A Quantitative Analysis of Mike Duran’s Opinions

prude-advisory(Warning:  This post contains language.  Cover your virgin eyes.)

If you haven’t had the misfortune of witnessing Mike Duran’s epic tone-trolling masterpiece, well, here it is.  Summary, Mike is mad that egalitarian women are using mean words like “enabling the patriarchy” and “glorifying abuse,” all in response to a totally polite article that only cited a woman staying with her abuser as a positive example, so he’s going to take his balls and go home to the complementarian camp.  That’ll show them!

340x-1One of the first things you’ll probably notice is the sheer mildness of the comments he’s objecting to.  No name-calling, death threats, swearing, or ad homines, just things like “shame on you” (haven’t stodgy old guys been using that one for centuries?) and “downright irresponsible” (dear God, what are you supposed to say if something is downright irresponsible?).  Obviously Mike isn’t just looking for people to avoid abusive language, but also to coddle his whiny-ass white-guy sensibilities, as demonstrated in the downright farcical comment section, where women try gentler and gentler ways of attempting to allow facts to penetrate his skull, only to be rebuffed every time with “That’s the kind of comment I’m talking about!”

I’ve, therefore, taken the opposite approach; since everything that isn’t completely deferential to him hurts his precious fee-fees, I’m just making an all-out assault on them.  Why?  Because it doesn’t change the validity of my argument in the least.  Mike, if you’re reading (and, come on, we know you are), let the record state that I don’t give a shit about the opinions of people who care more about who’s polite than they do about facts.  You’re welcome to post this on your blog as an example of shrill, hysterical womenfolk who just can’t see reason, but you’re also invited to kiss my ass.

There have been many wonderful responses to Mike’s post, so I’m not going to explore the rhetorical problems with his argument, but rather look at another question: Does Mike actually have a problem with tone, or does he just have an enormous rage-boner for ladies who don’t submit to his mighty cock by agreeing with him?  And yes, I am going to approach this scientifically.  If Mike has a real, dispassionate problem with tone, we should see that expressed about equally to people who agree and disagree with him, and about equally to men and women.  In particular, he should crack down zealously on inappropriate tone from his supporters, because he sure as hell wouldn’t want them undermining his side of the argument*.

straw-feminismMethodology: I went through the thread as of 11:30 July 13 and noted each poster (aside from Mike and me), their gender if known, and whether they generally agreed with Mike.  Then I noted Mike’s response: Did he not respond, did he respond positively, neutrally, or negatively, or did he make a crackdown, condemning the comment as the very sort of thing he was complaining about?  Finally, I made a vague attempt at quantifying how many uncivil things were said.   Since Mike is touchy beyond all belief and since words like “horrible” and “irresponsible” apparently count, I’ve used the vaguely objective metric of “negative adjectives and swearwords**.”  This puts Mike into the negative from the get-go (oops, he called the feminists “acerbic!”), but whatever.

Ready for the exciting results?  Here they are!  Raw data available as an XLS file.

  • Out of 49 total posters (not counting Mike and me), 32 were female and 13 were male (the rest were unknown).  Women left 70% of the comments, men 29%.  Top poster was the formidable Katherine Coble by a landslide (64 comments), followed by Mich Pendergrass (43 comments) and top male poster Alan Molineaux (38 comments).
  • A victory for human decency: 63% of the posters generally disagreed with Mike!  33% agreed and a few left neutral or unclear comments.  Women disagreed by a landslide (23 to 7), of course, while men agreed by a small margin (7 to 5).
  • Mike made a total of 10 comments that I classified as crackdowns: Three against Sara, one against Jill, two against Alan, two against Alise, and two against Maya3.  Thus, 80% were against women and 20% against men.  Normalized for the number of male and female posters, we find 0.25 crackdowns per female poster and 0.15 crackdowns per male poster.
  • Women received more crackdowns relative to the number of posts and negative adjectives they had posted.  Women received 0.17 crackdowns per comment and 0.25 per negative adjective, to men’s 0.05 and 0.13, respectively.
  • I’m sure you’ll be stunned to discover that 100% of the crackdowns went to people who disagreed with Mike, even though 29% of the negative adjectives came from people who agreed, versus 63% from those who disagreed (about the same as the ratio of comments, 33% to 63%).

Miscellaneous observations:

  • By far the most negative tone in the whole discussion came from…drumroll please…Mike himself!  This makes perfect sense; since his original post was complaining about others’ tone, everyone was on their best behavior so that he wouldn’t accuse them of being part of the problem, except Mike, who didn’t have to worry about such an accusation.
  • Negative adjectives often come in strings.
  • Almost everyone on his blog used a real (sounding) name, often full names.  I’ve noticed that Christian blogging circles have a higher rate of real names than secular ones, even though they rarely have official policies about real names; I don’t know why this is.
  • Violet, Sweet Pea, and Ralphie being catty

    Violet, Sweet Pea, and Ralphie being catty

    Surprise, surprise: When women tried to speak mildly and inoffensively so that they wouldn’t get labeled “shrill” and “acerbic,” they got called “wishy-washy” and “catty.”  You can’t win.

  • The phrase “shame on X” was used quite a few times in the thread.  Although Mike repeated the “shame on you” citation from the OP several times in a row as an example of hateful, inflammatory language, not once did he crack down on its use in his comments…towards people he disagreed with.
  • While Mike called Sara a troll for pointing out that he had benefited from feminism, Sally literally calls for people to take abuse in the name of Christ and Mike merely asks her to “clarify.”
  • Mike is as dense as a neutron star.  Go ahead, read that thread and despair as people try to explain simpler and simpler concepts to him and none of it makes a dent.  Abuse survivors may have a better understanding of abuse?  Saying “women submit to their husbands as men submit to Jesus” is treating men like gods?  Positively citing an abusive situation is glorifying abuse?  You wouldn’t call a man “shrill?”  Women face disadvantages in society?  LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!
  • He also has trouble spelling women’s names.
  • What the hell is the manosphere doing in this thread?  (The answer is, of course, wanking about white feathers, but where did they come from?)  Same poster is also a grade-A example of mansplaining: Not female, married, or an abuse survivor, but you must totally listen to his opinions on women, marriage, and abuse!

1347584048956_3393551In conclusion, Mike is a whiny little bitch with a congenital inability to pull his head out of his anus.  He wouldn’t know a strong argument if it bit him in the ass, his massive ego routinely pulls satellites out of orbit, and as a result, his reptile brain has no more advanced view of social justice issues than “I’m not trying to oppress people and anyway I’m colorblind.”

This post won’t change him.  Being nice wouldn’t change him, either.  I’m not trying to change him, because he’s incapable of change.  For the record, I don’t hate him.  I’m not even angry at him.  I am, in fact, amused, and I’m poking him with a stick for my own amusement and yours.

*Feminists do this all the time.  If they think body-shaming is wrong, you’re not getting away with saying “I wonder if the Republicans in Congress are compensating for something?”  If it’s wrong, it’s wrong, no matter who it’s directed at!

**Negative nouns and verbs, sadly, fall outside the scope of this particular post.  I didn’t count words in quotes and exercised some discretion about skipping words that were paraphrasing something that someone else had said.  There’s an inevitable degree of subjectivity even in quantitative studies like this.

Prude advisory found here.  Privilege denying dude found here.  Straw feminists, of course, by Kate Beaton.  Whiny-ass titty baby found here.

25 Comments

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25 responses to “A Quantitative Analysis of Mike Duran’s Opinions

  1. Holy cats. I can’t believe I beat out Mich for top commenter.

    As for the Mansplaining Champion…

    He actually has, in the past, mans plained to me about
    –my own marriage
    –Star Wars
    –why it is wrong for me to use the word “mansplaining”

    And it now occurs to me that half my comments were probably my responses to his little rabbit trails.

    • You were awesome in that thread, I have to say. And far more patient than I could ever be.

      • I tried. But I had to compose a few rough drafts before I got my final reply to Sally out.

        I feel like if I’d actually been awesome I would’ve convinced Mike of something…anything. At least I (and others) convinced him to not turn off the comments section. Maybe that’s the victory. :)

      • Meh, he’s not the kind of guy you convince of things. I’m a sucker for hopeless cases, so I might have given it a shot if you and others hadn’t already been cleaning up, but when he starts the conversation by confessing that he’ll literally take a position that he knows is false out of sheer contrariness, where on earth are you going to go from there?

    • Katherine, you are the champion of the sphere! I don’t know what sphere, but you are the champion.

  2. Thank goodness for those courageous women who fought for our right to vote, receive equal pay, and to not have to be knocked out dumb on the delivery table (among many other things). Because of their hard-fought victories, now we can say things like titty, dick, cock, bitch, ass (what did I miss?) to men in public. Personally, I tend to avoid such language because it doesn’t go over well in the professional settings I find myself in nearly 40 hours a week, every week.

    Before I take my take my primary-bread-winner-while-husband-stays-home-with-the-kids-and-cooks-dinner-for-me-Christian buttocks out of this discussion, I just have to ask: Why do you care so much about what one *man* thinks?

    • You’re adorable. I’m pretty sure even you realize that your comment contains absolutely no content.

      • I was thinking the same thing about your expletive-laced rant. (Girls can play at this game too, right?)

      • Sigh. This…is not how conversations work. I know I’m not going to make you understand, but if you are older than five, you can’t actually win an argument by going “No u!”

        Anyway, since you’re apparently going to hang around, help me out with something I find rather mystifying. What’s up with the “Why are you so obsessed with X?” line? Is it supposed to imply that I secretly agree with him or something? And what defines “obsessed,” anyway? Am I obsessed with everything I blog about once? If you comment a few more times, will that make you obsessed with me? Is Mike obsessed with Emily’s detractors? And why should I or anyone else care?

  3. 1. Sorry about the “phhsclass1993″. WordPress forces me to logon and doesn’t play nice sometimes.

    2. Yes, I am older than five, thus I know that cussing for shock value is immature. And thus, it *is* proving Mike’s point.

    3. I think Mike was unwise for publishing the offending post, but since I’ve followed him for awhile, I give him the benefit of the doubt.

    4. You pegged me as an “agree-er”, but “neutral” would be more fitting.

    5. I don’t “care” so much as I have an unhealthy obsession with Web debates gone bad. At least those I happen to be involved in. You seem to have more stake in the issue. Personally, I’ve seen and experienced the good and the bad on both sides of the feminism debate. There’s no greener grass. It’s all a tough row to hoe.

    6. It’s not often I dare to address a fellow female with snark. I usually reserve that for my discussions with other men. You seem open to snark, so I thought I’d dust mine off.

    • …None of your comments are actually going respond to the comments they’re replying to, are they? I mean, it’s amusing following the contradictions in your piles of almost-means-something (your post has no content, but I disagree with the methodology! I’m obsessed, but why are you so obsessed?) and watching you flip out over the swearing, but it’s kinda reinforcing my theory that you don’t know how conversations work.

      • You put together a spreadsheet analysis of the comments on Mike’s post…which took a lot of time…which makes me think you obsessed over it a bit… (You seem bright, I didn’t think I needed to explain everything plainly. It’s a compliment.)

        I’m not “flipping out”. I don’t care whose side of the argument you’re on, extraneous cussing for “shock” value lacks civility. It’s one of those things we woman should just leave to the men. They invented it. It’s annoying when they do it, and it’s annoying when women do it. (And I ignore men when they do it, too.) But, your blog, your rules.

      • I’m a writer. To me expletives are like spice. Some conversations work with them, some don’t.

        But I don’t at all care for the idea that expletives aren’t “ladylike” or are something that men invented and belong to them.

        Given the reaction people have to it, expletive-laden speech is powerful. The idea that powerful speech belongs only to men makes me a bit unsettled.

        As a Christian my policy is that I won’t use anything that profanes the sacred. But will I say something is utter bullshit? Yep.

        My purpose in conversations about feminism with non-feminists is to never cede control of my side of the dialog. That means not using words that injure. It doesn’t mean completely refraining from cruder language though.

        Sometimes you just have to admit what a f—–d up situation it is.

      • On an even more fundamental level, there is no good reason to cast “no profanity” as the default writing style and then force writing that contains swearing to justify it. Why am I swearing? Because I damn well want to! We could just as well cast swearing as the default style and start demanding that people explain their works’ lack of profanity.

  4. John

    See, what you girls don’t understand is…

  5. Claire

    Katherine and Katz: you are literally my favorite people in the whole wide world.

  6. I’m not anti expletive. Katherine you say they are spice. I agree with that. But when you use too many spices the overall effect is bland in that you can’t taste the flavor of the meat underneath. I also feel perfectly fine allowing men the honor of being the original source of such behavior in the same way I accept that Eve was tempted first. Based on my observation there are some gender differences. When I embraced them, my marriage improved (for instance). I embraced the differences when I realized I was imasculating my husband based on some fallacies I’d picked up from the feminist camp.

  7. Since my 5 year olds 4:00 potty break was apparently my wake up call for the day, I’ll amend my statement. I’m not beholden to the idea that the male gender was the birthplace of expletive laden rants. I can call it a spiritual fault shared by both genders if that satisfies the unease. At a spiritual level I don’t think gender plays as much of a role, if at all. Spiritually the genders tend to blend, or ought to anyway. But at a physical level men and women are different, including our biochemical make up. These differences cause some predictable outgrowths which are different for each gender. It’s those differences that I enjoy satirizing but it’s apparent to me that doing so tends to offend women who wear the feminist label. As for me, I don’t need that label. My life is living proof that I believe in gender equality.

    • Jordy

      Just wanted to chime in that I’m perfectly happy with my wife calling it like she sees it, swearing and all – especially when it’s aimed at folks like this guy who’s taken up the role of trying to tell her what language is acceptable for women. He deserves what he gets, haha.

      I’m also a firm believer in gender equality and feminism, but to paraphrase my good friend Inigo – “those words, you keep using them – I do not think they mean what you think they mean.” :-) Believing in gender equality pretty much makes you a feminist whether or not you like the label; as an example, I think of it kinda like how I think about calling myself “Christian” – the word may have negative connotations for some, but for me, it’s accurate, and I’d rather attempt to redeem it a bit instead of just doing the hipster thing from the sidelines.

  8. I have a mouth like a trucker. Oh wait. I am (was) a trucker. Guess that explains it.

  9. sarahlizhousespouse

    Mike thinks only women can be shrill and catty? He hasn’t visited the Youtube Atheist “community”. The amount of man-on-man cattiness and drama puts any stereotypes about girls in middle school to rest.

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