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#EndFathersDay: Trolls being trolls, or "black propaganda" designed to tear apart feminism?

Not actual feminist
Not actual feminist

You all got the memo about #EndFathersDay fiasco, right – the phony “feminist” hashtag, seeded and spread by 4chan trolls, that aroused so much consternation on Twitter the other day, and that took in so many who’re already given to thinking the worst about feminism?

It would be nice if we could just dismiss this whole thing as trolls being trolls – no harm, no foul. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

For one thing, the troll campaign worked. At least on some people: While feminist writers quickly rushed in to point out that the whole thing was an antifeminist hoax, more than a few in the right-wing media were taken in utterly.

On the National Review Online, Molly Wharton warned that “Twitter anti-fatherists” were taking aim at a holiday that they said “glorifies rape, patriarchy, and child abuse.” The Washington Examiner railed against #EndFathersDay as “the latest ridiculous hashtag from the feminist outrage machine.”

On Fox News’ Fox & Friends, antifeminist author and “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton went further:

They’re not just interested in ending Father’s Day, they’re interested in ending men. …That’s really what they want.

A similar warning came from the self-proclaimed leader of the self-proclaimed Men’s Human Rights Movement:

https://twitter.com/AVoiceForMen/status/477679872761135104

The Daily Caller tried to play it a bit cooler, acknowledging that the phony campaign had started with 4chan but contending that “feminists quickly picked it up and ran with it.”

The evidence? The alarmists cited tweets like this one, from “Phoebe Kwon” a self-proclaimed “Lesbian, Korean American, Feminist” from “San Fransico.” [sic]

https://twitter.com/PhoebeKwon/statuses/477262894552195072

Kwon was also responsible for this charmingly subtle Tweet – I’m not sure how the right-wingers missed this one.

https://twitter.com/PhoebeKwon/status/477294012492431362

Had any of these commentators looked closely at the “outrageous” tweets cited as evidence of this feminist anti-fatherite uprising they might have figured out that something was up: They all seemed to come from a tiny handful of Twitter accounts, most with only a few followers, many of them festooned with elaborate Social Justice Warrioresque self descriptions, like this one, from @CisHate11

Polyamorous Pansexual Otherkin (faerie), Marxist Misandrist. Fucker of the patriarchy. I majored in womyns studies and procrastination

Phoebe Kwon, one of the most-quoted of all the alleged anti-fatherites, not only spelled the name of her alleged home city wrong; as one We Hunted the Mammoth reader pointed out to me, her avatar was actually a stock photo:

Phoebe Kwon, feminist Tweeter
Phoebe Kwon, feminist Tweeter
Phoebe Kwon, stock photo model
Phoebe Kwon, stock photo model

And, oh yeah, 4channers – at least those in on the joke – have acknowledged her as one of their own.

As the Daily Dot noted, this was not the first time 4channers had angered the gullible and annoyed real feminists with a fake feminist #hashtag campaign. In January they got some traction with a phony “thinspo” campaign “BikiniBridge,” celebrating what one Tumblr blog called “the graceful space created by a woman’s hip bones suspending bikini bottoms from their abdomens.”

This was followed by the even more ridiculous Operation Freebleeding, which denounced tampons and sanitary pads and all devices used to staunch the flow of menstrual blood as tools of the patriarchy.

So, some trolls trolled some people. Big deal right?

Well, not exactly. Because this isn’t just trolling for the sake of trolling. This is trolling with an agenda.

If you scroll back through “Phoebe Kwon’s” tweets, you’ll see that “her” account originated back in August of 2013, in the midst of a Twitterstorm around the hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. While that hashtag was a real one, started and promoted by feminist/womanist women of color to critique white allies (and “allies”), 4channers jumped into the fray with fake Twitter accounts in an attempt to poison the discussion and further divide feminists along racial lines.

“Kwon” and other faux accounts also jumped into the more recent #YesAllWomen hashtag with deliberately and sometimes ridiculously inflammatory tweets.

https://twitter.com/PhoebeKwon/status/367766686503407616

https://twitter.com/PhoebeKwon/status/367460519776485376

The trolls behind these campaigns aren’t just trolls out to create chaos, though they are that. They’re also racist, homophobic, transphobic bigots out to fuck over feminism.

Indeed, a few months ago, a writer for Roosh Valizadeh’s Return of Kings blog who goes only by Douglas reported that he’d gotten a mysterious message from someone called “Bavarian,” who told him that 4chan’s antifeminist campaigns were all part of something called “Operation Lollipop,” a “black propaganda” campaign to fracture feminism. Bavarian wrote:

I was told you are interested in my group’s (Codename: Lollipop) ongoing operation against the PoOs (People of Oppression). My group poses as feminists on twitter. We bait other PoOs into agreeing with us as we subtly move them more and more to the extreme. The purpose is to make moderate feminists turned off with the movement, as well as cause infighting within the group. …

We manly pose as women of color and argue with white feminists. We “check their privilege” to the point that they are fed up. For example, if they say “it’s not our time to talk, white ladies, it’s our time to listen,” we say “the last time white women just listened, George Zimmerman walked free.”

The campaign began during Hugo Schwyzer’s public meltdown, which Bavarian described as filtered through his own racist lens:

This group started when the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen started trending. It referred to an incident where the feminist Hugo Schwartz [sic] had a mental breakdown and revealed on twitter that feminism was a fraud. He further revealed that WoC were incompetent and only got in the way of the movement. Some white women offered him sympathy and told him to get help. The WoC got angry and started the hashtag.

Bavarian pointed him to a page documenting the phony tweets, many of which come from the same accounts that posted the most outrageous #EndFathersDay tweets. (The site he linked to is now down, but this blog, still available through the Wayback Machine, appears to be some sort of mirror.)

Douglas, for his part, was delighted by the deviousness of it all.

I can only imagine the chaos such an operation would wreak upon the feminists. I look forward to seeing how it all works out. Maybe it will cause the level of mistrust to skyrocket to levels that would hinder the feminist machine. Maybe it will give me more things to laugh at on the internet. All I know is this concept is quite dastardly and funny.

It’s all a bit ridiculously cloak and dagger, but I don’t think we can dismiss it as a joke. The people behind it are trolls, sure, but they are also nasty bigots obsessed with fucking up feminism and “progressives” in general. And people still get fooled by these campaigns.

Now that we know what they’re up to, the trolls may find it harder to fool quite so many people in the future. They may keep trying, to lesser and lesser effect. Or they might come up with something a bit more sophisticated. I guess we’ll see.

EDITED TO ADD:  Check out the Twitter hashtag #YourSlipIsShowing, devoted to exposing these fake accounts; so far they’ve IDed 200 or so. This Storify is useful, too.

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pecunium
6 years ago

I don’t need arguments against your outlook. Your ideology is so off the wall it practically satirizes itself.

Which means you don’t actually have an argument, just a knee-jerk bigotry. So, which your oxen in feminism goring? You don’t like the idea that if you don’t have consent (active, willing, and revocable) it’s rape?

Perhaps you don’t like the idea that women ought to be paid as much as you are for the same work. Perhaps is that women are just as capable as men, and ought to be permitted to work in any field they want.

Is it that catacalling isn’t being treated (quite) as trivially as it used to be?

The reason (as I told) Woody, people confuse those hastags is because moronic fools like you say, “feminism is full of radicals who hate men” and aren’t pressed to provide evidence, so as with the idea that blacks can’t swim, it moves from assfax to accepted wisdom (true fact, in the 1950s, Basketball was said to be a game blacks would never be good at, and the future of the sport was supposed to be white men. For some reason Jews were thought to be especially good at it).

But if you want to be proud of being an idiot… well it’s good to have a talent, and if you enjoy it all the better (for you) I suppose.

Your ideology is so backwards that you don’t even speak real English anymore.

Whych Anglish wert thysse? Ich amm wel awayre of the best grammaire, and wyl eckquaynted withal of the newest and most bedecked forms of ower fayr spyche, that I am therfur abel to have goodly convers wheresoever I my perambulations hap to bear me. When I am London, I am most well suited to take in a play (whereat I shall find myself in the plesaunt pursuit of that great shake-scenes dramtick presentation of the stor of Marc Antony and Cleopatra; the last great Prince of Egypt, at the collapse of the Repblick of Rome; as Agustus siezed the penultimatte freedoms of that classe yclept Equestrian, and took the plebians under the protecktyng sweep of his arms; making them his ultimate clyents in the form of Impereator; the same wythal being a most exxllent allygory for the rise of the family Tudor to the throne of England, lest the degenerated scions of the Plantagenet lynayge have bynne abyle to so impose a lyk tyrannie on our nobel race: the entyre Globe shyl be the stayge agaynst which the tail shal be enflolded, so as to be spread before us, like a patient; aetherised upon a taybl, howsomever I habve, as it my fondest wont, dygressyed).

You make words up,

Quelle horreur! However shall we account for this? After, English, as she is spoke, is just now as it ever was, since it sprang from the throat of Arthur, first, (and greatest KING OF THE BRITONS) in the dim mists of time. Not a jot or tittle has been altered in the least degree. Words like “misandry” have been with us since the very first day. The Acadamy of English has kept it pure.

Oh wait, perhaps someone, e.g. James Nicoll has made a comment about this?

He did, it’s even sort of famous.

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

None of you are informed at all. #KillAllMen was a real feminist hashtag, and for all I know still is. Paul and Dean both did excellent exposes on it. If you wish to know what you’re talking about, read those.

Do they sell AVFM souvenir gear? I’m picturing Woody wearing one of his many AVFM tees while drinking out of “Paul 4ever!” mug. Never change Woody, you’re adorable.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: therealmacai

You make words up, like “cisgendered” and “cisprivilege”.

Awww, looks like some sulky widdle cis person is mad about getting labeled!

Actually, I can do whatever I want,

Says the dumbass who just got banned. U MAD BRO? Did a SJW criticize you on the Internet and hurt your feelings?

Tell me, how many women do you think I raped? How many genderqueers bashed? How many Jews did I kill in the Holocaust?

Child, you think I give you that much credit for direct action? You’re a keyboard warrior throwing a tantrum, nothing more.

Do you have any persuasive measures aside from smack talk?

Yes, because I totally want to waste my energy trying to “persuade” some asshole from 4chan. You’re totally worth that effort.

Rights aren’t real. They’re made-up, imaginary, like the bogeyman and Santa Claus.

You might want to dig up ol’ George Washington, John Locke, and Booker T. Washington, then. They apparently missed the memo! And I hope you don’t ever read a book or watch a TV show again, because they’re all made-up too!

pecunium
6 years ago

Ah… the room seems fresher now. Too bad that Macai wasn’t able to stay and enjoy it. But it was fun while it lasted.

GrumpyOldMan
GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

“Do you have any persuasive measures aside from smack talk?”
That’s exactly the question I would like to make Macai answer about himself. He was just flamethrowing and getting lost in the resulting smoke.
I don’t mind being disagreed with by someone who has some semblance of an open mind; we might both learn something. But merely coming on and insulting my intelligence (of which I am eggstremely proud) won’t get you very far with me (or anybody else I know).

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Alas, my high school boyfriend has been removed! David’s such a bully.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Hell hath no fury like a cis person realizing they can’t just be default no more. *shakes head*

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

It’s sad. What is so offensive about being cis?

Oh yeah, because then you’re not being called normal anymore. *eye rolls*

pecunium
6 years ago

I think they think it’s “girly”, because cis is homophonic to “sis” which is a sort of nickname for sister, and often used in a dismissive way.

My heart, it bleeds for them.

pecunium
6 years ago

On top of the “what do you mean I’m just one more category”.

GrumpyOldMan
GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

I accidentally posted this on another thread; I meant to post it here.
Paul: “the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.”
Pauly’s Woody is the finger puppet Paul puts on his perpetual hard-on to keep it from freezing off when he comes up north.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

There’s an old joke: “Being trans; it ain’t for cissies.”

I have to say, I find cis people whining about “how come I have to have a word? I’m just NORMAL not like YOU,” to be hilarious and sad. Sorry sweetums, you’re just another category now too. Stings, doesn’t it?

saintnick86
saintnick86
6 years ago

Actually, I can do whatever I want, and right now I want to call you crazy.

Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

I am so sick of that, this asinine excuse for rudeness and being pointlessly antagonistic. This weird notion that “free speech” gives one license to just insult without anything substantial to add – yet assuming we should all just be compliant and humor him. It’s become the shield of every asshole who is in love with their own voice and can’t deal with what they disagree with, silencing it with all sort of rhetorical tactics like claiming “censorship” to emotionally blackmail others or to deflect from an issue by bringing up another (often irrelevant issue).

If there’s a phrase we need to change, it is this one: “you are entitled to your opinion.” I emphasized that word because that is where the trouble starts. It implies that one is immune from criticism and that their audience must be compliant. It certainly explains, for example, the need for individuals – such as these trolls – to be opinionated simply for the sake of it. But, of course, they don’t really give a shit about freedom of speech – they only care about their freedom of speech. Everyone else’s are simply dismissed. It’s the kind of narcissism that comes about when society, falling for false equivalence, think that we should validate every opinion no matter how ill-informed or toxic or unnecessarily combative they are. As if just having an opinion is enough to be proud of. Perhaps these trolls, having been raised off this falderal, don’t see how childish and counter-productive any of their behavior is? I doubt they don’t even think before going on to argue. It’s become a habit to just get mad at hearing something you dislike and becoming an arrogant asshole about it.

Maybe we should say “you are allowed to your opinion.” That would connote that there are certain limits and rules which apply to everyone, rather than set up this notion that you can “say whatever you want” to the point where any contrary views are seen as stifling “free speech.” Then, perhaps, the fact they went to a web page owned by someone else and decided to piss them off enough will make sense to them: the person who owns the web page has every right to moderate it as they please – it is not their job to cater to someone, if they do not wish to. That is their freedom of speech. They cannot cry foul when they get on someone’s bad side and deal with the repercussions, than avoid them.

Perhaps this monologue will sum up things better:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_J9C2XoGO0&w=640&h=360]

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Saintnick86

That. Was. Epic.

strivingally
6 years ago

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

‘The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.’

glmorrison
glmorrison
6 years ago

Reblogged this on Solid Rarity: realities of living the revolution and commented:
My mind is boggled by the MRAs (wolves) in black lesbian marxist (sheepish) clothing ie stolen avatars/identities and language/framing. While they threw shit into whatever fan was nearest, did they also receive the hate mail, unsolicited penis pics, crude c’mons and rape threats that are unavoidable to women on the net? The effectiveness of this trolling on the mainstream media is no surprise. Passing on “satire” news as facts is too common to be noteworthy. Fact-checkers? Not so much. Feminism will survive. But the actual effect on individual women and online communities is more difficult to calculate.

B A
B A
6 years ago

Sorry, but it’s feminists who are the bigots. The “trolls” to whom this article refers are merely using sarcasm to point this out.

cloudiah
6 years ago
Reply to  B A

Ah, now I see. If you hate a group of people and sincerely think they’re bigots, the thing to do is impersonate them online and say a bunch of silly, offensive, and bigoted things. Even though they didn’t say them, you did, this magically proves they are bigots.

Because sarcasm.

At least that’s a variation on the standard “It’s satire!” excuse when bigots and asshats act like bigots and asshats!

(Except it’s really just an example of male hypoagency–men and boys finding ways to blame women and girls for the actions of men and boys.)

On Saturday, July 5, 2014, we hunted the mammoth wrote:

> B A commented: “Sorry, but it’s feminists who are the bigots. The > “trolls” to whom this article refers are merely using sarcasm to point this > out.”

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Wow, B A. I’ve never thought of it that way before. Thanks for sharing that original (and compellingly argued) insight with us.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

BA,
Words have meanings. You might what to learn what they mean. You’ll look less silly while you’re making drive by necrotroll droppings.

Cristobal
Cristobal
6 years ago

Judging by your article, they got a troll 2fer.

Still Fiqah
Still Fiqah
3 years ago

This is a very old story and a sleeping thread, but it’s related to your latest post on Nazi misogyny. I’d like to applaud you for being one of the first to notice and warn everyone about the convergence of previously unrelated circles of the Toxic Manosphere. I was recently interviewed for a piece revisiting this (I created #YourSlipIsShowing) and back in 2014 NOBODY was connecting these dots. So cheers, and keep on doing what you do.

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