A Voice for Men’s TyphonBlue uses the case of a man who set himself and his son on fire as evidence of the moral superiority of men

TyphonBlue, making the face I make every time I read anything she's written.

TyphonBlue, making the same face I make every time I read anything she’s written.

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars are discussing the case of a Japanese man who set himself and his nine-year-old son on fire on a playground in an attempted murder-suicide; the man died, but his son, while severely burned, managed to survive.

The discussion amongst the Men’s Rightsers is actually less awful than one might expect, with only a few commenters making excuses for the man, or blaming his ex-wife. Many of the regulars are actually condemning his actions straightforwardly.

And then there’s TyphonBlue, the highly inventive female Men’s Rights activist who is one of A Voice for Men’s self-proclaimed “Honey Badgers.” She thinks the fact that the man tried to kill himself along with his son is a point in his favor and, more than that, a sign that men are better than women.

No, really. She blames “pedestalization” for it all.

typhonblue -12 points 1 day ago (18|30)  He didn't kill his son.  Unlike mothers, fathers don't scrimp on the suicide part of the suicide-murder.      permalink     source     parent     save     give gold     hide child comments  [–]osbe 11 points 22 hours ago (15|4)      He didn't kill his son  What the fuck are you trying to say? The son didn't die (yet) so this is not "as bad" as what women do?      permalink     source     save     parent     give gold  [–]typhonblue -1 points 8 hours ago (2|3)  Little more time today.  Am I puncturing your vision of women as the "more moral gender"?  How about this, when you give a group of people an automatic "more moral than thou" card, they become worse human beings.  The pedestal creates the monster.

You see, if you didn’t put women on a pedestal, they’d kill themselves along with their kids, and all would be well in the world. I guess? I really don’t see why this would be better.

Later in the thread, TB tries to explain her peculiar logic further:

typhonblue 0 points 7 hours ago (2|2)      I subscribe to the cliche that the female of the species is more deadly (or at least more vicious) than the male.  You think women are more evil than men and… what? What are you arguing about?  So we're essentially in agreement about women being "more evil" because they're more likely to kill their kids and fail at killing themselves* except I believe that it's a result of pedistalization and you believe it's a result of what?  Being female?      Why do you need to say anything that can even be twisted to look like you're defending what this guy did?  I'm saying if you want to kill your kids, don't forget to kill yourself as well. Preferably first.  *At least when you attempt to kill yourself and your kids, you can argue that it's a result of extreme mental distress. Killing your kids but not yourself… That's less excusable.

I think it’s time to pull out the old Don Draper “what?!” gif again.

don draper saying what

I will grant her one point: she’s correct that, while fathers and mothers are roughly equally likely to kill their children, men are much more likely to kill themselves as well. Why this would be a sign of moral superiority I don’t know.

I should also note that this doesn’t mean that the men and women kill children equally: while 57 percent of those who kill children under 5 are parents, the non-parents who kill children are mostly men.

In any case, “pedestalization” has pretty much nothing to do with it — unless you’re talking about the tendency of fathers who kill themseves and their children to overrate their own indispensablility.

So why do parents kill their children? Not surprisingly, mothers and fathers tend to have wildly different motivations. In Slate, Dahlia Lithwick summarizes what we know:

Researchers, building on the work of Phillip Resnick, have shown that women tend to kill their own offspring for one of several reasons: because the child is unwanted; out of mercy; as a result of some mental illness in the mother; in retaliation against a spouse; as a result of abuse.

It may be hard to understand how a mother can come to believe that killing her children would be an act of mercy, but that’s what postpartum psychosis can do to your brain.

The motivations for fathers tend to be rather different:

Most frequently … they kill because they feel they have lost control over their finances, or their families, or the relationship, or out of revenge for a perceived slight or infidelity. … more often than not, men kill their children to get back at a woman—to take away what she most cherishes.

As Charles Patrick Ewing, a University of Buffalo law professor and psychologist, told Elizabeth Fernandez of the San Francisco Chronicle

“These are narcissistic, self-centered guys who see themselves as the glue of the family. They feel they have to take their own life, but first, they have to kill the children. To them, it seems rational. They think they can’t manage and the family can’t manage without them.”

It’s also worth pointing out that when you look at murder-suicide in general — and not just when children are among the victims — it is almost exclusively (roughly 90%)  a male crime, with the victims almost always female, generally the man’s wife, girlfriend, or ex. Not surprisingly, disproportionate number of those responsible for murder-suicides involving intimate partners were also domestic abusers. (As was, reportedly, the Japanese man who set himself and his son ablaze.)

The only heartening thing here is that TyphonBlue actually got downvoted in the Men’s Rights subreddit for spouting her toxic nonsense.

EDITED TO ADD, 12/30/13: The son, who had been in critical condition since the incident, has now died.

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Posted on December 26, 2013, in a voice for men, a woman is always to blame, crackpottery, don draper says what, evil moms, evil women, FemRAs, misogyny, MRA, pedestalization, reddit, TyphonBlue and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 381 Comments.

  1. Jeanocide is what happens when you go into a store and there are no real jeans, just jeggings.

  2. @Shiraz It’s a bit difficult to “oversimplify pretty much everything” when I wasn’t even attempting to address “pretty much everything”. I was talking about a specific thing, this quote:

    Researchers, building on the work of Phillip Resnick, have shown that women tend to kill their own offspring for one of several reasons: because the child is unwanted; out of mercy; as a result of some mental illness in the mother; in retaliation against a spouse; as a result of abuse.

    And this added commentary:

    It may be hard to understand how a mother can come to believe that killing her children would be an act of mercy, but that’s what postpartum psychosis can do to your brain.

    It’s one thing to be confused as to what I’m referring to but I don’t see how you could possbly mistake this for an oversimplification of “pretty much everything”.

    @Argenti Aertherl:

    Precisely. People so often blame mental illness for violence when we’re really not that dangerous.

    http://www.who.int/disabilities/violence/en/
    http://www.secasa.com.au/pages/research-statistics/violence-against-people-with-disabilities/

  3. I can never figure out whether jeggings are just leggings made in a heavyish material, or leggings trying to look like blue denim.

  4. Can be either! The ones that are more like super-stretchy jeans with pockets and stuff I don’t mind, but the leggings pretending to be jeans I don’t like.

    I have a weird prejudice against pants with no back pockets. Remember when that was the thing, regular jeans with just a back yoke and no pockets? Looked terrible on everyone, imo.

  5. I’m a zealous denimandrist myself. I’ve only worn jeans for men, so they make me feel dysphoric.

  6. Have you tried women’s jeans? I know your Dad would throw a tantrum if he saw you in them, but trying them on in a store might be interesting.

  7. I haven’t tried women’s jeans. I might try them on some day (probably not in a store because anxiety) but not until I’m more comfortable with my body.

  8. What about that shop you mentioned that serves trans people, Ally? Do they deal in clothes like jeans, or only makeup and accessories and so on?

    I don’t mind the jeggings that aren’t pretending to be blue denim, either. Those ones tend to be too thin a cloth to really get away with it. The heavier ones are just like really stretchy jeans, from what I’ve seen. I’ve seen women wearing some really nice patterned leggings, but stuffed if I can find any in bigger sizes; if you’re over a 12 (about US 8, I think) forget it, you’re stuck with the Henry Ford option. Come to that I’ve yet to see any really nice patterned leggings actually on sale in shops; I think people must be buying them online.

    I don’t recall the no back pockets phase. When was that happening?

  9. No back pockets – maybe early 2000s? It may have been a phenomenon limited to the US.

    Agreed on the jeans-that-are-just-really-stretchy issue. For example, these are jeggings, and I think they look fine.

    http://www.revolveclothing.com/DisplayProduct.jsp?product=PAIG-WJ919&row=5&column=3&c=Paige+Denim

    Most of the really cool patterned leggings I see come from China, which unfortunately means that anyone over maybe a US 8 at the most is out of luck.

  10. Though two things I dislike about even the nicer jeggings – they tend to flatten the butt, and they wrinkle at the back of the knee in a weird way.

  11. Those are nice; I’d have thought they were just stretchy jeans, rather than jeggings.

    It’s the same with clothing here; 99% of clothes in our stores (hey, why should MRAs be the only one to use that percentage?) seem to come from China. I do wish that if Australian companies are going to get their stuff made there, they’d at least order their whole ranges in sizes for the majority of Australian people, who are not small.

    I’ve reached the point of wearing leggings with long tops, but I still don’t feel that comfortable doing it. I am certainly not going for the butt-hanging-out look, as if one’s walking around in tights and forgot to add a skirt. Even on nicely shaped backsides, I don’t think it’s a flattering look.

  12. What about that shop you mentioned that serves trans people, Ally? Do they deal in clothes like jeans, or only makeup and accessories and so on?

    They’re a boutique, so they sell many kinds of clothes (especially dresses, gowns, etc.). I’m not sure if they have jeans, but it’ll be cool if they do. :D

  13. My issue with leggings + short top is that you can usually see people’s undies, and that’s more intimate than I want to get with most strangers (and more intimate than I want them to get with me, which is why even as a teenager I wore long sweaters over leggings).

  14. Undies plus every last bump, lump and wobbly curve. They are not things I want to see in public!

    Ally, fingers crossed that shop sells jeans, then! You like to wear casual comfy clothes, am I remembering right? Do you fancy skirts at all? I like long skirts over leggings in winter.

  15. Also super comfy and feminine – sweater dresses. Those plus tights plus knee-high boots are one of my winter uniforms (especially if it’s raining, because boots are somewhat water-resistant but pants are not).

  16. Oooh, yes! I can see you wearing a sweater dress, Ally. Or something I wear that’s similar – a straight knee-length-ish denim skirt, mid-calf or knee-boots, and a loose sweater with a cowl collar.

  17. Plus, a cowl sweater works with short hair, because it’s fairly bulky around the neck, so if you didn’t want to wear a wig, or fancied a beret or some such, it’d all go together well.

  18. It doesn’t look like the boutique has it – not online, at least. Oh well – there are always thrift shops I can get women’s jeans from.

    You like to wear casual comfy clothes, am I remembering right? Do you fancy skirts at all? I like long skirts over leggings in winter.

    Yeah, casual comfy clothes. These days I wear almost nothing else but hoodies, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and sweatpants (all of them loose-fitting and in drab colors). The only thing I wear from time to time that isn’t super bland-looking to others is my black & white keffiyeh.

    I don’t think I’d ever want to wear a skirt or some typical kind of dress. They just don’t suit me, even though I like being femme. Sweater dresses look awesome, however. I think when I start wearing femme clothes I’ll begin with boatneck shirts.

  19. Yeah, I wasn’t thinking of typical dresses (like summer frocks or whatever) either. My favourite long skirt is a knitted fabric in big bands sewn together – magenta, olive, dark brown, black, purple. It goes with/clashes with everything. :P It’s also very comfortable, just stretchy and pull-on. Apart from the bright colours not being your thing (yet …) that’s more the sort of skirt I had in mind.

    Boatneck shirts look lovely. Would you wear a white one? Or the sort of faux-grandfather shirt that has a bit of smocking or cotton lace on the front? (I’m still going through my wardrobe here, lol. Or should I say our wardrobe, since Louis isn’t above pinching my clothes.)

  20. Plus, a cowl sweater works with short hair, because it’s fairly bulky around the neck, so if you didn’t want to wear a wig, or fancied a beret or some such, it’d all go together well.

    Omg, thanks for suggesting that! I just looked at pics of cowl sweaters, and I think they’d actually suit me. :>

  21. It goes with/clashes with everything.

    The ultimate fashion solution: Make it enough colors and matching is no longer an issue!

  22. The other advantage of a cowl neck is that if it gets cold you can pull it up to cover your face in lieu of a scarf.

    (Shut up. My nose gets cold.)

  23. Boatneck shirts look lovely. Would you wear a white one?

    I don’t usually wear white; I’d probably want to wear black boatnecks, dark green boatnecks, maroon boatnecks, etc. I think navy blue would be nice as well.

    Or the sort of faux-grandfather shirt that has a bit of smocking or cotton lace on the front?

    Do you, by chance, have a picture as an example of that? It sounds cute but I can’t really visualize it.

  24. Question (that I should ask the couple themselves) — is black appropriate for a wedding? I don’t have a suit, of any sort, and I doubt it’s going to be fully formal (see, I should just ask them huh?) but my formalest (totally a word) androgynous formal wear is black. Well, most of my clothing is black, but what I have in mind is definitely black…

    Ok, besides ASK THE COUPLE, advice?

  25. And about brighter colors: I think I’ll start wearing them over time as my depression goes away (hopefully). At this point of my life at least, I don’t feel true to myself when I wear bright, happy colors while being in a shitty mood. Something about it seems off. I hope I’m not giving off special snowflake vibes or whatever (because I know my feelings aren’t rare) but that’s how I feel.

  26. Ally, here’s the shirt in question:

    http://i.imgur.com/flHwATO.jpg

    It’s a nicer colour than the photo shows, a sort of cream-fawn marl, a warm shade.

    I get what you mean about not wearing colours when you feel like shit. Though I find it makes me feel worse to dag around in track pants if I’m down, and that isn’t an option going to work anyway. (Well, I probably could, but I like dressing up for colour and splash.)

    katz – yup, ultimate solution! You should have seen Louis’s face when I joked about wearing that skirt with my multicoloured jumper (the cowl one, not my Aston jacket). He actually said “You wouldn’t” in an Oh-god-tell-me-you’re-joking tone of voice. Gave him a proper scare. :D

    Argenti – I take it your friends know how you dress? There’s black and there’s black, and you’d be dressed up, wouldn’t you? Just tell ‘em you’re doing Goth. Last wedding I went to (actually it’s half the weddings I’ve been to) was Goth, and there was plenty of black around. :) Are you wearing your corset over it?

  27. Kitteh, that shirt looks great! ^_^ I could totally see myself wearing that. Thanks for showing me.

  28. Yay! Two wins for clothing suggestions!

    We should start a fashion show … What Not To Wear If You Like It And Stuff The Fashion Police.

    (Or as a shop in town had in a big banner, “Never mind ‘the rules’, if it makes you feel good, wear it!”)

  29. Whether or not black is OK for a wedding depends entirely on who’s getting married. There are some couples who it might bother, and others who won’t care at all, so if in doubt then ask.

  30. Unless you’re given a dress code, I’d say the only rule is don’t be prettier (i.e. more nicely-dressed/attention-getting) than the bride. (Or the groom, if he’s into being the prettiest in the room.)

  31. While the groom may be the prettiest in the room, he’s confirmed my outfit choice is fine, so thanks guys!

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