Hey, It’s Some Men Against Assholes and Misogyny!

Jen Kirkman (Men Against Assholes and Misogyny Not Pictured)

Jen Kirkman (Men Against Assholes and Misogyny Not Pictured)

With all the assholery that I’ve been writing about lately, I wanted to highlight something that wasn’t assholish. That is, in fact, anti-assholish. And that’s comedian Jen Kirkman’s new tumblr blog: “MA’AM” – MEN AGAINST ASSHOLES & MISOGYNY, which she describes as “a place for men – not afraid to call themselves feminists – to write from their heart to help educate men who may still hold some sexist attitudes towards women.”

Kirkman started it a bit over a week ago after going on a sort of Twitter strike, frustrated by all the misogynistic assholes that kept popping up on her timeline.

Here’s how she explains it:

Sometimes I would get sad when I was batting away dozens of hate-filled things while in my timeline my male comedian friends were just joking along having fun – as we all should be.  And I felt like I was alone on the playground and I wanted them to speak up for me.  Not “beat up” the specific people attacking me … but I wanted my male comedian friends to write, in public, about things they have expressed to me in private about how much they feel for the women in their life who are still spoken to this way.

So far she’s gotten a lot of followers — she picked up a thousand in the first 48 hours — and a ton of submissions, some from fellow comedians (Greg Proops, Michael Ian Black), some from regular dudes, one from her dad.

The submissions are, I suppose I should say, a mixed bag. Some of the essays are great. Some are a bit mansplainy, or White Knighty, or otherwise a bit problematic.

But that’s kind of inherent to the project. Jen is challenging guys who don’t spend all day every day thinking about feminism, but whose hearts are basically in the right place, to stand up against the asshole misogynists of the world. And a lot of guys are responding to her challenge.

Oh, BTW, while we’re on the topic: Jen is also pretty fucking hilarious.

Here’s some of her standup:

And here she is narrating some Drunk History. (She really was drunk.)

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Posted on December 10, 2012, in awesome, feminism, funny, harassment, misogyny, twitter, YouTube and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. She’s hilarious and very clever. She’s often one of the featured comedians on Chelsea Lately. I love her dark sense of humour.

  2. Hey, it’s Greg Proops! I remember him back from Who’s Line Is It, Anyway? :D What a pleasant surprise!

  3. Well, now, that just brightened my day. That, and receiving my VERY AWESOME Club Nintendo playing cards. Now I just need someone to play with. :)

  4. Meh. Every generation loves to complain about the younger generation being stupid.

    Want to know what stuff was a thing in the eighties? Ronald Reagan, widespread and damaging ignorance about conditions from HIV to autism (not that I’m comparing autism to HIV), the rise of the stock market, and deinstitutionalization and social services cuts that exacerbated poverty and homelessness (not that deinstitutionalization is necessarily a bad thing, but doing it regardless of whether patients are actually able to cope, for financial reasons, is definitely a bad thing). Not to mention even more homophobia than there is now.

    Sorry. I just end up hanging out with people older than me a lot, and inevitably the “born in the 90s versus 80s (or whatever)” thing is a popular topic. It’s like when people go on and on about how people with T1D can’t eat sugar (we can).

  5. (and that was in response to the “my opinion on teenagers” vid, btw, I realize it ended up sounding random)

  6. MKlein: I didn’t take it as “yay 80′s” but “boo, ignorance”.

  7. LBT, me too! I saw him twice live and thought he was hilarious. Makes me smile to see him involved in something like this.

  8. I love her comment on being Childfree.
    “Oh, you still got this thing; you’ll change you mind. “

  9. @Melody – true, lol.

  10. I think this is so good. I really think most well-intentioned men (in my experience, the vast majority of men) don’t really understand the level of misogyny that exists in the men’s rights movement or – you know – on the internet (reddit, gaming, twitter). I was telling my father – who by the way has been in computers since the 1970s – about Anita Sarkeesian and he was seriously speechless. He just had no idea.

  11. White Knighty

    If you want to say “patronizing” or something like that, I think you should find another word. MRAs and other Internet misogynists have started using that term to demean anyone who speaks out against misogyny.

  12. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    White Knight is a no-win term – it also gets used to mean people who want a cookie for intervening in a situation, because of the theme of the knight’s heroics always being rewarded by getting the maiden/princess as his prize.

    I like Black Knights better. ‘Tis but a scratch. ;)

  13. Also, it refers to guys who treat a girl like someone who needs to be saved from everything. Basically, not an independent person. Like in Hanako’s route from Katawa Shoujo.

  14. White knight totally means those things.

    It is depressing when you meet those guys. They tend to get pissy sometimes as result of you not wanting to be rescued.

    And if I’m carrying something and you offer to carry it and I decline it doesn’t make me a bitch. It just means I want to carry it.

    My friends BF is great about it. Sometimes I accept help and other times I don’t. He doesn’t think I have hidden motives.

  15. >Like in Hanako’s route from Katawa Shoujo.

    I thought the gag was that playing the white knight made you fail that route?

  16. I know MRAs didn’t invent it. I guess I just don’t like how they’ve adopted it.

  17. That drunk history video was amazing. I was really impressed with how the actors managed to lip-sync her ramblings, hiccups and all. I mean, seriously. It was more natural than a lot of music videos I’ve seen where people are technically lip-syncing their own freakin’ songs.

    That’s also totally the way I narrate history. (And crappy stories I have to read for school.) Except without the drunkenness.

  18. Slightly off topic, but two men who consistently oppose misogyny and assholes are John Scalzi and JIm Hines (and they write sf too).

    Hines is raising money for a rare condition known as Aicardi Syndrome which mostly affects girls, and it little known/funded.

    The incredibly sf icing on the cake is that when goals are met, there are poses.

    Mocking some of the unrealistic poses of women on sff book covers.

    http://www.jimchines.com/2012/12/cover-posing-for-a-good-cause/

    And voting for the best pose offs.

    Stunned by the first pics, I donated.

    Enjoy: http://www.jimchines.com/2012/12/pose-off-with-john-scalzi/

  19. @Kakanian: Yes, that’s the point. Exactly why it’s a bad thing.

  20. Those were really funny videos. She should make a stoned history video, too.

    So, uh, the 100 Years War caused death and sadness, and um….Hold on, did the microwave beep? I don’t remember putting popcorn in there, so who did? Anyway, automation and robots will replace 75% of peoples’ jobs in the next century, and that’s why the 100 Years War was bad. Just think about that.

  21. Yeah, I debated using the term “white knight,” but in its pre-MRA incarnation it conveys what I wanted to convey, in a way that “patronizing,” for example, doesn’t. But yeah, the MRAs are sort of ruining the term for everyone. Not sure what the solution is. If I can think of another way to say it, I’ll swap out “white knight” for it.

  22. Remember when mangina just meant a man with angina? Ah, the good old days.

    White Knight, though. Hm. Although I see the objection, MRAs still use it the way I would use it; their ideological blinders just make them think every feminist man is a White Knight or a “pussy beggar” or a “mangina” or shit like that. Because apparently their fellow men are incapable of not thinking with their penises.

    re the drunk history, holy frak is that video awesome. The part where Ona is reading her letter to Washington is the most simultaneously hilarious and sad thing I’ve ever seen.

  23. I think back in the day Sir Galahad was the “white knight” accusation made by asshats when a man acted like a decent human being.

  24. I had a conversation with two guy friends. The three of us all had totally different views on what a ‘white knight’ was. One guy had heard it used to disparage guys online who jump in to defend a woman if someone disagrees with her. The other thought it was a positive term, like medieval chivalry. I consider it a patronizing dude who thinks women need to be ‘saved’ (from other dudes or herself–classic Nice Guy behaviour).

  25. I had a conversation with two guy friends. The three of us all had totally different views on what a ‘white knight’ was. One guy had heard it used to disparage guys online who jump in to defend a woman if someone disagrees with her. The other thought it was a positive term, like medieval chivalry. I consider it a patronizing dude who thinks women need to be ‘saved’ (from other dudes or herself–classic Nice Guy behaviour).

    I agree with the third one……haha…..

  26. The links to her tumblr were working earlier – now, I get page not found.

  27. tumblr.com isn’t responding either, so it’s a tumblr-wide thing.

  28. MIchael Ian Black!!!!

    I want her to get Duncan Trussell in the mix seeing as how he also did a drunk history and I respect him a lot. I’m always excited when he has guests on which touch upon misogyny and wish he could have a really smart feminist on his podcast. He’s got so much potential for awesome.

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/ef668caf14/drunk-history-vol-6-w-john-c-reilly-crispin-glover

  29. aww I meant to use the youtube version because embedding is better

  30. Can someone provide an example of a not so great video / submission from there that people saw?

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