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John The Other debates John The Other on MRA misogyny, loses

John Hembling: Open mouth, insert foot.
John Hembling: Open mouth, insert foot.

So the other day someone asked the Men’s Rights subreddit “Why do people think you guys hate women?”

There were a lot of ridiculous answers to that question, but one of the most ridiculous (and one of the most highly upvoted) responses came from our old friend John Hembling, the blabby Canadian videoblogger and A Voice for Men “Editor in Chief” also known for some dopey reason as John The Other. He explained:

johntheother [-37] 29 points 3 days ago (36|7)  They dont actually think we hate women. The accusation is a derailing tactic, designed to push the topic towards a defensive posture, and requiring proof from us (MRAs) that "hatred of women" is a false claim.  When used, it takes the discussion away from real issues such as suicide rates, homelessness, infant genital mutilation and so on.  It's very very effective, because it plays on the fact that almost all men, including MRAs are basically decent. And the social stigma of a public perception of hatred of women is painful. To overcome this tactic, it is necessary to discard a self image relying on consensus approval. Tough to do because we are social animals. But to disarm the attack of "you hate women" it's necessary to develop a strong self identity which takes no account of consensus conferral of approval. Be the "bad man", and let only your own internal compas of right and wrong guide you.

Really, John? Because I have something like 1200 posts on this blog here that would seem to suggest that, no, a lot of MRAs (and PUAs and MGOTWers) really, honestly, sincerely, and sometimes even proudly, hate women. (Ok, a certain percentage of my posts are actually about kitties, but still, I invite you to spend a month or so going through the archives, John; you may learn a thing or two.)

But, actually, there’s no need to take my word on the subject. Because if you really want to know why so many people think MRAs hate women, I invite you to take a look at and a listen to this video by a prominent MRA. Seems pretty obvious that this guy hates women, wouldn’t you agree?

Oh, by the way, this guy is you. [TRIGGER WARNING for people who are not John Hembling and who might be disturbed by a smirking asshole literally laughing about rape. Seriously. This is bad even by his standards.]

Oh, another by the way:  Hembling complained about feminists “doxing” him long after he made the video that was excerpted here in which he gave out his name. That’s right, he put his name out in his own video, then complained that feminists were violating his privacy and basically terrorizing him by ever mentioning his name. Until he started going by his real name again.

Before I go, here’s another particularly inane contribution to the Reddit discussion:

AloysiusC 6 points 3 days ago (9|3)  Many of the female feminists have deep inferiority issues about their gender and, instead of addressing those issues, they take the easy path by blaming the world which results in them seeing misogyny literally everywhere. Not just us, but all of society. Basically anything that isn't explicitly celebrating women triggers their misogyny alarm.  There's more to it.  Because they see it as a competition between the sexes (that's what an inferiority complex requires), they cannot handle anything positive being said about men. This too is, to them, misogyny.  Meanwhile many of the male feminists also deep down believe women are inferior but they're motivated by a sense of guilt - and they project their views onto other men. They simply can't imagine a man not seeing women as lesser creatures because that's how THEY feel deep down.  Because of these motivations, there will never be a way to be an MRA without getting misogyny accusations - no matter how much we walk on eggshells.

Huh. MRAs certainly have a most unusual way of “walking on eggshells.” Indeed, to this outside observer it looks a lot less like “walking on eggshells” and more like “angry toddler having an endless stompy tantrum.”

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katz
8 years ago

Yes, that would have been better.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Freemage, one doesn’t have to be an atheist to call out religious texts one finds appalling. Surely you aren’t saying no Christian criticises stuff in the Bible, for example?

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Robert – were you reading here when we had our great John the Otter artwork going? If not, cloudiah has collected it all here.. Enjoy! 😀

Robert
Robert
8 years ago

Kitteh – thanks, I did miss those.
Also, regarding Job. If you’re familiar with Sinfest, it’s entertaining to read the first few chapters of Job while picturing YHWH and Satan as they appear in the comic strip.

“Yes, yes, you made the hippopotamus, very impressive. Meanwhile, back at the point – what’s with the boils? Oh, and all my children are dead.”

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: SittieKitty

The only guideline is that they be in regards to the writeathon prompts. It can be for any prompt, not necessarily one you sponsored. (Also, ‘Ordinary Ever After’ already is having a bonus sketch done of it, so it’s out of the running.)

Here are the prompts (the posts labeled ‘homeathon’), in case you have a favorite.

SittieKitty
8 years ago

LBT, how about one of Reverend Alpert conversing with the monster!

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

Kittehserf:

Freemage, one doesn’t have to be an atheist to call out religious texts one finds appalling. Surely you aren’t saying no Christian criticises stuff in the Bible, for example?

“No Christian”? No, I’m not suggesting that at all. There are some. But… (You knew that word was coming, right?)

Someone might say something along the lines of “that’s horrible” about the notion that God orders the Israelites to bash infants’ heads open on the rocks as part of a program of ethnic cleansing. But it’s very, very rare that they take that criticism to the next level and ask, “Well, then, what about the rest of the book?” (To risk being overly pithy, they criticize without critiquing–they don’t take the time to analyze that gut reaction and see if maybe the most sacred text in their faith contains a lot of really awful crap, and then wonder what that might say about their religion in general.)

It becomes a game of “It’s only parable unless it’s true and it’s so obvious which is which I shouldn’t have to point it out and besides it all happens to conform with what I think is true anyway.” So if you’re a conservative Christian, you decide that the Leviticus prohibition on gay male sex is still valid, but the rules on shellfish are out. If you’re a liberal, you opt out on both of those, but keep the bits about loving your neighbor and the rich having a harder time getting to Heaven. The liberal Christian’s views are more akin to my own in terms of how to treat other people and build a better world, but that doesn’t mean I think they are any less incorrect about the source of that decision-making.

But neither group is particularly big on acknowledging that they are cherry-picking. Instead, they hold that they are the ones interpreting the Bible “correctly”–and rarely stating out loud that the fact that these writings NEED interpretation is somehow problematic. There are exceptions to this, just as there are to most generalizations.

katz
8 years ago

Yeah, if only I were an atheist so I could stop being incorrect.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Freemage, I think you’re generalising some brands of US Christians to all Christians. Except for the way they unduly influence law, I don’t give a toss for the interpretations of conservative Christians, if by that one means fundamentalists, because they seem to know jack shit about the development of the Bible, the translations, the changes of meaning, or even the politics involved (Council of Nicea, f’rinst).

But they’re not the Christians here, and I think you’re doing regulars who are Christian a disservice in letting one variety of one country’s Protestant denominations represent more than themselves.

Also, one can’t not pick and choose with the Bible, since it contradicts itself. So why get hung up on the people who’re picking the decent bits? Why not stick to poking the arsehole brigade (who would probably be just as big arseholes if they were atheists, btw – they’d find a different set of justifications to defend their privilege)? This is precisely the sort of thing that pisses me off with the capital-A-for-Arsehole variety of atheist (please note I do NOT include you in that!); they’d put someone like Bishop John Shelby Spong in the same category as Pat Robertson et al, simply because he’s Christian.

Oh, and I don’t like Christianity much myself, any more than any organised religion. I just get sick and tired of the generalisations, partly because they’re much the same as the “anything except hard atheist = mental illness/delusional/laughably stupid/nothing counts in life except TEH SCIENCE/coward/giving comfort to the enemy” attitude.

katz
8 years ago

You’re all seeing why I generally consider this sort of conversation fruitless. Freemage is not only sure that zir beliefs are right, but also sure that the correctness of zir beliefs is so obvious that the only reason anyone could fail to agree with them is because “they don’t take the time to analyze.” No, Christians are all “cherry-picking” and “incorrect about the source of that decision-making”, because if they approached their text completely unbiased, like zie does, they’d see the obvious truth that the Bible “contains a lot of really awful crap” and would immediately proceed to the obvious conclusion and become an atheist.

And that turd gets dropped right in the middle of a nice conversation about the nature of God and suffering.

Also, is there a secret stash of writings somewhere that don’t need interpretation? Because in general, “the fact that these writings NEED interpretation” is not so much “problematic” as “inherent to the nature of communication.”

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Also, is there a secret stash of writings somewhere that don’t need interpretation?

Heheh that reminds me of the times I posted diaries or poems on a writing site and got the most bizarre “how I interpret this allegory” reviews on occasion. Had to let the reviewers know that nope, sorry, it’s not an allegory of anything, it’s a straightforward description of an event.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Hit post too soon, again.

they’d see the obvious truth that the Bible “contains a lot of really awful crap” and would immediately proceed to the obvious conclusion and become an atheist.

To which I say, having ghastly fiction/interpretation/stuff generally written about one, doesn’t make one nonexistent. Just because Dumas wrote a rancid book that lies about real people doesn’t mean those people didn’t exist. They were simply nothing like what he wrote. In his case it was done with malice, but I think the point holds. :s

pecunium
8 years ago

Theodicy is a difficult thing, sure, we could all be sweet and reasonable (even “Amazing”) atheists. Or we could just ignore it (the whole thing would be easier of Job had been left out, and just ignored that there is a lot of pain in the world, and say, “enh”).

But people have been wrestling with it, and short of just saying, “all that other stuff I believe, not worth it because there is pain in the world”, it’s always going to be Joblike, because if there is a God, we won’t ever be able to answer it. The idea of God creates a Gödel problem: it can’t be defined inside the rule set we (as not God[s]) can understand.

pecunium
8 years ago

And, with no intent to be passive aggressive (just a painful couple of memories of the last times religion came up in a contentious way, and I got involved) I’m bowing out of this here and now.

Falconer
8 years ago

Me, and this thread:

(from the episode where Bart gets a job at a burlesque house.)

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Falconer — you too?

Other religion related things! I have the religions compiled for the first 1,583 surveys! We’re at 1,616 so I think I’m doing pretty good over here! Of course, my hands hurt enough I had to break out the mighty mouse (which is mighty indeed!)

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Pecunium, Falconer, Argenti – I get like that with the long-running religious threads, but sometimes it’s like the scab you have to scratch. The whole “people with religion should just realise!!!eleventy! thing is not aimed at me, I know, but it pisses me off hugely – is it okay to use the term splash damage for a comparison? (There was a hideous pile-on at Pharyngula once over that and I don’t know how it’s seen here.)

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Ugh, not this conversation again. I feel like “atheistsplaining” should be a term in common use, and I am an atheist.

(Not that I’m any fonder of faithsplaining, but I encounter it less in leftist spaces.)

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

@Freemage

The liberal Christian’s views are more akin to my own in terms of how to treat other people and build a better world, but that doesn’t mean I think they are any less incorrect about the source of that decision-making.

Doesn’t that depend on what the source is? Some people may be good because they think God is watching them or calls them to, but I suspect that most liberal Christians, like most conservative ones, are simply positing a God that happens to agree with them.

rarely stating out loud that the fact that these writings NEED interpretation is somehow problematic

Problematic in what way? I mean, we have nine people whose job it is to interpret the US constitution. In fact, pretty much every judge on Earth is tasked with interpreting the laws under their jurisdiction. Very rare is the written text that is universally clear in every situation, to every person.

because if they approached their text completely unbiased, like zie does, they’d see the obvious truth that the Bible “contains a lot of really awful crap” and would immediately proceed to the obvious conclusion and become an atheist.

The US constitution condones slavery and only counts black people as 3/5 of a person. Guess I’d better give up my citizenship. (If you’re going to come back with the fact that the Constitution has been amended, please remember that the Bible has, too.)

Kittehserf
8 years ago

I feel like “atheistsplaining” should be a term in common use, and I am an atheist.

(Not that I’m any fonder of faithsplaining, but I encounter it less in leftist spaces.)

I am so stealing these.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

The US constitution condones slavery and only counts black people as 3/5 of a person. Guess I’d better give up my citizenship. (If you’re going to come back with the fact that the Constitution has been amended, please remember that the Bible has, too.)

But no one pretends that the US constitution is the work of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent being. The fact that the Bible is flawed is a huge problem if you posit anything but a watchmaker deity.

The Abrahamic god, if it existed, would know that the flawed book ostensibly describing it has caused untold death and suffering. Thus, either it a) couldn’t do anything about it or b) couldn’t be arsed to do anything about it. Or it didn’t know. Whichever way you go you get a contradiction.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

@CassandraSays

Yeah, atheists have such social privilege. Besides our dominance in nearly every domain of human society, It’s not like every time we say anything non-positive about religion or faith we’re told to shut up and stop bothering the nice faithful people.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

OMG I’m oppressing myself again, I should really stop that.

katz
8 years ago

Yeah, jeez, it’s like you can’t even pop into a discussion of the book of Job and wank about how everyone who believes in God is deluded without someone getting annoyed at you.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Yeah katz, freemage’s response was totally off-topic and a pointless wank about how everyone who believes in a god is deluded. I mean just look at this:

OTOH, I’ll tell you this–cap-A Atheists? We despise the book of Job. It’s little more than a cop-out trying to explain why God doesn’t do anything when evil strikes, and it fails utterly (unless the thesis it’s supposed to present is that Yaweh is a complete and utter douchebag). (Also, it gets additional down-votes because, you know, family and servants aren’t people, they’re just attributes of the rich man that can be ‘removed’ from him–ie, killed–as part of a celestial bet.)

It’s much easier to be an Atheist, because if I wasn’t, I’d actually have to oppose the vile shitstain that is portrayed as ‘god’ in the book of Job.

What does that have to do with the just world fallacy and the Book of Job? Totally wanky. What a nasty, nasty atheist freemage is. What were they thinking!?

You should have specified “believers only” when you started the topic if you didn’t want any discussion of the Book of Job/just world fallacy from an atheist standpoint.

@CassandraSays

Yeah, we here all know that members of a demographic never buy into the social structures that disenfranchise them.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

So now I’m suffering from false consciousness? Wow, that’s not patronizing at all.

(This is exactly why I’m really tired of this conversation.)

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

You apparently believe that a good atheist is seen and not heard, while religious people can discuss their deities wherever. Perhaps I’m the one that’s wrong. Perhaps religious beliefs should be granted special status and considered off-limits. What do you think?

katz
8 years ago

Yes, Nepenthe, freemage managed one entire comment of “God is an asshole and I’m sooo glad I’m an atheist so I don’t have to believe that shit” before devolving into “believers are deluded” and now you with your “OMGZ persecution!” Given that my initial thesis was (and remains) “this sort of discussion is fruitless in this sort of setting,” this is all bolstering it.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Look, if you want to go around picking fights with religious people over the fact that they believe in stuff that we don’t then nobody can stop you, but I’m not required to join in. I’m happy to fight politicians who try to impose their religion via the government, but in terms of what random people on the internet believe in I really don’t see why their beliefs are any of my business.

And with that I am done with this conversation. (Apparently that needs to be stated explicitly since the “ugh I’m so tired of this” hints aren’t working.)

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Yeah, I’m definitely ranting about persecution and not calmly pointing out the consistent, if sometimes subtle, privileging of religious voices over atheist ones, to the point where even atheists believe that we’re supposed to shut up.

Or how you, a religious person, interpret on topic criticism of a religious subject as assholery because it’s not sufficiently nice. For example, perhaps you could show where freemage said that believers are deluded. I imagine you’ll find it right next to the passage where Dworkin says that all heterosexual sex is rape.

WalkingStickBug
WalkingStickBug
8 years ago

How come John the Otter was so afraid of the box cutters?

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

@CassandraSays

You know, the only “contribution” you’ve made to this conversation is that you’re done with this conversation. Why does it matter to you if some atheist on the internet isn’t being nice? Why did you feel the need to step in and actively assert your “done-ness” with this conversation?

Ally S
8 years ago

I agree with katz; this is entirely fruitless.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I stepped in because I don’t like seeing regulars who’re political allies being condescended to because of their beliefs. If they were suggesting that their beliefs determine the legal system that I have to live under then sure, that would be worth calling out. But the constant implication that people who’re religious are dumb and if they just thought about things more they’d agree with us? That’s unkind and pointless, imo.

Now, are you finished sniping at me for not being the right kind of atheist? Because I believe I tried to exit this conversation already.

katz
8 years ago

Aaliyah: Oh, maybe not entirely fruitless. It’s a good demonstration of derailing (remember when we were actually talking about the book of Job?).

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

And I think the constant implication that good atheists are quiet atheists is unkind, but very point-y, as is the constant implication that disagreement is automatically condescending if it comes from an atheist. Nowhere here has anyone said that believers are deluded. Nowhere here has anyone said that believers are stupid. That’s been read into statements by atheists.

(To me, this impulse on the part of religionists and their defenders smacks of desperation and “protesting too much”, like how veg*ans are shouted down if they mention the cruelty of factory farming, but ymmv.)

No one’s stopping you from leaving, you know, just like no one compelled you to announce your distaste for this conversation.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

And now I’m supposed to leave (this thread? the blog?) because I don’t agree with you? Nope.

katz
8 years ago

Estimated time to meltdown: 15 minutes

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Katz, I’m so so sorry for derailing a bustling conversation about the Book of Job. Oh wait, either you or kittehserf (it’s arguable) are the one’s who started the “baaaad atheist” segment of this conversation.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

CassandraSays, I’m merely noting that no one is forcing you to participate. No one is forcing you to read. If you find discussions about religion distasteful, there’s a discussion about video games going on in another thread.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

If you find discussions about religion distasteful, there’s a discussion about video games going on in another thread.

Today’s winner of the unintentional irony award is…

katz
8 years ago

Nepenthe, you are trolling. Nobody wants to talk to you because you are trolling. You have not said anything that was true, useful, relevant, interesting, or worthy of discussion, and you are rapidly ceasing to put on even the slightest pretense of any of these. And you have been here long enough to know that being the last person in a conversation by attrition doesn’t make you win.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Uh, I don’t find discussions about religion distasteful, I find atheist-blaming distasteful. Are you suggesting that if I see discriminatory behavior or attitudes that I ought to go discuss video games instead? Is it just religion that I’m supposed to apply that to, or should I apply it to gender as well?

I’m not the one who’s made 4 comments about how done with this conversation I am.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Saying things that don’t give you warm fuzzies =/= katz.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Correction:

Saying things that don’t give you warm fuzzies =/= trolling, katz.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Oh, could you point out the specific things I said that were untrue? That’s very concerning to me. I find truthfulness very important.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Wow, so now pointing out that generalising about even one religion’s adherents as if US fundamentalists are representative of anyone else is calling Freemage a “baaaad atheist” or telling atheists in general to be quiet.

That’s rich.

Oh, and kindly don’t lump me in with “the religious” as if that’s 1) a homogenous group and 2) what you’re implying, kthnkz. I agree with Cassandra and katz on the way this has gone.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

But no one pretends that the US constitution is the work of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent being. The fact that the Bible is flawed is a huge problem if you posit anything but a watchmaker deity.

So, here was the original quote from Freemage:

they don’t take the time to analyze that gut reaction and see if maybe the most sacred text in their faith contains a lot of really awful crap, and then wonder what that might say about their religion in general.

The implication being that since the text “contains a lot of crap”, the whole institution built around it is suspect. That’s the argument I was responding to. I don’t see anything in here about the supposed omnipotence of God or inerrancy of the Bible being part of the problem, but maybe it was implied and I missed it. But since plenty of Christians are aware of the Bible’s history and don’t believe it is inerrant, I’m not sure you can say that its flaws are “a huge problem” across the board.

Although one does wonder why even the people who are aware of its history are still using the exact same version as everyone else…

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

@Katz

Also, dude, you’re an atheist. You don’t have to tell me you don’t like religious texts. Kinda goes without saying.

Does it? I keep quite a few around for their poetic value and, yes, for spiritual warm fuzzies. There are some lovely bits in both the Bible and the Hadith about how to treat other people, for instance.

it’s like you can’t even pop into a discussion of the book of Job and wank about how everyone who believes in God is deluded without someone getting annoyed at you.

I didn’t get that from what Freemage wrote, at all. Overly broad generalizations and telling Christians what they believe instead of asking them, yes, but I didn’t see them calling you delusional.

@Nepenthe reading over the thread again, I do see where you’re coming from. All Freemage did was state that they believe Christians to be incorrect, and people jumped all over them, and that’s far too common when an Atheist dares to say “I think you’re wrong” about someone else’s religion. I apoligize for piling on.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

@kittehserf

My apologies. I should have said “theists and supernaturalists”, who are, I think, homogenous only in their belief in the supernatural. But maybe it’s too much, from all that I know of you, to conclude that you believe strongly in the supernatural, in which case feel free to correct me.

@emilygoddess

Even if one accepts that the Bible was written by humans, it doesn’t change the problem of the triple-O deity that it supposedly describes having not settled the score, causing immense human suffering, not to mention eternal damnation of billions, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s not really that the text contains a lot of crap, it’s what that implies. This is specific to religions that posit a triple-O deity though.

And thank you. The fact that religionists and supernaturalists can be totally unaware of their privilege, even in social justice spaces, is particularly grating.