NOTE: See the end of the piece for an important clarification from the University.
So it seems the new “Male Studies” initiative at the University of South Australia is running into a few problems. Well, one big problem: members of the general public have discovered that some of the people involved with the initiative are raving misogynists, or have chosen to associate themselves with raving misogynists.
Yesterday, a story by journalist Tory Shepherd noted that two of the lecturers have written for a notoriously misogynistic website by the name of A Voice for Men. (You may have heard of it.) One of them, the crankish American attorney Roy Den Hollander, even suggested in a post on that site that men’s rights activists may have to take up arms against the evil Feminists who run the world.
The future prospect of the Men’s Movement raising enough money to exercise some influence in America is unlikely. But there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly—firearms.
Huh. That doesn’t sound like a very academic analysis of the situtation to me.
Den Hollander also likes to refer to “women’s studies” as “witches’ studies.” And if you don’t believe her, here’s the AVFM post in which he does just that; it’s in the first sentence.
Apparently pointing out some of these basic facts about Den Hollander, and about another of the lecturers, Miles Groth, who has also written for AVFM, is causing some trouble for Dr. Misan and his little Male Studies initiative — at least according to a post on AVFM by the always furious Paul Elam, who informs us somberly that
[s]ources close to the story report that [Shepherd’s article] is likely a terminal setback for the new initiative.
Elam fights back against Shepherd’s alleged “lies” in a paragraph that is itself nothing but lies:
The article by Shepherd is saturated with the typical lies, e.g.: that the SPLC named AVFM as a hate group, which they did not, and that this website regularly calls women “bitches and whores,” which it does not. She also implied a connection between AVFM and those championing the initiative which does not exist.
Actually, Shepherd said that the SPLC described AVFM as a “hate site,” not a “hate group.” This is in fact true, as the SPLC included AVFM in a list of “woman-hating sites,” which would make it a hate site, as the hatred of women is in fact a kind of hate.
And AVFM does in fact refer to women regularly as whores and bitches and other slurs. Indeed, in one notorious post about Rebecca Watson, Elam managed to use the word “whore” more than 30 times; as for the word “bitch,” well, check out this compilation of AVFM posts featuring that word in the title. As you’ll see from that post, Elam also likes referring to women as “cunts,” and once referred to the feminist blogosphere as the “cunt-o-sphere.”
Shepherd doesn’t, in fact, imply any “connection” between AVFM and “those championing the initiative” beyond the undeniable fact that two of the lecturers have written for AVFM, and that AVFM has heralded the Male Studies initiative. Interestingly, it’s Elam, with his talk about “[s]ources close to the story,” who implies an even closer connection than Shepherd does.
The rest of Elam’s post is a remarkable mixture of self-contradicting lies and self-delusion. First, he declares “Male Studies” to be a pure-as-the-driven snow example of non-ideological scholarship.
In writing this article Shepherd actually served as a mouthpiece for academic feminists invested in blocking the attempt to study human males in a non-ideological, scholarly fashion.
How exactly is someone who describes himself explicitly as antifeminist, who describes women’s studies as “witches studies,” and who’s written for AVFM on several occasions an example of someone who is trying “to study human males in a non-ideological, scholarly fashion?”
Elam then launches into one of his typical chest-beating fuck-their-shit-up ideological rants:
The Men’s Human Rights Movement is not going to go away. Indeed, even as we regret the temporary setback of an important and valuable initiative, we do welcome another opportunity to shine a light on the ideologically twisted agenda of people who would undermine an academic program with the ambition to enhance our understanding of an egregiously underserved population.
Yes, that’s right. The world’s men have been “egregiously underserved.”
This type of bullying and public deception is precisely what has catapulted the Men’s Human Rights Movement into rapid growth and increasing popularity in such a short period of time.
The only bullying and deception I’m seeing here is coming from your side, dude. Women aren’t talking about taking up arms against men. You’re the one who’s lying about what Shepherd said.
From assaultive, criminal demonstrators in Toronto blocking doors to a lecture on male suicide, to this – an obviously orchestrated attack on honorable academicians — the reality of what feminism has become, and the depths to which it has lowered, is again in full public view.
Uh, Roy Den Hollander isn’t an “honorable academician.” And, frankly, neither is anyone who chooses to associate themselves with your site. I’m not sure how Shepherd’s one article counts as an “obviously orchestrated attack,” but all she did was point out what Hollander said, and point out the sort of misogynistic shit you publish on your shitty website.
In other words, Mr. Elam, you guys have dug your own hole here — with you, personally, bringing one of the bigger shovels.
Just think: A Voice for Men may be in large part responsible for the collapse of this Male Studies initiative, because you and the others writing on your site can’t hide your raging misogyny, and can’t resist the temptation to call women “bitches” and “whores.”
This is the lesson of all the publicity you guys have gotten in the last year: when members of the general public learn what you guys actually believe, they are repulsed by it. The more attention you get, the more people oppose you.
After some more ranting that he might as well have cut and pasted from any of a dozen previous posts of his, Elam ends with one of his trademark vague threats:
We will force their hand, again and again. And each time they demonstrate their moral bankruptcy; their limitless capacity for tyranny, the more they will generate the contempt and indignation they deserve. And the more people will realize that the only way forward is straight through them.
You’re just digging that hole deeper.
EDITED TO ADD: The Universityof Southern Australia has clarified a few things about the Male Studies initiatives. According to a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, the school only approved one of the four proposed courses, and officially rejected (back in 2012) the one that would have included Den Hollander and Groth as lecturers. Here’s what the newspaper says:
The university has approved one of four proposed graduate courses, a certificate in male health and health promotion, which will begin online next month.
But an original proposal by one of the university’s academics outlined three further certificates, including a course called ”males and sexism”, which named lecturers who have been published on radical men’s rights websites. …
The university emphasised it did not endorse views of the suggested lecturers. It said the courses, which were criticised in the media on Monday, were rejected in 2012.
So that’s reassuring to hear.
I removed a portion of my post referring to Gary Misan, in charge of the course, because in light of this information it’s not clear if he was referring to all four courses, including those involving Den Hollander and Groth, or just to the male health course.
Oddly, though, Dr. Misan seems to think that the University has signed up for more than one course. On his official University of South Australia web site he describes himself as “program co-ordinator for a new suite of courses in Male Studies at UniSA, the first of which will be offered in 2014.”