Category Archives: douchebaggery

How Melody Hensley is putting the bullies to shame

bully

 

Yesterday, a message arrived in my email inbox with the title “Are you happy to die a virgin,” a somewhat unusual question, I felt, not just because of its faulty premise but also because of its lack of the conventional question mark at the end. The email itself was equally blunt and illiterate:

You sound like a 40 y/o FAT VIRGIN living in a basement rotting away. Is manboobz.com your way of hide behind your own internal issues u refuse to face? Father issues???

Ah, here’s where the missing question mark went, along with some friends.

The sender appended a photo of an extremely obese Asian man at least 20 years my junior, mostly if not completely nude, along with the question (and I quote verbatim) “This this photo you??”

As hate mail goes, this isn’t particularly interesting and original. What got my attention was the sender: it came from the admin account at mensrightsmelbourne.com, an Australian Men’s Rights site taking much of its inspiration from Men’s Rights Edmonton (its website design) and A Voice for Men (its propaganda). So this wasn’t simply some anonymous internet troll sending me puerile hate mail: this is one of Australia’s most visible MRAs.

On the front page I noticed something else: A post with the title: “‘Twitter gave me PTSD’: Woman claims mean comments and ‘cyberstalking’ gave her an illness usually suffered by WAR VETERANS.”

The post – most of which is plagiarised directly from The Daily Mail, including the title itself – is an attack on Melody Hensley, a feminist and skeptic who is the Executive Director of Center for Inquiry in Washington DC. Hensley, who in the past suffered intense harassment from misogynists in the skeptic movement and other assorted assholes, is now facing a second wave of harassment as a result of saying publicly that the earlier harassment had given her Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

That’s right: she’s being harassed for saying that harassment so fucked up her life that it gave her PTSD.

While much of the most vicious harassment this time is coming, as it did last time, from the misogynist wing of the atheist/skeptic movement, MRAs are jumping on board as well.

The “argument” of Hensley’s enemies? That she couldn’t possibly have gotten PTSD from “mean words” online. Men’s Rights blogger The Native Canadian put it this way:

PTSD from being a feminist on the internet? Yeah I bet she wakes up screaming at night because of all the mean words! Must be hard going day to day with flash backs of your friends being called “femnazi’s” right in front of you! How ever do you handle life? Fucking disgraceful b****. Let’s see her tell that to someone who really knows what living with PTSD is like. …

I’m sorry but I am totally shocked, I don’t know what else to say, other than, is there nothing sacred to these cat lovers?

And that’s pretty much the argument all of them make: based on nothing but their own vague notion that PTSD is a serious thing that only happens to soldiers, they’ve decided she’s a lying “b****” who is trying to steal the sympathy that rightly belongs to men. (Never mind that her comments on Twitter about veterans suffering from PTSD are always respectful.)

As Hensley has made clear, she’s not claiming that a few mean tweets gave her PTSD. On a page she’s set up to help raise money for research into PTSD she notes:

In July of 2013 I publicly disclosed that I had been diagnosed by my psychiatrist with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to more than a year of online harassment and abuse. The abuse -including death and rape threats- occurred on numerous websites and via email, phone, online postings, images, and videos.

Is it possible for this sort of harassment to cause PTSD? Well, according to someone who knows a lot more about the subject than me or The Native Canadian or the dude at Men’s Rights Melbourne or the staff writers at The Daily Mail, the answer is a clear yes. Caleb W. Lack, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychology professor who writes a blog called Great Plains Skeptic, and who is an expert on anxiety disorders, writes in a recent post on the Hensley controversy that

Bullying has long been known to have a severe impact on mental health, particularly if the bullying is repeated and prolonged. While research has traditionally focused on youth (as briefly reviewed here), more recent work has examined it’s impact on adults. as well, particularly in the workplace. Research focusing specifically on cyberbullying has found very similar results to “traditional” bullying, in terms of increased risk of depression, suicide, and anxiety. In youth, around a third of bullying victims display quite high rates of PTSD symptoms and rates are perhaps even higher in adults who are bullied.

So, given what we know about PTSD, and given what we know about the effects of bullying (cyber and otherwise) on mental health, I think it’s relatively safe to say that “Yes, you can ‘get’ PTSD from Twitter.” One needs to be careful, though, to be specific about this: it’s the bullying and harassment that could lead to PTSD or PTSD symptoms (as well as depression, increased suicidality, and so on), not anything inherent to Twitter itself. Twitter and other forms of social media are just a new tool to use to bully and harass others, but the underlying mechanisms and the results are the same as if these interactions were face to face.

The internet isn’t somehow apart from the “real world.” It’s a part of it, and actions on the internet have real world consequences. Unfortunately, the internet seems to magnify the power of bullies. But it may also magnify the power of bullying victims to fight back.

Of course, the bullies don’t want to acknowledge that what they are doing is bullying. Indeed, many of the worst bullies in the skeptic and Men’s Rights movements consider themselves “activists” — even though the bulk of their “activism” may consist of nothing more than harassing individuals. That may be part of what is driving the widespread refusal to accept that online harassment can lead to real trauma, including PTSD.

And that may be why the guy at Men’s Rights Melbourne — that is, a guy who sent me a crude, bullying email calling me a “FAT VIRGIN” — felt the need to weigh in on the Hensley’s case, and to insinuate ( in one of the few portions of his post that wasn’t plagiarised) that she’s making it all up.

But on some level the bullies know that they’re bullies. There’s no question that the new wave of harassment against Hensley is driven by one of the central dynamics of bullying — offline and on. Bullies love to pounce on anyone who shows signs of vulnerability, and Hensley’s announcement that she suffers from PTSD is a sign that the first wave of bullying got to her.

Happily, that’s not the whole story. What really seems to infuriate Hensley’s enemies is that she’s not acting like they think a victim should. She’s not shutting up and going away. She’s back on Twitter and responding to critics, because doing so gives her a sense of control over her bullies. She’s taking power away from them.

On A Voice for Men, Dean Esmay tries his best, in a barely coherent post, to paint her as a “professional damsel in distress” who deserves to be distressed some more. But the tweets of hers he reposts aren’t very damsel-like; they’re blunt and direct and they call out bullies by name. And when she posts them she knows she has the support of a lot of people who are as disgusted by the bullies as she is.

And while the bullies fulminate, she’s raising money for PTSD research. Because she’s an actual fucking activist, not a bully with a Twitter account, or a website, or a YouTube channel.

EDIT: There has been a lot of really good stuff written about Hensley and PTSD, particularly on Freethought Blogs. Here are some links to interesting, useful, insightful posts.

How could Twitter possibly cause PTSD? by Stephanie Zwan, documents some of the harassment.

What Melody Hensley Has to Teach You About Professionalism, an older (2013) piece by Zvan

Your Uninformed and Incorrect Opinions About Psychology, by Miri Mogilevsky

A Voice for Me – AVfM and Thunderfoot on PTSD, by Avicenna

PTSD and Me(lody), by Avicenna

Feel free to post more links in the comments!

NOTE TO DRIVE-BY ASSHOLES: If you want to talk about what a liar you think Melody Hensley is, don’t bother trying to post comments here. I mean, you can if you want; it’s just that it takes me a lot less time to throw them in the trash than it does for you to write them.

 

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#LiesToldByFemales is the misogynistic cesspool you might expect. Plus giant lizards, and JC Penney

Lying female

Lying female

So Twitter is a bit depressing today. One of the trending hashtags at the moment is #LiesToldByFemales and, yes, it’s the misogynistic cesspool that you might expect, a vast assortment of not-very-original stereotypes about women — sorry, females — and their allegedly lying ways. The female-bashing tweeters — some of them female themselves — aren’t even terribly original in their complaints, and most of the tweets seem to be reworkings on a few very basic themes.

We have the good-old fashioned trope of the female-as-narcissist, forever obsessed with how she looks — and given to lying about how much work she puts into her appearance.

Read the rest of this entry

Roosh’s Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Hoax: Manipulative PUAs see what it’s like to be manipulated, don’t like it so much

The pickup artist scene is a haven for manipulative assholes — and manipulative asshole wannabes — so it was hardly a surprise to see a post on Roosh V’s Return of Kings blog last week defending some of the internet’s most ubiquitous manipulative assholes: trolls.

Embracing rather than challenging a recent study that found internet trolling “correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism,” RoK’s runsonmagic suggested that such “dark triad” traits can serve leaders well and that trolling, handled expertly, can be a form of “provocative art.”

“Trolling can actually contribute to our culture by revealing our societal triggers and emotional weaknesses,” he wrote.

Emotionally secure people are not harmed by others perspectives, genuine or trolling. … If you feel like you are being trolled or become angry at something you read online, see if there is a way you can learn from the experience and be grateful for it.

Well, Roosh’s fans have just undergone quite a learning experience, but they’re not feeling very grateful.

Read the rest of this entry

Slit Ass Birch Ho: The sad tale of a nice guy thwarted

slitass2slitass3

And that is just the beginning of a wondrous little exchange between a self-described “nice guy” trying out some bad boy charm on a not-very receptive woman on OkCupid who nonetheless deals with his ridiculous assholery with aplomb.

Note to “nice guy.” You might want to reconsider some of your assumptions. And work on your typing.

I found this on the endlessly fascinating, if often deeply disturbing, CreepyPMs subreddit, one of Reddit’s few redeeming features. You can read the rest of the conversation here, and the CreepyPM post here.

A Voice for Men takes on feminist [rhymes-with-bunts] with new poster campaign

No, this is real. I didn't make it up. I just blurred out the c-word.

No, this is real. I didn’t make it up. I just blurred out the c-word.

Last week I wrote about the fondness of a certain Men’s Rights website for a certain four-letter word starting with the letter c. This week they’ve topped themselves — with a postering campaign based on the c-word.

Yep: A Voice for Men has thrown its support behind a postering campaign with the slogan: “Having a vagina is no excuse for being a C*NT.”

They don’t use an asterisk.

The postering campaign, spearheaded by a Youtube antifeminist calling himself Bane666au, feature what purport to be real quotes from feminists alongside not-exactly-subtle stock photos depicting comically angry women. For example:

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Some of the comments I don’t let through

How comments are moderated at Man Boobz.

How comments are moderated at Man Boobz.

So I had to re-ban a couple of long-banned trolls today, who had returned with new names and slightly different IP addresses but who gave themselves away with their behavior. And that got me thinking about the people — well, the MRAs and PUAs and other such charming folks — who regularly denounce me as an evil censor of FREE SPEECH.

In fact, when I ban people, I do so for good reasons: one of the two trolls I banned today was a longtime MRAish commenter here who eventually creeped everyone out by boasting about having sex with underage prostitutes; the other was a man of many sockpuppets known for angry, abusive meltdowns full of slurs.

Anyway, so I thought I’d give you all a glimpse into my “trash” folder. Here’s a sampling of comments from would-be first time commenters at Man Boobz that I felt would not add anything to the discourse here. But in the interests of FREE SPEECH I thought I’d give these “ideas” an airing today.

TRIGGER WARNING for violent and offensive language. (Sorry about the quality of the last two; you can click on them to see larger versions.)

You people are such wankers. MGTOW is the best thing that ever happened. Personally, i despise women and would gladly see them all die horribly. This site is not only run bu a pathetic, wretched little scum, but populated by ones as well.Sad to say. But I see many good men get hurt by women. I feel not one drop of sympathy for any women who gets hurt, Beatin up or treated like shit. Cheers you dumb bitch.censored1censored2

Not all of the comments I trash are quite this awful. Some are only mildly violent or abusive. I tend to be a bit picky with people’s first comments, assuming that if someone posts a shitty first comment it’s not likely to get any better after that. There are a few banned commenters who stop by and try to post anyway, including one fellow who leaves endless comments trying to prove, as far as I can tell, that teenage girls are objectively hotter than women in their twenties and older.

And, of course, there are comments targeting individual women, whether these are giant cut-and-pasted rants about Anita Sarkeesian, vaguely threatening remarks aimed at other well-known internet feminists, or bizarre sexual comments about female MRAs from fans of theirs.

Once in a while I will get a comment from a feminist that resorts to violent language; I don’t let those comments through either.

And then there are the pictures people try to post in the comments. Below, one of the ones I actually let through, depicting me in a dress with some extremely tall dude. A quick Google image search reveals that it was originally posted online by regular A Voice for Men contributor Janet Bloomfield, in a blog post of hers from last year on Disney princesses. Stay classy, Men’s “Human Rights” Movement!

I don't actually own a dress like this.

I don’t actually own a dress like this.

Anyway, the pictures I don’t let through are worse.

Attention-seeking manosphere douchebag offers how-to guide for abusive boyfriends

Not the model for a happy and successful relationship

Not the model for a happy and successful relationship

Apparently hoping to gin up another flood of hate-traffic to his blog, the attention-seeking human stain whose name rhymes with Batt Gorney has posted what is essentially a how-to guide for would-be abusive boyfriends under the charming title “How to Crush a Girl’s Self-Esteem.”

“Gorney” has conveniently arranged his suggestions into a numbered list, so let’s proceed through them one by one. (If you’re triggered by explicit discussions of psychological and physical abuse, please stop reading now.)

Read the rest of this entry

Omegle perv: Send me BEWBZ or I might just have to kill myself

So I’ve been poking around the CreepyPM’s subreddit again — it’s a place where people, mostly women, post screenshots of the creepy private messages they’ve gotten from anonymous weirdos — and I ran across this doozy from Omegle, an online chat program that links up random strangers.

This bit of passive-aggressive, cut-and-paste pervery was one anonymous fellow’s opening conversational salvo. (Click on the pic to see a larger, more readable version.)

Hey - ASKING FOR BOOBZ DOES NOT MAKE ME A FUCKING PERV! Im just having a really crap week (my grandma died) and I want a girl to be adventurous and sweet enough to show me her boobz. I DON'T want a slut, and I'm NOT horny, I just want a girl who is cool enough to try that and make me feel happier - its the effort thats important. Plus girls say I'm cute and I have abs. So DON'T add me if you won't send it! And im feeling really suicidal, so being a bitch will only make things worse :( - Im 18 Male from London, and here's my kik:

Now, I’m no psychiatrist, but as someone who’s suffered from depression, I’m pretty sure that guilt-tripping random women on the internet into sending you pictures of their BOOBZ isn’t going to actually help to cure this depression.

But the fact is, this guy isn’t actually suicidal. He’s just made that bit up in order to con women — and evidently some underage girls — into showing him their tits.

How do I know? Because. as a couple of the regulars in the CreepyPMs subreddit have pointed out, he’s done this before, apparently many times, with the same sob story about “having a really crap week (my grandma died).” So either he’s lost several dozen grandmothers in the past couple of years or he’s lying. I’m going to go with the latter explanation. Occam’s razor and all.

So congratulations, dude, you’ve managed to define a new low in shitty online pervery. From now on, people will forever measured by your yardstick. As in, “well, that’s guy’s pretty pervy, but he’s not quit as pervy as the guy who pretended to be suicidal on Omegle to get girls to show him their tits.”

The “Tell Her Her Soul Is Dog Sh*t” dude declares that I’m a “misogyny pimp.”

If Jason Gregory were this adorable, it would be hard to stay mad at him

If Jason Gregory were this adorable kitty, it would be hard to stay mad at him

Hey, everybody!

So you remember that post a couple of days ago, that one in which I quoted Jason Gregory’s most peculiar dating advice for angry men? You know, the one in which he suggested that men rebuff women who are interested in them with a long and rather nasty assortment of misogynistic insults? You know, like these:

Tell her that she isn’t interesting, that her soul is dog-shit and that she has nothing to offer other than boobs and booty, that she is a piece of shit and a total failure as a human being, that you don’t find her attractive and that she isn’t even good enough to be a cum-bucket.

And he went on like that for several more sentences. You can read the whole quote in my original piece, or in his original post on A Voice for Men.

Well, it turns out I totally misinterpreted Jason Gregory’s post, according to an unbiased and neutral outside observer named Jason Gregory, no relation to the original Jason Gregory, who’s written a post about it on his blog.

Hold on, I’m being told that this second Jason Gregory is in fact also the first Jason Gregory.

Read the rest of this entry

Tell Her That Her Soul Is Dog-Sh*t: Dating advice from A Voice for Men

Note: Method described in following post will not have this effect

Note: Method described in following post will not have this effect

The Man Boobz Pledge Drive continues! If you haven’t already, please consider clicking the little button below and sending some bucks my way.

Thanks! (And thanks again to all who’ve already donated.) Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

So over on A Voice for Men, young Jason Gregory seems faintly jealous that young  women who put up dating profiles online tend to get flooded with messages — and the occasional dick pic — from horny guys.

F]ree cock is everywhere. Men give it away like it’s worthless. … I doubt that it is unusual at all for a woman to get 300 messages in her inbox from men who are desperate for female affection, approval, and sex. There is no doubt in my mind that men send “dick-pics” and clamor, bother, and sometimes harass women for their affections and attentions.

But Jason feels no sympathy for young women who put up profiles hoping to meet some nice young fellow who’s also into Sherlock and Neil Gaiman and Indian food and instead get messages from guys who introduce themselves by expressing a desire to ejaculate in their hair.

No, Jason is angry because he’s convinced all these offers of “free cock” only serve to make the women of the world into snooty-stuck stuck-up so-and-sos who think they’re all that and a folder full of dick pics.

All you men who give it away, all you do is reinforce the entitlement mentality of women who believe that their being present is plenty. You reinforce the idea that women don’t owe anything to the relationship—that they deserve a free-ride of cocks and that they don’t even have to break a sweat.

Jason, I should add, means this last bit literally. He’s resentful that when he allegedly engages in the act of coitus he has to do all the work while his alleged partners allegedly lie there like inflatable love-dolls.

Anyhoo,.Jason has a plan to take these stuck-up ladies down a peg or two: A cock strike.

Yep, he wants men to start saying “no” to women who are interested in them, just to see how they like it. But he doesn’t want them to just say no. He wants them to be giant dicks about it.

Try telling a girl no. Tell her, after she makes it clear that she wants your cock, that you’re not interested in giving it to her. Tell her that she isn’t interesting, that her soul is dog-shit and that she has nothing to offer other than boobs and booty, that she is a piece of shit and a total failure as a human being, that you don’t find her attractive and that she isn’t even good enough to be a cum-bucket. Tell her that she is never going to be any good at sucking cock and that she needs to stop pretending that she is doing any favors and learn to compensate for her inadequacies by becoming “kinky.” Tell her that her vapid life of shoes and pop-culture and materialism are soulless pursuits of dog-shit. Watch what happens. If you Jez-ladies wanna know what “hostile” means, see this rejected woman.

Emphasis mine.

A Voice for Men, you may recall, sees itself as leading the most important civil rights movement of the 21st century. I am sure Jason Gregory’s post here will be remembered alongside Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail as a classic in civil rights literature.

EDIT: I added a couple more “allegedlys” to a sentence I thought needed them.

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