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advocacy of violence antifeminism elliot rodger misogyny oppressed men terrorism threats

U of Toronto on edge after online commenter urges men to “start firing bullets into these feminists at your nearest Women’s Studies classroom”

Robarts Library at the University of Toronto
Robarts Library at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is on edge in the wake of online comments urging a mass shooting of feminists.

Last week, an anonymous online commenter on BlogTO urged men to “rent a gun from a gang and start firing bullets into these feminists at your nearest Women’s Studies classroom.”

Here’s one of the threats, screencapped by a woman who posted it on Twitter and alerted police:

threattoronto2

(I’ve crossed out the name of the other commenters.)

It would be convenient to toss this off as the bad joke of a shitposting troll. But Canadians remember well what happened when an angry man with a gun took his own personal antifeminist crusade to a Montreal classroom in 1989: 14 women shot to death.

And sadly. as I hardly need to remind regular readers here, numerous women have been slain since then by mass shooters with a grudge against feminists and women in general, from George Sodini to Elliot Rodger. This past May, a University of Mary Washington student and feminist/LGBT activist named Grace Mann was murdered after being the target of online antifeminist threats.

The University of Toronto is taking the threats seriously; in a statement released today, the school president assured students that “we have increased the presence of our own police on all three campuses.” The Toronto police, for their part, say that while “no credible threat has been identified” so far, they will continue with their investigation.

Threats like these, whether “credible” or not, are a kind of gender terrorism, designed to keep women in fear online, on campus, in the world in general.

If you’re at the U of T or in Toronto, please post any additional information you run across in the comments here; there’s also an ongoing (and generally non-awful) discussion on Reddit’s UofT subreddit as well as on Twitter.

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Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ Alternatesteve

Yeah, his videogame stuff really detracts from his excellent work on combat and combat psychology; that’s the stuff he actually knows about.

mockingbird
mockingbird
6 years ago

I was going to make a joke like, “Yeah, sure – the gangs all have SharePoint sites running. Their devs have spun up pretty decent inventory control UIs.”

But then others posted that something like that (probably sans Web interfaces) does actually happen. Thaaaaank you to those who helped correct my apparently extremely US-centric frame of reference.

/seriously, not sarcastically

Bina
6 years ago

Threats like these, whether ‘credible’ or not, are a kind of gender terrorism, designed to keep women in fear online, on campus, in the world in general.

Bingo…stochastic terrorism in a nutshell.

I was a student at Queen’s University myself when the Montréal Massacre went down. The victims of that one were, for the most part, right in my own age bracket. AND I was a volunteer at the Queen’s Women’s Centre, too. I majored in English, not Women’s Studies, but you can bet I was watching my back for the rest of my time at Queen’s. And scared shitless, yes…but not so scared that I wanted to go back home and abandon my education. I’d made it through a suicidal depression in second year, and now was doing well in third year…the HELL I was going to let some shitty fucking terrorist make me turn back after I’d come that far!

(And yes, I wrote that to encourage other university women to stick with their studies and not be cowed. And also in the hopes that all these MRA terrorists read it and weep. And maybe pee their pants a little.)

Bina
6 years ago

Also, Dan Perrins and AVFM, this one’s for YOU:
comment image

Because seriously, not-getting-dates, condo fees (who the hell wants a condo? Not most women), being still unmarried at 30 (not a problem, but NORMAL), etc., are NOT the fault of feminism. We’re not fighting for dates, marriage or someone to pay our way in life; we’re fighting for reproductive rights, pay equity, respect and the right to a life free from male violence, you jackasses.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

@Bina: But that’s what MRAs want. They want a woman to pay their way and rub their feet when they get home from working to make their own money their wife can’t touch, and for women to keep popping out virile male babies in between doing the dishes and making them sammiches, because they believe the lie that they are entitled to all of this.

They’re projecting super hard, as usual.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I’ll inherit my mom’s condo when she dies someday (hopefully not for a long time). No man needed!

Rivendellyan
Rivendellyan
6 years ago

I’m happy Canadians treat these threats with respect. You don’t necessarily need to go crazy over them, since they’re hyperbole most of the time, but *most* of the time isn’t *every* time, so a little caution isn’t too much to ask for. Kudos, Canadia!

Stace
Stace
6 years ago

@Paradoxical Intention

I hear what you’re saying. I’d like for our not-perfect world to someday be a better world.

@ Alan Robertshaw

I’ve had a crash course of that system in a seminar I attended. That was in 2009 and the focus had been to educate law enforcement attendees (I was one of two civilians present) to alertness and when to be “on”. A large focus of that course had been the PTSD and after-effects of violent situations.

And I have “On Combat” and “On Killing” by Grossman. It’s been years since I’ve read them so I’m now working off the impression I kept from them. I feel he constructively tackles the issues that soldiers/first responders face in a constantly hyper-alert environment, and particularly, he explores post-violence and the dangers that come of that. A high percentage of those affected in these fields are men, and I think he’s a good example of what activism should and could more often be. It’s practical; applicable; and doesn’t resort to “the evils of feminism.”

Though again, if I’m off the mark due to memory feel free to call me on my ignorance. I should refresh on both authors. This is just the impressions I’ve kept with me.

Pear_tree
Pear_tree
6 years ago

I think a lot of women are unmarried at 30 are unmarried because they can earn their own money so don’t need to marry in order to survive. Society also allows women to not be married at 30 and still be seen as respectable people with human rights. I think that is the result of feminism.

It is why I can sort of understand why MRAs feel society is unfair on them. They want to return to a society (which may not have existed) where marriage was so important to women that liking their partner or being treated well in the marriage were things that a woman was happy to do without. They want a society of relationships like Charlotte and Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice. I can imagine that if you believe that is how society should be run, having a woman reject you because she doesn’t like you feels very unfair, why should whether she likes you matter?

I wonder how class prejudice plays into these ideas though. Even in Jane Austen you have unmarried working class women earning money. It is what makes me think that the idea there was a time when women didn’t work is a myth.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

So, our unmarried, condo-fee-struggling, date-challenged young lady goes visiting AVfM, and finds: baffling memes, threats of violence, stupid pranks, straw feminists, grade-school insults, and a SHITLOAD of whining about how oppressed teh poor white menz are and how shitty and horrible and inferior women are,

She clicks away from the page, closes her browser, and reflects how very, very lucky she is not to be married to one of those assdisasters. She feels so grateful to live in a time where she can vote, get an education, earn her own income, and not have to hitch herself to an abusive, insecure manchild in order to survive. She gives a moment of silent thanks that, in the 21st century, it is possible for women to be more than sandwich, blowjob, and baby dispensers. Feminism is working out well for her, thanks. Still a lot of work to do, though. Yeesh. Where’s the brain bleach?

So I suppose in that sense, the sign might be performing a public service,

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

Apparently my ipad has decided that periods are misandry and is replacing them with commas,

gelar
gelar
6 years ago

So, our unmarried, condo-fee-struggling, date-challenged young lady goes visiting AVfM, and finds: baffling memes, threats of violence, stupid pranks, straw feminists

Admittedly, my first thought was that a better (counter)poster would be: “What kind of person would threaten mass violence? Why are feminists being threatened? Are they serious? Find out at AVfM!”

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

Stace

I hear what you’re saying. I’d like for our not-perfect world to someday be a better world.

Every now and again, there’s a tiny chink of hope glinting through the dark curtains. This extract is from an article on this h.o.r.r.e.n.d.o.u.s. week of family violence crime that Queensland has just been through. We often say that men have to step up when it comes to telling other men that violence against women and children is not on. Who’d’ve thought that a bikie gang could get it exactly right.

Even figures from the outlaw motorcycle world, no stranger to troubled men of violent disposition, have been moved to publicly express dismay at the deaths of Lock and Brown, one allegedly at the hands of a former member of their fraternity.
United motorcycle council president and Rebels bikie Mick Kosenko said he and others were “sickened by the whole thing, just terrible”.

Kosenko said he had seen several members of his own club turn their backs on violence towards their loved ones with both the support – and the opprobrium when necessary – of their peers.

“You just gotta listen to them, don’t you? And if they are going off the rails you try. We’ve had members ourselves we had to pull into line, threaten them with getting thrown out of the club, take their colours off them for three months, and then they realise, fuck what have I done?

Other men’s organisations should take note. No, the bikie gang doesn’t use violence or other forms of retribution or punishment, they use support, social exclusion, withdrawal of status and/or privileges – whatever combination works.

Content warning for the article. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/sep/11/shock-over-spate-of-high-profile-attacks-on-women-spurs-queensland-to-act

Bina
6 years ago

I think a lot of women are unmarried at 30 are unmarried because they can earn their own money so don’t need to marry in order to survive. Society also allows women to not be married at 30 and still be seen as respectable people with human rights. I think that is the result of feminism.

Isn’t it just so telling that these guys see THAT, a net positive for society, as a PROBLEM? They WANT women to believe that 25 is the absolute latest age by which they can reasonably expect to be married, and that a day over 26 is too late. And that by 30, we all hit some imaginary “wall” which renders us permanently unmarriageable, and more likely to be kidnapped and killed by terrorists than find true love and lawful wedlock (teh HORRORS!!!).

What’s implicit in all this is that even if a woman marries before 25 (supposedly, their ideal scenario), she’s STILL going to turn 30 eventually. And when she does, then what? Does marriage magically exempt her from wall-hitting? Or does she hit that wall anyoldhow, and does he then “get tired of her”, develop a “wandering eye”, and then start lining up the next wifey — who will, of course, invariably be younger? He gets older, but they all stay the same age? That could only work out well for the guy, which makes this…

But that’s what MRAs want. They want a woman to pay their way and rub their feet when they get home from working to make their own money their wife can’t touch, and for women to keep popping out virile male babies in between doing the dishes and making them sammiches, because they believe the lie that they are entitled to all of this.

…their ideal, but still impossible scenario. They want to have their cake and eat it; they want to have their perfect young wife who somehow depends on them while at the same time, without any career goals, degrees, etc., earns enough to support them both (while he makes even more money, and keeps it all), and looks after them as if they were the baby in the family. Which, of course, SHE is expected to churn out, too…but immediately “get her figure back” as soon as she steps off her childbed, and never have a single stretch mark, saggy nipple, etc. to show for it! And at the same time, in the midst of all this drudgery, she’s supposed to be “a lady in the streets and a whore between the sheets”!

And if someone (a feminist, natch) has the audacity to point out that It. Does. NOT. Work. That. Way, they get mad and pissy and throw a hissyfit, and tell her that she’s too fat, ugly, stupid, etc. EVER to get a man. Even if she has someone (usually not necessarily a man) who loves her to bits and doesn’t care if she’s passed the Imaginary Wall a long, long time ago.

Which is what makes this:

So, our unmarried, condo-fee-struggling, date-challenged young lady goes visiting AVfM, and finds: baffling memes, threats of violence, stupid pranks, straw feminists, grade-school insults, and a SHITLOAD of whining about how oppressed teh poor white menz are and how shitty and horrible and inferior women are,

…sooooo very laughable. Her whole self-esteem is supposed to be DASHED by this shit that doesn’t even make sense! Hey, if I’m going to feel like the ground has been yoinked out from under me, shouldn’t there at least be some basis in reality, instead of AVFM’s kindergarten-level stomping, pouting and name-calling?

Yeesh. Where’s the brain bleach?

Ask, and ye shall receive…

Bina
6 years ago

Ugh. Should read “usually BUT not necessarily a man”. I CAN type, just not at this hour.

cupisnique
cupisnique
6 years ago

So. . . I was somewhat pleased that UofT had taken these threats seriously but was pretty much convinced it was only because the threats were out there and everyone knew about it and students and TAs were raising their concerns, and yeah turns out that feeling was correct. Similar threats were made in June and the University knew about them and didn’t say peep to the students or the instructors.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/u-of-t-reveals-similar-online-threats-surfaced-in-june-1.3225608

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

@Bina: Ahh, Maru brain bleach! Brightens as it whitens.

You know, the average condo fee really isn’t all that much per month – at most, maybe a few hundred. It’s certainly much better than a mortgage or rent. It wouldn’t be that hard to come up with each month, if that were your only living expense.

If mortgage is what they meant,

a) they should have said so

b) a single woman struggling to make monthly payments on her condo is more likely to look to refinancing, a roommate, or downsizing as solutions. Panicking and running straight into the arms of the nearest MRA is very low down on the list. Actually, it’s #1 on the list of “Solutions That Are Worse Than The Original Problem”.

c) As if an MRA would ever willingly bail out a woman financially anyway, with all the howling they do about being expected to buy a $5 box of chocolates once a year (in exchange for getting to be an ass the other 364 days). Anything that requires them to open their wallets for a damseling slut gives them fits.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

The Jezebel article on this was saying that the University also just mentioned that there was a threat and didn’t bring up the gendered nature of the threat.

Bina
6 years ago

Similar threats were made in June and the University knew about them and didn’t say peep to the students or the instructors.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Women are really just low-paid expendables to these bozos, aren’t they. Fucking administrators.

Anything that requires them to open their wallets for a damseling slut gives them fits.

Which is really ironic when you consider how much time THEY spend damselling (for dollars!) and being sluts (or wishing they were, because ain’t nobody with two brain cells to rub together gonna touch THEIR junk!)

Bina
6 years ago

Also, been meaning to comment on this earlier, but forgot. The “Kill Feminists” post mentions “false sex rape allegations”. Now, I’m confused: Is it “false rape allegations” that was meant but clumsily typed, or is rape “false sex” and this guy knows that full well, and is mad because he knows someone he “had sex with” is, in fact, going to accuse him of rape? Because if they ever find the guy who did this, dollars to doughnuts says he’s done the dirty.

Fruitloopsie
6 years ago

I agree we should have a petition to have the mrm to be on the same level as nazis and the kkk.

A Wolverine
A Wolverine
6 years ago

The shitbags really have a hair up their asses about UoT for some reason and i can’t figure out why

TheLulwzWatch
TheLulwzWatch
6 years ago

Bina

“What’s implicit in all this is that even if a woman marries before 25 (supposedly, their ideal scenario), she’s STILL going to turn 30 eventually. And when she does, then what? Does marriage magically exempt her from wall-hitting? Or does she hit that wall anyoldhow, and does he then “get tired of her”, develop a “wandering eye”, and then start lining up the next wifey — who will, of course, invariably be younger? He gets older, but they all stay the same age? That could only work out well for the guy, which makes this…”

That is one major reason they are so against divorce laws I guess.

There are other reasons they want young women to marry than simply looks, they are hoping for naïvety and inexperience since this makes the prospective victims easier to manipulate and abuse.

What you think about this?

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

@Bina

Also, been meaning to comment on this earlier, but forgot. The “Kill Feminists” post mentions “false sex rape allegations”. Now, I’m confused: Is it “false rape allegations” that was meant but clumsily typed, or is rape “false sex” and this guy knows that full well, and is mad because he knows someone he “had sex with” is, in fact, going to accuse him of rape? Because if they ever find the guy who did this, dollars to doughnuts says he’s done the dirty.

“Sex rape” couldn’t just be a new word for rape that they’re using to distinguish it from all the other things MRAs call rape, like “divorce rape”, could it?

Bina
6 years ago

“Sex rape” couldn’t just be a new word for rape that they’re using to distinguish it from all the other things MRAs call rape, like “divorce rape”, could it?

Now there’s a possibility that actually makes sense…unlike that shitty post. Everything is rape to these guys. It’s like they constantly have it on the brain. I wonder why.

And having said that, I think it’s time for more Maru and Hana brain bleach…

Also, yup, Christian Grey sounds just like a cult recruiter to me. But if I were in Ana’s shoes (which I once was, as a virginal English major!), I’d be telling him to fuck off. Which is NOT “romantic”, but a lot more believable than her just signing a contract with the devil while not even so much as reading it. (I may have been a virgin, but I wasn’t a fool.)

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