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Saturday Night Live takes on Men’s Rights Activists in Not-Actually Funny Skit

SNL's MRA and his soon-to-be-ex Venezuelan girlfriend
SNL’s MRA and his soon-to-be-ex Venezuelan girlfriend

So this is … interesting. Last night, Saturday Night Live did a sketch, featuring guest host Lena Dunham, about Men’s Rights Activists. Alas, it wasn’t actually funny, or particularly on the mark, and it was kind of, sort of, maybe, a little bit racist (well, ok, a lot), but it did at least give a pretty good impression of what people in the real world think of the MRAs we know and loathe so well. I can’t embed it here, so go take a look at it on Hulu.

The folks in the Men’s Rights subreddit are up in arms about it, and have started not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six threads on the subject. (There may be more; that’s all I noticed.) Well, it’s not often they get this much attention, so I guess their excitement is understandable.

Given that the sketch was actually pretty crappy in a lot of ways, the MRAs did have some legitimate complaints to make against it — like the fact that the women in the sketch mocked the MRA character for being an unattractive loser. But naturally the Men’s Rights Redditors managed to undercut even this perfectly reasonable criticism by attacking the women in the sketch for being uggos. (Oh, misogynists, why do you hate Lena Dunham so much?) Here’s a rather delightfully ironic snippet of the discussion:

SNL manages to misinterpret MRA arguments, shame man who are less physically attractive than others by implying they are somehow lesser, says that all MRAs are only MRAs because of bad love experiences, and accuse the MRHM of being pro-life, which is a blatant lie. (hulu.com)  submitted 7 hours ago by Feminists_Are_Jelly      29 comments     share     source     save     hide     give gold     report     hide all child comments  sorted by: hot navigate by: submitter | moderator | friend | admin | IAmA | images | popular | new you are viewing a single comment's thread.  view the rest of the comments →  [–]MockingDead 16 points 6 hours ago (27|11)  A bunch of unattractive unfunny women impugning a man for being not an apex male.      permalink     save     source     save     give gold     hide child comments  [–]ugly_duck 5 points 5 hours ago (16|11)      A bunch of unattractive unfunny women impugning a man for being not an apex male.  Imagine if the genders were reversed.      permalink     save     source     save     parent     give gold  [–]Grubnar 6 points 4 hours ago (12|6)  I am trying ... and I can't. Men are not usually judged by their attractiveness, but by their wealth.

Indeed, I’ve rarely seen irony so thick as in the outraged comments of MRAs in these threads. Here’s another angry Redditor:

Ruwanimo 132 points 14 hours ago (207|75)  I just saw the sketch and am speechless. I am beyond insulted as a male and heartbroken that flagrant sexism and shaming is OK. I can't even imagine how it would look if the genders were reversed.

Heavens! Sexism and shaming! MRAs NEVER engage in either of those things!

Oh, wait. That’s pretty much the entire basis of their movement.

Ruwanimo, you say you can’t imagine how it would look if the genders were reversed? You don’t have to imagine. All you have to do is go to the Men’s Rights subreddit, or A Voice for Men, or any other prominent (or not-so-prominent) Men’s Rights site. Or you could read through the Man Boobz archives. Ta da! Literally hundreds — make that thousands — of examples of MRAs directing “flagrant sexism and shaming” at women. (Also note: this shaming is directed at women, not only at feminists, whereas the SNL skit directed its shaming only at MRAs, not at men in general.)

You’re welcome!

The AgainstMensRights subreddit is also all over this thing, though they’ve limited themselves to four threads — here, here, here and here, which is where I found that first discussion I screenshotted.

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LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: katz

people only cry when a woman dies in fiction as well as real life

I can’t help but wonder what sort of company this guy is keeping if people aren’t crying at his father or grandfather’s funeral. I mean, Jesus, one of my grandfathers was a fucking child-molester, and he STILL had people crying at his funeral. That’s kind of what you DO when someone dies.

As for fiction… last time I recall crying over a book with any clarity, it was Where the Red Fern Grows, with the death of a male and female dog. (Seriously, that book is a heartbreaker.)

RE: WWTH

there’s an amoral genius hero

God I hate the Jerk Genius trope. I wish it would just DIE. Because let’s face it, every one of us, I bet, has had That Coworker who was a complete pain in your ass and acted like a colossal jerk but were kept purely because of their skills, even though a lot of us hated them. Is that really the sort of person I’m supposed to ASPIRE to be?

katz
6 years ago

I’ve been thinking a lot about the jerk genius character type recently. It’s not STRICTLY male only, but it is much much more commonly male, and in the few female cases, it’s treated as a flaw that she needs to grow past, while for men it’s treated as a part of who they are that everyone else needs to accept, or even as what makes them endearing and lovable. I’ve heard the titular character from Bones is an exception, maybe?

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: katz

I thought Bones wasn’t a jerk, just socially incompetent? *has not actually seen Bones*

Also, not only is it a male trope, but in my country anyway, it’s a WHITE guy trope. Part of why I find it so aggravating is that, at least in my job experience, you CAN’T get away with that sort of behavior. (But then again, I was always in crappy menial jobs with a large customer service component, so restraining your innate dickery was an important part of the job.)

I feel like in some ways, it’s playing to that geek angst, patting you on the back and saying, “There there, sad geek, you don’t need to be socially competent or even a decent human being to be hugely successful! Just be so fucking brilliant intellectually and THEY WILL LIKE YOU.” Which is bullshit, and in my opinion almost encourages people to just focus entirely on their intellect and nothing else.

Never mind I kept wondering why the fuck Sherlock hadn’t been kicked out of his damn apartment for all the shooting and blood and STOP BRINGING DOWN PROPERTY VALUE SHERLOCK.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

PS katz, WRITEATHON IS OPEN! 😀

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

There’s one asshole at work who’s kept around because he does one thing well. If I could bounce him, I would, because ain’t no one got time for someone who’s relentlessly shitty outside of that one thing they do well.

Octo
Octo
6 years ago

I suppose it’s well possible that there is in fact an imbalance about how genders are portrayed in fiction. It might be statistically provable that in fact in sitcoms and ads men are significantly more often the bumbling idiots, while women are the reasonable down to earth counterparts. It’s possible.

…it’s just, that seems like such a petty complaint to me. If this imbalance exists, it should be fixed, of course, but MRA trout it out so damn often. As if that imbalance alone was all the proof in the world that men are the actually oppressed gender. I do admit the issue could be a problem, but the way the MRA use it as argument is just pathetic.

Besides, this potential imbalance rests on gender stereotypes and expectations. You know, *just those things feminism fights*. Turning this potential imbalance into an argument against feminism, as MRAs often do, is hence patently absurd.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
6 years ago

A blog entry on sometimes skilled assholes aren’t worth it:

http://www.theferrett.com/ferrettworks/2013/06/lets-do-equations-involving-assholes/

Early on in my career, a manager told me a story about having to fire a person who was really, really good at what he did. The guy could do the work of five other people, was very smart and capable, and such a raging asshole that, when they counted up the time spent dealing with his disgruntled co-workers, the company figured they had paid the equivalent of one manager working full time for six and half months, just dealing with the fallout of the guy’s assholeishness.

So they fired him.

katz
6 years ago

Also, not only is it a male trope, but in my country anyway, it’s a WHITE guy trope.

OH yeah.

In my experience, the people who are like this IRL are never actually so competent that nobody else could do their job. They’re just really good at convincing other people that no one else could do their job, or at getting into positions from which it’s difficult to remove them without a big hassle.

Or they can’t be replaced for some stupid reason like they’re the only one who knows where thus-and-such is kept.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Unimaginative: that’s a great article about the hidden cost of assholes (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type).

It was a glorious moment when our department asshole used the word “bitch” about a colleague in my hearing. I turned into a human interrobang.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

I could have been a Jerk Genius at work. Fortunately, my parents brought me up better than that.

kittehserf
6 years ago

hellkell – I’d love to have heard that, and seen department asshole’s face! 😀

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