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MRAs demonstrate their complete ignorance of feminist history, part 9742

Er, that’s not quite how it happened (Click for larger version)

By David Futrelle

I found the meme above on the front page of the Men’s Rights subreddit today, with 82 upvotes (and counting). It’s a pretty good illustration of the standard story MRAs tell themselves about feminism: Once upon a time there was Good Feminism, it was modest and polite and didn’t ask for much. But then along came Tumblr feminists with their purple hair and they ruined everything!

While some MRAs in the Men’s Rights subreddit thread do take issue with the blatant historical inaccuracies of this meme, the enormous popularity in MRA circles of this narrative about feminism — which bears about as much resemblance to actual feminist history as the Men’s Rights movement does to a legitimate civil rights movement, which is to say none — reveals how little the typical MRAs actually know about the movement they pretty much devote all their time to denouncing. Not that their complete ignorance of feminism keeps them from having many very strong opinions about it, which they would like to tell you about at length.

Of all the dumb things in the above meme, their weird sanitized fantasy version of 2nd wave feminism amuses me the most. Hey MRAs, go take a look at Sisterhood is Powerful or the Redstockings online archive, or something.

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Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
3 years ago

Later this month I plan on getting my hair dyed blue. And yet somehow my husband still loves me. Maybe it’s because he’s not an MRA and was raised to respect women. (If you knew Mr. Parasol’s mom and sister, this would come as no shock.)

Dan Kasteray
Dan Kasteray
3 years ago

Do they know first wave feminists were beaten, raped and arrested for asking equal rights?

That nothing happened because everyone was nice and polite and inoffensive?

Actually fuck it , they’d just celebrate the beating and injury done to first wave feminists

MexicanHotChocolate
MexicanHotChocolate
3 years ago

You could write a multi-volume history book on the history MRAs either don’t know or willfully ignore. It’d be about a million pages and have an entire wing of the public library.

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

So, uh, Andrea Dworkin is generally considered part of Second Wave, which had a spectrum from people who supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s ban on sex discrimination to radfems who sometimes did make unfair generalizations about men (and sometimes trans women). If you talk to people who like to read their Dworkin or who are into Mary Daly, they really don’t like Third Wave feminism most of the time.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

The bad art kind of makes it look the endgame of feminism is to turn ourselves into Darth Vader.

And I’m not sure when the term ‘patriarchy’ was first used by feminists, but I do know it was not invented by third wavers.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
3 years ago

You know what I wonder? Whether the word takbir (on the “aftermath” sign) is supposed to mean something there, or was just picked at random.
I mean, it’s the infinitive form of the verb that indicates saying “Allahu akbar” (yeah, Arabic does that; they also have a verb that means “to say bismillah” and even ones for longer phrases, which I find pretty neat) which might have some tenuous connection to their ideas about Islamization – like, maybe the idea is that in their “aftermath” situation people go around saying that phrase (which in the West is mostly connected to terrorists, even though Muslims would say that in a whole lot of contexts)? I dunno.
But it also just means “to make big/great”.
Probably has other denotations I’m not aware of, Arabic is a very rich language.

So, what is it? What do they mean? Or did they just go for “this is something in Arabic so it is MUSLIM and BAD”?

I want answers!

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

Ok, so first of all of these guys really felt that equal pay is reasonable they wouldn’t fight as hard as they do to keep the wage gap intact. Second, I don’t think they’d much care for a suffragette, as others have pointed out.

Edit: could you even fill a whole book with the history they do understand? Maybe a tri-fold brochure would suffice?

Freemage
Freemage
3 years ago

So, speaking of the history of feminism, an interesting article on the anti-suffragist women:

http://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/08/04/women-women-anti-suffragette-movement/

Here, for my money, is the most unsurprising bit:

The leaders of the anti-suffragist campaign were generally elite ladies of high social status who themselves possessed political power. Corinne McConnaughy, a teacher of political science at the George Washington University, in her book The Woman Suffrage Movement in America: A Reassessment, says, “In short, they were women who were doing, comparatively, quite well under the existing system. They were generally urban, often the daughters and/or wives of well-to-do men of business, banking or politics. They were also quite likely to be involved in philanthropic or ‘reform’ work that hewed to traditional gender norms.” So, in short, granting the rights to vote would take away some of the power of these women, or The New York Times put it in 1894, “To give women the suffrage would only increase the ignorant vote and bring refined women into contact with an element that should not be brought into their lives.”

So, yeah, another thing to keep in mind when someone tries to cite one of the various anti-feminist women as proof that somehow 3rd-wave feminism isn’t about women’s rights.

Fujimoto
Fujimoto
3 years ago

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone seriously into social justice say they reject labels; instead they say self-given labels are important, while it’s “moderates” and “egalitarians” who claim we don’t need labels. According to them, if we all pretend to be the same then prejudice will just vanish! Of course, they just don’t want to bother hearing about the problems minorities have to deal with.

Austin Loomis
3 years ago

Or did they just go for “this is something in Arabic so it is MUSLIM and BAD”?

*shakes Magic 8-Ball* “Signs point to yes”

Citizen Rat
Citizen Rat
3 years ago

@MexicanHotChocolate

It’s 30° C right now but your name has me hankering for a big cup of frothy Mexican chocolate de mesa.

As for the chart, one could spend hours dissecting it for all the many stereotypes and cliches they’ve piled on. At a first glance we have nostalgia for the “good old days”, women being angry (thus bad), Islamophobia, whitewashing, strawmanning and pink-haired punk 3rd wave feminists. What is it with these supposed manly mendudes who are so afraid of shocking pink/blue hair? It’s like they’re scared of Jem and the Holograms!

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 80’s/90’s and was brought up to think the punk/new wave/glam look was cool.

Jesalin
Jesalin
3 years ago

It’s like they’re scared of Jem and the Holograms!

I used to watch that…

…damn I feel old!

Lumen8
Lumen8
3 years ago

@Penny Psmith:

I’m gonna guess that you’re right :/ But that was an interesting tidbit I learned. I dunno; should we be amused it doesn’t say “pinecone”? I wonder where they got takbir from.

@Jesalin:

Hey, Jem and the Holograms was the shit and I think you know that. 😀 You’re only as young and dorky as you feel.

Fujimoto
Fujimoto
3 years ago

I’ve seen this graphic before but the “post-Western” part appears to be a new addition. I’ve seen it stop at the third-waver previously.

More stupidity is that antifeminists made the exact same arguments about the second wave being unnecessary because the first wave feminists did everything needed. When we get to a fourth wave we’ll start hearing how the third wave liberated all women forever and there’s no need for further waves.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

I’m guessing nobody wants another one of my fanboy polemics about Edith Garrud and some of the other more ‘proactive’ suffragettes?

This is worth a read though.

comment image

Comments policy (and possibly Section 1 of our Terrorism Act 2006) probably prohibits me from further review 🙂

Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
3 years ago

Fujimoto | August 4, 2017 at 5:31 pm
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone seriously into social justice say they reject labels; instead they say self-given labels are important […]

As any cat owner will tell you: There’s a BIG difference between putting your cat in a box and the cat going into the box of its own free will.

There’s also a BIG difference between cats with boxes to hide in and play with and cats who have no boxes or other things to play with or hide in.

JS
JS
3 years ago

No no, we’ll all go to the “tHaired Wave”, and no more feminism will be needed. All women need is better hair. None of this freedom crap. *sigh*

Miss Edgy Nation
Miss Edgy Nation
3 years ago

@Citizen Rat

My guess for the reason MRAs are so horrified by candy-colored hair:

Dying one’s hair an unusual color takes confidence, and they fear confident women. This is probably why they rail against short hair on women, too.

If you chop your hair off and/or dye it some fanciful hue, you might as well be wearing a sandwich board that says “I DON’T NEED YOUR APPROVAL!”

Of course, this is terrible, because MRAs think their approval should be our only source of self-esteem.

(Typing that last sentence gave me the urge to wash my hands.)

dslucia
dslucia
3 years ago

I just got into a prolonged discussion with an antifeminist type yesterday and earlier today on another website, and it really does just astound me how even when they’re not just trolling, their opinions are all formed from a position of intense ignorance and denial, and are usually fueled by intense emotions rather than anything factual.

“Feels over reals”, indeed.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Oops. Wrong thread.

Lumen8
Lumen8
3 years ago

@Miss Edgy Nation:

Dying one’s hair an unusual color takes confidence, and they fear confident women. This is probably why they rail against short hair on women, too.

I can’t believe it took someone saying it for me to get it, but you’re absolutely right.

@Brony:

“Dash” bias? Rainbow Dash bigotry? Can you explain that for me? 😀 No sarcasm, I just have no idea what you’re talking about or whether you’re using MLP to make your point, or actually talking about MLP-related discussions.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Imagine MRA’s that exclusively post as dash fans, and arguing with them for two years. I don’t actually talk about it much because it does sound pathetic. But it happened. And might be involved in why I like to mentally profile bigots. It could be personality thing.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Oh! And I was using social evolution jargon with respect to the source of some of those mlp fans. I was the Twilight! Mod (that’s what it looked like).

Shaenon
3 years ago

Demure blonde lady with modest hairdo (and barrettes!) smiling sweetly for men: Yup, this dude nailed 1970s counterculture.

Lumen8
Lumen8
3 years ago

@Brony:

Ah. Uh… gotcha? I think. 🙂

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

I don’t mind explaining something, I legitimately have expressive issues. It’s why I don’t post much. But I’m honestly fine with explaining something. I can be confusing at times.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
3 years ago

@Fujimoto

Yeah, I’ve seen this before (sans the last bit) too–specifically on RationalWiki, where it was treated as the bullshit it is. (RW can be a bit dodgy, but it certainly got it right there.)

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
3 years ago

@Dan Kasteray:

That nothing happened because everyone was nice and polite and inoffensive?

“Power does not concede without a demand.”

@Miss Edgy Nation:

Dying one’s hair an unusual color takes confidence, and they fear confident women. This is probably why they rail against short hair on women, too.

Not to mention tats.

@Freemage:

In short, they were women who were doing, comparatively, quite well under the existing system. They were generally urban, often the daughters and/or wives of well-to-do men of business, banking or politics.

Conservatism always behaves this way. They play “king of the hill”: get to the top, then defend it from anyone else joining them up there. Liberals meanwhile try to enlarge the hill itself, to make room for more people on it, though often at the cost of making the very highest part not quite as high as before.

One worry for the future: fast growth favors liberalism, as it’s easy to grow the hill entire. But slow/no growth, let alone contraction, makes conservative strategies tend toward greater success: get a perch high up and then defend it vigorously against upstarts.

The issue being sustainability. The long term future is necessarily going to be one of, at best, punctuated equilibrium, with occasional big-enough tech advances or new frontiers to create (often local) bursts of growth, alternating with long periods of an approximately steady state. (Even loads and loads of space travel doesn’t alter this. Long term, our resource base and real estate grows cubically — even just quadratically, once we’re talking a good-sized piece of the galaxy or larger. That won’t support exponential growth that’s steady rather than bursty.)

There are two alternatives, then, as near as I can figure, during those long periods when the hill cannot be grown: one makes the hill a lower but very broad plateau, with everyone on it; the other has a few privileged people on the top pulling out all the stops to keep everyone else off.

Our choices, in the long term, seem to be feudalism vs. socialism. Liberalism/capitalism is a temporary phase made possible by frontiers and episodes of major technological advance and must eventually give way to one of the other two.

Comparing, say, medieval Rome and modern Norway, I think I know which one I’d pick.

Hu's On First
Hu's On First
3 years ago

More of that “Muslim takeover” BS again? The facts beg to disagree. Studies in the US show that Muslims are becoming more liberal….FAST. (Probably because the political right keeps vilifying them).

So _IF_ Muslims do come anywhere close to being a plurality, they’ll likely end up being feminist, blue-haired, tattooed, rainbow-hijab-wearing nu-Muslims. Sadly, the alt-right would still hate them, just for different reasons.

Nequam
Nequam
3 years ago

Maybe a tri-fold brochure would suffice?

A Post-It note would do. And have margins.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I think a Post-It with just the word “Assfax” scrawled in crayon would work.

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Crooked Nasty Social Justice Necromancer
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Crooked Nasty Social Justice Necromancer
3 years ago

WWTH: How ’bout a “Complete And Utter Bullshit” stamp?

@Miss Edgy Nation: I have always considered getting mermaid highlights–this is just another reason. I like my natural hair color too well to dye my *whole* hair an unusual color but streaks could look cool.

Still Fiqah
Still Fiqah
3 years ago

So the vote was actually taken AWAY from (White) women in 1777 in what was to become the U.S.A. They had it at first. They also could own property until 1700-sumpin. Kinda like how Black folks were most often free at first in the same states. Every bit of injustice, cruelty and human evil that this country enacted back then was legislated. Deliberately, brick-by-heartbreakingly-preventable-brick.

I can’t recall who said it, but that quote about social counter-movements first endeavoring to undermine a social movement’s validity and power by actively attempting to erase its history? Yeahhhhhh, that.

Jules
Jules
3 years ago

You know, the whining they do about how any day now White Civilization will collapse and we’ll all be sorry and beg to give them BJs and sandwiches is really just…like, enough already. Move on.

Penny Psmith, as a language lover myself, if you just wanna talk about Arabic for half a page I wouldn’t mind. Just puttin’ that out there.

Also, I don’t think they put any thought into it.

I’m gonna work on Persian (an order of magnitude easier than Arabic, ha!) after I get my second language up to speed.

Also, started watching People of Earth; fun show.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
3 years ago

FFS, MRAs, you’re stupid about everything all the time.

Allow me to point out that the sweet little old lady of first-wave feminism depicted in your graphic would be long dead. Say, did you know that women won the vote in the USA in 1920?

The second-wave feminist appears to be about 15. I’m a second-wave feminist. I’m a lot older than 15. We second-wave feminists have always been absolutely clear that we’re fighting the patriarchy. (What else!) And second-wave feminism has never been seen by the right wing as commonsense corrections of earlier social and governmental mistakes — except in your imagination. We feminists have had to fight for every gain we’ve made.

In summary, you’re not interested in having sex with first- or second-wave feminists — we’re too old (or dead). It’s the third-wave feminists who disturb you because you want them and they don’t want you. Therefore you threaten them with the supposed aftermath of their allegedly short-sighted ideals.

Hey, why don’t you get your feels out of the way and read a book about feminism!

Or, you know, continue being stupid.

Jurgan
3 years ago

The other side of this is how they lie to themselves about how their intellectual predecessors reacted to women of those days. “We gave them the right to vote” is a common line. But it’s easy to see that first wave feminists, who are now seen as “reasonable” feminists to oppose “radical” feminists, were attacked just as viciously as today’s feminists:

http://theweek.com/articles/461455/12-cruel-antisuffragette-cartoons

It’s similar to how conservatives today love MLK and claim he would oppose things like BLM, when conservatives of the time hated him.

Bina
3 years ago

Do these bozos even realize that the “wave” model of feminism(s) is just a US media-manufactured artifact? That it’s not relevant to other countries and cultures, and their feminisms? That an awful lot of non-US feminists (myself included) don’t subscribe to it, because we find it divisive and US-centric, and that it erases the continuum between feminists of different ages, like myself, who happen to be situated between so-called waves? That the various feminist schools of thought are not all separate and distinct, but have a way of bleeding into and out of one another, and that they borrow from each other and influence each other all the fucking time?

(smacks forehead)

No, of course they don’t. If they did, they’d be smart, and if they were smart, they wouldn’t be menzers. (They might also come up with better graphics, because these are just shit all around.)

Also, they don’t mansplain how panel 3 leads to panel 4, in which women are supposedly too cowed to feminist anymore. How the fuck does opposing rape culture lead to a “post-western” world that’s nothing BUT rape culture? Menzers, you STOOOOOOPID.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@Bina

Also, they don’t mansplain how panel 3 leads to panel 4, in which women are supposedly too cowed to feminist anymore. How the fuck does opposing rape culture lead to a “post-western” world that’s nothing BUT rape culture? Menzers, you STOOOOOOPID.

Simple: Opposing patriarchy means wanting to destroy Christianity. If you destroy Christianity there will be a great spiritual void, and the only thing that can fill it will be Islam, because there are no other religions of any significance on the planet, and every society must be based on a religion.

Ooglyboggles
3 years ago

@Dalil
If they’d use Judaism in their graphic their bigotry would be too obvious.

Banananana dakry
Banananana dakry
3 years ago

@WWTH

The idea of the end goal of feminism being turned into Darth Vader is something I really shouldn’t have read, because laughing hurts right now.

(Short form: make sure you MISS the ground if you fall off your bike on the way to work, because hitting the ground hurts a lot and involves a CAT scan for the head bump.)

Heirloom Roses
Heirloom Roses
3 years ago

@ Missy Edgy Nation

Of course, this is terrible, because MRAs think their approval should be our only source of self-esteem.

This is the deepest desire of the MRA movement. It is this one belief that drives them.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ bina

Do these bozos even realize that the “wave” model of feminism(s) is just a US media-manufactured artifact?

I’m no expert on feminism, but the wave model has always struck me as being akin to that “stone age, bronze age, iron age” thing. It’s a convenient and popular over simplification, but any archeologist will tell you it’s bollocks.

Still Fiqah
Still Fiqah
3 years ago

Also: I think instead of saying “X group was given X right” it’d make more sense sometimes to say “X group’s X right was returned.” Like “women were given the vote” would be more ACCURATE if we said, “After decades of political action and harsh and unrelenting pushback, voting rights were begrudgingly restored to (White American) women.” Just to remind ourselves that our rights ARE in fact our rights and if we don’t have them it’s cuz Kyriarchy jacked them.Words are powerful.

Lysistrata
Lysistrata
3 years ago

@bina
Thanks for saying that about the wave model of feminism. I first heard this “wave” language about a decade ago when a young anti-feminist woman called me a “second-waver”, quite dismissively. A what now? Is that somebody who waves after the first person has waved?

Her analysis was only slightly better than the graphics we are mocking here, and depended heavily on reducing me to a caricature of a 70s feminist, a “bra-burner” (which of course never happened, except toke burns.)

Okay, she’s a twit, I thought, but I’ve been out of academia for some time; I better get caught up on this wave model if I’m gonna be talking to people. And I have to say, it never made any sense to me. Never occurred to me (possibly because the twit was Australian) that it was an American creation based on an extremely narrow view of what “feminism” is.

@banananana dakry Oh, ouch, feel better! (And may I say, every time I see your nym I giggle. As Pratchett said about another word, sometimes you have to send out for help to know when to stop spelling it.)

Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
Weird (thumper of trumpanzees) Eddie
3 years ago

This is the deepest desire of the MRA movement. It is this one belief that drives them.

The idea that women’s sense of self be based exclusively on the approval of men is a basic tenet of patriarchy… it might be THE basic tenet (except for control of the money)

Lukas Xavier
Lukas Xavier
3 years ago

But it also just means “to make big/great”.

Like Make America Great Again?

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@Oogly
Nah, that particular meme cluster never uses Judaism; Jews don’t proselytize (to any significant degree at least), never have, and show no sign of starting.

Jesalin
Jesalin
3 years ago

Waves? Screw that. I think of feminism like a laser. We started out at 1kiloWatt, ramped it up to 1MegaWatt, then ramped it up to 1 GigaWatt, next stop 1 TeraWatt.

Also it’s a violet laser, because purple is my favorite colour.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
3 years ago

@Lukas – Ummm, maybe? The connection came to mind, of course, but I don’t think this is how you’d say it in Arabic. The verb is more like “enlarge”, which can also mean “make big/great”, but of course putting the slogan as “Enlarge America again” would be rather silly.

@Jules – Thanks! I’ll try to get around to something, when I’m back on my computer. Touchscreen keyboards are annoying.

IgnoreSandra
3 years ago

I finally dyed my hair red. I guess this makes me a third wave feminist. Or is the dark red of blood a “respectable” color?

I’m just going to say that the “wave” model of feminism has never made much sense to me. It’s hard to divide any cultural or social phenomenon into neat little time-based categories.

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