Category Archives: excusing abuse
So if you’ve ever wondered what sort of activism that Men’s Rights, er, Activists do when they do do activism, take a look at this little ACTION ALERT from A Voice for Men.
You may recall Paul Elam getting all worked up the other day because Facebook, responding to a campaign launched by a coalition of feminist activists and groups, announced it was going to try to do a better job removing “gender-based” hate speech from its site. You know, like this [TRIGGER WARNING] sort of thing.
Naturally, Elam and other MRAs interpreted Facebook’s announcement as the first step in the End of Male Speech on the Internet, or something.
Anyway, now the MRAs are ACTIVATING! AVFM has announced that it’s going after the groups that signed onto the feminist Facebook protest. Because, well, I’m not sure I get why exactly.
Here’s their explanation:
It’s time for action. The AVFM community has scrambled to look beyond the fine print of WAM!’s ultimatum to Facebook and into the signatories. We are finding that some of them are tax-exempt, and even government funded. We now know that government funded institutions have endorsed a harmful double standard that results in the censorship of men.
But, if we discover that even one cent of government money touched WAM!’s campaign, we will be exposing a whole new dimension of hypocrisy.
Uh, ok. I’m just really having a hard time finding the hypocrisy here. If you look at the names of the groups that signed onto the open letter, you’ll find a number of general feminist groups, groups concerned with the representation of women/gender in the media, and groups organized against sexual assault and other forms of violence.
They didn’t sign a petition demanding that all men posting on the internet be banned or, I dunno, kicked in the balls. They signed onto an open letter demanding that Facebook remove
groups, pages and images that explicitly condone or encourage rape or domestic violence or suggest that they are something to laugh or boast about.
That doesn’t seem hypocritical to me. It seems rather in line with what these groups promote.
And the only men who will be censored will be men posting this sort of hateful shit. If women post this sort of shit, they’ll be banned too.
Apparently, AVFM and its “activist” fans are so divorced from reality that they think they’re going to be able to publicly embarrass rape survivor support groups … for standing up against crude, hateful rape jokes on Facebook featuring images of brutalized victims.
Still, at least this sort of surreal, self-defeating activism is better than firebombing courthouses and police stations, as that infamous manifesto posted in AVFM’s activism section so enthusiastically recommends.
EDIT: I forgot the link to the AVFM alert; added it inthe first graf.
British barrister Barbara Hewson caused a bit of a stir last week when she called for the age of consent in Britain to be lowered to 13 so as to end the alleged “persecution of old men” like those arrested in the wake of the recent Jimmy Savile scandal, which revealed a widespread culture of sexual exploitation of underage girls (and some boys) at the BBC in the 1970s.
Now one female Men’s Rights Activist connected to hate site A Voice for Men has done Hewson one better, arguing that the real culprits in these scandals weren’t the predatory adult men but the girls they victimized.
MRA founding father Warren Farrell responds to questions about his incest research with evasive non-answers. And a smiley.
The Man Boobz Pledge Drive continues. See here for more details, or click below to donate.
And now back to our regularly scheduled post:
Warren Farrell, whose 1993 book The Myth of Male Power essentially set the agenda for the Men’s Rights movement we know (and don’t love) today, did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit yesterday.
Most of the questions he chose to answer were pretty much softballs, and his answers largely reiterated things he’s said before many times. But he was also asked some pointed questions about his views on incest which he chose to answer. Well, sort of. Instead of clearing up the issue, he dug his hole a little deeper.
[TRIGGER WARNING for incest/child abuse apologia.]
An Orlando man, Faron Thompson, was recently charged with battery and child neglect after an altercation in which he allegedly tried to force his fiancée to swallow her engagement ring when she tried to leave him. (More details here.)
This sort of abuse is depressingly commonplace when women try to free themselves from abusive and controlling men; indeed, if I posted every news account along these lines on this blog I wouldn’t have time to do anything else.
No, I mention this case because something that Thompson reportedly told police reveals a lot about the mindset of abusers. When they arrested him, police say, Thompson complained that:
Women always claim assault, but never accept responsibility for provoking someone.
That is how abusers think.
It’s also how a lot of MRAs think.
Indeed, when I read Thomson’s reported remarks, the y immediately brought to mind something written not that long ago by Karen Straughan, the YouTube videoblogger who goes by the name of Girl Writes What. Straughan describes herself in her A Voice for Men bio as “the most popular and visible MRA in North America,” and given the rapturous reception her videos get on You Tube and on Reddit, this may not be an idle boast.
In the rather revealing Reddit comment I’m thinking of (which I blogged about earlier), Straughan suggested not only that abused women regularly “demand” the abuse they receive, but that many of them also get some sort of sexual charge from it. Oh, I’m sure she’ll deny that she really meant all that, but I can’t see any other way to read the following.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what article she’s referring to in the last paragraph — the one she says isn’t “seriously ethically questionable” — it’s a post from the repugnant Ferdinand Bardamu arguing that men should “terrorize” their partners because that’s the “the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.” For more about that charming piece, titled “The Necessity of Domestic Violence,” see my post here.
I’m having less and less of a problem with calling the Men’s Rights movement “the abusers lobby.”
I’m sure there are some MRAs who are as repulsed by Straughan’s argument as I am. If you’re one of them, and want your movement, such as it is, to be remembered as something other than “the abusers lobby,” you need to call out all those MRAs who make such arguments. Might I suggest that you start by challenging the “the most popular and visible MRA in North America,” otherwise known as Girl Writes What?