Foolish pride

I mentioned a few days ago that A Voice for Men received death threats for wanting to hold a conference to talk about men’s issues. A few feminists have commented on the threats. My personal favorite is from popular feminist and Paul Elam hate- admirer David Futrelle.

Futrelle dislikes that Elam asked feminists to donate money to fund security for the planned conference in Detroit. As Futrelle explains:

And now it the costs of the event are going up further: according to a letter that Elam has posted to his site, the hotel that will be hosting the conference has gotten “numerous calls and threats” of a violent nature because of the conference, and is demanding that AVFM cover the costs of additional security at the event.

Let us write the above sentence correctly: According to a letter Elam posted to his site, the hotel hosting the conference received numerous calls and threats of a violent nature because of the conference, and is demanding that AVFM cover the costs of additional security at the event.

We can all due without the scare quotes. It is unlikely that the Double Tree would send a letter complaining about threats they did not receive.

In response, Elam set up a donation button for feminists only:

The death threats from feminists, in the attempt to silence these esteemed speakers, has resulted in the conference incurring tens of thousands of dollars in additional security costs.

We plan on launching a fundraiser tomorrow to address those needs, but I want to give the feminists who stand by free speech and assert decisively that these thugs do not represent what feminism is about, to have an early shot at helping us address the gender issues that impact men and boys in an open forum.

The paypal button below is offered for feminists only. It is a $25.00 one-time donation to help us with security costs that were inflicted on us by others calling themselves feminists.

You can show your support, and the true heart of the feminist community by assisting us with the security to have a safe conference with honest and open dialogue.

I find this a hilarious and genius response to a serious issue. Some feminists caused the problem, so Elam, taking a page from feminists, calls on feminists as a group to solve it. In this case, it is fair because the people causing the problem actually do share the same opinions as those being asked to help.

Futrelle, however, disagrees:

He’s even set up a special Paypal button “for feminists only.”

Excuse me?

Let’s be clear here: Death threats are bad. Other sorts of threats are bad. Harassment is bad. Shutting down talks given by people you don’t like is bad. Whoever made the threats against AVFM’s conference, feminist or not, deserves to be prosecuted.

Really? Is that why I could not find a single example of Futrelle opposing feminists’ efforts to shut down the conferences at the University of Toronto? Is that why I could find no condemnation from Futrelle of the feminists who abused the fire safety system to interrupt the talks? Or the feminists who berated the men and women attending the conferences? Or the feminists who berated the speakers? Or the feminists who threatened to harm the attendees? Or the feminists who assaulted the attendees that the police got involved?

Yes, of course Futrelle finds death and “other sorts of threats” bad. Yet you can feel the “but” coming on:

But as someone who has never promoted violence or threats of violence or any form of harassment aimed at MRAs, and who has in fact spoken out against this on numerous occasions, I’m not actually responsible, even indirectly, for the threats against AVFM’s conference. […] And neither is any other feminist who’s “not like that.”

Really? The same person who wrote in response to last month’s shooting spree:

If anyone was hoping – against their better judgement – that Men’s Rights activists would be inspired by the tragedy in Isla Vista to reconsider any of their beliefs, or even to reflect for a moment on the many striking similarities between passages in Elliot Rodger’s book-length manifesto and comments posted every day by MRAs and others in the manosphere, well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you should not keep that hope alive.

wants to absolve himself and other feminists of any responsibility for what other self-described feminists did?

This is the double standard at its best. Men’s rights activists had nothing to do with Rodger’s views. Rodger never visited their websites, never identified as one of them, and never mentioned them in his manifesto. In contrast, the feminists who threatened the conference and the hotel express views Futrelle and most feminists agree with. It is possible and likely those feminists read Futrelle’s site. There is a very real likelihood that Futrelle’s own comments about AVfM led to those threats.

In this instance feminists, Futrelle in particular, are very much responsible.

Futrelle goes on:

Indeed, the idea that we should bankroll AVFM’s conference is a bit like asking anti-racist activists to fund a KKK rally because someone or other sent threats to the Klan.

No, that would be akin to an anti-male feminist who wrote an post denying male victimization asking people to donate to his site so that he can continue to mock, marginalize, and excuse male victimization.

What Elam did would be akin an anti-abortion Christian group who received death threats from the pro-abortion activists asking so-called “pro-choicers” to support freedom of choice and speech by funding security for their event.

If feminists actually oppose death threats against anyone, they should have little problem donating. If feminists fail to donate, it makes them look like they tacitly support the threats. That is quite the move.

Futrelle goes on to list examples supporting his reasons for why he should not donate to providing security. While I do not agree with AVfM’s tactics, this tit-for-tat nonsense Futrelle engaged in does not help his argument. He hates Paul Elam with a special fervor. His views about the men’s rights movement, men, and male survivors follow a similar antipathy. And he has done every single act he accuses Elam of doing.

Yet, even if Futrelle were justified in his opinions, Elam still wins. Let us assume that AVfM is, as Futrelle idiotically claims, like the Ku Klux Klan. Here you have a chapter that you cannot proof has committed or inspired a single act of violence. They want to hold a conference at a hotel to talk about their views, and in response the Nation of Islam, a racist group supported by most black social activists, threatens to kill any KKK members and any hotel staff at the host location. That is a violation of the freedom of speech and every battery and assault law in the United States.

Creating a website encouraging people to hate and actively oppose a group that then receives death threats from those people does not help either.

You lose, Futrelle. You ought to support the effort to protect the speakers because your comments likely led to the threats. Granted, you have less a sense of responsibility, morality, and decency than Jerry Sandusky, but you still ought to donate. You will not, but you ought to.


9 thoughts on “Foolish pride

  1. Pingback: Foolish pride |

  2. Have you seen the latest? With the news reports that the hotel never reported the threats to the police Futrelle is claiming that AVFM has fabricated the threats. You know, just like all of the infamous threats against feminists.

  3. “With the news reports that the hotel never reported the threats to the police …”

    Why the **** not?

    If the hotel got threats without the political message “because of the AVfM conference” would they bill everyone at the hotel for the extra security? Or call police? Here’s where they are taking sides enabling feminist violence.

    Frankly, for the intentions of this blog, this is a crystal clear example why there are no or few services for male sexual abuse survivors, and why I quit doing advocacy work for them (IRL). If you too publicly help men, you will be attacked (as I was) and no one will come to your defense.

  4. But as someone who has never promoted violence or threats of violence or any form of harassment aimed at MRAs,

    Yes, like the time you portrayed Big Red as a martyr, and either didn’t know, or didn’t care, that she also laughed and sang at the top of her lungs about how little she cared about male suicide. At the same event. And, IIRC, didn’t mention the fact that someone at two seperate “MRA talks”, including Big Red’s, pulled fire alarms.

    I suppose the fact that they weren’t actually MRA talks, just talks supported by MRAs, means that doesn’t count as “harassing MRAs”, technically.

    Now, the time you endorsed a post by someone relating how your readership used to troll MRAs until they left Manboobz or were kicked off after being goaded into saying something bannable? That would be harassment. You endorsed harassment on your own site.

  5. Pingback: Anonymous

  6. Have you seen the latest?

    Yes, I saw that, and I will remain neutral until more information comes out. All we know for certain is that the hotel managers claim to know nothing of the threats and that the police were never contacted. Futrelle and other feminists want to tout that as “proof” Elam lied. However, they prove nothing. Both could be true without Elam faking the letter.

    It makes no sense for Elam to fake the letter. Why fake a letter to a well-known hotel chain and then release it to the public? Why do this when your group frequently receives media attention? If it is a hoax, surely Elam would know he would be caught.

  7. If Elam is lying then so are other places that have covered this.

    I have yet to see a single feminist even mention these threats or try to say urge those making threats to go about peaceful ways to protest the conference.

  8. Thanks for the “nolink” link. I like linking to original sources (unlike Futrelle and Canada’s version, Michael Laxer), but also hate giving traffic to idiots.

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