Anti-AVFM Conference protest happening now in Detroit; see Twitter hashtag #NoMRA for updates [No Troll thread]

Protesters head to the Doubletree

Protesters head to the Doubletree

Just a quick note to let you know that the protest against the AVFM Conference at the Doubletree in Detroit is happening right now. You can check the hashtag #NoMRA on Twitter for live updates. Here’s a Ms Magazine blog piece with more details.

I’ll have some thoughts on it all later.

Photo from @Katie_Speak on Twitter.

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 June 7, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 625 Comments.

  1. I’m a complete fucking idiot.

    This story gets sicker and sicker. My mood’s going to take another severe nosedive for the next week. I’ve got my friend and my shrink and my new meds on hand to get me through the next chapter of this crisis. This is going to be epic though. Boy, do I feel cheapened. I feel so fucking disrespected and insulted right now.

  2. @marinerachel: I have to go out now, and feel free to email me privately if you want to talk, and don’t want to share publicly.

    I know this feels like hell, and I wish it would get better for you soon.


  3. @marinerachel,

    Please know you aren’t cheapened. Someone disrespected and insulted you. You are still you, the same person who deserves to get through this, to be happy again and feel good about yourself again.

  4. I’ve never experienced this before but I actually feel the desperate need to have sex with someone just to prove I can and so I can get that guy out of my fucking head every time I masturbate. I feel fucking filthy. He still owns my heart and my body by all accounts and he’s absolute fucking filth. Jesus christ, what the fuck is wrong with me? This may have been the worst mistake of my life. It isn’t possible for me to fuck up this badly ever again. I’m nearly experiencing bronchospasms, I’m so worked up with disgust over what’s happened to me. UHG. I’m going out for a drive to pick up my friend from work. I can’t stay still. I feel fucking disgusting. Jesus christ.

  5. I want to throw up, I’m so fucking disgusted.

  6. Hugs if you want them. :(

  7. Thank you. I’m just disgusted. I’m disgusted. I think people might just be disgusting.

  8. I know how you feel. Sometimes I just hate everyone, just because of all of my experiences with horrible human beings. You aren’t alone. It’s a pain that many of us deal with. Eventually when you are healed, you will be able to look back on this and be understanding of others in situations similar to yours, and you can reach out to them. If you can be so loving towards someone who has hurt you, you can be loving towards everyone else. And that is why you matter, you aren’t worthless. Take care. Sorry if I’m being incoherent or weird.

  9. But of course it must be stressed that you should also love yourself, too. Please don’t try to be supportive for others without also being supportive of yourself.

  10. And even if you lacked the capacity to be loving, you would still matter as a human being and still be deserving of kindness. I didn’t mean to imply that you are only worthy because you are deeply loving towards others. I’m sorry.

  11. @marinerachel, You’ve been through and are still going through a traumatic time, both physically and emotionally. Who knows what is happening hormonally/chemically in your body after all that.

    Plus love and desire don’t get turned off like a tap, even for someone who our heads tell us we should hate.

    Hugs if you’d like them & it sounds like a drive might be a useful distraction, as long as you feel well enough.

  12. @marinerachel: if you’re worried about sexual fantasies, the thing is, they’re just fantasies. While I think the dude is an abuser, I am perfectly okay with the idea that he’s attractive, you’ve had sex with him and, funny old thing, he’s in your fantasies.

    The neat thing about fantasies is that you control them. You get what you want, how you want, when you want it. I’ve had fantasies where I would hate it in real life (plus the rules of physics don’t seem to apply, nobody gets cramp, etc), but they’re still smexy. Fantasies are fantasies, you like what you like.

    The only time I would think there is an issue is if the fantasies interfere with your recovery.

    Does that help?

    And as one who used to – in actuality – like to eat crunchy peanut butter and golden syrup on toast, I am not one to judge what is or is not “disgusting”.

  13. Fwiw, no one can cheapen you. Dating an abuser or even just a terrible person does not lessen your intrinsic worth. You are valuable, even if you don’t fully believe that at the moment.

  14. Oh, marinerachel, the memories are coming back for me. I can remember an old boyfriend that I thought had ruined me for a decent sex life forevermore. Attraction and lust = him, and I couldn’t separate the two.

    And then enough time passed, and I did manage to get him out of my head. I didn’t do anything special, time just worked it’s magic.

    I’m not living your life, so I can’t promise the same will work for you. But there’s hope out there.

  15. marinerachel – let me know if you want to meet up for coffee or anything, if you feel like a new face would help. It’s perfectly fine if that’s not the case! I just want to make sure you know the option’s there. I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been a bit swamped with work, but I’m here for you if there’s anything I can do to help.

    I know the world can feel like such a shitty place sometimes, but it can get better, and I have full faith that it will for you.

  16. girlscientist

    @marinerachel: *hugs*
    Hold on, you’ll be okay sooner than you think.
    I’m travelling now for a work conference, so I won’t be here very much for the next week, but please know that you’re in my thoughts and I’m sending positive thoughts your way.

  17. I would LOVE to meet up, dustedeste. I’ll email you in a sec. I’m absolutely fucking livid right now. I’m disgusted. Absolutely disgusted.

  18. He told me his feelings for me (we had our life together planned out so those feelings were pretty extensive) had never been genuine and he’d only tried to convince himself of them because dumping me made him feel sorry for me. He strung me along for a fucking year, telling me he loved me and he wants our kid to have my middle name and how much he misses me when he’s out drinking with friends, knowing he didn’t actually want me all along. He just tried to so as to protect my feelings. What kind of fucking monster does something like that? Who wastes a year of a woman’s life knowing full well they are in love with and intend to spend their life with you?

    And now he’s coming after me. I’ve locked down just about all avenues of communication between he and I. I’ve requested administrators of forums we both have accounts on ban or delete mine because he’s already using forum PM systems to get my attention and try to get me to speak to him. I’m very uncomfortable.

  19. marinerachel, Ugh, I don’t know what to say, that’s shitty, all of it. I hope you can get all possible means of communication locked down. The more boundaries you can put up between him and you the better.

    I know it’s fucking hard. I got out of a really shitty relationship when I was in grad school and even though it had been shitty it was still really fucking hard being apart from the woman who’d been such a giant part of my life for so long. Even though it was a terrible relationship and she was manipulative, borderline abusive.

    As everyone here is saying, it gets better.

  20. What a horrible, horrible excuse for a person, marinerachel. The whole “I never loved you” thing is just blowing my mind. So he’s a liar, is what he’s saying; he was either lying then about loving you, or he’s lying now about never having loved you. And he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend if that means any emotional heavy lifting, but he doesn’t want to let you put any distance between the two of you so that you can actually heal.

    Nuts to that guy. Nuts to him and his lying, manipulative, controlling, abusive ways. I wish I actually had that box of rotten compost we were joking about in a thread a couple weeks ago; I think this guy would be a fine recipient.

  21. He’s claiming it wasn’t a lie at the time but it wasn’t real either. Now he’s decided we don’t go so he’s switched off any feelings for me. He says, despite actively seeking out my companionship only last week, that he doesn’t and won’t miss me and experiences no sadness that we didn’t last. He’s completely unmoved. He does not care. I’m supposed to believe he did at a time though.

    He just wants something from me, otherwise he WOULD give me that space. He doesnt want to interact with me. he’s just upset that after a year of engaging in emotionally abusive behaviour towards me Im now in the power position and can do whatever i want with those discussion logs. He’s saying he has something to ask me. He can go fuck his hat.

  22. He can go fuck his hat.


    I hope it’s full of dermestid beetles when he does.

  23. marinerachel: Wow, what an asshole he’s being, eh?
    I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all this, and hope it does work out for you, and, by the way, “He can go fuck his hat” is about the funniest thing I’ve read in a week.

  24. This “he can go fuck his hat” anger? It’s good, keep it around.

    He sounds like he just wants to keep his nice guy facade intact. Fuck this guy, he lost any consideration when he decided to be an absolute shithead.

  25. What kittehserf said!

  26. marinerachel, I’ve been off line for awhile and just caught up. I know that this doesn’t mean much from someone you could pass on the street and not recognize but you are an amazingly strong person. Realizing when you need someone else to help you is hard enough and the fact that you not only realized but you had the strength to reach out & accept the help shows that you are a fighter. Look for that small point of light in the darkness. It might only be as large as the period at the end of this sentence but with the right help & medication it will grow. There is no set timetable for the pain to stop but keep putting one foot in front of the other & there is no limit to how far you can travel.

    As far as your ex is concerned he is a douche on the first degree. Take time to mourn what you thought was to be. Be mad, be sad, rail at the world. As others have said so much better this isn’t about you not being good enough for him, this is about him choosing to not be good enough for you.

    Adding more hugs to the barrel as well as assorted kisses from the dog, cuddles from the rodents & for your ex pinches from the hermit crabs.

  27. Fuck that asswipe. He wants to have no emotional investment in you but still have you around in case he ever wants you. Fuck that.

    And for the love of God, ask the admins to ban HIM. You have every right to be in those spaces and he has no right to drive you away from them. Also most sites should have a no stalking clause in their TOS.

  28. cassandrakitty

    That wanting to go fuck someone to get an ex out of your head thing? Lots of people feel that way after a breakup. Whether or not you actually do it is up to you, but the impulse makes perfect sense.

    The fact that the dude now won’t leave you alone should be yet another reminder that a. he really was an asshole, and b. once you get through this initial post-breakup period you’ll be a lot happier without him.

  29. He’s convinced himself I’m going to send chat logs to his mom or something. That’s the only reason he’s coming after me. He feels anxious and powerless. He’s likely just anxious about the fact he treated me very, very badly for a long time and I have all the power in the world now to make him hurt like he’s been hurting me for the last fourteen-ish months. I confronted him, saying I’ve got nothing to lose and you’ve got everything to gain. You need to be nicer. He consistently denied mistreating me. Unfortunately for him, a friend who is a shrink and my two shrinks vouched for his conduct as abusive and if it hasn’t been then he’s got nothing to feel guilty and worried about coming out. If nothing else, I just want this disaster to be a lesson to him in kindness. If he doesn’t want to treat people kindly, he should do so for fear of losing his career.

    He’s not trying to keep me around in case he wants me. He’s been very clear – he can never see us having a future. He could ten weeks ago, begged for me to

  30. work towards it with him. He’s a robot now though. He has no feelings for me except fear.

  31. The initial reason he wanted me around though was to absolve himself of guilt. He wasn’t sad about turfing me and as long as I wasn’t either he didn’t have anything to feel guilty about. He kept shouting “Why can’t you just let us end this nicely?” Because you broke my heart and you’re walking away unscathed! You don’t get to harm people like this without consequences.

    Once I nursed him through a breakup that looked like this – one party couldn’t give a fuck while he was despondent. I wept for him. His pain was palpable. I never would have guessed, after witnessing his pain and giving him such strength during that time, that he could become the callous one inflicting such profound harm and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness on me.

  32. I’m back to weeping, inconsolable. Cried with two different friends already this morning. The exposure and repeat harm inflicted by this man is teaching me to stay away from him. It is not pleasant to learn. He still owns my heart. He says “I don’t want it”. It’s going to be a long time before I can just take it back. I wish it was that easy. I’m still blaming myself, still feeling a perverse sense of hope that everything will be alright. He ruined me. I just want to be angry again.

  33. He’s scared because he doesn’t have control over you anymore. For an abuser, that is their worst nightmare. You’ve proven that not only are you a kind and generous soul, you have an inner core of steel that withstood his abuse and is now helping you determine your life for yourself.

    You are right when you say he wanted you to absolve him of his guilt. Now that you’re no longer doing that, he is angry. He views himself as entitled not to have to face the consequences of his actions.

    You are such a strong and amazing woman. I envy your ability to see your own needs clearly. Keep up with the self care and surround yourself with people who are on TEAM YOU! (And if you haven’t read Captain Awkward, go to her sight and google ‘team you’)

  34. :( ::offers many hugs to marinerachel::

  35. Oh, Marinerachel, you will be (angry again). You’ll be a lot of things before you’re through, but it’s part of getting through. My son’s therapist has a sign on her office wall that applies:
    when you’re going through hell, keep going.

    Your soul has been badly burned, and the wound is being debrided. In this case, pain itself is part of healing, not further injury. But it still hurts, and that sucks. You are not ruined. You are surviving. If it helps to read the things we’ve been telling you, please do. We all want you to get through this. Remember that – all of us, who haven’t even met you in person, want you to survive, heal and get better.

  36. I just want to prove I’m worthwhile. I want to know in my heart I’m worth something and all this fucking fighting to stay alive is worth it. I don’t want to care what he thinks anymore. I want control over my sense of self-worth. I don’t want it to be dependent on his approval or disapproval.

  37. marinerachel, you will get there. FWIW, I’ve noticed how much stronger you’ve looked in the last few days. It was great to see you out there doing battle in the threads!

    I’m still blaming myself, still feeling a perverse sense of hope that everything will be alright.

    Someone close to me died suddenly three weeks ago. For the first several days, I was in denial and what you said reminded me of that feeling. One minute I’d believe his death was real and the next minute my mind would question it. You’re going through a grieving process, too. Those moments of hope will become further and further apart as you work through this.

  38. I’m doing very, very badly the past two days. I think things may continue to progress downward for the next few so I’ll remain at my friend’s place. I think I’m experiencing true realisation now. The denial and hopefulness are subsiding.

    I won’t let this debilitate me too greatly though. Even if I have to cry through it, I’m getting out and doing something with someone every day. I’ve told my mom I need a few days before I see her as I am not comfortable discussing relationship details or being emotive around her. I’ve designated Tuesday the day I reach rock bottom. I may stay there for some time but I am going to do everything in my power to prevent my mood from worsening past Tuesday. Then I’ll see my mom.

    I’m going to start looking for additional work, something to get excited about and relief from the financial strain I’m having, tomorrow. I’ve also decided to challenge myself academically. I’m in a program I know I can excel in and like right now. I’m tweaking it for September. I’m switching to a program I’m not sure I can excel at but want to. If it doesn’t work out I can’t say I didn’t try and my beloved marine inverts will be waiting for me. This is something I can get excited about and could be excellent for self-esteem building.

    Going to be a rough fucking few days. Experiencing a moment of zen. Just trying to ride this for as long as it lasts.

  39. Your self-awareness is amazing.

    What are marine inverts?

  40. One of the misters was needling me about protesting MRAs and said I’d be like the red-haired protester in Toronto. I enthusiastically said I’d love to do that (ha) and wondered to myself if I had to guts to get in their faces like she did. I just found out I do.

    I took off on foot to 7-11 and noticed what looked like two teens bullying a third one. I kept walking toward them and watching. One was in the lone kid’s face and the other one was across the street just watching. The bully kept advancing and retreating. He started getting really aggressive and from a block away I yelled “HEY” a couple of times until bully boy looked up and saw me. He kept on.

    I sped up and was yelling and cussing to no avail. Bully took his jacket off like he was going to fight and that’s when I caught up and got in his face. Fortunately, the kid they were targeting was at the door to his apartment building and he slipped inside, I think. I said to his tormenter, “You’re a bully.” He said, “Do you know who I am? I’m a gang member,” and he flashed a gang sign at me. I nearly bust out laughing. I said, “Ooooo, ooooo, I’m so scared!” I kept staring him down and he finally turned and walked away muttering insults at me.

    I can’t believe I did that!!! By the time I reached 7-11 a block away I was shaking like a leaf but I’m okay now.

  41. Argenti Aertheri

    Auntie Alias — first, my condolences, second, that was bad ass of you! Marine inverts is short for marine invertebrates.

    Marinerachel — give it time, and then some more time, and then another helping of time. Sprinkle liberally with “he can go fuck his hat”.

    Also, are hagfish vertebrates or not? Wtf is up with them?

  42. Thanks, Argenti.

    What are examples? Like shellfish and jellyfish?

  43. You’ve got it, Auntie Alias. Jellyfish, shellfish, barnacles, coral…

  44. This isn’t fair. I shouldn’t have to hurt like this for someone who isn’t hurting at all. It’s not fair.

  45. It’s really not fair :(

  46. :( ::offers more hugs::

  47. I know that feel, marinerachel. When my borderline-abuser definitely-asshole college boyfriend dumped me for someone else, it killed me that I was hurting while that asshole was happily off with someone else. But I got over it, and even realized how grateful I was to be free of him, and I promise you’ll get there too.

  48. Hagfish: technically vertebrates, due to notochord and developmental features. At least, according to my former vertebrate zoology professor.

  49. I like to consider them non-vertebrate chordates, myself…

  50. I want him desperately. This would be bad enough if I didn’t want him and was just experiencing loss of the relationship and rejection. I want him so badly though.

  51. @marinerachel: do you want him – the real him – the one who does give two hoots about your feelings, or do you want:
    – the him-you-thought-he-was?
    – the future that you thought the two of you were going to experience?

    I wish I could be there and hug you, and tell you how special you are, and how life is going to be so much better for you now. Because it’s so true.

  52. I want the him he could have been but chose not to.

    I don’t miss his insecurity and childishness and lying to himself and refusal to do a thing about any of it despite the profound pain it caused me (and him but he’s in denial about the harm his emotions cause in his life. He thinks as long as he’s hot and has great marks he’s OK.) This brings me no relief though.

  53. Argenti Aertheri

    But…the notochord isn’t…whatever. The freaky things can be vertebrates if they want. I’m not going to argue with something that somehow has a skull and no spine and can tie itself in knots. So. Weird.

    Marinerachel — would talking aquatics help distract you? I’m a freshwater fan, but my Puff is a green spotted puffer (my first foray into salty tanks!)

  54. Yes, hagfish are weird. Another good reason not to argue with them: so slime, so much. One little hagfishy in a bucket = bucket full of slimy mucus.

    Myxinoidea, the taxon champions of slime.

    Marinerachel, could you tell us about your sediment sampling stuff?

    Recent grad me found that mention in the other thread fascinating, and would love to hear more! It might help to talk about something interesting… I could blather on about flounder and how dock shrimp chromatophore control doesn’t seem to be affected by pH, in return, if you’d like.

  55. Argenti Aertheri

    But fish slime is quite useful for the scaleless ones! How else would goofball loaches manage to get unstuck when they moronically try fitting in TEENY TINY SPACES?

  56. Marinerachel, I’m just now catching up here. I am so sorry about everything that’s happened, but I’m amazed at you and your self-awareness and your strength. You may not be able to see it now, but I hope soon you’ll see. I’m putting all of my hugs in the bottomless barrel of hugs for you. The rest of y’all are awesome too. I have tears in my eyes.

  57. Well, I just read the Beginner’s Intro to Hagfish (aka Wikipedia). What extraordinary animals.

  58. Marinerachel: For what it’s worth, I’ve been there. right after I left active duty the first time I was engaged. it ended badly (which is so much of an understatement it’s funny: I don’t have the words to say how bad it was, save that I pretty much stopped eating, etc. It was this breakup which led to my having some pretty ugly thoughts about my ex; the one’s I had some trolls trying to say proved feminists were hypocrites).

    It does get better, but that’s not much comfort now. As to the fantasies… that person and I had some very good times (otherwise I’d not have planned to get married to her). She was, in some ways, a wonderful person. In others it turns out she was pretty cold, and somewhat heartless. It was about a year before I was ready to have sex again, much less try for a relationship.

    There are moments when (some 20 years later) I still have fantasies about her, or remember the good times, etc. It’s normal. It may never completely pass. Please be a bit gentle with yourself. If you need support, we’re here.

  59. I feel like complete shit.

    I’m not flying off the handle in rages or sobbing uncontrollably anymore. I can work. I actually start a new job on Monday, which I guess I should be excited about. I don’t feel any better though. This is my new normal and it’s just awful.

    I’m angry but I don’t feel angry. I just hurt. I didn’t spend a year with this man so he could stop having feelings for me and walk away unscathed. I didn’t invest everything in him so I could be left like this. The fact he’s unaffected, even happy to be away from me, infuriates me. I don’t feel anger though. I just fucking hurt. The worst part about this hurt is there’s no resolution to it. This is just how it is. I put in everything. He ended it and lost nothing. He doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t want me. There’s no solution. I can’t get my time and effort back. I can’t rid myself of these bad feelings. I can’t make any of it worthwhile either because he doesn’t want to. There is no resolution to this hurt and loss. I’m stuck with it.

    Maybe the most painful part is what a fucking fool I am. I held him while he cried, telling me he hadn’t invested what he had in his ex-girlfriend so she could walk away unscathed with a shiny, new life void of him while he hurt profoundly. That is what happened. Now look at what’s happened to my stupid ass.

    I didn’t want this relationship to end. I just wanted him to get on board and work with me. He was special and still could be. I can’t help but think if I’d been different he would have been. He saw no potential and I wasn’t sufficiently worthwhile to do that with though. He didn’t even want to try because I had nothing to offer that he wanted.

  60. It’s just such shit. This is apparently what constitutes “getting better”. I’m not unsafe to drive and I can work somewhat effectively. I’m still miserable and there’s no way out of it. That happened. The damage is done and the hurt’s on me. There’s no resolution. My time and my emotions have been invested. My heart has been ripped out of my chest and stomped and shit on. He’s not helping with the burden. He doesn’t care.

    I can’t even release any of these emotions through forgiveness because this person has no comprehension of the harm they did much less remorse. The best they can do is “I never should have spoken to you” which completely negates everything we shared and how good it was and could have been if they’d made different decisions. Speaking to me isn’t what resulted in this. Speaking to me is what resulted in discovering our potential. The way he conducted himself resulted in this harm.

  61. Hugs if they’re wanted, marinerachel. He wasn’t the person you thought he was. You deserve better.

  62. @marinerachel: you weren’t then, and you are not now, a fool. He’s an abusive arsehole who knew what to do to string you along for a year (or he was so immature he didn’t know what he wanted, which I am inclined to disbelieve as idiots don’t get into med schoo, although emotional fridges do). Criticising yourself is survivor-blaming – can you see that?

    The whole horrible experience is on him.

    You will pass through this. The pain will lessen over time, as the damage repairs.

    I’m not sure why you seem to be pressuring yourself to forgive him. You may get to this stage later, but at the moment please don’t be concerned that you aren’t in a forgiving mood as you’re still in the middle of dealing with the pain. None of us (I hope I can speak for others here) is expecting you to have forgiven him.

    You deserve so much better than him. You’re a valuable, intelligent woman. :)

  63. I don’t feel like this is getting any better. I feel like I’m on a downward slope. I can maintain my composure at work but I feel sick with grief. At home (I’m still staying with a friend because I’m still uncomfortable alone with my emotions) I go to pieces. During a soccer game last night, I collapsed with my head in my friend’s lap and wept. We went for an hour-long walk to try to tire me, bringing my mood down and letting me fall asleep. I got to sleep but only for a couple hours and woke up sobbing. This is normal for me now, just hurting all the time. I have to keep moving forward though. It’s my job. It just feels like, whatever progress I make, my heart’s still left behind so I can’t appreciate it.

    I desperately want to wish him a happy birthday and congratulate him on writing his boards and wish him great luck in his upcoming rotation. I want him to know I care deeply. I miss him so badly. I’ve been missing him for a very long time though, as long as he’s been unhappy and treating me badly. I also know I have to be strong and guard my heart. I can’t open a dialogue with him – I will get hurt further – and I don’t want to give him the impression I’m not in profound pain over what he’s done to me. I want him to know I care though. It would need to be a one-way message but even then I’m worried he’d get the impression that, phew, she’s just fine and I have nothing to worry or feel badly about. I really want him to understand the harm he’s done.

  64. I’m sorry you’re having such a bad downswing, marinerachel :(

    Hugs and an open ear for whenever you need them, be it now or later.

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