antifeminism boner rage gullibility homophobia hundreds of upvotes imaginary oppression irony alert misogyny MRA playing the victim radfems oh my reddit sexual harassment straw feminists

Ever-gullible Men’s Rights Redditors throw yet another tantrum over a phony “feminist” screencap [UPDATE: w/ Men’s Rights response]

This  flower seems angry.

The top post on the Men’s Rights subreddit at the moment, with more than 300 600 700 net upvotes, is a link to this screenshot, posted as an example of radical feminism gone wild:


Naturally, the assembled Men’s Rights Redditors are outraged yet quiety affirmed in their beliefs by the quote. OuiCrudites responds with a slogan:

OsirisFox does a callback to that screenshotted lady we talked about the other day:

And DavidByron demonstrates a severe disconnection from reality:


There’s just one little problem with that rad-fem screenshot they’re all reacting to: it’s, uh, pretty freaking obviously not a quote from a real feminist. Not only is it ridiculously over-the-top — there’s no feminist alive who thinks women shouldn’t be responsible for any of their decisions —  but there’s also that “supposed” in the final sentence, which makes it clear this isn’t a comment from a deluded feminist but a sarcastic comment from someone who is not exactly a fan of feminism.

The person who posted the screenshot to the Men’s Rights subreddit did not, alas, post a link to the source of the screenshot. But, making use of a little-known internet technology known as “Google,” I was able to trace it to its source: the comment section on Gawker. Specifically, right here.

Unlike the last screenshot from Gawker media that caused the Men’s Rights subreddit such embarrassment, this screenshot wasn’t doctored. But the screenshotter did leave out a bit of context: that is, if you look at GardeniaBlossom’s comment history, it’s clear that this pretty flower is no radical feminist.

Most of Gardenia’s comments are attacks on fat acceptance; there’s a snarky one insulting prostitutes and  a followup suggesting that women dating PUAs shouldn’t be shocked when PUAs sexually harass them; and one, in the comments section to an article about feminism, setting forth the basic MRA talking points about circumcision and female genital mutilation. (You can find more analysis of Gardenia in the AgainstMensRights subreddit; there are also a few — a distinct minority — in the Men’s Rights discussion who suspect a troll.)

I’m guessing Gardinia is, at the very least, a Redditor, if not an active poster to the Men’s Rights subreddit.

MRAs love to claim that I take quotes “out of context,” but I quote liberally, and when I quote and/or post screenshots, I provide links to the quotes in their original contexts — as I have done here. I don’t generally quote comments by obvious trolls, or quotes that have been heavily criticized by others on the sites I find them on.

When I take comments from sites like Reddit or The Spearhead where readers can up- and downvote comments, I tend to quote comments that have received a substantial number of upvotes. When I quote outliers or unpopular comments, I mention this in my posts.

The Men’s Rights subreddit, by contrast, is happy to upvote completely unsourced screenshots without even doing the thirty seconds of Googling it would take to figure out where they come from in the first place. But that sort of makes sense. Given that Men’s Rights Redditors spend so much of their time fighting imaginary straw feminists — and that the entire Men’s Rights movement is in fact built upon fighting straw feminists — why does it matter if the screenshots of evil feminist quotes they like to circle-jerk over are real or forged, or, in this case, actually from a feminist at all?

Fighting imaginary enemies, all in a day’s work for the Men’s Rights Warriors of Reddit Dot Com.

EDIT: I reworked the paragraph starting “There’s just one little problem” to be a bit more blunt.

EDITED TO ADD: Some of the regulars in the Men’s Rights subreddit has discovered this post of mine. The regulars have recognized their folly, and have begun some serious soul-searching about their willingness to believe the literally unbelievable about feminists without even doing the most basic factchecking first.

Nah, just kidding, they still think the screenshot is real — though the subreddit’s mods (apparently having a teensy bit more sense than the subreddit regulars themselves) have finally labelled the screenshot a “fake.” Which isn’t exactly true. It wasn’t fake; it was simply some fairly obvious sarcasm that the regulars in the Men’s Rights were too obtuse to notice. Did none of them even read the comment all the way through to the end?

Also, turns out the TumblrInAction subreddit also had a giant circle-jerk over the screenshot as well, which garnered nearly 700 upvotes and more than 200 mostly outraged and not-in-the-slightest skeptical comments; they also discovered this post of mine and are also continuing to insist that the screenshot was a real feminist probably, honest.

147 replies on “Ever-gullible Men’s Rights Redditors throw yet another tantrum over a phony “feminist” screencap [UPDATE: w/ Men’s Rights response]”

Would trans ethnic make any sense if you were one race but, say, raised by parents of another race so that was what you were always immersed in?

I know at least one blogger uses the term to refer to himself, a POC raised by white parents, and from context I gather that it’s commonly used that way (which is part of why he finds it appropriative when people compare it to being trans*).

@Dvarg: The thing about “positive” stereotypes like “black people are musically gifted” is that they are still really harmful. They both erase the individuals that make up that race (what about the black people who don’t fit the stereotype?), and they can easily be flipped around to be negative. Black people have rhythm because they’re more primitive and animalistic, or because they’re lazy so don’t do “real” work and have plenty of time to devote to dancing and making music as a result (both of which I have actually heard racists claim), that sort of thing. Another really common “positive” stereotype in the US is that Native Americans are inherently super spiritual and have some mystical connection to the earth, which carries the implication that they’re unable to keep up with the modern world and in need of paternalistic care, in addition to the erasure aspect. I could keep going.

I really can’t think of a single “positive” racial stereotype that doesn’t have a negative side. So I totally agree with you–even stereotypes that seem complimentary on the face are still racist and harmful.

@Gametime, would you be willing to share the name of or link to the blogger you mention? I’d be really curious to read his thoughts on the matter since I have not seen it used that way before.

I also realized that to be more accurate, I probably should have been saying trans*ethnic rather than trans-ethnic as I was typing yesterday. I wasn’t doing that because it seems like giving it too much credibility (since I associate the asterisk with transgender/non-binary folks), but I think it was obvious what my thoughts on people who claim they’re really another race are, so it was probably unnecessarily confusing.

Sure – the blogger is Mark Oshiro, and the comment is in a footnote near the bottom of this post:

He actually uses “transracial,” not transethnic, my mistake. And he doesn’t go into detail about his thoughts on the matter, unfortunately, just mentions it as a side note.

(Only slightly relevant, but Mark’s various sites are awesome and filled with progressive geekery and fandom love. I strongly recommend checking them out.)

On the asterisk — the asterisk, in general, is a shorthand code for a wildcard. Basically, when doing a search you can do, thin* and it’ll get thing, think, etc. So trans* is a combined shorthand for transgender and transsexual. Trans*-ethnic makes about as much sense as trans*-gender in other words. I mean, go ahead and use the asterisk if you want, but there’s your history lesson for the day 🙂

Would trans ethnic make any sense if you were one race but, say, raised by parents of another race so that was what you were always immersed in?

I know at least one blogger uses the term to refer to himself, a POC raised by white parents, and from context I gather that it’s commonly used that way (which is part of why he finds it appropriative when people compare it to being trans*).

Yeah, “transracial adoptees” is a fairly common term referring, mainly, to PoC who were/are raised by white adoptive parents.

As opposed to Tumblr, where “transethnic” means “I’m white but I really like manga and Pocky, which means I’m japanese on the inside”. For an extra layer of fail, it seems to have sprung out of Tumblr’s otherkin culture, in which being a wolf on the inside is just like being trans*, and apparently, being Korean on the inside is just like being a wolf on the inside.

I like the discussions that take place here when we don’t have a troll to kick around.

My ex boyfriend I suppose was “trans ethnic” in that he’s white, blond, blue-eyed, but liked to think of himself as a black man in a white body. I don’t know why I put up with that shit, because looking back, he really did appropriate some of the experiences of black people. He had a Jamaican coworker who once told him he was black in his soul, but she was probably just trying to get him to shut up.

I think it’s an interesting topic regarding people of colour who have white parents, or vice versa, or something similar. One of my aunts is adopted, and was unsure of her ethnic background. We all thought she was part Irish, and then she recently found out that was true, but she’s also Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Syrian, Turkish, Native American, and Swedish. She and her daughter have a somewhat “racially ambiguous” look that caused my cousin’s schoolmates to ask what her immigration status was, and some people to suspect my aunt was her son’s nanny. But that really doesn’t compare to the constant barrage people of colour get through most of their lives. My aunt identifies as white, and is generally assumed to be white and gets all the privilege that comes with that. But then, my aunt’s never attempted to appropriate the experiences of others.

It’s an interesting conversation. I agree with others that “trans ethnic” really isn’t the same as trans gender, though.

Regarding “otherkin” or “teriantropes” or whatever they want to call themselves, I have slightly mixed feelings. My initial reaction on hearing about this concept was that it’s ridiculous. Being of a different gender than the one people assign you to is one thing, being a different species something completely different. Like, the brain of a wolf is TOTALLY different from the brain of a human being – they have tiny tiny frontal lobes compared to us while a LARGE area is dedicated to analyzing smells, for instance. They must experience the world in a completely different way than us. You can’t have that, when you in fact have a human brain. And I thought it was sort of condescending towards other species to talk like that as well (have I mentioned that I have strong animal rights views?). Like, you just use other species to project various romantic notions you have about wilderness and so on, rather than appreciating other species for what they are.

Then I got into a discussion with an otherkin woman who said she was wolf on the inside, and she was actually very reasonable. She described various weird experiences she had from time to time, not all the time but quite often. It included body dysmorphia, feeling like she ought to have the body of a wolf and the body she did have was completely wrong, but also different sensory experiences. She said that perhaps it’s not completely accurate to say she was a wolf in a human’s body, she just hadn’t come up with a better way to describe these experiences. And I have no reason to suspect that she wasn’t honest about her strange experiences – we know people can be psychotic (heck, I’m one) but we also know people can have mystic, religious or otherwise strange experiences that are unlike psychosis in that they don’t have the disruptive effect on the personality a psychosis have (heck, had that too). It seems to me that what she described was some kind of altered experiences and state of mind, sort of analogous to how people can have strange religious experiences without being psychotic, and this otherkin terms were the best way she had to describe it.

BUT I came into discussion with another “wolf on the inside” person a bit later on who simply was this idiot who glorified the wilderness and naturalness and yada yada and projected that onto another species. And for this I have no respect at all.

Otherkin seem to be, for the most part, goofy-ass idiots.

And they have every right to be goofy-ass idiots if it makes them happy. If they’re not telling me what to do, I’m not going to tell them they can’t go around saying they’re actually a lion because they saw The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride at a formative age and totally connected with Kovu.

Yeah, whether or not being Otherkin is “real” (I lean towards believing it is, in the sense that it is a real experience, and isn’t, in the sense that all the explanations I’ve seen Otherkin advance rely on cosmological or ontological theories that I reject), people can do whatever. Doesn’t bother me until they start appropriating and talking about how they’re an oppressed community, at which point I get pissed.

I wonder, as a matter of curiosity, how many Otherkin experience body dysphoria. I remember seeing an argument once between an Otherkin who identified strongly with goblins and an Otakukin who identified strongly with a particular anime character, and I struggle to believe that anyone has ever felt like their body should be more like an anime character. But, hell, brains are weird, who the fuck knows.

To put it more generally: No one gets to draw the line between what’s a reasonable personal identity and what’s just silly and ridiculous, because everyone has a different idea of what counts as silly and ridiculous. So you’ve got NWOslave thinking that any identity other than straight cis white Christian dude is totally ridiculous; I don’t want him deciding what identity I can or can’t choose, and so I’m not going to decide what identities other people can or can’t choose.

(Took me quite a few years of being an asshole before I figured that one out.)

You guys are totally right that one shouldn’t policy other people’s ridiculousness. I just feel that appropriating real species for living out one’s fantasies about how everything is cooler in the wild or living out some personality trait associated with that species is wrong. It gets in the way of having a real understanding of what other species are like and developing a real respect for them, which I think is vital for larger questions in animal ethics (like meat-eating, experimenting on animals and so on). I’m obviously not saying there’s any really straight and clear causal line between the one and the other, but our entire culture’s way of not seeing animals for what they are but rather letting them represent this or that and projecting stuff onto them helps our exploitation of them, and stupid otherkin people (like, the second rather than the first person in my post) is sort of the most extreme symptom of this, which is why I don’t like them.

BUT I actually feel completely different about people identifying with pure fantasy creatures. It’s fantasy, do what you like with it! Regarding people who say they’re a dragon deep down or something like that, I merely feel that okay, it’s silly, but being silly is FINE.

I actually don’t care if people want to ID as otherkin or otakukin/fictionkin or structurekin or whatever. I’ve known some perfectly nice people who just happened to be otherkin. My issue is when they appropriate the language of trans* people or claim they’re being oppressed by people not believing them (which seems, thankfully, to be a phenomenon mostly limited to Tumblr)

If you people think being ‘other-kin’ is ridiculous then I truly believe you are just a hypocrite when so many ‘trans rights activists’ would call me transphobic for believing trans* identities are just the same, I don’t even passed any judgement, I simply disbelieve a claim they make and get called ‘hateful.’

I would never identify myself on the basis that ‘I feel like it’ I always have evidence to prove I am what I say I am, I’m a female, a woman, because of my reproductive anatomy, that’s my hard proof, what I feel like about this fact is irrelevant.

So, how do they know you hold this special opinion of trans people? You wouldn’t be non-judgmentally calling people by names or pronouns they don’t prefer or going out of your way to call trans people delusional or attempting to deny trans people the ability to transition, would you?

So having a vagina makes you a woman. Interesting. Do men who cat call you on the street get out of their cars and pull down your trousers before saying anything do you?

mysterics, I am a trans* girl. I don’t identify as female because I “feel like it.” I identify as female because that’s my true sex. Just because I look like an androgynous guy and have external genitalia associated with maleness doesn’t mean that I’m not female.

Saying that I don’t have any evidence to prove that I’m female is dismissive and narrow-minded, regardless of whether you intend to be like that.

Also, if you actually understood what it means to be trans*, you wouldn’t be making the outrageous and absurd claim that it’s exactly like being “trans-ethnic.”

Well, just for starters, there’s the fact that both men and women actually exist, so saying you are one is rather different than saying you’re a dragon or a Naruto character.

I also fall into the camp that thinks that otherkin are kind of silly, and otakukin much more so, but if someone wants to go around thinking that they’re a dragon then hey, whatever, I don’t believe them but I also don’t think it’s any of my business or that they’re doing any harm. Otakukin are more of a problem in that sometimes they get pissy at the people who create the work they’re trying to appropriate and tell the creators that they’re writing the story wrong and they know this because they lived it, which while lulzy must also be rather annoying for the people whose work is being appropriated in that way.

Reading for comprehension is clearly not mysterics’ strong point, since the general consensus was that otherkin pretty much had the right to identify however they wanted.

Cassandra you’re going to make me go back to the ninja gravatar! (It’s Haku, from Naruto [the VERY early days])

And yeah, there’s a world of difference between “I’m just going to ignore you” and the hatred spewed by transphobes. How’s radfem2013 going?

This is where I get stuck in terms of trying to understand people like mysterics. OK, so, you don’t think trans* women are women, and you believe very strongly that you yourself are. So? Is this about Michfest, or do you just find going around declaring your own womanhood and other people’s supposed lack of such entertaining in some way? I’m not seeing why “I don’t believe you but I’m going to be polite and use the pronouns that you asked me to anyway because I’m not an asshole” or “I don’t believe you and also your existence bothers me so I’m going to avoid you” aren’t seen as better options than going all vigilante identity police on the internet.

That’s what gets me, too – so WHAT if you don’t believe trans* is a thing? What difference does it make to you unless you’re a) wanting to get into someone’s pants 2) likely to be invited there and 3) more interested in the genitalia you’re expecting than the person they’re attached to?

Myself, I constantly ask people what their genitals look like as soon as we’ve been introduced. Because that is really the most important part of their identity. [loud sigh]

@katz, I know, seriously bad reading comprehension.

Men reduce women to their reproductive parts: misogyny
TERFs reduce women to their reproductive parts: feminism!

I am not my vagina, thanks ever so much.


Do men who cat call you on the street get out of their cars and pull down your trousers before saying anything do you?

I know I recommended Bear Bergman’s book (The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You</u?) a few threads ago, but I'd like to plug it again, because ze has a good essay in there about how, for all that transphobes like to reduce gender to genitalia, that's not even what people look at when trying to peg your gender. If you're going to argue that gender resides in the body, it'd be closer to accurate to say that it resides in the secondary sex characteristics (breasts, facial hair, hip width, etc). And then you'd have to admit that secondary sex characteristics often change with hormone therapy, so even if gender is located in the body, transitioning would change it…

Well, I think asking is rather risky. I mean, the person could be making things up or delusional or something and this stuff is important. Thus, I demand to see the genitals of all new acquaintances!

What’s that? No, no I’m never invited to parties. Why do you ask?

Obviously the fashion industry is to blame for this. Why have they not invented flexible transparent panels for skirts and pants and underwear? They’re helping perpetuate fraud. Fraud I say!

I’m not sure why what someone’s genitalia looks like is important unless you plan to have sex with them and have very strong preferences as to what kind of bits turn you on.

(I find the idea of being turned off by either innies or outies a bit hard to wrap my head around, because I’m bi, but I do accept that in theory that might matter to some people. Still not sure why it matter in terms of anything other than fucking, though.)

This whole conversation always weirds me out because the idea seems to be that there’s some kind of mystical essence associated with having a vagina that means you can trust people more, or bond with them more easily, or whatever, and…no? Like, Ann Coulter, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t feel particularly warm and fuzzy around her just because she’s a woman? It particularly puzzles me to see that attitude from older Brits, because I’m not sure how anyone could have lived through the Thatcher regime and retained the idea that having a uterus makes you inherently warm and fuzzy.


Sorry. I didn’t mean to yell.

“Like, Ann Coulter, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t feel particularly warm and fuzzy around her just because she’s a woman?”

Closest I can think of to warm and fuzzy related to her is a hairball, though you have to include all the slime coating the fuzz.

Yeah, when it comes to bits … well, I’d have had a shock if Mr K hadn’t had the general arrangement I was expecting, but hey, there’s all the rest of him and it’s still him, so play on!

Also, since she’s come up here a lot, Ayn Rand. What exactly am I supposed to have in common with her on the grounds that we were born with the same bits that I couldn’t possible have in common with a woman who’s trans*? That’s the part I don’t get.

In a way the whole thing feels a lot like the sort of boundary policing that happens in any subculture, like oh no you’re not a proper goth because your hair is the wrong color and your makeup isn’t right. And while I can accept the idea of a certain kind of radical feminism as a subculture in which that kind of thing would naturally happen as it does in all subcultures, I’m not sure why the people involved expect all other feminists to back them up on this issue, since the rest of us aren’t part of that subculture anyway (which is in fact often pointed out to us).

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