To use the internet in 2017, you need to have some level of familiarity with the tropes and signposts of the type of trolling that comes from the alt-right movement and various flavors. But most normal humans, rightfully, run the fuck away as soon as they see a Pepe. This guide is for you (presumably, a normal human).
Some of these terms are not totally specific to the alt-right, but come from the soupy mix of 4chan, Reddit, men’s rights activists, Gamergaters, pickup artists, and white supremacist and Nazi sites that eventually gave birth to the alt-right. Imagine all these things as different bubbles in a Venn diagram with the alt-right in the middle.
This guide aims to help explain some of those weird images and words you may have seen popping up in comments sections or on social media.
During his freshman year at UCLA, Jrue Holiday went to watch a women’s basketball game. While he was approaching his seat in the stands, a young fan stopped him to ask whether he was Darren Collison and whether she could get his autograph.
He explained that he wasn’t Collison and went to take his seat when a woman behind him said with a smile, “Don’t worry, you’re cuter than Darren is.”
That woman was Lauren Cheney, whom you now know as Lauren Holiday. Star midfielder on the U.S women’s soccer team, former UCLA standout and clearly a master pickup artist.
When I was a teen, growing up in a small town in 1980s Mississippi, there were only 2 options as far as I knew: Either you were gay or your were straight. Because I was exceedingly liberal for the time and place (though probably less liberal than I am now) and because I wanted desperately to leave Mississippi, I spent a lot of time learning as much as I could about the outside world. I spent hours at the library my high school shared with the local university reading the Village Voice and dreaming of going in New York City. Because of this, and because I was a huge fan of Erasure, I figured out that there was nothing wrong with being gay. Which was good, because I knew I wasn’t straight. I couldn’t be: I liked looking at pretty guys too much, and I got crushes on my male friends.
On the other hand, I also knew that I liked looking at pretty girls too, and I regularly developed crushes on my female friends. So I lay awake at night, my thoughts spinning in my head “I like boys, so I can’t be straight. But I like girls, so I can’t be gay. But I like boys…” Repeat ad nauseum.
Fast forward to the early 90s. I was going to college in New Orleans. This exposed me to much more of the world than I would have seen had I remained in Mississippi. But it didn’t bring me any closer to figuring things out until my second semester, when there was a rash of people in the dorm coming out as bisexual. Aha! A lightbulb went on in my head. THIS must be what I was. I could like both boys and girls! But something still didn’t feel right. Though I made out with people and liked it, I passed up chances to have sex with people of both genders. Finally one of my female friends basically harassed me into sleeping with her (at the time I didn’t recognize date rape for what it was - the early 90s were a much less aware time, at least for me). And when I met the woman who later became my wife, she was the one who made the first move sexually, as well as the second and third moves and most of the others.
Fast forward again, last 2015. My wife and I are still together and have had 2 kids. But no one looking at our sex life would ever mistake it for a “normal” sex life (to the extent that there is such a thing). But I still feel that something’s not right. I’m not unhappy, but at the same time, my main feeling about sex is a resounding “meh.” I research various fetishes and relationship styles on the internet, but nothing really feels right - some seem like they might be a lot of fun, but the whole idea just collapses for me once genitals get involved. When I watch a TV show about pickup artists, and besides being repulsed at all the dishonesty involved, my thought is “That seems like an awful lot of work for sex.”
Then one day I stumbled on a page about the difference between romantic orientation and sexual orientation. And then I learn about asexuality. And finally, after all this time, I figured it out. I’m panromantic and asexual. All of a sudden so many things from my past made sense. SO MANY THINGS! And while I’m very glad that I understand it now, I’m also rather frustrated at the time lost because I didn’t have this knowledge years and years before. I could have been spared so much mental anguish and so many sleepless nights if I had known.
Which brings us to why I think awareness is important: Because kids aren’t going to be straight just because they don’t know about the alternatives. They’ll still be whatever they are; they’ll just feel confused and agitated and WRONG because they don’t fit in to the alternatives that they’ve been told about.
Personally, I think it would have been better to have just ignored these chucklefucks, let them have their dumb little No Girls Allowed Club meeting (they were going to use a code phrase to identity each other! That’s adorable!), and go on with our lives. Stone cold silence speaks to the utter irrelevance of their views more than anger ever could, because anger is still an acknowledgment that their opinions are, on some level, worthy of engagement. It’s the difference between ignoring a child’s demand for “all the world’s candy” and explaining the economic impossibility of the request. You’re suggesting there’s a debate to be had, and that if they try hard enough they can make you see the light.
On the other hand, I make the same argument for silence over confrontation when the pizza guy delivers the wrong order, because I’m shy and don’t want to antagonize the Bringer of Pepperoni. And the last thing I want to do is mansplain the appropriate reaction to a hate group that targets women. You might argue that it’s better to rattle the heavens themselves with criticism, to broadcast their countless flaws from every outlet so impressionable young men aren’t misled by Roosh’s douche call. I can get behind that. But let’s look at how we do it.
Field Guide to MRAs: Level 5, The Straw Misogynist
“Shut up and suck my dick, bitch.” “Women want to
be dominated.” Etc. Legitimately just hate women, think they
are objects that owe them sex, or both, and are not afraid to say so.
Freely use explicit and violent language towards women. This often
overlaps with the pickup “artist” culture. Original flavor
Tactics: These are either extremely angry people whose preferred
target is any woman in sight, extremely smug people who are proud of
speaking the “truth” (read: random slurs and stereotypes) to the
politically correct whiny liberals, or some combination of the two.
The angry people are just plain angry, but the anti-political
correctness people are under the delusion that everyone else feels
the same as them, they must, they can’t actually respect other
human beings, and if they, the
politically incorrect messiah, just use that slur a little
louder, everyone will finally
stop pretending. Nothing will convince them otherwise. This
type in general cannot be reasoned with, but they are a
powerful tool of demonstration. They can be very effectively used to
embarrass less extreme MRAs who have aligned with them (these people
are prone to random outbursts of anger, which doesn’t jive well with
the rational people of levels
4 and 4.5) as well as to effectively illustrate to level 1 MRAs,
Golden Mean Fallacy people, and the general public that these people
still exist and that there is, in fact, a problem (surprise
surprise). Martin Luther King Jr. used a similar strategy in the
Civil Rights Movement, purposefully provoking violent southern
racists in an attempt to horrify the more passively racist north and
force them into action. It works. Level 5s are also often a good
barometer of what reactionaries and the far right are feeling and
where they’re headed, like a canary in a coal mine. See the
relation of Gamergate to the election of Donald Trump.
Another exclusively male type, for obvious reasons. These guys will
often also openly say explicitly racist and/or homophobic things,
align themselves with white supremacists Neo-Nazis, or like Ayn
Aid: This type is fond of words like “cuck” “dark
enlightenment” “virtue signaling” “manosphere” etc. Can be found on returnofkings.com, among other websites.
The New Hampshire state Legislature is deciding whether to discipline one of its members for his role in setting up a misogynistic online forum.
Two-term Republican Rep. Robert Fisher, 31, was identified last month by The Daily Beast as the creator of the Reddit community The Red Pill, which champions so-called “pickup artists” and blames feminism for societal woes. (The forum takes its name from a scene in the 1999 film The Matrix in which Keanu Reeves’ character, Neo, is offered a choice between a red pill, which represents reality, and a blue pill, which represents illusion.)
Testifying before a state House committee Tuesday, Fisher argued that his online statements revealed by the Daily Beast investigation — including comments deriding women’s intelligence, detailing ways for men to dodge rape accusations and questioning whether rape itself was wholly bad — have been misreported and misconstrued.