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2017 Mix-up meetup

This year's mix-up meetup will be the weekend of September 23-24.

At last year's meetup, we visited the Wright Patterson Air Force museum in the morning, and then after it closed, adjourned to a local retro-games arcade for pizza, snacks, and drinks. I was able to host people who needed a place to crash afterward, but don't have the same situation this year.

This year we will be reserving a party room at the same retro-games arcade, and some cabins at a local campground. This will cover the night of the 23rd. On Sunday, the 24th there will be a trip to the Ohio Renaissance Faire.

Needless to say, three of those things will involve expenses and there will be a fundraiser to cover them. This will determine how much food & drinks and accompanying tokens are prepaid at the arcade, how many campers-worth of cabins will be rented, and how many advance-purchase tickets to the Ren will be bought.

Aside from that, everywhere we are going is open to the public. Anyone who only wants to participate in part of the weekend's events can visit the museum with us, buy Ren tickets & visit the Faire with us, or go to the arcade with us and buy their own food and tokens... but space at the cabins will be limited, with fundraiser donors getting priority.

I will update as soon as there is more information, except that the name of the arcade and the name of the campground will not be announced until closer to the event, for the usual reasons.

Transcript for my video "What is feminism (a response to @antifempraxis)"

The video:

In his video, at anti-fem praxis, Nick Reading asked 3 questions and challenged 3 youtubers to each answer one of them.
Those questions are:

  • What is feminism
  • Where to nonfeminist people stand
  • What is to be done

The about page of the Anti-feminist Praxis website (linked to in the lowbar of that video,) asks that question of its readers.
Having read it, I've decided to share my answers, each in its own video. This first video answers the question, "What is feminism?"
Feminism is a political movement designed to capitalize on society's naturally gynocentric outlook by gendering human rights issues to exclude men from consideration as human beings, and women from any related obligation or accountability should they violate another person's human rights.

To achieve this, the movement portrays women (and only women) as victims of everything, including the direct consequences of their own choices. Their written ideology blames this manufactured victimhood on men as a group and as individuals, treating them in social, legal, and psychological terms as both all-powerful, all-comprehending gods, and as devils who are responsible for all of the world's evil. This supports their promotion of the view that female experiences and interests are uniquely relevant, meaningful, and impacting, women and girls are uniquely deserving of relief or protection from discriminatory law and policy, and men and boys are uniquely guilty of being the cause behind any grievance feminists name as a women's issue and therefore accountable for providing relief.

This is fleshed out via some of the movement's ideological concepts, such as Patriarchy.

While different feminists will articulate the concept differently, the various descriptions all have in common a reliance on the belief in a social structure comprised of legal and social environments and practices created by and geared toward accomodating men, which by that very nature oppress women. Essentially, it is a term created by the second wave to expand the concept of male chauvanism from an individual behavior to a chronic, society-wide issue.

Belief in Patriarchy theory relies heavily on circular reasoning which uses the aforementioned gendered view of human rights issues as evidence that women are oppressed, and the claim that women are oppressed to justify gendering one's view of human rights issues.

The feminist movement itself is divided between its establishment, (or its archetects, leadership and organizations,) and its grassroots.

Among both of these sets, the movement can be further divided into activists, academics, media, grunts and warm bodies.

Activists include legislative lobbyists or leaders who direct grassroots campaigns to influence legislators... policy lobbyiests, or leaders who direct grassroots campaigns to influence policy, and propagandists... or leaders who direct grassroots campaigns to influence public perception and attitudes.

Academics include the composers of feminist theory, feminists working in research fields who produce statistics and conclusions to back that theory, administrators in educational institutions who ensure that feminist theory is part of the institution's curriculum, feminists working in education to train students in that theory, and students who absorb feminist theory as part of their studies such that it affects their interaction with others in society.

Media involves broadcasting and publishing - this would be anything from television and movies to news publications to radio to podcasts and blogs.

Grunts are the movement's working grassroots - feminists who don't necessarily have individual power and influence but by following the directives of various leadership, assist in achieving their goals. These are the foot-soldiers in feminist grassroots campaigns,  the students who fill the seats of interdisciplinary studies classes, the distributors of feminist propaganda to their peers in society, and very often the providers of anecdotal evidence feminist activists, academics, and media use to support and perpetuate their beliefs.

Warm bodies are the part of the movement's grassroots who do nothing but wear the label and talk about how great it is. They're useful to the movement in three ways: They spread its propaganda without question, they increase its apparent size, and they provide a loyal but mindless shield against criticism of the movement's malicious acts against men and boys. In other words, these are the movement's useful idiots.

Feminist activists use a gendered approach to human rights issues to push for law and/or policy ostensibly to remedy a social or legal infringement against a human right, written in such a way as to reserve its benefits and protections for only or mostly women and girls, and so that any obligations or restrictions laid out in it only or mostly apply to men. These laws and policies often include funding which benefits the feminist movement through job creation and payment to feminist-run organizations.

Feminist academia and feminist media are used to support this activism by producing and selectively presenting information to support the activists' portrayal of issues and environments in a way that supports the anti-male discriminatory legislative and policy changes they seek.  In some cases, feminists have even lobbied for law which funds research done in facilities that only serve women and then used that research to promote the narrative that the issue in question only or nearly only affects women. Grunts and warm bodies are used to widen the dispensation of related propaganda, and defend against criticism of its content. Their function in the cycle is to make challenging the narrative socially unacceptible.

One example of this is the feminist approach to family and sexual violence.
Despite compelling evidence that these types of violence are a genderless issue, the feminist establishment spent decades getting gendered intimate partner and sexual violence law passed in the United States.

Feminist leadership latched onto the stereotype of the drunken, wife-beating husband and longsuffering, innocently victimized wife, and the existing perception of sexual violence as only a male-perpetrated crime against female victims.

They expanded that type of domestic violence, a minority among cases, and promoted it as the predominant type of case.

They began to push the envelope on sexual violence from an intentional crime of contravening unwilling victim's refusal toward a crime defined by how the female in the interaction felt about it after the fact.

Feminist academia tailored survey-based research designed around existing feminist theory to inflate statistics on male violence against female partners, while ignoring evidence of female violence against male partners.

This research was particularly designed to inflate the apparent incidence of sexual violence by defining instances in which, in the researchers' opinions, the woman should have felt victimized, as sexual violence... a stipulation which treats the intent of the alleged perpetrator and the actions of the alleged victim, including active and willing participation in the sex act, as irrelevant.

Feminist media used the combination of feminist theory and the data, and conclusions from that biased research to promote their "epidemic of male violence against women" narrative.

Feminism's grassroots picked up on that narrative and spread it far and wide. Belief in the supposed epidemic was established, preparing society and legislators for a call for action.

Feminist media increased public pressure by promoting that narrative, along with the data and conclusions from that biased research, and feminist leadership and organizations lobbied for gendered federal law using those media reports. The grassroots was rallied to pressure legislators to comply.
During this time, a genderless federal law was passed that provided funding for shelters where victims of family violence could flee their home environments. The Family Violence Prevention and Services act of 1984 strengthened law enforcement's approach to intimate partner and sexual violence by establishing that the victim being a member of one's household or in a relationship with the perpetrator does not excuse any violent crime. Feminists, not satisfied with it, continued applying pressure until it was replaced with the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

The Violence Against Women Act gendered everything in the Family Violence Prevention and Services act, including the label for the shelters. They were no longer family violence shelters, but women's shelters.

The law also funded training for officers, prosecutors and court personnel to view intimate partner and sexual violence as a an area of crime that is specifically male perpetrated agaisnt female victims, and to interpret all evidence in intimate partner and sexual violence through a filter of feminist ideology.

It funded the creation of special units specifically to focus on the requests of female accusers.
It funded the development of communication and tracking systems around the concept of addressing only violence against women.
It funded the provision of additional crime victim's services, over and above that which is available to the general public, for only women.
It funded agenda-based research intended to quote increase the understanding and control of violence against specifically women.

These grants fund research done at facilities which only serve women, and the data is used to portray intimate partner and sexual violence as a male perpetrated and perpetuated, female experienced issue. The data and conclusions from this research are used to pressure legislators to keep law addressing intimate partner and sexual violence gender discriminatory.

Each of the areas I just mentioned that are funded by grants from the Violence Against Women Act is a fountain of jobs for graduates with an interdisciplinary studies focus or expertise.

Establishment Feminists - the movement's leadership and organizations - use the data and conclusions that come from them, along with that Patriarchy-theory-based filter through which female experiences are seen as more relevant, meaningful, and impacting and all culpability is transferred to men and boys, to perpetuate the public narrative and continue to shape public opinion for the purpose of supporting that pressure.

The movement's grassroots picks their propaganda up and spreads it far and wide, and again, the warm bodies shield it by perpetuating the social unacceptability of questioning that narrative.

So feminism, in a nutshell, is the politically targeted financial exploitation of society's tendency to favor and protect women. In other words, it is a giant scam.

*  *  *

I put my research on feminist activism into blog posts, articles and other videos. In lieu of listing all of those sources, here are the work I did using them (all with sources cited.)










Feminist/MRM conflict is rooted in feminist ideology and activism (originally from mensrights.ca)

This is an addition to the conversation started by the post, The Men’s Rights Movement versus the Feminist Movement… Necessary conflict?

One commenter asked, “Why does there have to be a conflict?”

I left a reply, but the topic is something that really can’t be condensed into a simple comment.
The short part of the answer is that many of the discriminatory conditions men face can be traced back to causes rooted in feminist activism.

It really starts with what’s behind the sense of entitlement that is inherent to feminism.

Feminists fail to differentiate between having a fundamental need, and having a fundamental right.

The pursuit of conditions or factors to meet fundamental needs (eg., putting forth effort to obtain food and shelter) is a human right.

The receipt of conditions or factors to meet fundamental needs (eg., having food and shelter provided at the expense of others) is not a fundamental right, but an act of charity on the part of the provider (as long as it’s voluntary – otherwise, it’s theft by the recipient, even when those things are needed.)
With this misapplication of the word “right,” feminists treat the condition of being given possession or position as if it were the same as the condition of having one’s pursuit not being wrongfully obstructed. This is related to the positions of equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity. In the equality of outcome scenario mentioned in the article above, feminists are expecting women to be given wealth/positions that were not obtained in order to achieve equalization. In the equality of opportunity scenario, the focus is simply on removal of barriers so that the effort put in by every individual results in similar achievements.

Another problem which has a side effect upon this is that feminist advocates fail to differentiate between fundamental needs, and dearly valued/wanted conveniences.

Food and shelter are fundamental needs.

Yummy food and nice shelter are dearly valued/wanted conveniences.

Feminists go beyond claiming the right to the pursuit of fulfillment of fundamental needs to claim the right to receive dearly valued/wanted conveniences. A striking example of this is their campaign for government in the U.S. funding for Planned Parenthood, and their loud demands for a provision in Obamacare requiring coverage for birth control drugs.  Abortion and birth control drugs are dearly valued and wanted conveniences, but they are not needs. Feminist advocates were dishonest in their advocacy for both, arguing as if women’s access to these conveniences is controlled by outside funding.
One outgrowth of that combination of beliefs is a sense of entitlement to enforce the provision of the fulfillment of needs or dearly held wants upon other human beings. Treating this as a given fact upon which society must base law and policy, this is equivalent to the assertion that “If A has a need for or dearly held want of a factor, B must provide it,” where A is the individual with whom feminism identifies itself, and B is the individual with whom feminism takes issue.

This is further modified by another fundamental flaw in the movement: Patriarchy Theory, which, in short, blames upon male society all issues or conditions which feminists define as oppression of women. Patriarchy Theory makes female society group A, and male society group B.
So you have a group which labels having (as opposed to not being prevented from reasonably pursuing) that which women want or need to be a right, and asserts that as justification for demanding or taking it from men.

A result of that combination of entitlement and blame is that feminist groups are content to lobby for law and policy which is discriminatory toward men in order to acquire benefits for women. This has further led these groups to be the cause behind some men’s issues, and the opposition holding back any effort at remedy for others.

For example, men face discrimination in family court. In custody disputes, it’s much more likely for mothers to be awarded custody of their children than for custody to be awarded to fathers. Mothers who retain custody are awarded child support more than fathers are, and in larger amounts.
Feminists confronted with this issue claim that this is not because of feminism, but is instead based on the presumption that women are better caregivers, a concept they attribute to “patriarchy.” History shows  that this presumption is not a result of patriarchy, but in fact a result of the activities of feminists themselves. The tendency of courts to award custody to mothers can be traced back to a 19th century feminist who campaigned for it because of her own custody battle. Though the doctrine she wrote as part of her campaign is no longer cited as the reason for awarding custody to mothers, the presumptions laid out in it are, including the idea that women are better caregivers.  When father’s rights groups have lobbied for more evenhanded child custody law, the National Organization for Women lobbied against it, using demonization of fathers as deadbeats and abusers as their argument.

For the last 40 years, feminist advocates have (successfully) fought to impose their gender ideology on the issue of domestic violence, managing to deny assistance to half or more of the victims of abuse.

Feminist advocated law and policy in the U.S. has whittled away at the due process rights of accused men, provided incentives to make false allegations, and made restraining order abuse easy to commit, and hard to counter.

They’ve advocated for laws which remove the presumption of innocence from men accused of rape. The handicapping of an accused man’s defense makes false conviction a significant risk for men in the U.S., keeping organizations like The Innocence Project busy undoing the damage done by a severely imbalanced, heavily biased legal system.

They have advocated for federally required changes in disciplinary policy at colleges and universities, which have led to an environment that encourages and enables the leveling of false allegations of sexual violence against men on college and university campuses in the U.S. In March of this year, the Campus SaVE act goes into effect, making federal law from policy which has already been shown to be unbalanced and dysfunctional.

In all of those areas, group A has obtained social, political, and legal power by slandering group B and then demanding to be protected from them.

The tactics feminists have employed to grease the legal wheels for their sponsored legislation have included deliberate, targeted demonetization of men to the extent of creating a perception of them as subhuman in comparison to women, and portraying women as helpless victims. This portrayal of men as subhuman brutes and women as helpless victims has been instrumental in convincing politicians and their constituents that it’s acceptable to pass laws which infringe on people’s civil rights… as long as it’s done in small increments, and it feels like it’s for a good cause.

Much of feminist activism has been about obtaining funding for feminist-led programs and organizations; things like domestic violence victims advocacy agencies, women’s shelters, campus rape prevention programs based on feminist theory, women’s studies programs with feminist professors and feminist department heads. There’s a lot of money involved in maintaining the current political outlook. A lot. No, really.  A lot.  Tons and tons.

Men’s rights activism is in direct confrontation with that. It is not possible to fight for reform in family and criminal court without butting up against feminist interests. Feminist interests require a group B; a group upon whose human rights it’s acceptable to infringe in order to continue the cycle that funds feminism.

MRAs can’t compromise with feminist activists because that would entail adopting aspects of feminist theory which are in direct contradiction to the best interests of men. Successful advocacy for legal and social reform to reduce the discriminatory conditions faced by men partially depends on countering myths and stereotypes about men and women, including those promoted and exploited by feminist advocates. People who are willing to see civil rights trampled because men are considered disposable and dangerous, and women valuable and vulnerable, won’t be persuaded to want to protect those rights unless their attention is first drawn to male humanity, and female agency.

That conflict leaves the two groups in opposition to each other whether we want to be at odds or not. It is not that men’s rights are pitted against women’s rights, with one having to win and the other to lose. It is that men’s humanity is pitted against feminist power.


Imagine for a moment, if, upon waking each morning, you are soundly beaten by a stranger with a baseball bat. You call police to have your assailant arrested, only to be quizzed by the dispatcher in a patient voice, asked to describe the bat, and to rate the assailant on a scale between not being assaulted, and the worst attack you've ever suffered. You are asked to describe these things in terms that are completely unrelated to the attack, such as artistic comparisons, or mathematics, and all while the beating continues uninterrupted. The person you are talking to treats you as if you are stupid, lying, or intoxicated because the beating makes it hard for you to concentrate and communicate.

You end up having to beg the police to stop the stranger from beating you... being treated as if you are weak because you begged, or even just because you don't want to be beaten by the stranger with the bat. No matter what you say, they won't listen, but instead tell you that lots of people are assaulted by strangers with baseball bats each morning, as if knowing that you are not the only one will somehow make the beatings more tolerable.

After going through all of this, you are told that you've reached your limit of assailant arrests, that you've been helped by the State police, the FBI, and the Marines, and you can't be helped any more. You know it's true, because they're still all there, but they're outside defending you from other assailants. You've just called for reinforcements because this one got through.

Perhaps you have become a nuisance to the dispatcher. Perhaps she just doesn't know a nice way to tell you that she cannot help you. Either way, she sends you packing. She tells you that you'll have to learn to live with your assailant. You are treated as a criminal for seeking help, with sidelong looks given, and clucking of tongues, to make you feel dirty and low. The evidence your assailant is right there in the room with you, beating you as you speak to the dispatcher, is unimportant. You're obviously an attention whore. Your assailant is probably all in your head. You made your assailant up because you have a thing for cops.

After calling and calling, searching for any kind of help, you finally find someone who understands your suffering, a dispatcher from a unit that specializes in countering consistent patterns of assault... but he tells you his hands are tied by federal laws regulating his work, which do not differentiate between a stubbed toe and an assailant with a baseball bat when it's one who has gotten past your other defense force. Since you wouldn't need police to control a stubbed toe, you can't have protection from this guy with the bat. This dispatcher, too, admits he can do nothing to protect you from this particular assault, but he says he can give you something to make you less depressed about being beaten. Desperate for relief, you accept the somewhat comforting service of an emotional therapist. Your therapist can't help you get rid of the assailant with the bat, but he can help you process the sense of hopelessness and despair that results from being beaten all day long. 

When others find out what you've been given, you discover the stigma of mental illness as they treat you like a crazy person. They gossip, warning each other to be careful around you because your behavior might be unpredictable. Parents of your children's friends deem you the untrusted parent, the one who might feed the kids dessert for supper or say the wrong kind of things in front of them. Dear god, what if the kids are at your house when you have a breakdown? After all, you need a therapist to get through everyday life! Every assumption seems reasonable while ignoring the stranger beside you, still bashing that bat into your body. Who needs context when it's easier to be judgemental?

You lose your job, because trying to work around that stranger interferes with your performance until you become completely ineffective. Then, you are treated like a deadbeat because you cannot work, others telling you about times when they've been kicked in the leg once or punched in the jaw, and still were able to work, so why can't you? What's wrong with you? Why can't you just man up and work through this situation? If your assailant is not hitting you in the head, why can't you just change to a desk job, where his behavior won't prevent you from doing the work? Nobody considers that being constantly pummeled with a bat might not only impair your ability to do manual labor, but to exercise the focus needed to perform mental tasks, as well. Nobody considers the fact that they're comparing unlike circumstances and temporary incidents to a long-term situation. They simply see an able-bodied man without a job.

Maybe you just happen to be somewhere public when your assailant slams the bat into your gut... then you find out the building's restroom isn't public. Describing your situation does not elicit sympathy from whoever controls access to that restroom. No, you've got a problem, one they don't know can't rub off on everyone else who uses that same facility. And the fact that you're followed around by all those cops - clearly you're the wrong type of person to be in this building. Are you just going in there so you can call for more?

Worse, any appearance of desperation you might have because of your situation will be treated as aggression. Clearly you're just an impatient, overprivileged jerk who feels entitled to exemption from the rules that apply to everyone else. You're standing there demanding special treatment, for no obvious reason.

You are treated as too rude, too dirty, or too dangerous to use the bathroom, as the stranger stands there, unnoticed, continuing to hit you with the bat. You rush, humiliated, to the nearest place that you know does have a public restroom. You just hope you make it in time.

At the grocery on a bad assailant day, you have to use your handicap tag, park in the wheelchair space, and use one of the electric carts, because your assailant has hit you so hard in the back, legs, knees, or hips that you cannot walk in the cold, or cannot walk all over the store. The other shoppers look at you as you walk from your car in the handicapped space to the electric cart, sit down, and begin driving it.

Imagine the lack of understanding, the judgmental head shakes, stares, and sometimes even cruel statements made. Maybe you wouldn't need that cart if you weren't so fat. You should walk around the store for exercise. When they don't have the guts to say it to your face, you get to hear them talking behind your back. He doesn't need that cart. He didn't need it last month. He's just lazy. Shame... he should leave it for someone with an actual handicap. Security should kick him out for using it.
Shame. Tsk-tsk.

Even the people who know you and know you're under constant assault don't really understand. They were sympathetic at first, but eventually they tune out your assailant, even though you cannot. You can tell by their actions, and their reactions. They ask you stupid questions, such as "Why can't you just suck-it-up-and-drive-on?" or "Why does everything you do take so long?" and "Why don't you just call the police?" If you remain silent about your problem, people forget it's happening, but if you speak up, regardless of how much your assailant hits you, you're a buzzkill and everyone will avoid you. You have learned to walk a fine line between mentioning your limits when you have to, and keeping your mouth shut when you don't.

This is compounded by the fact that some of those who know the size of your existing defense force don't believe this assailant is real, and some of them suspect there are less to defend against than would merit the force you've employed. Some treat you as a person impaired in ways you are not, on the assumption that the noise from the fighting prevents you from thinking properly. Others blame any random problem which occurs in your life on your defense force, and advise you to get rid of them. Still others, pursued by different types of attackers than the ones after you, recommend you try their defenders. "I know what you're going through. I'm being attacked by sea. You should quit with the Marines and try out the Navy. The Navy is working great for me!" Often, people who make suggestions get offended if you don't run right off to try them out, even if you explain that you've already done so to little effect. You're not being attacked by sea. You're being attacked by individuals with baseball bats, and a lot of evaluation went into determining that the best defense force for you was the combination you're using... but none of that matters when there's an amateur dispatcher's opinion to consider.

You know that people's frustration with your refusal to switch methods at the drop of a hint is partly caused by needing to have some way of trying to help, and feeling stymied by that refusal... but it doesn't make the resulting criticism they launch at you... you're just wallowing in it... you don't want to get better... you just want sympathy... any easier to hear.

You're not allowed to fight back on your own, either, and you can't hire a bodyguard. Defense against assault is a controlled action, and must be carefully monitored by proper authorities. If you attempt to defend yourself, and are caught doing so, you will be arrested and jailed for attacking your assailant. All defense will be taken away from you, and previous assailants will be let into your cell, to all beat on you at once. You live in fear that this will happen to you anyway, as you are required to periodically renew your protection (via the feds and the marines) from those assailants.

Unfortunately, you cannot keep the same people involved with your case forever in order to keep your defense consistent, as the type of people who deal with cases like yours are frequently targeted for investigation by the Defense Establishment Authority. Their documentation makes them much easier to target than street assailants, and too often they end up getting jailed for unlawful management of defense forces, leaving you to search for a new resource for help. Each time a new person becomes involved with your case, he or she looks over your history and tells you that you are too protected, and that some of that protection must be removed so that you will be safer. When this does not make sense to you, the new person gives you that same sidelong-look and clicking tongue treatment you've had before, and orders changes to your guard. When the changes reduce the guard's effectiveness, letting through more assailants, and the new person must grudgingly admit things were right before, you are blamed, treated as a weakling, or otherwise made to feel that your need to be protected from harm is invalid. The same old "thing for cops" accusation keeps getting repeated everywhere you go. Evidence that you're actually under constant attack does not matter. The inconvenience you represent to the system is all that does. Your dispatcher is being watched. Working in his field is a crap shoot. At any time, he may become the Defense Establishment Authority's next target.

Each time this happens, in addition to the sadness you experience for your dispatcher, your guilt over having been one of his charges, and the frustration of having to seek help elsewhere, you face a very real fear. If this happens too often, you can get accused of "shopping" for a dispatcher more willing to wrongfully send forces to protect you, and jailed yourself, despite being able to prove your previous dispatchers were no longer available to help you because of their arrests. In fact, their arrests may even be used against you. Obviously, that's just part of your protection seeking pattern.

Talking about this situation to other people once again elicits the shaming response that you must have a thing for cops or attention. Why else, the people ignoring your assailants wonder, would you be so worried? What are you, some kind of defense fanatic?

Though the situation is hopeless, you have no choice but to continue on like this. You cannot fight the authorities who control your access to protection from assault, and there is nothing you can do yourself to get rid of your assailant. You know that for the rest of your life, there will be varying degrees of this type of assault heading your way, and it is up to you to weather them as best you can, taking what help you can get, and living one day at a time. You'd square your shoulders and set your jaw against this tide, but that, too, would just draw negative attention.
You decide to just keep your head down, instead.

Congratulations. You've just had a taste of chronic pain, complicated by breakthrough pain, in today's legal and medical environment.
Hundreds of men and women experience this as they age. Workers in heavy labor industries and dangerous jobs, more likely to be men, will face it at a higher rate than the general population due to work related injuries.

There is a degree of sympathy for women with chronic pain, although it is limited. There's less of a degree when that assailant is attacking a man, and the younger the victim, the more likely people are to treat him like a liar, a layabout, or a lunatic. People are more likely to avoid him than check on him or include him in social activities, often out of discomfort with his situation and their inability to make a perceivable difference in it.

There are, in fact, differences you can make. They're not always the ones you're looking for.
The chronic pain sufferer in your life knows you can't get rid of his pain. He knows you can't pay his bills, or become his caregiver. Those things are too big for one individual to help with. Don't let discomfort with your inability to fix everything become a reason for you to contribute to his isolation, when that is the one thing you do have the power to affect.

Keep in contact, even if all you guys do is send each other memes. Check in on him when you're able. Don't let the time in between days you're able to do that embarrass you. He knows you work and you have a family. There's no law that says you can't visit again because you missed some invisible deadline.

Don't feel like you have to be upbeat all the time, or make him upbeat. Your life isn't all shits and giggles. Don't expect his to be, either.

"It hurts" is a reality. It's his reality. Sometimes just having someone else know makes it more bearable, even if you don't have some profound words of wisdom to make it so. Believe it or not, "That sucks, man. I wish there was something I could do..." can be profound enough.

Does he make gallows jokes about his condition? Let him. Laugh with him, or groan if it's a groaner of a bad joke. Gallows humor is a way of processing experiences that would otherwise be emotionally crippling. Just having a loved one understand that can be an immeasurable relief. Listening without judgement can make a huge difference. It may be frustratingly invisible... but so is chronic pain.

Once in a while, there will be something measurable you can do, like being the driver for a grocery trip because going alone is rough, or spending a couple of hours playing video games with him because that distracts him from his situation, or sitting with him while he deals with the social security administration because those bureaucrats will run him over if he doesn't have a friend there to witness their behavior... or writing a short letter to a pain clinic describing the person you know him to be so he doesn't get treated like an addict when his arthritis kicks up a notch in cold weather... or getting him go to a sports bar with you when depression about his condition has been keeping him home. Essentially, be a friend to your friend, the same as you would any of your other friends.

Got extra nervous energy to deal with because of the situation? Yes, it is hard to see someone living under an adverse condition you can't protect him from or remove from his life. It's not wrong for you to get frustrated, angry, worried, or just antsy with the need to do something about the problem.
So you can't get rid of his pain. So you can't be his doctor, his housekeeper, his nurse, and you feel like sitting around his house playing video games or watching TV, or even including him in your outings isn't enough. That's not wrong. That's fuel for activism.

One of the big problems faced by chronic pain sufferers, at least in the U.S., is that our government has decided to lump them in with street drug addicts. More and more limitations are being placed on what types of treatments are available to them. Their access to pain control medication is being reduced, while at the same time, their insurance providers are allowed to deem pain control therapies like massage and other physical therapies unnecessary. Then they're told, based on data from when people had better access to pain care, that their conditions are not disabling. And maybe they wouldn't be, if they were receiving proper treatment.

Politicians need to hear that this is stupid. While it's reasonable for medical professionals to monitor patients' pain care to avoid addiction and medical emergencies that drugs can cause, using the drug enforcement agency to monitor that has resulted in the opposite. The shrinking resources for chronic pain patients end up so overburdened that patients who aren't savvy or mindful enough to monitor themselves fall through the cracks. Some end up without access to care, leading to other health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress... which in turn, over time, can lead to more threatening conditions. Some of those underserved patients turn to street drugs, which are plentiful and easier to get one's hands on, thanks to the DEA's redirection of its focus onto pain clinics, oncologists, neurologists, osteopaths, and other physicians whose specialties mean they're going to have more chronic pain patients than the average general practitioner. Exactly how does that protect people from drug addiction?

You don't have to break your friend's confidence, or draw any attention to him in particular to explain this. Just make the point that medical treatment is best assessed and administrated by medical professionals. It's good when the DEA polices things like drug diversion (medicines being stolen.) It's bad when, based strictly on a set of numbers, they arrest oncologists for providing pain relief to dying cancer patients, or pain specialists for helping degenerative disk disease sufferers manage their symptoms well enough to continue to work. This is something you can affect with minimal effort, just by sending an email or a fax to your state's representatives telling them why, in your experience, the federal government's overzealous interference with pain care is more harmful than helpful. Enough people doing this will show federal representatives that public opinion is set against the policies that make your loved one's life more painful. That's a big chance to do something about the problem.

Are you the target of a #RedHerringTroll?

You might be, if an account - particularly one that that doesn't follow you - does any of these:
  • They reply to a non-hashtagged tweet of yours

  • They reply to a non-hashtagged conversation between only people they don't follow

  • They reply to month-old (or more) tweets

to argue in any of the following ways:

  • Everything they say seems designed to be more inflammatory than informative.

  • They engage in nitpicking minutia to make the conversation into arguments over that, instead. 

  • They attack only in fallacies; Strawman everything you say, use Ad Hominem attacks & Genetic Fallacies, they appeal to authority or popularity, etc.

    A subset of this is the hyperbolic strawman - replying to a comment that does not contain absolutist words like "all," "always," "only," "never," as if it did, or replying to a statement containing "can be" as if in instead contained "is" or "are."

    Example: You say "Women can also be violent." They reply "There are many women who are nonviolent! What are you talking about?" You didn't say "All women are violent." The person is using a hyperbolic strawman.

  • They respond to you discrediting one of their assertions by simply abandoning that one and making another assertion, often seeming to move down a list of the aforementioned fallacies.

  • They get mad if you make your position too clear and specific for them to spin it into a strawman. This will often be demonstrated by a use of loaded questions to try to redirect you to the strawman they want to confront, followed by a temper tantrum if you refuse to deviate from your actual position in response to their loaded questions.

  • They demand explanations for the obvious & proof of long-established facts, but refuse to explain or provide evidence for anything they say, regardless of how outlandish their assertions are.

    Example; it's on you to prove getting stabbed can be painful or a well-known documented historical stabbing happened, but it's not on them to prove that stabbing is a gendered behavior or that the effects of being stabbed are different for people of different ethnic backgrounds. This behavior often gets defended by articulating the fallacious belief that if some perceived truths turn out to be false, nothing can ever be genuinely known to be true. A simple look at physical representations of elementary-level math equations demonstrates why that is a stupid belief. 

  • They seem bent on steering the conversation away from its original topic/point or on steering you into defense of a point that is beyond the claim you have made. Any response you make will be twisted into evidence of your position on the new topic, and the game continues from there.

    Example: You cite evidence that an assertion about person A, who also happens to be black, is untrue. Troll tries to steer you into defending the unstated argument that the assertion is never true about any black person. Your response is "evidence" that you concede, that you hate black people, or that you think they are above any & all criticism.

  • They respond to a topic using a counterargument against an off-topic assertion you did not make, usually based on presuming your political perspective based on the current discussion. This is to drag you into a debate over the new topic in the apparent hope that you'll defend the off-topic strawman. They'll usually treat pointing this out as an act of dodging that topic.

    Example: You tweet opposition to an unethical action. Troll takes your tweet as endorsement of the political opponent of the person who engaged in that behavior and from there, presumes you to be politically aligned with that opponent. Troll then replies to your tweet with a counterargument against an item from said opponent's political party's platform.

If the first condition is met and the individual seems to be doing at least some of the above, you may be dealing with a red herring troll. The more of these behaviors you see, the more likely you're dealing with one. If they combine them with responses that ignore points you've made & evidence you've provided that comes from sources which give full information (example, articles that link to studies or have video of incidents, proving a person made a social media post by linking to the actual post or an archive of it, etc.,) that's another clue.

Other things to watch for in combination with the above behaviors:

  • They run in packs. While you are engaged in discussion with Troll A, Troll B (who often doesn't follow either of you) will begin replying to your replies to Troll A using some of the methods described above.

    Another telltale sign is if you get two or more accounts that never respond to you at the same time & all talk the same way, same vernacular, same vocabulary. Watch for the same spelling errors. When this happens you're dealing with one person piloting several sock puppets

  • The Churlish Shuffle: engaging in deliberate obfuscation. Example, treating counterargument against point A in a thread about point A as if it is an assertion about point B which is not part of that thread, or treating your argument as if it is self-contradiction based on an acceptance you did not make of an assertion of theirs. 

  • I Love Egg Salad: The troll has a contingent of accounts with almost no followers, no avatar, and little to no history who do nothing but "heart" or "like" and retweet the troll's tweets. Even more interesting, sometimes several of these will revolve around one troll, and their retweets & likes of that account's tweets seem timed to drag you back to the discussion after it's over. It's particularly telling when the troll account also has very few followers and the discussion isn't highly visible yet a few dozen "egg" accounts come out of the woodwork to like and retweet the troll's tweets, one at a time, at regular intervals, all over the course of a day or two.

  • "Shift change" syndrome: At some point in the discussion, the person you're arguing with appears to have no memory of earlier parts of the conversation. This manifests in anything from repeating previously debunked arguments as if they're new arguments to asking repeatedly for information you have already provided to outright denying that earlier parts of the discussion happened. This is an almost certain indication, one that either means you're arguing with multiple people using one account, or a professional troll trained to assume you've forgotten what you were talking to him/her about several hours ago.

  • The debate that never ends: After reaching a dead end with you, or in the midst of a heated exchange on a particular topic, they make a vague reply to earlier parts of the conversation several tweets up the thread, which they've already replied to (and you've already answered their replies.)
    Doing so from a dead end is a way to keep a finished conversation going.
    Doing so in the midst of a heated exchange is an attempt at confusing you or getting you to respond to a reply to tweet A as if it is a reply to tweet B, which says something different. It's a direct attempt at tripping you up by getting you to reply to what it appears was being argued instead of what actually was.

  • Replying to you only in "retweet with comment" tweets rather than direct replies when the "comment" is not a comment to others about your tweet, but a direct response to it. This breaks up the discussion and makes it harder to trace back through earlier parts of the argument to prove what what already has been said & who said it. This alone isn't a RHT behavior. Some people do it because they don't know the speech balloon icon is for replies. Some do it to draw their followers' attention to the conversation. But if it's in combination with the other behaviors, and it results in a bunch of similarly trollish accounts joining in, especially accounts that are new or have no profile image, it's probably a RHT.

The overall point of these trolls is to redirect you away from conversation about concepts, ideas, news, or other topics that challenge a narrative the troll wishes to protect. I've found that these tend to be most active whenever certain news topics begin to trend, such as conservative political events, news stories which expose information about the Oligarchy within the U.S. government, men's rights or antifeminist topics, and evidence against the narrative used to attack #Gamergate.

While the temptation to engage them simply because "OMG, someone on the internet is wrong!" the most effective way to deal with these trolls is to point out that's what they are, and move on. Being targeted by a Red Herring Troll should indicate to you that you were doing something important, and doing it effectively enough that someone, even if it was just the troll himself (no need for this to be a conspiracy for it to be happening,) wanted you stopped.

How do you win? By not letting them make that happen.
Kick the troll aside, and stay on target. Let them rant and rail, call you names, accuse you of bad faith and ill will... and keep talking about whatever it was you were talking about when they began their attempt to derail.

No, we still can't all just get along. (Response to a youtube comment.)

The comment on this video:

My response, posted in answer to the comment, was wordy, but to the point with regard to the "can't we all just get along" charge. I've copy/pasted it here rather than using a screenshot specifically to make it available if others want to use part of it to compose responses to specific claims related to its parts, if that makes sense.

The claim feminists have something in common with MRAs does not even deserve consideration until some serious changes are made in feminist advocacy: Get back to me when mainstream feminist groups acknowledge they've been lying about the dynamics of intimate partner violence, take female violence seriously, cease promoting the "condone female violence while generalizing & condemning male violence" formula that PERPETUATES they type of partner violence that makes up about half of existing cases, and lobby to revert the gender-discriminatory VAWA back to the original, non-discriminating Family Violence Prevention and Services act of 1984 so that two-way violence and unilateral female violence (which combined make up the majority of partner violence) are addressed by the law instead of it shoehorning those cases in with the unilateral male perpetrated minority of the problem. For more explanation from me on this, see this video & the citations in the lowbar: https://youtu.be/m6IFLbGkbbA

Get back to me when academic & media feminists stop gendering their promulgation on sexual violence to demonize men as predators and infantilize women as victims, when they demand that their own movement's researchers both within and out of government research give female perpetration the same labels and push for those labels to lead to the same condemnation as male perpetration, when they stop using generalized demonization of men to push for legislated infringement on due process, and when feminist acknowledgement of female sexual violence leads to feminist lobbying for changes in law to hold female perpetrators equally accountable to the system accused men face. For more explanation from me on this, see this video & the citations in the lowbar: https://youtu.be/ob4DFbLMbyg

 Get back to me when organizations like the National Organization for Women and other mainstream feminist lobbying groups stop fighting to block equally shared parenting laws, when they stop generalizing demonization of Dads as deadbeats and abusers to excuse promotion of the idea that regardless of their or their children's interests, their only value to their families is to be a walking wallet, when mainstream feminist organizations begin admitting that the harm done to kids when a parent uses custody interference to prevent the child from having a relationship with the other parent is NOT limited to paternal perpetration and that the majority of parents doing that are mothers - in short, when feminist organizations stop using "best interests of the child" as a cheesy catch phrase and actually start supporting children's best interests. For more explanation from me on this, see this video & the citations in the lowbar: https://youtu.be/csGVuuyuYNk

Get back to me when academic feminists stop using feigned sympathy for gender atypical men to demonize men whose masculinity manifests in a more rugged nature, when interdisciplinary department professors stop using "male privilege" as a proverbial bludgeon with which to beat their male students - regardless of background and experiences - into meekness and self-condemnation, when feminists stop thinking it's no big deal that so much of their movement is predicated upon man-hating. I have not made a video on that as of yet, but I recommend watching the series that starts with this video, because I have discussed it as part of my responses to Liana: https://youtu.be/jL9lNocuPV4

 Get back to me when feminist organizations stop responding to gender disparity in the justice system (http://www.avoiceformen.com/misandry/gender-disparity-in-criminal-court/) by advocating for MORE of it and treating advocacy for protection of due process rights as an attack on women. Get back to me when the mainstream in academic and media feminists stops marginalizing the falsely accused and exploiting actual victims' stories to excuse the promotion of railroading & sacrificing the rights of men in general. I put responses to the main arguments I've received from feminists on the false accusation issue into this article: https://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/dangerous-rape-myths-part-1/

For a particularly heavy example of what I've witnessed in terms of system-facilitated false accusation, read this: http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/domestic-violence-industry/seven-years-in-hell/ And for more examples of the effects of false accusation & due process infringement, check out the Community of the Wrongly Accused: http://cotwa.info/

Those are some of the bigger issues between men's issues activists & feminists. There are more, too many to address in a comment, but I think this is enough to understand why no... the two movements are not compatible, and as long as feminism is what feminism is, we never will be.

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