Saving Civilization From Itself

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(re)productive capital

In my previous post, Does Marriage Keep Society Afloat?, I argued that it is essential to marry and have children to stem off a global financial downturn. The concept is simple: without a large tax base, the population gets top heavy and expenses exceed resources available. Costs go up leading to fewer and fewer marriages and pregnancies, creating a self-feeding, self-fulfilling downward spiral.

In the comment section, I explored a few unsatisfactory ways to address the problem. Sigma Frame discusses a few others. I ended with the only sensible alternative:

“The only way out of this, without significant side effects, is to support marriage and increase family sizes. This requires abolishing abortion and defeating feminism. I’ve stated this before and I’ll say it again and again. The refusal to marry and have children (e.g. MGTOW) is actively harmful and contributes to the self-feeding destructive downward cycle. I don’t care what the excuses are for not marrying and having children. Make it work. Otherwise wave the white flag and embrace feminism.”

Brother Ballista took issue with this:

Ramsey wants men to embrace feminism by getting married and having children. Therein lies the problem as Ramsey sees it – the weak men just aren’t playing along to make feminism work.

With all due respect, Brother Ballista is wrong. Marriage and family are not feminist concepts. They are the foundations of functioning society and must be embraced. They need to be taken back from the feminists, so to speak.

Defeating feminism is required to fully support marriage and increase family sizes. It’s an absurd strawman to say that this means men should marry feminists and have their babies. Of course they shouldn’t.* It’s also absurd to say that my statement only applies to men. Those men and women who refuse to marry and have children might as well throw in the towel.

Brother Earl is a perfect example of what I’m suggesting. He is a front line soldier with skin in the game. He is doing all he can to make it work. He is not making excuses. He is not compromising. He is constantly railing against what matters most: abortion, divorce, sexual immorality, and contraception. He is always seeking a wife and if he finds one, he will be making babies in no time.

He also can’t do it on his own. He needs others to support him. He needs unmarried men to join him in these areas. He needs women to take marriage seriously and permanently. He needs happily married people to have more children, not stop at the magical two or three. He needs priests and pastors to explicitly push this and a church that will fight for it.

But make no mistake: if we don’t increase good marriages and the number of children in those marriages, feminism will win. None of the excuses, soapboxing, moaning and complaining will mean a thing if we don’t do this.

Feminists might breed themselves out of existence by refusing to reproduce, but who is going to replace them if the anti-feminists also refuse to reproduce? Where are the future anti-feminists going to come from? Feminism only needs to indoctrinate the children. Our counter is marriage and family. It’s the only one we have. We must find ways to do it and stop making excuses for not doing it.‡

When the Brothers scoff at having more children, their anti-feminist stances become meaningless. Words and actions must go together. When they recommend against a proper marriage, they fight against the very tool required to solve the problem. Avoiding marriage and family is counterproductive, no matter how well-intentioned.

It is entirely possible for a man to wife up a (hopefully repentant) feminist or single mother. Many do, as is their right as a man. Doing so is, of course, quite risky, but a man who chooses to do so needs our support, not our criticism.

† Not all men are marriage material, due to whatever personal flaws they might have. Such men should obviously not get married without making themselves marriage-worthy, but they can still do their part in the meantime by supporting those who are marriage-worthy.

‡ It is entirely possible that the entire system will have to burn to the ground before it can be resurrected. This is not ideal. We should avoid this outcome if at all possible by trying to fix the system as soon as possible, rather than waiting for some undetermined future, and possibly imaginary, inflection point.

Creative Commons LicenseArticle text and photos by Derek L. Ramsey is licensed under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 License.

Does Marriage Keep Society Afloat?

Pyramid Japan 1950

Under there Boxer made the following statement worthy of explication.

“My interest in the topic is entirely pragmatic. Without marriage, the surplus labor in a society disappears, industry declines, and the standards-of-living crash. Those of us who live without a wife owe a great debt to the men who are keeping society afloat, and it is in everyone’s interest that the institution of marriage reproduce itself across time.”

To understand why this is true, let’s examine the population pyramid. In a healthy society there are always greater number of younger persons than older persons. Combined with low mortality rates, the population will steadily climb as the large base marries and produces children. Each generation produces more total children than the previous generation so the pattern holds.

Economically, the pyramid shape leads to ever increasing productivity and growth. Consider the population pyramid for 1950 Japan shown above. Those 0 to 9 year old children became the prime economic producers in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s leading to an economic boom:

Nik

Unfortunately, the sexual revolution taught the world to separate reproduction from sex and people stopped having children. Reproduction rates in many countries (including the United States) have since fallen below replacement. The result is the decline of society, industry, and high standards-of-living.

Pyramid Japan 1950 and 2017

This graph overlays the 2017 population pyramid on top of the 1950 pyramid. Japan’s population pyramid has now inverted. The base is much smaller than the top. The bulk of Japan’s working population is about to hit retirement and there are not enough children to pay for their retirement expenses. China, after having experienced a similar economic boom, is now facing a similar population problem. Both countries are about to experience a major economic squeeze due to underpopulation.

Pyramid US 1950 and 2017

Compared to Japan’s and China’s inverted pyramid, the United States is relatively much better off. Its pyramid reflects reduced reproduction rates, but from 1950 to 2017, the changes have not been quite so dramatic. However, the failure to reproduce since the 60’s is going to be increasingly felt in tightening standards of living.

 

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(modified from this source)

As a result of the sexual revolution and feminism, pregnancy, birth, and marriage rates have fallen to historic lows while abortion continues to be the hidden leading cause of death in America. So why has the U.S. not declined as fast as other countries? Immigration. The United States imports millions of working-age adults and children.

Immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, are initially a large economic drain. It takes until the second generation before the investment starts paying off. First- and second-generation immigrants are projected to make up 93% of the workforce growth by 2050. To maintain economic prosperity we are replacing native births with immigrants, for better or worse. (Citation: Pew Research Center)

It’s still not enough to stem the tide. Despite a flood of immigrants, the birth rate continues to decline. The only alternative to societal decay and economic collapse is for married families to have more children. We do owe a debt to those 24 million families with children that are holding us up, be they immigrant or native, but we need more.

Related: The Consequences of Feminism

Creative Commons LicenseArticle text by Derek L. Ramsey is licensed under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 License.

Children and Taxes

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The undead Ramsey family

 

Over there Boxer notes:

“Children are expensive. When you date a wimminz who has little kids, you will not only be paying more money, but you’ll also be expected to part with more of your time. You can work smarter to make up for the first, but the amount of moments in your life is finite, and there’s no way to turn back the hour-hand in your life.”

Children can be expensive, but if a man chooses to marry a single mother, the State helps mitigate this by favoring married families. Your time is finite. Ultimately it is for you to decide if being a father to a single mom’s kids is valuable. Ideally in this evaluation, you will worry less about the money and more about vetting those relationship choices. Depending on how much he makes and how many kids he is responsible for, he might even save money by marrying.

The 2018 tax year incorporates changes to the standard deduction and the way children are deducted. This means lower taxes for most people with children and relatively higher taxes for those without children and those who pay a lot in state and local income and property taxes. In short, if you are a typical family man living in state with low taxes you will benefit most.

For a married couple, a single child is worth a credit of $2000. The federal income tax is a progressive tax, so the tax bracket increases from 10% to 12% to 22% with greater income. The credit, for each child, corresponds to the tax income of $20000, $16667, and $9090 (respectively). The following chart shows the tax benefits of children for a married couple:

Table A.PNG

For example, a married 2-child family making $60000 will pay nothing in federal income taxes. If the couple has 3 children, that number increases to $77000. They’ll still pay FICA taxes (6.2% Social Security; 1.45% Medicare), but they avoid those 10%, 12%, and 22% tax rates until they make a comfortable combined wage:

Table B.PNG

Regardless of the number of children, the typical married man will not be taxed above a 12% rate until family income is in the six-figures.

Over at Finances for Marriage-minded Men, I described the plan for married men. Men should aim for a sensible career with an expected income in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. They should live in areas with low taxes. If they choose to have 2 or 3 children, typical of many American families, they can live comfortably (even with a stay-at-home-mom) and benefit from the current tax code.

Creative Commons LicenseArticle text and photo by Derek L. Ramsey is licensed under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 License.

Finances for Marriage-minded Men

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Stand strong amid life’s tides

Over here, Boxer gave this warning to the unmarried brothers:

Johnny Depp has millions of dollars and plenty of free time at his disposal, with which to defend himself…If this happened to one of us, we wouldn’t have access to the resources to give us a fair chance. This is why I encourage brothers to not get married, or at least to vet a potential wife very carefully.

You are not Johnny Depp. So while Boxer continues to warn against getting married, I’ll recommend ways to have a successful marriage. Of course you should vet your potential wife carefully, but you should also implement a financial plan. This not only protects you in the event of a divorce, it also keeps you and your wife’s spending disciplined. This leads to a happier marriage and greater financial security.

Three Cents

Aim for a minimum personal yearly income of $50,000. Pick an appropriate career. Avoid taking on a lot of debt if possible. Avoid getting married until you have financial stability. The more you make the easier the plan will be, but it’s not a strict requirement.

50% of your income goes to the spending budget. You will live off of this. Make a budget and do not exceed it. 20% of your income is saved and 30% is put into savings for a house down-payment or to paying down the principal on existing student or mortgage debt. Any income she makes goes straight into savings or debt reduction, split according to the 2:3 ratio. After combining your income, total general family spending should be no more than 50% of your income alone.

You’ll eventually have a lot of savings, but its primary use is for real emergencies, like divorce, and for spending when you are older. Yet, even if you do not get married, you won’t regret it. It wouldn’t be so bad if you end up being the rich person nobody knows about.

Eventually you’ll have enough money to buy a house. Consider waiting to buy until your down-payment is at least 20% to avoid throwing money away on private mortgage insurance. Make it a sensible house: your monthly payment should come out of your general spending budget. Set aside enough money out of the 30% debt budget for 2 emergency mortgage payments. Choose a maximum of a 15-year mortgage. If you make more money than the minimum, consider choosing a shorter-term mortgage to get a better interest rate. The goal is to pay down the principle.

You want to get as close to full ownership of your house as possible before you hit 7 years of marriage, when the odds of divorce are the highest. Once you fully own your home, continue to live frugally. Save your money. Start a family. Owning your home means much less marital stress, especially as you add children.

Drive a smaller used car, ideally with a more reliable manual transmission. Pay cash for it. The only loans you should ever get are school loans or a mortgage. You can tap your home equity in a true emergency. Hopefully you will never need to do this.

Move out of the high tax states: California, New York, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa, New Jersey, Vermont, and D.C. You can move to one of the 7 states that have no income tax or those with low taxes: North Dakota, Pennsylvania, or Indiana. If you live in a location with high taxes or a very high cost of living, you may need a greater income.

Three Cents

You will teach yourself—and her—how to live frugally. This improves self-discipline. Be thrifty. Reuse things. Use used things, and get free stuff. Don’t buy the latest fashions. By forcing you and your wife to live within tight means, you’ll filter out any women who can’t live with such constraints. Don’t marry them. If you are not sure, implement this financial plan during your engagement period (manage her bills and bank account for her).

Keep your standard of living reasonable. If you get a divorce, you don’t want to have to pay to keep her living at an unsustainable living standard. Establish a standard of living in the marriage that you can afford in divorce, while planning to get additionally screwed over. A judge may give away 60% (or more) of your income and wealth in some situations. If you’ve followed this plan, you’ll be able to live comfortably on 25% of your income and have some reasonable savings.

Your wife is most likely to divorce you in years 5-9, which is also when you are going to be hit by the the largest alimony payments. You want to live as frugally as possible until you pass the danger zone. By your 15th to 20th year of marriage, you’ll have saved up a sizable sum of money and can start to live more comfortably. This is perfect for your midlife crisis.

Three Cents

During our first year of marriage, my wife and I were both unemployed and going to college. We had no savings and almost no income. We lived off the money from our student loans. We used free cast-away furniture, bought our groceries in bulk, and got free dial-up internet by cycling through AOL and Earthlink CDs. We had one used beater car and utilized public transportation whenever possible. Where did we do this? In a one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia city, where taxes and cost of living were high.

Eventually I got a job, but we continued to live simply (e.g. our next used car cost less than $2000, inflation adjusted). We were not well off, but we were able to pay all of our monthly bills with some money left for savings. In about 3 years we were able to buy our first house.

We waited 7 years to have children. We married young, so this wasn’t a big deal. After this many years of following our financial plan, we could afford children. The financial flexibility allowed us to adopt from China on three separate occasions. This was important because, in addition to the expense of adoption, our children have significant physical needs requiring many surgeries (with more to come).

We now have 5 children, so we have to buy more expensive used, high-mileage, 7-seat minivans, but we still live well within our means. We were married almost a decade-and-a-half before we got cable TV and cell phones.

Three Cents

There are various alternatives to the plan I described.

You may want to adjust the plan according to your personal risk profile. For example, you could push the monthly mortgage payment out of the general spending budget and into the debt reduction portion of income. This provides a lot more general spending flexibility. You may need to do this if you have a career that pays close to the minimum regardless of years of experience.

Consider changing the savings/debt reduction percentages from 20%/30% to 25%/25%. The goal is to save as much cash as you have equity in your home. In the event of a divorce, one of you can keep the house and the other can take the cash. This potentially avoids a financial loss from a forced home sale or her just taking the house outright with no compensation—or maybe she’ll get 100% of the home and 50% of the cash.

If your wife does not divorce you or cheat on you, congratulations on having the kind of marriage that up to half of married men experience. Enjoy your quality wife and family along with your acquired wealth.

Keep in mind that these are just suggestions. Having a financial plan is just one piece. None of these plans are sure things. You must do your due diligence and there is always risk. Consider talking to a certified financial planner.

Creative Commons LicenseArticle text and photo by Derek L. Ramsey is licensed under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 License.

How NOT To Get Banned (part 2)

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Artisanal Toad is the latest to fall

If you want to avoid getting banned on someone’s blog you can follow the instructions. These include setting up your own WordPress site. However, like all WordPress bloggers, you will put yourself at the mercy of your new overlords’ Terms of Service. If you act like Artisanal Toad or Boxer, exercising your right to say whatever you want, you’ll probably get banned eventually. Or you can be like Dalrock and cave to the Terms of Service, self-censoring to keep yourself online.

There is an alternative: get a domain name (quite cheap) and self-host. This requires a bit more work, but no one can take it away from you.* It costs more money, but if you are financially stable, it’s not all that much.

Perhaps, you think, you’ll be fine. You don’t believe in status, marrying multiple Ninja wives, that sex=marriage, or that spanking your wives is a good thing. Please don’t be so naive. Just like working hard by getting good education and a good job prepares you to absorb hard times, self-hosting is the best way to fight censorship of your blog.

If you are not willing to do this, at least take backups of your site. This way when you do get banned, it will be easy to setup your own replacement site. Just make sure you setup WordPress with your own domain so your links don’t break. This is easy, but it does cost money, meaning you’ll have to financially support your censoring overlords. Consider the consequences of this. Alternatively, you can get something like this for free using domain and path forwarding with SSL.

* You’ll really have to tick off some very important and powerful people before you’ll lose your site. It’s possible that your hosting service could kick you off. You just find another. If you get your domain name taken, you probably did something amazingly illegal or ticked off the President or members of Congress. Don’t do that.

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I do not use a hosting service. I have a mini-Linux server that cost me around $200. It has no moving parts and costs about $6/year in electricity, so it will last nearly forever. It’s my equipment and no one can take it from me. It can be hosted anywhere: I can move it from one server co-location to another. I can even setup redundant servers in multiple locations if I want.

How NOT To Get Banned

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Don’t follow the light at the end of the tunnel

Brother Sharkly has been banned by Dalrock. He requested assistance. I’ll explain how to avoid getting banned using my method.

Start by creating a WordPress blog (see instructions). The purpose of this blog will not be to get readers. It will be to store your really long arguments so you can link to them from other blogs. This is why I started my blog. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be functional. Name it whatever you like (e.g. eccentric-theology.wordpress.com).

Having setup your blog, create a post on your favorite esoteric, eccentric theology topic. Publish the post and view it. Copy the link from your browser. You’ll need it later.

Next pick the victim blog that you wish to comment on. Many bloggers use moderation for the first post, so write an insightful comment and try not to be controversial. Your goal is to get out of moderation and have people not hate you immediately:

It didn’t tolerate my wife demanding that I do chores. Men who put up with that are so beta. I guess they have no choice, since it takes self-confidence to stand up to that. I’m so alpha it hurts.

If it isn’t explicitly stated in a comment policy, you’ll want to ask about the link policy:

@SeaLiAnon

“Do you have evidence to back up that claim?”

Yeah, I do on my website. Is it okay to post links on this blog?

As soon as you get approval, you are good to go:

@BrotherAerl

“Unless the Catholic church has blessed your marriage, you are fornicating. Full stop.”

I don’t agree with that. I think marriage starts when you have sex and no church is required.

You create links in your comments by doing this:

<a href="https://derekramsey.com/2018/02/01/what-constitutes-biblical-marriage/">marriage starts when you have sex</a>

Your goal is to avoid really long comments or having to repeat yourself. Let’s say a month later you want to make the same kind of comment on another post. Just refer back to what you said previously:

@Fighter

“There is really nothing wrong with fornicating. It screws the feminists. Literally.”

As I said on a comment on the post – True Marriage™ – last month, marriage starts when you have sex. So, fornication is not cool.

This assumes they know what you are talking about. If not, wait for them to ask questions. This allows the conversation to die if they are not interested in pursuing it. You really shouldn’t try to force the issue if no one wants to talk about it. So…

“As I said on a comment on the post  – True Marriage™ – last month, marriage starts when you have sex.”

I’m not very bright and don’t know how to search. Can you remind me?

….and you reply…

@Fighter

<blockquote>"Can you remind me?"</blockquote>

Of course. <a href="https://derekramsey.com/2018/02/01/what-constitutes-biblical-marriage/">Here it is</a>. As you can see, fornication is an abomination in God's eyes.

In this example I show the raw code you actually type into the comment box.

You are the guest at their blog. You may be God’s messenger, but you still need to be civil and respectful. Treat them like you’d treat visiting someone in their house in meat-space. Keep long comments to a minimum, moving them to your blog instead and linking to them. Try not to repeat yourself. Trust the strength of your arguments and let your opponent have the last word.

Even if they ignore you, your link sits there always potentially driving traffic to your site. One day someone may read it and be moved by your eccentric prose. They may even comment on it or blog about it.

Just be careful not to link-spam. If you link to something, make it on topic and directly applicable. Don’t derail the discussion with your pet topic. Make sure it applies to the discussion.

This is a work of fiction. A resemblance to real people may be intentional.

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Boxer is an incredibly lenient host. It makes me lazy. I don’t actually follow most of the advice here, but he probably wishes I would do so more often. He practically had to force me to become a contributing author on this blog. You don’t really want to do that on a blog with a less tolerant host.

 

Irrelevancy of the manosphere

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It might be beautiful, but it’s still isolated.

This guest post is part two of a two part series. See part one.

Previously, I discussed how media whoring may bring attention, but does not increase relevance. Now, I’ll show why the manosphere is essentially irrelevant outside its protective bubble and why outside media attention is unlikely to provide any benefit.

I performed a Google search for “Dalrock”, excluding locations and businesses with that name and restricting the search to the last 6 months. There were many irrelevant entries. Out of 16 pages of results, I analyzed the first 8 pages. These are the relevant mentions in order of appearance:

List of Domains.PNG

Who is talking about Dalrock? The answer, it turns out, is us. Literally us, right here at this post code. That echo chambered bubble that grants Dalrock his status as leader in the Christian manosphere? It’s us, Warhorn, and Larry Kummer, and others mostly in the manosphere.

I moved from Google search to Google news. Perhaps, I thought, I had merely missed the media coverage of Dalrock. I hadn’t, but what I found was interesting. I found fifteen news items from Fabius Maximus, Larry Kummer’s site. Larry, who criticized Dalrock for whining about Warhorn interview, appears to be a media expert. He also writes about Dalrock often. I also found two from Suzanne Titkemeyer on Patheos. She recently criticized Sigma Frame. Nothing else registered.

So, who is talking about Dalrock outside the manosphere? No one of consequence.

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I recently wrote a blog post on the Gillette saga. There I linked to criminal defense lawyer Scott Greenfield’s blog Simple Justice, a blog that is not in the manosphere. His WordPress blog received the pingback and he allowed it. In short, he potentially shared his non-manosphere audience with my blog.

Sigma Frame then updated his own post with a link to the Simple Justice article. The pingback from the Sigma Frame blog was deleted. This is not unusual: external exposure to the manosphere is extremely difficult to achieve.

After Lori Alexander’s post “Men Prefer Debt Free Virgins Without Tattoos” went viral, she made a follow-up post containing quotes from a Dalrock post. She didn’t link to him, calling him “A man who runs a popular blog for men.” Even someone who (presumably) likes Dalrock won’t directly promote him.

BS.jpg

A year ago, I got into a debate with atheist Bob Seidensticker on the Wintery Knight blog. Seidensticker, sealioning, demanded evidence for my claims, so I pointed him to my blog. Once there, rather than address my points, he just link spammed to an article—on his blog—whose primary points I had already refuted in the OP. I was irrelevant to him, except as a tool to drive traffic to his site.

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Dalrock is well-known inside the echo chamber (or bubble) of the manosphere. Those aware of the ‘sphere, but not part of it, may also know who Dalrock is, but they rarely talk about him. Outside, he is virtually unknown. Few, if any, media outlets even mention Dalrock. Warhorn may be the most notable thing that has ever happened to Dalrock and he bungled it.

When Dalrock makes challenges against his foes, they generally ignore him. Why not? Dalrock is irrelevant to them. The same goes for (almost?) everyone in the manosphere.

The outside world, including the media, looks at the manosphere as an aberration: a bunch of angry kooks. It doesn’t take it seriously and it doesn’t have to. It is irrelevant. What reason is there for this perception to change?

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I read the comments of Boxer and others at this old Dalrock post. They defended Dalrock’s anonymity as a tool to support his role in the manosphere and his very important work. I don’t think this has aged well.

What’s the point of anonymity if you are irrelevant and no one cares? What’s the point if you don’t have a meaningful impact on what you care most about? If nobody cares, you are not at much personal risk. Only if your message goes viral might you be at significant risk. Anonymity helps protect against going viral, but isn’t going viral exactly what you want to happen in order to spread your message?

The Warhorn interview showed that anonymity is, quite ironically, a significant barrier to information dissemination. It doesn’t matter if we want to be judged solely on our message, because our opinion doesn’t matter. It’s not fair, but it’s the way it is. The media (and society at large) hold all the cards and they are not interested in dealing with those they cannot validate. So the message of the anonymous goes unheard.

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Little is gained from seeking media attention or wider cultural influence. If you put your hopes in outside attention, you’ll likely be disappointed. It’s a nice dream, but little more. The manosphere is isolated and flawed. It is a useful echo chamber, but it still has all the limitations characteristic of an echo chamber. We should acknowledge the limitations and irrelevancy of the manosphere and act accordingly—to not think more highly of ourselves than is merited.

The target audience of the manosphere is mostly men who have not (yet) been burnt and broken or bitter men who have been. The manosphere offers them practical and theoretical knowledge and wisdom as well as a sense of community. This is where its primary value lies.

For those that wish the manosphere did more than this—that it truly and meaningfully challenged feminism at large—a different strategy is required. Waiting for the media to pay attention or for our posts to go viral has not been successful. I don’t know what this new strategy looks like. Maybe you do?