If you’re a feminist holding an event, and you don’t want to have recordings of that event posted online without your permission by MRAs, it looks like your only option is to ban anyone and everyone associated with A Voice for Men from the premises. AVFM “activism director” Attila Vinczer has made that very clear.
Earlier this month, you see, Jaclyn Friedman – feminist writer, speaker, founder of Women, Action & The Media (WAM!) – gave a talk at Queens University in Kingston, Canada, followed by a panel discussion.
A number of Men’s Rights Activists associated with everyone’s favorite hate site A Voice for Men showed up with cameras and other recording devices, as they do.
The organizers made clear that there was to be no filming or recording of the event.
They had security remove Steve Brule, an MRA-sympathetic “documentarian” who’d shown up with his camera gear. Organizers had every reason to worry about Brule and his camera: in the past, footage from Brule has been used by AVFM to dox feminist students. Nevertheless, he cried foul, saying that he promised the security guards he wouldn’t film the event –honest! — and, absurdly, claiming that he had been discriminated against as an “old guy.”
But organizers let in other MRAs, apparently on the condition that they not record any of the proceedings.
Well, I guess we now know how much those sorts of promises are worth. Today, A Voice for Men posted a recording of the event. Vinczer explained that
I herewith revoke my word not to record the Jaclyn Friedman What’s Feminism Got To Do With It public event. Had security not violated my Charter Rights I would never have had to take the steps I did to preserve those rights.
On April 7, 2014, a group of five men and one woman were denied access to a public feminist event at Queen’s University for absolutely no reason at all. Security trampled on Charter rights of these Canadians.
But then in his next line we learn that four of these people, including him, WERE ultimately allowed to attend the event. (Presumably the fifth was Brule.)
So four of these people were unfairly denied access to something they were not actually denied access to, and a fifth was denied access because organizers and students didn’t trust him not to record the event.
And so, in order to protest a man being kept out of an event because people were afraid he would secretly tape the event, AVFM is … posting audio that someone secretly recorded of the event, after promising not to record it.
So that’s irony number one.
As for irony number two, well, according to Vinczer, posting the audio of the event is necessary because
The public has a right to know what type of damaging and dangerous rhetoric is being spoken to highly impressionable young adult minds.
But guess what? The event wasn’t actually secret. It was actually BROADCAST LIVE AS IT WAS HAPPENING.
And for anyone who missed it, it’s ARCHIVED ONLINE HERE. Go to April 8 at 8pm (or, as they have it, 2000 hours). Ta da! The sound quality is better than AVFM’s recording, as well.
Besides sound quality, the other difference between AVFM’s recording and the officially broadcast one is that AVFM’s includes the panel discussion afterwards, which, as the radio station that broadcasted the event noted in a tweet “we were not permitted by the panelists and event organizers to record & broadcast the panel discussion due to safety concerns.”
In other words, the organizers wanted students to be able to ask questions without worrying about being publicly identified on the internet by MRAs — because MRAs, particularly those associated with AVFM, have a longstanding practice of singling out college feminists for harassment online.
So good on you, AVFMers, for making life a little easier for potential harassers.
Also, in the comments on AVFM, we see this wondrous little exchange.
Wait, a feminist telling women to exploit their sexuality for money? That seems … odd.
And that’s because she isn’t doing that at all.
Which brings us to irony number three: If you actually go and listen to that portion of Friedman’s talk, you will see that she isn’t issuing marching orders to her feminist sisters. In fact, she’s describing the traditional, patriarchal, female-sex-as-commodity notion of sexuality. She’s very clearly describing a model of sexuality she, as a feminist, finds troubling, not one that she endorses.
But just as the folks at AVFM have trouble telling the difference between a secret event and one that was literally broadcast to the world, they also have trouble telling the difference between feminism and the complete opposite of feminism.
Congratulations, AVFMers, you’ve once again demonstrated to the world that you are both liars and idiots.
EDIT: Added several paragraphs noting that the AVFM recording included the panel discussion and audience questions.
EDIT 2: On Twitter, AVFM “assistant managing editor” Suzanne McCarley seems to suggest that Attila Vinczer’s argument that he had to post the audio because the public “has the right to know” is pure bullshit: AVFM, according to her, posted the audio simply because it was forbidden to post the audio.
Here’s her tweet:
@DavidFutrelle It wasn't secret, silly. It was forbidden. Much more exciting.
— Suzy McCarley (@SuzyMcCarley) April 22, 2014
So is she trying to make excuses for AVFM not knowing that the audio of Jaclyn Friedman’s talk was already online, or is this the truth? Funny thing is, either way, the folks at AVFM look like asses.