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A Voice for Men Gets Stung, or TheWoolyBumblebee’s Revenge

bees
Not the bees!

The WoolyBumbleBattle continues.

A couple of weeks back, you may recall, the excitable antifeminist videoblogger who goes by the name of TheWoolyBumblebee got herself kicked out of the A Voice for Men clubhouse after annoying Paul Elam with her incessant (but actually pretty much justified) attacks on libertarians and Men Going Their Own Way.

Naturally, there has been much drama since then.

Elam, doing his best to affect a certain world-weariness about it all, put forth a video offering his take on the subject with the understated title “On Ideologues, Isms and Evangelical Atheists.”

TheWoolyBumblebee — real name Kristina Hansen — has made no attempts to hide her feelings. She’s started a new blog called Menticulture that seems to be devoted entirely to bashing A Voice for Men. And with her husband, she’s produced not one but seven videos lambasting AVFM, ranging in length from 38 seconds to an hour and twenty minutes. The long video, by the way, is a point-by-point response to Elam’s video; a number of the more recent videos are attacks on regular AVFM contributor Karen Straughan, aka Girl Writes What. Hansen’s husband has also done a couple of videos by himself as well.

I’ve actually listened to them all, for better or worse. They’re angry and rambling, and for the most part not worth the effort —  unless you just really love schadenfreude. While some of their criticisms of AVFM are on the mark, the two go off on weird pedantic tangents and seem rather too obsessed with Girl Writes What’s lack of academic credentials. (She was evidently a two-time college dropout.) Hansen’s husband also likes calling people faggots. Lovely.

I had at least hoped for some good inside dirt on AVFM’s main characters, but the Hansens have got very little to tell that isn’t obvious from the outside: John “The Other” Hembling is a liar? Tell me something I don’t know. Elam is a tin-pot tyrant who likes to get his way? Gosh, who could have possibly guessed that?

But I suppose it’s to be expected: these two agree with the irrational antifeminism that’s at the heart of AVFM, so it’s hardly surprising that their critiques don’t go far enough, and that they get bogged down in lots of irrelevant issues.

Still, in a recent post on her blog, Hansen makes her arguments against AVFM a bit more cogently than she does in any of the videos.

After assuring readers that her attacks on A Voice for Men aren’t driven by “vengeance, hurt feelings, or a desire to one-up anyone” — not sure I’m buying all this — she charges the principals at AVFM of letting their ideological predilections get in the way of providing real practical help to men.

I suggested several things we could have done to help men, such as applying for funding for men’s services through VAWA and other Gov’t agencies, and was told that they would never touch government money because … it is against their libertarian principles, and because that is ‘what feminists do’….

I admit feminists have done a lot of harm to men and boys, but they have also done a lot of good for women and it is THAT part which we need to look at and study in order to be able to adequately assist men in any real way. It is called working the system. If you want change, that is where you go to do it, and not by sitting on the sidelines waiting for the government to collapse.

But AVFM, she notes, seems much less interested in making things better for men than in keeping men in a permanent state of rage:

[Elam] keeps men in a state of anger, and hopelessness. He perpetuates the victim narrative and tries to keep you stuck in victim mode. And he is not the only one. The inflammatory rhetoric used by those at AVFM, like John, are carefully written to get you emotionally worked up. I know this to be the case because I was on several SKYPE calls with John when he wrote many of his articles. I know how he does it and why. It’s to keep you in a state of anger and despair. …

Anyone working in the helping professions worth their salt will tell you that the goal of their work is to help their clients free themselves of the need for their help. …  But what Paul, John, Karen, and others at AVFM do, is keep you in a state of constant anger, helplessness, and need. They do not want you to get better. And why would they? … The more you rely on them the more they profit.

I don’t agree with TheWoolyBumbleebee about much, but this is spot on.

She also has some very pointed things to say about AVFM’s attempts to blame the suicide of Earl Silverman, a Canadian activist for male victims of domestic violence, on feminism.

There are men out there at this very moment that are truly hurting and suffering. Let’s start showing them we really care by doing things that make a real difference in their lives. Enough of the useless sitting on the sidelines bitching about how evil women are, how the government needs to collapse, or how the only way to solve things is to opt out. This is why Earl Silverman died. John wants to blame feminism, but the fact is that the men that were close to Earl at the end knew that his despair was borne of the failure of the MRM to actually DO anything.

Again, she has a point. By its own accounts, A Voice for Men raises literally tens of thousands of dollars a year — a considerable portion of which, I imagine, must end up in the pockets of Elam, who seems to have no other visible means of financial support, and/or in the pockets of Hembling, who has recently been promoted to a paid staff position. After Silverman’s death, AVFM raised money to help start an Earl Silverman center — a project now ironically in the hands of Hansen herself. Why couldn’t AVFM have used some of its fundraising ability to help Silverman fund his domestic violence shelter back when he was alive?

In my next post I’ll look at Girl Writes What’s response to all this.

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Kittehserf
7 years ago

The smell of sock is strong in this one.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

The fun never stops with WBB. Do these people seriously not remember the shit they’ve written/said?

MaudeLL
7 years ago

Translation of Robert/Buntzums/Harley:
“Hey I pissed all over you, then you tell me to knock it off, then I explain to you all I meant well, so I double down with more pissing, threw in a dirty sock, and you didn’t even say thank you! How rude. I am clearly not welcome here. And obviously, I am entitled to special treatment from all while I politely piss on them, because I bought a “we hunted the mammoth to feed you” mug.”

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
7 years ago

Good news everyone! I’m having a Twitter feud with WBB.

I will now forever imagine that your voice is Professor Farnsworth’s, David.

theladyzombie
7 years ago

I just saw ikonografer’s first comment here (it must have been caught in moderation).

I’m anti-kook. that is to say, I oppose someone like the femitheist, who advocates killing all men except for breeding stock.

OMG!!! Bwahahahaha! Hey, ikonografer, she was a fucking POE! I mean, I know it’s hard to keep up sometimes, but goddamn!

For everyone else, femitheist was a Youtuber. She said some horrible, outrageous shit like how we should castrate all men, etc. It was pretty obvious what she was doing but the MRAs took the bait. Hard. People even said “Hey, relax. She’s a Poe.” but the MRAs were all like

“Nuh-uh! This is how feminists really think! WE’VE GOT TEH PWOOF NAO!”

Shit almighty, this gets funnier all the time.

Xanthë
7 years ago

You know what, just as broken clocks are right twice a day, the quotes in the OP from Kristina Hansen are actually good points – the MRM could learn from how organisations with feminist goals work with government to achieve their aims, even if she phrases that rather cynically as ‘working the system’. However, the MRM simply isn’t interested in that, because it fundamentally is an anti-woman ideology of self-reinforcing hate, rather than being focussed ‘for’ the advocacy of men’s issues and the betterment of society in total.

Then of course, she goes and ruins that by being a total douchebag on Twitter. Oh well!

Xanthë
7 years ago

Kittehserf,

@PZ Myers, I lurk on Pharyngula, but for some reason WordPress won’t let me log in to comment. Though I’d be a bit of a fish out of water anyway (not atheist and not in the sciences).

Try generating an actual account on the FTB site, here. If you use the same e-mail address as your normal WordPress account it will grab your Gravatar Catvatar, and everything. Owing to the incessant trolling of the slimy likes of ikonografer/WBB/Mykeru (Michael Cortese) etc., you have to be logged in to be able to post on PZ’s blog.

pecunium
7 years ago

buntzumz: You made a comment (more than once) about someone’s mental health that you can’t defend. When called on it, you pretend it’s about something else altogether.

It doesn’t make you (nor your friends, and [for the nonce] I’m willing to assume Harley isn’t you), the anti-Christ. It makes you an asshole. If you owned it, instead of being passive aggressive about it that would have gotten you a different ration of shit.

And doubling down, with how much you’ve supported “us”? That’s more passive aggressive bullshit. You did that because you thought it worthwhile. If your support comes with the strings that none of us can ever gainsay your being an asshole… I for one would return be glad to return any money you had given me.

Because that’s a seriously dicked up way to look at the world.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Thanks, Xanthe, I’ll give it a whirl! 🙂

leftwingfox
7 years ago

I’m just so tired of people nailing themselves to a cross over simple criticism…

MaudeLL
7 years ago

@ladyzombie
When I went and looked up who were all those feminists who say “gender traitor” all the time, all I found was femitheist. Colour me surprised its a Poe.

pecunium
7 years ago

Aaliyah: I’ve been busy (stuff, had a birthday, work, a play, got hit by a bicycle messenger, rehearsals for a show I’m not in {was subbing for a back-up singer who wasn’t available that day} some political writing, gardening, helping a writer I know with some background material for her present project). All minor stuff, but which ate my spare time.

Hellkell, Yay for a procedure which went well.

leftwingfox
7 years ago

THANK YOU pecunium!

I was trying to articulate that though for the past 20 minutes, and eventually just gave up, and settled for a 1-sentence sigh.

leftwingfox
7 years ago

Oooh, and sorry to hear about the bike strike. 🙁

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I’m just so tired of people nailing themselves to a cross over simple criticism…

That sounds really difficult.

theladyzombie
7 years ago

You can never get that last nail in.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Pecunium, since now seems as good a time as any, you’ll be happy to here that I freed up a Big Pot and all my cactī now reside together in a nice deep pot. The roots one the succulent that came in a shallow tray where indeed teeny tiny clumps (I hadn’t repotted it because some fucking asshole decided that GLUING rocks over the dirt was a good idea, I actually had to wedge the rocks free of the pot to get at the plant)

And I killed another umbrella tree via overwatering (this is three now, one was the probably doomed one I said fuck it and tried turning into a bonsai, one froze during Nemo, and this one fell victim to root rot. And yes, I intend to try again.)

Aaliyah
7 years ago

Aaliyah: I’ve been busy (stuff, had a birthday, work, a play, got hit by a bicycle messenger, rehearsals for a show I’m not in {was subbing for a back-up singer who wasn’t available that day} some political writing, gardening, helping a writer I know with some background material for her present project). All minor stuff, but which ate my spare time.

Hellkell, Yay for a procedure which went well.

Sounds good to me (well, except for the part about getting hit by a bicycle).

Oh, and seconding you re: hellkell!

Kittehserf
7 years ago

You can never get that last nail in.

Yup.

pecunium
7 years ago

I’m trying to be more active at my blog (Better Than Salt Money) which also takes time. Even a simple post about something like the NSA crap takes most of an hour to assemble. Stuff about being hit by bicycles and drinking whisky and spinning, that takes about the same.

Balance.

pecunium
7 years ago
Kittehserf
7 years ago

Kittieeeeeeeeeeees! Adorable kitties!

::dies of cute::

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

What is with cats and shoes?! It’s like they know they’re extra adorable when hiding behind your boots!

Kittehserf
7 years ago

That’s exactly what I thought, Argenti! I call Mads Imelda, she has such a thing for shoes.

Xanthë
7 years ago

As does both of our cats, Biscuit and Cheese. Cheese likes attacking ’em, Biscuit likes rubbing ’em.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Mads likes shoving her head inside them (tricky when it’s knee-length boots) or turning black fabric shoes into grey fluffy shoes.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
7 years ago

My favorite troll is the my dear sir or madam condescending troll. When I was fifteen or so and had absorbed a frightening number of historical novels and far too many old books I used to write letters like that for fun and profit.
While it was not a quality effort, I do appreciate it when presumptuous asshats wander into a room full of people and attempt to raise to tone of the discourse by their lofty example.
Protip, everyone thinks you are a pompous boor. Don’t be that guy.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
7 years ago

OMG the cuteness is adorable!

leftwingfox
7 years ago

I’m just so tired of people nailing themselves to a cross over simple criticism…

That sounds really difficult.

And yet, apparently easier than admitting an easily correctable mistake.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

LOL true, leftwingfox, true!

Harley and Joker Blog
7 years ago

arubakeru
arubakeru
7 years ago

@Robert

dude, Buntzums was told many times to stop referring to assholes as “crazy people” because that’s insulting to people who are actually mentally ill (like myself). You don’t find that offensive, that’s fine, but respect people who do.

Then you appeared and David Futrelle wrote:

“If you follow the link to Harley’s blog, it’s clear they’re either Buntzums or a friend of buntzum.”

See, the “friend of Buntzums” option was there all along. You two are friends and commented here the same day. I’ve even seen you doing videos together. You said about JtO:

“Frankly he is a sociopath and according to the accounts of TheWoolyBumbleBee he takes anti psychotics and cooks up his own illegal drugs. All of that put together makes him a very nasty piece of work.”

I have been taking meds for more than 10 years now, and I smoke marihuana sometimes. My brother even grew the plants at home. Are we nasty pieces of work too?

It is not strange that saying that and sharing a blog with Buntzums people also began telling you to quit it and even thought you were her.

You have already been told this. But you’d rather be offended than think about why people would get upset at your comment.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Pecunium: thanks. Hit by a bike messenger? You OK? That was always a fear of mine in Seattle with all the ninja bicyclists.

Robert: get off the cross, we need the wood for the fire. You bought a shirt, yay! I love the way you’re complaining about being thought a sockpuppet, when if you had deigned to read the lowly comments, you’d find that it’s a pretty common occurrence here.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

BTW, WBB’s husband, in comments?

Kinda hilarious. (back on page one)

And yet there’s nothing there of any real substance to respond to. Just ‘well, yeah, I use racist words, that’s what I do.’ ‘Well, yeah, we said and did this, but I’m totally not anti-feminist–I’m an EQUITY feminist, so yanno, not a feminist like you, a shut-up-we’re-equal-already feminist.’

It’s basically a page-long screed where he doesn’t actually argue anything.

Then he goes off on the most unnecessary detail about Rebecca Watson.

So, how did ElevatorGate go?

RW: a guy hit on me in an elevator after I said please don’t hit on me at the conference. Guys, don’t do that.

Atheosphere: ASPLODEY

So what if the cute ‘this one dude was a little creepy’ anecdote wasn’t true? That’s not the actual objectionable part of the story. The years of harassment she got for daring to say ‘guys, don’t do that,’ that’s the story. That’s incontrovertible. You can see that in, yanno, HER BEING BROUGHT UP RIGHT NOW AS AN EXAMPLE.

Ongoing harassment for daring to set a personal boundary? For daring to say that some behavior might be creepy?

Hmmph.

Yeah, we need to apply HYPER-SKEPTICISM to that original claim, that some guy invited her for coffee! Because that’s obviously the important takeaway!

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

And, for realz, the double-down dance is probably the worst dance in the world. The longer you do it, the more painful it gets.

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
7 years ago

Did someone say cats and shoes?

MEZ
MEZ
7 years ago

I apologize if I’m repeating something that’s already been said, but am I the only mentally ill person who is completely offended by the association between the words “crazy” and “mentally ill”?

Definition of crazy from Merriam-Webster:

1
a : full of cracks or flaws : unsound
b : crooked, askew
2
a : mad, insane
b (1) : impractical (2) : erratic
c : being out of the ordinary : unusual

3
a : distracted with desire or excitement

b : absurdly fond : infatuated
c : passionately preoccupied : obsessed

None of these definitions, including 2a, are things that should be automatically associated with mental illness. /rant

pecunium
7 years ago

hellkell: Pecunium: thanks. Hit by a bike messenger? You OK?

Pretty much. I thought I’d sprained an ankle. I wore my “boot” (those plastic casts one gets: I have one from breaking my ankle 2 1/2 years ago), on Sunday. No swelling, do discoloration, so I’m guessing strained ligament.

Minor bruises, contusions, strained muscles (he was braking, but it’s still a lot of energy to absorb). I skipped work on Monday, and have been staying off my feet. All in all, no real harm done. The scary part is I always look both ways, but this corner is just not good for clearing the opposite direction; it’s a good ten seconds to scan all areas of risk; and there is never a time when there is no risk (because there is a dedicated turn lane off the cross street).

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

I think someone else already linked to it, but this post probably isn’t going to make WBB any friends in the manosphere (it’s entitled “Anti-feminism and Advocating for Rights Cannot Co-exist”. She’s still trying to invent a distinction between feminists and “egalitarians”, but she manages to acknowledge that there are self-identified feminists who care about equality for all genders. I can see why she wasn’t getting along with the folks at AVfM)

Fade
7 years ago

@Kittehserf

Fade, I was going to ask Marie if she was on today how you are – great to see you online again! 🙂

You too!

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@aaliyah

I’m also wondering how Some Gal Not Bored At All is doing (I think that was her name?). I haven’t seen her in ages.

Me either. Wonder what’s up with her 🙁

@harley

I do however think that the mobbish nature of some of the responses sent to Buntzums were in poor taste, and do not reflect well on the individuals concerned.

I know I’ve said this before, but I feel like lots of the ‘mob reaction’ is just it being a kind of busy comment section?

In so far as you are concerned Hellkell, I will say this. I find your use of langaunge and more particularly profanities to be somewhat distasteful. You are unduly rude and therefore I am not inclined to accord you much respect.

There is a difference between ‘distasteful language’ and treating someone like a human being. Hopefully you can learn that someday.

I’m done with this Blog, won’t be coming back won’t be supporting in any way shape or form. Sorry but it seems many of you are far to jingoistic for my taste.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out 😉

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Mr Bumblebee – As annoying as your “halp halp, the PC language police are oppressing me!” spiel is, it’s good that you’re admitting that the MRM is not rational. Maybe you could take this new knowledge and apply it to some of the beliefs that you still hold, because I’m not seeing a whole lot of rationality in that rant you just posted.

That being said, Elam trying to set his flying monkeys on your kids is way over the line, and I hope both you and they are OK.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Robert…wow. It’s not often that I say this, but both you and your buddy Buntzums are a little oversensitive. Maybe dial that down a bit?

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
7 years ago

Heh. I’ve never seen someone post a video comment response complaining about mistreatment on a blog comment thread before. Especially after a flounce. I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Wow. I missed all sorts of fun shit while I was away, eh?

Also, can I just say I actually really appreciate people biting down on badmouthing mental illness and such? It’s one of the reasons I actually hang out here.

(Speaking of crazy people, I was watching the Batman cartoon with friends yesterday, and I was pissed to realize that one of the episodes had possibly the most multiples I’d ever seen in one space… and they were both violent homicidal killers. ROTTEN COCKFUCK.)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

RottenCockfuck dot tumblr dot com

That sounds very rule 34.

In relevant things, that sucks, two face wasn’t bad enough they had to throw in some more?

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Zombie porn? Don’t ask me, I just kludge words together when I’m mad.

Yeah, there was Two-Face and the Ventriloquist. Though at least Two-Face had some interesting depth in that cartoon; he spurred a blog post where I fantasized about Harvey Dent and Big Bad Harv getting some proper support and resources, learning a much better form of fair system governance than random chance, and ending up an out multiple as district attorney, using their fame to fight for overhauling the Gotham mental health system.

I mean, come ON! With their power and money, they could get popular support for making Arkham Asylum COMPETENT! And that’d fix a ton of Gotham’s crime, and Batman wouldn’t be so necessary anymore and WOULDN’T THAT BE NICE.

But no, instead I get another supervillain. *sigh* ROLE MODELS.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

…that could work. And Batman and Robin could, um, go golf or sightsee or something (wtf do they do in their off time?)