Sunday, March 29, 2015

Internet misandry

As promised, here is a sampling of (mostly) ironic internet misandry inspired by our discussions of lesbian separatism last week.

Here are some of my favorites from The Toast, the crown jewel of internet misandry: 

Lullabies: (also all of the sequels because they are golden) 

Art history:

The Animal Kingdom:


Jezebel's misandrist gift guide (!!):

I was also surprised to see that the phenomenon had spread beyond the feminist blogosphere and to Buzzfeed of all places...

Even the quiz section:

And here are some think-pieces on the phenomenon: 


"But ironic misandry is more than just a sarcastic retort to the haters; it’s an in-joke that like-minded feminists tell even when their critics aren’t looking, as a way to build solidarity within the group.... The feminism they grew up with was the feminism of snarky blog posts, and this is a natural extension of that....I’m still grateful to have ironic misandry in my arsenal of tools for dealing with being a woman in the world. Some sexist provocations are too tiresome to counter with a full-throated feminist argument. Sometimes, all you need is a GIF.

Sarah Begley of TIME is not a fan:

"Feminism is still very much engaged in the battle for hearts and minds; appealing to the sense of humor of a very small minority of the population can be a good way to alienate the rest. That’s not to say that feminists should water down their true demands and complaints to appeal to broader swaths of the population. Nevertheless, to get folks on your side, you need an an appealing message. Humor can help. But ironic misandry is just bad PR."

And of course, any MRA ("Men's Rights Activism") website of forum has plenty to say about this (hello, Reddit), but I refuse to give them any more traffic than they already have by linking here... 

So what do you think? Innocently hilarious? A clever way to parody contemporary misconceptions of feminism? Counterproductive? Bad PR? A cathartic survival strategy for avoiding activist burnout? An ironic "Third Wave" reclamation of 1970s lesbian radicalism?? 

1 comment:

  1. I definitely found this strange when I first encountered it, but it's something I've kind of gotten used to. My impression has always been somewhere between the "cathartic" and "clever parody" lines. It's seemed like a way to fire back at people who are convinced that feminist = man-hater by entirely embracing the label. And all the creative energy that goes into "misandrist" materials/ jokes seems like a great stress outlet.

    I'd like to present something that I believe is related. It's video game related (as are most things I post, I suppose).

    There's an interview with the woman who made it here:

    The basic idea I understood is that some people interpret the (very slow) progress the games industry is making towards being more inclusive of people who aren't young white men as sudden feminist control of video games. To parody this, a shirt was created for announcing membership in Gaming's Feminist Illuminati, which controls all video games everywhere.

    I'm sorry if this seems unrelated. I've wanted to bring this up for a while and figured it would amuse/interest members of the class. I can recommend the shirt, it's comfy.