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Men’s Rights Redditors unimpressed by A Voice for Men’s conference speakers, appalled by the cost

A Voice for Men's upcoming conference has it all!
A Voice for Men’s upcoming conference has it all!

So it turns out that I’m not the only one who is thoroughly underwhelmed by A Voice for Men’s lineup of conference speakers for their upcoming International Conference on Men’s Issues, By Which They Mean How Men Are Oppressed By Women’s Sexy Butts. 

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, some of the regulars are complaining that AVFM is delivering much less than it did last year, for a much higher price — with ticket prices running a steep $650, currently discounted to the high. high price of $399.

Yep, attendees of the conference will be paying as much as $650 just to get in to the event, not counting the cost of airfare, hotels, or even food at the conference itself.

They could easily end up paying more than $1000 for the privilege of watching Elam and a bunch of his AVFM cronies blather on about the same crap they blather on about in countless hour-long videos available for free on YouTube. The only “big name” in the mix is Warren Farrell, whose fame as a Men’s Rights advocate peaked maybe twenty years ago.

As fundude1 put it:

The lineup looks terrible with just Elam, Golden, Palmitier and Farrell.

Both Golden and Palmitier really bring nothing to the table. They are both psychologists (like Elam and Farrell) and are UNKNOWN.

Is it churlish of me to point out that neither Elam or Farrell are actually psychologists?

There is no diversity at ALL among the people in terms of academic backgrounds, general popularity, etc.

Last year’s conference had a much more broad array of characters that had FAR more popularity in general.

Fundude1’s outrage meter went further into the red after he discovered how much the whole thing was going to cost.

But he wasn’t the only one upset by the underwhelming lineup and overwhelming cost.

To take just one example: therock6658, a Men’s Rights subreddit regular with considerable sympathy for AVFM, wrote a long and mournful comment lamenting “the fact that AVFM is … half-assing this whole event.”

I hate to say this but I was looking forward to this announcement for months when Elam stated that he was going to put the tickets on sale for the second of April, but once they went on sale and I looked at the roster, it ultimately turned me off to the entire men’s rights movement.

Yep, that’s right: AVFM has bungled their conference so badly he’s reconsidering his support for the entire Men’s Rights movement. 

Considering the price, he added, “it just does not look good for the outcome of this particular conference.” Nope.

As for the lineup, he complained, it

does indeed bother me as much as it does everyone else. It’s mostly people from AVFM and not enough people from external sources. 10 speakers present as opposed to the 14 from last year plus everyone involved in the panel discussions. …

I really hope that this is more due to budgeting more than anything else because I would hate to learn that this is really due to greed or anything like that. Yes, I do feel that donations to AVFM have been going down as of late and perhaps that’s the big reason why this conference shrank from last year.

Given that AVFM’s last fundraiser brought in less than half of what Elam had been demanding, I’d say that was a safe bet.

Also, you may recall that at the start of the year, Elam announced that he “hope[d] to make some actual profit” from this year’s conference.

Apparently Elam never took economics in college, because then he might have realized that you can’t simply make more money by jacking your prices as high as you want; if your prices are too steep, no one will buy what you’re selling.

But hey, as Elam apparently explained to therock6658, having fewer speakers means “more time for attendees to socialize with the presenters, etc.”

WIN A DATE WITH PAUL ELAM

Actually, that’s not quite right: PAY THROUGH THE NOSE FOR THE CHANCE TO MAYBE TALK TO PAUL ELAM

I actually pretty much have a good mind to make my own anti-feminist conference myself and do twice as much in 1 day than AVFM is trying to do in 3.

You know, I do too.

I think it’s fair to say that there’s a good chance AVFM’s conference won’t happen at all.

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ikanreed
ikanreed
6 years ago

I think it’s fair to say that there’s a good chance AVFM’s conference won’t happen at all.

But he might still be able to run off with all the money from the poor suckers who shell out $650.

magnesium
magnesium
6 years ago

$400+ a head, eh? And then plane tickets and hotel rooms. Think of the great domestic violence men’s shelter they could start with that. Ah well, I guess that’s not important to them.

Faint Praise
Faint Praise
6 years ago

Last year’s conference is the reason they’ll have harder times getting speakers. It was easy to sell a blank slate last time, but harder to sell a conference where the likes of Molyneux spouts his usual “women cause all evil” stuff as the press watches.

Yet somehow the MRA think tank has reached the opposite conclusion. They seem to think what this year’s conference needs is *more* of the “diversity” that MGTOW and other extremists bring. They’re not mad about losing a senator, they’re mad about losing Girl Writes What.

They have a road map for failure and they insist on using it.

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
6 years ago

Oh, noes — Trouble in Paradise, Part 2! (Or is it 3? 4?) How… awesome. 🙂 🙂 🙂

And that:

“I hate to say this but I was looking forward to this announcement for months when Elam stated that he was going to put the tickets on sale for the second of April, but once they went on sale and I looked at the roster, it ultimately turned me off to the entire men’s rights movement.”

…made me grin from ear to ear. With friends like these, who needs mammotheers?

But how interesting it is: it’s not the hatred and violence that MRA peddle, not the pathetic self-pity, not the utterly devoid of reality outlook on life, but the roster of the upcoming “conference” speakers that put the fella in question off THE ENTIRE men’s rights movement. How utterly and marvelously incomprehensible. And how typical at the same time.

I’m not complaining, mind you: whatever it takes. But cannot not notice the peculiar reasoning (or lack of it).

I have a great idea for this dude and his fellow travelers: don’t bother with the silly “conference” — just send the $400 (or $650) directly to Paul Elam. Mission accomplished without the hassle, and you’ll still end up ahead (saving on travel and accommodations and what not). You’re welcome!

vanir85
6 years ago

But he might still be able to run off with all the money from the poor suckers who shell out $650.

– ikonreed

Considering these “suckers” are all horrible misogynists, I kinda don’t care. But I DO wonder if the lights will start to switch on upstairs, soon. I mean; at some point these beacons of reason and deduction should GET that Paulie dearest is as upfront and honest as your stereotypical used cars salesman.

Scarlettathena
6 years ago

I had the same reaction as Aunt Edna: “Really? This is what has made you reconsider the MRM? Not seeing harassment treated as activism? Not reading that Elam basically just pockets the money? Not seeing that, beyond the ventilation of frustration factor, there’s not a lot of good being done on behalf of men?”

Really, I think a couple of us could put our heads together and come up with a list of presenters in an afternoon: (1) legal experts to talk about divorce law, custody issues, and how they vary by state, how to choose a lawyer, thing to watch out for as you maneuver through the legal system of divorce; (2) expert on suicide, with a focus on causes and prevention; (3) psychologists to take on various aspects of masculinity (father/child issues; relationship issues) – multiple sessions here; (4) veterans issues – bring in someone to talk about the state of vets, maybe with an aim to enlist volunteers?

I mean, how hard can it be?

Scarlettathena
6 years ago

Excuse my last post. I know, I was taking the men’s righters at their word that they wanted to do something for men. I realize what a complete fantasy that is, and I am back in reality now.

Sorry for the fight of fancy. 😉

tealily
tealily
6 years ago

At least the poster in the last quote has a better handle on the fact that the focus of the “men’s rights” movement is really about controlling women (anti-feminism) and not any of the issues that many men face rather than just tell himself that they’re concerned about men.

I’m glad to see that there are those with a little sense that they’re starting to see Elam as the money-grubbing user that he is. You really have to laugh about men who will whine for hours on end about women being after their money but then hand it instead to Elam.

dhag85
6 years ago

Classic over-reaching. Their “movement” is suited for the internet where only minimal effort is required, and where everything is free and you can participate from the comfort of your bed room. I think the MRM simply isn’t big enough or interesting enough to warrant a conference like this one. Like the OP says, the speakers are only spouting the same old crap that they already share for free on youtube, so nobody’s really paying for the content. It comes down to whether or not anyone’s willing to pay $650 just to hang out with other unpleasant and hateful people. And somehow I think most of them would be more comfortable hanging out online than in meatspace anyway, so they would be paying good money for a slightly worse version of what they’re already getting for free. The whole idea is stupid.

Tabby Lavalamp
6 years ago

I actually pretty much have a good mind to make my own anti-feminist conference

In case anyone thought that the Men’s Rights movement was actually about men’s rights.

Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
6 years ago

Maybe they could drum up better attendance by adding some rides, maybe a cock carousel or something.

tealily
tealily
6 years ago

dhag85: Agreed. All they really want is to unring the bell of feminism and it’s never going to happen.

Rosemary
Rosemary
6 years ago

As others have mentioned, therock6658 references ”anti-feminism” and ”anti-feminists” multiple times in his comments, and even refers to the ”fight against feminism”, and no one tries to remind him that the conference is supposed to be about men’s human rights…

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
6 years ago

Don’t worry, Elam, I’m sure one or two suckers will pay those hundreds of dollars to see you. Maybe they’ll even pay for the McDonalds you’ll all go for afterwards, after all, you deserve a good meal after putting so much effort into this conference.

Not the ladies, though. They can stand in the parking lot.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

This sums up my feelings about this:

http://nelson-haha.api-meal.eu/

AllieCat84
AllieCat84
6 years ago

Houston? Can we get Wendy Davis to filibuster this?

James B (@zblongladder)

@Scarlettathena

You’d at least think they could take inspiration from their supposed causes to pad out their schedule. It honestly wouldn’t even be hard. He could probably get some no-name activists for things like workplace safety and suicide prevention to come and speak for peanuts, and maybe have a panel of men with dangerous jobs (say, police, construction workers, firemen) to tie in with the whole “male disposability” theme — that’d be cheap.

Fortunately, Elam seems to be the laziest conman on the planet, so we’ll get to witness “AVFM: the LARP”.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

They couldn’t even get our buddy Mike Buchanan this time. This is seriously sad. And hilarious.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I hate to say this but I was looking forward to this announcement for months when Elam stated that he was going to put the tickets on sale for the second of April, but once they went on sale and I looked at the roster, it ultimately turned me off to the entire men’s rights movement.

This really just underscores that a lot of these guys aren’t into the MRM because they care, first and foremost, about men’s issues and men’s rights. If a feminist organization pulled what AVFM is pulling with this conference, it would put me off of the organization, not the entire feminist movement.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@WWTH,

Hmm, maybe this year they’ll let Claire Khaw speak? For those who haven’t heard of her she’s a rabidly misogynistic, ableist, fascist blogger whose main claim to fame is that she got kicked out of the BNP for being too unpleasant. This time last year she was moaning about the conference because they didn’t respond to her offers to be one of their speakers:

http://www.donotlink.com/eh5h

Though if anyone wants to click on that link, I advise serious trigger warnings, she is a very nasty individual.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

AVFM…the shitshow that keeps on shittin’ itself.

Also, SHUT UP, WOODY.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

The fact that Elam’s hoping to make a “profit” off of this, especially when we know he pockets all the money he gets for AVfM is pretty cringe-worthy. He’s trying to fleece these guys for all they’re worth, and, the worst part is, some of them are going to let him.

I think AVfM is finally going to melt down here. Elam’s not making money like he used to.

magnesium | April 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm
$400+ a head, eh? And then plane tickets and hotel rooms. Think of the great domestic violence men’s shelter they could start with that. Ah well, I guess that’s not important to them.

QFT.

With all the money that Elam makes from fundraising and this nonsense, you’d think he’d at least consider doing some, y’know, activism.

But nope, AVfM isn’t about doing activism, it’s about sitting around and harassing feminists on the internet. Because activism is hard and costs (donation) money that Elam could be spending on his mortgage or something.

M.
M.
6 years ago

The MRA “Movement” is a pyramid scheme that promises a scapegoat to hate instead of money, and all pyramid schemes eventually run out of new people to sucker in and collapse.

Binjabreel
6 years ago

Well since nobody is saying it, I guess I have to:

“I’ll make my own antifeminism conference! But with hookers, and blackjack! In fact, forget the conference!”

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

They couldn’t even get our buddy Mike Buchanan this time. This is seriously sad. And hilarious.

Maybe Mikey is expecting a glorious victory in the upcoming elections and had to sadly decline due to the pressures of his predicted governmental duties. Why else would he miss the chance to talk at a captive audience and issue challenges right, left, and center?

Abolissimo
6 years ago

A number of self-appointed leaders of the “men’s rights” movements have been indicted for financially skinning the men who approached them by selling them overpriced products, illegally providing them with bad legal “advice” (which has led to some male suicides), etc.
Scum of the Earth,,,

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Hey, if they want to diversify their roster, they could always hire this gun-suckin’ preacher man, who’s really proud of his “man’s world” sign. He’s so dissociated from reality, he’d fit right in!

vanir85
6 years ago

maybe this year they’ll let Claire Khaw speak?

Wow, what an awful, AWFUL human being. Truly horrific to see women who genuinely want their own gender to be subjugated and kept under men’s dominion. This level of self-hate is just sick… sick and twisted.

She and JudgyBitch should have a contest over who could back-stab and sell out the rest of their gender in the most grotesque manner… Actually, put them both in the same room with an audience and microfone – and that’s probably what they’d end up doing.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

There are literally workplace safety people who will do 30 minute talks for peanuts.

They could play dangerous job documentaries as a timeslot. Renting the movies and paying royalties for older documentaries is also relatively peanuts — maybe a few bucks a head for projected viewer counts. Note, MRAs, I’m talking about reputable documentaries, not just a screening of your own awful youtube vids. The conference people have youtube. They’ve seen those.

They could probably find at least one disgruntled and retired vet to yammer on about the draft, and how women joining the military is a sign of the apocalypse, and on being real men for the low, low price of peanuts.

(most vets I’ve met aren’t like that, but there are people who wear their hind ends as hats in every profession)

…I could think of a couple other speakers and activities they could do, really easily.

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

@Binjabreel

Well since nobody is saying it, I guess I have to:

“I’ll make my own antifeminism conference! But with hookers, and blackjack! In fact, forget the conference!” </blockquote.
Bah, forget the whole thing!

Shadow
Shadow
6 years ago

‘Allo, Blockquote Monster. I have not missed you.

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

James

It honestly wouldn’t even be hard. He could probably get some no-name activists for things like workplace safety and suicide prevention to come and speak for peanuts, and maybe have a panel of men with dangerous jobs …

Elam seems utterly clueless. It’s fair enough when an “organisation” has its first ever conference that they can just take an “oh goody, here we all are” approach. But that’s once only.

If they’d ever looked at any other org’s conference schedules, they’d notice that they have titles or themes or topics. Some over-arching idea for most, but rarely all, speakers and panelists to focus on. How can you have a keynote speaker when there is no key issue for such a speaker to work with? For a men’s issues/rights group “Housing – where and how we live” (there’s a reason I’m not acclaimed worldwide for my creative or imaginative prowess) for a group like this could cover lots of interesting stuff —
vets housing issues like disability and homelessness,
how to live happily and comfortably alone after separation/divorce,
DV shelter arrangements and how to access them —
and maybe a political & economic summary of where things are now that the effects of the GFC seem to have abated in most countries.
Along with a “how you can help or be helped” table of resource groups and reading materials at the back of the hall.

And you could give similar conference treatment to employment — changes in industry, safety issues, training etc; men’s health —- sexual health, mental health, endless list here; family, fatherhood, raising sons.

It also means you have a handle to use to get interested/interesting speakers or panelists that you can introduce to your audience.

Of course, most of this requires you to spend money on accommodation and fares for at least a couple of speakers and I doubt any such novel concept would be agreeable to Elam in the first place.

GiJoel
GiJoel
6 years ago

So, you’re going to organise your own MRA conference. hhmmm

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
6 years ago

AHAHAHA they’re complaining about a lack of diversity! AHAHAHHAH!

LACK OF DIVERSITY, you guys!

AHAHAHHAHAA!!!!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ scarlettathena

That’s actually a pretty good agenda. I wonder if there are actually any MRA’s in the non-pejorative sense (if there is such a thing) who would come along to something like that.

dhag85
6 years ago

Someone should explain to these people that just calling something “reason” doesn’t make it reasonable, and just calling something “truth” doesn’t make it true.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

Not especially on topic but here’s as good a place as any if this link works:

http://assets.amuniversal.com/40f3df60af230132cfe8005056a9545d

friday jones
friday jones
6 years ago

And the loser gets TWO dates with Paul Elam!

suffrajitsu
suffrajitsu
6 years ago

Does anyone know how much tickets were last year? A four-day badge for San Diego Comic-Con costs $185 (if you can get it), and that’s one of the biggest and most popular conventions there is. I can’t understand how on earth AVFM can justify even $399, let alone $650.

A number of self-appointed leaders of the “men’s rights” movements have been indicted for financially skinning the men who approached them by selling them overpriced products, illegally providing them with bad legal “advice” (which has led to some male suicides), etc.

Wait, wait, really? I knew they were scam artists, but I never heard of an actual suicide as a result of fraudulent legal advice from MRA leaders. When was this?

Gregory Lynn
6 years ago

Maybe I’m late to the party here, but it kinda looks like the entire MRA movement is just a relative handful of folks trying to make money off of a whole bunch of guys who are bitter about how their complete lack of human decency has made them persona non grata in modern society.

Honestly, it makes me want to write a bunch of stories that play right into their most fervent fears and market them to them and make a zillion dollars.

skybison
skybison
6 years ago

There’s an anime con I go to every year that costs $115 if you buy all three days separately and has way more content then what Paul seems to be offering.

Admittedly I don’t know anything about organizing a conference so this might be an apples-and-oranges comparison but still…

I take that guy saying he’s been turned off to the men’s rights movement by this about as seriously as I take the guy who said he’d move to Canada if Obama got re-elected, but if I was an MRA this would totally turn me off to Paul Elam.

@ Judas Peckerwood
“Maybe they could drum up better attendance by adding some rides, maybe a cock carousel or something.”

Too much work, just give them an extra hour in the ball pit.

AltoFronto
AltoFronto
6 years ago

Guyz, why are we not doing a Mammotheer conference to utterly trounce Elam at Men’s Rights Activism? 😀 Y’know – to show how it should be done! That would actually be awesome and I bet it would take the wind out of every MRA who loves to complain that “Feminists aren’t addressing men’s issues”.

We’ve already got some great suggestions from Scarletathena, JamesB, Contrapangloss and Mildlymagnificent – the whole thing is practically planned out and ready to go. 🙂 And even if we all cobbled a conference together in a week with a paltry budget, we’d have come up with something ten thousand times better than Elam could manage in a year.

I’m actually quite excited by the idea. 😛

Kimstu
Kimstu
6 years ago

These ideas about what a conference genuinely addressing men’s human rights might do are terrific. Speaking as a feminist, I would pay good money to support a conference that focused on those things.

AND how about discrimination or prejudice against men in childcare/early childhood education careers, “potty parity” legislation (yes! it’s a thing!) to mandate diaper-changing tables in men’s restrooms, analyzing “clueless dad” stereotypes in advertising and media about men and domestic skills…

Or hey, how about having an art exhibition by male artists working in media that are traditionally gendered female, such as fiber arts, papercraft, ceramics, etc.? And a panel on how certain kinds of “elite” forms of domestic or “feminine” arts are gendered masculine, e.g. for celebrity chefs or high-end fashion designers, while male participation in related arts is discouraged?

Damn, we could think up a WAY better and more interesting conference on the real problems and concerns of modern maleness than those AVFM chuckleheads.

Kimstu
Kimstu
6 years ago

ETA: ninja’d by AltoFronto, who is totally right that this is an amazing concept!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

I would be soooooo up for that idea.

It’s a bit tricky doing a real world conference as we probably live all over the place, but we could do a virtual one. We could set an agenda of relevant topics and perhaps we could utilise our various interests to do short pieces in lieu of seminars?

laughnwitch
laughnwitch
6 years ago

I just love watching these idiots die a slow and painful death (as an organization and a movement) as a direct result of their stupidity 😉

odaran
odaran
6 years ago

How much was the ticket for last year event?

Sarity
Sarity
6 years ago

In all honesty, a real conference for men’s issues would be a very fascinating and exciting idea I would get behind %100. As well as all the others mentioned, one issue I’d love to see addressed is the reasons why men are less likely to prioritize their own health. Why not enlist medical experts to discuss solutions for encouraging men to seek regular preventative care? Provide resources for accessing insurance and low-cost clinics? Actual lives could be saved/extended if such a thing were initiated.

I am also totally for exhibition of art by men brave enough to work in traditionally female mediums. I myself am a plush animal maker and know dozens of talented others, but sadly only one male. And he is absolutely incredible at his craft. I hate to think of all we’re missing out on just because thread and needle is considered a women’s thing (that goes for other aforementioned mediums).

Sarity
Sarity
6 years ago

One more thing, yeah, any organized effort that actually focused on addressing men’s issues, no matter how effectively, would be rejected or even hated by the MRM if it failed to blame women/attack feminism while doing so. Let’s face it, that’s all they really want to do.

Mitchel
6 years ago

I have to say, this site is starting to grow on me. I wasn’t sure what to think of it at first. I’m still not even sure who most of the people are Futrelle talks about. The smug humor is awesome though. I’ve literally been snorting I’ve been laughing so hard at some of the latest articles This was hilarious,

“WIN A DATE WITH PAUL ELAM”

Although, I’m don’t know a ton about AVfM, why is Elam promoting this MGTOW cooking? I would have thought his Roosh interview where Roosh took shots at them would have turned most of them away?

The recipe articles on AVfM are bizarre to say the least. Seems to be a bunch of guys bragging about how they cheaped out and had some chicken and jello instead of taking a woman out to eat?

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