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The 5 Creepiest Details from GQ's Long-Awaited Account of A Voice for Men's Conference Last Summer

A Voice for Men's Paul Elam: Still not ready for his closeup
A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam: Still not ready for his closeup

A few days before alleged “men’s human rights” website A Voice for Men held its first convention last summer, the site’s founder and head boy Paul Elam put up a post imploring the alleged human rights activists planning to attend the event not to go around calling women bitches and whores and cunts, because the news media would be there, and this might make his little human rights movement look bad.

I’m paraphrasing here; Elam was a teensy bit more euphemistic, telling his followers that anyone caught “trash-talking women, men, making violent statements … anything that can be used against us” would get a very stern talking-to and, if they persisted, would be asked to leave.

Elam’s warning didn’t stick. Indeed, the woman in charge of publicity for the event – you may know her as JudgyBitch or Janet Bloomfield, neither of which is her real name – went on a bit of a Twitter rampage, happily denouncing critics of the group as, yep, “whores.”

As GQ magazine’s long-awaited, finally published account of the conference makes abundantly clear, JB wasn’t the only one who broke Elam’s rule. Elam himself broke it, as did, apparently, almost everyone who came within shouting distance of GQ correspondent Jeff Sharlet, and the infractions went well beyond slurs and “bitch make me a sammich” jokes.

So I present to you The 5 Creepiest Details from  GQ’s Account of AVFM’s Conference Last Summer

1) The Men’s Rights Activist who boasted that he would have disowned his daughter if she had pressed charges against the man she said raped her.

Af a convention afterparty, the man in question told this little story to Sharlet, Elam, and a few others:

When one of his daughters came home one night and said she’d been raped, he said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Sitting with us, he hikes his voice up to a falsetto in imitation: ” ‘Oh, I just got raped.’ ” He laughs. There’s a moment of silence. A bridge too far? “I told her if she pressed charges, I’d disown her.”

Elam, whose attention has drifted, grins through his beard. “That’s good fathering,” he says.

2) The presentation on male suicide in which the presenter referred to a woman’s alleged propensity for “cocoa penis puffs,” by which he evidently meant black penises.

Speaking about male suicide and the troubles faced by returning veterans, conference speaker Terrence Popp asked the men in the room to

“imagine coming back from war to find out your wife, I’m trying to think of a good way to say this, but, uh, you know, went cuckoo for cocoa penis puffs.” I think Popp, who is white, means the wife in question had sex with a black man. “Crazy for some Rice Krispies treats,” he continues, “and a couple Polish sausages thrown in there.”

3) The Men’s Rights Activist/sex offender who thinks the age of consent should be 12, because “I would rather err on the side of 12-year-olds having sex than on the side of ruining men’s lives.”

4) Sage Gerard’s “unconsensual hug.”

GQ’s Sharlet brought his friend Blair along with him to the convention, where the 26-year old evidently attracted a good deal of attention from the men there, receiving, Sharlet says, “several marriage proposals” (presumably unserious) and some hands-on attention from AVFM’s “Collegiate Activism Director” Sage Gerard, including what Blair later described as “the most unconsensual hug I have ever known.”

If Blair’s account of her encounter with Gerard is any indication, the AVFM collegiate organizer has been reading up on pickup artistry; in addition to a good deal of touching – what PUAs call “kino” – he tried to “isolate” her by drawing her away from the crowd to … write a poem. (His idea.)

Here’s how Sharlet, relying on Blair’s notes, described what happened after their awkward hug:

Sage loosens his grip. “I apologize for dragging you away,” he says. “I wasn’t going to feel okay until I talked to you.” He warns her not to send mixed messages. For instance, she shouldn’t put her hand on a man’s knee if she doesn’t want to have sex with him. Sage puts his hand on Blair’s knee. This is not a mixed message, he wants her to understand. She’s here, in the VFW. She’s taken the red pill. She needs another hug. He needs to give it to her.

Blair, I should note, is not the only one to report creepy, predatory behavior on the part of conference attendees.

5) Rape jokes, rape jokes, and more rape jokes.

I’ll just mention this one. When Sharlet arrived at the conference afterparty with Blair, who had successfully managed to escape Gerard’s unconsensual embraces, Elam asked her a question:

“I’m curious,” Elam says. “What did your friends think when you told them you were coming here?”

“To be honest?” Blair asks. Elam nods. She says, “I had friends who said I’d get raped.”

Blink. You can almost see the struggle in Elam’s bones: Play the nice guy? Or the perv? No question. “All right!” he booms, swinging his arms together. “Let’s get started!”

Jazz winces.

“Get the video camera!” Factory yells at his girlfriend, who giggles weakly.

I should be very clear here: At no point does it seem like Elam or Factory is actually going to rape Blair. We know they’re joking. Just a couple of middle-aged guys joking around about rape with a young woman they’ve never met before in a hotel room at one in the morning.

You can read the rest of Sharlet’s account of this groudbreaking human rights conference here. And you should.

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Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
7 years ago

They need to step back and empathise with the children instead of just the people attracted to them.

I’ve said something to that effect to my relative in question. Their reply was “I’ve seen the way those girls carry on, she probably wasn’t innocent,” or “oh, I hadn’t thought about the boy…[abrupt change of subject].” In other words, of course they empathize with victims! Just not imperfect victims. Or inconvenient victims. Why hello, rape culture, so sucky to see you yet again.

Today I’ve had a good hard think about this relative, and I don’t think anything I say will get through to them. They’re also someone I’ve known my entire life, so I can’t just cut them loose without lots of hurt and fallout for other people (the relative is basically decent, but they have such toxic ideas about some things that a lot of the time I love them, but I don’t really like them). I’ll just have to keep objecting as loudly and forcefully as I can. Even if they don’t take it to heart, someone else might.

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

@Spindrift,

In Japan, the age of consent is thirteen years old. However, the only people who can have sex with thirteen year olds are people who are also in the 13-17 year age range. On the flip side, “sex” is define as intercourse, so other forms of sexual contact between those in the 13-17 age range and those in the adult age range as not as strictly policed.

@Robert,

It doesn’t even matter if the twelve-year-old is genuinely being seductive. (An accusation that rarely, if ever reflects, reality anyway.) I was discussing this with a friend of mine, and he said that, even if the teenagers were sexually attracted to the adults, that still wouldn’t justify the adults having sex with them. His argument was that, while it’s not weird for teenagers to be sexually attracted to adults because the adults are fully sexually mature, it is incredibly fucked up for an adult to want to sleep with someone who is not fully sexually, emotionally, or mentally mature (i.e. a teenager). At that point, you, as the adult, probably aren’t even having sex with them because you’re just that much more sexually attracted to teenagers. You’re having sex with them because you can take advantage of their youth and get away with things in that relationship that you would not be able to get away in a relationship with another adult. As he pointed out, it’s inherently and purposefully exploitative on the part of the adult.

Spindrift
Spindrift
7 years ago

The power dynamics are all kinds of aweful.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Yeah, that whole ‘statutory rape laws take away the sexual agency of girls’ doesn’t fly with me.

The person who was originally born into this body was getting molested by the age of eight. By the time we were sixteen, the grandfather who attacked her had died, but we had then passed into the care of a twenty-year-old boyfriend who also was okay with raping us. The REASON he was able to get his hands on us was that our defenses were already broken. We’d already taken so much rape and horror that it no longer occurred to us that a rapeless life was possible. It was just what people did when they loved you.

I would have LOVED to have our agency taken away, in that circumstance. As it was, when she asked permission from our parents to date him, explaining his age, they agreed, because they figured she was old enough to make her own decisions. And now she’s gone.

RE: suffrajitsu

I’ve seen some studies suggesting that there are people (mostly men) who are sexually attracted to children but aren’t child molesters.

It’s honestly why I have an issue with the terminology of pedophilia. It can easily get into these red herrings about attraction and orientation. My issue is ALWAYS actions. Feelings and thoughts? Under limited control. Actions? Much easier to restrain. It’s why I prefer to use the term ‘child-raper.’ Keeps the focus on the actions.

So I have no problem believing there are folks with really unfortunate attractions who never act on them, and I have all the respect for them. As long as they don’t rape children, I won’t treat them as child-rapers. Easy.

RE: M.

Never before have I been so proud to be a legal citizen of all three of those countries.

Wow, you’re quite the globe-trotter!

venny
venny
7 years ago

“I can’t stop thinking about that poor young woman whose own FATHER laughed when she told him she’d been raped. My heart aches for her. I hope she had some better support somewhere. I hope she’s okay.”

the man has responded to the article, he claims jeff sharlet lied about him.

it is included in the latest part of bane666au’s propaganda of toxic feminism video series

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8muQewvuCjw&w=560&h=315%5D

Mark
Mark
5 years ago

Terrence Popp is 50 years old, can’t hold a job and lives in his mom’s basement. He has a lot to be angry about but only has himself to blame. Call it comedy, entertainment, MGTOW, it’s all a failed attempt deflect blame try to cope with the fact that he has failed as a husband, father, and man.Yes there’s inequality, racism, prejudice, sexism, etc. Life is not fair. We get it Popp was wronged by the women he picked to spend the rest of his life with and something went terribly wrong. He still struggles and has not figured it out. It’s sad but he probably never will.

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