Apology to Men's Rights Activists - UPDATED WITH POLICY

About a month ago I wrote a post on this blog about the bathroom procedure at my daughter's preschool and my preference for her to be taken to the toilet by women, not the male volunteers in the classroom. I sited a statistic (Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study 2001, revised 2002) that I believed to be accurate to support my thought that men should not be in women's restrooms helping female preschoolers go to the toilet.

To be clear, I never accused any male volunteer of wrong doing. The bathroom at this particular school is separated from the classroom by two concrete walls and a hallway. My thinking was that I did not want my daughter to become accustomed to men taking her to secluded areas and having access to her private areas. A two-year-old is not wise enough to know that at school it's okay, but other places with different men is not. NOTE: These were not male staff, which are present and I have no problem with. They are literally men off the street with no childcare credentials beyond paying the school tuition.

The post received little traffic and a handful of supportive comments. I later updated the post with the decision from the school. They agreed to honor my request and in light of my concern, they became aware that their school policy was lacking any language in regard to the bathroom and formed  a task committee to research policies at other preschools. I claimed victory that my daughter (the only child this women-only bathroom assistance measure affected) would be "safe" and that I had made a difference by inspiring change.

Also to be clear, the reason the school reexamined their policy because no protocol had ever been in place. Nearly every preschool has some kind of procedure in the bathroom with kids - sometimes it's a rule of threes, or that the caregiver must be visible from the classroom etc. This is all the school is doing. They are just aligning themselves with similar institutions. I think they have done an excellent job of being fair and in no way are they enacting a policy to keep men out of the bathroom or classroom.

This past Wednesday evening, the post was reposted on a men's forum on Reddit and the fallout was a hard lesson in modern life.

My original post was misguided. Worse was my initial reaction to harsh criticism. Out of the blue my mom blog was pounded with stern comments pouring in so fast the server couldn't keep up. These commenters were unknown to me. I just jumped with my gut instinct to fight fire with fire. I freaked out in real time because I felt ambushed. It was a mistake I regret.

I was unaware the people calling me a bigot had a broader message. I have since learned so much about Mens Rights Activists (MRA), a world view I had honestly never considered. I did not intend to be intolerant of anyone, I simply thought gender-assigned bathrooms made the same sense in preschool as they do in the rest of the world. I am sorry.

I do still prefer gender-assigned bathrooms, which includes children, for privacy reasons like adults are afforded every day. Some may argue public places should have mixed-gender bathrooms but many people are not ready for that. (Family bathrooms are nice of course!)

As for my misguided reaction to the volunteer dads in school, please try to be in my shoes. This is my first baby, the volunteer dad in class on the first day of school was a complete stranger to me. I couldn't even see his face. I had met all the moms and teachers before the school year started, but not all the dads including him.

For the record, I never suggested removing dads from class. I didn't address who should take the boys to the potty simply because I don't have a son and the only child I had an opinion about was my own. I don't govern other peoples' parenting. When I blogged about my experience it was just that - my experience, just like I blog about the apple pies I make and crafts my kids do. I did not consider personal posts to be anything other than a record of my experience.

Although I have been treated horribly by certain activists and threatened with violence (an FBI report was filed UPDATE - I have since moved from my home for safety reasons) I do have the wisdom to see that the broader message of gender rights is worthy of attention. Paternity fraud, unfair custody battles, certain child support procedures, false accusations and double standards that plague men are an unfair set back to everyone.

Feminism maintains a premise of "the radical notion that women are people". Men are people too. So are children. We all deserve fair treatment from the justice system and each other. Women are just as capable of committing crimes as men and should not be held less responsible when these instances occur.

I apologize for perpetuating the distrust men face in the world of childcare. Please know my fears stemmed from cultural osmosis and I never intended harm to anyone. The past few days have not been pleasant, but the experience has been a gift of awareness. The irony is not lost on me that my birthday is coming up. I am so, so much older than I was last Tuesday.

This is not just a parenting blog. It is a powerful tool for spreading ideas. I will be more responsible in the future with such a platform.

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I will remove this post if any further negativity is directed at me or my family and I reserve the right to moderate comments.

UPDATE 11:20PM 10/24 And scene! That was a full discussion and only one person got banned (who was also banned from a main MRA site). Good work. Comments are now closed on this post and it will remain visible.

UPDATE January 9, 2012: The school's new policy has been published and I will cut and paste it below as proof I never made any efforts, nor was successful at making efforts, to exclude men from duties at preschool. Also, I NEVER said or even implied that "most men are child molesters" as was falsely stated by A Voice For Men. That type of statement is so harmful and untrue I'm surprised AVfM would even publish such a thing.

A very important point is that I never asked for a policy change at the school. The first sentence of my post started "You don't have to write it down . . ." because the director asked me if I needed it in writing. Policy change = writing, no? I just wanted a verbal confirmation that my own daughter would only be in the ladies' room with women.

TO BE CLEAR I still am firm on this. I believe in the dignity of gender-assigned bathrooms for boys and girls. I want my daughter afforded the privacy and modesty of an all-female bathroom.

ONTO THE POLICY CHANGE: Nearly all other preschools have protocol in place for the bathroom. Many of them have a "rule of threes" which is that at least two caregivers must be present when taking a child to the bathroom. Other institutions have a rule of visibility, which means the caregiver must always be visible from the classroom (many preschools have half-walls so the adult can be seen).

This school had no such rules and realized they needed them. The discussion I opened up prompted them to make a change - one that never addressed gender. THAT is where the policy change came in. You might imagine a school would have all their bases covered, but for whatever reason this school hadn't thought to put language in their official handbook that addressed bathroom procedures.

I will now directly cut and paste the new school policy on taking students to the bathroom, redacting the school name:

ASSISTING PARENT BATHROOM GUIDELINES

Each year, as [REDACTED] continues to evolve and grow, we further clarify the roles and responsibilities of assisting parents. This year, we have realized that many of our parents would like clarity on what role they should play in helping children in the bathroom. The board and staff have collaborated over the last month to develop our new bathroom guidelines. They reflect our research on best bathroom practices in other cooperative preschools as well as our commitment to fostering children's independence, comfort, and safety while remaining conscious of appropriately and effectively utilizing our teachers and assisting parents. Bathroom Guidelines: [REDACTED] strives to ensure safety and encourage children’s independence in the bathroom.

[REDACTED] asks each family to have their child practice bathroom procedures at home such as dressing/undressing and wiping. [REDACTED] encourages parents to dress their children in clothes that make it as easy as possible for them to be independent in the bathroom. We also request that parents/caregivers always take their child to visit the toilet before class to minimize interruptions and provide more time for play and learning.
The following applies while class is in session: All children, accompanied by a teacher, their parent, or parent assistants, should be taken only to the two-stall bathroom located in the hallway across from the classrooms. Adults should use the single bathroom, located closest to the lobby, so that the two-stall bathroom remains available for students.

Parents assisting in the bathroom should stand outside of the closed stall door, remind and encourage children to wipe and flush, and monitor hand washing to ensure children are using the proper technique. If a child needs assistance with clothing details such as pulling-up pants, buttons, zippers or snaps, assisting parents should help them outside of the stall, in either the sink area or in the front "powder room" area.

If a child needs any kind of assistance in a stall and can’t be prompted toward independence with things such as wiping, changing clothes after an accident, getting onto/off of the toilet, or generally learning how to toilet, teachers should ideally provide this help. To notify a teacher, parents can simply step into the hallway and alert an adult in the front classroom. If a teacher is unavailable, a parent may provide assistance if they are comfortable doing so. Teachers and assisting parents should make sure that stall doors remain open when they are helping a child in a stall.

If a family feels that their child needs special accommodations or support in using the bathroom, beyond what is outlined in this policy, they should contact the Education Director to discuss their child’s needs.
NOTE: [REDACTED] is not licensed to change diapers. Therefore, no Pull-Ups are allowed."

Filed under: !Escandalo!, Menz

Comments

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  • I was hoping you would have this kind of realization. I am glad. Honestly, I never thought much of the impact of sexism on men until I had a son and even more when I later had a daughter. What an eye opener it has been to see the different way the world treats two equally innocent and incredible little beings based solely on their gender. (A perfect example was in your comments when you stated that women taking boys to the bathroom was fine, but your post was about your issue with men taking your daughter to the bathroom. Was my son not as deserving of protection and modesty as your daughter?) Seeing this with my children it has been impossible not to see it also play out in the world at large.

    I do hope that the awareness you now have will extend to your children as well. One of the great gifts of our mistakes is the opportunity for our children (and ourselves) to learn from them. You also still have the opportunity to teach your daughter about inappropriate touch (seriously, 2 is not too young, it's the perfect time to start) and when, where and in what context people are allowed access to her. Starting with you understanding the real crime statistics and dangers you can give teach her how to navigate the world in a truly safe way.

  • In reply to MotherHen:

    Thank you for your comment. A better response from me would have been whatever the parents decide is best for their child's bathroom situation is fine by me because it is not my business to tell other people how to parent. (There are plenty of girls at this preschool being taken to the toilet by volunteer men and it is not my place to change that either.) I apologize for dismissing the matter of who takes boys without true consideration.

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    Your response to all this is admirable, considering what you have been through. I was fine with you writing all of the above until you gave this disclosure.

    "I will remove this post if any further negativity is directed at me or my family and I reserve the right to moderate comments."

    Sure lets have a public blog where you can say whatever you want, but don't allow the freedom of the reader to respond anything. Personal attacks, profanity, and soliciting aside, if you are free to post your opinions on stuff on a public blog, be ready to hear opposing ideas. I always thought the best way to avoid negativity out there, was to not warrant it.

  • In reply to waam:

    I have not moderated any comments thus far. I gave that disclosure because I was afraid my apology would kick up more dust than it was worth and I am trying to put this incident behind me. Further, there are plenty of forums to voice any continuing negativity towards me that I have no control over.

  • In reply to waam:

    A public blog is not a public forum, it is controlled and moderated by the owner. The same is true of other websites (including reddit if that's where you are from also).

  • Sorry Jenna but your bigotry against men has been saved for posterity. We shall not forget your hatred. The vast majority of men show tremendous love for children and you have demonised them all.
    I am a mother too by the way.

  • In reply to Gensunasumus:

    You are not a woman, you admitted it on another site. At least be smart enough to change user names if you're going to pose as a "mother", GensunASSumus.

    PS- For getting caught in a lie, you are the first and only commenter getting a ban. Even Paul Elam is here! This is supposed to be a FAIR and HONEST discourse. Buh bye, lie face.

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    Im sorry but if you are banning people for disagreeing with you then you are making your apology seem disingenuous, I have to admit im weary , I saw the original post , read it several times and saw the cached copies that you claimed were doctored , they werent , Ill be perfectly up front , I feel that this apology is nothing more than lip service and an attempt to have the register expunged to solve the google issue., i hope im wrong but I will keep my powder dry for a few months .

  • In reply to Scott Mclelland:

    The only person I banned was someone claiming to be a woman and mother whom I found on another forum to be lying, He is a radical MRA. Not that radical MRAs don't have their voice here, but this discussion should at least operate on the premise of truth. I don't go over there and say, "I'm a man and Jenna is so amazing!" I am who I am wherever I am. We can only assume everyone else is too.

  • In reply to Scott Mclelland:

    Just for your information, Genunasumus was actually banned from the other site (I believe AVfM) by Paul Elam for attacking people over there. So if even Paul Elam believes that this Genunasumus is not fit to continue to comment on his posts, then Jenna has every right to ban him/her on this site for the sake of the "discussion."

  • In reply to campbelle:

    Here are where Paul banned Genunasumus
    "Paul Elam in reply to GensUnaSumus
    You are doing nothing but useless shit stirring.

    I have no more time for morons like you. Off you go." and

    "Paul Elam in reply to Stu
    @ Stu, JtO,

    Sorry guys, but I have ZERO patience for this shit any more. Truth tell, people coming here claiming to be MRA’s and calling men like Stu a mangina is lower to me than a feminist any day of the week.

    This piece of refuse has been banned."

    Taken from http://www.avoiceformen.com/misandry/an-ambiguous-apology-or-just-bullshit/

  • In reply to Scott Mclelland:

    Scott, Gensunasumus was banned by Paul Elam on AVfM for making hateful comments. If Paul Elam sees him/her as someone worthy of banning, then Jenna is not being unreasonable to ban him/her here.

  • Jenna - I know what you were trying to say in your original post. It's hard to find the right way to teach your young child which men/women are okay to be in the bathroom with her, when you have no control over which men/women go to the bathroom with her at school. I think the problem now stems from some of your responses to the "men." But that doesn't make it right for them to internet stalk you and make you fearful. They are now being the abusers that they are so against being portrayed as.
    As for your fear because of the comments, I found one where Paul Elam said "And when I find out the name of that pres-school (I already have your information) then we are going to go round and round in a much bigger way." It was on an archived site (http://powernpraise.com/Krazie316/Jenna_Myers_Karvunidis.htm) from one of the men on AVfM.
    If this isn't something to make you think that he may have your address, then he and the other commenters are foolish. I understand why you have stated you are fearful and concerned about your family. (I have taken a screen shot of the comment and saved it on my computer in the case that it gets taken down so it can't be found and you need a copy of it.)

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    In reply to campbelle:

    No need to save a screen shot, I will repeat it here if you like, and this comment is linked to my facebook face for the sake of positive identification. My name, real name, is Paul Elam. I am a MRA living in Houston, Texas. And I stand by what I said. It was not a threat in any way, but a simple promise of a legal and morally justified reaction.

    Had I discovered the name of that pre-school and found that they had adopted a policy designed to "Keep dads out of preschool potty duty," and Dads only, as her orginal article implied, I would have launched a campaign against that school much more aggressively than what happened over the personal blog entry from Ms. Karvunidis. And I would have attempted to give them as much bad press as possible, by any means necessary.

    I hope you can disabuse yourself of the notion that when an MRA, or a man for that matter, indicates a strong reaction, that it should be interpreted as a threat to violence.

    And again, for the sake of clarity, I do have her address, and it will remain guarded information. As much justified anger as I see about her blog entry, I am aware that there is a world full of unstable people out there, and since I have no intention of enabling any crazies in the world, the last thing I would do is make that information public.

    That being said, I do have the right to maintain information on individuals furthering highly questionable information, and using it to promote undue fear and discriminatory policies.

    It seems as though Ms. Karvunidis learned a lesson from her experience here. I respectfully suggest that you could as well.

  • In reply to Paul Elam:

    Paul,
    I didn't take the comment you had made as being a threat so much as something that might make her nervous or fearful. She doesn't know you except as someone on the internet who had strong things to say to/about her. If I knew someone strongly disliked me and had my address, where I live with my young children, I would be nervous as well. You may not have meant it as a threat, but in the highly volatile situation going on, it is unnerving to know a stranger has your address. She doesn't know if you shared that info with others or if others were also able to look up her address and may pose a threat. (You say you didn't and you have no intention to do so, and that is comforting to know.)

    I posted because there are many instances where people were saying that she was making it up when she stated that people were aware of where she lived and she felt fearful. You do know where she lives and you did tell her that online. It was more to show that in this case, she did not lie about that.

    Now, I do not totally agree with her comments about no men taking little girls to the bathroom. (And like I said in my original post, she did not handle the comments on her blog or the other pages well at all. It certainly did not help her case or make her look better.) I personally would be uncomfortable with volunteer dads taking my child to the bathroom alone, but I would be equally uncomfortable with volunteer moms taking my child to the bathroom alone. If I was a volunteer myself, I would not be comfortable taking boys or girls to the bathroom alone. To me, this is the job of the teacher/assistant in the classroom. It is easier and more comforting to tell my child that the teacher/assistant can help them in the bathroom rather than any adult in the room (male or female). I would have no problem with a male teacher helping my daughter in the bathroom.

    I agree that men do get a bad rep. I used to teach at a high school and we had 2 male teachers in my department. If they stayed after school with a female student, they made sure to keep all classroom doors open and to make sure another adult knew they were alone with the female student. There was no policy saying that they had to do so, but they just wanted to cover their butts. It is unfair that they even felt they had to do this at all. They were good men and good teachers. There are more good men than bad men in the world. The bad men ruin it for the good.

    I hope you can see that I was not suggesting that you were threatening violence, but I also hope you can understand why someone in her position might be feeling vulnerable and unsure of people's intentions towards her. Like you said, there are crazies out there and it's hard to tell which people making comments are one of them.

    My problem with internet comments on things like this (and I am not saying that your comment falls into this category at all) is that it is hard to express your anger/disapproval without just sounding crazed. There are so many comments that are just charged with seething hate that it is unnerving. There are few arguments that show self-control and maturity. There is a lot of name calling and sarcasm which doesn't help a volatile situation. She is also guilty of these kinds of comments which really didn't help the situation. There needs to be a better way to go about these things so that your group's message gets out there without the crazies who comment on your group's page making the whole group seem crazy. Your group's message has been lost and that is a shame. It is a good message.

  • In reply to campbelle:

    One point I can really appreciate is that I didn't know they represented a unified movement until someone tipped me that it was in a Reddit sub group, I read the threads and did further research. I just thought my commenters were loons coming from no where :)

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    In reply to campbelle:

    As cold as I am sure this sounds to you, I do not care at all for the "feelings" of Jenna. What I care about is the feelings of many of the abused, hurt men who count on me to speak up when this sort of thing happens.

    And that is a big part of my groups message. It has not been lost at all. In fact, it is rapidly growing.

    All it took was a handful of men and women to get together and say, "No, we are not putting up with any of this bigotry any more, and we are not going to any nicer about it than we would to any other kind of hatred."

    This is the ONLY way to go about this because this is the only way that ignorant people learn to pay attention. I don't say that to be mean, but it is just honest. I have been at this for 25 years.

  • In reply to campbelle:

    Thank you. I had not previously seen physically threatening comments from Mr. Elam. It is true that he moderated many of my sincere comments on his site, spoke to me in vulgar language and is holding my reputation hostage on Register-Her.com but I did not see him as threat to my physical safety other than inciting other people by keeping attention alive about me. I was not privy to the conversation you mention. Will you email me the screenshot in question so I may have it on file? dadsinpreschoolpost@gmail.com

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    Actually, your comments were placed in a spam folder automatically. I did that after you posted your second article on this matter, telling everyone that you were going to moderate comments. So I "moderated" yours. I don't check that folder very often, and just did after reading this. All your comments are now posted to the site, as is my response article to this.

    I am afraid you are still not getting the point here. If you have any interest at all in how you are now being received and regarded with the MRM, then do yourself a big favor and stop talking about how attacked you feel and how you still support gender assignment for bathroom breaks. That may be really true stuff, but it is not relevant here.

    The problem, as you have been told over and over again, is that you targeted fathers, and just fathers, with bad information that painted all of them as potential abusers.

    That is sexism and it is destructive. It is why MRA's got angry and why they are still angry. You paid some lip service to that without actually correcting what you did, and wrapped it all up in a "poor me I was skeered" blanket, justifying your hostilities.

    It is just a guess here, but it strikes me that you have never really been held to account for any of you actions in life. It is quite likely that the concept of complete, selfless accountability is just completely foreign to you.

    If so, it really is time to learn it.

    I have gotten a lot of threats since I became an MRA., including death threats several time delivered directly to my email. It comes with speaking out about some unpopular matters. And now, out of hundreds, perhaps thousands of total comments on a very heated subject, some things were said to make you feel uncomfortable.

    Deal with it, Jenna, and accept that intentionally or not, you are laying in a bed that you made with no help from the MRM.

    In fact, the MRM would have helped prevent this.

    Quit whining, Jenna, fix the problem for real.

  • In reply to Paul Elam:

    Paul, I am trying to fix this. I can't do any more than apologize and lend my platform to get a positive message out. If you won't suggest what I can do to fix the problem, then you are exploiting me as a scapegoat to unite and mobilize your people. I believe in human rights and it was in error that I made the sexist remarks that I did. Beyond apologize and help your cause, I have no other power.

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    "Paul, I am trying to fix this."

    And believe it or not, I am trying to help you. I just don't think you are hearing me.

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    In reply to Paul Elam:

    I can help make it more clear...

    "I'm sorry, but..."

    "You are right, except..."

    "I was wrong, still..."

    "I have not moderated any comments thus far. I gave that disclosure because I was afraid my apology would kick up more dust than it was worth and I am trying to put this incident behind me. Further..."

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    Jenna , if you were trying to fix it you wouldnt be trying to paint yourself as a victim still , you are complaining about the language used , being moderated etc when you spent your time villifying an entire gender, your comments here are inflaming a situation not helping it.

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    In reply to Paul Elam:

    Paul, when I used to frequent Y!A (Yahoo Answers), one of the feminists took it upon herself to do similar to me. Despite me having used a pseudonym, she found out my full name and the rough area of where I lived as well as how many children I had and then went on to issue various threats. The only thing I could do was report her posts to Y!A staff and hope they would act. Credit due to Y!A, they did. They banned several sock-puppets for the same feminist but she just kept coming back, making various veiled threats of malice against me.
    Not long before then, I’d had death threats sent to me. Not an implied death threat –a direct claim that I would be killed. And yet, I’ve not caused harm to anyone. I just run a little forum asking people to look at both sides of the coin, nothing more.

  • He is not holding your reputation hostage. You performed acts that publicly revealed your character, and he recorded them.

  • Thank you, Jenna, for showing intellectual maturity and a willingness to learn from your mistakes. I am not convinced that any actual threats were made against you but if that is, in fact, the case then shame on whoever made them and I hope they are brought to justice.

    I am a men's rights activist and financial backer of A Voice For Men and Register Her among other projects, but I don't think it's entirely fair for you to be listed alongside career bigots like Jessica Valenti and Amanda Marcotte. That certainly was never how I imagined register her being used. I do appreciate your willingness to grow from this and I think you will find that most MRAs are reasonable people who will accept your apology, although you should be prepared for that fact that some of us may doubt your sincerity based on some of the comments and accusations you made a few days ago.

  • In reply to coldfire:

    I understand I will never win the hearts of every person I offended. All I can do is try my best to lead a good life. As for the threats of violence against me, those parties acted as individuals and I do not blame the MRA movement as a whole. Please do not feel the need to confirm or dismiss their behavior.

  • I'm a former preschool teacher. When I read this post, I can't tell you how gratified I felt. Y'see, I (we) can't really complain about these types of things without (no offense) being shamed in the same way you did with your first post.

    "WHY do you want to potty kids so badly??"

    "I'm just trying to keep my kid SAFE!"

    "Well, you can never be too careful, pedophiles come in all shapes and sizes."

    and the worst:

    "OF COURSE I won't let a DUDE change my daughter!!"

    as if no other explanation besides "WELL HE'S A MAN" is required to indicate how dumb that idea is.

    Just for someone, anyone, to recognize that the 98% of decent men get a really short stick in these situations makes me feel less inhuman. Thank you, Ms. Karvunidis.

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    "I think they have done an excellent job of being fair and in no way are they enacting a policy to keep men out of the bathroom."

    You still miss the point by a wide margin.
    Men don't WANT to have to toilet your child.
    What we do want is to stop the spread of fear of men for being men based on lies. To be able to look after our own children without the snide comments from women that feel just like you do in the face of facts that show you are wrong. Comments that can incite a mob reaction and result in very real violence upon a man for caring for his child.
    Read Paul Elam's post. Re-read it if you must until it sinks in. Your hatred and intolerance will not be accepted. Neither will hiding behind the "best interest of a child" routine.

  • Thank you for you this Jenna.

    I'm aware that people that were not connected to the MRM said some threatening things - I saw the screen shots that you published and checked their accounts and verified them reddit trolls that create dramas in various different areas. I hope that you did file an FBI report and that these people are found and made an example out of.

    Thanks again.

  • In reply to Sigil:

    Thank you, Sigil. You are an asset to your community.

  • Paul, While JMK's views which she has now thankfully recanted, were disgusting and bigoted. She made those views, from what I can tell, as a private person with currently only a most minimal public profile. While JMK might have ambitions for a wider profile. She is not a public figure like valenti or marcotti who goes into schools etc.

    Like Coldfire I thought her inclusion abit harsh, but hey JMK had expressed extreme views and held fast to them when challenged. However JMK has now apologised, and is not a public personality.

    If JMK had made her money, name, career out of bigotry like valenti or marcotti, then i could see a simple apology wouldnt be enough to get removal from the bigots-corner. But hopefully the apology by JMK, an almost private individual for views expressed in a semipublic forum, is enough to warrant removal from the bigots-corner.

    And if the apology is not, under what conditions does a private or public person get removed from the bigots-corner? What is the mechanism for removal? Or are they there for all posterity?

  • In reply to jameseq:

    Once again, I repeat, her hatred needs to be preserved so that future generations will know the discrimination that men are currently enduring and will not repeat our mistakes. I am speaking as a mother here. Stop being feminist sycophants.

  • In reply to Gensunasumus:

    firstly, i do not believe you are a female. secondly, im not a feminist, and that is clear from my post

  • In reply to jameseq:

    jameseq

    I can't really speak for regristerher, but I'm sure that it doesn't function as a means to pressurize and coerce people, that would be very unethical.

  • In reply to Sigil:

    I do realize my reputation is being held hostage because the things written about me ARE NOT TRUE. I did not make up the statistic (Abel & Harlow, 2001) nor did I seek a policy change from the school.

    This wouldn't bother me so much, it's just my ego, except for the fact that if I died tomorrow everything I have worked for in my life would be eclipsed by an egregious attempt to protect my daughter. What's worse, is it's because I was the perp of a human rights issue. I did not realize preschool pottying had anything to do with a larger issue. It was a mistake.

    I left home at 17 and despite being homeless, I secured a scholarship and worked my way to Chicago. I can't say I've been a saint. As you will see elsewhere online, I have my share of enemies. But I have spent many hours working for green space in Chicago, for example, and toiled and protested and tried so hard to do positive things in this community. To think it's outshone by my inclusion on a registry where the next guiltiest profile is a criminal, it, well, it seems a little unfair.

    Is the lesson here to never speak? Before this week, I assumed a mistake of this kind would spark a debate and I might learn. This has cost me so much more and I'm afraid the message is "do not speak out, because if you make an error, you risk everything".

    Freedom of speech is dead.

  • In my opinion your reputation isn't being held hostage and there there is no attempt being made to coerce you, that's my interpretation of it. I pretty much said that in the paragraph you are responding to but you jumped off that as if I had implied that's what was happening. If I thought that's what was happening, I would have no part of it. I've been reading Paul Elam for a couple of years now and I know that there are high ideals and principles at work here. I'm sure free speech is still intact too, from what I can see you are both exercising large amounts of it.

  • In reply to Sigil:

    Of course not. It's primary purpose is to destroy the lives of people who have opinions they don't like.

  • In reply to nowar123:

    That's more spin doctoring and its not how it functions, as anyone can verify by visiting the site and reading about it.

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    In reply to jameseq:

    These events have been the first to force us to address the questions you pose. Truth is, we don't yet have a policy yet for removal from RH, but I do think we should. LOL, it seems Jenna, if anything, does have the ability to get people to examine the details of their policy.

    Should we have an apparatus to remove people from RH? Yes, I think so, but there is much to be considered before putting anything in stone. One, it is very important that RH not be used, or be seen as being used, as a form of blackmail. Until Jenna entered the picture here, there was never anyone on that registry that in my wildest dreams could I imagine removing.

    But with her, I can seriously entertain the idea, but not until she demonstrates something other than these convoluted amends. I know it may not seem so, but I actually do want to help her. And I want to do that because I think that is also what will help the people who are affected by the negative stereotypes.

    In fact, if she had just made a post in which all she did was correct her mistakes, it is likely she would already be off the registry.

    That post would not allow her to softly side step her promises in the email she sent me. She would have:

    1. Pointed to the fact that the 99% figure was way out of line.

    2. Presented statistics that more accurately reflect good science.

    3. NOT accompanied her post with a threat to remove her apology if she was subjected to more negativity.

    4. NOT said anything, and I mean ANYTHING that would be construed as excusing, rationalizing or defending her actions. Apologies that go, "I'm sorry, but.." aren't apologies and most people won't accept them.

    5. NOT sought a bit of sympathy.

    That is how most adults correct things when they make mistakes with people, and it opens the door for forgiveness.

    I have tried to point this all out to her, but at this point it appears to be in vain. She doesn't know what else she can do other than what she has already done. I can't help her with that one, because, frankly, it sounds like a child who can't comprehend an adult apology or adult accountability.

    I am taking this matter under advisement though, and we will try to adopt a policy for removal, given though that we may just be forced to address these things only on a case by case basis.

  • In reply to Paul Elam:

    1. I said the figure was disputed.

    2. I will not offer more statistics because unless I'm the scientist in a lab, I don't know if it's true. I will never again risk a lifetime of working for good only to be dismantled by a stat. Lies, damn lies and statistics.

    3. No. I reserve the right to remove this post and/or moderate these comments. So far I have not removed any comments and have no plans to remove my apology, but any further threats to me or my family will be hidden and reported to the FBI. Nothing is worth the safety of my family. Certainly not my ego and bruised web presence.

    4. I apologized in my post and in these comments. Again, I'M SORRY.

    5. Sympathy? You are mad that people sympathize with me? Unlike you, I realize I cannot control other people.

    You are holding me hostage. You have humiliated me beyond belief. I will not be a marionette puppet for you. It is obvious your only goal is to see the suffering of another human being. Fine, you win, Paul. Keep my profile up on your manipulative, coercive "registry" and smile until the day you die. You will not be remembered as a human rights activist, you will be remembered as a captor.

    I will value the lessons I have learned in this week: lessons of empathy, of privacy, of safety and also a lesson of dignity. You make have conquered "search engine optimization" and the talents of manipulation, but you will not rob me of my mission to do good. In spite of you, I will still promote MRA because as misguided as YOU are, it is a worthy cause.

  • fb_avatar

    Ok, thanks. Done here.

  • fb_avatar

    With regard to the "disputed figure" you have sourced studies which do not really acknowledge female perpetrators at all. The one percent referenced in those studies for females really only includes those who accompanied male perpetrators and could be claimed to have been forced into it.

    I'm a board member with a partly government funded rape crisis and counselling network in Australia. We operate on the presumption that women are responsible for about a quarter of child sexual abuse. Quality research locally and elsewhere indicates these levels exist and we'd be failing the communities who fund us and rely on us if we didn't recognise such in our service delivery.

  • Wow. These folks sure do know how to take an apology, eh?

    Jenna, I'm a mom who didn't agree with your original post because I did feel it was hypocritical. However, I agree with your idea - keeping your child safe. I have a son and daughter, and I believe I have the right to decide who takes MY child to the restroom. For my son, I'd prefer it be a male and for my daughter, a female. The idea that a woman should just tolerate any man taking her daughter to the restroom and any woman taking her son to the restroom can only be spoken from someone who is not a parent. I'd like to see a mom say, "Sure, I'd welcome a strange man in the restroom with my daughter" or "Sure, I'd welcome a strange woman in the restroom with my son!" Your point, that we should teach our children it's not okay to be alone with the opposite gender, was very valid. And your explanation that you don't have a son and, therefore, never had the thought occur to you, is also valid and very forgivable.

    The argument that some MRAs seem to be making that restrooms not be separated by gender is just asinine. Mark my words: it will NEVER happen. Nor should it.

    Finally, the behavior displayed by the majority of these Men's Rights Activists was downright appalling. I saw the word "cunt" used more times than I could ever count. That word was spoken in the same breath they used to call YOU a bigot. Shame on them. Implying your address was known was a VERY low blow and I hope the men who threatened you face serious legal actions.

    The fact that the ones here cannot graciously accept your apology and move on is proof that they're not worth your time. You realized where you erred, you publicly acknowledged it and apologized for it, yet they're still here, continuing to harass you with, "We'll never let you live this down!", "Your name is burned on Register-her forever!" and other almost-threats.

    When I first started reading their comments on the original post, I have to admit I agreed with some of them. Then they got angrier and nastier and more threatening, and now...now they can't let it go. They've done a major disservice to their cause because now I'm left disgusted and questioning anything I could have agreed with them about.

    Keep doing what you do, girl. Don't let them get you down. Big deal that your name is on Register-Her. Before the weekend, I'd never heard of the site. I don't think many others have, either, and all it takes is a few minutes reading through the comments THEY made about YOU for anyone to disqualify what they have to say there.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    Jenna, I agree with Chibbz . It was a perfectly valid intent on your part to keep your daughter safe, even if you erred in being sexist. And your apology was certainly heartfelt, and I am glad that you have become more aware.

    I've heard far too many stories of men being abused by the law (children being placed with the abusive mother in a divorce, for example) and I agree with the general premise of a mens right group, but if the mens rights activists here are representative of the movement, then they have thoroughly discredited their organization with their continued ill behavior. There are extremists in any group, and I'm sorry that you were targeted by the extremists in MRA.

    I hope that you and your family may get peace from the haters soon.

  • Jenna, great post. As a man and father, I originally had no issue with your first post but I guess some people got offended. VERY big of you to publicly apologize.

    What I don't understand is all the continued hate. You seem to be a person of good intent and of great value in your community (I have been a fan for years!).

    The haters need to stop hating!

    The right thing to do would be to remove her from any website(s) that harm her. For those of you perpetuating the hate, I'm sure you are of some religious affiliation and if you consult your faith I think it would agree to forgive.

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    In reply to theneek:

    I hope she knows how lucky she is that you are not arguing her case for her for my consideration. Because you just dropped her in the grease.

    As a father, you have no issue with all fathers being singled out as potential threats to the well being of children?

    And you think that the people who got really offended at this misguided statement about fathers are the "haters" but not the ones like you, who have no problem with it?

    Honestly, I PRAY that you do not have a son to which you can spread this poisoned thinking. And if you do, I hope he grows up and learns early that his father failed at teaching him his own self worth.

    I don't say this often, but shame on you.

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    In reply to theneek:

    Also, neek, a question. Did Jenna write that for you or does she have you well trained?

    Yes, I KNOW who you are. :)

  • The people who are continuing to make negative comments and refuse to accept your apology obviously have no interest in constructive or intellectual discourse. Their continued hateful spite and obvious lack of rationality completely negate any validity that they might otherwise have. Don't sweat it, Jenna! They aren't worth your time.

  • Jeez, the point still is valid. Keep men out of the little girls' bathroom. Does it take a genius to figure it out?

  • Jenna,
    I am the parent of a 2 and 10 year old. I have always had issues with how and when my children are accompanied to the potty. Any parent with a reality of dangers for our children would feel the same. I was relieved when my oldest son was in a situation where they went to the bathroom as a group.

    Unfortunately you caught the attention of zealots. IMO once a zealot has pinpointed you as evil it is impossible for them to listen, see, or allow anything you may have learned come into consideration. I applaud you for taking the time to research MRA. The fact that you took the time to consider their platform in forming you apology speaks volumes for you as a mother and writer. Don't let it shake you.

  • Thank you for this wise and sincere response. Please ignore the minority of haters who can't accept a change of heart for what it is.

  • Ms. Myers Karvunidis,
    I'm a regular reader on the reddit mensrights forum and I've been following the comments on this topic for the last week or so. Personally, I want to say thank you for your apology and your considered comments on the whole issue. I feel like from what you have said above, you have really thought about the whole issue and have tried to understand better what it feels like when someone makes a comment like, "99% of all pedophiles are men", etc.

    I'm not a parent myself...frankly speaking, I don't think I could ever handle the responsibility. :) But I do understand its one of the hardest jobs in the world and a parent can't ever stop thinking about the care and safety of their child. I resented your comments initially but I can see they were borne out of a genuine concern for the safety of your child and all children. 99% of men share that concern too. You probably know that there have even been cases where children have died because men were reluctant to intervene when a child was in danger because they were afraid they would be perceived as child abusers. We - all of us - have to change that atmosphere. Because it is insane.

    Best wishes to you and your family, and thanks again it is much appreciated. :-)

  • You should be commended for your well-reasoned and insightful response. You chose to educate yourself and rise above the small-minded ranting and insults that so often make men feel like criminals or second-class citizens even when they are living their lives as decent, honorable people. I applaud your ability to self-examine the thoughts and feelings you have absorbed throughout your life with such depth. There are few people of either gender that are brave enough to do what you did.

  • As a mother of 4 children I agree with Jenna. I don't think parent volunteers (men or women) belong ALONE in the bathroom with children.... Actually, I don't think any non parental adult should be alone with a child for any reason, something that this preschool really needs to address - good for you Jenna for bringing it to their attention. If my daughter or son was sent to the bathroom with a "strange man" then I also would be very upset, same would hold true if it were a "strange female" We try and teach our children not to go with strangers and yet their preschool teaches them that it is okay to go to the bathroom with one??!! Any parent (mother or father) would fight off a lion to protect their child, it's a natural instinct. Kudo's to you Jenna!

  • fb_avatar

    I'm very sorry that you went through the experience of being threatened, but very glad that you've opened up a conversation like this. So many people harden their position after being attacked but you learned from it and came up with new ideas that take into account your original ideas and those of the people criticizing you. Well done.

  • Oh my goodness let it go. Stats or no stats, her advocating her preference for who takes her daughter to the bathroom is an important issue for her. It would be for me too. She has tried to make amends and now it is time to move on.

  • As a man and a parent, I actually agree with (or at least can support) the policy Jenna outlined before about male helpers. This isn't personal as an insult or prejudice against any man or men. She's not being sexist. A concerned or "overly concerned" parent maybe. But not sexist.

    That said, I'll step up an be totally sexist here for a minute, against men.

    For some of you "men" lashing out at Jenna allegedly being "sexist" here, especially the ones hiding behind a bogus avatar...quit moaning and grow a pair. Seriously.

  • In reply to Andy Frye:

    If you don't define "sexist" as "identifying people as good or bad based on their sex," I'd love to hear YOUR definition.

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    In reply to Andy Frye:

    "quit moaning and grow a pair."?

    Funny, I've heard the same thing said to teenage boys forced to pay child support to their rapist.

    In point of fact Jenna WAS being sexist and has acknowledged such. It it also very probable that she and yourself both have little concept of how wrong you are in your fundamental presumptions.

    Whilst women only perpetrate about a quarter of child sexual abuse overall there are other distributions not being considered. For example analyses of the relationships between perpetrators and victims show teachers as being nearly ten percent of all female perps. Among male perps teachers are about two thirds of one percent. If a teacher molests a student it's significantly more likely to be female abusing a male than anything else. Childcare workers will quite likely follow a similar pattern.

    To an extent your beliefs are created by a mythology that pervades our communities. This is unfortunate because where strategies are in place to mitigate risk to children they are often misguided and/or misfocussed.

    A couple of years ago a ring of female paedophiles was discovered operating in UK child care centres and schools. It coincidentally came to light that women got a full pass in their working with children checks merely on the basis of gender. Of course the government, obligingly, over reacted with rules forcing even parents to get police checks to drive their kids' mates to the footy. Let's hope Jenna's childcare crowd don't over react in similar fashion.

    In amongst all the venom over misandry and bigotry there needed to be a small place for another message. Could it be that by targetting all your scrutiny towards the men near your daughters you end up totally missing something that, in reality, was more likely after all? Our protective instincts are always geared towards our daughters when, outside the home, our sons are actually the more likely victims. You should consider that by forcing a focus in a specificly gendered direction you are as likely to enable abuse as to prevent it.

  • In reply to Greg Allan:

    I'm not sure what you're talking about, but as a parent Jenna's entitled to her opinion without apologizing to you or anyone else jumping to conclusions.

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    In reply to Andy Frye:

    Let me make it easy for your simple mind then Andy.

    Because of your ignorance the most likely rapist of a child in a school or child care setting WILL get away with it. Your ignorance provides cover and protection for them. You enable them.

    Mothers of sons should hate your guts because you increase the risk to their children. The most likely perpetrator in the environment concerned is female. The most likely victim is male. You would rather all the scrutiny be directed elsewhere. Clearly you are happy for women to sexually abuse other parents' children as long as it's not men doing it. You'd be too busy looking somewhere else anyway.

    And so would jenna. Other parents' children can, well, get fucked.

  • In reply to Greg Allan:

    1. You are getting a ban for language.

    2. Andy has the courage to say what EVERYONE is saying. Everyone. Literally every single face-to-face person who has read this and is too afraid to step into the storm has backed me. MRM is a very vocal minority, hell bent on bullying.

    MRM is wasting an opportunity to convey its more logical points to a larger audience by throwing these outrageous accusations. MRAs like you remind me of a cat scratching at the dark. You don't even know what "enemy" you're fighting, you're just angry.

    Take that anger, start making sense, ditch that psycho Paul Elam and make a difference where it counts. Fight the legislation that takes away your kids. Win minds about circumcision. The place to start your big stage crusade is NOT preschool potties. You're not going to win.

    To give you an example why I am inclined to step away from MRM issues altogether, I received a HORRIBLE message that an MRA hopes my daughter "gets molested anyway to teach [me] a lesson". SICK. That is a sick, horrible thing to say and it sums up the reason MRM is marinating at the bottom of obscurity.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Andy Frye:

    "quit moaning and grow a pair."?

    Funny, I've heard the same thing said to teenage boys forced to pay child support to their rapist.

    In point of fact Jenna WAS being sexist and has acknowledged such. It it also very probable that she and yourself both have little concept of how wrong you are in your fundamental presumptions.

    Whilst women only perpetrate about a quarter of child sexual abuse overall there are other distributions not being considered. For example analyses of the relationships between perpetrators and victims show teachers as being nearly ten percent of all female perps. Among male perps teachers are about two thirds of one percent. If a teacher molests a student it's significantly more likely to be female abusing a male than anything else. Childcare workers will quite likely follow a similar pattern.

    To an extent your beliefs are created by a mythology that pervades our communities. This is unfortunate because where strategies are in place to mitigate risk to children they are often misguided and/or misfocussed.

    A couple of years ago a ring of female paedophiles was discovered operating in UK child care centres and schools. It coincidentally came to light that women got a full pass in their working with children checks merely on the basis of gender. Of course the government, obligingly, over reacted with rules forcing even parents to get police checks to drive their kids' mates to the footy. Let's hope Jenna's childcare crowd don't over react in similar fashion.

    In amongst all the venom over misandry and bigotry there needed to be a small place for another message. Could it be that by targeting all your scrutiny towards the men near your daughters you end up totally missing something that, in reality, was more likely after all? Our protective instincts are always geared towards our daughters when, outside the home, our sons are actually the more likely victims. You should consider that by forcing a focus in a specifically gendered direction you are as likely to enable abuse as to prevent it.

  • In reply to Andy Frye:

    I couldn't agree more. Thanks for putting this out there

  • In reply to Andy Frye:

    I couldn't agree more

  • In reply to Andy Frye:

    Ah, the mangina commeth.
    It takes stones to call out bigotry, especially from women. It is unpopular, we are mocked-just like what you are doing here- and subjected to 'ad hominem' attacks-just like yours.

    You have chosen the easy path: bow to women, do as you are told, accept the misandry- all so you can watch your football, have a quite life and get some. In fact, your post is so ignorant I wonder if its actually a wind up rather than a genuine comment.

    "She's not being sexist."

    You clearly didn't read the original post. Ignorant.

    "That said, I'll step up an be totally sexist here for a minute, against men."

    Sound to me you have been doing it all your adult life buddy.

    "quit moaning and grow a pair"

    You think you are more of a man because you agree? Get over yourself buddy, you're just mainstream. The real men here are standing up for what is right.

    Reclaim your balls Andy. Be a real man.

  • In reply to phatPhuk:

    I laugh every time one you guys says "mangina". I keep picturing one of the Wayans brothers in drag.

  • Yeah, it's a silly word, isn't it? Even sillier how it's applied: to any man who doesn't completely agree with their opinions that all women are evil or who supports women's rights in any way at all.

  • In reply to phatPhuk:

    I've got a life buddy. I'm not the one frothing at the mouth on a blog.

  • In reply to phatPhuk:

    Sounds like you're the last person who ought to be telling someone what to do with their balls, mystery boy.

  • After looking at this man's website, I'm disgusted. He and other MRA have vowed to acquit even the most brutal of rapists if they get on a rape trial jury. Great. From now on, I won't be able to assume an acquital means likely innocent because there could have been an MRA poisoning the jury pool. I see another post that says rape is no big deal, it's just sex. I see lots of sympathizing with murderers...yeah because it's perfectl understandable why a man would slaughter 8 people. Seriously...these are not good people. Women are evil is rampant throughout the whole website. How ironic that these people call others bigots. They are an anti-government hate group.

  • In reply to nowar123:

    avoiceformen.com if anyone is curious.

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    In reply to nowar123:

    Could you provide a source for your above claim? I've been an MRA for some 10 years and I've NEVER heard any MRA's 'vow to acquit even the most brutal of rapists if they get on a rape trial jury'. I want to see a direct link as I am struggling to believe anything you have written here.

  • In reply to Berty Bassett:

    You must not read avoiceformen.com. These kinds of things are common there.

    Here's the vow to acquit: http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/jury-duty-at-a-rape-trial-acquit/
    Check the comments and you'll see that quite a lot of MRA's are on board.

    Also from Elam's website: "If you’re the victim of a rape in the real world, you’ll get over it. Your life will go on, and you’ll still have to eat, sleep and defecate just like everybody else. Being raped doesn’t make you a special person, and in fact, unpleasant, as unwanted sex is, it’s not actually that big a deal'. in this post http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/rape-is-not-special-and-neither-are-you/

    The mass murder post is on the front page with a title that starts with "Eight dead". Apparently his ex-wife/the courts MADE him kill her and 7 others (even though he had greater custody than she did). It's whacked. A woman writes inaccurate information on a blog and is severely punished by a narcissistic man who acts as if he's GOD by putting them on this fake "registry" that's really a revenge blog while men who slaughter people are excused. I wouldn't be proud to be MRA.

  • In reply to Berty Bassett:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/jury-duty-at-a-rape-trial-acquit/

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/false-rape-culture/rape-is-not-special-and-neither-are-you/

  • I see a lot of hate for women on that site. As a man I do not condone the way you are being bullied and hated on. You apologized and have been quite gracious. I support men's rights, but this behavior makes Men's rights look terrible.

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    In reply to sfbullsfan:

    Funny, sfbullsfan, the women that write for that site and support it financially don't feel the same way you do. I wonder why, eh?

    And a parting note for Jenna. This is how you play it hon. Take your lessons well here. Since you have been exposed to the world for the bigotry (and it ain't going away) now your best bet is to become an anti-MRA. (See manboobz).

    Make the damage you have caused for yourself work for you. You can become a force to work against us MRA's, and with your husband neek to sock puppet your sentiments, you can likely rebuild out of this into some fairly decent traffic as long as you stay focused on MRA's.

    I note from a few examples that you actually are a decent writer. If you can take the manboobz shtick and add just a hint of substance you could make a bit of a name for yourself.

    Meantime, try not to run all your friends off, and you may have to cut neeks 15 minutes allotted bathroom time to make him of use in other ways, what with that work schedule and all.

    Just saying,

    Ciao, for now.....

  • In reply to Paul Elam:

    If you cared anything about men's rights, you would never give a reference for someone to follow to promote against it. The truth is, men are sometimes mistreated by the media, pop culture, in the courts and by women. To urge someone who is willing to further that message to speak against MRA is shameful. You are not a leader. You are on a witch hunt and everybody who is not a radical MRA sees it.

    You set yourself back so far, it is no wonder MRA is obscure with a leader like you. I have done more for your cause in four days than you have done in 25 years.

  • Do you even have any idea what Paul Elam has done for the cause? I've been an MRA long enough remember the days when we were truly obscure, and Paul was nothing short of instrumental in changing that.

    You just did more with that one paragraph to cast doubt on the sincerity of your apology and claimed change of heart than every single comment and article made against you in the last day. If you really are sincere then you still have a lot to learn, not only about the movement and its leaders about also about basic social tact.

  • In reply to coldfire:

    The thing that bugs me is that NO ONE asked me to make an apology. Show me another foe of MRA who has recanted. My ego could have stood in the way or I could have written a post demonizing Paul Elam. I didn't. I wrote a stinkin' apology because I meant it. Then when it wasn't good enough (I asked for ways to fix it, hoping for legit ideas) and all Paul wants me to do is dance for him.

    I had offered in a private email to him that I would report better stats, but when I went looking for them, I kept finding conflicting numbers. I realized that unless I do the polls myself with thorough scientific method, I cannot stand behind any number. That should make you happy, it debunks lots of people who say lots of things. But I can only do what I can do.

    For Paul to ask me to put my reputation even further at risk was just one of the things on his "list" I didn't appreciate. If it means my profile remains, fine, what harm is that profile in a sea of other crap about me out there? That's on him and how he wants his registry perceived as most rational people see that I am not a career feminist. I'm not writing books and giving lectures against men. It was ONE post and I apologized profusely. Giving me a list of demands like that was demoralizing.

    I say have your victory and move on. You ruined my online reputation. Congratulations. I will always have my family and the truth. (Also taxes ; )

  • Have you considered that your apology comes off as insincere? In your original post, without stating any source, you simply went out and said men are 99% or child molesters. you say this is "contested." You made a blatant unfounded assumption and proceeded to broadcast it to the world.
    If you want to apologize for this you did a lousy job, you say "I now have greater awareness that women abuse children as well." but at no point in time did you really correct this mistake using the justification that you aren't a scientist and you cant know for sure.
    Do you see a problem here?

  • A little apologize, then going hysterical, then apologize again , is not very effective, is it.

  • In reply to Paul Elam:

    A handful of women agreeing with all the 'women are evil' propaganda on your blog doesn't change the fact that it's all over your blog.

  • In reply to Paul Elam:

    I think we all see now that you are doing this to push your own agenda and not to actually change anyone's mind. It's better for your agenda to have people be against you so you can go, "See, I tried to help her. I tried to give her a way out, but she just wouldn't take it." Your site is disgusting. Your views on rape are frightening. And you are socially raping Ms. Myers Karvunidis. "She asked for it. She may have apologized for putting her remarks out there and asked me to stop, but it's too late for me to pull out now. I'm already doing my thing, so she can't ask me to stop now. I'll continue until I'm through and she will just have to take it. Plus, I know where she lives so she better behave." It is a shame that your site has gotten any attention from this situation. You should be ashamed of yourself, but I'm sure you are proud as a rapist who gets away with his crime.

  • Thank you for this post. It's very big of you to respond like this, and it's a level of maturity too rarely seen on the internet. I didn't chime in on your first article because I didn't have anything nice to say, and I'm sorry to hear that others failed to follow that guideline. I'm really glad some found a place short of nastiness from which to make the complaint clear, and I'm glad you took the time to breathe, read, and hear us. Thank you for your consideration and for being mature enough to reconsider your position.

  • Jenna, I have followed the mini-saga of all this and I have a suggestion or two.

    First, an apology needs to be exactly that: an apology. Not a set of explanations and justifications mixed-in with an apology. The apology needs to stand by itself otherwise it just seems like a long-winded excuse.

    Second, I would say you should stop focusing on your profile on register-her. By doing so, it seems like your words here are not genuine contrition, but merely concern for your image. In other words, would you be apologising if you were not registered on there?

    The profile is there because you promoted and celebrated unfounded suspicion of dads around small children. I can't think of much that's more hateful than that.

    You think the way you do about men and that is your business and there is no way to undo what you wrote. Instead, your focus should be on making up for it, if you're inclined to.

    If you do enough in promoting the truth in these areas, it would soon become nonsensical to continue to class you as a bigot. As I heard once: "devils don't have halo's."

  • In reply to manwomanmyth:

    This is good advice.

  • In reply to MotherHen:

    If my primary concern was for the removal of my register-her profile (and accompanying article on avoiceformen.com) I would have mentioned it in the apology and made a plea there. My apology was sincere.

    I hope the people reading this think of me next time they make a mistake. When someone graces you with forgiveness, think of me, and be that much more grateful.

  • In reply to manwomanmyth:

    I think mens issues are absolutely worth time and attention. I will consider them in future posts.

  • I wanted to say thank you. I have been watching this whole scenario play out from the MRA side of the fence. The mistake you made in your initial post was very easy to make. People make it all the time.

    The most important thing is that you had the kindness to understand your mistake and apologise for it. I am sorry about the behaviour of some other MRAs since the apology, it's totally not cool of them. I, and many others, will try our hardest to remove any of that slander against you from your google results.

  • In reply to Trex:

    Thank you, Trex.

  • In reply to Trex:

    Thanks for these words. It's good to know that some on the MRA side of things are gracious, thinking clearly and can accept an apology. Let's all accept this as a lesson learned and move on.

  • Jenna:

    I am a regular at the men's rights subreddit, where I found the link to this article. You apology comes across as sincere and heartfelt. The MRM, although growing in influence, is still in its infancy. It is pretty easy, at this stage, for someone to ignore it and write it off. Men's issues are not widely understood and talked about.

    So for you, after being criticised for your earlier article, to not only read up on the MRM, but to publicly validate many of its issues (how men are treated in family court, false accusations, ...) shows a lot of intellectual honesty and character.

    I don't get why Paul Elam is giving you such a hard time. It is disgusting to watch.

  • In reply to hopelesscase:

    My apology is absolutely sincere. Thank you!

  • You're welcome. You might be interested to know that a lot of the regulars at the men's rights subreddit were moved by your apology (its so rare for someone to display the class you did) and don't get Paul's vehemence against you. Here's the comment section:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/lmjst/apology_to_mens_rights_activists/

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    In reply to hopelesscase:

    and a LOT dont , to remove her from the register would make it a tool for blackmail ( the idea of making a cash donation also struck me as a bit of a ploy to make paul seem like he was a blackmailer, I have been posting on that reddit for a long time and wouldnt speak for all , please dont do it either.

  • This is very big of you to admit your mistake. I'll admit that your first blog really aggravated me. You seem to fully or at least mostly understand what the movement is about. I encourage you to become an MRA, much like I consider myself a feminist. I think it's good to care about the rights of men and women equally. Also, sometimes a quick google check can usually provide some statistics on a range of topics, it's useful so you don't make small mistakes like that again. Thanks for being so cool about this. And sorry about the rude comments by other redditors.

  • Jenna, I made a post at my blog about your original article. I was rather upset - not at you, personally - but rather at our society that existed in such a way for you to be so *wrongheaded* about an issue.

    Seeing this apology today has been an uplifting experience for me - and although I am sorry things went so poorly, including violent threats (which are NEVER appropriate), I am hopeful that you can be a voice for change in the future.

    Lastly, let me say that although your original post was offensive to me, this apology has left you in even higher esteem in my eyes than you would've been otherwise. Admitting mistakes is a difficult thing for us all to do - and I applaud your heartfelt apology.

    I am sorry that more people do not accept and appreciate it - I find their dismissal of your apology to be troubling and I will let them know.

  • I did not think it was possible for my opinion of someone to change so quickly from negative to positive. Thank you for this.

  • Jenna,

    It is often that as mothers we have concerns for our children that are not statistically justified, but to vilify you for that is wrong. There are better ways to help someone, than what has been done here. I'm sorry you've had this experience, but you and I (and probably many other women/mothers) have learned from it. I pray your apology is heard and you can move forward without fear.

  • All I can say is: Bravo!

    I take a mature person to admit when they're wrong, and a VERY mature person to admit when they're wrong after defending their side so vehemently.

  • I posted on theslackermom and then apologized, but I want to apologize again if I made it seem I in any way supported the MRA stance in this instance. I took issue with how you handled the initial conflict, but your response pales in comparison to the unabated rage and verbal violence perpetuated by the MRA. Especially in light of your very articulate and seemingly sincere apology.

    Like you, this conflict raised my awareness of the issues that are allegedly at the core of the MRA, which do have validity and urgently need to be addressed. But anything more than the slightest cursory reading of their propaganda reveals that they truly are nothing more than a pack of hate filled misogynists. They are scary and they epitomize the exact stereotype that they rage against. And Paul Elam? What a joke. He does way more harm to his beloved cause than any good. At best (worst?) he's a lunatic leader calling the wounded birds to him, like the Rev. Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite. And the end for them wasn't pretty. It wasn't for Thomas James Ball either, and I can only imagine that he has probably sainted him. It's only a matter of time before Elam sets himself on fire, too. He already has ignited any credibility he ever hoped to have as an actual leader. If the MRA actually wants to succeed than they need to find a credible leader who can enlighten and attract men and women to their cause, not just the extremists who gleefully imagine witnessing women be raped while they just stand by and watch.
    Elam also didn't really want an apology and contrition from you. He wantsmto start a war to draw attention to his sad, pathetic, little site. Didn't he initially practically beg you to sue him? He WANTS the publicity. I'm sure Chicago Now gets a lot more traffic than AVfM, and if I were you I wouldn't send any more his way. I mean really, he put you on the registry site? This guy is nuts. Any one besides one of his already converted is going to scan through that site and see it for the bullying and naked hostility that it is. Especially if it links back to his blog and the articles about you and the COMMENTS! He is so out of touch with reality he has no idea how he actually appears to any one who hasn't drunk the kool aid. Which let's be honest, is a tiny little group of fractured souls. This guy and AVfM is small potatoes.
    Think about it, why haven't Jessica Valenti or Amanda Marcotte engaged him when they went on the registry? Because they know he isn't worth their time. Personally, I would be honored to be mentioned in the same breath as either one of them. And so should you. As for your Internet reputation, I've been thinking about that. Do a google search on Valenti and/or Marcotte, what comes up on the first 5, 6 a dozen pages? Not Register Her. Spend some more time writing from the heart, doing what you do and follow your passion and Google will follow. But do not follow Elam's advice ( like I need to tell you that ;) ) and align yourself with the anti MRA side because that's exactly what he wants. Then he can point his finger at you and say, "see, you can't ever trust an apology from a feminist. They're all just a bunch of lying, skeeving c***s.". And then someone will make refence to imagining cutting out your tongue, and then they'll laugh and congratulate themselves.
    And besides, despite what everyone says, the Internet is not forever. Google my full name, you know it, and see what you find. Not the shit storm that used to be associated with it just a few years ago as you may remember. I know how to work the Google magic, and I'd be happy to help you if you ever need it.
    We've never been friends, but I won't stand by and watch this violence be perpetuated on someone who made a mistake, owned it and corrected it. I also enjoy your blog, think you have real talent and hope that this event only works to your benefit.
    Peace.

  • In reply to code14j:

    Thank you so much, J. Your comment is bringing tears to my eyes.

    For what it's worth, I thought your assessment of me wasn't too far off the mark. I'm sorry we had that tiff last Christmas. How silly it seems now that we brawled over who had the greenest ideas for decorating. If that were our only scandals, we'd be saints!

    I appreciate you taking the time to post. You're a class act.

  • In reply to code14j:

    Could not have ever said it better myself. I agree with every last word. You've said your peace, Jenna. I encourage you to move on, never post about this debacle again and ignore any further comments here. You don't owe these vigilantes one more second of your time.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    Yeah, I'm finished. Time for a margarita.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    I second this!
    Have been reading for a couple months, had some good chuckles (you really are hilarious) but was put off by the post in question. You've learned from it, so have your admirers, done. Some responders are using this page to advertise misogyny, I encourage you to stop that.
    I look forward to your next post!

  • In reply to MeganW:

    Thanks, I'm closing comments and will not be responding from here on. I've said my peace and I'm starting to get repeats. Next!

  • Hi Jenna,

    As a father to daughters I want to thank you for the apology. As the custodial parent to those daughters I have become keenly aware of the imbalance that exists in the judicial system towards men in custody situations and have become a follower of the MRA forum on Reddit, from whence I learned of your original blog post. I didn't approve of your original post, for all of the reasons that others have mentioned, but I certainly approve of you spending some time to see where so many of us are coming from. Just this weekend I was at an "American Girl Fashion Show" where the speaker went out of her way to thank the "mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and others" who made the even possible, even though the room was filled with dads, uncles, and grandfathers. MRAs exist to illuminate the cultural prejudices that are now so prevalent in our society, and thank you for allowing us to shed some of that light.

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    This is what women like you are guilty of: http://goo.gl/f4pXo

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    Freedom of speech is dead because FEMINISTS killed it. Just like chivalry.

    Women love to complain about the problems THEY created.

  • Jenna, pardon me if I'm less than convinced here. From your original post:

    The director called me this morning to confirm the preschool will honor my request that only female caregivers will take Bianca to the bathroom. YAY. But wait, that's not all! The executive board also decided this issue is worthy of a policy change.

    So, would you care to let us know that you actually contacted the director and asked him/her to not remove men from this duty? Or will you let the sexism and bigotry stand?

  • In reply to estevenberkimer:

    In her "apology" she said she still feels the same way about the bathroom thing so its pretty obvious she won't try to revert this. Because of this, it is very hard to take her seriously and it looks like she mainly made this post to get off register-her, and probably to get some sympathy.

  • Jenna, I would like to believe you are sincere in your words, however subtle clues in your article make it clear you are posting this as a means of having your name removed from google, and avoiding the consequences of your actions. I am sorry, but I really question any learning having taken place, or any sincerity in your words. I think you just want men to shut up and move along.

  • Interesting that you deleted my post.....very telling.

  • If you really are sincere, why do you still stifle the speech of those you offended. If you really are open, you will let them express themselves and be done with it.

  • In reply to johnthatsme:

    I was away from my computer for a good chunk of the day, I am approving a haul of them now.

  • For some reason my original post appeared. I offer my apology for the two comments that followed.

  • Wow I just saw all this.

    I, for one, wouldn't mind any of these dudes to wipe my ass clean in a bathroom. Sometimes I need an extra hand back there.

    Long live whatever this men's group is called and long live Jenna too!

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    I don't think you had anything to apologize for. Sexual offenders exist, and nothing is more important than protecting your children from harm. Once something bad happens, you can never go back, and it affects the rest of your life. You can't just assume people are safe to leave your child around. My family was friends with someone for years, and we were all very shocked to find out he was a predator. :(

  • In reply to Holly:

    Well put.

  • Yes, I've also known a man who turned out to be a child predator and no one ever would have suspected. I also graduated from high school with a guy who was recently convicted of murder for the rape and strangulation of a 21 year old woman he was last seen talking to outside of a bar. He was once married to a friend of mine we also went to high school with. It was a shock when he emerged as a suspect, and so many of us who grew up with him were sure that there must have been some kind of mistake until the trial. Then it became clear that he did do it. It's impossible to understand. Jenna, there's a book called Predators by a Dr. Anna Salter. Read it and you will know without a shadow of a doubt that you more than justified to be so protective of your children. We all know predators. We just don't know we know them. But there are plenty of them out there and it could be anyone. I hope others here will read it as well.

  • In reply to nowar123:

    Chances are that man was sexually abused by a female in his childhood.

    Most rapists were subjected to some form of sexual abuse in childhood. A startling amount is perpetrated by females. Peer-reviewed studies conclude that between 60-80% of “rapists, sex offenders and sexually aggressive men” were sexually abused by a female. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/10/11/barbara-kay-women-are-not-always-the-gentler-sex/

  • In reply to nowar123:

    The chances are that man was sexually abused by a female in his childhood.

    Most rapists were subjected to some form of sexual abuse in childhood. A startling amount is perpetrated by females. Peer-reviewed studies conclude that between 60-80% of “rapists, sex offenders and sexually aggressive men” were sexually abused by a female.

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/10/11/barbara-kay-women-are-not-always-the-gentler-sex/

  • Registered just to comment on this article. As someone who was kind of offended by the first article, I have two things to say...

    First, thank you for being a big enough person to post the apology! Most wouldn't. Also, I'm sorry for certain individuals- they don't represent MRAs as a whole, and I hope you won't think less of us as a whole for their poor behavior.

  • I believe something to the rules of three's would be more appropriate. Having two adults accompany each child to the bathroom would be best but unlikely for lack of enough volunteers. Having two children go to the bathroom at a time would help but is not the perfect solution.

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    Jenna - compare YOUR manhater response to that of another Mommyblogger, Lenore Skenazy - this was from last M
    ay -

    Lenore’s Response:

    Hi Don! Thank you for writing. I do appreciate that you are trying to keep the kids at your church safe. What worries me is that your policies go too far, without making the kids any safer. In doing so, they spread the “Worst First” thinking that is festering in our society: The idea that we should automatically think the Worst possible scenario First, no matter how unlikely, and proceed as if it’s fact. (Which is what insurance companies do.)

    Thus your No Men Changing Diapers rule seems to proceed from the idea that because there are some creeps who get turned on by diaper changes — a small group, to be sure — now NO man should ever help change ANY child in church. That is overkill. It’s treating ALL men as monsters, which is terrible for the men as well as for any boys who want to grow up to be upstanding adults but now see they will never be trusted.

    The same thing happens when we treat all teen boys as jerks, or worse. Older kids of both sexes have been taking care of their younger siblings since the dawn of time. It is only at this particularly terrified moment in time that we see all adolescent males as potential pervs at worst, incompetent lugs at best.

    How is preventing males from changing diapers and teen boys from helping toddlers serving the best interests of anyone, including the kids, who now may have no nursery or Sunday school, due to a lack of volunteers? And similarly, how is treating two family members as if they are a cabal of kiddie molesters bettering the world?

    I hate child abuse. I hate any abuse. But it seems as if a simple “two people in the room” rule would serve you very well, without these other, excessive, demeaning caveats — or so sez me. In the meantime, here are a few responses I very much endorse that came from readers when you wrote your comment in the post below. (And here the dot-dot-dots ARE mine):

  • In reply to Susie Parker:

    We are not talking about diaper changes, we are talking about potty-trained little girls in the women's restroom being helped with their buckles and undies. When did it become okay for men to enter the ladies' room?

    At what point does my little girl become a little GIRL who deserves privacy in a gender-assigned bathroom - when you say so? Do I answer to you, on your name-calling high horse? THE ANSWER IS NO.

    I do not answer to you or any of the other illogical bullies who put words in my mouth.

    PLEASE NOTE as I have stated a hundred times with no one bothering to comprehend that the school policy may be amended to the "rule of threes". That is all the board is considering - the rule of multiple caregivers and/or other typical preschool protocol like the caregiver being visible from the class room. NO WHERE DOES THE POLICY ADDRESS GENDER. Never - not before, not now. That has been misconstrued by a hateful, libelous website which serves its own interest by LYING that I was successful in getting the school to remove all dads from bathroom duty. IT NEVER HAPPENED. I WON'T HAPPEN.

    I personally reserve the right for my own daughter to attend the ladies room with other ladies as in the case in every public building in America. That is my choice and right as a parent to ensure she is treated like ALL other females in public, ensuring her dignity and privacy.

    I apologized for unintentionally casting men in a negative light and that is more than you will ever, EVER get out of another target of MRA abuse.

    It's time to move on. It's getting old.

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