Married with Children as a Parody of Men's Rights Activists

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Note to the editor: It should be "Polk High" in that first line on the first page, not "Pol High". As well, the last paragraph has weird formatting: it cuts from the middle of one line, and the words, "Century MRA fringes predicted with eerie accuracy" are repeated at the end.

OT: Interesting article. One of the weird flukes of popular culture (and history in general) is how we can look back and tie two things together that somehow echo each other, like Chris Rock predicting OJ Simpson's book.

Well, no. It didn't really predict anything. Orwell didn't predict Fox News, Hollywood didn't predict 9/11, Kids in the Hall didn't predict Glenn Beck, and this didn't really predict MRAs. I doubt anyone saw this becoming a real thing. It seems too stupid to become a real thing. I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to friend zone this article.

This would probably be more interesting if you had gone a bit more in-depth on what exactly the NO MA'AM organization did in the show. I'm very familiar with the whole MRA mess, but this article didn't do a terribly good job of highlighting any ways to connect it back to the show. The troubling aspects of MRA run much deeper than just husbands who feel henpecked and enjoy a good drink, but that's all the article mentioned.

Cracked.com had a three-part Rom.com video series about the inner workings of a dating site. In the second part, we see interviews with several people on the site, what they said in their interviews, and what they really meant. Two of male characters are eerily like Elliot Rogers. He's owed sex and hates women for not thinking he's worthy, but also is incredibly picky about women he wants.

Except their take on criticism makes every thing a target. Truth, NO MA'AM was an over the top parody of clans based around machismo and ignorance, but the portrait of feminists groups was so equally over the top (with Al's yuppie neighbor being both the butt of many jokes and the most vocal member of the group) in its representation that you can't help but agree with some of NO MA'AM points.

Its the "Magneto" argument all over again. We know they are a bunch of insecure, ignorant (yet charismatic) cavemen living in Chicago's suburbia, and we are supposed to think of them as "the losers" by default, but their opposites are so cartoony vocal and misguided champions of political over-correctness, that you can't help but thinking: "hey, maybe they do have a point..."

I watched Married... With Children but I never really enjoyed it. I may have laughed at one joke or two but the majority of the show was just repulsive. As for why I watched it, I can't say. I could use the "watching a train wreck" excuse, but I think it was mostly due to being a teenager and lacking a refined pallet for television. Or maybe I wanted to hurt myself mentally (I was going through a rough patch in my life, BTW).

As for the Men's Rights Activists, be it the fictional parody on a 90s sitcom or the disgusting reality we face today, it is definitely one movement that needs to be dumped into a mass grave alongside other outdated concepts and empty ideas. I'd call the MRA as outdated as the Betamax, but the Betamax still has a functioning purpose in the world.

Mr. Q:
I watched Married... With Children but I never really enjoyed it. I may have laughed at one joke or two but the majority of the show was just repulsive. As for why I watched it, I can't say. I could use the "watching a train wreck" excuse, but I think it was mostly due to being a teenager and lacking a refined pallet for television. Or maybe I wanted to hurt myself mentally (I was going through a rough patch in my life, BTW).

As for the Men's Rights Activists, be it the fictional parody on a 90s sitcom or the disgusting reality we face today, it is definitely one movement that needs to be dumped into a mass grave alongside other outdated concepts and empty ideas. I'd call the MRA as outdated as the Betamax, but the Betamax still has a functioning purpose in the world.

I was laid off on the 19th December last year, 119 staff in my department 42 white men the rest women or non white men all 42 white men were 'let go' because it's easier as women and non white men can and do sue every time for 'discrimination'. This is a thing now.

This is about as legit as Nostradamus having predicted pretty much everything. Of course if you dig deep enough, find a few pieces that fit, disregard the rest, and the context, and the time and place something was created in, you can derive all kinds of alleged prophetic ability from it.

But these things, I call them "coincidences".

I don't think the NO MA'AM movement was ever meant to be taken seriously. Everytime they tried to do something, whether it'd be to start a church or get Psycho Dad back on the air or hijack a daytime talk show, it always ended in failure. Really, they just the mad rantings of a man left back in the old ways of thinking, a Willy Loman but much sillier (is it any wonder that one of the episode titles was 'Death of a Shoe Salesman'?)

Andrew Siribohdi:
I don't think the NO MA'AM movement was ever meant to be taken seriously. Everytime they tried to do something, whether it'd be to start a church or get Psycho Dad back on the air or hijack a daytime talk show, it always ended in failure. Really, they just the mad rantings of a man left back in the old ways of thinking, a Willy Loman but much sillier (is it any wonder that one of the episode titles was 'Death of a Shoe Salesman'?)

So how does that differ from the MRM? Most of the time the noise that comes from them are the rantings of men left behind in the old ways of thinking and unable to cope with a society in which their gender doesn't instantly transfer privilege onto them. Just like Movie-Bob I've also seen Al Bundy reflected in the MRM, though I always chalked it up more to coincidence than some kind of stroke of genius from the show runners.

If you're attacking MRAs, you might want to pick something other than this. Al's past glory was nothing compared to Peg's. She never grew out of her cheerleader mindset that said all she had to do was look pretty and put out and get provided for. Al put food on the table, she wanted to eat out and never cook. She wanted a maid, he needed to get a second job. He put away cash to buy a new car, she dug it up from the back yard for lotto tickets. Al rarely if ever got treated like a person (at least after the first season when the show stopped playing it straight) but rather a cash machine you got to blame for your life sucking. Marcy wasn't much better as the show progressed her from sweet and naive, to someone that actively looks down on Al for his status, and into a more active nemesis that almost seemed to take joy in crushing his. By the time NOMAM came about the show was a parody of its own parody, but if you truly stop and look at how Al was treated by the people in his life, can you blame any push back he might try to make? It doesn't paint the idea of an MRA as a bad guy, but an understandable push back against an idea that feminism that has a vision of equality in which a man's opinion, thoughts, desires and dreams don't matter so that women can be happy.

Whether that's accurate in reality today is a different question, one I really don't want to tackle right now.

yeah, definitely a weirdly prophetic concept. Like Married, the MRA is a complete joke just because it's completely stupid. These are mostly men who just can't evolve and thus are going to be left behind. These kind of guys are going to become extinct and they're just making the process more painful than it needs to be.

Redd the Sock:
If you're attacking MRAs, you might want to pick something other than this. Al's past glory was nothing compared to Peg's. She never grew out of her cheerleader mindset that said all she had to do was look pretty and put out and get provided for. Al put food on the table, she wanted to eat out and never cook. She wanted a maid, he needed to get a second job. He put away cash to buy a new car, she dug it up from the back yard for lotto tickets. Al rarely if ever got treated like a person (at least after the first season when the show stopped playing it straight) but rather a cash machine you got to blame for your life sucking. Marcy wasn't much better as the show progressed her from sweet and naive, to someone that actively looks down on Al for his status, and into a more active nemesis that almost seemed to take joy in crushing his. By the time NOMAM came about the show was a parody of its own parody, but if you truly stop and look at how Al was treated by the people in his life, can you blame any push back he might try to make? It doesn't paint the idea of an MRA as a bad guy, but an understandable push back against an idea that feminism that has a vision of equality in which a man's opinion, thoughts, desires and dreams don't matter so that women can be happy.

Whether that's accurate in reality today is a different question, one I really don't want to tackle right now.

In conclusion women suck and don't do enough of it ;)

Anyway, when I watched the show it did sometimes feel Al's nihilism and anger where to often justified like "He may me Bad but they're worse" sorta thing.

I for one don't like what feminism has been allowed to become over the years, alas it could be worse.

It's kind of sad that the general view of MRA groups are labeled as hateful, misogynist and ridiculous where some groups like Fathers 4 Justice, Save Indian Family Foundation and National Coalition for Men actually do some good work. It's almost like how those tumblr feminist don't represent the entirety of feminism as a whole just how a single angry guy with a gun doesn't represent all MRAs.

Also just because I like to draw parallels: Valerie Solanas = Elliot Rodgers.

Toilet:
It's kind of sad that the general view of MRA groups are labeled as hateful, misogynist and ridiculous where some groups like Fathers 4 Justice, Save Indian Family Foundation and National Coalition for Men actually do some good work. It's almost like how those tumblr feminist don't represent the entirety of feminism as a whole just how a single angry guy with a gun doesn't represent all MRAs.

Also just because I like to draw parallels: Valerie Solanas = Elliot Rodgers.

I agree. The only thing worse than asshole MRAs are people who won't acknowledge that sometimes they make some good points.

There should be something in this article about the sane side of mens rights activism (not that any sane person would use that name) as there are legitimate problems that need to be brought up. While the majority of MRA's do seem to be merely opposing feminism and women's rights the fact is that a significant portion of domestic abuse is towards men (even legitimate studies show as high as 30-40% of domestic abuse victims are male in USA) and most organizations focused on helping domestic abuse victims focus solely on women.

Men generally have it easier than women, MRA's are often assholes and the idea that feminism is pushing down men below women is ridiculous but (and this is a big but) saying that talks about mens rights is silly and anyone saying that men have specific problems that need to be dealt with is a sexist is beyond stupid.

Toilet:
It's kind of sad that the general view of MRA groups are labeled as hateful, misogynist and ridiculous where some groups like Fathers 4 Justice, Save Indian Family Foundation and National Coalition for Men actually do some good work.

I actually knew someone who was in fathers for Justice (threw my dad), he contributes to some of it's funding. Nice guy, his ex filled his sons head with rubbish till one day he was 13 and found out the truth. I think he didn't talk to his son for 5ish years and he Paid for her high standard of living while she was married to another (richer) dude.

Men are browbeaten by the law quite often when children are involved.

White knights! TO THE RESCUE!

Just so everyone knows, there is no evidence that links that kid that shot up the school to MRA, the closest thing the could come up with was being subscribed to a pickup artist's channel on you-tube, but like most "feminists" research is not required, and facts can be sexist.

If you want to know what a real MRA looks like, look here.

https://www.youtube.com/user/girlwriteswhat/videos

Sadly both sides have both good and generally idiotic views especially with each having thier "boogeyman/woman" fears

And sadly it is a game of sides because you can't disagree with anything without being labeled some kind of uninformed biggot misogynist manhating potato puppet.

I have my likes and dislikes of both sides but I find it's better to eat popcorn and call them all idiots from a distance.

In the whole "debate" or whatever you want to call it between MRA's and feminists on the internet you have two choices.

Offensive assholes or offended assholes.

A bit like choosing between 4-chan and Tumblr.

I think the parading of the "Men rights" boogeyman to try and shame out of existence anyone who feels repulsed by a specific noxious genre of internet bloggers is getting kind of tired. You can see my comments on the need for more female characters and the problems with the game industry all over the forums right now, hell some people have even accused me of being the dreaded 'social justice warrior' for saying that excluding women from gaming is toxic.

With that in mind let me say this: Much of what is said online by the righteous feeling side is brow-beating horse shit. It gives the disgusting views of many of the hardcore anti-women MRA organizations something to hide behind. The amount of self-satisfied assholes online who think they can act however they want because their side is 'the right side' drives people into the arms of organizations like that.

The Euphoric MRA caricature has become almost as bloated and cliched as the the social justice warrior caricature. But that's what they are most of the time. Merely caricatures. I don't think people like to admit that both sides are responsible for poisoning the debate.

If someone does not feel a group of people represents them at all they have a right to think that. The #NotAllMen comes from a place of being misguided rather than malice, i think there is a nugget there that if you don't feel like you want to be tarred with a massive broad brush you don't have to be. It makes many people feel bitter and attacked without reason and drives them towards the hardcore misogyny of the organized MRAs who operate under this guise of "Feminism for men" but are anything but.

We're going to go a little deep here but let me find something i write a while ago:

There needs to be a more safe place for men to talk about well.. maleness. Men have the same problems of identity, conflicting forces and messages but without the support network or wealth of existing ideas to help them make sense of what it means to be a man when their traditional identities and roles are still expected of them but are increasingly looked down on and said to be outdated or even offensive.

There is a bit of a vacuum that disturbing groups like the crop of MRAs can fill. Being a man can feel is shameful, negative and belittling. You are told to be a provider, a leader but those very traits are seen as patronizing and sexist by some. You are told to be sensitive, caring, supportive and domestic but those qualities are seen as weakness, feminine, 'gay' or a symptom of 'nice guy syndrome'. You are seen as either a cave man brute or a simpering pansy.

There is no one there to tell you it's okay to struggle with being a man, only conflicting messages about being a 'real man' or being a 'nice guy' or how you shouldn't be a certain type of 'nice guy'. There are a lot of forces pulling you a lot of different directions. Men feel like gender studies are not for them as they are mainly seen as the preserve of feminism. We need more of a male equivalent of that, not in the sense of activism, but in sense of coming to terms with the meaning of masculinity in the 21st century.

Those with the wish to discuss the issues or challenges of being a man are immediately put off by the massive reaction and push back. It seems many trying to have a sensible discussion about some of these issues in the 21st century decide it is not worth their time. Most normal, moderate people who feel like there is something lacking or don't feel like they have a voice in the debate the represents then stay out of the debate entirely because they know it will just lead to them being branded an MRA 'rape advocate'.

All a lot of people hear is "You are a terrible person" over and over again. We need to be having a much more positive debate and actually engaging people, not facing them with a angry crowd they retreat into their own prejudices from.

This was my favorite show as a kid. From ages 10-15 I just loved the broad parody in it. It was cartoonish, unrestrained, crude and on-the-nose about some fairly valid sociological points. I guess it was the perfect show for me at the time and for it, I will always cherish it fondly. I don't think I'd have a problem revisiting the show now, as an adult, since I can get past the boorish tone in it and appreciate it more for the creative statement it was making rather than as just a broad comedy.

Another site and columnist not bothering to fact check. Here's an article on Forbes from someone who bothered to do so:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/05/24/the-disturbing-internet-footprint-of-santa-barbara-shooter-elliot-rodger/
What the hell is going on here? Even Time published the same false information. I expected better from the Escapist.

Bob you are going to get a lot of people calling you out on this but Elliot had nothing to do with the MRA movement, No evidence that he ever watched MRA videos or visited their forums exists but he was part of Pick Up Artist groups. These two internet cliques are fundamentally different.

I've repeatedly been seeing people making baseless assertions that Elliot was an MRA and you while not directly claiming it are backing it up when you say it's the first time people are learning about it.

Furthermore I would like to make a very critical point. In the MRA movement the mainstream activists like GirlWritesWhat and SargonOfAssad vehemently deny and exclude the fringe elements like right wing political parties exile neo nazis and left wing parties expel communists. However, when you look at Feminist movements and you see that the hashtag #KillAllMen is not only not denounced but so prevalent that it often is trending on Twitter you can see why people wish to seek sexual equality in a way as far removed from Feminist doctrine as they can.

Either way I'll take a look at this show. I've not heard of it before so it might be amusing or a cesspit of bad taste in jokes.

Mr. Q:
I watched Married... With Children but I never really enjoyed it. I may have laughed at one joke or two but the majority of the show was just repulsive. As for why I watched it, I can't say. I could use the "watching a train wreck" excuse, but I think it was mostly due to being a teenager and lacking a refined pallet for television. Or maybe I wanted to hurt myself mentally (I was going through a rough patch in my life, BTW).

As for the Men's Rights Activists, be it the fictional parody on a 90s sitcom or the disgusting reality we face today, it is definitely one movement that needs to be dumped into a mass grave alongside other outdated concepts and empty ideas. I'd call the MRA as outdated as the Betamax, but the Betamax still has a functioning purpose in the world.

Because men aren't people, I take it? Have you ever engaged with MHRM? Read articles regularly on A Voice For Men, COTWA, and A Voice For Male Students?

Or do you just regurgitate what feminists' have said about the movement? Gender equality is not a zero-sum game. The MRA has a right to exist. Feminism has a right to exist. Men have issues in society that no seems to have the strong plentiful balls to address or even acknowledge.

youji itami:

I was laid off on the 19th December last year, 119 staff in my department 42 white men the rest women or non white men all 42 white men were 'let go' because it's easier as women and non white men can and do sue every time for 'discrimination'. This is a thing now.

You were working at the Fabrications and Making Stuff Up factory, I presume?

God, I still love Married with Children. I think I identified most with Bud, who wound up being the most successful Bundy.
As for the maniac who shot up UCSB being an MRA, I don't buy it for a minute. In fact, none of these trigger-happy nut bags taking up the news nowadays have any legitimate cause for their heinous actions. I'll sum up my thoughts in the following Seussian rhyme:

As outlandish it sounds, I just have to vent,
An asshole's an asshole 100%!

Darth_Payn:
God, I still love Married with Children. I think I identified most with Bud, who wound up being the most successful Bundy.
As for the maniac who shot up UCSB being an MRA, I don't buy it for a minute. In fact, none of these trigger-happy nut bags taking up the news nowadays have any legitimate cause for their heinous actions. I'll sum up my thoughts in the following Seussian rhyme:

As outlandish it sounds, I just have to vent,
An asshole's an asshole 100%!

Plus, when you look at the stuff he posted on teh interwebz, it's fairly obvious that Elliot Rodgers was OUT OF HIS FUCKING MIND.

I really hope Men's Rights Activism and Feminism work together in the end.

Most of the issues that plague men negatively impact women too and vice versa.

Machine Man 1992:

Plus, when you look at the stuff he posted on teh interwebz, it's fairly obvious that Elliot Rodgers was OUT OF HIS FUCKING MIND.

Have you seen the stuff that MRAs post online? It's hard to tell the difference.

Aardvaarkman:

Machine Man 1992:

Plus, when you look at the stuff he posted on teh interwebz, it's fairly obvious that Elliot Rodgers was OUT OF HIS FUCKING MIND.

Have you seen the stuff that MRAs post online? It's hard to tell the difference.

Funny thing is, you think you're being clever-- you know, make me question my beliefs, really examine what I support, hopefully see some kind of skeleton in the closet-- if it wasn't for the fact I DO SEE WHAT MRA's POST ONLINE. I read A Voice For Men, COTWA, Judgy Bitch, A Voice For Male Students and Women Against Men religiously. I know what the MRA's are thinking, I read their content, and do you know what I find?

Stuff that proves that what feminists and internet commentators have been saying about the movement has been nothing but a giant CROCK OF SHIT.

I mean really; have these people ever engaged with the movement?

Machine Man 1992:
I know what the MRA's are thinking, I read their content, and do you know what I find?

Stuff that proves that what feminists and internet commentators have been saying about the movement has been nothing but a giant CROCK OF SHIT.

A few examples do not stand for all members of the movement.That's like saying that the existence of a few moderate Republicans is proof that crazies like Michelle Bachman don't exist.

For every semi-reasonable coherent arguer, there are probably 10 embittered men with revenge fantasies. Hell, you don't even need to look beyond the pages of The Escapist to see the crazy lurking there, every time a feminist issue is raised.

It was a show against the rampant politicial correctness of the late 80's and early 90's, so the opinion stated above is wrong. Everyone was a loser, and everyone dished out jokes at each other equally, men and women alike.

Trying to say this has anything to do with MRA's based on an old TV show (with none of the content creators or actors saying anything close to it) is shooting an arrow, painting a target around it, and claiming you're right.

RatherDull:
I really hope Men's Rights Activism and Feminism work together in the end.

Most of the issues that plague men negatively impact women too and vice versa.

This is the point where I ask, how?

Men commit suicide at four times the rate as women, can be drafted to go fight and die in some god forsaken country, have their assets seized by their wife during divorce, run through the legal meat grinder of the Family Court, be imprisoned and ostracized by the mere accusation of sexual misconduct, and expected to just lie there and take it. "Man up," is the "stay in the kitchen" of men.

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