Web Video: Girl Writes What
"Shot on location in the Patriarchal Concentration Camp (kitchen)."
"Now, we still expect men to put women first, and we still expect society to put women first, and we still expect men to not complain about coming in dead last every damn time. But men don't even get our admiration anymore. All they get in return is to hear about what assholes they are. Is it any wonder they’re starting to get pissed off?"
—Girl Writes What, in her video Feminism and the Disposable Male.
Karen Straughan (better known by her screen name, girlwriteswhat
) is a Canadian men's rights activist, and divorced mother of three, who is most famous for her videos on YouTube
. She also hosts a blog called Owning Your Shit
. The primary focus of her work is how she thinks feminism has failed to address the discrimination faced by men in society (and, occasionally, has created new problems, or exacerbated existing problems) and therefore cannot be about equality. In short, she believes the current world we live in treats women like children and men like assholes. Her channel can be found here
. Transcriptions of her videos and other articles by her can also be found here.
Naturally, opinions about her are controversial so be wise when adding contributions to this page
She is also one of the founding members of the Honey Badger Brigade
Tropes that apply to her or her videos:
- Ad Hominem: Men's rights activists are regularly dismissed as crazy, delusional, and misogynist simply by virtue of being men's rights activists. She started making videos instead of writing, because she was being called a guy who's mad at women because he can't get laid; and/or a fat, ugly woman desperate to hold onto the only man that would be in a relationship with her by pandering to him.
- Animated Credits Opening: A butterfly flies over a pink and white title, and shortly bursts into flames and dies.
- Boyish Short Hair: She has several masculine traits, this being one of the most obvious.
- Canada, Eh?
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Frequently here, though it's not like you can blame her.
- The Lad-ette: She claims to smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish, has short hair, and isn't afraid of using offensive language.
- Mama Bear: She admits that one of the reasons she became an MRA is because she feared the effect that men's issues would have on her sons.
- Non-Indicative Name: She's a middle-aged woman, not a girl, she is most known for her videos with plenty of talking and not a lot of writingnote and she titles her videos with exactly what she'll be talking about, so relatively few people will be asking "What?".
- Power Trio: Formerly with John the Other and Typhonblue on A Voice for Men Radio. Now with Hannah Wallen and Typhonblue on Honey Badger Radio.
- Precision F-Strike: Often used for emphasis on subjects she considers particularly jarring. Most notable in a video she made dealing with Youtube users who unjustly flagged her videos, which she titled "You F***ing Cowards".
- Pretty Butterflies: Used and subverted. The butterfly burns to death in the title credits.
- A National Coalition For Men sticker is prominently displayed on her fridge in most of her videos.
- More generally, she mentions and make videos in reply/connection to other men's rights vloggers.
- Honey Badger Radio, the weekly show that she co-hosts, got its name from the famous honey badger video. Retaliation and vitriol from others who don't like what they're doing? Honey badger don't give a shit—neither do the hosts.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Was this with Femtheist Divine for a while, having often gotten into verbal smackdowns with her in the comments sections of her videos. This seems to have ended.
- In later installments of "Honey Badger Radio", she's developed a rivalry with a rubber duck named "Censor Duck". It Makes Sense in Context.
- Sophisticated as Hell
- Stay in the Kitchen: Several commentators apparently have the need to point out that most of her videos take place in her kitchen. She is aware of this, naturally. She cites the reason as being that it's the only place in her house where the lighting is actually good.
- Take That: She does this, too. A lot.
- Title-Only Opening
Tropes that she deals with:
- Black Comedy Rape: She believes that rape jokes are not off limits.
- But We Used a Condom: Mentioned in her series of videos about legal paternal surrender.
- Circumcision Angst: Averted.
- Comes Great Responsibility: She says that feminists and feminist organizations have abused their position of power, especially with regard to men's rights and maintains that this has created new gender inequalities and exacerbated existing problems that men face. She even provides examples of feminist organizations actively preventing others from attempting to solve problems that men face. The overarching theme of her very first video.
- Conscription: "Why Do MRAs Bring Up the Draft?"
- Date Rape: Deconstructed. She discusses the unfortunate legal situation that currently exists in some countries, where men - even though they, too, may be inebriated - are legally responsible for sex initiated during inebriation. She believes that both parties should be held accountable, and that both the man and the woman should be held individually responsible for their own sobriety and state of mind.
- Depraved Homosexual: Lampshaded in this video. Also mentioned in "Systemic Gendered Violence?", as follows:
Girl Writes What: It actually seems to me that the only way a boy will even be seen as a real victim within the public consciousness is if the perpetrator is an adult male, at which point pervasive and lingering homophobia overrides our view of the kinds of sexual violence against males that are acceptable in our culture.
- Dogged Nice Guy: In "Look out! It's a nice guy! DESTROY HIM!" she analyses the most common accusations leveled at Nice Guys (like that they are entitled jerkasses pretending to be nice only because they are after sex), and delivers a deconstruction of the mentality behind these accusations.
- Domestic Abuse: She points out the huge double standard involved with many domestic violence laws, such as Predominant Aggressor policies which make arrests based on such factors as height and weight (and not on things such as who is the abusive party), and states that the forms of DV outlined in the Duluth Model is the rarest form out there, so it shouldn't be what DV laws are based on. She also believes that although domestic violence is wrong, it's going to happen sometimes regardless of peoples' feelings, and when violence does happen, it's better to be slapped often than to be horribly beaten and hospitalized rarely.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Deconstructed, and thereby averted.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: See previous bullet.
- Entitled to Have You: Played with in "Look out! It's a Nice Guy! DESTROY HIM!!11!", in which she points out that even if there are men who act like this, many times this is a very unfair accusation against men whose only mistake was having unrequited feelings, and that there are also women who aren't any better and should NOT be treated that way.
- False Rape Accusation: Played straight in her video about Judith Grossman, and this other video as well as many other examples; she stresses that besides damaging or even destroying the reputation of the accused person, false rape claims also damage the plight of real rape victims.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Deconstructed and averted, specifically as it relates to rape.
- Female Misogynist: Believes many feminists to be this, noting that they often seem to like emphasizing (read: exaggerating) female inferiority and victimhood to further their agendas. Whether or not GWW herself qualifies SHOULD NOT be talked about here.
- Fetus Terrible: In "Those privileged blue bundles of joy", she lambastes a pregnant woman who worries that her fetus will be a boy who grows up to be a violent rapist.
- And doubled for her video about Anders Breivik, whose mother made Norman Bates' look sane in comparison - Breivik's mother, based on a report in the British Telegraph, had apparently decided her son was violent while he was still in the womb solely because he kicked a lot.
- Financial Abuse: She presents this as repercussion of current divorce and child support laws.
- Gendercide: She points out that some radical feminists believe this is a positive thing. She also points out in her video criticizing people who try to disavow a certain feminist who goes by the name of "FemtheistDivine" as not being a part of their movement that while genocides have been seen as solutions to problems throughout history, the concept of committing genocide on the human male did not exist until around the time the feminist movement began picking up speed and has never been proposed by someone who isn't either a feminist or involved with feminism. She does not consider this to be a coincidence.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Played with, as she sees feminism as treating women in this way.
- Just Fine Without You: Averted. It is an important premise of hers that men are vital to the functioning of society, and that if they are not commensurately rewarded for their service to that society they will abandon it. A society of only women will not last long.
- Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: She believes feminists and feminist organizations have cherry-picked and otherwise twisted statistics to their own benefit.
- Logic Bomb: Lampshaded by her in this video in which a group of feminists tear down men's rights posters (an act of censorship) and then proceed to claim that preventing them from tearing down posters constitutes an act of censorship against them.
These people believe that preventing them from doing censorship is doing censorship against them... (dumbfound silence) Up is Down. Black is White. Inside is Outside. Left is Right. And Censorship equals Free Speech.
- Macho Masochism: Deconstructed.
- Man Child: Discussed in a specific context in "Men not marrying. How deep does 'the problem' go?" She deconstructs the idea that men who don't want to marry are immature, and lays the blame instead at society's perception of men, divorce law, gender roles, and the power imbalance in modern relationships.
- Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: She subscribes to this theory, after a fashion. Although she believes men and women are generally inherently different, she recognizes that gender is a spectrum and not a switch and that there are outliers.
- Men Act, Women Are: "The Tyranny of Female Hypoagency".
- Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: Deconstructed.
- Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty: See the previous two bullets.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Discussed in many of her videos, but probably the most well known is "Feminism and the Disposable Male".
- Men Don't Cry: Deconstructed. Mentions how men are always expected to suppress their feelings and receive no sympathy, unlike women in many situations.
- Moral Myopia: She seems to believe that a version of this that strongly favors women is one of the problems that needs to be dealt with (she has used many examples of unjust laws and news stories to support this.)
- No True Scotsman: a.k.a. NAFALT (Not All Feminists Are Like That). Directly addressed here.
- Pædo Hunt: See Would Hurt a Child below.
- Playing the Victim Card: One of the main criticisms she has for the current legal system is that she believes it allows many female criminals to invoke this trope to avoid harsh punishment or even receive no punishment at all. (Seeing as there are certain US states where a female Domestic Abuser can beat her husband, call the police, and then have the beaten man forcibly removed from the house its a safe bet that this particular criticism certainly has its merits.)
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: Her take at the March 2013 "Donglegate" affair, as well as several other examples.
- Quote Mine: Happens to her more than she'd like. In "Why Do MR As Bring Up the Draft", for example, she states that people often accuse her of blaming feminism for male disposability, even though she explicitly said that the concept has existed since "the dawn of time".
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Deconstructed and averted.
- Rated M for Manly: Deconstructed.
- Straw Feminist: She has been accused of constructing straw feminists to argue against.
- The Unfair Sex: Whoo boy...
- Unfortunate Implications: Discussed and invoked in regards to the "Don't Be That Guy" campaign; GWW points out that this campaign sends a harmful message to not only men, but women and actual rape victims.
- As she sees it, men are being told that they're rapists by nature, that they can't be raped—at least, not by women which in turn leads to an entirely different set of UI—and that they're obsessed with sex and want it twenty-four/seven.
- Women, meanwhile, are taught to think that every man they meet is a literal rapist and that they shouldn't try to defend themselves and that instead men should just be harassed with this message until women are safe.
- And perhaps most harmfully, an actual female rape victim is told that men rape because it's just something men do rather than something sociopaths who don't care who they hurt do. And with that, coupled with the manipulations of her rapist to talk her out of turning him in, she's rendered reluctant to try and turn him in or get help. Additionally, she notes that claiming that women "never lie about rape" implies that a rape victim must always be believed when she says she was raped. Doesn't sound that bad at first, but she goes on to state that this can lead a rape victim to think that when the police ask her questions they're supposed to ask, they're doing so not because some people lie, but instead because they intentionally want to make the process harder for her for no real reason and don't actually want to help her. Given the fact that rape survivors very commonly suffer from issues with trust, this is not a good thing to be implying to them.
- Woman Child: One of her main concerns is that she perceives society in general to treat women like children. This trope is the topic of "Neoteny!".
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Deconstructed.
- Would Hurt a Child: Deconstructed, especially the unfortunate gender-specificity of the perpetrators.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Deconstructed, especially the bias in favor of women in the trope.
- You Keep Using That Word: In "Look out! It's a nice guy! DESTROY HIM!" she points out that according to the definition of the word "entitlement", someone who feels entitled to another's feelings will not act super-nice and bend over backwards in order to earn it. Instead, they'll expect it to be handed to them because from their perspective, it's already theirs to begin with; And thus, it cannot be used as an insult as it is not applicable to the case of so-called Nice Guys.