So there’s a depressing (but very much a must-read) piece over on Yahoo News at the moment chronicling how a lawsuit by Men’s Rights activists (allegedly) led to the demise of Chic CEO, a small company offering support and advice for women entrepreneurs in the male-dominated tech world.
As Yahoo Tech writer Alyssa Bereznak explains, the whole debacle started when two men decided that they needed to be part of a Chic CEO networking event. Because, clearly, men need a leg up in the tech world.
Two men named Allan Candelore and Rich Allison, who had each prepaid a $20 registration fee on the Chic CEO website, tried to enter the restaurant. According to a legal complaint that they later filed with National Coalition for Men president Harry Crouch, Burns turned them away at the door, saying the event “was only open to women.” They took a photo, left the premises, then promptly initiated legal action, turning to a 1959 California law written to prevent discrimination against minorities and women.
So yeah. They’re like Rosa Parks, but for dudes.
Bereznak notes that this is not the first time the 1959 law has been used on behalf of the struggling, suffering male gender. Alfred G. Rava, the lawyer representing the two men turned away at the door,
has built a career around gender-discrimination lawsuits, filing approximately 150 complaints against California businesses over the past 15 years, according to CNN Money … and, as the secretary for the National Coalition for Men, he offers free consultation for NCFM members who feel they’ve experienced public discrimination because of their gender.
Rava has fought baseball teams giving out free mammograms and assorted swag to women as part of Mother’s Day promotions and has taken a stand against the evil tyranny of Ladies Night at a number of San Diego nightclubs.
And he’s often worked in concert with the other men involved in the ChicCEO case.
Candelore — who has been a member of NCFM for four years — has been the plaintiff in 10 civil cases since 2011, not including his case against Chic CEO. In nine of those 10 cases, he was represented by Rava. In eight of those, [NCFM president] Crouch joined him as a plaintiff. In seven of those cases, Allison was a plaintiff.
They’re like a “Reverse Discrimination” Superteam.
For her part, ChicCEO’s Stephanie Burns told Yahoo Tech that her company “does not discriminate against men,” pointing out that it has male clients and board members. But, apparently unable to afford the cost of fighting the claims in court, she chose to settle the case instead.
The strangest detail in the Yahoo News piece? This parenthetical aside from the author:
(Rava refused to speak to me on the phone because he said he was concerned Yahoo News would misquote him. He also later emailed me to say: “I hope you print all sides to your story, because I am sure you would not want someone to publish a story about you on the Internet labeling you a ‘predator,’ a ‘gigantic bitch,’ an ‘elitist,’ a ‘soulless harpie,’ a ‘narcissist,’ and a ‘dumb woman,’ without that story presenting facts or opinions to the contrary.”)
Apparently Rava has been taking lessons in public relations from the folks at AVFM.*
NOTE: THAT LAST SENTENCE WAS A JOKE. I HAVE NO PROOF RAVA IS TAKING PR LESSONS FROM ANYONE.
Naturally, MRAs have swarmed the comments over on Yahoo News — last I checked, there were more than 1400 comments on the post. Meanwhile, A Voice for Men has reposted a long and tedious piece by the NCFM’s Crouch presenting what he sees as the “truth” in the case.
AVFM chose to illustrate its repost with a picture of a white man in chains. Because a couple of lawsuit-happy men turned away at a women-in-tech networking event are pretty much the equivalent of actual slaves.