Friday, March 9, 2012

Criticism of the Nostalgia Chick

When looking up FernGully clips last year, I ran across the Big-Lipped Alligator Moment meme and traced it back to a funny video produced by two internet reviewers, the Nostalgia Critic (played by Doug Walker) and the Nostalgia Chick (played by Lindsay Ellis). They were so entertaining that I bookmarked both of their pages, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Lindsay Ellis is a feminist who makes video reviews from a feminist viewpoint. My appreciation of the Nostalgia Chick has greatly diminished over time, however, largely stemming from the character's absurd qualities being difficult to distinguish from Lindsay Ellis' honest criticism, as well as her bad (i.e. anti-feminist) taste in humor.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Voice for Men: Still Transphobic and Anti-Feminine-Men

Over a year ago, I made a challenge to the men's rights movement to support feminine men instead of attacking them for being traitors to masculinity. Like most of my blog posts, I crossposted it to Fanpop, and MRA Paul Elam responded to it there, saying that his website A Voice for Men (rape apologist site; may trigger) has "5 regular writers, two of which are openly gay, and [they] run regular articles denouncing any efforts for masculinity to be defined by anyone other than the individual". I looked it over, found a whole lot of hate, but tried to scan for good parts.

I came back with a response saying "I found some things there I agreed with. There's some good stuff about needing to teach boys that it's okay to be emotional and some general stuff about the welfare of boys and men. What I don't like is the underlying philosophy about how everything bad for men is the product of evil feminists. There's good discussion of bad gender roles for men, but when 'a feminist did it' is at the heart, there's no way I can respect it." I went on to describe some ambiguous wording I found problematic as well as blatant transphobia such as the characterization of a trans woman as a traitorous man. That sat there without response until I made a vlog response to AoirthoirMasculinist's vlog response to my video counterpart of the initial challenge, in which I borrowed some of my words from my reply to Paul Elam and said that AVfM was hateful and contained more of the same disrespect of feminine men.

This time, I got a reply from an MRA associated with AVfM, called TheHappyMisogynist (not sure if it is Paul Elam or just a friend of his), who claimed that I was making shit up about AVfM to unfairly discredit it, saying "AVfM has always stood behind every man's choice of sexual identity, and personal interpretation of masculine, PERIOD". I sent him the link to the Fanpop thread, and I just got a response on the thread by Paul Elam, who says that my "interpretation of what [I am] reading on AVfM is really off target. So much so that one has to wonder if it is intentional" and "The MRM, as it is active on A Voice for Men, supports and embraces the autonomy and dignity of all men, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender and anything else outside these designations. [My] attempt to characterize it as otherwise is weak and unsupported."

So, I checked out the (disgustingly misogynistic, ageist, and ableist) site, and right in the mission and values list, there's use of the slur "mangina". This is used to degrade a man for respecting women by implying feminine characteristics through bonding male gender-identifier "man" with female sex organ "vagina". Something obvious to me is immediate hostility toward trans men because men with vaginas must be fundamentally bad if "mangina" functions as an insult. So, the claim that AVfM respects men with feminine characteristics as real men (and supports the dignity of trans men) goes out the window at once.