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This MRA's new fighting technique is unstoppable

Master debater
Master debater

You know how Men’s Rights Activists regularly resort to insults and invective when they “debate” with feminists online?

It turns out that they’re not just being assholes. No, they’re actually using a super-sophisticated, scientifically tested debating technique to totally PWN feminist slut bitches and mangina poodle-boy pussy-beggars alike.

By acting like assholes.

Men’s Rights Redditor anonlymouse reveals the secrets to debating like an MRA in a recent posting.

“I’ve been doing this for roughly a decade, and have experimented with a variety of tactics and approaches,” he writes. When he posts polite comments, he says, he gets ignored. When he insults his opponents, they’re more likely to respond.

[I]f I attack them head on, insulting them for posting something that’s so retarded, they listen. …

What’s necessary to debate with feminists is to strike a nerve right off the bat. Say a single sentence that they consider incredulous – or that’s explicitly offensive to them. They get upset, and commit to arguing with you. This is the bait. If you can’t get them emotionally invested, you can’t talk to them.

Yes, it’s hard to ignore someone who gets in your face and says something truly appalling. Similarly, if you literally throw your own poop at someone, they’re likely to respond to that as well, as monkeys have been demonstrating for ages.

If you present a well researched argument in a neutral tone, particularly with a source, they will pretend they didn’t notice it, hope nobody else does and move on to the next thing. They know they don’t have good arguments, so they won’t engage if you open with one yourself.

Or maybe they don’t feel like having a pointless pseudo-debate with an asshole who isn’t arguing in good faith?

Nah, couldn’t be that.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have sources backing up your argument, what it means is you don’t reveal that you have any until they’re really incensed.

Muahahahaha!

Wait for them to demand you provide a source for your claims (you can draw out this demand by gradually making your claims more specific – rather like escalating your bet each round in poker). Once they’ve demanded a source, and you provide it, they’ll actually read through the whole paper looking for a flaw in it that they can attack.

Anonlymouse apparently thinks that actually reading studies is a sign of submission.

A few things will happen here. One, they’ll realise it’s solid, they can’t contradict it and just go silent. They’ll make excuses later about how you’re just stubborn, but they actually did read it and internalised it.

Or maybe they move on because they’re tired of arguing with a dickhead who’s going to dismiss everything they say anyway.

They usually won’t make the same claim in the future, but if they do you can call them out on ignoring what you provided previously, which being a personal attack will get them involved again.

Yeah, well, YOUR MOM is a wage gap.

Two, they’ll find some niggling detail and argue that. This is OK, at this point you switch to the rational debating mode – they’re invested and arguing with you so they won’t walk away so easily – and keep explaining why their objection isn’t valid – or provide another source to back you up.

Yeah, god forbid that you actually take in anything they say instead of reacting with an instictive “nuh uh” regardless of what they actually argue.

Three, they’ll acknowledge that it has some validity and that they’ll have to give it more thought. You’ll never get a complete admission that they were wrong and you were right, but that isn’t so important. You’re influencing their position and they’re going to gradually shift.

Or maybe they’re so tired of debating they’ll say anything to end the conversation.

You can’t escalate from rational to direct attacks; that makes it look like you’re losing. But you can de-escalate from direct attacks to rational – nobody’s going to suggest that you feel you’re losing because you suddenly switched from being incensed to calm, and it makes some of their common accusations just seem ridiculous (which you can calmly point out to them).

Wow. You’ve discovered gaslighting.

Congratulations, you’re well on your way to thinking and acting like an abuser!

In the comments, the always charming DavidByron2 notes that he’s been gaslighting feminists for two decades. He especially likes the “don’t give them sources” strategy.

Make them do some work for it and they’ll have a better emotional relationship with it. If you spoon feed them it’s like a magic trick. They don’t believe the source because it came from you. The best is if you make them Google it for themselves. The more they do the more they accept it, the more you do, the more they reject it.

Huh. I always thought that when these guys didn’t give their sources it was because they were talking out of their ass. I had no idea it was all part of a devious masterdebating plan.

“Debating” MRAs can be an infuriating experience. Apparently, with some MRAs, this isn’t an accident. They set out to be as infuriating as possible — and quite often succeed.

H/T — r/againstmensrights

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Delphi Ote
Delphi Ote
6 years ago

I’d just like to pause here for a moment and bask in David’s reference to the greatest webcomic artist in The History of The Internet.

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

“Say a single sentence that they consider incredulous – or that’s explicitly offensive to them.”

All cats are actually several ferrets wearing a costume – also, cake is disgusting.
There are no such things as roads – also, baby penguins are rubbish.
Human feet stay the same size throughout life – also, Ayn Rand was a genius.

Am I doing it right? How many argument points have I accumulated?

tinyorc
6 years ago

Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

Everything is about getting attention from women for them. They can’t tell the difference between argument, debate, discussion, flirting, conversation, and asking directions to Starbucks, because it’s all about domination/zero-sum transactions/boundary violations/alpha preening. So long as they think they’ve “scored” off some woman or beta feminist, they think they’ve won.

QFT.

Kootiepatra:

Seriously, it seems like upwards of 90% of the time, the first person to call “ad hominem” in an internet argument has not even remotely been personally insulted. They’re probably actually doing a fair bit of namecalling themselves.

I literally just went on a Twitter rant about people firing off “AD HOMINEM!” without having a notion of what it actually means. Argumentum ad hominem is not “anything that could be construed as insulting” – it’s deliberately attacking or calling into question your opponent’s personal qualities or circumstances as a debating tactic.

So: “That’s not what the study says, you idiot!” is not ad hominem. It’s rude, it’s a personal attack, it’s a personal attack etc. … but it’s not ad hominem.

However, “I wouldn’t expect someone with your level of education to be able to understand is this study” is ad hominem, because the opponent’s education (or lack thereof) is being used to discredit his argument.

Also, it’s the more subtle forms of ad hominem that actually end up successfully undermining debates. Someone screaming “MORON!” or “FEMINAZI!” during a debate is generally making themselves look bad and discrediting themselves far more than their opponent. But stuff like “I wouldn’t except a childless person to understand…” or “Well, he does have liberal arts degree…” are far more pernicious because they’re often let stand as a valid part of the argument.

Also, worth noting that argumentum ad hominem is not always fallacious. Pointing out, for example, that a US senator has no education in climate science and thus is not qualified to make policy decisions about climate change is, technically, an ad hominem. But sometimes the expertise of the interlocutors is actually relevant to the debate.

sunnysombrera
6 years ago

Kootie: that happened once when I was debating with a guy in YouTube comments (bad idea I know) over whether a certain advert was misandrist. See for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXNJA1yGn-8&feature=youtube data player

It’s an ad for a British holiday company and, according to their “Behind the Scenes”, is based on the phrase “feeling like an ogre” when you’ve been working too hard and need a break . Using CGI and prosthetics the main character Simon is dressed up to look like an ogre, goes on holiday and transforms back into himself after a while. The point is to say that Thomson holidays make you feel like yourself again. That is the stance I took.

Enter the troll who decides that because they picked a man to be the ogre and not a woman the ad is misandrist. That Thomson were deliberately picking on men and fathers by presenting them as ogres. His supporting evidence? Women are more likely to be grumpy and clumsy and ogrelike, and he knows this because his mother was.

I’m not kidding. His reasoning for his stance was his own mummy issues. Me? I argued that Thomson were not trying to label men as ogres but to show that holidays make you yourself again. And that they probably picked the dad to be the ogre because usually its the fathers who go to work. I referenced their behind the scenes video and the fact that their trending hash tag was # Me Again. He ignored it all and proceeded to spout nonsense along with with basically saying “if you can’t see the sexism you are a crazy stupid blind feminazi!” I called him an MRA at one point. He complains about name calling and GET THIS: THOMSON ACTUALLY STEPPED IN AT THIS POINT TO CRITICISE. Not me personally, but name calling in general. AFTER all his ad hominems.

After that I realised I wasn’t going to win with this troll who kept ignoring my points. Not to mention I was a little stung by the fact that Thomson reacted to his whining about name calling and in the thread it looked like they were calling ME out on it. You know that feeling when your sibling really winds you up and you react and then your parent steps in to tell YOU to behave? Felt kind of like that.

TL;DR: I was arguing with a name calling troll who called me out on one ad hominem and the site host stepped in to back him up. Not that I blame them, I don’t think they read the whole thread. Must have been a trigger word that alerted them.

sunnysombrera
6 years ago

Tinyorc: oops I just make that mistake in my last post. Apologies everyone.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

I think the dirty little secret is that MRAs aren’t the least bit interested in persuading others. They’re trying to convince themselves, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that women are the root cause of everything bad in their lives. So they talk and talk and talk, LOUDLY, hoping that a constant stream of keyboard spew will drown out the cognitive dissonance.

The only way they can keep the bubble intact is through lies, dirty tricks, fake science, obscure jargon, and silencing opposing viewpoints. Genuine debate would pop their bubble in a second. They’re happy to throw entire genders under the bus (binary and non-binary) rather than risk suffering even one tiny, momentary pang of self-awareness and personal growth. That pretty much says all you need to know about them.

tinyorc
6 years ago

@sunnysombrera, actually, I think calling someone a feminazi in a debate about gender would amount to an ad hominem, because it’s equating your opponent’s politics to the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany.

My rant didn’t make it clear that there is (obviously) a fairly blurry line between personal attacks and ad hominem! But I do get really irritated by the commonly-held internet definition of ad hominem, which makes no distinction between it and name calling.

nellodee1010
nellodee1010
6 years ago

You guys get YouTube videos as sources? I’m jelly. I pretty much exclusively get linked to AVFM. Almost always by someone who insists they aren’t an MRA. Kind of annoying, since when I ask for sources I always specify “reliable”.

daintydougal
daintydougal
6 years ago

Don’t forget that reliable peer reviewed source: cosmo. Also that one jezebel article. SCIENCE.

sorceressensorcelled
sorceressensorcelled
6 years ago

@sunnysombrera: Wow, weird, the exact same thing happened to me on a forum where a troll was basically there to criticise the regulars for liking something he didn’t like. I called him out on his troll behavior and then one of the mods came on to tell me not to resort to name-calling. It’s so bizarre when that sort of thing happens because this is obviously behavior that they’re proud of and showing off, but when you name it, suddenly it’s all, ad hominem or something…

Anyway, sorry that happened, but I’ve been on few comment sections that are fair about debates and such. This is one of the rare ones.

Nez
Nez
6 years ago

I’ve been lurking here for a while, so I thought I’d finally leave a comment.

You know, when people associated with the manosphere (MRAs, MTGOWs, TRPers, etc.) refuse to give me sources to back up their arguments, I just assume most of what they’re saying is bullshit. Considering they all claim to be so rational and logical, you’d think they’d know what Hitchens’ Razor is. If a feminist ignores an MRA’s argument, it’s not because they’re admitting defeat, it’s because they know the argument is bull. In fact, they’ve probably heard the same argument a thousand times. Oh, and RoK posts don’t count as sources.

My favourite part is the “make them Google it themselves” thing. See, I did that a while ago when someone from TRP claimed they had a study that proved the “20% of men get 80% of sex” was real. I couldn’t for the life of me find the ‘study’ they mentioned, no matter how hard I looked. When I finally did find the source of the claim, it was an MRA supporter (can’t remember her name) who basically butchered the Pareto principle with no evidence whatsoever.

Needless to say, I don’t Google anything they say anymore. I’ve yet to see them make a valid point that feminists aren’t already aware of.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Speaking of ‘welcome packages’ I think we should add cookies to it because of this:

https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/09/29/a-cookie-delayed-is-a-cookie-denied-the-soft-tyranny-of-cookie-misandry/#comments

Skye
Skye
6 years ago

Also, worth noting that argumentum ad hominem is not always fallacious. Pointing out, for example, that a US senator has no education in climate science and thus is not qualified to make policy decisions about climate change is, technically, an ad hominem. But sometimes the expertise of the interlocutors is actually relevant to the debate.

That or you are a male senator/representative/judge with no medical training and are therefore not qualified to make decisions better left to women and their health care providers

leftwingfox
6 years ago

@tinyorc:

Also, worth noting that argumentum ad hominem is not always fallacious. Pointing out, for example, that a US senator has no education in climate science and thus is not qualified to make policy decisions about climate change is, technically, an ad hominem. But sometimes the expertise of the interlocutors is actually relevant to the debate.

Well, yes and no. You are absolutely correct that it’s relevant as a first order defence against bullshit; but it is still technically a logical fallacy, since experts can be wrong and amateurs can be right.

In everyday use, that sort of rough Bayesian analysis is far more useful; Experts are much more likely to be correct than amateurs, so the burden of proof needs to be on the amateur to convince people. Similarly, habitual liars or people with an obvious ingrained political bias are much less likely to correct their errors than someone willing to admit they’re wrong.

While true understanding is better than trusting others, our world is so complex that often trust is all we’ve got. While scientists need that logic for understanding, it’s overrated when dealing with internet arguments. =,

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

My favourite part is the “make them Google it themselves” thing.

“I Googled it. You’re wrong. I win.”

And when they ask for your source…

contrapangloss
6 years ago

@phoncecian:

… you type back: GOOGLE IT!

CattyGal
CattyGal
6 years ago

Keep wanking off to porn and then hate yourself for being so socially inept. Your choice bozos.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ CattyGal – that might be an adequate comeback, but I’m not sure where the “bozos” thing furthers the debate that much.