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douchebaggery MRA oppressed men violence against men/women

>Rapist babies and internet threats

>

How the hell did I get mixed up in all this?

The manosphere is in an uproar about a public service TV ad from an anti-violence group that portrays a baby boy as a future rapist. Some MRAs are attempting to refute the ad’s implication that improperly socialized men are prone to violence by posting and upvoting … violent comments and veiled threats online. And apparently some non-veiled death threats as well.

A few days ago, you see, W.F. Price, head honcho at The Spearhead, wrote a critical piece about the endeavors of one Josh Jasper to draw attention to sexism in Super Bowl commercials; Price also pointed out that Jasper, CEO of the Riverview Center, a nonprofit serving domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Illinois and Iowa, had put out an earlier commercial that, in Price’s words, “impl[ied] that baby boys are all potential rapists.”

Despite the source, that’s actually a more or less accurate description of the ad, which depicts a happy little baby boy as a future rapist. I’m just not quite sure why that’s so objectionable; after all, every baby, male or female, is a bundle of possibilities, some good, some bad. (Hitler was once a happy, gurgling baby.) The point of the ad is that parents can have an effect on how their kids turn out; if you raise your son to be a violent, misogynist asshole, he may well end up a rapist.

As much as I agree with this basic sentiment, I’m not going to defend the ad. It’s terrible. Generally, I’m not a fan of using babies to make political points — it’s trite and manipulative, to begin with. And in this case, it’s worse than that: portraying a baby as a future rapist seems rather hamfisted, given that babies are often victims of abuse themselves. 

Judge for yourself; here’s the ad.

All this said, the flaws of the “rapist baby” ad in no way excuse the response it’s gotten from some of the more hotheaded in the Men’s Rights Movement and the manosphere in general. On his website, Peter Nolan declares that the ad “promote[s] hatred of male babies”; on The Spearhead,  Poester99 goes even further, accusing Riverview Center of “promoting violence against baby boys.” Which is, of course, completely absurd. (Even besides that, as Jasper has pointed out on his blog, the Riverview Center serves male victims as well as female ones.) It’s hard to know if the people spouting this nonsense honestly believe it, or if they are using the baby in the ad even more cynically and opportunistically than Jasper is.

Unfortunately, the MRA reaction has gone well beyond simple rhetorical overkill. A number of comments on The Spearhead, many of them with dozens of upvotes, are essentially threats — some vague, some not-so-vague — against Jasper himself. duke writes that:

Mangina creeps like Josh Jasper should suffer the same fate as Nazi sympathizers after WWII-taken out and shot after a five minute trial.

Avenger adds:

If men really were as violent as he claims they would have shut him up long ago. One good beating and this mangina would never open his mouth again.

Firepower, meanwhile, goes after Jasper’s … first name:

So long as males tolerate sissified males named “Josh” – pissing even on our SuperBowl – these gender traitors will only feel encouraged to increase their anti-male slurs.

Over on A Voice For Men, meanwhile, MRA elder Paul Elam insinuates that Jasper, far from being a sissy,  is a violent “alpha puke” — and calls on his fans to dig up dirt on him:

This man deserves consequences for his actions.

Some history on Josh is known. We know he was a marine and we also know that he was a Los Angeles police officer. Two areas for sure where the capacity for violence is a plus. Add to that the fact that he was on a Domestic Violence task force and this bad apple starts to stink a little more. …

Anyone want to take any bets on whether this alpha puke ever busted heads as a cop, simply because he could? It leaves one to wonder – especially given the intellectual violence he is so obviously willing to inflict on male children – just what sort of skeletons are in this douche bag’s closet.

If they are there, I would love to get my hands on them and rattle them together for the world to hear.

And on Men-Factor, antifeminist blogger ScareCrow (who used to regularly post comments here) posts the email addresses of The Riverview Center’s mostly female board of directors, urging readers to “vent your anger” on this “bitch-hive,” adding “I aim to destroy it.”

I don’t have the patience or the stomach to sort through the comments on the YouTube page for the ad to see what other vile shit has been posted there.

I can only hope that most of this violent language is just standard internet tough guy  talk, and won’t result in real violence in the real world. Even if you believe that Jasper’s ad commits a sort of rhetorical violence against male babies — which I think is a ridiculous reading of the admittedly idiotic ad —  it does not justify actual violence against anybody.

EDIT: I should have let this one sit a little before putting it up. I’ve made various changes to strengthen and clarify my argument.

If you enjoyed this post, would you kindly* use the “Share This” or one of the other buttons below to share it on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or wherever else you want. I appreciate it.

*Yes, that was a Bioshock reference.

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David Futrelle
11 years ago

>Richard: What part of "I'm not going to defend the ad. It's terrible." do you not understand? I do agree with the ad in the GENERAL sense that how a baby (male or female) is raised makes a difference, and that raising a kid to be misogynistic is bad. I agree that if we changed the way we raised boys and encouraged more respect for women and less tolerance of violence there would probably be less rape. BUT: I don't like the particular way the ad has framed that issue. As I think I've already said at least once, I don't think that toughness, or strength or aggression are inherently bad; all of these traits are pretty much inborn, and have many good as well as some bad aspects to them. Still, I don't think the ad is saying it wants to "neuter" all men. vagrant: When you say something that can be applied to virtually anything if you just change a few words around, you haven't said anything of valueThat's ridiculous. You can take ANY statement and completely change the meaning by changing a few words. Instead of saying to a waiter "I would like you to bring me a pizza," you could say "I would like you to fart on a giraffe." I just changed a couple of words, and the meaning was changed completely. Here, let's take your last sentence and change a couple of words: Original: "Thus, the accomplished Bathrobe's praise of feminism is not a particularly compelling argument for feminism or a refutation of Richard's point–it's just an empty bromide. "New version: "Thus, the accomplished Bathrobe's praise of warthogs is not a particularly compelling argument for warthogs or a refutation of Richard's point–it's just an empty sandwich."

thevagrantsvoice
11 years ago

>That's ridiculous. You can take ANY statement and completely change the meaning by changing a few words. Well, I won't argue semantics with you. All I'll say is that Cpt. Bathrobe's point is still fundamentally vapid. Feminism works "for him (and ostensibly, for you as well)?" Someone like Richard might argue–cogently–for that to be a resoundingly effective advertisement for anti-feminism. For the rest of the guys–and there are many–who really, *really* don't want to end up like you, you might want to provide other arguments in defense of feminism that aren't reliant on personal preference.

Captain Bathrobe
11 years ago

>"Thus, the accomplished Bathrobe's praise of warthogs is not a particularly compelling argument for warthogs or a refutation of Richard's point–it's just an empty sandwich." Should I ever become published, Dave, may I use this quote for my book jacket?

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>vagrant, well that makes a lot more sense than the word-changing thing. I do think a person's experience is relevant, FWIW, though obviously that's not the only reason feminism is a good thing. There are about a zillion other arguments for that. capt. bathrobe, of course. Or should I say, of pudding.

Captain Bathrobe
11 years ago

>Vagrant, my only point is that I'm not some feminist lapdog, which is what Richard was saying. I do what I do for my own reasons. I don't really care if that's a particularly effective advertisement for feminism or not. And, what, my points aren't supposed to be vapid? Jeez, you guys keep raising the bar…

Captain Bathrobe
11 years ago

>Also, looking back at my own comments, I also was indicating to Richard that calling me a girly-man wasn't a terribly effective way to get my goat. Because I'm helpful like that.

thevagrantsvoice
11 years ago

>In reference to our good Random Brother, though, I would say this–you do realize that many MRAs would take issue with calling men "tough," "aggressive," or "strong," and insist that nobody else has a right to define masculinity, right? A good example of this is Paul Elam's recent spat with Jack Donovan, which I assume you've heard about. Mr. Donovan wrote things like "men who kill themselves are "weak" and deserve what they got for letting themselves be put in that position." Mr. Elam, quite rightly in my view, called him out on it. Thus, when folks like that hear other people–whether feminists or MRAs like you or Mr. Donovan–claim men are or ought to be "strong" or "aggressive" or "tough," they may very well ask, "who are you to tell men what they are or what they should be? Who's defining "strong" or "tough" or whatever? Why should we listen to you?"That little spat was indicative of a few more things, IMO. But still, for the purposes of this current post, that's all I'll comment on.

Elizabeth
11 years ago

>CB-you do it for the bacon. Be honest.

Captain Bathrobe
11 years ago

>CB-you do it for the bacon. Be honest.You mean there's more? (Tail wags furiously)

joshjasper
11 years ago

>I must say that I have been taken aback by the international firestorm that has ensued over a commercial we have been running for more than a year on cable television. The feedback for this commercial has been quite positive. Some people have noted like David that the baby was a poor choice, which I can understand. Having now received more than a thousand threatening e-mails, blog posts, and YouTube comments about this commercial has certainly reinforced why I have a job!

Elizabeth
11 years ago

>Yes, nice and crispy for you CB since David has not indicated he wants any.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>Josh, my criticism of the ad aside, you don't deserve any of this craziness. Elizabeth, I will gladly eat your bacon. That sounds wrong.

Elizabeth
11 years ago

>But funny.

Cold
11 years ago

>Having now received more than a thousand threatening e-mails, blog posts, and YouTube comments about this commercial has certainly reinforced why I have a job!Josh, you are either a liar, have a ridiculously broad idea of what "threatening" means, or both. I see zero evidence of any direct, physical threats against you. If there was any justice in this world then your organization would be de-funded and your only job would be flipping burgers or bagging groceries.

magdelyn
11 years ago

>@joshjasper"…Having now received more than a thousand threatening e-mails, blog posts, and YouTube comments about this commercial has certainly reinforced why I have a job!"You should lose your job.

citizenlemonade
11 years ago

>vagrantsvoice said: You're right, which means the problem lies with Cpt. Bathrobe's original statement. When you say something that can be applied to virtually anything if you just change a few words around, you haven't said anything of value–you're just mouthing empty slogans and platitudes. Thus, the accomplished Bathrobe's praise of feminism is not a particularly compelling argument for feminism or a refutation of Richard's point–it's just an empty bromide.Myself said: A little harsh, I feel. Take Martin Luther King's "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Change two little words and you have "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their bank accounts." or even, by changing four words:"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the content of their character, but by the colour of their skin." Clearly an empty slogan, then. Silly old fool.

Aishlin
11 years ago

>"Having now received more than a thousand threatening e-mails, blog posts, and YouTube comments about this commercial has certainly reinforced why I have a job!""Josh, you are either a liar, have a ridiculously broad idea of what "threatening" means, or both. I see zero evidence of any direct, physical threats against you."You read his emails? O.o That sounds threatening to me.

pwlsax
11 years ago

>@ Thomas: "Is there a working alternative for the problematic traditional masculinity? It's pretty clear that a man, who shows no masculine traits, has it worse in life, professionally and romantically. Traditional masculinity is often defined as the opposite of femininity. But raising your son like a daughter is certainly not the answer."Strawman (with frilly panties on.) No one's proposing raising your kid with NO masculine traits.But we need to consider the whole child when raising a boy. Don't force a rigid model of gender on him just because of tradition, or because of your narrow views that the real world is a jungle for the mean and hard. He'll turn out mean and hard and you'll be to blame – not the world.Besides, if you believe (as many do) that gender is part evolutionary, it'll come out naturally anyway. There are all kinds of boys: your tinkerer, your nerd, your scientist, your outdoorsy type, your jock, your artist, your writer, your soldier. They will not all have an equal chance in the world, but they all have to have as equal a shot as we can give them starting out. They are going to build the real world to be – not us."Also, a lot of traditional masculine values are positive, but they come with a price. The positive and negative aspects can be featured in a single person. The brutal prison guard, who's abusing his power, can simultaneously be a loving husband and devoted father. Maybe this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing is even an inherent part of traditional masculinity. I don't know. "I think it's traditional all right, but it's socialized. Look up "compartmentalization." That's how we deal with having to embrace moral or ethical contradictions – having to be 2 different people, say, at work and at home. It's an essential survival tactic for combat military and law enforcement. But at the same time, it can backfire and lead to suffering and violence toward those you care about most. We don't study it enough, we don't learn from our mistakes and we pass on too much of the technique tacitly, as What A Man's Gotta Do. That is what makes it dangerous – no critical questioning. Instead, Real Men fall back and close ranks.

pwlsax
11 years ago

>How about a new vocabulary, while we're at it.(No apologies for multi-syllable namby-pamby-isms; learn some new words now and then, you won't melt.)1. He's tough. => He's resilient.2. He's strong. => He's confident.3. He's aggressive. => He's proactive. 4. He's powerful. => He's effective.Too close to ideal human traits for you? Not manly-man enough? Then you just may be part of the problem, fella.I won't touch the question of how many Men Giving Tired Old Whines feel resilient, confident, proactive and effective.

Sandy
11 years ago

>Pwlsax, I don't get it. All eight are human traits.

Sandy
11 years ago

>(also their not synonyms. Seriously what are you trying to say?)

Cold
11 years ago

>You read his emails? O.o That sounds threatening to me.No, but I read the YouTube comments and saw no direct, physical threats. If one claims to have received legitimately threatening emails but cannot be bothered to provide even a single copy of a single email for analysis, then that person is almost certainly lying.

thevagrantsvoice
11 years ago

>If he actually did provide a copy of one, you people would either say he was just making it up or accuse "fraudtrelle" of sending it under a sockpuppet account.

David Futrelle
11 years ago

>I haven't read his emails either, but certainly someone saying that he should be shot like a Nazi collaborator is a threatening comment, if not not a direct personal threat. I havent' looked at youtube, but certainly there are many similarly threatening comments on the spearhead. Meanwhile, Elam and pals are raising money to hire a private investigator to dig up dirt on him. Cold, do you think these are appropriate reactions to the ad?

Cold
11 years ago

>Nazi collaborators were executed under due process of law, although admittedly it was ex post facto law in many cases. I'm universally opposed to the idea of retroactive law, but saying that it should be applied against someone is not a direct threat anymore than when feminists call for men convicted of rape to be castrated. Expressing such opinions certainly doesn't meet the legal definition of a threat.I think hiring a private investigator to dig up dirt on people like Josh is a perfectly appropriate method of retaliating against their misandry and victim profiteering. In fact, I consider every legal avenue of combating such scum to be appropriate.

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