While Men’s Rights Activists are quick to label virtually any woman that they disagree with a feminist, they react with outrage when anyone who is not a self-admitted MRA is described as one.
The folks at A Voice for Men are still fuming about what they consider a “trust-shattering” media scandal: the fact that a bunch of news outlets wrote about a supposed Men’s Rights boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road, when in fact the virulently antifeminist Youtube blabber calling for the boycott wasn’t technically a Men’s Rights activist at all.
Meanwhile, there’s a dude cluttering up my Twitter mentions with demands I take some sort of action against a tiny handful of commenters on this blog who have referred to the woman-hating mass killer Elliot Rodger as an MRA, even though, as far as we know, he wasn’t one.
To which I can only say: Sorry, guys. You’re Kleenex. And you’d better get used to it.
I don’t mean to imply that MRAs are thin sheets of paper best suited to being used as disposable snot-collectors. What I mean is that MRAs, like the makers of Kleenex, have lost control of their brand name.
Just as the word “Kleenex,” a brand name designating the product of one manufacturer, has become, in popular usage, a generic term for disposable snot-rags, so “MRA” has, in popular usage, become a catchall term used to designate any and all varieties of woman-hating nitwits who think “misandry” is a bigger problem than misogyny.
So why have Manospherians, Pickup Artists, Incels, MGTOWs, GamerGaters, “slut haters,” Dark Enlightenment “thinkers,” and assorted other types of woman-hating nitwits all found themselves labelled MRAs, much to the chagrin of some self-declared MRAs?
Well, dudes, it’s actually pretty simple: because no one but you — and close followers of the New Misogyny, like the readers of this blog — can tell the difference between any of these groups of people. Because 90% of the backwards beliefs you espouse are exactly the same.
Take the idea of female “hypergamy” — that is, the notion that women are perpetually obsessed with finding a “better” guy, and will happily desert or cheat on “beta” partners whenever they get a whiff of a nearby “alpha.” This particular redefinition of a term that used to simply mean “marrying up” originated with White Nationalist F. Roger Devlin; now it’s a central belief of Red Pillers everywhere, from the reactionary plate-spinning PUAs of the Red Pill subreddit (where Devlin’s, er, seminal work on the subject is listed in the sidebar) to the “Men’s Human Rights Activists” of A Voice for Men (where no less than 35 articles have mentioned the subject, including 7 in their headlines, and where one writer declared Devlin’s writing “supremely indispensable.”)
MRAs aren’t PUAs aren’t White Nationalists, but there are a lot of people whose identity straddles two or more of these labels, and they all love talking about hypergamy.
As for Elliot Rodger, he wasn’t an MRA or a PUA or a White Nationalist, but he hung out on a website, PUAhate, whose participants were immersed in the same misogynistic ideology that drives so many MRAs; indeed, one of the site’s mods was a regular contributor to AVFM. If you read through book-length manifesto left behind, as I have, you’ll find a lot of anti-woman rhetoric that is virtually identical to the hateful nonsense you can find posted all over the broader “manosphere.”. He also was a believer in female “hypergamy,” offering his own chilling take on one “meme” depicting the alleged unfairness of women’s sexual tastes that you can find all over the manosphere.
This isn’t the same sort of mislabeling that happens when, say, someone calls Margaret Thatcher a feminist, or when MGTOWs describe contemporary marriage as a feminist plot to enslave men, or when some particularly confused commenter in the Men’s Rights subreddit, say, declares far-right Norwegian MRA Elvind Berge to be some sort of feminist because he has suggested that teen boys raped by female teachers are “lucky.” (Never mind that this is not exactly a feminist belief in the first place.)
No, it’s much closer to identifying a Puffs facial tissue as a Kleenex.
Or, to fall back on the classic Monty Python bit, mixing up the Judean People’s Front with the People’s Front of Judea.
The outrage over the Men’s-Rights-boycott-of-Mad Max: Fury-Road-That-Wasn’t has gotten nearly as silly as that Monty Python bit. Over on AVFM, the site’s excitable managing editor, Dean Esmay, has been posting furious post after furious post attacking the “bigoted hatemonger[s]” and “hate-filled bigots” who in his mind are promoting “fabricated bullshit” claiming that Men’s Rights activists were boycotting the film.
At one point, he even suggested that these stories might be the result of “an actual coordinated plan by corrupt journalists who want to inject slander of human rights activists into supposedly straight news.”
In case you’re wondering, when Esmay talks about “human rights activists” he’s referring to MRAs. No, really.
Esmay is right about two things: Aaron Clarey, who called for the boycott, isn’t an MRA, nor is Roosh V, on whose site Clarey’s post was posted.
But it’s not hard to see how Clarey might have been mistaken for an MRA, given that in his post he sounds exactly like one. Indeed, he sounds enough like an MRA that AVFM has posted a number of articles and videos by Clarey on its site, the most recent of which, posted last month, was an excerpt of the white writer’s rather presumptuous self-published book “The Black Man’s Guide Out of Poverty.”
The whole fake controversy reached new heights of silliness today, when AVFM posted a piece denouncing a Forbes writer for talking about the supposed “Men’s Rights” boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road alongside a piece … decrying a supposed “feminist takeover of Hollywood.” No, really.
I’m going to post five quotes below. One or more is/are from Aaron Clarey’s non-MRA call for a boycott; the other or others are from Rachael Lefler’s AVFM attack on Hollywood feminism. Can you guess which are which?
- “[T]his maddening obsession with a distorted concept of egalitarianism and fairness is never going to end … and Hollywood will keep trying to make films that meet their demands which are never able to be met, because the feminists will still find shit to complain about.”
- “[F]eminism has infiltrated and co-opted Hollywood, ruining nearly every potentially-good action flick with a forced female character or an unnecessary romance sub-plot to eek out that extra 3 million in female attendees.”
- “[Feminists are] totally fine with a movie that perpetuates negative stereotypes about men, since we all know men are just dumb oppressive shitlords who can’t keep their rape-sticks in their pants for five minutes.”
- “This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength, and logic.”
- “Feminists will never be satisfied by any work of fiction, no matter how in line it is with feminist principles. They can always demand more, and they always will. Their whole idea of “activism” is to cry about how they are being oppressed by the latest blockbuster and to angrily denounce the next one on Twitter.”
So which of the quote(s) above is/are from the NON-MRA article by NON-MRA Aaron Clarey, posted on the NON-MRA “Return of Kings” website, and which is/are from the post by MRA (or at least MRA-sympathizer) Rachael Lefler on AVFM, the most influential site of the Men’s Rights movement?
1, 3, and 5 are from Lefler (Team MRA); 2 and 4 are from Clarey (Team Don’t Even Dare Call Him an MRA You Hatemongering Bigots). Don’t beat yourself up if you got some wrong: I had to doublecheck the origin of a couple of them, even though I’d cut and pasted them into this post only moments earlier.
So yeah, MRAs, you’re Kleenex.
Now, I’m a stickler for details, so I will personally continue to draw distinctions between MRAs and the various other sects of New Misogynists out there. But not everyone else will. Some because they don’t know all the details, others because they don’t care to distinguish between 31 flavors of terrible.
EDIT: Rewrote the conclusion.