Lazy Libel 2: Georgetown prof debunks the alleged Arianna Pattek conspiracy. And more on Stormfront

Did Men's Rights Activists take their cues in this case from literal Nazis?

Men’s Rights Activists have a lot more in common with white supremacists than they’d like to admit.

Just a quick update on the case of Arianna Pattek, the recent Georgetown graduate targeted for harassment by A Voice for Men and others, including the white supremacists at Stormfront. As I pointed out in an earlier piece, the “detective work” that led A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam and the other Pattek-bashers to target her was incredibly inept and sloppy, and it’s clear beyond any possible doubt that she has nothing whatsoever to do with the misandrist blog they accused her of writing, which increasingly obviously seems to be an utter hoax.

A Voice for Men, which hasn’t yet acknowledged much less apologized for its obvious mistake, has made much of the fact that information about Pattek was pulled down off of a Georgetown website after various websites started targeting her — attributing this to some sinister conspiracy. “[I]t now appears almost certain,” Elam wrote in his error-riddled post on the matter,

that individuals at Georgetown, perhaps even university officials, are purging their online records of that thesis, and her identity, in order to protect the interest of the school against what will almost certainly result in a massive amount of litigation.

Last night Mark Lance, director of the Justice and Peace program at Georgetown, left this message in the comments here on Man Boobz. (I confirmed his identity through email.)

Hi. Im the director of the Justice and Peace program at GU, though I was not directing when Arianna graduated. I just wanted to let folks know that her information was removed from some web sites at to protect her. This story was first picked up by and the white supremacists have been harassing and threatening her, including posting her home address, picture, etc. It was probably pointless, but the person who directed the program last year decided to remove the info. So, sorry, no conspiracy. Just an attempt to protect a young woman from vicious hate groups.

That explanation makes sense to me, and certainly he’s got more credibility on this matter than Paul Elam. (A ham sandwich has more credibility than Paul Elam.)

Lance’s comment raises an interesting question: Did Stormfront in fact start harassing Pattek before the MRAs got to her?

Here’s what we know: Stormfront — incorrectly — named Pattek the author of the feministconservative blog a little after 3 AM Eastern time on the 18th, the same day that Redditors in the Men’s Rights and Conspiracy subreddits (and a few others) picked up the story. Timestamps on Reddit aren’t precise, but I’m guessing they got to it after 3 AM.  The phony news also began spreading around Tumblr that day as well. Elam posted his piece trashing Pattek later that same day.

So, yes, it does sound like the white supremacists got to Pattek first.

Does this also suggest  that the bogus information published by A Voice for Men came — directly or indirectly — from Stormfront?

That seems much less likely. Though I can’t confirm it, it looks like the whole thing originated not on Stormfront but on 4chan, and that their bogus theory about Pattek spread to all the other sites out there. (I find it hard to believe that all the other sites arrived independently at the same patently false conclusion.) It’s certainly possible that Elam got his info from Stormfront, but it seems more likely he got it from 4chan, or, even more likely, 4chan via Reddit.

If anyone has evidence that 4chan picked up the theory from Stormfront, let me know.

In any case, the whole event says a lot about how bad information spreads on the internet, and just who is getting information from whom.

It also says a lot that A Voice for Men, which likes to pretend it’s at the vanguard of a great 21st century “Men’s Human Rights Movement” was nearly as quick to jump on the Pattek-hating bandwagon as the literal Nazis at Stormfront — that is, the leftover stragglers from a 20th century hate movement.

And it’s quite telling that both Stormfronters and AVFMers think that doxing and harassment of individuals are justifiable forms of “activism.”

I would say something about strange bedfellows, but these bedfellows aren’t strange in the slightest. They’re two hate movements, just made for each other.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on April 21, 2013, in a voice for men, antifeminism, harassment, hate, literal nazis, misandry, misogyny, MRA, oppressed white men, paul elam, racism, slacktivism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 225 Comments.

  1. Part of what depresses me about the current scene is how few bands have the backbone to be openly political. A lot of them are in a private sense, but they don’t talk about it in public because oh noes that might scare off paying customers.

    I mean, I understand the need to make money and the pressure from record companies to tone it down, but it still bums me out.

  2. Can’t believe you would defend this woman. calling people racist on a site thats fundamentally built on racism. The irony here is epic. Just look at your site’s name. I am a minority myself, I would be embarrassed to if these are the types of people represent me.

  3. Carlos, WTF are you on about? Are the minorities men or boobs?

  4. calling people racist on a site thats fundamentally built on racism.

    What the fuck does that even mean?

    No, seriously? Is there any way to parse this statement so that it matches to anybody’s version of the events that happened?

    Or has Carlos decided that reality is boring, and he’s going to augment it a little?

  5. And on the last page Rich has decided that the Georgetown folks purging her information is scary/strange, and has no relation to any Stormfront harassment, and demands to know why the Georgetown folks will not confirm or deny that she worked there.

    Which… every single piece there is a “create your own reality” card, isn’t it?

    Dammit, you guys! We always said the MRAs were living in a fantasy world, and couldn’t see reality even if they squinted, but you don’t have to make it so obvious!

  6. Even more hilarious, Rich demands that Georgetown tell everyone whether or not she wrote the blog post.

    Rich does not appear to understand logic or reality. How would Georgetown know who created or who didn’t create a blog that has nothing to do with Georgetown?

    And MRAs think this is a gotcha?

  7. I demand that Georgetown tell me the real names of every single YouTube commenter on Anita Sarkeesian’s videos, or they’ve just lost all credibility here.

  8. cloudiah: If you’ve not listened to Oysterband, or Chumbawumba, you should (I still haven’t listened to the, “Maggie’s Dead” EP they sent me).

  9. Carlos: calling people racist on a site thats fundamentally built on racism.


    Men who are misogynist idiots is a race now?

    The things I learn on manboobz.

  10. Rich:

    This story doesn’t make any sense.

    Some administrator decided unilaterally to purge all of the positive stories about Pattek and her senior thesis?

    Presumably, the administrator was in contact with Pattek before making such a bizarre decision to purge an alumna’s entire university history based on an erroneous blog post.

    So why won’t Georgetown just state that Pattek had nothing to do with the post if indeed she didn’t?

    Because this wasn’t an official blog of GU, and so they can’t?

    Because she was being targeted by racists and misogynists?

    Why do you presume this? It’s a local issue. It’s not as if she were paying GU to have that there.

    In short, did you actually think about it before you typed all this incoherent blather?

  11. thebionicmommy

    Carlos, are you claiming that it is racist to oppose misogyny? I don’t know how that works when women of color deal with misogyny, too, in addition to racism.

    I am a minority myself, I would be embarrassed to if these are the types of people represent me.

    Okay, I am honestly confused here. Are you saying that as a man, you are embarrassed that MRA’s claim to represent you? If that’s the case, I don’t blame you.

  12. a site thats fundamentally built on racism.

    Well, I didn’t want to say anything, but we do seem to give cats preference over other animals. For shame. Dogs probably get their Manboobz applications thrown right in the trash.:/

  13. Did this puppy get into Georgetown? I don’t think so! Racism.

  14. …Manboobz/Georgetown’s silence on this is damning!

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