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Feminist activist Grace Mann murdered; blogger blames her death on feminist jokes about misandry

Murdered feminist activist Grace Mann
Murdered feminist activist Grace Mann

Last month, police say, University of Mary Washington student and feminist/LGBT activist Grace Mann was murdered — bound and asphyxiated by a male housemate and fellow student.

An antifeminist blogger is blaming her death on feminist jokes about misandry. 

As Mike Oelke of the Feminism is a Fraud blog sees it, Mann’s death was the inevitable result of the unwillingness of feminists to “learn misandry is not a joke.” In an older post, Oelke had predicted that

one day a feminist wearing an “ironic” KILL ALL MEN t-shirt will walk down the wrong street, enter the wrong room and encounter the wrong man; a man that does not value her as a woman and chooses not to treat her as an equal. The man will not see the t-shirt as ironical humor, but be offended and beat her savagely, laughing as he licks the tears from her crying eyes.

WIth Mann’s death, he says, this “prediction has somewhat been proven true.”  And he promises that there will be more violence directed at feminists who

constantly laugh off their misandry as a joke, while treating misogyny like a scourge. Some types of males are going to take that badly with predictable results.

While he says he doesn’t “feel good” about his prediction “somewhat” coming true, he also claims that

this young woman’s death serves a purpose. She “Took one for the team.”

That callous and cruel last line, whatever Oelke meant by it, seems more than a little ironic given the facts of the case.

While we still don’t know the motive of the man who allegedly murdered her, Mann’s death took place on a campus that feminist activists say has become an increasingly hostile environment for them.

The campus group Feminists United — of which Mann was a member  — has faced a barrage of  harassment and threats online and on campus since last fall when it started to “expose the insidious misogyny and hatred” on campus, as the group’s president Paige McKinsey put it in an op-ed for the school paper in January.

The most egregious example of this “insidious misogyny” was the violent chant — celebrating the rape of dead “whores” — that the school rugby team performed at a party last fall. Surreptitiously recorded by a (male) friend of McKinsey who happened to be at the party, the noxious chant was brought to the administration’s attention by Feminists United last November.

Once the school began disciplinary actions against the team earlier this year, its supporters reacted with outrage — and an even bigger wave of harassment against campus feminists, including hundreds of threatening comments made on the anonymous chat app Yik Yak.

There were rape threats and numerous vicious, sexually explicit personal attacks against McKinsey; Mann was also targeted and threatened with rape. One supporter of the team warned that feminists would “burn” if the team was suspended and that “there will be no survivors.” Another threatened that “Dandy’s about to kill a bitch … or two.” When Feminists United reported these threats to the school administration, they were reportedly told that the school could do little about them.

The rugby team was suspended in March. Mann, a prominent member of the group whose activism led to the team’s suspension, was murdered in April. The suspect, a returning student named Steven Vander Briel, was a former member of the rugby team.

And while there is as yet no clear evidence that there is any connection between the suspension of the team and her murder, it is hard not to wonder if she was killed, not for any ironic jokes about misandry, but for challenging the culture of violent misogyny that seems to infect the Fredericksburg, Virginia, campus.

Mann, who was gay, was not involved with Vander Briel, police say; she was assaulted during what was supposed to be a brief stop at her home after returning from a Day of Silence event to raise awareness about bullying and harassment directed against LGBT folks.

In the wake of Mann’s murder, Feminists United, along with the Feminist Majority Foundation, has filed a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education charging the University of Mary Washington with a “systemic failure to protect” members of the group “from a sexually hostile school environment, from sex-based cyber assaults, and from threats of physical and sexual violence.”

At a media event on campus announcing the complaint last Thursday, Frederickburg.com reports,

Attorney [Debra] Katz said the complaint does not allege that the university caused Mann’s death, but that it “failed to act in the face of vicious abuse and ridicule” Mann suffered.

According to Frederickburg.com, Julia Michels, a University of Mary Washington student and one of the complainants in the Title IX complaint, said at the media event that while

she hopes the threats did not have anything to do with Mann’s death … when she heard the news … her thoughts immediately went to the threats.

“I know she had been mentioned by name on Yik Yak, and I know she was scared, as I am,” Michels said. “I know she was angry, as I am. Most of all, I know she was disappointed in her school for failing to protect her, just as I am disappointed at UMW for failing me.”

We will know in time, one can only presume, what motivated Mann’s murderer. But the damage that can be done by the sort of violent misogyny that she and other members of Feminists United were subjected to on the University of Mary Washington campus — and which her friends still face — is already very clear.

“Misandry” is a joke. Misogyny can kill.

NOTE: This discussion thread is a NO TROLLS, NO MRAs, etc thread. If you’re a troll, an MRA or similar and you comment in this thread you will be banned. 

EDIT: I have added a few things to highlight Mann’s LGBT activism.

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alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

Between this story and the reminder that PhilosophyOfRape exists and has some followers, I’m feeling pretty leery of all men whom I don’t know well enough to have screened for red flags right about now. I mean, you wanna talk about misandry…

WHERE ARE THE WOMEN WHO ADVOCATE VIOLENTLY RAPING MEN TO PUNISH THEM OR ARGUE THAT MEN ARE DENYING THEM BASIC RIGHTS BY TURNING DOWN SEX? WHERE ARE THE WOMEN WHO HAVE MURDERED OR ATTACKED MEN FOR BEING MRAS? WHERE ARE ALL THE FEMINIST FANTASIES OF RAPING MRAS TO PUNISH THEM? HELL, WHERE ARE ALL THE FANTASIES OF FALSELY ACCUSING MRAS OF RAPE OR PUTTING THEM THROUGH “DIVORCE RAPE”? I KEEP HEARING THAT SOME MRAS ARE IN DANGER OF BECOMING AS BAD AS FEMINISTS AND THAT MISANDRY IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM, BUT WHERE’S THE PROOF THAT WE’RE EVEN CLOSE TO BEING AS BAD AS THEM OR THAT MISANDRY IS GETTING MRAS KILLED FOR SPEAKING AGAINST MISANDRY?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

Dude, what part of “NOTE: This discussion thread is a NO TROLLS, NO MRAs, etc thread. If you’re a troll, an MRA or similar and you comment in this thread you will be banned” did you not understand?

Thank you.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

So why on Gods’ Green Earth didn’t you lead with this entirely reasonable point instead of spending two pages going ever which way, hinting people were irrational and weird, and getting things completely wrong about people’s arguments?

Dude, man, no point in all that.

Nonsense. Of course there was a point in leading with a literal gaslight of Bette Hopper, telling her that nobody was makes “I can’t help but rape you and see you solely sexually” arguments except her. That point was trolling.

Johanna Roberts
5 years ago

Awww, I missed the rest of his stupidity? I’m ALMOST sorry, but good riddance to bad rubbish, as the saying goes.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

Shorter MRA: Women, don’t be afraid of my harmless self and jokes, otherwise I’ll kill you.

What, you find my position nonsensical? Misandrany!

samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  Bina

Apropos threats and Freeze Peach, there’s a petition in need of signing here:

@Bina – I went, I read, I signed. Thanks for the heads up.

samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  freemage

And don’t forget, Samantha, if you do happen to be nice to the wrong guy, and get attacked, well, that’s all on you, too. I can confirm that this is the message guys get throughout our lives–that women who were attacked by men in some way should’ve been responsible for preventing it, and it was okay for us to judge them for failing to do so.

@freemage – Well, women get that message as well. When I was a kid, my grandmother gave me a book – by either Ann Landers or her sister, I cannot remember which – that was all about proper etiquette and behavior for “young ladies.” In that horrid little tract, I learned that all sexual contact, even rape, was entirely the responsibility of the girl. We are, in her terms, the guardians of morality and, as a result, anything that happens to us is our fault. A “good girl” will always stop any activity and, with the magic of her moral superiority, will even stop a guy from raping her. So, you see, if anything happens to us, it is a result of our terrible moral failing.

This, of course, goes along with the for-now discredited psychological theory that all of a kid’s problems can be laid at the feet of mom. And, conversely, it is good fathers who make good kids. Oh, and another lovely “theory” was that a woman who nursed her babies and actually picked them up and cuddled them would turn her sons into sissies and make her daughters overly dependent on them, making it hard for them to transfer their affections and loyalties to the rightful folk – dad and hubby.

Bleah!

thefreeorg
5 years ago

Reblogged this on The Free.

Mr. Militant Negro
5 years ago

Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

samantha
5 years ago

Walking Away from Patriarchy

I have spent the past few days thinking, remembering and looking to find ways to walk away from patriarchy. I would like to share a bit of what I came up with and what I do myself.

1. Read “Obedience to Authority” by Stanley Milgram. My husband reminded me of this book, and I am happy he did. This is an important book for anyone to read. It has helped me challenge my attitudes towards “authority” and the folk who like to present themselves as authorities.

2. Join or start a local women’s group. Shared stories and support are only the beginning. Please be sure that your group is welcoming to LGBT folk as well as cishetero and folk of all races/religions. Patriarchy hurts everyone. And support or help create a local women’s shelter.

3. To that last statement, may I suggest that men who are truly friends of women and who see women as just people also start groups to challenge and heal from patriarchal attitudes.

4. Support woman-owned and fair trade businesses. The less of our money the evil empire can get from us, the better. And we support the lives and futures of women and girls around the world.

5. Start a garden. I am serious about that, btw. Even if you live in an apartment in a city, you can grow a few things. Connection with the soil, with the growing world, is essential to creating a healthy world. Patriarchy is a big problem for the planet, since they see only a dead world full of exploitable resources. And exploit them they will, so, to that end…

6. …Get involved, at whatever level you feel comfortable, with environmental concerns. We are part of this living world, and what is happening to her is happening to all of us. What we do to the least of earth’s creatures, we do to ourselves. Also, buy organic and support your local og farmers. Better food, better for you, the farmers and the planet.

Following are a few websites you may find helpful. There are so many more!

http://www.globalmamas.org/info/fairtrade?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/about-history/

https://www.globalgirlfriend.com/store/ggf/site

And for coffee lovers:

http://www.groundsforchange.com/communities/cafe_femenino.php

http://www.equalexchange.co.uk/grown-by-women/

We can do this. We can begin to walk away and create a new culture, one based on values that hold life and our lives as sacred, meaningful and worthy. And the cool thing is we can start by doing whatever each of us CAN do. Small actions, done with open heart and adventurous mind, can change everything.

We cannot afford to forget that the patriarchs will fight tooth and nail for their “right” to exploit, use and abuse. They will hurt us if they can. They will question our sanity, our motives, our truths. Let them. We have to learn to protect ourselves and each other, to trust our own voices and to act on behalf of ourselves, our sisters, brothers, children and earth herself.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

@Samantha: Thanks for the links! I’ve been looking for some good garden links especially. : D

Dreamer9177
Dreamer9177
5 years ago

One only hopes that the filth who trash this young woman somehow learn from their mistakes. Sadly, I don’t have much faith in that ever happening. Hatred is very strong with some people and they have no desire to overcome it.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Yes thank you Samantha for the links

Lanariel
Lanariel
5 years ago

I. Cant. Even.

I just feel to sad reading the entire thing.

I am very glad I missed the trolls and that their stupidity had been removed before it scared my eyeballs.

Lanariel
Lanariel
5 years ago

Once again to every one, You are awesome and keep up the good fight.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Lanariel
Yeah it’s good that you missed him he was boring and thanks 🙂

Bette Hopper
Bette Hopper
5 years ago

Hey all. Sorry that after I went to bed last night some dude who’d taken umbrage with some of my words decided to come here and be a shitbird. Yikes. It’s probably a good thing that his puke was removed before I could read it. I generally don’t engage with such types anyway as I don’t have much of a stomach for it, but thanks for dealing with him. You guys are great.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

His second post was basically gaslighting the hell out of you, Bette. It was also incredibly rude to you. I’m glad it’s gone – that post had zero redeeming qualities.

Suzy Q
Suzy Q
5 years ago

This is so sad. It makes me feel like we have such a long way to go.

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

Thank you Samantha – your positive words made me feel more hopeful.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Bette,
You have nothing to apologize for. That guy was just trolling and being a trouser stain.

Bette Hopper
Bette Hopper
5 years ago

@ Policy of Madness

Well, I have this theory that when they become especially rude it means you’ve hit a nerve. Not an original theory, mind you, but one I try to keep in mind. Thanks again.

Bette Hopper
Bette Hopper
5 years ago

@ Weirwoodtreehugger

“Trouser stain.” Ha! (-:

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Suzy Q
Yeah 🙁

Bette Hopper
Welcome and yep good thing you did miss him.

samantha
5 years ago

@Samantha: Thanks for the links! I’ve been looking for some good garden links especially. : D

You are very welcome, Paradoxical Intention. And when I find some good garden links, which I am also interested in, I will pass them along.

I just had an idea, and maybe David can help with this. What if we all spent a little time looking online and in our own communities for websites and organizations that would be helpful in walking away from patriarchy? Young mothers and fathers could post info connecting us with groups that are working to educate and help children and their parents. Those of us into gardening and organic foods – and other environmental issues – could post sites to help others of like mind…and so on and so forth. And if we cannot find groups already operating, we can start them.

We could actually work together, in whatever ways each of us can, to help sweep patriarchy into the trash, where it belongs. And the really wonderful things are that 1. we already have, thanks to David, a forum where we can support each other and share information and 2. there is no pressure for person (A) to do exactly what or as much or little as person (B). Simple acts, like trying to find and buy locally made stuff instead of stuff made in another country (by big WorldCorp companies). If we can only find what we want by looking at other countries, we can try to find stuff made by women, fair trade stuff. Or buying organic food, checking out local og farmers and buying in bulk with friends.

There are so many ideas…things we can do…non-violent, peaceful and compassionate things…and we have a place that not only keeps an eye on the patriarchosphere, but allows us to talk with each other. Kind of an online consciousness raising group! There are no subjects unworthy of us and no acts too small to be of value, if we start from where we are. Can you imagine starving the patriarchy by no longer giving it our money, our time, our attention or our lives? It is OUR blood they drain, OUR creativity and love they syphon off for their own unloving and greedy purposes. I am actually getting happily excited! We could join/start the revolution – already in progress!

samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  fruitloopsie

@fruitloopsie – You are welcome. Enjoy! And if you find something wonderful, please share!

samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  Ellesar

Thank you Samantha – your positive words made me feel more hopeful.

Funny thing, Ellesar. I suddenly found myself feeling more hopeful as well, and happier. And you are welcome. 🙂

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

Aw dang, did I miss ANOTHER sanity-sucking wank-stain? I feel so…um…LADYBONERSAD.

http://www.manaleak.com/mtguk/files/2013/09/waynes-world-not.jpeg

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
5 years ago

Piecing together the major “arguments” of the late Divided Line (may he not rest in peace), I am continually astounded at the lengths to which misogynists will go to deny that misogyny exists — even as it stares them in the face, and / or (especially) when they are spouting it openly and without a blink.

But the slightest resistance to their blatant misogyny is immediately labeled by them, screechingly, as misaaandry! and “demonizing male sexuality.” (BTW, the latter should be a lolcatz meme by now, it’s just so absurd.)

It’s gotta be that vaunted malelojick.

Felix Ray (@rayflix)
5 years ago

Is the KILL ALL MEN TSHIRT really a popular item? Has anyone seen one of these provocative garments?

Jenn
Jenn
5 years ago

This just makes my head and heart hurt – I am Canadian and while I cannot assert that we have no such issues here, threats of violence in the workplace are taken very seriously at least, and people have been fired from their jobs for making such comments on internet forums – I cannot, for the life of me, understand why SCHOOLS let this shit slide. Unacceptable…and it doesn’t do equality any good for either gender. As for this guys’s douchebaggery, I just. can’t. even. Either.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

But the slightest resistance to their blatant misogyny is immediately labeled by them, screechingly, as misaaandry!

Any loss of male privilege does put men closer to women. Men who measure their self-worth by how hard they can step on women’s faces will definitely notice and object when their ability to step on women is reduced.

and “demonizing male sexuality.”

It says very, very negative things about Divided Line’s sexuality that the sexual abuse of women is apparently such an integral part of it. I sure am glad that “male” sexuality is nothing like that, and most men are fine with not being allowed to yell gross sexual things at women (because they are not inclined to do that anyway).

MisogynyCanKill
MisogynyCanKill
5 years ago

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
-Margaret Atwood
re: “Misandry” is a joke. Misogyny can kill.

Rick Diehl
Rick Diehl
5 years ago

Wait a minute. The rush to propagandize this murder, which the article itself states the authorities have no idea what the motive was, is ridiculous. Is there anything, anything at all to back up the claims that she was killed over jokes about men?

David Gillette
David Gillette
5 years ago

“The rugby team was suspended in March. Mann, a prominent member of the group whose activism led to the team’s suspension, was murdered in April. The suspect, a returning student named Steven Vander Briel, was a former member of the rugby team.” People fear that Mann may have been murdered for engaging in political activism, not for jokes. The connection with “misandrist” humor appears to have first been made by Mike Oelke.

Ford
Ford
5 years ago

Just a suggested edit to your article: Feminists United did not report the Rugby chant to the Administration; that was a male student who had no affiliation with FUC.

Also, Grace’s roommate hadnt been a member of the rugby team in roughly a decade.

jaygee
jaygee
5 years ago

My condolences to Grace Mann’s family.

My impression of Divided Line’s attitude pieced from responses to them was that soon they’d start complaining about demonizing murder. They clearly didn’t understand that things get demonized because those things harm people, and the rape of “male sexuality” definitely harms.

Why do people who consider themselves decent have to identify more with misogynistic scum than decen women? One comment upthread made me realize that being misogynistic is tied to being “a man”, so that warps how they sympathize with others.

onemadbongwoman
5 years ago

Misandry Is a joke. Misogyny kills.

Nitwit
Nitwit
5 years ago

That’s disgusting. Another human being lost this year cause she had different opinions on the things in her life. When will the senseless murders ever end? 🙁

MClarissa
5 years ago

These poor excuses for xy are terrified of the truth. They are not superior because of their tiny dicklets& they don’t like the thought that those they believe were put on earth to serve them,are really equals. These monsters go agro when faced with the idea they will be denied their fetish of maid, fuckhole, & womb, that will eventually raise monster’s offspring. We must not only change the culture & laud real men but also stop slut shaming. Reject internalization of misogyny-the attacking of our sisters & the alternative community. Be inclusive. It also helps to be secure with yourself, feel gorgeous & don’t walk with fear (your body language will show it). Also learn how to use your body & environment as a weapon. I say this as a 41 yr old woman & real life Dominatrix, attacked 3times in my life by men. All 3 times the men limped away. Perhaps misogynist monstermen might rethink attacking when there is a very likely chance of having their ass handed to them. It’s not about physical strength. It’s about skill, speed, & mindfuck. Ps, happily married 15+yrs to fierce feminist man who is my biggest fan & supporter. Feminism will help #savetheworld

betterfailling
5 years ago

Reblogged this on nicichiarasa and commented:
Misogyny and misandry are equivalent scourges.
I fail to see any difference between ‘kill all men’ and “beat her savagely, laughing as he licks the tears from her crying eyes.”

Carla Talbott
Carla Talbott
5 years ago

I would urge women to boycott the universities with the worst reputations and find better schools, if at all possible. How could one concentrate on studies in these dangerous and hostile environments?

Sydney C.
Sydney C.
3 years ago

I appreciate this informational and calm, rather detailed account of the tragic events that happened at that university. I was alright and rather pleased with the way this article was written, until…
“‘Misandry’ is a joke. Misogyny can kill”

Hello, I am a teenage girl. A girl. But I believe that there are many, far too many cases of misandry, an increasing amount that parallels that of misogyny. Women and men are equal. Steps to ensuring this does not include bringing men down. With the increasing amount of confident, vocal feminists, so does the amount of prejudice against men in general increase. It irritates me. It angers me. It fills me with hate toward feminists.
So please, if your cause is really just, then stop. People attack Black Lives Matter with the phrase, “All Lives Matter”. So may we now argue against feminism, “All People Matter. Not Just Women. Not Just Men.” Feminists say that they are fighting for equal rights among genders. But really, please take a closer look at the things you think, the things you do, and the things you say. Everyone assumes that bullies don’t have reasons or feelings. They do.

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