Matt Walsh tries to speak for all men, comes off as a bit of a cunt.

Posted: October 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Pretty provocative title, right? Yeah that’s the point. See, if you want to raise the ire of people in an instant it’s all about the combination of words you use. Telling someone to fuck off is a good way of alienating their fans pretty much right away. I know if someone was to write an article with the headline “Iron Maiden are shit” I’d be the first one in line calling them a cunt.

I have no idea who Matt Walsh is, I think I read a story of his a few months ago about something-or-other (I can’t remember, I read a lot of stuff) and it was pretty good, seemed to stand out as something a little against the grain, didn’t pander to the masses. However, since then every time I’ve seen one of his articles linked there always seems to be some kind of agenda or message behind it, particularly when it comes to the shaming of men. Views about marriage, chivalry and the kind of life a man should be living seem to crop up in his articles.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m misremembering what I think I’ve seen and am unfairly attributing this kind of shit to Matt Walsh. If that’s the case, I apologise. Having said that, the content of his previous works have no bearing on the article I’m looking at tonight. I’m approaching this fresh, not influenced by previous works or anything like that.

Of course, this is all entirely personal, I don’t claim to speak for anyone else aside from me (and never will do), so if you agree then that’s awesome, if you don’t then that’s awesome as well. What I don’t like is the assumption that Matt Walsh knows how men should behave, knows what men should be doing with their lives. It’s the implied assumption that he knows anything about my life, and therefore how I can improve it, that pisses me of.

What am I talking about? This particular entry of his:

http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/06/19/dear-single-men-time-man-figure/?fb_action_ids=10204232427524900&fb_action_types=og.comments&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B587111438069084%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.comments%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Now this is from June but I don’t think it’s lost any relevance, even if I am writing about it 4 months later. Has he revised his views in the months since this was published? Possibly, I don’t know. However, at some point in the past he held these views, so that’s what I’m writing about. I don’t think they’re unique to him either.

First off, the title is a pretty big red flag to me:

Dear single dudes: it’s time to man up

The use of the phrase ‘man up’ is automatically making him sound like a bit of a cunt, particularly as he’s talking about ‘single dudes’, a category I fall into. Immediately suggesting I’m somehow doing something wrong by being single, somehow I’m not fulfilling my ‘masculinity contract’ or some other arbitrary measure of masculinity? Yeah, good start, moron!

Unless, and this would be pretty brilliant, it’s a scathing attack on society’s obsession with single men? That would be a good way to garner immediate hatred, write a provocative title and just wait for all the angry men to flock around before going “haha, tricked you, this piece is all about why ‘man up’ is a bullshit phrase!” That would make him seem less like a cunt.

But no, he’s actually just being a cunt. He starts out by recalling a conversation with a friend about a possible relationship that leaves him confused, before linking to an article that states no-one really knows whether they’re going on a date or just hanging out:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/21/date-hangout-relationships/4397601/

The funny thing is, that article talks to both men and women, has both men and women contributors, seems to suggest that both men and women are unsure of what constitutes a date anymore and yet it’s Walsh’s opinion that it’s a man’s job to ‘man up’ and do something about it?

The article he links to also suggests gender roles still play a part, with 69% of men and 55% of women agreeing that men should pay on the first date. There’s also research out that states over 50% of women wouldn’t consider a second date if the man didn’t pay on the first. That, and the thought even among feminists that men paying on the first date is still something desirable (for completely acceptable and logical reasons, of course) leads me to sympathise with the men who now simply ‘hang out’ with women. If ‘hanging out’ instead of ‘going on a date’ means that they get to keep some of their hard earned money instead of wasting it on entitled princesses who judge their worth based on their relationship with women then, yeah sure, I’m all for ‘hanging out’. Matt says close to 70% of people don’t know whether they’re on a date or not.

All men’s fault? Hardly. So why, in his infinite wisdom does he follow up that link with this:

I guess that’s because most of you are too busy “hanging out.”

What is that, guys? How old are we?

So, it is all the fault of men, after all. “But, John” I hear you cry. “Matt’s blog is geared towards men, of course he’s going to address them in this kind of article.” Well, even if that is true, and I have no idea if it is, that doesn’t mean he can’t appeal to women as well, or at least appeal to the men who read his blog that it’s not entirely up to them to change.

A while ago (last year, I think) I wrote a blog about domestic violence and companies who promote anti-domestic violence campaigns. . One of the main points of contention was the audience of each intended campaign. I’ll give you a quick breakdown of how it worked:

Geared to women: know the signs of an abusive partner. Get out while you can!

Geared towards men: know the signs of abusive men, and the signs that you might be becoming abusive yourself. Stop it, before it’s too late, you violent cunts.

Ok, so I added the bit about being violent cunts, but it was pretty much implied anyway. Do you see the problem? Yeah, when anti-domestic violence campaigns are targeted at women, it’s all about how they can prevent themselves being the victims. When they’re geared towards men it’s all about how men themselves can stop being abusive bastards, and if you’re not an abusive bastard then stop other men being abusive bastards.

It drives forward a narrative, much like rape, where men simply cannot be victims. Avon were one of the companies I talked about in the blog last year. Some people were disgusted with their one sided campaign and took them to task over it on their Facebook page. Avon’s response: ‘our main consumer base is women, so we’ll address them as victims’. Yeah, it was that callous. Things are changing, thankfully, but the overwhelming number of mainstream campaigns exclude male victims, despite hundreds of research papers that show domestic violence to be rather gender neutral.

So how does that link to Walsh’s article? Well, he’s doing exactly the same thing. He’s appealing to men as if they are the problem, rather than telling them to spot these traits in women, he’s telling men they are the problem and it’s theirs to fix. In the same way Avon’s exclusion of male victims tell men they aren’t victims, Walsh’s attitude here is telling men that there is no other perspective, no other point of view. It’s not women, it’s not a problem that pervades modern society, it’s not a problem that could probably be solved with a little bit of communication but rather a problem that requires men to look inwards and think ‘why am I being such a cunt?’ Yeah, shaming a man by comparing him to a child is a cast-iron way of getting men to back your way of thinking.

I’m not going to do a paragraph by paragraph breakdown of this article, Christ I’ve done enough of those recently, but I am going to highlight some choice words and how I think it’s, once again, excusing women of owning up to their dubious actions and shames all men with a problem that’s probably got nothing to do with them.

When did men become so afraid to make a commitment, to take the lead, to say what they want, to make long term plans, to set goals, to pursue, to talk about the future?

Perhaps when women stopped being 1950s housewives? This is the problem with modern society, and I include feminism and all manner of social justice movements in that. We’re constantly told that women are strong, independent, un-needing of a man and free to do whatever the fuck they want to do with their lives. Awesome, it’s a long time overdue. But, on the other hand, men are still constantly pushed into gender roles that women have, largely, long escaped from. Is it any wonder men are getting a bit fed up with dating when they’re being told one minute that it’s ok to not pay on the first date, that it’s ok to let a woman ask them out on the first date, that they don’t need to always be in control and then the next being shamed for not paying on the first date and not being the one to ask a woman out and not being the one to take control (I’m looking at you, Emma Watson)?

We tell women time and time again that they can have children whenever they want, if they want. They can build a career and then worry about a family, they can ‘have it all’. Yet, we still don’t seem to offer the same kind of advice to men, and if we do, it’s usually followed by a good deal of shaming.

Time to end the nonsense, gentlemen. It’s time to be grownups. It’s time to be men. I know this term really offends a lot of people nowadays, but truly, fellas, let’s man up.

Yeah, let’s man up, let’s bear the weight of the world on our shoulders. Because not dating, not wanting to make a commitment, being perfectly content with just hanging out with girls and going for casual hookups instead of meaningful, committed, long term relationships is the definition of childish. If you aren’t in a committed relationship then you aren’t a grown up, if you aren’t in a mutually exclusive partnership with a long term goal and career aspirations then you simply aren’t a man. Sorry, Matt Walsh, you’re coming across like a bit of a cunt.

It’s 2014, I’m 28 and have been single for a long time. Why? Well, it’s certainly nothing to do with how ‘manly’ I am, it’s just that I haven’t found a woman who I want to spend the rest of my life with. I’m sure she’s out there, and I’m sure one day I’ll find her, I’m hoping I find her, but for the moment I’ll continue doing what  I’m doing. If that means casual hook-ups then that’s exactly what I’ll do and I’ll not give a fuck what you think.

Yeah, fellas, let’s man up. Let’s pretend that phrase doesn’t have so many negative connotations. Let’s pretend that phrases like ‘man up’ don’t dismiss and minimize men’s suffering. Let’s pretend phrases like ‘man up’ or ‘real man’ aren’t feminist tools to shame men for being men. Let’s just pretend men aren’t being men because they aren’t in a proper, committed, grown up relationship.

Here’s a question, a famous feminist once said ‘women need men like a fish needs a bicycle’, we’re constantly told that a woman’s worth is not decided by her relationship with a man. If that’s the case, then why is a man’s worth tied directly to his relationship with a woman? Why is it such a problem, or indeed why is it a man’s problem, to ‘fix’ this ‘hook-up’ culture?

This is why this line of thinking is so ludicrous. When you take women out of the equation, when you remove or minimise their contribution to the fucked up way we date nowadays you are, again, telling men that everything is their fault. You are treating men like villains and women like delicate little fairies who are incapable of knowing what they’re doing. That’s offensive to both men and women. By asking men ‘why don’t you take the lead anymore?’ you imply, however implicitly, that women have somehow failed in their new ‘equal’ duties in the relationship stakes. Women are just not good enough to take the lead, to make the decisions, to pay, so fuck it, let’s go back to the chivalrous days of yore. There’s a problem with that, though. Society has moved on, why hasn’t your definition of what a ‘man’ is?

I’ll tell you want I think a man is in 2014: caring, compassionate, loving, protective (not because she’s a woman, simply because it’s the right thing to do), heroic, driven, devoted, committed, responsible, reliant, good natured, powerful and sympathetic. Newsflash – you don’t need a woman in your life to be any of those things.

He goes on to say that, after meeting his wife:

We defined our terms.

We made our goals clear.

We were open with each other.

We spoke about the future.

We used words like ‘marriage.’  

Notice the key word? The pronoun ‘we’. So, he wonders why there are no men who take the lead, yet in his own relationship he doesn’t take the lead, he works things out with his partner. Confusing, no?

The key to a good, open, honest relationship is communication, I don’t think anyone with half a brain would disagree with that. So why is Walsh advocating one thing and then doing another? Why is he lamenting the loss of the ‘real man’ and then not being the ‘real man’ in his own relationship? Why is he blaming men for the ‘hook-up’ culture, shaming men for not wanting to settle down, for wanting to ‘hang out’ and have some fun before looking for anything more serious? Why is he not apportioning some of the blame to women? If we are truly wanting to live in an equal society why do we constantly relieve women of any obligations when it comes to self-reflection?

I talked about this in one of my previous blogs, the fact that we are constantly telling men how to live their lives, constantly telling men what to do and what not to do, how to be a ‘real man’ and treat our women right, yet we hardly ever get the same diatribe directed towards women. Is it because they’re too incapable to understand any better? Is it because they’re so weak that any criticism of their lifestyles might result in us damaging their ‘feels’ or resulting in them becoming overemotional? Yeah, what kind of bullshit is that?

Women are more than capable of self-reflection. They’re tough, strong, independent people who can take a hit on the chin when it calls for it (metaphorically, not literally), so why do we continue to coddle them and tell them it’s not their fault? Why do we blame the big ol’ nasty man?

Here’s some brutal honesty for you: if you ‘aren’t ready for something serious,’ then you need to go get yourself ready and leave these ladies alone until you do. You can’t go out and have sex (I mean, ‘hook up,’ as the middle schoolers at the lunch table might call it) and then claim that you ‘aren’t ready for something serious.’ It’s too late, friend. Sex is something serious.

‘Leave these ladies alone’. Again, it’s the poor old ladies who are suffering, suffering from the dearth of real men who should be locked away until they are ready to engage in a real committed relationship. No consideration that those ladies might be just as guilty as the men of contributing to this ‘hangout’ culture where people aren’t sure if they’re on a date or not. No consideration of the negative qualities that many women exhibit, solely focused on how men can be better and, until we are deemed fit and useful to society we should spare these poor ladies from our immaturity.

He finishes with this sorry excuse of an analogy, comparing men to aeroplane pilots:

“Attention passengers. This is your captain speaking. I just want to tell you that, like, I don’t want things to get weird or whatever, but I’m not really into being a captain right now. I mean, yeah, I chose to take a plane full of souls up 32 thousand feet into the air at a cruising speed of 600 miles per hour, but I don’t want you think that this is, like, official, you know? I’ve got your lives in my hands, but I don’t want this to get serious. In fact, actually, look, I’m just gonna bail now. I’ve got my parachute. You don’t but that’s your problem. I got what I wanted out of this. So, uh, yeah. Bye. Enjoy your fiery demise!”

Why is this such a bad analogy? The pilot is actually a job, being a man isn’t. Walsh spend this whole blog telling us how easy it is to be in a relationship, how it takes commitment honesty, openness, understanding and a large portion of maturity yet then compares it to a rather stressful job.

Matt Walsh does not speak for me. Yes I’m single, but me not wanting to be in a relationship is not because I need to ‘man up’ and stop being such a cunt, it’s because I’ve yet to find a woman who, I think, is compatible with me. I’ll hang out with whoever I want to hang out with, I’ll fuck whoever I want to fuck, regardless of what Matt Walsh think.

Women are not exempt from this particular facet of society. They play their part in the confusion over modern dating rituals. We need to stop treating them like children, stop implying they’re too stupid to fully understand their contribution, too weak to really be able to change their behavior patterns. One throwaway paragraph is not enough, Matt, we need to challenge this with the same vigour and desire we do men.

Dating is hard enough as it is, it doesn’t need sanctimonious articles like this to shame men into being someone they’re not, while at the same time giving women a free pass to continue living the carefree life they’re currently living. Either everyone can live free and die hard, or no-one can.

Simply put, when it comes to men and women and the whole dating ritual, it can, in my experience be summed up in one sentence, a sentence that Matt Walsh doesn’t stray too far from.

Women shouldn’t settle for anything less than perfection, men should just be thankful women are giving them attention and should do anything and everything in their power to keep that attention, lest women find it elsewhere.

I will spend the rest of my life with a woman, I just haven’t found her yet. Matt Walsh doesn’t know anything about me, yet thinks he can dole out relationship advice, advice he doesn’t even follow himself, on how I can improve myself. Sorry, Matt Walsh, you’re a cunt.

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Comments
  1. […] Matt Walsh tries to speak for all men, comes off as a bit of a cunt. October 11, 2014 […]

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