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Men's Rights activists outraged that Richard Dawkins has never heard of them

The Men's Rights Movement: To silly even for Richard Dawkins?
The Men’s Rights Movement: To silly even for Richard Dawkins?

Richard Dawkins, I think it’s fair to say, is a bit of a dick. Though he’s an expert popularizer of science he seems to be a bit of a blithering idiot on every other topic he tries to address; his broadsides on religion are patronizing and profoundly ignorant, and his forays into gender politics are even more cringey.

He puts his foot in his mouth so often on Twitter that it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between his real account and this absurdist parody.

In a recent interview, he doubled down on some of his most appalling earlier remarks, reaffirming that he believes there is such a thing as “mild pedophilia” and that pregnant women who discover that they are carrying a Down syndrome fetus should probably “abort and try again.” And in that interview he reminded us all again just why so many feminist atheists have turned against him, telling his interlocutor that

I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something … .

ELEVATORGATE – NEVER FORGET!

Given how often he comes down on the wrong side on gender issues — heck, he recently suggested to his fans that they follow “Based Mom” Christina Hoff Sommers on Twitter — you might assume he would have a certain degree of fondness for the upside-down-and-backwards politics of the Men’s Rights movement.

But you’d be wrong.

At a recent event at Kennesaw State University – yep, the same place where a student organization tied to A Voice for Men held a little conference not long ago – Dawkins offered a surprising, if somewhat limited, defense of feminism. And he reacted with puzzlement when he was asked about the Men’s Rights movement.

“I didn’t, I hardly knew — is there a men’s right movement?” he commented. “If there is discrimination against men, then that’s bad too,” he conceded, only to add that “I haven’t heard of it.”

The audience responded with laughter.

To AVFM head boy Paul Elam, this was the equivalent of shots fired. In a post today, Elam excoriated Dawkins for not having heard of his little movement, and not being aware of the terrible gynocentric injustices being heaped upon the world’s men.

Richard Dawkins has not heard of discrimination toward men? Really? Sorry, Richard, but please tell me this is because you have invented human teleportation and have managed to remain in an academic setting constantly for the past several years. Tell me that you have so successfully avoided the real world that you are unaware of the ongoing problems of fathers and children in family courts, the egregious and blatant discrimination against men in criminal sentencing, and the transparent sexual double standards applied against males in the domestic violence and sexual assault industries. Perhaps you have actually done so well with insulating yourself that you have managed to exist completely within the walls of interdisciplinary studies departments, lest you may have actually heard of the loss of due process for young men now rampant across college campuses. Or maybe it was harder to notice, even for the great scientist-skeptic, because there are so few young men left?

Yeah, I’m sure that’s it, Paul. Dawkins can’t find any male students to talk to.

That is the problem with living the insulated life. Not only do you end up making foil-hat-worthy observations that translate to ideology being good for science, but eventually the insulation becomes so thick, so protective and muffling, that whatever tiny spark remains in the wire is of little use to science or to society.

Says the man who lives in an ideological bubble of his own making. The irony, it burns.

172 replies on “Men's Rights activists outraged that Richard Dawkins has never heard of them”

Gather round for the cage match! Two assholes enter, only one can leave.

MRAs – too misogynistic for even dyed in the wool sexists to tolerate. That aura of baffled amusement that Dawkins is displaying in response to the idea that men are oppressed? That’s your future in the even that the mainstream ever realizes you exist, MRA dudes.

This presents quite a quandary for the asshole atheist bros*. Do they defend their hero Dawkins, or do they stick up for “men’s rights?” I don’t know, but I’m going to start making some popcorn.

*Not to be confused with most atheists or atheists as a whole.

This does nicely prove what I’ve been saying all along about even the most sexist men, the ones who can’t seem to help looking down their patrician noses at women, think MRAs are ridiculous. Because they’re ridiculous.

Ahem. To the tune of “Fish Heads”:

Man tears, man tears,
Booey-hooey man tears!
Man tears, man tears,
Drink them up, YUM!

So Paul Elam, upon hearing that someone famous hasn’t heard of the issues they talk about, makes fun of the person? Wouldn’t the correct response be that it’s a sign that more awareness has to be raised? That’s what I’d expect of the most important human rights movement of the 21st century.

U lol’ed at “head boy” Pauly accusing someone else of making “foil-hat-worthy observations”.

Ophelia Benson noted it, too. Here’s what I wrote as a comment on her blog:
————————————————————-
I actually kind of believe that the existence of a men’s rights movement caught [Dawkins] off guard, though I have to admit that it’s only because of my limited experience.

Nearly all of the MRAs I’ve encountered are online. Whenever I end up in a discussion of feminism offline, and manage to bring up the Men’s Rights Movement, the conversation ends up something like this:

Person: Wait. Hold on. What do you mean “men’s rights movement”?
Me: Yeah. There’s a movement out there of men and, unfortunately, some women, who think men are losing rights, so they have to fight to get them back.
Person: That does not sound real. At all.

They then go and look it up, and come back to me with something like this:

Person: So I looked up that men’s rights thing, and holy crap it’s ridiculous. Are you sure this is real and not somebody’s bad idea of a joke?

The people can be men or women, and many times they are not the biggest fans of feminism. A couple times, at least, it’s prompted the ones who really dislike feminism to do a little more research. At least two men who, in our conversations, expressed all but a hatred for feminism told me, after looking up this MRM thing, that they’re going to do more research on feminism, because if this is what exists in opposition, then feminism must be doing something right after all.

So most people that I’ve interacted with offline, while aware of feminism, seem to be entirely ignorant of the whole MRM, and seem to be, [when they find out about it,] if not outright disgusted by it, at least turned off of it. Often they’ll mention finding A Voice for Men and actually being a bit afraid of what they’ve read on the site.

GamerGate is a more recent discussion, as one of the very few places I hang out in is frequented by a lot of gamers, and a number of them have told me that GamerGate basically made them feminists.

I grant my experience is heavily limited, but people I actually talk to about this stuff offline don’t know about the MRM, and when they find out, at least a couple of them end up being pushed towards a more favorable view of feminism because of what they read from places like A Voice for Men. And I’ve mentioned in the past how one very good friend of mine sees the MRM as a source of wonderful comedy. He’s a prat, and loves to use MRM arguments as a way of making the whole thing look patently absurd, which it is. So he’s making fun of MRAs, in his own prattish way.

So I guess, from what I’m seeing, the MRM is definitely not mainstream, and seems to be turning away people who, at first, sound like they might actually like the idea of it.

We really need a stock image to represent that frowny, confused face that most people make when they first find out about the MRM. Even Dawkins probably made it, it’s an almost universal reaction.

“domestic violence and sexual assault industries”.

That turn of phrase sickens me. No mention of prevention or therapy or treatment or investigation. I’m surprised he doesn’t say “domestic violence and sexual assault industrial complex”.

Go Dawkins go!

Never thought I’d be saying that.

Sorry, Richard, but please tell me this is because you have invented human teleportation and have managed to remain in an academic setting constantly for the past several years. Tell me that you have so successfully avoided the real world that you are unaware of the ongoing problems …

But wait. I thought the academia was the realm of the evil feminazis. The MRA equivalent of Mordor. I thought drunk college girls could have consensual sex, “cry rape” and the poor oppressed male student would be run out. I thought yes means yes policies were suppressing male sexuality. I thought the curricula was taken over by the cultural Marxists. I thought universities were SJW paradises.

If men were so oppressed in academia, wouldn’t that be noticed by the men who work in it? Why would they have never heard of the concept? How could a white man be live the “insulated life” in an institution that supposedly thinks white men are the devil?

Pauly didn’t think this one through. One can hardly blame him. First gamergate steals the limelight from him and now this?

Shut up, Woody.

I

@Bina – when I have the “Fish Heads” song stuck in my head for the next week, I will know who to credit.

*sulks away, humming*

Well hey, it could be a lot worse. Dawkins at least has heard of Christina Hoff Sommers.

He recommends her, no doubt for her “feminist” factuality. That is, I would argue, worse.

I spend a lot of time on other sites online, one of which has an international readership. Most of the people on that site have never heard of the MRM, and when linked to Elam and others tend to recoil in horror and disgust. On the site I’m most active on, MRM post a lot of disingenuous questions and remarks, that get dutifully flagged and responded to with facts that they don’t read, but neutral parties do (and run far, far away from them.)

I’m not surprised Dawkins hasn’t heard of the MRM and doesn’t share their concerns. But I think it’s hilarious that they think he does and would, especially considering his general response to arguments about inequities.

Dawkins is Exhibit A in the case that a thing called “Privilege” exists, and is harmful, both to society as a whole, and even to the individuals who wield it.

He’s also case-one when it comes to demonstrating that sexist, misogynistic attitudes and actions don’t have to be motivated by an actual malice–that privilege + societal sexism is sufficient to produce harmful outcomes (as opposed to, for instance, the active malice of almost-certainly-a-rapist Michael Shermer).

Oddly, though, his privilege also serves to insulate him from direct contact with dregs like the MRM, who feed off of resentment (over both illegitimate and legitimate concerns) and re-direct it towards women specifically. Can’t get a decent romantic partner because you fall outside the conventional range of ‘attractive’? Feminism’s fault, because it gave women the power to choose. Can’t get a job? Feminists have stolen all the jobs. For someone like Dawkins, literally at the top of the food chain, the MRM offers nothing, because it cannot even find some delusional slight to latch onto.

Who’s been convicted of rape on a college campus without due process? Does he even have an anecdotal case of this happening, because I would think I’d have heard of it by now.

I know it’s not the main point here, but is anyone else hung up on the human teleportation thing?

When the hell did that happen?

Also, he’s aware that cars exist, and that the UK also has an array of public transport options which one could use to leave one’s ivory tower and mingle with the proles? No teleportation needed.

Dagnabbit, bina, I was trying to eat my dinner! Now I have to figure out a way to get partially chewed broccoli out of my keyboard!

“Booey-hooey man tears!” indeed! I did not need salad in my nasal cavities!!!

(and I will be singing this for the rest of the evening, probably. We need the rest of the lyrics!)

Hello! Me again!
I’ve been thinking a lot about this site for some reason. And I wanted to say, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! so much! This site has helped enormously. Initially, i thought this site was bad, but have no come to realize it is good. Very good!

In fact, I believe this site is literally one of the best things that has happened for the Men’s Rights Movement.
Why? Because it is so incredibly misleading.
Like most people, the only thing I had ever heard about Mra’s is that they are fedora wearing misogynists who can’t get a date and are a hate group.
Because that is all I ever heard, I had no reason to question it. I just assumed this site’s portrayal of the movement was accurate. When I saw it quoted in news sites, I assumed those quotes were accurate. Because Mras had become so incredibly demonized, I became curious to see what it was all about.
Who are these misogynists I wondered? So I began looking at AVoiceForMen, in the same way I sometimes read Fox news out of curiosity, to see what ‘the opposition’ is up to.

When I did, I discovered it was 99% NOT like it is portrayed here. I discovered that i actually agreed with most of what was being said. The degree to which this site gets Mra’s wrong is staggering. Cherry picking random comments and acting as if that is in anyway whatsoever indicative of the movement as a whole. I’m sure the readers are decent, honest people, but the person making these posts must know how absurdly deceptive and misleading they are.

When I first realized how incredibly different Mra’s were to how they have been portrayed, it just made me that much more curious. If they had not been demonized, I probably wouldn’t have cared that much one way or the other. I most likely would never have even looked into them at all.
But because they have been demonized, I became very interested. The more research I did the more interesting (and not like this site portrays) I realized it was.

So thank you thank you thank you! Keep doing what you are doing! Please keep helping the Men’s Rights Movement grow! The more you slander and mischaracterize this peaceful, loving movement, the more appealing it is becoming to liberal, non masculine men like myself, who otherwise wouldn’t have thought twice about mra’s.
(and I know no one here gives a shit about it, but here is my website once again! GenderAllies.org In the very off chance someone here wants to see what sort of things Mras ACTUALLY say.)

Just this morning on the train, I was showing a coworker the hilarious Tumblr post about “Christmas Adam” and found out she didn’t know about MRAs. She was a bit incredulous at first but now understands MRAs are terrible, terrible people.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Puddleglum sez:

Damn you WordPress! Why did you add a period??? Why????

Technically it didn’t. It changed the first three periods into the ellipsis character and kept the fourth period a period. In many typefaces, including the one for the theme here, an ellipsis looks significantly different than a period.

WordPress also automatically converts “Wordpress” to “WordPress”, switches straight quotes to curly quotes, and changes two dashes to an en-dash (-– → –) and three dashes to an em-dash (-– → —). You can prevent it from doing many of these substitutions by adding empty HTML tags between the characters. Like “..<em></em>.” will give you “...” instead of “…”. Just remember that any sequence of three periods gets converted to the ellipsis, so you have to break them all up into twos or ones.

(It would be nice to have a preview feature here to check this.)

Sorry about the typos btw. I realize you might mock them endlessly…but oh well! If you do, it only shows you don’t have any better arguments to make. (I’m sure many here do have decent arguments, but the ones who don’t seem most outspoken. A problem with many movements, not just this one)

Dagnabbit, bina, I was trying to eat my dinner! Now I have to figure out a way to get partially chewed broccoli out of my keyboard!

“Booey-hooey man tears!” indeed! I did not need salad in my nasal cavities!!!

(and I will be singing this for the rest of the evening, probably. We need the rest of the lyrics!)

Glad to have been of service, or at least in the service of amusement.

Speaking of which:

Sorry about the typos btw. I realize you might mock them endlessly…but oh well! If you do, it only shows you don’t have any better arguments to make. (I’m sure many here do have decent arguments, but the ones who don’t seem most outspoken. A problem with many movements, not just this one)

No, we’re going to mock the general blinkered stoopid in which those typos are merely a condiment. Because this is a mockery site. Sez so right in the header.

I just wonder who’s gonna throw the first peanut.

Meh, it’s so clearly an attempt to bait, including that bit of ham-fisted attempt at snark insurance (“if you correct me, instead of taking me super-seriously, it only proves that I’m right and you’re a poopy head!!”) that it hardly seems worth bothering.

Oh, where are the trolls of yesteryear?

I totally believe the Christopher Allman was not an MRA before all of us meanie pants feminists converted him. That’s an incredibly plausible story. I also completely buy that he is a progressive and because he likes the MRM now, that must mean it’s a very human rightsy movement aligned with progressive values.

This is a true fact. Just as it is a true fact that Boudica was from Germany.

Nathan Hevenstone
“GamerGate is a more recent discussion, as one of the very few places I hang out in is frequented by a lot of gamers, and a number of them have told me that GamerGate basically made them feminists.”

Wow that is incredibly good news HAHAHA

Okay, folks, lift up your hands and say it with me three times:

“DIRECTLY ON THE BEACH!”
“DIRECTLY ON THE BEACH!”
“DIRECTLY ON THE BEACH!”

The Keystone Cops levels of incompetence on display from the gamergate dudes warms the cockles of my heart, it really does.

I still just can’t even with the whole gamergate crowd. They all remind me of my brother when he went through his 11s and 12s. He’d been a pretty cool kid up till that point, but for those two or so years, I just wanted to chain him up in the basement until he managed to grab hold of his humanity and stop being such a rancid little shit all the time.

They’re not even fun to play with because they just repeat the same talking points over and over again.

christopher allman is like a four-year-old who thinks the “Rabbit Season!” “Duck Season!” bit from that old Bugs Bunny cartoon is an actual example of how reverse psychology is supposed to work, isn’t he?

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