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MRA Poetry Korner: A Rebuttal

It’s going to be a bumpy ride

Scanning the headlines on the Men’s Rights subreddit today, one of them popped out at me: The Lives of Men (Poem by Me). I haven’t read much poetry by MRAs recently, so I had to click on it and I can’t say I was disappointed. I expected the worst, but somehow the poem in question was even worster than that. We’re talking MGTOW Cooking bad.

Let’s just take a look at the opening lines so we can see just what we’re dealing with.

Gunned down like flies,

That is their lives,

It’s not as valuable as it should be,

Unless they can work,

They have no worth,

Nobody cares how unhappy,

Now, I don’t want to spend too much time on the technical flaws of the poem; suffice it to say that the poem doesn’t scan, as every line seems to contain a random number of syllables. The two half-rhymes are pretty weak and the one actual rhyme (Should be/unhappy) is rhythmically fucked.

I’m going to charitably assume that this is supposed t be free verse. But if you’re doing free verse, why try to rhyme?

But again, those are the technical problems, many of which could be fixed if the poet in question has decided to, you know, acually work at fitting this into some sort of poetic structure. But instead he half-asses the whole thing and it ends up, like the MGTOW cooking I sometimes feature here, just plain inedible glop.

While that’s a problem, an even bigger problem is the content of the, et, poem. Starting with the first line, and continuing through the remaining 46 lines of the poem (if I counted correctly) the poem is suffused with a certain hysteria; everything is overstated and overwrought and it’s hard not to wince at some of the author’s bogus claims about the actual “lives of men.”

The first line sets us up with a terrible, and terribly overblown, metaphor. Men are not “gunned down like flies.” More to the point: flies are not gunned down like flies. Where I come from, at least, flies are swatted, not shot.

The poem continues:

Do not complain!

Do not cry!

Nobody cares how you feel

And if you break,

And end your life,

We will ask, why didn’t he say how he felt

It’s true that men are taught to rein in some of their feelings — at least the sorts of feelings that might cause some other dude in the locker room to call you a “fag.” But I haven’t met too many men online who make any effort to control their anger. The poet in question here certainly doesn’t.

You yearn for women’s love,

You yearn for women’s praise,

But if you fail, you will be hated,

Maybe if you slave away,

And promise to die,

Maybe your needs will be sated,

I don’t want to get too distracted by the terrible hated/sated rhyme. Because what he’s asserting here doesn’t make a lick of sense: you’ll have your needs “sated” if and only if you promise to die? If you’re dead you will have no needs to be sated. Dude, do you even know what the word “sated” means?

Raised to be a hero,

Trying to prove himself by killing other men,

Wait, what? Is he some kind of serial killer?

And now he wakes up screaming,

He comes home to be homeless,

Dies, cold and alone, on the street,

But all of his medals are still gleaming,

Ah, he’s a war vet.

The pyramids, the Taj Mahal,

All the cities of the world

He slaved to build them all,

Worked in the hot sun of the desert,

For months on end,

All to create a mall,

Dude, you basically just stole some war valor from an imaginary wet vet, now you’re going to try to steal the work valor of the men who built the pyramids? (Also, the women of ancient Egypt weren’t just setting on their asses while the men worked.)

It’s all a bit we-hunted-the-mammoth-to-feed-you to me.

From the days of young,

He is publicly mutilated,

He is shown his body is to be desecrated,

What?

Boys are pushed out onto the world,

To sell themselves away to strangers,

He is more than half of those emaciated,

What are you even fucking talking about? If you’re trying to show that men suffer more than women I’m not sure that sex trafficking (if that’s what you’re talking about) is the best example to prove this.

And what if this bit about this hypothetical guy being “more than half of those emaciated?” For what it’s worth, eating disorders are much more prevalent among young women than young men.

Take a few minutes to fact-check your poem, dude; it’s full of bullshit.

Whether at home,

Whether at school,

He is severely punished for his behaviour,

When he grows up,

And faces the law,

He is punished worse because of his gender,

Well, ok, here’s a rare moment of truth in this, er, poem: Men are punished a bit more because of their gender. But that’s because judges “engage in benevolent sexism towards female litigants in common legal settings,” as some recent research claims.

He is told he is privileged and powerful

But he cannot believe what he hears

He knows it is a hard life for men,

And when he begs to be heard

He is told to remain silent,

And asked, “Why do you hate women?”

Well, it’s a good question. I mean, have you seen the shit your colleagues post on the Men’s Rights subreddit?

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Jencendiary
Jencendiary
29 days ago

Why is he mad at women for things other men did to him, tho? Patriarchy is killing him, too.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
29 days ago

From the days of young,

He is publicly mutilated,

He is shown his body is to be desecrated,

What?

Circumcision, I would assume.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
29 days ago

@WWTH

I mean maybe in America. We’re pretty big on circumcised in the states but I don’t know what it’s like in the rest of the world.

Dalillama
29 days ago

Vogon poetry is now only the fourth worst in the galaxy

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
29 days ago

Manly men shoot *everything*, even flies. Sure, it leaves holes in the walls, but that just looks more manly, right?

@Dallilama: tru dat.

Nequam
Nequam
29 days ago

Never thought anything would make Ernest Cline’s poetry look good.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
29 days ago

Isn’t there a metaphor about “shooting flies/mosquitoes with cannon” when someone goes overkill?

Mels
Mels
29 days ago

[CW for transphobia, racism, genocidal language, rape]

Sorry to veer off-topic, but could we have an article or open thread about the ongoing BBC fiasco? Between treating a known anti-trans hate group as a legitimate source, perpetuating violent trans panic narratives, platforming notorious transphobe L*ly C*de, and refusing to take responsibility for any of it, the network has done incalculable damage.

C*de’s most recent personal blog rant (since taken down but still archived) reads like an alt-right mass shooter’s manifesto. She calls for “lynching” famous trans women, lobs Q-style baseless accusations of pedophilia, makes great replacement theory parallels…it’s stunning.

Not to mention all the rape accusations against her, including, I swear, that she’s allegedly attacked multiple women in public bathrooms.

I understand if David and/or mods don’t have the spoons to talk about this, of course. But I wanted to ask because damn, the whole ordeal is absolutely terrifying, although the scope of the backlash has at least been a little bit heartening.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
29 days ago

Unless they can work,

They have no worth,

Nobody cares how unhappy,

So he’s aware that there’s a problem with capitalism?

Do not complain!

Do not cry!

Nobody cares how you feel

And toxic masculinity.

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

[W]hen he begs to be heard . . .

Yeah, MRAs are known for their timidity. Won’t someone listen to the men?

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
29 days ago

He is more than half of those emaciated

Lol, no. I read a world gender study on food insecurity, and the distribution of food amongst children if there is not enough to go around is nearly always that the firstborn male child gets the lion’s share. Then it goes in order of age until there are no male children left, and then by order of age in the female children. This is the pattern in all developing countries studied, and in America. Also in America in food secure families as well, the firstborn male will be the child with the most additional weight beyond baseline on average.

It continues into adulthood as well, with men prioritized for calories if there is insecurity. Hate to break it to you fella. You bigly wrong.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
29 days ago

Why are these imaginary men building a mall in the desert?

You yearn for women’s love,

You yearn for women’s praise,

“So let’s call them damaged foids,
And lament their uppity ways.”

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

You yearn for women’s love,

You yearn for women’s praise

I dunno, maybe try to earn it?

MV96
MV96
28 days ago

@Big Titty Demon
Which is talk-from-the-ass-and-shit-from-the-mouth backwards considering that giving birth while underweight is a recipe for disaster.

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
28 days ago

Also, the women of ancient Egypt weren’t just setting on their asses while the men worked.)

Pfft. Chocolate covered lotus blossoms were all the rage back then. Women would pop them like bon bons.

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
28 days ago

@Mels

I’ve been talking about some overlapping stuff on my blog, Pervert Justice. In particular there’s this post. But of course the post immediately before and the several after are all part of the same ongoing conversation, so you might be interested in more than that one.

I can’t promise anything, since this conversation has taken a lot of spoons, but if you send me links (or better yet screen shots) of the material you’re talking about, I might be able to work up a good post or two to address the substance and let people talk about it in the comments over at my place. (This is not, of course, to discourage David from setting up a thread here. I’m just offering to do what I can.)

To send me any info or links or screen shots, use my name (no space) at the Gmail (dot com) server.

Last edited 28 days ago by Crip Dyke
LollyPop
LollyPop
28 days ago

Maybe if you slave away,

And promise to die,

Maybe your needs will be sated,

It always gives me the creeps when sexual desire is called someone’s “needs” *shudders*. And in a double whammy, I also hate the word “sated” in this context. Just gross, poem dude!

“I have a good job and perform it gladly,
So why won’t some foid supply a hand shandy?”

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
28 days ago

Mels,

That Lily Cade post was terrifying. Literally genocidal.

And the fucking gall of the BBC to just remove her from that article without issuing any kind of apology or repudiation of that. Whatever respect I had left for them after the Jimmy Savile thing is gone now.

Trying
Trying
28 days ago

I shouldn’t have read this at breakfast. Ew ew ew.

The Stop Sign on the Corner
The Stop Sign on the Corner
28 days ago

Truly, he is the next William McGonagall.

Malintzin
Malintzin
28 days ago

So much wrong with this bit of whiny drivel. Amongst its many offenses, illiteracy and mendacity are prominent.

Moggie
Moggie
28 days ago

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my mall, ye mighty, and despair!

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
28 days ago

A significant chunk of that is him complaining about the harm caused by toxic masculinity but if you try to point that out to him I’m sure he’d lash out because he doesn’t want to hear what we mean when we use words.

He is told he is privileged…

Case in point.

Moggie
Moggie
28 days ago

@Mels, Novara Media have a piece on that BBC article here (starts at around 41:42):

https://youtu.be/Na3j3qTYPL0