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Internet Inactivism and the MRA Paradox

MRA in action

As I’ve pointed out before, the vast majority of Men’s Rights Activists aren’t really activists at all, if by “activists” you mean people who occasionally get off their asses and try to engage in political activity in the real world. As I put in in my piece for the Good Men Project on misogyny in the Men’s Rights movement,

Men’s rights activists aren’t much like any other activists I’ve ever run across. For one thing, for supposed activists they are almost completely inactive. Sure, they complain endlessly about things they see as terrible injustices against men. They just don’t do anything about them. While some of those who consider themselves fathers’ rights activists—a slightly different breed from your garden-variety MRAs—try to influence laws and legislatures, MRAs do little more than cultivate their resentments.

MRAs seem to be good at one thing, and one thing only: posting angry comments on websites, whether their own or on those of their many enemies – whether that’s on blogs like this one or in the comments section on various mainstream media sites they consider “misandrist.” (Actually: that’s not entirely fair – on a few occasions, MRAs have been moved to make threatening phone calls as well.) They don’t raise money for anything but their own web sites and their pet projects. They don’t organize demonstrations that involve more than a tiny handful of people.  Like, for example, this one, involving one dude dressed like Batman who climbed up onto a highway sign:

Or this one, which involved a dude dressed up as Batman and a dude dressed up as Robin, climbing up on a bridge.

If your protests typically involve fewer people than, say, the line of people waiting to use the Redbox video rental kiosk outside your local supermarket on a Friday night, I think it’s safe to say that yours is not a mass movement, at least not yet.

Am I being unfair in demanding MRAs actually, literally,get off their asses before I consider them to be activists? Perhaps.

But, as it turns out, MRAs aren’t much good at sitting-on-your-ass activism either. Case in point: For quite some time – weeks? months? — MRA elder Paul Elam has been urging readers of his blog A Voice For Men to sign a petition to disbar a District Attorney he and other MRAs have decided is corrupt. But despite his repeated pleas to his readers to sign the thing, it has not yet garnered the required 1000 signatures, even though at least a few of his readers have talked about signing it more than once. [Edited to add: it has now gotten more than 1000 signaturesd.]

Today, this particular example of internet inactivism prompted Elam to lash out at his non-signing readers. Declaring himself “tired and frustrated” and “sick of this shit,” he once again begged his readers to sign. Then he went a step further, suggesting that he might limit commenting on his site to “activists that are contributing to this site in one way or another” as a way of encouraging activism and discouraging those who are “sucking up air and doing little else.”

I don’t think further exhortation on his part – or limiting the comments there to “real” activists only – is likely to make much difference. [Edited to add: Nagging a few more people to spend two minutes signing an online petition is one thing. Actually transforming them into real activists is another.]  Elam is running up against the inherent paradox of Men’s Rights “activism” – the fact that most of those complaining the most about alleged injustices against men are not in fact interested in changing anything. Their “activism,” as it were, is little more than an excuse to wallow in their own bitterness, and to blame others for their own problems.

If MRAs really cared about domestic violence against men – as opposed to using the issue as a rhetorical weapon against feminists – they would be raising money and devoting their time to actually building shelters, like the (mostly) women who built the first shelters decades ago, and the (mostly) women who keep these shelters going today. If MRAs were really interested in stopping prison rape, instead of simply complaining about it, they’d be donating money to or working with the advocacy group Just Detention or other groups concerned about the treatment of prisoners. If they were really interested in helping those falsely accused of rape or other crimes, they’d be working with The Innocence Project or some other group fighting for the falsely accused or convicted. Or they would be starting real organizations of their own.

But that’s not, at heart, what the MRM is about. For all but a tiny handful of real activists, it’s not about changing the world. It’s about creating a space where men can kvetch and blame and cultivate their own sense of martyrdom. Actually trying to change the real world would involve , well, going out into the real world, a place where their assertions about the alleged oppression of men are seen as the nonsense they are, a place where their bitterness and hatred of women is seen as bitterness and hatred rather than the righteous anger they like to imagine that it is.

When MRAs do venture out of their self-created bubble they tend to either make fools of themselves – like Batman on the highway sign in the video above – or to reveal themselves to be the angry fanatics they are. Elam, for his part, sometimes even has trouble making his case in the relatively sympathetic environment of the Men’s Rights subreddit on Reddit, and is quickly reduced to sputtering rage when anyone disagrees with him. In the end, sputtering rage seems to be what the MRM is really all about.

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NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Nobinayamu…I’ve given the money, I’ve signed the petition. Now I fight the internet fight. You see I am doing my part. Don’t worry, soon enough YOU will enact laws to incarcerate men for writing “hate speech.”

Doctress Julia
10 years ago

Yeah, none of us care. That’s why we’re here. /s

And, from now on, I am calling you Fopah. XD

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Joe…”Hey, NWO, have you stopped beating your wife?” Again, no answer, just a personal attack.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Nobinayamu | May 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Fine sentiment, yet the UN/UNICEF, all feminist organisations endorse women only food distribution for disaster relief. What are you going to do about it?

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Laughing gull…well I signed long ago against this injustice, since your real name and address and such need to be given it owuld appear to be legit. Did YOU sign the petition or was it just OK by you? Since it was a man being treated like a vile piece of filth was it good?

Marion in Savannah
Marion in Savannah
10 years ago

He really is a one trick pony, isn’t he?

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

Is attention whoring a bannable offense? If it’s not, it should be.

Apologies to all the hard-working legitimate whores out there.

Plymouth
Plymouth
10 years ago

NWOSlave – oh for crying out loud, how is referring to a well known trick question a “personal attack”? Have you seriously never heard that one before? Did you not grow up in the U.S.? I think they know that one in England and Canada too.

Laughing gull
Laughing gull
10 years ago

NWO I have no desire to see anyone treated unfairly. Women hate false rape accusations too. I’m sure this has been discussed before at great length judging from previous posts. I’ve tried to find out more about this case, seems Paul Elam’s name comes up on all links and with crowds of strawmen around everything MRA, I tend to be wary.

As far as the petition, all one has to do is read the comments in “A Voice For Men” to realize there may be some duplicates.

If the guy is falsely accused, I hope like hell he gets off. I mean… freed.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Laughing gull | May 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm…Than sign the petition. Or is a mans justice just a theoretical puzzle to be pondered over?

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

Women hate false rape accusations too.

I don’t think we can emphasize this strongly enough. Every false accusation only serves to make it harder for anyone–men or women–who have been assaulted to seek justice.

Still, I have yet to see an MRA who was willing to argue the issue in good faith.

Laughing gull
Laughing gull
10 years ago

I figured, Captain Bathrobe. Love your name.

NWO, refer to previous post.

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
10 years ago

Somehow I’m failing to see a downside to these jackasses sitting at home and accomplishing nothing outside of their continual ragesturbation. I’d rather have them engaged in do-nothing hatewank than out there in the really real world where they can inflict themselves on many more innocent people in far more destructive fashion.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

To all of you who are against the injustice of false rape accusation, why not sign the petition? Unless of course you just don’t care.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

@Laughing gull:

Thanks. There’s a not-very-interesting story behind it.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Captain Bathrobe…I guess you could emphasize your hatred of false accusations by signing the position, or is it all talk?

Amnesia
Amnesia
10 years ago

David might as well change all NWOslave’s posts to “I’M RIGHT CAUSE I SAY SO AND I’M ALWAYS RIGHT!” and save us all some time.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Amnesia…Well how about you than? I agree with the assumption that false rape accusation do make it harder for true rapes to be prosecuted. Well heres your chance to do something about it. A small show of good faith that you care about men being unjustly treated. Just a few minutes of your time to sign a petition. Fuck it, doesn’t matter. Right?

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
10 years ago

@NWOSlave:

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’d personally rather nail my dick to a burning building than sign anything like this put forward by someone on your side of the fence. Mainly because it’s laughably transparent that the idea is not to reduce or prevent false rape accusations but rather to advance the idea that most reports of rape are false and to continue to blur the lines of what constitutes clear consent.

Doctress Julia
10 years ago

I still vote for ‘Fopah’. lol

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@MertvayaRuka…Good for you, lock that fucker up. Piece-o-shit man that he is. Guilty, guilty, guilty. A woman said so. Hang him from the highest yard arm. Death for him and all those like him. And death to me. And death to those who disagree. Because its all about EEEEEEquality.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

@Captain Bathrobe…I guess you could emphasize your hatred of false accusations by signing the position, or is it all talk?

Sure, and while we’re at it, why don’t you show your support for women by donating to Planned Parenthood? Otherwise, I will conclude that you hate women. That’s fair isn’t it?

Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I have no obligation to adopt your pet causes on your say-so. In fact, based on your record of being straight-up wrong about everything, I’m inclined to support the opposite of whatever you support. You have no credibility. Go sell stupid somewhere else.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@MertvayaRuka…Just out of curiosity, I didn’t know there was a “side.” I thought justice for all didn’t have a side. How telling of the feminist hate movement, do what we say or go to jail.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Captain Bathrobe…why would a vote for an organisation that uses my money to abort children which I’m against? Whats your excuse?

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
10 years ago

NWOslave, your question makes little sense unless you start with the assumption (which I am fairly sure you DO) that a woman receiving food before a man is wrong.

If a woman is given a bowl of soup before the man, no she is not starving him. If he attacks her because she has that bowl of soup, he is wrong. He should just ask her to share.

Joe
Joe
10 years ago

Whoosh!

‘A loaded question is a question which contains a controversial assumption such as a presumption of guilt. Such questions are used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to be those that serve the questioner’s agenda. The traditional example is the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife, and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

Manboob says what?

Amnesia
Amnesia
10 years ago

@NWOslave
Yeah, sure, I’ll get right on it, just as soon as I finish my campaigning for flying pigs to roam freely in the skies…

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth…The UN/UNICEF policy for disaster relief is only women recieve food. Men do not recieve any food what so ever. Perhaps you find it amusing for men to beg like dogs from a womans plate in hopes she’ll throw him some scraps. If she doesn’t and he attacks he gets throw in jail. This policy is endorsed by every feminist organisation. This is YOUR policy.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Amnesia…I really didn’t expect you to care. I expect the day pigs fly is the day you’ll care.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

@Captain Bathrobe…why would a vote for an organisation that uses my money to abort children which I’m against? Whats your excuse?

That I don’t know enough about the case to make an informed decision and your say-so isn’t sufficient? And even if I did I wouldn’t sign a petition associated with the MRM, lest my signature by interpreted as support of the movement as a whole?

The point of my Planned Parenthood analogy, which you seem to have missed, is that it’s perfectly possible to support a particular position in general (i.e., false rape is bad or women are good) without taking a specific action someone else wants you to do (i.e., signing a petition or donating to an organization).

Another example: I don’t especially like paying taxes. But when saying sticks a petition in my face to lower taxes, I want to know the specifics: who will benefit here? Who wins? Who loses? Who supports this and who is against it?

Right now, all I have to go on is that you support this. That’s enough to tell me that not only is it not something I support, it’s not worth wasting my time to find out more about.

See, you’re like a reverse-activist: your advocacy of a issue drives people away from it. Have you considered becoming a Republican operative? I’m sure they could use a good man like you.

There. I’ve violated my own rules long enough for this thread. Go back and languish in obscurity, troll.

coupdefoudre
coupdefoudre
10 years ago

“The UN/UNICEF policy for disaster relief is only women recieve food.”

Please post a link from the UN website stating this as their official policy.

Amnesia
Amnesia
10 years ago

You’re absolutely right. I don’t care what you think.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

“Saying” should be “someone.” I hate not being able to preview.

Johnny Pez
10 years ago

Awwwwwwwww! Slavey haz a sad!

Holly
10 years ago

I suppose it should have been obvious from the name, but nwo that I know NWOslave is an anti-semite in addition to a woman-hater, it just turns me off from even trying to engage with him. It’s like, if he only had one area of hatred, maybe it would be possible to make him think about it, but this cements him as a lost cause. Some people are unhappy so they turn to drugs, some turn to escapism, some turn to hatred. At this point no discussion on the Internet will break the cycle.

(Note to NWO: I will give you mad props if you can deny being a woman-hater in a way not phrased as “CALLING MEN WOMEN-HATERS IS JUST ANOTHER TACTIC OF THOSE EVIL WOMEN.”)

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Captain Bathrobe…Here is an overview of the case. It’s quite clear cut. The woman lied the assistant DA lied in order to wrongfully convict a man. This woman Mary Kellett is in a position of power. She abused this power in an attempt to wrongfully convict a man. There is no “side” to this. Your only excuse to not sign the petition is feminism.

Ligia Filler was found on the road partially undressed, screaming she was going to kill her husband for abusing their children. The allegations were found to be false. But allegations that her husband had sexually assaulted her escalated into criminal charges against this innocent man.

Despite the lack of any physical evidence, Assistant DA Mary Kellett filed seven indictments of assault. The case was tried January 12-15, 2009. Mr. Filler was found guilty on three charges and innocent on four charges.

The case was appealed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and on Sept. 9, 2010 the Court ordered a new trial, concluding that Keller had engaged in prosecutorial misconduct because she had:

“improperly encouraged the jury to use the absence of evidence regarding the marriage ending and a child custody dispute – evidence that had been excluded based on the State’s objection – as a reason to reject [defendant] Filler’s case.”

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Holly…Ahhh, now in addition to a woman hater, I’m also an anti-semite. How do you know I’m NOT a semite?

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

Oh yeah, I know about this one. Sounds like the guy got a raw deal, but at least a new trial was ordered. I assume the MRM wants the prosecutor fired? Or are they holding out for drawing and quartering?

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
10 years ago

@NWOSlave:

Wow, you are a scaredy little git aren’t you? All I say is I wouldn’t sign that petition and I give my reasons why and you see it as some kind of a threat? That pretty much tells me all I need to know about you.

And also speaking for myself, if you feel that worried about being falsely accused of rape, good. That’s one less of you out there scoping intoxicated women at bars or trying to pressure women into sex because you think they fucking owe you something. At least in this case your contempt for women actually serves some practical purpose instead of just propping up your bloated sense of self-worth.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

NWOslave: It’s quite clear cut unless you read anything written about it that doesn’t come from Paul Elam or Filler’s attorney. Then it becomes not clear cut at all. Do your research. Oh right, you don’t want to. Okay then.

Johnny Pez: Is that a basenji? I’m trying to figure it out, but it’s such a small picture.

Holly
10 years ago

NWOslave – Because most semites (like me! shalom!) are very aware that the implications of paranoia about “international bankers” and “the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds” is a slightly more polite way of saying “the Jews control all the money and they’re keeping the Aryan man down.”

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

@ Bee

NWOslave: It’s quite clear cut unless you read anything written about it that doesn’t come from Paul Elam or Filler’s attorney. Then it becomes not clear cut at all. Do your research. Oh right, you don’t want to. Okay then.

Thank you, Bee. I suspected there was more to the story. My instincts prove correct again. One will never lose money or sleep by assuming the MRM is wrong.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Holly…To answer you question in (). I’ve never hit, hurt or been disrespectful to a woman. I’ve never lied about anything a woman has done or hasn’t done. I’ve gone out of my way finacially to assist impoverished women. I’ve even carried old ladies groceries to their cars. I’ve even once save a womans childs life or at least from injury as the child fell from car seat the woman placed on her car roof; as the child wriggled out of the seat I dove onto the asphault and caught her before she hit the ground. I once stood up for a woman who was being yelled at by a drunken man. Plus your usual daily courtesies.

So when I stood up or helped these women I was considered “good.” But when I stand up for a man I’m considered “bad.”

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

Yeah, the only thing Google reveals about the Filler case comes from the usual suspects (i.e., the MRM). I’m going to wait until I hear about it from a more trustworthy source, since most of what comes from that quarter (that which can be verified) is bullshit.

Holly
10 years ago

I didn’t say you’d never done anything good for women in your life.

(Wait… the fucking hell you haven’t been disrespectful to a woman! I’ve seen you do that! Like, constantly!)

I said you hate women. That you consider them bad, or lesser, or irresolvably different from yourself in some weirdly conspiratorial way, or that you imagine they all hate you.

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

The policy of distributing food to women is not based on some nefarious plot to starve men. It is because aid workers noticed that, if they gave food to men, the men had a tendency to either hoard it for themselves or sell it, while the women and children around them went hungry. However, if they gave it directly to women, the women had a greater tendency to share it out amongst their kin – especially kin that might not be able to buy food or defend hoarded caches.

This is not to say that all men are presumed hoarders or opportunists, or that no woman ever engaged in similar practices. This is just what aid workers have noticed – if they fed women, the women would then feed everyone else, including men. Including poor men, disabled men, old men and male children.

No one is out to get you, NWOslave. Stop reading Prison Planet and Disinfo. No one is coming to put you in a camp or shoot your family. No one cares enough. And if someone did come up with a plan to turn the US Government into a fascist, Big Brother state? It’s the power hungry, status obsessed hierarchical people who’d want to live in that system – the conservatives and traditionalists. And who would oppose them? The bleeding heart liberals you so enjoy sneering at.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Holly…Ahh, I see. If the bad men are evil white men holding women down we may mock and disparage them with impunity. But if someone at the top is semetic and they’re doing something harmful the are immune to criticism lest you become anti-semetic.

You see, I really don’t care what race, sex, nationality or faith you prescribe to. If you’re doing something harmful you’re wrong and no victim card you pull out of your sleeve is going to change that. What you’re saying is if a few families who ARE at the top of the pyramid are robbing nations of their wealth we can’t say, “hey, what you’re doing is wrong” because they prescribe to a certain faith?

Holly
10 years ago

Well, for starters, because it’s all fictional, but I know how far I’m going to get with that.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Lady Victoria von Syrus….No you are wrong, up until the onslaught of the poison of feminism, aid was given to the men and everyone was fed. The men would would dig out all survivors from collapsed buildings and such, just as they do today. The only difference is, today after they used the men like pack mules in Haiti they then proceeded to starve them. There is no excuse.

NWOslave
NWOslave
10 years ago

@Holly…Whats fictional? That the Rothchilds control the worlds money supply? I don’t care if they’re fucking martians, they’ve ensalved the world to a false money system where ALL governments now borrow money from them. If ya don’t believe me look it up, before the federal reserve was signed into existence in 1913 there was NO inflation for 150 years of record keeping in the US.