This post, and my post yesterday, offer some examples of this hate, in case any irritating internet babies try to tell you that the MGTOW subreddits were just safe spaces for men to discuss their independent lifestyle, share recipes, and so forth.
Sometimes, even in the deepest recesses of Incels.co, a little light can shine. Today, while making my way through such lovely topics of discussion as “With the way young girls dress, I wonder how many fathers secretly jerk off to their daughter” and “Why do ugly fat white women feel entitled to tyrones?” I ran across a post with the intriguing headline “Anyone else think that this site is a drain upon their mental health.”
So I’ve been taking a brief “I can’t stand to look at this shit every single day” hiatus, but the thing about the manosphere is that the news never stops breaking. And the latest no-longer-quite-breaking news is that the Reddit admins have, at long last, banned the Braincels subreddit for violating the site’s newly strengthened rules against harassment and bullying.
If you ever wonder why online gaming culture is such a complete shitshow, it’s not because it’s dominated by angry teenagers who think it’s fun to call other players “f*ggots” and possibly even send SWAT teams to their houses. These people could easily be banned, No, the real problem is that so many adult gamers either don’t give a shit about the rampant harassment or think it’s actually pretty cool.
Regrets, he’s had a few. Last night, the founder of the KotakuInAction subreddit, the hate-filled hangout that has been the main meeting place for Reddit’s angriest gamers since the days of GamerGate, decided to do something he’d been thinking of doing for a long time: he denounced his misbegotten creation as a “cancerous growth” on the internet and closed it down.
Men’s Rights, er, activists are waving their arms frantically in the air over what they see as a dire new threat to men and manhood: Facebook’s recent annoucement that it was going to try to do a better job of taking down violent images mocking victims of rape and domestic violence, and other kinds of misogynistic hate speech.
I‘ve written several times about the campaign of false accusations and harassment directed at Georgetown University alum Arianna Pattek by Men’s Rights activists, white supremacists, and assorted internet trolls. While some of Pattek’s false accusers have retracted their claims, others continue to peddle false information about her and still others, including some of those who’ve retracted their claims about Pattek, continue to make vague accusations against Georgetown.
And so I would like to draw attention to the following official statement from Georgetown University spokesperson Rachel Pugh.
In response to inquiries regarding Georgetown University alumna Arianna Pattek and the Admissions Office at Georgetown University:
Georgetown University confirms that Arianna Pattek graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a bachelor’s degree in 2012. On April 18, 2013 she was mistakenly identified as the author of an anonymous blog, and as a result became the target of threats on several Internet discussion boards. Out of concern for the safety and well-being of our alumna, the university removed information about Ms. Pattek from the university’s website. Georgetown University further confirms that Ms. Pattek is not now, nor has she ever been, employed by any of the admissions offices at Georgetown University. The unethical admissions practices described in the anonymous blog post do not reflect the careful and comprehensive admissions procedures at Georgetown University. Ms. Pattek has confirmed that she is not the author of the blog in question. Further, the blog in question does not reference Georgetown University.
You can find the statement online here, and can direct any questions about Georgetown’s handling of this whole surreal incident to them directly.
Though I really have to wonder at anyone who pretends to be shocked or surprised or mystified that university officials might remove information about a recent graduate after receiving word that this person is being harassed by white supremacists.
Asha James – otherwise known as TyphonBlue – has taken issue with something I wrote about A Voice for Men, the hate site she has chosen to affiliate herself with. In my post detailing the hundreds of horrendous and disgusting threats and abusive comments one Canadian feminist has received after she appeared in a YouTube video that was heavily promoted on A Voice for Men and other Men’s Rights sites, I wrote that AVFM had only distanced itself in a “superficial way from some of the harassment it has played a central role in unleashing.”
Register-Her was a bogus “offenders registry” put online by A Voice for Men, a notoriously misogynistic and hateful site that often targets individual women for harassment. Ostensibly a registry of female criminals, Register-Her was clearly intended to harm the reputation of feminist writers and activists whose only “crime” has been to offend those behind the site. These women were profiled as “bigots” alongside convicted murderers and child molesters.
NOTE: As of April 4, 2014, the original site and its individual profiles have been taken down; a new site with an apparently similar purpose is evidently being built to replace it, but it’s not yet functional. You can see an archived version of the site’s main page, and its list of “bigots” using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, though you’ll need to manually edit the URLs of the “bigots” listed to see the archived profiles. (Replace each %20 in the URLs with an _ .)
Some of the women profiled on the site as “bigots” included:
Actress Katherine Heigl, who was put on the site after making a humorous public service announcement for the site Funny or Die promoting the spaying and neutering of pets. Register-Her charges her with “endors[ing] male targeted sexual mutilation.”
Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti, the author, most recently, of “Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness,” who was put on the site for several newspaper columns that the site misrepresents in an attempt to show that she is guilty of “an ongoing pattern of anti-male bigotry and advocacy for the eradication of constitutional rights based primarily on sex.” A Voice for Men has also labeled Valenti a “child abuser” for supporting feminist causes, and on one occasion posted candid photos it claimed were of her in an attempt to cause her embarrassment. If you look at the archived version of the site’s main page, you will see a picture of Valenti alongside photos of convicted rapists and murderers, all underneath the headline “Why Aren’t These Women In Prison?” Valenti has not, of course, committed any crimes.
A number of young women who attended a protest against Men’s Rights icon Warren Farrell at the University of Toronto. Register-Her used Twitter Tweets from some of the women, clearly intended as jokes, as evidence of genocidal intentions towards men. In an article on A Voice for Men, an anonymous writer even attacked one of these women for Tweeting a picture of a poster which declared “it is important to have someone’s consent before sexual activity.”
Site founder Paul Elam and other writers on A Voice for Men make no bones about their desire to ruin the lives of their foes. Indeed, the site’s much-referenced slogan is “Fuck Their Shit Up.”
I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage. I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection. …
[Y]ou fucking moron. Your only real hope is to keep your mouth shut and pretend AVfM and register-her.com does not exist for as long as you can. Because, as you can see right now, anything you say or do will be thrown back in your face like holy water on a vampire.
We are coming for you, and we are coming for all the liars out there that have been ruining people’s lives with impunity. …
You are SO fucked.
Register-Her was clearly a major part of Elam’s program to “Fuck Their Shit Up.” The “registry” was heavily promoted on A Voice for Men, which linked to a number of “featured offenders” in its sidebar – all of them so-called “bigots,” none of them the criminals that Register-Her claims to really be about. A banner ad for Register-Her depicts a bloody knife. The tagline: “TRUTH is the real bitch.”
Elam’s idea of exposing the “truth” seems to involve publishing photographs and the personal information of his targets, whether these are alleged “false accusers” or simply feminists who have offended him. On the A Voice for Men internet radio show, Elam promised that:
If Mary Jane Rottencrotch out there wants to say that her husband beat her just for the sake of gaining leverage in a divorce he will now have a resource where he can come and post your name, your picture, your work telephone number, your address, perhaps even your route you take to get to work, if you bother to have a job.
While Elam has yet to make good on the threat of posting information on women’s routes to work, posts on A Voice for Men promoting the profiles of so-called “bigots” are filled with threatening language and vague intimations that further information will be revealed. In a post announcing the site’s campaign against the University of Toronto protestors, Elam wrote this about one of his targets:
We have her image and know her general location. We will identify her and profile her activity and name for public view.
We will not stop there, or just with her. And while we will not publish our complete intent, we are dogged in our efforts. …
We have no more sympathy for your agenda of hatred and exclusion than for a plantation owner’s rationale in the Antebellum South for justified ownership of another human being.
A Voice for Men’s posts about the targeted women are also filled with bizarre and hyperbolic accusations. In a post about a college student who had jokingly Tweeted that her “political position” was “kill all men hail satan,” and who in another tweet suggested she might get a tattoo reading “misandry,” one of A Voice for Men’s many pseudonynmous “agents” wrote:
She doesn’t just hate men; doesn’t just want them dead or silenced or marginalized or ignored. She at least entertains the idea of permanently marking her skin with that hatred, like a convict signaling gang affiliation.
“Agent Mauve” makes clear that he hopes to ruin the life of the young woman by putting her on Register-Her:
[T]his will be the beginning of [name removed]’s real legacy; where she can revel in the full and permanent notice of her deeds, and the lesson she is providing to the world about the nature of feminism, and the etiology of hatred. And so that anyone who ever does an internet search on her name again will be aware of it.
So far, A Voice for Men’s campaign against the Toronto protesters seems to be having what one can only assume is the desired effect. On A Voice for Men’s Facebook page, a commenter refers to one of the protesters as an “evil twisted little piece of dogshit,” adding: “I hope she suffers a fatal injury before she can go out and ruin peoples’ lives like she seems determined to do.” This comment earned several “likes” from A Voice for Men’s readers.
In the Spring of 2012, Register-Her was profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, as part of a larger feature on the so-called “Men’s Rights” movement. Writing in the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, Arthur Goldwag described Register-Her’s modus operandus and its effect on one targeted woman:
Elam’s site can be frightening to its targets. In one case, he offered a cash reward to the first reader to ferret out a pseudonymous feminist blogger’s real name. In another, Elam singled out a part-time blogger at ChicagoNow who describes herself as a “vegetarian park activist with two baby girls.” The woman’s mistake was to write about her discomfort with male adults helping female toddlers in the bathroom at her daughter’s preschool. The blogger conceded that she was being sexist, but wrote that “I’d rather be wrong than find out if I’m right.”
After the woman was listed, she was widely attacked on men’s movement sites. “I don’t always use the word ‘cunt’ to describe a woman,” one poster raged, “but when I do it’s because of reasons like these.” Shocked, the “Mommy blogger” took down her original post and apologized for her “demonization of men.”
It wasn’t enough. “You targeted fathers, and just fathers,” Elam rebuked her. “It strikes me that you have never really been held to account for any of your actions in life. It is quite likely that the concept of complete, selfless accountability is just completely foreign to you.” Over at the Reddit Mens Rights forum, another poster fumed: “This entire episode should be a warning to all those male hating feminists out there who believe that they are safe screaming their hate messages on the web. Finally, they are held accountable for their hate messages and finally the rest of the world will find out exactly what type of depraved people they really are.”
That’s hate, and that’s precisely the sort of reaction Register-Her seems designed to provoke.
I encourage readers to link to this piece on their websites, so as to make sure that people understand what Register-Her was really all about.