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"It's the power that women have … they abuse it": Anti-feminist women in western Canada and the online men's rights movement

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
The Honey Badger Brigade is an organization affiliated with men's rights activism and the men's rights movement (MRM) that is primarily made up of women from Western Canada. These women refer to themselves as "gender apostates" (Honey Badger Manifesto, n.d.) and vehemently oppose what they view as ideological feminism and the culture of self-victimhood it creates for women. The Honey Badger Brigade fights for the widespread recognition of "male disposability": the belief that through feminism, men are an oppressed social class that society ultimately views as disposable. To make their positions and ideologies known to the world, the Honey Badger Brigade produces a daily podcast called Honey Badger Radio. By applying a feminist critical discourse analysis to a selection of these podcast episodes, this thesis explores the role women who actively engage in anti-feminist work play in the MRM. I argue that these women provide the MRM with legitimacy and bolster their principles to broader publics by building on Sarah Banet-Weiser's (2018) theory of reciprocity between popular feminism and popular misogyny. I examine the ways the Honey Badger Brigade maintains this legitimacy through the discourse of shame, a narrative that they produce repeatedly to widen and form their own community of men's rights activists by defining when and how men feel shame (Ahmed 2004). These arguments are situated within a regional context, drawing on Lisa Nakamura's (2002) concept of the cybertype in relation to images of settler colonial white femininity that is embedded within Western Canadian resource extraction economies. For the Honey Badger Brigade to maintain their belonging and power within the online world of the manosphere, they must weaponize their unique, regionally informed femininities and online identities.
80 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: McKinney, Cait
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