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A Voice for Men publishes an article so extreme and hateful that it makes even Paul Elam gag

Emma Watson: The woman who nearly destroyed A Voice for Men
Emma Watson: The woman who nearly destroyed A Voice for Men

Yesterday, A Voice for Men published an article so extreme, so hateful, so beyond the pale, that even Paul Elam, the site’s founder, was taken aback by it. Elam, who said he hadn’t read the article before other editors on the site posted it, claimed in a comment that when he finally did read it, it made him literally sick to his stomach.

Today, he took the extraordinary step – for AVFM – of taking down the article and offering an apology for publishing a piece so “counter to every aspect of our mission and values.” (It’s still up, for the time being, in Google cache; the original can also be found here.)

So what did this terrible, terrible article say? Brace yourself.

It said that Emma Watson’s recent United Nations speech on feminism … made some good points.

While the author of the piece, a tech dude turned “dating expert” named Jeb Kinnison, took the standard MRA swipes at the alleged evils of third-wave feminism, he argued that Watson’s version of feminism represented a kind of “equity feminism which is equally concerned with men’s rights.”

Then he described Watson as “very, very smart, and wise beyond her years … .”

I know, I know. Horrifying.

But that wasn’t even the worst part of Kinnison’s piece. In his conclusion, he actually suggested that

The smart and civilized aren’t spending their time nursing grievances based on sex, gender, race, or religion. If only the most intelligent voices were as amplified as the voices of ignorance and hate promoted by the grievance-mongering misandrists of third-wave feminism as well as insecure male misogynists.

Yes, that’s right: An article in AVFM actually acknowledged that some of those in the Men’s Rights ranks might actually be – gasp! – misogynists.

Naturally, such heresy could not stand. In the comments, a fight broke out between those who hated the article, and those who also hated it but felt that criticizing AVFM about anything was terrible and counterproductive and, hey, remember to donate to AVFM during the Fall Fundraiser!

In the former camp, the most outspoken critic was Nick Reading of Men’s Rights Edmonton, posting under the alias Eric Tiberius Duckman, who bluntly warned that

This article is disgraceful. If uncle Jeb here imparts any more of his mangina wisdom on AVFM, I’ll be seriously considering pulling my support and encouraging others to do likewise.

Elam was having none of this – very poor taste, especially during AVFM’s Fall Fundraiser! He responded to Reading’s threats to take his ball and go home with an indignant comment defending the editors who ran Kinnison’s piece and tearing into prodigal Nick:

[O]ur editors did their job and I am 100% supportive of that.

To be even more frank, even less appealing to me than this article is tantrums and ultimatums from readers attempting to exert editorial control by threatening to leave if they see content they don’t like.

Then apparently Elam decided that he didn’t support the editors 100% after all. In another comment, he declared that

This is the most overly generous, myopic interpretation of Watson’s speech I have seen, including feminist websites. It is literally embarrassing in its reductionist dismissal of issues unique to men and boys. …

I could write an entire article on what is wrong with this piece, but I am just too busy right now.

Throwing up.

Once he finished up with this, he took the piece down.

And AVFM’s Fall Fundraiser was saved!

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ebilflindas
ebilflindas
6 years ago

Damn! I knew it was too good to be true…

Jef Withonef
6 years ago

Man, for one shining moment…

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Emma Watson: the new Solanas/Dworkin?

Stay glued to your seats, Mammoths! The answer after the commercial break!

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

/me vomits

Faint Praise
Faint Praise
6 years ago

You really had me going there, “what could be too terrible for Elam?” This is an amazing story. They’re allergic to even “moderate” MRAs.

Tabby Lavalamp
6 years ago

Sigh. Once again I’m reminded that my city is now most famous for a particularly appalling group of MRAs.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Take note, Sam Pepper. This is what a prank looks like. You had me going for a minute David. Well played.

Also, shut up Woody.

aitch6262
aitch6262
6 years ago

Silly sods. They really believe it’s a ‘radical’ and ‘extremist’ notion that women are people.

Jeb Kinnison
6 years ago

I have to admit that was one of the stranger episodes I have ever been involved in. A very few commenters understood the subtle point I was trying to make, but not many. You see similar knee-jerk groupthink in feminist groups, which are notorious for blowing themselves up by attacking members for even the slightest hint of heretical thoughts, but I was surprised. This is progress?

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Oh god, Woody’s gonna cream himself, come here and tell us all about the righteousness of Sir Paul, when he reads this.

Shut up, Woody.

Johanna Roberts
6 years ago

@Jeb, wow, I had no idea feminist groups had a habit of doing something that counter productive. Most of us are in the habit of, I dunno, actually getting shit done and fighting actual problems that make our lives miserable.

bulletproofblouse
6 years ago

Bang! The old switcheroo!

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

But remember, the MR movement is about equality and totally not about mindlessly blubbering into their heavy-duty echo chamber about anything said by women regardless of what they actually said!

Yeesh, MRAs are as bad as Fox News.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

I was so excited for a second. Oh well. At least Elam’s responses are kind of hilarious. And holy shit the comments on the apology page. Paul really is their Jesus who can do no wrong.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

You see similar knee-jerk groupthink in feminist groups, which are notorious for blowing themselves up by attacking members for even the slightest hint of heretical thoughts, but I was surprised.

Uh-huh. Sure.

Fucking with PaulE’s money is fucking with his emotions. If he didn’t have suckers to bilk, he’d have to go out and get a job.

Jeb Kinnison
6 years ago

Johanna: I am remembering my college days among the proto-Social-Justice-Warriors — deviation from the party line was cause for ejection and shunning. 🙂

That was sort of the point of my piece — there is real work to be done and real injustice to be fought, though it’s not in privileged Western locales all that much any more. I am all for global human rights and equal opportunity for everyone.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

He wouldn’t get a job. He’d just be ENTIRELY dependent on his girlfriend.

Aitch
Aitch
6 years ago

there is real work to be done and real injustice to be fought

Good. Get out there, dear.

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
6 years ago

@Jeb Kinnison:

“This is progress?”

One less illusion counts as progress, I’d say. So for you personally, Jeb, yes, it is. 🙂

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Oh, and he brings out the old saw about feminism not being needed in the west anymore!

Jeb Kinnison
6 years ago

Altch: your condescension is duly noted. The microaggressive term “dear” is especially precious.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Jeb: pull your head out if you think feminism’s not still needed here.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@Jeb Kinnison:

What do you think of Paul’s apology and the commenter’s fears of creating an echo chamber?

M. the Social Justice Ranger
M. the Social Justice Ranger
6 years ago

@Jeb Kinnison:

“You see similar knee-jerk groupthink in feminist groups, which are notorious for blowing themselves up by attacking members for even the slightest hint of heretical thoughts.”

Can you point me towards anywhere that’s actually happened? If so, I’m happy to go snark at them too. =)

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
6 years ago

From Jeb’s article:

“One point to remember: the mistreatment of individual women is close to a non-problem in the highly-educated, wealthy precincts of the Anglosphere, where third-wave feminists now have to fudge statistics about rape and equal pay to justify an ever-more-intrusive sex-based HR bureaucracy. While some women still encounter slights and difficulties because of others’ prejudices, the remaining issues are not materially greater than what everyone suffers when stereotyped.”

Nope, definitely not progress, Jeb.

palmedfire
palmedfire
6 years ago

I am remembering my college days among the proto-Social-Justice-Warriors — deviation from the party line was cause for ejection and shunning. 🙂

That probably had more to do with the whole ‘college’ aspect and less the social justice aspect. College students are still very much in the stage where tribalism and ‘belonging’ can easily overwhelm actual issues. It’s really not fair to judge the rest of the (adult) world on the behaviors of adolescents.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

deviation from the party line was cause for ejection and shunning

The party line is that women are people. Yeah, I feel justified “ejecting” and “shunning” people who don’t agree with that position.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

Y’know, sometimes communities do engage in nonsensical ideological purges.

In my experience though sometimes, some people just get REALLY offended when they get criticized, even when they’re pretty clearly in the wrong. They almost always manage to do far more damage to their reputations and relationships by trying to defend themselves than the original offence caused.

I also note that the latter can never tell the difference between he two.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

One point to remember: the mistreatment of individual women is close to a non-problem in the highly-educated, wealthy precincts of the Anglosphere, where third-wave feminists now have to fudge statistics about rape and equal pay to justify an ever-more-intrusive sex-based HR bureaucracy.

Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn. Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Rihanna, Jenny McCarthy, Kate Bosworth, Mary-Kate Olsen, Avril Lavigne, Hayden Panettiere, Lake Bell and other celebrities. Emma watson.

Not to mention all the less famous or less affluent women who are raped and mistreated by police (too many to count), murdered but presented as criminals (Angelia Magnum and Tjhisha Ball), assaulted and harassed on video (see the news related to Sam Pepper and other similar youtube shitheads), or otherwise belittled by the men in power (see everything about Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and the rest of the sexism going on in the Atheist movement).

You’d have to be living under a rock to not realize how women are mistreated across the economic spectrum, even in the west, because all of these things came up within the last couple months.

blanktie
blanktie
6 years ago

See, this is proof that I still must (somehow) believe they’re capable of some kind of human decency since I first tried to think of what could be bad for even Elam to vomit over. My bad, won’t happen again.

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

@Jeb: While I think you missed the mark a bit with your take-away and were/are unduly dismissive of the problems that women and girls still come up against in western countries, I appreciate that you seemed to recognize that most feminists are also against the marginalization of the experiences of men and boys and would also fight against the narrowing of their thoughts and experiences to fit restrictive molds.

Emma Watson echoes the thoughts of many.

samanthas
6 years ago

Silly sods. They really believe it’s a ‘radical’ and ‘extremist’ notion that women are people.

@aitch6262:

Well, it makes sense, really. After all, if women are people, men might feel that they can no longer play with, hurt, rape and kill their favorite toys. On top of that, they might have to share the benefits of civilization with us…you know, good jobs at equal pay and such. It would make them cry and feel bad if they could no longer pretend that they are the lords of creation and entitled to whatever their li’l old hearts (and other organs) desire.

A man crying over the loss of his god-like entitlement is a terrible thing to see.

Poor little manbaby. sniff.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Oof, how could I forget Michael Nugent and the rank-closing surrounding the allegations of rape? Put that in the list as well.

bunnybunny
bunnybunny
6 years ago

Oh man, I should have known better than to think Paulie might be angry about something actually gross.

Did Mia McKenzie’s thoughts on Emma Watson’s speech already get posted here? I thought she made a lot of good points.

HowlOwl
HowlOwl
6 years ago

Perhaps Elam could have some commemorative coins made of this vomit-inducing moment. It might help towards the fundraising! Or did they do that already? It’s hard to keep up with all the activism.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@bunnybunny

Yeah, that’s kind of what makes this AVFM thing lolriffic and sad: Watson went way way way out of her way to be inclusive of men and boys, and express concern for the way patriarchal attitudes harm them. But that’s not enough for AVFM. I guess the only acceptable way for them to care about men and boys is by throwing women and girls under the bus in some fashion.

fromafar2013
6 years ago

While some women still encounter slights and difficulties because of others’ prejudices, the remaining issues are not materially greater than what everyone suffers when stereotyped.

So close. Soooooo close!

Caused by others’ prejudices, you say? Where did those prejudices come from? What motivates the people acting out in prejudiced ways? What underlying value system do people like this have? Why? How do they react to having this value system challenged?

What are others’ reactions to the prejudice? Is the behavior shamed or reinforced? By whom? And why? How do cultural messages compare to the prejudiced value system?

How does this prejudiced value system compare to the values taught by society? Is one group of people consistently valued more or associated with superior traits over others? Why? Is this reinforced? How?

samantha
6 years ago

Jeb, I started attending feminist consciousness-raising meetings back in the late ’60’s and I am a feminist still, and proud to be so. I NEVER saw any woman ejected for not following the “party line.” Would you mind telling me what groups YOU attended where you saw this happen? Did you go as yourself or were you disguised as a woman?

Considering that I have been involved for over 50 years and have never seen anything approaching your assertion, I think I will go with my own experience, being a woman and all. So, thanks for playing and bye-bye, now. Come back when you make up a few more.

samantha
6 years ago

But that’s not enough for AVFM. I guess the only acceptable way for them to care about men and boys is by throwing women and girls under the bus in some fashion.

Any mention of women and girls as human and as deserving of equal treatment gets their jocks in a twist. The problem is that they want mommy and the whole world to focus all attention on THEM. My kids each went through this as toddlers, but then they got over themselves. MRA’s still want mommy to offer the breast and admire everything about them, poor things.

We are expecting adult behavior from men who are holding onto their toddler entitlement, tooth and claw.

I want to make it clear that I am separating MRA manbaby temper tantrums from the very real issues facing men, such as poverty and mental illness, to say nothing of poor treatment in VA hospitals.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

@Jeb

Ah good, you’re here. Maybe you can finally answer the dread question,

You see similar knee-jerk groupthink in feminist groups, which are notorious for blowing themselves up by attacking members for even the slightest hint of heretical thoughts,

can you actually cite specific examples of these feminist groups (outside of the college campus atmosphere)? This is a popular line with anti-feminist commenters, and yet when asked to evidence the existence of these evil hoards of non-inclusive raging ‘feminasty’s’, the answer is always, without fail, “There just is, ok!”

The rather underwhelming lack of forthcoming evidence could make one think this may, in fact, be a myth.

kittehserf - MOD
kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

So many manbabies, so many full nappies.

Shut up, Woody.

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

Here, Jeb.

Does that make it better?

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

Man, the one day I try to embed an image and bupkis. Let’s see if this works:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1h55usS721r0qwrdo4_500.jpg

samantha
6 years ago
Reply to  bunnybunny

Did Mia McKenzie’s thoughts on Emma Watson’s speech already get posted here? I thought she made a lot of good points.

Thanks for the link, bunnybunny. I just went to the site and read her article. She made some great points, such as :

Ms. Watson –

How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation? Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too.

Ms. Mckenzie –

Here, she seems to suggest that the reason men aren’t involved in the fight for gender equality is that women simply haven’t invited them and, in fact, have been unwelcoming. Women haven’t given men a formal invitation, so they haven’t joined in. It’s not because, you know, men benefit HUGELY (socially, economically, politically, etc. infinity) from gender inequality and therefore have much less incentive to support its dismantling. It’s not because of the prevalence of misogyny the entire world over. It’s just that no one’s asked. OMG, why didn’t any of us think to ask?!

This is an absurd thing to suggest. Women have been trying to get men to care about oppression of women since…always. Men have never been overwhelmingly interested in fighting that fight, because it requires them giving up power and all evidence suggests that’s not their super-fave thing. Share a link about gender equality? Sure! Count me in! Give up real power in real ways? Nope, not really.

I could not agree more. For DECADES we have been open to men…Too many just do not want to participate. The issues that are vital for ALL of us are not seen to be so when they see that women care about them.

Ms. Mckenzie made other wonderful, thoughtful points and I will leave them for others to find. Please do. It is well worth a careful read.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Or many men want to participate but only if they have control. Ask them to be quiet and listen to women and we’re driving allies away with our meanness.

samantha
6 years ago

I just went back and re-read the article by Mia Mckenzie and I want to really encourage everyone to go and read it. She is so brilliant and thoughtful in her analyses of both Emma Watsons speech and the problems with feminism that she is my new Hera.

Again, the link is: http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/2014/09/im-really-emma-watsons-feminism-speech-u-n/

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Now I want to bake cookies.

samantha
6 years ago

Or many men want to participate but only if they have control. Ask them to be quiet and listen to women and we’re driving allies away with our meanness.

AARRGGHH!!!! How right you are, weirwoodtreehugger. About 24 years ago, a friend of mine and I invited Z Budapest to Eugene for a weekend workshop. We worked hard to make it happen and it did. Women from all over came and I was SOOOOOO excited!

A male friend of mine came over to my place the day before the workshop started and asked me if I would do a Tarot reading for him the next day. I told him why I could not and he asked me if men could go to the workshop. Well, it was women-only and when I told him that he damn near started frothing at the mouth. I sat in amazement and watched as he yelled about women getting together without MEN…all we were going to talk about were MEN and place curses on MEN and how we all wanted their boy-parts to shrivel up and it wasn’t FAIR that we excluded MEN.

When he was through and glaring at me, I asked him who he played pool with and had business meetings with. Men, of course, but THAT was DIFFERENT. I said “MM Hmmm,” opened my door for him and sat in my living room, laughing. For the record, the workshop was wonderful, the subject of men came up only once – we talked a bit about our personal lives – and never ONCE did we curse men. He just could not accept that women have a spiritual life that is not all about MEN!!!!!!

A few years later, I was part of a group trying to start the Oregon Pagan Association. We had meetings, but I walked out after a while because the MEN did not like it when WOMEN spoke. Nosirree. They wanted Odin and the All Male Pagan Chorus. I guess they felt threatened by Freya and Hecate and the rest. Feh!

Emmy Rae
Emmy Rae
6 years ago

I love that one result of the AVFM nonsense is a bunch of cool people reading Black Girl Dangerous. One of my favorite blogs. Nice!

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