Well, the AVFM conference is over. I thought I’d post links to some of the media coverage today. I’m not sure Paul Elam and co have quite attained the level of respectability they were going for with the conference. It probably didn’t help that their PR gal, Janet Bloomfield, kept posting about “whores” and then, during the final panel discussion, delivered a passionate defense of “doxxing.”
Anyway, here’s the press coverage today:
Serwer presented a sardonic take on the conference, full of revealingly awful details. Some highlights:
What animated most of the speakers at the conference was feminism and how it needed to be defeated. …
At the conference, feminism was responsible for turning wives against their husbands, bleeding them dry in divorce proceedings and separating them from their children, levying false accusations of rape and abuse against good men, or creating an ever-present culture of hatred where men are vilified.
Though men’s rights activists who hosted the conference often say sexual assault against men isn’t taken seriously, the audience laughed when speaker Fred Jones mentioned his fears about his son being raped after being arrested in New Orleans.
“He’s kinda small and kinda cute, good looking, you know what I mean?” Jones said. “You know what they do with –” Jones cut himself off. But the audience laughed.
Barbara Kay, a columnist for Canada’s National Post, argued that … [r]ape on college campuses … was a myth perpetrated by man-haters …
“The vast majority of female students allegedly raped on campus are actually voicing buyer’s remorse from alcohol-fueled promiscuous behavior involving murky lines of consent on both sides,” she said, drawing chuckles from the audience. “It’s true. It’s their get-out-of-guilt-free card, you know like Monopoly.” The chuckles turned to guffaws.
On the SPLC’s Hatewatch blog, Goldwag — who wrote that famous SPLC takedown of the Men’s Rights movement — delivered up a surporisingly straightforward account of the first day of the conference. Some highlights:
A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam warned attendees to keep low profiles, lest they be harassed by protesters, and made much of the police presence he had secured. There were indeed uniformed policemen on site, and quite a few black-shirted security guards. There were camera crews from Vice and a number of reporters. But the only sounds to be heard outside the VFW Hall were chirping birds and the hum of passing traffic—there wasn’t a protestor in sight. I counted between 150 and 200 people in the hall. …
The Canadian Senator Anne Cools, who opened the conference, spoke at great length about how feminism has hijacked Canada’s family courts, quoting Blackstone on women’s rights, the song “Frankie and Johnnie” and even Euripides to give lie to the supposed feminist myth that women were historically oppressed. Frankie and Medea, she implied, both gave as good as they got. Erin Pizzey, the well-known novelist, ex-feminist, and founder of Chiswick Women’s Aid, one of the first women’s shelters, indicted the movement she had once helped lead as a radical Marxist plot to turn women against men, destroy families, and create a billion dollar social welfare industry.
And then there was “Dr. Helen,” writing on her blog on the right-wing website PJ Media. Dr. H, one of the speakers at the AVFM conference, described her time amongst the MRAs as “quite a delight.” Indeed, her account was so chipper I found myself wondering if she had even attended the same conference as Serwer and Goldwag — or the conference I watched several hours of online.
The crowd of what looked to be about two or three hundred people were diverse and ranged from all ages to all ethnic backgrounds. There were more men there but almost as many women it seemed! … I was in awe and amazed at the great group of intellectual speakers and the audience who asked questions that were critically thought out and challenging.
Yeah, definitely a different conference.
She did have one worry, though: that other people were there to report on the conference besides her.
My only concern with the conference was the media that was present. It seemed that reporters from Time, MSNBC, GQ, and Vice.com were there. I got an uneasy feeling about a few of them though I suppose their stories could go either way, though I think I know which way to bet. There were a couple of women from Vice.com that we sat with at an appreciation dinner for speakers who seemed very nice but frankly, a bit clueless.
I’m guessing those women from Vice.com are a lot less “clueless” than Dr. H thinks.