Troll-B-Gone!


Above: An artist’s rendering of the men’s rights trolls who populate this feminist blog and others. The jewels in their bellies give them magical powers that blind them to their own privilege!

Regular readers have probably noticed that the comment threads have been overrun as of late with a serious influx of trolls. We’re not sure if it’s just the Palin-related traffic lately, the general election frenzy, or some special link-lovin’ from a men’s rights site. In any case, we’ve noticed. We’re on it.

What is a troll, you ask? A brief definition here.

More specifically, the breed of troll that’s been showing up here lately typically…

  • Has a username that’s something vaguely female with some numbers at the end
  • Makes racist/sexist/homophobic/generally ignorant comments
  • Has a tendency to ask things like, “what about the MENZ?!” and “won’t somebody think of the racism against white people?”

What to do if you spot a troll:

  • Do not engage. It’s a waste of your time, and the threads start looking very confusing after we delete the sexist/racist/otherwise ugly comments.
  • Let us know. Send us an email with the trolling commenter’s username, along with a link to the comment or thread in question. We are internet obsessives, so usually (sadly?) one of the editors is online at almost all times, but sometimes we leave to go eat dinner or interact with real, live humans or something. But we promise we’ll delete the offending comments and ban the trolls as soon as we notice they’re there.

We really value the comments threads as a place for everyone to engage and discuss and deepen our understanding of issues. Thanks so much for your patience while we work to resolve this. And double-thanks to our secret band of anti-troll vigilante commenters (you know who you are!) who have been so awesome about alerting us to trollishness on the site.

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58 Comments

  1. gopher
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    J316,
    Those books are crap because they have no reality connected to them. The one that starts off with “that bitch” speaks for itself. If a book was authored by a KKK and stated that it was now whites who suffered from discrimination and that the pendulem has “swung too far,” would you believe them?
    and BTW, I found these books under an amazon.com list titled, “Fight Feminism: Outstanding Feminist Literature.” You might want to read for yourself the outlandish things and distortions the author of that list believes.

  2. keshmeshi
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    i have had friends accused of rape, when the woman was concenting at the time, but changed her mind later and found it easier to call “rape” (she later admited to lying, but only after he had been arrested). I have seen men lose custody of thier children ONLY because the wife wanted her X “to pay, emotionaly for cheating on her”. I have been yelled at for askin a woman to “move out of the way please”, not becauyse i am a man and she must bend to my will, but she was blocking the exit!!! dammit!

    You are a LIAR. Where did you “see” that? In a movie? In a book? On an MRA website? Give concrete examples, or go away, liar.

  3. gopher
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I agree with keshmeshi. I think Mike T is seriously exaggerating or outright lying about those instances. MRAs believe feminists “invented” rape. How could you give ANY credence to their side? Do you also think KKK have a side as well, simply because theyre the opposition to civil rights activists? Just because theres an opposing “side” doesnt give them a valid POV or a legitimate stand.

  4. gopher
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    and also,
    “I have had friends accused of rape, when the woman was concenting at the time, but changed her mind later and found it easier to call “rape” (she later admited to lying, but only after he had been arrested).”
    what is that supposed to be about? You dont mean she said ‘no’ during the sex act and he continued and you think that wasnt rape, right? Because a woman has every right to say no during sex and is not obligated to continue. It also doesnt make sense as to WHY a woman would do this. I think weve found another MRA.
    Yesterday I was debating (what I do at 2am when I cant sleep) an outlandish MRA who complained that women ‘trick’ men into child support by stealing sperm from their condoms to impregnate themselves. Its a fucking sick joke! Like women do this commonly! Gawd, what idiots these MRAs are! So scared of women!

  5. Posted October 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Gopher, that wasn’t me making those claims, nor have I ever made any claims like that. Please read a bit more carefully.

  6. meeneecat
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    “but why are THOSE books “sexist crap” and this site and books promoted here not? I am not picking a side, i am just so curious how you can so easily say their opinion is invalid. “their idiot sites”, but this site is not?”
    J316, sounds like you don’t know what the actual definition of sexism/racism/oppression/etc. is. The reason that “Men’s rights” and “white’s pride” and “straight is great” or any along those lines is completely F-ed (as opposed to feminism, anti-racism, etc. etc.) is because you first have to think about the power structure that is in place and has been in place for as long as we can remember. Judith briefly touched on this. But for a great long while (and currently) society has been controlled by, rich, white, christian men, and this “ruling” group has maintained power and benefited from their position by continually oppressing other populations that are different from them i.e. women, poc, gays, non-christians, etc. etc….The point is, that in order for you to have oppression (sexism/racism/any-ism), you need to have institutional power accompanied by some sort of violence and economic power. This is something that white men have always had and used to control/oppress other groups of the population. Another term that relates to this is also called “privilege”. When someone says that you have “white privilege” or “male privilege” they are not saying that you are evil or that you are responsible for all sexism or all racism. They are simply pointing out that you have had the privilege of growing up and functioning in a society without ever knowing the oppression and violence that many others face on a day to day basis. And this “privilege”, whether you know it or not, has afforded you many advantages that you have benefited from. For example: “you will never know what it’s like to be denied a job because of your skin color”. OR “you can walk around freely without ever having to worry that you could be assaulted”.
    Back to your question…the reason why MRA’s and racist shit heads have no right to say that “men are being oppressed by women” or “society is racist against white people” is…well first of all, there’s no such thing as “reverse racism” or “reverse sexism” because both men and white people hold institutional power. And in order for you to be an oppressed group there must be another group that holds institutional power over you. In the case of white, men, they are the group that holds this power over everyone else, so neither the MRA’s nor the KKK/white pride people have any valid point whatsoever. This is why gopher is so appalled by these MRA’s, and frankly I am too. (and note, when I talk about MRA’s I don’t mean, for example feminist/progressive men that (for example) advocate for male victims of rape – because usually these men are also feminists as well, and they understand that their issue, in this example, rape, is made worse by patriarchy (i.e. rape myths, rape culture, etc.))
    I probably have not done a good job explaining this because I am so tired, but if you read this article, which was posted on Slant Truth, you will probably get a better idea as to what I’m trying to say:
    “the common elements of oppression”
    http://slanttruth.com/2007/10/03/the-common-elements-of-oppression/
    And regarding privilege:
    http://theangryblackwoman.com/2007/05/14/things-you-need-to-understand-6-male-privilege/
    http://theangryblackwoman.com/2006/09/14/things-you-need-to-understand-4/

  7. JB
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I was wearing my “This is what a feminist looks like” T-shirt the other day, and I had a guy say to me, “The worst thing you can be in our society right now is a middle aged white male.” And it isn’t the first time I’ve heard this type of rhetoric. Its only now that Im learning that there is an acual Mens Rights Movement out there (I’m new to Feministing). Anyways, at the time I didn’t have ANY intelligent things to reply with because I was somewhat caught off guard. Now when I think back to the situation I have a million thing I would have said.
    This thread just reminded me of that. However, in my opinion it is totally legitimate for the posts of MRA to be removed from the thread, especially if they have nothing to do with the original post and are really offensive toward women, gay/lesbian, or ethnic/racial groups. Obviously because this is a site that is supposed to foster support and discussion between individuals who care about women, gay/lesbian, and ethnic/racial groups, it would be counterproductive to allow individuals to post offensive and hurtful comments. It isn’t simply about the opposite side of the arguement, but about what the blog actually stands for. Letting individuals post messages that completely undermine the efforts of feminism in general are only hindering the actual discussion.
    Somewhat off topic as well, to comment on the post by J316 – If this story is actually true, it is sad to know that the girls accusation was even questioned in the first place. The false accusation of rape is statistically very low. It isn’t a “fun” thing to do, and it certainly is not an easy way out of addmitting that you agreed to have sex with someone. When a girl is raped and decides to speak up about it it creates a very uncomfortable situation. Much worse than actually just addmitting that you wanted to have sex with someone. Also, if she was arrested, she was probably scared and maybe was being pressured to pretend it never happened.
    I apoligize for ranting, just get a little too excited sometimes.

  8. Posted October 9, 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    As a middle-aged white male, I have no sympathy for any middle-aged white male bitching about how hard they have it. If they’re hurting, it’s not because they’re a middle-aged white male, it’s because everyone’s hurting.

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