When feminist author Jessica Valenti posted a picture of herself wearing an “I bathe in male tears” sweatshirt, Men’s Rights activists reacted as though she had literally called for the violent murder of every man on planet earth.
Though Valenti made clear the sentiment on the shirt was aimed at the obnoxious Men’s Rights types who routinely flood the comments on her articles, MRAs chose to believe that she was mocking homeless men, battered men, male suicide victims, and other men suffering very real pain.
A Voice for Men led the charge, with AVFM’s “social media director” Andrea “JudgyBitch” Hardie, one of Valenti’s most persistent and dishonest harassers, proclaiming that Valenti “hates all men and thinks their pain is funny, no matter what the source of it,” an assertion that is as demonstrably false as a flat earther’s contention that gravity doesn’t exist.
Valenti wasn’t the only “ironic misandrist” vilified by MRAs at AVFM and elsewhere; some were so upset by the trope they launched a campaign to try to convince the world that “male tears” was slang for semen.
I bring all this up because, as I perused the meme repository on A Voice for Men’s Facebook page recently, in preparation for the Memeday celebrations here on WHTM today, I noticed a couple newly posted memes that centered on female tears.
And it struck me how many of the very same Men’s Rights Activists who’ve thrown the biggest tantrums over the ironic misandry of the “male tears” trope love to joke about female and/or feminist tears.
I decided to scroll back through the AVFM archives to see how many more I could find. The short answer: a lot, many of them not only reveling in (imaginary) female tears but taking a certain pleasure in the notion that their own antifeminist activism was causing them. I had originally planned to go through the archives of several other antifeminist Facebook pages, but I found so many on AVFM’s Facebook page I didn’t bother. All but one of the memes below come from AVFM’s Facebook page or from Hardie’s JudgyBitch site.
Let’s start with AVFM’s favorite stock image of a crying woman:
These are all lovely, each in their unique way, but the last one may be my favorite, as it reveals the almost proud ignorance of feminism that underlies so many MRA attacks on feminism. What “radical feminist” magazines is this crying feminist supposed to be subscribing to? Beyond Ms magazine, hardly a bastion of radical feminism these days, I doubt the meme-maker or any of those who’ve passed along this meme could name any feminist magazines at all.
But this crying woman isn’t the only one to make it into MRA memes. There’s this theatrically crying gal — the same one who’s in the meme at the top of the page.
There’s this artfully photographed black and white lady:
This cartoon stereotype:
This crying girl:
And her friends:
There are crying celebrities:
And ordinary women who’ve been turned into memes against their will:
Not all of the sad women in MRA memes have literal tears running down their cheeks. Some just look like they’re about to burst into tears.
And let’s not forget the image that AVFM’s Andrea Hardie used to append to so many of her Tweets.
What’s striking to me about all these memes, beyond all the tears, is how little any of these memes have to do with any aspect of real-world feminism. Or real-world women, for that matter.
Many of the memes are, of course, little more than meanspirited “nyah-nyahs” aimed at feminists: “I don’t wike it/I’m a feminist” is not what you’d call a sophisticated rebuttal to feminist arguments.
But then again, none of the other memes offer real rebuttals either, largely because the feminism they attack is made almost entirely of straw. Neither feminists, nor women in general, have ever demanded “total control over men.” Women aren’t buying pearl necklaces with child support money. Virtually all of the “privileges” or “special treatment” that MRAs accuse feminists of demanding aren’t either, and in many cases apply equally to men. Virtually the only obligation that men have and women don’t is that men have to sign a largely meaningless registration card for a non-existent and politically impossible draft.
And of course there is no such thing as french-fry rape.
Cry harder, MRAs.
EDIT: Added the link to Hardie’s comment on Valenti.