Republican Lawmaker Who Created Reddit’s Red Pill Forum Dragged by Women at an Investigative Hearing
Don't worry, though. He swears he's "never hated women."
— Kristen Carosa (@KCarosaWMUR) May 9, 2017
Last month, an investigation by The Daily Beast revealed that the man who created Reddit’s horrifically misogynistic Red Pill forum is currently serving as a GOP lawmaker in New Hampshire. Now in his second term as a state representative, Robert Fisher didn’t deny the allegations, but admitted in a statement that he had “said some injudicious things about the opposite sex following a bad breakup” and that in his early 20s (when the forum was created), “false rape accusations became a very real concern of” his. Rape denial is a favorite, frequent topic in the forum.
Fisher ostensibly stepped down as the page’s moderator in 2013, shortly after losing his first run for office. (Running, by the way, as a Democrat.) But a new article at the Daily Beast alleges Fisher is actually still running the forum under the handle redpillschool. That account was created the day before Fisher, as Pk_atheist, handed over control of the group, and has ties to websites registered to Fisher’s personal email accounts.
If Fisher is operating as redpillschool (which he says is “categorically false”), it’s an important part of this whole story. Because Tuesday afternoon, Fisher faced a legislative committee looking into whether action should be taken against him. They can only make that decision, though, based on comments and actions from the current legislative period, meaning this calendar year.
Tuesday’s hearing was conducted by a 13-member panel. Reports indicate that no one showed up to defend Fisher, except for Fisher himself.
No one has testified in defense of Fisher today. Also noteworthy: Almost everyone testifying against him is a woman. #nhpolitics
— Kathleen Ronayne (@kronayne) May 9, 2017
Fisher himself admitted he started the forum, but don’t worry, everybody, he swears he’s “never hated women.” It’s just a matter of those “injudicious” statements being taken “out of context.” (Aren’t they always?) He said the entire hearing was a “poor use of our time.” To his credit, Fisher does seem to be an expert on poor uses of time, as Daily Beast notes he “has refused to sit on a committee and shows up to vote only half the time.” He also reportedly passed around a simplistic hot take of a letter on the New Hampshire transgender bathroom bill as proof that he’s totally doing his job.
I know the committee has to work within the limited timeframe of the current session, but the mere creation of the forum is enough for most voters, as well as Fisher’s colleagues, to want his removal. (Or, at the very least–hopefully–prevent his re-election.) But if he is operating as redpillschool, it’s clear his opinions on women haven’t changed in the slightest, and can’t be written off as post-breakup, early 20s youthful foolishness. Here are just a few chilling comments that user has made. (Content warning for rape, sexual assault, and assholedom.)
— He wrote a three-part series titled “All Women Lie About Rape.” He claims the title in facetious, and meant to imply that some women do, in fact, lie about rape. Which isn’t a whole lot better.
— He wrote in a comment on his own post, “You don’t need a strategy for rape, other than ‘where do i buy roofies, and what’s the best brand of duct tape?”
— He believes “Feminists are obsessed with rape because we live in a rape fantasy culture, where feminists wish they were hot enough to be rape-able.”
–Perhaps most upsetting, redpillschool admitted he has committed sexual assault. “I have had A LOT of sex in my life. I think by feminist-definition some of it was rape.” He went on to spew all-too typical vileness. “You know what the crazy thing is? It was totally consensual sex that the chicks were into and came back for more. But yeah, we live in a culture of Schrodinger’s Rapist, where the only difference between a rapist and a non-rapist is what the girl decides the next day (or week). It’s impossible not to be a rapist if you plan on having relations with women.”
Even the official statement he released after the original Daily Beast article doesn’t paint him in a great light. For starters, in addressing one of the “most egregious” quotes from the Red Pill forum (that rape isn’t an “absolute bad” because the rapist “probably likes it a lot”), wrote, “Don’t I have sisters and a mother or some sort of moral compass? The media says NO! But friends and family have contacted me to assure me I didn’t become a rapist over night. I feel like I should listen to them.” He explains, “What was the context of that statement? It was a debate about absolute truth that was recurring on my forums back in ’08.” Because Fisher really doesn’t see any problem with making light of rape and mocking victims of rape in order to play “devil’s advocate.”
He also addressed the numerous comments he made about women lacking intelligence. In one such post, he describes how intelligent his mother and sisters are, and how he’s never met another woman who appeared that smart. In his recent column, he writes, “Sure, my experience would eventually lead me to discover that all is not lost in the bleak world of dating, as I’m in a very happy relationship today. But my god did it suck when I realized just how high of a bar my family set for my expectations, with no preparation for the eventual realization that most people won’t be what you expect.” Does that sound like he stands by his claim that women as a whole aren’t as intelligent as his family members? It does, doesn’t it?
There is a lot more bullshit in that column to wade through if you feel so inclined.
At the hearing today, the committee heard testimony from constituents and colleagues (mostly women) voicing their concern in having this kind of rampant misogyny in the legislature.
Amanda Grady Sexton of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said “The representative is promoting the false narrative that victims are liars.”
Rep. Linda Tanner said, “There will be women who will suffer bullying, abuse or become victims of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence as a result of the remarks, actions and website made by Mr. Fisher.”
Rep. Debra Altschiller testified, “I have sat in emergency rooms with rape victims while nurses and doctors gather DNA evidence for possible prosecution. I can tell you with certainty, rape is no joke. When you use it to fumble around with other rape apologists in chatrooms designed to discuss sexual strategies with other misogynists, you are not just participating in rape culture. You are grooming it, you are cultivating it, you are growing it.”
You can bet we’ll be keeping an eye on this story.
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