Today in Imaginary Feminism: The Slap Circle of Misandry

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 Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the neverending struggle against imaginary feminists continues apace. Today, one brand-new Redditor, a self-described former feminist, won himself several dozen upvotes from the regulars by bringing them a literally unbelievable tale of his adventures with a coven of slap-happy feminists.

I stopped calling myself a feminist a few years ago when I went to a meeting and was told “men are inly allowed in this safe space if they participate in a slap circle.”

The idea was that it would be harder for me to intimidate with my six foot stature if all the women had a chance to slap me in the face. I left.

Another guy actually did it.

It’s all true. I WAS THAT GUY.


Actually, no. If this dude’s story is true, I will literally eat my cats.

While most of the Men’s Rightsers commenting in the thread seem to have swallowed this story whole, “slap circles” aren’t actually a thing in feminism.

They are a thing, though, amongst bored and/or drunk young men (and sometimes women) around the world, as countless videos on YouTube can attest.

As as site called Hungry Teen explains, a “Slap Circle” is

A great way to bond with friends, release aggression and stimulate the face. The Slap Circle is a game made for the more hardcore, daring person and can be used as a test for finding the manliest of the group. Although adopting female fighting techniques, the slap circle appeals far more to men. Nothing is required for this game, other than a hand, a face and a set of balls.

All you do, is stand in a circle and slap the person to your right in the face, while waiting for a slap from the person on your left. If you’ve had enough, you step out of the circle and the last two standing fight it out for the winner.

I eagerly await stories in the Men’s Rights subreddit detailing Andrea Dworkin’s demand that all men and boys be forced to take the Cinnamon Challenge and all those insidious mandatory nut shot seminars being forced upon all college students unfortunate enough to be born with a pair of balls.

Thanks to Cloudiah for the heads up, and the good people of the AgainstMensRights subreddit for the Hungry Teen quote.

About David Futrelle

I 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,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on May 30, 2014, in antifeminism, evil women, gullibility, imaginary oppression, manginas, MRA, oppressed men, paranoia, reddit, shit that never happened, straw feminists and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 365 Comments.

  1. emilygoddess


    My personal mantra is this: I have no stake in this game. I’m never going back to school, and I don’t plan to have any kids. The only reason for me to ever raise my voice about schools is to try to help all the kids out there in the world to have something better.

    I hear what you’re saying, and there’s wisdom in it, but I disagree. To paraphrase John Green, I care about the education of current and future students because I will have to share a country with them, and I don’t want them to be stupid. They will eventually be voting, and working, and creating, and some day they’ll be the politicians and the CEOs and the journalists and media makers, and the quality of all of that, and by extension the quality of all our lives, depends on their educations. /rant

  2. RE: emilygoddess

    Was it library science? I, too, am glad I chose not to pursue that degree. My MLIS friend is cobbling together part-time jobs – and this is in Boston, city of universities!

    Yup! A shame, because I actually was pretty passionate about that career and hubby loved the idea of working with kids, but well, we quit, and then our health fell apart, and now we’re disabled…

    So yeah. I’m kinda sad, but it really was a bullet dodged there. Especially since while disabled, I COULD in theory go back to school (though I never want to) but I could NEVER afford top surgery. *pets nice flat chest*

  3. re accommodations

    they *have* to offer them, but only they have it be as little as possible

    i didn’t know i was disabled during high school, so i couldn’t have gotten them any way, or any help at all with my depression.

    now i go to a public college, so they have to offer accommodations, but only for things required. Like, there’s a way to get between two campuses, but it’s completely inaccessible. since it’s not legally required, they didn’t bother to give it a wheelchair ramp/lift and highly discouraged me from taking it even though i could climb on the bus if someone else moved my wheelchair for me. there might be other examples but i’m really not involved with the student community; i just go to my classes and go home.

    one thing i understand, but don’t like, is the doctors note for any accommodation you might need. because my doctor *hates* giving me accommodations. I’m like “so…. can i have a disabled parking card since i can’t walk 200 feet without excrutiating pain?” “No i can only assign those for people with rheumatoid arthritis”. “is there anyway i can get insurance to cover a wheelchair?” “no i can only tell your insurance you need it if you have rheumatoid arthritis”. So idk if she would even vouch for me if i asked her to tell the school i’m disabled. but thats more of an ick doctor thing than a school thing

    she is infinitely better than my old general doctor because at least she didn’t judge me for getting a wheelchair. old doctor w was like “how can you get a wheelchair? you’re eighteen? What if you loose the ability to walk? What if you get fat? why can’t you just pretend your not in pain and push through ti?”

    that got out of hand and off topic, sorry

  4. *threadruption*

    IME people who are relatively intelligent, want to learn and have halfway decent parents manage to get plenty out of their educations.


    As to parental involvement making or breaking the quality of public education, that’s a cop out.

    If the student does well, we say it’s because the school is so wonderful.

    If they don’t, they are lazy or stupid and they have bad parents.

    Can you think of any other government institution that can get away with excuses like that?

    Meanwhile, if my involvement is worth so much, why shouldn’t I school my kids myself?

    Schools are paid between $14,000 and $20,000 per student per year. If my free labor is what makes that money well spent, something is amiss.

    As for people being able to learn if they want to and people who can’t learn in a given sitting just being lazy, that’s a big “NO”.

    Look, sing the praises of school all you like, but as a former foster parent and I’ve dealt with a variety of schools and how they treat kids with PTSD, learning difficulties, diabetes, a sexuality not generally approved of ’round these parts, etc. It can be great. It can be a nightmare. Certain kids are not able to learn in a certain setting or by a certain method. Some kids have needs that schools are unable or unwilling to meet. I mentioned earlier that there are no programs for teaching dyslexic students, not testing available. Dyslexics can make up 10 to 20 percent of a population. Our local drop out rate is about 25%. Coincidence? Maybe.

    No, I don’t think publicly school kids are mindless automatons, but it isn’t for lack of trying. Do you not know why kids are trained to come and go at the sound of bells or why they are taught to ask permission to use the toilet? Why does it seem like homogeny is rewarded and individuality discouraged and even punished?

    Our public educational system was designed to make a better class of workers. It’s still based on the Prussian model of schooling that was designed to ensure the compliance of subjects to their king. The students were meant to fuel the industrial revolution. Students are still trained to see learning as a passive, mandatory and often unpleasant experience where they are constantly judged, evaluated and ranked. Their time, behavior, and exposure to information is tightly controlled. There is no science behind why we do that. It is not the best way to encourage a student to learn or to teach them to love learning. We do it, because it’s the way we’ve always done it.

    …and don’t even get me started about bullying, sexual harassment*, racism* or the way trans or gender queer kids are often treated in schools. *Home is often no better in my area. Most kids are still forced to live in the closet. But for some, homeschool means getting to be themselves without being under threat all day, everyday.

    Sure, it’s an excellent education for some people. It isn’t for alot of others. Writing those people’s experiences off as a personal failing or the failing of their parents just does not jive with reality.

    Yea, homescholers can be “sensitive” about these things. Maybe that’s because we’re so often told that our lived experiences don’t happen or that we’d be good parents if we’re involved in our kids’ educations, but not TOO involved, because that makes us bad parents yadda, yadda, yadda,..socialization, yadda, we’ll ruin our kids’ lives.

    This is why I don’t like to discuss homeschool. The very concept is threatening to some people, because questioning the status quo always is. I don’t like to be overly critical of public schools. Most Americans could not choose another way of learning if they wanted to. There are good schools and good teachers. Standardization is a must for a system so large that serves so many. But one size fits all education doesn’t work for everyone and seeking other options isn’t unreasonable.

    *Which I lived with in school from the time I got tits (fifth grade) to graduation.

    *The school to prison pipeline is a thing that exists. Institutional racism is in our schools and it does cost kids their lives.

    *Parents threaten and beat their kids for things like that here and all over the states. LGBTQ kids are not served much better by DCBS as most of the foster families are also bigoted against them. I know of an adoption that was dissolved several years after it had taken place after an adopted child came out as gay. It’s getting better, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t bad now.

  5. Blockquote fail!

    Oh well. Here’s a film I watch about once a year. Maybe you’ll like it too.

  6. Lea,
    I get what you’re saying but it takes a certain amount of privilege to be able to successfully homeschool a child. It is not an option for a lot of families. Public school is absolutely necessary for a functioning democracy. I’m troubled by the movement in recent years, both on the left and the right to just sort of give up on public schools. There are definite improvements to be made, in some districts more than others, but it can be done. It has to be done.

    I’m absolutely not attacking your choice or questioning the decisions you’ve made for your kids. But attacking public schools gets us nowhere either. All I asked was that the thread not go in the other direction towards trashing public schooling and people who use it. My disabled brother got a great education in public schools. It is possible if as a society we prioritize it.

  7. Ally,
    I’m so sorry that you were only given a choice between loneliness and mental abuse. That’s not ok.

    But he made public school sound like it was a deathtrap filled with meth addicts and potheads.

    I would not call it a deathtrap, but students do vape right in the classroom now. My daughter has had to explain to people that A) it still smells and B) “We can all see your pupils, so cut it out” to other students. I’m not concerned. That’s high school. *shrug*

  8. I get what you’re saying but it takes a certain amount of privilege to be able to successfully homeschool a child.

    I don’t deny that. That’s why I specifically stated:

    I don’t like to be overly critical of public schools. Most Americans could not choose another way of learning if they wanted to.

    It also, as I pointed out, takes a certain amount of privilege to be successfully publicly schooled. So, I don’t get your point.

  9. Public school is absolutely necessary for a functioning democracy

    Maybe that’s why I said,

    There are good schools and good teachers. Standardization is a must for a system so large that serves so many.

    Again, if you aren’t attacking my choice or my criticism, what are you trying to say? It’s like you didn’t read anything I wrote.

  10. I’m troubled by the movement in recent years, both on the left and the right to just sort of give up on public schools.

    It is possible if as a society we prioritize it.

    Yeah, I’ve gotten this so often. I should fight the system! I should spend all my time and effort fixing a system through my free labor that isn’t likely to get a result. My kids are to be sacrificed on the alter of public schools because democracy.


    If speaking the truth about a system is “trashing it” the problem is the system.

    Let me remind you again that most of my kids are in public school.

    …where in high school many kids in my daughter’s history class had never heard of The Holocaust.

    …where I have been told by teachers of two of my kids now, “I cannot teach this child”.

    Speaking of my lived experiences is not attacking yours.

  11. I might have missed some of your points cause of the blockquote mammoth. Sorry about that. I wasn’t interpreting you as attacking me and I wasn’t attacking you either.

    I think it’s a vicious cycle. On the one hand, I can’t blame a family for seeking out alternatives when their public schools don’t work. On the other hand, in those districts, if all the more privileged and involved parents pull their kids out it guarantees things won’t change. I don’t know what the answer is though. It’s going to take a big cultural shift and the trend these days is to distrust public institutions. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, just sort of worrying about it general. It concerns me so much that this is becoming a country where you can only get a good education if you’re privileged. That’s why I get a little defensive about this issue. I know a lot of people who work in education and they get demonized a lot.

    Maybe we should drop it. I don’t want to fight.

  12. It’s going to take a big cultural shift and the trend these days is to distrust public institutions.

    This is a really important point, and it extends beyond schools. Social security, prisons, these are all related, and they will all make a huge difference in this country.

    And everywhere I look outside the US I seem the same forces at work. Privatize it and cut it. Privatize it and cut it. Even countries that are leftwing socialist countries with extensive safety nets seem to have a whole bunch of people running around trying to burn it down.

  13. I *see* the same forces at work, dangit.

  14. Argenti Aertheri

    Hell, let’s privatize the bloody post office even!

    As for the social safety net ones, it’s like they all have no grasp of history and why these things were implemented in the first place. And social security! [insert rant here]

    Oh! I need to reschedule my psych appt and beg the gods that the meds psych who isn’t the meds psych from hell is there when I can get a ride. Thank you for accidentally reminding me!

  15. Argenti Aertheri

    Well fuck. I had managed to get on the head psych’s personal client list and now our schedules don’t mesh at all. I really hope she finds me someone who isn’t meds psych from hell…

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