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MRAs demonstrate their complete ignorance of feminist history, part 9742

Er, that’s not quite how it happened (Click for larger version)

By David Futrelle

I found the meme above on the front page of the Men’s Rights subreddit today, with 82 upvotes (and counting). It’s a pretty good illustration of the standard story MRAs tell themselves about feminism: Once upon a time there was Good Feminism, it was modest and polite and didn’t ask for much. But then along came Tumblr feminists with their purple hair and they ruined everything!

While some MRAs in the Men’s Rights subreddit thread do take issue with the blatant historical inaccuracies of this meme, the enormous popularity in MRA circles of this narrative about feminism — which bears about as much resemblance to actual feminist history as the Men’s Rights movement does to a legitimate civil rights movement, which is to say none — reveals how little the typical MRAs actually know about the movement they pretty much devote all their time to denouncing. Not that their complete ignorance of feminism keeps them from having many very strong opinions about it, which they would like to tell you about at length.

Of all the dumb things in the above meme, their weird sanitized fantasy version of 2nd wave feminism amuses me the most. Hey MRAs, go take a look at Sisterhood is Powerful or the Redstockings online archive, or something.

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mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
4 years ago

Until I read Kat’s comment I hadn’t had a really good look at that Oh so sweet second-waver.

Then … I read the text beneath properly. Maybe the reason why us old and cranky 2nd wave feminists look so pert and pretty in retrospect is that they’ve left out some of the more demanding demands we gave voice to. Like the arguments for:
– no fault divorce,
– refuges for women and children escaping violent homes and establishing them ourselves despite the opposition of police, religious & political leaders and most of the rest of the population,
– the right to sign leases, legal agreements and loans, and to open and operate bank/cheque accounts in our own names without an obligatory male guarantor (and, for married women, doing these things without our husbands co-signature or permission),
– the right to continue in our permanent jobs after marriage as well as equal pay for those jobs regardless of our marital status.

And making a start on the rest of the shitty stuff that’s still not cleaned up – workplace harassment et al.

Joe Fica
Joe Fica
4 years ago

Not all men feel this way, even when mistreated by the system or one woman. I am going through a divorce with a woman who claimed I was inappropriate with my daughter in order to gain a custody advantage.
Her plan was tripped up with a recording that was going in the courthouse. This is more common than most women would like to believe and is becoming more prevalent as a divorce tactic. One day I may post the entire recording to see just how this happens. I would love for some feminist to justify her actions. However, I do not believe most females or feminists would do such a thing.
I understand the MRA movement but only to a point. Most women and most men do not fall into the extreme category. I watched the movie The Red Pill, I see her point and the MRA men’s point also. In the movie she chose what would be the opposite of extreme feminists.
There is a middle ground somewhere. I work in a primarily female based occupation and have never thought less of my female colleagues vs our male ones. Also, at least in my career, salaries are tied to experience, education and years of service. Both sides are treated fairly.

“This is the deepest desire of the MRA movement. It is this one belief that drives them.
The idea that women’s sense of self be based exclusively on the approval of men is a basic tenet of patriarchy… it might be THE basic tenet (except for control of the money)”

Ruby Tuesday
Ruby Tuesday
4 years ago

I was fortunate enough to know my great grandmother who was a suffragette. She told me that she and her friends would be the ones who would throw rocks at the cops because “the Quaker girls didn’t have the stones for it” (she found that pun hilarious) and she had a pretty good arm from playing the cello. That women was tough as nails and would make your average MRA piss himself with just a look.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

The ignorant fool in tje CJ thread does not know, this site explicitly says it’s not a safe zone. They can’t take the criticism and they want to just exhaust the other person at this point, make them stop responding, or make them react in a way that let’s them feel better on a purely social level.

Anger is a response to things we fear.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Brony
Very true. I think he’s close to a meltdown.

Jesalin
Jesalin
4 years ago

Trump’s Trans Military Ban Now Policy

http://www.losangelesblade.com/2017/08/04/trumps-trans-military-ban-now-policy/

Trump’s tweets last week announcing a ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the U.S. military was turned into a “guidance” policy for implementation that passed muster with the White House Counsel’s office Friday night.

http://i.imgur.com/B2p3Tty.jpg

dslucia
dslucia
4 years ago

I really do hope that the actual military opposes this “policy”. I don’t hold out a lot of hope, but I’d still like to at least try being optimistic.

Shaenon
4 years ago

I notice that the text under the current feminist doesn’t mention anything she believes or fights for. It’s just complaining about the way she does it.

They might as well scold the Second Waver for joining a lesbian separatist commune and blaming the patriarchy (duder, the old generation invented blaming the patriarchy!), or the First Waver for beating off cops with sweet judo moves.

Coquette St. Jacques
Coquette St. Jacques
4 years ago

“Third wave feminist” to an MRA means “bitch who won’t shut up”. Nothing less, nothing more.

I actually saw someone referring to themself as a “classic feminist” the other day. I think we know what that means.

Nequam
Nequam
4 years ago

@Shaenon: perhaps you should’ve gone with “beating down” rather than “beating off”, though that would’ve been a VERY NOVEL form of protest in that era (or now, for that matter)…

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@kupo
I wish it ddidn’t have to happen, but I don’t see how it’s possible to fix the bigotry problem without using the same tools of dominance that that they do targeted at problem behavior. People with the impulse to simply fill the social space with bigoted messages and behavior can’t complain since it reciprocal in terms of aggression and criticism. Eventually some hit a point where they want to make scary thing go away impulsively because there is no actual connection to reality at the end of the bad reasoning and justifications.

Lorcan Nagle
Lorcan Nagle
4 years ago

The always excellent YouTuber Garrett did a video which addresses the cartoon here (amongst other things) almost two years ago. It’s well worth spending 30 minutes with:

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
4 years ago

@mildlymagnificent

Yes, the artist (tee-hee) who created that graphic left out a lot of the demands of second-wave feminists.

Also left out: the fact that we’re still fighting for economic equality and reproductive rights.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
4 years ago

Interesting discussion of the term “second-wave feminism.”

Although I claimed that label in this thread, I don’t actually think of myself in that way. Also, I’m a bit younger than the second-wave feminists. That said, I’m still a lot older than the fifteen-year-old pictured in the graphic.

I’ve heard progressive politics described as a river. It flowed for many miles before it reached you. Step into it. Know that it will flow on once you’re gone.

Kimstu
Kimstu
4 years ago

@Penny Psmith:

You know what I wonder? Whether the word takbir (on the “aftermath” sign) is supposed to mean something there, or was just picked at random. […]

What do they mean? Or did they just go for “this is something in Arabic so it is MUSLIM and BAD”?

I think it’s even funnier than that! You’re right that the word takbir references the phrase Allahu akbar/”God is great” and/or the uttering of that phrase. So I’m betting some dumb Islamophobic meme-maker wanted to show an image of “radical Islamist extremist displaying banner with the takbir on it” and didn’t understand that “the takbir” means the words of the Arabic invocation “Allahu akbar“, not the Arabic noun takbir itself.

It’s as if somebody clueless about American culture had heard about Americans singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” and tried to represent it with a video of a crowd singing “The star-spangled banner, the star-spangled banner, the star-spangled banner…” (catchy anthem, huh?) 😀

You can also tell that the dummkopf who made that takbir-banner meme had no idea what they were doing because the word has the vowels written out along with the consonants, which is not done in writing ordinary Arabic words except in the Qur’an.

Ken
Ken
4 years ago

If somebody tells me “I support feminism, I just hate what the 3rd wave feminists have turned it into”, I assume they would have hated 1st and 2nd wave feminists too. I was a little kid in the ’70s and I don’t remember 2nd wave feminists getting treated all that well. The were called humorless man-haters looking for special treatment.

Myriad
Myriad
4 years ago

Waves? Screw that. I think of feminism like a laser. We started out at 1kiloWatt, ramped it up to 1MegaWatt, then ramped it up to 1 GigaWatt, next stop 1 TeraWatt.

@Jesalin

Dear sweet baby Buddha that so tickled me. I’m going to have to remember this one.❤️

Also it’s a violet laser, because purple is my favorite colour.

Lover of purple high five. ✋?

ColeYote
ColeYote
4 years ago

Yeah, MRAssholes belief that second-wave feminism was somehow more moderate than today’s feminism has always been… interesting. Like, they know Dworkin and the SCUM Manifesto exist but have somehow convinced themselves that they’re more relevant now than they were 40-50 years ago.

Lexicon
Lexicon
4 years ago

The irony in this is that there’s a direct lineage from some of the more toxic elements of “second-wave” era feminism to MRAs themselves, via the influence of Warren Farrell. The best example of that is how Farrell sees everything awful that happens to men as strictly a gender issue. Coal miners and garbage collectors have dangerous working conditions? Yep, it’s all because they’re (mostly) men. No class issues to see here.

Intersectionality arose largely as a reaction to similar tendencies among previous feminists to, well, “focus…exclusively on female victims of gender-neutral issues.” Of course, intersectional feminism is the branch most associated with the “third wave”.

I’m seriously impressed by how much sheer wrongness they managed to stuff into one image. The only thing that’s missing is a description of “first-wave” feminists as strong supporters of Black Lives Matter…

Ken
Ken
4 years ago

@ColeYote,

They bring up Dworkin a lot. In fact there’s a space on the MRA bingo card called “The Dworkin Gambit” where they claim feminists believe all sex to be rape. I’ve also heard people bring up SCUM as if Valarie Solanas was the Chair of Woman’s Studies at Smith and not some random nut job. It just depends on the MRA and the point he’s trying to make. I’m sure Gloria Steinem is just thrilled to hear about all that support she had back in the ’70s.

Kat, representative of the feminist government in exile
Kat, representative of the feminist government in exile
4 years ago

@Lexicon

The irony in this is that there’s a direct lineage from some of the more toxic elements of “second-wave” era feminism to MRAs themselves, via the influence of Warren Farrell. The best example of that is how Farrell sees everything awful that happens to men as strictly a gender issue. Coal miners and garbage collectors have dangerous working conditions? Yep, it’s all because they’re (mostly) men. No class issues to see here.

Toxic elements? Names and citations needed.

As far as Warren Farrell goes, he’s following the advice of that well-known feminist, Karl Rove:

Karl Rove’s Handbook

Tactic #3: Accuse Your Opponent of What He/She is Going to Accuse You Of.
“‘You say that I don’t love you! I think it is you who does not love me!’”

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2012/10/8/1141830/-Karl-Rove-s-Handbook

Who knew!

Also, it looks like there were strong connections between abolitionists and women’s suffragists:

In the 1830s, thousands of women were involved in the movement to abolish slavery. Women wrote articles for abolitionist papers, circulated abolitionist pamphlets, and circulated, signed, and delivered petitions to Congress calling for abolition. Some women became prominent leaders in the abolition movement. Angelina Grimke and Sarah Moore Grimke became famous for making speeches to mixed (male and female) audiences about slavery. For this radical action, clergymen soundly condemned them. As a result, in addition to working for abolition, the Grimke sisters began to advocate for women’s rights.

Other women who were active in the abolitionist movement became interested in women’s rights as well, for many reasons. Female abolitionists sometimes faced discrimination within the movement itself, which led to their politicization on the issue of women’s rights. In addition, women working to secure freedom for African Americans began to see some legal similarities between their situation as Anglo women and the situation of enslaved black men and women.

In 1840, the World Anti-Slavery Convention was held in London. Abolitionists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott attended the Convention but were refused seats on the floor by male abolitionists because they were women. As a result, Stanton and Mott decided to hold a convention on women’s rights.

“All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks and permit us to stand upright on the ground which God intended us to occupy” – Sarah Moore Grimke

https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/rightsforwomen/abolitionandsuffrage.html

In addition, second-wave feminist thought was nothing if not intersectional. It was in feminist literature written or published in that era that I learned about the lives of women who didn’t look like me.

Go figure!

Shaenon
4 years ago

Toxic elements? Names and citations needed.

Warren Farrell started his media career as a feminist, believe it or not. In the 1970s he built himself up as a pundit and talking head by providing the “male feminist” perspective.

Since then, we’ve seen plenty of other prominent men build themselves up as feminist gurus and turn to reactionary creeps the minute it stopped getting them money, attention, and praise from grateful women, so Farrell’s not even interesting for that.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
4 years ago

People like Farrell are one of the reasons I stopped calling myself a feminist — it sounds too much like “I support a few things that reasonable* feminists want, so give me my cookie.”

*i.e., those who aren’t too demanding of change in men

BritterSweet
4 years ago

I think the Aftermath picture is just the revenge fantasy element. You know, where (“Western”) society collapses, and the feeemales now live in a post-apocalypse world where they’re sorry they ever dared to feminize.

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

Ignoring the ‘aftermath’ doodle monstrosity, the little pictures for the different waves are rather cute. Wish they weren’t used for mra bullshit. Could use a womanist character and some other intersectional chibis. A well meaning ally, a not so well meaning ‘ally’. This could be a fun little thing. Sigh…

@Joe
Honey, no…

@Ken

some random nut job

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