lb_lee: (serious thought)
[personal profile] lb_lee
This story requires a little bit of context.  Before I left Mammoth, which has a notorious troll problem, I said, "I promise, the next [troll] I summon will be a psychic MRA tripping balls and talking about his special man castle surrounded by male-only guard dogs and soul infantry." Unimaginative swore that she would prompt me with this for the next writeathon; I did not expect her to actually remember.  Welp, sure showed me!  She also added, "I'm grateful that trolls' powers don't manifest in the real world." Which I took and ran with.

This story was originally much sillier, but it just wasn't working.  Much as I wish I could say otherwise, most of the things Mr. Mann says are based on things from A Voice for Men.  Enjoy, everybody!  Happy Thanksathon!

The Man In His Castle


When the hazy-eyed civilians and the drooling dogs catch Reggie, he doesn’t resist.  He lets them cart him through the mazelike halls of the hedge castle and drop him at the gazebo at the center.  That’s where he was headed anyway, and he doesn’t want to hurt the  mind-controlled.

Sitting in the gazebo is a man with a horrible hollow expression.  Reggie knows he doesn’t have much time before he becomes another soul-puppet, so he clears his mind, focuses entirely on the task at hand, and says, “I want to talk.”

The man’s face remains blank, and something starts curling around Reggie’s mind.

“I want to know you,” Reggie continues desperately. “Your philosophy.  Mr… Mann, was it?”

The man’s brow furrows, as though remembering something from long ago.  His lips don’t move, but his mental voice booms out, so loud it makes Reggie’s molars hurt. “Yes,” the man booms. “Yes, that’s me.”

“You were an activist, weren’t you, Mr. Mann?”

The man’s face caves in. “You’re a superhero.  One of them.  You don’t care.”

Actually, Reggie is a street vigilante, not a superhero, but he doesn’t argue. “I care.  I want to know about you.” He sits, crossing his legs, and tries to ignore the army of puppeted souls.  He holds up his empty hands. “See?  No weapons; I don’t want to fight, just talk.”

The man gives him a piercing look, and for a moment, Reggie is sure he’s blown it.  But then: “You meet people.  You think they’ll listen.  But they betray you.  They always betray you.” The man looks at the dead-eyed dogs and civilians with something resembling fondness. “But not anymore.”

“What happened?”

Mr. Mann looks at him, and in his eyes there is a crushing despair. “Do you know what hypergamy is?”

Reggie shakes his head.

“It’s a biological urge.  Scientific fact.  It means women are always looking for the bigger wallet, the bigger car, the bigger cock.”

“Um,” Reggie says, thinking of his mother, who’s been happily married to an auto mechanic for seven years now.

“Don’t deny it,” the man says, his eyes full of despair. “It’s true.  We want to believe women care, that they can care.  And some of them do.  Maybe.  But to most of them, we’re dirt.  A dildo and a wallet.  The sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.”

Reggie doesn’t think the man looks happy. “What about lesbians?” He asks, thinking of Zambi.

The man finally shows some emotion; he rolls his eyes. “Don’t patronize me.  Lesbians?  You come into my castle, say let’s talk, and you talk lesbians?  We aren’t even dildos and wallets to them.  We’re nothing.  They don’t need us.  They don’t want us.  What use would a lesbian have for men?”

Reggie thinks about the party he went to last week with Zambi, how they had a couple drinks and talked about the vigilante business and work hours and how the hell anyone could do this stupid job with its stupid villains like the Civil Planner and Mutant Cherry Pie.  He made her laugh. “Friends.”

The man chuckles.  It sounds like hope dying. “No such thing.”

Reggie doesn’t say anything.  He just thinks of Zambi, and the man gives him a look of crushing pity.

“She’s lying to you,” he says. “They’re all lying to you.  They don’t care.  None of them care.  They can’t.  You can’t be a friend to a woman.  At best, you can be her owner.”

“Who told you that?”

“Nobody told me anything,” the man says. “They didn’t have to.  Test it yourself.  Rock the boat a little.  Mention hypergamy.  Ask about rape fraud.  You’ll see what women really think of us.”

Reggie thinks about Zambi’s laugh.  He thinks about her admitting after those drinks that she first went into the vigilante business after her friend got assaulted so it’d never happen again.  Despite himself, he starts getting angry. “What women really think of you, you mean.”

The man just looks at him with sadness. “You’ll find out,” he says. “Everyone finds out.”

“So you’re going to mind-control everyone?” Reggie says. “Become their ‘owners’?  Keep them from betraying you that way?”

“It’s not about me,” the man says, and he doesn’t sound triumphant, just resigned. “It’s about everyone.  To rebuild something, you must destroy it.  I know it’s hard, and I’m sorry, but it’s the only way.  It’ll build a better future.  I don’t expect you to understand.”

“No,” Reggie said. “I don’t.”

The man shakes his head. “I was like you once.  I didn’t want to think half the population could be so spiteful and self-serving.  But you’ll see.  They’ll betray you too one day.”

Reggie finally loses his temper. “You think I ain’t never been cheated on?  Never met a nasty woman?  Never seen a divorce or a break-up or abuse or any of that?  You tripping.  You stupid.  You just some sad, pathetic little mind-controller, and you don’t know shit.”

The man’s eyes flash, and something snares around Reggie’s will, squeezing tight and raw and making him gasp.  The man surges into him, digs in deep, and it’s horrible… and then he finds Reggie’s true intentions, and his eyes go wide.

Reggie laughs. “Knew the lesbians would distract you.”

And then Jake and Tank burst through the maze and charge into the gazebo.

Jake gets there first, of course, using super-powered muscle and inertia, but the man throws out a hand and Jake collapses.  Tank, however, follows in Jake’s wake and knocks the man cold.

The mental grip vanishes from Reggie’s mind, and the dogs and civilians slump to the ground.

“About time you got here,” Reggie says. “I was afraid I’d have to get him monologuing.” He points at Tank. “You.  You are good to have around.”

Tank smiles and salutes. “Sorry we’re late.  Maze was tougher than we expected, and we couldn’t track the voice.  My ears are still ringing.”

Jake is already bending over to throw the man over his shoulders.  Reggie looks at his quarry’s face, miserable even unconscious and shakes his head. “My own fault.  Lost my temper.  Knew I shouldn’t try arguing with him, but he was so pitiful…”

“Don’t bother,” Tank says, and Reggie recognizes the voice as Lucinda’s now. “He made his choice to be a mind-controlling asshole.”

Reggie sighs. “I know.”

They run clean up, and Jake is uncharacteristically silent the whole time.  At first, Reggie assumes he’s sulking about not getting to KO the man, but then Jake says, “Hey, Reg?”

“Yeah?”

“Do I sound like that?”

Reggie looks up, takes in Jake’s face, uncomfortable and determined. “Yeah,” he says. “A lot of the time, you do.”

Jake closes his eyes. “Okay.” Pause. “I don’t want to be like that.”

“I don’t want you to be like that either.”

Jake nods, then walks away with the man to the cops.  Reggie lets him go and carefully exhales.  For a moment, he feels almost thankful to Mr. Mann.

Then it passes and he gets back to work.

Date: 2014-11-11 03:51 am (UTC)
plures: (General CUSTARD.)
From: [personal profile] plures
We wonder if Mr Mann has ever worked with... FORESKIN MAN?! (And we can't say we're surprised those quotations ACTUALLY came from A Voice for Men).

~K & H
Edited Date: 2014-11-11 03:51 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-11-11 07:05 am (UTC)
ljlee: (peach_moved)
From: [personal profile] ljlee
I love the way you worked in those AVFM talking points. I've always known the MRA philosophy was morally bankrupt, but the character of Mr. Mann also helped me realize how sad it is at the core. You have to have some pretty fucked-up ideas about people, both men and women, to believe the things they do. I was in a parent-child relationship overshadowed by the belief that control over my free will was the only way to make sure nothing bad ever happened, so I can sympathize with Mr. Mann even while condemning his beliefs. Incidentally, my dad has really patriarchal beliefs himself. A correlation between kyriarchal beliefs and abuse should surprise no one, as in this article describing how men justified violence toward their partners.

I wonder how AVFM would explain women like Reggie's mom, or women like me--those who practice hypogamy, so to speak. I encouraged my husband to quit his corporate job that was making him miserable and to pursue his passion. I work outside the house most days, he works from home on projects for his new career and also takes care of the house. If we have kids he will most likely be the primary caretaker. None of this would have been possible if it weren't for feminism. But of course, if I put the question to a MRA his response will be one or more of: a) I must not be a woman at all but psychologically a man, or b) my husband and I must be secretly miserable because we're going against the natural order, or c) I'm actually a humanist, not a feminist, I just don't know it.

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