Categories
actual activism antifeminism drama grandiosity hypocrisy misogyny MRA MRA paradox oppressed men reddit terrorism

Oh, Men’s Rights subreddit, will you ever learn? (Probably not.)

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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

528 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ithiliana
9 years ago

@Mags: Let me explain in short words.

Frank Baum’s Wicked Witch of the West is a made up character.

Therefore, she does not fall into the category of “feminist author.”

Although there are some intriguing ideas about how much Frank Baum was influenced by his stepmother Matilda Joslyn Gage in his creation of female characters in his made up world, Oz.

There are fictional feminists, but I was asking AVT to back up his claim of being familiar with feminist theories by you know actually giving the NAMES of actual feminists who have published articles, books, etc. (and not just on the internet).

There, do you understand now?

Bostonian
9 years ago

What about Mary Daly? Have you read any of her work?

I waded through Gyn/Ecology myself, several times. I did not understand it well until I read about her background in the Catholic church.

ithiliana
9 years ago

FUCK: replace “stepmother” with “mother in law.”

*smacks brain*

Was clearly confusing ‘wicked stepmother’ and ‘wicked witches’ because all the women you know must be wicked………

magdelyn
9 years ago

often. whatta world – whatta world. Who would have thought a little girl like you could destroy by beautiful wickedness…aaaawwwwhhhwwwww

Pecunium
9 years ago

Boggi: If men are to blame for oppressing women then women are also to blame for complicity accepting that oppression.

Bullshit. There are limits to what one can expect of an oppressed people/class.

You are blaming slaves for not rising up; even if it means the entire Appian Way lined with corpses hanging on crosses.

That’s fucked up, esp. since you have elsewhere said that being too, “passionate/vitriolic” is more than should be done to deal with this sort of thing.

Whic is it? Women are complicit? Or “anti-misogynists” being too aggressive in how they fight misogyny?

Glad I’m offensive to everyone!

Why? What is it accomplishing?0

When my “God” and “Nature” comment I didn’t mean to some asshole atheist (even though I am one).

What I meant was to show how people use such ideas as authorities to dictate how something “must be” or “essentially is” so and so.

Which is 1: Bollocks, and 2: you using God and Nature to dissmiss, without really addressing the arguments, those who disagree with you.

If you want to make claims about specific religious people, that’s one thing. If it’s just, “Religious people are stupid”, it’s quite another.

When I said “God is a fantasy” I didn’t mean “There is no God and religious people are stupid.”

Really? Because what follows from, “God is a fantasy” is those who believe in a God are accepting a fantasy, ipso facto as a fact. Which is (as with Brandon on marriage) the logical conclusion from the basic premise.

There was a deliberate misunderstanding,

Deliberate? Who chose to misunderstand you on purpose?

Pecunium
9 years ago

NWO: If someone has sex with a fruit bearing tree are they angiospermsexual

No, they are dendrophilic.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Boggi: I suggest mocking them, and pointing out when they are evil, and when they are stupid, and how they hate women.

If that means I am pissed off enough to be vicious, then at those times I am vicious.

If they don’t like it, they can ignore me, or react, or change their ways of doing things.

Pecunium
9 years ago

My manly day was reading, cuddling, napping, testing the bread I baked yesterday (not as good as three days before… next batch more semolina flour, and a slower start to the yeast), playing some “Total War: Rome”, going for a walk, to buy more flour, a bit of laundry and repotting an olive tree, making a cold salmon salad, drinking some Royal Navy Grog, listening to some QI (second season… bongos), and later, some more snuggling.

magdelyn
9 years ago

ithiliano – what, you don’t think the wicked witch of the west is real? Ha, if she wasn’t, how is it that I borrow her broom and fly around the city at night? Bah! How can one think that a dark green woman with her own army of flying monkey is not real? Bizarre. It’s as if you are trying to to believe.

magdelyn
9 years ago

* It’s as if you don’t want to believe.

ithiliana
9 years ago

@Bostonian: Yes, the works published by Mary Daly earlier on were quite different than her later work (and Mags, you know about the transphobia–do you know about the issue that Audre Lorde raised with Daly’s appropriation of myths from non-Western cultures later on?). I quite enjoyed her work in my first “angry young feminist phase” (1982-3), ditto Dworkin’s work, and a number of other feminists whose later works, stances, and political commentary during the last presidential election I came to reject with a good deal of loathing. Such is the difference between the 1980s and the second decade of the 2000s.

Nobody has to read or agree with ALL THE FEMINISTS, but if one is going to come in and expound and mansplain (sorry if I am not giving you your correct sex designation AVT–there are women who try to attack feminism for being too mean to the men), it behooves them to be able to cite actual feminist works (even if only to point out flaws in some of the arguments, a number of which were pointed out then and later by OTHER FEMINISTS).

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

Now I’m picturing Mags as Leela from Futurama declaring “there’s no place like home…I want to be a witch!”.

I can’t deal with Boggi today. Headache + congestion + loopiness from meds = all I can think of is to point out that this isn’t a support group designed to help people work through their sexism. Didn’t we already have this conversation with MRAL?

ithiliana
9 years ago

@Magso: I did believe in Oz when I was five.

Perhaps I misjudged you: were you not replying to my question to AVT to cite some feminist authors? I thought you were, but if not, my bad!

Bostonian
9 years ago

I’m pretty sure magdelyn has not read a word of feminist philosophy.

I read, This sex which is not one, by Luce Irigaray, and nearly broke my brain. I attempted a paper on the book and achieved a decent grade, but I am not sure how much I could understand it. I think reading it in the original French would have helped, but I am not fluent enough to read philosophy in French.

ithiliana
9 years ago

@Bostonian: *high fives you* I completely busted my brain when reading excerpts from Cixous and Irigaray in my graduate feminist theory seminar: it was translation, of course, and that may be part of it (but I also busted my brain on Judith Butler), but I also think part of it is the heavy psychoanalytic influences on a lot of the canonical French feminists is part of it.

When it comes to gender theory, I prefer Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick and Judith Halberstam (when by prefer means, I love them passionately and learn something every time I teach them in a class).

And there are real issues about academia’s effect on feminist discourses in the academy — I’m gonna put some links to some of the feminist theorists I think more people need to know about because, well, I don’t wanta go to bed, and I’m feeling perverse.

So first: TONI CADE BAMBARA (nobody remembers the African American feminists active in the 60s/70s; they are totally erased much of the time)L

http://voices.cla.umn.edu/artistpages/bambaraToni.php

ithiliana
9 years ago

A History of Black Feminism in the US
http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.01/6blackf.html

ithiliana
9 years ago

Susan Griffin:

http://www.susangriffin.com/Books.html

Dang, I haven’t read any of her recent work–see, that’s what is happy making. Back in the day, i could buy all the feminist books published in the US in English on a clerical salary (this was after I stomped out of academia and started educating myself).

Nowadays, I cannot even keep up with the stuff in my own academic field, let alone ALL the other feminist works in other fields.

And I do tend to read more in that, rather in the more general audience books (I pretty much quite reading the popular books after Susan Faludi’s BACKLASH–would not buy Wolf’s THE BEAUTY MYTH, for example). And I just read enough Paglia to realize what utter total essentialist misandrist crap she was writing (I assigned an essay of hers in a class back in the early 1990s, and about 90% of the students thought it was written by a man.)

ithiliana
9 years ago

The two feminist writers who had the most influence on me and whose work I still adore to this day: Adrienne Rich

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/49

Joanna Russ

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/arts/joanna-russ-74-dies-wrote-science-fiction.html

http://www.nndb.com/people/553/000029466/

AVT
AVT
9 years ago

Mansplaining? Wow. I specifically stated that my posts reflected nothing but my own imperfect opinions. I specifically stated that I was entirely open to discussing said opinions with anyone willing to engage in good faith. In response, people came in screaming at me, swearing, insulting me, and behaving in a generally aggressive manner.

I don’t respond well to aggression. That’s something that stems from experiences in my own life- which I’m not going to get into because it’s really none of your business- but it’s the reason I doubled down a bit when DSC first came in talking about how I was spouting “bullshit”. I got angry, I and I pounded out some things without really thinking. I shouldn’t have done that, and I apologize.

I’m willing to listen, and I’m willing to examine my own conceptions, but only so long as people are willing to extend to me basic respect.

ithiliana
9 years ago

AVT: So can you in fact cite feminists whose work you’ve read or not, to back up you’re claim that you’re well aware of the complexities of feminist theories?

Since you don’t even know the basic definition of “mansplaining,” that tells me that you’re not too familiar with feminist blogs where the term was coined to describe men coming in to give feminists the benefit of THEIR PERSONAL INDIVIDUAL OPINIONS about….feminism.

So, proof of reading background in feminist theory, plz, if you want to be taken seriously?

ithiliana
9 years ago

And it’s sad when people think that feminist authors mean only THEORY:

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism/tp/feminist_poets.htm

In fact, a lot of my favorite feminist authors wrote and published in multiple genres.

So, feminist poets!

ithiliana
9 years ago

Oh, AVT, just for you: a couple of sites/cites for the definition of mansplaining:

http://scienceblogs.com/thusspakezuska/2010/01/you_may_be_a_mansplainer_if.php

http://karenhealey.livejournal.com/781085.html

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

I got angry, I and I pounded out some things without really thinking. I shouldn’t have done that, and I apologize.

Twice in one thread from two different dudes. Jesus, we are not your 12 step Woman Haters Anonymous..

ithiliana
9 years ago

@Hellkell: It was darn hard to keep Boggi and AVT straight–I had to resort to ctrl F to find their posts and distinguish them.

Both really good on the mansplaining though.

AVT
AVT
9 years ago

Firstly, this is a humor blog for mocking MRAs, and so far as I can tell, not an explicitly feminist space. Certainly not an advanced one.

Secondly, both of those sites you’ve linked to, ithiliana, use a variation of the verb “to tell”, which (if you’re having some trouble) would seem to imply an attempt to instruct on teaching from a perceived position of higher authority. I could see how this would be obnoxious, but fortunately, it’s is not the case. I specifically stated that my post reflected nothing more than my own personal opinion, which I was furthermore willing to discuss in civil dialogue. I reject the notion that I do not have the right to share my opinions on a non-feminist board, and I do not accept your royal highness’ edict of mansplanation.

Thirdly, if you want me to “prove” that I’ve read five authors, as opposed to just looked them up on Google, well, that would be a long post. I might do it later, if I feel like it. Really, I’m not so inclined to jump through hoops for a bunch of jerks.

ithiliana
9 years ago

AVT: Hell, if you can name five beyond the three ones that feminist trolls do, that would be a start.

Amazing how many of the trolls who say they are familiar with feminist theory disappear when I ask for names. (Sure, anybody can google, but apparently our trolls cannot even do that!).

You don’t have to do shit here–but don’t expect anybody to take your “I am familiar with the complexities of feminist theories” when what you say doesn’t show any familiarity, and you are unable or unwilling to jump through the hoops of naming some of the ones you’ve read THAT YOU DISAGREE WITH.

I know this blog is for mocking misogyny: I am mocking you. Nobody here says “mockery only counts if you do X.” It is not feminist space–and not everybody here is a feminist.

BUT if you claim that you are familiar with feminist theory and cannot back it up, then why should anybody give a flying fuck about what you say about…..feminism, patriarchy, male privilege, etc.??????????????????????/

Pecunium
9 years ago

AVT: The question, with “mansplaining” is if a man is coming in to tell women how things are.

It’s not a question, per se of a statement of being a specific authority, but the implication that, you, as a man, have a better grasp of the subject. It’s more obnoxious when 1: It’s a topic which women ought to be expected to have a solid baseline on, or 2: it’s a topic women are talking about.

2a: It’s most obnoxious when it’s something women have been saying, and getting ignored while saying it, and a man comes in to repeat what they have said, and suddenly gets listened to as if things were brilliantly original.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

I always knew MRAs and their apologists were not fans of nuance, but to say this isn’t an explicitly feminist space boggles the mind. It’s not serious, true, but it is a feminist space.

You can share your opinions. We can mock the shit out of them. Deal?

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Ha, Ithiliana–so much for hivemind re: feminist space.

ithiliana
9 years ago

Hellkell: Heh–I know there are a lot of feminists here — but I just realized, yeah, oddly enough I don’t consider this a ‘feminist’ space — but that’s just my definition! Lots of feminist ideas here – and lots of mocking of misogyny — but hmm…….have to think about this. Could be the issue of “explicit” feminist space…..

Pecunium
9 years ago

It’s, not, IMO, “A feminist space”, it’s a space with a lot of feminists.

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

@ithiliana

Yep, it seems that I did have a kneejerk reaction, just not the one that I thought. I didn’t even notice how old the article was until hellkell pointed it out. I should have been more skeptical after his ridiculous assertions about the Starkville rally. I think finding out that I DID find the ads offensive lulled me into complacency.

It’s funny, but all those myths and out of context quotes of Dworkin and Daly actually drove home the concept of privilege to me, rather than the intended effect of considering feminism a hate movement. My introduction to feminism was actually through stumbling across some rad fem comments,which led me to some pretty dismissive to almost outright man-hating blogs. The utter indifference that their comments provoked in me, compared to the sense of unease that I got when I read White supremacists’ comments made the idea of privilege much easier to understand once I encountered it.

@Pecunium

Oh definitely, I didn’t mean to imply that men are identical when it comes to social touching and tolerance for touch across cultures, what I meant to say is that I found that men, across all the mainstream cultures that I’ve encountered, tended to be less comfortable with physical affection in comparison to the women of that culture, but my comment was written poorly. While replying to your comment, however, I got to thinking that maybe it’s not that women are necessarily more physically affectionate with strangers. I think that I’m viewing things through a mainstream male view, and projecting a bit.

When I wrote the original comment, one of the things that was in my mind was a demonstration that our cultural psych prof did. He asked for two male, and two female volunteers. He got the two girls to give each other a hug, and they a gave a standard hug, arms under each other’s armpits and cupping the shoulders. The two male volunteers were myself and another dude and we gave each other a “brother” hug (which is how we referred to in Africa) or what some people call the hip-hop hug: arms clasped between our chests shoulders touching and one thump on the back. And I remember that being one of the things that reinforced in my mind that women are more comfortable with physical affection because that kind of hug, for men who follow the mainstream masculine model, is generally saved for women close to us, or a select few men who are close to us. Even men who don’t follow the hip-hop hug, but do follow the mainstream model, still tend to do a lot of back thumping and what not, rarely do they hold each other close. But, reading your comment “but the ways in which we accept social touching are different”, it occurred to me that maybe it’s not that women are more comfortable per se, it’s more that I’m projecting that sense of intimacy on to them.

I don’t know if that came out rambly, I’m still trying out to work it out fully in my head myself.

AVT
AVT
9 years ago

Thanks, Pecunium, it’s good thing I implied no such superiority.

Ithiliana, fine. I like bell hooks, though I don’t agree with her all the time. I actively dislike Twisty Faster, but I read her stuff because she’s one of the only radical feminists I know of with any level of coherence. Does Simone de Beauvoir count? Maybe not. I read The Feminine Mystique about a year ago, that was interesting. I picked up some of Mary Daly’s work a while ago, but I put it down pretty soon because it was just tedious, wish-fulfillment crap. Christine de Pizan? Maybe that doesn’t really count either, but I did read the Book of the City of Ladies very recently. I like how Amanda Marcotte has completely taken over Pandagon. Alice Walker? I don’t know where she fits in. And yes, I did read Intercourse.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t claim to be an expert. And sure, I could have just looked that up on Google. Again, I might make a longer post later, if I want to.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

“The utter indifference that their comments provoked in me, compared to the sense of unease that I got when I read White supremacists’ comments made the idea of privilege much easier to understand once I encountered it.”

I really wish that everyone was able to grasp this concept. Also, for me it was growing up in the Middle East and Asia that did it. Did I often hear people say negative things about white people as a group when I was a kid? Yep. Did it ever make me feel the slightest bit threatened in the way that sexist comments do? Nope. Because even little kids who have privilege are already aware of it, if they’re honest.

Pecunium
9 years ago

AVT: Thanks, Pecunium, it’s good thing I implied no such superiority.

I wouldn’t be so sure. That comment right there.. was mansplainy.

ithiliana
9 years ago

AVT: That’s a quirky enough list that I believe you read them rather than googled them (yes, Simone de Beauvoir counts as a feminist author and theorist; de Pizan is more proto-feminist, i.e. one of many medieval/early modern women writing about women’s issues in the 1400-1700)s.

You don’t know where Alice Walker fits in?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOKay then *backs away slowly*

AVT
AVT
9 years ago

So a post that I explicitly preface as my opinion has somehow been construed as the very opposite, ie, that I was asserting a “better grasp on the subject”? Sorry. Doesn’t work that way. You do not get to repurpose my own words.

AVT
AVT
9 years ago

@ Ithiliana- I’m just not sure if Walker can be classified as feminist theorist; she’s mostly a fiction writer. Obviously she is a feminist but, you know. I do not- despite all these accusations of me being an evil mansplainer- consider myself an expert.

katz
9 years ago

AVT, if people are getting a vibe off your comments, you don’t get to declare your comments vibeless, just like Steersman doesn’t get to declare himself not obnoxious.

(Not saying you’re like Steersman, just that neither of you gets to decide how your comments come across to other people.)

ithiliana
9 years ago

@AVT: Did you even read all my above posts or look at the links, or even read where I talk about feminist authors writing in multiple genres?

And I think I asked for feminist authors, not necessarily theorists, though will have to backtrack.

Alice Walker is known not only as a novelist and story writer and poet, but as the theorist who coined the term “womanist” in her critique of the ‘whiteness’ of feminism.

AVT
AVT
9 years ago

Hah, CassandraSays. The thing is- and I’m just sharing my own personal experience, mine, not extrapolating this to anyone, so please hold off on calling me a mansplainer- sexist comments from radfems did and do make me uncomfortable in a way that, say, anti-white New Black Panther-style comments didn’t and don’t.

ithiliana
9 years ago

http://science.jrank.org/pages/8159/Womanism.html

And while you passed the very low bar, can name feminists who are not currently in the blogosphere, you haven’t yet shown you are in fact familiar with the “complexities of feminist theories” (which yes can be explored in fiction, drama, poetry, and creative-nonfiction as well as philosophy/theory).

ithiliana
9 years ago

AVT: What makes you think this is a blog space (feminist or not) where we want to discuss your personal experiences, oh still very much acting like a troll dude?

And also (linguistic theory), you don’t get to declare that your intent trumps our reading of your words (well you can try, but we’ll probably mock that as well).

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

That’s nice, dear. However, I was talking to Shadow.

AVT
AVT
9 years ago

@Cassandra, Feel free to take it to email. Could be you’re just mad your theory got shot down. Not everything’s always going to go your way.

@ Ithiliana, but the thing is, it’s not a matter of tone here. You don’t get to tell me that you just get a “vibe” that I’m trying to lecture when I explicitly said that’s not what I’m trying to do, much like you don’t get to say that you just have a “vibe” that the sky is green.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

Wow, he really is determined to pick a fight with every single commenter here, isn’t he?

ithiliana
9 years ago

AVT: yes, we do.

Really. We do.

And a number of us have done so. You’re not gonna lose the mansplainer label in my perceptions of you.

Just as I am not gonna remove the perception you have of me via my persona and words here either.

The difference is, I don’t give a flying fuck, and you seem to care.