The frightening thing is that, like most of their other campaigns against women, they see themselves as just warriors fighting for what’s right. This is primarily because they firmly believe that any woman who speaks up on women’s issues is completely disingenuous and only doing it for the purposes of self-promotion, and that any man who does is looking to get laid, because they actually cannot possibly imagine a scenario in which someone would genuinely give a shit about women.
Members of this board, as well as “Men’s Rights Activists” in general, tend to go apoplectic at even the most mild implications that women might be human beings. For them, this is simply “not allowed” and must be punished swiftly and severely, as they appear to believe that feminism is the one obstacle in the way of all these pathetic neckbeards getting their pick of supermodel girlfriends who obey their every whim. The goal is to make it as uncomfortable to speak out about misogyny and women’s issues as possible, which is why they go to the wall in terms of harassing women like Emma Watson. At the end of the day, this is the crux of it. It would be sad if it weren’t so vile.
These are forms of male aggression that only women see. But even when men are afforded a front seat to harassment, they don’t always have the correct vantage point for recognizing the subtlety of its operation. Four years before the murders, I was sitting in a bar in Washington, D.C. with a male friend. Another young woman was alone at the bar when an older man scooted next to her. He was aggressive, wasted, and sitting too close, but she smiled curtly at his ramblings and laughed softly at his jokes as she patiently downed her drink. ‘Why is she humoring him?’ my friend asked me. ‘You would never do that.’ I was too embarrassed to say: ‘Because he looks scary’ and ‘I do it all the time.’
Women who have experienced this can recognize that placating these men is a rational choice, a form of self-defense to protect against setting off an aggressor. But to male bystanders, it often looks like a warm welcome, and that helps to shift blame in the public eye from the harasser and onto his target, who’s failed to respond with the type of masculine bravado that men more easily recognize.