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MRAs: The way to defeat feminism is not through debate but by “inflicting … pain” on feminists.

Men's Rights "Activism"

What can you do when you realize that you’re losing the war of ideas? You can rethink some or all of your ideas, seriously considering the unnerving possibility that you might be, well, wrong. You can reconsider how you present your ideas.

Or you can give up on ideas entirely, and attempt to pressure or harass or even terrorize others into some form of surrender. That’s what the the uber-radical Weathermen did in the 1960s and 70s, turning first to violent direct action in the aptly named “days of rage” and then to bombs when the revolution that many in the New Left had been prophesying failed to materialize. That’s what the anti-abortion movement has been doing for decades now, with some in the movement harassing women trying to get abortions while more radical antis bomb clinics and kill doctors. .

And now we’re seeing rhetoric from Men’s Rights Activists that suggests some in that movement may also be giving up on talk. Consider A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam, who declared in a fundraising letter a couple of months back that:

Progress for men will not be gained by debate, reason or typical channels of grievance available to segments of the population that the world actually gives a damn about. The progress we need will only be realized by inflicting enough pain on the agents of hate, in public view, that it literally shocks society out of its current coma.

Elam is – presumably deliberately — vague about what exactly he means when he talks about “inflicting … pain,” and as far as I know he has never explicitly endorsed violence. But he has spoken openly about “stalking” individual feminists and otherwise “fucking their shit up” by, among other things, posting personal information about them on the AVfM-sponsored site Register-Her.com for all would be vigilantes to see. And in the “activism” section of his website he has reprinted a manifesto explicitly calling for the firebombing of courthouses and police stations.

Elam isn’t the only MRA who has officially given up on “debate and reason” in favor of “inflicting … pain” on feminists. The “counter-feminist” wannabe philosopher who calls himself Fidelbogen makes a similar argument in a recent post on his blog:

Feminism is your enemy, and the obligation to treat feminists as fellow human beings is officially waived. They are not fellow human beings, they are ALIENS.

Dehumanizing the enemy always a good start.

[L]et’s not hear any crap about so-called “hate speech”. You see, there is simply no way that you can resist evil, denounce tyranny, or call pernicious things by their right names, without crossing a fine line into “hate speech” or something very like it. Extremism against a bully is no vice, and since bullies have their own moral economy, you are entitled to pay them in their own coin.

It’s not hate speech if you really do hate them?

The important thing to understand about the feminists is, that they will not change their outward behavior unless social heat and pressure are inflicted upon them.

Fidelbogen, a sometime contributor to A Voice for Men, is also vague about what exactly he means by this “social heat and pressure.” He continues:

What, do you think they will stop what they are doing just because somebody intellectually convinces them they are mistaken? They will do no such thing, because they are people with an agenda who know they are “right”, and they lack the gift to see themselves as the rest of the world sees them.

IRONY ALERT. IRONY ALERT.

Over on Reddit, meanwhile, the charming JeremiahMRA – who used to post comments here as Things Are Bad – thinks the “inflict pain” policy should be extended to all women, any time they engage in “bad behavior.” Responding to a poster asking how to handle a disagreement with his mother, he explained his theory in (sometimes redundant) detail, receiving several dozen net upvotes for his post:

The ONLY way you change women’s bad behavior is by punishing them if they won’t start acting like adults. …

The only way you change a woman’s bad behavior is by making sure they know it hurts them. …

Reasoning with her will not work. The only answer is to use the power he has as her SON to threaten to hurt her emotionally. Women are emotional creatures. Nothing else will work. This is what it means to be a man: you do what you have to do so that things will be better in the end, even if you don’t like it. …

It isn’t about convincing her what’s right, it’s about showing her she will suffer if she doesn’t do what’s right. That is the only thing that will work.

The Men’s Rights Movement likes to pretend that is it a civil rights movement. But threats, harassment, hate speech, and emotional blackmail aren’t the tactics of a legitimate civil rights movement. These are the tactics of angry narcissists clinging to retrograde prejudices, who have given up on the war of ideas because on some level they know that history is against them, and that they will never win.

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debbaasseerr
10 years ago

feminsts! Their wacky spelling schemes have edited my coherence!

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

Change the way we prosecute rapes… how, exactly? Please be specific.

jumbofish
10 years ago

Ape

Keep insisting all you want but you are totally concern trolling XD

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

Roberta, being meek and quietly saying no also happens to be the response of people who are experiencing shock at their no being disregarded and realizing they are now being raped. Your analogy would mean bruises and physical damage and plays in to the “its only rape if x amount of violence was perpratrated” myth.

There are many ways to commit rape that don’t leave physical evidence. Date rape drugs are one. Using the persons fear of being hurt even more is another. The person being raped is already in a vulnerable position, has already been shown that what they want will be disregarded and now you want a rape victim to speak out in a way that vastly increases the chances of them being beaten to a pulp?

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

@pillow

I completely agree. I’m referring to the likelihood of getting a conviction in court. Not whether or not that qualifies as rape.

What you describe is absolutely rape. It’s just hard to prove unless there was clear force or a clear threat of violence. If there wasn’t clear force or a clear threat of violence, then it’s virtually impossible to prove in court. That’s all I’m saying.

Viscaria
Viscaria
10 years ago

@Apeman

I love you guys, but this thread is making you look really bad.

Oh noooooo!

Who is it that we’re alienating with our cruel cruel comments?

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
10 years ago

I really appreciate a lot of what you do & read often even if I don’t comment regularly. But I wanted to point out that the 60s/70s radical group you want is the

Weather Underground – a **splinter group** of the Weathermen. Although the Weather Underground was founded by people who had been active in the Weathermen, founding the WU was done out of impatience with the less radical beliefs and tactics of a group that embraced “confrontational non-violence” designed to show the violence and brutality of the police and other government agents of control by provoking the system into violence. They embraced self-defence against violence initiated by the government, but limited it to the situation involved. They did not have an ideology that because some students were physically attacked in Kent, Ohio, that this justifies a physical attack against government or its employees on a different day and/or in a different location. It was the non-violence against which the Weather Underground rebelled. They agreed with confrontational non-violence, but extended the analysis, asserting that the Kent State & Jackson State attacks -along with many other violent incidents- justified an assumption of an ongoing war posture. In war, one’s enemy is not necessarily firing at any given moment, but firing towards the enemy is still considered generally ethical even so. If the US government is acting to kill young people through the draft and ever expanding war abroad while attacking those staying in the US with police (and, say, the killing of Fred Hampton) and the national guard, then the lefty youth generally targeted by these policies are justified in fearing for their lives and thus attacking threatening persons without warning. Such was the reasoning of the Weather Underground.

The relationships between and among the groups “Weathermen” and “Weather Underground” as well as between the members thereof are complicated. Some have asserted that there really was no splinter group, just a shift in though to ever more radical and violent thinking and action. However, it’s clear that there continued to be a “Weathermen” group after the initiation of the “Weather Underground” and it’s entirely possible that the conflation of the two groups was a knowing fabrication of the Nixon administration, who did quite a number of dispicable things in this vein of which we can have more confidence.

So… It’s possible that the Weather Underground and the Weathermen are more connected than most who participated in them have said so far. It’s also possible that they were, in fact, wholly separate in the sense that no one outside the limited Weather Underground new of the violent attacks even if some people in the Weathermen knew the identities of some people in the Weather Underground.

Given this confusing situation in which only the Weather Underground are certainly implicated and the Weathermen were known to have been criticized by the Weather Underground and by the people who eventually founded the Weather Underground for not taking the analysis of self-defense to its “proper conclusion”, it seems pretty grossly unfair to say that the Weathermen were responsible for the actions of the Weather Underground and/or that the two had the same philosophy. (If they had, there would be no reason to form the Weather Underground.) For those reasons, I think you should really edit the OP just so as not to pass on errant mythology.

This is no way changes your major points, but I think it’s worthwhile in getting the history right if we’re going to reference it. Thank you for all the work you do. I hope this is seen as helpful and not nit-picking.

FelixBC
FelixBC
10 years ago

Ooh, a tone troll! Thanks ApeMan1976, we’ll be sure to tone it down for you, like proper ladies.

10G
10G
10 years ago

The negative reception that Robertathelawyer is receiving is likely as much due to her condescending nature in her posts as much as WHATshe posts. I would also like to remind her that: a) siding with the MRA’s will not keep you safe from their disdain, and b) OH YES….there is indeed documentation (most popularly, in Susan Faludi’s “Backlash) that women in the US are indeed considered more valuable when they are with a man; that they MUST have one at whatever cost. Why the fuck do you think there are such high DV rates? Sorry for the unprofessional terminology, but–DUH.

(And Katz: WIN on the faux “courtroom scene”–LOL!!!)

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

Okay Roberta…now you’re starting to sound a little like us wacky feminists…. I would like to know where your 87 percent figure came from, as its far, far higher than anything I’ve heard. Also, what exact scenario has you going about feminist ideas of consent/rape?

10G
10G
10 years ago

Yes, Felix, forsooth! Let us all now excuse ourselves to put on petticoats….

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

Actually, at this hour only full evening dress will meet the requirements of propriety.
I’ll meet that standard as soon as I’m done crying on the street and men throw an new evening gown at me.

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

@pillow

A couple of things. The gradual erosion of due process (especially on college campuses), and the insistence that false allegations don’t exist.

That and the dangerous idea that any sex experienced as negative or regretted after the fact is rape.

Viscaria
Viscaria
10 years ago

That and the dangerous idea that any sex experienced as negative or regretted after the fact is rape.

Wow, that’s super dangerous! Of course, I’ve never heard this advocated by any feminists anywhere, I’ve just heard MRAs and other anti-feminists suggest this happens all of the time without putting forth any sort of evidence.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

That and the dangerous idea that any sex experienced as negative or regretted after the fact is rape.

Ok, seriously. Name one person anywhere who seriously thinks that consenting to sex, then feeling bad about it, equals rape. Name just one (or point to an appropriate online post or something).

It’s as if someone claims that someone else punched them, and you respond with “well, you just think that anything painful means you were punched!” If you are raped, then it will be a sexual experience that is “negative or regretted” (*blech*), but nobody claims that all such things are rape.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

Even stories about how someone is pressured into sex, and nominally says “yes,” being called rape isn’t about feeling bad about being pressured. It’s about how being pressured or bullied into saying “yes” is not consent, and therefore the sex is not really consensual.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
10 years ago

….the insistence that false allegations don’t exist.”

I don’t think anyone here would try to tell you that false accusations are a complete myth. People can be falsely accused of any crime and it is tragic when it happens. But I largely agree with the numerous studies and numbers that put the percentage at about 8% or some single digit percentage. That one Kanin study that uses the number 40%, which MRAs treat like the Word of God, is deeply flawed mostly because it relies on police for determining when a rape accusation is legitimate (because we all know how understanding and compassionate police are towards rape victims)

Viscaria
Viscaria
10 years ago

I guess what I’m saying, guys, is I’m just really concerned about this dangerous idea that it’s okay to poke me in the eyes when I’m walking to the store. I wish people would stop promoting this idea. I mean, I could be really hurt!

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

@kirbywarp

I would agree. Depending on what we’re calling pressure. What exactly constitutes “pressure” is pretty subjective anyway.

Doesn’t the very act of asking for sex put some level of pressure on the person you are asking? If your pressured in a very severe of abusive way, then that can be rape. But I don’t think saying: “please baby, we haven’t been intimate in almost 2 weeks” is enough to forcefully compel someone to do something.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

I thought universities were private institutions and can therefore set their own policies? Also, a university is not a court, being kicked off campus does not have the same ramifications as being arrested. That, and I doubt all claims of rape are taken any more seriously than in the general public.

Feminists don’t say that false allegations don’t exist, generally we think that a) false allgations are a tiny portion of overall rape claims and b) people found to be making false claims should suffer the penalty of law.

Regret sex is not rape, but I believe others have already dealt with that.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
10 years ago

@kirby:

MRAs overall seem fond of the idea that most accusations of rape are really just instances when women had “buyer’s remorse”. Just another part of their courageous activism to discredit rape victims.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Roberta:

Doesn’t the very act of asking for sex put some level of pressure on the person you are asking? If your pressured in a very severe of abusive way, then that can be rape. But I don’t think saying: “please baby, we haven’t been intimate in almost 2 weeks” is enough to forcefully compel someone to do something.

And again, I ask you the same question. Name or point to one person who calls that rape.

*”that” referring to “please baby, we haven’t been intimate in almost 2 weeks”

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

“enthusiastic consent” advocates would call that rape. Because even if the woman consents she isn’t enthusiastic enough about it.

So you don’t think saying “please” once or twice is rape? Then I guess we don’t actually disagree.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

“enthusiastic consent” advocates would call that rape. Because even if the woman consents she isn’t enthusiastic enough about it.

No, they don’t. You fool. But again, I invite you to point to a particular person who would call it rape and justify your own rhetoric.

So you don’t think saying “please” once or twice is rape?

Yes, I do. You fool.

Roberta Sandolval (@RobertaSandolva)

Yes, I do. You fool

I KNEW IT!

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