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Reddit Ugly: MRAs and others argue that a man allegedly wronged in divorce court should turn to murder

So there was a bit of ugliness over on the Men’s Rights subreddit the other day. No, scratch that; there was a giant explosion of ugliness.

A couple of days ago, you see, a Redditor with a nine-day-old account posted a story to r/menrights detailing the alleged ill-treatment he’d gotten at the hands of a vengeful ex-wife and an unsympathetic family court system. The story was filled with literally unbelievable details – among other things, he claimed to have been rendered homeless by the demands of the court, forced to pay $1000 a month in spousal support to his ex though she had a $60,000 a year job. Some commenters challenged the veracity of the tale – while the OP gave a case number in his post, no one has been able to find evidence that a case with that number actually exists. (The OP has not responded to the skeptics.)

But most of the respondents assumed the story was true. And why not? It seemed to reinforce every paranoid MRA fantasy of evil women and courts out of control. Despite its fishiness, the post got more than 700 net upvotes.

And that’s where the ugliness began. Not content to merely offer the man sympathy and advice, many commenters started talking murder, and some of the most violent comments got dozens of upvotes.

While these particular comments were deleted by the mods (you can find them in the comment histories of Volcris and graffiti81, where you’ll see they each got many more upvotes than shown above before they were deleted), other violent comments remained up, many of them receiving upvotes as well. Here are some screenshots of some of them.

Here’s PacoBedejo, with nearly two dozen net upvotes for a comment seconding the burn-them-and-kill-them suggestion.

Speaking of arson and murder, here’s ErasmusMRA offering a not-quite-endorsement of the terrorist manifesto of Thomas Ball, an MRA who burned himself to death in front of a New Hampshire courthouse in hopes that his death would inspire other men to firebomb courthouses and police stations in protest of allegedly anti-male courts.

Here’s wazooasiteverwas relating the allegedly true story of a friend who solved the problem of an unfair divorce settlement with double murder:

What a shock that the alleged double murder has given the kids a “bad impression” of their dad.

This comment from Synackaon’s directly advocating murder was downvoted and deleted. (You can still find it in his comment history.)

Yet this comment of his offering an only slightly veiled advocacy of violence remains up, and has gotten dozens of upvotes:

I didn’t get to this now-deleted comment in time to get a screenshot, though one Redditor memorialized its (alleged) content in a post on the Circlebroke subreddit:

TheIrish7 tries to avoid the charge of misogyny by not-quite-justifying gender-neutral violence:

Arx0s contends that if he were in a similar situation he would stop short of actual murder:

This strange and elusive comment from Syn_Ick seems to suggest that the Men’s Rights movement can’t succeed unless and until it becomes socially acceptable for men to physically assault women.

There are many more such comments in the thread; I don’t have have the time or the patience to screencap and post them all. You can find more collected in r/againstmensrights, or by going through the thread itself.

Now, not all of those advocating (or not-quite-advocating) violence or murder in this thread are r/mensrights regulars. But some of the worst comments come from one very active r/mensrights commenter who has advocated violence against family court judges in the past: Demonspawn. (I’ve written about his threatening remarks in the past here and here.) Here are some of his contributions to the, er, debate (Each comment is from a different part of the thread; click on the images to go to each original comment in context.)

Given that advocating violence is against the rules in r/mensrights, and that Demonspawn has been advocating violence fairly regularly for some time, you might wonder why he is still allowed to post in the subreddit. I sent a note to the Men’s Rights mods, and got this response from the top mod:

This gives you some idea of how seriously the mods or r/mensrights take the issue of violence.

The phrase “digging your own hole” comes to mind.

If you want to see what happens when people turn to violence to “solve” disputes with partners or exes, see here.

(Thanks to Cloudiah for the first screenshot and for pointing me to many of the other comments linked to here.)

246 replies on “Reddit Ugly: MRAs and others argue that a man allegedly wronged in divorce court should turn to murder”

OH MY GOD you mean the justice system is not perfect?! Why does no one tell me these things?!

Also, duh of course there will be errors (and appellate courts also get it wrong.) But to claim that the individual stories mean there is a broad pattern of discrimination? Sorry, going to have to better than that.

MRAs are going to have real, valid anecdotes about being screwed over

Pro tip: people who are members of hate groups are not real and valid when saying virtually anything.

that’s exactly the point. I get that it’s cathartic to flame people who are wrong, but civilly asking MRAs to put up or shut up are going to get the kind of gibberingly crazy answers you offered, which makes them look bad, and has the added side effect of showing everybody who isn’t a true believer how crazy they are.

If you think we need a conversation strategy and civility to make a bunch of rape advocates look bad and crazy, I’m not sure what to tell you.

Like Cliff once said, every one of David’s posts could be a link and the words “U RONG THO” and he would still be absolutely trouncing them in debate. Because any reasonable observer would side against rape advocates.

@Posterformerlyknownas – that’s exactly the point. I get that it’s cathartic to flame people who are wrong, but civilly asking MRAs to put up or shut up are going to get the kind of gibberingly crazy answers you offered, which makes them look bad, and has the added side effect of showing everybody who isn’t a true believer how crazy they are.

Great way to show how incoherent the solutions are by showing how incoherent you can be.

By the way-acknowledging someone’s pain does not mean that they were subject to discrimination. It means that this one case shows that this one man had a bad outcome in family court. You will have to show actual studies that examine the outcomes of many cases are in favor of women (or men.)

No, Howard, I don’t disagree with that. I don’t know where I even implied that. It’s so obvious and accepted here I didn’t think we needed to retread the point. Rich white men generally do better in the system than any other group. It doesn’t mean individual men don’t get hosed by the system.

Because of that fact, it doesn’t make any sense to assume the MRAs are making up their own personal stories. Some of them probably are, or at least embellishing them, but if the goal is to sway moderates or maybe get MRAs to reconsider some or all of their positions, assuming they are lying isn’t helpful, even if they ARE lying.

I guess that’s the point – i figure people become a member of the hate group because of their experiences. I’m done here, though – I’m not trying to troll but it seems like people are equating “opposing policy and social goals of MRAs” with “operate on assumption MRAs hated women out of the womb and have been making everything up since.”

i figure people become a member of the hate group because of their experiences

If that was true, starving peasant farmers and shipbreakers would be the most hateful people on Earth. They’re not.

it seems like people are equating “opposing policy and social goals of MRAs” with “operate on assumption MRAs hated women out of the womb and have been making everything up since.”

Haha, alright, let’s try that with another hate group. Is it unreasonable to think that the KKK might not honestly present anecdotes about their interactions with African-Americans? Is it unreasonable to assume that a neo-Nazi will not be upfront with you about the legal system?

bonbon: At the risk of ruining your betting pool – I enjoy the site, i’m not going to stop enjoying it because its readership disagrees with me, so i’m not sure where I am flouncing to or from. I was just acknowledging that nobody agrees with me so continuing it would be unproductive at best and trollish at worst.

Ugh:

Just so you know, I agree entirely – modern racists, like MRAs, have some combination of economic or social marginalization, mental illness, family trauma or other life experiences that explain why they express ideas that are generally considered unacceptable to express in mainstream discourse and filter their worldview such that they don’t honestly represent interactions with their disliked group of choice or the legal system. The issue is how best to engage those people in the hopes of altering their world view and/or limiting their political appeal.

Did anyone have nine minutes?

And Drew-if you do like this site and have read it before, why are you spouting off on the same damn thing we have heard a million times from previous trolls? Nor were you willing to make any effort hwhatsoever to provide any support to your assertions. So sorry if you think we are just disagreeing to disagree-you never supported what you were claiming so how could we?

modern racists, like MRAs, have some combination of economic or social marginalization, mental illness, family trauma or other life experiences that explain why they express ideas that are generally considered unacceptable to express in mainstream discourse and filter their worldview such that they don’t honestly represent interactions with their disliked group of choice or the legal system.

Yeah, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum are just so economically marginalized. They have had it so much worse than nonracists like Aki Ra, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, etc. It’s so sad that they were forced by circumstances into wanting to economically marginalize millions of people.

Similarly, if an MRA even has interent access, he is like in the top quintile of income earners. I’m not sure why we’re crying a river for them when there are a lot of nonhateful people at the bottom.

The issue is how best to engage those people in the hopes of altering their world view and/or limiting their political appeal.

How would we do that? Someone, somewhere, has already told these people “It is abd to rape and abuse women and children” and they didn’t give a flying fuck. How will sugarcoating it change that?

Just so you know, I agree entirely – modern racists, like MRAs, have some combination of economic or social marginalization, mental illness, family trauma or other life experiences that explain why they express ideas that are generally considered unacceptable to express in mainstream discourse and filter their worldview such that they don’t honestly represent interactions with their disliked group of choice or the legal system.

Oh word, that makes perfect sense, that must be why Republicans are so fucking racist then – all the economic marginalization.

Also, lolz at “generally considered unacceptable” as a way to describe fucking hate speech.

The issue is how best to engage those people in the hopes of altering their world view and/or limiting their political appeal.

The best way to limit the political appeal of racists and misogynists is to not let people get away with advocating fucking racism and misogyny, which means yelling at MRAs and also calling you a stupid fucker for trying to complain about how our approach isn’t tactically optimal or whatever.

@Drew

Just so you know, I agree entirely – modern racists, like MRAs, have some combination of economic or social marginalization, mental illness, family trauma or other life experiences that explain why they express ideas that are generally considered unacceptable to express in mainstream discourse

No, there is the assumption that racists are mostly poor uneducated people who rave incoherently but that is simply not true. There is an immense number of people who are rich, educated and who are perfectly coherent who nonetheless are racist as fuck. Industry owners who don’t hire people of color(PoC), country clubs who don’t allow PoC as members, members of government who push for discriminatory anti-immigration laws, real estate agents who direct PoC to degraded neighborhoods, etc.

There is an immense number of people who are rich, educated and who are perfectly coherent who nonetheless are racist as fuck.

Really, these people have pretty much been the driving force of world history for the last 200 years.

I’ve reading for about three months, and I haven’t seen a troll saying “MRAs are generally wrong, but the best way to engage them is not to assume they are lying about every anecdote they offer.” I don’t read comments as often as I should, though.

I made two factual assertions which I didn’t bother citing:
1) men are sometimes wronged in the legal system during family disputes, and
2) the number of false rape accusations is <<< number of unreported sexual assaults.

I didn't think either were controversial such that they needed citation. If the point is that men are wronged more often than women such that we need some MRA-like change in family law, then yeah, one would want a citation. But that wasn't the point – the point is that MRAs will have at least sometimes truthful anecdotes about being wronged, and rather than deny the truthfulness of the anecdote it's more productive – if persuading people is the goal – to assume the truth of the anecdote and show how the statistical picture differs from their subjective experience, or how the anecdotal problem could be solved by better gender politics. Either one of those are easier to do if you're not caught up calling someone a liar.

People are now calling me a stupid fucker – which is fine with me, I just want to be called stupid for the opinions I actually have rather than the ones people assume I have.

But that wasn’t the point – the point is that MRAs will have at least sometimes truthful anecdotes about being wronged, and rather than deny the truthfulness of the anecdote it’s more productive – if persuading people is the goal – to assume the truth of the anecdote

Think of someone saying exactly the same thing about neo-Nazis talking about losing their jobs to immigrants, and think of how likely that would be to result in an honest discussion.

if persuading people is the goal

Mocking people is the goal.

Again, these people have been told that rape and child abuse are bad. How would saying that with a spoonfull of sugar change anything? What is to be gained for hearing their endless rationalizations about why it’s okay for them to rape and abuse?

I made two factual assertions which I didn’t bother citing

So was that bit about how racists and sexists are all poor and mentally ill, in the words of John Kyl, not intended to be a factual statement? Or are you just assuming we’ll forget about your shitty little bout of classism and ableism? Because I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s what I’m calling you a stupid fucker for.

Ugh, thanks for being patient in responding to my points. I understand what you are saying and it’s hard to see people who produce content like Elam or the spearhead guys ever being reached short of some self-searching moment.

I am in the minority, maybe of one, in thinking there exists in MRA readership and comment-dom people who are reachable if they are to some extent humored or engaged in dialogue or however you want to put it. I am not sure any more continued discussion would be productive.

Certainly there are ways of reaching neo nazis: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2165342/Prussian-Blue-twins-Lynx-Lamb-Marijuana-changed-Nazis-peace-loving-hippies.html

People are now calling me a stupid fucker – which is fine with me, I just want to be called stupid for the opinions I actually have rather than the ones people assume I have.

People assumed you were smart enough to realize that racists aren’t marginalized and that, of all the people who need compassion and understanding in the world, rape advocates are damn near the bottom of the list. I don’t think people assuming you’re smart is something to complain about.

Drew, we’re not here to engage MRAs in a civil fashion and almost no one has a fuck to give about their backstory, we’re here to mock misogyny. Read the header as many times as you have to and get it right.

I am in the minority, maybe of one, in thinking there exists in MRA readership and comment-dom people who are reachable if they are to some extent humored or engaged in dialogue or however you want to put it.

It’s certainly possible for MRAs to change. First Joe was a troll here who got fed up with the MRA’s support of child abusers.

What I’m less confident about is the ability for other people to change MRAs, or that there is some secret code beyond saying “you are in a movement that advocates for rapists; advocating for rapists is wrong” that would do the trick. I mean, hell, maybe one or two MRAs did have a bad family court situation. However, the distance between “I miss my kids” and “rapists should be pardoned” is not a distance that any exeperience can account for, or any amount of listening can bridge.

First Joe is also a racist Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who thinks the CIA funded feminism, though, so “change” might be a touch too charitable. I’m pretty sure there are better examples among the commenters here of people who believed in the MRM at one point and have since realized it’s just a big group of angry whiney dudes.

Because of that fact, it doesn’t make any sense to assume the MRAs are making up their own personal stories. Some of them probably are, or at least embellishing them, but if the goal is to sway moderates or maybe get MRAs to reconsider some or all of their positions, assuming they are lying isn’t helpful, even if they ARE lying.

You know, it occurs to me that this is easy to say if you aren’t someone who the MRA ire is generally directed at. It’s all well and good to say “let’s just be NICE to the bullies” if you aren’t the one being bullied. In my experience, reasoning with bullies backfires, badly. Give an inch, they’ll take the whole fucking mile and then demand that you give them your tennis shoes because you’re making them walk so much. (see also, current American Politics)

You’re making a roundabout “tone argument”. Quite frankly, I don’t feel anyone who believes murdering their ex, the attorney representing their ex, and the judge (also, possibly their kids) is a valid response to a court decision, deserves any sort of “aw you poor baby” coddling, nor are they expressing any sort of desire for reasoned conversation. People can change, but they have to WANT to change. And they have to be willing to listen. Neither of these two things is at all controlled by an outside, magical combination of correct words and correct tone. Saying it can is borderline abuser logic. It’s a nicer version of “you made me do it!” Feminists are not responsible for the terrible behavior MRAs choose to engage in.

Don’t worry, everyone, I’m totally fine and I definitely wasn’t abducted by CIA spooks and given my release upon the condition that I feed information about the rest of you back to the government!

On a completely unrelated note, how about all that treason we’re planning, amirite? Let’s discuss that in detail.

Sigh! Tone concern trolling is the lowest form of trolling.

Drew, here’s clue: we (or I) do this (primarily) for fun. To me, the MRM is a big freak show, where we all point and laugh at the idiots with ridiculous ideas. They really deserve no better. They are not so much a movement as a continuous tantrum being thrown on the internet (which sometimes spills over into the real world with tragic results). Their idea of activism is laughable: the most significant thing they’ve ever done is trying to organize a boycott of a domestic violence services for women because of an ad that hurt their widdle fee fees. I’ve never heard of any of them actually trying to do something constructive for men; it’s all about hurting women and especially feminists. These are people who think “mangina” is a fitting (and hilarious!) description for men who don’t hate and fear women as much as they. I’ll take them seriously when they raise issues that merit being taken seriously. Until then, I will continue to point and laugh.

@Gametime,

I’m not much for treason, but I’m definitely down for sedition and insurrection.

@Gametime
I can’t be a traitor because I’m not a citizen of the USA, but I could do some foreign infiltration and propaganda. Maybe some light spying, but only on Fridays and Saturdays.

Late on the thread, but:

modern racists, like MRAs, have some combination of economic or social marginalization, mental illness, family trauma or other life experiences that explain why they express ideas that are generally considered unacceptable to express in mainstream discourse and filter their worldview such that they don’t honestly represent interactions with their disliked group of choice or the legal system. The issue is how best to engage those people in the hopes of altering their world view and/or limiting their political appeal.

Just as something different from the observations about the uber-wealthy Republicans and their racism, my initial reaction to this was BULLSHIT – because my family has racists who actually want refugees to drown trying to get to Australia. And I know for a fact that poor education, lack of opportunities, personal experiences and mental illness have NOTHING to do with this grotesque bigotry. So stop making fucking excuses for it.

I’ve met plenty of wealthy, not at all marginalized or traumatized racists. Same with sexists, homophobes, etc. I know it’s nice and neat and comfy for people to think that their hatred of group X is a justifiable response to personal trauma, but it’s not true.

my family has racists who actually want refugees to drown trying to get to Australia

My family and friends, too. WTF are they thinking?! I can’t understand the hate 🙁

More like ‘confirmation of what I thought’ – the Good Weekend had an article about Tony Abbott’s university days, and what a foul, sexist, homophobic little shit he was. He even invaded the women’s room at his university with a TV crew in order to mock the very idea of a safe or separate space, and said, “It’s a men’s room now,” when someone objected. Thing is … I don’t think he’s changed in all those decades. My mum doesn’t get angry about politicians much, but her reaction was “What a vile* human being.”

*No, my mum’s not Steelebutt! 😉

Also, whoever came up with the term “asylum seeker” is evil, and cunning. It lets the racists ignore the From and concentrate on the To. grrrr

It sure made my opinion of the Rhodes Scholarship drop – I mean, someone getting in who was described as a “second-rate footballer, third-rate academic and fourth-rate politician” getting it?

I can just see Tony pukefeatures Abbot loving the MRM, if only because their grasp of logic and facts and honesty and general arglebargleargle is just like his.

Argh. Delete “getting it” from that sentence! Grammar fail. Do not try to type and eat chicken sandwiches at the same time!

If I don’t dig around SSRN for a few hours people are not going to believe that men are sometimes wronged in the course of a family law dispute? That strikes me as weighting ideology over common sense. Just take a look at appellate court decisions – lower courts get stuff wrong daily.

MRAs are going to have real, valid anecdotes about being screwed over, and that denying their experiences and portraying them all as delusional is unproductive.

are you actually too stupid to understand the difference between data and a few random examples, or are you being dishonest because you need the attention?

@Sharc: pieces of both. I mean, I laid it out as bluntly as I could, and he still weasel-worded. When the most privileged group whines loudly that their privilege is slipping, but they still get what they want out of the court system just for asking, you have to wonder why he’s so CERTAIN that they can’t possibly be making it all up.

WHY CAN’T THEY BE MAKING IT ALL UP?

Seriously. Every time we get into the details of a MRA’s court cases, EVERY STINKING TIME, we find the courts acting quite well indeed. Cutting abusers off. Awarding custody to the parent who’s been… parenting.

Drew appears to be suffering from the belief that MRAs aren’t all abusers and rapists.

Drew, I think you misunderstand the point of this blog. No one here wants to be nice or understand the problems of MRAs or sexists because is not a blog aimed at being constructive or understanding. This is about expressing our pain by mocking our enemies.

All but the most calluous feminists understand that everyone has their own pain, struggles, and injustices and that they all need to be put in the appropriate context. It can be very emotionally/mentally draining to have that kind of conversation every time that an issue presents itself and so, humanity being what it is, this is how some people cope.

@Myoo

When I worked real estate, I was surprised to find that people just gravitated to neighborhoods where they looked like everyone else. Hispanics wanted to live in majority Hispanic communities. Jews wanted to live in majority Jewish communities. Whites wanted to live in majority white communities. Steering people is illegal, but I never bothered to. They did it themselves.

Also, IA drops some serious turds there. Pretending to be arguments.

Right. Pointing out that these guys are seriously arguing for killing judges and ex-wives… that’s us “expressing our pain.” Our lack of constructive engagement is “coping.”

Or it could be us doing our best to expose a hate movement. You know. Whichever.

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