Understanding The Process

« January 2016 »

Memo to the men's rights movement: YOU AREN'T MAKING THIS EASY.

I'll be honest. I started Men's Rights Monday last week knowing two things. The hilarious math behind the claim that Return of Kings had cost Star Wars four million dollars for violating its no wimmens allowed clause, and that men's rights activists are garbage people. This, I thought, would be enough. And then I started the planning for Week Two. And I found the targeting process surprisingly challenging. Challenging enough that I thought I'd share it with you.

So I went back to Return Of Kings, because the Star Wars thing (and the Mad Max thing before that) showed they had a penchant for the complete lack of self-awareness that makes all ultra-right activist sites so goddamned hilarious. Plus, they're clearly willing to take umbrage at pop culture, and that's also a rich comedic vein to mine. So I hit them up and picked four promising-sounding headlines. But as I read the stroies, I ran into a bit of an obstacle.

Because the one thing that makes the Men's Rights Movement so oddly fascinating is that they take the self-reinforcing echo chamber feedback loop aspect of the far right, and use it to concentrate ideas that already start in a place of deep hatred, mental instability, and delusion. So you go in expecting garbage, and you find a Superfund site.

For example, "Never Date A Woman Who Takes One Of These Prescription Drugs". There's a lot to laugh about in this article, which starts with a how-to guide on how to snoop through a woman's medicine cabinet, bedroom drawers, purse, and cars for evidence of these drugs. Then there's a list of drugs, and they're all anti-depressants, of course. The article really tries hard to both claim that women should be taking them because women are all crazy these days, and women should be ashamed to take them because they make kids autistic. Pure, unadulterated, batshit madness.

And then, the discussion of Zoloft turns into a discussion of PMS, because of course it does, and the writer, an alleged pilot going by the incredibly subtle pen name of "A. V. Yader", decides it's the height of comedy to list twelve bullet-pointed PMS symptoms from WebMD, and add a thirteenth, and here I quote, "Being a cunt."

And it's not like I object specifically to the use of the word. For example, if I were to say that A. V. Yader was a cunt who could only make the world a better place by crashing his plane into Cunt Mountain, and that yes, indeed, that benefit to the world takes into account the expense and effort incurred in retrieving his charred cunty corpse from Cunt Mountain. And burying it in a grave marked "Cunt" that nobody will ever visit, I would say such a thing with a clear conscience, because the ugliness there is deliberate, focused, and targeted. Yader's ugliness is inherent and casual. He doesn't do that because he has to, he doesn't even do it because he wants to. He does it because Yader's being Yader.

Another article takes a Daily Caller article that cherrypicks a New York Human Rights commission report, uses it to claim that New York will fine you a quarter of a million dollars for not using made-up pronuns like "zir", and then fills the rest of the article with just straight-up garden-variety transphobia and insistence that, for example, Bruce Jenner is a man and should be referred to as "he".

The hilarity of the whole thing, of course, is that the kind of deep, malicious hatred that this article espouses - including the insistence of an incorrect pronoun based on refusing to recognize someone's gender identity - could in fact be evidence of the kind of discrimination that could eventually lead to a fine as large as a quarter-million dollars.

But conflating punishment for discrimination with an infringement on "freedom of speech" has been part of the standard operating playbook for a long time, and if I wanted to make fun of the Daily Caller, I'd make fun of the Daily Caller, not some second-hand Daily Caller pants-dribble.

"How To Be Seen By Women As An Alpha Male" has a promising title, but turns out to just be a horribly-written primer on something called "frame control", which is just regurgitated pick up artist bullshit, which itself is just regurgitated dick-swinging salesman bullshit. Now, if the entire article had been about one hilariously appropriate tenet of being an alpha male at the end of the article, specifically, "Believe unquestioningly in your own value", that'd be a different story, because, oh, how deep a dive the word "unquestioningly" could have kicked off. But it didn't.

Luckily, they have a whole article about yelling at a hashtag by what's probably the four millionth tiny-dicked conservative using the "Marcus Aurelius" pen name, so I'll have something on tap for next week.