Atheism’s MRA Problem


There was a piece of research done on the MRA of r/mensrights on Reddit which showed that they are mainly White, Young and Atheist. Now I know there was a bot entering values so it should be discounted but I do think there are is a fairly large representation of MRA or their ideas that are vocal among atheists.

This one’s by Grimachu and there are problems with this. And the major one is the request for dialogue while simultaneously excusing bad behaviour. This has always been a problem.

See the notion is that we are at fault. That FTB is a monolith. Never mind the fact that I noticed the slymepit coo gleefully over my stance against certain A+ members and indeed feminists over FGM without realising that feminism is itself not a monolith.

And while MRA may have become a slur, it is a slur brought on by the actions of MRA. The MRA have not worked to help men but to fuck over women. While Grimachu starts off here we will see what this entails later in the dialogue.

‘MRA’ has become a slur to be hurled at anyone of dissenting opinion in the arguments over gender etc in much the same way as ‘feminist’ used to. Maybe we’ll see that change over time (the shift to MHRA -Men’s Human Rights Activist – is hopeful). It says nothing, it’s just an ad hominem shut-down attack in the same way ‘fedora’, ‘neckbeard’ and other nonsensical terms have become. None of it adds anything to the debate, but these slurs tend to go ignored while trolling gets taken seriously and treated as though it were people genuinely involved in the debate.

Except if MRA actually were dedicated to men’s health, welfare and the various discrepancies of power they would not be raising so much fuss.

Seriously?

We need more support for male victims of rape. No one is saying not to this. People will however say no when you demand the closure of women’s shelters or if you demand women’s shelters also take men when the entire point is that women’s shelters are gender segregated because a lot of women are running FROM men.

Sure there are ad-hominem attacks such as “Fedora” but frankly? The Pick Up Artist/Men’s Rights Activist combination is well seen and well noticed. Enough to realise that there is a fair overlap.

And we have taken your side seriously. The problem is what they issue as “AHA” moments are frightfully out of touch with reality.

As with our engagements with religion, we find that people are perfectly happy for us to be skeptical in our examinations of any faith but theirs. We are not, it seems, allowed to be skeptical of feminism. As an ideology it seems to be considered beyond criticism, beyond challenge. Any challenge to its ideas, even the crazier ones, is treated as though it were heresy. Little wonder, then, that people like Thunderf00t, frequently criticised for his skepticism of feminist claims, have taken exception to it.

Thunderfoot? Really? My last tangling with Thunderfoot was over a video from India that he blundered into and floundered about like a tazed octopus.

He literally didn’t understand the context of a video or the entire joke. That the women in a video were reciting REAL statements made by famous Indian politicians to excuse rapes. Of women being  blamed for wearing leggings under their salwar kameez rather than baggy trousers. Of women being blamed for wearing jeans, talking to boys, going out after dark and eating chinese food.

Thunderfoot blundered into that with a spiel about defensive clothing which is laughable because it assumes that there is no rape if you wear a burkha and about body language using a mountain lion as an example.

And you want me to take him seriously? That some idiot who has no idea about the actual battle in India for better treatment of women and the victims of rape blundered into something and flailed about while the MRA applauded a topic that they had no idea about.

This is the literal dialogue. Women with little rights demanded more rights. Thunderfoot mocks them. MRA titter about it.

I also expect better from Patheos than to use fallacies in attacking something they don’t like. What possible difference does it make that MHRAs are white, (racism), young (Ageism), male (sexism) or conservative? An argument stands or falls on its merit, surely? Ah, but then according to some of these people you can’t be racist to whites, sexist to men etc etc. Pure bunk and another idea that should be subject to robust critique.

Because it shows how detached from reality the dialogue is if the most well off and benefited group from society thinks it has it the worst. It also shows the entrenched racism within it since places like the Spearhead exist which bemoan the loss of the “White lady” to the dastardly coloureds.

It also shows the lack of diversity within it and indeed the lack of any outside views. It is the same as the Republican party. It literally is a poisonous circle jerk that deludes its followers into think the world sucks for men due to dastardly women rather than the world benefits men but has a couple of hand grenades since benefits and power do not come without responsibility.

There’s another false assumption in the article that mass attacks by trolls are somehow the actions of MHRAs or other atheists rather than… trolls. It’s never been adequately explained to me why people think this. I’m sure there’s some crossover of course, but who benefits from treating trolls like they’re serious threats and genuinely mean it? Well, you need only look at how Sarkeesian, Criado-Perez and Watson have profited from their victim status (legitimate or not) to see why someone might take trolling more seriously than it deserves.

Speaking of this, Melody Hensley has come under concerted attack recently. Why? She’s publicly a feminist (a popular troll target because feminists react), she’s publicly an atheist (another popular target for trolls), and she’s claimed to have PTSD – a dubious claim and another big red rag to trolls.

Should she be trolled? No. Is it understandable that she is being? Yes. Can we separate the trolling from the scoffing, skepticism and arched eyebrows? Sure we can. What about the claim itself? PTSD from social media? That sounds unlikely in the extreme and little wonder that a great many people who do suffer from PTSD and other forms of mental illness (myself included) are incensed by what we see as her trivialisation and devaluing of a very real and present problem for a lot of people.

Ah yes. The bad behaviour of MRA is due to trolls. But Atheism + is due to the movement. Good to know.

Since I defended Melody Hensley I have received hate mail. I ignore most. The one that got me was the charming man who tried to trigger my PTSD with balloon explosions. Rather droll, since my net is poor and “popping balloons” in the title made me turn it off. Had my volume been turned up and I not paid attention it may have shocked me a bit. But the goal was to try and trigger my PTSD.

I had a frank admission of my trigger and an anti-FTB/Melody/MRA/wanker tried to trigger me. Sure it was half arsed but what sort of person would do that?

You say troll? But then how are you willing to ignore the trolls hiding within your movement? A serious threat? For fuck  sake man if you did that to a fucking veteran it would be on the fucking news. You would be declared the king of wankers and prince of douchebags.

No I am afraid if your argument is that people cannot suffer mental trauma from the Internet then your target being Melody Hensley is fucking small potatoes. Take on Dan Savage and it Gets Better. Go tell those poor gay  kids who are bullied to suicide that the Internet can be turned off and “it is just trolls”.

No. You picked on Melody because the conflation of MRA and Atheist would agree with your harassment. And you wanted to trigger her. That was the goal of all of this. Watson? Really? She just said “do not approach women in closed spaces where you traditionally do not engage in socialisation”. Is your game so reliant on Elevator Sex?

So your statement is “we shouldn’t respond to injustices”. Then what’s the damn point. What the fuck are for? Your response to racism is to stay quiet. Mine’s to point out that it is bad. I get lumped with more racism thanks to that. Your statement is “see trolls”.

Mine is this.

If you stand quiet and don’t oppose the status quo of harassment, bigotry and douchebaggery then the status quo remains. You are merely propping it up. Those trolls exist and are validated by the fact that you keep silent.

And she didn’t get PTSD from social media. She got it from constant online harassment. And my PTSD is as real as any veteran’s and as painful and as harsh. And honestly? I am not insulted by some  drone pilot saying he has flashbacks of people lying dead after a strike when all he did was watch it on TV (I know really how difficult the job is. I am just using the same sort of dialogue).

After all? You cannot get PTSD from TV.

Here’s a radical idea I want to present. So long as we all agree about religion being wrong, let’s agree about that and work on that problem – debunking creationism, promoting skepticism, secularism and freethinking. If we don’t agree on what political party to vote for or whether same sex marriage should be legal or not, who gives a fuck? We can campaign on those individual issues with people who agree with us there.

Which is always how FTB and A+ has worked.

I have held no guns to people’s heads to force them to donate to the victims of acid attacks or to Afghan women’s shelters.

We don’t NEED to be a homogenous whole.

That’s not to say we can’t have this debate, but let’s make it a ‘goddamn’ debate, not a slagging match.

My door’s always open to sensible debate and there are no sacred cows here. Let’s extend that to the rest of the community.

What is there to debate? Your  side are sending me more hate mail than the fucking Animal Libbers and Religious Bigots combined. I get more Atheist Hate Mail than anything else. And there is only one reason I wrote this.

They mirror the worst of feminism in many respects, though there are exceptions. Girl Writes What is great…

Yeah… But No.

See I took you seriously until you ran with the bizarre notion that GWW is a sensible voice about Men’s Rights when she is better known around me as the lady who made me break FTB’s record post size for a gigantic post about the drivel she sprouted. It is gigantic because she effectively tried to Gish Gallop an argument.

That women in Afghanistan have it better than the men who oppress them.

You have a problem here… And it isn’t A+ who at worst can be considered annoying. It isn’t Suey Park who at worst can be considered weirdly dismissive and reactionary. It isn’t Anita Sarkeesian who at worst can be considered as looking too much into a simple game. It isn’t Rebecca Watson who I frankly have spoken to once and who seemed charming and nice. I don’t know. Does she sacrifice men  to the great vagina of feminism? Whatever evils she is alleged to have commit then….

It is the MRA whose entire dialogue is entrenched in the notion that women are all out to get them thanks to feminism. Rather than society is patriarchal and for a long time, men had a major advantage. In losing the advantages men are made to realise that there are some disadvantages to being top dog too. Rather than try and equal out the disadvantages, the MRA are all about opposing the equalisation of advantages.

Comments

  1. says

    We are not, it seems, allowed to be skeptical of feminism.

    Allowed, sure. Capable? Not so much.

    What possible difference does it make that MHRAs are white, (racism), young (Ageism), male (sexism) or conservative? An argument stands or falls on its merit, surely?

    Yes, but their arguments fall, consistently, and all in the same manner. The observation that the same type of people make the same type of failed arguments is not dismissing the arguments because they come from white cishet men. It is explaining why white cishet men are wrong, over and over again, in that same particular flavor of wrong.

  2. besomyka says

    Yeah, I had a long chat with that fellow and Jason Thibeault. The last productive thing we got to was that of the 23 cents to the dollar that women lose on out, 5-7 cents is direct sexism (maybe), 1-3 cents is innate differences(maybe) and the remaining ~12 cents is apparently impossible to rectify because Norway.

    And that 5-7 cents isn’t so bad. Certainly not bad enough for the solutions proposes.

    I don’t think he believes that systematic oppression is a real thing. He’s like the racists that think the only real racism is the direct sort, where some person intentionally discriminates. You can’t convince them otherwise, so there’s nothing to talk about.

    And all that is fine in it’s way. Disappointing and sad, but it’s pretty standard right-wing libertarian things are as equal as we can make them stop complaining arguments.

    Until he argued that money going into STEM programs should be cut or redirected to men “who it might work on better”. When he brought up the STEM stuff, a bell went off in my head and I knew I had to bow out. I was just going to get angry, and that doesn’t benefit anyone. I recognized the position, it was from Charles Murray. I don’t know if that fellow even knows who that is or that his position mirrors Mr. Murray’s, but it did and I just can’t argue with something that view in good faith, making it seem like they have any validity worth considering at all.

    I wrote about it on my tumblr to excise the demons, so to speak.

  3. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Any challenge to its ideas, even the crazier ones, is treated as though it were heresy.

    This sentence is, in a nutshell, why MRAs aren’t taken seriously. They speak as if the ideas they consider crazy are self-evidently crazy. It’s one big argument from ignorance.

    And this:

    Ah, but then according to some of these people you can’t be racist to whites, sexist to men etc etc. Pure bunk and another idea that should be subject to robust critique.

    The resolute pretense that they don’t understand any difference between interpersonal prejudice and systemic prejudice is infuriating, even accounting for the fact that, colloquially, we use “racism” and “sexism” as if they’re synonymous with personal prejudice. When I was active at the A+ forums, and on at least one occasion around FTB, I’ve been involved in lengthy arguments over the definition of these words as “prejudice plus power.” This equivocation (not unlike creationist equivocation between scientific and colloquial definitions of “theory”) is a deliberate derailing tactic right up there with the “we’re not all like that” argument.

  4. smhll says

    re: wage discrimination

    You guys may have seen in current discussions about raising the min wage (in the USA) the argument that many McDonald’s employees are teens who live at home, therefore they don’t need a higher wage and a very low wage is just fine.

    Well, in the 70s, it was fairly common for employers to argue that working women (some of whom would have been fired by their bosses or forced to quit by their husbands upon marriage) only needed enough money to support one single person. (It was somewhat less common for single women to have kids back then.) This argument was used to justify higher wages for men over those of women. This was a common argument.

    I remember reading about female employees at Sears who protested because Sears would hire them for some parts of the store, like selling clothes, but wouldn’t let them sell ovens and washing machines. Those employees worked on commission and had the opportunity to make higher salaries. Sears wouldn’t let women work in those departments.

    Back in the decade before I started working, jobs for women and jobs for men were separated into separate columns in the newspaper.

    The idea that employers are always fair and willing to pay each employee for the value of their labor is simplistic and optimistic.

  5. Al Dente says

    There’s another false assumption in the article that mass attacks by trolls are somehow the actions of MHRAs or other atheists rather than… trolls. It’s never been adequately explained to me why people think this.

    When the trolls talk just like MRAs then it’s reasonable to think the trolls are MRAs, especially when they use the same nyms as well-known MRAs. Commander Tuvok and Steersman should find out who is dragging their names in the MRA mud and whine at them.

  6. says

    Yeah, the troll argument is piss-poor. They aren’t the traditional trolling for giggles internet trolls. They are trolls with a worldview to express. Sexist “trolls” are just sexists who keep posting their same idiotic drivel without ever thinking or responding to those who respond to them. (Although I can’t imagine a real sexist who isn’t a troll, regardless as to what medium you would be interacting with them through.)

    Unfortunately for these MRA types who declare themselves not to be trolls, there are plenty of people who will do or say something sexist, and when they are called on it, they may be defensive, but they end up seeing why what they did was a sexist thing to do. They don’t start quoting bad ideology or debunked “scientific” claims about how women should blahblahblah. And since MRAs tend to have rather sexist manifestos for their groups. I don’t know how they could claim otherwise.

    And for those who find some kinship with MRA groups because they have been fucked over by the system, treating feminists as the enemy is about the dumbest thing one could possibly do. Feminists are fighting against that same system. But I haven’t seen any self-identified MRA group ever join feminist groups to fight these problems, they just tend to sling mud at any women (or other men, but the women take the damage) who simply won’t nod and agree with them. They don’t want to fix what is broken in society, they just want to go back to when everything was completely broken in their favor (even if not all of it really was in their favor).

    If you had a problem with Rebecca Watson saying, “Guys, don’t do that”, you are patently ridiculous, and you aren’t engaged with changing anything that tends to hurt men. (Like, you know, changing the nature of custody rulings which may be disproportionately skewed against men.

  7. says

    It’s really quite laughable how MRAs of the calibre of Paul Elam think that putting the word ‘human’ into their acronym to obtain ‘MHRA’ makes their lack of activism and appalling misanthropy any more acceptable. Their human rights are not under any sort of challenge and even if it were, their activism is possibly the worst way of going about it. From the quotes given I see Grimachu seems to have bought into that pathetic rebranding exercise; that says it all, even if he hadn’t gone on to endorse GWW, what a fool.

  8. AstroKid Nj says

    Well done, Avi.
    GWW is a sane voice of the MRA! Whats he smoking. That will teach you, Grimachu. LOL
    Forget MRAs.. Forget conservatives.. Forget libertarians.. Forget them.
    Atheism movement is best served by The chosen ones Lefty feminists

  9. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    F [i’m not here, i’m gone] @ 6

    If you had a problem with Rebecca Watson saying, “Guys, don’t do that”, you are patently ridiculous, and you aren’t engaged with changing anything that tends to hurt men. (Like, you know, changing the nature of custody rulings which may be disproportionately skewed against men.

    It’s past ridiculous IMO. If Watson had gone with the guy and gotten raped, all those same guys hissing and spitting over being told not to do that would be crowing about how abysmally stupid she was to go with the guy. They all know good and damn well that her reaction was 100% reasonable. The problem they have is that she said it out loud.

  10. says

    So long as we all agree about religion being wrong, let’s agree about that and work on that problem

    Why on earth should I want to work with people who don’t see and treat me as a full human being, who don’t think that my gay family members should have equal rights? I know quite a lot of people who are religious and who agree with me on those issues and I’ll choose them over some atheist dudebro every time.
    Because actions speak louder than words.

  11. thetalkingstove says

    A good take down, Avi. This stuff is just oblivious.

    it’s just an ad hominem shut-down attack in the same way ‘fedora’, ‘neckbeard’ and other nonsensical terms have become. None of it adds anything to the debate, but these slurs tend to go ignored while trolling gets taken seriously and treated as though it were people genuinely involved in the debate.

    I’d like to see the examples of prolonged, vicious harassment of MRAs with the slurs ‘fedora’ and ‘neckbeard’
    There must be lots of them in order to make a genuine comparison to the treatment Watson, Sarkeesian, Hansley et al have received. Right?

    Or maybe those words are just thrown around occasionally as little jabs and are actually nothing like rape threats and misogynistic abuse. Who can tell!

    That sounds unlikely in the extreme and little wonder that a great many people who do suffer from PTSD and other forms of mental illness (myself included) are incensed by what we see as her trivialisation and devaluing of a very real and present problem for a lot of people.

    I’m still baffled by this. Someone you don’t know makes a claim that you find dubious. Ok. You’re free to disbelieve them. But why would this *incense* you? Melody’s claim of PTSD is hurting exactly nobody. It makes no one else’s PTSD worse or less worthy of sympathy.

  12. smrnda says

    I tend to find that meme of ‘one isn’t ALLOWED to question feminism’ (or that racism is a thing, or issues involving homosexuals and such) kind of deliberately missing the point. I can question that the earth revolves around the sun, but I still have to actually deal with the evidence. One cannot dismiss something by fiat. It seems many MRAs want to be able to void any and all conclusions of feminism by assertion.

    On the ‘why can’t we just agree to fight creationism together’ well, some can and others have other issues I care about. Something I always keep in mind is that it can be a bad idea to choose allies where you agree with a few issues, but disagree with too many more.

  13. says

    Well, and, consider how one must go about actually fighting creationism. It involves both public education of adults and children alike, as well as getting involved in primary and secondary education standards. Public education requires being able to speak effectively to all segments of the public, not just the parts that look like you. Improving primary and secondary education standards means addressing race and gender disparities in the educational system.

    Being a racist sexist bigot is going to be a serious obstacle to successfully fighting creationism.

  14. njuhgnya says

    every single youtube celebrity that MRAs tout is a complete moron, they are really an embarrassing irrational and histrionic circlejerk.

  15. kevinsolway says

    @njuhgnya

    “Every single youtube celebrity that MRAs tout is a complete moron”

    Warren Farrell is a “complete moron”? Girlwriteswhat is a “complete moron”? Janice Fiamengo is a “complete moron”. Erin Pizzey is a “complete moron”. Camille Paglia is “complete moron”. Esther Vilar is a “complete moron”.

    You and I must be living in different universes. And I’m thankful of that.

Trackbacks

  1. […] There was a piece of research done on the MRA of r/mensrights on Reddit which showed that they are mainly White, Young and Atheist. Now I know there was a bot entering values so it should be discounted but I do think there are is a fairly large representation of MRA or their ideas that are vocal among atheists. [Read more] […]

  2. […] Freethought Blogs, perhaps the most ironically named website since ‘Reasonable Faith’, posted a response to my previous item on this. The article didn’t actually progress the discussion any and merely restated the same issues again, without addressing any of the content honestly. Still, it’s worth a reply to point this out: […]

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