First They Ignore you, Then They Laugh at You…

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In light of AVFM moving to a membership model and Paul making other changes, I’d like to talk about some aspects of the Buzzfeed hit piece and strategies for growing our movement.

So, Buzzfeed thinks “Paul Elam Turned Being a Deadbeat Dad into a Moneymaking Movement.” Besides being bad English, it’s also dead wrong: unlike feminism, which is a money-making movement, the MHRM is a fund-starved movement. Isn’t that headline ironic? While thousands of seasoned women’s groups get millions of dollars from the government and a population sympathetic to women, the MHRM’s primary problem is a chronic lack of funding.

The MHRM is a huge tent that contains activist groups such as AVFM and NCFM as well as more focused organizations such as fathers’ rights and the divorce reform movement, and as such will have many methods of promotion, publicity, funding, sustainment, and growth. There has been little analysis of these methods and their effectiveness, and comparing these methods becomes even harder when these different groups have different goals or goals not even defined. Certain methods work for some types of groups, while other strategies are needed for others. I think the successful groups have found a strategy that works for them to varying degrees and I’ll discuss those as well as some that didn’t work.

I’ve been an MRA for at least 20 years and have been with a few groups and got to know some of their leaders, their visions of the movement, their successes and failures.

The Men’s Rights groups I’ve known come basically in two camps: they are either a non-profit, like NCFM, that has a board of directors and high oversight, or the one owner group like the National Center for Men (NCM) and AVFM that is nimble but subject to the whims of ultimately one person.

Mel Feit’s NCM is a one-man operation started in the late ‘80’s as an offshoot of what was then the National Coalition of Free Men where I believe Mel left after tensions arose with co-founder Tom Williamson, possibly related to Mel’s insistence on wearing a skirt in public as a symbol of his defiance. NCM, like NCFM, was modeled to have members pay dues to finance the group’s activities and produce and distribute newsletters. Mel had great success on national TV and with his great oratory skills he pulled off wearing the skirt. Others, however in his group thought otherwise, which caused dissention and of course, loss of good activists. One man does not a movement make.

I was never happy with the membership model when I was with NCM because most men wanted their problem solved, and when we couldn’t fix it, many would choose not to join and move on, and without the internet we never got enough exposure and members to expand. Now, however, is different. With a large web presence AVFM, NCFM and others can survive and grow using memberships and/or fundraisers, and I now think the membership model is best because we can budget for our memberships and keep them renewed automatically. Good for us – good for the movement.

Buzzfeed says “Elam has amassed tens of thousands of followers – and lined his pockets with their donations to the for-profit AVFM. When asked how this money is spent he replied “none of your fucking business.” Paul explains “every dollar goes right in my pocket,” but that it is nevertheless well spent in advancing the cause. “The way I look at it is that the donations are given freely by people who get a really great website (that they could just get for free) and who believe that I use this operation to further issues that they think are important to them.”

So AVFM is privately held, centralized, and only morally accountable to the supporters who’ve entrusted to Paul this stewardship of AVFM. There’s no oversight, and no boss but Paul – but if you’re alright with that (I am) AVFM can be the tool we use to turn the tide on feminist bullshit. Yes, at any time he might go off on a rail – and that would suck – but that’s a chance we take in this war we’re fighting

Where NCFM differs is that it’s non-profit, decentralized and has a Board of Directors that oversee various chapters and officers around the country. The good thing about that is local activism with national power can be very effective – see below the legal wins and other victories NCFM has under their belt. They also get donations from the Combined Federal Campaign / United Way which could be very productive. But this highly regulated model doesn’t allow it to turn on a dime or to use funding methods that would help to grow further.

Consensus can also be stifling; sometimes one boss and one vision is a more effective way to success.

The strength of the AVFM model is that failing ideas and projects can be abandoned or modified midstream with no need to get permission from a board or government. For example, NCFM rewards paying members with access to the NCFM Yahoo Groups chat room and a subscription to its newsletter “Transitions,” giving them extra content for their dues, while AVFM plans to give paying members access to ad-free content. If Paul had a “Transitions” and thought it was a drain on resources – not saying it is (not enough info) – he could shut it in an instant, not so for NCFM. Also, as just announced, advertising will begin soon at AVFM because Paul thinks it’s a good idea. I agree with Paul keeping content free; making people pay for content would take us backwards and slow our growth by limiting viewers and therefore followers.

The worst case scenario for NCFM-type groups would be failure to realize its full potential, while the worst case scenario for AVFM-type groups would be for the owner to abscond with the funds, and the group itself.

Paul has succeeded and you can’t argue with that – he’s found the right recipe of management, talent, and activism and used the media to grow AVFM and the MHRM. He’s building a media hub for the MHRM ala Ted Turner’s CNN, an outlet for viewpoints the MSM ignores or doesn’t like. He knows the MSM will never be fair to us, so we must create our own – unbossed – outlets.

I don’t know which model is best – they both have their strengths – but the complementary relationship between groups like AVFM and NCFM is like a well balanced investment portfolio: some risky stocks and some safe stocks.

But to get and keep viewers, members, and money, you’ve got to get attention. And the MHRM is doing just that.

Paul, I’ll only get worried if I see you in a skirt.

Buzzfeed article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/adamserwer/how-mens-rights-leader-paul-elam-turned-being-a-deadbeat-dad#.oevBXvGB0

NCFM successes: http://ncfm.org/ncfm-home/ncfm-successes/

Mel Feit’s NCM: http://www.nationalcenterformen.org/

Changes at AVFM: http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/while-others-sling-mud-we-till-the-soil/

My show (circa 2002) “The Men’s Forum” brings us Mel Feit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9wbcyUii_4

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An Open Letter to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

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Dear Senator Gillibrand,

I bought a ticket to see you speak about your new book and other topics, along with Gloria Steinem at 92Y in NYC. I had all intentions of attending and trying to record what I could and, of course, try to FTSU (confront you with the facts), but in the end I decided since I wasn’t allowed to record that I’d eat the ticket and cut my losses. But, oh, what I wanted to say!

I don’t buy the premise of your book, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World, that women are discouraged from going into politics and that we need more female politicians. You and your cohorts Gloria Steinem and Hillary Clinton—who wrote the foreword to your book—say we need a “movement” to get women and girls “off the sidelines” and into politics. However, despite what you say, there are no more barriers to women running for office than there are for men, and when they do run they frequently win. Didn’t you win your election to the Senate with a whopping 72% of the vote, a record?

Exactly why do we need more female politicians, anyway? Lest you be called a misogynist, our leaders, both male and female, cater to women’s needs above all others. The election of more actual vaginas into office couldn’t help women any more than already possible. Seems like the whole premise of your book is wrong, as well as your and Hillary’s “women at all costs” platform.

We’re hurtling headlong into a feminist matriarchy of gynocentric socialism where all matters are decided upon regarding their impact on girls and women. We’re already seeing it. Men have no reproductive rights—as women do—yet the focus is now on the right to free contraceptives for women while men will still have to just keep it in their pants.

With Hillary poised to become president, you use victimhood rhetoric to tell America we need more women in office to help women, hoping to someday ride that feminist wave to the White House yourself. You talk about a “sticky floor” that supposedly keeps many women in low-paying jobs. Well, guess what, men also know what it’s like to be stuck in low-paying jobs, and amazingly, they hate it too! The reality is that this “movement” to help women is just pushing more female-friendly programs and entitlements that men don’t get, and it’s not a matter of “women’s voices not being heard.” I hear that you and a group of 20 female senators get together and, I guess, “network” for women even further. So much for diversity.

With programs like VAWA, HeForShe, It’s On Us, and Emily’s List, how can you say that women’s interests aren’t being addressed? Supposed women’s issues like affordable daycare and paid family medical leave are really people’s issues that both men and women legislate and vote on. Mainstream feminists really don’t have any more issues to be won (equal pay is not an issue).

If you really wanted to help women run for office in more numbers (isn’t it embarrassing having an MHRA school you this way?):

  • tell Gloria Steinem, NOW, and all the other mainstream feminist groups to stop opposing shared parenting laws so women would be less responsible for children and have more time for a political career, and
  • tell women to ditch the hypergamy and encourage them to get a “househusband,” take care of him and the children, and have the “dutiful wife” feminists joke they wish they had.

There was great publicity about the stories you told of being called “porky” and “chubby” by unnamed colleagues in the Senate. I suspect they’re unnamed so you get victimhood status without fear of retaliation all without any proof. Not that it’s not believable, actually I think it happened as you said, after all there are knuckleheads in all walks of life, but what didn’t happen was you complaining about it and making a ruckus then and there. You know why you didn’t complain? Because as an often foul-mouthed high-pressure attorney and senator, you obviously brushed it off and moved on, yet now you expect us to believe you were so thin-skinned that you didn’t just brush it off and move on AS YOU DID! Foul-mouthed and thin-skinned doesn’t jibe.

Did you know that your friend Gloria Steinem, honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, thinks capitalism must be ended, yet has no problem selling books and charging for lectures?

From the DSA web site:

 Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few.

Will Gloria donate all the profits from her books to charity?

(Crickets)

 As we are unlikely to see an immediate end to capitalism tomorrow, DSA fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people.

How can Gloria weaken corporations when she writes books and makes money for them?

Sorry I missed a gathering of power-hungry hypocrites cheered on by brainwashed and bigoted people. I had to write this letter to make this known to you and the world, and to redeem myself for giving you any money at all.

Sincerely,

Gary Costanza

P.S. The Secret is bullshit.

Not Happy with the Law? – Make Up Your Own!

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Not Happy with the Law? – Make Up Your Own!

By Gary Costanza

The story of Emma Sulkowicz carrying a mattress around Columbia University to symbolize the pain she carries because of an alleged sexual assault by a man on campus two years ago and her school’s refusal to expel him helps to answer some questions many of us have been asking:

Why do women earn less?

Why is feminism ridiculed?

Emma claims to have been raped and choked by a sometimes boyfriend one night in 2012 in her dorm room. She reported the incident seven months later to the university, who eventually found the accused “not responsible.”
In May 2014, she finally went to the police, hoping to prosecute a fellow student whom she feared walking into on campus. Since the police investigation is ongoing and her alleged assailant is walking free on campus, she elected to “create” the endurance performance art piece called “Carry That Weight” as her Visual Arts senior thesis.

From CBS New York:
“Rape can happen anywhere, but I was attacked in my own dorm bed,” she said. “For me that place that is normally very intimate and pure was desecrated and is very fraught. The piece is about carrying the memory of that everywhere I go.”

From nymag.com
“Sulkowicz says she was impressed by how Brown students rallied behind Lena Sclove, a Brown student who publicized the name of a male student who was given a yearlong suspension for “sexual misconduct” against her, when they felt the punishment was not severe enough. The Brown Daily Herald published his name and he subsequently withdrew from the university altogether. “I was recently friended on Facebook by Lena Sclove, who has been such an inspiration for me, and to see the way that she was able to create a safe space for herself definitely made me realize that after I had made the police report I had that as an option to me as well.” Sulkowicz says.”

She’s making a safe space for HERSELF ONLY by singling out particular men, trampling their civil rights, ridiculing them, and using vigilantism to ostracize and slander them. This type of harassment is one of the worst kinds of bullying and has in the past resulted in revenge killings and suicide. So, I guess if you’re not content with the legal and moral avenues available to you, and you’re an activist using personal experience and anecdotes to replace justice – just make up your own laws!

She says carrying the mattress will build muscle and get her physically and emotionally stronger. Please, to feel safer, carry pepper spray; don’t start a witch hunt, kangaroo court, or lynching. You don’t seem shamed or fearful (you’re carrying a mattress for crying out loud) and you’re acting more like a lynch mob than social justice warriors. Remember due process?

Note to self: Don’t like someone? Make THEM get out of YOUR space. How? Threaten them with bathroom graffiti and feminist vigilantes.

A quick quiz:
1. How to be safe on campus:

a. Carry pepper spray
b. Carry a mattress

2. How to get attention on campus:

a. Carry pepper spray
b. Carry a mattress

The Columbia “Spectator” published the name of the accused from rape list fliers and bathroom wall graffiti (by multiple signers) spread by unnamed vigilantes sympathetic to Sulkowicz. The “Spectator” published the man’s name because (they say): feminists wanted them to there was a police report, three students have accused this man, and because his name was on a “rape list”. I thought past history couldn’t be brought up? Oh that’s right, that’s for the REAL justice system, not kangaroo courts and the feminist media. Someone should put up a LIBELER and VIGILANTE list with Emma’s name on top! Are all Emmas radical feminists with no regard for civil rights and due process?

So, according to Sulkowicz and student feminist groups like “No Red Tape Columbia” the truth is irrelevant; if they say it happened, it happened, and if any woman is “uncomfortable” on campus hang expel the man immediately.

We don’t know what happened, but if what she says is true – choking, slapping and nonconsensual anal sex – that’s assault and rape, definitely a police matter. She said she screamed for him to stop, something that could be verified, but the accused was found “not responsible” three times by the university due to lack of evidence. It WOULD suck if it comes down to “he said, she said” and it really happened. But to assume guilt as many feminists do – “women never lie about rape” – would further encourage women to anonymously falsely accuse men of rape.

It’s not always clear cut and black and white. What other things could have happened? It’s possible that when he started anal sex she got mad but allowed it, later regretting it and calling it rape. Or, he may be totally innocent. It’s possible, you know.

No one heard her screaming? I guess not. Why didn’t she report it immediately, and to the police? She said she was “embarrassed” to call authorities and when questioned by the police and was made to feel like a “criminal.” She said the college mishandled the case, asking ignorant questions and “left her feeling even more traumatized and unsafe. I’ve never felt more shoved under the rug in my life.” Regardless, questions need to be asked – however painful – to find the truth. Feminists talk about the stigma attached to rape, yet fall back on that as an excuse for rape-shield laws and victim-friendly rules THAT PERPETUATE THE STIGMA! Rather than not allowing “embarrassing” questions, let’s fight the stigma by candidly telling what happened and answering all questions confidently.

From the NY Times:
“Another factor, college officials and students say, is that the stigma that has kept most rape victims silent, while still strong, has eased, leading to a sharp increase in the number of attacks reported to college officials.”
Feminists and the MSM want to have it both ways – “the stigma (and oppression), while still strong, has eased,” but of course ‘more work has to be done.’

Despite what feminists say there is no “epidemic” of rape and sexual assault (epidemic: “spreading unusually quickly and extensively”). Like Mike Buchanan said about “Everyday Sexism”, these are whiners and complainers who exaggerate micro-aggressions and wallow in victimhood and weakness. As the saying goes, “Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find.” –Robert Flaherty

Some falsely accused men are fighting back and suing their colleges for lack of due process, libel, slander, and Title IX violations of sex discrimination. Because feminists have taken over many of our institutions and feel a sense of invincibility, women like Emma have no qualms about smearing someone’s name and reputation despite the facts. One of the accusers of this man (there were three) claimed he forced a kiss on her – hardly rape, not even close, yet it’s lumped in with rape and written on bathroom walls on campus. There is an investigation being made and I hope the bigots/vandals/vigilantes get sued big time.

I’ll let commenter Dale from nytimes.com conclude:

Dale
Lanoka Harbor, NJ 3 May 2014

“It is a long-running concept in U.S. criminal law that one can only be found guilty of a crime if it is beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused has committed it. Now, the administration wants to weaken this fundamental protection of due process and wants private entities, institutions of higher learning in this case, to serve as judicial bodies without the protections in place that criminal courts have to follow in order to protect those involved in the proceedings.

This is an extremely dangerous precedent and an underhanded way to sidestep the Constitution. Someone accused of a crime, especially such a heinous crime as sexual assault, should be afforded the protections promulgated by the Constitution and other aspects of criminal law.

Once the right of due process is eliminated for certain crimes, how long will it be before due process is denied for people accused of other crimes?

Sexual assault should be taken seriously, of course. However, dealing with it by throwing out due process and the concept of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is the wrong way to go about it.”

Emma says she’ll carry the mattress until she graduates in 2015 if necessary. If anyone sees her without the mattress, ask her what happened to it and if she’d like to share yours. Wait… better not, your name might end up on a bathroom wall.

***Extra credit question***:

Someone is attacking you in a closed elevator. Should you…

a. stand there and take it like a punching bag
b. fight back and defend yourself

Note: (b.) only allowed against males, unless you’re a female.

Here’s how fearful Emma is of the rape culture and how the patriarchy is ignoring women’s voices:

4/7/14 – We drool while feminists rule – Gillibrand, McCaskill, and Sulkowicz:
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/04/07/sen-kirsten-gillibrand-seeks-funds-to-fight-college-campus-sex-assaults/

5/3/14
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/us/fight-against-sex-crimes-holds-colleges-to-account.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7B%222%22%3A%22RI%3A13%22%7D&_r=0

5/13/14
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/columbia-graffiti-names-rapists-on-campus.html

5/13/14
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/nyregion/list-of-names-in-sex-assaults-roils-columbia.html?_r=0

5/13/14 – NOT a safe space for a few men!
https://bwog.com/2014/05/13/list-of-names-of-alleged-rapists-written-on-bathroom-walls/

5/15/14
http://time.com/99780/campus-sexual-assault-emma-sulkowicz/

5/16/14
http://bwog.com/2014/05/16/emma-sulkowicz-files-police-report-for-sexual-assault/

5/16/14 – Here the Spectator names his name.
http://columbiaspectator.com/news/2014/05/16/frustrated-columbias-inaction-student-reports-sexual-assault-police

5/18/14
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/columbia-spectator-prints-name-from-rape-list.html

9/2/14 – It’s been months since she had national exposure, so… (media hound much? This is really sick, slick, and sickeningly one-sided)
http://time.com/3259455/columbia-student-pledges-to-carry-a-mattress-every-day-till-alleged-rapist-leaves-campus/

9/3/14
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/09/03/columbia-student-carrying-mattress-around-until-alleged-rapist-is-expelled/

See my YouTube channel jerrytheother