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A Voice for Male Students: Misquotation, Schmishquotation!

Is THIS your quotation from Marilyn French? No? Um ...
Is THIS your quotation from Marilyn French? No? Um …

Is there something about Men’s Rights Activists that renders them utterly incapable of admitting a mistake? The other day, I performed a bit of rudimentary factchecking on a collection of allegedly “misandrist” quotes assembled by  Jonathan Taylor of A Voice for Male Students.

Among other things. I pointed out that the drastically truncated version of a Marilyn French quote he posted completely misrepresented the actual meaning of what she had said, making it appear that she was charging the majority of men with killing, or beating, or raping women and/or molesting their own daughters:

“As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not. The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all women. He can beat or kill the woman he claims to love; he can rape women…he can sexually molest his daughters…THE VAST MAJORITY OF MEN IN THE WORLD DO ONE OR MORE OF THE ABOVE.”

– Dr. Marilyn French, The War Against Women, p. 182, her emphasis.

In fact, she had said something rather different, as I pointed out by quoting the original passage straight from her book:

As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not. The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all women. Beyond that, it is not necessary to beat up a woman to beat her down. A man can simply refuse to hire women in well-paid jobs, extract as much or more work from women than men but pay them less, or treat women disrespectfully at work or at home. He can fail to support a child he has engendered, demand the woman he lives with wait on him like a servant. He can beat or kill the woman he claims to love, he can rape women, whether mate, acquaintance, or stranger; he can rape or sexually molest his daughters, nieces, stepchildren, or the children of a woman he claims to love. The vast majority of men in the world do one or more of the above

It wasn’t clear to me if Taylor had been aware that he had drastically misrepresented French, as it appeared that he had simply cut and pasted the quote from another site without actually checking French’s book to see if it was accurate. So it appeared to be sloppiness on his part rather than deliberate deception.

Taylor has now responded to my post with a long and bizarre rant titled “Futrelle & Co. all in a tizzy as AVFMS exposes misandry in academia. AVFMS dissects their “counterarguments.”

He starts off by freely admitting that he misquoted French, but claiming that it doesn’t count as misrepresentation because it didn’t really change the meaning of the quote at all.

That’s right. Instead of acknowledging the misrepresentation, he’s doubling down — even though his explanation is in direct conflict with the evidence that I posted and that he reposts on his own site. He simply redefines reality until the misrepresentation mysteriously vanishes. Here’s his, er, argument:

I copied/pasted the quote from Antimisandry, although I had to find the source page for the book independently. I’ll admit: on this one I didn’t get the full quote and simply took Antimisandry’s reproduction of it. I am happy to amend it (which I have done in the original post).

David Futrelle, editor of the blog Manboobz, thinks this is a gamechanger, that it renders the meaning “completely different.” Not so fast.

He then pastes in my screenshot of the original quote, and my comments pointing out that the longer quote has a completely different meaning than the shorter one.

Then he tries to wave away his mistake with this ingenious bit of sleight-of-hand:

Actually Futrelle, according to Feminist ideology everything Marilyn French listed was a form of violence. Need I remind you what all constitutes “violence” according to Feminist ideology nowadays?

Pay no attention to my giant mistake behind the curtain! Look at THIS instead!

“THIS” being, in this case, a random feminist paper titled Intersecting Inequalities: A Review of Feminist Theories and Debates on Violence against Women and Poverty in Latin America, which suggests at once point that “[e]conomic violence against women occurs when they are denied access to or control over resources, or the right to work and earn income.”

Now, none of this has any relevance whatsoever to the question of whether or not Taylor has misquoted French — which he has — or indeed to what French’s statement actually means. There’s no evidence that French was in any way influenced by the paper Taylor quotes — which would have been a tad difficult, given that it was published 18 years after she wrote The War Against Women.

Apparently Taylor thinks that feminism is some sort of Borglike hive-mind that transcends time and space.

And he apparently thinks that when a famous feminist says that the vast majority of men have probably at least “treat[ed] women disrespectfully” in some way it is the same as if she had accused the vast majority of men of being murderers, rapists, woman-beaters and/or child abusers.

Taylor then takes issue with her references to men “beating down” and “subjugating” women, and indignantly insists that while

I know this may sound like heresy to Feminist and pro-Feminist ears, but the vast majority of men do not abuse women, let alone to an extent that they “subjugate” them.

Taylor has completely misunderstood the basic argument of French’s passage, which is that the majority of men do not have to physically abuse women in order to gain a certain advantage from the fact that other men do. You may disagree with that, but, again, she is not saying that the vast majority of men abuse women; quite the opposite.

Taylor then asserts that the really important thing is that what she’s saying still counts as “misandry.”

So apparently if someone is an evil misandrist, in Taylor’s eyes, you can misquote them all you want, and it doesn’t really matter, because … MISANDRY

Taylor continues on with his fulminations for some time after this, focusing mainly on “rebutting” comments from Man Boobz commenters. He posts an appalling photo of a crowd of white men posing proudly in front of several black men they have lynched, with the caption: “The powerlessness of women: point a finger and kill someone.”

I honestly don’t have the energy or the patience to deal with any more of his sophistry today. I’m not even going to read the whole thing. You can have a go at it if you want, dear readers. Let me know if there’s anything else in it that I need to address.

My plan today, after the nastiness in the post yesterday, was to post a bunch of pictures of my kitties. So, dammit, that’s what I’m going to do. Give me a few minutes, and I’ll put them up in another post.

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LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: CassandraSays

Yeah, what boggles me is that these guys seem offended that people would even THINK such things. I’m sort of like, “Dudes, not everybody thinks you’re awesome. COPE.”

Like, I’d bet good money that a LOT of people think I’m batshit and are just too polite or unwilling to feel my wrath to say so. I am okay with this. My response is resignation, not, “THE VERY THOUGHT THAT YOU THINK THESE THINGS IS OPPRESSIVE.”

joyintorah18 (@joyintorah18)

Well if they don’t like those undies then they’re really not going to like the Android app I’m testing for rape prevention. Simplified, it’s a phone app that will automatically record video, pics and audio and send it to a server so that there will be evidence. There is also a loud recording that tells the rapist they are being recorded and cannot destroy the evidence.

I need to test it to see how it will work irl. Let you know how it goes.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

Chie – That’s where I heard about the AR undies/chasity belts (on PZ Meyer’s blog), but when I was on my PC I didn’t see the comments section.

I’ll have to check. Wish someone screencapped some of the comments.

ignotussomnium
7 years ago

Most of what he’s going on about is just him sticking his head up his ass, but the use of “violence” is actually a thing. The term “Violence Against Women” (VAW) is commonly used in international women’s rights studies, most notably by the World Health Organization and United Nations. The reason for this, generally, is that things like low education, lack of personal resources, and inability to participate in the general workforce are associated with higher incidence of domestic violence.

The thing is, these reports specifically define what they mean by violence in these contexts. Typically the reports are very clear that they aren’t talking about a single incident where, for example, a woman was turned down for a job. VAW in this context is about systematic conditions that keep the majority of women from being equal to the majority of men.

Of course, this guy probably vaguely heard something about unemployment being violence and whined about it online without trying to find what it actually meant.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

@ LBT

I’d be less boggled by the “some women don’t trust some men not to rape them? outrageous!” if the very same guys didn’t write about how certain women are “freaking begging” to be raped. Which is it, guys? Can’t be both.

Fibinachi
Fibinachi
7 years ago

Since my nym shows up in the article (I’m a dumbass ferret sock, and also David in disguise, clearly), I’ll just copy what I already wrote in the other thread.
—-

How quaint. Once again, that article does link to sources here, and does present snippets of those sources, but still twists the words just slightly and marches right past most others without comment.

I’m not a genius debater or even particularly intelligent, but even I grasp that Liz Kelly quote about a “Continuum of pressure” means something entirely different than it is presented as, and I found the original quote to point that out… to which the response is taking what I wrote about that amended, original quote and pretending it applies to the version of the quote on his list.

But that’s a lie. The actual quote from the actual book doesn’t end at “Sex”, it ends a few words later at “There is no clear distinction, therefore, between consensual sex and rape, but a continuum of pressure, threat, coercion and force. The concept of a continuum validates the sense of abuse women feel when they do not freely consent to sex and takes account of the fact that women may not define their experience at the time or over time as rape“.

Plus, the lead in also kind of shifts the entire thing rather bloody radically towards a reasonable, nuanced approach to rape.

Mendecious. Specious. Spurious! This is actually outright lying in a source collection with ample evidence thereof. Weaksauce.

Plus, my original comment included a line that indicates that false accusations are terribad (which they are) and that rape is terribad (which it is) so claiming that that no one said so is also a lie.

And the best part? I wrote that, in a 174 word comment reply to this amended, rebutal article…. which the site owner deleted without answering.

Smooth. Master debater there.
—-

That’s the French quote wrong and the Liz Kelly quote wrong, and when pointed out, answered with “Nuh-huh!”. Or in my case, with “Dumbass”.

Sad. It’s the same for the other 14ish quotes, alas.

Brooked
Brooked
7 years ago

They don’t accept any awareness campaigns that focuses on crime prevention if it suggests men are culpable, because that’s gross oppression. These guys are still raging over the Edmonton DBTG rape prevention campaign’s seven posters for Pete’s sake. Posters attempting to educate young men in hopes of preventing rapes from happening don’t tend to create boiling outrage. That is, unless you believe rape awareness campaigns directed at men are beyond the pale and victim shaming is underutilized, especially when it comes to law enforcement and untrustworthy, irresponsible women (aka women).

I know I’m not saying anything new, but my mind has yet to be unboggled.

ignotussomnium
7 years ago

Oh hey, I just realized I’ve read this “Intersecting Violences” paper before! I wonder if this dude went to VA Tech?

CassandraSays
7 years ago

@ Brooked

Don’t worry, we can all be boggled together.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
7 years ago

@ CassandraSays — of course it can be both! And women shouldn’t work away from the home and shouldn’t be financially dependent on men! And women should give sex to whichever man asks for it, but not sleep with multiple partners! And men should always get full custody, but never be expected to pay for the upbringing of their children!

Trust me on this. I did a first aid course once, and so I know everything because of STEM training.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I’d be less boggled by the “some women don’t trust some men not to rape them? outrageous!” if the very same guys didn’t write about how certain women are “freaking begging” to be raped. Which is it, guys? Can’t be both.

Oh, but they can. Because women must always be wrong, always available, always unavailable to anyone except the man speaking, and always in the position to be blamed, whatever men do to us.

kittehserf
7 years ago

This is my week to be ninjaed! 😀

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

CassandraSays – No, no, no, see, MEN are always better at logic than WOMAN, right? And because most men are manginas and White Knights, the only men who have avoided the feminizing emasculating feminazis are MRAs and Red Pillers. Ergo, MRAs are the epitome of LOGIC. Hence, if something doesn’t seem right/contradictionary (e.g. “women think all men are rapists, waahhh!”/”women should have known better than to get raped by that man and should have taken precautions, harumph!”), it’s ’cause our ladybrains are frying from their superior LOGICS. And if you’re a male feminist or a mangina or something like that, you’re only doing it because you’re a beta who can’t get poon.

It’s been proven too! Men have superior brains over those womens, and MRAs are superior to everyone else. It’s right here in this lovely graph. *links to shittystatisticsthatijustpullledoutofmyasstwominutesago.jpeg*

LOGIC.

*nodnod*

CassandraSays
7 years ago

“Logic” is just a word for “stuff that makes me feel better about myself”, right? If you say no you’re being a misandrist.

Rilian Sharp
7 years ago

“He posts an appalling photo of a crowd of white men posing proudly in front of several black men they have lynched, with the caption: “The powerlessness of women: point a finger and kill someone.””

And let me guess… he thinks society is racist against WHITE people.

Did black women have this same “power”?

Does the fact that people hate and wish to murder molesters and rapers of children also mean that children have power in society????

Ow, the stupid is hurting my brain.

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

“Logic” is just a word for “stuff that makes me feel better about myself”, right? If you say no you’re being a misandrist.

Uh…
>.>
<.<
It……… depends.

kittehserf
7 years ago

That’s logical!

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

LBT said:

“Same, and it makes me SO ANGRY. Don’t you DARE fucking grab such brutal history and claim it for your stupid pet cause, assholes. You don’t know shit. Lynching was an overwhelmingly horrible racial crime perpetuated by white people on blacks, treated as a family occasion with souvenirs. It was a RACIAL CRIME, not a gender-based one.”

Yes, this, so much.

I read this yesterday when someone linked to it. I couldn’t analyze or engage with it then because so…much…rage.

Lynching is not a cudgel to beat feminists with. It was the brutal murder of POC because of the color of their skin. Because the privileged white class felt threatened.

Grrr. Just grrr.

Oh, but kudos to Fibinachi! Ze really got under Taylor’s skin.

dustydeste
dustydeste
7 years ago

Ooh, you’re a Hokie, too, ignotussomnium? (Ostensibly) trans-continental alma mater high-five 🙂

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: CassandraSays

Which is it, guys? Can’t be both.

It’s whatever is most convenient for them and requires them to do absolutely nothing.

RE: sparky

Yeah, just… UGH. Did you know, there used to be a black reporter who could pass for white, and he used it to infiltrate shit like that? Now there was a man with serious brass.

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

LBT: Are you speaking perhaps of Walter Francis White? His name came up a lot when I was googling this mess:


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Francis_White

Then there was Ida B. Wells. She collected statistics about lynchings and blew apart the whole myth about “black men want to rape white women.” A lot of he speeches and pamphlets are available online. She took white suffragettes and women’s rights advocates (I guess you’d call them First Wave feminists?) to task for not speaking out against lynchings and racism.


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ida_B._Wells

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: sparky

YES! Yes, that’s him! Thank god you found him, I couldn’t for the life of me remember his name! And ah yes, Ida B. Wells. May mercy lay upon her soul for the good works she did.

(I totally learned about White from a comic book. <.< )

Yoyo
Yoyo
7 years ago

Why tell the truth when a lie is more “sexy”? I, in fact quite like it that these fools think all feminists are a huge organised, 100% agreeing collective.( Even tho in real life real feminists spend hours arguing with each other. After all that’s how we all learn and refine our positions. Eg. I like a lot of greers writing but she is appalling on trans issues and indigenous issues.)

The idea that we are all in lockstep is sooo funny but makes us sound very powerful. I’m just waiting for the misandrist uniform. I vote for a unitard in lilac and green!

CassandraSays
7 years ago

Given the gradual infiltration of PUA stuff into the MRM I feel like a stylized cheerleader uniform might be appropriate, in honor of the idea that the worst kind of misandry is when a woman who you think is attractive won’t have sex with you.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

MY feminist uniform is plaid and leather! 😀 YEEHAW!

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

LBT – I’m now seeing plaid skirts and leather jackets. NICE.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Well, I’m a guy and not into skirts. I guess I’ll have to join pecunium in the kilt brigade…

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

LBT – Oh yeah, oops.

Do they make plaid pants? Or maybe you’d be wearing all leather, but with plaid trimmings and a plaid shirt?

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Ew, plaid pants.

My general classic is: blue jeans, plaid shirt, and leather jacket. I have this FABULOUS black leather jacket with a ludicrous amount of trim and red leather roses embossed on the back. It has the magical ability that no matter WHAT your gender, that jacket will make you look gay.

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

LBT: Nothing wrong with learning from comic books. I learned that zombies are awesome from reading reprints of Tales from the Crypt. But then, I mostly read trash when I was a young’un :).

As far as the uniforms go, whatever is decided, can have thigh-high boots?

I’ve always wanted a pair of thigh-high boots.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

I’ve always wanted a pair of thigh-high boots.

I currently have 3 pairs, so if you’re a size 7.5-8 US you can borrow one.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
7 years ago

Thigh-high boots are Teh Awesome. I mostly can’t even wear knee-high boots, because my calves are humongous, relative to my feet, apparently. Oh well, they’d probably just make me look shorter anyway.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

My uniform? My knee high boots with the grommets up the front and nice chunky heel (w00t for goth boots making me less short!), black, black, more black, and a tie (also black, if my shirt is white, or red if black)

Or boots, brown pants and tie, green shirt. I picked up a pair of strangely safari like outfits, oh well, I guess some color won’t kill me!

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
7 years ago

Argenti, my eyes crossed and I somehow read that you wear bright green bow-ties. My cerebellum fused, and I had to reboot. I should probably go to bed now.

CassandraSays
7 years ago

Not that I’m encouraging rampant commercialism and having giant shoe collections or anything, but when I was in Thailand I discovered that it was possible to have thigh-high boots handmade, and they took measurement about every half inch all the way up my legs so they would fit perfectly.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

I just clicked over to the rant the OP is about and didn’t really read it but I skimmed the comments and I saw Dean Esmay call David Futrelle “the Michael Savage of feminism.”

Time for me to shut down the Internet for the night.

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

CassandraSays: That is very generous of you; however I have big feet (I wear a size 9-9.5) 🙂

Maybe some sort of badge would be better, considering everyone has a different style?

WeeBoy
WeeBoy
7 years ago

Kinda OT, but my friend had a massive feminism gestalt moment yesterday. At the moment there’s this massive awful scandal involving guys getting underage girls drunk, raping them, and boasting about it on Facebook. It’s horrendous.

Anyway, my friend is a genuinely good guy, has always treated his girlfriends well and helped out girls being creeped on at parties

He told me he was feeling really uncomfortable with the way some of the media coverage of this scandal. “I felt like people were judging me for being a man, I felt blamed. Then I thought ‘holy shit this is how some people are treated all the time! ‘”

He’s promised to stop telling rape jokes after I explained that the rapists thought he was on their side, and he’s volunteering at the local women’s refuge as a handyman because he’s good with tools and every hour he puts in is an hour a cash strapped organization doesn’t have to pay for.

I’m proud of him for taking his anger and being positive with it, rather than violent, or making his discomfort someone else’s problem.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Yay for your friend, WeeBoy! That’s really good to hear, and encouraging.

Misandrist uniforms … well, mine’ll have to involve knitwear. Because knitwear.

neuroticbeagle
7 years ago

Misandrist uniforms … well, mine’ll have to involve knitwear. Because knitwear.

And fur from your furrinati owners of course.

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/07/10/dc/0710dc670f03849c4c17792b5127e994.jpg

kittehserf
7 years ago

It goes without saying! The fur’s built in, they see to that.

neuroticbeagle
7 years ago

That’s right! They “help” knit. I forgot. My furrinati owner prefers to help clean the dishes.

kittehserf
7 years ago

So do our lot over the other side! Louis had the bright idea of having breakfast in front of the fire last night – it was a real autumn storm outside. Well, great idea, except as he said later, he hadn’t intended it to be breakfast for twenty.

neuroticbeagle
7 years ago

What kind of dogs do you have on the other side? (I know the kitties were helping as well, but I’ve seen more pictures of them).

kittehserf
7 years ago

Mostly hounds and poodles who’ve hung out with Louis since his earthly days, plus Juliet, who turned up in the eighteenth century, iirc, and has now decided I belong to her; and Quadrille, who arrived sometime in the 1970s, I think. He’s the family clown, that one, the cause of the Great Skating Disaster last year.

Those aren’t actual photos of them, of course, but they’re quite similar.

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

@Athywren:

Now that is misandry! We have evidence that boys are capable of singing with candles on their heads!

*lol*

Brodt
Brodt
7 years ago

@kittehserf
I saw your welcome package, thanks! I liked it, but am still confused about the female whore penguins….because, awesome though they are, why?

Also, please allow me to summarize the entirety of Taylor’s arguments:
“I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I’M CLAPPING!!!!”

There’s nothing else to say about his drivel.

But if we want to get into how rough male students have it (I am one by the way. A student who owns a penis that is, not an MRA), I should point out a major privilege those of us with a Y chromosome enjoy:

When we do well in a class, it’s assumed to be because we’re smart and worked hard. When a woman does well in a class (especially if it’s compsci or math or any science field), it’s because she’s sleeping with the professor. Because apparently women aren’t smart, can’t do math, and are only good at cooking, producing babies, and pleasing their man. Unless she isn’t hot, because then she “wouldn’t be worth raping”, and assumptions are made that she must have a dick (because transphobia is still seen as ok for some reason?)

Yeah, obviously it’s the male students who have it bad here….

daintydougal
daintydougal
7 years ago

Where to begin on those absolute bleeping bleepheads using lynching to score points against women. The fury and despair is quite painful.

And comparing Fininachi to an anti-Semite for questioning their (admittedly!) incorrect data.

Nearly beer o’clock.

Falconer
7 years ago

I saw your welcome package, thanks! I liked it, but am still confused about the female whore penguins….because, awesome though they are, why?

Oh man, where to begin.

The short version is, we had a troll last summer who claimed that almost all women (the percentage varied from 95% to 99%, I think) were … ladies of negotiable affection, and yes, this included penguins.

The welcome package has links to the origins of all of the in-jokes, but for a shortcut, here’s the all penguins are bad comment.

Yoyo
Yoyo
7 years ago

Back on fashion for a moment, (sorry sorry) . How about any f..king thing we want, maybe with a kitteh motif because we don’t give a screaming shit what the morons think! Ps mine will still involve boots