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#metoo antifeminism misogyny MRA reddit sexual harassment

“No hugs, please; we’re Men’s Rights Activists”

Beware the hug demon!

It’s hard to overestimate the degree to which Men’s Rights Activists cause their own problems. Consider this tale of workplace woe, in which a man paranoid about “me too” accusations manages to completely alienate a new employee whose only crime was to offer him a hug.

Huffers1010, posting in the Men’s Rights subreddit (but of course) starts off with a little background:

I met a woman the other day (it does happen). Someone I didn’t know; someone I’m likely to be working with a lot in the next few weeks. I should preface my remarks with the fact that I hold this woman in very high regard; she’s very skilled at her job and I was the decision-maker in hiring her. She’s delightful company professionally; I barely know her personally. She’s also conventionally very attractive and a good fifteen years my junior.

Oh dear.

The first thing she did, on our first meeting after the interview, was approach me for a hug.

For most people, this would be no big deal. In this case, it’s what screenwriters call this the inciting event.

I instinctively recoiled, and a look of some confusion and offence crossed her face. It was awkward. I hated doing it. But “I don’t do hugs,” I explained. “Not in this me-too world.”

She literally gaped at me in absolute astonishment.

Well, why wouldn’t she? You’ve just accused her of being the sort of woman who cooks up false accusations of sexual harassment to ruin men’s lives. Imagine that she had ended the discussion not by offering a hug but by saying “I sure hope you don’t sexually harass me!”

Dude, you don’t have to hug anyone you don’t want to hug. But there are ways of getting out of hugs that won’t reveal you to be a paranoid misogynist. You could have just said you don’t hug because of COVID.

Naturally, since this particular woman is, as far as I know, a completely reasonable and sane individual, her reaction was to start explaining that I was overreacting and she has no intention of taking any action against me, and it’s probably true.

I love the “probably” there.

The harder-line feminists of the world would probably lecture me on the idea that if I don’t give her any reason to object then I won’t suffer the consequences, but as I say, I don’t know this woman personally. I don’t know how easy she is to irritate. I don’t know how angry she gets, how quickly, and it is a material fact that women are more likely to exhibit negative emotion than men.

Yeah, well, you gave her every reason to “exhibit negative emotion” towards you.

But even if we assume they’re right and it’s rare – and it probably is – the problem with is, as we’re all painfully aware, it’s a huge risk to take. In many modern western countries, any woman has the arbitrary power to have any man arrested, publicly pilloried as a sex pest and permanently deny him a social life and a career, that is, to completely destroy his life, even if the case never goes to trial (and sometimes they do; that example is rare only in that the guy was exonerated and received a lot of publicity; the woman, who was obviously lying, was not prosecuted).

That is one big pile of shit.

Honestly, refusing this woman a hug was probably pointless in any case.

It wasn’t “pointless,” it was a huge mistake, and it makes you seem like the paranoid, woman-hating creep you evidently are.

If she even claimed I’d touched her in a way she didn’t like, I’d be instantly arrested, even if I actually hadn’t; I feel like I’m giving myself the best possible chance, but I have no real confidence in that.

You’re not “giving yourself the best possible chance” with this woman; you’ve made yourself an office enemy for life. More than one enemy, likely, once she tells her new coworkers about this incident.

Still, this is where we now are. This is the world in which we have to exist.

No, this is the imaginary world that you’ve chosen to live in. The real world is a lot more pleasant place.

This is what a minority of feminist activists wanted, and they got it. So, woman-I-just-hired, I apologise for what happened on Saturday, but it’s because of the fact that every woman I meet is effectively a ticking time bomb capable of destroying my life for any reason, or none at all.

Dude, you may want to talk this out with a therapist before your resentment of women causes you even more trouble at work. Right now it’s leading you down a very dark path.

You could start by getting off of the Men’s Rights subreddit; it’s clearly reinforcing your worst irrational fears.

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I am a payphone
I am a payphone
8 months ago

Completely hippocratical for you to say that he’s got to go to a therapist because his belief in the ticking-time-bombness of women, when feminists and gynocrats say the exact same thing about men. You’re all “things men don’t deserve: beautiful women, mother nature, and anyone’s time ever” and yet, you go all “bye felicia” when the men to therapists. How that compute? Right now, there is a novel being published about what a wonderful place the world would be in the Y-chromosome and everyone who had it disappeared – can you imagine what would be the outcry if some other group were disappearing? But everyoon is mad because “what about the women with y-charomosones” and nobody at all cares about the men, period. You ought to be ashamed of your elves, saying that men are all a bunch of murder abuse war machines but men can;t have their own personal space respective without it being a sign that they need to talk to a professional and get told that their feelings are wrong because it’s a woman’s world and always was.

Castrating Harpy
Castrating Harpy
8 months ago

I get not wanting to hug someone you barely know, especially a colleague. Boundaries are important, and there’s no shame in setting them. But, you know, just say you don’t do hugs and leave it there?

Also, this whole story smells like fiction to me. OP invented a scenario so he could gripe about it.

Full Metal Ox
Full Metal Ox
8 months ago

every woman I meet is effectively a ticking time bomb capable of destroying my life for any reason, or none at all.

https://archive.ph/PA83Z

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
8 months ago

@Castrating Harpy: Agreed, especially if she didn’t know him.

Mrs Morley
Mrs Morley
8 months ago

Most of the unwanted hugs in offices come from men.

If, by some extremely unlikely chance, some woman did try to hug him, it’s even less likely that she was trying to set him up for sexual harassment.

.45
.45
8 months ago

You know, back when I was struggling from a very sheltered upbringing, I started trying to experiment with socializing with my coworkers. It sounds absurd now, but I tried reaching out and putting my hand on people’s shoulders. Got a weird vibe from my female coworkers, but despite that, I was never instantly arrested. It was almost as though they gave me the benefit of the doubt and weren’t ticking time bombs waiting to ruin the lives of socially clueless guys out there for the lulz. I suppose that was before MeToo, so it doesn’t count in this guy’s book.

(I really was a clueless dumbass back then. Funny to think my mother, the one who made sure I was, was also very very against sexual harassment and told me I should never ever do same. “Don’t do X, and don’t ask me what X is or expect me to explain it, just don’t do it.”

Like, she set me up to be so damn sheltered and scared of the world, my first efforts to socialize with women could very easily be construed as creepy sexual harassment because I didn’t know any better. Ridiculous. Sexual education and SOCIAL education should be taught in schools and by parents. Just assuming if you don’t teach children to misbehave they will somehow automatically do everything right is just… eh.)

writerjohn
writerjohn
8 months ago

I mean, as someone who’s generally uncomfortable with hugs, especially with people I don’t know well, and ESPECIALLY especially with colleagues, I’m not without sympathy for this guy. Yes, his rationale is stupid, and yes, he’s clearly a misogynist. But I’ve avoided, dodged and outright refused enough hugs in my life — and then was judged and made to feel like the bad guy for it — that I can’t read this story without thinking “Yeah, I kind of get it.”

(In my case, it has nothing to do with distrusting women or fearing “me too” moments and everything to do with just not liking hugs with people I don’t know well, but still. I kind of get it.)

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
8 months ago

Alright, that’s it. I have had it. Rising case counts again now; cramps; World War III … enough of this shit. I’m especially fed up of people moving the goal posts. For example, “we just need to wait for the vaccines”, then “we just need to wait for the Delta wave to be over”, then “we just need to wait for the Omicron wave to be over”.

I am calling a whole lot of entities, human and otherwise, out.

@all heads of state, worldwide:

Put down those ridiculous and unconscionably-expensive toys and STOP. COVID. NOW. No more pussyfooting around. What, how will we fund this, you say? Stop spending on blowing each other’s fucking citizens up. Recall and retire every soldier and zero out every military budget line-item. Beat all the associated hardware into plowshares. If you all do it simultaneously no-one can take advantage. Oh, the rich people will whine? Let them whine. They’ll have a capital strike? Where will they go if you all act in unison and do the same things? (I suppose Musk might pull an actual Mars rocket out of his hat, in which case bon voyage, rich arseholes, and good riddance.) Plus, if they say they’re taking their ballfactory and going home, nationalize that fucker and pay some workers to continue running it.

And once you’ve dealt with this motherfucking virus, properly this time, turn your attention to climate change. And after that, continue acting like adults instead of a bunch of squabbling six-year-olds.

@cramp imp:

You, also, are guilty of repeated goalpost-moving. First it’s “must drink lots more water”, then “must also take 20mg Pepcid twice a day and stumble onto this for yourself”, then “must jump through all sorts of extra hoops to get that Pepcid”, then “must pay out of pocket for that Pepcid — no more getting it on the government dime”, then “also don’t eat black liqorice ever again”, and then “must get up halfway through sleep and take a few swigs of water then, too”. And now you seem to have added yet another condition that has not been adequately communicated to me.

No.

Fuck you.

This stops now. No more extra rules I have to follow that nobody else has to or I’ll be tortured. No more being a rat in your fucking maze while you give me fucking electric shocks and keep changing the rules to see how fast I can learn the new ones, whereupon after a few months or a year or two you’ll just change them again. Fuck that shit. One way or another this experiment, or whatever the fuck it is, ends now. As in, I will quit if you won’t. One more incident and I jump, full stop. Either way you now have one fewer lab rat, so if you shock me again it’s just plain murder for no purpose. I still escape your torment and you lose any claim to any moral high ground you might have thought you had.

@any higher power that might exist:

Rein in that fucking imp. And those other idiots, above.

Yeah, I know, that wasn’t very politely phrased. That’s because I am not worshiping you or praying to you, I am giving you notice. I am not down on my knees begging, I am lifting a placard up high and demanding. I am standing up for myself, unlike that fucking lily-livered under-knuckling Job, and I don’t give a shit how powerful you are because I do hold the moral high ground.

Do a better job from now on or I refuse to continue participating in this nonsense and exit universe left.

@whomever it may concern, probably all 8 billion of you:

I am also sick and tired of not feeling like I belong anywhere, in any group of people, or that anyone has my back. I am sick and tired of what I can contribute not apparently being valued much and everyone wanting instead things I can’t contribute (usually, that would be money). I am not a walking ATM and do not wish to be treated as one; I want to be valued for who I am, and to a lesser extent for what I can do. If people have made a collective decision to devalue me as anything other than a wallet for them to reach into, whilst also conspiring to ensure that that wallet is always nearly empty, then that too gives me every reason to simply quit, and to leave hoisting my middle finger up high at that. It’s just more game-playing, goalpost-moving, and holding me to unattainable standards of some sort, and I am through with that shit.

Treat me like a person. That’s an order.

@HealthCareConnect:

It’s been three fucking years. Get up off your lazy butts and do the job you were fucking hired to do. NOW! DOUBLE-TIME!

@Russian soldiers:

Desert en masse. Your leaders do not deserve your loyalty.

.45
.45
8 months ago

@ Surplus to Requirements

Surplus, I don’t know what to tell you. I could go into a big argument about how people like politicans and assorted who don’t read this blog and don’t even know you exist are unlikely to suddenly change everything in society because you said to, but that isn’t helpful.

I wish I had something helpful to say, I really do. I know everything is a fucking dumpster fire right now, and looking at history, that really isn’t anything new, nor is it going to change any time soon. It seems like everything on this planet is determined to do a three steps forward, two steps back and then trip over something routine.

Life is hard, frustrating, and filled with all kinds of shit. You have legitimate reasons to be upset, but if you are saying what I think you are saying… well, I do have a link to this: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/

Their number is 1-833-456-4566. Please consider talking to them. I don’t know how helpful they can be, but I do know I’m not that useful.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
8 months ago

So I hope this guy enjoys his self-imposed distance from all the women he ever meets. He’ll never be accused of sexual harassment because no women will get close enough for him to touch or talk to, so… win?

Of course, this will make his career go badly so working with anyone might not be a problem for too long. Oddly enough, accusing someone you barely know of being a liar and a filer of unfounded lawsuits is not the way to win friends and influence people. Once office gossip gets hold of this “did you HEAR what Huffers said to XX?!”, all of the women and a lot of the men are going to lose any respect for him.

Also, you know that woman has told every woman she knows what a freak show this guy is, so his personal life will also go badly once word gets around. And even if he’s a total Chad, the women are also going to be laughing “As IF anyone would bother to harass that creep! I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole!”

Really, simply saying “I don’t do hugs” would have ended it. But then he wouldn’t get upvotes from his miggie buddies.

Providing this isn’t all from his fevered imagination, of course.

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
8 months ago

I’m going to have to see his work on the possibility of a man being arrested because a woman said he touched her in a way she didn’t like, considering how horrifically difficult it is to even get an investigation into rape charges. All those untested rape kits that have been sitting untested tells me there aren’t a lot of men being hauled off in handcuffs for “I didn’t like the way he touched me.”

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
8 months ago

Hooray for other harpies! Though I think you were here first.

@FMO

So I read that whole thing, comments included, last night. I kinda take issue with this:

On the other hand, if you are both at church accompanied by your mothers, who are lifelong best friends, the woman is as close as it comes to safe.

considering how many rapists prey on the religious (both regular members and clergy), but other than that, it was pretty spot on.

@Surplus

Remember that vent blog I said might be a good idea to start…?

And as for the douchebag in the main article, these morons just love to believe any woman can snap her fingers and have a man in prison before he can blink. If only that were true. Think how many rapists we could get off the streets.

Mimi Haha
Mimi Haha
8 months ago

This is completely made up. No one hugs coworkers.

Castrating Harpy
Castrating Harpy
8 months ago

@Queen – seeing as I’m but a lowly tradesperson in the harpy kingdom, even if I was here first I have no problem bowing down before my queen.

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
8 months ago

@Castrating Harpy

Ah, but like in so many other monarchies, you do all the hard work, whereas I am a mere figurehead. 😉

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