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FGV guide for single men

Hey! Yes, you. Single, straight vegan man. Come over here for a moment. I have something I would like to talk to you about.

You know how tough it can be as a single vegan, right? It is difficult to find time and situations for romance. You want to be in a relationship and you can’t imagine fostering intimacy with a non-vegan.

You might be thinking the answer to this situation is to go to as many vegan social events as possible and approach as many women as you can.

Wrong. Treating vegan social events as your own singles hotline leads to women feeling harassed, annoyed, objectified and unsafe.

But maybe you have no idea what I am talking about. Well, good news follows below.

I have taken time out of my intensive eating schedule to lay down some common pointers on how you can be a valuable and valued member of your local vegan community. The tips detailed below will help you rise from the ranks of creeper and sex pest to the lofty heights of respected and respectful member of your social group.

Fat Gay Vegan’s Guide for Single Straight Vegan Men

  • Remember that vegan social events are not like Hollywood sitcoms. You do not have 30 minutes (minus commercial breaks) to turn a ‘no’ or a ‘not interested’ into a yes. No means no, buddy. Barney Stinson doesn’t exist in real life. You are meant to laugh at how tragic he is, not take pointers from him.
  • Do not treat women like a commodity on a production line. If a woman isn’t responding to you on a romantic or sexual level, it is perfectly OK to interact with her as a friendly individual. You have done well to read the ‘no’ as a no, but this doesn’t mean you instantly move on to the next woman. Chill out and interact without expectations, fella.
  • Let new women to the group find their own way into social situations. You are not required to approach every woman who looks like they don’t know anyone. It more often than not creeps women out to be approached instantly by a strange man when they have only just entered a room. Women are adults and you can take the back seat on this one, mate.
  • If a woman enters and does appear to not know anyone or is sitting on her own for a long period at a social event, try approaching in a small group that includes women. Ask women who are familiar and secure in the social setting to join you to welcome the new member. Don’t go over on your own. Show the newcomer that the group members are diverse, welcoming and non-predatory.
  • Talk to men and women. Nothing gives off creepy, harassing vibes quite like the guy who trawls around the room only talking to women. These events are designed to build community and for you to meet a diverse range of people. Communicate widely and stop bothering women exclusively.
  • Vegan events are not your dating pool. If you meet someone and you share a mutual attraction and respect, no one is going to stand in your way. But if you attend these social gatherings with the intent of meeting a woman at the front of your brain, you have it all wrong. Social events created for everyone are not singles nights. People are not there to offer themselves as a sacrifice to the romance gods. Put romantic possibilities on the back burner and enjoy the thrill of being part of a vibrant, inclusive and compassionate community.
  • Don’t stand so close to women. Leave at least three Tofurky box lengths between you and your conversation partner. The big Tofurky boxes. Held lengthways. They are in the Whole Foods freezer. Go and look at one if you are unsure.
  • Don’t ask someone out on a date during a vegan event unless it has been specifically designed for you to do so. Allow women the space to be social, network and have fun without the threat of being asked out by single men who are hovering all night.
  • If you see another single vegan man being creepy, tell him.
  • Unless you have some incredible connection or you work in the same field as someone and you have both decided it would be beneficial to stay in touch, do not send a Facebook friend request to a woman you just met as soon as you get home.
  • Talk broadly about interesting topics to more than one person at a time. Do not inundate single women with endless facts about you, your interests or what a top bloke you are. Transfer your line of conversation from selling yourself as a good catch to more inclusive and therefore less intimidating ideas.
  • Nobody owes you anything. Women can walk away from you instantly without explanation and without expecting you will follow them across the room. If someone moves away from you, understand they have made a choice you have to respect.

See you all at London Vegan Drinks!

Tags: , , , ,
Written by fatgayvegan

183 Comments
  1. Women can be creepy and harassing too!

    • That may well be, but men’s creepiness and harassment is supported by a deeply sexist society which is all around us. Women harassing men is hardly equivalent to male harassment of women.

      Sorry, FGV, I know this is somewhat off topic, but I felt compelled to respond to this.

      • No need to apologise and I think it is right on topic!

      • Harassment is harassment “Angry Violist zine”, not matter what gender it is coming from or going to. It is always serious and unacceptable.

    • We live in a patriarchy Kate, where violence against women is at epidemic levels. 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten by a man in her lifetime. We do not live in a post-gender society.

  2. Hey Kate. Awesome comment. Wanna meet up some time?

  3. That was so not what I was expecting. Well written. Did you substitute woman for man, because the truth is, it doesn’t matter which sex you are talking about, you respect people’s boundaries, don’t hit on them within five seconds, and it would be really nice if you could manage five minutes of conversation if someone isn’t immediately interested in sex with you. One of my pet topics 😀

    • It is not well written “roughseasinthemed” it is very divisive and polarising.

      • Robert, you are a ham.

      • Ha, please can you give me the definition to that Tony.

  4. I totally understand your concerns, but I think you need to treat all sexes and sexual orientations equally. Otherwise you would not be offering complete protection coverage, and also some people may feel discriminated against.

    • We live in a patriarchy with epidemic levels of violence against women. In such a society, women can never be sexist against men.

  5. I’m surprised and dismayed by some of the comments I’m seeing here. Sean took the time to write this post because he cares about the community. If he didn’t care he could easily just say nothing. You have been told that sexist and predatory behavior is occurring in a space that is designated as safe. Women are made to feel unsafe and are even being harassed. If we cannot talk about sexism in the vegan community where can we talk about it?

    If you don’t behave in this manner this post does not apply to you – well done, but if your first reaction is to get defensive then you might want to figure out why that is.

    Let’s not pretend that we don’t live in a patriarchal male society. There is a context that can’t be ignored. That’s why this post isn’t about women, gay men or bisexual persons behaving in a predatory fashion. So step back and consider the bigger picture.

    Instead of trying to shoot the messenger you could intervene when you see a situation occurring. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that you could bring it to the attention of the host.

    • Diana Ⓥ psnt caterer (@veganpeasant) – If you take a step back and see the bigger picture, you would not accept an article that is derogatory against straight males. I sincerely hope that being derogatory to males is not your solution to the “patriarchal male society” that you seem to have a big problem with.

    • “I’m surprised and dismayed by some of the comments I’m seeing here.” Agreed.

      By the way, I was a single straight male until I met my fiancée at London Vegan Drinks September 2012.

      • It’s great when unions bloom from Vegan Drinks or other meetup groups.

      • Well done Barry, you know me in person. And I am also good friends with your fiancée. I was there on the night you both met. See you soon buddy 🙂

    • I’m more upset that this comment section isn’t being moderated, it’s triggering and makes me not want to come back to this blog.

      • It is being moderated. These are not the most offensive or triggering replies to this thread.

  6. In all honesty, I have never seen a single bit of bad behaviour at these events. So I don’t have a clue where this is coming from. It’s such a shame to hear all this and I have never heard anything like it ever before. And I’ve been going out for years.

    I think it would be better to personally and privately talk to the individuals involved rather than making a big public rant about it. That’s what I’d do anyway, to avoid making unnecessary bad vibes. Seems much more like an isolated case, not a widespread problem.

    • Perhaps you haven’t noticed this kind of bad behaviour and don’t think it’s a widespread problem because you are not female. Just because you haven’t witnessed it personally does not mean that it does not happen.

      It should be the responsibility of individuals in the community to behave properly, not the responsibility of FGV to police events.

      ‘Bad vibes’ created by this kind of behaviour are a regular occurence in many women’s lives and calling them out publicly is the best way to combat this and challenge over-riding patriarchal attitudes.

      • The London Vegan Drinks should not be turned into a battleground against patriarchal attitudes. People from all walks of life should be equally welcome at this event.

    • You’re a man though so with all due respect how would you know about how it feels to be a woman at this event. Sean took the time to listen to women’s concerns and respond to it accordingly. The men who behave like this clearly favour doing it in public so why should any concerns be voiced in private?

      • Sexual discrimination is not the solution Anna and the London Vegan Drinks should not be turned into a battleground of the sexes.

      • I love the fact that Robert is complaining about the creation of a ‘battleground’ by aggressively replying to EVERY SINGLE COMMENT under this post that he doesn’t agree with.

      • Aggression usually implies angry or violent behaviour Tony. I suspect exaggeration and sarcasm on your behalf.

  7. I think it is very important to make everyone feel very, very welcome to the London vegan drinks. I strongly feel that this discriminates against heterosexual men and is also quite derogatory too. The people that seem to support it are female and homosexual.

    When a new straight vegan (or potential vegan) male walks through the door for the first time. I’d like to think that he would feel very welcome and would be able to introduce himself to everyone without having to worry about being singled out as a creep.

    • I support the article and an neither female nor homosexual.

      Could you explain exactly which bullet point you feel discriminates against heterosexual men? I couldn’t find one.

      • The whole article, it shouldn’t be directed only towards straight males. What about harassment in general?

    • The only way I can see someone interpreting what is said in the article as Derogatory is if they themselves are responsible for one or more of the transgressions listed. If that is the case, Robert, perhaps you should reassess your priorities and how you are interacting with women at London Vegan Drinks instead of vehemently defending the voice of straight men.

      FGV is directing the article as a form of advice to those who have transgressed or may in future transgress very common-sense rules of social interaction.

      If you are a straight man who hasn’t transgressed anything listed above, you should have nothing to defend and could not possibly take offence to what has been written.

      • Ha, you make me laugh Brendan. How deductive of you.

  8. FGV. Thank you for writing this. You are creating the kind of community that most vegans want to be a part of – one that is aware of, and cares about, all the ways in which our world is not yet equal. Angry Violinist and Diana are right on. And most straight men that I know totally agree with your post and don’t want to be associated with those who think that context, sexism, and patriarchy aren’t relevant every day, even at vegan events. Yes, some single straight dudes have to be more conscientious about how they approach and friend single women, but that is a good thing. It doesn’t make them less welcome, just better people. I think by sharing these tips and concerns openly, you have just made women (and anyone who may sometimes feel vulnerable or targeted) feel more secure in the vegan community. For me and so many working towards a more just world (for people and animals) everyday is a “battleground against patriarchal values” and I honestly think that most vegans are interested in and passionate about the ways that we can all learn, grow, and support positive change together. One of the best ways to do that is to teach each other, so FGV, thanks for speaking up and making our community smarter.

    • Ha, “battleground against patriarchal values”, sums it up really. Wouldn’t it be better to win your battle without discriminating against men in general. Seems like you have a grudge against them.

  9. Nothing I have said was discriminatory against men. In fact, I tried to show that most men are battling against sexism too. The men I know are frustrated and creeped out by behavior that they see. I do have a grudge against patriarchy and you should too. It hurts men and women, everyone alike. You should be more upset with the men who give social outings a bad vibe than with folks trying to speak up against sexism.

    • If you support this article, you are supporting sexism and discrimination against sexual orientation. Simple as that.

      • Oh dear, it must be hard being such a rigid thinker. If only everything was ‘simple as’.

      • No Anna, I keep to my principles and stand up to injustices. Standing up to this article is so easy, because it is so flawed.

  10. There are single, straight, vegan men?! In London??! 😉

    I’m a woman and I happen to be straight and I don’t mind if men or women strike up a conversation or even ask for a date; I’m not fragile. As long as no one minds a polite and friendly refusal, it wouldn’t offend me. It’s usually pretty clear which way that would go but it would be a sad day that a man/woman felt they couldn’t ask someone out for fear of offence. That could be anywhere, including a vegan shindig.

    Good advice for all people of all stripes though. No offence meant and no offence taken. That’s the thing about offence, it has to be actively taken and let’s choose not to. Xx

    • Love the kisses at the end! How sweet…….vom

    • Nice one Al, good to see a positive attitude here 🙂 x

      • You appear not to have read the article properly at all and have misinterpreted some of it’s key points. No-one’s being sexist or asking for straight men to stay away from the event, just for those who are using it as an opportunity to meet women to come and behave appropriately and respectfully, not feel entitled and not make women who attend feel uncomfortable. You seem very defensive, maybe the article has hit a raw nerve? By the way, I love emoticons too. This one’s my favourite

      • If you support this article, you are supporting sexism and discrimination against sexual orientation.

  11. As a ‘straight male vegan’ who was considering coming to one of these events, it made me quite reticent to do so. I don’t have vegan friends therefore I would be going alone. But after reading of this issue at the meetings, I would feel that if I was to approach anyone to more anywoman, I might be considered predatory for doing so.
    Reading this kind of vibe is going on reduces any desire to go along. Doesn’t seem like much of a community.
    The omnivores don’t feel the need to lay out rules for heterosexual men attending events. Must be something in the tofu.

    • Swazil, do come along. It’s a very cool and welcoming group 🙂 This is the first time a debate like this has come up, so the debate is bound to get a bit heated. Yes, it is very specific problem (see Nicky’s comment below) that has become more pronounced in recent months and hopefully this addresses it.

      When you throw a group of people together who have nothing in common apart from being vegan (even though that is such a big part of our lives) and which spans such a vast array of backgrounds and ages, it’s bound to happen that something like this pops up.

      For those for whom it is important to find a vegan partner it is clearly the one event where you have a such a large pool of potentially vegan partners and I believe we already had one Vegan Meetup wedding, but I don’t think they met at drinks.

      However, when I go to drinks after a really long day at the office, I want to either hang out with my friends or meet other interesting vegans from all parts of life/the world/stages in their lives and not be honed in on and aggressively “interviewed” as to my suitability as a partner/lay, which has happened on a number of occasions to me and other vegan women. And yes, I can make the distinction between friendly banter/chat and that.

      So, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Come along, meet other fascinating vegans, have some good food and if you do meet the love of your life, then we’ll be the first ones to cheer you on 🙂

      • Gabi – To call this a debate is a bit of an understatement. You obviously think it is acceptable to single out a sex or sexual orientation and demonize them.

    • Exactly Swazil, the people that support this derogatory article against straight men are women and homosexuals. This discrimination is having a negative effect on the vegan community and should not be allowed to take place. All people should be treated equally and with the utmost of respect.

      • Robert, it sounds to me like if the writer of this article was called Fat Straight Vegan you wouldn’t have such a problem with it. Read everyone’s comments properly then have a little re-think.

      • I don’t care who actually wrote this article Sealioness, it is totally discriminatory in nature.

      • For someone who keeps mentioning that “All people should be treated equally and with the utmost of respect” you also mentioned that the only people in here supporting the article are “Women and Homosexuals” which seems to indicate that by trying to discredit the opinions of all of the “Women and Homosexuals” in this comment section, you in fact respect their opinion way less than you do another heterosexual male’s.

        That doesn’t strike me as treating ‘All people’ with respect or equality on your part, Robert. I think you might need to reassess your own outlook so that you can live by your own mantra.

      • Speak for yourself brendsies.

    • Really? You honestly don’t think that omnivore or mixed communities don’t give out advice on how to avoid being creepy? I believe you are mistaken in that belief. I don’t know why anyone is objecting to what FGV wrote. I know some of those objecting and am sure they don’t see their own behaviour criticised here, so I just don’t know what it is.

      • Well no.. I don’t think it is exactly normal for groups to give out this kind of advice, most ppl do not need such patronising rubbish, even aside from it being sexist, and I would probably be put off by a group that was organised by someone who felt it necessary to write this way to their members. You deal with problems as they arise and treat people like adults, quite simply, not a bunch of kids who need lots of “rules”.
        It’s not just the sexism but the whole patronising nature of the article that I object to totally.

      • Robert, whose indignation on this topic seems boundless, wrote, “Why not just blame all the straight men via a blog for being the source of the creepers” [sic]. That’s not what FGV did. He didn’t blame all straight men and he tried to deal with the situation in a light-hearted manner rather than pulling people aside and pointing out where they’re being creepy.

      • Vanillarosetangents, seriously, don’t waste your time or your energy on continuing a futile debate. Events have moved…..London Vegan Drinks last night was great fun, it had a massive turnout, rumour has it there was consensual flirting going on, men (straight and vegan) approaching women and having a great old chat without being accused of being creepy by “intolerant sexist women who have personal grudges against men in general.” There was clinking of glasses, laughter between men and women and a few Tofurkey-box jokes.
        Incidentally, none of the people here who are getting so exercised were there.

      • oooh bllx, fat finger syndrome…meant to say Events have moved on and that men (straight and gay) approached women and men…anyway, enough said. Not wasting any more time on this debate. I have a real life to be getting on with.

      • I’m glad to learn from Gabi that meetings are still successfully taking place.

      • Calling people creeps or creepers is not being “light-hearted” “vanillarosetangents”, it is rude, disrespectful and derogatory.

  12. In my opinion FGV is addressing a specific and very real problem with single straight vegan men at events and online. I don’t believe this is general advice aimed at everyone, this is targeted advice, as to my knowledge there is not a current problem with any of the other groups you mentioned Robert. If you have experienced a problem then I suggest you let FGV know about it and i’m sure he’d look at addressing that too. I and many of my female friends have thought about leaving the group or more than one occasion because of harassment of this kind. This is not about sexism or discrimination of any kind this is about a specific problem. If the article were to attempt to include people of all sexual orientation, it would be are very different article and no longer relevant to the problem. Thank you FGV for highlighting this.

    • It is discrimination to target a particular sex or sexual orientation in such a derogatory way Nicky.

      • It is only discrimination if it is unjust or unfair. The article is not suggesting that all single vegan men behave in this way. The group of people it is aimed at is made clear at the start of the article, and that is based purely on their behaviour and not on their gender or sexual orientation. Unfortunately all these people happen to be single vegan males, hence the title. You are clearly unaware of the extent of the problem, try asking a few of your single female friends that attend events and you may understand why this article needed to be so specific.

      • The article is directly targeted at heterosexual men and is quite derogatory Nicky.

  13. Robert, nobody has declared war on all single heterosexual vegan men.

    The post is a reminder that vegan social events are not singles events and a wrap on the knuckles for those men who treat them as such, making some women uncomfortable.

    Why do you have such a problem with that? You keep stating yourself across the various boards that you want everyone to feel welcome. So some members in the group make others uncomfortable. And they are being called on it. I thought you would support that? You have been told by various women that this behaviour indeed goes on and that we would like it to stop.

    • “a wrap on the knuckles for those men” – you have no problem with publicly demonizing straight men who come to the London Vegan drinks then.

      • Sigh, you are getting a bit repetitive and you are putting words in my mouth.

        Let’s just agree to differ since you don’t see a problem and think all straight vegan men are demonized and I do think there is an issue, but Sean has highlighted it and I hope that’ll be the end of it and everyone, straight, gay, vegan, vegan curios, white,black, brown, purple, tattooed, non-tattooed can just get on with having a good time at the various vegan social events that do provide a haven for us.

      • I will never accept sexism as a solution Gabi, sexism is vile and abhorrent. Slandering a sex or sexual orientation is a quite bit more serious than just highlighting a problem.

  14. How would you address the problem? Do you even know that there is a problem?

    • Nicky – There is already a set of non-discriminatory rules defined here:
      http://www.meetup.com/londonvegan/pages/Membership/

      “Please don’t attack, insult, abuse or shame other members. And please keep the group free from prejudice such as racism or xenophobia, sexism or sexual harassment, homophobia or transphobia, religious intolerance or religious fundamentalism, disability discrimination or body fascism. Everyone is welcome and no-one should be made to feel unwelcome.”

  15. So you wouldn’t do anything? You’d rather those affected just leave? Seems you’re only interested if you feel you’re being targeted.

    • I would try to discretely, politely and respectfully deal with the individuals involved rather than making it public. I strongly doubt it is that much of a widespread problem. But if it really was, I’d reiterate some non-discriminatory guidelines on conduct at these events.

  16. I take your point Robert but the above has already been done without success.

    • Nicky – It would help it you directly replied under the comment to are referring to. Instead of making a whole new post. I did say the word *reiterate*, you need to properly understand the meaning of this word, because it looks like you don’t.

      And because the thread is now broken, I will also have to *reiterate*. – “I would try to discretely, politely and respectfully deal with the individuals involved rather than making it public. I strongly doubt it is that much of a widespread problem. But if it really was, I’d reiterate some non-discriminatory guidelines on conduct at these events.”

  17. Oh no! The thread is broken again! Let’s stop this before it gets any more childish. We’re not getting anywhere.

    • If you want to be ignorant and support discrimination that is your choice Nicky. It’s quite apparent to me, that much of this perceived problem has come from intolerant sexist women who have personal grudges against men in general. It is such a shame that this has been allowed to poison the otherwise pleasant atmosphere of the London Vegan drinks.

      • Eeek? Are you for real?

      • Speak for yourself Gabi.

  18. Now you’re just being silly Robert. Why don’t you call us all angry lesbians and be done with it?!

    • I’m keeping to my principles here Nicky, you can call me what you like. But I am more concerned about the way straight men are treated and respected in general.

      • I appreciate that Robert but you are taking it too far.

      • Do you say that because I refuse to agree with you and will not accept this article as being fair and non-discriminatory?

  19. First up, Robert, I really like how you are attempting to open up to other peoples ideas. Or maybe I’m wrong there… One of your earlier comments mentioned something about having to treat all sexes or genders equally in this issue. I’ve heard this argument before – too often. To respond to this I’m going to paraphrase one of my favourite advice blogs on the subject of creepers. Yes! Women can be creepers! But when they are creepy they don’t have an entire society backing them up and telling them that what they’re doing isn’t that bad. /end paraphrase.

    I think this post that FGV wrote was awesome. Non offensive, calm and just a little heads up for people who maybe were unaware of the situation. But now let’s look at how people responded..
    – immediately people called for creepers to be thought of across the sexes (not wanting to make men feel bad)
    – actually first post says it all really
    – anyone arguing against this or simply offering another point of view is met with defiant sometimes just unthoughtful posts
    Why? So men don’t feel bad? The article doesn’t even read try to make anyone feel bad – just give advice to some hapless fellows who have been giving women a hard time (and doing it in the nicest way)

    Robert I think you would benefit from reading this article about creepers in society. The subject matter is slightly different, but the discussion is fitting
    http://captainawkward.com/2012/08/07/322-323-my-friend-group-has-a-case-of-the-creepy-dude-how-do-we-clear-that-up/

    • susandorothy – You said, “I think this post that FGV wrote was awesome. Non offensive, calm and just a little heads up for people who maybe were unaware of the situation.”
      Oh dear, sounds like you are just another sexist female who is quite happy to talk about men in a derogatory way. Appears to be no shortage of them on here. Instead of calling men, men, why don’t you just call them all creeps or creepers as you say.

  20. You call them creeps – I call that a nasty label.

    Labeling theory is the theory of how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them. It is associated with the concepts of self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotyping. Labeling theory holds that deviance is not inherent to an act, but instead focuses on the tendency of majorities to negatively label minorities or those seen as deviant from standard cultural norms.[1] The theory was prominent during the 1960s and 1970s, and some modified versions of the theory have developed and are still currently popular. Unwanted descriptors or categorizations – including terms related to deviance, disability or diagnosis of a mental disorder – may be rejected on the basis that they are merely “labels”, often with attempts to adopt a more constructive language in its place. A stigma is defined as a powerfully negative label that changes a person’s self-concept and social identity.[2]

    Labeling theory is closely related to social-construction and symbolic-interaction analysis.[3] Labeling theory was developed by sociologists during the 1960s. Howard Saul Becker’s book Outsiders was extremely influential in the development of this theory and its rise to popularity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labeling_theory

    • Yes thank you for that post from Wikipedia there Robert. Feel free to gather a credible source next time. I’m well aware of what labeling theory is – are you? Care to explain it in your own words?
      And the term is creepers not creeps 2 quite different things. If it helps you would you like me to go back and replace each ‘creeper’ with ‘these guys who are coming along to events obviously making women feel uncomfortable enough to complain to the organiser’ because that’s what a creeper is. I haven’t used the word creep as a noun for years.

      • I don’t care what word you are prescribing men to be labeled Susan, the fact that straight men are being singled out and possibly labeled anything negative is an absolute scandal to me.

  21. Looking forward to seeing guides for single women and single homosexuals.

  22. I agree with Robert. On the basis of this blog post which has been linked to by FGV on the meetup page, I would automatically boycott this event. People of all genders and sexualities can be creepy on occasions, but the fact that this is clearly posted on the meetup page such that it appears to be a rule that certainly gives the impression of only applying to straight males. The post also seems to apply that unless someone follows this rules then he is creepy, a fact that I strongly disagree with.

    And a lot of these rules are actually incredibly insulting. If I see someone sat by themselves at a social engagement, why shouldn’t I go and talk to them? Sometimes, if a guy talks to a girl it’s because he’s trying to be friendly, not because he’s hitting on her.

    I really think FGV got this post very badly wrong.

    • I don’t think the problem is approaching a lone person at an event so much as approaching a lone female at an event in the interest of sussing out your “vegan lifemate”. I, and I think most women, have a pretty good idea of when we’re being scoped as an option vs being approached to make friends/be included in the event. I live in Texas, so obviously I have not been to one of these London vegan meetups, but as someone who goes to several vegan/anarchist/whatever meetups a month, I’ve found that these “safe spaces” are sometimes borderline predatory on the side of single vegans looking to find someone to date. The point of this article is a call to be self-aware of the implications some of your actions may have, not to unceremoniously kick you out of the “vegan club” by pointing out that some straight vegan men maybe need to pull back on the reins a bit when it comes to socialising with their female counterparts. I understand where you feel that it’s unfair or unjust to single out straight men, but you’re completely ignoring the fact that it has become enough of a problem where there are women made to feel uncomfortable in a space you share, isn’t that something that should be addressed?

    • Thanks Mark, much appreciated.

    • Does it not follow logic that the reasoning behind it being directed at a certain demographic springs from that demographic acting in such a way? Sorry, not sorry, but if there are enough single, straight men making women uncomfortable in an environment that it needs to be addressed, you’ve lost the right to complain about sexism. If you are not one of these men making women uncomfortable, the post doesn’t apply to you. If you’re worried about the feelings of the men making women uncomfortable, maybe you should re-evaluate why you feel that way instead of rallying against someone who is trying to make their meet-up a safe space for everyone involvwd.

      • Numbers have nothing to do with it “austinisforlovers”, there is never, ever an excuse for any kind of discrimination.

      • It is not discrimination to address a problem with a solution. It is not unjust to request that the men who are making women uncomfortable change their approach, and it certainly is not aimed at all single heterosexual men. It’s aimed at the few offenders without singling them out, and frankly your vehement need to argue with everyone on this post only makes me think that you are an offending party in the equation.

      • “It is not discrimination to address a problem with a solution.” – Ha, you must be joking! One of the best I’ve heard yet.

      • Nope.. I think you may just be an idiot

      • I presume that is a negative label you are applying to myself.

      • I wouldn’t call it a label so much as an observation, you vehemently refuse to acknowledge that perhaps the reason behind this post is to make those who are acting unfavorably aware of their actions, but as they say “ignorance is bliss”.

      • Here is my discrete, polite, respectful and non discriminatory solution, from a previous post, which you seemed to have overlooked “austinisforlovers” …

        “I would try to discretely, politely and respectfully deal with the individuals involved rather than making it public. I strongly doubt it is that much of a widespread problem. But if it really was, I’d reiterate some non-discriminatory guidelines on conduct at these events.”

      • “Discreetly” and “privately” reprimanding someone, or several someones, or many someones on their possibly creepy actions is not only a) suggesting that instead of using the meet-up as what it’s for himself, the creator must be the “activity police” and instead expend all of his energy intercepting creepy behavior and trying to correct it without angering the person responsible for the behavior, and b) likely more condescending and alienating than making a blanket forewarning for participants. What is more likely to turn you off of an event? A light-hearted blog post about acceptable interactions with women in a non-romantic social setting, or being pulled aside and told you are a creep?

      • “A light-hearted blog post about acceptable interactions with women in a non-romantic social setting, or being pulled aside and told you are a creep?”
        Why not just blame all the straight men via a blog for being the source of the creepers.

      • “Does it not follow logic that the reasoning behind it being directed at a certain demographic springs from that demographic acting in such a way?”

        — It’s not the whole demographic acting in such a way. Just as racial profiling demeans the innocent majority, it’s unfair to direct negative judgements at all straight men based on the actions of some. As a straight male, I have been subjected to harassing behaviour by both women and men. One man is currently serving a prison sentence for offences against myself and others but that fact does not entitle me to take it out on gay men as a group!

        “Sorry, not sorry, but if there are enough single, straight men making women uncomfortable in an environment that it needs to be addressed, you’ve lost the right to complain about sexism.”

        — It’s really not up to you to decide I don’t have rights. Also, if I didn’t have rights then neither would you! Rights are a contract depending on mutual respect. I respect you …

        “If you are not one of these men making women uncomfortable, the post doesn’t apply to you.”

        — Except you already said it does! I’m in a “certain demographic”, remember?

        ps. Given the personal info I mentioned about my experiences of harassment, I’m not going to tell you what my name is. I’m cowardly like that. I hope you’ll understand. I will tell you it’s not Robert. ; )

      • By “a certain demographic”, I meant the demographic of men who act in such a way, not all straight men. It isn’t my, or the blog writer’s, fault that you have applied these things to all straight men.

  23. ‘…..offending party in the equation’

    Now, now, no need to get abusive and defammatory. Please try to be civil.

    • Why is it abusive or defammatory to point out that the utter refusal to accept that this could be a problem for women and that it isn’t a full scale attack on heterosexual men makes you seem defensive and therefore possibly guilty of such actions yourself? I don’t think it illogical to take the evidence given and come up with a conclusion based on it, he’s clearly very upset and irritated that men who do such things are being called out, why would it be some sort of logical gap to assume that he feels personally called out by it?

      • “you seem defensive and therefore possibly guilty of such actions yourself” – we are standing up for straight men here “austinisforlovers”. But if you support this article you are supporting sexism and discrimination against sexual orientation.

        Discrimination is a fools game.

      • I think that you are terribly confused about what discrimination is. This is not some sort of anti-heterosexual man post, it’s an anti-creep post. It’s an instruction manual, if you will, to non-threatening interaction with women. No one here is saying all straight men are bad, only that SOME straight men could do better (and probably inadvertantly be happier) by acknowledging where they might be missing the mark and then correcting it.

      • There is never, ever an excuse for any kind of discrimination “austinisforlovers”.

      • It is not discrimination! He is not saying you are bad or dumb or a skeevy person simply because you are a straight male, he’s saying that there are ways to ensure you are *not* one of the skeevy straight males.

      • To defame, shame or talk about any social sub group in such a derogatory way is a form of discrimination. Simple as that.

      • So then the subgroup in question is straight vegan males who make women uncomfortable with their actions and advances, and since they are a subgroup we’re not allowed to tell them “Listen, my friend, you are more likely to have success and be more generally liked if you change what you’re doing a little bit.” You seem so willing to call out the problematic behavior of the author of the post without reflecting on the fact that it is in response to other problematic behavior. You do realize, by the way, that it is not discrimination to respond to someone’s wrong actions, right?

      • It is wrong to blame a group for a certain type of bad behaviour.

      • But the only group singled out, here, is specifically the perpetrators. He is not saying ALL single straight vegan men act badly, he is addressing those that do. That is the problem with your logic.

      • “But the only group singled out, here, is specifically the perpetrators.” – You are completely oblivious to harassment in general.

      • Somehow I think you’ve got that accusation aimed at the wrong person in this discussion.

      • You don’t make any sense “austinisforlovers”.

      • Thanks for trying austinforlovers, very eloquently written and puts the point across better than I did. Please don’t think we’re all like this. Seems this has pushed a few people’s buttons. Please join us if ever you’re around these parts!

      • I hope to be around those parts for a visit at some point!

      • Ha, “very eloquently written”, please don’t make me laugh.
        The truth is, harassment can come from any type of person, to implicate straight males as the source of the problem is a gross misjudgment. Big shame on anyone who supports this article.

  24. Some people have now posted ‘across the boards’ that they have either witnessed pestering or been pestered by men at london vegan drinks. And someone else has posted that some straight vegan men have been pestered by women. So it seems that there is an issue with both genders and not just men. Unfortunately fgv’s article does not state that he’s received complaints from women and if you read the comments on the london vegan meetup group then it appears that fgv wrote the article in response to someone asking a question on the new york vegan drinks website about whether they can use the new york vegan drinks to try and date – http://www.vegandrinks.org/faq/ – question no.15:

    “I’m single and having trouble meeting other vegans to date. Can I come mack at Vegan Drinks? No. We’re not going to stop you from meeting the love of your life, BUT PLEASE DON’T BE CREEPY! Seriously, DO NOT BE CREEPY. If you’re creepy, no will want to be your friend, let alone date you. If someone doesn’t want to talk to you, BACK OFF. Thanks!”

    Fgv has not yet stated whether he’s received any complaints specifically to london vegan drinks. It’s a shame that fgv hasn’t fully justified why he wrote the article or mentioned if he’s received any complaints of pestering. If he had then that would partly justify the reason for specifically targeting straight vegan men. Whilst there are some good points in his article, unfortunately I think the article as a whole is very derogatory towards straight vegan men. In places it implies that straight vegan men are creepy and sex pests, unless they do as fgv says. This is discriminatory.

    Fgv really should give a proper explanation as to why he wrote this article. As it now appears that all genders have experienced pestering then fgv should now amend this article to ensure that it applies to everyone. It seems to me that as a consequence of writing this article, the london vegan drinks is now seriously in danger of developing a reputation of being full of ‘creeps’, ‘sex pests’, and ‘helpless victims’ etc, which it clearly is not! What a shame.

    • Thanks Dave, much appreciated.

  25. FGV – “The tips detailed below will help you rise from the ranks of creeper and sex pest to the lofty heights of respected and respectful member of your social group.”

    Ha, so I guess all the straight men start off as creepers and sex pests. Regardless of whether they know what you are going on about. What a way to welcome new straight vegan / potential vegan men into the group. Never mind insult and smear all the existing ones.

    FGV – This article will not earn you any credit in the long run, you have proved yourself to be a divisive and polarising person, especially towards straight men. If you are to do the right thing, you should immediately remove this article and post a public apology.

    Smearing straight men will not bolster your image or make you a more respectful vegan blogger.

  26. FGV, I’m genuinely grateful for this blog and the service you provide to the vegan community but this particular article, however well-intentioned, is really not defensible in its present form. I’m sure it was meant to address a difficult problem in a light-hearted way but it singles out heterosexual male vegans as a group and can be read as implying that we are all, by default, “creepers” and “sex pests”. This is discriminatory, offensive and wrong.

    Reading between the lines in the comments, and the associated page at meetup.com, it sounds like one or more women have had unwelcome experiences at London Vegan Drinks events. If so, that’s a serious situation and it needs to be addressed. I commend you for trying to sort it out but this can’t be the way.

    Personally, I’ve never been to London Vegan Drinks. Having read this article, I never will. As a straight, very shy single male, I now feel that I’d be facing a whole load of prejudice before I even walked in.

    On the other comments here, some of the arguments being advanced are not only unsound but a little bit menacing. Fellow vegan people, please can we not have a discussion that descends to the level of *If you don’t agree with the rest of us you’re a suspect*. McCarthyism sucks.

    ps. I’m posting anonymously due to personal information contained in my reply to austinisforlovers

    • Exactly, thanks for voicing your concerns at this divisive and polarising article. Every voice matters.

      Discrimination is always divisive and polarising as you can see from the spectrum of responses on this page.

  27. Lol. Straight males crying about prejudice? Hahahahaha. I’m going to bet they’re white too. God, life is so fucking hard for straight, white men in today’s society, huh?

    Look, if you don’t sexually harass women then you’ll be okay. It’s not that hard. Really! And if you can’t tell the difference between sexual harassment and normal conversation then your problems are much bigger than this single blog post. Seriously. I’d talk to someone stat.

    Oh, and harassment from women to men isn’t the same. BOTH ARE WRONG AND ABHORRENT. HARASSMENT FROM ANYONE SHOULD NEVER BE CONDONED. BUT, we do not live in a vacuum. We, sadly, live in a patriarchal society that denigrates and condones the objectification and abuse of women. Over 99% of sex offenders are male and the majority of their victims are women and children. So, when a man behaves in a creepy way towards us it comes with the risk that this guy could rape us, harm us, murder us. And trust, it does happen. Open any newspaper. I can’t even count the amount of times I have been sexually harassed or touched without my permission by horny guys in bars and clubs. I can’t count the amount of hard ons I’ve had unwillingly rubbed against my back in clubs. I guarantee most women are the same.

    But beyond all that, sometimes women just want to go out for drinks with likeminded people without someone creeping on them.

    It’s not about your feelings, it’s about protecting people and ensuring people feel safe.

    AND PS: Sexism against males is a fairy tale. Much like ‘reverse racism’. You clearly have absolutely NO idea about power structures if you’re crying racism at this post. What next, heterophobia? LOL. Oh fucking hell.

    Please Robert, tell me how you have had to get a taxi home because a woman is following you home in the dark from a bar. Tell me about the times that women have sexually harassed you, then verbally, physically and sexually assaulted you when you rejected their crude advances. I could go on, but I’m sure you are so wilfully blind that you will never see the picture.

    Before you speak shit about well… who knows… you should read about feminism and sexual inequality in our society. Step outta that bubble, enter the real fucking world.

    Straight guys can’t handle that this one space will not be a fucking meat market. Go get your dick wet somewhere else.

    • I meant crying sexism, not racism, in the sixth paragraph.

      • Well said Sarah! I’m sure the straight guys crying sexism are only doing so because of the countless times they have had to walk home with their keys between their knuckles just in case the woman behind them isn’t actually just a neighbour. Or perhaps it’s frustration with the cat-calling in the streets. Or just exhaustion from the tinge of fear he feels every time a woman pulls her car up to him in the street (day or night) and asks for his number/ if he needs a ride/ if she can take him home.

        I’m sure that’s all it is.

      • Numbers are not relevant here “Elka”, there is never, ever an excuse for discrimination. Men can also be sexually harassed by men. So this article is just completely biased and flawed.

    • Numbers are not relevant here “Sarah”, there is never, ever an excuse for discrimination. Men can also be sexually harassed by men. So this article is just completely biased and flawed.

    • Sarah – “Straight guys can’t handle that this one space will not be a fucking meat market. Go get your dick wet somewhere else.”
      Ha, I wonder if you have ever been to the vegan drinks anyway.

  28. As a straight, white male in a happy long-term relationship I’ve been creeped on by straight women and gay men at various events (not this one though). However, I’ve also much more regularly been in the presence of men that have been creeping on women and it’s seriously embarrassing.

    Why can’t people just try and make friends. Surely that’s the best dating advice anyway -_-

    • Thank you Henry.

    • Numbers are not relevant here “Henry”, there is never, ever an excuse for discrimination. Men can also be sexually harassed by men. So this article is just completely biased and flawed.

      • I am aware men can also be sexually harassed by men. As I mentioned before, I have been. If men creeping on men was a prevalent issue, I’m sure a discussion would take place regarding that. Quite simply, that isn’t an issue at this event. This is about specifically addressing an empirical problem.

        Also – numbers are always relevant as they dictate our decisions to reduce harm. Look at the military, medicine, law etc. as obvious examples. I’m sure you’d agree that currently workplace deaths or shared parenting is worse if you’re male, and needs to be equally leveled. Sexual harassment is unequivocally worse if you’re female, and so should be targeted as such.

      • All people should be treated equally and with the utmost respect Henry, anything else is disrespectful or discriminatory.

        There is never, ever an excuse for discrimination.

      • That doesn’t even touch on the points I raised which refute your very statement.

      • So you think targeting single straight men with derogatory labels is an ethical solution to this issue Henry. Discrimination and negative labels are never the solution.

  29. Robert, have a look at the Everyday Sexism project to see just how prolific harassment of women and sexism are. Many women, myself included, are sick to the back teeth of knowing that leaving the house, going to an event, going out with friends, even just waiting for a bus may bring unwelcome harassment. As a vegan woman, I like to think that vegans particularly get that treating any being like an object – be it for food, entertainment, decoration, titillation, or as a romantic target to be conquered – is wrong. So, rightly or wrongly, it’s all the more disappointing when vegan guys don’t get this.

    For those saying ‘well women do it too’, why do you only complain when women speak up about harassment towards them? Why don’t you use your voice to start a campaign to raise awareness about harassment of men by women? Is it because you’re so oppressed you feel unable to speak up by yourself? Or is it that it isn’t really a problem for you, but you don’t want to hear women complaining because it makes you feel uncomfortable to know that sexism is still a problem? Perhaps you feel just as powerless to change things as women do about it. Maybe because it doesn’t affect you personally you just find it irritating that women keep going on about it. Maybe you’re even a woman who wishes we’d shut up and stop making a fuss because you have men in your life you’re offended on behalf of. None of this actually helps or deals with the problem, it makes it worse because it makes women who are subjected to harassment feel invalidated and unable to speak up for themselves for fear of being ridiculed or criticised rather than supported. Any of this sound familiar? It’s very similar to the way carnists or their apologists behave when we speak up about animal rights. To tell people their experience of being harassed, treated like an object, or discriminated against isn’t real or isn’t that bad is incredibly invalidating and acts to further oppress them. Responding to women speaking out about sustained and persistent harassment that permeates every aspect of our culture with ‘well there was this one time when’ doesn’t counteract our experiences of harassment, it just makes us feel like you don’t want to listen and that you want to maintain the status quo.

    Before you ask, I’m not saying that some women don’t harass some men. I’m not saying that you personally, or the men you care about are bad. However what we cannot deny is that, on the whole, sexual violence is perpetuated by men against women. It has long been used to keep women in their place be it directly or using the fear of becoming a victim as a way to control women’s behaviour. Therefore, when men act in a way that makes women feel harassed or objectified, it carries more than irritation, it also often brings with it a level of fear and feelings of powerlessness because when we do speak up, we’re often made to feel like we’re making a fuss over nothing as has been perfectly demonstrated in this comments section. Every time women are silenced when they try to speak up about harassment, it gives power to and reinforces the behaviour of the people doing the harassing whilst at the same time ensuring that more women feel like they have no choice other than to just put up and shut up. We shouldn’t have to start every conversation about sexism and harassment with ‘I don’t mean you personally, and I know not all men do this’ because you should know if it’s not about you if you don’t behave that way. It takes power out of a statement when you have to begin with an apology to those it isn’t about in case they get offended and assume it is. I don’t get offended when animal rights activists talk about humans mistreating animals. Nor do I get offended when people talk about white people being racist, or about heterosexual people oppressing gay people – because I know as groups we do those things and making the conversation about me rather than those who are oppressed and being mistreated doesn’t help anyone. The same goes for any form of behaviour by one group that oppresses another. If you belong to a group that oppresses another, don’t blame the victims of that oppression or their supporters for speaking up, blame the members of your group (be it sex, race, religion, species etc), for doing the oppressing.

    • Numbers are not relevant here “bizzylearner”, there is never, ever an excuse for discrimination. Men can also be sexually harassed by men. So this article is just completely biased and flawed.

  30. So refreshing to see so many men voicing their concerns about harassment so loudly that they drown out the voices of any women who may have experienced it. Your concerns about a lack of “discrimination” when it comes to who is doing the harassing are duly noted; but- and this may come as a shock to some- it is possible to raise and discuss issues separately while still acknowledging that others exist and should be rectified as well. I must admit that I’ve not read all the comments but I have yet to find one where the straight vegan man says, “I hope it’s not me, but if it is, I’ll try to be more mindful of my behaviour”. As a largely open-minded and welcoming group we owe it to each other and to ourselves to acknowledge and respectfully consider any issues a member might raise- whether we agree with them or not. I don’t think anyone is obligated to raise every issue, all at once, so as not to exclude any part of the group. And, in my opinion, that is not the same as discriminating. But, as a black, immigrant, straight, vegan female what would I know about discrimination and/or harassment?

    See you all on Thursday at Whole Foods where I’ll continue to chat to and hopefully laugh with lots of great vegan men and women whilst still, somehow, trying to be mindful of my behaviour- I think I can do that 🙂

    P.S. Sean, I loved the blog post. The next one’s on cisgendered, straight, single, black, vegan, Caribbean women, right? I can’t wait to see all the concern.

    • “So refreshing to see so many men voicing their concerns about harassment” – surely you mean *discrimination* Elka. You don’t seem to make much sense with your opening statement.

      • She’s saying that you’ve been shouting about being discriminated against so much that you’re actually drowning out the legitimate issues women are trying to raise about the harassment they’ve experienced at events like these.

        Instead of listening and showing concern for any of the people in this section who have experienced this kind of harassment your need to state how awful it is to be discriminated against as a straight male is actively trying to negate any discussions or concerns women are trying to have about the harassment they have been experiencing.

        Or, put simply, you’re being a selfish, ignorant bastard.

      • No need to be offensive brendsies.

  31. I haven’t attended this event for a long time as I found that it became terribly boring very quickly. However, in the few times I was there I did notice that decent looking women tended to be surrounded by men and I certainly spotted a few guys who seemed to tour the venue speaking almost exclusively to women.

    It’s not really surprising that this happens though. Many people who turn to Meetup and organised social events will be single, have barren social lives, and have little opportunity to find a partner… and if they’re looking specifically for a vegan partner their chances are almost nil. They (men and women) might therefore see a “Vegan Meetup” as an opportunity to find a partner. Is that really so unreasonable? Should they go to a random pub instead and try their luck there? Should they join a dating website and hide behind their screen like a loser? Or should they just stay at home and wait for a vegan woman to knock on their door and invite them out on a date?

    Personally, I’m not proactive enough to bother approaching women, but I understand that many guys do – it happens in all sorts of settings and it’s how many relationships are formed. I can’t help but feel that this article is unreasonable and rather hysterical. Sure, if someone (male or female) is genuinely harassing another person or intimidating/threatening them then there is an issue, but it’s not a crime to merely seek to converse with another person.

    In the few times I was at the event there seemed to be far more men than women, which is something that probably makes all this more of an issue.

  32. Robert, your ability to take offence seems to know no bounds. I don’t even know how to not be offensive to you. All I can say is, perhaps you should put yourself in the shoes of the people who’s experiences you’re dismissing by claiming all of this offence.

    • It’s not a matter of “putting yourself in the shoes of other people”. It’s a matter of treating all people fairly, equally and with the utmost respect. Peace and unity, love and light.

      • That would certainly have more weight to it if you hadn’t already shown disrespect for the majority of people in here, trying to negate their personal views and experiences while clearly demonstrating you care more about the opinions and views of heterosexual males than you do ‘women or homosexuals’. Good luck with all…that.

      • Providing a healthy debate against discrimination can only be a good thing in my opinion.

  33. I think this article raised a valid point – there is certainly (by no possible argument to the contrary), more harassment of women by men than there is the other way around (or of men by men), therefore it is appropriate, in my opinion, to bring up this issue. I am wondering if part of the problem some men are having with this article, is that they perhaps do not know if they are being perceived as ‘harassing’ when they merely feel they are being friendly. If you are one of the men reading this far and genuinely want to know how to avoid this, please just be aware of your motives when talking to someone, and how they are coming across. Also think how you’d like to be treated, if it were the other way around. Let’s say someone is coming on to you, when you would just rather be friends. What I find sad in this, is that I often get the feeling that some men do not want to be friends with women. Once they find out a woman doesn’t want to shag them or go out with them romantically, they lose all interest in a possible friendship. Let me tell you men, this hurts our feelings! And makes us feel that we are not good enough to be friends with, only to shag. I doubt there are a huge amount of vegan men like this, as I would like to assume that most are very compassionate people. But I think this article rightly points out that it is a good idea to start off with just friendship in mind. If what you really want is a ‘relationship’ (why is a friendship not a relationship?) then why not at least start with a friendship? These drinks are a way for people to get to know each other – once you do that, you can then decide if this is someone you would like to be friends with and occasionally possibly more – but the more must be treated with caution at first, as otherwise it will feel a bit like a (fake) meat market. If there is someone you like or fancy, why not suggest meeting up as a small group (i.e. let’s all go try that new vegan restaurant!). Remember, women are more sensitive to being harassed than men, because we live in a sexist world and have to deal with cat-calling, inappropriate touching, the threat of sexual violence on an almost daily basis, not to mention sexist laws and mores that still exist in our society. This is why, when a man comes on to us, it can sometimes feel just slightly threatening, because we do wonder whether he is a potential stalker or even just ‘will he take no for an answer and still be my friend?’

    • Kat, you said – “because we live in a sexist world”.
      No, no, no, no, no! Sexism is never, ever the solution Kat. There is never, ever an excuse for it either way.

  34. White men are the most privileged group in our society. We can pretty much go anywhere and do anything without any real fear of unwanted attention, sexual harassment or violence from women. You might feel embarrassed or annoyed by some women’s actions (believe me, I know!) but you’re never really going to feel threatened for your physical safety.

    You only have to look at the front page of the BBC news web site today to see some horribly bad behaviour by powerful men towards women. There are at least FIVE headline stories of sexual violence. All by men exercising the power of their position to get what they want from women. As a member of this privileged group myself I see it all the time in the attitudes of other men towards women and it has always made me feel uncomfortable to be a part of this group.

    This is not about discrimination of single men in any shape or form, it’s about behaviour. When someone tells you you are behaving badly you’re not being discriminated against, you’re being told the truth of a situation from the point of view of those that feel intimidated and threatened. Take that on board, examine it and then ask yourself if, as a member of the most privileged group in society, you can make things more comfortable for them instead of whining about your own rights being infringed.

    • Thank you, Paul!

    • To wrongly single out a sub group and smear them for being the source of a certain type of bad behaviour, is discrimination Paul. Also applying derogatory negative labels to people is very disrespectful and damaging. Treating all people equally is not a statistical thing, it’s a practice of being absolute in principle.

      There is never, ever an excuse for discrimination.

  35. Thank you, Paul! 🙂

    • You missed Kat.

  36. Sexism and misogyny have and continue to be an issue in society and at these events. That isn’t to say that because you’re a straight male member of the group then you’re automatically sexist. Consider that the intention of FGV’s post was to highlight the issue, under the assumption that attendees don’t want to be sexist and/or make women uncomfortable and would want to know if there’s even a remote chance they could be doing so.

    Despite the infuriating attitudes of some attendees who have proven to be sexist, misogynistic, and/or harassment apologists, I’m happy to know I get to spend time in the same space as such strong and progressive individuals as some of you who have posted here and elsewhere. You have so eloquently put into words what I’ve been feeling while reading the outrageous claims that our experiences as women aren’t credible. Let’s all have each other’s backs and keep speaking up to affect change.

    P.S. yay, I get to live with Paul!

    • Kip, you say, “reading the outrageous claims that our experiences as women aren’t credible”. There are two things here, the problem and the solution. No one has ever said that women don’t suffer at the hands of men. I am a very respectful of women in general and if you ever talk to me you would probably realise this. I have met you on several occasions but only said a friendly “hello”.

      The problem I have, is this article as a bodged solution that FGV has applied to try and raise awareness of a perceived problem. It is a discriminatory and divisive solution in my opinion. But I am not totally disputing the problem in the first place.

      Secondly, I don’t agree with what you say here, “some attendees who have proven to be sexist, misogynistic, and/or harassment apologists”. I have only met absolutely lovely vegans at this event and think you must be easily offended as a person to make such claims. I personally don’t think there is any harassment at LVD, just intolerant people that are complaining about something quite trivial. There has never been a serious outburst or incident while I have been there, not even a rumour of one.

      • Robert you say “I personally don’t think there is any harassment at LVD, just intolerant people that are complaining about something quite trivial. There has never been a serious outburst or incident while I have been there, not even a rumour of one.” Do you think you know everything that has ever happened at Vegan Drinks? It certainly sounds like it. As someone with what is obviously, compared to your all seeing eye, very limited knowledge of what goes on I can assure you that there IS a problem, whether you are aware of it or not.

        I have been sitting on my hands watching this unfold but I can take it no longer. You clearly hold a very high regard for your own opinion and consider we should all share it (and maybe you think if you repeat it ad nauseam we will?) Fair enough I suppose . . . BUT it seems to have blinded you in this case, you appear absolutely intent on disregarding and denigrating (“intolerant?” “easily offended”? seriously?!) anyone who contradicts your point of view. That doesn’t seem very “fair” to me. Maybe if you “personally don’t” deem an incident a “serious outburst or incident” you feel they ought to be ignored? But you surely are well out of the loop if you haven’t even heard “a rumour of one”. What will it take for you to understand you are wrong about this???

        Your ‘cut and paste’ replies to anyone who says anything you disagree with here and elsewhere are beyond tedious and add nothing to the discussion. Since you have felt the need to reply to almost every post on this subject I have no doubt you will also reply to this, but please at least give me the courtesy of an individual reply.

      • Well Maria, there is a difference between *knowing* something and *thinking* something. And I have never claimed to *know* for sure.
        I do not copy and paste replies. But there is one or two of mine that may look like that.
        You say, “I can assure you that there IS a problem”. Whether there is a problem or not, is not my main concern. It is the damaging use of this inappropriate article as a perceived solution. It is very crude and derogatory in my opinion. If you support or defend it, then shame on you!

      • Robert you said “Whether there is a problem or not, is not my main concern.”
        Well in MY opinion the ‘shame’ should be on you.

      • I’d say it would be only reasonable for you to explain this shame Maria, for it to have any real meaning. Please can you do that. I’m open minded and would really like to know how you feel.

  37. Well done fatgayvegan! You’ve hit the big time! More people have probably read this article then any other on your blog. You know what they say, any publicity is good publicity. Was your public profile not as good as it was? Nothing like a good bit of controversy to get the punters in and raise one’s profile. And this article certainly is controversial, just look at the division and anguish that it’s causing your fellow vegans. Maybe the national media might pick this up, and, what do you know, you’ll be a celebrity!

    Well done too for not making a single comment or explanation after posting the article. You don’t want to stop the controversy you’ve created by apologising or removing the nasty bits, because then no one will take notice of you any more and you would have to kiss goodbye to the new publicity.

    But, hang on. Who are all those hurt and angry people that lay on your path to stardom? Looks like all those gullible and innocent vegans that were there for you to use along the way. But hey, it’s all for a good cause though, isn’t it?

    Who cares about all the poor vegan women who now think that straight vegan men are deviant sex monsters?

    Who cares about all the poor straight vegan men who are now petrified to approach a vegan woman for fear of being labelled a deviant sex monster?

    Who cares about the straight vegan men, period?

    Well, actually, I do care. Like I care about all genders and sexualities. I’ve been vegan a long time and as a woman I am disgusted by this article. Appallingly offensive, patronising, stupid, and discriminatory. Oh, and amateurishly written and really not the slightest bit funny. My fellow feminists out there might be thinking what a great article this is for defending the female, but wake up sisters! This article does not help us. It hinders our campaign for equality and fairness. Why? Because this nasty sexist piece of junk is only causing more discrimination and not helping to end it.

    And what a target to attack, straight vegan men. Of all the people I’ve met in my long years, vegan men are the most compassionate, caring and sympathetic of the male subspecies that I have ever met. Why? Because to be vegan you need to have an open mind, to care about the planet, to care about the environment, to care about the animals, to care about people. Simply just to care. Of all the male subspecies, the vegan male is the least to be a ‘sexist male chauvinist pig’, and the most likely to show respect and be mindful of their behaviour towards others including us, dear sisters. You’ve attacked the one section of the male population that didn’t need to be attacked.

    So, fatgayvegan, in a single article you’ve turned the most well behaved section of the male subspecies into the most ‘depraved’. You’ve frightened vegan women into believing that they are no longer safe around them. And you’ve destroyed the confidence, self esteem, and innocence of many of the kindest, most caring and thoughtful of the human male species that exists today, the male vegan.

    But most of all, you’ve attacked veganism by creating false hysteria and hatred amongst us. Well done, what great publicity for you.

    • Actually Gloria, not all vegan men are the most compassionate, caring and sympathetic individuals , the same way as not all vegan women (gay or straight) or vegan gay men are the most compassionate, caring and sytmpathetic individuals I have ever met as some of the comments on the board here clearly outline.
      Unfortunately, being vegan does not automatically afford you a halo.

      “So, fatgayvegan, in a single article you’ve turned the most well behaved section of the male subspecies into the most ‘depraved’. You’ve frightened vegan women into believing that they are no longer safe around them. And you’ve destroyed the confidence, self esteem, and innocence of many of the kindest, most caring and thoughtful of the human male species that exists today, the male vegan.” – Really, he did that with a single blog post? I shall call him “Nuclear FGV” from now on.

      I have absolutely no problem with you not agreeing with the article but this kind of rant only exacerbates the hysteria that you accused FGV of fueling.

      Just as a matter of interest, since you have such strong views on this: Have you ever been to London Vegan Meetups?

      • Actually, what is more likely to frighten vegan women is the very aggressive ranting across the various boards and the fact that a real problem is completely negated by comments Robert made along the lines of: “It’s quite apparent to me, that much of this perceived problem has come from intolerant sexist women who have personal grudges against men in general.”
        It’s classic victim blaming. There I said it. Now off you go on your next rant.

      • When women approve this article on the basis of being in a patriarchal society, it does indeed seem to be very sexist Gabi.

      • Gabi – I totally agree with Gloria when she says “vegan men are the most compassionate, caring and sympathetic of the male subspecies that I have ever met.” – you forgot to notice the last bit “that I have ever met”. Obviously, she is stating her *personal* opinion.
        Looks like you are rushing into providing negative responses without properly reading the posts first!
        In my opinion Gloria has given probably the best contribution to this discussion. I greatly respect her for being such an loving, thoughtful and unbiased individual. Thank you Gloria, for standing up for all single straight vegan men!

    • Thanks Gloria, I totally agree with you. Creating controversy seems to be a crude and unethical celebrity tactic nowadays, to get more media attention. But I don’t think this will get into the media, it will just poison the atmosphere of the LVD.

    • Gloria wrote, “Who cares about all the poor vegan women who now think that straight vegan men are deviant sex monsters?”

      Um, I’m a vegan woman and the post didn’t give me that impression at all.

      She then wrote, “Who cares about all the poor straight vegan men who are now petrified to approach a vegan woman for fear of being labelled a deviant sex monster?”

      Being asked to approach vegan women in a respectful way should not be frightening at all.

    • Thank you Gloria – this absolutely hits the nail on the head. I’m disgusted at Sean’s article not as a man, but as a feminist.

  38. Robert, you’re an idiot and an embarrassment if you can’t take the overwhelming body of evidence by both men and women offered in this discussion and not even try to look at things from another’s perspective and see that you may have got this one seriously wrong.

    If you accuse thieves of stealing you are not discriminating against thieves. That is not what discrimination is. Would you tell someone after their house had been ransacked to stop crying and get a grip. They’re being too sensitive and intolerant towards the poor burglar? Because that’s what you’re doing here.

    The feelings of other people who voice what THEY consider to be a valid concern should not just be shot down in flames, invalidated and them made to feel that they are wrong to complain about poor behaviour they have personally witnessed. THAT IS WHAT DISCRIMINATION REALLY LOOKS LIKE.

    That is how people like Savile got away with what they did to women for decades. I can’t believe you can’t see that. This is exactly the kind of behaviour women in particular have to deal with all the time. Men telling them they are wrong, too sensitive, easily offended, intolerant, men haters that should just shut up and let me grope you (or verbally abuse you) when I want to without you making me feel bad about it!

    It is also very apparent how differently you respond to women as opposed to men. You have dissected each reply by a woman word by word but men who reply get a different level of response. That is a classic discriminatory tactic.

    You really need to re-evaluate your position on this. As far as I can see you’re the only one being intolerant here.

    • No need to be offensive Paul. And a majority does not imply ethical correctness.

    • “The feelings of other people who voice what THEY consider to be a valid concern should not just be shot down in flames, invalidated and them made to feel that they are wrong to complain about poor behaviour they have personally witnessed. THAT IS WHAT DISCRIMINATION REALLY LOOKS LIKE.”

      And yet you Paul think you can treat Robert this way in the face of FGV’s poor behaviour and out and out discrimination against straight men in the way he writes this article? He generalised too much about the only problem behaviour being from straight men, it really is that simple. I am not a straight man, or even a man, and I was shocked by the put downs in the article against straight men as an entire group. What a nasty article it was, probably not even worth all this attention actually! FGV I predict will lose a lot of support for his events now with his arrogance, in not printing a retraction, but that is his loss and his problem. Maybe we should stop giving him any more attention though. There are enough other events not organised by FGV after all, some by Robb and many others. Boycotting is reasonably doable.

      Also you showed your own embarrassing ignorance by writing this:
      “You might feel embarrassed or annoyed by some women’s actions (believe me, I know!) but you’re never really going to feel threatened for your physical safety.”

      So you do not believe that men can experience assault even sexual assault from other men, or physically stronger women? Ever? Generalisations again that straight men are never victims.. I know from a friend’s personal experience he told me about that this is NOT true.
      Besides which, we are talking about an event in public with lots of ppl, seriously unlikely for anyone to feel unsafe in that situation, unless they are very overly anxious!

      This is not about Savile, who is he the new Hitler to be compared to in debates?

      • Thanks Lesley, very well said and very much appreciated. Many thanks for standing up for all straight vegan men!

    • Thank you Paul

    • whoops, meant to put here: Thank you Paul.

  39. I don’t care if you’re male, female, gay, black, white, jewish, muslim, christian or anything else, if I disagree with someone I’ll put my point of view. Again, that’s not discrimination. Disagreeing with someone’s point of view and telling them so by articulating an argument against that is not discrimination.

    Yes, of course we all accept that men also suffer assault of various kinds but not to the same extent that women have to deal with and that has nothing to do with this discussion anyway.

    If we were all to accept that Sean should have directed the article at ALL men regardless of their relationship status would you agree that the concerns raised are valid then? Is your only problem that he levelled it at single men only? That, we may be able to agree on because the article should have been aimed at all men. Married men can be worse than single men in these situations!

    When the argument is about the power men can have over women in society then yes, Savile is the new Hitler to be used in this context. He’s exactly the right person to illustrate the point perfectly. He was a single man who approached women and young girls in a friendly way and then abused them. That’s quite relevant to this discussion don’t you think?

    And to pick out that one statement about being “embarrassed” by some women shows you have a) no sense of humour and b) obviously don’t know who I’m married to! 😉

    Have a nice day.

    • Paul, by repeatedly mentioning Savile, you are kind of escalating the problem here a bit. This has absolutely nothing to do with child molestation. Are you sure you really want to do this? Because you are becoming even more polarised and irrational in the process.

      • Paul mentioned Savile once, as an example of how people get away with things if they are respected enough. Lesley then escalated matters by mentioning both Savile and Hitler.

      • He mentioned him twice, lets try and keep the focus here. Instead of going into separate discussions.

    • I’m sorry. If you say it was twice, then I am sure it was twice. I don’t have the energy to check. I can’t believe the amount of energy you are putting into your indignation about something which quite clearly wasn’t aimed at all straight men in the first place.

      • The post was aimed at single straight vegan men. You can tell by the title:
        Fat Gay Vegan’s Guide for Single Straight Vegan Men

        To be fair to Robert, because someone should be, yes he has put a case with remarkable energy. So did Andrea Dworkin and Emmeline Pankhurst. Then mobs shouted them down and chucked insults or mice at them. That’s a sadly familiar pattern.

        I don’t know Robert but I’m astounded at the level of deeply personal unpleasantness being directed at him. What’s the reason please? – because I can’t honestly find fault with anything he has said here. He has doggedly stuck to his stated principle that sexism, including reverse sexism is wrong and for that he has been accused of being a sex predator, a patriarch, an idiot, an embarrassment and an ignorant selfish bastard.

        This isn’t a discussion. It’s a self-selecting, self-congratulatory mob trying to shut down dissent by throwing insults and stooping to the lowest and ugliest of slurs.

        So far, the justifications put forward for this gratuitous abuse amount to:
        If you disagree with us you must be one of the evildoers!
        Men’s feelings don’t matter so shut it!
        We outnumber you so shut it!
        Aren’t you bored yet?

        Oh yeah, and now Savile.

      • Thanks “A concerned reader”, your support is greatly appreciated. I’m just pushing for unity, ethics and the more respectful treatment of people, no matter who they are. If I can make people more aware of these principles, then that is a big achievement for me. I wont get thanked for telling people they may be wrong, but one day in the future it may help them and they may be thankful for it. Even just stimulating some rational thought is a good thing to me.

        Love and light.

  40. Thank you again Paul, for so clearly putting into words what many of us (women) feel on a day-to-day basis. It is ridiculous to consider not debating a particular negative behaviour, just because it is typically expressed by one particular group of people against another, in the view that the former may feel discriminated against. This type of behaviour is USUALLY exhibited by men against women. Of course there will be exceptions, as Lesley points out, but this does not mean we can’t talk about the issue as primarily being a problem for women. The world is still an extremely sexist and male-dominated place. This is often not obvious to those (i.e. white men) who are in a position of power. If you are the powerful, you do not usually notice how the repressed are feeling. This would take a very compassionate kind of person. One would hope that vegans would have the kind of compassion to think for a minute what life would be like if they had been born a different gender (or race, colour, sexual orientation, etc). Women are taught from birth to always think about how men are feeling and how to please them and make them happy, but men are not always taught this about women, therefore it is perhaps a little more difficult for them to to understand how life can be for a woman, trying to navigate her way through dealings with men, many of whom are not as kind as compassionate as MOST vegan men are.

    • I totally agree with being able to discuss this problem in a respectful and ethical way. But I am totally against this shameful article that has been thrust into the limelight of the London Vegan Drinks. Looks like there should of been a mature discussion first. I hope we can agree on some things Kat.

    • Kat, it’s not that we don’t want a debate and it’s certainly not that we don’t care about the issue. We want a welcoming, respectful environment in which everyone can work together to sort out problems. FGV’s approach of accusing single straight men as a group isn’t helping.

      One of the other organisers at London Vegan has said that about ten people (mostly women) have left the group since this post appeared. I don’t think that’s a good outcome.

      Best wishes

  41. I just read the article posted by Lesley about the 19-year-old woman who was gang raped in Saudi Arabia. Extremely shocking, that someone who was gang raped by 7 men, then gets punished for it by 200 lashings and 6 months in jail. However, at the end of the article, it points out that the woman’s (male) friend who was with her at the time, was also raped by some of the men and also given the same punishment she was. So it seems they are at least being equal in their cruel and archaic laws.
    Just because we ‘have it easier’ in this country, doesn’t make discrimination and sexual violence right. It can be argued that there is, in fact, more sexual violence against women in countries that are more equal than in traditional societies, where women have less rights. Maybe there is more male anger against women in equal societies? Who knows, but if it is the case as someone pointed out earlier, that 1 in 3 women will be the victim of a sexual or violent crime, then women’s fear of the occasional creepy man is completely justified. Sean never said that ALL men were like this, only a few, and this article was directed at those few, so in my mind, it was not discriminatory. Unless you want to make a case that it is discriminatory to target ‘creepy men’?