Friday, 22 July 2011

The Manosphere

I'm getting a lot of criticism of my latest video from self-identified Men's Rights Activists, and I'm tired of dealing with it on YouTube so here's a blog post in response.

The main accusation seems to be that I've misrepresented, or "strawmanned", the Men's Rights Movement (MRM) by implying that it's made up of men who are angry because they're not getting laid.

That accusation is partly true. It's a comedy video and it's less than two minutes long; some oversimplification is inevitable.

However, my critics are (perhaps deliberately) ignoring the fact that "the manosphere" includes more than just the MRM. More seriously, they deny that "the manosphere" is chock full of hysterical misogynist bullshit (written largely by men who do seem to be angry because women aren't giving them the respect (and/or sex) they feel they deserve). And the denials don't hold up to scrutiny.

I've used way too many parentheses in that paragraph.

Anyway, I only know what I know about "the manosphere" because I've spent the last few months enjoying the Manboobz blog. And according to my critics that means I'm misinformed and don't really understand what's going on - because Manboobz is misandrist propaganda written by an evil feminist "mangina".

In reality, what Manboobz does is seek out examples of misogyny on the internet and then take the piss out of them. There are new posts nearly every day that quote directly from articles and forum discussions and provide links to the context - so charges of misrepresentation are false. Manboobz also links to the most prominent sites in "the manosphere", allowing people to explore them in more detail if they wish.

The site list points not only to MRM sites, but also to MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) and PUA (Pick Up Artist) sites - and most of those sites link to each other, creating a cosy little bubble of internet woman-hate and claims that men are, as a gender, oppressed. There's a lot of conflation of feminism and fascism, and talk of conspiracies and men needing to "take the red pill" (like in the documentary The Matrix) to wake up to the horrible reality of what's happening. The rhetoric is very similar to the stuff you see on White Nationalist sites, but with a secret gender war replacing the secret race war that most of us don't realise we're engaged in.

It's laughable.

This is not to deny that discrimination against men does exist, and that there are issues affecting men that should be dealt with - of course there are. The problem is, as one of the authors of this excellent blog pointed out recently:

"The Men’s Rights movement, as a whole, just offers up a bunch of noise that makes it harder for people to find the actually helpful advice. "

I can't put it any more succinctly than that.

EDIT 26/7

This just in:


1056 said...

Ha ha ha!
Well, judging by the mail, you do not gain any friends right now.
Well, appart from those of us guys that actually have a brain. :)

Dave Pryde said...

Clone yourself for the good of the internet

OHC said...

I appreciated your video. But I confess, I've seen so much absurdity in the youtube community from the MRA defenders, that I honestly did not know you were kidding. I thought you were a sympathizer. I was very disappointed in you - at first. My bad. But since I liked your previous work, I decided not to react and "cancel my subscription". Thank you for making this post.I'm glad you're back on my good guy list.

LesFleurs said...

Did you get a nice rib cracking yet? Anyway, isn't it nice that somebody that has been molested threathens people?

Distorteddogma said...
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Distorteddogma said...

The key to comedy is having a audience that actually understands the words you are speaking.

This leaves the comic two choices:
1) lower the intellectual and educational requirement level of the comedic content to reach the lowest expected IQ in the room.
2) explain each joke as it is told.

Well three choices:
3) keep the intellectual and educational requirement level of the comedic content high enough that the target does not realize what is being said and about whom the joke was aimed.

Of course this requires the fervent hope that said Cro-Magnon target remains oblivious and does not have a friend who can explain it to them.

It would appear the later has taken place... well, kinda.
Be Well.

Mike Booth said...

Jeez, if I lowered the level to reach the lowest expected IQ on YouTube, I'd... Well, I'd be Ray William Johnson.

Jordon W said...

and this is why you quit making videos.

Mick said...

why do they insist on calling an arse an 'ass'? I also think I am correct in assuming that 'thug buddies' is an oxymoron.

as a tall good looking guy who gets loads of attention I've added you as a subscriber on youtube... but don't imagine that I will allow any divorcing in ass rape court

Spurll said...

Thanks for being awesome, SGB!

English Teacher X said...

"manosphere" is a little bit shorter and pithier than "he-man woman hater's club" I guess. . .

jaxa taxa said...

HAHAHAHAAAA That guy got sexually assaulted and then had the nerve to complain to you about it. Lets all laugh and sneer at him.

Everyone knows its impossible for men to be sexually assaulted. Feminisms teaches us these inviolable truths. Mustn't mustn't questions doctrine. Naughty naughty boys mustn't question their mummy.

Mike Booth said...

Jaxa taxa - You know, of course, that I'm not sneering at the guy having been sexually assaulted. That's not funny, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

The abusive language and the threats of violence against me, however - those are funny.

Jamie James said...

Hey there.

Just thought I'd say I really take great pleasure in your videos, and your excessive parentheses.

I wrote an open letter to men's rights activists that is now being incessantly trolled (I guess calling it "How to troll" wasn't sufficiently deterrent) with hilarious non-arguments and outright refusal to acknowledge the possibility that anything I've written is in fact, simply not libel. LOL

They think that because I've predicted that they'll be chased by an angry mob if they try to show up with a little pride parade of their own (kind of like exactly what happened to a white supremacist group in my home province), that I've threatened them.

And yet, here they (or their friends) are, threatening you (I love using that word "or" -- they don't seem to know what it means).

I don't know how to take any of this seriously. Sorry about your house, btw. I'm about to become home-less too, but not due to fire.

Asenath said...

Well, I don't know you. I've never met you. I have no idea what you look like, but, purely to tick off these pea brained cretins who are threatening you and, (if it wasn't just a piece of fiction you created for the sake of brevity), setting fire to your property, I, sir, would screw you. There. You're not theoretically pussy starved any more. And I'm under 130 lbs, with long hair and a decent complexion. ;)

Mike Booth said...

They're not really threatening me - at least not any more than anyone gets threatened on the internet - and it's not anything to be taken seriously as the "Activist" in MRA is ironic.

Paul Elam of A Voice For Men recently had the chance to do some actual activism, when an actual real journalist wanted to interview him about his site. His response: "Can't, I'm watching AirForce One".

Tom Martin said...

"The rhetoric is very similar to the stuff you see on White Nationalist sites"

Ah yes, equating men's inequality discourse to white inequality discourse, because as everyone knows, white people die more from 14 of the top 15 causes, so need help (unlike men).

Exhibit D.

Richard Hagen said...

"There's a lot of conflation of feminism and fascism, and talk of conspiracies and men needing to "take the red pill" (like in the documentary The Matrix) to wake up to the horrible reality of what's happening."

Tears and tears of laughter.

Richard Hagen said...
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Richard Hagen said...
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