When you think they can’t get any creepier, they do. Here’s a disturbing new Men’s Rights meme-in-formation I’ve recently run across.
In a late-December rant about anti-porn feminist Gale Dines, the self-proclaimed “Male Renaissance Agitator” who calls himself Fidelbogen wrote:
In olden days of rough village justice she’d have gotten the scold’s bridle, or the the ducking stool, or the stocks. And quite right.
A couple of days later, regular A Voice for Men commenter DruidV, perhaps inspired by Fidebogen’s post, made a strikingly similar suggestion on that site:
I urge all Men here to have a look at wiki’s description of what was commonly known as a scold’s bridle, or the Branks. For whatever foolish reason, this item was done away with some time ago. This invention to end Men’s suffering, needs to be brought back into public acceptance and application, post haste, imo.
So let’s take a look at the Wikipedia page he linked to and see just what exactly this “Scold’s Bridle” was:
A scold’s bridle, sometimes called “the branks”, as well as “brank’s bridle” was a punishment device used primarily on women, as a form of torture and public humiliation. It was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. The bridle-bit (or curb-plate) was about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. The “curb-plate” was frequently studded with spikes, so that if the tongue moved, it inflicted pain and made speaking impossible. Wives that were seen as witches, shrews and scolds, were forced to wear a brank’s bridle, which had been locked on the head of the woman and sometimes had a ring and chain attached to it so her husband could parade her around town and the town’s people could scold her and treat her with contempt; at times smearing excrement on her and beating her, sometimes to death.
I will be charitable and assume that both Fidelbogen and DruidV were joking. That is, they don’t literally want to strap women’s heads into ghastly torture devices, smear them with shit and beat them to death. They just think that the very notion is hilarious.
Whether the suggestions were made seriously or not, they’re still pretty hateful. Given that Fidelbogen was recently taken aboard as a regular writer for A Voice for Men, and that DruidV’s comment on that site got mostly upvotes (and no criticism) from the regulars there, would it be fair to call A Voice for Men the “underbelly of a hate movement?”
I’m not sure why that particular phrase popped into my head, but somehow it seems all too appropriate.