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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

Yes, that’s what I understand, too. Never forgotten the description of Luath getting swiped by a porcupine in The Incredible Journey. Echidnas’ spines aren’t like that, they’re just pointy.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

That article didn’t happen to be from the Catskills did it? Cuz my aunt’s dog did at…twice (friendly, but not so bright)

markb
markb
7 years ago
Reply to  kittehserf

Re: poisonous platypus spurs. Exactly! It’s one of those fascinating facts that somehow gets lost in between the duck bill and the egg laying. I only found out about it through reading the Patrick O’Brian “Aubrey / Maturin” series of books. And they just recently found a fossil proto-mammal with leg spurs analagous to the Platypus. Probably an ancestor, and a very ancient one.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: Kittehserf

Saw the movie, not the book, but that scene effortlessly convinced us as wee children to never fuck with a porcupine. Not that we’ve ever actually encountered one; they don’t hang around the parts we’ve lived in. (We HAVE encountered a family of armadillos, though! They were surprisingly friendly.)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

LBT — that dog tried eating one in NY state, you spend much time away from cities up here and you’ll run into all sorts of things. In my experience woodchucks are very skittish, but harmless (and surprisingly cute! There’s a family of them behind the shop who’re spoiled rotten — leftover salad, celery, you name it [except onions, because I know cats and dogs shouldn’t have them so I figured play it safe on the shop “pets”])

kittehserf
7 years ago

I never saw the film, though my copy (inherited from my brother or sister) of the book had shots from it on the cover. I was so young when I first saw it I couldn’t say the name, and it was the Increbible Jermery. 🙂

pecunium
7 years ago

Seannan only won the one. (right now I’m listening to the Shewesbury Folk Fest {Martyn Lawrence… you want to listen to him}), but that’s one.

My Beloved keeps kosher, I don’t. She buys me ham,and sausage and other tref delicacies. This was jamon iberico, free range pigs/hogs fed on acorn mast and wild forage. O M G!!!!. It tastes of cashews, and acorn and walnuts and unction, and has a toothsome sexture, with a lace of salt and it’s glorious. I am failing it, terribly in my attempt to explain it.

(really, I mean it about Martyn Lawrence)

pecunium
7 years ago

re porcupines. I’ve seen one (in the wild, that was a glorious walk in the snows of february in Ottawa). It fell out of a tree. So CUTE!!! and it looks so pettable. I managed to restrain myself. Stayed at least 10 feet from it (and the photos sucked), so as not to scare it.

But it looked so vulnerable I just wanted to cuddle it and make it feel better.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Googling Lawrence,e just don’t expect me to eat ham (I pretty much keep kosher by dint of hating red meat and lactose and I disagreeing…pretty much because PEPPERONI PIZZA, I really am a sucker for cured meats)

pecunium
7 years ago

Ham is A CURED MEAT! (I think this may be the cure they are hoping for). 🙂

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Nope, not happening. Too salty. (You hate mangos like I hate salt, like, I might be the only person in the country who could use to eat more salt)

And my googling got me an architect by the same name, which, while entirely one of my “ooohhh pretty” things, isn’t what you meant, some help here?

cloudiah
7 years ago

Now I’m hungry.

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

I just remembered a horrible comments section I once read on GMP (when they were gradually getting worse and worse, but still had good stuff occasionally, and before that horrible rape apologia shit). There was this woman who wrote about how she loved giving BJ:s and totally got off on doing that, and was posting instruction videos on, uh, various BJ styles I guess? on the web. Okay, so far so good. She also identified as sex-positive feminist. Nothing wrong with that. But OMG the comments. Guys start posting about how “this is a kind of feminism I can totally get behind, hehe” and she responds in kind, with “yeah, sex-positive feminism is the best!”. As if the job of feminism was to ensure that men get great BJ:s.
Don’t know how many sex-positive feminists have that attitude, but also totally something to be criticized… Like “Oh anti-feminist man, you ought to embrace my kind of feminism, because I’m not a threat to you; on the contrary, me and my sisters will provide you with awesome sex!”.

markb – sorry, I should have expanded on that! There’s been a lot of rape-related threads on Pharyngula lately, and the usual complement of “but what if” trolls, whether of the “but what if you’re both drunk?” or “but what if she’s underage in this state but not that state?” types. The latter invaded when talking about that poor girl in Montana.

I actually think this obsession with legal age of consent as a measure of what’s morally right or not is typically American…
Here in Sweden the age of consent is 15. But people are generally okay with a scenario involving a 14- and 15-year-old couple having consensual sex out of curiosity and the like… Technically the 15-year-old will have committed a crime, but people realizes this is a thing that happens and it’s not particularly strange. AND at the same time pretty much everyone would regard a 25-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old as a super creep, even though it’s legal.
Any age you designate as the age of consent is gonna be somewhat arbitrary, but it might still be a very good idea to have one in order to arrest predators preying on kids. That we ought to have an age of consent doesn’t mean that it’s a magical line dividing perfectly morally okay sex from rape, and then if you discover that the age of consent varies between places this means that you have discovered that the magic doesn’t work after all and therefore sex with children ought to be considered okay. THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS.

kittehserf
7 years ago

More than a very good idea, it’s essential, because otherwise it gives free rein to those who claim “Zie wanted it, zie knew what it was about” of single-digit children. Which I have seen done.

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

Echidnas’ spines aren’t like that, they’re just pointy.

Don’t be too sure. I remember the family next to us at a campsite had a flat tyre, they’d driven from Victoria. Changed it, then took the flat one to be fixed/ replaced.

Oh dear. It wasn’t a nail, it was an echidna spine that had driven right through one of those super duper 4 wheel drive tyres. They remembered then that they’d driven over some roadkill – towing a caravan doesn’t make you very manoeuvrable on the road, even though you wouldn’t swerve anyway when you’re doing 100+ clicks.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

@LBT

As for the pedo stuff [on Tumblr]… it was about shota/loli, wasn’t it?

Nope. It was people proudly declaring themselves “non-practicing pedophiles” and expecting it to fall under YKIOK.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Sorry, Pecunium and Argenti, who’s Seannan? You don’t mean Seanan McGuire?

pecunium
7 years ago

Emily, yes I do.

pecunium
7 years ago

Dvarg: We’ve spent a lot of time (because of MRA/PUA idiocies) going over the issue of consent, and the consensus is 1: there needs to be a “bright line” 2: That bright line is artificial. There will be people for whom 15 isn’t too soon.

But those cases don’t justify making it not a bright line. For most of them (I was having sex before the age of consent in the state I lived) it’s not an issue. They are making an informed decision, and won’t complain; nor is anyone else likely to.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

@Pecunium, do you know her personally? Congrats to her. I’m not familiar with the podcast, but her books are great.

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
7 years ago

Mildlymagnificent:

I remember someone on Pharyngula (you?) once saying, “If you drive over an echidna, the animal isn’t the only thing that goes flat”. Judging by that, echidna spines seem to be strong enough that they shouldn’t break into your your skin if you go pet the animal.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: emilygoddess

It was people proudly declaring themselves “non-practicing pedophiles” and expecting it to fall under YKIOK.

Hrrrrm. That’s a big gray area for me. I feel like giving people with those feelings somewhere to talk and learn coping skills about it could be really helpful.

Buuuuut seeing how young the tumblr world is, how PUBLIC it is, and how shitty it is for dialogue in general… that really seems a SHITTY choice of venue, and being used in a really creepy way.

cloudiah
7 years ago

YKIOK?

Z
Z
7 years ago

“Your Kink is OK”?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

While I would support a forum to help pedophiles learn coping skills of the “this is how you go about not actually abusing any children, or creeping people out in a more general sense” variety, I’m not seeing how a “yay my kink, which happens to be sex with children!” Tumblr would in any way accomplish that goal. I don’t use Tumblr enough to know how to go about doing this, but if there’s a way to ban people who post questionable stuff on your Tumblr I think that’s exactly what any kink space there should do when people post pedo-apologist stuff.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Ah, I probably could have googled that, but thanks for indulging my laziness! 🙂

LBT, I read an article once about how other countries have had some success treating non-offending pedophiles, and comparing it to the situation in the US which actually discourages non-offending pedophiles from getting treatment/help. (Because psychiatrists are obligated to report them, even if they have never actually had any inappropriate contact with a child, etc.)

But calling it a “kink” and bragging about it on tumblr… 0_o

pecunium
7 years ago

Yeah… I do. She and my beloved go way back. She stays with us when she comes to town,etc. But I also know Elizabeth Bear, and Patrick Neilsen Hayden, and Tom Veal and some other largish numbers of, “Big Name Fen”, mostly from having been in the community a long time; (SF Fandom not being that large, all things considered).

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

TW: pedophilia. No details, but still.

@LBT, I have no problem with discussion or calling it a grey area. There are important discussions to be had, like whether things like porn and roleplaying provide an outlet or motivate people to seek more. Certainly, people who have desires that center around hurting others need to be able reach out for help, because just burying it doesn’t seem to help anyone. But there was this one big dramafest around a guy who proudly claimed the “non-practicing pedo” identity and turned out to be not so non-practicing, and even after that came out, anyone who said they were uncomfortable with it (including CSA survivors) was immediately accused of kink-shaming and being either puritanical or patriarchal. fuckyeahkinkshaming‘s early posts have a lot of the backstory, but it’s the main reason why I want nothing to do with Tumblr sex-pos people.

pecunium
7 years ago

re echindna: I think they have spines more like those of a hedgehog, strong, and pointy but not really that dangerous to something/someone, that doesn’t try to grab/bite them. They don’t shed, so they aren’t designed to stab into things and not leave (since that would hurt the animal).

markb
markb
7 years ago
Reply to  pecunium

I met Elizabeth Bear at a con recently and totally embarrassed myself by complimenting her on a story that turned out to have been written by someone else. She was cool about it, though. She is an awesome panelist.

pecunium
7 years ago

and WordPress is doing that, “go back a page” thing again.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: CassandraSays

a “yay my kink, which happens to be sex with children!” Tumblr would in any way accomplish that goal.

Yeah, no. That just sounds like fucking web NAMBLA.

RE: emilygoddess

AAAAAH! AAAAH! OH GOD. DO NOT WANT. AAAAAH! I am so glad I missed that. AAAAAH! WTF is wrong with people? D8 No, no, no, NO! That makes Snowdrop Explodes look like a freakin’ saint!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

@ emilygoddess

Ugh. Thanks for confirming my tendency to side-eye people who identify as sex-pos until I’m absolutely sure what they mean by it.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Echidna spines – yes, they’re not needle-sharp individually, and not barbed. But they are very thick and strong for such a small animal, and make a very good shield for it when it rolls up. They could easily puncture a tyre (poor echidna). Like I said before, they make just carrying a dead echidna (this was at the Museum) problematic, because it’s heavy enough to hurt the hands having those points pressing in.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Accusing CSA survivors of being puritannical and patriarchal because they’re not keen on a pedophile? Even if he had been what he claimed, “non practising”?

Fuck that and fuck the rapey assholes doing it.

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

I met Elizabeth Bear once because she wrote a story about my friend’s coffee ring actually being a gestalt alien mind.
She seemed nice.

Ally S
7 years ago

I see a similar attitude in some parts of Otaku subculture that basically views pedophilia as just another one of those harmless fetishes that some weird people have. It’s disgusting – they’re pretty much considering pedophilia to be on the same level as things like foot fetishism.

pecunium
7 years ago

She is nice. I do sometimes get strange emails from her, asking how to do things of a violent nature. Then, when we see each other she buys me whisky, and we chat about stuff. I think this a most marvelous arrangement.

pecunium
7 years ago

(oops… she asks me so that she can better write about them, not put them into personal practice).

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

“Sex Positive”, I think, is just one of those terms that is so poorly defined (and so ambiguous in its direct definition) that it ends up being easily manipulated to mean whatever the person using it means–which does mean that there will be people out there who use it to define a reasonable and healthy attitude, while others use it to excuse creepiness of one degree or another. So, yeah, CassandraSays, “side-eye until they define it” seems like an excellent policy.

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

Dvarg: We’ve spent a lot of time (because of MRA/PUA idiocies) going over the issue of consent, and the consensus is 1: there needs to be a “bright line” 2: That bright line is artificial. There will be people for whom 15 isn’t too soon.

But those cases don’t justify making it not a bright line. For most of them (I was having sex before the age of consent in the state I lived) it’s not an issue. They are making an informed decision, and won’t complain; nor is anyone else likely to.

Agree, Pecunium. To clarify, I didn’t mean that the American regulars at Manboobz treat the legal age of consent as if it were a magical line between morally right and morally wrong, but it seems to be something American trolls in particular use as a premise in an argument that ends with “so anything goes, really”.

pecunium
7 years ago

Yeah. And not just trolls. I’m trying to write a post which includes some idiocy a woman is arguing that statutory rape laws are bad; they cause more sexual assaults/cause children to hide being raped, and other incoherent nonsense.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“cause children to hide being raped”

Uh, no. That’d be shit like acting like it’s just a thing that happens, nothing you can do (well, idk on rape, and ymmv, but that’s the voice of experience on molestation)

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Wait, what? Wow that’s a load of dumb, pecunium.

freemage
freemage
7 years ago

I think I’ve seen variants on that before. Essentially, the argument goes that because it’s illegal to have sex with a minor, someone who wants to have sex with a minor can’t seek consent legitimately. So they HAVE to use the coercive approaches of predators, instead, including manipulation, intimidation and so on. (Note that this requires you to regard as nonsensical the idea that they could just, y’know, not have sex with teenagers. And ignore the fact that most individuals who are seeking sex with teens are doing so precisely because they want to be manipulative pieces of shit, it’s part of the appeal, and they pick teens because they hope they’ll be easier to manipulate.)

I have the ability to comprehend the thought-processes of Really Awful People. This may be the worst superpower ever. I’d rather be able to talk to fish.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence. Did you forget that little detail?

Nathan Hevenstone
7 years ago

Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence.

Evidence, please.

What feminists want is for rape/sexual assault victims to not be revictimized and treated like criminals by the system that’s supposed to be set up to help them.

Ally S
7 years ago

Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence. Did you forget that little detail?

Probably, because that detail happens to not be a thing.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Funny, most MRAs honestly believe the “reasonable doubt” standard already doesn’t apply in rape cases. (They are wrong.) Alex at least seems to understand that in the existing system in the US the prosecution still has the burden of proving their case. Instead, he alleges that “feminists” are trying to overturn the “reasonable doubt” standard for rape cases, an allegation for which he provides no evidence. Ironically, that means there is more than enough reasonable doubt, he has failed to prove his case, and therefore feminists are not guilty.

Alex, thank you for demonstrating how our adversarial criminal justice system works!

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Feminists want people accused of rape to have prove their innocence. Did you forget that little detail?

Your argument has already been presented and dismantled. Did you forget to read the thread?