Whenever people discuss the problems that women face in today’s world, somebody always pipes up, “What about the men? Why isn’t anyone worried about men’s problems?”
Fortunately, there is a group fighting for the needs of men.
Unfortunately, that group is the men’s rights movement, and it’s completely bonkers.
In this series, Unicorn Booty will take a look at some of the bizarre, ridiculous, and occasionally horrifying battles fought by the men’s rights movement.
This week, we’re going to take a look at how men’s rights activists (MRAs) furiously struggle against harmless entertainment.
Disclaimer: I will not distinguish between the different flavors of men’s rights activist (MRA): pick-up artists (PUAs), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOWs), Red Pillers, etc. Saying, “That guy’s not an MRA! He’s a PUA!” is the same as saying, “My shirt’s not pink! It’s salmon!” I don’t care which subspecies of douche each individual calls himself. Here is how I’m defining MRA: a terrible goober who claims that men are oppressed because women can choose their sexual partners. Just be grateful I didn’t use Marc Maron’s term: “unfuckable hate nerds”.
How MRAs Furiously Struggle Against Harmless Entertainment
Many social justice movements worry about media representation. Civil rights activists say that the media doesn’t have enough positive roles for black people. Feminists complain that too many movies feature sexy dead chicks. Asians are upset about Hollywood whitewashing.
MRAs are mad about how the media treats men as well. But why? Aren’t most movies, TV shows and video games centered on men? What on earth are MRAs upset about?
Star Wars: The Dorks Awaken
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, MRAs were deeply offended. They swore it was biased against men. But why? Three of the four new stars were men. That’s good for men, isn’t it? Maybe, but two of those men weren’t white.
Remember: MRAs are really racist. Star Wars: The Force Awakens deeply offended MRAs because it had positive roles for men of color. The fact that film’s villain was a creepy, white nerd with daddy issues (a.k.a. most MRAs) probably didn’t make them happy, either.
MRAs were even madder about the fact that the leading lady was a white woman. Why does that bother them? Because MRAs really don’t like seeing white women with men of color. Because MRAs are really racist.
One men’s rights activist claimed that The Force Awakens promoted interracial relationships. He produced an absolutely bonkers collage that must be seen to be believed:
According to the men’s rights movement, The Force Awakens is bad because it teaches White women to desire Black men. Rey’s black staff will make girls like Black penises. And that cute little BB-8 droid represents the oppressed White male forced to watch a Black man steal all the White women. (Note that MRAs naturally identify with a pale, spherical object.)
This is absolutely ridiculous, obviously. Rey and Finn are not in an interracial relationship. Finn only has eyes for Poe Dameron.
Also, Rey is a space lesbian. And Luke is possibly bisexual.
Nonetheless, MRAs staged a boycott of Star Wars. It didn’t work very well. The movie made ridiculous amounts of money. Still, MRAs declared success, swearing that they’d somehow deprived George Lucas of millions of dollars based on some kind of bizarre moon calculations.
Mad MRAx: Furious Chodes
The Force Awakens wasn’t the men’s rights movement’s first attempt at a boycott. Before that, MRAs got really angry at Mad Max: Fury Road. Why? They said it was because Furiosa, the badass leading lady, was stealing screen time away from the titular male character.
The real reason, obviously, was the film’s feminist themes. It was a movie about women rebelling against an abusive patriarch. More dangerously, it was a pro-feminist film that was actually entertaining. It was a thrilling action movie in which women scream, “We are not things!”
MRAs were outraged by the film. They refused to buy tickets. They vowed to destroy it. And in the end, their temper tantrum deprived the film of maybe several dollars. Fury Road made $375 million at the box office.
The War on Lady Ghostbusters
MRAs did not like the lady Ghostbusters remake. MRAs got really, really, really mad at the lady Ghostbusters remake. MRAs raged against Dan Aykroyd, star of the original Ghostbusters, for saying that he liked the lady Ghostbusters remake.
Still, many of them insisted they weren’t sexist. They said it was because having an all-female cast is pandering. (Does that mean the original’s all-male cast is pandering?)
Dear Paul Feig,
Stay the fuck out of my Ghostbusters, you worthless, pandering shitbag.
The opposite of love, Gregg
— Motörgregg (@clinteldorado) October 8, 2014
They said they were mad because it was an unoriginal, unnecessary reboot of a good movie. Approximately all of Hollywood’s films are unnecessary reboots, but for some reason (hint: misogyny) MRAs were only mad at Lady Ghostbusters. MRAs didn’t rage against the Robocop remake, or the latest half-dozen Spiderman reboots, or the upcoming BladeRunnner sequel even though a man died on the set.
MRAs focused the majority of their wrath on cast member Leslie Jones, inundating her with ugly racist insults and threats. Why her, and not her co-stars or the producers or the director? Probably because she’s Black. MRAs are really racist.
Save the Underage Anime Titties
MRAs don’t always rail against female representation in the media. There’s one place where they actually like female characters: anime child pornography.
Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for the rest of us), Western entertainment companies frown upon sexualized depictions of children. When a Japanese kiddie porn game or series is localized for the US market, American animators tend to de-sexualize the underage characters so that their customers don’t end up on a watch list. They cover up kiddie titty and put underwear on all the children.
MRAs are furious. They swear it’s not because they’re pedos (even though they are definitely pedos). No, they say, it’s a free speech issue! They’re outraged on behalf of the First Amendment! That’s why MRAs need to look at a child’s vagina! For freedom!
One MRA accidentally became a meme when he threw a tantrum over a video game company getting rid of a character’s “vagina bones.”
— Sebban (@Sebban_E) May 13, 2016
Oddly enough, MRAs did not cry censorship when Square Enix put more clothes on a male character in response to male complaints.
Some people will argue that anime’s practice of sexualizing child characters is just a cultural difference and that we should respect it. Those people are pedos.
What will MRAs get mad about next? It’s hard to tell, but signs point to Stephen King’s Dark Tower. MRA Carl “Sargon of Akkad” Benjamin is very upset that the upcoming film adaptation of the series will star Idris Elba.
Idris Elba confirmed for every char in The Dark Tower because fuck the source material. pic.twitter.com/bOp5YoRDNr
— Sargon of Akkad ?☭ (@Sargon_of_Akkad) March 12, 2016
Meanwhile, Stephen King (a.k.a. the guy who wrote the source material) is perfect happy to see Elba bring his book to life:
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 1, 2016
To me, the color of the gunslinger doesn't matter. What I care about is how fast he can draw…and that he takes care of the ka-tet.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 12, 2015
So why is Carlgon mad? Idris Elba is a man — and a handsome, charismatic, popular, talented one.
Oh, right. Because Idris Elba is Black, and MRAs are really racist.
But no! They swear it’s not racism. They’re just concerned about the accuracy. Of a fictional novel. Written by Stephen King. About interdimensional cowboys. A Black man playing the Gunslinger? That’s almost is ridiculous as a flabby white guy calling himself Sargon!
— 3kilos (@EldarBekbulatov) December 14, 2015
Idris Elba to play a white man who is called a "Honky Mahfah"? I like Idris but him as Roland in The Dark Tower does not work.
— Sean (@Zachara_x) December 10, 2015
Only time will tell if the men’s rights movement declares war upon The Dark Tower. There is at least one important female character in it, so chances are good.
One thing’s for sure: if the MRA war against The Dark Tower goes as well as their war against Fury Road and The Force Awakens did, Stephen King will be able to buy himself a swimming pool. Made of gold. Filled with champagne.