Sometimes I ask myself: what is it that I really hope to accomplish with this website, aside from entertaining myself and my readers, and exposing misogynist assholes for who they are. There’s a part of me that still hopes that someday, something I write will cause some misogynist and/or Men’s Rightser out there to develop a modicum of self-awareness, look at what they’ve been saying or doing, and say to themselves, “I’m really kind of a tool, aren’t I? Maybe I should stop.”
When the Southern Poverty Law Center report on the Men’s Rights movement came out, I hoped it might have a similar sort of effect. Or that, even if it didn’t persuade any MRAs out there that they were wrong, it might at least convince a few that they were going about things the wrong way. Nope. On the Men’s Rights subreddit, at least, it seems to have sent many of the regulars into an indignant tizzy, and they have doubled down on their peculiar brand of politics-by-whining-online.
Consider this post:
Yes, that’s right. Some Men’s Rights Redditors seem to think that the best way to convince the world that they’re not part of a hate group is to continue to celebrate a self-admitted child abuser who urged men to firebomb courthouses and police stations and kill people.
Then there’s this post, currently the top post on the subreddit:
Wow, if the Men’s Rights subreddit had anything to do with that, that would indeed be a victory. As one regular put it:
Thing is, I read r/mensrights pretty regularly, and I don’t remember any campaign there to protect the rights of fishermen in New Zealand.
Turns out that’s because the campaign, such as it was, consisted of one post some months back, which got all of 11 upvotes at the time. The current post in which r/mensrights congratulates itself for its “victory” has gotten, last I checked, 120 upvotes, more than ten times that. Simplecosine’s self-congratulatory comment in the new thread has gotten 36 upvotes. The comment in the original thread asking r/mensrightsers to send an email to the US Secretary of State’s office got … one upvote. In other words, only a handful of Men’s Rights Redditors even noticed the original post, much less sent along an email.
Reading one of the linked news articles makes clear the real reason the State Department opened an investigation: a six-month long, three-continent wide investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek revealing abuses in the industry.
The Men’s Rights subreddit: Taking Credit for Shit They Didn’t Do Since 2008.
And then there’s this post:
I’ve got nothing to say about this one — it’s basically self-refuting — except that I’m sort of bemused by the notion that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a “semi-women group.” Uh, what is that exactly? A group with some women in it? A group that doesn’t think women are all a bunch of evil bitches? The horror!
Oh, Men’s Rights movement. You’ll never change, will you?
EDITED TO ADD: And speaking of never changing, here’s how one Men’s Rights redditor responded to my comments there suggesting that maybe, just maybe, MRAs should actually denounce and distance themselves from someone calling for terrorism:
Let me just highlight that bit at the end again:
[T]he cost to the establishment to maintain the status quo in regards to divorce, custody, etc. must be made so high that it’s just no longer feasible. If that means instilling abject fear into the hearts of judges, cops and legislators by making them think their careers and/or lives could be forfeit unless they change their attitudes towards men, then so be it.
Trying to instill fear for one’s life in your opponents: that is the very definition of terrorism.