Fidelbogen writes a manifesto (and it’s even more turgid than you’d expect)

How to write a manifesto: The Fidelbogen way

How to write a manifesto: The Fidelbogen way

If you’re starting up a political movement and want to get the asses into the seats — and then out into the streets — it’s helpful to have a stirring manifesto.

Here’s the opening of the Communist Manifesto.

A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

That’s pretty good, you gotta admit. Like the start of an action movie.

And then there’s the classic opening of our own Declaration of Independence. Not quite as dramatic, but pretty damn stately. It starts off with all that “[w]hen in the Course of human events” stuff, and then, BAM:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That is, like, really quotable and shit.

Well, our old friend Fidelbogen has been doing some manifesto writing of his own. Let’s see how his new manifesto stands up against these classics.

The Manifesto of Coalition JS38

JS38 – Operational Overview

JS38 is a coalition of politically conscious non-feminist groups and individuals. The name itself is a random character string which serves only as an identification tag. As a project, JS38 is designed to overcome the problems which labels often generate – such problems as branding, false grouping, conflation, stereotypification, message degradation and the like.

What What WHAT?! You’ve named your movement after A RANDOM CHARACTER STRING?

Fidelbogen apparently thinks he’s writing a manifesto for robots.

Let’s see if he can pick up the pace a bit in the second paragraph:

We recognize that we are in a contest to sway hearts and minds.

Yeah, nothing wins hearts and minds faster than random character strings.

We recognize that this contest is played out on the field of public rhetoric – by which we mean things popularly said and heard. We strive, accordingly, to craft a message as well as we are able.

Dude, I hate to break it to you, but you are about as talented at crafting messages as I am at ballet dancing.  The difference between the two of us is that I don’t post videos of myself trying to ballet dance on the internet, while you have a blog entirely — if inadvertently — devoted to documenting your failures to “craft messages” with any kind of skill. (And of course there’s your amazing Twitter account.)

The operation of JS38 will boost and clarify the signal of our selected message and cut through the background noise. In this way, the message will gain a more individuated presence within the public discourse.

Uh, see what I mean? Then Fidey, having set forth no reasons whatsoever for anyone to get involved in his little project, gets into the nitty-gritty of how it will work:

Members of JS38 (called “signatories”) are aligned with each other under the terms of a Prime Constitution – a list of points that encompass a mission, a code of principles, and a practical worldview.

He continues on in this fashion for approximately one million words (rough estimate). Here are some more snippets, to give you a flavor:

JS38 is neither a moral collective nor an organization in any sense, but only a joint intellectual effort to distill a message signal, and to differentiate this from what other feminist-averse groups and individuals are transmitting.  …

If we establish that an octagon is an eight-sided geometrical figure, the truth of that message remains uncompromised by the messenger. Even if Stalin or Caligula declared that an octagon was an eight-sided geometrical figure, it would not become a nine-sided or seven-sided figure. …

The points in the Prime Constitution are not listed in order of priority, and there is no linear progression of ideas from one item to the next. However, the items do form a loose holographic unity.  …

Ideally, every sub-constitution would list its entire chain of linkages, leading eventually back to the Prime Constitution, which is deemed canonical. In the end, this would generate a pyramidal structure of variations which cascade from the Prime Constitution. …

We value self-containment and aplomb in our spoken and written communications. Furthermore, we believe it is good practice to “think like a lawyer.” …

We define our method as query-based rather than theory-based – although it is true that we theorize. But feminism owes us answers, and not the reverse. Thus, if we declare that “feminism is x”, we are expecting proof that feminism is NOT x, and shall expect our concerns to be sensitively and respectfully addressed. …

If a particular idea is not expressly stated in this document, it cannot be attributed to the document. Equally, however, it cannot be said that the document excludes it. …

We seek to bring about a decolonization of the non-feminist mind. To that end, we claim an epistemic standpoint independent of feminist discourse, and from said standpoint we develop a counter-discourse. …

We assert the prerogative to define feminism in absolute terms in the light of our own study, regardless of feminist objection to such a proceeding. Simply put, feminism categorically IS what WE say it is. …

We assert that feminism is like a product that must be sold, and that nobody is obligated to buy. …

I’m thinking that Fidelbogen’s He Man Antifeminism Club 4NtevaSh — sorry, “Coalition JS38“ — isn’t going to be making a lot of sales itself.

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Posted on November 8, 2013, in antifeminism, drama kings, fidelbogen, gaslighting, grandiosity, men who should not ever be with women ever, MRA, the sound of his own voice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 342 Comments.

  1. Argh, what a weird brainhurt to have! I dunno. Like, trans women are often misgendered by people, but they STILL face major league misogyny… way more than trans men, on the average. So I’m not sure I’m quite satisfied with that explanation.

    But then again, if I make it clear that I’m NOT a woman, not trying to speak for all women’s experiences ever, and… ugh, my brain hurts, trying to figure this out. Like, I have the privilege now of being able to treat these occurrences as flukes, rather than the daily part of life they used to be before we adopted a more androgynous presentation, and–OW MY BRAIN.

  2. The role of misidentification in bigotry is a good intersectionality topic. Shall I write a post about that?

  3. Trans men perceived as women still face way less misogyny than trans women perceived as men – simply because masculine women are only seen as women who are wrongly trying to gain power, status, respect, etc., whereas feminine men are seen as people who are devoid of self-respect and worth.

  4. Like, trans women are often misgendered by people, but they STILL face major league misogyny… way more than trans men, on the average. So I’m not sure I’m quite satisfied with that explanation.

    I was thinking about that and the answer, I think, is that people tend to choose the most othering possible interpretation. So it’s one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations where if you get misidentified as belonging to a less privileged group, you’ll face (some of) the oppression faced by that group, but if you get misidentified as belonging to a more privileged group, you’ll probably end up getting a lot of the oppression from your actual group anyway (eg, a trans woman will get treated as “that weird guy who thinks he’s a woman”).

  5. katz, that would be an awesome article! I think you should write it.

  6. RE: katz

    Go for it! I definitely wouldn’t feel educated enough to take that on. (As though my headachery didn’t make that obvious, heh.)

    RE: Shadow

    I’m not sure where this particular example lands since you’re not sure if the dude knew you were a man.

    I know this sounds really weird, but… he was VERY MUCH treating me the way a Nice Guy treats a woman, crossed with a lot of stereotypes about multi women — that they’re delicate little flowers bruised by a lifetime of victimization, that they need a man to take care of them, etc. etc. So even though he never outright stated such, he was treating me in a VERY gendered-woman way.

    Also, this guy wasn’t very bright. He was trying to dig deep dark secrets out of me but didn’t seem to know that I had (A) written a novel, and (B) didn’t like being called a personality. I sincerely think he was misidentifying me for the mythical Original Girl who used to run the place.

  7. I definitely wouldn’t feel educated enough to take that on.

    Oof, I’m definitely not educated enough, but I think I’ll just make it a survey of cases where that sort of thing happened.

  8. That would be a fascinating article!

    (I think I’ve saved my draft properly this time. Fingers crossed!)

  9. Do we have a recommended word count?

  10. Not that I know of.

  11. OK so I know I’m not part of this project, but is there going to be a fandom issue? People could write about their favorite female characters, their favorite creators, feminist issues within fandom, etc. There are lots of fannish Boobzers, but I know fandom stuff is incomprehensible and/or irrelevant to everyone else, so…

  12. Is misgendering something multi people get often, do you know, Rogan? The only popular culture depictions I know are Sybil and United States of Tara, and I wondered if a) they’re at all representative, ie. multiple personality is associated with female-bodied people, and b) if that’s the case – big if, obvs – might that be why Creepy McDumbass assumes you’re a woman?

    /speculatinginthedark

  13. Argenti Aertheri

    Break it up into part 1, etc if it’s going to turn into a novella?

    Hippodameia, it saved.

    Does anyone have any complaints about me doing an overlay about real browsers if someone loads it in IE? Because trying to make IE behave is proving impossible. Things that should work in IE9 fucking don’t. And I mean basic layout stuff that it should’ve supported years ago.

  14. Oh man, if we did a fandom issue, I would OBVIOUSLY have to make my Women in History article on Jackie Ormes!

  15. Doesn’t bother me. I loathe IE anyway. :P

    Alice, I just proofread your piece on atheism and misogyny – great! (I changed “amount of followers” to “number of followers” for teh grammarz, but nothing else.)

    Would it be worth expanding a little to mention that Elevator Douche was both at RW’s talk, and present all during the hours when everyone was at the bar, and she was still talking about not wanting to be hit on at conferences, and when she said at 4am she was dead beat and going to bed? The whole thing was that he ignored every fucking thing she said, as well as ignoring every opportunity to talk to her in public about it.

  16. Argenti Aertheri

    emilygoddess — we already have a post on representations of mentally ill women in movies, so I don’t see an issue, as long as it’s general enough that you don’t need to be a fan to follow it. (Like, some of the MLP stuff? You don’t need to be a fan to see what’s wrong with grown men complaining it’s too girly)

  17. Speaking of threads to talk about Feminist Borg, would it be worth asking David to have a Feminist Borg thread here? Not everyone knows about it yet, methinks, and since we’re reading on here anyway, we’d be able to see recent comments and keep up easily.

  18. I think that’s a great idea, kitteh!

  19. Would Fandom 101 be a hassle for people? Like, introducing readers to whatever you’re a fan of, maybe less a rundown than what you like about it? I’d be interested to read those, ‘cos the fandom discussions here really are for the fans (duh).

  20. My favorite lolfandom thing was a thread where a bunch of adults were complaining that there were too many kids at a Harry Potter bookstore event and the kids won all the prizes.

  21. Argenti Aertheri

    Cassandra — oh wow. That’s, wow.

    As for a thread…give it a few days, I make no promises I won’t break it again!

  22. RE: Kittehs

    Is misgendering something multi people get often, do you know, Rogan?

    Wellll… multis come in three flavors, generally, and mostly only in “male axe-murderer” and “female victim” types. The “cross-gender alter” is a very common phenomenon, but it inhabits a really weird place in the pop culture consciousness. I could give you the longer version, but it’s actually kinda complicated, and fascinating to me as a trans person.

    Honestly, I think Creeper thought I was a woman for the same reasons I confuse a lot of trolls, including orion. I am pretty open about having been sexually victimized, and the entry he really pulled from, I discussed the DID diag, disability, our family’s incest cycle, and how it influenced us as a rape survivor. For a LOT of people, this means I must automatically be female. (Because male rape is TOTALLY not a thing, you guys! Even MRAs make this mistake.)

  23. kittehs – Ah, cool. :)

    Hm, about the Elevator Creep guy: I could, but I was basing the information I had on Elevatorgate from memory, Manboobz, and RationalWiki (and RW’s initial video post), so I wasn’t sure if I could put that in there without it being needless speculation.

  24. No, it was mentioned pretty often all over the webs. I’m only thinking of a short comment to emphasise that he was there, and had even less excuse for what he did.

  25. If you want to see the original explosion, there was a massive thread on Pharyngula about it; I’m not sure that isn’t where Dawkins posted his Dear Muslima letter, but the gobshite certainly got quoted and ripped a new one there, and came on whining about how he couldn’t see what the fuss was about.

  26. kittehs – Sure, I can add a short line about that.

    I was going to quote the Dear Muslima letter in full, too, but can’t phrase it right. Should I quote it or no?

    (Definitely not gonna quote TAA though. Fuck that wanker.)

  27. I don’t think I’d bother quoting Dear Muslima – you can always link to it.

  28. kittehs- True.

    Oh yeah, you might be amused, but Manboobz is on RationalWiki

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Manboobz

    We’re apparently the “anti-YouTube”. Best compliment ever? :P

  29. The fuck does “anti-YouTube” mean? Not that it’s offensive, it’s just that we post a ton of videos from YouTube. Maybe it’s referring to YouTube comments? Because holy shit, those are awful.

  30. The “anti-YouTube” thing is meant to follow off the comment about how we can have a thousand-comment thread where most of the comments are thoughtful and inoffensive. OTOH, when a YouTube comment thread goes into the thousands of posts, they’re guaranteed to have degenerated into slurs and name-calling, if they didn’t start there.

  31. Sorry, I didn’t see the “the” before anti YouTube. That makes a big difference.

  32. ::preens::

    That’s quite the complimentary article!

  33. Argenti Aertheri

    “(Though it is officially not a safe space, and trolls do show up. And get roasted.) ”

    And get roasted.

    Yes, trolls are crunchy and good with ketchup.

  34. Just don’t try ‘em with mint sauce, it’s really not good.

  35. Wonder if they’d taste good with Siracha…?

  36. Everything tastes good with sriracha.

    Wow-wow sauce, on the other hand, is a bit volatile for my taste. Best leave it to the wizards and oh gods.

  37. Come to think of it, I’d sooner have the trolls eat Wow-wow sauce … then have a charcoal biscuit and a pipe, like Ridcully Senior.

  38. What the hell is Wow-wow sauce? It sounds like a euphemism for something…

  39. Lazy C/P from Wikipedia:

    Wow-Wow Sauce (sometimes referred to as Bow wow sauce)[1] is a sauce apparently created by Dr William Kitchiner in the early 19th century. It contains port, wine vinegar, pickled cucumbers or pickled walnuts, English mustard and mushroom ketchup in a base of beef stock, flour and butter. A recipe appears in Enquire Within Upon Everything (88th edition, 1894).[2]

  40. No Wow-Wow sauce for me. I eat my deep-fried crunchy trolls with chipotle mayonnaise.

  41. Or, since it’s me and Kittehs talking about it, it’s another case of Discworld imitating life.

  42. Ha! The Real Wow-wow sauce as made by Archchancellor Ridcully is much more powerful than that.

    A very potent and highly unstable condiment. One of the main problems with Wow-Wow Sauce is its tendency to turn into an explosive when mixed with charcoal, the only element of gunpowder that it lacks.

    The ingredients for Wow-Wow Sauce, as stated in Reaper Man, are:

    Matured Scumble
    Pickled Cucumbers
    Capers
    Mustard
    Mangoes
    Figs
    Grated Wahoonie
    Anchovy Essence
    Asafetida
    A good deal of Sulfur and Saltpeter

    Wow-Wow sauce is itself an ingredient in the “ultimate hangover cure” the wizards create in Hogfather. It may seem paradoxical that a sauce containing the highly alcoholic scumble could cure hangovers, but the hangover cure’s ingredients (and possibly Wow-Wow sauce’s ingredients too) undergo considerable chemical and magical changes. Roundworld analogy: two highly inflammable gases, hydrogen and oxygen, combine to form the fire-quenching substance water.

    Archchancellor Ridcully enjoys Wow-Wow Sauce on his meals, often to an extent that most sane men who knew about the ingredients would be terrified of. He states that his uncle used to swear at Wow-Wow Sauce, and when another member of the faculty corrects him by saying, “Surely you mean by?” he concedes that his uncle might also have done that. And after drinking a whole bottle as a hangover cure, the uncle looked very peaceful when he was laid out.

    A bottle of freshly-brewed sauce has, in extremis, been employed as a hand-grenade.

    http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/Wow-Wow_Sauce

    I’m not sure if this is the same uncle I’ve read about elsewhere. They couldn’t have laid him out, because all they ever found was his boots, on a roof, a mile away.

  43. DAMN, sulfur and saltpeter? That’s one powerful concoction.

  44. Argenti Aertheri

    Mangos? Count pecunium out :)

  45. The non-Discworld wow-wow sauce actually sounds pretty tasty to me.

    I found a recipe:


    http://library.missouri.edu/scriptamanent/2012/02/24/friday-food-william-kitchiners-recipe-for-wow-wow-sauce-1817/

    Thankfully, port can be substituted for the mushroom ketchup cause I have no clue where I’d get that from.

  46. Scumble? My new favorite word.

  47. Everyone, I recently showed a good friend of mine FemBorg, and she really likes the posts so far. I think it would be great if she could become a contributor as well because she’s very nice and knows how to write, but I don’t know how the process for adding new writers is supposed to be. I’m assuming we all have to agree on letting her join, but I don’t know if it’s something else instead.

  48. “knows how to write pretty well”*

  49. cloudiah – you’d like scumble. It’s made from apples.

    Well, mostly apples.

    Just don’t let it come in contact with metal.

  50. Argenti Aertheri

    Ally — let me check a few things and I’ll email you about adding her as a guest author (would be able to mod comments on her threads, and need one of us to publish her posts.

    Assuming that’s generally okay with everyone else?

  51. That sounds great, Ally and Argenti. I’m thinking that eventually we might even want to seek out guest authors. In my experience with group projects like this, eventually the core group runs out of things to write about and needs fresh voices. (That’s a good bit down the road for us, I think, but still something we might want to think about.)

  52. Argenti Aertheri

    Things checked, and yep, that’s what I have guest authors set to do. Now, my hack to allow modding comments I haven’t tested, but the needing permission to publish is how it’s set.

  53. If we’re going to have themes, we should start each month with a short post announcing the theme, shouldn’t we?

    Also, Argenti, want to add me as an author?

  54. Aye to the guest post(s) from me!

  55. Katz, I agree, we should post something about our theme(s).

    I know we were discussing how specific the themes should be earlier. My opinion is that we should keep them as broad as possible so that as many different viewpoints can fit the theme. I also think we should plan on revisiting the themes in the future. There are only so many themes to go around. Does anyone have any more thoughts?

    Here’s something I found just now on intersectionality that I liked – http://bitchmagazine.org/post/pushback-at-the-intersections-defining-and-critiquing-intersectionality

  56. Argenti Aertheri

    Katz — we can make said post a sticky, so it stays at the top of the first page, and yeah, I’ll add you shortly, I’m taking a smoke break currently.

    Todo — add Katz, finish IE notice, edit disemvowel function to also offer comic sans.

  57. Well, thank God I rank higher on the priority list than IE.

  58. I still have this window open for some reason, so I want to note that the IE notice is a pretty little jQuery overlay saying you should switch browsers, with links to chrome and FF (I thought about including safari, but there hasn’t been IE for mac in years and windows users don’t often use it)

  59. @Comic Sans haters

    Todo — add Katz, finish IE notice, edit disemvowel function to also offer comic sans.

    I know you people pride yourselves on this not being a “safe space” because it’s a “mockery” site, but this Comic Sans-shaming is really out of bounds. I hope you check out the link below, read the testimony and realize Comic Sans has feelings too.

    I’m Comic Sans, Asshole.

  60. Nope, sorry, Comic Sans deserves no sympathy. It really is as bad as everyone says.

  61. “But feminism owes us answers, and not the reverse. Thus, if we declare that “feminism is x”, we are expecting proof that feminism is NOT x, and shall expect our concerns to be sensitively and respectfully addressed. …”

    Um yeah..why do I owe these people answers? Because whenever I try I end up drowning in “queries” that can actually just be “googled” so that you can argue with the foundation theorists texts…

    WHAT IS THIS?

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