Categories
antifeminism misogyny MRA oppressed men threats violence against men/women

Amanda Marcotte on the Thomas Ball suicide, and MRA haters

Amanda Marcotte, feminist blogger and Friend of Man Boobz, has been taking a lot of shit from MRAs – and I mean a LOT of shit – for a comment she made here on the Thomas Ball suicide.

As you may already know, Ball burned himself to death outside a New Hampshire courthouse. In a lengthy manifesto he wrote shortly before killing himself, he portrayed his suicide as a protest against a corrupt family court system, and went on to argue that MRAs should quite literally assemble some Molotov cocktails and “start burning down police stations and courthouses.” (You can read the whole manifesto here.)  Despite his calls for violence many MRAs have hailed him as an MRA martyr.

Marcotte, in her comment here, suggested that there might have been other, more personal reasons for his suicide – namely, the desire to hurt his ex-wife:

I’ll point out that setting yourself on fire is an extremely effective tool if your goal is to make your ex-wife’s life a living hell, and if your anger at losing control over her overwhelms all other desires. Which is common enough with abusers, who will ruin their own lives and their own shit and turn their children against them in an effort to hurt the woman they’ve fixated on.

One MR blogger declared this comment “pure feminist evil”; a conservative blogger compared Marcotte to the Beast of Babylon.  Still other MRAs resorted to assorted variations on the c-word.

Marcotte has now responded to this, er, “criticism” with an excellent post on Pandagon. As she points out, correctly,

suicide and threats of suicide are common tactics used by abusers to hurt their victims. Abusers dramatically self-destruct all the time in their desperation to control and hurt the objects of their obsession.  There was just recently a big story about this, in fact: Jason Valdez of Utah, who had a long criminal record that included domestic violence, held a woman hostage in a hotel room for 16 hours and kept updates about the situation on Facebook. He eventually committed suicide.

The notion that suicide can be a hostile, aggressive act designed to hurt other people is hardly a controversial one, whether the person committing suicide is male or female. Threats of suicide are often used to manipulate other people; suicide itself can be an act of revenge.

Marcotte goes on:

Apparently, I’m supposed to pretend that suicide isn’t a disruptive, selfish act in many cases (especially when the suicide victim commits it in a public and destructive way), and that people who do it, while yes victims of their own mental health problems, are also thinking that they’re going to make everyone pay for not indulging them.  In fact, not only is this true in Ball’s case, but he spelled it out in his suicide note.  The “make the bastards suffer” theme of his note is the reason that wingnuts are supporting him.

But you don’t have to take her word for it. Read Ball’s entire manifesto, to the end, and ask yourself if this man is an appropriate “martyr” for any political movement.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

436 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pecunium
9 years ago

Holly: The MRAs are trying to have it both ways: Ball was a victim, driven to suicide by the feminist dominance of the courts and perversion of the laws, and a bold man of conscience, who; rather than knuckle under and accept an illegitimate defeat stole the power of the misandrist system by preventing them from oppressing him.

Neither of those narratives allow for him to be anything other than a paragon of virtue, a practical Galahad, who was making this sacrifice purely out of love for his fellow men, in protest of the wrongs being done to them.

If he was trying to get back at the bitches, it fucks up the hagiography.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

@LiWYMI

The point isn’t to really convince to the hardcore MRAs. I think most of them are so entrenched in their ideas and myopic worldviews that it’s hopeless to change their minds. The hope is to catch people who are questioning, thinking about what the answers to life are. The people who are still on the fence. (Kind of like MRAL!)

Maybe if we can present them with an alternative narrative, they might learn and grow and make better choices then lighting themselves on fire.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

Pecunium, I had to look up the word hagiography. I always like learning new, cool words. Thanks! =D

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

comment image

Surfagirl
Surfagirl
9 years ago

Lets not forget that the only reason that feminism was able to turn gain control over family law and make it so anti male that the situation is now becoming explosive, was through terrorism, of women, small children and a dog.

“She became internationally famous for having started one of the first[1] Women’s refuges (called women’s shelter in the U.S.) in the modern world in 1971. She was also the founder of the UK domestic violence charity Refuge. However, Pizzey reports that she has been the subject of death threats and boycotts because of her conclusion that most domestic violence is reciprocal, and that women are equally as capable of violence as men.”

“Pizzey said that militant feminists – with the collusion of Labour’s leading women – hijacked her cause and used it to try to demonise all men, not only in Britain, but internationally.[3] After the hijacking the demand for a service for women survivors of domestic violence grew and soon public funding became available”

“Pizzey says it was after death threats against her, her children, her grandchildren, and the killing of her dog, all of which she states were perpetrated by feminist activists, [8][9] that she left England for North America”

Erin Pizzys wiki.

Anyway, Marcotte seems to be advancing the ides that the pussy pass does exist, or at least the existence of a pass on the hatred of men.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

@Sarah I actually thought that you were trying to link to this:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/06/anti-abortion_film_envisions_world_where_black_ter.php?ref=fpb

last night xD
but i guess there’s more than one HOLY WTF stuff going on xD

Pecunium
9 years ago

Rosie: It’s got to do with the way homeless is defined. Take Ball, the night he was told he couldn’t go home (because of the DV charge) he counted as homeless.

A couple of years ago where I was living wasn’t feasible for the way the rest of my life was working. My present housemate (a feminist, liberal) had been talking about getting a possible roommate. One of my girlfriends knew her and asked if she’d put me up for a couple of months, while I waited for the GI bill to kick in.

She decided sure, she could put up with me for a couple of months (and my being a vet is the major reason why. She 1: figured that as a vet I was entitled to some support from the community, and 2: I probably knew how to live with other people, but I digress).

So for the two months we were living together, before we formalised it, I as ‘homeless’, according to some metrics.

So every woman who is in a DV shelter, for even a night, can count as homeless. Total numbers are just that. A woman who goes in, and out, and in again, counts each time she enters the DV shelter. All the Dv arrests who get told they have to got to a motel, or crash at a friends, count as homeless.

desipis
9 years ago

Besides the fact that it was horrible and it proved nothing except his own mental problems?

I think this moves towards the important question. It’s not about the details of the claims of a delusional suicidal man. The important question is what drove him to being so unstable to begin with, and why didn’t anyone notice or act to prevent the outcome?

Pecunium
9 years ago

Life is what you make it: As a veteran of 21 years, most of which was in the reserve component, he was (presumptively) entitled to a pension… but….

Reserve Component (ie. Marine/Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve and Army/Air National Guard) don’t get a penny of any entitled pension until they are at least 62 1/2 (if they take it then they get it reduced, more than a little, for taking it earlier than 65).

Don’t get me started on how fucked up that is.

G.L. Piggy
9 years ago

You should understand that this whole thing is more of a response to Marcotte’s “nuance” (again, where was her nuance during Duke lacrosse?) rather than any martyrdom for Ball. The topic had died down until you and then Marcotte jumped into it.

Marcotte and other feminists and progressives grant sympathy for the life situations – the nudges and the mistakes that spiral out of control – of many other groups of people. They have sympathy for suicide in general – except if a father does it because he is at the end of his rope. I mean, feminists talk all the time about how the state is coercive in many ways. Most are anti-war and they are skeptical of the police (slut walks are the latest issue in that realm). But all of a sudden the cops and the courts and their social worker pals are doing the Lord’s work? That system is functioning properly? There are many disconnects here.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

“This comment was made anonymously but, I don;t know, doesn’t it sound a little bit like something from a fellow we know as NWOslave?”

Well, maybe, but I don’t think the punctuation is bad enough. XD

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

@ desipis “The important question is what drove him to being so unstable to begin with, and why didn’t anyone notice or act to prevent the outcome?”

I think this is a common fallacy when talking about suicidiality and mental illness. There wasn’t necessarily anything the drove him to anything, any more then one is driven into cancer. Depression is a disease. There can be contributing influences, or it can manifest randomly. And many people suffer silently for years without outward symptoms before it all becomes too much and they commit suicide with no warning.

Mental illness is a difficult and complex problem.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

@ G. L. Piggy: “Marcotte and other feminists and progressives grant sympathy for the life situations – the nudges and the mistakes that spiral out of control – of many other groups of people. They have sympathy for suicide in general – except if a father does it because he is at the end of his rope.”

Pay attention to what is actually said, and actually happened not what you think we’re saying and what you think happened.

We are criticizing Ball, not because he was “a father at the end of his rope,” but because he used his death as weapon against his wife and child.

He refused treatment for his mental illness, and refused to help pay his child’s medical bills when he had the means to do so. These are not the actions of a loving father.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

Oh, and Ami, that movie trailer is terrible! I can’t even begin to asses it. God.

(Sorry for the triple post!)

NWOslave
NWOslave
9 years ago

I see everyone here is “claiming” to be looking for a voice of reason.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/06/feds-crack-down-campus-flirting-and-sex-jokes

Here is a few exerpts from the article.

“unwelcome sexual flirtations and inappropriate put-downs of individual persons or classes of people” (Iowa State University) or “elevator eyes” (Murray State University in Kentucky).”

“All of which means that just about any student can be hauled before a disciplinary committee. Jokes about sex will almost always make someone uncomfortable, after all, and usually you can’t be sure if flirting will be welcome except after the fact. And how do you define “elevator eyes”?”

“Given the prevailing attitudes among faculty and university administrators, it’s not hard to guess who will be the target of most such proceedings.”

All this is very true. And indeed, only men will be the target of injustice.

Perhaps a voice of reason on fatherhood.

http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/?p=16872

“In the show’s opening we’re told that 92% of mothers feel “overwhelmed” and 70% resent their husbands. Alison Bernstein, Senior Editor of TheBump.com, then explained that “even working moms feel like they’re taking the majority of work on their shoulders.”

Glen Sachs rebutted…”Studies have repeatedly shown that when both work in the home and work in the job market are counted, men contribute at least as much work to their homes as women do.”

Alison Bernstein of course backpedaled…”In response, Bernstein changed her position, stating that the survey isn’t about “pitting moms and dads against each other.”

Obviously in her piece on MSNBS, (a MSM outlet), Alison Berstein was most definitely trying to pit women against men. Claiming men as worthless, lazy, unworthy and poor fathers.

Maybe a voice of reason for violence committed by women against men.

http://www.change.org/petitions/expose-the-hidden-world-of-male-victims-of-domestic-violence

From the article…

* There are hundreds of battered women’s shelters in the U.S.

* There are ZERO shelters for abused men. Male victims are redirected to homeless shelters.

* VAWA, the (Violence Against Women Act) EXCLUSIVELY refers to the ABUSER as male and the VICTIM as female. They are aware of this disparity and see no problem with the language

* VAWA is in part funded by the government. There is no such funding for male victims

You can sign as I have against this travesty of justice. You can make a difference.

In just these three links, we have misandry as law endorsed in schools. Men will be treated like criminals for existing. Misandry endorsed by the MSM against fathers backed by opinion, not statistics. Complete and total fabrications. Misandry endorsed by our Government, where men can only be oppressors and women can only be victims, reguardless of circumstances. Guaranteed by law.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

comment image

desipis
9 years ago

Sarah,

I’m aware that mental issues such as depression are complex problems, which is why I framed my comment as a question. I think it’s a question worth asking: does the way family courts or father’s rights groups function, operate as a contributing factor in depression or other mental problems?

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

NWOSlave, I still hate you.

@Ami: Hahah! The Night of the Fleshlights cracked me up!

@desipis: Well, considering the fact that many father’s and men’s rights groups encourage violence and martyrdom and blaming other people for all of your problems, I do suspect they may exacerbate existing problems. Of course, I really can’t prove anything, and I’m not a psychologist.

The court system, on the other hand, probably does not, when it’s functioning correctly. I do think the courts fuck up, a lot. And extreme miscarriages of justice probably do contribute to people’s mental health issues, but I don’t think that’s what’s happened here.

In this case the court told Ball to seek counseling and he refused. At some point he needs to take responsibility for his own health conditions, even if it’s very difficult. People with mental health problems are still people, who should still be expected to take a certain amount of responsibility for themselves.

Also, guys, I made chocolate chip cookies. I make the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Everyone says so! Who wants some? I have plenty to share!

Mr. Kobold
Mr. Kobold
9 years ago

NWOslave (definition)
[noun]: A racist and homophobic old man inhabiting Texas who currently lives in hermetic squalor working a few daily hours of menial labor will awaiting his inevitable and lonely death. Sole form of personal entertainment involves going on a soundless computer to post nonsensical ramblings and bafflingly inane insults on internet blogs.
Would be the grandfather no one ever wants to visit if he had ever spawned, but given his utter haplessness with and opinions of the opposite sex, such an occurrence was avoided.
[verb] To continuously and proudly bleat lamely.

Amnesia
Amnesia
9 years ago

@desipis
Well, generally, telling yourself that all your problems are the fault of everyone else around you and that your only options for dealing with it are through violence doesn’t help any situation.

By the way, I’ve been offline for two weeks cause our modem got fried during a storm, but I’m back now, if anybody missed me.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Ball’s writings sounded a lot like the ramblings of our own NWO. Perhaps it’s a generational thing?

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

I missed you, Ariel! =D

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@NWO:

Your first link seems to be an opinion piece. When the law deals with sexual harassment, it must necessarily include things like sex jokes, staring, etc, because these things, when kept up constantly, are harrassment. Of course, you and others like you take one look at it and say “Oh, well guys can be jailed for just looking at a woman now.” Like I’ve said before, you heartily enjoy steamrolling over nuance.

The second link contains two stats: “92% of mothers feel “overwhelmed” and 70% resent their husbands.” But then a chart appears (at the beginning of the video):

Working Moms
24% feel overwhelmed
70% feel resentful
29% do most of the work (clarified as “most of the parenting and household work”)

Alright… so there is n reason given why the women feel resentful, and only 29% of respondents claim they do most of the parenting and household work (not total work, overall). Honestly? Those numbers seem pretty reasonable. I don’t know where the resentful stat is coming from, it isn’t explained.

When Glenn first starts speaking, a graphic comes up from the “Pew Research Center” showing that married mothers consistantly put in more hours of child care than fathers. Alison hardly backpedaled (she never claimed that the poll represented the truth of all women), she clarified that it the poll was certainly from a woman’s perspective, but that the perspective was important to get a dialog going between husbands and wives. She even admits that some mothers have a “martyr complex,” where they feel like they are doing all the work but never ask for help. Her organization coaches mothers on that very thing. Alison is interested in being balanced, Glenn is grinding an axe.

Your last link is a petition. Why you call it an article, or cite quotes from it as if it were a source, is beyond me.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@Sarah:

O___O
^___^

I want cookies! Cookies are tasty!

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

I cannot eat cookies. Why are you feminist always oppressing me?

BigKitty
BigKitty
9 years ago

Howdy, I am a very occasional poster but a loyal lurker. I just wanna say, a propos of nothing in particular, that Ami Angelwings is not only a genius, but also adorable and amazing, and I wish I could bake her a delicious pie of her choice. Because pie!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@Bee:

Awww… Would you like some of the [insert favorite snack here] I just made?

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

Thank you! I looooooooove [favorite snack]! You feminist are the best! Thanks, kirbywarp!

Also: BigKitty, you are correct.

Michigan
Michigan
9 years ago

I don’t think Amanda Marcotte is particularly hostile or sneering; I just don’t think MRAs are used to women talking to them like that.

Firstly, are you kidding? MRAs get roasted in the most vile ways imaginable on pretty much every feminist blog. They’re mocked and insulted and pissed on. Since feminists are mostly women, I’m pretty sure they’ve become accustomed to it.

Secondly, I’ve heard that line (from Marcotte herself and a few others) and I’m sorry for the language, but all I can say is bullshit. She (or at least, her blog-self) has a very prominent underlying meanness, nastiness, and rudeness, at least when she runs into something she disagrees with or someone she dislikes. It’s not just MRAs, either, it’s any “opposing force”. Did you read her comments on the Duke case? I’m not applauding those guys, clearly there were bad decisions all around, but she was literally calling for them to be clapped in irons without a trial (and in the process made some pretty misandrist statements).

Even though they have comparable views and are similar in many ways, I would far rather listen to Jessica Valenti speak than Marcotte. I don’t think anybody can accuse Valenti of pandering or “what about the menz”-ing, she is fairly hardcore with the feminist thing. I disagree with a hell of a lot of what she says, because I don’t really like third-wave feminism. But she’s also, for the most part, not needlessly sarcastic and mean when it comes to anyone who doesn’t completely toe the line with feminist rhetoric.

Oh my God, you’re right! I forgot that a woman’s primary role in life was to be pleasant.

This is the type of hypersensitivity that discredits feminism. No one likes an unpleasant person, male or female. No one likes to feel talked down to, or insulted, or demeaned, even if the speaker makes good points. Obama is hailed as a great orator not because of what he actually says (a great many liberals have said it all before him) but for how he says it. Or are women supposed to be exempt from petty concerns such as being polite? That doesn’t sound like feminism to me.

I don’t hate Amanda Marcotte. I’m sure she’s a fine person in real life. But I can’t say I like her writing. It’s weird, she comes across as a radfem (ie, short-tempered, intolerant, and unthinkingly misandrist) except she doesn’t actually hold radical feminist views.

PS- I thought the post linked to in the OP was pretty okay for Marcotte, and I actually agree with her views on Ball. I’m speaking generally.

Amnesia
Amnesia
9 years ago

@Sarah

Aw, shucks. Oh, and I will have a cookie.

BigKitty
BigKitty
9 years ago

I would totally bake a pie for Bee, too. And Kirby. You can’t have too many pies, IMHO.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

Cookies for everyone! Yay! I should probably make more bread soon… Then we can have fresh baked bread as well!

hmm… NWO doesn’t like responding when he’s proved wrong.. does he?

@BigKitty:

Could it be… a chocolate pie? Cause that would make you at the very least the second best person on the planet.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Kirrby: He doesn’t like to answer my questions either, even though I answer his.

He answers women’s questions, but not mine.

Typical Misandrist. Women =worth talking too, Men =not worth talking to.

BigKitty
BigKitty
9 years ago

@Kirby – You betcha.

And FYI, all good pie-lovers, here’s the ultimate source: Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory! https://www.whybake.com/index.cfm

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

Bee, would it help if I mixed the cookie with milk so it got all slushy and you could suck it up through your proboscis?

*passes out cookies to everyone else*

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

@Pecunium he doesn’t answer my questions either xD (he’s learned his lesson xD ) women = good men = bad angels = run the f away

XD

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

@BigKitty awww :3 <3 I should bake YOU a pie! 😀 (or pumpkin bread! I bake a mean pumpkin bread :3 )

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

Sarah: YES! Everything should be sweet and made into a slurry. Or powdery, so I can pick it up with my furry legs and bring it back to my hive.

(See why I’m a feminist?)

BigKitty
BigKitty
9 years ago

@Ami – I luurrrve pumpkin bread! Multiple hugz to you if they’re welcome – you are awesome, funny and brilliant.

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

And thanks, BigKitty, for the pie offer! I’ll settle for a pet and an ear scritch. I love a big kitty!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@Michigan:

So you spend an entire post explaining how Marcotte is so mean to MRAs, and such a nasty, unpleasent person, and she really should keep her tone in check… Then say that the actual OP quotes aren’t that bad for her? And don’t even bother talking about the OP’s links to the MRA’s responses, calling her the “beast of babylon” and “pure feminist evil?”

Sorry for the language, but I call bullshit. What is your point, that although this particular example of Marcotte is not bad, everything else she writes is hateful… so… what? The MRAs are justified? What are you getting at?

“I don’t think Amanda Marcotte is particularly hostile or sneering; I just don’t think MRAs are used to women talking to them like that.”

This quote, to me, refers to Marcottes quoted posts, not all of her other writing. Perhaps MRAs are used to abuse, but does that excuse their response?

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

@Bee, I absolutely understand why you’re a feminist now. I just wish I was a better one. Nothing sticks to my furry legs, other then tape. And I can’t feed tape to my larva. =[

BigKitty
BigKitty
9 years ago

@ Bee: Prrrrr, prrrrr, prrrr. I love a sweet honeybee, too – and so should everyone. Bees are among the most precious animals in the whole ecosystem of Earth! Yay Bees!

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

Since the desserts have been taken care of, may I offer everyone some soup? It’s got artichokes and potatoes and garlic . . .

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

That sounds pretty damn good. I’ll take some soup.

BigKitty
BigKitty
9 years ago

@ Hippodameia – could you share the recipe? Sounds so delicious! I love you already.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
9 years ago

He did some other fairly creepy things and my mom (who is prone to overreacting a LOT) told me that you can’t continue talking to stalkers because it gives them fuel to keep stalking. So I stopped talking to him suddenly. But was still in homeroom with him, which was fucking awkward. (Homeroom was the same for 4 years, but he was a year younger so I only had to deal with the awkwardness for almost 3 years …)

You sound like a real jackass, honestly. I mean he obviously handled it poorly but were you basically giving him the silent treatment? That’s pretty rude.

ithiliana
9 years ago

Adding a big platter of barbacued chicken (not barbacue sauce, basted with lemon butter) to the potluck! I saw grills on sale today and went a little charcoal crazy!

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

Thank you! *blush*

1 can quartered artichoke hearts (usually 13.75 oz)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbls butter
1 baking potato, peeled and diced
4 cups vegtable stock (Knorr Vegtable Bullion is good)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat, saute the artichoke hearts and garlic. Don’t brown them; just let them turn golden.

Add the diced potato and stock, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat. Cover the pan and simmer until the artichokes and potatoes are tender. This should take about ten minutes, but nothing bad will happen if it simmers longer.

In a blender or food processor, puree the vegtables with some of the liquid from the soup. If the veggies are remaining stubbornly whole, add more liquid.

Return the veggies to the frying pan, stir to mix, and heat through. Add the salt and pepper and serve.

This recipe is from “The Vegetarian Bistro” by Marlena Spieler. I’ve modified it a bit, mostly by reducing the butter from three tablespoons to one. (It tastes really good with three tablespoons, though!) I really like the recipe because it cooks quickly and with some bread it makes a nice dinner.

Enjoy!