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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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sparky
sparky
6 years ago

therealmacai: You really need to run along now.

The fact that we use big words that upset you is fucking hilarious, though.

katz
6 years ago

OH NO WE MAKE UP NEW WORDS TO DESCRIBE OUR EXPERIENCES

Obviously that means we are wrong about everything because nothing can possibly exist that we don’t already have a word for.

Also another fine argument for why science isn’t real.

Fibinachi
6 years ago

Ahahaha.

I’m reading this sociology textbook that just used the word “modernity”. CURSE YOU GIDDENS, you out of touch reality devoud jargon user!

My economics work once dealt with “multiplier effects” ( and “value based elasticity for substitute goods”, but I digress). Clear evidence that economics is a backwards field of ignorant nonsense speakers!

My doctor once told me my clavicle had suffered severe plate armor related strain (faulty straps). What is that? Fucking latin?! That’s not the Queen’s English the schuckster is obviously a fraud and a charlatan!

Next they’ll be claiming we’ll have to call the restless dead “zombies”, the fools!

( zombie was introduced to the English langauge in the 17th century )

bunnybunny
6 years ago

I mean, new words are added to dictionaries annually, but it’s just way more fun to pretend feminists are the only people who do this and therefore it is dumb.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

I think #YesAllWomen is about making gross generalizations about the supposed plight of all women.

This sentence right here tells me everything that needs to be known about you. You dismiss everyone else’s experience as incidental, refuse to see larger patterns of misogyny in society, and call countless testimonials “generalizations”, because they’re made by women. Misogynistic asswipe.

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

Whoops, seems you made a wrong turn at Albuquerque. This is not an MRA blog, this is for mocking them.

Hence why normal people confuse #YesAllWomen and #CancelColbert with #KillAllMen and #EndFathersDay.

Judging yourself as the standard for “normal” is setting the bar way too low, you know. Also, most people could probably be informed, since they don’t have such a huge frickin’ confirmation bias hanging on their neck.

You lot are a source of non-stop comedy gold. Please, tell me more.

Ah, the old “I’m acting smug and superior, that means I am superior!” routine. Sorry, doesn’t fly.

You’re right on one thing, though: This site has way more entertaining people than a sad little troll shouting at feminists on the internet, failing in every conceivable way, and still acting like they’ve won. Pathetic, that’s what you are.

therealmacai
therealmacai
6 years ago

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

Anyway, “all women” does not refer to individual women, but to, you know, all of them. A generalization. If you meant something other than “all women” then your hash tag sucks. Or did you redefine “all” too?

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

You know, therealmaci, you glibly calling feminism an “off-the-wall ideology” and feminists “extremist nutcases” only reinforces how much the world needs feminism.

You’re seeing Poe’s Law where it isn’t, but you’ve illustrated Lewis’s Law beautifully.

bunnybunny
6 years ago

Actually, I can do whatever I want

LOL

Woody
Woody
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.

cupisnique
6 years ago

This troll has gotten boring real fast. I’m simply just shocked! shocked I say! that you would dismiss the experiences of a large number of women simply because you take issue with the use of “all” (ignoring the fact that it was meant as a counter to #NotAllMen and it’s fucking twitter so nuance isn’t exactly it’s forte)

therealmacai
therealmacai
6 years ago

>You know, therealmaci, you glibly calling feminism an “off-the-wall ideology” and feminists “extremist nutcases” only reinforces how much the world needs feminism.

>finding my silly outlook sill proves me right; only misogynists think I’m wrong

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

Hence why normal people confuse #YesAllWomen and #CancelColbert with #KillAllMen and #EndFathersDay.

Normal like you, therealmacai? If trolling blogs and spouting stuff you don’t seem to understand is normal, I want no part of that.

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

But wait, you might be onto something here! Language is obviously a totally static thing and never changes or introduces new terms! That’s why I call this thing I’m using right now “the magic typewriter.”

bunnybunny
6 years ago

None of you are informed at all.

Coming from someone whose source of knowledge is AVfM, this statement is not going to hurt a lot of feelings.

fromafar2013
6 years ago

Anyway, “all women” does not refer to individual women, but to, you know, all of them.

That is correct. These experiences range from relatively mild harassment to potentially life-ending assault. All women. All of them. Does that make you feel bad, so you would rather ignore it?

If you know any women, and they haven’t told you any of their stories, it’s because they don’t trust you enough to tell you. Which isn’t surprising, considering your attitude.

cupisnique
6 years ago

Paul and Dean both did excellent exposes on it. If you wish to know what you’re talking about, read those.

I can think of countless unpleasant things I’d rather do. . . like step in dog poop (the real kind, not the kind found on AVFM).

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

only misogynists think I’m wrong

Huh? Actually, I think only misogynists think you’re right.

duckbunny
6 years ago

Macai can do what he wants. He knows what he’s doing, and he doesn’t care what you think, and he doesn’t need your help, and who asked you anyway?

Woody, on the other hand, is chasing validation that will never come. Sweetheart, neither Paul Elam nor Dean Esmay will notice you standing up for them. They won’t appreciate your loyalty or respect your efforts to bring them traffic. They don’t do loving people back.
If you’re a sock, of course, that won’t bother you.

JoJo
JoJo
6 years ago

Therealmacai is such an obvious tumblr anti-sj warrior child it would be funny if it weren’t so damn pervasive and toxic. Their attitude is so bloody common but they like to pretend they are in the minority.

Anybody here that is on tumblr ever heard about the “bindi” spectacle? It was this troll blog that somebody made about this girl “called” bindi (because of hideously badly photo shopped “mole” in between her eyebrows) that somehow managed to fool the real “justice” and anti-sj crowd. Once it was shown to be a fake-ass hell troll blog there were still people saying “but it could have happened anyway!!”

fromafar2013
6 years ago

For the trolls:

“I am tired, not of arguing in favour of equality, diversity and tolerance, but of having to explain, over and over and over again, why such arguments are still necessary, only to have my evidence casually dismissed by someone too oblivious to realize that their dismissal of the problem is itself a textbook example of the fucking problem. I am tired of being mocked by hypocrites who think that a single lazy counterexample is sufficient to debunk the fifteen detailed examples they demanded I produce before they’d even accept my point as a hypothetical, let alone valid, argument. I am tired of assholes who think that playing Devil’s Advocate about an issue alien to their experience but of deep personal significance to their interlocutor makes them both intellectually superior and more rationally objective on the specious basis that being dispassionate is the same as being right (because if they can stay calm while savagely kicking your open wound, then clearly, you have no excuse for screaming).”

Foz Meadows from “I Am So Very Tired” in shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows October 4, 2013

JoJo
JoJo
6 years ago

>You know, therealmaci, you glibly calling feminism an “off-the-wall ideology” and feminists “extremist nutcases” only reinforces how much the world needs feminism.

>finding my silly outlook sill proves me right; only misogynists think I’m wrong

>greentexting out of 4chan

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

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

And therealmacai is like, 12, right?

cloudiah
6 years ago

Is /r/MensRights leaking again?

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

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

Actually, you can’t do whatever you want on a private blog, shitstain. Your freezepeach wont protect you here. Keep using slurs and you will find your arrogant ass banned faster than you can say “pay attention to meeeee!”.

Everything therealmacai has written so far reeks heavily of angry desperation. It’s outrage over people caring about other people, it’s outrage over women calling out everyday sexism, it’s outrage over extreme misogynists like therealmacai gradually being shoved to the fringes. The knowledge that privileged people are losing their privilege is poison to bigots too invested in their bigotry to let go and accept that the world is changing and that one day, they will no longer be considered the default.

You’re old news, therealmacai. Leave now, and never come back.

And Woody is just being a sad little cheerleader again. Ignored.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Shaenon, congrats on the babby! Are you birthing or adopting (if you don’t mind my asking)?

Katz,
<blockquote“Identity politics” is such a weird way to dismiss people’s views, anyway. “You care about things that are deeply relevant to you personally? Well, don’t!”

Yes, this. If you, as a man, have things that are more important to you that women’s liberation, I guess that’s fair. We all have our priorities. But telling women not to prioritize our own liberation isn’t just a benign difference in priorities, it’s a pushback against ours, and fuck that.

Grumpy,

I have heard the “kill all men” canard many times, always from anti-feminists.

I’ve heard it from feminists, usually after they share yet another</i? a story about rape or murder or femicide or, well, you know the drill. My point is, it's almost always at a time when their anger and heartbreak is so justified that you can't really argue with the sentiment. It's not like most of them literally mean it, anyway.

Macai,

The point is that you lot are a bunch of extremist nutcases disconnected from mainstream thought. Your on par with anarcho capitalists, national socialists, and those tinfoil illuminati people.

Did you think if you wrote out “national socialists”, we wouldn’t notice the Godwin?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

The point is that you lot are a bunch of extremist nutcases disconnected from mainstream thought. Your on par with anarcho capitalists, national socialists, and those tinfoil illuminati people.

Yeah, well, at least we’re housebroken.

Bored so soon with summer vacation?

therealmacai
therealmacai
6 years ago

Oh no, I might get banned! Please, anything but that!

Nice psychoanalysis, btw. One thing I gotta give you guys is your vivid imagination. Tell me, how many women do you think I raped? How many genderqueers bashed? How many Jews did I kill in the Holocaust?

Please, tell me more.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

greentexting out of 4chan

I’ve never heard of “greentexting” before (I’ve never been anywhere near 4chan). What is it supposed to mean?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

threalmacai: I don’t think you do anything in your sad little life but mash your keyboard, enraged that other people aren’t as miserable as you.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

::groan:: Well, therealmacai turned real boring real fast.

Here’s a piggy eating an ice cream cone

cloudiah
6 years ago

I love how therealmacai equates actual Nazis with ancaps and the tinfoil hat crowd.

Hint: one of those groups is not like the others. Can you identify which one?

cloudiah
6 years ago

Here’s a bulldog snoring:

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Well that’s funny since any time the topic of harassment comes up when I am talking to other women every one of them has at least one story of their own and often quite similar experiences.

Yes, but occasionally a woman will say that she hasn’t had these experiences, so obviously it’s not all women, just a bunch of hysterical feminists who can’t take a compliment and think all men are rapists and etc etc.

Also, “normal people can’t tell X from Y” only means “normal people are ill-informed.” People can’t tell the difference between science and corporate-sponsored hand-waving either, but that doesn’t mean that science isn’t real.

Right? Advertisers rely on the ignorance of “normal people”. It’s why they keep trying to frame ads as news stories (I once saw an infomercial delivered by Walker Cronkite from behind a desk. They really have no shame), or pay people to hand-write notes to slap on ad pitches so it looks like it was sent by a thoughtful neighbor. “Normal people” have made the Nigerian scam lucrative for decades now, and fall for calls from suspiciously unnamed “cardmember services” asking for their bank information. “Normal people” aren’t convinced evolution is real. In other words, “normal people” aren’t the most reliable indicator of truth.

katz
6 years ago

None of you are informed at all. #KillAllMen was a real feminist hashtag, and for all I know still is.

“I admit I don’t know if this is happening or not, but you’re the ill-informed ones!”

Fibinachi
6 years ago

I’m still stuck on the “you make up words!” thing.

It’s like:
“Yes. And?”
“That means you’re a fakey faky bunch of deviants!”
“What? For coming up with terms to describe experienced?”
“Yes! Terms OTHER PEOPLE don’t use!”
“Possibly because they don’t need to? Having not had those experiences?”
“It’s not even English!”
“Schadenfreue”
“bless you”
“That was German”
“See?! Made up non-english words!”
“Ach du lieber Gott im Himmel…”
“Take your heteronormTivity and cisgendering someehere else you moon speaker!”
“Look, people using words you don’t know is normal. Hence dictionaries. I’d say c’est la vie, but you wouldn’t get it. Hasta luego, I’m out”

cloudiah
6 years ago

“I admit I don’t know if this is happening or not, but you’re the ill-informed ones!”

Excellent summary.

cloudiah
6 years ago

I’m still stuck on the “you make up words!” thing.

Well of course you are, Fibinachi, since you speak an entirely imaginary language. Danish, isn’t it? Like that’s a thing.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Contacting the dark lord now.

macai,
You’re a clueless, entitled, ableist, misogynist shitstain and you can’t keep posting your idiocy here. Go get yourself a clue and some basic human decency. You do come across as if you were immature, bigoted and trying to amuse yourself through claiming that violence and harassment toward women isn’t a real thing, even though women say it happens us all. You’re calling us liars and dismissing our lived experiences for shits and giggles. I suspect you are not an adult, so I’ll hold back on exactly what I think of you and where your obvious hatred of women who have the gal to speak up about the things that happen to them at the hands of men comes from. I will say that if I were your mom, I’d be ashamed of you. I’d be thoroughly and painfully ashamed of you.

I hope one day you grow up and gain enough insight to be ashamed of your behavior here too. If you don’t and you choose to stay an asshole all your life, that’s your problem. You’re done like dinner here.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Tell me, how many women do you think I raped?

You tell us. #YesAllWomen didn’t accuse all men of being rapists or misogynists. It was simply a way for women to share their own experiences with sexism.

If you looked at the tweets using that hashtag and saw yourself that says more about you than it says about men in general. It says more about you than it does about the women using the hashtag.

After all, you just put the word rape in scare quotes

Words like “rape”, “sexism” and “racism” take on meanings entirely different from the common understandings of those terms.

I define rape as having sex with someone who didn’t consent or couldn’t consent. How do you define it?

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

I actually find this one entertaining. He’s Eric Cartman, “Whatevah – I do what I want!”

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I think Woody is jealous another troll got more attention than him.

Awww. Poor little troll.

therealmacai
therealmacai
6 years ago

I love how Lea writes as though the world runs on her moral approval. It does not.

What an extremely entitled perspective she betrays.

katz
6 years ago

I think Woody is jealous another troll got more attention than him.

Awww. Poor little troll.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

This isn’t the whole world dumbass. This is a blog. And the rest of us don’t approve of you any more than Lea does in case you didn’t notice.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

@therealmacai: It’s not psychoanalysis, stupid. Your whining really isn’t all that special and unique, just the standard, run-of-the-mill, ignorant, misogynistic opinions of an anti-feminist douchecanoe. Being outraged over increased equality kinda comes with the territory. It’s not that hard to figure out reactionaries, you know.

How about presenting a coherent argument instead of flailing around like an irrationally angry little crybaby, so perhaps I can identify the faults in your thinking instead of mocking your whiny bullshit? Oh, right, you don’t need arguments because you know you’re right. God, you really are 12 years old, aren’t you?

But I do like your projection. Protip: not everyone equates people they disagree with with nazis, just dumbasses like you.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I love how Lea writes as though the world runs on her moral approval. It does not.

What an extremely entitled perspective she betrays.

Add “irony” to therealmacai’s vocabulary homework list. Only someone who has no sense of irony could write that post.

therealmacai
therealmacai
6 years ago

I frankly don’t give a shit about your approval in case you didn’t notice.

Do you have any persuasive measures aside from smack talk?

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Do you?

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

therealmacai doesn’t need any persuasive measures to support zir view because reasons.

Seriously, this troll is thicker than a brick wall.

katz
6 years ago

New moderation policy idea: Cage fights. Two trolls enter, one troll leaves!

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Troll comes to mocking site. Is shocked when he gets mocked.

Stupid troll is stupid.

therealmacai,
When you present a coherent argument we’ll be ready with counterpoints. If you’re going to flail like a child having a tantrum we’re going to treat you like one.