I dislike the word “triggered.” This slang term oversimplifies the complicated feelings that lead to important conversations. Conversations that lead to social progress and personal maturity.
And worse, “triggered” has become a derogatory term. When someone says you were triggered, you have let your feelings show too much. This shaming of people who express their heartfelt opinions on a topic is dangerous. Not being allowed to express opposing views will lead to a conformity detrimental to society as a whole.
It is important to listen to and empathize with an opposing view in order to check your own opinions for strength. Dismissing everything that shakes the foundations of a belief leads to poorly developed mindsets. Mature minds discuss and debate in an educated manner.
So when I say I was “triggered” by an article I read this morning, it means I felt an overwhelming emotional reaction to the content, and an obligation to contribute my own heartfelt opinion on the topic.
DID THIS GUY REALLY PUBLISH THIS?
This morning, I read a post by a respected and well-known financial independence blogger. I was so offended by this post and its derogatory contents that I felt compelled to speak my mind through the comments.
Because this article is so offensive to both men and women, I will not be including a link to the article. I do not want to give additional traffic, and therefore support, to such a damaging work. Instead, I will summarize it as follows:
The author relies heavily on the published work of a (so-called) doctor to explain the recent emasculation of men, and their tendency toward materialism to solve life’s problems. This characterization of men in today’s society is better referred to as the “nice guy.” The “nice guy” can be described as follows:
- Nice guys do not have a life.
- He is a man who is dependent on external validation for self esteem and self worth.
- He is a man who actively avoids conflict of any kind, and allows himself to be taken advantage of by all who interact with him.
- In the lens of financial independence, a man who lacks the basic skills to manage, maintain, and grow his wealth. He seeks comfort through materialistic goods, rather than confronting the underlying issues.
According to this article, a majority of the male population can be defined by this description. And the reason there are so many “nice guys” in the world? Several reasons, including:
- Men were separated from social interaction with other men by the emergence of desk jobs and urbanization, versus physical trade work in rural communities. Boys could not interact with the grown men of their families regularly while doing physical labor, and therefore did not understand how to become a man.
- Boys were left to be raised by women. Whether this be because fathers are at desk jobs all day, or through the emergence and growth of absent fathers, leading to single mothers raising the children alone. (I am not kidding when I quote the following directly from the article.) “Even the most well-meaning mothers are not biologically equipped to show their sons how to be men by themselves.”
- (And another jewel of a direct quote.) “Radical feminism implied that men were bad and/or unnecessary”
The author then made a quick mention that “Feminism is a good thing.” But immediately later in the article says that the best way to “enslave the world” is “by feminizing them.” “Them” being an “entire generation of men” who were emasculated by women and unable to advance in society because of external factors in their life. Drawing all the way back to the societal changes following World War II.
EVALUATING AN OPPOSING VIEW
To put it simply, I was shocked that the author actually thought publishing this article was a good idea. The ideals in the article offend both men and women.
I tried to evaluate pieces of the article to see if I was misinterpreting the meaning, but I kept coming to the same conclusions. The author really believed that the emergence of the “nice guy” is a result of the failings of women, and that men are entirely free of blame of the emergence of this phenomena, since it can be entirely linked to external factors.
One, I am offended by this sentiment that my entire life is dependent on external factor outside of my control. We live in a capitalistic society. This means that the amount you grow and advance is directly proportional to how much effort you put in. If you feel you are not living up to your potential, you can change that through hard work and effort.
Second, if I were a man, I would be offended by being described as the gross oversimplification of a troupe called the “nice guy.” This troupe does not define an entire generation and beyond. You cannot describe an entire gender through an oversimplification.
Third, as a woman, I am offended my gender is being blamed for the alleged failings of entire generations of the opposite gender. And worse, my gender is being blamed for this backwards progress because we dare ask for equality. All while facing adversity in the form of (but not limited to) pay gaps and harassment. And to top it all off, while raising the children of men too scared and irresponsible to contribute to the privilege that is raising a child.
I tried. I tried will all my might to empathize with the view point of this article. But my beliefs stayed the same.
The “nice” phenomenon is not limited by gender. None of us are entitled to a paycheck simply because we have a amiable personality.
The “nice” phenomenon is the result of capitalism. Our worth in this society is fortunately (or unfortunately, depending how you see things) dependent on developing in-demand, marketable skills, and using those skills to make a positive impact. Discovering, developing, and selling those skills is entirely dependent on our own individual efforts.
I decided to write the following comment on the post in order to express my opinions:
I am a new subscriber, and I am extremely disappointed by the conclusions of your article. You say feminism is a good thing in your post, but in the same breath you are blaming women for the emasculation of men. Way to backtrack….
Of course the “Nice Guy” mentality isn’t getting men anywhere. Being “nice” means nothing if you aren’t contributing to society in some way. Extreme example: say a man is bleeding on the side of the road. There are two men who can help nearby, a “nice guy” and a registered doctor. Who will be able to contribute in this situation? The one who has prepared for this moment through education and training, the registered doctor.
This example can be expanded into every facet of life. Having an amiable personality means nothing when you aren’t contributing to society in a useful way. In today’s society, the concept is called capitalism.
I agree with you that World War II was the turning point. But I completely disagree with your reasons. Before WW2, men and women had a symbiotic relationship. During WWII, the men fought in the war and the women contributed through manufacturing jobs at home. Women experienced new ways to contribute to society outside of child rearing and house management. Instead of being the “nice wife,” they became contributing members of a larger society. Something that men had been doing for years.
Then the men came home. Men wanted to go back to being the sole contributors in society, while their wives continued to be “nice wives.” In which the women didn’t contribute to society as a whole, but contributed only to the comfort of their husbands.
The whole gender equality and feminism movement is women rejecting the idea that only men can contribute positively to society as a whole. Men have been trying to reconcile these feelings for decades now through excuses like emasculation. Men are now faced with additional competition for employment with women, and the realization that they are not entitled to a job because of what’s between their legs.
Laziness and entitlement in a capitalist society is what has “emasculated” men as you say. Capitalism doesn’t care what you are. Capitalism only cares about what you can contribute. Do not blame women because some men have a fundamental problem with getting out there and making something of themselves.
If you want to earn more, learn more marketable skills or improve the ones you already have. If you hate conflict, learn communication skills and negotiation tactics. If you feel you aren’t interacting with enough people, get out there and join clubs and social groups. If you feel you are failing at life, it is because you are not putting in the effort to make it better. You are failing because you are seeking external validation (materialistic crap) when you should be seeking internal validation (making positive contributions).
I am not going to say “with all due respect” before saying my final statement, because your blatant misogyny in this post has thoroughly disrespected me, all your female readers, and all the women who have contributed to your development as a human being.
This post is a prime example of a man trying to use external factors (women) as an excuse for his lack of internal and external value to himself and society as a whole.
I understand that there are some things that are out of your control. Realistically, not everyone can pursue their dreams in a capitalistic society just because they choose to. Whether it be because of family, health, or other factors. My issue with the blogger’s article was that he simplified it to a male versus female argument. Blaming the entirety of the opposite gender for your issues is prejudiced, and frankly ridiculous.
If you want to succeed in this society run by capitalism, you need to forget about entitlement. You need to take full responsibility for your advancement and growth. Do not blame external factors for your current situation. You have the power to change your current situation.
In my opinion, this is best done by finding the happy medium between three things:
- What you are good at.
- What you can sell.
- What people want.
Finding the area where these three categories overlap is the sweet spot. It is that activity that you can hone and make a living from.
Note that I do not mention “What you like to do” in these three essential categories. Capitalism cares only if you can do something well, not whether or not you love it. When you first start out, it is more important to be good at something in demand, and to be able to market it. To think otherwise is another form of entitlement.
Applying these categories to something you love to do comes later, when you no longer need to rely on the capitalistic system in order to make a living. In other words, when you are financially independent. But getting to financial independence first requires you to recognize that your financial future is the result of your actions…and your effort only.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with the blogger’s views? Do you agree with my views? Something in between? I would be happy to continue the discussion with you in the comments.
Update January 24, 2018:
The author has since edited his article. He has made it much clearer the source material he relies heavily on is pop psychology and not fact. In addition, he has edited his final theories to confirm that each gender is not responsible for the failings of another gender.
I greatly appreciate the author has listened to his audience, and edited his material to achieve a higher standard accordingly.
Unfortunately, it seems the author of the post is quite upset with me. This is understandable, since no author likes being told they need to edit their work. But it is unfortunate he has resorted to certain tactics. I have responded to all the comments directly related to my original comment. I thanked everyone for their input and replied to their discussions accordingly. However, as The Rhino points out in the comments below, the author of the post has revoked some privileges in my comments.
In the event the author decides not to approve my comments, I would like to include their official response:
If you write a blog, dealing with some crazy over-reactions is normal. In this case, it nicely illustrates the point about how a small but vocal minority of angry activists try to shut down different views and go straight to personal attacks.
When you see an over-reaction triggered by a rather mild and unoriginal article (not my most controversial) it usually tells you that person is in some sort of emotional distress and has been reminded by the article of some personal trauma in the past….for example, the article may have triggered memories of their childhood pain of being brought up without a father…a father they felt anger towards and / or let down by.
I don’t know her back story, just illustrating a broader point that when you see a reaction like that…its not about logic, its not about the article, its all about them.
I personally feel the author resorted to the very tactic he denounces in his own response. Blaming my comment on my background and alleged emotional distress is a form of name calling, and quite unprofessional. The fact that he actually used the word “triggered” is quite amusing to me.
Here is my subsequent response:
Thank you for your input, ####.
I am disappointed you are trying to discount my views by suggesting my reaction is all about me and my background. But I understand why you would be offended considering my original comment based on your original article content. No author likes to be told that their works needs some editing.
You original article was not clear that each gender is not responsible for the failings of another gender. In addition, you were not clear that Dr. Glover’s work is pop psychology, not fact. I think it is fair to point these kinds of failings to the author in the hope their work improves.
You have since edited your article, which tells me you agreed with at least some portions of my input…