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a voice for men MRA

Is A Voice for Men's conference kaput? Doubletree says "they are not booked with us." [UPDATE: Elam says they have another venue.]

carwheels

Woah! Just wanted to pass along this news from the Motor City Muckraker:

A controversial conference for a men’s rights group in Detroit appears to be in jeopardy after a fallout with downtown’s Hilton DoubleTree, which planned to host the event from June 26-28.

The inaugural conference at the DoubleTree has been canceled for unknown reasons, and organizers of the first International Conference on Men’s Issues haven’t said yet whether it will be moved to another hotel and conference center.

“At this time, they are not booked with us,” Larry Brown, manager of the DoubleTree, said this morning. He declined to elaborate on the cancelation.

There’s nothing on A Voice for Men about this latest development, though Esmay hinted during his Fox News appearance that they were possibly going to reconsider the Doubletree. But as of right now, AVFM is still selling tickets, as if the Doubletree convention is still a going concern.

Are they going to try to book the convention elsewhere? Or are they going to take the $29,000 they raised for “security” and, I dunno, send Esmay to a better stylist?

One other, ah, interesting detail in the Motor City Muckraker story:

When asked Tuesday whether the event would be moved, an organizer responded: “The DoubleTree GM (general manager) actually said that he has ‘feminist phobia’ and sort of laughed but in a nervous way. So its being discussed.”

It’s questionable whether this conversation ever occurred because the general manager is a woman.

Yeah. Seems like a lot of things about this convention have been pretty questionable from the start.

UPDATE: Well, one thing’s a bit clearer now, though. I called the Detroit Police and they confirmed that the Doubletree did indeed report to them that it had received threats. Who sent them, we still don’t know, but I think we can all agree that whether the threats came from some misguided feminist or “progressive” or from an MRA trying to stir shit and make feminists look bad, whoever made the threatening calls is a shithead who deserves to face the legal consequences for what they did.

UPDATE 2: According to the Detroit News, Elam says they’ve got another venue:

“We have scheduled another venue and will make an announcement on the site this evening,” group founder Paul Elam said in an email Wednesday.

So far no announcement on AVFM; I’ll post about it when there is one.

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Lea
Lea
7 years ago

I do just lurve the internet. Even though there is no place safe from horrible people online, I love the internets with all my shrived black heart. These topics are not some thought exercise for the people who enjoy reading (or writing) this blog. They really do impact our lives and our loved ones. It’s so easy to chat with other readers and then play wack-a-mole with rape apologists and smarmy dudes who want to pretend that they didn’t know grabbing your ass or commenting on your tits was gross and disrespectful and definitely not a compliment or your fault*.

I guess I could hang out at parenting blogs between kissing boo-boos and changing batteries, but then I’d be bored and writing things like this in comment sections:

“Pro tip: Never agree to sort out who’s turn it is. Once you are the arbiter of who’s turn it is, you will always be the arbiter of who’s turn it is. DO NOT BE THE ARBITER OF WHO”S TURN IT IS! EEEYA! EEYAA!”

…and by “writing” I mean “screaming on my front lawn”.

*Yes, that’s exactly who I assume these douchbros are.
That’s who they are defending. That’s who they are telling people women are lying about to achieve power and glory. This is not a coincidence.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

How do you people deal with youtube comments

I don’t. It’s a sewer. I prefer to use YT through XBox and avoid seeing the comments all together.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

*start writing*
Life should come with editors and sound tracks.

Shadow_Nirvana
7 years ago

@Ally S I got sick of the bullshit that was being posted on ROK, also I tried to question why I should treat women worse for the same behaviour that men do etc. That wasn’t really coherent, sorry, but think of it like this, if a man urinates in public, it’s bad but not that bad, when a woman does, AVfM makes it into a poster about how men lose their respect for women because of stuff like that, like it gives all women a bad rap or something. Then I found Bodycrimes’ blog when she commented on SunshineMary’s diatribe about short haired women. That started the detox, I guess ????
I used to dislike this site prior to that and used to say things like “ugh David Fatrelle” etc. Yeah, dumb, I know.

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

1: Never look at the comments. At least, never do so in an unmoderated space. It doesn’t have to be an exclusively ‘safe’ space, but anyplace that’s as unregulated as YouTube or most of Reddit just isn’t worth it–between the legitimately awful people and the legitimately awful trolls (who are still awful, because using misogyny and racism to make a joke is still, at the end of the day, misogynistic and racist), it’s just not worth engaging.

2: Nequam: It might help to understand if you realize that a common alternative name for ‘troll’ around these parts is “chew toy”. Some of us enjoy poking them with metaphorical sticks and watching them squeal. Not everyone does, which is why, in fact, David sets up open threads that are troll-free zones.

3: Marinerachel: Used tampons are probably illegal; there’s strict laws about bodily waste, generally, which would probably get hyper-enforced in the situation you describe. Now, tampons that had been dyed with some food coloring could be amusing as hell.

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

Shadow_Nirvana: Believe me, you’re not the only reformed person around here. I’m a white cis straight male who was raised in suburban America–in the Reagan years. I had SO much crap to clear out of my head by the time I became a nominal adult that it was only in the last decade that I really realized how bad I was.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

We could make fake clots out of gelatine dyed red to make the “used” tampons extra exciting.

strivingally
7 years ago

@Shadow_Nirvana: Glad to see that sometimes people find their way out of the darkness and hatred towards, y’know, actually treating women like people. 🙂 If you could say one thing to the redpillers who are wavering and wondering if perhaps they’re on the wrong side, what would it be?

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

I used to believe false accusations of rape resulting in social and legal consequences was a realistic fear for men. Then I realised men who actually do commit rape rarely ever go to jail….

DeutschundMusik
DeutschundMusik
7 years ago

The money will be used by Paul Elam, its sole controller, to attack individual random women.

The law firm they like, a porn-defending Las Vegas firm, will be used.

Please remember this post 6 months from now.

This sadistic violence against women must stop

It must stop.

Everyone, please educate yourselves regarding sexual sadism.

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

@Shadow Nirvana

How do you people deal with youtube comments, especially under any video that deal with feminism? I was just watching a video of “The Young Turks” called “College Students Show Why Feminism Is Necessary, Even In 2014″. The video was okay, but goddamn the comments… Goddamn.
[…]
These lameass and unfounded ideas seem to be taking hold if Youtube comments are any signal of general people behaviour.

Youtube comments are a special kind of hell. I remember when I was fighting in the youtube trenches during the atheism-theism wars… wait.
*sits in a rocking chair*
*lights a pipe and puffs thoughtfully*
…during the atheism-theism wars just after the turn of the millenium. It seemed like everywhere I looked, there were fundamentalists just waiting to ambush a passing patrol of atheists with volleys of, “look at the trees,” “my granddaddy weren’t no monkey,” and “how can you be moral if there’s no god?” For a while, I honestly believed that most theists were like that and the whole world was falling under their grip.

They’re not. It isn’t.

Yes, most people believe in some form of god but, honestly, the majority of them are reasonable, decent people who don’t want to burn me at the stake as a baby-eating heathen and replace all governments with theocracies. The same is true in this case. Yes, a lot of people buy into patriarchal attitudes, and some of them get defensive when you call them on it, but they are nothing at all like those people commenting on youtube.

I honestly think there’s value in engaging on occasion – you have to know what they’re saying in order to know how to counter them (or if, as is sometimes the case, they have a point). But if you find that it’s draining, you really don’t have to get involved. The world will not become MRAworld if you leave it alone. Arguing on the internet does matter; you learn from it, and your comments can and do get through to people on the other side and to those who are genuinely neutral observers, but civilisation will not fall if you step away from it. Your own emotional health is more important than scoring points. As I said, the majority of people in the wider world are not as virulently misogynistic as MRAs are, and will not become so simply by you stepping back.

You’re not being irresponsible, and you’re not letting the side down. They are not dominant in society, and no matter how much they may monologue, like Mike B has done here, they’re not going to become dominant any time soon. So relax, and let those comments fester if you don’t feel like you want to engage all the time. Don’t feel guilty about it. Comment more here though, obviously, you’re being a terrible, awful person if you don’t comment here. 😛

House Mouse Queen
7 years ago
Reply to  David Futrelle

Here’s what I think happened. The police report numbers aren’t from the fabricated story that feminists called in bomb and death threats. THAT never fucking happened.

THe police report numbers are from the last Sat. protest. where some goofball MRA’s were there using the cops times to make silly little reports. I will never believe there were feminist bomb and death threats. EVER

Luzbelitx
7 years ago

@Athywren

What a great comment! I agree to it all, and add: it applies to nearly everything one might fight for.

Fighting in the (metaphorical) trenches gives you an extremely closer view of the problem, and also of the enemy, than the average person might have.

@Shadow Nirvana

… Feminist troll mobs?

Gary T
Gary T
7 years ago

Probably bump into walls without any purpose.

Gary T
Gary T
7 years ago
Reply to  hellkell

Nope, I am also bumping into walls.
Sometime the walls here, and sometime the walls elsewhere.

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

I will never believe there were feminist bomb and death threats. EVER

Why? Ok, I seriously doubt there were any, but not all feminists are reasonable, and it’s within the realm of possibility that someone angry who didn’t really think it through made threats. It wouldn’t be my first assumption, but it’s not impossible.

House Mouse Queen
7 years ago

Yep. They always attack individual women. I’m sure they want me too. Paul Elam is a sleazy character. His power has limits though.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

I used to be a pseudo-douchey atheist. I’m still a bit of a douchebag but not in my atheism. Boy, am I happy to have unburdened myself.

Gary T
Gary T
7 years ago
Reply to  paul

Paul, just to make you feel comfortable around here,
“You are Misogynistic Scum” and “I hereby ridicule everything you stand for.”
I am not sure if those phrases are trademarked or not.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

I mostly deal with YouTube comments by not reading them. Even on the most innocuous videos people seem to feel the need to be giant assholes there, it’s like there’s some sort of site-specific magic that turns everyone who comments there into a shithead. When I do read them I mostly just wonder how miserable people’s lives must have to be for them to, for example, leave “you should kill yourself” comments on a video of someone playing with their cat.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

I forwarded publicly a trailer of a film I’m looking forward to seeing, via G+. One person commented on how the film was going to be really bad because they hated the type of special effects used. I looked at the comment and was like (in my head): “dude, thanks for sharing all your negativity, couldn’t you have just not read my comment or STFU”.

Makes really negative comments on YouTube == loser who can’t even create a good shit.

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

What a great comment!

What can I say? *hair toss* I’m just brilliant like that. 😛

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

NSFW but a great commentary on YouTube haters:

http://youtu.be/uz2jbCJXkpA

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Love that song.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
7 years ago

A couple of years back, I watched an old Thomas Edison fiilm of a trick bicycle rider. The comments section consisted of a long argunent started by soneone claiming the film was a fake because Edison would have been in his fifties when the film was made, and so he must have been too old to be doing bike tricks.

I have never looked at a youtube comment since.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

I watched an amazing video of Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit and half the comments were a discussion about Kanye West and the other half were complaints about the video quality not being very good. Perhaps because they didn’t have high def in 1930s? Nothing about what the song is actually about. It was pathetic.

DeutschundMusik
DeutschundMusik
7 years ago

David, let’s try to be clear here. Over the past two weeks, the hotel allegedly sent a letter detailing death threats. This was not confirmed by the hotel or the Detroit Police Department. A Voice for Men could not quote a single threat.

Now that the Doubletree has decided to cancel, AVFM has suddenly reported “threats” to the police.

1) it’s unlikely these have anything to do with the uconfirmed two-week-old threats, which triggered the $30,000 collection for Mr. Elam..

2) No one claims they are death threats, only threats. When AVFM is in spin mode, any statement is a threat.

3) The Doubletree doesn’t confirm this.

4) The Detroit Police say a threat report has now been made, but not when the alleged threats were made, or who is alleged to have made any threats.

Can any of us doubt that originally there were no confirmable death threats, and that now, after cancellation, AVFM has filed police reports of threats which will not be found credible?

Filing a false police report is a criminal offense.

A few weeks from now I hope someone will follow up on the police investigation and publish the finding I anticipate, that the AVFM “threat” reports were not confirmable.

Meantime, I want to see:

Any “death threats” from two weeks ago. I mean quotes.

Quotes of any current “death threats”. I mean quotes.

The real reason for the Doubletree’s cancellation is the misogyny of the A Voice for men site. Prove me wrong.

Someday, I hope there is a real conference to talk about working men’s problems in an elite-male-dominated society. This will never occur so long as A Voice for Men is in existence, as this site’s misogyny has turned it into a poisonous site to avoid at all a costs.

wtfdude
wtfdude
7 years ago

For me personally the most annoying comments are not the ones with slurs or the “kill yourself” types. What really pisses me off is that person who thinks is so smart and posts something absolutely ignorant without throwing personalized insults. It shows that even when people are not being hateful, they are very often ridiculously ignorant. Those people are all around us. Many are absolutely disgusting. Youtube has made me lose faith in humanity.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Here’s Nina Simone’s also amazing version mixed in with an interview with her. BIG trigger warning for images of lynching victims.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

And the TW rendered pointless with it landing on that screen cap. It was just an image of Simone on the YouTube site. Sorry!

Vaneeza
Vaneeza
7 years ago

Lurking around on YouTube and reading the comments usually kills my brain cells. I think I have found my antidote to saving the rest by lurking around here. Seriously, almost any comment on a feminist video on YouTube is just riddled with idiocy. 🙁

kittehserf
7 years ago

That answers one thing but clears up nothing. Just ads to the confusion actually. First they no, now they said yes, yet people reported the hotel itself said there were no threats.

Makes me wonder if Pauly &co rang through threats after the hotel and police originally said nope, no threats here.

@Nequam – it’s called feeding them till they burst. Their misogyny goes on screen where everyone can see it. Keeping ’em going for a while means they’re helping do David’s job.

sarah
sarah
7 years ago

House Mouse Queen, I’m with you.

kittehserf
7 years ago

… aaaand ninjaed long since and in much clearer form by DeutschundMusik.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Well, there actually are people who talk about working men’s (and sometimes working women’s) problems all the time. They’re called socialists.

pecunium
7 years ago

Shadow Nirvana: How do you people deal with youtube comments,

I refuse to read them, on any video.

I have a video up, of some spinning. So far I’ve not needed to close comments, but I fully expect I shall need to someday.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I don’t read youtube comments either, and my own videos are unlisted, so they’re only going to be seen when I post them here.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
7 years ago

Youtube comments are high comedy. Cherish these nuggets of wisdom. But do not interact with the exhibits.

But, seriously, the fact that there’s a bunch of MRAs in youtube comments just puts them in the same category as r*n paul supporters and people who think the sky is made of chemtrails and the moon is a hologram.

Ann Somerville
7 years ago

[Apologies to those of you who’ve already addressed this.]

States assault the human rights of men (and boys) to advantage women (and girls). The evidence for this lies in every life outcome you could mention. The following are just a few examples, off the top of my head (situation in the UK, I believe the US is worse in some areas, not so bad in others):

Okay, this was bugging me because so much of this is rampant crap. I’ll take this one

– male / female suicide differential in the UK has increased from 1.9:1 to 3.5:1 in the past 30 years. It’s the #1 cause of death of young men

How does the state cause this? And more to the point, how does this advantage any female person? I know two mothers who lost sons to suicide, and trust me, they would do anything to be able to bring their boys back. They have no ‘advantage’ from being crippled by grief, and I know of nothing the state did to cause the deaths.

fathers denied access to children, yet the state forces them to pay maintenance on threat of imprisonment (a driver of suicide)

In the UK, custody is decided by the courts. Access to children is only totally denied when the father is a danger or harmful in some way to the kids. Regardless, if a man chooses to make a woman pregnant (and he has total control over that, hello condoms/abstinence/vasectomies) why should the children suffer because he’s off the scene? More importantly, why should the *state* pay if he refuses?

– absence of support for male victims of domestic violence (a driver of suicide)

Men and women have the same access to the police and NHS psychiatric services in the UK. I grant you that male DV victims are often not taken as seriously, but macho culture and the whole ‘boys don’t cry’ ethos (which is a much bigger driver of suicide than the threat of jail you mention) is largely enforced by men – who call men who show emotion or admit to being abused, pussies and f*gg*ts and manginas.

Also there are shelters and support and helplines to victims of abuse, regardless of gender:

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/domestic_abuse/domestic_abuse_against_men

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/domestic_abuse/where_to_get_help

There is a shortage of council housing for single people generally in the UK, which is an issue for *everyone*

– absence of support for homeless men, driving male suicide (<10% of homeless people are women)

see above

– discrimination in education (e.g. Brunel female students £20,000+ pa additional grants for having the ‘correct’ genitalia, a highly feminised education system ensures 60% of university students are women…)

You’ve given one example of a specific grant to female students, set up to increase women’s participation in a field where they are badly underrepresented, as they are in all STEM fields:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25300669

There is indeed a gender gap
http://www.theguardian.com/education/datablog/2013/jan/29/how-many-men-and-women-are-studying-at-my-university

but when you break it down, women dominate in certain areas only, and men are overrepresented in the STEM fields of computer science and engineering and technology

From the article:
“It’s unclear why certain subjects attract more women than men (or vice versa), says Claire Callender, professor of higher education studies at the Institute of Education. “It’s largely associated with what happens in schools. One of the key predictors of what someone will study is what they did at A-level. There have been lots of attempts to encourage girls to study Stem subjects.”‘

Since historically women have been discouraged from following higher education, it looks like women have simply made better use of their opportunities than men do at the moment.

Access to undergraduate studies is governed by A level results, not gender. Boys are underperforming at school, for reasons that are complex. No doubt at all this needs to be addressed, but blaming the state or women for this, is bullshit.

– all-women candidate shortlists for parliament, although the proportion of women in the House of Commons already greatly exceeds the proportion of applicants who are female

You’re fixated on measures which are there to address the historical male dominance in education, work and government. Women MPs in the UK are 22% of the House:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/key-issues-for-the-new-parliament/the-new-parliament/characteristics-of-the-new-house-of-commons/

Representative government should represent the population. At the moment in the UK, it really doesn’t (and let’s not talk about Dave’s pathetically small number of women in Cabinet.)

– discrimination in employment (quotas for women – well, in the well-paid pleasant lines of work, anyway)

Such as, pray? You’re short of specific examples. Considering women have been actively *forbidden* or discouraged in the recent past from taking on the ‘dirty’ work like frontline Army roles, engineering and so on, you can hardly bitch about us going to jobs where gender isn’t a problem.

– government bullying major companies into increasing the number of women on their boards despite KNOWING one consequence will be corporate financial decline

‘Bullying’ Really? Official government bullying? [citation needed] And as someone’s already pointed out, having women on your board increases a company’s profitability. Doubtless you have copious real facts and figures on hand to back this up.

– paternity fraud has long been a criminal offence in the UK, not one woman has ever been convicted of the offence – the justice system treats women as having no higher moral agency than small children

Paternity fraud is *not* a criminal offence as far as I can see, but a civil tort, which means men can and do sue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternity_fraud#United_Kingdom

Also:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1040589/One-CSA-mothers-wrong-father.html

Only one in five *contested* claims were proved to be wrong (a much smaller number than total claims.) The Daily Mail naturally assumes the woman is deliberately lying. Very often, they just don’t know. But I presume you consider it fraud even if the woman just doesn’t know who the real father is and the Child Maintenance Services forces them (under the penalty of losing child benefits, which is often the only means of support for mother and child) to make the best guess?

“the justice system treats women as having no higher moral agency than small children”

The justice system will act if a man brings the case to court. If they act as you believe, that’s actually an example of systemic misogyny, not discrimination against men.

– FGM is banned across the developed world, MGM commonplace (and far more so in the US than the UK)

You realise that ‘MGM’ or foreskin removal is a practice enforced by patriarchal religions and a largely male medical profession, and is not something the state authorises. In fact, when the state has tried to ban it, as in Germany, it received huge pushback from patriarchal religions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision_and_law

It’s banned in Australia, for what it’s worth.

FGM is not remotely the same thing. If one of a boy’s testicles and his penis were removed for ‘religious’ or cultural reasons, then you’d have a point.

I don’t support male circumcision at all. I don’t know any woman who does. The ‘state’ doesn’t promote it either. It hasn’t banned it in the UK, but it doesn’t specifically allow it either.

And to all this I say, men are the majority in government at all levels in the UK. If the ‘state’ is this broken in your country with respect to male issues, why are you bellyaching to *women* about it? Go fix it!

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

And to all this I say, men are the majority in government at all levels in the UK. If the ‘state’ is this broken in your country with respect to male issues, why are you bellyaching to *women* about it? Go fix it!

I think I already posted this clip, but your comment reminded me of one of my favorite Julia Sugarbaker moments so I have to post it again!

emilygoddess
7 years ago

Why has nobody accused me of lying?

I have. I also said your pants were on fire, which is the same thing.

It’s almost like you’re not even reading the replies to your spew.

I’m still not claiming to be an MRA, I just think they have every right to hold their conference, and I also don’t think they are ‘hate groups’ as the evidence supporting that claim is flimsy and mostly based on quotemining.

And you’ll continue to believe that not matter how much evidence you’re presented with, because you’re a misogynist (you kept asking us to call you that. Just thought I’d oblige [passive aggressive smiley])

Considering the amount of namecalling I’ve been on the recieving end of after only a handful of posts, I don’t really think I need to go looking for the obvious hate that exists here hell.

Dance, goalposts! Dance!

Ann Somerville
7 years ago

“one of my favorite Julia Sugarbaker moments”

Never heard of her, but that clip made me applaud! Right on, as we used to say when I were a gel. (Ugh, the comments though)

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

It’s from the late 80’s-early 90’s sitcom Designing Women. I’m not sure if the show ever got play outside the US. Julia is a feminist and a lot of the plot lines are political. It’s a great show.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

It played on NZ TV. 🙂

kittehserf
7 years ago

I think it played here, too; the name’s vaguely familiar.

Ann Somerville
7 years ago

Name’s familiar to me too but I’ve never seen it.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
7 years ago

Mike,

I’m a man. I have chronic, treatment resistant major depression. And an anxiety disorder. And constant severe pain.

I have been suicidal in the past.

Suicide, mental health and gender are complicated issues. Appropriating male suicide as a rhetorical crutch (men kill themselves because of all the spermjacking and because women force them to work in coal mines!) is a really, really shitty thing to do, and demonstrates that you don’t actually care about the problems of men and boys except as an “oh yeah well” to minimize the problems faced by women.

One of the major obstacles to men and boys seeking help for their mental health problems is, as Ann Somerville just mentioned, macho bullshit. Men are supposed to be strong and independent, they sort stuff out by themselves, they don’t show their emotions, they’re dominant rather than submissive, etc. Hence male reluctance to admit they have emotional problems, or to seek help for them.

Anyone who has special slurs to insult men (mangina, purple poodle*) with whom they disagree for not living up to the same gender ideals just mentioned does not get to talk about male suicide as something that they care about. Nor do they get to talk about male victims of DV or male rape victims being shamed along the exact same lines that they try to insult male feminists.

*Better than mangina, I guess. But it’s intended to insult men in the same way. Poodles are considered feminine, effete, weak, submissive lap dogs, dependent on and obedient to their (female) owners. (Purple is, I guess, just a “girl color.” Clever.) One could, if one were an asshole, insult a male victim of DV with the same term for letting himself get pushed around by a woman and not being a “real man.”

ceebarks
ceebarks
7 years ago

You can get filters for youtube comments for Chrome and Firefox. I used to have one that replaced them all with variations on “herp derp!” and I believe there’s also one that replaces the with Nietzsche quotes. Various flavors on the idea out there, basically.

I used to be sort of into the red pill stuff too. I guess I was having a rough time ’cause I was staying home with several small children in the middle of nowhere, on a fairly tight budget with frighteningly little social outlet and no family nearby. Meantime my husband was working 70+ hours a week, and getting precisely nowhere with it. (It wasn’t like, ok, honey, you work hellacious overtime this year so we can meet some goals! We’ll treat ourselves to a nice vacation at the end of this crap! His hours and responsibilities just continually mushroomed, while his pay stayed the same and his reviews steadily deteriorated. Boss justified it by going “well, be happy you HAVE a job!” We were both quietly unhappy in our own ways.)

So I was in a bit of an emotionally vulnerable spot, I guess; feminism seemed like a luxury for single childless women, or maybe upper-middle-class moms with steady jobs/childcare and cash to spare, not like a movement that really had anything useful to offer someone like me. I felt I had no room to negotiate or fight back– any kind of fighting could hurt my kids and seemed awfully selfish. So I didn’t know what to do except roll over and keep “sucking it up.” Red pill shit slots right into a lot of people’s existing unstated beliefs, which is why it seems simultaneously revelatory and like obvious “common sense” to a lot of people. All it really does is repackage and restate stuff people have sort of absorbed by cultural osmosis but are normally too polite to say, but that doesn’t make it accurate or morally decent. (duh)

Anyway, it sort of massaged my misery for awhile but just made things steadily worse in the long run. For one thing, I started expecting my husband to be some kind of gung ho alpha male that I could sort of live vicariously through, but that’s not who he IS, and that’s not who he ever WAS, and that had never been the kind of guy I was into to begin with! It really stripped away my ability to appreciate the qualities he did/does have and gradually replaced my image of him with a weird stereotype that he of course repeatedly failed to live up to. Matt Forney, of all people, actually recently kind of captured that idea when he said he said he started seeing actual people he met in terms of stilted manosphere stereotypes but that there is a lot more to life than that. (….OBVIOUSLY.) So that made a bad situation steadily worse.

I got out of it mostly by realizing what a total scam most of those guys are: everyone’s trying to hock a sleazy ebook or “coaching” or at least get ad revenue or whatever. (Plus so many of them are people you’d really avoid associating with in real life; who are they to offer advice to anyone? sheesh) Most of it is based on catering to very base male fantasy and/or nurturing very base male resentments. “Wife isn’t as pretty and pliant as she was in 1993 and only puts out once a week? Plus, you’re pretty sure you could have gotten the homecoming queen from back then if you’d only negged her a little more? No worries: you, too, can date women half your age… despite having 1/10th the good looks and and 1/10,000th the net worth of George Clooney!”

Some grumpy old redpiller was mansplaining to me that “TRP explains to women what men actually want!” and I was like, duh, you want a cast of hot 19 year olds to sex you up and do your boring chores while stroking your ego 16 hours a day; this isn’t exactly NEWS to any woman. we are taught that concept from like, birth, dude. YOU may have no idea what we want but that’s because your ears are apparently set to filter out actual female voices.

Meantime the same guys complain nonstop about “Sex and the City” and “Eat Pray Love.” Neither of those things are my personal bag of chips but god, they’re just gobstoppingly hypocritical about the standard they hold women to, vs what they expect from themselves. (Frankly I think a certain amount of that is pretty normal but I think they really lack even a hint of burgeoning self-awareness.) The red pill women are extraordinarily embarrassing. No one respects a suck up. Not even if you devote yourself to becoming really, really good at sucking up.

They say the “red pill” forces men to take a hard look at themselves and fix their own shit– but I think evidence of that actually happening is very thin on the ground. I think it also stunts the natural growth of women by telling them that if they suck up just right they don’t have to face their own uncertainties or grow their own maturity– they can just lie back and look pretty and live vicariously through the men. Be saved from ever growing up. That, to me, is really toxic. (And really similar to what I remember growing up in fundie church. Cut the women off from pursuing their own dreams early on, tell them to live through their husbands instead. Be surprised later when they start manipulating those husbands. Blame them for being manipulative and use it as evidence that women are unfit to govern themselves. Rinse and repeat for the next generation. Show the door to anyone who persists in asking questions!)

tl;dr!!!! If you are in a tough spot in your life, DO NOT read anything remotely related to the manosphere, even for entertainment. It’s insidious, toxic bile and you may not have the energy to see what a joke it is til you’ve wasted far too much of your life on it. This goes triple for anyone with a fundie background.

Ann Somerville
7 years ago

zoon echon logon, as a fellow depression sufferer, I offer you hugs, and a cranky old old bat’s biggest ‘Right on!’

I’m sorry you have so many major health problems, but an inability to think and speak clearly isn’t one of them. Well said.

Lids
7 years ago

I understand the issue of vitriolic comments on youtube. Recently I went under fire in the comments section of a video. I said I thought that the commenter was being shallow (he was focusing solely on a girl’s looks) and 3 months after I argued with that guy, who while he was an idiot never stooped to insults on my appearance, a group of guys showed up to say “$20 says she’s fat as fuck” and one guy said something about the other guy being right, that i have fat arms and crooked teeth.

It almost made me feel bad about myself, but then I realized a) I’m not necroing 3 month old youtube comments to insult someone and b) I have a picture of myself as my icon, not a meme.

Now I’m just mildly amused by how pathetic it was.

But yeah, it can be super discouraging to read comments on articles and videos that mention feminism or seem like they could be implying feminist concepts. 9.9 times out of 10 there are angry people (mostly men) screaming about how stupid feminism is and threatening to rape or kill someone. It’s really sad. When I go on a video or article about feminism, I want to have intelligent discourse in the comments with like-minded people, but it’s pretty much impossible.