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Nick Reading of Men’s Rights Edmonton: “If they didn’t scream [no], how else would I get an erection?”

Nick Reading: Men's Rights rape joker
Nick Reading: Men’s Rights rape joker

So a helpful Twitterer told me that I was a frequent topic of conversation on A Voice for Men’s Honey Badger “radio” show last night — that’s the one hosted by Karen Straughan (Girl Writes What) and Alison Tieman (Typhon Blue) and a newer addition to AVFM’s FeMRA stable named Della Burton. Bored, I went over to take a listen to the archived show. Well, bits and pieces of it, anyway. Life is short, and every minute of this show felt about an hour long.

Anyway, I missed most of whatever it was they said about me, but I did manage to force myself to sit through a good chunk of the segment featuring none other than Nick Reading, the guy who’s running a joke campaign for city council of Edmonton Alberta as the “Patriarchy Party” candidate.  You know, the dude we talked about just yesterday.

The gals did their best to play along with his over-the-top patriarchal schtick, proclaiming themselves submissive inferior females unworthy of his manly phallus, and so on. It was as gratingly unfunny as you might imagine, and it went on and on. Even the Honey Badgers, perhaps wondering if this whole segment wasn’t a rather apt metaphor for their own role within A Voice for Men and the Men’s Rights movement at large, couldn’t quite bring themselves to laugh at any of Nick’s, er, humor.

At least not until, about 49 minutes into the show, he brought out the rape jokes.

Take a listen:

Paul “The Thought of Fucking Your Shit Up Gives Me an Erection” Elam, meet Nick “If They Didn’t Scream No, How Else Would I Get an Erection” Reading.

In case you weren’t able to make all that out, due to the clear-as-mud sound engineering job of AVFM’s James Huff — you may remember him as the guy responsible for this amazing rant — I have transcribed the exchange below as best I could, cutting out a few repeated phrases and ignoring some remarks that got buried under other remarks.

Nick Reading: No never means no. It only means yes. That’s an understanding that we have within the patriarchy.

Karen Straughan: It is.

Alison Tieman: That’s true. Actually “no” should be stricken from the English language because it simply makes no sense. How could any woman ever say no to the holy phallus unless she was criminally insane?

Nick: Criminally insane, yes.

Della Burton [?]: Criminally, yes.

Karen: But, but we shouldn’t strike “no” from all the dictionaries and the lexicons of language simply because there are numerous times in the course of a day when a man loves to say “no” to a woman.

Nick: I would almost insist on striking it from the non-male vernacular but if they didn’t scream it, how else would I get an erection?

[Awkward pause]

[Laughter]

Della [?]: Oh my goodness.

Karen: Right, you’re right.

Della: I hadn’t even thought of that.

Karen: So no is still in.

A Voice for Men: Promoting Human Rights, One Rape Joke at a Time

EDITED TO ADD:  Below, a video on YouTube about this episode of Honey Badger radio, which not only looks at the show itself but at what was going on in the official chatroom for the show at the time, which turns out to be even creepier than the stuff said by Nick Reading on the show itself.

Along with the standard MRA misogyny from some of AVFM’s regulars, there were bizarre sexualized comments directed at the so-called Honey Badgers themselves: one commenter went on at length about how he wanted to use Karen Straughan’s breast milk in his coffee (and spike her coffee with his semen). Palani provides screenshots and everything. Some of her commentary is a bit problematic — she refers to them as “retards” at one point — but if you’ve got 15 minutes it’s worth a watch.

[VIDEO REMOVED BY REQUEST OF VIDEOMAKER]

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inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

:/

😮

:I

Hyena Girl
Hyena Girl
7 years ago

That’s some civil rights movement they’ve got there…

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

Good will be in shortly to make sure we understand the satirical nature of all this.

I just… I’m gonna take a break from this for a while. These guys are the worst.

pecunium
7 years ago

You know what? I want this yahoo to get some attention from the press in relation to his campaign. I want the cleansing power of disinfectant sunlight to shine on his ass, ’til it burns.

Hyena Girl
Hyena Girl
7 years ago

As if “just kidding” makes a big difference in this case. Jokes work poorly when they’re “punching down” instead of “punching up”. This is why Jewish humor by Jewish people works well but Jewish jokes by WASPs tend to come out as just being an asshole (for the record I come from a WASPish/Romany background while my husband and his family are secular Jewish, so I know what I’m speaking of).

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

@Hyena Girl

Exactly. Their ‘this is just a joke’ is a thin cover over BUSINESS AS USUAL for these guys. They’re throwing around ‘satire!’ but talking about the same shit they always talk.

And they think it’s just so brilliantly hidden nobody could ever see it!

I have some rage right now.

SittieKitty
7 years ago

If we can just say “It’s satire!” to avoid criticism, even when it’s not, does that mean that we can just tell everyone to fuck off, it’s satire? Or does that only apply to the MRAs because reasons…

Hyena Girl
Hyena Girl
7 years ago

For the record-

Punching up: The humor that a minority or disadvantaged group uses to cope with their position, generally these are jokes about their own group or the majority/socially dominant group. Often a close relative to gallows humor.

Punching down: The humor used by socially dominant groups to demonstrate their dominance by making fun of a minority or socially disadvantaged group. Often this is racist or sexist humor.

For the humor impaired. Punching up, often very funny. Punching down, usually just mean. Look for clues like “Why can those [slur name for minority group] make jokes about us but we can’t make jokes about [slur name for minority group]?”

toujoursgai
7 years ago

So they know that people see them as a “movement” of rape and abuse apologists. Therefore, they make “hilarious” rape jokes to…prove people wrong? How does that work, exactly?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I remain confused as to how they think this will change the image the people have of them as pro-rape, pro-abuse, and pro-assholery in general.

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

I guess they’re trying to illustrate how ridiculous those stereotypes are?

But … these ‘jokes’ are so close to the actual rhetoric they use that .. this isn’t really … satire

Bostonian
Bostonian
7 years ago

Holy Crap. No self awareness at all.

sarahlizhousespouse
7 years ago

These people are bad enough on their own. Do they have to get together for hours and SPEAK to one another?

David, you have a cast iron stomach.

MaudeLL
MaudeLL
7 years ago

To me, it sounds like he’s reading his joke from a text…

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago
HM
HM
7 years ago

Not surprised that these people are terrible at satire.

lionicle
7 years ago

Wait, I thought it was YOU who was stalking/obsessed with GWW? Does this mean she’s now obsessed with you? How does this work?

lionicle
7 years ago

No, no, no, @Hyena Girl. It is in fact YOU that don’t get it. They’re actually punching UP because it is MEN who are oppressed by our right to say no. Don’t you see?

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

Periodically, some douchecanoe will make a really lame attempt at rape-based humor, and will get called out on it. Shortly thereafter, there will be additional douchecanoes who insist that you should never say, “You can’t make rape jokes,” because they believe that this amounts to censorship.

For this, I blame the defunding of the public education system, to the point where the notion of grammar has been lost. When I say to someone, “You can’t tell a rape joke,” I’m not forbidding it, or claiming to have the authority to forbid it. I’m simply making a judgement of fact.

A fair bit of the purpose of humor is to try and serve as a shield from the harshness of life. So a good bit of our comedy comes from our suffering. So there’s no generic prohibition, in that sense, of attempting to do this with rape. However, like juggling a bowling ball, a dozen spoiled eggs, three flaming batons and a pair of one-handed chainsaws (running, of course), rape humor is difficult to pull off well. And if you attempt it and fail, at best you’re going to stink, and at worst you’re going to hurt some of the people in your audience. And when that happens, everyone is going to look at what you’ve wrought and ask, “What the fuck was that douchebag thinking, punching above his weight class like that?” This is true even of people who are close to being able to manage the feat; for those who can barely keep on ball in the air, it’s clear that their hubris has led to their downfall.

So when I say, “You can’t tell rape jokes,” I’m not making a rule. I’m making a judgement of your competence. You, Nick Reading of Edmonton, Canada, do not have the skill necessary to actually make a rape joke. Since this ability derives from intelligence, wit and empathy, and since you obviously would lose to a moldy turnip in a competition of any of these three categories, please feel free to get the fuck off the stage, already.

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
7 years ago

Dude is quite the shithead, isn’t he?

Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

That “joke” is a way of making sure these feMRAs are the right kind of “cool girls” who will laugh along dutifully. It’s a test of what they’re willing to put up with in order to be allowed into the clubhouse. Golly gosh gee, where can I sign up to be a part of the MRM?

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

Well, so much for Typhon Blue being an anti rape advocate for men. Does she not see how this plays into the whole “men can never say no to sex unless there’s something wrong/gay with them”? Jesus, i thought she at least had enough concern about how rape culture treats men to say “not cool”. oh right, that means thinking about implications and subtexts, and she can’t do that without coming perilously close to examining what mens’ rights guys really think about other men.

Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

This is a calming manatee day, I think.

Many thanks to whoever it was here (katz?) who first introduced me to calming manatees.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
7 years ago

im hoping that the awkward pause was GGW and Typhon Blue really reconsidering the benefits of being in that [articular clubhouse.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

@Viscaria:

Oh, the huge manatee!!

therainparade
7 years ago

Viscaria definitely hit the nail on the head there. As atrocious as these ladies are, I almost feel bad for them. It’s only a matter of time until this burns them really bad, in ways either private or public.

thenatfantastic
thenatfantastic
7 years ago

I can’t get over how he’s wearing that hat in the picture.

DUDE. IT IS 2013. IF YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH TO BE LOSING YOUR HAIR, YOU’RE TOO OLD TO BE WEARING BASEBALL CAPS AT ‘JAUNTY’ ANGLES.

dustydeste
dustydeste
7 years ago

Well… yeah I haven’t got words. All I can contribute at this point is a reaction. Maybe… maybe I’ll come back later; right now I just can’t with this.

SittieKitty
7 years ago

im hoping that the awkward pause was GGW and Typhon Blue really reconsidering the benefits of being in that [articular clubhouse.

Even if it was, they chose wrong, they still laughed.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

@ therainparade

No shit. You know what a rape joke is, in practical terms? A warning that the person making it thinks rape is no big deal. When a man is making that joke to a woman, it’s a way of testing her boundaries to see if she’s likely to defend herself if attacked, and both of the FeMRAs in that recording just signaled “nope, no matter how uncomfortable you’re making me I won’t fight back” loud and clear.

MaudeLL
MaudeLL
7 years ago

@dustydeste

Aw, that link needed a warning! Appetite lost.

sarahlizhousespouse
7 years ago

Welcome therainparade!

I ALMOST feel sorry for GWW, and then I remember when she had the chance to say, “you know, hitting people is not okay. Full stop,” she instead made all sorts of concessions for IPV.

Then I don’t feel sorry for her anymore.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

It’s not satire if it’s basically what you believe, dudes. If satire worked like you think, Jonathan Swift would have written his Modest Proposal at the local Baby-Q pit.

katz
7 years ago

I actually didn’t know about Calming Manatee. That’s a good resource.

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
7 years ago

Punching up: The humor that a minority or disadvantaged group uses to cope with their position, generally these are jokes about their own group or the majority/socially dominant group. Often a close relative to gallows humor.

Punching down: The humor used by socially dominant groups to demonstrate their dominance by making fun of a minority or socially disadvantaged group. Often this is racist or sexist humor.

This is something that “edgy” dudebro comics like Tosh don’t understand. When you’re a member of the dominant class making jokes at the expense of a minority class, YOU ARE NOT BEING SUBVERSIVE. You are upholding the status quo. Culturally, we’ve swung back around to this bullshit idea that being “non-PC” is subversive. It’s not.

katz
7 years ago

Too many comedians think they’re doing it right as long as they’re making people angry, regardless of who or why.

Come on, guys, most of us figured out when we were two that we could hit people and provoke a reaction, and the novelty wore off shortly thereafter.

therainparade
7 years ago

It’s like being “controversial” is often so much more important that actually making people laugh. And controversial can be good IF you’re working toward positive change. But this? This is just sick. What positive change could ever come from a rape joke? Even in their twisted minds?

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
7 years ago

Wanda Sykes talking about how convenient it would be to leave her vagina at home is a “rape joke” that works….maybe it’s a stretch to call that bit a rape joke, but obviously one of the issues that she’s hinting at is sexual assault.

This douche joking about how he can only get it up if the woman is screaming no is an example of a rape joke that doesn’t work.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

It’s not satire if it’s basically what you believe, dudes. If satire worked like you think, Jonathan Swift would have written his Modest Proposal at the local Baby-Q pit.

Baby-Q.

<3!

dustydeste
dustydeste
7 years ago

D: Sorry, MaudeLL! I guess I kinda figured that the fact that it was a reaction to the above grossness was warning enough… I’ll put a content warning in next time I post a gif of puking.

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

The only ‘punching up’ rape joke I would call that is Ever Mainard’s “Here’s your Rape” routine.
Warning: it’s real dark.

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

I don’t understand how they can sit there, listen to him, agree with him, and honestly think that they’re on the right side. I mean, I can understand thinking the “other” gender needs attention and support… feminist with a penis, it makes sense to me… but how can you think a group devoted to destroying your rights is something you want to ally yourself with? I completely fail to understand feMRAs. Is it some bizarre form of Stockholm syndrome or something?

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
7 years ago

@freemage

So when I say, “You can’t tell rape jokes,” I’m not making a rule. I’m making a judgement of your competence.

I also think that “you can’t tell rape jokes” (or race/disability/etc jokes) is an ethical point – it’s basically saying that an ethical person wouldn’t say those sort of jokes. As ethics frameworks (e.g. university ethics committees and associated documentation) points out to us, the end does not automatically justify the means. Therefore, getting a laugh from a few people or promoting in-group bonding (possible desired outcomes from joke telling) do not justify making the sorts of jokes in that radio show, or similar others outlined here.

MaudeLL
MaudeLL
7 years ago

Hehe, no problem dustydeste, it was semi-tongue-in-cheek.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

The argument has really never been “you can’t tell rape jokes” as in “I forbid you to”, it’s always been “if you tell rape jokes I will think you’re an insensitive asshole”.

cloudiah
7 years ago

The MRM: assholes, all the way down.

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

But, really, assholes actually have a function in the human body. These folks have absolutely no function. At all. They’re like, skin tags on the armpit of humanity.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Mind you, MRAs seem to think that people thinking poorly of them is the same thing as state-enforced official censorship, so…

thenatfantastic
thenatfantastic
7 years ago

A group of female comedians in India (All India Bakchod) have just released a video which satirises victim blaming and is a ‘punching up’ rape joke. (TW: rape, victim blaming, abuse, VAW):

http://www.youtube.com/user/allindiabakchod

thenatfantastic
thenatfantastic
7 years ago

Oops, should embed now:

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