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To one Men’s Rights Activist, “lying” about MRAs boycotting Mad Max: Fury Road is worse than denying the Holocaust

Dean Esmay, outraged again
Dean Esmay, outraged again

Uh oh! Dean Esmay of A Voice for Men is outraged by the latest terrible calumny besmirching the good name of the Men’s Rights movement. That Big Lie? That Men’s Rights Activists are boycotting Mad Max: Fury Road.

As Esmay puts it, in his characteristically overheated prose, the very notion that there is such a boycott

is a completely fabricated story by a handful of elitists abusing their power in the media–and betraying their fellow journalists while doing it.

Using his powerful internet detective skills, Esmay has managed to track down “the source of the lie,” which, as he sees it, “appears to have originated from a discredited hate-blogger named David Futrelle … .”

I’ve left off the rest of his sentence, as it is straight-up libel. Well, so is the bit about me being a “discredited hate-blogger,” and the part about the “lie” originating with me. I will give him credit for managing to spell my name correctly.

I’ll cop to the fact that my post on a would-be boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road set off an avalanche of articles on the subject. The Mary Sue, I believe, was the first to pick up the story, and was quickly followed by a few others. And then other writers piggybacked off of them. For better or worse, that’s how it works in online journalism these days.

But if Esmay is looking for the source of the incorrect notion that self-described Men’s Rights activists were behind the “boycott,” well, he’s not going to find it in my post, which contained no mention of Men’s Right Activists at all.

Yep, I reported the 100% true fact that a Youtube bloviater named Aaron Clarey had written a post on Return of Kings urging men, in his words, to “not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible.” I described his readers on Return of Kings as misogynists, not MRAs, though clearly there is a massive overlap between those two groups.

The idea that this was specifically a Men’s Rights crusade was, to be sure, a bit of sloppiness on the part of the journalists writing about it, who are not quite as familiar as some of us are with all the different varieties of woman-hating shitheads there are in the “manosphere” — especially since their belief systems overlap considerably. As I noted in a previous post on this subject, writing about Esmay’s accusations against a writer for the Huffington Post,

It’s true that the HuffPo writer, in the original version of her piece, wrongly described the MRA-adjacent Return of Kings — which has urged a boymancott of Mad Max Fury Road —  as a Men’s Rights site proper. There are in fact some differences between ROK and AVFM. For example, while AVFM writers have declared women to be “obnoxious cunts,” who control men with their vaginas, ROK writers have suggested that women are actually depraved, disloyal sheep.

You can almost forgive journalists for getting a bit mixed up.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that some MRAs, including some associated with AVFM, have views on the movie that bear a striking similarity to those of Mr. Clarey and his comrades at ROK. It was an AVFM staffer, not Aaron Clarey, who posted this meme on AVFM’s Facebook page. (It’s since been removed, possibly because it contradicts the narrative that Esmay is now promoting.)

From AVFM's Facebook page
From AVFM’s Facebook page

And if you want many other example of MRAs saying they won’t go to see the film because feminism, you’ll find more than a few in this thread on the Men’s Rights subreddit. Oh, and in this thread (archived here) on … the official AVFM Forum.

Yes, that’s right: there are MRAs talking about boycotting Mad Max: Fury Road on AVFM’s own official forum. One declares himself “a (former) Mad Max fan,” another writes “going to skip this one. Mad Max is now dead to me.” “I’m out,” adds a third.

But Esmay seems to think that there is some vast conspiracy afoot, writing that

we are really serious with this question: was anyone paid to put this fake story in the press? If so, who was paid and who did the paying?

Don’t be silly. No money changes hands. At least no human money. We do it under direct orders from our feline overlordsladies.

But as long as we’re asking questions I have one for Mr. Esmay: Are you ever going to do anything about the Holocaust denier and Hitler fan you’ve published many times on AVFM?

Apparently, to Dean Esmay at least, posting that Mad Max: Fury Road is being boycotted by MRAs, when most of the boycotters are in fact merely MRA-adjacent, is a greater crime against truth than denying the Holocaust.

 

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Andrew Capps
6 years ago

@Bina @SFHC @Pandapool

Ugh. Now I’m an MRA for not blindly attacking them. Like I said, too many people are pretending MRA’s are threats just to give them something to do. Thanks for clicking in to prove my point. Kim Kardashian’s ass will pop back up and you’ll disappear to follow that breaking news.

@brooked

You’re still going? Your inability to connect statements made about your posts TO your posts is not swaying me to believe the vile horror of MRA’s should be giving everyone nightmares. “Baby” appears to be your panic button. Adorable.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

You should tell Katherine Cooper and Veronika Weiss that MRAs aren’t a threat.

Oh wait. You can’t. Because they were murdered by an MRA.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
6 years ago

I loved both Raid movies, Gareth Evens is hands down the best action director at this point, surpassing even James Cameron. The car chase sequence in Raid 2 is genuinely astonishing. I don’t even think those movie’s story or characters are terribly weak, it’s just that Evens recycles well worn plots and characters from the classic Hong Kong action films of the 80s and 90s. He should get a screen writing partner, a good one would do wonders for his next film.

That’s why I specified that it was the first – not the second (which I liked a lot more) – that I particularly didn’t like for the reasons I stated.

Don’t want to come off as antagonist either, but…how can you say a story and characters aren’t weak and then claim it’s heavily recycled? I just don’t get that. It’d be like claiming that a character is actually very complex but is nonetheless generic.

The second film, admittedly, adds some nice character moments – particularly between two of the henchmen, who happen to be mute and deaf, that communicate entirely in sign language – but the first one is so obnoxiously derivative that I couldn’t get past it. That and the fact, despite having guns, characters get into these protracted fights with fisticuffs and blades for no reason other than because it is more visually interesting than watching a gun fight. Except it kept bugging the shit out of me whenever another crony decided to get knocked around and stabbed, than just getting a gun and shooting the protagonist – especially when it is clear they can get one without much trouble. At least the second one explains the lack of guns being used is done in order to not draw attention from authorities, thus relying on melee combat in some form or another when need be.

It was like how, in the awful Oldboy remake, Josh Borlin decides to just use a hammer – exactly like the original – and he fights all these criminals who should have guns but just get fucked up by a hammer as if they have a death wish. They don’t live in South Korea, where there are strict gun laws, but the U.S. South (Louisiana specifically) where gun ownership is pretty common and even encouraged.

Mad Max also has a mythic grandeur and distinct esthetic which are actually strengthened by it’s wackier visual touches. It gets into Ken Russell and Alejandro Jodorowsky territory at times. The way Miller frames the action and tweaks the frame rate, plus the editing, give the film both constant flow and visual coherency, which is why you can follow the action and actually know what’s happening. I’d recommend it just about everybody.

Alejandro Jodorowsky definitely came to mind. It’d be neat if George Miller decided, just to mix things up, gave the director’s chair of the next Mad Max movie to Jodorowsky. If not that – then perhaps help fund and produce his long-awaited (spiritual) sequel to El Topo.

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

@Andrew Capps: We get your kind here all the time — drop a turd, and then act all pissy when someone points it out. As brooked points out, your use of the passive voice made it impossible to figure out what YOUR point of view was, who you were criticizing etc. etc. All you have succeeding in proving is that while you may not be an MRAsshole, you certainly are a garden variety asshole.

Garen Truscott
Garen Truscott
6 years ago

I saw the movie and it is awesome. I couldn’t help but see the film in terms of the egalitarian co-operation between Max and Furiosa (who aren’t in a romantic or sexual relationship btw) and the exploitative patriarchy of Immortan Joe. This is a guy who calls the girls ‘his property’. I suspect his behaviour seemed a bit too familiar to the ‘Men’s Rights’ guys. Odd thing is Immortan Joe’s society exploits woman and men; the women are sex objects, but most of the men are numerous and expendable… and not valued by their leader. To MRA’s this movie is a complete criticism of their world view. Patriarchies exploit men and women, it just rewards the men at the very top. No wonder they don’t like it. I say again: it is awesome… with or without subtext.

Haruko Haruhara
6 years ago

I had this long, extremely exasperating back and forth with an MRA type who claimed that “Mad Max: Fury Road” was a financial “flop.” (His word for it). I pointed out it made $45.5 million its opening weekend in the U.S. and $110 million worldwide. He insisted that was a flop. I showed him an article projecting a $40 million domestic opening for it, he insisted that it was a flop.

He later claimed he didn’t really care about the movie and didn’t have a dog in the fight. I said if you don’t care, why have you expended such a ridiculous amount of energy over the past two days attempting to convince people that it’s a “flop?”

Yarrrgghhh, it’s like trying to reason with a cinder block wall, these people! They exist in their own weird little reality where if they say something is true, it’s true (like “feminists hate men…”)

BTW, Fury Road has now grossed $212 million worldwide and $87 million in the U.S.

Leonard Anderson
6 years ago

Soo many logical fallacies! That one forum criticising the movie wasn’t even an MRA site! I lost count how many times I’ve had to tell people this. I mean I get it you have an agenda to sell, but why insult people’s intelligence this way? I notice you don’t actually source these so-called MRA sites that call for a boycott! So instead I’ll link that one non-MRA forum that mentions it :

http://www.returnofkings.com/63036/why-you-should-not-go-see-mad-max-feminist-road

Oh look it took me all of 5 seconds to check the about section:

http://www.returnofkings.com/about

Yep no mention of MRA involvement here! Oh what’s this!

“We are generally against men’s rights and how they portray men as victims in need of state assistance (see: The Men’s Rights Movement Is No Place For Men). Women and homosexuals are strongly discouraged from commenting here.”

well isn’t that interesting! I challenge anyone with half a brain to find an actual MRA site that promotes the madmax boycott! And for that matter challenge people to actually use their brains in the first place!

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