Snapshot of a narrative revolt—Sports media takes it on the chin for pop feminist domestic violence pandering

“The best things in life are unexpected—because there were no expectations.”—Eli Khamarov

“When people are cornered into paying attention to what you are doing, they find it much easier to take a dim view of your actions. Given that and the synergy with their ideology, bad reviews are a given.

So are lies.

So are disgusting, filthy half-truths, distortions, and the aggressively ignorant avoidance of facts”—Paul Elam, 2014

“And here’s another point I’d like to highlight: I think Solo should be suspended right now, so we don’t spend another minute talking about her.”—Kate Fagan, September 23, 2014

In order to survive, all industries must aptly convince the buying public of a message. Mercedes-Benz promotes a lifestyle. Mortgage and student loan peddlers are selling upward mobility and generational wealth. Plastic surgeons’ and male supplement purveyors’ message is the promise of eternal youth.

The template is the same when convincing the government. Halliburton and Bechtel have a message of “our security.” Charter and profit-based schools promise to rescue our children from the Big Bad Teachers’ Unions. You get the picture.

Likewise, those in the gender grievance industry have something to sell: a narrative of sexual- and gender-based violence. On the matter of domestic violence, their narrative is driven by the Duluth Model: that intimate partner violence is driven by a need, rooted in “patriarchy,” to use menace as a means to control women and suppress their aspirations to being fully vested human beings. Domestic violence is something men do to women, reaffirmed by “society” and “the power structure,” we are told. These advocates posit acceptance of their narrative as the sole remedy to this malady, present to lead us lost sheep to a better world, to Shangri-La. That is, if only we and the local and state governments shut up, listen, and obey, the latter being in part defined by validating their efforts with check, money order, or credit card. After all, websites, PR professionals, staff, and in-service training materials aren’t cheap. A critical mass of acceptance of that narrative is what keeps the weight of opinion, and thus dollars, tipped on one side of the fulcrum.

Speaking of dollars, from all indicators, business is good.

The NFL’s rudderless mishandling of several domestic violence cases—those of Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and Adrian Peterson in particular—had created the perfect conditions for sports media agents of the gender grievance industry to advance their template. Take rare examples of outlier male behavior (in this case, aggression toward women, something men are loath to do even when assaulted), magnify it to create hysteria over a new outbreak in the “epidemic of toxic masculinity,” and leverage the moral panic to bring an (masculine) institution to heel. The male protective instinct now triggered, they do most of the heavy lifting for you, unquestioning in their fervor that heads should roll and unchallenging of their own self-flagellation, that “their culture” was to blame, that this was a “men’s problem” they needed to fix. Indeed, the public seemed sheepishly compliant with this narrative while paradoxically incensed at this culture of cover-ups and misogyny, with USA Today’s Christine Brennan’s calls for moral consistency on matters of intimate and familial violence seemingly forgotten like a paved-over pothole. When even a change in policy, indefinite suspension for Rice, and public mea culpas did appease the masses, he hired gender grievance ideologues Rita Smith, Lisa Friel, and Jane Randel as part of a Department of Social Responsibility to oversee training in domestic violence, sexual assault, and “matters of respect.”

So it stands to reason that when the narrative is publicly challenged on a broader scale, gender ideologues won’t exactly welcome Socratic dialogue. Indeed, a funny thing happened on the way to the white-flag-waving ceremony: a Red Pill pushback of historic proportion. On September 18, ESPN aired footage of accused drunken child-batterer Hope Solo passing a milestone with, well, nary a mention of her child (and sister) battery. Apparently, ESPN took for granted that either A) no one with a platform of scale was paying attention or B) if they were, none would have the temerity to voice The Emperor’s Nakedness.

They were wrong.

Thus began a period of awakening, when Duluth Model feminist hucksters, who double as sports media’s social justice taste-makers, would experience some good ol’ fashioned populist humble pie, complimented by a feedback loop of mainstream journalists and pundits who wondered out loud why one famous (alleged) child-beater still had a job, reverence, and a Nike sponsorship.

What followed was indeed delicious. Spontaneously, the public in the form of social media and many in the traditional media began to sniff out the sham. Toto could not have done a better job himself of peeling back the charlatans’ curtain.

What started the night of September 18 on Twitter and other social media as a slow rumble began to erupt the following morning with Roland Martin of TV One’s appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. As you can see, just the mention of a “woman doing something bad” triggers Katty Kay’s attack reflex, like how the healthy people sparked the zombies in World War Z.

Sometime later, Cindy Boren of The Washington Post chipped further into the dam Christine Brennan had breached, as the first of the blue-blood old media entered the fray.

The lava had begun to flow on Twitter:

One of the old guard sports media publications weighed in.

By this point, the debate had caught the attention of H.(ead)F.(eminist)I.(deologue)C.(hick) Jemele Hill, who responded with an equal measure of smugness and weak hairsplitting:

In setting the record for most goalposts moved in one day, Solo defenders start with . . . she deserved the benefit of the doubt because (GASP!) she denies the charges (like Hardy and MacDonald).

Or because the NFL is more popular than women’s soccer.

Of course, even those who cover women’s sports, like Sarah Gehrke, weren’t buying that dodge.

The short answer, of course, is “yes.”

The relative popularity of the NFL in no way explains why ESPNW, VICE Sports, and others who cover soccer and other women’s sports failed miserably to move the camera from their subjects’ faces to their transformed feet of clay. You see, Jane McManus, you, Sarah Spain, and Kate Fagan write for ESPNW, the “W” meaning “women.” Your charter is not to cover the NFL from the on-field side, as “women” don’t play in the NFL. So while your reporters should definitely weigh in with your concerns as women with the NFL’s fumbling, it’s not like the NFL-centric platforms have been silent on this issue. Indeed, the men were suspended for not toeing the party line (Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman). Neither does it forgive your chronic dereliction in avoiding the dark alleys of the beat your platform was invented to cover.

Women’s sports is your beat, and you don’t get a pass for choosing only to cover the “Sunny Side of the Street.” Just as I turn to you to find more in-depth coverage of who the up-and-coming women’s tennis players are, I should likewise see follow-up when Martina Hingis is accused of coordinating a three-person beating of her husband amid the toe-sucking of her triumphant return to doubles play.

Moving along, one of pop feminism’s most annoying gadflies, Tomas Rios of VICE Sports, couldn’t contain his rage.

The most fun of the weekend was watching Kate Fagan herself play her own version of Eminem’s “Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up.” Within three days of stating with a straight face that men need to be “reprogrammed,” she (grudgingly) conceded that Solo should not be playing, albeit with the sincerity of a Kim Jong-un prisoner’s letter criticizing America. Then, within hours she expressed buyer’s remorse with a rote boilerplate about the NFL’s power structure and the like. Garfield’s sidekick Odie would have been envious of the expert level tail-chasing on display. Encouragingly, Fagan was thoughtfully and thoroughly raked in the comments.

No word yet from Fagan on when, or how much, her fellow lesbians need to be reprogrammed to stop beating their girlfriends at a rate much higher than the hetero or gay male rate.

Of course, nothing warms the heart like feminists screaming, “MAKE IT STOP!”

The following week, ESPN and others could no longer hide from the matter. On September 23, in a watershed moment, the Hope Solo/gender double-standard issue was taken up by Outside The Lines, ESPN’s investigative news program, and its host, Bob Ley. On the panel, Kate Fagan, after retracting her backtrack, was exposed by Roland Martin and all but pouted and stamped her feet, with interruptions completely out of character, her Duluth Model word salad falling flatter than 30-day-old 7UP.

Moreover, the venerable Ley, an original ESPN anchor from its 1979 launch, lent the matter the gravitas that it deserves, starting with the lead. Contrary to Fagan’s and Hill/Smith’s treatment, Ley did so without flippancy, dismissiveness, or antagonism toward the questions raised by the Hope Solo matter even being asked. On the other hand, Smith and Hill addressed the matter with the enthusiasm of drinking a pint of cod liver oil, with dodges and untruths abounding.

Mike & Mike also mentioned Solo that week, with Mike Golic expressing his annoyance that excuses be made for anyone, including the goalie of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.

It should be noted that this is the same program that soft-shoed basketball star Chamique Holdsclaw’s slap on the wrist for whipping out a gun and firing it at her girlfriend and then swinging a bat at her.

The events of September 19 and the following week are a testament to the hubris of those who oppose the more accurate narratives and, more importantly, a testament that our message is getting out there. Thanks in part to our efforts, people are no longer afraid to speak up, and gender feminists no longer have an ironclad monopoly on the narrative. And they’re about as happy as soaked kittens, as drivel by the usual suspects Amanda Hess and this moderator warning for using the phrase “feminist jurisprudence” on the MMA Fighting blog demonstrate.

Even the NFL coverage has lost much of its browbeating specter. That said, work is not done. The NFL has released a video sponsored by, with NFL stars past and present sock-puppeting the industry talking points less than two months after Jane Randel,’s founder, was put on the NFL’s social responsibility advisory board. But when others in the “sphere” suggest that our message hasn’t gained some traction, point to this episode. It matters not whether AVfM or any other “men’s rights” or “manosphere” outlet is given direct credit; Warren Farrell once described feminism as fluoride—”we drink it not even knowing it’s there.”

Likewise, if by bits and pieces our message gets out, it matters not who sells it.

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