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Turns out VICE made a video about that Men’s Rights rally in Toronto. GO WATCH IT.

This is not an embedded video, so don't click on it.
This is not an embedded video, so don’t click on it.

I don’t know how I missed it, but a couple of weeks back Vice posted a short video about that EARTH-SHATTERINGLY HISTORIC Men’s Rights rally in Toronto that captured the attention of the world a tiny fraction of a percentage of people in the world (including the people at it and readers of this blog) a little over a month ago.

Alas, WordPress won’t let me embed the video here, but you all need to go look at it. Not only does it capture pretty well what a dinky event it was, but it also contains a bunch of mini-interviews with some A Voice for Men folks that are rather revealing.

The most revealing one of the bunch starts about 2:40 into the video, when AVFM’s Suzanne McCarley explains that

Men, as a class, have never ever oppressed women, as a class. Men have always protected and provided for women. And protected them from oppression from others.

From others? What kind of others? Like, space aliens?

Women have never objected to this, and in fact have always been grateful because it’s how they survived. It is only in the last few hundred years when women of privileged class who don’t even know what they’re being protected from feel disadvantaged because they’re not comfortable with the level of protection they have.

Wow. A few hundred years? Sometimes people accuse MRAs of wanting to take us back to the 1950s. McCarley apparently wants to take us back to the 1750s.

They don’t even understand what they’re being protected from.

Wolves? Sharks? Dishpan hands? Space aliens?

They have no concept how dangerous the world is for them but gosh they’re just not happy because, you know, the males in the family tell them what to do and make all the decisions for them and control all the money. That’s not oppression. That’s protection.

Wow. So I guess slaves and prisoners are the most protected classes of all.

It’s what kept our species alive and what built … [she gestures at the park and the buildings around it] this beautiful city.

Wait. I thought Jefferson Starship built this city. On rock ‘n’ roll.

Anyway, there’s also some footage of a speech about the evil oppression of white men given by an unknown speaker at the rally. He also complains that men working for the government are men who’ve had “their things cut off and are toeing the politically correct line.” (Hopefully after the bleeding has stopped.)

There’s an interview with Paul Elam, who for some reason looks like he’s wearing mascara (which I’m pretty sure he isn’t). He delivers this puzzling pronouncement:

Looking at men in government and saying they have all the power is like looking at women in grocery stores and saying they have all the food.

Not only is this way more revealing about gender inequality than Elam may  realize, but it’s also a tad ironic, because Elam not that long ago used (unreliable) data about how women “control” most consumer spending — that is, they do most of the shopping — in order to argue (twice!) that women were the ones primarily responsible for destroying the environment.

There are assorted other bits of misinformation and ignorance and just plain old bigotry from the MRAs.

There’s also some commentary from the counterprotesters that made me wince. No, MRAs aren’t all Marc Lepines waiting to happen. They’re shitty enough people as it is; you don’t have to compare them all to a misogynist mass murderer to make your point. And in fact, you undercut yourself with that kind of rhetoric. Focus on what they actually say and do. It’s bad enough.

And the “racist, sexist, anti-gay” chant? Drop that. MRAs are, for the most part, driven by misogyny — not by other bigotries.  Yes, some are racist, including one of the speakers featured on this very video, but that’s not the driving force for most of them. Some are homophobic, but that’s not the driving force for most of them. Some are transphobic — including Elam himself — but that’s not a central issue for most of them.

It’s worth pointing out these other bigotries, but to make these issues the centerpiece of your counterprotest is to miss the point — it would be a bit like attacking the Ku Klux Klan as “sexist and racist.” I’m sure plenty of KKKers are sexist as hell, but with the Klan racism really is the main thing; with MRAs, misogyny is.

And in this case it gave AVFM’s Karen Straughan the opportunity to appear (at least for a moment) like a reasonable person by pointing out that she in fact is not straight.

Anyway, watch the video. It’s amazing.

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Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

LBT – True. Definitely people are being more accepting of the L and the G, and somewhat on the T but not really (I mean, egads, people still talk about trans* people as if they were somehow different species, e.g. in another online community that I *was* part of before it went all shitty, there was a thread every few months called “would you date a transgender?” (imagine lots of rolled eyeballs)).

Shadow – Ah. I’m sort of part of a similar thing with a different online community (who are or were members of the aforementioned other online community that went to shit). Except for that in our case we’re allowed to disagree and call people out for being shitty assholes.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Also, how fucked up is it that I had to get raped for a year, PLUS get the right surgeries PLUS get the diagnosis and the homelessness and all that other shit… just for random cockbites to take my words seriously? Even though the horrors had NOTHING TO DO with whatever I was saying?

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Also, just read that forum post on WomanBoobz and AUUUUUGGGH. No wonder that exploded. Misandry and transphobia are soooo not comparable.

Misandry: at most, causes social discomfort
Transphobia: causes… murder and suicide. A LOT of murder and suicide.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

LBT – *winces* Ewww, someone made that argument without irony?

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Alice — look about two pages back for a link from me about HeatherN.

Cloudiah re: B — I think that was snark.

——

What really kills me about the secret room is that a private space where the literal only requirement for admission is some preset “you are not a troll” criteria might be a good idea. No, it wouldn’t be a truly safe space, but around here the idea of becoming troll bait is a bit limiting sometimes. And by preset criteria I mean like, mods recognize your nym // you’ve been here X long // someone vouches for you. Not a vote you in or out but a simple “yeah, this one’s been here X long and not been trolly” (I’m thinking a month~)

But yeah, even that would be bound to fail

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

WTF I meant there wasn’t some magical safe space so much as somewhere to give out contact info en masse and ask advice on things you fear trolls will use against you.

And part of my logic here is that I will not be so lax with the banhammer on Manboobz: The Magazining (btw, that lapse in comments from me? Comments are formatted on our budding template) — this is also why I’m holding any open “anyone who wants to help, for the love of all the gods please do! If nothing else you can hold a banhammer!”

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

*an open

And yes, my spelling is this sucky on my code, love the “wtf is going on…oh, helps if I don’t misspell my shit”

Ally S
6 years ago

Argenti, do people have to sign up or something in order to start contributing? I would like to write a few articles if it’s not too much trouble. (Sorry if this question has been asked too much lately – I haven’t been following MTM as much as I should have).

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Ally — at present we’re “hosted” on my laptop, once I finish the theme, and get people who seem serious about writing more than snark, I’m going to fork over the absurdly expensive $4 a month for server space — at some point before then we need to rename it as general thought seems to be that carrying over some manboobz humor is fine and dandy, but the site proper is going to be general feminism, not a spin-off.

In short, you can write whenever you want and I’ll get people added once we’re on a real server 🙂 (you have my email? This nym at gmail, or email pecunium, in totally unsurprising things, he has my email)

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

What really kills me about the secret room is that a private space where the literal only requirement for admission is some preset “you are not a troll” criteria might be a good idea.

Isn’t that what the ‘open threads for personal stuff’ are for? I’m sure the trolls can lurk there, but David won’t let them comment/deletes any butthead stuff. They seem to be working out well, as in being safe, but doesn’t have that “You’re allowed in the treehouse, but zie is not” feel to it.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

And guys, I code, I don’t write! I’m happy doing the backed, but this cannot happen without y’all!

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Maybe? I’ve yet to see anything said in them used against someone, so yeah, they might. I am, again, having an Owly related wary. Plus, I have a stalker ex, so I’m a bit weird about private // public.

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

@Argenti
Good points.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Argenti – Damn it, I need to send inmy contribution. >_<

Damn you homework.

I wonder if I can submit something on the "Asian women are all submissive" stereotype. That's been pissing me off for a while now, because first of all, fuck you racist asshole and second of all my mother.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Also, is it just me, or is this site constantly resizing itself when it loads on an iDevice? Been annoying me as of late.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

I always want to introduce the “all Asian women are submissive” guys to my mother-in-law, and then pass out popcorn.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

CassandraSays – Introduce them to both your mother in law and my mother. Pass out popcorn and bowls of pho. Sit back and enjoy.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Wielding a banhammer?

That sounds like fun.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

Thinking about it, I don’t know any Asian women who I could describe as submissive without peeing myself laughing and crossing my fingers behind my back. Granted that that’s partly selection bias, but still.

(Also, why waste good pho on misogynists? They can have instant ramen or nothing.)

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

@LBT

Yeah. It was really frustrating because I was itching to back Lauralot up but I was wary of telling queer people how to do queer. It just felt like whatever I do I’m gonna stomp on someone.

@Alice

I don’t know if it was so much that people couldn’t call each other on their shit, because that usually isn’t a problem on manboobz (individuals may sometimes react badly or turn into assholes when they get called on their shit, but it hasn’t really been a community problem (as far as I could tell). I wasn’t a member of the forum, or the secret room though, so I’m not sure how things went down over there.

@neuroticbeagle

The open threads are a relatively new thing, and trolls have used personal information that regulars revealed to attack them before, although I don’t think that’s happened recently.

@Argenti

I’d be happy to volunteer as a mod, but I think that the mod policy should be generally agreed upon. We should also have some kind of flagging signal a la Feministe’s giraffe. That way the community is able to have it’s say about the moderation process, and we’re much less likely to miss something due to our own privilege or ignorance.

kittehserf
6 years ago

On the QUILTBAG (what does the I stand for, if anything?) maybe we need a D for Dunno. I think I’d fit in that one. 😛

Re: what Shadow said about wanting to ask stuff – if anyone wants to contact me, y’all are welcome to drop a line, email addys or whatever at my blog. I moderate all the comments. It’s a hard task but somene has to … why, sometimes there might be four* in a month!

*three of which will be spam

katz
6 years ago

There was an argument not long ago where NatFantastic felt like she was being ganged up on, I think, that was about her being more on the radical end than most of the other commenters here. I definitely don’t want her feeling like she’s being driven out.

That was my fault; I was being unreasonable and I should apologize for it.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

I don’t think I should be a mod, I’m too impatient with people who may mean well but who’re not very bright.

@ kittehs

The I is for intersex, I think.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I don’t know if it was so much that people couldn’t call each other on their shit, because that usually isn’t a problem on manboobz (individuals may sometimes react badly or turn into assholes when they get called on their shit, but it hasn’t really been a community problem (as far as I could tell). I wasn’t a member of the forum, or the secret room though, so I’m not sure how things went down over there.

From what I’ve seen in old threads and what’s been discussed today, I get the impression it was one or two people who couldn’t be called on their shit because anyone doing it was promptly accused of tone trolling, being trans* phobic, being an evil theist/accommodationist, blah, blah, blah – whatever the argument happened to be about.

Oooh speaking of arguments, I nearly sporfled this afternoon at the train station. There were banner ads everywhere for Johnny Walker Red Label.

RED is intense. RED is powerful. RED is this that or the other.

Not sure if they were showing solidarity or Red-baiting.

kittehserf
6 years ago

::shakes fist::

Curse you, blockquote monster!

kittehserf
6 years ago

Intersex, of course! ::is embarrassed::

katz
6 years ago

Someone told a mod that I was making them uncomfortable, because of my homophobia. I was excluded.

If I understand what happened, there were then conversations about how/if to let me back in, and that exploded.

Stupid, yet predictable, results of not ever coming up with proper rules for how the room was governed: It didn’t seem right to discuss what to do with someone in front of them, so they were going to temporarily remove you while people decided, and then of course nothing ever got decided because we still didn’t have any actual rules to work with, and then the whole place exploded and that was that.

Meanwhile, I tell the mods that I’m uncomfortable with Darksidecat and it’s all “Surely you’re not telling us to kick zir out without a trial or anything!”

It happened with admissions, too: People like Argenti getting hung up in limbo for no reason, and then mods admitting someone without asking anyone and being like “It’s cool, they’re my friend.”

That whole room was an absolute drama factory. The “nuke it from orbit” idea is a good one, but it also seems sketchy to me to just delete all the drama, since then it will be a lurking memory that nobody will be able to verify or look up the details for.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

kittehs – Questioning, unsure, intersexual, lesbian, trans*, bi, asexual, gay.

CassandraSays – Same here. I can’t imagine it.

Also, the pho’s because I get hungry and I’m cold.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

It happened with admissions, too: People like Argenti getting hung up in limbo for no reason, and then mods admitting someone without asking anyone and being like “It’s cool, they’re my friend.”

(Raises eyebrows) Um, wait. We’ve all encountered that situation where your friends have a friend who you think is horrible and you’re not quite sure why they’re friends with that person but you sure don’t want to be, right? If people were sharing private information in that space that sounds flat-out dangerous, letting people in just because one person happened to like them.

katz
6 years ago

In effect what was happening was a bit of a coup d’etat, to take the right to police comments from Dave, and hand it over to a Committee of Safety.

Not officially, of course, but effectively. Because there were things you could say that weren’t against any written rule, but that would immediately bring about a concerted effort to silence you. And the unwritten rules were things that no normal person would ever guess, like “no telling people that they’re being assholes” and “no using analogies.”

But it was inconsistent: When I tried to suggest that people shouldn’t import and export drama (ie, when there’s a big fight on one site, go talk about it on another site to try to get other people involved), suddenly everyone was all letter of the law and if it wasn’t explicitly written in the rules, it was completely fine.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

(I still remember having this conversation with a former coworker about this one guy in his friends group who he actually had to pull out of a taxi into which “friend” had followed a woman who they knew who was so drunk she could barely walk, clearly intending to follow her home and rape her. “Why do you hang out with him if you know he would do something like that?”, I asked? Well, I don’t like him but he’s always been part of the group and X and Y seem to like him, I got in response. Ugh.)

kittehserf
6 years ago

Thanks, Alice! 🙂

Does anyone here use demisexual (always makes me think of demitasse) or grey-A?

It sounds more and more like the Secret Room was a meltdown waiting to happen, as it was organised, or rather, not organised. It’s also just struck me today that even the name sounds a bit … I dunno, us and them, potentially cliquey (cliquish?).

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

kittehs – No problem. Still trying to figure out who I am sexual orientation wise, so we’ll see where on the asexual thing I stand. 🙂

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Also, other variations would use Queer for Q (I think that’s more accurate), and Ally for A (which goes back to the “invisible orientation” thing again).

kittehserf
6 years ago

The “I’ll get back to you on that question” category! 🙂

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

@Pecunium

Note one thing that, if accurate, this suggests to atheists like myself–we CAN’T just sit around and argue people out of their faith. Our best hope is actually pushing social-justice agendas, because those cause the kinds of societal shifts that produce the introspection that results in a decision to leave the faith entirely. In short, the Asshat Atheist brigade aren’t just shitty human beings, they’re even shitty at being atheists.

This sort of bothers me. I don’t care what someone believes, so long as they don’t harm others while doing it.

So the (implicit) idea that Athiests need to “convert” theists to “leave the faith entirely” is, at best, problematic.

I’m sure you already know this, but there’s a fairly common belief among atheists that religious belief does harm others. That it provides cover for deeply troubling views and behaviours; such as that Catholic scandal that almost certainly needs no further description. Or exorcisms that are essentially just ritualised child abuse. Or that gay people somehow need to be “cured.” Or women dying in hospitals because the doctors won’t “murder the unborn child” who is already dying and taking the mother with zir.

Obviously this view is missing a fairly obvious matter; that it’s extremism and privilege which cause and cover for these things, not belief in a god. I mean, you still get the bizarre beliefs here in England where, despite a fairly thoroughly integrated church and state, we’re pretty secular. But people generally react to them with confusion and “what have you been smoking?!” expressions. The behaviours, though, almost never happen, and, when they do happen, happen mostly within insular, secretive groups – essentially, extremist groups with high privilege within closed social spheres.

There was a time when I believed that a world without religion would be a better place (though not a perfect place, since there’s more than one cause of bad things in the world). But these days, I’d be perfectly happy to see extremism gone, and truly secular nations where religion is not given preference over the lack thereof, and where no one religion or sect is given preference over any other. Where respect is earned by being decent and reasonable, rather than by being religious. I think that could happen without the eradication of religion, and I think it should. If nothing else, the kind of thought-policing necessary to actually get rid of religion makes me very uncomfortable.
I’m hoping to see more atheists recognise that, although there may be an argument to be made that moderate religiosity provides cover for extreme religiosity, it really is the extremism that’s the problem, and not the religiosity itself.

Also, athiests? Snrk. We are the most athy people in the whole wide world! Fear our ath!! 😛

@toujoursgai

*Waves!* I’m recently new to genderqueer stuff too – I’ve accepted the label for myself for about a year, but have only come out to one person in real life so far. (On Halloween! It was awesome!)

Anyway, I just had to reply because I totally related to your self-reflection and “Are you sure?” And I get all excited when I see stuff I can relate to.

:3
I’m pretty pleased to hear that. I mean, firstly because “yay, excited people!” but also… before Argenti said anything, I thought I might’ve just been fooling myself or subconsciously trying to be cool or something. Then I had one data point of other people feeling the same way as me. Now two. It’s quite reassuring. I mean, it’s not concrete evidence, but maybe it’s a sign of the phenomenon itself rather just of me playing pretendsies without telling myself. 🙂

@Falconer

Is that what I mean? If the tooth fairy takes teeth away, who brings them? Surely xie has a delivery service, too.

That’s the Gnasher Goblin. He steals teeth from the tooth fairy’s secret stash and, when everyone’s asleep, he jams one into an unsuspecting child’s mouth. It’s quite nasty, actually. He likes to put them in at wonky angles and in weird positions. That’s why so many people need braces.
Damn you, Gnasher Goblin. Damn you!

@Argenti
Well, I’d like to contribute, but I just don’t know if I could write enough for it to be worthwhile. My problem is that I’m just too handy when it comes to brevity! 😛
But, on a more real world topic, if it’s going to be more aimed at general feminism than the manboobzy stuff, I’m not sure there’d be much for me to contribute. I’m more on the “MRAs are unskeptical douchecanoes” thing than anything else, and pretty ignorant of actual feminist thought beyond what I’ve picked up from my overladies in places like this. Maybe I could be the embedded atheist feminism correspondent? I dunnoes… perhaps there’s room for a Kerbal Space Program correspondent? (How does that relate to feminism, you ask? Because it’s pretty awesome, and feminism is pretty awesome, therefore they’re related. QED.)

kittehserf
6 years ago

We are the most athy people in the whole wide world! Fear our ath!!

Ha! I fear no ath from a wren!

That’s the Gnasher Goblin. He steals teeth from the tooth fairy’s secret stash and, when everyone’s asleep, he jams one into an unsuspecting child’s mouth. It’s quite nasty, actually. He likes to put them in at wonky angles and in weird positions. That’s why so many people need braces.

::splutter::

::giggle::

kittehserf
6 years ago

Kerbal Space Program correspondent

More likely the Kibble Space Program here.

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

Space- that’s the thing hoomins do not need (especially on beds and couches) right?

CassandraSays
6 years ago

Dear Manboobz, I have a Furrinati problem. My cat has recently decided that she needs to sleep on my feet, or right where my feet would be if she wasn’t pushing them out of the way. Why is this, and how do I make her stop? There’s plenty of space for her, so why must she sleep in the most inconvenient spot possible?

kittehserf
6 years ago

Dear Worried:

There is a simple solution to your problem. Build an extension on your bed; it only needs to be about eigheen inches to two feet wide.

This should provide you with ample sleeping room, allowing your cat to sleep without the inconvenience of pushing your feet out of the way.

Yours,

Aunty Boobziquette.

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

@Cassandra

She does this for two reasons: she can and it is comfortable (for her). You cannot make her stop- she is a cat and the cat will do whatever the hell they want.

If she is doing this while you sleep you can try to sleep elsewhere, like the couch, but be warned she may follow you if she is more concerned with her heated pillow (you) than with the bed.

If she is doing this while you are awake and doing something (like watching tv or manboobzing) the best thing to do would be to buy fuzzy slippers to make it more comfortable for her.

And be glad it’s just your feet she’s sleeping on.

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/da/9a/8c/da9a8c025e04f08354f0a6e08d0ddbc4.jpg

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/ad/66/b6/ad66b6283e6430d99db65b02fc7670d7.jpg

CassandraSays
6 years ago

Dear Manboobz,

When I have attempted to sleep on the couch she has followed me there too, but it’s even worse – she sleeps on my head!

I feel that this may be a sign that the Furrpocalypse is about to begin.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Get a heated blanket?

“no using analogies” = a rule pecunium broke every five minutes?

Athywren — remember that whole humorous subsection? Go review scented FUCKING candles or something! (Or dig through the more recent trolls for “misogynist trolls say the darnedest things”)

Neuroticbeagle is in charge of the Furrinati section though, because nobody else can compete with those skillz!

And an article on “submissive” Asian women, and I’ve got an email offering to do one on the problems with bigoted jokes, two articles and I haven’t finished the theme yet! This may actually happen! 😀

kittehserf
6 years ago

neuroticbeagle should be the editor of ALL the photos, she has the skillz!

Dear Worried,

It is evident the cat is concerned that sleeping on the couch is bad for you, so she tries to persuade you to return to the bed.

She wouldn’t sleep on anything as uncomfortable as a human head for any but the most altruistic reasons.

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

Dear Worried,

This is not a sign of the Furrpocalypse; it is normal cat ruling over human behavior. You exist to tend to the cat’s every whim, including being a pillow.

There is one last thing you could try:
a box.

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2a/14/cf/2a14cf382a1b54e5d9dcb922b68d344b.jpg

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/67/fb/9b/67fb9ba2325d8924e13d448e40c55cfd.jpg

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c8/6c/40/c86c40b7c84b30e2ba1717ee142f1058.jpg

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/cb/69/3c/cb693c0aa37845808ab35694c29b8207.jpg

If the box fails, well at least your feet/head will be warm.

Furri Minion

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Speaking of boxes, my brother took the cat out on Halloween. By which I mean he picked up the box she was in and brought it out to the porch with us. She climbed out, sniffed the pumpkins, climbed back in, climbed back out and we all had a brief moment of terror as the indoor cat started moving fast…straight for the door back in.

Apparently the last time she got out they found her huddling by the wood pile utterly terrified, sniffing the pumpkins was a big step for this indoor kitty (FTR, he was within grabbing distence of her he whole time, and has thick skin, literally, she doesn’t hurt him when she claws him)

kittehserf
6 years ago

This is TRUTH about cats and boxes.

http://youtu.be/J11uu8L8FTY

CassandraSays
6 years ago

I tried to give my old cat a little pumpkin once, on the principle that a lot of cats like pumpkin. It was small enough that he should have been able to bat it around, but he just chewed on it occasionally.

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

Neuroticbeagle is in charge of the Furrinati section though, because nobody else can compete with those skillz!

neuroticbeagle should be the editor of ALL the photos, she has the skillz!

::preens::

::Head swells::
http://media-cache-cd0.pinimg.com/736x/ef/26/f0/ef26f094e73e96c89d9cc5a8e0764069.jpg

POP! Furry paw deflates ego and demands to be fed.

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