This is almost funny, but really – it’s not, it’s disgusting. Paul Elam warning his posse not to talk violent threatening crap at their shiny conference because someone might hear them. David Futrelle at We hunted the mammoth has the story:
Well, you probably shouldn’t post a public announcement warning the raving misogynists who will be attending your conference to refrain from launching into violent anti-woman rants at the drop of a hat because someone might hear them. Because the fact that you feel it necessary to issue such a warning is kind of a giant clue that a significant number of the conference attendees are raving misogynists given to launching into anti-woman rants at the drop of a hat.
I bring this up because Paul Elam posted just such a warning on his site last night in a post that he labeled “Important Message for AVFM Conference Ticket Holders.”
[T]here will be ideological opponents to the MHRM, including some members of the media, present at the event. Some will be looking for anything they can to hurt us with. They will be listening, eavesdropping, and if they can, gathering things to harm us with.
For that reason, ANYONE sitting around trash-talking women, men, making violent statements, even jokingly, will be brought to the attention of security who will issue ONE warning (or less). After that, they will be directed by security to leave. There are no exceptions.
Please, for all here who are attending, keep this in mind with everything you do and say. Even at after-hours social events, if you hear anyone saying anything that can be used against us, or that makes our gathering toxic, pull them aside politely and say, “Hey, you are hurting us with this. If you want to hang with this group you have to stop it.”
You have to stop it because…because…because it makes us look bad, which we are, but we want to hide the fact that we are while this conference is on.
I’ve never run across this sort of warning at any other conference I’ve been to, or read about. I’m guessing that when the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery holds its annual trade show it doesn’t have to warn attendees not to bad-mouth their sworn enemies: Ear, Nose and Throat specialists. Or that the Electronic Transactions Association has to specifically forbid its convention-goers from publicly threatening to kill people who still like to pay with cash.
Maybe they do. Maybe they’re just a bit more discreet about it.
I’ve never heard that either. I’ve been to a few conferences – not many, but a few – and I’ve never been told not to sit around threatening people where someone might overhear me. It just never came up. I wonder why that is.