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Weirdo MRA Janice Fiamengo: Male inventions make me horny

By David Futrelle

Janice Fiamengo, an English professor at the University of Ottawa, is one of Canada’s most famous, or perhaps infamous, Men’s Rights Activists, getting her (terrible) message out in innumerable YouTube videos, speeches on college campuses and at conferences organized by A Voice for Men, and at one point as a guest on a white nationalist podcast called Radio 3Fourteen, on which she suggested that white men are “living under … a feminist version of sharia law.”

She also likes to tweet. And some of her tweets are pretty strange, even by Twitter standards. Lately she’s been getting positively horny on main over … male inventions:

Damn. I would tell her to take a cold shower, except she’d just start getting horny over indoor plumbing.

Fiamengo also wants the men of today to know how very grateful she is that that other men in the past built a lot of things.

She rarely misses an opportunity to bring up how totally unappreciated she thinks (cis) men really are. Even when her argument makes no damn sense at all.

She’s especially exercised over the allegedly unfair treatment of white men in particular, including the dead ones:

Ironically, given her desire to paint men as pure-hearted angels, the specific men she chooses to champion are often quite shit. She is, for example, a big fan of the violence-loving western supremacist street gang called the Proud Boys, whom she inexplicably believes are non-violent.

She has also declared herself quite “proud” of Tommy Robinson, the darling of Britain’s racist far-right.

As a man who thinks Tommy Robinson and the Proud Boys are a huge embarrassment to my gender, and who feels a bit weird about accepting “thank yous” for inventions I didn’t invent and train tracks I didn’t lay, all I can say is that I’m glad men don’t have many “defenders” quite like Janice Fiamengo.

H/T — @TakedownMRAs, who you should all follow on Twitter

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Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Shadowplay

Bang on.

I grew up in a clergy family, and other PKs know what that means. For the non-PK contingent: Clergy families are public. You’re supposed to set a good example, or at least not do anything that could lead to your clergy parent losing their position. Kinda like being in a political family, except your ultimate boss is God. Everybody at church always knows who you are and who your parents are.

In good situations, it’s wonderful. I still have very fond memories of a church where my sisters and I were not just accepted but supported in very healthy ways. But even then, the worst thing you could’ve called me was “selfish.” That was the ultimate mortal sin. Just ask my mother

And then as an adult, I began a career in healthcare. Again, an environment where you are encouraged to sacrifice your own well-being for the sake of others. All of this ultimately led to the night where I was working at 10:30 PM trying to get Important Stuff done when my hand stopped working and I couldn’t speak. And at first I hid it because I didn’t want Mr. Parasol to worry. I hoped it would resolve on its own. Except of course it didn’t, and hours later I was admitted to the ICU. Most of the regulars here know the rest of the story from there.

I’m trying to let myself feel how I feel without guilt or shame. It would be SO much easier if the universe would cooperate. *wry grin*

magnesium
magnesium
1 year ago

Jesus, you can smell her desperation through the internet. I have to imagine being a male student of hers is just a terrifying full semester of awkwardly pretending not to recognize she’s trying to flirt with you. Is there a word in English that encapsulates both fear and pity?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

Oh Vicky, it’s so horrible that you’re having to go through this. I really wish that there was some practical way I could help, or just take some of the pain from you.

I know ‘just world’ is a fallacy; but this is just so unfair. You’re too nice a person for this to be happening to. You’re always there for everone else; you deserve to be happy.

Hugs and best wishes. Grrr! That just sounds like thoughts and prayers. Oh I wish wish wish I could make this go away for you.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

Holy laminated, bifurcated Mother of PEARL!?!?!?! How much angst and mental anguish can the trumpling right-wing drag out of simply asking white men to stop acting like the world revolves around them???

The igno-right seriously contends that white men are being exterminated. Yeah, we’re (full disclosure, I’m really a white man disguised as an ordinary people) going to lose our position as the sole purveyor of gods will, but we shouldn’t have had that anyway.

So what the fuck is this flamenco afraid of?? That nothing will ever get invented again? Wake up and smell the progress, such as it is.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

Thank you, Alan.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

And thank you, contrapangloss. All gestures of support accepted.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

@Ariblester:

Eh, “vagina” simply meant “scabbard” in Classical times.

Thank you, “scabbard” is much more correct. I was thinking of the verb (what one does with a scabbard), not the noun.

It’s application to anatomy was much later.

True, it was anachronistic of me to suggest the Romans themselves used it. We can blame Renaissance anatomists for that.

Irrumare apparently comes from ruma, “teat”. Language, and etymology, are strange beasts.

Considering that it was considered normal to threaten irrumatio to shut someone up, Ancient Rome sounds like a sausage fest.

Yeah, there’s that (in)famous poem by Catullus. Finest lyrical poet in the Latin language? With that mouth? 🤣

On the other hand, English has “to blow” and “to facefuck”.

I don’t know if it matters much but the fact that English has to employ a compound whereas Latin had a special verb for the act; either way it doesn’t say much for the Ancient Romans’ sexual mores…

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Cat Mara

Heh. Catullus reference.

Reminds me of the people who think Shakespeare was always so noble and high-minded … and then they see a non-bowdlerized performance of A Comedy of Errors.

KG
KG
1 year ago

His real name is the rather less proletarian Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.

It was originally just Stephen Yaxley. The “Lennon” is his stepfather’s name, but I don’t know whether he adopted it of his own accord (hyphenated names are generally perceived as “posh” in Britain). The pseudonym “Tommy Robinson” was taken from a long-time football hooligan who wrote an autobiography. Robinson/Yaxley-Lennon was at one time a member of the neo-Nazi British National Party, but claims not to be a Nazi, fascist, racist or antisemite (well he would, wouldn’t he?*). He has convictions for violence and fraud.

*h/t Mandy Rice-Davies

Full Metal Ox
1 year ago

@Victorious Parasol:

Reminds me of the people who think Shakespeare was always so noble and high-minded … and then they see a non-bowdlerized performance of A Comedy of Errors.

To say nothing of Titus Andronicus, which would lend itself splendidly to a Quentin Tarantino splatterfest.

archy the cockroach weighs in, by way of his Literary Agent Don Marquis:

archy confesses

coarse
jacosity
catches the crowd
shakespeare
and i
are often
low browed

the fish wife
curse
and the laugh
of the horse
shakespeare
and i
are frequently
coarse

aesthetic
excuses
in bill s behalf
are adduced
to refine
big bill s
coarse laugh

but bill
he would chuckle
to hear such guff
he pulled
rough stuff
and he liked
rough stuff

hoping you
are the same

archy

As for the fraying of your emotional safety net: I don’t claim to be particularly good at reassuring gestures, but here’s a male mouse affectionately tending his adopted daughter:

(The YouTube channel is Creek Valley Critters, where Aud Fischer of the Yukon posts the lives of her rescue mice. I’m not ASMR myself, but I’m told–and am unsurprised–that she has a following among that demographic.)

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Full Metal Ox

You helped by quoting archy – I’ve loved archy and Mehitabel since I was in high school. Thank you.

Full Metal Ox
1 year ago

@magnesium:

Jesus, you can smell her desperation through the internet. I have to imagine being a male student of hers is just a terrifying full semester of awkwardly pretending not to recognize she’s trying to flirt with you. Is there a word in English that encapsulates both fear and pity?

…And what must it be like to be a female student of hers? (And forget options beyond Pink and Blue, because I’m absolutely confident Flamengo does.)

Epicurus Hog
Epicurus Hog
1 year ago

There’s so much weird shit here. Getting turned on by random objects just because a man probably invented them is just the top of the iceberg.

Like, how she seems unaware that women have historically also invented stuff.

Or the implication that men deserve credit for things other men did just cause they share a gender.

I get that this is intended as a counterpoint to feminists being angry at men because of the patriarchy but no feminist i know of thinks every man is to blame for everything every other man has done. We’re just pointing out how they tend to profit from and perpetuate a system that disadvantages women. It’s not the same thing.

And anyway when’s the last time any of those Professionally Angry At Feminists people had anything worthwile to share with the world other than unintentional comedy

BlueNinja
BlueNinja
1 year ago

Wow. Just how badly “rooster-pecked” was the family she grew up in? :\ Really sounds like the sort who was raised to be this way.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

I get the impression that Shakespeare was the Stephen King of his time. Actually fairly lowbrow, bestselling, with a tendency to include supernatural elements and tragicomic events in his stories.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Vicky:

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. That’s really hard 🙁

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Surplus to Requirements

Pretty much. I’d have to review the canon, but I seem to recall that the supernatural elements picked up more when James I took the throne – MacBeth being an obvious example, picking up on the succession concerns that took up a good deal of the Elizabethan era (see also Hamlet) and capitalizing on the witchcraft fears.

It’s important (IMO, anyway) to remember that Shakespeare was very much a working artist. Patronage is nice, but it’s the witless groundlings who keep buying tickets that will help sustain you through the vagaries of your patron’s support.

@Yutolia

Thank you. I really appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from the Mammotheers today.

epitome of incomprehensibility

I’d never heard of her until now.

Phallogosexuality

Putting the “dick” back in “dictionary”!

Okay, seriously, it probably comes from the word “phallogocentrism,” the idea that the word and the penis are seen as central to meaning-making in some philosophies – more generally, the assumption that men are the centre of the world because they have all the generative potential (see also the English word “seminal”*). Jacques Derrida accused Lacan (also a Jacques) of having this view** – not surprising since Lacan took a lot of ideas from Freud. And note that this was a criticism, not a compliment.

*Okay, so both uses come from the word for seed. It’s still kind of funny that it means both sperm and creativity/originality, though.

**This isn’t all off the top of my head. My source is the Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory. Someone better at this stuff may point out things I’m missing.

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

My reading disorder brain read this as Janice Flamingo. I’ve had a professor like this woman. She didn’t last long on campus because everything the male students did were perfect and everything the female students were wrong.

It was like if you ever watched Drake and Josh with the teacher that hated Drake so much that even when she asked his opinion on his favorite Greek mythology he was wrong.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

Patronage is nice, but it’s the witless groundlings who keep buying tickets that will help sustain you through the vagaries of your patron’s support.

Hey, that sounds like how trump stays in office!!

Sheila Crosby
1 year ago

For @VP and @Contrapanglosscomment image
comment image
comment image

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Sheila

SQUISHY TIGGY TOESIES.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
1 year ago

awh, @Vicky, that’s so rough. I wish there was some sort of easy way to resolve that for you, if there was, I’d do it in a heartbeat. It’s so painful when we grow apart from someone we care about, even moreso when it’s for no good reason like that. I hope he finds some understanding, and that this is a temporary thing that you’re both laughing about together in the years to come <3

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Scildfreja

Thank you. 🙂 I’m working on the self-care stuff – made up a music list of songs to listen to this week, indulging in hobbies that cheer me up, baking diabetic-friendly cookies, etc. Plus I’m working on a letter to him, which I will e-mail at some point this week, and the advice I’ve gotten from Mammotheers and other friends is being incorporated.

Ariblester
Ariblester
1 year ago

Lainy
February 3, 2019 at 8:12 pm

My reading disorder brain read this as Janice Flamingo.

How many shrimps do you have to eat
before you make your skin turn pink?
Eat too much, and you’ll get sick —
shrimps are pretty rich.

– Kero Kero Bonito, “Flamingo”

Katamount
Katamount
1 year ago

Huh, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while, since the days where AVfM were the manosphere’s heavy hitters. I remember that she was going on Red Ice TV or some other obvious Neo-Nazi podcasts a few years ago; if she’s hanging out with ol’ Yaxley-Lennon, that trend has certainly continued.

I don’t think she’s quite figured out the grift yet, because her thing has always been the male chauvenism of “look at all this great stuff men have given society”, but then she hangs out with people whose politics and goals go a bit further than just “men are great.”

Talonknife
Talonknife
1 year ago

@magnesium

Is there a word in English that encapsulates both fear and pity?

There probably is, but don’t expect her to teach it to you.

Ariblester
Ariblester
1 year ago

magnesium
February 3, 2019 at 10:48 am

Is there a word in English that encapsulates both fear and pity?

“cringe”, perhaps.

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

@Victorious

I’m sorry your going through a rough time right now. I hope things start getting better for you and its good that you got a plan on how to deal with it all. I’m just sorry, I know it doesn’t mean much form a stranger but I am.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Lainy

Hey, I admire YOU, stranger on the net. I think you’re a great person who speaks truth to power, and your sympathy is much appreciated.

Wetherby
Wetherby
1 year ago

Reminds me of the people who think Shakespeare was always so noble and high-minded … and then they see a non-bowdlerized performance of A Comedy of Errors.

When David Cronenberg was asked why he couldn’t be subtle and suggestive like Alfred Hitchcock, his reply was “Have you ever seen Frenzy?”

Often what appears to be noble and high-minded is actually a by-product of heavy censorship – in Hitchcock’s case the strictures of the British Board of Film Censors (up to 1939, when he left his native country) and the Hays Code (from 1940 onwards, covering most of the rest of his career).

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

@Victorious Parasol:. I’m sorry to hear you and your friend have grown apart. In a way, that’s worse than losing a friend outright, I think.

@Imaginary Petal:. Nice to hear from you again. It’s been awhile.

RE:. Janice Fiamenco. Talk about laying it on thick.🙄. Holy crap.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Dormousing_it

Thank you. I’m hoping we can just do some sort of mutually agreeable redefinition so that our friendship survives. He told me a few weeks ago that I’d always be his BFF, despite his collaring of his sub, but right now I’m not sure on how well he’s keeping that promise.

Jane Done
Jane Done
1 year ago

I know manospherians want to be worshipped as gods for simply having a penis, but I still can’t honestly believe anyone would unironically do so without some sort of alternative motive. Most people don’t want to actually be utterly subservient, subhuman vassals, and the few who do* feel that way aren’t emotionally stable enough/have the spoons to proselytize all day long.

That said, this is the grossest case of ‘notice me senpai’ I’ve ever seen.

*It’s my understanding that aside from a tiny group of highly controversial 24/7 fetish lifestyle practitioners, bdsm is just pretend

Jane Done
Jane Done
1 year ago

@Victorious Parasol: sincerest sympathies for your situation. Messy feelings and situations suck.

Adorable owl pets for distraction:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie6CjeTRbCA

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Jane Done

Yay, owls!

Thank you for the good wishes. I’m feeling better than I did on Sunday.

rainette
rainette
1 year ago

You know the sad thing is that I can almost relate to this. Sometimes I have felt that since, I, personally have not invented anything important or done Important Work then that must be some kind of final bit of evidence for women being inferior.

But that’s an irrational attitude and the lack of women inventors can be explained by so many more factors.

Also it has never, ever made me horny for a light switch or apologetic for a street gang.

Full Metal Ox
1 year ago

@Victorious Parasol:

I’m working on the self-care stuff…baking diabetic-friendly cookies…

Now that I might be able to help you with (Type 2, diagnosed circa 1996.) The following recipe of my own devising isn’t precisely a cookie, but it’s served to assuage an inadvisable vanilla almond cookie craving. It’s also gluten-free and vegan, if those are considerations.

HYPNOTIC SWEET POTATO CAKES

The most important part of this recipe is selecting a suitable variety of sweet potato;. some illustrations may be in order:

http://zoebakes.com/?p=1289

The familiar orange Thanksgiving sweet potato (represented here by the Jewel “Yam”, the Camote, and the Garnet “Yam”) isn’t my preference for the purpose, even if it’s higher in vitamins; the flesh runs too moist and can have a slight carroty bitterness. The ideal sweet potato for this recipe is a variety found in Asian groceries (the Sweet Asian “Yam”) with deep pinkish-red skin and creamy white flesh that cooks up to light yellow; this kind has a dense, dry, slightly powdery mealiness suiting it to use in confectionery (the idea here is to approximate cookie dough). Purple Filipino sweet potatoes (the purple ube “yams”) are similar in texture, as well as being attention-grabbingly festive. If your grocery-shopping comfort zone isn’t that cosmopolitan, white sweet potatoes are an acceptable substitute.

Ingredients:

Sweet potatoes (an average-sized potato is good for about five or six cakes.)
Vanilla extract
Slivered almonds
Powdered sugar (optional)

Microwave the sweet potatoes as you would for baking; then slice into 3/4-1-inch-thick medallions and remove the skin. (The pointy ends can be reserved for another use or mashed together into balls.) Season with vanilla extract to taste, embed slivered almonds, and allow to dry for an hour or two; people without blood sugar issues might try dusting the surface with powdered sugar.

(What, you ask, is “hypnotic” about them? The answer is a bit oblique: I was inspired to invent this dish after smelling Hypnotic Poison, a perfume that smells powerfully of vanilla almond cookies.)

Jesalin: Clit-o-centric Lesbian Goddess
Jesalin: Clit-o-centric Lesbian Goddess
1 year ago

@VP

HUGS!
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Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@Full Metal Ox

Oh, thank you! I’m not a big sweet potato fan, but a friend of mine is also type 2 (we were diagnosed about a year apart), and he IS vegetarian. I bet he’d love these.

@Jesalin

KITTEH!

Sheila Crosby
1 year ago

@Full Metal Ox
Thanks from me too. I have one diabetic brother in law, one niece who is celiac, two sisters in law who are dairy and egg intolerant, and I don’t have a gall bladder so i have to go easy on the fat. Catering for family parties is a problem, and astonoshingly, everyone can eat this. All of them!

Shadowplay
1 year ago

Nthing the thanks for the recipe. I wind up with a LOT of sweet potatoes (Son in laws mother grows them) and really never know what to do with them.

Nanny Oggs Busom
Nanny Oggs Busom
1 year ago

What are they putting in the water on Canadian university campuses, because they’re certainly turning out some odd ducks for ‘professors’.

Also, VP, sorry to hear that you’re having a bad time.

jone (social justice cleric)
jone (social justice cleric)
1 year ago

@Victorious Parasol

Maybe it’s the forum here, but I can’t help but feel a bit angry at your friend.

It’s mighty entitled of him to insist that you get along with his sub, considering (from what I’m gleaning of your comments but my time-line could be off) he withdrew from the friendship around the same time that you had a health emergency and needed to rely on him.

I think it’s perfectly ok to feel self-righteous and pissed off about the whole ordeal for as long as you want (as well as sad), if that is what you are inclined to do. But please–don’t blame it on the sub.
This new person sounds like they were not made aware of how their new relationship with your friend would impact a third party.
It could even be possible that if the sub knew that their interference would cause you pain, they would have made different choices.
Besides, we are socially trained to project hatred onto submissive types because they make easy targets.
(I don’t mean to presume this is what you are doing, and even if you find you are, I’m sure it’s not by intent.)

All this is not to suggest that you ought to endeavor to be happy for his happiness. I think you could hold a grudge forever and be perfectly justified.
I only hope that you hold that grudge against your friend, not the sub. Because projecting your feelings at the sub would only distract you from noticing the fact that your friend’s actions have wounded you emotionally.
I’m sure he didn’t mean for that to happen and all that (in good faith), but your feelings are valid, godamnit.

I’m a knitter, and if I knit 2 SWEATERS for anyone, they are no longer permitted to ghost on me, at least without submitting their attention to me for several hours beforehand so that I can explain in detail how ungrateful they are (with demonstrations).

So, I hope you feel fully deserving of holding a grudge if you want to, because nobody who receives 2 SWEATERS should get to just up and effectively abandon you.
I mean, fuck that.

On the upside, with the free time you have now with not having the friendship being tantamount, you can give the sick kitty all the lovings a kitty could ever tolerate (mileage varies per kitteh).
Your cat will be there for you all their life, sharing their whole devoted existence with you. It’s a relationship you can rely on.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

@jone

Two sweaters, a Stephen West shawl for his beloved grandmother, a little knitted kitty for his mum … the list goes on. We’ve known each other for about 15 years now. I’ve had a lot of opportunity to knit presents.

I don’t blame his sub. I don’t KNOW his sub well enough to really make a judgment about her as a person, which is part of my trouble. I worry about my BFF because years and years ago he fell in love with someone who didn’t just have issues but subscriptions. That was a messy situation and he rarely speaks of her these days; if he does, it’s with sorrow and pain and annoyance, all mixed together. I don’t think the sub is that sort of person, but I haven’t spoken with her enough to really get a feel for her. The odds are in her favor of being good for him, thankfully.

I’ve known many subs over the years, so in general I don’t treat them differently than other partners I meet, other than to be mindful of basic BDSM-community etiquette.

I don’t want to hold a grudge. I’m perfectly capable of it – heck, I will still remind my mother that she gave a wrong answer to a Trivial Pursuit question from a game we were playing years ago, costing our team a wedge. But I try not to indulge in them, ‘cos they get my soul all sticky.

Over the past day or so, my BFF does seem to be making an effort to reach out to me, and I appreciate that. I still feel uncertain as to the shape of our friendship, though. Working on seeing if we can get that sorted out.

Amy E
Amy E
1 year ago

Just to say I’ve just seen this and thank you…omg…Yaxley? I didn’t know she was quite that bad.

Luis Senessi
Luis Senessi
1 year ago

Without male inventions, you wouldn’t even have this lousy blog, not the paying system rely on, not even the Internet from which you collect all these “reports”… Grow up and get a job guys.