Some months back, I made a post in which I referred to the mysterious JohnTheOther by his real name. I didn’t think this was a big deal, since John — whom regular readers know as the number two man at Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men – had previously used his real name, and linked it to his online pseudonym, in various writings of his and on YouTube. But he asked me to remove his name from Man Boobz because, he said, he was being harassed. So, out of courtesy to him, I did.
Now, frankly, JohnTheOther is making me feel like he played me for a sucker, and is making me wonder why I continue to pay him this courtesy.
It’s not just that JohnTheOther’s real name is widely known already, and easy enough to find out with a simple Google search. And it’s not just that, for all his alleged concern for his own safety, he hasn’t bothered to remove posts linking his real name and his online identity from his own JohnTheOther.com site, or from A Voice for Men (where he is also identified by name as the site’s “vice president”),or asked any number of other Men’s Rights sites to remove similar postings.
It’s that, by his own stated logic, I should be shouting his name to the heavens.
Why? Well, as anyone who’s been reading this blog lately is well aware, A Voice for Men is in the midst of what you might call a crusade against anonymity, directed at participants in a demonstration recently held at the University of Toronto protesting a talk by MRA icon (and “positive incest” expert) Warren Farrell. And JohnTheOther is in the thick of it.
On Monday, AVFM outed, or “doxxed,” one young woman by name. Her main crimes, aside from attending the protest and possibly tearing down a poster or two advertising the Farrell event, seem to be that she made a couple of jokey remarks on Twitter, including one in which she said “kill all men hail satan,” which the folks at A Voice for Men apparently see as a literal call for male genocide.
For these terrible crimes she has been placed on Register-Her.com, a phony “offenders registry” set up by A Voice for Men in which feminists are profiled as “bigots” alongside women who are literally murderers and child molesters. AVFM promises that it will be outing more demonstrators in the days to come.
Realizing that some, even in the Men’s Rights movement, consider these tactics deeply problematic, JohnTheOther posted the following comment on A Voice for Men defending the outing; he later reposted it on the Men’s Rights Subreddit. (I crossed out the student’s name.)
In further comments on Reddit, he explained what he sees as the purpose of AVFM’s strategy of outing opponents:
And responded with indignation to a critic:
This all seemed a tad hypocritical coming from a man who himself hides behind an online pseudonym in order to avoid “consequences attached to actions,” so I sent John a message on Reddit:
I’m rather astonished that you continue to argue that it’s ok for you to “out” people online, while insisting that it is wrong for people to refer to you by your real name. Especially considering that you put your real name out there in the first place, explicitly linking it to your youtube account on Men’s News Daily and AVFM and possibly elsewhere. (It’s actually still up on AVFM, FYI.)
When you asked me to stop using your name on Man Boobz some months back, I did, and I went back and scrubbed it from the site. And I’ve got it in the moderation filter as well to ensure that no commenter names you.
I will continue to keep your name off of Man Boobz, but since I have gone to the trouble to do this, I would appreciate a good clear answer to this question:
Why is it ok for you expose other people to possible harassment and worse by outing them online but not OK for me to use your real name on Man Boobz?
He responded with this bit of overheated nonsense:
I out the names of people advocating violence, such as Vliet Tiptree’s 4000 words talking up male extermination on radfemhub. To do otherwise would be complicit in their attempts to foster violence – and murder. I also publish the names of criminals already in public record, child rapists and so on. The U of T participants were not anonymous, they were broadcasting their hate under their own names. In Vancouver, I was the guy with posters which read “you dont hate women, do you” and “men’s rights are human rights”:, the local feminists had knives, and surrounded me with 30 people.
Nobody in the mrm is going to do harm to these women, but in spite of our opposition to violence, the killing of a MRA would, if it even made the news at all, be characterized as necessary killing of a terrorist. I wear a camera to prevent assault on my person.
You know perfectly well which side is likely to commit violence here, and it’s not us. Hell I say “likely” as if it /might/ happen. The violence is dialling up, and it’s all coming from the feminist side of this debate
This evasive and at times unhinged “answer” left me with even more questions, so I asked them in another Reddit message:
Give me a fucking break. Where did [the University of Toronto student] “advocate violence?” She made a joke on Twitter.
Do you really expect me to believe that you are incapable of recognizing a joke when you see it?
When someone tells you a “knock knock” joke do you get up to open the door?
I mean, you’re pretty obtuse, but I find it hard to believe that you’re THAT obtuse.
Or are you perhaps grasping at straws in an attempt to find more feminists to harass?
You already made yourselves look like idiots, even amongst your erstwhile allies in the MRM, by pretending that Katherine Heigl was advocating castration of men in her joke video.
Also, what about the “mommy bloggers” you guys have put on register-her: Where exactly did they suggest “violence — and murder” of men?
No, they said shit you didn’t like, so you set out to harass them and intimidate them into shutting up.
Hell, when did [feminist writer] Jessica Valenti ever threaten anyone? You twisted a quote from her to mean something it didn’t, and used that as an excuse to put her there.
The issue here isn’t just naming people; it’s that you put these people on a website designed to suggest that they are somehow the equivalent of the real criminals and child molesters you have on there.
Meanwhile, the idea that feminists are all a bunch of evil murderers while MRAs are a bunch of innocent little lambs is ludicrous. There were plenty of threats made against the protesters before you guys put up [the student’s] name. I get violent threats from MRAs all the time. AVFM is filled to overflowing with threatening language, designed to intimidate. Your fucking slogan is “Fuck Their Shit Up.”
You may stop short of directly and explicitly threatening violence against anyone but I don’t think anyone outside the ranks of the AVFM faithful will buy that kind of “plausible deniability.”
You plainly intend your campaign against [the student] to cause her trouble; indeed, you state this outright in your recent Reddit post. You also plainly admit that this method of causing her “consequences” isn’t safe, but you go ahead with it anyway.
So why should I take your concerns for safety any more seriously than any concerns that [the student] — or any of your targets — might have?
If [the student] and others should face real-world “consequences” for their words, why shouldn’t you?
And just where is this feminist “violence” you say is “dialing up?” On the footage of the protest, I saw violence — I think you would call it “proxy violence” — being directed at the protestors by the police. I saw no violence against MRAs; indeed, the police cleared away the blockade and let them through.
Some of the protesters yelled and were assholes, but guess what, being an asshole isn’t a crime. The police were there in force. If the girl who told the MRA he was “fucking scum” was violating the law, why didn’t the police arrest her?
As for this alleged confrontation with 30 knife-wielding feminists you keep talking about? Where’s the proof this ever happened? Indeed, the “evidence” I’ve seen so far seems to show pretty clearly that it didn’t happen. The video footage I’ve seen didn’t show 30 people confronting you. It showed you arguing with a small number of people, in broad daylight, on a busy street. At no point did I see anyone threaten you, much less threaten you with a knife.
Can you please point to evidence that you really were confronted by a mob? Point me to precisely where in the videos posted I can see this 30-person mob? Point me to precisely where in the video any of the people you were arguing with threatened you with a knife.
I can’t tell if you actually believe the bullshit you peddle on a regular basis, and in your comment to me. Is your head really that far up your ass?
(Note: I do not literally believe that your head is up your ass. That would be anatomically impossible. It’s a figure of speech.)
John has not yet given me answers to any of these questions, though he did find time to write yet another grandiose, indignant and altogether hypoctitical defense of doxxing for AVFM.
All this adds up to a pretty powerful argument for doxxing … JohnTheOther.
Happily, there’s no need to sully my hands with such a task, as he’s already done such a fine job of doxxing himself.
(Note: I’ve added some links to my quoted messages above to provide more context.)
EDITED TO ADD: And AVFM has doxxed another student who was at the protest. Her crimes, aside from going to the protest? She posted jokey “kill men” comments on Twitter and a picture suggesting it is a good idea for people to get consent before having sex with people.