The contradictions and deleterious effects of feminism are well documented—not just in the manosphere but beyond. What the growing backlash against feminism fails to acknowledge are seemingly trivial and ancillary forces that do more damage than they let on.
The most powerful among those factors is you-go-girlism—the empowerment ethos that tells women, at every turn, that they can not only do anything a man can do, but also all of the things women used to do. Women and girls are the smarter, more capable, and generally “better” than men. Girls are encouraged to do things that are traditionally masculine—like manly professions and sports—and are given a pass on negative behaviors, from sexual promiscuity to weight gain to physically attacking men, all with the same trite cheer, “You go girl!”
For the undiscerning mind, there’s little risk in encouraging women to be all they can be. What harm could encouraging women and girls to do whatever they want and feel good about who they are bring? The far-reaching problems arise with the unintended consequences of telling an entire generation of women a series of pretty lies. Because it feels good, you think it’ll get you in her pants, or because wouldn’t-it-be-nice. Both men and women are complicitous in the out of control spiral of you-go-girlism that ends up being more harmful—by virtue of its ubiquity and insidiousness—than feminism.
A much bigger number of women (and frankly men), I’d venture to say, parrot you-go-girlism platitudes that outdo ideologically feminist talking points. They aren’t necessarily the same thing. You-go-girlism is rooted, at least in part, in the female impulse—probably genetically programmed—to test boundaries and check for male weakness. This instinct is considerably older than feminist doctrine. It’s safe to say that women have been testing the boundaries of the male domain since the dawn of time, and attempting to wrest authority from men they perceive as weak for equally as long.
At the same time, you didn’t hear the absurd anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better claims, to the degree that we do today, until the advent of second-wave feminism. You-go-girlism, in other words, is in a chicken-and-egg relationship with feminism. It’s either one of its original cradles (and on-going critical nutrient) or, alternatively, plain-and-simple feminism masquerading as harmless “positivity.” In either case, you-go-girlism is a more palatable—but therefore more toxic—ideology.
You-go-girlism is ultimately grounded in a resolute, reactionary defiance to do anything women were prohibited from doing in the past—irrespective of why those prohibitions were in place, whether they were real or imagined, and with an irrational dismissal of the differences between the sexes. Women’s sexuality was once policed (and promiscuity shamed), therefore women should (and increasingly do) have no-consequences sex. The differences between male and female sexual imperatives, on the deep genetic level, are inconsequential. Women were once prohibited from playing male sports, therefore they should be permitted to do so. The differences between male and female physiques and abilities are “socially constructed.” A tiny minority of women is physically abused by men, therefore women should get off scot-free when they do “the same thing” to men. The fact that women, in fact, hit men more often (and can manipulate and abuse men in an array of non-violent ways) is irrelevant.
According to you-go-girlism, men and women aren’t just the same, women are—in fact—better if given the chance. You-go-girlism takes female moral superiority for granted: a woman’s actions are justified by the faulty premise that women aren’t ever violent, never lie, and generally mean no harm. “If women ruled the world,” the saying goes, “there would be no wars.”
It would be bad enough if things ended there, but they don’t. You-go-girlism also fuels a dangerous cycle of delusional over-confidence. Regrettably, it’s gotten to be that women (and brainwashed, effeminate men to an increasing degree) actually believe the constellation of ego-boosting lies a combination of marketers, bemused men, and deluded feminists have been feeding them for a generation. Movies and video games with “strong” female leads doing the impossible are legion, and may seem innocuous, but they feed a mythology that girls can fight, run, and intimidate like men. When the delusion (e.g., women allowed to serve in military combat) meets reality (e.g., actual combat), the whole illusion breaks down. When girls, to an increasing degree, feel “empowered” to go face-to-face with men in bars and clubs, you know that the delusion has had a real effect. (We all know, of course, that the implicit knowledge that a room full of bouncers and white-knights are ready to come to her defense is part of her intricate calculus.)
You-go-girlism also disincentivizes self-improvement. It may feel good to tell women that they’re all beautiful, no matter how they look—or how fat they are—but that’s simply not true, by any measure. Beauty, contrary to popular belief, is not in the eye of the beholder and, like anything thing else worthwhile, requires work. But, if you think you already “look good” 20 pounds overweight or in pajama pants, why make an effort?
The result: a generation of overconfident, loud, entitled fat girls with fattitude. Regrettably, women aren’t the only ones who have started to believe the myth. A generation of emasculated young men and boys—hypnotized by movies and video games depicting unrealistic portrayals of women—have come to believe the myth that women aren’t only their equals, but their superiors. Female superheroes and action stars may seem fun–or even plausible–but they feed an alternative reality infinitely more dangerous that the “sexualized” images of women that feminists would have you believe are harming the female psyche.
The manosphere spills a lot of ink over feminism, and rightfully so. But to forcefully and, more importantly, effectively reverse its damage, we have to push back against its coded manifestations. Your average girl on the street isn’t shouting about “rape culture,” but she is screaming “you go girl!” to her friends.
Read More: All Girls Are Spoiled Children