In-Your-Face Hyperbole is not Actually a Thing

11 Jun

Over the past few days I have been shocked by how active the women who are supportive of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) are.  I would say that the majority of comments on my blog and interactions on my normally silent Twitter account have been from women.  I knew they were out there but I didn’t know they were so chatty.  All the power to them but I just had no idea.  You really do learn something new every day.  There is one lady, named Suzy, who has been a very avid commenter on my blog the past few days and I was hoping to maybe engage with something that she sent me yesterday.  Also, I might engage with a few other comments.  Here goes.

On Monday I wrote a post all about the conference being organized by Paul Elam of A Voice for Men (AVfM) in Detroit and the protest that was organized by my friend Emma in an attempt to get the DoubleTree Hotel, where the conference is scheduled to happen, to cancel it.  One commenter was very upset by the goals of this protest and wrote me this:

obviously you don’t think this group has a right to their opinions if you’re shutting down attempts to express them. I don’t identify with men’s rights or any political group but I am 100% against the idea of shutting down a conference of speaker. You’re an asshole

I actually do think the group has the right to their opinions and I am pretty sure that I stated that clearly in both of the posts I wrote concerning this issue.  What this commenter is saying, it seems to me, is that the MRM has a right to their free expression of their opinions but I don’t have the right to speak out against them?  Am I getting this right?  So, maybe this commenter is actually only 95% against the idea of shutting down a “conference of speaker?” I know that my blog doesn’t qualify as a conference, per se, but I do think that my ability to speak out against the conference, and in support of my friend, is somewhat important.  I also think that the DoubleTree is a privately owned business and therefore can choose to not host things if they think it will put other guests at risk or, more realistically in this age of capitalism, if it will impact their bottom line which it very well might.  For what it’s worth I know I won’t be staying in any Hilton-owned properties any time soon.

Anyway, back to Suzy.  Yesterday she sent me this following comment in response to a response I made to another comment:

What you call “violent and hate-filled,” we call “in-your-face hyperbole.” Before Paul started using it, many people struggling to address men’s issues were silenced and ignored for DECADES. Now that we use it routinely the public is finally beginning to notice that the Men’s Human Rights Movement exists, so I think you are mistaken when you say, “The only thing it achieves, in my opinion, is to make the issue itself seem less important, less real.”

What it actually achieves, is to bring the issues out into public view where well-funded feminists can no longer control the discussion. If you sincerely care about gender equality, you would warmly welcome the honest perspective of the other half of the population, wouldn’t you?

I just… okay.  I don’t actually know how to proceed from here.  I have been trying very hard to stay even keeled and respectful and all that but this was honestly one of the most absurd things I have ever received.  It is partly absurd because it seems to me that Suzy did not actually read any of the things that I wrote but instead went into my posts with an idea of who I am and what I think and responded to that.  The other part of the absurdity is maybe more complex but an interesting thing, I think, and applies to people outside of the MRM.  It really boils down to this:

The idea that all publicity is good publicity is simply wrong.

People aren’t talking about the MRM because they have been suddenly awoken from decades of ignorant slumber, but instead because a lot of the things said by the MRM are incredibly offensive and actually counter-productive to their movement.  Hyperbolically proclaiming that October be called “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” does not raise awareness about the very real issue of domestic violence against men, but instead calls attention to the misguided tactics of Elam and the MRM.  That was what I was saying when I wrote that “the only thing it achieves, in my opinion, is to make the issue itself seem less important, less real.”  And, if Suzy had really read my comment she would have seen that I expressed the fact that I think that same thing applies to feminists.  Making jokes in support of violence against anyone, men or women, does not advance the goals of your cause which is, supposedly, to end such violence.  All it does is distract people from the issue at hand and get them to dismiss your comments as the rantings of women-hating, misogynistic individuals.  And guess what?  That is precisely what has happened!

What I am trying to say is that the way in which people express things is actually important, it does actually matter for the outcome.  I think that you would find that there are more sympathetic ears out there than you may at first assume.  But when you approach an argument in what you call “in-your-face hyperbole” what you really end up doing is ending the conversation.  The second someone comes at me with some bullshit about “Bash a Violent Woman Month,” is the second I completely dismiss anything that person says afterwards. Period. End of story.  And that is one of the major reasons a lot of people are angry about this conference.  It isn’t that there is nothing to talk about, it isn’t about the content of a lot of the issues the MRM wants to discuss and bring to light, it is the social media and the insane number of hateful comments floating around the internet.  Not least of which was the comparison that Dean Esmay made of myself (or maybe Emma? I’m sort of confused.) to George Wallace.  I mean, please.

5 Responses to “In-Your-Face Hyperbole is not Actually a Thing”

  1. Probably Not MRA June 11, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Okay, so maybe I said that all women are vile whores with no concept of honor who all deserve to be raped.

    But it’s just hyperbole! I can say literally anything without rebuke because its hyperbole. Or satire. It’s just satire! There, see? You’re just not intelligent enough to appreciate Swiftian satire of such calibre.

    • FranklyRebekah June 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

      Ha! Apparently not. More poor brainz are so underdeveloped.

  2. House Mouse Queen June 12, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    MRA’s can’t be reasoned with. They literally make things up. If you give them a research paper on DV they’ll find a way to blame women for something. It’s due to their guru Warren Farrell who wrote an angry screed about how women use date fraud. ie. going out for dinner with a man who pays for the dinner and then she doesn’t give him sex.
    The farther down the rabbit hole you go, the more misogyny you’ll find.

    • FranklyRebekah June 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

      I know but I just cannot help myself. The internet, ya know?


  1. Woman from Street Harassment Video Receives Rape Threats, No One is Surprised | franklyrebekah - October 30, 2014

    […] when I decided to poke the bear that is the Men’s Rights Movement. I wrote three different articles on the subject and I have to say I don’t think I have ever received so many comments, all of […]

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