As is generally the case with my MRA critics, it’s basically a bunch of empty insults. But as empty insults go, they’re not half bad. He calls me, among other things, a “twerp,” a “feminist quisling,” and “a miserable mediocrity who’s trying to get famous, an ant in our blog ecosphere.” He somehow manages to avoid the term “mangina” altogether.
There is one bit that’s actually obnoxious. In an attempt to explain something he said in a homophobic post of his I quoted last week, he says this:
radical gay activists, in their obnoxious way of shoving their lifestyles in the faces of the heterosexual majority and demonizing them, are poking and prodding an elephant. Elephants are big, heavy and have sharp tusks, and can gore or stomp you to death without breaking a sweat. If gays don’t clean up their act and stop treating straight people with contempt … they could inspire a violent homophobic backlash. Capisce?
Is it just me, or does anyone else suspect that the people given to “warning” gays about a “possible violent homophobic backlash” would be the first to get in line to stomp gays like an elephant in such a backlash?
EDIT: Oops! Speaking of attention, I forgot to add this actual screen capture. Hey, try it yourself.
>By now you have probably heard about the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers who threw himself off the George Washington bridge after his roommate broadcast live video of him having sex with another man on the Internet. It’s a terribly sad story in itself, and because, as L.M. Fenton points out on Salon’s Broadsheet blog, the suicide rate among LGBT youths is such an “an enormous, devastating problem.” In the past month four other gay teens have also killed themselves, two of them only 13 years old.
None of these other deaths caught the attention of Pierce Harlan, a prominent Men’s Rights blogger. But today on his False Rape Society blog, Harlan decided to write about Clementi — apparently because the case gave him the perfect excuse to rail against … feminists.
Why? Because the male roommate who broadcast the streaming video, and his female accomplice, weren’t, er, white. And one of them isn’t a man. “Gay tormentors who drove young man to suicide don’t fit the stereotype, do they?” the headline asks.
It’s a perplexing headline for a perplexing article. Neither of the accused are gay; I will charitably assume Harlan called them “Gay tormenters” because their actions caused harm to a gay man, not because Harlan has somehow convinced himself that they are themselves gay. Or has he? After briefly lamenting the tragedy, Harlan gets to his real agenda:
In the three remaining paragraphs Harlan manages to work in three more references to “white heterosexual males,” and one to “white male jocks,” sexual orientation unspecified. Huh? Neither of the accused are “white heterosexual males,” per se, but they’re both heterosexual, and Dharun Ravi, the one who allegedly set up the camera, put the video feed on the internet, and told other people to come and watch, is definitely male. But no matter. Harlan moves on to his main point:
Because feminists only discuss crimes when the perps are white men? Have you ever heard of OJ? And, actually, the case is being discussed widely by feminists online, on, among other places, explicitly feminist blogs like Feministing and Shakesville, on Salon’s Broadsheet blog and the New York Times’ Motherlode blog, and in Reddit’s TwoXChromosomes subreddit, which is where I first heard about it. It’s also being discussed on numerous feminist-friendly LGBT blogs. Given that the victim in this case was male, wouldn’t it make sense that the case get some attention from MRAs? I haven’t seen it discussed on any Men’s Rights blogs other than Harlan’s. Apparently MRAs don’t care much about gay men, unless their deaths can be used to score a cheap political point.
I can’t help it. This is the image that pops into my head when I read a lot of the comments from MRAs on this blog. So much anger, so little sense, so much … well, so much weird, and sometimes bizarrely specific, sexual imagery. Eww. Double eww.
There’s something inherently ridiculous about being lambasted for using “shaming tactics” — by someone who has just called you a “mangina.”
A few posts back, as you may recall, I took on an odd little rant on The Spearhead which seemed to suggest that Tea Party nutbag Christine O’Donnell’s 14-year-old comments about the evils of masturbation offered proof of sorts that an evil “pussy cartel” was trying to keep American men from taking matters into their own hands, so to speak. The biggest threat to this diabolical female conspiracy, the author wrote, was “men realizing that their hand will do more for them than a woman will.”
The problem, of course, is that this is completely ridiculous. I myself have had sex on a number of occasions over the years — I mean, with other people — and I have to say that my hand, despite its obvious convenience and considerable dexterity, really cannot compete with, you know, an actual naked lady.
And so I suggested that any man who thought so little of women might have a hard time getting a date. This evidently sent the author of the piece, the man behind the Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Technology blog, into such a tailspin of shame that he wrote not one but two blog posts about me. In the first, after calling me a mangina, he insisted that he did in fact have a girlfriend. In a comment, I told him I felt sorry for her. And I do. What kind of woman would want to date a man who prefers the company of Susie Palmer and her five friends? So he wrote yet another post, this one spelling out in detail the evil forms of “shaming language” I had used.
Men’s Rights Activists are obsessed with so-called “shaming language.” Or at least they have been since a document called The Catalogue of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics started making its way around the manosphere; it’s been linked to or posted on virtually every MRA blog or forum at least once.
The Catalogue is basically a list of allegedly unfair debating tactics used by those who think that MRAs are full of shit:
The list spells out 16 different types of “shaming tactics,” from the “Charge of Irascibility” (“You’re bitter!”), to the “Charge of Fanaticism” and the “Charge of Misogyny.”
And it’s true. People do charge MRAs with all of these things. And a lot of the time, they’re guilty as charged. Some MRAs are bitter. Some MRAs arefanatics. Some MRAs are misogynists.
My most grievous crime? I had used the “Threat of Withheld Affection … The Pink Whip,” in which “the target is admonished that his viewpoints or behavior will cause women to reject him as a mate.” I’ll have to plead guilty on that one, since that’s exactly what I did.
In his second blog post, Pro-Male/Anti-Fem added two more counts to the charges against me: that I had accused him of “Preying On Weak/Damaged/Insecure Women” and “Non-Specific ‘Shameful Behavior.'” I’ll plead guilty on the first count, Your Honor, but innocent on the second: I was pretty specific about what I saw as shameful — his idiotic ideas about the “pussy cartel” and the whole hand-better-than-woman nonsense.
The funny thing about the Catalogue is how deadly seriously so many MRAs take it, and how angry they get whenever one of their opponents, tired of fighting a battle of wits against half-wits, pulls one of the “shaming tactics” out of her or his bag in an effort to bring the fruitless discussion to a close.
The irony, of course (and please forgive me if I shout), is that MRAs USE SHAMING TACTICS THEMSELVES ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Just look at the comments on the post of mine that started this whole kerfuffle, posted, presumably, by MRAs who followed the link from Pro-Male/Anti-Fem’s first post. The bravely anonymous first poster starts off the insult parade by saying “just because you’ve let them cut YOUR dick off doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ours.” (This is a classic example of what the Catalogue calls the “Charge of Invirility.”) After a few more insult-laden comments, we come to this, from another brave Mr. Anonymous:
Yep, the Charge of Invirility again. But even better, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to shout again: HE USES SHAMING LANGUAGE AGAINST ME IN THE VERY SAME SENTENCE IN WHICH HE COMPLAINS ABOUT SHAMING LANGUAGE.
Sadly, our anonymous friend is hardly the first MRA to do exactly this. Take a look at this fine fellow over at (irony alert!) Antimisandry.com:
In all my travels around the angry-manosphere — Charge of Irascibility FTW! — I have run across exactly one intelligent response to the Catalogue from an actual MRA: an essay on The Spearhead by the mysterious Zed, a sort of MRM elder statesman. Rather than simply lament the use of shaming language by the evil fems, Zed urges men to respond in kind, and not just with the standard anti-woman cliches.