Oh, the questions they ask!

Here are a couple of, well, let’s just call them very intriguing questions asked of me by a Men’s Rights Redditor. Since I can’t respond to them on the Men’s Rights subreddit — I’m banned – I thought I’d respond here:

Mr. Levelate, allow me to answer your serious questions with some equally serious questions of my own:

I’ve wondered for a long time how people like you react to the men’s rights mantra of ‘all women are wombats’, when you see a woman who isn’t a wombat, how do you explain this?

Also, many MRAs advocate turning all squirrels into bologna, what makes you think squirrel bologna would taste better than regular bologna, and what would the world do with all those extra uneaten nuts, were it ever to come to that?

Here’s the thing, Mr. Levelate: those things you think feminists believe? FEMINISTS DON’T ACTUALLY BELIEVE THEM.

That “all men are rapists” quote from Marilyn French you guys like to pass around? That was from a character in a novel.

The number of radical feminists who seriously want to get rid of men, or a significant number of them, you could probably count on your fingers. I’m not sure how many MRAs want to make squirrel bologna, but the numbers are probably similar. And, fyi, there are actually more than a few MRAs who fantasize about breeding certain types of women out of existence, like this dude on The Spearhead, and a small army of MRAs and MGTOWers who pine for the imaginary future where babies are gestated in artificial wombs and women are all replaced by sexy sexbots.

Listening to MRAs talking about feminism is a bit like sitting in on a book club in which no one has read the book.

 

 

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Posted on May 22, 2012, in antifeminism, crackpottery, evil women, I am making a joke, MGTOW, MRA, pig ignorance, radfems oh my, reddit, sexy robot ladies, whaaaaa?. Bookmark the permalink. 375 Comments.

  1. Oh Preggo-Punchy: Are atheists cut from the same cloth as well? Scientists as well? Because Brievik quoted Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin.

    And the difference is… very few atheists, or biologists, are running around saying, “kill the bitches and the Mooslims!”

    If they were, they’d have a problem. If Breivik had published his manifesto and committed suicide, it would have been, a la Thomas Ball, a “call to arms”.

    He had the indecency to actually do what the rhetoric demands. That’s the problem; the MRM is full of violent rhetoric, just look at the “moderate” Elam, and the comments he gets.

    I also love how you feminist pussyfoot around the fact that women are also members of the MRM and more are coming out in support of us. Of course, feminism is the only objective school of thought so anyone who disagrees with it is brainwashed, right?

    Feminism isn’t the, “only school of objective thought”, and if you weren’t so wedded to absolutes you’d have noticed a fair bit of argument about just what the needs/means/etc. ought to be.

    Feminism is about one thing, “Men and women are entitled to equal treatement”. Our society isn’t built that way, and we think it ought to be fixed.

    It’s not that women who support the MRM are brainwashed, it’s that their aims and goals are at odds with ours.

    But look at your language: You are as rigid in your thinking as any of the feminists you imagine. You insist that we think those who dissent are, “brainwashed”, or “deluded”, when what we think they are is wrong.

    We’ve looked (and keep looking) at the arguments they make, and find them unpersuasive. They are usually unpersuasive because they rest on fallacies, misunderstandings, or lies.

    That, or they rely on a fundamentally insurmountable difference of opinion: they think women are inferior to men; or ought to be socially inferior/subject to men. To accept that would, ipso facto mean we stopped being feminists, so (tautologically) so long as we remain feminists, we will disagree.

    So there, I have presented you with what you used to say you were trying to find: facts.

  2. @FF: It’s clear from the People article and the context — i.e., the rest of the sentence — that French was speaking metaphorically. In the last 34 years we’ve come to recognize that as a potentially harmful metaphor, not to mention that the laws and codes in question have themselves evolved in that time. As for the three items in your next comment, I fair to see what’s objectionable about that unless it’s intended to be an exhaustive list, though I’ll admit that #3 is poorly worded.

  3. Dawkins is a racist and an imperialist, though not to the degree of Brevik. Hitchens outright supports racist imperialist murder.

    But, guess what? Atheists are also not a hive mind, and we aren’t an organized group either. It’s not like we get together and have a vote and elect Dawkins Atheist Pope or some shit. Dawkins and Hitchens are no more racist and imperialist than thousands of other rich white western men who aren’t atheists.

    Darwin is neither an atheist nor a eugenicist, so I would presume that this would be either a misquote or an out of context quote. Also, while Darwin was by no means perfect on issues of race and imperialism, he’s better than a lot of people today and a shit ton better than a lot of people of his time period (not that it absolves his issues, but it does suggest that choosing him as an example villain comes out of bias and not careful analysis). He was an abolitionist who argued that black people were of comparable intellect to white people, and gave strong arguments against the underpinnings of eugenicist sentiments, he would most likely be extremely appalled by Brevik’s actions and views.

    There’s a difference between “Hitler was a vegetarian, vegetarians are prone to mass murder” and “Hitler thought some groups of people were subhuman, people with that view are prone to mass murder” as claims of substance. You need to learn how that works. We aren’t arguing that mere correlation proves causation (as you are), we are arguing that there is a causal link. Correlation does not equal causation, but where there is a causal link, there will also be a correlation. It’s [If Causation then Correlation] not [If Correlation than Causation].

  4. DSC, I know the thread’s pretty well done, but there’s a massive [citation needed] for establishing Dawkins’ racism and (to a lesser extent) imperialism. I know you were replying to PreggoPunchout’s nebulous claim, but in doing so you dealt Dawkins a rather heavier blow that the initial insult. Comparing him to a monster like Breivik as also being a racist, just because the Breivik mentioned Dawkins in his bigoted screed, is actually quite outrageous.

    As far as I’ve read Dawkins’ œuvre those slurs of racism and imperialism are a real stretch for you to make and I think they are spectacularly unjustified. Dawkins is a renowned evolutionary biologist and knows full well that racism is an unscientific idea at the level of our species that has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked; so the former claim would have to adduce his support or favourable stance towards the societal concept of racism. I’ve not seen any such support on his part; I have seen a whole lot of attackers of his evolutionary and atheistic views claim he is racist. and fail to consistently back it up. The latter part of the claim (imperialism) certainly applies – or rather, it applied – more to Hitchens and his post 9-11 agitating, than it ever did to Dawkins.

    Everyone who grows up in a racist, misogynist, imperialist culture is to some extent themselves racist, sexist etc. owing to acculturation. I’m slightly racist, Dawkins is slightly racist; I think Dawkins is likely rather more sexist than I am, given his well-documented faux pas (whereas any of mine would be conveniently very much less publicised). The real test of Dawkins is how he transcends his culture. You said yourself, “Dawkins and Hitchens are no more racist and imperialist than thousands of other rich white western men who aren’t atheists.” That’s damning him with faint praise after linking him so odiously with Breivik.

    Last year PZ Myers quoted the part of Breivik’s manifesto that considered Dawkins, and he points out that Breivik obviously misunderstood Dawkins’ ideas, since he makes the exact same, stupid error that the British philosopher Mary Midgley did in taking Dawkins’ analogy of the ‘selfish gene’ (where Dawkins provided a precise scientific interpretation of what ‘selfish’ means, genetically) and applying the normal human definition of the word, for a person’s greedy and inconsiderate actions. Of course genes can’t be selfish in that sense. It’s clear that if Breivik, like Midgley, read Dawkins’ book, then he didn’t understand it, and attempting to put Dawkins into the frame for other people’s misunderstandings is the sort of disingenuous technique I’d expect of a creationist.

  5. @xanthe

    did you forget about ‘dear muslima’

  6. DSC, I know the thread’s pretty well done, but there’s a massive [citation needed] for establishing Dawkins’ racism and (to a lesser extent) imperialism.

    He pretends islam is super scary and uniquely bad compared to Christianity. Go find him talk about it.

    As far as I’ve read Dawkins’ œuvre those slurs of racism and imperialism are a real stretch for you to make and I think they are spectacularly unjustified.
    So you haven’t read much of him, I take it.

    . Dawkins is a renowned evolutionary biologist and knows full well that racism is an unscientific idea at the level of our species that has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked;

    If only that actually kept him from doing and saying stupid shit that was racist.

    Everyone who grows up in a racist, misogynist, imperialist culture is to some extent themselves racist, sexist etc. owing to acculturation

    And you are defending racism because…?

    I’m slightly racist, Dawkins is slightly racist

    Dawkins is far more than ‘slightly’ racist.

  7. Really, did we miss this whole debacle (which is only the tip of a very large iceberg)?

    Dear Muslima

    Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

    Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so . . .

    And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

    Richard

    He has an extremely long history of playing into “evil brown hordes out to destroy western civilization” nonsense, uses imperialist buzzwords (savage, barbarian, honor killing) and a shit ton of apologism for white western religiousity over religions mostly practiced by people of color in poorer countries.

    I’m reasonably optimistic in America and Europe. I’m pessimistic about the Islamic world. I regard Islam as one of the great evils in the world, and I fear that we have a very difficult struggle there.

    [Why is it more problematic than Christianity, for instance?]

    There’s a belief that every word of the Quran is literally true, and there’s a kind of close-mindedness there, which is, I think, less present in the former Christendom. Perhaps because we’ve had long- I don’t know quite why, but there’s more of a historical tradition of questioning.
    There are people in the Islamic world who simply say: “Islam is right!”,”We are going to impose our will” and there’s an asymmetry. I think in a way we are being too nice. I think that it’s possible to be naively over optimistic – and if you reach out to people who have absolutely no intention of reaching back to you, then you may be disillusioned.

    Look, Dawkins may be no more racist and imperialist than the average rich white westerner, but that would still make him hugely racist and imperialist. I know what you mean about people engaging in bullshit “evolution is racist per se” lines of argument, those arguments are crap. However, that in no way absolves any of the actual racist and imperialist nonsense Hitchens and Dawkins have actually done.

    Hitchens especially. Anyone who denies Hitchen’s racism is clueless (or a fellow racist):

    “But those who view the history of North America as a narrative of genocide and slavery are, it seems to me, hopelessly stuck on this reactionary position. They can think of the Western expansion of the United States only in terms of plague blankets, bootleg booze and dead buffalo, never in terms of the medicine chest, the wheel and the railway . . . But it does happen to be the way that history is made, and to complain about it is as empty as complaint about climatic, geological or tectonic shift.”

    “1492 was a very good year…deserves to be celebrated with great vim and gusto.”

    And Dawkins said this man was

    “…leading the charge for human freedom and dignity”

    “…very character became an outstanding and unmistakable symbol of the honesty and dignity of atheism, as well as of the worth and dignity of the human being when not debased by the infantile babblings of religion.

    Great voice of reason, of humanity, of humour. Great voice against cant, against hypocrisy, against obscurantism and pretension, against all tyrants including God.

    In addition, I would love, love to see someone try to explain to me how someone could engage in western imperialism and not be a racist. Western imperialism is inextricably tied to racism and genocide. Racism is a key part of western imperialism, one of the main cornerstones.

    Also, ditto everything Rutee said.

  8. Darwin probably was an atheist. Certainly his writings can’t make him other than an agnostic,and my impression from reading him is that it was only the social opprobrium; and family reactions, which kept him from declaring himself an atheist.

    He had enough pushback against the theory of evolution as it was, adding a provable charge of atheism would have made it that much harder.

  9. Argenti Aertheri

    Bee — “How does one tell if a fish is cranky and hates people?”
    CassandraSays — “I always assumed that fish were fairly indifferent to people, unless they want to eat us.”
    MollyRen — “Exactly how big is this fish? Does it have teeth?”

    He’s just under a foot long, and a plec (though not a common one) — so no real teeth, though he’s kind of got tiny spikes. He’s also pure muscle, which is how he manages to be cranky in noticeable ways — he can redecorate the entire tank in one temper tantrum, and I’m always a little worried he’s got the power to crack the glass if he really tried. It’s the difference between silent stealth fish and OMFGS WTF are you doing?!

    And I’m fairly sure he’s a boy, more sure than I am on the exact species. (don’t want the randomness of fish to end up as MRA fodder)

  10. Argenti Aertheri

    “Darwin is neither an atheist nor a eugenicist, so I would presume that this would be either a misquote or an out of context quote.”

    One note on Darwin — he was cousins with Sir Francis Galton, and Galton coined the term eugenics. I’d guess it’s probably an out of context quote from their letters.

  11. @Argenti: Holy moses, that is one SCARY looking fish!

  12. I have not forgotten about the “Dear Muslima” comment on Pharyngula, it was a prime example of Dawkins’ sexism, more so than his racism. He was using it to punch down on Rebecca Watson, because she is a privileged woman. Sexism. I in fact wrote Dawkins a reply on the very same blog where he professed his non-understanding of the issue, requesting enlightenment (he appears not to have acknowledged any of the criticisms made of him).

    Dawkins is an extremely well-published author, so you should have no difficulty at all finding explicitly racist arguments and quotations. Please provide something more convincing than either the “Dear Muslima” letter – which does point out that in significant parts of the Muslim world, theocratic rule institutes a form of gender apartheid against women: look at Saudi Arabia for goodness’ sake, as the worst offender against women’s human rights – as opposed to legitimate criticism of Islam as a religious system, independent of conflation with the people who practice it.

    I am by no means calling him perfect: I am highly critical of his continued disappointing stance on sexism. The racism charge is a stick that is regularly used to beat him, usually by anti-evolution and anti-atheist liars. And I’ve seen nothing of the calibre that would put him in anwhere near the same league as Anders Behring Breivik.

  13. The “Dear Muslima” thing is BOTH sexist AND racist. It stereotypes women of color and millions of people of different cultures. There are about a BILLION Muslim women in the world. There is no singular Muslim monoculture experience (and a shit ton of the things listed happen in non-Muslim dominated countries too, some of the regions with the highest rates of FGM are Christian dominated). Muslim women and American women aren’t mutually exclusive, since there are approx. 50,000 people who are both. This is othering of women of color and people of color, stereotyping women of color and people of color, acting as if all poor countries and regions are one huge monoculture, etc. That’s racist. It’s the old derailing tactic of scapegoating another oppressed group, white men can’t be part of the problem with sexism, it’s those horrible “barbaric” men of color and their “savage” cultures.

    “Muslim” is not a single country or culture, and acting as if Saudi Arabi represents the experiences of all Muslim women (also, that Muslim women in Saudi Arabi can’t and don’t advocate for themselves against sexism) is blatant and outrageous stereotyping.

    The thing he was using to “punch down” Watson was a racist, imperialist narrative.

    He’s a racist, and he has publicly praised and supported a known violent racist (Harris supported the US’s brutal imperial wars, and the shit he says about genocide of the native americans and slavery of Africans is Stormfront level shit).

    And I’ve seen nothing of the calibre that would put him in anwhere near the same league as Anders Behring Breivik.

    When did I say it did? Here’s what I said:

    Dawkins is a racist and an imperialist, though not to the degree of Brevik.

  14. I have not forgotten about the “Dear Muslima” comment on Pharyngula, it was a prime example of Dawkins’ sexism, more so than his racism.

    Did those things start being mutually exclusive? Why didn’t the assholes talking about Latin@ women get the memo?

    Dawkins is an extremely well-published author, so you should have no difficulty at all finding explicitly racist arguments and quotations.

    Zie did. Right there. You ignored it because…?

    hich does point out that in significant parts of the Muslim world,

    Those aren’t uniquely muslim. Fucking hell, this is exactly the sort of racist shit I’m talking about. People pretend that the non-white coded religion is somehow more horrible than the white one.

    The racism charge is a stick that is regularly used to beat him, usually by anti-evolution and anti-atheist liars.

    And it’s true, it’s just also true of them (almost to a person).

    He’s a racist, and he has publicly praised and supported a known violent racist (Harris supported the US’s brutal imperial wars, and the shit he says about genocide of the native americans and slavery of Africans is Stormfront level shit).

    And just because Harris is stormfront-level asshattery doesn’t mean Hitchens was somehow clean as a whistle on this count. All 3 of them regularly write demagogic bullshit about how horrible brown people are, they just do so using ‘muslim’ to mean ‘brown person’.

  15. what dsc said, but also the implication of what he’s saying is that it’s up to white people to ‘fix’ muslims

  16. the second half of that got cut off but it was meant to continue ‘and that is some straight up old-fashioned white man’s burden bullshit’

  17. Ah, I meant Hitchens, not Harris, Freudian slip (not stating any opinion about the latter either way, just clarifying).

  18. @Rutee

    Is Latin@ the preferred spelling? I’ve noticed it being used on the web, but not consistently.

  19. Cool. I just hunted down an explanation. I always forget that google’s just a tab away :$

  20. Hey guys. My argument is purely about the degree of his similarity to Breivik, to be lumped with him as just another racist.

    Breivik, forgive me if I’m wrong, according to his published rantings says he is a White supremacist, anti-immigration, anti-multiculturalist, Christian fascist.

    Dawkins is racist, but as far as I’ve seen from his writings he does not support White supremacism, nor anti-immigration measures, nor is he against multiculturalism, and he is certainly not a Christian fascist.

    I really don’t see the point in yoking them together as if there were just a small matter of difference, i.e. “though not to the degree of Breivik”, merely to prove a point to the likes of Ideologue Review. Breivik and Dawkins are miles apart… aren’t they?

  21. Did those things start being mutually exclusive? Why didn’t the assholes talking about Latin@ women get the memo?

    You’re quite Rutee, I was totally wrong on that. I apologise.

    Zie did. Right there. You ignored it because…?

    In reverse order: I ignored the second quote, which is a quote of Dawkins talking to the relative political influence of Christianity and Islam – each of which varies enormously across the globe (I’m well aware neither religion is monocultural). He’s expressing his opinion on how the religious aspects are embedded in various countries’ governance, which again is hugely varied, and I’m not reading implicit support for western imperialism in it.

    The first quote was ‘Dear Muslima’, and I admit that was a fuck-up of mine; Dawkins was using racist mockery of Muslim women to make an overt sexist attack on Rebecca Watson. Thanks for illustrating my bias there, since I negated one to emphasise the other.

  22. He’s just under a foot long, and a plec (though not a common one) — so no real teeth, though he’s kind of got tiny spikes. He’s also pure muscle, which is how he manages to be cranky in noticeable ways — he can redecorate the entire tank in one temper tantrum, and I’m always a little worried he’s got the power to crack the glass if he really tried. It’s the difference between silent stealth fish and OMFGS WTF are you doing?!

    I’ve always wanted to get one of the bigger plecos. Back when I had a fish tank as a kid the plecos were always my favorite fish.

  23. He’s expressing his opinion on how the religious aspects are embedded in various countries’ governance, which again is hugely varied, and I’m not reading implicit support for western imperialism in it.

    If his shit existed in a vacuum, that would be valid. In the context of someone who supports the Iraq War, the war on afghanistan, and numerous restrictions on freedom for religion, for muslims, as well as peddles bullshit memes about how Islam is inherently more dangerous, this doesn’t fly.

    Hey guys. My argument is purely about the degree of his similarity to Breivik, to be lumped with him as just another racist.</blockquote.
    He is another racist. It was made clear he was less so.

    Breivik and Dawkins are miles apart… aren’t they?

    In that Dawkins would not pull the trigger, they are different. Dawkins is just fine with that trigger being pulled, so long as it’s in the ‘third world’.

  24. White westerners have a “historical tradition of questioning”, so I can only assume that Dawkins thinks white westerners carefully questioned the shit ton of imperialism, racism, genocide, etc. as well as things like witch burnings and sodomy laws when they did them. White people used their “historical tradition of questioning” to carefully examine racism, imperialism, and genocide, and then said, fuck it, we think we’ll go with that one anyways? Unlike the Middle East and Africa, which did not at all have giant centers of learning and art during the middle ages. All of African and Middle Eastern problems just come from them not “questioning” like good western white people, not, you know, centuries of brutal imperialism. e_e

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