MRA-style blockquoting activated!

So, inspired by a conversation on Twitter, I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for a while: I created a special blockquote style for MRAs for my blog. Every time an MRA uses the word “female” instead of “woman” or “girl”, I have always heard it like a Ferengi from Star Trek, with a super-elongated first syllable and a note of disdain or horror. “A feee-male!?” So I thought that the Ferengi head would make a great replacement for the more traditional blockquote quotation mark symbol.

To wit, here’s a comment I never bothered clearing through moderation last month or so, on this post from a full year prior.

Daniel Factor:

mostly lies and smears. Mra…anyone who doesn’t believe all men are the scum of the earth. Which apparently is being anti women and sexist.

I’ll be sure to use it liberally when I next post any MRA bullshit. You should be able to use it in comments as well, much like PZ’s Gumby for Creationists. Instead of <blockquote>, use <blockquote class="mra"> .

It’s a little iffy on shorter quotes, though. But those kinda look like cartoon balloons coming out of the Ferengi’s mouth, so that kind of works regardless.

Oh, and yes, I traced that head from a screencap of DS9, showing off my professional manga art skills. I mostly did it because I wanted to make one with the Ferengi touching his own ear, which if you remember anything from the canon, is an erogenous zone. (Seeing a Ferengi touch his ears whenever there was profit to be had or a woman to try to charm always skeeved me out just a little for that reason, which I’m sure was the intent of the show’s authors.)


  1. Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam says

    Perfect. Now all it needs is a suitable wankeriffic MRA font. Might I suggest Papyrus?

  2. says

    Was watching an episode of TNG with Ferengi earlier tonight, so I’d thought I’d help test with this Ferengi objection to human women:

    And we here your feeee-males wear clothes! Disgusting!

  3. pali1d says

    I’ve long been of the belief that the Ferengi are highly representative of neo-cons: women have extremely limited rights and should be properly subservient (“any marriage where the fee-male is allowed to speak and wear clothing is doomed to failure”), taxes are evil (“taxes go against the very spirit of free enterprise – that’s why they call it free!”), exploitation is success (“Ferengi workers don’t want to end the exploitation, they want to become the exploiters”). Oh, and they’re also fairly religious, with the Divine Treasury (heaven), the Vault of Eternal Destitution (hell), the Blessed Exchequer (reviews profit/loss statements to make sure you’re not in the negative, else he sends you to the Vault), and the Celestial Auctioneers who take bids for new lives.

    TNG didn’t really do them credit – they were originally meant to be a recurring series villain race, but nobody could take them seriously enough. DS9 is where you really get a good exploration of them, and just how wonderfully they were made into a mockery of the right.

  4. says

    Now this is interesting because the word girl is far more inappropriate than the word female when applied to a woman. So it is unusual that Jason goes for that one instead. I once remember a Japanese feminist suggesting it not be used because it was too clinical and the equivalent term for a man – male – was not used as often. The first objection is entirely subjective and what makes it even more problematic is that it is not actually technically false. But the second objection was what caught my attention. Because I actually do use both terms equally or at least where there is a specific requirement to. I myself prefer male – female to man – woman anyway though that is academic. What matters is that there is equivalence of terms. This is to prevent any sexism from entering the language and to give it balance. The objection is a practically non existent one so weak is it. And especially so when one thinks of the really unacceptable misogynistic language used to describe women. This then represents the superfluous sensitive end of the spectrum of political correctness that serves no practical purpose whatsoever, The far more obvious one as I have said is girl. A term which should not be applied to any woman with any degree of seriousness at all. And men do this without even being aware of it though in actuality they should. But if they all of a sudden started calling women female instead that would actually be an improvement and completely acceptable in and of itself. And in spite of what some in the Far East might think now

    You see the problem with controlling language is that it is but one step from controlling thought. And that is not something anyone should be allowed to hijack for ulterior motive no matter how noble they believe it to be. When you want to draw a line in the sand you have to ask yourself two questions : where is it to be and who gets to make the decision ? There are as many answers to that as there are interested parties so do not be holding your breath in anticipation of consensus any time soon. The First Amendment as I never tire of saying is a beautiful piece of legislation. It is so beautiful it is worth dying for. I wish we had one over here. I really do

  5. thetalkingstove says

    Now this is interesting because the word girl is far more inappropriate than the word female when applied to a woman. So it is unusual that Jason goes for that one instead.

    Fairly sure that when Jason says ‘girl’ he means actual girls, i.e. children, and not grown women.

  6. markd555 says

    This is a wonderful idea.
    As much as I hate reading hateful MRA swill, now I’m looking forward to it.

  7. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Not working yet at least on my screen except for the first comment / test.

    Good idea and art though. Hope you can get it to work.

  8. says

    Class is now showing as an allowed HTML tag attribute for blockquote… go ahead and try again, it should work for you. Probably elsewhere, too. Until someone smacks me down for making the change or some enterprising young troll finds a way to hurt the site using it, anyway. (Not that there should be any such way…)

  9. says

    Yeah, the class modifier isn’t allowed for non-admins.

    One workaround I have is to use the style sheet to redefine the quote tag <q> to use the Comic Sans font, which lets the commenters easily switch to it.

  10. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It must have been a feee-male behind this coding. I hope you didn’t pay her husband very much latinum. Disgraceful!

  11. says

    Bah. I see what’s wrong when you copy/paste, it’s doing this instead: <blockquote class="”mra”">

    Those “smart” quotes in the visual editor are screwed up. I’ll fix it in the post but it’s doubtful I’ll be able to fix it site-wide, at least not immediately.

  12. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    So, which style of quotation marks, specifically, does the tag want? Straight quotes or curvy “smart” quotes?

  13. says

    Straight. Like people, HTML privileges straight.

    I used & quot; entities to display the proper sort of quote marks in the OP. Copy/paste will work now. Or you could just type it to be sure.

  14. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m going to enjoy this so very much, thank you, Jason. I should like to see its wholesale adoption across blogs.

  15. Dexeron says

    It shows up in the preview for me, as well, so you can play with the coding if you’re not sure you have it right.

  16. says


    “Female” is okay in certain contexts (e.g. when contrasted with “males” in a clinical study), as is “girl” (when referring to actual girls). The problem is in normal conversation, when use of “female” makes it sound like you’re talking about chattel instead of people. Being spoken of as livestock is not “superfluous” and you can’t just declare an equivalence and make it so, because men and women are already thought of and treated differently in society.

  17. frankb says

    That should be in the rules of acquisition.

    The problem of the message starting over the Ferengi’s head seems to have been solved.

  18. says

    The problem is, I can make it so the image is a background of the blockquote rather than its own entity, to cut it off where the quote cuts off, but then your ferengi head is mostly invisible. I did it this way so you see the whole head, and so the quote flows around it for longer quotes. So I don’t know what I can do about the starting-over-his-head thing, if anything. It’s all trade-offs.

    I’m still considering changing the font to Papyrus, though it’s not installed everywhere. I should also set the font to the same in comments as in preview and post body.

  19. rikitiki says

    Kipling said: the fee-male’s more deadly than the male
    Of course, we just want them for their tail
    ’cause thinking women would just quite prevail
    As pick-up-artists, we’re just full of fail.

  20. Scr... Archivist says

    pali1d @11,

    Ferengi are highly representative of neo-cons…

    They were once leftists who became conservative hawks in later years?

  21. John Horstman says

    PUA style:

    compliment-compliment-neg-neg-ignoreboundary-backoff-ignoreboundary-backoff-gropeBreast-gropeAss for teh sex!

  22. Yellow Thursday says

    I need to try this to share the comment I overheard today from my boss’ business associate, as they stood blocking the only exit from my work area.

    He hired a girl to sell insurances at his office here in town.

  23. Yellow Thursday says

    Was she wearing clothing!?

    That wasn’t mentioned, and I think I’m glad for that. The background noise of sexism is bad enough around here.

  24. says

    Now this is interesting because the word girl is far more inappropriate than the word female when applied to a woman.
    Yet female is also used inappropriately and so not unusual when you consider the nature of the humor, so why the criticism?

    But to answer your question, what you do is not important. This is about what people do on average. You are an anecdote. It’s about the pattern among people that use the word “female” or “females” in a sense that objectify persons. If you are not doing this bring yourself, and your use of words up, is simply a distraction.

    The real point here is that humor reduces tension (among other things). You need to talk about that if you don’t simply want to be a person trying to change the subject. I think that if used with appropriate examples this would be a great way to reduce the tension associated with the things that some MRA’s say. Compare with PZ’s “Mr. Gumby”.

    You see the problem with controlling language is that it is but one step from controlling thought. And that is not something anyone should be allowed to hijack for ulterior motive no matter how noble they believe it to be.
    That depends on the method of controlling thought. If I convince you of the correctness of an argument, I can be said to be controlling your thoughts though demonstration. After all these words of mine are being transmitted through your retinas, through your LGN, through your visual cortex, and into your consciousness. I’m already in your mind no matter what you want. Of course I want to change your thought, but on your terms. That whole argument smacks of desperation from someone with little to add but seeing something that they don’t like.

  25. says

    To correct my previous comment,

    “If you are not doing this bring yourself, and your use of words up, is simply a distraction.”

    Should read
    “If you are not doing this thing yourself, your use of words is a distraction.”

  26. geekgirlsrule says

    To Scr… Archivist at #35

    You know, I keep hearing that, but most of the people I know, including my formerly Republican mother, have gotten more liberal as they’ve aged, not less.

  27. Louis says

    I normally lurk, read and rarely (if ever) comment here, but dammit for this I’ll break my silence, or indeed my duck. Can’t remember which.

    Females: Not real people since whenever some man says so.



  28. opposablethumbs says

    textbook mra bullshittery


    Please, please, powers that be – make this available in the blogs of other FTB bloggers who want it? Oh, it’s needed I tell you!

  29. opposablethumbs says

    And my apologies for being so discourteous – the first thing I said should have been THANK YOU to Jason for this creation. It’s perfect. Could not be more apposite.

  30. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    … no matter where we go, our reputation precedes us. A reputation that has been tainted by the lies of our competitors who maliciously spread the erroneous impression that we are not to be trusted.
    -Zek, DS9: The Nagus

  31. says

    It’s who wants to stand up and talk about it, go on shows about it, go to conferences and speak about it, who’s intellectually active about it, you know, it’s more of a guy thing.

  32. psanity says

    Ooh, I’m excited!

    I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. Can’t you take a joke?

    This makes me quite cheerful.

  33. psanity says

    Hmm. wonder if I can fix it so, on a short quote, the next post-quote line is down a bit. Extra carriage returns don’t show up. How about inside the blockquote?

    I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. Can’t you take a joke?



  34. psanity says

    I think putting the underscore after the carriage returns, inside the blockquote, made it work. Ah, what a lovely first day of spring. I’ve got a new Spike Jones CD, and now this.

    Thanks, Jason. You are teh awesome.

  35. killyosaur says

    Papyrus doesn’t need to be installed everywhere, just on your server. Most modern browsers (starting with IE 6 in fact) will render the @font-face CSS class which allows you to create fonts within CSS. You will just need to get a few versions of the font (*.eot,*.woff,*.svg,*.ttf, and *.otf) and set them up in CSS. You can take an otf or ttf file and create the different web fonts using the web font generator at Example code:

    @font-face { font-family: ‘Papyrus’; src: url(“/fonts/papyrus-webfont.eot”); src: url(“/fonts/papyrus-webfont.eot?#iefix”) format(“embedded-opentype”), url(“/fonts/papyrus-webfont.woff”) format(“woff”), url(“/fonts/papyrus-webfont.ttf”) format(“truetype”); font-weight: normal; font-style: normal;}

    Then use as normal. .svg is only really needed for older browsers and you will need to add the mime-type for woff as hat type is needed for some of the modern IE browsers.

  36. killyosaur says

    That type* also, older mobile browsers for svg! typing on the iPad may be easier than the phone (even if it is a Note 3) but still error prone

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