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a voice for men actual activism alpha males antifeminism are these guys 12 years old? domestic violence facepalm misogyny MRA oppressed men paul elam rape rape jokes rapey the poster revolution has begun

The whole world is watching … A Voice for Men “activists” making asses of themselves

Well,I got carried away there. It’s not literally the whole world. Only a teensy weensy portion of it.

The fellows at A Voice for Men, you see, evidently stung by criticism that they aren’t activists, have begun engaging in real, honest-to-goodness real-world activism, by which I mean that a handful of them, some in Canada and at least one in Australia, have been putting up posters advertising the AVFM website.

In other words, their activism consists of putting up posters for a website whose only activism thus far has consisted of putting up posters for itself.

Well, eventually they’ll get the hang of it, I guess.

In any case, the A Voice for Menners have discovered something about activism: if you do things that are offensive enough, people will be offended. And so they’ve managed to offend some people in Canada and in Australia where their posters have gone up. In Australia, there have even been a couple of news articles written about them! For example, one in Melbourne’s Herald Sun says:

A MAN who is littering the city with posters promoting a website that encourages men to support rapists has declined the opportunity to explain himself.

The website, which the Herald Sun has chosen not to name, is campaigning to get men sitting on juries for rape trials to “vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true”. …

The website’s publisher, Paul Elam, told the Herald Sun he was too busy watching the movie Air Force One to be interviewed, but later said by email he stood by the campaign.

Ooh! How very, very alpha of him.

Other articles (see here and here) describe the posters as “hate posters,” because one of them seems to suggest that women provoke domestic violence against themselves. The text of the poster reads “Domestic Violence Women Are Half the Problem.”

In fact, Elam and company are trying to suggest that women instigate half of all domestic violence, and thus are “half the problem,” but they’re so wedded to the easily misunderstood “half the problem” slogan that they somehow cannot seem to get this idea across in poster form. (This idea is itself incorrect, but that’s a whole other kettle of angry dudes.) Elam and company don’t quite seem to understand that an important part of activism is actually conveying your ideas to the general public rather than simply provoking people.

You can’t buy this kind of publicity!

Well, technically, you could, but no one would, because no one would willingly pay money for a publicity campaign that makes them appear to be hateful assholes — and in fact, even a teensy bit more hateful than they actually are.

So, congratulations, I guess?

If anyone wants to help AVFM in its publicity campaign, the super-sarcastic poster below, and a number of other poorly thought out and badly designed posters, can be downloaded from AVFM here by “anyone who wants to print and distribute them.”

Note: THIS IS A REAL AVFM POSTER. I didn’t make it up. See here.

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MorkaisChosen
MorkaisChosen
8 years ago

‘cargo cult social justice movement’ – I like!

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

If he were truly Alpha, it would have been The Dirty Dozen, Straw Dogs, or several other I could think of where machismo leaves cartoon stink lines coming from your set. Not Air Force One.

2-D Man
2-D Man
8 years ago

Or anyone who hasn’t seen, or doesn’t remember that scene in The Matrix.

Most people would probably understand that it’s a Matrix reference, but would then be confused as to the relevance to the poster. It sort of implies that the MRM thinks that The Matrix was a true story.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

I think the “Air Force One” line was Elam saying he was so macho and alpha and unconcerned with what the evil misandrist press would say about him that he was going to blow off the interview to watch an old movie about a macho dude kicking ass instead.

That’s the impression that I got, too, when I read that paragraph. Elame, the MANLY MAN, is far too busy watching a MANLY MAN movie to bother with some mangina wanting to interview him.

MollyRen (@MollyRen)
8 years ago

[blockquote]I think the “Air Force One” line was Elam saying he was so macho and alpha and unconcerned with what the evil misandrist press would say about him that he was going to blow off the interview to watch an old movie about a macho dude kicking ass instead. (But then he got back to them anyway to answer their next email.)[/blockquote]

So Elam basically tried to neg the press? XD

MollyRen (@MollyRen)
8 years ago

Farking blockquotes. XD I’m using ] instead of < on another forum!

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

From a post at AVfM regarding this article in the Waverly Leader:

In a just posted article, Posters cause outrage at Monash Uni, Mitchell interpreted posters that said “Domestic Violence: Women are Half the Problem” as meaning that women invite men to physically abuse them, thus are half the problem. It appears that in the mind of Mr. Mitchell, the “fact” that only men commit intimate partner violence is such an indelible given that his only way to interpret the statement was to infer that it meant that women made their partners beat them.

[bold emphasis mine]

Yeah, it couldn’t be that your use of such shitty posters isn’t exactly spreading the message that you’re wanting to convey! They think that they’re being witty and oh-so-clever by utilizing their “inside jokes” in their “poster revolution”, when all they’re really succeeding at is making people outside of their echo chamber go “WTF??”

sabresguy5
sabresguy5
8 years ago

Top Gun seems more like something Elam would watch, being full of manly men playing manly beach volleyball and whatnot.

@blitzgal I LIVE for Persona. Hell, I bought a PSP just so I could play Persona 3 Portable =D
Damn Atlus, making such good games, taking all my money…

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

Maybe nurseries will see an influx of customers buying up pear trees because, “hey yeah, growing my own fruit, what a good idea!!”

clairedammit
clairedammit
8 years ago

What does “Group guilt is the essence of social justice” even mean? Who is feeling guilty? Should they be? Where does the social justice come in? Is it justified or is it what the posters are protesting against? I suppose it means that women get things from men because we make them feel guilty, but wait, aren’t they the ones seeking social justice with the poster? I can only imagine most people reading that, shaking their heads, and walking away without giving it another thought.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

Clairedammit – I think they’re trying to say that the bad social justice, like feminism, makes men as a group feel guilty.

(Okay, so they call their movement social justice and want women to feel guilty but shhh we’re not talking about that right now.)

creativewritingstudent
creativewritingstudent
8 years ago

@sabresguy5

I also bought a PSP for Persona games… admittedly mine was for Persona 2 (I bought it off a friend to save it from the clutches of her younger sister, and she gave me P3P). I can say that P3P is really good, and the female protagonist route is very well done (except for the accidental pronoun slip occasionally).

Only annoying thing was that they didn’t do the full anime-style cutscenes. I loved those cutscenes, especially the opening one, the Arcana Magician one, and the Moonlight Bridge one. 🙁

Hmm. I’m in the mood to play some Digital Devil Saga… 😛

feministwiep
8 years ago

I too had no idea what ‘pear’ was referring to until I read the comments.

*sigh* I’m sorry to say this is making me depressed rather than amused. The extent of denial and self-deceit is really quite frightening. It’s a crucial time for the issue of women’s bodily autonomy and these idiots could do some real damage. I’m just glad their poster campaign is so totally rubbish. Let’s hope it stays that way.

aworldanonymous
8 years ago

Wait a minute, they’re putting these up in Canada? We have hate-speech laws here, they shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

I’m going to start making them some posters.
http://imgur.com/qlBvh
http://imgur.com/wAn1R

I honestly don’t think these are any worse than theirs. Honestly, they might be better. It’s hard to hit such a low bar.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

Re cargo cult social justice movement: I remember talking about it, because I remember feeling vaguely uncomfortable with the idea of using cargo cults as a comparison, what with me being a white man and all, and historic cargo cults being made up of brown people who weren’t at fault for developing cargo cults.

But I think someone else used the term first.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
8 years ago

Hate crime laws in Canada are a tricky thing. I believe the prosecutors would have to show that these posters are likely to incite violence or other serious consequences against women. As it stands, most people aren’t aware of the MRM, and what its really after.

Most Canadians are going to a) not pay attention to the posters or b) see them and not really understand what they mean.

And yes, the domestic violence posters were correctly percieved, as everyone here who’s read girlwriteswhat knows.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

More posters for them!

http://imgur.com/ErKSA
http://imgur.com/Toe0j

Boy, this activism sure is hard work!

pangea
8 years ago

I hope they put up their posters in Amarillo. I have a new set of Sharpies and am in the mood for some poster-defacing.

sabresguy5
sabresguy5
8 years ago

@creativewritingstudent I miss those cutscenes. They were really well done…ah well =(
Right now I’m doing the female protagonist route on NG+, and I’m really liking it.

Speaking of DDS, about a week ago I tried to beat the optional boss, y’know, Mr. Badass himself, and the results were…at least 5 failed attempts before I took to the internet to come up with a new strategy. Now I’m gonna go and kick his ass >=D

cloudiah
8 years ago

I was off making them posters too!

http://i.imgur.com/Pj1p0.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/pnkmR.jpg

magpie
8 years ago

Their campaign’s gone pear-shaped, innit 🙂

some guy bored with your schtick
some guy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

Hey David,

Since http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/true-crime-scene/website-that-supports-rapists-branded-disgusting/story-fnat7jnn-1226457731237 is a paysite, I am curious,

1. Would you post, in the name of Fair Use, a bit more of the article? Otherwise, it makes it difficult to really understand what is being said, how it is being said, and the context.
2. And again, I’m just curious, how are you reading it? Do you actually subscribe, or are you given access due in some part to your being a journalist? Or is it a lexis/nexis thing?

I haven’t quite figured out what I think of Paul Elam or avfm, but often the first step in activism is posters and bumper stickers.

Also consider the actions of Fathers 4 Justice, or even the public suicide of Thomas Ball.

And yes, not every poster is on target, some are huge misses in terms of messaging.

creativewritingstudent
creativewritingstudent
8 years ago

@sabresguy5

At the moment, DDS is the new shiny toy, I picked up both in a second-hand shop for £15. I have so many games I need to finish and 5/ths are SMT.

creativewritingstudent
creativewritingstudent
8 years ago

*5/8ths. *facepalm*

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

often the first step in activism is posters and bumper stickers

This is why you fail.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Does anyone have a good recipe for wheatpaste?

http://i.imgur.com/IMMqw.jpg

blitzgal
8 years ago

@blitzgal I LIVE for Persona. Hell, I bought a PSP just so I could play Persona 3 Portable =D
Damn Atlus, making such good games, taking all my money…

I know, I’m seriously considering buying a damned Vita just to get Persona 4 Golden. Persona 3 portable was a great improvement on the original game, not the least of which allowing us to play as a female character. Also being able to control our party members is a big bonus, too.

I actually just looked up Digital Devil Saga a few weeks ago; both of them are only $19.99 on Amazon so I’m thinking about buying them. They used to be a lot pricier. But right now I’ve gotten sucked into Skyrim again.

some guy bored with your schtick
some guy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

Help me out, why is that why I fail, and what do you believe the first steps in activism are?

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

I haven’t quite figured out what I think of Paul Elam or avfm

This is also why you fail. If you don’t know how to feel about someone who wants juries to pardon rapists even if they’re guilty. I don’t know what to tell you, champ.

even the public suicide of Thomas Ball.

Killing yourself in the explicit hope that it would inspire the destruction of public property and the murder of government employees is terrorism, not activism.

Also, I’m not sure why you’ve hitched your wagon to an admitted child abuser who refused anger managment therapy, but if he’s your best example of an activist, your movement might be in some trouble.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

The first step in activism is direct person-to-person connection between the oppressed.

Somewhere WAY between there and bumper stickers ought to be “figurin out what message you’re even trying to send.”

pangea
8 years ago

That pear poster is a riot. Presumably, “pear” is supposed to be a euphemism for rape, but that doesn’t make sense when used in “now there’s a nice pear” and “time to grow a pear.” In that context “pear” is obviously a stand-in for “pair,” which makes the whole thing terribly disjointed.

Group guilt is the essence of social justice.

How many women actually believe that all men are rapists? I mean, seriously. I’d say it’s the victim-blamers, not the feminists, who believe that all men are potential rapists. They instruct women on how to dress and behave in order to avoid being raped, rather than just tell men that it’s wrong to rape no matter what, as if they believe that men just can’t help themselves.

Besides, women have been subjected to “group guilt” since time immemorial. We are still judged negatively because of what some likely-fictional woman did in a garden several thousand years ago.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

@pangea

If NWO is any indication, I think a lot of these guys have no idea that consensual sex is even possible. They do actually think all men are rapists. What upsets guys like Elam is that rape is seen as a bad thing by society.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
8 years ago

First of all, it’s Thomas Bell. It drives me nuts that you all keep trying to turn this guy into the Rosa Parks of the father’s rights movement but are always misspelling his name.

Also, Bell is a terrible martyr for the cause. Please stop invoking him. At least once a week I hear (often on NPR) or read a story about a father seeking custody that is moving, an excellent example of the importance of father’s rights, and in no way about an abusive terrorist.

Seek out these stories; interview these men. Take your activism seriously. Or, you know, bumper stickers. 

sabresguy5
sabresguy5
8 years ago

@creativewritingstudent If that’s the case, then I won’t spoil anything (else). They’re fantastic games, you’ll love them.

some guy bored with your schtick
some guy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

“The first step in activism is direct person-to-person connection between the oppressed.”

Huh? Clearly they do that at avfm and reddit and all the other sites David lurks at.

Also, what’s NWO, I haven’t figured that one out.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

NWOSlave is MB’s longest-serving MRA troll. He, like many MRAs, does not understand that women can consent or not consent to sexual activity.

Any comment on the whole using a child abusing terrorist as your finest example?

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Wait a sec, have I just not noticed him or has Owly been missing for a while? And why am I suddenly questioning if one of our trolls is missing? o.O

some guy bored with your schtick
some guy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

I think the evidence is that it is Thomas Ball, even David says Thomas Ball: http://manboobz.com/2011/06/27/amanda-marcotte-on-the-thomas-ball-suicide-and-mra-haters/

Another perspective on Thomas Ball that I align with 100% (please don’t tell me what I thnk, or who I think my martyrs are, you are not a mindreader and I have never said that, it’s truly a distortion and violation of a discussion) is here: http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2011/06/18/divorced-father-thomas-ball-commits-suicide-in-front-of-nh-courthouse/ This is also an example of a very moderate Fathers Rights Activist that never gets any acknowledgement, or even criticism from the same people terribly offended by mens rights activists.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Haha it is mighty suspicious that sgbwys is somehow unaware of who our troll of the year is.

To be fair, he has managed to avoid posting lurid sexual fantasies about ladies on the street with animalian proclivities, so I don’t know.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
8 years ago

Wait wut? They don’t even know their great heros name?

I’d say the first step is figuring out what the fuck is that you’re going on about, in the case of the MRM. How serious about an issue can you be if a hero of your movement dies for your cause AND YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO HONOR HIS NAME PROPERLY.

some guy bored with your schtick
some guy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

“Any comment on the whole using a child abusing terrorist as your finest example?”

I think you have a distorted view of what happened and my feelings towards it. See my link: http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2011/06/18/divorced-father-thomas-ball-commits-suicide-in-front-of-nh-courthouse/

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

I haven’t quite figured out what I think of Paul Elam or avfm, but often the first step in activism is posters and bumper stickers.

Yes, the civil rights movement was all about bumper stickers and posters. I hear Gandhi was a big fan too.

You fail so hard.

some guy bored with your schtick
some guy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

Do you have evidence that it is Thomas Bell? Here is a report from the town he committed suicide that says it is Thomas Ball. http://www.unionleader.com/article/20110617/NEWS07/706179973

Perhaps in your zeal to declare how dumb and mistaken everyone that disagrees with you is, you should consider a bit of the old Dunning Kruger.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Interesting how that article doen’t note that he lost custody because he couldn’t stop himself from hitting his kids.

Like, seriously what did you want the judge to do? “I know you beat your kids when you’re angry, and I know you have refused any and all counseling options, so here! Have custody of toddlers for several days a week.” Yeah, that would turn out great.

Also kind of hilarious that the gist of the article is “Alright, I know he’s a terrorist, but what he really meant to do was draw peaceful attention to the family court system.” It’s kind of like saying that Breivik was basically a good guy. Which, incidentally, MRA blogs have done.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Bored guy, whining about things on reddit does not equal “direct person-to-person connection between the oppressed.” It certainly has not lead to coming up with a coherent message to communicate with the larger populace.

Seriously? Study social justice movements. Gandhi, who MRAs are fond of quoting but seemingly incapable of emulating; the civil rights movement in this country (go back to the turn of the last century to get the full picture); the labor movement — all managed to organize under actually oppressive circumstances, something men in the US do not face.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Ninja’d by hellkell! I shoulda hit refresh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

I think you have a distorted view of what happened

1. Ball beats his toddler bloody in a fit of rage.
2. Ball is offered anger managment.
3. Ball refuses.
4. Ball loses right to have toddler alone with him.
5. Ball writes a terrorist manifesto.
6. Instead of contributing meaningfully to his children’s well-being, he instead gives them a whole bunch of shit to work through in therapy in 20 years.

Big. Fucking. Hero.