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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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hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Kevin: still trying the satire defense after Elam gave himself a shit hemorrhage over a fake article?

And when IS 20/20 ever going to air his segment?

Ally S
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?

That Elam is so desperate for attention that he is willing to attack women through misogynistic jokes is telling.

Also, you’re asking who won? I wasn’t aware of any competition.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Guys! FeministBorg.com is not taken! I’m just going to ignore Kevin for now and ask if anyone else likes this one as much as I do.

toujoursgai
6 years ago

I like it.

Ally S
6 years ago

I like it!

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

*adds hellkell to the list of people willing to write for the humorous side of things*

Cassandra — did you want to be put as editor or something?

And regarding banning…we need a clear policy, and to stick to it, questionable ones go to committee? Or some three strikes and you’re out? We need the banhammer not to be able to cause what happened with the secret room.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

I like it. The tagline could be “Assimilate or be mocked.”

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

I like three strikes. It’s clear.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Three strikes except for…

I’m not comfortable allowing ANYTHING to be three strikes. Like, threats for example.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

OK, how about threats, slurs, and JAQing off is an auto-ban?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

I’m in favor of never letting that shit see the light of day. Yes, trolls, I’m in your frozen peaches, takin’ it away.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Ok, my hosting choice allows me to leave the domain blank for now, and my mother just said to do it since she has no clue what to get me for Christmas, and then Criminal Minds in 10 min.

Signing up now, assuming no protests of Feminist Borg by the time I get back, we’ll do that?

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Slurs go in mod queue automatically, though we’ll need a list for that. Threats my only concern is the trolls who make a reasonable first comment to get through the mod filter and then do it, but yeah, never see the light of day or ban and edit on spotting it (or delete as war rented by content and replies?)…JAQing off I’ve never understood the definition of.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

I didn’t give it much thought before but now that the articles and rebuttals to the articles and so on have been printed I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the 20/20 interview. My teevee has been unplugged since 2008 but I think I just might plug it back in for that.

FeministBorg is an excellent name!

kittehserf
6 years ago

JAQing off – the “just asking questions” wankers.

Count me in for “never let it see the light of day”.

D’ya wanna proofreader? I’m not an editor but I can proofread. You should see the whiteout on my books. 😛

kittehserf
6 years ago

Adding to the Feminist Borg vote.

… does that mean we get to use a pic of a Borg Kitteh for the Furrinati section?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

You know when the trolls are “just asking questions” over and over, and rehashing some seriously 101 stuff? That’s JAQing off.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Three strikes for that? Since we do sometimes get ones who get sent to feminism101 and stfu?

Kitteh — adding you to my list!

Alice, hellkell, I need your emails. I think I have everyone else’s.

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

Feminist Borg sounds good to me.
I have issues with making JAQing off a bannable offence… I mean, sometimes people are clearly just wasting people’s time with pointless questions they don’t care to have answers for, but there are people out there who honestly don’t get it. We could go for a kind of good faith thing, but that gets fuzzy around the border of subtle JAQers and really obtuse innocents. I dunno… maybe create a J/FAQ to link them to for such questions and hammer them if they refuse to pay any attention to it?

kittehserf
6 years ago

If we have a blogroll, we could have the 101 sites listed, and if someone persists in JAQing off after they’ve been referred, they could get the boot. Would that work?

kittehserf
6 years ago

“Do I get a prize for being ninjaed so often this week?” she asked, plaintively.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Commercial break and we have hosting! I’ll get WP and the domain name set up in an hour, assuming no complaints about Feminist Borg (and I like hellkell’s subtitle, but that can be changed if needed)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“If we have a blogroll, we could have the 101 sites listed, and if someone persists in JAQing off after they’ve been referred, they could get the boot. Would that work?”

Like it!

And my cute genius is back on 🙂

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

I like the 101 section idea.

Argenti: just add gmail.com to my nym.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Argenti – It’s your name @ gmail, no periods, right? Just making sure before I email you.

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

@Kitteh
Nerny nerny nerr nerrrrr
*waggles fingers in ears* xP

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Alice — yep!

Hellkell — k.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Shadow, neuroticbeagle, sorry, I forgot you guys! Email me?

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Argenti – Sent the email. Hopefully I spelled the last part right.

kittehserf
6 years ago

@Kitteh
Nerny nerny nerr nerrrrr
*waggles fingers in ears* xP

*sniff
*sniff
*cries

toujoursgai
6 years ago

Is this the thread to talk about article ideas, or should I take that over to the forum? Or just email you, Argenti?

toujoursgai
6 years ago

Never mind. I don’t even know who I’m asking. WHO’S IN CHARGE OF THIS THREAD?

I’ll just wait for approval and then post on the forum. Sorry.

kittehserf
6 years ago

This thread belongs to the Feminist Borg

IT HAS BEEN ASSIMILATED

toujoursgai
6 years ago

Ha!

In light of the earlier discussion, I’m just glad that this comment section is apparently nicer than it used to be. I feel like an over-excited puppy that keeps piddling on this thread. Sorry!

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

I’s a sorry, Kitteh.
Have some apolokitties.

I’m gonna go watch a film now, then I’m off to bed, so good night er’body.

kittehserf
6 years ago

*stops crying, melts in puddle of squee*

(not to be confused with puddle of PEE, kthnx)

Niters! 🙂

toujoursgai
6 years ago

Night!

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

G’night kitteh!

toujoursgai — might as well email me as I’ll need your addy to create a WP user for you

kittehserf
6 years ago

No no, it’s Athywren who’s off to bed, it’s only 2pm here and they frown on me sleeping at work (bastards).

pecunium
6 years ago

re moderation: I have strong views on this, (and references, if any are needed).

We need general policies, not hard and fast rules.

Rules = rules lawyers.

General policies lead to accepted codes of conduct.

As I said, I am fond of disemvowelling; it makes it hard for a legitimate charge of, “censorship/you can’t take dissent” to stick, and makes it plain what’s not acceptable.

I am fond of how Scalzi wields the mallet of loving correction.

I also figure tedium can be thread specific, and repeated cases lead to moderation/banning.

I figure that everyone is a moderator (this happens here, which is why Dave can be as, apparently, hands off as he is).

kittehserf
6 years ago

All of us as mods works, definitely, if we’ve general policies – and it avoids having just a few people stuck with the job.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Regarding the feminist borg zine… I’m obviously a writer, but I’m not sure what I could do. (Obviously, if I’m doing a writeathon like now, that takes precedence.) “Feminist fiction” just sounds like some awful mediocre moralizing crap. I wouldn’t mind doing a “women in history” thing, even though it’s not my strong suit. I’m sure I could learn. Anyone have thoughts on how I could use my already extant skills for this?

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Kitteh — if you’re up for it, I definitely want you having mod powers, since you’re on the other side of the globe and we can cover 24 hours a day that way 🙂

I’m going to settle back in in front of my mac, and then I’ll get everyone added (I need emails for this, shadow, neuroticbeagle, I don’t have yours!) and we can work out mod policy once we can talk without it being all over the thread?

Outside slurs never getting out of mod except if quoting someone // other accident, and threats being auto-gone, I’m kinda with pecunium on this, but anything questionable should go to committee since 1) privilege blindness and 2) that whole bias thing that caused the exodus

The rules lawyer thing bugs me. On one hand I do want straight, clear, unquestionable Rules, on the other…I’ve role played with rules lawyers and they WILL find a loophole.

pecunium
6 years ago

all as mods is a social thing (it’s the way we call out ableist, language, etc.).

We need a coterie of mods, and some sense of how to apply the principles; and a unified face in public (and mods need to have someone they can talk to, whom they can bounce things off of, who aren’t members of the moderation staff; but also need to keep those conversations non-specific enough to avoid giving away confidential things. I act as this for a friend who is a moderator on a very busy board).

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Women in history works by me! Also, promotion, you be good at it.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Argenti – At least some sort of informal policy? On the other online community that I was a part of (until it went to shit), part of the reason why it’s breaking down is because the moderators there do not adhere to a set policy, which means that rulings contradict one another.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

See, pecunium, that’s why idk about making you a mod. Cuz you’re the only one I know who’s around on a regular enough basis to serve as that for me, besides my mother, but she’s not exactly liberal.

pecunium
6 years ago

I don’t favor committee. I think mods can (and should) act unilaterally (this is part of why mods need outside confidantes).

Banning (for other than things like overt threats) might want a second opinion, but post deletion/disemvowellment, etc. ought to be something a mod does as they see fit.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Oh, yeah, certainly something written, I hate unspoken rules. And anything iffy I do want to go to committee to help eliminate personal bias // privilege blindness // etc.

pecunium
6 years ago

And at that point, you have a quorum (it’s not that one can only do that with an outside confidante, but a confidante means one doesn’t have to wait until another mod is available).