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A Voice for Men falsely accuses a male feminist blogger of being a “confessed rapist,” because “karma is a BITCH.”

A Voice for Men's Paul Elam: Serial False Accuser
A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam: Serial False Accuser

When is a false rape accusation not a false rape accusation? When it’s leveled against a feminist man.

That, in any case, is the logic behind an appalling post on A Voice for Men attempting to smear a male feminist blogger named Jason Thibeault, who posts on FreeThoughtBlogs as Lousy Canuck, by proclaiming him a rapist.

The post is a typical bit of AVFM “satire” — that is, sophistry — arguing that “by his own feminist standards” Thibeault is a rapist … because he was once accused of rape by a girlfriend, as he wrote about in a recent post. And since feminists believe that ALL accusations of rape are true, AVFM’s Birric Forcella argues, Thibeault is thus a “confessed rapist.”

Obviously, this argument is ludicrous on its face. Feminists don’t believe that all accusations of rape are automatically true. And Thibeault, for his part, says that he was falsely accused.

This doesn’t stop AVFM from giving their piece the frankly libelous headline: “FreeThoughtBlogs’ Jason Thibeault, confessed rapist.”

AVFM may defend its post as “satire” — they have a rather expansive definition of the word — but that headline is pure libel. It’s false — and would be so even if the accusations of rape were true, as Thibeault (who’s responded to the AVFM post here) maintains his innocence.

And AVFM’s intent is clearly malicious. In the first comment to the piece, AVFM founder and publisher Paul Elam declares frankly, and revealingly, “Karma is a BITCH.”

Thibeault’s real crime, in AVFM’s eyes, is that he has publicly supported women who have come forward in recent weeks to accuse prominent skeptic writer Michael Shermer of rape and sexual assault.

And so they have responded by making what is an unequivocally false accusation against him in a headline on their site.

Of course, this isn’t the first time A Voice for Men has falsely accused someone of something based on bad evidence or no evidence at all.

In April of this year, Elam (along with a number of other MRAs and an assortment of White Supremacists as well) worked himself into an uproar over a blog post from an alleged feminist allegedly working in a college admission office who claimed she was routinely trashing applications from white males.

Though even the most rudimentary amount of fact-checking would have revealed that the woman they blamed for the blog had nothing to do with it, she had her contact information posted online by MRAs and others, leaving her open to harassment and widespread vilification. Elam contributed to the hubbub by posting a vituperative post identifying the wrong woman by name — and only after being called on his mistake by numerous other MRAs did his finally retract the post.

You can read about the whole appalling affair here.

Elam has also made false accusations against little old me. In yet another case of libel-by-headline, he accused Jessica Valenti and me of being “child abusers” … because we’re feminists. (Seriously, that was the entire basis of his accusation.)

And at one point, either lying outright or misled by a  troll, he put forth the absurd conspiracy theory that I was somehow responsible for an appalling Reddit forum known as the Beatingwomen subreddit.

In his post on the subject, he claimed to have “intel” from two separate sources that “confirm[ed]” my involvement in the subreddit — he provided none of this evidence — and promised that “further word” on the subject would be forthcoming.

Of course, this evidence never materialized — because it was fraudulent and/or imaginary. Elam dropped the subject. I had and have no connection to the subreddit.

And not long ago, AVFM’s Dean Esmay very publicly accused its former Canadian News Director Kristina Mendez (AKA TheWoolyBumblebee) of (maybe, possibly) running off with the money she collected for a center devoted to the memory of Earl Silverman, a Canadian MRA who committed suicide partially out of frustration over the difficulties he had in funding the DV shelter for men he ran out of his home. The folks at AVFM have admitted quite plainly that they have no evidence of wrongdoing here.

Apparently, AVFM’s strategy is to prove that false accusations are common by making as many of them as they possibly can.

EDIT: Added the bit about Valenti and me.

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Falconer
7 years ago

Okay, Manboobz is loading up.

Something about A Voice — DAAAAAH WTF

Oh, it’s just Paul Elam run through Shop a lot.

Jesus, it took five years off my life.

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

@Falconer: Knowing who it was took off the shock for you? I’m STILL horrified.

dlouwe
dlouwe
7 years ago

Ahh the good ol’ flat-out-lie-in-the-headline-and-call-it-satire, matched with the classic not-understanding-what-satire-is-even-in-the-slightest. These guys sure know how to double down on journalistic integrity.

Seriously though, I wish I could keep being surprised by shit like this. But I really can’t. It’s like pissing into an ocean of piss.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

PaulE probably has the largest karmic debt of anyone I know of. He might wanna dial it back several notches.

I hope someone sues the ever-loving shit outta him one day.

Falconer
7 years ago

… Horrified by what?

Was there something wrong with the post?

Just let me check EEAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHH

Falconer
7 years ago

Frankly, I’m surprised he had time to sit for a photograph. I guess Air Force One wasn’t on.

hometeampaper
hometeampaper
7 years ago

@hellkell

Can you imagine the frontpage posts? That would be an amazing meltdown to watch.

cloudiah
7 years ago

I hope someone sends this to 20/20, and they interview Thibeault. Do we know when that thing’s going to air? At least for me, 20/20 is on at 10 pm on Fridays.

Blinded by Science
Blinded by Science
7 years ago

While AVFM is a pile of turds, and so is that article, in fact, by the standards of logic of FreeThoughtBlogs (which is not the same as the standards of logic of Feminists), Jason is in fact a rapist.

Since early August, when PZ Myers posted that Michael Shermer was a rapist, there have been many articles by FreeThoughtBloggers (and their commenters) AND expressly including Jason that yes, in fact, the 6% false rape rate is so low, that yes, we should presume that Shermer is guilty.

And the logic worsens because in that time frame, BOTH PZ and Jason have posted that they were the victims of false accusations, which would seem to be, out of a random collection of male bloggers, to be a very rare event. (6/100 * 6/100) = 36/10000 = 0.36% that both were falsely accused.

Given the FTB logic expressed over the past three weeks, again, not feminist logic or anyone else’s real world logic, given the FTB logic, it is almost certain that Jason is lying when he says he was not a rapist.

AVFM is a pile of shit, the article is terribly written as usual, but the core of the argument, that by Jason’s own logic over the past three weeks, he is a rapist, well that holds.

Further, you can find Jason in the past three weeks explaining how important and vital and legal it was for PZ to publish his anonymously sourced, unverified charge that Michael Shermer is a rapist, and yet now we see Jason complaining that some asshole at AVFM is charging Jason to be a rapist in a piece that even you David, agree is bad satire.

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

That looks like Philip K. Dick on a reeeaaallly bad day. But even Dick at his loopiest made more sense.

cloudiah
7 years ago

p.s. Apparently the Slymepit dudes (a Venn diagram would show almost complete overlap with MRAs, in that nearly all Slymepitters are MRAs but not all MRAs are atheists) also were circulating a false rape accusation against Avicenna on FTB. Luckily he could prove he was on another continent during the time they claimed it happened.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

I tried to read that post, but it made no fucking sense. Dude had an axe to grind, apparently. Maybe I need to update my MRA bullshit to English dictionary.

hometeampaper: that would be the meltiest meltdown ever.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

cloudiah: is making false rape accusations the MRM’s new human rights strategy? Do they seriously think they’ll win people over with this evil shit?

Avicenna was a pain in the ass when he commented here, but no one deserves that.

Blinded by Science
Blinded by Science
7 years ago

fwiw cloudiah, that’s not true.

First, the guy that avicenna accused of falsely accusing avicenna is not a registered member of the slymepit and has never posted there.

Second, tracing through the various posts, what happened was a game of Telephone where in fact, in another english sentence gone awry, but this time written by Avicenna himself, he initially weeks back, in a moment of sarcasm wrote he had been accused of rape, and then over a period of a couple of weeks on the net, that became in someone’s mind an actual accusation of rape, and then repeated by the guy that avicenna thinks accused him of rape.

Sadly, there are not enough smileys in the universe to make some forms of humor understandable by all nitwits, and I suspect that avicenna, like many of us, don’t use smileys because we grossly assume our readers will figure out the jokes.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Am I missing something here? What’s Slymepitt, and what does it have to do with anything? Who the hell is Avicenna?

theladyzombie
7 years ago

@cloudiah

Yup. I’ve often wondered why AVfM and the Slymepit don’t just consolidate. The ‘pitter atheists will gladly accept the non-atheists at AVfM for the greater good of hating on feminists, FtB, and the Skepchicks. Hell, Thunderf00t would gladly make promotional videos for that nasty little enterprise.

Assholes. The lot of them.

Bostonian
Bostonian
7 years ago

So, once again, we see that there is no bottom of any barrel MRAs, or slymepitters will not happily dig beyond.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but Slymepit is what happened after Elevatorgate–a bunch of misogynistic asshole atheists who splintered from FtB.

theladyzombie
7 years ago

@LBT – the Slymepit was sprang from Abbie Smith’s science blog, ERV. When “elevatorgate” happened and the vitriol on Smith’s blog got problematic for her, the pitters migrated the thread elsewhere.

It’s full of atheist MRAs, Libertarians, and other assorted jerks who rallied over their hatred of Rebecca Watson, then the rest of the Skeptchicks, PZ Myers, and FtBs.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

^that was for LBT.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Wow. It’s like this whole social scene that I’m not a part of and know nothing about.

oserchenma
oserchenma
7 years ago

Finally, a photo that does Elam justice!

BTW, and I have seen this before – the reason for putting up this title is utterly malicious. It is picked up by search engines and becomes a prominent post whenever this man’s potential employers, mortgage providers, or girlfriends check his name out. The rest of the post is mostly an exercise in appropriating the pain of women, and irrelevant to the main purpose, to destroy this man’s reputation and livelihood. There is also the example being made, that any man sympathetic to a woman making a raoe claim will be socially destroyed.

And for what? Because Thibault wouldn’t toe the MRA party line on Schermer. And to get avfm, which hasn’t had a drama lately, drying up donations, into another one. What can Thibault do? Avfm would love a lawsuit. Negative attention is all they will ever get and they would especially love to piggyback on a person who really does have some standing. Since Elam is judgment-proof himself and so depressed he doesn’t care if he lives or dies, a lawsuit would be problematic.

But it will take one to get a court order to take down the site, and some determined individuals to follow Elam around for a while on the net to do the same thing with his follow-ups. That hate site seems to exist solely to destroy people and reflects its owner. [problematic sentence removed by DF]

theladyzombie
7 years ago

@LBT – and for that, you can be ecstatic. No really.

lousycanuck
7 years ago

Wow. Lie much, “Blinded by Science”? All you have to do is not think in binary, and understand that situations are nuanced and, you know, SITUATIONAL, and you’ll recognize that I argued that the multiply substantiated parts of the story about Shermer do in fact merit warning people to be on their guard around him because he evidently has a multiply-confirmed history of plying women with booze and playing fast-and-loose with consent.

The fact of the matter is, the “whisper net” coming from multiple trusted sources is indeed enough to warn women about, even where it’s not enough to throw a dude in jail.

And not one whit of the allegation is libellous, as compared to the blatant lies both you and AVfM are telling about what I actually posted. You know damn well my story is different. If you’ve read it, anyway.

Given the alacrity with which you rushed to defend Richard Sanderson and the Slymepit, I’d suspect you’re just another one of those atheists in the antifeminist camp trying to muddy the waters here on a pro-feminist site. Sure, I don’t have good evidence of this, but it seems fairly obvious where you’re getting your information.

Anyway. Thanks for covering this, David, I appreciate it.

lousycanuck
7 years ago

Point of order: FtB came into existence September 2011. The slime pit predates it, as others have said being formed in the comment thread of a blog at Scienceblogs, ERV.

Blinded by Science
Blinded by Science
7 years ago

Actually Jason, since by your logic I am forced to presume you a rapist, I admit I find your presence here at a feminist safe space rather unsettling.

“please leave. The mere presence of beings like yourselves is intensely painful to us.”

One final thought Jason, just to help you out, note in David’s post that even David recognizes the AVFM piece was satire. Terrible satire yes, but satire.

cloudiah
7 years ago

I’m not a regular FTB person so I hope some of you are, lest I get more details wrong.

lousycanuck
7 years ago

By my logic? Please point to anything I wrote that even HINTS that as soon as someone is accused, they are definitely guilty.

Morrigan
7 years ago

One of my fears is that the MRA identity becomes mainstream. I am thankful that they discredit themselves so wholly.

serrana
serrana
7 years ago

Blinded by Science, are you seriously telling Jason to leave the comments here? You can say that, of course, but it means absolutely nothing. You’re not speaking for me, for one.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Blinded by Science, at least pretend to be arguing in good faith, okay? If you can’t do that, go away.

Blinded by Science
Blinded by Science
7 years ago

@serrana, actually I was quoting from Star Trek’s Errand of Mercy.

You can do your own research into Jason’s posts at his blog, but they are quite insane and contradictory. Even here you can see him justifying why it’s okay for PZ to use anonymous sources and unverified claims to call Shermer a rapist, but that it is horrible for a terrible piece of obvious satire to name Jason a rapist.

@cloudiah, I am indeed going away (lunch over, back to work.)

cloudiah
7 years ago

p.s. The idea that this is a “feminist safe space” is itself laughable.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

I’m not entirely sure on this one, but I think that math is not quite right. It’s correct for the odds of “these two people” both being falsely accused, but presumably there are a shit ton more commenters over there? Which would make the odds of two of them being falsely accused fairly high (you familiar with shared birthdays? You and I probably don’t share a birthday, but we both probably [actually, almost certainly] share a birthday with someone who read manboobz [I got 1,640 survey results])

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
7 years ago

I hope someone sends this to 20/20, and they interview Thibeault. Do we know when that thing’s going to air? At least for me, 20/20 is on at 10 pm on Fridays.

The hard part for the 20/20 editors will be choosing what to put into their small time slot. They’d have to make a six hour mini series to address all the ways AVfM is terrible. I don’t know when the special will air, but I’ll be checking the abc website frequently to find out, so I can watch it.

And it sounds like the slymepit is aptly named, that’s for sure, if they are the atheist version of AVfM.

serrana
serrana
7 years ago

Also, what are the odds of male feminist bloggers being falsely accused of rape over their lifetimes? PZ and Jason aren’t a randomly chosen pair. (I know nothing about statistics, though.)

inurashii
inurashii
7 years ago

Blinded by Science, you came in here looking like you were gonna argue in good faith, but your reply to Jason sorta clarifies that misconception.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
7 years ago

Why do you have to use his logic? Don’t you have any of your own?

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Blinded by Science: who the fuck are you, exactly? Some random unknown a-hole. Your presence is making my ass itch, so please do flounce. Forever.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Thanks, David.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

…popcorn?

lousycanuck
7 years ago

PZ’s false rape accusation was made in retaliation for the Shermer thing. Someone found an account of someone online naming-and-shaming a man named Bruce, and replaced every instance with Paul and posting it as a comment on his blog. A slimer throwing up chaff.

Avicenna’s was entirely substance-free — just another slimer throwing up chaff. That apparently almost got him suspended from his medical license and his visa was in jeopardy as a result.

Mine is the closest they have to an actual case, where I was accused publicly but absolutely no legal proceedings resulted. I shared it in 2009 for my own catharsis, and someone dredged it up a few weeks ago as a club to use to destroy my credibility because they didn’t like that I’m a feminist, nor that I believe the allegations against Shermer because of the web of trust behind them.

And so I get attacked. And this is the closest to traction they can get.

With hundreds of thousands of assaults/rape allegations, 6% is a lot of people. Some of them are going to have stories like mine. That doesn’t universalize the experience. It just proves some people know nothing about statistics.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Aw, no popcorn. Though what a surprise, some ass who just waltzes in claiming another new commenter can’t post without any links of proof isn’t welcome here. COLOR ME SHOCKED.

girlscientist
girlscientist
7 years ago

@Blinded-by-science-and-then-logic-flew-out-of-the-window: The 6% of false rape accusations are in cases where the accuser goes to the police to log a complaint. In Jason’s case, as in Shermer’s case, nobody went to the police, so all bets are off.

katz
7 years ago

Why do you have to use his logic? Don’t you have any of your own?

I always hate the “by your logic…” line of argument because it’s another obnoxious, slippery way to avoid stating what you actually think, or even whether you think their logic is good nor not.

YoullNeverGuess
YoullNeverGuess
7 years ago

I’m new and thought maybe @BlindedByScience had a point, but almost the first thing I saw on this blog was a warning that this is not a “safe space.” Pro tip, snottiness detracts from attempts to be A Voice of Reason In the Wilderness.

AVfM has such a nasty, mean spirited feel to it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. And I’ve read stuff by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Well, I was kinda hoping for a popcorn fight, but seeing as I really didn’t have a clue what was going on, it’s probably just as well it didn’t happen.

dlouwe
dlouwe
7 years ago

@Argenti Aertheri

AFAIK the math is technically right, even though presented incorrectly. It makes no sense to apply the 6% to a random sampling since it’s “6% of accusations are false”, not “6% of people are accused falsely”. But in any case, If there’s a 6% chance that an event occurrs, there’s a 0.36% chance that it occurrs twice. So if there’s a 6% chance that A OR B are false, there’s a 0.36% chance that A AND B are false.

Though I’d argue that applying a statistic like this to individual cases is quite nearly useless. And, as girlscientist pointed out, the 6% stat doesn’t even apply in these cases, so it’s all very very moot.

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