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White Men's Rights Redditors agree: "Men are the new n*ggers."

Paula Deen: Role model for MRAs?
Paula Deen: Role model for MRAs?

So why are so many white dudes so desperate for an excuse to use the n-word? Consider this white dude, who recently posted this bit of, er, wisdom in the Men’s Rights subreddit:

TheLiberatedMan 25 points 14 hours ago (36|12)  Men are the new n*ggers.Is this going to become a new slogan for the Men’s Rights movement? It certainly seems to be popular amongst Men’s Rights Redditors, sporting a couple of dozen upvotes and no criticism (at least at the time I wrote this) from other MRAs. (There were a few critical comments from opponents of the Men’s Rights movement, however.)

Bear in mind that the Men’s Rights subreddit is 86% white, which is a good deal whiter than the United States as a whole, and only 1.5% black, which is way less black, according to a recent survey of its members. I’m pretty sure none of the white dudes upvoting this little slogan have obtained the proper n-word privileges. (Note:  The survey in question was spammed with a number of identical responses, BUT the percentages I’m giving are based on the survey data with all the spammed entries removed, thanks to the industrious Angelica Field; see here for details.)

It’s hardly surprising that black men haven’t exactly flocked to the Men’s Rights movement, given the overt racism of a significant number of MRAs and other Manospherians. And even those MRAs who aren’t so obvious about their racism tend to be dismissive of issues that disproportionately affect men of color: MRAs almost never talk about the drug war that has put so many black men behind bars (two thirds of all those in prison for drug offenses are people of color. mostly men), nor have they ever attempted to organize or even offer any real support to campaigns against prison rape (60% of all prisoners are people of color).

This slogan isn’t likely to help the Men’s Rights movement with what the politicians like to call “minority outreach.” It might help reach a different sort of audience, however — an audience already quite fond of the n-word. When I did a Google search for  the phrase “men are the new niggers,” the first result was a discussion on the Vanguard News Network Forum. I won’t link to it, because the Vanguard News Network is a virulently antisemitic, white supremacist website that the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “gutturally racist.” The site’s motto: “No Jews. Just Right.”

Of course, the notion of describing men as “the new nigger” didn’t originate with white supremacists. It was clearly inspired, in a backwards way, by the John Lennon song “Woman is the Nigger of the World,” a feminist attack on misogynistic hypocrisy. While Lennon wrote the lyrics, the titular phrase originated with Yoko Ono, who deliberately used the racial slur in what was evidently an attempt to shock people into recognizing the ways in which women, like black people, were dispossessed.

It was a bad idea. Even though Ono and Lennon didn’t mean to reinforce racism by using the slur, it’s not a word that they had any cultural right to appropriate for their own purposes; not only that, but Ono’s slogan seems to implicitly define all “niggers” as men and to ignore black women, who don’t need John or Yoko to remind them that many people already see them as “niggers.”  In the end the title ended up undercutting the message of the song. It can’t listen to it; it makes me cringe.

But glancing over the lyrics again, which aside from the title are essentially about the hypocritical messages sent to women by sexist society, one line in particular stands out to me, because it so deftly captures a certain kind of sexism — and even though it was written years before Warren Farrell first started going on about “disposable men,” it also captures pretty well the MRA tendency to view gender relations upside down:

While putting her down, we pretend that she’s above us

Yep, that’s what the Men’s Rights movement does, all day, every day.

And it’s that kind of delusional thinking that leads some of them to conclude not only that they are the “new niggers,” but also that using the n-word is somehow an appropriate thing for their almost all-white movement to do.

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marinaliteyears
marinaliteyears
6 years ago

I will go read then onward then.

But, If I had to guess, Id say that being named in a paper is still considered ‘shaming’ In that your still publicly saying ‘look at this person who was accused of this’.

Its kind of like being Doxxed, which is considered a form of shaming.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

pecunium, well not “search” exactly but at least have the information in the public sphere. I can’t imagine a system where there’s no transparency and where the names of politicians, for instance, are protected before their cases go to trial which can literally take years. In cases like that, it’s essential to democracy to have things open and above-board.

MRAs like to argue that only people charged with sexual offences should have their names shielded until a verdict is reached. I don’t think there should be any exceptions; all names should be available to the press and the public, regardless of what crimes they’re accused of.

As titianblue said earlier, “As the saying goes, justice should not just be done but should be seen to be done. How is this possible if noone knows who has been charged with what?”

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

And there’s another problem with not naming accused persons. People gossip, people speculate. Pretty soon there are people naming the wrong person all over town.

Not knowing the name of someone when people are in the mood for shaming means that anyone might get named and shamed in the populace at large. This is even worse than people knowing the right name.

None of these things is cut and dried. There are benefits and harms attached to any course of action. If someone is to be named, then it’s far better it’s the right name.

Angelica
6 years ago

I have a very close friend who was wrongly accused of child abuse. You don’t even want to imagine how public knowledge of this completely wrecked him, his life, and the life of his fiancé. That he was found not guilty doesn’t help. Most people assume fire where smoke and just adhere to the “logic” that he was probably just found not guilty because lack of evidence, but that he did it anyway. The idea that the general population, that people as a collective, dig deep into these kinds of cases and do their best to get the full set of information, is laughable. I have seen majority’s of otherwise intelligent human beings throw away any critical thinking skilss and happily jumping to conclusions, dismissing evidence to the contrary because OMG CHILD RAPE!!!! And it fucks up lives.

The same happened to the only male teacher I had in primary school who was wrongly accused, but had to go into early retirement because he couldn’t find a job ANYWHERE and couldn’t come back to school either, who had his house egged, car and garden vanadlized and received serious threats for years after finding his name plastered all over the local papers.

The same went for a friend of an acquaintance who arrived in a local bar crying, saying her boyfriend had beaten and raped her and was now at home with their child and another woman. People rushed over to her appartment, called the cops on the guy, beat him up “a little”, … while it was later proven she couldn’t deal with their break-up, which happened because she regularly kicked the shit out of him and he wasn’t willing to take it anymore. But he still gets beaten up by customers at the bar he works at, still gets frequent pranks with dog shit pulled on him, and he can’t fucking date cause if the girl doesn’t “know” already, someone will be there to tell her shortly, all because this entire thing was smeared all over facebook by his ex and people blindly shared and commented and demonized.

There is no place for the personal details of unproven offenders in the media.

Angelica
6 years ago

(why does my autocorrect not automatically distinguish between plurals and possessive forms.. 🙁 )

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

Angelica, all three of your examples – horrible for the innocent people involved and I am sorry this happened to them.

However, IMO your third example is actually an example of a private individual inciting violence against someone else. While disgusting, it is not relevant – a media outlet did not report the unfounded accusations & would rightly be sued for libel if it did.

In the UK, again, there is a lovely phrase “a man/woman is helping police with their enquiries” which is anonymous and appropriate given that any accusations being investigated and no charges have been made. If the media “outs” the person, they can be prosecuted. And this is only right – no one should be named merely for being suspected.

I think the cause of the horrible consequences in your examples is not the reporting but with how people reacted to the reporting or how inflammatory the reporting was. I don’t think this is solved by not reporting at all but by ensuring that justice is done & seen to be done.

We will therefore have to agree to disagree on “There is no place for the personal details of unproven offenders in the media.” once we reach of the stage of arrest/charging, though. If there is enough evidence to justify charging someone with a crime, I still feel it is in the interests of justice for it to be reported and I suspect we are not going to change each other’s minds.

I admit that my argument for this is based on the assumption that it happens in a country with a (reasonably ok &) functioning justice system. As soon as the justice system breaks down or is widely believed to have broken down, people will take justice/revenge into their own hands.

Angelica
6 years ago

@titianblue: Oh, I think agreeing to disagree is a perfectly valid option. ^_^

katz
6 years ago

I admit that my argument for this is based on the assumption that it happens in a country with a (reasonably ok &) functioning justice system. As soon as the justice system breaks down or is widely believed to have broken down, people will take justice/revenge into their own hands.

It’s a thorny problem, isn’t it? On the one hand, if people don’t think that criminals are being brought to justice, then they will handle it on their own. On the other hand, if people are finding extrajudicial ways to punish criminals or suspected criminals, then law enforcement will be less likely to arrest people, and justice is less likely to be served.

pecunium
6 years ago

Auntie Alias: As titianblue said earlier, “As the saying goes, justice should not just be done but should be seen to be done. How is this possible if noone knows who has been charged with what?”

My difficulties have to do with the idea that since justice isn’t being done, we have to have a parallel system. I didn’t say I was against naming the accused. I said I was against public shaming. I went into a lot of detail as to what I think ought to be happening.

I also know this isn’t happening.

The real problem is that it’s not happening. I don’t think the politician example is all that strong, actually. Take the case of Rep. Grimm (D-NY), who was just indicted. He’s been under investigation for at least a year; perhaps more like two. It’s only been known about for 6 months or so (to me, I don’t know when the first intimations of it made it to the press).

If the investigation had petered out, before it got to the press, who would have been harmed? If the FBI and the IRS had come to the conclusion all was fine, and the indica were false, what’s the harm?

What I want to see is the accused being brought to book. The problem is that so many aren’t. That they aren’t makes people feel that people are getting away with something (because they are). Which makes the innocent guilty.

So, if we are going to name names, we also have to pay the costs which comes of bringing them to trial. Which means we need to overhaul the system, from the ground up.

K
K
6 years ago

Unrelated to the current discussion in here, but I just want to say I don’t think people who aren’t black should write out or say the n-word. There’s no reason not to just stick to ‘the n-word’ or n*gg*r. Those don’t have the same power. Even when the word is being discussed rather than used, it still is horribly powerful to see written out, over and over.

Mythandry
Mythandry
6 years ago

Remember that time AVFM had Nurdy Dancing, a black woman, make a video saying misogyny was the new n-? Yeah. The accompanying article had a photo of what looks like the first gathering of MRAs. I won’t link to that hate-site, but here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4N3Hpadv-M.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I understand your sentiments, but after a lot of thought, I’ve decided that reporting people accused of any crime before they are found guilty of any crime does more harm than good. What are your feelings on plastering the local alleged drug-dealers photos in the paper?

Jill Meagher might be alive today if she’d seen Bayley’s picture in the paper sometime. Or, better yet, if he’d been imprisoned permanently after committing so many rapes.

oogenhand
6 years ago

Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
“nor have they ever attempted to organize or even offer any real support to campaigns against prison rape”
Prison rape is enough reason for prison abolitionism.