Mammoth FAQ

A mammoth, hunted. By leocigale
A mammoth, hunted. By leocigale

We Hunted the Mammoth: The FAQ-ening

Q) A mammoth, huh? What’s this blog about?

A) Misogyny, not mammoths.

Specifically, this blog focuses on what I call the “New Misogyny,” an angry antifeminist backlash that has emerged like a boil on the ass of the internet over the last decade or so. These aren’t your traditional misogynists – the social conservatives and religious fundamentalists who make up much of the far right.

These are guys, mostly, who range in age from their teens to their fifties, who have embraced misogyny as an ideology, as a sort of symbolic solution to the frustrations in their lives – whether financial, social, or sexual.

Some of them identify as Men’s Rights Activists, trying to cast their peculiar struggle against what they see as the excess of feminism and the advantages of women as a civil rights issue of sorts. Alongside those who explicitly label themselves MRAs we find a great number of antifeminist and antiwomen activists we might call Men’s Rights-adjacent – like those in the Skeptic and Atheist subcultures who still haven’t gotten over an offhand remark Skepchick founder Rebecca Watson made about a dude in an elevator a couple of years ago.

Others proclaim themselves Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), declaring a sort of independence from women – while spending much of their time on message boards talking endlessly about them.

Still others see themselves as Pickup Artists (PUA), or masters of “Game,” espousing elaborate “scientific” theories of male superiority while trading tips on how best to pressure or manipulate drunk women into bed. This misogynistic wing of the PUA subculture has a considerable overlap with a subset of traditionalist and far-right blogs. Many of those in what has come to be called “the manosphere” — hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t come up with that name — don’t simply embrace misogyny; they also proudly embrace “scientific” racism and other bigotries.

Still, while some of the New Misogynists see themselves as conservatives, even “neo-reactionaries,” many identify themselves as libertarians or even as liberals. Theirs is a backlash that frames itself as a step forward.

That said, there are numerous posts here that don’t have anything to do with MRAs or MGTOWers or PUAs or any of their ilk. Sometimes I like to post cat pics.

Q) Ok, but you still haven’t explained the mammoth thing.

A) This is a reference to a quote I once posted from a dude who felt women weren’t sufficiently appreciative of what men had supposedly done for them over the ages. Here’s the quote, in all of its weird glory:

We men built a nice safe world for you all the the coal-mines of death, roads, railroads, bridges and tall office buildings. Its $1,000,000 spent per death of a man on a large dangerous project on average now you can just 9-5 it and call it a day in air-conditioned and heated safety. Forget about the wars we died in and the sacrifices made just ignore history or is it now hersorty? You are accruing the benefits without ever having to pay the price you still don’t have to sign up for the draft and who will protect you? The Sex and the City girls will fight off the North Koreans with their Manolo Blahniks?

Men gave you this modern world now you take it for granted we hunted the mammoth to feed you we died in burning buildings and were gassed in the trenches but that was just for fun right?

How quick and conveniently you forget who made this possible.

We gave you Leonardo da Vinci, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy not to mention countless others, Jonas Salk saved half the world from death and you just piss on it all.

This quote is such an amazing clusterfuck of misogyny, entitlement and unwarranted self-importance – not to mention historical ignorance – that the bit about mammoths became a catchphrase around here, neatly conveying pretty much everything this blog is against. And so I decided to make it the name of the blog.

Q) And who exactly are you?

A) David Futrelle. I’m a freelance writer and blogger living in Evanston, IL, and the guy behind the Confused Cats Against Feminism blog. For more on my illustrious career, see the David Futrelle FAQ.

Q) You’re against the Men’s Rights movement. Are you against men having rights?

A) Of course not. As hundreds of posts on this site show pretty clearly, the so-called Men’s Rights Movement is a hateful, reactionary movement driven largely by misogyny and hatred of feminism. It doesn’t help men. It encourages them to scapegoat women and stew in their own bitterness.

Q) Are you secretly funded by the international feminist conspiracy?

A) No. I’m not funded by any organization. Some readers have very kindly given me donations. You can too, if you wish.

Q) What’s with all the cat pictures?

A) I like cats.

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Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago
weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

if the Nazis had won WW2, they would have been right, of course.

Um. So. That happened.

It was pretty easy to manipulate you into showing your true, fascist colors. I’m not seeing a lot of merit in Arkentroll.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

Nazi would have been “right” because they would have wrote history to be “right” but that doesn’t mean their actions were justified or actually right.

I think people seem to forget that Hitler’s regime also killed children and babies. Like, babies and pregnant women full of unborn babies. Like, literally, when has the killing of any children been “right”?

Of course, killing adults is wrong, too, but you know what I’m talking about.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

TIL that our troll doesn’t comprehend “circular reasoning.” Not sure why I needed to know that, but here we are.

Maybe his alma mater can help him learn about it? 😀 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

katz
katz
6 years ago

There’s nothing at all threatening about researching into how things can be; should be, or why it is it.

The notion of randomly setting policy based on limited hypothesis is where it becomes increasingly weird and reactionary. When belief turns into passion which self-drives further belief and things become increasingly distanced from evidence, that’s when it is genuinely dangerous. Its effectively the same as religious fervor then.

But in and of itself, I think its incredibly valuable to question why things are the way they are.

“It’s incredibly valuable to talk about stuff as long as you never do anything about it!”

isidore13
isidore13
6 years ago

But if those policies are set in place, then feminists won their argument to the (overwhelmingly male) lawmakers. So if the feminists won, by your logic, that makes them right. Because winning=right, according to your logic.

shonpan
6 years ago

Correct, isidore13.

Indeed, I’ve never actually said that any policies already are in place are by definition wrong. Anything that wins is right. Likewise, if they are overturned, then it is also right that it is overturned.

The adversarial system is truly a blessing in such.

Moocow
Moocow
6 years ago

Fartstone, could you go tell your fellow gaters, mrassholes or regular old fashion misogynist s that winning through force does not equate to moral or ethical superiority? You and a whole lot of them seem to confuse the two quite often.

Also I love the whole ‘I will prove this statistic by quoting a statistic that doesn’t support the point I was making and I won’t give any sources, checkmate feminists!’

Last I checked, 14% and 52% were not, in fact, the same number. Did you study math at the Wikipedia institute of technology as well?

Moocow
Moocow
6 years ago

Also by your logic, Uwe Boll is officially the best director in the whole wide world and his movies are flawless because he beat his critics in a boxing match.

isidore13
isidore13
6 years ago

Wow, you really went back on your whole argument there, but not by admitting you were thinking wrong, just by changing the goalposts. Nice job being intellectually dishonest.

Danny Chameleon
Danny Chameleon
6 years ago

Is this an invite-only argument?

Snuffy
Snuffy
6 years ago

@shonpon

Anything that wins is right. Likewise, if they are overturned, then it is also right that it is overturned.

So the dominant view is always “right” because they “won”? And anyone who opposes them is “wrong”? Unless they manage to overthrow the current regime and then suddenly all those “wrong” people magically switch into being “right” (or were they “right” all along)? You are a mindless sheep following the majority incapable of deciding what you think is “right” for yourself. Anyone who ever manages to be “right” in your world view had to have been “wrong” at one point in time and fought to change to status quo in their favour.

Bina
6 years ago

The only thing “right” about the Nazis was which wing they flapped. And for a while there, they were in the ascendant. But that doesn’t mean they were correct. Remember, the “Thousand-Year Reich” only, in fact, lasted for 12. And even if they’d won the war, at some point they’d have imploded under their own internal contradictions…not to mention the fact that their leader was a paraoid meth-head with a shitload of views that were considered backward even in the year in which he was born.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Also by your logic, Uwe Boll is officially the best director in the whole wide world and his movies are flawless because he beat his critics in a boxing match.

Do I sense a mocking tone? Did you not believe Tara Reid as a super smart academic?

http://horrorfanzine.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/aitd1.jpg

Come on! Just look at her. She’s wearing glasses. Obviously she’s an academic!

katz
katz
6 years ago

If right and wrong were synonymous with winning and losing, we wouldn’t even have a concept of right and wrong, because it would be redundant.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

Rereading what trollboy has said all along, I think M was right: he’s a rapist. The whole thing is basically a Nietzschean rape apologia.

Initially, he argued that PUA works because biotruths and that rape is a successful biological strategy. Then, when it was pointed out that rape is immoral, he argues that morality is a social construct and does not derive from biology. The fact that real biologists tend not to make this argument doesn’t faze him: Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould may have had controversial opinions but they would both have been horrified by that.

Thing is, trollboy is mistaken. He’s mistaken because humans are gregarious animals, and thus what may be effective in a human-scale interaction does not work on a socially wide scale.

Let me explain this in terms that trollboy may understand. Let me carefully avoid using moral language here because his weaksauce attempts at being Nietzschean may be tiring but also give him a cheap escape hatch and I have no intention of allowing him that.

1. Human beings dislike being raped. In fact, they dislike even the possibility of being raped. They tend to dislike it more than rapists enjoy raping. This is especially true when we look at the overall effect: because only some men are rapists but all women live in fear of being raped, the overall dislike of rape in society is much greater than the like of it.

2. By an overwhelming margin, rape is something that is done to women by men. Sometimes it’s done to men by other men. Women raping people happens but is rare.

3. As a result, women will tend to organise and use whatever political and economic power they have to ensure that rapists are punished and that future rapes do not happen.

4. Therefore, a society in which women have the power to enforce their wishes is a society which has very little rape. Conversely, a society in which rape is common is thus shown to be one in which women have less agency.

5. Within a society, women’s power and men’s power are not zero-sum; indeed most of the time they are pulling in the same direction. During the American period of Manifest Destiny, white people of all genders were working together to subjugate and develop the western territories. During the Civil Rights era, black people of all genders were working together to end segregation.

Therefore, we can say that the most effective societies are those which minimise infighting and direct their attentions toward the common goal. For examples of this I will point to the reconstruction generation in Japan and the fall of La Serenissima: in the one case a lack of infighting led to great things, in the other case a plethora of infighting led to paralysis.

6. Therefore, we can see that as women grow more powerful within a society, two things happen: firstly, that society is better able to harness the combined energies of all of its members to achieve its goals, and secondly that that society has less rape within it.

A good example of this is modern India. Women are becoming economically more mobilised, giving India access to a vast reservoir of brainpower, talent and hard work. As a result they are using some of the power inherent in that mobilisation to break the rape culture sadly endemic within Indian society. To someone who cares about rape as well as the prosperity of India, these are both good things. Even if one does not care about rape at all, however, the overall increase in the prosperity of India is a good thing and the reduction in rapes is merely a side effect.

(India is making great strides towards ending rape culture. The reason we are hearing much more about rape in India recently is because part of fighting it is talking about it. Silence is on the side of the rapists.)

7. Therefore, in summary: rape does not lead to a stronger society. Rape is rather an indicator of a society which is underusing its resources by keeping women powerless. I have quoted examples above which demonstrate this, and have shown it without reference to morality at all.

Quos erat fucking demonstrandum.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

And before trollboy makes some tired biotruths bullshit argument about genetic heritage being the only thing that matters, let me preempt it with some real science.

Eventually, trollboy, you will die. We will all die. The only thing that matters is what we’ve left behind for others. If your legacy vanishes then you may as well not have lived at all.

In two million years the earth will become uninhabitable due to the sun’s expansion. This, then, is the test of our legacy. We have two million years to get our descendants off this rock or none of it will matter. The most mighty men will die just like the lowest bacteria. If you want your descendants to propagate beyond this point, no amount of rape is going to help you here.

Evolution will not save us. Organisation, cooperation and planning will. Do you want your DNA to live forever? Don’t prowl about being a scavenger on the fringes of society. Make us all stronger. Make us able to travel through the interstellar void. Make us able to survive until then.

If you don’t – if you insist on persisting as a net detriment to society and thus making it more likely that we will all be wiped out and nobody else in the universe will ever know that there even was such a species as homo sapiens – then please do not be surprised if we cast you to the curb. We have important stuff to do.

Part of that important stuff involves the liberation of women and minorities so that they can add their full potential to the overall project. Part of that important stuff involves preventing us from self-destructing. Part of it involves astrophysics. Part of it involves feeding the world and educating it. Part of it involves clean energy, sustainable development and universal medicine. None of it, however, involves trolling the internet and insisting that people act only in their own self-interest rather than coming together.

We have our species’ final exam coming up and we only have two million years to do it. One question, pass/fail. No resits, no do-overs. We do not have time for timewasters.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
6 years ago

EJ makes a fantastic point, trollboy.

There is no room for rape or rapists where we are right now, and no amount of “but but biotroofs!” is going to change that. For fucks sake, we moved beyond the “individual need to spread genes” when communities and societies started to develop, which was MILLENIA ago! Do keep up with the times!

As for now, rapists are, as EJ said, purely detrimental to society. And we can’t be tolerating them, for the sake of humanity’s future. We don’t give a fuck about the rapist and their genes. They can fuck right off to Planet Rapist if they want to, but they are not and should never be welcome in our society in modern day. Fuck “biotroofs”, they’re just excuses, a longing for a past that probably never happened and ignoring the fact that we’ve now evolved well past the point of “I MUST MAKE THAT FEMALE CARRY MY OFFSPRING!”

If you want to DEevolve that way, be my guest. But get the fuck out of any place that has people in it. We don’t want you hanging around us, ever.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

There needs to be a word for “a longing for a past that probably never happened”, because it’s a fantastically relevant concept. I suggest “notstalgia.”

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
6 years ago

I suggest “notstalgia.”

Seconded, haha.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

In two million years the earth will become uninhabitable due to the sun’s expansion.

Otherwise an excellent post, but I’m not sure where you got two million from. It’s between 500 million and a billion. ^^;

Danny Chameleon
Danny Chameleon
6 years ago

@EJ
That was awesomes, and I like notstalgia, but…
did you perhaps mean billion instead of million? 2 million years is a drop in the bucket, and would mean that this planet has run through .9996% of it’s lifespan. It is not the general scientific consensus that the sun is going to roast earth that soon.

Danny Chameleon
Danny Chameleon
6 years ago

poop. Someone beat me while I was typing slowly.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@shonpan:

Correct, isidore13.

Indeed, I’ve never actually said that any policies already are in place are by definition wrong. Anything that wins is right. Likewise, if they are overturned, then it is also right that it is overturned.

The adversarial system is truly a blessing in such.

Alright, let’s take an informal poll. Who here thinks Shonpan’s argument, whatever the hell it’s mutated into now, is wrong? I certainly do.

Let’s tally up the votes and see who has won. If you are found to have not convinced anyone, Shonpan, will you agree that you are wrong and finally fuck off?

In other news, “might makes right” is practically one of the first things you talk about in a morality/ethics class (and I’ve taken one, so I’m pretty much an expert). And the very first thing you learn is that it couldn’t possibly be correct. Power is not the same thing as morality, and power is what it takes to “win.”

In a broader perspective, your notion of an “adversarial system” always choosing the best morality is akin to believers of the “free market” always choosing the best economics; power is unequal, and is not correlated with moral or economic correctness. Systems get caught in loops that reinforce the status quo with no regard to its merits, so you can’t possibly trust such a system to converge on to the best solution alone.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

Small question for Shonpan:

You’re pissed off about the marriage equality ruling, yes? But in your own words:

If someone is successful they must have merit. If someone has merit they will be successful. … Legitimacy is a function of winning. Winning is a function of “merit.” … Victory justifies itself. Its an essential truth.

So. Y’know. You’re not just a pro-genocide rapist in a Zedong hat and Nazi armband (but feminists are Commie-Nazis, amirite?!), you’re also a hypocrite.

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