While Men’s Rights Activists are quick to label virtually any woman that they disagree with a feminist, they react with outrage when anyone who is not a self-admitted MRA is described as one.
The folks at A Voice for Men are still fuming about what they consider a “trust-shattering” media scandal: the fact that a bunch of news outlets wrote about a supposed Men’s Rights boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road, when in fact the virulently antifeminist Youtube blabber calling for the boycott wasn’t technically a Men’s Rights activist at all.
Meanwhile, there’s a dude cluttering up my Twitter mentions with demands I take some sort of action against a tiny handful of commenters on this blog who have referred to the woman-hating mass killer Elliot Rodger as an MRA, even though, as far as we know, he wasn’t one.
To which I can only say: Sorry, guys. You’re Kleenex. And you’d better get used to it.
Uh oh! Dean Esmay of A Voice for Men is outraged by the latest terrible calumny besmirching the good name of the Men’s Rights movement. That Big Lie? That Men’s Rights Activists are boycotting Mad Max: Fury Road.
As Esmay puts it, in his characteristically overheated prose, the very notion that there is such a boycott
is a completely fabricated story by a handful of elitists abusing their power in the media–and betraying their fellow journalists while doing it.
Using his powerful internet detective skills, Esmay has managed to track down “the source of the lie,” which, as he sees it, “appears to have originated from a discredited hate-blogger named David Futrelle … .”
I’ve left off the rest of his sentence, as it is straight-up libel. Well, so is the bit about me being a “discredited hate-blogger,” and the part about the “lie” originating with me. I will give him credit for managing to spell my name correctly.
I’ll cop to the fact that my post on a would-be boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road set off an avalanche of articles on the subject. The Mary Sue, I believe, was the first to pick up the story, and was quickly followed by a few others. And then other writers piggybacked off of them. For better or worse, that’s how it works in online journalism these days.
But if Esmay is looking for the source of the incorrect notion that self-described Men’s Rights activists were behind the “boycott,” well, he’s not going to find it in my post, which contained no mention of Men’s Right Activists at all.
Yep, I reported the 100% true fact that a Youtube bloviater named Aaron Clarey had written a post on Return of Kings urging men, in his words, to “not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible.” I described his readers on Return of Kings as misogynists, not MRAs, though clearly there is a massive overlap between those two groups.
The idea that this was specifically a Men’s Rights crusade was, to be sure, a bit of sloppiness on the part of the journalists writing about it, who are not quite as familiar as some of us are with all the different varieties of woman-hating shitheads there are in the “manosphere” — especially since their belief systems overlap considerably. As I noted in a previous post on this subject, writing about Esmay’s accusations against a writer for the Huffington Post,
You can almost forgive journalists for getting a bit mixed up.
Meanwhile, it’s clear that some MRAs, including some associated with AVFM, have views on the movie that bear a striking similarity to those of Mr. Clarey and his comrades at ROK. It was an AVFM staffer, not Aaron Clarey, who posted this meme on AVFM’s Facebook page. (It’s since been removed, possibly because it contradicts the narrative that Esmay is now promoting.)
Yes, that’s right: there are MRAs talking about boycotting Mad Max: Fury Road on AVFM’s own official forum. One declares himself “a (former) Mad Max fan,” another writes “going to skip this one. Mad Max is now dead to me.” “I’m out,” adds a third.
But Esmay seems to think that there is some vast conspiracy afoot, writing that
we are really serious with this question: was anyone paid to put this fake story in the press? If so, who was paid and who did the paying?
Don’t be silly. No money changes hands. At least no human money. We do it under direct orders from our feline overlordsladies.
Apparently, to Dean Esmay at least, posting that Mad Max: Fury Road is being boycotted by MRAs, when most of the boycotters are in fact merely MRA-adjacent, is a greater crime against truth than denying the Holocaust.
So my post on Aaron Clarey’s Return of Kings call for a boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road went a bit viral last week, garnering thousands of shares and retweets on social media and inspiring dozens of articles on sites ranging from The Mary Sue to the Guardian and even the Daily Mail, all helping to expose the manly men of the manosphere as the entitled manbabies they are, so threatened by women with power that the very thought of Charlize Theron as a badass postapocalyptic road warrior causes them to lose their collective shit.
Their “boycott” is a bit of a failure as well, to say the least. The film — which so far has garnered an impressive 98% of positive reviews according to Rotten Tomatoes — took in close to $17 million at the box office on Friday (in North America), and is expected to earn more than $40 million this weekend alone.
Apparently someone at A Voice for Men missed the meeting where they all get assigned their opinions to promote on social media for the day. On Twitter, Dean Esmay accuses a Huffington Post writer of lying about MRAs urging people not to see Mad Max: Fury Road:
So you may have heard vague rumors that there’s a new Mad Max film coming out. You also may have heard that it stars Charlize Theron as a shaven-headed postapocalyptical badass named Furiosa alongside Tom Hardy as Mr. Max.
Well, the manly men of the Manospshere are having none of it. On the always terrible Return of Kings, the most-trafficked blog in the Manosphere, Youtube bloviator Aaron Clarey issues a clarion call to his fellow right-thinking men, urging them to