Archetypes and Hate
July 14, 2017 § Leave a comment
I recently watched a video clip discussing the “men that go their own way” movement. Also known as “MTGTOW” in the online communities where they interact. It’s primarily composed of middle aged men who have had terrible experiences with women, typically involving one or more viscous divorces. These men have had really bad luck with the opposite sex throughout their life and as a result they’ve chosen to identify with a lifestyle that “frees” them of the problems that they believe women bring. They choose to live alone and refuse to enter any type of sexual relationships with women beyond casual sex. The rest of this online community is younger men in their twenties who may have had little to no dating success and follow the advice of these older men. Let’s forget the very real possibility that, at least in most cases, these men have helped create many of their own “woman problems”. For the sake of analysis let’s just focus on their reaction and what it says about their state of mind.
The video clip I mentioned does a good job of doing exactly that. Roughly speaking, these men are misidentifying all women with the negative archetypal aspects of femininity. The relevant Jungian archetypes are as follows: the positive masculine (the good king, order, culture), the negative masculine (the tyrant, rigidity, oppression), the positive feminine (nature, creation, life) and the negative feminine (destruction, death, chaos).
In the short clip the speaker shows how members of the MTGTOW movement have identified women solely with the negative feminine archetype. Essentially they’re getting half the story. As a result they’re influencing a lot of young men with a view of the world that’s severely lacking. These men have had a particularly rough love life and rather than look within themselves to see if they’re a part of the problem (after all, what’s the only constant in every single one of your relationships?) they’ve identified women as the root evil. As an interesting side note, this reminds me of an interesting article I read about the proclivity of humans to think in terms of us vs them.
I sort of shelved this video into the back of my mind for a while under the category of “well, that’s an interesting take” and left it there. Then this morning I was reading an article about a feminist scholar who believes that the fact that most citations in the field of geology are of work done by “white heteronormative males” represents a form of discrimination. When other scholars asked if perhaps this has to do with the field itself being primarily male the scholars simply doubled down. They stated that it’s discrimination regardless. Then I started to think about the MTGTOW movement. I suddenly realized that many feminists suffer from the same archetypal issue as the jaded men who hate all women.
And the most personal example I can think of is my own girlfriend. She very routinely states that she hates all men and that they’re all pigs. Of course she conveniently makes a mental exception for me. Which, as nice as it might be to believe that I’m the only good guy on earth, the truth is obviously much more complex than that. Feminists that openly hate men are falling into the same archetypal trap. They’re identifying all men with the negative masculine archetype. All men are power hungry tyrants and oppressors.
In fact the feminist vocabulary begins to make much more sense when viewed archetypally. “The patriarchy” is simply the manifestation of the negative masculine archetype in the world. It is used to represent instances of cultural rigidity and overly conservative views. It becomes an issue when “patriarchy” is used to describe increasingly mundane and harmless behavior or events. Because the term is incredibly vague it can be used to describe a myriad of things. Some of which may represent actual oppression, and others which do not.