Men’s Rights White Knights rush in to protect Karen “GirlWritesWhat” Straughan from MRA criticism

Karen Straughan, in an uncharacteristic moment of silence

Karen Straughan, in an uncharacteristic moment of silence

So FeMRA videoblogger Karen “GirlWritesWhat” Straughan flapped her gums for nearly two hours the other night and sounds came out. This time she wasn’t sitting at her kitchen table blabbing to a webcam about female “hypoagency” and regurgitating misremembered factoids about bonobos but was speaking to an audience of mostly white dudes at Ryerson University in Toronto Canada.

I haven’t watched her performance — which is of course online as well — because life is short, and frankly I’d rather endure this for ten hours than subject myself to the tedious GWW for nearly two.

But I did take a look at a thread on the Men’s Rights subreddit started by a dude who hoped he and his fellow MRAs could have “a proper discussion about the talk, pros and cons, without descending into a circlejerk or a downvote party.” That’s right: he actually wanted GWW’s biggest fanboys to discuss her ideas (such as they are) on their merits.

This did not go over very well with the regulars, who jumped up to defend their favorite damsel in distress. ManUpManDown argued against the very notion of criticizing GWW, on the grounds of 1) her being supercool and 2) giving talks is hard:

ManUpManDown 18 points 21 hours ago (30|12)  Ok, I totally understand the good intentions behind, and the theoretical utility of, this thread. But I really don't think this is helpful. Karen has come out of obscurity to being invited to panels with internationally known feminists, all in a very short period of time. Considering everything, she's been awesome, and she was awesome last night, and I am not particularly inclined to start telling her why she's not perfect. Get me? She's not our mascot.
Huh. But by NOT offering any criticism, aren’t you in fact treating her not as a writer or activist or, god forbid, a thinker, but precisely as a mascot?

Still, a few brave MRAs did bring up substantive critiques of her talk. For example, both 2095conash and memetherapy noted that she probably said “Right?” too often. Bluecharge, while proud of her performance, noted with brutal honesty that her “way of wrapping up points by saying ‘so there you go’ was a bit trite.”

So there you go.

Oh, I forgot to mention one dumb criticism some dumb guy made. GWW apparently suggested that if all the men in the world took three days off it would take three years to recover from the disaster that would ensue.

Essemd implied that this was a bit alarmist, arguing that if you gradually replaced men in the workforce with women — over the course of many years — it wouldn’t be the end of the world, because women could do these “men’s jobs” too. “[S]aying either gender is required because this and this job is mainly occupied by men or women is just false,” Essemd concluded.

Luckily there were a few real MRAs around to teach this fella a thing or two. Like Rikevo, who offered the powerful rebuttal that women can’t do shit:

Rikevo 3 points 1 day ago (4|1)  The sectors men occupy which is what keeps society afloat, would collapse if there aren't any men and the likelyhood that women will let alone could do is low given the gendered preferences in the work place.  Feminist would be the last people to even know how to change a tire.Right?

And xNOM had a little list:

xNOM 2 points 1 day ago* (11|9)  What on earth are you talking about.  Without men:      science crippled. almost all major advances done by / creative geniuses are male. yes even today.      no technology. 98% of all patents filed at the EU office in Munich are by men. almost all coders are men. almost all companies that go on to have billion dollar revenues are founded by men.      art crippled. see science, above.      construction of everything crippled      maintainance of everything crippled      firefighting crippled  Without women:      no kids. the end.
So there you go.

NOTE: I actually had that loop of “What is Love” on during most of the writing of this post. Hey, it’s a catchy song.

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Posted on February 8, 2014, in antifeminism, FemRAs, FeMRAsplaining, GirlWritesWhat, internal debate, irony alert, men created civilization, men invented everything, misogyny, MRA, oppressed white men, reddit, women's jobs aren't real and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 485 Comments.

  1. How I wish it weren’t true, cassandrakitty. Then again, I do a similar thing with all the multi lit; you’d be astounded how much of the gold standard shit actually doesn’t have much (or any) research to back it up.

  2. Oh, my university lectures on Freud were quite the eye-opening (and eyebrow raising) experience. The professor who specialized in Freud’s work was the weirdest person I ever encountered in an academic context. The enthusiasm with which he discussed the way children “manipulate” their parents via pooping, or not pooping, was rather disturbing.

  3. And that was before we even got to penis envy and castration anxiety.

  4. YUP. Ugh. And I’ve discovered with glee that I can deflate sciencetrolls’ sails by citing stats on integration. All this time, people act like it’s just a GIVEN that integration is the ideal solution to multi problems, and yet, I have not been able to find a single study with a large enough sample size that proves anything… unless it was people in one hospital run by the author. (And even then, I think the highest sample size I could find was 120.)

    It can be fun to beat-down a scientroll with stats and studies.

  5. Slightly OT, my sister has her BS in Psychology. While in college she joined a club for psychology students to debate/discuss ideas, anyhoo. The sweat shirts they made for the club had a smarmy picture of Freud smoking a cigar with the caption: “If it isn’t one thing, it’s your Mother.” I found it hilarious.

  6. Reading Freud’s stuff always gives me that same slightly uncomfortable feeling that I’m being TMI’d at that Twilight does.

  7. Oh my god, fromafar2013, that’s AWFUL. I’m ashamed I didn’t see it coming.

  8. fromafar2013,
    Aww…sweet. My hubby and his friends called their Pych study group Psycorp, a parody frat that celebrated unethical research. Their motto was, “We’ll make you fear the bunny”.

  9. Fear the bunny? O_o

  10. The tldr version is that some professional douchebags conditioned a baby to cry when he spotted a white rat that he had previously shown no fear of. They discovered that he also cried around anything that sort of resembled a white rat, including fluffy bunnies because they had basically scarred him horribly.

  11. Whenever you find really dumb ideas that are related to psychology, it’s always a good idea to check and see if Freud was at least partly to blame.

    QFT.

    Worst book I ever read on Mr K was by a Freudian who felt that his doctor’s detailed (if patchy) diary made psychoanalysing him feasible. Freudian shitbag then went on to effectively blame a child subjected to physical and sexual abuse for not being Mr Perfect.

    Freud should be locked in a room full of ferns, I swear, and his followers can go walk on legos.

    a smarmy picture of Freud smoking a cigar with the caption: “If it isn’t one thing, it’s your Mother.”

    Perfect!

    This Dead Philosophers seems appropriate (NSFW).

  12. Wire Mothers, that’s all I’ve got to say.

  13. Oh, I can’t even read that. I know about that experiment and it makes me want to do horrible things to the creatures that ran it.

  14. “If it isn’t one thing, it’s your Mother.”

    With Freudians, your mother IS the One Thing. Everything Freudian boils down to sex, Mother, and Sex With Mother. Worst, most monotonous theory of everything EVER.

  15. RE: Kittehs

    Actually, believe it or not, it seems those awful experiments were done because back then, it was common scientific belief that love wasn’t actually a thing, and that children shouldn’t be cuddled or held. It was all about just getting basic needs met and such, and Harry Knowles blasted that out of the water.

    Funny, that horrible old viewpoint is similar to that of many of our local trolls!

    Also oh god I’ve gotten sucked into science comics. Somebody save me from the awesome edutainment!

  16. Actually, believe it or not, it seems those awful experiments were done because back then, it was common scientific belief that love wasn’t actually a thing, and that children shouldn’t be cuddled or held. It was all about just getting basic needs met and such, and Harry Knowles blasted that out of the water.

    The FUCK?

    I am so full of rage at that …

    And I’m no happier with Harry Knowles for subjecting those monkey babies to that, even if it was in a good cause.

  17. RE: Kittehs

    Yup! Though it’s possible it was more of a USA thing; I think the scientific response was a little more restrained outside of it. But yeah, it was pretty fucked up. People had just figured out germ theory, so it was like, “Oh noes, hugging your baby will MAKE IT SICK,” shit like that. Harry Knowles was backlashing also against the psychological climate of the time, which pretty much came in two flavors: Freudian (which was unscientific), and behaviorist (which led to shit like Little Albert). The two combined to create… well. That.

  18. Basically, it was this idea of cold rationality, and that love was purely a child’s way of getting food and shelter and an adult’s way of getting sex, that Knowles was backlashing against. And unfortunately, of course, you couldn’t scientifically “prove” the concept of love (or ‘attachment,’ since love was considered too unscientific to even study) without doing some really horrific things.

    History is pretty gruesome.

  19. Agh, this is making me think of that foul Milgram torture session experiment. Same sort of thinking. Makes me wonder if it was lack of empathy or actual sadism (the unethical variety) with some of these shits … I’m just like, How can you think that way? What is wrong with you? And why do YOU get to be the ones proclaiming how humans work when you’re so fucked up?

  20. This really does sound like where the morons of the MRM are at, doesn’t it? And they wonder why nobody else likes them or wants to fuck them.

  21. Wait, the Milgram experiments? Those were just experiments, no scarring or torture involved. The person recieving the electric shocks didn’t exist, except in the minds of the person giving the shocks.

    I don’t see how they relate to Little Albert, or other behaviorist (or Freudian) horror stories. Am I missing something?

  22. RE: Fibinachi

    Basically, a lot of the test subjects of the Milgram experiments were pretty horrified and scarred by what they did during the test, even though the person receiving the shocks didn’t actually exist. IIRC, those experiments changed how consent and blind studies worked, because a lot of the subjects were pissed over what happened.

  23. Fibinachi – what LBT said. I know the electric shocks weren’t happening, the cries were coming from Milgram’s collaborators. I’m talking about what was done to the people who thought they were giving the shocks, and yes, that was fucking mental torture. I watched that damned film in Social Science (which was the less-horrible choice of elective, and that’s the only reason I took it) and listened to my godawful teacher giggle all through it.

  24. OT, but I had to share this. There’s a sub on Reddit called FEMRA Debates that was formed to “constructively discuss issues surrounding gender justice in a safer space.” In actuality, it is completely dominated by MRAs, who compulsively pile on to any self-identified feminist who posts there, reporting all of their comments to the sub’s mods. You can find a pretty good discussion about the experience of feminists on that sub here.

    Nonetheless, they see themselves as reasonable gender theorists having constructive discussions.

    ***TRIGGER WARNING***

    For example, in this thread they constructively discuss situations in which rape would be completely understandable, and where the rape victim wouldn’t deserve any sympathy. Men are compared to angry bulls too. This is a particularly terrible thread within the comments, but the comments are full of shit.

    The less-triggery discussion in r/amr is here. It includes the sub’s mod coming over to tell us we’re welcome to participate in their little shitshow. Gee, thanks.

    Bear in mind that this is a heavily moderated sub, so if comments aren’t deleted that is intentional.

  25. D: DO NOT WANT

    Hey cloudiah! I just posted the story you just sponsored! Thanks muchly!

  26. Poor puppeh!

    That’s the first Reverend Alpert story I’ve read, and I know Perfection’s a demon, but until her skin was mentioned, I could only see her as a kitty. Soft and purring and pointy teeth and climbing onto rooftops … and no, I’m not wanting to imagine a human + feline demon relationship! :P

  27. That Rev. Alpert story did not make me tear up or sniffle. Everything is under control. Situation normal. It did not make me want to hug all my puppies. Everything is perfectly alright now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now. How are you?

  28. @cassandra

    The enthusiasm with which he discussed the way children “manipulate” their parents via pooping, or not pooping, was rather disturbing.

    That sounds fairly creepy. :/

  29. The enthusiasm with which he discussed the way children “manipulate” their parents via pooping, or not pooping, was rather disturbing.

    “Give me the candy or I’ll poop in the living room!!”
    (But really, what the hell?)

  30. My daughter runs up to me and says, “Poopy, mommy! Poopy!” whenever there’s a number 2 in the diaper I need to take care of (we’re working on getting the poopy in the potty, but so far, no luck). I guess that might be manipulation, because whenever she says “poopy” I change her diaper. But it seems more like simple “cause and effect” to me.

  31. LBT — not pissed, pissed implies they knew wtf was up. They didn’t, he never told them. Some of them went years living with the entirely false guilt that they’d killed someone. That is what made it unethical. Somebody redid it, with ethics board approval, not long ago, got basically the same results. The difference between the two? The new one included debriefing the participants that they hadn’t harmed anyone.

  32. All of which reinforces my feeling that it was torture.

  33. Actually – could it be called ethical to do that experiment at all, even if they debriefed them about not killing anyone? The volunteers aren’t volunteering for what they think they are; they’re being lied to.

  34. In NZ, you have to show the ethics committee that:
    (1) the deception is absolutely necessary to getting results, because ethics committees here aren’t that keen on the participants being deceived; and
    (2) show all the precautions you’re going to take to make sure that participants aren’t harmed by being involved in the research. This can include relatively small harms like slight embarrassment as well as big harms (e.g. completely altering their view of themselves as an ethical person).

    The bigger problem in NZ has not been the psych studies, but the medical studies:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartwright_Inquiry
    and
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=1191454
    spring to mind immediately.

  35. LBT: I am in awe of you!! That story was so good! Have you got any books published? I love your writing style so much. Is that Reverend an ongoing story? So fucking cool!

    PS. Sorry if you have already talked about this, I get lost sometimes in the comments and I’m not very used to online stuff.

  36. RE: Kittehs

    That’s the first Reverend Alpert story I’ve read, and I know Perfection’s a demon, but until her skin was mentioned, I could only see her as a kitty.

    She does act pretty feline, doesn’t she? And due to word count constraints (seriously, Alpert is getting harder and harder to write in such short chunks; everything feels skeletal) I haven’t actually really gotten to DESCRIBE her yet. I guess I can just claim I’m leaving it to folks’ imagination? :D?

    RE: leatapp

    That Rev. Alpert story did not make me tear up or sniffle.

    Oh no!

    RE: Argenti

    They didn’t, he never told them.

    Oh WOW. Yeah, that part I didn’t know. D: Euuuuugh.

    RE: marci

    LBT: I am in awe of you!! That story was so good! Have you got any books published? I love your writing style so much. Is that Reverend an ongoing story? So fucking cool!

    Gosh golly! *embarrassment* I’m glad you liked it! And yes, Reverend Alpert is an ongoing serial I’ve been writing for a couple years. There are currently six stories in the series, with two more currently up for sponsorship. (Though one of them involves Doña Prudencia, a curandera who operates her own practice totally independently of him, twenty years after his time.)

    If you’re interested in my other work… well, I’ve got a LOT of it posted. Alpert is my most popular series, but Infinity Smashed is the largest, currently holding over fifty posted stories. As for stuff for sale, I’ve got comics and zines for sale, in paper and PDF form, and also a few random orphaned writeathon stories, plus digital or paper copies of Bodily Reconstruction, an Infinity Smashed story involving getting trans healthcare in a town run entirely by reptiles, giant insects, and eldritch abominations. Argenti owns a copy, so ze can vouch!

    …I badly need to make an etsy so as to have all my sellable goods in one easy page. <.<

  37. Oh, bugger me. I tripped the mod filter for too many links. Let’s try this again…

    RE: Kittehs

    That’s the first Reverend Alpert story I’ve read, and I know Perfection’s a demon, but until her skin was mentioned, I could only see her as a kitty.

    She does act pretty feline, doesn’t she? And due to word count constraints (seriously, Alpert is getting harder and harder to write in such short chunks; everything feels skeletal) I haven’t actually really gotten to DESCRIBE her yet. I guess I can just claim I’m leaving it to folks’ imagination? :D?

    RE: leatapp

    That Rev. Alpert story did not make me tear up or sniffle.

    Oh no!

    RE: Argenti

    They didn’t, he never told them.

    Oh WOW. Yeah, that part I didn’t know. D: Euuuuugh.

    RE: marci

    LBT: I am in awe of you!! That story was so good! Have you got any books published? I love your writing style so much. Is that Reverend an ongoing story? So fucking cool!

    Gosh golly! *embarrassment* I’m glad you liked it! And yes, Reverend Alpert is an ongoing serial I’ve been writing for a couple years. There are currently six stories in the series, with two more currently up for sponsorship. (Though one of them involves Doña Prudencia, a curandera who operates her own practice totally independently of him, twenty years after his time.)

    If you’re interested in my other work… well, I’ve got a LOT of it posted. Alpert is my most popular series, but Infinity Smashed is the largest, currently holding over fifty posted stories. As for stuff for sale… this’ll need another comment. One moment.

  38. Okay, and here’s the saleable stuff!

    I’ve got comics and zines for sale, in paper and PDF form, and also a few random orphaned writeathon stories, plus digital or paper copies of Bodily Reconstruction, an Infinity Smashed story involving getting trans healthcare in a town run entirely by reptiles, giant insects, and eldritch abominations. Argenti owns a copy, so ze can vouch!

    …I badly need to make an etsy so as to have all my sellable goods in one easy page. <.<

  39. Hooray! Posting a hojillion links ACHEIVED! *touchdown arms*

  40. Etsy are evil. They don’t ship to Australia. D:

  41. Well, shit, then. I really want to make some kind of shop page to link folks to, just to make things easier for everyone, and I figured etsy was my best bet. Is there some kind of equivalent that DOES ship to Australia, kittehs?

  42. Ooh, I got it wrong! It must have been the individual seller there not shipping to Oz. You can set up international shipping profiles selling through them!

  43. No no, he believed that even pre-verbal infants manipulate their parents via their decisions about when to poop, or refusing to poop. And yep, creepy, but also funny.

  44. So, babies really do learn from the Furrinati …

  45. Kitteh — minor deception is kinda standard in US psych research, usually it’s little things though. Like, for intro to psych we had to be in a couple research studies, our choice. The one I remember doing I got sat in the little room to wait, someone else, supposedly another participant, came in and started making small talk about getting dumped, and then about losing a parent. Turned out she was one of the researchers, they were studying how people react to bad things they can relate to versus bad things they can’t relate to. Ended up talking about rape culture with the other researcher while explaining what I think is behind that difference in responses.

    Obviously “oh you weren’t really making small talk, that was the study” isn’t on par with Milgram, but that sort of deception happens all the time and is, IMO, harmless. If anything, I don’t recall wtf I thought I was signing up for, but was pleased to actually be helping them research why people react to rape they way they do.

  46. Even though it’s for something important, that example skeeves me right out. It just sets all my manipulation alarms ringing, even though it’s not for personal gain or abuse or anything.

  47. mildlymagnificent

    The enthusiasm with which he discussed the way children “manipulate” their parents via pooping, or not pooping, was rather disturbing.

    And therapists who’ve swallowed this codswallop wholeheartedly have done inestimable damage to thousands of people over decades and decades. Long, long before I had any children of my own, I heard of friends of a friend who were taking their little preschooler boy in for twice weekly therapy. He was constantly being berated by parents and by the Freudian therapist that he was being mean to mummy by withholding this anal gift – and that he was punishing her by dirtying his pants instead of using the potty or the toilet.

    The poor little mite was so constipated that he was having real physical problems. He should have been taken to hospital and sedated to be given an enema and, probably, treatment for anal fissures. I never heard what happened to him but I presume they eventually took him to a doctor or pediatrician who knew how to handle it better.

  48. Poor kid. Also, this story yet again reinforces my dislike of Freudian-based therapy.

  49. RE: Kittehs

    Awesome! In that case, it’s still on the agenda!

    RE: mildlymagnificent

    WTF. Who does that? I mean, it’s a fucking PRESCHOOLER. They lack the subtlety for shit like that. Gah.

  50. Fun fact: modern statistic presentation (and so modern science) is the result of a woman trying to explain things to a bunch of men. The woman was Florence Nightingale.

    As to Mr. “I won’t be your battle guard” (or whatever over the top phrase he used), I am comfortable in my ability to take him down. The thing is, anyone can be taken out, all it requires is the person making the attack be willing to commit murder. Since I very much doubt he’s actually the sort to engage in murder (out of the blue) the odds he can take me out, are slim. That sort tend to be running on bravado and bluster. They won’t attack without a lot of posturing (in part because they’ve internalised some pretty toxic masculinity), and that’s all I need to be ready.

    If I’m ready, I’m not really all that worried.

  51. change a tire or make a scratch hollandaise? IMO, about dead even for hard.

    Souffle… a bit trickier. Mille-fueille pastry? Real Danish?

    Where’s the jack. Because those are hard (and I’ve never made them work properly).

  52. CD1177: But if you don’t subject yourself to her stupidity, how can you make fun of it?

    He didn’t. He was looking at the people rising to deflect any, and all, criticism of her.

    You might at least try to read critically.

  53. There are 10 kinds of people in the world:

    Those who get binary, those who don’t and those who didn’t realise this joke is in base 3.

  54. Oh LOL.

  55. I was actually interested in reading this article, as I know nothing about anything, from the people to the events, and then I read:

    For some reason I don’t believe you. Anyone who would take a piece of snark (e.g. Just thinking about the Beatles seems to induce mental disturbance. They have a commonplace, rather dull act that hardly seems to merit mentioning, yet people hereabouts have mentioned scarcely anything else for a couple of days. [George Dixon: Washington Post, Feb. 13, 1964]) and then go off on the tear you did… probably had an ox, or two, ox gored by the comments.

    So tell us, what’s really got your knickers twisted.

  56. So instead of discussing the issues that straughen raised in her talk, manboobz is taking a punt at MRA’s for, wait for it….. not being able to discuss the issues in her talk. Got it.

  57. What do you mean they weren’t able to discuss the issues in her talk? I don’t recall mocking them for that. Or that even being true in the first place.

  58. This is a site for mocking misogynists, genius. You want to discuss the talk, do so on your own blog or MRA blogs or whatever.

  59. You have a reading comprehension problem, don’t you, Papaya?

    The OP isn’t about Straughan’s talk. It’s about the reaction of Men’s Rights redditors to criticism of Straughan’s talk.

    Next time, try reading the title to an article. It should clue you in about the articles content. Thus, the OP title is: “Men’s Rights White Knights rush in to protect Karen ‘GirlWritesWhat’ Straughan from MRA criticism.” Notice how the title directly states what the article is about?

  60. So instead of discussing the issues that straughen raised in her talk, manboobz is taking a punt at MRA’s for, wait for it….. not being able to discuss the issues in her talk. Got it.

    Oh no! The topic is not the one you wanted! Whatever shall we do?

  61. Whatever shall we do?

    Laugh at the idea that Straughan actually has issues to talk about?

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