[content warning: misandry, misogyny, violence against penises, abuse]
The comments of my last post contained several people who were like “Ozy, you are excusing feminists! You would never write a post like this about MRAs!” To which I say: challenge fucking accepted.
As far as I can tell, the genre of “two dozen out-of-context quotes without sources or anything” is not particularly popular among feminists, so instead I had to settle for this article, which doesn’t even have quotes! It is Things That MRAs did! Most of them have links! This is annoying to me.
Three items from this list have been removed because their original source is a transcriptless video, and I have auditory processing disorder. If someone in the comments wishes to provide a transcript, I’d be happy to edit it to add them in.
No Hymen, No Diamond. I have not been able to determine whether this is MRAs, redpillers, or just some trolls fucking shit up; however, the virginity of women is not characteristic of MRA thought and is very characteristic of redpiller thought. Since (as you’ll see later) this listmaker seems extremely confused about the difference between MRAs and redpillers, I suspect that I can blame this one on redpillers.
Mad Max: Fury Road is feminist propaganda. I was going to point out that this site was Return of Kings, which is generally a redpiller website, but the author of the piece, Captain Capitalism, identifies as an MRA. Anyway, this is an extraordinarily silly essay and Mad Max: Fury Road is not particularly feminist, unless you think “has female characters that do shit” and “thinks sex slavery is bad” makes something feminist propaganda. I am pleased to discover that MRAs can have media criticism as bad as feminist media criticism.
Men Will Have Their Penises Severed At All-Female Comedy Festival. A man protested the “All Dick, No Jane” all-female comedy festival by saying that all men would have their penises severed on sight. This is clearly what is technically referred to as ‘a joke’. His position that an all-female comedy festival is exclusionary of men certainly seems prima facie plausible, but perhaps falls victim to the objection that all-male comedy festivals already exist, they are just not labeled as such.
Free Self-Defense Classes For Women Are Sexist. Well… yes? While women may be disproportionately likely to be victims of sexual assault, men are disproportionately likely to be victims of other kinds of assault— which may also be traumatizing. According to the article, there is a reasonable case to be made that free self-defense classes for women only are illegal gender discrimination. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for an organization to criticize something that is potentially illegal.
It’s Hard To Blame The Iowa Mall Shooter. This consists of quotes from The Red Pill. The Red Pill is not an MRA subreddit. The MRA subreddit is called– and I am sure this will be a shock to everyone– r/mensrights. Many redpillers believe that MRA is a bullshit waste of time. The men’s rights movement is about advocating for men to have equal rights and to not face sexism; the red pill is about men’s sexual strategy. These are two different things.
Feminists Define Rape To Exclude Male Victims. Well, uh, feminists did define rape to exclude male victims. That is a thing that feminists definitely did. The article linked is a pretty good exploration of the way that male victims of rape are ignored by society. The only point I would criticize it on is that it sort of gives the impression that this is all feminism’s fault– in reality, pre-feminism definitions of rape were even worse (the FBI’s current definition of ‘rape’ defines it as penetration, but before feminist activism the FBI defined ‘rape’ as a crime that could only happen to women). While feminist sexism and rape apologism is shameful and “about as bad as the rest of society” is not exactly something to brag about, I do think that’s important to note.
Rape Is A Natural Part of Human Evolution. A Natural History of Rape is by Craig Palmer, an anthropologist who is– once again– not a freaking MRA. While I have not read the book and do not have an opinion on the quality of its scholarship, talking about the anthropological and evolutionary basis of rape is hardly misogynist– it has been a thing feminists do going back to Brownmiller’s Against Our Will. Claiming that rape is a product of human evolution is not mutually exclusive with it being “disgusting act perpetrated by meatheads who can’t take no for an answer or psychologically damaged garbage people” (thanks, by the way, as a psychologically damaged garbage person who would never rape anyone). All behaviors are in a certain sense products of human evolution: after all, we evolved to have the capacity to build skyscrapers and post cat pictures on Tumblr, even though there is not a gene for those behaviors and they were not directly selected for. Even if rape is an adaptation that increases the inclusive genetic fitness of rapists, that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Evolution is ruthless. Nature includes infanticide, murder, animals eating each other alive, and (yes) rape, all of which increase the inclusive genetic fitness of the individuals that practice them, and all of which are bad. For nearly all people, morality is not based on whether an action gives you more grandchildren than you would have otherwise.
MRAs Call For A Rape Accuse-A-Thon. This post appears to be satire. I do not believe that they are actually accusing her of rape; they’re saying, “look, you guys say to believe the victim, but it’s very easy to make false accusations, so you should be more skeptical”. It can certainly be criticized for being uncivil, but I am not sure that one can consistently rule out all uncivil activism as unethical.
Women Have NEVER Been Systematically Oppressed. While the manifesto does appear to ignore the history of sexism against women, some of their complaints are perfectly reasonable (the draft, receiving sympathy when emotional, mistreatment of abused men). Others are pedestalization, which tends to harm women, but which appear to be more harmful to men to a cursory look (“snips and snails and puppydog tails”, chivalry, paying on dates, protection from the opposite sex). These kids clearly have their hearts in the right place and need a good gender studies class more than they need to be mocked by Jezebel.
Gamergate Is Not Hostile To Women. I’m tempted to go “not MRA” on this one as well, but I feel like at least it’s activism against sexism against men which concentrates on feminism, which is closer than the rest of this list, and anyway “not an MRA” is a boring thing to keep saying. Anyway, I don’t have an opinion on the object-level issue of whether gaming culture is hostile to women, but “men are harassed online more than women” is a thing that some people believe in good faith. Also, as best as I can tell, the only time Gamergate in specific being hostile to women comes up is when Yiannopoulos is saying that Anita Sarkeesian is deliberately causing Gamergate to be hostile to her for personal gain, which sort of implies that Gamergate is hostile.
Women Shouldn’t Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. In the linked article, Torgerson does not say anything about whether women should write SFF or not. Instead, Torgerson says that he wants war stories, space opera, and knights battling dragons, instead of stories where orcs are the good guys, transgender socialists fight evil megacorps, or it is suddenly revealed that the heroes are the bad guys at the climax. One can certainly question Torgerson’s taste, but he never says anything about the identities of authors. Is the author of this list intending to imply that women must write about sexism and cannot write about pulpy sci-fi? Indeed, it would be extraordinarily strange if Torgerson thought women shouldn’t write pulpy sci-fi, because the Sad Puppies slate includes multiple women.
(I realize this is a tangent, but whenever Sad Puppies come up I feel the need to point out that Larry Correia has endorsed the “every character is trans until proved otherwise” school of literary interpretation, a fact which greatly improved my experience of reading the Grimnoir Chronicles.)
No Means Yes. Roosh V is not an MRA. Roosh V thinks that MRAs are sexual losers. You would think this wouldn’t be difficult to tell, because Roosh V is criticizing MRAs in the very post you’re linking to prove he’s a rape apologist. Points for linking to one of the actual Roosh V rape apologist posts instead of the satire ones, though.
Manspreading Is A Biological Need. I cannot believe I am having an opinion about ‘manspreading’, which is the dumbest made-up fictional nonexistent issue on God’s green earth. Anyway, banning ‘manspreading’ on public transit seems somewhere between a useless symbolic gesture and a really fucking bad idea, but this guy’s opinion that men have to spread their legs because biology also seems kind of silly. I have personally observed many men keep their legs closed.
Don’t Come To Our Websites If You Don’t Want Us To Kill You. This appears to be an accurately sourced, in context quote. Threatening to kill women who sign up for the ‘Manbook’ website is, indeed, batshit.
The Affordable Care Act Should Be More Focused On Men. This is a 100% reasonable complaint? Of course the ACA should cover vasectomies if it covers tubal ligations, and it’s shameful that it doesn’t? (Covering condoms is a bit more difficult, as they’re generally over-the-counter, and I don’t think female condoms are covered either.) I am genuinely puzzled about why anyone thought that was a good idea. In addition, while the article claims STI screening is covered for everyone, as best as I can tell that’s not the case: it’s covered for high-risk men and for all women. I can imagine justifications for that policy, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to be upset about it.
Women Don’t Belong In Ghostbusters. I’ve been generally cutting this list some slack because of lack of consensus about who counts as a real MRA theorist, but seriously. Every movement has at least two people who say dumb things on Twitter; the existence of a couple dumb tweets made by members of a movement about a topic does not say anything about the movement as a whole.
October Is Now Bash A Bitch Month. It is really a remarkable thing to do to quote out of context an article you are linking to so that people can check for themselves whether it is out of context. In case you’re wondering, the article is declaring October the month in which men who are physically abused by women hit them without worrying whether it would make them the real abuser to defend themselves against their abuser. This is intended to point out the worrying way in which women physically abusing men is normalized and treated as no big deal. I have absolutely no problem with people of any gender violently defending themselves against people who are currently attacking them, and am somewhat concerned about people who do. Also, it’s “Bash A Violent Bitch”. Like, come on, at least the other list used ellipses when it made disingenuous quotes.