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Killed by Chivalry: Everything wrong with the Men’s Rights Movement in one Tweet

The Portland heroes: Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, Ricky John Best and Micah Fletcher

In the wake of the Portland train stabbings that left two men dead and one seriously wounded after they tried to stop a white supremacist from harassing several women, Paul Elam — still probably the best-known Men’s Rights Activist online — posted a tweet that spoke volumes — not about the incident itself, but about the utter moral bankruptcy of the Men’s Rights movement.

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/868917239143178240

When other Tweeters objected, Elam doubled down and began spewing insults — aimed not just at his critics but at the murdered men themselves.

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/869066210964631552

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/869068999577006080

In one tweet, he suggested that the victims themselves were the cause of the violence that left them dead.

https://twitter.com/anearformen/status/869064408252772354

In his capacity as a leader of what is essentially a hate movement, Elam has said many terrible things over the years — from his post suggesting that women who go home with men without wanting to have sex with them are “damn near demanding” to be raped” to a short story offering an apologia for — indeed, a glorification of — domestic abuse. These tweets, I think, rank up there with his most reprehensible writings, for two main reasons.

First, as many observers have noted, it was not “chivalry” that killed these men. It was an angry and hateful man with a knife who was harassing women on a train.

Elam thinks it unfair that the tenets of chivalry call upon men to protect women — why should men have to serve as unpaid bodyguards for women, he has often asked? What he doesn’t like to talk about is that these volunteer bodyguards aren’t protecting women from bears — there aren’t a lot of those in my neighborhood — but in the overwhelming majority of cases from other men.

There are a lot of problematic things about “white knights,” as Elam insists upon calling them, but the plain fact is that the “good men” that Elam castigates as terminally stupid would be out of a job if there weren’t so many bad men around harassing and abusing women.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, Elam is essentially declaring war on the very thing that sets us apart from brute nature — our ability to feel empathy for others, including people unlike ourselves. A man standing up for a woman who’s being harassed may or may not be engaging in an act of chivalry but it is certainly an act of altruism and basic human solidarity. It’s driven by the same empathetic and altruistic impulse that led so many non-Muslims here in the US to rush to their nearest airports to protest Trump’s Muslim ban.

This sort of cross-cultural solidarity is pretty much the only thing that can save our country from the hatred and meanness that is Trumpism. We need more empathy, not less.

Elam would rather we raise our sons not to feel this sort of empathy towards women. That’s bad enough. But he’s not the only MRA with an empathy problem. And it isn’t confined to his feelings about women.

It’s not just that MRAs are indifferent towards, if not actively hostile, towards women; they lack empathy towards boys and men as well. Indeed, in one notorious post (archived here; I wrote about it here), Elam literally told the “troubled men” who have turned to A Voice For Men for help to ““go fucking bother someone else with your problems” if they weren’t donating money to his site, which is to say him, as he keeps the donations for himself.

Even though he seems to have taken in literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations over the years, he’s never bothered to even try to set up, say, a hotline for men. Instead, he’s set himself up as a sort of ersatz internet therapist for men — he has no actual training as a therapist — literally charging the “troubled men” he claims to be an advocate for $90 an hour to talk to him on Skype.

But he’s not the only MRA who combines a hatred for women with an utter lack of interest in doing anything altruistic for their fellow men.

In the first few years of second wave feminism in the late 60s and early 70s, feminist activists set up shelters and women’s centers and countless other entities designed to benefit women in desperate need of help. In the seven years I’ve been covering the Men;s Rights movement, MRAs haven’t even set up a single hotline, much less a functional men’s shelter. The only notable MRA, er, victory? Being so obnoxious they’ve convinced numerous media sites to shut down their formerly MRA-infested comments sections.

It’s no wonder MRAs feel such hostility towards real heroes. They’re only heroes in their own minds.

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IgnoreSandra
4 years ago

@Peevee

I do play Frankenfurter <3 I also play the Criminologist, and transylvanians. I bring something unique to each role, though I'm by far the least comfortable with Frankie. Cause that involves showing so much of my skin.

I'm moving away from playing Frank every show cause stuff in my life is complicated. I'm probably going to be a transie for the foreseeable future, and Frank every once in a while.

Aulma Frendzar Dèdd
Aulma Frendzar Dèdd
4 years ago

Thank you David, his “bishes” almost gave me brain cancer. ?

Aulma Frendzar Dèdd
Aulma Frendzar Dèdd
4 years ago

@Haise

Ooooooh boy ? lol This will be a fun time

You bet. Good luck keeping your neurons intact.

JS
JS
4 years ago

I am the very model of a modern Major General…

I’m afraid it’s far too late for my neurons by now.

Checkmate
Checkmate
4 years ago

@ Sandra, Yeah, when I play Frankie, it makes me feel a bit better about myself. I used to do drag shows, although I haven’t in about 3 years, and I always felt a little better about myself, cause I’m pretty fat. I’d never win the drag contests, but it just felt nice.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

I guess you could say Nightmare got pounded by David’s banhammer…

And on that note, my work here is done. Good night, all!

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

@Axecalibur

[blows kisses]

Checkmate
Checkmate
4 years ago

Nighty night, Axecalibur~

Aulma Frendzar Dèdd
Aulma Frendzar Dèdd
4 years ago

@JS

I am the very model of a modern Major General…

I’m afraid it’s far too late for my neurons by now.

Pirates of Penzance? Nice reference.

@Axecalibur Goodnight!

Banananana dakry: Fat, Short-Haired, and Deranged
Banananana dakry: Fat, Short-Haired, and Deranged
4 years ago

*goes through the last several pages of Grammatical Nightmare and Jackassman, blinks a lot*
*tries to parse*
*shakes head*
…what the fuck did I just read

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

Russia keeping it classy by marching in blackface to celebrate a sporting match:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/30/sochi-parade-blackface-bananas-confederations-cup-cameroon

Bina
4 years ago

‘night, Axe!

And ‘night all!

Swedish Sexual Bread
Swedish Sexual Bread
4 years ago

@ignoresandra
in full OBJECTION! form
@nobody’snightmare

ETA how do you embed images? I’ve got a fantastic nope gif I’d like to share.

Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
Francesca Torpedo, Femoid Special Forces Major
4 years ago

[waves regally at Bina]

Sleep well.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

You read the line noise that is the brain of a teen trying to be manly.

Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
4 years ago

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite | May 30, 2017 at 7:15 pm
Ponysonas are a legit thing. There is quite a bit of fascinating in-group language in the fandom and checkmate sounds believable. A next step is often fan art with the ponysona. I was tempted.

I had two. I had a blank flank adventurer Pegasus who was very sensitive about her magically altered appearance, and who left her oppressive mining town home to find her fortune.

And a porn star unicorn.

Of course, I kept the second one mostly to myself. It is a kid’s show after all.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
4 years ago

@AnnoyingDaydream

And we’ll be laughing at you. All over again.

Also, you obviously missed the blurb near the top of the page:

This blog is NOT a safe space; given the subject matter — misogyny and hate — there’s really no way it could be.

JS
JS
4 years ago

SSB You just put the image in as a bare http request ending in .gif or .jpg or maybe .png

No HTML in angle brackets required.

freneticferret
freneticferret
4 years ago

Wow. I came back to 7 pages of this? I tried to read through everything, but after three or four of NightyNightmare’s pre-teen-edgelord word vomits, I stopped being able to care. I hope he gets spanked for being up past his bedtime.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
4 years ago

Darn, too late. 🙂

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

Are you using any addons in your settlement building?

Not yet – PS4, don’t want to get locked out of the remaining trophies yet – but I plan to eventually, if only to boost the size limits and lock my junk items in place so they stop falling through the damn shelves. =P Not that I’ve done anything with most of my settlements; I’ve been over-concentrating on my character’s fucking awesome house and on Nazi Puncher Park (the ruins of the Prydwen, now a Railroad safehouse with the aforementioned raiderball court, because sometimes a bit of pettiness feels really good).

Note to trolls: Unless you can be more interesting than raiderball, don’t expect me to pay much attention to you.

Note to Mammotheers heading to bed: ‘Night all! ^_^

Sup
Sup
4 years ago

“…s” are called ellipses, and they’re the telltale sign of poor writers who believe they’re awesome writers. I knew one who sent scads of run-on screeds with ellipses all over them to a few publishers. After concluding the publishers were just too intimidated by his literary and all-around genius, he decided to self-publish. This was back in the day when vanity publishers charged an arm and a leg to reprint the drivel and bind it between two hard covers. He had cartons of such tomes.

Incidentally, he hated women, but I think that stemmed from losing his father when he was a child, and having an abusive mom. I think he had religious reasons for not dealing with his feelings about her abuse, and he decided just to hate women instead.

I also know a few women who write in that awful fashion.

IgnoreSandra
4 years ago

@Freneticferret

Do what I did: Get drunk first and then ignore most/all of HappyDaydream’s so-called posts.

Swedish Sexual Bread
Swedish Sexual Bread
4 years ago
Checkmate
Checkmate
4 years ago

@paradoxical, I love the latter. I came up with a name for a porn star pony, although I never used him except as a joke with friends.

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