A Voice For Men: willing to publish libel to “prove” points about fake rape claims – part 1, math »« More foot-gunning in the Shermer debacle

r/MensRights reminds me why I don’t Reddit

L'il Rascals scene: He-Man Woman Haters Club.

Heh heh. That one guy’s name is SPANKY.

A funny thing happened yesterday. I started seeing hits from Reddit. A *lot* of hits. Fully a fifth of my traffic came from a particular thread on Reddit — despite my being in a slow blogging period, posting my one post I managed very late in the day, and despite the long tail on my bigger posts already waning.

(In other words, by “a lot” of hits, I mean ~400. About what I’ll get from posting a video of a turtle doing something cute.)

So I clicked through to see what I was linked from, Turns out, it was r/MensRights, and they were opining that I’m a terrible human being, a beta mangina, and a sop for the Gynocracy because of this post.

I’m going to try to emulate replies by nesting blockquotes, let’s see how this looks.

Much of the substance of their “critique” on my post is that I’m suffering from some form of Stockholm Syndrome — four original freethinkers suggested the same thing, so you know it must be true.

GRAMMARNOTGRAMMERFFS 1 point 3 hours ago
Stockholm syndrome pretty much. Sympathizing with your oppressors.

Well said, GRAMMARNOTGRAMMERFFS. Well said. Assuming oppression is begging the question, mind you, but keep up teh good grammers.

Speaking of…

PierceHarlan 0 points 23 hours ago
I couldn’t get wade it — he would do well to take a writing class and learn to compose his thoughts better.

I looked up “get wade it” to see if it was some idiom I did not comprehend; some colloquialism outside my ken. Not as far as I can tell. Not that other redditors noticed:

CremasterGuy 2 points 13 hours ago
He writes like an idiot.

There was some interesting scientific critique of my post:

SarahC -4 points 19 hours ago
He’s so beta, he’s radioactive!

Hah! That’s pretty funny. Let me try: You’re so gamma, you’re green… with envy.

Well, that didn’t work out so well. What do the other redditors think of this joke?

GRAMMARNOTGRAMMERFFS 1 point 3 hours ago
I liked the joke but shut the fuck up

That’s it, I’m sending this guy a card this Christmas. I like the cut of his jib!

giegerwasright 23 points 1 day ago
Remember that guy who Cheney shot in the face who then apologized to Cheney for the inconvenience?
Gooood little lap dog.

Thagros 1 point 18 hours ago
You reminded me to watch this bit and forget about the twat who wrote the article.

Heh, yeah, Lewis Black. He’s pretty funny. I like him a lot. Say, have you watched this routine? Just wondering.

Jesus_marley 30 points 1 day ago
Holy fuck. “freeze peach”? Really? Has it reached the point of mocking the institution of questioning assertions? If I had even a miniscule level of respect for anyone associated with FfTB, it has now evaporated into the ether. These folks are so detached from reality that Neil Gaiman would mine their dreams for writing material.

Freeze Peach is actually a mockery of the fact that you buffoons don’t really know what “free speech” is, and think yours is being abrogated by someone plugging their ears.

Wait — ooh! FfTB. I recognize that meme! You must be John Greg, or Richard Sanderson! …No, no, that would be silly of me to make assumptions from insufficient evidence, just based on hearing a meme I recognize as denigrating to me specifically.

deeptimeswimmer 19 points 1 day ago
Holy shit; ‘freeze peach’ is an SRS term. Well we know his redditing history now, don’t we?

Pecanpig 2 points 1 day ago
No :/

See? Someone there gets that you can’t assume the use of a meme associated with a board on Reddit means I read that board, given that this meme may not even have originated there, and that I may not have encountered it there first. At least someone there gets –

deeptimeswimmer 0 points 23 hours ago
Elaborate, please…

… Regular braintrusts, these gents are.

antithing 1 point 19 hours ago
As if he earns his daily bread from srs. Even then he should have his own mind which should work.

That’s two votes for SRS, which as I understand it, means “Shit Reddit Says”, a reddit where people point to ridiculous bullshit other redditors say and laugh at it. Since I don’t generally reddit, save for the occasional upvote of my own post when I notice someone else has posted it (though I’m seriously tempted to downvote my post on r/MR because HELLOOOO BULLSHIT), I don’t actually know much about Shit Reddit Says except that they generally don’t like the misogynist creeps inhabiting the rest of the mostly-odious social media network. And as a result, they tend to point at and mock them quite frequently.

OH HEY, THAT’S WHAT I’M DOING HERE. I must be ALL the SRS redditors!!!

Wawoowoo 19 points 1 day ago
Ahh, the “the only moral abortion is my abortion” defense. I know I’m telling the truth, but I also know that everyone else is lying. Forget that his number isn’t really 94%, but more like a number between 0% and 94%. He also doesn’t seem to recognize that mailing 1 letter to the FCC or 1 million would be the exact same thing. Why would multiple accusations from the same source increase their credibility?

So rather than multiple people making multiple claims and substantiations here, what we actually have in Shermer’s case is one single person sockpuppeting across a dozen accounts, including those of known entities in the community, making false rape claims more believable by substantiating them via either hacking those folks’ accounts or possessing them through astral projection or some shit.

But despite the introduction of nonsense into the equation, the 6% is still sacrosanct! So it’s not 6% false rape claims, but between 6 and 100% false rape claims? You don’t want to give that ground and say that it’s actually between 0% and 100%, to better fit the evidence by your interpretation (e.g., that some cases might have been tried incorrectly)? That’s being REALLY flexible with the truth. And with my own claims. 6% is a big number, even if it wasn’t being inflated by people motivated to cook the books.

Speaking of EEB…

spankytheham 4 points 19 hours ago
Who is this EEB in the story? Is it an actual short for some person I am not aware of? Or another anonymous random source like PZ’s rape victim?
PS: Apparently this thread was mentioned in the comments. Omg! We so horrible!

junoguten 1 point 18 hours ago
HOLY SHIT! That’s the guy who they’re slandering! I’m fucking shocked he’s still defending them..

spankytheham 2 points 10 hours ago
No I mean what is his real name? Is he an actual person? I couldn’t find a name.

junoguten 1 point 10 hours ago
Oh.. I have no idea. Do you think they’re inventing false people and stories to scare their cult members back in rank?

spankytheham 2 points 9 hours ago
No idea really, it’s just I saw the name EEB the victim in the story and tried to find out who it actually is, but there was no name no nothing. I could have missed it so I’m asking.
I just remember a few weeks ago of the sap fake story of the baby boy with a pink ribbon getting harassed in a store.

junoguten 1 point 9 hours ago
Yeah maybe they’ve learnt since then to keep their false stories anonymous :-)

Wow. Maybe it’s a conspiracy, and it’s ALLLL the same person, including that fake story about the boy with a pink ribbon which was not faked but removed while law enforcement investigates?

Or perhaps EEB is a longtime commenter, and you have no idea who or what you’re talking about?

…NAH! Hopefully junoguten can recover from that fumble…

junoguten 1 point 18 hours ago
First time I read that, I read “almost beaten to death by white knights”.. guess I’m actually too jumpy?
IT guy? Why is he a feminist if it doens’t mean he can have an easy, know-nothing degree?

No, actually, I wasn’t beaten at all. So yes, you’re too jumpy.

As for why I’m a feminist, maybe because they don’t actually give degrees in being a decent human being who can read statistics and has a functioning sense of empathy for people who’re actually getting shat upon? Same reason I actually empathize with the disadvantages of being a man, despite recognizing they come from the same power structures that screw women over time and again and to a greater degree. And I post quite frequently on that topic.

But no, I’m nothing but a beta mangina to you folks, who just wants to justify a system that apparently oppresses me — despite the fact that I am not oppressed or harassed or harangued or diminished or mistreated by society or thought less of for my sex in any respect, except perhaps by you folks who perpetrate the only real sorts of misandry I’ve ever seen.

Like this:

Drewbus 1 point 10 hours ago
This is one of those guys who is just trying to get laid. Trying the angle of, “I’m one of you”.

Because nothing says respect for men like suggesting the only thing they care about is having sex.

railroadwino 3 points 16 hours ago
I’m surprised this sorry dickhead didn’t convict himself based on her word.

What’s wrong with dicks that you have to use it as a gendered slur? Not that the idea that “maybe we should take rape claims seriously enough to actually investigate them once in a damn while” means anything beyond that, but yes, I’m certain that at some point, I totally DID say “all men are rapists every time they had sex”, surely — because I’m a feminist, and you know, feminists are all that one quote by that feminist who was writing a straw feminist in her book.

But it’s not all misandry.

johnmarkley 12 points 1 day ago

In my case, a single person claimed rape, and made statements of fact that were demonstrably false. This is decidedly not sufficient evidence to send anyone to jail.

…said the handsome white guy.

Aww. That’s sweet of you to say, if you ignore the implication that ugly black men are thrown in jail for rape without any evidence at all. As though I was anything but a gangly and generally hated 16-year-old at the time. (And it’s not as though the people who wanted to beat me up might have been looking for any tenuous reason to punch up a NERRRRRRD, am I right?)

But then it’s right back to the misandry:

Nomenimion 6 points 23 hours ago
Quite the contrary: that’s more than enough to send his pretty ass to jail. And won’t the other inmates love him!

Right, right, because prison rape is FUNNY when it’s happening to a feminist, but it’s SUPER SERIOUS when it’s happening to a bro. Only you MRA-types actually don’t seem to give a shit about prison rape of men at all. Protip: the A in your name stands for “activist”, not “asshole”.

Hey, by the way, you’re welcome for my giving you buffoons a wider audience. May you roll in all the internet wealth that your copious hits — granted to you by me as a boon, you see — will definitely bring. You can use your internet bucks to purchase more media for your library of video-recorded conquests. I’m sure the wealth this post brings you will help fund a commensurate number of gigabytes of storage to your needs.

MAN, but these guys are good at making stuff up on the internet. I’m beginning to suspect the existence of a movement of antifeminists is actually real, with all the multiply-repeated ridiculousness on display here!

Comments

  1. says

    Ah, MRA dudebros. There is no surer sign of a failure-to-launch than a dateless guy who uses terms like “beta” and “mangina” in any context other than purely to mock the juvenile idiocy of such terminology. Not to mention thinking that it’s an “alpha” thing to publicly admit that women terrify you. (“Oppressors”? That says so much more about you than it does them, dudebros.)

  2. QWERTY says

    Where in the link does it say Carpenter’s websites were removed due to investigation? She took it down after receiving huge amount of e-mail and later admitting to a mental health institution + also claiming to be a self-identified pathological liar (very popular source on the internet it seems), as well as, posting numerous fibs on her blogs previously.

    Here’s an update to update source if anyone is interested:
    http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/HaireoftheDog/archives/2013/08/05/is-the-assault-of-2-year-old-boy-wearing-a-pink-headband-a-hoax

    So how have you verified that the EEB story is legit? For a skeptics-atheist website “lifetime commenter” sure is a lousy source.

    Anon-sources seems to be a fairly common theme lately. Really sad how low the standard of evidence for serious crimes and accusations, among other things, has fallen amongst the free-thought community lately. People believing the “words” of 2 thousand year shepherds and immaculate conception don’t seem as silly. Waiting for one to happen according to one of these threads soon.

  3. lpetrich says

    Rebecca Watson once tweeted that “mangina” seems to her more like a heart attack than like a “way cool insult”.

    To a MRA, a mangina is a gender traitor, a man who refuses to support his fellow men against their big villain, feminists.

  4. Jacob Schmidt says

    Holy fuck. “freeze peach”? Really? Has it reached the point of mocking the institution of questioning assertions?

    Ahahahaahahaahaha, jesus fuck, the stupidity.

    Every now and then I think “Maybe I’m being to hard on MRA’s; maybe their not all assholes.” Then they remind me just why they mostly are, in fact, total asshats.

    (On top of such stupidity: Free Speech is not the insitution of questioning assertions. Reducing it so just shows your ignorance.)

  5. says

    I’ve said before that people are judged by the company they keep and most of the men I know that self-identify as either feminist/pro-feminist are amongst the most thoughtful, compassionate and empathic men I know.
    Now on the other hand the men I’ve met who self-identify as being MRAs are….well, for lack of a better term they’re assholes. They tend to be close minded, selfish and bullies. They mistake physical strength/power with what it actually means to be strong.
    Personally, I’d rather be associated with those people that emulate behaviours that I want to have and frankly that is with the group that identifies as being feminist and honestly feminism is more about bringing “people up” while MRAs always seem to be about “yeah, but what about teh menz?”

  6. A Hermit says

    Speaking of reddit and MRA’s look whose name popped up on Loftus’ blog post about Shermer…

    http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2013/08/is-pz-myers-demagogue-opportunist-or.html#comment-1019857834

    The amazing atheist said in a youtube interview that he knows who the accuser is personally, and finds the accuser to be a dubious source from personal experience, but cannot reveal who it is.

    I pointed out the TAA is a less than reliable source of information about womens’ issues and provided an example of his work. Loftus actually defends the guy; he was apparently “responding to ill-treatment” when he tried to trigger someone’s PTSD…

  7. smhll says

    I’m going to admit that it’s hard for me to know how offensive a word is if it isn’t being hurled at me and people like me. (And you can print that on a bumper sticker and mail it to all your acquaintances and ex-friends who thinks it’s possible to judge that w/o walking in someone else’s shoes.)

    But, to me “mangina” is such a silly word that it makes me want to giggle. It sounds like “You have doilies on your socks” and “your father smells of elderberries.” It sounds so fictional. Maybe like “manticore” or “Manimal” or “garanimals”. IDK. (I guess I’ve only seen the word typed, not heard it yelled or even spoken aloud, so it’s hard for me to hear the hostility in it.)

    So, I won’t go around saying it. And I know they are trying to be hurtful. And I am sorry that they are hurling scornful attitudes at you.

    (And I think I’m showing some cis privilege here. I imagine that this word may feel damaging to trans people because it attempts to be very binary about genitalia and the importance of genitalia to identity.)

    (If life was like an episode of Fringe, then the moment when you were falsely accused was supposed to make you make a permanent decision to hate all women for all time. Somewhere, a bald-headed, alien watcher who drinks tabasco sauce is shaking his head and wondering how to rejigger the timeline to fix this “problem”.)

    (Why is categorical hatred something that some people’s brains seem so enthusiastic about? And why such arbitrary categories?)

  8. Pieter B, FCD says

    “CremasterGuy”? Srsly?! LOLPMP!

    For you non-anatomists, the cremaster is the muscle that holds up a testicle. “I am BallHolderGuy! Fear me!”

  9. Unreasonable says

    “There is no surer sign of a failure-to-launch than a dateless guy who uses terms like “beta” and “mangina” in any context other than purely to mock the juvenile idiocy of such terminology”

    Good to know that the people that support feminism are still as disinterested in avoiding fallacies and baseless insults as ever.

  10. says

    Look up, Unreasonable. Way up. To the original post. Click through to the Reddit thread if you so choose. You don’t see any fallacies, straw feminist bashing, or baseless insults there? Whatsamatta, you can dish it out but can’t take it?

    Though, in absolute fairness, “dateless” is not in evidence. Except for those people where it is, where they’re railing about the fact that they can’t get dates because of all those uppity feminist bitches.

  11. MrFancyPants says

    Reddit really is a cesspool, and /r/MensRights is one of the more degenerate corners. Of course, it’s pretty consistently awful across the board, if you recall what happened to this girl who simply wanted to share a book title.

  12. manuel moegarcia says

    [ Posted similar comment at http://www.reddit.com/r/atheismplus/comments/1l8k3b/sorry_reddit_not_all_of_you_is_crap_but_there_are/ which is a nifty subreddit community, I have found ]

    Being interested in Atheism+ and being a reddit user is a downer – there is objective evidence that reddit management has full knowledge of what is problematic-and-reprehensible, and they only see fit to excise that garbage when it conflicts with their current or future business model because problematic-and-reprehensible content attracts eyeballs that can be monetized.

    Technically, freethoughtblogs.com is also playing a similar game with their problematic third-party ads. Obviously different in primary social goals, so not hypocritical. Social action takes place in the really-existing world, and freethoughtblogs.com comes off smelling like a rose.

    But I value the subreddit communities almost to the point of purchasing reddit gold, I admit. Socially progressive subreddits fill a need, and do so admirably well. reddit.com/r/atheismplus is nifty, as I stated before.

  13. says

    My favorite way of dealing with people who throw insults like that used to be to offer to fight them. It raises a level of cognitive dissonance when the macho centers in their brain try to square their immediate reaction with their flight reflex. It’s all good manly fun, right?

    I wish I wasn’t getting so achey in the mornings. :\ That strategy might backfire, but what the heck, it’d still be good fun.

  14. M can help you with that. says

    Pieter @ 11–

    Hell, Matthew Barney has a series of five films named after that muscle. (The main message of the series seems to be “Wow! I have testes!”, though with some hints of holding up slight androgyny as a philosophical and aesthetic ideal.)

  15. Persephone says

    I’m going to be that person and mention that for every twenty horrible sub-Reddits like /r/MensRights there’s a really good one, like /r/girlgamers. Don’t write off all of Reddit or all Redditors just because of an obnoxious majority. It’s just as bad as writing off all of Texas, despite the enclave of Austin being deep in the heart of the state.

    In a properly-moderated sub-Reddit, the experience can be pretty darned good.

  16. Anthony K says

    “There is no surer sign of a failure-to-launch than a dateless guy who uses terms like “beta” and “mangina” in any context other than purely to mock the juvenile idiocy of such terminology”

    Good to know that the people that support feminism are still as disinterested in avoiding fallacies and baseless insults as ever.

    Baseless? Come the fuck on. You act like we’ve never met these people in real life.

  17. says

    So how have you verified that the EEB story is legit?

    No, but I know about a dozen women who have stories that are frighteningly similar, so, unless you have a persuasive reason to doubt EEB’s story, I’m going to go with it.

    P.S. You’re a degenerate failure at being a person. Fuck off, asshole.

  18. Anthony K says

    QWERTY brings up a good point.

    Whenever a man says he was a victim of the gynocentric family courts, or that his wife took all he owned in the divorce, double check. Lots of those stories going around.

  19. thascius says

    @24-You know that’s not how it works in MRA-land. When a man claims to be a victim of a woman or the vast feminist conspiracy you’re supposed to automatically believe him. When a woman claims to be a victim of a man you can’t just take her word for it cause “bitches be lyin’” You’re not honestly expecting consistency are you?

  20. says

    I’m confused. Do they think I’m a dude? Huh, maybe it is time to change my handle. Not that it was hard for them to figure out who I was the last time I pissed them off…I think it took all of 30 seconds for them to land on my facebook.

    Only you MRA-types actually don’t seem to give a shit about prison rape of men at all. Protip: the A in your name stands for “activist”, not “asshole”.

    Yeah, thank you for pointing this out.

    I would have a lot more sympathy for MRAs if they actually devoted a good portion of their time to activism–and by “activism” I mean “doing things that benefit real male victims of violence and rape” not “harassing feminists on the internet”. Even if it was like 95% activism and 5% whining about women, I could probably support them (from a distance…victim blaming is toxic…). But I don’t think they even manage a 99% harassment to 1% activism ratio. And I’ve been looking hard for resources that are out there for male victims, for a list I’m pulling together, as discussed over at Richard Carrier’s blog.* Strangely, most of the resources I’ve found for men have been organized by–GASP!–feminists.

    And it’s not it’s hard to find real issues that need real support. Hey! Here’s a thought! Instead of donating money to an accused rapist’s offensive legal fund (not defensive; no one is taking him to court right now), especially when said alleged rapist is anything but poor, why don’t you donate to Just Detention International, a human rights organization that is trying to end sexual abuse in prisons? You know, a real men’s rights issue? Or hey, instead of derailing yet another thread about female circumcision or child abuse to demand equal coverage for male circumcision, why not go donate to Intact America or volunteer for one of their awareness campaigns? Or even start you own blog about those issues (or the many many many others) instead of demanding someone else’s blog cover what you want? SO MANY REAL MRA ISSUES. Fucking pick one.

    Promise, we would not be mocking and hating if y’all were actual activists for actual men’s rights causes. (Well. Maybe those of you who used words like “red pill” and “mangina” and “beta” and “gynocracy” would still get mocked. A little bit. But if you were out there trying to make the world a better place for marginalized and victimized men, there probably wouldn’t be entire websites devoted to pointing and laughing–or pointing and backing away in disgusted horror.) Just a thought.

    *By the way, I am still actively trying to pull together a list of resources for male victims of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse! This is not an easy task. Also, I’ve had to deal with some serious illness in the last couple months so I haven’t been able to give it the time I wanted. But if you know of organizations, resources, books, anything, please let me know! I don’t want to use groups that are religious and/or discriminatory towards GBT men, but I’ve got so few links that I’m starting to think I’m gonna have to list them with a big giant WARNING or something. Don’t mean to spam your post, Jason, just thought I’d remind people that this is an ongoing project! :)

  21. says

    EEB: spam away. You officially have free license to run rampant through every thread on this blog with that request. It’s a noble endeavour. And if people need a hand getting it to you, they can contact me directly via the Contact Me on the lefthand bar.

  22. thascius says

    @27-”And I’ve been looking hard for resources that are out there for male victims, for a list I’m pulling together, as discussed over at Richard Carrier’s blog.* Strangely, most of the resources I’ve found for men have been organized by–GASP!–feminists.” That is so true. When I first heard of the men’s rights movement I was mildly sympathetic to it, but the more I’ve learned about it over the years the more repulsed I’ve become. (And how hard is it really to grasp that the victim blaming applied to female victims of sexual assault will apply to male victims as well?)
    I’m sure your efforts will be appreciated by anyone who truly cares about men’s human rights.

  23. see_the_galaxy says

    I think that claque at reddit should not be viewed with anything other than lofty contempt. If they make any false claims or direct accusations, they should be denied of course, but to actually mudwrestle those jokers…

  24. Bennie Crouch says

    The “I couldn’t get wade it….” comment could be a very convoluted way to say that he couldn’t get “through” your entire post an insulting a professional basketball player. Dwayne Wade, an NBA superstar is known for slashing to the rim to score. He often goes through an entire defense to do so. This last season, during the Miami Heats championship run, Dwade’s effectiveness was severely affected by him suffering from extremely painful knee injuries. A lot of people are now saying Dwade is washed up.

    Or I might be reading into it just a bi :/

  25. MissinPost says

    “Promise, we would not be mocking and hating if y’all were actual activists for actual men’s rights causes. (Well. Maybe those of you who used words like “red pill” and “mangina” and “beta” and “gynocracy” would still get mocked. A little bit. But if you were out there trying to make the world a better place for marginalized and victimized men, there probably wouldn’t be entire websites devoted to pointing and laughing–or pointing and backing away in disgusted horror.) Just a thought.”

    This is just condescending tripe. It’s just like antifeminists who say “Promise, we wouldn’t be mocking your for your hairy legs and your “upper-class white women with no problems pretending to be victims” if *we* judge you to not be doing enough REAL activism (without even knowing you, natch).

    How are you even judging it? By the number of Mangry MRAs you see shouting online and derailing your discussions vs ?? the imaginary number you’ve made up of effective MRAs donating money and out on the streets working for progress (since you don’t know and can’t know – you’re not there when that happens)

    Ridiculous. If only dopes like you and those antifeminists could dumped on an island where you could spend all day accusing each other of only complaining about each other and not achieving anything, while ignoring everything about them except what they say to you. We can add the Islamophobes who claim that moderate Muslims are silent when they just aren’t listening to them, and all other mopes of that ilk.

  26. says

    I started getting tons of hits (hundreds) on a flickr photo of mine, and antique carousel rooster.
    All from r/MensRights or the blue pill or whatever they call it.

    They were discussing women who were “riding the cock carousel,” in other words, sexually active with someone other than the complainant.

    Had to delete the photo, and it was one that antique carousel enthusiasts liked a lot, too.
    It was like getting caught in a flash-flood of asshole.

  27. Anthony K says

    You’d think with all the noise they make about gold-diggers and standing on one’s two feet they’d take their own damn photos for memeisation, Jafafa.

  28. says

    It’s just as bad as writing off all of Texas

    No, it’s not like that at all.
    I don’t use Reddit, but I’ll take your word for it that the majority of the users are obnoxious.

    It’s hard to pick up and move out of state.
    It’s very easy to leave a website. Takes one click.

    And the website is a business. A business that protects, enables and profits from these assholes.
    And from your support as well.

    It’s a lot harder boycotting Walmart than boycotting Reddit… and I’ve managed to boycott Walmart for many years now.

  29. John Horstman says

    Protip: the A in your name stands for “activist”, not “asshole”.

    False! Based on extensive empirical data, it most definitely most often stands for “asshole”.

    @10:

    (Why is categorical hatred something that some people’s brains seem so enthusiastic about? And why such arbitrary categories?)

    To a large extent, it’s because that’s how our brains evolved. We come up with archetypes (or stereotypes) to broadly represent all of the members of a given group (“food”, “poison”, “friends”, etc.) and then differentiate individuals with which/whom we are more familiar. Not every zucchini is identical, but they’re generally similar enough that I can save tons of time and processing by simply treating every zucchini as though it were my archetypal abstraction of the group “zucchini”, and only differentiating when there’s evidence that it’s likely to differ (for example, brown mushy spots suggest it’s a rotten zucchini). Stereotyping is a survival tactic: not every lion is hungry and wants to eat you, but the person acting as though that were the case is probably going to live longer than the one who doesn’t stereotype lions as ‘dangerous’.

    This heuristic becomes extremely problematic when it’s applied to people, and even more so in largely-heterogeneous societies (as oppose to largely-homogenous societies that existed when geographic features served to culturally and genetically isolate groups of humans from each other). This is certainly a case where people ought to be fighting this tendency, but the process by which it occurs – building abstracted schemata for groups based on an archetype – is common, and there are a number of plausible theories as to why we do it (the one I find most likely being described above). Considering all relevant data, including context, is both time-consuming and difficult, which provides an additional appeal (beyond familiarity and the self-serving nature of the categorical hatred in many cases) for solely relying on a heuristic, even when the heuristic has been shown to be extremely unreliable in cases similar to the one in question.

    The categories aren’t arbitrary, they’re the product of socialization within a given cultural-historical context, as impacted by a given individual’s personal history (I include physical history in “personal history”, so one’s physical environmental exposures and genetic makeup are part of that). They’re likely to seem odd or even baseless to people unfamiliar with the socialization context and process of the person in question.

  30. says

    How are you even judging it? By the number of Mangry MRAs you see shouting online and derailing your discussions vs ?? the imaginary number you’ve made up of effective MRAs donating money and out on the streets working for progress (since you don’t know and can’t know – you’re not there when that happens)

    Actually, it’d be by the number of times any of your activists ever mention a useful cause – which is damn near never, and the few times they do, it’s something good they’ve misunderstood (The Innocence Project is chief here; the Innocence Project doesn’t say women are liars, it says cops are fuck ups). Whereas it takes about 10 seconds to find a feminist promoting a good, useful cause for the right reasons; most of which is the time it takes for you to type ‘google.com’ and such.

  31. says

    Jason:

    What’s wrong with dicks that you have to use it as a gendered slur?

    Dicks are great. I’m quite fond of mine. That doesn’t stop me from not wanting to have one on my head, or for a head.

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