[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE THREATS]
The Men’s Rights movement has been described by some as “the abusers’ lobby.” I don’t think that’s fair, but there are certainly those within the movement that fit the bill – not necessarily because they themselves are abusers, but because, among other things, they lionize abusers and advocate on their behalf.
In the case of hate site A Voice for Men, there is another way in which the term applies: the “activism” of the site and its followers, insofar as it consists of anything more than self-promotion, often mirrors the actions of abusers – AVFM is known for harassing individuals, usually women, and exposing (or threatening to expose) personal information that could be used to stalk and harm them, in an attempt to intimidate them and other feminists and shut them up. Indeed, the site on several occasions has offered $1000 “bounties” on the personal information of its foes.
Now AVFM has another individual in its sights: a young woman, presumably a student, who participated in a recent demonstration against Men’s Rights author Warren Farrell at the University of Toronto. Men’s Rights activists have been promoting a video depicting the protest, in which a group of feminist activists blockaded the building at which Farrell was speaking, until they were forcibly removed by police. The carefully-edited video pays particular attention to one of the activists, the woman in question, as she confronts supporters of Farrell, calling one of them “fucking scum.” (See here for an even-more-manipulatively propagandistic video that focuses even more intently on the woman; and here for one that more clearly depicts the police pulling, shoving, and knocking non-violent protestors to the ground.)
I don’t personally support blocking speeches by opponents; I think it’s bad both in principle and as a political tactic. But Warren Farrell certainly deserves criticism; demonstrators certainly have the right to demonstrate; and as anyone who has ever been to a demonstration knows, sometimes people on opposite sides shout at another.
Apparently the politically inexperienced “activists” at AVFM are unaware of this. And so the site has responded to the demonstration with a campaign to uncover and publicize this woman’s personal information – for the “crime” of using angry language at a protest. In one of the several posts on the subject now up on AVFM, the MRA known as JohnTheOther describes her as, among other things
her own generation’s brown shirt, and she knows it. …
She is clearly sadistic, unable and unwilling to recognize the humanity of anyone who does not slavishly and blindly agree with her own religion of hate.
There is more, much more; if you have the stomach for it, I suggest you read the full post to see JtO’s extended attack on the woman. As is often the case with MRA writings, the full quotes in context are worse than the excerpts I quote here.
A later post from site founder and head Paul Elam includes a picture of the woman, with the caption “Seeking this undesirable’s identity.”
Elam warns that
We have her image and know her general location. We will identify her and profile her activity and name for public view.
We will not stop there, or just with her. And while we will not publish our complete intent, we are dogged in our efforts.
Again, this quote is if anything worse in context; see the entire post here, filled with vituperative, thuggish, threatening language and illustrated with a picture of a violent storm, evidently intended to represent what AVFM is threatening to rain down upon its opponents.
In still another post, with the inflammatory title “Yanking Off the Hood,” Elam defends his site’s “doxxing” policy, writing
AVfM is conducting outreach and investigation into the identities of the persons involved in the violent protest against the rights of men and boys orchestrated and conducted by the University of Toronto Student Union and other antisocial elements within that institution.
To that end, one individual has already been identified, and you will be seeing a story on her here in the near future. Our search for the woman highlighted in the video of the protest continues, with some leads. …
Gender ideologues absolutely hate the light of day. They hate it shining on their ideas and on their lies. Many of them also don’t want it shining on their identities. They seek anonymity for the same reason Klansmen wear hoods.
Even beyond the vicious nature of AVFM’s language and tactics, the hypocrisy here is off the charts: most of AVFM’s writers – gender ideologues all – hide their identities behind pseudonyms, including of course JohnTheOther, who launched AVFM’s campaign against the still-unknown protester.
JtO, who now wishes to conceal his identity, used to write under his own name, and has linked his name with his pseudonym on YouTube and on Men’s Rights sites he has written for. Though his real name is fairly widely known, and can be uncovered with the simplest of web searches, JtO has now decided to try to get that cat back in the bag, and at one point demanded that I remove all mentions of his real name on this site so that he would not – irony alert — face harassment. As much as I don’t respect John, I respected this wish of his, and did so; he may want to take this issue up with his friend Elam, as a post by the AVFM head still up on the site identifies JohnTheOther by both name and pseudonym.
There is no question that the student activist targeted by JtO and AVFM will face harassment when and if her personal information is exposed. Indeed, she is already being singled out for abuse now. On YouTube, videos featuring her have inspired numerous threatening comments. Here are a sampling of comments I’ve found there:
Here you can find even more, sent to me by someone who was at the protest.
If AVFM releases the personal information of the student now being attacked online they are giving a green light for this sort of harassment online and off. They are aiding and abetting those who wish this woman to come to real physical harm.
That’s why I think it is fair to call AVFM a hate site, and a member of the abusers’ lobby.
(Meanwhile, JohnTheOther seems to be undergoing some sort of meltdown on Reddit; more on this in my next post.)