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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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titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

Noth Troll-y and the MRAs’ reactions are fascinating. Their fury! How dare a woman be beaten up? How dare she imply that this was a crime against her? How dare the police investigate? How dare anyone connect violence against a woman to threats of violence against that woman? How dare anyone connect threats of violence made against a woman because she is a feminist to anti-feminists? How dare anyone connect threats of anti-feminist violence to violent rhetoric on the most mainstream anti-feminist website?

Chickens are coming home to roost.

And AVfM is so wilfully obtuse, they are using the occasion to hack off yet another Canadian police department.

vaiyt
vaiyt
8 years ago

In fact, maintaining victim status is a central pillar of feminist power.

Yeah, because eternally depending on the charity of people that despise you is power!

trans_commie
8 years ago

Yes it will be and no it’s not likely. There is no precedent of this happening before. Also there’s no motive since the MRAs won that particular battle and so have no reason to target her with any kind of retaliatory motivation.

Yes, because only a retaliatory motivation was possible in that situation. *rolls eyes*

Nice goalpost shift. Oh wait, you really think angry messages are the same thing as an actual physical assault – when it’s convenient you fanatic asshole.

He said “angry, abusive, and threatening”, not just “angry.” I have a strange feeling that you’re trying to twist David’s words.

Lol. You mean feminists who challenge sexism against men receive threats and vitriol from other feminists. I challenge you to find one single example of MRAs threatening a feminist who challenges sexism against men. Otherwise admit that you’re a dishonest shit who happily twists the truth for your political agenda.

Who gives a shit? There is never a good reason to send those threats to anyone.

Oh, and BTW, you’re being quite the hypocrite here. You, an MRA or at least an MRA ally, just recently made a creepy rape joke directed at us. You have the audacity to make such jokes even though this space has a significant number of people who were sexually abused. So yeah, you can just fuck off.

Bina
8 years ago

And, IS there a secret society of “wolves”?

Not that I know of…but this dude whose story you linked sounds like a classic sexual predator who wasn’t far from becoming a serial killer. A lot of them build elaborate fantasy worlds with themselves at the top of the metaphorical heap. And the taking of trophies is a common predatory practice with serial rapists AND serial killers. They use them to feed and stoke their fantasies as they prepare for the taking of their next victim.

BTW, that “Alphas” and “Bravos” thing sounds more like military jargon than manospeak. But it does give off an awfully similar creep-vibe just the same.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

Attila is a real piece of shit. How dare he demand that he interrogate the victim, harass her, and intimidate her. He hasn’t explicitly shown that he wants to do those things if he sees her but I have no reason to give a jerk like him the benefit of doubt.

In the endless saga of philosophical inconsistencies of MRA-dom:

1. Any woman who states that she’s been harassed, assaulted, or raped is not to be believed. No official body (police, convention staff, employers, boards of directors, human resources departments) is competent to evaluate a claim, and so MRAs will doubt the woman’s account unless and until they, personally, review all the evidence.

2. Any man accused of harassment, assault, or rape who has not been charged, tried, found guilty, convicted, sentenced, and completely served that sentence was COMPLETELY INNOCENT, and was a victim of false accusation, because the legal system is so utterly correct and efficient that no crimes slip through the cracks, and no bad judgments are ever made.

It would save ever so many bytes of internet if they just made a webpage that says MEN GOOD WOMEN BAD and linked to it, instead of the endless screeching they do online.

weirwoodtreehugger
8 years ago

Dumbe,
As many have pointed out, there are examples of MRAs threatening feminists and speaking about women in violent ways all over this blog. We all know you’re not interested in learning, but if you are, feel free to browse. We aren’t going to do your homework for you.

It’s very telling that you believe online harassment and threats aren’t a form of violence. They absolutely are. These days, the internet is a part of all our lives and many need to maintain a social presence for their careers. Online harassment chases its victims out of an important aspect of life. Also, threats are violent whether they get carried out or not. The victims have no way of doing who’s a basement dweller that’s all talk and who intends on actually carrying out violence. Like the asshole that assaulted the subject of this very post.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
8 years ago

The misters are mad as hornets because protesters disrupted Janice Fiamengo’s talk last night at UofOttawa. The events were storified by The Fulcrum.

How does a hatemonger stay employed as a professor? I don’t know how tenure works but surely there are limits to the conduct a tenured professor can engage in. She was dismissive of the recent rape threats aimed at student president Anne-Marie Roy and gang rape allegations against members of the hockey team. “Hypersensitivity about non-existent rape culture puts men at risk.” Fuck you.

Dan Perrins:

This is an extremely sad day for all Canadians. What has just happened in our nation’s capital was the collective spitting on every soldier who fought and died to protect freedom of speech world-wide.

o_O

weirwoodtreehugger
8 years ago

Auntie Alias,
Oh lovely, freeze peach strikes again!

sparky
sparky
8 years ago

Fuck off, dunbe. Take your hand-waving and minimizing of the massive amounts of explicit violent threats that women have received and just fuck off. If you don’t see anything wrong with the vitriol aimed at women online, then you are a morally reprehensible asshole. And, yeah, if a person receives a written threat, and then the next day someone actually does the thing that was threatened, then one of the very logical conclusions are that the two are related.

titianblue said:

Bothe Troll-y and the MRAs’ reactions are fascinating. Their fury! How dare a woman be beaten up? How dare she imply that this was a crime against her? How dare the police investigate? How dare anyone connect violence against a woman to threats of violence against that woman? How dare anyone connect threats of violence made against a woman because she is a feminist to anti-feminists? How dare anyone connect threats of anti-feminist violence to violent rhetoric on the most mainstream anti-feminist website?

Ramen. I think this is why I am both enraged and frightened by this whole situation. This woman was beat up, and their first reaction is “she’s faking it” and “she deserved it.” And to paint themselves the victims. And they think that this is a perfectly reasonable response. And these are the same people that think sending rape and death threats to one’s ideological opponents are perfectly reasonable, or at least, no big deal if a woman receives rape and death threats. It’s the reaction of people who feel entitled to be able to do whatever they want to another human being because that other human being is a woman. And this is just one case and there’s no suspect identified and no one really knows who did at this point; but it’s the reaction to this of all these MRAs that’s so disturbing.

Hembling called the woman that was beaten a “violent b*tch.” That’s what’s wrong with MRAs in a nutshell.

Sorry for the teal deer.

sparky
sparky
8 years ago

From Auntie Alias’s link:

Sophie Desrosiers @SophDesrosiers
Follow
@SpencerLynne the assault was the night before the event and no confirmation it was related yet. Protesters should respect freedom of speech
7:27 PM – 28 Mar 2014

“Protesters should respect freedom of speech”

:facepalm:

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

The photo on this post is legit frightening.

“Narcissistic” is right. Look how personally they’re taking this! I mean, when MRAs spout that nonsense about how feminists killed Erin Pizzey’s dog, most of us manage not to interpret that as an attack on our very selves that must be met with violent resistance. But then, self-interest is one of the hallmarks of the MRM.

The “how dare you blame us!” spiel is just so reminiscent of the George Tiller incident. Bill O’Reilly spend years calling him “Tiller the baby killer” because he provided abortions, and the man who eventually murdered Tiller was a fan of O’Reilly’s show, but Billy and his fans were absolutely aghast at the suggestion that he and his rhetoric might have been in any way responsible. As for Elam and his followers, I just wonder if they actually believe both “FTSU” and “we’re not violent” in that cognitive dissonance way humans are so good at, or if they know they’re full of shit.

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.

But surely Paul wouldn’t manufacture outrage for the sake of pageviews and cash!

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
8 years ago

I think I need a bingo card for this. So far, we’ve had:

* She wasn’t beaten up
*She couldn’t know who the perpetrator was
*The perpetrator was a woman
* It is the fault of feminism failing her

*She had it coming
*She did it to herself to make the MRM look bad. (Sadly, there is precedent for that sort of thing. Anyone remember the woman who carved a “B” in her face and claimed a scary black Obama supporter did it? She didn’t fool people for very long, partly because she’d carved it backwards – you know, the way you might if you were doing it in a mirror…)

David! You’re an adjective! Is this new? What does it mean? Are you more cromulent or more frumious?

I think he’s pretty supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, myself.

samantha
8 years ago

She swooped in and said ‘It was BASH A VIOLENT BITCH MONTH!!!’ and it was SATIRE!

Maybe it is just me, but I am having a HELL of a time tryi g to understand where the satire is in a statement like that.

samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  lightcastle

They like thinking they’re dangerous.

Well, they may be…just not the way they think they are, or want to be. They have the strange dangerousness of the cowardly. You know, the ones who slink in the dark, throwing out their weapons of words and then hiding behind their verbiage.

Where the REAL danger lies, though, is with the truly unbalanced who hear a “message” in their words and then actually do terrible things, thinking that they are somehow acting with the blessing of THOSE WHO MATTER.

And then, of course, the cowards who egg them on can sit back and feel powerful.

Yuck. I think I just ruined my day.

samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  kittehserf

means don’t speak, don’t say no to a man, ever; don’t do anything of which they disapprove; don’t deprive a man of a job by working for a living; don’t be a gold-digging b*tch by being supported by a man; don’t dress in a way that provokes their boners; don’t dress in a way that gives them sad boners; don’t … don’t … don’t …

You just described the terrorist mind set. As long as we remain completely still, do nothing except what is specifically demanded of us, they won’t hurt us.

They are a terrorist organization. What fun!

Bina
8 years ago

This is an extremely sad day for all Canadians. What has just happened in our nation’s capital was the collective spitting on every soldier who fought and died to protect freedom of speech world-wide.

Boo fucking hoo, women exercised freedom of speech!

PS: Female soldiers would really like you to fuck off now, Dan.

samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  dunbe

You mean feminists who challenge sexism against men receive threats and vitriol from other feminists. I challenge you to find one single example of MRAs threatening a feminist who challenges sexism against men. Otherwise admit that you’re a dishonest shit who happily twists the truth for your political agenda.

Oh, boy! You have NO IDEA what feminism is all about! It was the feminists who originally stood up and brought the whole notion of men’s issues to the public attention. WE said that as long as women do not have equal rights – equal pay for equal work being one of them – MEN could not stop having to be strong and dying young! WE pointed out, repeatedly, that equal rights meant that both men and women could live whole and active lives, that men were just as badly affected by patriarchy as women were. WE have been fighting for the right to go to battle in war to fight and die at the sides of men.

But NOOOOOO….the men’s rights dudes had to stand up and fight for the right to have all that for themselves AND continue to abuse and suppress women.

Look up your history, the FBI stats, the criminal stats of ANY TOWN IN TH US.

Also, check out the Equal Rights Amendment that the guys fought so hard to defeat.

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Now, ASSSHOLE, tell me why that discriminates against the almighty guys!

scarlettpipstrelle
8 years ago

I’m still horrified about how that case I posed turned out. Yes, the guy is in jail basically forever, but all they did for his previous victim in Washington state was to apologize, refund the $500 fine, and clear her record of the “making a false report” charge. Like that fixes everything.

Even Erin Pizzy admitted that nobody knows who killed her dog, but the MRAers seem to have an awful lot invested in deflecting blame from themselves. Like it’s what they approve of and maybe fantasized about doing. Their alternate reality explanations for the attack just get more and more elaborate They don’t hold their leaders to any standards and they positively encourage hate in their comment sections. Then they worry that they might get blamed when something happens. Wonder why …

samantha
8 years ago

The comments over there, stating how many of the MRAs don’t believe her and are encouraging alternate theories reminds me of this case in Colorado.

WOW! Thanks for this. This guy was doing EXACTLY what the mra’s promote for the world in which they want to live!

I think I will write a story about a totally mra designed and run world. Seriously. I can see it now…ARGH!!!!!!!

Bina
8 years ago

Even Erin Pizzy admitted that nobody knows who killed her dog, but the MRAers seem to have an awful lot invested in deflecting blame from themselves. Like it’s what they approve of and maybe fantasized about doing. Their alternate reality explanations for the attack just get more and more elaborate They don’t hold their leaders to any standards and they positively encourage hate in their comment sections. Then they worry that they might get blamed when something happens. Wonder why …

They want women to take all the blame for what they and their followers do. Hence the ridiculous idea that “she punched herself in the face”. Who does that? Practically no one. But since there is no battered wife to lie for the abuser in this case, and claim that her face simply had a forceful encounter with, say, a brick wall, they want to blame the punched for punching herself. That would be as absurd as one of us claiming that Erin P killed her own dog so she could have someone to blame for something. But you don’t catch us making such statements because we know how wrong that is.

samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  Bina

Please tell me how I did at “maintaining victim status”, troll. Go on, now. Really!

You are my Hera. I read your post and wept. And then I cheered. Now, THAT is courage. And that is the kind of courage we all need.

I am so sorry that no one listened or took you seriously, but I am so very heartened to see the determination and janeys with which you claimed your life and your right to be here, doing what you choose to do.

Oh, and to any mra sympathizers reading this – THIS is what a woman and a feminist looks like. Yeah, you should be scared, because the nightmare you guys would like to create for us ain’t gonna happen!

Unless you get to live in it all by your little lonesomes.

Cinzia La Strega
8 years ago

Boy, that Attila Vinczer is an interesting fella. He seems to spend most of his time pursuing lawsuits (when he’s not uploading videos to Youtube of such acts of misandry as a woman picking her nose in public).

samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  sparky

“Protesters should respect freedom of speech”

I think that this lovely bit you quoted qualifies as a threat, the implication being that if one protests a talk, one had best expect consequences.

(shudder)

samantha
8 years ago

Boy, that Attila Vinczer is an interesting fella. He seems to spend most of his time pursuing lawsuits (when he’s not uploading videos to Youtube of such acts of misandry as a woman picking her nose in public).

You are kidding, right? I damn near laughed myself off of my chair. A woman picking her nose in public as an example of MISANDRY???? Really?

Wow. Who wastes his (pronoun deliberate) time on such…well…silliness?

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
8 years ago

It’s like they’ve heard of the principle of Occam’s Razor and decided that reversing it would be a good plan.

It’s the Occam’s Neckbeard principle: Only use a razor when you feel like it:

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