a voice for men harassment johntheother misandry misogyny MRA rape culture rape jokes slacktivism that's not funny!

A Voice for Men attacks a male activist — with a rape joke reference

John Hembling (John The Other) has rape on the brain.
John Hembling (John The Other) evidently has rape on the brain.

In an apparent attempt to prove that they’re not misogynists, the folks at A Voice for Men have decided to take a temporary break from their practice of vilifying individual female activists to vilify a male activist – University of Toronto Student Union VP for University Affairs Munib Sajjad.

As far as I can tell, the folks at A Voice for Men decided to target Sajjad, perversely, because he told Toronto’s CityNews that he was afraid he was “going to be targeted” after announcing publicly that he thought a campus Men’s Rights group should be banned. The A Voice for Men post about Sajjad is a typically long-winded, and largely content-free, rant from the excitable John Hembling (“John The Other”).

But what’s more disturbing than Hembling’s empty bloviating on Sajjad is the way A Voice for Men has framed the attack. “Munib Sajjad, it’s your turn in the barrel,” the headline declares, and Hembling repeats the phrase “your turn in the barrel” in the post itself.

I wasn’t familiar with this phrase, so I looked it up, and found that it derives from a rape joke. Here’s the definition of the term, from Urban Dictionary:

To say someone is “in the barrel” or “taking a turn in the barrel” means it’s their turn to do an unpleasant task or to suffer an unpleasant experience.

Click on the “definition” link above to see the gang rape joke it’s derived from.

Rape jokes aimed at men — even men you don’t like — are certainly a, well, counterintuitive way of showing “compassion for boys and men,” as the A Voice for Men slogan has it.

EDITED TO ADD: Looking again at Hembling’s piece, I realize I hadn’t noticed his, er, argument that the term “mansplaining” — which I find useful from time to time — is somehow equivalent to the incredibly offensive term “[racial slur redacted]splaining,” which Hembling has just made up. (The slur in question starts with an “n.” You can figure it out.) This is ridiculous on its face, not to mention that it’s frankly racist not only to compare the alleged oppressions of men — who are not systematically oppressed — with those of black people — who are — but also to use a racial slur in doing so. Of course this isn’t the first time that A Voice for Men has used the n-word in an attempt to suggest that men, collectively, have it as bad as a historically disadvantaged and still systematically oppressed group.

Rape jokes and racial slurs: A Voice for Men has it all!

293 replies on “A Voice for Men attacks a male activist — with a rape joke reference”


God lied to the world!!!eleventy.

Okay, though with this logic god made a universe that looked old by any measurable means, but was actually young, but there’s no way to prove it because of how we see it.

I mean, even if you’re right, I don’t see how you could convince other people of it.


I know there are Christians who accept evidence of old universe, my parents are some 😀 They’re scientist and Christians, how awesome is that? 😀 /rambling, but nothing contradictory about it *cough @ evolutionists*

Me, I don’t think I could ever become a young-earth creationist. Their God is so small, responsible for a single planet in a single solar system that lasts for a handful of millennia, and then everybody goes and sings hymns to Jesus for all eternity. Plus he’s a liar if they claim that he created a young universe that looks old.

This is what gets me. There’s nothing worth worshipping about their god. This dude (because of course he’s a dude) not only did all that stuff, he wiped out billions and billions of innocent animals because he was pissed off with the behaviour of ONE species. If he was so powerful, good, etc, why not just fix the humans he stuffed up in the first place? Is that worse than wiping out the rest of life? Or for that matter, why’d he make such a fuckup with Lucifer? How did he manage to create evil in the first place, if he’s (as they keep telling us) perfect?

And then of course he’s happy to do charming things like murdering the Egyptian children, none of whom had a damn thing to do with his *cough*favoured*cough* tribe being enslaved. Which reminds me of the old Jewish joke (as in told by, not about): “God, we know we are your chosen people, but why did you have to choose us?”

Yahweh really is Om, only worse. There’s no need for a devil in a system where the creator does things far more evil all on his own.

I was SO glad to finally get away from the idea that there was any need to take that fundy image of deity into account. It’s just more self-serving bollocks and has nothing to do with love, whatever they like to claim.


The arguments I’ve heard (I do not actually believe these) are that god can’t go around fixing humans because we have to have free will so we can get into heaven because it would be easy to be made perfect and then we can’t earn it. I think.

I can’t remember how evil ties into it, though. I think it has something to do with getting into heaven, but I may be wrong. Until I can find a non-homophobic, non-sexist church, I am an easter and dad’s wedding christian, so I don’t hear much of the stories or logics anymore.

Yeah, that’s the thing that gets me: how can it be free will when the alternative to doing what God says is punishment? I know the whole idea of Hell is a later development, and the “eternal punishment” has various interpretations (separation from God, lake of fire, whatever). But the “do this or I will get you” isn’t allowing someone free will, it’s coercion at the very least.

That’s the sort of thing I was getting at with the whole Flood story: how is it better to commit genocide (what’s the word for that when it covers innumerable species?) than to do a mind-tweak and make all those sinful humans better? I’m not seeing it.

It’s not even a matter of the context of the times in which these legends grew; it’s people taking that sort of stuff now, uncritically. They look at behaviour that would mark a human worse than all the twentieth-century dictators combined, and find it totally okay in a deity. Oh, and then they say said deity loves us!


It is definitely creepy if you believe in god. Like, personal experience time: I actually would’ve killed myself during the worst of my depression if I didn’t think that there was no doubt I would go to hell. I remember thinking that human life or w/e had made me powerless enough that I felt like suicide was my only way out, and then the potential afterlife had to make me feel powerless enough that that was not a way out. So yes, I will second you that it definitely is coercive, at least if you take it the way I did (which I’m guessing many people do, because that freewill explanation is the one I’ve heard tossed around the most)

Damn, and here I was thinking it was going to be that peanuts don’t spontaneously evolve into peanut butter, or something.

Haha, that would be way better! Personally, I hope oranges will evolve so you can actually stick a straw into them and get orange juice, like on the Tropicana cartons.

They’re scientist and Christians, how awesome is that?

Why thank you. (Doad and I are both chemists.)


All the internet hugs if you want them 🙁 (And real hugs when we see each other again!)


😀 ‘Course I already knew you were awesome 😛

If we say pecuniums name three times, will this summon that vaunted entity to offer a view point?

“Ecocide” works for that, I think.

All in all, its better because of a matter of degree. That doesn’t mean it is better, but if you accept the logic of the story ( Fixing man is bad, because man has free will, so man must be given choice, man is also foremost among animals, so the other creepy crawlies are irrelevant. Go get two random ones, Noah, and make it snappy ).

I am not a Christian of any denomination. And I am at a disadvantage as I hail from a country with a very, very declined religious demographic (so my passive intake is also low). This is sort of a… generalized outside conjecture (and therefore liable to be wrong and just-so), but having thus safeguarded myself, I will dare to mention that:

I think stories like that are shared and told because of the meaningful notions they impart, not because of any internal logic in them. The idea that God could be at fault for wiping out unnumnerable species on the faults of one is not only concieving of a crime of arrogance, impotence and idiocy on a level so vast as to beggar the cosmos – but it’s also the first brick in acknowledging that god isn’t all that great.

And if god isn’t all that much, because its sloppy and makes mistakes, then giving service to it loses out and there’s little reason to continue (ask yourself: would you willing prostrate yourself before a stupid, blind and uncaring entity? Not one that might be somewhat ineffable, but provenly ineffective). So your religion, in its organized form, collapses.

Allowing people to ask those kinds of questions is allowing them to not worship your god. Can’t have that, so you can’t think that, so we don’t discuss it or bring it up or if we do, we answer it in a roundabout way such as:

With “Free Will”: Internal logic of the Bible and that story apart, from the outside… it’s the obvious answer to the question: “People are going to sin anyway, at some point, so how do we make sure they still worship God afterwards in this story?”

Ie; you have free will, and you can do what you want, but if you do what you really want, it’s hell. The Big One knows. So moderate your desire accordingly, and if you DO slip up, there are approved mechanisms of transacting your guilt away.

You get to do what you want (What you really really want) but in doing so, the story also gives you a good bit of shame and guilt and terror and proves itself right (The Human Condition, The notion of Sin, “I tried, God, but it’s so Hard”, “I admit, in front of my peers, that I have an addiction that is unmanagable and I trust in God to see me through it…”) so you can start over.

Explanatory power + applicable rituals + codified loopholes that reference itself = A good mix.

Hey, let’s try that on something else and see if it sticks, and Fibinachi’s pet theory and boundless narcicism has once again allowed it to explain the world away:

“All women want alpha males” + “These are the characteristics of an alpha male, emulate them” + “She didn’t bite? It’s a Bitch Shield Shit Test, find someone else, again, be more alpha!” = PuA.

“All women are manipulative victims, they’ve lied to you from day one” + “The MRA Red Pill shows us the truth! Say this, think this” + “They’re lying / twisting / bending words / shaming / will eventually betray you” = MRA.

“People are basically nice” + “Treating people with respect helps” + “It might not be you, sometimes people just have a bad day” = Dale Carnegie.

That’s why I don’t think the specifics of the story matter, the actual, nitty gritty details of any religiong or movement. MRA’s can’t *really* think every single woman, ever, is a slut – they had mothers or sisters or childhood friends. Christians are aware that some things in the Bible is pretty nasty (Kill people who work on Sundays is my go-to). DIe hard right wing economic teachers must know that charity is a thing.

But in both cases, the story still explains so much of their life and allows them to keep framing it in terms they now understand, and understanding the terms, gives them power.

…. But that’s what I think, and I have paperwork that proves what I think isn’t always entirely on the level.


@Fade – all the hugs! 🙁 I can get a glimmer of that, I still have the faint residue of that sort of fear too, and I wasn’t even raised Christian, it was just background stuff, cultural if you like.

@Fibinachi – ecocide, that’s a good word for it.

Thing with so many of these stories is that they’re legends, conflicting ones at that, from times when Yahweh wasn’t even the only god of the Hebrews, let alone conceived of as the only god, period (not much point in the “no other god before me” line if there aren’t any others). Then they get mixed and mulled and tossed around and handed down for so long, reinforced by the rulers they serve best, and then end up being taken literally, as history rather than fable or parable, and we get the sort of filth that fundamentalists spew. Hence my looking at the events described in these stories and asking how one can worship a being they believe actually did this stuff.

I’m more a deist than anything else, not that it’s the best term either. I certainly don’t think the creator spirit is anthropomorphic or interventionist, but that’s about all I can say, and I don’t really care that much about what it may be; that’s a question for another century. 🙂

In the meantime, Ceiling Cat is the deity for me.

Two thoughts:

“If we say pecuniums name three times, will this summon that vaunted entity to offer a view point?” — idk but if y’all do start that club mentioned on another thread, I’ll design the shirts (“pecunium, because sometimes misspelling Latin is awesome”? *is totally biased, Aertheri should be Aetheri*)

I’ll bring whiskey and a stereoscope, but nobody touches it once drunk and it isn’t allowed near anything that might damage it (this includes cats, dogs, other animals) — it’s over 100, but damn is it awesome. Modern 3D has nothing on Victorian photography!

I have been summoned, and I come….

May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight…

Theodicy, and the problems of what is moral for God: Job, etc.

The thing to understand is that the people who wrote/collected/told the stories which became the OT didn’t think every one of them is what actually happened. Even the thing they do think happened (the Exodus from Egypt) are seen as having strongly metaphoric elements, meant to convey moral lessons.

Part of Passover is to have two nights of discussion about what happened; why it happened, how it is that God chose to let it play out that way (what was the purpose of the plagues, etc. He could, after all, have just whisked the Jews away, etc.).

I’d like to look at the two elements of the story which are most often cited as proof that the God of the OT is nothing but a dick; the “hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart” and the Plague of the Firstborn.

This is where the KJV translation; and the drift of English meaning combine to completely mask what the original says. A better translation would be, “and God helped Pharaoh to see what he wanted and realise the desires of Pharaoh”, or perhaps, “God stiffened Pharaoh’s resolve”.

God, for whatever reason, didn’t want Pharaoh to let the Hebrew tribes leave out of fear caused by the plague, but because Pharaoh saw it as right.

So that’s one thing to see as the “message”. One ought not do right from fear of reprisal.

Ok, but why kill all those innocent children? What is the lesson? Why not just limit the effect to Pharaoh’s family (or household) or just to the elite of Egypt?

One argument hinges on the deaths of the Hebrew children. Not that this was retribution (though certainly such a retribution is in keeping with the idea of “an eye for an eye”*, but that’s only one aspect of the question.

Who was making Pharaoh’s edict possible? The Egyptian people. This wasn’t some secretive thing. This was “all across the land of Egypt”. It was enforced by the populace not refusing it. The moral takeaway is that, as a people, the Jews need to refuse to take part in mass injustice.

Those are the things the various stories in the OT are about. As with the teaching Jesus did, the spinners of the tales, and the compilers of them into the books of the OT, were using parable to examine morality.

Some (e.g. Noah) were probably reactions to actual events. An attempt to explain why something catastrophic had happened. If one posits that all in the world is controlled by deistic forces, and one wants to believe those forces aren’t unjust one is going to have to rationalise the impetus for what were completely horrific events (which we now know were the result of completely predictable natural processes, with no need of intentionality). The Flood was real. We can even nail it down to a pretty narrow time frame, and know the scope.

It was the infilling of the Black Sea, and it happened about 9,000 years ago. It changed the world. Ethnographic analysis says that both Europe and the Middle East were completely remade by the refugees from that. For some long time they were fleeing a tide that never stopped coming in. Water just welled up, and up, and up (in keeping with the line from Genesis, “And the waters rose from the deep”). Estimates of the expansion are that for somewhere between one and two months the shoreline moved three miles a day.

That would be traumatic. Almost everyone would have lost everything, and everyone, they knew. Isolated, looking about for other people, etc. That’s going to cause myths (and there are lots of flood myths).

The Hebrew one is the one that doesn’t credit the survival to the cleverness of man. It’s also the one which gives more motive than, “The gods did it”. Again, local context to the time of writing is helpful in trying to figure out what the books say about the idea of the god(s) being discussed.

Fundamentalists who strip the books of all context (which is what, “and the Bible is completely true, just read it does), are doing themselves, and their God, a great disservice.

*which was a progressive theory for the time. In surrounding areas the death of someone’s son might mean killing (or enslaving, or some combination of both) the sons/family of the person who caused it. Hebrew law said that 1: only the person who committed the offense was liable; not the family/servant/slaves of that person, and that injuries had to be repaid at a proportionate level, but I digress.

There are still a few geocentrists about, but even the most literal-Bible Christians I have met have accepted heliocentrism, but they deny newfangled ideas like plate tectonics. Fair enough. I mean, the theory’s barely 100 years old and it was only conclusively proven in the 1960s.

Oh, and then there are those people who talk in very disapproving terms about Moral Relativity. Some of them really don’t like Albert Einstein. Can you guess why?

Sorry, I’m not buying the idea of the peasantry of Egypt, people who probably hardly left their villages, let alone had any power or even knowledge of what was going on with the Hebrews – and people who lived in a slave-owning world, something Yahweh doesn’t seem to have a problem with – can be assigned any responsibility for what was going on. It’s still a foul idea and murdering the children, who cannot be held responsible in any context, is disgusting.

I’m well aware that the stories are often metaphorical, contradictory, and have vastly different meanings according to their time and context, and that the whole thing is even more a mishmash after all the translations. I know full well that the fundies are talking through their arses when they try to make it out to be a history-geology-palaeontology book.

Nevertheless, I have no time for the created character of Yahweh and I still think he’s a monster in those stories. I don’t really care if they’re metaphors: saying God sets people up to fail (changing your mind through fear of reprisal is worse than thousands of children dying? Really?) commits mass murder but is really the good guy sucks even if it’s in a crappy self-published novel even Amazon wouldn’t touch.

Kitteh’s: If it’s a story than it doesn’t matter what would be if it were true. What matters in a morality tale is the moral.

If the moral is, “don’t allow yourselves to take part in mass injustice”, and the story is consistent with the world they live in then your present morality (which is strongly shaped by living in a world which was shaped by that morality story) can’t really be used as the only lens to judge it.

The merit, or not, of a morality story is what the people who use it do with it.

Just doesn’t work for me that way, Pecunium. I’m not getting morals from a story in which the good guy is the most morally reprehensible of all.

There’s also the issue (back to what we were talking about to begin with) of the people here and now who do take these stories literally, and try to enforce their notions on others. It’s very much a case of saying “The God you present in your literalist worldview is a monster. It’s an ethical imperative to NOT worship such a being.”

“In the barrel” is not a reference to a rape joke. It most commonly refers to a gun, akin to “we have you in our sights”, or alternately refers to the inside a large wave before it comes crashing down on you. Both meanings are vaguely related, although their contexts are different. This is fairly common knowledge. Just because a rape joke came up as the first definition in Google, and it doesn’t mean it is true. Furthermore, “blacksplaining” (or its more offensive counterpart) are well established offensive term. I can only imagine not being able to research these things comes from superbly lazy or inadequate Google skills.

Uh, they used the phrase “your turn in the barrel,” not simply “in the barrel.” It’s a clear reference to the rape joke, not a reference to, say, surfing. And I’ve never seen “in the barrel” used instead of “in our sights.”

Alex really felt obligate to necro a thread with this shit? Get a hobby, dude. And while you’re up, learn to read.

Uh, wouldn’t it be a good sort of potential danger as a surfing term anyways? Might go wrong but is thrilling anyways?

Not seeing how that compares to what they said… (and now I wish you could surf up here, but Long Island blocks anything resembling viable waves)

“In the barrel” is not a reference to a rape joke.

Even if Hembling wasn’t trying to reference a well-known rape joke (real bloody likely) obviously his wording led some of his supporters to believe he was. For example, anti-feminist Mark Minter (on the first page of this comment thread.) If Hembling truly cares about men and boys, you’d think he would want to apologize to any of his followers who are victims of rape, and rephrase his original point. I’m not seeing it.

Mark Minter, by the way, thinks the joke is hilarious and we should all just ease up about it. So maybe be pissed at him, instead?

Adam: “In the barrel” is not a reference to a rape joke. It most commonly refers to a gun, akin to “we have you in our sights”, or alternately refers to the inside a large wave before it comes crashing down on you. Both meanings are vaguely related, although their contexts are different. This is fairly common knowledge.


As a shooter, for more than 40 years, “in the barrel” doesn’t get used that way.

Up the spout (for a round in the chamber). Sure.

“Down the bore” for something moving through through the barrel.

I might even take, “I’m gonna use you to bore sight my scope” as a way to say something like that (though it’s a more direct threat than the metaphoric use of sights).

But no way that wasn’t a rape joke.

Why are you so defensive of those who make rape jokes?

Further Hembling is Canadian, which while not the banning of guns sort of place people South of the Border tend to think, is not the sort of place where that sort of twisted metaphor is going to have common currency, and so I find hart to believe someone who has shown no other evidence of being immersed in a gun-culture would choose to use it in a place it could be so misconstrued.

Then again, he’s all about supporting a rape apologist who likes to, “fuck their shit up”, so Occam’s razor also inclines me to think it’s a reference to rape.

Yeah, I’ve heard of “staring down the barrel” but that’s usually assumed to be from the POV of the (potential) victim.

Just because a rape joke came up as the first definition in Google, and it doesn’t mean it is true.

No, but one who’s never heard the term before could be forgiven for getting confused in that case,. And a writer attempting to communicate one thing and inadvertently communicating another, more rapey thing might want to reconsider his use of that term in the future.

I have no idea where “blacksplaining” came into the conversation, but you’re right, it kinda offensive, in the same way that any other term which erases centuries of racial oppression and attempts to pretend that all forms of bigotry are equal is kinda offensive. And IDK what its “more offensive counterpart” is meant to be, since there are more than two races as the term is currently used, but I’m gonna go on a limb and guess you mean “whitesplaining”. To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy: if you think the word “whitesplaining” is offensive but the practice is not, you might be a racist.

@emilygoddess, the “blacksplaining” thing came from the article –

EDITED TO ADD: Looking again at Hembling’s piece, I realize I hadn’t noticed his, er, argument that the term “mansplaining” — which I find useful from time to time — is somehow equivalent to the incredibly offensive term “[racial slur redacted]splaining,” which Hembling has just made up. (The slur in question starts with an “n.” You can figure it out.) This is ridiculous on its face, not to mention that it’s frankly racist not only to compare the alleged oppressions of men — who are not systematically oppressed — with those of black people — who are — but also to use a racial slur in doing so. Of course this isn’t the first time that A Voice for Men has used the n-word in an attempt to suggest that men, collectively, have it as bad as a historically disadvantaged and still systematically oppressed group.

I’d imagine that it’s more offensive counterpart is mansplaining… I guess because men in the modern world have it far worse than people of colour ever had it in western history, or something, and also because ‘splaining is now a thing that the oppressed group does in order to free themselves from the shackles of their oppressors, rather than something the oppressors do to condescend to the oppressed.

And I don’t know about you guys – and maybe I just need to cut down on the chocolate – but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t fit inside the barrel of a gun.

Well, you don’t know just how much chocolate I need to cut down on!
But not that much, no.


Candy? What candy? No, I don't have noticeably bulging pockets, what are you implying? And I've always had that funny brown stuff around my mouth, it's a condition!

The “reference” seems to me a bit of a stretch, Futrelle. It’s the sort of aphorism that JTO might have just picked up somewhere, without being aware of the meaning.

Even allowing for Hembling et al being fucking morons, it’s a safe bet that when they make allusions and jokes about rape, they know exactly what they’re saying.

I dunno… I’d be willing to believe they’re just parroting shit they heard once with no understanding of what it means, nor inclination to figure it out. They’re not exactly renowned for their skeptical credibility.
Doesn’t really matter though. Ignorance is sometimes an excuse, but when your tagline is “compassion for men and boys” (and/or “fuck their shit up”) it’s not really forgiveable to show an utter lack of compassion for men or boys. Not even if it’s just because you’re completely ignorant of what you’re saying.

Hembling isn’t a moron- it could happen to the best of us.

Here’s what I think happened: this was at a time when Hembling was making a lot of videos, no? So he’s moving at a fast clip, writing his scripts in a day or less, and he just calls this saying back from the ether, without really considering the implications.

Errm, no, it couldn’t happen to the best of us, because some of us a) don’t make rape jokes and b) don’t use aphorisms when we don’t know what they mean.

You’re defending a man who says he’d walk past a woman being raped and not help.

Which makes me wonder why.

Okay, seriously, threads that trollish people need to stop necroing all the time:

1. This one

2. All the other ones

RE: Kevin

You apparently have much lower standards for your creators than I do. As a writer, if I say something really stupid, I want my audience to call me out on it so I don’t repeat the mistake. I don’t want my audience to say, “Aw, he just wasn’t thinking when he made that typo.” No, I’m a creator. I make money on my work. Ergo, I ought to make it as good as it can be.

Note that I have churned out short stories on a daily basis at times, and yet somehow, I’ve managed to avoid making rape jokes by accident.

Let’s see … Hembling puts up posters; two-three people take them down; one uses a box cutter to do so. Hembling turns this into being attacked by a group/mob/rampaging horde of feminists attacking him with box cutters.

The photographic evidence that the first version is true, rather than the second, comes from Hembling’s own video of the “event”.

Evidence suggests that yes, Hembling is a moron.

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