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MRA: “In case no feminists show up for the debate, ask a few MRA’s to … present the feminist’s point of view. Let’s not turn this … into a MRA circlejerk.”

You remember that big MRA-vs-feminists debate in Vancouver we were talking about the other day? The one later this month? In the car dealership? About whether or not feminism has “gone to too  far?” Oh, and which doesn’t, so far, seem to involve any actual feminists?

In case no feminists decide to show up to a debate organized and moderated by MRAs, promoted only on MRA websites, and taking place in a car dealership run by an MRA, one Reddit MRA has a suggestion:



Yep, he really did just suggest that MRAs debate themselves, and then, with no sense of irony, say  “Let’s not turn this debate into a MRA circlejerk.”

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect encapsulation of the Men’s Rights movement than this. MRAs are always eager to debate the imaginary feminists that live only in their own heads. Straw feminists are really the only feminists they know.

You might also enjoy TyphonBlue’s heroic special-snowflaking in the Reddit thread.

145 replies on “MRA: “In case no feminists show up for the debate, ask a few MRA’s to … present the feminist’s point of view. Let’s not turn this … into a MRA circlejerk.””

Happy- thanks, but I think Kakanian’s “sending psychiatrists into a congregation of Scientologists” analogy was more succinct! Scientologists vs psychiarists is a great example of a very emotionally-charged issue in which at least one side take criticism very personally indeed.

The more emotionally-charged a debate is, the greater the likelihood of it turning ugly, and as it seems that Hell hath no fury like an MRA scorned, I sure as hell wouldn’t like to find myself arguing the case for feminism in a room surrounded by them.


“the futility of debating with them”

That’s another issue- MRAs are conspiracy theorists, and debating ANYTHING with a conspiracy theorist is futile. As they say themselves, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you”.

@Gokkun Gooch: If you’ve read Plato’s Republic (it’s not just the Republic that’s written as a dialogue between different views btw, all Plato’s books are), you know that he (through Socrates) argues that all jobs should be open for women as well as men. At a time when women had NO rights whatsoever and were confined to their homes.

A little off topic, but just saying.

Devil’s Advocate is a tough place to be. In ritualised debate (i.e. “forensics”) it’s not so bad,because the resolutions are, by and large, not anything the debaters have any deep investment in, “Resolved, advertising is detrimental to the quality of life in the United States”. One has to argue both sides† because being Con is more work than Aff (why yes, I did “do debate” in college). One isn’t actually being asked to defend a position one disagrees with, but rather take turns examining a question that doesn’t matter much.

But to play Devil’s Advocate, for real; arguing a side one vehemently disagrees with, that’s hard. It requires a deep understanding of the other side, and the ability to treat it fairly.

I’ve seen evidence of neither from the MRM.

&dagger: in the actual Lincoln/Douglas debates they didn’t switch off. They were campaigning for office, and cared deeply about what people thought of their arguments)


Exactly. In forensic debate one usually isn’t forced to defend the position “You guys shouldn’t rape me; that would be wrong. Can I get the fuck out of this place?”

It’s a lose/lose, of course. Even if for some reason a troop of Vancouver feminists DID show up to debate, the MRA would THEN take it as a sign that they’re very important and showing they mean business. (See the response to SPLC.)


Oh, maybe because MRAs have a tendency to harass, stalk, and threaten those who disagree with them. Along with the fact that they will always say the sky is green, even when it is clearly blue.

The point of forensics is learning how to debate, so that if you find yourself ever having to debate something you actually believe you can do it well. It isn’t about how everyone should switch sides at the drop of a hat.

Also, in a debate neither team picks their side, so during the debate nobody but you knows your personal opinion. Also, you are doing this for fun, so you can laugh in the halls afterwards. In this debate, we know the MRAs are MRAs (and the feminists are also MRAs), which eliminates that unknown, and nobody wants to laugh with MRAs in the halls afterward, not even other MRAs.

The expectation that everybody, but especially marginalized people, should always be calm and reasonable about things that effect them is so. damn. stupid. And also oppressive.

To all those who think feminists ought to show up to this debate- are you high? The feminist who originally suggested this debate was threatened on her fb page, and this page is linked to the violent rhetoric used to describe feminists. Couple that with victim blaming tactics directed towards abused women and rape victims, no feminist is going to feel entirely safe in that crowd, let alone be confident they weren’t there to have their arguments outshouted for the entertainment of angry dudes. MRA arguments are successfully addressed by feminists all over the internet- go read them there.

“Stalk, harrass and threaten”

Such as a large group with box cutters?

So, essentially, when MRA’s leave angry facebook messages, its “stalking and harassment.”

When femz come at you with blades, its… what? All in good fun? Maybe Dave can answer that.

Sharon. We saw the video.

If you are going to come at us with shit that didn’t happen, you need to actually do it before it gets debunked.

Shit, if “cutting down posters in your general vicinity” is the same as coming at you with blades, I’m going to have to sue the restaurant I went to the other night. I passed the kitchen at one point, and there were at least THREE people wielding knives at me!

Gah, I wish it was easy to retrain your brain, because every time I see the words “box cutter” (a name we don’t use over here), I think of bolt cutters instead. Which would be weird to carry around with you to threaten people with.

People watched the video, I watched the video, a video made by MRAs. They had every chance to show this “mob armed with box cutters” and instead the video showed a few people cutting down posters. So either the MRAs themselves decided to omit the incriminating footage for some reason or they’re full of shit.

If I were John the Other, I would have at least got people to come at me with Stanley knives…

Their dedication to film honesty is hilarious when compared to their complete fabrication of the rest of it.

@ Sharon:

Wasn’t Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis infamy) demanding a debate with Bill Nye a while back? Do you think the fact that Bill Nye isn’t going to debate Ken Ham means that the theory of evolution is wrong and that the world really is less than ten thousand years old?

All a debate between MRAs and feminists would do would be to give undue publicity and credibility to the MRAs. Even if the feminists completely trounced the MRAs’ arguments, the feminists would still have provided them a platform to spew their lies. It would give the MRAs a chance to speak before a wider audience. Even if the MRAs lost the debate, they would ultimately win just by having such a debate take place.

What I learned today:

Two people with box cutters is a large group

Merely holding something considered a tool in your hands is threatening to assault someone with it. (I think I’ve been assaultiung my family with hoit dinners for years. I plead guilty, can someone else do the cooking now?)

Taking down posters and shouting angry words is life threatening.

Getting together a group of people to discuss an issue they vehemently disagree with is a debate, provided that at least one person pretends to be the one with the hated views and tries to represent a side of the argument they clearly misunderstand.

There is clearly no problem with showing up at debate site filled with people who vehemetely oppose your views and have been known to stalk and harass or threaten people who oppose their views.

Clearly, despite years of internet debate, the entire issue can be resolved by face to face argument. Presumably the arguments will be so persuasive that everyone will come to mutual agreement and support a view they did not necessarily hold before the event.

You’d think people who are so concerned about “false accusations” would be more wary of making accusations that are demonstrably false.

Sharon, why on earth should I or anyone with a survival instinct want to show up to a privately-owned enclosed space to debate anything with a crowd of hostile people who think it’s perfectly okay to hold me hostage, rape, and kill me if I don’t do exactly what they want? That’s not what sane people call an incentive.


“Stalk, harrass and threaten”

Such as a large group with box cutters?

So, essentially, when MRA’s leave angry facebook messages, its “stalking and harassment.”

When femz come at you with blades, its… what? All in good fun? Maybe Dave can answer that.

Dave doesn’t need to. JtO has video of the encounter… it never happened. He lied about it.

Glad I could clear that up for you.

“box cutter” (a name we don’t use over here),

Me too. Took me ages to realise they were just what we call Stanley knives.

The interesting bit is where MRA’s posted the video, knew that the boxcutters were for the burpose of cutting down the posters, and still considered this to be a threat to their person, comparable to actual threats and stalking. Kind of gives you insight to how they compare themselves to actual disadvantaged groups.

A box cutter is just a stanley knife?

That shit ain’t dangerous! I was using those in Design and Technology lessons at the age of about 7!

Ok then, guys. Assuming that mens rightsers are complete bumbling bigots. Why, then, are feminists so afraid to engage them in front of the public?

Maybe–and I’m just spitballin’ here–maybe it has something to with the intense hatred of women on display and the way MRAs all too frequently fantasize about killing women.

If you’ve read Plato’s Republic (it’s not just the Republic that’s written as a dialogue between different views btw, all Plato’s books are), you know that he (through Socrates) argues that all jobs should be open for women as well as men.

But only as second-place helpmeets to men in those jobs. A philosopher-king needs a philosopher-queen, not a washerwoman, as his proper (and subservient) companion.


I for one approve of “assaulting” people by serving them tasty hot dinners.

The only way that John the Other could have been assaulted in this case is if he considers his terrible hate-filled posters to be an extension of himself. This would not be implausible given the behaviour of some MRAs…


I am not cutting those down. Even if it weren’t morally wrong, I’d have to touch those people… eww.

Historophilia – I’m pretty sure that’s what they are, and the glimpse of the one I got from the video certainly looked like a Stanley knife.

*Would the MRAs proposing the feminist viewpoint find it difficult not to project imputations of malice?

So very many clever excuses here, for bring unwilling to engage in a genuine debate! I’m duly impressed. Mr. Futrelle, how about you? Surely an articulate feminist such as yourself would make quite a success of it. You’re not a woman, so you wouldn’t feel intimidated by those hostile men. You’re the perfect spokesman for female feminists, who appear to be succumbing to a collective fit of the vapors at the prospect openly and honestly challenging MRAs.

Hm, I am not sure ‘genuine and rational fear for my safety’ really qualifies as a clever excuse. A sound reason, definitely, but clever? Maybe if you arranged it in limerick form or something-
There once was a Vancouverite lady
Who showed up for some dudebra’s debatey.
They hissed and they booed
They told her to get nude
and followed her home, um, on a spadey?

Oh, sorry to hear the dudebrah manager that was going to run the debate got fired from his job? Possibly for using company property to post hateful stuff about his ex-wife? Or maybe inviting a bunch of dudebra’s to come say hateful stuff about women i.e. customers on company property? I dunno, but I’m sure you can find an equally safe space to hold this totally worthwhile debate at.

Oh, I also like the new topic to be debated :“Is feminism a hate movement?”. A little turn-about on those meanies at the SPLC. Alternatively, you might have debated : At what point did women’s liberation irretrievably screw up the world. Some might say when Men let women take jobs. Others might say when they gave women the vote. Still others, when Men taught women to read. So much more room for debate in that topic!

So very many clever excuses here, for bring unwilling to engage in a genuine debate!

“You want to go to Vancouver? Vancouver? You have to work! Do you even have the money?”

“It’s just something I have to do.”


“Someone on the internet implied I should.”

So let me get this straight… you think its logical to assume that, because feminists rather tear down MRA posters and heckle MRA speakers, then to loose to the MRA in a debate, some how this means the MRA faces a phantom enemy, and not that feminist fear loosing for have nothing in their arsenal to debate with? R U fucking kidding me, please get your unintelligent ass of the internet. Then you actually try to draw the false conclusion that because MRA’ posted the debate challenge on MRA website, and feminist failed to do so on their website, that this is how evidence to a conspiracy of men and not of the ignorance and negligence of feminists? Lol MRA’s post on MRA website and that surprises you? lol an how does feminism failure to recognize the debate on their websites have anything to do with the MRA? Don’t apply as a detective any time soon!

Let me get this straight, MRA’s post on MRA websites, and feminists ignore the debate… some how that speaks as evidence against the MRA to you? I want some of what you’re smoking! MRA’ show up at a debate, and feminists don’t, and that shows that the MRA face a phantom enemy? RU suggesting feminists dont exist? lol Have you ever even herd of the concept called “logic?” Feminist have made it to most MRA assemblies at universities to heckle at them, and have managed to tear down enough MRA posters to get them selves caught in the act, the evidence being a police report. Feminist have written irrational articles offering 0 credible logic, and an overwhelming load of hate talk, and false accusations. Yet some how the a rational debate is something they fail to show up for… how do you fail to see that for anything other then the pathetic cowardice it is?

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