Here’s the talk:
I haven’t been able to get through more than about 3 minutes of it at a time.
Apparently Karen Straughan is well-known in the MRA community and a big hero of theirs’. I looked and couldn’t find any instances of her participating in real debates, other than a panel with Naomi Klein where Straughan rolled her eyes while Klein talked and then threw the same source-free “facts” at Klein when she asked for citations and actual evidence/sources.
The lack of evidence is pretty clear in Straughan’s talk above. She’ll say things like, “I COULD point to the number of feminists who have...”, or will throw out very surprising facts about child support or rape or divorce without offering genuine sources, or will read out very short quotes that clearly have some larger and relevant context.
She opens with Lady MacBeth’s “man up” speech to her husband, by the way, taking it 100% at face value, which is... interesting, to say the least.
I’m ashamed of my school for hosting this, but even more disgusted that it comes as a result of the new “Advocacy for Men and Boys” group that the university started up, which ostensibly is meant to be a safe place for men and boys to discuss the implications of masculinity and their place in the world, but instead seems to be yet another anti-feminist MRA hate group.
What really bothers me is that groups like these seem to be focused on maintaining a cis-gender binarism, a heteronormativity, and a defense of men as “emotionally competent” actors despite the fact that these things almost certainly lead to the rates of male suicide, depression, PTSD, and pressure that MRA groups love banging their drums about.
You don’t call your site “Return of Kings” [edited for accuracy] if you’re looking to move things forward.
Don’t take it from me, here’s a video of the meet-up following Straughan’s talk where they laugh about the abuse Anita Sarkeesian has faced, talk about the “reality” of GamerGate, and talk about the need for “traditional” gender roles.
I feel like I’ve been worried about the MRA movement for a while now, but I wasn’t prepared for it to hit this close to home.
Bonus Q&A at the end of the speech where she ducks a question about queer relationships with a lot of wishy-washy BS: