The HoneyBadger ‘Conspiracy’

intent

Edit: I decided to rename this post to better reflect it’s content.
Is it true that the HoneyBadger Brigade had the intent when they attended CalgaryExpo to be expelled? Well, there seems to be at least one person that believes this to be true.

The person in question is none other than “John the Other” a “former” member of AVFM, it seems. On the surface, it does look as if he makes a decent argument but what I want to do is dissect his video, a least a little, to try and determine of his argument actually passes any reasonable test.

JtO’s video begins with the inclusion of a clip from another video about the actually animal, the Honey badger. He then begins himself by asking about this “fiasco” or “drama”, or “stunt” or “stunt that went sideways” (Ahhh, I can already tell where this is headed, without him starting off my saying “Today, I’m going to be the bad guy”, which is indicative in itself.)

Around the 2 minute mark, he starts discussing Alison Tiemon’s work as a comic book (graphic novel?) author. He then spends some amount of time (about a minute out of 7.5) criticizing it as “competently drawn” but that, in his opinion, doesn’t contain a story or plot. Please realize he begins by saying he’s read “part of it” so, as criticism of someone else’s work, hardly qualifies.

He then lets everyone know that this was crowd funded by these women as “The HoneyBadgers” which in his opinion makes this “event” as he calls it, not about comics, but “an MRA event”. Well, having little to no knowledge about this group myself other than what I’ve read in the last several days, exactly how were they supposed to crowd fund them attending as a group? “Alison and Friends”? how about “Nerd Girls”? No they crowd funded it as the group they are known as to those that follow them and listen to their program. Why is there a problem with identifying who you are?

This is where JtO then goes completely Conspiracy 101 in that he begins to accuse these attendees of using Alison’s comic creation as a “ruse” and again a “stunt” to “infiltrate”. He actually states that their purpose was to go there, “create a ruckus” and get kicked out. He knows this exactly how? He mentions this video in which Karen Straughn is interviewed about the expulsion claiming Karen admits their purpose was to get expelled. Watch the video yourself. It’s long, and I either missed it, or what JtO claims about this interview isn’t there.

He then spends the remainder of his time, accusing Alison of “damseling” because in her video, she was crying and in his definition, crying equals damseling. I don’t pretend to infer intention to Alison, and full disclosure, don’t know her at all but I came away with a completely different thought on her emotional response.

Judging Alison’s intent is unfair. Who can know how someone will respond to any negative event? Sure, we didn’t see Karen crying in her interview video, but people are different. And comparing her to Anita Sarkeesian or Rebecca Watson as playing the “victim” is ludicrous and is reaching.

So why the emotional reaction in her video? Could it be that Alison was specifically banned, for life, from any future events these organizers have anywhere in Canada (or anywhere else, I guess)? A ban like that may effectively end her career in comics, something she has apparently been working on for several years. So yes, for some people, this might evoke an emotional response.

Alison’s video also gives me pause on JtO’s conspiracy theory that that was the HBB’s intent all along – to get expelled. Why would anyone jeopardize their future over a stupid comic exposition? Is he now saying that these women are stupid? Because it has to be one or the other, wouldn’t you think?

So, I find JtO’s argument as something straight out of a – comic book. Assuming intent without facts, and attacking an individual (her work and her intentions) does not make in any way for me a valid, reasonable argument. It appears to me, that he is still angry at being booted from AVFM and of course, will attack anyone and anything to justify his anger.

Finally, for full disclosure, I do not identify as an MRA, but for a few months about 3 years ago, I did make a small ($25) monthly contribution to AVFM. Why did I stop? There was a time when I would browse their website (yes, when JtO was there) and found articles posted that I believed were completely inappropriate and probably caused more harm for mens rights than good. I still believe that today.

5 thoughts on “The HoneyBadger ‘Conspiracy’

  1. Greetings.

    Being that (as I reiterated in our exchange on the topic on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeh704/status/591292818129293314 ) I am adequately informed on the backgrounds of the personae involved (and yes, their backgrounds are pertinent), I’ve decided to chime in and share some of my thoughts on your summation/interpretation of this.

    The bit about the honey badger was to set up a bit of background information for those not aware of the source of the Honey Badgers’ chosen name. JtO brought up both that and Typhon Blue’s video’s title (“Banned for not Damselling”) to call attention to the…uncharacteristic behavior depicted within said video.

    (The “criticism” about the art could honestly be taken or left, as it seems like rambling en route to pointing out one of the supposed reason for Typhon to attend the expo.)

    You ask “Why is there a problem with identifying who you are?” There isn’t. And he isn’t stating there is. JtO is laying a foundation for why he believes the Honey Badgers went into this looking to be kicked out.

    Next, I think you’re paying entirely too much attention to words thrown about loosely, and then ignoring the clarifications that comes after. JtO isn’t saying Typhon’s claim to be an artist was a ruse. He literally says “Well, not a ruse, because she is a comic creator”. He’s pointing out that there’s a bit of an issue with claiming to go someplace to represent your art when you actually show up as “The Honey Badgers”. The Honey Badgers are an MRA group. This is a publicly known fact. Yes, they talk about geek culture and whatever else, but it’s through the lens of men’s rights activism/advocacy. Let’s not pussyfoot around that. It is what it is, and acting like it’s not isn’t honest.

    And I watched Vee’s chat with GirlWritesWhat as well. Some interesting tidbits:

    – At around 3:20 GWW states that Typhon was the mastermind behind the idea of attending this comic convention with the purpose of “standing for freedom of expression…”

    – At around 16:40 GWW says she absolute knew they were going to get kicked out/shut down. (Followed by mentioning that Typhon, naively, thought their presence would fly.)

    Now, this point in particular—whether they went into this looking to be, specifically, kicked out—I’d say is JtO’s weakest, but it’s not as far fetched as you seem to put it. (Conspiracy?) Not only was Typhon Blue not born yesterday, but she’s been dealing with Feminist for many, MANY years now. She knows how they operate. She knows censorship and black balling are their games. She knows they accept no dissent. She knows! Add this to the fact that members of her own crew suspected they were going to be kicked out (GWW, who was certain, and “Hannah” that thought it was “50/50”), and you have a lot of work ahead of you if you wish to prove they didn’t know they would at least cause a bit of a ruckus by just showing up on their enemy’s turf. After years of following her individual work I refuse to believe that Typhon Blue is that clueless, and you and the people defending her supposed obliviousness to the consequences of her actions hold her in a lower regard than I.

    I’ll help you out on the “damselling” thing, because you’re, again, ignoring the things JtO is saying immediately after the words you are choosing to isolate and focus in on. It isn’t simply crying which is “damselling”. It is crying, on video, and then consciously publishing it for all to see. This wasn’t some live feed of her getting kicked out. A choice was made to create this video and to upload it. That’s what we call intent. And since I know Typhon Blue’s work, and hold her in a higher regard than you, I know that she knows what she did by having this video uploaded. (I don’t care for the claims that she didn’t want this video published, that is bullshit. Plausible deniability.)

    You say “Judging Alison’s intent is unfair.” Why? Countless people pour over Sarkeesian’s every word, why can’t we hold everyone to “equal” standards? When you have principles that you actually care about, it’s essentially compulsory that you hold everyone to the same standards. And, let me clue you in, an adherence to principles is what got JtO kicked out of AVFM. Love him or hate him, agree or disagree with him, you will give him that much. (It’s really weird though, that you claim JtO is just “angry at being booted from AVFM and [attacking] anyone and anything to justify his anger” when you don’t seem at all familiar with the circumstances. Where did you pick this up, I wonder? It doubt it’s a thought that originated with you…)

    You ask a good question here: “Why would anyone jeopardize their future over a stupid comic exposition?” That’s exactly it: She hasn’t! The concern over her career is misplaced. As a professional artist myself, allow me to clue you in: Success as an artist in the modern world is not dependent on attendance to conventions (if it ever even was!). Typhon, even if she was as naively hopeful about things as GWW claims, knew the risks, and she decided to do it anyways. Why? Because being banned from conventions isn’t that big of a deal. In FACT, it is actually less limiting to Typhon’s appeal as an artist than her being an MRA. Hell, getting booted has actually done her more good, here in this post-GamerGate world. It’s been quite the opportunity for her, tons of exposure! Releasing video of herself weeping is just the cherry on top. You know….the more I think about it, as I write this, the more I see where JtO is coming from…

    To wrap up, I must point out that JtO saying that he was going to “bebthe bad guy” parallels the Honey Badgers’ announcement, wherein they claimed they’d be “infiltrating” the Calgary Expo. It’s a display of self-awareness. Like the female MRAs in question, JtO has been in the game long enough to know how he was going to be perceived for criticizing a darling of the MRAs in an apparent moment of weakness. If you think this is “indicative” of anything (but self-awareness), then you’re keeping up about as well as The Mary Sue.

    That’s all I have, I think.

    – Jack Rayner

    • Thanks for the comment Jack. Tonight there was a live stream of the Honey Badgers where Karen did say she thought they “might” get booted from the event. The others there, absolutely disagreed with her and in fact, Karen emphasized that before their attendance they discussed not doing anything that might prompt the event staff to do just that.

      Also, as I mentioned in Twitter, I don’t know any of these people involved in this incident and even if as you say that TyphonBlue is well aware of the tactics employed, that still doesn’t make what happened to them legitimate.

      I also don’t know JtO but I did find some of the words he used as being something less than generous. I don’t think I can misinterpret his take on what he believes their intent was. I find it hard to believe any of them wanted to be expelled. But, that’s me.

      Finally, I know nothing of the art world except from the area of collecting art. I would look at a convention like this, for an independent artist as a way of showcasing their talent and promoting their work. Again, though, I don’t know anything about this world of comic books and graphic novels. If they’re that useless from an artists perspective, why even attend?

      Again, thanks for the thoughtful and considered comment.

      • Huh. They’re switching up the narrative? Maybe I’ve misjudged GWW all of these years and she’s just a big airhead, but it seems plausible to me that this switch in narrative is a change in tactics (she’s been caught being dishonest before though, like, dead to rights caught). It’s easier to get sympathy when you make yourself seem like less of an agent. “I absolute knew we were going to get kicked out” doesn’t work so well if you’re trying to play the victim.

        This may seem very cynical on my part, but this is the perception that women like GWW and Typhon Blue have been feeding us for years, that they weren’t delicate snowflakes, or airheads. It makes playing the oblivious victim now a hard sell for those of us who’ve stopped short of emotionally reacting to analyze the situation.

        And, no, I’m not saying it makes what happened to them legitimate. I believe they were wronged, I just disagree with the tactics they’ve adopted. It’s unprincipled. “Victory at all costs” isn’t how I play, and I don’t support such behavior from people feigning to help my situation.

        Why attend conventions? To be social, mostly. Some people just love that sort of stuff. Also, I suppose it can help a little if you expose your stuff to impulse buyers. Easier to sell to them when the product is right in front of them than if they bought a print online, but these sort of people are fickle, they may not be return costumers. True, they may have never seen your art work otherwise, but this sort of exposure isn’t enough to make or break you as an artist.

  2. Rambling:

    I didn’t watch the hour+ Karen vid, because vids over 7 minutes make me play with knives.

    I have no problem with the Honey Badgers going to the Con, or going to the Con using Typhon Blue’s comic as their proof of comic geekdom. Anyone who has followed either Typhon or the HBB knows they are geeks and certainly far more geeky than any of the feminists neo gamers insisting that feminist neo gamers are the true geeks and then rail against the “myth” of the fake gamer girl.

    The part where I don’t understand is why thinking that as MRAs or HBBs or even anti-social justice warriors, comic artists would not be welcome at Calgary Expo? I haven’t seen anything (I looked but not necessarily too hard) about Calgary Expo being a SJW convention. Not I gather like Wiscon.

    Similarly, when I looked at the Calgary Expo’s various publications regarding rules of attendance and what have you, I didn’t see anything that said discussion of GamerGate was verboten, much less discussion of MRA topics was verboten as well.

    However, I could not find the vendor agreement for 2015, so perhaps I missed something they had to have signed.

    So I don’t understand why anyone would think that merely showing up would be enough to get them kicked out, and I don’t see their logo and banner as grounds for being kicked out, …

    The only thing I see are the claims they were harassing people but apart from their banner being harassment in and of itself for its GamerGate reference, I have seen no evidence they were harassing people, and the Q&A, which again hardly seems to be the harassment and derailing the Expo claimed.

    So if they were trying to get themselves thrown out, well though they succeeded, I actually think they did a poor job of going around doing that. The Expo apparently had a hair trigger and still I think it was a misfire.

    I do hope there is something legitimate to sue over and they do sue.

    I did question the irony of a HB uploading a video of her crying. Doesn’t seem to align with the purported brand values and messaging.

    I doubt if I’ve been to AVFM in the past year, even when JtO was there my usual impression of AVFM was that though it seemed they had good intentions they tended to fuck everything they touched up beyond all repair. Saying the stupidest, most outrageous things, then acting surprised when it exploded in all of our faces.

    Of that crew, the Badgers were the sanest.

    • “So I don’t understand why anyone would think that merely showing up would be enough to get them kicked out.”

      The Honey Badgers themselves though they might be (though apparently, GWW has changed her tune on that). Canadia is what I’d call a Femitopia (as I’ve said else where, Erin Pizzey dreads the thought of stepping on Canadian soil because of the strong Feminist presence there), and the leading HBs know that better than anyone…they live there.

      Still not convinced? The con has a “harassment” policy chock full of Feminist newspeak (the very idea of a harassment policy is one of the things that fueled the still-ongoing civil war in the Atheist/Skeptic “community”, I will remind you).

      “Of that crew, the badgers were the sanest.”

      Eh. The Honey Badgers, on their poorly managed show, make themselves seem like rambling idiots a lot of the time, but as GWW pointed out in that hour and a half video, her anti-Feminism is on the extreme end of things. As she’s pointed out elsewhere, the reason she can say the sort of things that get MGTOWs dogpiled by even would-be men’s rights activists, is because she’s a woman. In fact, she often says the same things that we do, things which get us labeled “bitter”, “angry”, and “hateful”, by MRAs themselves.

      But…meh.

Leave a Reply