|I made an innocent post about chimpanzees and bonobos on this blog. Two years later, some men's rights activists became offended by it. And they thought I was a woman...|
Before you and I even begin, let's make one thing perfectly clear. I am a man.
I've always been a man, except when I was a boy. I identify as male, without reservation. I like other men, generally speaking, and I feel badly for them, because they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.
I like to watch pro football. I like lifting weights. I like things that go fast, and things that explode. I like women. A lot.
So that's me. If I had an ingredient list, it would say: 100% USDA Grade A Male.
So it's funny that recently, I had a little run-in with something called the Men's Rights Movement, which made me start to wonder, "What in the name of God's green Earth is wrong with men?"
How it Started
As you may have noticed, I have a weird hobby, which is I sporadically write this blog, Thee Optimist. It's a very funny blog, and you should read it more often.
About two years ago, I wrote a post called "Chimps Do Not Make Good Pets. But Bonobos?"
Related Post: Chimps Do Not Make Good Pets. But Bonobos?
It's a silly post (and therefore one of the most popular on this blog) about whether it's better to keep a chimpanzee or a bonobo as a house pet. Of course, you probably shouldn't keep any wild animal as a house pet, but that's up to you.
No matter what I say, this is America, and you're going to do whatever the hell you want, however stupid or ridiculous. It's a free country.
In case you're wondering what bonobos are, they are great apes, close cousins of chimpanzees (and humans, if you believe in that sort of thing).
The crux of the article is that chimps are violent and dangerous, and bonobos are less dangerous and more sexual. Also, chimps live in a male-dominated society, and bonobos live in a female-dominated society. The conclusion is that because of their high-powered sex drives, female bonobos make the better house pet.
|Here are two female bonobos doing what female bonobos do a lot of - getting busy.|
About ten days ago, I noticed that thousands of people were suddenly accessing that two-year-old article, through a link on the Facebook mobile app. Then I noticed, to my dismay, that a few of them were posting comments on the article.
This was the first one that came in:
"Yea just go die of cancer you misandric feminist piece of shit"
I was a little taken aback by this comment, not least because I had no idea what the word "misandric" meant. I don't like not knowing something - I'm a man, after all, and I'm supposed to know everything.
As it turns out, misandric is a word often used by the Men's Rights Movement, and it means the same thing as misogynist, only against men.
Soon there were more comments:
"Misandrist cunt. I would have forgiven that little bit of man hating if the article were even worth reading. I'm disappointed in the article as a whole, even without your prejudice, it's just poorly written."
I took issue with this comment because I've been a professional writer for about 25 years. I'm pretty good at it by now. I just don't agree that "poorly written" is an accurate description of the blog post in question.
"I don't know who wrote this, but whoever did should kill herself."
Ah. Now I caught on. These men thought I was a woman. And because of that, they also thought it was okay to call me a cunt, and to suggest that I should die of cancer or kill myself.
"Your daddy issues are radiating from this article, author."
They also thought I had daddy issues. I don't know what daddy issues are, but I'm pretty sure I don't have them. So I wrote this comment in response:
"Uh, dummies? I'm a man. Talk about issues radiating. According to you guys, I should kill myself, or get cancer and die. All because I wrote an ironic post (two years ago, btw) about whether it's better to have a chimp or a bonobo as a house pet.
What's the matter, guys? Have trouble getting laid? Got divorced and lost a custody battle? Ouch. But see? I didn't do it."
Within a couple hours, I was sorry I posted that comment, because although traffic to the article remained high for another day or so, the angry comments suddenly dried up. I don't encourage people to be angry with me, but as a social study, it was interesting.
Perhaps equally interesting was the fact that as soon as they realized I was a man, they stopped attacking.
What is the Men's Rights Movement?
Right. I kind of wondered the same thing. So I looked it up.
The Men's Rights Movement is a loosely-organized affiliation of groups and individuals (mostly men, but also some women) who believe that feminism has gone too far.
As a movement, they reject the idea that men enjoy power and privilege in our society. Instead, they believe that men are victimized, disadvantaged and discriminated against.
Maybe they have a point. Maybe they don't. But who really cares? Nobody is going to take them seriously when their first reaction to a woman's idea they don't like is: "Cunt, get cancer and die."