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A Gif, and Another Question: Where do you run across MRA/PUAs/etc online?

 

Here’s a cool, if momentarily puzzling, gif.

And another question for you all. Well, several related questions, really.

Where did you first run across MRAs and/or PUAs etc online (or offline)? What was your reaction at the time?

Flash forward to now: Where do you tend to run across MRAs/PUAs/etc or their ideas online (expressed by people who may or may not be MRAs/PUAs/etc)?

Oh, and by the way, feel free to discuss whatever else you want, or to post links to misogyny, and generally behave as if this is an open thread, because it is.

 

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MKlein
MKlein
7 years ago

Aside from the trolls here, YouTube is the main place, specifically the comments. I try not to read them. I used to have a Facebook friend who was one, but I’ve pretty much distanced myself from him, which has been a big relief because he would heckle me on my own wall over every feminist thing I shared. That’s just obnoxious. Like, I don’t agree with everything all my Facebook friends share or post that appears on my feed, but I respect their beliefs so I ignore it or hide it unless it’s overtly hateful, instead of trying to change their minds using every tired argument they’re already heard a million times.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

My first encounter with an MRA was on Usenet in 1998, I believe, on the alt.atheism newsgroup. We had some crossposting trolls coming over from alt.soc.mens.rights, one Kenneth Pangborn, divorce attorney and MRA who also had a bee in his bonnet about anonymous remailers, and an alleged disgruntled client of his that used an anonymous remailer to destroy his reputation by posting everywhere (I mean *everywhere*, this thing was crossposted over the entirety of Usenet) that he had swindled him of money with vague promises of getting his custody and getting back at this wife. Apparently the client was NOT a complete MRA asshole and after a while, seeing that it would seem he could choose either some form of custody OR being a dick to his wife forever, requested of his attorney to stop being a dick to his wife… which he didn’t do, poisoning the judge against him forever and denying him any custody whatsoever.

Both were crossposting troll assholes so it’s hard to know whether any of them was in the right, at all. What I do know is that Pangborn took the opportunity to insult every atheist on the board, especially our women ones (including one Michelle Malkin, an Australian atheist that got *really* pissed over the rising notoriety of someone with the same moniker). Unsurprisingly, he was a far right Christian dingbat as well. So while we weren’t exactly thrilled with his nemesis either, Pangborn himself was the biggest target of flamewars from our side.

Helen
Helen
7 years ago

Worryingly enough I’ve mainly encountered MRA types on dating websites. You can spot the PUAS a mile off, they’re so desperate, they never get anywhere. But the MRAs, sometimes they seemed ok at first, nice enough to go on a date with, but they would then let their decent person facade slip quickly… My reaction was to end things immediately. I’ve had some bitter/angry emails/txts in my time. I mean this was back in the day before I really knew what MRAs/PUAs were, (I don’t date much nowadays, unsurprisingly). I just thought they had some SERIOUS issues with women.

damselindetech
7 years ago

The MRAs tend to poke their greasy heads into social justice/ anti-sexual violence FB pages I frequent and moderate. More recently they’re making their presence known on the university of Toronto campus, so I’m presently working on setting up a counter protest tomorrow:

http://damsel-in-de-tech.blogspot.ca/2013/03/part-of-solution-providing-info-on.html

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

I first ran across them at the Pervocracy which lead to here, and my reaction was “WTF?”

I see them pop up on Jezebel a lot now, ever since they revamped their comment system. Pretty much any feminist blog will have MRA trolls shitting all over the carpet.

The weirdest place I’ve ever seen one rear it’s pointy head was over on the Ask A Manager blog. He got shut down pretty quick, but the talking points were there.

princessbonbon
7 years ago

I met an Australian guy who was an MRA…he was like Mr.Al’s cousin or something because he was convinced, CONVINCED every woman thought he was hideous. I said he was ordinary looking to me.

Since then it is just a colleague who tells me that men are superior and I need to be back in the kitchen. I quote Lady Astor at him in retaliation.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

I’ve only encountered the trolls on this site, or the sites you quote, David. I didn’t even know what the terms meant before I started reading here; I thought MRA meant Male Rape Apologist (which it does, with this lot, of course). I had pretty strong feelings about misogyny, and that the level of hate MRAs express underlying a lot of it if one dug deeper. The only revelation was that they are *cough* organised *cough* and put it right out there instead of pretending they just have “conservative values” or the sort of BS I saw in comment threads on HuffPo, for instance.

I wouldn’t know if I’ve ever met an MRA or PUA in real life. I don’t socialise offline and haven’t for years, and have never been on the dating scene (hurl); besides, I’ve never had the looks that would get PUAs harassing me, thank Ceiling Cat. I’ve met plenty of sexist or outright misogynist dickheads in the course of business, but I doubt they’d have been MRAs or even have heard of them.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

princessbonbon – funny, I was thinking about some old Mr Al threads this morning, and that it wouldn’t matter if he was 6′ 3″, looked like Brad Pitt’s younger brother (cos women only like Brad Pitt, don’t we?) and was a millionaire, his personality would STILL make him a disgusting piece of shit. He might get laid occasionally, but they’d still be one-night stands, because his toxic attitudes would drive anyone away.

katz
7 years ago

For me? TVTropes. Ran into this dude (could be Mr. Al’s clone; hell, could be Mr. Al for all I know) whining about this and that, and then, surprise surprise, next thing you know he’s singing the praises of GirlWritesWhat. Money quote:

I’m still amazed at how well articulated and logical her thoughts are, and it’s actually ironic that one of the best men’s rights activists around is a woman.

And an enormous multi-page shitfit, featuring three or four different jackasses, about how the Doctor CAN’T BE PLAYED BY A WOMAN and I AM NOT SEXIST and WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP CALLING ME THAT? Money quote:

Don’t be a moron. Not wanting the Doctor to become a woman has nothing to with being sexist, at least for the majority of Who fans. It’s NOT SEXIST! How many times can I say it? My best friend is a dude. I don’t want him to become a woman. Does that make me sexist? No.

I don’t want The Doctor to become a Dalmation. I must hate puppies. I don’t want him to be a cyborg – actually, hold on…that might be cool.

And also this dude who is, for real, a total DKM clone, showing up to bemoan how ladies just don’t act like ladies anymore, and can’t they just be helpless and frilly sometimes, for him? Please? Money quote:

I mean, it makes me kind of sad and nostalgic looking around campus these days and not seeing a single skirt or fancy blouse – blue jeans and t-shirts all around. Can’t girls see that it is okay to act “like a girl” if you are one?

Sigh. Had so much fun there, met so many cool people, but it had to end.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

I have been intensely lucky not to meet folks who openly ID as PUA or MRA in real life. I think this is helped by me being so out that such people would probably avoid me, and I them.

But dear GOD did we have a hellish infestation of Nice Guys (TM) through high school and college. An infestation that magically vanished pretty much the moment I hacked off our hair and tits. SHOCK. But yeah, for a while, we were a geek fetish object for far too many people. The number of times I had to sit through bad poetry readings after specifically stating I didn’t do poetry…

Never accused of being a fake geek girl, though. I guess because our geek cred at the time was unassailable, plus supply and demand.

Tina
Tina
7 years ago

Here, Alternet, some atheist sites, HuffPo was the first place I came across…just weird, vindictive commenters. I assumed they were men (I do that anyway, to every commenter, unless they state otherwise). In real life, I really don’t know. I think I’m recognizing something but I don’t know what to call it. It’s not hatred but it’s not something that I would put up with for long.

Ashley
7 years ago

They started coming to my blog last summer, since I write about women’s rights occasionally. I was pretty amused by it all, still am.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

katz – gawd, they can’t leave anything alone, can they? Hell, I had a “no that’s all wrong” when there was a brief teaser put out during John Nathan-Turner’s time about the next Doctor maybe being a woman. But that was thirty years ago.

Never really examined TV Tropes, I got annoyed when it turned out to be the only place “single target sexuality” is mentioned – sure it may be a totally overused idea in TV, but it is also real!

clairedammit
clairedammit
7 years ago

I used to work in IT and a few of my younger coworkers had MRA attitudes. Most of them hadn’t dated much, if any. There was one guy in particular who I was friendly with (I had to be, as we were on the same team) who’d come out with this weird shit all the time like, “all women are gold diggers.” I’d call him out on it and he’d say “but Claire, you’re different.” Several of the guys would talk about buying stocks all the time (although I don’t think they actually bought any) and thought it was smart to buy stock in companies that made purses before Valentine’s Day, because “all women want expensive purses for Valentine’s.” When I pointed out that my purse cost $17 and was on its third year, it was “but Claire, you’re different.” Sigh.

I’ve also run into them in comments, mostly on feminist sites, but also news sites. It was such a relief to 1. find out they had a name 2. find out other people thought they were as awful as I do, and 3. find the mockery.

augochlorella
augochlorella
7 years ago

I run in some nerd circles, and every once in a while I’ll meet a guy with some pretty misogynistic views. I suppose I can’t say for sure whether they identified as MRAs or not, but I can definitely imagine a few of them sitting at their computer, ranting about women. I wasn’t familiar with the MRA as a “movement” until I came across this blog, though.

Ack. As I was typing this, I remembered meeting this guy at one of my first gaming parties who insisted that women use sex to get things because they physically couldn’t enjoy sex as much as men so why would they have it just for fun? (Protip: This is not conversation material for a girl you just met.) I was naive and argued with him. He wanted me to “prove” to him that women could have sex just for fun. Yuck yuck yuck. I was also clearly underage and he was clearly not. I’m going to go back to forgetting that now.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
7 years ago

The first time I became aware of aware of MRA/PUA-like ideas, which both really just boiled down to raw misogyny, was through listening to the Tom Leykis radio show back in the early 2000s. At the time I was in my early adolescence, and didn’t have many countervailing influences, so in my naïveté I found Leykis’ cleverness, certainty, and rhetoric to be quite convincing. Luckily it did not manifest in adopting some chucklefuck ideology outright, and I eventually outgrew it.

My “second” introduction to MRAs was through the Elevatorgate kerfuffle. The sheer amount of indignation and frothing rage against Rebecca Watson over such a small thing coming from so many male atheists was an eye-opener. There was a video by TheAmazingAtheist on youtube that I particularly paid attention to: it was like a literal storm of shit.

Today, I mostly see MRA type shit on Reddit and Tumblr, although usually filtered through Shit Reddit Says on Reddit and social justice-oriented bloggers on tumblr. The Sociological Images blog, which seems to have a chronic MRA infection in the comments, was the most surprising place I’ve found MRAs, but I seldom pay attention to the comments there anyway.

Also, that gif reminds me of this video I saw today:

Maude LL
Maude LL
7 years ago

Like Hellkell, from Pervocracy.

I did hear from it earlier, specifically “fathers for justice” blocking a bridge in Montreal wearing Batman costumes, 10 or 15 years ago.

Then, 2 or 3 years ago, my boyfriend told me of his interest in learning about the “pick-up community” to meet women, and I googled it. To be fair, he was talking about actual methods to interact with women without crippling anxiety. But entered a whole new world.

Ever since that, I’m a bit fascinated, as in pity-fascinated. Because life must suck when you’re angry at things that don’t exist. I have to remind myself that there’s an actual possibility that MRAs actually believe the stuff they write.

Sometimes the hypothesis of a massive online joke as an art project involving thousands of people seems just as plausible as “it’s an actual thing, and they are for real”.

clairedammit
clairedammit
7 years ago

Random:The Silver Pesos is my new favorite band.

ellex24
ellex24
7 years ago

Most of the MRAs I’ve encountered have been commenters on Yahoo news stories and Dear Abby. But until I discovered The Pervocracy, and through that Captain Awkward, and through that Manboobz, I had no idea there was an actual term for them, and I thought they were mostly just ignorant douchewaffle ass-hats. Coming here and reading this blog, I realized that a lot of them did indeed share a particular (and particularly revolting) mindset aimed mainly at women as the source of all evil.

I’ve met some sexists in real life but nothing like these poisonous people. And being (a) not particularly conventionally attractive; (b) both quietly competent and completely not taking shit from anyone, anytime, anywhere, (c) having cultivated an innate ability to go unnoticed much of the time, and (d) vocally not interested in dating anyone, any time, at all, thank you very much; I think I’ve managed to avoid being a target for them.

I would prefer the Doctor not be played by a woman. But, if Moffat decided to cast a woman, I’d certainly sit down and give her a chance. I’ve never been one to diss a new Doctor – I love them all. Some more than others, but the watchword for the Doctor is always “change”.

neuroticbeagle
neuroticbeagle
7 years ago

I just ran across this article: Colorado Democrat: A Gun Wouldn’t Help You If You’re About to Get Raped (http://www.ijreview.com/2013/03/40086-colorado-democrat-a-gun-wouldnt-help-you-if-youre-about-to-get-raped/) and I am interested in what the manbooz community (except trolls) think about it. The comments from the article were not very helpful ie liberals all suck, the senator is too ugly to be raped etc.. At least here I can get an intelligent and informed opinions.

What is your take on what the either Senators ( the one who apologized for ‘discomfort’ of others prioritizing her right to self defense or the senator who used statistics to say that the gun might not have helped, but even harmed the victim)?
Do you think a college students carrying concealed guns actually reduce on campus rape?

I think the Democrat Senator did not articulate her point well, but I am not convinced that she was wrong. This could be however because whenever I hear the words college and rape together I immediately think frat parties. Booze, guns and frat boys are a scary combination to me. Also, how is carrying a gun going to help other date rape scenarios?
The Senator mentions that guns would not even be helpful with the stranger behind the bush attacks- the attacker may wrestle the gun away from the victim and use it against the victim. I know this is true for other types of weapons such as knives- but is it really true against guns?

Cute doggie picture as thank you for answering:
http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/192x/d2/9c/64/d29c64ba70b3234c2c8ef94f24f7c8ce.jpg

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

I met my first PUA on facebook. He calls himself a life coach, but one of his main things is teaching men to talk to women. He’s actually a nice guy, and I went out to a bar one night with him and another PUA friend of his. They had some tricks they used – like slight peacocking which in this case was a godawful cardigan – and some slightly cheesey lines, but they didn’t do negging and it was mostly just about being super friendly, talking to lots of women and if they got rebuffed, moving on to talk to someone else. So yeah, just the sort of thing you do when you’re a social butterfly.

I guess it’s possible that they weren’t doing their normal thing because I was there and they knew I wouldn’t be down with any manipulative PUA shit, but though I’m not in contact with him anymore – the 2nd guy is my facebook friend and I haven’t seen any posts from him that were problematic.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: neuroticbeagle

Do you think a college students carrying concealed guns actually reduce on campus rape?

Not unless they are emotionally ready to shoot a partner, family member, friend, or acquaintance. The idea only helps in the ‘stranger rapist in the bushes’ scenario.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Not having handled a gun or living in a gun culture, my thoughts aren’t all that relevant, but it seems a matter of reaction times to me, and who, untrained, is going to get a gun out and have it ready to shoot-but-not-shoot? An attacker always has the advantage of surprise, of being the aggressor; the person attacked has the disadvantage of being surprised and put into fear. I don’t see that a gun is necessarily going to help at all.

We need Pecunium to come and talk about this, he’s got lots of experience in these matters. But yeah … wording matters aside, I think the senator was probably right. It’d take more than just having a gun.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

And even then, only if you’re of a shooting disposition. I am not one of them. Forgot to add that bit.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

LBT – excellent points, I was only looking at that least-common scenario, the stranger rape.

katz
7 years ago

Not unless they are emotionally ready to shoot a partner, family member, friend, or acquaintance. The idea only helps in the ‘stranger rapist in the bushes’ scenario.

Hell, a lot of people aren’t emotionally ready to shoot a stranger in the bushes.

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

Killing someone might not be as bad as being raped, but it sure would still be traumatising.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

And I’m just betting that unless the would-be rapist had previous, there’d be a huge guilt trip laid on a woman for shooting a man, apart from any guilt she might feel herself. My nasty suspicious mind just says it’s all too likely, especially as there’d be the inevitable chorus of “But he was a Niiiice Booyyyyy! He brought his mother flowers!”

*USians please note, “boy” doesn’t have racist connotations in Oz usage.

Stuffed Fantod
7 years ago

Fetlife. All over Fetlife.

Stuffed Fantod
7 years ago

Ahhhh…Ken Pangborn! That brings back memories!

Noadi
7 years ago

I used to be an OP on a video game art related IRC channel (it’s actually still around and technically I’m still an OP but I haven’t been on in a few years). Back around 2002-2005 when I was really active on the channel we had this one guy who was a regular who was an obnoxious misogynistic ass. I now know that he was spouting a lot of standard MRA talking points: paternity fraud, domestic violence isn’t so bad, rape apology, homophobia, transphobia, etc. The kid was also just generally a mess and the other regulars tried to help him and reason with him especially since most of us were a pretty progressive bunch though he tried our patience frequently whenever gender came up (especially with one of my co-OPs being trans). Sadly we never really got through to him, one day he disappeared from the chat and we found out about a week later that he died (apparently suicide).

Honestly until I started seeing more MRA stuff popping up in the blog communities I frequent (I found manboobz via pharyngula) I didn’t realize where he had gotten all the ideas he had latched onto. It’s really bizarre sometimes to see the same points being brought up that I was shooting down from a depressed 20yo almost 10 years ago.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
7 years ago

Amanda Marcotte made a good point about this on twitter: there’s no way for a woman to prove that a man she shot dead was going to rape her. So really, even in the archetypical “rapist hiding in the bushes” scenario, which is the most likely scenario in which someone would be both armed and in a good position to use a gun against an attacker, it’s not much help.

In other cases, we have to remember that rapists are predators. They’re not going to go after women who are clutching their guns 24/7; women who do anything less might as well not have a gun, as far as this topic goes. At least that’s how I think of it.

There’s also a racial component to this: if a white woman shot a black man attempting to rape her, she would be much more likely to be believed than would a black woman who shot a white man attempting to rape her. The former scenario is probably the only blip that shows up on most people’s mental radars, so it seems like a plausible use of a gun to them.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
7 years ago

Amanda Marcotte made a good point about this on twitter: there’s no way for a woman to prove that a man she shot dead was going to rape her. So really, even in the archetypical “rapist hiding in the bushes” scenario, which is the most likely scenario in which someone would be both armed and in a good position to use a gun against an attacker, it’s not much help.

To spell out what my brain thought it was conveying psychically, Marcotte’s point was that a woman who did shoot a rapist dead would then be faced with the prospect of prosecution and jail.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Pretty much what I was thinking, Tulgey.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Yeah, like, the whole thing just makes me think of the Rape-X thing again. Nice theory, but doesn’t really work out in practice.

Honestly, I think the best protection we could’ve had from our rapes was if we’d been taught earlier on the concept of boundaries and what was reasonable, if we’d had an environment we felt safe discussing sex at all in, and of course, that we hadn’t been raised in that abstinence-only cesspit that said ANY premarital sexual activity, rape or not, made you dirty and a wasted resource. Even if we never said the guy’s name, we stood to have a lot to lose to even mention it. And you know what? That’s how he was able to operate.

melody
7 years ago

I’m not sure I knew what the MRM was until college.
However, I was 13 I ran into a guy who called me a tease. I was a tease because I was at the beach wearing a swimsuit. Yep.

As far as now where I run into them….in my hometown and in (certain) bars.
I visit a great bar now. Very safe space for women and I’ve never had any problems there.

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

That book sounds really interesting Kamilla. Have you read it?

Sideliner
Sideliner
7 years ago

I first encountered MRAs about 15 years ago, when one sued my dad.

My Dad had handled his divorce, and the guy basically blew off every meeting with my Dad and court hearing that got set up for him. When the judge gave his wife what she wanted (at a hearing he didn’t show up for), he flipped. When my Dad tried to bill him, he sued for malpractice, claiming my Dad had never told him he had to attend any of the hearings (???).

The mere mention of MRAs still makes my Dad turn all red.

Anyway, the guy now goes around preaching about misandric family courts and all the usual. Weirdly, he was somehow associated with Tom Ball (of self-immolation manifesto fame) as well….so in retrospect I’m actually glad all he did to my Dad was sue….

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
7 years ago
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Shit, that’s scary, Sideliner.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
7 years ago

Fiddle dee dee! I thought the pic would post.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Nah, we can’t embed pics. I don’t know if we never could, or could and trolls posted gross things, but it’s only videos that embed.

Hmm, now, what artist to pick up? 🙂

Myoo
Myoo
7 years ago

I don’t know if they identified as MRAs, but I remember seeing a bunch of people whining about how feminism has gone too far and how men are opressed now in The Escapist forums.
One of not awful posters put up a link to No Seriously, What About The Men, from which I found the Pervocracy and Manboobz, where I learned what an MRA actually is.

Falconer
7 years ago

I believe I heard about them on Pandagon some time ago, but I’m not sure.

Certainly by 2007, when I helped someone accused of touching a little girl and he had found all this literature on the internet that described how mothers and prosecutors would coach children to lie about Daddy touching them, I recognized it as MRA bullshit.

Sideliner
Sideliner
7 years ago

@The Kittehs’ – Luckily at the time no one had any idea how far Tom Ball would go, so we may not have been as scared as we should have been…if that makes sense.

There actually was some justice done though: The guy in question decided to go back to law school so he could take on the courts directly, and my Dad found out about it. Apparently he wasn’t the only lawyer this guy had attempted to sue over his custody/divorce issues, and some of them got in touch with my Dad about formally filing a complaint with the bar association asking that he not be let in. They sent them a bunch of his angry MRA screeds, and the bar association actually decided he “did not possess the good character needed to become a practicing attorney”.

It always cheers me a bit to know that at least one MRA had his own words come back to bite him.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Should mention that I found this site via Hoyden About Town, a cool Australian feminist blog that also has lots of time for cute critters and posts about kitties. (One for the blog roll, Dave?)

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Yes, I get what you mean about not being as scared as otherwise!

And that is really cool that this douchecanoe was kept out of law school.

TEH MISANDRIST FEMINAZI ILLUMINATI WIN AGAIN

heidihi
heidihi
7 years ago

@Stuffed Fantod, i second that, seriously, Fetlife, UGH.

Here, of course.

Also, i have a friend from college who’s an anarcholibertarian (my word, not his, but he’s not a libertarian like how Ron/Rand Paul are libertarians), and he’s in a think tank and publishes work in blogs and stuff, and invariably, there are MRAs in his facebook feed making THE DUMBEST arguments at all times.

Sideliner
Sideliner
7 years ago

Oh, to be clear, he got in to law school, got through it, got all the loans, but he’s barred from ever practicing as a lawyer because the bar association won’t grant him a license to practice (kind of like graduating from medical school but not being able to actually see patients).

I seriously didn’t even know they could do that…apparently it doesn’t happen often, but if you make enough other lawyers mad and put lots of angry awful things about women, kids, lawyers, and judges in writing, it can.

Anyway, I’m off to bed, to dream of kittens and such. Thanks for the kind welcome.

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