Categories
"ethics" a voice for men antifeminism antifeminist women domestic violence erin pizzey misogyny MRA

Erin Pizzey’s fake White Ribbon site declared officially fake by United Nations agency

Cat detectives are on the scene

Two years ago, Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men decided to get into the violence prevention business, in its own backwards way, by getting up in the business of the White Ribbon Campaign, a longstanding international initiative to encourage men and boys to fight against violence against women and girls.

AVFM didn’t organize any workshops or Walks Against Family Violence or anything of the sort. Instead, it launched its own ersatz White Ribbon website, using a domain name (WhiteRibbon.org) that the real White Ribbon organization had neglected to register for itself. With a design similar to White Ribbon Australia’s site, it featured a “donate” button that sent donations straight to AVFM itself.

Though the donate button was later removed, AVFM’s “White Ribbon” site seemed pretty clearly to be a bad faith effort “designed to undermine and co-opt the real White Ribbon campaign,” as I put it at the time.

Shortly after the site’s launch, AVFM head cheese Paul Elam responded to my criticism, and similar criticism from Salon and ThinkProgress, with a thoughtful blog post inviting us all to

Go right straight to Hell you gang of bigoted, lying scumbags. That is, if Hell will even have you pieces of shit.

He also challenged the White Ribbon Campaign to

Send your lawyers. We will be happy to ride them for a while just for the fun of watching you pay the f**king bill.

Well, it turns out that White Ribbon Australia did send lawyers, taking the case to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations entity tasked with resolving these sorts of disputes.

And guess what? In a ruling last week, WIPO declared that, yep, the fake WhiteRibbon.org site set up by AVFM was indeed fake, a bad-faith infringement of the real White Ribbon Campaign’s trademarks intended to confuse anyone who visited the site. 

Below, some relevant passages from the WIPO’s ruling which you can read in its entirely here. “The Complainant” is the real White Ribbon Australia; “the Respondent” is Whois Privacy Protection Service/woman-blaming domestic violence “expert” and longtime AVFM ally Erin Pizzey. (While AVFM still hosts the site, it handed the official ownership of WhiteRibbon.org over to Pizzey some time ago, presumably for legal reasons.)

The Disputed Domain Name incorporates the Complainant’s WHITE RIBBON trade mark in its entirety, and is therefore identical to the Complainant’s trade mark. …

[T]he Panel also finds that the Disputed Domain Name is confusingly similar to the Complainant’s WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN trade mark, WHITE RIBBON DAY trade mark, WHITE RIBBON design trade mark and WHITE RIBBON NIGHT trade mark, which were all registered prior to the Respondent’s registration of the Disputed Domain Name. …

The Respondent’s Website also features a white looped ribbon against a black background, which is similar to the Complainant’s WHITE RIBBON design trade mark, and the looped white ribbon on the Complainant’s website. Both the Respondent’s Website and the Complainant’s website have a similar black and white design. Therefore, the Panel finds that the Disputed Domain Name has been used in a manner that misleads Internet users into believing that the Disputed Domain Name is associated with the Complainant … For this reason, the Panel is of the view that while the Respondent’s use of the Disputed Domain Name may be a noncommercial use, it is not a legitimate or fair use. …

The Panel accepts that the Respondent registered and has been using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith  … with the intention of confusing Internet users into believing that the Disputed Domain Name is associated with the Complainant.

Three strikes, and Pizzey is out!

WIPO ordered Pizzey to transfer the domain name over to White Ribbon Australia.

AVFM reported the news in a post on Tuesday that is notably more subdued and sober than Elam’s original response to critics. It sounds a lot like it was written by a lawyer, or at least run past one.

But never fear! Elam managed to inject some of that old Elam magic into the otherwise pretty dry post:

AVFM CEO Paul Elam stated that, “WIPO’s panel investigated this case the same way the FBI investigated Hillary Clinton,” and added, “White Ribbon Australia are bullies with deep pockets beating an old woman in a wheelchair into submission and silence so they can continue a corrupt enterprise without dissent.”

#NotYourShield? More like #TotallyYourShield

Needless to say, old women in wheelchairs are no more entitled than young women not in wheelchairs to infringe upon the trademarks of legitimate anti-violence campaigns in a bad-faith effort to confuse Internet users and push their own line of propaganda.

The “old woman in a wheelchair,” who has clearly not been “beat[en] … into submission and silence,” had a few choice words to say about the ruling as well:

When contacted for comment, Pizzey said she was considering her legal options and viewed the ruling as a temporary setback. “I am not going to stop,” she told AVFM. “I have dedicated over 50 years of my life to educating people about family violence and I won’t be stopped now by these hoodlums.”

Hoodlums, really? Pizzey once declared that, to her,

the definition of domestic violence is quite clear: if you are not in fear of your life, you are not suffering it.

But neither she nor Elam have any problem talking about White Ribbon Australia with the same language one might use to describe a domestic abuser.

To Elam, White Ribbon Australia’s defense of its trademarks against a deliberately deceptive web site trying to undermine it is basically the same as “beating an old woman in a wheelchair into submission and silence.” To Pizzey, the real White Ribbon campaign is a bunch of “hoodlums.”

As of today, more than a week after the WIPO ruling, it doesn’t look as though Pizzey has handed over the domain name. Clicking on WhiteRibbon.org doesn’t send you to White Ribbon Australia or to any of the other other legitimate White Ribbon organizations around the world; it sends you to Pizzey’s fake site, now calling itself Honest-Ribbon.org — but still sporting the same black-and-white WhiteRibbon.org logo as before.

So I guess the lawyers aren’t quite done yet.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

72 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
magnesium
magnesium
4 years ago

Speaking of comically unwinable legal battles, whatever happened to the Honey Badgers and the fake lawyer they gave all those donations to? Did they win the right to blatantly violate the rules of private functions and still be allowed to attend?

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Taffer:
Firstly, good name. (Although I always heard it “taffard” in the games.)

Secondly, that’s hilarious.

Presumably any legitimate customers wouldn’t have a problem finding the dating part of the site? They are psychic, after all. Anyone complaining is almost certainly a non-psychic and shouldn’t be allowed to use the site.

not Ian
not Ian
4 years ago

whiteribbon.org now redirects to honest-ribbon.org, which was registered three days ago by Erin Pizzey. They haven’t gotten around to replace the site’s banner, though: it still calls the site WhiteRibbon.org.

MRAs really don’t know when to quit, do they?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Alan
Your jokes are terrible and that’s why I love them. 🙂

I almost called it a dad joke but I’ve been trying not to use that phrase anymore for what are probably obvious reasons to this group.

(((Hambeast))) Now With Extra Parentheses
(((Hambeast))) Now With Extra Parentheses
4 years ago

Taffer – It took me till I read the “psypal” to get the joke. Brilliant!

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

@Kupo, in this case, you could call it a “Steven Wright” joke. Almost the same thing.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ kupo & orion

Oh I could only dream of being in Steven Wright’s league.

“Yesterday I had a premonition that today I’d have deja vu”

Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack

whiteribbon.org now redirects to honest-ribbon.org, which was registered three days ago by Erin Pizzey. They haven’t gotten around to replace the site’s banner, though: it still calls the site WhiteRibbon.org.

MRAs really don’t know when to quit, do they?

comment image

It’s sad.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

From a 13th century MRA

Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one’s guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil. … Thus in evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good. –Saint Albertus Magnus, Dominican theologian, 13th century: Quaestiones super de animalibus XV q. 11

https://valerietarico.com/2013/07/01/mysogynistquoteschurchfathers/

Tosca
Tosca
4 years ago

I’m reminded of the tribulations of the Australian anti-vaccine group Australian Vaccine Network (AVN). A loose coalition of opponents formed a Facebook group simply called Stop the AVN…and began reporting them to the Australian regulators. Every lie, every false anti-vax claim, every neglect of governance regulations, reported to the appropriate regulatory body. We weren’t malicious, no fake claims, just…if they broke the rules, we called them out on it. They lost. We’ve now moved onto chiropractors.

AVfM should also learn from the example of PUA Julian Blanc, who was run out of Australia on a rail in 2014.

Don’t fuck with Australians, boys.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Wow, just… stupid. Just stupid, MRA dudes.

An international organization is telling you that you’re behaving illegally, and are stomping all over the efforts of a charitable organization. Even if you disagree with the goals of that organization (No doubt they do), you couldn’t ask for worse publicity than to get called out for abusing their rights, being dragged to court for it, being found guilty, and then defying the ruling anyways. Just, wow. Amazing stupidity.

You guys keep it up though! Comical and ineffectual is exactly how I like my MRAs.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

A Christian White Ribbon Day song from 1997
Inspired by violence in Northern Ireland.

heather
heather
4 years ago

Can anyone tell me why people think Paul Elam is a coke head? Where did these rumours start?

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

whois reports that avoiceforman.com is registered…

Oh wait I know that person.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

AVFM CEO Paul Elam stated that, “WIPO’s panel investigated this case the same way the FBI investigated Hillary Clinton …

You know, I actually agree with this.

They both ignored the conspiracy mongering and investigated and reported on the provable facts of the case, even though they knew it’d put them in the crosshairs of some very loud, very angry, very violent misogynists. They both refused to bow down to right-wing domestic terrorism and did the right thing. And in today’s world of Fair And Balanced™ reporting, where Hillary’s flu gets more media airtime than Trump’s rape accusations, that’s uncommon enough to be notable.

Cat Mara
4 years ago

Can we start an anti-MRA campaign called The White Feather Foundation? Seeing as how they’re still seething about that after 100-odd years…

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

@SFHC, uuughhhh. News Media, why you gotta be so blatantly awful? Fuh, I mean, really?

Honestly, newsguyse, you could just stop talking to him. Honestly, you could! You could just go on the air one day and spend a couple hours reporting on all of the lies, fabrications and idiocies he’s spouted and then never let him use your show as a platform again. You’d have the alt right howling about media bias, but they do that anyways – they don’t listen to you. But you’d have a whole lot of progressives (and there are a lot of progressives) who would be excited about your program, because it would be demonstrating a reasonable set of goddamn priorities.

Or, you could, you could keep chasing that short-term advertising dollar, jerks. Honestly, the only reason they want to come off as “fair and balanced” and “both-sides’ey” is so they don’t lose the opportunity to get interviews with the right wing assholes. By doing that you’re giving them legitimacy, jerks. Stop it.

Arrrgh and then I am the one who gets called out of touch by friends and family because I don’t watch cable news. I’m even apparently friends-of-a-friend with an honest to goodness alt-right aryan racist now, as I found out last night. I got to sit through a rant about how all the refugees need to go back home and fight for their country, where they left their women and childrens donchakno, and he was gonna run them over with his truck but it’d get him in trouble with the librul P-C-Culture police.

Right. Calm. Anyways. Hello! Yes. There was a rant, I guess.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

@Scildfreja

There’s a nonzero possibility that Trump will get less free advertising in the future, because of the troll he pulled yesterday. Even Fox was reporting that his accusation of Clinton being the real birther was based in no facts whatsoever.

He’s never demonstrated anything but contempt for the press, but he’s made himself very accessible for interviews and questions, which counts for a lot in the press pool. The trick he puled Friday may have been a bridge too far. He rubbed journalists’ noses in his utter disdain for them.

I could just be overly optimistic here, but it really looks today like the press is sufficiently pissed at him to stop carrying his water.

Robert Walker-Smith
Robert Walker-Smith
4 years ago

I left a contrarian message on her FB page. No flying monkeys so far.

Seriously, her comment about throwing a glass of wine in someone’s face still rankles me. Who considers that appropriate behavior? Besides her, of course.

Keated
Keated
4 years ago

Hmm, the ‘voiceforman’ website for some reason makes me think of the ‘cow pretending to be a man’ bit from asdf (This may be because I’ve listened to an hour’s worth of the Muffin Time song this week… still not sure how THAT happened 😛 )

‘Yes, I am real MRA, you guys want to go skateboards?’

Ms Vanilla Rose
4 years ago

That would be the same Erin Pizzey who referred to “”the only thing a child really needs – two biological parents under one roof”. Despite her having claimed that both her biological parents, who lived under one roof, treated her abominably.