So anyone familiar with the Men’s Rights Movement and A Voice For Men are probably also familiar with Paul Elam’s usual defence of some of his more heinous remarks. ‘It’s satire.’ It looks as though Pick-Up Artist, Roosh from Return of Kings has now joined the ‘It’s satire,’ crowd when trying to defend a particularly reprehensible article. I will now address the rest of this post to them, open letter style:
Dear Roosh, Paul Elam, and any MRA/PUA/MGTOW who’s hopped on the ‘satire’ bandwagon,
I considered doing an internet mic-drop and leaving it at that, but I’ll explain further. The thing is, I don’t know why I think you all will get it this time. It’s not as though a bunch of other people haven’t already explained that what you all are doing on your blogs isn’t satire. But, whatever, I’ll try again.
Instead of providing you with a dictionary definition of satire, I’ll just ask whether any of you have watched the Colbert Report? That is satire. The reason that is satire (whereas the O’Riley Show isn’t) is because Colbert is purposefully making over-the-top statements for the sake of humour. Not only does Colbert not actually believe anything he says on the show, more often than not he believes the polar opposite to what he is saying.
For example: when Colbert says, “If we provide gay marriage, then that nullifies my marriage. I only got married as a taunt to gay people” he doesn’t actually believe it. In fact, the humour stems from the obviousness of the fact that he doesn’t believe it. It is so ridiculous to think of someone getting married as a taunt to gay people, that actually saying it serves to reinforce the opposing point (that gay marriage is fine), which is what Colbert actually believes. Understand?
Getting back to the topic at hand, perhaps rather than satire, what you actually mean to say is that your articles are reductio ad absurdum, or maybe parody? That you are trying to use an absurdity to expose another absurdity? That could kind of work as an excuse, almost. You bringing your own arguments to an extreme conclusion in order to make some sort of point about the extreme nature of the opposition. Though, if so, it’s interesting you all are attempting to use that particular rhetorical device to cover up your hateful opinions. You know who else used extreme parody? Valarie Solanas in her SCUM Manifesto.
Funny, that. MRAs and PUAs attempting to explain away their reprehensible opinions by mirroring the rhetorical device used by extreme radical feminists from the 1960s and 1970s.
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