Category Archives: a voice for men

How Melody Hensley is putting the bullies to shame

bully

 

Yesterday, a message arrived in my email inbox with the title “Are you happy to die a virgin,” a somewhat unusual question, I felt, not just because of its faulty premise but also because of its lack of the conventional question mark at the end. The email itself was equally blunt and illiterate:

You sound like a 40 y/o FAT VIRGIN living in a basement rotting away. Is manboobz.com your way of hide behind your own internal issues u refuse to face? Father issues???

Ah, here’s where the missing question mark went, along with some friends.

The sender appended a photo of an extremely obese Asian man at least 20 years my junior, mostly if not completely nude, along with the question (and I quote verbatim) “This this photo you??”

As hate mail goes, this isn’t particularly interesting and original. What got my attention was the sender: it came from the admin account at mensrightsmelbourne.com, an Australian Men’s Rights site taking much of its inspiration from Men’s Rights Edmonton (its website design) and A Voice for Men (its propaganda). So this wasn’t simply some anonymous internet troll sending me puerile hate mail: this is one of Australia’s most visible MRAs.

On the front page I noticed something else: A post with the title: “‘Twitter gave me PTSD’: Woman claims mean comments and ‘cyberstalking’ gave her an illness usually suffered by WAR VETERANS.”

The post – most of which is plagiarised directly from The Daily Mail, including the title itself – is an attack on Melody Hensley, a feminist and skeptic who is the Executive Director of Center for Inquiry in Washington DC. Hensley, who in the past suffered intense harassment from misogynists in the skeptic movement and other assorted assholes, is now facing a second wave of harassment as a result of saying publicly that the earlier harassment had given her Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

That’s right: she’s being harassed for saying that harassment so fucked up her life that it gave her PTSD.

While much of the most vicious harassment this time is coming, as it did last time, from the misogynist wing of the atheist/skeptic movement, MRAs are jumping on board as well.

The “argument” of Hensley’s enemies? That she couldn’t possibly have gotten PTSD from “mean words” online. Men’s Rights blogger The Native Canadian put it this way:

PTSD from being a feminist on the internet? Yeah I bet she wakes up screaming at night because of all the mean words! Must be hard going day to day with flash backs of your friends being called “femnazi’s” right in front of you! How ever do you handle life? Fucking disgraceful b****. Let’s see her tell that to someone who really knows what living with PTSD is like. …

I’m sorry but I am totally shocked, I don’t know what else to say, other than, is there nothing sacred to these cat lovers?

And that’s pretty much the argument all of them make: based on nothing but their own vague notion that PTSD is a serious thing that only happens to soldiers, they’ve decided she’s a lying “b****” who is trying to steal the sympathy that rightly belongs to men. (Never mind that her comments on Twitter about veterans suffering from PTSD are always respectful.)

As Hensley has made clear, she’s not claiming that a few mean tweets gave her PTSD. On a page she’s set up to help raise money for research into PTSD she notes:

In July of 2013 I publicly disclosed that I had been diagnosed by my psychiatrist with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to more than a year of online harassment and abuse. The abuse -including death and rape threats- occurred on numerous websites and via email, phone, online postings, images, and videos.

Is it possible for this sort of harassment to cause PTSD? Well, according to someone who knows a lot more about the subject than me or The Native Canadian or the dude at Men’s Rights Melbourne or the staff writers at The Daily Mail, the answer is a clear yes. Caleb W. Lack, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychology professor who writes a blog called Great Plains Skeptic, and who is an expert on anxiety disorders, writes in a recent post on the Hensley controversy that

Bullying has long been known to have a severe impact on mental health, particularly if the bullying is repeated and prolonged. While research has traditionally focused on youth (as briefly reviewed here), more recent work has examined it’s impact on adults. as well, particularly in the workplace. Research focusing specifically on cyberbullying has found very similar results to “traditional” bullying, in terms of increased risk of depression, suicide, and anxiety. In youth, around a third of bullying victims display quite high rates of PTSD symptoms and rates are perhaps even higher in adults who are bullied.

So, given what we know about PTSD, and given what we know about the effects of bullying (cyber and otherwise) on mental health, I think it’s relatively safe to say that “Yes, you can ‘get’ PTSD from Twitter.” One needs to be careful, though, to be specific about this: it’s the bullying and harassment that could lead to PTSD or PTSD symptoms (as well as depression, increased suicidality, and so on), not anything inherent to Twitter itself. Twitter and other forms of social media are just a new tool to use to bully and harass others, but the underlying mechanisms and the results are the same as if these interactions were face to face.

The internet isn’t somehow apart from the “real world.” It’s a part of it, and actions on the internet have real world consequences. Unfortunately, the internet seems to magnify the power of bullies. But it may also magnify the power of bullying victims to fight back.

Of course, the bullies don’t want to acknowledge that what they are doing is bullying. Indeed, many of the worst bullies in the skeptic and Men’s Rights movements consider themselves “activists” — even though the bulk of their “activism” may consist of nothing more than harassing individuals. That may be part of what is driving the widespread refusal to accept that online harassment can lead to real trauma, including PTSD.

And that may be why the guy at Men’s Rights Melbourne — that is, a guy who sent me a crude, bullying email calling me a “FAT VIRGIN” — felt the need to weigh in on the Hensley’s case, and to insinuate ( in one of the few portions of his post that wasn’t plagiarised) that she’s making it all up.

But on some level the bullies know that they’re bullies. There’s no question that the new wave of harassment against Hensley is driven by one of the central dynamics of bullying — offline and on. Bullies love to pounce on anyone who shows signs of vulnerability, and Hensley’s announcement that she suffers from PTSD is a sign that the first wave of bullying got to her.

Happily, that’s not the whole story. What really seems to infuriate Hensley’s enemies is that she’s not acting like they think a victim should. She’s not shutting up and going away. She’s back on Twitter and responding to critics, because doing so gives her a sense of control over her bullies. She’s taking power away from them.

On A Voice for Men, Dean Esmay tries his best, in a barely coherent post, to paint her as a “professional damsel in distress” who deserves to be distressed some more. But the tweets of hers he reposts aren’t very damsel-like; they’re blunt and direct and they call out bullies by name. And when she posts them she knows she has the support of a lot of people who are as disgusted by the bullies as she is.

And while the bullies fulminate, she’s raising money for PTSD research. Because she’s an actual fucking activist, not a bully with a Twitter account, or a website, or a YouTube channel.

EDIT: There has been a lot of really good stuff written about Hensley and PTSD, particularly on Freethought Blogs. Here are some links to interesting, useful, insightful posts.

How could Twitter possibly cause PTSD? by Stephanie Zwan, documents some of the harassment.

What Melody Hensley Has to Teach You About Professionalism, an older (2013) piece by Zvan

Your Uninformed and Incorrect Opinions About Psychology, by Miri Mogilevsky

A Voice for Me – AVfM and Thunderfoot on PTSD, by Avicenna

PTSD and Me(lody), by Avicenna

Feel free to post more links in the comments!

NOTE TO DRIVE-BY ASSHOLES: If you want to talk about what a liar you think Melody Hensley is, don’t bother trying to post comments here. I mean, you can if you want; it’s just that it takes me a lot less time to throw them in the trash than it does for you to write them.

 

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MRAs post secret recording of non-secret event, confuse feminism with the complete opposite of feminism

Secret Squirrel: Much better at this than MRAs

Secret Squirrel: Much better at this than MRAs

If you’re a feminist holding an event, and you don’t want to have recordings of that event posted online without your permission by MRAs, it looks like your only option is to ban anyone and everyone associated with A Voice for Men from the premises.  AVFM “activism director” Attila Vinczer has made that very clear.

Earlier this month, you see, Jaclyn Friedman – feminist writer, speaker, founder of Women, Action & The Media (WAM!) – gave a talk at Queens University in Kingston, Canada, followed by a panel discussion.

A number of Men’s Rights Activists associated with everyone’s favorite hate site A Voice for Men showed up with cameras and other recording devices, as they do.

The organizers made clear that there was to be no filming or recording of the event.

They had security remove Steve Brule, an MRA-sympathetic “documentarian” who’d shown up with his camera gear. Organizers had every reason to worry about Brule and his camera: in the past, footage from Brule has been used by AVFM to dox feminist students. Nevertheless, he cried foul, saying that he promised the security guards he wouldn’t film the event –honest! — and, absurdly, claiming that he had been discriminated against as an “old guy.”

But organizers let in other MRAs, apparently on the condition that they not record any of the proceedings.

Well, I guess we now know how much those sorts of promises are worth. Today, A Voice for Men posted a recording of the event. Vinczer explained that

I herewith revoke my word not to record the Jaclyn Friedman What’s Feminism Got To Do With It public event.  Had security not violated my Charter Rights I would never have had to take the steps I did to preserve those rights.

His accusation?

On April 7, 2014, a group of five men and one woman were denied access to a public feminist event at Queen’s University for absolutely no reason at all. Security trampled on Charter rights of these Canadians.

But then in his next line we learn that four of these people, including him, WERE ultimately allowed to attend the event. (Presumably the fifth was Brule.)

So four of these people were unfairly denied access to something they were not actually denied access to, and a fifth was denied access because organizers and students didn’t trust him not to record the event.

And so, in order to protest a man being kept out of an event because people were afraid he would secretly tape the event, AVFM is … posting audio that someone secretly recorded of the event, after promising not to record it.

So that’s irony number one.

As for irony number two, well, according to Vinczer, posting the audio of the event is necessary because

The public has a right to know what type of damaging and dangerous rhetoric is being spoken to highly impressionable young adult minds.

But guess what? The event wasn’t actually secret. It was actually BROADCAST LIVE AS IT WAS HAPPENING.

And for anyone who missed it, it’s ARCHIVED ONLINE HERE. Go to April 8 at 8pm (or, as they have it, 2000 hours). Ta da! The sound quality is better than AVFM’s recording, as well.

Besides sound quality, the other difference between AVFM’s recording and the officially broadcast one is that AVFM’s includes the panel discussion afterwards, which, as the radio station that broadcasted the event noted in a tweet “we were not permitted by the panelists and event organizers to record & broadcast the panel discussion due to safety concerns.”

In other words, the organizers wanted students to be able to ask questions without worrying about being publicly identified on the internet by MRAs — because MRAs, particularly those associated with AVFM, have a longstanding practice of singling out college feminists for harassment online.

So good on you, AVFMers, for making life a little easier for potential harassers.

Also, in the comments on AVFM, we see this wondrous little exchange.

 Kimski Mod • 7 hours ago  At approximately 15 min's in, you can hear Dan Perrins say: "Extorting as much money as possible for your sexuality!", to which Friedman agrees and runs with it.  So, the purpose of feminism is apparently to teach women how to become prostitutes, according to Jaclyn Friedman. She then continues her little scheme of extortion possibilities by teaching these young women how to pressure young males into "loving them" by withholding sex. The purpose of course being with a later marriage in mind, which actually makes this another clear example of promoting outright prostitution. 'Oh, the tangled webs we weave, when we practice to deceive'.  No wonder they didn't want you guys in there. The cover-up has been blown wide open: Jaclyn Friedman is actually a prostitution promoter in a feminist's disguise.  6 • Reply • Share ›          −     Avatar     DEDC Kimski • 5 hours ago      This is where I see the feminism is 'socialism in panties' argument: wherein the only 'legal' or state sanctioned 'sex-transaction' is marriage and it is price-floored at the cost of your soul.

Wait, a feminist telling women to exploit their sexuality for money? That seems … odd.

And that’s because she isn’t doing that at all.

Which brings us to irony number three: If you actually go and listen to that portion of Friedman’s talk, you will see that she isn’t issuing marching orders to her feminist sisters. In fact, she’s describing the traditional, patriarchal, female-sex-as-commodity notion of sexuality. She’s very clearly describing a model of sexuality she, as a feminist, finds troubling, not one that she endorses.

But just as the folks at AVFM have trouble telling the difference between a secret event and one that was literally broadcast to the world, they also have trouble telling the difference between feminism and the complete opposite of feminism.

Congratulations, AVFMers, you’ve once again demonstrated to the world that you are both liars and idiots.

EDIT: Added several paragraphs noting that the AVFM recording included the panel discussion and audience questions.

EDIT 2:  On Twitter, AVFM “assistant managing editor” Suzanne McCarley seems to suggest that Attila Vinczer’s argument that he had to post the audio because the public “has the right to know” is pure bullshit: AVFM, according to her, posted the audio simply because it was forbidden to post the audio.

Here’s her tweet:

So is she trying to make excuses for AVFM not knowing that the audio of Jaclyn Friedman’s talk was already online, or is this the truth? Funny thing is, either way, the folks at AVFM look like asses.

8 Men’s Rights Memes From A Voice for Men That Make No Damn Sense

Yesterday, we looked at 6 memes from A Voice for Men’s “meme team” and decoded what they really meant. Today, some memes from AVFM’s Pinterest page that are a bit harder to decode, because they really make no sense at all. I’ll do my best to try to sort them out.

1) TALK TO THE HAND

listening

What might it mean? “Ha ha girls talk too much, well joke’s on you because I’m GOING MY OWN WAY and later I’ll go home and make a poster about how I imagined I might I totally really did put that bitch in her place.”

I mean, that is what this poster is saying, right? It’s illustrating the notion that men and women should listen to one another by depicting a dude just up and leaving because he’s tired of listening?

How exactly does this advance any “men’s rights” other than the right of men to act like petulant children?

Read the rest of this entry

6 Memes from A Voice for Men, and What They Really Mean

avfmmemes

Memes, memes everywhere, and not a drop of sense.

A Voice for Men seems to have gone a bit meme-crazy. The site’s official Pinterest page, which seems to be fairly new, is loaded up with 374 memes on such subjects as Sexual Politics, False Accusations, MGTOW, and of course Feminism.

It’s not clear how many of these memes were created by the AVFM “Meme Team” and how many were simply grabbed from the internet. But a number of the memes are emblazoned with the A Voice for Men name and/or logo, so I think it’s fair to say that these, at least, are “official” AVFM memes.

Going through these memes, one thing about them becomes clear very quickly: most of them seem to convey messages that are often considerably different than those their creators seem to have intended.

So here, without further ado, here are 6 AVFM memes and what they really mean.

1) MEN SOLVE PROBLEMS

avfmmensolvingpeoblems

menciv

 

 

What this meme purports to say: These two variations on the same meme might (charitably) be interpreted to mean that we should honor the historical achievements of men.

What this meme really says: Men are superior to women. Suck it up, dumb bitches!

2) TODAY HE WOULD BE CALLED A RAPIST

avfmnursekiss

 

What this meme purports to say: Feminist ideologues have so corrupted the notion of rape that is has become ridiculous.

What this meme really says: We basically don’t understand what consent is. Why shouldn’t a dude be allowed to just go kiss a woman on the mouth without her permission?

3) THANKS FOR NOTHING, FEMINISM!

femswap

What this meme purports to say: Feminism has conned women into giving up the joys of motherhood for the sorrows of wage labor

What this meme really says: We believe in a magical prefeminist fairyland in which all mothers were young, beautiful middle class women whose husbands could afford to support them while they raised children. There was no such thing as the working class, or women working in factory jobs, before feminism. Also, we basically think women shouldn’t have jobs, though we get mad at housewives for “leeching” off their husbands all the time, too.

4) COMMITTED TO FAIRNESS IN FAMILY COURTS

badmom

What this meme purports to say: Judges should not automatically assume that mothers will make better parents than fathers.

What this meme really says: We hate women, and love to laugh at them, and think that if any woman anywhere behaves badly it reflects poorly on all women due to the transitive property of women being terrible bitches.

5) BAN BOSSY?

bossy

 

What this meme purports to say: We oppose the #BanBossy campaign, for some reason.

What this meme really says: We hate women with any power in the world. We also hate little girls.

6) FEMINISTS WON’T STOP UNTIL WE MAKE THEM

heel

shoveit

 

What these related memes purport to say: These two memes suggest that feminism is a vicious, violent ideology that must be strongly opposed.

What these memes really say: We like to portray ourselves as victims of feminist violence, even if we have to imagine it, because that gives us a justification to indulge in wild fantasies of violent “retribution” that for some reason involve fists being shoved into women’s orifices.

COMING SOON: An arbitrary number of A Voice for Men memes that make no fucking sense.

EDIT: Proofreading fixes.

 

New Men’s Rights Issue: Women attacking men while giving birth

Is this man in grave danger?

Is this man putting his life in grave danger?

Is there no end to the ways in which women oppress the men of the world? Over on A Voice for Men, Clint Carpentier reports – and I use that term loosely – on a heretofore overlooked form of anti-male oppression: the abuse of fathers in delivery rooms by women who are at that moment literally in the stirrups giving birth.

Yep, we’re talking about women who use 12 hours of labor as a convenient excuse to yell at, and sometimes scratch and bite, their husbands and boyfriends. Apparently, there’s an epidemic of women in labor cruelly attacking men from the comfort and safety of the delivery table.

Carpentier starts off his post by making clear that giving birth isn’t really the big freaking deal all the ladies think it is, anyway:

Giving birth is an amazing feat of zero skill, and it still amazes me. It amazes me that this is the epitome, the pinnacle, the supposed female trump card to all male accomplishments. A man lands on the moon with analogue technology and proves Galileo’s theory of air resistance, but never mind that, another woman gave birth, just as well as any other female animal on the planet. A man creates life in a petri-dish, but never mind that, some broad stole his sperm and created life herself.

Anyway, I’m not knocking the dangers of labor, men know all about the dangers of labor; there really ought to be a better word for giving birth.

And whatever alleged pain women undergo during so-called “labor” apparently pales in insignificance to the pain men suffer from being in their presence in the delivery room. Carpentier has managed to avoid this terrible fate himself – his wife went the c-section route, no biggie – but he has heard tales that would make your skin crawl:

I have … heard stories, have … seen the scratches and bite marks, on the fathers who braved the maternity ward. And these same brave men praise the bravery of the mothers of their children. They proudly display scars the mothers-to-be inflicted upon them during the ordeal.

I’m hoping these scars are only from fingernails and that mothers-to-be aren’t sneaking shivs into the delivery room.

Oh, also, sometimes women in labor yell really loudly:

Sometimes a father will reminisce amusingly about how he’d been temporarily deafened when she had screamed right in his ear for waxing sympathetically over her tribulations.

And apparently it’s only men who are the targets for this scratching and biting and yelling:

I hear these stories only from men. I know, men aren’t the only people comforting these women during birth; some women don’t have a man at the time. But what I don’t hear, are these stories from the female nurses, friends, mothers, sisters, etc, who are there to console and coach these single mothers-to-be. Why is it, I’m only hearing accounts of weathering physical abuse and injury from the fathers?

I don’t know, dude. Do you hang out with female nurses on a regular basis? Do you spend as much time drinking beer and shooting the shit with your wife’s female friends as you do with your own?

You see, if I am correct, and it is only fathers who suffer this abuse, then delivery of such injury is selective. I can see no call for it.

Really? First of all, you haven’t shown that this is abuse and not simply an accident. Second, how many of these female friends, mothers, sisters, what have you, were actually in the delivery room? Because that seems like an important variable to take into consideration before jumping to conclusions based on a dataset of some-dudes-allegedly-told-you-something-once.

In fact, fathers-to-be should avoid the maternity ward altogether, as they are obviously not welcome.

Really again? You imagine an epidemic of anti-male violence by women giving birth based on a couple of stories and a rather half-assed deduction you’ve made from it, and therefore conclude that 1) men should miss out on the birth of their children and 2) shouldn’t be there to comfort their wives as best they can during labor.

If birthing is license to mistreat, abuse, or injure a father in the witness of medical professionals, then what deterrent exists, preventing continued abuse in private? And for that matter, what indication is there that she doesn’t abuse him already?

Woah. Let’s just back up a little here. First of all, dude, you haven’t proven that “abuse of fathers” by women on the delivery table is actually a thing. You’ve offered only a few vague anecdotes – and these anecdotes don’t even make clear whether or not the alleged “ delivery of … injury” – gotta love that evasive wording – was deliberate.

Given the stress and pain of labor, it’s easy to imagine how a woman giving birth might accidentally scratch someone. Maybe the mother in question was holding onto her husband’s hand for support and dug her fingernails in a little too hard and left a mark. Maybe she flailed her arm backwards and accidentally scratched his face. We don’t know, because not only do you offer zero real evidence for any of your claims, but your second-hand stories don’t offer enough detail to know what was going on.

If endangering your own life once or twice provides license to abuse a man, what does that say about our society. Particularly when he endangers his own life as a matter of routine to support you?

Seriously? I know Men’s Righsters love to complain about the fact that many more men than women die on the job – though this complaining never seems to lead to any actual activism on the issue of workplace safety – but the fact is that most men, in the US at least, DO NOT WORK DANGEROUS JOBS. They don’t endanger their own lives “as a matter of routine.” They don’t endanger their lives at all by going to work, at least not any more than women do.

MRAs love to give themselves credit for bravery because they share a gender with a small number of men who do in fact work dangerous jobs. But I’m guessing there are not a lot of lion tamers amongst the Men’s Rights crowd. Somehow I’m thinking that most of them have jobs that mostly involve sitting on their asses in rooms entirely devoid of lions.

Anyway, if the overwhelming majority of men don’t endanger their lives by going to work, they endanger it even less by “braving” the delivery room. Men face no actual physical threat from women who are literally flat on their back, their feet in stirrups, in the process of pushing an entire human being out through their vaginas.

But, hey, women do sometimes yell rude things during labor, so maybe it’s possible that a few of them do scratch or even bite their husbands, though the latter seems like it might be a tad difficult logistically. Some might even do so on purpose. If so, there would probably be some evidence of this somewhere online, right?

Well, I searched for a while using every combination of search words I could think of. I found an assortment of disturbing headlines about men attacking women in and around maternity wards: Guilty: man who punched and kicked pregnant girlfriend outside Poole Maternity Hospital; Man charged with assaulting pregnant girlfriend, staff in hospital maternity ward; Man Throws Meat Cleaver Into Maternity Ward.

I found disturbing statistics about pregnancy and domestic violence, which often begins or increases during pregnancy; according to one 2000 study, some 324,000 pregnant women are abused each year.

On a somewhat lighter note, I found women wondering if it was normal to have a really itchy stomach after giving birth, and another person wondering “why is my bitch digging so much after giving birth[?]” (Don’t worry; they were talking about a dog.)

Amidst all this – and many hundreds of other irrelevant results – I managed to find one example of a woman scratching a man during childbirth.

On a page in which she provided all the gory details of her 28 hours of labor – along with numerous pictures of her newborn – one new mother also posted a couple of pictures documenting the scratches she’d given her husband while in labor. (I’m not giving out the link because MRAs. )

Brace yourself. Here’s one of the pictures, with the father’s face partially blurred out:

New father displays scratches his wife gave him during her 28 hours of labor

New father displays scratches his wife gave him during her 28 hours of labor

If you look very carefully you can see four faint scratches on his forearm. The blogger isn’t a native English speaker, but as far as I can tell from what she wrote about it, she didn’t give these terrible scratches to him on purpose.

The horror!

 

 

 

Harassment as Activism: Men’s Rights Redditors Gleefully Dox a College Student, Face No Repercussions

No long post today. Instead, I urge you to go over to the AgainstMensRights subreddit to read about how several long time Men’s Rights Redditors have doxxed and harassed a college student, with one of the regulars gleefully setting forth a plan to stalk her and ruin her life and another seeming to suggest he might want to pay her a visit to “debate” her.

Some screenshots from the original Men’s Rights subreddit discussion:

 

AceyJuan -2 points 12 hours ago (4|6)  High school or University? If it's HS, then report everything to the administration on a weekly basis.  If it's University, then she's an adult and deserves what she gets. Here's what you do:      Gather several photos of her, her full name, and a good collection of her most hateful posts.     Post all of it to some lovely webpage that will rank highly on search results. Facebook or Google+ comes to mind. Be sure not to identify yourself as the author.     Let her own bile destroy her future careers. Unless she plans to become an academic feminist, then it might actually help her.     Stop engaging her online, except very short responses like "this is hate speech."     If you've the time, do the same for her most enthusiastic followers.     (Bonus) If you're still angry in 2 years, keep track of where she works and be sure to share her writings appropriately.

TracyMorganFreeman 1 point 7 hours ago (3|2) White men are 72% of all suicides, and have the highest occupational deathrate and second highest occupational injury rate after Hispanics. Either she doesn't know this, or thinks "deserving of help" isn't based on who is most hurt in a given arena, although it could be both. In any case, she appears to be in Connecticut. I don't live too far from CT, and would gladly debate her.

The thread (which remained up for many hours) has now been scrubbed by the Men’s Rights mods — I got these screenshots from u/Aceyjuan and u/TraceyMorganFreeman’s respective timelines –  but as of right now none of the doxxers have been banned from the subreddit, or from Reddit itself.

The “crimes” of the woman in question? According to her main stalker — who has apparently been harassing her for months — she’s tweeted comments like “white men are like the gum on the bottom of my shoe” and “Jared Leto looks like the kind if guy that gives you herpes.”

Yep. Apparently the second-worst evil misandrist comment she made was … a joke about Jared Leto. For these comments, apparently she deserves to have her life ruined.

Here’s the thing: If you don’t like someone’s comments online, you are certainly well within your rights to quote them and point out why you don’t like what they said. That’s kind of the point of this blog. But it’s one thing to point out these comments, and another thing entirely to track down their identity and stalk them in real life. It’s another thing to whip up a virtual mob against them.

Doxxing by Men’s Rights Activists isn’t an accident; it’s the inevitable result of the peculiar style of Men’s Rights Activism.

MRAs, you see, seem utterly incapable of engaging in any kind of activism that might actually benefit men in the real world in any concrete manner. What they as a group specialize in is demonizing women, and in the case of too many MRAS, nothing gets their activist juices flowing faster than the opportunity to attack an individual woman.

That’s why A Voice for Men “activists” put up “wanted” style posters featuring their favorite feminist villains of the day; it’s why they started Register-Her.com. That’s why a certain red-haired Canadian activist who yelled at some MRAs once at a protest now finds her image splashed everywhere online as a visual representation of an evil feminist. That’s why MRAs show up at protests with cameras and threaten to expose the women they film — even if they’ve done nothing more than stand there with a sign.

And that’s why they doxx.

The Men’s Rights movement isn’t a civil rights movement.  As it stands right now, it’s a union of abusers, and their enablers.

EDITED TO ADD: Lest anyone claim that the OP didn’t “really” dox the woman in question because he didn’t literally post all her personal details, he provided enough to allow anyone with even rudimentary Google skills to find out her real name and a great deal of other personal identifying information in less time than it would take to order a pizza online.

 

 

Men’s Rights Poetry Corner: “Feminists Killed Kurt Cobain.”

Kurt Cobain, RIP

Kurt Cobain, RIP

Yesterday, several days after the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, A Voice for Men took a moment to honor the brilliant musician who tragically ended his life at the age of only 27.

Well, not exactly. What they actually did was run a terrible poem using the anniversary of Cobain’s death as an excuse to launch an extended attack on the supposed evils of feminism.

Here’s the opening:

Feminists killed Kurt Cobain
Men my age are all the same
They hate themselves & feel ashamed
For what they are & cannot change

It gets worse. The poem, written by a YouTube MRA calling himself Laudanum Byron, continues on for another 104 lines after this. Only 13 refer to Cobain, and five of these are simply repetitions of the opening accusation: “feminists killed Kurt Cobain.”

The rest of the poem consists of an assortment of Men’s Rights talking points sketched out in the most melodramatic manner possible.

Men chastised, demonized,
Healthy males pathologized
A man is just a dirty ape
Longing, lust, desire: all rape
Your body is a loaded gun
And all that it has done is wrong

Like all too many MRAs, Mr. Byron lets his anger at women get the better of his logic. In the following lines, for example, he lashes out at women both for living off of the earnings of men — and for earning money of their own.

Now the girls get told get what you can
After all, he’s just a man
You’re right to think it’s right to take
Yes you go girl, you make him pay
The girls get taught they must get on
Like work empowered anyone:
To sell your life for dollar bills
Taking calls & stacking shelves
In offices & factories
Fulfilment sought in drudgery

Mr. Byron – no relation, one presumes, to the actual Byron – seems to have only a rudimentary notion of what a poem actually is. While most, though not all, of his lines scan, he has persistent troubles with the concept of rhyme, with his aabb and aabbcc rhyme schemes dominated by half-rhymes and quarter-rhymes and, well, the words have some similar sounds in them.

“Bills” and “shelves” don’t rhyme, or half-rhyme, despite both ending in the letter “s.” “Take” and “pay” aren’t even remotely close.

Admittedly, “chivalry” is a tough one to rhyme. But surely one can do better than “steeds.”

White knights, on their hobbled steeds
Still cling to laws of chivalry
Passed over by the queens they save
A joke to all the other slaves

When he pulls off an actual rhyme, it comes a surprise:

All of us the sons of Cain
Feminists killed Kurt Cobain.

But while we’re on the topic, it’s worth pointing out that feminists and/or feminism did not actually kill Kurt Cobain. (Nor did anyone else; the conspiracy theories suggesting he was murdered don’t make a lot of sense.)

Byron’s only “evidence” linking feminism to the suicide?

He screamed onstage & pierced his flesh
Put on make-up, wore a dress

Look, nobody knows for sure the reason or reasons Cobain took his own life, but he was a troubled man with a history of suicide attempts. He suffered from depression and from a painful, persistent stomach ailment. He was addicted to heroin. And as his suicide note made clear, he found the fame he had achieved to be something of an intolerable burden; he felt like a fake. Like a lot of suicides, Cobain’s could be seen as psychologically overdetermined;  it could have been caused by any or all of these things.

Using his suicide to score cheap rhetorical points against feminism is not only dishonest but highly disrespectful to his memory.

To top off this gigantic platter of disrespect, whoever wrote the headline on AVFM didn’t even bother to spell Cobain’s first name correctly. It’s Kurt, with a K.

avfmCurt

Below, “Byron’s” own reading of his poem. If you can’t bear listening to it — I only made it a couple of stanzas in before I had to shut it off — you can make your way to AVFM, or to YouTube, to read the rest. I feel safe in saying that Kurt, who considered himself a feminist, would have hated it, and A Voice for Men as well.

I created Paul Elam, and now I need your help to rein him in

PaulVsPaul

The jig is up. I and my collaborators have kept it secret for a long time now, but for reasons I will explain in a moment, I feel I need to come clean about this now, before it is too late:

I created Paul Elam.

That is: “Paul Elam” is a character created and developed by me and my friend Paul Henderson, an amazing improvisatory actor who has taken on the task of playing “Elam” in YouTube Videos, radio shows, and on a few occasions in the real world as well.

I first came up with the character of “Paul Elam” — “Elam” is just “male” spelled backwards — some seven years ago after reading Warren Farrell’s Myth of Male Power and wondering what an updated version of Farrell would look like today as a YouTube ranter. I brought the idea to my friend Paul Henderson, a feminist comedian who was already doing an “angry white man” character in his comedy act.

After a bit of workshopping, we created “Paul Elam” and his “Happy Misogynist” YouTube channel. I wrote the scripts, and Henderson read them out. As time went on and as Henderson got more into his new alter ego, he began adding bits of dialogue of his own. Sometimes when he got too deep into his character of “Paul Elam” he started to scare me a little.

After some success on YouTube and at Men’s News Daily, we decided to set up A Voice for Men. Shortly afterwards I set up Man Boobz, mainly as a way to promote AVFM and generate traffic for “Elam’s” site.

Since then, things have just snowballed. Henderson put me in touch with an amazing group of Canadian improv comedians called the Pouteenagers and the characters of Girl Writes What, John The Other, Typhon Blue, and DannyBoy were born.

Not all of those at AVFM are in on the gag. Dean Esmay for example, is completely sincere, as are most of the recent additions to the AVFM roster.

Up until about a month ago, the whole “Paul Elam”/A Voice for Men project seemed to be going swimmingly, generating buzz — and even a good deal of cash, much of which we have been donating to an assortment of feminist charities.

We kept piling absurdity on absurdity — like adding “human” to “men’s rights activist” to become “men’s human rights activist” — but no one ever guessed that it was all an elaborate prank! We were prepared to let the whole thing run for at least another year, getting sillier and sillier, before fessing up in a joint press conference with me and “Elam.”

But something terrible seems to have happened to my old friend Paul Henderson. After 7 years of playing “Paul Elam,” he seems to have become lost in the character he and I have created. Paul Henderson, in other words, has become Paul Elam.

He used to joke with April Fulieu, our makeup wiz, about how horrified he was each time he looked in the mirror and saw “Elam” staring back at him. But after we shot the last video with him he refused to let April take the makeup off, and when she went to tell me about this he fled out the back door of the studio.

We haven’t heard from him since. At least not as Paul Henderson.

I’m not sure what to do. He’s changed all the passwords on the AVFM server, so I can’t shut it down from my end, and I haven’t been able to contact any of the Pouteenagers either. I worry they too may have gone over to the dark side as well.

I can only hope that by posting this I can give him the wake-up call he needs – or at least arouse enough suspicion that the “sincere” AVFMers will confront him and possibly jar him back to reality.

He’ll deny it all, of course.

But at some point his fake beard will fall off.

That’s what I’m counting on, really.

After a feminist activist at Queen’s University reports being attacked, possibly by an MRA, the king of “fuck their shit up” responds with angry denial

Paul Elam: Anger is "pulsing through my veins like molten lava" at the very notion that MRAs are violent.

Paul Elam: Anger is “pulsing through my veins like molten lava.”

A student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, says she was attacked and beaten by a strange man after receiving threatening messages about her opposition to a Men’s Rights group on campus. On Thursday, Danielle d’Entremont posted a picture of her bruised face to Facebook along with this explanation:

Just walked out of my house and got attacked by a stranger. I was punched in the face multiple times and lost half my tooth. This was after a few threatening emails regarding my support for feminist activities on campus. I can’t say for sure if the two are connected, however the attacker was a male who knew my name.

The campus Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) – the group d’Entremont has been fighting – has condemned the attack, as has the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE), which co-sponsored a talk the MIAS put on Thursday. The police are investigating.

Right now, this is pretty much all we know about the story. Not that it this has stopped MRAs from offering their very fervent opinions on the matter.

Before we get to them, here are a few of my own:

Read the rest of this entry

A Voice for Men fans have appropriated logos of real anti-violence organizations for new “Don’t Be That Girl” postering campaign

From @im_adam_barrett on Twitter

From @im_adam_barrett on Twitter

Here we go again. Like small children who have just discovered the power of the tantrum, the terrible people at A Voice for Men seem to have realized that the only reliable way for them to get the attention of the world is to act like complete assholes in public.  And so some fans of AVFM have decided to bring back the “Don’t Be That Girl” campaign — you know, the witless and misogynistic “parody” of the successful Canadian “Don’t Be That Guy” rape awareness campaign. Now they’re postering in Halifax.

But there’s one difference: this time they’ve put the logos of the real sponsors of the real “Don’t Be That Guy” rape awareness project on their phony posters. (You can see the whole list by downloading one of the pdfs of the real posters on this page.)

So far, two of the organizations listed on their phony posters – the Bryony House shelter for victims of domestic violence and the Halifax Police Department – have made very clear that their logos are being used without permission.

It’s a pretty safe bet that the other organizations whose logos were appropriated feel similarly.

I’d like to encourage anyone who can afford it to follow up on a suggestion from Cloudiah in the comments and donate to Bryony House so that some good can come out of all this.

Now, I’m no expert on Canadian law, but it seems rather unlikely to me that it’s legal to simply stick some organization’s logo on something and pretend that they have endorsed it. Especially when that organization is the police.

Apparently some MRAs disagree with me on that:

“Your consent is not required” seems to be the operating assumption of a lot of those drawn to the Men’s Rights movement.

In later tweets, Elam claims that using the logos is legal because of “fair use,” which is not actually a term used in Canadian law, and promises that the “[p]osters will continue, cupcake.”

I guess we will see. Here are several more photos of the posters. There’s more discussion of this in the AgainstMensRights subreddit.

EDITED TO ADD: Elam has now responded to the critics, and promises to bankroll any legal challenges against the posterers. It’s pretty clear that he doesn’t understand why the logos are a problem.

EDIT/CORRECTION: It’s not completely clear that this postering campaign originated with AVFM. It’s pretty clear, though, that it’s supported by AVFM, and that those involved in it are supporters of AVFM. I’ve made a few changes to the headline and first graf to reflect this.

 

 

 

 

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