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Will 20/20 be Must-See or Must-Miss TV this week?

Or Must-Not-If-You’re-A-Miss?

Looks like 20/20 is going to be doing a story on the Manosphere’s ongoing campaign to destroy women fight for men’s rights by destroying women. See, there’s this whole contingent of men on the internet who think that feminism is “going too far”, by, you know, wanting equal pay for equal work, the ability to be hired without discrimination, the right not to have politicians legally enforce their baby-factory status, the right to bodily integrity, the right to not be treated as the Homemaker or Baby-Raiser By Default, or the right to do things that men can do without fear or expectation of being raped or sexually harassed, coupled with immediate blame for same.

You see, the manosphere knows the real issues here: women just want to be lazy asses and never work or join the military, they want to be able to choose who to have sex with (HORRORS!), and then when they get too old and ugly (at, like, 25), spermjack men to have their babies against the guy’s will, thus setting men up for a legal hell of child support without ever being allowed to see the children thereafter.

That’s right… both feminists and “men’s rights activists” are generally fighting for many of the same goals, except for the ones that are totally invented in the MRA’s depraved minds and never actually happen in real life.

So ABC is going to do a piece on how these men hope to achieve equality and end all these shameful issues caused by patriarchy, by… you guessed it… mistreating women on the internet.

Trigger warning: Paul Elam. Yes, he’s his own category of trigger warning.

Protected by the anonymity of the Internet, men feel free to post hateful and violent comments. Posts such as “I really wouldn’t mind shooting a [expletive] dead in the face, they are evil, all of them,” and “Women are the natural enemies of men” are commonplace on sites like “A Voice for Men,” a Manosphere blog run by Paul Elam.

Elam told ABC News’ “20/20″ that while he may not agree with some of the comments that are made on his site, he believes men are society’s victims and need a forum to vent.

“There has been a change in the world, especially in the last 50 years. Women’s roles have changed drastically,” he told “20/20.” “What a lot of us in this area find is that men’s roles have not changed very much. Many find now that they have to react.”

Or, you know, try to change men’s rigid gender roles that enforce Masculinity as the only valid choice. That enforce Rugged Provider and Soldier archetypes on people who don’t want those archetypes foisted on them. That you as a man can choose not to be a Toxically Macho douchenozzle to other human beings out of some effort to be what society expects you to be, and thus undercut your rights to self-define as a loving caring father, for instance. You know, something like how feminists are expressly fighting those rigid gender roles for men and women.

Elam explained that men leave these comments in the Manosphere to get people to listen.

I’ll say it again… thank God finally someone is fighting for people to listen to MEN for a change. That NEVER happens. It’s all women politicians, all women speakers, all women on the news. No man ever gets to say his piece and be treated as a rational human being! No man ever gets treated as an autonomous agent, with all the laws preventing him from doing anything of his own free will!

While Elam told “20/20″ that his site does not promote violence or hate toward women, some of his writing appears otherwise. In a post on his website, Elam wrote that women on welfare are “little more than thinly disguised layabouts.”

Elam claimed it’s not anger but satire and social commentary. “What I do is reflect and study what the attitude is in the culture,” he told “20/20.” “I am not creating the problem, I am documenting some of it.”

And that thing about, what was it… killing feminist judges? Or the one about being on a jury for a rapist and always voting Not Guilty regardless of whether or not this guy actually committed rape?

But experts like Mark Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, believe this rhetoric is problematic. “The Manosphere is an underworld of so-called men’s rights groups and individuals on the Internet, which is just fraught with really hard-line anti-woman misogyny,” Potok told “20/20.”

And when a woman is on the receiving end of this misogyny, the Manosphere is unflinching in its attacks.

“Women who are targeted by these sites get a tidal wave of hate mail with rape threats and death threats,” Jaclyn Friedman, founder of Women, Action & the Media, told “20/20.”

I’ve noticed a trend. First, take a male-dominated space, like “politics” or “video games” or “being treated as a human being”. Then have women ask for some of that action. Then watch the shit-storm of entitled douches come out of the woodwork to put those uppity bitches back in their place, in the kitchen making you a sammich. Every goddamned space, the same fight is waged. Men dominate the space by default, women come in and want to also enjoy that space (and maybe in the process talk about women-related matters to other women), and the men get upset that it’s no longer 100% about them.

It’s happening right here, in our own atheist/skeptic communities, in the science-blogging community, in gaming, in politics, in just about every fucking place imaginable. Everywhere you turn, there’s entitled douchebags who are upset that their monopoly is being broken and are doing everything they can to make the environment hostile to the people bringing in diversity. It happens every time there’s some drive to include people outside the “expected default”. And people STILL claim there’s no such thing as privilege!

So 20/20 is bringing national attention to a bunch of whiny-babies who are upset that their monopolies are eroding, and now they’re crying that they deserve all the ice cream and uppity bitches should get none.

Yeah, this could swing either way. Either it’s going to be enlightening, or it’s going to cause the Manosphere to lose their shit and swarm every site even harder.

I’m heartened to know that they’re only a very, very vocal minority. Not VERY heartening, mind you, because they’re every bit as insufferable as your worst, most barnacle-like creationist, only they’re way more willing to destroy your life for daring to have a backstory that undercuts their narratives.

Comments

  1. maudell says

    I’m glad their violence in discussed in more mainstream outlets. However, I worry about one thing: people who are not versed about gender stuff often don’t get that the AVfM’s ‘activism’ is not about helping men. Helping men is not contrary to feminism. I find myself agreeing with Ally Fogg all the time, even though his perspective is different than mine. He does *actual* men’s rights activism (or whatever you may call it – he seeks to address problems specific to men).

    Anyway, one thing I’ve noticed, people who just stumble in don’t understand the reaction to Elam’s ‘men’s human rights movement’. I hope the program will talk about their targeting specific people (register-her) and their generally hateful or ridiculous stuff. Also, I find it interesting that those who proudly shame men who disagree with them (calling them manginas or make fun of their sexuality or rapeability) are so offended by gender roles. ‘Man up’ is not exactly a feminist order (I cringe whenever I hear the phrase, and I know I’m not alone). But hey, scapegoats, they work I guess.

  2. says

    maudell, I’ve seen Ally – about whom I agree with you – call it “men’s issues’ advocacy”, rather than “men’s rights’ advocacy”.

    Just FYI.

    Also, completely agree, down the line.

  3. geroche says

    I googled those two purportedly commonplace quotes and was surprised to see the furthest back record of it comes from a 2010 post by Paul Elam himself. It’s interesting to note that they’re not his words though, in fact he was quoting a post he had deleted and making it clear to all that such disgusting comments have no place on his site. It’s quite perplexing that ABC would quote from a post that suggests it’s not at all commonplace. It could have just as easily been posted on ftb where posters are protected by the same anonymity. Disgusting it may be, but tolerated by the Elam it clearly wasn’t. Very odd.

  4. jamessweet says

    Anyway, one thing I’ve noticed, people who just stumble in don’t understand the reaction to Elam’s ‘men’s human rights movement’.

    Yeah, I think it’s good to educate people that “Men’s Rights Activists” does not actually mean “activists who support the rights of men”. You don’t have to be an MRA to see that, whatever the relative urgency, there are men’s issues that ideally ought to be addressed (albeit many of them really ultimately fall under the blanket of feminism anyway, e.g. paid paternity leave is both a “men’s advocacy” issue [to use Ally's phrase] as well as a feminist issue). So it’s easy to make the mistake when you casually encounter the term “Men’s Rights Activists” of thinking it’s a good and admirable thing. People need to know that the term “MRA”, whatever the component words might mean in English, has a huge implication beyond that, and not a very nice one.

  5. The Beautiful Void says

    I used to have some respect for Paul Elam. I always thought he was misguided, but I thought he was nonetheless intelligent about the ways in which he went about being misguided. I am disappointed to discover that I was wrong and he’s merely evil.

    Fucker.

  6. geroche says

    @Jason

    Initially your post made no sense to me, but I think I understand it. Are you replying to me? If so, I’m not suggesting any kind of false flag operation by ftb a year before something (ftb?) existed. Most of what I wrote was about ABC saying abhorrent comments are commonplace, while mentioning comments that years ago were not only removed but used as an indication of what won’t be tolerated on the site. I had to reread my comment to see if I even mentioned ftb, which it turned out I did. I think you’ve misunderstood my intentions when I said:

    “It could have just as easily been posted on ftb where posters are protected by the same anonymity”.

    That’s not an insinuation that the anonymous poster is from ftb. I could have mentioned any site, so I chose the one I’m posting on. It’s merely an observation that disgusting posts can and do get posted on all sorts of sites, which probably is increased greatly by internet anonymity, but isn’t a reflection on the site owner. What I meant was that racists, sexists, homophobes and bigots in general can post vile things almost anywhere they want with internet anonymity. Such freedom doesn’t mean the site endorses the views or tolerates their existence. If a comment like “I really wouldn’t mind shooting a [expletive] dead in the face, they are evil, all of them,” was made in the comments at ftb by some fool, it wouldn’t reflect on ftb.

    When I read ABC’s paragraph about anonymous men feeling free to post foul and sexist things on a site called “A Voice for Men”, I got the impression it was a site that let men spew hatred like the comments ABC mentions. I then found out it doesn’t endorse or allow such posts, and actually points to them as the kind of views that won’t be tolerated. I figured other people could have made the same connection from the article, so I thought it was worth mentioning. Hope that clarifies things.

  7. says

    OH. I misread “on ftb” as “BY ftb”.

    Yeah. Sorry about that.

    Yes, horrible trolls leave horrible drive-by comments, and any one instance might be over their line while other similar shit is not. That’s the case at AVfM, as evidenced by the link Pteryxx gave.

  8. smhll says

    @geroche

    If you want to see disgusting comments in the manosphere, look for the ones immediately after the shooting spree in the nail salon near San Diego, CA. Those were deeply violent, hateful and disgusting. (My source is probably the MensRights subreddit on Reddit.)

    Also, quite disgusting comments are easy to find on the ABC website re the 20/20 piece Jason mentioned.

    This one is grossly sexist and racist. (I realize it represents the view of the poster and is not stamped with a seal of approval by Paul Elam.)

    Yeah, this comment (below) is so bad that it could almost be a Poe or a false-flag operation, but I have no reason to believe that it is.

    The one thing that makes feminists scatter and run like the cockroaches that they are, it’s truth; they pull their typical “you’re a mysogynist and I’m the poor helpless victim card” when they’re proven wrong, and thus proving their childish and inferior mind. It is this lacking mental capacity the reason women in general are too incompetent to raise children on their own, and overcrowded prisons in evidence of their inability to raise these children without male authority. Feminism is a cancer in society–there is no doubt about it.

    I also see a lot of people on the ABC website quoting custody stats for all divorce cases, rather than custody stats for divorce cases in which the father asked for custody. I feel the latter are more relevant and less misleading. Men who didn’t WANT custody don’t actually count in the oh, this is so unfair to men pile.

  9. geroche says

    @Jason

    Ahh, it didn’t occur to me that you misread ‘on’ as ‘by’. I understand completely now.

    @Others

    I’m not actually looking for disgusting posts, but thank you for the examples, a few of which I have personally looked at and acknowledge exist. While doing so, I noticed I incorrectly assumed the earliest record of the comments was a post made by Paul Elam when the manboobz link clearly predates that post by a day. I have no opinion over whether such comments are indeed “commonplace” or what views the majority of members on that site endorse.

  10. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Spooky coincidence: I just heard this as I was clearing old podcasts off my hard drive today…
     

    “Look, our job is to be interesting.
    If it also happens to be true, great.”

    - Junior executive producer of 20/20, relayed by Paul Offit
    (Regarding an anti-vax story in the early 1990′s.)
     
    Podcast: Rationally Speaking ep 92

  11. Pieter B, FCD says

    I don’t know about other markets, but this episode didn’t run in Los Angeles last night. What was on my TiVo was a rather gripping story, but it wasn’t about the manosphere.

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