Christina Hoff Sommers, author of “Who Stole Feminism?” and “The War Against Boys,” is scheduled to speak tomorrow at UCLA. Campus feminists are organizing a boycott. The talk, hosted by the Federalist Society of UCLA Law, is entitled, “Freedom Feminism: The Best Way Forward in the Gender Wars.” It has raised the ire of campus group, “Law Women of UCLA.” (LWU)
They are couching their objections to Sommers and her speech from a bedrock of lies. I am going to take a moment to correct the misinformation and then move on to the larger lesson.
First, LWU claims, “In January, 2014, Dr. Sommers wrote an article for the men’s rights activism (MRA) website, A Voice for Men,”
This is false. Dr. Sommers has never written anything for AVFM. She did agree to AVFM republishing one or two of her works which were already published by other entities. Much in the same way we have republished work from Dr. Murray Straus, Dr. Gerhardt Amendt and a host of other notable people. That does not constitute writing for AVFM, and I would wager that the author of the LWU piece is, or should have been aware of this.
The statement goes on to indirectly tie Dr. Sommers to WhiteRibbon.org, calling it a copycat site. Two lies for the price of one. Dr. Sommers has no relationship whatsoever to WhiteRibbon.org. Also, it is not a copycat site. WhiteRibbon.org is a website run by domestic violence pioneer Erin Pizzey. Pizzey is the woman who started the shelter movement for women in 1971.
Side note: Even during the course of writing this piece (and after Sommers tweeted the link), the letter from LWU was removed from the internet. But not before I saved it to pdf. Fed Soc Letter
Other organizations, like White Ribbon Australia, UK and Canada, are run by ideological profiteers, scamming the public for funding which they send directly to their own pockets. Pizzey’s site is designed to call attention to that and to expose the industry of lies plaguing an issue that needs very real attention from people who actually want to do something about it.
I hope those in the UCLA area will attend Dr. Sommer’s lecture and show support for her work, even as the attempts to besmirch her are underway.
This scenario speaks to another issue that I need to address independently from where I sit.
AVFM has become the catalyst from which the monster in the shadows has finally been forced to show its ugly face. The beast, which has largely operated behind closed doors in the past, now has no choice but to engage in daylight attacks. Their targets will be people like Sommers, Warren Farrell and others who did not rise to public attention out of the brawling free-for-all of internet based alternative media. As revolutionary as some of Sommer’s ideas are, they are still tailored for mainstream sensibilities.
Naturally, feminists know this and want to force divisions, even where connections are not even present to begin with.
I think this is what we have seen with Cathy Young, a solid voice of reason in the gender discourse, but nonetheless quick to get on the anti-AVFM attack machine.
I can understand why. When your message generally provokes the kind of polite public dissent appropriate for the illusionary world of mainstream media, the idea of getting your hands dirty; the idea of all this suddenly becoming more real than a byline in a major publication, would be most tempting to avoid.
These people have my empathy, but not necessarily my sympathy. Given the choice, I would not spare them the discomfort of dealing directly with the bigots, liars and bullies we have been engaging for 6 years.
What they do with that is up to them, but I think my lack of concern is justified with a simple look past the myopic world of a faltering mainstream media apparatus. Those who dissent from mainstream feminism, as opposed to “Freedom Feminism,” are more relevant now than ever because AVFM has taken on the gouging and kicking that other “proponents” have avoided with great aplomb.
Again, I truthfully deny that there is any formal association between CHS and AVFM, but I do so with the knowledge that such a public denial would not be necessary had we not succeeded in yanking the real problem out of the shadows and into the light.
More of this will come in the future. There have already been some murmurs out of the feminist camp that the lead up to the International Conference on Men’s Issues 2015 in Houston (ICMI ‘15) will be plagued by multipronged media attacks on AVFM and anyone associated with us. It is the kind of thing that might bother those interested in mainstream sensibilities.
It is the kind of thing on which AVFM thrives.
I have a great deal of genuine respect for the likes of Sommers and Young. If I have any criticism at all, it is more speculative than justified. I do feel though, that there may be some insulated thinking in some circles out there that still entertains the idea that we can change the world without upsetting very powerful and sinister people. AVFM will not be a part of that kind of thinking, but we will not stand in the way of anyone so engaged unless they use us as a whipping post to maintain their good mainstream image.
I have never seen Sommers do anything like that, and don’t expect I will.
This is a lesson for all of us, folks. It is a lesson for me, for Sommers and her compatriots. It is a lesson for you if you call yourself a Men’s Human Rights Activist (MHRA). The fight is about to get real. Most of you who follow this site know that I have recently been vilified using potshots from an ex-wife and an estranged daughter. They dug over three decades into my past to gather what dirt they could, then twisted and spun it in an effort to discredit me.
If you think they are starting and stopping with me, you are in for a rude surprise. Most people associated with AVFM will currently be under investigation. You can expect exposés, attacks, yellow hit pieces and the like leading up to ICMI ‘15.
No one will be spared in feminist’s desperate attempt to stem the momentum we are gaining. And the more momentum we gain, the more desperate and malicious they will become.
In the end, they will do with you what they have done with me, which is to say they will likely prove that you are human and flawed, and nothing else. They can spare me the delay. I already know Dr. Sommers is not perfect. I already know you are not perfect. I have known of my imperfections as long as I have had them.
This is how the mainstream media operates. They have a world full of imperfect people, some of whom are trying to do some very just and important work, and they spin the imperfections to a dumbed-down audience of mainstream media consumers anxious to take a look at someone else’s flaws instead of their own.
And this is why I won’t have any part of it.
I am appreciative to those who use the mainstream media to further the message, but I am not invested in keeping them lilywhite as the fur that needs to fly starts flying. This is what change looks like, bloodiness and all. Anyone who does not have it in them to endure that, this would be a good time to reconsider your involvement in challenging the modern zeitgeist. The war has started, and it is about to get ugly across the board.
Of course, most of us at AVFM never kidded ourselves about that to begin with, which is why we never made ourselves dependent on the approval of the uninformed or the dishonest.