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MRAs: The way to defeat feminism is not through debate but by “inflicting … pain” on feminists.

Men's Rights "Activism"

What can you do when you realize that you’re losing the war of ideas? You can rethink some or all of your ideas, seriously considering the unnerving possibility that you might be, well, wrong. You can reconsider how you present your ideas.

Or you can give up on ideas entirely, and attempt to pressure or harass or even terrorize others into some form of surrender. That’s what the the uber-radical Weathermen did in the 1960s and 70s, turning first to violent direct action in the aptly named “days of rage” and then to bombs when the revolution that many in the New Left had been prophesying failed to materialize. That’s what the anti-abortion movement has been doing for decades now, with some in the movement harassing women trying to get abortions while more radical antis bomb clinics and kill doctors. .

And now we’re seeing rhetoric from Men’s Rights Activists that suggests some in that movement may also be giving up on talk. Consider A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam, who declared in a fundraising letter a couple of months back that:

Progress for men will not be gained by debate, reason or typical channels of grievance available to segments of the population that the world actually gives a damn about. The progress we need will only be realized by inflicting enough pain on the agents of hate, in public view, that it literally shocks society out of its current coma.

Elam is – presumably deliberately — vague about what exactly he means when he talks about “inflicting … pain,” and as far as I know he has never explicitly endorsed violence. But he has spoken openly about “stalking” individual feminists and otherwise “fucking their shit up” by, among other things, posting personal information about them on the AVfM-sponsored site Register-Her.com for all would be vigilantes to see. And in the “activism” section of his website he has reprinted a manifesto explicitly calling for the firebombing of courthouses and police stations.

Elam isn’t the only MRA who has officially given up on “debate and reason” in favor of “inflicting … pain” on feminists. The “counter-feminist” wannabe philosopher who calls himself Fidelbogen makes a similar argument in a recent post on his blog:

Feminism is your enemy, and the obligation to treat feminists as fellow human beings is officially waived. They are not fellow human beings, they are ALIENS.

Dehumanizing the enemy always a good start.

[L]et’s not hear any crap about so-called “hate speech”. You see, there is simply no way that you can resist evil, denounce tyranny, or call pernicious things by their right names, without crossing a fine line into “hate speech” or something very like it. Extremism against a bully is no vice, and since bullies have their own moral economy, you are entitled to pay them in their own coin.

It’s not hate speech if you really do hate them?

The important thing to understand about the feminists is, that they will not change their outward behavior unless social heat and pressure are inflicted upon them.

Fidelbogen, a sometime contributor to A Voice for Men, is also vague about what exactly he means by this “social heat and pressure.” He continues:

What, do you think they will stop what they are doing just because somebody intellectually convinces them they are mistaken? They will do no such thing, because they are people with an agenda who know they are “right”, and they lack the gift to see themselves as the rest of the world sees them.

IRONY ALERT. IRONY ALERT.

Over on Reddit, meanwhile, the charming JeremiahMRA – who used to post comments here as Things Are Bad – thinks the “inflict pain” policy should be extended to all women, any time they engage in “bad behavior.” Responding to a poster asking how to handle a disagreement with his mother, he explained his theory in (sometimes redundant) detail, receiving several dozen net upvotes for his post:

The ONLY way you change women’s bad behavior is by punishing them if they won’t start acting like adults. …

The only way you change a woman’s bad behavior is by making sure they know it hurts them. …

Reasoning with her will not work. The only answer is to use the power he has as her SON to threaten to hurt her emotionally. Women are emotional creatures. Nothing else will work. This is what it means to be a man: you do what you have to do so that things will be better in the end, even if you don’t like it. …

It isn’t about convincing her what’s right, it’s about showing her she will suffer if she doesn’t do what’s right. That is the only thing that will work.

The Men’s Rights Movement likes to pretend that is it a civil rights movement. But threats, harassment, hate speech, and emotional blackmail aren’t the tactics of a legitimate civil rights movement. These are the tactics of angry narcissists clinging to retrograde prejudices, who have given up on the war of ideas because on some level they know that history is against them, and that they will never win.

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Lauralot
9 years ago

Can we add “calling people out on their shitty behavior is making shit up to get pissed about” to that card?

magdelyn
9 years ago

Moewicus, I am really offended by your cultivatingindignitism. Obviously none of your arguments therefore have any merit. Even if they did, I am now entitle to take umbridge and ignore them, because I am just Soooooooooooo offended.

Moewicus
Moewicus
9 years ago

Roberta said:

TIL that trolling = disagreeing with some ideological zealots on certain tenets of their dogma.

I like that the person saying this came in here asserting that feminists consider the act of asking for sex twice to be coercive. And asserted that feminists would call the police based on such a wildly low threshold. And had zero evidence for this. lolz

magdelyn
9 years ago

Lauralot, I suppose we could. Can you add an “ism” in there somewhere?

Lauralot
9 years ago

Goddamn, if you won’t shut up, could you at least try to be interesting?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

Actually we should have a square that simply reads “I bet that feminists would…”. People can then fill in the blanks as needed depending on what the troll of the day is ranting about.

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

I believe I found at least 2 commenters on this very cite who seemed to subscribe to the view that limited, non-threatening verbal pressure is enough to coerce someone into sex.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

Cite?

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

Gimme a break, I’m tired.

Lauralot
9 years ago

She doesn’t have to cite. She just has to wait a few minutes and then everyone apparently concedes her point.

Moewicus
Moewicus
9 years ago

Go ahead Roberta, site your cources. Your record on interpreting things accurately speaks for itself in the meantime.

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

Welp, it’s been real y’all, but I have a long day tomorrow.

Thanks for coercing me into wasting a good portion of my day off with your unintentional pressure. You all belong in prison for kidnapping and unlawful detention.

Just like any woman who pressures her husband to go see a musical with her. Kidnapping and unlawful detention.

Moewicus
Moewicus
9 years ago

Moewicus, I am really offended by your cultivatingindignitism. Obviously none of your arguments therefore have any merit. Even if they did, I am now entitle to take umbridge and ignore them, because I am just Soooooooooooo offended.

Pretty tough talk for a part-time sniper, part time cheerleader for other trolls. Try making or acknowledging an argument from time to time if you want your criticisms to have any bite. Also, read for comprehension.

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

Because verbal nagging is the same as putting a gun to someone’s head, dontcha know

Lauralot
9 years ago

Thought you had a long day ahead of you?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

TIL from Roberta:

– If you can predict people criticizing you for saying offensive shit, it makes up for you saying offensive shit.
– People who pester others for sex without taking no for an answer, but also without threatening violence, can never rape anyone. This is true regardless of any sort of situation.
– Disagreeing with the previous statement is equivalent to agreeing with the statement that a person asking twice for sex, with no other pressures, is rape.

magdelyn
9 years ago

whadda mean part time sniper..(<-two dot ellypsis)…I take mt sniping very seriously. actually, i don't know what snipng is in relation to messages….but, it's very Very serious

Polliwog
Polliwog
9 years ago

Fuck you and your made up words, Lauralot.

It’s just icing on the cake of Roberta’s ridiculousness, but complaining about “made-up words” is hilariously stupid. Yeah, fuck words that were invented by people! I hate those! Let’s all just use other, non-invented words like…um…oh. Right.

But hey, Roberta, I wholeheartedly endorse you taking up a policy of not using any words that have been made up by people. Sounds like a good way to make our lives a little more pleasant, given the way you currently choose to use them.

pillowinhell
9 years ago

Well roberta you’d better prepare for a long stint in jail for coercive whining, failure to comprehend andconspiracy to commit rape apology.

Lauralot
9 years ago

We can read, magdelyn. You don’t need to point out every two dot “ellypsis” [sic] that you make.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
9 years ago

@Cassanrdra:

I just read a series of Jezebel comments from her, and almost every time, she pops by to say ‘Maybe this rape victim was making it up’. That seems to be her shtick.

Moewicus
Moewicus
9 years ago

TIL from Roberta:

– asking two times is the feminist definition of attempted rape, just look it up in the Feminist’s Dictionary
– that she just happens to disagree with one or two things and these crazy people who make up words and want to lock men up for asking for sex more than once just started piling on her so unfairly and what is wrong with these EVAL ZEALOTS omfg

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

Roberta was a really boring troll.

Maybe she’s “Ashley?”

Lauralot
9 years ago

No, Ashley would have bragged about her sex life and justified filming sex without a partner’s consent.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
9 years ago

True. 🙂

It was the way the goalposts were sprinting from one position to another that turned my thoughts in that direction.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

Wait, Lauralot, isn’t that the kind of thing that Brandon usually…

Ohhhhhh. 😛

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

Shucks, guys! Play a little Monkey Island, miss new Ms. Troll’s flounce :(.

Then again, I also missed this:

Wow, someone’s off their meds.

which is probably good, because I don’t have the energy to respond to anymore of… that. Today. Thank goodness for all of you.

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

Play a little Monkey Island

WHAT!! You just became like 500 times more awesome in my eyes!!

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

Aww, now, Shadow, I thought you already thought I was awesome! Now I’m heartbroken! 😉

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

Oh I did!! But 500 times more now, at least!!

red_locker
red_locker
9 years ago

Words are illusions built by human irrationality, just like free will.

REAL intellectuals communicate by farting, and live their lives according to a line of red chalk on the sidewalk. THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT HAS BEGUN!

*fart*

Ok, really, if Roberta believes that… (not my obvious exaggeration, but, you know) she’s not only a horrible lawyer, she has read too much into her philosophy textbook.

…wait, she’s also a cop? IS SHE JUDGE DREAD?!

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

@Shadow, aww *blush*

Pretty much my favourite game series ever! I’m not much of a gamer, but I have a soft spot for point-and-click adventure games. They remind me of being wee.

I’m replaying through the episodic Tales of Monkey Island series that Telltale Games did. A lot of people say they’re not as good as the original game and the sequel, and I agree, but they bring the feeling of those games in a way that the other later installments in the franchise didn’t (I felt the fourth game, in particular, was pretty lazy).

I really like Telltale in general. I had a fantastic time playing their Back to the Future game, which I would recommend to anyone who is a) a fan of the movies and b) not a very serious gamer, since the puzzles are definitely on the easier side. Perfect for me! Plus, the Michael J. Fox impression by the guy they brought in for the voice work is uncanny.

/off-topic nerrrrrrrdery

Lauralot
9 years ago

What I have learned from this thread is that I invented the term ableism, apparently.

cloudiah
cloudiah
9 years ago

@Lauralot Good on you! Someone had to… (<<Normal 3 dot feminist ellipsis that I am pointing out because I am not sure if you can see it.)

katz
9 years ago

What I learned is that, if you take medication, your opinions are invalid.

karamrad
9 years ago

Hi, Roberta, or Ben, whatever, yeah, the crime of rape is a complicated thing, and the law is a gross instrument. The thing is, of course, rape is much more than a crime. It’s a soul-sucker, a permanent body-injurer, a war-tool, a shamer, an oppression of half of humanity, a child-abuse-tool.. the standard of proof in a criminal case is only a small part of the rape discussion…I’ve seen some other things you’ve written and approve, so I’m glad you’re here. People need time to figure out where others are coming from…your writing on MRAs is pretty cool…

Halite
9 years ago

@red_locker

REAL intellectuals communicate by farting

To which I present this: http://www.tofugu.com/2012/02/18/japanese-fart-scrolls/

(which I’m sure if furthur evidence for my theory that farts are the universal humour).

Halite
9 years ago

Awww did my fart comment get nommed by the mod queue ’cause of the link? That’s sad, ’cause it was *epic*.

*toot*

Lauralot
9 years ago

@Katz: And if you object to the opinion that medication use makes your ideas invalid, you’re cultivating offense!

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

@Lauralot

You’ve done a wonderful thing! Mazel tov!

@Viscaria

I LOVE the first three Monkey Islands. Curse is one of my favorite games ever (second only to Fallout 2), and IMO, one of the most beautifully illustrated games ever. I love point and clicks for the awesome humour they had (if you haven’t, you should play the Broken Sword series). I remember hearing about the Telltale release, but then I completely forgot about them because… uh…. Look! A three-headed monkey!!

blitzgal
9 years ago

I believe I found at least 2 commenters on this very cite who seemed to subscribe to the view that limited, non-threatening verbal pressure is enough to coerce someone into sex.

Your MRA buddies believe this as well. It’s why they argue that more men are raped by women than women are raped by men. It’s through verbal coercion to have sex.

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

@Shadow, on the off-chance you have an iPhone, the first Tales of Monkey Island installment is free at the moment, you should grab it off of the App Store and give it a try! If you like it, though, I’d recommend playing the rest of them on a PC.

If you don’t have an iPhone, sorry for being one of those iPhone people.

darksidecat
9 years ago

Also, though I don’t want to support Dworkin, I do not think saying that she thinks “all hetero PiV is rape” is not a very accurate summary of even her views.

zhinxy
9 years ago

No, it isn’t, and a person claiming it as her view is a good sign of where they got there opinions on feminism from. So many reasons to get beef with Dworkin and mackinnon, but the standard antifeminist disinformation sources have to make do with lies and distortion there, too.

pillowinhell
9 years ago

I dunno, I started reading some of the radical feminist texts and I think that if you don’t have a strong understanding of the underlying concepts and the nuances of certain words, it would be very easy to come to the wrong conclusions. That article Roberta posted was probably the clearest writing I’ve come across, much simpler to read as a beginner of radfem thinking. A lot of the women who wrote for feminism were clearly well educated and so their writing is not as accessible to people like me, who lack higher education.

zhinxy
9 years ago

Dworkin does get turgid, yes. But what I meant is that people who go around claiming she said all sex was rape usually never read her at all, even to be confused. They usually get their opinions from a list of “{things famous feminists said” and those opinions are usually easy to spot if you’ve read the anti-feminist lists.

But I definitely agree with you that plenty of second, and certainly plenty of more academic third wave feminism is easily misinterpreted at the source.

Rutee Katreya
9 years ago

Your MRA buddies believe this as well. It’s why they argue that more men are raped by women than women are raped by men. It’s through verbal coercion to have sex.

weytwut? They stopped claiming it because of prison rape? Not that htat’s, you know, true, but I’m surprised they admitted it.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Problems with your comment? I don’t have time to detail them all.

Lets start with the obvious howlers:

Rape trials have the highest conviction rate of any serious crime, 67%. That’s more than double the conviction rate for murder trials.

False. Prosecutors routinely rack up numbers in the 90 percent conviction range (that is the rate of conviction for all the crimes they try in court). A prosecutor who falls below 80 percent is often fired.

So, if we take your 67 percent at face value, and recall the 90 percent rate of conviction, all other crimes have to offset the rape losses.

Rape shield laws are another example. They improperly restrict a defendant’s ability to testify in his own defense, and bar defense attorneys from attacking the credibility of what is often the sole piece of evidence against the accused (the accuser’s testimony).

Again, false. Shield laws are restrictions on the public naming of rape victims. They don’t inhibit the trial behavior of the defense at all. Since the complaints, the statements and the testimony are all part of the disctovery/trial the defense has every opportunity to attack them (and does).

Last year’s OCR letter has effectively enshrined a presumption of guilt for any male accused of sexual misconduct.

Citation desperately needed. One, colleges are not courts. They are allowed to use any criteria they like to deal with problems (so long as those criteria are applied evenhandedly to all students). The reccomendation of a, “preponderance of the evidence” standard is an attempt to make it more equitable for the victims, and the accused. It would preclude more harsh, “get rid of him/her, because this is causing bad publicity” standards, while not raising the standard to an almost impossibly high, “beyond a reasonable doubt”, because the latter is hard enough to obtain even with the compulsive power of the courts to bring evidence into the light.

I’m a criminal trial attorney,

I don’t believe it. The nonsense you just spouted about how only 35 percent of trials for murder end in conviction, that makes me dead certain you aren’t a defense attorney

That you argue shield laws prevent Brady evidence from being admitted is also a mark against your being a criminal defense attorney (that and the, “trial lawyer”, since as a turn of phrase its strongest representation is in the Republican campaigns based on, “law and order”, or to remove rights to sue where, “trial attorneys” is used as a bogeyman).

Pecunium
9 years ago

Crap: I was thinking of other aspects of shield laws, but DSC covered your failures in regard to the aspects relating to non-relevant prior behavior (as with “prior bad acts” in other criminal cases; if they can’t be shown to be probative, then they aren’t admissible).