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5 Arguments Least Likely To Convince A Young Woman That A Voice for Men Isn’t a Misogynistic Hate Site

Hi, girls! Dean Esmay reaches out to the youth of America
Hey ladies! Dean Esmay reaches out to the young women of America

Not that long ago, an 18-year-old student named Carly, appalled by the rampant misogyny on display at A Voice for Men, sent a critical but thoughtful email to a number of the men associated with the site challenging them to rise above their hatred of women.

AVFM “Managing Editor” Dean Esmay decided to take her email as an opportunity to reach out to all the Carlys out there in the world in an attempt to win them over to AVFM’s peculiar brand of “human rights activism,” penning what he called an

open letter … not just to you, but to any young woman who has an open mind and is willing to be challenged on her prejudices.

Naturally, given that Men’s Rights Activists are some of the most verbose douchebags in history, it was long as hell — some 3000 words. But Esmay’s diplomatically worded attempt at outreach didn’t go quite as well as he might have hoped. Carly responded with a note saying that his open letter had merely

reinforced everything I believe. It seems we are at a stalemate, you will never agree with me, and I will never agree with you.

So where might poor Dean Esmay might have gone wrong in his attempt to win Carly’s heart and mind?

Let’s start here, with 5 Arguments Least Likely To Convince A Young Woman That A Voice for Men Isn’t a Woman-Hating Piece of Shit Hate Site, in the form of direct quotes from The Esmay himself. Since Esmay is so long-winded, I’ve highlighted some of my favorite bits in bold.

1)“[Y]ou’re 18, and so, not to put too fine a point on it, you are still a young skull full of mush.

2)[M]en have few to no voices speaking about issues that are specific to men, or defending men as a group, in this society. Until very recently in history men never have had such a voice. Because pretty much all civilizations for the last few thousand years have prioritized the needs and desires of women over those of men. For hundreds, even thousands, of years.

3)If you believe men have silenced women for thousands of years … you believe something that just not true.Furthermore, if you believe that, what you have to believe is that Asian men have been oppressing Asian women for thousands of years, black men have been oppressing black women for thousands of years, European men, Australasian men, and so on, have all been oppressing their women for thousands of years. And those weak women could do nothing about it. So what you believe here isn’t just wrong, it’s racist.

4)For most of history, being female was a privilege. It carried certain special rights that only applied to women, and special responsibilities that only applied to women, and through most of history, being male was a burden, a burden which carried certain rights that only applied to men, and those rights were there mostly so they could discharge their duties to women properly.”

5) “[Y]ou may occasionally see angry remarks or articles on this site. What I would hope you would do with that, when you do see it, is contemplate that there is a difference between righteous anger at real injustice, and what you seem to have misinterpreted as hate.

The funniest thing about Esmay’s “open letter” is that this bizarre crackpottery, easily seen through by anyone with any knowledge of history or sociology or, hell, the real world,  is his attempt to sound as reasonable as possible. He’s reined in the wild conspiratorial ranting he often indulges in when arguing with ideological foes; he’s avoided the misogynistic slurs (cunt, bitch, whore) favored by other AVFMers like Paul Elam and Diana Davison. And this is the best he can manage.

The Men’s “Human Rights” Movement isn’t ready for its close-up. And I suspect that it never will be.

EDITED TO ADD: A commenter has pointed out another quote I should have included as well. So here is BONUS EXTRA LEAST CONVINCING DEAN ESMAY ARGUMENT NUMBER SIX:

6) “The truth is, the most privileged class of people in the whole wide world are young women living in places like the US, UK, Canada, etc.–and if you want to be treated like an equal, you should not flinch or cry like a little girl if someone tells you that.

How dare you accuse us of sexism, you spoiled little girl!

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kittehserf
6 years ago

It’s not that they can’t be arsed to correct them – they simply won’t acknowledge that any stats giving them the lie can be correct.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@kitteh And having assembled some “stats” which confirm their bias, they’re never going to look any further.

katz
6 years ago

I love that mouse video so much.

Ampersand
Ampersand
6 years ago

It’s hysterical that Esmay is berating Carly for being young and “having a brain full of mush” when it’s obvious to anyone with the slightest grasp of history and sociology that he’s talking out of his ass and lacks any critical thinking skills.

“If you believe men have silenced women for thousands of years … you believe something that just not true. … Furthermore, if you believe that, what you have to believe is that Asian men have been oppressing Asian women for thousands of years, black men have been oppressing black women for thousands of years, European men, Australasian men, and so on, have all been oppressing their women for thousands of years. And those weak women could do nothing about it. So what you believe here isn’t just wrong, it’s racist.”

It was at this point that I burst out laughing.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Is it me, or does that mouse video need this?

Thanks, House Mouse Queen! That’s drastically improved my evening!

hookergal
hookergal
6 years ago

Wait. Women haven’t been oppressed? Right. My nana was forced to stop working when she got married. When she was allowed back to work, she wasn’t allowed to be payed superannuation. Since she only got paid superannuation later in life (and her husband died when they were in their 50s) she is still working full time in her 70s. Soooo. Yeh. I think that bit if history shows how women have been oppressed in recent memory… But hey AVfM. You’re totally more oppressed since you’ve always been allowed to work/get super.

kittehserf
6 years ago

LOL that’s just the theme for that video.

On the subject of oppression: everyone knows it’s kitties who are really oppressed. Why, Maddie was down to the last couple dozen nibbies in her bowl just now. That’s the second time since last night, too!

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

“Oh and pure mouseling!”

Oh, mousey I feel ya. I look like that whenever I try to reach for something as well.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

the most privileged class of people in the whole wide world are young women living in places like the US, UK, Canada, etc.–and if you want to be treated like an equal, you should not flinch or cry like a little girl if someone tells you that.

Fine, I won’t. Because I’m not a little girl, I’m a grown-ass woman (i.e. Sexually Invisible to these guys). I won’t flinch; I’ll just yell BULLSHIT!!! at the top of my grown-ass lungs.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Honestly…does ASSmay think we all go through life with our own personal Sir Walter Raleigh in tow, ready to fling down his cloak on every mud puddle we chance to see? What a fuckwit.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Once again, you are Queen of the Internets, neuroticbeagle! That’s exactly how Mads does it (though she cheats and eats the stuff around the edge, leaving a patch in the middle with nibbies).

Terribul, terribul oppression.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
6 years ago

A privileged white girl (I assume Carly’s white, with about 90% certainty) telling people of color how their culture works is the height of arrogance

Gee, is that anything like when MRAs mansplain to women how their minds and bodies work?

neuroticbeagle
6 years ago

“Terribul, terribul oppression.”

THIS explains the MRAs. They have confused women with CATS! Meow!

kittehserf
6 years ago

Or they have confused themselves with cats – totes oppressed when the servants/women aren’t filling their bowls/making sammiches for them instantly.

I can more easily believe the kitty oppression.

Shaenon
6 years ago

In the comments, more eloquent arguments guaranteed to convince unbiased visitors that AVFM is not at all misogynist:

You’re forgetting; she’s a girl. Start throwing facts at her after her emotional e-mail, all you’ll be doing is getting her to roll her eyes. If she were a boy, facts would work, but not girls.

“Think about rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns, while we all run around in erratic circles, desperately trying to avoid being captured by men in white coats armed with tranquilizer darts. -Yeahh, feminism!!”

Feelings ran amuck! Didn’t I say this? It explains why feminism is so hard to get through to. They do not WANT to believe the real truth…so they won’t!

Another givaway that Carly is a lost cause of entitlement is her adolescent demand to be taken seriously. Apparently, it has never occured to this partciluar snowflake that being taken seriously is not a right – it is something that is earned.

All with upvotes.

Lots of commenters interpreted Carly’s email and followup as “emotional” or otherwise representative of female irrationality, even though she comes across as calm and thoughtful and gives specific reasons for her criticisms. Of course Esmay’s long-winded responses, in which he asserts few arguments beyond “you’re a girl and younger than me, so you must be wrong” and repeatedly makes excuses for the emotional temper tantrums and lack of reliable facts on his site, are applauded as great rational arguments.

DeutschundMusik
DeutschundMusik
6 years ago

Very difficult to respond to this piece of demagoguery – as usual, facts are strange alien things that float around in the sky and are never grasped. This man is both stupid and disturbed. That he has found a home on Paul Elam’s site is easy to understand. He shows here that he’s incapable of discussing anything with a woman without patronizing, dismissing, humiliating and denigrating her.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Women will never get respect from MRAs, auggz, whether we are silent or not. We’re either things to be fucked or things to serve them in other ways, not human. Only straight white cis men are human.

Victoria
Victoria
6 years ago

I have to say, as someone who is under 18, it’s extremely annoying when people make a ‘you’re young, so you don’t know anything’ argument. Because I know that people only turn to that argument when they have nothing left to say, and how can I defend myself against it? It’s not like I can suddenly make myself older.

But yes, this only just highlights the nonsensical whining that is the men’s rights movement, if only in fancier wording.

Unrelated to the post: Hello, everyone, I’m finally de-lurking.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

So, if young women are more privileged than older women (hey, he said it himself, even if he didn’t mean to), then why would that be? Might it have something to do with patriarchy valuing women mostly for their bodies? Or could it simply be that dudes like Esmay see “privileged” as meaning “woman I want to fuck who for some ridiculous and unfair reason is allowed to say no”?

Shaenon
6 years ago

“Think about rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns, while we all run around in erratic circles, desperately trying to avoid being captured by men in white coats armed with tranquilizer darts. -Yeahh, feminism!!”

What?

It’s a response agreeing with another post, which I didn’t quote because it just went on and on and on, warning that Carly’s email, like all reasonable-seeming arguments from feminists, was just a clever trick to trap men into eternal female servitude. You see, if you agree to an honest debate or accept that there’s anything positive about women or equal rights, you will go INSANE.

Or something. I don’t know. You may have noticed these guys aren’t very good at writing.

kittehserf
6 years ago

You may have noticed these guys aren’t very good at writing.

Why should writing be the exception …

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

Carly enjoyed the privilege of not being taken seriously, I’m sure.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Ugh. I just got called the c-word over at Gawker for daring to point out that atheists sometimes get discriminated against and Christianity is privileged in the western world.

Off topic I know, but it pissed me off.

kittehserf
6 years ago

::rolls eyes:: Nice piece of Christian fail they did, calling you that, WWTH.

womenriseupnow
6 years ago

I like #3. It’s intersectionality, MRA style! LOLZ.

womenriseupnow
6 years ago

Sadly, I’m fairly sure that this is what it looks like when Dean thinks he’s taking someone seriously.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Women of color who critique misogyny are racists.

That’s a neat trick.

Ally S
6 years ago

Relevant: http://www.gradientlair.com/post/57108435086/black-women-can-discuss-intraracial-rape-not-racist

Also, Gradient Lair is one of the best black feminist blogs out there. I highly recommend checking it out and reading it regularly. There are plenty of good black feminist and womanist blogs out there, but Trudy’s (the author of Gradient Lair) posts have taught me so much about intraracial misogyny, specifically misogynoir (anti-black misogyny, which significantly differs from that of misogyny against white women).

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

Is anyone else reminded of NWOSlave’s repeated pronouncements that (a) the only rights were liberty, property, and the vote, (b) that women were not historically oppressed, even when they lacked access to any of those three rights, and (c) that men were oppressed by affirmative action, girls in swimsuits, and VAWA, despite having liberty, property, and the vote.

The MRM: none of our claims mesh with any of our other claims, except in that they paint women as evil!

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
6 years ago

The photo doesn’t so much look like Dean reaching out, it looks like it was taken just before he fell backwards.

ashley
ashley
6 years ago

on the one hand they often claim white feminists are the “real” racists because they don’t criticize men of colour’s oppressive acts towards women of colour “enough”. on the other hand they say white feminists cannot criticize men of colour’s oppression of women because doing so is racist. makes no sense.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Is anyone else reminded of NWOSlave’s repeated pronouncements that (a) the only rights were liberty, property, and the vote,

But what about FREEZE PEACH?

Men are oppressed by eleven-year-olds in capri pants, too, don’t forget.

The photo doesn’t so much look like Dean reaching out, it looks like it was taken just before he fell backwards.

Or he’s putting his hand up, “Stop! Stop! Don’t come near me with your girl cooties!”

Though “immediately prior to falling on his arse” is more likely.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

See, telling someone who gives you constructive criticism that, no, their perspective on the matter is utterly invalid and there is no hate whatsoever, just righteous anger, here is exactly the way to reinforce the fact you are just as bad as everyone says you are (if not worse) and unwilling to engage in introspection.

Mmmmm, dying in childbirth and lacking legal rights – privilege!

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

He does look like he’s shoving something away, doesn’t he? Maybe he thinks that’s how people normally say hello.

kittehserf
6 years ago

They probably do, to him!

AIT
AIT
6 years ago

Victoria:

Welcome! Here is your official Welcome Package! Plenty of good info there on how to format your comments, what things not to say, and how to get yourself a fun little cat gravatar pic, to please our Furrinati overlords! Use it wisely.

On topic, what a way to shoot yourself in the foot. “We want you to like us. You’re young and stupid”. I hate when people use this, because the rest of their tone is “I have to talk down to you. You’re too **** to understand.” Step on LEGOs for years, Esmay.

10knives
10knives
6 years ago

“Women will never get respect from MRAs, auggz, whether we are silent or not. We’re either things to be fucked or things to serve them in other ways, not human. Only straight white cis men are human.”

You’re very much correct about their unconditional contempt for women.
But that last sentence?
Even that is being a bit too generous, I feel.

You see, most of these MRAs are, first and foremost, assholes.

Now, it is the way of assholes, I believe, that the more different from them you are, the worse they treat you. But even in the best circumstances, an asshole will not treat you like a full human being a reliable degree of the time.

Thus, the MRA might treat a straight white cisman better, although less so if he is of a lower economic class or disabled or whatever. Until that man shows himself to be noticeably different from the asshole, such as not being a MRA, for example.

Note that MRAs have gone off on each other with similar malevolence in the past, despite their similarities and shared views. No surprise there, as the example of Hitler and Stalin has showed us that assholes are not one big happy family. Indeed, it is in the nature of the asshole that he finds his own sort mutually antagonistic.

The typical asshole MRA thinks he is the One True Human. Others are just degrees of inferiority.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Oh, there’s no doubt MRAs hate straight white cismen who disagree with them. You’re not home-free as a straight white cisman. You’re just not hated by default.

Undercover Evolutionary Agent
Undercover Evolutionary Agent
6 years ago

Wow so many female abusers. You bring your gender into disrepute. Abusers, abusers, abusers. Your behaviour is unacceptable. Other women find your abuse and hatred offensive too. AVFM is not just men, there are many women on the site who speak out against female abusers. Goodbye and good day. Don’t call us, we will call you.

freshlysqueezedcynic
freshlysqueezedcynic
6 years ago

See, I remember in the depths of time past when Esmay was a pro-war “classical liberal”, a HIV denialist, and an ID/Creationism booster. It was really surprising to see him suddenly pop up in this context here on Manboobz.

Is there any crank ideology that the man hasn’t latched onto?

beshemoth
6 years ago

Maybe they’re not getting their message across because they haven’t used the medium of song? Or they have, but they haven’t used the *right* song? I came up with this in the shower just now, to the tune of ‘My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean’ which may just be a Scottish thing, who knows, but I think it’s a good medium for explaining the basic concepts I’ve seen covered here.

For instance, on ‘earning money’:

Women go out to work – that’s misandry
If they stay home and shirk, that’s misandry
‘You can’t have it both ways, berk’? Misandry!
Oh when will my freedom begin

When will, when will, oh when will my freedom begin, begin?
When will, when will, oh when will my freedom begin?

And on ‘women in public spaces’:

If she won’t shave her pins, that’s misandry
If she’s showing some skin that’s misandry
If she’s fatter than thin that’s misandry
Oh when will my freedom begin?

When will, etc

Added bonus, it’s the kind of song that has a potentially infinite number of verses!

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

OK, now this is interesting. Spill the details, please? I’m particularly interested in the HIV denialist thing. Did he think it didn’t exist?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

That was for freshlysqueezedcynic, btw.

Anenome
Anenome
6 years ago

Could somebody paste (preferably) or link Carly’s Email?

Felisha
Felisha
6 years ago

At one time, I actually tried to sway Dean out of the MHRM, to pack up and leave avfm (early last year, I think) because I actually saw some hope in him. Unlike other MRAs & anti-fems, he didn’t block me and actually welcomed a challenge. He was different. He still retains some of that quality, but that’s all I see there now. He’s being morphed into a brainwashed misogynist hypocrite that has subscribed to the classic MRA comic book history of…what he said in the quote:

“pretty much all civilizations for the last few thousand years have prioritized the needs and desires of women over those of men. For hundreds, even thousands, of years.”

*face-palm, snicker, head-shake*

Yes, the ignorance is profound. As if 1000 years of foot-binding in China was part of prioritizing women’s needs and desires? As if women in India & China, to this day, still feel pressured to kill or give away their new born daughters, falls in line with some imagined MRA female privilege?

What did WRA, Elizabeth C. Stanton’s father tell his daughter in his dying bed in the 1800s? That he was proud she was born a white female into this privileged American life that prioritized her needs and desires above men? No. He told her “I wish you were born a boy.”

Later, Elizabeth was educated enough to attend a college…but denied due to her gender. It was open only to males.

So much for satisfying the “desires of women”, Dean.

Yet it’s being this way for most of history were women are valued not for having a high level ‘male style’ education, but for their reproduction, sexuality and beauty. And societies ensured women felt this pressure, to focus on their exterior rather than interior, to reward them for being suitable wives not independent women, by barring them from universities/colleges and men only political conventions. Patriarchy was everywhere, even to this day — political, economical, societal and religious.

Yet if the “desires of women” were met thousands of years ago and continuously to this day, I know the world would be a lot different today.

freshlysqueezedcynic
freshlysqueezedcynic
6 years ago
cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Wow. I guess credulous dumbassery clusters the same way bigotry does.