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Will a meme celebrating single mothers bring about the end of civilization? One Men’s Rightser says “yes.”

Men: A bunch of angry panda impersonators?
Men: A bunch of angry panda impersonators?

On Fathers Day, somewhere on the internet, the following meme was posted:

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The Men’s Rights subreddit reacted, as it so often does, with manly indignation: how dare these women take our Fathers Day from us! Even by normal Men’s Rights standards for empty outrage this seems a bit much. After all, it’s not exactly news that a lot of women raise their kids by themselves, when the fathers of their children, refuse to act as, well, fathers to their children. Indeed, “financial abortions” — that is, consequence-free child abandonment for men — is one of the central demands of the Men’s Rights movement. 

But to one anonymous commenter on the Men’s Rights subreddit, this meme could well be the final insult that transforms the men of the world into angry panda impersonators destroying everything within reach.

According to this anonymous observer,

this really scares me, enough that I wake up at night thinking about it.

Wait. You wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking about … a meme?

No one could deny that there is open warfare on men all throughout western society. Whether or not it is deserved is somewhat irrelevant (you’ll see why in a second). There’s a minority of men who are alarmed but the vast majority just doesn’t have this on their radar…yet. This is mostly because it doesn’t affect them directly.

How can there be “open warfare” on men if most men haven’t even noticed it? Has there ever been a war in which the majority of those ostensibly affected by it don’t even know that it exists?

But never mind, because “[t]hat’s all going to change soon.”

Mixing his metaphors with wild abandon, this anonymous Men’s Rights Nostradamus predicts that

It won’t be long until the inroads that feminism has blazed start to butt up against the everyday Joe that’s just living his life.

Ah, the ever-reliable “everyday Joe,” beloved icon of reactionary grumblers since pretty much forever. In 2008, he took the form of a plumber (well, sort of). In 1970, they made a movie about him.

It appears that feminism doesn’t know when to quit and I clearly see the movement doing something that causes ‘Joe’ to not only look up from his newspaper but also impact him in a negative way.

You wouldn’t like me when I look up from my newspaper!

This lights the fuse.

Throughout history the one thing men are good at is responding to threats, whether they are real or not. I’m reminded of a video of a robbery at a convenience store I saw. The robber had a knife pointed at the clerk, demanding the contents of the register. Two random men were behind him, watching it all go down. One guy looked at the other and did the “upward head nod”. The other guy responded with the same discreet movement and they launched at the robber, taking him down. These two guys didn’t know each other at all but they, like most all men, are given to cohesive bonding when a threat is present.

Men also make up the vast majority of those robbing convenience stores, but never mind.

Feminism gives a perfect storm for this response and it’s going to be really ugly. When men get pissed, especially when they feel disenfranchised or morally wronged, they start breaking things.

Are you sure you haven’t confused men with toddlers having tantrums?

If this starts to steamroll it will make Ferguson look like a dress rehearsal.

That escalated quickly. Good old everyday Joe was just sitting there reading his newspaper, when all of a sudden he caught sight of a feminist meme on the internet. Next stop, literal rioting in the streets.

Those cops that will be asked to stop it? Those are overwhelmingly men too. Many will be sympathetic and I see lines being crossed.

A Man/Cop Alliance of Rioting Manbabies?

Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me if this doesn’t get dealt with that it could be something on par with a major social upheaval. It’s going to be expensive, bloody, and it’s going to change everything for several generations. Once men start hammering, it ALL looks like a nail.

Yeah this bothers me a lot. I hope I’m badly wrong.

No you don’t. MRAs and other reactionary misogynists are forever airing these kinds of apocalyptic fantasies, in which the evil feminists “push men too far” and the men “finally explode” like some kind of “male bomb.” Civilization crumbles, and those evil complainy women get their final comeuppance.

Some of the men profess their deep “concern” that the women they want to shut up won’t shut up until it’s “too late.” Others can barely conceal their glee at the prospect of a bloody Manpocalypse that will put women back in their place.

Because this isn’t a warning. It’s a threat. It’s what every wife-batterer does when he “reminds” his wife that she won’t like him when he’s angry. It’s a way to control women through fear. Or at least an attempt to.

The only difference now is that the dude doing the “reminding” isn’t threatening his wife at home; he’s playing to the crowd in the Men’s Rights subreddit, and getting upvotes for it.

All over a meme.

So which gender is supposed to be the emotional one again?

H/T — r/againstmensrights

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sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
6 years ago

As for elsewhere, in the UK there is a LOT more separation of church and state, even though Cameron will occasionally come out with some statement about Britain being a Christian country or something. Yes there are problematic churches in various shades, but there is no Fox News or Rush Limbaugh Show equivalent here, or anything else that gives fundies a platform apart from their own pews. In the public face the majority of politicians are totally neutral about religion or lack thereof.

I don’t really think that’s the kind of thing you were getting at but that’s the main difference I’ve noticed between the US and the UK.

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
6 years ago

@mildlymagnificent

The Easter peace marches are a longstanding tradition in Germany since the 60s, and have been a rallying point for progressive Christians and the political left since at least the early 80s. Unfortunately, this year a bizarre mélange of conspiracy theorists who think that Putin should save Europe from the evil Americans and gays and whatever codewords for “Jews” they can think of has divided the original peace movement – while some big organizations have very clearly distanced themselves, others invited them to take part in the marches.

I generally find that those Christians who do help refugees and work together with the political left are those who take the moral teachings of Jesus much more seriously than the bigoted assholes who claim to live their life according to the word of God.

Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ sunnysombrera

This is something I chat about with my colonial friends occasionally. It’s funny how the US has all the separation of church and state idea but religion is so pervasive and the chances of a non religious (Christian) politician being elected to high office is zilch, whereas we have an established church, legislators who get a free place just because they’re bishops and a requirement for a daily act of Christian worship in schools but we’re so secular that politicians have to keep quiet if they’re religious or at least make sure the “We don’t do god” message gets across.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
6 years ago

(Essay warning.) It wasn’t asked of me, but still:

Do you believe that as society slowly gets less homophobic, misogynistic and nonconsensual, the churches will see themselves drift further from it until there’s no useful dialogue to be had? Has this already happened?

I’d say that’s very hard to predict. For some groups that will be true, but some may change in unpredictable ways.

As for the Anglican church, I’m surprised that it hasn’t schismed yet – do you have thoughts as to why?

It’s not something I really followed, but in a strict sense there have been global splinters. That a potential larger breakaway has been contained probably has to do with the fact there’s now a conservative Evangelical in Canterbury.

From outsider perspective, I think progressive Christians could go a long way towards taking away the narrative from the religious right if they ceased the defensiveness. Just openly talk about the ways being pro choice and pro LGBTQ rights is compatible with your faith. Understand that because Christian supremacy is a thing and people have been hurt by it, there’s going to be backlash. Not all Christians isn’t any more helpful than not all men or not all white people. Defensiveness is never a good look on a privileged class. Use that privilege to speak up for people’s rights instead of using it to defend yourselves.

Could you elaborate on defensiveness? I get what you mean with #NotAllChristians and that being an annoying wag, but I’m sure you mean something broader yet I don’t know how much.

As for elsewhere, in the UK there is a LOT more separation of church and state, even though Cameron will occasionally come out with some statement about Britain being a Christian country or something. Yes there are problematic churches in various shades, but there is no Fox News or Rush Limbaugh Show equivalent here, or anything else that gives fundies a platform apart from their own pews. In the public face the majority of politicians are totally neutral about religion or lack thereof.

The UK actually has less separation of state and church, what’s with the bishops in the House of Lords (Senate) and the CofE as an established church. But people are on the whole much less affiliated with a religion, except for Northern Ireland.

Some sociologists now think that an established church increased the power of liberal Christianity while the early separation of state and church in the US empowered more conservative dissident churches. Case in point are the Nordic countries, where 60-80% of the population belongs to the (former) state churches, religious belief is low and religious activity is very low, but where conservative religion is much more marginal.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
6 years ago

The Easter peace marches are a longstanding tradition in Germany since the 60s, and have been a rallying point for progressive Christians and the political left since at least the early 80s. Unfortunately, this year a bizarre mélange of conspiracy theorists who think that Putin should save Europe from the evil Americans and gays and whatever codewords for “Jews” they can think of has divided the original peace movement – while some big organizations have very clearly distanced themselves, others invited them to take part in the marches.

Eh, what? Is this group aligned with the Alternative für Deutschland?

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

In my experience in the UK, oppressive religion is associated very heavily with minority groups; either with directly minority religions such as Islam and Sikhism, or with evangelical Christian churches whose congregations are almost entirely African. As such, it almost inevitably turns into an intersectional issue, where the privilege gained from being religious mostly exists within that community, and where members of that community choosing to be secular is often seen as disloyalty or as selling out to the white folks.

To be fair, it often is: Islamophobes who won’t have anything to do with us will normally jump at the chance to ally with the atheists when we’re discussing Islam, anti-Semites will be our allies when Judaism comes up, et cetera. As such, such suspicion is often justified.

This is not to say that religion isn’t harmful: deprived, marginalised insular communities are the ones where it does the most damage. However, one can’t simply stomp in and expect everything to be better: that hurts people, makes everyone close ranks, and brings down even more pressure on those within the community who are getting persecuted.

This is why, for the most part, I prefer to let organisations like CEMB, Black Humanists and Southall Black Sisters do the leading, and try to follow their instructions on the best ways to proceed. It’s an intersectional issue, which means that the lived experiences of people on the inside of religious communities is vastly more useful than the thoughts of a white man.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
6 years ago

@alan
@ignorantian
I forgot about the House of Lords. And didn’t know about the requirement for a daily act of worship in schools.

In my mind I was thinking more about how politicians talk about being religious or using religion as part of policy making, or something, which is more the case in America than here.

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
6 years ago

@ignorantianescia

No, these guys (“Friedenswinter”) claim to be lefties and distance themselves from the racist Pegida and the AfD. But ideologically, they have a lot in common. Anti-americanism and “Antizionism” (which in this case is unabashed antisemitism) as well as a “völkisch” kind of populism are elements that have united certain parts of the left and right in Germany for most of the 20th Century. One guy tried to unite the two but was thrown out of the “Friedenswinter” movement.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

EJ (The Other One) | June 27, 2015 at 3:25 am

Today we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to the frontlines.

Don’t you mean “today we celebrate, tomorrow we throw the concerns of minorities under a bus because us white cis people have got ours?”

I joke, but it’s a scenario I’m worried about: the feminist and LGBTQ movements have a bad reputation for doing exactly that, and I’m unsure of how we prevent it from happening again.

I’m worried about it too. We’ve got lots of problems with intersectionality. Hell, the LGBTQA+ community has problems with erasure something terrible, coming from a pansexual.

At the same time, I’m conscious that as a straight man, gay people are not my footsoldiers and should not be expected to fight anything they don’t want to fight in. Were I gay I’d be tired of fighting too.

It’s tiresome, fighting for your rights all the time. Especially when it’s on more than one front.

It’s like shouting at a brick wall sometimes.

I think I have to be realistic and accept that a lot of people – possibly a majority – were never actually in favour of full equality. They simply wanted equality for themselves, and never cared about anyone else. Once they had that equality, they will become part of the complacent majority that they were formerly fighting against. It happened within feminism and now it would be naive of me to assume that it isn’t going to happen within LGBTQ.

It’s a dichotomy and I’m too privileged to understand how to solve it.

Well, it would require a lot of working together, something that a lot of people aren’t going to be willing to do.

It would require people to use their empathy and realize that some people are still fighting for the full set of rights they now enjoy.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

Fuck you Blockquote Mammoth. I’m too tired to deal with your bullshit right now.

Catalpa
Catalpa
6 years ago

@EJ

Do you believe that as society slowly gets less homophobic, misogynistic and nonconsensual, the churches will see themselves drift further from it until there’s no useful dialogue to be had? Has this already happened?

For some organizations, this has definitely already happened. Others will adapt, either out of a genuine want to be better or simply pure pragmatism. A lot of christianity is very focused on getting others to join in, for better or worse. More butts in the pews means more money in the collection plate, and also something something save their souls (I may be cynical about this). I am noting a lot of ‘breed your own believer’ sentiments in some groups, because it’s easier to groom a kid to blindly obey you than to engage meaningfully with adults, ugh. But outreach is important to many, and if it means more community members , the church will adapt. Both to be able to connect with outsiders and because of these outsiders bringing their own perspectives into the organization, since communities are ultimately made up of their people. (See: the adoption of pagan symbology and celebrations into Christmas.)

As for what progressive, genuinely well meaning Christians can do about the bigots? We can’t stop them from having said beliefs, but we can absolutely do our damnedest to get power out of their hands, to not accept their ‘ my religious belief is X and therefore EVERYONE needs to do X, regardless of their beliefs! Otherwise I’m being discriminated against!’ bullshit. The church needs to become aware of its shortcomings and fuckups and commit to fixing them instead of just denying their existence. And they, we, need to start on this yesterday.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago
EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

Big hugs, Paradoxical. We’ve got your back. See you tomorrow in the trenches.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
6 years ago

@Bernardo Soares

No, these guys (“Friedenswinter”) claim to be lefties and distance themselves from the racist Pegida and the AfD. But ideologically, they have a lot in common. Anti-americanism and “Antizionism” (which in this case is unabashed antisemitism) as well as a “völkisch” kind of populism are elements that have united certain parts of the left and right in Germany for most of the 20th Century. One guy tried to unite the two but was thrown out of the “Friedenswinter” movement.

Sorry for the ot, but:

Okay, I see that die Linke cut ties with them, so they must be rather far out if even that big tent doesn’t want to do with them. How did the other parties feel about “Friedenwinter”?

The controversial meetings would then be the “Mahnwachen für den Frieden”, I guess?

Bernardo Soares
Bernardo Soares
6 years ago

@ignorantianescia
sorry for the short answer, but I’m going to bed now and will be mostly afk tomorrow. As far as I know, there are no parties who work with them, it was only some people from Die Linke who attended, like Dieter Dehm, who is never far from stupidly anti-American shit. And yes, these are the Mahnwachen für den Frieden.

Lynn
Lynn
6 years ago

Well if men would stop fucking walking out on women, they wouldn’t end up as “single” mothers.
do they have any idea how hard it is to be a single mother? Also, I’m shocked to know that any of these assheads are fathers in the first place.

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