Random Headlines — 6/28/15

Credit: Doug Mills/New York Times
Credit: Doug Mills/New York Times

Hatewatch – Anti-LGBT extremists react with outrage to marriage ruling.
Politico – Andrew Sullivan responds to marriage equality: ‘It is accomplished.’
Jacobin – Fights over the Confederate and Rhodesian flags give us a glimpse into the reactionary mind.
Talking Points Memo – How straight people finally realized that gay couples ‘respect’ marriage.
Raw Story – League of the South leader says John Wilkes Booth ‘took too long’ to assassinate ‘treasonous’ Lincoln.
Joe. My. God. – WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah says God will punish America for marriage equality.
Think Progress – Following the Charleston massacre, black churches are targeted by arsonists across the South.
The Daily Beast – ISIS unleashes its full terror potential.

Stefan Molyneux Blames the World’s Evil on ‘Women Who Choose Assholes’

Credit: Youtube/Stefan Molyneux
Credit: Youtube/Stefan Molyneux

[Note: This is kind of old news, since this is from one of Stefan Molyneux’s Freedomain Radio podcasts from last year, but I thought I would use my fledgling computer skills to post an audio of this infamous rant. I’m also now on SoundCloud. Just think of this as a test.]

On Stefan Molyneux’s podcast, titled ‘The Matriarchal Lineage of Corruption’, Molyneux lectures a caller on why his mother chose to have sex with his “asshole” father. Continue reading “Stefan Molyneux Blames the World’s Evil on ‘Women Who Choose Assholes’”

Now That Marriage Equality is the Law of the Land, the Right is Losing Its Mind

OMG Jesus is going to destroy us all!

Now that marriage between two persons of the same sex is legal in all fifty states, people across the country are celebrating. President Obama personally congratulated Jim Obergefell, one of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case who wished to be listed as his late spouse’s husband on his death certificate. Continue reading “Now That Marriage Equality is the Law of the Land, the Right is Losing Its Mind”

Random Headlines — Obamacare Edition

Obamacare Protest

The New York Times – The Supreme Court rules in favor of nationwide healthcare subsidies in King v. Burwell.
Politico – GOP sticks with Obamacare repeal plan.
Media Matters – Conservative media freaks out after the Supreme Court’s healthcare decision.
The Atlantic – In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court saves the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Think Progress – Justice Thomas says we can gut anti-discrimination laws because there are a lot of black NBA players.
Salon – Ted Nugent just called Obama the n-word, even if he insists that he didn’t.
Feministing – Study shows how men overcompensate when their masculinity is questioned.
Media Matters – Radio host Michael Berry compares the Confederate flag to the Koran.
We Hunted the Mammoth – Leading MRA site A Voice for Men continues to publish a Holocaust denier and marital rape apologist.

On Tyrell Shaw, Toxic Masculinity, and the Problem That Men Refuse to Address

Tyrell Shaw
Tyrell Shaw, 25, vowed to assault one million Asian women as revenge for rejecting his advances.

On June 10th, a 35-year-old woman was accosted by a strange man while she was walking the streets of Manhattan. “Who is the president of the United States?” he asked. Perhaps she didn’t hear him, or maybe she was just puzzled by the bizarre line of questioning. Either way, she didn’t respond, and he walked away. No doubt stranger things have happened in a city of more than eight million people, and she most likely shrugged off the strange encounter.

Yet it was only a quarter after 4 in the afternoon when the woman, walking along Grand Street, was once again approached by the strange individual who, this time, appeared to be cradling an object in a white, plastic bag. Seemingly out of nowhere, the man took the object, smashed her in the face, and fled. That same night, another woman was assaulted in a similar fashion, this time at Park Avenue and East 30th Street. The type of attack — being hit in the face with a blunt object — wasn’t the only commonality between the two assaults, however. Both the first and second victim were Asian.

That Friday, another Asian woman was assaulted, this time on Second Avenue and East 60th Street. A fourth attack occurred the following Monday on Mulberry Street.

It seemed as though Manhattan had a serial attacker on its hands; one who specifically targeted Asian women. The NYPD began investigating the incidents as potential bias crimes. Thanks to surveillance footage, law enforcement officials were able to ID the suspect as 25-year-old Tyrell Shaw. A career criminal, Shaw already had numerous run-ins with the law prior to his string of violent attacks on Asian women. Shaw had been arrested ten times in New York City since 2006 for crimes ranging from trespassing to burglary. He had also been involved in a handful of domestic disturbances, some involving family members, and at least one with a girlfriend.

Yesterday afternoon it was discovered that Shaw died by suicide; his body was found in the elevator shaft of a Madison Avenue building, but only after neighbors noticed the stench. While police will never be able to get a full confession from Shaw as to why he committed these attacks, it seems as though the aspiring fashion designer gave us enough clues on his blog, Mr. Talented.

In an apparent suicide note, titled “Why I decided to leave Earth”, he revealed that he harbored a deep resentment toward Asian women for having spurned his affection, which he attributed to anti-black racism. “I’ve always treated Women with the utmost respect,” he complained. “I never wanted to reach the conclusion that Asian Women would never take me serious [sic], because of the color of my skin.” Shaw claims that he “talked to nearly 1500 Asian Women” in 350 days, but “none of them took time out of their day to say hello.” It made him “furious”, and he resolved to “overcome that sense of rejection” by “assaulting the Women that carelessly reject me.”

Thus, the root of the problem becomes quite clear. Tyrell Shaw, like thousands of other men who commit violent acts against women, was driven by a frightening toxic masculinity.

Shaw described himself as “kindhearted” and a “nerd.” He bragged about how his art had been displayed in prominent shows and magazines, yet the Asian women he fixated so heavily on still didn’t find him attractive. The humiliation gnawed at him inside. He wanted to hurt the women whom he believed had wronged him. He wanted to get even, and make a game of it too:

I assumed the [Asian women] that I am attracted to use cocaine so I decided to play a game. Bash Asian Women in the Nose so that they could stop sniffing cocaine and give me a chance. At first I thought I could get away with 1 Million Noses, but at 6th victim I felt a little discouraged. I didn’t even expect to bash The Dry cleaning lady in the mouth. She went overboard with the verbal abuse. That was actually my day off from playing the Nose Game. Yeah, thats [sic] what I’ll call it “The Nose Game”. She asked for it.

His case is reminiscent of unstable, entitled men such as George Sodini and even Elliot Rodger. In 2009, Sodini, a middle-aged white man angered by romantic rejection, stormed an LA Fitness gym in Collier Township, PA, armed with an assault weapon and opened fire. When the bloodbath was over he had murdered five women and wounded twelve others. In an online diary he expressed bafflement over his inability to get a date or have sex, writing, “I dress good, am clean shaven, bathe, touch of cologne–yet 30 million women rejected me–over an 18 or 25 year period.” Like Sodini, Shaw also expressed disbelief that women, particularly Asian women, didn’t find him attractive. Like Sodini, he hyperbolically claimed that a preposterous number of women (1500 in 350 days) had rejected him. Like Sodini, he used violence to get even with the opposite sex.

In his book Angry White Men, sociologist Dr. Michael Kimmel provides some insight as to why men would behave violently towards, and even murder, the women they purport to love:

This association between violence and love is so intimate, so central for men, that it practically screams out for answers. Freud wasn’t the first to notice the association between love and anger, between sex and aggression. Perhaps it’s because loving leaves us so exposed, so vulnerable, feelings that are antithetical to our sense of ourselves as masculine. Masculinity is about impermeability, independence. Perhaps feeling vulnerable and dependent is regressive, reminding us of our earliest dependence on our mothers.

Maybe. But the defense against vulnerability and exposure, however intimate its experience and how it recalls events early in our lives, seems to be activated only when something else breaks down. If masculinity is based on impermeable defenses and the feeling of being in control, then violence may be restorative, returning the situation to the moment before that sense of vulnerability and dependency was felt and one’s sense of masculinity was so compromised.

But still, one needs an additional ingredient: the feeling of right, or entitlement. One must feel entitled to use violence as a means of restoring what was experienced as threatened, that part of the self that is suddenly made vulnerable. If you don’t feel entitled to use violence, then all the vulnerability in the world won’t lead you to hit somebody.

According to Kimmel, this “sense of entitlement” is the “key to understanding men’s violence against women.” Men don’t hit women when things are going smoothly, but rather “when it breaks down.” Thus, men choose to be violent with women for any number of reasons — perhaps dinner isn’t on time, or she isn’t in the mood to have sex, or she wants to do something by herself. “He has a right; he’s entitled. When that entitlement is compromised, he feels humiliated, aggrieved.”

Shaw was, without a doubt, entitled and aggrieved. In a post dated June 7th, Shaw wrote, “I’ve been rejected by Women my entire life. I never understood why, but whenever I stopped to woo- I always ended up getting the same excuse every single time. Sorry I have a Boyfriend or Sorry I’m in a rush. Some Women even ignored me completely. It got really bad.” He openly admitted to stalking Asian women on the street, following them “just to see why they’re lives are ten times more important than a Black Mans in America.” One day he decided to record all the instances in which he saw “Asian women locking hands with Caucasian men.” An accomplished street harasser, he set about to “compliment 100 women” in a single day and record the results.

Moreover, violence was certainly restorative for Shaw. His stated motive for assaulting Asian women was to “overcome that sense of rejection.” He had come to the realization that he “would have to use violence in order get the response that I desire.” “Everyday people hurt my feelings and its not fair,” he wrote. His very sense of masculinity was compromised, which meant he had to use violence in order to, as Dr. Kimmel put it, return to “the moment before that sense of vulnerability and dependency was felt.” Most disturbingly, it worked. As Shaw put it in one of his final posts, “Truthfully, I feel so much better after hitting an asian [sic] Woman in the face with a steel rod. It was the greatest achievement of my life.”

Masculinity is merely a construct. What it means to “be a man” is taught to us by our families and religious figures and cultural icons. Masculinity need not be associated with violence or revenge against anyone, let alone women. We can teach others and ourselves that it’s okay to move on when someone breaks our heart, or when a relationship fails. Toxic masculinity hurts and kills women. As we’ve seen from Tyrell Shaw, it also ends the lives of men, who are already at a greater risk of suicide than women. Yet we cannot fight a problem if we refuse to recognize it. Too many men find it comfortable to retreat into the confines of traditional gender norms; it’s practically ingrained in us.

Some, like the so-called Men’s Rights Activists, staunchly oppose giving up this definition of what it means to “be a man.” They would rather espouse violent rhetoric and savage women online. While Tyrell Shaw was busy stalking and assaulting women, Dean Esmay of the men’s rights website A Voice for Men was vigorously promoting the Twitter hashtag #SpankAFeminist and making rape jokes. At best, this rhetoric gets us nowhere. At worst, it harms and terrorizes women.

We need to strike at the root of the problem of male violence. We can only do that if we admit to ourselves what the cause is.

Random Headlines — 6/22/15

Klan supporters brandish Confederate and Gadsden flags.
Klan supporters brandish Confederate and Gadsden flags.

Raw Story – Leader of group cited in Dylann Roof’s ‘manifesto’ donated to top Republicans — including Cruz, Paul, and Santorum.
The Root – President Obama discusses racism, and says the n-word, in a presidential podcast. (Cue conservative pearl-clutching.)
Right Wing Watch – Meet the Republican candidates who have defended the Confederate flag.
Talking Points Memo – S.C. Gov. Haley crafting plan to take down the Confederate flag.
Jacobin – Last Wednesday’s shooting in Charleston is part of a long history of white terrorism in the South.
Salon – One insane Fox News segment shows just how far conservatives will go to downplay racism.
NY Mag – Parsing clues ahead of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision.
Feministing – Court upholds Planned Parenthood’s telemedicine abortion program in Iowa.

50 Shades of Esmay: MRA Promotes a Hashtag About ‘Spanking’ Feminists

Mr. Esmay will see you now.
Mr. Esmay will see you now.

You know, I’ve long felt that sexual repression was a trait that many male anti-feminists share. From Rush Limbaugh’s demand for a sex tape from Sandra Fluke — you know, the law student who dared to ask for contraception coverage — to Paul Elam’s declaration to a feminist woman that “fucking your shit up gives me an erection” to the obsession with cuckolding shared by pickup artists like Heartiste and Roosh V, there’s always been something sexual at the heart of their woman-bashing. Yes, I said woman-bashing, because these same people — even while they note that not all women describe themselves as feminists — often target female feminists more than male ones. Or, at the very least, reserve the worst of their venom for women.

Dean Esmay of A Voice for Men appears to be no exception, with yesterday’s attempt at trending the hashtag #SpankAFeminist. I’ll let Esmay himself explain:

Feminists say so much stupid, ignorant, or just plain evil shit it boggles the mind, and in response a new hashtag has begun that I hope to see spread on Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media platforms.

#SpankAFeminist speaks to our need to metaphorically spank feminists for their transgressions.

Why would you spank a feminist? Well in reality, we know a lot of them would complain but some might actually enjoy it. Who knows? Maybe they’re just shit-testing us all and waiting and feeling frustrated that we aren’t responding right. They make so many phony, transparently, scientifically debunked assertions, that answering them is like playing Whack-A-Mole.

So here’s an easy thing to do: from now on when they say something idiotic on social media, just respond with a spanking. It’s all they’re really worthy of anyway.

Creepy, right? It also has all the usual trappings of an MRA rant: anti-feminism, violence, and vague sexual fantasies about humiliating the (predominantly) female enemy. On A Voice for Men, it’s actually pretty mild — at least in comparison to some of its other articles excusing marital rape or promoting violence against women.

So what, exactly, are these feminist “transgressions” that have Esmay in such a tizzy? Among them are “being the kind of bitter, humorless, hateful harpies” who would view his hashtag as a call for violence against women (and who could make that mistake?), “swindling people with the notion that a career is the path to self-fulfillment”, for spreading the “hateful lie” that anti-abortion measures represent the “efforts of men to control women” (again, just where would people get such an idea?), spreading the “racist lie that 3rd world men routinely beat women & treat them like property”, and for “pretending to give a damn about men and boys” when it’s just so gosh darn obvious that they “hate them or view them as defective at least.”

One can almost imagine Esmay breathlessly typing out these supposed feminist crimes, when it’s stunningly obvious that he’s attacking an army of straw men. For example, it would be more than a little myopic to suggest that abortion restrictions are the sole result of men who want to exercise social control over women. And when discussing the patriarchy or male privilege, feminists are not talking about a conspiracy. That’s right, there isn’t some shadowy cabal of men who twirl their mustaches and talk about ways to actively disenfranchise women. Of course, no one is asserting that so Esmay’s complaint falls flat.

I also do not believe every male in Third World countries is some oppressive misogynist who abuses his wife or girlfriend, though it should be reiterated that women have legitimate human rights concerns in Third World nations. In Iran women are executed for the crime of adultery, even if they were the victims of rape. In Saudi Arabia women are officially prohibited from driving. Pakistani women are often the victims of disfiguring acid attacks. The draconian anti-abortion laws of Latin America and the Caribbean have caused countless pregnancy related deaths and unsafe abortions. According to a 2011 report from UN Women, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a criminal offense, and 2.6 billion women live in countries where spousal rape has not been criminalized.

Dean Esmay also said that feminists behave “as if they stand for gays and minorities when they clearly don’t.” I wonder what his reaction would be if he realized that black, Latina, Muslim, Asian, and LGBTQ feminists exist — not just in Western nations, but in Third World countries marred by the problems I just mentioned.

Esmay’s misconceptions about feminism notwithstanding, he nonetheless believes we should all be spanked:

This would be my starting list of reasons why any time you meet a feminist, you should spank him or her until they cry. And do it every time they open their mouths to spew forth their hateful lies about standing for tolerance, inclusion, and equality, when there is no movement in the modern world that does more to fight against tolerance, inclusion, freedom, and equality than feminism. Not even real life fascists or communists can top them at this point.

Feminism is an intolerant, hateful, racist, anti-gay, misandrist, misogynist, gynocentric religion and hate movement. What other good reasons can you think of to spank a feminist? I’d really like to hear your ideas as well. Not just here on A Voice for Men, but out in the world of Social Media.

How does he plan to “spank” us? By getting #SpankAFeminist to trend on Twitter. For some reason. I dunno, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. The AVfM commenters were on board, though. Some posted vintage ads and comics of women being bent over a man’s lap and spanked. A commenter calling himself “Karl Dawg” wrote, “I have a disturbed thought in my head I must share …. I have a naughty feminist laying across my lap while I spank her bare bottom while she screams: ‘I need discipline daddy I’ve been such a bad girl …. more daddy please.'” Another thought “spanking” wasn’t enough for “these reprehensible criminal hate mongers”, writing that, “Total annihilation is the only suitable response to their lies and destruction.”

At any rate, Dean Esmay — and the rest of the AVfM crowd — should stop pretending their puerile sexual fantasies constitute human rights activism. Next time, just keep it to yourselves please.