Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

All the more reason to stay in the U.S.

For those who are under the weird impression that Europe is a haven for liberalism, here's more evidence that it's just not: Feministing, The Secret of This Girl, and Trish Wilson's blog are all under a sustained troll attack by misogynists who think that their affliction is a movement instead of a personal problem that would be better treated by a slap in the face and a dose of Prozac. The thing that continues to perplex me is how so many of these misogynists seem to be British--the vast majority of them. At thisgirl's site, that makes sense. And at Trish's blog, it makes sense because she gets swamped by the Fathers 4 Justice crew of morons, because of her work in child custody and child support. The ones at Feministing, most of whom are the same man who keeps changing his name, try to disguise their nationality, but it slips out when he/they use words that he/they doesn't know that Americans don't use, like "chum".

Now I know that the misogyny-as-a-movement guys are a perfect example of a teensy-weensy minority screaming really loud in order to seem bigger than they are. And of course, using tactics like one person posting repeatedly with many different names so to artificially increase the numbers. F4J uses costumes to make dramatic and stupid protests all over London, too, which also serves to make their numbers look larger--slap the same two guys into 15 different costumes and voila! It's not guys, it's 15! At least in the public memory.

But seriously--why is poor England besieged by these assholes? Is it just that American misogynists don't care to organize? Is there something in the water in England? Does it have something to do with the high unemployment rate in England? I'm guessing the last question has a lot to do with it. No matter why, it's a splash of cold water to the face to realize that you cannot escape idiotic, prejudiced wingnuts no matter where you go.


Blogger amblongus said...

Unemployment is actually lower in the UK than US (4.6% against 5.4%), but that wouldn't be an excuse or explanation anyway. As a Brit living in USA I've got to say that British misogyny does look a lot stranger and uglier than it did when I lived there, or maybe it's just because it's now foreign to me and the American version of misogyny seems the norm.

The ludicrous Fathers 4 Justice crew grew out of genuine problems with the child support system -- problems which had nothing to do with feminism but were caused by the then-Thatcher government's policies. I knew couples who had split amicably but whose lives were made miserable by the CSA. They were smart enough to know exactly where the blame lay, however.


Blogger Elinor said...

What I find fascinating about it is the way F4J (or whoever came up with that manifesto being discussed at TSOTG) blame every problem on feminism and women's interests. Drug laws, and the nature of classroom instruction, and Ritalin, and bad family law, and all sorts of things that predate modern feminism and/or have little or nothing to do with it. And then the total inability to distinguish between "this problem is not our fault" and "this problem does not exist."

(That manifesto is terrifying, by the way. I realise getting upset over the men's-rights people is a bit like getting upset by the modern-day KKK or the Heritage Front — we will always have a few wingnuts — but I wasn't aware of the extent of their hatred for us.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it an excuse, amblongus, but it would make a fine explanation. Humans like to have scapegoats, especially when they can't think of any real solutions to their problems (see government, distrust of - rational and irrational). --Omar


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware of the high unemployment rate, but then again, I had no idea of the scale of the "men's rights" movement here either. Funny how getting emailed death threats opens your eyes!



Blogger Hugo said...

And it's interesting that though a few of them come my way, most don't -- they'd rather pick on women than a male blogger who is equally frustrated with them. Misogyny and cowardice together...


Blogger Mentis Fugit said...

But seriously--why is poor England besieged by these assholes?The downside of Freedom of Speech?

They're more visible because they're less part of the mainstream than in the US?

The English have had centuries longer to cultivate assholishness?

Because calling them "arseholes" sounds less harsh than calling them "assholes" and this is taken as encouragement?

Buggered if I know.


Blogger lawrence krubner said...

"For those who are under the weird impression that Europe is a haven for liberalism, here's more evidence that it's just not:"

Europe tends to be more communitarian, America tends to be more individualist. Therefore America tends to be better at protecting and advancing individual rights, and feminism in America is cast in terms of individual rights. Europe tends to be better at offering social cohesion, though at the risk of enforcing a stifling conformity. I've several female friends who love France and visit it often, but can't live there because, in their opinion, continental Europe doesn't offer women the same freedom that America does.


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