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Why the Men’s Rights Movement needs to stop making excuses for violence

The aftermath of a gunman's rampage at an Arkansas courthouse

In June, a man named Thomas Ball took his own life – literally lighting himself ablaze – outside of a Keane, New Hampshire courthouse. He left behind a manifesto protesting his treatment by the family court.

But Ball wanted to do more than protest what he felt were injustices against men. He hoped to inspire other men to take the law into their own hands; in his words “we need to start burning down police stations and courthouses.”

He wasn’t speaking figuratively: he was talking about real violence.

[T]he dirty deeds are being carried out by our local police, prosecutors and judges. …  Collaborators who are no different than the Vichy of France or the Quislings of Norway during the Second World War. … And they need to be held accountable. So burn them out. …

Ball went on to offer specific advice on how to construct the most effective Molotov cocktails to lob at courthouses and police stations.

Nor did he seem overly concerned that people would be killed:

There will be some casualties in this war. Some killed, some wounded, some captured. Some of them will be theirs. Some of the casualties will be ours. …

I only managed to get the main door of the Cheshire County Courthouse in Keene, NH. I would appreciate it if some of you boys would finish the job for me.

Ball has been treated as a martyr by many Men’s Right’s Activists online; his manifesto – including those parts that explicitly call for terrorism – has been reposted on a number of MRA sites.

Why am I bringing up Ball? This is why:

On Tuesday, an Arkansas man reportedly entered the office of the judge that had presided over his divorce and custody hearings, and opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle. Amazingly, no one died as a result of his rampage, aside from the gunman himself, James Ray Palmer, who was taken down by police in a gun battle outside the courthouse, according to news accounts. The judge, fortunately, was not there, and the gunman’s rifle apparently jammed.  Before heading to the courthouse, authorities say, Palmer set his own home on fire with timed incendiary devices.

Was Palmer inspired directly by Ball’s manifesto? We don’t know. The judge in this case was by no means the first to be targeted by a man angry at the outcome of his divorce or custody case.  Judges were receiving death threats – and in some cases actually being murdered – long before there was such a thing as the Men’s Rights movement online.

But talk of violence is common on Men’s Rights sites. Opponents of the Men’s Rights movement are denounced as “collaborators,” while others talk plainly about fighting a “war” against feminism. Angry Harry, a British MRA revered by many of his ideological compatriots on this side of the pond, has offered an explicit apologia for violence against family court judges.

Even if Palmer himself was not directly influenced by the MRM online—as of yet, we don’t know —  it is only a matter of time until some unbalanced person steeped in the violent rhetoric of the MRM online decides to “finish the job” started by Thomas Ball. It is only a matter of time until those espousing such rhetoric have real blood on their hands.

If the MRM truly aspires to be a real civil rights movement, rather than a reactionary hate sect more redolent of the KKK than of MLK, moderate MRAs need to step up and speak out against the bullies and the would-be warriors. They need to stop canonizing violent-minded men like Ball. They need to make clear that violent rhetoric – not to mention specific threats or calls to terrorism – have no place in the movement.

Do I expect this to happen? No. I think instead we will get more excuses, more evasions, more apologias for violence — and more threatening talk.

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Kollege Messerschmitt
10 years ago

Catalogue, I thought you were done with manboobz?

Catalogue
10 years ago

“Catalogue. It’s very simple to prove your point. Find the part of the manosphere that does not accept violence. Do a basic content analysis. Show numbers. It really isn’t that hard.”

Another fallacious argument, the whole culture here is based on intellectual dishonesty. You cannot find an individual that does not accept violence in one for or another, barring perhaps a Buddhist, not to mind a website.

Find me a feminist web site that doesn’t accept, excuse, minimize or deny any form of violence. The likelyhood is that if we were to produce the sort of study you are asking for (and lying by saying its simple to do) we would find that feminist sites are more pro-violence than men’s movements sites.

Baring ifeminist, I’ve never seen a feminist site that doesn’t engage in abuse denial.

Molly Ren
10 years ago

“Find me a feminist web site that doesn’t accept, excuse, minimize or deny any form of violence.”

I know! I’ve been to all these feminist websites and not a single one ever talks about rape or bullying or that trans women getting beat up in that McDonald’s! SO WEIRD!

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

Catalogue really loves the word ‘fallacy’, doesn’t he?

Another fallacious argument, the whole culture here is based on intellectual dishonesty.

Umm, that wasn’t an argument you were responding to, it was instructions for how to construct an argument. it’s like you’re trying to take a set of blueprints for a house and live in them.

zombie rotten mcdonald
10 years ago

Find me a feminist web site that doesn’t accept, excuse, minimize or deny any form of violence.

Shakespeare’s Sister?

Flib
Flib
10 years ago

Catologue you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

For instance, calling it a fallacious argument then challenging me to do the same for feminist sites fails to prove why it would be fallacious. The reason is you’ve simply defined all beings as accepting of direct violence. That is fallacious argument, because you are purposely operationalizing terms for your predicted outcome.

So, you say I am lying by calling it simple, yet have given no indicator as to how it isn’t simple. I’ve asked you to look for one independent variable across lines of data. You can do a shallow content analysis if you’d like. Let’s say, the past month. It’s a usage of time. However, you have not asserted any fact on your part for your statements, hence you are still blowing hot air.

I’m not certain you know what a content analysis is, and I doubt your ability to determine intellectual dishonesty based on your failure to provide any iota of validity to your statements, and by only misuse of fallacy based on your specific definitions. Ergo, put your money where your mouth is. Prove your point, lend some measure of validity to what you are saying.

Catalogue
10 years ago

“Find me a feminist web site that doesn’t accept, excuse, minimize or deny any form of violence.

Shakespeare’s Sister?”

Shakespear is pro-state applied violence for criminals are are most people. Its also denies and minimizes domestic violence and rape, when its female on male.

Shakespeare sister doesn’t pass.

Catalogue
10 years ago

So asking me to find a men’s movement site that doesn’t accept some form of violence and setting that as the goal is an unfair request and the author knew that. Its a fallacious argument. “You cannot be right unless you pass this impossible test”

Molly Ren
10 years ago

“Shakespear is pro-state applied violence for criminals are are most people.”

Did you mean “*as* as most people”? And where do you want punishment for criminals to come from, if not the state?

You seem to be having a lot of trouble telling us what you want, Catalogue. Earlier you wrote,

“You cannot find an individual that does not accept violence in one for or another, barring perhaps a Buddhist, not to mind a website.

“Find me a feminist web site that doesn’t accept, excuse, minimize or deny any form of violence. The likelyhood is that if we were to produce the sort of study you are asking for (and lying by saying its simple to do) we would find that feminist sites are more pro-violence than men’s movements sites.

“Baring ifeminist, I’ve never seen a feminist site that doesn’t engage in abuse denial.”

Saying “*any* form of violence” and then saying something “doesn’t pass” when we do bring up examples of violence is a wee bit confusing. Maybe you just want “instances of female on male violence”?

Catalogue
10 years ago

This was the ultimatum I was given.

“Catalogue. It’s very simple to prove your point. Find the part of the manosphere that does not accept violence. Do a basic content analysis. Show numbers. It really isn’t that hard.

Until then, you are blowing hot air.”

I’ve proven that’s an impossible task and no feminist site can met the standard and that its an intellectually dishonest argument as they usually are here.

Extra points for Molly Rens excusing and minimizing Shakespear sisters excusing and minimizing abuse.

Truly hilarious.

Flib
Flib
10 years ago

Catolgue, did you read what I said? You’ve already defined the terms for your failure. You are the one making the fallacious argument because of how you are defining the violence. Operationalize, seek out cases of it compared to cases that don’t involve it, profit.

As Molly has said, it could be instances of female on male violence. For the manosphere, it could be instances of male on female violence. A content analysis is a very basic tool. It could lend you some validity for your claim that the majority of the MRM are not represented by those ‘few’ that wish harm and direct violence on women.

Until then, you are continuing to make claims with no validity backing your statements. This is what is called hot air.

Flib
Flib
10 years ago

I’m going to say again, and I’m going to use all caps to emphasis it. YOU HAVE CREATED THE FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT, THE ANALYSIS ALONE ISN’T WHAT IS FALLACIOUS. You are the one creating the idea that it is a false notion of violence, not me. This does not invalidate what I have asked of you. Instead, you are utilizing it as an excuse to not provide validity to your statements. I’ve asked you to go out and do it, that includes the process of operationalization.

I have not defined violence for you. You are the one making the terms to declare it fallacious. That is an assumption on your part. Now if you do do this, I’d be very curious how you would operationalize your terms. But all I am asking is to lend validity to your statements. Not to make excuses.

Catalogue
10 years ago

No Flib

“A content analysis is a very basic tool. It could lend you some validity for your claim that the majority of the MRM are not represented by those ‘few’ that wish harm and direct violence on women.”

That’s like asking someone to prove that all feminists don’t want harm men. It makes about as much sense. Its another dishonest argument from you.

You never even provided anything close to evidence that we all want to hurt women in the first place. Another very common theme here, the false abuse allegation.You are dishonest and you make false allegations about abuse about at least one large group of people.

Molly Ren
10 years ago

Catalogue, let’s make it a bit easier for you, then. Do you know of any MRA or PUA websites that *don’t* hold women in contempt?

Catalogue
10 years ago

See?

Fallacy and intellectual dishonesty is so much a part of the culture here that the participants often don’t know that they are engaging in it.

Molly Ren
10 years ago

God, boring troll is boring. It’s just another rehash of Holly’s Man Boobz Challenge.

Rutee Katreya
10 years ago

So asking me to find a men’s movement site that doesn’t accept some form of violence and setting that as the goal is an unfair request and the author knew that.

WEll, the level you consider to be ‘accepts violence’ hits everyone. Even I am ultimately okay with the state possessing the power to enforce the law, and you call this ‘state violence’. I would argue that unless you accept this bare minimum of violence, even more will inevitably occur but that’s besides the point; you consider accepting state violence *at all* to be accepting violence. So yes, finding a part of the manosphere that reaches what you hold as the standards of non violence is completely impossible. I know that, and you know that, and yet your argument is still that the manosphere is non violent. U sure, bro?

[quote]Its a fallacious argument. “You cannot be right unless you pass this impossible test”[/quote]
Your argument was that there was a nonviolent manosphere. You can’t be right unless this is actually true, and we won’t believe you until you substantiate it in any case. You happen not to be correct; it isn’t fallacious to force you to prove something true before we believe it. Yes, that’s an impossible task when you’re arguing an incorrect position, but that doesn’t mean we’re arguing ‘fallaciously’. There’s no obvious logical failure; you’re just wrong.

All of that said, you’re an idiot, Catalogue. By your standards, very nearly every human being that has ever lived, has accepted some form of violence. This is true, and I will grant it; even the police are a threat of violence for stepping too far out of line, even in the countries with the least authority granted to police. But when the standard of violence accepts nearly every human who has ever existed, it stops being possible to apply it as a unique negative. Yes, feminists almost as a whole accept state violence; how does that cast feminism in a particularly negative light, precisely? Literally everyone does.

It’s also completely stupid to conflate the acceptance of designated, accountable individuals having the power of violence, with the self-proclaimed authority to commit violence found in so much of the MRM. It is, in fact, less violent to say “I don’t have the right to shoot you, even if the police do” than it is to say “I can kill anyone who is oppressing me”, which is what your argument implies.

Catalogue
10 years ago

Molly Ren

“”Catalogue, let’s make it a bit easier for you, then. Do you know of any MRA or PUA websites that *don’t* hold women in contempt?”

Are we moving the goal posts again?

Yes, do you know of any feminist sites that don’t hold men in contempt and/or publishe misinformation about men that makes them appear to be the worse gender?

Molly Ren
10 years ago

Catalogue, if your claim truly was “that there was a nonviolent manosphere”, you should be able to show us these blogs. If there *are* nonviolent MRAs, I’d love to see them–I’m getting a bit tired of reading the same crap on here every day. Nevertheless, even tho we’ve had a standing Man Boobz Challenge for months, no one has been able to step up to the plate.

Show us you’re not like all the other MRAs.

Catalogue
10 years ago

” Yes, feminists almost as a whole accept state violence; how does that cast feminism in a particularly negative light, precisely? Literally everyone does.”

I didn’t say how it cast feminist in a negative light,(the abuse denial on feminists sites is negative behavior though) I was using the example to highlight the stupidity of asking me to find a men’s movement site that doesn’t accept violence and setting that as a standard of evidence. As I said, feminist sites accept violence, and often actively call for it in the case of criminals and deny it in the case of violent females, so expecting men movement sites to be totally opposed to violence is a silly ,double standard to set.

Catalogue
10 years ago

“Catalogue, if your claim truly was “that there was a nonviolent manosphere”, you should be able to show us these blogs. If there *are* nonviolent MRAs, I’d love to see them–I’m getting a bit tired of reading the same crap on here every day. Nevertheless, even tho we’ve had a standing Man Boobz Challenge for months, no one has been able to step up to the plate.

Show us you’re not like all the other MRAs.”

No feminist site passes the manboobz test, its just another silly argument that hasn’t be thought through by the person making it.

Catalogue
10 years ago

“Show us you’re not like all the other MRAs.”

How about this, you show me you don’t have murderous thoughts towards kill Andy Warhole.

Flib
Flib
10 years ago

Catologue, did you read the rest of what I said? I’m going to go with no. You see, when you make a statement, you back it up with evidence. A statement is not valid because you say it is. You know what is dishonest? You making claims with no validity, and then refusing to justify your claims. You clearly do no understand what a fallacy is.

So let us go over this again a third time. What has been ASSERTED above, is that the MRM tends to let violent trends be accepted, and that is destructive for an advocacy rights group. There is content for this, based on the postings above and several other posts. You have ASSERTED that we are focusing on only a few individuals. I have ASKED for you to provide a counter example for us through content analysis.

You know, people here could be wrong, I’m accepting that possibility that perhaps there is only a focus on the extremely violent wing of the MRM. However, we have found in our own explorations of the manosphere that this a stronger trend. Since you have ASSERTED that this is not the case of the whole MRM based on:

“A group of small group of RL social rejects here and another group of RL social rejects on MGTOW that use the same fallacious argument and double standards against each others groups.”

“Yes Voip, thats right 10s of 1000s of the mra’s approve of the terrorism in Norway, the whole movement have come out in support of this right winger.”

I have asked you to provide a content analysis that confirms this. It is your statements that I am asking for you to provide validity to. You have been making it as an excuse of a fallacious argument and fighting over a methodology that I’m saying you are free to operationalize. However, your only form of operationalization is creating the fallacious argument, not me.

So, we are at an impasse. You either back up your earlier statements with a valid form, or your statements become invalid because of your refusal to support them.

Let me make it more simple. Where are these other 990 MRA’s that do not support the violence in Norway? Are you saying the manosphere is not reflective of the main movement, and if so, what is and where is it? I’m only operating on the content I have. I’m asking for you to give me content that supports your statement. But until you do that, I have no reason to believe you otherwise.

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