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The Protocols of the Elders of Feminism (Or, Gloria Steinem Didn’t Really Say That)

No, Gloria Steinem did not say this.
No, Gloria Steinem did not say this.

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I‘m continually amazed by the amount of time and energy that antifeminists put into fighting monsters of their own creation — that is, the imaginary feminists in their heads who bear about as much resemblance to real feminists as the rapacious, Machiavellian characters in The Protocols of The Elders of Zion do to real Jews.

I’ve made the Protocols of the Elders of Zion comparison more than a few times before, but I ran across an example of antifeminist monster-making earlier today that parallels the Protocols so exactly that it’s kind of unnerving.

The original Protocols, as many of you no doubt know, were an anti-Semitic forgery concocted in Russia by the Tsarist secret police around the turn of the twentieth century, purporting to offer proof of a plot by a cabal of Jews to take over the world. The document offered what it claimed was a transcript of a secret meeting of the aforementioned Elders that took place at some point late in the nineteenth century; in fact, most of the dialogue was plagiarized from works of fiction published many decades earlier.

Basically, the so-called Protocols are a collection of cartoonishly eeeeevil fake quotes from imaginary Jewish Elders. But millions of people, including Henry Ford and a certain Adolf Hitler, believed them to be real. Or at least acted as if they did.

Much of what Men’s Rightsers and other antifeminists believe about feminists is similarly bogus. I’ve written before about the collections of dubious “evil” quotes from feminists that regularly make the rounds on the antifeminist web (and that any number of antifeminists have cut-and-pasted into the comments here).

And I’ve written about the deliberate disinformation campaigns started by #GamerGaters and MRAs by spreading made-up quotes attributed to feminists like Jessica Valenti and Anita Sarkeesian.

So today I ran across yet another example, this time in the form of an “infographic” featuring an obviously fake quote purportedly from Gloria Steinem that was being passed around by a couple of A Voice for Men Twitter soldiers today.

I’ve pasted it above, though, as you may have noticed, I’ve taken the liberty of adding the words FAKE QUOTE in big red letters in case the picture gets into someone’s image search results sometime in the future.

So how do I know the quote is fake? Well, there’s the fact that it obviously is. But, to be sure, I used my highly sophisticated internet search skills to type part of the first sentence of the fake quote into a website called “Google.”

Looking through the results, I discovered that the “quote” originally appeared in a post with the ungrammatical title “Are Chimps smarter than Feminist?” on a little blog called The Waterpipe.

The Waterpipe is not a source that inspires much confidence. The blogger behind the site made only four posts in total, all of them attacks on feminism; the site’s “about” page contains the dummy text that WordPress expects bloggers to replace with their own bios.

The “Are Chimps smarter than Feminist?” post begins — shades of the original Protocols! —  by plagiarizing a hefty chunk of text about chimpanzee tool use from the website of the Jane Goodall Institute.

The “author” then goes on to suggest that chimps are in fact smarter than “feminist” because

The chimps have demonstrated an ability to conduct their parasitical relationship with termites in a sustainable manner as to not exhaust the termite nest and thus increase chances of survival, this survival instinct is not present in feminist. …

the feminist movement has made it its primary objective to eradicate masculinity. Ironically women in their 30s who are childless, unmarried and on a steady supply of anti-depressants are now questioning “Did we overdo it”

As evidence, of sorts, for this contention, the author presents us with the similarly ungrammatical lament of an obviously fictional character named “Clara Strongwoman,” who declares

I was willing to be a good wife, cook and clean while the man bought home the bacon, but you lousy feminist had to ruin it for all of us with your endless victim-hood, outrageous demands and out of control sense of entitlement.

While it’s pretty clear that the blogger here seriously believes the MGTOWish crap he’s peddling, it’s also pretty clear that he means “Clara Strongwoman” to be a joke.

He follows her obviously fake quote with an obviously fake dialogue amongst famous feminists, which he introduces as follows:

Top feminist from different organisations were secretly recorded by an anonymous user called Agent Orange on a debate with each other if they exhausted their parasitical relationship on men.

In other words, these famous feminists are purportedly discussing what to do now that they’ve driven men away with their endless demands.

Here’s a portion of the dialogue, purportedly between Steinem, radical feminist and anti-porn activist Gail Dines, and someone called “Bonnie Grabenhoffer” (two f’s) — who is presumably supposed to be NOW Action Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer (one f).

As you’ll notice, the blogger doesn’t bother to try to make the discussion sound even vaguely convincing; it’s basically a very crude satire. The fake Steinem quote from the infographic is right in the middle of it all; I’ve put it in bold.

>Gail Dines: We pushed them too far and now there’s no going back, we had men right where we wanted, they worked long hours while we could play hide and seek in our pajamas with the kids, they went to die in wars, while we did easy house chores with our washing machines, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners.

>Gloria Steinem: I agree with Gail we even had chivalry, a fu**ing social etiquette that was heavily enforced which disposed men to heroic actions for the benefit of women, but now chivalry is being associated with beta behaviour.
Of course I agree with everyone in this room that emasculating and degrading men was the right thing to do, but we should have left a little bit of dignity in men so that they were still useful to us

>Bonnie Grabenhoffer: We could try shaming tactics but even the dumbest men still have an adequate survival instinct
We are trying very hard to rebuild society by removing male spaces but now we have things like Men Going Their Own Way and male rights groups popping up

>Gail Dines: Why? We cant even shame men into doing things anymore, they have little masculinity, how can a man even sink lower? I think what we need to also do is destroy the male survival instinct. Then they will start marrying women again.

Yes, that’s right: it’s a secret cabal of “top feminist” trying to figure out … how to get men to marry women again. Frankly. the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were more convincing.

Yet this ridiculous blog post got picked up by other antifeminist blogs and passed around by assorted antifeminists on Facebook. Now the fake quote is making the rounds on Twitter.

One atheist/Linux blogger reposted some of the dialogue above as if it were authentic, taking particular umbrage at the fake Steinem’s fake “stupidity.”

These so-called feminists put men down for doing just that to women for centuries. What’s their answer? If women are to be happy and productive, women need to do to men what women thought was horrible when men did it to them. I see no difference between Steinem and some chauvinist pig who thinks women should be in the kitchen cooking, barefoot and pregnant. …

I have a suggestion for the Steinems of this world: help free humanity from its primitive roots and stop spreading this bucolic bacchanalia about making slaves out of men.

Fake quote, real anger. See how that works?

People believe what they want to believe. When it comes to feminism, a lot of people are determined to believe the worst.

The more gullible anitifeminists believe the fake quotes are real; the more cynical antifeminists may be well aware the quotes are fake, but they’re happy to spread them anyway, knowing that their more gullible comrades will swallow the lies wholesale.

As the forgers of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion knew all too well, if your aim is to spread hate, lies are much more effective than truth.

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Freemage
Freemage
6 years ago

I want to be stunned by this, but honestly, the bar is already so low that I don’t see anything shocking here. So instead, my brain locked in on this: “bucolic bacchanalia”.

As near as I can tell, this fetid little troll left his dictionary open to the “B”s and then picked two words he couldn’t pronounce, let alone define. I mean, I suppose it’s possible he was trying to picture a world in which Steinem and other feminists are sitting on the porch of a plantation, alternately drinking heavily and leching around while the menfolk, in shackles, toil in the fields… But this would, among other things, mean that he thinks that feminists want to abandon cities and technology, which doesn’t really fit with their demands to be given more open access to STEM careers, does it?

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
6 years ago

To Serve Man is a cookbook. Anita Sarkeesian wrote To Serve Man. There. I just proved feminists cook and eat men! Alert the media!

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
6 years ago

It will never cease to entertain me how much antifeminists are enamoured with the fantasy that women are terrified by the idea of MGTOW.

WickedWitchOfWhatever
WickedWitchOfWhatever
6 years ago

In this case it is charitable to ascribe to malice, that which should be ascribed to incompetence.

It cannot imagine the effort it takes to reach this level of stupidity. We should start awarding them special grades.

Terrabeau
Terrabeau
6 years ago

but now chivalry is being associated with beta behaviour

Wow, real great job there, guys. Who knew that well-known feminists used and/or cared about your stupid male ranking system. Honestly, did they even try to make it sound like actual feminists? Or do they actually think people all operate on their wavelength?

Come to think of it, that may actually be the reason MRAs keep on shouting into the ether with their bull; they probably believe everyone has exactly the same understanding as they do, and that by being loud enough, they’ll somehow unlock an innate truth in everyone’s minds that feminists have cucked all would-be alphas, and men should just Go Their Own Way and take the Red Pill before they all turn into manginas.

On an offhand note, David, you misspelled Adolf Hitler’s first name (not that it matters much to anyone who’s not a neo-nazi).

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

Apparently, the MRM needs their own version of Snopes.

But hey, can’t let silly things like facts get in the way of all this natural masculine rage, amirite?

Fnoicby | December 16, 2015 at 4:41 pm
It will never cease to entertain me how much antifeminists are enamoured with the fantasy that women are terrified by the idea of MGTOW.

Yup, we’re absolutely terrified that men who hate women and want nothing to do with us are going off and having nothing to do with us.

Of course, if they actually were going off and having nothing to do with us, that’d be fantastic “terrifying”.

WickedWitchOfWhatever
WickedWitchOfWhatever
6 years ago

In this case it is charitable to ascribe to malice, that which should be ascribed to incompetence.

I cannot imagine the effort it takes to become this stupid. We should start awarding them special grades.

After many years the MGTOW descended to Leather Sexbot Level Wilful Ignorance

Rosie*sings*
Rosie*sings*
6 years ago

I guess that in their world men never require anti-depressants?

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

David: Did you read He’s Back? It’s amazing.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
6 years ago

Wow, misogynists are really getting lazy. It used to be they’d try spreading quotes that were misleading but still technically real (like the “all men are rapists” quote attributed to Marilyn French, but actually spoken by a character in one of her novels). Now they’re not even bothering to learn a convincing vocabulary for fake quotes – I had the same reaction as Terrabeau to their putting the term “beta behavior” in Steinem’s mouth.

It’s like making up a fake Obama quote about how “we Muslims must keep people from learning that the only way to salvation is to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.” (No disrespect to people with that particular religious belief, but it’s not something an actual Secret Muslim is likely to say.)

Vanir85
Vanir85
6 years ago

I doubt many antifeminists are actually fooled by these made up quotes. Most are probably just hoping to fire up under the lies to make a thing out of it. Venting the hate they always have against feminists over a fabricated event. It’s like a white hate mob back in the ugly days, gathering to lynch some black “rapist” – full of rage over a crime they all know the “perpetrator” didn’t actually commit. But if enough shout the lie, it *feels* like it’s true, and their hate *feels* like justice.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

You know, I kinda-sorta-almost get the reasoning behind why they constantly make up fake quotes to attribute to Anita or Valenti – that is, they’ve never said anything a non-misogynist would find controversial – but is it really that hard to find a controversial (or even outright gross) quote from Steinem?

Terrabeau
Terrabeau
6 years ago

@EJ

There’s already a film adaptation of it (Er Ist Wieder Da) in theaters right now, which I highly recommend.

Bina
6 years ago

Top feminist from different organisations were secretly recorded by an anonymous user called Agent Orange on a debate with each other if they exhausted their parasitical relationship on men.

COOL STORY, BRO. Go fix me a car, or something.

Meanwhile, in reality, women got worked to death for slave or shit wages on a regular basis, bearing children willy-nilly until they hit menopause or died of hemorrhages or childbed fever (whichever came first), and were actively shut out of well-paid work by men who decided that they were more important than we are.

Who were the REAL parasites, again?

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
6 years ago

comment image

I think this gif sums up my feelings on this. And on most of the things you post about, David.

What?

Bina
6 years ago

PS: I’m guessing this blog was called “The Waterpipe” because whoever drivelled on it was constantly smoking some nasty drugs.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I guess that in their world men never require anti-depressants?

This isn’t even the first time I’ve seen anti-feminists ranting about women taking meds for mood disorders.

Apparently anti-depressants are bad. But feminism is bad because male suicide rates are bad. Since depression is one of the factors in suicides, you would think they wouldn’t be opposed to medications that alleviate symptoms of depression. But since feminists aren’t generally opposed to anti-depressants, than MRAs can’t be for them. But they still care about male suicide rates and male suicide rates are somehow feminisms fault. It just makes no sense whatsoever.

Bina
6 years ago

It will never cease to entertain me how much antifeminists are enamoured with the fantasy that women are terrified by the idea of MGTOW.

It’s almost as funny as how many of them think that all men (or most) think just as they do and are just waiting for their bat-signal to pack up and head for Galt’s Gulch, when in fact these guys are a tiny, misanthropic, utterly ineffectual pimple on the rump of humanity, at best.

History Nerd
History Nerd
6 years ago

I think a big part of it is more laziness and ignorance than a deep determination to deceive people. They would rather give examples of what they imagine someone’s views to be than actually read their works with understanding.

Believe it or not, I knew a few people who couldn’t stop talking about how much they disliked Andrea Dworkin even though they had never read her work. Both were divorced after allegedly being abusive and both liked to talk about how unfair child support laws supposedly are.

Owen McLovely
Owen McLovely
6 years ago

Funny how anti-feminists rant about the Jooz promoting godless, liberal propaganda to brainwash the poor Goys and turn their brains to mush so they can take over the world..

yet their favourite author is Ayn Rand.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@Scented Fucking Hard Chairs

You know, I kinda-sorta-almost get the reasoning behind why they constantly make up fake quotes to attribute to Anita or Valenti – that is, they’ve never said anything a non-misogynist would find controversial – but is it really that hard to find a controversial (or even outright gross) quote from Steinem?

Gloria Steinem is actually a very reasonable, empathetic, and upbeat person–and so is her writing. She’s a feminist who is concerned with the welfare of all marginalized people, not just women. She’s also got a charming personality, and her writing has depth and complexity. When she finally got married in 2000, she wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans. My interpretation of that was that she didn’t want to fetishize marriage or show off–she’s very aware that lots of women who admire her have little money. She’s no bomb thrower. But that doesn’t mean she’s not effective.

She’s 81 now and is showing us all how to age gracefully. Thanks, Gloria!

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
6 years ago

I’m trying to think of a controversial or gross quote from Steinem. I remember there was much triumphalism from anti-feminists when she got married in 2000, because of a statement she’d made in the 70’s that she “didn’t mate in captivity.” Of course, the laws around marriage had undergone enormous changes in the intervening decades, largely thanks to the efforts of Steinem and other feminists.

Usually when people want an “offensive quote” from Steinem, they go with, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” She didn’t actually say it, but she was an editor at Ms. when their classified section included a t-shirt for sale with that slogan – so close enough for MRA’s, right?

Rabukurafuto
Rabukurafuto
6 years ago

A quick look at Steinem’s positions showed some rather transphobic ones, but it looks like she’s since changed her position. I didn’t do an in-depth search though.

Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
6 years ago

Dear MRA: Deceitful, vile and stupid is no way to go through life, son!

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