“Egalitarian” Redditor explains why protesting Michael Brown’s shooting would be a “gross misuse of the MRM’s relatively meager resources.”

" The MRM aims towards improving the rights of all men, not small subsets of men."

“The MRM aims towards improving the rights of all men, not small subsets of men.”

I suppose none of us should really be shocked that the death of Michael Brown, a black teenager literally shot in the back reportedly shot six times by a white officer, has caused barely a ripple in the world of the Men’s Rightsers — there are only two small threads on the subject on the Men’s Rights subreddit at the moment, and the only active one is filled with a lot of tut-tutting about “violent” protesters. It’s hardly news that MRAs, almost all of them white men, are more interested in lamenting their own imagined oppression than they are in dealing with the real injustices faced by young men of color.

But I have to admit I was a bit surprised by the callous “logic” in the following, currently the top comment in the only thread devoted to Michael Brown’s death in the FeMRAdebates subreddit:

ZorbaTHut Egalitarian [score hidden] 8 hours ago*  Well, first, homicide may be the leading cause of death among young black men, but it's not the leading cause of death among men. It is certainly a concern, but the good news is that there are many organizations already concerned about it. The MRM aims towards improving the rights of all men, not small subsets of men, and spending a bunch of effort on an issue that is already well-covered would be a gross misuse of the MRM's relatively meager resources.  That said, keep in mind why you've heard about this at all. Michael Brown's murder isn't getting airtime because he was male; it's getting airtime because he was black and because he was killed by a white police officer in a massive show of police power. If he was white and homeless you might have heard a bit about it, but it certainly never would have been discussed by the Tumblrsphere. If he was killed by someone who wasn't a police officer, nobody would give a shit, black or white.  The problem isn't that the MRM is ignoring Michael Brown. The problem is that everyone else ignores all the male murder victims who weren't a black person killed by a white man in power. This problem isn't solved by making even more of a media circus around the one-in-hundred-thousand male murder victim that Jezebel decides to bother with.

“Egalitarianism,” you’re doing it wrong.

The FeMRAdebates subreddit is supposed to be a neutral forum for feminists and MRAs to discuss issues, yet somehow manages to be even more cringe-inducing than the Men’s Rights subreddit.

(Thanks to diehtc0ke on Reddit for pointing out this amazing comment.)

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 August 14, 2014, in antifeminism, MRA, oppressed white men, racism, reddit and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 80 Comments.

  1. On the other hand, at least there are intersectional feminists out there.

    Yes, in feminism intersectionality arose from criticisms *within* the movement. Somehow, I can’t quite see this happening in the MRA “movement”…

  2. @A. Noyd

    Maybe you haven’t, but a lot of women of color have. I see them talk about it frequently outside of white-dominated spaces. So we shouldn’t pretend feminists are innocent of this. On the other hand, at least there are intersectional feminists out there.

    I’ve seen it countless times as well, as a trans WOC. Unfortunately, feminism’s marginalization of WOC still happens today.

  3. My brother got away with the sheriff’s deputy seizing (and he thinks smoking) his weed.

    …I’m so glad my brother quit, up until he did I worried he was going to end up in serious law trouble.
    None of the other little hoodlummy white kids from our trailer park went to jail over possession charges either.
    The ones that went to the state pen went over far more spectacularly stupid things.

  4. blahlistic,
    Your brother too? Mine said the cops would confiscate his weed and let him go. They got free smoke and they told my brother that they knew our stepdad and didn’t want to cause him any embarrassment.

  5. Enh, our brother smoked to self-medicate for depression. Thank god he seems to have mostly stopped now; for a while, I was getting pretty worried for his mental health. (I wasn’t so worried about him getting into legal trouble though. If I might speak bluntly, he’s an athletic, handsome, young cis straight white dude in college. I don’t think he could be more privileged if he tried. Well, I guess if there were more money in his life.)

  6. Did a MRA seriously pull a #notallmen about a very important men’s issue? And how many tropes can that person spew?

  7. Someone tell Zorba he’s overqualifying. I’m pretty sure it would be news if anyone “was…killed by a… police officer in a massive show of police power.” That said– I’m actually willing to grant him the premise that this wouldn’t be a national story if the victim were white. Even if true, that’s not a bias in reporting, it’s a difference in the actual news value. Black kids being shot is a legitimate, ongoing national story. White kids being shot, less so.

    If he were white his death would be important his family and his community. Folks from around there would deserve a chance to pay their respects and learn what happened, so it would certainly run on local news. A white kid being shot might simply be a fluke or a terrible misunderstanding. More likely it would indicate a problem with that town’s police force. That would be news everywhere in the state. People need to know where they are safe (from police) and where they are not (from the fraking police). State officials and politicians need to know about it. But honestly, I would be okay with that staying state-level news. You could tie it into a national story on the military and the DHS and the ridiculous militarization of police across the nation, but that’s the only way it would be nationally relevant.

    Because the kid who was shot was black, it’s actually part of an ongoing national news story. I mean, not only is that kind of racism a national disgrace we can’t stop talking about until it goes away, it’s also news in the sense of novel; the situation has gotten a whole lot worse recently all over the nation due to new state laws, new police doctrines, and the like. This death is part of a pattern and the *nation* needs to be informed about the pattern.

    But even that misses the point, because the killing isn’t the story, the protest is. I remember seeing links to something about the original story, so obviously there was some national coverage, but by the time I actually clued in to this, the headline wasn’t “policeman shoots innocent boy,” it was “police shoot tears gas and flash grenades at orderly, unarmed protestors.” That’s going to be national news every damn time, and I don’t think it even happens to white folks.

  8. Refuge in Audacity

    While I agree the shooting of Michael Brown was probably grossly inappropriate, the results of the autopsies performed so far indicate that all the bullets hit him in the front, not the back, contradicting the eyewitness accounts and the statements of his family and their lawyer. If I were you I’d correct the part of this article that says he was ‘shot in the back’ – http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/18/autopsy-michael-brown-shot-six-times-twice-in-the-head/

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