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The 5 Creepiest Details from GQ's Long-Awaited Account of A Voice for Men's Conference Last Summer

A Voice for Men's Paul Elam: Still not ready for his closeup
A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam: Still not ready for his closeup

A few days before alleged “men’s human rights” website A Voice for Men held its first convention last summer, the site’s founder and head boy Paul Elam put up a post imploring the alleged human rights activists planning to attend the event not to go around calling women bitches and whores and cunts, because the news media would be there, and this might make his little human rights movement look bad.

I’m paraphrasing here; Elam was a teensy bit more euphemistic, telling his followers that anyone caught “trash-talking women, men, making violent statements … anything that can be used against us” would get a very stern talking-to and, if they persisted, would be asked to leave.

Elam’s warning didn’t stick. Indeed, the woman in charge of publicity for the event – you may know her as JudgyBitch or Janet Bloomfield, neither of which is her real name – went on a bit of a Twitter rampage, happily denouncing critics of the group as, yep, “whores.”

As GQ magazine’s long-awaited, finally published account of the conference makes abundantly clear, JB wasn’t the only one who broke Elam’s rule. Elam himself broke it, as did, apparently, almost everyone who came within shouting distance of GQ correspondent Jeff Sharlet, and the infractions went well beyond slurs and “bitch make me a sammich” jokes.

So I present to you The 5 Creepiest Details from  GQ’s Account of AVFM’s Conference Last Summer

1) The Men’s Rights Activist who boasted that he would have disowned his daughter if she had pressed charges against the man she said raped her.

Af a convention afterparty, the man in question told this little story to Sharlet, Elam, and a few others:

When one of his daughters came home one night and said she’d been raped, he said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Sitting with us, he hikes his voice up to a falsetto in imitation: ” ‘Oh, I just got raped.’ ” He laughs. There’s a moment of silence. A bridge too far? “I told her if she pressed charges, I’d disown her.”

Elam, whose attention has drifted, grins through his beard. “That’s good fathering,” he says.

2) The presentation on male suicide in which the presenter referred to a woman’s alleged propensity for “cocoa penis puffs,” by which he evidently meant black penises.

Speaking about male suicide and the troubles faced by returning veterans, conference speaker Terrence Popp asked the men in the room to

“imagine coming back from war to find out your wife, I’m trying to think of a good way to say this, but, uh, you know, went cuckoo for cocoa penis puffs.” I think Popp, who is white, means the wife in question had sex with a black man. “Crazy for some Rice Krispies treats,” he continues, “and a couple Polish sausages thrown in there.”

3) The Men’s Rights Activist/sex offender who thinks the age of consent should be 12, because “I would rather err on the side of 12-year-olds having sex than on the side of ruining men’s lives.”

4) Sage Gerard’s “unconsensual hug.”

GQ’s Sharlet brought his friend Blair along with him to the convention, where the 26-year old evidently attracted a good deal of attention from the men there, receiving, Sharlet says, “several marriage proposals” (presumably unserious) and some hands-on attention from AVFM’s “Collegiate Activism Director” Sage Gerard, including what Blair later described as “the most unconsensual hug I have ever known.”

If Blair’s account of her encounter with Gerard is any indication, the AVFM collegiate organizer has been reading up on pickup artistry; in addition to a good deal of touching – what PUAs call “kino” – he tried to “isolate” her by drawing her away from the crowd to … write a poem. (His idea.)

Here’s how Sharlet, relying on Blair’s notes, described what happened after their awkward hug:

Sage loosens his grip. “I apologize for dragging you away,” he says. “I wasn’t going to feel okay until I talked to you.” He warns her not to send mixed messages. For instance, she shouldn’t put her hand on a man’s knee if she doesn’t want to have sex with him. Sage puts his hand on Blair’s knee. This is not a mixed message, he wants her to understand. She’s here, in the VFW. She’s taken the red pill. She needs another hug. He needs to give it to her.

Blair, I should note, is not the only one to report creepy, predatory behavior on the part of conference attendees.

5) Rape jokes, rape jokes, and more rape jokes.

I’ll just mention this one. When Sharlet arrived at the conference afterparty with Blair, who had successfully managed to escape Gerard’s unconsensual embraces, Elam asked her a question:

“I’m curious,” Elam says. “What did your friends think when you told them you were coming here?”

“To be honest?” Blair asks. Elam nods. She says, “I had friends who said I’d get raped.”

Blink. You can almost see the struggle in Elam’s bones: Play the nice guy? Or the perv? No question. “All right!” he booms, swinging his arms together. “Let’s get started!”

Jazz winces.

“Get the video camera!” Factory yells at his girlfriend, who giggles weakly.

I should be very clear here: At no point does it seem like Elam or Factory is actually going to rape Blair. We know they’re joking. Just a couple of middle-aged guys joking around about rape with a young woman they’ve never met before in a hotel room at one in the morning.

You can read the rest of Sharlet’s account of this groudbreaking human rights conference here. And you should.

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Bina
Bina
6 years ago

“I would rather err on the side of 12-year-olds having sex than on the side of ruining men’s lives.”

“I would rather err on the side of men raping 12-year-olds with impunity than on the side of girls being able to trust the justice system to serve them as it should.”

FIXED THAT FOR YOU.

Bostonian
Bostonian
6 years ago

No bottom to their barrel.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Men’s rights activists are diarrhea stains on humanity. That poor girl I hope she gets the help she needs.

We should censor P*ick Elam’s face ::shivers::

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Just a couple of middle-aged guys joking around about rape with a young woman they’ve never met before in a hotel room at one in the morning.

As you do.

I’m still reeling from that picture of Elam; without the caption I would have never guessed it was the precursor to the bulgey-eyed, be-beared alien man I’ve seen so often.

ej
ej
6 years ago

That’s his slogan: “Fuck their shit up.” “They” being feminists.

Yup. That definitely sounds like a human rights organization to me.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

And apparently they think all the people commenting on the GQ piece who aren’t them are all Mancheeze in sock puppet form.

anemonerosie
6 years ago

“Human Rights” doesn’t mean what they seem to think it means.

freemage
6 years ago

Once again, in the span of about a week, I’m having trouble posting without violating the forum rules. I know–KNOW–that’s the right way for things to be, but dammit it’s tempting to give in with some of these cretins.

Sadie G
6 years ago

That last one made me throw up in my mouth. Again. *FML*

tooimpurenangel
6 years ago

The rape joke thing is so horrifuing because they KNEW that press was their. That was how they chose to represent their movement to the public.

potterchik
potterchik
6 years ago

I can’t stop thinking about that poor young woman whose own FATHER laughed when she told him she’d been raped. My heart aches for her. I hope she had some better support somewhere. I hope she’s okay.

akemp0013
6 years ago

Every one of these men are sociopaths, especially the one who’s daughter was raped. How do you say that to your own flesh and blood? He doesn’t deserve to be a parent. None of these men do.

tooimpurenangel
6 years ago

Horrifuing? Although it does look like horifuckyouing which pretty much sums up my feelings about MRA’s

tooimpurenangel
6 years ago

Oh gods, I missed the first one. I don’t know how I did but I honestly feel like crying now.

gorillaella
6 years ago

Just when I think they can’t get any worse, they prove me wrong.

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
6 years ago

Not described in the article: any actual work on behalf of men with problems.

Holy shit that hug-poem-kneetouch story made my skin crawl.

katz
6 years ago

An agent was inspired by this post. I…I feel like I should dissuade her.

https://twitter.com/esc_key/status/570737339636572161

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
6 years ago

Wow. I mean, it’s not like expected them to not be horrible, but wow.

sagamanus
sagamanus
6 years ago

Without his glasses he looks like a serial killer lumberjack. With his glasses he looks like a corporate shill who used to be a serial killing lumberjack but now only does that on the side.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

On the age of consent thing, I wonder if they’d agree if the genders were flipped. Not that feminists generally say rapey bullshit like this, but if a feminist said “I’d rather err on the side of 12 year old boys having sex than on the side of ruining women’s lives” they would absolutely flip their shit.

Of course, feminists wouldn’t say that because consent is a big part of feminism and 12 year olds cannot consent. But this same logic could be applied to abuse victims who are boys. They don’t give any fucks about human rights at all.

M.
M.
6 years ago

I wonder how MRAs square away their bullshit belief that “All women everywhere are just itching to falsely accuse men of sexual assault!” with the fact that their conference was allowed to finish without a hitch despite the very real yet unreported (as far as I know) sexual assaults that happened under its roof, including Blair’s.

(Rhetorical. Of course the answer is “FALSE ACCUSATIONS!!!111one”)

ParadoxicalIntention
6 years ago

zoon echon logon | February 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Not described in the article: any actual work on behalf of men with problems.

And thus is where I see the tragedy of the men’s rights movement. They could be spending their time helping men with actual problems, but instead they devote their time to being miserable little shitfucks who only want to rile up feminists because it gives them boners to think of women being angry or distressed because of them.

All the money they raise, all the time they spend trying to convince themselves it’s the rest of the world’s (mostly women’s) fault that their lives are shit and they need to “fight” in a “battle” just to be male by their own twisted definition…it’s sad.

Oh, and Paulie:

MISOGYNIST
___________________________________
A man who thinks women are intelligent (Unless they’re disagreeing with a man or thinking they deserve anything besides my contempt), rational (Unless they’re disagreeing with me on anything at all), accountable human beings (By which I mean they need to take responsibility for everything they do and, thus everything I do to them because of them) and expects them to act that way (by agreeing with everything a man says and never doing anything to stand up for themselves and provoke a man into doing something to them because that’s just the consequences of making a man angry with you and you deserved it!).

Fixed that sign for ya. You’re welcome. Though, I imagine it’s a little long for a poster board. But you guys are used to putting word vomit where none be needed.

Anne Mette
Anne Mette
6 years ago

*pukes*

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

Seems like a common event among MRAs–they say horrible shit, horrible shit gets reported (with very little commentary), they flip their shit and accuse whoever is quoting them of having an agenda.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
6 years ago

Once again, I would never suggest that anyone go out and harm any of these charming individuals. But if they fell down an abandoned well and broke their necks and died, nothing of value would be lost.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

3) The Men’s Rights Activist/sex offender who thinks the age of consent should be 12, because “I would rather err on the side of 12-year-olds having sex than on the side of ruining men’s lives.”

This dude is literally arguing that raping teenage girls is a man’s human right.

And Elam thinks that mocking your daughter who’s just been raped an threatening to disown her if she presses charges is “good parenting.”

Welp, I’m done. I’m off to find some brain bleach.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

We need some cat action:

Check out the matching fur.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

…they can’t seem to conceal the awful, even when they are trying…

M.
M.
6 years ago

Here’s Levi demonstrating how he got his name:

http://nequam.xepher.net/images/levi/namesake.jpg

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

When one of his daughters came home one night and said she’d been raped, he said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Sitting with us, he hikes his voice up to a falsetto in imitation: ” ‘Oh, I just got raped.’ ” He laughs. There’s a moment of silence. A bridge too far? “I told her if she pressed charges, I’d disown her.”

Elam, whose attention has drifted, grins through his beard. “That’s good fathering,” he says.

And we wonder why Paulie’s own daughter finally said “Fuck it, I’m outta here” when it came to him.

Actually, we don’t wonder at all.

laughnwitch
laughnwitch
6 years ago

Oh my GOD that is brilliant the comment section is filled with the agony of their butthurtness hahahaha

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

Wasn’t their a furor when Lindy West left Jezebel, to the glee of MRAs insisting she’d been fired, only for them to lose their shit when it turned out she was hired by GQ? I haven’t followed up that story so I could be wrong, but if *GQ* is too extremist feminazi #killallmen for the MRAs, that’s something. (Not saying they’re chauvinist–I haven’t read GQ much so I wouldn’t know–but as a mainstream men’s magazine, it’s really not the first thing I’d think of when thinking “radical feminist agenda.”)

There’s so much awful depressing shit here that I don’t even want to dwell on it long enough to comment on, but lemme just say, that caption is so fitting. Elam’s just as out of touch with reality as Norma Desmond, except not sympathetic enough that one of his three spouses would still care about him. And Norma, at least, was actually a bigshot once.

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

Ugh, THERE, goddammit. Not their.

frances
frances
6 years ago

These are the same people who are holding a “Rape Culture Doesn’t Exist” seminar at KSU on March 13.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

QC is actually making inroads into progressive investigative journalism. Last year, Jeff Sharlit published a piece on Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people in GQ because they were willing to work with in on an in-depth, long-form peace. If you haven’t read it, here it is, but it is brutal:

http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201402/being-gay-in-russia

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

The typo monster is out in force today 🙁

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

I Google “Jeff Sharlet GQ Twitter”, and the #4 result (below his Twitter, his contributor page on GQ, and the article on the AVFM conference) is “GQ’s Jeff Sharlet pimps out Blair Braverman for clickbait”, on A Voice for Men. That’s the best they came up with as way of rebuttal–using the inflammatory words “pimp” and “clickbait”. Not actually denying the (damning) quotes and anecdotes in the article.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

“imagine coming back from war to find out your wife, I’m trying to think of a good way to say this, but, uh, you know, went cuckoo for cocoa penis puffs.” I think Popp, who is white, means the wife in question had sex with a black man. “Crazy for some Rice Krispies treats,” he continues, “and a couple Polish sausages thrown in there.”

Why no, that’s not racist at ALL! And no ethnic stereotyping there, either!

…Hey, why are all the dogs in the neighborhood suddenly barking their heads off?

seraph4377
6 years ago

Reblogged this on Dreams of the Shining Horizon and commented:
Jesus Christ.
*Takes a moment to gain composure*
You really should take a few minutes and read the whole thing, but if you only have time to check out the high points, this is what you need to see.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
6 years ago

God, the Honey Badger part of the article. So, once again the “girls” who “cry rape” are dishonest lying liars accusing poor, innocent men of crimes they did not commit, but when a man tells a similar story of nigh-sexual assault, it’s proof of the evil, predatory nature of women.

I’m getting so sick of MRAs and their criminal brofiling.

isidore13
isidore13
6 years ago

I feel like this is an appropriate post to link to http://theghostofyourliess.tumblr.com/post/46274373034/mens-rights-activists

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

For a young MRA named Max von Holtzendorff, the red-pill moment was being accused of sexual harrassment by a co-worker to whom he proposed sex, “being blunt and forthright, because that seemed the best way to ensure consent.”

I hereby nominate this bit of creepiness for a dishonorable mention. Because sexually propositioning a co-worker out of the blue isn’t sexual harassment at ALL, either.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
6 years ago

I found this published by one of Sharlit’s friends:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121138/mark-driscoll-and-macho-christianity

It is comparing Driscoll-esque “macho Christianity” to pick-up artistry. It is pretty interesting.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

For Dan Perrins, one of the security black shirts, it was the day he ended up in jail, after he says he lodged a complaint against his ex, the beginning of a legal battle that led him to a hunger strike. “I should have killed the bitch five years ago,” he tells me. “I’d be out by now.”

And yet, they claim that the legal system shafts men. Does that sound like a shafted guy to you? If his wife had killed him in self-defence, she sure as hell would not be out in five years or less. She’d be in for life.

And no, Dan, you’re not a creepy little man at all, either!

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

“It’s a David-and-Goliath kind of deal,” he says. He’s David, personally confronting the Goliath of Womanhood, his “provocations” his sling. And just as in the biblical story, it’s not so much about killing Goliath as giving hope to his people. This, to Elam, is how his provocations work: “satire” that’s really rage that’s really a beacon, a Bat Signal—calling all broken men.

Except that Paulie is six-foot-eight and nearly 300 pounds, and looks nothing like Michelangelo’s David. And has made numerous entirely serious declarations about how he’d be only too happy to beat the shit out of a MUCH smaller woman.

The actual satire just writes itself…all over his sizable carcass.

laughnwitch
laughnwitch
6 years ago

Another thing I love about this article besides the hilarious comment section is how he openly links ELLIOT RODGER to these people. They are going to be flipping out about this for some time to come. HAHAHAHA

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Also, gotta love those Honey Badgers with all their “examples” of women-raping-men. All their alleged examples happened in AFRICA.

No, ladies, that’s not racist of you at ALL!

(And not at all unverifiable, either.)

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Oh, oh:

He doesn’t deny that there are cases of real abuse. But he suspects that adult men are better lovers for young girls than boys their own age. “The teenage boy is, I would suspect, more interested in sex.” Whereas the adult would be interested in “substance,” he says. “Or even a mentor-protégée relationship.”

All the HELL TO THE NOPE. When I was in my teens, I may have drooled over the guys in Duran Duran, but if I’d ever gone to any of their concerts and been invited backstage only to be propositioned for sex, I would have fled from there in tears. And maybe vomiting. And definitely prepared to burn and trash all my band memorabilia, and try to forget I ever liked them. There’s a reason girls have crushes on unattainable men; it’s a transitional stage, and a safe one. They can admire and adore them with no danger of being taken advantage of.

And no, I don’t care how pizza-faced and squicky teenage boys generally are. I was disgusted and frustrated with about 99.9% of the guys I went to school with, but that was fine by me, too. That’s all the more reason for a girl to delay sex until she’s actually ready herself, and has found someone she knows she can trust. If that’s not a teenage boy, fine. Sex can wait until they both grow up a bit. Older men are infinitely worse than boys, because they’re taking advantage of a girl who thinks she’s grown up, but who they know full well is NOT.

No, grown men have no business “mentoring” teenage girls sexually. NONE.

And then there’s this, from the same Calabrese:

Calabrese does not brag. Not really. “I’m easily Googleable,” he says. He is: Albert J. Calabrese Jr., a former substitute teacher in Akron, Ohio, arrested for felony sexual misconduct with a minor. “My chick wasn’t a student,” he claims. “She asked me out.”

COOL STORY, BRO. Ever consider writing a Penthouse Letter? Christ, no wonder he’s one of those “old enough to bleed, old enough to breed” types who want to see the sex-offender registry trashed. He fucking belongs on it.

ktrantingredhead
6 years ago

I think the title should be changed to: Sharlet on SHARTlets

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