I trolled one of the largest subreddits where “men’s rights activists” hang out by posting a link to my “Consent can be withdrawn” social experiment post. The result was better than I anticipated. They upvoted my post, realized they got trolled, and then tried insulting me by pointing out how bad of an MRA I am. (Thanks, guys!)

I tried a second time and, again, it worked like a charm. :) Yeah, I’m getting some hate-comments, but it’s pretty easy to cross-reference the commenters to their Tumblr accounts, so maybe I’ll publish a list somewhere, since their Number One Rule is “don’t send hate messages to their blogs or communicate with the bloggers in any way.” Like, it’s literally listed as the first item of their “Rules” list in their subreddit’s sideline. (And fuck rules, but also fuck people who make rules only to break their own rules, y’know?)

But wait, it gets better.

The previous posts I introduced to the subreddit made a big-enough splash that now they’re trawling back through my blog and are linking the best articles all on their own. I think my favorite comment from them is, “Most of the stuff I read on this sub makes me laugh or get slightly angry, but this post [You Can Take It Back: Consent as a Felt Sense] is absolutely terrifying.”

What’s even more personally interesting than MRA-hate (which isn’t exactly novel or interesting), is that some commenters on the famous anti-MRA site ManBoobz are also disturbed by the same “Consent as a Felt Sense” post. To wit:

Maymay is a fucking creepy piece of shit, and yes, a fairly skilled manipulator–that post about consent did a wonderful job of sounding almost reasonable if you haven’t had LOTS of conversations about the subject, and so gotten to know about rape-culture language.

This brings up an obvious question: why is it that MRAs decry “Consent as a Felt Sense” because they think it swings the balance of power too far in the direction of “feminists,” while self-described feminists on a site all about making fun of MRAs decry “Consent as a Felt Sense” because they think it further legitimizes the creepiness of MRAs?


Where have we seen this before?

Both reactions were predictable. One need merely skim the social media content of the people responding with an eye towards where they’re coming from to see just how predictable. ;)

What’s actually interesting about these reactions is that they perfectly mirror one another while not actually addressing anything I’ve written. Bluntly, the first group of folks thinks what I’m saying is what they’re used to hearing from the second group of folks, and the second group of folks thinks what I’m saying is what they’re used to hearing from the first group. That’s the thing about saying something that won’t fit into a binarist’s worldview: they’ll only hear what they already feel comfortable hating.

You don’t need uncommon powers to notice that when two groups of people each disagree with a statement because they think it’s what the other group is saying, what’s actually being said is something neither group really understands. Moreover, the fact that the reactions identify themselves as being on “opposite sides” while attacking the same thing with the assumption that it comes from the “other side” suggests what I’m actually talking about is something new, or at least as-yet-unaddressed.

This kind of thing is a fantastic showcase of how, when push comes to shove, almost everybody is really on the same side—the side of oppression culture and its enforcers—despite the fact that all of them think they’re fighting The System by fighting each other.

Anyway, I’ve linked to (my tweets about) the Reddit threads above in case any of my followers feel like shooting any of these MRA or feminist fish in their barrels. Have fun. :)