digging up the roots of gender-based violence

A “Voice for Men” is not a Voice for Me

At this point we all know Elliot Rodger and the violent rampage that he executed in order to punish women for the crime of depriving him of sex. We sat in exasperation when discussing, yet again, another rampage by a cisgender heterosexual white dude. I explained to my coworker, Kathryn, that I was relieved that we had access to his recording and manifesto because it’s undeniable evidence of misogynistic intent, privilege, and male entitlement.

To which Kathryn replied, but they are denying it…

Once the news broke of Rodger’s assault I grappled with whether I should write about it. My job is the engagement of men in ending gender-based violence. We have the power to create social Picture2change when men understand the potential that our collective voice have in ending violence against women and other men. This should be our aspiration. I hope for us to be a voice taking concrete actions within a larger movement; a movement that brings women and men together collaboratively to end gender-based violence through a critical profeminist lens.

Rodger’s misogynistic hate is undeniable after reading his self-written manifesto. We can speculate about the intersections of mental health resources, violent media and video games, weapons access, the damaging effects of toxic masculinity, and the socialization of men and boys. Yet, men who chose to relentlessly debate the reality of Rodger’s hatred of women as a motivating force are choosing to thrive in denial. This denial often resides in a compulsion to protect oneself from association with Rodger (and other men) and entitled thinking.

That’s not me! I wouldn’t do that! Not all men hate women!

This is a reaction to something much greater and this response simply isn’t advantageous. We know that not all men go on murder sprees or rape women. In reaction to this feminist women responded with #YesAllWomen. This drove #allmencan as a forum for men to demonstrate solidarity with women. It’s worth noting that some of these men miss the mark; however, it’s an excellent start and it simply can’t end there. The question for men who beleive in gender equity becomes: what are you doing on a daily basis to end violence against women? A hashtag and a photo are not enough! How else do you engage? The reality is that we are all detrimentally affected by social and cultural narratives that support violence, even men, and we have a tremendous opportunity to work together to collaboratively rewrite that narrative.

My question for men reading this post – who believe in gender equity – how do you engage?

Take Action in Detroit

On June 27th and 28th, “A Voice for Men” is hosting an international men’s rights conference in the heart of Detroit at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel. A Voice for Men operates under the guise of supposed equitable intentions while promoting claims that women want to be sexually assaulted and have a “predilection for being overpowered”. I won’t spend a lot of time on their antics if only to say that in 2012 The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) declared Men’s Rights Advocates to be a hate group.

This is an opportunity for men to stand in solidarity with women and end sexual violence.

Put words into action fellas!

  1. Ask the Doubletree Downtown Detroit to cancel the conference by signing this petition
  2. Call the hotel and respectfully voice discontent (313) 969-5600
  3. Join “Redefine: men and feminism” to make signs the night before the demonstration
  4. Stand and peacefully march in solidarity on June 7th in Detroit at Grand Circus Park

8 responses to “A “Voice for Men” is not a Voice for Me

  1. Miep June 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Your link on “prediliction” goes to donotlink.com

  2. Steven Kendall June 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    It can’t be so much that he hated women like one hates baseball; that is, due to 100 percent of their (or its) inherent properties. He loved women and then hated them because they didn’t love him back. So his was an embittered, resentful hate, which is not really a pure hate in the first place. Thus, it is wrong to call him a misogynist.

    Then, what about the four guys he killed? Did you even mention that in your article? Have any feminists mentioned them in their articles?

    FIghting “misogyny” is like fighting East Asia and Eurasia in Orwell’s 1984. You hear about it, but there’s no evidence supporting it; it’s a war that’s left intentionally un-won; and all the while the masses are so fervent in their passion to stamp out the enemy that they’ll further promote the existence of the “misogynistic culture” lie.

    • Kole June 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

      I’m really committed to not engaging in arguments over the legitimacy of Rodger’s misogyny. The blog really isn’t about that. I will say the following and end there.

      It really doesn’t seem that Rodger loved women (not by my understanding of love) – he wanted women to serve his purposes. His manifesto speaks volumes. His recording speaks to the degree of his distain. The account of his online life within PUA culture says enough. He may have at one point had attraction or desire for women (as possessions or to serve his purposes) but he grew to hate women. He talked about destroying women and referred to women as a plague. Whether you want to call it pure hate or hate that is produced through socialization and experience is irrelevant and the argument is cyclical. He used the hatred of women to motivate his subsequent assault. Misogyny is complex and layered. It operates under the assumption and belief that women and femininity are inferior and exist for the benefit of men. These beliefs damage and harm both women and men.

      My question – and the point of the blog – what are we going to do to change it?

      The four men that were murdered matter. I don’t mention them in the article because I don’t mention the victims by number, sex, identity, or at all. It wasn’t the point of the blog. Yes, other people are talking about it. You will find a link HERE. There are others too if you search around.

      The purpose of this blog isn’t to argue the legitimacy of misogyny. Please read our commenting policy before posting further. I value your opinion and do enjoy hearing and knowing the perspective of others; however, we won’t engage further to debate the existence of misogynistic culture.

  3. Lisa June 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I really question protesting this conference. I think it gives them far too much publicity & legitimacy as well as giving them fuel for their persecution complex.

    • Kole June 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Lisa, thank you for commenting and I appreciate your perspective and understand where you’re coming from. I suppose in this regard the symbolic aspect of the march is what is important? Perhaps more than the demand for integrity from VfM? By showing up and peacefully marching in protest we’re saying that the lives of women are important. We’re saying that all people affected by gender-based violence and the language VfM uses also matters.

      We’re not organizers of this event and don’t have attachment to logistics. As a profeminist man, I am committed to standing in harmony with feminists and simply try to show up to peacefully support and show solidarity within the movement.

  4. strivingally June 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Meanwhile David Elam is arguing that feminists should pay for his security costs for the conference – you know, you show they’re committed to free speech. Or something. I don’t remember the last time the Klan asked the NAACP to pay for bodyguards…


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