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A Voice for Men just cancelled its upcoming conference because crackpot antifeminist Bettina Arndt might say mean things about it [UPDATED]

Bettina: She aren’t havin’ it

UPDATE: The conference has now been un-cancelled. See end of post for details.

By David Futrelle

I wouldn’t exactly call this a profile in courage. Paul Elam of Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men just announced that he was cancelling his group’s upcoming conference in Australia because he’s afraid that crackpot Aussie antifeminist Bettina Arndt — a former ally of his — might say mean things about it.

Huh?

Here’s the story, as Elam told it in a post on AVFM yesterday:

Bettina Arndt, sex therapist and purported advocate for men and boys … threatened AVFM Editor and [Australian Men’s Rights Association] President Robert Brockway that she would come out publicly against the conference if we did not choose a different location … .

Elam assured his readers that her alleged ultimatum was real and he knew it because Mr. Brockway is a totally honest dude, unlike Arndt, who in addition to not being a dude is also someone with “sharp elbows and [an] often officious, demanding nature.”

That’s actually pretty restrained for Elam, who normally delights in calling women “bitches” and worse. But apparently he’s scared of Arndt’s vast power; as I understand it, she’s kind of a big deal in Australia, or at least someone who regularly stirs controversies in the media for saying and doing ridiculously horrible things.

Elam insisted that her dastardly alleged threat needs to be taken with the utmost seriousness.

Bettina Arndt does indeed have the clout to back up her threats. She could no doubt make holding the conference even more difficult than usual. With her media savvy and contacts, she could easily do damage to the event. Indeed, that is exactly what she threatened to do if she wasn’t allowed to call the shots.

And you can’t have a woman calling the shots, can you?

This reality left us with only three choices. One, bend to Arndt’s capricious demands and then suffer through the follow-up threats and ultimatums that would surely follow. In short, we could bow and scrape to a bully. Second, we could defy her and risk $50,000, hoping she would not follow through with her personal desire to destroy that which she cannot control. Or third, we could close the door on this event, learn a valuable lesson about Bettina Arndt, and regroup in the days ahead for the next ICMI.

As the head of AVFM, and the financial underwriter of the event, I have opted for number three.

Really, dude? You’re forced to cancel a conference because some crackpot mini-celebrity allegedly threatens to badmouth you for the world’s dumbest reason? (I mean, there are plenty of non-dumb reasons to badmouth Elam; being a bad location scout is not one of them.) It’s hard not to wonder if Elam was having trouble raising funds for the event and seized on this as an excuse to cancel a conference that was probably never going to happen any way.

Elam has a long history of bitter feuds with former allies. He broke with his former Number Two dude John Hembling years ago, allegedly because he was annoyed that Hembling had started a group with COCK as its acronym. He broke with former AVFM ”
Activism Director” Attila Vinczer in 2015, and Vinczer was so mad he used his still active editor’s account on AVFM to post a 4600 word screed attacking Elam ON ELAM’S OWN WEBSITE.

More recently he broke with poor anger management poster boy and former AVFM editorial workhorse Dean Esmay, with the two trading assorted recriminations on their respective YouTube channels.

Either Elam is really, really, really hard to get along with because he’s an angry, terrible person or he has a knack for picking friends who are really, really, really hard to get along with because they’re angry, terrible people. Or both. I’m going with both.

As far as I can tell Arndt hasn’t responded publicly to Elam’s accusations against her. I would definitely like to hear her side of the story, which I suspect will bear little resemblance to Elam’s unbelievable tale.

LET THEM FIGHT!

UPDATE: Well, that fight didn’t last long. Arndt issued an apology and Elam has announced that the conference is back on.

Here’s Arndt:

Some of you are likely aware that Paul Elam from A Voice For Men has announced that the ICMI conference in Sydney will not go ahead because I was threatening not to support the conference because of the chosen venue.

It’s true that, in a moment of passion, I said and also wrote in an email that I didn’t think I could support the conference if it were held in Hunter Valley. Understandably, Paul interpreted this statement as a threat.

I am sorry I said it, and sabotaging the conference is the last thing I would ever want to do.

Elam, who had called Arndt a “bully” whom he had long thought was a “a potential ‘problem child,'” has accepted her public apology. In his earlier post Elam wrote that she was at best a “purported advocate for men and boys.” Now Elam has swapped out the word “purported” and calls her a “dedicated advocate for men and boys and an invaluable contributor to the public narrative about their lives.”

So, barring any further infantile drama, the conference is on.

Elam has already deleted his insulting post about Arndt, and says he’ll delete his “apology accepted” note as well. So I guess it’s good I’ve archived and screenshotted both posts.

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41 Comments
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Shadowplay
1 year ago

Such brave. Much manhood.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Shadowplay
comment image

otrame
otrame
1 year ago

This is like watching a scorpion fight a wasp. It’s interesting, but you don’t really care who wins.

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 year ago

Both of them sicken me.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Wow. A Paul Elam post. Party like it’s the early twenty teens!

And how dare he make me side with Bettina Arndt. Never thought that was possible, but it sounds like old Paulie is full of shit.

Crip Dyke
1 year ago

More recently he broke with poor anger management poster boy and former AVFM editorial workhorse Dean Esmay, with the two trading assorted recriminations on their respective YouTube channels.

I remember that Esmay squalor.

On a separate note, what, precisely, was wrong with the location? Does anyone here even know?

numerobis
numerobis
1 year ago

OT:

I would like to share the news that Mexicans hunted the Mammoth:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/07/mammoth-trap-mexico-prehistoric-hunting-pits

Prith kDar
Prith kDar
1 year ago

What was wrong with the location that she’d make such an issue of it, and he’d fear her doing so?

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

But apparently he’s scared of Arndt’s vast power; as I understand it, she’s kind of a big deal in Australia, or at least someone who regularly stirs controversies in the media for saying and doing ridiculously horrible things.

This is one of the funniest things about the piece – Arndt is absolutely not a big deal. A couple of decades ago, she had a bigger profile, but nowadays she’s a nobody, unless you follow men’s rights stuff. I’m pretty sure no-one under 30 has any idea who she is, even given the fairly small pool that is Australian media.
Unless she has some kind of dirt on Elam, I don’t know why he thinks she has clout, lol.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

Hey Mish! Lovely to see you back; hope all’s going swimmingly for you!

GAZZA
GAZZA
1 year ago

I’m a 47 year old Australian, and I’ve never heard of her. 🙂

CarrieV
CarrieV
1 year ago

Oh, nostalgia’s so nice. It was good to hear a Paul Elam story again.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Naglfar, excellent Doge meme!

@Alan, thank you! Lovely to see you too. I’ve been reading Mammoth but not posting much – couldn’t pass this one up though 🙂

Bina
1 year ago

Gotta hand it to Paulie, he’s got quite the talent for making even the most disgusting people hate him. I’d ask how he does it, but I think I already know.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

@Mish
Seconding Alan — it’s nice to hear from you. I know that sometimes life gets too complex to think about posting, but I’m glad you’re still around these parts. All the best.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 year ago

Self-cancelling bigotry.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Mish
Thank you. Shadowplay is the one who really deserves credit, though, because they posted the first two parts and inspired me to make the rest of the meme. Anyway, welcome back!

I’m somewhat curious what the actual story is. I ordinarily would not trust someone like Arndt, but she’s probably more reliable than Elam in terms of what what actually happened.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
1 year ago

otrame wrote:

This is like watching a scorpion fight a wasp. It’s interesting, but you don’t really care who wins.

I care.

Arachnids over insects, always!

…but your point is well taken regarding these two shit-weasels.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
1 year ago

Speaking of arthopods, the whole MRA and MRA-adjacent community has a strong crab-bucket vibe, but the Paul Elam corner seems particularly crab-bucket-y.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

@ Numberosis:

Hunters may have used torches to scare the mammals into the area with the traps, which are about 6ft (1.70m) deep and 25 yards in diameter, but one of the skulls found also had marks of a spear wound on the front.

… I dunno if I’d agree this is direct evidence of attack on the mammoths, I’d be willing to speculate that the hunters were trying to “coerce” the animals into the trap, and one of them got in front of the beasts…. If this is the case, it likely did not end well for the spear operator…. 🙁

The hunters would have learned early and quickly that when attacking very large animals, “from the front” is a BAD STRATEGY!!!

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Gaebolga
Team Arachnids for the win!

In all honesty, for this battle I hope that the conclusion is whichever one slows down and obstructs MRAs the most. I’m not sure which that is, but I want this to be an obstacle for their hateful movement.

@moregeekthan

Speaking of arthopods, the whole MRA and MRA-adjacent community has a strong crab-bucket vibe, but the Paul Elam corner seems particularly crab-bucket-y.

Totally. He’s built his whole website about complaining and trying to make everyone around him as miserable as he is. He doesn’t want anything to get better, he just wants to spread the misery and suffering.

Katamount
1 year ago

Man, the more I hear about the hapless AVfM, the more I kinda pity their inability to catch on to the grift. C’mon, this is a grift that Jacob Wohl has made a name for himself with. It’s like their petty insular grievances are alien to the current audience of reactionary content.

Frankly, I’m kinda surprised they haven’t jumped on the “PC-Culture Industrial Complex” harder.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
1 year ago

@Katamount
They do feel quite outdated in comparison to other grifters.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 year ago

@Katamount:
Wow, implying ‘not up to the high standards of Jacob Wohl’… ouch. That’s a bar so low as to be nigh-subterranean.

I still liked the line on Pharyngula of:

[…] like all of Wohl’s schemes, it rapidly disintegrated into a shambles that would have humiliated a man with any shame. He does not have any.

ABars
ABars
1 year ago

…as I understand it, she’s kind of a big deal in Australia…

Lived in Australia 25 years. First time I’ve ever heard of her.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Jenora Feuer, Katamount
Well, it would have been up to Wohl’s standard if the feminists hadn’t taken away his locking briefcase.

Talonknife
Talonknife
1 year ago

@Crip Dyke

I remember that Esmay squalor.

I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate this reference.

DJ Roukan
DJ Roukan
1 year ago

A Virtual warehouse of misinformation and drama is this place.

A complete misrepresentation of what the MRM represents, utilizing dismissive language such as “misogyny” (yawn), and “crackpot” to rile up the like minded rather than argue facts and reality.

There was no cancellation, there is no feud, there is no spoon…hunting Unicorns.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

Spiders are not insects
But in the war they will side with the insects!
Traitors traitors spiders traitors
They will make us
Human slaves in an insect nation!
Aw aw aw AW!

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@DJ Roukan

A complete misrepresentation of what the MRM represents, utilizing dismissive language such as “misogyny” (yawn), and “crackpot” to rile up the like minded rather than argue facts and reality.

So, what do you represent then? I’ve never seen MRAs actually help men, but I’ve seen them do all kinds of harm to women, LGBTQIPA folks, and even to men.

There was no cancellation, there is no feud, there is no spoon…hunting Unicorns.

Take that up with Paul.

Amtep
Amtep
1 year ago

You might be interested: The Daily Show did a segment on nofappers.

https://youtu.be/TvgaCwLaxMI

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

DJ,

This site has been around since 2010 and the MRA “facts” and “reality” have been argued a lot. We all know what you’re about. Fictions such as, women are always lying about rape, men get screwed over by the courts, only men ever invented things or worked hard, the age of consent is misandry

comment image

Viscaria
Viscaria
1 year ago

A Virtual warehouse of misinformation and drama is this place.

A very wrong person who has hitched their wagon to a hate movement that has largely been abandoned in favour of more generalized hate movements is you!

EverythingIsRidiculous
EverythingIsRidiculous
1 year ago

Bettina Arndt, there’s a blast from the past, vaguely remember her having an advice column in the Aussie Women’s Weekly or Cleo or Dolly or some other dead magazine. And what’s her beef with the Hunter Valley?

Helen
Helen
1 year ago

Unbelievable. Even the MRAs hate her

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Kat

@Mish
Seconding Alan — it’s nice to hear from you. I know that sometimes life gets too complex to think about posting, but I’m glad you’re still around these parts. All the best.

Thank you so much – I’ve missed you guys!

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

@Helen:

Unbelievable. Even the MRAs hate her

Of course they do — she’s female.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
1 year ago

Also nice to see you, Mish.

Johanna
Johanna
1 year ago

*reads the update*

And Eurasia has always been at war with Oceania, right?