#2. They Have No Sense of Consequence
The entire Men's Rights Movement is so narcissistic it makes Donald Trump look like this guy Tom I know who's super nice to everyone all the time but doesn't get any recognition because generosity doesn't make you famous. For example, while they admit that beating a woman is a bad idea, all the reasons they list are "you'll totally get in trouble" and "other women won't like it." But at the same time, on the same forum, you can find someone saying that some women deserve to die because they are "hypergamous sluts." Notice how that description is internally contradictory enough to cover every woman ever: saying someone is a "hypergamous slut" is like saying they are "elderly infants" or "freezing hot" or "a tasty light beer" or holy shit you can't be "slutty" and "too selective" at the same time that makes no fucking sense.
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And stop making up words, you're not writing The Wheel of Time here.
"They complain about manipulation, but how many men have told women they love them just to get in their pants? Men and women do that. God, there is so much shit on this site," Meeink told me, apparently getting pretty exasperated at me for making him read so much Reddit (sorry, Frank). But the amazing thing is that when men's rights activists compare domestic abuse to manipulation, they're comparing a fucking tragedy to something that is, essentially, a rite of passage. Obviously there's nothing remotely "OK" about playing emotional games with your significant other, but at the same time, I'm pretty sure every single person reading this has at some point been in a relationship that featured at least some emotional abuse, especially as a teenager, because everyone is emotionally abusive as a teenager.
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It's the only way they know how to be.
Going through that is part of what makes you appreciate a good relationship, once you find one. That's how hate groups work: They manufacture some injustice they've suffered and then repeat the ideas with made-up words like "incel" ("involuntary celibate." That's not a joke) to suppress their own rational thought and replace it with groupthink -- another common trait for hate groups.
#1. They Don't Have a Real Position (and They Don't Care)
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So you may not realize this, but it turns out that when I accuse the men's rights movement of being a hate group, I'm actually being kinda controversial. Which is why I asked Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology and author of Angry White Men, what he thought.
"I know that Southern Poverty Law Center labeled MRAs hate groups," he says, "I don't know that I would. I see the men's rights world as many enraged individuals, coalescing loosely in the 'manosphere' on the Web, with little or no organizational structure, coherent policy initiatives, or plans ... But that's only because my definition of 'hate groups' requires concerted action, and the viciousness of many of their cyberattacks against feminist women make me think that those women who have been targeted might have a different story to tell."
Again, you can be sure this guy knows what he's talking about because he has a Ph.D., a sensible Japanese car and probably, like, drinks almond milk (I don't know how adults live). And that "concerted action" requirement is a good point: Other hate groups hold protests and have rallies, while the men's rights movement seems to limit itself to Internet rants and blatantly made-up stories, right?
It's difficult to find this intimidating.
Yes ... for now. But that may change: The "incel" community (which Elliot Rodgers belonged to) still exists mainly online, but they're not exactly shy about using violent language and making plans. They're openly arguing for the destruction of modern society and even talk about "going Elliot." As in, killing people.
I'm not saying that every MRA is on the verge of killing people or even a bad person, because I'm kind of a doofy idealist and I think "bad people" are way more rare than that. But I do think anger is a dangerous emotion. And I know that if you spend all day on the internet trying to make that anger feel justified and righteous, something important inside you will start to rot away.