David Futrelle FAQ

I‘m a freelance writer and blogger living in Evanston, IL, with two awesome cats (pictured below, slightly greasy with eardrop residue).

I’ve been writing on topics ranging from gender and culture to money and technology for more than twenty years.

My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, among them Broadly, TheCut, Salon,  HuffPost, Time.com, The American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times Book Review. I was a staff writer at Money magazine for a number of years.

I was also behind the blog Confused Cats Against Feminism.

For more about We Hunted The Mammoth, see the Mammoth FAQ.

For more me, see:

David Futrelle on Twitter

David Futrelle on Facebook

Here, as promised, are my cats, early in their careers as cats. Yes, they are much cuter than me.

Sweetie and Pantz, doing the kitten thing.

53 replies on “David Futrelle FAQ”

This might be of interest to you. Another school shooting where a victim refused to date the perpetrator -http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/10/shooting-reported-at-marysville-pilchuck-high-school/

I love this blog to death, but on this page the link in Prospect stops before the T, and it bugs the living hell out of me. Whenever you get a free moment, could you please fix this?

So I was perusing the interwebs this afternoon and one rabbithole led to another until I found this:
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/how-about-a-bookstore-for-men-and-adults/Content?oid=915809
I read this blog every day and I read this article because–I thought–David wrote it, and it was full of stuff that I never thought he would write. Seriously, the bookstore in question sells The DaVinci Code, so it didn’t seem to be catering to the ‘man-hating feminazi’ demographic. The Andrea Dworkin reference/strawfeminist just threw me for a loop, and David describes himself as a “lapsed feminist.” So I guess I am curious–is this the same David Futrelle? If so, has David done a post about the journey from “lapsed feminist” to running a popular feminist blog? I mean, it was written in 2004, and I also have had some very fucked up views of feminism for a very long time, and it has only been recently–within the last few years, actually–that I identify as feminist, and this blog, among others, has been a part of that identification.

Yeah, I wrote that. (I didn’t write the obnoxious headline.) I’m not proud. But for what it’s worth my time as a “lapsed feminist” didn’t last much beyond the time it took to write that letter to the editor; I was mostly annoyed that the only bookstore for literally miles around (and one that is definitely not a general interest bookstore) was trying to keep other bookstores out of the neighborhood. As it turns out, the Borders did open up (about a mile away). And then a couple of years later Borders went bankrupt and that store shut down. Women and Children First is still plugging away.

Aside from this brief lapse I’ve basically seen myself as a feminist since, i dunno, my freshman year in college? But honestly it wasn’t something I thought about all the time. It only became a giant part of my life *after* I started this blog; running it has made me much more of a feminist than i ever was before it, and I’ve learned a lot from the experience — not just from tracking misogynists but from the readers of the blog and the other feminist writers I’ve gotten to know.

[quote]But for what it’s worth my time as a “lapsed feminist” didn’t last much beyond the time it took to write that letter to the editor; I was mostly annoyed that the only bookstore for literally miles around (and one that is definitely not a general interest bookstore) was trying to keep other bookstores out of the neighborhood.[/quote]

To me, this sounds like: For what it’s worth, I was angry, and invoking these stereotypes felt like the surest way to hurt them, no matter if they reinforced the sexist status quo.
A couple years ago, some asshat on facebook was calling me a fat ugly spinster (not exactly those words) with a preponderance of cats so I retaliated with what I thought this conservative bro would hate the most: several gay jokes involving him and his father. At the time, I thought of myself as an LGBTQ ally. My comments were not, in any circumstance, okay. I am deeply ashamed of what I said. I hope I am a better ally today.
Privilege is a terrible thing, no?

Like I said, I’m not proud of the letter, but I don’t think anything I said in it was the equivalent of gay jokes or calling the owners fat ugly spinsters. Still, mentioning a widely disliked feminist (Dworkin) was probably a bit dickish; my line about choice definitely was..

No, I wasn’t saying that you said anything as bad as what I said–I suppose I was just disappointed to find the letter and then offered what felt like an excuse. We all make mistakes; I think parsing how we react to those errors is conducive to being a better human. If that makes sense.

Anyway, I do love your blog. Thanks for talking with me; I promise I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. 🙂

In case that comment above this one wasn’t perfectly, utterly, clear — Wikipedia is going to ban a handful of feminists from editing the GamerGate page and all gender related pages, for the crime of daring to refuse to sit back while the “it’s about ethics in journalism!” people made the GG page support their claim. Basically, dare to point out that this is targeting women for being women, get banned from editing anything gender related on wiki. I’m pissed.

Well, at least one thing I’m happy about came from GamerGaters. If it weren’t for all that horrible, dangerous, misogynist crap (and also just plain stupid, but hey, I can deal with and counter stupid without fear), i might’ve never found your blog. Felt the need to send a donation, albeit tiny, if just for the line
“It’s true. Feminism has always been about fucking with hobbyists. Who can forget Mary Wollstonecraft’s famous A Vindication of the Rights of Women to Force Dudes to Play Sissy Facebook Games Like,You Know, Farmville or Some Shit?”
Will send more in the future. Thank you for your blog, and for being an awesome human being!
Also, now I really want to write, or at least for someone to write “AVotRoWtFDtPSFGL,YK,FoSS?” in guise of Mary Wollstonecraft and post it online.

I can’t get enough of your blog, thank you for taking a stand against so many uneducated, narrow minded diseases on society! I read your articles every day, and every day I’m proud that somebody isn’t afraid to take the bullets for the overly harassed men and women of feminism. I adore both your writing and your cats!

“Don’t know if you are interested in following the goings of the Canuckleheaded MRAs north of the border”

(Long time reader of the blog, first time commenting) I’m sorry, but I don’t see what is wrong with what’s in that article.

There are a number of studies, including from the Center for Disease Control, that show that when it comes to domestic violence, men and women are about equally capable of violence against their spouses. As I recall, one CDC study came back with results that around 50% of cases of domestic violence involved both partners being violent with each other (aka, a fight), where one partner lost and went to the hospital, and of the remainder, half of the incidents were committed by men, and the other half by women.

These are credible studies, performed by organizations that do not have a bias. And if the CDC study is correct, tailoring the approach to treatment of domestic violence situations to the “battered woman, abusive man” narrative leaves a full 75% of cases of domestic violence receiving the wrong treatment.

Domestic violence is NOT a gender issue. While there are certainly MRA groups who might abuse this issue, pointing this out and trying to get people in truly horrifying situations the help they need is NOT misogyny. And, I do feel the need to point out that the head of the organization in the article specifically acknowledges that violence against women by men happens, and is trying to draw attention to the another side that does not tend to get talked about.

@thealterblog

Wow. That is something pretty special. Apparently, suggesting a general interest bookstore (when the only other option is targeted to women) makes you an MRA. Who knew?

Isn’t it? You learn something new everyday. And I hope you didn’t miss that post that compared you to a serial killer. You know, I think jb’s hopes of becoming a novelist may not be completely absurd. She really should dedicate her life to writing fiction!

A *lot* of feminists used to have a few stupid opinions on gender issues, so even if he had been a real MRA, I can’t really see that it would make a difference.

I know I’ve said things in the past that have made me cringe, and a lot of people here are fairly open about having once upon a time been fairly misogynistic.

I know what you mean. Our opinions and thoughts are conditioned by culture. It takes a hard look in the mirror to realise where we may be wrong. I used to buy into a lot of this victim blaming bullshit till well into my teens. I am from India, and even today, there are mainstream debates on how a woman should dress and act in public to avoid rape.
Ironically, it was a movie about a rape case- with graphic and arguably gratuitous rape scenes- that made me question my own assumptions.
The point is, we all go through phases- part of growing up is realigning your worldview every once in a while instead of stubbornly clinging to it in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. Or as a lot of MRAs do, distorting facts to fit your own perspective.
And all this is if David even was an MRA at any point of time. Nothing jb has cited supports really proves anything. But then the woman has a penchant for lying to get attention.

I definitely agree. We all change and saying something 10 years ago does not mean that you still believe it or would say it now.

I actually wrote a short letter to the editor in my college newspaper (about 10 years ago), part of which was about having the choice to have or not have sex. Looking back on it, I can now see how much I was slut-shaming. I blame part of that on abstinence only sex ed, but most of it is on me for not respecting other people’s choices. I bought into the bullshit I was taught without thinking about it for myself. Thankfully, I’ve grown up since then and no longer accept things at face value.

Nothing jb has cited supports really proves anything.

This is the really important thing. Nothing stated there really identifies Davidas an MRA. She’s looking for clicks. So, here’s a DoNotLink for anyone who wants to read the post without helping her.
http://www.donotlink.com/e7z8

FWIW, I was never an MRA or anything even remotely close to one — and it was the editors of The Reader who gave my letter than headline, not me. I wrote that thing 11 years ago, and was kind of embarassed by it almost as soon as it was published. Not so much by the basic point of the letter — that it was a bit silly for a specialized bookstore to try to keep a general bookstore from opening up nearly a mile away — but by the snotty tone and the not-a-feminist line, which was barely true when I wrote it, and which I reconsidered fairly quickly.

David, Do you still love people who cook up “theories that will provide a schema for eradicating every last atom of patriarchy from the planet by any means necessary?” Which is what I read on your website a few years ago and told myself I had to follow up.
If you do, I’d love to know if you’ve found any such schema or part of one.

I much appreciate your work and its purpose.

All the best,
Inger

Inger, hmm, I actually didn’t write that — I checked and found it in a blog post an MRA wrote about me — and it’s not the sort of thing I would write. I’m not even quite sure what it means. I do my bit to chip away at misogyny, but I’m not really much of a fan of grand “schemas” for eradicating patriarchy or anything else. Well, grand schemas for eradicating actual diseases maybe.

@Vix
It’s not below them to do that. After all, AVFM are still trying to imitate the White Ribbon charity, with the hopes of usurping it, by claiming that the original is a fraud and THEY are the One True Anti-Violence Charity.

MRAs since then have denied that AVFM is trying to steal funds by posing as the genuine White Ribbon charity, but it’s pretty clear they’re trying to muscle the real deal out of the way when you have a look at their banner:
http://www.avoiceformen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/10/whiteribbonorg-468×60.gif

“There is only ONE whiteribbon.org.”

@sunnysombrera
Thanks for your response. I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised. It’s disgusting that they are doing that with the white ribbon. Just ugh… no. I face-palmed so hard I think I broke something in my hand.

As for the stickers, I think a distress centre (e.g COAST) number or suicide prevention line would have been logical and helpful . . . but of course, we aren’t dealing with people who are logical or helpful. It’s just another example of them trying to blame women and not actually caring about the mental health of men. Pathetic.
I just wonder if CMHA looked into this dude. My guess is probably not….

Loving your work! Gonna tell all friends confused about feminism to come visit this blog!

How about some good news when it comes to gender relations, for a change? I recently took a look at women in magic (not the card game) for my Fooling Garwulf column at The Escapist. When I interviewed some established, active professional female magicians to see if there was still gender discrimination, to my surprise and delight, the answer came back as “No, and there hasn’t been for at least a generation.”

So, magic has its act together: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/moviesandtv/columns/foolinggarwulf/14305-Penn-Teller-Fool-Us-Episode-2-Review-Recap.2

Just found your blog today. I look forward to catching up on articles and sending you snack donations (to mock the badgers) when I’m on my home computer. Well done.

So far I like your posts David. They’re funny and show some heart. Keep up the good work.

You seem to have inspired me. On this Australian edition of the Guardian I found this article http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/aug/26/facebook-blocks-australian-feminist-anne-summers-from-boosting-post?CMP=ema_632 … and then this comment:

“I think it’s fair enough to ban it on those grounds. I find the bigotry and mental gymnastics required to be a feminist very offensive, although that’s rarely enough to get any feminist ‘speech’ banned unless they use profanity such as in this case. On the other hand, feminists are always pushing (successfully most of the time) to get things *completely* banned e.g. Roosh V’s Canadian tour, Project Harpoon Facebook page etc with or without profanity.

By looking at who generally wins these arguments you’d have to conclude that feminists are firmly part of the establishment, are largely authoritarian, and completely intolerant of any alternative viewpoints.”

To which I replied (and I hope I got my facts right!!)…

“That’s because Roosh and his infantile followers are virtually rape apologists and certainly misogynist grubs. About 30 people turned up to the Canadian fiasco (which was proclaimed as some sort of victory for Roosh) and apparently most of those sad people were ashamed to show their faces. The illogical and infantile denigration of women by Roosh, Elam and other apologists for domestic violence rape that infests certain sewers of Reddit and elsewhere have no place in sane or civilised society. An academic book about the harsh realities of convict era Australia, on the other hand, is probably essential to promote these days. Lack of swearing does not necessarily make something not obscene…”

I’m probably a bit irrational in my response but I have zero tolerance for this crap and even less after recent news from a friend. It’s a toss-up between this and Islamaphobia at the moment, which is rife here at the moment..

David, have you seen you have had a probable impersonator (since banned) on Wikipedia?

Hot tip: Toronto coffee shop is showing really terrible, political ‘art’ from a guy on trial for harassment and stalking (and if he’s not an MRA he sure references them a lot and is on their side).

The best part is their response is so terrible and coded misogyny. Plus their supporters are all in the UK and Australia – whereas the women who have the problem (the same ones who saw the Jian Ghomeshi affair play out last year, with much of the same rhetoric) are actual patrons or potential patrons.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1000896516599062&id=111819535506769&pnref=story

Why, why are all the comments in the palest of pale gray type? I literally cannot read them! The same font in black would be readable, though one size up might make things easier.

@ covered in cat hair

I had the same thing, but ‘dark mode’ sorted it. Try clicking the little crescent moon button thingy.

(Although shouldn’t that then turn into the Sun or something as it’s now a light mode button?)

I’m not David, but yes, incels are definitely part of the manosphere. There’s a ton of overlap between incels and those other groups.

Hi David I started this post when I read https://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2020/12/10/the-worlds-saddest-tweet/ but then I thought what I was writing seemed more appropriate as a note to you. I have been reading you for years:

When I was born I was assigned a masculine gender I am very comfortable with it. Figuring out who I am was a struggle just like it is for many people. On that journey I was exposed to many things about what it meant to be a man. I was not comfortable with many of those things, even the people who I was seeking guidance from left me feeling very lonely in figuring stuff out. Now I see they really did not know any better than I did maybe they were just more certain for some strange reason. As I figured out how to listen to myself about what it means to be human I was able to leave a lot of harmful ideas behind. One reason why I really hate the patriarchy and the men like Ian Miles Chong is how much they want to restrict men to some narrow realm that has no connection to themselves or other people unless it is about domination, power, and a very perverse view of nature. The dude in the video is just doing his own thing in this world we just have one go round loving and bonding with a cat and sharing that joy with other people. If all those MGOTW were like this dude the world would be a sweeter place but no. They can’t even just be like “that’s cool, but it’s not for me.” They can only celebrate harm and destruction. And then they also have such hatred for women, nonstraight folks and just the idea of letting people be and trying to find their own flourishing.

Thank you for all the work you have been doing David drawing attention to how toxic and harmful these people are. I am sorry you lost your mother this year.

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