AVFM International Conference on Men’s Issues Changing Venue

The disingenuous and quite insane backlash against the International Conference on Men’s Issues has produced some interesting results. First, the onslaught of yellow journalism from places like Daily Kos and the Huffington Post has been unprecedented, even for those two myth-factories.

The other thing it has produced is a hell of a lot more interest in the conference, and more ticket sales. So much so, as a matter of fact, that we have opted to move to a venue that will seat more people and provide more security than was available previously.

While we apologize for any inconvenience that the move is going to cause, it is nonetheless a positive move for the conference. Because seating capacity was misrepresented to us at the previous venue, we were forced to plan for an overflow room where we would pipe in live events to a monitor at reduced ticket prices.

With the change of venue we will be able to accommodate all attendees in the same space at the same time.

An auspicious place for a conference on men’s issue to occur, VFW Post 1146 Walter F Bruce at 28404 Jefferson Avenue will serve as an appropriate setting to observe and discuss the issues facing men and boys in modern culture.

We hope you will join us there to begin a new era of how we discuss matters of sex, gender and power, with compassion for all human beings and in interest in solving all problems people face, not just those selected for us by modern gender ideologues.

We will be posting more details on this in the near future.

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

    just posted on that

  • Rob

    maybe you could send a note( polite of course) to the protestors to say

    thanks !!
    you have single handingly increased interest in our event and raised awareness of mens issues

    PS. If I pass on the dates for the next event , could you raise some hackles and promote that event as well?

    TTFN

  • Attila_L_Vinczer

    A breath of fresh air, leaving behind the stuffiness that was stifling. Looking forward to the Men’s International Conference at our new location. Onwards and upwards.

  • Attila_L_Vinczer

    Something crossed my mind yesterday as I thought about the number of men and women working tirelessly to bring before the world, the first Men’s International Conference. If we considered the hundreds of hours spent on a volunteer basis by each organizer, I would comfortably peg the cost of our time to be over $100,000. This does not include many organizers who also contributed funds, generously. While others donated equipment, expertise and things needed for the Conference.

  • scanspeak

    Perhaps AVFM should consider donating some of the funds to VFW for their support.

    • Dash Riprock

      Speaking for myself, I am happy for AVfM to spend my donation any way they want; as I know they will put it to worthy use.

  • http://patricestanton.com/ Patrice Stanton

    Have not been on AVFM for several days so had to find out about this in someone’s video last evening. Very disappointing, in a lot of ways; I had to get some of them off my chest (yes, I considered that the hotel may have kicked the conference out; it just doesn’t read like that, though). Lest you think I don’t appreciate the concept of “personal safety” see especially @ 7:10 – 7:45 [Mod note: Whiney video removed].

    • Peter Wright

      Oh pleez, why don’t you help organize this understaffed conference, rather than wanting everyone to think about your ten-thousand problems.

      • http://patricestanton.com/ Patrice Stanton

        My space – as well as the air I would have breathed – is now available.

        • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

          Patrice, I am a little confounded. I have searched our records a couple of times. I find no record of a ticket purchase in your name. I have not had a request for a refund, and you have not contacted me per my request with a way to track your purchase if it was not in your name.

          I am not saying you did not buy a ticket, but I have no evidence that you did.

          Please provide me that information, either here or by email at paul@avoiceformen.com

          I cannot refund you unless I can confirm your purchase.

          • 2cyar

            Is your spam filter sending emails to the trash?

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

      Thanks for your opinion. Indeed, things have been chaotic given the enormous pressures put on a staff of volunteers to respond as best they could to keep the conference alive. They succeeded admirably.

      Give that it was only recently confirmed that we had solid management backing for the new venue, it made it quite difficult to discern what was reliable and predictably secure information to release to ticket holders and how to do it. The responsibility for that rests squarely on my shoulders and I apologize for that inconvenience to you.

      I have also taken note of your good points and now that we are finally assured of information that won’t have to be retracted, I will be issuing a direct email to all ticket holders.

      We have also posted lodging recommendations to the site that will be included in that email.

      Again, sorry for the inconvenience on that I and I will be taking the lesson to heart. This is the first conference for us and it has been quite the learning experience.

      I will take issue, however, with the public and quite histrionic questioning of the integrity of myself and anyone else at AVFM.

      We are a group of volunteer activists operating under fire and under enormous pressure. We are doing the best job possible given the circumstances and the amount of help we have. So while some of your criticism is valid and helpful, your public, self centered and fatuous allegations are rejected.

      Please put in a refund request for your ticket. I will be happy to take care of that on receipt.

      • http://patricestanton.com/ Patrice Stanton

        Thanks, Paul. Refund request went last night to the paypal-noted e-mail (paul@avoiceformen.com). As I said, IF the hotel “kicked out” the conference, I’m 100% behind the venue change. Otherwise, as another commenter noted, why yes, I am a “middle-aged white woman inconvenienced” by a conference no longer held in the same hotel I’d planned to stay at, by reason of – GASP – personal safety & security. Yes, sad but true, as I noted in the video, Detroit is one of the most violent cities in America, (remember the city’s “Enter at Your Own Risk” campaign? http://tinyurl.com/92l3qrd), though finally I reasoned to have a word in person w/ Stefan Molyneux, not to mention meet face-to-face a few other MRA’s I’ve become acquainted with on Facebook, was worth-the-risk. Getting a rental car and traveling solo through the city? Not so much.

        I’d be curious to know which (off the top of your head) criticisms of mine were/allegations

        were fatuous (“insanely foolish”).

        • Incubus

          I’m sure some others share your concerns about the sudden change and the safety of driving out to the suburbs and getting through the protesters by ourselves. I’m one of them, and have posted my concerns on the forum, but have yet to receive an answer. I’m hoping I will be able to get in on a car pool with some other people who have the same concerns. If you would like to attend the conference, I wish you would have tried to do the same, rather than reacting with emotion. We might even have been able to travel there together.

          Like yourself, I am frustrated that AVFM is leaving both the hotel and the city. I do also feel that it’s an unfortunate victory for the feminist protesters. But I don’t know the whole situation and what was going on with the hotel prior to the change of venue. Paul has released surprisingly little information about this, compared to his usual policy of releasing full details, and he’s indicated that legal matters are still being settled. So I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that AVFM sold you out, which seems to be what you’re implying here. We’re all supposed to be on the same side, and by taking this stance, I think you’re letting the feminist protesters divide us at a time when solidarity is what we, as a movement, need the most.

          • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

            Thank you for saying that. And you are right. This situation and my reaction is a big departure from what most have been used to from AVFM. Our standard has been real time release of nearly every detail in conflicts, including legal threats.

            I hate this situation and wish beyond words that it was different than it is.

            The fact is that this is the first time that taking too much info public, too soon, could well hurt our legal efforts beyond repair. It would not take AVFM down, per se, but it could affect operations financially (from legal costs alone) to a destructive end, In the long run it could harm the movement greatly,

            This is one time I have to just eat it, and follow legal advice, no matter how bad I want to saturate the pages of this site with information that would help people get a better understanding.

            I understand that no matter what reason I give for not giving details, it will not satisfy some people. That, unfortunately, is the level we are playing on now.

            I have the deepest appreciation for those who are standing behind us.

        • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

          Patrice, you may want to check your refund request. I have not gotten one. Or you can email me the email you used to purchase and I will go in and do it.

          Just a note. As a woman you are less likely to experience violence, on the street or otherwise, than men. So your sex based plea for special sympathies leaves me a bit empty.

          Several of us have worked very hard to ensure that the conference is a safe and secure event for everyone involved. Let me remind you that we work at reducing ignorance here about violence and the sex of victims, not increasing it.

          Just for the record, the venue was originally scheduled in the safest of neighborhoods in Detroit. That area of downtown is as safe as it is or safer than other metropolitan areas. It is heavily patrolled by police and is considered a safe zone. I assumed you knew the city when you booked.

          The alternative venue is also in a safe area. A very good neighborhood. There is no more reason to be wary of it or more concerned than we would have in any other metropolitan area in the United States. Your droning about Detroit, and using your sex as a trump card is just part of what is insanely foolish. Truth is that women like you are part of the reason we need a conference.

          As I have stated repeatedly, the circumstances of the venue change is not something i can discuss publicly for legal reasons. Whether you personally approve of this is up to you, but honestly of no concern to me.

          What is interesting is that you could have resolved, as can anyone else, questions and concerns about this through an simple email contact with me.

          You chose the route of a youtube video. Personally, I think you are looking for attention. OK, well you got some.

          Congrats.

          I will leave your comments standing, but you need to direct any further communication about this matter to me personally. You will not be allowed to use this website to seek attention, or to wage a campaign against our work,

        • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Dean Esmay

          Claims of violence in Detroit are wildly exaggerated; there are places you shouldn’t go but much of it is lovely. That said, this change of venue means you could easily get a cheaper hotel not in the city you (sadly) fear; check St. Clair Shores out, it’s lovely and we’ll have plenty of security.

    • driversuz

      You don’t understand because you didn’t bother to ask before shooting off your mouth. Shame on you.

      So sorry that yet another middle aged white woman has been inconvenienced.

      • http://patricestanton.com/ Patrice Stanton

        It’s more than simple inconvenience; it’s a matter of personal safety as mentioned to Paul above. My take on a situation may be off, may be subject for discussion – or
        ridicule, fine, but honestly Suzanne, is it Suzanne?…ad hominems? 1) I had no choice as to when I was born; 2) had no choice as to my skin color; 3) had no choice as to my sex. So I guess that makes you an ARS: Age-ist Racist Sexist. LOL.

        • driversuz

          Well I guess I hate myself, because I too am a middle aged white woman. That was a pretty lame dodge.

          As a woman who struggle with the many of the same issues we do, you of all people should be aware of the tremendous opposition we face as an all but penniless organization understaffed by volunteers. Yet instead of behaving like an adult about it and voicing your concerns quietly to Paul or Dean, you chose to publicly pitch a hissy fit like a cranky child.

          If you ever wonder why you have a hard time making headway in your advocacy, remember that it’s partly because of people like YOU, who would cheerfully shove your own colleagues under the bus in a fit of pique.

          • http://patricestanton.com/ Patrice Stanton

            In fact I did “behave like an adult” and wrote important e-mails about conference matters; they went unanswered, save for a suggestion from Dean Esmay (upon which I acted; that one went unanswered as well). So granted, in my anger and frustration, I vented on YouTube. I mean, why write another e-mail and send it out into the ether?

            Come on…for a hissy-fit mine was pretty damned restrained. But yeah, that’s never been done before in the history of the Internet. FYI after an eminently cordial Skype conversation with DE this morning, I’ve removed the video (certainly not “before” much offense was taken, some criticism received/evaluated/and responded to by me hopefully civilly). How much more “adult” I could be is beyond my understanding.

    • Turbo

      Let me get this straight, you were originally not going to go to Detroit because it is a dangerous place, and yet you are critical of AVfM because they may have moved venues because of death threats. Really? Are you the only person who needs to feel safe?

      There are people flying in from all over the world who have invested many thousands of dollars more than you have. Do you really think Paul and AVfM would have inconvenienced those people, as well as everyone else of course, for no good reason. Hell, there are people who have donated almost as much as you have spent, and many of those people cannot even attend.

      You could have brought yourself up to speed with a few emails. Instead
      you chose to record a 8 minute whine fest, as if you are the only person
      who has been inconvenienced, and you don’t even know the facts! Pathetic!

  • Odysseus

    Unfortunately I have to stay put in my reservation at Hilton Garden Inn downtown. I somehow got locked into a prepay booking for the hotel and changing it is not an option. I am currently trying to figure out what to do for transportation. Renting a vehicle might be the simplest and most affordable. I would be willing to come up with some arrangement with others for car pooling.

    • Incubus

      I’m down with that if we can work something out soon. I also am not sure what I will do for transportation, as I will not have a valid license during the conference dates.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

      So sorry for the inconvenience. We will shortly (like tomorrow) be creating a category on the AVFM forums and announcing it on main site for ride sharing. That link will also go out tomorrow in an email to all ticket purchasers.

      • Incubus

        Hey, Paul, can you post this?

        I don’t mean to put more pressure on you when I know you’re already stressed, but it’s just I don’t even have a hotel room booked because I honestly do not even know if I’m going to be able to make it now, if I can’t find someone to car pool with. I posted about this on the forums the day before yesterday, and still have not received a single reply. As it stands, I really need to figure out whether I’m going to be getting on that plane next week so I can start making plans.

        • 2cyar

          Hi Incubus…I have been waiting to get the forum link sent to my email, but so far I have not seen it so I have been unable to make any arrangements for car pooling. I also didn’t see any threads on the forum. I am staying fairly close to St Clair Shores and will be renting a car, and it was my thought that I might be able to make 2 or 3 runs for other people that are also close by. I think it is very unfortunate the way this all worked out for you and Odysseus so I would like to offer that I will Drive into Detroit and give you two a ride to and from the conference (you are staying close by to him aren’t you?) if you are unable to find anyone else who is staying on that side of town who is willing to carpool. I’m not sure what the traffic would be like at that time but I am guessing that I would only be able to make the one run and I already have two other people with me so I would only have room for you two. Probably not the most efficient use of available transportation so keep trying to find someone on your side of town but know that you are covered for getting to the conference.

          Not sure how we get contact information to each other confidentially?

          • Incubus

            Hi, 2cyar. Thanks for your response and your kind offer.

            The thread that I posted about this here: http://forums.avoiceformen.com/showthread.php?10760-Won-t-have-a-car-Questions-About-the-Conference-Area Possibly the wrong section, but it was where I saw the other talk about the conference, so figured that’s where I should post it.

            I don’t have a hotel room yet, so I can’t really say whether I’m staying near Odysseus, although I could certainly arrange to do so, provided I can find available rooms nearby. My preference would be to stay in a hotel in Detroit and get onboard with a car pool to and from that city each day, as opposed to staying in St Clair, where I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere on my own since I didn’t have a car.

            Do you have a forum account? If so, you should be able to send me a private message through the account there (link to my account is http://forums.avoiceformen.com/member.php?17939-Incubus ). If it doesn’t work, please post again here and I’ll just make a temporary e-mail address for you to contact me with.

          • Odysseus

            That is a generous offer and if we agree to this, I would like to pay for a part of your rental and gas.

            I was thinking of renting my own vehicle if I couldn’t work anything out. Taxi would cost over $50 to get from downtown to St Clair Shores. Renting an economy car is about $40 a day plus gas plus around $22 a night at the Hilton Garden Inn where I am staying. The costs do add up so I was hoping to pool with others staying downtown.

            I figured there would be more people looking at this thread than the forum so I did not post there. I will try sending a private message to Incubus about arranging this car pool.

          • Incubus

            Agreed, it goes without saying that we will obviously chip in to help cover the costs.

            Awaiting your message.

          • Incubus

            Still haven’t gotten it. Did you send it?

          • 2cyar

            Yes. I’ll try again later. My id on the forums is rayc2

          • Incubus

            I just got the one that said “car pooling – test” and sent you a reply. I didn’t get anything before that, and still haven’t gotten anything from Odysseus.

          • Odysseus

            Strange, I sent a private message to both you and 2cyar last night.I guess that doesn’t work.

            I get the impression that both are a few hours ahead of me since I am on pacific time. I’ll check messages in the mornings too before work. Should someone post an anonymous email on here to communicate an arrangement?

          • Incubus

            I was able to get a number of communications from 2cyar on the forums, and he got my messages back. What’s your forum account? I’ll try sending you one, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll create a temporary e-mail address.

          • Odysseus

            It’s Ody55eu5.

          • Incubus

            I think I’ll need the link to your profile. Judging by my profile link, it looks like it puts some ID before the username.

          • Odysseus

            I believe I know why. Apparently, I can’t post on the forum, because I only recently made it and it hasn’t been activated. Send me a message at eonmenric@gmail.com which I use for non professional activities.

          • Incubus

            Sent.

          • 2cyar

            Something else to consider is that it is $80+ taxi fare each way from the airport if you were going to go that route. This is a savings that offsets the rental cost if you pick up the car at the airport.

          • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

            We are going to be running shuttles from and to the airport. All ticket holders will be getting an email soon. Screw it. I will post a bulletin now.

          • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

            please email me at paul@avoiceformen.com

        • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

          email me at paul@avoiceformen.com please.

    • 2cyar

      Hi Odysseus. Please see my reply to Incubus a little further down the thread.

  • muckraker_steve

    It seems there are a few unanswered questions. The only reason you needed $25,000 in security and insurance is because the hotel required you to, and you thought that was unnecessary. So why do you need it now that the venue has changed? Do you really believe you are at that much of a risk? Also, some attendees are understandably frustrated that they reserved rooms and paid for the conference because both lodging and the event were to be in the same spot. Now attendees have to incur additional costs – and presumably endure more security risks – because of the venue change, which you say was prompted by a spike in interest. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Can someone please help me understand?

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

      Oh look, listen to who is talking about unanswered questions. OK, so you are here to try to stir up shit. Let’s play.

      You know full well that on your “blog” that I challenged you to a live debate. Why has this gone unanswered and what are you afraid of?

      Spill it now. I think that if you value fairness that it is pretty obvious that you should not avoid questions from me and instead come here to ask deflecting questions of your own, especially those that already have apparent and open answers.

      Also, this, “you thought that was unnecessary.” Go back and watch the fundraiser video again. Watch it till you understand it enough that you don’t ask stupid questions.

      Also, are you seriously asking if I take death threats against me, my staff, event speakers and innocent hotel workers seriously? And are you seriously questioning that those threats and the local media firestorm that ensued might not have sparked increased interest?

      Really? Please tell me that you are not that stupid. Please tell me that you did not come here hoping to ask difficult questions, hanging your hopes on this silly bullshit.

      • muckraker_steve

        Humorous response, Paul. You may be the least attentive conference organizer ever.

        • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

          Whatevs. Go crawl back in your hole. Coward.

        • Mike Hunt

          You may be the worst journalist ever. But who cares, really.

        • Mike Hunt

          You have a very odd, and sick, sense of humour.

        • Rob

          “Today alone I got three death threats,” Neavling, 37, said late last month,
          after one of his latest posts, – See more at:
          http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/detroit_one_man_brand.php?page=all#sthash.7DiCNhD2.dpuf

          so you have gone from a “reporter” abruptly dismissed to a drifter troll in one easy leap.

          but as you said threats not proven, so you now resort to “i got death threats” to get attention.

          think you are perhaps past it and are dreaming of former glory days in your head

          PS steve.. the rubettes look is seriously outdated

    • driversuz

      Since when do you care about getting the story straight? I believe I suggested that you read everything that we have published. That would have clarified the facts for you, but facts aren’t very high on your list of priorities, are they? Instead you come here attempting to pose a couple of “gotcha” questions with all the finesse of a tenth grader. Go fuck yourself.

  • 2cyar

    A thread has been started on the forums for people to arrange car pooling at:

    http://forums.avoiceformen.com/showthread.php?10845-Internation-Conference-on-Mens-Issues

  • jbantifem

    My respect to those dealing with this stress. As well as the extra stress of dealing with certain…ahem…headcases.

    I’m a bit befuddled by those who claim that the threats are ‘perceived’ and/or false. It’s all over the media and if it wasn’t true I’m sure the hotel would come out and ask ‘what threats?’ and put it on the MRM for all to see. Damn…with all the flack we get you know they’d be on that in a heartbeat.

    I don’t know what it is you paranoid idiots are smoking but you may want to get help for it.

    Good luck with sorting things out for the conference. I’m really looking forward to seeing some videos of it afterward.

  • Rudi Kramp

    Well, lets hope that the conference is a success. Those attending can tell us afterward how it was.
    There’s said to be feminists who’ll want to disrupt and sabotage it. They say things like men have all the rights and favourable treatment.
    Invariably when the topic of men’s issues, and women’s, is brought up there must be a battle of the genders. That’s because many women and men can’t work together for each other’s rights, equality, liberation.
    Many people only see what they are conditioned to see, not what there is to see.
    One wouldn’t know how it really is to be the opposite gender.
    Feminism is supposed to be to help men also. It can start by not stereotyping and being so paranoid towards men.

    Regarding men’s issues to bring up. There’s one that few men tackle. Women can wear what they want, with just some restrictions about when. That’s unlike men. For instance, at many office workplaces the men must always wear e.g. long pants, shoes and socks. But, the women e.g. in summer can wear sleeveless top, shorts, and open toed shoes.

    It is said that the biggest obstacle to men’s rights will be ironically other men.

  • abrahamfranklin

    The desperate misbehavior and wanton hostility of the opposition to this gathering underscores the need for same.