Yesterday, A Voice for Men published an article so extreme, so hateful, so beyond the pale, that even Paul Elam, the site’s founder, was taken aback by it. Elam, who said he hadn’t read the article before other editors on the site posted it, claimed in a comment that when he finally did read it, it made him literally sick to his stomach.
Today, he took the extraordinary step – for AVFM – of taking down the article and offering an apology for publishing a piece so “counter to every aspect of our mission and values.” (It’s still up, for the time being, in Google cache; the original can also be found here.)
So what did this terrible, terrible article say? Brace yourself.
It said that Emma Watson’s recent United Nations speech on feminism … made some good points.
While the author of the piece, a tech dude turned “dating expert” named Jeb Kinnison, took the standard MRA swipes at the alleged evils of third-wave feminism, he argued that Watson’s version of feminism represented a kind of “equity feminism which is equally concerned with men’s rights.”
Then he described Watson as “very, very smart, and wise beyond her years … .”
I know, I know. Horrifying.
But that wasn’t even the worst part of Kinnison’s piece. In his conclusion, he actually suggested that
The smart and civilized aren’t spending their time nursing grievances based on sex, gender, race, or religion. If only the most intelligent voices were as amplified as the voices of ignorance and hate promoted by the grievance-mongering misandrists of third-wave feminism as well as insecure male misogynists.
Yes, that’s right: An article in AVFM actually acknowledged that some of those in the Men’s Rights ranks might actually be – gasp! – misogynists.
Naturally, such heresy could not stand. In the comments, a fight broke out between those who hated the article, and those who also hated it but felt that criticizing AVFM about anything was terrible and counterproductive and, hey, remember to donate to AVFM during the Fall Fundraiser!
In the former camp, the most outspoken critic was Nick Reading of Men’s Rights Edmonton, posting under the alias Eric Tiberius Duckman, who bluntly warned that
This article is disgraceful. If uncle Jeb here imparts any more of his mangina wisdom on AVFM, I’ll be seriously considering pulling my support and encouraging others to do likewise.
Elam was having none of this – very poor taste, especially during AVFM’s Fall Fundraiser! He responded to Reading’s threats to take his ball and go home with an indignant comment defending the editors who ran Kinnison’s piece and tearing into prodigal Nick:
[O]ur editors did their job and I am 100% supportive of that.
To be even more frank, even less appealing to me than this article is tantrums and ultimatums from readers attempting to exert editorial control by threatening to leave if they see content they don’t like.
Then apparently Elam decided that he didn’t support the editors 100% after all. In another comment, he declared that
This is the most overly generous, myopic interpretation of Watson’s speech I have seen, including feminist websites. It is literally embarrassing in its reductionist dismissal of issues unique to men and boys. …
I could write an entire article on what is wrong with this piece, but I am just too busy right now.
Once he finished up with this, he took the piece down.
And AVFM’s Fall Fundraiser was saved!