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Oh, Men’s Rights subreddit, will you ever learn? (Probably not.)

Sometimes I ask myself: what is it that I really hope to accomplish with this website, aside from entertaining myself and my readers, and exposing misogynist assholes for who they are. There’s a part of me that still hopes that someday, something I write will cause some misogynist and/or Men’s Rightser out there to develop a modicum of self-awareness, look at what they’ve been saying or doing, and say to themselves, “I’m really kind of a tool, aren’t I? Maybe I should stop.”

When the Southern Poverty Law Center report on the Men’s Rights movement came out, I hoped it might have a similar sort of effect. Or that, even if it didn’t persuade any MRAs out there that they were wrong, it might at least convince a few that they were going about things the wrong way. Nope. On the Men’s Rights subreddit, at least, it seems to have sent many of the regulars into an indignant tizzy, and they have doubled down on their peculiar brand of politics-by-whining-online.

Consider this post:

Yes, that’s right. Some Men’s Rights Redditors seem to think that the best way to convince the world that they’re not part of a hate group is to continue to celebrate a self-admitted child abuser who urged men to firebomb courthouses and police stations and kill people.

Then there’s this post, currently the top post on the subreddit:

Wow, if the Men’s Rights subreddit had anything to do with that, that would indeed be a victory. As one regular put it:

Thing is, I read r/mensrights pretty regularly, and I don’t remember any campaign there to protect the rights of fishermen in New Zealand.

Turns out that’s because the campaign, such as it was, consisted of one post some months back, which got all of 11 upvotes at the time. The current post in which r/mensrights congratulates itself for its “victory” has gotten, last I checked, 120 upvotes, more than ten times that. Simplecosine’s self-congratulatory comment in the new thread has gotten 36 upvotes. The comment in the original thread asking r/mensrightsers to send an email to the US Secretary of State’s office got … one upvote. In other words, only a handful of Men’s Rights Redditors even noticed the original post, much less sent along an email.

Reading one of the linked news articles makes clear the real reason the State Department opened an investigation: a six-month long, three-continent wide investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek revealing abuses in the industry.

The Men’s Rights subreddit: Taking Credit for Shit They Didn’t Do Since 2008.

And then there’s this post:

I’ve got nothing to say about this one — it’s basically self-refuting — except that I’m sort of bemused by the notion that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a “semi-women group.” Uh, what is that exactly? A group with some women in it? A group that doesn’t think women are all a bunch of evil bitches? The horror!

Oh, Men’s Rights movement. You’ll never change, will you?

EDITED TO ADD: And speaking of never changing, here’s how one Men’s Rights redditor responded to my comments there suggesting that maybe, just maybe, MRAs should actually denounce and distance themselves from someone calling for terrorism:

Let me just highlight that bit at the end again:

[T]he cost to the establishment to maintain the status quo in regards to divorce, custody, etc. must be made so high that it’s just no longer feasible. If that means instilling abject fear into the hearts of judges, cops and legislators by making them think their careers and/or lives could be forfeit unless they change their attitudes towards men, then so be it.

Trying to instill fear for one’s life in your opponents: that is the very definition of terrorism.

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LBT
LBT
10 years ago

Kinda off topic, but what I find really creepy about all this is this weird assumption that there’s HEALTH (like Viagra and vasectomies) which are totally for everybody and should be covered, and then there’s WOMEN’S health, like birth control pills, which are only needed by slutty slut sluts and should NEVER be covered.

It really is illustrative of that old theory that men are considered people, and then women are a subclass.

(Though for extra sad, this post came on the day that my insurance died AND I ran out of my meds. 🙁 Withdrawing LBT is withdrawing.)

aceofsevens
10 years ago

Maybe their half-woman,half something else. Fish,maybe

Magnesium
Magnesium
10 years ago

I think a semi-woman group involves lady truckers.

I’m surprised that there isn’t a Wikipedia entry about Thomas Ball. There’s an article on the Friend Zone. But I thought the r/mensrights guys were trying to pretend that they didn’t even know who Ball was.

Falconer
Falconer
10 years ago

@LBT: about there being “health” and then “women’s health:”

I agree that it’s really creepy. The latest thing that brings this problem to my mind is an article linked to on Pharyngula: Women’s heart attack symptoms are often quite different from men’s, and even many doctors don’t catch them, because everybody is expected to react to medical conditions like a man.

It’s sad and infuriating and oh god now I’m remembering Newt Gingrich saying that women get “infections” in trenches therefore soldiers = men and I’m going to have to step away from my keyboard before I pull all the keys off in a blind rage.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
10 years ago

I was wondering if the MRA’s would distance themselves from Thomas Ball after the SPLC report came out. His manifesto is still posted on AVfM, though. I don’t know if any MRA’s still use a closing tag of “Remember Thomas Ball: He died for our children”. I was expecting them to start deleting any positive references to him and pretend they never said what they did, but I was wrong. They are going to stubbornly insist he was a peaceful martyr for their cause. They also want to insist that it is wrong to criticize anything he ever said or did because he is deceased. That makes no sense, since they are still complaining about what dead feminists said decades ago.

Falconer
Falconer
10 years ago

Uh, I guess I should have said that my link goes to Feministe but I browsed Pharyngula first today.

xardoz
10 years ago

Nice job exposing their slacktivism. If it doesn’t involve doxxing or making someone’s life miserable, MRAs really can’t be bothered to get off their asses. But they’ll generously distribute the asspats after someone else does the work for them.

Russ
Russ
10 years ago

Thomas Ball had a wiki page, but it was deleted, much to the dismay of “John the Other”.

http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/the-organized-silencing-of-a-man-publicly-burned-to-death/

.

boomboom
boomboom
10 years ago

I’m glad you posted this, because when they tout this as a victory in the future…I’ll be there… heh heh… I’ll be there. 🙂

Cloudiah
Cloudiah
10 years ago

@LBT that sucks about your insurance and meds. It’s a shitty world where people can’t get the meds they need.

I believe semi-women groups are groups of half-women. Or groups of women tractor trailer enthusiasts? Gad, I dunno.

The latest thing that brings this problem to my mind is an article linked to on Pharyngula: Women’s heart attack symptoms are often quite different from men’s, and even many doctors don’t catch them, because everybody is expected to react to medical conditions like a man.

When my mother had her heart attack, she argued with the EMTs all the way to the hospital. They kept telling her she was having a heart attack, she kept telling them it was just bad indigestion. My beloved cousin, a man, had a heart attack with symptoms much more like those that women experience. Neither he nor his wife recognized it for what it was until it was too late.

Newt
Newt
10 years ago

Even omega virgin revolt is saying a voice for men is filled with nutjobs.

Shadow
Shadow
10 years ago

I believe “semi-women” groups are groups that seek to help men AND women. It is still unconfirmed by the MRM as to whether or not these groups are just urban legends. After all, in the words of the great WhatIsToBeDone: “They control it all now. We have blogs.”

Holly Pervocracy
10 years ago

Never even mind that IT’S NOT TAX DOLLARS.

It’s not even any dollars, because contraceptives save insurance companies money. $1000/year (which is on the high side, my pills cost more like $500/year… and my insurance premium is $200/month) is peanuts compared to the cost of pregnancy and birth. Which itself is peanuts compared to the cost of all the care even a healthy infant will need in its first few years. Which is tiny little peanuts all over again compared to the cost of care for an infant with a birth defect or major illness.

The only real objections to this are “morality” clauses from religious institutions, not expense.

Newt
Newt
10 years ago

A lot of these nutjobs don’t even separate the topic of toxic women from criticism of feminism.

Just doing that simple thing keeps you from getting futrelleboobed.

LBT
LBT
10 years ago

RE: Cloudiah

Yeah. Now I’m pretty D: because I have to get a new insurance plan, don’t know if they’ll cover, and without insurance coverage, a month’s of meds costs about as much as three months of my groceries. I have savings, so I can afford it for a while, but… D:

Shadow
Shadow
10 years ago

But, but… women WANT shit Holly!!! Surely, if they want it, it must be bad!

QuantumSparkle
QuantumSparkle
10 years ago

Semi-women are female-gendered robots in disguise, who transform into semi trucks.

*kwrrr-khaa-khee-khee-khrr* (Transformer noise!)

blitzgal
10 years ago

It’s not even any dollars, because contraceptives save insurance companies money. $1000/year (which is on the high side, my pills cost more like $500/year… and my insurance premium is $200/month) is peanuts compared to the cost of pregnancy and birth.

Was arguing with a winger who said he didn’t want it covered because his insurance premiums would go up. I pointed out the same thing to him — pregnancy and childbirth costs far more than contraceptives, and lowering the number of unintended pregnancies would save money, not cost money. His response to that was that the only way to avoid pregnancy is to keep your legs closed.

My mistake for taking him seriously at his first point. He was never debating honestly. I’ll let all of my married friends know that they are no longer allowed to have sex with their husbands unless they’re willing to have a dozen kids.

blitzgal
10 years ago

Also, this entry on the website “Not Always Right” reminded me of the MRM:

http://notalwaysright.com/

Now Accepting Immigrants From Femmerica

RETAIL | MARION, IA, USA | BIGOTRY

(I’m sweeping when an older gentleman comes up. Note that I’m female.)

Customer: “It’s good to see you doing that.”

Me: “Oh…um…thank you.”

Customer: “So many of you young ladies these days are d*** fem’nists.”

Me: “Actually, sir, I am a feminist. It’s just a little dirty, so I need to clean up.”

Customer: “You d*** fem’nists! Taking jobs from real ‘Mericans who need jobs.”

Me: “Sir, I was born in this country. I’m a third generation American. Being a feminist makes me no less American than you. I just support women’s rights.”

Customer: “That ain’t ‘Merican! Women ain’t ‘Merican!”

Me: *speechless*

Falconer
Falconer
10 years ago

Semi-women are female-gendered robots in disguise, who transform into semi trucks.

“Freedom is the right of all sentient beings!

… Except men. F#@& men.”

Anthony Zarat
10 years ago

“Oh, Men’s Rights movement. You’ll never change, will you?”

No, we are not going to change. We are going to win. And then, YOU are going to change.

katz
10 years ago

@ AntZ

darksidecat
10 years ago

Not thinking all women are bitches makes you a semi-woman, or a mangina, which is bad because that makes you not a man, and if you aren’t a man, you’re not human. That’s how they think.

Dracula
Dracula
10 years ago

No, we are not going to change. We are going to win. And then, YOU are going to change.

Karalora
10 years ago

Hey, MRM, you know what else is a “semi-women group”? The population of Planet Earth.

For an organization to focus half its resources on women isn’t favoritism, it’s exactly proportionate representation.

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