I have been seeing more and more women coming into the manosphere lately. Some of them are very ready to learn, while others want to think they are ready, but aren’t quite there yet. I have some suggestions for women who wish to read and truly learn from reading the variety of sites they will encounter.
1. Read: A lot. Don’t comment. At least not yet. Take some time to read some of the major issues and then step back and think about what is being said. Actually think about the ideas that are being presented, not how they make you feel.
2. Step Back: You are going to read some things that are going to make you very uncomfortable and probably even angry. Do your best to ignore these emotions for the time being as they will hinder you from being able to process what is actually being said. Women are naturally solipsistic (Oxford definition: the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.). Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but women naturally see the world through the prism of our own lives and it is more difficult for us to understand that which we have not experienced for ourselves. This makes things that we don’t think apply to us much more difficult to grasp. However, as I have learned over the past couple of years, more than you realize in your readings in these parts will apply to you than you will be comfortable with. Try to look at these things with an objective eye, not an emotional one. The emotions will naturally rise. Step back from them for a bit and listen.
3. Man Speak: Most of the sites you will read are written by men. You will do very well to realize immediately that men speak very differently (especially to each other) than women. What you read may sound harsh or angry. However, most of it is no such thing. It is simply direct and lacking in emotion. Cold facts. This is how men tend to learn best and these sites are directed at men. As a woman visiting them, do not think this is angry speech. Rather, look at it as how men dispense information to each other.
4. Don’t Take it Personally: Solipsism renders it difficult for women to realize that these sites are not talking about you, the woman reading it, personally. The writers don’t know you. It’s not about you, it’s about women and how men relate to women as a whole. Most of this will apply to you but you still must not take it personally or you will not be able to learn anything. Don’t automatically dismiss it, rather look at it and examine it.
5. Ask Questions: Things are going to throw you for a loop and they will be very hard to swallow. That does not make them wrong. Things will go against everything you have been taught (there are very few marriages these days that break apart because of abuse or because a man left his wife for a single woman. You will want to scream from the mountain tops, “What about these poor, poor abused women!!” I know I wanted to. The fact is, this is not very common, at all. What is common these days is men being ripped from their families and taken for half their income only to see their kids every other weekend if they are lucky. See some good statistic here.) When you are confused about what you read vs. what you have been taught, ask questions. Not leading question, but straightforward and direct questions. Do not allow your comments and questions to be at all defensive. You will feel defensive, but don’t allow that to ooze into your comments. Read them and then read them again. If you detect any hint at being defensive edit them carefully. You will find that most will readily and politely answer your questions. You are always going to get men who will be angry and rude. Many of them have good reason to feel angry so I suggest letting it go. There is very rarely any reason to respond to them in kind. I have even seem some women respond to these comments in a teasing manner and it works very well for them.
6. Listen: There are a lot of highly intelligent men in these parts who know what they are talking about and have done a lot more research than you realize. You are not going to agree with everything they say and I am not saying you should. However, you should listen. Then do your own research. If you are confident in your facts then present them directly but amicably. No one here is going to be right 100% of the time and you will find that people are eager for a discussion. However, they are not eager to be yelled at or derided. So discuss and discuss a lot. But never deride. It will only get you laughed out and you will not be taken seriously again.
7. Your are, in fact, a feminist: You may not consider yourself a feminist. A lot of us didn’t. That does not mean that we didn’t whole heartedly swallow a good deal of what they were selling without even realizing it. You are a feminist. But guess what? So was I. You will not be able to learn until you forget for a while what you think you know and start to truly listen to what is being said in these sites (if you wish to read more about how you are, indeed, a feminist start here).
I realize there is a lot more to be said about this that I missed. Please discuss it in the comments as I think women (and maybe even some men) could benefit a lot from this. So could I.
UPDATE: If you have any questions, please ask.
**Addendum: If the comment thread does not seem to make sense, I was requested to remove some comments (and I turned off the embedded comments after I wrote this post). I will leave the replies in the thread as I think they are valuable to other readers and will stand just fine on their own. Sorry for the confusion.