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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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pecunium
6 years ago

ok. must/want to be familialy social. back in a bit, or in the a.m.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Argenti – Can we have a set time period if something DOES go to committee? Said other online community also had a committee thing for appeals and stuff, but their process takes forever. One of my friends is still waiting for a ruling on a thread that was locked over three weeks ago. And I want efficient moderation.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Then idk if *I* should have a banhammer, cuz I’m also less than inclined to take shit.

I think you can send comments to mod queue after they post, maybe do that on sight and then see if there’s a consensus that they are actually acceptable?

Ah…you know…it’s kinda the other side I’m worried about — pandering to “this behavior is okay because ze was here in the beginning”.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Alice — 24~48 hours, long side on holidays and weekends?

Pecunium — k, I’ll let you know if anything truly important comes up, but I doubt I’ll bug you 🙂

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

I feel pretty useless on the mod discussion, because I really don’t know much about how to get a lot of people working together. I DO know that I do NOT want to be a mod. It’s just not a position I’d be good at. I WOULD be willing to act as some sort of advice-giver or something; I really feel like I make a better Spock than a Kirk, you know what I’m saying?

Also yeah, I’d be totally down with making a short “Awesome Women of History” thing. (Not necessarily feminists, but just women who did some really cool shit in history and get forgotten a lot. People know Cleopatra as History’s Slut rather than an actual RULER.)

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Ooh, maybe with a doodly portrait of them! 😀

kittehserf
6 years ago

I don’t think “not inclined to take shit” is a reason against having a banhammer – if anything it’s a reason for it. I’m up for modding, and definitely want a way to get general quick feedback, because privilege blindness etc.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Portraits by LBT! OOoooooh …

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I like it! And I don’t think you have to cover feminists for writing about women to be feminist. Particularly if you write about underknown or misportrayed women.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Ok, I need to register the doman to install WP on it, so for right now I’m going to get the theme done and leave the question of naming open.

Protests against calling it Feminist Borg have at least a couple of hours. (I’m pulling an all nighter to reset my sleep schedule, so I hope to have the theme usable by morning)

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Argenti – That works. Also, I likes Feminist Borg. *nod*

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

I like Feminist Borg WAY better than ‘the magazining.’ At least Feminist Borg tells you that there’s geeky cyborg feminism involved. Though I feel like we’re trying to show the varieties of folks here, not ‘assimilation.’ Feminist Cyborg?

(Yes, I know I’m nitpicking. I’m just trying to avoid Lamentable Name Syndrome, like with the webcomic Dar.)

Ally S
6 years ago

Seconding pecunium on disemvoweling. Not only is it good for the reasons he stated, but it’s also satisfying in a way. There was recently a troll on Feministe who faced a lot of disemvoweling from the mods, and I thought it was fun to watch.

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

@Argenti

I emailed you. You will know it’s me by the subject heading: This is neuroticbeagle.

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

Re: moderating

Guidelines + a keyword/community policing + three strike method should be enough to keep things honest, and I’m sure that things will evolve as the magazine/commentariat does. Like Argenti, I’m worried about privilege blinders (especially on my part), so I do like the idea of banhammers being community decided. Maybe mods can put the commenter on moderation and then we can make a community based decision on whether it should evolve into a banhammer?

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Hey Ally, how are you at regular expressions? ^.^

I think I can handle adding a button to posts (that only logged in mods can see) that’d run JS on command. But I loathe regular expressions.

LBT — my first though on Feminist Cyborg is VV’s trans* sister who refers to herself as something very similar to that. (VV is one of EA’s Bloody Crumpets). So idk, and, personally, I like the assimilation implication. It fits well with it being mostly serious, but with a side of snark.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Wow, I can read >.<

Sorry neuroticbeagle, I was cursing my stupidity when I got your email.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“Maybe mods can put the commenter on moderation and then we can make a community based decision on whether it should evolve into a banhammer?”

Back end wise those are the same, the difference being that mod’ed users can have comments released by mods, banhammer means you’re not getting through, period. Like, Owly was blacklisted back when he was on mod, and David let his comment through after reading them, and then stopped letting them through when he was (finally) given the banhammer.

So yeah, that works, hit the blacklist button on sight, add a note on the dashboard asking for review of it (that needs a plugin, adding that to my expanding todo list!)

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

Pre-sleep thought – since it’s a community posting thing, should we have a post-post, pre-publication moderation period for articles?
It might only make sense to me because I’m 30 seconds from bed, but I’m sure I have hidden prejudices banging around in my mind, and I don’t want to end up posting the equivalent of a TERF rant just because I have no external filter and don’t realise I’m being shitty…
I’m already kind of doubting it, but… I dunno, it’s not like you can put articles up for moderation after they’re out there, is it? Might be bad for efficiency though. It’s either a brilliant idea akin to peer review, or it’s a hobble… can’t tell which right now. Or I guess it might just be mundane nonsense.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Athywren – I’m presuming that we can all kind-of see each other’s drafts? I don’t know 100%, but I keep thinking that it might help.

Also, I presume we’re getting editors for this kind of thing?

Argenti, am I right or wrong on this?

serrana
serrana
6 years ago

I’ve been a mod on another site that could be contentious sometimes and I was pretty good at it – I’ll volunteer for that if you still need people. And I like The Feminist Borg. Also, I have a couple if ideas for acquiring content. I’ll email you, Argenti.

Athywren
Athywren
6 years ago

Ah, I’ve invented having an editor then? Excellent. Truly, I am an intellectual giant. 😛
But yeah, I think it would help to be able to lean over and say, “hey, I know [unnamed fundamentalist pastor #6] has annoyed you, but ‘god-botherer’? Really? Maybe not that, eh?”
Anyways, good night, peeps.

Ally S
6 years ago

Hey Ally, how are you at regular expressions? ^.^

I think I can handle adding a button to posts (that only logged in mods can see) that’d run JS on command. But I loathe regular expressions.

Eh, I’m not very good at regexps unfortunately. X_X My experience with JS isn’t as extensive as I’d like.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Hey, I’m back in LA, and the cats are happy to see me. My cats greet me like dogs when I go away for a few days. Weirdos.

I like Feminist Borg. I will try to think of things I could write. You can also count me as your personal librarian, so if anyone needs research help. (Actually, I think we have a crack team of librarians here! Librarian Borg should be our next blog.)

cloudiah
6 years ago

p.s. The final speaker at my conference talked about privilege and referenced bell hooks. Paul Elam would have shit his pants.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Librarian Borg! XD

“Athywren – I’m presuming that we can all kind-of see each other’s drafts? I don’t know 100%, but I keep thinking that it might help.

Also, I presume we’re getting editors for this kind of thing?

Argenti, am I right or wrong on this?”

Not only are you right, but there’s a WP role that specifically does not let you post without mod approval (it’s recommended for guest posters) — I highly doubt it allows banning though, so Athywren, you may be stuck using the honor system to hit draft and leave a note that you want somebody to review it before posting it.

As for editors, I know kitteh has offered to proofread.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Ally, no worries, neither is mine 🙂

kittehserf
6 years ago

Speaking of comments, can we allow a preview pane for them? Not an edit, for the same reasons as here, but we’ve all lamented about WHY, WHY THE TYPOS? 😉

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

kittehs – And BLOCKQUOTE MONSTERS. *nod*

CassandraSays
6 years ago

On banhammering – I think we’re going to need a temporarily banhammered status that can be revoked by the community later if appropriate, just to deal with situations where we have a Tom Martin type being really abusive and upsetting lots of people and it needs to be stopped immediately.

In terms of dealing with people who’re JAQing off, what about how we eventually dealt with Brandon? If someone refuses to talk about anything but X, and they’re boring/annoying everyone else, then set them a challenge in which they have to post an entire comment/a day’s worth of comments without referring to X at all in order to be allowed to comment in real time again.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Oh gods yes, FIGHT THE BLOCKQUOTE MONSTER!

cloudiah
6 years ago

I don’t like Reddit’s up/down-votes, but one thing I kind of like is that if a person is getting a lot of downvotes on a subreddit they can be automatically restricted to posting every 10 minutes. I wonder if it would be possible to “crowdsource” some of the the moderation by tweaking that kind of feature? Like, if ## people “report” a commenter on one thread they go into auto-mod, which is then subject to human review.

That may be stupid. I am sleep-deprived and hyped up from travel.

LOVE the idea of a preview button.

kittehserf
6 years ago

The only drawback of that would be if some idiot trolls tried downvoting non-trolls.

Then again, if one saw a heap of trollvotes like that, it’d be a quick road to the banhammer.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Maybe it’d be more like the “flag this comment as in appropriate” feature rather than up or down votes? I don’t like that system too much either.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Inappropriate. Speaking of preview panes …

katz
6 years ago

People know Cleopatra as History’s Slut rather than an actual RULER.

I know her as a ruler because I had a ruler with a list of great women rulers and she was on it.

Maybe you could write about safe spaces, inclusion and exclusion, and policing. You had interesting thoughts about those.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I’ll look into a “flag this comment” plugin. As far as preview pane, or edit! I found an edit plugin! Can be set to only allow edits for as little as 1 min, and not allow it at all if the comment has replies. So typo fixing and no gaslighting!

Also, it allows those able to blacklist someone to do it straight from their comment. *tests this*

Oh holy fuck that is awesome. By blacklist, it means motherfucking BLACKLIST, you don’t even get the “awaiting moderation” line, you just disappear into the æther known as marked as spam.

It does appear to take all your previous comments with it though, which is a bit sketchy, I need to poke it more.

“In terms of dealing with people who’re JAQing off, what about how we eventually dealt with Brandon? If someone refuses to talk about anything but X, and they’re boring/annoying everyone else, then set them a challenge in which they have to post an entire comment/a day’s worth of comments without referring to X at all in order to be allowed to comment in real time again.”

I like it

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Ok, no, I’m just a putz, assuming you don’t go all click happy, it just sends that comment to spam and any after it. Which is perfect.

Oh, and you can do it by name, email, or IP. Mr. Al can take his repeat uses of the same IP and go pet a cactus.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Oh, right, the reason I’m on break in the first place >.<

I can't pick which to use to signify comments made by mods — http://genericons.com/#tag

(And yes, I am using the cat like one, and am leaning towards using it for this too)

Viscaria
Viscaria
6 years ago

@Cloudiah, it’s cute that your kitties missed you so! Our dog-cats are the same when we go away, thise adorable weirdos. Here’s hoping the cat anger consequences you face are minimal.

@Argenti and everyone, I am very excited to see what you all come up with for this magazine.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: katz

Maybe you could write about safe spaces, inclusion and exclusion, and policing. You had interesting thoughts about those.

Hmm. I suppose I could… but since I’m not a woman, I’d mostly be talking about LGBT safe spaces. I’m not sure if that’d be quite in keeping with the zine, but if other folks are into it, I could give it a shot, sure!

And poor Cleopatra. All she wanted was to keep her empire out of Rome’s hands, but she was kinda screwed from the start.

RE: Argenti

Sorry, I’m useless for this too. I ended up shutting down comments on my webcomic due to spam problems, and LJ has a bad habit of hiding all ‘suspicious’ comments, even from me. (Which actually worked to creeper’s favor — the site HID his first creepy message to me, where he sent me an article about creepy sex scenes and rape!)

chibigodzilla
6 years ago

@Argenti – I can probably help out with regex, what do you need?

pecunium
6 years ago

And now AVfM will be featured on 20/20. Who won, again?

Talk to me after the segment airs.

kittehserf
6 years ago

::flaps hands excitedly::

The kitty one for moderators!

kittehserf
6 years ago

(Or if commenters have their own icons like other sites, could the text be in a different colour? Feministe manages it that way, I think, and PZ’s comments are coloured on Pharyngula.)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Chibigodzilla — ID and remove vowels ^.^

(If you want to right a JS button to do it on command, I’ll happily give you the CSS class to target the comment the JS is in)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Kitteh — the problem there is that the blue is either too light or too close to black when the font is this small. Which leaves the greyscale and really the only thing I could do would be to make the background darker? Idk, let me look into it. I’ve been fighting with setting the tag cloud to be limited to the serious stuff for, oh, about 14 hours.

chibigodzilla
6 years ago

@Argenti – Sure if you want to send it to this nym @gmail I can work on it. The regex part is pretty simple as long as you don’t want to keep tags intact

kittehserf
6 years ago

Nah, forget about the colour text idea, then. Darkening the background would make it harder to read.

Maybe we need an avatar of a kitty with a hammer!

cloudiah
6 years ago

Maybe we need an avatar of a kitty with a hammer!

Yes, we do.