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#gamergate a voice for men anti-Semitism antifeminism antifeminist women crackpottery Dean Esmay entitled babies I know you are but what am I irony alert lying liars misogyny MRA paul elam post contains sarcasm Suzanne McCarley

The Most A-Voice-for-Menny A Voice for Men Thread Ever

Actual "meme" designed by AVFM's Attila Vinczer
Actual “meme” designed by AVFM’s Attila Vinczer

Oh, people. I would really like to take a little vacation from all the A Voice for Men posts, but as it turns out I have found the most A-Voice-for-Menny AVFM thread ever, and I must share it with you.

Ok, so a couple of days ago, AVFM’s Dear Leader Paul Elam posted an uncharacteristically brief video titled “A 41 second lesson for Adam Serwer and the mainstream media.” It consisted of a 41-second snippet of Elam’s phone interview with Buzzfeed’s Adam Serwer, one of the authors of that scathing expose of Elam, in which Elam boasts to Serwer about how much traffic AVFM gets every time there is a news article reporting what an utterly terrible person he is. (I’m loosely paraphrasing here; as far as I can tell, Elam is not actually aware he is a terrible person.)

A few of the AVFM regulars sprinkled some comments below Elam’s offering when he put it up on AVFM, and there are some utter gems amongst them, demonstrating some of the ways that AVFMers try to magically stave off the collective realization that the reason virtually every real journalist who has ever written about them thinks they’re terrible is that they are indeed terrible.

One commenter gamely repeated a familiar truism that is not actually true:

 crydiego • 13 hours ago  I'm sure there is much more yellow journalism to come and it will come from many different sources but say the same thing. All publicity is good publicity if you want to get a message out.Then a self-described Man Going His Own Way suggested that Serwer is not a real man at all:

 MGTOW-man • a day ago  Serwer, if it wasn't for the empty kind of female admiration, he wouldn't be able to find any worth in himself. Poor thing; Thinks he is a 'real' man but mysteriously, all of his maleness goes to waste unless he subscribes to vacuous pandering and pampering. The boys really have them a pillar of strength to emulate, huh?AVFM’s “Activism Director” then stepped up with a colorful comment that, among other things, cleverly transformed “Serwer” into “Sewer”:

 Attila_L_Vinczer Mod • a day ago  Adam Serwer jumps on the axe-grinding bandwagon. Who will he swing at next? More importantly, why? Will he be honest or continue the dishonest path of a conniving yellow-belly journalist. Many unknowns, but one thing is for sure, this was Sewer reporting.

Vinczer was evidently so proud of the phrase “axe-grinding bandwagon” that he decided to paste it, and some further thoughts on the subject, over an old cheesecake picture of a woman grinding an axe. (See above.) Unfortunately, she is not actually seated upon a bandwagon, so I cannot award Mr. Vinczer full credit for his efforts here.

But my favorite comment of the bunch came from AVFM’s “managing editor” and “director of operations” and “possible buyer of fake Twitter followers,” Dean Esmay.

 Dean Esmay Mod • 2 days ago  So who does Adam Serwer hate more, Jews or women? I still can't figure it out.I can see that some of you are a little baffled, possibly because Serwer, who is both Jewish and a feminist, has never given any indication that he hates either Jews or women.

But Esmay, like many in the Men’s Rights community, seems to be fond of an argumentative trope that most of us outgrow in childhood: the old “I know you are but what am I?” ruse.

If you call an MRA a sexist, chances are good that he (or in some cases she) will call YOU a sexist — because, say, your insistence that rapists should be vigorously prosecuted is said to somehow infantalize women.

Or something like that; the details aren’t any more important to the MRAs making these accusations than they were to your jerky sibling when you were both kids. What’s important is that this little rhetorical maneuver puts you on the defensive.

But if AVFMers don’t have any good reason to say that Serwer hates Jews and/or women, they have come up with an excuse:  Buzzfeed chose to illustrate Serwer and Katie Baker’s piece on Elam with a caricature of Elam modeled after a famous poster of Rosie the Riveter.

And so, apparently because the caricature of Elam was mildly unflattering and slightly exaggerated the size of his nose, the great minds at AVFM decided that it was equivalent to the viciously anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews featured in Nazi propaganda. And also somehow demeaning to women. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

Here’s how one AVFM fan tried to explain the accusation on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/tigerclaud/status/563888703026634752

tiger1tiger2Oddly, I don’t recall Esmay, a fervent supporter of #GamerGate, ever taking fellow #GamerGaters to task for literally repurposing neo-Nazi propaganda in their attacks on Anita Sarkeesian.

The “I know you are but what am I” attack can be confusing even to MRAs. Pity poor Suzy McCarley, AVFM’s “assistant managing editor” and head comment moderator, who, in her response to Esmay’s question, tried to attack Serwer as an anti-Semite who’s simultaneously sexist towards both women and men.

 driversuz Mod Dean Esmay • a day ago  I'm leaning toward "Jews," because so many of them are men. Heaven knows Sewer hates men, possibly more than he hates women and Jews.

So Serwer hates Jews more than women, because half of all Jews are women, whom he hates, and the other half are men, whom he also hates, but possibly more than he hates women.

Driversuz, be careful: you might sprain something.

 

 

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tcwill00
tcwill00
6 years ago

@toujoursgai: is your nym from Archie & Mehitabel? “There’s a dance in the old dame yet!”

toujoursgai
6 years ago

@tcwill00: Yes! Yes, it is. 🙂

theomegaconstant
6 years ago

Parks & Recreation just did a Men’s Right’s parody, and it was delightful.

I will miss that show.

toujoursgai
6 years ago

This season of Parks and Rec has been pretty great all around. If the latest episode mocks MRA’s, then I extra can’t wait for it to be posted online.

Sarah
Sarah
6 years ago

David, even for the regular standard of funny and witty, this post was really witty and funny.
Thank you!
Also as a jewish woman, I find the reaction of AVFMers to an unflattering picture of their leader hilarious.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Parks and recreation? What episode is it I want to see it

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I’m behind on Parks and Recreation but it’s a great show. Did Ron Swanson become an MRA?

I love that conservatives don’t realize he’s a satirical character and Nick Offerman isn’t like that in real life. Reactionaries never get what is or isn’t satire.

ParadoxicalIntention
6 years ago

Falconer

I love me some Mikado. I saw the one with Eric Idle, too, at least a recording.

The Penzance movie with Kevin Kline and Angela Lansbury is a good one, too.

My favorite rendition is the 1985 Stratford Festival one. I posted a clip from it earlier. Their Poo-Bah was hilarious, and easily my favorite. Stratford Festival has also done some others, I think. I’ve only seen their Mikado and Iolanthe (which was also good).

Opera Australia did a more recent rendition earlier, and while I wasn’t a fan of the costumes, I did enjoy the way they modernized some of the songs. “I’ve Got a Little List” was pretty good in that one.

A Mighty Teapot
A Mighty Teapot
6 years ago

I’ve been compelled to stop lurking in order to make a point about the 50 Shades of Grey thing. (Also hello, this site and the awesome comments have been part of my morning routine for months, I’ll help myself to a welcome pack and my favourite —-ing scent of —-ing scented candle is —-ing cherry.)

I spend far more time than is healthy reading detective novels and watching crime dramas. I do this for fun, as escapist fantasy. It does not indicate any underlying desire to witness, perpetrate, fall victim to, investigate or in fact be on the same planet as a murder. To suggest that my choice of reading matter may be indicative of criminal tendencies would, I think, be considered absurd by most people. So why in the name of Nancy Drew is the popularity of a particular “romance” “novel” assumed to reveal anything about its readers’ real desires? Ok, so MRAs like to see women as impressionable, easily-read infants but they’re not the only ones drawing some sort of wider meaning from the phenomenon.

Short version: What we fantasise about and what we actually want are not always the same but this is all too easily disregarded when discussing people’s sexual preferences.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Alan — yes, Livia, thank you!!

Fruitloopsie — isn’t Bates Motel based (absurdly) loosely on Gacy?

And I’m pretty sure the Wests were partners.

Sleep, blessed sleep. I’m going to get some while Darwin isn’t endeavoring to ruin the last shreds of my sanity. You’d think a tortoise would be a quiet pet right? Watch out for glass, the noise of shell on glass, over, and over, and over again… *deafens self*

I badically got through the morning praising my noise ça calling headphones. (Ok autocorrect, I got a vowel wrong in “canceling” and you decided I must want two words in different languages? See how I’m not using the French keyboard layout? Yeah, that generally means I’m not typing in French!)

childrenofthebroccoli
childrenofthebroccoli
6 years ago

@fruitloopsie
No, Bloody Mary was an English queen who ordered the slaughter of either Catholics or Protestants (I forget which). Elizabeth Bathory was rumored to have bathed in the blood of her victims, but she wasn’t formally charged with that. She was convicted of torturing and murdering hundreds of girls and young women, though.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Grand Pooh-Brah is good. Grand Poo-Flinger is another one, since AVFM often remind me of those monkeys that fling their shit at one another.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I thought Bloody Mary was queen Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon?

numerobis
numerobis
6 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burke_and_Hare_murders

There’s this delightful duo, who were allegedly significantly assisted by women.

theomegaconstant
6 years ago

The Parks & Recreation episode was called ‘Pie-Mary;’ Season 7, episode 9. It was a brief MRA spoofing, but it hit the spot. Ben is running for Congress and Leslie was asked to bake in the ‘Pie-Mary,’ where candidates’ wives compete in a bake-off. Ben decides to do it himself as a sort of protest for such a dated and misogynistic idea, and the local MRA chapter comes out to protest Leslie for ‘forcing’ him to bake for him. Quote highlights from the MRAs include “Men have had a very rough go of it… just recently!” and “Geez, can we have one conversation about feminism in which men are in charge?”

Such a good show.

Dreadnought
Dreadnought
6 years ago

Bloody Mary was a Catholic Queen who attempted to undo the English Reformation by ordering the deaths Protestants, however she’s known as “Bloody Mary” due to her miscarriges. She was to be succeeded by Elizabeth I.

I love history.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Argenti Aertheri

“Fruitloopsie — isn’t Bates Motel based (absurdly) loosely on Gacy?”

I don’t know much about the Pyscho movie, bates motel or anything like that all I saw was a meme with him in it basically saying that if he never been with his mother he wouldn’t have killed people. I guess it goes with their whole hate with single mothers? I don’t know but like you said that it’s really bizarre that the creator would create memes around fictional characters and somehow compare them to the real world.

Childrenofthebroccoli and WWTH
Thanks for the info, I just did some research so there are a few stories of where Bloody Mary came from and I did see Queen Mary and I did read about Elizabeth torturing and killing women and girls. Now it’s time for brain bleach
http://fireburst.weebly.com/uploads/2/6/9/2/26928049/8628417_orig.jpg
http://rs2img.memecdn.com/Not-sure-if-foam–or-cat_o_123873.jpg

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

theomegaconstant
Thanks

Dreadnought
Thanks

“I love history”

Always cool to learn something every now and then

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

So in Gamergate drama:

The head of Baphomet (basically Gamergate’s black hat team, much as they may deny it) seems to have sold SSNs… on Baphomet… including one of a sitting US judge… and also linked to child porn. Then he–also on Baphomet–announced he was going to China.

On the board that has been on the news as a font of doxing, swatting, and other cyber-crimes. Think the FBI doesn’t have someone monitoring it?

These people are not even very competent at being the bad guys, huh?

Fred_the_Dog
6 years ago

Isn’t the Bates Motel from Psycho? That would predate Gacy by quite a bit if so.

M.
M.
6 years ago

I think Bates was based on Gein, not Gacy. ^^; Well, at least the Psycho version of Bates, I didn’t even know there was a TV show.

PussyPowerTantrum
PussyPowerTantrum
6 years ago

I recognize Attila L. Vinczer from the comments section of the Buzzfeed profile, being laughably full of himself as he claimed he spoke three languages by the age of nine and learns a new word every day. I wanted to pat him on the head, he was so precious. So that guy is AVFM’s activism director? It’s not surprising that this is AVFM’s idea of human rights activism.

Dean Esmay and Judy Bloomfield were also all over the comments section. I had a grand time watching Bloomfield get her lies about Jessica Valenti thrown in her face, and still insist those were accurate, word-for-word quotes. The sitcom writes itself with these people.

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

Bates Motel is based on Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho, which in turn was based on a book (but the movie of course is the iconic one). The movie came out in 1960 but I think I know who you’re talking about: not Gacy, but Ed Gein http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Gein The author of the original novel acknowledged that Norman Bates was inspired by Gein (who incidentally, also inspired both Leatherface and Buffalo Bill)

M.
M.
6 years ago

This is going to be an interesting thread for the MRA trolls to stumble into, heh. *grins*

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho also wrote a cool short story called Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper. It has a great twist ending. Highly recommended.

KathleenB
KathleenB
6 years ago

That ax meme… thing makes no damn sense. Is the ‘artist’ actually trying to make a point, or is it supposed to be word salad?

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

@M: heh. I still have something of a teenage crush on Anthony Perkins’ portrayal of Norman Bates. *whistles innocently* But funnily enough, it’s “normal” Norman’s shyness and sweetness that got 15-year-old me, not the killing people part. Wonder what MRA types will make of that.

Incidentally, since wordsp1nner brought up Gamergate, Hitchcock’s Psycho is, like, #1 on my list of media that I totally love and enjoy while fully acknowledging the problematic parts. (The whole 1960s psychology of the “schizogenic mother” being a particularly insidious example.)

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

weirwood: Robert Bloch wrote lots of fun short stories, many of which feel like they would’ve been in EC Comics had the time been right (they were coming out in the ‘zines around the time Tales From the Crypt et al were on the stands).

He was really into Jack the Ripper too– along with “Yours Truly” he wrote the Star Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold” (the “Redjac” one) and “A Toy For Juliette” (which ended up in Dangerous Visions and spurred Harlan Ellison to write “The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World”).

m.c. simon milligan
m.c. simon milligan
6 years ago

Livia Drusilla Augusta was most certainly never convicted of murder, and while implied to be something of a Machiavellian schemer by Tacitus was lauded by Cassius Dio as a wise and benevolent co-ruler with Augustus. No ancient source accuses her of any serious misdeeds (granted, one might just shy away from doing so to the matriarch of the ruling family of the empire). Robert Graves’ portrayal of her in I, Claudius is heavily fictionalized.

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

@tcwill00 “The Penzance movie with Kevin Kline and Angela Lansbury is a good one, too.”

If you liked the movie, there’s videos of the stage performance they based the film on on youtube. They have Patricia Routledge playing Ruth instead of Angela Lansbury, think I prefer her in the part.

Kootiepatra
6 years ago

Men make up most of the stuff we watch and read and most of them have male protagonists that are heros.
But if ever men are presented in a bad way and not the main focus and good at all times then they’re suddenly opressed and misandry exists and will call those men who made those movies, shows, etc ‘manginas’

A little while ago there was an image that floated to the front page of imgur—it was a screencap of someone’s Tumblr, who was musing on the unfairness that only girls had princess stories as a kid. No, seriously. This was sad for boys, because that meant that boys had no stories of someone being so taken with them, just for their beauty, that they would move heaven and earth to be with them. Where are all the stories about the lovely prince, hmmm?

I decided not to bother with the obvious WTFness of that, and simply commented something like, “Well, but you guys got all the cowboys, space explorers, major superheroes, biggest sports stars, knights, soldiers, kings, etc., so I think on the balance, y’all did okay.”

An (I’m guessing) MRA commented back at me, “Yeah, but we had to write all of those stories ourselves.”

“…uh, you do realize that men wrote all of the Disney princess movies, too, right?” I replied, foolishly thinking that this would highlight how entirely male-dominated Hollywood writing is, and how therefore, of course men wrote all of those male protagonists.

But nope. “That’s my point,” he exclaimed, before very creepily comparing it to the inability to get off to porn that he drew himself.

So yeah, to this guy, not only is it deeply unfair that girls got princess stories and boys didn’t, but the comparable bucketloads of male protagonists count less because women didn’t write them.

There is literally no winning. Zero. The goalposts have been moved to a different dimension.

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

@Kootiepatra: funny you mention that, cuz look what came out just yesterday: http://variety.com/2015/film/news/women-lead-roles-in-movies-study-hunger-games-gone-girl-1201429016/

The 30% of speaking characters number has been stagnant for a long time, but the percentage of female protagonists went down from 15% in 2013 to 12%. TWELVE PERCENT.

This is why I automatically tune out people who say men have it just as bad in terms of representation. Not that it wouldn’t be great to have conversations about portrayals of men or masculinity in media, but seriously. Just as bad, my ass.

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

… boys had no stories of someone being so taken with them, just for their beauty, that they would move heaven and earth to be with them.

Ganymede. Tithonus. Endymion.

Mind you, only one of those had an unqualified happy ending, and I suspect these guys would be all NO HOMO about it.

dorabella
dorabella
6 years ago

May I add Patroclo in the Hiliad. Achylles, upon learning of his beloved’s death, went down with such a fury on the enemy warriors that they ran away and locked themselves within the city walls, terrified (leaving Hector to fight Achylles by himself in a duel). Boy I love my classics!

Moggie
Moggie
6 years ago

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think of “Disney princess” as a particularly feminist aspiration. I know a lot of little girls are into that whole sparkly dress and tiara scene, but it’s not very attainable in adulthood, is it? There are at most a few hundred marriageable princes around, and most royal families don’t look very Disney up close. (Though the Saudi royal family probably has an actual evil vizier, so there’s that). Ok, you could settle for metaphorical princesshood, being pampered and adored, but that’s pretty constraining, and tends not to go well in the long term.

Miyazaki princesses are preferable, I think. Less bling, more arse-kicking and flying.

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

We probably could use more narratives about men who don’t conform to traditional ideals of masculinity. But atm women’s representation, both in quantity and quality, is just so much worse that they can’t really be considered equal problems.

Spindrift
Spindrift
6 years ago

@Moggie “Miyazaki princesses are preferable, I think. Less bling, more arse-kicking and flying.”

I love Nausicaa, she’s my favorite princess.

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

Ohhhh, Miyazaki!

I discovered Miyazaki’s work when my oldest was young. (Well, I watched “Grave of the Fireflies as a young college student ???? )
His movies quickly became a part of our library.
We have DVDs, we have Blu-Rays, and now we’re building a digital library.

I know in the US that means that Disney’s getting all of our money, but my girls know he films.

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

Here’s my eldest a few years ago as Mononoke:

http://imgur.com/KPKyNPq

(She’s the only one who’s seen it…it’s pretty violent.)

That year, our middle kiddo was Toph:

http://imgur.com/zYqV4qw

proxieme
proxieme
6 years ago

This year, they were Zita the Spacegirl, an Woodland Elven Scout (the bow’s kind of lame, but my eldest is twitchy and she wasn’t going to be given sharp points to carry around small children), and Daniel Tiger.

http://imgur.com/XRjkdKP

Re: Representation: We’ve looked to animation for alternative representations of masculinity.

Here, Miyazaki also seems to deliver pretty well, but I’d also point to the Avatar (animated) series. Heck, one of Aang’s conflicts is that he’s not “aggressive enough” to fit what he thinks the Avatar should be.

Orion
6 years ago

In fairness, Nequam, none of those myths have been made into prominent movies. On the other hand, I feel like there are definitely urban fantasy books in this mold. Hell, even the katniss/peeta arc is sort of a reverse princess arc. I mean, it’s a princess arc in that it’s not a princess arc at all because Hunger Games messes with tropes constantly and refuses to give you what you want or expect, but that’s the basic model.

Growing up I read a lot of YA fantasy from Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey. I don’t remember a masculine princess arc, but trickster’s choice has an adorable offbeat magic dream guy, and Arrows Flight has the wrong, but temptingly beautiful guy.

I think the real trouble for tumblr dude is that although there *are* stories about women fighting for the men they love, those stories tend to be… about women! And therefore, he won’t read them. It’s not impossible to write it the other way around. Feminist writers have been going back to classic princess tales to look at the woman’s perspective, so you could definitely write a story about a man who is frequently made powerless and who can only escape victimization by appealing for help from the women who lust after him or need to control his sexuality, but that’s naturally going to be a niche taste. Even then, I hear that Y the Last Man might qualify.

–Orion, Wordsmith & Whitesmith

lith
lith
6 years ago

@Kootiepatra:

“Yeah, but we had to write all of those stories ourselves.”

I like the subtle claim there that – being a man and the writers being men too – somehow he had more to do with the creation of it than you did. Or anything at all to do with it.
Presumably you and the rest of woman-kind were too busy messing about with laundry or something, which you wouldn’t have been if you’d just gosh-darn chosen to be born male.

lith
lith
6 years ago

@suffrajitsu:

I was watching Toy Story 3 the other day and suddenly realised that any character that had no particular reason to be one gender or the other was male. Searching for discussions on it I repeatedly saw the excuse that most of Pixar is male so of course they can’t write female characters because they can’t imagine being one. Like they aren’t a whole bunch of bigger issues all by themselves.

@Nequam:
Don’t forget Narcissus! 🙂
Now there’s a story about someone falling in love with a man for nothing more than his beauty.

Nequam
Nequam
6 years ago

Also Adonis and Hyacinthus. Greek myths in general show that having the gods fall in love with you may not be the best thing.

Ghost Robot
Ghost Robot
6 years ago

The pro-Elam comments at Buzzfeed all read in a very similar way (tortured logic, strawman arguments, a snidely aggressive tone) that is very cult-ish in tone. Hell, the way Elam favours those who feed his ego and viciously attacks those who criticise him – while encouraging his minions to follow suit – IS classic cult leader behaviour.

zarathustratheserpent
6 years ago

A bit off topic, but by God if only #GamerGate had this kid’s dad.

Newt
Newt
6 years ago

Hey, I found some not-awful news:

Guides launch new badge for feminism – http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/11/girlguiding-launches-badge-for-global-gender-equality

Naturally, the comments are mostly saying “women-only groups shouldn’t discuss gender stuff”. One day I’ll learn to resist the “Discussion” link. Today is not that day.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

TV is so much better than movies when it comes to having female characters.

dhag85
6 years ago

Re the Elam = Dear Leader discussion, I agree with the point made by the commenter (can’t remember who said it, sorry!), but at the same time I also agree with Ghost Robot in that I can find very few people for whom the Dear Leader label would be more suited than for Elam. With him, it seems to be literally “agree with every single word that I say, or be my enemy forever”.

markb
markb
6 years ago

@lith: “I was watching Toy Story 3 the other day and suddenly realised that any character that had no particular reason to be one gender or the other was male. Searching for discussions on it I repeatedly saw the excuse that most of Pixar is male so of course they can’t write female characters because they can’t imagine being one. Like they aren’t a whole bunch of bigger issues all by themselves.”

They are aware of that, which is why they made “Brave”.