As I finished up my last post about Men’s Rights Redditors attempting to dox a so-called “conservative feminist” blogger who had confessed to trashing male applications when working in a university admissions office, I saw that A Voice for Men has run a post by Paul Elam identifying someone they’ve convinced themselves is the blogger, apparently using the information dug up by the Reddit doxers.
They’ve got the wrong person.
AVFM “proof” backing up their claims is that they have found a paper by Pattek that bears some vague resemblances to the blogger’s description of her thesis. But it’s clearly not a match.
Discussing her (then upcoming) thesis defense on her blog, the blogger refers to a number of topics, including men’s rights and paleoconservatism, that aren’t referenced at all in Pattek’s thesis. And roughly half the of her thesis deals with a topic — Holocaust Denial — that the blogger doesn’t mention. The blogger says her thesis is 120 pages; Pattek’s thesis is 95 pages.
But there’s an even bigger reason I know these two women are not one and the same:
The pseudonymous blogger claims to have gotten a doctorate in the spring of 2012.
Pattek got her bachelors degree from Georgetown in the spring of 2012. She’s not now, and has never been, a grad student.
Her thesis wasn’t a PhD. thesis, but a Senior Thesis that was a requirement for her minor in Justice and Peace, a program for undergraduates.
It even says so on the title page of the thesis itself: “A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Certificate in Justice and Peace, Georgetown University, Spring 2012.” A news article linked to in the comments on A Voice for Men notes that she was “the winner of the 2012 Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) Undergraduate Thesis Award.”
They’re not the same woman.
All of this is clear from simply reading the “evidence” that AVFM has assembled.
Even without this smoking gun, even a cursory skimming of the blog and the thesis show that they were written by different people. The blogger, assuming she is even a real person and not the creation of a hoaxer, claims to be a “conservative feminist” and constantly bashes Muslims. Pattek, concerned about “marginalized groups,” seems to be anything but a conservative. The blogger’s writing style is crude and dogmatic, so much so that the blog reeks of hoax. Pattek, by contrast, writes smoothly and intelligently.
It’s almost as if we are talking about two different people.
A Voice for Men: not only shitty people, but shitty doxers as well.
Amazingly, someone who says he’s a friend of Pattek has gone over to AVFM to point out in the comments that she is clearly not the “conservative feminist” blogger — and has been dismissed by Wrong-Way Elam and the gang as a liar and “white knight.”
And Georgetown has officially clarified that 1) Pattek was an UNDERgraduate and that 2) she never worked in admissions.
Meanwhile, over on AVFM, someone called Disorderly Conduct has posted an appropriately critical comment:
I’m disconcerted by the certainty of other commenters that everything is true considering the amount and plausibility of evidence that currently exists. There’s nothing wrong with prodding the university for answers about Arianna and the website edits, but at the very least wait until more evidence comes in before you run off with your verdict.
It should be noted the credibility of the entire controversy is based on anecdotes taken from an extremely dubious and over-the-top blog. Anecdotes are NOT valid evidence of anything unless they are substantiated by additional solid evidence, and this anecdote has none. Evidence connecting the blog to Arianna suggests she might be writing the blog, not that what is being written is true. Additionally, there are serious discrepancies between the information provided about Adrianna on the cached Georgetown pages and the beliefs stated in the blog. Some commenters suggest this is to cover her identity, but there is no reason to believe this information was distorted or fabricated but the admissions blog post itself is not.
Mensrights reddit is not on board with this. One commenter who says they know about the Georgetown admissions process asserts that there is major gaps between their knowledge of it and how the blogger portrayed the process. This includes discrepancies between dates and the fact that admissions isn’t even run by a single person. Another commenter says there’s a committee involved in judging admissions. Putting this much effort into portraying your post as containing faulty information just so you can brag about seriously incriminating and illegal evidence is extremely implausible to me.
– There’s no evidence the post about trashing admissions is factual, and other evidence indicates it wasn’t
– There is insubstantial evidence the blogger was Arianna
– It is advisable to wait until there is substantial evidence before you declare it as true
– I haven’t seen evidence Arianna was ever in charge of admissions (feel free to correct)
– The consequences of the conspiracy would have to be public or fabricated: the university publishes statistics about their admissions, and any number of people would have to cover it up or there’d be a suspicious spike in certain demographics
– The total number of people in the U involved in the conspiracy if all of it were true would be implausibly high
– Presumption of innocence has apparently gone to hell, and of all people to do it
Elam responds with this feeble bit of hand-waving:
I agree with much of what you post here, which is exactly why an affirmative response to the NCFM letter from GU is in order, vs the removal of information about Pattek from their website.
It is in the light of day where the lingering questions about this can be answered.
No, Paul, that’s not how journalism works. You get your facts straight BEFORE you publish. You don’t publish dubious — and in this case demonstrably false — information and wait for others to prove it wrong in the “light of day.”
This whole incident is shining a lot of daylight onto AVFM, and what it reveals is none too pretty — albeit not suprising in the least.
Thanks, Cloudiah, for bringing the Georgetown response and these comments to our attention.
EDITED AGAIN: The same Men’s Rights forum that thoroughly doxed the red-haired Canadian activst I wrote about earlier this week has also doxed Pattek, albeit less thoroughly; I’m not going to link to it. Some other sites that have wrongly trashed Pettek: ReyekoMRA, a conspiracy-mongering site ironically called What Really Happened, and Stormfront. Yes, THAT Stormfront, the hangout for white supremecists.
What’s amazing to me is that the discussion on Stormfront, despite being racist as fuck, actually shows more evidence of critical thought than the discussions of the AVFM regulars. Posting in the Stormfront thread, David Duke — yes, THAT David Duke — is critical enough to think that “feminist conservative’s” blog is bogus. Others are similarly skeptical. Meanwhile, another commenter there is able to figure out that whether or not the blog is bogus, there’s no way Pattek wrote it.
So it’s official: Paul Elam is dumber, and more blinded by hate, than David Duke.
I’m going to write Pattek a supportive email. (If you can’t find her email account, I can send you the email of hers I’m using.)