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Hey girl, I wish you were a greasy smear on the road: The Men’s Rights subreddit hates on the lady rescued by Ryan Gosling.

Oh, the Men’s Rights subreddit is on a roll! Earlier in the week, as regular readers will already be well aware, a sizeable number of the regulars there were waxing indignant about a spermburgling girlfriend who turned out to be imaginary, and expressing sympathy for the imaginary girlfriend’s imaginary boyfriend, even though he’d admitted to punching her in her imaginary stomach.

Now they’re directing their wrath at a British journalist whom they’ve decided is being insufficiently grateful for being rescued from being hit by a speeding automobile by Ryan Gosling.

The backstory: Earlier in the week, British journalist Laurie Penny was wandering the streets of Manhattan, lost in thought, when she almost stepped off the curb into the path of a taxi. A man standing nearby grabbed her and pulled her to safety. That man happened to be famously hunky young actor Ryan Gosling.

Naturally, Penny tweeted about it, and her tweet aroused something of a Twitterstorm, in part because of the novelty of the situation, and in part because the thought of someone so dashing performing this little act of urban heroism made more than a few ladies (and men) swoon a little. I would probably react the same way if I heard a story about Kate Winslet saving a kitten.

Anyway, Penny was a little bit overwhelmed by all the attention her story was getting, and ended up writing a funny, spiky little essay for Gawker reminding people that while, yes, Ryan Gosling had indeed done a very nice thing for her, for which she was grateful, that it wasn’t really the biggest deal in the world. For one thing, she pointed out, lots of ordinary decent people perform similar acts of “heroism” all the time. For another, there are bigger heroes out there – like those working tirelessly to keep Rick Santorum from becoming our next president.

She ended the piece with this:

I really do object to being framed as the ditzy damsel in distress in this story. I do not mean any disrespect to Ryan Gosling, who is an excellent actor and, by all accounts, a personable and decent chap. …

But as a feminist, a writer, and a gentlewoman of fortune, I refuse to be cast in any sort of boring supporting female role, even though I have occasional trouble crossing the road, and even though I did swoon the teeniest tiniest bit when I realized it was him. I think that’s lazy storytelling, and I’m sure Ryan Gosling would agree with me.

And the thing is, I’m sure he would. I’m sure he’s as embarrassed about the attention as Penny is.

Well, for some people, Penny’s refusal to play the “boring supportive role” was simply unacceptable. Over on The National Review, antifeminist asshole Suzanne Venker wrote a snide and misleading piece portraying Penny as an ungrateful bitch:

If Western women want to know where all the good men have gone, they need only look in the mirror. Not only can men no longer hold the door open for women or pay the check after dinner, they can’t even save a woman’s life and get a simple thank you.

Never mind that Penny wrote explicitly that she was “grateful to the dashing and meme-worthy Mr. Gosling.” We can conclude that Venker either has terrible reading comprehension, or is deliberately lying about Penny. In any case, she continued on in this vein:

Feminists have totally destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Not all women seek the feminized version of the American male. Most women like big, strong, sexy men. They want men who are willing to put out fires, fight in combat, and, yes, even save damsels in distress. But in post-feminist America, Marlboro Man is a rare breed. We can thank women like Penny for that.

Well, actually, the reason the Marlboro Man isn’t around any more is that he died of lung cancer. (Well, to be more specific, two of the actors who portrayed the Marlboro Man did in fact die that way.) But let’s continue:

If Americans don’t wake up to the evils of feminism, the next time a woman walks down the wrong side of the street, the men of America will simply walk right past her and let her get hit.

And we’ll have no one blame but ourselves.

Really? Really? I’m pretty sure that Penny’s Gawker essay isn’t actually going to turn American men into a bunch of woman-hating psychopaths. I think we can all agree that Venker is being a giant turd here.

Well, not all of us, I guess. Someone posted Venker’s little screed to the Men’s Rights subreddit – you were wondering when I’d get back to them, weren’t you? And the regulars responded, well, like you would expect them to. Here are two of the most highly upvoted comments there, from two of the subreddit’s most prolific posters.

Stay classy. Men’s Rights Redditors!

273 replies on “Hey girl, I wish you were a greasy smear on the road: The Men’s Rights subreddit hates on the lady rescued by Ryan Gosling.”

Dave, I thought your portrayal of the men’s rights redditors was too antagonistic and can’t possibly be summed by that one quote. Naturally, that reaction was extreme, but certainly not all the commentators there would have that knee jerk reaction to it. I think the real issue didn’t really lie within the MRA’s perception but why she felt so offended about the headline. The truth was, she was in trouble, and for a brief moment, a man stepped in to help. All women shouldn’t be pigeonholed into that circumstance, but when we are, we shouldn’t be ashamed. Yes, we shouldn’t rely on men all the time, but when it happens, the focus shouldn’t go to the gender of the savior, just the deed itself. I think the misunderstanding of the whole thing started with Penny. Sometimes, man or woman, we all need some help. Not everyone has the same agenda in mind.

One thing I don’t understand…

Small owls are cute. Big owls are imposing. Medium owls are a bit of both. Owls are intelligent birds, associated with the goddess Athena and considered symbols of wisdom.

How did a mysogynistic troll with the IQ of a kumquat, no connection with reality and a persecution complex the size of Jupiter get the nickname Owly?

If she has been “so offended”, that would be the meat of the article she wrote, and not just a couple of lines near the end. But instead, the article was about how this whole thing was getting far too much press coverage merely because Ryan Gosling is famous, and that there are plenty of non-famous people that also help others without it becoming this big thing. She was not a damsel in distress being snatched from the jaws of death by a big celebrity, she is kind of aloof and a nice person helped her, nothing more than that.

NWO said:

“Why it must take 10 minutes or so to wash/dry and fold laundry. I do it all the time.”

If you think it only takes ten minutes to do a week’s laundry for a family then you have no idea what you are talking about. I also strongly suspect that your mother does your laundry for you or you wouldn’t be saying anything so stupid.


Totally agree with all those reasons to wear skirts.

As for crying? I tend to do it whenever I’m overcome by a very strong emotion. Mostly when I’m very sad or very angry, or some combination of the two, but sometimes when I’m very scared, or even when I’m really happy. Manipulation never figures into it, and I get annoyed when people sometimes think that’s why I’m doing it because I honestly hate crying.

>>people pretty commonly don’t know just how much power the peasant class wielded.

An important part of the rise of capitalist industrialism was the destruction of the power of the free peasantry by expropriating them. That’s when you get all those noble and bourgeois economists decrying the fact that peasants lived the good life without having to work hard, and that “poverty is necessary for industriousness”.

This is probably giving NWO too much benefit of the doubt, but hey, I’m a nice person like that.

Maybe he thinks housework doesn’t take much time because his housework doesn’t take much time. He lives alone and claims that he’s away from home on business a lot of the time–and that’s about the only thing he says on a regular basis that isn’t patent nonsense, so I’m willing to take it as true. So maybe he just doesn’t spend enough time at home to mess it up very much? I also live alone and don’t generate a lot of housework for myself. I do about one load of laundry per week, and if you’re only counting the time I am physically interacting with the clothes–as opposed to the time machines are taking care of it–as time spent “doing laundry”…then yes, 10-20 minutes seems about right. And the bulk of that time is folding it/hanging it up, which plenty of housework-impaired people don’t do–they just take their clothes right out of the laundry basket each day.

Of course, that doesn’t excuse his arrogance and narcissism in not realizing that if you are doing the housework for several people, some of them children, the time required is going to explode. All I’m saying is that maybe he’s not pulling his ideas about it directly from his ass.

“Maybe he thinks housework doesn’t take much time because his housework doesn’t take much time.”

Maybe it’s cos he does a half assed job at his housework?

Robert: @Cassandra- Well, what do you propose to do about it?

Nothing. Your groups image problems aren’t our problem. If you don’t like that Elam and AVfM get more notice than the groups you think are mainstream (and they get that notice in part because when someone comes to a place like Manboobs, or Shakesville, etc. and says, “why don’t you pay attention to the moderates” they then point to AVfM and Elam), than it’s up to you to fix it.

Just as, insomuch as it needs fixing, it’s up to those feminists who disagree to deal with Radfems; or not.

In re r/mensrights: Don’t hate us because we’re A W E S O M E ! ! !

I wish we could hate you for being awesome.

@Halite, I know you commented like 2 days ago but if you’re still following the thread then OMG CALGZ BUDDIES!!!

Robert: As for Farrell, it’s my understanding that quote was taken out of context

Doesn’t really seem likely.

Here’s a link to the text, and the pragraph in question.

Farrell realizes the risks that attend publication of this book. “In a society where men are powerful and exploitive and insensitive to women’s feelings, which is reinforced by female adaptiveness and a daughter’s lack of power, data like these can be used as an excuse for the continuation and magnification of that exploitation. When I consider that, I almost don’t want to write the book.”

Since neither victim nor benefactor needs Farrell’s confirmation, why does he gamble with bringing on a sexual deluge? “First, because millions of people who are now refraining from touching, holding, and genitally caressing their children, when that is really part of a caring, loving expression, are repressing the sexuality of a lot of children and themselves. Maybe this needs repressing, and maybe it doesn’t. My book should at least begin the exploration.

As to the question of, “men’s spaces” where they can challenge roles, etc. How are you going to foster it? I can do that here. I can do it in my blog (and have). I can do it at Shakes, or Amanda Marcotte’s blog. I can do it in pretty much any “feminist” space I’ve ever been in.

I’ve never seen it doable in a “male dominated space” No, that’s not true, some of it can be done in some subsets of the Army; but those are very much atypical, and some of it is because the Army has a lot of “women’s work” which is performed by men. Those men want to avoid stigma, and so there is some serious challenge to the ideas.

But, and this is part of where I think the idea of such a dedicated, “men’s space” fails. the larger culture makes it hard for those ideas to move outside the limited space of the Army, even to the families of those soldiers. Only, IMO, with the increase of women in the ranks, doing “manly” jobs, while men still do, “feminine jobs” has that started to work back.

Equality, as an example, spreads.

I understand the thing you want to do (and I don’t think you are being unreasonable, in general), but I don’t think there is a way to make the thing you want happen, whereas the flipside (men engaging, in good faith, in women’s spaces) seems functionally to achieve your ends.

It just requires men (many of whom are massively resistant) to accept not being in the drivers’ seat.

As feudalism: It didn’t spring up, fully-formed. It was a trending of social pressures; related to the change in the way Rome worked (from a coinage/tax-based autocracy, to a barter/labor based one, with a concommitant diminuition of scale). It took centuries for the various ways that played out (depending on local abilities to maintain a “Roman” way of life, and the social politics of the powerholding groups as Rome lost sway).

There never was “a feudalism”, there were lots of similar styles of oath-fealty, which for the sake of convenience we lump together.

But the “laws” we see imposing it are codifications of conditions, not iniatioins ex nihilo

And NWO speaks a truth: Poor Robert Farson. Landed smack dab in the middle of a hate group. This would be an excellent site for young boys to visit to learn how much they’ll be hated their entire lives by women.

It doesn’t say what he thinks it does, but it’s true, nonetheless.

Hesster: Owls are intelligent birds, associated with the goddess Athena and considered symbols of wisdom.

Associated yes. Smart, in fact? Not so much.

I like owls. I’ve known a few pretty well. They aren’t all that smart. Pigeons probably outscore them in the brains dept. Which is perhaps unfair, because Columba columba is a pretty smart bird.

But NWO got it because NWOslave is easy to misread as, “OWLslave”.

Or somesuch. It’s been going on as long as I’ve been here, and that’s been… shit, more than a year. I feel old.

Back to, “feudalism”. A peasantry which was unhappy… meant no surplus of food. No surplus of food meant no means to support those large households.

Feudalism, the way we think of it, is a largely Germanic/Frankish object. It came to England with the Normans (who had adopted/adapted the Scandanavian thralldom, to the Frankish system, and then imported it to England, where it was superimposed on Anglo-Saxon systems). But lots of places didn’t have it that way.

Liguria started to have it, and then it faded. Spain never managed it; though they adopted trappings. Fealty also ran down. A “noble” who didn’t protect “his” peasantry, didn’t have them long. The cities… they had their own rights, charters and abilities to assert independence; which only increased as “feudalism” became more solid.

That’s because cities were the places in which money/goods were made (and I mean made. The livre tournois was a coin, made in Tours, we talked about the use of the coins of Troyes the other day, as well as the Bremenish export of, “easterling silver (at .925 parts silver, to .75 parts copper). There were also the florin (from Florence) and the Spanish thaler (which was based on the German family of Fugger (which minted it’s own coins because they associated themselves with the house of Hapsburg, when they were in Augsburg, and then spread out. When the Hapsburgs became the rulers of Spain, they moved along with them).

So the social landscape was complicated. Peasants who were pissed off could do all sorts of damage (weiring streams, or diverting them; stopping drainage; which would degrade pasturage, etc.).

Wasn’t that a problem they had in making the Harry Potter movies? Training owls, I mean, because they’re really not all that bright.

With women working and men helping with the housework you’d have a lot of DINKs.

Robert, small point here: if men are doing their fair share of the housework, they’re not “helping”. When you say “helping” it implies that housework is really women’s work and men’s contribution is merely assisting them. That’s not really fair to either men or women.

@ Viscaria:
I’m glad I checked back in to see what sort of dipshittery NWOslave was up to! I love the video (I can see my house!) but I have to admit that my love of tacky western crap runs deep. Last year at the Stampede I had to be physically restrained from buying a pair of stiletto heeled, snakeskin cowboy boots with like 3/4 of a pound of rhinestones on each. They were magnificent.

I like this website for when I’m away at work and homesick, maybe you will too!

@ NWOSlave:

Not too likely that any of you will ever go down by the rivers that flow thru most major cities, but along the river are thousands of tiny little and large factories where men of every race work.

Not mine! And I know this because I *live* on the main river the flows through my city.

Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ve never actually been in any sort of mine, ever. I’ve worked in four – oilsands, coal, potash and uranium – and they’re all very very safe, very clean, very *very* well paying jobs – for the men *and* women (it’s about a 70:30 ratio, for any given task) who work there. The hours are long, but that’s not exactly some sort of excessive hardship being suffered by the poor and oppressed among us. The educated professionals – engineers, geologists, etc – work the exact same hours as the hired-off-the-street truck drivers.

RE: CassandraSpeaks

Aw man, Califia, no.

Dammit, I liked him too. 🙁

In the discussion of the creation of men’s spaces… honestly, as a queer guy who is at this time mostly taken for a woman or a kid in middle school, I am extremely leery. Because I mentally envision any space made for that purpose as being mega-hostile to me, or at the very least utterly alien.

My men’s space is a buddy who fist-bumps me and made the Cockbros Club with me. (The club involves random fist-bumping and declaring ourselves Cockbros for life.)

Not too likely that any of you will ever go down by the rivers that flow thru most major cities, but along the river are thousands of tiny little and large factories where men of every race work.

NWO needs to learn that the rest of us aren’t living in the 19th century anymore.

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