"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. While much of her work is controversial to a degree, she refuses to pull punches and has no problem speaking her mind.
She also hosts a blog called Owning Your Shit, where she makes posts related to her activism. The primary focus of her work is about how she believes that feminism (or at least mainstream feminism) has failed to address the discrimination faced by men in society (and, occasionally, has created new problems, exacerbated existing problems, or prevented others from attempting to solve issues that men face) and therefore cannot be about true equality.
Among the arguments she makes to support her claims are that feminism has done little to free men from the burdens placed upon them as it has done with women, and the fact that men are still overlooked and ignored in areas that have been much improved for women. In short, she believes the current world we live in treats women too much like children and men too much like assholes, by victimising women while vilifying men. Her channel can be found here.
Tropes that apply to her or her videos:
- Ad Hominem: Men's rights activists are regularly dismissed merely on the grounds of their affiliation with the men's rights movement, without any regard to the content behind their position.
- The only reason she started making videos at all, she says, is because she was being dismissed on the grounds that she was either a guy who's mad at women because he can't get laid; 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.
- 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.
- Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: She has herself stated that her men's rights videos are more popular, many times over, than her male counterparts', due largely to this trope.
- Non-Indicative Name: She's a middle-aged woman, not a girl, and she posts videos where she talks instead of writing (unless you count her blog).note However, she titles her videos with exactly what she'll be talking about.
- 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.
- Shout Out: 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.
- Take That: She does this, too. A lot.
- Title Only Opening
- Stay in the Kitchen: Several commenters apparently have the need to point out that most of her videos take place in her kitchen. She is aware of this, naturally.
- Averted by her, though.
Tropes that she deals with:
- Abomination Accusation Attack: has regularly discussed the mainstream's erroneous perception of the men's rights movement. She lists examples of the charges made against men's rights activists in this video.
- All Abusers are Male: Examined, disproved, and rejected in many of her videos, especially "Systemic Gendered Violence?"
- All Men Are Rapists: See previous bullet.
- Conscription: "Why Do MRAs Bring Up the Draft?"
- The Baby Trap: Played straight.
- Black Comedy Rape: She believes that rape is 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 states that feminists and feminist organisations 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 organisations actively preventing others from attempting to solve problems that men face.
- The overarching theme of her very first video.
- Date Rape: Deconstructed. She discusses the unfortunate legal situation that currently exists in many countries, where men - even though they, too, may be inebriated - are often solely 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.
- Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Deconstructed, and thereby averted.
- Double Standard Rape: Male on Male: See previous bullet.
- 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.
- Fate Worse than Death: Deconstructed and averted, specifically as it relates to rape.
- Gendercide: She states that some radical feminists believe this is a positive thing.
- 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.
- 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 organisations have cherry-picked and otherwise twisted statistics to their own benefit.
- She discredits the "1-in-4" rape myth
- Ditto for the "77 cents to every dollar" myth
- She explains domestic violence statistics
- Logic Bomb: Lampshaded by her in this video in which a group of people 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.Preventing you from doing censorship is doing censorship against you... (dumbfound silence) Up is Down. Black is White. Inside is Outside. Left is Right.
- 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 recognises 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, hard.
- Also averted, in that she treats both sexes equally.
- 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.
- Pædo Hunt: See Would Hurt a Child below.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Deconstructed and averted.
- Rated M for Manly: Deconstructed and perhaps justified within a historical, anthropological, and sociological perspective.
- Straw Feminism: People have criticised her for constructing what they believe to be straw feminists.
- No True Scotsman: a.k.a. NAFALT (Not All Feminists Are Like That).
- Directly addressed here.
- The Unfair Sex: Whoo boy...
- 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!".
- Would Hurt a Child: Deconstructed, especially the unfortunate gender-specificity of the perpetrators.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Deconstructed, especially the bias in favour of women in the trope.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Deconstructed in her videos.
- You Keep Using That Word: In "Look out! It's a nice guy! DESTROY HIM!", she says "entitled" is commonly used as an insult when the word "entitlement" by definition implies rightfulness, and actually means getting something with little or no effort. "Entitlement" does not entail jumping through hoops and going out of one's way to do nice things in order to get something.