Categories
a voice for men anne cools antifeminism antifeminist women Dean Esmay hetsplaining homophobia hypocrisy judgybitch misogyny MRA paul elam transphobia

Why is A Voice for Men giving a platform to one of Canada’s leading opponents of gay and lesbian rights? [UPDATED with AVFM response]

 

Gay marriage isn't a men's right, according to AVFM conference speaker Anne Cools
Gay marriage isn’t a men’s right, according to AVFM conference speaker Anne Cools

A Voice for Men likes to present itself as a voice for gay men as well as straight ones. In a recent post, site founder and chief fulminator Paul Elam declared that

We regard men as human beings, regardless of their sexuality. And most of us feel that this is the salve that heals what has in recent history been inflicted on gay men.

No mention of lesbians, but of course they’re women, and Elam does not seem to like women very much.

AVFM managing editor Dean Esmay, meanwhile, likes to present himself as a champion not only of gay men but of lesbians as well, boasting in one recent tweet that “I have been lesbian-supporting since the ’80s.”

So why is AVFM giving a platform to one of Canada’s most influential opponents of same-sex marriage  — and gay and lesbian rights in general?

Canadian Senator Anne Cools, one of the scheduled speakers at AVFM’s upcoming “Men’s Issues” conference in Detroit, has been a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage for decades.

Her objection? That only heterosexual marriage deserves legal protection because gay people can’t make babies – at least not with each other – thus making their interest in sex all about lust.

In a speech before the Canadian senate, she argued that

The public interest in marriage is reproduction, the continuation of the species, the offspring. There is no public interest in sex or the gratification of sexual impulses for their own sake. …

[L]ust, like all human passions, is not to be trusted. Lust and sex on their own have no public character and contain no public interest or public good. Marriage is about man and woman in a peculiar act of bringing forth offspring.

Never mind that plenty of stright couples don’t, or can’t, have kids. Or that some trans men can.

She’s not simply an opponent of same-sex marriage. Cools has consistently opposed other legislation designed to afford gays and lesbians the same basic rights as straight people — and the same legal protections as other victims of bigotry and discrimination.

She opposed adding “sexual orientation” to hate speech legislation, warning that doing so would expose “millions of Canadians…who hold moral opinions about sexuality, to criminal prosecution.” (Needless to say, the passage of the bill in question did not lead to millions of Canadians being rounded up and arrested.)

She also worried that adding “sexual orientation” to hate speech legislation would somehow – I don’t quite understand the logic – encourage the “depathologizing the paraphilias” and ultimately lead to children being “seduced” into dangerous sexual activities. Here’s her argument:

The fact of the matter is, honourable senators, that we discourage children from smoking cigarettes because tobacco is harmful. I would submit that we are talking about some sexual activities that are dangerous and life-threatening. The committee should have the moral courage to hear something of it. I have lost a lot of beloved friends to a variety of these conditions. I have made it my business to instruct myself. That is the first question. You can think about that.

Ms. Landolt, your concern that the term “sexual orientation” is so wide as to involve a wide range of sexual behaviours is well founded. I would like to put on the record here for this committee a document called the Journal of Homosexuality, particularly, volume 20 in 1990. The subject of the entire volume is pedophilia and male intergenerational intimacy, historical, social, psychological and legal perspectives. If you were to open up this text, the foreword is the debate on pedophilia, and the second article is “Man-Boy Relationships: Different Concepts for a Diversity of Phenomena.” It continues with “Pederasty Among Primitives and Institutionalized Initiation.”

She continued:

I want to know about these children out there and the impact that this is having on them, and, in addition to that, all of these children who are being seduced at youthful ages and who are discovering what is happening to them two or three years later. I have done a lot of counselling. I would like to get a greater picture of the problems out there for children on these grounds, because this sexual orientation debate is going on here as though children do not exist.

She also tried to raise the question of “the medical consequences to individuals who involve themselves in activities such as ‘rimming,’ … sado-masochism and so on.”

In explaining her opposition to adding sexual orientation ito the Canadian Human Rights Act, she offered a similar “slippery slope” argument:

The concern is that pederasts and paedophiles will advance claims to engage in adult/child sexual relationships as a matter of human rights; that claims will be advanced on the legal grounds that pederasty and paedophilia are sexual orientations having entitlements.

For more on her various backwards views, as well as the source of that last quote, see here.

On Twitter, I asked Esmay to explain why AVFM is providing a platform for a woman who opposes same-sex marriage. He hasn’t replied.

Another curious Twitterer asked the same question of Janet Bloomfield, the official spokeswoman for the upcoming AVFM conference. She handled the question with her usual (lack of) aplomb.

Alex McKenzie ‏@anArchaeopteryx 3h  @JudgyBitch1 The issue here is that there's a speaker at your conference who is against the rights of gay men. And you're PR, so I ask why.      Reply     Retweet     Favorite  JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 3h  @anArchaeopteryx Her views on shared custody are more relevant. We include a diverse array of speakers with different views @avoiceformen      Reply     Retweet     1 Favorite  Alex McKenzie ‏@anArchaeopteryx 3h  @JudgyBitch1 at a conference for <<men>>      Reply     Retweet     Favorite  JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 3h  @anArchaeopteryx That is not for you to decide @AVoiceForMen @deanesmay Discussion closed. Further tweets will be considered harassment

Apparently AVFM’s much vaunted “compassion for men and boys” doesn’t apply to gay men who want the same basic rights as straight men.

For more on AVFM’s tolerance of homophobia – and Elam’s notorious attack on one trans women, see here.

EDIT: After I put this post up, I decided to see if I might have better luck at getting answers from Bloomfield on Twitter. The conversation went about as well as could be expected. Remember, Bloomfield is AVFM’s offical “social media” spokeswoman for the conference.

 David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle  @JudgyBitch1 Why is AVFM providing a platform for one of Canada's most influential opposents of gay rights? http://wp.me/p17cYK-3bW       Reply     Delete     Favorite  12:23 PM - 19 Jun 2014 Tweet text Reply to @JudgyBitch1       JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 20m      @DavidFutrelle Because she also one of Canada's most influential supporters of children and father's rights after divorce.     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite     David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 19m      @JudgyBitch1 So the fact that she's been actively campaigning against gay and lesbian rights for decades doesn't bother you at all?     Details         Reply         Retweet         1 Favorite         Delete     JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 15m      @DavidFutrelle I vigorously denounce the anti-gay rights agenda. I don't have to agree with 100% of her beliefs. She cares for men and boys     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite     David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 13m      @JudgyBitch1 If you denounce her agenda, will you publicly denounce her for pushing this agenda? If not, why not?     Details         Reply         Retweet         1 Favorite         Delete     David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 11m      @JudgyBitch1 If you don't want to be seen as endorsing her agenda, put out a statement explicitly denouncing her for supporting this agenda     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite         Delete     JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 11m      @DavidFutrelle You think Twitter is private? Of course I would, I know how to criticize respectfully. Don't always choose to though.     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite     David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 10m      @JudgyBitch1 Is she being paid for speaking at your conference, or being provided with lodging, transportation expenses, and so on?     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite         Delete     JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 9m      @DavidFutrelle None of your business @avoiceformen @deanesmay     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite     JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 9m      @DavidFutrelle You do not get a say.     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite     David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 9m      @JudgyBitch1 Well, let's hear you specifically, and officially, repudiate her for supporting a bigoted agenda.     Details         Reply         Retweet         1 Favorite         Delete     JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 8m      @DavidFutrelle I do not take orders from you. I don't take orders from anyone, actually.     Details         Reply         Retweet         Favorite     David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 7m      @JudgyBitch1 That's not the issue.The issue is whether AVFM supports Cools and her anti-gay agenda.If it doesn't, you should probably say so     Details         Reply         Retweet         1 Favorite         Delete     JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 6m      @DavidFutrelle This issue is closed. Any further tweets will be taken as harassment and you will be blocked.dfjb2dfjb3

I didn’t see her comment about harassment until after I tweeted a couple more times.

David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 15m  @JudgyBitch1 I'm not issuing orders.But if you don't want people to think AVFM supports her bigoted anti-gay agenda,you should repudiate her Details      Reply     Retweet     Favorite     Delete  David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 14m  @JudgyBitch1 Or at the very least issue a statement officially saying that AVFM opposes her anti-gay agenda. Details      Reply     Retweet     Favorite     Delete  JanetBloomfield ‏@JudgyBitch1 14m  @DavidFutrelle Go write a column about it, David. Get us even more press. We could use Canadian coverage. And good-bye. You were warned. Details      Reply     Retweet     Favorite  David Futrelle ‏@DavidFutrelle 13m  @JudgyBitch1 Would you have a racist speak at your conference if he or she supported your position on some other issue?

Some more bang-up public relations work from Ms. Bloomfield here.

 

504 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
woodyred
woodyred
8 years ago

(Im actually computer programmer by trade – you would think I would be better at this !)

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

In the following dramatisation, the part of woodyred will be played by the large gentleman at the table, while Mr Buster Keaton will be playing the part of ‘the Point’.

http://giphy.com/gifs/qHuL8vAocEDXq

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

Russia’s not ‘really’ Europe. Because.

And ‘civil partnerships are accepted.’ in Europe, you say.

Except Poland, Romania, Slovakia, most of Eastern Europe, some of Northern Europe, Italy.

And abortion is legal. Except in Ireland. Malta. Getting pretty darned illegal in Italy. Restrictions on access popping up all over.

Yes, let’s talk about how this is all settled in Europe.

brooked
8 years ago

The ire in my pervious is directed at woodyred and JudgeyB who are reducing Cools’ homophobia to merely being against gay marriage. As always, ignorance, real or feigned, is no excuse, woodyred. If you don’t believe David then go read what she said before you continue to argue with us.

brooked
8 years ago

*my previous post

brooked
8 years ago

Good grief, I did terrible things to commas in my 10:43 am post. I apologize to all readers and English grammar.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

@ Howard Bannister — No, no. Europe is a country with a single legal code. It is known.

woodyred
woodyred
8 years ago

@ Howard Bannister – I live in the UK. Russia is quite separate and distinct from Europe, actually. Ireland has an issue with abortion, yes – Im very aware of this- a very famous story recently – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20321741 – there is pressure on them to change this – hell, theres pressure to ban male infant genital mutilation .. dont tell me we’re not progressive out here. and eastern european countries do have issues also, yes. but believe me, we’re streets ahead of you lot.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

It is known.

Ah, of course.

Russia is quite separate and distinct from Europe, actually.

When it’s convenient.

and eastern european countries do have issues also, yes. but believe me, we’re streets ahead of you lot.

Yessss. Tell me more about the UKIP and how their racism is totally different from the racism we’re fighting over here.

weirwoodtreehugger
8 years ago

Woodyred,

How can you support a speaker who is against the rights of some men? Or excuse said speaker?

Here’s an example of two fathers and two sons whose rights are actually being violated. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/18/jason-hanna-and-joe-riggs_n_5506720.html

Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs are the proud fathers of Lucas and Ethan, who were born in April, after they’d connected with a surrogate mom, CharLynn.

Each of the men is a biological father to one of the babies. But, because Texas has a ban on gay marriage (it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge last February, but the decision was stayed pending appeal), and because a judge can use his or her own discretion in these cases, neither of the men is currently on the birth certificates of either of the boys, nor have they been able to co-adopt each other’s biological child.

Do you suppose Hanna and Riggs would feel welcome at the conference or in the MRM at all when they’ve invited a virulently homophobic speaker? AVFM have claimed Cools is a supporter of father’s rights but from her quotes it’s clear that she wouldn’t support the rights of these two fathers.

As it happens, I read about this case on another feminist site. Once again we’re more compassionate to men and boys who need it than the MRM is.

woodyred
woodyred
8 years ago

@ Howard Bannister – where are you from ?? russia is VERY distinct from Europe – by every measure – they are, in fact, separate countries, cultures, languages – russia are not part of the EU – they are not part of NATO …. russia is not part of Europe.

sparky
sparky
8 years ago

Yessss. Tell me more about the UKIP and how their racism is totally different from the racism we’re fighting over here.

But Howard, that’s European racism, which, as everyone knows, is far superior to American racism.

/sarcasm

Children of the Broccoli
Children of the Broccoli
8 years ago

@ House Mouse Queen; Sorry about that. I was using Matheus’s terms to try to get him to see the flaw in his logic, but you’re right, I should have put “violent” in scare quotes.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

russia is VERY distinct from Europe – by every measure – they are, in fact, separate countries, cultures, languages –

they are, in fact, separate countries

Yes, I am aware that geographically and culturally there is what we call “Eurasia,” and that only part of Russia lies in what is geographically designated as Europe.

But…

What…

Okay.

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

The UK and hate crimes. (link is a PDF from gov.uk)

Because that doesn’t really look like a world free of racism and prejudice from here, yanno.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

I love the country of Europe. I wish I could spend all my time there, perhaps in the capital city of Provence.

jefrir
jefrir
8 years ago

@Woodyred

russia is VERY distinct from Europe – by every measure – they are, in fact, separate countries, cultures, languages

This shouldn’t need saying, but… Europe is not a country. It does not speak a single language, or have a single culture. Geographically, it is considered to end at the Ural Mountains. I wonder if you can guess which country those are in? European Russia makes up only around a quarter of Russia’s territory, true, but it also contains 77% of the Russian population. It also makes up 38% of Europe’s land area – far more than any other country. (Statistics from here). In fact, in many ways it seems more reasonable to consider Russia a typical European country than the UK. There are cultural and linguistic differences, of course, but these exist on a spectrum. Culturally, Russia is probably more similar to Bulgaria and Ukraine than the UK is to France, Germany or Spain, and in terms of languages they are certainly more similar – enough that I can read Bulgarian fairly comfortably based solely on my knowledge of Russian, whereas I can’t really read German despite having studied it in the past.
Tl;dr: You’re a fuckwit who knows nothing about Russia and is engaging in special pleading.

opium4themasses
8 years ago

@LBT there are definitely people interested in the plight of men affected by toxic masculinity, victims of abuse, or in need of shelter. However, most of them don’t want to be associated with the MRM movement. You probably remember that article too.

I hope more moderate MRAs see the good work done and the stark difference between mens’* rights and the MRM.

*I mean this as inclusively as possible.

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@Woolyred

@ WhatIsThisGravitasOfWhichYouSpeak – I dont know what her objections are. could be religious reasons – you know what religious people are like. its an unfortunate fact that you cant always agree with everyone on every single topic.. its my understanding she is speaking about fathers rights – not gay marriage.

It’s so wacky! She’s religious, we just have to deal with the homophobia! Not like she can actually work on not being a homophobic ass or anything!

well look – any devout christian or muslim would technically be against gay marriage – and abortion – and all sorts of things – should they be banned from public speaking ?

Uh no. I’m not very religious, but my dad is, and he isn’t anti abortion/ anti gay marrige.

Plus, this isn’t about banning them. It’s about why you want her at the event.

Youve labelled Warren Farrell a rape and incest supporter – and now youre looking to label Anne Cools as a homophobe

omgomgomgomg. omygod. ‘you people are looking to label homophobe as homophobe, u meanies’.

you sound like my stepmom tahts not a good thing.

Its dishonest, manboobz. you know what you do is dishonest.

troll to english translation: labelling homopohbe as homophobe is dishonest plz not call things what they are kthnxbye.

@ kittehserf – oh yes, the major religions are so tolerant of homosexuality, yes.

It’s a shame that religions aren’t made up of people…who can chose whether to be homophobic or not….

@howard bannister

Should I pay them money to hear them speak?

If you support freezepeaches!!!!!eleven

@woolyred

@ Saphy – Ive only been here two other times. I got ganged up on last time and retreated.

“”I don’t get why I’m getting ganged up on this site meant to mock misogyny when I am a misogynist????? so wierd”

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@woodyred

. dont tell me we’re not progressive out here. and eastern european countries do have issues also, yes. but believe me, we’re streets ahead of you lot.

WOw such condescending very go fuck yourself.

russia is VERY distinct from Europe – by every measure – they are, in fact, separate countries, cultures, languages – russia are not part of the EU – they are not part of NATO …. russia

I hate to break this to you but lots of eupope is seperate countries XD

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

Why would AVFM be interested in pushing for marriage for homosexuals when it is already opposed to marriage for straight people?

From the mission statement:
http://www.avoiceformen.com/policies/mission-statement/

“We oppose all state authority over or interference in the private lives of consenting adults engaged in any form of interpersonal relationship”

There will be many people present at the conference that disagree with Senator Cooles stance on marriage…but mostly because they are opposed to State sponsored marriage period.

GrumpyOldMan
8 years ago

Let’s see: The MRA say they stand for human rights for everyone, but particularly for all men. They want a speaker on some particular men’s rights issue. So they pick a person who is publicly known not for that issue, but for her vile, inflammatory homophobia. Obviously, in the eyes of people who genuinely believe in human rights, her homophobia seriously damages her credibility on any other issue, So why not find a speaker on said issue whose credibility is not seriously impaired. The only answer I can come up with is that they are trying to generate publicity for their silly wittle confewence, and nothing does this better than providing a platform for well-known inflammatory bigot like Ms. Cools.
Do you think any feminist conference would ever try — let alone get away with — making a notorious anti-Semite or white supremacist one of its principal speakers?

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

That’s right, you go ahead and tell those homosexuals what rights they ought to want to get, go ahead and tell them they have no right to be offended by being second-class citizens, because you didn’t want those rights anyway.

And then tell them you’re not homophobic. See how well it goes down.

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“Do you think any feminist conference would ever try — let alone get away with — making a notorious anti-Semite or white supremacist one of its principal speakers?”

Which of the speakers at this conference is a notorious anti-Semite or white supremacist?

I’m not aware of any. Please back up your accusation with a citation.

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“That’s right, you go ahead and tell those homosexuals what rights they ought to want to get, go ahead and tell them they have no right to be offended by being second-class citizens, because you didn’t want those rights anyway.”

Homosexuals can go for what ever rights they want to. I, personally, have no interest in pushing State sponsored marriage on anyone since I would like to see it ended altogether. I would also like to see the financial benefits of marriage available to anyone, in any kind of long term domestic relationship.

1 10 11 12 13 14 21
%d bloggers like this: