When will YESBody! care?

Kennesaw State University (KSU) student, trans-woman, and now Sentinel staff writer Jessica Fisher reported on Zen Men’s recent live educational event Rape Culture Does Not Exist, which united an entire classroom of KSU students to explore non-feminist perspectives on the toxic effects of the “rape culture” meme.

Our teleconference guests included Nick Reading, Karen Straughan, Alison Tieman, Richard Rall and Anna Cherry. KSU students were welcome to come on camera and talk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH6td2Sc5U8

Fisher is a member of YESBody!, a gender-ideological student organization.

During my presentation I reiterated academic and political corruption on the part of influential feminists when spreading the Rape Culture meme. Feminist students, including Fisher, framed the criticism as “feminist bashing.” When Fisher did not twist words, she selectively omitted information to set a pretense that Zen Men is an unwelcoming environment.

I personally invited YESBody! to attend the event several times, and to participate in the open discussion component of the event. I didn’t fuss when complaints poured in because that’s what debate is about. I encouraged feminists who were there in person to challenge what they heard, and I completely opened the floor after my presentation.

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Defaced Zen Men poster.

I’ll admit that I wanted to see prigs have a meltdown because I think oversensitive people are hilarious, but I sincerely hoped for passionate discussion and wanted feminists to challenge Zen Men right there in person. Sadly, no feminist in attendance participated, and instead left as soon as the open discussion started despite being welcomed. If YESBody! wishes to complain about a strong non-feminist slant in the overall event, they need to take responsibility for their decision to remove themselves from what was originally a diverse pool of opinions.

Fisher’s bubble is even more noticeable thanks to her interviewing YESBody! member Devyn Springer —whom they brought — and no one else. My favorite part was when Devyn apparently expected explicit personal acknowledgement in a largely unregulated discussion. Devyn called the event a cult meeting, and asked why we couldn’t talk about men’s issues without “bashing feminism.”

I’ve written over 50 articles on A Voice for Men, many of which cite evidence I do not need to rewrite. All I need to do is remind everyone that feminism is a worldview, and it’s not healthy to hold it above scrutiny. Zen Men members and volunteers are happy to admit if they are wrong about something but they also insist on expressing their opinions on gender without feeling shamed or disrespected. We live under dogmatic conviction to what makes us feel good, instead of what makes us think. Case in point, YESBody!’s advisor Stacy Keltner lied to the cops, claiming that I fantasized about killing women, among other things. Is this the diversity, tolerance and understanding YESBody! brings to the table?

I’ve been a subject of many campus police reports filed strictly by feminists because I’m not like them. Every police report fizzled away harmlessly. I hope that my readers acknowledge the attempt by feminists to harm me because I don’t worship them.

Merely criticizing feminism makes people risk their jobs, if not their lives. This is enough evidence for Devyn to know that there is a monopoly in the marketplace of ideas. A land where disagreement is not disagreement, it’s “bashing.”

What about the defaced flyer? Was that not bashing? What about your advisor’s accusations, YESBody!’s response to my side of the October debate, and all the lovely things I have caught in screenshots on YESBody!’s Facebook page? Is YESBody! ready to say that they’ve been perfect little angels?

Now, if I make people feel uncomfortable for having strong opinions, then they can just sit there and be uncomfortable. I cannot respect people who subjugate others using emotional manipulation, because that is the heart of a dysfunctional relationship. I don’t intend to get out of bed and attack other people’s feelings, but I will happily risk offending everyone to make important observations that bring sanity back to gender relations.

Fisher placed an unfair focus on me, when there were several non-feminist women at the event. Only Karen Straughan’s perspective was included. Apparently heretic women aren’t allowed a voice in discussions on equality and diversity. It’s not misogyny if feminists do the silencing, right?

If Zen Men is woefully mistaken about everything, then why would anyone feel intimidated by what it has to say? I presented evidence showing that Rape Culture is a message of fear and emotional manipulation, and offered alternative, evidence-based options to aid victims of sexual assault.

Instead of asking questions like a staff writer for a news team ought to do, Jessica Fisher chose to make passive-aggressive tweets a la Adria Richards during the presentation and evade discussion altogether:

In response to my mentioning that due process violations threatened constitutional protections:

In response to my claim that rape culture is a meme that spreads hysteria:

In response to my showing the class how 1880–1930 lynch mobs and rape culture ideologues rationalize crime similarly:

In response to my mention of innocent men being torn apart by due process violations:

In response to my discussing the April 4th Directive and it’s recommendation of the “preponderance of the evidence” standard for allegations of sexual assault:

I’m comfortable allowing intelligent readers to figure out problems in Fisher’s reasoning. For the purposes of this article, I find it more productive to compare track records. I’ll do so by bouncing off one last quote by Fisher:

Feminists and activists here at Kennesaw State University have gone through great pains to emphasize the ways that rape affects and is perpetrated by all kinds of people. This culminated in last fall’s YESBody! display on the campus green.

One thing Jessica fails to mention is that at the last part of my presentation I promote the North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN) and provide information on volunteer opportunities for this organization. I showed my research of 142 Georgia crisis networks across the state, and proof that NGMCN actually provides shelter for men.

If you are a man experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, and feel that you need shelter specific to safety concerns (whether the danger is from a woman or another man), don’t give up. CALL our hotline number so that we can help you through your immediate crisis. Often, a few nights in safe place can help you to come up with alternatives. In many cases, just having a safe place to stay for a few days to get some sleep, to make phone calls, firm up plans, and have a base of operation can give you the the leeway you need to regain some control of your life, implement safety plans, and turn the proverbial corner to an abuse-free life.

— North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network, Inc.

Talk about an oasis in the desert!

I encourage everyone to support organizations that help all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. For whatever reason, Fisher figured a gender-equitable shelter wasn’t worth mentioning in her crusade for raising awareness for victims. Helping all victims would be helping Zen Men, and helping Zen Men is bad!

Fisher instead delightfully reminded us all about YESBody!’s underwear display. How kind of her to omit the fact that I donated the rest of the money they needed for that. Fisher also omits the fact that YESBody! members have called my donation a “bullying tactic.” Since holding the event, YESBody!’s only act of “collaboration” since promising to help Zen Men during Male Students in Peril was to drop off two Hefty bags of undies for me to proxy donate to the C.A.R.E. center on campus.

So, their message is “Your money is icky, you’re a piece of shit, and you will get rid of this underwear for us. Don’t expect thanks, because we’re taking credit.”

YESBody! is a hub of pop politics, where gratitude and common decency collapse under the weight of ideological commitment. The co-presidents issued two apologies for making evidence-free character allegations, but to this day have not corrected that behavior, because to them, integrity is not as important as popularity.

Our intention was to counteract propaganda that hides victims of sexual assault and advocate for real (not perceived) victims of rape. If you wish to help, Zen Men is preparing a letter to Sen. John Lewis and House Rep. Margaret Kaiser requesting to change the rape definition in O.C.G.A §16-6-1 to recognize gay victims and male victims. Zen Men is also still collaborating with KSU administration in the (painfully slow) development of a men’s shelter to complement the Women’s Resource Center and provide comparable services based on sex pursuant to Title IX. I wish all missions would finish overnight, but they won’t. This a long, thankless, and often depressing job.

Zen Men is doing it’s part to aid victims of sexual assault, and I put tens of thousands of miles on my car networking with businesses I find in KSU databases. Most of the work I do is not reported online because it is busywork, but it is that busywork that gives me the experience to know what I am doing is right. I’m not the kind of person that sells shiny messages or promises, because I am the opposite of YESBody! in that respect: integrity is more important than popularity.

YESBody! members have violated apologies, used up my Q&A time in the November conference to make empty promises, cast my giving them money as “bullying and harassment,” stood by while their friends in faculty told lies about Zen Men and it’s members, and dismissed everyone who doesn’t think like them.

This is the hysteria that drives toxic memes that twist reality, whether it be Rape Culture, the Glass Ceiling, Guyland or the Patriarchy. Just because Zen Men challenges ideological nonsense behind these memes does not mean we oppose individual agency. In fact, it is because we care about equity that we oppose feminism.

Zen Men expresses unpopular opinions, but that is not bashing, nor is it a reason to file police reports. If we at Zen Men even came close to acting like YESBody!, we’d be cast as a hate-group only because we lack the popularity that makes their antagonistic bigotry okay. Replace “YESBody!” with “Zen Men” and “Zen Men” with YESBody! in each of our historical actions and see if that helps you realize who needs a lesson in what it means to care about human beings.

This article originally appeared on ZenMen.org.

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