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27 September, 2012

Blasted MRA Working Hard For His Family. How Dare He!

Fucking god damnit. I am not an MRA. I disagree with a number of things that MRAs stand for, but I am willing to admit that they get some things right sometimes. This isn't because I'm an anti-feminist. I recognize the damage that patriarchy has done to women and men. I'm an equalist (a term I just made up recently; feel free to use it), so I want a society that treats all people with the respect they deserve.

I see feminists try to tip the scale toward women's superiority sometimes and I see MRAs doing the same thing with men and manliness (Both sides are poor to Trans people and that's a huge point of contention with me because I do not believe in binary gender). Both sides say things that bother me sometimes and both sides say things that really hit home sometimes. When I am forced to defend one side or the other, though, that's when I get pissed off.

PZ Myers wrote this gem titled, Why do I Despise MRAs?, which has all the trappings of a classic PZ strawmania attack. After a diatribe about MRAs and taking a stab at Reddit (he really shouldn't be on the fucking internet), he describes a post "written by a smug jerk who is busily congratulating himself on how he and MRAs in general are superior beings with a greater grasp on reality than those childlike women, who are deluded by all those glossy women’s mags they read, don’t you know."

He quotes a self post that was made by a man who is dealing with a wife who has had trouble adjusting to motherhood. Does he quote anything representative of the post itself? Of course not. It's PZ Myers we're talking about here.

What we see in PZ's post is a male listing a number of things he does throughout the day to keep his family together because his wife is having such a rough time. He mentions his ten-hour workday and six-figure salary, which is apparently nothing compared to what his wife does all day. PZ writes:
This guy does nothing. His wife is on non-stop baby duty all day long, while he’s off interacting with adult human beings who do not poop in their pants and expect him to clean them up, and who speak fluently of phenomena more complex than “play with me” and “feed me”.
Apparently, PZ already know exactly what this man's job entails and as long as it's with adults who don't need diapers, it's nothing compared to what his wife does all day.

PZ continues:
This guy blithely tosses all the child care responsibilities on his wife for 10 straight hours a day, then claims he does everything, and can’t understand why she’s depressed and exhausted...
 He then attacks the guy for addressing a commenter who asked why the man doesn't just get a divorce. PZ actually attacks him for giving reasons why he wants to stay to try to make it work. 

Yes, folks, this man is stressed, his wife has a serious depression problem going on and PZ is angry because the man wants to stay, his first reason being, "We don’t fight and our home life is stable, so I think divorce would likely make things a lot worse for her." Damn him!

The husband lists a couple of other reasons, but they are all valid and honest and his feelings are his alone. PZ doesn't get to decide whether or not he should be able to have them or express them in the subreddit!

Just the post was annoying enough, but low and behold! The assholery going on was far worse than I imagined! I went and actually read the guy's post, which I'm convinced PZ failed to do.

Here's what I found, folks, and it's actually a very interesting issue because his family would actually garner support from a lot of feminists (unbeknownst to the FtB feminazis who wouldn't know a women's rights issue if they were slapped in the face with a uterus).

A quote from the self post:
Those of you who have kids will know that the first little while is tough, unglamorous and grinding. But what my wife had expected was this. She'd been trained by years of rhetoric to believe that motherhood would be a beautiful, tranquil paradise entirely composed of moments like this. The screaming, shitting monster who allowed us three hours' sleep a night was something she was totally unequipped to deal with.
What that is, folks, if you click on the links, is the hyped up, glamorized illusion of motherhood that was shattered for this poor man's wife. This is exactly the kind of thing that anti-feminists use to fight the liberation of women. It gets worse. You know that poor mother sitting at home all day with babies she didn't expect would be so hard to raise while her husband was gone for ten hours?
Two years later, she's back at work and still miserable. She's successful, but at the cost of not seeing much of our daughter. She's put on weight and she's bone tired at the end of the day. Every part of her life is a protracted battle against what she was led to expect in the face of reality. 
Yes, you read that right. This woman is now balancing a career and a family. She fell victim to the anti-feminist "Superwoman" ideology that says a real woman should be able to do it all. Now that her illusion is shattered, her husband is left hurting and confused as well, doing the best he can to make it easier for her.

So now the image PZ paints of a poor, fragile thing sitting at home all day babysitting is a bit different, isn't it? If what the husband does for ten hours a day is nothing compared to child-rearing, what is it exactly that this woman is doing at her job for however long she's there? Would PZ suggest she do a little more real work and stay at home with the kids? We're walking a fine line here, now.

The redditor recognizes that it's not his wife's fault for her disillusionment and is spot on about how she came to hold these lofty ideas about motherhood and womanhood. He deserves some credit for what he does, support for sticking with it, and a pat on the back for being brave enough to express his feelings, which men are told they aren't supposed to do in our patriarchal society.

And PZ Myers calls this man a "self-centered asshole."  Let that sink in.

I'd like to thank WoolyBumblebee from "Is God a Squirrel?" for originally tweeting this story. Go check out some other posts, including this hilarious one about women's subversive pants pockets. After reading the shit PZ was spewing, you all deserve a little humor. (Sadly, though, the pockets post was in response to an actual, real life person complaining about how the iPhone being made longer was a dis' to women). Cheers!


  1. Awesome post. Thanks for the mention :)

  2. No problem! I was absolutely floored when I read that today. I used to consider myself a feminist, and I still like a lot of things that people like Gloria Steinem had to say about treating people equally, but this radfem bullshit is way too much for me. It wasn't supposed to be about superiority, it was supposed to be about us making our own way toward gender equality. Now it's just bizarre.

  3. PZ: "This guy does nothing."

    Now, what sort of person might make such an assumption? Why would that come so quickly to mind?

    Perhaps PZ has just let it slip how much effort he puts into his own work, by automatically assuming that this other man can only have been doing "nothing", because that's what he does himself. This may explain some things (including that very post).

    When I was a year-old baby, my dad was a public high school teacher, and I can assure PZ that my dad's job was most certainly NOT nothing in comparison to raising me. It's parenting 40 teenagers in a room, plus facts. I doubt PZ could handle it. Beyond knowing the subject, it involves things like self-restraint, tact, respect, patience, and compassion. However, as my dad reminds me, as a government employee he had the advantage of a less risky path. Others didn't have the choice, and were subject to greater risks in the private sector, less sure about their health care or pensions, or even their job security.

    I might be convinced that certain non-creative intellectual property and financial industries do in fact do exactly nothing, due to legal frameworks that actually encourage the doing of nothing.

    But the vast majority of people are not paid for "nothing". This guy is apparently a designer of some sort. He does something. If you do "nothing", then your job will be eliminated, given to a volunteer, shipped overseas, or automated. Or most likely given to a volunteer running a machine overseas. While I personally think that a lot of the work being done today is dangerously wasteful, the work itself is nevertheless difficult, and I wouldn't dare to call any individual's work "nothing", unless like PZ they imply that it is nothing first.

    Shame on PZ. I'd say I expect better, but I don't.

    This is PZ's "47%" moment (or 49% to be more accurate).

    1. He hasn't responded to the criticism of his post to my knowledge, but it is incredible to see how far his readers will go to defend his position when the truth came out that the man was a stay-at-home father, working from home while also taking care of the kids while his wife goes to her job. I agree that this is probably the tipping point. No one worth listening to will be able to defend him now. He can't even be said to be even a good humanist with the garbage that came out of that post, but now he has no credibility as a writer, either.