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.

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 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. 528 Comments.

  1. Bryan: it took you three months to come up with that response? Somebody here is doomed, it ain’t us.

  2. “I haven’t watched her performance ”

    Yet you wrote an article about it?

  3. Fuzzywzhe, you would know what this article was about if you’d read it.

  4. Again, as the others have written the comment, did you you even try reading or listening to her before writing your shit-stain-on-the-wall article ?

    No, you did not.

  5. Did you even try reading the post and thread before writing your shit-stain-on-the-wall comment?

    No, you did not. And it STILL took you five months!

  6. This has been your regularly scheduled monthly hit-and-run necro of this thread.

  7. I watched an hour-long video by GWW before. I don’t think she’s worth paying attention to.

  8. I personally think GWW is a feminist in disguise. Notice the absurdity of things she says. She also purposely skews facts. I think she wants people to question her. I can see her playing a big role in bringing down the MRA.

  9. cassandrakitty

    Well, that’s the weirdest conspiracy theory in a while. I would say I want some of whatever you’re smoking, but I need my brain.

  10. I dunno if I want a drug that creates conspiracy theories, sounds like a bad trip.

    @Ally: an hour? You have loads more patience than me.

  11. cassandrakitty

    Shouldn’t hour-long MRA videos be banned by the Geneva Conventions as a form of torture?

  12. They’ll just take us to Guantanamo Bay instead, which apparently is jurisdiction-free.😦

  13. When someone starts a piece by saying someone “flapped her gums for nearly 2 hours”, then I think someone is being disengenious. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s point of view. But attacking another human being in the first sentence of your piece really does nothing but demonstrate a lack of intellect on the David Futrelle’s part. Having to resort to ad hominems right off the bat, speaks volumes about David, not Karen Straughan.

  14. emilygoddess - MOD

    I might take your concern trolling a little more seriously if you actually knew what “ad hominem” meant. Hint: it’s not the same as an insult.

  15. Reading this has been ten minutes of life straight down the toilet. Still, one has to keep an open mind, and read opinions from the other side, on the off chance that they have a reasonable point to make… this one obviously didn’t. Oh well.

  16. Don’t listen to her. You might learn something.

  17. emilygoddess - MOD

    I’m sure she appreciates you whiteknighting her.

  18. Yes, because what she has to say is so original, accurate, and illuminating.

    If Paul kicked her out of the clubhouse, you’d be singing a different tune.

  19. I clicked a link to your site, thinking to give it a try. I’ll give you this: Your inability to reason clearly or even argue a point is noteworthy. Three paragraphs of personal attacks, then picking up on one genteel exchange as though that was somehow evidence of something is a waste of everyone’s time.
    It’s back to Rhetoric 101 for you. Take something Karen Straughan, for example, actually says, quote it in context, link to it so that we know you’re not engaging in distortion, then tell us why you believe she’s wrong. That’s how you get started in the business of meaningfully disputing someone’s work.
    Otherwise you just sound, as here, foolish. Cheers.

  20. By the way, thanks for the wealth of links in the right hand menu. As someone fairly new to the men’s rights movement I hadn’t heard of at least half those sites. Very generous of you to spread the word like this.

  21. Hi Jack, good of you to pop in white knighting for GWW. Did you look at the topic of the post, which isn’t actually about GWW, but is about MRAs white knighting her from criticism?

    Did you notice this isn’t a newspaper but a site designed to mock misogyny?

    Oh and this bit: “I clicked a link to your site, thinking to give it a try” doesn’t gel with this bit: “As someone fairly new to the men’s rights movement”

    I read that as you are a MRA. There are other tells, like necroing an old thread.

    Please fuck off now.

  22. … Methinks, Jack, you missed the entire point of the article by about 9 miles …

    Feel free to hit the road, Jack. No need to come back here for more.

  23. Wow. This thread is covered in necro trolls.

  24. Hit the road Jack, and don’tcha come back no more, no more, no more, no more,
    Hit the road Jack, and don’tcha come back no more

    You’re welcome.

    Shut up Woody.

  25. What’d you say?

  26. I have decided I like this version:

  27. I’ve seen a lot of Karen’s stuff online and I’ve seen you David on television. You might want to leave her alone pussy boy, she is a REAL tigress, the kind that could remove your little shrunken balls.

  28. More evidence that most MRAs would be a lot happier if they hired a pro domme?

  29. Definitely. Is that the secret to why they let feMRAs into their clubhouse, d’you think?

  30. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them had a secret stash of fanart of their favorite feMRAs holding whips.

  31. Ah, the MRAs continue to substitute threats of violence for argument.

  32. Wouldn’t surprise me at all, cassandra.

  33. It’s an insult to all of feline kind to compare Straughn to a tiger. The furinatti are not pleased.

  34. I can’t think of any non-human life form that wouldn’t be insulted by the comparison.

  35. thebewilderness

    I don’t think trolley realizes we recognized her dog and pony show for what it is a very long time ago.

  36. So long ago the dog and pony have since retired.😛

  37. cassandrakitty

    Tigers are powerful, elegant, and intimidating. GWW is none of these things.

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