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A Voice for Men takes on feminist [rhymes-with-bunts] with new poster campaign

No, this is real. I didn't make it up. I just blurred out the c-word.
No, this is real. I didn’t make it up. I just blurred out the c-word.

Last week I wrote about the fondness of a certain Men’s Rights website for a certain four-letter word starting with the letter c. This week they’ve topped themselves — with a postering campaign based on the c-word.

Yep: A Voice for Men has thrown its support behind a postering campaign with the slogan: “Having a vagina is no excuse for being a C*NT.”

They don’t use an asterisk.

The postering campaign, spearheaded by a Youtube antifeminist calling himself Bane666au, feature what purport to be real quotes from feminists alongside not-exactly-subtle stock photos depicting comically angry women. For example:

Every man is filth; I wish they were all dead."

I’m the one who blurred out the c-word; they left it intact. Other alleged feminist quotes include:

If a woman has drunk any amount of alcohol, she can’t consent to sex.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than the suffering of men.

Historically, women have been oppressed worse than black slaves.

That last one is a tad ironic. Not just because it’s a bit odd to contrast “women” and “black slaves” when half of all black slaves were women and girls. And not just because I never hear feminists making this claim. No, it’s a tad ironic because AVFM is constantly comparing men to slaves and suggesting that men are being “enslaved” by everything from child support payments to the women they date.

But I digress. You may wonder where exactly all these alleged quotes come from. In the comments to his AVFM post promoting the postering campaign, AVFM’s Dean Esmay blithely assures readers that “most or all” of the sources of the quotes can be found “right at the end of the video.”

This is not — how should I put it? — true. In fact, the percentage of quotations accurately sourced at the end of the video is a lot closer to “none” than to “most.” Bane666au, for his part, only claims that “all comments are based on actual comments I’ve seen or heard from self proclaimed feminists.”

Apparently he has an extremely loose definition of “based on” because only a couple of the actual quotes from Tumblr feminists he includes at the end of his video bear much resemblance to his, er, paraphrases.

Many of the alleged “hateful” quotes are obvious jokes, taken completely out of context, taking aim at popular perceptions of feminists. Here’s one screenshot from his video (with the name of the poster blurred out):

cnty3pn
So who is the terrible misandrist who posted this terrible thing? I went and looked at her Tumblr. It consists of a lot of arty photos of her, mixed with pictures of favorite bands, some of her own artwork — and various pictures of various boyfriends, all evidently remembered with much fondness. On Valentine’s Day she posted some Valentine’s Day cards she designed and drew, inspired by The Smiths and Fleetwood Mac. She’s an excellent artist. There was no hatred to be found there.

And it’s a little hard to see how anyone but a misogynist who has named himself after a Batman villain could possibly interpret this comment, from another Tumblr feminist, as “misandry.”

cnty1
And speaking of reasonable statements interpreted as misandry, here’s my favorite poster in Bane666‘s batch of posters:
cntypaid2

Now, I hope I don’t shock anyone here by saying it, but the wage gap is real. There’s some debate over the size of it, and to what degree it is appropriate to attribute the gap to women’s “choices” rather than discrimination. But it exists. Even the study most cited by those who like to downplay the gap, a 2009 Labor Department report prepared by the CONSAD Research Corp., found a roughly 5-7% wage gap that couldn’t be explained away by women’s “choices.” (See here for more.)

But MRAs have convinced themselves that the gender wage gap is a “myth.” Having failed to win over the rest of the world to this incorrect belief through the power of simple repetition, the folks at AVFM have evidently decided to move on to gendered slurs.

It will be interesting to see how this works out for them.

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Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

wordsp1nner – I’m aware. I might have misread the comment, my bad.

kittehserf
6 years ago

::waves:: Hi Alice, lovely to see you again!

Lewis’s Law? ::has mental image of Kevin Whately, is confused::

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Hey kittehs! I have just one thing to say: homework sucks BALLS. *nod*

nilvoidwhy
6 years ago

Wow, if these are the “incriminating” quotes they’re using for these posters (which look like they were slapped together in MSpaint, by the by), they’re going to have a hard time getting anyone on their side, even people who aren’t very knowledgeable about feminism. Barring the “men are scum”-type quotes, the quotes they are using are so innocuous (or even reasonable) that no-one is going to have any idea what the posters mean. When they portray an angry women saying that there’s a wage gap as “that” feminist, how do they expect people to get angry enough to side with them, or even know what “that” is referring to? Someone who’s concerned about economic inequality? Golly, how threatening.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Hey kittehs! I have just one thing to say: homework sucks BALLS. *nod*

TRUTH.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

Oh my giddy aunt. Sirtooting!

Is the quintessential “feminist who gets up everyone’s noses” by writing walls’o’text, again and again and again … and interminably again – (half of which are blighted by being in bold font for most of the unreadable paragraphs) – at Ally Fogg’s blog. One very mild example http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/02/14/some-important-findings-from-the-ons-crime-stats-intimate-sexual-violence/#comment-42616

And is part of the reason why the comment sections there go haywire. There are a couple of manosphere regulars who are beyond irritating but the whole thing really goes to hell in a handbasket <completely when sirtooting joins in.

Get out the fainting couch.
I’m sure you’ll all faint more safely and gracefully as you clutch your pearls when I tell you that upthread is not the first time the graceless, charmless fool has used the “missing brain cell” line. http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/02/03/abuse-is-not-a-team-game/#comment-39879

Martin
Martin
6 years ago

FWIW, I’m another Brit who can confirm that ‘tw@t’has the same issues around being a gendered slur here as it does in the US.

So even if Sirtooting did somehow have the right to dictate which form of language is used on Manboobz, s/he is wrong to claim that BrEng is different re the use of that word.

PS Is ‘spaz’ still acceptable in USEng?

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

Spaz? Is the abbreviated form of spastic. So, no. It’s just another pejorative ableist term in the same family as lame and ‘tard and their other ugly friends.

Martin
Martin
6 years ago

Glad to hear it. A few years back I came across otherwise progressive Americans using ‘spaz out’ quite unselfconsciously and they told me it was not seen as problematic over there. Perhaps they were talking out their arses.

BritterSweet
BritterSweet
6 years ago

@ kittehserf:

Lewis’s Law is: The comments on any article about Feminism justify Feminism.

So I see a sort of connection to that law, even though it’s an anti-feminist post rather than a full-on article.

@ mildlymagnificent:

Thanks for informing me of the ableism in the word “spaz.” I haven’t used it anywhere yet, but I just thought it meant something like “goof.” I used to think it indicated silliness rather than a defect of any kind.

BritterSweet
BritterSweet
6 years ago

*poster

Felisha
Felisha
6 years ago

Wow, I seem to be misspelling people’s names all month, lol. Yes, Laci not Luci. I looked up her website and somehow registered it wrong. I’ve being busy doing other things lately that my mind is in two places at once.

Anyway. I’m a little disturbed by all this talk about what words to use to describe foolish MRAs. I took a lot of heat in the reddit ‘againstmensrights’ for calling typhonblue an idiot. It felt like I was in a room full of her fans, not pro-feminists, more concerned about protecting the dignity of misogynists than exposing them.

Then recently, on this blog, people got mad at me and then lashed at me for using the ‘p’ word to joke about a hairless cat.

I’m not trying to over-step David’s authority here, I saw what he wrote about sirtooting’s word. It’s just I wish forums like this would stay focused on the important issues and the misogyny we’re exposing rather than fighting each other about how we criticize anti-fems. I’m not trying to justify ‘sirtooting’s use of the word >t**t< (I don't even know his history here) it's just that in going through these comments I see more talk about that than I do about David's article. This is the kind of stuff that makes MRAs happy, to see how some of you are more concerned about how to properly address their hive queen than the article — as I'm sure they'll see it that way.

Though, yes, I agree with David it's time to let this go. It's just I wonder how often this is going to happen again.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Ah, so Ally Fogg’s blog is the current kinda-feminist space (other than Jezebel) that tolerates MRA verbal wanking of the “but wait, are we sure women are people?” variety. That’s where all the usual suspects went!

It would be hilarious if all the “feminists” there were Poes and it was just a bunch of angry misogynists arguing with each other.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Thank you for your concern about everyone else’s tone, Felisha. I’m sure it will be treated with exactly the seriousness it deserves.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

Ah, so Ally Fogg’s blog is the current kinda-feminist space (other than Jezebel) that tolerates MRA verbal wanking of the “but wait, are we sure women are people?”

Sorta. Ally’s very fond of a “light hand” with moderation. He’s had to institute some rules about personal insults and that no one’s allowed to “judge” another on the basis of any (presumed) feminist or MRA allegiance. There were some epic meltdowns before that, but he seems to think that giving sirtooting and a few other blowhards free rein is a good thing, on the “principle” that the least possible moderation is desirable in and of itself. I find it really stifling. The all feminists are horrible (and just like sirtooting) crowd seem to think that I and all other feminists are obliged to disavow those blatherings rather than make our own points. Gets a bit tedious.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Yeah, a policy of very light moderation rarely ends well. It always seems to be read as an open door policy for people just like our friend who’s so fond of tooting above.

Can’t say I’m down with the not judging people on their political allegiances thing either. Your politics do say something about who you are. There are certain political movements that are flat-out incompatible with being a decent human being.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Pregnant goldfish? Goldfish? When did that happen? When I was a child, the rumour was that the T word came from the Arabic for pregnant camel.

And Toots, I’m British. You are talking out of your ass. Good riddance.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Your politics do say something about who you are.

See UKIP’s position on the causes of flooding, etc.

Xanthë
6 years ago

Cassandra, yes, because Ally Fogg tolerates MRAs, people from the Slime Pit, and other unsavoury commenters on his blog at FTB, in practice I never read the comments. There might be a rearguard of reasonable commenters there fighting the good fight, but I don’t have the spoons to waste on unending battling against the shitlords if the blogowner isn’t going to give a damn about the incivility of those commenters.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

@ Xanthe

I can’t help feeling that, if Ally was as supportive of women as he wants everyone to think he is, he would stop framing misogyny as an opinion that reasonable people can hold and that feminists should be willing to debate on its merits.

Basically, the way he sells himself? I’m not buying it.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Oh, and calling someone a pregnant camel/goldfish as an insult? Still a (cis)gendered slur!

leatapp
leatapp
6 years ago

So what MRAs have are slurs and lies that don’t do anything to mask their misogyny. That’s their movement? That’s how they further their “cause”? What a sad, shitty bunch of useless haters. If I tried to mock them with a parody of their posters I could not make them look more foolish and more pointless than they already do…and this is their idea of a phenomenal attempt to promote themselves. At least their impotent rage is good for a laugh.

Keep “promoting” yourselves, Misogynist Rape Advocates. Keep letting your true colors shine through for everyone to see. Your lack of self awareness is priceless.

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

First of all, hi Xanthë! I know you’ve been here a few times lately but I haven’t had a chance to say hello. 🙂

Second of all, @Felisha: you are missing an important detail when you say this:

It’s just I wish forums like this would stay focused on the important issues and the misogyny we’re exposing rather than fighting each other about how we criticize anti-fems.

We are not concerned about being too harsh towards anti-feminists. We care about the people who get the blowback. In the case of gendered slurs, you’re supporting sexist attitudes. There are ways to criticize people you don’t like without simultaneously striking out at women everywhere.

leatapp
leatapp
6 years ago

Yep, I stopped reading Ally’s blog for the reasons others have listed above.

Kootiepatra
Kootiepatra
6 years ago

@ Martin – The ableist slurs do fly pretty fast and thick here in the US. A select few are clearly off-limits, used almost exclusively by people who insist on their rights to say awful things as often as they like (re***d, for instance).

But there are plenty of ableist slurs where we literally have never been taught that they are problematic. (That of course doesn’t mean that they AREN’T problematic; it’s just that a lot able-bodied people sincerely lack a clue. We need to get a clue.)

I’ve been reading feminist/intersectional blogs for about six years now, but I honestly did not know that “spaz” had any connection to a medical condition until just this past year (I’m in my late twenties). I uprooted it from my vocabulary as soon as I knew, but I lived an embarrassingly long time truly ignorant of it. I would wager that a lot of other Americans have similar ignorance.
———————————–

Re: the actual blog post–something I don’t understand is how MRA’s can simultaneously deride Tumblr feminists as all being clueless teen girls, but then take their quotes seriously enough to represent all of feminism at all levels. Of course, teen girls can be excellent, mature, well-informed feminists, but not all of them are, and almost none of them will be running blogs of a broad enough influence to reasonably claim to be an authoritative voice for the movement.

I mean, shocker, some fourteen year-old somewhere said something immature on Tumblr. Who’d have thunk. It’s almost like fourteen year-olds are still legally not adults.

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
6 years ago

I’m so late to the party. It was wild reading from the beginning, seeing one very mild and very polite request that sirtoot not use that word and then things just…devolved from there (and totally on toot’s end – heh).

I will never understand why so many people cling to language like that. You’re having a conversation with another person and you say a word that makes them visibly cringe, and you feel compelled to continue using it. And not only do you feel compelled to continue using it, but you actually have the nerve to LECTURE the person on exactly why they are wrong for having that emotional response to the word. For what purpose? I can only assume your purpose is to continue causing pain. Because nothing else makes any sense.

Thank you David for putting that word on filter.

pineapplecookies
pineapplecookies
6 years ago

I have been noticing that most people don’t like to be told that they did/ said something wrong. Is it too hard or painful to say “I am sorry” or “I didn’t know; I am sorry and will not do/say it again”?

Apparently it is very painful to a lot of people.

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
6 years ago

I’m not trying to over-step David’s authority here, I saw what he wrote about sirtooting’s word. It’s just I wish forums like this would stay focused on the important issues and the misogyny we’re exposing rather than fighting each other about how we criticize anti-fems.

Felisha, I swear we’ve already had this conversation with you before. As cassandrakitty pointed out, what you’re doing here is a known derailing tactic. You’re needlessly focusing on tone to steer the conversation away from the topic at hand.

And language is not innocuous. It is used in very particular ways to enforce social norms, to categorize people and put them “in their place,” to put them down, to wield power over them, etc. Examining how language is used to hurt is part of social justice.

If you don’t like that, you might want to spend your time elsewhere, because that part of it will never go away on this blog.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

Nthing the comments about Ally’s blog. I’d stop by and read his articles sometimes, and he’d generally have interesting and nuanced things to say.

But there was this strange space in what he said… or what he didn’t say. Just the ‘two sides, valid arguments’ construction… it rubbed me the wrong way. I thought about trying to engage with it…

But the comments, dear god, the comments…

markb
markb
6 years ago

I’ve always found it amusing that, in French, the C-word can only be used to describe men because the word itself is a male-gendered noun.
As for the posters, it doesn’t matter where the quotes came from, if you look hard enough on the internet you can find anyone spouting any kind of nonsense (leaving out the issue of quotes taken out of context, or the quote about the wage gap that is inoffensive.)

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Well, THAT was an impressive double-down.

Felisha: your concern has been duly noted.

Felisha, I swear we’ve already had this conversation with you before. As cassandrakitty pointed out, what you’re doing here is a known derailing tactic. You’re needlessly focusing on tone to steer the conversation away from the topic at hand.

I’m 99% sure we have.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago
Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
6 years ago

I knew I was having a deja vu!

Also, sirtoot is the one who turned this into a long, needless conversation. Zie used a gendered slur, was asked very politely by one commenter to stop, and then zie decided to go on a very long and extended lecture about why it’s totally okay to use the word. If zie had simply dropped it at the first request and moved on, the entire exchange would have been much shorter and simpler.

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
6 years ago

Did I use zie correctly? I’m new to it.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

May I propose we add “cretin” to our list of ableist words, please? It has cropped up the odd time here and has a similar medical history.

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
6 years ago

I had no idea about the history of that word, titianblue. It’s sad how many slurs are connected to medical issues. I don’t generally use it anyway but will stop completely now. My go-to insult has shifted toward the “asshole” or “asshat” genre.

Ally Fogg (@AllyFogg)
6 years ago

Blimey, no wonder my ears have been burning all day, Hello Manboobzers

Anyway if I end up having to moderate twice as much sirtoot now that you’ve banned him David, I’ll start sending my commenters over here in a retaliatory action. You have been warned.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

I wish forums like this would stay focused on the important issues and the misogyny we’re exposing rather than fighting each other about how we criticize anti-fems.

I don’t think we’re fighting. We’re clarifying what is and is not acceptable in this community and why. I’s sometimes a pain to have to do it again and again but it’s not unimportant. You might go google “micro-aggressions” if you think it is.

And part of the ridiculous fun of Manboobz for me is how we wander off all over the place from cats to recipes to bra-shopping inbetween the mocking of the misogyny.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

SO relieved to see I’m not the only person tired of Ally Fogg’s moderating (and, to a large extent, posting. No, dude, misandry’s not a thing the way misogyny is.)

The final straws for me were a) he continues to reinforce the stupid “I’m an equalist, not a feminist”…. thing, which just perpetuates the demonisation of the word “feminist” and b) the whole don’t judge MRAs in general and only judge individual MRAs for that which you have a citation. That’s akin to “don’t judge anti-vaxxers”. They’re wrong. They’re terrible. They’re terrible people. The entire basis of their identity is wrong. Everything about them is wrong. You’re banned if you say anything negative about MRAs in general though.

His blog, his rules, my choice not to partake.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

We could do with some decent chew toys, @Ally. the recent crop of trolls has been sadly lacking.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

They have been a lazy bunch, haven’t they?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

titianblue: they’d certainly get told here in a way they don’t there.

That “equalist” garbage makes my ass itch.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

How can one simultaneously indignantly shriek “I’M NOT A FEMINIST, DON’T CALL ME A FEMINIST” without demonising feminism? You just can’t, brah.

dvarghundspossen
6 years ago

Okay, I’m not even a native speaker, but I can still follow an argument. “Gendered slur” doesn’t mean “can’t be used to insult all genders”. It means the word is originally associated with a particular gender in a negative way. Also, nobody claims that when you call someone a twat, you literally claim that zie is a huge walking talking vagina. The claim is merely that “twat” wouldn’t mean “bad person” unless vaginas were considered bad, and it’s no coincidence that it’s the name of this particular bodypart and not, say, “kneecap” or “eyebrow” that doubles as an insult. NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

Hmm. Well I spent some time looking at your blog today, Ally Fogg, and it was enough to show me that I would never want to hang out in your comments section. But I do hope you send some trolls our way.

Ally S
6 years ago

Anyway if I end up having to moderate twice as much sirtoot now that you’ve banned him David, I’ll start sending my commenters over here in a retaliatory action. You have been warned.

This is the silliest thing I have read all morning.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Ugh, it’s just like when I used to argue with friends about “gay”.

“I don’t mean ‘gay’ as in ‘homosexual’, I mean ‘gay’ as in ‘bad'”
“Yes, but WHY does ‘gay’ mean ‘bad’?”
“…oh”

Except toot hasn’t managed the “oh” part yet. Nor are they getting the irony of having this particular wank on a post about the “C” word.

As for the OP: doesn’t “don’t be that feminist” imply that there’s a kind of feminist they would be OK with? I know, MRAs, so they probably didn’t think this through and are just spinning off an earlier meme that no one but them will even be familiar with, but still.

the same kind of venom cunt does

Sorry, I read this sentence out of order and fixated on “venom cunt”, probably because my brain was already primed by the Venom Cock wank. (sidenote: I actually found a used copy of Touched By Venom recently. I’m saving it for my next beach/lake trip)

A few years back I came across otherwise progressive Americans using ‘spaz out’ quite unselfconsciously and they told me it was not seen as problematic over there.

USican here: It depends on who you ask. While the vast majority of us associate “retard” with a developmental disability, it’s not common knowledge (at least in my region of the country) that “spaz” refers to symptoms of (or a person with) cerebral palsy. I didn’t even know it did until a couple of years ago, and that’s thanks to social justice discussions. It’s therefore quite likely that the people you asked had not encountered anyone who found the word objectionable.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Ooh, moderated. Was it the “c” word? I saw someone else use it un-starred, so I did, too. Sorry for making more work for you, David.

I wish forums like this would stay focused on the important issues and the misogyny we’re exposing rather than fighting each other about how we criticize anti-fems.

Misogyny, such as using slang terms for female genitals in a derogatory manner?

Look, I thought the “p-word” joke was funny, and I’ve made similar jokes before, in the right company. But since people here reacted so badly to it, I wouldn’t make that kind of joke here.

I say “Jesus Christ!” as an expletive all the time. I have a coworker who objects to this on the grounds that it’s blasphemous. I’m bot Christian and I don’t believe blasphemy is a thing, but I don’t say it when she’s working.

I don’t understand why not being an asshole on purpose is so much to ask.

Anyway if I end up having to moderate twice as much sirtoot now that you’ve banned him David, I’ll start sending my commenters over here in a retaliatory action. You have been warned.

I honestly can’t tell if this is a joke or a threat.