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Doubling Down

I’ve been away for a few weeks, and for at least part of it I have an unusual excuse for it: I was scuba-diving in Key Largo, Florida, fine-tuning my newly-adopted side-mount scuba rig. Yeah, now I’m diving with doubles.

P927-lionfish-webMost people regard scuba-diving as a high-adventure, high-risk sport, based on impressions they get from movies like  JAWS and The Deep. There are risks, but predators are very low on the risk profile, and venomous fish (like this lionfish – a native of the South Pacific, a pest in the Caribbean) are dangerous only to the unaware. The real risks come from the fact that you’re carrying your air with you – a small closet’s worth, about 80 cubic feet (2265 litres) in the most commonly-used tanks – and the regulator feeds it to you at depth pressure: At 33 feet (1 atmosphere water pressure), each breath takes about twice as much air out of the tank as you would at the surface; at 66 feet (2 atm), three times as much; and so forth. You also use more air when you’re excited or nervous, or when you’re swimming hard … plus big guys use more air than smaller divers … and some of us just have less efficient lungs than others, and so we’ll go through a tank of air faster than the average diver.

That’s me. I’m an air hog, an airoholic. I’m the first one to run low on air, the limiting factor on the dive. I can use larger tanks at home, but very few dive-resort operators have anything on hand larger than the ubiquitous “aluminum 80.” But there’s a solution … carry more than one tank. Where? You can mount them as independent doubles (each with its own regulator) on your back … or you can clip them at your sides, below your shoulders, in a system called “side-mount.” That’s what I chose, and I was able to take a side-mount diving course in Thailand last December. (I didn’t go there for the course – no, of course not. But the diving wasn’t all that good – poor visibility – and the course was available, so I took the opportunity.)

When I got home, I went straight to work on converting my DiveRite Transpac (a harness-and-wings buoyancy compensator, or ‘BC,’ designed for both side-mount and the much-more-usual back-mount) for side-mount use. It’s different from the Hollis BC I’d used in my course, and I found that DiveRite had both the instructions and the hardware I needed to make the change. I mounted bungee-straps and rings under my armpits (a DiveRite kit), and two pairs of ‘stand-off’ D-rings on my waist belt, for attaching my tanks. My integrated weight pockets needed to go behind the “upper” D-rings, almost over my kidneys.

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Stage-straps and tank hardware

I also needed a way to attach clips to the dive-operator’s tanks; my instructor used a big bolt-snap on a “lark’s-head” loop of line on the neck of his tanks, and another one tied to the same sort of ‘cam-bands’ we use to strap the tanks to our BCs, on the tail of the tank. I decided to use something like the “stage straps” tech divers use to handle their extra tanks, with a strap looped around the neck of the tank (for the top snap) and the cam-band; this way, I could almost-automatically put the top and tail clips exactly where I needed them to hook into my BC. When I had it “all together,” a dive-instructor friend let me do the ‘final’ (I thought) adjustments in the pool where he was running his basic-scuba class, and lent me a pair of ’empty’ (unfilled, low-pressure) aluminum 80 tanks to work with. It worked very nicely, and I set up a trip to the Florida Keys to get the practice I’d need to “take it on the road.”

My first dive-day in the open ocean brought out flaws in my system that I hadn’t noticed in the pool. I’m sorry to say I embarrassed myself; the cam-bands on my tanks were slipping, and I was struggling with them to get them tight, and it left me floundering. There was a strong current that day, which certainly didn’t help … and I took a one-third-empty tank as my second tank on the second dive, then lost much of it to a free-flowing regulator that I didn’t catch in time. So I came up low on air, and exhausted from a hard surface swim back to the boat. I made a dismal showing … and I lost my new-to-me SeaLife camera and the strobe I’ve been using for a couple of years, on the first dive.

The good thing? I figured out what went wrong with the tank-bands. One, I’d put them on dry, and they’d loosened while wet; the other, I had the stage-straps rigged so the cam-buckle closed on top of them, and that made the cam-bands even more prone to loosening (and one buckle, once, popped open in the water!) So I switched things around so the tank-band’s tail went away from the stage-strap, and when I tried it on a tank on the dock, it held firm and stayed in place. Problem solved. (And it stayed solved.)

The worse thing? The manager of the resort called me up to the office, that evening, to tell me I’d have to dive back-mount like everyone else … I told her that in that case I might as well go home tomorrow, because working the kinks out of my gear was the whole purpose of my trip. I brought my C-card and the course handbook with me, to show I’d been trained; I explained the cause I’d found for the trouble I’d been having with the tank-bands; and, finally, I agreed to pay for an instructor to dive with me as a ‘personal guide’ for the rest of my trips. She said she’d call the captain and get back to me later….

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Side-mount ready, relaxed and competent

The best thing? The rest of my diving went smoothly. My tanks stayed perfectly in place, whether clipped high on my waist (when they were full and heavy) or low (when they were less-full and ‘floaty’). I got two fresh tanks for my second dives (and paid extra for them), rather than trying to “save air” by carrying one of my first dive’s tanks on my second dive. And I found my Zen-place, relaxed, and smoothed out, practicing the lessons of my side-mount course and joining them up with the experience I’ve had with years of “regular” diving. Best of all, I did my third day’s diving with the instructor who had wanted to throw me off the boat the first day – and he was surprised at how smooth, careful and relaxed I’d become, and perhaps a little amazed at how I followed him through a tight swim-through by unclipping the tails of my tanks, swinging them up and pushing them tails-first in front of me – even more streamlined than he was, with his back-mount gear.

Yeah, I’m a full-out convert to side-mount diving, and I’m ready to take it traveling.

This is a guest post from Jagrmeister, the founder and administrator of the Going Your Own Way web-forum. It was originally posted to that forum, and I would like to thank him for letting me post it here.

Never Submit to a Woman

Some people think of blue pill as a set of ideas, but they’re actually a sophisticated form of social conditioning. Conditioning is hypnosis; it rewires the brain. It produces automatic behavior. When we’re conditioned in a way to be subservient, it explains the anger of becoming the red pill. What demented society would rewire the minds of men to defer to women and thrill to be their toadies! If it’s any consolation, this has been going on a while; what’s different is that female worship is not accompanied any longer by the shaping of female behavior to be decent and desirable to men (traditionalism). So we’re worshipping what turns out to be a flaming turd. This is why I oppose feminism, believe feminism’s primary form of impact is carried out through television brainwashing (not radfem diatribes), and why I believe feminism is far more sinister than the general population believes. If feminism were ideas alone, it would rot; but it serves the purpose of cultural marxism, and its adversarialism is amplified by others, who enhance the social conditioning of men to genuflect before women, in their sublime and pristine “beauty”, inside and out. That they are more worthy than us; that a key part of our reason for being is to serve them (this is what Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” campaigns with corporations are about).

This subservience is enhanced by three factors: Male lust (porn, Maxim, sex everywhere), supposed female nobility (fairytales, television, feminist campaigns; ie: “women are more ‘peaceful’ than men”), and female victim status (ie: trafficking, domestic violence; while whitewashing abortion, female psychological violence, etc.). From this you can see where the white knight mental ‘program’ has been constructed in men. Feminist conditioning instills blue pill/white knight in 80%’er males (as evidenced by the fact it’s the 80%’er who has the WK sexual strategy on television/movies) through classical conditioning, we are shown the 80%’er male can successfully get the girl in romcoms from the 20%’er male through blue pill toadying, and it’s no wonder so many men think it’ll work; in truth it ‘works’ in terms of getting them to commit for life (and PROVIDE) to a substandard woman, for reasons unknown to their conscious mind. All the man knowns is he’s “happy!” (for a short while until reality contradicts the carefully warped implanted life script.)

(MGTOW is the deprogramming of this conditioning, which is why feminists and the controlled media seek to discredit us. Earlier I was stumped why no man or woman could answer my question what are women good for in a relationship, but now I realize why men can’t answer me; they themselves don’t know, they just know they “need” women.)

Back to the main point: the fact that it’s conditioning means that awareness is helpful but the old neural connections are still there; it is programming that is lodged deeply. There may be times still where you are tempted to please a woman, even defer to her. You will get a momentary thrill from it before perhaps realizing what is going on. I will admit, it angers me still that on occasion, this old programming comes back. That those in charge have created a rewards cycle pathway in people’s minds towards pleasing women. Here is where I entirely object with the idea that ‘attraction is non-negotiable” or that human preferences are set in stone. Neural plasticity is a scientific fact and it shows that our very attraction to things, to people; our desires, our motivations are programmable. Of course, this is known at high levels. (It is known in low levels of advertising as well.) We have been programmed to submit. Even though on a conscious level, we know that women prefer men to be strong, to lead; even important women we may work for, every woman; it is possible to slip back into old ways because for years our minds had no firewall.

Some may object, but sometimes purple programming helps root out blue pill programming. When a thought comes of looking forward to defer to a woman in conversation comes to mind, remember “She won’t like this”. I know this sounds hokey, because the better thought is “What would I want?”. But sometimes a purple pill thought can be a good bridge from momentary relapse of blue pill back to safe shores, and then firmly to red pill camp. Purple pill inner thoughts can sometimes be helpful; in this case, acknowledging that insofar as some mental vestige wants to supplicate to women, recalling that even she would be repulsed by it should be enough to assume the dominant or at least a confident posture. From there, the red pill thoughts should be easily accessible again.

——————

Stop Being a Good Little Boy, by ‘thereticle’ on Reddit Red Pill, explores another aspect of this conditioning, and one that is planted early in our lives – the association of obedience with rewards, which is Mommy’s preferred way to “civilize” toddlers into becoming “good boys.” It’s effective, but it becomes a trap in our adult lives – and to evade it, we need to break out of that stimulus/response mechanism, stop relying on others for validation, and frankly, think and act for ourselves.

Women’s Primordial Fear, on The Avenging Red Hand’s blog, offers a fascinating evo-psych explanation for why so many women are so insistent on invading any male-only space that men set up for themselves, from Irish pubs to the Australian “Men’s Shed” organizations: The one thing women fear most is social exclusion, or in ancient terms, being cast out of the tribe….

Team Womyn, I’m talking to you.

I’m talking to your great-grandmothers who rioted in the streets, smashed storefront windows and torched manor houses, for “Women’s Suffrage.”

I’m talking to your grandmothers who took over the factory jobs of the “home front,” in World War II,  so the men could join the military, and fight – and die – on the battlefront. (And who sent their “Dear John” letters when they took up with some 4-F draft-dodger in a zoot suit.)

I’m talking to your mothers, who protested and marched in the streets about “Equal Rights” and “Women’s Lib” – but drove out the Equal Rights Amendment because it might have reduced their historical “feminine privileges” in the interest of the self-defined, selfishly-defined “equality” that was just an excuse for greed, arrogance and contempt.

And I’m talking to you, the recipients of all the fruits of these actions – all the goodies and privileges and overbalanced “equality” that has been given you by the legislatures and the courts. You have the right to any job, anywhere, and the privilege to skip over tough entry-level jobs and go straight to administrative “boss” positions. You have the right to go anywhere and the privilege to have your own “ladies only” spaces free of men. You have the right to have your man turned out of the home he’s buying for you and your family, at the whim of an unproven accusation, and the privilege that Government will force him to keep paying the rent or the mortgage.

Yes, you’ve won it all – you’ve got it, and everything that comes with it!

But there’s something missing, isn’t there? With all that you’ve won, there’s something still missing.

You have won complete control of the workplace, between Affirmative Action and “Equal Pay For Equal Work” and your Sisterhood in all the Human Resources positions. You’re the first to be hired and the last to be fired, and you can get rid of the male competition just by alleging “sexual harassment.” You will be believed, even if your claim is bogus, just because you’re a woman.

You OWN the court system. Where a man might get ten to twenty, you’ll get parole and counseling. Britain’s legislators are even talking about closing the women’s prisons completely down. And Family Court? Solidly in your pocket.

You are the Favored Sex in the church.  Pastors write their sermons with you in mind. They uphold your sex as the paragon of good and of virtue, and if there’s something wrong in your relationships they’ll side with you in a heartbeat.

You own the college system. Nearly two-thirds of the student body in the American college system are women. Your professors, teachers and instructors are mostly women, too – those men who still remain in the profession are scared of your shadow.

It looks like you’ve got it all. But something is still missing … where are all the “good” men?

Where are the guys who were supposed to flirt with you, and court you, and build you up, and support you, and protect you, and … dare you say it … marry you, and take care of you for life (even after you divorce them)?

Where is the boyfriend, the “special guy,” the man who’s ready to meet you at the altar? Where are the candidates to happily-ever-after with you?

We’re elsewhere. We’re voting “Absent.” We’ve gone Galt. We’ve retreated into our Man-Caves and disappeared.

After the centuries and millenia within which we strove and worked and killed ourselves to make this world comfortable for you ladies – and during which we exerted ourselves in every fashion, every direction, every possible way to praise you and uplift you and put you on a pedestal for our worship (think Shakespeare’s sonnets, as a bare and primitive minimum!) – we are completely weary of the message you’ve been spouting for all these years: You regard us as defective, and you want no more to do with us. After listening to the rants and rhetoric of your spokeswomen, echoed and re-echoed in the Main Scream Media for the past fifty years, more and more of us are taking you at your word. We oppress you with our help, our presence, our “objectifying gaze?” A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle? It’s all our fault? Okay, we get it, we are removing ourselves from your presence.

How many of the guys you snubbed and spurned, the guys you dealt out of the rotation, actually have the decency and self-value that might have made them into faithful, hard-working, nurturing, instructive FATHERS???!!! You’ll never know, because you and the Courts denied them “fatherhood” from the git-go. You’ve managed to get the Guns Of Government to back up your claim – that “fathers are meaningless and worthless” and that “Women Are The Perfect Care-Givers, so long as the Bastard Man is forced to pay for our care-giving and pay extra for babysitters while we go out in search of Alpha Cock!”

It’s too late to ask, now, for our help and support.

You want to Have It All – meaning all the privileges, all the “rights,” but nothing even remotely resembling “responsibility.” Trouble is, that “responsibility” is inextricably, innately wed to the privileges and “rights” that you want to claim. They are represented by “everything that comes with it” – which is shorthand for “now you’ve got to do that hidden work, that men have always done in the background, to keep everything running!”

Well, now you’ve got it all – including the responsibility you wanted to evade, the children and teenagers you want someone else to bring into line, the “corporate career” that those 1960s “Mad Men”  would have gladly taken up on your behalf so you wouldn’t have to worry your “pretty little head” about it. You may find that statement “patronizing” – I meant it so. But in fact, it echoes the sentiments of that long-ago time, when men strove to spare their wives the problems, the upsets, the stress they were undergoing in the workaday world; they LOVED their wives and wanted nothing so much as to promote their happiness and leisure and all of that.

Now it’s your turn at bat. You’ve got all the benefits, all the “rights” and privileges and judicial protection and advantages, that our poor society had left to bestow. And you’re complaining, that these “rights” and “privileges” and “protection” and “advantages” aren’t worth a rat’s ass if you don’t have a male slavey out there to do the work you dislike.

Sorry, darlin’s. It’s up to you, now, to repair the “broken plumbing” of Society. Your “male slaveys” are abdicating, abandoning, their role as Society’s plumbers, re-wirers, repairmen and valets. You’ve told them – told US – shown us – dictated to us, again and again and again, your spurning and scorn for our efforts, our dedication, and our effective work to keep Society running. Enough. You can fix it better? Go ahead and fix it.

I wish you luck – you’ll need it!!

Vonclauswitz on MGTOW

One of the members of GoingYourOwnWay.com spotted the following rationale for MGTOW on the “voat.co” website. It was published by ‘vonclauswitz’ – I found it so well-reasoned that I decided it’s worth repeating, with the author’s permission, here on Beyond The Sunset.

 

Here’s what I think MGTOW means:

(1) The society in which I find myself (in my case, American) has prescribed roles into which I am pressured to conform.

I’m supposed to:

(1.a) organize my life so as to be useful to women. Specifically, I must have excess resources (which mostly means, make enough money) to not only support a family, but also to afford a very specific lifestyle (sometimes called, “keeping up with the Jones'”).

(1.b) approach and pursue women. This requires an investment of time, energy, and money to learn the skills of picking up women (because even for an attractive guy, this requires some practice and effort) and time, energy, and money to actually do it (dating isn’t free when you’re in this societal role – even if it’s free for other men).

(1.c) initiate relationships and propose marriage.

(1.d) organize my life around the marriage. This substantially means giving up pursuits that I enjoy (because stereotypical male pursuits are labeled immature and condescended to with terms like “man cave” and “midlife crisis”) and take up the company of and lifestyle chosen by my wife.

(1.e) bear a disproportionate responsibility for the success or failure of the marriage. There is a long list of things that husbands are expected to do for their wives under the auspices of being romantic or adventurous or just keeping her from being bored, but little if anything that is expected of wives (indeed, the very suggestion that she has responsibilities may be labeled oppressive).

(2) I have the ability to fulfill this role. It’s completely within my power as a man. I could do it as easily and as successfully as all the generations of men before me. But in the present society in which I find myself, I just don’t see that there are any real rewards for it. It appears to be all work with nothing in return.

(2.a) The supposed benefits of following this path are either not persuasive (not enough of a reward for the amount of work required), not true, or not rewards that I actually care about.

  • The promise of sex is not persuasive. Sex is available at a fixed and guaranteed cost outside of this path. But on this path, the cost of sex is greatly variable and not guaranteed.
  • I don’t believe that following this path will make me happy. Surveys that find married men are happier are only finding that successful marriages are happy. No shit. Lottery winners are richer, but that doesn’t mean that playing the lottery is a good idea.

(2.b) Society does not ask what men want, or what we would consider to be a fair trade for the work required of this role.There is no negotiation here. We are derided if we express dissatisfaction, and shamed if we refuse to play along.

(2.c) Many women see this role not as a social contract between men and women for which they should be thankful, but as a safety net or golden parachute.One possible answer to 2.b above is that many men would like sexual access to a woman when she is young (for discussion, let’s say mid 20’s). And in return for that, men would be happy to bear the substantial costs laid out above. But many women ask that the type of man willing to fill this role should wait until she is a decade or more older. This of course is her right, but it substantially reduces the benefit of this path without any reduction in its cost.It also makes it clear that we are plan B, and likely prevents any real bond between us.

(3) Worse, there are substantial risks for anyone who attempts to fulfill this role.

(3.a) Too many men are falsely accused of rape.

(3.b) The majority of marriages end in divorce. Divorce is painful and expensive. Many men pay exorbitant alimony.

(3.c) Family courts are hostile to fathers. Child support is out of proportion to the actual needs of the child, is often not applied to the child, and in some cases amounts to indentured servitude (as when a judge says, “your ability to pay is not relevant to your obligation to pay” – and sends a man to jail because his 3rd quarter sales numbers are down).

(3.d) There is no legal protection against paternity fraud.

(4) Fatherhood appears to be a thankless job. I don’t believe that I’ll have much if any authority over my children.

(5) I therefore choose to deviate from the prescribed role in various ways.Each man looks at the list of things that is expected of him, and makes his own decision about where he will leave the path and what alternative direction he will go. We are united only in this core idea: none of us will follow society’s path from start to finish. We are going our own way.

 

More and more of us men are viewing Society’s norm of “love and marriage” from the same perspective. We see too much wrong with marriage, nowadays, for it to be worth the risk. I don’t see this, necessarily, as the fault of the Modern Women themselves – nor, strictly, that of feminism, though feminism has been a driving influence. I see it more as the doing of the Legislatures, who planted the minefield by giving Cupcake more and more incentives and advantages to destroy a marriage and the poor chump she married, and of Family Court, which has an incredible track record of bending over backwards to give everything to Cupcake at the expense of said chump.

Society’s bias is to hold the woman innocent-as-an-infant, and to demonize her partner, for anything that goes wrong in their relationship. It’s his fault if she’s “unhappy.” It’s his fault if she’s cheating on him, if she blames him for her “boredom” in the marriage bed, if she accuses him of “abuse,” if she attacks him with a weapon and then tells the police “she was afraid.”

Whatever goes wrong, “it’s HIS fault.” And Society will penalize HIM.

The facts of this matter used to be pretty-well hidden, even in plain sight. They were the sort of “inconvenient truths” that a young man, full of the natural love-potions that Evolution has developed over the millenia, was unlikely to consider in the intoxicating presence of his inamorata. But more and more of us are deciding that Society’s path (as Vonclauswitz describes it) is not for them. Consider this: 70% of all US men, 20-34, have never been married.  (Graph from CNS News.com – it’s part of an article, “Bachelor Nation,” shaming the young men of the USA for their “perpetual adolescence” and branding them as having “failed” because they haven’t manned-up and married-up.)

percentage-men-unmarried

There may be millions of girls, deserving of husbands, who will be doomed by this situation to lives of solitary despair, paper-shuffling in their HR cubes by day and taking solace in their cats and Black Box chardonnay by night. It’s a terrible shame, I’m sure; in fact, I’ve been terribly shamed, and repeatedly shamed, for not donning my White Knight armor and riding to the rescue of these poor lonely ladies. But even if I didn’t analyze the perils of living by Society’s program as rigorously as Vonclauswitz has, I arrived at the same decision long ago. Too bad, so sad, Cupcake, and please recycle the Black Box box.

MGTOW, “Men Going Their Own Way,” has been getting quite a lot of press lately – and drawing some extra flak from some unexpected directions. Sandman’s video “The Monks Of MGTOW” was a slap in the face to a lot of us; but there have been other efforts by “agents of influence,” in the Manosphere and in the mainstream, to disdain MGTOW or corrupt it or water it down.

The kernel of MGTOW is in the Marriage Strike rules – “do not marry, do not cohabitate, do not procreate.” But it seems more and more evident that they’re a couple of cards short of a full house. They are at the core of “Going Your Own Way,” but they aren’t enough by themselves. What’s missing? After some deep thought on the last few months’ wrangling over MGTOW, I realized: They say nothing about living a self-directed life, rather than a life directed by others or by Society.

There’s something that propels the vast majority of people down the Blue Pill Highway, and I think it could be summed up as “the quest for approval.” So much of what we do is motivated by our desire for approval – I’ll make a case that it was Mommy’s approval that got us toilet-trained! We first went to school for Mommy and Daddy’s approval; we worked for good grades for the teachers’ approval; we took our friends’ dares for the sake of their approval; we spent our money on our Honey for her approval … and so ad infinitum. In the broadest case, we work and strive and live for Society’s approval.

And, of course, the strongest draw, the strongest Object Of Desire from which a man craves approval, is Woman. It’s a special sort of approval we crave from her, a mixture of approval and appreciation and admiration and affection and lust that we label Love. We hunger for it – we get high on it – we center our lives on it, making it “All About Her.” That is at the core of gynocentrism, a powerful force in Society countering our will to Go Our Own Way. We’re pushed to Go Gynocentrism’s Way.

Those hungers are part of being a social being, and a sexual being. And we evolved as social beings, from the jungle to the savannahs, to the forests, to the farms and the cities, even here in cyberspace. But the problem is that we can, all too damn easily, let others’ approval – or the possibility they’ll withdraw their approval – get us off track from Our Own Way, pull us away from our own goals, and route us back onto the Blue Route. And Society has demanded men to live by its rules – of service, of utility, of dispensability – since the days of the savanna.

John Galt answered the demands of Society with the oath he offered at the end of his famous speech in Atlas Shrugged: “I swear – by my life and my love of it – that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

In mind of that oath, I’ve added two more items to the Marriage Strike rules, for a total of five … like the Five Precepts of Buddhism, the rules-to-live-by for that religion (kind of like the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments):

  • Do not marry.
  • Do not cohabitate.
  • Do not procreate.
  • Rid yourself of gynocentrism.
  • Follow your own dreams.

Buddhism’s Five Precepts – do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, do not be unchaste, do not take intoxicants – were the Sakyamuni’s guideposts to the layman for living the Buddhist life. I offer these five precepts in the hope that they’ll be useful, solid guideposts for living the MGTOW life.

(Note – 30 March: I’ve revised “Reject gynocentrism” to “Rid yourself of gynocentrism.” The idea is not to rant against gynocentrism in others and in the culture, but simply to put aside the conditioned reflex to “think of her first.”)

Poor Poor Victims

Thinking about Men’s Rights today …

Remember the Occupy Movement, from the summer of 2011? It started as a demonstration in a privately-owned park in New York City, with picketers and social-justice warriors pitching a “sleep-in” bivouac to protest the social inequity between Wall Street’s money-makers and “the 99%” struggling to make a living in the recession-bled economy. It went on to spawn more protests, more protesters’ campsites, more disagreement and faction-fighting in the Media, and (predictably) more hateful PR directed at “the 1%” who the protesters blamed for the whole situation.

They saw themselves as “victims” of Wall Street. But that wasn’t all … they sorted themselves out by their “victimhood,” when it came time for any discussions or pronouncements. I personally was fascinated to hear of their “progressive stack” discussion practice, sorting out who got a voice in discussions according to how “marginalized” they were, insisting that everyone “check their privilege” and demanding those of “privileged” groups – white, or male, or cis-gendered, or middle-class, or otherwise “born to privilege” – to “step back” and let the underprivileged others have their say.

In other words, let the “greater victims,” the “oppressed,” do the talking. Let them flaunt their “oppression,” display their scabs and their scars, and voice their victimhood and their demands – and the rest of you, the “privileged,” you just shut up. It spawns an underlying competition between different races, sexes, genders and classes, to prove who’s “more oppressed.” and deserves more of a voice.

The Oppression Olympics.

Now, I’m not denying that some people, some groups, get a rawer deal than others. I’ve seen it. I haven’t been “victimized” so much as others, but guess what? The markers used for “Check Your Privilege” don’t mean much when you’re a child of a poor-but-proud single mama, working hard to stay off welfare in the richest county of the United States. And the Oppression Olympics have become the States’ system for sorting out who needs more help, more benefits, more laws to favor them, more “empowerment.”

And that brings me back to Men’s Rights … and what might be the biggest obstacle faced by the Men’s Rights Movement: Men are poor ‘victims.’

Not “poor victims.” No, we are lousy as victims. We are so obviously at the Pinnacle of Privilege, that when men speak of their grievances – their very real grievances – they’re laughed off the stage.

Women, on the other hand, are “obvious victims.” They’ll show you. They’ll snow you with their evidence of “discrimination,” of “suppression,” of “second-class citizenship.” The Women’s Movement has been piling up this evidence for way more than a century, from Seneca Falls forward, and they have so well campaigned for a reversal of this “inequity” that now, the central purpose of the Laws and the Courts would seem to be the protection, the succoring, the empowering, and the benefit of those Poor Poor Victims, The Women Of Today.

And there just isn’t any room left for men at the table.

Men also tend to let go of their “victimhood,” given half a chance. Look at men who are the victims of divorce – and wouldn’t you say men are victimized by a system that routinely gives the complaining wife not only the benefit of the doubt, but the benefit of keeping the kids, the family home, and a sizable hunk of the man’s income, future earnings, and pension – with the threat of jail, of debtor’s prison, if he doesn’t keep up the payments? But the men struggle – they strive through – and the majority manage to carry the load as they get on with their lives. Their ex-wives? How many of them flaunt their “victimhood,” while they’re living on the ex-husband’s alimony and child-support payments? While they’re poisoning the minds of their children with hatred for the “Daddy” who loved them, tried to raise them well, and is still paying for their well-being?

The biggest issues of the Men’s Movement tend to crowd around divorce law and the practices of “Family Court.” Issues like shared parenting, and paternity fraud, and divorce fraud, and the ignored side of Domestic Violence (women’s violence toward their men, which is half of all domestic violence), are the raison d’être for the Movement.

But they fight in vain, because men are poor, poor “victims.”

Maybe men would do better without “being victims.” Maybe we’d do better by avoiding the problems of Family Court, paternity fraud, divorce fraud, and living with a potentially-violent partner.

Maybe the better solution is to Go Your Own Way. At any rate, I think so, and I practice what I preach.

Going Your Own Way – going Galt, taking part in the Marriage Strike – isn’t about fighting the Men’s Rights fight – or fighting against it; it’s about avoiding the issues altogether. That may not be “effective action” politically, but it is on a personal basis; and to misquote Ricky Nelson’s “Garden Party,” I can’t save everyone so I’ll have to save myself.

It’s a simple solution – don’t get married, don’t cohabitate, don’t procreate.

To quote YouTube vlogger Razor Blade Kandy:

I can’t fix the divorce problem within my culture. But I will never face divorce. I have removed divorce as a possibility by avoiding marriage; that’s MGTOW. I will not have my children taken away from me, nor will I be forced to pay child support, because I have no children; that’s MGTOW.

Yes, that’s what I advocate. That’s what I do.

I am NOT a victim.

 *   *   *

Community Organized Compassion and Kindness posted an illuminating article on “Empowering Women” a few weeks ago. It could have been subtitled “The Female Chameleon;” its theme is the way that women change their opinions, ideas and philosophy as readily as they change clothes. There’s nothing new in this observation; Giuseppe Verdi highlighted it in Rigoletto’s “La donna è mobile;” what struck me is the way the article laid responsibility for this on the men who enable it.

One of the classic sayings about owning a boat is that there’s always something that needs fixing; the corollary is, even if everything’s working, there’s always something that needs improving. My boat is no exception, and though there’s little that needs fixing on a simple boat like mine, I’ve found plenty of things worth improving.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This winter, my project is to build a new “dodger,” or “spray hood.” This is a canvas shelter, with vinyl windows, built over the entryway from the cockpit to the cabin. It’s supposed to keep spray and maybe rain from getting into the cabin, and to provide a windbreak on a chilly, blustery day. A sturdy one can (and should) give you something to hang on to, when you need to go up on deck. The one that came with my boat was wearing out; the stitching was breaking down, I’d replaced all the zippers, and this summer I decided that it was time to for it to be retired and replaced.

Then I saw a better idea, at the Seven Seas Cruising Association’s Annapolis Gam. It was a “hard-top” dodger, with a rigid top canopy made of thermally-formed, high-density polyethylene (“StarBoard”),with zip-on windshield and side curtains. It was billed as strong enough to stand on … certainly it was strong enough for me to mount a semi-flexible solar panel on the top, and add a whole lot more to my existing solar-charging system. I could also have the top built so it extended back over the cockpit, giving me a little more shelter … It looked good. It looked great. But their estimate looked daunting. Their hard-top dodger was priced at some $3500, and the solar panel I was contemplating would be $1500 more. Not so good. I had the money, but that was more than I wanted to spend. I got some more estimates, but it was “back to the drawing board.”

A few weeks later, I found an ad in Boat US Magazine, for an engineered-plastic “hard top” that wasn’t as impressive – but a call to the manufacturer proved it was a whole lot more affordable. This one was made of extruded, cellular polycarbonate sheet material – kind of like corrugated cardboard – with an optional, sturdy aluminum edge. The “Premier” edge-frame was plainly strong enough and wide enough to give me a substantial “grab bar” – and it could be built long enough to hold a pair of 100-watt, semi-flexible solar panels I’d seen at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, that cost $300 each!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So I worked up a cardboard pattern, taped it on my existing dodger frame and sent my measurements off to “HardToTop.” They couldn’t build a top to fit the frame of my canvas dodger – the curves weren’t right for their top to fit – but they could build a new frame; and their hard-top and frame would cost $800. So I went for it – “Chaaaarrgge It!” as Wilma Flintstone used to say in the Flintstones cartoons.

A couple of weeks after Christmas, I got the new hard-top and support frame. I fitted the frame on the boat – then the Winter set in; cold, blustery, snowy, rainy, too much of a mess for me to do anything until mid-March. I was able to dry-fit the panels with the outer frame, figure out how to fit the solar panels and their cables, and cut notches in the frame pieces so I could run the cables inside the frame.

Finally, in mid-March, we got some warm (or warm-ish), sunny days when I was able to fit the hard topDSCN1249 to the frame. The first day, I dry-fitted the panels and slip-fitted the outer frame in place – then I drilled and fitted the panels, adjusted everything to where it seemingly needed to be, and finally caulked the panels’ edges and bolted them in place. “So far, so good” – there were things I might have improved, but the hard-top fit as I needed it to fit and it would provide me plenty of shelter!

The weekend afterward was rainy, sloppy and blustery, but Monday was warm and partly-sunny and suitable for me to fit the solar panels and the cabin-top braces that would make my “solar dodger” strong and sturdy.

I had a lot of “visionary” tasks to manage, to make everything work. I drilled the dodger frame and pulled wiring for the solar panels through to the underside of the frame; I taped down the solar panels, with “extreme outdoor” mounting tape, as I’d figured they’d need to be placed on the top. I installed connectors beneath the hard-top, and led the solar-panel cables through the frame as I’d envisioned. I drilled and tapped the mounting screws for the “MC-4″ connectors, and finally I put it all together, with the aluminum frame and the stainless-steel struts that lock the hard-top in place.

And I’m proud of the results.

DSCN1289

I’ve got some more work to do with the “Solar Dodger.” I’ve got to install the “awning strips” around the lower edges, and I’ve got to call in Galesville Yacht Canvas to make the windshield and side-curtains. And I’ve got to hook up the solar panels to the charge-controller, so they can feed my batteries. But I’ll have an “embarras de richesse” of solar power when they’re hooked up … maybe even enough to install a refrigerator!

It’s worth considering.

 

——————————-

Shedding of the Ego is a new blog by MGTOW legend Barbarossaaaa, and it is off to a great start. The first article I read (and I’m still in the midst of reading) is “Are Seasoned MGTOW Bored With The Red Pill?” by contributing author Kolinahr, and I heartily recommend it.

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