John the Other: Feminists who oppose rape memes on Facebook are violence-promoting fascists, and you are too! Probably.
Posted by David Futrelle
The MRA hissy fit over Facebook continues. Over on A Voice for (Human) Men, our old friend John “The Other” Hembling offers up his take on the whole controversy, which has roused the usually torpid MRAs to “activism,” and somehow manages to be even more overheated and incoherent than even Paul Elam before him — and at times nearly as ponderous as the legendarily ponderous Fidelbogen as well.
His argument, if it can be called that, is as follows: by demanding that Facebook remove violent images of rape and abuse posted as “jokes,” the coalition of feminists who recently got Facebook to agree to ban violently misogynistic images are therefore endorsing what Hembling has decided is the “strongest signifier of fascism” — censorship.
Now, censorship is not actually the “strongest signifier” of fascism, merely one of many ingredients in the fascist souffle — alongside such things as, you know, authoritarian rule under a powerful dictator, nationalism, racism, etc. (Also they tend to have a thing about uniforms.)
And Facebook’s removal of rape “meme” pictures and the like is not exactly akin to a one-party dictatorship taking over the media and orchestrating massive book burnings. (Heck, I’m not exactly sure what exactly is supposed to make Facebook’s “censorship” any different from A Voice for Men’s recent announcement that it was clamping down on comments that Paul Elam thinks are too “distracting.”)
But even setting all this aside, Hembling’s charges against “Laura Bates, Soraya Chemaly, Jaclyn Friedman, and every their [sic] signatory to their open letter” don’t make a lot of sense. Here’s his grand summing-up of his would-be indictment:
It is a letter calling on the largest social networking site in the world to institute a program of demographically selective censorship; to institute the practice that is the strongest signifier of fascism.
Bates, Chemaly, and Friedman are not merely endorsing violence against those most impacted by it.
Um, how exactly does asking Facebook to take down pictures depicting violence make someone a proponent of violence?
Hembling doesn’t bother to explain this, and blathers on ahead to his melodramatic conclusion:
They are not merely ignorant or indifferent to the foundational nature of free speech to the establishment of all other human rights. They are not merely content to propagate false, fraudulent models of domestic violence which continue the conditions and causes of domestic violence. They are not simply adherents of an ideology of hatred and violence, wrapping itself in the increasingly transparent veneer of false and pious humanism.
Dude, you’re sounding like a stuck record here. You’ve already accused them of promoting hatred and violence — heck, you accused them of promoting violence at the start of this very paragraph!
Hembling — recently hired on to a paid position as AVFM’s Editor in Chief — desperately needs an editor himself. (Not to mention a proofreader.)
Laura Bates, Soraya Chemaly, Jaclyn Friedman are successfully promoting the signifying feature of fascism. They are fascists, and if you support their cause, that of censorship, you may be a fascist as well.
*looks at self*
No, I’m good. Pretty sure I’m not a fascist.
Hembling ends with a surreal:
Thank you for your kind attention.
Dear readers: let me just ask you to ponder the question I find myself pondering every time I read something by Mr. Hembling: Can there really anyone who reads posts like this from him and says to themself, “this makes sense!” Because his posts all seem like histrionic grandstanding to me, filled with startling leaps of illogic I think would be even too much for dedicated MRAs to make.
I can only imagine that Hembling’s MRA fans really only pay attention to the invective, and don’t bother with the (lack of ) logic, and that for them this whole post basically comes down to: feminists are fascists, feminists support violence, feminists hate men, these three ladies are bad.
They certainly aren’t checking his facts — indeed, Hembling’s piece includes numbered footnotes in the text, but he left out the actual footnotes, and links, that were supposed to run at the end of the piece, as is AVFM custom; his post has been up for several days, and no one there seeems to have even noticed the missing footnotes.
Also, Mr. Hembling, if you’re reading this, here’s a little PROTIP for you: if you want to pretend that you guys are, you know, actually against violence, you might want to think about removing that terrorist manifesto from your “activism” section — you know, the one that calls on MRAs to literally firebomb courthouses and police stations. Not really good PR for an alleged “human rights” movement, that!
About David FutrelleI run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.
Posted on June 5, 2013, in "proxy violence", a voice for men, actual activism, advocacy of violence, antifeminism, conspiracy theory, crackpottery, drama kings, facebook censoring rape memes the world is ending oh no, false accusations, figurative nazis, grandiosity, hate, imaginary oppression, incoherent rage, johntheother, misogyny, MRA, none dare call it conspiracy, oppressed men, paranoia, playing the victim, rape culture, rape jokes, slacktivism, the sound of his own voice and tagged a voice for men, antifeminism, facebook, fbrape, men's rights, misogyny, MRA, rape culture, rape jokes. Bookmark the permalink. 289 Comments.