The fellows at A Voice for Men, you see, evidently stung by criticism that they aren’t activists, have begun engaging in real, honest-to-goodness real-world activism, by which I mean that a handful of them, some in Canada and at least one in Australia, have been putting up posters advertising the AVFM website.
In other words, their activism consists of putting up posters for a website whose only activism thus far has consisted of putting up posters for itself.
Well, eventually they’ll get the hang of it, I guess.
In any case, the A Voice for Menners have discovered something about activism: if you do things that are offensive enough, people will be offended. And so they’ve managed to offend some people in Canada and in Australia where their posters have gone up. In Australia, there have even been a couple of news articles written about them! For example, one in Melbourne’s Herald Sun says:
A MAN who is littering the city with posters promoting a website that encourages men to support rapists has declined the opportunity to explain himself.
The website, which the Herald Sun has chosen not to name, is campaigning to get men sitting on juries for rape trials to “vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true”. …
The website’s publisher, Paul Elam, told the Herald Sun he was too busy watching the movie Air Force One to be interviewed, but later said by email he stood by the campaign.
Ooh! How very, very alpha of him.
Other articles (see here and here) describe the posters as “hate posters,” because one of them seems to suggest that women provoke domestic violence against themselves. The text of the poster reads “Domestic Violence Women Are Half the Problem.”
In fact, Elam and company are trying to suggest that women instigate half of all domestic violence, and thus are “half the problem,” but they’re so wedded to the easily misunderstood “half the problem” slogan that they somehow cannot seem to get this idea across in poster form. (This idea is itself incorrect, but that’s a whole other kettle of angry dudes.) Elam and company don’t quite seem to understand that an important part of activism is actually conveying your ideas to the general public rather than simply provoking people.
You can’t buy this kind of publicity!
Well, technically, you could, but no one would, because no one would willingly pay money for a publicity campaign that makes them appear to be hateful assholes — and in fact, even a teensy bit more hateful than they actually are.
So, congratulations, I guess?
If anyone wants to help AVFM in its publicity campaign, the super-sarcastic poster below, and a number of other poorly thought out and badly designed posters, can be downloaded from AVFM here by “anyone who wants to print and distribute them.”
Note: THIS IS A REAL AVFM POSTER. I didn’t make it up. See here.