"proxy violence" #gamergate a new woman to hate a voice for men antifeminism antifeminist women creepy emotional abuse empathy deficit entitled babies harassment hate imaginary oppression men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA not-quite-explicit threats not-quite-plausible deniability paul elam playing the victim taking pleasure in women's pain threats

7 Tactics of Highly Effective Harassers: How A Voice for Men's Internet Hate Machine works

A Voice for Men mocks the fears of one of its targets of harassment
A Voice for Men mocks the fears of one of its targets of harassment

The self-described “Men’s Human Rights” site A Voice for Men is a hate site trying — admittedly not very hard, or convincingly — to pose as a human rights organization. In reality, as I and various other writers have documented in considerable detail, it’s an organizer and amplifier of hatred, directed at feminists and women more generally.

Much of this hatred is directed at specific targets, mostly though not always feminist women who have offended A Voice for Men’s founder Paul Elam. The aim is generally to terrorize feminists into silence.

I’ve written at length about AVFM’s campaigns of vilification and intimidation in the past; for a recent example as well as numerous links to discussions of past examples, see here.

Today I will  look at some of the specific tactics that AVFM uses against its targets – providing, in each case, a recent example.

This, in other words, is how AVFM’s Hate Machine functions. [TRIGGER WARNING for abusive language, discussion of abusive tactics]

TACTIC: Professional Ruin


Stacy, if I find out that there was a link between your report and [another AVFM foe’s] own vendetta that endangered Sage, I swear that you will never work in peace again. I will follow your activities and call out every lie that threatens the livelihood of decent men, until people stop citing your publications and you tearfully watch your degree gather dust in the closet. I have the resources and the connections to make that happen, and I will use them if you so much as tell one more goddamn lie about a man you don’t know. Covering your ass will only make me work harder to expose your sins. …

We’re still looking into your history, Stacy. …
Just know that I always will learn more. If you think there is something, and I mean anything else in your conduct on Kennesaw State University that will embarrass you, then you better send Sage Gerard an email and try to make things right, because I will publish all of your mistakes. …

Admit you were wrong like an adult, or pack up your desk.

Source: Post by Paul Elam of A Voice for Men.

Explanation: Elam threatens to ruin the career of a woman who reported to campus police that she felt intimidated by KSU Men founder and AVFM ally Sage Gerard. He provides no evidence of any connection between her and the other AVFM target mentioned.

In the last two paragraphs I quoted, this threat becomes a form of blackmail, with Elam threatening to dig up more “dirt” if the woman in question doesn’t apologize to the man who originally caused her to become so concerned about her personal safety that she called campus police. See below for more on blackmail.

TACTIC: Offering cash bounties for personal information


Stacy Keltner is a fraud on the run. There is a $100 reward to whoever finds a picture of her that we can verify. KSU students, if you happen to see Keltner out in public, grab a quick shot on your phone and send it over. You would be helping end corruption on your campus, and offsetting the cost of your tuition and supplies.

Source: The same post by Elam.

Explanation: Elam has offered cash bounties on a number of occasions in order to encourage those who have personal information on his targets, or those who might be willing to search for it, to send it to him. In the past, the bounties have ranged as high as $1000.

In this case, he is searching for a photograph of a woman who has evidently gone to great lengths to avoid having her picture posted on the internet.

TACTIC: Inciting an online mob


If you need more convincing, I invite readers to contact you via your public contact info. We will notice if you delete that, too.

Hundreds of people here have donated to Zen Men, the organization your people have been messing with, and I figure they may want an opportunity to explain how they feel about your disrespecting their contributions to gender equity. Oh, and just a tip: The supporters will not threaten you. They will most certainly be angry with you, but you are not in any physical danger. You never fucking were. Just keep that in mind if some odd troll sends you a message you want to believe we endorse. Use your brain and try listening to thoughtful dissent for once in your miserable life.

Source: The same post by Elam.

Explanation: After vilifying his target at length – calling her “filth,” and “one of the most egregious, repulsive and vindictive professors on Kennesaw State University, if not Georgia or the United States” – Elam calls upon his readers to contact her en masse, knowing full well (as he admits) that some of these messages may well be threatening. He also mocks and attacks her attempts to protect herself by removing personal information from the Internet.

TACTIC: DARVO (“Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.”)


Stacy, you used fear to recruit thugs to attack a single student you personally do not like by proxy. …
You need to understand that there are people out there who will literally beat a man bloody if they believe that he is some kind of threat to women. Look at the murders carried out where victims are men falsely accused of rape. Perpetrators of this violence won’t investigate. They won’t even think. They will simply beat him until he is broken, and bleeding. You put Sage, an innocent and intelligent young man with a future, in a position where he has to keep looking over his shoulder every time he walks on campus.

Source: The same post by Elam.
Explanation: The woman in question did not “recruit thugs to attack a … student.” She called the campus police because she felt threatened by that student. AVFM is attempting to portray the frightened woman as the aggressor. The student in question was not charged with anything, nor was he attacked by the campus police officer who responded.
AVFM frequently uses what some psychologists call DARVO in an attempt to portray victims as aggressors. When women who claim they’ve been attacked or threatened call the police, AVFM often recasts their call for police protection as an attempt to inflict “violence by proxy” on innocent men. AVFM also uses DARVO to cast itself as a victim.
IRONY: Tara J. Palmatier, a therapist with close ties to AVFM, has argued on numerous occasions that women who claim they have been abused by men may be using DARVO tactics to smear them. In one post on AVFM, Palmatier suggests that so-called “high conflict individuals” are likely to resort to “smear campaign and mobbing tactics when they target someone … .” Ironically, this is a perfect description of AVFM’s own preferred style of “activism.”

TACTIC: Blackmail


If you choose to stand by your dishonest image, I will dig through all of your connections, your history and your publications, then email your colleagues and superiors all of the reasons they should consider working with other people. I’m sure the network of anti-feminist YouTubers and bloggers looking for content would also have a field day if I pointed them to ISD’s publications. …

Tom, if you and your buddies own up to your crap like grown-ups and make amends with Sage, then I will back off. …

Staying silent is not going to save you.

Source: Another blog post by A Voice for Men’s founder Paul Elam.
Explanation: Blackmail is defined by the Macmillan Dictionary as “to make someone give you money or do what you want by threatening to tell people embarrassing information about them.”

In this case, Elam is threatening to dig up dirt on KSU professor Tom Pynn and pass it along to his colleagues as well as to a group of videobloggers known for their harassment of feminists, unless Pynn recants a previous statement claiming that AVFM is a hate group. No, really: It’s a hate campaign targeting a man because he called AVFM a hate group.

Elam is angry that Pynn wrote an email to KSU Men’s former faculty advisor in which he stated that the Southern Poverty Law Center had declared AVFM a “hate group.” While this is not technically true – for one thing, websites do not meet the SPLC’s definition of a “group” – it is also true that the SPLC included AVFM in a report on misogynistic websites, describing in some detail AVFM’s doxxing and harassment of women, which at the time included setting up the phony offenders registry called Register-Her to smear feminists, and offering bounties for personal information on the site’s foes.

TACTIC: Revelation of deeply personal information


A simple text search reveals something very interesting. [Target of harassment] was at [identifying info redacted] the same time as [name redacted], a woman who was brutally murdered in a random attack by a deranged psychopath who received the death sentence for her murder. [Target of harassment] and [murdered woman] were friends. Further investigation reveals that [murdered woman] had fought with a friend before she was murdered, and the relationship was never repaired. The friend was left to grieve and to live with the knowledge that her last words to her friend were unkind. [Target of harassment] is quoted in the newspaper article, but she is not the friend who testified at the trial. The entire faculty is described as being traumatized and in shock at the murder.

Is [Target of harassment] the friend who was mean to [the murdered woman] before she died?

Source: A blog post by AVFM’s”social media director,” who posts online as “Judgy Bitch” and “Janet Bloomfield.”

Explanation: There is no possible justification for posting this. It has no relevance to AVFM’s “charges” against the woman. It’s clearly intended to use the facts of a murder case to hurt someone whose friend was brutally murdered.

Irony: “Bloomfield,” a staunch supporter of and practicioner of doxxing, posts under a pseudonym.

Note: Due to “Bloomfield’s” posting of personal information, I will not post a link to her post or the name of the targeted woman. I will provide the link to journalists and others with a legitimate need to see the original.

TACTIC: Social media harassment



Source: The Twitter account of Jack Barnes, a contributor to AVFM and co-host of that site’s Blue Collar Red Pill Radio show. Link to tweet.

Explanation: Barnes threatens endless “harassment” of feminists unless and until they are completely silenced. Barnes directed his tweet at cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian, the target of a massive, several-years-long campaign of harassment online.

In an earlier Tweet, also directed at Sarkeesian, Barnes joked about the death threats that at one point led her to flee her home.

barnes2This bit of nastiness was retweeted by four other AVFMers. This is typical: Twitter harassment from individual AVFMers – there is no need for the ironic quotes around “harassment” – is almost always amplified by a squad of other AVFMers eager to flood their target’s Twitter mentions with a flood of insults and abuse.

AVFM’s Twitter army was once led by the AVFM “social media director” who posts online as “Judgy Bitch” and “Janet Bloomfield.” But she has been banned from Twitter, evidently for her “targeted abuse” of feminist writer Jessica Valenti, which included the deliberate dissemination of falsehoods about Valenti.

As Barnes and other AVFMers have made clear, this sort of harassment and abuse is likely to “continue and accelerate.” AVFM’s hate machine will not stop, Barnes contends, “until no one will openly admit to being feminist.”

That’s not going to happen. So it’s up to us to document and denounce and do what we can through all legal channels to shut their hate machine down.

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7 years ago

I will never trust a MRA’s word on using violence against women “in self-defense”, as in, the woman actually hitting first, and they retaliating.

Why? SImply because, as I have learned from reading several enlightening posts on the mindset of these people here at WHTM, and, of course, the quintessential Bible of Men’s Rights Activists, Warren Farrel’s disaster of a book, The Myth of Male Power, MRAs are hell-bent on twisting around every slight inconvenience in their life as actual, literal violence that has its roots in some conspiracy-esque form of systematic oppression.

Scenario 1: Woman and man go on a date, the man insists on paying for dinner in the hopes of getting repaid with sexual favors and the woman, not being a mind-reader, accepts the man’s offer in the vain hope that the man is just being genuinely generous and not a patronizing misogynist. Date ends, no sexytimes occur.

MRA interpretation of event: The man was literally raped because something something resources in sexual marketplace stolen by gold diggers waah my boner is sad waaah

Scenario 2: A woman laughs at a man, calls him creepy, or rejects him outright. The reason for this might vary, but probably has something to do with the man acting like a misogynostic creep with no interest in respecting the woman’s boundaries, or something along those lines. Either way, the man is making the woman uncomfortable, or, in a more light-hearted scenario, perhaps amused and bewildered in some way.

MRA interpretation of event: A woman laughing at/ creep-shaming/ rejecting a man is exactly like being killed! I know this for a fact because I was killed several times this week! Misandry!

Scenario 3: A woman raises her voice when dealing with an obnoxious, sexist or otherwise disgusting man who has stepped over more lines than an over-enthusiastic country-western dancer.

MRA interpretation of event: Innocent man being hounded by feminazi! Literal Crystal Night! Indoctrination camps! Mass extermination of men on the horizon!

No, when a MRA says they’d hit a woman “in self-defense”, I’d wager it means that they’ll hit a woman for anything that makes them personally feel as “being literally punched”. Considering theit flippant attitude in comparing almost any setback in their personal life to rape, murder and genocide, I doubt it would take much.

7 years ago

Anachronist, I see what you mean. They probably consider being yelled at a case of being “verbally punched.”

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

I’m sure they don’t grok the difference between verbal abuse and being told to throw their underwear into the hamper, not next to it. Which means there’s no way they get that repeated verbal threats =/= “I’m only washing clothes that are in the bin”.

7 years ago

Yeah, Argenti, there’s also that. Though I don’t think that they grok that you can’t respond to legitimate verbal abuse with physical abuse either.

7 years ago

There’s also the almost hilariously awful irony in that if confronted by someone who happened to witness the MRA-minded person hitting a woman who got “uppity” by talking back at him, the abuser can try to twist the whole thing into some “preventing violence with violence” thing, that he could somehow see that the woman was about to get violent, and acted to prevent that. This coming from someone who probably thinks women are illogical creatures, that men can’t (and, by extension, shouldn’t be expected to) read body language, and that understanding consent is haaaaaard.

Abusers just can’t understand what a woman wants from non-verbal cues (subtle or not, makes no difference) when it suits their interest not to, but when put into a situation where they can use alleged subtleties in her body language to justify hurting a woman, they all turn into Cal Lightman.

7 years ago

Abusers just can’t understand what a woman wants from non-verbal cues (subtle or not, makes no difference) when it suits their interest not to, but when put into a situation where they can use alleged subtleties in her body language to justify hurting a woman, they all turn into Cal Lightman.

^This! It’s just like their rape apologia. Rapists just can’t understand what a woman wants based on her non-verbal cues, even when they’re blatantly obvious, when they don’t want to acknowledge a “no,” but when a woman actually says, “No,” suddenly they’re so good at reading her body language that they *know* that she actually means, “Yes.” Isn’t it just incredible how all roads lead to justifying rape?

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