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antifeminism imaginary oppression incoherent rage mansplaining MRA none dare call it conspiracy patriarchy

Alex Jones, Men's Rights Activist: We Hunted the Mastodon to Feed You!

Here are some things that Alex Jones, the bellicose conspiracy theorist behind Infowars and Prison Planet, actually believes:

Yep, Alex Jones is a Men’s Rights Activist in all but name.

In the video above, ostensibly an analysis of the “the political and social agenda pushed during the Super Bowl,” Jones argues – and I use the term loosely – that the secret cabal running the world is using the media to tear down men and destroy the patriarchal family.

One of their primary weapons? “Bumbling dad” characters on TV sitcoms, which make men in general, and fathers in particular, look silly. (Huh. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this one before.) Demonstrating that he has his finger on the pulse of contemporary culture, he cites the examples of Archie Bunker and Al Bundy.

The rest of his rant is fairly typical Alex Jones material, an ominous if mostly incoherent assortment of dubious assertions and dire predictions about the future. Only this time he works in some oh-so-familiar MRA tropes. Strikingly, though his arguments in favor of the patriarchal family are thoroughly sexist, he  displays none of the overt hostility towards women you see amongst Men’s Rightsers, whether on Reddit or on A Voice for Men.

He reminisces about visiting the homes of his alleged “black friends” as a kid, distressed to discover that the mothers were in charge. He suggests that Planned Parenthood’s is up to no good, but doesn’t explain why and tells his listeners to “look it up” themselves. (I looked it up: Apparently they’re a “Eugenics Death Cult.”)

At one point he claims that children are being taught “fisting” in grade school sex-ed classes. No, really.

But my favorite bit comes about 8 minutes in, when Jones, in the midst of explaining away the pay gap between men and women, declares that men are basically hard-wired to work harder than women:

It’s men that are meant to go out and not sleep for three days chasing down mastadons, to run them over the side of a cliff, to haul back enough … meat so that everybody survives for the winter.

That’s right: Alex Jones believes WE HUNTED THE MASTADON TO FEED YOU.

I only skimmed the comments over on Infowars, but I did enjoy this one:

 wlrpaul • 2 days ago  Dirty secret, most women despise and fear men, but spend their entire lives pretending otherwise. They fear male power, male sexual energy, male freedom. Jealous and angry, they refuse to own up to anything, so men become the convenient punching bag.  Mothers thus train their boys into submission, to hate themselves and their gender.  Some externalize this hatred of men by latching onto the CIA funded feminist movement, attacking all men based on a pile of ill conceived, dishonest gripes.  The stuff most men have to put up with, when it comes to women. Imagine, if women were in men's shoes -- the human race would die out, no way would women submit to marriage as a husband, when it would be routine for her children, salary and house to be taken from her at a whim. Talk about powerlessness.  The day we men can bear babies will be the first time in human history when men are truly free of the evils of women. It is just the truth.  BTW, I love women, sure some women are good, many are, but good, marriageable ones who are single for any length of time are as rare as unicorns.

I have to say that I am much less enthusiastic than Wirpaul about the prospect of bearing children, as I am under the impression it hurts a LOT.

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Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

Brad!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

Adrian!

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

Big Banana – the closest to a gender swap of the trope that I can think of was “Dharma and Greg”, and that was a riff on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl saves Square Dude.

A different approach was seen in “Married with Children”, in which every member of the family was unappealing and broken, but in different ways. If it hadn’t had a laugh track, it would have been a low-rent “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”.

Now that I think about it, television rarely depicts realistically happy, healthy, well-adjusted families who genuinely care about each other. Curious, since those people are the ones whose company we would most enjoy in real life.

Falconer
5 years ago

Spock!

katz
5 years ago

And yeah, if you’re a guy who cares about keeping up with the house and kids, that’s going to be (rightly) insulting. But if you’re a guy who thinks your wife really should be doing those things anyway, then it’s a pretty convenient out. “Oh, but gee, honey, you’re so much better at loading the dishwasher than I am. You’re such an amazing cook, why don’t I just stay out of your way.” etc. etc. The wife is put on a pedestal for being apparently smarter or more capable, but she’s derided as a nag if she complains about carrying a disproportionate amount of the family/housework.

And you see this logic in real life, too — never from feminists, but only from patriarchal men. I remember Mark Driscoll telling an anecdote about how he couldn’t make the vacuum cleaner work and he had to get his 4-year-old daughter to show him. Was the moral of the story “I’m inherently incompetent because I’m a man?” No, the moral was “Women should do all the chores.”

Ellesar
5 years ago

Is the CIA funding feminism thing because of Gloria Steinem being an informant over 40 years ago? Or is it anything at all more than that? I am not American so I hardly care, but as far as I know GS was informant separate to her feminism, and I can’t see why the CIA would fund anything specifically feminist as they are an ‘intelligence’ gathering agency.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

Estella!

Falconer
5 years ago

@Ellesar, Gloria Steinem wasn’t even a CIA informant. She worked for a left-wing, anti-communist student organization that was fed money covertly by the CIA. Nobody in the organization knew they were getting money until years later.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
5 years ago

One more note on the bumbling dads – they all have slim, pretty wives who put up with their endless nonsense just because. Marge will never leave Homer. She can always be won over by a big empty gesture that spackles over the crappy marriage.

scalyllama
5 years ago

I really tried hard to get through this, but the Alex-bot’s continual stop-start delivery method was just too distracting. I suspect someone’s been cheap about their network connection – these blanks are clearly buffering moments. The bot sits there motionless, not even moving its eyes, then starts again exactly where it left off. Disturbing.

Hambeast (formerly twincats)
Hambeast (formerly twincats)
5 years ago

Khaaaaaaan!!!

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@Cyberwulf If I were Marge I would have left Homer a decade ago. Likewise I’ve no idea how Lois puts up with Peter. I can kind of see why Francine still stays with Stan and why Donna stays with Cleveland though.

Damn I watch way too much Seth MacFarlane stuff. I don’t even like him very much.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

Aaand it’s just hit me that Seth MacFarlane uses the bumbling dad and hot smart wife trope in every show of his.

marinerachel
5 years ago

No, Francine in American Dad is very stupid.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@machinerachel True. Though she does sometimes coax Stan out of a bad idea.

Integral
Integral
5 years ago

I wager that if someone made a gender swapped version of the trope, with a wacky wife and her sensible, intelligent husband, the MRAs would complain about it not focusing on the dude.

I think “I Love Lucy” might count as a reversal of the trope? And perhaps relatedly, is one of the few shows actually created by a feminist.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

Except Lucy is spanked by her own husband.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

I am only 2:45 in, but the in-depth analysis of satanism and pro-abortionism in Mr. Pickles is probably the most wtfhilarious thing I’ve seen in ages. I believe it’s in 2 Corinthians 11:14 – ‘And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as a cartoon border collie named Mr. Pickles’. PROPHECY

enbuenora
enbuenora
5 years ago

It’s amazing how humble anthropologists are on subjects like how various groups of humans might or might not have hunted mammoth and mastodon etc., being really careful to clarify how much we simply do not know — compared to people like Jones who apparently know how it all went down.

BrandonSP
5 years ago

On a semi-related note, does anyone really know for sure whether it really was just men who hunted those proboscideans (e.g. elephants, mammoths, and mastodons) back in prehistory? For all we know right now, there could have been plenty of women hunting right by their side, and maybe there were even all-female hunting parties. Records of pre-agricultural gender roles aren’t easy to come by for any part of the world, so there’s no reason to presume they had to resemble the conventions of modern America.

enbuenora
enbuenora
5 years ago

Gender roles weren’t so clear cut — nor is our understanding of hunting patterns overall — in the ice ages / paleolithic.

http://discovermagazine.com/1998/apr/newwomenoftheice1430