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‘Anatomy of Rage’: @mstiefvater and the Feminist Injustice Collector Phenomenon

Posted on | June 7, 2016 | 36 Comments

Maggie Stiefvater (@mstiefvater on Twitter) is a successful novelist, married with two kids, living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

In April 2015, she posted a Tumblr essay, “The Anatomy of Rage,” that begins with an incident in which a mechanic uses the phrase “little girl” while telling her husband that he’s going to fix her car as soon as possible. Now, it is fair to ask what the mechanic intended by his use of the diminutive term “little girl” to describe a 33-year-old woman. Is Ms. Stiefvater petite and youthful looking? Is the mechanic an older man, so that Ms. Stiefvater reminds him of his daughter? Or is he simply the kind of old-fashioned country boy who calls women “little girl” or “sugar,” the same way a Waffle House waitress down home is likely to call her customers “honey” or “sweetheart”? Never mind his intent:

I discovered that I was actually furious. I thought I was over being furious, but it turns out, the rage was merely dormant. I’m furious that it’s been over a decade and nothing has changed. I’m furious that sexism was everywhere in the world of college-Maggie and it remains thus, even if I out-learn, out-earn, out-drive, and out-perform my male counterparts. At the end of the day, I’m still “little girl.”
Possibly this is the point where some people are asking why this tiny gesture of all gestures should be the one to break me.

You can read her entire litany of sexist offenses, ranging from the annoying to the atrocious to the genuinely scary, culminating in this:

I’m tired of the media telling me that it’s mouth breathing bros and rednecks perpetuating the sexism. No: I can tell you that the most insidious form is the nice guy. Who is a nice guy, don’t get me wrong. I carry my own prejudices that I work through, and I don’t believe in demonizing people who aren’t perfect yet — none of us are. But the nice guy who says something sexist gets away with it. The nice guy who says something sexist sounds right and reasonable. The nice guy’s not helping, though. It’s been sixteen years, and the nice guys are nice, but we’re still things to be acquired. We are still creatures to be asked on dates. We are still saying no, still shouting NO, still having to always again and again say “no, please treat me with respect.”

Am I the only one confused by her diatribe? Why does being “asked on dates” by men reflect a lack of “respect”? If a bachelor encounters a woman he finds attractive, is he wrong to express interest in her? She describes being “cat-called every other time I’m at a gas station” and various other genuinely offensive behaviors, but why should (a) clearly unacceptable examples of sexual harassment lead to a denunciation of (b) the ordinary behavior of men asking women on dates? Like many other feminists, Ms. Stiefvater seems to aggregate within a single category — “sexism” — all overt expressions of male heterosexuality.

Ms. Stiefvater doesn’t articulate the source of her resentment beyond reciting a list of grievances, but to speculate rather generally, I think feminists view male sexuality as essentially immature. That is to say, a man who glances too long at a good-looking woman who walks past is perceived by the feminist as an oversexed perpetual adolescent. A mature man should be utterly indifferent to beauty, the feminist believes. It is not merely that her egalitarian ideology leads her to believe that all people should be treated exactly alike, but the feminist also views male sexuality as a fundamentally hostile force, antagonistic to her own interests. Males are her moral inferiors, the feminist believes, because their sexual behaviors and attitudes are inherently immature and selfish. On this basis, therefore, she begins keeping a mental catalog of examples of men’s “sexist” behavior, which is the only male behavior a feminist ever notices. Perhaps a hundred men drove past the gas station while Ms. Stiefvater was pumping gas and paid no attention to her, but that one guy who cat-called her becomes a representative, a symbol, proof of how All Men Oppress All Women Under the Patriarchal Tyranny of Male Supremacy.

Feminism provides an analytical framework within which almost any aspect of male behavior can be viewed as “problematic” — yet another example of misogyny, “male entitlement,” etc. — so that every man the feminist encounters is viewed as a suspect, a likely perpetrator of sexism, and she is a detective on the case, gathering evidence to indict him.

This hostile and suspicious attitude toward men can lead the feminist to become a paranoid type that psychologists call an injustice collector:

An injustice collector is someone who magnifies trivial “injustices” (real or imagined), believes the injustices are “intentional and purposeful” and collects them until he forms an encompassing perspective of himself/herself as a victim of bullying, discrimination and disrespect.

What happens with the feminist injustice collector is that she begins classifying male behavior according to a continuum of sexism. All men are her moral inferiors, the feminist believes, but the evidence of their inferiority can be difficult to find, because their sexism is not always overt. There are subtle shades and degrees of sexism, and the feminist injustice collector becomes an expert at detecting the tiniest bits of evidence, like a forensic investigator scrutinizing a murder scene for latent fingerprints and microscopic traces of DNA.

This suspicious mentality, rooted in an attitude of profound resentment toward males, is apt to metastasize into dangerous irrationality.

Did I mention Maggie Stiefvater has obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Also, she’s a self-righteous pharisaical hypocrite:

I generally try to be a decent person on the internet. Approach life with a semblance of humor, try not to stomp on a whole lot of toes, share a bit of myself with the world. Sometimes I fail to be tactful or harmless, and I try to own up to it when I do. That said, my sense of humor and my range of interests are very specific.

Shes a “decent person” who doesn’t “stomp on a whole lot of toes,” but doesn’t hesitate to denounce all “nice guys” as sexist, and stigmatizes men for the human-rights violation of asking women on dates.

Glass house, stones, some assembly required.

My problem with the Catalog of Sexist Behavior form of feminist rhetoric is that no literate person needs to be told, for example, that cat-calling is offensive. Generally speaking, if you’re reading a feminist blog — or op-ed columns in the New York Times, for that matter — you’re intelligent enough to understand that these behaviors are wrong. We must therefore ask, for whose benefit are these lectures about sexist behavior delivered?

Isn’t it just about feminists signifying their membership in the tribe?

It’s the Feminist Existential Theory of Oppression, wherein being a victim of the sexist patriarchy defines what it means to be a woman.

We heard you the first time, OK? For more than four decades, feminists have been lecturing men about what rotten sexist swine we are — all of us, especially “nice guys” — and we realize that there is nothing we can do about it, because everything men do is wrong, according to feminism.

It’s all one gigantic exercise in “kafkatrapping,” and the only way men can make feminists happy is to avoid feminists altogether:

Guys: Learn to take a hint. Learn to walk away.
If a woman tells you she is a feminist, say nothing and walk away.
No feminist wants to hear what a man has to say, and life is too short to waste your time taking to feminists. Just walk away.
Leave feminists alone, and then they can complain about that.
God knows, they’ve always got to have something to complain about.

Feminism is the Two-Minute Hate, and all men are Emmanuel Goldstein.




36 Responses to “‘Anatomy of Rage’: @mstiefvater and the Feminist Injustice Collector Phenomenon”

  1. CC
    June 7th, 2016 @ 8:53 pm

    A mature person recognizes that sex is everywhere. Birds are singing to attract a mate. Plants have flowers to reproduce. Deer have antlers to fight other males to get the does. And men find a shapely woman irresistible and will happily walk into a lamp post trying to get a look. This is normal and healthy. This woman will someday wish men still looked at her. But the mature person also has some control of their sex drive and doesn’t try to mate with every woman around.
    The demonization of men’s interest in women can only make sense to the bitter woman and the lesbian. In all others we can recognize the political tool who doesn’t realize what she is saying or has been suckered into an ideology that goes against the very things that would make her happy. What can one say to a woman who resents being female? So sad for you.

  2. Garrett Patterson
    June 7th, 2016 @ 9:16 pm

    When a woman drops feminist tells, WALK!

  3. robertstacymccain
    June 7th, 2016 @ 10:02 pm

    What strikes me is the extent to which feminism is simply a reversal of sexism. One can read (and I actually have read) radical feminist denunciations of what Freud wrote about women’s sexuality and say, “Yes, I see the anti-female bias, the negative conception of womanhood, in Freudianism.” Feminists are correct in criticizing such prejudice, but when feminists themselves began analyzing male sexuality, all they did was to reverse the bias. Instead of Freudian sexist bias against women — “hysteria,” “frigidity,” etc. — from feminists we get a portrayal of male sexuality as expressing a desire to “dominate,” “control,” and humiliate women. Even male attraction to women — the admiration of beauty — is condemned in feminist rhetoric as “objectification,” and practically any effort by males to initiate romantic relations with women is apt to be construed as “harassment” in feminist discourse. Exactly how heterosexual relationships are to occur, under the terms as described by feminists, is a tremendous mystery. If male sexuality is so disgusting to them, why would any feminist be heterosexual?

    Yet we find that feminists do not even acknowledge their anti-male bias. Their blogs and social-media feeds are an endless repetition of anti-male rhetoric, but if you should point this out — that they are simply producing anti-male hate propaganda — they become enraged and accuse you of being ignorant. Men are too stupid to understand feminism, is what they are saying, and this assertion of male intellectual inferiority is the sort of insult that men are not supposed to notice.

  4. RS
    June 7th, 2016 @ 10:07 pm

    It’s interesting. At the gas station I frequent which is staffed during the day by an assortment of 20-40 something females, every male is addressed as, “darling” or “sweety,” or “baby” or some such appellation of endearment. It’s actually annoying to me, because it’s overdone, and I’m not the flirtatious type to begin with. I’m in my mid-fifties, I find it disrespectful.

    But annoyance is not rage. I’m not building barricades in the streets and singing La Marseillaise. Get over it. If the guy’s a good and honest mechanic, hit your knees and thank God you’ve got someone you trust to take care of your car.

  5. Steve Skubinna
    June 7th, 2016 @ 10:12 pm

    Jesus Effin’ Christ, lady, take your damn car to a lesbian collective to get fixed, then.

    Oh, and the next waitress that calls me “hon?” She’s getting 230 grains of copper jacketed lead between the eyes.

    Grip. Get one. And until you grow the hell up, have your husband drive you wherever you want to go.

    So long as he approves, that is.

  6. Wraith
    June 7th, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

    “A mature man should be utterly indifferent to beauty, the feminist believes.”

    And yet, if you pay absolutely no attention to her on a physical level, you’re obviously EVEN MORE of a sexist dirtbag, because–regardless of your own personal tastes in women–you’re obviously repulsed by (insert any real or perceived flaw here: tats, piercings, curves, hair color, skin color, etc.) and therefore, you’re ‘objectifying’ her and ‘phobic’ in some way.

    This isn’t a Catch-22, it’s a Catch-88. It shoots through reality.

  7. Dana
    June 8th, 2016 @ 5:08 am

    Let’s see, the fat, ugly less-traditionally-attractive feminists hate men, and are pissed off that men don’t notice them or care for them, while the attractive feminists are pissed off because men do notice them and are attracted to them.

  8. NeoWayland
    June 8th, 2016 @ 7:01 am

    I’m not denying that physical attraction is important, but I’m more aroused by a passionate, well trained intelligence. If she can hold her own in a discussion with me, that gets me going.

    Active compassion is another turn on. Show me a woman who believes in the people around her just as much as she believes in herself. I’ll be thinking “What a woman, what a woman!” with a grin on my face.

    So the FamousFeminist crowd loses on all counts.

  9. Sailorcurt
    June 8th, 2016 @ 7:18 am

    In my experience, the women who screech the loudest in outrage when someone they don’t want attention from pays attention to them, are also the ones who try the hardest to get attention by the way they dress, act, etc.

    Was her diatribe really spawned by a true belief that the person in question was egregiously belittling her by referring to her in such a way, or truly constituted sexism – or just another way to attract as much attention as possible?

  10. Brian_E
    June 8th, 2016 @ 9:35 am

    If male sexuality is so disgusting to them, why would any feminist be heterosexual?

    Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!
    !We have a WINNER!

    This pretty much covers where they’re coming from (militant feminists, I mean), in that they don’t think being heterosexual is ‘normal’, because they believe it’s oppressive.

  11. Steve Skubinna
    June 8th, 2016 @ 9:51 am

    Most people probably think they’re normal.

    Which explains everything about feminist rhetoric.

  12. Steve Skubinna
    June 8th, 2016 @ 9:53 am

    Plus, they can’t fix their cars and have to rely on burly men without college degrees to do it.

  13. Steve Skubinna
    June 8th, 2016 @ 9:53 am

    You just described Slutwalk.

  14. Steve White
    June 8th, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

    I think the perfect response of the mechanic (this being the South) should have been, “why bless your heart!”

  15. Kirby McCain
    June 8th, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

    So this woman passes judgement on a man based upon one comment then dumps the toxic contents of her soul on the internet. Fascinating. One of these two people is fucked up.

  16. NeoWayland
    June 8th, 2016 @ 1:09 pm

    There is that.

    But blazes, I can’t fix my car for more than a couple of things. I’m perfectly happy to pay someone to do it better than I can.

    Earlier this year the blower went out on my heat pump. Summer in Arizona without AC? Not a good idea. Yeah, I could have looked it up online and probably figured it out and even ordered the parts. But I didn’t want to stumble around on the roof going up and down a ladder to flip the breakers. Somebody else is willing to do that for a reasonable price. As long as I treat them well and pay what they ask, it all works out.

    My masculinity isn’t defined by my ability to fix things. If anything it’s defined by my ability to get things fixed. If someone does what they promise, they earned my respect and my cash. If someone does something well, then I owe it to them to tell others about how good they were.

  17. Steve Skubinna
    June 8th, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

    Ah. But it doesn’t sound as if you resent paying a specialist to do it.

  18. Eric Ashley
    June 8th, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

    I like it when waitresses call me honey. But then I live in a civilized part of the nation.

  19. NeoWayland
    June 8th, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

    Heck no, I love the free market! Voluntary exchanges between consenting adults!

    Why should I learn to fix a heat pump when the one I have worked twelve years without a problem? Why should I put the time and effort in when it’s cheaper, better and safer to pay someone who does that for a living?

    I don’t resent it, I celebrate it! Their ability and willingness to do the job makes my life easier.

    I respect that ability and willingness and I am not shy about saying so. That means it’s more likely they’ll help me the next time I REALLY need it.

  20. honzik
    June 8th, 2016 @ 4:43 pm

    “Glass house, stones, some assembly required.”

    Or more appropriately for the feminist: Some dissembling required.

  21. Daniel Freeman
    June 8th, 2016 @ 4:56 pm

    Exactly. Nuclear rejections are SMV signaling (which actual 10s don’t need to engage in), and Slutwalks collectivize them.

  22. Guest
    June 8th, 2016 @ 4:59 pm

    A handful of guys catcalling is demonstrative of *all* men being evil.

    More than a handful of Muslims raping and murdering is demonstrative of shut up you Islamophobic racist.

  23. Steve Skubinna
    June 8th, 2016 @ 5:34 pm

    Well, we also don’t all have to grow our own food, brew our own beer, or make our own cheese. Unless we do it as a hobby (I make cheese and brew ginger beer).

    As you say, free market.

    You don’t have economic freedom, you really don’t have freedom at all. Otherwise, we end up in Venezuela with no toilet paper, blaming “the Bourgeoisie” for the failure of redistributive economics and the politics of division and envy.

  24. Squid Hunt ?Patriarch
    June 8th, 2016 @ 5:49 pm

    “I’m furious that it’s been over a decade and nothing has changed.”

    Clearly you didn’t notice me stomping my foot with my hands on my hips.

  25. NeoWayland
    June 8th, 2016 @ 6:06 pm

    ?You don’t have economic freedom, you really don’t have freedom at all.?

    Perhaps it’s the brain-freeze from my frozen smoothie, but this phrase doesn’t make sense to me.

    Granted, the US isn’t totally a free market, but we’re more so than other nations.

  26. BooBoo75
    June 8th, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    Why are we not calling radical lesbian feminism what it really is? At it’s core it is a sex abuse cult. They have constructed an entire ideology designed to manipulate, shame, and coerce heterosexual women into adopting a homosexual lifestyle.
    Most homo’s have a persistent fantasy of “turning” a straight person gay. I think it stems from a need to “normalize” their deviance and to exert some control and power from their relegation to the lunatic fringe. Every heterosexual person they can get to denounce heterosexuality and/or engage in homosexual acts legitimizes their abnormal and degenerate behaviour. I suspect strongly it also a way to cope with a persistent deep seated toxic shame. It’s very very sick.

  27. Steve Skubinna
    June 8th, 2016 @ 10:22 pm

    What I mean is that, without the opportunity to accumulate property and improve it and dispose of it as we choose, whatever freedoms we have are more or less meaningless.

    Respect for and guarantees of property provide us the opportunity to improve our lives and position, and that of our family. Without ownership, as sadly is the case in some nations, we are mere chattels.

    Basic individual freedom begins with property rights.

  28. Steve Skubinna
    June 8th, 2016 @ 10:23 pm

    Once again, reality demonstrates its complete indifference to feelz.

  29. Joe Joe
    June 9th, 2016 @ 1:38 am

    “Shes a “decent person” who doesn’t “stomp on a whole lot of toes,” but doesn’t hesitate to denounce all “nice guys” as sexist, and stigmatizes men for the human-rights violation of asking women on dates.”

    For what it’s worth: I get the impression of a woman who doesn’t speak her mind, the kind that tells you everything’s “fine” when it isn’t. Then she vents–a lot. All that spleen goes on the internet where she gets reinforcement from other women who are “fine” but have to vent like mad.

    This is an old female behavior.

    My two cents as a geezer.

  30. Squid Hunt ?Patriarch
    June 9th, 2016 @ 6:19 am

    But if I get my friends together and we ALL stomp our foot…

  31. Steve Skubinna
    June 9th, 2016 @ 11:00 am

    Then, my friend, you shall move the Earth!

  32. NeoWayland
    June 9th, 2016 @ 12:12 pm


    I certainly agree.

    Economist Hernando De Soto stresses that the thing that made American success story possible was a clear title process and the ability to borrow against it.

  33. Steve Skubinna
    June 9th, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

    My least favorite game to play with women?

    “Guess why I’m mad now.”

  34. Joe Joe
    June 9th, 2016 @ 4:19 pm

    Yup. And you never find out. You just get slamming cabinets or the silent treatment.

  35. robertstacymccain
    June 13th, 2016 @ 6:54 pm

    “I get the impression of a woman who doesn’t speak her mind, the kind that tells you everything’s ‘fine’ when it isn’t. Then she vents–a lot.”

    What we see playing out on social media is a variation on what used to happen (and I’m sure still does happen) among women in real life. There are and always have been women who will never say a mean thing to a man’s face, but never say a good word about a man behind his back. They are slander machines, and no sooner does her boyfriend or husband (or male boss or co-worker) leave the room than she begins defaming him to any woman within earshot. This behavior is common enough that I think most women never notice it as a phenomenon, but I first noticed it when I was still in college. There was a certain bitchy type of girl — the suitemate of a girl I dated my sophomore year — who simply never could say anything nice about anybody. At that time (circa 1979) there was no politics to such behavior, so she didn’t call herself a “feminist” and I didn’t think of her as such. She was just a bitch.

    Now after two years of reading feminist literature, blogs, etc., I see how they have taken that type of relentlessly negative personality and turned it into a political posture. I don’t believe women like Amanda Marcotte or Jessica Valenti are more “oppressed” than other women. They’re just very hateful women who have discovered that they can monetize their hatefulness by calling it “feminism.” But it’s really the same thing I noticed in 1979 — a tendency toward slanderous backstabbing. God help any man who gets involved with such monsters.

  36. Joe Joe
    June 14th, 2016 @ 1:54 am

    Old wine in new wineskins, so to speak.