I Get Mail – MRA Jpeg Edition

Teaching Implies Imparting Wisdom. That Isn’t What This Is

Urgh this is just terrible. Apparently it’s making the MRA rounds. I figured I should edit it to give better advice. If you got your own advice then go for it… I got a comments section for a reason (Hint!)

To My Son (hypothetical. I am not going to be a father)

1. One of the many perks of treating women as equal to you is that you do not have to pay for a date. Go dutch or pay for your own stuff. This is 2013, you don’t have to tilt at windmills for a woman to like you. She can do it herself. Sure you can hold her chair for her and take her coat but she probably has her own money and can pay her own way. If you are going steady then sure it’s a nice to treat her like this but honestly on a DATE it is a throwback to the days women had no money of their own.

2. Dear Son. A woman who knows what she wants and says what she means will not date you if you behave like an MRA. Trust me on that one. No woman goes out saying “You Know What I Want? I want to be with someone who will think all women are gold diggers who will accuse people of rape for “funsies”.

3. Dear Son, don’t have sex while drunk. It’s terrible for you. You won’t enjoy it. Sure, you may have a few drinks but don’t be wasted. Don’t have sex with people who are wasted either. Consent during sex is on a moment to moment basis and you know as well as I do that drunk people have terrible decision making skills. The entire “late night kebab” market functions on this basis. Stop Means Stop. If you are role playing then use a safe word, I like the traffic lights since it provides feedback (Red = Stop, Yellow = Hang on, don’t go further than this and Green = Stop Daydreaming and Floor It) as a safe word. Remember yes sometimes means no. A woman may say yes just to avoid confrontation. It is rape. If a woman needs “convincing” to have sex then it’s not “voluntary” it’s “bargaining”. And son, don’t shame women who like sex. Sex is fun, if women like it then it’s fun for you too. You will get more of it and you will have more fun with it because sex for most of us is enjoyable. Be honest with it. Women won’t disrespect you for being honest about this. Yes there are some “bad women” out there who lie about sex and rape, but the vast majority of women are not lying. The vast majority of women never even get to tell people about the rapes and they are judged for it. Don’t be the guy who does this to them. It’s not hard, it’s easy. Just be honest and respect her limit. And Son? The best way to get a lady to talk to you is not some stupid gimmick but “You seem interesting, do you want to come to the bar and get a drink with me so we can talk?”.

4. Son, be honest about your feelings. The Secret to a good relationship is communication and honesty. Not games. There is no trick to making a woman like you. Just be yourself. The people who fake it to impress each other don’t last. I know it’s hard to see it when you start off but trust me on this. Fake people are easy to spot if you yourself are honest. Have faith but don’t be gullible.

5. If you are yourself and you respect people for who they are then you will be loved. Do not hide what you are and what you love. Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Even the Eagle can fall in love with the Snake if they are both honest.

What’s your advice to your sons (hypothetical or otherwise!). Answers in the comments. (Critique too)

I really should get some “Even an Eagle can Fall In Love With a Snake” T-Shirts made…


  1. says

    The problem with this is not so much that it’s wrong (it isn’t); it’s that it’s not balanced. It’s only half of what needs to be done.

    Yes, we need to teach our sons certain things about women. But we also need to teach our daughters certain things about men.

    And yes, we need to “teach our daughters to be that kind of woman.” But we also need to “teach our sons to be that kind of man.”

  2. DeepThought says

    It seems like this may be the “genetic fallacy” on your part – because it’s being circulated by MRAs, it must be wrong. A lot of your objections are against what MRAs think – and not against the actual content of the .jpg. To the extent that you do object to the actual content, you are 100% wrong. I have sons myself and I absolutely will teach them what is in the poster, since the advice is absolutely correct. As society moves more towards gender equality, women are going to have more power to harm men, and I am NOT going to teach my sons the patriarchal BS that “real men” are never harmed by women. Basically, the key lies in teaching my sons to give respect to women; but in turn, they are entitled to demand the same from women.

    1. You are correct in theory, but in practice some (not all) women are hypocrites who want equality until the check comes. I will tell my sons that a woman who expects them to pay for everything should be rejected as possible romantic partners.
    2. Ditto for women who expect to be able to manipulate men via emotional bullshit. No, not all women are gold-diggers, but some are, and my sons are going to have the self-respect to hold out for a woman worthy of them. (And no, women who refuse to admit some of them can be gold-diggers aren’t in that category.)
    3. Ditto for women who want to manipulate men via sexuality. Women should have agency in their sexuality, but that means responsibility also. This doesn’t mean that date rape isn’t a real problem, of course. The key lies in teaching my sons MUTUAL respect – they can and will expect respect from women because in the first place they give respect to women. They will respect “no” for an answer and not get women drunk – but they will also learn that women sometimes can use sex as a bargaining tool – and then it’s time to run away from that kind of unhealthy relationship dynamic.
    4. What exactly are you disagreeing with? Women telling men to “man up” or be a “real man” are simply saying that they will not respect a man’s feelings. Yes, of course men should be honest, and the key to a real relationship lies in that, but that is only a necessary, not a sufficient, condition. There is no guarantee a women will care. And, in fact, in many cases empathy is socialized out of young boys by constantly being told to be a “real man” and not a “sissy” and not to ever every cry; and this is often done by mothers as well as fathers.
    5. Exactly right, but you seem to be assuming that women are always themselves and respecting people for who they are. They are not. Some are dripping with contempt for men.

  3. Makoto says

    To the children I will never have:

    Be yourself. Absolutely, always, and in every situation. Don’t use a dating profile (or other means) to make yourself taller, lighter, smarter, or so on, just be yourself. Lying at the start of a relationship, when you’re first meeting the person, is poison in many cases. You can avoid this by being honest about who you are, what you like, and where you want to go. It also helps you meet people who share your interests.

    Respect others. If a person says “no”, it means “no”. A coerced “yes” is still a “no”. Know the situation and try never to take advantage of someone else. Somewhat related, if a person likes something you don’t, you can choose to say that isn’t your kind of thing, but mocking them for liking it paints you in a poor light. Try to avoid that. (Yes, this even goes for furries, political types, otaku, and so on).

    If you go on a date, bring enough money to pay for everything. You might get ditched midway. The person you’re dating might have different expectations than you. Be prepared for most common emergencies, like your car breaking down or otherwise being without a ride, needing to pay for something extra, and so on. You don’t need to pack a survival kit to go to the movies, but a few little things and some extra cash on hand are usually good things and can smooth over otherwise bumpy situations.

    Stepping out of a comfort zone can be a bonding experience and introduce you to great new things, but temper that with knowing your own boundaries. If your date suggests skydiving and you’re afraid of heights, maybe suggest a vertical wind tunnel experience instead. Compromise can be good, so long as you can also know when to say “I’m just not comfortable with that” and be able to stand firm on that point.

    In the end, trust your judgement, be honest, be fair, and have fun. So long as you follow those guidelines, you should do just fine in life.

  4. glodson says

    First, that image triggered a bit of rage in me. That last line, that pissed me off to no end. I guess having a daughter would do that.

    As for advice for the son I will likely never have…. I’m not sure. Probably the same kind of thing I am trying to teach my daughter, trying to get her to be empathic, but know when to cut bait. To think before she acts, to use logic and reason to find the best course of action.

    I am really trying to think, but I keep tripping over the emotions dredged up by that horrible picture.

  5. otranreg says

    “You seem interesting, do you want to come to the bar and get a drink with me so we can talk?”

    This is blatant advertising favouring the hospitality industry!

    Don’t feed the profiteering leeches — grope chicks in trams!

  6. says

    As society moves more towards gender equality, women are going to have more power to harm men…

    And so, once again, a perfectly reaonable position of “teach our sons to look out for their own legitimate interests” gets twisted into paranoid lunacy.

    4. What exactly are you disagreeing with? Women telling men to “man up” or be a “real man” are simply saying that they will not respect a man’s feelings.

    Um, no, it’s not that simple. Not saying it’s right, just that it’s not that simple.

  7. says

    don’t have sex while drunk. It’s terrible for you. You won’t enjoy it

    You’re also much less likely to remember all the fun details! (like your partner’s name!)

  8. Sastra says

    How about:

    We need to teach our children to distinguish between:

    someone who just wants a free meal and/or sex
    and someone who is actually interested in dating you.

    someone who hints, deceives, and expects you to read their mind
    and someone who knows what they want and says what they mean.

    someone who will regret their decision to have sex and becomes insulting and abusive to you
    and someone who will take responsibility for their own actions.

    someone who expects you to agree with them all the time
    and someone who will listen and accept your feelings as valid and just as important as their own.

    someone who loves you for what you can give them
    and someone who loves you for who you are.

    And then we need to teach our children to become that kind of person.

    — There’s really nothing wrong with these teachings if you simply assume they’re equally applicable to both sexes — which they are. The only one I had to change was the false date rape claim and all I did was generalize it as a type of abuse. If the ad had been balanced by a similar one for girls — or had done it unisex — it wouldn’t have been or looked MRA.

  9. says

    The thing that jumped out at me was more the fact that it’s all about teaching boys how to avoid the “wrong type” of woman, but about making girls be the “right type” for a man. The boy is treated as an autonomous entity while the girl is treated as something to be molded specifically for the boy’s benefit. That’s the biggest problem with this thing.

  10. Andrea Mandal says

    I assume you have seen the one for women that this is derivative of.

    The difference between this and that is that we already spend so much time teaching our little girls how to be a “certain type of woman” – don’t have sex or you’re easy, don’t hurt boys’ egos, don’t destroy the family honor, don’t go out looking like that, don’t stay out too late, don’t be argumentative or else who will ever want to marry you?

    Do we give the same list of “dont’s” – or any “dont’s” – to our sons? Or do we say be a man, sow your wild oats, make sure she knows who wears the pants in the family, be ‘chivalrous’ (which really means treat her like she’s helpless.) The only ‘don’t” I hear on a regular basis is the Reddit trope, “Don’t stick your dick in crazy.”

    If you even tell a man “don’t rape a woman,” he gets offended! Why should it be offensive? If you tell me “don’t steal,” I’ll say “duh, of course” but I won’t be OFFENDED. Why is this so offensive to hear?

    And by the way: “The entire “late night kebab” market functions on this basis.” — Never has more truth been spoken.

  11. blondeintokyo says

    Thank you Sastra! That is exactly what I wanted to say. The advice works for both sexes.

    And Deep Thought- It wasn’t wrong because MRAs wrote it; it’s wrong because of HOW it was written. Once you re-worded it, it sounded mostly fine.

  12. Andrea Mandal says

    I am really actually quite okay with all the “and a woman who…” statements except for the first one, which could be worded in a less snarky manner (but MRAs are bad at not being snarky).

    Teaching our daughters to be good communicators? Teaching them responsibility? Empathy? Loving someone for their character? I’m down for that. We should teach our sons the same things.

    I have a huge problem with the first part of every single one of those statements though, because each one is a problem of patriarchy.

    Why do some women expect men will pay for them? Because in the past, it was their responsibility to, since women were financially dependent on men. Feminism has made it possible for women to earn their own money and go dutch on dates. Yet MRAs hate feminism.

    Why do women hint, to the point of deception sometimes? Because in the past, they would be disregarded if they stated their wants, needs and opinions at best, and beaten at worst. Feminism has made it acceptable for women to have opinions without fear of retribution. Yet MRAs hate feminism.

    Why do women regret sex? Because a woman who enjoys sex or a one-night stand is seen badly in the eyes of society. Why do some of them “claim date rape”? Because either 1) they were date raped, or 2) it is better in society’s eyes for them to be a victim than a slut. Feminism is WORKING on this one; we are trying to convince society there is more to women than virgins and whores. Yet MRAs hate feminism.

    Why would a woman expect a man to “man up” ? Because she, too, has internalized the gender roles that show a ‘man’ to be very certain and specific things in today’s society. (I am unsure how this has to do with agreeing with her all the time, unless of course, this is an unspoken fear that women will do to men what men have done to women for centuries.) Feminism is dead set on questioning these gender roles that say men must do or be certain things to fit a standard of masculinity, and women must do or be certain things to fit a standard of femininity. Yet MRAs hate feminism.

    Why would a woman love a man for what he can give her? Because she has internalized the patriarchal myth that she is nothing without a man, and that her value is based on the things he provides for her. Feminism encourages women to find worth in their own selves and provide for themselves, that they may meet men as equals and not as dispensers of financial security. Yet MRAs hate feminism.

    None of this makes any sense to me whatsoever.

  13. Cullen Tillotson says

    Hearty second to post # 8. I’ll be teaching my children (one of each, 18 month old girl and 3 year old boy) all of these things, but making them gender neutral. Women can be date raped, but so can men; women can be gold diggers, but so can men. Women can change their mind after sex, or realize after the fact that they were being abused or bullied into doing something they weren’t comfortable with, but so can men. Respect, communication, and honesty are the keys to successful dating and relationships no matter what gender you are.

    And who knows, maybe one or both of my children will be gay or bi, and they’ll have to have a mechanism for coping with these situations coming from either gender.

  14. michaelnicholson says

    I see only one flaw in this piece – I really like late night kebabs :)

    (And no, that’s not a metaphor – I actually like the kebabs … )

  15. bradleybetts says

    My only problem with it is that it seems to assume all men are perfect just as they are, and that women are the ones who are likely to fuck men over. There’s no suggestion, or even acknowledgment, that men can fuck women over too. But then, it being an MRA piece, it wouldn’t, would it?

    My point is that it’s all good advice… but it’s advice that can be applied to both sexes and they have deliberately overlooked that fact in order to perpetuate their ridiculous fantasy world where women are divided into “bitches” and “perfect, meek little housewives-to-be”, and men spend their lives in a perpetual hunt for the latter which is continually foiled by repeated fuckings-over by the former.

    In other words, while it contains good advice, the poster is blatantly just a piece of self-affirming mental masturbation.

  16. latsot says

    Great, how am I going to get a snake to fall in love with me now, what with all these eagles all over the place?

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