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Elliot Rodger and Me: The anatomy of a "Honey Badger" smear campaign

ive-had-just-about-enough-of-your-bullshit-1pg07aw

I have a new theory that I think might help to explain why so many Men’s Rights Activists are so obsessed with false accusations of rape. It’s simple: They are so used to making false accusations themselves, about pretty much everything, that it’s hard for them to conceive of someone making an accusation that is actually true.

Naturally, as a critic of the Men’s Rights movement I’m a fairly reliable target for these false charges, and rarely does a day go by in which I don’t learn some new, terrible, and wholly imaginary thing I’m alleged to have said or done. Hell, these days I can barely make it through a Twitter conversation with A Voice for Men’s Dean Esmay without him spouting some grotesque falsehood about me.

The latest accusation from the A Voice for Men crowd – or at least from AVFM’s so-called Honey Badger Brigade – is that all the media talk about Elliot Rodger being an MRA was my fault. Or, as “Honey Badger” Alison Tieman put it in a tweet that she sent to an assortment of media outlets that had written about Rodger and the MRAs,

Tieman’s tweet links to a post on the Honey Badger Brigade blog titled “Feminist media bias, or how Man Boobz caused a media circus,” complete with a little caricature of me. (At least they didn’t depict me as a shirtless, self-flagellating Michael Moore lookalike, this time, or as a giant man-baby with poopy diapers eating a chicken leg.)

The big revelation of the Honey Badger Brigade post? That the first article that connected Eliot Rodger to the Men’s Rights movement included … a link to my blog:

I compiled a list of online articles in a rudimentary timeline, searching for the earliest pieces linking Elliot Rodger to MRAs, and the findings were pretty extraordinary. Likely the first article making this connection was on the Daily Kos, citing a blog. Which blog, you ask? None other than David (Man Boobz) Futrelle’s cutting-edge journalism at wehuntedthemammoth.com.

It gets worse. Of the 16 articles I looked at, eight of them sourced the Daily Kos article either directly or indirectly by citing an article that had cited that same Daily Kos article.

The clear implication of the post is that I was the “source” of the notion that Rodger was an MRA.

There’s just one little problem with that argument, which is that I never said any such thing.

Indeed, when the writer at the Daily Kos published their piece, I had said precisely nothing on the subject of Rodger at all. In fact, my first post on Rodger was published after the Daily Kos piece appeared. That  Daily Kos piece, which was based on original reporting by its author, linked only to my writings about incels, and the link to We Hunted the Mammoth was only one in a multitude of links.

Here’s what I said about Rodger in my first post on the subject:

[Rodger’s video] sounds almost like a parody of the misogynistic beliefs and rhetoric that I write about on this blog. His language and his melodramatic tone both echo the writings of many of those young men who consider themselves “incels.” His anger is the same anger we see from the rejected men who lash out with insults and threats on OkCupid when their often crude advances are turned down. He reminds me of every so-called “nice guy” who is inwardly seething with resentment born of sexual entitlement denied. He even, at one point, calls himself a “gentleman.” He also calls himself an “alpha.”

It is clear that his  resentment at women was stoked by what I call the “new misogyny” and by steeping himself in at least one online community that reaffirmed his exaggerated, unwarranted sense of victimhood. So far we have evidence that he was a commenter at PUAhate, a site ostensibly designed to critique PUAs but which has degenerated into a haven for misogynistic “incels” and angry trolls.

I made no mention of the Men’s Rights movement at all.

In a later post, written after a great deal more information about Rodger had appeared online, I was more explicit in stating that he was not, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, an MRA.

So why did so many in the media describe him as an MRA? Well, it’s not hard to guess: because he was driven by an exaggerated version of the familiar mixture of misogyny and aggrieved entitlement that drives so many MRAs.

As I wrote in my most widely read post on the subject:

While he doesn’t seem to have ever identified as a Men’s Rights activist per se – the only “rights” he seemed to be interested in were his own – his postings online echo the extreme and ignorant denunciations of feminism seen amongst MRAs and other manospherians.

I put it a bit more bluntly in a Reddit comment I wrote after first seeing the Honey Badger Brigade post:

If they’d actually paid attention to anything I’ve written on Rodger they would see that I didn’t call him an MRA; I went out of my way to point out that as far as we know he didn’t read MRA sites.

That said, as he was a regular at PUAhate, he was part of what you might call the MRA extended universe, and much of his ideology came out of the same misogynistic swamp that MRAs inhabit.

I didn’t cause any of this. MRAs caused this by being shitheads, and by thinking “any publicity is good publicity.” This is what MRAs get for supporting and defending AVFM for years, for their Occidental College spamming, for their crusades against an assortment of feminist villains they harassed and slandered. Oh, and for spewing misogyny all day every day.

My blog DOCUMENTS this. They’re the ones saying the shit that I quote. They made their own bed.

Other journalists have used me and my blog as a resource. They incorrectly labeled Rodger an MRA. But they weren’t far off. He was MRA-adjacent.

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars ate up the Honey Badger Brigade post, which seemed to confirm my reputation as some sort of dastardly misandrist boogeyman. None of them seemed to have read a word of anything I’d actually written about Rodger. One Redditor described me thusly:

The Futrella is a desperate character with receding hair and receding appreciation from his Feminist Cohorts of screaming delinquents. …

I do wonder if his followers are real or if he spends all his time between pizza and diet soda masquerading under multiple legends?

A few were calling for my head.

iethatis 6 points 3 days ago (14|8)  AVfM should sue him for damages resulting from the death threats and resulting security costs, and venue change costs resulting from his lies.      permalink     save     report     give gold     reply  [–]guywithaccount 3 points 3 days ago (4|1)  It'd be a tough case to prove.

That’s a bit of an understatement, huh?

Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t have a receding hairline. Even that is a false accusation.

As is Tieman’s remark about the “genocidal ideogogs” [sic]. But that’s a whole other kettle of worms.

EDIT: Oops. I originally neglected to take the difference in time zones into consideration when writing about when the Daily Kos piece appeared. While it did appear before my post, it wasn’t four hours before. I’ve corrected this in the piece.

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Stuffed Fantod
6 years ago

I think you’re on to something. They are such consistent liars and twisters of truth that they cannot conceive of honesty.

Incognita Secunda
6 years ago

I like the word “ideogog,” even if it’s not in the dictionary. I think it should mean “someone who has been made agog by an idea.” You know, kind of like we frequently are when we read the stuff MRAs write.

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
6 years ago

I’m thinking of unblocking Esmay on twitter just because he’s such a source of hilarity. Take this unquestioning tweet of his, today:

https://twitter.com/deanesmay/status/478886798706212864

That’s the flip side of believing every accusation is false because all of his own accusations are false: when he sees “news” that supports his prejudices, even if it is satire on a known satire website, he’ll steam ahead at full speed and broadcast it as if it were real.

Karalora
Karalora
6 years ago

This smacks of protesting too much. I think they recognized themselves in Rodger and the uneasiness of that recognition is prompting them to expect accusation.

Megan Rivera
6 years ago

This is my first post here. Long time lurker, though. So yay! This article got me to break my Mammoth Cherry. (Snerk!)

It doesn’t surprise me (nor should it surprise anyone) that they’re trying to discredit you. Your blog above ALL others is the place me and my Feminist friends go to to keep up with what the Manosphere is doing presently, because we don’t want to send our web traffic and subsequent dollars to unworthy people. We know this place is a safe place we can get truthful, factual information without having to worry that it would be tainted by a biased news source or anything like that.

You’re DANGEROUS, David, and becoming more so every day as you attract more and more people to this site. You report what needs reporting and you say what needs to be said. You expose and bring light to the darkest and most dangerous parts of the internet, and like roaches in a flashlight beam, they’re running scared.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

I do wonder if his followers are real or if he spends all his time between pizza and diet soda masquerading under multiple legends?

WE ARE ALL DAVID!

Also, this post makes me think of something interesting. We’ve had a bunch of various assholes turn up saying things along the lines of, “How dare you associate Elliot Rodgers with us? How would YOU like it we associated some castrating genocidal feminist with YOU?”

The thing is, they have a REALLY HARD TIME coming up with this hypothetical feminist. At best, maybe they pull up some random user from tumblr no one’s ever heard of, Valerie Solanas (dead over twenty-five years), or Andrea Dworkin (dead almost ten). Many of whom other feminists have discussed to death. (Except random tumblr user, because no one’s ever heard of them.) Also, you have no trouble finding feminists who denounce folks like Solanas’s actions.

On the other hand, people like Elliot Rodgers… there’s a simultaneous “he’s not one of us!” and yet this weird acceptance of his behavior. Or ignoring the rife misogyny and blaming it on Chronic Assholism or something. Also, for every Solanas, there’s a freaking SLEW of violent misogynists! It’s just WEIRD.

Amy
Amy
6 years ago

David, whenever they attack you it just makes me like you more.

damselindetech
6 years ago

Oof. You’ve hit a nerve there, Futrelle.

I find it chuckle-worthy (one of those sad chuckles as you shake your head and then swig your beer because, well it’s either that or cry) that MRAs, MGTOW, and the sort seem so fond of doomsday prophesies of men rising up and burning and pillaging because of teh feminisums, but when a man who falls under their end of the ideological spectrum does resort to violence suddenly they’re shocked SHOCKED and dismayed. I mean, really? Wasn’t this what you’ve been warning us about? Isn’t this what you’ve been hoping for, to point at and say, “This is what feminisums have pushed us tooo!??!!”

Louise McOrmond-Plummer

Odd, really, that they should cast slurs at David’s appearance when they have Paul Elam as their prophet.

cloudiah
6 years ago

@MrFancyPants, That is fucking hilarious.

@David, Dean’s ridiculous backtracking on his false accusations would be funny if he weren’t trying actively to ruin the reputation of a decent human being. He’s really just flailing about. Sorry you have to deal with that.

saintnick86
saintnick86
6 years ago

That’s the flip side of believing every accusation is false because all of his own accusations are false: when he sees “news” that supports his prejudices, even if it is satire on a known satire website, he’ll steam ahead at full speed and broadcast it as if it were real.

Not surprising. Dean Esmay, if not everyone in the Manosphere, don’t understand what satire is – though they sure love to use it as an excuse for their horrible statements…

insanitybytes22
6 years ago

Actually you nailed it. They do project themselves onto others. It’s really quite startling. Everything they perceive about themselves, they project onto others, so all that self loathing becomes fem hatred.

People have a way of revealing themselves through their writing. We become the characters in our own story, especially the bad guys or girls. We put a piece of ourselves in them, ridding ourselves of demons in a way.

Their portrayal of women, their caricature of us, is really just their own perceptions of themselves. It fascinates me, when I’m not fighting nausea, because everything they perceive as being female characteristics are actually a projection, a hologram of a self loathing man in female form. It kind of takes the concept of narcissism to a whole new level.

Tigerbos
Tigerbos
6 years ago

They are doing what they do best: finger pointing and never taking responsibility.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Can we please start calling ourselves “Cohorts”?
I love it.

Also, if we start a noise band we should totally call it “The Screaming Delinquents”.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Oy vey. The fun never stops with these nitwits. The HoneyBadgers’ collective brain power couldn’t power a flashlight.

WE ARE ALL DAVID!

melee_mel
melee_mel
6 years ago

What fascinates me is that Dean Esmay has managed a second act on the internet. HOW does anyone take an AIDS denialist seriously?! Has everyone just agreed to forget about the years his blog centered around denying that HIV causes AIDS, and pumping false “cures” for those suffering from what he denied was AIDS? He’s deleted all of the earlier years’ posts from his blog – which is the same blog he used for AIDS denialism – but he’s fucking INFAMOUS for that shit.

So how does this second act as an MRA help him? And how does his background as a science-denying and woo-promoting crazypants help the MRAs? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: melee_mel

I hadn’t heard about this before! I’d always heard that Esmay was the LEAST horrible of the MRAs. Shows what I know!

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

It should go without saying, but you are not a hack, David.You’re insightful and funny. You run a fine blog.

As to us being “genocidal ideagogs”, I’d like to see a citation on that as well as a definition of “ideagog”. I won’t be holding my breath until I get them.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

“Honey Badger” smear campaign

Is there any other kind?

I do wonder if his followers are real or if he spends all his time between pizza and diet soda masquerading under multiple legends?

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been accused of being David, I could buy a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, as Teflon Expat often tells me I could use to console myself over the terrible hit feminism has taken over the alleged threats against the Detroit misogyny convention. You know, the event very few people have even heard of. Then he dropped this on me today:

What will you do with this knowledge? Lay down, legs all flaying around, make monkey sounds and masterbate? Thats about all you’re going to be able to do.

Such charming people. I’m sorry you have to put up with those jackals, David.

Imagine how much spare time they’d have to do positive things for men and boys if they stopped plotting, smearing, harassing, threatening, and brigading.

Ally S
6 years ago

The fact that there are actually people who find Allison Tieman intellectually honest continues to boggle my mind.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
6 years ago

The real reason people link Rodger to the MRM is because, as is the case with the various stripes of right-wing libertarianism and the scattered shards of endless religious sects with disagreements over minute aspects of doctrine, people don’t really care about small differences between groups organized around the same basic idea unless they’re on the inside.

If you’ve never heard of the MRM, sorry MRHM, sorry HMRHM, sorry Paul Elam’s MRHM (TM), do you really see that much of a difference between Paul “freaking begging” Elam, Thomas Ball, PUAs, and Elliot Rodger? Nah. You see what they all wear on their sleeves: the misogyny, the frustrated entitlement, the scorn for men they don’t approve of (always in relation to what they think men should do with women), the frothing anger, and the violent rhetoric.

The MRAs want to put it onto David because they see themselves as the aggrieved victims of a pervasive conspiracy, because no one reasonable could ever think they were really bad, and David fits the bill. The “method” for pointing the finger at David even smacks of outright conspiracy theorizing, featuring typical distortion of facts to fit a preconceived notion and a breathlessly delivered “discovery” shining a light on the True Evil.

Really, if you think about it, conspiracy theory is the MRA point of view and modus operandi.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Auntie,

First they’d actually have to care about those male victims, rather than merely finding them a convenient excuse for encouraging hatred toward women. I’ve yet to see any evidence of them attempting to help do anything other than spread lies and line Elam’s pockets. The closest thing to activism they’ve ever done was to doxx women, threaten and harass feminists of various genders and send false accusations of rape to a university causing the university to put and end to anonymous reporting of rape that could have helped male victims of sexual violence.

Telling stuff, isn’t it?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Well, they’ve falsely accused David of supporting kiddie porn, child abuse and now genocide. You’re right about the projection. They fear false accusations in part because they know they make so many of them and they’d hate to be treated the way they treat others.

But that’s not really why they try to spread fear of “false” rape accusations. The biggest reason is simply that quite a few of these men are rapists. Sorry (not sorry) but if a group of people spend this much time pretending that feminists are just “crying rape”, victimhood is a privilege and that it isn’t REALLY rape if xyz, it’s safe to say that at least some of those folks have a vested interest in shutting up and encouraging others to dismiss victims of rape. They really are Men’s Rape Advocates.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

Lea, imagine if they’d donated to Earl Silverman’s men’s shelter to keep it afloat. Instead of ranting about feminists being responsible for his suicide, he’d be alive and they’d have had something constructive to be proud of. If they weren’t so steeped in anger, they’d see how self-defeating their “activism” is.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Auntie Alias

the alleged threats against the Detroit misogyny convention. You know, the event very few people have even heard of.

You mean the con that’s absurdly overpriced and has had to get moved at the last minute? THAT con? Seriously, the event wasn’t well-known in the first place, and now they’re basically insuring that a lot of people won’t even know where the hell it is.

RE: Tulgey Logger

people don’t really care about small differences between groups organized around the same basic idea unless they’re on the inside.

Yup. It’s true with hubby’s description of Christian denominations, and it’s DEFINITELY true on the various flavors of multi I encounter. (Ah, the DID/natural multi/soulbonding battles of yore…)

RE: Lea

First they’d actually have to care about those male victims,

No kidding. Even fucking ToySoldier, who’s basically the only person of the manosphere who I’ve ever heard of doing anything useful for male victims, was totally okay with making smug comments when some troll mocked MY rape history. (Note: I had never met ToySoldier or talked to him; he basically responded because I was a Mammoth commenter.) Because I’m a male feminist, he saw MY rape history almost as just desserts. Because feminists hate male victims or something.

So even the ones who claim most to care about male victims are very SELECTIVE about which male victims they care about. And ToySoldier is STILL the most proactive I’ve heard of on that front!

sarah
sarah
6 years ago

They are going to sue you for the threats that have, so far, been unsubstantiated?
That’s some chutzpah.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

Well, they certainly are vesting you with a lot of power, David. Pretty soon they’ll be linking you to Benghazi and 9/11.

Also, I vote we have the quarterly Mammoth Ideagog meeting at Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggcharbunagungamaugg.

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

To be fair, Alison Tieman also thinks that feminists control the power company and sent her a large bill in retaliation for one of her Youtube videos, and she believes that some 90% of men are closeted trans women for some reason. She’s already transcended the plane of existence that the rest of us are still hanging out on, so we can’t yet fully understand her version of reality.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

LBT, yes, THAT con. I’m dying to see how this unfolds. I’m so certain it’s been lies on top of lies and that eventually it’s all going to come crashing down on Elam’s head. (fingers crossed)

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

David I already sent an email to you but I’ll just type it here anyway

I found these sites and I thought you might want to check them out

MA’AM Men Against Assholes and Misogny

WTF Nice Guys

MRA Marmoset

Feminism is bullshit tumblr

I’m not sexist but and I’m not racist but tumblr

Stupidity Brony tumblr

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

Hey Sarah, can you talk about the FOIC you mentioned on Mudraker? I’m curious.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

I’m going to call the Detroit conference the “con con”. 🙂

I have thought that it would be an interesting exercise to basically examine one of their twitter accounts, from now backwards because they read this blog so might change their behaviour, and:
– count the total number of tweets
– calculate the percentage of tweets that are activism (excluding the bloody con con, that’s advertising)
– calculate the percentage of tweets that are anti-feminism (including people associated with feminism)

and:
– count the number of tweets that apparently have facts in them
– calculate the percentage of these tweets where the facts are represented accurately.

I would be interested in the results of this exercise.

GrumpyOldMan
GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

Don’t worry about David. He can take care of himself quite well (especially since he’s engaging in a battle of wits with unarmed people). If he is at all like me, he is proud of having enemies like these. If someone like Elam or Esmay ever agreed with anything I said or complimented me, I think I’d want to kill myself. The hatred of tools like them says that you’re doing something right.
Projection: I have always loved the saying that when you point the finger at someone you have three fingers pointing back at you. It’s interesting how often the people who talk about man-hating feminists tend to be blatantly obvious woman-haters. I guess it’s hard to believe that there are people who don’t share your pathology.

tealily
tealily
6 years ago

So basically nothing is new today. For a group that constantly tells other groups that they need to take responsibility, has anyone ever seen even one of them do it? Hell, no. They can’t even be honest with themselves let alone anyone else. Everything out of their mouths is projection because they lie so badly and so often that they think that’s what everyone else does. They have nothing; which is why they have to lie, make up situations, and blame other people for their pathetic lives and bad press.

It is amusing how they’re splitting hairs over what faction of the manosphere Rodgers belonged to. Like there is any difference between them other than how they want to punish women and put them “back in their place”.

me and not you
me and not you
6 years ago

But… I’m me! I’m not you! They’re saying I’m really David? Have I been lying to myself this whole time? Up is down; Left is right; I’m having existential solipsistic fits!

tealily
tealily
6 years ago

Ninja’ed. Sorry. 🙂

kittehserf
6 years ago

It’s all in your head, me and not you! We are all cats in a David suit. Some of us are ferrets in cat suits in a David suit. You are David and you are your Furrinati self … nothing complicated there …

strivingally
6 years ago

For a group that likes to denigrate feminism as “professional victimhood” they spend an awful lot of their time (like, all of it) talking about how they’re the victims of women’s evil plotting, don’t they? When they’re not busy doxxing, harassing and trying to silence women speaking out against their “self-evident” arguments. Totes victims.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

GrumpyOldMan, false accusations of any kind are going to take a toll, I think. ‘Consider the source’ will only take a person so far; when it’s a very public and relentless battle, it has to be discouraging and exhausting at times.

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
6 years ago

saintnick86:

Dean Esmay, if not everyone in the Manosphere, don’t understand what satire is – though they sure love to use it as an excuse for their horrible statements…

Exactly, like when Elam called for a month of domestic abuse against women in graphic detail, and then when called on it cried “BUT BUT BUT SATIRE!”

Ha ha, yeah! It’s all just jokin’ around, good fun, right Paul Elam?! #hitawoman TROLOL!

*VOMIT*

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

To be fair, Alison Tieman also thinks that feminists control the power company and sent her a large bill in retaliation for one of her Youtube videos

!!? I mean, I guess it would require a certain level of willful delusion to be a FeMRA in general, but I’m a little confused about the logic behind one’s local utility company being part of the vast feminazi conspiracy, power companies tending to be majority male environments ime.

But wait! Usually when you actually call the power company the customer service person who answers the phone is a woman! Obviously the CS reps are monitoring the YouTube accounts of all customers for signs of lack of compliance with the feminist agenda, and they totally have the power to change your bill accordingly, which they get away with because power companies don’t have accountants.

GrumpyOldMan
GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

“For a group that likes to denigrate feminism as “professional victimhood” they spend an awful lot of their time (like, all of it) talking about how they’re the victims of women’s evil plotting, don’t they?”
Projection again.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

It’s all in your head, me and not you! We are all cats in a David suit. Some of us are ferrets in cat suits in a David suit. You are David and you are your Furrinati self … nothing complicated there …

I thought David was all ferrets? WHAT IS PHONE???

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I feel like I’m in eXistenZ. Am I real? Or am I in a game as a sockpuppet for David?
😀

Seriously, living inside the head of an MRA must be like living in a Cronenburg movie. It’s just so surreal. How do people actually see the world this way? It’s like they’re not living in the world I’m living in.

me and not you
me and not you
6 years ago

Wait, so David is everything? Or just everything fuzzy and adorable? And I am a fuzzy and adorable thing and therefore David, or … because I am David I am fuzzy and adorable? Maaan this is why I failed philosophy 101. (Not really, but I did get into a really big argument with the prof over the idea of “Man in nature”/”Man without civilization (i.e. culture)” because to be human is to have culture…)

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

@WWTH: Cronenburg or David Lynch?

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

He also left me one as a gift once, which I stepped on with my bare foot when I got out of bed.

I wish I had that much TIME.

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
6 years ago

What is with these guys calling the feMRAs “honey badgers”? It creeps me out in a dirty leering old man kinda way.

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