On Truth and Emotion

So, apparently there’s a whole thing going on now between RooshV and TRP subreddit.  And I guess Rollo has chimed in against Roosh now, and we’re probably looking at some further Balkanization of the manosphere as Roosh abandons TRP and creates Neomasculinity, aiming at a more holistic approach.  I don’t know all the details as I never followed Roosh and haven’t recently followed Rollo.  Nothing against either, but as a woman, Roosh’s primary focus on PUA (at least, in the past) has not been useful to me.  And while I loved Rollo’s more psychological approach (which helped me learn what to guard against, what to encourage, what to accept as temporarily uncomfortable but ultimately healthier for my relationship with my husband, etc.) I have learned a lot from him and felt it was time to move on.

That’s not really what I want to talk about now, anyhow.  What I want to riff on is this comment, left by Bastiat’s Ghost on Alpha Game:

20 bucks says RooshV is about to slip into a long term relationship and is going to use this as a springboard to rationalize it. I’m MGTOW because I have many more profitable uses of my time than chasing tail. I don’t have the patience to maintain a harem and I’m done looking for unicorns.

So what if he wants an LTR?  Either his new Neomasculinity concept has something valuable and truthful to it, or it doesn’t.  This is an interesting sort of ad hominem attack, and what makes it particularly ironic is that it wasn’t so long ago there was a situation where the folks of the ‘sphere blindly followed when they ought to have considered emotional motivation, and now and emotional motivation is being suggested where I don’t understand there to be any evidence for it.

The incident I think of is the brouhaha over Mark Minter.  I was still new enough to the ‘sphere when Mark Minter first gained notoriety, so I mostly kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to risk either being brushed off as a woman protesting “bitter!” or making things worse.  But it seemed obvious to me that Mark was, at that time, suffering extreme emotional duress.  He was very angry, frustrated, and, yes, I daresay somewhat bitter.  This is NOT a dismissal of him!  Far from it!  From what he exposed of himself, he had every right to be angry, frustrated, bitter!  What I think he needed at that time was the understanding of other men, similarly situated and otherwise.  He needed people who knew what he’d been through, to commiserate and heal.  His emotions were as justified as emotions ever are.

But the lionization and the platform he received?  These were gross oversights.  The kind that I suspect are brought on by a community of young men desperately wanting their own experience validated by a man “old enough to know.”  Mark is certainly older than most of the men in the parts of the sphere he was active on (not the sphere as a whole, of course).  And he had a way of writing that could get the blood moving!  So, somehow, he was held up as a hero and a martyr, when it should have been plain for all to see he was a wounded veteran, in need of help.

It ought to have been plain that he was not a man acting based on cool, detached logic, but a man acting in the fury of a primal pain.  By no means should he have been dismissed because he was angry and suffering, yet by the same token he should have been shown understanding by the community.  Listening to a man who has been recently divorce-raped talk about women is as fruitful as listening to a violently raped woman talk about men.  They may well have insights that are useful and valuable and their experiences should not be hand-waved away because “emotion,” but they just can’t talk about these things reasonably until they have dealt with the emotion.  To the extent they speak truth, they genuinely speak truth, but what they say ought to be carefully scrutinized to determine if they are, in fact, speaking truth, or speaking pain.

Or, as Minter might have put it:  “Angry, heartbroken old man?  Duh.  Desperation to be validated?  Duh.  Finds a community which revels in and exalts his pain as the voice of reason?  Duh.”

I wish Mark and Kate Minter all the best.  I pray that he can find the healing he needs.  I hope that he is able to find a community of men that truly supports him, where he can work out his pain, where he can learn the truths he did not know before, that he might live a better life in the future.  I think the men who gave him a platform did him a grave disservice by elevating him rather than empathizing with him.  His was a case where a little “ad hominem” would have been appropriate, not that he should have been argued with, but that people should have seen he was in no state to be a part of an argument.  His suffering was real, and it did point to truths that are taught in the sphere, but it lead to exaggerations and distortions that went unresolved, due to people’s eagerness to be affirmed.

So, what about Roosh?  If Minter’s circumstances meant that we ought to have taken his words with a bit of understanding, then would the possibility of Roosh going into an LTR invalidate what he has to say?

Well, no.  Because Minter’s circumstances didn’t invalidate his words, it just meant his words ought to have been tempered by understanding.  His experience does support the ‘sphere notions about what the pain of divorce is like, about the risks inherent to marriage, about the base inclinations of some women.  Truth is truth is truth, period, end of story.  It cannot be handwaved off because of the source, but the source ought to be reasonably considered to determine how likely a supposed truth is actually truth before field testing, depending on the nature of what’s proposed.  For example, if I want to build a house, I would be more likely to get good advice from a contractor than from someone I met on the street.  That doesn’t mean the person on the street couldn’t possibly give me good information.  I would just need to be a little more careful and evaluate their words a little more than I might otherwise.

So let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Roosh is just an official declaration away from the news that he’s in an LTR, maybe even marriage!  What does this mean for what he has to say?  Men should evaluate his words as carefully as ever they should have, determining whether he is sharing truth or just an emotional experience.  And if it is both, then men reading ought to carefully sift for what is valuable to their life experience, instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water.