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James Boulware: Another male rage bomb goes off in Dallas

A mug shot of James Boulware from a previous arrest
A mug shot of James Boulware from a previous arrest

Last night, as you probably have heard, a Dallas man named James Boulware launched a one-man quasi-military assault on the Dallas Police Department headquarters, firing an automatic rife with such abandon that early reports suggested that there were as many as four different shooters. After fleeing the scene in an armored “Zombie Apocalypse Van,” leaving behind an assortment of improvised explosives as a kind of going away gift, Boulware was cornered in a restaurant parking lot; after a long standoff, he was eventually killed by a police sniper’s bullet. It was something of a miracle that no one but Boulware ended up dead.

Boulware’s father told local news that his son had been “pushed past” his “breaking point” after losing custody of his son. Men’s Rights activists often describe men who “resort to violence” after losing a custody dispute as victims of a cruel family court system.

But in Boulware’s case, it appears, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Because, you see, he lost custody of his son two years ago — after a violent incident that offered a chilling prequel to last night’s rampage. As the local NBC affiliate reported at the time

A Paris man was arrested after family members reported to authorities that they were concerned he could go on a shooting spree. …

Officers confiscated several guns from a Paris home, after arresting the owner. “There are four or five long guns and three or four pistols, tubs full of ammunition, and the body armor,” says Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley.

James Boulware, 33, allegedly grabbed and choked his mother in Dallas on Tuesday morning, and he has made other threats, police and family members said.

“That he was going to just kill all the adult members of the family and then that’s when he made the comment he may shoot up some churches and schools,” says Hundley.

“He had been talking about the schools and churches being soft targets, being easy targets because no one in them was armed,” a man who identified himself as Boulware’s brother “Andrew” said.

After this incident, a judge handed over custody of Boulware’s son to Boulware’s mother; it seems rather clear that the court was right to deem him unfit to care for the boy.

Further confounding the standard Men’s Rights narrative is the fact that the mother of the child, reportedly a drug addict, was also deemed unfit; both were ordered by the court to pay child support to Boulware’s mother.

Boulware was well-known to local police for this and other family disputes — as well as for repeatedly threatening the judge involved in his case.

Indeed, he littered Facebook and other websites with comments ranting about the alleged injustice done to him, alongside angry and often hateful attacks on “Comrad [sic] Obama” and the “fag loving, abortion have typical queer American brain washed troll[s]” who argued with him online. After a commenter called him “dumb” in one recent discussion of American foreign policy, Boulware declared that “I’M TRYING TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU LIVE SO I CAN DRAG YOU OUT OF YOUR TRAILOR AND BEAT YOUR BITCH A$$!!!!”

His conspiracy theories may have been driven by delusions; Boulware’s mother says her son “heard voices” and that she and other family members had tried in vain to get him the mental health treatment he needed.

After last night’s events, Boulware’s father told local media that, while he didn’t think what his son had done was right, “we all have a breaking point, and they pushed him past it.”

But Boulware, it seems fairly clear, was already plenty broken long before “the system” got to him. And no matter how sad or angry he was about losing custody of his son, nothing justifies a violent attack on innocent strangers with assault rifles and explosives. Most people, even if they were pushed far past their breaking point, wouldn’t respond with attempted mass murder. We are not all rage bombs waiting to go off.

And that’s when this post comes back around to the Men’s Rights movement. No, despite his anger at the police and courts for “taking away his kid,” and his penchant for calling people “BITCHES” in comments sections he doesn’t seem to have been a Men’s Rights activist.

But his was the kind of rage that Men’s Rights activists like to “warn” us all about; his violence was the sort of violence that MRAs all too often excuse.

I’ve written many times before about the way the Men’s Rights movement has lionized Tom Ball, a New Hampshire man who committed suicide several years ago by lighting himself on fire outside a court building — in hopes, as he explained in a long and inflammatory manifesto — of inspiring other men to start fire-bombing courthouses and police stations to avenge the wrongs allegedly inflicted on men by the family courts.

We’re lucky no one took him up on this suggestion, just as we are lucky today that no one except Boulware died in his assault on the Dallas police.

Boulware’s apparent mental illness, and the extreme nature of his assault on police, may keep him from becoming the MRA martyr that Ball became after his death. But MRAs have been willing to excuse if not justify similar violence in the past.

Consider, for example, “How we kill Johnny,” the story Men’s Rights celebrity Paul Elam has just posted to his new “consulting” site An Ear for Men.

In the story — presented as a true one — Elam describes his feelings upon learning of the murder-suicide of a young man he’d worked with as a substance abuse counselor. After a quick mention of the murder part of the murder-suicide — Johnny was said to have “killed that little girl he was married to” and shot, though not fatally, the man she was sleeping with — Elam moves on to the real victim, in his estimation: Johnny, the guy who pulled the trigger.

Johnny, as Elam sees it, was really only guilty of loving the woman he killed too much.

You see, men love. They love with the most profound intensity and selflessness of which any creature on this earth is capable. And the steely bond between them and women is, unlike their hearts, unbreakable. …

They will lay down in traffic for the women they love and stand in the way of bullets to protect them. 

Yes, that’s right. He’s waxing poetic about men protecting the women they love — in the middle of a story about a man who killed the woman he loved.

I hope, more than anything else, that at some point in our future that people start to think. When you see the story on the evening news about a man who set himself ablaze outside a family court, ask yourself what kind of pain could drive someone to cure it with fire?

I can only assume this is a reference to Ball, who hoped that men would rise up to avenge his pain with firebombs.

When you read in the newspaper about the man who holed up in his house with a gun and his children, threatening to take them all out, ask yourself if this is just a crazy man, or a man driven to the brink by a pain so monstrous and devastating that even the unthinkable could become an option?

The fact is we “read in the newspaper” and on the internet about men like this all the time. And they are virtually always men. Murder-suicide, while rare, is an overwhelmingly male crime. Women lose custody too — as did the mother of the child in Boulware’s case — but outside of a few exceptional cases they don’t react to this by trying to murder fathers or judges or an entire police departments at once. Men sometimes do.

Elam has in the past “warned” us all that unless we start kowtowing to angry men like him, and soon, we will create a massive “male bomb” that will tear apart society as we know it today.

But men — or at least the vast majority of them — aren’t rage bombs. Those men who do resort to extreme violence — like Boulware and all the men we read about who kill their partners and sometimes even their children before, as they say, “turning the gun on themselves” — aren’t the victims they and Men’s Rights activists would like us all to see them as. They’re the perps — invariably men with an overgrown sense of entitlement, too in love with their own rage.

Those who use these men as a “warning” to the rest of us are playing a very old game, perfected by domestic abusers and bullies of all sorts. Abusers and bullies learn very quickly that they don’t always have to use violence to get what they want; the threat of violence is enough. “Don’t push me,” they say, and the implicit threat of an “explosion” of rage does the rest, all while enabling the bully to pretend to be the victim.

The Men’s Rights movement, to a large extent, is all about taking that implicit threat to the societal level.

It’s up to us to keep them from getting away with it.

 

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PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
6 years ago

Great piece, David. It’s sobering to realize that underneath all the ridiculousness of the Manosphere that we love to mock here, there are serious issues of entitlement and rage with real-life consequences.

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
6 years ago

A great post, David.

BritterSweet
6 years ago

Am I the first one here? Then ALL COMMENTERS, ESPECIALLY NEW ONES, nothing about mental illness or Internet diagnoses! Just don’t go there! Not here.

BritterSweet
6 years ago

Oops, not first. And I wrote this comment before reading the article, where his mental health is mentioned. But still, I and probably quite a few other people here would like to avoid a heated debate that may not end well.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

I hope Boulware’s ex at least can breathe a little easier tonight. But still, this is just plain awful. It should not have had to end like this.

And if the MRAssholes make hay of this one, or a martyr, they will have made common cause with murderous violence. NOT love.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

Great post, David. I really, really hope that people look more closely at the details before assuming that Boulware was unjustly deprived of custody or that that loss of custody happened recently.

As for Paul Elam and his claim that Johnny loved selflessly…if you kill the person whom you love when they cheat on you, you’re not loving selflessly! I mean, selflessness would imply that you loved them so much that you let them go and live with the other man/woman because you just wanted them to be happy. Granted, I know that in real life, cheating hurts, and you’re probably going to be angry (though for most people, not so angry that you would feel justified in committing murder or causing any form of bodily harm) but that’s what full, selfless love would entail. Shooting your cheating spouse and their lover, though? That’s completely and utterly selfish. That is the definition of selfishness.

PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
6 years ago

Seconding BritterSweet. It is not okay to throw mentally ill people under the bus to excuse Boulware’s actions. Plenty of people hear voices as Boulware is said to have done and never hurt anyone. Heck, the mother of his child was sick with addiction and did not pull the shit he did. This is not a mental health story.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@alaisvex

They’ll likely spin it as the mother’s fault, putting the blame for his behavior and the outcome on her, like because she was a shitty mother or something, they lost the kid, so he went on a rampage. :/

Leisha Young
Leisha Young
6 years ago

Great work David, this is a very important piece, and it won’t be long before the MRA start heralding this guy as they do to any high profile case of male violence (especially family violence).

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

@Pandapool,

I have no doubts that that’s how MRAs will spin it. I just hope that non-MRAs who hear the story will get the full scoop and won’t fall for MRA bullshit about men being driven to murder after being “unfairly” deprived of custody.

Bazia
Bazia
6 years ago

Thank you for this. May I say hesitantly that society must find a better way to control such men? We must take away their weapons, force them into treatment, sequester them if they are a threat? Society must do a better job of controlling untrammeled male violence.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@alaisvex

I will probably also be the rhetoric of the whole “family first” crowd, too, unfortunately. Lot’s of people shit on people with addiction, but of course the fact that the mother is a drug addict will make it even worst.

katz
katz
6 years ago

Boulware’s apparent mental illness, and the extreme nature of his assault on police, may keep him from becoming the MRA martyr that Ball became after his death.

I rather doubt that anything precludes someone from becoming an MRA martyr (except showing signs of feminism). These guys are literal Nazis, after all.

Vucodlak
Vucodlak
6 years ago

(Content note: domestic abuse)

You know, I really wish the whole “so-and-so just hurts this or that person because so-and-so loves them” thing would die. I didn’t buy it when my parents hit me when I was a kid, and it’s no more convincing now. People like the shit-weasel in Elam’s story want to control the people they hurt or kill, which is pretty much the opposite of love.

It reminds me of an incident wherein a good friend of mine told her abusive father that she was leaving. He grabbed her and started choking her, screaming he’d kill her first. My friend was capable of great violence when necessary, but she didn’t fight back. For all that he was a contemptible POS, she didn’t want to hurt him. Because she loved him. Her father though, just like the rest of these guys, really only cared about control.

alaisvex
alaisvex
6 years ago

@Vucodlak,

It’s awfulness from abusers like that that makes me terrified of people like Paul Elam who claim that those who abuse and even kill others who try to leave them are the ones who love most passionately. Not only does it romanticize abuse to a sickening degree; it implies that people who don’t become abusive, violent, or even murderous when someone leaves them never really loved the person who left in the first place.

Cody
Cody
6 years ago

*slow clap*

Ripplestump
Ripplestump
6 years ago

Couchelliotrogercough

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
6 years ago

Not wanting to be deprived of your emotional crutch–so badly that you’re willing to hurt someone–is not the same thing as love.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

we all have a breaking point, and they pushed him past it.

Who exactly is this “they?” Assuming father has similarly right wing beliefs to the son, you gotta love the hypocrisy. Poor people/POC/liberals/city dwellers/single moms shouldn’t have any kind of social welfare because personal responsibility. But whenever one of them does something wrong, it’s always somebody else’s fault. Personal responsibility is only for “those people” in the minds of the right wingers. Ugh.

You see, men love. They love with the most profound intensity and selflessness

No, no, no. A million times no. Abuse is not selfless love. It’s not selfless to decide your ex should die for rejecting. It’s the epitome of selfishness. Love and obsession aren’t the same things. Love is selfless. Obsession is inherently selfish. Abusers are obsessed. Not loving.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

From what I quoted, it sounded like I was saying men aren’t capable of selfless love. But I was talking specifically about abusers as Elam’s quote was. I’m sure most of the regulars get that, but just in case some trolls want to not all men me.

RC
RC
6 years ago

I feel like a lot of the core issue (besides the faults in the mental healthcare system and the ease with which even clearly disturbed and violent people are able to get guns in this country) is what the gun-culture itself has become. Being real about it, the most likely people to perpetrate mass-shootings are people who own a lot of guns. Or people exposed to a lot of guns and who are very familiar with their use.

In turn, people who own a lot of guns and are passionate about guns are more likely to be immersed in the gun-culture as well. And, to a large extent, the current American gun-culture has been co-opted by reactionary, paranoid loons. The kind of people who have convinced themselves that we live in a state of tyranny and that Obama is a secret muslim-socialist-marxist-spineless-ruthless tyrant who could send out federal agents to take their guns by force at any moment. The kind of people who sit around having a circlejerk about the idea of a civil war when the vast majority don’t know shit-all about what actually happens in a war (or have a cohesive enough political ideology worth fighting a war over for that matter). It’s like those morons who showed up with tactical vests, military surplus fatigues and assault rifles to “protest” outside a mosque in Texas, or those idiots who think they’re super badass for walking around a public area with an assault rifle scaring everybody. They desperately want to play soldier and be a ‘hero’, and they desperately believe that mindless macho violence will solve all of their problems.

Most of them are relatively harmless, if annoying. Some of them though, like the guy in this story, are deranged enough to actually act out on their looney revenge fantasy, might-makes-right bullshit and try to hurt a bunch of innocent people.

The gun-culture didn’t used to always be that way either, which is the annoying part. It used to be about, well, sport and hobby. People who either liked the mechanical precision of guns as machines, or the historical aspects of them, or the skill involved in the various different types of target shooting. Nowadays though, it’s become a political thing, with far too many looney, objectivist, wannabe paramilitaries for my liking.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

Some of them though, like the guy in this story, are deranged enough to actually act out on their looney revenge fantasy, might-makes-right bullshit and try to hurt a bunch of innocent people.

Nowadays though, it’s become a political thing, with far too many looney, objectivist, wannabe paramilitaries for my liking.

http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/f-p.gif

What did PPT JUST SAY?

Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

Who exactly is this “they?” Assuming father has similarly right wing beliefs to the son, you gotta love the hypocrisy. Poor people/POC/liberals/city dwellers/single moms shouldn’t have any kind of social welfare because personal responsibility. But whenever one of them does something wrong, it’s always somebody else’s fault. Personal responsibility is only for “those people” in the minds of the right wingers. Ugh.

This tends to be my experience as well – right wing people use ‘personal responsibility’ as shorthand for ‘everything that goes wrong for you is your fault because you didn’t take responsibility. Everything that goes wrong for me is the tragic result of other people not taking responsibility. Because I say so that’s why.’

Jack Remiel
6 years ago

I’m just so glad that MRA’s didn’t get their awful hands on the awful awful story of what happened in Dunedin last year – Edward Livingstone killed his two children and himself, in front of his ex-wife. He’d breached protection orders and was obsessed with getting revenge on his ex for leaving him and taking the kids. He loved those kids enough to kill them entirely to destroy his exes life.

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

And all I keep thinking is “If he was black the cops would’ve turned him into wet rags on the pavement as soon as he brandished anything vaguely gun-shaped.”

Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

There’s been a case in the news here in England over the last few days. A mother went on the run with her son because it seemed likely that ‘custody’ (a word often used but discouraged by the courts) was about to be awarded to the boy’s father. Luckily that’s all been resolved for now (she’s returned the child safe and well).

What I did find staggering, and a bit depressing, was that out family court system has to deal with over 20,000 contested child care proceedings each year. Most cases are dealt with without recourse to the courts; most parents can out aside their differences when it comes to their children and there’s a mediation service for when they can’t that avoids court proceedings.

It is a shame though that there are still such a large number of cases where people are willing to drag the matter through the courts rather than take a sensible approach and out the children first.

At least here though it’s very rare for anyone to start shooting over a child care dispute.

autosoma
6 years ago

I’ve noted that in all of the MRA stories/discussions that the children (their rights and feelings) are often a byline or footnote. At a high level my takeaway from these stories, like this one, is that an abusive man aided/abets/drives his partner into an addiction or unfit behaviour and thus the authorities have to find alternative care for the children.

The fact that children have to be cared for appears to escape the MRA’s in its entirety. I believe I have read articles where Elam shows pretty poor behaviour to his own children and then carried on espousing the increased rights that men must have with regards to their fleeting wants regarding childcare and child rearing.

All this does for me is make me more aware that for any disagreement I have with my partner that I must be mindful that the rights and feelings of our two children come way above our own disagreements and at times this is the only thing that myself and my wife can enthusiastically agree on.

The more I read about the undercurrents of MRA culture the more it makes me not want to go anywhere near them and the fact that they pass themselves off as a “Rights” activist group annoys me no end.

It always appears to me that they are confusing wants with rights and that they cannot comprehend that their “rights” intersect with other “rights” and that their male entitlement does NOT trump that of others.

Time and time again scant reference is made about “the children” who they appear to want to make the catalyst for (I’d use an able-ist word here but I won’t) behaviours that cause untold pain and wonton destruction.

The more I read about Men’s Rights the more I want to put the rights of my children, my wife and virtually any other group above my own because I would never want to be lumped into the same grouping as these MRA/AVFM specimens as they appear to be toxic enablers of selfish, poor behaviour.

NothingClever
NothingClever
6 years ago

autosoma: Because children are things to be owned, obviously. /sarcasm

Aveda
Aveda
6 years ago

As somebody who has been domestically abused,abusers tend to push boundaries and limits of the people they are abusing. Giving in will NOT make them stop hurting you or invading your personal boundaries , nothing makes Mens rights activists different.Don’t listen to abusers or people who are threatening violence or societal reprecussions for wanting more rights as a woman, and no they won’t stop being angry if you give in.In short IGNORE ELAM AND CREW,they will run you over if you give them the chance.

rugbyyogi
6 years ago

My husband has been reading this stuff for years – actually seemed to really get into it about the time our son was born. One of my theories for why it was so attractive to him is that it espouses a rights without responsibilities culture. That being a good dad is about the optional stuff – and that the optional stuff is at the whim and convenience of the dad.

The fact that he’s been reading this crap for years is also one of the reasons I’ve been putting off divorcing him. I don’t think he’d pull a stunt like this (no access to material, and frankly too lazy) but I know it would be a contentious and high conflict situation in which he’ll focus far more on his ‘rights’ than what’s best for our kid – especially if what’s best for our kid benefits me in any way.

PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
PussyPowerTantrum, the Lousy Flouncer
6 years ago

@Pandapool

“deranged,” “looney” etc.

What did PPT JUST SAY?

It looks like “looney” is the new “crazy” around these parts. I’m pretty sure the intended meaning was “willfully divorced from reality” rather than “mentally ill,” but yeah, it is ableist language. I’m not sure what the alternatives would be–“irrational” is precise but somewhat clinical, for instance. That’s the hard thing about these -isms, the way they’re embedded into our culture, thinking, language, everything.

@Alan Robertshaw

Oh, so she returned the child? I’m so relieved–I was afraid she might go to extreme lengths. I’ve seen this kind of thing before where a father kidnapped his breastfeeding infant, and the mother (my client) was completely devastated. This is definitely not a case of “loving too much,” it’s thoughtless endangerment at best and abusive punishment at worst.

It is a shame though that there are still such a large number of cases where people are willing to drag the matter through the courts rather than take a sensible approach and out the children first.

A different client is in the late stages of a custody lawsuit and yeah, selfish parents are the worst. My client’s opponent is clearly not a fit mother, and in most cases they have the sense to realize their ex is the more stable parent who should get custody. This person doesn’t, and despite all her abuses and lies she might yet win the case for the simple reason that she is female. I hate this sexist idea that women are always these ministering angels who ~*~magically~*~ know what to do with kids, never mind addiction, financial instability, abusiveness, and God knows what else.

@autosoma

The fact that children have to be cared for appears to escape the MRA’s in its entirety. I believe I have read articles where Elam shows pretty poor behaviour to his own children and then carried on espousing the increased rights that men must have with regards to their fleeting wants regarding childcare and child rearing.

Obviously it’s not about the child’s needs but about the man’s “ownership.” Elam made it perfectly clear in the passage David quoted for the OP that he thinks a man’s love for a woman means objectifying and controlling her. I don’t see how it would be any different with children. Kind of like this guy:

http://www.scified.com/sites_pics/404189427748209.png

…except not nearly as scary or effective.

All this does for me is make me more aware that for any disagreement I have with my partner that I must be mindful that the rights and feelings of our two children come way above our own disagreements and at times this is the only thing that myself and my wife can enthusiastically agree on.

I will forever be grateful to my parents-in-law for the way they handled the breakdown of their marriage, always putting their children first through the fires of financial ruin and divorce. (They’ve both sprung back and are both doing fine now, and remain amicable friends and co-parents.) Thanks to their selflessness my husband was able to weather those difficult times with minimal wounds, and grew to be a loving and gentle man who taught me the meaning of trust. He would have been a very different person if his own parents had not cushioned him with their bodies and souls during tougher times. Never doubt that everything you do for your children will have untold payback–not only your children but also the people whose lives they touch will thank you for it. Sending you all my admiration and best wishes.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@PPT

As far as I know, “loony” is from “lunatic” and “deranged” is another word for “psychosis”. I’m not sure those words have evolved enough to divorce them completely from defining people’s mental states yet, ya know? Especially since RC is commenting on an article that already mentions the man’s possible mental illness with the “voices” he heard, so they’re still using those words in a derogatory sense to describe the man’s mental health.

autosoma
6 years ago

Thank you very much PPT for your comment, the pic especially, myself and my wife went to see Fury Road last night as a break from the issues that are overwhelming us at times.

It was a brilliant film, I so identified my wife with Charlize Theron and myself with Tom Hardy, since Stuart A life backwards I’ve felt that he can portray a certain quality and understanding of some of the issues I’ve faced in my life.

Anyway enough of me, thank you for what you said further regarding you parents-in-law it’s nice to read insights like that.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

@WWTH & Jenny (@dontgiveah00t)

I’ve noticed this as well, regarding right-wing views on morality: Every time a moral issue is discussed, a right-winger immediately turns it around, even though doing so makes no logical sense. What do you mean I’m racist? Black people are the ones wanting things like basic respect, they are the ones disrupting the harmony of society! No, women are the immoral ones for wanting bodily autonomy and stuff when I just want them to suffer for things men like me do to them! Oh, I’m an entitled asshole because I want gay people to not discuss or display their preferences? Well, what about the gay people who are entitled enough to exist, huh? I’m perfectly happy with the way things are, how am I the entitled one?

For right-wingers, ethics are not a code that defines how they personally treat others, it’s a weapon to be used against others to get their way. They feel they are inherently moral people regardless of how they actually act, and it’s others whose behavior needs to be constantly scrutinized by them. It’s all about selfishness and control over others, which makes it doubly hypocritical when they accuse liberals of immorality.

Prios
Prios
6 years ago

I made the mistake of looking over Boulware’s comment history. One of the people he’d argued with extensively online — who is himself an angry homophobic asshole who’d dared Boulware to come fight him — had this to say about his death:

“Actually that is bad luck for me…I wanted the opportunity to radically terminate him myself…[u]pside down over a low fire. I like listening to the sizzle and pop when the grease drops into the fire especially when they haven’t expired yet.”

He sneered that “[b]eing a big city loudmouth nut with a weapon doesn’t mean you can win anything in a face to face confrontation.”

Awful, awful men wedded to a poisonous concept of masculinity.

Keith J (@ProQuibus)
6 years ago

Hopelessly flawed thesis, essentially painting all MRAs with a broad brush because of cherry picked examples of stupidity. I often see people attacking feminists by picking the most egregious examples of loathsome bigotry and threats of violence on the internet. But, as with MRAs, the outliers don’t define the movements and they get much less support and agreement than detractors suggest. The biggest problem I see with the MRA movement is that, instead of dealing with the inherent flaws of identity politics, they adopt such collectivist nonsense to “fight fire with fire.” I don’t care about women’s rights, men’s rights, gay rights, or short-stature left-handed atheist diabetics’ rights. I care about individual rights, to which every person, regardless of identity, deserves the same.

Looking at the stereotypes Boulware’s actions bring out, I’m struck by the vast contrast between the reaction to racial riots in Baltimore, Ferguson, and elsewhere, or riots by Muslims over cartoons, versus the reaction to white men who go berserk. In the former cases, we’re charged to understand the anger, told to look at how the victims might have provoked their attackers, about “punching down” and such rot. When a white guy does likewise, his motives aren’t to be understood with any sympathy. That’s how it should always be when someone attacks innocents. Except, as with this article, the thug’s motives are then projected on to other white guys, particularly those of disfavored political groups, regardless of how little he actually represented such people. This is an obvious double standard.

I’m happy that Boulware failed to inflict any actual harm on any persons. And, I note for those wanting to blame guns that gun control laws (automatic weapons) and laws against making bombs utterly failed to stop him. As is often the case, laws don’t stop evil people with evil intent.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

Here’s the bit that alarms me.

A Paris man was arrested after family members reported to authorities that they were concerned he could go on a shooting spree. …

Officers confiscated several guns from a Paris home, after arresting the owner. “There are four or five long guns and three or four pistols, tubs full of ammunition, and the body armor,” says Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley.

James Boulware, 33, allegedly grabbed and choked his mother in Dallas on Tuesday morning, and he has made other threats, police and family members said.

“That he was going to just kill all the adult members of the family and then that’s when he made the comment he may shoot up some churches and schools,” says Hundley.

“He had been talking about the schools and churches being soft targets, being easy targets because no one in them was armed,” a man who identified himself as Boulware’s brother “Andrew” said.

Two years before. Years.

Where the hell were the police in this? If a person stockpiles enough weapons and ammunition to wage a land war, and then starts talking tough about carrying out massacres in schools and churches, that person must not be permitted to do so. Two years later he goes and carries out a terrorist attack. Nobody can claim that this happened by surprise.

America’s shrinking neoconfederate culture is delving into a place where it cannot tell fantasy from reality; this is old news. But the police should be smart enough to tell that this man is a threat to everyone around him and prevent him from carrying out such activities. That’s what a good police force does: protect society from such people.

If they did, he might not have had to die.

James Haynes
6 years ago

And that’s when this post comes back around to the Men’s Rights movement. No, despite his anger at the police and courts for “taking away his kid,” and his penchant for calling people “BITCHES” in comments sections he doesn’t seem to have been a Men’s Rights activist.

— Then i’m not sure why the article exists, if he isn’t a MRA why are you talking about the MRM, my guess is this is preemptive?

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

When stories like this come out I like to play a little game where I figure out how this could be twisted into being a woman’s fault, double points if you can make it the fault of feminism.

I suspect someone will blame the guy’s mother. From the way Boulware’s father is talking I gather his parents weren’t together, and in MRA land divorce is always the fault of the woman, and ALL men from broken homes grow up bad etc, etc, Yep, my money’s on them blaming Boulware’s mother rather than his ex-wife.

All I can say is thank goodness the body count wasn’t higher, and thank goodness he didn’t try to hurt the child.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@James Haynes,

this blog is about tracking misogyny and toxic masculinity. While that often ties in with the MRM it needn’t do so exclusively.

James Haynes
6 years ago

@sn0rkmaiden

my point was it was tying it to the MRM but saying that he wasn’t involved with the MRM (as far as we know)

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

@James Haynes:

Futrelle’s post isn’t about Boulware so much as it’s about contrasting Boulware to the standard MRM narrative of the “Angry White Guy Rage Bomb” and pointing out the discrepancies.

I feel this is in slightly poor taste of Futrelle, but that does not diminish the fact that it’s a fair point. There is an established MRM explanation for these sorts of incidents* but as we can see it describes reality poorly in this case.

In other words, Futrelle’s post is actually all about the MRM. Like most stuff he posts, in fact.

That’s my take.

* The most tragic thing of all is that this is a “sort of incident”: that is, that it happens often enough to be a standard part of our discourse.

kyuubinokitsunehime
kyuubinokitsunehime
6 years ago

What I find most enlightening about this whole thing is James Boulware’s obvious mental state before this all happened. This man was deranged on a very deep, “we’re ruled by lizard people,” level. The people defending him because apparently “the system wronged him,” are just as barking mad in doing so. You present the facts and they’ll just spit venom at you.

So since I’ve been buzzing around lately and have been called mentally ill by idiots on the internet recently for being trans… Who is the mentally ill person here? The one who is just tying to be happy in their own body, or the violent monster who was showing all the signs and the people who support him? Gee I wonder…

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

Otherwise a good post, David, but…

His conspiracy theories may have been driven by delusions; Boulware’s mother says her son “heard voices” and that she and other family members had tried in vain to get him the mental health treatment he needed.

Unless there’s some real proof of this, is it actually relevant enough to mention? None of his beliefs were unusual for a right-wing reactionary, and white criminals always “Hear voices” after the fact. Always.

(Sorry all, but I actually am schizophrenic and this inevitable post-shootout media demonisation for the sake of excusing white assholes always makes me feel like shit.)

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

*glares at Kyuubinokitsunehime*

BEING AN ASSHOLE IS NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

So since I’ve been buzzing around lately and have been called mentally ill by idiots on the internet recently for being trans… Who is the mentally ill person here? The one who is just tying to be happy in their own body, or the violent monster who was showing all the signs and the people who support him? Gee I wonder…

Violence is not the same thing as mental illness. One can be violent and be sane. One can be mentally ill and be harmless.

I’m sorry to hear that horrible people are being horrible to you. That sucks and you have my full support in this. If it’s any comfort to you, then remember that the sort of people whose idea of leisure is hanging around on the internet being unpleasant to trans people are probably not sterling examples of humanity at its finest themselves.

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

The people defending him because apparently “the system wronged him,” are just as barking mad in doing so.

We don’t call people mad here for holding aweful beliefs. We call them aweful people.
And as far as I’m aware we also don’t call them monsters, cause it’s othering language. (not sure on this one)

James Haynes
6 years ago

@EJ (The Other One)

okay I get that point, he is named in the title however.

it seems like suggesting he was a hero to people that haven’t said a word about him, probably a piece that might be more salient in a few days time, hence me saying ‘preemptive’

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

@James Haynes:

He’s named in the title because he’s the data point that is being comparing against the theory. If the title said “Men’s Rights Movement explanation of violence is tested” then about half the posts would have the same title and it would be unhelpful.

James Haynes
6 years ago

@EJ (The Other One)

I don’t see why he is being used as a counter point from the get go.

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