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Men's Rights Poetry Corner: "Feminists Killed Kurt Cobain."

Kurt Cobain, RIP
Kurt Cobain, RIP

Yesterday, several days after the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, A Voice for Men took a moment to honor the brilliant musician who tragically ended his life at the age of only 27.

Well, not exactly. What they actually did was run a terrible poem using the anniversary of Cobain’s death as an excuse to launch an extended attack on the supposed evils of feminism.

Here’s the opening:

Feminists killed Kurt Cobain
Men my age are all the same
They hate themselves & feel ashamed
For what they are & cannot change

It gets worse. The poem, written by a YouTube MRA calling himself Laudanum Byron, continues on for another 104 lines after this. Only 13 refer to Cobain, and five of these are simply repetitions of the opening accusation: “feminists killed Kurt Cobain.”

The rest of the poem consists of an assortment of Men’s Rights talking points sketched out in the most melodramatic manner possible.

Men chastised, demonized,
Healthy males pathologized
A man is just a dirty ape
Longing, lust, desire: all rape
Your body is a loaded gun
And all that it has done is wrong

Like all too many MRAs, Mr. Byron lets his anger at women get the better of his logic. In the following lines, for example, he lashes out at women both for living off of the earnings of men — and for earning money of their own.

Now the girls get told get what you can
After all, he’s just a man
You’re right to think it’s right to take
Yes you go girl, you make him pay
The girls get taught they must get on
Like work empowered anyone:
To sell your life for dollar bills
Taking calls & stacking shelves
In offices & factories
Fulfilment sought in drudgery

Mr. Byron – no relation, one presumes, to the actual Byron – seems to have only a rudimentary notion of what a poem actually is. While most, though not all, of his lines scan, he has persistent troubles with the concept of rhyme, with his aabb and aabbcc rhyme schemes dominated by half-rhymes and quarter-rhymes and, well, the words have some similar sounds in them.

“Bills” and “shelves” don’t rhyme, or half-rhyme, despite both ending in the letter “s.” “Take” and “pay” aren’t even remotely close.

Admittedly, “chivalry” is a tough one to rhyme. But surely one can do better than “steeds.”

White knights, on their hobbled steeds
Still cling to laws of chivalry
Passed over by the queens they save
A joke to all the other slaves

When he pulls off an actual rhyme, it comes a surprise:

All of us the sons of Cain
Feminists killed Kurt Cobain.

But while we’re on the topic, it’s worth pointing out that feminists and/or feminism did not actually kill Kurt Cobain. (Nor did anyone else; the conspiracy theories suggesting he was murdered don’t make a lot of sense.)

Byron’s only “evidence” linking feminism to the suicide?

He screamed onstage & pierced his flesh
Put on make-up, wore a dress

Look, nobody knows for sure the reason or reasons Cobain took his own life, but he was a troubled man with a history of suicide attempts. He suffered from depression and from a painful, persistent stomach ailment. He was addicted to heroin. And as his suicide note made clear, he found the fame he had achieved to be something of an intolerable burden; he felt like a fake. Like a lot of suicides, Cobain’s could be seen as psychologically overdetermined;  it could have been caused by any or all of these things.

Using his suicide to score cheap rhetorical points against feminism is not only dishonest but highly disrespectful to his memory.

To top off this gigantic platter of disrespect, whoever wrote the headline on AVFM didn’t even bother to spell Cobain’s first name correctly. It’s Kurt, with a K.

avfmCurt

Below, “Byron’s” own reading of his poem. If you can’t bear listening to it — I only made it a couple of stanzas in before I had to shut it off — you can make your way to AVFM, or to YouTube, to read the rest. I feel safe in saying that Kurt, who considered himself a feminist, would have hated it, and A Voice for Men as well.

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Bonelady
Bonelady
6 years ago

So basically what this guy is saying is that everything wrong in his life, in the world, etc. must be the fault of feminists, because it could not possibly be his, or any other man’s fault. Yup, uh-huh. Gotta love that logic. Doesn’t have to make sense, doesn’t have to have any relationship to truth. And it rhymes (sort of/kind of). I get so very tired sometimes.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

I was a freshman in college when Kurt Cobain died and I was taking a poetry class at the time. There were heaps of poems about his death written in that class, some better than others.

And yeah, Kurt would have been appalled at anyone using his death to attack feminism.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Lord Byron is spinning in his grave.

katz
6 years ago

That is…impressively bad.

I hope he follows it up with a poem about how feminists killed the radio star.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

“At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us – leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.” – Kurt Cobain

TheReadMenace
TheReadMenace
6 years ago

That guy is actually right (but he doesn’t know it). Kurt was a feminist, so technically him killing himself is being killed by a feminist.

thepardac
thepardac
6 years ago

“It’s almost impossible to deprogram the incestually-established male oppressor.”- Kurt Cobain

kittehserf
6 years ago

Wow. That makes some of the dreck on the writing site I used to frequent look good.

grumpycat – hah, wonder what little Mr Poetry Fail would make of Cobain’s actual words on the subject?

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Laudanum Byron just can’t write;
‘Cause he’s chock-full of spite and shite.
Please leave it to the folks who can,
You sad excuse for a poet-man!

Xen
Xen
6 years ago

Wow, people have used Cobain as a model feminist ally. Way to screw up, Byron. The irony.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Oh is Kurt spinning in his grave right now. He hated the kind of toxic masculinity that MRAs love so much. Do MRAs know he was a feminist or did they think he killed himself because his feminism made him hate himself or something? Either way the 8th grade fan girl who cried for days over Kurt’s death is filled with a lot of rage at this poem!

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

Well, that poem smells like spleen spirit.

J.J
J.J
6 years ago

Is it bad that I’m almost equally offended by the awful poetry and the topic of said poem?

It’s really sick that he would use someone’s suicide-especially someone who seemed to be against spreading bigotry and hatred- to splash hate online. What are they going to blame on feminists next?

*puts on Smells like Teen Spirit* I like this song. I was a little young to get swept up in Nirvana, but I’ve always liked this song. These guys should realize that any decent human being, including the late Mr. Cobain, thinks they’re a joke at best.

And anyone who is actually interested in fighting against the real issues that men face try to distance themselves as much as possible. It’s like being in high school and you don’t want to admit that you share anything in common with the paint huffing jackasses because being associated with them is just embarrassing .

Sorry. Grumpy ’cause I got creeped on in the elevator. Don’t Hit on Strangers in the Elevator. Is going to be title of blog post.

kittehserf
6 years ago

J.J, sorry you got creeped on. 🙁

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Kurt would have thought Elam and company were charlatans upholding the toxic masculinity he hated.

Any excuse to bash women. Stay classy, AVfM.

Lord Byron is spinning in his grave.

So is laudanum, which unlike this “poet,” had a purpose.

tealily
tealily
6 years ago

I like when they write ridiculous things like this; it shows everyone how non-sensical and over-the-top (emotional) they are.

Tree Named Xena
Tree Named Xena
6 years ago

“Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.” – Kurt Cobain
I think this poem would have made him absolutely furious. If I remember correctly, part of the reason he hated Axl Rose so much was that he considered Axl a misogynist.

Willravel
Willravel
6 years ago

Roses are red, violets are blue, women are people.

trans_commie
6 years ago

The girls get taught they must get on
Like work empowered anyone:
To sell your life for dollar bills
Taking calls & stacking shelves
In offices & factories
Fulfilment sought in drudgery

I don’t find any fulfillment in work (as in waged labor), and in fact I hate it. I wish it never existed. But I don’t care about whether my work is fulfilling; I think work is important for me only because, without income – something I can’t just expect to fall out of the sky – I won’t be able to afford housing, utilities, medical expenses, food, and other essentials. In other words, I work out of necessity. And this is how countless other women and girls feel, although I acknowledge that quite a few also find their work fulfilling and there’s nothing really wrong with that.

That these men view women’s increased participation in the workforce as nothing more than a misguided attempt to find fulfillment shows how privileged they are. This is essentially men telling women “I know that we have power that you lack, but I know you better than you know yourselves and I think that this power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! So just stop trying to be like us!” And then AVfM wonders why their enemies accuse them of being misogynistic.

this one is between perspectives
this one is between perspectives
6 years ago

this is just odd.. Especially considering that Mr. Cobain was kind of a rather feminist individual, politically speaking (given his pro-choice stance, involvement in anti-rape/sexual violence movements…..not to mention his music).

he never seemed like he hated himself, just violent cruel people, and their violent appropriation/misinterpretation of his music.

Lady Mondegreen
6 years ago

Well, that…”poem”…certainly has a lot of words.

It’s sort of hilarious that AVfM published it. The women’s movement had Adrienne Rich, Nikki Giovanni, lots of others. The MRM has “Laudanum Byron.”

Fitting, really.

.

Grumpy ’cause I got creeped on in the elevator. Don’t Hit on Strangers in the Elevator. Is going to be title of blog post.

J.J., I hope you have better luck with expressing your feelings about that than Rebecca Watson.
🙁

(‘Cause a woman saying she feels creeped out when a stranger hits on her in a small enclosed space is MISANDRY.)

Lids
6 years ago

Oh my god I almost vomited reading that “poem.” Honestly, they will leech themselves onto anything to try and get people to listen to their vitriol.

In other news, I had no idea Cobain was a feminist. Honestly, despite being a Washington native I never got much into Nirvana. Too over-played and a lot of the fans are crazy, like the ones with the murder conspiracy theories and the ones who cannot accept that Cobain was not a good guitarist.

Caitlin
6 years ago

Love all these guys who seem to believe that Kurt Cobain would have totally bro’ed down with them about bitches and shit if he were still alive. They clearly were dedicated fans of his.

Skelita
Skelita
6 years ago

Ugh, if the “Courtney killed Kurt” brigade doesn’t come out of the woodwork, I’d be amazed.

tesformes
6 years ago

MRAs KILLED MR. ROGERS
A poem by tesformes

MRAs killed Mr. Rogers
They stabbed him in the eye
The media said it was stomach cancer
But we know that’s a lie

They killed him for his message
And nailed him on a cross
For telling all the childrens
That they aren’t worthless cretins

Women my age hate themselves
They try to starve their bodies
They think that catabolysis
Will make them into hotties

And if a guy says something
That isn’t dumb and hateful
They call him a mangina
Or a white knight with no game, yo

The evidence is everywhere
It’s sitting on the shelves
MRAs hate anyone
who tells girls to love themselves

They don’t think girls should ride the train
Or watch the LA Dodgers
Or damn near anything they want to do
MRAs killed Mr. Rogers

J.J
J.J
6 years ago

And here’s another thing: He seems pissed off that women are supposedly hooking men to steal their money-yet at the same time he’s mad women are working. So…women are supposed to rely on the government? Oh, wait, no, we’re not. So…women are supposed to have no money whatsoever? Yeah, I don’t go to my job ’cause I like it. I go ’cause I gots to make the mun-nay. ‘Cause you know, I can’t suck all my money out of my boyfriend.

J.J., I hope you have better luck with expressing your feelings about that than Rebecca Watson. 🙁

(‘Cause a woman saying she feels creeped out when a stranger hits on her in a small enclosed space is MISANDRY.)

No one will notice. Is just me. She was much more visible. But maybe if more people say it, people will at least think about it before they do it.

Zach
6 years ago

The man is obviously suffering, like a lot of the men in the Men’s Rights Movement.

Maybe we should have some compassion instead of more hate.

katz
6 years ago

Sorry, tesformes, you rhymed “Dodgers” with “Rogers”. You are in far too good of form.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Too over-played and a lot of the fans are crazy, like the ones with the murder conspiracy theories and the ones who cannot accept that Cobain was not a good guitarist.

Please don’t use “crazy.” Thank you.

I had a friend back in the day who heard the Nirvana demo and they said, “Sounds like Skin Yard, but with less talent.” They freely admitted it was good thing their opinion had no impact on Nirvana being signed.

tesformes
6 years ago

I figured rhyming “childrens” and “cretins” would make up for it, especially since “childrens” isn’t a real word.

katz
6 years ago

I wrote a poem the other day about my love of ushankas and even that was better than the Kurt Cobain poem.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Zach: why should I have compassion for someone who doesn’t think I’m fully human?

katz
6 years ago

I figured rhyming “childrens” and “cretins” would make up for it, especially since “childrens” isn’t a real word.

True, and I also appreciate “hateful” and “yo,” but then you go and rhyme “bodies” with “hotties.” Your cleverness keeps seeping through.

loganbacon
loganbacon
6 years ago

That’s worse than most of the high school poetry I’ve read, and I edited our high school literary magazine, which meant reading a lot of execrable poetry.

Kurt Cobain was married to Courtney Love, the opposite of a shrinking violet wife if ever there was one. He completely supported her independent music career. Does that sound like the asshats at AVFM? Not much.

J.J
J.J
6 years ago

Zach, you’re not on the ‘oh, pity the suffering racist/misogynist/homophobe/other bigot’ track are you?

Such blatant hatred doesn’t deserve compassion. It deserved to be told that it’s unacceptable, that it won’t be tolerated, and that expecting compassion from the people that are being targeted is ridiculous.

Alex
6 years ago

Well, Zach, it seems you’re a dude. (If I’m wrong about that, I apologize.) If so, you’re free to have compassion for them; you’re not their target. We are. So how about hold off on telling us to be compassionate towards people who think we aren’t people and who would enjoy and encourage all sorts of violence directed at us?

Angela Gibbons
6 years ago

To be fair, you don’t have to rhyme exactly to make a good poem, and slant-rhymes are often used for artistic purpose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_rhyme

Yes I like to write the occasional. I get it from my Dad. 🙂

That being said, the content of the poem is still disgusting, even if his rhyming of “steeds” with “chivalry” isn’t really criticism-worthy.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I used to write poetry (even got published in an e-zine once) but it was always free verse, ‘cos I knew I couldn’t rhyme for quids.

Zach, why do you assume that scorn and mockery are the same thing as hatred? I haven’t seen any hatred expressed toward the misogynist who wrote this *cough*poem*cough*. Plenty hatred to be seen coming from him, though.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Seconding kittehserf. Hatred should not be met with hatred, no. But mockery, yes, bring out the heavy artillery.

Lili Fugit
Lili Fugit
6 years ago

Lord Byron is WAAAAAAAAAY overrated. But this shite makes everything he ever wrote look brilliant.

I was working a shitty, dead end job out in California when a coworker, the only other person in the department who was around my age and female, came out of the lunchroom with tears just streaming down her face and told me Kurt Cobain was dead. I didn’t know her particularly well, but we stood there and hugged each other in the middle of the building while other workers and customers looked at us like we were crazy. One of the older men there snickered at us, and I said “Oh yeah, like you didn’t sob like a bitch over Elvis, tough guy.” He went away from there.

One of the things I always admired about Kurt Cobain was his feminism, which was very direct. He was definitely not subtle about it, and he was also not general about it. He was specific, and intelligent, and it was a delight to me. And it still is. And no MRA ever gets to take that away, especially with some of the worst writing I’ve ever managed to somewhat kind of read. That kind of “poetry” just throws into high relief how exactly the opposite of these dudebros Kurt Cobain really was.

tesformes
6 years ago

Is there any reason to believe Adele Mercier was the one who made those comments other than someone using her name on a newspaper website? Isn’t it kind of convenient that a random feminist, decided to go on a newspaper’s website and, using her own name, start trivializing child abuse by women? This sounds like something out of a list of MRA talking points, and the only things I can find on the incident are from genderratic and AVFM. What the hell is happening here?

Octo
Octo
6 years ago

Yeah, would be Byrons are usually terrible. Anybody who watched Babylon 5 back in the day knows what I mean 😉

maggiesausage
maggiesausage
6 years ago

As someone who’s dealt with her fair share of emotional turmoil (of course, *women* with mental problems don’t deserve compassion, eh MRAs?), when I read about everything Kurt went through in his life I’m surprised he made it as far as 27. Feminism wasn’t what killed him; it was the natural result of his sensitivity (IMHO of course).

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

David:

In other news, AVFMers have shown up to protest a Jaclyn Friedman even at Queens University because their new Public Enemy #1 Adele Mercier was originally going to be a part of it.

It looks like AVFM attempts to disrupt succeeded. On the bright side, they swore up and down beforehand they’d show feminists how to respectfully attend an event…not so much, apparently.

Some lowlights from the #QUFeminism Twitter feed:

Erin Imrie @ErinImrie
MRA photographer Steve Brule is not in the room, but was being told off by security. The event does not allow video/pics #QUFeminism

CFRC RADIO @CFRC
Unfortunately we were not permitted by the panelists and event organizers to record & broadcast the panel discussion due to safety concerns

Queen’s Journal News @QJnews
Organizers say they had concerns about safety, fear, dialogue, importance of discourse #queensu #QUFeminism

Queen’s Journal News @QJnews
Asks audience what she’s supposed to do w/ bottle, person shouts “extort as much money as you can for your sexuality” #queensu #QUfeminism

Maggie Fisher @_maggief
Question: can a person who is incarcerated give meaningful consent to their jailer? #QUFeminism

Maggie Fisher @_maggief
Someone calls out that @jaclynf is not here for Adele Mercier. #QUFeminism

Queen’s Journal News @QJnews
Question: Can you speak about Adele Mercier’s comments? #queensu #QUFeminism

Queen’s Journal News @QJnews
Friedman: I’m not familiar with her comments. #queensu #QUFeminism

Maggie Fisher @_maggief
The media director of “A Voice for Men” is here specifically to talk about Adele Mercier. #QUFeminism

Erin Imrie @ErinImrie
Things are starting to degrade #QUFeminism

Maggie Fisher @_maggief
People are now speaking over each other, clapping that children should never be abused, cannot give meaningful consent. #QUFeminism

Amanda Judd @juddrnaut
@ErinImrie
“Did we order this event to go?”
“No, why?”
“Cuz THERE IT GOES!”

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

Hey David, are you going to do an open thread for this month?

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

And here I was thinking that I’d never try poetry because I thought I’d be no good at it (as well as having little to no interest in such activities). I would at least have tried to paint a reasonably accurate picture of my subject – and there lies the difficulty.

The world has lost nothing by the absence of any efforts of mine. And it would be a far, far better place if clowns like this would give up after the first 5 minutes of their “effort”.

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