Longtime observers of A Voice for Men have been wondering for some time why John “The Other” Hembling has vanished from that site. Hembling, once the site’s Editor in Chief and number two figure, was not at AVFM’s much ballyhooed conference this summer, and his name has mysteriously vanished from the masthead. AVFM has not, to the best of my knowledge, ever offered a public explanation for the falling-out with Hembling.
Now, after months of silence on the topic, Hembling is telling his side of the story.
In a video posted yesterday — and embedded at the top of this post — Hembling claims he was tossed overboard from the good ship AVFM because he was publicly critical of some of AVFM’s staffers and allies – in particular Janet “JudgyBitch” Bloomfield, AVFM’s truth-challenged “social media director,” and Stefan Molyneux, long-winded YouTube “philosopher”and leader of the Cult of Stefan Molyneux.
Hembling starts off the video by challenging the “rumor” that he was kicked out of AVFM because he was planning on showing up to the group’s conference with a giant inflatable penis, a reference to Community Organized Compassion and Kindness — COCK – a group that he started with his girlfriend Diana Davison and which seems to count only the two of them as members. I have no idea if this is a real rumor, a joke, or something he actually was planning. I mean, this is a guy who runs a “human rights” group called COCK. In any case, he insists in the video that he had no such plans.
The real reasons he was “disinvited” from the conference and from AVFM itself? According to Hembling, it’s largely because, he hasn’t been shy about criticizing other AVFMers, as well as various articles on the site, including one from a trans man that Hembling thought was “bullshit,” and published only because AVFM was trying too hard to be inclusive.
But apparently his biggest crime in the eyes of Elam and other AVFMers was his criticism of AVFM PR maven Janet Bloomfield – not for being a liar with a propensity for calling her opponents “whores,” but for being … a stay-at-home mom.
When Hembling joined AVFM, he notes, the site was harshly critical of traditionalist conservatives, seeing the traditional roles of men as providers and women as stay-at-home wives and mothers as offering little more than “slavery” for men.
Indeed, Hembling quotes from one 2011 post by AVFM founder and big kahuna Paul Elam warning of the danger posed to men by, in Elam’s words
‘traditional” woman’… offering fellatio in exchange for indentured servitude, and reveling in her ‘traditional power,’ as a woman. … Traditionalism is the driving force behind male slavery. It is the psychological machine that socializes men into becoming fodder and into becoming lapdogs disguised as guard dogs.
But now, Hembling complains, AVFM has not only abandoned its disdain for traditionalist women, but has also appointed a traditionalist woman – Bloomfield – to serve as its PR representative. (Though Hembling doesn’t mention is, AVFM also brought traditionalist conservative Suzanne Venker to speak at its conference.) And when Hembling brought up this seeming contradiction while he was at AVFM, he says, his “relatively mild critiques” were seen as “blasphemy.”
“What happened, Paul,” Hembling asks. “Did your brains fall out?”
As Hembling sees it, the “final nail in my coffin at AVFM” was his criticism of Molyneux, a woman-hating libertarian “philosopher” with a cult following (literally) on YouTube who was one of the more memorable speakers at AVFM’s conference. (I highlighted some of the horrible things he said in that speech in a Misogyny Theater video here.) Hembling doesn’t specify what exactly he criticized Molyneux for, but insists that it was mild criticism compared to what the “philosopher” hears from others online.
Hembling adds that he also called MRA elder Warren Farrell “Professor Fuzzy Face. I think that might have ruffled some feathers too.”
So are these the real reasons Hembling was exiled from AVFM? Isn’t it possible that he was actually shitcanned because he’s a loose cannon and compulsive liar that no legitimate organization would want to have anything to do with?
He is, of course, all of those things, and if we were dealing with any entity other than AVFM I would assume this was the true explanation. But the plain fact is that AVFM is overflowing with loose cannons and compulsive liars, from the man at the top of the heap down to the footsoldiers in its Twitter army.
And, as hard as it might be to believe anything that someone as habitually truth-challenged as Hembling has to say, his explanation of his fall from grace is completely plausible. Elam is an egotist and an opportunist, and he’s not someone who likes being second-guessed by his followers. To have the ostensible number two at AVFM calling him out publicly for his hypocrisy and poor judgement? Well, I can’t imagine he was terribly happy about that.
Will Elam respond to this video with an “explanation” of his own? I can only hope so.