The Man Boobz Troll of the Year Award for 2012 goes to … MRAL! No, that’s not a typo.


The votes are in and the winner of the highly coveted Man Boobz Troll of the Year Award for 2012 is … MRAL!

Wait, you say, he wasn’t even on the ballot?

Well, no. The troll that got the most votes from you, my dear readers, was the verbose anti-Man Boobz crusader known as Steele —  also known as Mikhael Varpole and, briefly, as Torvus Butthorn. Indeed, Steele cruised to victory, getting 47% of the vote, as compared with the 33% received by Tom Martin, his only real competitor. (Dr. Pell came in third, with a mere 6% of the total.)

But as it turns out we’ve been played, big time. The troll we know and love as Steele turns out to have been MRAL all along.

Yes, that MRAL – the long banned commenter who cannot seem to walk away from this blog. We’ve uncovered and banned many of his previous sockpuppets, but somehow he managed to slip his boldest sockpuppet right by us.

Oh, sure. I and others here often wondered if Steele was for real; it seemed pretty clear to me that he couldn’t possibly believe everything he said. But it wasn’t until I went back  to some of “Steele’s” earliest comments here, in preparation for this post, that I discovered how justified these suspicions had been. Turns out that one of “Mikhael Varpole’s” IP addresses matched one used by an earlier troll, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island, who had been outed as MRAL a couple of months earlier.


“Torvus Butthorn” really should have been a dead giveaway. But otherwise the highly dedicated MRAL did a masterful job of keeping his troll character consistently ridiculous yet plausible enough to not be an obvious phony, and of hiding his particular obsessions in such a way that he didn’t give himself away.

So, congrats, MRAL, and you’re banned again.

After this, the rest of the results are a bit of an anticlimax.

Sunshine Mary wins the Special-est Snowflake award for Female MRA Trolls, with 52% of the vote. Driversuz comes in second with 32%.

Tom Martin easily wins the Worst Human Being award with a stunning 73% to David K Meller’s 22%.

Some Guy Bored With Your Schtick wins Most Tiresome with 58% of the vote; Diogenes is a distant second with 24%.

And JudgyBitch wins Most Pathetic Vote Beggar.

I hope they’re not all MRAL too.


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 January 2, 2013, in Tom Martin, top troll, TROOOLLLL!!, whaaaaa?. Bookmark the permalink. 334 Comments.

  1. Wow. On the one hand, I’m disappointed my candidate (Tom Martin) didn’t win… but that is some pretty solid trolling there. Though I seem to be one of the few who doesn’t feel like congratulating our Troll of the Year. The more I see of him, the bigger the side-eye. (At least this means I feel better about using my free time writing about aliens and mythological Jewish empires?)

    I drink a good amount of peppermint tea. I get nauseated really easily (yay, eating disorders) and it seems to help calm my stomach. Which is nice, since though I can and have forcefed myself for weeks on end, I really prefer to enjoy my food.

  2. @ LBT

    Nope, I’m with you. His dedication to pestering the people on this forum isn’t impressive so much as it is disturbing. There is something very wrong with that boy.

  3. Excessively long answer for Kitteh: I’m a vet nurse.🙂 Going back to uni next year though, still tossing up whether to go for vet in 2014. I have been in the industry for about 7 years, nursing on and off for about 5, but only finished my certificate in 2011. But obviously that experience would be extremely useful in vet! Tossing up whether I really want to deal with 5 years of study + getting established + such long days and not really great pay for the expectations.

    8 kitties is not so bad! I fostered 5 kittens that would have been PTS for ringworm when I was an animal handler at the SPCA (they euth because it’s SO contagious and takes SO LONG to get rid of and there are SO MANY kittens, it really is sensible… but you get really sick of killing cats and I already had ringworm from a complaint case -neglected/abused dog- anyway) and kept them (I no longer foster :P). A couple of years later I took 2 kittens from work that at 16 weeks were petrified of handling despite time with them (our vet will take surrenders, desex/vacc etc and sell, and desex mum for cost). Then one was probably stolen (he’s microchipped and registered so I just hope he’ll come home one day 8( ).

    A few years after that when I was volunteering I took an old boy who was going to be PTS at the SPCA because he had a fairly bad heart murmur, then last year I took an old extremely obese girl because her owner who loved her dearly had to go into a home and her family didn’t care. Horribly, she was killed by one of our dogs when my partner left her alone with him and she was probably drinking out of his bowl. She’d become our most attentive kitten and it was awful.

    Last but not least a client of ours had an awesome older cat that basically she let her now-husband push out by his dislike and addition of multiple dogs that chased him: brought him in underweight and half-starved with an old abscess, first time she’d seen him in 8 months and her neighbours brought him round… I offered to take him. (He does fine with our dogs because they aren’t loose with the cats.)

    So yeah. They don’t get the attention 1-3 cats would, or even 8 without all our other beasts, but they get daily cuddles and are super affectionate/happy, and I’d never want to have just one or two again.

  4. @hrovitnir do you work in the US? I just finished a training course for vet assistants (can’t afford to go into a tech program atm), and I’m having the worst luck finding a job😦

    You made it past the 5-year mark, which is where 50% of people burn out – got any tips for staying sane?

  5. Best of luck timetravellingfool with your OkCupid Adventures!

  6. Cassandra: Sorry, I didn’t write that well. I’ll blame the hour, and the horrid symptom of this cold (my right ear is clogged, on the inside, so I am half deaf. It’s unpleasant, disconcerting, and reminds of being deathly ill with something else).

    It was a general observation, since most non-tea drinkers don’t know, and the common wisdom is the water needs to be boiling.

  7. Blech, I hate it when one ear is blocked, it makes you feel so unbalanced.

  8. There was a time when we had a lot of animals. Some of them (the snakes/mice) didn’t take large amounts of time, on an individual level).

    Some (the chickens) were more resource than pets. We had a lot of eggs.

    The Horses took work, and so did 50ish guinea pigs. The dogs took time.

    But if you look at absolute numbers of animals, it was sort of scary.

  9. I find it also moves the world further away, and so I am muzzy-headed. I think I feel vaguely alienated. That, and the sense of constant pressure, it’s not as if one can stop noticing it.

    But I have decent coffee, and cheese, and spinning I can play with, and the like.

  10. Awww man, the summer before last I suffered from two really stubborn ear infection in a row which left me nearly completely deaf (but luckily in no pain) for over two weeks at a time.

    Ever since then, every time I get a cold my ears get blocked up and I lose my hearing.

    So I can sympathize with your plight pecuniam.

    I felt like a right prat the last really bad cold I had. I was doing an internship,and one job they asked me to do was to transcribe the recordings of some interviews they did. I literally couldn’t do it because my hearing was so poor! I had to tell them I couldn’t do it because my ears were blocked, they were fine about it but talk about embarrassing.

  11. Try to imagine attempting to review music when one of your ears is temporarily out of service. It’s especially hard when using headphones, since a lot of music now is balanced in such a way that some parts of it you only hear through one side.

  12. Yeah. I suspect this is related to the aforementioned deathly ill. I’ve had intermittent issues with my ears ever since. Allergies seem to have been added to the list. I’m also prone to wax blockages (as I head toward TMI), because I have very narrow exterior canals.

  13. Woah pecunium, 50 guinea pigs? Did you eat them or were they pets? The most rats I’ve ever had was close to 30 and I know someone that had nearly 100 at one point – don’t work as too disabled, took a lot of rescues. That was a brief peak though.

    emilygoddess – I live in New Zealand. Job market’s not great, don’t think it’s as dire as the US though. Re: advice, it’s hard to say! There was actually a year in there were I went elsewhere but that was due to working with some unbelieveable arseholes, not the job. I don’t know if I would keep doing it forever due to the crap hours and crap money but maybe if I worked somewhere good? I do love the job for all that it’s a lot of cleaning. I was amazed when I came back to realise how much I enjoy it. Unfortunately my boss is absolutely awful, and I cannot keep working for him, so that solidifies my need to look at a higher paying career.

    Nurses in NZ do all the cleaning, we also do the handling/holding for bloods/taking bloods and place catheters in some clinics. Run diagnostic tests, take radiographs, monitor anaesthetics, scrub in to assist with surgery in some cases, can do dentals and sometimes neuters. But I believe techs in the US do some consults and just get the vet if needed? We don’t do stuff like that.

    For advice in general I feel it’s finding a point between too soft and too hard. Helpful, eh?😛 Having started at the SPCA I was pretty OK with euthanasia from the start and I can’t really tell you how I was. Periodically you really like that animal or you’re having a bad day and it makes you cry but normally it’s sad and you move on.

    You have to do a lot of things they don’t like, and you have to hurt them. You don’t get a lot of time to pat them and a lot of clinics can frown on you making time to do so. HOWEVER I’ve noticed almost all the nurses I’ve worked with that have stayed more than a year or so have ended up losing empathy and I do not approve. Little things like keeping cats in carry cages when you’re not sure how long they’ll be stuck there because it’s annoying to clean out another cage after they leave. Not checking litter trays one more time before you go home because you are so over it by then, but they usually need it done. Kicking a dog’s cage because it’s waking up disorientated from anaesthesia and won’t shut up.

    I don’t know if that’s at all helpful. I feel I could do this job forever if I worked at a clinic I liked. One woman on my course worked somewhere that she absolutely loved, that was always really busy, that had specialists but also did lots of low cost stuff, did small and large animals, and *everyone got on*. Jealousy.

    Good luck!!

  14. hrovotnir: We got them as a sort of rescue (petstore my ex was working went to purely reptiles) and since guinea pigs who don’t breed by 3-4 months can have serious problems if they later get pregnant (hip fusion), we wanted to be sure anyone who got one of them from us couldn’t accidentally cause problems. So we made sure each female had littered once.

    That adds up.

    But they were so much fun to watch; and the sound when one went to feed one of the pens… Sheer joy.

  15. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Hrovitnir – thank you for that really long reply!🙂

    I think you’d like the clinic I go to. They’re definitely an empathetic bunch.

    I had a laugh when I was up there recently. One of the nurses had her dogs in for the day. One was the biggest standard Poodle I’ve ever seen – not fat, just really, really tall. His name was … Dave. Like another client said, what else would you call a French poodle but Dave? (My French cafe-owner rolled his eyes and said “Why didn’t they just go for Bob?” when I told him this.)

    Anyway Dave was mooching around the back office, which you can see from the reception desk, and He Did A Smell. Talk about biological warfare. You could practically see the Cloud of Death rolling out, up and over the desk.

    And boy did Dave look pleased with himself!

  16. Did we really just get this far about “proper tea” on a predominantly leftist forum without a Proudhon joke?

    @Cloudiah – Should we add something about DKM’s doll fetish and list him as largely inactive? Or dormant, maybe, like a volcano?

  17. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    lowquacks, good to see you! How was your Christmas and New Year?

  18. Ahh, yes. That’s a lot of guinea pigs! I sometimes think it’d be cool to have a ton of guinea pigs all doing there own thing in the back yard.😛

    Re: Dave, ohhhh yeah. I love human names for animals, the more jarring the better. And standard Poodles are cool.😀

  19. hrovotnir: Guinea pigs will eat anything which is vegetal, so they will be on dirt… well no, they will in short order be on a bed of compacted pellets.

    That layer (we’d move the enclosures every three weeks or so), was amazing compost. I’ve never seen any manure which was better than guinea pig scat for using as compost. And it doesn’t reek, the way compacted horse manure does (the urine doesn’t end up with the sulphurous notes, and I don’t think it ends up being anaerobic).

    Rabbit makes pretty good manure too.

  20. Chicken manure is also incredible and I can totally recommend it as a compost starter.

  21. Man Boobz: Come for the mockery, stay for the animal husbandry and compost tips! 😉

  22. Chicken Manure is really high nitrogen, it makes a good soil/compost amendment. To get a hap started (and really cooking) is to add some fresh horseshit. The digestive bacteria are still active, and will attack any cellulose.

    We added ours to the heap, because we bedded the coop with straw, and that makes it less effective as a soil amendment; both structurally, and because the straw breaking down is a nitrogen thief, so the gain is offset.

    I miss having a small farm.

    That said, my etrogim are recovering from being a bit water-starved and light deficient (it is too active a tree to do well in the very low-light the garage gets). I’ve moved them into the house, so the window is a veritable greenhouse, the olive, the pomegranate, the etrogim). Being a citrus it just treated it as a drought, and there is now new growth. With luck these will be slightly smaller leaves. I’ll probably split them into to pots, since this is pretty tight, and they will start to suffer. Probably in March/April when I want to move them back outside.

    Next year there won’t be a couch in the downstairs hall and I’ll get some growlights,and see if I can keep them from taking over the living room.

  23. RE: CassandraSays

    I’m deaf on one side. I HATE wearing headphones, for precisely the reason you describe. (So far the worst offenders have been ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Robot Parade.’ GAAAAAAAH.) It is much to my frustration now that I kind of have to wear them, just to block out the sound of folks around me while I work. (Our room is too small to hold a desk, so our workspace is in a common area.)

  24. How I imagine Pecunium’s house

  25. LBT: And older versions of Windows used to have a mono option (so your headphones would output the same thing on both sides), but they took it out! Their help center just says “Stereo is the standard, so why would you want to listen to mono?”

  26. katz: not anymore. We had them in Arcadia. I’d mow the mallow, the grass, etc. (in the dry season we’d use bermuda/alfalfa) and cover them.

    So it was 2-3 cu ft. of fresh greens. They would be invisible. Three hours later, no green to be seen.

    We’d also move them into portable enclosures to let them crop, but not for long. They were smart; and much more energetic than one might think. We had a male (Tweed was his name; he looked like the one in that photo I linked), who was able to get from the male side to the female/juvenile side). We couldn’t figure out how; the divider was a two-foot tall wall of cinderblocks. Then I saw it one day.

    He would run, like blazes, around the perimeter, then he would aim at the back wall, leap up and carom over the lip.

    So we make the entire thing one brick taller.

  27. Hmm, I should get piggies and put them in our back yard to eat the weeds until we get a chance to establish a proper garden.

  28. RE: katz

    I KNOOOOOOW! I can’t make ANY of my music go to mono now, and it’s SO FUCKING MADDENING AAAAAAGH. At this point, I’ve just gotten used to it and learned to turn my headphones around or hallucinate the music I’m missing. Still….

    And this is why I still own a big bulky stereo the size of R2D2.

  29. You can also get a stereo to mono headphone adapter.

  30. First, I’m a Mac person. More importantly, I think they just moved it (and I know their tech support sucks!) —

    “With no file loaded in VLC
    Tools –> Preferences
    Change the “Show settings” checkbox at the bottom to All
    Under Audio -> Filter select “audio filter for stereo to mono conversion”

    You could also try a dedicated music player, for example both WinAMP and Foobar 2000 (that is also portable) both offer the option to convert to mono.”

    VLC is basically my favorite thing ever, their support doesn’t suck and it can handle all sorts of video and music.

  31. RE: katz

    I didn’t know such a thing existed! I must investigate this.

    RE: Argenti

    Due to technological complications (my work comp has no Internet access) I have only an old version of VCL, which doesn’t seem to be able to do this. Also, that version is LOUSY for music playing; selecting a bunch of songs at a time just means it tries to play them all at the same time, rather than make a list of them.

  32. katz: If you do, make sure the enclosure is secure to the ground. We had some excitement when we realise how little a gap was needed to let one escape. We recovered him (it was Tweed). Get them fixed too. They live longer, and you don’t get babies (which are TOTES TEH CUTE! They are precocious, and they remind me of foals.

    And they cheeble. 🙂 You can feed them weeds when the garden is up and running. Sigh, now I wish I was in Calif, it’s time to put lettuce seeds in the ground.

  33. LBT — I think Winamp can do it too, but it’s been a decade since I used it, sorry!

  34. Pecunium, I’m more concerned about other animals. They wouldn’t fare so well in a scrap with a cat or raccoon, and we’re close enough to the mountains that even a coyote is theoretically a possibility. (Suggestions?)

  35. It’s actually hilarious that MRAL played all of you like that. Get use to it.

  36. Yeah get use to it, idiots…:/

  37. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    “Re: Dave, ohhhh yeah. I love human names for animals, the more jarring the better. And standard Poodles are cool.”

    Dave’s only the second standard poodle I’ve met. The other’s Ruby, who’s a big favourite at the cafe I go to of a morning. She’s not as tall as Dave, but boy is she heavy when she leans on you! She’s a darling, very solemn-looking (her mind’s on getting treats from the cafe owner). She’s clipped neatly all over with a bit of a topknot, and purple nail polish.🙂

    We always give our kitties human names. I’ve never gone in for this Spot or Tiger or those sort of descriptive names. Mind you they get called by innumerable nicknames more than by their real names anyway!

    … Aaaaaaaaaaand Fribs is committing biological war crimes in the kitty litter, must dash!

  38. I wish we could ‘get use to it’. The Steele / MRAL deception was kind of amazing. It kinda sucks that all we have nowadays are trolls that spout off a one-line generic comment and then run for it…

    Kinda like you.

    Ah well.

  39. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    And of course it’s not like MRAs have ever been trolled by guys pretending to have some dreadful injustice done (things like, oh, being required to pay child support), watching the shitstorm and then saying they’d actually made it all up.

  40. Ah… permanent outdoors? You want to have at least half a dozen (they are fairly sociable, and like to huddle/cuddle.

    We used cinder blocks, for walls, and used chain link gates as lids. We weighted those with stones. Inside we had pallets to let them run into/under, as well as rocks to climb on. The pallets also made it easier to know when to move the enclosure, because the packed pellets look like bare earth.

  41. I must be spending too much time here – the night before last I dreamed I was reading comments and someone new showed up called “Justin Buttworm.” We were all trying to get them to out themselves as Mr. AL/ Steele when my dream changed.

    Later I saw this at the book store and almost fell on the floor laughing.

  42. @clairedammit

    I can’t get the link to work, but my browser sucks so it might just be me.😦
    What is it, please?

  43. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Ditto, the link isn’t working for me and INQUIRING MINDS MUST KNOW!

  44. Ah, I broke my HTML, here it is.

  45. @ LBT

    Do you have an ipod? If you do, iTunes has an option to switch sound to mono under the Accessibility section.

  46. That is perfect. Just perfect.

  47. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help




  48. Haha! Awesome!

    (And I kinda want that book…)

  49. hrovotnir: Guinea pigs will eat anything which is vegetal, so they will be on dirt… well no, they will in short order be on a bed of compacted pellets.

    Bah, I was imagining somewhere reeeally big, ie: to mimic nature. Good point though, I’d be unlikely to manage it, they’d have to be rotated through multiple paddocks. Impossible anyway because they make me itch so badly!

    We don’t have any foxes/raccoons/coyotes to eat them. Dogs are definitely a risk if they got in but I had a mental image of a dog-proof fence anyway. Cats can be an issue but if they were loose like and had good hiding places they’d *probably* be OK. My friend had two that had access to a gp-sized tube into the garage. One saw a cat and was GONE. The other actually let the cat nearly carry him over the fence without seeming worried until his owner rescued him. O_O

    I love the mental image of burying them in grass!

    We sell small animals at work too if people give them to us. Freaking idiots always trying to offload gps they didn’t plan for. -_- But yeah, once we got a massive tree of italian parsley and just watched them eat their way out of it, it was so cute.

    I never used to like rabbits and guinea pigs (we don’t have hamsters/gerbils etc) until I worked with rabbits at the SPCA and established they’re pretty strong willed and awesome. (I’d love a Flemish Giant but again with the itchies! And swollen eyes and just no, damnit.) It took working with someone who loved her guinea pigs and had little free-ranging dudes for me to see their appeal. Now I’m always trying to convert people. lol

  50. It wasn’t small, but it wasn’t huge (or we’d never have been able to keep track of them/corral them to move the enclosure.

    Call it 6 feet by 3, with about 20-30 in it, and three levels to run in/on/under.

  51. Oh… I did forget to say, I voted for Brandon.

  52. I hope those anti-whiny-kraken wards hold up…

    …and that I don’t choke on my cupcake, damn! (I’ll be fine once I stop coughing >.< )

  53. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

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