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(Reviewed April, 2013) Last week, the talented Matt Forney came out as Mr. In Mala Fide himself, Ferdinand Bardamu. With that I was expecting the earth to rumble, buildings to collapse, and the skies to burn.
As it turns out most people already knew, and I was one of the few who came late to the party.
Regardless, I felt it time to revisit Matt’s seminal work.
Three Years of Hate: The Very Best of In Mala Fide
In Mala Fide is no ordinary book, and its description doesn’t do it justice.
While billed as a collection of the best posts from the now defunct IMF blog, I find it to be a misnomer. This suggests it’s just some guy’s musings crudely collected into a scrapbook to cash in.
In Mala Fide is not like that. It’s the closest thing the Manosphere has to a Bible, and this format suits it perfectly.
Each ‘post’ is not actually a post as we know it. Each post is more akin to a scholarly essay. Matt is clearly an intelligent man and a gifted writer.
With each essay he picks apart the central concept, coming at it from every direction, kicking away every support strut until you’re left surrounded by rubble.
Now I read a lot of manosphere every day. A lot. And I consider myself to have completely digested the Red Pill.
For example, I know how dangerous and abhorrent feminism is.
But if I’m explaining it to a friend who’s still plugged in to the matrix, my explanations have the coherence of “Well it’s evil! It’s a hate group! They don’t want equality, they want to take over the world! And you’re a rapist!”
As well informed as I am, I sometimes struggle in stringing my thoughts together to explain it to someone.
Fortunately, Matt doesn’t have this problem.
With each subject he’d set his cross-hairs upon, he’d lay it to rest with precision, backing everything up with referenced evidence and examples.
But this isn’t to say that he’s dispassionate. You can feel the raw emotion permeating through every page.
And have I mentioned yet how persuasive he is?
Here’s an example. The first essay is entitled “The Eternal Solipsism of the Female Mind”. I handed this to my girl to read. After giving me an “Oh yeah? Go on then…” kind of look, she settled down to read it.
Initially her face showed me how polarising she found it, and how resistant she was to it.
After the first page or so, her first words to me were, “Well, what about men? Men can be the same.”
“Well it’s funny you mention that, ” I replied. “Just carry on reading.”
“All this is not to imply that men are incapable of solipsism and projection. [...] Men are certainly capable of projecting their desires onto women, but the crucial difference is that male solipsism isn’t encouraged by society and pop culture, and men who are solipsistic are mocked by everyone and sometimes prosecuted. See the case of…”
This is key to what makes Matt so persuasive – his uncanny ability of anticipating the counter-point, before adeptly dispatching it.
Ranting, this is not.
Ten or so pages later when she finished the essay, she looked at me and uttered one word. “…yeah.”
Earlier I mentioned that each post is akin to a scholarly essay – I want to add that a lot of the (more controversial) posts are of the quasi-thought experiment variety. At least, this was my interpretation of them.
For example, *insert sacred cow that no-one in their right mind would touch with a 20 foot barge pole* is the cause of *insert world ill*, and here’s why.
And, boy, does Matt go for it with erudition and aplomb.
But it was exactly this which precipitated IMF’s downfall.
While I don’t subscribe to some of the ‘stronger’ viewpoints in Matt’s work, as a man of reasonable intelligence with a head well screwed on I enjoy having my beliefs challenged.
I enjoyed following his line of thinking and coming out the other side unscathed, after having experienced a different viewpoint.
However, Matt learned the hard way that you can’t open the door and not expect people to walk through.
On why he shut up shop, Matt says (amongst other things):
“It got to the point where I dreaded reading my own site because it was becoming dominated by basement dwelling neo-Nazis, MRA permavirgins and other losers I would never bother with in real life.”
While I didn’t agree with all of it, I enjoyed Three Years of Hate: The Very Best of In Mala Fide greatly.
It’s a book for intellectuals. It’s thought provoking (Matt’s critical of the use of ‘thought provoking’ in book reviews, but it is what it is).
It’s an enjoyable, if caustic, read. On this basis, I recommend it.
If you’re easily influenced, or have… ummm… a ‘personality disorder’… maybe steer clear.
Three Years of Hate is your Manosphere one-stop-shop, and is worth every penny. And after wading in the trenches for three years so that we don’t have to, he deserves our support.