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The Catster Debates: Or, I inadvertently bring MRAs to an innocent cat website

From that other blog of mine

From that other blog of mine

So I did an interview about my Confused Cats Against Feminism blog with Catster.com, a site that devotes itself to collecting “helpful and hilarious information for the worldly but still infatuated Cat aficionado.” Alas, as a result of publishing this interview with me yesterday, they now seem to be collecting angry MRA commenters as well.

Here are some highlights of the, er, debate so far, which I’ve waded into myself, perhaps unwisely. (These are selections, with a bunch missing, though the comments that look obviously like they are responses to other comments, are.) Maeve Connor is the author of the post about me.

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Confused Dudes Confused by Confused Cats Against Feminism

Sweetie Pie Jonus pities the fools.

Sweetie Pie Jonus pities the fools.

Oh dear. Some very confused dudes on the A Voice for Men Forums are angry at the Huffington Post for suggesting that Confused Cats Against Feminism might just be a parody of Women Against Feminism.

A guy calling himself Humansplaining w/ Jarred starts off the thread — titled “HuffPo tries – and fails – to politicize ‘Cats Against Feminism'” — with this little rant. (I’ve bolded some of the especially silly stuff.)

So, being that ‘Women Against Feminism’ is an internet phenomenon, through Tumblr as well as Twitter, the internet inevitably took this thread in the direction it takes EVERYTHING nowadays – cats.

If you read through all the ‘Cats Against Feminism’ memes, you’ll notice that they pretty much all revolve around, well…CATS. Go figure, huh? References to food, tuna, shedding, and biting predominate these posts. The references to ‘Feminism’ are basically incidental, since this is just piggy-backing on the viral success of ‘Women Against Feminism’. Those posting these memes never really express whether they are in favor of, or against Feminism. It’s clearly not meant to appeal to EITHER side of the issue. Rather, it’s simply a silly meme meant to produce a few chuckles for ANYONE that happens to run across them. Just like every other stupid cat meme on the internet, of which there must literally be TRILLIONS.

But HuffPo apparently sees things differently …

You know what? I think those CATS are smarter than the people at Huffpo that produced this article. THEY think that Feminism is a stupid and pointless human concept, and they wish you’d stop talking about it and fighting amongst each other, because they need you to FEED them!
Seriously HuffPo, learn to take a joke, and give the ideology a rest for 5 FUCKING SECONDS already.

Because the cats are laughing at YOU now…

AVFM forum dudes, I hate to break it to you, but the cats aren’t laughing at the Huffington Post. They’re laughing at you.

Maybe I need to start up a new blog: Confused Cats Confused by Confused Cats Against Feminism.

Belated Award Ceremony for that “Design a Commemorative Plate for A Voice for Men” contest with REAL PRIZE

As you can tell, I too am a graphics wiz!

As you can tell, I too am a graphics wiz!

Hey, remember that contest we had in which we designed commemorative plates for A Voice for Men? Well, TA DA! Today I announce the winner! Who will win an actual real you-can-put-liquids-in-it coffee mug with the words “MALE TEARS” on it.

First let me say that there were many, many fine entries, all of them living up to the incredibly high standards set by Men’s Rights graphic artists.

But I can only award the prize to one person, because those are the rules I made up for the contest, so without further ado, the MALE TEARS mug goes to … drumroll … Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III, for his highly conceptual commemorative plate honoring A Voice for Men’s commemorative coin, which is what inspired this whole contest in the first place:

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The Amazing Atheist’s not-so-amazing thoughts on the age of consent

The alleged theamazingatheist's allegedly false confession

The alleged theamazingatheist’s allegedly false confession

You may have run across an image macro going around the internet recently featuring a picture of YouTube ranter and sometime Men’s Rights ally The Amazing Atheist – aka Terroja or TJ Kinkaid – and an appalling quote, supposedly from him, arguing that MRAs should campaign to lower the age of consent, because “[n]ature already has an age of consent. That age is approximately 12-13, otherwise known as the onset of puberty.”

I didn’t post about the quote, appalling as it is, because I couldn’t find any proof that Mr. Kincaid actually wrote or said it; I even searched several of Mr. Kincaid’s books and a document entitled “The Somewhat Complete Ravings of TJ Kincaid” to no avail. Apparently no one else has been able to find the quote either.

If this quote was fabricated, I’m a little puzzled as to why, because Kincaid has actually said very similar things before. Given the confusion about the quote, I thought it might be worth noting what we know he has said on the topic.

In a 2006 posting on a Marilyn Manson fan site, linked to in RationalWiki’s profile of him, a self-identified “atheist libertarian” calling himself Terroja argued that

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The Top 7 Things I Learned From a Week’s Worth of Comments at A Voice for Men

Let me count the ways

Let me count the ways

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.

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The gender and racial makeovers of Thor and Captain America rustle jimmies at The Spearhead and Chateau Heartiste

Captain America and the guy who'll be taking over his job

Captain America and the guy who’ll be taking over his job

So it turns out that Red Pill Redditors aren’t the only ones in a tizzy about Marvel comics’ plan to replace Thor (the superhero, not the actual Norse god, all praise him) with a woman. All over the manosphere, jimmies are rustling at the news.

The proudly racist, woman-hating pickup artist guru known as Heartiste is not only outraged by the “gelding” of Thor but also, and even more vehemently, by Marvel’s decision to make Captain America black, which he bizarrely describes as a kind of racial cuckolding:

Liberals are gloating over the recent editorial choices to geld Thor and race cuck Captain America. The former will become Whor, the female Thor, and the latter will become Captain Gibsmedat, the numinous negro who saves the right kinds of white people from the wrong kinds of white people.

“Gibsmedat” – I had to look it up – is a term that ridiculous racists like to use to describe welfare checks and other “goods, services, or material … given predominately to minorities, in exchange for their tacit agreement to reciprocate by not burning down America’s cities.” It’s short, you see, for “gibs me dat.”

Hilarious, huh? The term seems to be especially popular on Chimpmania.com, a site so ludicrously racist it makes Stormfront look tame.

Heartiste continues, lashing out at a “fat white liberal quasi-male named Devin Faraci” for publicly supporting Marvel’s decision to (at least temporarily) give the Captain America costume to The Falcon, another public-spirited superhero who happens to be black:

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Alimony laws restrict men’s bodies, Men’s Rights Redditors claim. (Of course they do.)

An evil meme that oppresses male bodies

An evil meme that oppresses male bodies

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

ghebert001 6 points 18 hours ago (?|?)  The body which produces the labor that earns the money.      permalink     save     parent     report     give gold     reply  [–]S31556926 4 points 18 hours ago (?|?)  "You would've worked anyway." as if that makes forced labor without compensation somehow acceptable. Or that the coercive effects are somehow dismissible.      permalink     save     parent     report     give gold     reply  [–]ghebert001 1 point 7 hours ago (?|?)  Exactly, maybe the guy wants to work a low effort job because he just wants to earn enough money to live a simple life but now he's forced to work 2 or more grueling, high-stress jobs because apparently Muffin is entitled to "the lifestyle that has become accustomed to".

 

One commenter spelled out the, er, “logic” in more detail:

DulcineaIsAWhore 5 points 18 hours ago* (?|?)  In some cases, if a man refuses to work to earn money to pay child support or alimony, they'll throw him in jail.  So it's basically forced labor.  And at any rate, salary, almost always, is the product of an individual's bodily labor. Pretty much the same thing.

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.

Red Pillers: Making Thor a feeemale will accelerate our society’s plunge “down the rabbit hole of feminization.”

Thor and fellow Norse gods prepare for battle.

Thor, Captain America and other Norse gods prepare for battle.

Huh. So Thor — you know, that dude in the comic books based extremely loosely on Norse mythology — is going to be replaced by a woman. No, for reals. Marvel comics announced it  on The View. No, that’s for real  too.

I wonder what the alpha dogs over in the Red Pill subreddit might think of this?

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A Voice for Men’s Attila Vinczer is trying to “dox” me. It’s not going well for him so far.

Not Attila Vinczer

Not Attila Vinczer

This morning I found a strange message in my notifications on Twitter:

Mr. Vinczer followed up this perplexing tweet with a bunch more insinuating that I’m a “hack,” a “pathological liar,” a “criminal,” and so on — as well as some links to what he apparently sees as “dirt” about me. (More on the latter in a moment.)

Apparently Vinczer — the “Activia Director” for men’s rights hate site A Voice for Men and the son of the genius who designed that AVFM commemorative coin — was stung by my gentle criticism of his father’s coin-designing skills.

So he has decided to dox me, apparently going as far as hiring a private detective to look into my allegedly sordid life.

So far his doxing of me is not going very well, in that the “dirt” he has dug up about me is either wildly inaccurate, not particularly “infamous”– or not information about me, specifically, at all.

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How to Lose a Debate in 45 Minutes: Paul Elam fumbles his debate with Matt Binder

So, that happened.

The debate between Matt Binder (from the Majority Report) and Paul Elam (from A Pile of Money for Paul Elam) went off yesterday. I can’t say it went off without a hitch, because it was actually quite hitch-full. Indeed, it was kind of a disaster — at least for one Paul Elam.

Paul’s the one who wanted the debate. He chose the topic, he chose the format, he controlled the venue. And he lost the debate rather spectacularly, grimly reading a succession of prepared statements while Binder shot down his arguments with common-sensical one-lines and raised issues that Elam didn’t or couldn’t address.

Binder rattled Elam early by presenting him with an unattributed quote that sounded virtually identical to Elliot Rodger’s misogynistic rants and which Elam dismissed as something that no MRA would ever say; Binder then revealed that it was a quote from Stefan Molyneux, the MRA “philosopher” who was one of the featured speakers at AVFM’s recent conference. (Indeed, it was a quote that I highlighted in my first Misogyny Theater videos on Mr. M.)

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