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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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PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Timber-Rattling Booger Slut, But Noice) Sarcastic
4 years ago

@IgnoreSandra,

I love the Criminologist, as well!!

@Checkmate,

YOU, TOO? *Swoons*

I adore you all. So many beautiful, talented people that congregate here.

Nighty nighters, Axe and Bina.

Checkmate
Checkmate
4 years ago

Well, I don’t know if I qualify as beautiful or talented, but I am indeed here, and for my first day here, this was pretty fun. Lost my temper at one point, but I recovered quickly~

IgnoreSandra
4 years ago

RE: RHPS

I like the criminologist because he fits my personality in a lot of ways. Stuffy, pretentious, and trying very hard not to admit this debauchery thing is really ridiculously fun. That’s what I try to inject into my interpretation and performance of him in any event.

I’ve spent years being pretentious and standoffish and obsessed with my intellect. So, yeah, I know how to do that, and how someone like that moves their body.

Diptych
Diptych
4 years ago

@IgnoreSandra

Yeah… same, same. (Also because he’s Mycroft Holmes!)

JS
JS
4 years ago

No debauchery here. Those aren’t nipple clamps. No, they’re meant for stretching fabrics while you’re working on a project.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
4 years ago

@Haise, the husky puppy

The stunned kitteh is perfect – summed up my reaction, too!

It started off so well: not-scary-nightmare actually cited Titanic as some kind of evidence, and that made me snort coffee 😀

Also, mostly jk, but all the cracks about his age? My 14 year old is a million times more ‘man’ and would never, ever spew such ridiculous immature bile. I don’t think being young is this guy’s problem, nor do I think it’s whether he’s ever had sex, either.

As to the OP, I saw that Elam thing on Twitter yesterday (thanks again to TakeDownMRAs). The race to the bottom just keeps on going.

Argle Bargle
Argle Bargle
4 years ago

Have to admit, NobodyisScaredofYouAsshole was really funny. Chessman, on the other hand, is not.

”I don’t condone bullying of any kind”

Bullshit. That nazi was bullying two teenage girls (a true hero!/s). And that seems to be okay with you, cause you haven’t mentioned it. You just went ”boo-hoo, they ganged up on him”. It wasn’t some guy eating ice-cream and the three guys came up to bully him. He was drunk and harassing teenagers.

So bullying is okay if Nazi douchebags do it?

You’re defending the murderer because bystanders didn’t let him continue his bullying of children.
There is no way you can spin this to be a positive thing, dude. Just stop, it’s embarrassing.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

You guys are making me sad that I have forgotten all the Rocky Horror audience participation lines. I was obsessed with that movie growing up and had them all memorized as well as all the actual lines and song lyrics. The Time Warp is the only dance I ever learned, I’m pretty sure.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
4 years ago

This reminds me how, quite recently on YouTube, I claimed that Carl Benjamin pretty much threw both Aleksander Kolpakov and Heather Anable under the bus when he – along with others – decided to joke about it rather than have an ounce of decency or respect for them. One of Benjamin’s sycophants, of course, came to his defense and did a bunch of mental gymnastics in order to accuse me of “virtue signaling.”

In their weird Bizzaro version of reality, having any moral conviction and willing to act on it just makes you a chump to Manospheareans. Like, really, what the utter fuck is wrong with these people?

IgnoreSandra
4 years ago

@WWTH

The awesome thing about Rocky Horror is that you can make up new callbacks!

Tosca, Chaos made Flesh
Tosca, Chaos made Flesh
4 years ago

In my youth I read The Myth of Male Power, my first experience of the MRA movement. What stood out was that Farrell emphasised bad things that happen to vulnerable men – dying in wars, being expected to act as bodyguards to women – but acted as though they happened in a vacuum.

Absolutely men die to protect women and children; but they’re mostly protecting them from other men. Which is exactly what happened in this instance. An aggressive man decided to terrify two teen girls in a public place, and it went south from there.

Perhaps the murderer wouldn’t have progressed to physical violence if Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, Ricky John Best and Micah Fletcher hadn’t stepped in. But that was his choice, not theirs. They stood up to hatred and intolerance and deserve to be celebrated.

Fuck Paul Elam in the ear. With a giant centipede.

Croquembouche, poorly-dressed vandal
Croquembouche, poorly-dressed vandal
4 years ago

Chessman, since you don’t condone bullying of any kind, please enlighten us as to what your response would have been if you were present while these young girls were being bullied.
Ignoring it would have been condonation, so clearly you would not have done that.

tim gueguen
4 years ago

We’ve been seeing trolls claim “Men created everything!” a lot lately. It reminds me of one of the Neonazis I used to run into on Usenet. I think it was Alex Vange, if the name rings a bell for anyone. In any case this joker claimed that everything was invented by white people, including such basic objects as chairs.

As far as nightmares go my worst one right now is that I’ll have bad heartburn from the bowl of Shreddies I had an hour ago.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
4 years ago

@tim gueguen,

As far as nightmares go my worst one right now is that I’ll have bad heartburn from the bowl of Shreddies I had an hour ago

http://dailybuzzy.com/wp-content/uploads/shocked-animal-faces-4.jpg

Give some warning next time!
XD

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

@Tim

That’s an old gag.

To this day and ever since I began using the Internet, the go-to response for all Nazis is “Well, WHITE PEOPLE MADE COMPUTERS, so THERE!”

And you are supposed to accept this as being the end of the conversation.

That’s one of the many reasons why I’m done talking to Nazis.

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

Kid,
If you tried any harder you’d pull something.
You’re only able to stay up late on a weekday because schools out. If your mama found out what you’re up to, you’d get your internet privileges taken away.

You’re a sad boy who can’t impress women, so you try to repulse them.

Grow up. Sitting on your pimply ass trying too hard to impress strangers on the internet with how super macho you think you are isn’t what actual tough guys do. It’s the sort of thing pathetic losers do.

In 10 years, you’ll be humilated by the memory how what a silly little jackass you were.

In ten years, no one here will even remember you exist. You won’t be back. You’ll be shown the door permenately soon enough. That’s what you’re trying for and you’ll get it, sooner or later. We’ll only suffer fools until were done laughing at them and you’re getting boring. Much like Cheeseyman, you only know one trick.

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

Just saw the “nightmare” goober got the banhammer. Good. He was a tedious little turd.

Is it too soon to make a Tazerface reference?

Thanks, David.

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
4 years ago

Good night, sweet Tazerface. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Pie
Pie
4 years ago

@bina

Bit late, but I thought I’d reply to this one:

And [feudal japan] elevated archery to a higher art than anyone else, too. Even Robin Hood would be envious.

There are similar stories about how katanas were the greatest swords ever, and how samurai were the greatest warriors ever. This is more about elevating an imaginary feudal japan above everywhere else, and ignoring the history of the rest of the world, than actual historical fact.

If nothing else, just look around for cultures with mythical archers and bow-wielding deities. There’s quite a few.

(And I’d say it was he, even if a mythical figure, who seemed to have turned the tide in archery’s favor, at least in the British Isles. He also seems to have been their earliest proto-socialist.)

Battle of Crécy, 1346, already had a strong force of well trained longbowmen (and to get good a longbowman, as they saying goes, you have to start with his grandfather…) which is about the same sort of time as the earliest published robin hood stories were found. I’d say it was more likely that the stories of the french getting pwned lead to robin hood’s reputation as an archer than the other way around.

Also, populist leader isn’t quite the same as a socialist, and everyone knows the value of good publicity 😉

Monzach
Monzach
4 years ago

Whoo boy! :O

I read this thread before going to bed, back when it was just one page. I came back after my sleep and it’s turned into eight pages!?! I smell a troll a-brewin’. 🙂

And after making my way through the thread I see that we had two trolls show up on here, although Sweetest Dream stole the show big time. :O Looks like I missed a pretty interesting troll-baiting. 🙁

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
4 years ago

@ SFHC:

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).

Fair enough; I did more-or-less the same on my first playthrough (minus Nazi Puncher Park, which sounds awesome). The second time I cheated, and went all-in to make my settlements as attractive as possible. Well, except for Fortress Sanctuary Hills. It’s ugly on the outside, anyhow; just a sprawling mass of concrete blocks. I grew weary of all the raids and just decided that this one settlement would be completely safe, no matter what. Anyhow, I don’t care what anyone outside thinks; it’s what’s inside that matters to my happy settlers, and they have every amenity, and the best protection, that I could imagine. Hordes of Super Mutants? Radiation storms? Second Apocalypse?
Nah, none of that’s gonna touch my people. Not a hair on their heads will be harmed. They’re safe inside with all the Nuka-Cola, food, comfort, and entertainment that they could want.

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
4 years ago

@ Pie:

Battle of Crécy, 1346

Yup. That’s when the dominance of the longbow (compared to the crossbow) was firmly established in Europe. Vastly superior effective range makes a huge difference.

kiki
kiki
4 years ago

in order to accuse me of “virtue signaling.”

“Lol, nice virtue signalling, asshole. Hey guys, didja see me accuse that guy of virtue signalling? Didja see?

– Everyone who’s ever used that asinine fucking phrase unironically

Collateral Thought
Collateral Thought
4 years ago

How does one distinguish operationally between “virtue signalling” and “acting like a decent human being”?

The only people who believe that the former is ubiquitous disbelieve that the latter exists. I mean, people do pretend to be nicer than they truly are sometimes, to appeal to the better instincts of nice people, but that only works if you think that genuinely nice people exist and are common. MRAs do not; to them humanity is just a pack of feral ghouls.

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