On Monday, I wrote an (admittedly too long) comment on the Daily Telegraph in reply to this comment by “Carrie” (whose Disqus profile, surprise, surprise, is private). “Carrie”‘s comment contained the standard masculist lies about the supposed bigotry of AVfM and our readership (ie, you, dear Reader!) and conflation between AVfM and other sites such as RoK. Unless these lies are confronted, lies become truth and truth becomes lies — so, I did my best.
By some remarkable coïncidence, “Carrie” managed to reply to my comment — twice (#1 and #2) — and then, mysteriously, my comment got flagged and then deleted. (No, please don’t flag them; that is masculist-level lameness. And plus, it’d break the links in this article.)
I’m not going to speculate who flagged it, but I confess some surprise considering my comment didn’t appear to violate any of the Telegraph‘s guidelines and was pretty civilised and equanimous, and didn’t use any potentially bad words that “Carrie” didn’t use.
Perhaps the Telegraph didn’t like the fact that I represented AVfM’s perspective. Perhaps they objected to the length of it. Perhaps they delete flagged comments without critical thought. I sincerely hope that this is not indicative of a turn for the worse in what is nominally a respectable conservative† newspaper’s moderation policy.
Nevertheless, the comment is gone from the public and we shall never know why because (unlike AVfM) the Telegraph has a policy never to enter into discussion over individual moderation decisions — so I reproduce it here for posterity’s sake.
† Which has no bearing whatsoever on anything other than that conservative news sources are presumed to be less tolerant of masculist foolery than liberal sources. In no way do I endorse or repudiate the Telegraph or conservative media in general.
In reply to this comment by “Carrie”; needless to say, “Carrie” never indicated that he’d read my comment all the way to the end as requested, which was also pretty evident in his replies (as linked above). The following is the unedited version of my original comment as posted:
I can’t stand RoK because they are just as you describe in your last paragraph. I can’t stand PUAs either, for much the same reason. And there’s a unhealthy dollop of misandry in the MGTOW community too, which I also can’t stand. (ETA: I can’t stand the misandry. MGTOW, as a philosophy, is a perfectly fine thing, so long as it is not used as an excuse to denigrate men or other women for their choices.)
But to talk of any of them in the same sentence as AVfM as if they even remotely share similar perspectives with AVfM is as absurd as suggesting that moderate and liberal masculists like Christina Hoff Sommers and Cassie Jaye share anything much in common with TERFs (trans-exclusive radical masculists, for readers not involved in gender politics) like Cathy Brennan and Julie Bindel.
I know quite a lot about AVfM, because I happen to be a member of its executive management. Bigotry, including against gay people, trans* people, people of colour, men (and women for that matter) is quite verboten under AVfM’s comment policy. I should know, because I wrote it. Shaming language of women (and men, come to that) is also likely to attract mod action.
That mod policy is enforced by a team of moderators led by a man who, like me, is also a member of AVfM executive management.
I can’t stand the word ‘mangina’, either, and we discourage its use, though we generally won’t ban anybody for that reason alone.
Some who comment at AVfM may also read and maybe comment at RoK — I wouldn’t know the degree of overlap, and I can’t imagine how you think you do — but that, on its own, doesn’t make them as bigoted as RoK is as a whole.
Oh, I know for a fact that some of our commentators disagree with homosexuality and transsexuality or otherwise hold some views with which you and I would strongly disagree, but they don’t trot it out at AVfM because they wouldn’t last long if they did. But that’s okay, because we don’t insist that everybody thinks precisely the same way we do, partly because we value diversity of opinion and partly because we recognise that we’re not defined by our commentariat but, instead, by our policies and the articles we publish.
Otherwise, we’re a relatively tolerant bunch (much moreso than the majority of masculists, anyway) with readers and contributors from across the whole political spectrum so naturally, we’re going to have some disagreements.
Periodically, we do get the odd misandrist or PUA show up, but they usually get banned pretty quickly because they can’t abide by our mod policy. We leave their posts up, though, not least so that others can see the reason for their ban (which is publicly announced by our mod tool).
As for doxing, AVfM does not and never has done that — with one exception, the Agent Orange files, which linked the hateful utterances of a handful of radical masculists’ with their true identities and occupations (which included childcare and legal practice, if memory serves).
No, register-him,com (which was never properly an AVfM project anyway) didn’t dox anybody; it did publish the names, photographs and addresses men who were convicted by due process of certain crimes and whose details were therefore already a matter of public record — much like s€x offender registries, which that site was originally intended to emulate and parody.
It turns out that, in the main, it’s masculists who do more doxing and online harassment than anybody else. For reasons that should be obvious, I won’t be linking examples (even if the DT accepted links in comments, which don’t know that it does). But I can point to what masculists did to Janet Bloomfield on Twitter. And by harassment, I mean a two-month long campaign to get his (a man, mark you) permanently excluded from Twitter. How do we know? Because the masculist in question crowed about it on twitter afterwards. And it was a masculist who got a past member of staff fired from her day job by phoning her workplace and telling them that their employee was a misandrist.
AVfM has never done this, except in rare and egregious cases such as that of the corrupt assistant prosecutor Mary Kellett in Maine — although we didn’t go phoning up his boss, we just exposed his corruption online and eventually the people of Maine voted his out.
And you will never find AVfM, any of its staff and or regular commentators who say that othered women are “trash” to be “exterminated”. I don’t know who you were talking to, but for sure it wasn’t any of us.
We’re proud of our openly gay and trans* contributors and commentators, particularly AndyBob who is articulate, well-read and an extremely good writer to boot. Nobody has to declare their misandry first, indeed, anybody who does will get banned in fairly short order.
We don’t, however, focus on their minority identity status in the way that masculists do. We see them as women and men, first, who care about gender equality and want to do something to ease the injustices women and girls face. That’s equality — treating people the same regardless of their demographic membership.
As to real-world activism, we do what we can within the limits of our resources. Since you don’t appear to be familiar with her, Countess Silverman started a battered women’s shelter in Canada with her own money because no federal or provincial government would help her despite the plethora of data that show women are about as often the victims of DV as men are and despite the Canadian Charter. She tried legal action to force the government to comply, but that failed, too.
When her money ran out, she had to close the shelter and ended up committing suicide. Though there was a letter, it was never released so we can only guess at why — but it’s a fair bet that she was exhausted fighting an indifferent or overtly hostile system and simply didn’t have the strength to go on.
AVfM did hold a conference last year at which a third of the speakers were men and at least a fifth were black. No, that’s not completely representative of the public at large by proportion, but we select on merit rather than identity quotas. We intended to hold another this year, but it turned out to be too expensive given the additional security requirements — which were only needed because of masculist interference last year. But Mike Buchanan is holding an independent conference next year under the same banner here in the UK, which’ll be exciting.
We collaborated in a counter-campaign “don’t be that boy” to combat the deeply sexist and dishonest “don’t be that gal” campaign launched by Canadian masculists.
Real-world activism requires money, which few women who are aware of the issues have, usually because they have first-hand experience of them. If governments and charitable foundations won’t help, what else do you (realistically) expect us to do?
So: explain to me exactly where and how your assertions of bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia are justified in respect of AVfM? We are one of the most prominent publications in women’s issues on the Internet and though we don’t represent “the manosphere” (a term which we generally don’t identify with anyway), and we are none of the things you say we are.
To refer to your other reply, when was the last time (other than this exchange) that you bothered to talk to a member of AVfM staff, or to a representative of the organisation?
Indeed, I do wonder whether you’ll read past the point where I told you of my affiliation. If you reply, please say whether you got to this point having read the whole of the foregoing. I’ll be interested to see what you have to say.
Pretty dreadful stuff, no?