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Category Archives: excusing abuse

The Top Four Men’s Rightsiest things said about the recent threats against Anita Sarkeesian

top-4

Men’s Rights activists are the only ones asking these tough questions about the recent threats against Anita Sarkeesian and other outspoken women in gaming.

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NEWS QUIZ: Which of the following comment(s) about pedophilia garnered downvotes in the Men’s Rights subreddit

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry

Popular British TV personality Stephen Fry recently complained to BBC’s Newsnight that he thought the Jimmy Savile scandal has led many to unfairly assume the worst about other 70s era disc jockeys and “light comedians.” He went on to say:

If you want to talk about rock stars, do we have to name the rock stars that we think almost certainly had sex with 14-year-old children? But those 14-year-old girls were so proud of it that they now in their 50s wouldn’t for a minute call themselves ‘victims’.

So here’s a little one-question news quiz:

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You all need to watch this music video that deftly rebuts Christina Hoff Sommers on vidya games #GamerGate #PanderingToDickheads

Christina Hoff Sommers is an old school faux-feminist who’s devoted the last several decades to trashing feminism. Lately she’s apparently decided to appeal to a younger audience — or at least a more immature one — by pandering to the #GamerGate crowd.

That’s probably worth a post or two in itself,  but in the meantime you might enjoy this excellent song that deftly rebuts the, er, arguments in her recent video about sexism in video games and why she thinks that’s somehow not a real issue because, you know, dudes like to look at boobies when they play games. No, that’s really her argument — though I’m not sure it even qualifies as an argument, technically speaking.

Anyway, enjoy!

And here’s her original video, if you’re feeling masochistic and would actually enjoy sitting through six and a half very long minutes of simple-minded, patronizing, disingenuous, evidence-free pseudoarguments delivered by someone desperately pandering to terrible, terrible people.

You’ll be horrified to learn where one popular pickup guru has found some, er, dating tips

The Duluth Power and Control Wheel

The Duluth Power and Control Wheel

Heartiste – real name James Wiedmann – is a proudly racist, woman-hating “pickup artist” guru known for advocating manipulative and often quite abusive “game” techniques to give men the upper hand in relationships and in the dating market. These run the gamut from emotional abuse – what he calls “dread game,” an elaborate portfolio of gaslighting ploys to keep women feeling insecure and off-balance – to straightforward physical abuse – slapping women “when necessary” to assert “alpha male” dominance.

Now he’s suggesting that wannabe lotharios borrow some tips on how to “game” women from the Duluth Power and Control Wheel, a widely used violence intervention tool designed to fight abuse, not provide a blueprint for it.

The Duluth Wheel highlights some of the most prevalent kinds of abusive behavior. Heartiste mines its descriptions of abuse for dating tips, claiming to find in it “a few curious nuggets of anti-feminist truth about relationships and how to keep them going.”

In his recent post, Heartiste goes through some of the descriptions of abusive behavior on the Duluth Wheel – and recasts them as handy tools for would-be “alpha males.”

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JordanOwen42 on the Couch: Two wannabe Sarkeesian muckrakers react to the horrible news that she’s been telling the truth

JordanOwen43 tries the talking cure

JordanOwen42 tries the talking cure

So what do you do when a fondly held fantasy crumbles? That’s a question that both Davis Aurini and Jordan Owen have had to ask themselves this past week, when something they both desperately hoped was true – that Anita Sarkeesian had lied about contacting the police about death threats she’d gotten on Twitter – was shown convincingly to be false.

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Anton LaVey impersonator Davis Aurini makes a “film,” and it’s worse than you could possibly imagine

[NOTE: The original video on Davis Aurini's YouTube channel was taken down shortly after the post went up. So I've embedded the version that is, as of this moment, up on the director's YouTube channel. I''d recommend that you download this for your permanent collection.]

Ok, so I’ve been working on a post about the latest ridiculous doings of our friends Davis Aurini and JordanOwen42 — the not-so-dynamic duo who’ve been desperately begging for money to make their Totally Serious documentary about how evil Anita Sarkeesian is. But then I watched this, and it’s too good not to post on its own.

This is Lust in the Time of Heartache, a short “philosophical” film written and produced, and  just posted on teh Interwebs, by Mr. Aurini. I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be a comedy, but I was laughing at it from beginning to end.

There’s nothing about this film that’s not terrible and ridiculous, from the choice of fonts in the title sequence to the names of the characters as revealed in the closing credits.

Where even to start in criticizing this mess? The, er, “acting?” The pretentious, pseudo-philosophical voiceover, delivered by Mr. Aurini himself? The shrill, frantic — yet somehow also meandering — music that plays almost continuously from beginning to end? The ludicrously unconvincing fight choreography? The ill-fitting suits? The evo psych? The dawning recognition that this whole thing is meant to depict how Aurini sees himself in our “fallen” world?

The fact that this ten minute film credits a “parkour consultant?”

I’m going to borrow a couple of lines from Pauline Kael’s famous review of the legendarily stinky 1970 film Song of Norway because they offer a pretty fair assessment of this one as well:

The movie is of an unbelievable badness. … You can’t get angry at something this stupefying; it seems to have been made by trolls.

She means “under the bridge”-style trolls, not the modern kind.

Oh, and the sound is awful, too. NOTE: Dialogue is supposed to be louder than the background noises.

Anyway, just watch it. It’s only ten minutes long. And definitely stay for the final credits. You’ll see why.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. Read this glowing review, from some dude on YouTube:

Excellent writing that encompasses the transitions from one cinematic style to the next. At first I was concentrating on the technical problems and lackluster performances, however, after about 5 mins in, the pacing kicked up a notch. Well done, sir.
Well done, indeed!

 

Masculinist India: A woman-hating “Men’s Rights” group even more extreme than its Western inspirations

Feminists made me a misogynist: from Masculinist India

Feminists made me a misogynist: from Masculinist India

Congratulations, A Voice for Men. You are having an impact upon the world.

Or at least upon one organization in India, a truly reprehensible group called Masculinist India, which has adopted the histrionic rhetorical style, and even some of the specific arguments, advanced by AVFM and other North American Men’s Rights groups for a series of graphically challenged “masculinist” memes posted on Facebook and on the group’s web page. Masculinist India has even adopted AVFM’s preferred nomenclature, describing its members as “Men’s Human Rights Activists.” They are of course the complete opposite of “human rights” activists, campaigning instead against basic rights for women.

The influence of AVFM and other Western Men’s Rightsers can been seen again and again in Masculinist India’s posts and memes, which have all the sophistication and subtlety of Chick Tracts.

The “feminists made me a misogynist” logic of the meme above, for example, echoes the argument made in “Hate Bounces,” an influential MRA screed by MRA/MGTOW elder “Zed,” and by countless other MRAs including former AVFM Number Two John Hembling.

Other memes borrow not only the arguments of Western MRAs but recycle the same tired stock photos, like the angry woman in this meme, a favorite amongst Western MRAs.

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Leave it to The Spearhead to come up with the most repellent take on Ray Rice I’ve seen thus far

Ray Rice, Janay Rice

The We Hunted the Mammoth Pledge Drive continues! If you haven’t already, please consider sending some bucks my way. (And don’t worry that the PayPal page says Man Boobz.) Thanks!

If you hope to make it through the day without losing all hope in humanity, you may not wish to read the following thoughts on Ray and Janay Rice from our old friend from The Spearhead, W.F. Price.

I know people instinctively and reflexively sympathize with the victim of a brutal attack, but …

Yeah, I’m giving you all one more chance to back out of this right now, because we all know that nothing good is going to come after that “but.”

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Zoe Quinn’s screenshots of 4chan’s dirty tricks were just the appetizer. Here’s the first course of the dinner, directly from the IRC log

Sorry, guys. I actually read the logs.

Sorry, guys. I actually read the logs.

The We Hunted the Mammoth Pledge Drive continues! If you haven’t already, please consider sending some bucks my way. (And don’t worry that the PayPal page says Man Boobz.) Thanks!

A couple of days ago, embattled indie game designer Zoe Quinn embarrassed some of her biggest critics by posting screenshots she’d collected from a 4channer IRC channel, showing an assortment of hateful and duplicitous #GamerGaters literally conspiring to wreck her reputation and create the illusion of a vast grassroots uprising against alleged corruption in the gaming business.

Her critics, put on the defensive, tried their best to dismiss her screenshots as “cherry picked,” and a few even accused her of writing the very messages she screenshotted and posted. Oh, there might be a few bad apples in the bunch, some were willing to concede, but they were in the minority.

And then they pulled out what they thought was their trump card: the full chat log from the IRC channel #burgersandfries from when the Zoe Quinn “scandal” first erupted in mid-August up until September 6th. All anyone had to do, they suggested, was to read the log, and they would soon see that Quinn was presenting a distorted picture based on out-of-context, “cherry-picked” quotes.

Of course, reading this particular log is a bit easier said than done: it’s 3756 pages, in 10-point type, of chaotic overlapping IRC conversations.

This is a classic case of what’s come to be known as “doc dumping,” which Wikipedia helpfully defines as

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Men’s Rights Activists: Video gaming should be a “safe space” for male nerds.

No girls allowed!

Safe space! No girls allowed!

Though Men’s Rights activists devote an enormous amount of their time denouncing feminism – or at least the imaginary version of feminism that exists only in their own heads – they’re happy to appropriate feminist concepts when it suits them. One that many MRAs seem especially eager to claim for themselves is the idea of the “safe space.”

Of course, their version of the “safe space” bears only a slight resemblance to the feminist original. Feminists seek to create spaces for discussion in which say, rape survivors can discuss their experiences without being triggered by insensitive arguers and trolls and mansplainers in general.

When MRAs talk about “safe spaces,” by contrast, their goal is often to exclude women not just from discussion spaces but from full participation in society, essentially declaring giant arenas of work and play, from STEM fields to video games, to be places where feminists, and women in general, should fear to tread.

And so it’s hardly surprising that more than a few MRAs are arguing that the Zoe Quinn “scandal” proves that women and gaming don’t mix – or, at least, that they shouldn’t.

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