In a few months, a bunch of testosterone-loving men will host a convention in Florida aimed at teaching women how to be great –– great wives, great mothers and great sexual objects. It’s called The 22 Convention: Make Women Great Again, and we can’t quite wrap our minds around it. At first, second and third glances, the website almost seems like satire. We couldn’t tell if it was real, with descriptors like “the mansplaining event of the century.” But this is a bona fide anti-feminist organization charging $2,000 per ticket.
It’s with some reluctance that we’re even responding to this mind-boggling and pathetic news. To these guys, any press is good press, and they revel in any backlash, threats or uproar created by their hyper-masculinity and incredibly toxic views on women. They are bullies, and we should just ignore them. But taking that high road has become more and more exhausting for women, as it’s stretching longer and higher. And we’re tired.
We’re tired of men legislating, governing, raping, abusing, judging and body shaming us. We’re tired of men telling us to smile. We’re tired of men trying to upend our reproductive rights. We’re tired of men telling us to sit down and be quiet. We’re tired of men.
Not all men, of course. But the good guys rarely make headlines. And they definitely don’t host viral conferences on how to make women great again. The good guys don’t get enough credit for supporting us, respecting us and lifting us up. But, unfortunately, talking about the good guys isn’t enough right now.
So that you get an idea of how awfully ludicrous this event is, know that one of its speakers is alt-right, proud white nationalist Stefan Molyneaux. Perhaps the most damaging part of this event isn’t even the male hosts themselves, but the women who believe that their entire sense of self should be manufactured, manipulated or otherwise established by someone else.
This very first 22 Convention is actually a spinoff of the long-running 21 Convention, which is a celebratory event for men and fathers. That figures. We can list all the reasons why this incredibly detached-from-reality thought process is detrimental to the success, wellness and happiness of womankind, but we’d like to think most people know what that list would look like. Instead, we broke down the three points these men think will make women great again.
Let’s begin with what we’ve dubbed the “great sexual objects” part of the conference. One part of the 22 Convention goes like this, according to its website: “Men admire healthy, fit women. They are after all sizing you up for reproduction, and your decisions will be passed on to your children through the choices you make via epigenetics.” And the descriptions go on to bash the body positivity movement, and explain that overweight women are not beautiful, with one source linking to a Wikipedia page.
Deep breath in. OK.
Let’s remind these men that a healthy lifestyle is not synonymous with any one body type or shape — because we’re women and are used to defending and justifying our own bodies, sadly.
Weight-wise, a healthy adult woman –– because these men seem to think “healthy and fit” are simply based off of weight –– will have a body mass index ranging from 18.5 to 24.9, according to the Mayo Clinic. This writer can tell you firsthand that her BMI is within this criteria, and she hasn’t been comfortable in a bikini since her early 20s. After all, many of us have birthed children, wreaking havoc on our bodies, causing stretch marks, loose skin and less-than-perky breasts –– which, by the way, the 22 Convention men should be prepared for because they, according to their own website, want more women to be mothers. We can’t wait until they announce the 23 Convention, tackling how to better the postpartum woman’s body, with special sessions on techniques to hide your stretch marks from your husbands so they’ll still find your body desirable. But we digress.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that, according to the website’s own source link, a Wikipedia page for “Obesity in the United States,” 19 million more men are overweight or obese than women. I guess these guys didn’t see that part. What’s the old Bible verse? "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Even as an atheist, this writer can still appreciate the sentiment. Pay attention, 22 Convention bros. Better put in a few extra laps.
Now, let’s address that “epigenetics” part. According to futuremedicine.com: “It has been identified that several lifestyle factors such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, psychological stress and working on night shifts might modify epigenetic patterns.”
We thought we’d break down some of those lifestyle factors by gender.
According to webmd.com, 15% more men are obese than women. According to drugabuse.com, 3.1% more men use tobacco than women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are more likely than women to drink excessively. And, just a side note, according to the CDC, “Excessive alcohol use can interfere with testicular function and male hormone production resulting in impotence [and] infertility.” Tell us more about epigenetics, guys.
Moving on to the “great wives” portion of the conference. The 22 Convention’s website says this: “...both positive masculinity and femininity have been under relentless attack for decades. Both have taken catastrophic social, cultural, personal, and philosophic damage for tens of millions of people. The result is a depolarized mess where men act like women, women act like men, everyone’s confused, and nothing 'works' anymore.” There is no source linked for this “tens of millions of people” claim. The website continues with a promise to help women find “awesome men,” that women belong in the kitchen and the bedroom, becoming the “ultimate wife material” and the truth about submission and dominance.
OK. Another deep breath in.
According to Psychology Today, women initiate nearly 70% of all divorces. And, according to Business Insider: “Compared to being single, marriage is a bum deal for many [women]. Accordingly, married women are less happy than single women and less happy than their husbands, they are less eager than men to marry, they're more likely to file for divorce and, when they do, they are happier as divorcees than they were when married (the opposite is true for men) and they are more likely than men to prefer never to remarry.” The writer, who has a doctorate in sociology, refers to this as a "paradox of declining female happiness." If women are marrying these convention bros, it’s really no wonder we’re filing for divorce at such high rates.
And while we could unpack the entire “depolarized mess where men act like women, women act like men” part of the convention’s description, we’ll just say this: Psychology Today also reported results of women rating men’s attractiveness on their masculinity. “These results are interesting because they show that women are not performing a binary trade-off, preferring more macho men in one situation and less macho men in another. Instead, a woman’s personal circumstances affect her preferences to different degrees depending on the men she encounters.” In other words, the “macho man” agenda these MWGA guys promote as what all women want is bullshit.
Onto the “great mothers” segment of this shit show. The convention’s website says: “For decades, feminism has derided women who want to prioritize motherhood and family. Shamed them, mocked them, ridiculed them as servants of some mysterious patriarchy boogeyman. These clever manipulations were designed to weed you out of the gene pool and forever prevent you from embracing the sacred responsibility, honor, and adventure of motherhood. … Our speakers will teach you the skills to get wifed up, knocked up, and have as many babies as your heart desires with the time and fertility you have left, and how to bounce back to amazing health and wellness without extreme diets or stress. The clock is ticking and your babies are soon to be kicking!”
Let’s just pour ourselves a stiff drink at this point.
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First, and again, there are no sources linked to these statements of women suffering ridicule for decades for not wanting kids. It’s true that a lot of women do not want to have children, but that should play no part in a man’s opinions on a woman, unless she is his partner and he wants kids. It’s that simple. Also, these guys talk a lot about preserving the gene pool. Sounds familiar.
Regarding the idiotic idea that motherhood is a “responsibility” for women, let us remind men –– the gender that cannot become pregnant –– that not only do women not have to have children, not all women CAN have children. I guess they’ll address that in Convention 24 where we’ll all learn how wives can pretend to have children so their husbands will still love them.
As far as the ticking clock of our fertility, more women are having children in their 40s, according to The Atlantic: “Birth rates also declined last year for women under 40 but rose for women older than 40.” And, according to The New York Times, immediately after a husband and wife’s first child, “the pay gap between spouses doubles ... entirely driven by a drop in the mother’s pay.” So, convention bros, we’re going to need you to take over most, if not all, finances if we’re to have “as many babies as [our] heart desires.”
We can say this: Women who truly believe that they are inferior to men, that they don’t take up as much space as men, that they want to live a life of obedience to men and have $2K to cough up to hear from men on how to be attractive and wanted by men, then go to this event. For anyone else who identifies as a woman, who understands their worth, enjoys all aspects of womanhood and likes men who can find a clitoris, let’s just keep being great.