An "Interesting" Weekend
Monday, April 21, 2008
It all started on Friday, when I put up my "Blog for Fair Pay Day" post.
The first thing that happened was that an anonymous source (no, really, a real anonymous source!!!! ZOMG!!! -- just check the comments if you don't believe me!) informed me that "the wage gap is a myth". (Wow. Aren't you relieved?)
I spent a little time (a very little time) addressing this
troll commenter, and I must admit that I was a bit perplexed, because my readership here is usually very small, and while my readers sometimes disagree with me, it's very rare that someone comes along spouting Warren Farrel-esque ridiculousity. Occasionally, the stray troll has followed me home from Shakesville (*cough-cough*randyson/jasper*), but usually, it's smooth and responsible communication here at Chez Portly.
A couple of hours later, I got three comments on my "Robbing the Hearts of Men" post (which is nearly 6 weeks old -- don't bother trying to find them -- I deleted them immediately) -- suffice it to say that they were lovely bon-mots such as "fat hairy-legged pervert" (the mildest of the three), and I found myself wondering:
"Hmmm? Have I done anything particularly controversial today? Or yesterday? Or in the last week?"
My regular readers will know that I have not only not done much controversial blogging in the last two weeks, but that I've barely been blogging at all (*fighting the urge to apologize*).
It's times like these that site-meter is your friend.
I checked my visit history, and sure enough -- Robbing the Hearts of Men had been linked to by no less a "Men's Rights" luminary than Glenn Sacks. (And no, I will not link to his site -- not if you threaten me with wild dogs and fingernails on blackboards.)
Mr. Sacks said, in his post, that he does like to compliment feminists when they try to be fair and understanding -- so he began his post with this highly complimentary line:
"Misguided feminists do occasionally acknowledge the problems men face in our society, under the rubric of PHMT (Patriarchy Hurts Men Too)."Oh goodie.
I visited Sack's post, read through the comments thread (highly NOT recommended that you do that), and left a comment requesting that Mr. Sacks encourage his readers to visit my blog respectfully, or that he refrain from live-linking to my blog.
Sacks emailed me his response (and posted it in the comment thread), and I went back to his blog (didn't I tell you this was highly NOT recommended?!?!), and was treated to the following lovely stuff in comments (these are just the highlights):
In the comments to his post, I was called:One of the most interesting things (to me) was that many of the commenters made the case that men did not display emotion because that's "just how men are".
Fallacious, Dishonest, Irrational, Irrelevant, Misguided, Angry, and Morally Superior.
I was told that my perspective is not legitimate, that I "hate myself", that I have a "fundamentally flawed and hateful position", that I "played the race card" (because I stated that I considered myself as having privilege by virtue of being white), and I was suspected of being conniving and dishonest (writing the original post just so I could later say "Hey, at least I tried.")
Here are some choice quotes:
"Yeah, don't you believe it. The first time she's pissed at someone that's been vulnerable in front of her, she'll attack him for it too."
"This writer is making the same assumption that all feminists make. Female = Good : Male = Bad.
All female attributes are good and all male are bad."
"this woman has a purely gynocentric world view."
"this whole essay a backhanded insult"
"I do get annoyed when feminists pretend to be concerned about men. Frankly, it's an insult to my intelligence to expect me to accept mock sympathy and not be able to see their true agendas."
"If she can't take having her fallacies (or dishonesties) pointed out she should go to a girl's site [emp. mine] where she can get highbrow responses like "Wow! Awesome" and "Right On!". With opponents of such low calibre it should be obvious to anyone that the only reason feminism has come so far is because previous generations of men didn't bother fighting back."
Even more interestingly, this line of reasoning was nearly always immediately followed up with a sentence about how women won't sleep with men who display emotion.
I hate to break it to them, but if these guys are having a problem getting laid, I think that the problem probably isn't about how much emotion they do or do not express, but maybe, just maybe . . . .
. . . . . it might have to do with how they talk to women?
The ultimate irony in all of this is that I also dealt with some intense reactions from feminists in comment threads on that particular post (and the follow-up post) over at Shakesville.
So, my trip to Sacks-ville was very educational (and, thankfully, very brief). Here's what I learned/got out of it:
I discovered newfound compassion for those feminists I know who dismiss MRAs out of hand in comment-threads, and are unwilling to extend any benefit of doubt to them, because they have experienced precisely what I experienced -- men who deny that misogyny exists -- while simultaneously actively demonstrating it. Some of these feminists have experienced far worse -- from DDOS attacks on their blogs, to death and rape threats in their email inboxes and postal mailboxes. It was a time when I felt very glad that I was blogging anonymously (or as anonymously as possible).
There were a few people who commented at Sack's in a reasoned, respectful tone (seriously -- like, a few -- as in -- three). There were even a couple who defended me, or said something like: "Well, it's a start."
Here's the thing -- Not only do nearly all of the people commenting at Glenn Sacks' site believe that institutionalized misogyny does not exist -- many, if not most, of them believe that women actually have MORE rights than men do in our society.
They honestly believe this.
(And what I wouldn't do for some "Freaky Friday" soul/body-swapping powers about now.)
Now, I'm an optimist. I believe that humans can change. In an instant.
I believe this because I have changed. In an instant.
So, I thought, "Well, maybe I just touched some nerve -- I'll go to the front page of the blog and see if there's anything that I DO agree with." (How Many Times Do I Have to TELL you, Portly -- this is highly NOT recommended!?!?!?!?)
OK, so the front page had a article about a guy who killed his ex-wife and shot the judge who ordered him 50% custody and 20% alimony payments. To his credit, Sacks was posting the video of the session before the judge that preceded the murder and murder-attempt, apparently intending to get some of his readers to stop apologizing for the guy as they had apparently done in a previous comment-thread.
What was in the comments (and in the comments from the previous thread) shocked me to my core. There were MRAs who not only excused the man's behavior, but claimed that violence of this nature was necessary.
"He killed the childs mother and took away both of his child parrents. I have no sympathy for that. If he had killed the judge only I would be sending him flowers and my judges home address."Wow.
"It may well take a lot more killings similar to this for the court system and lawmakers to come to the realization that they screwed up and need to make a change.
Simply put one man with a bullet can create more change than a thousand with protest signs.
Take that any way you want."
As I said, it was an "interesting" weekend -- and my visit to MRA-land taught me a lot (kind of like how wading in the run-off from the nuclear power station can teach you -- not to wade in the run-off from the power station . . . . ever again).
Because I like to understand things, I've been attempting to wrap my brain around this particular group and their philosophy. So far, my brain doesn't seem to be big enough to quite wrap around it (that's prolly cuz I'm a woman, and my brain is so "low-calibre", dontcha know), but I'll update you if I get any insights.
*Disclaimer: If you get all curious and google this shit and end up on that comments thread, I'll just say, I warned you -- Highly NOT Recommended.*
Posted byPortlyDyke at 2:19 AM