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The women’s rights movement is no stranger to the tactics masculists try to use to silence viewpoints they oppose. Those tactics have been written about for years, well before the movement was as large as it is today, and well before it ever received media attention. If you’re not familiar with them, read Exposing Masculism’s post “The catalog of anti-female shaming tactics.”

These tactics are a manifestation of a sense of entitlement to control the dialogue based on one’s own belief in one’s position. I’m right, so your argument must be rooted in objectionable characteristics. They’re designed to put the target on the defensive against unmerited charges in order to distract from existing debate. An example would be a masculist leveling the accusation that you support due process rights because you hate men, or an attack on your femininity in response to your discussion about male perpetrators of sexual violence and their female victims. These tactics are a window to masculism’s underlying hateful attitude. Their basic premise is that agitation for any remedy to conditions which are oppressive to women is unneeded, undeserved, illegitimate, and an affront to men.

Many times, activists are able to spot these tactics and call them out when their masculist debate opponents use them, effectively rendering them useless. However, the community at large has failed miserably at this when the shaming involves an attempt to pit us against the pick-up artist community. The most recent version of this failure is an attempt to distance the two groups from each other in response to a masculist diatribe about a recent blog article by Roosh V. Here we go again, handing masculists control that they do not deserve, allowing an unmerited, illegitimate attack on the movement to put us on the defense.

Roosh’s article is not bad for the women’s rights movement. The masculist reaction is bad for masculists, or at least it would be if MRAs would take a step back and view it without the filter of masculist shaming language through which the article complaining about it is launched. Remove it and the complaint would largely disappear. It can be clearly identified as a vehemently worded charge of misandry, with a layer of “by association” thrown in.

The only reason masculists feel like this tactic works is that MRAs run scared every time they do it. This is what happens when you give masculists control over the dialogue; their first impulse is to silence views they disapprove, rather than to engage. Masculist use of shaming tactics does not make MRAs or even PUAs bad people. It shows that masculists are so bigoted they can’t handle the existing debate, that they must resort to mudslinging and distraction tactics, and they’ll use any kind of misrepresentation MRAs are willing to accept.

Letting masculists put the movement on the defensive by carefully framing their own over-reaction to cherry-picked factors and then associating them with the MRM invites this. Capitulation is asking to be slandered again. The behavior tells the shame-thrower, “Hey, look, an enormous target! Shoot here and we’ll scramble for damage control just like you want, rendering us totally ineffective for a time.”

All they have to do is get MRAs to treat their outragegasm as legitimate and an accurate representation of what they’re responding to, and you let them achieve that by panicking without question over the terms in which they frame their complaint. They don’t have to be accurate, honest, or even remotely rational, so long as their accusation is sufficiently scandalous, because even though they’ve demonstrated over and over again a determination to hate, oppose, and slander the movement, there are MRAs who continue to seek their approval.

You’re not going to get their approval because their approval doesn’t rely on what’s right, on logic or reason, or on genuinely equal treatment. It relies on you keeping your head down and saying “okay.” It relies on your agreement to subjugate your advocacy to masculist interests. It does not matter if you condemn 1000 PUAs, agree with masculists calling drunk sex rape, even let masculists define all of the terms of the dialogue. None of that will earn you a more open, friendly discussion because you are dealing with people who don’t want to have it in the first place.

The Raw Story writer was not really complaining out of a belief that Roosh’s article means MRAs want to legalize rape. Masculists do this because they know it will shut you up about women’s issues for a while, as you’re tied up with damage control. They know that leveling the right accusation the right way will spread hysteria throughout the community.

And over what? The article itself is simply using the style of A Modest Proposal to point out that ideology isn’t an effective shield against crime. Contained in it is a paragraph driving home the point that rape is bad and the author understands that. The reaction to it is a typical male chip-knocked-off-the-shoulder knee-jerkin’ temper dance. And what’s the first thought the responding writer had after reading it, but how it could be used to silence advocates for girls in education, female victims of intimate partner and sexual violence, children’s right to a relationship with their mothers; to muzzle opponents of debtors prisons and discriminatory law and policy and eclipse efforts to raise awareness of female suicide. How hateful!

The rush to frame this discussion in the most inflammatory way, light it on ideological fire, and throw it at the MRM isn’t a misunderstanding. It’s a bigoted attempt to enforce masculism’s self-assigned entitlement to control the gender issues dialogue. And it’ll continue to happen until MRAs stop falling for it. You want masculists to quit using PUAs as mud to sling at the women’s rights movement? Take the benefit out of it! Stop giving them the reaction they want.

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