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“And what if they get killed?” A Voice for Men as an antifeminist Witchfinder General

So John the Other has responded to my post about A Voice for Men’s “bounty” on the makers of the SCUM video. It’s a fairly unhinged rant, even by his standards. Here’s the money quote:

It’s a bizarre bit of circular logic: if some deranged asshole literally kills one or more of the videomakers, this is proof that the Swedish justice system isn’t working, which therefore justifies the deranged asshole’s actions. So the existence of vigilante violence justifies vigilante violence that justifies vigilante violence.

Since when is making a video a capital crime?

After all this, John rather bizarrely claims that “[u]nlike David Futrelle, I do not and will not lend myself to the support of violence, or indeed, of murder.”

That’s because, according to his daft logic, shooting  the videomakers would count as “self defense,” because evidently someone posting a video on YouTube that you don’t like is equivalent to someone coming at you with a knife.

While challenging AVfM’s “bounty” — without actually defending the video in any way — apparently means that I support murder. Go figure.

Vincent Price as the Witchfinder General

But dwelling too much on the specifics of this one case is to miss the larger point. A Voice for Men has essentially set itself up as a sort of antifeminist Witchfinder General. In the 1968 cult film of that name, you may remember, the corrupt Witchfinder tested whether the accused were witches by lowering them into water; those who floated were judged guilty, and burned at the stake. Those who sank were innocent, but dead.

Paul Elam and his sidekick John have a similar approach. They intend to do feminists harm, to “fuck their shit up,” regardless of what they’ve done or said. None of those who have been placed in the Register-Her “registry” as “bigots” deserve to be smeared or harassed (or put on the phony “registry” in the first place). But if you look at what they are ostensibly there for, well, you’ll discover that it matters not at all to Elam whether they sink or float. The point is to harass feminists; almost any excuse will do.

One of those on the “registry,” a radical feminist who posts online as Vliet Tiptree , has indeed said some fairly vile things about the male gender; she is the only one who might conceivably be described as a “bigot.” But others are there on trumped up “charges” based on highly tendentious readings of some of their writing; it’s clear that they’ve been targeted mainly because they have been publicly critical of the men’s rights movement.

Meanwhile, another of the alleged feminist bigots is not a feminist at all, but rather a traditional-minded “mom blogger” who aroused Elam’s fury by saying that she didn’t want male daycare volunteers taking her daughter to the bathroom, and for suggesting (incorrectly) that men make up 99% of abusers. (She has since apologized, but remains on the “registry.”)

And one recent candidate for inclusion, a feminist blogger whom Elam has pledged to “stalk,” seems to have made it on Elam’s naughty list simply because she has helped to highlight how pervasive harassment of women and feminists is online. Complain about harassment; get harassed. But Elam’s “critiques” of her are all suspiciously vague. It’s not clear if he has read even a single one of her blog posts. Nonetheless, he promises her that

by the time we are done you will wax nostalgic over the days when all you had to deal with was someone expressing a desire to fuck you up your shopworn ass.

In a post from some months back, Elam offered a similarly psychosexually charged justification for his campaign to “Fuck Their Shit Up.” Directly addressing the “feminazi scumbags reading this right now,” he declared:

I am not going to stop.  You see, I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage.  I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.

Let’s repeat that last bit for emphasis:

the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.

Does anyone still doubt that the aim of A Voice for Men and Register-Her.com in publishing personal information of their enemies is to intimidate – indeed, to terrorize?

Does anyone still doubt that their campaign is driven by hate?

Does anyone still doubt that they don’t give a shit if their actions cause someone to be physically assaulted or even killed?

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Rutee Katreya
10 years ago

Spearhafoc – MRAL is stubborn, often obnoxious, and quick to lapse into Tantrum Mode FUCK, but he’s not dumb, and I say give credit where it’s due.

How much ‘credit’ is due for not wanting to kill people, again?

Mind, I’m not accusing MRAL of cookie seeking. I’m merely trying to figure out when not wanting people to physically suffer for speech became cookie worthy.

If he can get from point A to point B on this, there’s hope that he’ll connect the dots on other issues

How many times must your dreams be crushed before letting this one go, really?

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

How many times must your dreams be crushed before letting this one go, really?

MRAL is young enough to the hope he can avoid becoming Brandon/DKM/NWO can remain for some time yet.

Improbable Joe
Improbable Joe
10 years ago

@Rutee Katreya: you’d be surprised at how idealistic people can be. I’m a great example of it, even though people call me a cynic… and a misogynist, and a sexist, and also a pussy and a misandry-enabler, and all manner of nasty things. Some of us STILL assume the best of other people.

Rutee Katreya
10 years ago

I agree, actually, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen on a remotely short time span, or that we need to try to hurry it along. He’s got growing up to do. Possibly a therapist to see, but not apparently a necessity.

BigKitty
BigKitty
10 years ago

@ NWO – So, I guess you are upset about “straight hate” on account of the fact that you’re a straight man who “LOVES” women, amiright? OOPS – no, you hate women!

It must be so confusing to be you. You loathe women with every fiber of your being, yet you also hate other men who love men. In what way are you actually heterosexual, NWO? Your hatred for women pretty much rules out any kind of sexual relationships with them. Yet you also hate men who have sexual/romantic relationships with members of their own sex.

So, you hate women, and you also hate men who love men. Tell me, NWO, with whom do you aspire to have a sexual/romantic relationship? If it’s not a woman, and it’s not a man, are you dreaming of robot romance?

Improbable Joe
Improbable Joe
10 years ago

@Rutee Katreya

At the same time as people don’t change all at once, when someone shows a small sign of change you don’t knock them down because they didn’t change all at once.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
10 years ago

I’m not going to go over and bitch to Elam anymore, though, because I’m sort of afraid he’ll put ME on RH for being a “collaborator” or some shit. I really feel like he’s gone a little nuts with power.

MRAL has hit the nail on the head here. Elam is on a power trip with the RH site. I think the main purpose of the site is to intimidate anyone who dares to disagree with Elam or JtO. I want to add my voice to others who have commended MRAL for choosing not to associate with what’s going on at AVfM.

Mind, I’m not accusing MRAL of cookie seeking. I’m merely trying to figure out when not wanting people to physically suffer for speech became cookie worthy.

That’s not what I find cookie worthy. What I find cookie worthy is that he is able to admit when the MRM goes too far or acts too extreme.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
10 years ago

I apologize.

Whatever
Whatever
10 years ago

As I noted before, when these Swedish Girls Kicked The Hornet’s Nest in the first place, they should have expected to get stung. Regrettably, just like in RL, when the hornets randomly attack any nearby passerbys, even those who had nothing to do with the original attack on the colony get stung as well. C’est la vie…

Rutee Katreya
10 years ago

That’s not what I find cookie worthy. What I find cookie worthy is that he is able to admit when the MRM goes too far or acts too extreme.

They are advocating death. This strikes me as basic humanity. What brave statement is next? “I think that maybe 9/11 went too far”?

At the same time as people don’t change all at once, when someone shows a small sign of change you don’t knock them down because they didn’t change all at once.

Indeed, and I’m not.

magdelyn
10 years ago

I think I have an article published on A Voice for Men.

darksidecat
10 years ago

I get the impression that MRAs haven’t actually read “Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest” or even seen the movie, with snappy analysis like this:

As I noted before, when these Swedish Girls Kicked The Hornet’s Nest in the first place, they should have expected to get stung. Regrettably, just like in RL, when the hornets randomly attack any nearby passerbys, even those who had nothing to do with the original attack on the colony get stung as well. C’est la vie…

They just know it has a violent woman in it, so it must be bad! Her reasons, the violence done against her, the fact that there are a million revenge and vigilanty movies out there with male perps and less justifiable violence…well…those don’t need to be mentioned…

Jill the Spinster
Jill the Spinster
10 years ago

It’s obvious that troll hasn’t read the book, because, um, the girl who did kick the hornet’s nest eventually wins?

Wetherby
Wetherby
10 years ago

Mind, I’m not accusing MRAL of cookie seeking. I’m merely trying to figure out when not wanting people to physically suffer for speech became cookie worthy.

Because he’s been faced with a situation whereby people he normally regards as his ideological allies have done something stupid, morally wrong and possibly potentially criminal. He could easily have gone along with it, or kept quiet about it, or just ignored it – but he spoke out against it, and did so in a potentially hostile environment.

It doesn’t matter if you normally disagree with 99% of what he says: on this one occasion I fully agree that he deserves a cookie, and I hope he enjoyed it.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
10 years ago

Agreed. The kid may piss me off sometimes, but it’s reassuring to know that when the more deranged members of the MRM get to the point where they’re doing things that endanger people’s physical safety, some people involved in that movement will be disgusted by it.

I have to say though, MRAL, if someone who I’d previously admired had gone quite as spectacularly off the deep end as the guys over at AVfM have with this stunt I’d be asking myself some hard questions about why I had admired them in the first place, and what that might mean about other associated people who I also admired.

Sorka
Sorka
10 years ago

Oh look, everyone! Another gem of a post from rape advocate Eivind Berge in which he describes trafficking as a “feminist charade”: http://eivindberge.blogspot.com/2011/11/trafficking-charade-groweth-au-pairs.html

It goes from mildly amusing, such as:

“Suppose you hire an au pair while making it clear that she is expected to provide sex as part of the deal, which the woman accepts. A perfectly fair exchange, right? I would naturally expect sex from an au pair myself or I wouldn’t hire her, and if she agrees, no reasonable person could object.”

and “I do not want to live in a society so full of hate, and that is why I am a men’s rights activist.” (Rrrright…)

to the frankly horrifying:

“So the feminist prosecutors referred to above ought to wipe that smug look off their faces before it is too late. Clearly seventy-seven body bags wasn’t enough, but I am fairly confident that you will be sorry one day.”

Berge makes me ashamed to be Norwegian. Actually no, to be human.

Kyrie
Kyrie
10 years ago

And I stand corrected; this thread has Scandinavian MRAs going “dude not cool” at Elam:

http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/mlnzf/some_questions_from_sweden_a_swedish_newspaper/

So apparently I was wrong (is this guys do define themselves as MRAs), there moderate MRAs. I mean, so many wall of text in this thread and can’t see any a drop of woman hating! They disagree with laws and policies, not the mere existence of unfluffy women, and they seem to be doing so without violence or blowing the issue out of proportion. And apparently in Scandinavian countries, it’s not only women’s right that are advanced, but men’s right too.
MRAL is distancing himself from AVfM and we learn more about the insane life (or fantasies?) of NWO. (this new paranoid story bring a nice change from his usual ranting)

Ain’t the world great this morning?

Wetherby
Wetherby
10 years ago

Berge makes me ashamed to be Norwegian. Actually no, to be human.

Don’t be. Berge is a deeply sick individual who desperately needs years of therapy – which he won’t get, because he thinks that psychiatrists are part of a plot instituted by the state to mess with people’s minds and make them submit to “feminist terror”. (I’m not going to wade through the sewage of his blog to find the exact quote, but I can assure you that he said something more or less identical).

In other words, he’s not remotely representative of anyone but himself.

The person I’m really intrigued by, though, is his girlfriend. Unless he’s made her up to an extent that includes photographs, backstory, Facebook page, etc., what on earth does she get out of a relationship with someone like that?

Sorka
Sorka
10 years ago

Kyrie: “And apparently in Scandinavian countries, it’s not only women’s right that are advanced, but men’s right too.”

Not necessarily. See above. 🙁

My cousin escaped from Utøya during the shooting. So many kids were killed, so many of her friends are gone. It drives me crazy when people such as Berge twist this tragedy to suit their own misogynist ideologies, making it into some heroic “antifeminist battle”.

Adi
Adi
10 years ago

I doubt it.
That hateful and disgusting video is a promotion and glorification of violent misandry. Just imagine for one moment the same video with white on black violence and the rightful public outrage. Or just imagine it with the sexes reversed.

The people who spread such sentiments need to be known to the public.

Amazing how you even manage to twist the most vile kind of misandry into an example of misogyny.
Why only misogyny incidentally? Why not just expose hate against any sex or sexuality?

Sorka
Sorka
10 years ago

“The person I’m really intrigued by, though, is his girlfriend. Unless he’s made her up to an extent that includes photographs, backstory, Facebook page, etc., what on earth does she get out of a relationship with someone like that?”

I really don’t know, but I suspect that she is very young and that she has immersed herself in PUA and MRA blogs for quite a long time to the point where she buys into a lot of their ideologies.

Kyrie
Kyrie
10 years ago

“Not necessarily. See above. :(”
What are you referring to? Berge’s story?
And my deepest sympathy to your cousin, I can’t begin to imagine what it can be to live something like that.

Ullere
Ullere
10 years ago

Berge’s girlfriend isn’t that surprising, people are able to adopt almost any ideology including those that don’t align with their own experiences, reason or rational. The BNP in the UK has an asian member and Hitler had Jewish soldiers. That berge is now mainstream in norway, or mainstream enough to be featured in the traditional press is quite worrying. The BNP being featured on question time has given them validity and is possibly one of the reason for a surge in their popularity last election.

Sorka
Sorka
10 years ago

Kyrie: Yes, I’m referring to Berge and his supporters in Norway. I don’t think he has many — he’s so extreme and hateful that he even repulses many of his fellow MRAs, but there are some who support him.

And thank you — it’s been hard on all of us, but particularly those who were actually there.

Ullere: I wouldn’t say that he’s mainstream, exactly, but I take your point. Do you think inviting him to speak at that debate and featuring him in the press was a mistake? Should people like him be ignored or discussed?

Ullere
Ullere
10 years ago

It’s a tricky one to answer Sorka, in a liberal democracy all views should have fair representation, on the other had being blatantly wrong or inciting/advocating violence/hate is not allowed.

Assuming he comes across as a crack pot who praises the murders of ‘the 77 feminists’ the general public will condem him, however fellow crack pots will have their beliefs radicalised and hold him up as a possible leader, giving him a greater following and his views a greater audience.

However there is the risk that he comes across as being a reasonable person, albiet one with a different view. This is far more dangerous, by featuring him you could give validity to his view. The BNP leader Nick Griffin did not spout race hate nor nazi slogans on question time, and the perpetual attacks of the other members of the panel arose alot of sympathy for the leader of the most facist, racist and right wing party in Britain. If Berge comes across as being reasonable then he too could gain sympathy and this could lead to an upsell in his support.

Being featured at all and being given higher press profile can and probably will lead to him having a larger audience and more support.

It’s tough but yes, I would say featuring him was a mistake. When every media outlet simply dismissed him as a crack pot and refused to have anything to do with him the general public firstly weren’t aware of him and his views. Secondly those who were aware of him knew that he was considered an extremist by the media and would not take his views seriously.

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