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Is the Men's Rights Movement driven by the rage of the rejected?

Memorial in Marysville
Memorial in Marysville

Was Marysville school shooter Jaylen Fryberg trying to exact revenge on a girl who had rejected him? Various news accounts suggest that Fryberg was reeling from a recent breakup; a number of angry, anguished, and frustratingly enigmatic recent comments on Fryberg’s Twitter account seem to back this up.

So it may be that the shootings on Friday were yet another reworking of an old story.

It’s no secret that many men, for an assortment of reasons, react badly and often violently to romantic and sexual rejection. This can range from self-described “nice guys” of OkCupid sending vicious messages to women who say no all the way to angry men who stalk and harass and sometimes kill ex-wives and girlfriends. Women who leave abusive relationships often suffer greater violence at the hands of exes unwilling to let them go.

I’ve written before of the striking ways that Men’s Rights Activism recapitulates the logic of domestic abuse; it’s no coincidence that so much MRA “activism” consists of harassment of individual women. So the question naturally follows: does the rage that drives so many MRAs come from the same dark place in the psyche as the rage that so many romantically and sexually rejected feel towards their exes?

Think of the fury many divorced MRAs feel towards their exes and women at large. Think of the self-pitying rage of “nice guys” MRAs in their teens and twenties who feel they’ve been unfairly “friendzoned” by stuck-up women.

As I pondered the tragedy in Marysville, I found myself thinking again about a disturbing short story written by A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam several years ago (and which I posted about recently).

In the story, you may recall, a jilted husband tells the other men in an anger management group session just what had landed him there. His story, as rendered by Elam, is a melodramatic and often mawkish tale of a man betrayed by a narcissistic “hypergamous” wife who left him for his business partner while he had been out of town at the funeral for his father. Oh, and she stole all his money, to boot. (Elam is not what you’d call a subtle writer.)

When the story’s hero finally confronts his ex, whom he finds ad his business partner’s house, she comes to the door in a nightie and tells him she left him because he just wasn’t cutting it in the sack. Then she makes a point of refusing to kiss him goodnight (and goodbye) because, she tells him sadistically, he probably wouldn’t like “the taste of another man’s cock on her lips.”

And so, the hero tells the other angry men in his group, he punched her in the nose so hard he broke it.

It’s clear Elam identifies wholly and completely with the hero, and we are supposed to see his punch as a form of righteous justice administered to his sadistic, emasculating ex.

There are a lot of angry divorced men in the MRM – including some with several divorces in their past. The standard MRA explanation is that these men come to the Men’s Rights movement after being “raped” — their word, not mine – in divorce court, or kept apart from their children by angry exes.

But I don’t think that’s it. Many of the angriest don’t even have any children. I suspect that the rage they feel is more like the rage of Elam’s hero – a rage borne out of a deep sense of sexual humiliation and the loss of control over the women who have rejected and abandoned them.

The anger of many younger MRAs seems to have a similar psychosexual source. These are the young men who rage against “friendzoning” and wax indignant about “false rape accusations” and “yes means yes.” In their mind, women are the “gatekeepers” of sex, and this frustrates and sometimes enrages them.

On some level they feel that women are collectively depriving them of the sex that they deserve, and they feel resentful they have to, in their mind at least, jump through so many hoops to get it. Some, I suspect, think that there’s no way they can actually “get” sex without cutting a few corners, consent-wise, and resent feminists for making this harder for them.

The self-righteous rage of the rejected is a dangerous thing. It’s dangerous when it’s directed at individual women. And it’s dangerous when it’s directed at women at large.

 

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cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

That thing where everything bad resulting from your own behavior magically becomes someone else’s fault? Classic sign of an abuser, that.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Did the troll already name his son, or is he seriously naming his son after expressing regrets that he brought his son up at all (while commenting after a long string of comments, from mods no less, that he should just go away)?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

This has been the abuse of a father that might still be available to his 4 year-old son using a web search, ten years from now, when [name redacted by moderator] becomes curious as to who the dad he lost aged two was. Complete strangers ill-informed opinions that this child’s father was “creepy” etc will be in his search results, when that day comes.

It’s not our fault you’ve posted your wrong and creepy posts under your real name. Most people use handles so they can say what they want online without worrying about being Googled later. It’s not as though we’ve doxxed you.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

No responsible parent should be putting their kid’s personal info on the internet. Is he going to draw potential predators a map too?

And this is why he can’t have custody.

samantha
6 years ago
Reply to  grumpyoldnurse

(Oops, sarcasm overdose. Is narcan an antidote for that? Or should I just eat more chocolate?)

You should eat more chocolate. Chocolate good. (Frantically shoving chocolate buttons into
grumpyoldnurse’s mouth) There, there. Now just relax and swallow while I gently rub your throat… 🙂

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty:

Also naming everything you don’t like that happens to you as abuse. That’s another sign right there.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Also, the blog is horrifying enough. This thread is not going to be making or breaking anything if his son Googles him.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ Shaun – Butter or grated cheese? Ooo! even better – I stole all John’s chocolate! We can melt it and drizzle it on the popcorn!

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

Ahhh! Thanks, samantha! GON better now!

sarahrocco
6 years ago

@grumpyoldnurse – i suggest all three.

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

@grumpyoldnurse

No need to find a hammer, he dropped one after nailing himself to that cross.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Also actively hoping for your child to one day find information on the internet that will upset him, just so you can get revenge on his mother.

samanthas
6 years ago
Reply to  grumpyoldnurse

Ahhh! Thanks, samantha! GON better now!

Any time, grumpy, any time.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ sarahrocco – they do say that nothing succeeds like excess!

@ M. the SJR – the poor dear! I bet the nasty wimmins didn’t even help him drag it up the hill or set it up or climb it or anything!

GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

And the problem, fellow grump, is that even if you have the stake, the hammer, and the holy water, you would still have to find his heart.

sarahrocco
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty – I’m sure what scares John the most is the knowledge that his son will see this and realise how right his mother and the UK courts were to shield him from this man, not the idea that his son might be upset by it.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Hell, I know if I wanted to find out about an estranged father, I’d be looking at what completely random strangers on the internet say about the man rather than reading his own words in that very same place. That’s just common sense.

But seriously, what should scare him the most is that his future son would read his own words and then agree with the strangers.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

Well played, GrumpyOldMan!

I also think it’s a cheap shot to try to make us feel bad that we waz soooo mean after he came here and used his real name and said his son’s name! What if the poor little boy sees it? It’s obviously our fault! ::hangs head in shame::

Funny thing, I do talk about my family here, but I’ve never mentioned anyone’s real name, not even my own! Ooops, another lie, my spouse’s name really is Mr. Grump.

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

grumpyoldnurse, with a light dusting of cinnamon? *drools*

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

Oh, Shaun!!!!! I think I love you!!!!

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

I am absolutely appalled by that. I use my real name here, but I call my children by codenames. I rarely use their actual names out in public at all. Their privacy matters. Even when texting friends I use their codenames so that I don’t accidentally type their real names in public spaces.

sarahrocco
6 years ago

Can David edit the boy’s name out of the post? Kid doesn’t deserve that.

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

Did you see the recipe I posted David-only-knows-where for the apple cinnamon rolls? Because *those* are all the love.

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

I’m pretty sure he can sarah. At the very least he can delete the comment.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

Yes, Shaun! Thanks for posting it. I haven’t actually tried it yet, but it looked delish!

Yeah, posting using your own name as an adult is one thing. The choice is yours. But drag kids into it? No, thank-you. Also, would this blog come up in a web search of someone’s nym? Wouldn’t your own blog come up first? (I haven’t checked out John’s blog, just going by what everyone’s said here)

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

I thought (and so I did it because I have excellent impulse control) that the addition of vanilla caramels might be good and it was. Those little square ones? I minced them and then distributed them on top of the apple mixture just before rolling. I used 8 candies. Fucking glorious.

The things I do for you in my test kitchen…

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

You are truly a shining light of hope in a benighted landscape… (must buy vanilla caramels tomorrow)

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

My friend [insert clever codename here] and I call various things “health food” as per the totally real and not made up at all (ie pulled from our asses) science of food science. I told her I had learned that one could add apples to cinnamon rolls and we both said “HEALTH FOOD” because we are adults.

It’s a wonder that our hearts can pump the butter through our veins with all the “health food” we eat.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Aaaand the troll has been banned!

THE DARK LORD HAS SPOKEN

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

*throws confetti*

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

kids name is still in the messiah’s last comment, can we get that edited?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Yeah, can we try our best to protect the kid from the stupidity of his shithead parent?

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago
grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

PRAISE BOOTSY!!!! (no, really. praise Bootsy NOW)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Praise David, too, in this case, and the judge.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

not joking here (for once) – Yes, cassandrakitty. Praise them both.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Praise them all!

I think I binned the comment where troll named his son. I chucked about three of his most recent teal deer in the trash.

Shaun Day
Shaun Day
6 years ago

Kitteh, you got the original comment where John the martyr named his son, but WWTH blockquoted it. Kids name is still posted. Can you please edit or delete WWTH’s comment. The link I put in is to that specific comment where “I’m not an MRAhonest” John’s sons name is highly visible.

And thank you for all the work you do here. You are appreciated.

tigtog
6 years ago

Took a look at Allman’s blog – agreed that all a third party agency or judge would need to do is read it to conclude that he’s unfit to care for a child. He also has a woefully obvious sock-puppet guest-blogger “gaggeddad” whose post surely skates awfully close to contempt of court by describing family court proceedings – two year-old’s contact stopped with “homophobic” dad.

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

I know the request was pages ago but

Sloth rental service: http://www.benaysanimals.net/exotic_animals.htm

Also, I finally figured out why John is here – he’s making a late run at Troll of the Year.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Shaun, thanks for that note! I’ll go find it.

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

Kim you are my hero!

kitteh, thank you so much. <3

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

When I goggled, I found someone else asking the same thing. So, you’re not alone 🙂

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

@tigtog, I’m gonna donotlink for the comment section alone on that piece. Ugh. Trigger warning for homophobic nastiniess and ‘facts’ pulled from the sky of backwards land. Creepy John is creepy.

http://www.donotlink.com/cac3

filmrunner
6 years ago

Honestly, I think a lot of it is that their worldview is based a lot on the media they consume (due to their lack of genuine human contact) so they assume the world is the way the media presents it. The movies, games and comics designed to pander to them tell them that they deserve a supermodel girlfriend who has sex with them all the time solely because they exist (look at all the stories that end with the power fantasy protagonist ‘winning’ the girl).

The thing that stuck with me from Elliot Roger’s Youtube video was the part where he says that college is a giant sex party that he wasn’t invited to. He got that idea from the American media (who always present it that way) and he just couldn’t accept that life wasn’t what the TV told him.

Newt
Newt
6 years ago

It is feature of the English that the male pronoun may be used to embrace both genders

That’s a bug, not a feature. Fixes have been available for some time.

Wetherby
6 years ago

Late to this, but I have to say that as a white British male only a generation or so younger than John, if I found him skin-crawlingly creepy I can’t imagine what effect he must have had on the rest of you.

And not just creepy but utterly oblivious. I doubt he’s ever seriously put himself mentally in the shoes of another person in his entire life.

Honestly, I think a lot of it is that their worldview is based a lot on the media they consume (due to their lack of genuine human contact) so they assume the world is the way the media presents it. The movies, games and comics designed to pander to them tell them that they deserve a supermodel girlfriend who has sex with them all the time solely because they exist (look at all the stories that end with the power fantasy protagonist ‘winning’ the girl).

The thing that stuck with me from Elliot Roger’s Youtube video was the part where he says that college is a giant sex party that he wasn’t invited to. He got that idea from the American media (who always present it that way) and he just couldn’t accept that life wasn’t what the TV told him.

It was the passivity of Rodger’s “manifesto” that I found most striking. Given the way he’d write about everything else in laceratingly masochistic detail, it strains credulity to the limit to assume that he wouldn’t have described a rejection from a woman at similarly self-pitying length – but I don’t recall a single one.

Similarly, he seems to have made no effort to broaden his cultural interests beyond passive consumption of whatever the current mainstream craze happened to be at the time – [i]World of Warcraft, Game of Thrones[/i] and the like. So if mistake number one was never to make the first move, mistake number two was not to make himself interesting in any way, despite living in a world of privilege (wealth, travel, you name it) that’s completely denied to the vast majority. Based on the evidence presented in his “manifesto”, who would want to go out with him, except for the kind of stereotypical ulterior gold-digging motives that apparently all women favour?

samantha
6 years ago

Aaaand the troll has been banned!

THE DARK LORD HAS SPOKEN

Awwww…And here I still have a bit of teething to do.

(Gives an enthusiastic one-finger wave bye-bye)