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GirlWritesWhat’s delusional defenses of MGTOW misogyny. Also: Mary Daly, and why the moon is not a potato.

That's no moon!
That’s no moon!

So yesterday I had a strange conversation, of sorts, with blabby FeMRA videoblogger Karen Straughan, aka GirlWritesWhat, via private message on Reddit.

Given that, in the recent WoolyBumblebee controversy, she put herself in the position of defending Men Going Their Own Way against WBB’s mostly accurate attacks on them, I found myself wondering what she might think of my post yesterday on the MGTOWers who felt it was appropriate to let a four-year-old-girl drown because she might grow up to be the next Betty Friedan or even the next — gasp! — Amanda Marcotte.

I was especially interested in what she might have to say about MGTOW elder Zed, the friend and mentor of her A Voice for Men boss, Paul Elam; in the MGTOWforums discussion, you may recall, he was firmly in the “don’t rescue little girls” camp.

So I asked her about that, and asked why she was defending MGTOWers when so many of them don’t even think women should be part of the Men’s Rights movement at all.

Here’s some of what she wrote back:

You seem to be deliberately trying to evoke an outrage in me. First, Zed, “Paul E’s mentor and idol” would not save a child he doesn’t know. Then “MGTOWers…don’t actually think women should be part of the MR movement…”

Do you think I should be expected to die to save a boy I don’t know? Speaking as someone who almost died once to save my son and my nephew, why should I be expected to potentially leave my children orphans to save someone else’s kid? And the truth is, I wouldn’t be expected to do that. In reality, no one would have blamed me if I had chosen not to nearly drown to save my own kid and my sister’s kid. I like your quote mine: Men shouldn’t rescue 4 year old girls… Not what it actually is: Men shouldn’t sacrifice their lives or health to save 4 year old girls they don’t know or have reason to care about…

It’s an interesting way she’s chosen to, well, reframe the issue. Zed didn’t say he was only talking about situations where the rescuers life would be at risk. He said, simply and categorically:

When a female is in trouble, if I don’t know her, I don’t see her.

After demanding that I denounce a random radical feminist who said something terrible, she moved on to my second question, though not without accusing me of “needling” her by pointing out that MGTOWers hate women. Or, as she prefers to look at  it, they don’t “trust” women.

Do I have to list every single psychological lever you’ve attempted to apply in this message? Do you really think I’m going to react like a typical woman? “OMG, those MGTOWs don’t trust women!!! And that means they don’t trust me! I am a herd animal! I am incapable of ignoring naysayers! I can’t stand the fact that perhaps somewhere, someone doesn’t appreciate me!!! How dare they express themselves if it will hurt a woman’s feelings???????”

Woah, there. I think that might have been a bit more revealing than you intended it to be.

So your definition of “typical woman” is “herd animal?” I’ll take “internalized misogyny” for $1000, Alex.

Instead of me asking, “Why would I need anyone’s permission to make videos and assist a movement I believe in? Why would I take it as a personal failing that a man would not risk his life to save my child when I would not potentially orphan my kids to save the kids of some random person? Why would David Futrelle think my outrage over what a handful of MGTOW say about women in the movement should outweigh my own principles?”

Uh, you don’t need anyone’s permission to make your videos. Jewish people don’t need anyone’s permission to start making videos glorifying Adolph Hitler. Black people don’t need anyone’s permission to make videos on behalf of the Klan.

The question is why do you want to? Not just: why are you willing to make videos on behalf of a Men’s Rights movement driven by misogyny. But why are you willing to defend and make excuses for MGTOWers who not only hate women in general but hate you personally?

Why are you willing to lie — apparently even to yourself — and pretend that they don’t really hate women — that, really, it’s just that they don’t “trust” women because some awful woman has hurt them, or because some mean feminist said something insulting about their favorite video game, or whatever the excuse is.

And if you have any doubt that most MGTOWers really and truly hate women — hate hate HATE them — I invite you to read through the archives here. I suggest you start with MGTOWer extraordinaire Christopher in Oregon, and then move on to the posts dealing with MGTOWers in general.

And if you doubt that MGTOWers hate you, you personally, just go down to MGTOWforums, the biggest MGTOW hangout around, and take a look at the threads devoted to AVFM. A lot of the guys there hate AVFM with a passion — and they hate it largely because Paul give a platform to you and other women.

For someone so obsessed with me, you sure don’t know a lot about me.

Huh, wouldn’t that sort of suggest that maybe I’m not actually that obsessed with you?

From what I do know about Straughan (not much) this seems to be a standard ploy she pulls whenever someone calls her on her shit — to try to throw them off-balance and put them on the defensive by declaring them “stalkers” or “obsessed,” as she did with spermjack_attack, a Redditor who’s done some amazing takedowns of GWW posts and videos in recent days, like this one.

I responded by pointing out that

I often write about MRAs. You’re a prominent MRA, so sometimes I write about you. I should probably write more, given that you’re kind of a big fish in your tiny pond, but your videos are so fucking tedious and slow I can’t bear to watch them.

Which is true. That’s why, despite all the attention she gets from her MRA fanboys, I’ve written only three posts about her — compared with seven about the comparatively less important but much more entertaining Christopher in Oregon, mentioned above. Well, this will make it four posts about her.

Anyway, I also called her out on her evasive answer about Zed, so she tried again, this time with a new evasion:

Zed said categorically, “When a female is in trouble, if I don’t know her, I don’t see her.” Let’s parse that. He would not intervene. Why should he be expected to? Do you have any idea how small the burden is on women to intervene? If a woman were being assaulted and a female witness didn’t intervene, would this be shameful? How about if a man were being assaulted?

That’s an odd way of “parsing” it, since in context it was abundantly clear that he wasn’t just talking about adult women being assaulted. He was specifically talking about little girls. The whole point of his argument, which he repeated several times, was that he didn’t want to help little girls because, as he put it, they might “grow … up to be another Amanda Marcunt, or Jessica Valenti, or Betty Friedan.”

Karen, you can pretend he was talking only about adult women, but he wasn’t.

You can pretend that MGTOWers don’t hate women, but they do.

You can pretend whatever you want about the movement you’ve attached yourself to, but guess what — everyone outside of that movement can see it for what it is.

Most of the rest of her comment was devoted to trying to prove how “obsessed” I am with her.

If you are curious about me and why I might involve myself in a movement you believe hates women, you might concede I’d be curious about you and why you involve yourself in a movement that I believe hates men (or masculinity, take your pick). And yet how many times have I initiated contact with you? How often do I devote entire blog posts or videos to you?

Perhaps I’m measuring you by my own yardstick. Because as curious as I am as to why you would ally yourself with a movement whose foundational ideology is hostile to men (no matter how mainstream or seemingly benign), as much as I might lie awake wondering what motivates you, I am simply not obsessed enough by the question to PM you and ask. Or to read your blog (even when you’re talking about me). Or to devote entire blog posts to you.

If I messaged you over anything regarding that, I would consider myself obsessed with the psychological dysfunction represented by you. So you messaging me indicates (to me) a level of obsession on par with that. If you are the type of person to initiate private contact with people you consider opponents on a regular basis, then I’ve misjudged you.

Yes, I confess, sometimes I ask questions of my ideological opponents, publicly or privately, in hopes of getting an interesting response. I certainly got some revealing answers, and even more revealing non-answers, from Straughan.

And it was definitely more interesting than watching one of her videos.

Oh, and for some reason, before she closed up the debate, she decided she wanted to talk about Mary Daly, of all people, whom she seems to think has never been criticized by any feminists ever except for one by the name of, uh … Dr. Mindbeam? No, that’s really what she thinks.  Apparently, in GirlWritesWhat-land,  it was one big feminist love-fest for Mary Daly up until  Dr. Mindbeam came along in 2011 and wrote a blog post.

Mary Daly’s body was long cold before some random internet feminist named Dr Mindbeam finally excommunicated her on “no seriously, what about teh menz?” I haven’t seen any feminists who write under their real names do so.

Maybe you could educate me.

I mentioned Audre Lorde’s open letter to Daly calling her out for racism back in 1979. I suggested she Google “Mary Daly” and “transphobe” and read through some of the results. Might take a while, as there are 5000 of them.

But I’m not sure how one can “educate” someone like her, someone who has declared herself a “gender theorist” and who makes endless half-hour or even hour-long videos on feminism, without bothering to learn even the rudiments of feminist history first. (Lesson One: Feminists often disagree with each other.)

It would be like someone declaring themselves an astrophysics theorist, then declaring “the moon is a potato! I’ve seen no evidence indicating otherwise. If you think you know better, educate me!”

Her understanding of feminism seems stuck at the “moon is a potato” level, and I just don’t think there’s anything any of us can do about it.

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RiliKat
RiliKat
9 years ago

Love the moon is a potatp example.

On another note I am incredible sad to have missed the vote last week, and am eager to see the results.

Andrea Harris
Andrea Harris
9 years ago

Ignoring the plights of anyone who is not related to you (such as not caring if some “kid you don’t know” is drowning nearby) is pretty much the opposite of what “being civilized” means. Which just adds more evidence to support my theory that these people don’t care about “Western Civilization” — all they care about is dominance. (It may seem obvious to us, but some people still seem to think that MRAs are fighting the good fight against the uncivilized hordes. Far from it, they’re just in competition with them for the best caves.)

rilikat
9 years ago

*potato

rilikat
9 years ago

I’m just thinking about the situation.

Someone (boy/girl/granpa etc…) is in peril and you can help them. Just leave out all the gender issues here – perhaps you cannot see weather or not it their male or female or weathere it is a “boyish male” or a “girlish female”; there is just a human that needs help.

Two questions for you:

Would you want to belong to the group of people not giving a rats arse or with the people who care?

Would you be able to live with a good conscience after just standing by and letting a person get hurt or die without doing anything at all?

eseldbosustow
9 years ago

She’s hopeless, and so is her fan club. I learned that the hard way last night.

And I wouldn’t fret over watching her videos, since the last one was essentially just a half an hour long polemic about how men if Afghanistan are more oppressed than women in Afghanistan. Something about how fighting in wars and having to work for a living is more oppressive than having no body autonomy, being forced to marry and have sex and children against one’s will, not being allowed to get an education, and so forth. Or something, I couldn’t really tell because I was too busy getting called a “cunt” in trying to at least get her fans to admit that women in Afghanistan are probably even a little teensie weensie bit oppressed by the cultural values dominant there.

That is what men’s rights looks like.

eseldbosustow
9 years ago

Many MRAs are so rabidly libertarian that I doubt they’d be offended by being called selfish and self-serving. In their Randian worldview, that’s a virtue.

titianblue
titianblue
9 years ago

David, I’m a little uncomfortable at reading private messages – I assume that GWW agreed or knew that you might make public the contents?

eseldbosustow
9 years ago

I’m pretty sure MRAs have figured out beyond a reasonable doubt that anything they say to David in private is as fair game as anything they say publicly, and if they don’t want it made public, they should ask, and I trust that David would honor the request unless it were a matter of personal danger for someone or something like that.

Ally S
9 years ago

I wonder if it ever occurred to her that not wanting saving a child who isn’t related to you even though you are entirely capable of doing so is also a shitty thing to do and says a lot about Zed’s character?

“OMG, those MGTOWs don’t trust women!!! And that means they don’t trust me! I am a herd animal! I am incapable of ignoring naysayers! I can’t stand the fact that perhaps somewhere, someone doesn’t appreciate me!!! How dare they express themselves if it will hurt a woman’s feelings???????”

I think a reaction of a “typical woman” would likely be closer to this:

“Really? What in the world is driving these people to be so hateful that they would gladly let little girls drown for no reason? I hope I never have the displeasure of meeting an MGTOW because their words alone are fucking creepy.”

But of course, Straughan hates women, so why would she bother to consider that a woman could react in such a way?

thecategoricalhousewife
thecategoricalhousewife
9 years ago

GWW hates women as much as the Klan hates blacks, no surprise there…next.

thecategoricalhousewife
thecategoricalhousewife
9 years ago

@eseldbosustow

I think you need to reread Randian views. Rational Selfishness does not mean that a person will kill, ignore and steal. Helping others because you want to, is not the same as selfless altruism, which requires the person getting hurt in order to help others. Most MRA’s are socialists in my view.

Ally S
9 years ago

@thecategoricalhousewife

I think you need to reread Randian views. Rational Selfishness does not mean that a person will kill, ignore and steal. Helping others because you want to, is not the same as selfless altruism, which requires the person getting hurt in order to help others. Most MRA’s are socialists in my view.

Many altruists don’t advocate self-sacrifice. Kantians like me say that altruism is simply being good to others for their own sake. In fact, within a Kantian framework, self-preservation is a rational end, and so the categorical imperative doesn’t dictate that someone disregard hir own well-being completely.

Of course, Kantians aren’t the only altruists out there, but there are many other examples of altruists who don’t espouse the “selfless altruism” you speak of. Rand’s view of altruism is very narrow.

cloudiah
9 years ago

[standing ovation for sperjack_attack]

rabbitwink
rabbitwink
9 years ago

@thethecategoricalhousewife: MRA’s are about the farthest thing from Socialist you could imagine. What leads you to that conclusion?

cloudiah
9 years ago

So Zed is very specific as to the gender of the people he won’t lift a finger to help, which makes me think he would not apply the same “principle” to people he perceives as male. Did anyone in that thread say whether or not they would do anything to assist men or boys that they didn’t know personally?

Me, I don’t have any gender-based rules for who I would help. And while I think it is probably true that people in general expect more from men in rescue-type situations, that is because they expect less from women — exactly what feminism is still trying to address.

MaudeLL
9 years ago

Do I have to list every single psychological lever you’ve attempted to apply in this message? Do you really think I’m going to react like a typical woman? “OMG, those MGTOWs don’t trust women!!! And that means they don’t trust me! I am a herd animal! I am incapable of ignoring naysayers! I can’t stand the fact that perhaps somewhere, someone doesn’t appreciate me!!! How dare they express themselves if it will hurt a woman’s feelings???????”

This.
She thinks she is not included in the ‘woman’ group.

MaudeLL
9 years ago

Do I have to list every single psychological lever you’ve attempted to apply in this message? Do you really think I’m going to react like a typical woman? “OMG, those MGTOWs don’t trust women!!! And that means they don’t trust me! I am a herd animal! I am incapable of ignoring naysayers! I can’t stand the fact that perhaps somewhere, someone doesn’t appreciate me!!! How dare they express themselves if it will hurt a woman’s feelings???????”

This.
She thinks she is not included in the ‘woman’ group.

MaudeLL
9 years ago

Double post.
*mean look at WordPress*

auggziliary
9 years ago

God, is this lady serious? Wtf…

mythago
9 years ago

One of the skills you acquire in learning cross-examination is that sometimes, the goal is not “get this person to answer the fucking question” but “make it obvious to everybody that they are refusing to answer the question.”

GWW is a Special Snowflake. If she hates on all other women, then she’s the only girl in the room. You’re not going to use reason to pry that emotional high out of her grip.

longshangui
longshangui
9 years ago

Agree with Claudiah above. The point is that Zed would ignore a little GIRL who needed help, solely because she is a girl. This goes right along with John Hembling’s I Would Do Nothing if I Saw a Rape in Progress, and Paul Elam’s I Would Vote to Acquit all Rapists on Principle.

sleepystalinist
9 years ago

why u hate radfems dave?

Dvärghundspossen
9 years ago

One could discuss back and forth how altruistic we ought to be, whether one has a moral obligation to risk death in order to save the life of someone one doesn’t know, or if that’s supererogatory, whether one has a moral obligation to risk harm, or discomfort, in order to save the life of someone one doesn’t know, or whether that’s supererogatory too etc etc.

But that’s clearly not the discussion Zed was having. He discussed whether it’s right or wrong to save girls in particular, because they’re probably gonna grow up to be horrible. And that’s a completely different discussion.

auggziliary
9 years ago

Whenever I hear about GWW and her antics I just want to take a shower. But you can’t wash off the metaphorical bruise of a face palm.

cloudiah
9 years ago

I endorse this Pickup Artist’s Guide. Maybe just because I’m starting to think about lunch.

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