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A Voice for Men: The real victim in the Harvey Weinstein case is Harvey Weinstein

By David Futrelle

The folks at the Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men like to make up their own rules about rape. The founder of the formerly-sort-of-influential site, one Paul Elam, once famously announced that he was so mad about the way rape trials are conducted that if he were to serve on a jury in such a trial he “vow[ed] publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.”

Now another writer for A Voice for Men — a pompous Canadian windbag named David Solway — has decided he wants to rewrite the laws in rape trials so as to exclude the testimony of the victims because, in his view, “personal allegations do not constitute evidentiary certitude.” Never mind that testimony is allowed as evidence in American criminal courts and that we have juries whose entire job is to evaluate whether or not this evidence is credible and convincing beyond a reasonable doubt.

Solway says “nuh-uh” to that, and devotes most of a rambling 1800-word essay to arguing that the real victim in the Harvey Weinstein case was Harvey Weinstein.

It’s not that Solway doesn’t think the now-convicted rapist is a predator; he thinks that just “[b]ecause a man is a scoundrel with predatory inclinations does not mean we have license to clap him in irons.” (Well, yes it does, if a jury is convinced that his predations rise to the level of a criminal offense.)

Solway begins his long tirade, naturally, by attacking Weinstein’s victims for supposedly allowing themselves to be abused by the predatory film producer — in essence, agreeing to their own sexual abuse and rape. Instead of avoiding him “like the plague,” Solway sniffs, these women sold their souls and their bodies to this particular devil.

Not only that, Solway argues, but they didn’t immediately distance themselves from the man.

[W]hen one reckons that those who claim to have been assaulted or raped by Weinstein did not go to the police immediately after their ordeal when forensic evidence was fresh and may still have been gathered, and that many of these plaintiffs continued to seek out Weinstein’s company with letters of affection and adulation years after the events in question, the issue begins to grow clouded.

It’s “clouded” only to those who don’t understand how powerful Weinstein was and what he could do to people’s lives and careers.

But as Solway sees it, this means that the women in question were not only not really victims; they were also essentially accomplices to Weinstein’s crimes — sorry, to the bad things that he did that somehow aren’t prosecutable crimes to Solway.

Weinstein had accomplices — and the accomplices were the very people who sought his favors and his friendship despite the criminal acts which they allege Weinstein to have committed. No psychological theory of traumatic innocence routinely espoused by feminists can launder such behavior unless we are dealing with infantile minds utterly devoid of moral agency. If Weinstein is guilty, so are his accusers who by their ongoing actions — and lack of consequent reactions — are equally complicit in allowing such criminality to persist, from which others would likely suffer in the future. Participation equals facilitation.

“Participation” in what? Their own rapes? Apparently.

Weinstein’s “casting couch” depredations were apparently common knowledge, but no one seemed very upset. If women sought his company, if they went to his hotel room, if they did not report his outrages, then they were in effect a willing part of the whole disreputable affair.

That’s not how rape works, you piece of shit.

If Weinstein was a perpetrator, they were enablers. They were under no compulsion or violent coercion to traffic with him. Those who decided to sleep their way to the top or to keep silent for fear of jeopardizing their careers must take responsibility for their decision or subsequent omertà and acknowledge their complicity.

Fuck you.

Solway goes on to suggest that Weinstein’s accusers are

a bunch of grasping, invidious, self-infatuated and morally corrupt people … in cahoots with the man they have now turned against.

After a bizarre detour into astrology (don’t ask), Solway concludes that the real criminal here is … Hollywood itself, with Weinstein playing out his role as “the victim of a jurisprudential travesty.”

It’s not much of a surprise that this despicable essay found a home in A Voice for Men — where, it seems, all rape accusations are false allegations, regardless of the number of accusers, regardless of their believability. Elam, long-time readers may recall, responded to the accusations against Bill Cosby by suggesting that the former comedian’s accusers were

just a bunch of drug whoring star fuckers … who commoditized their bodies like groupies who managed to get backstage at a rock concert. …

Women have been trading gash for stash for as long as I can remember, and they still are.

Saying that Bill Cosby gave women ludes to loosen them up for sex is about as worthy of pointing out as the likelihood is that those women loosened Cosby’s grip on his drugs by sticking their tits in his face.

Solway’s language may be less crude than Elam’s, but his argument is essentially the same: Weinstein’s accusers were selling their bodies to get ahead in Hollywood, and thus were at least as guilty as their abuser.

I’m not making any accusations myself here, but this is how abusers think. This is how rapists think. And this is evidently the party line at A Voice for Men.

Just more evidence showing why the Men’s Rights movement is a hate movement.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican Hot Chocolate
6 months ago

Of course none of his accusers went to the police. All Weinstein would have to do is let slip the rumor that a woman was hard to work with and she’d see her parts dry up overnight. Once bankable stars would become pariahs. Up and coming newcomers would never get their careers off the ground. So fuck this guy right in the corn chute.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

Why am I not surprised by MRAs saying this? It’s quite reminiscent of their take on Bill Cosby. In both cases they were able to put aside their racism and antisemitism to defend a reprehensible piece of shit (though I’m sure in this case they’ll bring their antisemitism back later).

If someone commits a heinous crime, they should be penalized for it. I personally hope Weinstein spends the rest of his life behind bars and I hope his victims are compensated for the harm he caused them.

Wonder if that boring little troll CenterFold will try to defend this take.

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
6 months ago

“personal allegations do not constitute evidentiary certitude.”

So does this mean I’m free to stick up Stolway as long as there are no other witnesses?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Of course, with both Weinstein and Cosby (and Trump and Epstein too), victims did report. They reported and nothing was done. Just because the media finally noticed some predators and it caused the law to finally get around to doing something, doesn’t mean that no one ever objected to their behavior before.

This bullshit is so disingenuous.

CarrieV
CarrieV
6 months ago

Call me a dinosaur, but I miss the days of A Voice for Men and Return of Kings and all their manospherian ilk being written about here. I was looking forward to reading a little AVfM stuff for nostalgia’s sake.

But yuck, this was a wallop of ugly that I didn’t actually expect.

F that Solway guy. Or if that’s too violent, then F the guy’s line of reasoning.

Allandrel
Allandrel
6 months ago

I quite like the curse that I’ve seen here an elseweb:

“May he step on all the Lego bricks.”

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
6 months ago

Because a man is a scoundrel with predatory inclinations does not mean we have license to clap him in irons.

True. If a man cheats while playing penny poker, there are no legal consequences for him.

Oh wait. We’re talking about a rapist. Way to try to sanitize the situation, buddy. Rape is a crime and Harvey Weinstein will be in prison for a long, long time.

Dude, do you even know what “license” means. Try Webster’s.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
6 months ago

@CarrieV

Call me a dinosaur, but I miss the days of A Voice for Men and Return of Kings and all their manospherian ilk being written about here.

And here I was earlier today missing “Judgy Bitch” Janet Bloomfield. Specifically, I missed photos of her from her kitchen with a background graphic of “Live. Love. Laugh.” Remember the one where she wore a swastika T-shirt with that graphic behind her? Those were the days. But then she had to go and leave her husband for another man, and I suppose she’s left her kitchen behind along with her husband and children. She’d talked a lot about the value of husbands and how she’d snagged her own husband in college by doing his laundry. Then she left him. What am I supposed to think now.

Oh well. Whenever I need a laugh I just remember “Live. Love. Laugh.”

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
6 months ago

This thing reminds me of the Vic Mignogna situation, where despite all the evidence of sexual misconduct for years, keeps on getting ignored by a bunch of trolls. There is a particular thread out there, with over 40 pages of well documented sexual misconduct, pedophilia and harassment, and yet misogynist trolls stick by him.

As always, they don’t care. They’re not in it for the truth or the rights of men. What they really want is to destroy feminism and revert women’s rights back before women suffrage. The narrative is just a tool for that purpose, and they become more obvious about it the more they talk.

@WWTH

How’re you feeling? Are you recovering still? It seems my case was just the flu, but I am entirely over it now thanks to flu medicine. If it’s COVID 19 I hope you get through it without problems.

Cheerful Warthog
Cheerful Warthog
6 months ago

And, of course, to be against Vic Mignogna is to be an SJW, the worst possible thing in the universe to be. Also, hey!, Fullmetal Alchemist was good, right? Right? So therefore he’s fine. …I liked his performance as Mao in Disgaea 3, because the Disgaea games are my personal favourites of things, and I am nonetheless very clear that by all accounts he is terrible and I heartily support his continued disinvitation to any and all gatherings of… anything, really.

It’s the “and they kept talking to him!” thing that just keeps showing up. I would say “they can’t handle anything that’s not black and white”, but I’ve been reading this site long enough to know that nothing, ever, would be good enough for these people to believe an accusation of rape. If the accuser immediately cut off all contact with the accused, wouldn’t be in any public gathering with him or anyone related to him, and began spontaneously vomiting and crying at the sound of his name… well, she didn’t attack him with a mace, so was it really that bad?

There’s a lot of things that have become team sports that really shouldn’t be.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Diego Duarte,

I’m good. I think? I’m still coughing, but don’t have a fever or anything. So I think it’s just a mild cold, but don’t want to risk anything, so I haven’t left home for days except to walk the dog.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I’m glad you’re better. Hope everyone else is doing all right.

Lainy
Lainy
6 months ago

I really hope he dies in that prison. I hope it’s slow, painful and that he’s alone when it happens. I hope darkness creeps in on him and he feels everything that he was, ever memory, ever part of his soul slip away. Then he will get a hint of what it was like to be one of his victims.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
6 months ago

@WWTH

Great to hear that. Looks like we were just a couple of scare-cases. The flu medicine I took had me up and running in 4 days.

Most unfortunately, it seems my sister has it for sure. She went to the rodeo of all places, and then a very crowded mall. Very irresponsible of her, hoping she gets better soon.

@Lainy

You have every right to feel that way, especially considering what you’ve been through and the hardships you are facing right now. Weinstein and people like him, who abuse their power to prey upon others, are monsters. I can’t believe he tried to elicit sympathy by pretending he could barely walk.

Hoping you get hit with good news soon.

OT: can’t sleep for the 2nd day straight. Got together with someone I had loved since high school. Turns out she had loved me too, but we we both thought our feelings were unrequitted, so we never confessed to each other.

Reminds me of that “bring out the clowns” reference. I will spare you guys the details for now, I’m happy but exhausted.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Kat

But then she had to go and leave her husband for another man

Hypergamy! Can the poor betas ever have anything?
I haven’t heard from her in a while, so I assume she’s no longer active as an MRA. However, she’s probably still a reprehensible person.

Re: Vic Mignogna
I haven’t followed his case much, but what I’ve seen seems very familiar and similar to GamerGate. Angrily doxxing anyone who challenges him, picking random people to rally around as heroes, etc.
Whenever anyone uses SJW as an insult (usually the alt right or the dirtbag left) I find it to be a bit of a self-own. I don’t feel insulted, and it’s basically a confession that that person opposes social justice. I’m not sure why I should feel insulted for supporting human rights and minorities.

Allandrel
Allandrel
6 months ago

When accused of being an SJW, I like to respond “Social Justice Paladin. Get your classes right.”

David Rose
David Rose
6 months ago

@Allandrel

Level 3 Paladin represent!

Moggie
Moggie
6 months ago

I didn’t follow the Vic Mignogna case closely, because I found #threadnaught exhausting, but it was kinda hilarious how his stans were utterly convinced that he would win big, despite everyone with any legal experience saying “lol no”.

Speaking of hilarious: a thread of Dennis Miller being dunked on for a sub-Huckabee word salad. What happened to this guy? I have a vague memory of him being mildly funny, back in the day.

Nequam
Nequam
6 months ago

Like a lot of people (usually with conservative tendencies) he went completely off the rails after September 11, 2001.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Moggie

it was kinda hilarious how his stans were utterly convinced that he would win big, despite everyone with any legal experience saying “lol no”.

I mostly followed it through the lens of the Violet Wanderers podcast (which is usually a comedy podcast but had a few episodes talking about ComicsGate/KickVic), so I don’t know a huge amount. It seems the Vic stans were more delusional than anything else, seeing as they invented massive amounts of evidence and never seemed to get any real return for it. They maybe should have listened to the lawyers.

Re: Dennis Miller
I‘ve seen Markov generators more coherent than that mess. I can’t tell if he is just really bad at product placement, has had his Twitter taken over by a poorly trained AI, or he’s high on something. Either way, it is genuinely hard to believe that an actual human wrote that tweet, thought it made sense, and clicked the button to send it.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
6 months ago

Perhaps the thing that intrigues me the most about the Vic Mignogna situation is that he’s not even a B list celebrity, so to speak. Arguably he wouldn’t even be considered a C lister, but the energy behind the movement was so intense and disproportionate you’d think people were going after a saint.

It should also be noted that the guy is an alleged christian, one of those green M&M divas, is a terrible professional and has attempted creating a cult around his persona. In a rational world he would be repeatedly trolled by 4chan and the likes, but they instead defend him to the death.

Looks like misogyny is such an important structure to society, that these people will cast away everything to defend it.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Diego Duarte
Once again, the trolls of the world can ignore someone’s differences from them if the person is shitty enough. It’s like how all the racist MRAs leapt to defend Bill Cosby.

Arguably he wouldn’t even be considered a C lister, but the energy behind the movement was so intense and disproportionate you’d think people were going after a saint.

I think a lot of it was leftover rage from GamerGate and the floundering ComicsGate. They were looking for anything or anyone to latch onto for their cause, and Vic fit the bill so people who otherwise had no connection to him came out of the woodwork to defend him.

TacticalProgressive
TacticalProgressive
6 months ago

I know an acquaintance that always defends Vic Mignogna, dismisses the overwhelming and pretty much damning past past history Vic has on his shoulders, and dismisses anyone who either outright denounces his and wants nothing to do with him or who at least think: “their has been a long and clear patter here of past incidents; maybe we should at least investigate it: and just firmly ignores evidence and calls to legal action-and complains about “how Vic is being witch hunted with libel” because “Vic was a great voice actor for Full Metal Alchemist and RWBY”.

I may like those anime as well; but I sure as hell am not going to stan for Vic given the long list of allegations, especially when the vibes around this situation gives me the same gut impressions as Bill Cosby’s rape allegations and that “yeah, he did the horrid crap he did” kind of way. I even told this acquaintance that this whole think with Vic felt exactly the same as Bill Cosby did, and that him defending Vic was the same as the people defending Cosby. He of course balked and tried to make a waffling argument of “but evidence…. and the past allegation’s ‘are heresay” (even though they aren’t).

My best friend however expressed the notion to this acquaintance, of which I agree: that given how this wasn’t a one off incident and has been a case of reports of sexual assault/misconduct against Vic multiple times; when there is smoke: there’s fire.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
6 months ago

@Naglfar:

Re: Dennis Miller
I‘ve seen Markov generators more coherent than that mess.

I’ve written Markov generators more coherent than that mess.

#DennisMillerForRoguelikeScrollNameGeneratorSubroutine2020

Snowberry
Snowberry
6 months ago

Re: Miller – Back during the height of his fame, he mostly wasn’t writing his own jokes. Dude was great at performing comedy, but when it came to creating it… he used up all his best material early on and was left with basically nothing. Also he went from centrist to conservative following 9/11, which didn’t help – conservative worldviews aren’t great at producing non-cruel humor.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Snowberry

conservative worldviews aren’t great at producing non-cruel humor.

They’re mostly just not good at humor, period. Conservatives generally seem to only know one kind of joke and that’s the helicopter one, occasionally substituting in different inanimate objects.

Snowberry
Snowberry
6 months ago

Sigh… on that note, latest version of the Attack Helicopter joke: “Amazing how only males and females are getting coronavirus. Are the other 57 genders immune?” This is a disease statistics reporting joke, if that’s not obvious.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@Snowberry
Make that two jokes. Conservatives have previously had a joke about the wage gap between 57 genders (always the number 57, not sure why) which manages to both deny trans* people and the wage gap.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

@ naglfar

always the number 57, not sure why

I’d guess it’s a Heinz refencence.

Ironically enough Heinz just picked a number at random too; they had more varieties than 57 but they though it sounded good.

ginger
ginger
6 months ago

@Nagalfar

“In both cases they were able to put aside their racism and antisemitism to defend a reprehensible piece of shit…”

Nothing unites MRAs and other bigots like misogyny!

Lizard People Operative
Lizard People Operative
6 months ago

AvFM are still around? I’d kind of assumed they’d fallen apart without El(am) Presidente* around to direct the hate and kick any dissenting voices.

*I have been playing a lot of Tropico 4 recently…

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

always the number 57, not sure why

I’d guess it’s a Heinz refencence.

Which me reminds me of The Manchurian Candidate (the original movie, this wasn’t in the book) when Johnny Iselin finds it too confusing to always change the number of people in government he’s accusing of being communists and hie and Ellie settle on 57 because they’re having a meal and there’s a bottle of Heinz at the table.

In other words, real life reactionaries are as stupid and unimaginative as fictional reactionaries.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

always the number 57, not sure why

I’d guess it’s a Heinz refencence.

Which me reminds me of The Manchurian Candidate (the original movie, this wasn’t in the book) when Johnny Iselin finds it too confusing to always change the number of people in government he’s accusing of being communists and hie and Ellie settle on 57 because they’re having a meal and there’s a bottle of Heinz at the table.

In other words, real life reactionaries are as stupid and unimaginative as fictional reactionaries.

Naglfar
Naglfar
6 months ago

@LPO
They still seem to be around because Paul Elam retired, then unretired, but never reached their former heights because most MRAs have moved on to the alt right and straight-up fascism.

occasional reader
occasional reader
6 months ago

Strange thing that it is often persons with almost not a single grasp of psychology that pretend to explain how bad the victims have acted… They are a bit like the people with no knowledge of ballistic physics (or even simple basic physics, really) who say “But why the victim did not dodge the bullet ?”…

Paireon
Paireon
6 months ago

Wow. Looks like a whoooole bunch of false equivalencies in that reasoning.

Also, they seem to be unfamiliar with how blackmail works.

The dude writing about “starfuckers” seems to think being forcibly pressured into reluctantly giving out sexual favors that would not have been given otherwise is the same as freely offering said sexual favors too – not to mention that I’m pretty sure that a lot of groupies invited backstage at rock concerts ended up being pressured into giving a lot more than they’d wanted.

RE Vic Mignogna, despite being a bit of a weeb myself I must confess I haven’t followed the case closely (especially since I tend to prefer subtitles to dubbing); that said, if any of his or his stans’ claims were substantiated I’m guessing the court wouldn’t have dismissed his lawsuit. Last I’d heard he was appealing the verdict; anyone know a reasonably reliable site with info on the case? Most links I get from googling seem to be from said stans (including such “stalwarts” as One Angry Gamer) or similar Gamer/Comicsgate-aligned outlets (like boundingintocomics).

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
6 months ago

@Paireon:
Well, remember a lot of these folks consider women to be the ‘gatekeepers’ of sex, because women are allowed to say no to them with no repercussions. The fact that they personally have no overbearing power in the relationship so a woman can (relatively) safely say ‘no’, but Weinstein did and thus women had more problems, eludes them.

As for Vic Mignogna, one of the places I was following that was at Nerd and Tie. It’s hardly their biggest point of discussion (they do SF/Anime/etc Convention news in general) but they have a tag on him at http://www.nerdandtie.com/tag/vic-mignogna/ and they’re pretty good about linking to sources (including sometimes just saying ‘we don’t have the space to do more than summarise this, but this other site has done a great job of detailing it all’). The comments sections were, unsurprisingly, flooded with stans, but were pretty equally flooded with folks who pointed out how idiotic the stans were being. (Nerd and Tie comments sections tend to be relatively small unless something like this comes up.)

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
6 months ago

Oh, the ‘other site’ I mentioned above is Anime News Network: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-07-29/the-mignogna-deposition/.149401

J.
J.
6 months ago

I remember the Vic case. I recently saw someone comparing social distancing #metoo.

They said that #metoo and other movements were already making men and women “socially distant“ because of false rape claims. It was an odd way to capitalize on an international crisis.

vaiyt
vaiyt
6 months ago

A Voice For The Most Terrible Men Around.