We noticed Mother Jones recently and rather cluelessly brought up a mass-murdering nutjob who was never an MRA, never talked like an MRA, was peripherally involved in (and then left) the PUA community, and was a fan of The Young Turks. This essay by Jim Muldoon helps explain to the perpetually clueless why such comparisons aren’t just unfunny, they’re mendacious, malicious, and stupid.–DE
Chris Gethard last year gave a video rant to what he called “women haters.” He was referring to the men’s movement, which he decided to address after the killings by Elliot Rodger. He seems to believe young men’s complaints solely centre around not getting laid and women being allowed into night clubs while they wait outside. He calls it “the movement for villainising women” and we can only hope, for his sake, that he updates his research skills before he writes anything of importance.
His advice for young men is to “chill out” and not get “guns and methamphetamines” from the internet. Those who follow this sage advice might not get utopia, but they are promised by Gethard to be just “fine.” Presumably he will give some kind of refund if this doesn’t work out.
He then amuses himself by declaring that there should be a law which stops men who post on “one of those message boards” from ever finding love. He actually doubles over whilst laughing. Generally, comedians don’t laugh at their own jokes. Maybe Gethard hadn’t heard that one before.
But, let’s look a little closer at what Gethard is saying. There are two options. The first is that the young men who write on “those message boards” are just like Elliot Rodger. These young men, then, are disturbed and irrational, if not insane. They are certainly dangerous. How does mocking them and calling for them to be banned from ever having sex help?
I’m not saying that Gethard has a responsibility to help. You can’t make someone responsible for something they can’t do. But he is deliberately and directly speaking to these men, and he is choosing to mock them.
Gethard, then, has a responsibility to stop helping.
The other option, of course, is that Rodger, being mentally ill, is not representative of the young men who write on “those message boards.” In which case, how does associating them with Rodger, and then calling them names for not having girlfriends, turn into entertainment or a serious message?
Either way, there is nothing funny about it. It seems to me that Gethard is manufacturing easy targets and then giving them all the sarcasm he can muster. Presumably this same clown would tell us that he doesn’t believe in doing Irish jokes, or Jewish jokes, because they are using stereotypes to put people down.
In a similar vein, Brydie Lee-Kennedy, as part of SBS’s Comedy section, invited readers to “Let’s all have a laugh at the men’s rights movement.” This “comedy” involves Lee-Kennedy claiming to have found a bunch of Gethard’s losers at various forums. She takes snippets of fairly inane conversations and makes sarcastic comments about the men who participated in them.
Again, MRAs are just date-less losers who have nothing better to do than sulk about it. It is worth considering her view of MRA’s in some detail as the first site she chooses to visit in her “research” is A Voice for Men.
Imagine someone with this view of MRA’s coming to the home page of A Voice for Men. The first thing to note would be that there are articles written by a number of authors. Some of these authors should immediately jump out as not fitting the stereotype. There are women, gay men and black men. Even among the white, middle aged, straight guys there are some who are married.
That surely has to rate a WTF moment or two.
Also, the articles are considered opinion pieces and serious analyses of current events. Here is where you might find something of the philosophies that guide the movement. It’s possible that Lee-Kennedy might not agree with some of the issues raised. But, if so, why not take some of the articles to task?
Instead, she heads for the forums where people just bang away at the keyboard, sometimes after a few beers (or sometimes more) and have a conversation. Taking snippets out of these conversations removes all context, and it is unfair to these individuals, as well as the movement, to then hold them up for scrutiny and derision.
So, instead of taking the MRM to task on their claims of male disposability, for example, she wants to make sarcastic comments because some guy says, as part of a conversation:
“Gimme a hard-working, mature, sensible woman who is just regular woman any day (with freckles preferably)”
Whether or not you believe he is on the right track (seems alright to me), clearly it is his choice to make. The reference to freckles is somewhat odd, but it might make more sense if we were part of the whole conversation. But, even if he does have a particular penchant for freckles, so what?
“I have freckles! New boyfriend alert! HE WILL CONSIDER SUCH!”
This is Lee-Kennedy’s feigned response to the discussion. It is clear from her tone in the rest of the article that she would not consider him as a potential date. In fact, from the rest of the article, it is clear that Lee-Kennedy assumes these men have never had a date, and, like Gethard, women should avoid them at all costs.
Her evidence for their loser status? Only the circular logic that they are writing on the site for losers, so they must be losers, and we know it is a site for losers, because losers write there.
The vacuousness of her piece is astounding. She deliberately sets up the guys at the various sites to seem like idiots, then pilliories them for being idiots.
So why does any of this pass for comedy?
It doesn’t. It’s actually just a bunch of rallying cries for the faithful. Feminists are to listen to their ideology being reaffirmed and be comforted. The infidels and heathen are to be scorned, for they will never have equality in this life or the next.
But why would comedians choose to be politically correct spokespersons for the cause rather than be funny?
Consider Lee-Kennedy’s employer, the Australian government’s SBS. Here the left-leaning Feminist agenda is the religion of choice. Had Lee-Kennedy’s article been a serious attempt at looking at the MRA’s it never would have been published. Even if it was riotously funny.
But, even those not directly employed by the government have the same approach. Why?
For almost everything in the arts world, other than the top-tier performers, the work is subsidised in one way or another. Often, these come in the form of grants or cheap venues (or both) from the government. In other cases, the funding comes from charities. Therefore, satisfying the bureaucrats or the charity organisers can be more important than satisfying the general public. Again, in most cases Feminism will be the defacto religion.
Even those not explicitly for Feminism are afraid to cross it lest they get bad publicity. This is why we have such few good comedians. They actually don’t have to be funny to get a job. In fact, concentrating on humour rather than politically correct commentary could cost someone a career.