In the wake of the tragedy in Aurora, Men’s Rights Redditors take a brave stance against “vagina-pedestaling” and “creep shaming.”

Picture from the AdultFriendFinder profile of James Holmes.

In the wake of the shootings in Aurora Colorado, pickup guru Roosh “No Means Yes” Valizedah quipped on Twitter: “I bet $100 the shooter was getting no play.” The implication being: had the shooter been trained in the fine art of “game,” and thus presumably scoring with women, the massacre would never have happened.

There are a few problems, to say the least, with Roosh’s crass comment, one of the most obvious being that training the sort of person who becomes a mass murderer in a set of manipulative techniques of sexual aggression in which a woman’s “no” is treated as “last-minute resistance” seems a little less than wise. Best case scenario? He becomes a serial rapist rather than a mass killer.

The other obvious problem is that it suggests the murders are, in a way, the fault of women for not paying the shooter more attention. The logic here is abuser logic: if you gals don’t put out for awkward nerds, there will be hell to pay, and the blood will be on your hands.

Yesterday, someone calling himself Throwaway72212 brought Roosh’s “meme” to the attention of the Men’s Rights subreddit. His concern? That this kind of “vagina-pedestaling” (!) from pickup artists makes sexually frustrated men look bad; it’s a “virulent form of creep shaming.”

Yeah, really. Apparently the true victims here are “creep-shamed” dudes.

Here’s his whole post, which at the time of this writing had gotten 204 upvotes and 74 downvotes from the r/mensrights masses:

Some highlights – by which I mean lowlights — from the discussion.

TommyGun991 took aim at Big Vagina and what he sees as its enablers in the PUA community:

Leylen decided to attack the hypothetical women sending hypothetical love notes to the shooter:

MauraLoona, meanwhile, found a possible silver lining in all this: Maybe it could be used to argue for the legalization of prostitution!

Men’s Rights Redditors: Always looking at the big picture.

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Posted on July 23, 2012, in creep-shaming, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, PUA, rapey, reddit, vaginas, virginity. Bookmark the permalink. 73 Comments.

  1. I actually kinda agree with throwaway dude? I would nod along to every one of his points except for the implication that society normally treats women like men’s salvation. But other than that:

    1. I wouldn’t use “creep-shaming,” because that’s ridiculous, but it is virgin-shaming and masculinity-enforcement, and it is unfair to guys who get no “play” but aren’t mass murderers.
    2. Yeah, implying a woman could’ve “saved” this guy does imply women are something other than ordinary people.
    3. Factually true–lots of horrible murderers haven’t lacked for sex.
    4. Yeah, and it’s goddamn disgusting how PUAs come out of the woodwork to say “if only he’d learned Game” every time a man commits a conceivably-sexually-motivated crime.

    So… I’ll pretty much take that dude’s side on this one.

    Roosh, Tommygun, and Leylen are definitely still full of shit.

  2. I kind of wonder where the Dalai Lama fits into the whole “men need sex to be happy and productive members of society” model of reality.

  3. I actually think he has a point? I mean, points 1 and 4 are pretty solid. Apart from the bit where he used the ridiculous phrase “creep-shaming.” And, of course, “vagina-pedestaling.” Because you can’t be an MRA without signing some kind of secret pact to torture the language till it screams.

    Point 2 is just… almost fascinatingly reasonable. Women are people! Vaginas are just a body part! These are excellent points that MRAs are generally incapable of understanding. I mean, the bit where “men are in dire straits” is weird but overall, good work, Weirdly Reasonable MRA.

    Point 3 is stupid, of course. He’s completely misunderstood the Genghis Khan thing which is that everyone who was alive at the time of Genghis Khan who has present day descendants is an ancestor of some ridiculously high percentage of the world’s population, because math. And more to the point if he believes Genghis Khan was a pussy magnet he hasn’t got even a rudimentary understanding of consent.

    That’s almost a relief. Finding a reasonable MRA would have really shaken my worldview. But still, he’s better than the usual. The people responding to him are as contemptible as the general run of MRAs.

    Of course he’s ignoring all the misogyny in the idea to concentrate on how it harms men, but even non-MRAs miss that. And he’s actually right that it does harm men. Sexually frustrated virgins (of either sex) don’t deserve to be stigmatized.

  4. eh, ninja’d much more concisely by Cliff.

  5. HelloDangerGirl

    I also think Throwaway has some valid points about women being just people and not blaming women for men’s bad behavior. What is interesting to me is when it’s dressed up in MRA language, those ideas get overwhelmingly positive responses. Were a feminist to suggest these things using feminist or non-MRA language, the ensuing shit-storm would be incredible.

  6. Citizen Justin

    For the record, the woman in the AdultFriendFinder profile photograph is a famous glamour model in the UK, and needless to say she has been ‘photoshopped’ into the picture.

  7. opium4themasses

    I seriously wonder about throwaways thoughts on feminism. Some of his points are dangerously close to seeing the complememtary double standards which gender roles create.

    I dislike his framing, but “Sex is over-emphasized.” could be a nice point of overlap.

  8. What? People disagreeing with David about the mockworthiness of targets? THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

    Srsly, love this place. :) And I agree with Cliff and Alex. It’s like this guy has had the moment of clarity where “Hey, this definition of masculinity hurts men too!” and then charged off yelling “Come on guys, let’s make sure this only hurts women from now on!”

  9. I’m actually not surprised that some MRAs are pushing back against PUA, because PUA makes any movement look bad. Look at our friend Eurosabra – he epitomizes the PUA belief system in all its cult-like glory, and I’m pretty sure that most MRAs think he’s as pathetic as we do, even if it’s for different reasons. But really, PUA and MGTOW are positions that are impossible to reconcile no matter how much pretzel logic you use – at some point, those two positions are going to come to a head, because they can’t coexist within the same movement.

    So to a certain extent, yay? Because PUA is despicable any way you look at it. But then, as others have pointed out, there’s the Genghis Khan thing. Which makes me wonder if the guy who wrote that is agreeing with the PUA position that all that matters is that a man gets his dick wet and whether it’s via consensual sex or rape makes no real difference in terms of how the guy feels about himself, or if he’s trying to critique that position. It’s possible that he’s trying to critique the idea that how much sex a man is getting determines whether or not he goes postal in general, which is indeed a sexist idea that makes men look very bad.

  10. Cliff said exactly what I was going to say far better than I could have ever imagined putting it in a million years. So there’s nothing I can really add here, yet again… it’s really no fun being 18 in a commentariat full of people who have degrees and tons more knowledge than you do.

  11. You have to say my name 3 times. Three.

  12. MorkaisChosen

    aworldanonymous: Heh. I suggest just diving in with a willingness to be wrong.

    Having said that, I was having similar thoughts and decide to wait to see what other people thought, because sometimes I’m spectacularly wrong. :-P

  13. Much as there is some sense in what the young man says I’m pretty sure that once the dust settles on this PUA/MRA disagreement they’ll all shake hands and agree it was women who are at fault. It’s about the only thing they can all agree on.

  14. Wait…

    Did Mr. Futrelle just say a mass murderer is better than a serial rapist?

    I guess this is why Mr. Futrelle is okay with promoting feminism.

  15. Annnnddd…if I were a sexually frustrated man, with enough venom to be looking for targets, and presumably thought women were at fault for my not having enough sex, I don’t think I’d look to target a midnight showing of Batman.

    I mean, I don’t remotely understand what’s going through the head of a mass murderer, but surely the more rational thing to do would be to target a group with a higher ratio of women in it? He was shown to be very rational in all other aspects of planning, so I don’t think sexual frustration had much to do with it.

    I’ll just say that the reporting of this incident is a massive media fail, and adding sexual frustration as a motive is not helping at all. We have his “loner” status, his apparent “madness” etc etc…these things are designed to paint him as a loser type, rather than help people understand why a person would choose such a route.

  16. So is there an established connection with the Batman movie, or was it just a “movie-theaters-have-more-people” thing?

  17. Yeah, Bill Maher tried this same thing a long time ago. I can’t remember who it was he was talking about. Maybe Timothy McVeigh? Can’t remember but it’s as stupid now as it was then.

  18. howardbann1ster

    @whataboutthemoonz

    Too soon to say, but my initial speculation based on early reports is that he timed his attacks to coincide with gunfire/explosions onscreen, to maximize confusion and give himself more targets who didn’t realize they were under attack. So it seems more like the latter. But anything’s possible.

  19. Gonna have to concur with Cliff and others here and say that I to don’t see anything wrong with throwaway dudes comment except for some problematic language.

    Yeah thats really all I have to say.

  20. I’ll just say that the reporting of this incident is a massive media fail, and adding sexual frustration as a motive is not helping at all. We have his “loner” status, his apparent “madness” etc etc…these things are designed to paint him as a loser type, rather than help ponies understand why a pony would choose such a route.

    I hate when society does this, mainly because I have social anxiety so I know how it feels when you’re painted as a “loner”. All throughout high school people thought I was a creep because I was too shy to go up and talk to anyone, It fucking sucks, but it never drove me to murder. People being socially ostracized and people becoming murderers are mutually exclusive things, and while there may occasionally be overlap, correlation does not imply causation. I am a perfectly well adjusted, if cripplingly shy, individual, and I don’t appreciate people assuming that I’m going to murder them just because I’m afraid to talk to them in real life.

  21. Re: loser = killer thing

    I think people have it backwards. There’s this assumption that if you’re a loner then you’re more likely to be a violent criminal, but if you’re a violent criminal (or so inclined, anyway), then aren’t people less likely to want to spend time with you? Having the potential to be a violent person is a (just one of many) reason why someone might be a loner.

  22. As yet, there is no information to support the idea that this crime was in any way sex-related. Roosh is full of shit.

  23. Cliff et al, I do agree that beneath the really problematic language throwaway does make some legitimate points. Roosh, not throwaway, is the biggest asshole here.

    It’s just, get some sense of proportion, dude. People are dead.

    On the photoshopped pic. I assumed his photoshopping was obvious to everyone — her head is much bigger than his, for example, and her pose makes no sense in relation to him.

  24. So is there an established connection with the Batman movie, or was it just a “movie-theaters-have-more-people” thing?

    From whatI’ve read, Holmes had his hair dyed and called himself The Joker. Given that his hair was dyed red, rather than green, it’s likely that his attachment to the Joker was superficial at best.

  25. whataboutthemoonz,

    I think your take on it makes a lot of sense. Also, from what I have read and the reports I have heard, this guys plot would have taken a decent amount of planning. It seems that isolation/loner status would be required to create the plan and take all the necessary steps to implement it rather than the other way around (i.e., he was isolated which makes it possible so, why not?).

    So, for sure, I think it could be a combination of a proclivity toward violence (or something) which results in the initial isolation and then later cultivating that isolation in order to carry out whatever plans he made without interference.

    But then again I don’t really have a good understanding of why people who do things like this. So I guess I’m just adding my own speculation to the heap.

  26. LeftWingFox,

    I heard that bit about the Joker as well (and that he had yelled out something about being the joker), and then read elsewhere that that was refuted and he was wearing all black tactical gear with a gas mask (and he didn’t say anything about the joker).

    I had also heard (but it might totally just be speculation, it’s not like I have some incredible source) that the theater was possibly chosen just because it was so crowded, dark, and was a scenario that would allow for a greater potential for harm to the people there…along the same lines as what someone said earlier about coordinating the attack to explosions in the film to create confusion….

    But I do agree with the sentiments of others that the reporting in this has been terrible. There’s way more opinion and speculation than fact reporting. And because it’s a huge deal on the internet (esp., with the Batman tie in) it seems like every little opinion or piece speculation is flying around the web through tweets, statuses, etc., and then some sites report the rumors as if they were fact. So, yeah, lots of misinformation.

  27. So, Roosh is responsible for the photoshop?

  28. I kind of wonder where the Dalai Lama fits into the whole “men need sex to be happy and productive members of society” model of reality.

    He doesn’t, and that doesn’t invalidate the model, just as the fact that Dalai Lama has been materially supported by a religious organization for his entire life doesn’t generally invalidate the “men* need to work to earn their daily bread” model.


    * Guess.

  29. @pillowinhell good point. Maybe he was euthanising other male nerds destined like him to suffer and die for lack of pussy?

    …I feel dirty just writing that.

    I know that when faced with an inexplicable horror people try to interpret it in the light of their belief system. So a Christian will chalk it up to lack of belief in Jesus, a Buddhist to insufficient enlightenment, and. Communist to workers still not controlling the means of production. (I know there aren’t exactly a lot of communists around, but I do know one and.OMG HE DOES THIS ALL THE TIME.) So since these dudes immediately jump to Lack of Pussy as the proximate cause of the shooting, I guess that means their primary belief system is “I do not get laid enough and that is not just a bummer but a CRIME WHO DO THESE BITCHES THINK THEY ARE”.

    Not *surprising* news.or anything, but you know.

  30. Basta, you are correct on one modality of living does not necessarily invalidate another.

    I don’t mind that there are guys who want sex or more of it. I do mind when a small group of men demand that they get sex, act like its absolutely essential to their existence and spew hateful shit about the very people they are demanding sex from.

    While everyone has the right to enjoy sex with a partner, no one has the right to demand sex with any one individual.

  31. Garvan said:

    Did Mr. Futrelle just say a mass murderer is better than a serial rapist?

    I guess this is why Mr. Futrelle is okay with promoting feminism.

    No, and I think you’re perfectly aware that I didn’t say that. I don’t think that “game” would have prevented him from killing, so he might well have ended up both a mass killer and a mass rapist. Or he would have tried “game” and gotten frustrated and planned an even more grisly massacre. The best case” scenario I envisioned was just that, what I imagine the best possible case would be. And it would still be horrific.

  32. Kristin, I refuse to speculate. Whatever the reason is that he chose this course of action, it will never compute that he chose to kill a huge group of people who were likely completely unaware of his existence and therefore innocent of any wrongdoing to him.

    It might be different if he belonged to a politically or religiously repressed group, but on the surface at least, it doesn’t appear so. Also, in North America, there are other ways of changing the culture and instituions beyond the shock value of killing. Its a slow process and requires a great deal of work and stamina. Especially if the issue you are fighting is entrenched in society. In that case, you may not see significant change in your lifetime.

    Sitting here as a fairly privileged person, I can’t imagine what that is like.

  33. I don’t particularly want to speculate either, pillowinhell, I was just trying to follow Roosh’s “logic”, such as it is :-/

  34. The only “logic” to Roosh and others like him is that its a weak attempt to justify their own shitty behavior. With a story like this they can tell the woman they are with “See, I’m treating you better than that!”. Its also a very passive agressive scare tactic they hope will bend women to their wishes.

  35. Annnd over on the Spearhead, the guys are talking about how fast the girlfriends of three men (who died protecting them) will be moving onto the next cock. They are giving it a week.

    Some are charitable to say several months, but really the only way these women could commemorate their herioc boyfriends would be to wear mourning and never date again.

  36. Every time I think I’ll need to rage quit the Internet I come here and see reasonable and sensible discussions happening (well, mostly – not counting the obvious exceptions here) and I walk a away feeling a little bit better about everything.

  37. thebewilderness

    This movie premier is one of the few places a person could go in that particular garb and not be questioned.

  38. Thanks, pilllowinhell, I was expecting this sort of thing from some MRAs, though I thought AVfM would be first. Doing a quick post on this now.

  39. Well, first off, we don’t even know if he was heterosexual.

    Secondly, he targeted a random swath of people in an audience, not a single gender, such as a women’s shelter or other place where gendered violence would be a likely motivating factor.

    Thirdly, his level of planning and detail would seem to be indicative of someone who was very deliberate and organized, not a hotheaded explosion of rage and revenge.

    Fourthly, there is no other evidence that “lack of sex” had anything to do with his actions.

    So, MRAs, maybe you should just shut the hell up before you hurt yourselves by trying to do so many complicated mental maneuvers to blame every bad thing on women.

  40. aworldanonymous said:

    People being socially ostracized and people becoming murderers are mutually exclusive things, and while there may occasionally be overlap, correlation does not imply causation.

    This is a bit of pedantry, but you’ve incorrectly used the phrase “mutually exclusive”. It means that there is no overlap and there never can be. In this case it would imply that anyone who’s ever been ostracized would never go on to become a murderer and that all murderers had never been ostracized.

  41. Well, first off, we don’t even know if he was heterosexual.

    Actually, I think the picture he posted on Adult Friend Finder is a pretty good indicator of that.

  42. Apropos of nothing, I just saw an ad on YouTube about a series premier of something called “Alphas” on SyFy.

    The tagline was something like, “super, but human.”

    My first thought was that, man, but the MRAs would flip their shit.

  43. I was gonna say “you know, aside from a few things, most of that’s not too bad”, but a whole bunch of other people already said it better. Oh, well.

  44. Annnd over on the Spearhead, the guys are talking about how fast the girlfriends of three men (who died protecting them) will be moving onto the next cock. They are giving it a week.

    I wonder what the MRAs would say about Stephanie Davis, who helped save the life of her friend, Allie Young?

  45. I’m with Cliff & others in thinking the Throwaway dude actually had some points there. Even if his reasonings are different, I do agree on the points. But I’m glad it was brought up here. Even if Manboobz is mainly about mockery it’s refreshing to read something positivish coming from the MRA crowd and since I don’t do Reddit I would miss it otherwise.

  46. They won’t be happy unless an equal number of women died trying to save their boyfriends.

    They will however, talk about how boys are taught to throw their lives away. Not saying that there isn’t some of that, but it was three men out of how many in the theater?j

  47. @ 2-D Man

    Thanks for the correction, I wasn’t sure quite which words to use to put what I was trying to say properly.

  48. @2D- being sexually attracted to women does not necessarily mean that you are attracted to women exclusively. He could be bisexual or pansexual. There is no real way of knowing. And his sexuality is a red herring at best.

  49. Howard Stern blamed 9/11 on the terrorists’ probable inability to get laid while they attended US colleges.

  50. I wonder what their thoughts are on the guy who reportedly ditched his baby under a seat and ran while the baby’s mom saved both kids?

  51. Hmmm, maybe I’ll take that question over to the new post, actually. (My only real response to this post is “possibly there’s no saving humanity,” but I’m sure I’ll recover if I go watch some kitten videos.)

  52. Echoing others in thinking some of the initial poster’s ideas are pretty healthy and on the right track. Bestowing magical powers or salvation-rendering abilities on women’s vaginas is not good for anyone, whatever gender.

    Though, to be fair, Genghis Khan aside, MRAs do a pretty good job of perpetuating this myth (hating women and wishing violence whle also lamenting the fact that they can’t get laid. Because western women are dirty sluts. Rinse and repeat.)

  53. Yeah, I don’t agree with the framing of this, but I do think he has a point…sexual activity is wonderful, but it’s not a magic cure-all for everything, particularly not the kinds of mental health issues that can include mass murder or literally believing you’re The Joker. This kind of thing is used against both genders (who hasn’t heard some sort of anti-feminist joke about how feminists are are “ugly/can’t get a man/need a good lay” blah blah blah)

    Besides, has there been any information in the news about what the guy’s sex life was like? Or were those remarks from the PUA just based on his assumptions?

  54. @Falconer

    Apropos of nothing, I just saw an ad on YouTube about a series premier of something called “Alphas” on SyFy.

    The tagline was something like, “super, but human.”

    My first thought was that, man, but the MRAs would flip their shit.

    HOLY SHIT, this just happened to me at the pub!!! You have taken to ninjaing me on things based on my offline life!!! I find this new development…. disturbing. ^o)

  55. He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…

    Wait, wrong season.

  56. Wait, wrong season.

    Really? I thought he creeped on us 24/7/364.

  57. @whataboutthemoonz

    Re: loser = killer thing

    I think people have it backwards. There’s this assumption that if you’re a loner then you’re more likely to be a violent criminal, but if you’re a violent criminal (or so inclined, anyway), then aren’t people less likely to want to spend time with you? Having the potential to be a violent person is a (just one of many) reason why someone might be a loner.

    Violent criminals don’t necessarily put friends and loved ones off with their behaviour; unless we’re talking about domestic violence: If their MO is just random, predatorial violence in the community their friends/parters may not even know about it much less be driven away.

    I actually believe that societal failure is not the real motivating factor for these spree-killer types, even though the media usually point to some failing in their lives in the months leading up to the event (i.e. James Holmes dropping out of his PhD and being unable to find a good job in spite of his excellent academic record; Cho Seung-Hui being rejected by women etc.). In my opinion the distinguishing feature – which drives these spree killers to mass homicide whereas others in their situation might commit suicide – is that they have a burning, long term rage and sense of wounded pride. When they suffer from failure or loss they see themselves with nothing left to lose, nothing in their life to prevent them from going on the rampage which they had been dreaming of for a long time.

    Heck, Ander’s Breivik mentioned in his manifesto that he had stopped looking for a girlfriend shortly before his killing spree because he didn’t want to be distracted from his “mission”.

  58. TheMcGee:

    Yeah, reports at this stage are always pretty conflicted, so it’s a good idea to take anything with a grain of salt. Given that he was taken alive (which is pretty rare) he’ll probably have plenty to say in the coming months.

  59. Sexually frustrated men don’t usually go shooting people. If they did, these kinds of mass shootings would happen every day. As for women being men’s salvation, well, it is a proven fact that married men tend to be healthier, less likely to be alcoholics/drug addicts, than single men. They’re also less likely to commit suicide, and they live longer. That being said, marriage isn’t going to stop an insane man from murdering people.

  60. Correlation does not imply causation.

    Healthier non-addict men are more likely to be married. Oh look, we can just as easily draw the causation that way!

    And that misses the rather deeper point that looking at it as ‘women can save men’ is dangerously close to implying women should make an effort to save men.

    Also, your comment (and, up until this point, mine) make no mention or apparently consideration of non-heterosexual people; let’s try and avoid erasure of minorities, ‘K?

  61. That being said, marriage isn’t going to stop an insane man from murdering people.

    Ahhh, but will it stop a sane man? Or are they all just insane because what sane man would do that? Lollity-lollity-loll. Douchebag.

  62. @MorkaisChosen

    I may be mistaken, but I think that’s also a function of the studies available. Because there have been multiple studies done on heterosexual marriage, and overwhelmingly come to the same conclusion, this is common knowledge. Non-heterosexual marriage, OTOH, falls victim to the marginilization of scientific inquiry.

  63. That’s a fair point.

    I’d also be interested in looking at non-married long-lasting relationships, another one that’s less likely to get studied; would imagine much the same results.

    Just to check: are you aware of anything in the studies that suggests a causal relationship, as opposed to a correlation, between marriage and health and addictions?

  64. It’s been a long time, and I’m not the most critical reader of studies, but IIRC it’s been correlational findings. I don’t really see how you can test for causal relationships though.

  65. I’m not sure either, but there are people whose job it is to think of clever ways to do that if they can… ;-)

  66. howardbann1ster

    Oooh, I have anecdata!! I’m sure that’s as good as any silly peer-reviewed study, right?

    Anyhow, I co-habitate with a family member. It’s a fairly stable domestic relationship.

    Since we began doing so I have found myself looking out for my own health and theirs more often, have found myself more cheerful and optimistic, and have found in general that my quality of life went way up.

    What a great anecdote! Clearly, we need do no study, as now we have surely proven that all the benefits of marriage are available in similar-but-not-the-same situations!

    Science!

  67. Your anecdata is getting in my causal argument and making it go all mouldy. :-(

  68. Morkai: That’s why it’s better to have casual arguments.

  69. If having sex stops mass murder, how come Genghis Khan?

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