In an apparent attempt to prove that they’re not misogynists, the folks at A Voice for Men have decided to take a temporary break from their practice of vilifying individual female activists to vilify a male activist – University of Toronto Student Union VP for University Affairs Munib Sajjad.
As far as I can tell, the folks at A Voice for Men decided to target Sajjad, perversely, because he told Toronto’s CityNews that he was afraid he was “going to be targeted” after announcing publicly that he thought a campus Men’s Rights group should be banned. The A Voice for Men post about Sajjad is a typically long-winded, and largely content-free, rant from the excitable John Hembling (“John The Other”).
But what’s more disturbing than Hembling’s empty bloviating on Sajjad is the way A Voice for Men has framed the attack. “Munib Sajjad, it’s your turn in the barrel,” the headline declares, and Hembling repeats the phrase “your turn in the barrel” in the post itself.
I wasn’t familiar with this phrase, so I looked it up, and found that it derives from a rape joke. Here’s the definition of the term, from Urban Dictionary:
To say someone is “in the barrel” or “taking a turn in the barrel” means it’s their turn to do an unpleasant task or to suffer an unpleasant experience.
Click on the “definition” link above to see the gang rape joke it’s derived from.
Rape jokes aimed at men — even men you don’t like — are certainly a, well, counterintuitive way of showing “compassion for boys and men,” as the A Voice for Men slogan has it.
EDITED TO ADD: Looking again at Hembling’s piece, I realize I hadn’t noticed his, er, argument that the term “mansplaining” — which I find useful from time to time — is somehow equivalent to the incredibly offensive term “[racial slur redacted]splaining,” which Hembling has just made up. (The slur in question starts with an “n.” You can figure it out.) This is ridiculous on its face, not to mention that it’s frankly racist not only to compare the alleged oppressions of men — who are not systematically oppressed — with those of black people — who are — but also to use a racial slur in doing so. Of course this isn’t the first time that A Voice for Men has used the n-word in an attempt to suggest that men, collectively, have it as bad as a historically disadvantaged and still systematically oppressed group.
Rape jokes and racial slurs: A Voice for Men has it all!