I previously mentioned in my review on Men On Strike that Dr. Helen Smith was excellent in being able to observe, but had very little understanding regarding why the things happen that she observes. To use a commonly observed physical example, she has observed that a ball is rolling down the street, but has not hazarded much of a guess as to what caused the ball to roll down the street. This is a logical reason why the feminists haven’t attacked Dr. Smith (video at 4:57): She’s said next to nothing that is consequential against feminism, therefore she has done nothing to damage the narrative.
This is not uncommon regarding most of the women that have set their feet on or near the manosphere or have gotten into anything related to men’s rights. For example, Dr. Smith spends time in the introduction trying to explain why a woman is writing such a book, but comes to the false conclusion that men have a “psychological barrier to standing up for their own causes” and need “the tools to identify and overcome these barriers” in dealing with “those women and men in your life whom you are afraid to confront on your way to equality” (p xviii). The truth is that men (and some women) have observed these things (as Dr. Smith has reported) and have explained them. It’s not a psychological hang-up wherein a man might get the courage to write the next book in the MSM, it’s that a man saying such things is not allowed in the mainstream, either in social settings or in book form:
I’m glad to see it getting the publicity, but ONLY a woman could write this without suffering fem-screech backlash accusations of misogyny. This is the environment we’re in today. I have no doubt that Ms. Charen will receive her share of frothing hate from ego invested Jezebels, but at least her critique will register for them. No man could write this critique and be taken seriously, and therein lies the danger in women co-opting the message the manosphere has been compiling for 12 years now. The environment is such that anything remotely critical a man might offer is instantly suspect of misogyny or personal (‘he’s bitter”) bias, however, couch that message in a female perspective, play Mrs. Doubtfire, and you’ll at least reach the audience beginning with something like validity.
While Rollo wrote this of another text, it is as much true of Dr. Smith’s work. Men have been speaking out against these things, but women are picking up the message of the legions of men who have been speaking out and running with it to greater popularity. While I agree with Dr. Helen (5:36 in the video) that more men should be standing up, but the current culture does not accept these messages from men, especially true anti-feminist messages, because it is deemed hatred of women. It’s not a matter of men being shamed as Dean Esmay (5:52) says it, but these messages simply not being acceptable from the pens or mouths of men. Again, there are legions of men that have been and are speaking out, but will never get MSM attention with their ideas. In this sense, a man could never have written this book and have had it as accepted as Dr. Smith’s book. To that point, this book had to be written by a woman for it to see the light of day. The publishers in the MSM would have never accepted this book from a man.
The rejoicing of people over this book, and earlier over the writing of Suzanne Venker shows the degree to how men are wanting to hear the message, but they are thinking no further. The reinforcement and approval of men that women such as Dr. Smith, Suzanne Venker, GirlWritesWhat, and other female bloggers receive by clumsily delving into men’s rights messages only shows how deeply ingrained traditional feminism is in the culture:
So ultimately, this book only reinforces the message that women are the only ones that speak, since men are put on this earth to serve women. Again, perhaps a reason why Dr. Smith’s book didn’t receive that much criticism is because it serves this end perfectly for the new liberal vision of feminism which seeks to paint men as victims who are helpless and need the strong independent woman, government, or groups such as A Voice For Men to ride in and save them. Oddly enough, the goal of allowing feminism to stand (fourth-wave?) always happens.
So what of motivation, which is a big question for all women who take up such messages? Usually these messages are impure for that reason. I couldn’t find Dr. Smith’s vision for what is correct for inter-gender relations in her book or her blog. Clues always seem to come out (9:30 in the video) though which reinforces that the concerns these women have are always outside what is going on with men, and are concerned with their sons or other women who just can’t find their own
personal man-slaves husbands. However, motivations were clearer with Suzanne Venker. As Dalrock wrote:
Telling the man he is responsible for financing and protecting the family but not leading it places him in a subordinate role. As others have pointed out, the difference between a driver and a chauffeur is who is calling the shots. Far too many self labeled “traditionalist” women want to put men in the driver’s seat as figureheads with the wives calling the shots; they are feminists who don’t want to get their hands dirty. The issue of headship is the litmus test which separates out truly traditional women and feminists in traditionalist clothing.
After all, in her opinion pieces Venker seems to get it at least somewhat right. At least she wants to allow men to be men in some ways (provide and protect), even if she is all about the strong independent woman. The problem is expecting men to continue with traditional gender roles while having no reciprocal expectation of women is a disaster. This is just another brand of feminism, where women have rights and men have responsibilities.
While Dalrock gets tantalizingly close to identifying traditionalists for the man-hating feminists that they are, what he does get right is Suzanne Venker’s motivation:
One might read that as suggesting that men are made to be servants to women, and women need to let men act as servants (and perhaps even consider their husband’s input when making decisions).
In other words, Suzanne Venker’s message is this: Women, we need to be kinder and gentler slave masters.
Helen Smith has been smart (perhaps) in not identifying what her vision is for what is right behavior between men and women in her book, though it casts her work into severe doubt. Motivation is a major factor of consideration when women parrot other men regarding men’s issues, since inevitably everything from the female perspective always seems to come back around to the issue of female benefit at the expense of men.
Regardless, the overriding issue is that a woman is speaking out at all for men when there are legions of men up to the task who are already doing it in blogs and other media. This only reinforces the feminist narrative that women are the only ones who are qualified to speak, the only ones to have a right to speak, and the only ones that have anything worthy to say. Sadly, a book such as Men On Strike only reinforces the feminist narrative in this way and likely only will do further damage to the cause of freedom for men.
The efforts of women who care about “men’s rights” would be better served addressing the moral, physical, and mental corruption of women due to their own actions – not being adult and taking responsibility for their own actions, including the support of female-supremacist hatred. Form your own “women’s responsibility movement”, and quit the Mrs. Doubtfire act.