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Is War Machine, the mixed martial arts fighter accused of brutally beating his ex, a Men's Rights Activist?

The "hero" the Men's Rights movement deserves?
The “hero” the Men’s Rights movement deserves?

If the Men’s Rights movement is looking for a celebrity endorser, I think I’ve found just the guy for them: the mixed martial arts fighter, and erstwhile porn actor, War Machine, currently sitting in jail on charges of brutally beating and attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend, porn star Christy Mack.

Men’s Rights activists should be able to look past these criminal charges; after all, as they remind us all the time, women are forever falsely accusing innocent men of all sorts of terrible things.

And in so many ways War Machine is perfect for them. An MMA fighter, he’s already only one letter away from being an MRA. A misogynistic asshole with rage issues, he’ll have no trouble fitting in with the Men’s Rights crowd. And, especialy important for a movement that has a lot of trouble getting any good PR, he’s a bit more comfortable on camera than the Paul Elams and Dean Esmays of the world, with experience on television  (on the reality show The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra), and in seven films (albeit pornographic ones).

Best of all: he’ll need no ideological education from what A Voice for Men likes to call Fuck Shit Up University. War Machine – real name Jonathan Koppenhaver – is already an outspoken proponent of many of the Men’s Rights Movement’s core beliefs.

Consider these selections from a little Men’s Rights manifesto War Machine wrote a few years ago during a previous stint behind bars, serving time for felony assault after two bloody bar fights. His rant, which a friend posted to the internet, would fit right in with the sort of stuff we’ve seen regularly posted on the Men’s Rights subreddit, or The Spearhead, or A Voice for Men. I’ve bolded some of the Men’s Rightsiest bits:

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Paul Elam: "If a woman five feet tall and 110 pounds soaking wet hits me, I am going to hit her back."

Should these books be required reading for MRAs?
Should these books be required reading for MRAs?

Attention tiny ladies! Paul Elam wants you to know that if you attack him, he will totally punch you right back. And not in a satirical way, either. With his actual, non-satirical fists.

A Voice for Men’s maximum leader has long insisted that his notorious “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” post was nothing more than misunderstood “satire.” That is, when he argued that men who are abused by women would be totally justified if they “beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall,” this was somehow a “Juvenalian” satire of some sort. There’s a famous quote from The Princess Bride that might be appropriate here.

Well, now Mr. Elam has announced to the world that every month is a potential “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” for him. Even if the “Violent Bitch” in question is less than half his size. In a post that he insists is super serious, he writes:

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Remembering Martin Luther King’s courage

Martin Luther King after being hit by a rock during a demonstration in Chicago, 1966
Martin Luther King after being hit by a rock during a demonstration in Chicago, 1966

Today is Martin Luther King day here in the United States. In remembering Dr. King’s legacy, alas, his story is sometimes reduced to a few simplistic soundbites, and we forget how much of a struggle his famous struggle really was.

The one thing no one seems to want to remember is how much opposition there was to King and his message, and how ugly and violent and hateful this opposition was.

King and his family faced real threats and real harassment on a daily basis. He was subject to real violence, yet continued to preach a message of nonviolence.

As a reminder of the courage it took to be Martin Luther King, here’s an account of a march he led in Chicago in 1966, taken from Rick Perlstein’s book Nixonland. (Content warning: Racist language, violence.)

August 5. Six hundred open-housing activists, ten thousand counterdemonstrators. Some wore Nazi helmets. Others waved Confederate battle flags, carried George Wallace banners, swastika placards that helpfully explained THE SYMBOL OF WHITE POWER.

Martin Luther King, Mahalia Jackson by his side, led his legions forth: “We are bound for the promised land!”

“Kill those niggers!”

“We want Martin Luther Coon!”

Police trying to keep the two sides apart were screamed at: “Nigger-loving cops!” “God, I hate niggers and nigger-lovers,” a reporter overheard an old lady say.

Martin Luther King walked past.

“Kill him! Kill him!”

“Roses are red, violets are black, King would look good with a knife in his back.”

Instead he got a baseball-size rock above his ear. He slumped to the ground—the Gandhian moment of truth. … King got up and kept on marching. We shall overcome.

The racist mob continued to pelt the demonstrators with rocks and bottles, many of them aimed at King. Some 30 others were injured.

Why did King put himself at such risk? “I have to do this–to expose myself–to bring this hate into the open,” he later explained.

He also, as a result of his activism in Chicago, got local real estate agents to agree to abide by the city’s fair housing ordinance. Not a dramatic concession, but a meaningful one, and one that illustrated the kind of everyday discrimination that blacks faced in America.

This is what a real civil rights hero looks like.

EDIT: Here’s some footage of one of King’s marches in Chicago, and a Chicago Tribune video about King’s Chicago activism. The footage here is supposedly of King’s march in Gage Park; the march described above took place in Marquette Park, where he got an even more hostile reception.

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Men's Rights Redditor remembers the victims of Marc Lepine by complaining "we're all supposed to cry about how hard it is to be female. "

A vigil to honor the victims of the massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique.
A vigil to honor the victims of the massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique.

Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, an annual event to honor the victims of mass murderer Marc Lépine, who gunned down fourteen women at the  École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. Lepine, driven by a poisonous misogynist ideology, specifically targeted women, yelling “I hate feminists” before opening fire on one classroom of female students.

Reading over his suicide-note-cum-manifesto today, I was struck again by how, well, familiar it all sounded. While only a few MRAs have explicitly celebrated Lepine as a hero, his views on women and feminism would not be out of place on most Men’s Rights forums. Here’s Lepine, in his own words. (I’ve broken the wall of text into shorter paragraphs.)

[T]he feminists always have a talent for enraging me.

They want to retain the advantages of being women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventive leave) while trying to grab those of the men. … They are so opportunistic that they neglect to profit from the knowledge accumulated by men throughout the ages. …

Thus, the other day, people were honoring the Canadian men and women who fought at the frontlines during the world wars. How does this sit with the fact that women were not authorized to go to the frontline at the time??? Will we hear of Caesar’s female legions and female galley slaves who of course took up 50 per cent of history’s ranks, although they never existed?

I’ve seen complaints virtually identical to these — I hesitate to call them arguments — reiterated many times over on places like A Voice for Men and the Men’s Rights subreddit.

Speaking of the Men’s Rights subreddit, here’s how the regulars there honored the victims of the massacre today: someone posted a message that today was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (this is actually a different day, in November), and, well, this is some of what ensued.

MRB2012 gave us the quote in my headline:

MRB2012 8 points 6 hours ago (12|4)      Her explanation included how it all started with how a bunch of people who were labeled feminist were shot.  This is a reference to the mass shooting committed by Mark Lepine. Most murder victims are actually male, but because of this one guy who targeted women we're all supposed to cry about how hard it is to be female.      permalink     source     save     give gold     hide child comments  [–]enzikio 2 points 3 hours ago (2|0)  I didn't know about Marc Lepine until your post, but it looks like his page was updated with a feminist slant with this great quote      A few men's rights activists seek to rehabilitate Lépine as hero of the anti-feminist cause.  A look at the sources are a joke. They all appear to reference a single person who apparently made some comments that agreed with what Marc Lepine did. No where do their sources rise to the evidence of the quote above.      permalink     source     save     parent     give gold  [–]muttmonster 1 point 6 hours ago (2|1)  Isn't that also the guy who yelled, "I hate feminists"?      permalink     source     save     parent     give gold  [–]darklycan51 -3 points 4 hours ago (5|8)  To be fair there's some times i've considered doing that to feminists... lol

7Vega worried that awareness about violence against women was taking up too much of everyone’s time.

7Vega 11 points 6 hours ago (14|3)  How many fucking days do we have for violence against women?      permalink     source     save     give gold     hide child comments  [–]muttmonster 6 points 6 hours ago (7|1)  Yeah, I swear we just had one, and that's why google had a black ribbon on it's page. And they also use a white ribbon for the same thing?      permalink     source     save     parent     give gold  [–]7Vega 4 points 6 hours ago (7|3)  Soon all colors will be associated with violence against women.

And JohnKimble suggested that violence against women is really all their fault anyway.

JohnKimble111 3 points 4 hours ago (3|0)  Given that most domestic violence is initiated by women and a lot of domestic violence is mutual, then the best way to stop violence against women is for them to stop assaulting their male partners.

The greatest human rights movement of the 21st century, folks.

 

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Men's Rights: the Video Game

It's a woman! Shoot her!
It’s a woman! Shoot her!

So I was watching a little video roundup of some of the worst video games ever the other day and I came across some footage from a justifiably obscure little first-person-shooter called Operation Matriarchy.

The premise of this 2005 PC game, made in Russia, may as well have emerged from the fevered imagination of some Men’s Rights activist. Here’s how the promo blurb at MobyGames explains it, with the especially MRA-ish bits in bold:

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Vox Day: The Taliban’s shooting of Malala Yousafzai may have been “perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.”

Malala Yousafzai, survivor
Malala Yousafzai, survivor

Vox Day, the reactionary fantasy author and pickup guru who was recently expelled from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America , has convinced himself that education for women leads to “demographic implosion” because uppity educated women don’t have enough babies.

Indeed, Vox — real name, Theodore Beale — is convinced that education for women is such a bad thing that he actually thinks that “the Taliban may not, in fact, be the stupid ones with regards to this particular matter.”

By this he means not only that they’re right to keep girls out of schools, but that they’re also probably justified in shooting teenage girls for the terrible crime of speaking up publicly in favor of education for girls like themselves.

No, really:

[I]n light of the strong correlation between female education and demographic decline, a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai, the poster girl for global female education, may indicate that the Taliban’s attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.

It’s quite telling that it is the “shooting-girls-in-the-head” issue that turns Beale — a right-wing evangelical Christian — into something of a fan of the Taliban.

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Rachel Swirsky climbs inside the mind of a violent misogynst

Harpy1

A couple of days ago, Rachel Swirsky — an award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who posts at Alas, A Blog and sometimes comments here on Man Boobz as well — sent along a link to a brilliant, brutal, and horrifying short story she’d recently published in Apex Magazine. Titled “Abomination Rises on Filthy Wings,” the story is essentially her attempt to get inside the mind of a violent misogynist.

As the editor’s note to her story explains:

Swirsky wrote this piece after talking to multiple editors who worked with horror stories, all of whom reported receiving many submissions about men murdering their wives or ex–wives. Despite the fictional veneer and supernatural justification [for the murder], many have the feel of personal revenge fantasies, and most characterize the women through disturbing, misogynist stereotypes. Swirsky wanted to see if it was possible to write a story that included all the markers of the trope but nevertheless subverted it.

In writing the story, Swirsky told me, “I drew heavily on Manboobz for mood and imagery, to try to get the sense of the narrator.”

So, enjoy. But first, I should warn you that the story is very violent, very disturbing, and could very well be triggering. So giant TRIGGER WARNING.

Here’s the LINK.

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Warren Farrell’s Funny Footnote, and Where it Led Me

Please don't check my footnotes!
Please don’t check my footnotes!

Men’s Rights elder Warren Farrell is fond of mentioning his academic past — he has taught at a number of colleges — and is not exactly shy about mentioning his Ph.D.  (Check the covers of his books if you don’t believe me.) But the books he’s written are for the most part polemical “pop psychology” and “pop sociology” rather than academic works, and most don’t meet academic standards by a long shot.

How far they fall short of academic standards I didn’t fully realize until I started investigating a suspicious footnote in The Myth of Male Power.

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National Review writer: Men and “husky” boys could have prevented the Newtown school shootings

Apparently Charlotte Allen thinks all janitors look like this.
Apparently Charlotte Allen thinks all janitors look like this.

It’s always a little distressing to see manosphere-style dumbassery outside the manosphere. Today’s offender: Charlotte Allen at National Review Online, explaining how the deaths in Newtown are the result of the school’s “feminized setting.” Had the school been filled with manly men (and manly boys), Adam Lanza could have been stopped in his tracks!

No, really, that’s what she says. Except that what she wrote is somehow even more egregious than my sarcastic summary. Read for yourself:

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The Wisconsin spa shootings: A conspiracy theory

I’m not sure how many of you have been following the story of the recent spa shooting in Wisconsin, in which an (angry, controlling, abusive) estranged husband murdered his wife and two others at a spa where she worked, before turning the gun on himself.

Unfortunately, stories like this are far from uncommon – domestic violence often escalates when female victims break off relationships with abusive men. (While dumped women often stalk male exes, they are far less likely to resort to violence.) All those studies that MRAs like to cite about how domestic violence between men and women is somehow equal don’t take into account violence that happens after the relationship is brought to an end.

I was reading this article, about the heroic efforts of Zina Haughton, the murdered wife in the spa shootings, to convince her ex to spare the lives of others in the spa at the time, when I made the mistake of reading the comments, which had degenerated into a bizarre “debate” over gun control. The, er, highlight of the discussion was this bizarre conspiracy theory:

Apparently gun enthusiasts can be as paranoid, delusional and self-absorbed as any entitled asshole in the manosphere.