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5 Arguments Least Likely To Convince A Young Woman That A Voice for Men Isn’t a Misogynistic Hate Site

Hi, girls! Dean Esmay reaches out to the youth of America
Hey ladies! Dean Esmay reaches out to the young women of America

Not that long ago, an 18-year-old student named Carly, appalled by the rampant misogyny on display at A Voice for Men, sent a critical but thoughtful email to a number of the men associated with the site challenging them to rise above their hatred of women.

AVFM “Managing Editor” Dean Esmay decided to take her email as an opportunity to reach out to all the Carlys out there in the world in an attempt to win them over to AVFM’s peculiar brand of “human rights activism,” penning what he called an

open letter … not just to you, but to any young woman who has an open mind and is willing to be challenged on her prejudices.

Naturally, given that Men’s Rights Activists are some of the most verbose douchebags in history, it was long as hell — some 3000 words. But Esmay’s diplomatically worded attempt at outreach didn’t go quite as well as he might have hoped. Carly responded with a note saying that his open letter had merely

reinforced everything I believe. It seems we are at a stalemate, you will never agree with me, and I will never agree with you.

So where might poor Dean Esmay might have gone wrong in his attempt to win Carly’s heart and mind?

Let’s start here, with 5 Arguments Least Likely To Convince A Young Woman That A Voice for Men Isn’t a Woman-Hating Piece of Shit Hate Site, in the form of direct quotes from The Esmay himself. Since Esmay is so long-winded, I’ve highlighted some of my favorite bits in bold.

1)“[Y]ou’re 18, and so, not to put too fine a point on it, you are still a young skull full of mush.

2)[M]en have few to no voices speaking about issues that are specific to men, or defending men as a group, in this society. Until very recently in history men never have had such a voice. Because pretty much all civilizations for the last few thousand years have prioritized the needs and desires of women over those of men. For hundreds, even thousands, of years.

3)If you believe men have silenced women for thousands of years … you believe something that just not true.Furthermore, if you believe that, what you have to believe is that Asian men have been oppressing Asian women for thousands of years, black men have been oppressing black women for thousands of years, European men, Australasian men, and so on, have all been oppressing their women for thousands of years. And those weak women could do nothing about it. So what you believe here isn’t just wrong, it’s racist.

4)For most of history, being female was a privilege. It carried certain special rights that only applied to women, and special responsibilities that only applied to women, and through most of history, being male was a burden, a burden which carried certain rights that only applied to men, and those rights were there mostly so they could discharge their duties to women properly.”

5) “[Y]ou may occasionally see angry remarks or articles on this site. What I would hope you would do with that, when you do see it, is contemplate that there is a difference between righteous anger at real injustice, and what you seem to have misinterpreted as hate.

The funniest thing about Esmay’s “open letter” is that this bizarre crackpottery, easily seen through by anyone with any knowledge of history or sociology or, hell, the real world,  is his attempt to sound as reasonable as possible. He’s reined in the wild conspiratorial ranting he often indulges in when arguing with ideological foes; he’s avoided the misogynistic slurs (cunt, bitch, whore) favored by other AVFMers like Paul Elam and Diana Davison. And this is the best he can manage.

The Men’s “Human Rights” Movement isn’t ready for its close-up. And I suspect that it never will be.

EDITED TO ADD: A commenter has pointed out another quote I should have included as well. So here is BONUS EXTRA LEAST CONVINCING DEAN ESMAY ARGUMENT NUMBER SIX:

6) “The truth is, the most privileged class of people in the whole wide world are young women living in places like the US, UK, Canada, etc.–and if you want to be treated like an equal, you should not flinch or cry like a little girl if someone tells you that.

How dare you accuse us of sexism, you spoiled little girl!

296 replies on “5 Arguments Least Likely To Convince A Young Woman That A Voice for Men Isn’t a Misogynistic Hate Site”

I’m glad everyone liked the mouseling. Squeeeek!

That little mouse was measuring the distance and the way she had to hold the cracker. That’s why she got up on the top and looked. That’s just how freakin smart they are. I have house mice I hand feed and they’re so hilarious. I found out today they ate a huge hole in my laundry bag. o.O

@titianblue

The stats are cherrypicked and methelydodgicalloly flawed.

@neuroticbeagle

i look like that too!

@AllyS

Thanks 4 the link to the Womanist site

@Felisha

I agree w/u about Dean. He seemed to have a little sense but that’s just been thrown out the window with his alliance with Lol Elam.

1. To the MRA troll. Not sure what “abuse” you see here. I see a deconstructing of false ideology & a love for kitties.

and mouselings!

guess high profile with these guys means “has crawled out from under that rock”?

ROFLOLOLOL

So is mouseling trying to measure or chuck the cracker in the first few attempts? I thought she’d found something to hang onto at the end so she could manage it.

Definitely needs to be set to the Rocky theme, though. 🙂

@Cassandra

the MRA obsession with sex with very young women and the “how dare you be attractive to me and yet at the same time allowed to refuse to have sex with me!”.

I was about to write how I’m waiting for an MRA to show their movement is about anything other than that one thing, but honestly, that seems like an impossibility at this juncture.

@House Mouse Queen

Yeah, Dean seemed like the least militant of MHRA’s to me a year ago. And for that, he seemed out of place within avfm. Yet he was either extremely naive or in denial when anyone pointed out to him that there was misogyny within avfm. He just didn’t want to believe there was anything wrong. Now he’s part of that wrong more today than ever. He even agreed with the spamming of Occidental. It seems Elam has filled his head with so much distrust for women that he believes the comic book versions of ‘female privilege’. He’s brainwashed, probably beyond repair.

“how dare you be attractive to me and yet at the same time allowed to refuse to have sex with me!”

That sums up their motivations pretty nicely.

I don’t see why Deano has to be brainwashed, he has a history of being Grade A crackpot who pedaled all sorts random fringe beliefs and conspiracies in hopes of gaining attention. His “letter” has numerous flaws and one of them is that it shamelessly panders to the AVFM audience, in order to gain attention, praise and an inflated sense of self-importance. Those are the things he wants and and if it takes pompous horse-shit that aggressively shills the purity and righteousness of MRAs, the eternal sins of women, and the threat of the evil feminist global shadow rulers, he’ll happily keep shoveling it.

Just because he’s open to dialogue doesn’t change the fact that it’s futile to debate a true believer who’s demagoguery always parrots the full party line. If you want to reach out to MRAs, why not the fringe guys on r/MR who constantly get down-voted for being the closest thing to the voice of reason there?

I have no interest in engaging with any of them though, so YMMV.

I side-eye the whole “he was brainwashed” line anyway. The MRM may be a wannabe cult and have some of their characteristics, but wouldn’t brainwashing take a bit more competence than they possess?

Like Brooked said, he was full of shit anyway, and the minute “he was brainwashed” comes into a discussion of a big wheel* in the Misogynists’ Rape Advocacy Bowel Movement, I’m seeing a nasty subtext of “But it isn’t his fault, we have to make allowances!” – same with the “He’s overcome personal difficulties”.

Boo Fucking Hoo.

*about 2mm diameter

Possibly the term “brain washed” is being used a bit more loosely than it used to be, when it was used in conjunction with specific psychological techniques in war and also in religious cults. Of particular note in those situations is that the person is isolated from contrary information – a situation which is *not* analogous to being a member of western society and having the internet at one’s fingertips.

I do not think that a fervent desire to believe something is the same as being brainwashed. In this situation, the person is choosing to hold onto belief, not having the choice made for them (which is actual brainwashing).

Depending on where his xtian leanings were previously, he could already have been a MRA before he became involved with AVfM.

@Brooked

I say Dean is ‘brainwashed’ because that’s the assessment I get when I compare him from yesterday to today. I’ve had debates with him and he seems that way to me. But I also mention that he may be naive or in denial because I do think he knows part of what he talks about is bullshit, just doesn’t want to admit it to anyone. Still it seems to me that Elam has forced him to a point to see history through his lens of lies. Yet if Elam is paying Dean to bullshit everyone, all the more incentive for him.

Another one of Dean’s ridiculous lines, that I forgot to mention, is that he thinks avfm is a ‘human rights’ group, is why he sees himself as an MHRA. Try as anyone might to explain otherwise, he still believes such nonsense.

I’m really, really side-eyeing all this watering down of what a piece of shit Esmay is. He’s involved in a group that advocates rape and beating of women, a group whose head says he would not vote guilty in a rape trial even if he were convinced of the (male) rapist’s guilt.

Could we drop this whole “poor Deano doesn’t really know what he’s doing” subtext shit?

I’m getting all the wrong vibes from Felisha, again. First it was a screaming meltdown about being asked not to use a particular word, now it’s all oh poor Dean, he knows not what he does.

Same here, Kitteh. Why zie’s taken it upon zirself to save the poor MRAs, I don’t know. I can think of more productive uses of my time.

If Felisha wants to try to save Esmay from himself she’s welcome to do so, but if she wants everyone else here to play along with that way of framing things? LOL no.

At least she’s managed not to have a meltdown about why people should be allowed to use offensive words in this thread so far, that has to be a record.

Nah, I think she just has too much ego and not enough common sense or respect for other people’s perspectives.

Kitteh,
It was a very heavy rock.

Maybe the rock had been defaced and had the word “feminism” spray painted or whatever on it and when he finally looked at the rock he came from under, he thought that feminism was what was holding him down.

Wow… I have got to get out of my office… 😀

Decent people introduced to the MRM by way of one of their actual points (eg the male suicide rate), and not yet familiar with how their hatred permeates through everything, they can be “saved” from the MRM (or rather, shown the light). But they have to be decent people who actually care about men, and not men who want to blame someone (read: women) for all their problems. Esmay is not a decent person who actually cares.

@cassandrakitty, kittehserf, hellkell

You’re all acting stupid and childish (again, for some of you, as I recall now). You just hate me and are looking for every excuse to scorn. It isn’t that I pity or feel sorry for Dean, it’s that at one time I thought I could sway him out of making a huge mistake. It’s what I do and what other feminists like myself do, when we can, anyway we can. We try to keep people from joining a hate group so as to lesser their numbers.

Believe me, I haven’t being gentle with Dean, nor a timid pussycat. Several months ago, I debated him, and was harsh at times, saying ‘Are you now going to spam the LAPD online report form?’ — or something to that effect. He got mad and warned he would block me.

After David did an article about it, I followed with one of my own, pointing out to Dean that, yeah, the LAPD have their own online anonymous report form. It’s nothing new. I doubt he was aware of it, but he is now. I can only hope he told Paul about it, hence discouraging any future spamming, hence disrupting school staff productivity.

And that incident with Woolybumblebee, where Elam fired her? I had a little something to do with that. I went to her site and debated the things wrong with avfm and feminist misconceptions, after which I got trolled through the roof by mras/mgtows, calling me every hateful word in the book. Wooly got mad at the anti-fems for acting up like I’ve never seen her before. Sometime later she did a video about how crazy they were acting, Elam fired her, and now she’s exposing him for all his bullshit. I’m not saying I was solely responsible, I know I had something to do with that. Not saying we’re friends now, she hates me. And I don’t blame her because I was harsh with her too. She was using people for money and in one of the worst ways — delivering misinformation that keeps boys angry at feminism and women.

So what I’m trying to say here is: what kind of activism do you 3 kids have going on outside here besides criticizing me? What else do you do besides (least one of you) complain when you see the word ‘pussy’ on the screen and take it completely out of context to what I was saying…just because your life is so free of hardship that you have to find something to whine about?

It’s what I do and what other feminists like myself do,

LOL child. LOL.

Your delusions of feminist grandeur are amusing. Dance, monkey.

Finally, we’ve found a “feminist” equivalent to those MRAs who come here to “debate” and then run back to their buddies for high-fives!

So troll accuses people of not being activist enough when they object to slurs, then claims hir activism which seems to revolve entirely around junior high school levels of backstabbing/gossiping nonsense with MRAs is somehow better?

You’re all acting stupid and childish (again, for some of you, as I recall now). You just hate me and are looking for every excuse to scorn.

what kind of activism do you 3 kids have going on outside here besides criticizing me? What else do you do besides (least one of you) complain when you see the word ‘pussy’ on the screen and take it completely out of context to what I was saying…just because your life is so free of hardship that you have to find something to whine about?

So insults, and then claims of activism which apparently include debating with Esmay online and insinuating that no-one here does anything but complain.

I may be completely off base, but perhaps the reaction you’ve received is directly related to the manner in which you have posted here, consistently, since… well, you started posting here. Just perhaps. Might be worth a think.

My thoughts on Esmay, FWIW, are that he’s an intelligent guy who believes some really abhorrent shit. No brainwashing required. There’s no talking or reasoning him out of it, because in all likelihood he reasoned himself into those beliefs because they jived with what he already thought. Because he is an abhorrent poopy-head who spews forth verbal shitnados of poopagery.

tl;dr You’re being rude, and Esmay really believes what he believes. One of these things might change, if one of the people involved decided to change them. Hint.

She seems to have exactly the same definition of activism that MRAs do. It’s a match made in…well, not heaven. A sad and rather pathetic corner of the internet.

Also either an attempt at doxxing or a person who’s too stupid to understand how easy it would be to identify people if they told you exactly what real-world activist projects they’d been involved with.

You’re all acting stupid and childish (again, for some of you, as I recall now). You just hate me and are looking for every excuse to scorn. It isn’t that I pity or feel sorry for Dean, it’s that at one time I thought I could sway him out of making a huge mistake. It’s what I do and what other feminists like myself do, when we can, anyway we can. We try to keep people from joining a hate group so as to lesser their numbers.

Curious.

I thought feminists tried to talk to people to share their points of view and spread a good, valuable message. I didn’t think we engaged in ideological manipulation solely to lessen the numbers of perceived “opponents”. I thought you kept people from joining a hate group because joining a hate group is a terrible thing, and could seriously impact their lives, not to win cheap points in some debate about who has how many internet activists.

Curiouser.

I thought you tried to sway people to your way of thinking because it’s worthwhile and good, not to lessen their control of their own life and turn other people into drones who do your bidding. I thought peace and happiness were sought because they’re worthwhile, not because one can’t let other people have their version.

Is it comfortable up there on your morally superior mountain made of mole hills?

What kind of care free, happy, sedate and docile life do you lead that you can repeatedly come back and make the same point about mere words, when the easiest thing by far is to merely move on and say “All right, so this crowd doesn’t want that kind of communication – so anyway, how about them current sports team?”

DEan has always struck me as an odd bird at AVFM, because at various times I’ve noticed that he’s backed off from or clearly felt discomfort with some of the obvious bullshit and lying of PE and JTO. There did seem to be some sort of conscience working away in there, although he was obviously beating it down. I can see how someone might think — at least for a fleeting moment — that he was the one person at AVFM who could somehow be reached by logic or an appeal to decency.

I don’t think he ever really was — for one thing, he would sound all reasonable at one moment, and then become a sputtering ideologue the next. On a few occasions I’ve actually emailed questions to AVFM about this or that controversy just to see if they would answer them; Paul would send along some internet tough guy non-response, but Dean would actually respond and try to act reasonable. But them the next day he’d launch into some bizarre conspiratorial rant against me.

And obviously he’s had some crankish beliefs, and has engaged in some assholish behavior, for a long time.

At this point he really does seem to have fully embraced the AVFM ideology, though.

complain when you see the word ‘pussy’ on the screen and take it completely out of context to what I was saying

So you get to define whether other people are allowed to find your jokes and uses of slurs offensive or not? Hmm, who’ve I heard making that claim before …

You really are stupid and egotistical, aren’t you? Just like cassandra said. I’ll also repeat: you’re a troll.

When someone has tried on every wacky movement for size over the course of many years it seems pretty unlikely that they’d suddenly transform into a reasonable non-crank in middle age.

I love how she called the three of us kids, when our combined age puts us somewhere around Granny Weatherwax.

This one makes me feel more like Susan (ie. if she keeps indulging her inner child I’m going to be forced to be the inner babysitter).

Woah, I didn’t refresh the browser before writing my comment and missed the last hour or so of comments.

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand all this hostility towards Felicia. I understand that some of you carry over some ill-feeling from older threads, but, seriously, this is a different thread, a different topic, and nothing she said in this thread warrented the hostile and distrustful response she got to some perfectly reasonable comments about Dean (that actually match pretty well with my own experience with him).

So you got her pissed and she called some of you “childish.” So you’re going to get on her case about that? And start making stuff up about her?

Serously, step back for a minute. This whole thing started because she made a joke using the word “pussy.” It wasn’t directed at anyone, It wasn’t part a joke intended to attack women. It was dumb wordplay.

Yes, ideally when people suggested she not use that language here she should have said, ok, and moved on.

But now I’m asking you all to move on.

I mean, seriously. There are actual misogynists out there saying and doing all sorts of horrible shit. I’m not sure what exactly this sort of discussion is supposed to accomplish.

David, if she hadn’t doubled down on that original simple request and written walls of text ranting about us in the original thread then none of this would have happened. I’m perfectly happy not to interact with her, but don’t put it all on us.

There was another thread where she seemed to be very determined to uphold the right of people to continue using offensive terms, too. This is actually round 3, iirc.

In any case, I’m quite happy not to interact any further.

I feel so confused and behind everyone. *weep*

Um, if a topic change is in order… uh, I might be able to get a good pair of forearm crutches cheap? :D? Is good news, yes?

Kitteh, I agree she should have let it go in the original thread, and I think I posted comments to that effect there.

I actually put something in the comments policy warning about this sort of thing, inspired by that thread and by that other dude who liked using the “tw” word.

If a bunch of commenters tell you a word is inappropriate, drop it from your vocabulary here and move on. Don’t argue about it, or explain that in your country it’s perfectly acceptable. I don’t care.

In the future, if someone starts arguing back we can point them to that and if they keep going they’ll go on moderation or get banned. But if they move on, I think the rest of us should move on as well.

You’d be astounded how much crutches cost. There’s some really nice ergonomic ones I saw, they look incredibly comfortable, but they’re something like $112 plus shipping. *sigh* It doesn’t really matter anyway, I suppose. I live on a third-floor walkup, and no matter what crutches you are, stairs are a beast and a half to traverse.

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