Has Time Magazine libelled AVFM?
Recently (May 22, 2015), I posted an article on A Voice for Men. If you have not read this article I recommend that you do so, since it will furnish the necessary back story for the present discussion:
Ramping up the dirty tactics against pro-male activism
My purpose in writing was twofold. First, I wanted to put the journalistic behavior of Time magazine under a microscope. Second, I wanted to provide an object lesson that would be relevant to upcoming stages in the non-feminist political struggle.
While giving the article a post-publication lookover, I became aware of a glaring nuance which had oddly escaped my notice when I first composed the material. To explain what I’m talking about, I must share a passage from a Time article which I quoted originally in my own article:
“This isn’t the first time that the victim of the impersonation, Caitlin Roper, had been targeted with fake accounts. She’s also been attacked by men’s rights groups, including A Voice For Men, for her political and philosophical views. However, it is not clear whether any of them were behind Tuesday’s incident.”
The present point of interest lies in a comparison of the paragraph’s first two sentences. The issue is, in a word, flagrant. I am bloody thick to have missed it the first time around, and were it physically possible to kick myself in the back of the head, I’d be doing so this very minute.
Make careful note of the transition between the first sentence and the second sentence. The first sentence informs us that it wasn’t the first time Caitlin Roper had been targeted with fake accounts.
Now, skip ahead to the second sentence. It says, verbatim: “She’s also been attacked by men’s rights groups, including A Voice for Men…“. (The boldface emphasis is my own.)
The carryover is ambiguous, because the second sentence could be interpreted to say that the entities in question had “attacked” Caitlin Roper specifically by using fake profiles, as in the first sentence. But ambiguous or not, there is arguably an arc of meaning here, and I would have to call it a strong connection. The phrase “she’s also been attacked” (in the second sentence) points back very naturally to “this isn’t the first time” (in the first sentence), as to an antecedent. They establish a paralellism, and seem to entail each other.
At any rate, owing to lack of clarity, an imputation has been planted in the reader’s mind — although we might call it an “imputation with plausible deniability”. The imputation is, that AVfM has “attacked” Caitlin Roper by use of a fake Twitter account.
The bare possibility that such an imputation was made, even inadvertently, is no light matter. In my opinion, it raises the stakes — both for Time magazine and for the author, Kia Kokalitcheva.
Accordingly, I shall pronounce the question one more time, in the clearest possible English, so that none will mistake my meaning:
Do Time magazine or Kia Kokalitcheva mean to imply, that AVfM has attacked Caitlin Roper by use of a fake Twitter account?
I think that Time magazine owes us a clarification and/or correction here — and likely an apology too. I would say that the buck stops with the editorial team, since they’re the ones who let this pass on their watch.
I think the best plan would be to post the needful statement online, and to inform the publishers of AVFM when this has been done. AVFM contact information can be found here:
In conclusion, I would like this to stand as an object lesson: that it is wrong to use underhanded tricks against non-feminist people, or against non-feminist communities in general.
I would ask all concerned parties to spread this article through Twitter, Facebook, and any other form of online media. When using Twitter, it good to include @TimeMagazine along with any hashtags you deem applicable.