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antifeminism antifeminist women FemRAs memes MRA

Why are Men’s Rights Activists so bad at memes?

what if i told you you don't need so many words when you're making a meme, it really just clutters up the picture and makes it hard to read, I mean the whole point of memes is that they're really supposed to be readable at a glance, not a wal of text. You're supposed to be making a meme not writing a goddamn book
He’s right, you know

Design-wise, memes aren’t exactly complicated. For the most part they simply consist of an image with some words pasted onto it.

There are really only a few rules to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t use too many words; text should be brief and pointed.
  2. Don’t cover the image up with the text.
  3. Don’t make the text a similar color as the picture behind it; this will render it unreadable.

Trouble is, a startling percentage of MRA/antifeminist memes somehow manage to break these simple rules – sometimes all at the same time.

So let’s take a look at some antifeminist/MRA memes I recently ran across and give them each a quick critique. (Note: I’m not bothering with the content of the memes, such as it it; I’m just looking at the design.)

I am against feminism because I love my son, too often in conversations with groups dominated by women I hear the dismissive phrase "He's just a man"  I want my son's opinions and thoughts not be disregarded because of his sex.

Too many words! You’re covering up half the face! Wait, is that an EYE PATCH? I’d rather hear about that than about your dumb son.

You’ve covered up the entire face! Some of your text is almost the same color as the background, rendering it almost unreadable!

You covered up the whole picture, what are you thinking!? Why is there a giant white fuzzy thing coming from your mouth like some furry version of ectoplasm?

Too much text! Badly arranged! And a good chunk if it is almost the same color as the background. Unreadable!

What the holy fuck is this background? Great job putting white text over a light blue background with a distracting pattern on it. Also if this is a quote who is it from? You get an A+ in suck.

Hey it’s Karen Straughan from the Honey Badgers. With two blonde women who might be the same woman? Fantastic job here. Not that much text, but it covers up a lot of the images. Also, I’m giving this meme the GOLD MEDAL in Having Text in Almost the Same Color of the Background.

I know, It’s not a meme, it’s just a picture of my cats when they were kittens! I thought they looked cute!

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Full Metal Ox
21 days ago

A lot of the behaviors being deplored here are symptoms of TERFism and radical feminism—which I’m sure the meme posters want us to regard as defining feminism.

Also, I trust everyone’s noticing the conspicuous melanin deficiency throughout (excluding Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus and David’s black cat.)

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
21 days ago

Why are Men’s Rights Activists so bad at memes?

They’re not trying to create something striking or persuasive or original or even all that readable. That would take time and energy. They just want immediate upvotes from their online tribe.

Dr. Mendez
Dr. Mendez
21 days ago

The blonde women in the last pic before kittens are obviously Cassie Jaye and Lauren Southern. The latter being an odd choice for describing “being right” considering her mostly being known for supporting the Great Replacement Theory.

Krystal
Krystal
21 days ago

Loving these cute kitties! <3 are you going to try to dress them up this Halloween

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
21 days ago

OT — A wealthy guy in Brazil has an extensive, expensive collection of Nazi memorabilia, says he “hunts homosexuals,” and is accused of being a pedophile. Who knew that these things could all go together. (Sorry Brazilians and rich people: I know you’re not all terrible people.)

Brazil

Rio police say €3m Nazi trove found at home of child sexual abuse suspect

More than 1,000 Nazi items discovered at 58-year-old’s home

Brazilian police investigating links to other far-right groups

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/06/rio-police-brazil-nazi-trove-man-suspect-child-sexual-abuse

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
21 days ago

Because they’re not so good at the thinky stuff?

Because they’re just ranting, not actually meme-ing?

Love the kitties, though. Black cats are tough to photograph and yet you got a good pic of that one even though s/he is almost the same color as the background. It can be done as long as you’re not an MRA!

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
21 days ago

As with MGTOWs, it seems that these memes are not meant to persuade, but to in-group virtue-signal. It’s like flashing gang signs or knowing the secret handshake or something. They’re “representing” rather than trying to convert outsiders.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
21 days ago

OT: does anyone here know how to set the sort order for Facebook albums? Not for an individual album, but for the list of all one’s albums.

Last night while I was sleeping some prankster reversed mine from the default reverse-chronological to plain chronological, which means all the current and recent ones are a mile of scrolling away from the start, instead of at the start. I want to put it back how it was yesterday but for the life of me I can’t figure out how. There’s no obvious method on the album list page, including looking at the “…” menu there. Yet there must be a way, because someone was able to switch it last night. I just need to know how they did it, to do the same thing again and flip it back over …

Alan Robertshaw
21 days ago

@ surplus

My albums have had a bit of a reshuffle as well; and a few have gone AWOL.

So it looks like just another general glitch.

sarah_kay_gee
sarah_kay_gee
21 days ago

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU that the images and concepts (red pill) you love to use for your deranged memes came from a movie made by two trans women, you bigoted morons.

I mean I know it’s been pointed out before, but every time I see it I just can’t even.

bumblebug
bumblebug
21 days ago

@surplus
I don’t think there’s a way to change that. My albums and all of my photos in the general photos tab are now in chronological order. It’s a bit annoying, but it’s not some malicious “prankster” targeting you or anyone else. Facebook is clearly making quite a few structural changes. No one who works there (or anywhere, for that matter) is immune from mistakes or bad organizational/design decisions.

Dalillama
21 days ago

The answer appears to be the same as why they’re so bad at everything else: their entire ideology is based on never learning or changing

Hambeast
Hambeast
21 days ago

Just an OT note: There is a FB/Instagram boycott planned for Nov. 10 & 11.

It’s easy peasy for me; I just have to sit on a few fb notifications in my email for a couple of days. I don’t have an Instagram account.

If it’s worth it to you to deny Zuckerberg some profits, log off with us.

Alan Robertshaw
21 days ago

@ Dali

I like that your answer is equally applicable to both David’s original post and the Facebook discussion.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
21 days ago

I personally think a lot of them are old men pretending to be women and they don’t know how to work a computer

Lakitha K Tolbert
Lakitha K Tolbert
21 days ago

Full Metal Ox
Thank you for pointing that out, so that I don’t have to…because I absolutely gotd*** double dare any one them to argue that Black, Gay, trans, Asian, Latin, or disabled women are all treated equal to white men. The definition of feminism they are all arguing against is one that means “white”, I guess!

Trying
Trying
21 days ago

Thanks for the kittens. I needed the palate cleanser.

Don’t help them, David. The more incomprehensible they make their nonsense the fewer people they can trick.

.45
.45
20 days ago

Why are they so bad at memes? Are you implying they are good at… well, anything else?

If these guys were half the manly man types they think they are, they’d all be powerful multimillionaires with the world at their command.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
20 days ago

Why is there a space before , and after , the comma in that last meme?

A lot of these guys have the same relationship to grammar and punctuation as they do to women. They don’t bother trying to understand them. Rules are for simps, and words are simply there to be dominated and tossed around like a sex doll. Words mean whatever they want them to mean.

Heartiste in particular gives off that vibe. He’s someone who should never be left unsupervised with adjectives. In fact, the entire English language should probably have a restraining order.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
20 days ago

For the most part [memes] simply consist of an image with some words pasted onto it.

There are really only a few rules to keep in mind.

Don’t use too many words; text should be brief and pointed.

Don’t cover the image up with the text.

Don’t make the text a similar color as the picture behind it; this will render it unreadable.

As a pedant, I’d say these are basic rules for making an illustrated statement poster. A meme would be something like a reference to the Red Pill (no matter how misinterpreted with regard to Matrix), or a specific circulating image that various people use to make some joke or a point.

I’ll grant that in everyday language “meme” refers specifically to visual internet one-liners that typically take the form of an image poster with some text. However, I refuse to call just any illustrated statement poster a meme. Most of the MRA posters David has shown us over the years don’t seem to qualify as memes, and it’s hard to say whether they were even intended as such.

You could certainly use illustrated one-liners in political messaging without using memes, but in any case you need both visual communication skills and an illustration that works as part of your statement. A lot of MRA posters seem to be just text ranting about feminism slapped over random stock photo of a woman.

I think MRAs have largely failed to understand why illustrated statements are popular on internet*, and why their creators are often** praised as witty people. They perhaps have some idea of producing witty gotcha arguments for their politics, but they are lazy and uncritical toward themselves and each other, and especially inept at considering what kind of message might appeal to people outside their cult. Thus, their output tends to be a cargo cult version of visual propaganda both in terms of content and design.

*Mostly because people like jokes, and the visual format works well on social media.

**Not that often really, but due to the nature of social media, you’re far more likely to run across memes that many other people thought were witty.

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
20 days ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants

Words mean whatever they want them to mean.

Heartiste in particular gives off that vibe. He’s someone who should never be left unsupervised with adjectives. In fact, the entire English language should probably have a restraining order.

As a copy editor, I couldn’t agree more. Abusive men regard language as just the easiest, most persuasive way to lie.

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
20 days ago

I think it’s partly that you can only be brief enough for a meme if your ideas are clear.
I mean, you can have clear ideas that take a book to express because some things are inherently complicated, and you can be clear and wrong, but muddled thinking is always rambling.

Moggie
Moggie
20 days ago

@Buttercup:

Heartiste in particular gives off that vibe. He’s someone who should never be left unsupervised with adjectives. In fact, the entire English language should probably have a restraining order.

I approve of this idea! I’d like to see a court order him to stay at least 100 metres away from gerunds at all times.

rabid rabbit
rabid rabbit
20 days ago

@Kat:

Abusive men regard language as just the easiest, most persuasive way to lie.

It’s also at least one thing they can abuse that won’t fight back.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
20 days ago

Are you sure? English is the one language reputed for following others into dark alleys and mugging them. It’s probably quite capable of some form of self-defense. Indeed, it’s given us all kinds of interesting things to call witless oafs like Heartiste, such as fuckhead, and dipshit … it’s a very versatile language to swear in!

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
20 days ago

Sarah_Kay_Gee,

Remember this legendary moment?
comment image

Full Metal Ox
20 days ago

@Surplus to Requirements:

English is the one language reputed for following others into dark alleys and mugging them. It’s probably quite capable of some form of self-defense

And U.S. English not only continues the tradition of piracy and highway robbery, but has no compunctions about ransacking its dear old mum’s purse as she sprawls passed-out on the sofa.

(There’s a new apartment complex in my area, set in the sort of shopping center that aspires to be an artificial Town Square, laconically called The Flats. The “Merrie Olde Forest Primeval Manor Estates” school of naming is so last century’s approach to faux old-world aristocratic pretentiousness; ironic understatement is the way to go now. It’s the linguistic equivalent of your two perfect white shirts, one perfect black blazer, and one perfect pair of skinny jeans.)

Last edited 20 days ago by Full Metal Ox
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
20 days ago

Why are they bad at memes?

They’re bad at everything – memes are no different. You don’t become an MRA, you fail your way into it.

They get points for consistancy though.

Gerald Fnord
Gerald Fnord
7 days ago

Buried lede: Your cats.
Do they like each other? We now have the only two cats we’ve had who’ve really liked each other, and we got them both at the same time, which would roughly be the case for two got as kittens.

Gerald Fnord
Gerald Fnord
7 days ago

Maybe they’re afraid that good design would make them look as if they cared about good design, in their world==gay?