This Is What It Looks Like v5

In response to my post about a recent tiff on Manboobz, David Futrelle commented (I did not approve the comment, but I did respond to him via email):

Toysoldier, this is a completely dishonest piece, and you know it. (If you don’t know that, well, I don’t even know what to say.) Did anyone on Man Boobz suggest that you were imagining your abuse? Did anyone say that you deserved it? Absolutely not. The discussion was about whether or not feminism had caused this abuse.

Of course, once Futrelle posted a link to my blog, it did not take long for is regulars to attack me. One of things I have learned in dealing with people online is that the less valid their complaints, the more likely they will get nasty. One of the things I have learned in dealing with feminists, especially those online, is that they go to that extreme faster than most people.

So it comes as no surprise that Bostonian, a Manboobz’s regular, would write this:

TS is one of the few people I am sure are lying about aspects of his abuse. It is way to convenient a narrative for an antifeminist. He could have been abused, but I doubt his abuser actually specifically identified as a feminist.

Tamen tried very hard to get Bostonian to qualify that, but to no avail. To the contrary, several other Manboobz regulars joined in. 

Sharculese wrote:

on the other hand, this is horseshit. it’s toysoldier. sophistry and ham-fisted accusations are the only things he knows how to do.

That was in response to whether I help or care about abuse victims. When Tamen asked if it was a little over the top to accuse a rape victim of lying or if I am special case, Sharcules wrote:

well obviously toysoldier is a very special case. seeing as he’s completely bugfuck and all.

but yeah, good on you for demanding i explain a particular rhetorical flourish i used. that is definitely the sign of someone who is arguing in good faith and should be taken seriously.

Later Sharcules stated that Bostonian’s comment was “fucked up.”

Pecunium added this bit:

Tamen: While I appreciate the sense of concern you are expressing, it would help if you were being honest about what Bostonian did.

Which wasn’t saying TS was lying about being abused, but of padding it with details to make it more useful when beating feminists with it.

Hellkell wrote this:

Look, Tamen, if I thought Bostonian was over the line, I’d say so (others would too, this is not Shrinking Violet Theater up in here). Bostonian is NOT accusing TS of lying about abuse, but of fudging the aspects to fit his axe to grind re: feminism.

Perhaps you’d understand that if you could be arsed to read. It’s much easier to feign outrage.

Keep in mind, this happened on the same thread just a day or so after another poster, who the Manboobers rightly challenged, spent five pages denying someone’s rape.

Futrelle did make an appearance, but only to complain about me pointing out that he mischaracterized my words. He said nothing of this regulars accusing me of lying about part of my past. Indeed, the accusation that I lied about my abuse goes on, with several of the Manboobz regulars trying to argue I was abused while also arguing that I am so dishonest that I nothing I say can be trusted. Or as Penucium put it:

So yes, I wasn’t completely clear with what I do/don’t have problems with. I don’t think speculation about why someone recalls events of their life in the way they do is all that good an idea, at least not without more direct insight than we have. I can see why someone who has been through the thousands of comments TS has made/caused to be made, chosen to misrepresent on his own blog, might decide they have that sort of insight.

Which is what i was trying to say. I see why Bostonian thinks that, and I understand it, and I can accept it as defensible, if problematic, position to take.

As for what Penucium was getting at, CassandraSays provided that:

FWIW, I’m not OK with people speculating that Toy Soldier is lying about having been abused. I do think that he’s deliberately misinterpreting/twisting her supposed feminism in an attempt to make some sort of grand point about feminism (that in general it’s in favor of the sexual abuse of male children), and that he’s totally out of line for doing that. I don’t doubt for a second that the abuse happened. I just find the way in which he’s attempting to use what happened troubling, and I think he is incorrect in claiming that if his aunt was a feminist, that means that feminism made her abusive, and therefore feminism makes women abuse little boys. It’s the narrative that he’s constructed around the abuse the rings false, not the actual abuse. Child abuse is horrifyingly common, and I see no reason to doubt that someone who says they were abused was. It’s just that their having been abused doesn’t then make them officially Right About Everything that they choose in terms of political causes as adults.

For the record, I never stated that feminism makes women abuse boys or that feminism made, i.e. specifically ordered, my aunt abuse me. I did state, “I said that feminism caused her to behave the way that she did, and that her views are very much a part of feminism.” I stand by that position. Ideologies, especially those geared towards an “us versus them” dynamic, can and often do cause, i.e. lead, people to behave in horrible ways. It is ridiculous to claim that feminism could never cause a person to think or act violently, and it is hypocritical to make that claim while saying that the men’s rights movement makes men violent misogynists.

As to Cassandra’s point, the problem with arguing that “the narrative that [people] constructed around the abuse […] rings false” is that one does not know what happened to the person, let alone that they constructed a false narrative. Taking that tact only silences victims because it sends the message that if they say something that does not sound “right” people will accuse them of lying. Or as katz put it:

[W]e find it unlikely that the rapist was expounding on her philosophical beliefs to the child she was abusing.

That sort of thing does not help rape victims. It does not make them feel believed, make them want to come forward, or in any way encourage sympathy and empathy towards them. One would think that people who railed against a person who spent five pages attacking a rape victim would have the sense to realize that.

As expected, Holly Pervocracy also took issue with my post:

…In fact, Tamen, Roberta was telling a MAN who had been raped that he wasn’t really raped. And Toysoldier was just pleased as punch with her.

and later:

Except that TS is clearly gloating in Roberta’s trolling (because two male-rape erasures make a right???) and trying to shame me for talking about my rape, and I don’t think you need to be defending him.

I can understand why Holly would distort my comments that way, even to the point of ironically ignoring her fellow regulars accusing me of lying about my past while complaining about someone essentially doing the same thing.

However, at no point did I gloat about anything or shame Holly for talking about her rape. I simply noted that Roberta used the same tactics many of the Manboobz regulars use, and that Holly mentioning her abuse did not stop Roberta’s attack, as it should have done. Several of the Manboobzers claimed I accuse rape victims of lying, but they never produced a single example of me doing so, which they cannot because I never made such accusations. I never denied that LBT or Holly were raped, nor did I agree with Roberta’s attacks on them.

Holly went on to write:

This is not a “taste of our own vile,” as we do not make a hobby of telling rape victims that their experiences didn’t count. Nobody has claimed that TS is making up his abuse, we’re only questioning his conclusion that his abuse was the direct result of feminism. Bostonian is questioning TS giving details that his aunt was a bigtime feminist and told TS she was abusing him for feminism’s sake, not questioning that TS was abused or saying that his experiences don’t count as real abuse.

Actually, Bostonian did claim I made up my abuse:

TS is one of the few people I am sure are lying about aspects of his abuse. It is way to convenient a narrative for an antifeminist. He could have been abused, but I doubt his abuser actually specifically identified as a feminist.

That is a clear statement that I lied or might be lying either about the abuse itself, my aunt’s political identity, or both, and Holly apparently has no problem with that. That is why I wrote the first post. Manboobz regulars do exactly what Roberta did to people they disagree with, as the regulars demonstrated on that thread. They could have disagreed with my post without attacking me personally, accusing me of lying about my abuse, or erasing part of that abuse they do not agree with, yet they did not.

Hahahahaha, isn’t that the whole point of his post? Relishing the “comeuppance” we’re getting for something we didn’t actually do?

The regulars spent the better part of 20 pages arguing that my aunt was not a feminist and called me a liar and coward when I would not back down from my position that feminism negatively influenced my aunt’s behavior. I did not relish what Roberta did. Indeed, it is difficult to relish something I find cruel, malicious, and sadistic. I simply pointed out that Roberta did exactly what Manboobzers tend to do, which Holly pretended not to understand:

How is it “toying” with someone to respond to their inflammatory comments?

If you deliberately try to provoke an emotional response, you are toying with them. If you try to set someone off because they said something you do not like, you are toying with them. That is what Roberta did, and she was fairly good at it. That is also what the regulars did to me, to Anthony Zarat, and even what they were doing to Tamen.

Holly went to say that my comment “Hopefully being faced with someone who mirrored their own behavior will teach the Manboobz regulars that what you do to others someone might do to you” meant:

In other words: “I think male rape erasure is just dandy, as long as it happens to bad people I don’t like. A great cure for rape erasure is more rape erasure! But to different people!”

No. I meant what I wrote. I would hope that someone who treats other people horribly would realize how badly they behaved if someone did the same thing to them, and I would hope they realize that their own behavior may have encouraged it. If you spend your time trashing other people, it sends the message that it is okay for people to do that, which in turn might make someone do it to you. That is why we have the adage “treat people the way you want to be treated.”

I am grateful that Tamen questioned Bostonian’s comments, although I regret the trouble he went through for doing so. However, those responses point to the irony I mentioned in my post. The Manboobz regulars have no problem doing the very thing Roberta did, and they had no problem defending it.

On a related note, while I realized that some people would read my post as Schadenfreude, that was not my intent and I think that is fairly clear. Pointing out that people are getting the same thing they dish out is not the same as enjoying or relishing it, and neither is saying that things have a way of coming back on you.

What I think is unfortunate is that the Manboobz regulars had an opportunity to prove me wrong, yet they threw it away.

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15 thoughts on “This Is What It Looks Like v5

  1. Disgusting. And Futrelle and his pack are who the SPLC deems credible about MRA/MRM’s? That would be funny, if it wasn’t so frightening.

    The problem TS, is that what happened to you, completely blows the feminist narrative that women aren’t violent, abusive, etc., right out of the water. And they certainly don’t wan’t women seen as actors with individual agency. That destroys the victim narrative they push, right out of the water.

    I don’t think you will ever see them debate you with any kind of honesty. Best just to leave them alone, and not give them any more attention.

  2. E. Steven, I would completely ignore them but for one thing: what happens when they play this game with someone who is not used to being treated like that? Words hurt, and if a survivor were not in a good play, getting the kind of response I got could seriously trigger them. I would rather it be directed at me than at someone who may not be able to cope with it.

  3. Bostonian: I think TS is lying

    Other Manboobers: Bostonian never said TS lied.

    It just boggles the mind. I mean, I get why the disconnect is there. The idea that a feminist woman might actually be abusive, and that her feminist beliefs might have caused/accerbated that abusive tendancy is unthinkable to these people… but wow… It’s RIGHT THERE “I think TS is lying”

    It just hurts my head.

  4. Here’s the difference between them and you TS, you used a direct quote from Bostonian and the rest Holly Pervocracy had to use the phrase “in other words…” to make you say what she thinks you said.

  5. So many folk defining what is inside the heads and pasts and lives of so many other folk. PSYCHOBABBLE!! Urggghhhhh,,,I’m off to the shower to wash off the ectoplasm.

  6. Toy Soldier, maybe it’s best you let them be. They’re individuals with a bunch of toxic belifes who would rather stick to their dogma than listen.

    Sorry you had to go through with that. Just shows people can be so desperate to erase male victims or survivors they’d resort to claiming they are lying about their abuse or they’d minimise it.

  7. The assumption that the Manboobz commenters disputing your honesty or accuracy are leaning so heavily on, that believing what some feminists believe about men couldn’t inspire one to commit abuse, is so obviously absurd that I honestly have trouble imagining anyone how anyone could actually believe it,; it’s as if they think that the word “feminism” has some sort of magical property that prevents anything it’s affixed to from having evil results.

    The ironic thing is that if they’re right, feminism is wrong, because what they’re ultimately arguing is sexism doesn’t actually affect behavior. If thinking of a particular group of people as hostile, dangerous, parasitic, immoral, or exploitative- which is how many feminists, to varying degrees, think of males- doesn’t have negative affects on behavior towards members of that group, what’s the problem with misogyny?

    If the idea that negative feelings towards a particular gender might cause harmful behavior is so absurd that your account of your aunt’s behavior isn’t credible, I suppose expressing hatred and contempt for women and encouraging others to feel the same way would still be sort of rude, but it wouldn’t cause any actual harm. In which case virtually everything feminists say and do and support, aside from a few short-term legislative efforts, is pointless.

    I was also struck by Katz’ remark, made when disputing the accuracy of your account of your own childhood:

    “[W]e find it unlikely that the rapist was expounding on her philosophical beliefs to the child she was abusing.”

    What an incredibly silly thing to say. What the hell is supposed to be “unlikely” about this? Is it also unlikely that a homophobic parents who abuses her gay (or suspected to be gay) child might, y’know, make some negative remarks about homosexuality to the child? Or that a misogynist abuser who thinks his daughter needs to be brutalized into not growing up to be a whore might say things that would allow his daughter to figure out that her abuser thinks badly of women?

    Hell, when I was getting the crap smacked out of me for being too shy and autistic to make cute little kid small talk with my mom’s friends, I was clearly told- expounded to, one might say- that I was getting the crap smacked out of me for being too shy and autistic to make cute little kid small talk with my mom’s friends. And it’s not as if it would have required some sort of master of deduction to figure it out from what I heard my parents say within my hearing even if I hadn’t been told.

  8. it’s as if they think that the word “feminism” has some sort of magical property that prevents anything it’s affixed to from having evil results.

    No, I think it is that like many people who value a given ideology, they have a hard time seeing how that ideology can be used to hurt people or how it could make people behave terribly. I knew I would get that kind of reaction, which is why I simply stated what my aunt did. I was not interested in questioning whether feminism is good or bad, only noting to them that I would much rather have someone fantasize about hurting me to change my political views rather than have someone actually hurt me.

    If thinking of a particular group of people as hostile, dangerous, parasitic, immoral, or exploitative […] doesn’t have negative affects on behavior towards members of that group, what’s the problem with misogyny?

    That was not the connection they made. I stated that feminism influenced my aunt’s thinking and behavior. They argued that my aunt’s opinions about men and her general thinking were wholly separate from feminism. In their view, feminism is not sexist and therefore cannot lead to sexist behavior. Of course, it makes no logical sense to argue that a person’s political beliefs does not affect their behavior, because the very purpose of such beliefs are to influence people’s behavior.

    What the hell is supposed to be “unlikely” about this?

    Nothing at all, but I think the point of the comment was to accuse me of lying without flat out saying it. Again, they do not believe a feminist could abuse anyone or that feminist beliefs could lead someone committing abuse, therefore anyone who says otherwise must be lying. As you noted, by arguing that they destroy their own complaints about the “evils” of the men’s rights movement.

  9. I knew i’d read about this type of stuff. It was “kafkatrapping”, particularly the Model T…

    Model T: Designated victims of {sin,racism,sexism,homophobia,oppression} who question any part of the theory of {sin,racism,sexism,homophobia,oppression} demonstrate by doing so that they are not authentic members of the victim class, so their experience can be discounted and their thoughts dismissed as internalized {sin,racism,sexism,homophobia,oppression}.

  10. Pingback: A Dose of Stupid v94 | Toy Soldiers

  11. ‘ Ideologies, especially those geared towards an “us versus them” dynamic, can and often do cause, i.e. lead, people to behave in horrible ways’.

    This is not what feminism about. It’s about making a world where feminism is no longer needed as no one, male or female, is discriminated against due to their gender and are no one is forced to adopt gender specific roles. It’s about working as a team, which they would do well to remember. I frequently go into bat for men who are experiencing gender-based discrimination. I have their backs and I hope they have mine too. I would like to visit this site as I don’t think they’d know what to make of me.

  12. Kiboko:

    This is not what feminism about. It’s about making a world where feminism is no longer needed as no one, male or female, is discriminated against due to their gender and are no one is forced to adopt gender specific roles.

    Except one cannot do that if one works under an “us versus them” mindset, and that is precisely what many, if not most, feminists do. This is not unique to feminism. We see the same thing happening with the Tea Party movement, with religious groups, and with other social movements. The moment they define themselves as the “good” guys with all the answers, anyone who opposes, rejects, or ignores them becomes the “bad” guys.

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