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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Tucker Max Has Female Fans: Why?

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Author Topic: Tucker Max Has Female Fans: Why?
Heather
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I linked to this on our Facebook page a little while back, and thought it'd be good to discuss here, especially since the discussion there pretty much has only involved one person.

From Jaclyn's piece:
quote:
Tucker Max thinks that "all women are whores" and that "fat girls aren't real people" -- and those are some of his family-friendlier observations. So why do so many women love him?

If you're not 19 and don't regularly scan the best-seller list, you may need an introduction to the Max oeuvre. Max, a hedonistic folk hero to his fans, got his start in 2002 when, egged on by a friend, he started a blog detailing what he calls his "life as a self-involved, drunken womanizer." The site now gets more than a million unique visitors every month. It has spawned a book, "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" -- more than 100 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list -- and his exploits have been adapted for the big screen in a movie opening this week.

Max and his growing audience share an unabashed focus on three basic adolescent obsessions: bodily functions, drinking toxic amounts of booze and "scoring." The women in his stories are insulted, tricked, coerced, traded and discarded. One conquest is vomited on and videotaped without her consent.

What say all of you? Am I -- or Jaclyn -- missing out on something generationally? Do you find this stuff funny? If so, while why can be a tough question to answer...well, why? If you DON'T feel about women the way he does and find it funny, why do you think it's funny to you?

If you don't find it funny, but know other women (or heck, men) who do, what are your theories?

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atm1
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Honestly, my first reaction when I heard of the stuff Tucker Max has written was "If this guy has written about doing things that meet the legal definition or rape, why hasn't he been arrested??"

I think a lot of men have been getting messages to be like him for a long time, and when he became well known, men loved him because he is what a lot of them "want" to be without the morals that keep other men from, you know, glorifying rape.

I think a lot, if not most, of it comes from the genuine belief that women who drink deserve bad things to happen to them. It's the same basic principle as watching America's Funniest Home Videos (is that even still on?), and laughing at the guy who hits his balls after falling off some hilarious contraption of his own making.

It's also the idea that people enjoy hearing about someone who makes them feel better about themselves. For some men who don't want to be Max, that means laughing at what an a--hole he's being. For some women, that means laughing at the women who he degrades and assaults and thinking that they're better than those women.

If there are men out there trying to duplicate Max's "antics" (and while I really, really hope not, I bet it's true), I hope that one of them gets charged with rape, and Max gets a charge of inciting violence.

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-Lauren-
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In the rare instance I find something like this funny, it's simply because laughing is the only thing I feel I can do, either out of shock or just a way to let it "roll off" so to speak. People like him are looking to shock people and get them to criticize them -- in fact, debating and insulting the women who call in is the majority of what similar radio hosts do.

I can't help but wonder if what they insist is right is partly true to explain this: that women like being treated like crap. Supposedly, the worse you treat them, the more they try to prove themselves "better" than the others in search of validation. The article hit it head on: the ultimate honor for a female fan is to sleep with this gross excuse of a man, get a tattoo proclaiming it, and get a blog entry written about her. All just to prove to herself that she's nothing like the women worthy of disrespect in his eyes when that's far from the truth.

A good part of it might also be the phrasing I hear used by females I know. These radio hosts/celebrities may say women are this, women are that, but to the female fans, they simply aren't THEM. Usually they'll say things like they've always been friends with guys, play tons of video games/drink a lot of beer, don't sleep around, don't like make-up, etc. It's always about how they're so different from the "sluts" and more in the camp of the guys who mock them.

Of course, I like to think and hope it's not true, that women like to be treated this way. But we are seeing it in other forms, like the Twillight saga mentioned by Jacylyn, the higher rates of eating disorders and media/peer glorification of things like young marriage and parenthood. I think sadly enough it's just another incarnation of the massive blow to self-image and esteem in younger women, in which they're so desperate for some form of validation that they're willing to try to get it from the lowest places possible. [Frown]

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Heather
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The one commenter on the Facebook page said a lot of things, but one thing she said was that the women he ridicules were "dumb and naive." (In other words, it's funny to HER because she isn't like those women, and/or "those women" deserved this kind of ridicule.)

That kind of statement seems in alignment with some of what both of you are saying.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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atm1
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And that kind of sentiment is honestly what's most terrifying to me about him.

Really, it seems to me like he's rape culture incarnate [Frown]

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Heather
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Believe me, I absolutely agree with you. But he DOES have female fans.

In fact, when my book first came out, a college-age woman basically said that Max's books were better sex ed than what we do here (and no, she wasn't suggesting them as object lessons, a la, educate yourself to avoid people like Max).

Then again, it's not like there aren't women who do their part to hold up rape culture: there absolutely are. It's just tough for me to understand the level of insensitivity you'd have to have for many of his statements and stories to be earnestly comical (rather than the laugh-to-keep-from-crying Lauren talked about).

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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IslaSingaza
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

In fact, when my book first came out, a college-age woman basically said that Max's books were better sex ed than what we do here (and no, she wasn't suggesting them as object lessons, a la, educate yourself to avoid people like Max).

Then again, it's not like there aren't women who do their part to hold up rape culture: there absolutely are. It's just tough for me to understand the level of insensitivity you'd have to have for many of his statements and stories to be earnestly comical (rather than the laugh-to-keep-from-crying Lauren talked about).

If you were looking to be manipulative or coercive, then I'd imagine this'd be a helpful learning tool. Otherwise I have no idea what you could pick up from it.

Reading his website, I'm having a very hard time finding any of this funny.
And I assume some women like him pretty much for the reasons Lauren set out - all very Female Chauvinist Pigs. (Which I read aged 16 and so may have unduly influenced me.)

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captaininsomnia
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Ugh. This dipshit again. I actually was down in when he was talking or on tour or something, and if it hadn't been for my friends I probably would have tried to pick a fight. Given that he's about half a foot taller on me, I dunno how with it I was then, but- the fact remains.

For my opinion - and it's just that, an opinion, because I have no fact into how this guys mind works - he and his followers practice a very narrow subset of homogenous thinking wherein they chose things they think are cool, and defend them to to the death. You generally find the level of stubborn defense in religion or politics: Tucker Max is one of the foremost authors who's done it with drugs, booze, and "free sex".

To him - and through him vicariously - these three things become incredibly important, the only mean of defining life in a world where jobs are non-guaranteed, one requires a degree to get any meaningful job, and years of hard work rarely amount to anything; so why worry about any of the important stuff? Don't sweat it. Have a drink, take your drug of choice, and try to score. If you do lots of that, you're the best, the manliest, the coolest; since he sees everything else as superficial, these three things become the only meaningful things to judge people by.

His male fans see this as reassuring machismo and total lulziness; after all, what's more cool than a guy that can live out all their fantasies, and not get in any trouble? Someone who tells all about them on the internet! And it doesn't matter that most of his exploits are probably just that - fantasies - the ones that aren't don't shake his fans because they're "funny". Why? Because no man could possibly really do all of this: and that disconnect between fantasy and reality serves as a convenient barrier. "I don't really believe he did x offensive things, so it's okay for me to enjoy it."

For women, I really don't know what it is, but would say it's a dangerous disbalance of power; due to society creating such hiearchal roles for gender and trying to enforce them lethally, it's only natural for some people to seek refuge in audacity, and go running to this guy largely for the same reason the menfolk do - fantasies. He can't really be that bad, he's so funny, he's so sarcastic.

Perhaps that sarcasm in his writing is the part that people actually find funny. To me, it just smacks of some idiot who was never successful or admired, found a niche to exploit, and made a dictatorship(add the letter k in there) out of false popularity. That being said, I really hate this guy and it's probably getting to my writing so if this post makes no sense, I do apologize in advance, heh.

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Jill2000Plus
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"free sex"

Because of course the sex that doesn't involve the woman being drunk off her bum is always a financial transaction of some sort, and alcohol doesn't cost money. Maybe he means free from commitment, but sex that is free from having to marry or be in a relationship with each other isn't the same thing as sex free from any consideration of what one's partner might want or not want.

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lionandox
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One of the big reasons that Max has any fans is because his writing caters to a desire for a twisted form of "justice." I have read a few pieces on his webpage. (I'm convinced that much of what he writes is made up--he rarely gives names, which, admittedly, could partly be to protect himself from libel suits, though he won a famous case against the sole(?) woman whom he did identify, a quasi-celebrity beauty queen whom he said some pretty nasty things about; Max won the case on the pretext of freedom of speech. In one piece about how he, without consent, had a friend tape a sexual encounter, Max went to great pains to establish that the tape had been destroyed in a very unlikely turn of events.) Nevertheless, real or not, Max's stories always depict him treating women like crap, but only after he has established that the woman "deserves" the mistreatment.

In the piece that I mentioned above about the taped encounter, Max does his best to paint his sexual partner as a sort of prostitute who agrees to anal sex only because Max buys her nice things and has agreed to take her out to dinner at a posh restaurant. Max never comes out and says it, but the subtext is that because the woman used him, she deserves everything that she got ,including the shock and humiliation of having the sex interupted by Max's friend falling out of the closet with a video camera.

In the piece about the famous beauty queen, Max describes his first encounter with the woman in a gym where she seems to be a chaste, intelligent person--the nice sort of girl that any man would be proud to call his girlfriend. However, Max then reveals her to be needy, too "dumb" to use correct verb tenses, and all too willing to sleep with his friends. Again, the subtext is that because this girl tricked Max about who she was, and because she is so deeply flawed as a person, she deserves all the mistreatment and humiliation that Max sees fit to throw at her.

My feeling is that a lot of Max's female fans have internalized ideas about what makes a "good girl," and that they are able to take pleasure in the suffering of "bad" women. Most fans probably think that what Max claims to have done is perfectly excusable because the women that he mistreated had it coming. He's not such a bad guy because he would never treat a "good" woman so terribly. I think the most disturbing thing about Max's writing is not the horrible things that he has supposedly done to women, but that he goes out of his way to show that some women "deserve" to be hurt and humiliated.

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Kawani3792
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I had never even heard of this guy, but I think he sounds like a creep, honestly. I tend to stay out of pop culture for the most part-I find things I like, not things that tv, news, etc says I should like.
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Janie Jones
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I don't find it funny. Tucker Max is all about actively dehumanizing women, and in the end dehumanizing men as well. I've only known 2 people who thought he was funny. One was a girl I knew in college, a friend of a friend. I hadn't heard of him before meeting her. I didn't know her that well, but I was told she was dealing with drug addiction, an eating disorder, compulsive stealing, and failing out of college. If I had to guess, I think she was dealing with low self esteem and other similar issues in her life, so her thinking Tucker Max was funny went along the lines of his stories making her feel better about herself because the women he wrote about had it worse off than her, and that at least she was "better" than them. The other person I knew who thought he was funny was a male coworker of mine. He happened to bring up how he had seen "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" and how funny it was. I had no idea that was the Tucker Max movie until I asked him what it was about. The moment I realized what the movie was I told my coworker that I thought that Tucker max was a misogynistic jerk, I didn't find him funny, and that I didn't want to hear about the movie or discuss it any further.
I really have no idea why so many people find him funny. None of the people I am close to or hung out with on a regular basis in college liked him, or even really knew who he was/is.

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Brennan
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((Nice song lyrics in your sig, Janie. Hurricane J is my favorite The Hold Steady song. [Big Grin] ))

Honestly, Tucker Max is one of the biggest assholes on the face of the earth, up on the same shelf of hate I reserve for such fantastic individuals in the field of sexual acceptance and political fairness such as Donald Trump and George Bush, Junior.

It's sad that people actually put up with his shit. I know that if I heard a guy like him talking smack about women in any public setting, I'd be really tempted to punch him in the face. :\

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AponiKanti
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Wow, i've never heard of Tucker Max and I'm really glad I haven't. I must agree with several people that he is an ******* and that I would be very tempted to punch him in the face if I ever met him and do the same to anyone like him
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