We all have them. Some of mine include: preventing aggressive drivers from merging into my lane ahead of me, lip syncing to my iPod, mirror dancing (often along with the lip syncing), and, of course, blogging when I should be doing other things.
But for a really guilty pleasure, I read conservative websites. Specifically, I read Men’s Rights Activism sites and blogs, and have ever since the eensy-weensy shitstorm that erupted on my blog a few months back. I don’t comment on them, but I read them. And I do not lightly dismiss them.
I’m interested in these sites for several reasons, not the least of which is the sucking vacuum created by the absence of logic in most of their arguments. I also enjoy the back-slapping atmosphere of boyish camaraderie, and the grammatically adventurous venom unleashed on dissenters. But beyond these small pleasures is the voyeuristic fascination of finding out how these people think, and how they interact when they’re in groups of like-minded people. My point is not to expose these Men’s Rights Activists and anti-feminists as hypocritical and misogynistic – they accomplish that all by themselves. What I find much more interesting is the systematic co-opting of the language of oppression. Affirmative action is discrimination against men. Fathers, no longer the unchallenged masters of their families, are denied rights. The Violence Against Women Act destroys families and discriminates against male victims.
Feminism, they say, is a cult of victimhood. And yet the anti-feminists have codified their own list of victimization. The Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics is a perennial favorite on MRA sites. Examples of the “shaming language” used by women/feminists against anti-feminist men include such phrases as “You’re bitter!” and “You need to get over your anger at women,” to which the author proposes the response should be “Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice.” The inverse is not considered valid, however; “angry,” “bitter,” and “bitchy” women are not expressing “legitimate emotion,” but are simply angry, bitter, and bitchy.
Another section of the Catalog addresses the “Charge of Invirility (Code Lavender)”
Discussion: The target’s sexual orientation or masculinity is called into question. Examples:
* “Are you gay?”
* “I need a real man, not a sissy.”
* “You’re such a wimp.”
Response: Unless one is working for religious conservatives, it is usually of little consequence if a straight man leaves his accusers guessing about his sexual orientation.
Despite the above, “Code Lavender” is frequently found on MRA blogs when male commenters dissent from the party line. One response to a self-identified pro-feminist man’s comment reads in part:
I can only imagine what kind of mother you had or lack of..
I don’t know how old you are but if you start going through life this way and being “buddies” with various girl friends who will just “love” the way you validate what they see on “Sex in the City” then you might as well be Gay even though you claim you are not.. I says this because no normal woman will be sexually attracted to you and any left over ones that you manage to get a mercy f*** from are just basket cases looking for an instant co-dependency with you.
If you choose to be some woman’s “whipping boy” then that’s your call.
The above also falls into the author’s category of “Threat of Withheld Affection (Code Pink)”, of which the author rightly says, “This is an example of the logical fallacy “argumentum ad baculum” (the “appeal to force”). The accuser attempts to negate the validity of a position by pointing to some undesirable circumstance that will befall anyone who takes said position.”
The “Charge of Misogyny” is listed as a shaming tactic, as to which the author says “One may ask the accuser how does a pro-male agenda become inherently anti-female (especially since feminists often claim that gains for men and women are “not a zero-sum game”). ” This response, of course, assumes that the agenda is pro-male and not anti-female, a claim not entirely supported by the popular MRA website menarebetterthanwomen.com, or the rhetoric in this list of definitions. A partial excerpt of the latter:
The Suppressed Truth:
A particularly vile and older breed of feminist.
Hideous and appalling to look at, this particular brand squawks the loudest, often followed by impressionable youngsters, all too willing to buy into the misandric claims and assertions.
Femhags find maintaining relationships difficult, if not impossible, and so take their frustrations out on innocent men who have an aversion to their smelly armpits.
They can be found in positions of power- such as in politics, women’s organisations or as college/university lecturers. These professions are particularly appealling to the femhag because they give her a seemingly legitimate platform to spew her misandric lies and hatred.
Note- the femhag doesn’t always have to be old, as she could be one of the growing number of modern females who have elderly, haggered faces and drooping tits- often with more sagging flesh than pumped up breast tissue, thereby giving a cows udder look to them.
Nope. Nothing misogynistic about that. Nor about this, from eternalbachelor.blogspot.com:
Women are the ones who have to sell themselves to us; us men don’t need them. We can defend ourselves, support ourselves and do our own ironing too. By delaying marriage until their looks have gone, by whelping illegitimate bastards, by slutting around, by being so obnoxious and self-centred, not to mention successfully demanded outrageous anti-male bias in the divorce courts, women are the ones who have chased men away from marriage. If women really are happy being old, single, childless and slaving away at their “careers”, then fine, but if not – and I doubt many are – they’ve got a lot of work to do before us men find them in anyway tolerable, let alone irresistable.
These blogs and websites represent a surprisingly large chunk of internet voices (though not as large as, say, blogs devoted to Star Trek), and they are, for the most part, very, very angry. The CDC, hardly a feminist organization, has a fact sheet on what they term “Intimate Partner Violence”. Risk factors for being abused include
- being female (!)
- for women, having a greater education level than their partner’s
- dominance and control of the relationship by the male.
Risk factors for being a perpetrator?
- Anger and hostility
- belief in strict gender roles (e.g., male dominance and aggression in relationships)
- desire for power and control in relationships
- dominance and control of the relationship by the male.
I certainly do not mean to suggest that any of the bloggers or site-administrators listed above are abusers themselves. But they are part of and feeding into a culture of anger and violence against women. I read their blogs because, as individual screeds, they amuse me. But I do not dismiss them, because as a collective voice of aggression and hostility, they bear watching.