Study at Manchild!

I have noticed (and heard about) some bad behaviour lately: to be more specific, bad online male behaviour involving misrepresentation of feminism and gaslighting of women. My curiosity was aroused by noticing similar patterns of behaviour from different people in different places. How are they learning these techniques?

I’ve hypothesised an educational institution exists where such behaviour can be honed to perfection. What do you think of my proposed curriculum? What subjects should be added?

Manchild Christian University

Subject Choices

Here at Manchild we teach you:

Selective Biblical Literalism 101

We'll show you how the 59 references to slaves in the New Testament need to be read on their cultural context, while explaining how taking l Timothy 2:12 literally is a test of biblical orthodoxy, and that anyone who doesn't ban all women from leadership is a HERETIC!

Women's Issues 102

We will help you develop a pat answer to every complex women's issue (consent, abortion, marriage and relationships, domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, women in the workplace, economic discrimination, etc.) Fear not: this subject will not involve input from any women, but be led by an expert panel of men who will train you to pass on their views with an air of arrogant certainty.

Healthy Boundaries 202

Learn the secrets of how to stay 50 metres or more away from any woman to protect your reputation. This will also ensure you never have to deal with women as if they were actual human beings.1

Defending Patriarchy 204

The Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” Because this sounds like a reasonable perspective, you must defeat feminists by creating a straw (wo)man. Redefine feminism as man-hating / female dominance / men and women being identical / a left wing ideology that oppresses women / a conspiracy that is crushing the souls of men / a pitiful endeavour by insecure women who refuse to embrace a healthy and godly feminine identity / a plot to destroy Western civilization.2 Armed with one or more of these definitions, attack the motives and character of feminists (this category includes any woman who doesn't agree with you). Suggest bitterness and an ugly appearance. If they defend historical feminism, or point out inconvenient facts about women's disadvantage from a global perspective, confidently mansplain how your version of feminism is correct. Because we are a Christian University, we'll show you how to offend and patronise without the use of swear words, which would be a bad witness.

Smug Apologetics 301

Make condescending arguments to prove your intellectual superiority to atheists. You won't have to bother with anyone who asks annoying questions in YOUR congregation or social world! After a good dose of your arrogance, they won't come near you! 3

Gaslighting Feminists 302

This is a core unit for trainee pastors. We'll show you how to throw around some mumbo-jumbo theological jargon to intimidate any pesky feminists who pick an argument with you. If they don't recognise your superior intellect, rebuke them for their attitude: their lack of submission to your authority only proves their godlessness. If pain persists, approach their husband to express your concern about sowing disunity in the congregation. If he won't discipline his wife or leave the church in a huff, explain their lack of respect for authority to the elders and manipulate an excommunication. Perfect! If she is a single woman, explain you feel the root of her issue is her singleness, and offer to pray for her to find a godly husband. Ignore her actual concerns.

Advanced Online Gaslighting 404

We will train you how to ignore the behaviour of misogynists who are abusive to women on your social media feed, but promptly correct the "tone" of any women who object to this behaviour. Intervene with such women with comments like: "No one will listen to you unless you communicate in a Christ-like manner" / "if you get emotional about this you will get everyone off-side: please show some respect" / "please discuss the issue and don't criticise others, or I'll have to delete your comments".

If she persists, use the H-word ("now you're sounding hysterical"). 

Berate women for their failure to understand your perspective  (and that of your male friends) while making zero effort to understand their perspective. If they call you out on this, block them online.4

Even without the use of blocking, by ignoring even vile remarks from your male commentators, and subtly shaming any women who have an opinion, women will eventually get the hint and leave you alone. In this way you can create a smug online boys club, just as God intended.

Advanced Insensitive Posting 406

Post on issues that should come with trigger alerts and references to helplines, but do not do so. Claim that it's healthy to bring these issues out into the open. If a female victim/survivor is brave enough to share their experience, you can try these strategies: 1) ignore them completely 2) question the validity of their experience 3) urge them to forgive the perpetrator for their own good 4) warn them about the potential to tarnish a man's reputation 5) if connected with a current perpetrator, suggest the problem is really their fault for provoking or staying 6) urge them to not make their abuser angry: submit to his every whim instead 7) encourage them to stay and pray and trust God to change their abuser 8) minimize their experience by noting regular church attenders are less likely to commit domestic violence than non-attenders. (Note 8 is particularly useful if they claim their husband used or uses theology to justify abuse).5

All survivors / current victims will go away, and you'll look edgy and relevant.

You can then claim that these kinds of social horrors don't happen in your church or community, because you hardly hear anything about them.

Disclaimer: at Manchild Christian University, you will never have to do those arty-farty personal development subjects that help you reflect on your fears, anger, prejudices and points of vulnerability. You'll emerge from our courses without ever having to reflect on the ways women might have hurt you, the ways you might objectify them, or how you can begin to treat women like human beings. This is a safe place for you.

So there is my special subject offering. Harsh? Definitely. The vast majority of men are not the insensitive cerebral types, or hostile types, that treat women in this way. Very few pastors in my neck of the woods are insensitive in the way implied in this "course"  - though I've heard of some from places where Complementarianism runs deep. This post was inspired by involvement in an international online Christian Egalitarian support group, and some stories of strange behaviour in highly patriarchal churches.

But I'm curious whether you've ever witnessed the kinds of behaviours taught at Manchild Christian University? I’d love to hear of your experiences.

1 Healthy Boundaries 202 comes with a free bonus app: Girl Germs 2000 ®. This will send out a warning ring when any woman comes near your exclusion zone. It can be customised to create a larger exclusion zone for feminists, and a smaller exclusion zone for pretty young women.

2 Insert name of favoured conspiracy group here: Socialists, Zionists, One World Government, Deep State Elites, the Illuminati, the Devil, etc.

Note that All Religion is Bad University up the road offers similar courses in smug atheist arrogance. You can have hours of online fun together attempting to convert one another by pointing out inaccurate information, flaws in logic, and character weaknesses.

If you have had an argument with a woman online that you know in person, you can customise your Girl Germs 2000 ® app to put them on a larger exclusion zone.

5 This is worth noting in case someone questions the lessons you’ve learned in Selective Biblical Literalism 101: no one should challenge you whether teaching women silence and submission might have negative consequences. 


Oh my goodness, this is utterly brilliant! Thank you, am sharing - it is sad, funny, true, all the things.

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