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
weirwoodtreehugger
8 years ago

You missed the point 2cyar. The point is the MRM is claiming to be a human rights group. Yet they have no problem hiring a bigot (homophobe Anne Cools) to speak. That is hypocritical.

While feminists have not always been perfect at intersectionality, there’s no way a non-fringe feminist group would hire a huge bigot to speak. Even if the bigotry isn’t directed at women.

sparky
sparky
8 years ago

2cyar: Did you miss the part where Cools conflated lesbians and gayen with pedophiles? ‘Cause that’s pretty damned homophobic.

bunnybunny
bunnybunny
8 years ago

I, personally, have no interest in pushing State sponsored marriage on anyone since I would like to see it ended altogether.

So your lack of interest in a right somehow nullifies the legitimacy of another person’s interest in having that right. You’re a great activist.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Auntie Alias

We strongly suggest bringing a copy of the PayPal transaction receipt with you to avoid any confusion, especially in case the tickets have been purchased in a name different than who will actually be attending.

Are you fucking serious? The more I imagine tabling at this con, the more of a nightmare it sounds. Last minute changes of venue, demanding all this identification to prove I am truly the ticket holder… they’re inconveniencing their own attendees way more than the protestors ever could!

RE: brooked

I just want to say that I appreciate and very much enjoyed your attempt to engage this unholy amount of random screenshots that make no noticeable sense.

I know right? And those threads were fucking LONG too, I expected just some quick highlighted quotes, but nope, whole fucking THREADS on finding feminists on Facebook. Great job presenting your damn evidence, Matheus.

RE: woodyred

any devout christian or muslim would technically be against gay marriage

The MCC (which my husband attends) laughs in your face.

RE: House Mouse Queen

I hate the term TERF because it implies all radical feminists hate trans ppl.

What? No. Ally’s a trans radical reminist, last I heard. If I meant radical feminist, I would just say radical feminist; I say TERF specifically to SEPARATE them from other radical feminists. And just because someone’s a feminist doesn’t mean I can’t call them out for being transphobic. I AM respecting them as a feminist; I’m specifically refusing to just IGNORE their transphobia. (Hell, I’m freakin’ calling them ‘Trans Exclusionary’ not even transphobic!)

RE: 2cyar

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

…then why are they encouraging a senator who is literally using state authority to interfere in the private lives of consenting adults? She’s a SENATOR.

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“So your lack of interest in a right somehow nullifies the legitimacy of another person’s interest in having that right. You’re a great activist.”

I don’t have a lack of interest in marriage…I am opposed to it. I think that a person who gets married, especially a male, gains nothing and actually loses rights in the process.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

Truly, 2cyar is a great activist! It’s not that they’re preventing folks in same-sex partnerships from being able to get hospital visitation rights or protect each other’s healthcare… on the contrary, 2cyar is PROTECTING THEIR RIGHTS by sitting upon their fundament and not doing a damn thing!

Truly, we should learn a thing or two and follow suit.

bunnybunny
bunnybunny
8 years ago

The concept of rights is so foreign to MRAs. “I’m opposed to this institution, so why would anyone else care if they don’t have the right to it? It sucks anyway!” How selfless of you!

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“It’s not that they’re preventing folks in same-sex partnerships from being able to get hospital visitation rights or protect each other’s healthcare.”

I support these types of things for anyone who chooses them…without marriage.

katz
8 years ago

I wasted an entire weekend trying to just fucking understand all that tremendous bullshit, and ever since, food doesn’t taste the same. The sun doesn’t warm me when it shines. Laughing children sound like nails running down a chalk board. I have seen the other side, I’ve come face to face with the underpinnings of MRA thought, and… and… it changed me. I feel hollow. There’s a keening void where my soul used to be. I’m on a strict diet of fluffy kitten pictures, fuzzy rabbits and adorable teddy bears just to be able to bear out living from day to day.

This right here is a thing of beauty.

Robert
Robert
8 years ago

As a father, I would like to know which of my rights this Cools person is committed to protecting and defending. My right to be married to my husband? My right to be a parent to my sons?

Also, the minister who performed our wedding service is the most devout Christian I know personally, and she was just delighted to be the one marrying us.

Finally, can you just imagine the on-site check in at this conference? Photo IDs, printouts of PayPal receipts, names under which registered vs names on the badge – I’m sure they could have made it more complicated, but I’m not sure how.

katz
8 years ago

My big question about all the security: How does any of this actually keep unwanted people out, since presumably anyone could go onto PayPal and buy tickets?

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“As a father, I would like to know which of my rights this Cools person is committed to protecting and defending. My right to be married to my husband? My right to be a parent to my sons?”

Her speaking topic is: “The Law: Fathers, Children, and their Well Being,”

So I’m guessing she is committed to protecting and defending your right, and all men’s right, to be a parent to their children.

brooked
brooked
8 years ago

@2cyar

To second Sparky, Cools is pedaling a far reaching homophobia that goes way beyond gay marriage. In the US there are people who support gay rights and gay civil unions, but can’t rap their brain around gay marriage. That’s especially true among older folks and I’m not calling people who support better anti-discrimination laws, the abolition of sodomy laws and like gay people homophobes because they’re wrong about gay marriage.

That said I’m middle-aged and gay, so the various strains of homophobia are very, very familiar to me. Check out the quotes David provided above again. Labeling gay men as predatory pedophiles is a decades old classic: gay men are sick sexual deviants that create more gay men by molesting young boys who grow up to be gay pedophiles. Or, as Cools so sweetly put it, “seduced at youthful ages”. She also puts forth the nonsense slippery slope argument that gay rights set the table for “pedophile rights”. She also pushes the idea that gay men have unhealthy sex that is “dangerous and life threatening”.

This shit is toxic for gay men. These are the arguments people use to defend sodomy laws. These are the arguments people use to ban homosexuality taught in schools. These are the arguments people use when the want to prevent gays, particularly gay men, from teaching school, adopting children, gaining child custody and getting married. These are the arguments people use when they suggest that the contemporary surge of support for gay rights in the west is a moral sickness that is ruining civilization (except in Russia where they know how to stop that infernal Gay Agenda).

Here is a good article from SPLC (I know MRAs, boo hiss!) that outlines the ten anti-gay myths including the junk science and inflammatory rhetoric used to falsely accusing gay men of rampant gay-making pedophilia.

Depicting gay men as a threat to children may be the single most potent weapon for stoking public fears about homosexuality

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/10-myths

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“My big question about all the security: How does any of this actually keep unwanted people out, since presumably anyone could go onto PayPal and buy tickets?”

It doesn’t keep anyone out. All people are welcome to attend, and in fact, some of the most caustic feminists have been invited to attend and observe free of charge. Security will be there to ensure safety and prevent any disruptions, whether it’s from MRA’s or others.

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@2ycar

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

Um,did u miss the part where Leum said they didn’t llike being called homosexual? just say gay ppl instaed….

I don’t have a lack of interest in marriage…I am opposed to it. I think that a person who gets married, especially a male, gains nothing and actually loses rights in the process.

then don’t get married.

“It’s not that they’re preventing folks in same-sex partnerships from being able to get hospital visitation rights or protect each other’s healthcare.”

I support these types of things for anyone who chooses them…without marriage.

Seriously dude you don’t have to get married but don’t tell everyone else not to…

Her speaking topic is: “The Law: Fathers, Children, and their Well Being,”

So I’m guessing she is committed to protecting and defending your right, and all men’s right, to be a parent to their children.

She’s not interested in defending teh rights of gay fathers, 2ycar, you keep missing that.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: 2cyar

I support these types of things for anyone who chooses them…without marriage.

Does that in practice happen to do ANYTHING but prevent guys like me from marrying my husband and GETTING those rights?

So I’m guessing she is committed to protecting and defending your right, and all men’s right, to be a parent to their children.

Dude, she thinks Robert and me are pedophiles. SHE DOES NOT SUPPORT OUR FATHER’S RIGHTS. Do you even READ before you post?

katz
8 years ago

no homophobic views will be expressed during the entire conference, I can assure you of that.

Her speaking topic is: “The Law: Fathers, Children, and their Well Being,”

So I’m guessing she is committed to protecting and defending your right, and all men’s right, to be a parent to their children.

You’re both adorable.

katz
8 years ago

It doesn’t keep anyone out. All people are welcome to attend, and in fact, some of the most caustic feminists have been invited to attend and observe free of charge. Security will be there to ensure safety and prevent any disruptions, whether it’s from MRA’s or others.

And…how does requiring people to present PayPal printouts ensure safety and prevent disruptions?

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“That said I’m middle-aged and gay, so the various strains of homophobia are very, very familiar to me. Check out the quotes David provided above again. Labeling gay men as predatory pedophiles is a decades old classic: gay men are sick sexual deviants that create more gay men by molesting young boys who grow up to be gay pedophiles. Or, as Cools so sweetly put it, “seduced at youthful ages”. She also puts forth the nonsense slippery slope argument that gay rights set the table for “pedophile rights”. She also pushes the idea that gay men have unhealthy sex that is “dangerous and life threatening”.”

Replace “gay men” with the word “men” and what you are saying is pretty much the same as how ALL men are portrayed in our society and one of the things that the MHRM is fighting against.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: 2cyar

Replace “gay men” with the word “men” and what you are saying is pretty much the same as how ALL men are portrayed in our society and one of the things that the MHRM is fighting against.

BWAHAHAHA. Tell me that when straight men can’t marry, legally have sex, and are having to stage die-ins.

I’m contacting David. I have NO patience for this kind of co-opting of queer struggle today.

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“And…how does requiring people to present PayPal printouts ensure safety and prevent disruptions?”

It doesn’t but it would avoid any misunderstandings or confusion. They’ve already admitted that they are new to all of this, their staff have been stretched quite thin, and things haven’t gone quite as smoothly as they would have liked it to. People will be picking up their tickets at the conference instead of having them mailed to them. I don’t think it’s a big deal to show them my receipt.

sparky
sparky
8 years ago

2cyar: Ok, but, if you support the rights of all men, including gay men, how do you reconcile that with a speaker who likens gay men to pedophiles?

Isn’t that linking of gay men with pedophiles something you’d want to see stopped?

Even if Cools isn’t talking about gay marriage, she is still being paid to speak at a men’s rights conference. The AVFM is still lending their support to Cools by having her at their conference as a speaker, even she’s talking about father’s rights and not gay rights. She is still against the rights of gay men.

How do you reconcile that?

2cyar
2cyar
8 years ago

“BWAHAHAHA. Tell me that when straight men can’t marry, legally have sex, and are having to stage die-ins.”

Straight men can marry, but they have no choice about whether they can stay that way.

They can legally have sex, but are at risk of being called a rapist for doing so.

Straight men are literally setting themselves on fire to protest their treatment if family court

fromafar2013
8 years ago

Replace “gay men” with the word “men” and what you are saying is pretty much the same as how ALL men are portrayed in our society and one of the things that the MHRM is fighting against.

Okay…

“… Labeling men as predatory pedophiles is a decades old classic: men are sick sexual deviants that create more men by molesting young boys who grow up to be men…. She also pushes the idea that men have unhealthy sex that is “dangerous and life threatening”.”

Uhm, no. No it does not.

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
8 years ago

Replace “gay men” with the word “men” and what you are saying is pretty much the same as how ALL men are portrayed in our society and one of the things that the MHRM is fighting against.

Wow – way to co opt the struggles of an oppressed group, there, champ. Is this how the MHRM shows they care for gay people?

1 11 12 13 14 15 21
%d bloggers like this: