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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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Wetherby
Wetherby
10 years ago

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.

This is true, and I think that Question Time handled that very badly by turning it into some kind of freakshow – but on the other hand Griffin gave a truly abysmal performance (remember when he admitted that one of his associates was a KKK member, but “an almost completely non-violent one”, as if that made it fine and dandy?), and it’s well worth noting that the BNP did disastrously at the general election a few months later. Despite the hype, few seriously expected them to win a parliamentary seat, but losing all their local councillors in barking came as a real surprise to everyone – and the party hasn’t really recovered from this setback.

That said, I genuinely think that in an open society, by far the best course of action with organisations like the BNP is to treat them like any other political party and ask them the kind of questions that any other political party would be asked. In the run-up to the election, there was a truly glorious radio interview with a BNP spokesman who had clearly come on expecting the usual argument about immigration and racism, but instead he was asked about the party’s inheritance tax policy. Naturally, he didn’t have the faintest idea what it was, but decided to try to answer the question anyway, and I’ve rarely heard a more effective aural metaphor for a man slowly sinking in quicksand to his inevitable doom. Instead of coming across as a racist thug, he just came across as a clueless buffoon – and clearly not ready in any conceivable way to hold elected office.

Wetherby
Wetherby
10 years ago

Despite the hype, few seriously expected them to win a parliamentary seat, but losing all their local councillors in barking came as a real surprise to everyone – and the party hasn’t really recovered from this setback.

Sorry, Barking should be capitalized. A Freudian slip, I suspect, as most of the BNP’s policies (even the non-racist ones) are indeed barking.

Sorka
Sorka
10 years ago

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

Perhaps, and that is worrying. However, at the debate people in the audience laughed out loud at many of his statements and he generally came across as lacking in both substance and subtelty. One of the people in the audience argued that it was a good thing that he’d been invited, because now we could see him for what he was: nothing special.

I’ve no doubt that Berge himself is thrilled at about all of the attention, though.

Ullere
Ullere
10 years ago

While the BNP lost their council seats it was sadly due mostly to the boundary change and a rise in Labour support in those areas, instead of a decline in BNP support.

In the 2011 election the bnp increased their share of the national vote by +1.2% which sounds small, but in the previous election the BNP had gained only 0.7% of the vote, which means the more than doubled their support over the course of 4 years.

Nick Griffin himself gained over 17% of the vote for the seat he contested, which is horrific that almost on in 5 people voting in that constuency (some 6000+ voters) supported him. I think this futher highlights the proflie the Question time performance granted him.

I haven’t heard the radio interview but it sounds like the perfect way to handle the BNP. However what would have happened if the BNP guest had been well informed and indeed made a good account of themself on the interview? Not every member of the BNP is a buffoon, there are many intellgent hateful bigotted people out there, many of them would be good in debate or indeed in a campaign.

I cannot imagine anyone featuring a Neo-nazi in their radio interview or their politics article in anymore than a publicity stunt. I’m sure there are more neo-nazis in Norway than there are Berge supporters, giving publicity to people who base their beliefs on anything but knowledge and reason simply gives a platform to hate.

Pam
Pam
10 years ago

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

So then, AVfM and R-H.com are basically what, “Pr0n for Paul”??

ithiliana
10 years ago

@Spearhafoc: Re: MRAL. You’re right in the general sense, but the fact that MRAL who used to (as I recall) support Elam and who himself has had some issues with people on this site, is now showing a change does, I think, deserve acknowledgement and some positive reinforcement. I was pleasantly surprised.

gjdj
gjdj
10 years ago

Let me state that I’m not in favor of the publication of private information of the SCUM group. They do deserved be called out in some manner though.

Nonetheless, I really think that the manboobz crowd is reacting top this based on anti-male sexism.

Picture this: a video in which a woman is sitting on a deck chair, a man shoots her for no reason, and then several men do an ecstatic dance celebrating the violence. The video ends with “Do Your Part”.

Later a feminist organization decides to investigate and publish the names of the male participants in the video.

Ask yourself honestly – who would you see as the bad guys in this situation? I’m confident that you would see the video as vile and the response of the feminist organization as either justified or several orders of magnitude less bad than the original video.

Wetherby
Wetherby
10 years ago

Ask yourself honestly – who would you see as the bad guys in this situation?

If the video was genuinely faked (as the SCUM one obviously was), then the bad guys are in clearly the feminist organization, for crossing the line into invading people’s privacy. Outing people with no good reason is never justified – and good reasons would have to include something really serious, such as sending personal death threats.

Anyway, this issue has already been addressed here.

ithiliana
10 years ago

Let me state that I’m not in favor of the publication of private information of the SCUM group. They do deserved be called out in some manner though.

They are not the SCUM group in the sense of being members of a group called SCUM who are advocating killing all the men. They are ACTORS. In a marketing video. For a PLAY.

Since you believe they deserved to be called out for engaging in fictional violence aganist men, I assume that you believe that all male directors, producers, writers, and actors who participate in creating fictional texts showing violence to women deserve to be called out (whatever that means).

Picture this: a video in which a woman is sitting on a deck chair, a man shoots her for no reason, and then several men do an ecstatic dance celebrating the violence. The video ends with “Do Your Part”.

If we were to post the personal and contact information of every man creating texts that either openly or implicitly say “violence against women is a good thing,” we wouldn’t have time for anything else.

And you dolt: read back a post or two, see the reddit photoshop advocating killing a woman who turns you down for sex, and see how many (ZERO) people (there are men on this site remember) are calling for the creator(s) to be pilloried in public.

And if it were women doing what Paul Elam and the others are doing, we would have the same response (whether they were posting men or women’s names).

So show me ONE feminist site that is posting the names and personal information of men (I don’t count the “hollaback project” which takes pictures of men that harass women on the street and post them which has made a lot of men scream bloody murder — though I don’t see them screaming about “hot chicks of Occupy Wall Street” blog). Hollaback does not involve posting any personal information.

If you cannot show me the equivalent, you’re just engaging concern trolling and mansplaining and generalized bullshit.

Later a feminist organization decides to investigate and publish the names of the male participants in the video

Imagine Martians did it. Quit with the fake hypotheticals and show me actual proof that a feminist organization has done this.

gjdj
gjdj
10 years ago

http://jezebel.com/victoria-liss/

Jezebel publishes the name of a guy who left no tip and told the waitress that she could lose a few pounds.

blitzgal
10 years ago

Picture this: a video in which a woman is sitting on a deck chair, a man shoots her for no reason, and then several men do an ecstatic dance celebrating the violence. The video ends with “Do Your Part”.

We don’t have to picture your scenario. It happens all of the time. David posted one such example just yesterday. Have feminist groups investigated and outed the creator of the Travolta “piece?” Or any other similar piece of art posted on Reddit?

On the other hand, how many examples have we seen of armchair investigators attempting to track down the personal details of a woman they don’t like? Remember the young woman who posted a picture of the facial abrasion she obtained when she was attacked in the street? Remember all of the assholes on Reddit trying to “prove” that she photoshopped the image, that she was lying about being attacked?

blitzgal
10 years ago

Jezebel publishes the name of a guy who left no tip and told the waitress that she could lose a few pounds.

Everyone published that, you dumbshit. It went viral. And, it ended up being the wrong guy, which is an excellent lesson about WHY THIS IS THE WRONG THING TO DO!

Holly Pervocracy
10 years ago

Why make it hypothetical, gjdj? Paul Elam and his commenters HAVE threatened women, specific real women not in the context of a fictional performance. And I don’t see anyone calling for his home addres or threatening in a “we don’t condone it… but you would have it coming” way to sic vigilantes on him.

Has anyone sent HIM death threats?

Rutee Katreya
10 years ago

Ask yourself honestly – who would you see as the bad guys in this situation?

Let me make this crystal clear, for the lackwits in the audience:

You do not post identifying information absent a direct threat. I don’t care if you have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that it was an actual killing; turn it over to the police. It’s not you or your blog followers job to be batman. It isn’t ethical to encourage or try, or even enable, this behavior. You don’t out anonymity unless there is a direct threat.

Jezebel publishes the name of a guy who left no tip and told the waitress that she could lose a few pounds.

That was wrong. Potentially dangerous. What’s your point?

gjdj
gjdj
10 years ago

Ah, the everybody is doing it so we can do it too excuse.

How about Stephanie Grace who sent an email in private to a “friend”?

http://jezebel.com/5527272/meet-harvards-racist-email-antagonist-stephanie-grace

gjdj
gjdj
10 years ago

I agree with you all that the posting of identifying information is wrong.

I just hope that you are equally enraged when a feminist organization does it.

blitzgal
10 years ago

Ah, the everybody is doing it so we can do it too excuse.

Don’t be obtuse. Your assertion was that it was specifically a feminist attack against that guy. It wasn’t, because that story was posted everywhere from Gawker media to The Stranger. Also, you ignored the end of my post where I SAID IT WAS WRONG.

hellkell
hellkell
10 years ago

Oh, gjdj, do fuck off with your trolling self.

Joanna
10 years ago

“I just hope that you are equally enraged when a feminist organization does it.”

What do you think? =P

Do we any of us here seem like the internet stalker kind?

ithiliana
10 years ago

GJDJ: So, one feminist blog screwed up, showing again why this is wrong.

And one feminist (whose name I don’t know and never heard of), also did something equally crappy–but YES, they are wrong. I’ve been outed with my real name and work information.

It was WRONG. The man who did it did remove the “why don’t they lynch her, she’s in Texas, what’s wrong with those manly Texas men” comments and did not directly incite violence, and it was still wrong.

So YES, we will condemn it equally, but I don’t see ONE wrong posting and one email as quite the equivalent to the “register” that Paul Elam has set up.

Where have YOU condemned that, oh so concerned Troll?

MRAL has — will you?

Direct condemnation, not saying “you feminists are hypocrites and anti-male sexists”–flat out saying what they are doing at this communal site is wrong (I don’t see them as any kind of a formal organization, but that’s semantics at this point).

Caraz
Caraz
10 years ago

It’s good that you used two examples, both from Jezebel. That site has been criticised on manboobz before, oddly enough.

And I’m pretty sure no-one claimed ‘the everybody is doing it so we can do it too excuse.’ in fact the response was that it’s clearly wrong. So…not sure what your point is.

gjdj
gjdj
10 years ago

@Joanna

I’m not sure if you are the internet stalker kind or not. It sounds like no, but on the other hand a lot of replies seem very angry.

gjdj
gjdj
10 years ago

@ithiliana

I just condemned that a few posts up, “I agree with you all that the posting of identifying information is wrong.”

Is that not clear? Point out the words you are having trouble with, and I’ll explain.

ithiliana
10 years ago

Re: the Stephanie Grace email issue.

She apparently wrote a racist email, and somebody posted it?

That’s wrong — and part of why it’s wrong is that it’s possible to get emails in somebody else’s name quite easily.

Why is this so hard for you, oh concern troll? You really think that people on a feminist blog (not all of whom are feminists btw) are going to say “omg everything a woman does is fine and all men are evil”? Are you NWO in disguise (I think not, but you sure think like him).

Neither incident is the scope that Elam is doing. Show me a single feminist group who do a lot of work tracking down multiple men and posting their contact information and saying wow it wold be good if somebody DID something about them.

gjdj
gjdj
10 years ago

OK – I’ve got to go. It’s been fun!

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