Is sacrifice heroic? Manboobz doesn’t get it.

Manboobz tries to repudiate the notion of men’s rights authors that being killed for your girlfriend doesn’t make you a hero, it just makes you dead.

He starts his article with the Headline “Why do Men’s Rights Activists hate the heroes of the Aurora theater shooting?”

This is wrong and a complete misunderstanding of the MRA complaint.

You could say instead “Why do Men’s Rights Activists object to people who applaud men being killed?” or “Why don’t Men’s Rights Activists think ‘A man gets killed’ is preferable to ‘A woman gets killed’?” or even “Why do Men’s Rights Activists think that being killed instead of a woman is something men should not aspire to?” or “Why do Men’s Rights Activists value a male life just as much as a female one?”.


One question that manboobz finds objectionable is:   “After all, where are the guys who jumped in front of their best mate, or their dad or brother? And above all, where are the women who died saving their boyfriends?”

This is a valid question that should be answered properly.

Manboobz’ answer is “there where many heroes”, linking to this article. I am always curious with that kind of link. Here is a short summary of the heroism mentioned in the linked article:

Boyfriend (Matt McQuinn) and brother (Nick Yowler) shield girlfriend/sister (Samantha Yowler)

Girl (Allie Young) get’s shot in the neck and friend (Stephanie Davies) puts herself in danger to stop Allie from bleeding to death.

Man (no name given) puts himself in danger to stop son’s girlfriend from bleeding to death.

Woman (no name given) sacrifices her belt to make a tourniquet for some wounded thigh. Outside the theatre, no apparent danger.

Firefighter (Jennifer Seeger) calms the people around her. In a temporary break in the shooting she feels the pulse of a man badly wounded (“he was fading”) and starts to drag him outside but drops him to run away as soon as someone yells “the shooter is coming”.

Man (Marcus Weaver) blankets his friend (Rebecca Wingo). When trying to flee he gets separated from her; he gets shot in the shoulder, she dies.

Man and his sister stay low before rushing to the lobby. He is focused only on his sister and regrets he had no time to help anyone else. It is not mentioned what the sister did or whishes she had done.

Obviously not a comprehensive list.

To sum up: Several men tried to shield some female, many of them thus increasing the danger to their own lives, three dying. We know of only one female that did not get herself out of danger as fast as possible to help a friend (also female).

If anything this article strengthens the MRA’s point. The heroic women in the story are called heroic because they more or less competently get themselves and in some unclear cases those around them out of danger. Men are heroic when they increase the danger to themselves so that someone else (mostly female) has a better chance to survive.

Only one woman is mentioned willing to sacrifice herself. For another woman.


Manboobz says: “Is it possible that (…) gender socialization had something to do with what their instincts told them to do? Almost certainly.”

In other words: Yes, our society expects men to sacrifice themselves.

But, manboobz says, that has always been the case. So that’s alright then. No need to change anything.


“The three men didn’t do what they did because they thought they were worthless or disposable. They did what they did because they wanted to protect those they loved.”

Again: MRA has no problem with the individual choice of those three. The point is not not the three men thought they were disposable (which they probably didn’t if they had had time to think about it). But society does, which is expressed by societies endeavours to teach other males that this is admirable behaviour.

If – as Manboobz claims – sacrificing yourself is a sign for love why is there no story about a woman sacrificing herself for her man? Don’t women love their men?

Of course they do.

Which goes to show that “love” in itself is just no answer to why its always the men who die for their (female) partners. There must be some added force. Which may be deemed objectionable when its effect is that only men get killed.


Another Manboobz paragraph:

MRAs like to pretend that men are the “disposable sex” but in their hearts they know that’s not true. They’re well aware, as are we all, that  our cultural narratives of heroism privilege and glorify men and put them at the center of almost every story. MRAs like The Pigman aren’t  interested in expan ding our cultural narratives of heroism to include female heroes — nor are they willing to even acknowledge that there are such things as female heroes in the real world. They certainly don’t want more stories, more games, more films featuring female protagonists.

OK, bit by bit…

“MRAs like to pretend that men are the “disposable sex” but in their hearts they know that’s not true”

More than 90% of all work fatalities are men. Practically all american soldiers killed in the Near East are men. Society’s expectation of who should sacrifice themselves in a shooting is towards men. This is all systemic. Our society sees to it that the risk stays with the men. The rights, rewards and privileges on the other hand are continually shifted towards women. How much more disposable can you get?

“our cultural narratives of heroism privilege and glorify men and put them at the center of almost every story”

The stories that “glorify” men are the ones about men willing to die for country, girl or some other morality. Men taking risks used to be the (accepted) price for their role in society in previous centuries. That role is denied and vilified in our ‘modern’ society. IOW: men no longer get any rewards for being a hero. Some only get to be dead.

“They certainly don’t want more stories, more games, more films featuring female protagonists.”

Have you never heard of Tomb Raider? Lolipop Chainsaw? Any of these or these or these?  Can you name one e.g. crime-series on TV without a half-female team of cops? Where usually the females are portrayed as somehow more competent than the men (e.g. NavyCIS)? How about “Bones” or “Charmed” or “Buffy” or “Heroes” or “Star Trek (Voyager)”?

What world is Manboobz living in? What kind of media is he watching? Can he show any proof of the claim that MRAs object to heroines on TV or in cinema?


“I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice.”

I wonder about the outrage created by that tweet.

Practically every chick flick contains a variation of the sentence “He was not worth it” about some ex. And practically everyone can relate to that, Many people have someone in their past they would feel hard pressed to explain. If “He was not worth my time” is OK, how come “She was not worth my life” is not OK?

An example of “not worth it”: The thought that I could have sacrificed myself on the spur of the moment for the specific girl I was with when I was 22 fills me with horror. If I had to choose between me and her now I would have little qualms to choose me. She on the other hand would have no qualms whatsoever to choose herself. Which is quite interesting in this context.

I would, on the other hand, certainly take a bullet for my wife. She is worth it.

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