KSU YESbody raises funds to protest KSUM conference

A Student Life staff member stopped me today to hand me a couple of flyers quoting A Voice for Men founder Paul Elam out of context that Student Life had to take down.

A KSU student organization called YESbody! started reading David Futrelle and started yet another source of dishonest punditry called MensRightsInfo. The blog states that both students and faculty are behind the blog, participating anonymously. However, they started a $500 GoFundMe fundraiser for a public demonstration during Male Students in Peril. Two of the donors include social justice academic Scott Ritchie and Interdisciplinary Studies Department Chair Robbie Lieberman. These two staff members were involved in attacks on KSUM with nothing but baseless accusations against my character in their arsenal.

YESbody! raised $325 by the time I saw the page. I immediately donated the remaining money with a comment.

Sage-donates-175

As misguided as I think the protest is, I want free speech to prevail and prosper.

The protesters have been invited multiple times to come to the conference and participate in discussion. That said, I’m unsure why the protest is even necessary. The KSUM conference is about raising awareness for marginalized voices anyway, so by all means RSVP.

MensRightsInfo responded with the following post:

In a post earlier today, we shared the gofundme link where we and the YESbody group on the Kennesaw State University campus are raising money for a “Peaceful Positive Protest” of the Men in Peril Conference to be held on the KSU campus on November 1. Though we easily raised $325 of our $500 goal in less than 24 hours, Sage Gerard of KSU Men took it upon himself to “make up the difference” and leave us this message.

Please judge for yourself. Do his sentiments ring true? Is our peaceful protest opposing his free speech? Have we judged him and others based on a lack of evidence? Is his donation all in the name of good spirited disagreement and first amendment rights, or is it perhaps another bullying/harassment tactic meant to silence or shame those who disagree?

wut

In what universe is me giving you money a bullying or harassment tactic? That question is so loaded that it would make for a particularly quick game of Rhetoric Roulette.

Let me make this perfectly clear: You have judged me and others based on a lack of evidence. Your introductory post makes unwarranted, loaded claims (emphasis mine):

1. This blog is anonymous for one reason: the Men’s Rights Movement has an established record of harassing, intimidating, and otherwise threatening its detractors (we’ll cover that in some posts later on). Our anonymity is not a signal that we feel we are doing anything wrong or harmful or a signal that we are afraid of anyone or anything, but rather a signal that those we are dealing with have a record of not engaging in rational discourse all that well and that we’d rather not get threatened with rape!

Oh, good grief.

2. The purpose of this blog is NOT to attack men. Let’s say that again. The purpose of this blog is NOT to attack men, nor is it to minimize the real issues that affect men and boys. The purpose of this blog is to raise consciousness around the issues that are relevant to men and boys, and the methods and strategies currently being used by the Men’s Rights Movement so that individuals in and around the KSU community can more easily make an informed decision regarding those issues.

They can’t make an informed decision if you cherry-pick content and twist context. Which you did.

If your blog makes for an informed decision, then date rape drugs makes for consensual sex. That’s how intellectually dishonest your blog is. You hid under the blanket of anonymity with faculty and started making wild and unwarranted character allegations from a Tumblr blog.

“Informed,” my ass.

3. (This is directed specifically to Men’s Rights activists): All information posted to this blog is stored elsewhere, and any attempts to hack the blog, remove the information, etc. will only result in us creating the blog again (heck, maybe we’ll even create it twice!). So please don’t bother. We’re just sharing information about your cause – so that should be a good thing, right?

Scott Ritchie filed a USG Hotline complaint against me with unwarranted character allegations, and Lieberman went behind my back to pull the ear of our current adviser. Neither of them have taken the time to speak to me about KSUM but have been keen to harass and demean with no thought or reason.

I am a marginalized man on campus who is not allowed to speak out. Why is that not in your blog? What happened to not minimizing the real issues men and boys face?

And not only that, but what about the women? You quote Paul out of context several times, but have you contacted the women of AVfM? The women of WomenAgainstFeminism? Why are women compassionate about men not on your blog if it is meant to be a source for men’s issues?

On another note, members of this group have expressed concerns over spending Sage’s money on our protest. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we raised enough to pay for the event and donate the excess (at least $175) to local sexual violence resource groups?

You were at $325 when I saw your page, and I matched the difference. My contribution was not excess funds, so not using my money for the protest would be breaking the promise you made on the page. That is fraudulent. Are you sure you want to back out of a promise with someone extending an olive branch this early? Is that the example you are going to set?

Think, for God’s sakes.

excess-money

The passive aggression around my donation is, well, look at this contributor below. No one thought to say, “Hey, it’s cool that someone with a different opinion is supporting your right to participate in the big discussion.” No, instead it’s “Sage and his buddies want to silence, oppress, shame and harass rape victims. Keep his money, but use my excess funds in the way you promised instead of his non-excess funds!”

175-match

Oh, what-EVER.

Well, since we are on the subject of victims, there is a disparity in representation and funding for men for IPV shelters. KSU doesn’t have aggregate counseling services for men in the KSU Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center. I heard about this Title IX problem straight from Assistant Dean Bob Maddox. Maybe you could contribute to that? I’ve already made a dent in that effort, and the administration mentioned including a men’s center in late 2015, with KSUM volunteering in development.

And if you ever decide to go beyond local stuff, I have this list of Georgian centers related to domestic violence. Some of them serve only women (because equality, I guess?), and the only ones I’ve looked into that serve men don’t actually shelter them. They just offer referral services to unnamed organizations that I’ve yet to find in the state. Maybe your research will be more fruitful and reassuring.

Or, if my money bothers you so much, then you can return it.

You won’t, though.

I know you will spend the money to make yourselves look good in whatever way you please.

Because that’s what this is about. Looking good.

When I was pushing for diversified gender studies literature, an equitable campus IPV centeran equitable self-defense program, feeding the homeless, and other issues that could reasonably be filed under “gender equality,” you all were nowhere to be found.

I did work, and now you’re trying to take the credit for the values I spent countless hours struggling to put on the map. Clearly to silence people like this guy.

It was only when I advocated looking at gender through a non-ideological lens did people start showing up to judge. It was only when KSUM members took a stand with humanitarian non-feminism did we start to see what this culture is really like: anti-male.

I have been subjected to many horrors as a marginalized voice on campus. Can you imagine how it feels seeing people like yourselves come out pretending to care about men while stepping on others in the process? This is not advocacy, it is hate disguised as love.

Just because I can see through the bullshit does not mean I am an unqualified activist. It is experience that tells me that you are not going to use that money out of compassion. Instead, you are going to donate that money to prove a point, and to attack hard-working people to co-opt virtues that don’t belong to either you or me.

I lost a lot of money helping others. Often without thanks or support in return. Looks like that happened again. You took my money and denied me a respectful representation of my position.

I won’t shut up, and I won’t go away. I am a man who is open about his feelings, and who deserves an equal chance with my ideas. I have experienced first-hand what an emotionally honest man endures, and that is why the conference is on, and why the truth will go out.

Feminism got it wrong. Male students are in peril.

UPDATE: After meeting with the co-presidents of YESbody, I learned that Menformation is not an official publication of YESbody! However, given how closely the organizations have been working together, it still appears that Menformation posts content that is representative of YESbody!’s position. I have asked the co-presidents to make a statement clarifying their actual involvement, and suggested they distance themselves from those who make character allegations without all of the evidence. Stay tuned in case there is more information on this subject.

Advertisements

Don’t be Stupid

Someone texted me that a rumor that KSUM was preparing to assault an event. The details of the text were vague. There was no mention of location, source of the rumor, what the event even is, or so on.

It would not surprise me if there was no evidence behind this rumor at all. It certainly is not the first thing people have made up in an attempt to childishly smear KSUM.

Still, a text like that prompts me to make a preemptive statement.

KSUM is, first and foremost, non-violent and consistent with principles of open discussion. We may take a strong stance as an organization, but we still welcome anyone and invite debate.

If I hear of people breaking our few, simple rules, they may lose their membership. And if I see proof that someone on campus is causing major trouble while claiming to be a part of KSUM, the first thing I will do is see if that person’s name is on our member roster.  If he or she is on the roster, they will be removed immediately. Also, if necessary, I will notify the campus police that some dumbass tried harming KSUM and other students. I will also issue a reprimand, and it will not be flattering to the troublemaker.

By all means, challenge ideas, be critical and be outspoken. But acting out in a harmful manner will result in KSUM ejecting the culprit.

To the Student(s) Taking Down our Posters

If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave. To attempt to silence a man is to pay him homage, for it is an acknowledgement that his arguments are both impossible to answer and impossible to ignore.

– JBR Yant

No attempt has ever been made by KSUM to alter, obscure, deface or censor any opinion whatsoever, because we strongly believe in an open dialogue. So imagine our surprise when our posters around campus have been taken down (repeatedly!) by those who cannot be bothered to write a simple email or attend a meeting to express dissent.

We speak against the anti-male, and we are critical of feminism, gynocentrism, and other ideologies that deem men as anything other than human beings with thoughts and feelings. This is a controversial position today, but it is by no means incompatible with humanist values and a quest for gender equity.

KSU Student Life has been extremely professional and helpful in our quest to remain a noticeable force on campus, and we thank them for their student advocacy. They have agreed to keep a close eye on our 42″x56″ banner (pictured below) and to review security footage to discover the identity of the cowardly vandal.

KSUM Banner in Student Center
KSUM Banner in Student Center

In the event that the coward happens to be reading this post, we have something to say to him or her: Printing is expensive, and every time you destroy a print, you take money away from either KSUM or Student Life, depending on who wrote off the cost.  You are destroying someone else’s property because you don’t like the thoughts the owners express. That is no one’s problem but yours. As a result of your actions, we are now going to keep a sharp eye out for oppressive forces like yourself.

If you have any problems, you can write me personally or show up to a meeting in CL 3050 every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30 PM. Unlike you, I am not frightened of disagreement, and can conduct myself like an adult. It is up to you to decide when you will stop being a petulant child, but I do not expect a speedy transition.

Every time you rip down our posters, we will put up new ones, no matter the cost. People want us here, we will not stop, and we will not go away.

Now sit there and live with it.

SGA Spring Block Party

KSUM will be at the SGA Spring Block Party on the Campus Green this Thursday, March 27th, starting at 10 AM, with a camcorder at the ready. The timing is wonderful because the next meeting is on March 28th.

We will educate passerby on the lies and hatred spread by gynocentrism and misandry, and crowbar open unexplored avenues for discussions and local activism. We will also be discussing the ideas behind the emerging anti-feminist movement, so ruffled feathers are to be expected considering that KSU is at least 60% female. If you are interested in the complete story on gender issues and about issues on your campus, stop by our table and chat with us. We will happily show you the problems faced by men and boys, complete with numbers. We will also spell out specific steps towards practical, reasonable solutions that are respectful to the rights of everyone.

If you like what you hear and want to help out in our quest to put an end to misandry, we are seeking additional officers. Officers get a vote in meetings for KSUM administration and access to funding for small-scale men’s rights activism projects.

Men’s Human Rights on Kennesaw State University

Editor’s Note: This article, dated September 13, 2013, has been reposted from A Voice For Men. This article covers preliminary observations made by KSUM’s founder, Sage Gerard, regarding the environment men and women live in on KSU.

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a relatively small university in Northwest Georgia, U.S.A., roughly thirty miles north of downtown Atlanta. KSU has been over capacity for the better part of the seventeen short years it held university status. The bustling student population supports at least 226 formal organizations representing a wide range of different interests, and many more organizations not listed in the previous link. Despite KSU’s diversity, they consistently neglect the needs of men.

Let me show you how KSU treats its men and women.

Gynocentrism

About 60% of KSU’s students are female, and a number of opportunities offered by campus and state organizations are given exclusively to these young women. For example, the Georgia Executive Women’s Network offers a scholarship to women age 24 and up, and Women In Electronics offers supplementary funds that stack on existing financial aid to female students [1][2].

Campus organizations like Kennesaw Women in Mathematics (KWIM), promote the participation of women in mathematics. KSU and its student organizations have never hesitated in connecting women to opportunities from a plethora of programs. There is nothing wrong with offering opportunities to female students, but they are harder to justify when you compare the status of the KSU woman to the status of the KSU man.

There are scholarships, programs and courses available to all students, but women are the focus in promoting each. The most disturbing example is KSU Security’s Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) course. The KSU security department’s page for R.A.D. mentions that men are allowed to attend a men’s only R.A.D. course near the bottom.

Resisting Aggression with Defense for Men is a new program being offered this year, to address the many requests from our male population for basic self-defense options. RAD For Men (RFM’s) goal is to provide responsible information and tactical options of self-defense for men who find themselves in confrontational situations. For a male self-defense program to be an empowering experience it must contain a few key elements. These are: to educate men about their roles and responsibilities in reducing violence, to instill an understanding of reliance on others, to understand the responsibility and importance of making different decisions, and to obtain self-realization of the power of controlling one’s emotions.

Scroll back up to the first paragraph of the same page and you will see this.

Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) is a simple yet affective [sic] self-defense class for women only.

In addition, the periodic email blast for R.A.D. not only leaves out all mention of R.A.D. for Men, it also explicitly tells you only women may attend. The email shown below was sent to me on September 4th, 10:44 AM. allstudents@groups.kennesaw.edu broadcasts a message to all students, assuming you are sending the message from an authorized address (If you try to send something there, it won’t work since you are not authorized to broadcast anything). This alias makes it easy to promote events.

10:44 AM is an odd time for automated system to send emails, so I suspect a human being typed this email. This means (s)he had a chance to see the hypocrisy of offering a unisex course while claiming that it is exclusively available to women.

Email showing only women get rape prevention training

Download the email source to see the original message for yourself. I removed my student email address from the source to preserve my dying anonymity for now.

AVFM member Eriu pointed out that an FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for KSU shows that only twelve rapes were reported on KSU from 1995 to 2010. From 1995-1999, not a single rape was reported [1][2][3][4][5]. One rape was reported in 2000, and then we drop again to no rapes for 2001 and 2002.

The R.A.D. course was founded in 2002.

At time of founding, one rape report was all they had to demonstrate need. The highest number of rape reports totaled a whopping 4 in 2009 [1][2]. R.A.D. cannot feasibly take credit for the low numbers, since even prevented rapes would be reported by frightened, would-be victims.

When R.A.D. for Men was introduced, KSU Security Officer Trudi Vaughan had this to say about what the course offers in the Sentinel (the campus paper):

“It doesn’t insult or diminish your ability to be a man if you walk away,” Vaughan said.

RAD for men was developed from the Rape Aggression Defense for women, a course offered by KSU PD since 2002.

“It focuses a lot on what your responsibilities are as a man,” Vaughan said. “When women say ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean ‘no until you talk me into it’; it means no.”

The RAD for men mission statement is “To provide responsible information and tactical options of self-defense for men who find themselves in confrontational situations.”

Men are offered “tactical options for self-defense” such as walking away from violent confrontation after being reminded that “no means no.”

R.A.D. simulates a live attack on students executed by the “R.A.D. Man.” The R.A.D. Man can be played byeither a man or a woman (where the woman is still informally called the R.A.D. Man in promos). If you look at the email, you will see that women are expected to inflict injury and pain. In the Sentinel, men are encouraged to not fight back, and are given a reminder to not rape.

Outside of security, the KSU Gender and Women’s Studies department offers a masculinity course (see GWST 3080) with required readings including Michael Kimmel’s Guyland. The original course proposal has a red flag on page 3:

The course will be regularly evaluated through the ongoing assessment of the gender and women’s studies program faculty according to university guidelines.

Students are regularly evaluated by the people who endorse Kimmel and the kind of environment KSU provides. Women are the focus for numerous campus benefits, and even a unisex service for preventing a traumatic event is marketed to women alone. Men are not considered important enough to communicate with, even though some programs have become unisex in response to male demand.

Men have silently fought for representation, only to have it reluctantly granted with a gynocentric twist.

Facts are facts. KSU plays favorites.

Haphazard Support for Men

On February 20th this year, I attended the first meeting of The Gentlemen’s Club (TGC), a self-described “safe haven” for men founded by two KSU counselors. I was impressed and excited about the group after hearing about the philosophy of its founders, but started to back away when I learned of its policies.

The founders, Dr. Faust and Dr. Griggs, claim to follow the methods of Dr. Miles Groth. After the first meeting, the group sounded too good to be true. Quote Dr. Faust at 1:02:15 of the first meeting:

[We will be] a group of guys who will get together and talk about real issues that we face everyday. We can’t do it out there. There’s people out there who don’t understand. They humiliate us. They talk about us. They embarrass us. That will never happen in this particular safe environment. [I want to] create an environment where people can be themselves. That’s all we’re asking for. It’s not complicated!

I reacted positively, and the doctors asked me to help recruit new members. I offered the doctors a chance to talk to the staff at A Voice For Men (AVFM) for exposure. The doctors declared AVFM “militant” and backed away from it. They declined me the opportunity to record our second meeting, so I cannot prove what they told me next. I must therefore simply ask you to take my word for what I learned. All members had to sign a contract giving the doctors consent to monitor intermember communication.

When I questioned TGC’s founders about their invasive policies, they responded with a bitter psychoanalysis of my outlook on society and how men fit in the grand scheme of things. Dr. Faust said that there are broken men that needed to be ”fixed,” and he never clarified what that meant. My take is that many men are just fine the way they are, but need a place to be themselves without carrying the burden of unwarranted guilt and bottled up emotions.

I thought that TGC was the sanctuary men deserved, but I was wrong. TGC was meant to be a group therapy session where the members were not allowed to socialize with one another outside of the group. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Groth was confused by this approach when I emailed him to ask about it. It is safe to say that TGC does not follow Groth’s methods as closely as it first claimed.

My suspicions were correct: TGC was too good to be true. But I must say through gritted teeth that TGC was the best thing for men I could find on campus. A full log of my relationship with TGC can be found on MarZ.

Kennesaw State University is a school where men are struggling for relevance. KSU enforces anti-discrimination policies just enough for men to get representation, so long as it’s all for the grace of women.

KSU does not respond to men’s issues with violence or resentment. Instead, KSU greets men with tense silence followed by reluctance, a small cookie reward and some PR hand-waving, in that order. Once KSU feels like men are satisfied enough to shut up, the benefits KSU and its student-run subsidiaries just that second gave to men are reoriented to focus on women.

It would be wrong to say that no one on KSU cares about men. There are signs of life in the student body showing interest in men’s issues, but these people always come second to gynocentrism. R.A.D. as it exists today demonstrates exactly what KSU is willing to let their own police department get away with.

Would you attend Kennesaw State University?