Incels Celebrate Recent Killing Spree -- and some thoughts on Leftist Failure

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Apr 25 2018 09:05
Incels Celebrate Recent Killing Spree -- and some thoughts on Leftist Failure

Recently in Toronto, Canada, a man purposely drove a van along a sidewalk and hit several people. 10 have died and more are injured. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-van-attack-victims-1.4632821

There's been speculation that the killer is an incel. if you've not heard of incels, it's short for involuntary celibate. But it refers to a particular community of dudes who call themselves that, rather than to people who just happen to be involuntarily celibate. I'm sure that most people who are involuntarily celibate are nice decent people. But incels (as a self-identified community with a particular ideology) are terrifying. They are both misogynist and misanthropic. They hate women for denying them sex and they hate other men for getting laid.

It's not certain if the killer was an incel but the fact is that the online incel community has been celebrating this killing spree and calling for more mass murders and also for non-lethal acts of mass terror. (You can read about it here but MAJOR trigger warnings... I'm not saying that lightly http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2018/04/24/incels-hail-toronto-van-driver-who-killed-10-as-a-new-elliot-rodger-talk-of-future-acid-attacks-and-mass-rapes/.)

So one of my Facebook friends, in response to this, wrote a post that included the following:

Quote:
... this is part of a growing trend of *explicitly* misogynist attacks...
Quote:
It is a reaction to the very real, effective work that feminists and progressive people have done around issues of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and patriarchy. It is predictable that, faced with the perceived disappearance of power that they thought was their birthright, many men will react with violence to try to re-assert that power.

This outlook is far too rosy, IMO: I mean, sure, that's part of it. But more so I see it as a symptom of the left's failure.

Incels are clearly miserable people poisoned by bitterness. Much of this comes from toxic masculinity and the way men are taught to base their self-worth on their ability to get laid. This of course results in women/girls being victimized by rape and violence, or the more mundane but still painful experience of being used for sex without any care for our humanity. But it also is harmful to men/boys in how it can so terribly devastate their self-worth and make them feel subhuman (as incels sometimes call themselves).

There is no movement that addresses toxic masculinity and other ways males are harmed by patriarchy. Feminism occasionally deals with it but it's not a major focus, nor do I think it should be. This is something that men need to take the lead on for themselves, or they won't accept it. And there's nothing like that happening. Out of this vacuum we get the men's rights movement but they deal with male issues but from a sexist position. So the vacuum remains. There is no anti-sexist men's movement.

When it comes to dealing with the male side of gender liberation, the left is failing. I mean, we're failing at a lot of things but it seems like on this one we're not even making an attempt. (With rare exceptions aside, but there is no movement to speak of.)

I'm a woman so I can't really do anything about this. And even if I were a man I don't think I'd know what to do to get something like this started. But I hope it happens. I think it's the only way to address the issue of hateful, violent, and emotionally wounded men.

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Apr 25 2018 09:11

BTW, if you read the incel article, a quick glossary

Normies = Normal people, i.e. people who are able to get laid

Chads = Men who can get laid easily

Stacies = Good looking women

Femoids = Derogatory word for females

Foids = Short for femoid

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Apr 25 2018 09:37

Forgot to say:

When I envision this anti-sexist men's movement, I don't envision it mainly being about men "calling each other out" on their sexism. That will no doubt be necessary, yes, and so should be part of it. But mainly I think it should be a space focused on healing.

Fleur
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Apr 25 2018 11:55

What has been a failure across the spectrum is the refusal to listen to women and men like David Futrelle, who does good work on this, for years. The fact that the media is full of primers on incels in the last couple of days is fairly indicative that no one has really been paying any attention. Give it a few days and he will be a lone wolf, probably with mental health issues and the media will be tacitly suggesting that it wouldn't have happened if only women had been nicer to him, just like they did with Elliot Rodger.

Mike Harman
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Apr 25 2018 12:10

There was a men's liberation movement in the US in the '70s/ early'80s which is pretty similar to what you're talking about - pro-feminist stuff about men's issues. I don't know much about it and couldn't find a good summary online (even the wikipedia page is a bit scarce).

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Apr 25 2018 14:50

There was also a smaller 'Anti-Sexist Men's' network in the UK in the late 1970's that included a local group I was involved with for a short period of time. You can find some brief references to this in the old 'Solidarity for Social Revolution' journal from about issue No3 followed by some extended discussion (in articles and letters) over many of the further issues up to No 15 if you include the wider discussion of feminism - much of it was to say the least confused and contradictory if pretty open and honest - I tend to view it now as a useful past learning experience from which I have tried to extract some positive points from the more negative. Needless to say the Men's group I was in was no more successful than any other in turning me into the perfect non sexist male but a do my best!!

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Apr 25 2018 15:18

Good points all round - as far as starting points go, I know there's that bell hooks book about men and masculinity, The Will to Change, but I've not read it myself so can't really offer much of a discussion of the content. In terms of reviving practices from 70s liberation movements, I know Plan C London folk were getting quite excited about the idea of consciousness-raising groups at one point, which feels kinda separate-but-related, especially if such groups are mixed-gender.

Anyway, more broadly I'd say that this situation has been a real failure in terms of antifascism - without getting bogged down in boring discussions of terminology, I think it's fair to say that we've seen the emergence of a murderous far-right movement with almost no opposition from those folks who normally make opposing far-right movements a priority. I think partly that's because the whole gamergate/MRA/incel spectrum really doesn't look anything like what we're used to far-right movements looking like, but also because there's a real challenge in terms of how we can oppose groups that have pretty much no offline presence. Does anti-incel/MRA action just look like an endless round of getting twitter accounts banned, YouTube videos reported, servers pulled and so on, or is there anything more we can/should be doing?

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Apr 25 2018 16:32

My unformed thoughts are that single issue groups are particularly poorly suited to dealing with this. The self help or therapy like aspects will ensure that only a very limited group of converts are likely to fit that format. Saying that the right seem to have some success with their strange attempts at mens groups. I'm quite honestly baffled that men are attracted to their theatrics I read it as in some ways going against traditional masculinity whilst enhancing some toxic aspects. The right have the advantage in that they can project outward against an enemy whilst having, male coded, self help aspects on the side.

Back to the first sentence. I see the problem as many young men have absolutely no afk community. No means of doing anything positive and no emotional life. I've seen this alot and it's frightening if there is an explicit aggressive acceptance of this "incel" identity. Their whole lives need a new context. As I see it the task is huge and the right have been working it for years and years by now.

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Apr 25 2018 16:38
Lucky Black Cat wrote:
There is no movement that addresses toxic masculinity and other ways males are harmed by patriarchy. Feminism occasionally deals with it but it's not a major focus, nor do I think it should be. This is something that men need to take the lead on for themselves, or they won't accept it. And there's nothing like that happening. Out of this vacuum we get the men's rights movement but they deal with male issues but from a sexist position. So the vacuum remains. There is no anti-sexist men's movement.

When it comes to dealing with the male side of gender liberation, the left is failing. I mean, we're failing at a lot of things but it seems like on this one we're not even making an attempt. (With rare exceptions aside, but there is no movement to speak of.)

I'm a woman so I can't really do anything about this. And even if I were a man I don't think I'd know what to do to get something like this started. But I hope it happens. I think it's the only way to address the issue of hateful, violent, and emotionally wounded men.

I agree, something like this is badly needed, but to be honest I think it'd be a real uphill battle establishing anything like this in the current ideological climate. I can't help but think any group or organisation or movement that was based around "men's issues" would be treated with overwhelming hostility and suspicion by much of the established left - both from anti-IDpol haters and the woke intersectional types. Maybe I'm overly cynical but I reckon it'd just be dismissed as MRA-lite by a lot of folks.

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Apr 25 2018 16:57

Existing, or just non single issue groups, could do this much better. Using separatism is a terrible solution (the right wing solution) to this problem. Normal social and purposeful context where the issue is part of the overall work make much more sense. "our" orgs are unfortunately way to weak and struggle a bit with being useful as it is. They are also generally terrible for people with social anxiety or shyness.

Spikymike
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Apr 26 2018 09:02

I see that the 'incel' exposure has already made it into the UK tabloid press.

Fleur
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Apr 26 2018 10:35

Already? You mean after mere years of women warning about them and 10 dead and 14 injured this week. I know, it's been a bit quick.

Mike Harman
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Apr 26 2018 11:50
R Totale wrote:
Anyway, more broadly I'd say that this situation has been a real failure in terms of antifascism - without getting bogged down in boring discussions of terminology, I think it's fair to say that we've seen the emergence of a murderous far-right movement with almost no opposition from those folks who normally make opposing far-right movements a priority.

In some ways I'd go even further than this in that a significant section of the 'left' response to this has been along the lines of the Angela Nagle book - which reinforces the far-right narrative ('post '60s rigid sexual hierarchy due to feminism resulting in incels', 'alt-right generally as the mirror image of/a response to tumblr identity politics') rather than challenging it. A lot of it is from social democrat types but not only. It mostly relies on a very rigid timeline starting in 2014 and not looking at precursors.

R Totale wrote:
I think partly that's because the whole gamergate/MRA/incel spectrum really doesn't look anything like what we're used to far-right movements looking like

To some extent yes, but staying on the Nagle book, there's a massive flaw in that book which is the ignorance about some aspects of the far right over the past twenty years or so. She covers gamergate/MRAs but downplays the other entry points a lot.

The anarcho-capitalist -> libertarian -> fash trajectory is a very common one. It might not be the main source of recruitment, but the ratio is exremely high. Also anonymous/Assangeism seems to have led to this end of things vs. any liberatory politics.

Third positionism/conspiracism - LaRouche, Zeitgeist, the Vanessa Beeley/Eva Bartlett/globalresearch/21st century wire Assadism which has ties to people like Limonov and Dugin. This in turn has ended up with links (cross-citation and platform sharing) on the campist left like the US marcyites (WWP/PSL) and the CPGB-ML. Legitimising far-right figures because they're geopolitically aligned against US/Israel hegemony. https://libcom.org/library/investigation-red-brown-alliances-third-positionism-russia-ukraine-syria-western-left / https://libcom.org/library/right-hand-occupy-wall-street-libertarians-nazis-fact-fiction-right-wing-involvement-spe

Steven Pinker, Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Haidt, outlets like Quillette - celebrity intellectual 'classical liberals' doing popularised evolutionary psychology and slipping into race science via Charles Murray and similar. Jordan Peterson just did a big blog post about jews and IQ "it's not a conspiracy they're just really clever", Pinker has done similar. There's crossover between this lot and skeptics like Sam Harris (Peterson and Harris at the fucking O2 in July: https://www.theo2.co.uk/events/detail/sam-harris-jordan-peterson-douglas-murray)

Spiked Online (boosted by mainstream broadsheets) with campus censorship moral panic stuff (which I'd include Nagle in, who happens to have written for Spiked). Jonathan Pie being a product of both RT and Spiked is fucking bizarre but there it is: https://libcom.org/blog/unsurprising-reason-jonathan-pie-rants-sound-straight-out-spiked-06022018

So there are both multiple entry points, but also once you're in an MRA-ish subreddit you start getting introduced to helicopter ride memes and race science. And at the other end, something like Nagle's book, or the Vampire Castle and similar softens the response to all this because people can lazily blame 'liberal call-out culture' and not research what is actually going on.

Also how much fucking money and promotion is behind this - the Mercers, Breitbart, RT has platformed white nationalists at least since 2012 as talking heads (Heimbach, Richard Spencer).

R Totale wrote:
, but also because there's a real challenge in terms of how we can oppose groups that have pretty much no offline presence.

And where there is an offline presence it's stuff like the Milo speaking tour which has a thin veneer of respectability.

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Apr 26 2018 14:31

I'd pretty much agree with all of that, but thinking specifically of Gamergate, which was, as I understand it, a big turning point/breakthrough for this kind of stuff, it definitely felt like there was a point where every mainstream/left-liberal outlet had a lot of (often quite good) stuff on the situation and how it was affecting women, but looking at libcom or virtually any other site on the anarchist/communist spectrum, from the ICC through to Crimethinc, there was virtually nothing at all, not even your usual vague statement of solidarity, and in retrospect I think that the various leaderships of ideas really dropped the ball on that one.

Also thinking about offline stuff connected specifically to the manosphere, I guess there were those Roosh V meetups that were abandoned - I think we can chalk that up as a win, but not sure how much credit radicals can take for that one - and then that Julien Blanc speaking tour a few years back where Theresa May denied him a visa, which was something of a mixed outcome from an anti-state perspective.

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Apr 26 2018 14:37

Also, going back to the suggestion made in the OP, what do people think of this as a potential first step that could begin to do some of this work on a small scale?
www.weareplanc.org/blog/c-is-for-consciousness-raising/
I guess the big problem is that the people who come to a discussion group run by communists are not too likely to be the same people who are most at risk of manosphere recruitment, but IDK how you get around that either.

Spikymike
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Apr 26 2018 15:19

Such 'consciousness raising' style groups, as with those in the 70's women's liberation movement, can serve a temporary purpose for those involved but they do depend on a high level of mutual trust between the participants that inevitably is not always fulfilled. Certainly the Plan C proposal is over-ambitious in its desired transformative function. Not everything that is 'personal' is necessarily political in a way that would allow small groups to transfer up any of their common experiences or conclusions to a society level. Some of Plan C's more recent political trajectory does not bode well for the results of any input (if there has been any) from these proposed CR groups. Ether way such groups are not as R.Totale suggests the right organisational model to tackle the problems they identify.

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Apr 26 2018 17:06

Not necessarily trying to disagree with you here (my perspective on CR groups is kinda less "this is The Right Answer" and more "well, this sounds better than nothing"), but would you be able to expand more on what you think the right organisational model would be?
I do also think it's worth bearing the context of this discussion in mind here - whatever limitations and objections you might have to "the personal is political" more broadly, in this specific case we're talking about men carrying out mass murders because they've been taught that that is an appropriate response to not being able to get a girlfriend, and I really can't see how you could have any kind of counter-recruitment drive to tackle that without including a heavy dose of "the personal".

Thinking about it, I remember the AWW also had a questionnaire along related lines: angryworkersworld.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/questionaire-for-domestic-work/ not sure what they're gonna do with it, but again, it's a start.

Spikymike
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Apr 26 2018 18:26

Not sure I have any very useful answers to R Totale's last question. Male violence both individually expressed and collectively organised is a persistent problem in this patriarchal capitalist society. It has never gone away but has retreated to some extent from the combined effect of capitalist modernisation and women's self-organisation and struggle for equality. There remains an unconquered reservoir of fear and resentment amongst many men who unable or slow to adjust to these changes, when faced with the effects of a deepening economic and social crisis of the whole system that breeds insecurity and division will lash out having no other effective collective means of addressing their problems. I don't see how this can be addressed by targeting propaganda or 'education' at specific groups or networks that are deeply mired in this frame of mind. But perhaps hopefully through the extension and growth of 'communities of resistance' through some of the base-line work of the sort that the AWW and many others in our milieu try to develop that cut across capitalist and patriarchal divisions in a practical way as part of everyday life - by the extension of the everyday class struggle if you like. Maybe others have better answers for you.

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Apr 26 2018 19:12
lolasmo wrote:
I can't help but think any group or organisation or movement that was based around "men's issues" would be treated with overwhelming hostility and suspicion by much of the established left - both from anti-IDpol haters and the woke intersectional types. Maybe I'm overly cynical but I reckon it'd just be dismissed as MRA-lite by a lot of folks.

I could understand Lucky Black Cat's employment of the word "gender" here, in the sense that the issues involve not just actual fucking/love, but also the social attitude towards fucking/love (although I prefer to call that just sexuality). But I do oppose generally using the term "gender", when this is just an attempt to ignore or politely avoid the actual sex/love question.
I tried to launch a thread about sex(/sexuality/love), but it was basically mothballed: https://libcom.org/forums/general/talking-about-lovesex-forums-15112017

On the other hand I oppose framing it in terms of biological sex XY, because that's just reducing it to a supposed male nature (so perhaps I agree with the woke intersectional types here but for different reasons). Also, I (as a man) do find it silly/patronising to have events/attention around "men".

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Apr 26 2018 20:50
R Totale wrote:
I'd pretty much agree with all of that, but thinking specifically of Gamergate, which was, as I understand it, a big turning point/breakthrough for this kind of stuff, it definitely felt like there was a point where every mainstream/left-liberal outlet had a lot of (often quite good) stuff on the situation and how it was affecting women, but looking at libcom or virtually any other site on the anarchist/communist spectrum, from the ICC through to Crimethinc, there was virtually nothing at all, not even your usual vague statement of solidarity, and in retrospect I think that the various leaderships of ideas really dropped the ball on that one.

Yes I'd completely agree with this and while there's been very good mainstream/left-liberal coverage of the specific developments and subcultures, the absolute shitfest that is Kill All Normies shows that a decent communist analysis of what was happening has been lacking and/or underpromoted.

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Apr 26 2018 21:34

Sorry a bit OT but just had a for me terrible experience. Was sat in a pub on a work related thing and suddenly hear one person over saying.

"I was listening to this interesting podcast by this guy Jordan... .... .... Petersen" Gaaah

I'm literally stumped because I don't encounter this stuff afk. The guy spouting nonsense is unsurprisingly one of the bosses. (work for small company)

Annoyingly I haven't kept up with this Petersen garbage so my attempts at countering it were confused and weak. Should have done my homework!

Fleur
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Apr 26 2018 21:49

The thing about gamergate is that few people took it seriously because it ostensibly about videogames. The whole concept of ethics in videogame journalism being anything anyone gave a toss about was a non starter. What a yawn, who cares? But it really had nothing to do with gaming, and major protagonists in the movement like Milo and Adam Baldwin had no interest in games at all. What it was was a free for all hatefest on women. It was a nightmare period to be a woman online. I didn't really talk about games much - don't talk about them at all now - but I had random dudes threatening me with violence, with rape, sending me porn, crime scene photos of murdered women. But the mainstream really did not take this misogyny seriously because it was about games and let's be honest, videogames really aren't that important. It wasn't until fairly late in the game did the media pay much attention, nor did the gaming industry speak up until it looked like it would hit their bottom line.However, it did build up a really good base and network for the alt-right to jump in. I think in the Milo/Bannon leaked emails they talk about using gamergate to recruit.

In retrospect, gamergate looks so damned stupid, how could anyone get so vitriolic about criticism of games but it was where the alt-right cut their teeth and I'm so goddamn angry that warnings from women on the rise of this particularly toxic breed of misogynists were ignored. After all, they were just stupid boys in their mother's basements, weren't they?

Mike Harman
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Apr 26 2018 21:54

I heard two people talking about Peterson just behind me in a queue at a shop - it was after the Channel 4 interview (which I didn't watch but sounded like a poorly handled interview) - they were saying the gender gap exists because of different roles getting paid differently (ignores that division of work is itself gendered in many cases like care, cleaning, secretarial etc.) and this was fine compared to getting paid differently for the same work, and something about equalist vs. egalitarian. Was with my kids so interjecting would have been complicated and didn't catch much more than that.

I don't think it's off-topic here because the impression I get is that people like Jordan Peterson (and Milo, and Sargon of Akkad) on Youtube etc. act as a massive recruitment surface for a lot of people who then find the 'harder' stuff via related videos, youtube comments and reddit etc. And in terms of trying to counter it, I think you have to look at the whole ecosystem of how it functions, not just its worst aspects (which is I think where R Totale's point on failures comes in - i.e. people see someone like Jordan Peterson as just another reactionary academic, which he is, but there's a cult dynamic there as well and it feeds into openly fascist politics, even if you can argue what exactly Peterson's own ideology is).

So in answer to R Totale's point I sort of wonder if https://libcom.org/forums/general/favorite-youtubers-10042018 or old-fashioned board raids (finding a relatively popular reddit and infiltrating it with dozens of commies) would be more effective than in-person meetings which would be very self-selecting. But equally a lot of people on that trajectory are already quite gone, so for me personally I think the actual starting point is in explainers - i.e. helping people understand what the fuck is going on, and how to counter it with people they actually know, which could then feed into more practical stuff.

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Apr 26 2018 22:20

Fleur how did you come into contact with gamergate stuff? It happened in parts of the web I never frequent and I only saw it when mentioned on libcom and mainstream media, so to late. Same goes with the change that women were sounding the alarm ages ago but 'we' didn't listen. I'm guessing but this was probably discussed in blogs and groups on social media concerned with gaming or adjacent culture. Which means it's completely invisible to most people.

This is also the issue with reaching these people. Don't you have to be in gaming or some related interest/internet scene to have a chance at dealing with this stuff? When it's a family member you have a chance afk but otherwise? Normal anti fascist tactics are useless as they don't gather?

It's been known for a long time that really nasty trolling fash culture has been growing in games but it's all very abstract when it happens in another world. Gaming wise I get the chills when reloading the double barreled in Doom2 but since I haven't really had anything to do with gaming. sad

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Apr 26 2018 22:26
Mike Harman wrote:
they were saying the gender gap exists because of different roles getting paid differently (ignores that division of work is itself gendered in many cases like care, cleaning, secretarial etc.) and this was fine compared to getting paid differently for the same work, and something about equalist vs. egalitarian.

Yep my poss was on about the same thing although not justifying any pay gap just insinuating it's all natural which job you take. Because there are no men (wrong) in childcare despite decades o political promotion of equality in sweden.

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Apr 26 2018 23:47

I used to play co-op on xbox live a lot, and there's always a certain amount of assholery around there but it got substantially worse and I had to change my gamertag to something less girly and abandon the headset, so people couldn't hear my voice. The worst was on twitter though. I used to have a set of mutuals that we only really talked about games and nerd stuff and I can only assume that the gamergaters would word search and find women talking about gaming, even not talking about gaming once they'd noticed you and then the fun began. It was noticeable that the men didn't get half as much shit. I was pretty hard headed back then and refused to lock my account, which I wouldn't be so adamant about now. Tbh, when Meerov told me to kill myself in the other thread I couldn't help but laugh because I had so many complete strangers tell me to do that then I'm pretty immune to it. Women who actually worked in games were under definite physical threat. I had an ex-coworker who went to work for one of the big games companies based in this city in the promotional side of things and she actually had to be taken off the social media side of her job because of unending threats and abuse she got, and this had a serious effect on her mental health.

It seemed to me at the time that everyone knew about it but I did live at that time in a world where everyone I knew were kind of nerdy and were therefore aware of what was going on in our scene, so to speak. I'm not really in that space anymore.

I kind of liked social media back then, I used to have great fun shooting the breeze with people but it's also pretty toxic. From what I understand, GGs would gather on 4chan and subreddits and discuss tactics and targets. The weird thing is that it was only ever a hobby to me, I had no idea that a particular form of entertainment could cause such behaviour but there again, it wasn't really about games. In itself, fighting on twitter is just dumb but it was obvious that there was something going on which was wider and it was definitely a precursor something larger.I don't know how you deal with it but it seemed pretty plain that these men were dangerous.

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Apr 27 2018 06:36

This gamergate/videogames doesn't seem directly relevant to the present topic. And FWIW the few gamers I know (like Fleur) do get laid.

Mike Harman
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Apr 27 2018 09:23
Noa Rodman wrote:
This gamergate/videogames doesn't seem directly relevant to the present topic.

It's very relevant because it galvanised a lot of different fragmentary reactionary scenes into something resembling a recognisable fascist movement, within the past four years. Gamergate in large part consisted of doxxing, rape and death threats to women involved with gaming.

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Apr 27 2018 09:40
Noa Rodman wrote:
This gamergate/videogames doesn't seem directly relevant to the present topic.

The topic is men/boys who are violent, abusive, and misogynist and the way toxic masculinity causes is a major cause of this and what we can do about it. Gamergate is part of the problem being discussed.

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Apr 27 2018 09:40
Mike Harman wrote:

So in answer to R Totale's point I sort of wonder if https://libcom.org/forums/general/favorite-youtubers-10042018 or old-fashioned board raids (finding a relatively popular reddit and infiltrating it with dozens of commies) would be more effective than in-person meetings which would be very self-selecting.

The link there was confusing to me... was that a mistake? Or are you trying to make the point that making YouTube videos could be part of a propaganda effort to address this?

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Apr 27 2018 09:44

There are so many thought-provoking replies and important points made. I wish I had time to respond to all of them.

R Totale wrote:
Also, going back to the suggestion made in the OP, what do people think of this as a potential first step that could begin to do some of this work on a small scale?
www.weareplanc.org/blog/c-is-for-consciousness-raising/
I guess the big problem is that the people who come to a discussion group run by communists are not too likely to be the same people who are most at risk of manosphere recruitment, but IDK how you get around that either.

Yes, this is the big problem. Things like this tend to attract those who are already anti-sexist, etc. For the most part it wouldn't reach the types of people who tend to gravitate towards the incels, redpillers, gamergaters, and other misogynist communities.

Spikymike wrote:
I don't see how this can be addressed by targeting propaganda or 'education' at specific groups or networks that are deeply mired in this frame of mind.

Why not? I don't think it can totally solve the problem, but if done well it could be effective.

How do we reach the men and boys who most need to be reached on this issue? I think it would be great if there was an educational workshop series that dealt with the toxic aspects of male socialization that could be taught in high schools. The teenager years are a great time for reaching people and having an influence on their worldview. Also, because teenagers are so insecure and emotionally disturbed, it's an age where guys are particularly vulnerable to being warped by toxic masculinity.

Anti-sexist men could reach out to schools and community centers to teach the workshop to students. If it worked well as a pilot project, something similar could be adopted in the mainstream curriculum on a wider level. This would take organizing and pressure on school boards to adopt it, but it could be done.

People on this forum might not like the idea of something like this becoming part of the school curriculum, and therefore transferred to the hands of the state. But as long as the state has control of education, it's better if we can try to push for an influence over what that education is, right?

I was thrilled when the province of Ontario in Canada adopted consent education as part of the curriculum. (And it was adopted in response to a campaign begun by two teenager girls.) This starts in grade 1, addressing non-sexual physical contact, and starting in grade 6 they teach about consent and sex. And it goes far beyond "no means no":

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/consent-top-of-mind-as-canadian-sex-education-curriculum-evolves/article37707402/

Quote:
with students learning that consent must be affirmative and continuous, as well as how to understand non-verbal signs.

"There's body language, there's understanding context," Shubat says. "Paying attention to facial expressions, body language. Those are all things that kids are talking about."

Something similar could be done for toxic masculinity.

It will take more than this to address the problem, but I think a workshop series for teenagers could be part of it.