As I said, only a few days ago:
To perpetuate the illusion that she is fighting on the side of the underdog, she has to keep on doubling down, time and time again, to preserve this fragile worldview. Any suggestion that feminism has done wrong is a threat not only to feminism but to the individual feminist’s mental state. Nobody likes to accept that they are responsible for causing harm. So a further lie is needed to shield the original lie from the incoming projectile of truth.
And what has been her response to the criticism of her obscene remarks about the recently deceased Thomas Ball? Further statements invented out of whole cloth to justify the original crock. MRAs don’t think women are people. MRAs want everyone to stop taking rape and domestic violence seriously. MRAs don’t care about the nuances of family law. MRAs are ultimately responsible for Thomas Ball’s death. MRAs are equivalent to Creationists.
That last one strikes me as particularly ironic, since it’s not our side that decries evolutionary psychology and insists that all human traits are social constructions.
But anyway, as obsessed as Amanda Marcotte undoubtedly is with the Men’s Rights Movement, she fails to grasp what it actually is. To be fair, the name is misleading. It’s not really a ‘movement’ in the same way that other movements are movements, and its advocates generally do not fit the traditional definition of ‘activist’ (with some outstanding exceptions – on which note, please check out what Paul Elam is up to tonight).
Still, and somewhat regrettably, the acronyms ‘MRM’ and ‘MRA’ have stuck. So be it. I do not concern myself with whether or not individuals within the ‘movement’, or the ‘movement’ as a whole, fit their dictionary definitions. The terms are widely accepted now, and it’s a waste of time to contest them.
Fidelbogen recently wrote a post on two feminist fallacies, and I must say that his timing could not have been better. Amanda Marcotte’s total misapprehension of what the MRM is or who MRAs actually are is very clearly an example of the crosshairs fallacy. She reduces everything MRA-related to “wingnuts” – and I would guess that by that, she imagines MRAs are all gun-toting survivalists, religious fundamentalists, buck-toothed racists from the South, and so on. You know the stereotype. It’s not an original one.
She really gives the game away with this comment:
I will point out that said wingnuts are striking this pose while not reconsidering their attitudes towards suicide bombers, so long as said bombers are Muslim.
Who, precisely, is she referring to here? Has there ever once been an official MRA statement on suicide bombers, let alone Muslim suicide bombers? I (one of said wingnuts) have never once stated my attitude towards suicide bombers. Neither has any other MRA I can think of.
Leaving aside the false equivalence (Thomas Ball committed suicide, he was not a suicide bomber), a statement like this could only be made by somebody who has an extremely narrow view of what an MRA is – in other words, somebody who is trying to trap MRAs in the crosshairs. Marcotte has practically made this into a left vs. right issue when it is nothing of the sort. MRAs are, generally, as seething towards social conservatism as they are towards progressivism. Those who approach MRA sites advocating white nationalism don’t tend to stick around very long – because MRAs tell them where to stick it. A number of prominent MRA bloggers openly identify as left wing, and receive no censure for it. Our very own Spartacus is strongly anti-war.
This notion that MRAs are all evangelical whackos and gun nuts is truly laughable to anyone who comprehends what is really meant by the term ‘MRM’. It’s not, for the most part, an organised movement, or even a movement at all in the typical sense. It is an organic reaction. The MRM does not go on recruitment drives; it doesn’t need to. Dispossessed and disenfranchised men are out there; they come from absolutely all walks of life; and they find us. The only way to stop this from happening is to stop dispossessing and disenfranchising men, as feminism has been doing for the last fifty years.
Otherwise, the MRM – or whatever we want to call it – is going to continue growing. Its ranks will swell with angry men – angry at their powerlessness, brought about by the hands of women and their violence-by-proxy.
Indeed, you could round up every single ‘MRA’ today, and kill them all! And before long, there would be a whole new bunch of MRAs, having sprung up seemingly from nowhere. What we call the Men’s Rights Movement is really a collective social force mobilising against feminism, by itself, with very little actual organisation. As long as feminists insist on persecuting men, this reaction is invariably going to take place. There are always going to be ‘MRAs’, although they might not call themselves that – indeed, it is my well-informed opinion that most people who we could fairly define as MRAs have never even heard of the term ‘MRA’.
Given that feminism seeks to persecute all men – whether white, black, gay, straight, conservative, liberal, rich or poor – we naturally find a cross-section of society populating what we call the ‘MRM’. The MRM, being like society in microcosm, contains all types of men – and women. (This is perhaps the most egregious omission in reducing MRAs to ‘wingnuts’ – the contributions by women to anti-feminist literature cannot be overlooked.) The anti-Muslim, America-fuck-yeah, guns ‘n’ ammo caricature that Marcotte reduces MRAs to is not insulting. It’s just bizarre, and is well recognised as such by anyone who actually reads MRA blogs or fathoms the larger picture of what we mean by ‘the Men’s Rights Movement’.
That larger picture being, of course, that opposition is inevitably going to spring up amongst those sectors of society that are being victimised. Call it MRA, call it what you will. The sector in this case is men – that is men as a whole, not some subset of men, e.g. white men, or right-wing men, or men who bash Muslims.
Let me give you an example. Three counties in the United Kingdom have been selected to trial a new policy on domestic violence, known as ‘Go’ orders. Under this new policy, any man who is accused of domestic violence can be banned from entering his own home for a month.
Please note: we are only talking about an accusation here. Absolutely no corroborating evidence is required. A criminal charge does not have to be filed. Without having been charged with an offence (which would at least allow him to defend himself in a court of law), a man can be stripped of his right to enter his own home, on the say-so of his partner, who needs present no evidence of her claims whatsoever.
Feminists will, no doubt, cheer on this empowerment of women over men. But it will occur to any man who cohabits with a female that his right to enter his own place of residence now rests wholly in her hands. She can ban him from his own property at any time she chooses. And even if she elects to set that power down, society allows her to pick it up again at any moment.
And let nobody pretend that this is not about targeting men. The very people involved in pushing this policy forward are perfectly clear about their gender profiling and presumption of guilt:
Now, if a person is arrested for domestic violence, we often get a situation where we know this has gone on but we can’t prove it.
It’s her word against his. No other evidence whatsoever. Currently we’re in the horrible situation where we have to release the man.
If you can cast your mind back to Amanda Marcotte’s comment that MRAs are like Creationists, I invite you to compare it to this total refutation of the scientific method, courtesy of the feminist sector. The quoted state functionary claims he can know something without having any proof of it. It’s as if the Enlightenment never happened.
Only in a culture hostile to men’s rights could a lack of evidence actually be taken as evidence that a man is guilty. Her word against his apparently equates to him being guilty; presumably, because her word is worth more than his. Releasing the man is not the ‘horrible situation’ – imprisoning a man and then prohibiting him from entering his own home on the basis of no evidence whatsoever is truly despotic. It is not as if we can claim that women don’t lie about being assaulted, but that appears to be the thinking behind policies like the ‘Go’ orders.
Is it at all conceivable that men do not recognise what this means: that they no longer even need to be charged with a crime to have their most fundamental rights violated; that their wives and girlfriends now hold absolute power in their relationship, and that simply disagreeing with her might cost them everything?
Of course men recognise what is happening. And every woman becomes suspect, because every woman has the right to exercise violence-by-proxy. Armed thugs are at her bidding, just one phone call away. The law and the state work to please her by brutalising common men. She need not get her hands dirty. The boys in blue gallantly offer to bust men’s heads for her, and men have no recourse.
And remember, policies that allow women to commit violence-by-proxy do not target only conservative men, or redneck men, or men who own firearms. They target all men, from the farm labourer to the army cadet to the sociology student. The resistance to feminism, naturally, comes from all sections of society, from the bottom rungs to the upper echelons. How else do we imagine a man – of any political persuasion – to respond, when he witnesses self-identified feminists cackling over their power to deprive men utterly of everything that makes life worth living? (And then, without pausing for breath, reaffirming their preferred metanarrative of female victimhood and male privilege.)
I think I have made my point sufficiently well. Despite her obsession with the MRM, Amanda Marcotte has not the slightest clue what it actually is – and nor will she ever accept any other account of what it is. She will continue to commit the crosshairs fallacy. I quote Fidelbogen:
Beset by hostile forces which they cannot fathom, [feminists] try to align a narrow target, as it were, in the crosshairs of a sniper scope. Their deluded hope is, that the sum and substance of what threatens them lies within that constricted radius, and that if only they neutralize the target area, their troubles will go away and perpetual revolution will resume its course unhindered.
They sense, quite rightly, that larger social forces are mobilizing against feminism and what feminism has inflicted on the world, and with utmost naïveté they have undertaken a shorthand analysis that would make these things mentally easier to cope with.
The crosshairs fallacy springs from a childish belief that the vital force of the non-feminist revolution concentrates in a point source […] and that if you neutralize this particular “head”, then the “snake” will expire. But that is a gross misunderstanding — akin to attacking a prominent mushroom in complete ignorance of the underlying mycelium which spreads for miles. For even if you kill, imprison, or pinklist every suspected “MRA” on the planet, you will not have made a dent in the cultural forces which generated MRAs in the first place.
There would be little purpose in going through each of Amanda Marcotte’s points and disputing them one by one. She fundamentally misunderstands what she is talking about. Still, we should not expect much more than reckless and ignorant generalisations from the Ann Coulter of the left. Considering some of Marcotte’s own recent statements, she would do well to recall that those in crass houses shouldn’t throw stones.