Today I’d like to share with you two quotations. One is from Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader whose legacy we honor today. The other is from someone who considers himself the leader of a human rights movement that follows in the footsteps of King.
The first quote:
Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
But alas, the feminists, for the most part, stayed home. And the ones who showed up were mostly dudes, from the LBGT activist group BashBack. Making things even worse, they didn’t block any doors or try to crash AVFM’s rally. What they did, mostly, was chant things the MRAs didn’t like.
So a helpful Twitterer told me that I was a frequent topic of conversation on A Voice for Men’s Honey Badger “radio” show last night — that’s the one hosted by Karen Straughan (Girl Writes What) and Alison Tieman (Typhon Blue) and a newer addition to AVFM’s FeMRA stable named Della Burton. Bored, I went over to take a listen to the archived show. Well, bits and pieces of it, anyway. Life is short, and every minute of this show felt about an hour long.
Anyway, I missed most of whatever it was they said about me, but I did manage to force myself to sit through a good chunk of the segment featuring none other than Nick Reading, the guy who’s running a joke campaign for city council of Edmonton Alberta as the “Patriarchy Party” candidate. You know, the dude we talked about just yesterday.
The gals did their best to play along with his over-the-top patriarchal schtick, proclaiming themselves submissive inferior females unworthy of his manly phallus, and so on. It was as gratingly unfunny as you might imagine, and it went on and on. Even the Honey Badgers, perhaps wondering if this whole segment wasn’t a rather apt metaphor for their own role within A Voice for Men and the Men’s Rights movement at large, couldn’t quite bring themselves to laugh at any of Nick’s, er, humor.
At least not until, about 49 minutes into the show, he brought out the rape jokes.
Take a listen:
Paul “The Thought of Fucking Your Shit Up Gives Me an Erection” Elam, meet Nick “If They Didn’t Scream No, How Else Would I Get an Erection” Reading.
In case you weren’t able to make all that out, due to the clear-as-mud sound engineering job of AVFM’s James Huff — you may remember him as the guy responsible for this amazing rant — I have transcribed the exchange below as best I could, cutting out a few repeated phrases and ignoring some remarks that got buried under other remarks.
Nick Reading: No never means no. It only means yes. That’s an understanding that we have within the patriarchy.
Karen Straughan: It is.
Alison Tieman: That’s true. Actually “no” should be stricken from the English language because it simply makes no sense. How could any woman ever say no to the holy phallus unless she was criminally insane?
Nick: Criminally insane, yes.
Della Burton [?]: Criminally, yes.
Karen: But, but we shouldn’t strike “no” from all the dictionaries and the lexicons of language simply because there are numerous times in the course of a day when a man loves to say “no” to a woman.
Nick: I would almost insist on striking it from the non-male vernacular but if they didn’t scream it, how else would I get an erection?
Della [?]: Oh my goodness.
Karen: Right, you’re right.
Della: I hadn’t even thought of that.
Karen: So no is still in.
A Voice for Men: Promoting Human Rights, One Rape Joke at a Time
EDITED TO ADD: Below, a video on YouTube about this episode of Honey Badger radio, which not only looks at the show itself but at what was going on in the official chatroom for the show at the time, which turns out to be even creepier than the stuff said by Nick Reading on the show itself.
Along with the standard MRA misogyny from some of AVFM’s regulars, there were bizarre sexualized comments directed at the so-called Honey Badgers themselves: one commenter went on at length about how he wanted to use Karen Straughan’s breast milk in his coffee (and spike her coffee with his semen). Palani provides screenshots and everything. Some of her commentary is a bit problematic — she refers to them as “retards” at one point — but if you’ve got 15 minutes it’s worth a watch.
I sometimes say that the only “activism” that the Men’s Rights Movement is any good at is harassing individual women. But perhaps I’m being a bit too stingy here: following on the heels of the Father’s Rights activists who dress up like superheroes and climb up buildings and bridges to show that, well, I’m not sure what they’re trying to show, Men’s Rightsers seem to be developing a knack for poorly conceived media stunts that make them look like idiots.
The latest incredibly poorly conceived Men’s Rights media stunt come from Men’s Rights Edmonton, the A Voice for Men sister brother group famous for, among other things, chasing women down the street in the middle of the night and claiming that the women they chased were the bullies.
Anyway, the loudest and most obnoxious dude in the group, Nick Reading (a.k.a. “Eric Duckman”) has decided to run for Edmonton City Council on — get this! — the Patriarchy Party ticket! Oh no he didn’t!
Oh, yes he did. I suppose that the Patriarchy Party’s supposed platform — including a pledge “to end antiquated laws regarding women’s sexual consent” and provisions to instruct teachers “to snatch things like toy trucks out of the hands of little girls and replace them with dolls or tea sets” — probably inspired a chuckle or two amongst the folks at A Voice for Men, but the trollery here is really too inane to offend.
Whetever, dudes. You can find their badly designed pamphlet, with traced-photo “artwork” presumably by the noted FeMRA artist TyphonBlue, here.
So the self-described “human rights activists” at A Voice for Men have found three more women to harass. Here’s the story, which for many of you will have a depressingly familiar ring:
Members of Men’s Rights Edmonton, a small group that is for all intents and purposes a local chapter of A Voice for Men, has been putting up pictures targeting Lise Gotell, the chair of women’s and gender studies at the University of Alberta. The pictures, which seem inspired by “Wanted” posters of yore, feature a large portrait of Gotell and the caption: