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a voice for men a woman is always to blame antifeminism are these guys 12 years old? artistry attention seeking creepy evil single moms evil women men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA paul elam shaming tactics taking pleasure in women's pain that's not funny!

At A Voice for Men, dead baby jokes are a form of “men’s human rights activism.”

Just because it's you baby doesn't mean it's your trash. Don't be that girl.
Men’s Rights “humor” at its finest.

The self-described ‘Men’s Human Rights Activists” at A Voice for Men have shown time and time again that they have approximately zero interest in actually promoting human rights, but would rather devote their time (and the more than $100,000 the site collects in donations annually) to attacking feminists and women in general.

The latest bit of evidence? The “meme” above, designed not to actually raise awareness of child abandonment but as a sort of “gotcha” aimed at one of their favorite targets, the “Don’t Be That Guy” anti-rape campaign that has been credited with significantly bringing down the incidence of rape in at least one major Canadian city.

AVFM’s Paul Elam introduces the “meme” with this little bit of vitriol:

For those unfortunates who did not get the memo that the Don’t be That Guy meme campaign was offensive because it painted all men as potential rapists, then perhaps this meme will drive that point home. Remember, Don’t be That Hypocrite.

If we pretend for a moment that AVFM’s meme is intended to address a real social problem — child abandonment — do Elam’s claims of hypocrisy make any sense?

Rape is widespread; roughly 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Men (outside of jail) also face the risk of rape, mostly from other men, though the numbers are much lower; the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign addressed that issue as well. (Incarcerated men  — and women — face a much higher risk of rape, at least in the United States, where prison rape is treated as a joke; LGBT prisoners are disproportionately targeted.) Most rape victims know their attackers, making the “date rape” focus of the awareness campaign doubly appropriate. RAINN reports that there are more than 200,000 victims of sexual assault in the US every year.

While the number of rapes is obviously higher than the number of rapists, there’s still a tremendous number of rapists in the general population — and a lot of people who witness rapey behavior, and who might be inspired by the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign to step up and step in to stop it.

Child abandonment, while horrific, is not widespread. While solid data on the actual number of babies abandoned is scanty, the numbers reported tend to be in the hundreds, not the hundreds of thousands, per year. One 2011 story in the New York Times, for example, noted that 63 babies were abandoned illegally in Illinois over the previous ten years. One article I found on the Columbia Journalism School website cited “an unpublished 1999 report by the Department of Health and Human Services [that] found that 108 infants were abandoned in 1998 out of 4 million births.”

In any case, anyone who was truly interested in reducing the numbers of babies illegally abandoned, quite possibly leading to their deaths, would have provided information about “safe haven” laws (which exist in all 50 states in the US) that allow parents to legally give up their babies while ensuring that they will be cared for.

Rape is a crime of entitlement; child abandonment is a crime of desperation. Providing young mothers who are feeling overwhelmed to the point of panic about an alternative to dumping their baby illegally seems a somewhat more sensible approach than shaming them. AVFM’s meme graphic of course provides no such information.

That’s no surprise. As Elam’s intro makes clear, he and his fellow “Human Rights Activists” don’t actually give a shit about abandoned babies. The comments about this new meme are, well, instructive in this regard. For most of the commenters, it seems, this dead baby joke of a graphic is a most hilarious form of human rights activism.

Some selections from the comments:

baby1baby2baby3baby4

And apparently only the thought of me “twisting” their words kept some of them from making even more blatant dead baby jokes.

baby5

Truly the most important Human Rights Movement of the 21st Century.

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Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

For those unfortunates who did not get the memo that the Don’t be That Guy meme campaign was offensive because it painted all men as potential rapists, then perhaps this meme will drive that point home. Remember, Don’t be That Hypocrite.

o.O

Is this supposed to make the memo clearer? Does this paint all women as potential baby-abandoners?
Oh, right, projection… I forgot.
How are we expected to react? Oh, yes… HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ALL WOMEN OF THROWING THEIR CHILDREN IN THE TRASH AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! YOU’RE LITERALLY WORSE THAN HITLER! AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!

How was that, Mr Elam?

Hyena Girl
6 years ago

An impressive example of using a logical fallacy and failing at even that. I think it’s supposed to be a “tu quoque” but it fails at even that because there’s no equivalence in rate. Sort of like a serial killer defending themself by saying “I may have killed and eaten those twelve people but I know you had a hamburger for lunch. Murderer! Murderer!”

eseldbosustow
6 years ago

Abandoning children is misandry, even when mothers abandon their daughters who presumably would be quite likely to identify as women (and maybe even feminists!) later in life.

Good message. Make perfect sense.

bodycrimes
6 years ago

At first I thought they were making an anti-abortion statement, rather than talking about the dumping of actual babies. I think they should take some lessons in advertising before they make these posters. Mediabistro do good, low cost ones.

eseldbosustow
6 years ago

Yeah, I thought it was something of an anti-choice thing because I was silly enough to think, “Surely they wouldn’t make a huge social issue out of something as uncommon as child abandonment…”

I have to remember to keep the bar low.

Shaun DarthBatman Day
6 years ago

Best to bury the bar somewhere due south of rock bottom…

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Tod Kelly’s blog post follow-up to his Daily Beast said the “MRM needs more Victor Zens in its ranks.”

To spread messages like this?

I feel sick.

babsbeaty (@babsbeaty)

I think Ray nails it in his comment in the OP. The great injustice is not that babies are abandoned — sometime in horrible locations, sometimes in hospitals — by women, but that women “get” to do it with no repercussions.

If women can abandon their babies, why can’t teh menz? Misandry!

BTW: This is my first post after too much lurking.

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

Since this is obviously about shock humor, I wouldn’t be shocked if they had a “don’t be THAT German” poster.

But that would be awful!

He was Austrian.

MaudeLL
6 years ago

I think they are offended by the anti-rape campaign because they still view ‘rapist’ as an identity, like the shady dude in the bush (or the updated ‘women rape more than men’ version). The problem is, a large proportion of AVfM writers and commenters demonstrate again and again that they are confused as to what constitutes consent.
I do believe anti-rape campaigns should raise awareness on rape targeted at other demographics than the young white cis woman. I’m not sure how caring about men victims leads to baby dumping jokes though. Somehow, it looks like they don’t actually give a shit about men victim of rapes.

On the baby dumpster joke (exhibit z of my upcoming evo psych book “Why MRAs Aren’t Funny”)… Do they actually think women don’t go to jail for killing their child? One abandoned baby is one too much, and a stronger social net can address that problem. On the other hand, I am not sure how the AVfM-style libertarian dystopia would help. The likelihood of the baby going Galt is effectively 0.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

auggz — idk what country you’re in, but the US, afaik, doesn’t follow up on births. Yeah, the two other people in the room are both parents (one is my mother) and they confirm this.

Chris Wilson
6 years ago

I already heard about this one through clicking on what our friend Alisdair from the previous post has to say on Reddit. This is how he feels about the baby dumpster:

Absolutely genius activism. I can’t wait to do some of this myself. It needs to be pervasive. Like if you see a feminist with a baby or with the intent to have one you go “a lot of women dump and kill their babies, you really ought not to do that ” while being really concerned and accusatory.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

You know, MRAs, if you’re thinking that the original “don’t be that guy” campaign was referring to you, and you then extrapoliate that to ALL men, what does that say about YOU?

Chris Wilson
6 years ago

Sorry, one of these days I will master the blockquote.

MaudeLL
6 years ago

@babsbeaty

Right! That angle escaped me. I didn’t realize it was advocating for equal rights for men to abandon their child. Silly me, I thought they cared about the babies.

In other news, women are jailed as murderers for miscarrying in El Salvador. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24532694

Chris Wilson
6 years ago

I guess if you miscarry in El Salvador you might want to keep it to yourself rather than going to the hospital, for fear they will think you induced an abortion. Great healthcare plan.

cloudiah
6 years ago

So, the thing is, in all the states I’ve checked “Safe Haven” laws are gender-neutral, so men already have equal rights to abandon their babies. And since the actual process of handing a baby in to a Safe Haven facility is anonymous, you just have to present yourself as the “parent” of the baby. But most have been written so that the parent(s) can only legally abandon the baby with no consequences fairly close to its birth date. In California, it’s within 72 hours of birth. Infants that appear to be less than 3 days old are accepted with no questions asked, and the infant and the surrendering parent are giving matching ID bracelets in case the parent changes his/her mind within 14 days. 25 babies have been surrendered so far this year in California.

The thing is, when I see educational campaigns around this, I’m not offended at all. I’m glad. Anything that lets scared, desperate new parents know there’s an alternative to unsafely abandoning their baby is a good thing.

ec
ec
6 years ago

What gets me is that this isn’t even a “men’s rights” issue. Like, you could maybe sorta see it as one if you squint real hard and kinda tilt your head to the side, but they’re not even pretending to care about legit issues anymore, they just want to go “gotcha!” at feminists.

Falconer
6 years ago

So, the thing is, in all the states I’ve checked “Safe Haven” laws are gender-neutral, so men already have equal rights to abandon their babies.

I think it comes back, once again, to child support.

The obvious non-parallels between two parents surrendering a child and one parent deciding NOPE and abandoning the other parent and the child seem to escape them, however. They get all hung up on “What do you mean, I can’t not see the child for 12 years and then swoop in with ice cream, cake, and tickets to Disney World?”

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Like if you see a feminist with a baby or with the intent to have one you go “a lot of women dump and kill their babies, you really ought not to do that ” while being really concerned and accusatory.

Is this a common thing? Because while I’ve encountered a beating in person, and plenty of sexual harassment in person, plus one of my then-roomies getting roofied, I’ve NEVER encountered a baby abandoning. And also, seriously, how many of us have walked up to a guy with a girlfriend and went, “lots of guys rape their girlfriends, you shouldn’t do that?” Like, how does that help anything? Education isn’t the same thing as accusing; these guys don’t seem to get that.

And MaudeLL, please. Like they DO care about male rape victims like myself.

toujoursgai
6 years ago

First, does Ray think that safe haven laws are gender-specific? I haven’t researched the specific law in every US state, but from what I’ve read, they keep the person dropping off the baby anonymous. Meaning that yes, fathers can do it too.

Anyway, this is what’s really bugging me: They think that “Don’t be that girl” is going to be offensive to feminists, because we’re going to be appalled at the idea of taking some responsibility for other women’s actions. But personally, I’ve never met a feminist who’s opposed to safe haven laws. I have known a couple who actively promote better awareness of them and education about how they work. My point being, feminists are generally in favor of changing society to fix societal problems. We’re generally not the type of people who will say “I’ve personally never done that, so it’s not my problem!”

Unlike, say, MRA’s.

toujoursgai
6 years ago

Took so long to write my comment that I got ninja’d by cloudiah!

cloudiah
6 years ago

Education isn’t the same thing as accusing

Unless you have a reason to have a guilty conscience on the subject, maybe then it would feel like accusing?

cloudiah
6 years ago

Took so long to write my comment that I got ninja’d by cloudiah!

But you added a good point about how feminists, similar to other human rights movements, actually want to make the world a better place by addressing things like child abandonment. This is how you can tell AVfM and their brethren are not a human rights movement.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: cloudiah

This is how you can tell AVfM and their brethren are not a human rights movement.

I thought it was their complete lack of doing anything? A movement actually requires, you know. MOVING.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: auggziliary

What’s really weird to me is that when I think of baby-abandonment, I think of the rash of Japanese infants being ditched in lockers, back in the 70s. But that was FORTY YEARS AGO, and I don’t think it was a prolonged social thing.

It’s weird, it’s like the guys who make these posters don’t realize that rape is actually a pretty common thing, while baby-dumping isn’t.

cloudiah
6 years ago

So… I was trying to find out if Canada also had Safe Haven laws (it appears that maybe they don’t), and one of the first results was a website calling itself the Canadian Children’s Rights Council (Conseil canadien des droits des enfants). A very cursory reading indicated that, once again, misogynists are willing to put a lot of work into hating women. At least as many articles are focused on painting women as child murderers who get away with it…

Ally S
6 years ago

[X] is a gendered problem. That means most perpetrators are [Y]. Therefore it makes sense to focus on the people among whom are the most [people who do X], who in this case are [Y].

Not a tough formula to understand, AVFM.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

I tried to google up some statistics on abandoned babies in Sweden but got nothing. Really nothing (I got like some page about abandon kittens, statistics about human babies that had nothing to do with abandoning them, but nothing on babies that were both abandoned and human). Maybe it really is a non-existent problem here? Which may be because we have practically free abortions available everywhere. That might be something for the MRA to campaign about! *Just kidding*

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“That way if someone accused her of dumping her baby, there would be a record of her giving birth and not doing a hospital abandonment.”

Oh, yeah, we have her name on the birth certificate and such, and if the baby can be ID’ed that might be enough. I was thinking you meant that a previously pregnant woman, with no child, would raise questions in general (not just with family // friends)

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Dvarghundspossen

Makes sense. If you don’t HAVE to have a baby you can’t care for, you don’t need to abandon them in the first place.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

An abortion is a couple of hundred Skr here (about fifty dollars) for adults, cheaper for people under eighteen. But I reckon it’s much more expensive in the US?

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

And there are places where you have to travel a hundred miles or more to have one.

And you may have a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound first.

And if you’re a minor you may need your parent’s permission.

Etc., etc., as quick as they can think of them.

Sokkedyr
Sokkedyr
6 years ago

Is there anything that can be done, juridically speaking, since they’re nicking the graphics of another campaign? Is there some kind of copyright/law against misleading? (Not familiar with US law)

freemage
freemage
6 years ago

What they never want to admit, when trying for equating Safe Haven laws with their Paper Abortion bullshit, is that in general, when a woman drops a child off in an SH, the father has already abandoned them both (if anything, it’s probably the most frequent cause of a woman deciding she can’t support the kid on her own). A woman who doesn’t want a kid that the father does want usually just leaves the kid on his doorstep (figuratively speaking), not in the care of the state. And then he can choose to sue her for child support.

Sokkedyr
Sokkedyr
6 years ago

auggziliary@ So it is, thanks 🙂 Got an ache in my reading muscle tonight.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Maybe this would make sense if child abandonment were a huge societal problem primarily committed by women. Not a lot of anybodies throwing they babies in the trash though.

Can’t say I’m offended but false equivalency up in hurrrrrr.

Monster
6 years ago

Another demonstration of how they want to be able to abandon their wanted-by-the-mother children (‘paper abortions’) to get out of child support, while also being angry that women can abandon their children*, and ALSO thinking that state support/child support/alimony for single mothers* is bad, and that children/boys being raised by single mothers is also bad…

Why do they hate children so much? They clearly give zero fucks about even the male children. It is really obvious that they think of babies as some kind of abstract blob, rather than a small person. I cannot work out what they actually want – they get in such a lather over the very idea of a woman leaving them and taking the kids, but the big froth over paying for the kids’ stuff implies they wouldn’t really like having greater/sole custody and all associated responsibility. And if there was some law stopping women leaving, that would still only solve the problem if it meant *men* could not leave either, which would be unacceptable to them…there is just no coherent, consistent plan coming from these guys other than ‘men and only men being able to do whatever they want whenever they want regardless of who it screws over’. It is a whole movement based around taking things away from others.

*I read the comments above but ofc in MRA land it is only women, gender neutral laws be damned! also only single mothers are bad.

oraclenine (@Oraclenine)

I just took a quick look at the safe haven laws by state map. In some states the infant can be surrendered in the first 3 days after birth, in others it ranges from 7 days to 30 days to anywhere from 2 to 12 months old. Some states require the infant be surrendered at a hospital, others allow for birthing centers/medical facilities, fire stations, health department, law enforcement or EMS providers or churches. In some states the law requires there be no evidence of abuse, in others the state allows evidence of abuse but retains the right to charge.

The law varies by state on who may surrender an infant- parent or an agent of the parent seem to be common though in no state law I looked at specified gender. The person surrendering the infant may remain anonymous but can voluntarily identify themselves/the parents and/or provide medical information. All the states I looked at require the safe haven receiving an infant evaluate the infant’s health/provide any emergency care and to notify the state’s child welfare agency (usually within 24 hours).

Shorter version- Safe Haven Laws, not just for mothers.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@chris wilson

This is how he feels about the baby dumpster:

Absolutely genius activism. I can’t wait to do some of this myself. It needs to be pervasive. Like if you see a feminist with a baby or with the intent to have one you go “a lot of women dump and kill their babies, you really ought not to do that ” while being really concerned and accusatory.

but…a lot of women don’t dump and kill their babies. I mean, it’s not that common. So the dude going ‘a lot of women do it’ doesn’t really make any sense…like, at all :/

@maudeLL

In other news, women are jailed as murderers for miscarrying in El Salvador. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24532694

What the fuck? Ugh. Can’t word right now. Just angry.

Good
Good
6 years ago

Rape is widespread; roughly 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted at some point in their lives

http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9502/sommers.html

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

Hey, Greta Christina has a guest post up on her blog about the MRM. http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/10/guest-post-compare-and-contrast

Fave part:

MRAs think traditional gender roles are just fine, and they resent women’s incursions into “men’s spheres.” At the same time, they complain a great deal about the ways in which the traditional masculine role harms men. An incoherent framework exists in which traditional masculinity is simultaneously held up as praiseworthy and natural AND as evidence that men qua men are, and always have been, oppressed.

AK
AK
6 years ago

What they never want to admit, when trying for equating Safe Haven laws with their Paper Abortion bullshit, is that in general, when a woman drops a child off in an SH, the father has already abandoned them both (if anything, it’s probably the most frequent cause of a woman deciding she can’t support the kid on her own). A woman who doesn’t want a kid that the father does want usually just leaves the kid on his doorstep (figuratively speaking), not in the care of the state. And then he can choose to sue her for child support.

Most Safe Haven laws actually have a procedure in place to try to locate the other parent and give them right of first refusal, basically. So if Mom drops the baby off at the fire station under Safe Haven laws, they’ll attempt to locate Dad (even if it’s just through an announcement in the paper or whatever, for anonymity’s sake). If Dad doesn’t show up in a certain time frame, then the baby is placed for adoption. If Dad does show up, then he can claim the baby and (in most states, anyway) pursue Mom for child support.

So yeah, it’s hardly the gender-biased thing that MRAs like to pretend it is. I don’t think any of the Safe Haven laws are gender-specific at all (I know most of them aren’t; I’d speak in absolutes except I’m not sure I’m familiar with all of them in the US); it’s just that biology dictates that women are the ones who are most often going to be stuck with an infant they can’t care for.

An abortion is a couple of hundred Skr here (about fifty dollars) for adults, cheaper for people under eighteen. But I reckon it’s much more expensive in the US?

It really depends too much to say for sure in any case, but generally, yes, they’re a lot more expensive. In my state Planned Parenthood charges $400 if you’re paying out-of-pocket; they’re not able to offer it on a sliding scale. Also, there’s only two Planned Parenthood clinics in the state (well, that perform abortions anyway) and they’re within an hour or so of each other so pretty centralized, and it’s a big state so most women either have abortions at private clinics (which are considerably more expensive), or have to factor in the cost of travel/staying overnight.

In my state though, Medicaid does cover abortions regardless of why the woman needs one, so very low-income women generally aren’t paying out-of-pocket. At least that’s something. That’s pretty unusual though; generally Medicaid programs offer either very limited or no abortion coverage. I’m not sure how that is changing under the Affordable Care Act though, I should look that up.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Aw, Good’s back with more contextless links. I’d say I missed him, except I forgot about him.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: AK

I love Medicaid. It saved my life, no exaggeration.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

Ah, Good is here to post a link to Christina Hoff Summers.

Check this passage out:

Koss counted anyone who answered affirmatively to any of the last three questions as having been raped:

8. Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?

9. Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) to make you?

10. Have you had sexual acts (anal or oral intercourse or penetration by objects other than the penis) when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) to make you?

Only about a quarter of the women Koss calls rape victims labeled what happened to them as rape.

This is the gotcha. THIS IS THE FUCKING GOTCHA.

Good, you sorely try my vows of pacifism and gentleness. SORELY.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

That most violence is male isn’t news. But very little of it appears to be misogynist. This country has more than its share of violent males, statistically we must expect them to gratify themselves at the expense of people weaker than themselves, male or female; and so they do. Gender feminist ideologues bemuse and alarm the public with inflated statistics. And they have made no case for the claim that violence against women is symptomatic of a deeply misogynist culture.

This is fuckery, pure and simple.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Howard

Hell, my rape doesn’t count under that version, because physical force wasn’t a part of it. I recall other trolls in the past claiming I couldn’t REALLY have been raped, because obviously, how was my rapist supposed to know I didn’t want to? It wasn’t like I was crying and completely unresponsive the whole time. Except oh yeah, I was. But penises make people blind, don’tcha know.

Brooked
Brooked
6 years ago

I wonder if they will actually prosecute the girls who did it? If they have not already, I am pretty sure it won’t (or was) very lenient compared to what I guy would get.

I am pretty sure this is gibberish. I know these guys are convinced women are never held legally accountable for their actions, but this is a little ridiculous. “Baby dumping” (stay classy guys!) cases are publicized during criminal trials; if the baby is alive it’s child endangerment and if the baby is dead it’s murder.

Of course, another poster found a way to connect this nonsense to the unfairness of child support because that injustice is worse than everything else that ever happened.

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