For a social media site with pretensions to respectability, Reddit shows an astounding tolerance for hate. As anyone who has ever explored the site’s dark underbelly knows well, the site hosts a vast array of subreddits devoted to celebrations of such things as “white pride” and violence against women.
The latest addition to this archipelago of awfulness is a 3-day-old subreddit with the pretentious and appalling name PhilosophyOfRape, set up by a user of the same name in order to promote and celebrate “corrective” rape of “sluts” and “harlots.”
In a manifesto announcing the subreddit to the world, the user known as PhilosophyOfRape set forth his basic thesis, which he insists is as “serious as a heart attack.”
Not that long ago, an 18-year-old student named Carly, appalled by the rampant misogyny on display at A Voice for Men, sent a critical but thoughtful email to a number of the men associated with the site challenging them to rise above their hatred of women.
AVFM “Managing Editor” Dean Esmay decided to take her email as an opportunity to reach out to all the Carlys out there in the world in an attempt to win them over to AVFM’s peculiar brand of “human rights activism,” penning what he called an
open letter … not just to you, but to any young woman who has an open mind and is willing to be challenged on her prejudices.
Naturally, given that Men’s Rights Activists are some of the most verbose douchebags in history, it was long as hell — some 3000 words. But Esmay’s diplomatically worded attempt at outreach didn’t go quite as well as he might have hoped. Carly responded with a note saying that his open letter had merely
reinforced everything I believe. It seems we are at a stalemate, you will never agree with me, and I will never agree with you.
So where might poor Dean Esmay might have gone wrong in his attempt to win Carly’s heart and mind?
Let’s start here, with 5 Arguments Least Likely To Convince A Young Woman That A Voice for Men Isn’t a Woman-Hating Piece of Shit Hate Site, in the form of direct quotes from The Esmay himself. Since Esmay is so long-winded, I’ve highlighted some of my favorite bits in bold.
1)“[Y]ou’re 18, and so, not to put too fine a point on it, you are still a young skull full of mush.”
2) “[M]en have few to no voices speaking about issues that are specific to men, or defending men as a group, in this society. Until very recently in history men never have had such a voice. Because pretty much all civilizations for the last few thousand years have prioritized the needs and desires of women over those of men. For hundreds, even thousands, of years.
3)“If you believe men have silenced women for thousands of years … you believe something that just not true. … Furthermore, if you believe that, what you have to believe is that Asian men have been oppressing Asian women for thousands of years, black men have been oppressing black women for thousands of years, European men, Australasian men, and so on, have all been oppressing their women for thousands of years. And those weak women could do nothing about it. So what you believe here isn’t just wrong, it’s racist.”
4) “For most of history, being female was a privilege. It carried certain special rights that only applied to women, and special responsibilities that only applied to women, and through most of history, being male was a burden, a burden which carried certain rights that only applied to men, and those rights were there mostly so they could discharge their duties to women properly.”
5)“[Y]ou may occasionally see angry remarks or articles on this site. What I would hope you would do with that, when you do see it, is contemplate that there is a difference between righteous anger at real injustice, and what you seem to have misinterpreted as hate.”
The funniest thing about Esmay’s “open letter” is that this bizarre crackpottery, easily seen through by anyone with any knowledge of history or sociology or, hell, the real world, is his attempt to sound as reasonable as possible. He’s reined in the wild conspiratorial ranting he often indulges in when arguing with ideological foes; he’s avoided the misogynistic slurs (cunt, bitch, whore) favored by other AVFMers like Paul Elam and Diana Davison. And this is the best he can manage.
The Men’s “Human Rights” Movement isn’t ready for its close-up. And I suspect that it never will be.
EDITED TO ADD: A commenter has pointed out another quote I should have included as well. So here is BONUS EXTRA LEAST CONVINCING DEAN ESMAY ARGUMENT NUMBER SIX:
6) “The truth is, the most privileged class of people in the whole wide world are young women living in places like the US, UK, Canada, etc.–and if you want to be treated like an equal, you should not flinch or cry like a little girl if someone tells you that.“
How dare you accuse us of sexism, you spoiled little girl!
It’s labor day here in the US of A, a day for picnics, parades honoring our nation’s workers, and going through Fidelbogen’s timeline on Twitter looking for especially obtuse tweets from the always obtuse Men’s Renaissance Agitator and would-be philosopher-king of the Men’s Rights movement.
Yes, I know we just did Fidelbogen the other day, but we’re doing him again.
There were a lot of ridiculous answers to that question, but one of the most ridiculous (and one of the most highly upvoted) responses came from our old friend John Hembling, the blabby Canadian videoblogger and A Voice for Men “Editor in Chief” also known for some dopey reason as John The Other. He explained:
In Slate, writer Andy Hinds has provided us all with one of the most cringe-inducing “unsolicited penis updates” since our old friend Paul Elam filled us in on which “fuckmuffin” body parts make his Little Elam happiest.
Hinds starts off by assuring us he’s one of the feminist Good Guys, a stay-at-home-dad who respects the heck out of the ladies:
Regular readers of this blog, for better or worse, know one thing that makes “Men’s Human Rights Activist” Paul Elam’s penis happy: The prospect of harassing feminists. He is, after all, the man who wrote of one feminist that “that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.”
Now Mr. Elam has given us a rather more complete account of what it is that pleases his penis. I’m not sure there was any great demand for this information, but he has chosen to release it, and so here we are.
In a post with the tasteful title “on tits, ass and fucktards,” Elam informs the world that he is in fact a fan of the first two items in this list – that is, tits and ass. He is also, he goes on to explain, a lover of
Sorry, I have to stop for a moment to remind you that you are about to read about things that give Paul Elam — yes THAT Paul Elam — a boner.
I will not think any less of you if you stop reading right here.
If you are ready and willing to continue, here we go:
I like well-formed thighs that lead up to the promise land, and smooth knees above shapely calves. Of course, all that combined with a woman’s pretty face is a crowning glory; full lips that promise supple kisses and great blow jobs, clear eyes and unblemished skin. All this combines to make a woman utterly fuckable, and visually that is what I like most of all. I like to look at women that are little fuckmuffins.
Yes, he actually wrote all that, attached his name to it, and posted it for other people to see.
But as much as Elam likes to look at “little fuckmuffins” he does not actually seem to like most of them very much.
After roughly 150 words devoted mostly to cataloguing his favorite female body parts, Elam evidently runs out of nice things to say about women, and so he returns again to his favorite pastime, devoting the bulk of the post to a rant explaining how much he hates “feminist fucktards,” traditionalist women, and women with Facebook accounts.
While happy enough with “fuckmuffins [who] are sexually liberated and adventurous” and who “like to please and be pleased,” Elam informs the world that he feels no such love for all those awful “fuckmuffins” who “liv[e] life with prudish sticks up their asses made from the same wood that forms the chips on their shoulders.”
He’s also mighty pissed at all those who aren’t interested in hearing him expound at length on what his penis likes.
Of the now almost endless list of things that have grown annoyingly stupid and sanctimonious about feminism is the Victorianesque shaming of my sexual programming as a man. Even with the so called “sex positive” feminists, the most hypocritical assholes of them all, the only positive sexuality they embrace is that of women. To them, male sexuality, in all its glory, is something to be buried, controlled and allowed to surface only when it serves the sexual needs of some narcissistic, horny, self-absorbed little “sex positive” princess.
Unfortunately, more traditional-minded women aren’t much interested in hearing about his penis either. And for some reason they, like feminists, think that there might be some sort of connection between men and rape.
Who are those traditionalists? You will know them by their obsequious silence while feminists shame men for committing the scurrilous act of looking at women sexually. Or better yet, as they join in with their “men can stop rape” bedfellows to twist and distort the natural inclinations of young men with Puritan sexual guilt that marches in lockstep with the feminist hatred of male sexuality.
Elam stops for a moment to reassure his readers that despite all that stuff about “well-formed thighs” and blow-job lips he prefers Good Women to mere “fuckmuffins.”
Now, all that being said, is woman-as-fuckmuffin all I care about? Hardly. As a matter of fact, I would throw fuckmuffin to the curb faster than you can say “patriarchy” to spend time with a woman of good character and intelligence. I have learned in life that my dick has a healthy agenda for humanity, but not necessarily for me. So as my values have matured, so has my taste in women.
Heck, it turns out he actually sort of hates “fuckmuffin.” After all, he tells us,
fuckmuffin … is prone to act indignant when she feels sexualized (by the wrong guy). She can become so angry at being “objectified” that you can see her tits shake right through that tight sweater with the neckline that plunges to the vicinity of her toes.
And then he compares her to a bug:
Time and experience will lead [men] to understand that fuckmuffin should be regarded with same respect as you would afford a stinging insect.
Basically, he explains, the only problem with lustful young men who ogle women is that they haven’t learned to hate women enough quite yet. And so women shouldn’t complain when young guys stare at them. Or when they don’t. As far as I can figure it, he thinks women shouldn’t ever complain about anything.
Leave [young men] the fuck alone. There is nothing wrong with them. Nothing needs to be fixed. If you want to help a young man like that, just start encouraging him to connect the dots between fuckmuffin’s propensity to take her own picture and post it to Facebook four times a day and her ultimate tendency to make him miserable. Eventually he will get the connection. And if he doesn’t, maybe that makes him happy. Either way, it is none of your fucking business.
And so ends what’s probably the strangest work of erotica I think I’ve ever read.
Sometimes my job here is too easy. Usually I have to leave the confines of my own blog to find examples of misogyny to share on the blog. Today, the misogyny came right to me, in the form of a cartoon-villain-esque monologue deposited directly into the comments here by a proud woman-hater named Mark Minter.
Oh, but don’t call him a misogynist. Because Mr. Minter has declared war not only on women (and on me) but on language itself. Rejecting the dictionary definition of “misogynist” as “one who hates women,” Minter declares himself to be a “woman hater” but somehow not a misogynist. I don’t get it either. Here’s his, er, argument: