Our traffic over the past few weeks has significantly increased. That means a lot of new readers to welcome.
Many new readers, likely most of you, are here because you have been told some very negative things about us.
You have been told that we hate women, that we support and excuse rape and that we promote violence against women, particularly feminist women. You have been told that we are homophobic, transphobic, regressive ideologues.
You have been told that we are a lobby of privileged white males who are disgruntled at our loss of power. You have even been told that among our followers are psychopathic killers who commit unspeakable atrocities, or at the very least we appeal to individuals of this ilk.
The most recent example of that was Elliot Roger, a deeply disturbed young man who went on a shooting rampage recently in Santa Barbara, California. In fact, since the day of that shooting our traffic has increased 30%. That is not too surprising considering there are so many people out there trying to wipe the blood from that tragedy on our backs.
Here is one very good example (of many) of what I am talking about. If you want to read the article you can click on the image.
Using Google will locate other examples for you.
I am going to demonstrate to you clearly why the assumptions about Elliot Roger, and indeed all the other allegations about the men’s movement are provably, undeniably fatuous. That is, unless your mind is impervious to reason and evidence. Or perhaps if you have an agenda that is as impervious to morality and integrity as it is to evidence and reason.
I don’t say that to insult or alienate. My reasons for the qualification will become clear to you as we move along.
Let us start with the claims of misogyny and the insistence that we are against women’s rights. I invite you, after you look for and fail to find material here that demonstrates hatred for women as a class, to peruse the following list of women who have either published on this site and/or endorsed us; who are active team members in our operations or who spoke at our first International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit.
Erin Pizzey, Alison Tieman, Janet Bloomfield, Dr. Tara Palmatier, Dr. Helen Smith, Suzanne Venker, Karen Straughan, Janice Fiamengo, Sen. Anne Cools, Suzanne McCarley, Barbara Kay, Dianna Thompson, and Hannah Wallen.
Please use Google to take a look at the work of these women. See their writing. Assess what you find in their personalities and perspectives. And please ask yourself a few questions:
Do any of these women appear to be anything but intelligent, accomplished, fully autonomous women? Do any of them appear obsequious or deferential to men?
Or do they appear fiercely independent, outspoken and competent?
Are they not indeed, each and every one of them, precisely what feminism promised that women would be free to become?
I will inform you that among these women are those that actually started the battered women’s shelter movement for the world, both in the UK and in Canada, before America started similar efforts. One of them is the first black female ever to be a senator in North America.
Now, does it stand to reason to you that this group of socially active, outspoken and independent women would join ranks with men who hate them, and want to roll back their progress or take their rights away?
Are the women who actually started the battered women’s shelter movement now scheming to further violence against women everywhere? Or are they so stupid that they can be hoodwinked by a gaggle of bitter, miserable white cis-male failures pining for their privilege?
I submit to you that the evidence proves that the only way you can come to the conclusion that these women are supporting misogynists is behind the force of chosen, aggressive ignorance. It is either that or blind stupidity.
Yet here is what is being distributed in response to the conference at which these women wish to speak.
This, or something like it at places like the Daily Kos, is most likely what brought you here. That is actually a good enough thing because this is where their lies come to die in the minds of objective, intelligent people.
I could spend the rest of this article pointing out, in a thousand ways, why we don’t hate women or anyone else; how we are a remarkably diverse group whose membership crosses all lines of sex, race, sexuality, religion, lack of religion and political orientation. But there is no need to do that when the truth of that blazes across thousands of pages on this website.
I would rather spend the rest of my time here telling you not just who, but what we are.
What you will see emerge across the pages of this site, and what rises to show itself in the work and activism we do in “real world” settings, is a meritocracy that extends far past our shared work into a growing society of men and women who treat each other (and expect treatment) based on character, values and actions.
It is actually what feminism promised, and failed miserably, to deliver.
As feminism endlessly chides men, infantilizes women and promotes women-only services (very interesting conduct for a movement based on equality), and as it foments hostility between the sexes with victim narratives and false statistics — we build bridges with each other.
What we don’t do, is build bridges with balsa wood. With equal rights comes equal responsibility. Respect is earned, not based on genitalia, but on deeds. There are no princesses here (even in feminist clothing). They are not tolerated. There are no patronizing patriarchs here. They are not tolerated.
Or actually it is better to just say they just don’t last. They lose interest in being here because the community we are building does not support expectation or privilege based on sex, sexuality or anything else.
If you have concern about that being true, I ask you to ask the women here, though I point out that asking men AND women alike should be the correct direction if you don’t base credibility on sex. Or you could just hang out and watch what happens in this place without asking anyone.
I would also like you to know that this impacts the relationship that men have with each other as well. One example of that is the gay men who frequent here, write for us and are a part of this community.
What we do between men and women also happens between men and men. We regard men as human beings, regardless of their sexuality. And most of us feel that this is the salve that heals what has in recent history been inflicted on gay men. We feel they have been punished because they did not fit in the same social scheme that the men and women here now reject from their own lives.
Oh yes, as to the allegations that we inspire mass murder? Well, I linked you to the Daily Kos article furthering such specious ideas. If you can find anything resembling proof of their claims, please let us know here in the comments or by email. We have scoured everything and can’t find it.
Let me finish this welcome to AVFM and the men’s movement by saying there is a reason we have worked (and yes, sometimes provocatively) to meet the goal of you being there reading this article right now.
The plain fact is that men and boys do have problems and this society needs to have a much different dialog about those problems than it has ever had. The reasons for that are found throughout the over 3,000 feature articles on this website.
We are admittedly tenacious and unrelenting in insisting on this dialog. We have been met with death threats and illegal protests for doing so.
We are, however, a collection of men and women from all walks of life, now stretching across the planet, who are committed to this dialog taking place. We are not going to be silenced from it.
And we are growing.
The plain fact of the matter is that with every traffic spike to this website, often consisting of people who have seen negative allegations against us, we end up retaining more open minded readers. And supporters. And activists.
That leaves only one question. That question is whether you came here out of curiosity, with an open and skeptical mind, looking to find what all the accusations and innuendo were about. If that defines you, then you are our intended audience. You are the person we are trying to reach. And you are the kind of person we are increasingly succeeding in winning over.
The main reason for that is that we have a community that is not plagued by sexism. The exact opposite of what you have likely been told.
If you came here with a hateful heart, looking for something to dig up and take out of context, have at it. There are a few intentionally written pieces of provocation that will suit you just fine. And please do so with our thanks.
It is people like you who have taken AVFM from a one-man blog to a full-blown publication and movement that won’t be stopped.
Editor’s note: A version of this article is also available in Italian.