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Men’s Rights Bronies, Part 2: The Piggening

Oy vey.

Hot on the heels of my recent discovery of Men’s Rights Bronies, a new controversy about My Little Pony has erupted in the Men’s Rights subreddit. Though, to be honest, I might have provoked most of the actual controversy there by wading into the muck and pointing out a few facts.

The discussion centers around a rather obtuse post by Kathleen Richter on the Ms. Blog from two years ago accusing the show’s creators of racism and homophobia, among other things. The post couldn’t be more wrong about everything, and, unsurprisingly, was torn apart by commenters on the site – and by Lauren Faust, then the show’s “creative steward” and executive producer, who was given the opportunity to write a rebuttal on the Ms. Blog.

So why are the dudes on the Men’s Rights subreddit getting worked up by this dead controversy today? Because an MRA who calls himself ThePigman – we took a look at one of his terrible, terrible comic strips here – decided to post Richter’s original post (but not Faust’s rebuttal) to r/mensrights under the title “My Little Pony FIM attacked by nuts at Ms Magazine Blog. NOT, repeat, NOT a satire.”

Perhaps inadvisedly, I posted a comment pointing out that the Richter’s blog post had not exactly been well-received.  And this happened. (Click on the pic for a full-sized version.)

The whole discussion is rather surreal. Some highlights.

ThePigman responding to a rather straightforward and factual comment of mine with:

You are a disgusting animal. Go and talk to someone else, just having you on the same planet makes me want to puke.

Ullere repeatedly misrepresenting my recent post on Men’s Rights Bronies.

The dude who regularly posts on r/mensrights as “Manzboobz” makes an appearance.

And this barely coherent little masterpiece of sarcasm from our old friend Eoghan (who posts on r/mensrights as Sigil1):

As someone who speaks fluent Eoghan, let me translate: he is suggesting that the women discussing the issue of MLP on the Ms. Blog are all a bunch of layabouts living off of their hard-working husbands. He’s also making a snide reference to feminism as being an “astro-turf” movement (rather than a true grassroots movement) because, in his mind, feminism is all a big plot created and funded by the CIA and the evil elitists who run the world.

Eoghan aside, this whole episode suggests how difficult it is for a feminist to have any kind of discussion with MRAs even on the Men’s Rights subreddit, probably the most moderate MRA forum out there. (Several other people posted references to Faust’s rebuttal, but weren’t downvoted, because they aren’t the dreaded, more-evil-than-evil-itself “manboobz.”)

A couple of days ago, one poster to r/mr asked “Why are there not more feminists here” debating the issues with MRAs. Here’s your answer.

EDITED TO ADD:  ThePigman has responded to this and my previous Brony post in his typically calm and reasonable manner on his blog. By which I mean he spewed forth a bunch of angry nonsense.

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Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
10 years ago

marc, and it’s a children’s show, they’re not going to try teaching genetics to small children. And the one-off jokes for the parents are usually fairly dark, because they’re intended for people who are now watching the episode for the 6th time before lunch (and had no interest the first time)

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
10 years ago

blarg, clarity, I can haz some — “the one-off jokes” means in general, I don’t watch MLP to comment on it specifically.

marc2020
marc2020
10 years ago

Uh god just ignore me I’m being weird tonight sorry

Viscaria
Viscaria
10 years ago

ABNOY, new and particularly irritating troll, said:

“I don’t get why MRAs would like MLP. ”

It’s not an MRA thing, it’s a guy thing, ahem(Rule34)ahem(Furry)ahem i.e. ‘I watch MLP:FIM for the (wink-wink nudge-nudge) plot’ meme

TODAY I LEARNED

All men are furries.
No people of other genders are furries.
The straight furries are no doubt very disappointed about this.

ozymandias42
10 years ago

OHMIGOD I’M A FURRY? I HAD NO IDEA

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
10 years ago

Even my most generous reading of that says that all MRAs who like MLP are furries. Though it looks more like it says all men who like MLP are furries.

Bostonian
10 years ago

The furry community does not need that kind of slander.

Falconer
Falconer
10 years ago

Maybe genetics work diffrently in pony land or something.

They drink tea out of china cups with handles for fingers. NONE OF THEM HAS FINGERS.

EVERYTHING WORKS DIFFERENTLY IN PONYSYLVANIA.

Katniss
Katniss
10 years ago

I found something interesting that would fit right in here on manboobz earlier today. A man who was recently a guest on Fox News talking about how the worst mistake the U.S. made was giving women the vote, how women are all crazy and irrational, and how women “have no love”:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/07/fox-news-contributor-laments-mistake-of-letting-women-vote/

M Dubz
M Dubz
10 years ago

@Ozy- I read it more as a lampshading thing, as in “Yes this is ridiculous and a shoddy explanation needed to set up this plot with Pinkie and we’re all aware of that. Don’t worry about it.”

cloudiah
10 years ago

Oh Katniss, I saw that too. He’d be right at home on the Spearhead, except for those pesky racists.

jumbofish
10 years ago

uhhhh no offense but talking ponies ≠ furries

Furries are exclusively human/animal hybrids. Men are not exclusively into the furry fandom nor are all men secretly furries. Lastly um the people that “watch it for the plot winkwink” are not all furries.

M Dubz
M Dubz
10 years ago

@Katniss (best name btw!) that is truly sickening. Two things in particular:

1) “Allow” us to vote? That’s the sort of bullshit thinking that perpetuates the patriarchy. It implies that women only get to be human beings on the sufferance of men, and that men can (and should) retract those rights whenever they see fit. Fuck. That. Shit.

2) Re: “all the sex” women are having in college. I’m pretty sure that the sort of sex that requires hormonal birth control always involves a penis-haver and a vagina-haver. So are men also “degraded” for putting their girlfriends in positions where the young ladies will need birth control? Of course not. Because that would be too much like fairness.

ozymandias42
10 years ago

I mean, don’t get me wrong, every furry I’ve ever met has been a totally nice person and I am not down with the anti-furry-ism. But you would think my best friend would tell me if he were a furry! We’ve told each other all manner of squicky fetishes and he’s never brought up the furry thing.

…Also it seems like it would be common courtesy, if I were a furry, for someone to tell me such. I mean, I’ve been a furry all this time and I had NO IDEA!

M Dubz
M Dubz
10 years ago

I have seen MLP:FIM slash fic that would make your hair curl. But it’s not really “furry” slash per se.

Katniss
Katniss
10 years ago

@ M Dubz

Yeah, the use of “allow” always pisses me off. It’s just so perfectly condescending and vaguely threatening (as in: “we allow this now but we can always take it back!”)

Flib
Flib
10 years ago

I’d like to consider myself at least somewhat understanding of furries (with the furry fandom being the primary population I have interacted with in exploring fandoms). Ponies does not mean furry. While certainly many things out there can be anthropomorphic to varying degrees, to be “furry” has always struck me as something of a self labeling within the fandom, as opinions differ largely. Which the same could be said of other fandoms, just how much star trek activities makes one a “trekkie” for instance? I’m of the opinion that an individual self label is what should determine that.

Rutee Katreya
10 years ago

I’d point out that MLP still ended up having racism. Zecora an the buffalo, at least, made a loooot of people side-eye. But wow, those idiots in the OP… XD

Katniss
Katniss
10 years ago

@Rutee:

There was also the ableism in the “The Last Roundup” episode, though I believe it was later reedited by the show.

Manjaw the Mighty
10 years ago

While I was a little uncomfortable with the situation they put her in (inadvertently destroying town hall) I was very sad that they ended up changing Derpy’s voice. I get that her name is inescapably offensive, but I think totally re-editing her the way they did signaled a missed opportunity. While the show has had severe missteps (Zecora and the buffalo, as Rutee pointed out), they try to maintain their theme of “love and tolerance.” It would have been awesome if they had kept Derpy on as a regularly recurring character while KEEPING her coded as disabled with the voice and her hypotonic eyes. She could have been fleshed out as a fully realized secondary character and actually served as a positive representation of disability on a children’s show.

Basically, instead of changing the very nature of the character, they should have changed the tone of her antics and appearances.

Manjaw the Mighty
10 years ago

* heterotropic eyes

Hypotonia is decreased muscle tone.

Katniss
Katniss
10 years ago

@Manjaw the Mighty

I think they either had to change the voice or change the scene, because if they had her as a minor character who just happened to have some sort of disability (and who wasnt just ditzy or distracted) then the way Rainbow Dash treated her comes across as over-the-line mean. Or at least I imagine it could easily be percieved that way. But you have the best argument I’ve seen for keeping her voice as is.

ozymandias42
10 years ago

The voice made me cringe so hard… to me it sounded like a fifth-grader making fun of the kid with Down’s Syndrome in his class. It fucked up the entire episode for me.

But yeah. I understand the argument for having a positive representation of disability in the show.

BTW, does anyone have thoughts on whether “derpy” is ableist? I’ve heard conflicting reports (some people say it was originally used to make fun of people with mental disabilities, other people say it’s pretty much always just meant neurotypical and kinda stupid). I don’t use the term myself because I want to avoid causing hurt to people with mental disabilities, but I’m not sure whether I should be correcting people who use it or not, the way I do with people who use the term “retarded.”

Manjaw the Mighty
10 years ago

They wouldn’t have to come out and say “This character is disabled,” they could have left her just coded as such. Kind of like quintessential “stupid” characters like Patrick Starr or Ed from Ed, Edd, and Eddy, which actually seems to be the direction they were originally taking her. But instead of staying on that tack or censoring her, they could have taken a third option.

I think Rainbow Dash actually does have a tendency to be quite mean sometimes, so harsh behavior like that wasn’t out of character for her. If they had left the scene as is (or just edited out Derpy’s name, which is indeed offensive, given the connotations of “derp”) the writers could have given us a season 3 episode in which Rainbow Dash learns to be patient and accepting of Derpy, or something. Not in an ableist “I’ve learned so much just by spending time with this tragically disabled but ‘special’ person” kind of way, but in a “Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and it’s generally not cool to be mean to people” kind of way.

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