Category Archives: oppressed men
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.
Once upon a time, you may recall, women were denied the right to vote, couldn’t own property, were prevented from having careers of their own. Well, it turns out that all of these pesky “restrictions” weren’t really restrictions at all! They were protections that men provided women out of the goodness of their hearts. Men protected women from the terrible burdens of voting and property-owning and so forth, because they just cared about women so much.
Or at least that’s what a lot of Men’s Rights Activists seem to think, judging from this highly edifying discussion in the Men’s Rights subreddit.
It wasn’t just sierranevadamike who was “blown away” by rogersmith25’s comment: the Men’s Rights mods were so impressed that they reposted it and pinned it as the top post in their subreddit.
Apparently every day is “Opposite Day” on the Men’s Rights subreddit.
EDIT: Here, courtesy of Cloudiah, some more pictures of girls and women protected from that big nasty world out there.
Harassing feminists for expressing their condolences for Robin Williams: Men’s Rights Activism at its finest
Another victory for Men’s Rights activism!
The guy who posted this was so proud of his work here that he pinned this Tweet to the top of his Twitter home page.
Naturally, he went after Jessica Valenti for the same, er, crime.
MRAs are so convinced that feminists hate men that when feminists express their genuine sorrow about a man’s suicide it doesn’t occur to MRAs to perhaps reconsider some of their beliefs about feminism. No, they’d rather use it as an excuse to attack individual feminist women.
Speaking of which, here’s how the folks at A Voice for Men are mourning the death of Robin Williams — with a supremely nasty and opportunistic attack on Valenti.
More on Valenti in a bit.
Listening in on conversations amongst Men’s Rights Activists is often like taking a brief journey into an alternate universe, where cats are dogs and water is dry and men are the most oppressed creatures on planet earth.
Over in the Men’s Rights subreddit the other day, some of the regulars seem to have just discovered a famous feminist quotation, a paraphrase of something Margaret Atwood once wrote:
Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.
A number of the Men’s Rights Redditors were indignant that anyone could possibly suggest that women have more to fear from men than the other way around. And so, collectively, they came up with a rebuttal of sorts.
OneBigCosmicHorror began by suggesting that the real fear men have of women is much more primal:
Ah, but isn’t being laughed at basically the same as castration?
Oh, you silly ladies with your fears of being killed by men. We men face an even greater peril — the ever-present threat of laugh-castration!
Paul Elam: “If a woman five feet tall and 110 pounds soaking wet hits me, I am going to hit her back.”
Attention tiny ladies! Paul Elam wants you to know that if you attack him, he will totally punch you right back. And not in a satirical way, either. With his actual, non-satirical fists.
A Voice for Men’s maximum leader has long insisted that his notorious “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” post was nothing more than misunderstood “satire.” That is, when he argued that men who are abused by women would be totally justified if they “beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall,” this was somehow a “Juvenalian” satire of some sort. There’s a famous quote from The Princess Bride that might be appropriate here.
Well, now Mr. Elam has announced to the world that every month is a potential “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” for him. Even if the “Violent Bitch” in question is less than half his size. In a post that he insists is super serious, he writes:
I have a confession to make: I don’t always read the comments on posts by Men’s Rights Activists.
I realize this might come as a shock to some of you. I mean, one of the main, er, critiques I get from MRAs is that I “cherry pick” comments from MRAs to make them look bad — never mind that it is the comments that make them look bad, not me. But the embarrassing fact is that I often don’t read the comments at all.
In my defense, I have a hard enough time making it through the posts themselves. Life is short, and MRAs are long-winded. And by the time I get to the end of a lot of MRA posts, I’ve pretty much lost my patience with their nonsense. The last thing I want to do at that moment is to read the fawning word-vomit of a bunch of irritating fucks whose comments are likely to be as bad or possibly even worse than the original post.
So today I decided to do a sort of penance for my sins — and to actually read through a week’s worth of comments on A Voice for Men to see what I could learn about the world, and (perhaps more to the point) about the sort of people who actually enjoy reading posts on that terrible site.
I tried my best to do this little experiment as scientifically as possible. But I cheated a little. I didn’t read the comments to every post. And I didn’t read every comment on the posts that I did look at. I mean, what the hell. There’s a limit to my masochism. Seriously, you try reading a week’s worth of this shit in one sitting.
Anyway, here are the Top 7 Insights I’ve learned from a week’s worth of comments at AVFM. In choosing the following, I stuck with comments that were either upvoted or unchallenged by the site’s regulars, or both.
So over in the Men’s Rights subreddit, some of the regulars have declared war on the meme above, attempting to “rebut” it by pointing out the many ways in which men’s bodies are regulated by the state.
Trouble is, they don’t seem to quite grasp what it means to have one’s body regulated by the state.
Their examples of laws regulating men’s bodies include conscription (which does not actually exist in the United States), sodomy laws (which, where they still exist, are no longer enforced), men not having their condoms paid for by insurance, and assorted laws that apply to both men and women, including “every time a man is precluded from smoking marijuana, taking ecstasy, or injecting himself with anabolic steroids for bodybuilding purposes.”
My favorite example, cited by numerous commenters, is alimony.
How exactly is alimony a restriction on men’s bodies? Well, according to the Men’s Rightsers, it’s a restriction on
One commenter spelled out the, er, “logic” in more detail:
Never mind that alimony, which is rarely awarded, can also go to men. And never mind that by this logic, every single law that’s ever been passed, including laws against embezzlement and jaywalking, could be considered a restriction on someone’s body. Hell, by this standard, parking tickets are an assault on your body because you have to earn the money to pay them.
Then there’s one dude who contends that women’s
“reproductive rights…” have never been limited. They can fuck out an endless supply of babies without a single hindrance. Hell, men are obligated to pay for each and every one of them.
Huh. So women “fuck out babies” with no help from anyone else?
I’m thinking that this fellow might need a refresher course in basic human biology
Also, I’m pretty sure that women as well as men are obligated to shell out money to provide for their own children. I don’t see a lot of young mothers getting showered with free food and diapers when they go to the grocery store.
To their credit, the regulars in Men’s Rights didn’t reward this last fellow with any upvotes.
Interestingly, none of the commenters bothered to track down the source of the claim in the meme. It’s not hard to find. It came from a report by the Guttmacher Institute documenting the number of bills regulating “reproductive health and rights” that were introduced in state legislatures in the first quarter of 2013. That’s right: there were 694 — not 624 — bills introduced in the first quarter of 2013 alone; 93 of them passed.
By the end of the year, as the Guttmacher Institute noted in a later report:
39 states enacted 141 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Half of these new provisions, 70 in 22 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services. …
This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year. To put recent trends in even sharper relief, 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010).
This legislative onslaught has dramatically changed the landscape for women needing abortion. … In 2000, 13 states had at least four types of major abortion restrictions and so were considered hostile to abortion rights … 27 states fell into this category by 2013. … The proportion of women living in restrictive states went from 31% to 56% … .
While the overwhelming majority of these new laws restricted reproductive health and rights, there were a few states that bucked the trends:
In sharp contrast to this barrage of abortion restrictions, a handful of states adopted measures designed to expand access to reproductive health services. Most notably, California enacted the first new state law in more than seven years designed to expand access to abortion, and five states adopted measures to expand access to comprehensive sex education, facilitate access to emergency contraception for women who have been sexually assaulted and enable patients’ partners to obtain STI treatment.
You can read the details here. Somehow I doubt that any Men’s Rights Redditors ever will.