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Dirty laundry! Was John Hembling booted from A Voice for Men for criticizing Janet Bloomfield and Stefan Molyneux?

Longtime observers of A Voice for Men have been wondering for some time why John “The Other” Hembling has vanished from that site. Hembling, once the site’s Editor in Chief and number two figure, was not at AVFM’s much ballyhooed conference this summer, and his name has mysteriously vanished from the masthead. AVFM has not, to the best of my knowledge, ever offered a public explanation for the falling-out with Hembling.

Now, after months of silence on the topic, Hembling is telling his side of the story.

In a video posted yesterday — and embedded at the top of this post —  Hembling claims he was tossed overboard from the good ship AVFM because he was publicly critical of some of AVFM’s staffers and allies – in particular Janet “JudgyBitch” Bloomfield, AVFM’s truth-challenged “social media director,” and Stefan Molyneux, long-winded YouTube “philosopher”and leader of the Cult of Stefan Molyneux.

Hembling starts off the video by challenging the “rumor” that he was kicked out of AVFM because he was planning on showing up to the group’s conference with a giant inflatable penis, a reference to Community Organized Compassion and Kindness — COCK – a group that he started with his girlfriend Diana Davison and which seems to count only the two of them as members. I have no idea if this is a real rumor, a joke, or something he actually was planning. I mean, this is a guy who runs a “human rights” group called COCK. In any case, he insists in the video that he had no such plans.

The real reasons he was “disinvited” from the conference and from AVFM itself? According to Hembling, it’s largely because, he hasn’t been shy about criticizing other AVFMers, as well as various articles on the site, including one from a trans man that Hembling thought was “bullshit,” and published only because AVFM was trying too hard to be inclusive.

But apparently his biggest crime in the eyes of Elam and other AVFMers was his criticism of AVFM PR maven Janet Bloomfield – not for being a liar with a propensity for calling her opponents “whores,” but for being … a stay-at-home mom.

When Hembling joined AVFM, he notes, the site was harshly critical of traditionalist conservatives, seeing the traditional roles of men as providers and women as stay-at-home wives and mothers as offering little more than “slavery” for men.

Indeed, Hembling quotes from one 2011 post by AVFM founder and big kahuna Paul Elam warning of the danger posed to men by, in Elam’s words

‘traditional” woman’… offering fellatio in exchange for indentured servitude, and reveling in her ‘traditional power,’ as a woman. … Traditionalism is the driving force behind male slavery. It is the psychological machine that socializes men into becoming fodder and into becoming lapdogs disguised as guard dogs.

But now, Hembling complains, AVFM has not only abandoned its disdain for traditionalist women, but has also appointed a traditionalist woman – Bloomfield – to serve as its PR representative. (Though Hembling doesn’t mention is, AVFM also brought traditionalist conservative Suzanne Venker to speak at its conference.) And when Hembling brought up this seeming contradiction while he was at AVFM, he says, his “relatively mild critiques” were seen as “blasphemy.”

“What happened, Paul,” Hembling asks. “Did your brains fall out?”

As Hembling sees it, the “final nail in my coffin at AVFM” was his criticism of Molyneux, a woman-hating libertarian “philosopher” with a cult following (literally) on YouTube who was one of the more memorable speakers at AVFM’s conference. (I highlighted some of the horrible things he said in that speech in a Misogyny Theater video here.) Hembling doesn’t specify what exactly he criticized Molyneux for, but insists that it was mild criticism compared to what the “philosopher” hears from others online.

Hembling adds that he also called MRA elder Warren Farrell “Professor Fuzzy Face. I think that might have ruffled some feathers too.”

So are these the real reasons Hembling was exiled from AVFM? Isn’t it possible that he was actually shitcanned because he’s a loose cannon and compulsive liar that no legitimate organization would want to have anything to do with?

He is, of course, all of those things, and if we were dealing with any entity other than AVFM I would assume this was the true explanation. But the plain fact is that AVFM is overflowing with loose cannons and compulsive liars, from the man at the top of the heap down to the footsoldiers in its Twitter army.

And, as hard as it might be to believe anything that someone as habitually truth-challenged as Hembling has to say, his explanation of his fall from grace is completely plausible. Elam is an egotist and an opportunist, and he’s not someone who likes being second-guessed by his followers. To have the ostensible number two at AVFM calling him out publicly for his hypocrisy and poor judgement? Well, I can’t imagine he was terribly happy about that.

Will Elam respond to this video with an “explanation” of his own? I can only hope so.

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Bina
7 years ago

(Or better still, éclairs. Or napoleons. Or madeleines? So many choices!)

grumpyoldnurse
7 years ago

So, did I miss a particulary rancid troll? Maybe I don’t hate my job so much, after all…

grumpyoldnurse
7 years ago

@ Bina – a bakery near my home does a lovely raspberry dark chocolate croissant. I’d get banned from all the internets for a dozen of them…

::mmmm, croissant::

Oops, sorry for all the drool.

kittehserf - MOD
kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

Just a boring little skeeve who’s been here before. You didn’t miss much.

(Or better still, éclairs. Or napoleons. Or madeleines? So many choices!)

I have a Madeleine … don’t want a Napoleon, could I have a Louis instead? 😉

Bina
7 years ago

A Louis? >chuckle<

grumpyoldnurse
7 years ago

snerk ;P

kittehserf - MOD
kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

🙂

Well, he is yummy, non-fattening, and I can eat him right up!

Catalpa
Catalpa
7 years ago

Okay, let me see if I’ve got this equation right….

Stay-at-home-wives= Misandering harpies that enslave their husbands and do nothing but sit on their rear and eat fattening bonbons all day.

Women in the workforce= Useless misandering twits who only made it into the industry via their pussy pass and are taking jobs away from the men

My only conclusion is that MRAs want women who blink into existence, fulfill all their sexual needs, absorb any abuse they feel like venting, and then clean the house, cook dinner, and do the dudebro’s laundry before dematerializing until the services are required again.

indifferentsky
7 years ago

Knowing JTO, I suspect there’s more to this than what he says. I’ve never heard him recount anything accurately. Part of me was relating to him on a human level, due to my default position of “nice”.. but then the part of my brain that holds memories started speaking up to save me.

kittehserf - MOD
kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

My only conclusion is that MRAs want women who blink into existence, fulfill all their sexual needs, absorb any abuse they feel like venting, and then clean the house, cook dinner, and do the dudebro’s laundry before dematerializing until the services are required again.

Pretty much, Catalpa. Why, even sexbots or Stepford Wives need maintenance and storage space – how dare they enslave men so!

kittehserf - MOD
kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

Knowing JTO, I suspect there’s more to this than what he says. I’ve never heard him recount anything accurately.

“Paul Elam came after me with boxcutters!”

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

Anyone else seen Grayson Perry’s article about “default man”:

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/10/grayson-perry-rise-and-fall-default-man?qt-most_read_and_most_commented=0

Hits the nail squarely on the head – the MRA is pretty much the Default Man’s Movement (read the article & you’ll see what I mean).

As usual, I recommend you don’t read the comments.

ToolBox
ToolBox
7 years ago

Their views are very ahistorical.

They get a lot of their, uh, “arguments” by switching things up a bit. Women being kept at home and not allowed to make choices or have a political voice becomes about ‘protecting’ women (from what they won’t say – the answers can only be men) and ‘loving them so much’. The ideas of women as metaphysically inferior beings, incapable of their own personal agency and repeatedly held at an intellectually inferior level, as well as being ‘fragile creatures’ ruled by their emotions becomes sexism against men as considering men to be creatures of greater intellect and responsibility, putting women in the same societal box as children is so…uh….I don’t know. I really don’t ‘get’ it.

They’ll also become angry at women discovering greater independence and beginning to live lives for themselves. They consider not ‘needing’ a man to lead her and take care of her vile misandry, bemoaning the ‘loss of the family’. Which, ironically, they just compared to enslavement above; apparently having no money or legal protection to live by yourself was ‘empowerment’. Women seeking their own lives through employment or education is seen as invalidation towards men. It’s treated as if by fulfilling their role as individuals they’ve become egotistical, considering themselves ‘above’ men. Which is why men won’t date them, so if they hit 35 and feel lonely, they should quit their job so men will ‘like’ them more. Which suddenly turns her into the gold-digger/status seeker that they hate.

It makes me feel odd inside because they should, on some level at least, be agreeing with feminism. Traditional gender roles affect everybody. It is highly offensive to consider women adult-children who are incapable of controlling themselves or taking care of their own affairs. Likewise it is unfair to expect a man to be responsible for a woman’s actions. But that’s that whole patriarchal-family element: the man is the established head of house, all family matters are decided by him, he is the King of his own home. He must “control” his wife – as a matter of fact, wasn’t there a quote from Pizzey where she said men must “train” women into being good wives?

I have absolutely no idea about where they stand on any of the issues they ostensibly care about.

genedaniell3
genedaniell3
7 years ago

“I have absolutely no idea about where they stand on any of the issues they ostensibly care about.”

I have never been convinced that this is about issues. It is about angry people (I would say men, but there’s JudgyTwit and the other FeMRAs) who need to blame their anger on SOMEONE and SOMETHING. I think it reduces to “I’m not getting what I want when I want it, and somebody is responsible.” People like that tend not to play well with others, and there’s seldom room for two big cocks (pun intended) in the roost, so eventually one or the other gets kicked out. People of the libertarian tendency generally do not believe in communal solutions to problems, nor do they tend to cooperate well, so their organizations tend to devolve into factions and schisms with occasional purges.

The Tea Party: well, they were always there, people who don’t believe in communal solutions, feel that they don’t get anything for the taxes they pay, and are generally angry at the gummint. After the licking the Republicans took in 2008, they realized that they were facing a terrible demographic prospect, so some bright folks backed by big money realized that while these angry folks could not organize themselves — they don’t play well with others — if you could create an organization for them, you were in business. AVfM likewise probably exists only because Paul Elam is willing to make a career out of coordinating it — his followers are not the sort that could organize themselves — and he certainly isn’t going to tolerate dissent that might lead to factions.

vaiyt
7 years ago

I have absolutely no idea about where they stand on any of the issues they ostensibly care about.

Their stand can be summed up thus: how can we spin this into women being horrible?

pecunium
7 years ago

I’d say it’s more, “I’m not getting my way. I deserve to, so someone must be sabotaging me… WOMEN!”

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

@ titianblue:
The funny thing about having skin and/or gender privilege is that you have to figure out that you have it, because if you have it it’s just the way things are.

But if you don’t have it it’s real obvious.

people who don’t believe in communal solutions, feel that they don’t get anything for the taxes they pay

Those ingrates!
We have the biggest military in the world! We can kill the shit out of anybody! That’s what they get for their taxes!

…Just think, if we didn’t have that, we’d have to bring all those young people home and try to find them some employment. O.o

GrumpyOldMan
7 years ago

Don’t forget how much it costs to keep all those young black men in jail for doing things that would get a white kid a lecture (maybe).

And keep the government’s hands off my Medicare!
…. and, in ten years or so …
Keep the government’s hands off my Obamacare!

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
7 years ago

That Nickelodeon interview was painful to read. Props to the interviewer for at least trying to talk sense into him. I had that guy’s book (the Nickelodeon one, not the creepy one) on my wish list, but if he doesn’t think non-white, non-male creators/actors/viewers matter – when he thinks of them at all – then how trustworthy is his version of the network’s history? You know?

Bina
7 years ago

It is highly offensive to consider women adult-children who are incapable of controlling themselves or taking care of their own affairs. Likewise it is unfair to expect a man to be responsible for a woman’s actions. But that’s that whole patriarchal-family element: the man is the established head of house, all family matters are decided by him, he is the King of his own home. He must “control” his wife – as a matter of fact, wasn’t there a quote from Pizzey where she said men must “train” women into being good wives?

I don’t know about Pizzey (she’s said a lot of insensible things, I’ve lost track of them all), but one thing is for sure: This “adult children” view of women is violently at odds with the OTHER side of the sexist coin, the one that holds women (and even very young girls) responsible for the conduct — or misconduct — of uncontrollably oversexed men and boys.

But then again, that’s sexism for you: It wants to have things both ways, and neither way makes any damn sense.

Anenome
Anenome
7 years ago

Has there been a AVFM response to JtO?

Anenome
Anenome
7 years ago

Elam has responded, and JtO to that, then Elam to that!

David, pleeeaaassseeee offer your thoughts 🙂

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Wait, I thought that Elam and Otter had had a falling out?

Misha
Misha
7 years ago

Anemone, any links?

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