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a new woman to hate a voice for men a woman is always to blame antifeminism antifeminist women entitled babies evil moms evil women harassment hypocrisy irony alert kitties men who should not ever be with women ever misandry misogyny MRA oppressed men paul elam playing the victim straw feminists the c-word whores why can't men punch women?

Are Men's Rights Activists incapable of understanding irony — or are they just pretending?

You can buy your own Misogyny Bunch pillow for only $19.19 at the A Voice for Men store.
Goodnight, Paul! You can buy your own Misogyny Bunch pillow for only $19.19 at A Voice for Men’s Red Pill store.

Let me take a moment to ignore my regular readers and speak directly to the Men’s Rights Activists who might be reading this blog. I suspect there are a few.

What I would like to talk to you about it ironic humor. Because, here’s the thing, sometimes people say things they don’t actually believe in order to make a little fun at the way other people see them.

When a feminist writer posts a picture of herself wearing a shirt that says “I bathe in male tears,” noting that the picture is directed at the haters who leave nasty comments on everything she writes, she is not actually announcing that she, literally or metaphorically, bathes in male tears. Nor is she saying anything about the vast, overwhelming majority of men. She is saying “fuck you, I’m on vacation” to a small subset of men. That is, those who leave nasty comments on everything she writes. You know, like she explicitly stated she was doing.

I point out what seems to me patently obvious because so many men in the so-called Men’s Rights movement continue to pretend that somehow Jessica Valenti has launched a war against all the good and honest men of the world by wearing a t-shirt that she knew might annoy a teensy tiny fraction of the douchiest of men. And when people point out that she was making an ironic joke, these dudes react as though they’ve never heard of ironic humor.

This isn’t the first time MRAs seem to have had trouble getting ironic humor. In 2012, A Voice for Men launched a campaign of defamation against a college student inspired in large part by a joke she made on Twitter declaring that her political position was “kill all men hail satan.”  AVFM’s Paul Elam presented this as proof that the young woman “hate[s] men [and] want[s] them dead or silenced or marginalized or ignored.” Not as the joke it obviously was.

But the thing is, MRAs do know what ironic humor is. Because they indulge in it themselves, all the time.

Over on AVFM, for example, the regulars jokingly refer to themselves as “kitten eaters,” presumably in an attempt to mock what they think people like me think of them.

Now, as you all presumably have figured out, I happen to be a giant fan of cats young and old, regardless of their beliefs. But I don’t for a second think that the assholes at A Voice for Men, despite being some of the worst human beings I’ve ever encountered, actually eat kittens.

I recognize that they are making a joke, albeit a poor one. Because, here’s the thing: I live in the real world, and I can distinguish between things meant seriously and things meant as a joke.

And I think most of those who continue to rail against Valenti and her eeeeevil t-shirt can tell the difference, too. They just choose not to, because they’re not looking for a reason to attack Valenti. They’re looking for an excuse.

Now, is it possible that things meant as ironic jokes can sometimes contain a kernel of truth? Well, yes, but there is no evidence that this is the case with Valenti. There’s no evidence at all that she hates men. None. Zero. Sure, she admits to being less than fond of a few men who are assholes, but that’s because they’re assholes, not because they’re men.

Indeed, in one recent column, she wrote this:

I have the most amazing men in my life. My father, who bought me chemistry sets and robots for every tea set or doll. My husband, an incredible feminist who is an equal partner in parenting and the home. My male friends, who believe that gender justice is important and worth fighting for. I don’t have a hard time finding these amazing men because – shockingly – most men are pretty cool guys.

In another recent column, she stood up for male victim of sexual blackmail online, reminding her readers that “it’s still revenge porn when the victim is a man and the picture is of his penis.”

I know, you can just SMELL THE HATRED there.

But there are some people, I will admit, who don’t do quite so well with their attempts at ironic humor. Ironically, the first people who come to mind are amongst those who profess to be the most shocked, shocked by Valenti’s t-shirt. I speak, of course, of the Misogyny Bunch over at A Voice for Men.

That picture at the top of this post? I didn’t photoshop it. Nor did I come up with that little nickname. They did. Indeed, on their online store, AVFM sells not only pillows but t-shirts, mugs, tote bags and even playing cards emblazoned with the catchphrase. No, really:

misogynybunchcards

Yes, that’s right, the guys (and gals) who are railing against Valenti’s allegedly misandrous t-shirt sell not only t-shirts but also playing cards declaring themselves misogynists.

This shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, given that the head of this little bunch, Paul Elam, posted on YouTube for years as The Happy Misogynist; he posts under his own name now, but TheHappyMisogynist is still part of the URL.

Oh, but it’s an ironic joke! They’re not really misogynists!

Well, except that they kinda are. Well, more than kinda. Unlike in the case of Valenti, there is ample evidence of real, honest-to-goodness hatred coming from this bunch. Ironically, the shirts they intend as ironic jokes aren’t ironic at all.

Proof? Look at my archives. (Well, skip those posts at the top about commemorative plates and coins.) Look at this collection of quotes from Elam – or maybe just the story he published, or the posts he’s written, offering justifications for men to beat their partners. Go to A Voice for Men and type in your favorite anti-woman slur and see just how many articles have featured those slurs, almost always in highly unironic ways. Oh, ok, I’ll do it for you: Bitch, Slut, Slattern, Whore, C*nt. My favorite one in that last group starts off memorably:

Women are facing a very real and grave problem in our culture: They are obnoxious c*nts.

Needless to say, there is no asterisk in the original.

While Valenti describes “most men” as “pretty cool guys,” Elam once suggested that

feminism, consumer products, psychology, media, advertising, politics and social custom [have] all merged into one Great Big Bitch Machine … [T]he modern female psyche is nothing more than a product of that machine … .

Last Father’s Day, Valenti wrote proudly about her feminist father. One recent Mothers Day, Elam suggested that mothers should

Place a bunch of daffodils at a dumpster near you, perhaps one in which one of you, or one of your kind, has tossed an unwanted baby, leaving it there to slowly die alone in a pile of trash.

Perhaps you could lay a single rose at the base of a bridge that has been used by a mother to throw her baby into an icy river. Perhaps you can lay it there with hands that have beaten or shaken a baby to death.

You get the idea.

There’s nothing ironic, or even particularly happy, about this man’s “happy misogyny.”

Irony, you’re doing it wrong.

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weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Here it is

The most disgusting trash I’ve seen all night. That’s after reading Inanity’s blog post and watching Rock of Love reruns.

Nequam
Nequam
7 years ago

Is it just called TLC now, and not by its full name, in recognition that it isn’t teaching anyone anything?

It’s been that for a while now.

redpoppy
redpoppy
7 years ago

Not about TLC but related: I wouldn’t have an issue with the “History” channels programming if they’d just change their fucking name to something else. Anything else. But not history. *grumbles*

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
7 years ago

redpoppy, I don’t get cable, and don’t know if the so-called History Channel even airs here, but everything I’ve heard about it makes me agree with you.

“Click-bait equivalent fiction loosely based on history channel” might be more accurate.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Isn’t the History Channel racist as well, like ancient aliens built all those temples where brown people live? I find those shows so offensive.

I remember there was one on a few years ago about a Bible code, which seemed to be make mathematical shit up for every verse in the Bible. And the people on the show took it seriously. At least for the 5 minutes I watched waiting for the rug to be pulled from under the idea (spoiler: it wasn’t).

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
7 years ago

I generally avoid so-called history programs these days. The whole “historian wanders around pontificating in between craptastically inaccurate so-called reenactments” genre makes me want to throw a brick through the telly.

redpoppy
redpoppy
7 years ago

I find it to be racist, yes. It’s also just insulting in general to all humans to assume that we were too stupid to engineer anything on our own. So dumb.

http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Aliens.+Brought+to+you+by+the+History+Channel_4d1f28_4182390.jpg

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Ancient Aliens is soooo racist. The sad thing is, I don’t think most people even notice it. They just take for granted that only the Greeks and Romans could invent anything on their own.

redpoppy
redpoppy
7 years ago

WWTH, which is basically crap. I saw a good show somewhat recently about the building of Machu Picchu. No aliens in site. Just some ingenious Incan builders.

redpoppy
redpoppy
7 years ago

*sight UGH I should go to bed soon lol

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

There’s also the fact that the Greeks stole a lot of their art and architecture ideas from the Middle East and Northern Africa.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
7 years ago

Okay, this is weird – how come some pictures are displaying on the page here? David never allowed that, ‘cos of the sort of shit trolls try posting. Anyone mind saying what image host thingy they’re using? I don’t know if that would make a difference, or if it’s WP being wiggy, or people know a secret way around it. 😛

Testing …

http://i.imgur.com/pM6UvfX.jpg

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
7 years ago

Well, that IS weird. I haven’t changed anything I’m doing to post pics.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

Yeah, that lolcat just went to my dad. He’s a cat/aliens guy. He’s also got deadpan down really, really well. The number of times he said “I think it was aliens” at my birthday dinner and I just slowly looked over at him, thinking “You’re not fucking serious”, I don’t even know. Not that I have any problem with the notion of life elsewhere in the universe. I just think it’s fucking stupid to attribute every incredible feat made in ancient times to aliens if only because, well, we’re not sure how people did it and there weren’t even white people there at the time so ALIENS, duh! If there weren’t white folk around to accomplish it, assume extraterrestrial lifeforms. Aliens. Racism.

The Duggars are a beautiful example of marketing. Their show’s editors are fucking brilliant. That family has been sold very effectively to an audience so much bigger than themselves. Most of the people eating them up don’t share their beliefs. They’re just fucking hooked on the show based on good feels portrayed by projecting a family that is simply the most wholesome, happy, fun bunch of people you’ll ever see. They downplay to such a huge extent if not entirely eliminate the oppression these people advocate for (FFS, their kid works for the Family Research Council and got the job based on being the public face for their “values”), abuse (you never hear Michelle Duggar’s talks about how to properly hit your kids or the importance of putting out for your husband whenever on the show) and outright delusion (BCP is killing babies……) they hold dear and even when you do a lot of otherwise reasonable people who aren’t in their direct line of fire are inclined to say “Now now, I certainly don’t agree with that BUT LOOK HOW NICE THEY ARE! Stop picking on them!”

You almost don’t even notice that, holy shit, they have eight adult children all of whom live off the show and none have “spread their wings” to pursue careers or educations. They only leave home after marriage and, even then, remain reliant on the show. These are no self-sufficient, well adjusted adult human beings. These are people who should have had every opportunity in the world and yet are still dependents. The boys are given jobs by their dad or get a job through the show and just hang around home until they find someone to marry and get promoted to working for a hate group. The girls are the primary caregivers of the children and go on occasional missions and participate in midwifery workshops to look like they have lives outside raising their siblings. They don’t.

Michelle Duggar is not an involved parent. She has time to fight for causes like making sure everyone using the same bathroom as her has a vulva and hell no will any of the shops in her county have liquor licenses because everyone should behave like her! As all those adult daughters are married off and the parenting of the young children falls back onto her, it’s going to be weird. She’s had free full-time in home childcare for a decade.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

@WWTH I didn’t know that about the Greeks, thanks for the education. 🙂

gilshalos
7 years ago

Aww, I was right. IB22 did run off and right a blog post about how mean everyone was. To save the clicking, it was titled “Dispelling Myths,” and was basically her responding to a bunch of accusations like “you think women are inferior” (yes! especially in the opening jars department (very little sarcasm I could detect (nested parenthesis! (we must go deeper) wait, hang on (*rumble* (oh my god, we delved too deep! nooo (BALROG)) *run run run* ) what have we unleashed?) (you shall not pass (RAARGH) fly you fools) GANDALF!) (nooooo!)), “you’re crazy” and “you’re a troll.”

This is an even more awesome Kirbywarp parapgraph than the ‘bestiality’ one, I think, but it was close!

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

I was right. IB22 did run off and right a blog post about how mean everyone was.

So, not only does she not understand that we can scroll up and read what she’s written, but she doesn’t know that people who read her blog can come here and read it too?

Kakanian
Kakanian
7 years ago

Well the folks finding us via her blog will probably agree with her views, meaning to them we were being mean and denying how relationships between women and men actually work at the same time.

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
7 years ago

I’m so, so grateful that all of y’all can take down insanitybytes’ garbage. She gives me the same sweaty palms as JB – that “there but by the grace of God/the universe/blind luck/whatever goes I” feeling. I can look at my past and easily see where a few different decisions would have led to me smugly proclaiming the eternal truth of the traditional male/female relationship model to anyone who would(n’t want to) listen. Or showboating for the approval of bunch of people who’d throw me under the bus as soon as look at me. Either way, ugh.

So anyway, the knee-jerk “yuck, noooo!” makes me pretty useless in these instances. But my braver fellow Mammotheers, keep up the good work! I’m lurking and cheering you on all the way.

Bina
Bina
7 years ago

That clown-car photo always did get to me. Not because of the vagina caption (that’s just a statement of fact; nobody’s vagina should be treated like a clown car), but because of the fixed, pasted-on grins of everybody in it. Fake happiness is the saddest thing in the world. Don’t just free Jinger, free them all!

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
7 years ago

Flying Mouse’s comment: double for me.

Thanks, guize!!

Bina
Bina
7 years ago

…you never hear Michelle Duggar’s talks about how to properly hit your kids or the importance of putting out for your husband whenever on the show…

Well, so much for traditional wife/motherhood’s reputation as an upholder of the dignity of women and the well-being of children. This is just straight-up internalized misogyny and an endorsement of child abuse. Why the fuck is it on the toob???

And oh yeah, Inanity, assuming you haven’t scurried off to your cubbyhole for good yet…take notes as to who is REALLY turning women into mere “sexual receptacles” here. I’ll give you a broad hint: NOT FEMINISTS.

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

Cole looks so much like my cat Turbo. I miss him a lot. He was such an awesome cat.

One of the women at work brought her new kitten in to the office the other day and it was so playful and friendly and fast. Too adorable. I mentioned to my bf how it made me want to get a kitten – not seriously because we already have too many pets. But today he asked me in passing where I’d get a kitten from if I got one. I think he likes the idea. He’s never had a kitten before.

I’ve never seen that Duggar show because they totally creep me out. I don’t even care how nice they seem to be in front of the camera, watching it would still give me the willies.

coffee
coffee
7 years ago

I always have to ask transmisogynists whether they honestly think a rapist, who was likely going to enter the bathroom anyway if that was their intent, would associate themselves with a label as stigmatized as transgender to try and use it as a “defence.” As if any legal court would accept that defence, even if it were used?

Not that it has been? EVER?

WHERE DO THEY GET THIS IDEA?!

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
7 years ago

The thing I don’t get about the whole you have to put out for your spouse thing is when do the het males have to put out? I’ve been in three long term het relationships in my life, and, each time, my libido was way higher than the man’s. Would these toe wipes agree that I could force the mister to satisfy me (I mean, if the thought of that wasn’t something that turned me off because, yuck, forced sex)?

Or am I just a pervert for admitting that a feeeemale might like sex for its own sake?

@ coffee – I think that they assume that being a woman is so demeaning that a man would only ‘choose’ to be one to get away with perversity. Or some bull shit like that.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@GrumpyOldNurse:

Their model of human relationships can’t parse one where the feeeemale has a higher libido than the male, because in their minds women don’t actually have libidos. Sex is just something women do to get the sweet sweet wallet stuffing.

If you actually talked to them, they’d probably just call the dude lucky (after labeling you Slutty McSlutterson first, obviously). Then they’d forget all about you and continue writing screeds about how women are obligated to please their owners.

Fibinachi
7 years ago

Fortunately for us all, government exists in purity outside of the patriarchy, orbiting around in it’s own little benevolent universe.

—–

“We’ve found it!”

Triumphant, a voice rose above the din in the den. It carried a copacetic note even months of sleep deprivation and a lack of feminine support couldn’t quench.

“Look! Scanner three! It’s finally got a lock!”

Hustle over to the monochrome monitor displaying the live feed from scanner three, which was sending a frail string of static and information back from some off-the-shelf dimensional intersection.

“Is that really it? It looks so… expansionist”
“No, that’s that. Metrics match.”
“So what are we looking at here?”
I don’t know. It could be autocratic. It could be a parliamentary section. Goddammit, we could be looking at a duly elected legislative body of our peers”
Disgusting

Someone taps the monitor, a clicker clacker rythm of thoughts mixing with disgust.

“So… it’s just there? Orbiting? Pure, condensed Government?”

Someone else, a scientist with a eight month beard and a burning sensation in the back of his neck because no woman had been allowed in the compound to coo appreciatively in response to his working mastery of Manscience, tapped another dial. The monitor zoomed.

Madre de dios! IS THAT—”
“What the fuc–”
“There’s lobbyists orbiting the Government compound. They’re filing subsidization forms. How do they… how can they… oh god I can’t watch”
“Someone call the secretariat! I need someone to coo at my manliness, I can’t take it….. It’s just there! Giving out benefits! What is it, some kind of legislative singularity?!”
————–

Orion
7 years ago

I believe in sexual autocracy. Nobody gets a vote in my sex life besides me. If my sex life happens to involve other people, then it’s a treaty ratified by sovereign states.

Sexual democracy sounds like the rick santorum agenda; putting my sex life up for popular vote.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

coffee,
I honestly don’t think they think that. I think they just want to stick it to trans people any way they can.

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
7 years ago

Thanks, kirbywarp! I thought it might be something like that. So, if women just put out to get wallet stuffing (love that term, by the way, can I please borrow it?) doesn’t that kind of make them prostitutes? or does the sanctity of marriage magically protect them from that horrid lable, because they’re selling their bodies to one paticular man? And, as we all know, a woman’s only marketable commodity is her body.

My slutty brain is now hurting from trying to fellowfeel this level of misogyny. Also, I think I may have OD’d on my own sarcasm.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

I can not thank you enough for the laughs. Between Balrogs, Brady song parodies and “I need someone to coo at my manliness” I have busted out laughing so much in this thread.

Here’s someone to coo at your manliness:
http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1va7nSLjt1rt1e2eo1_500.jpg

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
7 years ago

@ Fibinachi – you made me giggle snort! Do you despise coffee that much, to make it go up my nose, instead of down my throat? Miscaffeiney!

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

…and then I saw the website at the bottom right.

Well…poop.

contrapangloss
7 years ago

Fibi, that was adorable.

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
7 years ago

@ Lea – love the strut walk!

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

At least IB22’s nonsense has inspired some very funny snark and shirt fiction Mammotheers 🙂

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

“Shirt fiction” = “short fiction.”

I swear autocorrect is making fun of me.

Fibinachi
7 years ago

Hey Lea, how’d you post that picture, code-wise? That shouldn’t be possible on this blog as an anti-troll measure (DICK PICS EVERYWHERE).

You just erh… you just broke the matrix. Kudos.

Ally S
7 years ago

@coffee

It’s because our bodies are viewed as inherently violent. No one who sees us as undeserving of using the women’s restroom actually cares about rapists getting away with their actions. We trans women are simply seen as a threat to be exterminated.

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
7 years ago

@ sparky – I would love some shirt fiction. Do you have any in XL?

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
7 years ago

“We trans women are simply seen as a threat to be exterminated.”

QFT!

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

Grumpoldnurse,

Yep. It is not, despite what these fools believe, always the man who initiates sex. I’ve known many women over the years who were most often the instigators of sex in their relationships with men. The idea that men always want sex and women only dole it out as some sort of duty is so wrong and sad. I wonder how these people explain away lesbians?

I’m also sad for women who admit that they have sex that they do not want to have with men because they think they have to. I cannot imagine enjoying sex with a partner who would rather not have sex with me. Besides that, if you aren’t “in the mood” how hard is it for your lover to put a little effort into getting you that way? There are these things called romance, flirtation and foreplay that often awaken desire. You could give those a try if you wanted to kindle interest in sex or even just let you lover know you care. I guess when she “owes” you pleasure whatever her feelings may be, and you’re a selfish asshole, why bother?

vaiyt
7 years ago

The arrogance displayed by Insanitybytes here is typical of the liberturdian. They take their version of reality to be self-evident.

Government benefits are like someone trying to be your daddy against your will… except it isn’t, because government benefits don’t come with restrictions of freedom as a caveat. Oh, I forgot that to a liberturdian only the freedom to benefit from society while giving nothing back counts. *spit*

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

Fibinachi,
I just cut and pasted it. It does not come up as a link anymore. I don’t know if that’s a glitch or if David is trying something new.

gilshalos
7 years ago

Picture links suddenly started working about a day back..Kitteh was wondering how as well.
(That is the Scots ‘how’ that acts as both ‘how’ and ‘why’)

Orion
7 years ago

Lea,

I’m not sure I’m comfortable recommend a bouquet of flowers to the manipulate asshole husbands of the world. There’s a long sad history of coercion via romantic gesture, which I find in some way creepier and more upsetting than more honest coercion.

Vaiyt,

American government benefits do often come with substantial restrictions on personal freedom. Then again, our benefits are optional. And not opt-out, but rather opt-in by doing your own research (or having a social worker tell you about the program) and then doing substantial paperwork.

DJG
DJG
7 years ago

Grumpyoldnurse/kirbywarp –

As for when husbands are/were supposed to put out for wives, that does recall to mind one of GWW’s favourites about the great petition or whatever it was to attempt to get one of the Stuart kings to close all the coffeehouses, as the men were neglecting their conjugal duties to go drink coffee together or perhaps play chess.

(I’ve wondered once or twice whether her speaking style is an attempt to be hypnotic. I remember a couple of years back seeing a programme about how someone had worked out how Agatha Christie wrote like a hypnotist, which I’d noticed without being able to label it, and now I’m getting a similar intuition about GWW.)

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

@ sparky – I would love some shirt fiction. Do you have any in XL?

Yep, here at Sparky’s Shirt Fiction Emporium, we have shirt fictions in sizes XS to 6XL in a variety of colors and styles.

Sparky’s Shirt Fiction Emporium, for all your shirt fiction needs.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: dustedeste

It kinda sounds like you get a vote, but the votes don’t necessarily all have to be “yes” to move forward with the sexytimes,

I feel like I should make a joke about the ‘penal code’ here or something.

RE: kittehserf

the “hysteria” comment aimed at LBT is skirting it.

Aw, just because I used the fainting couch? And at least she’s aiming some form of communication at me, rather than just using me as a rhetorical prop.

(Seriously, though, did she actually respond to me? I thought she just kinda responded in my general vicinity, except for when she felt like I was living evidence that the government wants everyone dependent on it.)

RE: pallygirl

I also didn’t realise that public restrooms were the key area where women and girls got sexually assaulted.

It’s true! Also, as of now, women’s restrooms have magical force fields that forbid anyone but cis women going inside them, keeping all cis women safe from any harm! This is why cis women in horror movies always flee into the bathroom to escape a male serial killer; they’re powerless against the gender force field!

If the law passes, the force field will no longer work! THINK OF THE (cis) CHILDREN!

RE: GrumpyOldNurse

The thing I don’t get about the whole you have to put out for your spouse thing is when do the het males have to put out?

Well, according to Mars and Venus in the Bedroom, women should just masturbate until they’re almost done, then just let hubby stick it in her and finish the job. (On the other hand, he never suggested men masturbate when they need it, just that women should put out because men finish faster.)

vaiyt
7 years ago

American government benefits do often come with substantial restrictions on personal freedom.

Mostly put in place not by the people fighting for them, but by assholes who don’t think the poor jump through enough hoops already.