RE: The Case Against Feminine Self-Esteem – An Open Letter to Matt Forney

Please be advised, some of the content of this post is a little more PG-13 than the rest of my posts.

Recently, 25 year old author, blogger, microblogger, online article writer, web designer, copywrighter, provider of editing services at reasonable rates, and hitchhiker, Matt Forney released a tactfully written article describing why society would be better off if women did not possess self-esteem.

Wait, did I say ‘tactfully ‘? Just kidding, the first sentence paints a vivid picture of how he loses his erection every time a woman describes herself as confident – assuming, that is, that she was attractive enough for him to have one (and therefore for him to be talking to her) in the first place.

The article quickly went viral and had so many views that his site was actually temporarily shut down because his server space couldn’t handle the traffic.

As per usual, I had a few things to say.

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Dear Matt,

Congratulations! Not only have you successfully exercised your first amendment rights by creating a wildly popular blog post that ultimately reads like satire, but you’ve also managed to enrage the feminist community, insult women, and reference your genitals enough to make everyone slightly uncomfortable.

This was, I’m sure, your plan.

Introductions are in order! My name is Lindsay. I’m a 23 year old female college graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Management and Information Systems and have been working as a software consultant for over a year. I dabble in blogging in my free time. I own my own house, own my own car, pay my own bills, take care of my own dog, and know better than to base my self-worth on anyone’s opinion but my own.

(Sorry about your rapidly waning erection.)

Now to business.

You find women with self-esteem repulsive. Not so repulsive that you wouldn’t still sleep with one, obviously (so long as she has a “slammin’ body”), but enough that you proclaim women with self-esteem (above a baseline to prevent suicide and psycho stalkers – both of which are very common afflictions among the weaker sex, of course) are pushing America towards a complete societal meltdown. Never mind the fact that our government keeps throwing temper tantrums and apparently spying on our allies, nope, it’s the strong independent women that are going to do us in.

I digress.

You argue that women are told repeatedly we are special and unique from the time we are little girls, which is compounded by the sexual attention we receive from puberty onward, so by the time we are grown women we feel entitled to feel empowered by nothing more than the fact that we are female.

To your point, yes. We are told that we’re smart, that we can do anything, that we deserve respect merely for existing.
To my point, so are little boys. Adults encourage children to succeed because it’s kind and it motivates them to do more with their lives than watch cartoons all day. Furthermore, every single living human being on this planet deserves respect “merely” for existing, because “merely” existing is amazing.

Now, if you’re going to rip on current culture for excessively over-inflating the self-esteem of little girls, go right ahead — but you need to be prepared to rip equally on what it does elsewhere. A childhood full of participation trophies and helicopter parents has afforded us to grow up into an entitled generation expecting huge pay-offs for minimal effort. Our country is full of 20-somethings who can’t get our lives together and are armed to the teeth with reasons it’s anyone and everyone else’s fault because we’ve never been held accountable in our lives. Yes, this includes women, but it’s not only women.

Also, while it is an enormous issue, bold move listing the sexualization of women as part of the problem. Since you spend the majority of your article making it very clear that the only kind of interaction you wish to have with (attractive) women is sexual in nature, wouldn’t you be part of your own problem?

Now Matt, I have to thank you for being nice enough to list out all the reasons why women shouldn’t be confident. Let’s go through these, shall we?

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

“Women claim they want equal rights as men, but they don’t want equal responsibilities. As such, they demand respect not based on their merit as people, but for merely continuing to breathe…Feminists can screech as loud as they want, but they will never change this fundamental reality; men accord respect based on merit, and if girls want to play in our world, they’ll have to obey our rules.”

I see what you did there, referring to males as “men” but females as “girls” in a subtle undermining attempt. Nice try Matt, but girls don’t have graduate degrees and jobs; women do.
Now if every woman in the country lost her job tomorrow, yes, there would be a lot of problems concerning elementary schools. That’s a female dominated career field, but I think you mixed up your facts and figures a little bit. While the majority of elementary educators and nurses are women, the majority of women are not elementary educators and nurses.

These are the facts: Just over 49% of the American workforce is female.
76% of education and health services workers are female, but so are 56% of government workers, 43% of retail and wholesale trade workers, 44% of professional and business services workers, 58% of financial activities workers, 40% of media and telecommunications workers, and 52% of other services which include STEM careers, not to mention holding anywhere from 12% to 27% of jobs in construction, manufacturing, transport, and utilities.
(NPR, http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/05/03/151282913/what-america-s-women-do-for-work)

But please, tell me more about how “if every [woman] was fired from her job tomorrow, elementary schools would shut down for a couple days, but otherwise life would go on as usual.”

And as I’m sure you’re well aware, yes, feminists can (and probably will) “screech” quite a bit when you state point blank that college educated, career driven women are less useful and helpful to society than buskers.
That’s just rude, Matt.

2.       Insecurity is integral to femininity.

“The girls I’ve loved the most were the ones who were the most insecure, the most emotionally vulnerable….confidence doesn’t give men erections; vulnerability does. In order to love someone else, you need to be emotionally vulnerable…Essentially “confident” women are incapable of viewing men as human beings.

OK. Matt, you have a type. We all have types. Just because I have a type doesn’t mean I get to campaign that all men must be hipsterish Whovians, love dogs, be up to date on current events and eager to discuss them at length, quote musicals, and be willing to learn how to swing dance. To expect all men to fit into that description would be unreasonable and ridiculous. Let me repeat, you are being unreasonable and ridiculous. Not every woman is going to fit your idea of what a perfect woman is, so stop trying to force it.

You’re looking at emotions as black and white polarities, and that just doesn’t work. They’re emotions. Nothing about them is clear cut, people feel what they feel when they feel it. It’s possible to be confident and emotionally available all at the same time, just like it’s possible to be happy and angry and upset all at once (if you don’t believe me, I strongly encourage you to watch anything written by Steven Moffat).

For a lot of women, confidence is what gives them the ability to be open and comfortable with other people. Yes, there are some women who treat men – for lack of a better description – how you apparently treat women. Man-eaters are just as present as douchebags and tools are, but they’re not the majority and they don’t simply spring into existence because a woman has confidence. They exist because women can be assholes, too. It’s 2013, no one should be shocked by this.

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. Why do you think the average urban slut machine is downing enough Prozac to poison the water supply? …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.”

Alright, if you actually bothered to read the article linked in the blog you linked, you would know that the actual statistic is one in four women between the ages of 40 and 59 are on anti-depressants, and that it cites economic struggles, menopause, and false positive testing as reasons for the spike in prescriptions. While 25% is still a sizable chunk of that population sample, if these women are the “average urban slut machines” of which you speak, we’re going to need to have a more serious talk, Matt.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret: most women are either looking and/or hoping to find love. There are many debates raging as to whether that’s due to societal norms, or because people need other people in our lives to feel complete, or because predestination, or whatever else. Regardless of the why, the reality is just about everyone wants to be loved. That being said, I know approximately zero women who would react positively to being “led back into the kitchen, told to make a nice big tuna sandwich with extra mayo and lettuce, then swatted on the ass as [her man] walks out the door.”

Least of all the many lesbians of the world.

Sure, some women wouldn’t mind that one bit, and that’s fine. Some women would probably love your preferred methods of flirting, but you seem to have a hard time getting over the fact that not every woman on earth is a good match for you.  And this is where you go too far.

“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 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.'”

Yes Matt, you totally called our bluff. We make up facts and statistics and definitions about “rape” and perpetuate lies of a “rape culture” so we can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

I get to call you a name now for being such an ignorant, insensitive prick. I think I’m going to go with ‘jackass.’

First off, Jackass, the claim that one in three women will be raped in her lifetime is a lie, because it’s actually estimated that anywhere from one in six to one in four women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. It’s only an estimate because approximately 54% of rapes and assaults go unreported.
(RAINN, http://www.rainn.org/)

Second, rape culture is alive and well, and to be frank it’s because of you and other men like you. You are the ones who flirt with the line of consent. You are the ones who ask what the victim was wearing. You are the ones who cite and exploit her sexual history to defame her character. You are the ones who say she wouldn’t have put herself in that position if she didn’t want it to happen. You are the ones who believe a woman only has worth if she has a hot body and gives good blow jobs.  You are the ones who create fear.

There are things that you will never understand in the same way women do. One of those things is the constant fear that comes from being a woman. From a young age we are taught to be careful, to be vigilant, to be aware of the dangers all around us. How many times have you decided not to go for a jog outside because it was just a little too dark? How many times have you called your mom or your roommate so you could be talking to someone while you walked to your car in an almost deserted parking garage?
The worst thing that can happen to a college male at a party is waking up with a hangover. The worst thing that can happen to a college female at a party is waking up, realizing she’s been assaulted, and knowing that there’s a chance no one will believe her. We are careful, but it still happens. Pretending like it doesn’t only perpetuates the problem.

You end your article with this statement: “I say we give them what they want.”

What we want being, of course, to have our confidence stripped away and our self-esteem deflated. You say that you’re not threatened by confident women, and I believe that, mostly because you’re so self-involved. Women aren’t trying to threaten you with their independence and high self-worth, but you can’t grasp that concept because you literally can’t grasp the concept of not being the center of a woman’s universe.

You’re not threatened, and you shouldn’t be, but you are lazy. That’s what this is all about when it comes right down to it: you’re just lazy. You could go after one of the strong, independent women you so vehemently despise, but that would mean work. You would have to try to woo her, try to win her approval. Why on earth would you do that when there are women everywhere with massive self-esteem issues who would throw themselves at your feet at the slightest hint of approval from you? Women who would adore you regardless of your obvious character flaws simply because you’re paying attention to them. There will always be women like that, just like there will always be men like you.
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I’ve accepted that not every man I meet will be the geeky hipster dance partner of my dreams. Kindly accept that not every woman you meet will be suffering from a deficit of self-worth.
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Regards,
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Lindsay Kurt
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3 responses to “RE: The Case Against Feminine Self-Esteem – An Open Letter to Matt Forney

  1. Pingback: The Promotion of Eating Disorders: 5 Reasons of Wrong | Laptop Ginger

  2. Dearest laptop ginger I will be forwarding your response to anyone who refers to this article. By the way do you know you are an amazing, powerful, educated woman with the perfect vocabulary to tell the rapey Jackasses of the world where to put it while still letting them know how incredibly offensive and intelligence-challenged they are? If you didn’t know thats true. Also, I’d like to harvest your wisdom-osity sometime for the Baking Underground…or just a nice catch-up gathering of some kind!

    ❤ Devon (noved)

  3. I had just read Forney’s letter, and subsequently was about to fly into an uncontrolled feminist nerd-rage, until I read your response letter. It was so very well done, it had an immediate calming effect. Thank you for reminding me that for every idiot there is always intelligence to counter it.

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