NOTE: The following is a reader comment which I left on the Huffington Post in response to the linked article. I am sharing this here because it makes a point which sorely needs making.
Here is the link to the article in question:
And here is my reader comment:
Does Taylor Pittmann offer any evidence that the group in question is "MRAs"? I see none. I also looked at the Facebook page, and I cannot find the place where the group applies that label to itself.Taylor Pittman , in an afternote to her article, mentions that the targeted group might actually be a trolling project. But be that as it may, Pittman did originally write her article on the assumption that the thing was for real. Hence, it was an accurate snapshot of her normative state of mind.
So Taylor Pittman owes her readers an explanation, and a justification for her choice of nomenclature. Either that, or she should publish a self-critical retraction of her usage.
But more significantly, just what IS an "MRA", anyway? That's a question worth pondering, and I think we can extract an object lesson from this.
Taylor PIttman fails to disclose her political standpoint in this article. Is she feminist, or not? As a journalist, she ought to be forthcoming about that so as not to deceive, or presume upon, her readers.
Since Taylor Pittmann fails to do her duty here, I will take the matter in hand and declare that yes, Taylor Pittmann is a feminist. And if she doen't want to be labelled without permission, she ought to extend that courtesy to others in the future.
We all know by now that the word "MRA", in the feminist lexicon, is stuck indiscriminately to non-feminist people whom the speaker or writer wishes to stigmatize. It is a semantic-linguistic gimmick, and little more.
Yes, the term "MRA" is effectively meaningless because it is laid on with a broad tar brush, with sloppy imprecision. All the same, it is worth discussing how this word gets used, and why it gets used, and the political function which that usage serves.
The label has acquired odious connotations because it has been applied to odious things in the past. However, the label has also been applied to things which aren't necessarily odious. Feminists like Taylor Pittmann know this, and they know that if they stick the word "MRA" to anything at all, that thing (good, bad or indifferent) will bear a stigma by association.
That is the effect which Taylor Pittmann is trying to achieve in this trashy piece of gutter journalism. It lowers the author to the same level as a tabloid writer.
As I suggested earlier, a retraction of this article, and an apology to the reading public, would be a nice gesture on the part of Taylor Pittmann.
I would be happy to contribute an article or two to the Huffington Post, from a non-feminist perspective. The editors may contact me via Twitter. My account is @fidelbogen.
I may also be reached at the following e-mail:
The main reason Taylor Pittman composed this article is because she's a feminist. That is her normative state of mind. Her game is to slander non-feminist people by linking the word "MRA" to a group of odious weirdos, insinuating that whoever is critical of feminism (or supportive of male human rights) is in the same league with the "creepy" people she's writing about. The only reason Taylor Pittman took ANY notice of those "hymen/diamond" people whatsoever, was because she was avid to stick the word "MRA" to them. That was her sole motivation. If not for that, she'd have had zero interest in writing about those people.