Men’s Rights Redditor: “Men … need to start putting … government agents who violate their rights in the dirt.” [+54 upvotes]

Today, in the Men’s Rights subreddit, we find Demonspawn, a long-time fixture in Reddit’s MRA circles, getting dozens of upvotes for a comment in which he advocates murdering family court judges and other government officials:

Demonspawn is responding to a post from Robert Franklin on Fathers and Families about Dan Brewington, “[a]n Indiana man fac[ing] five years in prison because he criticized the judge and the custody evaluator in his divorce and custody case.”

Or at least that’s how Franklin wants to frame the issue. While conceding that Brewington “often used intemperate language” on his blog, Franklin downplays what seems to have been a relentless four-year harassment campaign from the troubled father. According to a report on the case on the Eagle Country Online website:

[P]rosecutors argued that Brewington took his postings beyond being critical of the court system. They became personal against anybody who became involved with his case.

“This was sick revenge dragging my wife and kids into the matter,” Humphrey said during his testimony. “I don’t know of many cases where a subject has more clearly expressed his intent to do harm.” …

Brewington …  called [custody evaluator Edward] Connor a child molester and prostitute in his “Internet rampage,” contacted the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky where Conner is involved as a board member, and sending mass e-mails to Connor’s colleagues and legal professional around the area. …

Connor’s wife, Dr. Sara Jones-Connor, reaffirmed what her husband shared with the judge.

“For over four years we have dealt with his attacks on a daily basis,” Jones-Conner said.

And Franklin leaves out the most serious of the accusations against Brewington: that he threatened to murder the judge.

Brewington’s cellmate at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center for two-and-a-half months, Joseph McCaleb, had sent a letter to jail officials on September 25 after being concerned with what he heard from Brewington.

 “He talked about following (Judge Humphrey) home, shooting him, and dumping him in the river,” McCaleb said of Brewington’s alleged “detailed and thought out” plan.

I should note that after testifying that Brewington’s threats seemed serious, McCaleb later concluded that they weren’t; and Judge Brian Hill did not take his testimony into consideration when sentencing Brewington.

Was Brewington’s sentence fair? I don’t know. But Franklin’s posting was misleading, to say the least, if not dishonest.  And while a few people raised questions about it, no one on the Men’s Rights subreddit bothered to spend the two minutes on Google that would have turned up the story I’ve been quoting from, instead relying entirely on Franklin’s, er, incomplete account.

Whether or not Brewington’s threats were sincere, Franklin’s post had Demonspawn and many others on the Men’s Rights subreddit thinking violent thoughts themselves. Here are some more selections from the discussion there. Note that every single violent comment I quote below got upvotes from the regulars.

Here, Boss_Money invokes the memory of Tom Ball, who killed himself in hopes that his dramatic suicide would encourage other MRAs to start firebombing courthouses and police stations:

Later in that same thread, coldacid suggests that suicide is a much less effective strategy than murder:

Anxdiety, meanwhile, shares his fantasies of violent “retribution.”

Boss_Monkey returns with a miniature manifesto for armed revolution:

And whats_up_doc suggests that violence may be the only solution:

The Men’s Rights subreddit is by and large the most “moderate” of all the major Men’s Rights forums online. But this is the language, and the thinking, of a hate movement. Anyone who really cares about improving life for men needs to call this kind of thing out, and make clear that it is completely unacceptable in any rights movement worthy of the name.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on July 13, 2012, in antifeminism, dozens of upvotes, grandiosity, harassment, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, reddit, threats, violence, your time will come. Bookmark the permalink. 301 Comments.

  1. Morkais, what the fuck is this shit? Given how common a rhetorical technique this shit is, especially amongst straight dudes, are you really going to do this? And are you then going to compare it to non-rapey men/gay people/etc SOs getting a shout out? Fucking hell what the hell is wrong with you?

  2. I mean, with non-rapey dudes/gay people etc these are people misogynists actually do say are categorically impossible.

  3. MorkaisChosen

    Fuck. Severity of that one suggests I’m missing something big here. Gonna try and work out what it is.

    I can be quite clueless sometimes, I’ll admit that, and I’m really sorry it’s got me doing something stupid enough to get that kind of reponse.

  4. MorkaisChosen


    I really do want to work out where I went wrong, but I’m having trouble. Shall look over this when I can look at things more objectively.

    Really sorry, guys.😦

  5. Morkais, why the concern trolling on behalf of Steele? He’ll just bloviate endlessly regardless of whether his SO is real or not.

  6. MorkaisChosen

    My motivation was essentially ‘we have better things to mock and I feel like we’re stooping to their level’ there. The wrong time for my tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt to turn up.:-/

    As I say- I’ve fucked up.

  7. People who are complete assholes deserve the benefit of the doubt? Serial liars deserve the benefit of the doubt? Do you know what that phrase actually means? It tends to be predicated on the notion of a reasonable doubt.

    And are you seriously comparing “HAHA FEMINISTS THERE IS A GIRL I CAN FUCK”, because that’s novel or impossible to feminists, to “Me and my non-rapey boyfriend are going to cuddle/Me and my gay SO are going to go exist/etc”? Things that are actually said not to exist by regular misogynists/homophobes, not to mention MRAs who squawk about hypergamy and cat ladies in nearly adjacent sentences?

  8. MorkaisChosen

    I didn’t intend to make that sort of comparison, though I can understand why it looked like that. Probably got my privilegehat on there, being het male myself.

    The other part… Yeah. Misjudgement and fuckup, because my brain hadn’t got the complete asshole serial liar part through properly, and had him in the Person With Whom I Do Not Agree category (which is one I try to treat fairly). Shall try and keep an eye on that in future.

    Again, I’m sorry, guys.

  9. It doesn’t matter if he has a girlfriend or not. It doesn’t matter if he’s telling the truth about her or not (I’m sure B___don has a girlfriend, I just don’t believe any of the details he gives about her, frex). The point is that he said the sort of thing you say when you know you’ve lost, you know everyone knows you lost, but you’re hoping you can walk away and not have it put in the loss column.

  10. MorkaisChosen

    Agreed there, definitely.

  11. Yo, Dani, out of curiosity, what kind of stuff do you publish? I’m not sure I’d mind this gig, but I’m terribly unsure of my capabilities as a rule. And frankly, I’ve only published smut😄

  12. I’m not Dani (please forgive me if I’m stepping on your toes), but I read her book Shattered Glass. (She may have more out, but this is the only one I’ve come across.)

    It’s a male/male romance, and it’s kind of oddly-paced, but I really enjoyed it. And it’s got some smut, which always makes for a fun story.

  13. Unless that’s a completely different Dani, in which case, oops! Sorry.

  14. Re Ruby: She’s a nuisance. She’s a person with no sense of introspection.

    That, actually is what makes her evil. It’s not that she is all for prison rape. It’s that when pressed, and presented with reasons why she might be wrong, she doesn’t stop; for the slightest moment to reconsider.

    This was implicit in her problems with hypergamy, and her inane chorus of, “IT’S SCIENCE”, just because someone quoted a researcher.

    That was all was all about how she interpreted someone else’s reportage on findings; nor yet about how she disregarded our right to interpret the findings of the studies she did link to, while reserving the right to dismiss the studies we found because she was arguing, “SCIENCE” and we were… chopped liver.

    So the basic dishonesty was obvious.

    The Rape thing wasn’t that. That was her arguing that prison rape was, if not a moral good, at least neutral. And even that’s being really generous. She’s arguing that prison rape is a moral good because it provides “comfort” to the vengeful by letting them imagine “evil” people being raped.

    She also seems to think that’s just a difference of opinion on a semi-trivial thing. That’s the lack of self-reflection. Since she only wants it to happen to “evil people” (forgetting Thomas Paine’s maxim that we need to afford protections even to our enemies, lest those evils we wink at be applied to us), she figures the places she agrees with us (like child-rape being bad) are more important.

    Because she’s not evil, we just don’t understand how nuanced her position is, never mind that she’s not making an apologia for prison rape, but an actual argument in justification.

    That’s why I’m shunning her. I don’t want to reward her bad behavior; or her martyr complex (see her responses about SCIENCE!!!!). I don’t see the point in banning her. I think she deserves to be put on a time out, and ignored, like any other petulant child who has made a mess on the rug.

  15. Antz…. My favorite aspect of his personae is the evil plan to emasculate men by teaching children that DV is bad.

  16. NWO: Yet anyone who who goes after me as an individual, which is everyone, has free rein to do so.

    Bullshit. I said somethings about you (not a direct threat, not even phrased in the Mellerian, “I’d like it if), and got called out for it; by a couple of commenters, and it was modded out by Dave.

    So no, you aren’t fair game.

  17. Stephen Blue: Guess what, though? Now you have to stop saying no MRA ever denounces this stuff

    You aren’t the first to denounce them to us. The issue is that no one seems to be denouncing it in the movement

    That’s why the SPLC says you have unpleasantly strong strains of misogyny in the movement. It’s why we say the movement is violent. Because when some of you say violence is good… the people like you stand mute; to the people who are saying it.

  18. Varpole: Whether or not I actually sockpuppeted is beside the point; the point is, Boobzland blindly accepted Futrelle’s assertion that I did. This is very telling.

    Yes, it is, in a way you aren’t parsing. Dave has earned credibility.

    And that you actually sockpuppeted shows why we gave him that credit. He has been (again) proven right. You have helped to make it so that the next time he outs a sockpuppet, he will be more readily believed.

    Actions have consequences.

    As to your being, “unjustly silenced”, get stuffed. Dave tells people that they have to wait for their deathless prose to go through. He may even ban certain types of comment (Tommy-Boy on “Hoors”). You told me that if I didn’t respond to your posts/comments in a manner you thought germane, I wasn’t going to be allowed to comment.

    To your, marginal, credit, you didn’t actually ban me, in toto. I don’t know if you actually locked my comments in that thread, because; as I told you, that wasn’t acceptable, and I stopped commenting until you took your final bow(s).

    So you have no leg to stand on in terms of, “censorship”.

    Excuse me? I am a wealthy urban professional and educated individual.

    I thought you were in a graduate program? Taking in lectures on literature in your spare time. Lectures that just happened to mention misandry.

    That is indeed part of the reason; that situation can be analyzed as a cultural problem, but it’s not a result of direct discrimination….Thirdly, yes, on the whole, I do believe women are naturally more inclined to childcare. That’s heresy here, I know.

    Not heresy. Heresy is a religious term. Feminism isn’t a religion. It is against the common consensus; because we argue that the idea you are espousing is culturally driven. Human beings are not mice, in which the males are incapable of caring their young (this is in part because a male mouse keeps a harem and what little he can to do care for his offspring is offset by their number, and the often disparate locations). Nor are we songbirds, where the males must provide half the care or their offspring die.

    That child-rearing is a cultural phenomenon is provable. The number of differing ways in which children are (and historically have been) reared is vast. That means it’s not instinct, it’s chosen.

    As to the nonsense about women being paid less because “they choose to rear their children,”, that’s also not quite true. Women, as a class, are paid less because it’s believed they will take time off to rear children, or that they will be skimping on work to take care of them.

    Even if they don’t have children.

  19. Steele: I wanted to become a writer.

    Nothing was stopping you. You didn’t have the fire. I’ve made money writing (and taking pictures, and cooking, and asking people questions, and teaching, and working in film, and realising that while I enjoy acting, I don’t have the “fire in the belly” I’d need to make it my life’s work).

    What it takes is being willing to work at it. You weren’t willing to work at it.

  20. Argenti Aertheri

    “Human beings are not mice, in which the males are incapable of caring their young (this is in part because a male mouse keeps a harem and what little he can to do care for his offspring is offset by their number, and the often disparate locations).”

    Utterly off topic, but I had pet mice at one point, the two females turned out to be a female and immature male — they made babies. In that environment, the male was actually a very good father, I got much amusement watching him scurry food into the nest (my mother was less amused to have newborn mice in her house).

    So yeah, in nature, the males might not care for their young, in captivity, they’re certainly capable of it. (And newborn mice are absolutely adorable btw)

    No, that has nothing to do with anything. Only point here is I’m having a shitty day and those mice were adorable.

  21. I’ve bred mice. The males will, in a captive environment, where there is lots of food, bring some to the females, and even cuddle the pups, but that’s about it. They can’t feed them when they are nursing.

    Of course a female mouse will, if the food supply is short, or the space too congested, kill pups (we never did figure out if the ones who did that were killing random pups, their pups, or other does’ pups).

    Given enough time (three-five years) one can breed in/out desireable/undesireable traits. Our males, after about four years, were much less aggressive to other males; more like rats. And none of our mice were prone to biting.

    But we were also breeding snakes, so the culling was a lot easier to manage.

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