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A Voice for Men Gets Stung, or TheWoolyBumblebee’s Revenge

bees
Not the bees!

The WoolyBumbleBattle continues.

A couple of weeks back, you may recall, the excitable antifeminist videoblogger who goes by the name of TheWoolyBumblebee got herself kicked out of the A Voice for Men clubhouse after annoying Paul Elam with her incessant (but actually pretty much justified) attacks on libertarians and Men Going Their Own Way.

Naturally, there has been much drama since then.

Elam, doing his best to affect a certain world-weariness about it all, put forth a video offering his take on the subject with the understated title “On Ideologues, Isms and Evangelical Atheists.”

TheWoolyBumblebee — real name Kristina Hansen — has made no attempts to hide her feelings. She’s started a new blog called Menticulture that seems to be devoted entirely to bashing A Voice for Men. And with her husband, she’s produced not one but seven videos lambasting AVFM, ranging in length from 38 seconds to an hour and twenty minutes. The long video, by the way, is a point-by-point response to Elam’s video; a number of the more recent videos are attacks on regular AVFM contributor Karen Straughan, aka Girl Writes What. Hansen’s husband has also done a couple of videos by himself as well.

I’ve actually listened to them all, for better or worse. They’re angry and rambling, and for the most part not worth the effort —  unless you just really love schadenfreude. While some of their criticisms of AVFM are on the mark, the two go off on weird pedantic tangents and seem rather too obsessed with Girl Writes What’s lack of academic credentials. (She was evidently a two-time college dropout.) Hansen’s husband also likes calling people faggots. Lovely.

I had at least hoped for some good inside dirt on AVFM’s main characters, but the Hansens have got very little to tell that isn’t obvious from the outside: John “The Other” Hembling is a liar? Tell me something I don’t know. Elam is a tin-pot tyrant who likes to get his way? Gosh, who could have possibly guessed that?

But I suppose it’s to be expected: these two agree with the irrational antifeminism that’s at the heart of AVFM, so it’s hardly surprising that their critiques don’t go far enough, and that they get bogged down in lots of irrelevant issues.

Still, in a recent post on her blog, Hansen makes her arguments against AVFM a bit more cogently than she does in any of the videos.

After assuring readers that her attacks on A Voice for Men aren’t driven by “vengeance, hurt feelings, or a desire to one-up anyone” — not sure I’m buying all this — she charges the principals at AVFM of letting their ideological predilections get in the way of providing real practical help to men.

I suggested several things we could have done to help men, such as applying for funding for men’s services through VAWA and other Gov’t agencies, and was told that they would never touch government money because … it is against their libertarian principles, and because that is ‘what feminists do’….

I admit feminists have done a lot of harm to men and boys, but they have also done a lot of good for women and it is THAT part which we need to look at and study in order to be able to adequately assist men in any real way. It is called working the system. If you want change, that is where you go to do it, and not by sitting on the sidelines waiting for the government to collapse.

But AVFM, she notes, seems much less interested in making things better for men than in keeping men in a permanent state of rage:

[Elam] keeps men in a state of anger, and hopelessness. He perpetuates the victim narrative and tries to keep you stuck in victim mode. And he is not the only one. The inflammatory rhetoric used by those at AVFM, like John, are carefully written to get you emotionally worked up. I know this to be the case because I was on several SKYPE calls with John when he wrote many of his articles. I know how he does it and why. It’s to keep you in a state of anger and despair. …

Anyone working in the helping professions worth their salt will tell you that the goal of their work is to help their clients free themselves of the need for their help. …  But what Paul, John, Karen, and others at AVFM do, is keep you in a state of constant anger, helplessness, and need. They do not want you to get better. And why would they? … The more you rely on them the more they profit.

I don’t agree with TheWoolyBumbleebee about much, but this is spot on.

She also has some very pointed things to say about AVFM’s attempts to blame the suicide of Earl Silverman, a Canadian activist for male victims of domestic violence, on feminism.

There are men out there at this very moment that are truly hurting and suffering. Let’s start showing them we really care by doing things that make a real difference in their lives. Enough of the useless sitting on the sidelines bitching about how evil women are, how the government needs to collapse, or how the only way to solve things is to opt out. This is why Earl Silverman died. John wants to blame feminism, but the fact is that the men that were close to Earl at the end knew that his despair was borne of the failure of the MRM to actually DO anything.

Again, she has a point. By its own accounts, A Voice for Men raises literally tens of thousands of dollars a year — a considerable portion of which, I imagine, must end up in the pockets of Elam, who seems to have no other visible means of financial support, and/or in the pockets of Hembling, who has recently been promoted to a paid staff position. After Silverman’s death, AVFM raised money to help start an Earl Silverman center — a project now ironically in the hands of Hansen herself. Why couldn’t AVFM have used some of its fundraising ability to help Silverman fund his domestic violence shelter back when he was alive?

In my next post I’ll look at Girl Writes What’s response to all this.

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hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

And I’d take WBB’s assessment of someone else with a giant damn grain of salt.

I’m really fucking tired of the “crazy” talk.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Are they 11km away from each other?

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

I repeat — I’ve done plenty of illegal drugs, and take an anti-psychotic to get some FUCKING SLEEP once in awhile. Still not an asshole. Seriously, why is it so hard to grasp that one’s mental illness, or lack thereof, is not relevant to one’s asshole behavior?

Thanks hellkell et al, you guys are sick of it, imagine how I feel with the “of course he acts like that, he’s nuts”.

Oh I know! I’m fish and a bag of mixed nuts! Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and Brazilian nuts specifically (you can keep the pistachios!)

stacey
stacey
7 years ago

Harley- So what if he takes anti psychotics? I have a dear friend that does, and she isn’t ALSO AN ASSHOLE. Needing meds and being a woman hating asshole are simply two different things. Even illegal drug users don’t = assholes. There are jerks that use drugs, and ones that are sober. Lets not get the two confused.

Find other ways to talk shit about these people, there is no small amount of ways to do so without talking about their meds or drugs.

As for WBB- I hope her kids are not hurt by this. The MRAs are cruel and have no limits on harassing people. Last week they loved WBB, now they doxx her KIDS???? Come on, not cool.
I also hope WBB keeps on getting further away from MRAs. If she wants to help people, this is a good first step. Maybe she will someday realize that feminism helps men too.

Mr WBB- Why bring up Rebecca Watson? I seriously have NO clue what is so hard to understand about not wanting to be approached in an elevator when alone. I do not understand why her ONE sentence, that was polite, even garnered so much ire. I know, MRAs and the like make no sense. How is this even relevant?

And PZ IS AWESOME. That is all.

(I usually lurk, but have commented with a few names because wordpress hates me.)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Hellkell I was literally capping my beverage when I saw that. You don’t owe me a VitaminWater, congrats.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Argenti, I would gladly replace your VitaminWater. Love the stuff! My favorite is the orange ZeroWater, I think they put crack in it, and it’s apparently everyone else’s favorite, as it’s always sold out at the grocery store.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Are they 11km away from each other?

::looks sadly at coffee on screen::

Fade, I was going to ask Marie if she was on today how you are – great to see you online again! 🙂

Has anyone heard from Creative Writing Student or thenatfantastic? I’m assuming they’re busy with uni/work/stuff, it’s been ages since they posted.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

@Stacey, welcome! Have you had your welcome package?

WordPress hates everyone. I think anyone with more than one internet nym has had them changed around at random.

@PZ Myers, I lurk on Pharyngula, but for some reason WordPress won’t let me log in to comment. Though I’d be a bit of a fish out of water anyway (not atheist and not in the sciences). 🙂

Aaliyah
7 years ago

I’m also wondering how Some Gal Not Bored At All is doing (I think that was her name?). I haven’t seen her in ages.

Jake Jones
Jake Jones
7 years ago

Whether or not Hembling takes medication, he’s a jackass and a fuckwit. AVfM has ruined the concept of men’s rights before it could even get off the ground. A hearty fuck-you to the AVfM masthead.

ikonografer
7 years ago
Reply to  stacey

rw is merely an example of someone who i cannot believe, and therefore cannot respect. pz is different. i was a professor. his ethical standards are just atrocious.

Harley and Joker Blog
7 years ago

@David Futrelle: My name is Robert. I have been following your blog for sometime now, although today is the first time that I have actively sought to engage myself in the comments section.

Clearly both yourself and some of those that post here frown upon, the estimations that I have made regarding the mental health of John. Therefore I will happily refrain from making further statements about that individuals mental health or any one else’s while commenting on this platform.

I do however think that the mobbish nature of some of the responses sent to Buntzums were in poor taste, and do not reflect well on the individuals concerned.

@Hellkell: To respond to your last and ever so eloquent comment.

“Who the fuck are you, again?” (Hellkell)

My name is Robert. I am not Buntzums, so please kindly do not address me as if I were, thank you.

I can see that that my comments have attracted the opprobrium of some of the readers here on Manboobz. As such I will refrain from making comments regarding the state of John’s mental health while on Manboobz.

That is not to say my stance in relation to that topic has changed.

In so far as you are concerned Hellkell, I will say this. I find your use of langaunge and more particularly profanities to be somewhat distasteful. You are unduly rude and therefore I am not inclined to accord you much respect.

Thank you for your time David and Hellkell.

cloudiah
7 years ago

So while I was attending a lovely retirement party for one of my favorite people, WBB’s husband showed up here to argue with PZ Myers (who also showed up here)?

Now I’m off to visit a friend with a gift of tres leches cake from Porto’s. I can’t wait to see who stops by while I’m offline.

WeeBoy
WeeBoy
7 years ago

I too take anti-psychotics. This does not make me psychotic. It makes me someone who benefits from taking seroquel (also for sleep purposes but every night) It most certainly does not have any relevance to my being an arsehole or not being one. It is entirely value neutral.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I take antidepressants too. Somehow I don’t think that makes any serious resemblance between me and Mr “Feminists with boxcutters!!!111eleventy!!!” Hembling.

Aaliyah – yes, I hope Some Gal Not Bored At All is okay. Kiwi Girl, too. I miss them all.

theladyzombie
7 years ago

Buntzums, what’s got everyone so upset is stigmatizing mental illness. Dovetailed into that is medicalizing bad behavior instead of just calling it bad behavior.

Most people with mental illness don’t act like jerks and certainly don’t want to either. So when someone implies that person X did [insert assholish thing here] it is because they’re [insert mental illness here].

It’s a problem because people with mental health issues have enough to deal with without being further stigmatized, particularly when there’s no basis in assigning them purposeful negative behaviors.

Jake Jones
Jake Jones
7 years ago

It’ll be interesting to see the damage WBB can do to AVfM. She’s an insider, at least sort of respected by the peanut gallery, and so I’d expect this all to cause at least some consternation in the ranks.

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
7 years ago

I respect mykeru a hell of a lot more than i respect you.

So you respect a person who publicly tweets things like “Dear Oafie Benson, skip the foreplay, dox Skep Tickle already and let me go to work on you, you fucking overstuffed bag of shit #FTBullies”.

I’m sure that your parents are quite proud of you.

WeeBoy
WeeBoy
7 years ago

See also: legal speed (aka ritalin) still doesn’t make me an arsehole.

katz
7 years ago

My name is Robert. I am not Buntzums, so please kindly do not address me as if I were, thank you.

This would be a lot easier to buy if you weren’t, you know, linking to Buntzums’ goddamn blog.

Harley and Joker Blog
7 years ago

@Katz, It is my Blog. So I hope that makes it easier for you.

katz
7 years ago

It is your blog.

It is Buntzums’ blog.

See why we suspect you are Buntzums?

theladyzombie
7 years ago

@ikonografer

Oh Jesus. You all just can’t stop your rabid obsession with Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, and others. Pathetic!

They’ve offered their evidence, which you all rejected it because of reasons, and not good ones.

Oh and your wife? The one who called Melody Hensley (who does more proactive things in a week than you two do in a year) a “twat?” What a charmer.

Harley and Joker Blog
7 years ago

@katz, I am rather bemused by your comment. I clearly stated that the blog in question is mine, yet you have responded with the spurious statement that it is not.

ostara321
ostara321
7 years ago

What the fuck is it with all these tone argument trolls? Jesus Jones it’s getting old.

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
7 years ago

I do however think that the mobbish nature of some of the responses sent to Buntzums were in poor taste, and do not reflect well on the individuals concerned.

People are very sensitive to the kinds of comments that Buntzums made. If you jab someone’s open wound, don’t be surprised if they react angrily. And when you do that, it behooves you to stop, consider what just happened, and empathize with them.

People like me have the privilege of not presently being diagnosed with any illness, mental or otherwise, and not prescribed any medications. If someone reacts to something I write, and it’s clear that they are unhappy, it’s pretty much my responsibility to learn from it, and to make amends.

Just my two cents.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I’m thinking Robert/Buntzums are getting into sockpuppet banhammer territory, with this rubbish and repeated insulting of people with mental illness. It’s fucking old.

Oh, and Robert? If you’ve been reading this blog a while, as you claim, you know perfectly well lots of us swear pretty freely, so don’t bother doing the tone-troll thing like you’ve never read any of hellkell’s (or anyone else’s) response to arseholes before. It just makes you look like a bigger dipshit.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

In so far as you are concerned Hellkell, I will say this. I find your use of langaunge and more particularly profanities to be somewhat distasteful. You are unduly rude and therefore I am not inclined to accord you much respect.

Blow me.

We’re about even. I don’t respect jackasses who think they’re not saying awful shit because they don’t swear.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Harley (or you prefer Robert?) — we swear around here, maybe get used to it? “You swore so I won’t respect you” is also frowned upon.

David — seroquel needs a “Seroquel, because sleep is good” slogan (combined with the anti-PTSD-nightmare drug I actually sometimes get real sleep even!)

Re: absent people — no clue on Creative Writing Student, I think Some Gal took a break for her mental health, and thenatfantastic’s around on twitter, not sure why she isn’t here (guess TERFs and MRAs are a bit much and the former have taken to harassing her there, but idk if that’s why)

katz
7 years ago

Harley, from your blog:

This blog is brought to you by Buntzums and the Wonkiest Joker69.

This is why I said that it was Buntzums’ blog, based on the statement “this blog is brought to you by Buntzums.”

I’m also bemused that you say:

I clearly stated that the blog in question is mine, yet you have responded with the spurious statement that it is not.

Given that what I said was:

It is your blog.

You should hang out with Jake. You two might be able to understand each other.

(If you are cohosting a blog with Buntzums, you’ve had any number of opportunities to say so and your clear reluctance to admit that you have any relationship with zir while you adamantly defend zir speaks to disingenuity, even if you aren’t yourself Buntzums.)

Harley and Joker Blog
7 years ago

@Kittehserf, I have always read David’s blog but never engaged in the comments sections before, it follows that I have never bothered reading the comments sections before. This is my first encounter with Hellkal.

@MrFancyPants I am sorry I cannot discuss this any further with you as, I have undertaken not to discuess issues pertaining to mental health on this site.

And again, the Robert/Buntzums thing? Just Robert will do.

Harley and Joker Blog
7 years ago

@Katz get a life!

Harley and Joker Blog
7 years ago

I’m done with this Blog, won’t be coming back won’t be supporting in any way shape or form. Sorry but it seems many of you are far to jingoistic for my taste.

Aaliyah
7 years ago

“jingoistic”

whut

katz
7 years ago

I’m done with this Blog, won’t be coming back won’t be supporting in any way shape or form. Sorry but it seems many of you are far to jingoistic for my taste.

Average. 4/10. Remember that you lose two points if you come back, and that includes if you come back as Buntzums.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

LOL “jingoistic” now means “telling people repeatedly to stop insulting people with mental illness” and “questioning disingenuous arseholes”.

Stick the flounce, sonny.

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
7 years ago

Harley never learned the First Rule of Holes, it seems.

Ah, Molly. I sure do miss your wit.

Jake Jones
Jake Jones
7 years ago

Go fuck yourself Buntzums!

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
7 years ago

Not only do I take a handful of drugs to keep me from doing unpleasant things, I’ve been involuntarily hospitalized. And yet I recognize that the statement “This asshole is mentally ill” is not equivalent to “all mentally ill people are assholes”, much like the statement “this crow is black” is not equivalent to “all black things are crows”.

katz
7 years ago

Harley never learned the First Rule of Holes, it seems.

Seriously! It’s funny enough that Paul Elam thinks he can just double down on the fake screenshot, but claiming you’re not someone when you’re linking to their blog and admitting that the blog is yours? That’s about as convincing as this kid.

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
7 years ago

Hahaha, what a great video, katz! I cringed when I saw it, because I was that kid once.

pecunium
7 years ago

Robert (Harley, whatever you want to be called) I see you have chosen to take (as did your friend Buntzumz) the road of passive aggression, so I shall refrain from telling exactly what sort of, rationally lacking and morally deficient, fuckmuppet, I think you to be.

Have a nice day.

gelar
gelar
7 years ago

“Can you explain to me why the sprinkles are empty?”

“Well, they’re not empty…”

My god. I hear this exchange and see a kaleidoscopic reflection of arguments, stretching into infinity.

Buntzums
Buntzums
7 years ago

Jeez. Sorry guys I go away for like an hour or two and all of a sudden I’m the anti-christ or whatever. Sorry I ever came here. Sorry Rob ever came here. Yes I share a blog. I just can’t apologize enough for that. I’m especially sorry I have purchased your artwork, promoted your (and I mean multiple your) blogs and donated to this page. I didn’t know you were writing multiple messages to me regarding mental illness in the past or that you think that I seriously ever meant any harm to mentally ill people. I don’t know why you think this but obviously I need to work on this, some other place as I am not welcome here. I no longer follow you and once again am sorry to have somehow offended you. I tried to agree but it seems to have made you more angry so have a good day.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

WTF?

Aaliyah
7 years ago

Long time, no see, pecunium! ^_^

MrFancyPants
MrFancyPants
7 years ago

I see the First Rule of Holes has jetted straight over a second head today…

katz
7 years ago

-2 to flounce, and further -2 to believability for Buntzums disappearing, Harley appearing, Harley disappearing, and then Buntzums appearing again.