In their continuing quest to embody the phrase "beneath contempt," the sad, small people behind men's rights website A Voice for Men have set up a website impersonating White Ribbon, a legitimate domestic violence prevention organization. White Ribbon is calling AVFM's copycat website "vile" and imploring everyone who supports their work not to be fooled.
Over at Cosmo, Jill Filipovic has a great piece about the impersonation, starting with a history of the (actual) White Ribbon Campaign, which was founded in 1991 by Canadian men after 25-year-old Marc Lépine killed 14 women and then himself at a Montreal engineering school; his suicide note blamed "feminists" for ruining his life. Today, White Ribbon encourages men and boys to help end violence against women, by not committing or condoning abuse.
That's pretty much the direct opposite of A Voice for Men and its founder Paul Elam, who, as Filipovic points out, has written about one prominent feminist scholar, "I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage. I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection." Elam has also made a career of sorts out of claiming that men are victims of domestic violence as often as women. (No.) On his new copycat White Ribbon site, he also claims that the only difference between male and female perpetrators of domestic violence is that he has "found significantly less remorse in women."
Sure. Just to be clear on this, the real White Ribbon site is whiteribbon.ca. The fake site is WhiteRibbon.org, and, unlike the real organization, whose donations are used for violence prevention, Elam's site makes it clear the only real beneficiary is Elam himself. A banner on the top right of the copycat site reads, "All donations for our White Ribbon effort will be used to maintain and enhance this website. Thank you."
The real White Ribbon's statement says that the group is "exploring all of our options," but adds, "we will not be engaging with this group in a public screaming match. They can remain a shrill minority. We will continue to engage with the vast majority of men who believe in gender justice, and want to be part of the solution. And we will do it with the same determination, conviction and passion we have shown for the past 20 years."
Meanwhile, in a clear attempt to add to the confusion, the fake White Ribbon site issued a statement of its own, warning people to "beware of false White Ribbon initiatives" and accusing "other entities" of "inserting dishonest and sexist messages into this movement."
If you'd like to make a donation to the true White Ribbon Campaign—perhaps in Paul Elam's honor—you can do so right here.
Image via the fake White Ribbon