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After a feminist activist at Queen’s University reports being attacked, possibly by an MRA, the king of “f their sh*t up” responds with angry denial

Paul Elam: Anger is "pulsing through my veins like molten lava" at the very notion that MRAs are violent.
Paul Elam: Anger is “pulsing through my veins like molten lava.”

A student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, says she was attacked and beaten by a strange man after receiving threatening messages about her opposition to a Men’s Rights group on campus. On Thursday, Danielle d’Entremont posted a picture of her bruised face to Facebook along with this explanation:

Just walked out of my house and got attacked by a stranger. I was punched in the face multiple times and lost half my tooth. This was after a few threatening emails regarding my support for feminist activities on campus. I can’t say for sure if the two are connected, however the attacker was a male who knew my name.

The campus Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) – the group d’Entremont has been fighting – has condemned the attack, as has the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE), which co-sponsored a talk the MIAS put on Thursday. The police are investigating.

Right now, this is pretty much all we know about the story. Not that it this has stopped MRAs from offering their very fervent opinions on the matter.

Before we get to them, here are a few of my own:

If it turns out that the attacker is, as seems likely, a Men’s Rights activist – or some freelance misogynist vaguely associated with that milieu – it will not exactly be a surprise. Feminist activists who challenge Men’s Rights activists – or indeed challenge sexism in any sufficiently public manner – often find themselves the recipients of angry, abusive and threatening messages, sometimes numbering in the hundreds.

While most prominent MRAs are smart enough to avoid making specific threats of physical violence in public, their “activist” campaigns often target individual women, often college students and individual activists rather than women with any real power in society, almost certainly because those with less power are easier to intimidate.

And for all their talk of being the “civil rights movement” of the 21st century, Men’s Rights activists rely on rhetoric steeped in violence and hatred. It wasn’t Martin Luther King who declared of his opponents that “the thought of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.” It was Paul Elam of A Voice for Men, probably the most influential Men’s Rights activist on the scene right now.

I don’t know who attacked d’Entremont. But given the number of threats being made towards feminist activists on a daily basis, it is inevitable that women (and perhaps some men) who’ve publicly opposed the Men’s Rights movement will be the targets of real violence. Inevitable.

And much of the responsibility for this violence will rest with Elam and other Men’s Rights leaders who have deliberately stoked the anger and hatred of their followers and directed much of it at individual female scapegoats. If your favorite slogan is “Fuck Their Shit Up” you can’t pretend you’re an innocent angel when someone inspired by your words actually does Fuck Someone’s Shit Up.

And it doesn’t help when MRAs like Elam try to make violence against women into a kind of joke. Here, at left, is a screenshot from a notorious post by Elam promoting his supposedly “satirical” notion of turning Domestic Violence Awareness Month into Bash a Violent Bitch Month; yes, that picture ran, with that caption, on Elam’s original post. At right, the picture of herself that d’Entremont posted to her Facebook page.

[TRIGGER WARNING for images of violence against women. Post continues after picture.]

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Click on image for larger version.
Click on image for larger version.

Of course, this isn’t how Elam and his friends see the issue. The moment the story of the attack broke, a special A Voice for Men Flying Squad of commenters descended upon the website of the student newspaper of Queens University to set forth all the reasons they thought d’Entremont was a lying liar. Attila Vinczer, AVFM’s offical “Activism Director,” was especially active:

QUattilaQUattila2QUasttila3

Yeah, Attila, I’m pretty sure criminal investigations don’t work like that.

Meanwhile, AVFM Contributing Editor Karen “Girl Writes What” Straughan attempted to minimize d’Entremont’s injuries in a rather inventive way:

QUkarenOther commenters (evidently not affiliated with AVFM) offered variations on “she had it coming to her.”

QUfrustrationQUsasha(These aren’t consecutive comments; they’re separate image files smushed together. I edited out some less interesting bits of the second one.)

But it was Elam himself who launched the most vociferous attack on d’Entremont; indeed, in a long and rage-filled post titled “A whiff of bullshit at Queen’s University,” he declared that the very notion that MRAs might pose a threat to feminist activists to be a “scummy, Futrellian fantasy fiction spin game.”

Huh. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make up the hundreds of abusive and/or threatening messages that a certain red-haired feminist activist received for the crime of yelling at a couple of A Voice for Men dudes on camera once. Or those received by Rebecca Watson for the crime of suggesting that maybe dudes shouldn’t hit on gals who are riding a hotel elevator alone at 4 AM. Or those received by any of countless other women who have found themselves labeled enemy-of-the-week by MRAs, antifeminists, and other misogynistic creeps online.

Oh, and there was that creepy threatening phone message I got at 1:38 AM one December from one of AVFM’s own activists who was too dumb to hide his own identity properly.

But in any case, Elam for some reason has decided that the best way to convince the world that MRAs are reasonable people who would never resort to violence is to declare that he is overcome by his own anger. No, really:

[N]ow I am angry. I am 100% completely, undeniably pissed off bordering on rage. It won’t last, but for the moment it is pulsing through my veins like molten lava.

And what makes him angry? The very thought that someone might assume that a woman who was an active opponent of an Men’s Rights organization might have been targeted because of her activism — and assaulted by an MRA who, like Elam, might have had anger “pulsing through [his] veins like molten lava.”

There’s really not much more to Elam’s post than that. He makes a joke about d’Entremont trolling for “likes” on Facebook for the picture of her beaten face. He demands “proof” and predicts there will be none:

There will never be any evidence that she was attacked by an MHRA. They will probably not catch her supposed “attacker,” and the incident will wind up unresolved because there is no evidence to make a case against anyone, or at the very least not against any MHRA. The story will still get major traction with feminist ideologues, though, who will use it to mischaracterize MHRAs as violent so they can continue to attack the formation of new men’s issues groups.

And then he starts his rant in earnest:

I want to hear a police official say they have reason to believe it was men’s activists, and then share the identity of the person of interest with the public. I want them to make inquiries to this website to look for leads. With all the victim posturing over the years from feminists about AVFM, I have never heard from a single police official. Not once.

I want to know for sure that this woman, who posts this shit to her Facebook page but does not want to be identified, and her friend, who also does not want to be identified, are not both liars.

I want to see, with all the wolf crying that feminists have done about MHRAs, one tiny, even microscopic shred of fucking proof of anything they say.

I want to know if they are more credible than the zombie apocalypse. Rather I should say I would like to see them prove they are for a change.

And if my hunch, check that, experience, is right, and there are lies involved in this case, I want to see those responsible go to jail just as much as I want to see her attacker, if he actually exists, do the same.

Huh. That’s a lot of demands, Paul. I’m pretty sure the police have more pressing priorities in their investigation than mollifying the narcissistic rage of an internet ranter.

But I think we can see what is happening here: Unless the police are able to quickly identify and arrest a man who is clearly associated with a Men’s Rights group for this crime, and unless he is quickly convicted of this crime, MRAs – led by Elam and his followers – are going to declare d’Entremont a “false accuser” if not an outright hoaxer, and target her for further harassment and abuse. All while loudly proclaiming that they are the real victims here. (Never mind that they never apply even a fraction of such skepticism towards the tall tales of feminist oppression told by serial fabricators like John Hembling.)

Elam ends his post with these inspiring words:

Please note: AVfM is in the middle of its Spring Fundraiser. Please help us continue to spread the message. Click here to contribute.

Because A Voice for Men LLC, after all, is a business – albeit one that’s apparently forbidden from conducting business in the state of Texas – and its business is hate.

EDITED TO ADD: John Hembling — AVFM’s “Director, Public Policy” and “Editor at Large” — has weighed in with his own take on the attack, which he has puzzlingly titled “Don’t Bash a Violent Bitch,” helpfully illustrated with a picture of a nerdy fellow brandishing a fist. (Classy!) In it he loudly proclaims to be shocked — shocked! — that anyone could imagine any MRA could be responsible for such a crime, which is totally opposed to everything that the peace-loving Men’s Human Rights Movement stands for.

Then he goes on to argue that “Slugger d’Entremont” (!?) is an “asshole” who probably brought this upon herself by being such an asshole:

I expect that whoever bashed Danielle d’Entremont in the face is somebody she knows, who has been dealing with her for years. Maybe her attempt to silence Professor Fiamengo was what did it, maybe it was something else. The timing of the incident, thus far, does not indicate a connection.

Really? The attack happened the night before Fiamengo’s lecture.

An individual attempting to censor and silence somebody speaking on human rights concerns of any group, men or otherwise, is likely an individual that’s an asshole with a past.

How exactly she is a “violent bitch” he never exactly explains. Perhaps someone else wrote the headline. It’s not like there’s a shortage of “editors” at AVFM eager to blame the victim of this particular crime.

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Blair
Blair
8 years ago

FYI, the city is called Kingston.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

Clearly someone hit her. How then is that a false allegation? She didn’t give a name, just said that it was a man (and, yeah, given that he had to have been coming at her from the front, she would presumably be able to tell that it was a man). So, unless they think that she hit herself for some nefarious reason (and I’m guessing it’s pretty hard to punch yourself in the face and knock out part of a tooth, especially if you’re a rather slight woman), what’s the logic behind claiming it’s a false allegation?

TL;DR – Words mean things.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Atilla has the easiest job on Earth as AVfM’s “activism director,” because they do shit except type angry words at women. Some activism.

I’m sure if the police do ask Elam for leads, this will be Paulie’s response:

titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

So according to Attila:

Why would anyone want to hit her? There is no motive here. Men do not go around punching women

Is Attila living in some dream world?

Men do not go around punching women

You hear that a woman has been punched, you see photographs, the police are investigating and your response is that it is all a lie by the woman because:

Men do not go around punching women

My head hurts just reading that.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

Also LOL, the screengrab of Elam. If actual molten lava was pulsing through his brains that would explain why he looks like the “Here’s Johnny!” scene from The Shining.

trans_commie
8 years ago

HEEERE’S PAULLY!

AIT
AIT
8 years ago

As often as Elam says no AVfMer would ever condone a threat against someone, he seems to praise them all the time.

I am confus.

MaudeLL
MaudeLL
8 years ago

So embarrassing. Why are so many of these winners from Canada? I think I’ll stitch an American flag on my backpack next time I travel. 😉

J.J
J.J
8 years ago

Huh, I wonder why she doesn’t want to be identified?

Maybe because her attacker already knew her name and she and her friend are afraid of reprisal? Could it be? /sarcasm

But seriously, are these people so entrenched in their own worldview that they have to assume that this is a hoax? It’d be pretty obsessive for this young woman to either punch herself or have herself punched to make their movement look bad, they do a pretty good job of that themselves.

And do they not listen to themselves? Hey, maybe people assume people of your movement are violent because you threaten to beat people up and talk about violence like it’s arousing?

Oh, and Attila up there is ridiculous. Oh yes, all women everywhere make up stories about random men coming up to them and assaulting them. If women do make up that kind of story, it’d be much more likely that they’d do it to frame a man they know, not some unidentified guy. And apparently it’s much more likely that it’s some random woman who sounds and looks like a man who decided to randomly assault some other woman who is against misogynists. Uh huh. I’m pretty sure none of these people are actually thinking this through.

So says the Stamen of Privilege! (Tee hee. I love that.)

titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

They do like to big themselves up at AVfM with the fancy titles, don’t they? Activism Director, Managing Editor, etc etc.

I suppose it sound more important than “bloke who tells everyone else where the comments section is” or “cutter and paster on the blog”.

trans_commie
8 years ago

[N]ow I am angry. I am 100% completely, undeniably pissed off bordering on rage. It won’t last, but for the moment it is pulsing through my veins like molten lava.

For a second I thought his reference to his veins was him alluding to his erection. Ew.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

I’m trying to figure out what you could even bite on your partner that would break your teeth. Is she fucking Edward the sparkly vampire?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

Also, continuing the “words mean things” theme – “vigorous” is not the same thing as “violent”. One can have vigorous sex without ending up with facial bruising.

(Today in “things I never though I’d have to explain to an adult woman who has a child.)

titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

@cassandrakitty, maybe biting the bedpost in a moment of excitement? As a FeMRA, she wouldn’t have throw pillows to protect herself from hard surfaces …

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

@ Augzz

Yeah, honestly, I feel sorry for her all the time. She’s trying so damn hard to win the approval of these tools.

weirwoodtreehugger
8 years ago

Has Paul Elam not watched enough TV to get some basic idea about how crime investigations work? Investigations take longer than a day or two and they aren’t going to publicly speculate about who it might be. They aren’t going to walk losers like him through their whole process and share private information with him. What an idiot!

I wonder what the laws are on inciting violence in Canada. If the attacker does turn out to be a big AVFM fan, can he be charged with a crime too?

Quick! Somebody Wikipedia it and tweet it to the police!

AIT
AIT
8 years ago

I’m trying to figure out what you could even bite on your partner that would break your teeth. Is she fucking Edward the sparkly vampire?

Ew. Just ew.

trans_commie
8 years ago

By the way, I would like to point out that GWW is most likely genderqueer. I’m pretty sure she’s still okay with feminine pronouns, and it doesn’t change the fact that she’s desperately trying to join the boy’s club, but it’s important to bear in mind.

nintenethan
nintenethan
8 years ago

There’s no way she was attacked. She probably just punched herself in the face. After all, she’s a woman AND a feminist!

Fuck these assholes.

titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

Well at least the MRAs have demonstrated to the world their utter failure at Human101.

Here is a person who has obviously been beaten up. It is possible that the violence may have been perpetrated by someone who ostensibly supports your movement. Do you:

1. Send your sympathies to the victim, declare your horror and distress that this may have been done in the name of your movement and condemn such violence in the strongest terms.

2. Call the victim a liar, declare everyone of the same demographic a liar, and demand that the victim be jailed.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
8 years ago

It’s even better than that, Elam went on a rant all “It wasn’t us! I know you’ll say it was, but it wasn’t! Come at me, police bros!” before any feminists had made any accusations about an MRA being responsible. Which just makes him look guilty. It’s like if someone saw a news story about a robbery and burst out with “I didn’t do it!”.

damselindetech
8 years ago

So… where are those MRAs prognosticating the end-of-days where all men throw off their shackles of oppressions and start The Great War against wimmins? Shouldn’t they be taking responsibility for this face-punching to be like, “See! Aha! I told you!”

J.J
J.J
8 years ago

I guess I’ve finally realized that this guy is so entitled he assumes that what he wants should supersede police procedure and common sense, I mean, what he’s proposed wouldn’t fly on Law and Order: SVU, and they ignore real life rules all day long on that show.

And if he were on SVU he would totally be the perp who gets charges filed on him because he incited violence in his followers, dude looks like a serial killer/cult leader.

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