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A Voice for Men falsely accuses a male feminist blogger of being a “confessed rapist,” because “karma is a BITCH.”

A Voice for Men's Paul Elam: Serial False Accuser

A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam: Serial False Accuser

When is a false rape accusation not a false rape accusation? When it’s leveled against a feminist man.

That, in any case, is the logic behind an appalling post on A Voice for Men attempting to smear a male feminist blogger named Jason Thibeault, who posts on FreeThoughtBlogs as Lousy Canuck, by proclaiming him a rapist.

The post is a typical bit of AVFM “satire” — that is, sophistry — arguing that “by his own feminist standards” Thibeault is a rapist … because he was once accused of rape by a girlfriend, as he wrote about in a recent post. And since feminists believe that ALL accusations of rape are true, AVFM’s Birric Forcella argues, Thibeault is thus a “confessed rapist.”

Obviously, this argument is ludicrous on its face. Feminists don’t believe that all accusations of rape are automatically true. And Thibeault, for his part, says that he was falsely accused.

This doesn’t stop AVFM from giving their piece the frankly libelous headline: “FreeThoughtBlogs’ Jason Thibeault, confessed rapist.”

AVFM may defend its post as “satire” — they have a rather expansive definition of the word — but that headline is pure libel. It’s false — and would be so even if the accusations of rape were true, as Thibeault (who’s responded to the AVFM post here) maintains his innocence.

And AVFM’s intent is clearly malicious. In the first comment to the piece, AVFM founder and publisher Paul Elam declares frankly, and revealingly, “Karma is a BITCH.”

Thibeault’s real crime, in AVFM’s eyes, is that he has publicly supported women who have come forward in recent weeks to accuse prominent skeptic writer Michael Shermer of rape and sexual assault.

And so they have responded by making what is an unequivocally false accusation against him in a headline on their site.

Of course, this isn’t the first time A Voice for Men has falsely accused someone of something based on bad evidence or no evidence at all.

In April of this year, Elam (along with a number of other MRAs and an assortment of White Supremacists as well) worked himself into an uproar over a blog post from an alleged feminist allegedly working in a college admission office who claimed she was routinely trashing applications from white males.

Though even the most rudimentary amount of fact-checking would have revealed that the woman they blamed for the blog had nothing to do with it, she had her contact information posted online by MRAs and others, leaving her open to harassment and widespread vilification. Elam contributed to the hubbub by posting a vituperative post identifying the wrong woman by name — and only after being called on his mistake by numerous other MRAs did his finally retract the post.

You can read about the whole appalling affair here.

Elam has also made false accusations against little old me. In yet another case of libel-by-headline, he accused Jessica Valenti and me of being “child abusers” … because we’re feminists. (Seriously, that was the entire basis of his accusation.)

And at one point, either lying outright or misled by a  troll, he put forth the absurd conspiracy theory that I was somehow responsible for an appalling Reddit forum known as the Beatingwomen subreddit.

In his post on the subject, he claimed to have “intel” from two separate sources that “confirm[ed]” my involvement in the subreddit — he provided none of this evidence — and promised that “further word” on the subject would be forthcoming.

Of course, this evidence never materialized — because it was fraudulent and/or imaginary. Elam dropped the subject. I had and have no connection to the subreddit.

And not long ago, AVFM’s Dean Esmay very publicly accused its former Canadian News Director Kristina Mendez (AKA TheWoolyBumblebee) of (maybe, possibly) running off with the money she collected for a center devoted to the memory of Earl Silverman, a Canadian MRA who committed suicide partially out of frustration over the difficulties he had in funding the DV shelter for men he ran out of his home. The folks at AVFM have admitted quite plainly that they have no evidence of wrongdoing here.

Apparently, AVFM’s strategy is to prove that false accusations are common by making as many of them as they possibly can.

EDIT: Added the bit about Valenti and me.

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Posted on August 30, 2013, in a voice for men, antifeminism, atheism, atheism minus, false accusations, hypocrisy, irony alert, misogyny, MRA, paul elam, rape, rape culture, reddit, sexual assault and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 452 Comments.

  1. Mildlymagnificent:

    I remember someone on Pharyngula (you?) once saying, “If you drive over an echidna, the animal isn’t the only thing that goes flat”. Judging by that, echidna spines seem to be strong enough that they shouldn’t break into your your skin if you go pet the animal.

  2. RE: emilygoddess

    It was people proudly declaring themselves “non-practicing pedophiles” and expecting it to fall under YKIOK.

    Hrrrrm. That’s a big gray area for me. I feel like giving people with those feelings somewhere to talk and learn coping skills about it could be really helpful.

    Buuuuut seeing how young the tumblr world is, how PUBLIC it is, and how shitty it is for dialogue in general… that really seems a SHITTY choice of venue, and being used in a really creepy way.

  3. “Your Kink is OK”?

  4. While I would support a forum to help pedophiles learn coping skills of the “this is how you go about not actually abusing any children, or creeping people out in a more general sense” variety, I’m not seeing how a “yay my kink, which happens to be sex with children!” Tumblr would in any way accomplish that goal. I don’t use Tumblr enough to know how to go about doing this, but if there’s a way to ban people who post questionable stuff on your Tumblr I think that’s exactly what any kink space there should do when people post pedo-apologist stuff.

  5. Ah, I probably could have googled that, but thanks for indulging my laziness! :-)

    LBT, I read an article once about how other countries have had some success treating non-offending pedophiles, and comparing it to the situation in the US which actually discourages non-offending pedophiles from getting treatment/help. (Because psychiatrists are obligated to report them, even if they have never actually had any inappropriate contact with a child, etc.)

    But calling it a “kink” and bragging about it on tumblr… 0_o

  6. Yeah… I do. She and my beloved go way back. She stays with us when she comes to town,etc. But I also know Elizabeth Bear, and Patrick Neilsen Hayden, and Tom Veal and some other largish numbers of, “Big Name Fen”, mostly from having been in the community a long time; (SF Fandom not being that large, all things considered).

  7. TW: pedophilia. No details, but still.

    @LBT, I have no problem with discussion or calling it a grey area. There are important discussions to be had, like whether things like porn and roleplaying provide an outlet or motivate people to seek more. Certainly, people who have desires that center around hurting others need to be able reach out for help, because just burying it doesn’t seem to help anyone. But there was this one big dramafest around a guy who proudly claimed the “non-practicing pedo” identity and turned out to be not so non-practicing, and even after that came out, anyone who said they were uncomfortable with it (including CSA survivors) was immediately accused of kink-shaming and being either puritanical or patriarchal. fuckyeahkinkshaming‘s early posts have a lot of the backstory, but it’s the main reason why I want nothing to do with Tumblr sex-pos people.

  8. re echindna: I think they have spines more like those of a hedgehog, strong, and pointy but not really that dangerous to something/someone, that doesn’t try to grab/bite them. They don’t shed, so they aren’t designed to stab into things and not leave (since that would hurt the animal).

  9. I met Elizabeth Bear at a con recently and totally embarrassed myself by complimenting her on a story that turned out to have been written by someone else. She was cool about it, though. She is an awesome panelist.

  10. and WordPress is doing that, “go back a page” thing again.

  11. RE: CassandraSays

    a “yay my kink, which happens to be sex with children!” Tumblr would in any way accomplish that goal.

    Yeah, no. That just sounds like fucking web NAMBLA.

    RE: emilygoddess

    AAAAAH! AAAAH! OH GOD. DO NOT WANT. AAAAAH! I am so glad I missed that. AAAAAH! WTF is wrong with people? D8 No, no, no, NO! That makes Snowdrop Explodes look like a freakin’ saint!

  12. @ emilygoddess

    Ugh. Thanks for confirming my tendency to side-eye people who identify as sex-pos until I’m absolutely sure what they mean by it.

  13. Echidna spines – yes, they’re not needle-sharp individually, and not barbed. But they are very thick and strong for such a small animal, and make a very good shield for it when it rolls up. They could easily puncture a tyre (poor echidna). Like I said before, they make just carrying a dead echidna (this was at the Museum) problematic, because it’s heavy enough to hurt the hands having those points pressing in.

  14. Accusing CSA survivors of being puritannical and patriarchal because they’re not keen on a pedophile? Even if he had been what he claimed, “non practising”?

    Fuck that and fuck the rapey assholes doing it.

  15. I met Elizabeth Bear once because she wrote a story about my friend’s coffee ring actually being a gestalt alien mind.
    She seemed nice.

  16. I see a similar attitude in some parts of Otaku subculture that basically views pedophilia as just another one of those harmless fetishes that some weird people have. It’s disgusting – they’re pretty much considering pedophilia to be on the same level as things like foot fetishism.

  17. She is nice. I do sometimes get strange emails from her, asking how to do things of a violent nature. Then, when we see each other she buys me whisky, and we chat about stuff. I think this a most marvelous arrangement.

  18. (oops… she asks me so that she can better write about them, not put them into personal practice).

  19. “Sex Positive”, I think, is just one of those terms that is so poorly defined (and so ambiguous in its direct definition) that it ends up being easily manipulated to mean whatever the person using it means–which does mean that there will be people out there who use it to define a reasonable and healthy attitude, while others use it to excuse creepiness of one degree or another. So, yeah, CassandraSays, “side-eye until they define it” seems like an excellent policy.

  20. Dvarg: We’ve spent a lot of time (because of MRA/PUA idiocies) going over the issue of consent, and the consensus is 1: there needs to be a “bright line” 2: That bright line is artificial. There will be people for whom 15 isn’t too soon.

    But those cases don’t justify making it not a bright line. For most of them (I was having sex before the age of consent in the state I lived) it’s not an issue. They are making an informed decision, and won’t complain; nor is anyone else likely to.

    Agree, Pecunium. To clarify, I didn’t mean that the American regulars at Manboobz treat the legal age of consent as if it were a magical line between morally right and morally wrong, but it seems to be something American trolls in particular use as a premise in an argument that ends with “so anything goes, really”.

  21. Yeah. And not just trolls. I’m trying to write a post which includes some idiocy a woman is arguing that statutory rape laws are bad; they cause more sexual assaults/cause children to hide being raped, and other incoherent nonsense.

  22. Argenti Aertheri

    “cause children to hide being raped”

    Uh, no. That’d be shit like acting like it’s just a thing that happens, nothing you can do (well, idk on rape, and ymmv, but that’s the voice of experience on molestation)

  23. Wait, what? Wow that’s a load of dumb, pecunium.

  24. I think I’ve seen variants on that before. Essentially, the argument goes that because it’s illegal to have sex with a minor, someone who wants to have sex with a minor can’t seek consent legitimately. So they HAVE to use the coercive approaches of predators, instead, including manipulation, intimidation and so on. (Note that this requires you to regard as nonsensical the idea that they could just, y’know, not have sex with teenagers. And ignore the fact that most individuals who are seeking sex with teens are doing so precisely because they want to be manipulative pieces of shit, it’s part of the appeal, and they pick teens because they hope they’ll be easier to manipulate.)

    I have the ability to comprehend the thought-processes of Really Awful People. This may be the worst superpower ever. I’d rather be able to talk to fish.

  25. Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence. Did you forget that little detail?

  26. Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence.

    Evidence, please.

    What feminists want is for rape/sexual assault victims to not be revictimized and treated like criminals by the system that’s supposed to be set up to help them.

  27. Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence. Did you forget that little detail?

    Probably, because that detail happens to not be a thing.

  28. Funny, most MRAs honestly believe the “reasonable doubt” standard already doesn’t apply in rape cases. (They are wrong.) Alex at least seems to understand that in the existing system in the US the prosecution still has the burden of proving their case. Instead, he alleges that “feminists” are trying to overturn the “reasonable doubt” standard for rape cases, an allegation for which he provides no evidence. Ironically, that means there is more than enough reasonable doubt, he has failed to prove his case, and therefore feminists are not guilty.

    Alex, thank you for demonstrating how our adversarial criminal justice system works!

  29. Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence. Did you forget that little detail?

    Your argument has already been presented and dismantled. Did you forget to read the thread?

  30. Ally: I know I’m constantly forgetting details that aren’t actually a thing. It’s a major problem.

  31. Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence. Did you forget that little detail?

    Nope. We want victims to get the same level of basic credibilty/treatment that e.g. car-jacking victims get.

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