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Check out my post on The Cut about Men’s Rights as a gateway drug to the Alt Right

Christopher Cantwell: Men’s Rights Activist turned neo-Nazi. (Pic: Modified screenshot from Vice News documentary)

By David Futrelle

I was up all night writing this one, which I think pulls together some of the points I’ve been making a bit less explicitly on the blog of late.

Here’s what we journalists like to call the nut graf:

There are good reasons why men’s-rights activism has served for so many as a gateway drug to the alt-right: Both movements appeal to men with fantasies of violent, sometimes apocalyptic redemption — and, like [Christopher] Cantwell, a tendency to express these fantasies in bombastic prose. And both movements are based on a bizarro-world ideology in which those with the most power in contemporary society are the true victims of oppression.

In other words, if you can convince yourself that men are the primary victims of sexism, it’s not hard to convince yourself that whites are the primary victims of racism.

In addition to Mr. Cantwell, a number of other We Hunted the Mammoth favorites make appearances in the piece.

Let me know what you think!

75 replies on “Check out my post on The Cut about Men’s Rights as a gateway drug to the Alt Right”

Congrats for the feature David!! 😃 I like the article and I’m glad “The Cut” chose you to explain this issue.

You’ve been examining the toxicity in the Manosphere for years, hopefully more people will pay attention now.

I forgot to say congratulations, David – so, congratulations!

Also, I’ve been hoping you’d be involved in a piece like this, that explains the link between sexism and racism. Very well done, thank you.

That’s a great article. It really succinctly pulls together and highlights the parallels between the two ‘movements’. Although I guess in actuality racism and misogyny are just two elements of an overarching ideology or possibly subculture?

I really think it would be quite timely to expand on this. Notwithstanding the migraines and the cat maintenance, have you considered a book? I think the radicalisation process, especially in relation to young men who frequent certain areas on the net would be a worthy and fascinating area of study.

Congratulations, David, great piece!

You’ve described misogyny perfectly as a gateway drug.

Once you accept the deception that men are always and uniquely the victims of a society-wide conspiracy to oppress them, it is much easier to move onto to more taboo forms of discrimination.

This is one of the reasons why we must fight hard against misogyny and prejudice against LGBTQ people and others – they’re often the first cheap, soft hits of a drug of hate that becomes an addiction to essentialism, racism, and eugenics, and ultimately ends with Nazis killing innocent people.

From the Gizmodo post. Bolding mine.

“I used to meet women from chat rooms, and no matter how many disasters I run into from this habit, I just keep on trying,” he writes. “I’ve met women with fake photos, had false police reports filed against me, been sprayed with breast milk, you name it. It’s a god damn miracle my dick hasn’t fallen off from an STD.”

and

2. Your boundaries are complete bullshit

3. If you aren’t interested in sex, I’m not interested in you

Well gee, I wonder why he’s had multiple “false” police reports filed against him.

Congratulations! An excellent summary, David. Your article hits the major points and lays out what needs to be known. I hope it gets more people reading the blog and taking misogyny more seriously.

There is this typo though:

MRAs throw a fit whenever the discover women trying to set aside a place of their own — raging against such alleged oppression as women-only gyms — but they insist that their own “male spaces” should remain forever free of lady taint.

@Alan Robertshaw

I really think it would be quite timely to expand on this. Notwithstanding the migraines and the cat maintenance, have you considered a book? I think the radicalisation process, especially in relation to young men who frequent certain areas on the net would be a worthy and fascinating area of study.

I support this idea!! 😃

Excellent article David, to push the point about the relationship between racism and sexism, there’s actually a documented neurological one as well. When subjects were shown random images which included ones to trigger sexist and racist bias, it was found that they activate the same portion of the brain. There’s been other studies which have shown a distinct connection as well – http://www.medicaldaily.com/sexism-and-racism-linked-similar-mental-processes-238601 – worth mentioning, perhaps. Sexism is almost always the initial stem into the really toxic isms, as you mention if you believe one it’s not a great stretch to believe the other.

Since we (society) are aware of the connection between harming animals and a tendency harming people for example, such a connection between racism and sexism if more widely known might help as a red flag.

The BBC have just aired a documentary filmed at a school near where I live in the Isle of Wight. Its an experiment in gender neutrality, meant to tackle the problems of low self esteem in girls, and low emotional empathy in boys. It’s a very conservative area, and 99% white. The comments made by the children are exactly what I would expect from this part of the country.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/837387/BBC-social-experiment-gender-neutral-school-criticism-Laneshead-Primary-School
I am horrified at the comments section, and all the hatred, especially for the doctor presenting the programme, who is being called a Muslim paedophile. It’s shocking at how people even in my area of the world are being motivated by hate for the ‘leftists’ and anyone who dares to question gender roles. The BBC are actually being accused of child abuse, and pushing a trans sexual agenda, when the show has zero to do with gender fluidity or trans gender, and certainly is not pushing a trans agenda on children.
I grew up in a school a lot like this, and was bullied from a young age by christian fundamentalists who wanted me to fall in line with their agenda, and who also allowed sexual predators to target young girls in their church with impunity. It is this danger we should be uncovering, not looking for a pretend ‘cultural marxist’ propaganda excercise which doesn’t exist.

Sorry, guys, but the reason you share the country with black people is because several hundred years ago, your ancestors decided they didn’t wanna pick their own damn cotton. Take it up with them.

You could call it a perfect storm of the masculinity crisis in the US, erosion of economic stability, and threat to white male privilege. The result is a new generation of idle under and unemployed white men with bleak futures, and they’re prime targets for white supremacists. They’re angry, they’re clinging to an ideal of masculinity that the modern economy no longer needs or wants, and they really want a tangible target to vent their frustration. The result is not surprising.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Agent of the FemiNest Collective; Keeper of a Hell Toupee, and all-around Intergalactic Meaniesays:

@WWTH:

I don’t date all that much, if ever (have no intrest in such things, tbh), but how often do women spray guys with their breast milk? Heck, how often do women who are dating have breast milk available for spraying?

Well, if you date women by showing up at their house for coffee… and there’s no creamer, and you’re… I… no, this story has no redeeming qualities, so I’ll just stop here.

But yes, it makes sense that if you can convince yourself that women are the reason you can’t get laid, you’ve got most of the “logic” required to decide that “racist” means people who don’t like the white “race”. I’ve seen that redefinition of racist a lot on twitter from people trying to defend the “poor white guy in the car”. *spit*

They use the same words, but the definitions aren’t the same.

This sort of thing reminds me of one of the ideas of boolean logic, where if you can assume that “A and not A” is true, then you can derive anything you like from that, and it will seem logically consistent until you realize that you assumed a contradiction at the start.

Redsilkphoenix,

I’ll venture a guess and say he was sexually harassing a woman while she was breastfeeding. Not a date. Just a random woman in a park or something. The only way she could get him to go away was fling her milk at him. Or he’s just making it up entirely.

Redsilkphoenix,

I’ll venture a guess and say he was sexually harassing a woman while she was breastfeeding. Not a date. Just a random woman in a park or something. The only way she could get him to go away was fling her milk at him. Or he’s just making it up entirely.

Really good article, David. Congratulations!

Congrats, David! But can you really call their screeching rants “prose”?

(And it’s good to see you commenting again, Petal!)

@ IP, dreemr

Matt Forney is only 22. Milo is actually only 9!

… and trump is really only 2….

I’m surprised someone else hasn’t jumped on this…

That is a great article David! Well done and congrats!

Well said, David. While we might amuse ourselves here and there poking fun at the absurdity that is this dark belly of masculinity, the work you’ve done is, and has been very important. Thanks for wading through all of this shit for years to put the dots together so succinctly.

Or he’s just making it up entirely.

they have been known to make shit up….

Or he was having an intimate encounter with a lactating woman and the “let down reflex” made the milk come. It’s not like you have any control over it. It’s a reflex!
Except, he thought that it was gross. He was SPRAYED with breast milk. SPRAYED, I tell you!!
And that’s icky & gross because breasts are meant as his boner play toys, not to feed infants. For some men, anything about a woman’s biology that is not directly related to him getting his boner off is icky and gross.

@David
As I read your piece, it’s currently #1 most viewed on The Cut! Congratulations!

Aww, I can’t read the article (my browser keeps saying it can’t establish a secure connection), but I’m sure it must be super great! 🎈

“similarly easy for members of both movements to see white men as the most oppressed snowflakes of all.” this made me laugh hehe

I’m kind of scared of all this white is right type bullshit. I’m afraid to really laugh at it.
This was a good article. Your sense of humour is fun in light of such a heavy subject. When I read the whole “Bash a violent bitch” part, I think I remember that article…. you wrote about it maybe a few years back? Sometimes, even when I see the contradictions in these statements, I believe that I am inherently bad and deserve it. It’s not getting to me right now, but some of the statements are familiar.
I don’t think you deserve it or women other than myself deserve it, but sometimes I think I do. Not all the time and not when I’m thinking with the part of my brain that makes sense.

WWTH:

I’ll venture a guess and say he was sexually harassing a woman while she was breastfeeding. Not a date. Just a random woman in a park or something. The only way she could get him to go away was fling her milk at him. Or he’s just making it up entirely.

Or he’s just revealed one of his fantasies. I’ve heard that milk spraying is a kink for some guys.

Does anyone have any good info/links on correlation between DV/abuse and terrorism?

Great article David! I read the comments and was immediately thankful for this community and our comments policy. And for those who time after time patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) remind folk when the policy is violated.

I very much doubt that the wank goblin has ever been sprayed with breast milk, they aren’t water pistols. I bet he’s got such bizzare ideas aboit female anatomy he actually thinks that women go around lactating all the time.

Seconding Virgin Mary. Breast milk doesn’t spray, it dribbles. Also, women wouldn’t waste it on a racist doorknob like Cantwell.

Great article, David! This has been brewing for years and deserves more media attention. Thank you for all the work you’ve done to shine sunlight on these hateful movements.

I think another common driver of both men’s rights and white supremacy is sexual resentment. Both groups are furious that the Other (Chad Thundercock and his cousins Tyrone and Muhammed) are taking “their” women. Whether by force (all those Mexican and Syrian rapists) or because women are voluntarily seeking them out doesn’t matter to them. Women are property, and Chad is a thief taking something that belongs rightfully to them.

All their racial purity and virgin-fetish beliefs arise from that fear. These guys are insecure and want to control every aspect of women’s sexuality so they can be assured of the paternity of their children (who are, likewise, possessions and “I Had Sex” participation trophies).

Both groups also attract abusers who crave hierarchy and domination. Lots of violent fantasies, channeled into subtler and more legally acceptable forms of abuse: lying, tricking, harassment cheating, gaslighting, and grifting. It’s not just the thrill of deceiving others and getting a lower status person to accept their reality. The real thrill, for them, is flagrantly getting away with behavior that would land other people in jail. The Charlottesville rally was mainly about brazenly marching into a town with guns and daring the citizens to stop them. It was literally a show of white power. They get so salty at the prospect of white men being held accountable for their behavior (including, in the case of Confederate slaveowners, 150 years later). Having to face consequences for their shitty actions like everyone else signals a real loss of privilege.

Great article, David! Congrats! It’s extremely important to keep pointing out the connection between misogyny and racism – of all bigotry, TBH, because it highlights why the majority of the more outspoken assholes tend to be white men. White, able-bodied, straight cis men.

It’s an excellent article. MRA-think and racism have so much overlap, as Buttercup says

Both groups also attract abusers who crave hierarchy and domination

I’m just sure I’ve seen something somewhere about DV and terrorism, but I don’t know if there are places with background (like it’s generally recognised that abusing other animals correlates with violent crime against humans too).

Sometimes, even when I see the contradictions in these statements, I believe that I am inherently bad and deserve it. It’s not getting to me right now, but some of the statements are familiar

Amy, no one is inherently bad, and no one deserves to be abused, physically, mentally or emotionally. Bad behavior is a learned skillset, and some people have learned it very well.

As for “butwhatabouttheWHITEpeople… and whatabouttheMENZZZzzzz??”. This is a group that LITERALLY (and I’m using that word in the literal sense) controls 100℅ of everything, and yet unapologetically portrays itself as a marginalized and abused minority. Examine the entirety of the social conscience movement for the last 60 years, all that’s been asked of whites and of men is, stop abusing others just because they aren’t like you. Sadly, that’s too much to ask.

What am I supposed to feel sorry for? Their delusions? Their narssistic sense of greatness? Their economic anxiety, oh, of course, poor things! They elected Reagan ($2.7 trillion), baby Bush ($3 trillion) and now dumpster (going for $4 trillion) who moved all their money to the richest .1℅ of people and closed down all their factory jobs. Instead of working to address this, they unironically claim that 2.5 million illegal immigrants working for below minimum wage took all that money.

Their math skills are as bad as their social skills.

Fantastic article, David! It neatly draws the line from one extremism to the other and illustrates the natural compatibility between the two. My question then becomes: where does this desire to be a victim come from?

It’s a common enough talking point on the alt-right that any activist group lives in a “victim mentality”. Well, not only is the point of activism to combat the victimization going on, but those that are suffering from systemic prejudice, while they may find community in their common cause and even dedicate a lifetime of work to fighting it, do not actually like being considered the “victims” of society. Ask any activist and I’m sure they’d have hobbies they’d like to be doing rather than the grueling grind of envelope stuffing and door knocking.

Shaun and Jen touched upon it in their “Fate of the Frog Men” video where they traced the evolution of straight white cis male grievance through Gamergate and now to Trump. However, mere “romanticism” seems like an inadequate explanation for why this group of people glom on to these movements. To an extent I can appreciate that the alt-right offers simple answers and scapegoats to these guys that excuse their perceived failings in life, but are they just that gullible? Is it an ingrained cruelty? Toxic masculinity certainly explains the perception of failure, but plenty of us laboured under that and didn’t fall under the spell of 4chan or Breitbart or the bewigged shitgibbon in the White House. So what is it about these people that allowed them to not only swallow the lies whole but construct mental barriers to ever realizing the self-defeating and contradictory nature of those lies?

I feel that if we can hone in on a set of traits or environmental factors, we can begin to turn the tide against this iceberg of hate we’ve seen the tip of crest over the past decade or so. Until then, they’re just going to keep hopping on the bandwagon and we’re gonna go from hate trend to hate trend with more people getting hurt along the way.

@opposable

Keep looking, I’ve read a few articles on the correlation between DV and politically oriented violence, and a LOT on the correlation between DV and criminal violence. I’d give links but my deteriorated memory is crap this morning.

@Gussie Jives

My question then becomes: where does this desire to be a victim come from?

That is a damn good question! It would seem counterintuitive that “supremacists” would paint themselves as so weak that they’re being exterminated (cuz `whitely genocided` ain’t really a word 🙂 ) by lesser beings.

I think the explanation lies in the idea they expound that there aren’t enough of them “woke up” and they need all the kindred soles who are still on the fence to join in.

Or, they just like to feel sorry for themselves, which (while sarcastic when I say it) is a real possibility.

I know it’s been said already, but EXCELLENT article, David.

I enjoyed your measured-but-incredulous tones: you really are being as fair as you can be.

Seconded the idea of a book. At this point I’d be surprised if there are many people better informed about the MRA/Neo-Fascist interface than you, and I fear it’s a topic that we’ll be talking about for a while.

And I would definitely buy that book.

@Gussie Jives

Shout out for Shaun & Jen. Some really great video essays there.

I also just really like the sound of his voice.

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