Feminists and social justice warriors hate online anonymity. In the recent months, there has been a deluge of articles arguing that the internet is rife with harassment because people can hide behind online handles, and only total digital monitoring can make women feel safe online. Likewise, many in the manosphere have said the only way to root out fakes and posers positioning themselves as internet alphas is for men to write under their real names. Imagine that, men and social justice warriors in agreement. Too bad they’re both wrong.
In the early days of the internet, before AOL brought vast unwashed masses online, there was a utopic and perhaps naive vision, that anonymity would make the internet a place where ideas were evaluated based on their merit rather than who said them. Elite-approved experts were a constraint of old media. The internet was a meritocracy. It didn’t matter what the gatekeepers thought of you. If you had a voice and your content was good, you could have an audience.
It is ironic that social justice warriors would want to eliminate a system that removes race, gender, class, and age. You don’t know if the writer behind these words is an elderly Jewish woman, a grandfather of ten, or a very articulate thirteen-year-old. Sure, I write for Return of Kings and present myself as a young man, but how do you know?
I’m not saying that race or gender don’t matter. They obviously do, and if you’ve read my writing, you know I believe they do. What I’m saying is that who a writer is has no bearing on whether or not their ideas are true. By hiding his or her identity, a writer can keep the discussion focused on their ideas, rather then themselves.
Why People Oppose Anonymity
Anonymity forces you to evaluate a writer only on their work, which is precisely why so many oppose it. The people against online anonymity are intellectually lazy. They want to be able to tell what they think of an idea based on who is telling them to think that way. They want to nod when a minority, “alpha male,” or person who looks like them tells them something. Knowing an author only by their words forces readers to think abstractly, to think for themselves, and they hate it.
Social justice warriors and feminists hate anonymity because they do not believe in objective truth. They believe it matters more who makes a certain statement than what is being said. The same words that are okay for a black lesbian to say, might be offensive if a white heterosexual male says them. This is precisely why social justice warriors hate Anne Gus and #notyoursheild.
Likewise, even criminal accusations of rape carry more weight if the person making them has a vagina. Without being able to see the race and gender of the person speaking, social justice warriors and feminists don’t know what to think and have no idea what ad hominem to hurl.
Some in the manosophere hate anonymity because they are not actually interested in bettering themselves. They are looking for a strong father figure to tell them what to think and do. They want to see if the writer is alpha, so they feel comfortable blindly following him, rather than evaluating his ideas for themselves. If you’re willing to do something just because a self-professed alpha male told you it was alpha, it doesn’t make you alpha. It makes you a follower.
Something that works for one man may not work for you. The only way evaluate an idea is to actually try it out and think for yourself. There is no shortcut. No one else’s commands can make you the master of yourself. If you’re still worried about being “alpha” you will never become anything that remotely resembles the concept.
It’s Not About The Author – It’s About You
The funny thing about being anonymous is the assumptions people make about you. They’ll wildly speculate about your penis size based on an essay on gender theory. Or ascribe claims to you that you’ve never made. I’ve had people assume I must be a massive alpha male because I write for Return of Kings, despite me repeatedly telling them I’m not, and I don’t even like the term alpha male. These assumptions usually say more about the person making them then they do about the author.
The point of my writing isn’t me—it’s you. What did you get out of it? Have my ideas improved your life? If you come away from my writing thinking “This guy is the biggest alpha ever,” I’ve failed you as much as if you were to think “This guy is the biggest poser ever.” I want you to come away thinking “I can be the person I want to be. I can change my life in the way that I want to.”
Anonymity Could Change The News
Imagine if the focus was always on ideas, rather than gossip about the author. When Snowden leaked documents on the NSA, everyone wanted to know who he was. News companies ran stories on his girlfriend, his teenage modeling shots, his old gaming chatlogs—and ignored the largest domestic spying program in US history. Would the leaks have had a greater impact had the media been denied this juicy gossip?
One of the greatest digital revolutions of our time was released anonymously—itcoin. We still don’t know who created bitcoin. There’s been a lot of discussion about bitcoin, but all of it has been about the currency, not the creator (despite the medias best efforts to find him and harass a false target). What might have happened to the currency had there been a public figure behind it whose private life could be mined for controversy? Could the currency be put in jeopardy every time he opened his mouth and made a controversial statement?
The Push Against Anonymity Is About Power
This is just the benefit of anonymity to an author’s ideas and writing. I haven’t even talked about the more common reason for online anonymity—protecting authors from witch-hunts and the blowback of controversial ideas. The manosphere would not likely exist had its early writers been forced to blog under their real names. Anonymity allows writers to talk openly about their sexuality and personal experiences without fear of family or co-workers reading their blog. If all Return of Kings authors wrote under their real names, I am certain we would be harassed in our private lives, because we are already harassed even under pseudonyms.
The real reason many social justice warriors are against anonymity is because it prevents them from harassing writers and getting them fired from jobs. It prevents tech companies from collecting accurate data on public forums. Even in the manosphere, anonymity prevents internet marketers from slandering their competition by claiming they are “not a real alpha male” without photographic evidence. Like most things, the push against online anonymity comes back to money and power.
I am not saying all writers should be anonymous. However the benefits of anonymity are rarely discussed, and the push against it is motivated by anti-intellectualism, and a hatred of ideas. To me, the red pill has always been about truth, and the willingness to pursue and see truth no matter where it leads. The rest is distraction. Leave the gossip to women. Let’s focus instead on truth and improving ourselves.
Read More: Who Killed Adulthood in American Culture?