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On Misogyny in the Alt Right

[1]2,112 words

Recently, I had an experience at the bank which I will never forget. It has, in my opinion, special relevance to the latest controversy regarding certain high-profile women in the Alt Right, most notably YouTube sensation Tara McCarthy and Alt Right journalist Lauren Southern. 

Really, it’s not much of a controversy given that an army of trolls have decided to gang up on these two and other women for reasons which are, frankly, unreasonable. In McCarthy’s case, one major charge is that she was trying to manipulate Alt Right men by calling on them to help ease the heat she was under from the aforementioned troll army. And in Southern’s case, the gripe was that she once briefly dated a half-black boy a few years ago. Other charges include these women being too successful, being frivolous with their money, being attention whores, being feminists who like to collect white knights, and being hypocrites who preach traditionalism yet have no children themselves. Petty stuff like this. Sadly, the abuse these women have endured from a large number of male viewers is not petty at all. In fact, it is vicious. It was also, in many cases, coordinated by people not on the Alt Right who wish to take advantage of the insecurities of many of us who are. Millennial Woes provides a thorough rundown of the affair [2], and Greg Johnson gives us all the reasons for remaining in the movement [3] in spite of it. Like these two men, I lend my unconditional support to the women who have received this nasty and completely uncalled for harassment.

My trip to the bank about a month ago was somewhat unusual, and I knew it would require special attention from a teller. I estimated the transaction would take about fifteen minutes. Right away, I found my teller, and I couldn’t believe that this person was the person with whom I was about to interact. What I was seeing was a beautiful woman. She seemed in her mid-twenties, about five feet seven or eight inches tall. She had exquisitely smooth and lustrous brown hair, arresting brown eyes, and a classic movie-star beauty which reminded me of a young Ingrid Bergman. As I was preparing myself to deal with such a stunning specimen of womanhood, I asked myself, “Why is she here? Why is she not working for a modeling agency selling perfume or diamonds?” I asked this because in my line of work and the circles in which I travel, you don’t often find jaw-droppingly beautiful women who are just standing there waiting for you to come up and talk to them. During our encounter I had to look away from her a few times because I didn’t want it to seem as if I, a happily-married husband and father, were mooning over a girl practically young enough to be my daughter. (The temptation was there, believe me.)

Anyway, she was perfectly nice and professional, and our entire transaction took about ten minutes. I left the bank satisfied that I had completed that errand and was free to run the next one. Yet as I stepped into the parking lot, I experienced a thoroughly unwelcome emotion, one I hadn’t experienced in a long time: heartache. A nice, jarring stab of it, too. And this wasn’t even mature, manly heartache, the kind no one could really blame me for having. No, no, this was a return of the angsty, juvenile heartache that everyone over thirty wants to forget. This was the heartache that plagued countless lonely nights throughout my pretty goddamn pathetic youth. I remember them well.

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.

Of course, I never once felt any resentment or anger towards the nice girl at the bank. But I knew she was the cause of this heartache. But how? Why? The answer came to me immediately: she never smiled at me. Not once. For me, she was nothing less than a vision, the epitome of what the human form can attain. For her, however, I was just another customer, deserving of prompt service and common courtesy and nothing more. This beautiful creature couldn’t even spare me a single solitary smile.

Realizing this made me feel so mean.

Thankfully, I have a lot of control over myself and my life, so I got over these doldrums in a matter of seconds. That girl was way out of my league anyway. Even if I were single and in my prime, a girl like that would have no business giving me anything more than the time of day. That’s just the way it is, and I accept it. Plus, it’s not like she did anything wrong. Her behavior as my teller that afternoon had been impeccable. If she had been any less attractive and behaved in the exact same way I probably would have forgotten all about her as soon as I left the bank like I have done countless times before with countless other tellers. But because this particular teller was beautiful, I inadvertently placed unreasonable demands upon her. Not fair, I know. But there it is.

This leads us to the current issue with the online abuse of Alt Right women. Yes, the victims are all women, but what’s more, they are attractive women, especially McCarthy and Southern. This, I believe, is the main reason why their male followers place unreasonable demands upon them, demands that they would not place on their male counterparts. This also explains why the emotional responses to their foibles or past indiscretions have been so heated and cruel. Through no fault of their own, these women have the tendency to make young, insecure men feel mean.

Here is a thought experiment to illustrate this point. What if Tara McCarthy or Lauren Southern were significantly less attractive. Suppose they did and said the same things they do now, wore the same kind of clothes and makeup, and comported themselves in the exact same manner, but all the while looking like Lena Dunham and Rosie O’Donnell.  Would people still care as much that one of them dated a black guy once? I really don’t think so. Sure, we would disapprove and criticize, but there would be less vitriol behind it, fewer bad intentions. In general, the less attractive a woman is, the less emotion she will inspire in men. Conversely, the more attractive a woman is, the more emotion she will inspire in men. Again, that’s just the way it is.

I wish to impress upon you the irrationality behind the attacks upon these women. I believe they spring from the same place from which my heartache sprang that afternoon at the bank. We all want what we cannot have, and contemplating this hurts. So to ease the pain, we lash back at what we cannot have by placing them in damned-if you-do, damned-of-you-don’t situations. Really, we just want them to go away and to take our pain away along with them. Of course, I’m not talking about valid criticism or perfectly reasonable objections to feminism (for example, believing—as I do—that women should not have equal political rights as men in a white ethnostate). I’m also not talking about invalid or even sexist criticism as long as it remains somewhat civil (for example, a man has the right be dismissive of women if he wants to—haughtiness is not a sin, after all). One does not have to feel spite towards women or threaten violence against them in order to be this way. But incessant spite and threats are what these women have been receiving as of late. By any objective measure, do they deserve it in the same way a man would for doing the exact same things? Absolutely not. And yes, I am aware that many of these attacks were coordinated from without. But I simply cannot believe that none of the people piling on these women are part of the Alt Right. No, this is our thing, and we need to own it.

Like any other movement, the Alt Right—which is sort of an edgy, online clique within the greater Dissident Right and white identitarian and nationalist movements—craves to be taken seriously. In order for this to happen, its members must share certain values and ideas while remaining focused on winning. Repeatedly referring to Lauren Southern as a “mudshark” does not get us closer to winning. Threatening to break Tara McCarthy’s jaw does not get us any closer to winning. Even if these women were as guilty as people say they are, it still wouldn’t get us any closer to winning because it serves to repel people who are curious about or sympathetic to our movement and disgust those of us who are already in it. And this says nothing of how ugly and immoral it is in general to just trash the rights of these women who, like all of us, deserve to be treated with a certain level of civility online and everywhere else . . . even if they make you feel mean.

Since complaining without offering a solution sounds a lot like whining, I would like to offer a way out. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have less control over my life than I would like, and in my youth I have felt the temptation to lash out at attractive women I knew I could never have. Of course, choosing a career, working hard, doing something productive, and spending less time online will help, but you already knew this so I will not lecture. What you definitely don’t already know about, however, is the process of transubsumfication (and I know you don’t already know about this because I am making this up as I go along).

(Ahem)

Tran·sub·sum·if·ic·ation

Noun

Origin

Take, for example, the star high school athlete who dreams of playing his sport professionally. Things are going great for him until he reaches college, whereupon he discovers what real competition is like. Soon after, he comes to the painful realization that no matter how hard he trains he will never be talented enough to compete on a professional level. (I am sure this haunts more than just a few of us.) At that point, he stops being an obsessive athlete and starts being an obsessive fan. He transubsumes his personal ambitions into the ambitions of those who do have the talent to compete. So, if he played quarterback in high school, he may take particular interest in the professional quarterbacks who came from his college or grew up near his hometown or play for the city he lives in or share his ethnic heritage or what have you. This, in fact, is a perfectly natural and productive transition. It also beats the alternative which would entail continuous failed attempts at playing professionally and the soul-crushing frustration which results.

It’s the same thing with the attractive women of the Alt Right. The trolls and abusers should realize that, by virtue of being successful media personalities, these women are just out of their league in the same way that beautiful bank teller was out of my league. Not every high school hotshot is going to make it in college, right? So instead of harboring bitterness for what we cannot have, we need to transubsume this personal ambition into something much bigger. For example, we can say, “Hey, the Alt Right is the best political movement around! Not only do we have the deepest thinkers and the wittiest writers. We also have the hottest babes!” Leaving aside the fine quality of their work (which I appreciate) this is the attitude I can’t help but take whenever I see Southern or McCarthy or the others on the internet. These are unquestioningly lovely girls, and I take pride in the fact that they choose to share a movement with the likes of me. The pain is still there, no doubt, but transubumification assuages it somewhat, perhaps even sweetens it, and turns me into a better person.

This is the reason why men have been painting beautiful women since forever. To behold a beautiful woman is equal parts agony and ecstasy, and instills in us a sense of breathtaking wonder. And when, on top of that, such women are righteous the way Southern and McCarthy are? That only makes me glad to be alive.