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A Voice for Men considers embracing a pedophile — sorry, ephebophile — they once denounced as a GQ magazine secret agent

Remember this guy?
Remember this guy?

You may recall a fellow name Albert Calabrese from Jeff Sharlet’s brilliant GQ article about A Voice for Men’s conference last summer. You may not remember the name, but you may recall one important fact about him: He thinks the age of consent should be lowered to twelve years. “I would rather err on the side of 12-year-olds having sex,” he told Sharlet, “than on the side of ruining men’s lives.”

Calabrese, a former substitute teacher, has made his own “errors,” having won himself a spot on the sex offender registry in Fayetteville, Arkansas for “Unlawful Sexual Conduct With A Minor.”

There’s no question that Calabrese is a real person; a quick Google search will turn up the basic facts of his case, as well as a mugshot that is obviously of the same person whose photograph appears at the start of Sharlet’s piece.

But when Sharlet’s piece came out, with Calebrese’s picture at the top, angry AVFMers cried foul, with some insinuating that he was a sort of double-agent ephebophile hired by GQ to make the Men’s Rights movement look bad.

In an angry and often incoherent post attacking Sharlet, AVFM’s “Collegiate Activism Director” Sage Gerard (aka Victor Zen) declared:

The funny bit about the pedo is that Jeff in reality “found” him and put him in a car with the Honey Badgers to agitate them. Jeff was also seen ushering Pedobear around, and they rarely separated. AVfM will have a story on Jeff’s odd use of the (guy possibly paid to act like a) pedophile later.

In a comment to Gerard’s post, AVFM “managing editor” Dean Esmay claimed that he had some sort of smoking gun:

By the way Jeff–and I know you’re reading this–let’s be real clear, we got the real story now on your little stunt with Pedobear Calzone. Expect to read about it soon. …

Also, would you like to come clean publicly now with how you met the Pedobear that none of us had heard of until you ran your sweaty-palmed “report” for GQ? Or do I have to just publish what we know now for sure saying you had no comment?

Needless to say, the promised story about “Pedobear Calzone” never appeared.

What did appear — and which I only recently discovered — was a video from Calebrese himself, giving his side of the story and, by the way, confirming the key points Sharlet made about him. Including the bit about 12-year-olds.

Faced with the video, AVFMers have not only abandoned their conspiracy theories about him — they’re considering welcoming him aboard.

In a comment on Calebrese’s video on YouTube, Esmay noted that he felt a bit ambivalent about Pedobear Calzone Calebrese:

I have extremely mixed reactions here; as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I do believe in forgiveness and yet your position is extreme. I’m conflicted in knowing how to react to you.

If you’re wondering why Esmay would even consider “forgiving” an admitted perpetrator of sexual abuse he had been denouncing as a phony only a few days earlier, well, here’s a bit more of Esmay’s comment:

That said, one thing is perfectly obvious: you were used and Sharlet was not honest at all. He had a bad used car salesman ooze to him, and the article just confirmed that.

An enemy of Jeff Sharlet is my friend?

AVFM head boy Paul Elam, meanwhile, felt no inner conflict:

Paul Elam 1 month ago  I want to run this at AVFM. I am not conflicted in my reaction. I disagree with some of this man's views, but not all of them. Sex offender registries are a bad joke that devastate a lot of good people.  http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/government-tyranny/sexual-predator-insanity/  Whether I agree with Mr. Calabrese or not, it remains Jeff Sharlet who is the scumbag in this story,

Apparently, in Elam’s eyes, “writing unflattering things about AVFM” is a less-forgivable crime than “Unlawful Sexual Conduct With A Minor.”

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Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

@C.S.Strowbridge.

The video is just a few second clip of a guy saying “Pedophile” instead a few times.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

What does discriminate even mean in this circumstance? What crimes could I commit with the sex offender’s register? Find houses to burglarize? I suppose blackmail is a possibility.

Assault in the form of vigilantism is not unheard of.

Howard
Howard
5 years ago

AVFM welcomes people who LITERALLY WANT TO FUCK KIDS into their “movement”. …Yeah, I can’t be the only one who’s not surprised by this at all.

Dvärghundspossen
5 years ago

I don’t believe in any kind of criminal registers being made public, period. When you’ve served your time, you’ve served your time. It’s one thing if you’re not eligible for certain jobs unless you can produce your own criminal record and show to the prospective employer that you’ve got a clean slate (as is the case with, for instance, teaching jobs here), because no one is forced to apply for these jobs in the first place. But I do not think prospective employers, neighbours and so on should have the right to check up on people just like that. Makes reintegration into society next to impossible.
I believe that if there’s a well-grounded worry (note well-grounded) that sex offenders will just offend again when they’re out of jail, then what we need are improved rehabilitation methods, or some kind of monitoring of people after they’re out (by officials, not by all their neigbhours) or simply longer punishments. Not public records on who is and who is not a sex offender.

That said, that guy is still creepy as hell.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@Dvarghundsporssen
(forgive me if name is misspelt!)

I agree with you to an extent, but the first thing I thought of was the Ched Evans scandal where people were arguing if he should be signed to a team once he was released from prison ( on the charge of rape). He served half of his five year sentence and seemed unremorseful through the whole thing, offering an apology to the victim only after it looked likely that he was never going to play professional football again. As far as I know, he still has no contract. I argued, and still do, that no he shouldn’t be allowed to play for a team again because since he barely believes he did anything wrong once he is returned to a position of power he will just rape again.

I hate to re hash an old topic but this is the kind of example I think you meant when you said some professions should indeed be able to bar prior sex offenders?

maistrechat
5 years ago

In Illinois, the only way to end up on the registry for public indecency is to be convicted three times. My understanding is that it’s not a permanent registration in that case but I don’t have the statute in front of me at the moment. So it’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to end up on a registry here just for peeing in public.

Dvärghundspossen
5 years ago

@Sunny: I was rather thinking of teaching jobs or other jobs where you work with children, people in a vulnerable position and the like. Seems fine that people applying for these kinds of jobs are asked to produce their own criminal record and show to the prospective employer – which is very different from having a public register. But as for the case you mentioned, if everyone already knows about it and if the offender doesn’t show any remorse, then hiring him just looks like embracing rape as no-big-deal.

But think about the non-celebrity run-of-the-mill criminal. What’s the point with having them stigmatized for the rest of their lives? Do this really protect the public to any measurable extent, or does it only make it less likely that they’re gonna go back to living normal lives, and more likely that they’re gonna go back to a life of crime?
Rape and the like are really, really bad crimes, but if recidivism is a big problem, the solution must be something other than having some kind of public stigma attached to them for the rest of their lives. If you’ve actually reformed, then time served should be time served and not have what in essence is an additional and indefinite punishment added to it. If you haven’t reformed, well… I doubt that a record accessible to everyone is gonna help with the recidivism problem. There seems to be absolutely no reason not to rape again as soon as opportunity arises (and face it, it will, sooner or later, even if the person is in a register) if you’re stuck with a “rapist identity” for the rest of your life anyway.
This is not me feeling sorry for sex offenders, this is me thinking about what kind of policy on crime would be best for everyone. I generally believe that shaming people publicly or stigmatizing them from society even after their time is served is a bad idea, even if their crimes are horrendous.

CJ
CJ
5 years ago

I do have one nagging question…

What the hell is a honey badger?

Other than that this seems like your average AVFM horrible shit. You know, just being shameless, arrogant, entitled, hateful man-children with a tenuous grip on reality. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Dvärghundspossen
5 years ago

For some reason, female MRA:s are called honey badgers.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@Leum “I can see why they might want/need to pass a law specifically punishing the use of the registry to commit a crime. Vigilante justice against sex offenders is a thing; one of my worries about the list is that it places the listed people (or people who live at the listed addresses) at risk of assault.”

Right, that’s the thing. If someone’s going to use the registry to commit a *CRIME*, I very much doubt that they will care that it’s illegal to do so. And I still can’t figure out how one can “illegally discriminate” against sex offenders, they don’t seem to be a protected class in hiring decisions.

I admit, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with sex offender registries. On one hand, I have kids, and I would prefer not to send them over to play with a convicted level 3 sex offender. On the other hand, the vast majority of sex offenders have yet to be caught, and I wonder how much the registry makes my kids safer vs. how much it forces sex offenders to live jobless under bridges. It seems to me that once you’re out of jail you’ve paid your debt to society, and if you’re so dangerous that you should be put on a list then you should still be in jail.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Dvärghundspossen | April 11, 2015 at 10:12 am
For some reason, female MRA:s are called honey badgers.

They bring dishonor to the noble house of Hufflepuff and I will not tolerate this.

Also, I think it’s only a certain subgroup of the FeMRAs. As far as I know, GWW isn’t in that group.

I think there’s some in-fighting amongst the FeMRAs too. I’m not sure, but they don’t seem like they get along that great. Like they barely tolerate each other but still kind of compete for the attention of their male “peers”. The only thing that really unites them beyond that is their hatred for their own gender.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

@mrex:

There’s also the fact that, most likely, jail is not the place we should be sending sex offenders. Or rather, simply tossing them into a cell for a decade or so probably isn’t going to do anything about their drive to offend. If we focused more on rehabilitation rather than simple isolation, we probably wouldn’t need a registry, because a sex offender that still was likely to reoffend wouldn’t be outside of supervision.

If we focused on rehabilitation, we’d be able to take different approaches to distinguish the people who peed on a building while drunk one night from the flashers, and the people who stretched the consent laws a little from the rapists and pedophiles.

Jail time and fines just aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions. I feel like one of the big reasons the registry exists is because we recognize that jail time alone isn’t enough to stop a pedophile from being a pedophile.

M.
M.
5 years ago

One thing (well, one of the every thing) that these age of consent crusaders don’t seem to realise [TW]:

Even if the age of consent was 12 despite any and all reason, these kids would still say no. They’d still scream and cry and try to push them away. They’d still be coerced into acquiescing with drugs and alcohol or the threat of violence. They’d still be physically injured. They’d still be mentally destroyed. It would still be rape.

And if they do realise that but just don’t care, well, that’s why I’m fine with the existence of the registry.

Misha
5 years ago

I was intrigued as to how a 7:36 minute youtube video could have caused the AVFMers to do a 180 degree turn on their opinions of Calabrese.

Had a listen, still none the wiser.

I made it clear I was there to advocate ending the sex offender registry and lowering the age of consent.

Well, at least you’re honest.

It follows logically that it would also have been the editor’s doing to put that asinine caption under my picture. “Albert Calabrese believes the age of consent should be 12 years old. He’s a creepy bastard and so are all MRAs”. Ouch. That hurt reading that. I didn’t see it until after I’d finished reading the article, but it definitely inspired a sinking feeling. It’s technically true, but not because I would encourage anyone to pursue 12 year olds, only because I would forgive those who have erred.

I’m glad Calabrese, so glad that you feel it’s your place to forgive others who have committed sexual offences against children. I’m glad this has become about you and your righteous feelings, rather than, say, the victim’s.

In any case, it’s sure as hell not a statement I would open with. This made the movement look bad. I am sorry.

The movement makes the movement look bad. Yours is just another drop in the vast ocean of grim evidence proving how apt the term ‘abuser’s lobby’ is.

I feel like an idiot for answering when the fact-checker pressed me to pick a number. This made even me look bad. Making a sex offender look worse that he already does is tough.

“I don’t feel bad that I believe the age of consent should be lowered to 12. I feel bad that I got found out”.

There, fixed that for you.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
5 years ago

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

I love how he says “12 year olds having sex” and stops there. It’s quite slippery because it could be read as “12 year olds having sex *with other 12 year olds*”, which is another angle various nasty people like to take when it comes to age of consent laws. “Oh oh well what about two fourteen year olds then, did they rape each other, huh, HUH?”

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

I’m picturing in my head my seventh grade school picture and how much I very obviously looked like a child and was one. I hadn’t even started my period yet. I was still playing with dolls. It’s beyond gross that someone would sympathize with a man who would rape a 12 year old kid. There’s just no fucking excuse for it. No matter how much these dudes try and parse their words, they are pro child rape. Fuck them.

Zolnier
Zolnier
5 years ago

There are a few places where the age of consent is twelve or thirteen, but the idea is pretty much always “if both participants are the same age”, and even then it often leads to very regrettable things.

deezers
5 years ago

I’m only an occasional dropper inner but terminal reader, and this is a bit o.t., but… NO. NO. NO. NO. EWWWW. NO.

http://www.avoiceformen.com/allnews/man-shot-by-cop-had-served-time-for-back-child-support/#comment-1959007882

M.
M.
5 years ago

By the way, has David seen that story about the judge who gave a paedophile 15 years less than the mandatory minimum because he didn’t think it was “Predatory” or “Violent”? And the girl was THREE?

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

M: I posted a link to a petition to get that judge investigated in the personal thread.

But, for posterity, here’s the link to the petition, here’s a link to the story in question.

TW: pedophilia, rape, rape apologia for the links.

@Deezers: If you could run those kinds links through donotlink in the future, we’d all appreciate it. Some of us don’t want to give them the attention, and donotlink allows us to be able to read the site without contributing to their traffic or ad revenue.

Link in question: http://www.donotlink.com/ejgn

misha5678
misha5678
5 years ago

M., “He… did not appear to consciously intend to harm (the victim) when he sexually assaulted her.”, ““There was no violence or callous disregard for (the victim’s) well-being.” What the ever-loving HELL is wrong with this judge?

There is not enough brain bleach in the world.

deezers
5 years ago

of course, sorry bout that! thanks for link 🙂

Linux
Linux
5 years ago

Stop demonizing male sexuality?!

Are they fucking retarted?

They are the ones calling any woman slut and demonize her sexuality for…ähh..reasons.

Orion
5 years ago

Isn’t the ‘public urination’ one usually just masturbators trying to dodge a sexually orientated charge?

No. Most public masturbators don’t urinate, and thus are not charged with public urination.

M.
M.
5 years ago

Linux, HOLY SHIT. You’re not new, you know about the rules against ableism – and the r-word isn’t even like “Crazy” where disallowing it is pretty much unique to WHTM, the r-word’s been considered ableist since before “Ableism” was itself a word.

Lea
Lea
5 years ago

Threadruption!

Has anyone been over to Vice? http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/calm-down-gamergate-283

The reply from “Slarty Bartfarst”. Lulz.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
5 years ago

“Pointing to a doctor’s report, the judge said that while growing up the defendant suffered “a great deal of family disruption and abuse, making him an insecure, socially withdrawn, timid, and extremely immature young man with limited self-esteem.” ”

Oh wah, wah! Plenty of people grow up with family disruption and in abusive environments, and yet SOMEHOW they manage not to sexually assault THREE YEAR OLD CHILDREN. I guess I can run out and beat this guy to within an inch of his life and then cry about my terrible home life so I can get a lighter sentence.

deezers
5 years ago

Not necessary at all David. Just ewwww at them all. Wrong on all levels.

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

What the hell is a honey badger?

It’s something AVFMorons calls its women’s auxiliary, I suspect because of this hilarious video about a badass critter that can even get bitten by cobras and survive:

They (AVFMorons’ FeMRA division) seem to think they’re bulletproof badasses, but I’d say they’re more like reason-proof jackasses.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

How dare they disrespect my noble house. Helga Hufflepuff is ashamed of them and so am I.

On a happier note, I saw this cute video and figured it could be a good resource and very helpful.

And it was animated by a transwoman of color, and written and narrated by another woman of color. 😀

misseb47
misseb47
5 years ago

NicolaLuna and KathleenB-That is awful!! What a disgusting pair of creeps! I am glad that both of you escaped unharmed. *shivers*

“Would this jackass have preferred to ‘err on the side of caution’ then? Maybe I was a prepubescent minx, leading an innocent man around by his dick!”

Yep, that is EXACTLY what these guys would say. I mean, Paul Elam stated that he would vote not guilty in a rape trial no matter how much evidence there was. Also, he didn’t even believe his own daughter when she told him that she was raped! (see Jeff Sharlet’s recent article-http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201503/mens-rights-activism-the-red-pill?currentPage=1) Not only that, he threatened to disown her if she reported it. He then called this ‘good parenting’. What an areshole. Fortunately, only those who think like them take these guys seriously. This is not many, if the reports on AVfM’s traffic and poor fundraising performance are anything to go by. Everyone else can see him and his ilk for what he is/they are-“an ambulatory wankstain”. Actually no, that is WAY too kind and is an insult to real ambulatory wankstains.

NicolaLuna -“You deserve trees everywhere an apology for wasting the oxygen they produce.”

They sure do, they sure do.

tralala – Thanx for the link. With all this evidence and all the people coming forward on this subreddit and on YesAllWomen, MRAs still believe that male entitlement and rape does not exist. I wonder what it is going to take to convince them? Nothing, most likely.

Zolnier
Zolnier
5 years ago

Paul Elam has children, it’s official, the universe is faulty.

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

He…his daughter…and he…he didn’t…

It’s official: Paul Elam is, in fact, a failed genetic experience trying to give a worm sentience. Science has failed us. FAILED US.

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

I meant experiment. Yeah…

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

NicolaLuna -“You deserve trees everywhere an apology for wasting the oxygen they produce.”

We might have to plant another rainforest to make up for it. : /

Zolnier
Zolnier
5 years ago

@BJC

I like experience, makes me think the scientists were tripping balls at the time.

LBT
LBT
5 years ago

RE: Paradoxical Intention

That vid was so cute! Thanks for sharing!