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Turns out VICE made a video about that Men’s Rights rally in Toronto. GO WATCH IT.

This is not an embedded video, so don't click on it.
This is not an embedded video, so don’t click on it.

I don’t know how I missed it, but a couple of weeks back Vice posted a short video about that EARTH-SHATTERINGLY HISTORIC Men’s Rights rally in Toronto that captured the attention of the world a tiny fraction of a percentage of people in the world (including the people at it and readers of this blog) a little over a month ago.

Alas, WordPress won’t let me embed the video here, but you all need to go look at it. Not only does it capture pretty well what a dinky event it was, but it also contains a bunch of mini-interviews with some A Voice for Men folks that are rather revealing.

The most revealing one of the bunch starts about 2:40 into the video, when AVFM’s Suzanne McCarley explains that

Men, as a class, have never ever oppressed women, as a class. Men have always protected and provided for women. And protected them from oppression from others.

From others? What kind of others? Like, space aliens?

Women have never objected to this, and in fact have always been grateful because it’s how they survived. It is only in the last few hundred years when women of privileged class who don’t even know what they’re being protected from feel disadvantaged because they’re not comfortable with the level of protection they have.

Wow. A few hundred years? Sometimes people accuse MRAs of wanting to take us back to the 1950s. McCarley apparently wants to take us back to the 1750s.

They don’t even understand what they’re being protected from.

Wolves? Sharks? Dishpan hands? Space aliens?

They have no concept how dangerous the world is for them but gosh they’re just not happy because, you know, the males in the family tell them what to do and make all the decisions for them and control all the money. That’s not oppression. That’s protection.

Wow. So I guess slaves and prisoners are the most protected classes of all.

It’s what kept our species alive and what built … [she gestures at the park and the buildings around it] this beautiful city.

Wait. I thought Jefferson Starship built this city. On rock ‘n’ roll.

Anyway, there’s also some footage of a speech about the evil oppression of white men given by an unknown speaker at the rally. He also complains that men working for the government are men who’ve had “their things cut off and are toeing the politically correct line.” (Hopefully after the bleeding has stopped.)

There’s an interview with Paul Elam, who for some reason looks like he’s wearing mascara (which I’m pretty sure he isn’t). He delivers this puzzling pronouncement:

Looking at men in government and saying they have all the power is like looking at women in grocery stores and saying they have all the food.

Not only is this way more revealing about gender inequality than Elam may  realize, but it’s also a tad ironic, because Elam not that long ago used (unreliable) data about how women “control” most consumer spending — that is, they do most of the shopping — in order to argue (twice!) that women were the ones primarily responsible for destroying the environment.

There are assorted other bits of misinformation and ignorance and just plain old bigotry from the MRAs.

There’s also some commentary from the counterprotesters that made me wince. No, MRAs aren’t all Marc Lepines waiting to happen. They’re shitty enough people as it is; you don’t have to compare them all to a misogynist mass murderer to make your point. And in fact, you undercut yourself with that kind of rhetoric. Focus on what they actually say and do. It’s bad enough.

And the “racist, sexist, anti-gay” chant? Drop that. MRAs are, for the most part, driven by misogyny — not by other bigotries.  Yes, some are racist, including one of the speakers featured on this very video, but that’s not the driving force for most of them. Some are homophobic, but that’s not the driving force for most of them. Some are transphobic — including Elam himself — but that’s not a central issue for most of them.

It’s worth pointing out these other bigotries, but to make these issues the centerpiece of your counterprotest is to miss the point — it would be a bit like attacking the Ku Klux Klan as “sexist and racist.” I’m sure plenty of KKKers are sexist as hell, but with the Klan racism really is the main thing; with MRAs, misogyny is.

And in this case it gave AVFM’s Karen Straughan the opportunity to appear (at least for a moment) like a reasonable person by pointing out that she in fact is not straight.

Anyway, watch the video. It’s amazing.

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kittehserf
6 years ago

Also, kitties and catnip:

http://youtu.be/tklx3j7kgJY

kittehserf
6 years ago

Risking the wrath of the Furrinati, here we have Big Cat Fails:

http://youtu.be/ntza_9lbbc0

Brooked
Brooked
6 years ago

This thread covered a lot of ground.

@Falconer

Oh, and fuck gatekeepers with a prickly pear. Sideways.

This attitude is what I like about this board, that and the current lack of hectoring assholes with martyr complexes. I don’t tend to do internet “communities”, but I enjoy people who can be silly and thoughtful at the same time. In fact that’s how I live my life pretty much. I just can’t take the self-important, passive aggressive infighting on sites like Feministe and the way it turns threads into an endless spirals of non-communication (if that makes sense). I’m just not going to spend my free time wallowing in unnecessary angst. As a newbie, I say go Team Silly.

@LBT
I clicked on the link to your website on the other tread and just figured out that you are the author the very funny 50 shades MSTie. You had linked to it in an old thread, but I thought you were merely recommending it, not plugging your own work.
There were a lot of laughs, hard to pick my favorite parts, I loved the contract chapter deep hurting and the counters especially. I’ve actually told other people that the main character blushes 50 times in 140 pages, so I hope that number is real.
I know this is off-topic, but this thread got a little heavy, so I thought I’d add some good vibes.

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

@Katz and Shadow, who both asked if I feel there are outstanding issues with MBz and how it is run: no, I don’t. I don’t always agree with absolutely everyone, but I think this is a space where we can have some differences of opinion and still like and respect one another. The only thing that gives me twinges now when I come here is that there are some people who I really miss.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Silly + thoughtful is my favorite thing about this place!

As an explanation for my position on nuking the Secret Room from orbit, which was only partly in jest… I don’t think we can (or should) ever re-open it, unless we delete every contribution from everyone who’s left because they’re not around to approve/disapprove new members and I don’t think it would be right to expose their personal (possibly identifying) information to new people without their permission. And it would be way too subjective to try to tease out what messages of theirs were “personal information” as versus an important historical record people should be able to access, particularly without involving those involved (which seems impractical). So in practice, that means only people who were members of the S.R. at the time of implosion would ever be able to go back and look at the record.

We could archive it and embargo it until some date in the future, which is what archivists sometimes agree to do with personal papers containing sensitive information about people who are still living.

Okay, off to my last day of my conference. I’m flying home today — let’s hope Hazel and Buster forgive my absence! (I am sure there will be cat anger consequences.)

Falconer
6 years ago
Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Falconer – d’awwww, they’re so cute.

pecunium
6 years ago

athywren: I’m sure you already know this, but there’s a fairly common belief among atheists that religious belief does harm others.

Yep, and it’s wrong.

That it provides cover for deeply troubling views and behaviours; such as that Catholic scandal that almost certainly needs no further description.

This is a touchy subject. Not because I am of the opinion the Catholic Church wasn’t wronger than wrong, but because it’s at least a pernicious a problem in other groups too; and one with less support in trying to suppress it than was present in the Catholic cases (in part because the affected groups, be they Penn State, or smaller churches, or other social collections, have a greater sense of shame; so they just fire the offender, and let them move on to some other place), but also because the Catholic Church is (and has been) the subject of several sorts of prejudice, and the historical contexts make it a sort of bogeyman. It’s easier, in some ways, to look at a social problem the Church has, and say, “it’s because of of the Catholic Church”, which makes it easier to pretend it’s a more isolated problem than it is (and it’s possible I poked into the overall issues because I was feeling defensive about my theosity, and the Catholic Church, in much the same way I looked [more] into torture when the previous administration broke my Army)
/end digression

The overall issue is complex. It’s a mix of extremism, social control, the desire for simple answers, etc.

And atheism (nor even generic skepticism, to which I lay claim) is no panacaea (as I am sure you know). Look at the ways in which large subsets of both communities have latched onto EvPsych. People are going to look for “simple” answers, and no matter how nuanced the framework may be, the desire to read things in the most “understandable” of ways (see, “The Pope is Never Wrong, and all Catholics must obey his every command) will be with us longer than the poor.

Would I like to see a world with less religion in the public sphere? Damn skippy. Do I want to see a world without any religion? Not really, because I am a moderately religious person; and brainwashing that out of me seems a bit offensive. As a result, I see brainwashing it out of (or into) anyone, as being more than a bit offensive.

I like to think myself a fairly reasonable person. I think if more people were like me, the world would be a better place. But I don’t think my religiosity, or lack thereof, is fundamental to that.

And now I’m repeating myself, so I’ll stop.

pecunium
6 years ago

Shadow: BTW, does anyone else find the Post Comment button suddenly decides to flip you the bird and go on strike recently?

YES! I thought it was related to a recent update in Adobe, but if it’s happening to you, I’m now thinking this is correlation (I am prone to blaming Adobe for things, because Flash often plays poorly with others, and I’ve had to disable it several times in FF, because it breaks inline video, like youtube).

pecunium
6 years ago

Cloudiah: A. There was no decision to remove Pecunium from the Secret Room permanently. There was no process to make that decision.

I got this, I also got that there was no way to reinstate someone who was removed; effectively (from the correspondence I got from mods on the subject) so long as the person who complained was still complaining, the person removed was excluded.

B. As far as I know, there was never any proposal to have moderation of the blog taken away from David and given to a committee, which I think I saw someone say above, so that seems to have been just a rumor.

That was me, and I was being metaphoric. I was seeing a practical attempt to make several people leave, because other people didn’t like things they said. From experience in several other fora with an active commentariat, the top level moderation is one thing; it defines the absolute limits of discourse, but the day to day interactions of the participants is shaped by what they will accept inside those limits. DSC and Rutee were trying to make that into their image (and I was making a reference to the French Revolution with the French Revolution

My problem with The Secret Room is that there is no such thing as a Safe Space. There are safer spaces, but if one is interacting with other people, something can happen to make you feel less safe. What I think has happened in the past year is that we worked to make this a place where we can talk about things, and understand that 1: intent is not magic but 2: intent is mitigating, and 3: people of good will can have areas other people of good will see as problematic (even wrong) without saying, “you are an evil person”.

That said, there are things which fall completely outside the pale. The ways in which a community defines itself will determine what makes for a “safer space” (we have a very different idea of what makes for one than say, Little Green Footballs, or StormFront, does).

pecunium
6 years ago

re the magazining: I’m pretty much for it. I may be induced to write about politics. I am probably willing to moderate.

I am fond of disemvowelment for some aspects of non-bannable offenses, which still need sanction.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Pecunium — I need to ponder making you a mod, because I’m going to give your opinion extra weight and if there’s one thing to be learned from this thread, it’s the evils of letting personal bias make these decisions (basically, I like you too much 🙂 )

I need to check a couple things, the edit post plugin (which is awesome and I have tested and does seem troll proof) also has mod function available with a button click. Can blacklist on sight, didn’t look into that function too much though, but will.

You are definitely welcome to write, and by all the gods go vote on a menu scheme!

pecunium
6 years ago

I can’t make head nor tails of the chart.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Oh…give me a second and I’ll type up something that hopefully makes sense outside my head!

pecunium
6 years ago

I am also about to head to work, won’t be online again until at least 9, and might not be on long when I am.

Falconer
6 years ago

Thanks, Alice!

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

If you haven’t run off yet, I posted over there, read it and ponder while at work? (Also, your schedule sucks)

kittehserf
6 years ago

Silly and thoughtful for the win!

Argenti, drop me a line, will you? I’ve an idea about the magazine.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Shadow

I was wary of telling queer people how to do queer.

I actually feel like this is sometimes the limit of a lot of ‘privilege’ talk, because it means the privileged don’t actually speak up for what’s right. They just hang back because they’re worried about being wrong. Which really sucks, because then it becomes this pissing contest where some members of a minority will attack others, and the people who aren’t members won’t do anything. (And I think assholes specifically rig it that way, knowing people with the correct “cred” are more likely to be dealing with so much other shit, they don’t have the strength for more.)

RE: katz

it also seems sketchy to me to just delete all the drama, since then it will be a lurking memory that nobody will be able to verify or look up the details for.

How about just close it? No new posts, no new comments. Just make it a dead forum standing in honor of the drama that’s come before.

RE: Kittehs

Does anyone here use demisexual (always makes me think of demitasse) or grey-A?

*raises hand* And boy, you’d be amazed how people FREAK THEIR SHIT over it sometimes.

RE: Alice

Ally for A (which goes back to the “invisible orientation” thing again).

Oh, gag. Fuck that noise; allies’ job is to HELP members of a minority, not freakin’ JOIN.

RE: Brooked

Yes! I am responsible for 50 Shades of Bears. And no, the numbers aren’t made up, I counted them all myself! (I’d say I regret the time I wasted, except I’m so not.)

RE: pecunium

there is no such thing as a Safe Space.

YES. I actually have a huge chip on my shoulder about the very concept… mostly because I got tossed out of an LGBT safe space for being multi. In my experience, safe spaces just mean ‘safe for very certain people.’ I’d rather have the cagefight atmosphere of Manboobz, where at least I don’t EXPECT gentility.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Does anyone here use demisexual (always makes me think of demitasse) or grey-A?

*raises hand* And boy, you’d be amazed how people FREAK THEIR SHIT over it sometimes.

::Groan:: that’d be right.

Say, can one be other shades? I quite fancy dusty-pink-and-sage-A, grey’s really not my colour. Or purple-A, appropriate for king-directed wibblies.

FIFTY SHADES OF A, folks, you read it here first!

kittehserf
6 years ago

PS seconding on the “safe space” only being so for certain groups at best. A space organised specifically for group X is not going to be so for group Y when they’re inherently at odds, even when there’s plenty of overlapping agreement on other issues and individuals are welcoming.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Eh, I think safe spaces can work, but only if they’re safe in regards to something specific, and it isn’t political. Like, the bodies under siege board — topics include eating disorders, self-injury, suicide — the political sub-board can get heated, but post threats of suicide, weights, SI methods, anything like that and it’s editted out and you’re told not to do it again. But the only way that could count as political at its core is because of pro-a a people and they get the boot fast.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Argenti, I just emailed you.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Kittehs

FIFTY SHADES OF A, folks, you read it here first!

There’s actually a comic by that name!

RE: Argenti

Yeah, I can get that. It just isn’t for me. I always feel like I’m the one who’s seen as dangerous, rather than the one the safe space will actually keep safe.

katz
6 years ago

It seems to me that safe spaces can’t work, and this is why:

Argenti’s right that you can create a safe space along a certain dimension, ie, a space where an agreed-upon standard of good behavior about a certain topic is always held. Theoretically, this would be a totally safe space (ie, a space where you could feel totally safe) if that was the only issue that affected you personally.

But people are multidimensional. There’s never just one thing that affects you, and you can’t “turn off” the other aspects when you visit a site. You could never mention the other aspects (eg, me never mentioning being religious), but keeping secrets from people for fear of what they’ll say or do is not a good start to a safe space, and more importantly, you can’t stop other people from bringing those topics up and being hurtful.

And once people have been hurtful to you (intentionally or unintentionally) about one topic, it’s not really possible to feel safe around them about any topic, even if you know, on a factual level, that they will be respectful about it.

kittehserf
6 years ago

::registers complete bafflement::

How the heck are you seen as dangerous??? Is this singlets doing the OMG SYBILL stuff about multis? And online?

kittehserf
6 years ago

::nodding furiously in agreement at everything katz just said::

It’s not only “not safe about other aspects of your life” in the sense of people being hurtful, intentionally or not; it’s that you end up feeling compelled to hide or outright lie about them. That itself undermines any feeling of safety, because it’s the walking-on-eggshells thing, and feeling dishonest – lying by omission at least. It was a huge relief to be able to say what my situation was here, I know that. It’s most of why I’ve given up my brief time on Pharyngula. There’s also the element, thinking about it, of not really trusting a group, when you’re afraid to mention something, and that pretty well kills the idea of it being a safe space in any but the narrowest of ways.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Kittehs

How the heck are you seen as dangerous??? Is this singlets doing the OMG SYBILL stuff about multis? And online?

*sighs, rubs temples* “Are you dangerous?” is probably the most common question we’ve ever been asked on coming out. There is a LOT of pop culture baggage about axe-murderin’ multis… and that we also have Billy Milligan (who is multi) and Kenneth Bianchi (who faked it) associated with us doesn’t help matters. A lot of my behavior and social skills were learned with the express intent of trying to allay singlets’ fears that we would go on a homicide spree. (Never mind that multiples are far more likely to be the VICTIMS of abuse.)

In this case, however, I was invited to a chat room. The person expressly told me everything would be fine, we could be open, but it turned out the head of the chat room had had an unpleasant experience with a multi once. This was generalized to all multis; they felt unsafe having us there, and so we got kicked out without so much as a by your leave.

And that was when I learned not to trust dumbasses when they tell me everything will be fine.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I like the response in your zine — are you dangerous? And whatever the reply was that implied keep asking and you would be, because who wouldn’t?

Guys…we need a name. I’ve had two offers to help cover hosting, and while reading the fine print is giving me a headache, neither gets absurdly expensive. But in order to get this online, we need a domain name, and everything else I can change once we’re up, but not that.

Seeing how people have expressed a preference that we not go manboobz spinoff, Manboobz: The Magazining is probably not a good idea. Magazining.com is amazingly not a registered domain, so we could do that?

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

*themagazining.com

Magazining.com belongs to one of those ass companies that buys up domains so you have to pay them if you want the domain. And fuck them with legos.

kittehserf
6 years ago

fuckthemwithlegos.com 😉

themagazining.com sounds fine to me!

kittehserf
6 years ago

Actually so many of our running jokes could be domain names …

ferretsincatsuitsinadavidsuit.com

penguinsinspanx.com

hardchairsaremisandry.com

(I’m leaving out the sweary ones cos I suspect they’d be rejected!)

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Isn’t that kind of vague, though? ‘The Magazining’ could just as easily be a mag about bad horror movie sequels.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

…says the guy who doesn’t actually have any better suggestions. <.< What would be sorta the core theme that we'd be doing with this magazine? What do we want to portray with the name? Humor, feminism, intersectionality? What's the main focus? Why are we making this in the first place?

kittehserf
6 years ago

Sorry to ask about the “are you dangerous” wharblegarble again, LBT – incredulity hit “post” before “you already know this crap multis get” said “no need”. 🙁

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

themagazining.com might actually end up being an excellent thing. Yes, it’s vague, but that allows clarification in the sub..bit… where did that word go? TBA.themagazining.com – the bold bit.
sub?
super?
sod it… my language spleen has borken

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

subdomain

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

Defrosting Peaches? As a name for it… I’m not just making random noises at the internet.

kittehserf
6 years ago

“I’m not just making random noises at the internet.”

Which would be kinda cool for a name …

Kevin
Kevin
6 years ago

Reading some of the earlier comments now. I’m disagreeing with this idea that the MHRAs at the rally are unimpressive or not respectable.

Dean was shaking- looked like nerves to me- but his delivery was pretty good. Elam projected a strong air of confidence. Good presentation, all told. And the protesters were idiots.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Oh yeah, spouting misogyny is soooo respectable. Run along now, child.

Kevin
Kevin
6 years ago

There was no misogyny in that video. Nothing less than the MHRM taking its first tentative steps into the real world.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Misogyny is all they’re about. Are you incredibly stupid or just a lying dipshit? You’re talking Paul “fucking their shit up gives me an erection” Elam and Nick Wossname with his “how can I get an erection if she’s not screaming NO?”

You might like to ask Mr Elam how much help he’s given to men with the tens (or hundred, I’ve read) thousands of dollars he gets a year from his scam site.

Kevin
Kevin
6 years ago

If this “misogyny” charge is in reference to Paul’s satire- he does that to get people to pay attention. It’s a necessary New Media tactic. And now AVfM will be featured on 20/20. Who won, again?

kittehserf
6 years ago

Oh, you’re trying the satire defence? If Pauly’s such a satire wizz, want to explain how he totally fucked up on the Syrup Trap article?

He’s done not one thing to help anyone except his own bank account. He doesn’t even get satire, which is about punching up, not punching down – and whatever your lot say, men as a class are the power group, and women are not.

Also, do you really think saying a man should smash a woman’s face on the wall and then make her clean the blood is in any way funny, or clever, or satirical? Do you really think Elam was joking when he said that?

You might want to check the definition of winning, too. Being pointed and laughed at, or being shown up for what a horrible failure of a human being you are, is not winning.

Troll, troll, troll, nothin’ but a troll.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago
toujoursgai
6 years ago

Pack it up, everyone. Paul Elam is going to be on 20/20. He’s won. Feminism is over.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Argenti: I would love to wield a banhammer, but like Cassandra, I have a low stupid tolerance and I don’t know if I could be as patient as needed. More than happy to talk beauty though!

I’m late to the discussion, but I’m glad the secret room is gone. It usually felt like trying to tiptoe around a minefield in the dark.

Viscaria: I’m glad you came back.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Kevin

If this “misogyny” charge is in reference to Paul’s satire- he does that to get people to pay attention.

You realize that screaming “POOPIE” doesn’t actually work as a long-term business strategy, right? It’s also not satire.

But please. You seem invested in this. Kindly explain to me how it is satire. Be thorough, I’ll read it.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Paul Elam is going to be on 20/20.

Sometime. Eventually. Maybe.

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