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antifeminism misogyny MRA oppressed men threats violence against men/women

Amanda Marcotte on the Thomas Ball suicide, and MRA haters

Amanda Marcotte, feminist blogger and Friend of Man Boobz, has been taking a lot of shit from MRAs – and I mean a LOT of shit – for a comment she made here on the Thomas Ball suicide.

As you may already know, Ball burned himself to death outside a New Hampshire courthouse. In a lengthy manifesto he wrote shortly before killing himself, he portrayed his suicide as a protest against a corrupt family court system, and went on to argue that MRAs should quite literally assemble some Molotov cocktails and “start burning down police stations and courthouses.” (You can read the whole manifesto here.)  Despite his calls for violence many MRAs have hailed him as an MRA martyr.

Marcotte, in her comment here, suggested that there might have been other, more personal reasons for his suicide – namely, the desire to hurt his ex-wife:

I’ll point out that setting yourself on fire is an extremely effective tool if your goal is to make your ex-wife’s life a living hell, and if your anger at losing control over her overwhelms all other desires. Which is common enough with abusers, who will ruin their own lives and their own shit and turn their children against them in an effort to hurt the woman they’ve fixated on.

One MR blogger declared this comment “pure feminist evil”; a conservative blogger compared Marcotte to the Beast of Babylon.  Still other MRAs resorted to assorted variations on the c-word.

Marcotte has now responded to this, er, “criticism” with an excellent post on Pandagon. As she points out, correctly,

suicide and threats of suicide are common tactics used by abusers to hurt their victims. Abusers dramatically self-destruct all the time in their desperation to control and hurt the objects of their obsession.  There was just recently a big story about this, in fact: Jason Valdez of Utah, who had a long criminal record that included domestic violence, held a woman hostage in a hotel room for 16 hours and kept updates about the situation on Facebook. He eventually committed suicide.

The notion that suicide can be a hostile, aggressive act designed to hurt other people is hardly a controversial one, whether the person committing suicide is male or female. Threats of suicide are often used to manipulate other people; suicide itself can be an act of revenge.

Marcotte goes on:

Apparently, I’m supposed to pretend that suicide isn’t a disruptive, selfish act in many cases (especially when the suicide victim commits it in a public and destructive way), and that people who do it, while yes victims of their own mental health problems, are also thinking that they’re going to make everyone pay for not indulging them.  In fact, not only is this true in Ball’s case, but he spelled it out in his suicide note.  The “make the bastards suffer” theme of his note is the reason that wingnuts are supporting him.

But you don’t have to take her word for it. Read Ball’s entire manifesto, to the end, and ask yourself if this man is an appropriate “martyr” for any political movement.

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PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

“It only happened once” is not that great of a counter argument. Also, he did intend to hurt her-no one slaps a person with the intent of not hurting that person, even if it is only a brief sting.

If he had thrown her into the wall instead-would that not be child abuse either?

When does it become abuse to you? When the child is lying in a morgue?

Toysoldier
9 years ago

@Pecunium

The frequency of the abuse was not my only criteria. I also mentioned intent, which is important in terms of framing a case like this as abuse. As for hitting being done without the intent to harm, that is not a difficult notion. For example, if you slap a child’s hand when the child reaches for something, it might hurt them, but you probably are not trying to. You are trying to correct their behavior through a rather cowardly method. Likewise, arguing that certain acts do not constitute abuse does mean that one defends abuse, especially if one objects to hitting children in the first place.

That said, how admirable that you left out the word “defensible”. Few people have the courage to admit their arguments make no sense.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

No, hitting someone always is with the intent to hurt them-generally not to hurt them a lot.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

Toysoldier:

(1)
I asked for quotes that prove that Marcotte “mocks Ball:”

Please provide a quote from what she actually wrote, and evidence for your claim that she is motivated by “bigotry, sexism, and perverse satisfaction over someone’s suicide.”

You directed me to these comments, which contain “quotes” at least (a step up from your usual fare, “assertions”), but they don’t prove what you want them to.

Here is an example of Marcotte’s bigotry: “The entire letter is worth reading, because it’s a snapshot into the way that right wing propaganda and the online anti-feminist community (which anti-domestic violence activists have nicknamed the ‘abuser lobby’) can work on the mind of a mentally ill person and send them over the edge.” Here is another: “Ball killed himself in a fit of obsession over a divorce that happened ten years ago, but which he continued to fight and bemoan, and his obsession was clearly fueled by his engagement with the online anti-feminist community.”

Facty parts in bold. You’ve given up on the “sexism and perverse satisfaction” bit, because it makes no sense, but are attempting to hold the line on “bigotry.” Here is what she says:

–> Ball was influenced by right wing propaganda and the online anti-feminist community (this claim occurs twice): This looks correct, as evidenced by Ball’s use of common right wing and anti-feminist tropes in his suicide manifesto, such as:
*The phrase “the system” to refer to the government
*Claims that he is being “bullied for being a man,” not for failure to pay child support,
*Claims that “the people in Washington” have it in for him,
*Claims that the US government “declared war on men”
*Calls for violence: “It is time now to see how committed they are to their cause. It is time, boys, to give them a taste of war.”
*insinuations that women can get away with hitting their children and men cannot
*Feminism is Hitler: “Labeling someone’s action as domestic violence in American in the 21st century is akin to labeling someone a Jew in Germany in the 1930’s.”
*Obsession with the idea that being arrested for domestic violence is unjust and that large numbers of men are being targeted in this way
*Mention of VAWA
* “Some of the boys in the Father’s Movement think Congress might have shot themselves in the foot over this one. Personally, I think they shot themselves some place anatomically higher. No wonder the Speaker of the House is always crying. The Dummies on the Potomac.”
*”And if the Tea Party is any indication, insurrection is brewing in the land. Just a coincident? Not likely. This is what happens when the government wipes out the middle class.” [by which he means, men that have been accused of domestic violence]
*Blames Betty Friedan for the “fact” that 1 in every six adults in this country have been arrested for domestic violence
*Feminism is Stalin: “Feminists had always claimed that when women took over, we would have a kinder, gentler, more nurturing world. After 36 million arrests and 72 million evictions what we got was Joe Stalin.”
*“man-hating-feminists”
And that’s just from the first third of the manifesto!
Calling right wing people ‘right wing” and anti-feminists “anti feminist” isn’t “bigoted.” Saying that Ball may have been influenced by certain points of view isn’t, either.

–> Some have called the “online anti feminist community” the “abuser lobby” This is more of a meta-claim, as she’s talking about something other people have said about the MRA movement/s. Since attempting to argue that this distances Marcotte from the claim would be disingenuous, I’ll address the fact of the claim itself: does the online anti-feminist community lobby on behalf of what, among most people who speak English, is referred to as “abuse” or “abusers”? Yes it does: womens’ shelters and women leaving their abusive partners are commonly decried by MRAs.

–> Ball was a mentally ill person with an obsession. Finally, claims about the man himself. I, for one, would describe someone’s ten-years’-running concern with his ex-wife as an “obsession.” I also think the description of Ball as “mentally ill” is probably accurate. The use of the pet name “The Second Set of Books” for the conspiracy he believes he has uncovered—to arrest domestic violence cases!—and the claim that 25% of the population of the US is homeless because men have been accused of domestic violence don’t make him look, you know, stable. I don’t know for sure, though. But harsh words are not necessarily “bigotry.”

Might I remind you that you yourself say that Ball had something wrong with his mind when you write this:

Nothing is stopping anyone from discussing the sad human tragedy of a man feeling so boxed in that he lit himself on fire to kill himself. All the issues related to how horrible that person must feel, the situation that person must be in, that person’s mental state, and how people around that person missed or ignored the warning signs has been traded for trashing the man as serial abuser who killed himself to guilt his ex-wife and daughter.

When it makes Ball look good, he’s got something wrong with him. When it makes Marcotte look bad, then calling him “mentally ill” is bigotry. Classy.

Once again, Marcotte isn’t “trashing” him. She’s laying into the MRA movement Once again you’re equating any criticism of the MRA movement with mockery of the man himself, and therefore “bigotry.” Not going to work, especially since you disavow any connection between Ball and the MRA movement on those occasions when it makes him look bad.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

(2)

Secondly, quoting Marcotte’s inaccurate speculation about Ball’s statements is not proof that the speculation is based on Ball’s statements.

English, motherfucker: do you speak it? Of course it is: that’s what she’s speculating about. Right or wrong, her speculation is “based on” Ball’s writings.

Thirdly, my comment about the smugness was about comments made on this thread, not Marcotte’s comments, although her comments are quite smug and conceited, which is her general writing tone.

What do comments on this thread have to do with Marcotte then? And where do you see evidence of “smugness” in Marcotte’s writing on Ball? She lays into MRAs pretty heavily but that’s cause she, you know, hates their point of view.

Fourthly, a throw-away comment like “To be very clear, I feel bad that Thomas Ball killed himself” does not negate an entire post that trashes the man.

So…you are now the arbiter of what counts as “throw away lines” now. Good luck with that.
But let’s look at this in context. In addition to “I feel bad that Thomas Ball killed himself,” Marcotte writes things like this:

It’s conceivable that he wouldn’t have killed himself if he hadn’t had a steady diet of internet rantings from self-pitying fools who want the government to stop taking rape and domestic violence seriously as crimes. If the people who are making a martyr of Ball had any self-awareness, they would reflect on how their hatreds and obsessions can drive mentally ill people to the brink and cause acts of violence like Ball’s.

She’s not “trashing Ball,” she’s regretting his association with the MRAs that might have driven him to do this. The “self-pitying fools” who “rant” aren’t him,, they’re you guys.

He claims that arresting men for beating their wives and children has somehow left 72 million people homeless because that’s what he believes happens when you get divorced. (Though the fact that he wouldn’t pay his child support undermines his insistence that he’s only thinking of women’s well-being when he insists that they should be forced to allow their abusers back into their homes.) He argues that men who voted for the Violence Against Women Act emasculated themselves. He compares arresting abusers for domestic violence to the Holocaust.

These are accurate descriptions of Ball’s positions. They are also positions that many MRAs endorse.

Fifthly, Marcotte did not talk about Ball’s mental state.

I thought she did, and it was mean because it was bigotry? Which is it?

She talked about her opinion of his motivation for committing suicide, and fabricated elements of Ball’s motivation to suit her views. If she believes he killed himself to spite his ex-wife, she can believe that. However, there is no evidence supporting that.

From Ball’s manifesto:
The ex-wife lawyer wants me jailed for back child support…I could have made a phone call or two and borrowed the money. But I am done being bullied for being a man.”
“My story starts with the infamous slapping incident of April 2001. While putting my four year old daughter to bed, she began licking my hand. After giving her three verbal warnings I slapped her. She got a cut lip. My wife asked me to leave to calm things down. When I returned hours later, my wife said the police were by and said I could not stay there that night. The next day the police came by my work and arrested me, booked me, and then returned me to work. Later on Peter, the parts manager, asked me if I and the old lady would be able to work this out. I told him no. I could not figure out why she had called the police. And bail condition prevented me from asking her.So I no longer trusted her judgment.

Looks like he’s mad at his ex-wife to me.

After six months of ME not lifting a finger to save this marriage, she filed for divorce. .”
He didn’t want to save the marriage. She filed for divorce, now he’s mad. Meanwhile, after he got arrested for domestic violence, after his ex-wife called the police, suddenly everything’s about domestic violence—he believes that one in six adults in the US have been arrested because they were accused of DV, and that as a result, 25% of the US population is homeless.

In contrast, there is evidence in Marcotte’s article and throughout her writings demonstrating that she harbors a very negative opinion of men and men’s issues, which would influence her opinions about Ball.

Where in this article do you see her commenting on men in general and demonstrating “a very negative opinion” of them? The only negative opinion I see is of the men’s rights movement, and she’s allowed to think those people are idiots.

Finally, I am using logic. It appears to be the source of our disagreement. If one wants to attack the opinion of those who view Ball as a martyr, one can do so without bringing Ball into at all. Instead, those people attack the other side by misrepresenting Ball’s reasons for committing suicide and then wrongfully equating Ball’s actions with the opinions of the other group, which is a common political tactic designed to cause readers or viewers to associate their opinion latter with the former. In other words, classic association fallacy.

Hey, a snappy comeback! About fucking time your prose got some zip in it. Too bad you’re using “association fallacy” incorrectly: Marcotte would be making an association fallacy, in this case “guilt by association,” if she had attempted to prove, for instance:
“Ball was mentally ill. Ball was an MRA. Therefore, all MRAs are mentally ill.” She’s not.
It’s not a fallacy if she’s trying to prove that MRA views influenced Ball.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

(3)
And this shit again:

Consistently misrepresenting Ball’s reasons for committing suicide and using it to attack a group one disagrees with does count as relishing his death.

No it doesn’t. One is a debating tactic (which she’s not doing, but WHATEVER), the other is an emotion. I could misrepresent someone whose death I did not welcome if I wanted to, because they are separate actions. You are conflating them in an attempt to connect Marcotte with nasty, mean wrongthink that makes feeling people feel bad (imagine Dr. House pulling a sad face. Only he’s not sad, he hates you).

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

“For example, if you slap a child’s hand when the child reaches for something, it might hurt them, but you probably are not trying to.”

We’re talking about a man who slapped a four-year-old child in the face three times and split her lip open. Did he “not intend to hurt her” all three times?

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago
VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

I do not claim to have all The Second Set of Book. I know of one book that I do not have. And I would have love to read that one. That would be the seminar that the domestic violence and sexual assault advocates put on periodically for legal personnel including judges. These advocates are camped outside every state, not federal, courthouse in America. The U.S. Dept of Justice provides 50-100% of their funding depending on the program. They have three day seminars at resorts where everything is paid for except the liquor. Judges in NH are ordered to attend. Neither Sullivan or Arnold would confirm or deny they had attended. They actually said nothing. It must be like the Masons where they will not say anything about the organization until you show them the secret hand sign.

Supreme Court Judge Louis Brandeis once wrote that the best description of a judge is the impartial guardian of the rule of law. How does three days of wine, women and song contribute to impartiality? It does not. So it should not have been any surprise that they would not answer me. After all, they were not on trial. I was. But they are going to be. They were suppose to protect to rule of law not collaborate in its demise. They have failed miserably.

A guardian ad litem is an attorney appointed for a child. The attorney solely represents the child. I got one when I was first separated to get a neutral pair of eyes and ears on the family. I was disappointed in his findings.

A few years later, another guardian was appointed for one of the kids. A regular report filed with the Court painted me as some sort violent psychopath. I thought that was uncalled for seeing as we had never met. It start a flurry of nasty letters between until we both came to the conclusion that this was not about us. We ended on a friendly note.

At a Court hearing later on I approached him. I asked him if he had had any domestic violence training. He said yes, that it was required to become certified as a guardian ad litem. Another chapter for The Second Set of Books that I never managed to acquire.. So men, if you were thinking about getting a guardian ad litem for an unbiased assessment, then you should ask for the domestic violence material that certified the guardian. And do not worry that you are not sure what you are looking for. It will stand right out.

There are more sections of The Second Set of Books. Medical personnel are supposed to report suspected domestic violence. The college professor Angela Davis has a story of a Latino couple in California getting in trouble feeding the dog his liver for dinner. Mental health employees are also required. Think of Wendy threatening our kids with foster care. Teachers, day care providers, the list just goes on and on. The East German secret police, the Stazi, had 25% of the population on record as informers. The United States is not that high yet, but we are still growing.

These people-police, prosecutors and judges-are suppose to protect us. They are checks and balances to prevent injustice. That is why we spend so much money of police training. But if the police screw it up, the prosecutor can catch it. If the prosecutor misses it then the judge can step in to fix it. But if all three have been compromised, then what does one need to do to get justice? Go to the appeals court or the Supreme Court? That seem a little ridiculous particularly when the zero tolerance has arrests for something as trivial as touching.

On one hand we have the law. On the other hand we have what we are really going to do-the policies, procedures and protocols. The rule of law is dead. Now we have 50 states with legal systems as good as any third world banana republic. Men are demonized and the women and children end up as suffering as well.

So boys, we need to start burning down police stations and courthouses.

what.
e_e

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

So how did we end up with the theory of man bad-woman good that the government at all levels is using?

ET TU NWOSLAVE

darksidecat
9 years ago

The secret cult books must be for third years, because I have made it through my whole first year of law school without spotting one. Our fifteen pound casebooks and forced memorization of the rule against perpetuities are just for hazing purposes, apparantly.

Pecunium
9 years ago

toysoldier: If (and it’s a big if) we accept the idea that striking a four year old is acceptable; the facts (as admitted by Ball) don’t match your example. This was not a reactive/protective strike; meant to keep a child from doing something risky.

It was several blows. It was for typical four year old behavior (having reared several). There was nothing in his description which allows for the, “exigent circumstances” sort. So your claim to be, “anti-abuse” is coming up hard against your desire to defend Ball against, “the system” and, “the feminists”.

As to what you think I meant when I didn’t say defensible… read it again. I said you were understanably frustrated at being unable to counter the arguments. So far, this still seems to be the case.

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

Our fifteen pound casebooks and forced memorization of the rule against perpetuities are just for hazing purposes, apparantly.

Well duh. What did you think it was for, darksidecat? 🙂

Fuck, I learned why lawyers always write shitty deeds and do such a crap job on title. Law school teaches them everything they need to know about 15th century property law, and stops.

All Ball needed was a law librarian, but he found the MRM. Isn’t that always the way?

Molly Ren
9 years ago

I like this trend of giving trolls diminutive nicknames more than I should. Bucky Boy! 😀

“All the best athletes were and are men. Shall I go on?”

No love for Serena Williams? Picabo Street? And I don’t even care about sports–I’m sure someone who gave a damn could actually think of more.

@ithiliana Oh, I got that these were interpretations. My reaction was just, “WTF? How on Earth do you even *get* that?”

Pecunium
9 years ago

I missed the best athletes line.

Billy Jean King.

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

VoiP:

Well of course Toysoldier will read/glance at all that and come back with some well-considered retort like, I know you are, but what am I? He stopped being amusing to me a while ago, what with his thorough reluctance to change his argument once presented with new information. But I’m glad you were here to lay it all out. Well presented argument, VoiP. Very nice.

Pecunium
9 years ago

And, in the realm of non-overlapping magesteria, I’d like to see the male gymnasts try to do Beam, or Uneven Parallel Bars. The women may not be as good as the men (for lack of muscle mass. It’s a conjecture, since they don’t compete) in Rings and Pommel, but men can’t even begin to do those two events.

Male fencers don’t have any actual edge against female either, the separation is one of tradition, not merit. Shooting sports… women are every bit as good. Same for more homegrown things like bowling, and pool.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

Well of course Toysoldier will read/glance at all that and come back with some well-considered retort like, I know you are, but what am I? He stopped being amusing to me a while ago, what with his thorough reluctance to change his argument once presented with new information. But I’m glad you were here to lay it all out. Well presented argument, VoiP. Very nice.

Thanks. That means a lot to me. It’s good to be here, and I’m glad to be kind of accepted by the community.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

@Pecunium B/c I have a feeling somebody’s gonna bring it up neways, and also b/c I want to clarify it neways… Billy Jean King beat an aging Bobby Riggs who was more showman than athlete at the time (and he defeated an unprepared and shaky Margaret Court (top-ranked 30 year old female player) earlier, in the first “Battle of the Sexes”) after first refusing his challenge. She accepted only after he beat Court. It should also be noted that Riggs was playing the heel in the challenge, and was trying to elevate the popularity of tennis by doing the whole thing, and he wasn’t actually trying to prove “male superiority”. Either way, he was beaten in three straight sets by Riggs. :]

It doesn’t prove that female tennis players are superior to male ones, or even ones in their prime are… but what it DID prove at the time (and even now) is that while the top men might be “superior” in certain sports than the top women, it doesn’t mean that all men are greater in sports than all women, which is unfortunately (and amusingly xD ) still a myth that some guys need to desperately hang on (as evidenced by this thread and others xD ) The whole idea at the time was that Riggs, a former men’s number one, despite being in his 50s, could beat any woman simply b/c he was a man and she was a woman. xD That proved to be false xD

(just a little historical perspective and context from the sports bunny :3 )

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Honestly tho, it’s pretty obv that Cobra Commander isn’t interested in actually debating about the whole “men are superior to women in EVERYTHINGZ” thing xD He was hoping to rile you up, and I suspect he’ll be back to get “teh last wordz” cuz he was hoping you’d all stop talking about him after the hilariously desperate flounce xD

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
9 years ago

@ Toysoldier:

You know what, I’ll buy your apparent point that an incident involving a split lip isn’t the same as a lifetime of abuse. Perhaps, indeed, it did only happen once.

Let’s believe that Mr. Ball was telling the truth about the whole thing. He lost his temper with his daughter and hit her several times in the face until she bled. Awful, but no permanent damage done. But I think we can both accept that he did hurt his daughter, even if he didn’t mean to. The human response, when you have hurt someone you love without meaning to, is to apologize and do whatever you can to make it right. The hoops which Ball were told to jump through were not that onerous or unreasonable – I think I saw it cited elsewhere that it was two hours of counseling? Two measly hours? I bet he could have gotten the State to pay for it, too. I haven’t read his manifesto, did he ever mention apologizing to his daughter and/or wife for what happened?

So, yeah, an unfortunate incident, but one in which he showed no remorse. And without showing remorse, how is there any way to indicate that this wouldn’t happen again? You know why it only happened once? Because that was a damn smart mother who acted quickly and decisively to protect her children. It was enough for her that there was a first time, she wasn’t going to let there be a second time. So even saying ‘it only happened once!’ is a bad-faith, facetious argument. Yeah, it only happened once, because there was someone damn sure it would only happen once, and that person wasn’t Thomas Ball.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

The hoops which Ball were told to jump through were not that onerous or unreasonable – I think I saw it cited elsewhere that it was two hours of counseling? Two measly hours? I bet he could have gotten the State to pay for it, too. I haven’t read his manifesto, did he ever mention apologizing to his daughter and/or wife for what happened?

No. In fact (and they’ve made the page with his manifesto on in subscription-only, dang) he has a passage talking about how “judges are addicted to counseling like meth addict are to meth,” and how if his daughter goes through with the counseling it will take so long that she will have children of her own before the process is completed.

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
9 years ago

I’m sure I could find if I really want, but I don’t really want to engage in some asshole’s posthumous need for attention.

Toysoldier
9 years ago

@VoiP

You presented a lot of logical fallacies (most notably argumentum verbosium), and rather than wade through them point by point I will focus on the critical matters.

As I noted, Marcotte resorted to an association fallacy by asserting that qualities of one thing (MRA) are inherently qualities of another (Ball) merely by an irrelevant association (similar position on the family courts). She used that fallacy while trashing MRAs — therein trashing Ball via said fallacy — and then used that to attack those supporting Ball.

You engaged the same association fallacy with your list. Coincidentally, Ball’s suicide note suggests he did not support MRAs: “Some of the boys in the Father’s Movement think Congress might have shot themselves in the foot over this one. Personally, I think they shot themselves some place anatomically higher.” On a related note, using terms to mischaracterize one’s opponent is an example of bigotry if one does it out “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”, which describes Marcotte’s position on men’s groups.

Regarding Ball, I never stated that he was mentally ill, and neither his troubled state of mind, his extreme views, or his suicide mean he was mentally ill. While he made no effort to save his marriage and may have harbored some anger towards his ex-wife, that does not prove he killed himself to terrorize her or  blamed her. He comes across as rather indifferent about his divorce.

@Pecunium

Where did I state that striking a child is acceptable? The example I gave only stated that the parent slapped the child’s hand, so it is analogous to Ball’s case. However, the point was to illustrate that a person strike someone without intending to hurt the other person. As for the other bit, I stated that I find striking a child cowardly and do not condone it. If you chose to ignore those statements and resort to strawmen and ad hominems, it only makes you look foolish.

@Victoria von Syrus

We do not know what occurred between Ball and his daughter over the past ten years, so to assume he never expressed any remorse or never apologized is unwise. Likewise, we do not actually know what occurred and we do not know what preceded or followed the incident, so it is unwise to draw conclusions about Ball, his ex-wife, or their general situation.

Pecunium
9 years ago

toysoldier: Length is not logical verbosity: Argumentum verbosium/proof by intimidation.

Given your tendency to dismiss less than detailed answers as incomplete, or misrepresentative, VoiP is being proactive in stop-thrusting your attempts to say he didn’t address the points completely.

Where did I state that striking a child is acceptable? The example I gave only stated that the parent slapped the child’s hand, so it is analogous to Ball’s case. However, the point was to illustrate that a person strike someone without intending to hurt the other person. As for the other bit, I stated that I find striking a child cowardly and do not condone it. If you chose to ignore those statements and resort to strawmen and ad hominems, it only makes you look foolish.

You made an apologia in that analogy. You implied there was a justification for hitting her. Since the analogy you made was one of exigent circumstance, and no such situation existed, the analogy was false, and so the implicit justification was void, ergo the exculpation was null. Since you are defending him, on that non-justified example (and one which contains a untrue statement. Blows are meant to hurt, you meant to say one can strike without intending harm… which isn’t actually a defense in the case at hand, because there is no affirmative justification for striking someone who isn’t at risk of harm in the case provided) there is no strawman.

There is also no ad hominem because my charge of your engaging in apologia is on point.

If you wish to use terms of art, it behooves you to do so properly, not doing so only makes you look foolish.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

Bee said

Well of course Toysoldier will read/glance at all that and come back with some well-considered retort like, I know you are, but what am I?

Well, looks like he went for the less-common but still-popular “You said too many things!” option. Ah well. Can’t call them all, I guess.

Toysoldier:

You presented a lot of logical fallacies (most notably argumentum verbosium), and rather than wade through them point by point I will focus on the critical matters.

That’s cute. The way I see it, you made five points and I addressed them all. If you don’t think you can refute me, be that as it may, but you wrote the checks before I cashed them.

Pecunium said

Given your tendency to dismiss less than detailed answers as incomplete, or misrepresentative, VoiP is being proactive in stop-thrusting your attempts to say he didn’t address the points completely.

Ooh, so this is one of those special games where I get to lose no matter what? SWEET, I LOVE THOSE.

As I noted, Marcotte resorted to an association fallacy by asserting that qualities of one thing (MRA) are inherently qualities of another (Ball) merely by an irrelevant association (similar position on the family courts)…You engaged the same association fallacy with your list.

This is incorrect. She said that MRA positions influenced Ball, which is what I was trying to prove. Showing that things they say are similar is one way to do that.

This is an Association Fallacy:
“Ball is an MRA.” [A is an X]
“Ball is also mentally unstable.” [A is also B]
“Therefore, all MRAs are mentally unstable.” [Therefore, all Xs are B.]

In order for there to be an association fallacy, the qualities you’re throwing around have to be inherent (All Bs are X, B is necessarily X), which is not a claim that Marcotte’s making, and the association has to be irrelevant, which is also not the case here, since a certain position on family courts is a hallmark of the MRA/Fathers’ Rights complex of beliefs (yes, I know they’re not the same thing, but this is an issue for more than one group), so it’s a good bet that that’s where Ball picked it up. I think you might also have to be reasoning from the general to the particular, which isn’t the case here, either. It’s possible I’m describing this incorrectly; I wasn’t trained in formal logic; one of the law students or debaters here is welcome to correct me.

Coincidentally, Ball’s suicide note suggests he did not support MRAs: “Some of the boys in the Father’s Movement think Congress might have shot themselves in the foot over this one. Personally, I think they shot themselves some place anatomically higher.”

You are slipping, viejo. It was a joke, based on figures of speech known as ~*METAPHOR*~. Ball does not literally think that Fathers’ Rights people believe members of Congress are shooting themselves in the foot whereas he, by contrast, believes they have shot themselves in the cock. He may believe that 25% of the US population are homeless because they’ve been arrested for domestic violence, but he’s not that silly.

On a related note, using terms to mischaracterize one’s opponent is an example of bigotry if one does it out “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”, which describes Marcotte’s position on men’s groups.

It’s not bigotry to disagree with something. That is an incorrect definition of “bigotry,” because it fails to take justified disagreement (or justified intolerance) into account. You’re obligated to tolerate other people, but nobody has to tolerate beliefs and actions that they believe are wrong and hurtful.

While he made no effort to save his marriage and may have harbored some anger towards his ex-wife, that does not prove he killed himself to terrorize her or blamed her. He comes across as rather indifferent about his divorce.

But absolutely livid about having been arrested for DV, which he spun an elaborate fantasy scenario around to the point where he believed that one quarter of the US population had been arrested for DV at some time and were therefore homeless.. She was the one who called the cops on him.

Now, I’ll admit that the bulk of his anger, judging from the manifesto, is directed against the Government. They are his stated target. But in the first place, someone can be angry at more than one thing at the same time, and in the second place, even if you’re right and he wasn’t intending to terrorize his wife at all (even though being on fire is a very bad way to not frighten people), who cares? It doesn’t make him look any better.

VoiP
VoiP
9 years ago

Now, I’ll admit that the bulk of his anger, judging from the manifesto, is directed against the Government. They are his stated target. But in the first place, someone can be angry at more than one thing at the same time, and in the second place, even if you’re right and he wasn’t intending to terrorize his wife at all (even though being on fire is a very bad way to not frighten people), who cares? It doesn’t make him look any better.

In before ‘The System drove him to do it by demanding that he pay child support.”
(1) He says he could pay the child support easily, he just chooses not to
(2) The anti-government paranoia
(3) He calls for an insurrection–whether or not “The System drove him to do it,” that’s still ungood.

I’ve also noticed that you’ve dropped your claims that we’re all gloating over Ball’s death, or even that Marcotte is. Guess we persuaded you. Good job.

Toysoldier
9 years ago

@Pecunium

It can be. From your link: Argumentum verbosium is also known as Proof by Intimidation, or Proof by Verbosity. It refers to an argument that is so complex, so long-winded and so poorly presented by the arguer that you are obliged to accept it, simply to avoid being forced to sift through its minute details.

Regarding the other matter, was not the issue in contention that a person could hit someone without intending to hurt them? Furthermore, was it not Ball’s contention that he was justified in striking his daughter as a form of correction? If I provide a similar example in which a person feels justified in their actions while not intending to hurt anyone, where is the false analogy? Likewise, tearing down a position I do not hold, i.e. that I support Ball’s actions,  is a strawman argument. If you present an argument about my person (“But you are willing to grossly misrepresent Amanda Marcotte, so why should we listen to you any further”) in an effort to discredit my actual argument, that is an ad hominem.

If you wish to correct someone usage of terms of art, it behooves you to do so accurately. Not doing so only makes you look foolish, particularly if you link to it.

@VoiP

This is also an association fallacy, specifically guilt by association:

A makes a claim of P’s status.
B also makes a claim of P’s status.
Therefore, P is guilty by association.

Marcotte’s position: Ball believed the family court system is biased. MRAs believe the family court system is biased. Therefore, Ball is just like MRAs. Marcotte’s use of influenced is a clever way of trying to justify the fallacy, but the fallacy remains. She is positing that Ball was essentially a MRA.

That Ball used a metaphor does not disprove that he did not appear to support Father’s Rights groups. As for the definition of bigotry, it is correct. If you feel otherwise, please cite an example of a dictionary providing your “correct” definition. And I did not drop any position. I presented evidence which was dismissed several times. Why repeat it if you will just ignore it?

I stand by my initial comment: more disturbing is the willingness by feminists to dehumanize this man and enjoy his suicide like some bizarre masturbatory exercise. If your contention is that his views about the system were wrong, then attack those views. If you take issue with some men’s activists treating Ball like a martyr, then attack their positions. Do not fabricate information about Ball, make unsubstantiated claims about his motives, or tie him to a group of people you dislike in order to discredit his reasons for suicide. Otherwise you pull the same nonsense that some men’s activists pull when they read about false rape accusations.

mediumdave
mediumdave
9 years ago

Toysoldier: From this news article:

Ball’s trouble began with the courts. On his Facebook page, he lists himself as the leader of the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the Fathers’ Rights Movement.

Is that clear enough, or do you need a Powerpoint slide show?

Pecunium
9 years ago

soldier: I was making a specific charge about your behavior. It was apposite. Merely saying things about someone which are about character does not = ad hominem.

Had I said, ‘you are ugly, so your opinions on “x” are invalid’ that would be ad hominem. But this is a discussion about Amanda Marcotte. Your treatment of her in the past is relevant, which means it can’t be ad hominem.

It may be false, but that’s a different issue. You really are putting yourself in the position of, “physician, heal thyself.” You keep tossing out accusations of fallacy which are false. They are, in their way, also fallacious, as they are an appeal to authority; often depending on the audience not knowing that you are misusing the terms. It’s why I link to them; it allows the audience (who are the actual judges, you will continue to feel you have scored points and made your interlocutors look ridiculous, we will continue to shake our heads at yet another internet debate in which someone is pretending to an understanding of logic which the evidence belies) to look at the accepted definitions of the terms being discussed and decide which of the people using them has a better grasp of what they mean.

You were the one who made the comparison to a blow required to avert a greater harm. I am willing to accept that such circumstances might be mitigating, even exculpatory. I don’t agree they aren’t meant to hurt. I also see nothing in Ball’s admissions which allows for such an interpretation; which means you are proposing a non-analogous parallel, which is a rhetorical distraction. Where it to go unchallenged Ball’s actual deeds (repeatedly striking his four-year old daughter for licking her; and splitting her lip in the process) become conflated with someone slapping a child’s hand to stop them from grabbing a hot pan, or a sharp knife.

That’s not what he did.

Bee
Bee
9 years ago

DAVID! Mediumdave broke the internet!

Plymouth
Plymouth
9 years ago

The internet is italic! The internet is for italic porn!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

So… is italic porn a mix of gallic and itallian, or is it porn where all the people are tilted to the side and posh?

thefemalespectator
9 years ago

Speaking of porn–my brother observes that “tentacle porn” is now a verb (io9’s review of the new Transformers movie).

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