So, I attended the UCL debate on Tuesday 28 February and filmed most of it, although not under ideal circumstances.
I went along to support Tom Martin and was also encouraged to go by several MRA contacts who recommended it to me. I spoke directly with Tom and he also invited me down. In due course, I will incorporate some of the footage from the debate into other work, but this is to note some thoughts on the event, and more particularly, an incident which occurred afterwards.
The Main Event
I no longer generally debate Feminists for the simple reason that I have never found it to be very productive. My understanding of Feminism leads me to conclude that debate is not relevant to fighting it in any large part because the argument is already won on an intellectual basis. In fact, there simply is no argument on a rational basis. Of course, therein lies the rub: Feminism does not draw its power from rational argument, it draws it from our feelings, which in turn are drawn from our biology.
The bottom line is that Feminism works because people believe in it, not because it’s true. They believe in it even when presented with evidence showing that it’s categorically not true. They believe in it in the same unconditional way that parents love their children.
The debate was titled: “Is Feminism Sexist?”. To me that’s like a debate called: “Is Racism Racist?”
The debate ran as I would have expected and there were no surprises. Tom Martin gave a good account of himself; Steve Moxon attempted the impossible and tried to explain the complexity of evolutionary psychology in under 1 minute (please read his book); there were a number of “can’t we all just get along?” types; a couple of male-feminists who were disappointed in the comments from men (hell, let’s be more honest; they were disappointed in being born male); lots of emotion from a couple of women about how discussing false rape meant that genuine rape was being trivialised; and the good, old fashioned man-hating types embodied by the substantial Estelle Hart.
Sigh. Nothing to see here.
The debate came and went and then it was off to a restaurant for further discussion for myself, Tom Martin, Steve Moxon, and a few other guys who shall remain nameless – on threat of launching legal action against me, no less.
Yep, you heard that right and let me be clear: I was invited to the debate by Tom Martin; I took time out of a very busy day to attend an event that had little value to me as an MRA and almost zero value to my research; I filmed the event and the restaurant discussion at the request of Tom Martin to help him make a documentary. And the reaction from several of those individuals present was to threaten me with legal action should their precious mugs make it into the public domain.
They would sue me in their fight against the ravages of Feminist-ideology. This is the way they chose to treat me, with threats to one of their own trying to make as much of a difference as humanly possible. They could smile and shake the hands of any of the Feminists they encountered that night, but me, they choose to threaten. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
I don’t get angry easily regarding this business, I’m more of a quiet simmer-er who will get annoyed, ruminate on it, and then put it into a film two years later. But these guys really pissed me off.
I have heard many stories of men’s groups collapsing due to infighting and ego’s and bad attitudes and strong philosophical differences etc, and the behaviour towards me of these miserable specimens makes it clear to me how this comes about.
As the naked panic from these individuals traversed the room at the thought of publicity, I wondered if it was because they specifically didn’t want to be associated with any of my work personally i.e. “Appear in one of your rubbish videos? No thanks”. But it turned out that it ran deeper than that.
Alongside me, there was another guy there obviously at Tom’s request, with pro-video kit, filming everything too. I imagine that he was then at a loss as to what he was even doing there when 6 out of the 8 men around the table all demanded that their identities not be revealed in any way at all, even with pixellation.
Now, I myself have withheld my full identity from my work (for now), and so I fully understand the basis of the fear that these men were displaying. Livelihoods are at stake, after all. My issue, was that even when I gave assurances that the footage would only form part of my own research and would not be made public, they still harped on about my not using it and then one waste-of-space author decided to offer the threat to sue me, and then another worthless specimen decided to chime in with the same threat.
The idea that I would ever, in a million years, seek to cause harm to other men in the movement is so obnoxious, so deeply antagonistic and so utterly contemptible, that it took my breath away. I tried to keep my temper under control and understand that this was not about me personally, it was not even about my work (which would be of no concern to me anyway: You don’t like my stuff? Your business). It was the idea that I was some sort of subversive or infiltrator, rather than being someone on the same team that I found intolerable. This is just one aspect of the male condition I suppose, but it is really misplaced and I find it unforgivable.
One idiot, the aforementioned waste-of-space author, said that I hadn’t announced myself as manwomanmyth. I said that I was invited to the debate and the meal by Tom and you can see you are being filmed. You even did an introduction to the camera for over a minute about who you were and what you believed (I didn’t speak this last part aloud), and it didn’t occur to you to think the footage might be used? And ascribed to you, the man who just gave his name and introduction on camera? Good grief, it’s great to know that the MRM has such distinguished rocket scientists on the team.
The fact is, with the limited equipment I had, the room was too dark to get valuable footage and so it was purely research material. However, even if it was top quality and usable, I would be entirely disinclined to use my time and efforts to do anything whatsoever for such nasty, acrimonious, underhand, piss-poor excuses for MRA’s.
Based on their pointless and intellectually defunct arguments over the the very language that should be used to define the MRM (yes, this was what they spent most of the time I was there discussing), these tossers can rest easy that I have no interest now, nor would I have any interest in future in hearing their opinions, filming them or even wasting hard disk space with their precious points of view.
As I packed up to leave, two or three individuals, including one of the ignorant, threatening twits, wanted to tell me that they really liked my material and thought I was doing a great job. Really? Cheers. And you know what else? Fuck you.
Right now, I feel the need to repeat something I said sometime to someone, that is clearly (and sadly) still true. The only reason I do this work (and it is a lot of work) is for me and more recently, my son.
If it was for men, or the MRM, or for characters like those people I unfortunately wasted my time upon today, it wouldn’t be worth doing.
PS I would like to make clear that this article does not relate to the author Steve Moxon, whom I admire greatly. It refers solely to some other unsavoury specimens I was unfortunate enough to meet after the debate.
Addendum – A fuller debate summary
NB This is from someone else and his name will be added later.
Debate: Is feminism sexist? Held: Tues 28th February 2012
Tom Martin vs Estelle Hart at UCL in London
It was a lively debate from audience members. The MRAs had a good representation but were outnumbered by the pro-feminist students (female and mangina males). The event was filmed and was due to be continued in a nearby restaurant afterwards.
There was a sudden change of lecture theatre at the start due to numbers and I originally sat centrally in front of a row of feminist students. I moved because I found some of their talk irritating. Nevertheless I did pick up that they had classified the MRAs present as a bunch of middle aged men losers. The male students would not identify with such a group of losers and naturally sided with their female compatriots. Any young fem supporter that said anything in favour of feminism received enthusiastic applause. There was a clear division from the start.
The problem with debates is that as an audience member you only get one crack at a comment when what you need to do is engage in an exchange.
Tom Martin opened with an intense 10 minute citation of the case for why feminism was sexist. He had done a fair bit of preparation and presented a volume of statistics to support his case. Estelle Hart’s counter was basically to pour scorn on his facts, but also to plead that feminism was about reasonableness and fairness for men as well as women. The direction of the feminist attack was to try to show the MRAs as a tiny and unsupported fringe movement of middle aged men who had no case to answer and that life was all fair. However, they would not support such things as male officers in universities. They had not read, nor were interested in reading any MRA literature. They rejected or ignored any research presented by MRAs.
There was tendency to regard MRAs as non-mainstream and this influenced one or two who claimed to be neutral, but not well read.
I had warned Tom about the standard emotional feminist, who at some stage stands up to decry rape and sure enough on queue one delivered her statement with tears in her eyes. It was a bit like the stereotypical ‘pregnant woman’ you see in disaster movies.
I think it clearly shows how our young people have been contaminated by feminist dogma and see feminism as ‘cool’ and the norm. They have accepted it without questioning it. They see laws and the enactment of those laws as fair. MRAs are out-of-touch and griping about things that are not real to them. I couldn’t help but feel that some of the young men are some day going to get a rude awakening when they are accused of a sex crime or decide they would like children. The thing is though, I doubt whether any of them will marry anyway. Many will probably stay away from actually producing babies unless they are conned. All I can say is watch the video when it comes out.
13 March 2012
I have been contacted by one of the men at issue in this article, the first one that threatened legal action against me. He has explained at length what led to his threat, he has apologised unreservedly and says that he thinks I was justified in responding the way I did in this article.
I have since reviewed the audio recording of the meeting and I’m positive that the thrust of the article stands, including the language I use within it.
That said, his explanation goes some way towards ameliorating the situation. He explained that it was partly to do with a belief that I was from the Fawcett society which was due to someone suggesting this as a joke. I didn’t register it at the time but that ‘joke’ is indeed on the recording. However, it was clearly established later in the discussion that this was not true and I was vouched for by more than one person present. That makes this weak mitigation.
He said he had no idea who I was because he had not come across my work before, so he felt that he simply over-reacted due to not enough information about what was going on. However, the recording makes it clear that my position was known to the extent that another person even said to him after his threat that “this guy does not deserve this hostility”. But it fell on deaf ears.
So the situation is complex because all was in agreement about not using the footage, people had gone out of their way to calm things down and vouch for me, and then for no reason whatsoever, the legal threat was made.
But he’s made the effort to explain and I think he is honest. On balance, I am willing to accept his explanation and apology and that he got carried away, and I have said to him that we should put it behind us and he agreed.
Personally, I think that Tom should have been the one to sort this all out before it became a problem, and he admits as much in the recording. But he had his hands full with the debate and he was the person we were all there for anyway, so it counts as one-of-those-things that can happen in this business.
However, none of this applies to the other piece-of-work at issue here. The recording shows his complete familiarity with my work to the extent that he even recognised my voice from the videos. And a quote from him? Nameless prick says: “I know you’re one of us, you’re one of our guys”. And then the tool proceeds to threaten.
There is no excuse whatsoever for his behaviour in joining in the threat to sue. This character is precisely the ugly truth of the MRM I was so surprised to uncover. So, unfortunately for me, I am left with the reality that with certain apologies and explanations aside, the article must stand.