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A Voice for Men’s TyphonBlue uses the case of a man who set himself and his son on fire as evidence of the moral superiority of men

TyphonBlue, making the face I make every time I read anything she's written.
TyphonBlue, making the same face I make every time I read anything she’s written.

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars are discussing the case of a Japanese man who set himself and his nine-year-old son on fire on a playground in an attempted murder-suicide; the man died, but his son, while severely burned, managed to survive.

The discussion amongst the Men’s Rightsers is actually less awful than one might expect, with only a few commenters making excuses for the man, or blaming his ex-wife. Many of the regulars are actually condemning his actions straightforwardly.

And then there’s TyphonBlue, the highly inventive female Men’s Rights activist who is one of A Voice for Men’s self-proclaimed “Honey Badgers.” She thinks the fact that the man tried to kill himself along with his son is a point in his favor and, more than that, a sign that men are better than women.

No, really. She blames “pedestalization” for it all.

typhonblue -12 points 1 day ago (18|30)  He didn't kill his son.  Unlike mothers, fathers don't scrimp on the suicide part of the suicide-murder.      permalink     source     parent     save     give gold     hide child comments  [–]osbe 11 points 22 hours ago (15|4)      He didn't kill his son  What the fuck are you trying to say? The son didn't die (yet) so this is not "as bad" as what women do?      permalink     source     save     parent     give gold  [–]typhonblue -1 points 8 hours ago (2|3)  Little more time today.  Am I puncturing your vision of women as the "more moral gender"?  How about this, when you give a group of people an automatic "more moral than thou" card, they become worse human beings.  The pedestal creates the monster.

You see, if you didn’t put women on a pedestal, they’d kill themselves along with their kids, and all would be well in the world. I guess? I really don’t see why this would be better.

Later in the thread, TB tries to explain her peculiar logic further:

typhonblue 0 points 7 hours ago (2|2)      I subscribe to the cliche that the female of the species is more deadly (or at least more vicious) than the male.  You think women are more evil than men and… what? What are you arguing about?  So we're essentially in agreement about women being "more evil" because they're more likely to kill their kids and fail at killing themselves* except I believe that it's a result of pedistalization and you believe it's a result of what?  Being female?      Why do you need to say anything that can even be twisted to look like you're defending what this guy did?  I'm saying if you want to kill your kids, don't forget to kill yourself as well. Preferably first.  *At least when you attempt to kill yourself and your kids, you can argue that it's a result of extreme mental distress. Killing your kids but not yourself… That's less excusable.

I think it’s time to pull out the old Don Draper “what?!” gif again.

don draper saying what

I will grant her one point: she’s correct that, while fathers and mothers are roughly equally likely to kill their children, men are much more likely to kill themselves as well. Why this would be a sign of moral superiority I don’t know.

I should also note that this doesn’t mean that the men and women kill children equally: while 57 percent of those who kill children under 5 are parents, the non-parents who kill children are mostly men.

In any case, “pedestalization” has pretty much nothing to do with it — unless you’re talking about the tendency of fathers who kill themseves and their children to overrate their own indispensablility.

So why do parents kill their children? Not surprisingly, mothers and fathers tend to have wildly different motivations. In Slate, Dahlia Lithwick summarizes what we know:

Researchers, building on the work of Phillip Resnick, have shown that women tend to kill their own offspring for one of several reasons: because the child is unwanted; out of mercy; as a result of some mental illness in the mother; in retaliation against a spouse; as a result of abuse.

It may be hard to understand how a mother can come to believe that killing her children would be an act of mercy, but that’s what postpartum psychosis can do to your brain.

The motivations for fathers tend to be rather different:

Most frequently … they kill because they feel they have lost control over their finances, or their families, or the relationship, or out of revenge for a perceived slight or infidelity. … more often than not, men kill their children to get back at a woman—to take away what she most cherishes.

As Charles Patrick Ewing, a University of Buffalo law professor and psychologist, told Elizabeth Fernandez of the San Francisco Chronicle

“These are narcissistic, self-centered guys who see themselves as the glue of the family. They feel they have to take their own life, but first, they have to kill the children. To them, it seems rational. They think they can’t manage and the family can’t manage without them.”

It’s also worth pointing out that when you look at murder-suicide in general — and not just when children are among the victims — it is almost exclusively (roughly 90%)  a male crime, with the victims almost always female, generally the man’s wife, girlfriend, or ex. Not surprisingly, disproportionate number of those responsible for murder-suicides involving intimate partners were also domestic abusers. (As was, reportedly, the Japanese man who set himself and his son ablaze.)

The only heartening thing here is that TyphonBlue actually got downvoted in the Men’s Rights subreddit for spouting her toxic nonsense.

EDITED TO ADD, 12/30/13: The son, who had been in critical condition since the incident, has now died.

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kittehserf
6 years ago

Oooh, yes! I can see you wearing a sweater dress, Ally. Or something I wear that’s similar – a straight knee-length-ish denim skirt, mid-calf or knee-boots, and a loose sweater with a cowl collar.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Plus, a cowl sweater works with short hair, because it’s fairly bulky around the neck, so if you didn’t want to wear a wig, or fancied a beret or some such, it’d all go together well.

Ally S
6 years ago

It doesn’t look like the boutique has it – not online, at least. Oh well – there are always thrift shops I can get women’s jeans from.

You like to wear casual comfy clothes, am I remembering right? Do you fancy skirts at all? I like long skirts over leggings in winter.

Yeah, casual comfy clothes. These days I wear almost nothing else but hoodies, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, and sweatpants (all of them loose-fitting and in drab colors). The only thing I wear from time to time that isn’t super bland-looking to others is my black & white keffiyeh.

I don’t think I’d ever want to wear a skirt or some typical kind of dress. They just don’t suit me, even though I like being femme. Sweater dresses look awesome, however. I think when I start wearing femme clothes I’ll begin with boatneck shirts.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Yeah, I wasn’t thinking of typical dresses (like summer frocks or whatever) either. My favourite long skirt is a knitted fabric in big bands sewn together – magenta, olive, dark brown, black, purple. It goes with/clashes with everything. 😛 It’s also very comfortable, just stretchy and pull-on. Apart from the bright colours not being your thing (yet …) that’s more the sort of skirt I had in mind.

Boatneck shirts look lovely. Would you wear a white one? Or the sort of faux-grandfather shirt that has a bit of smocking or cotton lace on the front? (I’m still going through my wardrobe here, lol. Or should I say our wardrobe, since Louis isn’t above pinching my clothes.)

Ally S
6 years ago

Plus, a cowl sweater works with short hair, because it’s fairly bulky around the neck, so if you didn’t want to wear a wig, or fancied a beret or some such, it’d all go together well.

Omg, thanks for suggesting that! I just looked at pics of cowl sweaters, and I think they’d actually suit me. :>

katz
6 years ago

It goes with/clashes with everything.

The ultimate fashion solution: Make it enough colors and matching is no longer an issue!

CassandraSays
6 years ago

The other advantage of a cowl neck is that if it gets cold you can pull it up to cover your face in lieu of a scarf.

(Shut up. My nose gets cold.)

Ally S
6 years ago

Boatneck shirts look lovely. Would you wear a white one?

I don’t usually wear white; I’d probably want to wear black boatnecks, dark green boatnecks, maroon boatnecks, etc. I think navy blue would be nice as well.

Or the sort of faux-grandfather shirt that has a bit of smocking or cotton lace on the front?

Do you, by chance, have a picture as an example of that? It sounds cute but I can’t really visualize it.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Question (that I should ask the couple themselves) — is black appropriate for a wedding? I don’t have a suit, of any sort, and I doubt it’s going to be fully formal (see, I should just ask them huh?) but my formalest (totally a word) androgynous formal wear is black. Well, most of my clothing is black, but what I have in mind is definitely black…

Ok, besides ASK THE COUPLE, advice?

Ally S
6 years ago

And about brighter colors: I think I’ll start wearing them over time as my depression goes away (hopefully). At this point of my life at least, I don’t feel true to myself when I wear bright, happy colors while being in a shitty mood. Something about it seems off. I hope I’m not giving off special snowflake vibes or whatever (because I know my feelings aren’t rare) but that’s how I feel.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Ally, here’s the shirt in question:

http://i.imgur.com/flHwATO.jpg

It’s a nicer colour than the photo shows, a sort of cream-fawn marl, a warm shade.

I get what you mean about not wearing colours when you feel like shit. Though I find it makes me feel worse to dag around in track pants if I’m down, and that isn’t an option going to work anyway. (Well, I probably could, but I like dressing up for colour and splash.)

katz – yup, ultimate solution! You should have seen Louis’s face when I joked about wearing that skirt with my multicoloured jumper (the cowl one, not my Aston jacket). He actually said “You wouldn’t” in an Oh-god-tell-me-you’re-joking tone of voice. Gave him a proper scare. 😀

Argenti – I take it your friends know how you dress? There’s black and there’s black, and you’d be dressed up, wouldn’t you? Just tell ’em you’re doing Goth. Last wedding I went to (actually it’s half the weddings I’ve been to) was Goth, and there was plenty of black around. 🙂 Are you wearing your corset over it?

Ally S
6 years ago

Kitteh, that shirt looks great! ^_^ I could totally see myself wearing that. Thanks for showing me.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Yay! Two wins for clothing suggestions!

We should start a fashion show … What Not To Wear If You Like It And Stuff The Fashion Police.

(Or as a shop in town had in a big banner, “Never mind ‘the rules’, if it makes you feel good, wear it!”)

CassandraSays
6 years ago

Whether or not black is OK for a wedding depends entirely on who’s getting married. There are some couples who it might bother, and others who won’t care at all, so if in doubt then ask.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
6 years ago

Unless you’re given a dress code, I’d say the only rule is don’t be prettier (i.e. more nicely-dressed/attention-getting) than the bride. (Or the groom, if he’s into being the prettiest in the room.)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

While the groom may be the prettiest in the room, he’s confirmed my outfit choice is fine, so thanks guys!

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