Category Archives: a woman is always to blame
Yesterday, we looked at 6 memes from A Voice for Men’s “meme team” and decoded what they really meant. Today, some memes from AVFM’s Pinterest page that are a bit harder to decode, because they really make no sense at all. I’ll do my best to try to sort them out.
1) TALK TO THE HAND
What might it mean? “Ha ha girls talk too much, well joke’s on you because I’m GOING MY OWN WAY and later I’ll go home and make a poster about how
I imagined I might I totally really did put that bitch in her place.”
I mean, that is what this poster is saying, right? It’s illustrating the notion that men and women should listen to one another by depicting a dude just up and leaving because he’s tired of listening?
How exactly does this advance any “men’s rights” other than the right of men to act like petulant children?
Is there no end to the ways in which women oppress the men of the world? Over on A Voice for Men, Clint Carpentier reports – and I use that term loosely – on a heretofore overlooked form of anti-male oppression: the abuse of fathers in delivery rooms by women who are at that moment literally in the stirrups giving birth.
Yep, we’re talking about women who use 12 hours of labor as a convenient excuse to yell at, and sometimes scratch and bite, their husbands and boyfriends. Apparently, there’s an epidemic of women in labor cruelly attacking men from the comfort and safety of the delivery table.
Carpentier starts off his post by making clear that giving birth isn’t really the big freaking deal all the ladies think it is, anyway:
Giving birth is an amazing feat of zero skill, and it still amazes me. It amazes me that this is the epitome, the pinnacle, the supposed female trump card to all male accomplishments. A man lands on the moon with analogue technology and proves Galileo’s theory of air resistance, but never mind that, another woman gave birth, just as well as any other female animal on the planet. A man creates life in a petri-dish, but never mind that, some broad stole his sperm and created life herself.
Anyway, I’m not knocking the dangers of labor, men know all about the dangers of labor; there really ought to be a better word for giving birth.
And whatever alleged pain women undergo during so-called “labor” apparently pales in insignificance to the pain men suffer from being in their presence in the delivery room. Carpentier has managed to avoid this terrible fate himself – his wife went the c-section route, no biggie – but he has heard tales that would make your skin crawl:
I have … heard stories, have … seen the scratches and bite marks, on the fathers who braved the maternity ward. And these same brave men praise the bravery of the mothers of their children. They proudly display scars the mothers-to-be inflicted upon them during the ordeal.
I’m hoping these scars are only from fingernails and that mothers-to-be aren’t sneaking shivs into the delivery room.
Oh, also, sometimes women in labor yell really loudly:
Sometimes a father will reminisce amusingly about how he’d been temporarily deafened when she had screamed right in his ear for waxing sympathetically over her tribulations.
And apparently it’s only men who are the targets for this scratching and biting and yelling:
I hear these stories only from men. I know, men aren’t the only people comforting these women during birth; some women don’t have a man at the time. But what I don’t hear, are these stories from the female nurses, friends, mothers, sisters, etc, who are there to console and coach these single mothers-to-be. Why is it, I’m only hearing accounts of weathering physical abuse and injury from the fathers?
I don’t know, dude. Do you hang out with female nurses on a regular basis? Do you spend as much time drinking beer and shooting the shit with your wife’s female friends as you do with your own?
You see, if I am correct, and it is only fathers who suffer this abuse, then delivery of such injury is selective. I can see no call for it.
Really? First of all, you haven’t shown that this is abuse and not simply an accident. Second, how many of these female friends, mothers, sisters, what have you, were actually in the delivery room? Because that seems like an important variable to take into consideration before jumping to conclusions based on a dataset of some-dudes-allegedly-told-you-something-once.
In fact, fathers-to-be should avoid the maternity ward altogether, as they are obviously not welcome.
Really again? You imagine an epidemic of anti-male violence by women giving birth based on a couple of stories and a rather half-assed deduction you’ve made from it, and therefore conclude that 1) men should miss out on the birth of their children and 2) shouldn’t be there to comfort their wives as best they can during labor.
If birthing is license to mistreat, abuse, or injure a father in the witness of medical professionals, then what deterrent exists, preventing continued abuse in private? And for that matter, what indication is there that she doesn’t abuse him already?
Woah. Let’s just back up a little here. First of all, dude, you haven’t proven that “abuse of fathers” by women on the delivery table is actually a thing. You’ve offered only a few vague anecdotes – and these anecdotes don’t even make clear whether or not the alleged “ delivery of … injury” – gotta love that evasive wording – was deliberate.
Given the stress and pain of labor, it’s easy to imagine how a woman giving birth might accidentally scratch someone. Maybe the mother in question was holding onto her husband’s hand for support and dug her fingernails in a little too hard and left a mark. Maybe she flailed her arm backwards and accidentally scratched his face. We don’t know, because not only do you offer zero real evidence for any of your claims, but your second-hand stories don’t offer enough detail to know what was going on.
If endangering your own life once or twice provides license to abuse a man, what does that say about our society. Particularly when he endangers his own life as a matter of routine to support you?
Seriously? I know Men’s Righsters love to complain about the fact that many more men than women die on the job – though this complaining never seems to lead to any actual activism on the issue of workplace safety – but the fact is that most men, in the US at least, DO NOT WORK DANGEROUS JOBS. They don’t endanger their own lives “as a matter of routine.” They don’t endanger their lives at all by going to work, at least not any more than women do.
MRAs love to give themselves credit for bravery because they share a gender with a small number of men who do in fact work dangerous jobs. But I’m guessing there are not a lot of lion tamers amongst the Men’s Rights crowd. Somehow I’m thinking that most of them have jobs that mostly involve sitting on their asses in rooms entirely devoid of lions.
Anyway, if the overwhelming majority of men don’t endanger their lives by going to work, they endanger it even less by “braving” the delivery room. Men face no actual physical threat from women who are literally flat on their back, their feet in stirrups, in the process of pushing an entire human being out through their vaginas.
But, hey, women do sometimes yell rude things during labor, so maybe it’s possible that a few of them do scratch or even bite their husbands, though the latter seems like it might be a tad difficult logistically. Some might even do so on purpose. If so, there would probably be some evidence of this somewhere online, right?
Well, I searched for a while using every combination of search words I could think of. I found an assortment of disturbing headlines about men attacking women in and around maternity wards: Guilty: man who punched and kicked pregnant girlfriend outside Poole Maternity Hospital; Man charged with assaulting pregnant girlfriend, staff in hospital maternity ward; Man Throws Meat Cleaver Into Maternity Ward.
I found disturbing statistics about pregnancy and domestic violence, which often begins or increases during pregnancy; according to one 2000 study, some 324,000 pregnant women are abused each year.
On a somewhat lighter note, I found women wondering if it was normal to have a really itchy stomach after giving birth, and another person wondering “why is my bitch digging so much after giving birth[?]” (Don’t worry; they were talking about a dog.)
Amidst all this – and many hundreds of other irrelevant results – I managed to find one example of a woman scratching a man during childbirth.
On a page in which she provided all the gory details of her 28 hours of labor – along with numerous pictures of her newborn – one new mother also posted a couple of pictures documenting the scratches she’d given her husband while in labor. (I’m not giving out the link because MRAs. )
Brace yourself. Here’s one of the pictures, with the father’s face partially blurred out:
If you look very carefully you can see four faint scratches on his forearm. The blogger isn’t a native English speaker, but as far as I can tell from what she wrote about it, she didn’t give these terrible scratches to him on purpose.
Yesterday, several days after the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, A Voice for Men took a moment to honor the brilliant musician who tragically ended his life at the age of only 27.
Well, not exactly. What they actually did was run a terrible poem using the anniversary of Cobain’s death as an excuse to launch an extended attack on the supposed evils of feminism.
Here’s the opening:
Feminists killed Kurt Cobain
Men my age are all the same
They hate themselves & feel ashamed
For what they are & cannot change
It gets worse. The poem, written by a YouTube MRA calling himself Laudanum Byron, continues on for another 104 lines after this. Only 13 refer to Cobain, and five of these are simply repetitions of the opening accusation: “feminists killed Kurt Cobain.”
The rest of the poem consists of an assortment of Men’s Rights talking points sketched out in the most melodramatic manner possible.
Men chastised, demonized,
Healthy males pathologized
A man is just a dirty ape
Longing, lust, desire: all rape
Your body is a loaded gun
And all that it has done is wrong
Like all too many MRAs, Mr. Byron lets his anger at women get the better of his logic. In the following lines, for example, he lashes out at women both for living off of the earnings of men — and for earning money of their own.
Now the girls get told get what you can
After all, he’s just a man
You’re right to think it’s right to take
Yes you go girl, you make him pay
The girls get taught they must get on
Like work empowered anyone:
To sell your life for dollar bills
Taking calls & stacking shelves
In offices & factories
Fulfilment sought in drudgery
Mr. Byron – no relation, one presumes, to the actual Byron – seems to have only a rudimentary notion of what a poem actually is. While most, though not all, of his lines scan, he has persistent troubles with the concept of rhyme, with his aabb and aabbcc rhyme schemes dominated by half-rhymes and quarter-rhymes and, well, the words have some similar sounds in them.
“Bills” and “shelves” don’t rhyme, or half-rhyme, despite both ending in the letter “s.” “Take” and “pay” aren’t even remotely close.
Admittedly, “chivalry” is a tough one to rhyme. But surely one can do better than “steeds.”
White knights, on their hobbled steeds
Still cling to laws of chivalry
Passed over by the queens they save
A joke to all the other slaves
When he pulls off an actual rhyme, it comes a surprise:
All of us the sons of Cain
Feminists killed Kurt Cobain.
But while we’re on the topic, it’s worth pointing out that feminists and/or feminism did not actually kill Kurt Cobain. (Nor did anyone else; the conspiracy theories suggesting he was murdered don’t make a lot of sense.)
Byron’s only “evidence” linking feminism to the suicide?
He screamed onstage & pierced his flesh
Put on make-up, wore a dress
Look, nobody knows for sure the reason or reasons Cobain took his own life, but he was a troubled man with a history of suicide attempts. He suffered from depression and from a painful, persistent stomach ailment. He was addicted to heroin. And as his suicide note made clear, he found the fame he had achieved to be something of an intolerable burden; he felt like a fake. Like a lot of suicides, Cobain’s could be seen as psychologically overdetermined; it could have been caused by any or all of these things.
Using his suicide to score cheap rhetorical points against feminism is not only dishonest but highly disrespectful to his memory.
To top off this gigantic platter of disrespect, whoever wrote the headline on AVFM didn’t even bother to spell Cobain’s first name correctly. It’s Kurt, with a K.
Below, “Byron’s” own reading of his poem. If you can’t bear listening to it — I only made it a couple of stanzas in before I had to shut it off — you can make your way to AVFM, or to YouTube, to read the rest. I feel safe in saying that Kurt, who considered himself a feminist, would have hated it, and A Voice for Men as well.
Pickup artist: “If God ever created a better replacement for women, we’d exterminate them overnight.”
The problem — well, one of the many problems — with a lot of so-called pickup artists is that they think with their dicks, and then use their relatively underpowered brains to rationalize their dickular preferences as The Way The World Should Be.
By contrast, the problems with Lance Christopher, a so-called pickup artist who hangs out in the comments section on Roosh V’s Return of Kings blog, really start when he stops thinking with his dick.
Some dudes roll over and fall asleep the moment after they come; Mr. Christopher contemplates genocide because women don’t want to hear him pontificate about Ukrainian history.
In case you’re wondering, no one else in the discussion suggests that Mr. Christopher’s opinion here might be a teensy bit extreme.
No, the commenters happily share terrible opinion after terrible opinion about the inferior creatures known as women.
Oh, it gets worse.
Cleanup in the pompous misogyny aisle!
You’ll notice that all of these comments have upvotes, by the way.
There may be some even more terrible comments in that thread, but I gave up reading them after a few screens full of this sort of garbage.
Today, just a recommendation: if you’d like to learn more about the wrongheaded and often quite bewildering opinions of Men’s Rights grandpappy Warren Farrell, take a look at the excellent Farrell’s Follies series now being posted on the AgainstMensRights subreddit. The Redditor known as feminista_throwaway has been systematically going through Farrell’s Myth of Male Power and looking in detail at Farrell’s positions on such issues as “Date Fraud,” why it’s supposedly easier to be a gay man than a straight man, why patriarchy is women’s fault, and how men and women don’t really love each other. There’s a guide to the whole series here.
A Voice for Men fans have appropriated logos of real anti-violence organizations for new “Don’t Be That Girl” postering campaign
Here we go again. Like small children who have just discovered the power of the tantrum, the terrible people at A Voice for Men seem to have realized that the only reliable way for them to get the attention of the world is to act like complete assholes in public. And so some fans of AVFM have decided to bring back the “Don’t Be That Girl” campaign — you know, the witless and misogynistic “parody” of the successful Canadian “Don’t Be That Guy” rape awareness campaign. Now they’re postering in Halifax.
But there’s one difference: this time they’ve put the logos of the real sponsors of the real “Don’t Be That Guy” rape awareness project on their phony posters. (You can see the whole list by downloading one of the pdfs of the real posters on this page.)
So far, two of the organizations listed on their phony posters – the Bryony House shelter for victims of domestic violence and the Halifax Police Department – have made very clear that their logos are being used without permission.
We are in no way affiliated with the slanderous campaign being distributed around Halifax and we have not given consent to use our logo.—
Bryony House (@BryonyHouse) March 24, 2014
It’s a pretty safe bet that the other organizations whose logos were appropriated feel similarly.
I’d like to encourage anyone who can afford it to follow up on a suggestion from Cloudiah in the comments and donate to Bryony House so that some good can come out of all this.
Now, I’m no expert on Canadian law, but it seems rather unlikely to me that it’s legal to simply stick some organization’s logo on something and pretend that they have endorsed it. Especially when that organization is the police.
Apparently some MRAs disagree with me on that:
Your consent is not required for these posters.—
Paul Elam (@AVoiceForMen) March 24, 2014
“Your consent is not required” seems to be the operating assumption of a lot of those drawn to the Men’s Rights movement.
I guess we will see. Here are several more photos of the posters. There’s more discussion of this in the AgainstMensRights subreddit.
EDITED TO ADD: Elam has now responded to the critics, and promises to bankroll any legal challenges against the posterers. It’s pretty clear that he doesn’t understand why the logos are a problem.
EDIT/CORRECTION: It’s not completely clear that this postering campaign originated with AVFM. It’s pretty clear, though, that it’s supported by AVFM, and that those involved in it are supporters of AVFM. I’ve made a few changes to the headline and first graf to reflect this.
You may remember the embarrassing spectacle a couple of months back when Warren Farrell asked the readers of A Voice for Men to help him pick out a cover picture for a new ebook version of The Myth of Male Power, the 21-year-old crackpot bestseller that more or less provided the, er, intellectual foundation for today’s Men’s Rights movement.
It wasn’t just embarrassing because AVFM is a noxious hate site that regularly calls women c*nts and whores and helps to organize informal campaigns of harassment directed at individual women. It was also embarrassing because all three of the pictures were sexualized images focusing on specific female body parts. You can guess which three, and you’d be right: tits, ass, and vagina (the latter tastefully covered in a merkin made of moss).
Well, Farrell ended up rejecting all of these images in favor of … a different picture of a woman’s butt. Yep, the screenshot above features the actual cover of the recently released ebook version of The Myth of Male Power. (You can see it in its full sized-glory over on Amazon.)
The implicit message of the cover couldn’t be clearer: men may seem to run the world, but women can control and exploit them through the power of their sexuality. Male power is undercut by … butt power.
Am I reading too much into a cover image? Farrell doesn’t really believe this nonsense, does he?
Well, in the introduction to the ebook, Farrell writes:
In case you’re wondering, “genetic celebrity” is Farrell’s term of art for any attractive woman.
But golly, you say, the fact that a dude feels “powerless” because he can’t have sex with every woman with a nice butt that happens to wander across his field of vision doesn’t actually mean that men are powerless or that male power is a myth. Well, Farrell has an answer to this as well. And by “answer” I mean, well, whatever this is:
Got that? I’m not sure there’s anything there to get; it’s nothing more than hand-waving to distract attention from the nonsensical nature of his previous statements. In case any Men’s Rights activist ever brings Warren Farrell up as an example of a respectable, “academic” MRA, you may wish to point out that almost nothing Farrell writes ever actually makes any fucking sense.
In the book itself, Farrell repeatedly suggested that male power can be undone almost completely by the sexual power of women. In one oft-quoted passage, he wrote about the effect that a “secretary’s miniskirt power, cleavage power and flirtation power” allegedly has on their male bosses. (Myth of Male Power, p. 21)
While that statement has earned a certain notoriety for its sheer ridiculousness, Farrell went further elsewhere in the book, essentially arguing that men are as addicted to female “beauty” as drug addicts are to the drug of their choice — and as helpless.
“Sexually, of course, the sexes aren’t equal,” Farrell wrote. “[M]any men feel ‘under the influence the moment they see a beautiful woman.” (p. 320, emphasis in original.)
This sort of temporary “intoxication,” Farrell argued, leads men into shackling themselves to these temporarily sexy tyrants for the rest of their lives — thus agreeing to support them (he suggested implicitly) even after they get old and ugly. (p. 85.)
In Farrell’s original book, this “argument,” such as it is, was merely one of many that he thought undercut the alleged “myth of male power.” Now, with the butt on the cover, he’s put it front and center. Or, more precisely, rear and center.
Warren Farrell, you’re an ass, man.
Oh, awkward segue here, I just wanted to show off the cover to the new edition of my classic book, The Myth of Human Power.
It will soon be available for one million dollars in cash in unmarked bills, upon delivery of which I will sit down and write it for you. It will probably be pretty short and not very convincing.