David Futrelle has launched a blistering attack on Canadian Senator Anne Cools, accusing her of having actively campaigned “against gay and lesbian rights for decades.”
Senator Cools, one of Canada’s most passionate and pre-eminent advocates for the rights of men and boys, has been invited to speak at the first International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit later this month. This should provide a clue as to the timing, and the nature, of this attempt to smear the reputation of this admirable woman.
Clearly, this hatchet job on Senator Cools has been designed to whip up a frenzy of indignation and outrage among the gay rights community with the aim to rope more of them in to supporting the anticipated feminist protest of the conference.
When terrorist tactics fail, bring in LGBT.
At least, that is what David Futrelle has obviously resolved to do after his ideological allies’ threats to conference participants and the staff and guests of the original venue, and their demand that all public discussion about men’s issues be silenced, failed—and left them looking like dangerous and deranged bigots violently opposed to one of the MHRM’s most cherished principles: freedom of speech.
Opponents of the men’s human rights movement frequently attack individuals associated with it by presenting their views as supporting, promoting, or advocating some form of extremist position—misogyny, racism, rape-enabling, and, of course, homophobia—with the transparently obvious intention of trying to discredit the entire MHRM. However, few of our opponents have used this dishonest tactic with more dogged regularity—and lazy and perverse delight—than has David Futrelle.
Supporters of AVfM will be very familiar with Futrelle’s methods, not to mention the man-hating, trigger-prone hypochondriacs who huddle at his “We Hunted the Mammoth” site in the hope of being fed cherry-picked tidbits in order to indulge in their peculiar brand of faux outrage—like the “evidence” provided for Senator Cools’ alleged homophobia.
For those new to AVfM, or who have never been able to stomach going anywhere near the site run by the Bigot Formerly Known as Manboobz, [Ω], what follows should provide insight into how the reasonable, logical, and considered opinions of a woman too intelligent and independent-minded to follow a PC script can be twisted and truncated with insinuation in order to demonize her personally and to misrepresent and mischaracterize what she actually stands for: the rights and welfare of men and boys.
Before Futrelle even mentions Senator Cools, he casts doubt on the veracity of Paul Elam’s unequivocal declaration that AVfM is a site that supports men of all sexual orientations.
“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.”—Paul Elam
Futrelle attempts to do so by pointing out that there is no “mention of lesbians” in this declaration and pretends not to realize that the reason why lesbians are not mentioned in this declaration at A Voice for MEN is due to the rather obvious fact that lesbians are not men. Elam doesn’t mention koala bears either, for exactly the same reason. Futrelle takes the opportunity to offer his own utterly fatuous explanation for why lesbians were not included in this declaration about men on a site about men: “Elam does not seem to like women very much.” Futrelle does not feel the need to validate this damning claim with any supporting evidence.
To further present his case that AVfM is a hotbed of homophobia, Futrelle takes a pot-shot at managing editor Dean Esmay by stating that he “likes to present himself as a champion not only of gay men but of lesbians as well, boasting in one recent tweet that ‘I have been lesbian-supporting since the ’80s.’” The reader is meant to cast doubt on Esmay’s “boast” simply because it was made by Dean Esmay—and because Futrelle expects them to.
Just in case the reader finds these examples of AVfM’s rampant homophobia less than compelling, Futrelle completely undermines his own argument by linking to one of his old posts in which Elam denounces Chris Key (who, as far as anyone knows, was never heard from again) for being “a homophobic asshole.”
Futrelle then highlights this rather prophetic quote from an AVfM commenter called Dusty:
“Here, feminists prey on the occasional alienation that gay men feel at the hands of heterosexual men who have been raised to think that homosexuality is immoral or even pathological.”
It is ironic indeed that those gay men who may feel alienated at the hands of heterosexual men are the very same type of gay men that feminists, like David Futrelle, are now trying to persuade to join them to protest at the conference (supposedly just for straight, white, homophobic men, even though it’s no such thing) in Detroit. It is even more ironic that Futrelle goes on to attack me, a gay man, for pointing out that lesbians co-opted the gay rights movement and infused it with their radical feminist agenda. They immediately began bullying the gay men connected to LGBT into working against their own interests by doing things like—oh, I don’t know—protesting conferences that focus on their own rights as men.
This same post has Paul Elam trying to account for the virulent misandry in the work of trans-woman Men’s Studies scholar Raewyn Connell by speculating that it could be connected to the self-loathing she felt when she was a man. Something must be driving this trans-woman’s seething hatred of men, and if someone has a better suggested explanation than that offered by Elam, they are more than welcome to share it.
Before moving on to discuss the accusations against Senator Cools, it is important to point out that this is the sum total of the so-called evidence that Futrelle has gathered to prove the existence of what he calls AVfM’s “anti-gay agenda.” After years of tirelessly sifting through the thousands of articles and comments on this site, this is all he has: Paul Elam welcoming gay men as men deserving of human rights, denouncing a homophobic bigot, and taking a trans-woman to task for her rampant misandry; Dean Esmay stating that he is a long-time supporter of gay and lesbian rights; and me, for making many of the same points made by John Lauritson, Stonewall organizer and founder of the modern gay rights movement, who was actually there when the radical feminist lesbians literally barged in carrying the same 2x4s they still use today to argue that LGBT has been cynically exploited by ideologues who couldn’t care less about the rights of any men—gays included.
Even accounting for Futrelle’s famously low standards, this collection of “evidence” is pretty pathetic.
Senator Cools opposed adding “sexual orientation” to hate speech legislation in Canada for exactly the same reasons that I would vehemently oppose any such legislation in my country of residence. It is an attack on freedom of speech. It is exactly the kind of attack that feminists are currently levelling against the MHRM. Anyone who does not understand that such legislation can be used as a weapon to punish those who dare to express unapproved opinions, and to invoke fear of doing so, fails to fully grasp the lengths that ideologues, like David Futrelle, are prepared to go to impose their version of utopia onto the rest of humanity.
One can only shudder at the ease with which criticism of LGBT, the nonsense that is queer theory, and gay men protesting a men’s conference could be interpreted as “hate speech against sexual orientation.” Futrelle interpreted AVfM’s inclusion of gay men as evidence of homophobia, and does the same with Senator Cool’s vigorous defense of free speech. He dismisses it by sneering that “the passage of the bill in question did not lead to millions of Canadians being rounded up and arrested.” It will probably never happen, but the groundwork for such an eventuality should never have been laid in the first place—and Senator Anne Cools was one of the only people in Canada with the integrity to point it out.
Senator Cools drove home the dangers of legislating against hate speech based on sexual orientation by referring to “a document called the Journal of Homosexuality, particularly, volume 20 in 1990,” in which the subject of the entire volume was “pedophilia and male intergenerational intimacy, historical, social, psychological and legal perspectives.” She pointedly asked if such legislation would legally forbid anyone from criticizing any of the articles it contained, such as “Man-Boy Relationships.”
In one fell stroke, Senator Cools exposed the perils of exempting an entire demographic from criticism. It could give immunity to individuals within that demographic from receiving strident condemnation when it is genuinely warranted. Predictably, Futrelle insinuates that Senator Cools connected homosexuality to pedophilia, and all but froths at the mouth in his attempt to do so. Senator Cools did nothing of the kind, which Futrelle knows very well. There is no limit to the deceit in which he will engage to discredit anyone connected to the MHRM.
Senator Cools doesn’t believe that morals should be subject to legislation either. She contended that such legislation would expose “millions of Canadians … who hold moral opinions about sexuality, to criminal prosecution.” These are the “windows into people’s souls” that Elizabeth I believed the state had no right, or need, to peer into. Those who oppose homosexuality on moral grounds—whether those grounds are religious, philosophical, or simply personal—have every right to do so. Unless they impede the rights and welfare of others, one’s morals are nobody’s business but one’s own.
Mankind should welcome living in this age, where we are finally free to debate the relative merits of our moral positions without the fear of the kind of reprisals so familiar throughout much of human history. Implementing hate speech legislation would cast us back into the Dark Ages when such freedom was forbidden—the Age of Enlightenment would have been for nothing.
Futrelle focuses a great deal on Senator Cools’ supposed objection to gay marriage by referring to her fascinating presentation to the Canadian Senate.
It is a passionate and comprehensive examination of marriage from an historical, social, biological, religious, and legal perspective in an effort to define marriage as a concept and a practice. It is a no-holds-barred attempt to understand what marriage is, and what it actually means—something I would have thought was rather imperative while discussing legislation that would redefine it as dramatically as including same-sex marriage. Senator Cools’ perspective, and David Futrelle’s condemnation of it, can be summed up with this quote from her presentation:
“Human life is so vital and the man-woman sexual act in procreation is so pivotal that the body of law called the law of marriage buttressed this sexual act. It did so because the law understood that lust, like all human passions, is not to be trusted. Lust and sex on their own have no public character and contain no public interest or public good. Marriage is about man and woman in a peculiar act of bringing forth offspring.”
Whichever way you look at it, this is a fair and reasonable summation of why marriage was instituted and how it is still widely perceived within society. You would have to be a bit of a fool to object to Senator Cool’s contention that homosexuals do not engage in sex for the purpose of procreation, or that it isn’t a good idea to place one’s trust in lust, or that lust contains “no public interest or public good”—and you would have to be a complete moron to find evidence of homophobia in what are some glaringly obvious truths. Futrelle has managed to do both.
It may come as a surprise to Futrelle, but I don’t know any gay men who engage in sex with their partners in the hope of one of them becoming pregnant. I’ll hazard a guess that Futrelle doesn’t know any either. For most gay men, sex is pretty much centred around lust—and, of course, an opportunity to express affection. This is just a plain and simple fact—and has nothing whatsoever to do with homophobia.
Futrelle has attempted to besmirch the reputation of Senator Anne Cools, a brave and outspoken advocate for the rights and welfare of men and boys, with a false accusation that she is a homophobe who supports “a bigoted agenda.” I hope the good senator takes heart in the knowledge that Futrelle has levelled the same accusation against me, a gay man who doesn’t follow the feminist-approved script either. It is all part of his own agenda of spreading disinformation about anyone connected with the MHRM in order to discredit it as a legitimate human rights movement.
Futrelle’s methods of deception have become so familiar to the readers of AVfM that it has become commonplace to dismiss him as an irrelevant and pathetic buffoon. His attempt to smear Senator Cools on the eve of her appearance at the International Conference on Men’s Issues is an outrage that proves him to be an inveterate liar who will stop at nothing in his dedicated campaign to derail it. He is doomed to fail in this venture but still deserves the sternest of rebukes for pulling such a shabby stunt.
Full marks to Janet Bloomfield (a.k.a. JudgyBitch) for standing her ground against the kind of shame-laden bullying for which feminists, like David Futrelle, are notorious. The accusation of homophobia particularly rankles because it continues to be made without any evidence whatsoever to support it—and overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I am one of many gay/bisexual men and women who proudly support AVfM and its goals precisely because, as Paul Elam made crystal clear, it considers “men as human beings, regardless of their sexuality.”
AVfM also staunchly supports freedom of speech. This means that even if Senator Anne Cools really did oppose gay marriage, she would have every damn right to say so—and I would support that right. It still wouldn’t make her a homophobe.
You see, that’s how we roll at AVfM. Unlike David Futrelle, we actually practice what we preach—a concept that a hopelessly bigoted ideologue like him would never understand.