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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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katz
6 years ago

I just don’t understand where the joke part is supposed to be. They’re all like “there’s a baby and it’s dead!” and it just leaves me going “…And?”

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Oh and the narcissist ex…

Warning, this is going to verge on animal cruelty

One of his cats was, quite clearly, dying. The poor thing went from the occasional bloody poo => change his diet, to nothing but blood and mucus. For long enough me and the other couple living there were on his case about how not having the cat put to sleep was just cruel. I even said that one of these mornings, I’m going to come downstairs (cuz I got up first) and find that cat lying dead on the floor…I was, of course, right.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@argenti aertheri

My worst? Left his crockpot hidden in a corner long enough it had maggots. If I never bleach the sink because it’ skull it’s full of maggots again…*shudders*

Wow O_o Did you keep it? I feel like I just would have thrown it away and taken an hour long shower…

And poor your ex’s cat 🙁

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

Nvm, saw that wasn’t your crockpot but someone elses, so my question may not make sense..

kittehserf
6 years ago

auggz – right, I think I misread you – sorry!

freemage
freemage
6 years ago

The Cracked article about poverty and how it affects you was actually pretty good, if you read the full thing. It gets to the fact that we’ve given up on educating kids in poor neighborhoods, generally. There’s no attempt to even provide a framework for kids to understand that getting out of poverty is possible, but difficult, and requires certain steps, and some luck.

So, yeah, you have the folks who can manage to teach themselves the basic life skills of home economics (and thus, reinvent the wheel), and those who can’t (but many of whom probably could’ve if we hadn’t just assumed they’d never be able to manage it).

And I didn’t get ‘rich people would be better at getting out of poverty’. It might’ve been, ‘people who grew up just a little bit better off got told this stuff’, which is actually true. Frankly, given no job and no contacts at age 18, I’d back the kid of a blue/pink collar worker over the trust-fund kid.

katz
6 years ago

(I didn’t read the Cracked article; I was just commenting on where I’ve heard that line of reasoning before.)

kittehserf
6 years ago

Thanks, auggz. 🙂

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Marie — had it been mine, it would’ve been in the sink and wet. I grow mold, not maggots (also, I’ve never cooked meat and I don’t think they go for veggies)

toujoursgai
6 years ago

And there would DEFINITELY be an episode about thermostat wars. Everyone’s had a thermostat war, right?

My year of college, I lived in a dorm room that was constantly freezing. The previous occupants had fought over the thermostat so violently that they’d managed to break it. Eventually it got fixed, but it was an icy few weeks.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’m seeing this roommate story as a cross between The Young Ones and Black Books.

Now Bernard, there’s the roommate from hell.

katz
6 years ago

My year of college, I lived in a dorm room that was constantly freezing. The previous occupants had fought over the thermostat so violently that they’d managed to break it. Eventually it got fixed, but it was an icy few weeks.

See, that’s perfect. One of the roommates thinks it’s too hot, one thinks it’s too cold, they keep fighting and finally they break it and both have to live with a super-freezing apartment.

katz
6 years ago

Obviously we should actually write this. Shall we make it two guys, two women, two non-binaries, or mixed-gender? I’d probably go with same-gender because then you can have one roomie who thinks it’s fine to get a roommate of a different gender and the other one thinks it would be too weird.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@argenti

Marie — had it been mine, it would’ve been in the sink and wet. I grow mold, not maggots (also, I’ve never cooked meat and I don’t think they go for veggies)

Yeah, sorry, misread you the first time and thought it was yours.

Zolnier
Zolnier
6 years ago

Have MRA idiots expressed an opinion on Safe Haven laws? On the one hand they might be able to think of it as some form of “paper abortion”, on the other hand it helps women. MRAs have a strange relationship with children, they hate contributing anything of themselves to their health and well being, but they seem them as status symbols and a way of tightening their grip on women.

Must be awful being the kid in that equation.

SittieKitty
6 years ago

Ooh, ooh, my roommate story: leaving their freezer (sealed) unplugged for months with hamburger and other meats in the bottom. It was the most… disgusting thing I’ve ever smelled in the history of life, and I’ve worked in an anatomy lab. All the meat had rendered and it was just a gross sludge at the bottom of the freezer, and the best part was that we were on the 5th floor of an apartment building which meant I had to help him carry it all the way down those flights of stairs to get it out of my place.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I don’t bother with the thermostat war, I’ve worn sweaters in August, so I know I’ll never win. This is why I have full length arm warmers, sweaters, alpaca hand warmers (and my frankengloves), fuzzy socks, and a variety of blankets.

The apt with the maggot crockpot? No heat. Sucky space heater I didn’t dare leave on unsupervised. Yeah, I’m a master at the art of staying warm. (The fish, thankfully, have their own heaters, and water is fairly good at storing heat)

SittieKitty
6 years ago

I’ve been fortunate to never be in a thermostat war. My temp or the outside temp, and Canada’s outside temp is not better than my temp.

katz
6 years ago

Sittiekitty: Ooh, that could make another great plot. Both roomies are going to visit family for the holidays. First roomie figures she should just unplug the freezer to save energy because it’s empty. Second roomie has some extra food in her mini fridge, so she throws it in the freezer, not realizing it’s unplugged. And then they both leave for a week…

katz
6 years ago

(Obvs most people don’t have the luxury of traveling for a long time during the holidays, but maybe one or both is unemployed so they have the time, and the family might be local and/or paying for transport.)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Katz — college students. Even working at the school I got 10~ days. And thank the gods for fish and an excuse not to be here for all of them!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

I’m barely 40, and not Jewish, and I know people who were personally affected by the Holocaust. My ex’s father ended up in the UK because he fled there from Germany with his mother. Most of his family didn’t make it.

Dead baby jokes – my cousin miscarried her first pregnancy. My sister in law almost lost her second, and was on bed rest for months. It was a close call.

Seeing a pattern here? The idea that “nobody” will mind is based on a very limited idea of who might be listening (and not giving a shit if whoever you’re defining as nobody happens to hear too).

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

you have the folks who can manage to teach themselves the basic life skills of home economics (and thus, reinvent the wheel), and those who can’t (but many of whom probably could’ve if we hadn’t just assumed they’d never be able to manage it).

Even home economics presumes you have money that can be managed. I remember the shock of realising just how much being poor had affected the person I was with at the time. She had 2 kids, no support from ex, and just the supporting parent benefit (this is Australia remember). She was fan.tas.tic at providing good wholesome meals to the kids and eking out the cash (and turning off the lights) for household bills and always getting Xmas and birthday gifts on lay by well in advance to pay them off in tiny instalments. But she couldn’t save money on other essentials because she had no money spare at any time.

We were in a shopping centre and I spotted a rack of kids clothes going out cheap, so cheap. Grabbed her arm, raced across and we picked up an armful of good stuff for them and I paid the equivalent of a good lunch+coffee+cake for the lot. She hadn’t even seen the shop. She didn’t keep her eye out for sales or bargains because she had no money for them anyway. It was all week to week, dollar by scrimping dollar. It’s tunnel vision. It’s soul destroying.

I once offered her a bit of extra money – she looked after my kids – because I’d got some back pay so I thought she should share in this bonanza. Her response was that she didn’t need it, there were no bills outstanding. So I had to spell it for her. This was her chance to get something for herself, some shoes or new bras or stock up on undies or get a haircut – not just to get up to date with the phone bill or feed the kids some steak for a change. She “hadn’t thought of that”.

BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

>>>The obnoxious flip side is the idea that rich people are rich because they’re so damn good at managing money and so the kids of millionaires become millionaires because their parents taught them to manage money, not because of trust funds and nepotism, and if millionaires suddenly lost all their money they’d be better at being poor than all those stupid poor people and they’d gain it back because of their amazing money-management skills.

That’s awesome. So let’s take all the trust fund kiddies and take their money and give it to poor children, and have the trust fund kids live in squalor for a few years. The poor children will at least get a few years of joy out of it before they splurge it all away and the rich kids will not get any lasting damage from it since they’ll just make it all back anyway once they hit their teens or early twenties. Right?

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@SittieKitty

Ooh, ooh, my roommate story: leaving their freezer (sealed) unplugged for months with hamburger and other meats in the bottom. It was the most… disgusting thing I’ve ever smelled in the history of life, and I’ve worked in an anatomy lab

Ewwwwwww. You guys are scaring me with roommate stories 😮

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Marie — of my roommate’s, you’ve heard of two. The worst the other two did — exploded a rice ball with octopus in the microwave (whoops!), and, uh…screwed up instant ramen? Oh, I know, blue cheese. Every time I cleaned out the fridge I had to do a check on which cheese was supposed to be moldy.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

(That was also the fridge of “we have ketchup, and booze, I think we may want to get groceries”)

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

@ Marie

The worst any roomate of mine ever did was leave her lazy biker boyfriend in the apartment with me and piss off back home to see her parents. Plenty of thermostat wars with my parents, but that’s because my Dad likes being cold.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@Argenti Aertheri

Well at least the other ones weren’t so bad?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

One of my friends from when I was in high school never had anything in his fridge except a very elderly jar of half-eaten pasta sauce (the same jar, for at least a year) and bread. This was the same guy who at one point put his space heater in the (empty, thankfully) bathtub, where I found it when I came over. Domesticity wasn’t really his strong point.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

I always thought the appeal of dead baby jokes was exactly the transgressive aspect. Same as the infamous ‘Aristocrats’ joke, which, to me, is no more ‘funny’ than dead baby jokes, just more elaborate. I imagine that smashing a shop window might provide an equivalent thrill.

On the class issue – imnsho, Americans are hampered in the area of class consciousness by how many myths and illusions we have on the subject. Neither of my parents were college educated, they were not professionals or business owners, and we lived on my father’s salary as a postal worker (and his wartime disability benefits), yet I always thought of us as middle class. When I got to college and encountered people who were middle class by income, rather than culture, it was somewhat of a revelation.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@cassandrasays

O_o What did he eat?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

@ Marie

Chips (Brit kind, not crunchy-with-BBQ-powder kind), or fried rice from the Chinese take-away downstairs. Very occasionally he bought cheese (and usually forgot to put it in the fridge). I never did figure out of he planned to put the pasta sauce on the bread.

pecunium
6 years ago

auggz: Well nvm then, I was thinking they at least got the identity of her, not necessarily asked her later how the baby was doing. 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.

That’s what I thought you meant, and you are right. They take blood type, and footprints, and weight, so there is a record. It is, in fact, how many of the fatal abandonment cases which are solved, are solved.

pecunium
6 years ago

argenti: Oh, and it’s an opinion piece.

By Christina Hoff Sommers; no agenda there.

dustydeste
dustydeste
6 years ago

Oh jeez, awful roommate stories! My last semester of college, I shared an apartment with two other women: One who remains one of my best friends to this day, and one who showed up with a small zoo without having cleared it with either of us prior to move-in. I have allergy issues with various dander-y animals, and the ferret (specifically forbidden in the lease) and the five or six hamsters (allowed per the lease but still) were not my idea of a good time. She also started growing pot in her closet, and would move our things around when high, or just outright take them. I don’t remember anything expensive going missing, but when your toothbrush or the stockpot or something like that is suddenly “mysteriously” gone, it’s not really funny giggles and joytime.

Oh, also she let the ferret just run around free in the apartment and poop wherever it wanted, and then would get pissy whenever someone asked her to clean it up. Ferret poop in the kitchen is just not sanitary living, blech.

I ended up being really glad I was living there off the lease somewhat extra-legally, and therefore wasn’t on the line for the damage deposit. I don’t think they ever managed to deodorize the place from the ferret being there for a year.

pecunium
6 years ago

bodycrimes: Aaron: Well my background is primarily in banking where I’ve worked as a credit analyst and an economist. I also moonlight on the side as a ballroom dance instructor and of course am an author.

And Matt Forney thinks he’s cooler than me:

Aaron Clarey is cooler than you.

He’s an economist. He explores caves. He teaches salsa dancing. He rides a motorcycle. He collects fossils. He’s not married. He doesn’t have any kids. He’s self-employed and doesn’t answer to a boss. He lives life the way he wants to, not the way anyone else expects him to.

Matt Forney is wrong.

Kronos
Kronos
6 years ago

Hi David,

So I take it that, according to you, we shouldn’t address problems that are less common than others? Nice try, but your pathetic “logic” is anything but.

Paul has your outstripped in Alexa.

He had you outgunned, with his staff.

He regularly outmaneuvers you with his pithy blog posts, flicking aside your “rebuttals” as if they were nothing more than a fly.

Stick a fork in it, David. Give it up.

pecunium
6 years ago

Argenti: I hate the smell of maggots. I feel your pain.

That’s all I’m going to say about it.

p.s. they will go for veggies. Bluebottles are not a fussy fly.

pecunium
6 years ago

Oh.. black coffee (and tea) will grow mold; I don’t know what the mold is eating, but it happens.

pecunium
6 years ago

Oh.. katz: I tweeted your pumpkin. It is being well received.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

It wasn’t even the smell (I think my nose was broken at that point, both dogs did their business indoors and oh boy the amount of pot smoked in that apt)…picture a crockpot, now line the inside, the entire inside, with a mass of maggots. A putrid white squirming mass.

Yes, the smell was bad, but if it was noticeably bad I’d have found the damned thing sooner (we had a deal, dishes were my problem, garbage was his, I had to collect the dishes like his damned mother or something [ok, no, I met his mother, she’s insufferable])

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

And it’ smoldering it’s mold. The germ Opheliac germophobic (I’m glad autocorrect likes EA, but this is just absurd) should stop reading now.

It’s mold, it’s a fungus, and that shit is airborne. I mean, I get it in fish tanks that have been scrubbed beyond belief. If it an colonize plastic, it can colonize coffee.

pecunium
6 years ago

Ok, I will say more. Imagine your crockpot. Now make it a 40 gal. trash can.

Make it recurrent.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Oh gods, his is why the trash at camp got dumped daily (thanks, you just reminded me of the smell of yesterday’s diapers in August sun, ah family camp…”bring out your dead!” [it was the only way to make pushing a cart of trash bearable])

freemage
freemage
6 years ago

Kronos | October 30, 2013 at 12:37 am

Hi David,

So I take it that, according to you, we shouldn’t address problems that are less common than others?

Aww… look guys, I think it’s a new chew-toy!

Kronos: No, that’s not what this is about, and the column above makes that quite clear. The first quote he makes (the one that ends, “Don’t Be That Hypocrite”) makes it abundantly self-evident that this new poster, like the rest of the Don’t Be That Girl campaign, has absolutely fuck + all to do with the issue being addressed (here, infant abandonment; prior occasions, actual false rape accusations). Instead, it’s all about complaining about the Don’t Be That Guy campaign. DBTGirl isn’t about social justice activism; it’s about trying to undermine a different group–nothing more, nothing less.

Nitram
Nitram
6 years ago

Kronos

Where was it written anywhere that we should not be concerned with less common problems? All David is “rebutting” is the false claim that women are perpetrators of 40% of rapes. This is false, incorrect, and concluded using bad math. He is pointing out moronically wrong interpretation of data by misogynistic asshats.
One rape, by either man or woman, is one too many. No one here said it’s all hunky dory since it’s less often.

And David does not rebut Elam, he mocks him. The website is “misogyny: I mock it”. Not “I debate it”.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

He had you outgunned, with his staff.

Pemal’s staff is also a gun? Is he a wizard? With a transformer staff that is also a gun? Or a country gentleman with a shooting stick? I think there could be a fantasy novel in thes, you knw …

Nitram
Nitram
6 years ago

Oops, my comment to the troll combined this and the next post. Regardless, dumping babies is bad, even though it occurs less (much much less) often than rape. Also, it has been dealt with quite effectively with safe haven laws. Rape is at epidemic proportions. But still, baby dumping is still wrong. Got it?

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

… or maybe a tabletop roleplaying game.