Meet: The Phallic Cry-Babies.

8 Jul

It seems to be inevitable: Once you decide to start some sort of blog (e.g., because  Facebook rants and/or making people uncomfortable by reporting the newest fail on a daily basis does not seem to be the best strategy anymore to vent a bit) that concerns itself with social justice issues and tries to critique/mock/counter the various forms of societal discrimination and hatred of particular (groups of) people, they lurk around the corner. They = people – disproportionately male, white and heterosexual – who troll the internet, looking for blog posts that are critical towards their privileges, to then leave the average “zero argument, full-fledged you’re wrong/weird/stupid/fat/ugly/manhating/’reverse racist'” comments (cf. the delightful Derailing for Dummies).

The majority of such comments, from my experience, are simply aimed at annoying the affected blogger, inciting irritation and trying to shift all the attention from the actual topic to the troll and the BS s/he says. Yet, feminist blogs in particular attract a certain “troll deluxe”: explicitly or implicitly self-proclaimed “Men’s Rights Activists” (MRAs; or men who curiously behave like they were), virtually invading your space. In germany, MRAs are also known as self-proclaimed “masculists” (Maskulisten, see also their ideology being picked apart in a great article here), who proclaim that it’s “payoff” time for the “feminist manipulation of the media, culture and society” (and encourage to submit game plans to the extreme vicarious embarrassment inducing e-mail address “femiNot”@…). MRAs not only seek to derail, but are actually quite serious and consistent with their mansplaining why teh womenz get it all wrong, their usually rapid progressive decline from pseudo argument-engaging to the throwing of “You Whores!“-fits when one refuses to derail the conversation in favour of what the troll deluxe wants to talk about RIGHT NOW, and their ever-present baseline of “But what about teh menz?!”

I can proudly report that I have had my first influx of trolling during the past week; and as so often, trolls come out of the woods when you’re writing about rape culture and the newest example as to how pervasive is it (this time: DSK). As it happens, my first troll, “LG,” starts by mansplaining to me that, “just to be fair,” I had gotten the numbers of false rape accusations wrong (which I quoted from studies), and that there is “of course” (of course!) a higher number of false rape accusations behind it. Unsure whether this was a troll or a bit of a dimwit in good faith, I tried to answer these claims. Alas, “LG” showed that I should have known better, by then telling me to “relax” (my hysterical feminist self) and that he’s not saying that all women are “harpies,” but that women “create a rape story out of thin air” most frequently to get out of “responsibilities” (for example: a cheating wife lying about being raped to “explain away a sex affair” – didn’t you know?!). Obviously, statistics, arguments, examples, explanations just won’t get through to very concerned men who are convinced that their personal “experience” and “common knowledge”/”I once knew a guy who knew a guy”-truth trumps everything else.

Speaking of “common knowledge”: the second troll, “Double Dagger” (…not sure whether he has a thing for punk rock, alliterations or just really bad metaphors…) informs me that “tribal thinking” was “exactly” the reason why “you guys self-identify with false accusers” (i.e., the potential victim in the DSK rape case). Again, one-liners of alleged “general knowledge” or “personal experience” or just mere generalising and oversimplifying claims seem to be the answer to rather differentiated arguments on many feminist blogs. Men’s rights activists and/or menz concern trolls certainly make good rape apologists. None of the evidence that men (at least in the US) are more likely to become victims of sexual assaults themselves than being convicted for one, or that there are in fact cases where women are not only not believed, but are charged with “false accusations” of rape (and some are even put in jail for five days and/or are fined) although their allegations eventually turned out to be true, ever gets through their MRA skulls. And none of them cares about wrongful accusations regarding any other crimes, ever. For people who are so deeply steeped in misogyny, it’s all about their determination to frame society and the justice system in particular as “misandrist.”

My first personal thoughts on that? Stop whining, asshole! Male, White, heterosexual, cis-gendered, “able”-bodied people living in affluent societies stealing from the term “misogyny” and appropriating criticisms of privileges and oppression to claim that they have been the “real victims” for thousands of years? Ah, Hell No. Even if only one or two of the afore-mentioned identities actually matches yours: get the fuck in line. What Noah Sow has called a “privilege-caused effeminacy” (“privilegienbedingte Verweichlichung;”  and seriously, English language, that’s your word for it? Wow…) of White people whining about all the evils befalling them in daily life (like missing the bus, I guess), the idea of “misandry” seems to be its gender-epitome.

As William, on “Feministe,” has put it so much better than I can: “Please. Misandry is an oppression desperately looking for an oppressor. […] In the absence of power you can’t say that men suffer just the same as women […]. Men aren’t generally discriminated against, and certainly not for their maleness, because men are generally in positions of power and authority in the very places where you imagine the agents of misandry lurk. The accusation of misandry ultimately boils down to a lack of insight. People who employ it have experienced a loss of power and authority, they feel that the system has treated them poorly because they feel that the system has taken something from them. Unfortunately, they don’t recognize that what they have lost is privilege. Sorry, can’t beat your kids, or your wife, and if you do you’re going to have to leave the home and still fulfill your support obligations. You can’t just act like a king and, if that fails, take your ball and go home. Fuck, how terribly oppressive!”

As Manboobz and others who mock MRAs (or, in their own special 2.0 version, “Men Going Their Own Way,” which is a pseudo-movement stuck somewhere between terrifying, hilarious and “thank goodness that asshat has sworn off women forever”) show, these guys usually start of slowly by whining about how much more horribly men have been treated throughout history than women, that they “hunted the mammoth to feed you,” and that they broke their backs in coal mines to help you women stuff socks with the steam engine or something (this is when it’s always fun to point to women coal workers in the UK, for example). The irony that there have in fact been many men who have been treated horribly in history by people in power who happened to be, uh, well, yeah, overwhelmingly other men – namely white, heterosexual, “abled”-bodied ones – is somehow lost on them. Furthermore, their complaints are always put in relation to women who had it “so much better.”

Rather than acknowledging that different forms of privilege were and are at work; that rather few feminists, I think, would argue that a lower middle-class African-American man, for example, is always better off than the White and relatively wealthy german chancellor Angela Merkel; and that it might be the best option to aim for gender equality, MRAs’ solution always seems to be to make situations worse for women, if only as a matter of principle. Moreover, the typical MRA-“oppression direct comparison”-complaint that male circumcision is just as bad as female genital mutilation is a good tactic to make people vomit (or throw a punch).

Another MRAs’ classic is the whining about family courts that discriminate against men in terms of custody for children in divorce cases, for example. Actually, the impression of a certain bias seems to be quite accurate (and has begun to be altered in germany due to a ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court last year). However, the persistent and pervasive ideology of women’s inherent domesticity and mothers’ “proper role” to do the bulk (if not all) of the (child) care work is part of a patriarchal system and something most men profit from. The refusal to pay child support and, more importantly, domestic violence still make up the majority of such domestic disputes, no matter how some pseudo martyr MRAs try to re-frame it.

The line from slightly amusing to thoroughly annoying gets crossed to disgusting and dangerous, however, when certain MRAs (whose blog I won’t link, but “A Voice For Men” it is) come back to what the trolling on this blog has started with: Rape Apologies. “A Voice For Men” urges its readers to follow them in their pledge: “Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true. And I look forward to the opportunity to do so for very good reason. Since the judicial system is patently untrustworthy when it comes to the offense of rape, any guilty vote is simply an enabling capitulation to systemic legal corruption. In this, the age of misandry, not one aspect of a rape case can be trusted.”

Hence, the MRAs’ trolling on blogs like this one and oh so many others isn’t just about rhetoric, it isn’t just about pissing people off and feeling superior (read: bigger-dicked) because of it. These rape apologies have real life consequences, not only in framing a public discourse that serves the maintenance of rape culture, but also in concrete situations where misogyny has very physical implications and effects. Thus I do take the “what about teh menz”-trolling seriously. I still think it’s really funny at times, and that mocking a concerned MRA is a good way to go and it does preserve some nerves. My personal rule: One round, honey, then a sweet and clean-cut (pun intended) blog ban. At the same time, I find MRAs’ complete and proudly presented ignorance simultaneously irritating and exasperating. In any case, it’s not something that should go un-countered or should be solely belittled, in my view. As it is always so exemplary shown, MRAs go very quickly from “Relax, you’re taking this whole thing too seriously,” to “Whatever, but what about teh menz?” to “You oppress us poor guys and are an emasculating feminazi!” to “Worthless whores!!!” to “Acquit all rapists, women deserve it!!1!” And that is actually not funny in the slightest (no matter how awesome this cat’s picture is ;)).

24 Responses to “Meet: The Phallic Cry-Babies.”

  1. Angelika July 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    cant but agree completely with you.
    what i find so completely absurd is that mra/mra is a re-re-reactionary-blagh (since i consider feminism as a re-actionary movement per se).
    imho, as long as “we” women, in this case, do not live in an equal-rights-de-facto society its simply still a construct to serve men.

    and since those are e.g. fundamentalists i do hope (i may say so as a non-blogga) more feminist/woman-bloggas will not allow them to troll their blogs.
    exactly as you say : once is enough and they are easy to spot (my observation).

    cheerio & greetz

  2. accalmie July 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi Angelika, yes, and thanks :)!

  3. Angelika July 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    p.s. sry mistyped, should be mra/mrm

    reading your blog and getting “food-for-thought” absolutely a/my pleasure ;)

  4. Darque July 11, 2011 at 3:14 am #

    Wow, so you mean a misandric woman ends up having an argument with a bunch of misogynistic men?

    You people sound like you’re a match made in heaven. Go hate each other and leave the rest of us normal, decent human beings alone.

    • accalmie July 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

      LOL – again, letting this through because it is a beautiful example: trolling on a post about trolling, calling me “misandrist” when I’ve dedicated an entire post to making the point that it might be a bit of a problem to call people “misandrist,” and then all the average “you people” vs. “normality” rambling – all argued for with such rigour… *facepalm*

      I’ll let you get back to being a “normal,” “decent” “human being,” Darque – which means you’ll be saved from ever commenting on this blog again, dear (you know the rule, right?). Goodbye!

  5. accalmie July 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Ah, and as it was to be expected: MRAs found this post and now a comment wave is rolling… Sorry, boys, but calling me a “dumb cunt” (as opposed to “ingenious dick” – here’s an awesome new nickname!), hoping that I will “fuck up and die,” saying that my “sexism is disgusting” and denouncing the “secret matriarchy” isn’t going to get you anywhere near published on here (although I was slightly tempted, since it – yes, again – so wonderfully demonstrates what I have been writing in this post all along). You might as well save your time and instead keep whining to each other about evil feminazis who don’t give a damn about it. Yes, that would be me.

    • ManBitesDog July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

      Censorship en masse, the favourite tool of everyone whose authority relies on drowning out the possibility of dissent.

      Cherry pick the most extreme replies on your blog and then claim that these opinions represent the body of people who care about men’s rights. Then complain bitterly when people reference the SCUM manifesto and extreme feminist blogs about how that’s “not what feminism actually is” and remain blithely unaware of your hypocrisy.

      Use hyperbole and strawmen to avoid having to answer any real criticism, use my gender as a reason to ignore any points I may make as “mansplaning” and when logic and experience forces you to arrive at a conclusion that you can’t bear to accept, invoke “privilege” as an esoteric reason as to why people can’t see why you’re inexplicably right.

      • accalmie July 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

        Aw, doll face, RELAX! First of all, SCUM was one, a single, woman, who wrote a couple of extremist pages, and has since then been the “strawman” of every dude who calls himself MRA. Talk about cherry-picking… Where do you get the “kill all men!” tone from me, by the way? From the gender equality thing? Must be it… Furthermore, as numerous blogs have shown and continue to show, MRAs and other menz trolls most certainly aren’t shy when it comes to calling women the most disgusting things. I did not have to wait long either for a wave of misogynistic crap; what I mentioned in the comment above was just kind of an abstract, really – not even the best of.

        Second, this is my blog, so of course: censorship. MRAs have loads of own spaces to cry and hug (and censor everything and everyone out themselves…), yet invading feminist spaces is a favourite past time of many. It’s funny that you automatically link this to AUTHORITAH!!1!, though, because actually, this is a blog publishing opinions that you can like or not – I’m not trying to take over the world and I’m not trying to convince everyone that I’m right. Moreover, I hardly see my argumentative authority questioned by posts like yours or the “dumb cunt” ones. It’s all too absurd, really; especially your forced “look how seemingly calmly and intelligently I can essentially still call you a dumb cunt, in more academic terms”-attitude.

        Finally, since you’ve apparently had some practice in online discussions: no “hyperbole” (pfff…) or “strawmen” here, actually, and if you knew what mansplaining actually meant, you hopefully wouldn’t employ it like you do in your comment here, because it makes no sense equating it with “a man talks.” Good to see, by the way, how rows and rows of examples and arguments count as “esoteric,” whereas your concept “misandry” derives from “logic” and “experiences” (and thanks for infering that if I’d be honest, right, I’d have the same conclusions as you, but couldn’t bear them so I can’t be true to my natural female self, blahblahblah… – no matter how detailled and forcefully I would claim and argue the exact opposite. Very impressively argued, but I really can’t be bothered about condescending, sexist BS. Oh, and this is actually a form of mansplaining, honey – follow the link, look it up, there’s more!).

        I’d advise you to read William’s words, because that’s all there’s to it. Oh, and you understand that all this means a comments-ban for you, too, right :)? Enjoy the dogs!

  6. anon July 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Straw man much?

    • accalmie July 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

      Any cognitive or argumentative capabilites, anywhere? Apparently the people on Feministe didn’t kick your ass hard enough, although repeatedly and pretty severely…? Goodbye!

  7. Snafu July 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Err… Hi. Personally, I found this very difficult to read. The first paragraph in particular is extremely fragmented. Perhaps you would consider revising your post or asking a friend to edit for you?

    When I’m angry about a subject, I find it’s helpful to write an angry letter and then step back and rewrite a whole new letter from scratch. That way I can get out all my hurt feelings and still provide a sensible argument with useful evidence to back up my position.

    I also found it a bit tiresome; people on one side hating people on the other side and causing all this ruckus… it seems needlessly divisive. There are issues on both sides that need correction; all this fighting doesn’t get us anywhere. I feel we’re stronger when we stand together. Then again, I’ll freely admit that I don’t trust politicians, so I’m not without my biases, either. I just don’t feel it’s a very constructive use of our time and efforts (on both sides!) towards gender equality to be fighting one another. For shame!

    • accalmie July 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      So… I stood back, let this comment sink in, revised my extremely fragmented draft continuously, and finally asked a friend to edit my response. This is what he came up with (I love how smart he is, and he’s right – writing just isn’t for me… I want to marry him some day when I’m all grown up!): “For shame, Leonard, for shame! And to think that I was going to waste the last of my good haemorrhoid cream on you…”

  8. Alexander July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Kick ass posts! I like you’re approach to asshole dudely commenters. I hope you can keep up the energy for it!

    • accalmie July 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

      Hey Alexander, many thanks (…and comments like yours certainly help with the energy) :)!

  9. manlyburger July 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    You know… I can’t really think of any combination of words to say in response to this.

    Maybe “I hope you enjoy luring people who don’t tell you they agree with everything you said to your blog and then writing several paragraphs communicating your victory over them and banning them?”

    • accalmie July 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

      And, sadly, you still wrote a combination of words anyway… I absolutely stand by banning assholes. That is the only bearable part of getting virtually yelled and sworn at, being belittled and threatened, and then, in the end, being told that I “lured people” who don’t agree with me to my blog. Seriously…? What the fuck are you talking about?! You think I personally posted this on an MRA page to get all teh menz to notice me? This is a post about MRA trolling and how annoying it is, FFS! Some “trollkings” have made it their life’s mission to be on the look-out for posts and women (on- and offline…) to get angry at collectively; it’s great for community building, I imagine. You know perfectly well that you didn’t just stumble upon this post – you clicked through your daily Reddit “Men’s Rights” blog summary to get here, so don’t give me that “you lured me here…”-shit (…yes, shocker, I can actually see where you’re from, on the internets). And even if I had “lured” (a really great choice of words by the way – is that from the MRA’s “It’s all because of teh wimminz’ manipulation!!1!”-manual?) anyone on here – banning people does not need justification, certainly not towards you or any of your buddies; it is none of your business.

      Moreover, it’s not like any of you guys somehow refuted any of the things mentioned in the post – it’s all about attacking me personally, threats, curses, generalised whining about how evilly you’re treated and angry shock at one of teh wimminz who just does not care about hurting your pride and refuses to get (even further) derailed by a shitstorm of disrespectful comments. You guys so cleverly and single-handedly demonstrate everything one criticises about your attitudes every single time, so there really is no need to blame this ridiculousness on me… I’ve even stated in the post you’re replying to that I deal with trolls by banning them after the first round – and yet: here come the trolls, swearing, insulting, being condescending and sexist, AND STILL WHINE. It is mind-boggling… Phallic Cry-Babies, indeed.

      So yes, my lovely: I conclude with another “victory” lap, yet again, MANLYBURGER, and you and your friends can just toddle back to your peculiar universe of complaining about teh nazibitchez. Finally, yours will be the last MRA post that I will publish and answer. This is my space, you’re uninvited, and you can just get the fuck out. You’re welcome!

      • Marieke July 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

        “Use hyperbole and strawmen to avoid having to answer any real criticism, use my gender as a reason to ignore any points I may make as “mansplaning” and when logic and experience forces you to arrive at a conclusion that you can’t bear to accept, invoke “privilege” as an esoteric reason as to why people can’t see why you’re inexplicably right.”

        “I feel we’re stronger when we stand together. Then again, I’ll freely admit that I don’t trust politicians, so I’m not without my biases, either.”

        GANZ GROSSES KINO! Von mir auch Respekt für deine “Dickfelligkeit” und danke für die Präsentation der besten Stilblüten!
        Womit Männer so ihre Zeit verschwenden… (Darfst mich gerne auch übersetzen, kanns grad selbst nicht)

        • accalmie July 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

          Danke, honey ;) – ich mein ernsthaft, WTF?! Überall nur Hohlbrote, egal, wohin man guckt.

          • Angelika July 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

            lolz ;)

            btw, may i pass some virtual/popcorn, just in case you haven’t seen this yet ?!
            //TW for british humor// taadaa –

          • accalmie July 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

            Hahaha, thanks :)! I mean… this single post has received over 1,000 views and 39 comments (the majority not published for humanitarian reasons…) on a single day (which is a lot for this page, believe me ;)) – incredible.

          • Angelika July 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

            and yes, i can not only imagine but also indeedly, believe you ;)

            too good not to share ? “judge” yourself :
            q – how come cannibals //maneaters// don’t eat clowns ?
            a – they taste funny.

            (what a pity this only works in english ;)

            and yes, IME, truth IS stranger than fiction.

  10. private pilot July 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Hallo accalmie
    as long as you can LOL, things are good
    you know this one about cactuses?

    cactus1: “can you explain the language of humans?”
    cacuts2: “it’s easy, all they say is ‘ouch'”

    think of yourself as that cactus
    there is always a reason we are getting the responses that we are getting

    hint: its not about the menz
    take care

    • accalmie July 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      OK, I’m breaking my word about not publishing another MRA comment (and this will now honestly be the last), but this one was just too good to be true :D… hint: it’s not about misogynistic men, it’s like that thing with the prickly cacutusses (aka: “stop talking back, b*tch!”)!

      • Angelika July 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

        //ohmy those priggly-wiggly cacti//

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