By David Futrelle
Manosphere men are obsessed with the idea that women are naturally unfaithful, willing and eager to cheat on their husbands or boyfriends with any alpha male that happens to glance in their direction — a female proclivity these guys like to call “hypergamy,” a highfalutin word borrowed from anthropology and radically redefined to give their altogether unscientific, and thoroughly misogynistic, assumption the patina of SCIENCE.
For these guys, the worst-case scenario, hypergamy-wise, would be to discover that their partner not only cheated on them, but got pregnant in the process — and decided to pass off the resulting child as theirs. These guys see paternity fraud — which they assume is rampant — as not just a breach of trust, but as the ultimate form of cuckolding and a violation of what they see as their God-given right to pass their genes on to the next generation.
A post on Roosh V’s now-dormant Return of King’s site, summing up the view of many in the manosphere, claimed that “paternity fraud is worse than rape.”
But some go even further — with one commenter I recently ran across declaring paternity fraud to be a kind of murder.
“Paternity Fraud is Evolutionary Rape & Murder, Emotional Abuse and Financial Fraud,” wrote an angry Redditor calling himself MixedMartialArtsGuy in an open letter to Mr. Dr. Jordan Peterson urging him to stop advocating for marriage.
“[T]here is little to no recourse for men in the law,” MMAGuy continued.
This [is] why no man with any self respect or Red Pill knowledge gets married in 2019 onwards and any man with kids needs to get paternity tests – 1/3 kids tested have the wrong father.
The one-third claim gets pulled out pretty much any time manosphere men start talking about paternity fraud. But it turns out to be, well, utter garbage, like pretty much everything else these guys say. If these guys bother to give a source for this claim, they generally refer back to a New York Times piece on paternity testing. But the NYT piece itself offers no source for this number.
Several years back, sociologist Michael Gilding made an effort to track down the source of this “stubborn figure,” ultimately discovering that it came from “the published transcript of a symposium on the ethics of artificial insemination that was held nearly forty years ago, in 1972.” The numbers originated in a never-published study of patients in one English town. And we don’t even know how the study was conducted; as Gilding notes, neither the “precise tests [nor the] population sample were [ever] identified.”
So what’s the real number? Gilding, writing in 2011, looked at 2008 date from US and Australian paternity testing labs and found a “non-paternity rate” of roughly 25%.
“The problem with these figures is obvious,” he adds.
The participants are not a random sample of the population. On the contrary, they are a group of people who have doubts about the paternity of a child or children. The main thing we can say on the basis of these figures is that about three-quarters of people who have some reason to doubt paternity will find that their doubts are unfounded.
So what is the actual percentage? We don’t know. Gilding reports that recent — or recent-ish — published studies range from 0.78% — (from a 1994 Swiss study) to 11.8% (from a 1999 Mexican study). He notes that “the best North American study, published in 2009, proposes a rate between 1 and 3 per cent.”
But don’t expect to convince MMAGuy of this. When I poked around online trying to see if anyone else agreed with his “paternity fraud is murder” stance, I ran across an almost identically worded comment from someone with a suspiciously similar name under a video on “paternity fraud and the modern cuckold” by our old
friend nemesis Paul Elam. (I think it’s safe to assume that MMAGuy and MMAFather are the same guy.)
In these even-less-hinged comments, the artist now calling himself MMAfather seemed to suggest that paternity fraud was not only equivalent to murder; it could also possibly justify murder.
You may wonder how exactly someone gets to the point at which they think the mass murder of divorced women and family court judges is somehow a sensible plan for political change.
In the case of MMAGuy/MMAFather, it’s clear that at least part of the reason is that he spends a great deal immersed in the manosphere — reading posts and comments, making posts and comments, watching videos, even reading the occasional book or two.
In fact, we know exactly which videos he’s watched and what books he’s read — because he has spelled this out explicitly not only by dropping comments on a Paul Elam video but by posting links to the works of other manosphere-associated ideologues he follows.
In one highly upvoted post on the Men Going Their Own Way subreddit, for example, he strongly urges his fellow MGTOWs to read books by reactionary dating guru Rollo Tomassi and antifeminist ideologue Helen Smith; to watch videos from self-described Men;s Rights Activist and alt-right YouTube “philosopher” Stefan Molyneux as well as MGTOWs Turd Flinging Monkey and Sandman; and even Jordan Peterson, though he doesn’t like JP’s take on marriage. Oh, and he also encourages them to watch Cassie Jaye’s Red Pill documentary, a sort of love note to the Men’s Right movement that was funded in part by the very people Jaye was “reporting” on.
It’s not surprising, though it is certainly distressing, that someone who regularly dumps this much poison into their brains ends up having some pretty poisonous views. What’s even more distressing is that MMAFather’s comments about murdering divorced women and judges were evidently so uncontroversial to the other commenters on Elam’s video that not a single one of them challenged him — or, indeed, said anything at all about his outrageous views.
That’s the kind of world that Elam, Molyneux, Tomassi and the rest have created with their terrible ideas and poisonous rhetoric over the course of the last decade.
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