Alt-right fractures as former allies accuse leaders of sexually exploiting teen boys
Matt Forney: The alt-right is “aiding and abetting sodomites who groom teenage boys”
By David Futrelle
White supremacist blogger Matt Forney certainly picked a dramatic way to announce he would no longer be affiliating with the alt-right. In a Facebook posting several days ago, which he subsequently deleted, Forney declared that the internet-enabled fascist movement had become “a coven for homosexual pedophiles.”
Harry Britton, founder of the “International Association of Dissatisfied Husbands,” campaigns for “Husband Liberation” on Fifth Avenue in New York in 1980.
In the final days of May, after police in Portland, Ore., reported that Jeremy Joseph Christian stabbed three men on a train, killing two of them, an unusual theory as to why the attack occurred emerged in certain parts of the internet. Mainstream commentators had already pointed to Christian’s alt-right flavored racism, which seemed obvious enough; the victims, after all, had been defending two Muslim women from his Islamophobic abuse, according to the police. Others raised the possibility that Christian was mentally unstable. But according to this new theory, the primary blame lay not with Christian at all and instead with an ideology internalized by the victims.
“Two good men killed by chivalry,” tweeted Paul Elam, a notorious figure in the field of “men’s rights activism.” “Let this be a lesson to your sons.” In follow-up tweets, Elam elaborated: If the victims had not been culturally conditioned to risk their lives on women’s behalf, they would still be alive. Therefore, while Christian was heading to trial, the real perpetrator was America’s anti-male status quo.
I don’t follow Elam on Twitter. I came across his theory only thanks to the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, run by a 51-year-old Chicagoan named David Futrelle. In a post called “Killed by Chivalry: Everything Wrong With the Men’s Right’s Movement in One Tweet,” Futrelle mockingly summarized Elam’s hypotheses and then went on to argue — making heavy reference to Elam’s writing over the years — that this “killer chivalry” argument epitomized a general disdain in the men’s rights movement not only for women but for the very notions of altruism and empathy.
Over the course of seven years spent running We Hunted the Mammoth, Futrelle has made himself an expert on the “manosphere”: the amorphous, fractious constellation of online men’s groups united in their belief that feminism is ruining the world. Most days, he trawls a constantly-updated list of sites he hates (including Elam’s “A Voice for Men”), seeking out arguments he finds repulsive, baffling and, he admits, fascinating to watch play out in real time. Clicking through his list, he reads post after post, charting the themes and preoccupations of the day, the latest catchphrases and memes, the shifting alliances and disputes.
Not sure if I have anything to offer, but these are my thoughts. I don't really know that there needs to be a rebuttal to these sorts - we always knew there were Nazis in America but the fact that they are taking off their hoods shows that they really are desperate.
This sort of reminds me of a game of Civilization where a bunch of people want to go down the "Honor" and "Tradition" path but the civ has already maxed out "Rationalism" and "Exploration".
None of this political rhetoric makes any sense from the standpoint of genetics, enlightenment-era philosophy or even the standpoint of human rights of any gender. We all had a shitty childhood, not all of us feel like building a weird ass ideology and spreading it to everyone else. It's hard for me to be around other women, for example, due to having a narcissistic mother (produced by decades of childhood torture, molestation and emotional abuse at the hands of a typical 50's stepfather) but that's a personal thing, even though it is also a byproduct of a cultural problem - I don't want to "change" the culture as it will do this of its own accord during the process of scientific and technological advancement.
The alt-right also has a fetish and they've convinced themselves and others that this fetish is somehow important enough to form the basis of a philosophy and a whole political movement. I think that stems from repression - they're so unable to face the strength and terror of their own uncontrollable and overwhelming lust that they have to externalize it into some kind of weird divine mandate or force of nature. Other people go to furry and leather conventions, they apparently enjoy holding the Republican caucus.
Gay and Lesbian culture has not been allowed to express itself in a healthy way so it's natural that it tends to have these awkward phases of extremism when stupid people take up the leadership hat. Zee Budapest used to argue that men had no souls, which is pretty much a human rights atrocity, but we can't hold these people to the same standards. Their dialectic is diseased and is trying to find equilibrium. There are plenty of other level headed people speaking in gay and lesbian rights circles. It's a shame they are drowned out by these loud mouthed idiots but it would happen sooner or later.
Most people are smart enough to realize that both "male" and "female" skills are equally important and necessary in the world - and it isn't determined by one's genitals. Gender itself is potentially arbitrary. If we isolate the genes determining physical genitals, in the future we could truly have a traditionally recognized "female" in a male body and a traditionally recognizable "male" in a female body. Right now the technology is primitive and messy, but it won't always be that way. Once it is possible to change your gender, transfer it into another body - perhaps with new completely alien gender assignments, or you can create an entire virtual world to live in matching your specifications, these groups will become a shibboleth. Nobody will care. No one wants to be around a fascist of any kind and that's what these people are. They're even worse than that, they're aesthetic fascists. They want everything that the Islamic extremists want - they're actually just cut from the same mold, except Western conservative fascists wear suits, women wear dresses and heels, NE fascists wear burnoose and burqas. I guarantee if you begin drawing parallels between Islamic extremists and alt right extremists you will not only make an extremely valid case, you will scare the shit out of them. It will also force them to expose their own irrational and evil racism.
The real oppression of males that has occurred side by side with the oppression of women is the idea that all men must be this "strong, valorous, protective" cartoon character. These types of men bore me to tears. Give me a skinny intellectual any day over these shallow fantasies any day
Diversity is fun and anyone should be able to celebrate and revel in the traditional male-female gender assignments, they are part of our heritage after all, but why force it? It doesn't bother me if people want to have an all-gay event or get up to playing 1920's housewives, just don't force me to do it. The real problem is people forcing anyone else to do things they don't want to do - in any capacity.
In classical Asian thought, the proper gender assignment for Man was Man - Jen. Not Yin, female, or Yang, male. And in American Indian culture there could be up to seven genders recognized.
I would like to see parenting laws settle down a lot to give equal rights to parents regardless of gender but this happens by allowing for more variation of norm in the genders, not by pigeonholing either sex even more thoroughly into the rigid stereotypes of the 50's.
I went to court as a witness for a young man who got in trouble with a crazy young lady, basically to tell the truth, he hadn't pushed her down the stairs. She was lying (I was there) but, he lost his case, and blamed it all on the woman and the poltiical climate. "She got away with it because she was a woman!"
He was a very inexperienced and foolish person. I warned him repeatedly that she was crazy and he should not get involved with her. He was rude to the judge, refused to call him "your honor" and he was a decent judge. He argued with the judge, was caught lying in the testimony, the testimony which he gave to the judge (a series of emails) and was also blackmailing her in the emails. He provoked the woman deliberately and treated her with disrespect - not even the kind of etiquette one would owe a traveller or guest was extended to her when she was over at our house - I had to make her coffee in the morning. He had obviously never heard the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" when he broke up with her in a very callous manner. The phrase may as well be "Hell hath no fury like an emotional thinker scorned" as that is what it is - my first husband who I divorced was quite emotional and very feminine compared to me.
This is my firsthand experience with a blossoming possible "male rights activist" - he was unable to see humans as humans, and was blinded by gender - he hated his mother, because he had pedestalized his father. Gender is just a part of diversity, it can make life fun. I don't like laws which are specifically tailored to gender, but there are very few in America like this. It's a well known fact that female judges are much harder on female suspects, same with law enforcement. These are the sorts of things which cannot be directly regulated or accounted for. Certainly men suffer from some injust factors as well. But the solution is not more injustice, it is a proper understanding of simple genetic advantages, and doing what is right for the species at all times, rather than what is best for the aesthetic sensibilities of a few.
This movement is a waste of time after examining the current scientific and technological trajectories which take us far beyond dicks and vaginas. There is something to be said for tradition and aesthetic, but these are necessarily secondary to survival. Everything I see here weakens the species either via divisiveness or blind hatred.
So there is very little to worry about here. People are not as dumb as they used to be and I think they will see through it. But if you want to spend time on it, go ahead...I just think this will burn out on its own. People are having too much fun with their freedom and diversity. They don't want to go back to the rigid fantasy these fetishists have laid out for them.
White Nationalist Groups Are Splitting Over Gay Inclusion Wednesday, September 20, 2017 By Shane Burley, Truthout |
With the recent blowback from Charlottesville, the churning wheel of fascist infighting has once again kicked off, exposing a number of fault lines within white nationalist groups in the US.
One major fault line has emerged over homosexuality: While fascist and white nationalist movements have historically condemned queerness, many in the self-described "alt-right" wanted to dash this image, acknowledging that the social mood had shifted on gay issues and that they had a number of homosexual members in their ranks.
Over the summer months, as white nationalists and fascists who rallied under the banner of the "alt-right" were repudiated by their more mainstream counterparts at places like Rebel Media, a final rupture began to take place between those who decided to include gay fascists in their ranks and leaders who determined this to be the hill they wanted to die on.
Disputes Over Gay Membership
Back before the "alt-right" was a household name, Richard Spencer had a sense that the 2015 National Policy Institute conference would be different from past iterations of the annual gathering. Then-candidate Donald Trump had given voice to reactionary beliefs, the #Cuckservative meme had taken off on social media and other "crossover" moments were increasing the appeal of the rebranded white nationalist movement that called itself the "alt-right." Spencer was sure that attendance would be up and millennials would overwhelm the conventional aging white nationalists. In an effort to create a bridge between the younger members of the alt-right and larger existing movements, such as Southern Nationalism, Spencer brought on his friend Michael Hill, an aggressive racist and anti-Semite who runs the League of the South.
Hill has lived a life of contradictions, teaching at a historically Black college while romanticizing the Antebellum South, segregation and formalized white supremacy. It wasn't until Hill saw the rest of the National Policy Institute conference lineup that his characteristic rage kicked in, incensed by the inclusion of another speaker: Jack Donovan, a "masculinist" and an open homosexual. In the end, Hill refused to share a stage with Donovan.
Movement infighting on both the right and left can result either from strong personalities clashing or from two contemporaneous ideologies reaching a point where they lose their ability to coexist. Both are true in the case of attitudes toward homosexuality within the coalition between the openly white nationalist "alt-right" and the "alt-lite," which tends to publicly downplay its support for white supremacy per se while spreading anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-feminist sentiments.
An inability to be clear on issues like gay membership has created schisms and rock-throwing within this coalition. While self-described members of the "alt-right" have certainly never put same-sex relationships on the same ground as heterosexual ones -- primarily because of their belief in the sanctity of the "traditional" family unit -- they haven't treated gay people entirely as outsiders either. Spencer has often argued for a place for homosexual men in their movement, presenting a radical version of the "born this way" thesis that follows antiquated Soviet research suggesting that homosexuality is the result of a deficient prenatal "testosterone bath."
The two homosexually oriented "alt-right" figures that usually stand out are Jack Donovan and James O'Meara. Donovan was first known for writing the book Androphilia (under the name Jack Malebranche), where he argued that as a man attracted to other men, he was not actually "gay," as that was a modern chosen identity that also aligned itself with "male effeminacy," feminism and leftist politics. Instead, Donovan thought of himself as a "Mars/Mars" attracted person, a man who rejects the orthodox family life with women in favor of a warrior culture where strong men find partnership in each other. Donovan has argued publicly against gay institutions like same-sex marriage, instead suggesting that male-attracted men should "go their own way," and families should be limited to the traditional heterosexual context.
Donovan's writing shifted around 2013 to being almost exclusively about "male tribalism" in opposition to the liberal, multicultural state. In his book, The Way of Men, he prescribes what many would term "toxic masculinity" as natural for men, and writes that men should form tribalistic "gangs" with relativistic morality that is exclusive to group survival. He has since come to dominate this part of what is commonly known as the "Manosphere," joining the neo-pagan group the Wolves of Vinland and closely associating with white nationalists.
O'Meara, a white supremacist who is out as a gay man, has taken a different approach, arguing that the gay male is an aristocrat of white society. His books have been published by the white nationalist house Counter-Currents. He equates Black identity with violence, hypersexuality and stupidity, and warns white men to eschew a forced culture of masculinity lest they take on these traits. Meanwhile he lifts up white homosexual masculinity -- which he portrays as associated with theatre and high arts -- as the idealized opposite of the anti-Black stereotypes that he presents.
Milo Yiannopoulos and Gays for Trump added another dimension to this, seeking to justify anti-Muslim immigration restriction by pointing to the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub and arguing that Muslim groups persecute gay people. However, Milo's appearances in drag and comments about child sexual assault have both caused trouble for him, leading the "alt-right" to largely abandon him and now point to him as an example of "queer degeneracy."
Richard Spencer's Defense of Gay White Nationalists
Spencer has gone to notable lengths to stand up for gay white nationalists. In 2014, he banned Matthew Heimbach, founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party and Traditionalist Youth Network, from attending that year's National Policy Institute conference after alleged comments that Heimbach and Scott Terry made about the "biblical" responsibility of executing homosexuals for their sins. Heimbach had been known to be friendly with Donovan, including asking him a question at Donovan's 2014 speech at American Renaissance, but Spencer was not going to allow for this kind of violent homophobia or the negative media spectacle Heimbach has made for himself.
"It's not because I was trying to suppress anti-homosexual views," said Spencer on the Rebel Yell Southern Nationalist podcast, defending himself about the banning of Heimbach. "He literally laced up jackboots on camera."
Identity Evropa, which is quickly becoming the largest youth-centered white nationalist organization in the country, has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay members. As Nathan Damigo, the founder of Identity Evropa, told me last year while planning a series of campus actions, gay men would be allowed if they kept their sexual orientation off the radar, but transgender people would be turned away and directed toward mental health services. The Proud Boys, another white nationalist group that has branded itself as a slightly more moderate "Western chauvinist" group, has been more open in allowing gay and transgender members, as long as they believe in Western superiority.
Spencer isn't the only defender of gay white nationalists. Greg Johnson, editor at the white nationalist Counter-Currents, which publishes O'Meara's books, writes about the need to deemphasize homophobia as "besides the point."
For both Spencer and Johnson this halfway support has come at a cost, with many in the more orthodox sectors of the white nationalist right accusing them of being homosexual themselves. Some detractors have also alleged that Spencer coerced young men for sex.
Fractures Within the Coalition
After the accusations were made against both Spencer and Johnson, Spencer tried to put the spotlight more exclusively on Johnson by posting the same article and speech that had been available for years in which Johnson argues that homophobia was a social oppression created by Jews. Matt Forney -- a Manosphere blogger associated with the Manosphere website Return of Kings who had moved on to white nationalist media outlets like American Renaissance and Red Ice Creations, which focus on race rather than gender -- then put out a large list of accusations about white nationalist figures who had allegedly engaged in homosexual behaviors. This included going after The Right Stuff, one of the most popular white nationalist blogs known for its podcast, "The Daily Shoah," accusing them of having a "side group" called "Fashy Faggots," identifying Greg Johnson as a collaborator, and the alleged homosexuality of other commentators.
At the same time, "alt-right" figures began accusing "alt-lite" leaders of acting on queer desires. Occidental Dissent, a white nationalist blog run by Hunter Wallace that has its content republished at altright.com, published an article on March 16 discussing Mike Cernovich's alleged sexual relationship with a transgender woman. In addition, Occidental Dissent dug up a 2012 blog on Cernovich's dating website, Danger & Play, about an alleged relationship with a transgender sex worker. Citing that blog, Occidental Dissent accused Cernovich of paying for sex with "lady boys" in other countries and then suggested that this is related to the fact that Cernovich has made tepid defenses for some gay white nationalists over the years.
As white nationalists within the self-described "alt-right" continue to use homophobia to gain clout during their movement's internal power struggles, it becomes clear that the majority of people in the movement believe both homosexual attraction and gender nonconformity to be social diseases corroding the proper "Western" order of society. Even if they have back-seated these views out of an opportunistic and pragmatic desire to attract younger, more gay-friendly members, the current line of fracturing shows the instability of this coalition and further illustrates the cruel and multidirectional bigotry that defines the movement's identity.
His comments about NFL players reveal just how divisive and narcissistic the president really is.
By Dave Zirin
Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Huntsville, Alabama, September 22, 2017.
It’s exhausting to have a president who gets angrier at outspoken black athletes than at Nazis. It’s exhausting how shameless he is about his bigotry and his toxicity. This is a president who never played football. He never served in the armed forces. He frets over what conclusions we draw from the size of his hands. His skin is thinner than the gossamer wings of a butterfly. He is the epitome of a bullying but frail brand of masculinity. He belongs in a psychological text book as a case study, not in the White House. Look at Trump’s comments—in their entirety—about the current state of the National Football League, from his speech at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s FIRED!” You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, “That guy disrespects our flag; he’s fired.” And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.
Then, the very week that the autopsy of 27-year-old former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez went public, which found he had stage-three CTE, Trump claimed that the game was too soft. He said:
Today if you hit too hard—15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television—his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.
This is Trump, the violent fantasist who dreams of a physical supremacy he never achieved, and has then spent his life expressing this insecurity and hostility through boardroom bullying and, of course, sexually predatory behavior. He has lived his life in thrall to toxic masculinity, but lacked the ability to prove this “manhood” on the football field, and then dodged the armed forces, never attempting to prove his “manhood” on the battlefield. He has chosen instead to spend a lifetime tearing down the people who have dared stand in his path, and the women who dared to say “no.” Call it irony, call it divine coincidence, but it’s stunning that the day Trump publicly yearns for the time when football fulfilled his vicarious desires of physical domination, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday scrapped a key part of government policy on campus sexual assault. It’s so on the nose, a screenwriter would reject the scenario.
But Trump’s speech wasn’t over. His radar, always firmly attuned to the worst impulses of his audience, turned his attention again back to black players who protest, and he said:
But do you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on the television and you see those players taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is, if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.
Some could argue that this is just a case of a divisive autocrat going after obvious targets of racial animus and of a base that doesn’t care if nuclear Armageddon looms, as long as they get their culture war—while Trump’s party gets its tax cuts for billionaires. But whether Trump realizes it or not, there is something else at play. These athletes are doing a lot more than sitting or kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem. They are offering up an alternative model for unity, justice, and even manhood. They are showing that what makes an adult is whom you can help, not whom you can cuss, and certainly not whom you can destroy for shameless and divisive political gain. Look at the work that’s been done by Michael Bennett, Colin Kaepernick, Malcolm Jenkins, the Charlottesville scholarships just funded by Chris Long… the list goes on and on of NFL players attempting to use their platform to highlight a different path for healing this country. The anthem protest is just a means to that end, an effort to highlight the gap between the promises that the flag represents and the lived experience of too many people in this country.
This is a model of politics—as well as manhood—that threatens Trump’s entire agenda of poisonous, divisive narcissism. Look at the outpouring of comments by NFL players following Trump’s remarks. None of them have sunk to his level. Instead, they share the tone of Seahawk Richard Sherman who said, “The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!” The cornerback, who is not even 30 years old, is showcasing more adulthood then the 70-year-old president. This is the new reality. And Sherman is absolutely correct. To be silent in the face of this destructive person is to condone his actions. That’s not an option. This president is a child bully, and bullies are emboldened by our silence.
In the words of critic Noah Berlatsky, “open Nazism is not very popular. But the idea that feminists, trans women, black women, need to be put in their place is very popular.” The thrust of Young’s argument is that all of us minorities bring it on ourselves, that if only we weren’t so loud or mean or pushy, we wouldn’t be making people sympathize with Nazis. Goodness, where have we heard that before? This isn’t an argument so much as it is proof that one is a moral invertebrate, squirming in pain from perceived insults and slights. A black woman said mean things, so maybe that guy who wants to kill the Jews has a point.
The hypersensitivity that reels from “trigger warnings” but thrills to Yiannopoulos’ joyful transphobia, that likens workplace diversity trainings to “gulags,” is what fuels the outrage culture about “outrage culture,” an insatiable rage that can never be sated by giving it what it says it wants. It will merely demand we make ourselves smaller and smaller until nothing of us remains. Reactionary outrage about “PC” is not a philosophy as much as it is a burning sun that demands our compliance as its nuclear fuel, consuming it endlessly until it can feed no more and goes nova.
There is, of course, a middle ground in dealing with actual left wing abuse and toxicity. It’s a line I’ve tried to walk. For instance, I co-facilitated a daylong workshop-conference at Smith College with the scholar and reproductive justice elder Loretta Ross entitled “Calling In the Calling Out Culture.” Her and I, two women of color from very different generations and activist backgrounds, came together to give Smith lessons about ethical activism — and drawing a line between passionate advocacy and abuse. For years, I’ve written about dealing with the excesses sometimes produced by the zeal in our movements, and the failings caused by activist language or turning insights into inflexible rules.
Yet I’ve been able to do this without sharing a stage with or otherwise abetting a Nazi. It all puts the lie to the idea that empowering men like Yiannopoulos or the petty hate movements spawned by 4chan is the price we have to pay to have an open and fair discussion on progressive excess. Yet again, people of color have led the way and had this discussion for years. We converse without all the hyperbole that attends the usual “PC gone mad” shtick, unironically parroted by people with unassailably lofty media platforms. A world where Bill O’Reilly escapes with a golden parachute is not a world where “PC” can “ruin lives,” I’m afraid.
The revelation in Bernstein’s report that so many liberals cozied up to Yiannopoulos is not shocking in this light, however. Fear of the “PC” phantom is in vogue even on the left, where rants against the malevolence of “identity politics” (meaning, any political discourse that doesn’t center white men) are a dime a dozen. Leftist scholar Angela Nagle blames it for the rise of the “alt right” in her book Kill All Normies, for instance.
It’s an existential terror that can seem like a bigger threat, in one’s mind, than actually-existing fascism. It’s why Jonathan Chait can write for days about those awful student activists “censoring” conservative views, but is utterly silent on right wingers stopping black academics from speaking in public, or using legislatures to strangle schools that teach or research things they are ideologically opposed to.
Such people, regardless of what values they claim to cherish, become enablers of the ugliest forms of reactionary politics — and it’s those enablers who are the key to its success, who look the other way, “play devil’s advocate,” who claim that there are “two sides” to issues that demand moral clarity. They are not, in any sense, Nazis. But Nazis find them useful.
Thus we were left with this grotesquerie: liberal men like David Auerbach passing gossip along to Yiannopoulos and whining to him about Wikipedia “censorship” (he has since issued several furious, if unconvincing denials), or a liberal journalist and TV producer like Dan Lyons yukking it up over transphobic jokes with Yiannopoulos, or Mitchell Sunderland, a writer/editor at Broadly, siccing the man on “this fat feminist.” While not mentioned directly, New York Magazine’s Washington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi also partook in email threads and tweets that egged Yiannopoulos on and fed him ideas; Sunderland publicly alluded to an email chain he and Nuzzi used to collaborate with Yiannopoulos.
They are not, in any sense, Nazis. But Nazis find them useful.
For her part, Nuzzi is also one of the only people caught up in this mess to try to justify herself. Bernstein publicly tweeted that Nuzzi had no part in the secret email list he reported on, but Nuzzi’s critics continue to point to numerous tweets where she expressed warm feelings for Yiannopoulos or pitched article ideas to him.
“I was friendly with Milo online before there was an alt right,” she tweeted, “when he was a silly troll. We never met or ‘collaborated.’”
Aside from the fact that I’d expect the Washington correspondent of New York Magazine to know “the alt right” has existed since long before 2016, the heyday of her friendship with him is when she — for instance — helped Yiannopoulos marshal rape threats towards feminist journalist Jessica Valenti. This was also a period where Yiannopoulos was posting Breitbart articles with half-naked photos of underaged trans women and trying to destroy the lives of GamerGate targets. Nuzzi hardly helps herself by implying this was all okay with her.
In this she merely paraphrases Cathy Young. In trying to defend David Auerbach from criticism, Young writes, “His last email to Yiannopoulos…was sent in early March 2016, several weeks before Yiannopoulos’s flirtation with far-right and neo-Nazi groups became public.” Evidently his behavior before March 2016 was all acceptable; omelettes, broken eggs, et cetera.
To both Nuzzi and Young, there were no real red flags, despite Yiannopoulos’ obvious malevolence and bigotry. In October 2015, when Nuzzi tweeted that she wished she was hanging out with the man, he’d just published, “Sorry, Girls! But The Smartest People In The World Are All Men,” libeled a critic of GamerGate as a paedophile (while posting underaged pictures of her), brought down harassment on a Houston Press reporter’s family, and spread the conspiratorial lie that Shaun King isn’t black. These attempts at ruining lives were, apparently, fine by Nuzzi. He was just “a silly troll” after all. Her ideas might’ve just inspired a racist article about Neil deGrasse Tyson, or led to a campaign to hound a trans woman into nearly killing herself; not, you know, Nazi stuff.
SJ: Trump has used Chicago as an example of a horrifically violent place that has a lot of guns. His response—which is an applause line at his ongoing campaign rallies—is to threaten to send in the military[**]. We see this from Trump regularly in response to the idea of gun violence but also from Democrats who run cities like St. Louis. The response to “regular” gun violence is to just arm the cops more, and the response to spectacular mass shootings is, “We need gun control.”
PB: It is a weird cognitive dissonance because people who are otherwise extremely intellectually sophisticated vis-à-vis things like the war on drugs or occupation-style policing will not . . . question who is going to be going door to door collecting the guns if we want to do an Australian-style buyback—which, of course, we would never do. But, if we do want to take away all the guns, what [would be] the mechanism?
I am not trying to bog us down in the policy, but do we actually think that the enforcement of that will not, in and of itself, [entail] the same horrible injustices and unnecessary violence that our other mechanisms of enforcement do? If we just say, “We are going to stop and frisk black people because they may have drugs,” a lot of liberals are like, “No, no, no.” But because it is guns, suddenly, we are like, “Okay. Do it. Go for it.”
SJ: We saw John Lewis, of all congresspeople, leading this sit-in on the floor of the House for including no fly list data in gun background checks.
PB: That basically means that if you are in any of several highly opaque, incredibly faulty, and constantly metastasizing government databases, you can’t fly and you can’t buy a gun. [I have profound respect for] John Lewis, but it is one of those points that I am like, “Is this the best we can hope for: ‘gun control’ that basically is just another vector for expanding the security state?” The job of leftists is to demand something other than that.
SJ: I was reading interviews with the people at the gun shop in Vegas where Stephen Paddock bought his guns from and they were like, “Yes, he passed the background check. He had never had any criminal offenses.” One of the most common predictors for this kind of gun violence is domestic violence. When we are talking about a warning sign like domestic violence—which is highly likely to be not reported to police in the first place—it would not show up on a background check of a lot of people. People are talking about background checks, background checks have got to be the thing. This guy passed them all.
PB: People doing shoe-leather reporting went to the local Starbucks where [Paddock and his girlfriend] got coffee, and the baristas [said], “Oh yeah, he is the guy who treated his partner like trash every morning.”
This goes to that point where gun violence—whether it be mass shootings or partner murder—is an organic continuum with other kinds of violence in society. . . . In spaces that are already saturated with violence [guns] precipitate or accelerate lethal outcomes. So, whatever our politics are going to be in terms of our responses to gun violence as a category, it has to be coherent [with] our consciousness of those other, broader kinds of violence—rather than just trading one kind of violence for another. It is not like police don’t have a problem with domestic violence in their homes.
SJ: One of the things you were watching on the day after the shooting in Las Vegas was, of course, the gun stocks going up.
PB: Arms, as an industry, thrives on people using arms. This is another thing that a lot of specifically white liberals should not view with contempt. When people feel unsafe, when there is the possibility of physical harm—and particularly when you can’t trust the authorities to vindicate your own desire for safety [or when] the authorities may be a source of threat—people make decisions that, from the perspective of those who are more secure, may seem foolish.
They may choose to arm themselves, . . . [and] I have a very hard time begrudging them for making that choice. Yes, the desire to be the person who pulls a gun on a mass shooter to save [themself] is [opposed to] reams of data that say, “That won’t work. You are more likely to get killed by cops.” But people are still in this hard spot where they have to make a choice—and so they buy guns.
There is a way in which the arms industry—which exists thanks in no small part to federal government subsidies—caters to that. But there is also a way in which simply focusing on the manufacturers [that] reap an outrageous profit or focusing on the NRA occludes the fact that people are buying their product regardless of the byzantine politics of lobbying or the subliminal messaging of ads; they are doing it because they feel unsafe. Unless we have a politics that can address those material and emotional conditions of unsafety, people are still going to be buying guns.
SJ: We don’t have a society that makes people feel safe and protected. Obviously, as we mentioned about domestic violence, I think it is worth noting that most of these mass shooters are men—but this points to the bigger, scarier social questions that we have to grapple with. We don’t have a bill we can pass through congress to abolish patriarchy.
PB: I read a lot of gun-centric publications, industry material, and scholarly lit. It is striking how super gendered it all is. It seems crude to say, [but] for a certain sector of the populace, guns are just their big penises.
You see an ad from Bushmaster just prior to the Sandy Hook shooting that was very literally like, “Get your man card back. Buy an AR-15.” If that were in a satirical novel, you couldn’t have a more on the nose “Hey men! Do you feel castrated? Here, buying this gun will remasculinize you.”
SJ: My favorite was the politician who had the bacon on the gun barrel.
PB: It was Ted Cruz! The image of Ted Cruz’s face eating steaming bacon off the barrel of a machine gun—the sizzling and the grease—it’s going to haunt me for the rest of my days.
We kick off with the comrades We pick locks with the comrades Split like Trots from the comrades Started disputing with comrades But hardly Marx & Bakunin or Kronstadt Party recruiting with comrades Armies are shooting at comrades Marching their troops into combat For caviar, cruises & cognac We come in a car fulla coup-starting comrades
First off, hashtag Black Lives Matter Pink, white & blue, that's the trans rights banner Think I'll mute that Thatcherite chatter Till the workers are first & the parasites latter A small hunch, we'll make their glass jaws shatter They're all cunts, all fronts in the class war matter From Anarcha-Feminists to Marxist-Leninists Unite to fight Altright White Supremacists MRAs sent away into banishment With the entire bourgeois establishment Light up a ten draw Disrupt capital like Christ in the Temple Christ, will they tremble Like the eventual crash of the system Capitalism is actually prison And properly shite, yo our comrades are tight And do not got the time for your property rights, bruv
We fundraise with the comrades We bun grade with the comrades Love Sundays with the comrades Bare organising with comrades Strapped to a chair forcing lies from a comrade Closed files on that no-style comrade Revisionist lyricists, show trial comrades Yo, we only know vile comrades No strikebreaking, go wild on scabs
Working Dead start the apocalypse With Marxist economics No pitiful, liberal Guardian columnists Who don't stand for nothing, 'cept having a giggle So I'm tagging a little Hammer n Sickle On the busstop - next to the Anarchy symbol Till you just stop - chatting actual drivel Cos we know it just isn't such And neoliberalism sucks And even though we're seeking dough The P we grow just isn't much So please oppose the frigid touch, of the Hand of the Market Five Year Plans, got Stalinist targets Bandits & Marxists have to regard this Destruction of the climate as Capital's target Saving the planet means saving our class, and Stop fascist dictators from raising a glass, and Comrades are still waiting, debating the past This procrastination's blatantly a pain in the ass, yo
We wage slaves with the comrades Seek paydays with the comrades Need AKs with the comrades Overthrew Tsars with the comrades You know it's true Most of you aren't even comrades Ideological sparring with comrades Might need some horrible, gnarlier comrades Each According To Their Need, with the comrades Propaganda By The Deed, with the comrades Peace
[Sample - Federica Montseny: Spanish Anarchist, Minister of Health during the Spanish Revolution. Translated] "Had we taken power, because we were the majority, it would have meant betraying a pact of common struggle we had, in a way, sealed with the blood of so many of our men from many different sides - Communists, Socialists, Syndicalists, and above all, Anarchists
"It would have meant betraying that pact, and doing in Catalonia what Lenin and Trotsky had done in the Soviet Union, with the takeover of power by the Bolsheviks. We didn't do it and we have been criticised many times for it
"With hindsight who knows, perhaps, PERHAPS, we should have done it."
In 2012, the popular atheist vlogger Thunderf00t (real name Phil Mason) aimed his sights at Watson in a video titled “Why ‘Feminism’ is poisoning Atheism,” thereby reigniting the previous year’s controversy. This time it took off, leading him to create several follow-up videos accusing women of destroying the paradise that was New Atheism for their own gain. In 2013, Mason inaugurated his “FEMINISM vs. FACTS” series of videos, which attacked Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist video game critic who was then receiving an onslaught of harassment and violent threats for daring to analyze Super Mario Bros. This sort of idiocy, combined, again, with the growing popularity of jibes associating outspoken atheists with fedoras, neckbeards, and virginity, led to an exodus of liberals and leftists from the “atheist” tent. Those who remained for the most part lacked in social skills and self-awareness, and the results were disastrous.
New Atheism and the Gamergate movement of 2014—which sicced vicious online mobs on female journalists and game designers based on spurious allegations of media corruption—overlapped in several ways. They were both male-dominated, the latter almost exclusively so, and they both festered on nerd-oriented internet forums. Both movements resented women and minorities who asserted themselves within those spaces, ostensibly because it provided an unimportant distraction from their respective goals of destroying religion and uncritically consuming entertainment products. The difference, though, was that Gamergate had no basis in reality. The central allegation of that controversy, that a developer slept with a Kotaku writer in order to secure a positive review of her game, was blatantly untrue. No such review existed, which posed a problem for anyone who viewed himself as the protagonist in a battle “vs. FEMINISM.” In order to continue this all-out war on feminists—the curious replacement creationists for a new decade that lacked for them—these New-New Atheists had to break with reality altogether.
The heirs to New Atheism may have a new target and a remodeled ethos, but their rhetorical crutches remain the same. They announce at every opportunity that they revere logic, evidence, and science, even if the opposite is plainly true. We saw this play out with James Damore, the engineer who was fired from Google after spreading a memo critiquing the company’s pro-diversity policies. Damore argued in his memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” that biological differences between men and women, not sexism, could account for the lack of gender parity in the tech industry. In the memo, he repeatedly used the favored buzzwords of atheist pedants. He wrote that he “strongly value[s] individualism and reason,” claimed that “the Left tends to deny science” and asked that Google “be open about the science of human nature.” The repetition of these sentiments failed to strengthen his case, which was made from gut feeling and justified retroactively with garbled logic and irrelevant studies. An investigation by Wired found that two of the researchers Damore cited disagreed with the conclusions he drew from their work, with one telling them that “It is unclear to me that this sex difference would play a role in success within the Google workplace (in particular, not being able to handle stresses of leadership in the workplace. That’s a huge stretch to me.)”
It became more evident that Damore was less interested in scientific truth than giving credibility to his prejudices when he immediately brought his grievances to the right-wing internet. Despite writing in the memo that “some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change),” he was willing to be interviewed by campus gadflies Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro, both of whom are climate change deniers. Damore’s choice of interviewers damaged his cause, but it revealed his motives.
Ben Shapiro, formerly of Breitbart and now editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, has made a project of adapting the pedantic rhetorical style of New Atheism to conservatism, an ideology that persists in constant tension with rational thought. His speeches and television appearances are a mainstay of “Feminist DESTROYED by Facts” YouTube, and they often accumulate millions of views. His orthodox Republican political positions are nearly identical to those of the nutjob theocrats New Atheists gleefully tore down during the Bush years—including that homosexuality is a choice, transgenderism is a mental illness, pornography should be illegal, and G-rated TV shows are corrupting our children. Even so, he frequently professes to love “science,” which is all his credulous fans require. Comically, given his religion-derived worldview, Shapiro’s current catchphrase is “facts don’t care about your feelings.”
James Damore’s first and most damning interview after being fired was with prolific writer and YouTube personality Stefan Molyneux, who represents the most extreme example of the misuse of militant atheist rhetoric. Molyneux is an enthusiastic Trump supporter, a frequent Alex Jones collaborator, and a fixture in the alt-right. Like Damore’s other acquaintances, he denies climate change exists, but he also subscribes to fraudulent race science, argues that mental illness is a Jewish conspiracy, and believes the Las Vegas mass shooting was the result of a nationwide war on children. Despite all this moonstruck gibberish, Molyneux writes and speaks in the New Atheist style, fashioning himself as a master of logic, reason, and evidence.
In a political cartoon by Ben Garrison, an ex-libertarian who now panders to the alt-right, Molyneux is drawn popping bubbles—labeled “Trump is a misogynist,” “Trump is stupid” and “my feelings”—using enormous needles tagged “logic,” “reason” and “evidence.” In another, Molyneux holds a golden shield emblazoned with “REASON EVIDENCE LOGIC” as Hillary Clinton fires arrows representing her various campaign slogans. In these portrayals, the evidence or reasoning in question is never revealed, and for good reason. The depicted slogan “Stronger Together” is unmemorable, sure, but what about it is inherently illogical? What evidence could conceivably “disprove” it? The concepts themselves, imbued with such inherent value that they may as well be magical incantations, are powerful enough to frighten attackers before an argument can ever take place.
Molyneux’s latest book, titled The Art of the Argument, is riddled with errors and displays a complete disregard for the conventions of formal logic. He provides incorrect explanations of intro-course concepts like syllogisms and inductive reasoning, but it makes no difference to the Infowars-addled target demographic. For the average Molyneux reader, who was almost certainly explaining Darwin to video game forums circa 2006, rhetoric is less a field of expertise than a trove of context-free buzzwords to throw out during online spats. Simply owning a copy of The Art of the Argument provides the amateur logician with enough confidence to unleash Molyneux’s signature retort, “not an argument!” To anyone with more than a cursory understanding of these concepts (or a familiarity with the Molyneux cult) an accusation that their retort fails to meet Molyneux’s jumbled, self-contradictory criteria for an “argument” is meaningless. To the conduit for Molyneux’s sophistry, its use is akin to a fatality move in Mortal Kombat.
End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles continues to insist that the recent massacre in Las Vegas was carried out a top secret death squad controlled by a secret world government that is “a gay/lesbian Nazi regime.”
Wiles said on his “TruNews” radio program on Thursday that the reason Jesus Campos, the Mandalay Bay security guard who first encountered the shooter, appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ show is because she is a lesbian.
“I stand by my claim that this country has death squads,” he said. “We have death squads in this country and it’s being run by a super secret agency, but there is participation at the state and local level.”
“We’re in a fascist Nazi police state,” Wiles added, warning that “there will be a day that they tell law enforcement [officers] to execute your children right in front of you and they will do it.”
“America has become a Nazi state. The deep state is a Nazi state,” Wiles said. “That is why Campos appeared on a daytime talk show hosted by a fast-talking, dancing comedienne, and, let me add, a lesbian, because this Nazi regime is a gay/lesbian Nazi regime, just like Nazis in Hitler’s day. Hitler was a bisexual, the top Nazi leaders of the Nazi party were homosexuals. The Nazi takeover of Germany was a militant homosexual fascist takeover; that is what is taking place in America today.”
There is a a particularly repulsive footnote to the explosion of public consciousness around sexual abuse and exploitation caused by the Weinstein revelations. Religious social conservatives have been hard at work arguing that Hollywood libertinism, liberal sexual mores and the sexual revolution itself are to blame for the behavior of the Weinsteins of the world. Bret Stephens’ much-lampooned New York Times op-ed hit the “Hollywood values” angle, while David French took on the full-throated promotion of Handmaid’s Tale theocracy this weekend in The National Review.
Let’s be very clear about something: conservative social mores aren’t about protecting women and never were. They’re about controlling women.
The sexual revolution gave women options: the birth control pill allowed women to control their reproductive destinies and have children at a time of their choosing, which in turn gave them economic independence and the ability not to become indentured servants to whatever man happened to have sex with them and father children with them. The revolution empowered women to make choices of sex partners based not on the approval of their parents or the economic necessities of marriage, but based on their own personality preferences and physical desires. The revolution also allowed women to compete in previously gender-exclusive industries and become primary economic providers for households. In later decades it also allowed gay and gender-non-conforming people to pick identities and partners entirely of their own choosing.
All of this terrifies conservative men. Conservative white men have long lived in a bubble where they were able to objectify women and use both physical and economic coercion to force more talented, more capable and more physically attractive partners to stay with them despite their own gross deficiencies.
A world where a woman had to marry the first man she had sex with, is a world where superior women could be saddled for the rest of the their lives with inferior men based on a single mistake. A world where women were trapped at home with children while men dallied outside it, was one where men could grope and fondle their secretaries in abusive relationships while women had far fewer opportunities for relief from their oppressive marriages and domestic prisons.
The problem with the term “toxic masculinity” is that it wants to pathologize a gender rather than acknowledge that it’s not testosterone at the root of this but rather an expectation that you are entitled to as much money and power as you can gather in your natural life. It’s not like women heads of state and executives are not increasingly displaying such narcissistic behavior under the guise of “self-empowerment.”
Blogger Mike Cernovich has no such misgivings about D.C. Holed up in the living room of his modest home in Orange County, California, on a Monday afternoon in December, he crossed his legs and laid out his immodest vision for taking over the capital.
A former lawyer, Cernovich began blogging about gender dynamics, among other topics, in 2004. A year earlier, he had been charged with raping a woman he knew, but the charge was dropped and a judge instead sentenced him to community service for battery. Ever since, Cernovich, now 39, has preached the gospel of masculinity, teaching readers how to become “a dominant man” through mindset adjustments and bodybuilding. He once tweeted “date rape does not exist” and advised readers, in a blog post about household finance, that “Hot girls are better to rent than buy.”
He advocates IQ-testing all immigrants and ending federal funding of universities, and describes himself as an economic nationalist primarily concerned with the welfare of average Americans. He has some economic ideas that veer toward the wonky—he said he would like median GDP to replace GDP growth as the lodestar of economic policy, for instance. As machines displace a greater share of labor, he is intrigued by the possibility of introducing a universal basic income, an idea supported by Martin Luther King Jr., conservative economist Milton Friedman and Bill Clinton’s labor secretary, Robert Reich. Cernovich is also an avid consumer and progenitor of conspiracy theories, such as his claim that there was more than one shooter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and that the government is covering this up to avoid panic.
Those predilections made him an early Trump supporter, and over the course of the election he shot to internet notoriety by his monomaniacal focus on Hillary Clinton’s allegedly failing health and his online feuds with Trump detractors. He has become huge in the world of pro-Trump Twitter, known as #MAGA Twitter, for Make America Great Again. In October, a Finnish publishing house specializing in science fiction and fantasy released his latest book, MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again.
His new plan is to take his brand of self-help from the home to the House by running the “Big Brother” of congressional bids, renting out a five-bedroom campaign pad, living in it with his staff and streaming the whole thing 24/7 on YouTube. There are other plans for the campaign—flash mobs, loyal readers with Go-Pros confronting and humiliating his opponents live on Periscope. “The savagery that I would bring to a campaign would be like nothing anyone had ever seen in a congressional election,” said Cernovich, the day before the birth of his first child, a girl.
That vision is contingent on Cernovich’s congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, vacating his seat to, say, join the Trump administration. If that does not happen, Cernovich still plans to recruit acolytes from across the country to deploy those tactics next year in primary challenges to establishment Republicans, a scheme he has dubbed #Revolution2018. If he can pick off just a handful of incumbents next year, Cernovich believes the entire Republican conference will come to fear, and heed, his movement. “That’s what you learn from—” he said, before catching himself. “I’m going to choose my words carefully, because I don’t want to call it ‘terrorism.’”
A blogger in Laguna Niguel, California, Mike Cernovich uses the label “new right” to describe himself. To refute those who lump him in with white nationalists, he points to his wife, Shauna, a secular Muslim of Persian descent. Their newborn daughter, Cyra (with Cernovich above), was named for the Persian emperor Cyrus.
For a man who until recently was best known for hawking his self-published books and intentionally offending people on the internet, these are grand designs. And Cernovich acknowledges they’ll require some maturation. To that end, Cernovich has condemned Richard Spencer and disassociated himself from the “alt-right” label, even though he believes the Nazi saluters at his conference were leftist plants sent to make the alt-right look bad. (Spencer himself, it should be noted, rejects this conspiracy theory, as well as Cernovich’s claim that the CIA may be propping him up. “He needs to calm down,” Spencer told me.) The hard-core alt-right, in response, has turned on Cernovich and begun calling him “Cuck-ovich,” a play on the movement’s dreaded “cuckservative” insult.
Cernovich now uses the label “new right” to describe himself. To refute those who lump him in with white nationalists, he pointed to his second wife, Shauna, a secular Muslim of Persian descent, who lounged behind us on a couch and jumped in and out of our conversation. (The non-European partner, for what it’s worth, has become a frequent defense among the more moderate alt-righters: Charles Johnson points to his Asian wife to counter charges of racism; Gavin McInnes points to his Native American wife; Yiannopoulos says he prefers to date black men.) Cernovich’s newborn daughter is named Cyra, after the Persian emperor Cyrus (a stocking with her name on it already hung over the fireplace). When a question arose about the birthplace of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ sidekick Paul Joseph Watson, Cernovich told his wife “Google it.” Then he backtracked. “Will you please Google it? I don’t just bark orders at you.” (“Northern Britain,” she chimed in later.)
Cernovich does not view himself as a “troll” per se, because he views trolling as amoral, but instead refers to himself as a “rhetorician”—a provocateur who doesn’t literally mean what he says. Whatever he calls it, the rhetoric clearly has real-world consequences. He was a chief pusher of the #pizzagate hashtag on Twitter, the wacky conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was part of a child sex trafficking ring being run out of the back of a Washington restaurant called Comet Ping Pong. The scandal began as a rumor on Twitter, jumped to message boards like 4Chan, was pushed by Cernovich and other much higher-profile agitators, and came to be taken quite seriously by some of the internet’s more impressionable users, including the North Carolina man who drove to Washington and fired shots with a real assault rifle at the real pizza joint in a misguided attempt to free the nonexistent sex slaves.
“Right now we’re going from the underdog to the overdog,” Cernovich said. “So I’m still fighting like the underdog. But when I say things, I need to be more careful.”
When we sat down in California, it was a day after the incident, and Cernovich conceded that he had learned some lessons from the fiasco. For example, although he does believe there is an active pedophile ring in Washington that needs to be investigated, he never believed it was based out of Comet. He also claimed he did not know “Pizzagate” implied that specifically. “Right now we’re going from the underdog to the overdog,” he said. “So I’m still fighting like the underdog. But when I say things, I need to be more careful. When I say things like ‘Pizzagate,’ I need to be more clear.”
In the midst of our discussion about Pizzagate, Cernovich’s phone rang, and when he picked it up, the voice on the other end belonged to Mike Flynn Jr., the son of Trump’s pick for national security adviser. Flynn Jr., who had a transition email address and at one point was up for a national security clearance as part of the presidential transition, was also a Pizzagate conpiracy theorist, explicitly endorsing the idea that Comet could plausibly be the center of a Clinton-connected child sex-trafficking operation. Taking the call from Flynn, Cernovich hurried out onto his back patio, shut the sliding door to the living room and paced around for several minutes out back.
The Flynns, father and son, are also big on #MAGA Twitter, and have become fans of Cernovich’s work there. The elder Flynn, who like his son regularly tweets out links to fake news stories, tweeted an endorsement of Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset book; he has also called Yiannopoulos “one of the most brave people that I’ve ever met.” Cernovich declined to comment on his relationship with the Flynns, or with almost anyone else. He said he avoids knowing the names of people he communicates with, and tries to forget their names if they tell him, in case he is ever subpoenaed. He consciously models his approach to media and politics on “fourth-generation warfare”—that is, insurgency and counterinsurgency, which includes the use of fluid, ad hoc alliances. “Chuck Johnson doesn’t tell me what to do. Milo doesn’t tell me what to do,” he said. “But we talk, and we’re loosely aligned.” He has become more inclined to believe in conspiracies, he told me, now that he is part of one himself.
The Ku Klux Klan protests on July 8, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The KKK is protesting the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, and calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments.
The 40,000-strong ‘support group’ was largely populated by men who appear to hate women and in some cases advocate rape
The 40,000-strong community was nominally a “support group” for people who lack romantic relationships and sex. “They are involuntarily celibate or ‘incel’.” However, popular posts from the last few months include ones titled “all women are sluts”; “proof that girls are nothing but trash that use men” and “reasons why women are the embodiment of evil”.
Members describe women as “femoids” and the men they have sex with as “chads”. There are many examples, documented on a watchdog subreddit called IncelTears, where incels have condoned or advocated rape, or described it as a made-up construct.
Last month a member asked for legal advice pretending to be a woman asking a “general question about how rapists get caught”. The poster asked how a woman who was drugged and raped by a random guy would start searching for their attacker.