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MRAs say they care about the sexual abuse of boys. So why aren’t they talking about Bryan Singer?

By David Futrelle

Director Bryan Singer — best known for The Usual Suspects and a succession of X-Men movies — has been dogged for decades by rumors, and then outright accusations, that he preys on underage boys. On Tuesday, The Atlantic dropped a massive, extensively researched piece offering the details of some of these accusations, including the stories of four men who have never come forward before.

“Some of the alleged victims say they were seduced by the director while underage,” The Atlantic reports,

others say they were raped. The victims we interviewed told us these experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression and PTSD.

You might expect that allegations like these– suggesting that a powerful Hollywood director has been sexually exploiting and assaulting vulnerable teen boys for years if not decades — would arouse the fury of the internet’s Men’s Rights Activists.

After all, MRAs claim often, and loudly, to care about male victims of sexual assault, particularly when the victims are boys. And they do, in some cases: whenever news breaks of a female teacher preying on underage boys, MRAs are quick to pass on the news and to denounce the female perps as loudly as they can.

So I took a look to see what MRAs were saying about Singer on the two most prominent Men’s Rights websites — the Men’s Rights subreddit, with more than 200,000 subscribers; and A Voice for Men, no longer the big daddy on the Men’s Rights scene, but a site which still retains some lingering influence.

Turns out they really weren’t saying anything at all. Here is a listing of every single Men’s Rights subreddit post devoted to Singer’s case in the last four years.

As you can see, there are only five posts in all, which have collectively earned 36 upvotes and inspired a grand total of seven comments. Seven. (A post that discussed male victimization in Hollywood more generally got a bit more attention than the posts about Singer in particular, but many of the comments were from men complaining that female predators weren’t getting as much attention as Singer and Kevin Spacey.)

In start contrast to the utter lack of interest in Singer or his victims, a post about the meme below, which has been up for less than 24 hours on the Men’s Rights subreddit, has garnered nearly 3000 upvotes and inspired 254 comments.

A Voice for Men, meanwhile, has published absolutely nothing on Singer, ever.

This sort of selective interest in male victims of sexual abuse — a 4-alarm fire when the perp (or accused perp) is a women, a bored sigh when the villain is a man — is rather typical of MRAs.

In a post last October, I noted my surprise at discovering that the Men’s Rights subreddit had literally never discussed the horrifying case of former Iowa youth basketball coach Greg Stephen, who had then just pled guilty to multiple child exploitation and child porn charges after admitting to sexual exploiting some 400 boys. (A post about his case went up on the subreddit after my post was published.)

As I noted in that post, it’s almost as if the Men’s Rights movement isn’t about helping men or boys at all but is rather an excuse for a never-ending tantrum about the alleged evils of women and feminism.

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78 replies on “MRAs say they care about the sexual abuse of boys. So why aren’t they talking about Bryan Singer?”

First, I saw this on Slate:

It is possibly all men, including men that we love.

Regarding god, I do have a belief, however, it is greatly shaped by something my grammy used to say: “God does not do work. If you want work done, you must do it yourself.”

I have a long relationship with the xian god, I was raised in a fundamentalist church, attended to some extent 5 other xian churches, all Protestant. Studied their theology with one church.

One of the “teachings” that seems to be common to at least the fundamentalists is the existence and purpose of “divine punishment”, for which you can read “hell”, though not all of even the fundies do “hell”… some just do “no eternal life.”

To make a long story a bit longer, the theology is this:

God created us, god loves us, and supposedly everything god does is intended to show how much god loves us. God wants us to worship god, and god will reward us with eternal life if we do. But if we do not, god will either kill us or torture us for all eternity. To me, that’s not spirituality, that’s Stockholm Syndrome.

@Steven I dutch

I really don’t like you calling her a female. you used woman later on so why couldn’t you use it up there. It’s a little creepy man.

@Steven I Dutch

Since there were allegations, why would you set him up near his target of choice? Especially if more than one “females” account named him as “unsavory?”

One can only speculate as to why the marriage didn’t work out.

We’ve seen this troll before, haven’t we?

Weird Eddie skrev:

God wants us to worship god, and god will reward us with eternal life if we do. But if we do not, god will either kill us or torture us for all eternity. To me, that’s not spirituality, that’s Stockholm Syndrome.

Or, as I’ve been known to summarize it to anyone who can’t (or just doesn’t) run away quickly enough: “For I am a jealous God. Why you got to make Me smite you, baby?”

Women’s anti-violence shelters have almost certainly saved more men’s lives than women’s lives.

I wrote a brief analysis of this over on Pharyngula some time back. I can’t find the discussion where I dived into the numbers and made a showing of the decline by about 2/3rds in intimate partner murders of men by women, but I could find a good comment by Pteryxx.

I’ll look more for that longer discussion & try to find that too.

@Surplus to Requirements

Yeah. Back when I participated as “Laugher at Bigots”, Steven would sometimes say something sensible, sometimes something irrelevant and weird and creepy, as he has done here.


Great tagline on his blog: “Equal opportunity offender of liberals and conservatives.” This is one of those galaxy-brained C E N T R I S T S.

The bible, the Quran, the Torah, are scripture about love. – Lainy

Have you actually read them? Because if so, it must have been the expurgated version!

@Weird Eddie:

since the link didn’t show the thumbnail, it’s Katelyn Ohashi’s gymnastics routine at the Collegiate Challenge competition in Anaheim, California.

Can you believe people have been body-shaming Ohashi? It’s a reminder than women can’t win. You can be an incredible athlete, reaching a level of fitness few people will achieve, a probable future Olympic medal winner, and still some will say “yeah but those thighs tho”.


An extra layer of horrible is that she’s talked about the abusive body shaming she got when she was an elite training at WOGA, Valeri Liukin’s gym. She was supposed to be one of the most promising athletes going for the 2016 Olympics. As I mentioned in another thread, she was the last person to ever beat Simone Biles in an all around competition back in 2013. But her elite career was over almost before it began and that’s mostly why, she had to quit for her own mental health. By all appearances, she’s doing great now, but I’m sure that trauma is still with her. I hope she didn’t see any of the negative comments.

@ eddie and moggie

Normally I can’t watch gymnastics. I really love when humans do stuff that you can’t believe is physically possible; but gymnastics always makes me wince. It’s just so spectacular, but I’m always like “Eek, mind your neck!” when they’re doing some of the jumps and tumbles.

But I did watch that clip (through my fingers); and it was amazing!

That splits and bounce up again! How does she do that? If that was in a movie I’d be thinking “Hmm, I wish they wouldn’t use wire work; it totally ruins suspension of disbelief”. 🙂

Moggie says:

Can you believe people have been body-shaming Ohashi?

All too easily, alas. People don’t like it when women show how flimsy and arbitrary the distinction between men and women is. And they really don’t like it when women prioritize kicking ass over being conventionally sexy. But if you want to be competitive in the art of flinging yourself through the air by force of will alone, then you’re going to end up looking like a bendy meat brick.

Ballerinas tend toward a similar build for the same reason, but they’re also heavily subjected to selection by companies who want a particular look—often one that happens to favor whiteness. And dancers of color who manage to make it past this culling process get objections and shaming similar to what gymnasts get.

On the one hand I totally am not surprised Ohashi is being body – shamed, because dudes and society and what have you. On the other hand I am utterly gobsmacked at the idea. I’ve watched that routine multiple times and, not that it matters in the least what I think about her body, it didn’t even occur to me that that would be people’s first thought. Honestly, how in the actual fuck do you view something as sublimely athletic as that and think: “that lady could stand to drop some weight. I am very smart.” People are just relentlessly awful most of the time.

Also: hello regulars (and other, non -troll commenters), I have lurked here for a very long time and I think this is the first time I’ve commented. Y’all are great and over the years you’ve really made my day on many occasions. Thanks for that.

Alan – I understand action movie audiences often use wire work to suspend their disbelief.

Diego Duarte:

It is. Notice Men’s Rights didn’t crop up until after more rape cases were being prosecuted in India. They were more concerned about women lying about being assaulted than boys being preyed upon

It was always about fighting women and telling them to shut up about everything. Also Paul Elm from AVFM stated long long time ago how he wouldn’t condemn rapists in court if he was on the jury. So many of them just don’t see sexual assault and rape as crimes at all.

I’ve seen old pictures of female ballet dancers and they weren’t anywhere near as thin as they are today. Apparently George Balanchine favored the super waifish look and it spread across the industry and just kind of stuck. It will never stop blowing my mind that Misty Copeland is considered large in the ballet world.

@ lumipuna

Groan 🙂 (won’t stop me stealing it)

Re: ballet dancers

I did some Krav training with a ballet dancer. Her feet looked like she’d been caught cheating in a mafia run casino. She could kick like a mule though.

Source: have been kicked by mule

(They don’t like being approached from the rear, even if you’re bringing carrots)

(Mules, not ballet dancers)

@Alan Robertshaw

Thanks for the clarifications. And the laugh. 😀


That’s honestly terrifying. Even most guys would just shrug and go ‘oh well’ if they’re swiped left on, but this one… Talk about hitting every incel/ abuser talking point and red flag in one go. And then men wonder why women are paranoid when they go out on dates with them.


Can you believe people have been body-shaming Ohashi? It’s a reminder than women can’t win. You can be an incredible athlete, reaching a level of fitness few people will achieve, a probable future Olympic medal winner, and still some will say “yeah but those thighs tho”.

Those thighs are probably why she can jump like that. I’ve yet to see an awesome jumper who didn’t have super muscular legs.

And those shamers need to STFU in the worst way.

That video is *adorable*, Alan.

So I’m going to guess MRA also aren’t talking about Leaving Neverland, either?

Most of me really, really doesn’t want to see it, but part of me feels like the victims bared their souls & I should show support by at least watching and making the vileness being directed at them mean something…..I’m wording that badly and can’t think how to fix it in the time of the edit window.

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