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a voice for men antifeminism evil women harassment johntheother kitties misogyny MRA narcissism

The debate is on! And off! And on again! Then really, really on!

Have you heard about the big debate in Vancouver? In the wake of the recent hubbub over Men’s Rights posters in that fair city, one woman thought it might be a good idea for there to be a public debate over some of the issues raised by the posters.

I’ll let A Voice for Men’s JohnTheOther explain it, in his adorably poncy way:

Has feminism gone too far? …

That is the question asked in September of 2012, by a woman of integrity and courage. She posited this question as the premise of a public debate. It was to be discussed by three individuals from the contention that yes, feminism has gone too far, and three individuals arguing that no, feminism has not gone too far.

But, alas, this debate was not to be.

Unfortunately, following the announcement of this scheduled debate on the social networking site Facebook, that woman was rewarded for her attempt at public discussion by a torrent of abuse and threats. Some individuals apparently did not want a debate. Not only did they not want to participate, they wanted nobody else to either. Under the weight of abuse and threats, that woman whose integrity and courage moved her to propose a public discussion – cancelled the event.

What JohnTheOther doesn’t mention is that the “torrent of abuse and threats” apparently came not from feminists, as one might assume from the way he’s phrased it, but from Men’s Rightsers, who were evidently so excited by the prospect of having a debate with actual feminists that, in their enthusiasm, they couldn’t help but harass the organizer once it became clear the event wasn’t going to be organized in the same exact way that they might have organized it, if as MRAs they ever organized anything.

As the original organizer of the cancelled event explained to Jezebel:

I took the event down because of threats I had received from MRA members when I told them I was thinking of cancelling the event/changing the question. Having my Facebook account linked to here has reduced my safety from these men, who didn’t have my personal information as I was speaking with them over email. I have now had to cancel my FB profile which impacts my job seriously. Luckily I am in England right now so am safe.

Later, someone claiming to be her posted a comment on A Voice for Men saying the threats had come from “people claiming both sides of the debate.” The AVFMers downvoted her.

But fear not, debate fans! The debate is ON again! With the help of A Voice for Men, the blog A Father’s Story, and the East Vancouver Debating Society, a heretofore unknown organization which apparently has been conjured up just for this occasion, a “Has Feminism Gone Too Far” debate will take place later this month. At a car dealership, for some reason.

The debate format has apparently been designed to be as confusing as possible:

 The debate format will be three speakers presenting arguments affirming the debate proposition and three speakers presenting arguments against the proposition. Each speaker will have 5 minutes to present an opening argument, alternating between for- and against postions. Following opening arguments, each speaker will have 5 minutes to address presented arguments. A third round of discussion will allow 3 minutes to address counter arguments, and final statements will be formatted within 3 minutes per speaker, for a total of four rounds of discussion for all speakers.

Following the scheduled debate, speakers will address questions and commentary from audience and observers for 55 minutes.

After which there will be an additional 15 minutes of calisthenics.

And then everyone will buy a car.

So far they don’t seem to have found any feminist debaters eager and willing to spend a nice Sunday afternoon in a car dealership getting yelled at by angry dudes.

Instead, they have devoted their energy to defining what exactly feminism means, because how can you have a debate about feminism if Men’s Rightsers don’t define the term first?

Someone called Sasha offered this definition:

If “the National Organization For Women, the largest American self-identified “feminist” organization, defines feminism as “The radical notion that women are human beings,” then I’d say MRAs have the radical notion that women are grown-ups.

I believe that feminism is simply a selfish, solipsistic creed, which exploits a natural tendency in some men and women towards narcissism.

The result has been a massive epidemic of narcissism across society, across the world (1) particularly amongst college students (2) and researchers agree this will have profound consequences for society.

One study showed that use of the phrase ‘I deserve’ in publications had increased 2000% between 1975 and 2005.

The reason that feminism doesn’t deliver happiness (3) to women is because happiness is dependent on ‘doing for others’.

The reason it doesn’t deliver it to men is because, being a selfish creed, it doesn’t recognise the sacrifices men make (from time with their families all the way to their lives) to support their families, communities and even countries, and in fact punishes and disincentivises such sacrifice.

All of this has gotten us at Man Boobz so excited that we – in conjunction with the Chicago Debatalogical Cooperative – have decided to have a debate of our own. And it’s happening right this very minute. Right here on your computer! The format is a couple of YouTube videos I found.

Here a representative of the Men’s Rights movement will argue the pro position: “Feminism has gone too far.”

And here is the rebuttal from the feminist side.

Who’s the winner? We all are!

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Tosca
Tosca
8 years ago

I always roll my eyes when they say women only find happiness serving others. Really, assholes? How would you know? Are you sure that’s not just how you want it to be? Because I can assure you that women, as people, have a goodly mix of selfish and altruistic* amongst them just like anyone else.

*It’s funny that, among the Randroid type of MRA, selfishness is a virtue. Unless it’s exhibited by women, who are supposed to be selfless, servile collectivists. We all think alike, too!

Karalora
Karalora
8 years ago

One study showed that use of the phrase ‘I deserve’ in publications had increased 2000% between 1975 and 2005.

Um…excuse me, Sasha? You got your propter hoc all over my post hoc.

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Here is the next speaker for the MRM:

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

I suppose in the end the MRA’s are going to have to take the feminist side in the debate. one side can say ‘feminism has gone too far’, and the other can say, ‘no, it’s gone way way WAY too far.’ And then the can spend the rest of the day trying to outdo each other on their nasty definition of women.

Fembot
8 years ago

Is it just me, or does it seem that Nono Cat is being harassed or provoked by his owner to get that reaction? It makes me feel bad for the kitty 🙁

Erl
Erl
8 years ago

“One study” is bullshit. Take a look at google ngrams:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=I+deserve&year_start=1975&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

and in historical perspective:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=I+deserve&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

People “I deserve”-ed far more in the 1930s than today.

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

She blinked once and licked her lips, so she’s not having a freakout. It looks like she’s missing her ears, so that makes her look a bit upset. But honestly she just sounds like and cat sounds when they’re making hormonal yowly noises- creepy.

pxt
pxt
8 years ago

I know that car dealership! They hang enormous, incoherent banners above the lot that say something like ‘activist judge took my kids’ or ‘my ex-wife is a jerk’ or some such thing. I took some photos of it a few months back. I’ll see if they’re still kicking around.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

The reason that feminism doesn’t deliver happiness (3) to women is because happiness is dependent on ‘doing for others’.

One of the most important parts of feminism is how it encourages people to help others. It’s not just about talking, debating, and learning. It’s also about getting out there in the real and changing society for the better. So even by a definition that says happiness only comes from serving others, feminism makes people of all genders happier.

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

Nonono cat’s ears are laid back flat against her head. She’s very angry and upset at something; look at her fluffed-up fur.

opium4themasses
opium4themasses
8 years ago

A car dealership which airs grievances on banners above the lot? It sounds like even in business, MRAs don’t know how to publicize properly. Plus that seems super welcoming for the debate.

katz
8 years ago

A point-counterpoint from the next two speakers.

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

The reason that feminism doesn’t deliver happiness (3) to women is because happiness is dependent on ‘doing for others’.

The reason it doesn’t deliver it to men is because, being a selfish creed, it doesn’t recognise the sacrifices men make (from time with their families all the way to their lives) to support their families, communities and even countries, and in fact punishes and disincentivises such sacrifice.

Translation: “Doing for other’s is the key to ladies’ happiness, dudes doing for others is the WORST THING EVER.”

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

The tone of the debate is getting a little testy.

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

And the rebuttal:

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

At least that explains why they won’t actually do anything that would actually help men like set up men’s shelters or start a charity for prostate cancer. Doing for others is women’s work!

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

MRAs complain that feminism hasn’t done anything for male victims of DV. Except that feminists have worked to create men’s shelters, while the MRM sits on its collective arse and does nothing. Except maybe put up some posters.

lowquacks
lowquacks
8 years ago

Another MRA counterargument:

internallydisplaced
8 years ago

The audience gets heated

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

On the other side, the feminists are getting a little fed up.

Joanna
8 years ago

@Fembot: Apparently the cat reacted like this to the owner’s 3 year old niece or something. The cat had never seen a child before.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Audience member’s reaction to JtO’s bloviating:

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

And another audience member reacts:

plymouths
8 years ago

David, you gave man-goat only 25 seconds while feminist-cat got 36 seconds! This debate is TOTALLY RIGGED!!

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

@plymouths: This will even things out.

Ullere
Ullere
8 years ago

According to various sources the attacks on the organiser where from feminists. Including.

http://haifischgeweint.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/enormous-trouble-over-microcosm-of-hatred/

‘She received hate mail and threats by private messages (which she will be reporting to police); and was publicly bullied, shamed, and silenced by a number of my friends and fellow activists. There was talk of boycotting and picketing the space in which the debate was to be held, and she was accused of perpetrating misogyny and hate-mongering by the very act of positing the question,..

Ultimately, what happened is exactly what men’s rights activists wanted to happen (what they would have done if we hadn’t beat them to it): feminists attacked each other* and shut down the opportunity to engage with local members of the men’s rights movement. Some made absolutely absurd arguments, showing any MRA who was watching that we don’t know how to respectfully disagree. And now they can complain that we aren’t committed to freedom of speech, too, or that we don’t respect democracy, and that we go too far to ensure that the men’s rights arguments are never heard. We’ve become our own trolls. Why do we even need MRAs if this is how we’re going to handle a debate we’re not interested in attending? Especially one which was clearly for the benefit of the greater public, not the feminist community members who have already heard the men’s rights arguments and know that the answer to the question being asked is a resounding NO.

* Update: Since it seems unclear to some of the feminists who were involved in passionate disagreements on the event page, let me make this as clear as possible. These conversations — the bullying, the silencing, the shaming — were happening all over Facebook. Many people were engaged in these attacks, and many (though not all) of them self-identify as feminists. Rest assured, word spread far and wide, and what I have stated is not a criticism of individual people, but of behaviours that represent a fairly serious problem.

The letter sent to Jezebel does not remove the facebook comments and threats from self proclaimed feminists. Seeing how the blog I linked to is run by some who is friends with the person who recieved the threats I’m calling bullshit on the jezbel piece.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

MRAs complain that feminism hasn’t done anything for male victims of DV. Except that feminists have worked to create men’s shelters, while the MRM sits on its collective arse and does nothing. Except maybe put up some posters.

Seriously, the fact that they are so focussed on setting up some forum where they can publicly criticize feminism just shows how skewed their priorities are, and thereby how useless they are for actual activism.

aw kitties though

Ullere
Ullere
8 years ago

I could also add that Jezebel reacted to the announcement of the debate by putting her facebook details and name on their article that calls her a hate-monger and opens her up to more abuse from internet crazies. But whatever.

‘But fear not! Jezebel’s own anti-joke chicken was on top of this too, smearing my friend’s name and making sure anyone else who wants to can continue to send her threats and hate mail, by linking her full name to her Facebook profile. The best part is, she didn’t even have all her facts straight before writing this time (not like she did the last time I felt compelled to include a reference to her in my writing, either). She just enthusiastically paints my friend as a hate-monger who had exactly zero plans of providing a balanced debate with female and feminist speakers. I’m just so glad that I suddenly seem like I’m doing a more professional job than an established writer at a well-known blog. So glad, I could punch a puppy. Thanks for that, Katie.’

Leely
Leely
8 years ago

This is actually my answer to EVERYTHING!

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

One of the moderators takes action when a debater gets out of hand:

M Dubz
M Dubz
8 years ago

I don’t know… I think SOME of the audience is enjoying themselves:

freitag235
freitag235
8 years ago

Some of them may be enjoying it, but others, not so much.

Nora
Nora
8 years ago
Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

@Leely

That goat scared the crap out of my cat. And she’s used to weird things coming from that box that the help uses instead of catering to her.

Sandra
Sandra
8 years ago

@Ullere

Wow, you run a compelling argument. Should we believe the person who actually received the threats about who threatened her, or should we believe some anonymous dude who comments on a blog site. It’s a tough decision, but I’m gunna go with believing the person who actually received the threats. It was close there for a while though.

pxt
pxt
8 years ago

I found that photo of the car lot:
http://i.imgur.com/wTeoQ.jpg

It’s pretty hard to read, but from what I can make out, they say:
“Let me see my son, Calgary!’
“Steal my money – not my son – cowtown justice”
“Judge said ‘Find another woman have another baby!”
“Please comment – http://www.afathersstory.ca/

I feel like his interest in this debate is not so much ‘impartial proponent of free speech’…

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

Let’s see now, what did that putz write…?

“I believe that feminism is simply a selfish, solipsistic creed, which exploits a natural tendency in some men and women towards narcissism.”

Narcissism or activism? Or are you talking about the part where people live as equals and define their own lives?

“The result has been a massive epidemic of narcissism across society, across the world (1) particularly amongst college students (2) and researchers agree this will have profound consequences for society.”

I think he’s actually talking about hook-up culture here. And I think he’s hinting at all the white babies that won’t be born if women won’t settle down and be wife/mothers.

“One study showed that use of the phrase ‘I deserve’ in publications had increased 2000% between 1975 and 2005.”

Um, ever here of the ’80s ? Me Culture and all that. And in any event, if the phrase, “I deserve” is showing up more — who gives a good fuck?

“The reason that feminism doesn’t deliver happiness (3) to women is because happiness is dependent on ‘doing for others’.”

Actually, feminism has made me happy…very very happy and self-aware. And I never signed on to be a maid/martyr/long suffering wife. Activism, on the other hand — which by definition serves others, makes me smile.

“The reason it doesn’t deliver it to men is because, being a selfish creed, it doesn’t recognise the sacrifices men make (from time with their families all the way to their lives) to support their families, communities and even countries, and in fact punishes and disincentivises such sacrifice.”

Feminism can benefit men, but it was designed with women in mind, fellas. Sorry that disturbs you. Men were never making all the scarifices to their families, communities or country, so I’m not sure what all the pissing and moaning is about.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

And David does have experience with what is considered terms of a “fair” debate in MRALand.

MKlein
MKlein
8 years ago

“MRAs have the radical notion that women are grown-ups.”
Bullshit. Grown-ups are allowed to make their own choices about what they do for a living, when and how they have sex, what they wear in public, where they go after nightfall, where they drink and how much, who they vote for or if they vote at all, and a whole host of other things that by their words and actions, MRAs routinely attempt to deny women choices about. That phrase was one of the most Orwellian I’ve seen in a while.

someguy bored with your schtick
someguy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

David,

The transparent differences between your article here, and what people can read for themselves http://www.avoiceformen.com/updates/news-updates/has-feminism-gone-too-far-a-debate and http://haifischgeweint.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/enormous-trouble-over-microcosm-of-hatred/ is enormous.

And frankly, demonstrates you are a terribly biased source of information.

I think the tragedy is there are people that cite you, the Arthur Goldwags and PZ Myers that probably honestly believe, but incorrectly, that you post in good faith.

But you don’t and instead of bringing together feminism and mens rights, and helping bridge those two spaces, all you do is create contention, spread discord, and smear.

This is of no help to women. This is of no help to men. This is of no help to journalism.

Some schtick that David Futrelle schtick. But not the best there is.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

But you don’t and instead of bringing together feminism and mens rights [activism],

Believe it or not, some guy, it actually isn’t a worthwhile pursuit to bring together an actual movement and a hate movement.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

Really, it’s kind of like arguing that a writer needs to bring together civil rights protestors and the KKK. These are not equivalent positions.

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

Oh jesus, someguy, are going to go on again about how David’s failing journalism? You mentioned contention, discord and smear….that’s you in a nutshell. Especially if want us to believe that feminists threatened that woman’s life. It’s plausible to you, I guess, because you think women can’t exist in the same space without making fun of each other’s hair…oh, and stealing each other’s boyfriends.

someguy bored with your schtick
someguy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

“Especially if want us to believe that feminists threatened that woman’s life.”

You have a feminist that knows the people involved saying that feminists were threatening her life!

“She received hate mail and threats by private messages (which she will be reporting to police); and was publicly bullied, shamed, and silenced by a number of my friends and fellow activists. There was talk of boycotting and picketing the space in which the debate was to be held, and she was accused of perpetrating misogyny and hate-mongering by the very act of positing the question, “Has feminism gone too far?” ”

What more could you or David want before acknowledging that?

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

And frankly, demonstrates you are a terribly biased source of information.

Unlike the unbiased AVFM. Don’t make me laugh bitterly!

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

That quote isn’t a direct quote from said women, turkey.

katz
8 years ago

I’m happy to discover that someone has already done what I wanted to do: namely, put nonono cat and yeah lamb in the same video.

someguy bored with your schtick
someguy bored with your schtick
8 years ago

“Unlike the unbiased AVFM.”

David doesn’t claim the AVfM is unbiased or a good example of journalism and the AVfM does not make its living as a journalist.

David does.

Literally the very first rule of the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics is this:

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Journalists should:

— Test the accuracy of information from all sources and **exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.**

And they continue

Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

Journalists should:

— Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
— Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
— Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
— Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

David’s behavior at Manboobz does mock Journalism, it’s not clear it mocks more than that.

katz
8 years ago

The professional news media attempts to report on the debate; Paul Elam responds predictably.

Ugh
Ugh
8 years ago

the AVfM does not make its living as a journalist.

Paul Elam doesn’t have any other sources of income there, champ.

David does.

Citation needed.

Also, you know you’re in a hate movement, right?

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