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A Voice for Men boldly opposes respect for women

Hardly a controversial message, you wouldn't think.
Hardly a controversial message, you wouldn’t think.

If you live in New York state, you may have seen the poster above plastered on a bus shelter; or you may have seen it posted somewhere on the internet. The message is pretty simple, and it’s sad that it has to be said: kids are pretty impressionable, so teach your sons to treat women with basic respect.

The purpose of the ad campaign, sponsored by the New York state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, is pretty clear as well: teaching boys respect for women lessens the chances that they will abuse women as adults.

Numerous studies have found that men with sexist attitudes towards women are more likely to try to control their wives or girlfriends with physical abuse. Indeed, one recent study even found that brief exposure to sexist jokes made men more inclined to brush off violence against women, at least amongst men with sexist attitudes to begin with.

Speaking of which, the sexist jokes over at A Voice for Men have unveiled a hilarious new “meme,” which just happens to be inspired by the “awaiting instructions” PSAs we’ve been discussing. And here it is:

From A Voice for Men. I've blurrred the women's faces.
From A Voice for Men. I’ve blurrred the women’s faces.

The logic here is airtight: because some women get drunk and urinate in public, women don’t deserve respect.

I guess men never get drunk and urinate in public, or ever do anything vaguely embarrassing that gets caught on camera?

Is it really asking too much to respect people as people, foibles and all?

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marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

Well, that makes perfect sense. If A woman drinks and publicly pees, women aren’t entitled to common decency!

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
7 years ago

Misandry is okay because Paul Elam. Checkmate, dudebros.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Of course men can’t respect women! Because everything’s a zero-sum game, and respecting women at all, ever, means men aren’t getting the blowjobs free housekeeping obedience from fear of violence respect that’s their right.

Charlotte
Charlotte
7 years ago

Really, because that’s not at all the message I’m getting from the poster. The message I’m getting from this poster is that we should respect people for what’s between their ears, not what’s what’s between their legs. That’s literally all it’s saying. Nowhere on the poster does it say that women do not deserve respect, nor does it say that men don’t do stupid things that warrant not being respected.

BTW: Am I the only one who finds it a little weird how the kid on the poster has a shirt on that says “Awaiting Instructions” like he’s some sort of mindless drone or a robot of some kind?

CassandraSays
7 years ago

At Elam’s age if he knows many/any women who do stuff like that he’s a creeper, because how many women in his age range go out, get wasted, and end up peeing in alleyways with their mates? Maybe if he wasn’t so fixated on college girls that would help (both him and the girls who would no longer have to deal with his creepy obsession with their behavior).

Lili Fugit
Lili Fugit
7 years ago

If getting drunk and peeing in public is the great barrier to attaining basic respect, maybe we DO need a men’s rights movement after all.

shayla
shayla
7 years ago

It’s a common theme I’ve noticed in the manosphere & other similar places, a call for respect for women (or a race or a sexual orientation) is usually met with “people have to EARN respect! Nobody deserves my respect!” and it always baffles me. Are we working off different definitions of the word or do they seriously believe human beings aren’t worthy of basic respect unless they’ve proven some kind of specialness by jumping through whatever behavioral hoop the observer demands? I seriously do not get this.

rjjspesh
rjjspesh
7 years ago

So… drunk means it’s OK to disrespect women? Hmmm…. where have I heard that before?

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

I appreciate what the campaign is trying to do, but it is a copy writing fail. The word respect is too ambiguous, and their target audience are the ones most likely to interpret it exactly the wrong way.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
7 years ago

@Charlotte
“Respect Women” in the context of the original poster simply means “women are not any less worthy of respect just because they’re women.” That is to say, don’t tell your kids “how many women does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” jokes, etc.

AVFHM misses the point completely; they interpret the poster to be saying something like “respect all women regardless of their behavior,” which is of course absurd. Like they do pretty much all the time, they’re attacking a strawhumanman.

Kids absorb a lot of stuff from their parents and other adults. You knew that, right?

rjjspesh
rjjspesh
7 years ago

Charlotte: “Nowhere on the poster does it say that women do not deserve respect”

No, it doesn’t say it. It implies it

And you’re right, CassandraSays, he is always fixated on young women. Like their behaviour represents all of women. What is up with that? Maybe he doesn’t acknowledge women over 25 exist (fucking sweet).

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
7 years ago

Ninja’d by David.
Good of you to blur out the faces.

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

I think “treat women as people” is better copy than “respect women”. It’s not ambiguous and has a more similar structure to the other sayings.

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

What Paul Elam is suggesting is total bullshit, men who disrespect women don’t do it because women aren’t deserving of respect, it’s because they are taught they shouldn’t or don’t have to respect them, period. Women are homo sapiens like men, so yeah we do dumb and/or disgusting things sometimes, although I have no idea how peeing in public is akin to deserving to be disrespected. I have peed in alleyways along with the guys I was with, yeah it’s not “polite” behaviour but goddamnit if you leave the bar at close and have an hour trip home with no washrooms in sight WTF are you going to do? I’d rather not piss myself, thank you very much. Somehow men peeing in public is not at all regarded as evil behaviour, it’s just something they do.

Charlotte it is cute you are trying to make this poster seem less vile than it really is. But come on, that is not what this poster is doing. Also, telling people to have respect simply means basic human compassion and understanding. So, you can still find a person’s behaviour unpleasant but realize they deserve your respect because they are human beings. Respect doesn’t mean you have to worship them or treat them like royalty, it just means accept that people are flawed and don’t deserve to be abused. Perhaps if we used different terminology that simple message might be more clear to the dopes over at AVFM.

Robert Ramirez
7 years ago

So does this mean we can now have a pass to disrespect all men because some drunken college boys have a tendency to puke all over themselves and roll in their own shit and piss?

I have seen this..hell…I’ve done it in college.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Charlotte, imagine the screams from AVfM if someone suggested that men as a class shouldn’t get basic respect because some men get drunk and piss in the street. Doesn’t it strike you that Elam’s making treating women with respect – ie. basic decency – contingent on behaving in a way he approves of, while not ever suggesting the same for men?

There’s also the little point that women as a class get nothing like the automatic respect men do, even before you get to the matter of violence against us. Surely you’re aware of that?

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

@ Robert LOL yeah if we projected the behaviour of frat boys onto the entire male population it wouldn’t be pretty. I think some of the stuff that young people do is a bit troubling, mostly because of personal safety and what not, but it’s not as bad as AVFM likes to make it out to be, nor does it reflect the entire population.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
7 years ago

@Kim
Yeah, but there’s that Aretha Franklin song. Emotional resonance is generally preferred to clarity in advertising. “Respect” is vague, but feels better.

This is one of the reasons that all marketing people will be forced into reeducation camps once the revolution comes.

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

@ Kim I agree, I think respect gets confused with “treat them better than everyone else” (even though that’s not what it means)

vaiyt
7 years ago

This one man misbehaves. Women misbehave.
This one man can’t drive. Women can’t drive.
This one man can’t do math. Women can’t do math.
This one man doesn’t deserve respect. Women don’t deserve respect.
And so on and so forth.

Robert Ramirez
7 years ago

@Charlotte On my planet it is customary to give our children instructions because our children tend to be naive and inexperience in the ways of world and they tend to need guidance, whereas if they are denied instruction and guidance they tend to err and at times get into deep shit.

How is it on your planet?

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

I also can’t fathom how they don’t realize just how asinine posters like this make their “movement” look like to the wider public.

xfire
xfire
7 years ago

I’ve been in worse states than that but I applause them for there efforts what can I say drunks got to stick together.

I suspect its a lack of life experience that causes the members of AVFM to pass judgement so swiftly on those young women.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Shorter Elam: any behaviour I don’t like, from any woman anywhere, justifies abusing all women everywhere.

Actually the whole MRM could be summed up that way, not least since anything we do is wrong as far as they’re concerned.

baileyrenee
baileyrenee
7 years ago

Men pee outside all the freakin’ time, Paul.

Also ninja’d by David, and Zoon. Kim sadly has a decent point though, although I think this poster is more directed at parents with young children. Parents who already want their children to treat women with the same repect they do men, but just assume they will grow up doing that on their own (which may not happen). I don’t know if targeting this towards well meaning but ignorant people is much better than targeting already sexist people though, since they may just brush it off since, of course, their children already know better!

So yea I don’t know. Advertisting like this is tricky. AVFM is still awful, and they’ll be attracting some really shit people with this little ad of theirs, but hopefully some very shit press as well.

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

What happens if the mom pees standing up ???????????

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Oh, Charlotte, stop being a drive-by cheerleader for the MRM. You do know they hate you too, don’t you?

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

Yeah, but there’s that Aretha Franklin song. Emotional resonance is generally preferred to clarity in advertising. “Respect” is vague, but feels better.

But you can bet these guys hear her asking for respect and just see her as being “uppity”.

There are also way too many movies that show respect as something you get by being bigger and stronger or more popular or richer. And going by what they have said in the past, MRAs do seem to base their ideas of women and gender on movie and sitcom tropes.

aimai
aimai
7 years ago

I think the ad is complicated–its not aimed at teenage boys at all, not directly. I think its aimed at their parents, and especially at their fathers. The list of things that are imaged next to the boy are lists of things parents are thought to tell their kids routinely and the poster is implicitly asking them to add “respect women” to this list. I think its a terrible ad because you have to stop and figure it out. Also the kid pictured is old enough to have more agency than, say, a toddler so you at first think the ad is directed to him as a reader. Since “eat your vegetables” is insulting to him as a proto adult “respect women” also seems kind of “off.”

The picture should be of a grown man holding a baby boy and it should say something like “What kind of man do I want my son to be when he grows up? Healthy, Strong, Generous, Wise. I teach him to respect the people around him–especially his mother and sisters…” or something. “

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

Awaiting instructions.

Does my dad respect my mother ?

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Elam snarling “don’t tell ME who to respect” really makes the MRM look like a bunch of reasoned, well-balanced individuals.

ignotussomnium
7 years ago

So basically, “YOU [feminists] don’t tell us to respect women. WE [men] decide who’s worthy of respect. And that means not women because some of them are gross.”

I refuse to believe that every woman the poster-maker meets is a Jersey Shore character. Seriously, what.

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

A brief foray into the comment section on AVfM found this little gem:

“When I was young, the females in the family always liked to play “delayed instruction”. For instance, when it’s getting cold, and they saw me picking up a sweater, they’d say to me, “it’s getting cold, put on a sweater”. In that way they could always say, “he’s so dumb that he needs me to tell him to put on a sweater when it’s cold”.

DUDE that’s not women treating you like an idiot, that’s just people in general. My mom does this shit to me ALL THE TIME! Yeah, it’s annoying, but it’s just something people do sometimes. My mom will tell me hours before I have to be somewhere to make sure I am ready to go and triple check I have everything. It’s not because she thinks I’m an idiot, parents just over-worry sometimes and some of them have a bit of a control obsession.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I’m waiting for the day Pauly decides he can’t respect men any more, after some drunk dude comes and pisses or pukes on his lawn.

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

I’ll tell you one thing ..I would have to know a lot more about those individual women in that photo before I would say i had no respect for them just because looks like they got a little (or a lot )silly and squatted and peed in a fireplace!

My mother has done a lot weirder stuff than that and my respect for her is vastly beyond her cooky moments like that.

Its really sad that a moment like that would erase all earned respect .

aimai
aimai
7 years ago

In re Charlotte’s point the Voice For Men ad rather explicitly tells the viewer that men (specifically the “us” there) should choose how to treat each woman as potential instances of disgust rather than respecting them as human beings–respect (they say) has to be earned. But that’s not really correct. Respect for other human beings–respect for their boundaries (which is what is being discussed here) and for their right not to be beaten does not have to be earned. It is a given of their human state. For instance even if you knew that a woman had urinated in public you would still not be entitled to rape or strike her.

In addition graphically the Elam ad draws attention to the women not for “what they have between their ears” (what a marvellously inapt reading of the ad!) but for what they have between their legs and what they do with it. Ohmygod some women sometime peed outside of a toilet! Off with their heads! The ad only makes sense because it links horror with women for having vaginas in public with an assertion of a privilige for the viewer to judge and then to act with disrespect for all women.

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…..oops ! cuse me I pee peed in a bush!!! tee hee ! giggles!

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

PHHHHHTT>>>> scuse me I farted ..((((GRIN))))

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

@ David That must be where the rest of the money AVfM raises goes to! Paying detectives to dig up dirt on the horrible human rights abusers of our time!

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

>The picture should be of a grown man holding a baby boy

Yes . Main reason .Dad you are just as much an example as mom. Reality is if dad doesn’t HATE women son wont. Mom peeing when or where she isn’t supposed to isn’t going to scar a child for life .

One is teaching hatred the other is just silliness.

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

One time my mom peed in the sink, it was weird. I told her it was weird. Still respect her to this day.

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS>>>>>>>>>>

I go pee pee an island in Thailand!

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

One time my mom peed in the sink, it was weird. I told her it was weird. Still respect her to this day.

Mothers….got a love em! If that’s the worst thing she ever did she’s a saint ! And a funny one!

dallasapple
dallasapple
7 years ago

My mother never peed in the sink .(or in a bush or a fireplace) But one time she got naked and started saying she was Lucy (Lucile Ball) and was laughing and jumping all over our dad. She kept saying “Im Lucy !” My dad was trying not to laugh but it was hard and he kept saying “Carolyn the children ” and she just waved at us and said Im LUCY!

Pretty weird but that didn’t scar me .She will be 70 in about a week . I will be there holding her hand for her second hip replacement surgery .(Mama ???should have gone easy on the Lucy thing!)

emma
emma
7 years ago

@Tulgey

“Misandry is okay because Paul Elam. Checkmate, dudebros.”

This.

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

@dallasapple My mom is pretty far from a saint, she has a fair share of her own demons. Hell, she’d probably be a poster mom for the AVfM on how mother’s don’t always make the better parent, but when it came to giving a shit she had a lot more of that than my dad and I love her very much for that.

But I can always count on her to do some funny and/or embarrassing shit. Like, I was home for Christmas and we went for Chinese buffet (kind of the only real “exotic” food to get in small town Ontario) and every time we go to the buffet she wraps up some food and sneaks it into her purse to give to the cats later. I think her bizarre boundary pushing (and her flaws) has made me more of an empathetic person.

cupisnique
cupisnique
7 years ago

@dallasapple haha that’s hilarious! Sometimes the most bizarre and embarrassing stories of my mom are my favourite memories.

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