The final chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses, as all former English majors will tell you, consists of what has become known as Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, a punctuation-deprived 24,000-word stream-of-consciousness rush of words reflecting the thoughts of Mrs. Bloom as she lies in bed next to her husband Leopold Bloom.
The soliloquy is famous as much for its smuttiness as for its style, ending with a much-quoted passage in which Mrs. Bloom basically invents the notion of Yes Means Yes:
So here’s a new perspective on the whole “should we allow women to take over the tech industry or any other industry” question, courtesy of the Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Technology blog. Yes, women, if you want to run a business or an industry you apparently have to check with the dudes at the Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Technology blog first.
Though Men’s Rights activists devote an enormous amount of their time denouncing feminism – or at least the imaginary version of feminism that exists only in their own heads – they’re happy to appropriate feminist concepts when it suits them. One that many MRAs seem especially eager to claim for themselves is the idea of the “safe space.”
Of course, their version of the “safe space” bears only a slight resemblance to the feminist original. Feminists seek to create spaces for discussion in which say, rape survivors can discuss their experiences without being triggered by insensitive arguers and trolls and mansplainers in general.
When MRAs talk about “safe spaces,” by contrast, their goal is often to exclude women not just from discussion spaces but from full participation in society, essentially declaring giant arenas of work and play, from STEM fields to video games, to be places where feminists, and women in general, should fear to tread.
And so it’s hardly surprising that more than a few MRAs are arguing that the Zoe Quinn “scandal” proves that women and gaming don’t mix – or, at least, that they shouldn’t.
I don’t usually post raw videos from the insufferable assholes I write about on this site because, well, they’re insufferable assholes, and listening to them smugly opine about shit they’re completely ignorant about is generally about as entertaining as, you know, GirlWritesWhat videos. (I know, that’s a bit circular, but I really couldn’t come up with anything more insufferable than that.)
Anyhoo, I’ve broken my rule and posted this video because the two guys who made this video — the would-be filmmaking duo of jordanowen42 and Davis Aurini — are so over-the-top in their insufferable assholism that it’s actually kind of perversely charming.
You see, these two woman-hating YouTube blabbers — the first a belligerent doofus whose apartment is nearly as unkempt as mine, the other a sort of PUA version of Anton LaVey — are pitching what they claim will be an important new documentary exposing the evil “Social Justice Warrior” agenda of evil women and traitor men like Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, and, well, I can’t remember the names of any of the men. It’s called The Sarkeesian Effect. And they want your money to fund it.
Their promised “feature-length documentary” will be a powerful work of investigative journalism that will give a voice to the voiceless — to the “silent majority” of, well, angry white dudes who spend whatever time they don’t spend playing video games posting obnoxious and abusive comments about Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn to YouTube and Reddit and eleven zillion other websites that cater to them.
In other words, this is the loudest “silent majority” I’ve ever run across.
But these are guys who love to pretend that their bold thoughts are being silenced, and PUA Anton LaVey Davis Aurini happily panders to their persecution complex:
Don’t let these people silence us. Your contribution will be a defiant strike against the degeneration and corruption that is going on in this world.
The word “degeneration” helps remind us that Aurini considers himself a part of the neo-Nazi-lite “Dark Enlightenment.”
Anyway, they argue that you should send them lots of money, because PUA Anton LaVey’s suits can’t be cheap you’ll be striking a blow for every dude who’s ever called Anita Sarkeesian a “whore” in a YouTube comment. Well, they don’t literally put it that way, but, you know, come on. That’s what they mean.
And hey, who wouldn’t trust this dude with their hard-earned cash?
I found this video hilarious from start to finish. Stick with it at least until, a little after 6 minutes in, PUA Anton LaVey Aurini lights up his second cigarette, showing what a devil-may-care attitude he has by mumbling his lines with a cigarette in his mouth as he fiddles with his lighter.
Yep, that’s the kind of quality investigative journalism you can expect from these two.
Many Men’s Rights Redditors see themselves as fighting a noble fight against genuinely evil, misandrist radical feminists on the internet. One of their most powerful weapons: the deadly downvote.
Reading through one old thread on Men’s Rights last night, I noticed how some Men’s Rights Redditors had deftly deployed their downvotes to fight off the evil feminist misandry lurking in this comment:
Outrageous! A statement that could have been ripped straight from Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto!
Kudos to the brave Redditors who saw this vile misandry for what it was.
Elsewhere in the same thread, I happily noticed, Men’s Rights Redditors were helpfully upvoting the reasonable and uplifting sentiments of decent fellows, like the Men’s Rights Redditor who goes by the name theboners, who offered a sensibly critical take on the always controversial question of whether or not it was a good idea for men to give in to “pussy privilege” and let ladies have the vote:
Oh you irresponsible women! Why do we let you do anything?
I mean, aside from letting GirlWritesWhat make YouTube videos; that’s ok.
It might be time for that blinking
gif to remind possibly literal-minded readers that I do not actually agree with theboners or think SweetieKat is a reincarnation of Valerie Solanas.
So the other day the fellas in the Men’s Rights subreddit were having another thoughtful and nuanced discussion about OMG WOMEN PLAYING VIDEO GAMES GET OUT GIRL GERMS EWWWW GAMING IS FOR MEN ONLY HELP HELP WE’RE BEING OPPRESSED and the always insightful IHaveALargePenis offered this little suggestion to the “feminists/women” of the world:
Mr. Penis also gets bonus points for explicitly conflating women and feminists — most MRAs do this only implicitly, and then pretend they haven’t — and wins this month’s “Really? You Really Just Said That?” MRA Irony Award for declaring in his second paragraph that “people don’t actively insult [women] or tell them they can’t [get involved in nerdy pursuits] for simply being women” after he JUST DID EXACTLY THAT ONE PARAGRAPH EARLIER.
The thread, naturally, is full of poop from other contributors as well. Cthulusbaby not only doesn’t want women playing or expressing opinions about games; he doesn’t even want imaginary women in his games. No Manic Pixel Dream Girls for him!
Also, he seems to be under the impression that there are no men in romance movies.*
Acolmiztli, meanwhile, sheds a tear for the nerds that came before him:
Evidently the only way to rectify this past injustice is to do the same thing to women today? It’s the MEN’S RIGHTS WAY!
And hey, if women don’t like it, well, they can always just hide their gender identity. (On the Internet no one knows you’re George Eliot.)
Sometimes all it takes to solve these silly lady problems is some good old-fashioned male ingenuity,
H/T to Againstmensrights on Reddits for pointing out Mr. Penis’ lovely remark, and making the same point about science fiction.
* Note to extremly literal-minded readers: I am not actually suggesting that Cthulusbaby thinks there are no men in romance movies. It is just that the way he is framing the issue is so ridiculous he might as well think that.
Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the lovely IHaveALargePenis explains that it’s not sexism holding back women in science and technology. No way! It’s just that women are inferior at science and technology. No sexism involved at all!
Maybe IHaveALArgePenis should have taken an English class or two and learned what “irony” is.
Also, uh, how exactly are security cameras supposed to guard against sexism? This is a new one to me.
So Angry Harry, the dotty old British uncle of the Men’s Rights movement, has a post up vaguely warning that the virus software company Symantec just might soon have some sort of shareholders revolt on its hands because it dared to put a bunch of men’s rights sites on a “hate sites” blacklist, blocking access to them for some users of Symantec’s Rulespace software.
That’s kind of an old whine at this point, but what captured my fancy was this recent discussion about Harry’s article in the Men’s Rights subreddit.
Oh, where to begin with all this? I’m charmed, of course, by the idea that feminism is just ruining things — ruining things! — for all the nice ladies in the tech world. I mean, it’s not like feminists have anything to complain about with regard to sexism amongst male techies. They’re just complainy complainers. Ladies in tech are doing just fine, thanks! Don’t take their word for it. Take the word of some random dude in the Men’s Rights subreddit for it.
But the real treat here is Hamakua’s nightmare vision of an army of secret “imbedded” Anita Sarkeesians infiltrating major corporations and … doing what, exactly? Secretly making videos about sexist tropes in video games in hidden compartments underneath their desks, like that secret nap compartment George had built under his desk at work on Seinfeld?
Wow. The vitriol directed at Adria Richards by the angry dudes of Reddit was so extreme it even had Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian feeling a bit embarrassed by the monster he helped to create. In a blog post earlier this week, Ohanian chided the
(otherwise reasonable-seeming) people I saw who were comfortable and self-righteous in calling a woman a bitch/cunt/etc from their Twitter, Hacker News, or, yes, reddit account. …
The comments (and support for them) I’ve seen over the past few days have really disappointed me … This isn’t “political correctness,” this is you having the courage to use your words to create an environment that promotes an open exchange of ideas — not alienate people and certainly not terrorize them.
He reminded the “not-poor straight white men” who dominate the tech world that many of them were once the victims of bullies themselves.
Growing up, we typically weren’t picked first for sports, but were first on the Quake II server. Few people really understood our peculiar hobbies or how amazing it was to see “Hello, world” for the first time. Plenty of us got used to being ignored. Many of us were bullied. But what did we learn from it — empathy or hate?
We need to know the answer, because suddenly we are the cool kids. They’re making movies about us. We’re “rock stars.” Holy shit, the rest of the world is finally realizing how awesome we are. The geek has inherited the earth. And now that we’re the powerful ones, we need to remember: with great power comes great responsibility. It’s irresponsible to continue to act as though we are victims.
Now, there are more than a few problems with Ohanian’s plea for tolerance, up to and including all that self-aggrandizing crap at the end. On Buzzfeed, John Herrman describes Ohanian’s post as a “strategic response to a real problem.” As Herrman notes, the blog post
distances Ohanian from the site he helped create. Here, he is a commentator, not a leader. It’s a baldly political move: By identifying as a geek and then criticizing geek culture, he joins an ongoing conversation about tolerance in tech; but by minimizing Reddit’s role in driving the backlash against Adria Richards (its /r/mensrights community is raising money for the “vicims” of Richards), and characterizing the site’s actions as a reflection of a larger problem rather than a possible cause, Ohanian exonerates himself.
Technically, it was the Red Pill subreddit that started that laughable Feminist Victims Fund, but it’s certainly the case that Men’s Rights Redditors have been some of the loudest Adria Richards haters on the Internet.
Despite Herrman’s criticism, which I think is generally on the mark, Ohanian’s post is still quite striking. Apparently one of the architects of Reddit is beginning not only to realize but to publicly acknowledge just how toxic the culture on Reddit can be.
The big question now is whether or not the powers-that-be at Reddit will do anything about it.