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There’s No Stealing a Red Car … or Violence Against Women: More Bizarre Memes from AVFM

Take that, the literally zero people who have ever made this argument!
Take that, the literally zero people who have ever made this argument!

So it turns out that Toronto poster promoting A Voice for Men (by snottily taking down to women) wasn’t actually an official AVFM production. Or at least it probably wasn’t.

Even the folks at AVFM are a little unsure on that point. But one thing is clear: AVFM thinks the poster is AWESOME!

Here’s what amounts to an official statement on the subject, from AVFM’s Facebook page

A Voice for Men I do not recognize this poster and it does not appear to be one we created but AVFM salutes this individual for getting our name out there. Like · Comment · Share · 23 hrs Most Relevant 139 people like this. 12 shares David Futrelle Write a comment... Choose File A Voice for Men To the individual who posted this, feel free to contact us wink emoticon We have more shit for you to put up around Toronto.

I suppose they have good reason to be thankful, since the Toronto poster was a good deal less perplexing and offensive than AVFM’s typical posters and memes.

So, what the heck, let’s treat this development as an excuse to look at some recent memes posted on AVFM’s Facebook page. I don’t know if all of these are AVFM originals or not, but their appearance on the Facebook page is pretty much the equivalent of an endorsement.

You’ve already met Ms. Bathory, above. Now let’s meet a straw feminist, in the form of a stock photo of a crying woman that AVFM and other MRAs love to use, and a fake quote that has about as much relationship to reality as, well, AVFM does.

radfem

Huh, because no genuine rad fem I’ve ever met has been shy about identifying themselves as a rad fem. And non-rad fems aren’t exactly shy about criticizing rad fems.

I think one of the problems here is that MRAs tend to regard all feminists as radical feminists, because generally speaking MRAs know about as much about feminism as AVFM’s Paul Elam knows about good parenting. (Which is to say, approximately zero.)

And now for something completely different.

Just kidding! It’s more of the same, in the form of what you might call “straw history.”

rapecult

That’s … not what “rape culture” means. Nor does the concept have anything to do with the Klan, or the Women’s Klan, or the lynching of black men. A fail on all counts.

Then there’s this.

stealcar

Take it away, Mal:

wait-what-gif

Let’s end with a thought from AVFM’s grand poop, Paul Elam. The font may be a little unexpected — not to mention nearly impossible to read — but the sentiment is pure Elam.

elamnote

You guys might want to consider appointing that “individual” in Toronto your permanent poster-maker. That poster of his was terrible, but at least you could read it.

 

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Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@Luzbelitx

That’s really interesting. :O

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Lux

As always you’ve given me something to think about.

The only thing I can add is that it’s reckoned that the instinctive fear of snakes goes back at least as far as the common ape/human ancestor.

So even people who now live in areas where they’d never encounter snakes have an innate fear reaction (although that fear is only *nearly* universal in humans, as to why it’s not completely universal, who knows?)

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Speaking of evolution just seen this:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/sep/15/charles-darwin-letter-auction-religion-bible-creationism

What I find interesting is the reference to some of the other letters Darwin got. Looks like the “Evolution is just a theory!” meme is older than I thought.

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

@Panda

I find all this fascinating, animals are awesone! And some of them are extremely smart, there is no species so predictable that you can’t find an extraordinary individual doing really unexpected stuff.

I wish I could share more trustworthy info on this but I read about all this over 5 years ago and I don’t have the time to look up all the good sources…

@Alan

The fear of snakes is what I meant as the “casual” meaning of instinct, because in biology an instinct is a type of behavior, not just the feeling or sensations.

However, I think you hit a mark there, because the “freeze” response to extreme fear or trauma is the one human behavior that might fit the definition of an instinct (unlike fight and flight, in which the behavior is most likely determined by the individual’s past experience and knowledge, therefore pretty much unique for each person).

Also, I’m no expert on the subject, and there is a lot of complexity we’re not taking into account, because instinctive behavior may be influenced and/or modified by the context, as seen in species which live in different parts of the planet.

I can work with the basics, but a more detailed idea requires way more study on my part ????

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Lux

The ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response are, I think, a good example of instinct as they often are an automatic response rather than a chosen action.

There’s a chap called Dave Grossman who has written extensively on this (ignore his video game critiques though).

This is something that crops up a lot in the self defence stuff I do. Overcoming the ‘freeze’ response is one of the key aspects, and the hardest. The literature is full of examples of martial artists facing muggers and just getting battered because they ‘decompose’ when facing a real threat.

Grossman suggests that intra (as opposed to inter) species violence is the ‘universal human phobia). By that he means people show a genuine phobic response (limbic system goes haywire, higher brain functions shut down etc.)

He actually uses the snake example. If you throw a bucket of snakes into a room people will react differently. Most will have the phobic reaction, but others will keep their cool and take appropriate actions to reduce the danger, and some people will just watch the who thing with amusement.

Have someone engage in real violence in the same room though and nearly everyone will have the phobic responses, even if the violence isn’t directed at them.

Most combat training is designed to overcome this response. It works by conditioning and allowing for the physiological and psychological reactions in the body. In essence you allow your amygdalae to do the thinking for you.

This is a fascinating area but I’ll try to avoid my usual epic tomes. Suffice it to say just studying the perceptual distortions that occur in such circumstances is of itself intriguing. This also ties into a lot of my legal work as I do a lot of ‘use of force’ cases so understanding all this is essential in explaining why and how people respond.

As to where the responses come from and why ‘freezing’ is the most common, the suggestion is that that goes back a *long* way in evolution. Back to the days when we were pray, and freezing was a way of avoiding the attention of predators.

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

Wooow that intra-species violence bit is interesting indeed! I can totally recognize the freeze reaction in myself when someone suddenly engages in violence. I grew up in an abusive and often violent home, and decades after that I still get certain automated responses when caught off guard.

The fact that our somehow-instinctive responses can be overcome, is proof that even if we do have residual instincts, they do NOT determine our behavior as it happens with animals.

This also proves evopsych is bullshit, because it relies on the assumption that we are slaves to our instincts, which is obviously not the case for humans like it is for every other species.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Yeah, the inhibition against intra-species violence (as opposed to inter-species) occurs throughout nature.

To keep with our snake motif, consider that when venomous snakes fight they wrestle rather than take the obvious route of biting each other. We see that with all sorts of animals that engage in almost ritualistic rather than effective fighting when engaging the same species (horned animals headbutting rather than goring for example).

The idea that most violence is ritualistic and relies on posturing and submission can be seen when men fight outside pubs. It’s all chest butting and bravado, until someone backs down. Of course people do get seriously injured, but it’s usually ‘unintentional’ (people banging their heads when they get knocked down and the like).

It’s the fact that most M-M violence is a ‘display’ (we call it the monkey dance) that assists in self defence. If you do something designed to cause damage rather than preening that gives you a massive advantage.

I know it can be hard to believe when you look at the world, but it’s accepted in psychology that the fear of killing is greater than the fear of being killed. That’s something that’s at the heart of modern military training.

Of course there are exceptions to that, otherwise we wouldn’t have murders; but it’s reckoned that only 1-2% of the population can engage in serious pre-meditated violence against another person. In a population of 7 billion though even 102% is problematic.

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

I think this M-M violence dynamic you’re describing is central to the assignment of gender roles in society.

Men are used to interact violently among each other, but it’s mostly kind-of consensual (since it’s not meant to cause actual harm) and more about showing off than truly attacking.

This works for physical violence and also for verbal violence. That’s why sometimes MRAs claim women don’t “have what it takes” to compete in male dominated spaces. But M on F violence is framed very different on our culture than M on M. For instance:

– M on F violence may appear “playful” as in M-M, but the M party is capable of exercising way more violence over th F party than vice versa

– M on M “bonding through violence” is often done by enacting violence against women (thus deepening the power gap between M and F)

– Women are dehumanized through culture, thus lessening the “protection” provided by the “fear to kill”, since abusive partners don’t actually see their victims as people.

I think it’s true most people have a tendency to be reluctant to use violence and/or deadly force on purpose.

I also think we’re trained from a very Young age to consider certain types of violence as normal and harmless, and we end up exercising a lot of violence without even noticing, through bigotry and ignorance mostly.

Which can lead to physical violence in some individuals, but even those of use who actively work to unlearn that bigotry do sometimes indulge in it, and cause harm.

I love feminism and feminist theories on violence because it’s one of the most complex issues I’ve come across, and a true feast for thought.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Men are used to interact violently among each other, but it’s mostly kind-of consensual (since it’s not meant to cause actual harm) and more about showing off than truly attacking.

A lot of M-M violence is explicitly consensual. “Let’s you and me take this outside”, “OK you’re on”. UK Football hooliganism is another great example. Mass brawls by appointment.

This works for physical violence and also for verbal violence. That’s why sometimes MRAs claim women don’t “have what it takes” to compete in male dominated spaces. But M on F violence is framed very different on our culture than M on M. For instance:

– M on F violence may appear “playful” as in M-M, but the M party is capable of exercising way more violence over th F party than vice versa

I’m not sure I can think of an example of playful M-F violence, could you give me an example please? It’s the fact that both in terms of the individuals concerned and also in context, M will normally have the power advantage over F in most violent encounters that makes it so different; notwithstanding all the other factors.

– M on M “bonding through violence” is often done by enacting violence against women (thus deepening the power gap between M and F)

There’s a strange dichotomy here between the traditional “real men never hit women” ethos and the “I can see why you gave her a slap” mentality. Doublethink at work. Interesting to explore this. I thinks it’s an expression of the common view that people may find something abhorrent generally but excusable when their friends do it. (Interestingly this also works the other way round too. “I don’t like blacks”, “What about your mate”, “Oh, he’s ok, he’s not like the rest of them”

– Women are dehumanized through culture, thus lessening the “protection” provided by the “fear to kill”, since abusive partners don’t actually see their victims as people.

The “othering” of targets is one of the conditioning techniques used to overcome the inhibition on violence in the military (in that’s context it’s called “distancing”). The Japanese were told to practice killing prisoners by viewing them as the logs they also practiced on. Old time war propaganda also dehumanized the enemy.

I think it’s true most people have a tendency to be reluctant to use violence and/or deadly force on purpose.

Yup, that’s really well established. Are you familiar with the ‘Sheep, wolves, sheepdog’ analogy?

I also think we’re trained from a very Young age to consider certain types of violence as normal and harmless, and we end up exercising a lot of violence without even noticing, through bigotry and ignorance mostly.

Could talk about this for ages. Of course, it still goes on today. Got a woman villain in a film? Hero can’t hurt her. Time for the catfight (so double points).

Which can lead to physical violence in some individuals, but even those of use who actively work to unlearn that bigotry do sometimes indulge in it, and cause harm.

I think violence can be a good thing when used appropriately, but that’s another issue. There’s an interesting story I’ll share with you sometime about a (female) friend of mine in that regard.

I love feminism and feminist theories on violence because it’s one of the most complex issues I’ve come across, and a true feast for thought.

See above. Yup, this is a fascinating subject for me too.

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

All great points you’re bringing up! On to the questions:

– M on F “playful violence”

You see it in early stages of abuse, a guy grabs his girlfriend playfully enough to not be seen as violent, but strongly enough to intimidate her.

Or hurtful comments made as “jokes”, especially in from of people who will not see the constant abuse and may think the victim is overreacting.

The “cool girl” also faces meaner comments from “the guys”, who will of course support each other and throw her under the bus if she complains.

So, the only thing keeping the appearance of “playful” is in fact the threat of more violence.

Much like being a woman on planet Earth…

-Sheep, wolf, sheepdog

I actually don’t know about it, you’ve got any good sources on it?

Everything else: SO agreeing with you here ????

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Oh, went to get something on the Sheep thing and found this. There’s a link to the original in the article, but you might like this as it’s all about how it’s now been co-opted. Didn;t know it had ended up in that film:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/01/21/american_sniper_s_wolves_sheep_and_sheepdogs_speech_has_a_surprising_history.html

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

I see what you mean about the playful thing now. Yup, seen that in real life plenty.

katz
katz
5 years ago

Pff, I don’t understand the snake thing. Snakes are cute and helpful and they feel awesome and sometimes they wear tiny hats.
comment image

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

I can see how he’d feel awesome in a hat like that; it does suit him.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

@Alan:

There… there isn’t any relation between the “sheep, sheepdogs, wolves” thing and the other three-category diatribe from Team America: World Police, is there?

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Kirby

Don’t think so, but there’s probably a paper to be written trying to draw an allusion.

Luzbelitx
5 years ago

OMG ITS A SNAKE WITH A HAT MUST HUG SNAKE WITH HAT!!!!
comment image

@kyrbywarp

After reading the artcle Alan shared… I think there kinda is, although perhaps not intentionally.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@katz

That snake is amazing I must have it.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

It does seem to follow a similar mindset of the self-admission of being dangerous and disliked, but justified because you get the bad guys, which is why it’d be even more incredible if it wasn’t intentional.

Scary.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Kirby

How does that tie in with the Ds,Ps & AHs thing. Must confess haven’t given that speech any great analysis, or indeed really listened to it.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

Oh, the whole point of the speech, without the vulgarity, was that there were three people; people who were peaceful but vulnerable, people who were aggressive, and people who were evil. The aggressive people were aggressive towards everyone, but don’t mean anything by it, and the vulnerable people don’t like it. But, the aggressive people also attack the evil people. So the aggressive people should be allowed to do their thing, because they fight back against evil and prevent vulnerable people from being exploited as a side effect.

The movie was this whole commentary on the idea of America being the “world police” that intrudes on cultures they know nothing about and fuck everything up. That speech was a justification; it’s ok to destroy country landmarks and spread chaos as long as you are fighting evil in the end.

No idea what the film-makers thought of this idea, but it’s kind of bizarre to see a similar mindset among real life people.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

Hm, I wonder, does play fighting, and things like “haha, you big doof” *lightly whaps then on the arm*, and, like water balloon fights, would those be considered to be different in nature than the posturing fights that dudes get into, or is it all grouped as “playful” violence?

Because I would consider the former category to be more of a bonding experience between the parties involved, a display of familiarity and trust, while the latter kind of thing seems more for the sake of whoever is watching, to establish hierarchy within the larger group context.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

Wow that first sentence is a grammatical nightmare. What I get for changing trains of thought halfway through it. Whoops

katz
katz
5 years ago

This one also has a moustache!
comment image

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@katz

That is one dapper snake.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Kirby

Ah, must confess I just liked them blowing stuff up. Oh, and the ‘secret signal’.

From what you say the sheep thing is a different argument. That is basically differentiating between people who are completely non violent, people who are violent and prey on the non violent, and people with a capacity for violence who will use violence against the predators if they threaten the non violent.

I would agree that there’s a difference between ‘being violent’ and having the ability to use violence when it is legitimate.

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Dapper snake is adorable.

HVM
HVM
3 years ago

its a shame but … i expected response to be smarter rather than just blatant insults and meme’s how does that makes us different than most homophobic or racist meme makers out there?