A Dose of Stupid v.58

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

What Should You Do When Someone You Love Becomes a Men’s Rights Activist?

While I normally would not entertain the typical feminist rant against men’s rights activists, I found this one intriguing. Anna North wrote about a recent “Dear Prudence” article on Slate in which a young person wrote about her father’s activism: 

Q. Dad-Related Dilemma: My mom left my dad for another man 10 years ago, when my brother and I were in grade school. She took us with her, and the loss of his family turned my father into a bitter man. He now considers himself a men’s rights activist. From what I can tell, the men’s rights movement my dad belongs to believes that American law and society has institutionalized misandry. One website my dad frequents warns men not to date single mothers because their children might accuse the boyfriend of molesting them to reap the benefits of victimhood. My dad speaks often about the men’s rights movement, and when my brother and I don’t want to listen, he accuses us of being brainwashed by feminists. His behavior doesn’t come across as crazy so much as it does misogynistic. Now I’m 18 and could stop seeing him if I wanted to. But my brother is younger and still has to see him. My mom doesn’t know the full story because we don’t want her to overreact. What should we do?

A: Your mother leaving him may have caused your father’s personality change—it may also be that his personality was in place and your mother couldn’t take it anymore. Both you and your brother are old enough to have some direct discussions with your father about your relationship with him. Talk to your brother and see if he wants to join in such a conversation, and if he doesn’t, make some time alone with your father. He needs to be told that his activism is his business, but you don’t want to be his audience anymore. Say that you both understand he has strong feelings about women and the legal system, but being lectured to is poisoning your relationship. Reassure him that you love him and want to spend time with him, but you want to talk about things that are less painful and volatile. If he won’t curb his enthusiasm, then you can start peeling off from your visits. Now that you’re 18, spending less time with your father would be bound to happen anyway. But if you do that, be a sounding board for your brother on how to deal with Dad’s ugly obsession.

This prompted North to ask Hugo Schwyzer and Manboobz to comment. As if playing a feminist version of the Wonder Twins, the pair attacked the men’s rights movement. Schwyzer was surprisingly more cordial than usual:

In terms of advice, it’s not easy for a son to challenge his Dad. But drive the conversation towards individual women — not the “bitches” and “harpies” of his father’s imagination, but the women Dad has loved. A mother? A sister? An ex? There is inside every MRA I’ve ever met a stopped-up well of compassion and love for women. It’s getting to the good stories (and there are always GOOD stories) about women that is so vital. And from those stories about individual women Dad has loved, perhaps the son can talk about what those women went through and experienced.

I will come back to Schwyzer’s comment in a moment. Manboobz kept his usual misandrous vitriol:

Unfortunately, in most cases, I don’t think it’s possible to talk someone out of a Men’s Rights obsession. For most of them, it seems to be driven not by facts — they’re happy to simply make up facts to fit their worldview — but by feelings, most obviously by rage at women. […] For most MRAs, the closest they come to activism is leaving angry comments everywhere online — or harassing individual women online in a manner similar to the ways abusers stalk the objects of their obsessions.

Not to be outdone, North added her own dig:

I wouldn’t ordinarily advocate trying to get to the bottom of a men’s rights activist’s pain — lots of MRAs talk about how much they’d like to inflict pain on women, and frankly, I don’t have much empathy for them. But in this case we’re talking about a dude (or maybe a lady) and his dad. This is someone he loves and someone his brother has to have regular contact with — and it’s not clear that DRD wants to cut his dad off, either. That’s always an option — Schwyzer notes that there could come a point when “it becomes too painful” for DRD to keep engaging with his dad. But if he hasn’t reached that point yet, it may be worth trying to reach out. After all, if anyone’s going to get MRAs to stop spewing hate, it’s probably the people they love.

For the record, the bit about “lots of MRAs” talking about hurting women refers to a post written by Manboobz in which a whopping two men’s rights activists joked about using a medieval torture device on women. I do not know what kind of math North uses, but the math I use says that two people out of  thousands of people is nowhere near “lots.”

But let us set side the feminist anti-men’s rights stance and get back to the original question. Here is the first line of the child’s question:

My mom left my dad for another man 10 years ago, when my brother and I were in grade school. She took us with her, and the loss of his family turned my father into a bitter man.

How many people do you know who would be fine with their spouse ditching them for someone else and taking the kids with them? Does that not sound like something that might justifiably make a person bitter?

Neither North, Schwyzer, or Manboobz paid that comment any mind. They quickly skipped over it to trash the men’s rights movement, and that makes Schwyzer’s “And from those stories about individual women Dad has loved, perhaps the son can talk about what those women went through and experienced” particularly stupid. Is this man really supposed to listen to what his ex went through and experienced?

This man may be angry, and based on what we know he has every right to be. We do not know what he went through trying to get custody of his kids, how often he was allowed to see them, whether his ex had an affair, whether she is a feminist, whether she tried to turn the kids against him, or whether the courts screwed him over.

Likewise, feminists conveniently miss that much of their commentary is nothing but female anger. If one goes to Jezebel, one will not find much intellectual discussion. On Manboobz it is just a bunch of feminists spewing hate on men and men’s rights activists and a site owner ironically harasses individual men online “in a manner similar to the ways abusers stalk the objects of their obsession.” Schwyzer tries to mask his vitriol, but even he spends a great deal of time trashing men and men’s rights activists.

Most political movements are built around emotions, often anger and frustration. The idea that it is wrong only when the movement is for men reveals an impressive bias. Yet it is particularly stupid to take one man’s justified anger over how he got treated by his ex wife and turn that into an attack on men’s rights activists.

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29 thoughts on “A Dose of Stupid v.58

  1. Of all the people this advice columnist had to consult and invite on to answer the child’s question further, Hugo and Manboobz?

    I got a feeling this was intentional.

  2. I wont deny that some mra’s have become misogynistic because it is true. However we need to not let a few bitter men paint a whole movement. We do spend a good amount of time bashing women who do wrong while not praising those who do right (not the type of praise that feminized princess women currently get). Most Mra’s are for Women’s right’s too but we strive for equal opportunity and responsibility which doesn’t align with feminism (advancement of women at the expense of X).

    Even with that, this quote “His behavior doesn’t come across as crazy so much as it does misogynistic.” only proves that she is brainwashed by feminism. The greatest tool the feminist movement is the educational system. Why else would many women praise a feminist like Valerie Solonas? It is because people are brainwashed to accept feminism. Most feminists however aren’t moderate or extremists but average people who seldom meditate on the subject but when presented with it blindly agree with it. Why else would people pass on such illogical stats as fact?

    I also love how she also states ” the loss of his family turned my father into a bitter man.”

    hmm and he SHOULD’NT BE BITTER!

    hello! he lost his family and probably much of what he worked hard for… Try to see his side objectively instead of viewing his behavior as an act of hate. He lost alot and is scared. If she was attacked in an alley by a redneck wouldn’t she be scared of both alleyways and rednecks?

    I still am willing to hear a feminist objectively even if I seldom agree with them on many issues.

  3. Excellent post, TS.

    Very strange comment from Schwyzer, considering his vitriolic rant about MRA “basement boys” just days ago. As for Manboobz, he is nothing more than a devoted propagandist. Every word that comes out of his mouth is made with the purpose of getting pats on the head from higher-ranking (ie female) feminists.

  4. If they are really confident in there belief that feminism has solid foundation i am always wondering why they won’t argue with the most rational the most well researched mra. Instead they find the odd extremest to denigrate as being an example of all mras.

  5. I am surprised by Hugo’s response, but that manboobz fella needs to educate himself on the diversity of MRA’s.

  6. I hope you guys realize I’m no supplicant to the feminist movement, but I have to say – the comments selected from that individual’s dad seem more misogynistic than MRA – oriented.

    I just want people to realize that there are men and women who have a deep-down loathing for the opposite sex. Very often, these people have been significantly harmed, repeatedly by members of the opposite sex – and it has led them to seek validation for this anger.

    The problem is that both Feminist and MRA camps do not attempt to kick out these misogynist and misandrists from their midst. Maybe they don’t want to create a schism in the movement. Maybe they just don’t care. Maybe they think having someone on your side for the wrong reasons is better than not having someone at all.

    But to me, I think routing out corruption from a noble movement or cause should be a top priority. That’s why I don’t call myself a Feminist or an MRA – because if I did I would feel it was my duty to point out these hate-filled people. And hoo boy, would I be busy.

    So it’s not surprising to me that Futrelle, Jezebelle and Hugo Schwyzelle (hehe) are so happy to point out “Oooh! Ooh! Look! An MRA who obviously hates women! They’re all like that!”

    But they’ve already developed their retort to the opposite: “Not All Feminists Are Like That.”

    So? Those who lie with dogs …

  7. “I hope you guys realize I’m no supplicant to the feminist movement, but I have to say – the comments selected from that individual’s dad seem more misogynistic than MRA – oriented.”

    The only thing directly attributed to the person’s father is that he sometimes accuses his children of being brainwashed by feminists. How is that misogynistic?

    “The problem is that both Feminist and MRA camps do not attempt to kick out these misogynist and misandrists from their midst.”

    Popular MRA websites, such as A Voice For Men and Antimisandry, have regularly banned blatant misogynists.They also call out their own members if they get out of hand. Maybe not as vigorously as you would like, but they do. Meanwhile, I’ve never heard of Jezebel or Feministing castigating someone for too much misandry.

    The problem I have with fence-sitters like you is that you continuously attempt to make false equivalences between MRAs and feminists in order to appear fair and neutral, even if the evidence says otherwise.

  8. I would have to wonder how misogynist the dad actually is. Anna North automatically seems to assume he belongs to the foaming-at-the-mouth “Women are Evil” brigade. Whereas it could be that he is interested in Men’s Issues and just wants to talk to somebody about it. Which is also bad enough that she’s encouraging his kids to ditch him if he doesn’t toe the line.
    It is depressing that the public image of MRAs is so negative.
    The other issue is something I have noticed all over. Woman gets dumped she can take her bloke’s stuff and burn it, key the car, paint four letter words on his house. She can get her male friends to pick fights, get her girlfriends to harass him in the street, tell everybody she knows that he’s a brute with a tiny dick and not only is this OK but people will cheer her on.
    And if years down the line it still hurts, you get an army of sisters explaining why it’s perfectly natural to be bitter and aren’t men all bastards anyway?
    Bloke gets dumped…
    You get to mope for a few days then you’re supposed to try and work out where you personally went wrong – because it will be your fault somehow- and get on with your life. And don’t think for one minute that you have any right to feel bitter or hurt or angry.
    Double standards. Aren’t they brilliant?

  9. @Aych
    “I am surprised by Hugo’s response, but that manboobz fella needs to educate himself on the diversity of MRA’s.”
    Just an attempt at honesty is all David Futurelle needs if he wants to get clear on the MRM. but that would collapse his entire pose. Never happen.

    @forweg
    “Very strange comment from Schwyzer, considering his vitriolic rant about MRA “basement boys” just days ago.”

    He does that. It’s a pattern with him. He’ll go off the deep end and then completely reverse himself soon after. Maybe it’s some kind of attempt at balance, or making amends. He’s fun to watch but trying to figure him out will make you as crazy as he is.

  10. Reading that comment by Schwyzer was interesting in light of some of the more fervent critics of him on Feministe (I believe) who predicted that he would crawl back to the MRAs he were canoodling with. I laughed out loud when I read that back then. And now I read this. I guess it’s strike two for him in those critics eyes.

  11. My previous comment got sent into moderation and I must admit I am non-plusse as to why. The mysterious ways of the spam filter or did I hit any trigger words?

  12. Spam filter, Tamen. It happens to me sometimes.

    Anyway, I don’t want to think about Hugo, Manboobz or any “MRA’s are wife beaters” idealogue. It’ll just drive me crazy.

  13. And now my response to Tamen has gone into moderation containing no insults, trolling or whatever.

    Toy Soldier, you really have to do something about this. This is getting annoying.

  14. The fact that she doesn’t seem to care at all for her father but just her brother proves that she was brainwashed (probably by mom)

  15. The mysterious ways of the spam filter or did I hit any trigger words?

    No, it is weirdness of WordPress’ spam filter. It even places some of my comments in moderation.

  16. I’d like to say Schwyzer’s stance surprises me, but it realy doesn’t.

    Remember guys, only women are allowed to be angry. Men need to bow don and accept that anger as it is completely justified at all times, but you know, never get angry themselves.

    Also: “left him for another man” seems to indicate an affair to me. I’m sure she had a good reason to cheat on him though

  17. GudEnuf, I am hardly surprised that Schwyzer ran somewhere else to peddle his “men are victims of rape (not really)” nonsense. Fortunately, there has been plenty of criticism of those views that I doubt anyone other than feminists pay much attention to his denialism, apologism, and faux concern.

  18. I seriously, am beginning to hate this Hugo fella. What he said is highly offensive, and sickening quite frankly. Can’t call it rape? Does a woman who says no to anal sex, then gets penetrated anally not count either? I really am starting to think he is a bigot and a misandrist.

  19. That Hugo piece really made me mad.

    – I have no problem saying that what happened to Ian fell well short of the enthusiastic consent standard

    See, it wasn’t rape-rape. It just feel short of the enthusiastic consent standard. Reminds me of what one of the mods on Feministing said about the CDC study not calling rape via envelope rape: “Their definition was not perfect”.

    – Ejaculation is not evidence of enthusiasm. Orgasms (both male and female) can be coerced. Those are truths that bear repeating. They are worth remembering not because we’re witnessing an epidemic of female-on-male sexual assault. They’re worth remembering not only for the sake of preventing the rare but real incidences of female on male rape, but for teaching all of us— especially men—that a partner’s physical arousal is not a sexual blank check.

    CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE REAL VICTIMS AND REAL PERPETRATORS OF RAPE AGAIN?

    – For the sake of the small but suffering number of male victims—and for the far greater number of women who are the victims of men—we need to shatter this pernicious myth about the male body. Men are not so tough that they can never be sexually assaulted by women. And by the exact same token, they are not so vulnerable to lust that rape becomes physiologically inevitable.

    Men are not raped (sexual assault), only men do rape….you don’t say Hugo.

  20. @ forweg “Very strange comment from Schwyzer, considering his vitriolic rant about MRA “basement boys” just days ago.”

    Not strange at all – It just shows the highly developed and well observed pattern of changing with the wind of convenience.

    Odd to claim you Explode Gender Myths, when all you do is perpetuate them from so many different angels and with highly changeable wind!

    “You called me “Mangina”, so I am going to call you “Basement Boy”, so there – and you have Cooties Too!”. Such adult conduct – NOT!

  21. Are there other feminists who have made similar comments?

    Plenty. It is fairly common to see feminists play the “men get rape, but” game. The reason you see people like Schwyzer making such an effort is because male victimization is beginning to be taken more seriously, and the more male victims who come forward, the more we show that sexual violence against men and boys is hardly rare.

  22. Feckless, you must keep in mind that Schwyzer is trying to parse what he knows is factually true through his feminist ideology. It is like a religious fundamentalist being confronted with evidence of evolution and trying to filter it through their belief their deity created everything in an instant. It is not meant to make sense to you, just to him.

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  25. @Forweg:

    I want you to know that I forgot to subscribe to this thread and haven’t seen your response to me until late last night.

    I also see that your frustration over my lack of response has spread over to your own blog, Traitors of Men, so I will engage you there rather than get Toy Soldier’s comment section even further off track.

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