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Paul Elam, you’re no Jonathan Swift

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Paul Elam, in context.

Yesterday, I posted a set of pretty awful comments from Paul Elam’s A Voice For Men blog, one of which included this lovely line:

I am so fucking tired of this shit, that I really wouldn’t mind shooting a bitch dead in the face.

While even the mildest critiques of MRA dogma tend to get downvoted into oblivion on Paul’s site — see this one, for example (you’ll need to click another link there to even see it) — the “shoot a bitch” comment got more upvotes than down. Which tells you something about Paul’s audience.

Paul has now taken the offending comment down, saying that he hadn’t noticed it before, because he was on vacation. I’ll take his word for this. His explanation for taking it down? “[T]he bottom line,” he writes, “is that I am vehemently against violence.”

Given that Paul has written several posts containing similarly over-the-top fantasies of violence against women, and another recent post mocking female rape victims, this explanation rather strains credulity.

His explanation for these previous posts? Again, back to his post today:

I have satirized violence several times, and it has of course been taken out of context and even drawn criticism from MRA’s and sympathizers.  …  If people don’t recognize satire or humor then let ‘em stew.

So he’s making three claims about his previous posts containing fantasies of violence towards women: that they’re “satire,” that they’re “humor,” and that the violent quotes have been “taken out of context.”

So let’s deal with all of those claims in regard to Paul’s most notorious “satirical” post. I’ll start with humor.

Here is an example of humor, from comedian Emo Philips:

Always remember the last words of my grandfather, who said: “A truck!”

What’s funny about this — at least the first time you hear it — is that Philips has led us to believe one thing (that we’re going to hear some words of wisdom from his grandfather), but instead flips the script, challenging our expectations by delivering instead the last thing his grandfather shouted before being hit by a truck. (Sorry, explanations of humor are almost always completely unfunny.)

Here is an example of something that is not humor:

Let’s punch some bitches until blood spurts from their noses!

That second example might seem a bit strange. It’s not clever. There’s no twist, no challenging of our assumptions. There’s no incongruity. It’s really just a violent fantasy. Why would anyone claim that it’s “humor,” or satirical?

Well, that’s essentially what Paul Elam has been doing. That quote isn’t from him — I made it up as an example — but it’s essentially a condensed version of Paul’s allegedly “humorous” remarks about domestic violence:. Here’s Paul, in his own words, in a post I’ve criticized before:

In the name of equality and fairness, I am proclaiming October to be Bash a Violent Bitch Month.

I’d like to make it the objective for the remainder of this month, and all the Octobers that follow, for men who are being attacked and physically abused by women – to beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.

And then make them clean up the mess.

Ba-dump TSSH! Not even an instant rimshot makes that funny. There’s no clever twist; it’s just a fantasy about beating and humiliating women.

Is it unfair to quote this passage “out of context?” Here’s a bit more context: those words ran next to a photo of a woman with a black eye, with the caption: “Maybe she DID have it coming.” (See the picture at top right, which is a screenshot from Paul’s site.)

But I suspect that’s not the “context” Elam is talking about. He seems to be referring instead to this, from later in his post:

Now, am I serious about this?

No.

That seems clear. And in one sense this is true: he’s not literally calling for men to organize a “Bash a Violent Bitch Month.”

But let’s look at the comment I just quoted in context, shall we? (Emphasis added.)

Now, am I serious about this?

No. Not because it’s wrong. It’s not wrong. Every one should have the right to defend themselves. …

In that light, every one of those women at Jezebel and millions of others across the western world are as deserving of a righteous ass kicking as any human being can be. But it isn’t worth the time behind bars or the abuse of anger management training that men must endure if they are uppity enough to defend themselves from female attackers.

In other words, he’s not backing off from his advocacy of violence against “violent bitches” because he thinks that this violence is wrong; he’s backing off for purely pragmatic reasons — if you actually “bash a violent bitch” it may get you arrested.

Now, about the question of satire. Satire is defined as “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.” When Jonathan Swift wrote his famous essay seemingly calling for the Irish to eat their own children, it was satire because he was being bitterly ironic: he didn’t really think anyone should be eating babies, and his essay was in fact intended to mock British authorities and callous attitudes towards the Irish.

By contrast, there’s no irony in Paul’s post: he actually believes that “violent bitches” deserve “a righteous ass kicking,” and he states this quite explicitly.

Since Paul wrote that post, he’s written others that reveal a pretty callous view towards female victims of violence. In one post, which I discuss here, he mocks and blames women for the crime of getting raped, suggesting that women who get drunk and make out with guys are “freaking begging” to be raped, “[d]amn near demanding it”:

[T]here are a lot of women who get pummeled and pumped because they are stupid (and often arrogant) enough to walk though life with the equivalent of a I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH – PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.

You can find those quotes, in all their glorious context here.

And in a more recent piece, Paul announces that he doesn’t really care all that much about rape:

I lack any desire to react to rape, especially as currently defined, with the same vengeful repugnance that I would other crimes generally considered heinous.

The fact is that I care about a lot of things more than I care about rape.

He goes on to suggest a curious moral equivalency between women and rapists, saying that he views “the perceived struggles of women with all the concern I have for the struggles of real rapists in the criminal justice system.”

Now, again, there is context here: in the rest of the piece he argues, not very effectively, that rape has been defined in crazy ways by the “hegemonic [feminist] elite,” that “so often nothing more than accusation is needed in order to secure a conviction.” And so on and so forth. You can read the whole thing here. Still, none of this “context” alters the noxious attitudes he’s shown towards women time and time again.

Paul, you’re a terrible comedian, and an even worse satirist. But as a human being?

You’re pretty fucking awful at that too.

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Posted on November 28, 2010, in men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, paul elam, rape, violence against men/women. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. >Your obsession with Paul Elam was amusing at first but now it's getting to be just plain creepy.

  2. >And the satire was in response to a feminist celebration of domestic violence against men that have no choice but to take it… as we all know.This is the actual post on avfm about "redpills" commentary that David is misrepresenting above http://www.avoiceformen.com/2010/11/28/another-reminder-on-comments/

  3. >This is my own response that I emailed to the authors of the jezebele article."Some problems with that article. 1) Domestic violence shouldn't be celebrated.2) Women are already the main instigators of domestic violence, encouraging it is irresponsible. 2) Beating people that can't or won't hit you back is cowardly, women dominate this sort of domestic violence, against men and children and we all know that if these men that you beat lifted a hand in defense or retaliation that you would call in armed back up.3) Statistcially, the women most likely to sustain injury from domestic violence internationally are violent abusers like you, that pick on people twice their size. That said, we welcome feminists displaying the extent of their ignorance in public for all to see, good job.http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf

  4. >Eoghan, you do realize that I linked to every post of Paul's I quoted from, don't you? Including the one you linked to.

  5. >Well David thats not the smartest thing to do is it? Because there whole conversation about redpills comments and the vast chasm between the how you are framing it and how it actually is there for all to see.

  6. >Cold, how many comments have you and Eoghan and Yohan posted here? I'd say that represents a much bigger obsession.

  7. >Well David, you lie about and misrepresent me, maybe not directly but thats what you do here. You are also in the business of suppressing abuse victims that look a certain way while protecting abusers that look a certain way.This whole thing with Paul Elam and the MRM, you will never dig up more dirt than can be thrown back, feminism has produced hate and bigotry of hitlarian proportions and uses abuse victims as political ammunition, they are inescapable facts and as long as you are living in that glass house you will find it difficult to do what you are doing.Why not start another blog called "I hate straight mens rights"?

  8. >I won't start that blog because, you know, I don't actually hate straight men's rights.How have I lied about you? Give specifics, otherwise that accusation is bullshit.How have I suppressed male abuse victims? Here's a little quiz. Two of the following quotes are from leading experts on domestic violence often cited by MRAs, both of whom have been very critical of feminist research on the subject. The other quote is from me. 1) Women are "physically injured to the point of needing medical attention seven times as often as husbands, they suffer psychological injury at much higher rates … [The] first priority in services for victims and in prevention and control must continue to be directed toward assaults by men." 2) "The point of all this is not to deny that men suffer from DV. They do, and though a much smaller percentage of men suffer from serious abuse than women, the suffering they endure is every bit as real. Men don't have to suffer half of all serious abuse for their suffering to count; there is no need to exaggerate to make the point that we as a society need to take abuse directed at men more seriously." 3) "When we look at injuries resulting from violence involving male and female partners, it is categorically false to imply that there are the same number of “battered” men as there are battered women. Research shows that nearly 90 percent of battering victims are women and only about ten percent are men… The most brutal, terrorizing and continuing pattern of harmful intimate violence is carried out primarily by men." SO which of those things did I write?

  9. > David Futrelle said… Cold, how many comments have you and Eoghan and Yohan posted here? I'd say that represents a much bigger obsession. These few postings I can do easily even during my lunch-break. You need only to know how to use a computer keyboard and you need a good internet connection.Well, you are attacking ALL MRAs with strange arguments, so how can you be surprised that MRAs are starting to talk back to your baseless accusations?This blog is very biased – as I said, you must be a very unlucky and unhappy man.

  10. >DAVID: Research shows that nearly 90 percent of battering victims are women and only about ten percent are men…Not true!http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/42/15/31.2.full… more men than women (53 percent versus 49 percent) had experienced nonreciprocal violent relationships, more women than men (52 percent versus 47 percent) had taken part in ones involving reciprocal violence. Regarding perpetration of violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women.This research above does NOT include violence against children. It does not include false allegations made against a husband… etc.

  11. >DavidWhen you misrepresent the mens movement and quote advocacy research as it its factual research, you are indirectly lying about me.The second quote is you, the other two are likely quotes Murry Straus from research prior to his discovery that domestic abuse is not gendered at all except in the case of injury and death, that the fraudsters at xyz online and nomas present today as arguments against his present work in gender symmetry, feminist research is not taken seriously by the scientific research community.I remember that you came to that debate about gender symmetry and tried to shift the focus to gender disparity in injury, which nobody denies.Straus's research into injury from DV today points to female on male lead abuse by a dominant female partner being the mail predictor of a female being injured.Your movement are in the business of maintaining segregation and an apartheid system in place for abuse victims which are inturn used as political rabble rousing tools, cash cows and to stereotype people on the basis of their genetic code.

  12. >Presently 25%-30% of all intimate violence is exclusively female on male.Primary aggressor laws usually result in arrest of the male and ignore research showing50% of domestic assaults are mutual combat. The woman is thus encouraged to abuse her partnerfurther until finally he will take no more. Such provocation of the human male is dangerous.Studies consistently find women use weapons more often in assaults than do men (~80% forwomen; ~25% for men). Women are significantly more likely to throw an object, slap, kick, bite,or hit with their fist or an object.There is no support in the present data for the hypothesis that women use violence only in selfdefense. http://www.familytx.org/research/Control_DV_against_men.pdf

  13. >"other two are likely quotes Murry Straus from research prior to his discovery that domestic abuse is not gendered at all "Uh, no, that is not actually true. You can find all the quotes, and links to their sources, in my post The Not-So-Great Debate on Domestic Violence, which you can find in the sidebar. The rest of your comment is your typical bullshit. I'm fucking sick of having to correct your comments either because you are lying about me or you're too lazy and/or careless to check any facts before spouting off. In the future I will simply delete comments of yours like this. You've posted here I don't know how many hundred comments, and its the same shit over and over and over. Start your own blog.

  14. >To clarify: one of the quotes is from Struas, but it's from 2005.

  15. >David, this is how many times you have tried to pass off that article as something that its not?Perhaps thats why you are hearing the same things over and over, because you are doing the same things over and over.Battering is the extreme minority of domestic violence which is carried out by psychopaths. The over whelming majority of domestic violence is not battery. In the UK the chances of a woman being killed by her partner on any given week are similar to her chances of winning the lottery. Battery, the rarest form of domestic violence is no logical reason to run segregation and apartheid for abuse victims on the basis of genetic code or leaving men with no where to go with his children to escape an abusive wife.Straus is supportive of a holistic, non discriminatory service for abuse victims which of course is the morally correct position.

  16. > In the future I will simply delete comments of yours like this. You've posted here I don't know how many hundred comments, and its the same shit over and over and over. Start your own blog. The figures I gave you, David, see links above, are not from Strauss, and they show that your argument, 90 percent violence from men, is totally wrong.Deleting, editing, banning was always a tool used by feminists to oppress the truth.Our MRA-forums will not follow your suggestion however to response in a similar way.You might continue to lurk around in our websites even if you are using a fake-ID.

  17. >I, for one, will be happy to see those ridiculous, repetitive rants removed. All this time I was thinking Eoghan must not work as he's on this blog so much of the day posting one comment after another after another, but apparently he does, and spends his workday on the blog.

  18. >Few men have the option of not working.

  19. >This whole blog has turned into something creepy. You have a weird fascination with extremists – and then you attempt to paint all MRA's with your jaundiced perspective. We MRA's are growing stronger. No feminist backlash or flailing about is going to stop that.

  20. >To show links to various serious research with the conclusion that over 70 percent of instigators of violence are women is not a rant.It's merely pointing to existing facts.—–Men usually work many hours more than women, according to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Family Affairs in Germany the difference is up to 10 hours per week, it's about overtime, night-time work, working on banking holidays, part-time etc…It's not because of gender discrimination, but it's difficult to ask an employer to pay women the same monthly salary as men but for less working hours… only because they are females? Why should an employer do that?http://www.boeckler-boxen.de/5265.htmhttp://www.boeckler-boxen.de/2003.htm

  21. >@ DavidDavid said: "You've posted here I don't know how many hundred comments, and its the same shit over and over and over."Hmmm. Who does that sound like. Posting the same things, just changing pictures, over and over again. Hmmm? Who could that be?Random Brother

  22. >@ DavidDavid, just get over it man. Anyone, if you're online in these sort of discussions will occasionally lose arguments. I'm sure some of the feminists who post here have lost arguments. I've lost arguments. Everyone loses arguments/debates occasionally. I will say though I never got figuratively curb stomped like you did by Paul Elam, but hey man get over it. Shake it off and stop being so fragile and butt hurt by it. Stop following Paul around the internet like a lost puppy. Random Brother

  23. >Christine WEFor all you know I could be disabled, been let go, or trade futures from a lap top while people like you are complaining about how unfair it is that when women decide to work part time off the strength of the family wage, a gap in taxable income appears to show up (and creates the illusion that the wage gap doesn't work in favour of women). Anyway, feminist prejudices and arguments are refuted and debunked on the internet on a daily basis, its only a matter of time before its happening in the mainstream, personal attacks, insinuations of poverty or abuse and rape for that matter, by feminists are not going to change that.

  24. >@Eoghan,There you go again making up things you say I said that I never said.

  25. >"For all you know I could be disabled, been let go, or trade futures from a lap top "My money's on #2.

  26. >Sorry Sam, I'm self employed, I can't be "let go".And as I said before personal attacks don't win argument, they just highlight the weakness of your position.

  27. >"Personal attacks don't win arguments, they just highlight the weakness of your position. Ironic coming from the board drama queen who has such a weak position that he makes up things and embellishes in order to try to make his points.

  28. >Eoghan, I've repeatedly warned you about making unsubstantiated allegations, so I've deleted your most recent comment. If you have specific proof that you think shows that what you said is true, you may post that.

  29. >"Hmmm. Who does that sound like. Posting the same things, just changing pictures, over and over again. Hmmm? Who could that be?"Random Brother is right on the dollar here.This is why I don't bother much with this blog. David sounds like a broken record. It's usually about the same shit or very similar. The only major difference is the different pictures to each thread.I think David should be the one questioned here as to either if he's employed or not. If he is, where's the time for his social life? Does he have friends?David seems to spend an awful lot of time obsessively digging up quotes from random MRAs.I am sure there are better and more productive things to do in his time.

  30. >I don't see David's posts on this blog as repetitive at all. Every post is new and interesting and I look forward to checking it out daily. If you don't like the blog, then don't read it.

  31. >I am a complete fan and thanks to David for saying it like it is. Paul Elam and his cronies have to live forever with their anger and frustration with no real way to vent it (without being jailed that is). MRA's are just bitter, twisted, self absorbed misogynistic, homophobic, pro pedophilic, control freaks.(Oh yah forgot narcissistic but self absorbed could have covered that.)

  32. >Nice work. I'm saddened by the backlash to feminism. I'm against violence against men as much as violence against women. It took me a long time to come out as a feminist because of the expressions of hatred the title invoked. Now I see how feminism brings out the misogyny in many people that was there all along.

  33. >Christine WE said… I don't see David's posts on this blog as repetitive at all. Not repetitive?Everything in this blog is directed against a person called Paul Elam and everything David is 'writing' is ignorant regarding men's problems.This blog has a strong scornful tendency against all males.Further, it considers USA as the center of this world and author David is unable to look beyond the borders of his little American dreamworld.

  34. >@ EgohanDon't you know that calling someone "bitter, twisted, self absorbed misogynistic, homophobic, pro pedophilic, control freaks."is only wrong in femland when the insulter is male? Claiming someone is pro pedophilia is okay by David's standards unless done by a man. The worst Mr. Futrelle will do is give her a firm talking to. You, on the other hand, you don't have the proper female parts to get away with that. This post contains truth.Random Brother

  35. >Eoghan, you post more comments here than everyone else, by a long shot. Many if not most of them repeat the same points you have made again and again and again, often using the same language, with no proof whatsoever for any of your claims (which aren't true in any case). At this point I consider those comments spam, and will simply delete them. If anyone else posted as much shit as you do, I would delete their posts too. Many of these posts also contain untrue allegations and insinuations against me, like your latest one (which I have also deleted) which suggests "if it came to talking about homosexual and lesbian pedophilia and abuse he would be as protective and quick to brush it under the carpet." That's a lie. You have no basis whatsoever to make that claim. So it's deleted too. If someone crosses the line once, and I warn them about it, and they stop, I won't delte their posts. If someone is repeatedly warned (as you have been) and continues making spam posts and unsubstatiated allegations against me and others, I will delete these posts. And one final warning: if you keep making these posts, I will not only delete the posts that go over the line, but I will delete everything you post here. Again, if you: start making relevant posts related to the subject at hand, without making nasty insinuations against me or other commenters here, and you don't repeat any of the points you've already made who knows how many dozen times, you will be allowed to post here like anyone else.But if you;re going to continue to be an abusive spammer, you're going to have to find somewhere else to post.

  36. >Yohan, every single thing in your last post is simply false. You're not as much of a spammer as Eoghan, but I'm sick of you posting shit that is simply untrue about me and others, so in the future I will delete comments like this from you as well. Stay on topic, don't lie about me or otherwise make shit up, and don't repeat points you've made many times before, and you can post all you want. Continue posting shit like this and I will consider you an abusive spammer and delete your posts as I have started to delete Eoghan's.

  37. >RB, the commenter above who made the generalizations about the MRM has made all of one post here. The comment is a bit obnoxious, but it's not directed at any individual here, so I'm allowing it. Personal attacks are one thing, generalizations are another. I have allowed MRAs to post similarly obnoxious generalizations about feminism many times in the past. If the commenter above were to start endlessly repeating the same generalizations in post after post, I would delete those posts as spam.

  38. >@ EoghanSorry about the incorrect spelling of your name earlier, my bad.Random Brother

  39. >Ok DavidI'll say that feminists tend to look the other way when heterosexual men are being called pedophiles and abusers but when the conversation is about female, homosexual or lesbian abusers and pedophiles there will be, minimizing, deflecting and brushing under the carpet.

  40. >And you're basing this on what exactly? One comment here suggesting MRAs are pro-pedophile?You've made all sorts of slimy insinuations about feminism and I only started deleting them because you made so many virtually identical posts saying the same thing. I have written a post or two about specific bloggers who want the age of consent lowered to 14 or (apparently) gotten rid of altogether. I didn't suggest they were typical of the MRM.

  41. >I think human beings in general regardless of gender are capable of violence against another. There is no scientific proof that tells a male brain is likely to be more violent that a female brain.But due to social PC prejudice, female on male violence does get pulled under the rug a lot of the time. Or people try to come up with some lame excuse for the female offender's actions. It's truly pathetic.No matter what gender gets victimised the most; taking victimisation of one gender more lightly over the other is the biggest form of oppression in the whole subject within it's self!!!That's what feminists want to run away from. They can't deal with that obvious truth.

  42. >Feminist influenced women's shelters are ONLY FOR WOMEN. Yet the feminist movement is supposed to be about equality for all!!! hahahaIf feminists were truly about gender equality, why not call themselves "humanists"?Feminism is terribly one sided. Yet they claim for equality for ALL…what a pathetic joke

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