content warning for harassment, violence, massive misogyny, and that some of the links are to MRA sites. please use an anonymizer to visit MRA sites if you have concerns for your safety. thanks!
It’s good to be #1. For example, the Oregon Ducks are about to be the National Champions of college football…quack quack! The ubiquity of Starbucks may be fuel for satire, but at the same time it’s a consistent coffee experience where you know what you’re getting from one side of the world to the other, and I am in fact sitting in a Starbucks writing this post. A #1 hit cements you as an artist who will at least be notable for being #1, even if you were the Starland Vocal Band. And, well, #1 means that you’re the top. In High Fidelity, John Cusack identified as being the “number one lover-man in (his) particular postal district.” But #1 can mean bad things, too. For example, in the 1980s, an actor named Ronald Reagan arose to run the US, and the Dead Kennedys, who tragically never had a #1 hit, had to adapt their song about the Fear of a (Jerry) Brown President, “California Uber Alles”, to talk about the actual bigger problem they had now.
We’ve got a bigger problem now, and that bigger problem is the so-called “Men’s Rights” movement, better described as the Misogynist Rights Hate Movement (hereafter MRHM) and their adherents declaring war on trans women. It’s nothing new, as MRA(sshole) leaders like Paul Elam and Mike Cernovich have been spewing transmisogyny in specific along with their usual white supremacist misogynist MRA drivel, but the rise of MRA recruiting through GamerGate has changed the game entirely, and the fact that this MRA hate mob has stressed harassment of trans women is a sign of the new priorities of the MRHM, and the attempt to blame this harassment on “gamer culture” is typical of the MRHM’s work to try to shift blame. After all, misogynist pig Elliott Roger’s killing spree was handwaved away by MRHM members, and the MRHM has worked hard to denigrate the agency of disabled people since they are, after all, a hate mob.
I can go into the reprehensible actions of GamerGate again, but I wrote a post on this already. Nothing’s changed since November, other than Gators rushing to the defense of child porn, since that’s what MRAs do…and even more harassment, because that’s what hate mobs do. I mean, we’ve established that GamerGate is an MRA-linked hate mob, and even if there’s a few people in GamerGate who aren’t MRAs, let’s consider where there’s significant overlap between what the MRHM stands for and what GamerGate stands for. GamerGate has erupted in defense of the child porn-laden board called 8chan; noted MRA leader Warren Farrell advocated for the normalization and legalization of incest, definitely a form of child sexual abuse, in 1977. So child sexual abuse is cool with MRAs and GamerGate alike. So if child sexual abuse wasn’t enough, there’s the issue of harassment, a core strategy of GamerGate’s campaign to intimidate women in gaming. A member of notorious hate-hive Men’s Rights Edmonton (who has been identified as a leader, but because of the KKK…er, MRHM’s extreme secrecy it’s impossible to verify this, of course) has advocated harassment of, as well as violence against, women participating in a Slut Walk. While GamerGate has had issues with advocating violence as well, the harassment that is central to GamerGate is generally more persistent in being annoying to cause psychological damage. But let’s be real here: neither GamerGate nor the MRHM has condemned individual actions of harassment perpetrated by their respective hate mobs, often expecting credit for broad pronouncements about harassment but failing to condemn incidents when they happen. And then there’s an admitted MRA themselves admitting that GamerGate is really about recruitment…the “Men’s Rights” Reddit tried to delete this, but this is why you log URLs on Reddit…if you have the URL, it’s forever, and even when a hate group tries to cover their tracks, they leave proof behind.
So we’ve got the misogyny linked up between GamerGate and the MRHM and MRAs themselves admitting that GamerGate is all about the MRAs, baby…let’s talk about transmisogyny and why we have this bigger problem. I’m by no means excusing radical fauxminists (often referred to by a misnomer acronym that rhymes with “serf” that I decline to use) or white religious fundamentalists for their work to oppress trans women, but the “Men’s Rights” hate movement has grown into a bigger threat than anything else. And, well, when it comes to bizarre obsessions with trans women, you can line up the hate-hive that is Reddit’s “men’s rights” community’s strange and creepy obsession with trans women’s bodies with the obsession GamerGate has with harassing trans women, much less implying that women whose gender identity is none of their business may be trans and that that somehow justifies GamerGate’s harassment of them. While we’re at it, the idea that the existence of a trans woman provokes violence and revulsion is an old, tired MRA chestnut, identical to the complaint of other pro-patriarchy activists like radical fauxminists. In fact, MRHM Grand Wizard/Messiah W. F. Price said as much in complaining about the presence of trans women in a bar…or something, you never can really tell with WC Price what he’s on about other than that women exist outside the house and that’s bad in his eyes. And yet GamerGate engages in the same behavior, going so far as to engage in SWATting, a violent activity, against Grace Lynn, where the harassers sent a SWAT team to her former residence and endangered lives, and encouraging mail-based harassment of Twitter user srhbutts, one of the most eloquent and tireless responders to GamerGate misogynist harassment. So if GamerGate isn’t an MRA project, why do their tactics, harassment, misogyny, and transmisogyny all line up perfectly?
Well, you know what the answer is to this question: GamerGate is nothing more than MRAs trying to expand their numbers for their white supremacist misogynist hate mob, and this is why we’ve got a bigger problem now. See, we’ve laughed off MRAs as being misogynist jerks with no power, and to a certain degree despite the transexterminationist nature of MRHM rhetoric and leadership, just ignored them. Similarly, with GamerGate, we’ve allowed GamerGate to determine the tenor of all discussion, and as a result MRHM dominance of this discussion is happening. We have to change our tack in dealing with the MRHM as women in general and as trans women in specific, as the MRHM depends on all the typical tactics of the patriarchy it serves so tirelessly. Things like tone policing anger at GamerGate/MRA harassment when anger is honestly how some people will respond to harassment that is highly personalized and designed to cause harm, or claiming the moral high ground about “doxxing” when online harassers are rightfully named and shamed. See, the thing about freedom of speech is that you well have it, but when you harm people, there are social consequences, and when you threaten people, there are legal consequences. The whole “screaming fire in a crowded theatre” thing is actually not just outdated, but also has a number of strings attached and is a paraphrase of Justice Holmes anyways.
When you harass someone, harassment has consequences. So yes, we need to name and shame people who harass, and we need to fight MRA lies with reality, truth, and, yes, feminism. Being an MRA is not a political choice, it’s the decision to consciously be a white supremacist, misogynist, and transmisogynist asshole. If you choose to enable MRAs, you’re choosing to go along with that even if you claim not to be one, and their blood’s on your hands, too. If you’re the shamelessly hateful thing that is a trans woman MRA, why? You’re siding with people who want to morally mandate us out of existence, just like Janice Raymond…in fact, Paul Elam’s rhetoric on trans women is nigh-identical to Dr. Raymond. The difference is this: radical fauxminists like Raymond, Cathy Brennan, etc. are a tiny minority in feminism. They’re women who, to satisfy patriarchal masters, punched down on other woman for personal gain. Partnership in a law firm that bullies on behalf of subprime and payday lenders for Brennan, and tenure in the faculty of the University of Massachusetts for Dr. Raymond at a time that UMass/Amherst had a “98%” white and male tenured faculty, at least if Dr. Raymond’s comments in class were to be believed. Radical fauxminism is a tiny chunk of feminism, and I think radical fauxminists are no feminists at all, as putting your hate in a “feminist” wrapper doesn’t make it feminist. I can claim that I’m the Queen of England all that I want, but absent the bona fides, I’m not Elizabeth II, Regina.
And yet mainstream MRHM theology calls for us to be considered oppressed men, or eliminated entirely. How does this make any sense? Why do we tolerate this? Transadvocate has “TE*F Week” but when you comment asking about why similar focus isn’t paid to MRAs, the comment doesn’t pass approval, and nobody stands up against the MRHM in the mainstream of the trans community. We have “STOP TE*FS!!!!!” groups on Facebook, but not groups about the other pro-patriarchy hate groups like MRAs. The laser-like focus on “TE*Fs” is coming at the detriment of all the other people who want to eliminate or harm us, and there’s a whole hell of a lot more mainstream MRAs whose theology calls for our destruction or harm than the small handful of radical fauxminists…mainstream third-wave feminism, what GamerGate whines its pants off about, is not actively transmisogynist, whereas MRAs are just that. Our focus has to change, and we’re well overdue for a change. See, patriarchy is like the Lernaean Hydra: you can’t cut off just one head, you have to cut off all the heads or the hydra lives on. And, well, when considering who actively works to harm trans women, we have the HBSers who harm from within, the aforementioned radical fauxminists aka TE*Fs, the “Men’s Rights” Klan, and fundamentalist religion, generally concentrated in white Southern Baptist fundamentalism. All these heads have to be dealt with, and hoping that ignoring the MRHM will make it go away has clearly failed now that the MRHM has acquired more members, and now we have the aforementioned bigger problem…a larger number of people willing to engage in the misogynist, white supremacist, transmisogynist harassment and hatred that the “Men’s Rights” movement stands for.
We can’t sit here and twiddle our thumbs anymore. The seething hatred of Paul Elam, W.F. Price, and Mike Cernovich, all MRA Messiahs who preach their hate theology about women, especially women of color and trans women, is what this army is willing to follow. We have to change, we have to respond, we have to be willing to say “no” to MRA demands (and we know how much MRAs hate hearing women say “no”), and we have to be supported by the vast majority of decent human beings out there who haven’t embraced MRA hate theology under the thinnest veneer of claims that it’s about “ethics in games journalism.” The MRAs are our #1 threat now, and we need to stop knuckling under.
As for what to do, and more ties between MRA hate theology and radical fauxminist hate theology, tune in next week, I’m close to 2000 words and Starbucks morphed into Denny’s when writing this…and my Moons over My Hammy beckons.
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