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>All This Chitter Chatter

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I can’t help it. This is the image that pops into my head when I read a lot of the comments from MRAs on this blog. So much anger, so little sense, so much … well, so much weird, and sometimes bizarrely specific, sexual imagery. Eww. Double eww.

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Daran
11 years ago

>David:"Valarie Solanas is … a weird, crazy footnote in the history of feminism, an example of a crazy person who couched her craziness in the language of feminism, and who is only talked about today by MRAs and other antifeminists."Solanas is a bit more than a footnote. She's frequently covered within Women Studies courses, hardly bastions of antifeminism, She's also sometimes chosen by feminists as a topic of discussion. In this thread, the poster seems to think that she's a "bad feminist" for not having read the SCUM Manifesto before, hardly a typical reaction to a "footnote".A comment by Yeltsine sums up the ensuing discussion:The text [of the SCUM Manifesto] is garbage, and the OP’s question should be answered with the simple statement that people like Solanas obviously aren’t representative of the broader feminist movement … Instead, I see people trying to justify it, trying to talk about how they “get it”, trying to paint her in a sympathetic light.Indeed, the thread seems to be roughly evenly split between those expressing revulsion at the Manifesto, and those defending it.

Daran
11 years ago

>Nick:"…people like Valerie Solanas, Andrea Dworkin, and Robin Morgan…to name a few…are feminists icons in the movement. How did they get their fame? Because many feminists supported them enough to reach that standard."While David understated Solanas' significance to the movement, you greatly overstate it. Solanas isn't often talked about by feminists, and when she is, opinion is split between those repulsed by her, and those who try to argue that her writings were satire. No feminist I have ever read actually endorsed what she did, or supported a literal interpretation of what she said. I wish I could say the same was true about Lepine or Sodini within the men's movement. Unfortunately it isn't.The influence of Solanas' ideas on feminist theory and practice today is minimal to non-existent. Puffing her up into a great boogieman is to distract attention from the very real and serious problems with that theory and practice.

Daran
11 years ago

>"And here is one of the biggest problems with the MRM in a nutshell: people who think they can refute others' arguments with the touch of a button, by referring to some dubious statistics they happened to run across on a random MRA blog, or by simply asserting things without evidence."That's also true of feminism, and political discussion in general.

ScareCrow
11 years ago

>@David.Not with me they are not – I get my stats from the CDC and the AJPH.Two government institutions that do actual non-biased research.You are getting very close to discovering how "wrong" many of the ideas in your head are…I am happy for you!

Coldfire
11 years ago

>@Daran,You are someone for whom I have a lot of respect and I love your site and the work you do. However, the author of that Marc Lepine blog has said himself that it is satire (his exact word was "humorous" but you get the idea).I would challenge you to identify ONE MRA with a real identity (not a screen name which could actually belong to an impersonating feminist) who seriously endorses Lepine or Sodini. MikeeUSA doesn't count because the rest of the MRA community rejects him.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>Well, I don't know if this counts as "endorsing" exactly, because he doesn't say Lepine was right to kill people, but Peter Zohrab (founder of the usenet group alt.mens-rights) comes close, as do several of the people linked to on this page on his web site:http://peterzohrab.tripod.com/marcindx.html

Coldfire
11 years ago

>Oh, so saying that Marc Lepine was right about some things he addressed in his suicide note "comes close" to saying he was right to kill people? I guess that means anyone who thinks Bill Clinton did anything right during his time as President must come close to saying he was right to cheat on his wife and use a cigar as a sexual prop, right?

Daran
11 years ago

>"the author of that Marc Lepine blog has said himself that it is satire…"So did the author of the SCUM Manifesto. I don't buy it."I would challenge you to identify ONE MRA with a real identity (not a screen name which could actually belong to an impersonating feminist)…"A fifth column of feminist infiltrators into the MRA movement? I don't buy that either."…who seriously endorses Lepine or Sodini. MikeeUSA doesn't count because the rest of the MRA community rejects him."You'll probably argue that the guy behind this site doesn't count either, and I'd agree. These people are the lunatic fringe that attach themselves to any movement.Applying the same standard to the feminist movement, can you identify any feminists with real identities who seriously endorse Solanas? Here's one to get you started.

Coldfire
11 years ago

>Well, Daran, I'm sure you have heard of Poe's Law which holds that you often can't tell the difference between extremism and satire without being able to read the author's mind (if you don't trust the author to tell the truth). The Marc Lepine blog looks like satire to me, with its silly graphics and over-the-top style that are reminiscent of an Encyclopedia Dramatica article, but I suppose we will never know for sure.I think you misunderstand the rationale for my insistence on real identities for any quoted MRA. It's not that I think there are a bunch of deep-cover feminists within the movement, although I can't totally dismiss that possibility. Rather, it's that feminists can so easily post extreme and misogynist comments on blogs and sites like The Spearhead under the guise of being MRAs, and then conveniently quote said comments on their own sites as "proof" that MRAs are all misogynists.As for Bob Allen, I also consider him to be part of the fringe although I had no idea he would be so stupid as to seriously defend Marc Lepine's actions as "a small counter attack against the onslaught" and to call female engineering students "foot soldier[s] in the feminist war on men". However, my argument for why MikeeUSA doesn't count as an MRA is that he is persona non grata at virtually every MRA site and blog of note. Since I can't say the same about Bob, I suppose he does count.Obviously, since your link already gives the names of two feminists who seriously endorsed Solanas, I can meet that standard. To those names I will also add the highly contemptible Robin Morgan.

Daran
11 years ago

>"it's that feminists can so easily post extreme and misogynist comments on blogs and sites like The Spearhead under the guise of being MRAs, and then conveniently quote said comments on their own sites as "proof" that MRAs are all misogynists."Well they could, but why bother, when there are plenty of extreme and misogynistic comments and posts by MRAs with real identities/deep-cover feminists for them to quote?"As for Bob Allen, I also consider him to be part of the fringe although I had no idea he would be so stupid as to seriously defend Marc Lepine's actions…"if Allen is the same "Bob" who used to infest usenet about a decade ago — and I'm pretty sure he is; his "style" is pretty distinctive — then I'm not the least bit surprised that he's that stupid.Here's Evind Berge who thinks that Sodini "is now a martyr and hero to the men's movement".

Anonymous
11 years ago

>David, as you seem to strongly think the MRM aren't perfect. I think the feminist movement is FAR FAR FAR less perfect.I saw an interesting article the other day that I want you to see. It explains how feminism oppresses men at this day and age.Who’s oppressing who?http://www.articlesaboutmen.com/2010/09/who%E2%80%99s-oppressing-who-911/

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>Who's oppressing whoM?

evilwhitemalempire
11 years ago

>"Who's oppressing whoM?"Wull uh guss u finawy scowed a pont agan da mra mooment.

evilwhitemalempire
11 years ago

>From the article linked by anonymous:"The feminism I take exception to today is not the mild and blameless right of a woman to self-actualize that all women absorb by osmosis from the cultural air we breathe, but the radical ideology that has come to dominate the movement’s academic and institutional elites over the last 40 years."No such animal.Feminism has ALWAYS been about more stuff for women right from the beginning.

Coldfire
11 years ago

>@DaranIn my experience very, very few MRAs take the extreme positions that so many feminists are so determined to attribute to the movement. It's only when you have the setting of a well-known MRA site where people are allowed to leave anonymous comments or comments under pseudonyms that the extremist viewpoints suddenly come out of the woodwork. I'm not saying that all of those comments come from feminist impersonators, but it's my opinion that a good number of them do because it's such a convenient way to smear the movement. There is nothing "deep-cover" about feminists registering on The Spearhead, pretending to be MRAs, and leaving extreme and hateful comments to then conveniently quote on their own sites. It's incredibly simple to do and it would be extremely naive to think that it doesn't happen.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>"I'm not saying that all of those comments come from feminist impersonators, but it's my opinion that a good number of them do because it's such a convenient way to smear the movement."I'm sorry, but this is utterly absurd. MRA sites are crawling with so many crazy comments it would take an army of feminist MRA impostors working full time to even make a dent. And on The Spearhead, at least, these comments often get massive numbers of upvotes. And most of them aren't really any more extreme than stuff posted on MRA blogs. Or are those feminist MRA impostors as well? If so, please list some names. Also, I see very little criticism of these sorts of comments and posts on MRA sites from MRAs. Paul Elam wrote one critique of one particular group of nuts, but later took it down; one of those nuts (jayhammmers) now posts regularly on the Spearhead. If you think this sort of stuff makes MRAs look bad, why aren't you taking on the hateful commenters here and/or elsewhere?

Coldfire
11 years ago

>Your idea of what is "crazy" is decidedly different from mine, but The Spearhead's recent implementation of comment rating, combined with the automatic hiding of low-rated comments, has done wonders for the signal to noise ratio there. Most of the people who were posting comments that meet my standard of "crazy" have become discouraged and left. I haven't seen any articles from JayHammers there in quite some time.As a matter of fact I do spend quite a bit of time taking on things that make MRAs look bad. However, I don't give serious consideration to anonymous commenters. When MRAs want to quote examples of feminist hatred and lunacy, we find all we need in their literature and in signed articles on their websites; we don't need to resort to quoting or paraphrasing from the comments section. You can't say the same about feminists.As a general rule, it's stupid to use anonymous comments as proof of anything, precisely because you don't know if they are serious or if they are being posted by trolls or impersonators. As for comments here, it seems to me that the whole point of your blog is to collect as many as you can. Why else would you be going out of your way to lure and provoke MRAs?

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>Posting my opinions counts as "luring and provoking?" It's somehow my fault that MRAs react the way they do? I confess I have posted a few links to articles here on the sites I have criticized. I honestly had no idea so many MRAs would flock here, or that so many of them would post such nasty shit.The guy who posts here as "Nick" has actually gone out of his way to recruit MRAs to come here and "give me grief." I put a link in one of my earlier comments about this. My experience with the spearhead's comment rating system is that it's generally used to punish people who disagree with the consensus. But it is useful for seeing how much support certain crazy ideas have. Most if not all of the Spearhead comments I talked about in the "let's take away their right to vote" piece had dozens of upvotes and virtually no downvotes. If those people are secret feminist trolls, they're doing a wonderful job fitting in.

Coldfire
11 years ago

>Oh are you going to play innocent and hope that I forgot about your trolling of MRA sites to advertise this blog? THAT is luring, and the language and graphics you use are clearly intended to provoke. Nick only knows about you because of your advertising, and I think you WANT to get as much attention from MRAs as you can.The Spearhead's comment rating system was a sorely needed antidote to the rubbish that was being posted by troublemakers, many of whom I continue to suspect of being feminists posing as MRAs. Even if they were genuine, they were still polluting the siteHaving your comment hidden until the reader clicks a link to show it is a pretty minor punishment for disagreeing with the consensus. Many of the sites on your friends list punish disagreement with the consensus by deleting comments and banning users, even if they are perfectly civil.

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