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Dean Esmay’s wild accusations

Modified from Laughing Witch's YouTube avatar
Modified from Laughing Witch’s YouTube avatar

I would rather not return so quickly to documenting Dean Esmay’s ongoing internet flameout, but I feel I need to.

Esmay, as readers of this blog know all too well, has a habit of calling those who disagree with him “abusive” and/or “abusers.” He did this in the brief Twitter exchange with Raquel Willis I wrote about yesterday after she politely pointed out his white male privilege (and after he called her both a “privileged black girl” and a “rich privileged bitch”).

But in the case of one of Esmay’s recent targets, he’s gone beyond accusations of metaphorical abuse, declaring that the feminist YouTuber who calls herself Laughing Witch is a “violent” pedophile he knew “years ago … who liked to masturbate to violent fantasies involving children.”

Esmay has of course, provided no evidence whatsoever to back up this extraordinary claim, and Laughing Witch has not only denied it; she is contemplating suing him for libel.

I don’t know Laughing Witch personally, but I have been following her Youtube channel for some time and have exchanged messages with her. She seems to be a very straight-up, honest, decent person, and I absolutely believe that she is telling the truth.

My experience with Esmay has been rather different. Much of what comes out of his mouth — or from his keyboard — is patently untrue; indeed, so much of what he has said about me personally has been so grotesquely false that I have found myself contemplating filing my own libel suit against him. I don’t believe a word of his accusations.

Here are two brief videos Laughing Witch has made documenting and challenging what he’s said about her.

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ultrablue
ultrablue
5 years ago

But … but … only women make false rape claims.

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

And our winner in the Thinking Things Through to Their Logical Conclusion category and also in the Words Mean Things category is…

…Bina!

Please accept this virtual bunch of long-stemmed roses.

Muchas gracias!

But seriously…If he has a real problem with a real pedophile, he’d best call the cops. Not call random Internet strangers names. As has been pointed out above, he’s an adult, not a little kid, and his actions are gonna have some nasty consequences if he keeps escalating like this.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
5 years ago

That’s really vile and I’m sorry you were hit with that, Laughing Witch.

Regarding defamation, can you even sue for that when you are an anonymous internet user? Don’t you have to prove damages? I liked the idea of having a lawyer send Dean a strongly-worded letter telling him to back off.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Auntie Alias

That’s a really good point. Anonymity isn’t necessarily a bar to suing though.

In defamation law we have a concept called “innuendo”. That’s another word that means something different in law to reality.

Innuendo is where you don’t directly name someone but people will know who you’re talking about.

It crops up for instance where people say a supposed fictional story character is actually them. It would also cover someone using someone’s pseudonym.

The Claimant has to provide evidence that there will be people who will know the statement refers to them.

One problem that can occur when only a close circle known your real identity is that the defendant can argue that they’re less likely to believe the allegations.

tov01
tov01
5 years ago

@theseventhguest
“When beloved was little (20ish years ago), his daddy worked at a radio station. It was against the rules to play two songs by women in a row. Owners “feared” that listeners would get upset and tune to another station rather than listen to two different women sing two different songs consecutively.”

What sort of backwards logic is this?

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
5 years ago

Thanks, Alan. Do claimants have to prove they suffered a monetary or other type of loss?

Sarah Santos (@abentwookie)

Yeah, Dean does things like this frequently. He called me an “abusive feminist” and wrote an article (rant) about me on AVFM after I asked him what AVFM actually does to help men’s issues during an argument. After someone pointed the article out to me, I went on there to present my side of the discussion in the comments section and the whole gang (Esmay, Bloomfield, Elam, etc..) started calling me names. However, none of them actually answered my question in the article or the in the comments. 😮

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Auntie

Typical lawyer answer; it depends.

It varies between jurisdictions; I’m not sure where the case in this instance would be brought.

It used to be the case generally that libel was actionable per se and slander needed damage (subject to some exceptions, the inchastity of women used to be one!)

Now though some jurisdictions also need damage for libel. Damage needn’t be financial though, just that there had been a significant detriment.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
5 years ago

Thank you. 🙂

Antisocialite
Antisocialite
5 years ago

Being accused of child abuse is serious enough that I would at least consult an attorney about it. I would consult over a series of verbal attacks, too. I know it has been tough litigating that kind of thing to date, but it’s just like anything else, at some point people will start hearing about it enough and the tide will turn.

Eventually, one of the blow-hards will eventually cross the wrong person. My guess is that with all the over-reactive and projecting accusations they make, it just may be sooner rather than later. What I find particularly interesting is how they can’t make an accusation without distorting a common complaint about MRAs.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
5 years ago

I’m pretty sure he’s doing that thing where he imagines that SJWs believe a marginalized person cannot be criticized for anything whatsoever. Therefore, since he is an abuse victim, he cannot be criticized for anything whatsoever. Therefore, since SJWs think you’re racist if you criticize a black person, SJWs must be child abusers if they criticize an abuse victim (Dean Esmay).

dhag85
5 years ago

This is extremely strange behavior. He seems like he’s not in a very happy place right now. I don’t even know what to say. I’m disgusted by his criminal and immoral behavior, but at the same time sincerely worried about him. This must be very time consuming for him, and he’s clearly in a perpetual rage fit over imaginary injustices. I hope he snaps out of this soon.

Charlotte
Charlotte
5 years ago

So I guess MRAs have just completely dropped the pretence that they care about sexual assault on men/boys huh?

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

deniseeliza | September 25, 2015 at 6:59 pm
I’m pretty sure he’s doing that thing where he imagines that SJWs believe a marginalized person cannot be criticized for anything whatsoever. Therefore, since he is an abuse victim, he cannot be criticized for anything whatsoever. Therefore, since SJWs think you’re racist if you criticize a black person, SJWs must be child abusers if they criticize an abuse victim (Dean Esmay).

Since Dean wants to play Oppression Olympics:

I was abused as a kid. I was physically, mentally, verbally, and sexually abused my my step-father growing up, and he beat the shit out of my little brother, my little sister, and me on a regular basis. And I’m a queer (cis, and white) woman who thinks that Dean is full of shit.

So, Dean-o…
comment image

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

Wow. Laughing Witch, sorry you’re having to deal with this.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

One of Dean’s tweets:

Feminism and pedophilia have gone together like peanut butter and jelly AT LEAST since Simone de Beauvior.

Huh? Is he referring to the petition against age of consent laws in France in the late 70’s? Does he think feminism supports pedophilia??? WHAT

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

But there are several manospherians who seem interest in lowering the age of consent. Did Dean ever say anything about them?

History Nerd
5 years ago

@Tracy Simone de Beauvoir had sexual relationships with 17 year old girls when she was a teacher in the 1930’s (the age of consent in France then was 13, but adults could still be charged with a lesser offense than statutory rape for having sex with a 14-17 year old if the parents complained). But that’s more a symptom of a general problematic trend of sexual libertinism among people in the French left.

Some MRA’s say they don’t want to lower the age of consent, but they seem much more concerned with attacking feminists than with getting pedo apologists out of their movement.

latsot (@latsot)
5 years ago

I have to wonder whether Esmay has somehow managed to convince himself that Laughing Witch actually *is* someone he used to know. It’s the only explanation that seems to make (marginal) sense. Or – rather – it seems an easier mental leap for him to have convinced himself that a stranger is actually someone he knows than to have convinced himself that making wild accusations like this about strangers is OK. But it *is* Dean Esmay so who knows?

Either way, his accusations seem somehow different in tone than those of many other people of similar type. For instance I get ridiculous accusations fairly often, but they are obviously intended to upset me (they don’t) for sport than to actually imply truth. It’s ‘just’ name-calling in other words and so fairly easy for me to ignore. With some exceptions; more than one of the usual suspects has accused me of being a rapist in a way that seemed intended to stick. For example, one posted lies about me on other people’s Twitter feeds and in places he knew are aggregated or widely retweeted, but which I don’t frequent, presumably so that I couldn’t defend myself.

@Laughing Witch: your experience with Esmay seems more like the latter and you have my sympathy. For the record, I don’t think it even occurred to me to sue, but that was largely because Twitter completely ignored my complaint. To me, your case seems stronger because Esmay is a more prominent person but I don’t know whether that counts for anything in law.

katz
katz
5 years ago

History Nerd: That must be the only time manosphere dudes have ever considered sex with a 17-year-old to be pedophilia.

Social Justice Shota
Social Justice Shota
5 years ago

Calling me a pedophile is something I also experienced =/

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

I wonder how Deano justifies this particular behaviour.

sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@kat
Yup. It’s only bad if they’re not the ones doing it.

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

I’ve been in on-line arguments with MRAs, and if you say something like “you have the potty mouth of a 9-year-old boy,” they normally come back with something like, “You seem to know an awful lot about 9-year-old boys, hunnh, hunnh, hunnh.” So accusing someone or implying that someone is a pedophile is pretty standard practice.

The problem with a defamation suit is that it tends to spread the noxious allegation more widely, and in many cases, including this one, someone like Esmay has no assets to sue for, so you would end up spending thousands of dollars of legal fees to claim the $1.69 he has in his pocket. Actually, since it seems likely that Esmay is supported by his wife (assuming that she in fact exists), you would only succeed in making things more difficult for her.
It’s sort of a lose-lose situation.

brooked
brooked
5 years ago

I have to wonder whether Esmay has somehow managed to convince himself that Laughing Witch actually *is* someone he used to know. It’s the only explanation that seems to make (marginal) sense. Or – rather – it seems an easier mental leap for him to have convinced himself that a stranger is actually someone he knows than to have convinced himself that making wild accusations like this about strangers is OK. But it *is* Dean Esmay so who knows?

It’s hard to wrap one’s brain around this sort of dishonesty but, yes, people like Esmay make accusations they know are not true when lashing out against critics in an ugly attempt for perceived higher moral ground.

When Dean and others were attacking David for his decades old article about Pasolini’s Salo by claiming it was “child porn”, I actually did research to buttress my point about how it’s a well regarded and readily available art film. I linked to the Criterion Collection page about their blu-ray, it’s ranking on a film critics poll of the greatest film of all time and a screening at a Houston art museum. Part of me thought that when faced with the facts they’d stop with this ridiculous claim and admit that Salo isn’t child porn. I mean, come on, you can rent it from Netfix.

I did this because some part of me can’t believe people can be this intellectually dishonest, but of course can. They don’t see how this ridiculously fabricated fake controversy makes them look because they’re so desperate to disarm the credibility of their critics. I don’t see the need for the armchair psychology, at best Dean is simple showing anti-social behavior, because in the end Dean is just a pissy contrarian and a huge asshole pretending to be an activist.

brooked
brooked
5 years ago

*simply showing

One day I’ll give proof reading a whirl.

Apansirus
Apansirus
5 years ago

I don’t know, the brain is a powerful tool, he may be really convinced of some (or all?) of what he’s saying…

It seems he sees himself as a child abuse victim, so laughing at him equals laughing at child abuse victims, equals laughing at abused boys, and insulting him equals abuse, therefore equals abusing child abuse victims?

Nevermind that he’s being laughed about because he’s ignorant and unwillingly comic in his irony and not because he may or may not be a victim of child abuse, that he’s not a little boy and there’s no evidence of Laughing Witch laughing about or abusing child abuse victims, or that insults are only “abuse” in a very different definition from the one that’s used when talking about “child abuse”…

I had to spell this out, because I find that after a while this MRA-rhetoric rots the brain and deflating their pompous arguments is always like a breath of fresh air to me : )

painteyelash
painteyelash
5 years ago

@brooked

I agree. Even though I don’t understand this kind of extreme behavior, especially because he has no problem with actually showing his face and name in public, putting it all out there, it probably is a tactic to smear the “enemy” as he perceive feminists and others to be. If it is not some weird pedophile accusation it will be something else. These tactics will never stop being a part of destroying “the other”.

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

I wonder how Deano justifies this particular behaviour.

Probably simply as “all’s fair in war”. If a child abuser is the worst thing a person can be, he’s gonna call anyone who laughs at or criticizes or debunks him just that — a child abuser. Because in his eyes, the one with the dirtiest tactics “wins”.

talbotfish
talbotfish
5 years ago

Esmay is flaming out like a burning meteorite made of misogyny and panic sweat…its both fascinating and sad to watch.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@talbotfish

Esmay is flaming out like a burning meteorite made of misogyny and panic sweat…its both fascinating and sad to watch.

Well said. The guy really, really wants attention. And he is fascinating — in a loathsome, pathetic kind of way. Mission accomplished!

My boyfriend has another take on it. Esmay prefers not to live in reality. So OK. Onlookers can stand and watch the karma come in. Be prepared to step out of the way!

scribbles
scribbles
5 years ago

@Social Justice Shota Well, your name is Social Justice Shota, which is pretty disgusting, so yeah. I actually can’t blame him for calling you out on that one.

cz1975
cz1975
5 years ago

Dean Esmay has been accusing (falsely of course) a lot of strange women on You Tube of being pedophiles; and without any evidence to back up such claims. This is hypocritical since one of the main issues of Men’s Rights Activists are false allegations of gender crimes by women and feminists. Esmay is just as much of a creep as the women who falsely accuse men of rape and other gender crimes.

I just am at a loss as to why Esmay is making these allegations. It sounds like he’s a mental case.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

@cz1975: Please refer to our Comments Policy when it comes to comments about people’s mental health, please and thank you.