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On Harassment: Don’t Do It

UPDATE: I have no reason to believe that the harassment alleged by Kyle Lovett — which I  discuss below — involved anyone even tangentially connected to this site, or indeed that it ever happened. The “evidence” he provided only showed that he got traffic from a link on this site. He never provided any evidence that the alleged harassment occurred or that, if if did, it was perpetrated by anyone who found his site through my site. The rest of my piece still stands.

The other day, a commenter here linked to the blog published by one of the moderators of the Men’s Rights subreddit. Kyle Lovett, the mod in question, says that not long afterwards, someone contacted his workplace saying that he was a member of a “hate group.” Claiming to be concerned about his safety, he temporarily hid his blog. And stepped down as mod.

Lovett says he suspects that this person who he says contacted his work is a Man Boobz reader, and has now provided evidence that seems to back up this suspicion. If Kyle is indeed telling the truth about the harassment, it was a Man Boobz reader who contacted his workplace. (There is no evidence it was one of the regulars here, merely someone who was reading the comments in that one thread. Nor am I completely convinced that the alleged harassment happened; Lovett has lied about things in the past.)

But if the harassment happened let me be blunt: That’s not cool. I don’t like that sort of harassment when it’s directed at feminists, and I don’t like it when it’s directed at MRAs. As Rebecca Watson once said, in a different context, “guys, don’t do that.” Seriously, DON’T DO THAT.

All this said, Lovett and other MRAs are acting as if the link to his blog  here was in some way equivalent to “doxing” – that is, tracking down the personal information of someone posting anonymously, and posting it online, for purposes of harassment..

It isn’t. Kyle publishes his blog under his own name, and he regularly posted links to it on Reddit. It was no secret that he posted on Reddit as Qanan, just as my real name Is no secret.

I’m not sure why it’s necessary to point this out, but I will anyway: If you publish things on the internet under your own name, people will indeed connect your name to these things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with posting a link to someone’s blog. No one here advocated harassment in any way.

Needless to say, the indignation on the Men’s Rights about this is hypocritical, to say the least. MRAs harass feminists all the time.

A Voice for Men, the worst offender in this regard, has published the personal information of feminists, and once put out a thousand dollar bounty in an attempt to find out the identity of one feminist who had been posting anonymously online. AVFM head Paul Elam talks about “stalking” feminists and on his radio show gleefully discussed the prospect of not only revealing the names and addresses of women he considers evil, but also their routes home from work. He orchestrated a harassment campaign against one commenter here, which led to people contacting her workplace in an attempt to get her fired. There are many more examples.

Meanwhile, today on the Men’s Rights subreddit, one commenter’s call to harass a woman got two dozen upvotes from the regulars:

Guys, don’t do that.

EDIT: I have added a few comments in the post above to highlight my concerns that the alleged harassment may be a fabrication; I will remove these comments of Lovett provides proof, publicly or privately, that the harassment occurred.

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Quackers
Quackers
10 years ago

I missed this whole incident because I haven’t been online as much the past few days…but yeah, lets not stoop to their level. Unless someone is threatening violence, you go to the authorities, not the internet or their workplace.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
10 years ago

I’m really not happy to see people who’re theoretically on my side of the political fence arguing in favor of doxxing. My perspective is that doxxing is an absolute no. It’s not OK just because it’s being done to people who you don’t like. Yes, someone like Elam isn’t going to refrain from doing it just because we do, but that doesn’t mean that we should do it. It’s unethical, it’s bullying, and if the right zealot for pretty much any cause happened to be reading it could get people killed.

Not OK.

jumbofish
10 years ago

His explanation really makes no sense. I wonder if maybe one of his coworkers might have found out and gave the tip.

jumbofish
10 years ago

assuming it happened…

Holly Pervocracy
10 years ago

Question: does anyone support VIOLENCE against MRAs?

Because they threaten us with it all the time! And we’re the good guys!

…If anyone says yes I’m the fuck outta here.

Shadow
Shadow
10 years ago

@Holly

Well, I would probably laugh if an MRA lost a fair fight (i.e. a challenge that he/she made or accepted, and an ass whooping that is proportionate to what they were giving out), I personally don’t see that as violence so I don’t know if we differ or not

Shadow
Shadow
10 years ago

Also, re: the whole doxxing thing. My issue with people doing it is, right now it’s considered an asshole thing to do, i.e. not OK. If people use it as a tool for their social justice, like outting an MRA in their offline life for their views, then it no longer becomes just something that assholes do, which means open season, which is also likely to mean “civilian casualties” as it were.

Shadow
Shadow
10 years ago

@BlackBloc

Just realised that that may be read as a response to your post. I’m not trying to disrespect your wishes or trying to drag you back into the conversation, the comment was in response to the general thread.

jumbofish
10 years ago

I’m not really sure what a feminist doxxer would even look like. Would their goal be to call their work? fire them from their jobs? Because that will totally help the feminist cause by firing random people who disagree. /sarcasm

AryoBarzan
AryoBarzan
10 years ago

Oh yes, we are trying to ‘harass’ a woman who is utilizing the child support she is receiving for BRAND NEW COACH SHOES by telling the authorities of her fraudulent actions. Keep trying to shame us, morons.

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
10 years ago

@Holly: Okay. I won’t say it.

jumbofish
10 years ago

@Holly: Okay. I won’t say it.

wait…what???
Are you saying you support violence against mras?

please tell me i interpreted this wrong.

xardoz
10 years ago

Is it O.K. to have the following dream? — Instead of making another dumb video game movie, Uwe Boll decides to make a dumb movie honoring the life of Valerie Solanas. OUTRAGED, Paul Elam challenges him to a boxing match. 😀

Alex
10 years ago

Really not cool. Exposing someone who has actually committed sexual harassment or assault (as in Hollaback) is a far cry from harassing a man who, to our knowledge, has done nothing more than post online.

Holly Pervocracy
10 years ago

Because that will totally help the feminist cause by firing random people who disagree.

THIS.

Say we get an MRA fired, get them kicked out of their house, get them socially ostracized, whatever the doxxing is supposed to do. What then? They’re not going to become a feminist. They’re going to become a really angry MRA with a lot of free time.

Say we punch Paul Elam in the nose. Only in abuser-think does this make him change his mind about us. In reality, it makes him justifiably angry for once and with the feeling that all his paranoid fantasies are coming true.

Not only is it wrong, not only does it make us vulnerable to revenge, but it’s completely unproductive to harass or attack MRAs.

cloudiah
10 years ago

Winning is important. The way in which we win is equally important. My opposition to doxxing is not based on an assumption that it will prevent MRAs, who are fundamentally unethical, from doxxing their enemies/our friends. We need to figure out how to protect ourselves and our friends against those attacks.

As a general rule, I do not support violence against MRAs, leaving aside the question of self defense of course. Right now, they are most worthy of mockery. Fundamentally, I do not care about MRAs; I’ve written them off. I care about our potential allies.

jumbofish
10 years ago

I am going to assume that by your silence that yes, you did say you support violence.
I don’t know what you think that will accomplish, mra is such a small movement and attacking them won’t do a damn thing. But you know I don’t even care to hear your rational about why you think violence is ok against people you disagree with. I think I am just done talking to you. Feminism does not need violent people like you.

cloudiah
10 years ago

That should say “actual and potential allies.” Still getting the hang of this typing thing.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
10 years ago

@BlackBloc:

If you’re ok with violence against MRAs, then on what grounds would you oppose MRAs committing violent acts against feminists? Because you’re right and they’re wrong? Because your violence is justified? You’re starting to sound like an MRA. Just stop it.

Holly Pervocracy
10 years ago

I don’t support violence (except in defense of immediately imperiled lives) because violence is fundamentally arbitrary. Good people and bad people both bleed.

David’s blog is a form of protest that could only work against bad people, because good people don’t provide quotes like “fucking your shit up gives me an erection” on a regular basis. Good people can’t be faced down with mockery because they’re not that funny, and they can’t be brought down with logical argument because they’re not illogical. You can’t make a Manboobz about feminists.

But violence works just fine on feminists. Violence works fine on anyone, and that’s why it’s not much good as a protest tactic. “The MRM is so evil, look what they say;” that’s a protest. “The MRM is so evil, I’ve decided to attack them;” shit, that only tells me anything about you.

And when people promise to do violence to my enemies, it doesn’t make me feel safe. It makes me feel like it’s nothing but dumb luck that they didn’t decide I was one of their enemies.

Shadow
Shadow
10 years ago

As far as doxxing goes my objections are both on the ethical front that i referred to in my first post as well as the more practical one in my latter post. The practical reason is a bigger issue to me than the ethical one because innocent people/ people that have no desire to be in the fight are affected. However, even if that was not a concern, i would be opposed to doxxing on the ethical grounds.

As far as violence goes, this is why I was asking about how you would define violence. For example, I do not consider force used to neutralise a threat to be violence. So, AFAIC, self defense or defense of others is not violence. “Self defense” like the Mickey D incident, i.e. escalation, IS violence. And if your idea, BlackBloc, is to beat your values into your enemies, I don’t think we’re on the same side.

Simone Lovelace
Simone Lovelace
10 years ago

Yeah, I’m going to take the (hopefully!) noncontroversial position that violence is always wrong, except in self-defense or sometimes in defense of someone else who is in immediate danger.

That’s…not really up for debate is it you guys? O_o

I have mixed feelings about this whole thing, even though I do agree that doxxing is terrible 90% of the time. Also, posting or tracking down someone’s home or place of work without their knowledge and consent is stalking, which is never okay; and posting that info is worse.

At the same time, internet anonymity is something that can be abused. When someone is using their anonymity to harm or deceive others in some significant way, then I do think that out “outing” them can be okay.

For example, what if Hugo Schwyzer had blogged under a handle, instead of using his real name? If someone in our corner of the blogosphere found out that feminist blogger “Facials_Rule” was actually a person who had abused and harassed numerous women, and even attempted to murder an ex? I think the right thing to do have been to out him, so that people have some idea of who they’re dealing with.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

NWOslave, tell me what ways I can use state violence against you? And why haven’t I? (I’m vile remember, your own words xD Why haven’t I used it against you?)

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

For that matter, why hasn’t the entire MRM just been wiped out by this mysterious state violence? o_O Thought we feminists hated you guys and wanted you all gone?

Really? Some random person we assume to be a feminist calls a workplace (which results in nothing I might add)? That’s the best the feminist-state can do? xD

Sounds almost like it doesn’t exist.

Alex
10 years ago

Violence breeds more violence; it’s why I’m opposed to war, the death penalty, sexual assailants being sexually assaulted out of vengeance, and to corporal punishment of children. BlackBloc, I think you need to really think hard about the kind of society you want people to live in. In the kind I want, there is no violence perpetrated against anyone by anyone. If that’s not what you want, or even if it is but you think violence is the only way to eventually achieve it, then I’m not sure the feminist movement is for you.

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