Thursday, January 15, 2015

Scary misogyny online

Germaine Greer once said:"Women have very little idea of how much men hate them." This may have been true in 1970 when The Female Eunuch was first published, but I think it's safe to say that thanks to the Internet, women are rapidly getting a real sense of how much men hate us.

Not all men, of course. 

But there is a sizable enough minority of the hard-core hate-filled that it's pretty disturbing. There was of course the infamous, Richard Dawkins-inspired elevatorgate, in which disciples of science and reason attacked a woman for saying, and I kid you not "guys, don't do that" when discussing a personal incident in which she was annoyed by a guy hitting on her in an elevator. And I had my own personal experience of Internet fueled misogyny thanks to Andrew Bellware, bad director who doesn't pay actors, and the gang of NYC theater people who support him.

But the most disturbing misogyny lives in the overlapping worlds of "men's rights activists" (MRAs) and "pickup artists" (PUA). There is so much women-hating material out there that a blog, We Hunted the Mammoth, is dedicated to exposing it. And while David Futrelle's pro-women sentiments and amusing mockery of the deadly-serious bitter weirdoes does take the edge off, I find that I cannot read the words of the MRAs/PUAs for long without feeling nauseous. Here is but one example:
The last we heard from Men’s-Rights-adjacent eccentric Peter-Andrew: Nolan(c), he was falsely accusingan Ohio University student of being a false rape accuser and posting her personal information on the internet.
Now he’s back in the news again with an exciting new social media venture. While Paul Elam takes on the world of publishing with his Possibly Still Unnamed Publishing House for Men Who Don’t Write Good (not its real name), Nolan(c) is taking on an even bigger target: Facebook.
Nolan(c), who for complicated crackpot reasons now goes by the name Joschua-Brandon: Boehm(c), has just launched ManBook, his version of Facebook, but for men only. While ManBook might look to the world like a glorified blog, Nolan(c)
Boehm sees it as a viable alternative to the alleged misandrist tyranny and “censorship” of “fascist book.”
Well, unless you’re a woman. If you’re a woman and try to post on ManBook,
Nolan(c) Boehm(c) explains, he has the right to kill you.
For a certain percentage of men, Germaine Greer was 100% correct.

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