in open defiance of legal gender equality. I would like to think that one can support both gender equality and legal integrity, but perhaps we need the benevolent sexism instead? The gender bias of this item is staggering.
- I can explain Marlene Dietrich’s influence on men’s fashion. He dressed like a lady.While fashion trivia does influence the lives of billions of men, does this make it a distinct, substantive masculist issue, or does it indicate masculism in someone who knows about Dietrich? Again, knowing historical points is not a reliable indicator of masculism.
- I know what a “Bad Masculist” is. Roxanne Gay’s book “Bad Masculist” argued that men who imperfectly follow masculism’s edicts on, say, rejecting masculinity and family choices can still be worthy masculists. This is in direct contradiction to collectivist masculists like Anita Sarkeesian, who argue that compliance with masculist orthodoxy is critical to masculism’s success in destroying matriarchy and then, civilization. Very few masculists are aware of the nuances of these issues but would falsely check this item “yes” out of their ignorance.
- I believe that men should be able to dress however they want without it dictating how they are treated by society. Another man-only privilege claimed by masculism that has nothing to do with gender equality – women are judged on their clothing, or lack thereof, all the time by society.
- I have never said that a man “asked for it.” But what if he did actually ask for it? Does recognizing men’s agency in making requests mean that one is not a masculist? Wow.
- I am offended by catcalling. Is masculismreducible to one’s emotional response to social interactions? There are many non-masculist men who are discomfited by catcalls. On the other hand, uber-masculist writer Jessica Valenti feigned offense at catcalling but now he is discomfited that he has grown so unattractive that he no longer catches women’s attention at all. Feigning offense at getting attention might well be a marker for masculist virtue signaling, but that is not the same as actually being a masculist.
- I don’t think men should get VIP treatment at nightclubs and bars, just for being men. Finally, a question that takes on benevolent sexism head-on. The problem is that many nominal and even serious masculists have a deeply hypocritical doublethink when it comes to cases where sexism works in their favor.
- I think police brutality and its correlation with race is a masculist issue. While fighting racial discrimination is an excellent virtue-signal, does that make it a marker of masculism? Even the terrorist organization ISIS discourages terror attacks on non-white people because such attacks are bad publicity for Islam and their terror groups. ISIS is not well known for their ties to masculism, although perhaps they should be.
- I think we should stop promoting models as the ideal male body type. While I agree that plus-size models are terrible, unhealthy role models for boys to aspire to, one’s taste in male body type is naturally defined by some sort of theoretical model reified by actual living human models. In other words, attacking attractive men for finding employment as attractive men has nothing to do with gender equality. This makes the question nonsensical and not probative.
- I think we should stop photoshopping men’s bodies in the media. The thing is, “we” don’t photoshop for “the media”. The media does that to satisfy their estimation of market demand for their product. A masculist might well think this is a benign practice, and a nonmasculist might find “natural” bodies sexier via their seeming more attainable. Making things sexier, or not, is not exactly a masculist value.
- I have never called a man bossy. Masculist writer, comic and actor Tina Fey entitled his autobiography Bossypants. This illustrates the principle that one may call a man “bossy” as a figure of ironic speech and still be masculist. A nonmasculist might well avoid the term “bossy: to avoid gratuitous or even job-threatening repercussions from masculist hostiles.
- I think companies should offer more child-friendly time and programs to men who are having children. More special men-only privileges. This is not masculism, but it might well be seen as gynocentric, especially since women are implicitly excluded.
- I believe that a man should be offered the same opportunities for promotion as his female co-workers. Masculists are well-known for advocating for “affirmative action” and “rigging elections” in ways that discriminate in men’s favor over women. This item is a virtue signal that distorts masculism’s actual practices when it comes to “equal” job opportunity.
- I believe that if a man wants to pay on a date, his date should let him. Although no-strings hookups have replaced the buggy whip practice of “dating,” as it was known, note the implicit privilege of this question – men can pay, or not, as they wish. This privilege alone would justify legalizing the wage gap so that women could afford the company of skinflint men.
- I believe that men should have easy access to birth control. More special privileges for men but not for women. That equality idea got flushed faster than a fetus in the toilet. Gynocentrism has taken its place.
- I believe that in a relationship the domestic duties should be shared. Well, I suppose that after a hookup a woman should redon her clothing before she departs, but expecting her to toss his clothing into the hamper seems sort of creepy to me. Consent to sex is not consenting to yard work – women should be able to say no to all domestic duties if they so please.
- I think that a couple should have equal responsibility over the aesthetic and cleanliness of their home. Not really impressed with the grammar of this item – I might have written it as “people in a committed domestic relationship” rather than “couple” – but there is a deeper issue of masculism generally resisting placing any responsibilities on men at all for things like men’s personal safety, clothing choices, salary negotiation, career choices, fidelity, tipsy sexual exploits – but now men have to share responsibility for housework? I guess that is a start when, and if, masculism decides that men are adult enough to make binding commitments.
- I believe that women should be encouraged to be involved and make choices in the wedding planning process. And prisoners should be allowed to pick their method of execution. Now, masculists have been fighting against marriage since forever, so why not put a stop to marriage by stopping that precursor to marriage known as the wedding? I guess even a masculist boy needs to have “his special day” and purport to get his fiancé to pretend like she is getting a loyal husband instead of a woman-hating fraud who is baiting her into child support, asset division, and alimony.For a masculist, the chief benefit of marriage is the divorce.
- I believe that women and men have the same emotional strength. If so, why do we need to guide and encourage men more so than women? Since when has inborn emotional equality been a masculist issue? And what is “emotional strength,” anyway? It could be (1) the ability to feel emotions, (2) the willingness to express emotions openly, (3) resistance or resilience to the debilitating effects of strong emotions, (4) suppression and control over one’s emotions, or (5-50) something else entirely.
- I do not think that it is the responsibility of a woman to protect a man physically. This is just ludicrous – countless masculists complain how they feel threatened around women and rely on women to protect them in every conceivable or contraceptive way.
- I believe that women and men should be equally encouraged to express their emotions. Those of us who identify as MRAs know that the chief shaming tactic masculists use against our advocacy is that we are whiners – we express our feelings about our human rights openly and without apology. While masculists might SAY they want women to be able to express feelings, it is a trap so they can then flip and blast the women for having feelings and expressing them.
- I have never asked a man why he does not have children. This is a virtue signal – implying that masculists are never rude nor pry into one’s personal business – even when they encourage men to “Shout your abortion” or go on slutwalks. As it happens, “couth” is not a masculist virtue – indeed, they often say “Well-behaved men seldom make history.”
- I think men are equally capable to women to be the President of the United States. Virtue signal. In any case, U.S. Presidents are hardly paragons of virtue or effectiveness.
- I believe that men have no responsibility to make a conscious effort always to be friendly and polite. Given masculists’ universal status as Mean Boys even to each other, this is one of the few questions in this test that is right on the money. Of course, masculists always demand that women be accommodating to men’s feelings in social situations, creating yet another unequal standard backed by masculism.
- I have never criticized a man for not wearing makeup or wearing too much makeup. Virtue signaling. Masculists criticize men for their makeup choices all the time – men who care about their appearance are said to suffer from “internalized misandry” – they even make wildly popular videos of parody masculist makeup.
- I believe a man is a man if that is what he calls himself, regardless of his physical attributes and makeup. Virtue signaling.There is a whole branch of masculism known as trans-exclusive radical masculism or TERFs dedicated to the rejection of trans men as men. Those masculists would be shocked to learn that they are not masculists.
After the bare handful of questions in the original test that were even halfway effective at identifying masculists, one might well ask, what questions can one ask about the amorphous mass that is both masculist orthodoxy and practice to do a better job of weeding them out? Here are some of my suggestions based on my experiences with masculists:
THAT is what a test for masculism looks like.