Edit 18 Dec 2009: I’ve seen this referred to in quite a few places round the ‘sphere as “Antifeminist Troll Bingo”. It’s not called that here, and was never called that here, because that isn’t my sole or primary intention.
Many of these statements are made not by people just stirring crap in the hope of provoking a reaction; they’re made by people who earnestly believe what they’re saying, or by people who are parroting what they’ve been socialised to believe, or by people who are knee-jerk defensive when they come across ideas of cismale privilege. Some of them may never be said in good faith, but some may; part of the point of this card, though not the whole point, is to highlight a few patterns of behaviour. These patterns occur in all sorts of contexts, not purely in trolling contexts.
Calling it “Troll Bingo” completely removes any hope of allies examining their own residual issues. I can’t control you if you do choose to call it that, but I can ask you not to. Thanks.
Update: Antifeminist Bingo II is here!
I’ve been working on an Antifeminist-Bingo! card. It was actually pretty difficult to narrow it down to 25 cells; there are plenty more I could have added, and you’re invited to add your own in the comments.
If you find yourself getting frustrated in a feminist conversation with someone who seems to just Not Get It, have a peek through the card. Odds are your antagonist will have used 3, 4, 5 or more of these somewhere along the line.
If you’re a man trying not to be an arsehole in feminist conversations, but you seem to find yourself floundering and can’t figure out why, you might like to scrutinise your comments critically to see if some of these messages are inadvertently coming across.
|But I like my women feminine.||Feminists have got it all wrong. I’m an equalist.||Women are just naturally better at that sort of thing.||It’s your job to teach me about feminism. Now do it.||Patriarchy hurts men too.|
|You just don’t like sex, so you want to spoil it for everyone else.||Sexual assault is rare. You’re just paranoid.||She gave it away plenty of times before.||We gave you the vote, now shut up.||If you want to be treated like a lady, you’d better start acting like one.|
|Women just can’t be objective about gender issues.||You’ll never get laid with that attitude.||Can’t you take a joke?||You give feminists a bad name.||I’m just an old-fashioned gentleman.|
|You’re so sexy when you’re angry.||Is it that time of the month?||You’ve just got a victim mentality.||All you feminists need is a good deep-dicking.||You’re being silly and overemotional.|
|Women have all the power over men- you can reduce us to an uncontrollable jelly of lust!||You feminists all hate men!||I’m a nice guy(tm), why don’t I get any?||I’ll tell you what’s wrong with feminism…||But I want to talk about this. Listen to me!|
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The conversation started around the soi-disant “Nice Guys” label. There are a number of men who argue something along the lines of:
- Women say they prefer nice guys, not arseholes.
- I’m a nice guy, I’m just shy and awkward.
- But I’m not getting sex.
- And I deserve sex, cos I’m nice.
- Therefore, women are lying.
Hilarity ensued, and eventually “Hugh Ristik” came up with this gem about how feminists are getting it wrong:
“While feminism has done some work encouraging women to be more sexually assertive, it has done a lot more work encouraging men to be sexually passive. What outreach have feminists done to encourage female sexual assertiveness that are on the scale, of say”¦ date rape seminars that are institutionalized in many high schools and colleges?”
After you pick up your jaw at the equation of teaching men not to be sexual criminals and teaching women to be sexually available, have a peek at the card. Ristik seems to be an Antifeminist-Bingo! bottom-dweller of the Entitlement Variety.
Working backwards on the card, firstly Ristik steers the conversation to his pet fabricated agenda, the forced sexual “passivity” of teen boys resulting from those emasculating feminists who have taken away “sexual assertiveness” (rape) as a societally accepted option.
Next up, he starts telling us what’s wrong with feminism today. Mostly, we don’t pay anywhere near enough attention to his pet topic, Nice Guys(tm) not getting enough sex. Apparently, we should be all his slut-mommies, and it’s our job to get him and his shy compatriots laid, because that’s their entitlement as men.
Oh, and we hate men. We got that. “Don’t rape women” isn’t softened and qualified nearly enough; it results in men feeling “paralysed”, their masculinity whipped out from under them, and along with it, their agency. Ristik elaborates:
“It’s different because this attitude, of obsessive and paralyzing worry about “pressuring” women is a product of feminism. If feminists don’t intend their messages to men to have this impact, then that’s comforting, but it doesn’t change the fact that feminist messages do have this impact, and feminists don’t qualify their messages in a way to not paralyze men (not all, or even most men, but especially shy men). Feminists cannot wash their hands of this by claiming ignorance of this paralyzing impact on some men, because men have been telling feminists this for decades and feminists haven’t been listening. At best, this is gross negligence.”
Once again, we’re doing feminism all wrong, we need men to tell us how to fix it, and don’t we realise we have all the power now? If men can’t rape, they’re trapped. Enfeebled.
Later in the thread:
“Date rape seminars, while necessary, also have the side-effect of encouraging men to be more passive. I’m saying that if men are going to become more passive, then we need women to become more proactive to pick up the slack, otherwise everyone will become too passive!”
Awooga! Awooga! No rape = no-one’s getting any sex! Emergency! Emergency!
It’s like a master-class in male sexual entitlement.
Addendum: several people at Pandagon have complained that “Patriarchy hurts men, too” shouldn’t be on the card, because it’s a true statement. Mickle and tigtog have addressed the subject succintly, so I’ll quote from them.
“Please remember that this is BINGO people!
The point is to get 5 in a row, not just 1.
There are several boxes that, in certain situations and without any other additions from our lovely board, would not immediately indicate an anti-feminist is present. Interestingly enough, many of them, unlike the oh, so controversial inclusion of “patriarchy hurts men too!”, have nothing to do with men.”
“As for this card: remember that the whole anti-feminist bingo idea is in response to trolls being arseholes, and trotting out “But Patriarchy Hurts Men Too” as a trump card which is so Much More Important than whatever the feminists were previously talking about.
Pandagon and quite a few other feminist blogs have a pretty good record of putting up posts which discuss the way that Patriarchy screws up men too. That concept is a central idea in feminist theory, and is referenced often.
So surely, anyone who raises “but it hurts men too” on posts discussing specific women’s experiences is being off-topic and disrupting the discourse. Unless they’re also displaying some of the other telltales on the bingo card they may not be anti-feminist trolls, but it’s one box well worth ticking.”
Edited again to add : I just spotted this “White Liberal Bingo” card at “i_dreamed_i_was”‘s LJ. Featuring entries such as “White people have ethnicities, too! *pout*”, “POC can’t exactly claim cultural appropriation while using the “white man’s computer”, and “Talking about racism is so divisive”, it’s worth a look.
And don’t miss “Sexual Assault Bingo” by Midnight Louise, as reference on Feministe. Includes: “It was just stupid groping! It’s not like he was actually…”, “Is this really worth ruining a man’s future?” and “Am I supposed to believe you went into his room and shut the door behind you and you didn’t expect – “