Speak of the “Devil”

In a previous post I mentioned a recent blog entry on a feminist site in which the author unfairly blames MRAs and nonfeminists for George Sodini’s attack on women at a gym. While I am not a MRA, I found the projection wrong, particularly since it exploits the injuries and deaths of the women at the gym just to attack a group of people who disagree with feminist views. The comments on that thread follow suit with the author’s position, essentially scapegoating a large swath of people for comments made on a handful of unrepresentative blogs.

At some point, Clarence mentioned this blog in reference to the harm feminism has caused some men. Mandolin replied with this:

Ah, Toy Soldier.

Well, let’s see. This blog has done things like advocate against male circumcision.

Toy Soldier’s response was to say that it was not our battle, and question our motives for doing so.

So, you’re right, he gets little help or recognition from us. Little recognition in that he’s so banned I won’t even let his trackbacks through; little help in that even when our interests coincide, he thinks we’re of the devil.

I am unconcerned with Mandolin’s ad hominem attack or her gross mischaracterization of my comments. She is more than welcome to harbor any animosity she wishes towards me, although unfortunately for her I do not care about her personal opinion for it to do me any harm, nor does her lack of support for and recognition of the issues discussed on this blog concern me. There are several organization (some of which are linked on the right) that provide assistance and support to male victims of sexual violence. Her lack of support for those organizations and the issues they address has the same effect as the similar lack of support from those prey on the boys and men: none at all.

This, however, I do take issue with:

If your interest is in helping alleviate those oppressions of men which actually exist then rest assured — we’re on the same page. However, in the meantime, your kind seems more interested in attacking phantoms, and we won’t be helping you with that.

The majority of the posts made on this blog concern sexual violence against males, specifically sexual violence against boys. With the exception of a few instances, the bulk of those posts cite an article or study discussing male abuse, mostly addressing the social norms that compound and perpetuate the situation. This frequently includes criticism of feminism and feminists as their efforts often result in directly and indirectly rendering invisible and minimizing male victims. Again, with the exception of a few instances, these posts contain links pointing to actual instances of sexual violence against boys and men and instances in which women’s groups misreport information and attack efforts to help male victims, the majority of whom were sexually abused as children.

Yet, according to Mandolin, these issues do not actually exist. Rather than discussing something that occurs and should be addressed, she frames my efforts as attacking phantoms.

Instead she, through implication, seemingly denies the rape of boys and men.

Perhaps that implication was lost on her. Perhaps in her zeal to launch into a personal attack she did not read or think about the comments she wrote. Those comments are, however, what they are. She was specifically attacking a blog that regularly discusses sexual violence against boys and men, so it is not unfair to think that she attributes her latter most position, which apparently referred to my interests,  to that particular issue.

One of the worst things a person can do to a rape victim is to deny the rape happened. I live with men and boys who have been abused. I see everyday how it affects them, the harm that was caused, the way it affects their relationships, their trust, their self-esteem.

For someone to deny their experiences as something that does not actually exist and frame efforts to address their abuse as attacking phantoms is beyond anything that could remotely be construed as legitimate criticism. Mandolin’s comment is a perfect example of the thinly veiled, vile misandrous garbage that too frequently occurs in the feminist movement. It is the same kind of underhanded, trivializing minimization that male (and female) victims too often face.

Mandolin owes abused boys and men and their supporters an apology, an absolute retraction for framing their advocacy as attacking non-existent phantoms. Male victims deserve much better than that.

3 thoughts on “Speak of the “Devil”

  1. Toy Soldiers,

    I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now. Discovered it while researching male-centered perspectives on literature and psycho-analysis. However, you obviously are much more focused on abuse, male and boy victims.

    Let me just say that I applaud you, sir. You make me proud to be a guy.

    It’s truly sad how subversively prevalent the ironic sexism of feminism has permeated our cultural subconscious. Your blog is a place where I can find a different perspective that offers hope for my gender without demonizing the other that I (sometimes unfortunately) adore.

    Because these things you write about DO happen. And to see groups that should be the most understanding are actually the least is shameful and depressing. But maybe I’m just being naive? Either way, I just wanted you to know that your blog is appreciated, and that even in the face of ignorance, the undeniable truth of these horrible acts against men and boys will never be forgotten. Thanks to you, in part.

    We suffer in silence no longer.

  2. Thank you for the compliment and I am glad that this blog could provide you something you consider useful. That is essentially my goal. While this blog is centered mostly on discussing sexual abuse, I do plan to extend the discussion towards discussions on masculinity and the changes it has gone through and is going through. I am in the process of reading different books which I plan on posting about in the future. If you are aware of any literature that you found interesting or insightful, please email me. Thank you again.

  3. I think that it is feminist commentary like this that can cause anti-feminist commentary but nevermind that TS you can get a measure of the fact that you are doing the right thing by the fact your attempt to give a voice to silent victims is being met with such resistance. And its even more funny that said resistance is coming from people that have deemed themselves worthy of being able to judge others with gross generalizations and assumptions.

    Keep up the good work TS and keep giving yourself and other victims a voice.

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