It’s not self-esteem that’s the problem, Matt Forney. It’s what women esteem themselves to be.

11 Oct

Let me state right off the bat that I like Matt Forney. He’s quite young, so I cut him an enormous amount of slack, given the quality of his female peers, but I think he missed a few key distinctions in his now gone viral post The Case Against Female Self-Esteem.o

http://mattforney.com/2013/09/16/the-case-against-female-self-esteem/

Here’s the quick and dirty summary of Matt’s argument:

1. Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem

2. Insecurity is integral to femininity

3. Women don’t want to have high self-esteem

I’m going to take them one by one, and hopefully show you that Matt is talking about young women, and that his arguments don’t apply to certain women, as they age. This is not NAWALT, but rather a mapping of the journey that most women will eventually embark upon, and it’s a journey that needs a few landmarks pointed out.

1. Most girls have done nothing to deserve self-esteem

That is true, but only when esteem is measured in terms of genuinely competing with men. Matt, like many observers – myself included – quite rightly points out that most of the real, hard work of running our world is done by men, but he ignores what genuine self-esteem in women looks like when they are NOT competing with men. And Matt acknowledges as much.

In the world of men, respect—and by extension self-esteem—is based on actually achieving something of worth or having some kind of skill or talent.

What is respect – and by extension, self-esteem – based on in the world of women?

baby

The overwhelming majority of women will eventually become mothers, and being a good mother will become the principle source of a woman’s self-esteem. That is what fuels the so-called “Mommy Wars” – women desperately trying to justify their choices so they can think of themselves as good mothers. Single mothers insist they are good mothers. Working mothers insist they are good mothers. Stay at home mothers don’t really have to insist they’re good mothers, because simply being present is 80% of the job, but they will insist that their lives have meaning.

Here’s a wonderful article about the daughter of a feminist who has made the kitchen the focus of her life, with no regrets. Why the kitchen? Because it allows her to be a good mother.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/fashion/a-feminists-daughter-finds-love-in-the-kitchen.html?pagewanted=all

Whenever a girl I’m talking to brags about how she’s “confident” and “strong,” I can feel my dick deflating like a punctured tire.

Matt is right to point out that the girls he is talking to have absolutely nothing to base their “strength” and “confidence” on, but that is very likely to change. I would not hesitate to tell Matt that I am both of those things, but I have life experiences to back that shit up.

I am a supremely confident mother. And I am incredibly strong, in an emotional sense. I can be utterly, stupidly exhausted and still have the mental discipline to respond with love and patience and maximum kindness. And that is not easy, trust me. When the baby has been up fourteen times with an ear infection and the older children are squabbling over who gets the Batman cereal bowl and who is gonna be stuck with Spiderman, it’s easy to scream at everyone and have them all in tears.

Does that sound trivial? That might be because you are a man, and you do not measure your worth in terms of kindness and patience. I’m not saying that all women are kind and patient – ha! My own mother was devoid of both those qualities. But I’m pretty sure she knows she was a shit mother for not having them.

A woman who is strong and confident in her abilities to be a good mother, and who demonstrably IS a good mother has every right to esteem herself highly. Confidence in genuine accomplishments that arise primarily from the fact of being a woman should be very attractive to any sensible young man.

The women Matt is talking about are bragging about accomplishments they don’t actually have, and that is the problem. It’s not the confidence, per se. What are you confident IN?

2. Insecurity is integral to femininity

Ay-yah. This one is tough. In my view, Matt is mistaking interdependence for insecurity.

insecure

This is emotional insecurity:

I was thinking about a couple of my past relationships when I had this epiphany; the girls I’ve loved the most were the ones who were the most insecure, the most emotionally vulnerable. When I first went on a date with the only girl I would have ever married, her hands were trembling in nervousness. She later admitted that she was openly intimidated by me and the idea that I found her attractive. She had been an ugly duckling in high school, forty pounds overweight and used to being ignored and mocked; I had met her shortly after she’d lost the weight, when she still viewed the world through a fat girl’s eyes.

This is interdependence:

Part of our identity as men based in women needing us, if not necessarily in a material sense, then in an emotional one, though material and emotional vulnerability often go hand in hand. That female insecurity is a crucial ingredient for unlocking our inner masculine instincts.

I am not an emotionally insecure or vulnerable person, nor have I ever been. The former fat girl is unsure of herself, intimidated and in need of validation, given her previous experience. That’s fine, but it’s not to be confused with being vulnerable on account of simply being the weaker sex. My husband is considerably larger than I am, and I am very much aware of how incredibly safe it feels to have his arms around me, his chin resting easily on my head.

Being emotionally vulnerable is insecurity. Being physically vulnerable is not the same thing. In fact, I would say that emotionally vulnerable women are more trouble than they’re worth. It might feel trigger feelings of superiority and dominance to begin with, and I’m the last person to deride those feelings in men – they are central to feeling masculine – but women who can’t command their own emotions? That shit gets old really fast.

I personally cannot stand emotionally vulnerable women. I hate the whole “let’s make everything about my shaky quaky feelings” bullshit that goes on with so many women. It feels to me like a power play, and I hate it. I consider myself very feminine and it has nothing at all to do with feeling insecure. I’m not insecure. Not in the slightest. That doesn’t mean I’m not dependent on my husband, because I very much am. I depend on him to take care of me in every way EXCEPT when it comes to handling my own emotional life.

sulking

And I think he’s grateful he doesn’t have to put up with regular weeping or sulking from me. He doesn’t have to constantly be on guard for when my wittle feelings might be hurt. They don’t get hurt all that often, and when they do, I open my mouth and say so.

If I’m not the center of a girl’s world, I’m not going to be in her world period.

Absolutely, Matt, but she doesn’t have to be an emotional fucking basketcase to justify making you the center of her world. In fact, it’s better if she’s not. A woman who has made a conscious, rational decision to make the person she loves the reason for her continued existence is a woman worth having.

3. Women don’t want to have high self-esteem

This is the kicker; in their bones, girls know that their toxic, feminist you-go-grrl ideology is a lie.

I agree, and the telling of that lie over and over again is one of my principal beefs with feminism.

Girls will all but die without masculine attention. Hell, I’m even starting to think that the feminist agita about “rape culture” is part of this as well. Pushing lies like the claim that one in three women will be raped during her lifetime and their constantly expanding the definition of rape are ways for feminists to indulge their desire for vulnerability in a way that doesn’t conflict with their view of themselves as “strong” and “empowered.”

This is an amazing insight, and one I hadn’t considered. Rape culture is not just about women’s fantasy of being irresistibly desirable, it’s also about being vulnerable in a way that doesn’t force them to confront the lies they tell themselves.

They want nothing more than for a man to throw them over his knee, shatter the Berlin Wall around their hearts, and expose the lovestruck, bashful little girl within.

And here again is where I disagree. This to me strongly suggests that you think a woman’s desire to be dependent on a man infantilizes her, and I would say the opposite. It matures her. Understanding that human pair bonds are complementary and not competitive is a key part of growing up, for both men and women. Joining your life to another in a way that acknowledges both individual strengths and weaknesses doesn’t make the woman a bashful little girl.

It makes her a sensible, powerful woman, who understands that it takes courage to be dependent on another person. You need faith, and trust and an immense dedication. And it’s not just women who are dependent. Men are dependent on women, too. We are the carriers for your children. We can make your lives a misery, or fill them with love and comfort and happiness in a way that nothing else can.

Men have to trust women in so many ways. Loyalty, fidelity, devotion, allegiance –none of those things can be guaranteed. You simply have to trust. To depend.

A big part of the problem in our modern culture is that men are still expected to depend on women for access to children, but women have no reciprocal obligations to depend on men. They can refuse to grow up. Refuse the obligations that come with responsibility. Refuse to be dependable themselves.

And that is the real problem. Confident women have no problem depending on men, because they know they themselves are dependable. It’s a mutually reinforcing system, and the basis for women’s self-esteem.

Legitimate self-esteem. Being a wife and mother is in the cards for most women. But they can’t base their self-esteem on that, because they are living a lie about what self-esteem really means, and by pursing “careers” and “independence”, they are shit mothers and crappy wives.

Ergo, this false sense of esteem.

So it’s not confidence and esteem that are the problem. Quite the contrary.

It’s the false basis for those beliefs.

Most women eventually see at least half of the lie. Once they actually have children, they understand that to be a good mother is all that will ever mean anything to them, but they’ve fucked up planning their life and leave themselves with no real choices. They can’t afford to be good mothers.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/09/12/is-opting-out-the-new-american-dream-for-working-women/

Fewer women come to see that marriage is the most valuable, important relationship they will ever experience in their lives, with fully half of all marriages ending in divorce, mostly for spurious reasons, like “I just don’t love him anymore”.

http://www.professional-counselling.com/causes-of-divorce.html

The two things women can legitimately base a sense of self-esteem on are precisely the two things feminism rails heartily against: depend on a man and raise the children you have together yourself.

Legitimate, justified self-esteem and confidence in women are undeniable virtues. How do you know if you are with a woman who is going to eventually grow into a person who understands the basis of her own worth?

Game isn’t going to do it, because you will never weed out the basketcases. You will no doubt get laid a whole lot, but when it comes to picking a reliable, dependable partner, the technique won’t help you much.

What will?

chivalry

Good old-fashioned chivalry. Open her door. Let her go first. Pull out her chair. Walk on the outside. The second you get anything other than gratitude from a woman on that front, you know it’s time to move on.

Remember, you are not looking for a Princess who wants Daddy to take care of everything at the first hint of a pout. You’re looking for a Queen, who will rule by your side.

That takes confidence. And some pretty healthy self-esteem.

Lots of love,

JB

102 Responses to “It’s not self-esteem that’s the problem, Matt Forney. It’s what women esteem themselves to be.”

  1. Anna October 29, 2013 at 16:25 #

    “Legitimate self-esteem. Being a wife and mother is in the cards for most women. But they can’t base their self-esteem on that, because they are living a lie about what self-esteem really means, and by pursing “careers” and “independence”, they are shit mothers and crappy wives.

    Ergo, this false sense of esteem.”

    “Most women eventually see at least half of the lie. Once they actually have children, they understand that to be a good mother is all that will ever mean anything to them, but they’ve fucked up planning their life and leave themselves with no real choices. They can’t afford to be good mothers.”

    If “being a wife and mother is in the cards for most women” then it reasons that being a husband and a father is in the cards for just as many men. Yet, men can pursue “careers” and “independence” without it having a negative effect on their role as a husband or father…

    Seriously?

    It isn’t solely the mother’s responsibility to raise children or maintain a marriage; it’s a partnership, a two-way street. If a woman wants a career and sense of independence outside of the home, let her! Lord knows a number of men have been doing it, regardless of the effect it has on the family. Both genders need to step it up and stop blaming their faults on what’s between their legs.

    • LostSailor October 29, 2013 at 22:30 #

      Except all too often those mothers diminish the role of fathers by removing them–either before the fact or after–from their children’s lives, while trying to use those fathers as nothing more than a wallet.

      You also miss the point. When women define their sense of self-worth by their independence and careers, they are by definition denigrating the roles of mother and wife as unworthy of esteem. This is the fundamental lie of feminism that Betty Friedan spewed forth, and a definite lie it is.

      Lord knows a number of men have been doing it, regardless of the effect it has on the family

      The “effect” it’s had on the family is to provide for the health, material comfort, and well-being of the family. Yet, you seem quite dismissive of that fact. I’m not surprised…

      • Anna October 29, 2013 at 23:25 #

        Why is it a man’s responsibility to provide health, material comfort, and well-being for a family? Why can a woman not take on those responsibilities, while a man takes on so-called womanly duties? They’re cultural constructs, not natural ones.

        • Anna October 30, 2013 at 00:09 #

          Or! Radical idea here: why can’t the woman and man be equal partners and share both responsibilities?

          Honestly, I have no qualms with a woman who wants to be a good mother and wife and not pursue a career. But as a woman who does want to pursue a career, and probably become a wife and mother someday, I don’t want to be told I am “living a lie” and that I will have fucked up my plans in life and be left with no real choices.

        • LostSailor October 30, 2013 at 18:10 #

          Ah, a Gender Feminist! The most delusional kind!

          Why is it a man’s responsibility to provide health, material comfort, and well-being for a family?

          Because that’s what men do. And it’s what society not only expects, but demands of them. And feminists take ample advantage of it. These are not just “cultural” constructs, but responsibilities and obligations that men have shouldered since the dawn of human kind. And it’s enshrined into law, as well, in child-support legislation, and enforced at gun-point by the state.

          Honestly, I have no qualms with a woman who wants to be a good mother and wife and not pursue a career.

          Yet, though you intended it ironically, you, too, belittle such work as “womanly duties.” Feminism has always done so, proclaiming that because it is “unpaid” work it is not “meaningful” work (see Friedan). Which has always been a fundamental lie. Some couples can make the stay-at-home dad thing work, but for most couples, it doesn’t. Even Gender Feminists will come to resent and despise a stay-at-home husband, just as he will be undermined by not pursuing his natural role. And all the feminist re-education camps in the world aren’t likely to change that.

          I don’t want to be told I am “living a lie” and that I will have fucked up my plans in life and be left with no real choices.

          I’m sure you don’t. But sticking your fingers in your ears and shutting out the truth will likely leave you pain and heartache in the end. But I’m sure your career will comfort you…

          • Homeless Ronin November 6, 2013 at 05:09 #

            “Or! Radical idea here: why can’t the woman and man be equal partners and share both responsibilities?”

            Yes, it would be great seeing women carrying 50% of heavy furniture, breaking 50% of the walls that need to be broken, fixing 50% of the electrical wiring that needs to be fixed, and of course, paying 50% of the total expenses.

            Strangely, the last woman to whom I proposed this, decided that washing dishes, cooking, and cleaning was not thaaat demeaning, after all.

            Case in point, the role of the father in the family is more disciplinary than educational. You can see this clearly by the ever growing number of spoiled and self-entitled women, and sissy men that women are raising by themselves.
            Besides, we don’t break our backs at work for our own sake, a single man can live as a king with far less than what is necessary to keep a family. We put up jobs we hate for the sake the wife and kids, our self-realization comes from seeing those under our responsibility faring well. Your self-realization comes from your career in itself. Because “Lord knows a number of men have been doing it”. Yes, totally the same thing. Not to mention, very noble, isn’t?…

  2. Mike November 19, 2013 at 02:37 #

    “You’re looking for a Queen, who will rule by your side.”

    Sorry, you can’t have two captains of a ship.

  3. gerhard February 25, 2014 at 22:16 #

    This is amazing, and so true. The only problem is what can I do? time is running out. As a man if I want a traditional woman (not saying I do), the only way to earn or deserve and achieve it is to be a traditional man- i.e. good breadwinner. I dropped the ball on that but I’m picking it up, working on career. The other problem is where to find such a good women? They are in scarce supply I feel in America- at least relative to my level fo insignificant accomplishments. I have to work on game or at least being erotic and enticing, as well as not giving a sh/t. then maybe I can reeducate them. that sounds cultish but how the heck can people accuse such as being cultish when all of religion and ideology itself is guilty? I could go for a foreign woman (assuming I want one wife in the traditional way) and I do LOVE the european ones, and maybe will choose one who chooses me, but I do not want a woman of another race- I just do not. And lastly, beyond the scope of this article but relevant in some ways- to me if the damage to feminism was temporary, or even long term regarding discord between genders, alright so be it, but the Caucasian populations already demonstrate much lower fertility to others, that we need children or we will cease to exist or be ploughed under. Perhaps this was the purpose of feminism all along? Great threat- it leaves me sadly, like many other great works, somewhat enlightened (and I think for real- in combination with Forney’s article which is also a must read), but with little idea of a solution. I guess there are no quick fixes. Such an idea is childish, but it’s a start. Seeds were planted. This may change my behavior and thinking so I can create better karma. No matter what, if you are 100 percent right, it still must be stressed to the average man (to myself!) that we men must be bolder, stronger, more powerful, assertive, aggressive ,cocky, carrying buckets of self-confidence that says we don’t give a shit. If we don’t, we are lost, no matter what we know or say. We are talking about societal configuration here- and now it is sort of configured jungle rules. Anyway we can profit from the discord by learning more about our deeper male selves. We must be smart and we must work hard and we must be risk takers. If we don’t take risks we’ll be sleeping alone. Perhaps there will come times when we have to contradict everything we’ve been fed about women, gender, self-esteem, sexuality, sexual assertiveness, rape culture, etc. If so, society and those who engineered it are to blame. You are innocent in your natural desires and instincts. Always remember that- nature always trumps social conditioning and idealism, in virtue. By being a man, you are being most virtuous! Let society go about its dysfunctional ways. Grieve if you must but get not demoralized. Get demoralized if you must but stay committed. Your commitments are your source of power and strength over the long run. It is hard though but it is hard because it is hard on the inside. High expectations lead to the evil eye. I don’t know

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It’s not self-esteem that’s the problem, Matt Forney. It’s what women esteem themselves to be. | Bydio - October 11, 2013

    […] ← It’s not self-esteem that’s the problem, Matt Forney. It’s what women esteem themselves to be. […]

  2. An Introduction to Component Psychology, Part 3 | Anarcho Papist - October 17, 2013

    […] As an example of crucial lack of self-awareness, consider the possibility of a forney. A forney is defined as an insult which operates by instigating in another the behavior which is the ostensible premise of the very insult itself. The pedigree of this word should be obvious, drawing on the distinctive trolling style of Matt Forney, excellently demonstrated by the response on Twitter of women instigated by his Case Against Female Self-Esteem (1000+ comments, so beware loading time). The fundamental conceit of the post is that female self-esteem is off-putting, and furthermore fragile due to its unnatural character; responses by women which were ostensibly driven by the need to protect their ego have the actual effect of verifying the fundamental claim which motivated the post. In other words, Forney forneyed women. (For a more balanced take on the issue of female self-esteem, I’d recommend Judgy Bitch.) […]

  3. “Rape Culture” und der Wunsch nach Verletzbarkeit | Alles Evolution - October 17, 2013

    […] bin auf den Artikel aufmerksam geworden durch eine Besprechung bei “Jugdy Bitch“, die zu den Thesen Stellung nimmt. Beide Artikel finde ich interessant zu […]

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  5. The Dalrock hypothesis [Quotage for any female readers: do not follow the narrative of this age.] | Dark Brightness - May 30, 2014

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