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aggrieved entitlement alt-right chris cantwell literal nazis men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA oppressed white men racism

Check out my post on The Cut about Men’s Rights as a gateway drug to the Alt Right

Christopher Cantwell: Men’s Rights Activist turned neo-Nazi. (Pic: Modified screenshot from Vice News documentary)

By David Futrelle

I was up all night writing this one, which I think pulls together some of the points I’ve been making a bit less explicitly on the blog of late.

Here’s what we journalists like to call the nut graf:

There are good reasons why men’s-rights activism has served for so many as a gateway drug to the alt-right: Both movements appeal to men with fantasies of violent, sometimes apocalyptic redemption — and, like [Christopher] Cantwell, a tendency to express these fantasies in bombastic prose. And both movements are based on a bizarro-world ideology in which those with the most power in contemporary society are the true victims of oppression.

In other words, if you can convince yourself that men are the primary victims of sexism, it’s not hard to convince yourself that whites are the primary victims of racism.

In addition to Mr. Cantwell, a number of other We Hunted the Mammoth favorites make appearances in the piece.

Let me know what you think!

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opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

re the whole we’re-the-real-victims schtick, Umberto Eco observed in his definition of fascism/comments on what makes a fascist that the fascists’ enemies (such as “the Jews”) are always simultaneously vile-wretched-base-pathetically-despicable-and-weak AND dangerously powerful-invulnerable-omnipresent. Just like women are for the MRAs and non-whites are for the white supremacists.
So I suppose the MRAs/Nazis in turn must simultaneously be powerful and perfect, AND impossibly vulnerable and threatened.

Gussie Jives
Gussie Jives
3 years ago

Or, they just like to feel sorry for themselves, which (while sarcastic when I say it) is a real possibility.

I actually found a Cracked article from David Wong on Gamerghazi this morning that I think comes the closest to an explanation: http://www.cracked.com/blog/why-hate-doesnt-have-to-win/

From number 2 of the article: Modern Society May Have Cultivated A Population Ripe For Hate

What a human needs, above all else, is to matter. And mattering in 2017 is hard as shit. There are 100 million Americans who neither have jobs nor are looking for one. Of those who do work, only 36 percent say their job has “meaning and significance” (did you know that a low-paying, unstable job is actually more stressful than unemployment?). I guess there used to be pride in building a house or a car, or growing crops — creating something tangible — but now, the machines have those jobs and we’re stuck serving coffee or moving numbers around a spreadsheet, counting down the days until the machines take those jobs, too.

Our generation has fewer close friends than previous generations and are less likely to have a sexual partner or children of our own. We trust each other less than we ever have. We need to matter, but we don’t have people in our lives reminding us of that, so we compensate. “I matter because I’m not [insert hateable stick figure here].”

And I can’t emphasize enough how much it doesn’t actually make a difference what goes in those brackets.

I think this explains why so many people work so hard at self-branding. It’s a way of standing out against what appears as an undifferentiated mass. It’s part of why I write and draw stuff: I don’t want to leave this earth without something out there that will outlive me, even if it’s just a dirty picture of a naked tiger-man. Sure, it may not be the Mona Lisa, but it’s my little sliver of creativity finding expression.

There’s ways to matter that don’t require hate. Try composing something. It takes work, but it’s more rewarding.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
3 years ago

@Gussie Jives: I’d say it’s because everyone wants to feel ‘special’ in some way. They don’t see the downsides that come with being a PoC, they just see that PoCs can use words that they themselves can’t. They see an ‘in group’ organising around things, and then are told that they are not allowed to join.

It’s like how people bemoan a lack of a culture for white people. When the dominant culture that everyone is participating in *is* the white person culture, other sub-groups feel more special? If that makes sense?

I think this can be tied in with the misunderstanding of the definition of ‘racism’ or ‘sexism’. Both include an institutionalised component, which just isn’t present towards white people or cis men. But they aren’t aware of how laws are written to prioritise them, because it feels so natural. So when people say ‘Hey, don’t do that’ they call out whatever ‘reverse -ism’ they can think of, and don’t understand when you point out that no, white cis-dudes AREN’T being continuously systematically disadvantaged in culture and the law.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

@opposable thumbs – It almost seems de rigueur for terrorists to have a history of DV. Have you seen the post on the Al Capone theory of sexual harassment? It’s really interesting. The authors have done years of research on high profile sexual harassment cases, and discovered that sexual harassment is highly correlated with certain types of misconduct on the job: plagiarism, falsified expense reports, embezzlement, exaggerated resumes, and taking credit for others’ work (how many tiresome trolls have we had playing the “we hunted the mammoth/we built civilization” card? I’ve lost count). Their theory: “all of these behaviors are the actions of someone who feels entitled to other people’s property – regardless of whether it’s someone else’s ideas, work, money, or body.” These behaviors occur in clusters. If someone is a sexual harassers, chances are it doesn’t stop there.

It’s another powerful argument for *not* continuing to employ and reward sexual harassers which even the dudebro defenders of the status quo can’t deny. A history of sexual misconduct means there’s very likely to be a pattern of other criminal misconduct detrimental to corporate culture and, ultimately, bottom line. Why would any company in their right mind employ someone who, if they’re not actively ripping off the company and exposing them to serious legal troubles, at the very least can’t play well with others?

@Weird Eddie

That is a damn good question! It would seem counterintuitive that “supremacists” would paint themselves as so weak that they’re being exterminated (cuz `whitely genocided` ain’t really a word 🙂 ) by lesser beings.

I think the explanation lies in the idea they expound that there aren’t enough of them “woke up” and they need all the kindred soles who are still on the fence to join in.

Definitely, when they talk about being under siege it’s a fishing expedition to lure in more members (and a form of exceptionalism – Look! We’re so important and powerful they’re attacking us!). Appeals to fear are a pretty effective recruiting tool.

That Cantwell video is pure Nazi propaganda. He’s pretending to cry, but there are no tears. He’s trying to position himself as the Fallen Hero in order to rally the base, and get fearful libertarian fence-sitters to sympathize with him. If the left-wing makes it go viral, that’s part of the plan. The more eyeballs that see it the better. Even if 1 in 10,000 who see the video decide to join up, that’s still a win for them.

(On the other hand, Nazi tears are pretty therapeutic right now. Even if they’re fake.)

The other reason he released the video is to justify future violence as a form of redemptive self-defense. He’s SCARED, guise! People are being MEAN to him! It’s only reasonable that he gets to exterminate millions of people!

I hope the arrest warrant is real, and I hope they carry it out as soon as humanly possible. This guy needs to be behind bars.

epitome of incomprehensibility

Well done and clearly stated. I like how you point out the overt connections as well as parallels between MRAs and white supremacists. Besides the part quoted in your post, this is also worth repeating:

Both MRAs and alt-rightists are so adept at playing the victim that both groups have convinced themselves that they are oppressed by the mere presence of women in “male spaces” (in the case of MRAs) and nonwhite people in “white countries” (in the case of alt-rightists).

Gussie Jives
Gussie Jives
3 years ago

@Rhuu

It’s like how people bemoan a lack of a culture for white people. When the dominant culture that everyone is participating in *is* the white person culture, other sub-groups feel more special? If that makes sense?

That’s the sense that I certainly get, yet at the same time, the dominant culture is so brand-driven and corporately-controlled that it can’t help but feel superficial. Like the tacky golf outfits they wore to Charlotteville–they want to feel adulation for conforming to the dominant culture, yet lash out when it doesn’t deliver what it promises.

That’s what makes “white culture” all the more baffling a term to me. I just got back from a trip around Nova Scotia, and if there’s one thing you can say about that particular province, there’s no shortage of European culture to be found there. There’s an enormous effort to preserve the Acadian cultural traditions there, working hand-in-hand with the Mi’kmaq communities close by. The week I was at Grand-Pre, they were setting up a four day aboriginal festival where Acadian and Mi’kmaw artists would gather and perform side-by-side: http://grandpre2017.ca/

By the same token, the Ceilidh culture is alive and well on Cape Breton. Celtic fiddling has been a tradition on the island for generations and shows no signs of slowing down. I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that plenty of those rally attendees are of Gaelic descent and haven’t even heard of a Ceilidh, let alone attended one. That’s your culture, guys! Right there to be celebrated!

If they really felt their “culture” was under threat, there’s stuff they can do to actually participate in those culture. But we all know it’s just a dog-whistle for white supremacy anyway.

SpukiKitty
SpukiKitty
3 years ago

David’s article is spot-on.

If I could summarize the whole shebang in one sentence it would be….

“Males in uncertain times full of social and economic malaise feel inadequate and forgotten and turn to dumb things to feel ‘manly’ again”.

Many may have various forms of Antisocial disorders as well but this is the general gist.

I read that CRACKED article as well. David Wong actually writes some very good articles that put things in perspective. Sometimes people misinterpret his points….like with 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women (http://www.cracked.com/article_19785_5-ways-modern-men-are-trained-to-hate-women.html), which is actually a decent article that explains the mindset of a misogynist and why they are the way they are….but is worded in such a way that it may come across as excusing the disordered thinking. However; The general point he’s TRYING to make tends to be pretty good, even if the wording is sometimes weird.

Now; About all those women who get in on the Male Supremacist bandwagon like the late Phyllis Schlafly, pundits like Ann Coulter, politicians like Janet Brewer or Sarah Palin or “The Honey Badgers”. Those ladies would be a dream for Psychology studies.

David needs to write an article addressing them. We need an article examining women like them.

Also; An article about the downfall of YouTube blogger Laci Green; A Progressive, Sex-Positive Feminist, Sex Educator, LGBTQA Ally, Social Justice person who’s since disavowed most of that and is now playing for “Team Hate” because she’s now dating one of them.

opposablethumbs
August 18, 2017 at 10:09 am

re the whole we’re-the-real-victims schtick, Umberto Eco observed in his definition of fascism/comments on what makes a fascist that the fascists’ enemies (such as “the Jews”) are always simultaneously vile-wretched-base-pathetically-despicable-and-weak AND dangerously powerful-invulnerable-omnipresent. Just like women are for the MRAs and non-whites are for the white supremacists.
So I suppose the MRAs/Nazis in turn must simultaneously be powerful and perfect, AND impossibly vulnerable and threatened.

Oddly enough; In some cases, they make the hated group sound cooler than they actually are….

“JEWS ARE ALL-POWERFUL SUPER-WEALTHY IMMORTAL VAMPIRE LIZARD WIZARDS WHO CONTROL EVERYTHING?! KEWL!!! WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!!!”

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
3 years ago

opposablethumbs

I’m just sure I’ve seen something somewhere about DV and terrorism, but I don’t know if there are places with background

I know I once bookmarked some stuff, papers/ reports/ statistical analyses showing that a high proportion of spree killers (and family annihilation killers) had a background of domestic violence with others showing that terror killings that were more political or ideological, rather than personal or random, were mainly committed by people from abusive or otherwise dysfunctional family backgrounds. I know this.

However, I can’t find them in any of the most logical categories I should have used. So I’m a bit annoyed with myself just now.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

Thank you for that link, Buttercup, it’s very well worth reading!

@mildlymagnificent, let us know if you find them – I’m so sure I’ve seen something relevant (but totally failed to bookmark).

The sense of absolute entitlement and the feeling of detachment and justification, that the victim is a thing, property or obstacle rather than a person … it feels very much as if there’s a fit there, but I’m conscious that it could be tempting to jump to that conclusion without some more solid ground on which to base a connection.

numerobis
numerobis
3 years ago

Gussie:

There’s an enormous effort to preserve the Acadian cultural traditions there, working hand-in-hand with the Mi’kmaq communities close by

One thing to note: Acadians were, until very recently, an oppressed class. They’d gained a bunch of rights in the 1970s (school funding, a university, and language rights). But in the late 1980s and early 1990s — my middle and high school years — one of the major parties in the legislature had basically one plank: they hated the French. And they won seats on that platform, even got to form the official opposition for a bit.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick_Confederation_of_Regions_Party

The history with the Mi’kmaq is that the Mi’kmaq helped Acadians flee from the 1755 ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Brits. The Mi’kmaq are still oppressed, but they’ve been flexing their muscles lately with the fracking and pipeline debacles.

Hambeast, disorderly she-tornado and breaker of windows
Hambeast, disorderly she-tornado and breaker of windows
3 years ago

Yay David! And to think, I read it here first. Also, a book would be a fine idea if/when you have the wherewithal to write it. Based on blog and articles – 10/10 WOULD READ!!!

From the article Gussie Jives linked

You can strap somebody to a chair and make them watch a thousand hours of PSAs about how this group or that is “just like us,” but it won’t have the same impact as a single positive encounter with one of them. Dogma dies in the face of such experiences.

I got to do that yesterday, you guise!

I was dropping off some stuff at the Goodwill (thrift shop) and a lady stopped me as I was carrying some plastic drawers and asked if I’d sell them to her, so I did. We ended up talking in the parking lot about her work as a school teacher (sad tale of woe there I’ll not include here) and she thanked me for listening and supporting her and mentioned that she needed prayers. I had to tell her then that I’m an atheist but I would forward her request to friends both pagan and christian. She was shocked that I was a nice atheist and thanked me again for educating her about other religions, too (because I also told her about my past as a pagan and how they operate re spells/prayers.)

I had other errands to do, but had to put them off till today (leaving as soon as I post this) because of heat and fatigue. I still felt that it was a better use of my time yesterday because she was so grateful for a friendly ear. We exchanged numbers and I’ll check up on her in the future. I may post her prayer request later as well.

But yeah, I may have squelched some anti-atheist and anti-pagan dogma, you guise!

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
3 years ago

@SpukiKitty

Many may have various forms of Antisocial disorders as well but this is the general gist.

Careful with this, please. Comments policy. Asshole isn’t a mental condition.

Oh, Laci Green. She’s definitely a White Feminist, and it is just frustrating. She has been discussed in the comments before for sure, but I’m not sure if there has been a post about her. >:C Ugh.

@Hambeast: Wait to go!!!

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
3 years ago
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

I get blindingly angry when I encounter people who are biased against the First Nations or the French. The trials of the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq are some of the reasons why. It’s maddening.

Gussie Jives
Gussie Jives
3 years ago

But in the late 1980s and early 1990s — my middle and high school years — one of the major parties in the legislature had basically one plank: they hated the French. And they won seats on that platform, even got to form the official opposition for a bit.

*siiiiiigh* This effin’ country sometimes, I tells ya….

Still, it was encouraging to see that Parks Canada has invested considerably into preserving sites like Grand-Pre and it was obvious from a lot of their tourism materials that the Nova Scotia government has made revitalization of Acadian traditions a part of its focus.

But the example of the Acadians just goes to show you how fungible “whiteness” is as a concept and how meaningless it is to those who claim to protect it. After all, a bunch of d-bags are willing to rally in Halifax for an Edward Cornwallis statue, meanwhile the Acadian way of life is just now getting back on its feet following the Upheaval and they don’t seem to give two shits about that particular “European culture.”

Not fooling anybody, buckos….

JennyWren
JennyWren
3 years ago

Thanks for posting that Shaun & Jen video. I wasn’t aware of that channel, but I’ll have to dig their back catalogue now.

I think his suggestion of creating a different narrative where they *do* get to join in and fight a power bigger than themselves, but in a healthy way, is a really valuable one. I do think social justice spaces often seem to lack a focus on working-class issues. I’ve even been thinking of setting up a working-class history blog myself, because there seem to be so few resources available. Does anyone have any tips where this sort of thing is discussed?

SpukiKitty
SpukiKitty
3 years ago

@SpukiKitty

Many may have various forms of Antisocial disorders as well but this is the general gist.

Careful with this, please. Comments policy. Asshole isn’t a mental condition.

Sorry about that. I wasn’t saying that all antisocials are assholes or that all assholes are antisocial.

I was just saying that SOME may be sociopaths/psychopaths who are also assholes.

That said; I’ll stop using the “antisocial” comparisons because I don’t want to derail this thread and understand that ableism is wrong. Sorry.

I’m tryin’ guys.

Bannon’s out!

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/us/politics/steve-bannon-trump-white-house.html?mcubz=3

One less nazi.

YAY!

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

I could not be more thrilled that Bannon is out!

Get Stephen Miller out next.

PreuxFox
PreuxFox
3 years ago

I am not sure that I entirely agree with that cracked article. For one thing, people still build houses – my whole extended family are contractors. Machines didn’t take their jobs. But most of their children are not contractors – because it’s considered more successful to ‘upgrade’ to white collar work.

It’s very possible to make a living building houses, growing crops, or fixing cars (maybe not building them, I think that is mostly machinery now but I’m not familiar enough to say for sure). That hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that capitalism and culture have moved the goal posts. Blue collar work is consistently undervalued. Same for prioritizing your friends and family – people you matter to – over work. If you choose to dedicate less time to a faceless corporation in favor of dedicating more time to the people who love you, that decision is punished by the system and by our culture.

I don’t think it’s harder to matter in 2017. I think capitalism has tied our personal value to our productivity, which is ultimately a losing game for any human being.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

capitalism has tied our personal value to our productivity, which is ultimately a losing game for any human being.

QFT (and not even our productivity – just our wealth (or lack of it))

AsAboveSoBelow
AsAboveSoBelow
3 years ago

Great article, David!

PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Perpetually Ignored, Invisible but Noice) Sarcastic
3 years ago

Oh, the comment section on today’s Wong article is surprisingly not as bad as they could be…a lot of the alt-right trolls that normally inhabit the comment section are kinda subdued, given the pushback from Charlottsville.

Good.

Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
3 years ago

Excellent article, David.

I’m nthing the support for a book – I would buy that in an instant

littlem
littlem
3 years ago

I’m thinking there’s more than a little bit of supporting research for a book here — but I also think it needs to be written sooner as opposed to later.

I can’t point to anything specific, but I’m just getting this creepy feeling that we’re running out of time to box in these creeps.

Maybe it’s that Voter Suppression Commission with Racist Sessions and KKKobach and Republic of Gilead Pence and the traitor SOS of New Hampshire and von Spakovsky, who’s written chillingly about Jews for the Heritage Foundation.

We really need to disband these people before they disenfranchise us, and we need to take them seriously.

This isn’t the Emmys.

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/survey-of-alt-right-shows-psychology-behind-white-supremacy-0821171

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/17/trump-election-integrity-commission-voting-rights-kris-kobach

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

So I have long had a hobby of weight lifting and body building. So of course this has brought me onto boards and in conversations with young men. I personally watched this happen. What started out as seemingly testosterone fueled idiocy, became the “Red Pill” and is now full out white supremacy. Thank you for writing this. It synopsizes exactly what I have been trying to stay.

It basically took hatred of women and GLBT people, then transitioned to Islamophobia and then after the election of Trump it exploded. It was obvious this was planned.

It has gotten to the point where going to the gym is difficult and I live in Chicago. I don’t really talk politics at the gym, but holy crap I hear some dumb stuff.

I am a mental health professional, so maybe I notice this stuff easier then most. But its very obvious a poison has been fed to the young white men of this nation. Please feel free to contact me.