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a woman is always to blame antifeminism entitled babies misogyny MRA not-quite-explicit threats not-quite-plausible deniability paul elam sympathy for murderers TyphonBlue victim blaming

When Men's Rights Activists celebrate male rage, they make murder/suicides like the one that may have brought down Germanwings Flight 9525 more likely

Germanwings employees leave flowers at a makeshift memorial for those killed on Flight
Germanwings employees at a makeshift memorial for those killed on Flight 9525

As the news broke this morning that the Germanwings plane crash may have been a deliberate murder/suicide caused by the flight’s co-pilot, readers of the leading Men’s Rights website A Voice for Men were greeted by a post from site founder Paul Elam titled “A little blood in the mix never hurt a revolution.”

The headline on Elam’s post, a muddled mess that’s mostly a response to recent infighting amongst MRAs, recalls a disturbing post of his from several years ago titled “How to Build a Man Bomb.” (Archived here.)

Ostensibly a warning about the cost of ignoring male rage, it read a lot more like a threat.

[W]e are building a man bomb. And when this one detonates it could make the American race riots [of the 1960s] look like a Thanksgiving Day parade.

The misandric Zeitgeist, the system of feminist governance that most are sill loathe to acknowledge is about to head toward its inevitable and ugly conclusion, and the results of that will inflict another deep wound on the psyche of the western world.

The post continues on for some time in this melodramatic vein:

The ranking members of the matriarchy, like social terrorists, are partnering with and guiding government toward the inevitable explosion, and when it goes off they will be the first to point the finger at men, even at MRA’s, for the fallout.

It won’t help them, though. Because whatever tragic end this comes to, it will not be at the hands of MRA’s, but in spite of our efforts to prevent it.

All this would be a little more believable as a “warning” if Elam and other MRAs didn’t devote most of their energy to cultivating exactly this kind of male anger — and in some cases lionizing those who have acted out this rage.

The problem goes well beyond the few — on the fringe of even the already extreme Men’s Rights movement — who glorify misogyny-driven mass murderers like Marc Lepine or Elliot Rodger. Or those “Red Pillers” who declare that if they were going to kill themselves they would take some woman with them.

No, the problem comes when those in the mainstream of the Men’s Rights movement celebrate men like Tom Ball, a troubled father who set himself on fire on the steps of a New Hampshire courthouse in an attempt, as he explained in a lengthy manifesto, to inspire other men “to start burning down police stations and courthouses” to protest what he saw as a misandrist court system.

He followed this call to arms with instructions on how to prepare effective Molotov cocktails, and a lengthy plea to men to “finish the job” he had started:

There will be some casualties in this war. Some killed, some wounded, some captured. Some of them will be theirs. Some of the casualties will be ours.

Now, nobody wants to get killed. But let us look at your life. You are broke after paying child support. … Face it boys, we are no longer fathers. We are just piggy banks.

So you are not losing anything by picking up the Molotov cocktail.  …

I only managed to get the main door of the Cheshire County Courthouse in Keene, NH. I would appreciate it if some of you boys would finish the job for me.

In other words, Ball was a would-be suicide/murderer who hoped others would do the murdering for him.

Ball’s manifesto was posted on AVFM’s “Activism” section for several years, taken down only after the Boston Marathon, and he was widely hailed by others in and around the Men’s Rights movement.

Helen Smith — an AVFM ally, the author of Men on Strike, and the wife of “Instapundit” Glenn Reynolds — wrote that Ball’s

statement is not the ramblings of a madman, it is the mission of a warrior in some sense. He was fighting for his rights and for yours, if you are male. He was trying to bring some urgency to the male plight in this country … .

She somehow neglected to mention that he was trying to do this by urging men to firebomb courthouses and police stations.

It’s striking how often MRA manifestos shade into vague threats of violence. One recent case, of many: Jeremiah True, the MRA-adjacent Reed College student banned from the discussion section of one of his courses after unnerving everyone in the class with his rants on rape, warned in one recent online manifesto that “[i]f you exclude me from the campus, I will rain hell down upon you all.”

True’s melodramatic insinuations of apocalyptic retribution might be amusing if declarations like these didn’t so often precede actual violence.

Unfortunately, when they aren’t making vague threats like these, MRAs are often found offering ingenious excuses for actual murderers. In an online discussion of the case of Chris Benoit, a pro wrestler who killed his wife and his son before hanging himself, AVFM’s Alison Tieman (a.k.a. Typhonblue) suggested that men who kill their families were men “backed into a courner [sic].” In the case of Benoit, she wondered

what horrific thing this woman did to this man to make him snap like this? I know, I know… “blaming the victim”. But I’ve seen too many “victims” grinning and pulling strings in the back ground to really feel sorry for them any more. 

Her solution to male murder/suicide?

It’s obvious from this that men need to step away from women and start developing a male society outside of the auspices of women. That way they can support eachother when they get kicked out of female-society.

Murder/suicide isn’t the result of “misandry,” of evil wives “grinning and pulling strings in the back ground,” of men being “kicked out of female society.”

All too often, it’s the result of aggrieved male entitlement, of old-school “macho” attitudes that teach men that any sort of failure (from sexual to financial) is shameful and that anger is the only acceptable emotion to show the world.

Unfortunately, the Men’s Rights movement does nothing to challenge any of these toxic notions, all of them legacies of patriarchal thinking. All too often, MRAs celebrate them, helping to make the world a more difficult place for men, and a more dangerous place for women and children.

Male rage is not part of the solution. It is part of the problem.

My previous post on the Germanwings Flight 9525, and one “manospherean’s” appalling response to it, can be found here.

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Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
7 years ago

When MRA trot out their “men do the most dangerous jobs!” ‘argument,’ they tend to forget that, by far, the most dangerous occupation in the US is that of a female sex worker (204 deaths by *homicide* per 100,000, compared with the deadliest — due to accidents — “male” occupation of fishing, where the death rate is 127 per 100,000).

And it goes without saying, but I will say it nonetheless, that women prostitutes are murdered by men, usually their clients or “protectors” (pimps).

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
7 years ago

Wow. That is a lot of trolls.

Why is it that every time a tragedy happens, the concern trolls come out of the woodwork, quick to blame feminists and feminist allies for “politicizing” an issue when they talk about possible ways to prevent such tragedies in the future, yet allow non-feminists and conservative pundits to ignore and derail discussions on the possible causes? Why is the status quo, by default, considered non-political?

And for those who cry “too soon!”: When, for the love of Quetzalcoatl, will it be okay to talk about these things? When will there not be a tragedy happening caused by anger and an enormous sense of entitlement? The tragedies will never stop as long as we do not have proper discussions on the root causes of most of the violence in our society.

Same with Elliot Rodgers. and he even left a manifesto behind where he explicitly stated his motives. “He’s just crazy” is the go-to answer for everyone who wishes that nothing is done about these issues, since we all know how much conservatives and libertarians care about the state of the public mental health services.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Anarchonist,

In the US, conservatives do this with gun control too. To them, we are not allowed to discuss reasonable gun control after a mass shooting because that’s politicizing. But they can’t grasp that their own stance is political as well. Refusing to connect our lack of gun regulations to the higher incidence of gun related homicides compared to other wealthy countries is a very political position.

It’s convenient though. There are gun homicides every day in this in this country. It makes it so that we are literally never able to discuss gun control by the don’t politicize a tragedy standard.

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

@ WWTH

Same here. When the Princess of Wales was killed, some people suggested that a TV campaign about wearing seatbelts should be postponed as it was “inappropriate”.

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
7 years ago

The “don’t politicize the tragedy” mantra is a standard deflecting response used by the very people who somehow feel responsible (or, more likely, are afraid that others will *correctly* hold them somehow responsible) for the tragedy.

There are also some well-meaning folks who believe such “politicization” is insensitive, but, by and large, it is a technique used to shut down any legitimate criticism of the factors and people who have contributed to the tragedy (and will do so again).

NRA excels in this, having had decades of practice. And MRA are not far behind. The frantic backpedaling, disavowing, deflecting, and blame shifting we saw from them in the aftermath of Elliot Rodger’s massacre a prime example.

joyofresistance
7 years ago

Thank you for your great blog. I just followed and I’m sure much of what I learn here will wind up adding to the knowledge base that undergirds our radio show: Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI. Will be glad to acknowledge and give credit when appropriate. I’m a sister wordpress blogger (our blog focuses on show announcements and information), and I hope you and readers might want to check out what we present on Joy of Resistance–the only dedicated feminist program on this alternative, left-leaning station. Thanks again and one of the few in the country on terrestrial radio. Again, thanks, and I will be reading you every time you post.

The crew at Joy of Resistance

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw,

Same here. When the Princess of Wales was killed, some people suggested that a TV campaign about wearing seatbelts should be postponed as it was “inappropriate”.

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/toontownrewritten/images/f/f5/Headdesk.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140709071811

Lorna
Lorna
6 years ago

Where did David say that the pilot was an mra? He didn’t. He wrote about the MRM’s response to the pilot. He also never said that men shouldn’t do anything about issues like mental illness. Misogynists like Paul Elam who advocate violence and harassment are not helping men and criticizing them is not dismissing genuine issues that men face.

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