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How A Voice for Men's Facebook memes inadvertently reveal the deep sexual insecurities underlying the misogyny of the Men's Rights movement

Detail of a perhaps inadertently revealing A Voice for Men meme
Detail of an unintentionally revealing A Voice for Men meme

The We Hunted the Mammoth Pledge Drive continues! If you haven’t already, please consider sending some bucks my way. (And don’t worry that the PayPal page says Man Boobz.) Thanks!

From time to time I like to check in on the Facebook page for A Voice for Men, to see how that eminent men’s human rights organization’s program to advance the human man rights of human men through badly designed and even more poorly conceived graphic “memes” is going.

Well, I can report that this program is going, and going, and going, a bit like a famous battery-powered bunny.

Looking through them today, I couldn’t help but notice the weird sexual undertones — and overtones — of many of the memes, and realized that, while none of the memes tell us much about the world, they do, in an altogehter accidental way, offer some pretty interesting insights into the ids of those making and “liking” them on Facebook.

You don’t have to be a trained psychoanalyst to see the not-very-well-hidden straight male sexual insecurities that lie behind a large number of AVFM’s memes — both the ones they create themselves and the others that seem to have arrived on the AVFM page after being forwarded via email from someone’s cranky misogynistic uncle. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1) AVFMers have apparently convinced themselves that the history of mankind is the story of nice guys being nice to snooty women who won’t date them.

 

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2) The straight men who make up the bulk of AVFM’s audience are pretty much terrified of women.

 

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3) A lot of these guys seem to really enjoy fantasizing about women being forced into crappy jobs and/or sex work.

 

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4) One of AVFM’s meme makers, the fellow who goes by the name of “John Galt,” has trouble distinguishing between the real world and certain (perhaps unacknowledged) sexual fetishes he appears to be a little obsessed with.

 

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5) Straight cis male AVFMers hate fat women who don’t please their boners, and are angry at feminists for convincing at least some fat women not to hate themselves.

 

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6) These AVFMers evidently prefer women who are very young, very thin, and photoshopped into anatomically implausible proportions and positions. But they simultaneously hate these women for giving them boners.

 

(Slightly censored version of the AVFM original.)
Perfect woman, or photoshop disaster? (Slightly censored version of the AVFM original.)

 

8) AVFMers really, really hate male feminists — and pretty much every man who doesn’t hate and fear women like they dO — and not-very-subtly project their own sexual insecurities onto them.

 

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9) They also really, really, really hate me.

 

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But I think that’s probably because they’re jealous that I have that second pair of arms.

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weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

I remember bits of that episode of Criminal Minds, mostly the interactions of two of the team with the Alpha PUA who gave classes; did he emerge partially discredited?

The PUA instructor (who is clearly based on Mystery) tells Prentiss that if she ran into him at a club and he worked his magic on her, she’d be unable to resist. But when she and Jordan (JJ’s maternity leave fill in) see him on a club stake out and he tries his tactics, they both shoot him down hard. Jordan points out that none of the other women in the club are giving him the time of day either. It’s just great. The show’s writers pretty clearly have nothing but contempt for PUA.

Bonus fun fact: Riki Lindhome of Garfunkel and Oates plays a murder victim.

GrumpyOldMan
5 years ago

I am almost sorry that Manwank stuck the flounce. He had some promise of becoming a fairly acceptable chew toy. I would guess his age at about 19, probably with a severe case of Randism as well as the misogyny. (It’s fun to have some misRandry every so often.) He was also a reliable source of male tears — not the highest quality, but highly-concentrated and thus good enough for bathing in when properly reconstituted. I thought the following two were the sort of things you could point to if anybody ever asks what “male tears” means.

“Also, for the feminists jumping in, demanding where are these comments on this thread with some positivity, read the very first comment, before the feminist herd mentality stuck in. While you guys have been vile and mean-spirited, I have to give you guys props, you’re not nearly as vile and mean spirited as most feminists.”

“If you claim to be for equal rights, but oppose men’s rights. You might be a feminist.
But yeah, go ahead and straw man my comments and blast me with frothing fuming feminist hate. Try to shock me, try to bring feminist bigotry to a new depth of shame. But not all feminists are like you guys, right?”

I’m always amused by dudes who think “feminist” and “Social Justice Warrior” are insults. Assuming it’s not being used in the sarcastic sense of someone who talks the talk but skips out when it’s time to walk, I think that being called a Social Justice Warrior is about the best thing anyone could ever call me.

I’ve always felt that the best way to deal with attempted insults is to embrace them proudly, so I am thinking of changing my nym to “GrumpyOldMangina”.

Newt
Newt
5 years ago

Aw, ManWalk (meant as a response to SlutWalk?) flounced instead of breaking out a new shovel.

ManWalk: “there are positive responses to ou[r] memes peppered in here”
regular: “there are none”
ManWalk: “the very first comment”
3 regulars: [quote the very first comment]
ManWalk: “I wasn’t referring to that comment. I was referring to the ones which agreed with the sentiment of a meme.”

ManWalk, if you’re still reading, which comment(s)? You could indicate with copy-and-paste, a direct link or those screencaps you’ve been collecting. And what do you understand the term “very first” to mean?

ghilie
5 years ago

First time poster, long time lurker. Just so you know, I got a message from Kaspersky today saying this site was a phishing site. Don’t know how Kaspersky gets this info or if maybe someone’s uploaded something onto your site?

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
5 years ago

@GrumpyOldMan

The problem is that feminist (contrary to SJW) has actually become some kind of insult. I’m regularly shocked by (mostly younger) female colleagues, acquaintances and student who start sentences with “I’m no feminist, but…” and then say something very feminist. They have this notion that feminism is about female superiority, because they deny the manifold barriers still existing for women.

And some completely deny even those. I remember attending an info-event organised at my old University by the local “Gleichstellungsrat” (office for equality). The director, a professor of linguistics, showed with an impressive array of data how, at German universities, women are the majority of students, but already at graduation, their percentage has gone down, a trend which continues progressively going further – less graduate students, even less post-Docs, even less professors. A female sociology (!) student actually argued that this was because “women are biologically less able to network”. She was explaining this to a woman who had graduated from Wellesley.

Ire
Ire
5 years ago

This disdain for college education is one of the things that puzzles me most about reactionaries. Especially now that it’s so hard to pay for it. It’s really a great a achievement, and deserves respect. I know it’s certainly taken me tons of work just to get through college AND my country has free university. I can’t imagine what having to pay student loans would have been like. Everyone who’s gone through it in the US has all my admiration. That takes guts!

Seriously, I’m hoping I get my scholarship for the UK just so I can piss people off. Yay for educating myself out of spite now!

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

meant as a response to SlutWalk?

Ah yes, that’s probably what it was, too. Men vs. Sluts! Battle of the Sexists! They probably think we’re all sluts and that’s why we never seem to get as far ahead as those who don’t have to pay the 30% Feeeeemale Surcharge.

GardenGallivant
GardenGallivant
5 years ago

The ninth meme has a larvae with segmented thoracic legs however it fails to show if there are abdominal legs but the blunt head indicates a caterpillar. This means David will be busy metamorphosing into a butterfly most likely.

So maybe the book title is about the metaphor of personal growth a person experiences in progressing from larval to adult independence of parental care. Then the missing child poster is looking for those who get lost as pupae or never make the final metamorphosis to empathic maturity.

No, that requires actual knowledge of entomology, so it is probably just me reading too much into the picture since I am a biologist and admire David for his actual empathy to others. I like the idea of David suit metamorphosing into a beautifully marked, winged cats that fly free to rule as our fur overlords.
.

GrumpyOldMan
5 years ago

@Bernardo Soares: That “I’m not a feminist, but … ” has been around for a long, long time. One of the major efforts by anti-feminists since they first began to realize that feminism wasn’t just going to fade away, was to try to portray feminism as a radical, female-supremacist movement — Moonwalk or Manwank or whatever his nym was exactly parroting a very old line devised by people who wanted to kill feminism by making many young women who would otherwise identify as feminists feel that supporting the EQUALITY of women is not the basic feminist goal. Naturally, people whose privilege is being questioned (i.e., men) aren’t going to be happy about it. Anything that costs them any unearned entitlement is either misandry or socialism (depending on whether gender is part of the question). Even my own wife — who is a major beneficiary of feminism, being one of the very first group of women admitted to her elite college and the first female physics major to graduate from it — does not refer to herself as a feminist, although if you say anything within her hearing that implies that you think men are superior to women, you should prepare to have your head bitten off.

“women are biologically less able to network” — that’s got to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard — it’s right up there in CH Sommers-ville. My aforesaid wife constantly complains about male co-workers who are unable to co-work. Of course, if what your sociology student acquaintance really meant is that men are biologically less able to accept qualified women into the old-boy network, then probably she has a good point. But, otherwise, there IMO are very few sadder things in this world than a woman who has been brainwashed into thinking that women are biologically unable to do things that they have proven time and again that they can do.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
5 years ago

What is with the recent trolls and their “threats” to screencap our comments? Even if comments were prone to disappearing here (which they’re not), why are we supposed to be concerned about this? Oh, you’re gonna run back to your MRA cave and share the caps with other MRAs who already think feminism is teh evol but will nevertheless fap gleefully at this new round of “proof”? Wow, really shaking in my boots here.

Not to mention, I haven’t said anything here that I wouldn’t stand by outside this site. Go ahead and show the world my “bigoted” comments. I’m not trying to hide them anyway.

Bernardo Soaes
Bernardo Soaes
5 years ago

@GrumpyOldMan
You’re right, it’s not new. Still depresses me, though, because they are falling for such a transparent tactic.

This student (luckily no acquaintance of mine) had very obviously been fallen victim to some real bad evopsych bullshit (She really meant it in the first way, there were enough other students who challenged her claim). Sociology at my old uni is very conservative, but it’s a lot of quantitative stuff, so she should have been taught to appreciate the hard data the professor was showing.

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
5 years ago

o damn, I just spelled my own name wrong and have landed in moderation limbo. I’m posting again:

@GrumpyOldMan
You’re right, it’s not new. Still depresses me, though, because they are falling for such a transparent tactic.

This student (luckily no acquaintance of mine) had very obviously been fallen victim to some real bad evopsych bullshit (She really meant it in the first way, there were enough other students who challenged her claim). Sociology at my old uni is very conservative, but it’s a lot of quantitative stuff, so she should have been taught to appreciate the hard data the professor was showing.

Sorry to the mods, and please delete “Bernardo Soaes”

DJG
DJG
5 years ago

@WWTH – ah, that sounds a little better than what I remembered. I definitely recalled the bit about “this would so work on you” going absolutely nowhere, but I retained an impression somehow of the episodes’s somehow being a little kinder about non-murdering PUAs than was necessary.

kittehserf
5 years ago

@Bina –

…oh shit, I’m forgetting to misander properly, ain’t I?

True. Hopefully the FHC will be kind.

I love those stories about Andre on set!

@GrumpyOldMan – “misRandry,” love it! 😀

@ghilie – hi, have a Welcome Package! Would you like to pass on that phishing info to David? You can contact him via the Big Head up on the sidebar. 🙂

ghilie
5 years ago

Thanks kittehserf. 🙂 I’m pretty sure he saw it, since my comment landed in moderation.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
5 years ago

I think the man walk came to collect accolades for creating what he considers a clever meme. He even pretended to receive some, but he simply could not carry it off. I am betting he will be bock.

GrumpyOldMan
5 years ago

“I like the idea of David suit metamorphosing into a beautifully marked, winged cats that fly free to rule as our fur overlords.”

That might happen if he really IS a cat-erpillar.

grumpyoldnurse
5 years ago

Or a can’t red piller?

grumpyoldnurse
5 years ago

SQUEEEEE!!! Cat-erpillers! Thanks, kitteh!

sparky
sparky
5 years ago

GardnGallivant:

I like the idea of David suit metamorphosing into a beautifully marked, winged cats that fly free to rule as our fur overlords.

Be afraid.

“http://img0.etsystatic.com/il_570xN.226578418.jpg”

Be very afraid.

grumpyoldnurse
5 years ago

@ sparky – SQUUEEEEEE!!

sparky
sparky
5 years ago

Oops, sorry, borked something. Link instead:


http://img0.etsystatic.com/il_570xN.226578418.jpg

kitteh: Ooh, I like the black fluffy kitty at top!

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

Kitterflies! Kitterflies EVERYWHERE!!!

GrumpyOldMan
5 years ago

When my kids were young we had a discussion about the word “butterflies” and decided that someone got things mixed up — they were really supposed to be called “flutterbys”.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
5 years ago

This thread needs more Catwings!

Falconer
5 years ago

Beloved cherished her childhood copy of Catwings, as well as an illustrated edition of Growltiger’s Last Stand. ISTR we discovered both had water damage a couple of years ago.

Maggi
Maggi
5 years ago

Honestly I find these memes hilarious. And a little creepy, if I think about them for too long.

Steve D
Steve D
4 years ago

That last picture looks like a tardigrade to me. Can you survive in vacuum or take 5000 rem of radiation? Don’t try on my account.

J Jones
J Jones
3 years ago

I think feminism means something different in USA than Europe, As in Europe it only means fighting abuse and subjugation of women. Such as women didn’t have as many rights and were less represented in their own country. It wasn’t until recently women had the right to not be raped by her husband. In USA it seems to be men who hate women, who spend their time searching out examples of idiots who talk nonsense to say all women who fight against abuse are like that. Funny how they spend top much time online whinging against women, filling comment sections no matter what the subject as an excuse to whine on against feminists and saying what women should want, but no woman finds an abusive misogynist who feels threatened by women who have rights against them to be a turn on

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