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Hey girl, I wish you were a greasy smear on the road: The Men’s Rights subreddit hates on the lady rescued by Ryan Gosling.

Oh, the Men’s Rights subreddit is on a roll! Earlier in the week, as regular readers will already be well aware, a sizeable number of the regulars there were waxing indignant about a spermburgling girlfriend who turned out to be imaginary, and expressing sympathy for the imaginary girlfriend’s imaginary boyfriend, even though he’d admitted to punching her in her imaginary stomach.

Now they’re directing their wrath at a British journalist whom they’ve decided is being insufficiently grateful for being rescued from being hit by a speeding automobile by Ryan Gosling.

The backstory: Earlier in the week, British journalist Laurie Penny was wandering the streets of Manhattan, lost in thought, when she almost stepped off the curb into the path of a taxi. A man standing nearby grabbed her and pulled her to safety. That man happened to be famously hunky young actor Ryan Gosling.

Naturally, Penny tweeted about it, and her tweet aroused something of a Twitterstorm, in part because of the novelty of the situation, and in part because the thought of someone so dashing performing this little act of urban heroism made more than a few ladies (and men) swoon a little. I would probably react the same way if I heard a story about Kate Winslet saving a kitten.

Anyway, Penny was a little bit overwhelmed by all the attention her story was getting, and ended up writing a funny, spiky little essay for Gawker reminding people that while, yes, Ryan Gosling had indeed done a very nice thing for her, for which she was grateful, that it wasn’t really the biggest deal in the world. For one thing, she pointed out, lots of ordinary decent people perform similar acts of “heroism” all the time. For another, there are bigger heroes out there – like those working tirelessly to keep Rick Santorum from becoming our next president.

She ended the piece with this:

I really do object to being framed as the ditzy damsel in distress in this story. I do not mean any disrespect to Ryan Gosling, who is an excellent actor and, by all accounts, a personable and decent chap. …

But as a feminist, a writer, and a gentlewoman of fortune, I refuse to be cast in any sort of boring supporting female role, even though I have occasional trouble crossing the road, and even though I did swoon the teeniest tiniest bit when I realized it was him. I think that’s lazy storytelling, and I’m sure Ryan Gosling would agree with me.

And the thing is, I’m sure he would. I’m sure he’s as embarrassed about the attention as Penny is.

Well, for some people, Penny’s refusal to play the “boring supportive role” was simply unacceptable. Over on The National Review, antifeminist asshole Suzanne Venker wrote a snide and misleading piece portraying Penny as an ungrateful bitch:

If Western women want to know where all the good men have gone, they need only look in the mirror. Not only can men no longer hold the door open for women or pay the check after dinner, they can’t even save a woman’s life and get a simple thank you.

Never mind that Penny wrote explicitly that she was “grateful to the dashing and meme-worthy Mr. Gosling.” We can conclude that Venker either has terrible reading comprehension, or is deliberately lying about Penny. In any case, she continued on in this vein:

Feminists have totally destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Not all women seek the feminized version of the American male. Most women like big, strong, sexy men. They want men who are willing to put out fires, fight in combat, and, yes, even save damsels in distress. But in post-feminist America, Marlboro Man is a rare breed. We can thank women like Penny for that.

Well, actually, the reason the Marlboro Man isn’t around any more is that he died of lung cancer. (Well, to be more specific, two of the actors who portrayed the Marlboro Man did in fact die that way.) But let’s continue:

If Americans don’t wake up to the evils of feminism, the next time a woman walks down the wrong side of the street, the men of America will simply walk right past her and let her get hit.

And we’ll have no one blame but ourselves.

Really? Really? I’m pretty sure that Penny’s Gawker essay isn’t actually going to turn American men into a bunch of woman-hating psychopaths. I think we can all agree that Venker is being a giant turd here.

Well, not all of us, I guess. Someone posted Venker’s little screed to the Men’s Rights subreddit – you were wondering when I’d get back to them, weren’t you? And the regulars responded, well, like you would expect them to. Here are two of the most highly upvoted comments there, from two of the subreddit’s most prolific posters.

Stay classy. Men’s Rights Redditors!

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indifferentsky
8 years ago

“If Americans don’t wake up to the evils of feminism, the next time a woman walks down the wrong side of the street, the men of America will simply walk right past her and let her get hit.

And we’ll have no one blame but ourselves.”

MISANDRY ALERT

Is this “anti feminist asshole” and “turd” (lol David) capable of conceptualizing helping people without gender being involved? So it’s ok for women to save other women, but not men because women owe men something special.

WTF? If she wants to know why some think the world has gone nuts, she need only look in the mirror.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

I would like to think that I would act to save someone from being hit by a car they haven’t seen regardless of gender or any anticipation of reward, but because it is the right thing to do.

And dammit, this is one of the things feminism is advocating: A woman is not a supporting character, or someone who is awarded to one of the guys because of some action he undertook.

Why can’t these guys see that imposing such roles on people is unfair?

Sharculese
Sharculese
8 years ago

If Western women want to know where all the good men have gone, they need only look in the mirror.

i… what? is she saying western women ate all the men?

Sharculese
Sharculese
8 years ago

Is this “anti feminist asshole” and “turd” (lol David) capable of conceptualizing helping people without gender being involved?

well, she works for the nro, so she also considers the possibility that money might be involved. but basically, no.

magnesiumcookie
magnesiumcookie
8 years ago

I love misogynistic women like Suzanne Venker. They’re arguments always boil down to “I can’t find any good boyfriends and it’s all the fault of feminism. It can’t possibly be that I’m an awful person with ridiculous expectations about gender”. I can’t possibly be the only woman on earth not looking for a big, strong, firefighting superman to rescue me all the time, can I? I pay taxes so that police and fire men and women can rescue me from fires and marauders, thanks, I prefer my men to be emotionally supportive, nurturing, and intelligent partners in my life.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

My sister has always liked Gosling. Now she has more reason to.

Jesus, holy overreaction, Batman. Gosling did a good thing. Reporter person thanked him, and also said, hey, lots of non-movie-star people do this every day. That is as it should be. Instead it’s turned into THIS free-for-all.

I intervened in a beating once. Got a guy away from the woman he had beaten unconscious in the street. The guy took off and the woman staggered upright, obviously not right, and stagger/ran off with a slurred mumble that she was fine. Maybe she said thank you; I can’t remember, I was on the phone with the cops at the time and have a hearing problem, plus I was pretty wired so might not have remembered anyway.

But you know what? THAT’S FINE. Jesus. I don’t do things like that to get my egodick stroked and told what a wonderful hunk of man-meat I am. I do it because it’s the right thing to do! Even if she had hissed in my face that I was an asshole for intervening, that wouldn’t make me go, “Ha, I’ll just let this guy BEAT YOU COMATOSE then! Hahaha, shows you!” Because WTF. Not how ethics work, people!

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Not only can men no longer hold the door open for women or pay the check after dinner, they can’t even save a woman’s life and get a simple thank you.

Yes, men can do all those things, and most women are appreciative. However, most thank-yous don’t come with the blowjob these men seem to think they should. Your entitlement, check it.

MollyRen (@MollyRen)
8 years ago

They want men who are willing to put out fires, fight in combat, and, yes, even save damsels in distress.

Personally, I’d prefer none of my male friends, lovers, or relations EVER went into combat. Getting brain damage after your Hummer gets blown up on a mine or massive PTSD isn’t something I’d wish on anyone.

Magnesium
Magnesium
8 years ago

I love misogynistic women like Suzanne Venker. They’re arguments always boil down to “I can’t find any good boyfriends and it’s all the fault of feminism. It can’t possibly be that I’m an awful person with ridiculous expectations about gender and relationships”.

I can’t possibly be the only woman on earth not looking for a big, strong, firefighting superman to rescue me all the time, can I? I pay taxes so that police and fire men and women can rescue me from fires and marauders, thanks, I prefer my men to be emotionally supportive, nurturing, and intelligent partners in my life. And really, if I saw a dude about to step into traffic, I’d totally try to help him, because I’m a human being.

Dani Alexis
Dani Alexis
8 years ago

Ryan Gosling did the decent human thing here, and from what I’ve read, it sounds like Laurie Penny was humanly grateful for Ryan Gosling’s human decency, regardless of their respective genders. Sounds pretty equal to me.

But the MRAers seem to think Ryan Gosling should be getting Extra Bonus Gratitude Points for saving Laurie Penny while also in possession of a penis. Sounds pretty not equal to me, guys. WHINE HARDER.

MollyRen (@MollyRen)
8 years ago

And really, if I saw a dude about to step into traffic, I’d totally try to help him, because I’m a human being.

Having been hit by a car several years ago (I got a minor fracture), I tend to find myself stopping my male friends from stepping out into the road *even when there isn’t any real danger*. It just shows them I love them, though, right? 😉

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

Apparently I am a superhero or something.

I say this because I have, multiple times in my life, done things like “grab a baby’s stroller as it was rolling away and headed for the street” or “yell, ‘Hey, this guy’s choking, someone help him’ when I saw someone choking,” or “honk at a car that was trying to turn into oncoming traffic” or “send the police to check on a friend whom I rightly feared was attempting suicide.” It’s fairly likely that in one or more of these cases, my simple, minimal-effort-required action saved a life.

Except, apparently, I’m not eligible to do that, because I’m an icky-poo girl, and rescuing is only supposed to be done by men to women. (Sorry, choking guy. Especially seeing as the doctor who ran over to help you and actually saved your life was also a woman, I guess you were just supposed to be left for dead?) And, apparently, I should have demanded all those people shower me with praise afterward, rather than seeing those things as being pretty much the minimum of being a vaguely decent human being.

Is it cool that Ryan Gosling is a vaguely decent human being? Absolutely! I’m glad he is! It is definitely superior to being a terrible human being! But acting like “OMG you didn’t let someone walk into an oncoming car when you could easily prevent that” is some sort of amazing compliment is just sad. Of course you grab people before they walk in front of cars. You don’t do it because you’re a hero and you definitely don’t do it because you want women to swoon with gratitude. You do it because you’re not a fucking MONSTER who would just let someone die for shits and giggles.

Unless, of course, you’re an MRA. Ugh.

digitalsextant
digitalsextant
8 years ago

I would probably react the same way if I heard a story about Kate Winslet saving a kitten.

Good post. But are you intentionally forgetting that Kate Winslet did perform an act of heroism, not that long ago?

Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Two things about the mensrights thread stand out to me: the immediate, over-the-top outrage, because apparently being ungrateful while female is a mortal sin; and the consistent downvoting of posts that point out that, according to Laurie Penny herself, she did in fact thank Gosling and was grateful. I haven’t checked back there since last night, but it’s notable just how happy some of the people there are to believe an untruth.

Lady Zombie
Lady Zombie
8 years ago

I work in healthcare. Every day, in thousands of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and technicians off all genders, save lives. Often without so much as a thank you. Most of them are in those professions because they care for other people.

If you think you’re owed some sort of parade because you did something ethical or compassionate, there is something wrong with you.

And if you MRAs think that women should be grease spots simply because you feel she didn’t do enough obeisance for your good deed, then you deserve the label of entitled man-child asshole.

That is all.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

If Western women want to know where all the good men have gone, they need only look in the mirror.

i… what? is she saying western women ate all the men?

No way man. We trapped them in mirrors, like the evil Queen does in some versions of Snow White, and we force them to tell us how pretty we are all day. Take that, men!

Ryan Gosling, I had a crush on you when I was 10, and I’m not totally over it yet. Good to know your hunkiness comes with basic human decency, though, as Penny pointed out, it’s no more heroic from you than it would be from anyone else.

If you ever feel a desire to see the Rockies back in the home country, look me up. You can stay on my couch, we’ll go to Banff. Maybe you’ll declare your undying love for me, I don’t know. If you come in July, we could see the Stampede.

drockthecasbah
8 years ago

Out of curiosity, how much thankfulness do the Men Right’s Redditors think Ms. Penny owed Mr. Gossling? Let’s assume that I pull a woman from oncoming traffic. It would probably make for great conversation for a bit but eventually one would hope that, if we were to continue talking, that we could move away from her being infinitely grateful forever and ever, amen. That would get pretty dull after awhile.
Ms. Penny thanked Gossling for his charming act publicly and everyone was content. Except for the MR Redditors, of course.

Medium Dave
8 years ago

For all of the moaning about “white knights” that MRA’s do, it’s funny that they never notice that gender traditionalists like Suzanne Venker are the ones who are absolutely in love with the concept. The white knight does what he does for women not because he’s a decent human being, but rather in expectation of some kind of reward. Which is exactly why feminists aren’t such big fans of white-knighting.

And often enough if the WK doesn’t get “properly rewarded” for his good deeds he becomes sulky or rageful, and the inherent sexism comes out. I recall one MRA (wish I could remember who) telling an anecdote about his younger days when he intervened to stop a pimp beating a prostitute. She was, to his surprise, not grateful at all; she actually hit her “rescuer” and shouted that the incident was just going to cause more trouble for her. Which was probably true. So what lesson did this proto-MRA learn? Why, he concluded that no woman anywhere was worthy of his help from then on. QED.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Also, hey girl,

Feminist Ryan Gosling memes, just for you, girl.

Creative Writing Student
Creative Writing Student
8 years ago

If you think you’re owed some sort of parade because you did something ethical or compassionate, there is something wrong with you.

I think it’s because they don’t feel they have a lot to offer in the ‘ethics and compassion’ sphere. It’s like the unacademic person being bemused by the academic person having a complete meldown over a B, when the unacademic person is really pleased with their C. Except instead of academic prowess, it’s human decency (which is more important than academic prowess).

Anthony Zarat
8 years ago

Sorry that, by saving her life, one man took the spotlight away from one women for one moment. My appologies, your exaltednesses. Men should know that their ONLY place is grovelling at the feet of the goddesses.

katz
8 years ago

Which version of Zarat is this one? Looks like “left his computer logged in and NWO found it.”

princessbonbon
8 years ago

So Antz, how many decades is she supposed to say thank you for a brief bit of assistance?

red_locker
red_locker
8 years ago

O HAI, ANTZ. Still being nonsensical, I see.

Also, As if I didn’t like the man from “Drive” enough. 😀 Though, good on Penny for writing that article. Perspective is always good.

Creative Writing Student
Creative Writing Student
8 years ago

@princessbonbon

, presumably.

(My apologies to Pinkie Pie)

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

They want men who are willing to put out fires, fight in combat, and, yes, even save damsels in distress.

I also want women to do these things. Feminist, remember?

This is the first time in my life I’ve ever heard of Ryan Gosling, also.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Antz

Dude, she already thanked him! What do you WANT?

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

I love how Venker assumes no woman would ever help anyone whilst simultaneously painting all men as assholes so insufferable, they’d only help someone in exchange for eternal thankitude.

PDA (short for PDA's Dada Acronym)

Not that I’m a misogynist, but I really wish that she was a greasy smear on a road right now.

I’m so reassured by that disclaimer.

“Not that I’m a racist, but blacks are mud people, God’s failures before perfecting Adam, and white Christians are the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel: God’s chosen people.”

“Not that I’m a Chorazos Cultist, but Yog-Sothoth, key and guardian of the gate, is coming and shall rise again.”

“Not that I’m a Nazi, but das Ziel der Jude ist, damit sich der Herrscher über die Menschheit. Wo immer er kommt, zerstört er Werke der Kultur. Er ist nicht ein kreativer Geist, sondern ein destruktiver Geist.”

IT’S IN THE GENEVA CONVENTION

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Sorry that, by saving her life, one man took the spotlight away from one women for one moment.

Damn, AntZ, I didn’t think of it that way, you’re right. This was Ryan Gosling’s time to shine, to be known to the world for one brief, shining moment. And then Laurie Penny had to steal all the attention for herself! Don’t you get enough attention, Laurie Penny, who I’ve never even heard of before?

AntZ, you silly goose; people, men and women, boys and girls, do this sort of thing all the time. The only reason this story became big was because of the spotlight that is already on Ryan Gosling, all of the time. I fail to see how he stole that spotlight from Penny.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

I almost feel like calling them a hate group is giving them way too much credit at this point.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

On top of everything else, I’m kind of amused by the implication that Ryan Gosling should be offended that she did not swoon sufficiently.

He’s Ryan Gosling. He’s an A-list movie star. He routinely gets listed in those “Sexiest Man Alive” lists. He stars in “chick flicks” as The Super Dreamy Hunky Wonderful Awesome Man All You Ladies Totally Want To Bang.

Does anyone really think he feels that there is a shortage of swooning women in his life?

red_locker
red_locker
8 years ago

“On top of everything else, I’m kind of amused by the implication that Ryan Gosling should be offended that she did not swoon sufficiently.

He’s Ryan Gosling. He’s an A-list movie star. He routinely gets listed in those “Sexiest Man Alive” lists. He stars in “chick flicks” as The Super Dreamy Hunky Wonderful Awesome Man All You Ladies Totally Want To Bang.

Does anyone really think he feels that there is a shortage of swooning women in his life?”

This times a billion.

On top of that, shouldn’t the MRM be hating on Gosling for being an Alpha?

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Polliwog

Wait, Gosling’s A-list? I just know him from “Remember the Titans” and “Lars and the Real Girl” (which I really like). Oh, I guess he was in “The Notebook.”

I am so culturally deprived…

Anthony Zarat
8 years ago

Lets see if an example can pierce the fog of feminist religion, and let in just the tiniest amount of ligh. How would you feel about THIS newspaper article:

Last Saturday Paula Jane Radcliffe, the English long-distance runner and current women’s world record holder in the marathon, added two new feathers to her cap: she is now both the oldest woman, and the most recent mother, to win the prestigious New York marathon. Paula gave birth to daughter Isla while actively training for the New York Marathon. Remarkably, after the 27 hour labour, she went on to win 1st place, becoming both the oldest woman, and the most recent mother, to win that competionon ..

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” said husband Gary Lough, also a runner.

“I really do object to being framed as the absent husband in this story. I do not mean any disrespect to my wife Paula, who is an excellent jogger and, as I myself can attest, a personable and decent wife. I want it on the record that I won 3rd place at the prestigious Tyne/Wear half marathon in England — one week BEFORE Paula went on her New York jogg. I was as tired and worn out by diapers and sleepless nights as Paula, if not more! I am happy for my wife’s success running in the girl’s division. But as a father, a runner, and a gentleman of fortune, I refuse to be cast in any sort of boring supporting male role, even though I have occasional trouble with finishing my own races, and even though I did swoon the teeniest tiniest bit when I realized that my wife was both the oldest woman, and the most recent mother, to wint he New York marathon. I think that’s lazy storytelling, and I’m sure Paula would agree with me.”

KNOCK KNOCK! Is there anyone HOME? 🙂

Do you people even realize the magnitude of how ridiculous you are?!?

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Anthony

Uh. This woman didn’t DO anything to rescue her husband. She just ran a marathon. He’s not involved at all, and she didn’t do anything heroic. There’s no giant news media blitz or memes about this woman.

You’re comparing apples and oranges. Now, if she RESCUED her husband from a sinking boat or whatever, and because she was an athlete she got showered with praise, then yeah, sure, he’d totally have rights to speak up. But you’re comparing something TOTALLY UNRELATED.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

Also, you don’t get to call other people ridiculous. You want to replace your wife with VR because you can’t stand the idea of someone leaving you.

katz
8 years ago

Cookie for the person who can find any kind of connection, however tenuous, between AntZ’s latest post and the rest of the thread.

red_locker
red_locker
8 years ago

…Zarat, seriously, what in the actual fuck are you on about?

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Do you people even realize the magnitude of how ridiculous you are?!?

Rich coming from the man who wants to replace FOREIGN BRIDE with VR AND wants to divide genders on each side of the Mississippi.

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

Zarat yet again demonstrates how he does not know the difference apparently between giving birth and… pretty much everything else.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

Wait, Gosling’s A-list?

I’d say so, but my standards for “A-list” are pretty much “Am I aware of who this person is? Is it NOT because they were in a Joss Whedon show, a comic book movie, or something similarly tailored to my interests? Then they are probably actually famous!” :-p

speedbudget
speedbudget
8 years ago

So basically a lady says this basic act of human decency only got big play because of someone’s fame, and that means she is ungrateful, ergo all men everywhere should stop pulling people out of harm’s way because Feminism?

princessbonbon
8 years ago

The first part of the story is poorly written. It gives the impression that she ran the race right after giving birth.

katz
8 years ago

She said “I’ve…had enough…of this!” and ran a marathon.

KathleenB
KathleenB
8 years ago

Wow, AntZ is being even more of an asshat than usual. Which, you know, is saying something.

kladle
kladle
8 years ago

I think the MRA anger at the journalist being not sufficiently grateful is similar to Mr. Al’s anger at us not finding certain celebrities to be hot. Because if this lady can’t be grateful to a freaking celebrity for saving her life, this apparently means something something about all women having their bar impossibly high and there is nothing any man can do for a woman that could get make him look good. Thus all the yelling about cats and dogs living together, feminism has destroyed the natural order of things!!!! because we all know women’s real purpose is to sit around and be tools for men to make themselves look good.

2-D Man's Rights Activist
2-D Man's Rights Activist
8 years ago

They want men who are willing to put out fires, fight in combat, and, yes, even save damsels in distress. But in post-feminist America,[snip]

But in post-apocalyptic America, they’re really going to want a man who can fix toasters.

PDA (short for PDA's Dada Acronym)

What cracks me up is not only does it seem like the “you guys do it toooo!” argument is the only rhetorical tool in AntZ’s box… he also sucks at it.

Ant’ny, in order for the argumentum ad hominem tu quoque (A makes criticism P, A is also guilty of P, therefore, P is dismissed) attack to even make SENSE, it has to somehow relate to the argument being proposed. You don’t get to just make up a random story, append a smiley, and then fold your arms and yell “See!”

Well, actually, you DO… but it just makes you look clumsy and foolish.

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