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Rape-joke-loving Honey Badgers booted from #CalgaryExpo; highly ironic Tweets ensue

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not actually what happened.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not why you got booted.

Earlier today, the illustrious Honey Badger Brigade was booted from the Calgary Expo, a major Canadian fan convention devoted to all varieties of geeky pop culture.

The Honey Badgers — a mostly female A Voice for Men spinoff group known for its unlistenable internet “radio” shows — was sent packing after conventioneers complained about their connections to #GamerGate — a nine-month-long orgy of harassment targeting outspoken women in gaming and their supporters — and their alleged disruption of a panel devoted to women in comics.

According to Calgary Expo officials, the group was kicked out for “actively disregarding” the Expo’s efforts to provide “a positive and safe event” for attendees. 

The Honey Badgers love to claim that they “don’t give a fuck,” but apparently their fans give quite a few, and AVFMers and #GamerGaters are rallying to their defense on Twitter. Which has led to some, well, pretty ironic Twitter exchanges, like this one below between this, er, intriguingly named #GamerGater and the official Calgary Expo account.

masculinerapefingers

PRO TIP: If you’re trying to convince the world that the Honey Badgers didn’t deserve to be kicked out of the convention for contributing to an unsafe space for women, you should probably not do so while referencing “MasculineRapeFingers” in your Twitter handle.

Or include rape jokes/threats in your actual Tweets:

https://twitter.com/nickwcoleman/status/589171826502213634

Of course, it’s no wonder the Honey Badgers have attracted fans like these, given how fond they are of rape jokes themselves. Their now-disassembled booth at the Expo featured a poster of #GamerGate mascot Vivian James — a character designed to reference a channer rape joke — hiding behind the Honey Badger mask.

And before Vivian James was even a thing, the Badgers sold t-shirts and other merchandise featuring a cartoon octopus they describe as “the world’s cutest rape joke.” No, really, here he is:

Screenshot
Screenshot from Honey Badger Brigade store

To see the full array of Mr. Tentacles merchandise available, visit their CafePress store. (Archived version here.)

I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that this in itself would be enough to get the Honey Badgers booted from the Calgary Expo. A group that literally sells rape joke t-shirts and coffee mugs to raise money for itself is a group that doesn’t belong at a convention that’s trying to be “positive and safe” for its attendees.

Add to this their connection to #GamerGate — a hate movement — and A Voice for Men — a hate group — and it’s pretty clear that Calgary Expo officials had more than enough justification for their decision to send the Honey Badgers on their way.

EDIT: The woman behind the MasculineRapeFingers account insists “[m]y twitter handle isn’t a joke. I’m a female who enjoys rape fantasies.” I’m not sure why that makes the Twitter handle any more appropriate, but I’ve reworded the post accordingly.

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DK
DK
7 years ago

@ because reasons: Sargon of Akkad somehow ended up on my YouTube recommendations in the last few months. I think it’s a combination of watching feministfrequency videos and Extra Credits videos, since I know for a fact that he’s railed against both of those channels. I viewed one before turning it off pretty quickly. I’ve gotten Thunderfoot stuff too, but saying “not interested” left those in the dust. The Sargon stuff keeps showing up every time he posts in my recommended videos, no matter that I click “not interested” every week. I’ve even downvoted one of his videos just to see if that would kick him out of my recommendations, but nope…

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

MRA rants are more boring to watch than golf. Venny, if you want to debate this with us you’re probably going to have to condense her excuse into a paragraph or two for us. Otherwise. I’ll pass.

Sarah
Sarah
7 years ago

Here’s an example of real censorship, which the Honey Badgers and goobergaters wouldn’t know if it walked up and introduced itself to them: State seizes 11-year-old, arrests his mother after he defends medical marijuana during a school presentation

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/04/17/state-seizes-11-year-old-arrests-his-mother-after-he-defends-medical-marijuana-during-a-school-presentation/?tid=trending_strip_6

venny
venny
7 years ago

she said they are all into that stuff, they werent pretending to like comics and shit. she said the organisers claimed that they didnt know they were honeybadgers because alison registered with her other website zenespora but that really, they knew all along and just decided afterwards to kick em out

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
7 years ago

@Sarah

Fuck, that’s awful. The poor kid, and that poor woman.

(Can’t we just legalize the shit already? I mean, that just seemed like a gross misuse of police resources and disrupted the family over medical cannabis oil. This war on drugs is just getting ridiculous.)

isidore13
isidore13
7 years ago

It amuses me that people keep asking them to defend asking these people to leave. Like, is this a publicly funded thing? If not, then they have no obligation to defend themselves for asking them to leave. That they disagree with their politics and don’t want to be associated with them is enough. XKCD says it best, I think. https://xkcd.com/1357/

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
7 years ago

The thin skins on some current professional comic book artists is pissing me off. I’m a professional artist, people dislike my work ALL THE TIME and tell me so. I learned a long time ago to take criticism in stride. I actively seek it out because as critical of my own work as I am if I don’t get outside critique there are things I will miss. I wonder if maybe these artists have been too insulated from criticism by working in an industry that has to produce content on deadlines that they’ve forgotten that it’s a big part of art. If you can’t take it then you have no business creating for a living because you can’t improve and adapt. Whether it’s about diversity, sexism, or nuts and bolts stuff like perspective and anatomy.

Again, it’s good to see someone having a sensible stance when it comes to criticism.

It’s certainly preferable to all the “True Fans” I meet who, when not using free speech as their everything-proof shield, like to put down ever-moving and arbitrary goal-posts as to what’s “allowed” to be criticized. Not like you can even win with them – they’re seemingly incapable of considering degrees or any inbetween, it’s an all-or-nothing thing with them. Which makes it convenient because if they don’t accuse you of being “anti-sex”, they’ll call you a hypocrite for having no issue with sexual content but dislike sexual objectification.

A former friend told me that, because I happen I to sometimes like looking at photoshoots Alison Brie has taken part in, I have no right to argue about sexual objectification in fiction. Nevermind Brie is a flesh-and-blood woman doing such of her own volition – and fictional characters, being made-up, are at the behest of creators who can do a myriad of horrible things to them for the sake of dramatic tension.

Oh, there’s nothing better than when they trot their theories about how creative industries should work in front of an actual creator and get the eyeroll. GGers and Puppies were in the comments on George R.R. Martin’s blog, telling him he should be on their side because A Song of Ice and Fire has been criticized by feminists and wasn’t that the worst thing that ever happened to him and basically the Holocaust? Martin responded that he was a big boy and could handle someone not liking a book he wrote. They were baffled by this.

That’s why, for all the issues I have with A Song of Ice and Fire/Games of Thrones, I respect George Martin – and it’s even better he doesn’t cater to these reactionary cretins like so many others do.

I don’t know how they function in the world.

Because, unfortunately, we live in a society that frequently enables this kind of behavior. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them were the kind of children that had parents who never said “no” to them or admonish them for inappropriate behavior.

Finally: what the fuck is it with Karen Straughan – or any other MRA talking head – and these verbose videos going on for a half-an-hour to an hour or more? It doesn’t help their videos are often repeating the same point, over and over again, that could’ve easily been summarized within five fucking minutes.

Anne
Anne
7 years ago

Glad they got booted 🙂

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

venny | April 17, 2015 at 10:27 pm
they didn’t get a booth under false pretences, Karen Straughan explains in the beginning of that video

venny | April 17, 2015 at 11:07 pm
she said they are all into that stuff, they werent pretending to like comics and shit. she said the organisers claimed that they didnt know they were honeybadgers because alison registered with her other website zenespora but that really, they knew all along and just decided afterwards to kick em out

Unless GWW has any sort of physical evidence that the convention did in fact know they were Honey Badgers, I’m siding with the convention on this one. GWW and her ilk are very well known to twist the truth, if not outright lie. What she says is hearsay, and it’s not evidence in the slightest.

On top of that, if they did register under zenespora, then it is a falsehood that they were there to support that webcomic, because they went to support the Honey Badgers. If you’re going to register under a webcomic, you have to go and talk about the webcomic, not use it as a front to get into a convention then turn around and do whatever you want.

If they wanted to promote the Honey Badgers, why register under zenespora? Unless they knew that CalgaryExpo wouldn’t want them there in the first place for obvious reasons, so they’d have to lie about why they went there.

Even if the convention did in fact know that they were part of the Honey Badgers, and (I’m assuming) they are privately funded by people who purchase tickets and the like, CalgaryExpo was well within their rights to ask them to leave, as per their code of conduct.

From their website:

6.3.1 Verbal Abuse, Reviling, and Bullying
The Comic & Entertainment Expo Committee defines verbal abuse as the use of words and/or statements used to attack, defame, or injure an individual, or to speak falsely of an individual. Verbal abuse constitutes psychological violence under this policy. Verbal abuse, reviling, or bullying can consist of, but is in no way limited to;

a) Unwarranted accusations;
b) Name Calling;

c) Withholding;
d) Criticizing and/or judging;
e) Discounting;
f) Trivializing;
g) Unwarranted ordering;
h) Verbal abuse disguised as a joke;
i) Undermining;
j) Threatening;
k) Any other unwarranted verbal attack on any person(s) that may cause them inherent psychological harm, or cause them to worry for their physical safety.
– See more at: http://www.calgaryexpo.com/faqs/#sthash.So4SC0Q2.dpuf

They were politely asked to leave because they broke the rules. I bolded the important bits.

Unwarranted accusations and name calling: The Honey Badgers were derailing other people’s panels about how women are presented in comics to call them “victims” and to derail the entirety of the conversation, claiming that the presenters “didn’t care about men”.

Criticizing and/or judging: See above.

Any other unwarranted verbal attack: The Honey Badgers know that they have a following and a fanbase. If they release a video saying that [Insert name here] had done them wrong, then [insert name here] would very likely be attacked, and I don’t think the Honey Badgers give a flying fuck about other people’s safety if they don’t like them. All it would take is one word from Straughn or one of the other Honey Badgers and anyone on that panel could be harassed indefinitely.

Also: Kicking them out doesn’t make the Expo “sexist” in any way, shape, or form. The Honey Badgers broke the rules, and were removed. If they were men, they’d still be removed. That’s equality. They shouldn’t be looking to be exceptions to the rules just because they’re women and they seem to think that because CalgaryExpo sides with the SJWs that they’d get a free pass because they identify as female. If it were a feminist doing the same thing, I’d have their sorry ass kicked out too.

TL;DR: CalgaryExpo was in the right, even if they knew that they were Honey Badgers. They obviously lied on their registration and were harassing others, so they broke the rules.

Ken L.
7 years ago

@NickNameNick Your fighting a losing battle, Karen is the most smug and self important person ever. And I am not ever being jokey.

I have a serious question for everyone. What to you is the end game of criticism? if it not to force the creator to change things then what is it for? This is the problem I have with all the criticism of creative works. To my thinking all the critics of racism or sexism ect. in whatever creative medium want the same thing a G.G.er wants. They want their way. Granted the critics a billion times more civil about it. I not saying I right about this just what I think right now, maybe some of you can help me see another way.

venny
venny
7 years ago

there is no evidence of them breaking the rules. Alison had a very pleasant and friendly panel exchange with the feminists.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymkIiGRvtBg&w=420&h=315%5D

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

Ken L. | April 18, 2015 at 12:09 am
I have a serious question for everyone. What to you is the end game of criticism? if it not to force the creator to change things then what is it for? This is the problem I have with all the criticism of creative works. To my thinking all the critics of racism or sexism ect. in whatever creative medium want the same thing a G.G.er wants. They want their way. Granted the critics a billion times more civil about it. I not saying I right about this just what I think right now, maybe some of you can help me see another way.

It’s not to force the creator to change the work. There’s lots of problematic things in the world, and it’s okay to like them despite their problematic elements. But, every person makes the choice for themselves as to how much is too much. I, for instance, don’t play GTA because I find the encouraged killing of prostitutes to be way too problematic for me. But that doesn’t mean I want the entire GTA series re-done from the ground up to suit me.

Criticism is there to make things better in the future. To show the creator that we love their work, but we think it can be better.

In terms of racism and sexism, the crits usually come from a group of people who have experienced it for themselves and go “look, this isn’t cool. I get this all the time in the real world, and to see it in your work is kinda shitty”. They don’t want to see their escape and their fantasy world be tainted by the same shit. They want to be accepted within the community.

On top of this, it should be understood that media helps influence our world views. See enough racism and sexism being painted in a good light, and people will start to accept it. See: Fifty Shades of Grey. Abuse oozing out of every word, and yet people think it’s amazing. Because the author paints it in a good light, and helps normalize it.

When we critique about these sorts of things, we’re not asking for them to change everything, mostly because we realize that there will always be problematic shit around, we’re asking for them to realize that this kind of stuff does hurt people, and it’s a plea for them to not do the same thing in the future and understand why their work is problematic. So we don’t have to keep doing this same song and dance forever.

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

venny | April 18, 2015 at 12:17 am
there is no evidence of them breaking the rules. Alison had a very pleasant and friendly panel exchange with the feminists.

Apparently it wasn’t a very “pleasant and friendly panel exchange”, as many of “the feminists” didn’t feel comfortable with them derailing the entire panel to talk about what they wanted to talk about. And yes, they did break those rules.

This account is from one of the panelists, Brittney Le Blanc (I bolded the bits where the rules were broken according to CalgaryExpo’s Code of Conduct):

We were about fifteen minutes into the panel when a woman in the second row stood up and identified herself as a Men’s Rights Activist. She and her male companion both came to raise issues they felt would not be covered by our panel. Raising points about the way men are portrayed in comics struck a note with all the panelists, as we agreed that we want to see a diversity across body types, characters, races, etc in mainstream comics. Not everyone wants to see a hero who looks like he’s built like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. They also accused us of presenting all women as victims, which was an outright lie and derailing tactic.

[…]

I truly believe in freedom of speech, but coming to a panel with the entire purpose of derailing it and shooting down the voices on the panel isn’t constructive. It appears that was their plan for the expo, to come and to loudly take over the spaces of other people – although it was not violent or threatening, it’s disrespectful, disappointing and offers a prime example of why these panels need to exist in the first place.

They told lies about the panel, made false accusations, and called them “victims” again and again. They were extremely disrespectful.

Fibinachi
7 years ago

… Erh, no. Criticism by its nature is not inherently negative. I know that’s the vibe the word has somehow gotten, yet in most cases “giving criticism” isn’t actually someone going “this sucks change it”. It’s just giving an opinion. That’s also why you ask for critiques of your work to improve or find out what people like about it, without neccesarily changing anything in it.

Because you want to have a discussion about the relative merits and flaws of a piece of work. That’s what critique is.

( And then when some work has flaws like: “This is a terribly racist screed against the nice people down in Flarkan 71, who aren’t actually cannibals or baby-killers” the critical response also veers into: “you are seriously fucking stupid for coming up with this”. That doesn’t mean some word-tyrant godking is trying to get you to curtail your freedom of expression and shut you down to change your ways, you bad wrongthinker, it just means some elements of your story are questionable and people wonder why you write it like that, do you actually think the flarkans eat babies and other people? That’s… that’s really stupid. Because they don’t. )

I’m not sure I can actually explain why stating an opinion and offering critique isn’t the same as brandishing a rod of ideological purity. I’m also not sure I can adaquately explain why criticism of sexism and racism isn’t the same as… whatever GG wants. Sorry, Ken. L, have you never watched a film or read a book or played a game? If you have, have you ever found yourself thinking: “That was pretty fun, but that scene there was really dumb because….”?

If so, congratulations, you were criticizing something. You’ll notice that doesn’t entail you storming the house of whatever creator and demanding they change things.

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

Also: Official statement from CalgaryExpo:

https://twitter.com/Calgaryexpo/status/589152381243260928

isidore13
isidore13
7 years ago

Um the goals of the critics and GGers are not the same. The critics want more inclusive gaming in the future. GGers want the critics to shut up because they think gaming is fine just as it is. GGers are not shouting for change, they are shouting for the status quo not to be questioned.

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

@isidore: Preach!

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
7 years ago

Your fighting a losing battle

Why is that the first thing you say? Was I somehow indicating I was framing anything as a “battle”? All I did was express how unbearably repetitive the videos are.

Karen is the most smug and self important person ever. And I am not ever being jokey.

Um, yeah, I’m aware. The question I asked was rhetorical.

What to you is the end game of criticism?

A beneficial dialogue between creators and their audience that leads to further improvement of a specific artistic medium, making it evolve past whatever its current limitations are. It is also a case of sharing different perspectives on the same material, especially if those works are very open to interpretation, to create a greater sense of connection and understanding among the audience themselves.

if it not to force the creator to change things then what is it for?

I’m sure it is for some – doesn’t mean it is representative of all critics.

This is the problem I have with all the criticism of creative works.

Then I’d argue that’s a particularly narrow view of criticism.

To my thinking all the critics of racism or sexism ect. in whatever creative medium want the same thing a G.G.er wants. They want their way.

That’s just false equivalence, given GGers regularly show themselves to care very little for the nature of Art and are perfectly fine with videogames being nothing more than a brainless novelty.

Granted the critics a billion times more civil about it.

Then that’s just being presumptuous, coupled with the previous sentence. Perhaps those critics are being civil about it because they’re actually being civil – just because GGers are regularly disingenuous and deceptive doesn’t mean others are.

Ken L.
7 years ago

@Paradoxical Intention

First thank you for the reasoned and thought out response, interesting given your name because that what is in my head now. For the most part I agree with you however My biggest issues is with this ” it should be understood that media helps influence our world views”. The media is shaped by our world view not the other way around at least for me. If Fifty shades paints abuse in a good light it’s because there are people who already think that, no piece of fiction made that happen.

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

Ken L. | April 18, 2015 at 12:34 am
For the most part I agree with you however My biggest issues is with this ” it should be understood that media helps influence our world views”. The media is shaped by our world view not the other way around at least for me. If Fifty shades paints abuse in a good light it’s because there are people who already think that, no piece of fiction made that happen.

Yes, but it’s not created in a vacuum is it? it’s a bit of a chicken or the egg question. Yes, the idea that abuse is love predates 50 Shades, but why is it still around? Could it be because that people who are uninformed about the topic are reading 50 Shades and taking it at face value?

It’s a bit of a give and take. The media is influenced by the world views of their respective creators, and then the media influences the people who consume it.

Ken L.
7 years ago

@isidore13 Dress it up however you want, too many critics for my taste just want things the way they think the should be, and if that isn’t gamer gate logic

@Nick I free admitted I was in no way right about the issue just how I thought at about.

venny
venny
7 years ago

“GGers are not shouting for change, they are shouting for the status quo not to be questioned.”

wrong. they shouted for change and got it. games websites now have updated ethics policies and writers now declare their conflicts of interests

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_KMA2j_PWM&w=560&h=315%5D

this video gives many examples of it

Fibinachi
7 years ago

Yes. The Torah doesn’t influence people’s view on anything, it was written because some people already believed stuff like that.

No words influence anyone else to think anything else than what they’ve already been thinking for ten thousand years, and no argument in any form shapes our mutual understanding of each other and how the world works.

Tangentially, it is also a logical paradox for you to even ask a question of anyone, because you already believe what you believe and so reading anything else cannot possibly change those beliefs, right?

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
7 years ago

The endgame of criticism is better, more interesting art, as well as a more comprehensive understanding of the art involved in the criticism.

Also, engaging in criticism is often (but not always) the act of someone who loves the work, or sometimes just the medium.

Generally, academic critics love the works they criticize, at least to some extent. You don’t go into Shakespeare criticism because you hate Shakespeare; you go into it to study it and gain a better understanding, to see how it works. To some, picking apart a story is blasphemy, but to a critic, taking it apart allows us to see the inner beauty, just like knowing how a watch or an automobile engine works makes the object infinitely more intriguing. Knowing how they did it makes it more amazing, not less so.

Paradoxical Intention
7 years ago

venny | April 18, 2015 at 12:41 am
“GGers are not shouting for change, they are shouting for the status quo not to be questioned.”

wrong. they shouted for change and got it. games websites now have updated ethics policies and writers now declare their conflicts of interests

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Yeah, because posting a video (that’s obviously biased) from a Gator is totes going to make us believe you.

Hate to break it to you, but all Gators have accomplished is shouting down a hell of a lot of people and I can only think of one single website (The Escapist) that is actually pro-GG.

And writers have been declaring conflicts of interest since long before GG, kiddo.

What makes that statement funnier is the fact that the guy that Gators were screeching over to bring this bullshit about didn’t even review the game they claimed Zoe Quinn slept with him to get a good review for.

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