Elliot Rodger and Me: The anatomy of a “Honey Badger” smear campaign


I have a new theory that I think might help to explain why so many Men’s Rights Activists are so obsessed with false accusations of rape. It’s simple: They are so used to making false accusations themselves, about pretty much everything, that it’s hard for them to conceive of someone making an accusation that is actually true.

Naturally, as a critic of the Men’s Rights movement I’m a fairly reliable target for these false charges, and rarely does a day go by in which I don’t learn some new, terrible, and wholly imaginary thing I’m alleged to have said or done. Hell, these days I can barely make it through a Twitter conversation with A Voice for Men’s Dean Esmay without him spouting some grotesque falsehood about me.

The latest accusation from the A Voice for Men crowd – or at least from AVFM’s so-called Honey Badger Brigade – is that all the media talk about Elliot Rodger being an MRA was my fault. Or, as “Honey Badger” Alison Tieman put it in a tweet that she sent to an assortment of media outlets that had written about Rodger and the MRAs,

Tieman’s tweet links to a post on the Honey Badger Brigade blog titled “Feminist media bias, or how Man Boobz caused a media circus,” complete with a little caricature of me. (At least they didn’t depict me as a shirtless, self-flagellating Michael Moore lookalike, this time, or as a giant man-baby with poopy diapers eating a chicken leg.)

The big revelation of the Honey Badger Brigade post? That the first article that connected Eliot Rodger to the Men’s Rights movement included … a link to my blog:

I compiled a list of online articles in a rudimentary timeline, searching for the earliest pieces linking Elliot Rodger to MRAs, and the findings were pretty extraordinary. Likely the first article making this connection was on the Daily Kos, citing a blog. Which blog, you ask? None other than David (Man Boobz) Futrelle’s cutting-edge journalism at wehuntedthemammoth.com.

It gets worse. Of the 16 articles I looked at, eight of them sourced the Daily Kos article either directly or indirectly by citing an article that had cited that same Daily Kos article.

The clear implication of the post is that I was the “source” of the notion that Rodger was an MRA.

There’s just one little problem with that argument, which is that I never said any such thing.

Indeed, when the writer at the Daily Kos published their piece, I had said precisely nothing on the subject of Rodger at all. In fact, my first post on Rodger was published after the Daily Kos piece appeared. That  Daily Kos piece, which was based on original reporting by its author, linked only to my writings about incels, and the link to We Hunted the Mammoth was only one in a multitude of links.

Here’s what I said about Rodger in my first post on the subject:

[Rodger’s video] sounds almost like a parody of the misogynistic beliefs and rhetoric that I write about on this blog. His language and his melodramatic tone both echo the writings of many of those young men who consider themselves “incels.” His anger is the same anger we see from the rejected men who lash out with insults and threats on OkCupid when their often crude advances are turned down. He reminds me of every so-called “nice guy” who is inwardly seething with resentment born of sexual entitlement denied. He even, at one point, calls himself a “gentleman.” He also calls himself an “alpha.”

It is clear that his  resentment at women was stoked by what I call the “new misogyny” and by steeping himself in at least one online community that reaffirmed his exaggerated, unwarranted sense of victimhood. So far we have evidence that he was a commenter at PUAhate, a site ostensibly designed to critique PUAs but which has degenerated into a haven for misogynistic “incels” and angry trolls.

I made no mention of the Men’s Rights movement at all.

In a later post, written after a great deal more information about Rodger had appeared online, I was more explicit in stating that he was not, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, an MRA.

So why did so many in the media describe him as an MRA? Well, it’s not hard to guess: because he was driven by an exaggerated version of the familiar mixture of misogyny and aggrieved entitlement that drives so many MRAs.

As I wrote in my most widely read post on the subject:

While he doesn’t seem to have ever identified as a Men’s Rights activist per se – the only “rights” he seemed to be interested in were his own – his postings online echo the extreme and ignorant denunciations of feminism seen amongst MRAs and other manospherians.

I put it a bit more bluntly in a Reddit comment I wrote after first seeing the Honey Badger Brigade post:

If they’d actually paid attention to anything I’ve written on Rodger they would see that I didn’t call him an MRA; I went out of my way to point out that as far as we know he didn’t read MRA sites.

That said, as he was a regular at PUAhate, he was part of what you might call the MRA extended universe, and much of his ideology came out of the same misogynistic swamp that MRAs inhabit.

I didn’t cause any of this. MRAs caused this by being shitheads, and by thinking “any publicity is good publicity.” This is what MRAs get for supporting and defending AVFM for years, for their Occidental College spamming, for their crusades against an assortment of feminist villains they harassed and slandered. Oh, and for spewing misogyny all day every day.

My blog DOCUMENTS this. They’re the ones saying the shit that I quote. They made their own bed.

Other journalists have used me and my blog as a resource. They incorrectly labeled Rodger an MRA. But they weren’t far off. He was MRA-adjacent.

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars ate up the Honey Badger Brigade post, which seemed to confirm my reputation as some sort of dastardly misandrist boogeyman. None of them seemed to have read a word of anything I’d actually written about Rodger. One Redditor described me thusly:

The Futrella is a desperate character with receding hair and receding appreciation from his Feminist Cohorts of screaming delinquents. …

I do wonder if his followers are real or if he spends all his time between pizza and diet soda masquerading under multiple legends?

A few were calling for my head.

iethatis 6 points 3 days ago (14|8)  AVfM should sue him for damages resulting from the death threats and resulting security costs, and venue change costs resulting from his lies.      permalink     save     report     give gold     reply  [–]guywithaccount 3 points 3 days ago (4|1)  It'd be a tough case to prove.

That’s a bit of an understatement, huh?

Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t have a receding hairline. Even that is a false accusation.

As is Tieman’s remark about the “genocidal ideogogs” [sic]. But that’s a whole other kettle of worms.

EDIT: Oops. I originally neglected to take the difference in time zones into consideration when writing about when the Daily Kos piece appeared. While it did appear before my post, it wasn’t four hours before. I’ve corrected this in the piece.

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

Posted on June 17, 2014, in a voice for men, antifeminist women, elliot rodger, false accusations, FemRAs, hypocrisy, irony alert, lying liars, misogyny, MRA, reddit, straw futrelle and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 262 Comments.

  1. Sorry, I should have said my comment was aimed at DasPink…maybe I’m misunderstanding what was said but it seems your comment and the previous one about Bancroft were saying Bancroft was making the connection, when I read the quote from the first poster as Bancroft observing the error the media had made in making the connection (sorry, these are buried and I don’t have time at present to look up the usernames).

  2. This is a pine marten, another mustelid like the ferret: http://stephangraveline.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/dsc3965algonquinpark_wp.jpg

    They look like cuties and they are but they don’t belong in a little fucking cage in our living rooms. They’re wild as fuck. They’re destructive. They will escape. They find their way into everything and steal stuff. They walk up to you and start biting unprovoked.

    Perhaps most importantly, THEY ARE FEARSOME PREDATORS: http://glacierparkmagazine.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/marten-with-squirrel.jpg

    They spend their days hunting and killing and dining on fucking squirrels. They’re not sweetie snugglebums. When they’re kept captive they direct those instincts into being little assholes.

    A friend lives alongside one who was bred and sold as a pet. They were seized and an attempt to rehab and release was made but it didn’t take. The monster was imprinted and habituated. Basically, the marten has an outdoor enclosure, house access at all times and just fucks everything up. It’s cute and hilarious. Worst pet ever though.

  3. DasPink, nevermind…I think I was looking at someone else’s quote and thought it was Bancroft. He does indeed make a casual connection.

  4. Relevant to David recently being the recipient of more attention from the male supremacists:


    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

    BTW, before any mansphericals jump in and try to transpose the argument, in their case it’s a Reverse GandhiCon , somehwhere between step 1 and 2 – first we fight them, then we laugh at them, then we ignore them, then they lose. :)

  5. me and not you

    Dammit people. I’m broke. This is not the time to be instilling a desire for pizza. (Thankfully I get paid on Friday. Unfortunately I’ll be broke again as soon as I pay my credit card bill…)

  6. cassandrakitty

    Cheaper if you make it yourself? Plus making pizza in a group is kind of fun.

  7. Pizza crust is actually pretty easy to make. If you make a big batch, you can freeze most of it to make quick pizzas later.

  8. Can we turn this into a pizza/pizza crust recipe thread?

  9. cassandrakitty

    I would especially appreciate recipes for good pesto pizza, or flatbread pizza.

  10. (Thankfully I get paid on Friday. Unfortunately I’ll be broke again as soon as I pay my credit card bill…)

    I know those feels!

    “You have money!”

    i have no moneys… :(

  11. That sharp inhalation of air, excitement, followed by a big, long sigh. Pay day, you tease.

  12. Please do turn this into the pizza recipe thread! I know nothing of pizza making.

    Teach me thy ways, oh pizza masters of misandry

    .. Was that a little overboard?

  13. I am a master at teh vegun pizzas, though I am no longer vegan. I can still teach you my ways tho…

    The trick… oil. Olive oil. Even vegan cheese can be revived with enough olive oil and spices!

  14. Ooh, food! I made this gluten-free pizza crust this weekend. My SIL has Celiac disease and I cook a lot, so sometimes I test things that we might be able to eat together later. It was great, and good the next day, too.

    Next I want to make a pizza with roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic in place of the sauce.

    Oh, and for a regular wheat crust, this cast iron pizza pan makes amazing crust.

    fromafar, that’s good to know about the olive oil. I think that’s one reason the gluten-free crust came out well – I used tons of olive oil on top.

  15. I can’t imagine how long David spent getting his ferrets into a Patrick Stewart outfit just to eat pizza for that picture.


  16. Pizza crust is easiest made in the food processor or a mixer with a dough hook, but you don’t need one. It’s best to make it the day before you want a pizza so that the dough can rest over night. A good recipe is in Vegan with a Vengeance.

    Just about any yeast bread recipe can become pizza crust. I’ve used the basic bread recipe from Mother Earth News for pizza crusts with some cornmeal and olive oil for a long time and it worked fine.

    Here’s another good crust recipe:


    If you want, you can use boxed bread mixes for herb bread and just roll it out and use it for pizza crust. I’ve used Krusteaz brand and it was tasty.

  17. Pesto is easy to make too. In the summer basil is simple to grow and you can use it to make up a batch of pesto at a time or you can make a big batch and freeze serving sizes in ice cube trays to use later. You can buy it in jars, but it’s just not as good. If you don’t like pine nuts or they’re too expensive, use walnuts. Don’t like cheese? Skip it. Like your pesto tart? Add a little lemon juice.


  18. I prefer to use a baking stone or pizza screens.
    Also, get yourself a pizza peel. It’s a pain in the butt to try to maneuver pizzas without one.

  19. 2nding the pizza stone rec. They are awesome.

    The one I have can even be used on a grill (I now feel like they can all be used on a grill, correct me if I’m wrong). I own all of the bbq’s with my grilled pizza, corn and watermelon. That’s right. I grill MF’in watermelon.

    My MIL was all like,”WTF you doing?”

    I was like, “Shuddup and eat up. Enjoy.”

  20. I preheat my cast iron pan for 30 minutes or so. While that’s going, I put a piece of parchment paper on a steel pizza pan, scatter some semolina flour (or you can use cornmeal) and form the crust on that. Then I slide the pizza, parchment and all, on to the pan in the oven. Then, slide paper+pizza back out onto the steel pan for slicing and serving.

    I’m trying not to overload the toppings too much these days. I still do it every time, though.

    I have never grilled watermelon either. I’ve grilled pineapple and peaches. Grilled peaches are so good with ice cream and Kahlua. Last year I grilled too many so I froze some, and then I had FREEZE PEACH.

  21. I’ve never tried grilled watermelon, but grilled pineapple is delicious. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll have to try the watermelon too.

  22. Grilled anything, really,

    Grilled avocado.

    Grilled mushrooms.

    I’ve even seen grilled LETTUCE. Like heads of freaking romaine.

    If you can eat it, you can grill it.


  23. Ooh, grilled mushrooms! I make grilled portobello fajitas sometimes. Grilled eggplant and zucchini are awesome too. I must try grilled avocado now – that sounds so good.

  24. Grilled peaches are so good with ice cream and Kahlua. Last year I grilled too many so I froze some, and then I had FREEZE PEACH.

    Sounds delicious!

    And ROFL :D

  25. Argenti Aertheri

    Simple way to fake the brick oven pizza? Pick up some terra cotta tiles, put them on both oven racks and put the pizza between the racks. (Do NOT touch the hot tiles!)

  26. I worked in pizza when I was in college:

    use a stone
    Use a peel (spend the money to get a wooden one, the stone will last longer).

    You can cheat and use parchment paper, this slides the pie off the peel a bit more easily; then you can used the paper to pull the pie out: also works for bread.

    Remember that pizza is cooked by the radiant heat of the oven. Professional pizza parlors either use a large dome (heated to 800F, or so) or an oven of low height (about 14″) heated to about 575F.

    So put your stone up high, and set the oven to it’s max. The pie should finish cooking in about 15 minutes (we pulled pies between 8-12 minutes).

    Prep all the ingredients. Once the pie is sauced it needs to be topped and a plopped in all haste, so the sauce doesn’t make the dough wet (which is one of the prime causes of sloppy pies).

  27. If your dough proofs too long and gets bubbles, prick the dough with a fork. Just don’t poke through the dough when it’s on a screen. It will make it stick to the screen.

  28. Ann Morgan: they then went off on the author Marion Zimmer Bradley, who allegedly molested her daughter.

    LBT: ALLEGEDLY? I thought it was pretty fucking clear that she did. Multiple times.

    LBT, I don’t really know much about the case, and haven’t had time to find out, thus my use of the word ‘allegedly’. And regardless of whether it is clear that she did it or not, it doesn’t alter the point I was trying to make, which is that as a group of people who have for months sung the praises of murdering children, the Ilk on Vox’s site are not really in a very good position to criticize someone else who either allegedly or in actuality has harmed children.

  29. cassandrakitty

    Didn’t MZB’s husband molest their son too? Lovely family, that.

  30. Lordy, the AVfM crew has turned David’s twitter feed into a speeding gyroscope of random nonsense and freak outs.

    David tells the guy whose shilling the Agent Orange files that his giant collection of confusing unorganized screen caps from Radfem Hub and references to “gendercidal maniacs” don’t make a lot of sense, then asks for more specific examples. So Agent Orange guy responds with Imgur.com link that is a giant collection of confusing unorganized screen caps of Radfem Hub, twitter and AVfM’s slap fight with something called a Voice for Creepy Men. There are so many screen caps that it’s taking forever to load on my tablet and I eventually stopped caring. Seriously Agent Orange guy, none of this makes much sense. Also, the fringe extremist fringes of major movement doesn’t discredit it and you clearly have zero understanding of the history of feminism. But whatever.

    Plus Elam, JudgyB and others join Agent Orange guy in exposing the dire threat Radical feminism currently poses to the world, Esmay is blaming the continuing existence of internet porn on an article David wrote, GID Watch shows up and then shit get really weird. WTF.

    Best moment:
    David Futrelle @DavidFutrelle
    @AVoiceForMen @thesledgetobias @JudgyBitch1 @AgentOrangeMRA Oh Paul, are you drunk? You sound drunk.
    12:20am – 19 Jun 14
    (It’s true, Paul does sound drunk.)

  31. GrumpyOldMan, thanks for the acknowledgement! Go grumposphere.

    So sorry you found out you have a counterpart at AVforMen. Hopefully I don’t. Probably none of them would want the word “cat” in their nyms.

  32. cassandrakitty

    Ugh, I just thought of all the horrible names they might create using “kitty”.

  33. I just found this. LMAO!

  34. grumpycat: That evoked a literal lol.

  35. Galumphing gargoyles.

    Did not know that about Marion Zimmer Bradley.

    Shoot. Why do some people have to be so awful! Read up a little, and urgh.

    “I’m going to just accept that my spouse formerly molested a little boy. I’m fine. That was in the past. Whoops, he did it again! Oh, well. It’s not like I haven’t done anything like that before. Here, honey, let me cover that up for you. Now let me co-found something really, really fun, so that goofy people like contrapangloss will actually spend a good portion of their youth thinking I’m dandy, and not find out about that other stuff, at all.”

    Society of Creative Anachronism is now a bit tarnished. They’re still cool, but what the frisbee, MZB?

    Darkover, also a bit less shiny. It was already less shiny for other reasons, but still! Childhood book loves, now kind of euch.


    (Note, not a real quote. But how the flip do you ‘accept’ your parter molested a kid? How the fudge do you stand by and watch it happen again and again? Why would you abuse your own daughter, too? That’s manure! Eargh!!!)

  36. cassandrakitty

    Yeah, a little piece of my Darkover-living childhood died when I heard about that too. WTF was going on in the 70s, anyway, with so many creative-type people suddenly deciding that pedophilia was super cool and awesome? Pretty much any corner of the creative universe you look at during that timeframe it’s all over the place.

  37. MZB was involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism? I didn’t know that. Didn’t know any of the horrific things she’s done, either: I only knew her name as the author of a book I didn’t like.

    Did anyone notice, in her daughter’s poems in that link, that she also stoned a cat to death? That, and all the rest – there are no curses I can print here.

    Speaking of people who make you want to scour your skin off with a loofah …

  38. WTF was going on in the 70s, anyway, with so many creative-type people suddenly deciding that pedophilia was super cool and awesome?

    I’m going to go ahead and blame Warren Farrell.

  39. first we fight them, then we laugh at them, then we ignore them, then they lose.

    Ooh, I like this. I may start using it when MRAs quote that quote they like to quote

    On the twitter feed, they basically flooded my mentions with hundreds of tweets/retweets today.

    See, I taped a segment on Al Jazeera where I faced off against Robert O’Hara. Shortly before the taping, Paul tweeted some mysterious, ominous-sounding tweets, and then they posted their attack on me. A pretty transparent attempt to rattle me. I was not rattled, so they spent the rest of the day attacking me in their bizarre way.

  40. David, go to bed.

  41. I *know* I’m going to regret asking this…

    What quote that they like to quote is that? FTSU or something else?

  42. It’s the quote attributed (probably wrongly: there’s no record of him saying it) to Gandhi: ” First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

  43. Oh right. Because the assholes who engage in intimidation, threats, doxxing, abusing and denigrating 50% of the population and take malicious glee in the FTSU mantra are totally the right people to be adopting a motto associated with non-violent, peaceful resistance to imperial occupation. That’s not inappropriate AT ALL.

    So wait. When they went from laughing at feminists and their allies to fighting them… (and yes, threats, attempted character assassination, silencing tactics and sockpuppet trolling count as “fighting”) … are they admitting they’re one step away from losing? :)

  44. @contrapangloss

    “Why do some people have to be so awful! Read up a little, and urgh.”

    I was a reader and admirer of Carl Jung until I got acquainted with the story of Sabina Spielrein. Both him and Freud largely took credit for her work. Than Jung threw her under the bus when she outlived her usefulness. There was a lot of suspicions that he took her as a lover while she was still his patient. Then there was the story of Rosalind Franklin and how Watson and Crick still received the Nobel Price after stealing her results. That and many similar stories made me value human decency way above intellectual achievements. It was also an eye opener on how misogynist the culture was: women were good enough to do the work, but not enough to be credited for it.

    Cronenberg made a movie about Spielrein.

  45. Argggh . . . that fake Gandhi quote . . . makes me hate the Internet . . . it’s all over the place and it’s not just the MRM that uses it. It’s, like, anyone with a position on anything can use it to say “Yeah, well, you’re going to see I’m right someday and you’ll be sorry!” I see people I even agree with on the actual position use it all the time. And I’m like “Please let the position stand out its own merits; there’s no need to resort to a stupid fake Gandhi quote.”

  46. Right Grumpycat. It’s like Abraham Lincoln said…

  47. Yes, yes it is. I, David, have spreadsheets and a database solely devoted to running this comment section. You see, I have to come up with adequate user-names, set a correct ratio of avatars to colorblobs, keep track of each ‘regular’ and ‘semiregular’s standard vocabulary, punctuation, and history, which I have to cross reference with all posts I write.

    I have an entire room of filing cabinets for this task! Well, half of them are filled with ferret food and toys for the ferrets in my David suit.

    It’s amazing I can post so much, so quickly!

    Not only that, but then to have many of the regulars spread out to other blogs in related fields… to have them meet up, exchange Mammotheer slogans in recognition of a shared commenting history, and then continue to comment on completely unrelated things…

    My god, it’s turtles all the way down…

  48. @serrana

    Funniest typo ever, or subtlest pun ever? Either way, you have obviously been brainwashed by the Furrinati.

    Yup, I blame the cat. He seems to have “found” those missing r’s from that other thread. If I find where he’s stashed them, I’ll be sure to return them. >.<

  49. Just my posting history on Patheos alone would make that a mess!

  50. Regarding pesto – I made chard pesto a few nights ago. Instead of pine nuts, I used pepitas (the nutmeat inside pumpkin seeds). It went very well with the cheese ravioli, and the chard stems made a good cooked vegetable.

  51. GrumpyOldNurse

    Thanks, grumpycatisagirl! I lol’d! Does that mean that I must now leave the grumposhpere?

  52. GrumpyOldNurse: Only if it was a joyful laugh, and not a cynical ‘Ha! Ha, ha!’

    I kid. Grump away, and laugh away, and be awesome.

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