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MRA’s and Their Future-tense Schadenfreude: Memeday, Early Edition

Found on AVFM's Facebook page
Found on AVFM’s Facebook page

Every Friday is Memeday here at We Hunted the Mammoth, but this week I’m going to start the celebration a day early, with a collection of “told you so!” memes I found, mostly, on Men’s Rights and other antifeminist Facebook pages.

Now, most of us human beings enjoy a bit of Schadenfreude now and then; it’s not the most noble of emotions, but it’s kind of hard to resist laughing a little when some horrible person gets their comeuppance.

Men’s Rights Activists are a pretty bitter and immature bunch, so it’s hardly a shock to see them giggling away at other people’s misfortunes. But it’s still a bit surprising to see just how many of the memes they create and/or pass along are little more than meanspirited “told you sos.”

Even more striking is how many of them offer up a sort of future-tense Schadenfreude. They’re not laughing because some feminist they hate has gotten their comeuppance; they’re laughing at the possibility that this feminist will get their comeuppance some time in the future. And I don’t think I’m wrong to see a sort of anxious desperation underlying these memes; I think on some level most MRAs know their Schadenfreudy fantasies aren’t going to come true.

The meme posted at the top of the page — I posted it before in a roundup of memes from A Voice for Men — is a visual representation of the rather tired claim, repeated endlessly by MRAs, that feminist women will end up dying alone surrounded by a small army of cats.

It’s not clear to me exactly why MRAs find this prediction quite so hilarious. Women tend to live longer than men, which means that even the most staunchly antifeminist women are likely to outlive their partners, giving them pretty much the same chance of ending up “alone” late in their lives, at least if they have no family or friends outside of their late husbands.

But for some reason there aren’t a lot of feminists sitting around cackling at the thought of GirlWritesWhat dying alone at some date in the not-so-near future. Because that’s petty, and tacky, and mean.

In addition to being a stony-hearted bunch, MRAs also tend to be a bit impatient, and like to imagine their sworn feminist enemies having their Waterloos long before they get to the age of seventy.

And so MRAs fantasize about feminists having a sudden realization that they were wrong and the MRAs were right — shortly after hitting age 30 or whenever it is that modern misogynists like to imagine that women magically turn into pumpkin-faced uggos.

nothingtoshow

Dudes, only MRAs, misogynists and pedophiles think that a woman’s “best years” are in her teens and early 20s.

By why wait for these imaginary feminists to have some sort of drastically premature mid-life crisis when you can just pretend that they’ll all be miserable just as soon as they graduate from college with their women’s studies degrees.

sandwich

Whoever made this meme picked an awfully cheerful-looking woman to represent a young feminist brokenhearted over having to work at Subway.

But women don’t have to work in food service to be miserable, the mememakers insist. Having to work ANY job at all is going to make them regret their feminism. Because apparently, before feminism came along, women were pampered creatures who slept all day on silk sheets, surrounded by bon-bon wrappers and an assortment of tiny dogs, while their husbands worked 25-hour-days in the salt mines.

thelook

Huh. Somehow I missed the part where feminism told women that working in an office was the closest thing to paradise on earth

Then there’s this tired trope, a lovely example of misogynoir turned into a meme by a black MRA cartoonist I first noticed on DeviantArt a couple of years ago.

beatutchick

And let’s end this survey of future-tense schadenfreude with a meme that somehow manages to work in two historical cartoons I really like and that I think I’ve posted here before.

worthit

I’m going to say, “yes,” except perhaps the portion of her life she spent married to a dickhead.

And because the first two cartoons there deserve better than to be shoved into a dopey antifeminist meme, let’s look at them in all their full-sized glory.

nobody

We love you, kickass suffragette girl!

This cartoon was originally intended as anti-suffragette propaganda, but, seriously, that girl is AWESOME.

Looking through the collection of anti-sufragette cartoons featured on the post I linked to above, I noticed another one that shows pretty clearly just how ancient and utterly unoriginal the “you feminists will all die alone” trope really is.

suffragetteat50

See, wanting the vote makes women UGLY!

Is is even necessary to point out the obvious: that despite all the mean cartoons they inspired, the suffragettes WON.

And here’s that other cartoon, of more recent vintage:

rmancelib

Wait, is that redhaired gal dating Carl Sagan?

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magnesium
6 years ago

Do you think the comic about the black nerd has enough watermarks on it? There’s still a bit of uncluttered mess at the top.

Monzach
Monzach
6 years ago

I like the fact that in the second anti-Suffragette comic the woman’s haircolor seems to change in each picture. I guess the horror of women dying their hair was known even in the 1910s. 🙁

As for the last image, I can definitely see Carl Sagan, but also Nichelle Nicholls, Lou Ferrigno and every single iteration of Clark Kent (not Superman, Clark Kent) ever. 😛

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

That suffragette girl is the most badass person ever. Look at her little dog!

davidknewton
6 years ago

Wow, imagine having to spend your life alone and independent instead of enduring decades of companionship with one of these cheeto-bearded bastards.

Catherine
Catherine
6 years ago

So, who do they think is going to live with MGTOWs in their old age?

Not going to be many gorgeous young things willing to waste their SMV on ’em.

eyesopen
eyesopen
6 years ago

My husband and I are feminists, we have a lovely family, we have both had careers and we are certainly not lonely ….. maybe we’ve been doing this feminist thing all wrong.

Jamesworkshop
Jamesworkshop
6 years ago

Why wait? become MRA/MGTOW and you can be lonely today!

Most (heterosexual) women are lonely in later life because the weak male gender is often dead by that point, that’s no flaw of feminist thinking and practice.

Kreator
Kreator
6 years ago

So MRAs wish upon feminists the sort of life they have? How cruel indeed.

Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
Imaginary Petal (formerly dhag85, trying out pronouns - they/their)
6 years ago

Can’t see that I would ever date/marry a non-feminist woman. But then I’m a total beta white knight so who cares.

I thought this was going to be a grammar geek post. 🙁

Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

How is NOT being a feminist some kind of guarantee against loneliness and/ or unhappiness? None of the women in my family who married men (whether they stayed married or not) were in happy marriages. Even if they had been my grandmothers outlived my grandfathers by 6 and 29 years.

If we have children without fathers there MIGHT be a reason for that! Mine is unusual – lesbian mother, sperm donors, but most women who raise children on their own do so because the alternative became unbearable. You do not need to know ANYTHING about feminism to know that you are in a situation that makes you unhappy.

It is true that one of the most prominent suffragettes in England did not marry – but that is because she rejected marriage on political principle. Sylvia Pankhurst did however have a long relationship with Sylvio, an Italian anarchist, and they had one child together.

I suppose at least the cartoon that shows the ‘thug’ and the ‘nerd’ isn’t dripping with the usual racism we have come to expect from the manosphere (though still looks pretty dodgy to me) – but why would the thug have to be reassured by the woman about the nerd? I don’t think the thug – muscled and therefore presumably alpha is going to spend ANY time worried about nerds!

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

The more I think about it, the more I think that MRAs believe that “feminist” and “woman” are synonyms. It’d be great if all women were feminists, but I doubt any of us would claim that it’s currently the case.

They also don’t seem to believe that male feminists exist, let alone exist and are currently tempted by the prospect of cheeseburgers in the other thread.

eloli
eloli
6 years ago

Really, the lonely old spinster trope yet again?
Do this MRA douches still live in the 50s, as in the 1850s?
My mum’s older sister was engaged to be married in her late 20s, but called it off because, well, her fiance was kind of douchy, and she didn’t want to tie herself down. This happenned in the late 70s, when I was a little kid. Nobody told her back then that she was gonna die lonely and sad. Quite the opposite, actually, I recall my grandma telling her that nobody should marry just out of social pressure, and this is a woman who was born in 1916 we’re talking about!
Well, as you might guess, my aunt lived a pretty happy life, did whatever she wanted and I actually lived with her as a student for a while in the early 90s. Now in her early 70s, she’s not lonely, in fact, she enjoys her twelve great nephews and nieces (two of them are mine, actually) whenever she wants to and in her own terms.
Really, if this douches weren’t so laughable, they’d be pitiful.

Rhuu
Rhuu
6 years ago

The awful thing is that the studies i read show male widows as the ones with the terrible quality of life, because they relied on their wives for everything. Wives do housework, maintain connctions with children, with friends, and with the community at large.

I imagine this will change as the generations age and men who have started to realise the importance of emotional labour and being able to take care of yourself find themselves alone.

My grandmother is in her 80s, and has been without my grandfather for over ten years. She has the most active social life of anyone i know.

I’m not going to lie, being ace (grace? Maybe) i worry about winding up alone. But i hope that i’ll be able to maintain the friendships i currently have as well as make new ones. A romatic partner isn’t the only defense against this crippling loneliness they assume we will suffer, and i feel sad for them that they don’t see the value in any other type of relationship.

Their lives must be so lonely.

(I wish it didn’t result in such awful hate spewed across the internet though!!)

Edited to add: the ads in this post wete all about longer lasting batteries. Feminist!Duracell, haha.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

With today’s job market, even STEM grads could find themselves making sandwiches for a living to pay off their college debt. There are no guarantees.

Has any feminist, anywhere, ever stopped in her tracks and said to herself, “You know, independence, money, and freedom really aren’t all that great. I wish I was back in the kitchen, terrified and dependent, turning out sandwiches and babies for an abusive husband. Now that’s a worthwhile life!”

If women have midlife regrets, it’s more likely to be regret over time wasted trying to make relationships/marriages work with selfish, empathy-deprived men.

Oravanystava
Oravanystava
6 years ago

There seems to be another thing that should demonstrate that these memes are ridiculously wrong: If it truly is the unavoidable fate of every feminist to end up sad and alone at some point in their life, where are all the people voicing their regret in some way? Feminism has been around for quite some time after all.

But it is always “this will happen to you” and never “this has happened to me, don’t make the same mistake”, isn’t it? If I recall correctly, most of the “womenagainstfeminism” (or whatever they were called) were young-ish women who didn’t seem to quite understand feminism; and not disillusioned older ones.

Freemage
Freemage
6 years ago

I think the last cartoon is even sillier and more insulting than your read, David–it’s not the tale of a girl who grows up to be an old spinster because she’s a suffragette (as ellesar notes above, that might actually have happened on occasion because belief in personal independence might lead a woman to reject the idea of marriage, especially in a more patriarchal society); rather, it’s the tale of a young girl who becomes a suffragette because she is an old spinster. In other words, the claim is that only ‘old maids’ would bother with something silly like fighting for the right to vote. If she’d gotten married in her ‘prime’, the cartoon says, she wouldn’t feel the need to fight for her own right to be recognized as a person.

DS
DS
6 years ago

So not that I’m representative of the general population or anything, but I’m a male feminist married to a female feminist. My wife is bisexual and wanted to explore polyfidelity. We’ve done that, and long story short, far from either of us being lonely and sad, we have twice the companionship, a wife variety of expanded horizons to pursue, and a cool new friend to geek out with. And all because I said, “hey, if my wife is in to it, I want to be sure she has the right to explore it.”

I recognize it’s perfectly possible that some women are shitheads just like some men are shitheads, and that letting shitheads have their way will go badly for you, but then again, just avoid dating and marrying shitheads. Point is, feminism isn’t responsible for misery, being a horrible person is. Are there some horrible people who identify as feminist? Sure. But are they horrible because of feminism? Studying their behavior prior to feminism shows that they were already horrible.

bluecat
bluecat
6 years ago

Did anyone else look at “The Origin and Development of a Suffragette” card and wonder when she got the nose job?

And also why.

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
6 years ago

bluecat: Everybody knows women turn ugly when they get old. This might involve things like your nose growing much longer or your hair naturally turning from blonde to black.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

So when a woman is dissatisfied with her job, it’s because feminism lied to them? Men are never dissatisfied with their jobs? Honestly, they need to think these memes through a little more.

@Rhuu

I’m not going to lie, being ace (grace? Maybe) i worry about winding up alone. But i hope that i’ll be able to maintain the friendships i currently have as well as make new ones. A romatic partner isn’t the only defense against this crippling loneliness they assume we will suffer, and i feel sad for them that they don’t see the value in any other type of relationship.

My great-aunt never married or really had any romantic relationships, and she had a full, satisfying life. She had a job she loved and lots of friends and hobbies. When she retired, she did tons of volunteer work, golfed with her buddies, and went on ‘Fun Bus’ trips with new friends. She also hung out with us a lot.

Even when she moved into a retirement/care facility, she was making new friends, helping people who were less able than she was, and loading her walker up with tea and smokes to come visit me at the video store I worked at, where she chatted up the customers. She’s one of the women I most admire – she was an amazing, impressive person.

So yeah – romantic partners are not required for a great life or to avoid loneliness. And I agree, it is sad that some people don’t see the value in non-romantic relationships, or don’t see them as being just as fulfilling.

GenJones
GenJones
6 years ago

Being being a dependent “taken care of” by another person is actually a very precarious position, one has to be able to take care of themselves.

My grandmother on my father’s side she was a very simple woman who married right out of high school and being a housewife and mother was all she knew. It was the way girls were brought up back then. Then her husband died in his mid-forties, leaving her with 5 children and almost no skills. She was forced to hold down multiple minimum wage jobs in order to provide for her family.

My grandmother on my mother’s side was a feminist teamster who became a machinist, worked for the military, paid off her mortgage on her own and retired. She set an example for her daughters, my aunt was in forensics and my mother became a microbiologist. They were both able to support their husbands returning to school and as a couple they will have more security than they ever could have achieved if they relied on a single income. That’s just basic sense.

J Star
J Star
6 years ago

Even my supposedly feminist college professor gave us some version of the “old ladies dying alone with cats” line – although at least she appended that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing! – the funny thing is that as an “old” 40 something lesbian who has been happily married to my wife for over ten years, we opted for both cats and companionship. Oh we have the house and the career thing too. And education. And my child from an earlier marriage in my wayward youth.
The truth is so far these are the best years of my life.

Amused
6 years ago

Re: the meme about feminist women dying old and alone.

As a former medievalist — slash- Russian subjected to a metric fucktonne of Ivan Bunn back in the day, I find this especially amusing.

In the classic patriarchal fantasy, a good woman is in no danger of ending up old and alone because a good woman doesn’t get to BE old . She pleases her husband for a few months, then obligingly dies giving birth to a son. Or a beautiful daughter (for that heady soupçon of incest, and so that the daughter and the inevitable stepmother more or less her age can engage in some entertaining passive-aggressive shenanigans). Or else she has one or two or five nights of passion with a Man, then drowns herself somewhere scenic, and it’s all very romantic and beautiful, and then the Man walks off, brooding, into the sunset, presumably so he can be emotionally distant to future conquests.

Tl;dr verson: a perfect non-feminist woman dies young and leaves a good-looking corpse.

Bina
6 years ago

I’ll have what the blonde in the miniskirt is having. As long as he’s in favor of equal rights, it’s all good.

J Star
J Star
6 years ago

Hi “other EJ” – “The more I think about it, the more I think that MRAs believe that “feminist” and “woman” are synonyms.”

I browse a lot of MRA and alt-right forums. These guys are almost 95% single, and they all blame women/feminism for it. In their minds, the only reason their awesome selves are 4everalone is the pervasiveness of feminism and it’s ugly effects of giving women self-confidence to say not to assholes. It can’t possibly be them, despite their propensity to say the grossest things about women I have ever seen anyone say anywhere at any time in my life.

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