7 Dangerous Anti-Feminist Groups You Should Know About

MGTOWs, MRAs, and Gamergaters, oh my!

With all its anti-lady and anti-LGBT opinions turned into official policies, The Republican National Convention has come and gone. But as the most powerful voices opposing progress for ladies rear their ugly heads, it's time we all got familiar with some of the scariest groups railing against women. While each of these groups have distinct ideologies and varying amounts of violence, there's certainly some overlap between them all. Women and queers beware, here are some trolls to watch out for, because they're not hiding under bridges anymore:

1. Gamergate

What may have started out as a debate on ethics in video game journalism quickly turned into an organized syndicate of virulently anti-women harassers. Composed largely of male video game players, the group organized around harassing women in the video game industry like Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, as well as cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian. While the group claims to be concerned with rooting out corruption in entertainment media, it has since become explicitly clear that they largely exist to terrorize female video gamers and video game creators as a political statement against cultural diversification and liberal social criticisms of media. They often resort to frightening and aggressive tactics including doxing, Swatting, calling in bomb threats to events, and stalking.

2. The Alt-Right

As if regular Republicans, who have officially endorsed the reversal of Roe V. Wade and regularly oppose equal pay for women, weren't bad enough! The internet has spawned a new breed of young extremists who have labeled themselves the alt-right. With openly gay troll Milo Yiannopoulos leading the group, the alt-right advocate a new kind of libertarianism that includes within it extremely violent misogynistic, pro-gun, and racist rhetoric. Largely young and extremely loud, the group has gotten behind Trump and tend to proliferate their ideas through hateful internet memes and social media nastiness. The alt-right speaks out strongly against political correctness and multiculturalism.

3. New Atheists

Not everyone believes in god. That's cool! But when you extrapolate your disdain for religion into a political position that comes down against women and non white people, you kind of end up being a jerk! Take for example writers like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, who pursued their atheism with a frightening fervor. There's nothing inherently anti-feminist about atheism, of course, but this newer group's figureheads tend to not have a great track record when it comes to women's issues. Similarly, the loudest new atheists tend to loudly espouse chauvinism, perhaps with the intention of purposefully alienating sympathetic women, who they often view as biologically inferior.

4. Men's Rights Activists

Men, in fact, do face a particular gendered set of challenges that are too often ignored in feminist conversations including unequal paternity leave, unfair custody arrangements, the lack of discussions around the rape of men, the disproportionate prevalence of suicide among men, and the repressive nature of masculinity as a cultural force. But Men's Rights Activists, who could have rallied around these important issues for progressive purposes, have instead decided that their goal should be to violate women. MRAs often target rape victims, justifying their abuse by saying that fallacious accounts of rape of women are as much of a problem as rape itself. Rejecting the claim that women are oppressed by society, MRAs have taken to abusive tactics like spamming Occidental College's anonymous rape reporting form with false reports and plastering Edmonton with posters explaining, "Just because you regret a one-night stand doesn't mean it wasn't consensual."

5. Red Pillers

Ok, this one's confusing. Remember that scene in The Matrix where Morpheus offers Neo a Red Pill or a Blue Pill? And he says that the Red Pill will reveal an unseen reality that he heretofore could never have understood? That's how Red Pillers feel about learning the lies propagated by feminists. Red Pillers believe that the concept of “male privilege” is an elaborate scheme created by women to disempower men. Convinced that a series of cultural niceties catered to women (having doors help open for them, men paying for dinner, etc...) amounts to the institutional subjugation of men, Red Pillers certainly have had trouble reconciling the fact that the movie from which they take their name was, in fact, created by two trans women to make an implicit queer and feminist commentary on society.

6. Men Going Their Own Way

What do men do when they feel so defeated by feminism that they'll never find a reasoanable date? They swear off women completely, apparently. Men Going Their Own Way is a group of straight dudes who aspire to live entirely without women in their lives (unless they are hiring or deceiving them for sex). Using “reason” to argue that legal and romantic entanglements with women fail a cost–benefit analysis and risk–benefit analysis, MGTOW (pronounced “mig-tow”) describe society as “gynocentric” and unfairly biased towards women. According to Vice: “While MRAs are out to fix the problem through action and activism, members of MGTOW hold self-preservation above all else, and because of this the majority of the community seems to have decided to bow out.” MGTOW's also valorize masculinity and believe in affirmation of the gender binary.

7. Pick Up Artists

Plenty of ink has been spilled to describe this loosely-knit group of manipulative misogynists. Crafting an entire schematics for the best way to seduce (read: trick and shame) women into sex, the PUA's have become somewhat of a cultural joke more recently. Scarily enough, these guys still exist, and it's not hard to find men still regularly employing techniques like “negging” (lightly insulting) women during dates or introductory chats. PUAs tend to think of women as sexual goals rather than people and insist that feminism has created a “chaotic” world hostile to men (getting sex). Outspoke activists like Roosh V. still remain politically relevant. Earlier this year he organized a rally to advocate for the legalization of rape.

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