Uh oh! Dean Esmay of A Voice for Men is outraged by the latest terrible calumny besmirching the good name of the Men’s Rights movement. That Big Lie? That Men’s Rights Activists are boycotting Mad Max: Fury Road.
As Esmay puts it, in his characteristically overheated prose, the very notion that there is such a boycott
is a completely fabricated story by a handful of elitists abusing their power in the media–and betraying their fellow journalists while doing it.
Using his powerful internet detective skills, Esmay has managed to track down “the source of the lie,” which, as he sees it, “appears to have originated from a discredited hate-blogger named David Futrelle … .”
I’ve left off the rest of his sentence, as it is straight-up libel. Well, so is the bit about me being a “discredited hate-blogger,” and the part about the “lie” originating with me. I will give him credit for managing to spell my name correctly.
I’ll cop to the fact that my post on a would-be boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road set off an avalanche of articles on the subject. The Mary Sue, I believe, was the first to pick up the story, and was quickly followed by a few others. And then other writers piggybacked off of them. For better or worse, that’s how it works in online journalism these days.
But if Esmay is looking for the source of the incorrect notion that self-described Men’s Rights activists were behind the “boycott,” well, he’s not going to find it in my post, which contained no mention of Men’s Right Activists at all.
Yep, I reported the 100% true fact that a Youtube bloviater named Aaron Clarey had written a post on Return of Kings urging men, in his words, to “not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible.” I described his readers on Return of Kings as misogynists, not MRAs, though clearly there is a massive overlap between those two groups.
The idea that this was specifically a Men’s Rights crusade was, to be sure, a bit of sloppiness on the part of the journalists writing about it, who are not quite as familiar as some of us are with all the different varieties of woman-hating shitheads there are in the “manosphere” — especially since their belief systems overlap considerably. As I noted in a previous post on this subject, writing about Esmay’s accusations against a writer for the Huffington Post,
It’s true that the HuffPo writer, in the original version of her piece, wrongly described the MRA-adjacent Return of Kings — which has urged a
boymancott of Mad Max Fury Road — as a Men’s Rights site proper. There are in fact some differences between ROK and AVFM. For example, while AVFM writers have declared women to be “obnoxious cunts,” who control men with their vaginas, ROK writers have suggested that women are actually depraved, disloyal sheep.
You can almost forgive journalists for getting a bit mixed up.
Meanwhile, it’s clear that some MRAs, including some associated with AVFM, have views on the movie that bear a striking similarity to those of Mr. Clarey and his comrades at ROK. It was an AVFM staffer, not Aaron Clarey, who posted this meme on AVFM’s Facebook page. (It’s since been removed, possibly because it contradicts the narrative that Esmay is now promoting.)
And if you want many other example of MRAs saying they won’t go to see the film because feminism, you’ll find more than a few in this thread on the Men’s Rights subreddit. Oh, and in this thread (archived here) on … the official AVFM Forum.
Yes, that’s right: there are MRAs talking about boycotting Mad Max: Fury Road on AVFM’s own official forum. One declares himself “a (former) Mad Max fan,” another writes “going to skip this one. Mad Max is now dead to me.” “I’m out,” adds a third.
But Esmay seems to think that there is some vast conspiracy afoot, writing that
we are really serious with this question: was anyone paid to put this fake story in the press? If so, who was paid and who did the paying?
Don’t be silly. No money changes hands. At least no human money. We do it under direct orders from our feline over
But as long as we’re asking questions I have one for Mr. Esmay: Are you ever going to do anything about the Holocaust denier and Hitler fan you’ve published many times on AVFM?
Apparently, to Dean Esmay at least, posting that Mad Max: Fury Road is being boycotted by MRAs, when most of the boycotters are in fact merely MRA-adjacent, is a greater crime against truth than denying the Holocaust.