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

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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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grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

This supposed gotcha is because he didn’t notice some allegedly genocidal posts made in the now defunct RadFemHub after looking at the poorly-organized Agent Orange files.

Really? That’s supposed to be damning?

My question is: Really? That’s supposed to be coherent?

twincats
twincats
6 years ago

Wow. Okay, so another great commentariat I’ve joined has been accused of being an army of sockpuppets? How very original.

I am David Furtelle!

For the record, I am also Kate Harding. Probably PZ Myers as well.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Well, David, if you’ve been praying Voltaire’s prayer it is safe to say it has been answered. You’re enemies are ridiculous.

They’re corrupt, dishonest, hateful, stupid and above all else, ridiculous.

GrumpyOldMan
GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

“That’s supposed to be coherent?”
Not hardly. It’s fling some manure and see if it sticks. These folks have no intention of getting sucked into any kind of rational discussion, because they know they’d lose.
And, by the way, rather than talking about posts (which can be made, for example, by anti-feminists pretending to be feminists), how many actual assaults — beatings, killings, bombings, etc. — can be reliably attributed to violent feminists. Probably there have been a few, but I can’t remember any. (But of course the sensation-loving media is too scared of feminists to report them, I suppose.)
There is no female counterpart to Elliot Rodger.

WhatIsThisGravitasOfWhichYouSpeak
WhatIsThisGravitasOfWhichYouSpeak
6 years ago

Wait, no one else here is Spartacus? Nuts

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
6 years ago

If we’re all David, I must say that I am exceedingly proud of my blog here, as I had no idea that I was so insightful. Also, I want more pizza and soda. But really, David, can’t you please do something about the laundry situation? I’m out of socks!

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Hey, we have a grumpy old man and a grumpy old nurse! What’s next? A grumpy old badger?

David, are your socks trying to reveal something, here?

Something… Oscar-ze-grouch-ish?

(I kid. RN’s, you all rock: regardless of age or attitude. GrumpyOldMan, you’re pretty chill, too. David, you’re fantastic.)

Faint Praise
Faint Praise
6 years ago

I think there’s another factor in MSM misidentifying the killer as MRA: the reality is too nuanced for them or (they suppose) for their audience.

The MSM and its audience alike largely got their first look at the manosphere through this story. Differentiating between red pill, PUA, anti-PUA, MRA, MGTOW and other flavors is a lot to ask for, especially when (to outsiders) it is all pretty weird and cloaked in weird language. Reporters might not have noticed/cared for the difference, or else figured their audience had enough to digest just by meeting a killer and the MRM.

Hard to blame them. The manosphere’s similarities are bigger than their differences. They start with the same anti-feminist/women conspiracy theories. They all basically have the same dating advice and same political sentiments too. Difference is MRAs focus on the politics while other ‘spheres focus on the dating.

MSM reporting on feminism lacks nuanced details too. Hell, MSM reporting on scientific findings gets details, often important ones, just as wrong. No conspiracy, no “woozle.” Just Lowest Common Denominator reporting. MRAs are right to correct it but delusional about the cause (and treated WHTM to even worse errors).

cincin
cincin
6 years ago

>>” i didn’t cause any of this. MRA’s caused this by being shitheads and by thinking ‘any publicity is good publicity’ this is what MRA’s get for supporting and defending AVFM for years, for their Occidental College spamming. for their crusades against an assortment of feminist villians they harassed and slandered. oh, and 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. ” <<this! luved you so hard after reading this!
ahem. thank you for all you do. well done sir.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

@grumpycatisagirl

My question is: Really? That’s supposed to be coherent?

My tortured sentence structure or the accusation? 😉

@Faint Praise

I agree. If they’ve heard of the manosphere at all, it’ll be the MRAs who can thank their own ideology and shitty behaviour for that.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

And so we should now draw the conclusion that the MRM campaign against false accusations and the lack of due process (for which there are now a score of lawsuits) has no value?

“Now”? Son, that campaign never had value and that’s been both David’s and the commentariat’s position all along.

Really? That’s supposed to be damning? Methinks AVFM is flailing desperately for some reason.

AVfM: flailing desperately and calling it “FTSU” since…whenever they were founded.

I am David Furtelle!

For the record, I am also Kate Harding. Probably PZ Myers as well.

I wish I was Kate Harding. *is jealous*

yutolia
yutolia
6 years ago

So either David is powerful enough to create a media circus over the internet, or he is a loser with no followers and only sock-puppets.

Make up your damn minds, MRAs! If you have any, that is…

serrana
serrana
6 years ago

I am David Furtelle!

Funniest typo ever, or subtlest pun ever? Either way, you have obviously been brainwashed by the Furrinati.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

May I be David Futrelle next?

cloudiah
6 years ago

And so we should now draw the conclusion that the MRM campaign against false accusations and the lack of due process (for which there are now a score of lawsuits) has no value?… Again, wow.

Let’s take MRAs at face value for a minute, and assume they are actually very concerned about false accusations and the lack of due process. Obviously, if you’re going to tackle this issue, you’d study it carefully and look for the area where (a) false accusations are not just common; they’re considered a valuable tool of law enforcement, and (b) the largest number of men have been locked up or otherwise penalized without due process. Right?

Moving on from that premise, it stands to reason that the MHRM would be launching a full-scale assault on the “War on Drugs.” Snitches, who are notoriously unreliable–their incentive to lie is that they directly benefit from reduced sentences and other perks–are a valuable and frequently used part of the system. So, in other words, false accusations are literally built into the process. And the defendants, who are usually poor, mostly never see public defenders or get their “day in court” as they are routinely over-charged and threatened with draconian sentences unless they forego trial in favor of a plea bargain. Even defendants who see no actual prison time are branded convicted felons,and face serious consequences in the form of difficulty finding employment, the loss of their voting rights, lack of access to publicly-subsidized housing, etc. Even their family members may see their own personal property seized by law enforcement and sold, and unless they can afford legal counsel they’re shit out of luck.

Clearly, an actual human rights movement would focus on ending the issue that is causing the most harm to the greatest number of men, right? Which is why this consistently appears as their most important focus?

No wait, it doesn’t. Because they haven’t figured out a way to blame women for the War on Drugs, and because they don’t give a shit about poor men of color who are the primary victims of these policies.

Now what were you saying, D. Happy?

TL;DR: The MRM are a bunch of misogynist white dudes who don’t actually care about men.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

My tortured sentence structure or the accusation? 😉

Well, given how little sense JB makes when she writes, I think coherent summaries of her writing would have to be a miraculous feat.

Really, whenever she comes here and comments it’s, like, the weirdest most inexplicable thing I ever see.

IOW, no, I didn’t mean you. 🙂

contrapangloss
6 years ago

MarineRachel, you ARE David. Don’t let any feminist tell you otherwise.

After all, MRALogic says so!

:: runs away, cackling! ::

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

I’m sorry the assholes have made you the target of their rage, David. For what it’s worth, I think your blog is awesome.

Oh, wait. Am I David too? Can David, I mean I, really fake this many levels of competence in the English language while constantly alternating between sock puppets? That seems pretty goddamn impressive to me. I mean David. I think you should try earning some money with your skills. I mean, that is David means, that David thinks I, that is David, should try earning some money with my, that is, David’s skills.

I think. I mean, David thinks. Drat. David means, David thinks.

Monkey see, monkey do. Hulk smash.

Damn, this is hard.

So either David is powerful enough to create a media circus over the internet, or he is a loser with no followers and only sock-puppets.

That’s kinda what the manosphere believes about women in general, isn’t it? Women, sorry, females, are hysterical, irrational, evil, destructive, stupid creatures that somehow manage to pull the strings and manipulate world politics behind the scenes while giving the impression that men are in charge. Come on, dudebros, at least try to decide if you see the objects of your hate as annoying but fairly harmless, or as evil masterminds ruling the world.

The only somewhat consistent explanation for this phenomenon is WTF’s Butt Power(TM), but saying that men are so pathetic that they lose all rationality the second they spot a sweet piece of ass is such a demeaning notion that I sometimes wonder if it originated as another one of those man-hating arguments misogynists usually attribute to feminists.

Sorry for talking in gender binary once again. It’s really hard to discuss manosphere logic without resorting to it.

cloudiah
6 years ago

The only reason I know I’m not David is that I can’t write that well.

Or is that a cunning ruse?

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

Earlier exploration of David’s wild and woolly Twitter feed led to this Paul Elam tweet:
@DavidFutrelle @DarkHorseSwore @JudgyBitch1 Is that laughter all the way to the bank from the eugenics crowd?

I also found this joking but not joking JudgyB tweet:
@djred678 @GOP @HillaryClinton Probably not but you do accept these radical feminist cells advocating extermination exist and are a threat?

So their response to the Elliot Roger coverage is to claim feminists are rooting for, plotting, enacting and/or currently enjoying male genocide? They are going to say they were victims of “feminist terrorism” in Detroit and facing genocidal murder in contemporary North America? (I can’t figure out if David is feminism’s unwitting stooge or dastardly henchman.)

Do they realize genocide a real fucking thing right? And that gendered infanticide of females is going on right now, with actual documented proof?

I hope the AVfM grows tired of discussing social problems effecting men and bust out their feminist genocide conspiracies at their Detroit get-together. It’s a good look fellas.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

@brooked:

I wondered about Elam’s “eugenics crowd” tweet, too. Is this the hip new way of Godwining?

An admitted misogynist commits mass murder, and all misogynists start projecting wildly. Figures.

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

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

I do enjoy that for some reason their fantasy Manboobz narratives almost always has David and his blog racing to their doom because he’s losing or lost the favor, largesse and attention of his feminist overlords. It’s a blog for fuck sake. It’s not like it’s in danger of going bankrupt due to the volatile misogyny mocking blog market. It will keep chugging along until the blogger moves on, like all entertaining solo blogs. Sorry guys, we haven’t grown tired of making David dance like a feminist trained monkey, he’s going to get untraceable off shore payments from the feminist illuminati until further notice.

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

@Anarchonist

I think that’s what’s happening, but it’s so divorced from reality that I can’t be sure. I think they would be better off with calling feminists hairy fat man-haters rather than genocidal murderers, but that’s me.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

I would be proud to be taunted with such classics as “your mother wears combat boots”. However, that would be a reference to the wrong arm in the case of both my parents, and therefore not factually correct.*

My father, who attained the highest rank of NCO in his arm, raised me to be feminist.

*ha, when did AVfM become concerned with being factually correct.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

I am David Futrelle.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

@grumpycatisagirl

I admit it was full of adjective overkill but thanks. 🙂

And now JB is notifying Hillary Clinton of this genocidal conspiracy?? Holy fuck. You can’t make this stuff up.

me and not you
me and not you
6 years ago

” (And check out the fiestaware they’re washing at 8:15.)”

I may have gotten inordinately excited about that. ^-^

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

The totes amusing thing about all of this is that if AVfM didn’t already have a watch against it by the FBI and/or NSA, doing tweets like that with politicians or ex-politicians included means they soon will be.

They really are *that* idiotic.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@Stephen Jones

Don’t get me wrong, this “why is everybody against me?” article is great and all, but have you taken steps to defend your journalistic integrity?

Reading for comprehension – you might wish to acquire that skill before commenting. Then you wouldn’t say stupid things like this. Way to embarrass yourself with the passive-aggressive combined with the stupidity. Run back to AVfM, there’s a dear. The grown-ups are talking.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

I think. I mean, David thinks. Drat. David means, David thinks.

Monkey see, monkey do. Hulk smash.

Damn, this is hard.

Yes, yes it is. I, David, have spreadsheets and a database solely devoted to running this comment section. You see, I have to come up with adequate user-names, set a correct ratio of avatars to colorblobs, keep track of each ‘regular’ and ‘semiregular’s standard vocabulary, punctuation, and history, which I have to cross reference with all posts I write.

I have an entire room of filing cabinets for this task! Well, half of them are filled with ferret food and toys for the ferrets in my David suit.

It’s amazing I can post so much, so quickly!

contrapangloss
6 years ago

I also run umpteen different blogs, under my fake follower’s names. It gives them more legitimacy, see?

It gets tedious, sometimes.

taitaisanchez
6 years ago

@nequam thanks, now my brain is broken for the rest of the day.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Stephen, have you taken steps to defend your claim that you understand any of the grownup subjects being discussed here?

katz
6 years ago

In fact I operated dozens of Livejournals and Deviantart accounts for years before I ever started this blog, just in case I needed sock puppets with plausible backgrounds sometime in the future.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

What’s with the “receding hairline” as an insult anyway? Do MRAs not have a man or woman among them who is going or is bald? Do they not know that when they make fun of other people with receding hairlines (that David doesn’t even have) they are mocking their fellow Men’s Rape Advocates too? Do they care? People lose their hair sometimes. It does not render them unable to write or to be correct. That’s an awfully juvenile and petty thing to decide to use to paint David as a “desperate character”.
…and the pizza thing? Do MRAs never eat pizza? That’s sad. Pizza is delicious. I made a goat cheese, fresh pesto, pepper, red onion and tomato pizza recently and it was amazeaballs!
Then there is the feminizing of “Futrelle” as an insult. They really think misgendering people is the height of hilarity and that there is no worse insult than calling someone feminine.
I wonder how the FemRAs feel about their gender being used as an insult? I wonder if their internalized misogyny goes so deep that they think so little of themselves as to take no exception to such a slight? Honey badgers, huh? Yeah, that’s real tough stuff, letting “allies” treat your gender as an insult. Not one of them would dare speak up to complain though. They can ask Woolly Bumblebee and Sunshine Mary how that works out.

Meanwhile they’re wild, false accusations only show them to be exactly as dishonest and vile as most people who are aware of them already know they are. What a stupid fucking thing to do with the little bit of media attention they’ve managed to get.

They never fail to make asses of themselves with gusto, do they?

katz
6 years ago

I made a goat cheese, fresh pesto, pepper, red onion and tomato pizza recently and it was amazeaballs!

Yum!

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Also, D. Happy, take your head out of your ass, OK?

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

I’m trying to wrap my head around this:

David is covering for or enabling violent or violence-advocating feminists because they exist and he doesn’t spend most of his time denouncing/harassing them.

AVfM is NOT covering for or enabling violent or violence-advocating MRAs DESPITE having Thomas Ball’s opus on their front page as recently as last year and regularly featuring violent rhetoric and opinions portraying violence against women in a positive light.

Fuck this. I’m going back to my George Michael records.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Do they realize genocide a real fucking thing right? And that gendered infanticide of females is going on right now, with actual documented proof?

I’m sure that’s something else they think feminists are making up in order to rake in all that sweet, sweet, victimization power they are so sure we’re rolling in.

These are people who never let something a silly as a fact stop them from making outrageously dishonest claims.

To be fair, the facts aren’t on their side, so lies are pretty much all they’re left with.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Katz,
It was yum!

It caused death breath, but it was yum.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Isn’t Mr. the Otter bald as fuck?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago
marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Yeah, dat one.

Emmy Rae
Emmy Rae
6 years ago

I can’t imagine how long David spent getting his ferrets into a Patrick Stewart outfit just to eat pizza for that picture.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

You’d be surprised what ferrets will do for pizza, Emmy Rae.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

Part of it is the resentment they feel that you are getting the hits on articles about their asshattery instead of them. It has been my observation that in feminist circles on Facebook people link to this blog when discussing MRA behavior. You have become the debunker in chief and they hates you for it forever.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Why they gotta be so racist? “As long as you’re teaching men not to rape, why not teach blacks not to eat fried chicken and Jews not to cheat.” Really, Mr. the Otter? You don’t see a big difference between racist stereotypes and a disproportionate, non-negligible number of men raping predominantly women? You can’t see any difference between that and the belief black people eat more fried chicken than people of other ethnicities?