Clueless Men's Rights Activist Bravely Protests "All Jane No Dick" Comedy Festival
"Have you noticed a growing trend toward events and even business that ban men from joining, participating or in some cases even entering the business?"
Well, have you?
If not, don't worry. Matt Woof, the "Lone Woof," has — and he's here to fight against what he considers the feminist hypocrisy of creating and fostering spaces for women.
Specifically, Woof — presumably not his real name — has a problem with the All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival, which begins Wednesday and runs through Oct. 19 in Portland, Oregon.
"Today, women still represent only 17-19% of the comedy industry," the festival's mission statement reads. "Women are sorely under-represented in high profile comedy festivals, in writing rooms and in television appearances. Industry representatives explain this discrepancy by claiming quality women comedians are hard to find. All Jane No Dick was created to help bridge the gap between women comedians, audiences and industry decision-makers."
As Raw Story notes, "only 15% of touring comedians, and only 5% of the most successful, are female." The festival is a feminist intervention at a critical time when a question still pervading the cultural zeitgeist is whether women can be funny.
Woof, however, sees something much more insidious in this celebration of empowerment and diversity. Enraged, he posted an ad on Craigslist to organize a protest against a festival he claims is nothing less than misandristic reverse sexism.
He also took to the streets, covering fliers for the festival with his own parodic imitations. All Jane No Dick's Twitter account tweeted pictures of the impostors side by side with the original:
Woof told Willamette Week that he found the "No Dick" part of the festival's moniker offensive. Although he acknowledged that he "gets the pun," he also believes "there's an ulterior motive, which is the anti-male connotation. It doesn't seem to be empowering to women, but rather slandering to men."
"There's a tide going on of that more and more, especially in the Northwest. It's creating an environment of new segregation," he said.
Calling himself a Men's Rights Activist, Woof disagreed that sexism exists in comedy, instead contending that "anti-male segregation" is breeding an "environment of hate." "And all this does is create an environment of hate, especially in impressionable young minds," he said. "And now girls feel like if they don't go to an all-girl summer camp, or join an all-girl rock band, or an all-girl play, then they're going to be in danger."
Stacey Hallal, All Jane No Dick's creator and artistic director, told the Portland Mercury she initially disregarded the protest and correlative material but took issue upon realizing that Woof had been destroying their marketing material: "That's actually active damage to us. I wanna laugh it off as much as I can. But the fact that he's destroying our marketing materials — it's not harmless and it's not funny."
Hallal said the festival is inclusive of all genders and does not advocate segregation, the latter of which is a common MRA trope of inversion, in which they contend feminists are the sexist ones and men are persecuted simply for sticking up for themselves. "I'm the first outspoken MRA in Portland," Matt claimed. "Which makes me kind of brave if you think about it."
Hallal and other festival participants are refusing to let Woof discourage them and took to Twitter with the hashtag #YesAllJane to illustrate how and why their efforts are important: