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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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kittehserf
7 years ago

Cassandra – lol! “Take your cat to work, aka don’t get any work done and don’t get much attention from the cat.”

I wish we’d had Mags as a kitten; he might have grown up very differently. At least he’s not so aggro over There, now, and he has a massive garden to patrol. Still likes to sleep stretched out on people with his head under their chin, though. 🙂

fit-to-flip
fit-to-flip
7 years ago

@ kittehserf
I totally agree, and that’s one of the many reasons why it was so frustrating to see people arguing that he had done so much good, that we should let him redeem himself to the movement. He never said anything that haven’t been expressed by a woman previously, and he also said a lot of really condescending and offensive stuff. And he made money doing it. But people acted like it he was the holy grail or something, I don’t get it.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

My old cat also liked to sleep curled up in the small of my back when I was laying on my stomach, which again was cute when he was a kitten but not so cute once he weighed 10 pounds.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I never followed what was going on – I’d never heard of him before reading MB – but yeah, what the hell did he do that was so special and nobody else did, and how on earth does it outweigh the real harm he’s done?

kittehserf
7 years ago

Cassandra – OW. Cat back’s bad enough when you’re lying on your side and they curl up in the small of your back and you can’t move (yes I’m looking at you, Katie) but on top? Breathing, who needs it?

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

That piece of advice still completely boggles my mind, because it seems so beyond the fucking pale to me. I guess I have to deal with him more than Schwyzer, since he’s apparently become the gay voice for my generation or some shit.

Frankly, I’m becoming deeply thankful that I figured things out using superhero slash fiction. At least I didn’t have shitty advice to contend with, just awful fashion sense.

kittehserf
7 years ago

“since he’s apparently become the gay voice for my generation or some shit.”

Fuuuck, according to who? Savage himself? Who would want him as representative of anything but “cis white gay man with poor sense of boundaries and lots’n’lots of bigotry”?

Mind you, when I read things about him in Raw Story and commenters start going on about how wooooonderful he is, I wonder just how much they know about him.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@LBT:

Which one of the three are you referring to in particular, out of curiosity?

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

FTR, I’m wary on this one — questionable math will always get my attention and a reply, the same for D’AWWWW KITTEHS!!, and AVfM being one big steaming pile of shit after another…

Whether Jason was falsely accused…I see no harm in believing him as it does happen, and afaik, she isn’t involved in this conversation. But on the flip side…I can totally see rapist ex #2 saying exactly the same thing (well, his wording was “anything that could be considered rape and if [I’m] misremembering” or associating other things with his name…that was a doozy of an email! [oh and stalker boy, if you’re still keeping tabs on me, here’s my middle finger])

fit-to-flip
fit-to-flip
7 years ago

Didn’t Savage also advise people not to date bisexuals, because they were untrustworthy or some shit? And that bisexuals should just date eachother? Or am I confused?

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Sorry, to steal phrasing from pecunium…I digress.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Markb posted:

“MRA’s don’t pretend to be feminists. Don’t count on it. I’m currently in a discussion with an obvious MRA on another site who is trying to use feminist arguments in defense of his position that the 14-year-old girl raped by her 49-year-old teacher in Montana was old enough to give her consent and that statutory rape is bogus.”

Hey markb, what did the MRA say about the poor girl’s suicide? That it’s the result of a blissful romance being snuffed out by a ruthless justice system? Oh, and that fucking judge who proclaimed that the girl was more mature than her age, ergo the sex was consenual. What the ever-loving- fuck? If he isn’t fired, I’m going to be pissed.

fit-to-flip
fit-to-flip
7 years ago

@ kittyserf
Basically yeah, according to him, and some straight cis people who can’t think of any other non-straight/non-cis writers.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@lbt:

(erm, “which of the three pieces of advice,” in case that wasn’t clear… I know next to nothing about Dan Savage save that he is gay and a little about his “it gets better” thing)

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

@ LBT

I’d pick an unfortunate tendency to wear your underpants on the outside of your spandex leggings over advice from Dan Savage any day.

cloudiah
7 years ago

fit-to-flip, fair point. But in my experience, predators will pretend to be lots of things. I was in college during the first Gulf War, and lots of young guys pretended to be anti-war because there were a lot of women involved in that movement at my campus. Most of them weren’t predators, just horny young guys, but some of them were definitely “off.” They got outed pretty quickly. I think the best we can do is listen to people who’ve been assaulted, and have each other’s backs. I think it would be cool to write a feminist version of The Gift of Fear, specifically to help younger, less experienced/more trusting women to learn to trust their instincts.

lousycanuck
7 years ago

OH. Eucliwood was here (under the name Eunie Townsend / Eunecromancer). Lovely. You’re right to think she’s a troll, and I’m not surprised to see her show up where I am again.

I’ll just leave this link here for you all to peruse at your leisure. http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/01/10/well-that-escalated-quickly/

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Wear underpants on your HEAD instead of take advice from Savage.

fit to flip: yeah, he’s said some awful stuff about bi people. And trans people, fat people, and women people.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Shiraz — afaik he has been fired, but if you’re in the US there’s a petition to disrobe the judge — http://act.weareultraviolet.org/go/1066?t=3&akid=588.552343.3j0tgK

markb
markb
7 years ago
Reply to  Shiraz

He didn’t comment on the suicide directly, just dropped in to say the evil patriarchy was telling young girls they weren’t mature enough to consent to sex with adults. I said the cut-off rate (18 years) was necessarily arbitrary and he opined that the cut-off rate should be whenever a girl is old enough to say she had been raped or something. Didn’t make sense to me either.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

So, basically, if she’s old enough to talk she’s old enough for sex. What a surprise.

kittehserf
7 years ago

markb – oh, urgh. 🙁

fit-to-flip, LBT – I frequently get the impression that if one’s not a white cis gay man into every sort of kink possible, one’s not really a RealPerson™ in Savage’s view.

AK
AK
7 years ago

@AB…I find it hilarious that we posted such similar comments and have such similar usernames. For what it’s worth, I think you articulated my* thoughts better than I did. 😉

*our? that sounds kind of creepy, but I don’t want to take credit for your thoughts, I just think we’re 100% in agreement on this point

@kitteh:

But even if HfS hadn’t been a racist, rapist, murderous filth, his whole “Here’s how you do feminism” line puts him over the limit for me.

Yeah, that always rubbed me wrong too. I’ve posted before that I was initially a HfS fan (love the acronym, btw), but it was because I first came across him when he was writing specifically about reconciling Christianity and feminism. At the time, he was the best blogger on that topic I knew, and I still think those specific writings are excellent (although you won’t catch me quoting or referencing them except in this context, because I will not support him). But once I started reading his broader feminist posts, I immediately noticed that problem. It was actually a bit of an introduction to feminist disagreement for me, because I found him through a blogger I respected and was like BUT HOW DOES SHE NOT SEE THIS?!?

I think the fact that he managed to pull the wool over some prominent feminists’ eyes for so long when less-prominent (and some other prominent) feminists saw through him early on is rather instructive.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

@Markb
Wow…just fucking wow.

@Argenti
Yeah, I sure as shit have already visited that link…but thanks.

kittehserf
7 years ago

::tilts head thoughtfully::

I’d like to see MRAs wearing their underpants on their heads.

Especially the guys who complain about being expected to wipe their arses.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: Kittehs

Fuuuck, according to who?

I dunno, I just keep running into the fucker. Probably because of the “It Gets Better” campaign. (Which. Uh. Seeing the past year? I’ve become a lot more cynical about it. Sure, getting raped for a year in my teens was bad… but being homeless and destitute was pretty shit too.)

RE: kirbywarp

The incest one. I am fine with incest play… but OMFG acting like it’s real with other partners is SO NOT FUCKING OKAY.

RE: fit-to-flip

Didn’t Savage also advise people not to date bisexuals, because they were untrustworthy or some shit? And that bisexuals should just date eachother? Or am I confused?

I read him saying that about ASEXUALS. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he said that about bi folks too.

RE: CassandraSays

I’d pick an unfortunate tendency to wear your underpants on the outside of your spandex leggings over advice from Dan Savage any day.

Yeah. I mean, come on, you’ve got guys running around in brightly colored, skintight spandex, wrestling on rooftops while bellowing about their life philosophies, and you expect me to believe they’re paragons of straight masculinity? HA!

RE: markb

…oh god that has some really awful connotations. On top of everything else.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Christ, these guys are so interested in tricking unexperienced virgins into their beds they’ll say anything.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Yeah. I mean, come on, you’ve got guys running around in brightly colored, skintight spandex, wrestling on rooftops while bellowing about their life philosophies, and you expect me to believe they’re paragons of straight masculinity? HA!

It’s the bellowing bit that’s annoying. SHUT UP YOU FUCKING SUPERHEROES PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP HERE.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: lousycanuck

Random off-topic from reading the post you linked, but folks have trouble with your last name? That’s so weird to me. (But then, I’ve got kinfolk down in Louisiana; I see a lot of French names.)

cloudiah
7 years ago

I still read Slog, the blog Savage posts his column on, because there are some great other posters and some interesting journalism (sadly, the comments are overrun with MRAs). Periodically I’ll read one of the Savage Love columns to see if he’s gotten any better. He has gotten better, actually, but he periodically slips up and it’s clear that while he’s policing himself more, it’s mostly to avoid being yelled at by mean evil people who don’t realize he’s right and they’re wrong. Which means I guess that he hasn’t actually gotten better, he’s just acting better.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

The only superhero I’ve ever liked was The Tick.

markb
markb
7 years ago
Reply to  CassandraSays

This was the actual quote. I’m not sure how much thought actually went into it: “How about we set the boundary at “does this particular girl assert that she has been raped or not”? You know, maybe actually consider the thoughts and feelings of the female in question rather than forcing our own beliefs and modalities upon her and erasing her personal agency? The idea that no girl under 18 is even mentally CAPABLE of consenting to something is literally Patriarchal. I mean it straight up has an overt, direct lineage to the history of young women as property.” So I think I paraphrased him wrong. Still doesn’t make sense.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Oh, and if this is the place for posting GIFs, my new blog post has one of my favorites that I’ve ever seen. The post before it is a really funny comment from Shaenon, that I don’t think I shamelessly plugged here, but it’s worth a look just in case you missed it.

If you guys would just stop being funny/artistic, I wouldn’t have to have a blog! 😀

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

@Cassandra

The Tick! Spoon!!!

@markb
Wow. He’s really sounding invested in all this.

kittehserf
7 years ago

markb – oh, fuck. Yeah, way for an MRA to pervert the idea of agency to ignore all the facts about children’s mental and physical development and the HUGE power differential between anyone underage – even if they’re seventeen and a few hours away from legal adulthood – and an adult.

Not to mention the total giveaway in referring to “females”. Yeah, he’s not looking for an excuse to coerce girlthings instead of womenthings at all.

fit-to-flip
fit-to-flip
7 years ago

Cloudiah-
Yeah, I should specify that I’m not just talking about guys wearing ‘this is what a feminist looks like’ t-shirts because they think it will help them get phone numbers. That’s obnoxious, but, like you pointed out certainly not specific to feminism or the end of the world.

I mean specifically men who sexual assault and manipulate women by portraying themselves as totally enlightened and totally incapable of sexism. These men often take up positions of authority or influence in the feminist community which
1. gives them lots of opportunities to be around women new to feminism
2. lets them establish the ‘feminist norm’ so women have to seek approval from them (which people do when someone is portrayed as the ‘expert’- they have credibility and potentially fame, so people look up to them)
3. gives them a shield to fend off any accusations.

So we have these men being treated as some kind of ‘super feminist’ and being given opportunities like speaking and teaching and leading, which can be problematic in and of its self. And then, when women come forward to share what happened to them- these men are largely allowed to get away with it. Rumors are dismissed, often times the worst that happens is they move to a different social circle.

But what I don’t see happening? Feminists taking the first person to speak out seriously and addressing it in a timely manner (it often happens for years and we don’t hear boo till five women have spoken up). These woman are not encouraged to speak up in the first place, and if they do, they usually get ignored. And then these men keep getting invitations to conferences, and interviews and articles and social groups. And even if it does start getting attention, the invitations will keep coming and the defenses will keep coming.

And for the life of me, what I really don’t understand is WHY?
WHY do we let these guys stick around, WHY do we prioritize them over their victims, WHY do we tolerate this behavior from a guy as long as he pays lip service to feminism, WHY WHY WHY is it so impotent to have men in the movement that we will justify and defend them- even when they are completely disingenuous.It breaks my fucking heart. It really does, and I see it happen again and again and again.

Sorry Cloudiah, I guess I kind went on a rant there- I’ve just been so frustrated with the way things have been going.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@LBT:

Yeah, I thought so, just wanted to make sure.

Fucking hell. It’s the commonest of common sense. If you want to do something, and you’re part of a group of people who want to do the same thing, and you interact with someone who is actually doing the thing you want to do (as far as you know), you’re going to want get in on it.

100 levels of not ok.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: CassandraSays

Last night I got to watch a cartoon where Captain American tries to infiltrate the African nation of Wakanda for the military… and promptly gets his ass served to him by Black Panther, after a quick exchange of, “Please leave my country,” “NO! AMERICA!”

I had to admit, I found it quite refreshing. I don’t know much about Black Panther, but every time I’ve seen him, he seems like someone I’d like to actually hang around if he were real.

cloudiah
7 years ago

David bait! fidelbogen is posting some weird shit on Reddit right now!

A Feminist who is an “MRA”, is like a Square Which is a Circle

There is no such thing as a feminist who is an MRA. That is the most bizarre contradiction in terms I have ever heard. Those two things are diametrically opposed.

MRA Feminist? HA!! That is a mythical creature like the unicorn or the jackalope!

Tell you what – show me a feminist who will publicly renounce the idea of “patriarchy”, the idea of “male privilege” and the idea of “rape culture”. Only then will I believe that there is such a thing as an “MRA Feminist”.

This is probably a response to this thread.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: kirbywarp

Yeah, and that article was like, just a few months ago, so it’s not like back in Savage’s dark days either; I read it in the paper while getting frozen yogurt with hubby.

Kinda ruined my yogurt date to be honest, because I kept going, “What? WHAT? He can’t have actually said what I thought he said right? RIGHT? OH GOD WHY DID THIS GET PRINTED?”

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: cloudiah

Fidelbogen obviously has not met Tom Martin.

I kinda want to put the two of them together in a room. Just to see who would drown in verbiage first.

Ally S
7 years ago

“A Feminist who is an “MRA”, is like a Square Which is a Circle”

You know what, I actually agree with Fidelbogen for once. MRAs and feminists are almost nothing alike.

markb
markb
7 years ago
Reply to  Shiraz

I think invested is a good word for it, yes.

kittehserf: not sure I follow you re: someone who is seventeen and a few hours away from adulthood.

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Wow, fidelbogen doesn’t realize the MRA and feminism isn’t suppose to mix — they are meant to repell each other. ‘Cause, like, the MRA hates women, dude. Hello, dumbass? Are you awake? Hello? Are you awake?

fit-to-flip
fit-to-flip
7 years ago

I feel like my comment made me sound like I think no feminists are speaking out against these things, which is definitely not true. But the movement as whole, particularly the more mainstream sectors of it are largely responding this way. Unfortunately the people speaking up do not appear to be the majority or at least the most influential.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Yeah, it’s probably the first time I’ve agreed with fidelbogen, which is not a comfortable feeling. But he has such a hilarious way of expressing himself.

cloudiah
7 years ago

In other fidelbogenisms du jour:

Feminism cannot exist side by side with any social movement that promotes the human rights of males. It is a contradiction in terms, a logical impossibility. The two things necessarily exclude each other.

Feminism is the project to increase the power of women with no proposed endpoint, and there is simply no way that such a project would comport with a movement that promotes the human rights of males. The conflict of interest would be radical, and a clash would be inevitable sooner or later.

My own wish is for feminism to walk through the exit door of the universe.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

Here’s a pro-tip about rights…

If “human right for group A” and “human right for group B” are ever contradictory, or part of a zero sum game, they ain’t human rights.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

My own wish is for feminism to walk through the exit door of the universe.

My god.

THE UNIVERSE HAS AN ASSHOLE???

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I have to point out here that what fit-to-flip is saying is exactly the reason why I display so little patience with dudes who show up in feminist places with questionable attitudes about sex, and/or with the assumption that they should be boss feminist. If the guys in question want to go “omg u r such a bitch” then fine – protecting younger and more vulnerable women is far more important to me than being universally liked.

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