For A Voice for Men, and its Edmonton offshoot, terrifying women is a form of “human rights activism.”

Men's Rights Edmonton activist at work

Men’s Rights Edmonton activist at work

So the self-described “human rights activists” at A Voice for Men have found three more women to harass. Here’s the story, which for many of you will have a depressingly familiar ring:

Members of Men’s Rights Edmonton, a small group that is for all intents and purposes a local chapter of A Voice for Men, has been putting up pictures targeting Lise Gotell, the chair of women’s and gender studies at the University of Alberta. The pictures, which seem inspired by “Wanted” posters of yore, feature a large portrait of Gotell and the caption:

Theft isn’t black. Bank fraud isn’t Jewish. And rape isn’t male.

“Just because you’re paid to demonize men doesn’t mean rape is gendered. Don’t be that bigot.

Gotell’s crime? She was involved in what appears to have been a remarkably effective rape awareness campaign focusing on date rape and featuring the slogan “Don’t Be That Guy.”

A Voice for Men took exception to the campaign because, even thought it did deal with the male victims of rape, it didn’t devote equal time to the problem of evil, false-accusing “girls.” No, really. Men’s Rights Edmonton Activists put up “satirical” versions of the campaign’s posters with the slogan “Don’t Be that Girl.” Now, MR-E and AVFM, at least according to the “argument” advanced on their new poster, seem to be upset that the campaign didn’t devote equal time to the problem of female rapists.  [Note: this paragraph has been corrected; see note at end of piece.]

Gotell spoke out against the posters, and now Men’s Rights Edmonton and AVFM are doing their best to smear her as a “bigot.” Because she doesn’t believe that women are responsible for half of all rapes.

Since this is not actually true — more on this in a later post — it’s hard to see how this makes her a bigot.

As a rule, I don’t support tearing down the posters of one’s ideological enemies. Free speech and all that. But these posters are different: they’re slanderous personal attacks designed to harass an individual. Were they posted in my neighborhood I would tear them down.

And evidently that’s what some people in Edmonton have been doing.

Indeed, one recent night, several members of Men’s Rights Edmonton claim to have caught two women doing just that. While they don’t seem to have video footage of the women tearing down the posters, the MRAs filmed themselves following the women down the street and angrily confronting them for this alleged crime.

They posted the video to YouTube, and AVFM posted it as well, under the typically overheated title “Men’s Rights Edmonton confronts fascists.” They screencapped images of both women from the video and announced their intention to uncover their personal information:

MR-E would like to know the names of these two women so that charges of destruction of property can be laid against them. Also, the world should know the identities of those who seek to silence and censor messages advocating for human rights.

Of course, this is ridiculous. Tearing down a poster that was almost certainly posted illegally in the first place isn’t “destruction of property.” No one is going to be prosecuted for this. The police have better things to do.

But of course that’s not the real intent here. The real intent here is to scare the shit out of these women and other feminists by exposing them to harassment online — like the woman labeled “Big Red” and countless other women who have been targeted by AVFM and other MRAs (sometimes completely erroneously).

AVFM’s Paul Elam gave the game away with an “editor’s note” added to the post:

[A] woman who vandalizes man’s property and then flips him off when he confronts her about it on a dark street at night only acts in this manner because she is certain she has absolutely nothing to fear. Feminists terrified of MHRAs? My ass.

Elam could not have made it any clearer: the main point of this kind of “activism” — which has become AVFM’s bread and butter — is all about intimidating women, not helping men.

AVFM, where terrifying individual women is “human rights activism.”

Here’s the appropriate response to that:


CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: I rewrote the paragraph starting with “A Voice for Men took exception,” which confused AVRM/MR-E’s current objection to Gotell’s views with its original “argument” against the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign.

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 September 18, 2013, in a voice for men, antifeminism, doxing, drama kings, edmonton, entitled babies, evil women, harassment, imaginary backwards land, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, not-quite-explicit threats, not-quite-plausible deniability, oppressed white men, paul elam, playing the victim, rape, rape culture, taking pleasure in women's pain, the poster revolution has begun, things that aren't fascism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 938 Comments.

  1. Poor little feminists don’t like being demonized for your criminal acts.

  2. Okay cartoon villain.

  3. Ooh, big bad necro troll.

  4. cassandrakitty

    Today’s news update – anything that MRAs don’t like is now a crime. What, you don’t think the legal system works like that? Fuck off, misandrist bigot.

  5. What the hell is up with all the necros lately?

    Although, the mention of Edmonton reminded me that I was at an opening a few weeks back and I got to talking to the brother of a friend of mine (they are from Toronto). I was talking to him about Canada in general and Canadian politics as compared to US politics. We got to talking about MRAs and the like and when I asked him what the heck was up with Edmonton (laughingly, I asked if there was something in the water) he explained to me that Edmonton is in Alberta, which is Canadian oil country. As he put it, Edmonton is in the middle of what everyone thinks of as the Texas of Canada.

    And it all made sense after that.

  6. cassandrakitty

    My Dad, who’s lived in both Texas and Alberta, did draw some comparisons between the two (though, for those Texans who’re a bit put out, I will point out that he said the food is much better in Texas).

  7. After reading hellkell’s comment about the food in Austin, I’d like to know the definition of “better” there!😀

  8. Aw, Blah’s so mad that feminists are doing things. Poor Blah. Truly, Blah’s life must be so hard.

  9. cassandrakitty

    Dad spent a lot of time complaining that there was a grand total of one Chinese restaurant in his town in Alberta, and that was the only non Anglo restaurant around. Where we lived in Texas (near Houston) there’s great central and south American food, good Korean bbq, Viet food if you know where to look, and all the perfectly cooked beef you could ever want (plus if you’re a person who likes spicy things, the southern part of Texas has you covered). Also they have great baked goods there.

    The food situation is probably a lot better in Calgary or Edmonton, but he was in the middle of nowhere.

  10. Sounds like that part of Texas had more variety than Austin, then.

    “Middle of nowhere” goes for so many places, even if they aren’t, geographically. Anyone wanting a wide variety of food in my suburb would be disappointed.

  11. Hey, I really liked Madam Mam’s Thai food in Austin! And Conan’s Pizza is still my favorite pizza restaurant of all time. I even have the T-shirt!

  12. cassandrakitty

    Agreed, I really think he’d have been a lot happier if he’d been in a city. RE Austin, there’s no question that where hellkell lived before (which is a lot like where I am now) has far more options. It’s a demographic issue, basically – the “hip” cities on the West Coast are far more ethically diverse, which is why the food is too. It’s the same reason Honolulu is a great place to eat out.

  13. Madam Mam’s (the one south by me, anyway) is now Sap’s and is perfectly named. After West Coast Thai, you wold be a sap to eat there. It’s OK, but not great.

  14. Oh, all the food on Oahu is amazing. Even my in-laws’ potlucks.

  15. cassandrakitty

    I remember buying a fish sandwich in Maui expecting it to be just kind of meh, because we were starving and stopped at the first place we saw, and it being amazing. Lots of good food in Hawaii.

  16. RE: hellkell

    Well, I’ve never lived on the West Coast, so… <.<

    On the plus side, there are lots of places nearby where we can buy hibiscus, so my roommates have been making hibiscus tea! It's really good.

  17. LBT: not shitting on MM’s entirely, everyone has their thing. It just wasn’t what we were used to at all.

  18. cassandrakitty

    That happens a lot when restaurants change owners, it’s so sad when they go from awesome to meh.

  19. I love hibiscus tea.

  20. cassandrakitty

    Me too. Also if you mix it with some rosehips.

  21. Yeah, while Madam Mam’s was the first Thai food I ever had, so I didn’t have anything to compare it too. It also helps that it was the first time I ate East Asian food and wasn’t miserably sick afterward. (Seriously, throughout childhood, that stuff caused me stomach pain like nothing doing.)

  22. cassandrakitty

    Huh. Allergy to MSG, maybe?

  23. There’s a terrible Thai place in LA that I still frequent occasionally because I have fond memories of eating there with my dearly-departed mother. She LOVED their mi krop, which was very non-traditional — basically, it tasted like a very sweet kid’s cereal, nothing sour/acidic at all. Not my kind of thing at all, but for nostalgic reasons I eat it and love it.

  24. Poor little feminists don’t like being demonized for your criminal acts.

    WHAT “criminal acts”?

    And yeah, damn right we don’t like being demonized. We’re human beings, fuckhead.

  25. I daresay the aptly-named Blah thinks feminists are criminals in stealing themselves from their masters.


    This is pretty funny, they say they “confronted Fascists” but for all their long-windedness they used the word wrong, if anything patriarchal types like themselves fit the term far better.
    Its particularly funny they say in two different places “Criminal acts” and “get the picture and call the cops so we can press vandalism charges”… Good to know youre a bunch of little rats first of all, and RIPPING DOWN POSTERS IS NOT ILLEGAL.
    I will continue to rip down any posters I find in my neighborhood in Edmonton at any time I come across them. These people harass women and do ZERO actual activism… so come GIVE ME A REASON! I’m out here, where are you “Male Rapist Apologists?”

  27. I occasionally see some incredibly stupid MRA posters put up around town. I used to simply laugh and pass by, but I think from now on I’m going to tear them down and stick them in the recycling bins we have dotted about the city. If I thought they were using non-chemical ink I’d throw them in the compost bin, but I have doubts that any of these MRA assholes would bother with being environmentally friendly.

  28. Bjørn Flånders

    MRAs are just fedora neckbeards with nothing better to do. These MRAs do nothing but claim to be victims, when they themselves are the ones who terrorize women. All the while pretending to be so innocent.

    When we look at the facts – and not fedora neckbeard idealism – it appears that Feminism is no threat and only a movement for equality.

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