April 21, 2015

This woman was kicked out of a Calgary comic book convention for criticizing feminism: An interview with Alison Tieman

Marissa SemkiwArchive

Women in the "Honey Badger Brigade" were expelled from Canada's largest comic book expo in Calgary last Friday because they dared to disagree with a feminist panel.

Alison Tieman was one of the women kicked out after she explained to the panel why, as a men's rights activist, she doesn't identify as a feminist.

She also talked to me about censorship, and the intersection of politics and pop culture.

After her story hit the news, Tieman, who also describes herself as "progressive-leaning," noted that "conservative media is more open to our opinion."


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commented 2015-04-22 10:48:08 -0400
Joan: that’s an interesting approach to “journalism”. Are you suggesting that Marissa was, in fact, aware of the backstory here, deliberately avoided it in the interview, avoided seeking clarification or response from the conference organizers, and chose to present this little tale of faux martyrdom as a strategy for “provoking dissent”?
commented 2015-04-22 10:41:50 -0400
Terry Rudden – you’re welcome. Judy is always well-informed about issues.

This is exactly what Marissa and the Rebel want – good vigorous and civil debate. I think Marissa is well aware of her bias and uses it to provoke dissent in critical readers like you.
commented 2015-04-22 10:36:42 -0400
Henry Reardon – checked out Canada Writes lately? Talk about politically correct. Even the Alice Munro convention has been taken over since she won the Nobel. Sigh. Unfortunately, it is the left (currently) that funds the politically correct initiatives and so squeezes out all real art, all creativity.

On a much smaller scale, I was literally driven from our local library book club and Friends fund-raising executive because I wouldn’t agree our troops should only ever be deployed as peace keepers. Seriously. Can you imagine? They hired a couple who ambushed me in the library lobby and graphically threatened to forcibly sodomize me. When I told the head librarian right afterwards, she already knew about it. She said her understanding was that it was “a one-off”, that the couple hadn’t been seen before and wouldn’t be back. She was complicit. I stayed away for a couple of years after that. Then a few weeks back, I attended an open house for the new council members and new librarian. One of those involved in driving me out (they objected to other ideas I voiced too, including unique views on fiction) saw me and as she passed in the crowded room, so forcibly body checked me that I cried out. I had enough so I submitted a proposal to the library board of council to make policy protecting free speech from intimidation. And I posted a description of the intimidation and assault on the library FB page. I’m unpopular but who cares? I can’t stand that sort of bullying.
commented 2015-04-22 10:36:37 -0400
Joan, thanks for drawing attention to Judy’s post (and Judy, thanks for the links!). I missed that. And it explains why “Rebel” media did not seek an interview from the convention’s organizers, as any responsible journalist would have done.
To return to my question, then: Marissa, as a “reporter”, do you not think the information that “Honey Badger” obtained their access under false pretenses was a relevant – even critical – element of the story?
commented 2015-04-22 10:28:24 -0400
Henry Reardon – This is a huge reason why I love TheRebel.media so much – not only for their content, but for posters like yourself that give informative, intelligent remarks. Thank you for taking the time – I learned something – excellent post. Cheers.
commented 2015-04-22 10:19:41 -0400
Thanks for the heads up Terry. But I am a generous tipper as long as he or she doesn’t call me “dear”.
commented 2015-04-22 10:19:15 -0400
Lance Humphries – so I’m "well-intentioned … but miss the point? What a condescending dismissal of my views as a woman. (-: (Smiley face means my comment is comic hyperbole.)

It is you who entirely missed my point. Which was sarcastic as evidenced in my final paragraph.

Judy – thanks for the links. It’s good to understand context.
commented 2015-04-22 09:44:54 -0400
Anyone who thinks that Alison Tieman’s experience at the Calgary convention is unusual is clearly unaware of what has been going on in science fiction circles for years now.

A few weeks back, I participated in an event called SofaCon which featured a variety of panels where science fiction (SF for short) writers from around the world discussed various ideas over the internet via video conference. (Essentially, the participants were all sitting in their own homes, as were the audience members, and we watched everything over the internet like watching a live concert on TV.) The first panel I saw was about women’s efforts in SF. The three panelists were, inevitably, all women. (Apparently only women SF were qualified to talk about SF written by women.) In the initial introductions of the panelists, one of them said a cheery “Hi Guys!” to greet the audience and immediately apologized for her “sexist” language. (When did “guys” become sexist?) Later, and far more disturbingly, one of the panelists – from Calgary – delivered rather lengthy assurances that she was ALWAYS aware of her “white privilege” and always did her very best to not let it make her insensitive to the voices and opinions of others.

I am NOT a frequent participant in science fiction conventions but I have read regular remarks to the effect that science fiction fandom is riddled with political controversy, so much so that there are factions dedicated to championing the most politically-correct nominees for the Hugos, which are the rough equivalent of Oscars for science fiction writing. Many fans have started reacting to this and have formed a sort of counter-movement called the Sad Puppies to support those writers who actually write well, ratther than those who are the most politically correct.

It seems to me that some of our cultural activities, like comic book conventions and science fiction conventions, have become riddled with the agents of political correctness. Sensible people have finally begun to fight back. I don’t know who will ultimately win the hearts and minds of the majority or how long it will take but I certainly hope it will be the moderates. Political correctness really needs to get dialed back several big notches….
commented 2015-04-22 09:05:33 -0400
Edward: thanks, I’m here all week. Don’t forget to tip the waitress.
commented 2015-04-22 09:03:25 -0400
Hey Terry….you’re a lousy comic. If you can’t take another point of view without resorting to snide remarks, go somewhere else.
commented 2015-04-22 08:39:20 -0400
Great item, Marissa. The idea of letting the person involved speak to her experience was very “real” compared to what is normally available from Media Party outlets.
commented 2015-04-22 08:26:29 -0400
Marissa, I’m sure that at some point in J-school someone must have talked to you about “balance”, and the importance of inviting someone from “the other side” of a story to provide their narrative. While this piece is certainly a useful reinforcement of the Manichean world view promoted by the rabble (sorry, typo, I mean “Rebel”) -i.e., feminists BAD, lefties BAD, etc. – it really doesn’t do much for your journalistic cred.
commented 2015-04-22 08:07:16 -0400
Excellent Marissa,thanks for bring us this.
commented 2015-04-22 07:09:14 -0400
all lefty’s want to control everything and do not want anyone else to have an opinion; especially if it doesn’t coincide with theirs. There’s tolerance and acceptance for ya. And a feminist would have a stroke if a woman said they stood for men’s rights; but besides the stroke, the feminists had no right to kick her out nor any right to be intolerant. None. Isn’t that what all the lefty’s like to call those of us who are Christian’s, intolerant? It’s pretty obvious that’s not a one-sided deal, this intolerance thing. No matter how much lefty’s want people to just close their eyes like little children and just pretend they don’t act like intolerant bigots, the real world doesn’t work that way. Besides, as a woman, some feminists, especially militant ones, are just plain embarrassing and have basically destroyed any good past ‘normal’ feminists accomplished. Some people just don’t know when to stop.
commented 2015-04-22 00:18:59 -0400
While the commenters below me make valid points, I see things a tad differently. To me, this is all about the Lefty (communists) “controlling the conversation”. Whether it’s this incident, or shouting down conservative speakers at universities, or Lefty’s interrupting conservatives on TV talk shows to prevent them from getting their views out (think Marian Mede Ward forever interrupting Menzies on The Rumble as one tiny tiny example), or preventing men’s groups from forming on Uni campuses, trying desperately to prevent SUN from getting on the air, filing THOUSANDS of complaints against SUN, preventing SUN from full cable carriage etc etc. It’s no different from other communists like the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Cubans etc. It’s all about “controlling the conversation” – that’s it!!

Joanne (below me), states; Activists in both the women’s and men’s rights movements should find common ground on which to agree with the core value of equal rights for all (end quote). I say this is misguided. She’s well intended, but misses the point. These communists aren’t int’d in equality. They’ve simply hi-jacked the conversation to push their anti-west agenda, and you can’t fight these thugs when you don’t see them for what they really are.
commented 2015-04-22 00:05:33 -0400
Judy, Joan and Liza, nice to see you all here :)
No offense intended, it’s just a pleasure to be able to share my views with intelligent folks such as yourselves.
commented 2015-04-22 00:03:15 -0400
Confusing? I disagree. Alison Tieman came across as calm, polite, informed, tolerant and articulate. Whether I agree or disagree with her primary ideology, I applaud her uniquivocal support for inclusivity and open debate and her refusal to kowtow to politically correct forms of self-censorship.
Neither the Southern Poverty Law Center nor A Voice For Men qualify as unbiased sources. Both accuse the other of promoting hatred — the former accuse the latter of spreading hatred against women, while the latter accuses the former of propagating hatred against men.
I, for one, share Ms. Tieman’s identification of modern, leftist, politically correct feminism as being no more than one of many, oft divergent, feminist views, which does, in my view, promote the notion of women as somehow being perpetual victims, i.e. we are passive non-agents incapable of overcoming the male-dominated hegemony. I call bullshit. Ms. Tieman poignantly describes why I am reluctant to describe myself or even be associated with the term “feminist”.
I sense she and I may differ on other topics (for example, I tend toward the conservative side of the political spectrum), but that’s no reason we can’t engage in open discussion and debate, and doesn’t mean we can’t agree on other issues. This one is a prime example. I refuse to see myself as a victim simply by virtue of being born a woman, and I have personally seen the extreme ends of feminism gone mad, degenerating into nothing more than male-hating reverse sexism.
That’s not what first-wave feminists like Simone de Beauvoir envisioned. All they wanted was sexual equality, not the promotion of one sex (female) over the other. Otherwise, women become no different than their (historic) male subjugators.
Thanks Marissa, for excellent reporting on important but under-reported stories, as always.
P.S. Where can I get a Honey Badger Brigade t-shirt?
commented 2015-04-21 23:24:52 -0400
I found the lady being interviewed a bit confusing, so I googled and found this
http://comicsalliance.com/honey-badger-radio-calgary-expo/

MRA Group Honey Badger Radio Removed From Calgary Expo For False Information, Disruption

Read More: MRA Group Honey Badger Radio Removed From Calgary Expo | http://comicsalliance.com/honey-badger-radio-calgary-expo/?trackback=tsmclip

The report said:
“where the group got into trouble is that they acquired exhibitor space under false pretenses. Their show is broadcast by a men’s rights activist (MRA) site, A Voice For Men, which is categorized as a “woman hating” website by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups and extremists. A Voice For Men also posted about Honey Badger Radio’s plans for CalgaryExpo.

When one of the show’s supporters asked why they weren’t listed as an exhibitor, the organizers responded, “We will be available at our booth for all four days. We’re in stealth mode due to concerns about ahem people of a certain persuasion deciding to hassle the con organizers over having us space lepers at the show.”

So it seems they registered as Honey Badger but were showing under the “Voice for Men” in reality…“in stealth mode”

The Southern Poverty Law Center listed A Voice for Men on its list of ‘hate groups’…In fact both the SPLC and the Voice for Men seem to have a mutual dislike going on…
commented 2015-04-21 22:56:33 -0400
Alison nailed it pretty well. She is a feminist who objects to being defined as a victim. That is inherent in feminism’s core value of equal rights for all. You can’t be equal with anyone you victimize.

The very narrow, marginal branch of feminism that is being used to discredit all feminism is the very leftist one that focuses not on women’s equal rights at all but on colour and gender. It discriminates against white and straight and censors creative non-conformist views like Alison’s. To call it feminist is really a misnomer. Just because its face is women doesn’t mean it is organized and run by women. I suspect it is driven by the wealth distribution agenda that has used feminism’s former good name to get a foothold, press, legitimacy and funding in the west. It’s like those birds that steal nests.

Feminism is not a leftist ideology. The idea of equality for all is very Conservative, in fact.

Activists in both the women’s and men’s rights movements should find common ground on which to agree with the core value of equal rights for all. I believe if we make this core value our directing principle that we can pool our resources and fight together for the human right of equality for all.

Offering that to each side is a sure way to bring out the bigots on either side who will object to sleeping with the enemy. Sigh. I suspect that is exactly why it will never happen.
commented 2015-04-21 22:38:11 -0400
I like what she said about how her recognition of men’s rights enabled her to be able to identify as other than victim. What she was pointing out regarding the very narrow definition of feminism these days, sort of speaks to Gavin’s piece about PC,and free speech. If you don’t say the right thing you get shouted down.