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The Book of Laughter and Castration

Some gals are afraid that people are going to laugh at them.
Actually, some gals are afraid that people are going to laugh at them.

Listening in on conversations amongst Men’s Rights Activists is often like taking a brief journey into an alternate universe, where cats are dogs and water is dry and men are the most oppressed creatures on planet earth.

Over in the Men’s Rights subreddit the other day, some of the regulars seem to have just discovered a famous feminist quotation, a paraphrase of something Margaret Atwood once wrote:

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

A number of the Men’s Rights Redditors were indignant that anyone could possibly suggest that women have more to fear from men than the other way around. And so, collectively, they came up with a rebuttal of sorts.

OneBigCosmicHorror began by suggesting that the real fear men have of women is much more primal:

OneBigCosmicHorror 17 points 6 days ago  I don't know who first said this, but that person is obviously an idiot. The biggest male fear is not a fear that women will laugh at us. Fear of castration will always be the most primal male-specific fear.

Ah, but isn’t being laughed at basically the same as castration?

indigoanasazi 2 points 6 days ago  Being laughed at is -social- castration.

Indigoanasazi explained:

indigoanasazi 3 points 6 days ago  Well, it's more like...the psychological fear of castration is a fear of loss of social status.  After all, women are afforded social status by default due to their value to society as childbearers.  Men have to compete to gain any status, so when approaching a woman, there is a risk of status loss.  The fear of castration is a metaphor for male status. Men have to fight to be considered men. And it can be lost and taken away by something as trivial as a woman spreading rumors or humiliating you.

Oh, you silly ladies with your fears of being killed by men. We men face an even greater peril — the ever-present threat of laugh-castration!

 

 

 

 

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Michelle C Young
6 years ago

nixscripter, I understand about that shield. I only recently (within the last ten years, or so), realized my own privilege, as a white, cis-het woman. I’m still learning, all the time, and this blog is one of the best sources for me.

This whole thing with Ferguson has me feeling very grateful that I am white. Walking while Black (or Brown), is just so darned dangerous! I’m glad for myself that I have that privilege, but I really wish that the whole privilege thing didn’t exist, and we could all be treated equally.

We’re equal in value! We need to treat each other that way.

I don’t know what I can do for the people in Ferguson, or the people who are being targeted elsewhere. But I do know that if I ever personally see something racist going down, or hear people making racist remarks, I can speak up. And I can help to teach the next generation to do so, as well. That is vital.

A few weeks ago, I called out someone on Runescape for making a comment. I said, “Please don’t use that word. It’s a slur.” They didn’t acknowledge it, but I haven’t seen them use it again, either. So, maybe it’s a baby step for them? I hope so.

Time was, I wouldn’t have spoken up. I didn’t used to think it was necessary. Jim Crow was over. The ERA was unnecessary. We had equal voting, and that was all that mattered. Everyone in law enforcement was a straight-arrow hero. What an ignorant fool I was.

I know some wonderful people in law enforcement. And they are the first to admit that there are some really crooked, cruel, and dirty cops out there! Unfortunately, those bad apples make a whole lot of trouble, for a whole lot of people, and the good ones can’t counter-act it all.

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

He also educated a girl at his school about women in computer science. She apparently thought there weren’t any,

Forget Ada Lovelace – are you telling me there are computer programmers who have never heard of Admiral Grace Hopper?

Michelle C Young
6 years ago

Well, to be fair, he’s in high school, and so was the girl to whom he was speaking.

I’ve never heard of Admiral Grace Hopper, either, but then again, I am no computer programmer. Not even close.

But years ago, my Dad told me about Hedy Lamarr.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

People in law enforcement vary, like everybody else.
But they aren’t, in general, good at outing and stopping the bad actors within their ranks. This is a problem.

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

They didn’t acknowledge it, but I haven’t seen them use it again, either. So, maybe it’s a baby step for them? I hope so.

Not so much a baby step, it’s more of a mental signal. You got through to the point where this person now cannot avoid the awareness or the element of doubt about where, when, with whom they need to not use such expressions.

Even if they continue to use it, they’re now in the position of being wary about other people’s body language or other responses, rather than dismissing or laughing them off. And … they now know that when someone challenges them that they should have known better in the first place.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

cutting the damned thing off starts to look really appealing

You’re fantasizing about completely castrating men who have contemptible attitudes and behaviours?

I agree with this blog: call out their misogyny, mock it, and counter their arsefacts with scientific evidence. Let the cleansing power of sunlight fall upon their beliefs.

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

Actually, GrumpyOldMan, I would like to one day visit this magical opposite land that the entirety of the mrm live in. That’s why I said it. Don’t tell me what I do and don’t want especially if it’s backed up with dubious harmful ideas of ‘manhood’.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

I thought GrumpyOldMan was saying MRA land is such a shitty place, nobody’d want to visit it.

Nitram
6 years ago

Nixscripter,

Thank you for posting! Ive always thought feminism has the power to make men feel more secure. If for no other reason, it calls out toxic masculinity, and lets men come out of that tiny aggressive box we’ve put them in. Patriarchy constrains everyone. If the MRM would actually pay attention to feminist tenets, they’d realize all those “misandric” things they’re complaining about are actually being addressed by feminism and we’re on the same side. But I don’t really believe they care about men all that much. It’s a thin veil barely masking their hatred toward women. Anyway, it’s a delight to have you here! Can someone give him the welcome package? I don’t know how to computer.

estraven
estraven
6 years ago

That’s what I thought, too, kittehserf.

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

I just wish I could walk in other peoples shoes. To truly believe that that ‘reverse racism’ is a thing and indeed a more important thing than actual racism. To actually believe that there’s a massive feminist conspiracy to castrate all men. I wish I could experience that world view so as to better understand it. That’s all. It’s clear the mrm is made up of bitter miserable losers but I still want to experience it, to see how it compares to my experience of reality.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

I’ve totally had revenge fantasies about castrating men? When yr dealing with men who’ve bought into toxic hypermasculinity 110%, treat their dick like a sacred talisman and hold anything associated with women/vulvas/femininity/”receptive” sexuality in contempt, cutting the damned thing off starts to look really appealing.

*content note: violence*

There’s an issue of Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist where some guy on the street tries to tell her that his dick will “fix” her or w/e, so she cuts it off and takes it home to try to figure out what’s so magical about it.

Do I need to include a disclaimer that I don’t actually support lopping bits off of street harassers? Because I don’t support that.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

*pops head in*

Hi, I’ve been busy cleaning and doing fish stuff and getting ready for an axolotl, but someone requested a Welcome Package? Here you go — http://artistryforfeminismandkittens.wordpress.com/the-official-man-boobz-complimentary-welcome-package/

*goes back to making a sponge filter an axolotl can’t eat*

Ps, Borg folks, expect Borg stuff in the near future, it’s somewhere between that filter and cleaning my desk on my to do list.

Pps, thank the gods I have to log into WP, because iOS auto filled not just my email, but my nym as my legal name — I damned near had a heart attack when I saw that only after pressing post!

——

On topic…nope. Can’t deal with this shit. Any of it. Swimming critters? Those I can deal with! (Puff and the gobies are getting on great, I’ve actually witnessed Puff and a goby for the same bit of food and Puff respond by either ignoring the goby and swimming faster, or darting towards a different bit of food — hasn’t gone after the gobies at all since the first day they invaded his tank)

…I’m gonna stop interrupting with my random fish stuff and get back to work >.<

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

Because I don’t support that.

HA!! Nice try MOD, but I have personally witnessed you laughing gleefully at any number of men on this very blog itself. Do you deny that this is one of the very reasons that you’ve been elevated to moderator of this forum? J’accuse, déesse!!

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

p.s. Did the comment you guys are responding to get modded, or am I just that blind?

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

Also, hey Argenti!!!

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Orion

It’s less likely to have been sexual abuse, but I think physical abuse toward cis/het men is often tied in with mockery of gender performance.

Yes but still, again, getting triggered over past abuse < ACTUAL ABUSE. Also, I really don't think getting laughed at makes many cishet dudes abreact their prior castrations.

RE: Karalora

Guys talk about how such-and-so is bad because “It makes me feel like less of a man!” but why is “a man” such a vitally important thing to be?

*cringe* Back when I was a young blowhard, I felt that if I were just male enough, I’d never be raped or abused again. Of course, that was total horseshit, but one that a lot of folks (including myself) wanted me to believe. It was the magical thinking that if I just tried hard enough, I could abuse-proof myself, and it gave me some ounce of control over things. It wasn’t that abuse was something that just happened; it was just that I was a [slur] [slur] [slur] who couldn’t protect himself!

Of course, I never felt like a real man. I always felt like a fraud, so you know. And then I discovered feminism and realized that gender performance is no reason to hurt someone, and I lived gayly ever after, the end.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

@Shadow: I just checked – just got up – and it got removed. The username combined with the comment made me wonder if it was an MRA pretending to be female.

Orion
6 years ago

LBT,
“Yes but still, again, getting triggered over past abuse < ACTUAL ABUSE."

Agreed. Also, I didn't mean to imply that most cismale abuse victims are triggered simply by being laughed at. I was intending to comment on the subthread about how gender performance becomes so important to so many men. I really just wanted to point out that cis/het men may well have the same feelings you describe about masculinity as a protective talisman.

Nobody i being socially castrated, that I know of.

GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

“I just wish I could walk in other peoples shoes. To truly believe that that ‘reverse racism’ is a thing and indeed a more important thing than actual racism. To actually believe that there’s a massive feminist conspiracy to castrate all men. I wish I could experience that world view so as to better understand it. That’s all. It’s clear the mrm is made up of bitter miserable losers but I still want to experience it, to see how it compares to my experience of reality.”

I don’t think it can be done. To get to MRAland you have to believe, really believe, that the vast majority of women sit around all day eating bon-bons and dreaming up fiendish new ways of subjugating, humiliating, spermjacking, castrating (presumably in that order), and even dismembering men. It seems to me that requires either (1) an extremely restricted acquaintance with actual women (almost all of whom have far more important things to do with their time) or (2) a superhuman capacity for “willing suspension of disbelief”. That’s why I always ask, do these guys actually know any actual women?
However, if you want to try to make the journey, I recommend that you should first stock up on at least a thousand cute animal pictures and videos (or whatever other type of brain bleach you favor), ’cause you’re gonna need it.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

actual women (almost all of whom have far more important things to do with their time)

This is true. Fribs has already required a couple of hours of quality lap time and is now complaining about the interruption. I haven’t had time to do any subjugating, humiliating, spermjacking, castrating or dismembering today.

GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

Well, kitteh, you’re just going to have to work it into your schedule somehow. I know misandry is a heavy burden, but it’s your duty.
My wife is off in Austria for 2.5 weeks, so I have to serve the needs of her kitty too. Ah, the trials of the servants of the Furrinati!

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

My wife is off in Austria for 2.5 weeks, so I have to serve the needs of her kitty too.

I just tell my wife I’m selling him for medical experiments and she doesn’t dare leave me alone with him.

GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

If I did that I WOULD be castrated — as a preparation for being roasted on a spit over an open fire with an apple in my mouth.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

::sigh:: You’re right, GrumpyOldMan, I’m going to have to manage it all somehow. I don’t want to be hauled up before the Feminist High Council for dereliction of duty.

Phoenican, I hope your kitteh doesn’t understand English.

Steven Dutch
Steven Dutch
4 years ago

White equals light equals pale equals faint equals dim equals dark equals black. Therefore, white equals black. QED

Being ridiculed equals loss of status equals social castration equals actual castration. So being ridiculed equals literal castration. QED

GrumpyOldMan: “I just wish I could walk in other peoples shoes.” Years ago I was teamed up with a guy to install surveyors’ bench marks. Rather than fight our way back through thick brush, we decided to just drop down to the road. On the way down, he got blisters on his feet, and my boots fell apart. So I took his boots and hiked back to our vehicle. So there is one person of whom I can say I walked a mile in his shoes. Five miles, actually.

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