Privilege and Prejudice: Social justice in an age of male confusion

If we don’t initiate our young men into the tribe they will come back and burn the village down – or so the famous, slightly paraphrased, African proverb warns. In today’s social media driven culture this pearl of wisdom could easily be dismissed as apologising for male violence. But irrespective of the current climate of inter-sectional identity politics this old proverb, almost offensive in its simplicity, holds worryingly true.

I recently attended a youth club in one of Scotland’s many deprived communities. One young man, petite in stature though massive in the personality stakes, had caught my attention the previous week. He had a nervous energy about him which manifested as a hundred fidgeting tics on constant rotation depending on whether he was sitting, standing or in transit. Whether tapping his toe or warning other kids not to come so close to him, he was a ball of knots so evidently at odds with himself.

He bragged of how he attended a special school where teachers were allowed to physically restrain him and that he was always being suspended for misbehaving. Every now and then he would shoot up out of his seat and launch himself around the small enclosed space like a pinball, rubbing other people up the wrong way, gathering pace with every off-hand comment about his tendency for disruption.

I genuinely hoped, given more time, I could build a rapport with the young man but sadly the night took a turn for the worst.

His language was very bad and while I would never exclude a child for swearing, I also had to consider other members of staff who take a more old school view of profanity. This meant I had no option but to advise him to refrain from using bad language – even though I knew it would be totally futile and drive only a wedge between us.

When you confront a troubled young person you run the risk of creating a side-show and that’s exactly what happened. Before long the young man was tearing around the hall, leaping up pillars, climbing behind barriers, enjoying the thrill of the chase with a captive audience – who wouldn’t?
But our club wasn’t set up to accommodate any of this. Therefore, his mad attention-seeking dash couldn’t be interpreted as anything other than undermining our authority and so we couldn’t respond except to initiate some form of force.

I coaxed the young people into another room and asked the staff to withdraw from the situation as their attempts to exert control were now fueling his mania.

Once the audience was gone I got a glimpse of this little boy’s true nature.
As I exited the side room to check on him, hoping his angry flame had petered out in the absence of spectators, he confronted me directly in the church hall. Standing about twenty feet in front of me, he screamed: “Why the fuck are you even here you urny fae this scheme?” His high-pitched voice breaking with rage.

It was a genuinely upsetting thing to witness. I could hear him hyper-ventilating even from that distance.

Not only was I alarmed by his tone but I was also startled by the fact he was holding two long pieces of metal in each hand, gesturing as if to lunge towards me.

Thankfully, he accepted the game was up and dropped the coshes before escaping from the building via the fire exit.

This was just another chapter in what will likely be his long, predictable, story of complete social exclusion.

Reports will be written by community police, community centre management and staff. Money will be spent repairing the window he smashed as a parting shot before vanishing into the cold, wet February night.
But at no point in this process will anyone be seriously willing to consider the fact we failed him. I failed him. My club was not adequately prepared to accommodate his needs and for this reason he was eventually excluded. Not to be too hard on myself here but the fact remains: a lack of planning on my part led to this incident being poorly handled. The poster for the club says ‘’All Welcome’’. Which is not quite true. End of story.

It would seem the only tribe that’s so far been willing to initiate him into their ranks is the tribe that says: If you’re not from this scheme fuck you.

All Cops Are Bastards.

And we can all go home and shake our wee heads at the thought of these futile young men who visit so much violence and destruction upon our communities. Uninitiated and wayward, our prisons fill up with these young boys, who some believe suffer from privilege. Boys who do not know how to be men because we haven’t shown them.

While, on the outside at trendy activist rallies and public sector jollies it becomes worryingly fashionable to dismiss their experience as well as much of the hard science around why they are so unruly – because it’s politically incorrect to acknowledge it.

There are many theories you could apply to the young boy. In fact, you could pretty much extrapolate whatever narrative suits your argument which is why facts are good to fall back on. Nonetheless, social theory holds increasing sway in the public sector where its influence is both subtle and unaccountable, despite only being discussed by a small fraction of the public.

One social theory that could be applied to this situation is the notion of ‘Toxic Masculinity’. This theory states that, through a sense of powerlessness at being a child, the boy has unconsciously identified the force of his own masculine characteristics. By bringing these into play he can wield more influence over his current predicament – in this case a lack of power. The thinking is that he learns this behaviour because toxic masculinity is modeled to him everywhere in a patriarchal society; pervading his personal life, perhaps at home, as well as popular culture where he is exposed to endless examples of men using force to get what they want.

Then there’s a more standard theory. One that you’d hear from his child psychologist, social workers and any cops who are paid a little more to think. This boy, by chance, finds himself in a deprived community. His caregivers, suffering the chronic stress of poverty, perhaps with duel addictions or mental health issues, have failed to instill in their son (because it was not instilled in them) a positive sense of self, strong enough to sustain moments of fear and uncertainty. For this reason, the boy is in a perpetual state of fight or flight and this manifests, initially, as challenging behaviour. The boy is, according to this worldview, presenting symptoms of mental and emotional distress which will lead to social exclusion and his environment and primary caregivers are the two main catalysts for his behaviour. But this is a less popular view to take the older he gets because once this boy becomes a man then he is fair game – from all sides.

Problems arise when yet unsubstantiated social theories begin to influence people with influence. It presents a variety of challenges both to professionals as well as service users, who can become pawns in a backroom ideological struggle between radical idealism and what, thus far, is proven to work.

I could go on but I won’t. The point is: with theory permeating all aspects of public life we now have more reasons than ever to disagree with each other about the nature of problems at precisely the moment where what we require is consensus and action.

In my view this child is a victim of circumstance. But what happens when he crosses the threshold of legal
culpability? What kind of world awaits this kind of man or men who hail from his kind of back ground?
There is much soul-searching going on within the collective male-psyche as the concept of being a man approaches its sell-by-date. Much like the vacuous self-help industry was on hand when religion fell out of fashion, consumerism will attempt to fill the hole left in masculinity following the collapse of industry.

Who’ll be there when the free market drops the ball? Surely social justice will be on hand to pick up the slack?

Well not exactly. You see, the last thing a lefty wants to do right now is stand up for young men. In every area of life the very concept of being sympathetic to the plight of the young male (white or otherwise) has become laughable.

With a genuine political need to make its values visible in a climate dominated by nationalism much of the left seems, understandably, eager to capitulate to non-rational outrage; using it as a Trojan horse to push its agenda into a public mind currently consumed by constitutional politics.

In this particular conversation the topic of male identity is often discussed in increasingly narrow terms and even referred to as an obstacle to progress, unless, of course, the male is aligned with the prevailing orthodoxy. This is a natural push back against male dominance and while difficult to traverse at times, is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

But what kind of conversations are going on beyond this echo chamber and what other tribes are on offer for a young man who might feel the left no longer speaks for him?

Let me give you an example of an issue that cuts diagonally across what many might consider ‘lefty’ politics.

Recently, Roosh V, a right wing, pseudo intellectual pick up artist, attempted to hold a gathering in Glasgow for his followers to meet and discuss their sexual exploits. This, in itself, is not a crime. The issue caused fury because Roosh is also a writer with some controversial opinions on extremely sensitive topics like rape culture.

In one ‘thought experiment’ he proposed the idea of making rape legal on private property as a solution to what he felt was ‘female responsibility avoidance’. He believes that the female should take more care and not go home with a man she does not know and that not getting raped is as much her responsibility as it is the rapists. Roosh, believes that is a rational intellectual position in the fight against gender-based sexual violence.

In other words, Roosh is a complete fucking douche-bag using free-speech to antagonise feminists for media exposure. This as well as clearly holding some retrograde attitudes about women which he cloaks unskilfully in a reasoned veneer.

One aspect of the debacle that many of us missed was the nature and intention of those who piped up defending his right to free speech. People, who did not agree with his views, but were alarmed nonetheless by many lefty’s eagerness to not only speak out against him but also intimidate and humiliate his followers. While targeting Roosh was completely understandable (and necessary) more attention could have been paid to the people on the periphery who were drawn to him for a multitude of reasons – not simply by a hatred of women.

We also missed the more skilled advocates of free speech who surfaced, not all raging woman haters, but instead, part of a school of thought gaining serious traction in the United States and elsewhere. We simply told ourselves that anyone defending Roosh’s personal liberty must be a bedroom-dwelling sexual failure or feminist-hating rape apologist.

Sadly, what’s coming is not going to be as simple or predictable as dealing with misogyny. What we’ll soon be dealing with is a groundswell of cultural libertarianism that has the progressive left firmly in its cross-hairs.

It’s time to wise up or receive the hiding of a lifetime.

This advancing libertarian movement is less concerned with Ron Paul-style economic liberty and free-markets and more with what it sees as encroachments, by the left, on the free exchange of ideas.
What they are fighting for is, on the surface, both tangible and morally-just. There is a simplicity in their message that resonates with a broad range of people and this coupled with a low-entry level to their ideas has made them the new go-to tribe for those frustrated at being shut down, hounded or shamed by lefties online. No doubt many of Roosh V’s more passive followers became radicalised that night and, in the absence of a lumber, took to Youtube in search of a worldview that did not diagnose them as the problem.
We’ve all been there.

This movement is giving expression to countless people, across the whole political spectrum, at the end of their tether with a left they feel is obsessed with identity politics.

That’s why it is absolutely essential that we realise we are not dealing with a band of neo-Nazi-skin heads or socially detached Tories. What we are dealing with is a new, improved version of ourselves.
This is an intelligent and focused intellectual counter culture emboldened by the new atheist movement of the early 2000’s – referred to pejoratively (and without a hint of irony) as ‘The Dark Enlightenment’ by socialists and progressives aware of its existence. But where Hitchens and Harris used delusional creationists as polemical target practice on bible-belt university campuses, this ascendant multi-faceted philosophy has turned its critical eye on the all-knowing religion of social justice.

This is a movement equipped for the social-media age, much like Scottish Nationalism, that sees itself as the antithesis of the intellectual status-quo. Like nationalism, its arbiters unite around a founding principle from which they can never be shifted, and this becomes the glue that holds millions of individuals in place. Online there is a new pantheon of polemicists, thinkers, writers, artists and philosophers championing the libertarian cause; responding to current events like the recent ‘no-platforming’ of biologist Richard Dawkins, among other things, with not only contempt but genuinely sophisticated (sometimes entertaining) arguments rooted in more than just reactionary emotion and vaguely articulated principle.

The aim of the game is to push back against, what it believes to be, a pernicious and pervasive progressive dogma that compartmentalises society into sub-groups based on arbitrary factors like race and gender, while super-imposing subjective, freedom-inhibiting, social theory onto every aspect of life.

Ironically, a mode of activism that makes meaningful class struggle more challenging as it, in its most absurd form, divides every pre-existing struggle into sub-struggles, aggressively competing with one another for cultural prominence.

The very movement the left adopted to stay relevant is now giving it a bit of an image problem but the sensitivity around some of the issues being discussed, like gender-based violence, mean people are anxious to challenge certain prevailing points of view, even if they disagree. Not only does this stifle the free exchange of ideas but also creates resentment which can quickly escalate to heated accusations.
In particular, advocates of victims of abuse hold more influence than ever before and some feel this can distort discussion of certain issues.

Enemies from all sides can smell blood while much of the left, unfortunately, is too caught up in its own conversation to notice. Those who are more aware are either considering defecting to a more libertarian viewpoint or naively underestimating the threat.

Led by Youtubers like Sargon of Akkad, Thunderfoot and the uncomfortably compelling, Stefan Molyneux, along with many others, this movement is comprised of individuals, many of whom can be easily dismissed as ‘zoomers’ but who, nonetheless, consider themselves radical free-thinkers, inspired by enlightenment values.

While lefties are seen as quick to dismiss their critics as racists, rape-apologists, scum-bags and misogynists without a second thought, these libertarians identify as the real defenders of free speech and human rights in the face of ‘neo-progressive’ tyranny.

Where many on the left would find it politically incorrect to call a spade a spade, as it were, this emergent counter culture is not only unafraid of slanderous accusations but they also come to the party armed to the teeth with facts and data supporting many of their controversial positions.

Positons that are usually associated with the political right but which are becoming more mainstream as Western media and politics adopts a more anxious and protectionist posture in the wake of global economic uncertainty and escalating military conflict. But while many of the issues raised by this movement are synonymous with the right, this new movement also has a healthy culture of open debate and intellectual inquiry and for this reason has become attractive to larger numbers over the last few years. This is not necessarily because of misogyny but more, the allure of reasoned, non-accusatory, discussion in age where the white man is much easier to dismiss out of hand.

There’s also an element of taboo at play, which doubles up as entertainment, as these libertarians are not shy to speak out against many of the left’s sacred cows; strident celebrity feminists like Anita Sarkeesian who invoke ‘safe spaces’ to exclude a diversity of opinion and insulate themselves from criticism while launching lucrative crowd-fund appeals to perform relatively simple tasks like point out obvious things about violent computer games; Islamic extremists, sections of the left tend to sympathise with, who pose more of a threat to the feminist plight than media savvy opportunists like Roosh V.

Just seeing other people say this stuff out loud offers catharsis to thousands of people who would otherwise identify as lefties, but who are increasingly at odds with how issues are discussed and advanced. There is a feeling that this particular strain of well-intentioned progressivism inadvertently implicates everyone, but the progressives themselves, in industrial scale cycles of abuse; every human interaction being part of a wider, sinisterly orchestrated power dynamic.

But ultimately, beneath the politics and rhetoric, people are flocking to see the world through this particular lens because they feel rejected for being honest about how they feel. While many of the high-profile libertarians may be of genuine concern to us, many of their followers are just everyday people who are confused and isolated in the cacophony of modern life. They look online and are attracted to the idea of being accepted, unconditionally, into another tribe. A tribe where it’s acceptable to be their authentic selves without being accused of apologising for rape and structural violence.
Everything else follows from that and this is what we must understand.

Over here we only seem to talk about what we are against or who we’re shutting down next. I know this is not the case for those involved in grassroots activism, but this is the dim-light we currently give off to the wider public. Over in shiny-new libertarian land our traditional open and shut topics like immigration and rape culture can be openly discussed and debated without accusatory language and condemnation. It’s a movement that prides itself – unjustly so at times – in the art of debate, where a firm grasp of the facts is underscored by an unshakable belief in the free exchange of ideas.

And unsurprisingly there is a lack of concern for protecting people’s feelings – least of all those who would thoughtlessly impede on personal liberty all in the name of personal liberty.

We have to separate what parts of this movement we could constructively engage from the parts we need to fight. The first instinct would be to attack its moral failings, but their response would be brutal, reasoned and devastatingly entertaining to hear. By dismissing it as misogyny we’re playing the man and not the ball and we are being willfully aloof to the fact that the intellectualisation of prejudice is something every one of us is guilty of from time to time.

We should be unafraid to own up to our absurdity and, in fact, welcome the critical gaze from within our own ranks as well as behind enemy lines.

How do we show our better side to the people we disagree with, those who are more moderate and likely to engage? May we be out of step on some issues or out of intellectual shape in terms of spotting where we’re falling short?

Can we, for example, concede that some feminist activism is unhelpful while also asserting, unequivocally, that society as a whole benefits from gender equality and that it’s the opposite of rational to generalise all feminists based on the misguided actions of a few? Why not explain to them that new-atheist poster-boy and legendary polemicist, Christopher Hitchens, was a strong ally of women globally and when he wasn’t going after Bill Clinton for sexually abusing them he was talking about how the empowerment of women is the only known cure for poverty. He even went after Mother Theresa, so angered he was with her ‘poverty is the friend of the poor’ nonsense and hated religion partly because of the way it subjugated women, not only to men, but false Gods.

Can we accept that while nebulous, thorny, self-referential and indulgent, identity politics can also be a transformative vehicle for empowerment and has already contributed greatly to the enhanced rights and freedoms of all people – including white men? Are we able to detect when it’s disappearing up its own arse and gently make one another aware or will we continue to walk on egg-shells around socially-mobile, relatively privileged activists who rarely have to interface with every day people?

Can we accept that some women, whipped up into a frenzy by radical feminists, have inadvertently denigrated the very concepts that were created to support those who have suffered genuinely harrowing abuse? Safe spaces and trigger warnings have now become a source of misunderstanding as libertarians cite countless examples of privileged women using them in absurd ways. We hear stories of women who claim tweets can trigger their PTSD and see examples of ‘safe spaces’ being invoked in public places, while a growing culture of ‘no-platforming’ stifles debate. In the case of ‘trigger warnings’, while completely rational and understandable concept, can we also engage with an argument that says there is no real evidence to suggest that being protected from recalling distressing memories is conducive to a healthy recovery from a traumatic event?

(As someone who is ‘triggered’ from time to time I can say with certainty that any attempt to re-order the external world and its inhabitants around my own personal difficulty has ended in complete failure. Grief must be faced head on if it is to be understood and overcome.)

Can we accept that progressivism has an image of being largely about middle class white people assuming the role of spokesperson on behalf of others and that class, therefore, must be at the forefront, running parallel to any other social theory being discussed or debated?

Can we accept that the social theory of privilege is probably best served as a means of articulating one’s own experience but is maybe not the best way to pitch social change to other individuals and groups? Namely as it tends to implicate them in horrendous acts of oppression with no recourse to dispute the accusation? Is acknowledging some of this admitting defeat or just whittling our task down to a more manageable size?

Surely some of you are already pondering these things but are anxious to say it out loud?
When it comes to foreign policy and immigration can we accept that opposing points of view are not necessarily immoral?

Can we present rational arguments for our assertion that casting a critical eye on the institution of Islam itself, as opposed to just extremist elements, will do more harm than good in the struggle to fight terror? Can we, essentially, make a positive case for a religion or does this contradict our secular, rational leanings?

How does political correctness affect our ability to discuss uncomfortable facts?
How can we say gender based violence is a problem for men because mostly men perpetrate it but on the other hand skip over the fact most terrorism is perpetrated by radical Muslims?

Is it a crime to even think that thought?

Most of all, can we humble ourselves to accept when a rational idea originates in the mind of a disagreeable person? Can we accept, for example, that while we see a net economic benefit from immigration, that this benefit is never felt by the poor and disadvantaged and, therefore, can we empathise with those who question the logic of letting migrants re-settle poor communities already under immense social and cultural strain?

Which of our positions are about standing by principle and which are about outdated, rigid dogma? Let’s not be afraid to confront this question openly and without fear.

With the very concept of masculinity up for renewal it is extremely important that we do not, in our virtuous attempt to make overdue space for marginalised voices, inadvertently set up an esoteric talking shop that sneers at the very thought a man (white or otherwise) may have an opinion on his place in this new plural society.

We cannot allow a small, obtrusive, strain of activism that views the male as an obstacle to progress pervade leftist politics because there is no progress unless a majority of men (white or otherwise) are on-board. This is surely a practical conclusion to draw as opposed to one overly-steeped in idealism. It’s easy to stay in your own conversation and lose sight of how your politics actually plays out in the real world.

Visit a prison and you’ll see where the concept of male privilege runs into problems.
This new tribe is advancing because they promote a world view where the men don’t have to change: this is where they are most deluded. Still, they absorb disaffected men in droves every single day by offering a world view where they can be the good guys. All while we focus on nationalists and take our position on the political spectrum for granted.

Much like the Unionist politicians and press not so long ago, we may find ourselves totally supplanted by this new, taboo and altogether simpler way of thinking – with nothing but our petty sense of entitlement to blame.

We have forgotten how to engage with opposing ideas in a respectful and constructive way. At least, in the public’s eyes we have and this is what counts ultimately. This lack of self-awareness, coupled with a right-on, slightly trendy, cowboys and Indians world view, which otherises the darker aspects of human nature in favour of moral posturing, is driving people away from us and into the arms of a movement which is sure to find political expression soon enough. And mark my words, we’ll be the first thing they come after.

You’re likely harbouring some in your ranks right now who are just keeping their thoughts to themselves for a quiet life.

We need to be ready.

We need to become champions of freedom of expression as well as arbiters of social justice and we have to reflect on which of our mutually exclusive, non-negotiable, principles are incompatible with each other – free speech and insidious political correctness I’m looking at you. We do not have to agree on everything but we have to respect people with other ideas and remain mindful of the young men our all-inclusive echo-chamber nonchalantly excludes.

Whether we like it or not young men, as a social group, wield such a level of potential force in society. It doesn’t matter if that is fair or not it’s simply a fact. We absolutely must handle this evolving issue with care and understanding and be ready to reign in the zealots in our own ranks who allow personal prejudice to fuel their politics under a veil of social inclusion.

Partitioning ourselves off from the complexity of the male experience and ignoring the implications of pursuing non-rational, ideologically driven, politically correct solutions to male violence and misogyny will only suffice for so long. If we continue engaging in our own exclusive conversations, where people must agree with certain non-negotiable precepts or be excluded, then don’t be surprised when the young men we inadvertently shun eventually find another tribe.

And be even less surprised when they return to the debating village one day with fire torches – and it won’t be to perform a juggling show.

Comments (66)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. leavergirl says:

    Brilliant. More like this, Loki!

    “Come to Dark Enlightenment… We have cookies…. ” 🙂

  2. kate says:

    i would like to point that no platforming , verbal denigration & abuse has been frequently been and is still often directed with particular & extreme vehemence at radical feminists – a diverse group of people with socialists at one end and mega capitalists at the other – who you seem to despise for reasons i don’t really understand. Perhaps it is the ‘not all men’ angle.

    the men who are really ‘not all men’ concern themselves with the abuse of women by men, not feminism/s and demand men take responsibility for the behaviour of men.i don’t think you really accept the daily toll of extreme violence against women internationally from mass rapes to domestic killings as a problem men need to take responsibility for. that’s not radical or unusual – for men it almost always comes back to a problem with women, by some means. it is a way out of truly facing and accepting the extent of everyday male violence.

    roosh advocates rape be made legal. it is not a free speech issue when a man advocates criminal abuse of women .

    women are not whipped into a frenzy by radical feminists, some women *are* radical feminists and many of them are are also socialists and some are also working class. it will not have escaped your attention that working class women are particularly likely to be exploited and abused by men as a result of economic combined with gender power imbalance and that this is even more true in less ‘developed’ nations.

    i think you show a lack of respect for women and feminism/s in a variety of ways in this article.
    the feminism i hate with a passion is the one that colludes with and promotes capitalism & imperialism and thus trashes women, as so much 3rd wave, liberal feminism does, usually indirectly. we all have our priorities. why one of yours is attacking radical feminism is a question i think you should ask yourself deeply.

    1. Loki says:

      Im not attacking anyone. For goodness sake I would have thought that was obvious. I am simply trying to lay out the various perspectives as I understand them and show how certain issues are discussed and disagreed upon – yes, sometimes based on misunderstandings.

      If you feel I am attacking a certain group then I simply do not know what to say. I have taken great care to elaborate in detail on every point and tried to show balance at all points. I am not endorsing or opposing anyone…I was trying to write a comprehensive account of a really complicated and sensitive subject.

      Its upsetting that you genuinely think I am attacking ANYONE let alone a group of feminists. I made reference to specific activists or types of activists and this is in line with the same critiques I offered of other groups in the piece.

      I thank you for reading

      1. Robert Goodfellow says:

        Oh, Loki. Why do you hang onto this tired old philosophy? Feminism is completely corrupted by the fanatics and absolutists. Your own fellow SJWs are turning on you for even SUGGESTING the POSSIBILITY that they might be going about this the wrong way. It’s the snake biting it’s own tail.

        Come to the dark side. The MRA wants people like you. Why? Because you doubt yourself. We doubt ourselves too. We aren’t sure we are right. We examine everything we do. We accept the ideas of the enemy and the good ideas we keep, and the bad ones we mock. We are also so much more happy, positive, and upbeat. We look forward to being wrong, because if we are wrong, we now have an opportunity to be right.

        “I’m fallible, and I love to fail”

        Do you know ANY SJWs willing to state that phrase and MEAN it?

        I work with the mentally and physically disabled. I help people getting out of mental hospitals, trying to get a normal life. When I have the strength, I work a suicide prevention hotline. When I have the time, I bottle feed orphaned kittens and run hospice care for dying cats.

        Oh. Yeah. I used to think like you.

        I came here to this article because of Sargon of Akkad. He did a video about you. You should watch it. He speaks highly of you. I think highly of you as well. Your fellow SJWs? They Don’t. You are a threat to them. They need people like you, but you don’t need them. They know it. It’s why they attack you. They want to shut you up and get you to go back to toting the party line like a good little “white knight”.

        Let me explain what feminism is about. Feminism wants equality. White Men have money. They want to take that money. Then they would be equal. 90% of the feminists are just cannon fodder for the politburo.

        That’s it. That’s all it is. That’s Social Marxism. Everything else is propaganda. They are just greedy and they don’t really care. Sorry. It’s true.

        We don’t want your money. We want your time and insight. We want your critical thinking. We want that ability to DOUBT. We want you to DOUBT the Feminists. And Doubt Us TOO. Hell, Doubt ME! But you can’t just doubt. You have to then double check. Look into the claims yourself. Figure out things for yourself.

        When you look at it closely, where are the cracks? Which side stands the test of time? Which side is willing to change with the times? Which side is morally right?

        Don’t answer the questions. Research the questions. Find out if the answers you once thought were right, STILL are right.

        When you make your choice, and the SJWs WILL make you make a choice, you let me know. Either way, YOU are a human being, not a human doing. You shouldn’t be valued for what you can DO. You are of value, just because you are.

        And if you run into that sort of kid again, let me know. I know a few tricks. I dunno if you can do it with your SJW outlook, but if you can write this article, you might have a flexible enough mind to give it a try. Either way, no matter what you decide, if you need help, let me know. – Bob

  3. Jim Bennett says:

    Very intereating stuff. Thanks, Loki.

  4. kate says:

    am taking the pro hillary clinton radical feminist as overlapping with liberal feminism in an ‘its all about the promotion of disadvantaged upper/ middle class women onto boards & be equal w/ upper middle class men’ feminism. they can be any colour as long as got the money. egalitarian that way.

    but what does it matter. you are a genius , thanks so much for trashing feminists loki, especially radical ( & socialist) feminists, who started women’s refuges etc

    1. Loki says:

      Oh come on man. That is so obviously NOT what this article tries to do. Fuck sake.

      1. Robert Goodfellow says:

        Uh… yeah. It sort of does. You basically tell the SJW that they aren’t capable of self-assessment. Any group that becomes consumed with Absolutism is Doomed.

        Let us explore the properties of an outbreak in absolutism

        1) An absolutist is Hyper-Logical.

        To the external observer, an absolutist seems completely insane. They appear illogical, chaotic, and often unintelligent. A pure absolutist example is none of these things. The are not illogical, but Hyper-logical. They have accepted certain concepts as true, that are not true. More importantly, they have set up a filter that prevents them from accepting any data from un-trusted sources. Because of this, they have only their spurious data to base their logic on.

        Internally, they are VERY logical. If you accept their internal logic, often the internal logic is stable, to a point. Because the logic isn’t based on testable truths, eventually all Absolutists reach a point where they have a data error.

        A normal person then stops to deal with this data error and eventually sanity prevails.

        The Absolutist instead simply ignores it, or dismisses the error, or engages in a number of defense mechanisms that allow them to simply skip over the error, then continue on with their self-delusions.

        It is worth noting that it is extremely unlikely that an absolutist reading this will in any way shape or form consider the possibility that they are an absolutist. So, if you are wondering if this applies to you, take a moment and honestly reflect on yourself to see if you have any of these symptoms. Just the act of being willing to consider the possibility that you might be infected with Absolutism, indicates that either it isn’t strong in you, it’s limited to only one particular subject you enjoy, or you aren’t absolutist.

        2) An Absolutist is part of a greater whole.

        An absolutist all by himself is harmless. But absolutists need a framework to be a part of. Preferably a framework with easy to understand base concepts, but the deeper you get into it, the more complex it becomes. This allows the Absolutist to hide from internal logic errors.

        An absolutist that, for whatever reason, finds himself in isolation, will immediately seek out a new cause to join. I am not sure exactly why this is. I have some untested theories, but they would be pure speculation. If you need a reason, I’ll go with most absolutists have some sort of deep longing to belong. Childhood trauma? Penis Envy? Pick your poison. The why may be interesting to explore, but for now, simply understand it happens.

        3) The Absolutist transfers his identity onto the group.

        This is an important stage. Once accepting a society or concept as it’s host, the identity of the absolutist shifts, like a chameleon to become part of the healthy organization. There is one important difference. When you attack an absolutist personally, the Absolutist does not perceive the attack as personal, but as an attack on his organization as a whole.

        By doing this, the Absolutist no longer has to suffer any personal injury. You do not hate me, you take all women. You do not hate me, you hate Donald Trump. By doing this, the Absolutist is protected from all personal attacks.

        The absolutist does not pretend to be a member of the new group. The absolutist is totally and one hundred percent converted to the new group. In fact, the absolutist is more then likely wracked with guilt at having been cast out, or at being less then perfect. The new convert is more then likely to be several times more fanatical than any other member of group that accepted them.

        4) An attack on the group, is an attack on the Absolutist.

        The reverse is also true. An attack on anyone else in the group, or any criticism of the organization is taken as a personal attack on the absolutist. Thus the Absolutist feels like a hero, rushing to the defense of others. Again, while they are getting angry and taking things personally, this viewpoint provides a layer of separation that protects the absolutist from being hurt personally, while being the victim at the same time.

        I’m not entirely sure why this is. I suspect that it is some sort of hold over from when humanity lived in tiny villages. It’s why Mobs form and tend to act with a Mob Mind. In the Absolutist, they LOVE a good Mob. And since all absolutists love mobs, they love to come together to perform actions for “the good of all”. Unfortunately, often what is “good” has been redefined under the circular Hyper-Logic to be usually quite detrimental.

        5) The Absolutist needs to spread its’ beliefs.

        The absolutist needs to infect others. On some level, every absolutist knows that it’s data is in error. The only way this can be reconciled is by changing all the rest of reality to match their skewed view point. This requires the Absolutist to divide the world into “Us vs Them”.

        If you accept what an absolutist believes, they are more then happy to bring you into the fold. However, this is where the Absolutist, unintentionally, often begins to infect others. It starts with the absolutist stating that they will “teach” the new comer and help them to understand things.

        However, the new arrival is never able to totally understand the “One True Way”. When mistakes are mad, the Absolutist often becomes unhappy and aggressive, insulting and berating the new convert. The new convert begins to reel back and promises to change. Then the Absolutist rewards the new arrival with praise, until they screw up again. But not always.

        Usually the internal Hyper-Logic of the absolutist is so difficult for the new convert to understand, the new convert doesn’t quite know what will and won’t set them off. This results in what is known as “Skinner Box” type of behavioral reinforcement. The apparent “random” nature of how the “mentor” rewards and punishes the new convert often causes the new convert to either quickly leave as they realize what is going on, or to try even harder. Doubling down and accepting any sort of nonsense without question, simply to gain the approval of the mentor.

        Needless to say, this is far more likely to work on individuals with weak wills or those who seek the approval of others.

        6) THEY are out to get the Absolutist.

        A full blown Absolutist outbreak quickly develops a “them” or a “They”. This ill-defined group is the enemy of the group. The ones responsible for the errors and problems. It can be just a nebulous feeling, or be given a name. Sometimes THEY aren’t real, sometimes THEY are an actual group, but they aren’t actually out to get you. The real group might not even know the absolutists exist.

        The government is a popular choice, but illuminati, Patriarchy, Liberal Elites, Feminists, Pro-Lifers, Pro-Choicers, Atheists, Satanist, Any Religion… in fact, any group will do. What is sad is that sometimes a group of absolutists will pick another group that actually exists rather than make one up, and in the process infect them with absolutism. Thus the so-called enemy group, becomes the enemy the original group feared they were.

        As a case study, I would point to the parallel evolution of the Pro-life and Pro-Choice movements.

        Another sad outcome is that some times the enemy group doesn’t exist, but formed because the group kept using it as a scapegoat.

        As a case study, I would look at Feminism and “The Patriarchy”. As of the year 2000, there is no evidence of any (effective) movement to “put women back in their place” The laws, as written in the United States were not sexist in and of themselves. (I would agree that it is possible that the ADMINISTRATION of those laws was at times anti-feminist, but that would fall upon the shoulders of individuals, not on the government as a whole.) However, since feminism kept complaining about the Patriarchy, a backlash has started to form that is most definitely anti-feminist. Case in point, MGTOW. It would be telling to determine if the 3rd wave feminists weren’t blaming a nebulous concept for persecution, if other absolutists wouldn’t have created an organization to fill that roll.

        7) The redefining of language

        It’s sad that Orwell’s warnings have not been heeded, but every Absolutist eventually starts to redefine what words mean. They more special words a group creates to help define things, the more likely they are to be absolutist. The absolutist needs to redefine language because there are using hyper-logic that cannot properly interact with the real world.

        By changing words, they bring the world more in line with their own philosophies. By limiting how people think, they cause more absolutists to be born. By taking words that make them uncomfortable and redefining them, the absolutist manages to make, at least on paper, the world match their vision.

        In effect, they make Two Plus Two Equal Five, because they redefine Five to mean Two Plus Two.

        8) All Absolutists eventually turn inward.

        An absolutist cause is only as strong as its enemies. If it has no real enemies left, it must find them. This is the final stage of an absolutist infestation.

        The group becomes almost completely infected with absolutism, or the remaining members pretend to be absolutists, hoping to ride out the madness.

        Fake absolutists are easily detected by true absolutists, and thus begins the purge.

        Order Thru Vigilance. Decency Thru Purification.
        Treason By Thought, Treason By Word, Treason By Dead.

        The Absolutists then turn to cleaning house. At this point, usually the hyper-logic based on false concepts has spiraled out of control. What began with, as far as the absolutist is concerned, the best of intentions with the intent of spreading the quote truth unquote, turns into an orgy of self-destruction.

        The group tears itself apart, starting with the weakest members, then working higher and higher up the food chain. As absolutists peel away, they go to infect other organizations. Eventually there is some sort of shattering. The fragments all make claims to being the “One True Way” and then the process starts all over again.

        The process may be halted by external or internal forces. The process may reverse, then resume. This is just an idealized example and many variants and mutations of Absolutism have arose over time.

    2. Doug says:

      He is not trashing feminists. He does point out areas where others criticize some aspects of radical feminism. Sorry to say, but this reactionary (and apparently illiterate) response is exactly the kind of thing that fuels the flame of the oncoming fire that Loki is warning us about.

      1. Mark says:

        Kate is clearly not illiterate. Even if you think Kate is employing hyperbole, there is no reason to meet like with like.

        I don’t entirely agree with a lot of the article (discussed elsewhere) but I concur that none of it was intended as an overt attack on anyone.

  5. Alastair McIntosh says:

    To me , the first half of this is one of the best pieces of social analysis I’ve ever read. Not only is it brilliantly written, but it is sharply and courageously prescient in understanding young male alienation in terms of damage to the self (dare we say it, soul?).

    I’m also with Loki on the marginalisation of male identity. To such listings as LGBTIQ, I want to see included in the + the letter H. Why? Because whereas marginalised minorities are finding platforms in which to explore their gender(s), sexualit(ities) and ident(ies), I’m seeing young heterosexual men in the area of Glasgow where I live lacking such opportunity for some of the very reasons Loki names.

    Where I part company with him in this piece, and lean strongly towards Kate, is that in 2 areas.

    1) I felt uneasy in his discussion of the rape apologist. The rape of a woman, with consequences that are assymetrical to the rape of a man (I.e. pregnancy), is a depth of soul violation that, to me, demands a more explicit standing in solidarity with women than I heard here. I’m not saying Loki doesn’t have that solidarulity, just that in his effort to understand profound misogyny, it would have helped me to have heard it more explicitly.

    2) I don’t think Loki has grasped how important some strands of radical feminism are for men as well as women. I say “some” because I’m not talking Camille Paglia sort of privileged feminism (tho I’ve not read her sinc 1990s), but rather, those feminists, admittedly somewhat 1970s, whose work on gender has been a cry for the equality of the human soul. Women like Alice Walker, Adrianne Rich, bel hooks, even Mary Daly at her most stellar. To me, these were an important part of my coming to understand both gender and spirituality. Walker’s “The Color Purple” which I read on Iona in the 1980s is a fine example.

    Based on this piece, I’d just want to suggest to Loki that feminism is a broad kirk, and invites perhaps more hearing than it seems to have been given here; indeed, more recognition of a common and beautiful cause. However, I would not want these criticisms (from one who is of a middle class background) to detract from the brilliance and importance of the article’s first half.

    And thanks to Mike Small (presumably) at Bella for publishing it. A good example of an essay that would have been too edgy for the mainstream liberal media.

    1. leavergirl says:

      Edgy is good. Some of us are utterly revolted by PC. Roosh is revolting too, but saying crap is different from doing crap. Let people say their say. Enough muzzling. Enough jumping to conclusions and forever taking offense.

      I love radfeminism. I also think that feminism is dead. Good riddance. Everything gathers baggage as it goes, and in the end, you gotta let it go.

      Just looked up Dark Enlightenment, and it seems yet another attempt to pigeonhole some of the people who think outside of the box of the matrix. It’s so seductive, isn’t it. Give it a label, tame it, clip its wings, intimate fascism for that holier-than-thou thrill.

      We gotta talk to each other again. Each other. Raw. Not through filters and constructs. That’s what I hear Loki doing. Yes.

    2. baronesssamedi says:

      So no-one has all of the truth

    3. baronesssamedi says:

      So in the old saying, no-one has all of the truth

    4. Davy Marzella says:

      Alastair wrote : “To such listings as LGBTIQ, I want to see included in the + the letter H. Why? Because whereas marginalised minorities are finding platforms in which to explore their gender(s), sexualit(ities) and ident(ies), I’m seeing young heterosexual men in the area of Glasgow where I live lacking such opportunity for some of the very reasons Loki names.”

      – Am I right in presuming *H* is for heterosexual , or maybe human ? Can I repeat comment I added previously…..

      I agree with sentiment – maybe it was not intended literally …ie. to add to the ever increasing LGBTIQxyz….

      Gender and/or sexuality is an issue for everybody , not just for women and “the gays”. That includes heterosexual-identified men…. Maybe especially heterosexual-identified men.
      Women and “gay” men have done a lot of work on making “the personal political” , which maybe gives some “straight” men an excuse to avoid dealing with these kind of issues……”we’re sorted , leave these kind of things to them”
      According to recent surveys it is becoming more common among younger people to discard identities based on who you are attracted to sexually , which I think is a good thing.

  6. Edwin Moore says:

    Another fascniating piece by one of the most interesting modern commentators on Scotland, and thanks to Bella Caledonia for hosting Loki, whose views are not always comfortable to BC, or indeed to any of us.

    Loki mentions the ‘element of taboo’ which pemeates the left. A current example of this is the turmoil at the Glasgow Central Mosque, a bitter struggle between Muslims who wish to engage with the secular west and tho old Saudi-funded guard who see that secular west as an enemy to be vanquished, a struggle the left doesn’t seem to know how to even begin to discuss. I don’t want to pick a fight with Kate or anyone else, but I submit that taboo issues like this ae more important than picking over the bones of some scummy rape apologist (whose views, incidentally, from what I know of them, seem not dissimilar to those expressed by ‘bad social etiquette’ George Galloway in defence of Assange).

  7. Justin Kenrick says:

    Wow – quite a piece.

    If I’ve understood you right, the fundamental point you’re making is that:

    “We cannot allow a small, obtrusive, strain of activism that views the male as an obstacle to progress [to] pervade leftist politics because there is no progress unless a majority of men (white or otherwise) are on-board.”

    If so, then for me this aspect of what you are saying is hugely important, and another completely misses the mark, and I think you might even agree.

    On the one hand, there is no point dismissing and demonising males or No voters or UKIP supporters as if they were the cause of the problem (agree with you there).

    On the other hand there is a need to point to the structures of power that use all of these to further their power and to close down the space for a society that cares, and that would reign in the power of these structural elites. (I’m not seeing this aspect in what you wrote here).

    Structural violence is the problem, and part of that is the violence of male gangs, but the really vicious gangs are the Bullingdon boys and the Bush/Blair boys not those of the schemes.

    In your really admirable and welcome attempt to bring into the discussion elements we often just dismiss rather than take seriously, you rightly say:

    “We have forgotten how to engage with opposing ideas in a respectful and constructive way.”

    And in relation to the points Kate makes, you at some pints are careful to distinguish between the narrow elements we need to challenge ourselves on and the wider crucial movement we need. As when you say:

    “Can we, for example, concede that some feminist activism is unhelpful while also asserting, unequivocally, that society as a whole benefits from gender equality and that it’s the opposite of rational to generalise all feminists based on the misguided actions of a few?”

    However, am I right in thinking you missed out including the word “few” (in the following sentence “Can we accept that some women, whipped up into a frenzy by [a few] radical feminists”) which is why it can look as though you are attacking radical feminism (when the previous quote, above, suggests you aren’t at all)?

    Ok, too long a reply already, sorry. But just one final point:

    This is a really helpfully provocative piece (helpful to the extent you’re willing to stay engaged in the dialogue rather than throw a flare and run away. And my experience to date is you stay in there, so thanks for that).

    However – yes, you could see that coming – for me your focus on the ‘left’ leads you to often miss the incomparably huger issue, which is the structural force the ‘left’ is up against.

    When you write:

    “How can we say gender based violence is a problem for men because mostly men perpetrate it but on the other hand skip over the fact most terrorism is perpetrated by radical Muslims? Is it a crime to even think that thought?”

    No, there is no crime in pointing to these weapons that are used against ordinary people – whether male violence or terrorism.

    But you need to ask: Who has their finger on the trigger? Who is using that violence and to what end?

    Who arms Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the two states backing ISIS? Why did Bush and Blair invade Iraq and Afghanistan and emulate Thatcher’s Falklands war re-election strategy? Who benefits from transforming us into a police state – whether justified by the male violence or the terrorism the controllers of these states themselves generate?

    You write about:

    “Positions that are usually associated with the political right but which are becoming more mainstream as Western media and politics adopts a more anxious and protectionist posture in the wake of global economic uncertainty and escalating military conflict.”

    This is only part of the picture.

    You are missing the more fundamental point that “Western media and politics” is not reacting to some scary “global economic uncertainty and escalating military conflict” it has no power over.

    Western media and politics is generating that uncertainty and that conflict to extend its power, or rather the Bullingdon Murdoch Koch Bush financial bully boys club is using the media and politics to extend its power in this way.

    Your willingness to bring issues into the open and into relationships with each other is great. I just thing we need to take the next step.

    A violent boy in a community hall is the victim of global finance. Stop them creating money for themselves “out of nothing” in their deluded drugged up way, and we stop them hacking society to bits with their cuts. Cuts that are only ‘necessary’ because you can’t ultimately create wealth out of nothing. You create wealth out of common endeavour or by tearing the last resources, support and hope from impoverished communities, and tearing the last ecological communities to shreds.

    Their exploitation of our common world continues because of their unbelievable privilege and the unbelievably impoverished humanity that goes with it. But only because we let them by not making and acting on the connections they hide, and not breaking the connections they fabricate to keep us fearful and at each other’s throats rather than working together to recover our common world.

    So, thanks again for making some crucial connections – even if some were askew, awry or plain wrong – and sorry for the length of reply

    1. James Sinclair says:

      Well said Justin. The heart of the problem is as you describe it.

    2. Chic McGregor says:

      That is a lot closer to the root cause.

  8. Tam Dean Burn says:

    This week I’ve been recording the audiobook of Irvine Welsh’s new novel The Blade Artist and the central issue of what happens with the burning energy and anger of working class male youth is explored fully, as Loki starts with here so eloquently and poignantly. Both of these great and caring Scottish commentators of our times go where others fail to and recognise the power that is being wasted and distorted in schemes across the country and indeed, the world. Of course there is a grave danger that this explosive energy could be channelled and directed for reactionary political ends and not just with the idiot lard heads of neo-nazism.
    I haven’t got time to go into things raised here just now and can only make two short points- yes, there has been a complete failing on the left to show willingness to discuss differences and difficulties. This stems from the Stalinisation of left wing politics where the earlier healthy recognition that open ideological debate was key to finding answers gave way to toeing the party line. This has now reached farcical proportions of no-platforming no-platformers. And Loki had been right to call out those who howl at any criticism of the SNP, Scottish Government or Yessers in general. BUT to then pose anarcho-capitalists such as those mentioned as the attractive alternative and pole of attraction for working class male youth is moving into very dodgy territory. This is not just about freedom of speech but looks like a youth orientated wing of neo-liberalism itself so must be fought tooth and nail. But fought out in the open with left libertarianist arguments that have no truck with such reaction. Thanks to Loki and BC for raising these issues.

  9. johnny says:

    Maybe he has a point. What the fuck are you doing there? You are the enemy. You are that which defines, confines and labels him. He will never respect you as you stand for everything he despises.

    He understands only the authority of his own tribe and needs someone in that club who commands respect. Perhaps a local drug dealer of some standing would be more appropriate for this young lad instead of those impotent metrosexual types who pour out of jordanhill.

    There is no authority but yourself.

    1. MVH says:

      Yes, Johnny, I’m with you there. The project should have employed someone local from the community, not parachuted in someone who will be perceived as a middle class wannabe from elsewhere who will not command respect. Loki seems to dismiss the boy’s stated views as some sort of false consciousness. I don’t like that. It is disrespectful. No wonder the boy kicked off even more.

  10. Davy Marzella says:

    Good thoughtful post from Loki , with lots to consider. Just want to add something to what Alastair McIntosh says here…

    “To such listings as LGBTIQ, I want to see included in the + the letter H. Why? Because whereas marginalised minorities are finding platforms in which to explore their gender(s), sexualit(ities) and ident(ies), I’m seeing young heterosexual men in the area of Glasgow where I live lacking such opportunity for some of the very reasons Loki names.”

    I agree with sentiment – maybe it was not intended literally …ie. to add to the ever increasing LGBTIQxyz….
    Gender and/or sexuality is an issue for everybody , not just for women and “the gays”. That includes heterosexual-identified men…. Maybe especially heterosexual-identified men.
    Women and gay men have done a lot of work on making “the personal political” , which maybe gives some straight men an excuse to avoid dealing with these kind of issues……”we’re sorted , leave these kind of things to them”

    According to recent surveys it is becoming more common among younger people to discard identities based on who you are attracted to sexually , which I think is a good thing.

    Having said that , much masculine aggression is more common in heterosexual-identified environments than homosexual-identified ones , so is there particular problematic issues associated with some forms of heterosexual-identified masculinity ?

    This is useful book on masculinity, from 90’s so maybe a wee bit dated….
    Male Impersonators , men performing masculinity by Mark Simpson

  11. Howauldsyergranny says:

    ‘this is a useful book on masculinity…’….no it isn’t. The point here is that many on the left know about as much as an audiophile with titanium headphone jacks knows about making a hit record.

    1. Davy Marzella says:

      Howauldsyergranny: Could you say why Male Impersonators is not a useful book on masculinity ?

      1. Davy Marzella says:

        Male Impersonators by Mark Simpson is available to download today for 99p.
        Does nobody , particularly straight-identified men , want to discuss sexuality……?
        Is it not relevant to a discussion on gender , “masculinity” etc. ?
        Alastair McIntosh quite rightly referred to it , but no further comment from anybody.

  12. Peter Burnett says:

    Thanks Loki, all of this has been on my mind since the horrors of #gamergate, and a lot of it is fuelled by the lack of empathy which is the natural corollary of having our debates online, and not face to face.

    For the folks attracted to what’s broadly called libertarianism you sum it up well: “People are flocking to see the world through this particular lens because they feel rejected for being honest about how they feel.”

    As for toxic masculinty, if there is such a theory, I would love for there to be equality of childcare here and everywhere else. I was never presented with a male carer until I was ten – that was the 1970s but nothing has changed. I have kids and I have never had an opportunity to have any of them cared for in nursery by a man, and between them my kids were at a total of five nurseries. Not a single bloke working in ANY of them. My kids of primary age now are at a school with 49 teachers, 44 of whom are women – yeh I admit I counted because this is my personal bugbear. I ask parents I meet who use private nannies and all that stuff if they have ever had a man applying for that job – – – and they tell me no, and some even confirm that if a man had applied, they would never have employed him anyway.

    For me there is your patriarchy, a longstanding social agreement that probably goes back to the Stone Age.

    So yeah, let’s move on! That men are somehow constitutionally unable to care for children is a message that I had probably taken on board like everybody else, before I could even walk and talk. Anything you can say about how babies under the age of one learn stuff, will come back to role modelling. I am amazed to think that I may have already become toxically masculine by the age of one, because I had never seen a man role-model care / empathy / love etc for me.

    For all who seek equality . . . . End the patriarchy! Get men into nurseries! Male primary teachers!

    It would be worth a try.

    1. Natalie Solent says:

      Peter Burnett, what you say about the lack of male nursery teachers and primary teachers to act as role models for young boys is true. But the bigger lack is fathers.

    2. Portjim says:

      So true – my primary school employed only two men. These were the headmaster (a man at the top again!) and the janitor (the man at the bottom – did that balance?).
      The Jesuits said “give me a child until it is seven, and it is mine for life”, reflecting the power attitudes formed in early life.
      Given the fact that by far the majority of a child’s early life is spent under the guidance and control of women, how do we account for what is represented as wide spread discrimination and abuse against women?

  13. Loki says:

    Thanks for comments everybody. As always…I will try to engage with some. Obviously this medium has its limitations…perhaps we could orgnanise a discussion/fundraider for Bella….to show how dynamic Bella can really be….we could have it streamed….and just look at this issue in depth


    1. Peter Burnett says:

      Peace 2U2 – I’m all for the fundraiser – let’s do it

    2. Alastair McIntosh says:

      What a great way of replying. Actual reality trumping virtual reality. Humanising.

      Very fair points about taking people’s arguments from where they’re at. I’m aware that my own reading around these issues has come from places of academic and other privilege, thus fair points you made.

      My one criticism of your response is that I think you overestimate a reader’s likelihood of seeing what is “obvious” to you in what you’re saying. Often the obvious is not so obvious. Your reader’s implicit frame of assumptions will rarely match your own.

      In my own writing, I’ve had to come to accept that what I say will always be understood through the perception plane of the reader, with the result that people can draw very different succour, or infuriation, from the same passage.

    3. Tam Dean Burn says:

      You got me wrong Loki- while I agree and believe that it’s best to discuss things out in the open, however pernicious those views, I don’t buy into the importance and attraction of cultural libertarianism or anarch-capitalism that you appear to be here. As I suspected, it’s Spiked and Nick Cohen,( and Katie Hopkins. FFS) – ex leftist media whores frankly- and libertarian neo-liberalists abroad who are among the main mouthpieces. I can appreciate the power of anti-authoritarian arguments on the net. I’ve been quite gobsmacked at how much false flag theories make sense and the pathetic nature of arguments against them.
      But the most important thing is that we have to see the wood from the trees and defend us all, including the young guys who started all this, as best we can. And we can but try. It’s complicated but we can, by trying.

    4. Fran says:

      Loki I think you’re crackin but this isn’t about reading books or education, this is about awareness. We live in a male privileged society where most women experience some sort of gender based violence to some degree or another at some point in their lives, so you need to be careful with what you’re saying.

  14. Broadbield says:

    OK, an interesting essay, but entirely devoid of any evidence. A bit like the Tory government, full of assertions about what is wrong and how to fix it, but completely detached from evidence. So we get bad government, bad law, bad social programmes etc.

  15. Rhonda says:

    Peter Burnett looks at the issue of gender in childcare but equally important is what sort of start do we give to all our children?
    How many of these angry young men have any form of success? How many have experienced early failure? How much time is spent helping all our children to have a good childhood?
    Read ” An Equal Start ” – A Plan for Equality in Early Learning and Care in Scotland”
    at Common Space. This is what our kids deserve. At the moment we don’t come near it and even with the government’s new proposals for early education too many kids will start school too soon, or be targeted as coming from failing families in failing areas.
    We need a better system for all

    1. Alastair McIntosh says:

      That’s the essence of it. Some have had so little chance in life, so much hurt and deficit or confusing distortion of love, that they don’t even get angry. It’s hugely sad. Somebody’s son. Could be somebody’s lover. Yet as Colin Macleod who started GalGael used to say, there is a “buoyancy of the human soul”. Something that, though long held down, will one day come back up. Some drown before that happens. Others rise rise up with a howl, which is what I sometimes hear in rappers like Loki. But it’s a howl, a wake up call to us all. A basic call to consciousness. And the measures you describe, Rhonda, are hopefully the early signs of a better nation. A nation, as community writ large, that gives life.

    1. leavergirl says:

      Well, Mhairi, you certainly rip Loki a new one.

      I’d like to pick up a para from your rant, if I may. You say “The article starts by relating a story of a disaffected male youth, who is disruptive in a youth club, agonising over having failed him by excluding him from a club where nominally all were welcome. But then the problem is that when one member of a group starts behaving in a way that upsets others and that isnt challenged, then all aren’t really welcome, the only ones who are welcome are the ones who are willing to tolerate this behaviour.”

      Then you go on to other things. But this is important. How come there is all this gnashing of teeth about the youth’s imagined travails, but none whatsoever about his share of responsibility? He did his best to ruin it for the others, then he plays the blame game, which Loki accepts uncritically, and so it goes. I don’t buy this… this endless psychologizing of people who behave poorly and ruin it for other people.

      Like Mhairi says, being inclusive of everyone means being inclusive only of those willing to tolerate shite from others.

      1. Mark says:

        What are the other options? The social equivalent of chucking them all on on an iceberg and cutting them adrift?

      2. Tony Baloney says:

        It’s a recurrent theme in revisionist theorizing of ‘poor’ behaviour in young males that we are asked to revere the ‘edge’, vitality and virility of it’s perpetrators and despise the sluggish, cockless wonders who find their actions challenging.
        Not everyone who has a problem with such behaviour has a comfortable, cloistered, middle-class life. Most of those who suffer the effects (and have the least sympathy for the perpetrators), are from similar backgrounds with similar disadvantages.

  16. Justin Kenrick says:

    Thanks for the video response Loki.

    After responding to my comment, you go on to say of another one: “I don’t know if it’s supporting me or against me?”

    That helpfully explains your reaction to my comment where you clearly thought I was “against you” for missing out the word ‘few’. Just to be clear: I wasn’t being stupidly picky there, and I wasn’t being “against” you – I was trying to check with you/ explain to others that you were being misunderstood because you hadn’t included that word. It wasn’t a criticism, it was an attempt to help.

    Then I wasn’t being against you in saying there was a whole other slice (structural violence) missing from your piece. Again I was simply pointing out that to me your piece makes more sense when we read what you are saying with structural violence in mind.

    But then, I like it when others point out to me what I am missing, and so add to the story being told. I see this as us working out our collective story.

    Of course, I am bound to only have a slice of the story, mhairi has another, leavergirl another, Alastair another, you another, and every bleedin reader hopefully grapples with this stuff – not saying “you are wondrously completely right” or “you are writing a pile of shite”.

    So I agree with you – and I said this before – it up to us to welcome everyone (while condemning violence in all its forms) rather than playing the safe and easy condemning game.

    But maybe in this example that’s a job for me you and him, whereas mhairi, leavergirl and her job is to roundly and clearly condemn the violence being perpetrated day in and day out, completely uncompromisingly.

    Thanks Loki, mhairi n all. This matters.

  17. HumbleAthiest says:

    Interesting read. Although, being one of the young men you speak of, the article is too little, too late. A new generation is quickly aging and becoming politically efficable. The Hillary’s of yesterday are aging, and the Milo’s and Sargon’s of today are speaking the frustrations of many. My personal experience points to the radicals and progressives we so hate dying out in droves. You are right, young males wield enormous power. We have sat idle and heard your case and will no longer listen. Why revive a dead horse when buying a whole new one makes so much more sense? My only hope is that the counter-movement doesn’t go the way of modern Feminism.

    1. Tam Dean Burn says:

      You have a recruit. Will you both keep debating in an open honest way? Hope so.

      1. HumbleAtheist says:

        Assuming I understand the way the site’s comment system works and that was a reply to my earlier comment, then I feel likewise. Honesty, no matter how painful, is key in change. The biggest reservation I have with many of the movements the writer spoke of is that they seem to already display key marks pf rabid extremism. I, myself, am a system output (meaning love of a system for what it produces) sort of man. Many on the extreme fringe however are more system effect types (meaning love of the system because of the system). This, in my opinion is dangerous and is what drove feminism and the like off the rails. I see though a strong enough core that I remain hopeful.

  18. Dbj says:

    ‘We cannot allow a small obtrusive strain of activism to pervade the left’ ….Seems to me the radical feminist voice is always the first to be misinterpreted, denigrated or worse, silenced.

    1. leavergirl says:

      Yeah, true. Where Loki wants to throw out the concept of male privilege, I don’t agree. He points to prisons. Well, sheesh, males oppress males too!

      I find that many men are by and large unable/unwilling to give up the subtle games that push women down. It happens in conversations all the time. It’s kinda like Roosh, except very subtle, pervasive, almost unnoticeable, because it’s the water we swim in. Pretty damn tiresome and destructive. But I am not mad at men any more… we are in this together, it’s late and if we don’t learn to cooperate in profound ways it’s curtains for the species. The constant putting down of men in some quarters has gotten tiresome and destructive too.

      There is another theory in addition to the two Loki points two. (I think all three together make the most sense.) It is the, oh I don’t know, the Personality Disorder Theory. Basically it says that some people are more aggressive than others, more prone to fight (rather than flight) and if in their early socialization limits are not applied with sensitivity yet firmness, they kinda get out of hand, develop major problems with “brakes” on their behavior, and their empathy and conscience end up damaged. It applies to both sexes, though I would say males are more at risk.

      In this theory, they are held responsible, but so are those of us who are not afflicted by personality disorders but are unwilling/unable to set effective limits. We end up being enablers. Both sides need to change for change to happen.

    2. Crubag says:

      One thing not mentioned here is jobs. Older generations will struggle to socialise younger generations when they have no future to point to. 20 years ago, what would have seemed like a good bet? The banks? Oil industry? Silicon glen? What would we point to now?

      Industry hasn’t disappeared, it’s just much, much more productive which means it needs fewer and fewer people.

      Women are generally seen as being better at the types of roles the future economy demands, being more service oriented, more empathetic and with greater attention to detail. For me, that’s illustrated by the story of the introduction of the telephone and the telephone exchange. There was a brief attempt to use streetwise, speedy telegram boys as operators, but they soon sensibly switched to women. Too much bad behaviour otherwise.

      As for where that leaves angry young men, the one saving grace is that they are unlikely to see a career as a rap artiste as something to aim for. With computer games outselling recorded music, the future probably belongs to studious, detail-fixated types who spend a lot of time in their bedrooms…

      1. Alastair McIntosh says:

        You speak very true,Crubag, to those young men whose natural ability seems to be in the labour of their hands, and that’s the gateway that opens to their heads and hearts. If you’re in Glasgow, drop in to the GalGael Trust on Thursday evenings (open community meal and workshop activities), or to similar “hands on” community groups, and you’ll see it there – tho you sound like you’ve already seen it. Our worry is what places thes men can find outside of the sanctuary of our workshop. There are very few places left, and what are, can be bruisingly sharp elbowed environments. There’s a need to open up discussion about this – about purpose and meaning, even what George MacLeod of Govan called “work as worship” (“worship” = Old English, “worth ship”) – in political and social thinking for the future. Girls in this’s environment have babies, and that gives them work, love and meaning. It’s the boys I therefore worry about more. I wish they all had crofts to be raised upon, like their noble forebears had. Land reform matters in some very deep ways.

        1. Crubag says:

          Hello Alastair,

          I should say that I don’t think any generation has had it easy, but that’s probably the human condition.

          Pre-industrial revolution, your role and status were at least a given, though much more static, and patriarchial- and a family only has one patriarch at a time.

          Now there are more freedoms and opportunities, but less continuity or predictability. Older generations are themselves losing their roles, and they can’t reliably point to a future that might reward self-discipline, hard work and obedience to the law.

        2. leavergirl says:

          Getting young men into subsistence agriculture is a very worthy project, and already happening in places. Could happen in Scotland? Now that you mention crofting…

          1. Crubag says:

            Except there is no future in subsistence farming. That’s why we left it 200 years ago for a cash economy.

            The Scottish Government has slanted agricultural subsidies to the largest farmers – “because they take the largest risks.” But even if reallocated, unlikely under the SNP, that is a declining pot of money.

            Crofting was always a part-time form of farming, but now you see the rise of the alpha crofter who will lease several crofts to get an economic unit. Greater capital investment in farming needs greater economies of scale – not people with foot ploughs on starvation diets…

  19. Lodgepole Pine says:

    The intersectional struggles of neds and neckbeards! Very good. Loki’s stuff is getting interesting, it has that weirdly introspective Glaswegian quality like a James Kelman essay, spotting cultural trends no-one else is introspective enough to spot, original because it’s always rooted in the realism of that central touchstone of class. And that’s why this essay is original; the “new libertarianism” of the ‘Dark Enlightenment” typically carries a heavy burden of stodgy, American market-neo-liberal baggage. Which is not only why it’s so boring, but also why it burns all bridges with the traditional Left, foiling all dialogue and driving the Left firmly into the “social justice warrior” tribe. (PS is the new libertarianism really ‘new’ or even libertarian? Isn’t it more a restoration of classical liberal thought?)

    1. Mark says:

      Exactly, except its detractors would label it as outdated liberal thought.

  20. KevR says:

    A valid analysis, very much the concerns of Robert Bly. No gender is inherently wrong, to speak so forthrightly risks wrath of those who use politics to vent, not reason or proselytise.

  21. Emma Goldman says:

    An interesting piece, if a tad rambling. In my youth back in the 70s I called myself a revolutionary anarcho-feminist, misogyny was commonplace, so I’m well aware that there are still many misogynist in hiding and when men like Rooosh V break cover it allows a mass breakout. A bit of man hating (is there an equivalent word or did the patriarchy not consider such a possibility?) aroused by these breakouts, seems small beer in comparison. Race hatred and LBGT+ hatred are likely to get you arrested, but women are fair game it seems. On the whole I like political correctness, I think keeping misogynist, rascists and other bigots quiet is so much better than the way things were. However, unless we are only going to talk to those we agree with 100% we do need to discuss these issues rationally. I’m willing to bet that right or left wing libertarians cannot save little scroats, Marx said that.

  22. Deltron3030 says:

    It’s worth reiterating that intersectionality and feminism are not the same thing. The former is a recent academic idea, and not a very good one in my opinion. Here’s a couple of articles that might interest:

  23. Alf Baird says:

    “Can we accept, for example, that while we see a net economic benefit from immigration, that this benefit is never felt by the poor and disadvantaged ”

    Interesting point. Like Loki I expect, I’m also not so sure of this supposed ‘economic benefit’ or how it is often calculated by people who are, we should remember, rather used to spinning stories Ad infinitum. Scotland’s societal problems are primarily related to the fact that we do not educate all of our people to the levels we should. For example, only around one quarter of Scots today have a university degree (it used to be a lot less than even that!). Yet we have 19 universities in Scotland with loads of ‘capacity’; however our ancient universities in particular are full of, mostly (yes, the vast majority), relatively well-off students coming from outside Scotland, paying high fees to attend what are now basically international educational corporations masquerading as universities, the latter benefitting further through charitable status. These universities now also predominatly employ academics coming from outside Scotland; they have to, because very few Scots are actually funded to undertake PhD level study, and as many of you will be aware, academics tend to have PhD’s. Few Scots with PhD’s means few Scots academics. So we don’t even train our own people to higher levels, how sad is that, and what should we expect if our society and economy remains problematic? Increasingly, most of ‘institutional’ Scotland is now also headed up and run by higher educated people coming from outside Scotland – basically as a consequence of our universities strategies. This all comes back to, in my view, the fact that we are not doing nearly enough to educate and ‘lift up’ the majority of Scots people, and not least the “troubled young person” Loki encountered, and others like him. We Scots really need tae tak a guid lang leuk at oorsels an whit we’re daein tae oor ain fowk. Our universities, the ‘ancient’ ones in particular, and their emphasis, focus and strategies, are a major part of our societal problems and inequalities, which they actually perpetuate by ‘chasing the money’ from mostly well-off students coming from outside Scotland; what Edinburgh University call the “bright minds”. Personally I believe that all Scots are “bright minds”, many just waiting on the right opportunity and nurturing to develop further. Any nation should strive to educate all of its people, who after all are our greatest resource. We are not doing that.

  24. Noel Darlow says:

    It’s kind of hard to get a handle on anything specific in the article but the idea that there is such a thing as masculinity and a failure to teach boys to be men keeps cropping up.

    Gender is a meme. There aren’t any differences between men and women in terms of mental capabilities. Gender differences are not real they are just something we impose upon ourselves.

    Therefore dealing with a violent young man isn’t about “masculinity” it’s about socialisation. I hope that people will get whatever help they need but whatever problems are going on in one’s life, everyone has to learn not to take it out on other people. That’s non-negotiable.

    1. Crubag says:

      I’d disagree that there is no such thing as sexual difference. It’s basic biology that males and females are physically different, and that hormonal differences alone make for differences in behaviour. Those aren’t binary differences, more like overlapping bell curves. But being bigger and stronger, on average, is going to make a difference to many social interactions, especially where the use of force is an option.

      Gender is a cultural construct overlying those biological realities, so more malleable.

      And whether male or female, everyone should be equal in our society.

      1. Noel Darlow says:

        “being bigger and stronger, on average, is going to make a difference to many social interactions, especially where the use of force is an option”

        But (physically) strong women aren’t considered to be the same as equally powerful men. Strong women are still very much seen as women and less muscular men are still men as if they were two different but parallel species. We don’t differentiate based on some rational measure of physical strength.

        Most researchers who scan brain activity can’t seem to find any differences between men’s and women’s minds. What they see is a single, human mind and a broad spectrum of abilities shared by both sexes.

        We really aren’t any different from each other except for reproductive physiology and secondary sexual characteristics. Unless we are specifically dealing with an issue related to health care, conception/childbirth, or sexual attraction, all the other areas of our lives are entirely gender-agnostic – or at least they ought to be. That means we shouldn’t bring boys and girls up to be men and women but rather just bring them up to be people.

    2. Leo says:

      There is evidence of sexual dimorphism of the brain, research shows mental differences even in unsocialized babies, and all cultures have multiple gender roles (and almost all have gender binarism). So there is good reason to believe that gender is not just a meme, even though much of it is socially constructed.

  25. St-Agord says:

    To put it simply Loki, NO, you cannot somehow develop a widespread respect among progressives for free speech or a commitment to truth strong enough to cast aside political correctness, for the simple reason that, if you were truly successful in doing so, they would cease to be “progressives”. Fairy-tales burn on contact with reality.

    The truth of the matter is that, while the progressive movement does have some truths on its side (all movements are bound to have SOME content, even delusional ones), major and pivotal tenets of your ideology are FALSE. Not small offshoots of tangentially related ideologies, or little bits of theory here and there, but MAJOR parts of the “progressive” ideology (and it IS an ideology), are just untrue. They simply do not reflect the real world. They’re reality-detached, as we like to say. And it isn’t just the fact that they’re untrue, it’s the fact that the proponents of this ideology are totally unwilling to even consider whether they’re untrue. You’re aware of this yourself clearly, with your appeals to questioning various progressive sacred cows toward the end of your piece. The term “political correctness” is not referring to a real, tangible object, it is just a euphemism for the various adaptive defense mechanisms and attack strategies that the proponents of the progressive ideology have developed in order to combat any disagreement with their ideology.

    You sort of skirt around the edge of this, you’re aware that there are points and subjects which, if brought up in progressive circles, put you at danger of verbal attack and of being ostracized. And even with your appeals of “but as progressives, surely we can talk about X taboo subject, or Y taboo subject?”, you’re still only conversing with the most politically correct, politically incorrect topics. Sure, Muslims may be homophobic and misogynistic in large numbers, and yeah, many white men live difficult and impoverished lives and it is beyond absurd for privately educated 21 year old upper class women to call them privileged. Good on you, you’re on the right track. In the end though, its the central, CORE tenets of the progressive ideology that you’re going to have to discuss and question. That’s why I say that a progressive who really questioned their most cherished beliefs would cease to be a progressive, at least in the modern sense. And good luck doing that, by the way.

    You can probably just about raise the issues that you are raising and get away with it. Raise the issue of hatred of women and gays in Islamic society, and make sure to mention how hard the women and gays there have it. But if you try, even for a second, to question the core tenets of modern progressivism? Well, you just try it. You’ll be exiled before you know it. Not before being viciously and brutally verbally attacked.

    Try it, please. Try questioning something that’ll really turn heads, and really make you public enemy number 1. Question whether the achievement gap between blacks and whites is actually totally caused by white racism and the legacy of slavery, or whether there might be genetic differences between different groups of humans. Take a look back at human history and ask yourself whether the addition of WINTER as an evolutionary selective pressure to the environments of the human beings that moved out of Africa might have selected for traits like pattern recognition, speed of logic, capacity for abstraction, etc. Ask yourself whether the 1.1 standard deviation between the average IQ of blacks and whites is racist, bunk science that can be dismissed out of hand, or whether it is actually pointing to an inconvenient truth.

    If you actually did that, you’d be exiled out of the movement in no time. And not, NOT because there is so much evidence against those positions that they are the intellectual equivalent of being a proponent of a flat Earth, but because the progressive ideology says that it is not moral to ask such questions. Never mind what the truth is, its not moral to ask whether blacks and whites are really exactly equal in their native capacities for cognition, or whether Bruce Jenner is really a woman, or whether the humanity of third world refugees is more important than the humanity and sexual dignity of the women of Cologne or the little girls in Rotheram, etc.

    It is seen by progressives, as fundamentally immoral, “racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic”, to actually question the core tenets of your ideology. And what gets lost and sacrificed in that equation? The truth. The world as it actually is, above all the bullshit and beliefs. It is good that you see what’s coming though, and I’m afraid sooner or later those who call themselves progressives are going to actually have to question their deepest beliefs, or they’ll be swept aside by a mass of people that are actually willing.

  26. Peter Clive says:

    Men need to formulate their own way of thinking and describing their experience without resorting to a template based on feminism. More detail here:

  27. James says:

    “the opposite of rational to generalise all feminists based on the misguided actions of a few”

    Good at dishing it out at men in general, but not taking it yourselves eh?

    Considering the feminist movement’s disgraceful attitudes towards male domestic/sexual abuse survivors – of which I am both – I think you all DO deserve to be regarded in the same poor light. And the misguided actions of the few are tolerated or ignored by the vast majority of feminists so yeah. I will continue to generalise you all until you (in your own words) do better.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.