The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Men’s Rights Activists Disdain Men’s Sacrifice in Colorado Shooting

By Arthur Goldwag on August 3, 2012 - 12:00 pm, Posted in Anti-Woman

For most Americans, the recent mass murder in Aurora, Colo., was an unspeakable human tragedy; if the story had any political dimension at all, it was guns and gun control (or the lack thereof). But for a vocal few in the misogynistic online world of “men’s rights” — and no, not all men’s rights activists are woman-haters — the takeaway was the evil of “male disposability.”

In the first few days after the shooting, a number of mainstream news venues, eager to find something uplifting to report on, focused on the heroism of some of the victims. “Three survivors of the Colorado movie-theater massacre escaped with minor wounds, but were left with broken hearts because their heroic boyfriends died saving them,” as The NY Daily News put it. “In final acts of valor, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves used their bodies to shield their girlfriends as accused madman James Holmes turned the Aurora Cineplex into a shooting gallery.”

Less sentimental was The Wall Street Journals’ James Taranto, who, on July 24, let loose with this astonishingly sour and unchivalrous tweet: “I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice.” Twenty-four hours later, after a deluge of negative comments appeared on his blog, he took down the tweet and issued an apology, in which he tortuously explained that he had merely been expressing his wish that the women would use “the gift of their survival well ­­–­ to live good, full, happy lives.”

Taranto’s faux pas wouldn’t have even borne notice at A Voice for Men, one of the men’s rights websites the SPLC wrote about in the Intelligence Report last spring.

Under the headline “Three Cheers for Three Male Corpses. Heroes,” “John the Other,” identified as the site’s managing editor, explained that those so-called heroes were merely victims of their biology (males are hard-wired to protect females) and social conditioning (which tells men, as John the Other explained, that “in order to be worthwhile, a real man, you’d better be prepared to die without complaint for the child, or the little old lady, or the drug addled slut in the next seat. They matter more than you. Your best and most honorable path ends in you on a slab in the basement of your city’s morgue”). Their sacrifice, he concluded, was merely a victory for misandry, the principled hatred of males. Had they not died, he added, “the preening, strutting, amoral whores of the mainstream media” would have described “them as cowards and shirkers; failed men for not doing their manly duty by dying for the convenience of others.” (Interestingly enough, one man who did flee the theater, leaving his wounded girlfriend and their two children behind—and then proposed to her hours later in the hospital—cut a wide swath through the talk show circuit.)

Over at the Spearhead, another site highlighted in the Intelligence Report, W.F. Price unleashed his ire on William Bennett, who, in an essay at CNN.com, had not only deigned to attribute the men’s actions to a code of honor, but cited a Slate essay by Hanna Rosin, the author of The End of Men. “Bennett gets it totally wrong on a number of points, which is about what you’d expect from a guy who relies on feminists to divine the motivations of young men,” Price complained. “They were solid men; the kind that families and communities have always relied on when the going gets tough. It wasn’t because they held some belief or political position, it was because they were men that they acted as they did. It is simply what men do, and that’s why they deserve honor, which Bennett is incapable of bestowing on anyone. No, instead of honoring these men, Bennett continues to measure them according to their utility to women.”

The Pigman, a self-described left-wing men’s rights activist, saw the lionization of the three men as so much propagandizing for “male disposability.”

“Cheering these men’s actions is as reprehensible as it is stupid and discriminatory,” The Pigman wrote. “Imagine if this was a cinema where roughly 50% of the patrons were black and the other 50% white, then imagine that everyone who decided to act as someone else’s bullet-proof vest just happened to be black and everyone who benefited from their sacrifice just happened to be white. Anyone with any sense would be thinking, ‘Well, this is clearly a society that teaches both blacks and whites that white people are worth more than black people.’ But because the disparity runs against not a politically protected group but against a group that enjoys neither the protection of the Right nor the victim status granted by the Left, not only does no one complain – they actually encourage the continuation of such disparity by praising the men who were foolish enough and unfortunate enough to fall for a lifetime of anti-male propaganda telling them to die for the nearest woman whenever the shit hits the fan.”

The feminist website Manboobz has collected these and many other gender-centric takes on the shootings, here, here and here.

  • gimelzwa

    Why should men sacrifice their lives to save the lives of people who don’t give one sh_t about their well being. Are women entitled to life more than men?

  • Derek

    all this is written by a man that takes money from radical feminist hub, and is to cowardly to make replies when I have challenged him directly.

  • LCpl Underground

    I think they are just angry that sacrificing his life is the best thing a man can do with it.

  • Suz

    Dear God! Mr. Goldwag, if you consider Manboobz a “source,” you may as well pack up and go home. Your credibility is non-existent. SPLC is a joke. I bought Mr. Dees’ book a couple of decades ago; I want a refund.

    Shame.

  • Wes

    I forgot to mention one of the biggest Socialists of all:
    Woodrow Wilson who was also a pious hypocrite who
    promised not to send Americans to war then broke that
    promise as quickly as he could. His protege FDR did
    exactly the same. And every President since then has
    repeated the same mistake over and over. By the way,
    I like myself just fine and believe it or not I like women too.
    I have just learned to filter the toxic ones out of my life.
    Just like there are men women should avoid at all costs
    there are women men should steer clear of. Why put up
    with BS if you don’t have to?

  • aadila

    Wes, I think you need to decide if all that is more important than kissing a girl. It will make things a lot simpler for you.

  • Erika

    Wes, your ignorance is coming through loud and clear. Hitler was neither a socialist nor left wing – he was a fascist. Fascism is a right wing political ideology based upon the corporate style of government and private property. Hitler was backed and received financial by the largest industrialists in Germany – and many in the U.S. such as Henry Ford. The Nazis during World War II even scrupiously kept payments made to American companies such as Ford, GM, IBM, and many others who supplied the Nazi war machine with materials in separate accounts to be paid after World War II. That is how in favor they were of private property.

    Of course, you are about as ignorant about male-female interactions as you are about history.

    It doesn’t cost you anything to love, but you have to love yourself first.

  • Wes

    In a truly Capitalist system you would be able to open
    and run your own business without government interference
    or handouts. There are left-wing Socialists like Hitler, Obama,
    Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed and Hugo Chavez. The right-wing
    ones include Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter,
    Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. They are just opposite sides
    of the same coin that views you and everyone besides them
    as a resource to be used and managed for their own ends.
    It’s not just about who owns the means of production. Why
    are men always judged by what they can do for women?
    Is that our only purpose?

  • aadila

    You are entitled to your opinion about socialism, Wes. It is not as if it was anything original. Socialism is when workers own the means of production, not some antiquated middle-America view on the red scare.

    Now then, onto more important matters. I don’t quite see how it is a feminist shaming tactic to encourage you to have the decency to help your girlfriend when she forgets something at the store. So, go on. Do what you are called upon to do. Real men can make a purchase at the grocery store without shame.

  • Wes

    Aadila:
    I noticed you didn’t address my comments about
    Socialism. I really thought we were having an honest
    discussion about issues. If I were “man enough” by your
    standards I would be a spineless mangina with no life or
    free will of my own. Freedom is saying NO to marriage,
    cohabitation and kids. Real men don’t let their parents,
    girlfriends or society dictate their lives. Don’t you have
    anything better than Feminist shaming tactics?

  • aadila

    Wes I think you need to find a girlfriend.

    I just hope after all this enlightening discussion you will be man enough to go the feminine products aisle when called on to do so.

  • Wes

    Our world is a corporate plantation and men are it’s primary
    slaves. We have been programmed since birth to be a
    slave to a wife, children and mortgage. Marriage is a contract
    between a man, woman and the State. Men have no logical
    reason to marry and do not “owe” women or the State
    anything. Only ultra-religious, rural folk or immigrants
    stay married. As far as Socialism, look at Russia or
    China. Even in these “workers paradises” there was
    always an upper class who lived in luxury. We don’t have
    real Capitalism, just Mercantilism that is supported by a
    corrupt Senate and Congress.

  • aadila

    Wes,

    How strange. Do you also have a problem with the view that every woman may be a useful sexual object for male pleasure, but are always a potential mantrap, alimony, and child support vacuum?

    By the way where did you get “socialism is the enlightened few” idea? That’s an oligarchy you are describing, with generally capitalist, elitist views thrown in. Socialism has nothing to do with that. Socialism means workers owning the means of production, instead of being wage slaves to plutocrats.

    It is for the enlightened many, not the enlightened few.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Mark, it never ceases to amuse me that when extremists of any type are backed into a corner, they whip out the “Hitler zombie,” and try to score points by comparing their debate opponent to Adolf.

    And I find it hilarious that “Men’s Rights Activists” portray themselves as Jews in Nazi Germany. That’s even worse than playing the “Hitler Zombie” card.

    Only someone with a penknife to grind and very little understanding of history could make such silly remarks.

  • Wes

    If Feminism was simply about equality I wouldn’t have a
    problem with it. What I don’t like is their view that EVERY
    man is a potential rapist, wife beater or child molester. That
    we need to be constantly monitored or drugged as children
    to keep us safe and under control. Just like Socialism it
    assumes the “enlighted few” know what is best for every-
    one else. Would anyone out there be willing to admit to
    this or change their views? This is why many men are
    choosing to go their own way. Not because we want to
    control anyone but we are simply tired of constantly
    defending ourselves. It is not worth the effort anymore.

  • Erika

    Mark, thanks to your highly convincing posts I have like totally rethought my position on the male supremacists. I obviously was given you male supremacist losers too much credit.

    Before, I merely thought that it was likely you male supremacists would trample over others to escape. After reading your posts I now know for certain that you would – and would pick up a small child to use as a shield. And then when you escaped the carnage – pausing the toss the child back into the theatre, you would barricade the door behind you so that nobody else (especially a woman or a child) can escape.

    Thanks for opening my eyes :P

  • aadila

    Mark, by the way I was referring to my own comments, not Erika’s. She’s a dear.

    You on the other hand are just a bully.

  • Aron

    Mark, so now you’re comparing Erika to Adolf Hitler?

    Get off of this site. Just go.

    And take your horrid Godwinian posts with you, vile troll.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • aadila

    Mark you may have a point about the tone of some of the comments here, but only in isolation. I think if you look at the entire thread things become clearer.

    To recap:

    1) Wages and selected opportunities remain in the favor of men, over women, so it would not be unreasonable to see the reverse of this when assets are divided and support payments are settled.

    2) Not all states do things the same way.

    3) Increasingly, with more women pursuing higher paid careers than their husbands, women are required to pay spousal support to their husbands.

    4) Hitler never had the fashion sense to totally wear a Find Radiant Joy in Peach Bottom bikini either, so let’s not get carried away.

  • Mark

    Erika said “given the general quality of men in the men’s rights movement, I suspect that most of them would have trampled several children, knocked over a couple of people in wheelchairs, and strangled their own grandma to get out. In the unlikely event they actually had a wife or girlfriend they likely would have used her as a human shield to save themselves”

    Wow, what unfounded hate speech; but unsurprisingly a lot of people have just bought into this.

    Erika, your statements are no better than someone saying that all feminists are ugly hair lesbian man haters who would sooner shoot a man than look at him.

    You are no better, and you should be ashamed of yourself for your sexist and unsubstantiated hate-mongering of a group of people who happen to hold different views to your own.

    To all the people who bought what Erika said, I implore you to use your critical thinking instead of succumbing to the emotion invoked in her comments.

    Remember that Hitler used similar words and imagery to stir hatred of Jews.

  • Mark

    Erika said: “you don’t have to worry about custody and alimony issues if you get married for love and stay married”

    Actually yes you do. A woman can decide to leave a man for another man and make a nice profit from it.

    If a man does the same thing he will be poorer for it.

    Equality? Or are women “more equal” than men in at least some cases?

  • Mark

    I can’t believe the outpouring of hatred towards men’s rights activists on this page.

    The statements below are vastly unfair and unsubstantiated by any evidence whatsoever, but this is a very effective use of dehumanization of people who hold a different point of view. The sad fact is, already we have one woman responding to the hate speak and agreeing with another based on nothing but hateful conjecture.

    I really hope there are at least some people on this thread who can see through this, it seems that Men’s Rights Activists have become like Jews in Nazi Germany, and this hateful and disrespectful talk is reminiscent of how Jews were spoken about back then.

    “These guys have monumental chips on their shoulders, and they are obviously full of hate toward anyone they believe gets in the way of what they want to do — which is why SPLC includes them as a hate group. And I agree with Erika that these toads would probably trample everyone else into the ground to get away if they found themselves in this situation.”

  • aadila

    Giving blood is a generous and noble act, Wes.

  • Wes

    I never said I was independent of society, just certain
    aspects of it like marriage and the current two-party
    system that is just opposite sides of the same Socialist
    coin. The problem I have with Socialism is that it depends
    on the intentions of whoever is running the system. I prefer
    enlightened self-interest. If you can’t appeal to someone’s
    altruism then show them how they can benefit. The carrot
    usually works better than the stick. I give blood on a
    regular basis not because anyone made me but it’s
    something I can contribute. I’m not rich so I can’t donate
    much in the way of money. We all do what we can.

  • aadila

    Wes,

    First you are right about calculated risks. It is very healthy to have respect for our physical universe and to be very discerning in all things.

    Second, regarding individuals. You may like to think you are independent from society, but you are far more dependent on the universe than you like to think. The quality of your very food, water, and air depends on how many individuals recognize we are in this together.

    Individualism is not a dirty word, but the belief that you are an individual and distinct from society ignores that you received help and assistance from other individuals your entire life, even if you don’t want to recognize it or feel it wasn’t enough. The origination of all things depends on other things.

    Regarding marriage, I don’t think it’s necessary at all. I thought I made that comment before. I think what is necessary is to be responsible, loving, and generous in our relationships with others.

    And yes, I tend to consider socialism positively.

  • Wes

    Smart people take CALCULATED risks. This means not
    sleeping around to where you catch a disease, not
    drinking yourself stupid, and not getting in a relationship
    without weighing the pros and cons. Individualism is not a
    dirty word since any society is made up of individuals.
    “Marrying for love and staying married” is a nice fantasy
    that we have all been taught to buy into since we were kids
    despite all evidence to the contrary. If you want a better
    system maybe it’s time to ask the hard question is
    marriage really necessary? “Without due consideration of
    their social obligations” sounds like Socialism to me.

  • aadila

    Who said men are evil, Wes? You are using false attribution, i.e. making a logical mistake. No one on this thread said men are evil or that women want or need to be “free” of men because they are evil.

    As I stated before, court settlements take into account the disparity in wages and ability to earn a livelihood and while the system cannot be perfect it strives to make the best possible decisions in each case. Were women and men getting paid equally and having the same opportunity to occupy positions of responsibility equally in the workforce it would go a long way toward leveling out court rulings on a gender basis. In fact, as I mentioned, this is already happening.

    In terms of custody courts frequently make use of amicus briefs, i.e. friend of the court findings from psychological and child welfare experts. While not impossible for these views to be informed by stereotypes or antiquated notions that males are less able to care for children than females, they are also experts in their fields and for want of a better system that is what we have.

    I am no great believer in “marriage” per se, so perhaps we agree on that. I think the focus on the legal institution (or as is most likely, the religious view on the institution) does a great disservice to humanity because the basis for a stable and loving relationship has nothing to do with the legal status of being married. It has to do with putting the other person’s needs on a level with our own. Some couples who do this never marry and stay together over a lifetime. Other couples who don’t marry and hate each other a short while later. The me-first mindset you seem to be arguing from is part of the latter category.

    So I think if we want to discuss the problems with the institution of marriage I would want to go deeper than what happens AFTER the marriage falls apart. I would want to know why marriages are falling apart and I think a lot of it has to do with this “going one’s own way” idea of selfish individualism. Not only on the part of men, by the way, but both men and women who in the most recent generations seem to think very highly of themselves, their own wants and needs, without due consideration to their social obligations in order to make society function as a whole.

    Perhaps life has gotten so easy that people like you are drifting into a kind of bovine complacency with the challenges of life. You have food, clothing, and shelter, but lack the ability to face challenges or make sacrifices for the betterment of yourself and your species. So have another potato chip, Wes.

    My view is your apathy and individualism will simply make things worse for society over time. Eventually when everybody goes their own way the ability to work together toward common goals becomes impossible. Thus we have a society of selfish, petulant people wanking to porn by themselves and complaining about other people, but not actually having the moral fiber to propose a better system or come up with solutions.

  • Erika

    Wes, you don’t have to worry about custody and alimony issues if you get married for love and stay married :P

    the men who run into trouble in family courts tend to be men who behave very badly – they commit acts of domestic violence, they abuse their children physically and sexually, they sleep around, they trade in their wife for a younger model, etc. The real and only purpose of the male supremacists of the men’s rights movement is to give those men a free pass.

    Thinking its anything else is delusional.

    But thank you for making the mature decision to not get married. I just hope you are have made the also mature to refrain from engaging in sexual intercourse and do not expect to be able to be able to play around with no risk which is ultimately what the male supremacists really want.

  • Wes

    Aadila: Under “argument going limp” please do a web
    search on “Feminist Shaming Tactics.” You might also
    look up Men Going Their Own Way or MGTOW. Many of
    us have come to the conclusion that marriage is a losing
    proposition from the start. Family courts regularly rule in
    favor of women on custody and alimony, so from a risk/
    reward viewpoint it makes no sense. Would you agree
    this is a good thing since they are not “posessing”
    anyone besides themselves? Women would be free of
    the evil men.

  • Erika

    Aadila, I think that you have a good business idea there

    I’m don’t really remember the epitets thing though – by the time I was old enough to know what epitets are, that trend (and most of the 1990s) were past :)

    Wes, the fact is that the male supremacists of the men’s rights movement do repeatedly claim that women control everything – especially the legal system. Really, its that society no longer tolerates domestic violence and child abuse. Okay, society does still somewhat tolerate child abuse a few states which still allow corporal punishment in schools and almost all states have laws protects parents who engage in corporal punishment of children. But even there attitutes are changing. The men’s rights bozos do not like that sort of thing

  • aadila

    Wes,

    Since I have a lot of contact with the homeless that shan’t be a difficult request. Will you be willing to ask a homeless woman with children how she is faring compared to the homeless man without?

    Your comment about war neglects to mention that women have suffered rapes routinely in war besides death, heart attacks, and suicides. So again, it seems, your argument goes limp.

    You can take any individual here or there in society and and find an anomaly in any statistic. So let’s look at the more consistent record of large groups of people over large periods of time? The argument is still on the side of male advantage vis-a-vis gender difference in social and political relations, power structures, and mores. This is why the mens rights movement is silly.

  • aadila

    Erika,

    Your sunny radiance inspires me to begin marketing the “Unreliable Appendage” slogan for tee-shirts, swim trunks, briefs, boxers, and bowties.

    Remember one of the great lessons from the 90s: epithet reclamation. In hip hop we saw the term “nigga” being taken back from a slur into a term of endearment. The same can be done with “fag” “bitch” “dyke” and “queer”, none of which have any meaning unless we accept the phrase as taboo.

    By stealing the label and using it to further progressive social change, we erase the sting of hate speech and leave bigots without one of the primary tools of oppression which is the slur. .

  • Wes

    Erika: If you have really read any of my posts you would
    know I am against control in any form. As a Libertarian I
    have no desire to be anyone’s “property” nor do I want to
    make anyone mine. I never said women control everything.
    It is the Alpha politicians (men and women) that are the
    problem.
    Aadila: The patriarchy you mention has also caused more
    men to die from war, heart attacks or suicides than women.
    Only a small number of men benefited. Next time you see
    a homeless man ask him how he is enjoying his position
    of dominance.

  • Erika

    As if on cue regarding the sensationalization of the news in regard to stories involving sex between female teachers and male high school students this appears:

    http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc.....ories.html

    Is this 300? :)