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Killed by Chivalry: Everything wrong with the Men’s Rights Movement in one Tweet

The Portland heroes: Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, Ricky John Best and Micah Fletcher

In the wake of the Portland train stabbings that left two men dead and one seriously wounded after they tried to stop a white supremacist from harassing several women, Paul Elam — still probably the best-known Men’s Rights Activist online — posted a tweet that spoke volumes — not about the incident itself, but about the utter moral bankruptcy of the Men’s Rights movement.

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/868917239143178240

When other Tweeters objected, Elam doubled down and began spewing insults — aimed not just at his critics but at the murdered men themselves.

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/869066210964631552

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/869068999577006080

In one tweet, he suggested that the victims themselves were the cause of the violence that left them dead.

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/869064408252772354

In his capacity as a leader of what is essentially a hate movement, Elam has said many terrible things over the years — from his post suggesting that women who go home with men without wanting to have sex with them are “damn near demanding” to be raped” to a short story offering an apologia for — indeed, a glorification of — domestic abuse. These tweets, I think, rank up there with his most reprehensible writings, for two main reasons.

First, as many observers have noted, it was not “chivalry” that killed these men. It was an angry and hateful man with a knife who was harassing women on a train.

Elam thinks it unfair that the tenets of chivalry call upon men to protect women — why should men have to serve as unpaid bodyguards for women, he has often asked? What he doesn’t like to talk about is that these volunteer bodyguards aren’t protecting women from bears — there aren’t a lot of those in my neighborhood — but in the overwhelming majority of cases from other men.

There are a lot of problematic things about “white knights,” as Elam insists upon calling them, but the plain fact is that the “good men” that Elam castigates as terminally stupid would be out of a job if there weren’t so many bad men around harassing and abusing women.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, Elam is essentially declaring war on the very thing that sets us apart from brute nature — our ability to feel empathy for others, including people unlike ourselves. A man standing up for a woman who’s being harassed may or may not be engaging in an act of chivalry but it is certainly an act of altruism and basic human solidarity. It’s driven by the same empathetic and altruistic impulse that led so many non-Muslims here in the US to rush to their nearest airports to protest Trump’s Muslim ban.

This sort of cross-cultural solidarity is pretty much the only thing that can save our country from the hatred and meanness that is Trumpism. We need more empathy, not less.

Elam would rather we raise our sons not to feel this sort of empathy towards women. That’s bad enough. But he’s not the only MRA with an empathy problem. And it isn’t confined to his feelings about women.

It’s not just that MRAs are indifferent towards, if not actively hostile, towards women; they lack empathy towards boys and men as well. Indeed, in one notorious post (archived here; I wrote about it here), Elam literally told the “troubled men” who have turned to A Voice For Men for help to ““go fucking bother someone else with your problems” if they weren’t donating money to his site, which is to say him, as he keeps the donations for himself.

Even though he seems to have taken in literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations over the years, he’s never bothered to even try to set up, say, a hotline for men. Instead, he’s set himself up as a sort of ersatz internet therapist for men — he has no actual training as a therapist — literally charging the “troubled men” he claims to be an advocate for $90 an hour to talk to him on Skype.

But he’s not the only MRA who combines a hatred for women with an utter lack of interest in doing anything altruistic for their fellow men.

In the first few years of second wave feminism in the late 60s and early 70s, feminist activists set up shelters and women’s centers and countless other entities designed to benefit women in desperate need of help. In the seven years I’ve been covering the Men;s Rights movement, MRAs haven’t even set up a single hotline, much less a functional men’s shelter. The only notable MRA, er, victory? Being so obnoxious they’ve convinced numerous media sites to shut down their formerly MRA-infested comments sections.

It’s no wonder MRAs feel such hostility towards real heroes. They’re only heroes in their own minds.

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PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
4 years ago

Aulma, you are talking about Fareed Zachaiah, and he should know better, having been targeted by institutional racism before…

I don’t know where anyone got the idea that intolerance should be tolerated because the left tends to fight for the civil rights of everyone. It’s absurd.

I also dislike the tendency to see this as some sort of weapon as to why the left are not feasible as a political force.

Really, fuck this. The country is neither falling apart due to the left, nor are the “solutions” the right are coming up with helping at all.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Thoughts?

My thought is that response to misbehavior needs to be proportional and in the same venue as the behavior. If it happened in email, you respond in email. If it happened in public, you respond in public.

There is an old Christian cultural expectation that one praises in public and criticizes in private. It draws on Matthew chapter 18, where we are told to rebuke someone in private first, then to the church elders, and if the person doesn’t repent after that, one is to just treat them like a non-believer (but we are never instructed to call someone out in public).

The practical effect of this is that abuse is hidden and abusers are protected. Nobody ever says publicly that someone is a horrible human being. It’s basically left to God to punish them, which means they never get punished and their victims never see justice. Outward harmony is prioritized over ensuring that people are not treated like shit.

So that’s what I think about it: calling people out is appropriate in the same venue where the bad behavior occurred, not calling them out in public just protects horrible people and puts other potential victims in danger, and Christianity has a lot of suck in it.

BritterSweet
4 years ago

To the fuckhead who says maybe if the three men didn’t intervene and “escalate” the situation the stabbing may not have happened: he boarded the train bringing a knife with him. The fact that he put in the time and energy to take a weapon with him meant he already had murderous intent from the start. And David even pointed out that he was threatening to stab people since the day before. If nobody stood up to him, if they just kept quiet and allowed him to continue harassing the girls, he would most likely have murdered the girls, probably followed them off the train at their stop to do so.

Gussie Jives
Gussie Jives
4 years ago

RE Call-out culture.

Need more of it. How else are any of us to improve?

For me, the response to criticism is always more telling of a person’s good faith than the initial transgression. I cited Matt Taylor earlier in this thread as an example of an “anti-SJW” shibboleth, but the fact of the matter was that Taylor seemed genuinely taken aback by the criticism he received and understood why he was called out as he was.

If call-out culture ever goes too far, it’s in proportionality. A common problematic opinion carelessly uttered could very well be resolved with a firm but restrained request that the transgressor educate themselves on the topic. It’s not necessary to jump down somebody’s throat right off the bat and carry on after action has been taken or if the individual has recognized their mistake. But if the response is “F U SJWs!”, well… I say call out harder.

Sheila Crosby
4 years ago

To circle back to the original post, Elam wants a world where nobody interferes with a bully’s nasty fun.
Gosh, I wonder why?

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@kupo
Ignoring the bit about sneaky snake language I don’t really understand, he’s not wrong. He ain’t right, but there’s a really good point here amongst the bleh. Notably, that calling out is a public thing. A performance. It’s done to a person but in front of an audience. There’s a tendency sometimes (I do it… a lot) to gear call outs for people other than the ‘offender’. Jokes, heavy sarcasm, overwrought prose, my bread and butter. And it’s incumbent on the ‘offender’ to take their licks, apologize, and do better next time. But maybe it’s incumbent on the attack dogs to growl first instead of sinking our teeth in immediately

This is a much bigger deal on social media where people bring followers/friends/etc with them when they go after someone. Even the most open minded person is likely to shut down when faced with that. So the question goes back to who you’re tryna callout exactly. The person you’re talking to or the lurkers watching. All valid points to consider

The problem I have with Asam’s argument is he seems to absolve the ‘offender’. Again, they fucked up, they should accept being called out as the cost of being in a social justice space. He also seems to rate the feelings of the ‘offender’ over those of the offended. And that’s not cool. This could just be a consequence of writing a piece on this subject (and a short one at that)…

most of my learning about problematic behavior has been from being called out or seeing others be called out

Same. And I don’t think Asam doesn’t want anyone to call anyone else out in anyway. But I do think this, I dont wanna say demonization, call out of call outs may have some suppressive effects which I’d be wary of

Helpful? 😀

Valentine
Valentine
4 years ago

About ‘call out culuture’ this also annoys me. It little bit like some people seen ‘rape culture’ used, and think they can call all things ‘culture’. Some women enjoy to have sex? Okay, hook up culture. Some people who say shitty things are been told those things are shitty. Okay, so ‘call out culture’.

It so reactionary. They think because they disagree feminism that they must to make some opposite off all things feminism discussing, but without understanding this things. Women liking sex = not culture. Women made to feel bad for liking sex = rape culture. Someone tell you your rape joke not funny = not culture. Someone making rape jokes and saying okay = rape culture.

Fucking easy!

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

attn chessman:

covfefe

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

Wow, this comment thread took off. I’ll pop some popcorn and settle in to read from page 3 in a minute.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
4 years ago

ahaha, @kupo, gold!
comment image

Lets see if that works…

Yay it did!

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

Why did Donald Trump get kicked out of the nightclub? Because he couldn’t pay the covfefe.

(Sorry.)

PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
4 years ago

Fran,

I saw that this morning and thought, “Trump either fell asleep and his nose hit “send” or he knew EXACTLY what he was doing; deflecting the nations attention away from his dissemination of the country, knowing we’d all focus of that tweet.

Big Head:

I saw this yesterday and asked the person wbo posted it “how would a bunch of armed thugs who protect theiving ranchers prevented the stabbing, and why are you on board with the idea that Republicans are suddenly victims?”

His answer was to cite the congressman who attacked the journalist and the poor Vet on the train who was stabbed…

So I reminded him that the Congressman was the ASSAULTER, and Christian didn’t know the victim’s political affiliation at the time.

I was called some choice names. Shrug.

dslucia
dslucia
4 years ago

I’ve gotta finish reading this thread because man, what a wild ride, but a digression took my interest:

I’m not much into Drum&Bass in general and don’t know a lot about it, but I really like Pendulum and would be interested in hearing more artists like them (the thing that I really enjoy about them is the vocals, so similarities in that regard would be welcome as a higher priority than anything else).

PreuxFox
PreuxFox
4 years ago

Call-outs themselves are not a problem. Call-out culture – the social pressure among certain circles (especially younger people) to treat every call-out as fact regardless of verification – has caused some problems. There have already been several cases of abusers ‘calling out’ their victims for made-up offenses, to ruin their victims’ reputation. And gamergate wrote up call-out posts on the LW’s, complete with fake tweets. I run into people still who have no idea these were faked and think that all three LW’s are white supremacists.

But these sorts of accusations aren’t really anything new so I’m not sure ‘call out culture’ is an apt descriptor.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ dslucia

I think we’re developing a real psychic connection round here as I’m at this very moment blasting my eardrums out with the Pendulum remix of Voodoo People.

I guess you’re already familiar with the Prodigy.

(My god-daughter actually said “I like this old music”!!!! They had an album out last year!)

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

@PeeVee

I agree with both of your deductions.

He probably screwed up, as you said, and then left it there because he knew it would confuse and irritate us, and humor the pepe Proud-boy frog-nazi-anime-girl people.

@Dslucia

I used to love the shit out of some drum and bass in the 1990’s. That, along with Happy Hardcore, is one of my favorite English Electronic Dance Music genres that never really took off.

Bring back Happy Hardcore.

Here’s one of my favorite Happy Hardcore tracks:

Checkmate
Checkmate
4 years ago

After several thousand years under the ice, who dares awaken me- Oh hey guys, what’s up? Glad to see that at least one of the trolls is still kicking around~

Citizen Rat
Citizen Rat
4 years ago

Goodness! I’ve been looking to get in Drum & Bass and Happy Hardcore for a while now. I’m definitely checking these out and would appreciate any other recommendations you folks might offer.

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

Another BIG Happy Hardcore tune.

@Citizen Rat

Look up Anabolic Frolic – Happy 2b Hardcore on the Youtubes if you want some SUPER GOOD mixes.

Also, check out Hardcore Heaven.

Some more of my favorite BIG tunes:

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

I really go for super high speed electronic music.

If you guys like happy hardcore, you will probably like Eurobeat, which used to be highly popular in Japan with all the teenage girls a while back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bylGUpq7sHI

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

WAIT WHAT Fran’s a happy hardcore fan? Now this thread has my attention.

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

You guys are probably wondering, “How do you _dance_ to Super Eurobeat, though, Fran?”

Glad you asked! This is how:

AsAboveSoBelow
AsAboveSoBelow
4 years ago

There’s calling-out, and then there’s piling-on. I don’t think the latter is ever helpful.

comment image

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

Well, that was something else. I don’t want my popcorn anymore.

On the bright side, so many new faces to welcome! Hi! I’m Falconer. I’m not around too much anymore. I have four-year-old twins and a day job, so between closing time and bedtime, I have no time, and after bedtime, I have no energy. Also I’m making a concerted effort to get to somewhere in Skyrim that I can call finished, except now Pharaoh and Civilization V have dragged me back in.

As for callouts: It’s not the calling-out that I mind, it’s the purity drive around calling-out that spells trouble. Not only Caesar’s wife, but also xXc34s4rsw1f3Xx has to appear beyond reproach. Stuff that people said years ago can be dredged up and thrown at them again.

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

More high speed electronic dance music from Japan:

This genre is called HYPER TECHNO and it is critically underrated, in my opinion.

I love how anime-style art is just naturally a part of Hyper Techno album covers. It’s perfect.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

Sorry to take the thread backwards but I’m just catching up and got a little incensed about this one little thing –

What’s with this idea that women have to be some kind of fucked up Beauty taming a violent Beast? I mean that’s just all kinds of regressive and gross to me.

Okay, I’m done, thank you everyone! You may now return to your regularly scheduled commenting!

AsAboveSoBelow
AsAboveSoBelow
4 years ago

How does one dance to happy hardcore? It sounds like a techno soundtrack to one of those speeded-up Benny Hill skits.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

How does one dance to happy hardcore?

Drunkenly! Glowsticking!

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

@SFHC

Now that I come to think of it, I’m kinda glad Happy Hardcore and Hyper Techno haven’t become mainstream.

The alt-right boys would meme it like they’ve done with every god damn thing ever.

Our music is pure and full of PLUR.

Citizen Rat
Citizen Rat
4 years ago

All I know of Drum & Bass/Jungle is the Amen Break and that song Father Stack played in an episode of “Father Ted”. I got interested in it REALLY late in the game thanks to a China Mieville novel (which is where my name comes from).

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
4 years ago

Good to see you again, Falconer 🙂

Regulars et al being all kinds of amazing in this thread.

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

[whispers]

MAMMOTHEER RAVE PARTY WHEN

sfhc and I and anyone else who wants to will dj

AsAboveSoBelow
AsAboveSoBelow
4 years ago

@SFHC: That’s amazing! And much safer than spinning real fire. My kid brother has done a bit of that (fire spinning) and is also a fan of happy hardcore, though I don’t know if he’s ever combined the two. 🙂 Anyway, it’s much more beautiful than what I was picturing, which was something like this.

JS
JS
4 years ago

Let me just say watching the “OMG-WHAT” cat gif posted earlier while boom boom down is playing is a bit trippy.

Checkmate
Checkmate
4 years ago

@Falconer, who do you play in Civ 5? I play Babylon, myself, since they’re a touch OP.

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

Not such a big dancer myself, although I admire some people’s ability to move their feet like they’re not standing on them at the time.

I’ll sit on the side lines of the rave and cheer. I’d dispense tasty beverages, but I’m no bartender or barista, so like, punch or sodas or beers.

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

@JS

YES! I am glad you are enjoying this super bouncy Hyper Techno track. It’s really good.

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

@Checkmate: I don’t like to get tied down. I play the field, you know? /snark

Right now I’m playing Egypt, on Prince — harder than I’ve ever played a Civ game before! Go me.

Previously I’ve played Siam and Arabia. I’ve been setting up maps with as many other civs as I can justify being in the same region historically.

And a personalized Welcome to the Mammoth! for you, Checkmate. Welcome to Wehuntedthemammoth! It’s safer here.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

Did someone say jungle and/or high speed techno?

Here, have some jungle breakcore! With strings and brass. (It kicks for real in at about 1:15)

This may prove difficult to dance to.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
4 years ago

Woe to me for I, despite being a musician and having soaked in almost every kind of music from birth, still can’t get into electro.

It’s actually the reason I stay away from raves now – a while ago it actually started bothering me enough and I just stick to festivals these days.

Am I, like, getting old ?

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

I think my favorite covfefe goof was when Covfefe the Strong and The Wizard Covfefe were arguing on Twitter about who gets the Orb.

Checkmate
Checkmate
4 years ago

@ Music chat, I prefer electronica stuff myself. Or pop music, perhaps befitting of my age. That said, my favorite song recently is True Faith by New Order, so yeah.

@ Falconer, I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a game as Egypt, I get past the wonder race stage then get bored. X3

Edit: And thank you for the welcome~

varalys the dark
4 years ago

All this music reminds me of stuff I’d strut my funky stuff to in the gay nightclubs of Manchester’s Gay Village. Happy (old) days.

varalys the dark
4 years ago

That was back in the mid-1990’s as well. Again. Old.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

MAMMOTHEER RAVE PARTY WHEN

sfhc and I and anyone else who wants to will dj

Yaaas. And I’ll teach everyone how to stick like a bawss. <3

Of course, it'll have to be called We Hunted The Music.

Swedish Sexual Bread
Swedish Sexual Bread
4 years ago

I can’t dance (well, at the very least), and I have no idea how to DJ. Can I play harp accompaniment instead?

In terms of music I enjoy, I’ll listen to most things, and enjoy a decent chunk of it. Currently, I’m working my way through the Phoenix Wright soundtrack, which is absolutely splendid even outside of the context of the games.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
4 years ago

Electronic music fan here, particularly leaning towards trance, melodic dubstep, trap and a nice bit of hardcore every now and then. 😊

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