Splitsville! Paul Elam starts a rival Men’s Rights subreddit, where he can ban people

It was, perhaps, inevitable, and now it has come to pass: obviously fed up with Men’s Rights Redditors questioning his wisdom (and his tactics, and his general narcissistic assholery) on a fairly regular basis, A Voice for Men Supreme Leader Paul Elam has started up his own Men’s Rights subredditr/mensrightsactivists –in which he can summarily ban all ”armchair activists” and “white knights” and “people who disagree with him.” Yep, that’s right: he’s made like a Trotskyist banana, and split.

Elam has long had a fairly strained relationship with Reddit MRAs. If you search through his comment history on Reddit, you can see evidence of numerous meltdowns on his part, which occur fairly regularly whenever anyone challenges him on pretty much anything, even when they are otherwise sympathetic to his views. On his own blog, he responds to such criticism by quickly banning the critics; on Reddit, he has tended to respond with schoolyard insults, digs at the masculinity of his critics, long recitations of his many fine accomplishments as a dedicated armchair activist, and the occasional rape joke.

Clearly the final straw for Elam was the reception given to a post of his on the poster controversy I wrote about here.  Some samples from the discussion. Builtbro offers a substantive critique of Elam’s badly worded posters:

HolyCounsel is a bit more blunt:

And then there’s this edifying exchange:

The massive numbers of upvotes for Elam’s critics and downvotes for his, er, rebuttals seem to be at least partially the result of an invasion from r/SubredditDrama. Still, Elam seems to take each and every downvote personally, so the 238 net downvotes on his “Kleenex” comment must have stung.

In his new subreddit, threads like these clearly won’t be allowed to happen. As Elam explains in his less-than-welcoming “Welcome” message to new visitors:

While dissenters and the blue pill public will be welcome to post links and comment, trolls and other annoyances will be summarily booted with pleasure. This is an MRA dominated zone.

A couple of things to consider: Dissent, especially that which serves to further the improvement of the men’s movement, is welcome and appreciated. But if you want to post here, as a supposed MRA, telling others what is wrong with their work, you better have some MRA credentials.

Inactive, armchair quarterbacks, are not allowed here, unless their posts reflect genuine concern for improving and supporting the MRM and respect for those actually doing the work. If you want to ask questions so that you can learn, that is fine. But if you want to question, just so you can tear down, and you are not an MRA, then it will be adios for you. I’d sooner give a feminist the floor than a back seat driver.

R/mensrightsactivists: Come for the Elam-approved opinions, stay for the bans! Indeed, Elam devotes as much space in his “welcome” message to explaining whom he’ll ban as he does to actually spelling out what the subreddit will ostensibly do differently than good old r/mensrights.

Of course, this is not the first time that some angry MRA or two has decided to start another Men’s Rights subreddit designed to appeal to more, well, belligerent  MRAs. Reddit already boasts an assortment of such subreddits, all of them fairly sparsely populated, including Rights4Men, Male Studies, and FeMRAs, a more obnoxious alternative to the already sparsely populated LadyMRAs. There’s even another subreddit devoted to MRA activism; it goes by the name of, well, MRAactivism. (There may be several more, but I can’t remember what they’re called.)

The Men’s Rights subreddit has nearly 45,000 subscribers; Elam’s new subreddit currently has 49, which is no doubt why he continues to post links to his blog in the original Men’s Rights subreddit. Whether Elam’s new subreddit succeeds and splits the MRM in two, or dies an inglorious death, one thing is sure: there will be plenty of new material for me here at Man Boobz.

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Posted on August 27, 2012, in a voice for men, antifeminism, are these guys 12 years old?, dozens of upvotes, grandiosity, homophobia, incoherent rage, melodrama, MRA, narcissism, paul elam, rape jokes, reddit, the poster revolution has begun and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 382 Comments.

  1. Meow test?

  2. Besides, this is one reason I hate those stupid Millenium (girl with the dragoon tattoo plus sequels) books that everyone else in this country (and quite a few Americans as well) seem to adore so much. Stieg Larsson seems to have believed that “patriarchy” and “rape culture” means “there are many moustache-twirling misogynistic villains in society”. How on Earth can people think these books are FEMINIST? I mean, that’s NOT how feminism understands patriarchy and rape culture, very much not.

    Plus the male main character is so obviously based on the author and all women are dying to sleep with him, plus the female main character is described as having a beautiful face and magically being SUPER-duper-ultra-thin despite eating fast food all day (because it’s terrible when women are fat, but it’s also terrible if they’re vain enough to diet), and he doesn’t know how psychiatry works in Sweden (you can only take control of a person’s money against zir will if zie is very much insane and displays said insanity by wasting all her money away on weird stuff – this is VERY RARE and NEVER happens to anybody who is obviously sane enough to live in zir own apartment and keep a job). But the biggest problem probably is that all rapists are twirling their moustaches like that.

  3. The original is definitely better in some respects, but I always thought the ending was kind of dumb. And in that respect it looks even worse when compared to Brotherhood.

    I agree that the final bit of the ending is pretty stupid, but I liked the overall climax better. (Rot13′d for spoilers.) Zhfgnat’f svtug jvgu Oenqyrl sryg zber grafr, gb zr, naq gur birenyy gurzrf bs erfcbafvovyvgl naq crefbany pubvpr jrer, V sryg, orggre rzcunfvmrq va gur svefg frevrf, jvgu vgf rkcynangvba sbe gur Ubzhaphyv.

    Nyfb, gur svtug jvgu Sngure ng gur raq bs Oebgureubbq sryg nagv-pyvznpgvp gb zr. But your mileage may vary.

  4. howardbann1ster

    Well, yeah. It’s the old ‘I have discovered racism and sexism! Quick, it is very important that I, a white man, explain it to you! Also, sometimes people with alternative sexualities are oppressed… I, a straight white man, am the best person to explain this!!”

    But, uh, those books were kind of important to helping open my eyes up to the world when I was going through a period of questioning my unthinking right-wing religious upbringing.

    So even though I’ve seen their feet of clay, I’ll always kind of be a little grateful to the spirit of Stieg Larsson.

  5. Dvarg: That was my exact reaction! I wrote a blog post about it.

    If you portray rapists as total psychopaths who kidnap women and mutilate them, then you’re portraying milder forms of sexual abuse/violence against women as not being a problem, or else only being a problem because they’re a sign that the guy might later kidnap and mutilate you. And if he doesn’t, then he wasn’t really a rapist.

  6. Gametime: Finally I get to use that Rot13 addon I installed like a million years ago! Pity I have no clue what the hell any of it means, even in English, but hey. :P

  7. Dvärghundspossen, I thought those books were so overrated. Anyone who’s read a bit of fan fiction knows that Blomkvist is a blatant Mary Sue, and Lisbeth is a total Manic Pixie Dream Girl. They are both so thinly written that they come across as cartoon characters. And then to top it all off, it’s all rape all the time. I admit, I only read the first one. I’ve been assured by friends that the second and third books do not feature so much rape, but I just can’t.

  8. Blomkvist is definitely an idealized author avatar, and the books DEFINITELY can be criticized in the way their rape scenes are handled, but I don’t understand how Lisbeth is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She’s not really quirky, and if anything Blomkvist is the one who changes her perspective, rather than the other way around.

    Unless I’m misunderstanding what the phrase means, it doesn’t seem to fit.

  9. Well, yeah. It’s the old ‘I have discovered racism and sexism! Quick, it is very important that I, a white man, explain it to you! Also, sometimes people with alternative sexualities are oppressed… I, a straight white man, am the best person to explain this!!”

    this is totally fair in regards to sexism idk about racism. larsson was a long time investigative reporter on the swedish right wing and white power movements and had to live semi-undercover for a large part of his life because of threats against him, so i feel like he kinda earned his bona fides on that point

  10. Conversation I had with my husband:

    ME: And he has sex with every woman between the ages of 18 and 50!

    HIM: Well, in the movie, he’s played by Daniel Craig.

    ME: …Actually, it makes perfect sense then.

  11. i listened to the millenium trilogy while i was doing spring cleaning which is probably for the best because i dont think i would have made it through all three of the books but it was good as a distraction

  12. I could be misappropriating the term, but to me the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character is the enigmatic muse meant to capture the male gaze. She isn’t even really there for the main character of the fictional work — she is there for the male audience of the fictional work. She inspires action, lust, etc. but all the while, she is not a fully fleshed character in her own right. She might as well be the object of a painting or a sculpture. And in modern work, she tends to be spritely, with zany hair and fashion.

  13. howardbann1ster

    this is totally fair in regards to sexism idk about racism. larsson was a long time investigative reporter on the swedish right wing and white power movements and had to live semi-undercover for a large part of his life because of threats against him, so i feel like he kinda earned his bona fides on that point

    Hmm, yes. Some of that is my residual frustration from just watching a bunch of movies about racism and then noticing after the fact that they were all directed by white men. (most of them notably without such credentials as Larsson had)

  14. this is totally fair in regards to sexism idk about racism. larsson was a long time investigative reporter on the swedish right wing and white power movements and had to live semi-undercover for a large part of his life because of threats against him, so i feel like he kinda earned his bona fides on that point

    Regardless of his credentials, he’s still a white guy, so he’s still acting authoritative about something that he’s only studied and other people have actually experienced. (Not that one can never write about oppression of another demographic, but the more one casts oneself as the arbiter of knowledge on the subject, the more you’re on weak ground.)

  15. howardbann1ster

    @blitzgal–one of the best parts of the two sequels is that she does get fleshed out a lot more, becomes more a real character, even at times the main viewpoint character, stealing that role more and more from the dude. (as it should be)

  16. I could be misappropriating the term, but to me the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character is the enigmatic muse meant to capture the male gaze. She isn’t even really there for the main character of the fictional work — she is there for the male audience of the fictional work. She inspires action, lust, etc. but all the while, she is not a fully fleshed character in her own right. She might as well be the object of a painting or a sculpture. And in modern work, she tends to be spritely, with zany hair and fashion.

    MPDG is a really specific classification, so I wouldn’t apply it to Salander, but you’re absolutely right about the othering: Blomkvist is “normal” in every respect (middle-aged, middle-class, dresses normally, etc); Salander is “weird” in every respect.

    From a literary perspective, I think the problem with Blomkvist and Salander is simply that they didn’t need two protagonists! The only reason they both need to exist is so one can rescue the other at the end; pawn that duty off on someone else (there are several possibilities) and you could use a single protagonist and simplify the narrative immensely.

  17. @katz

    that’s all true, yeah. i mean, to be honest i don’t really recall how much was ‘let me tell you what it’s like to experience racism’ vs. ‘let me tell you what these assholes are like’.

  18. Brotherhood took me a little time to get used to, largely because I preferred the deliberate pacing and direction of the original to that of Brotherhood. The episode where the two series part ways finally also seemed like it was trying too hard to deliberately distance itself from the original.

    While I found the darker themes of the first series more captivating, I think Brotherhood ultimately works a better as a whole. The original went to such a dark place that reaching for anything resembling a happy ending was bound to feel like a stretch.

  19. What term is there to denote a character who only exists to spur on the protagonist? She isn’t a person in her own right — she is only there to inspire the main male character(s) to action, and most likely to be viewed as an object of lust for both the male character and the male audience. In the past, I’ve used the term “muse” but that doesn’t really fit, either. Plot device is another term, but there should be something that specifically calls out the gendering of this particular….well, plot device.

  20. howardbann1ster

    @katz, Sharc: I remember the ‘let me tell you what these assholes are like’ part–mostly because that was where the writing really shone. He understood those guys better than he understood his protagonists, I think.

    I said a minute ago that Lisbeth steals the story, making it her own, and I dropped in (as it should be). Then I realized any troll would immediately say I’m saying all stories should be about the women in them, not about the dudes.

    I am, of course, commenting on the fact that the second two books are about Lisbeth’s story, about her past, her trials. Where the first one really was about the dude, his past, his trials. They really are very separate that way.

  21. You must have some real balls on you, Dave. Calling out the guy who soundly made you look like a fool in that little debate the two of you had awhile back.

    Though, I guess this isn’t really calling him out. More like making a few passive aggressive remarks from the safety of where no one will ever see it. So, business as usual, I guess.

  22. You must have some real balls on you, Dave. Calling out the guy who soundly made you look like a fool in that little debate the two of you had awhile back.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  23. If no one would ever see it… how come you saw it? o.o

    Also Dave totally kicked his ass in that debate.

  24. Blitzgal: If she dies, she’s a woman in a refrigerator, but I’m not sure if there’s a general term (other than plot device).

    God help anyone who’s trying to figure out what this thread is about.

  25. I said a minute ago that Lisbeth steals the story, making it her own, and I dropped in (as it should be). Then I realized any troll would immediately say I’m saying all stories should be about the women in them, not about the dudes.

    yeah, but if we moderated what we said based on the shit trolls would make up about it, we’d almost never say anthing

    it’s called the girl with the dragon tattoo not the dude with the libel conviction

  26. Though, I guess this isn’t really calling him out. More like making a few passive aggressive remarks from the safety of where no one will ever see it. So, business as usual, I guess.

    it’s actually more like making fun of the dude who stormed off in a childish huff because he couldnt take being crticized on reddit, but nobody expects you to be good at understanding things, champ

  27. I’d blame the kitty icon for being distracted by sparkly anime while the conversation thread drifted to Stieg Larsson… but that’s usual for me. =/

  28. Blitzgal: If she dies, she’s a woman in a refrigerator, but I’m not sure if there’s a general term (other than plot device).

    We need to make one! It happens so often, and goes back extremely far. Just about any “chivalric” story that you can name features this kind of character, although in those the “lust” they inspired was the totally respectful and chaste kind. I just started saying MPDG. Yeah, I knew about woman in a fridge from comics.

  29. it’s called the girl with the dragon tattoo not the dude with the libel conviction

    The Guy Who Hangs Out With The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

  30. okay, this comes on the heel of many other recs. At this point, I think I need to check this out.

    Haha you really should! I finally decided to check it out after I saw a review of it and the fact that a bunch of people I know recommended it. I have been enjoying it a lot so hopefully you will as well.

    While I found the darker themes of the first series more captivating, I think Brotherhood ultimately works a better as a whole. The original went to such a dark place that reaching for anything resembling a happy ending was bound to feel like a stretch.

    I will probably end up checking brotherhood out after I am finished with the original. I was really surprised it was that dark but I sorta like it that way.

  31. You must have some real balls on you, Dave. Calling out the guy who soundly made you look like a fool in that little debate the two of you had awhile back.

    Damn, ya’ll just love to play make believe, don’t ya?

  32. @DLZ

    It’s kind of hilarious that you’d even call telling horrible people to be less horrible a “debate.” It’s like, women are people, and will continue to be people, and advocating violence against women is wrong, and it’s not really something you can “debate.” If it was possible to change your minds through factual argument, you would have dropped the “boys rule, girls drool” routine when you were 6 years old.

    That’s why this site is the only feminist site to even engage with MRA material. and basically all we can do is let you say stupid things, and then laugh at you.

  33. Ugh, where is your kitty?

  34. It’s like, any conversation with Paul Elam would go “It’s wrong to advocate for rapists.” Then he’d say a bunch of arglebargle about misandry, Then you’d again say that it’s wrong to advocate for rapists. Nothing you could say would make it okay to advocate for rapists.

  35. I guess I should get around to it! Although I’m actual more of a bird fan, myself, and kittens are kind of the antithesis.

  36. Well, you should get a bird then.

  37. Bird avatar, that is.

  38. from the safety of where no one will ever see it

    As a person who has a niche blog that is only of interest to manboobzers (or the fans of manboobzers), I have to say this is hilarious. David mentions my blog in a post on Sunday, and this is what happens:

    Views Sunday: 563
    Views Monday: 1464
    Views (so far) today: 282
    All time views: 2974
    Previous high # of views in a day: 47

    As for the rest of the comment, meh. Paulie was getting his butt kicked, so he changed the rules to favor himself and David wouldn’t go along with it.

  39. Psst, Cloudiah: Want to put up my Paul Ryan story?

  40. Also, I changed my kitty, which is the most important thing.

    (Yes, Ugh, get a pretty birdy avatar.)

  41. Everyone’s moving on from the catvatars already? :(

  42. @katz, I have that one in the queue!
    @Ugh, here’s a birdy you can use:
    http://i.imgur.com/CRR0h.jpg
    :-)

  43. Everyone’s moving on from the catvatars already? :(

    I’m gonna stick with mine for the time being. I’ll probably go back to the manticore eventually though.

  44. I should use the version from the Forum, right?

  45. I found a cool picture to change my catqavar. Still kitty themed, though.

  46. Everyone’s moving on from the catvatars already?

    I just do what Cloudiah does, cuz she’s kewl.

  47. catqavar

    I’m turning into my Grandma. She always says Atavar instead of Avatar.

  48. You must have some real balls on you, Dave. Calling out the guy who soundly made you look like a fool in that little debate the two of you had awhile back.

    Manginas don’t have balls. Duh. I thought every good MRA knew that.

  49. Ha ha, if only you knew — I am the opposite of kewl! But I still have a catvatar, it’s just a different catvatar. It’s a huckster kitty trying to sell you patent medicine. Don’t listen to huckster kitty! Huckster kitty is like the Roosh of medicine!

  50. ..catqavar..

    My brain misread that as “catguava”, so I started imagining some sort of weird cat-fruit hybrid.

  51. I guess I’m late to the party, but these kitties are so cute I just had to try it.

  52. Damnit. I tried to find a picture of a guava that was cat-shaped, and failed. I did find alot of guava, though.

  53. OMG, the kitty avatars make this thread awesome. Discussions of literature and anime in between milk lickings and catnip naps. 8O!!!

    I think the whole “starts all innocent then gets dark as anything” thing is so archetypally Japanese. My favorite example is Princess Tutu, which starts as cute girl in a ballet outfit magical girl shiny, then gets dark, then gets REALLY dark, then goes OMG deep questions of fate vs. choice wtf??? then ends on kinda cute and sweet.

    Fruits Basket does a similar thing, but the manga makes it more gradual (in the anime it’s THREE EPISODES OF DESPAIR) and the underlying theme of inclusion and exclusion is so awesome.

  54. I just want to submit some photographic evidence that at one point yesterday the Recent Comments section was all kittehs.

  55. I am made of squee and purr.

  56. @ShadetheDruid XD I was going to link to the alot post when I saw what you wrote and then I saw it was an actual alot made of guava.

  57. Well I kept my snowflake intact because I knew the craze would be over eventually :’(

  58. Snowy, you may use any kind of avatar you like :)

    I will switch back to chimaera in a day or two.

  59. Wait, I think I get it. None of you actually read the debate, did you? You just read Davie’s follow up, in which he proclaimed to be the champion of love and justice.

    Ha, hahaha… I forgot who I was dealing with, here. My apologies.

    You guys go on back to trying to convince yourselves of “rape culture” and the like.

    But.. what the fuck? I think I hear something… OH SHIT YOU GUYS! ITS RAPE CULTURE! SHE’S HERE TO RAPE US AND MAKE IT A NORMAL PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE! RUUUUUUUN!

  60. But.. what the fuck? I think I hear something… OH SHIT YOU GUYS! ITS RAPE CULTURE! SHE’S HERE TO RAPE US AND MAKE IT A NORMAL PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE! RUUUUUUUN!

    Is this a sample of the brilliant debate-winning rhetoric?

  61. Weak sauce, DLZ. You may want to bring your A game next time. Rape jokes are soooooo last year.

  62. Keep fucking that chicken, DLZ.

  63. “Rape culture! What rape culture? Now observe as I joke about and disdain the idea that rape is a problem!”

    /self-demonstrating-troll

  64. self-demonstrating troll may take the prize for “most useless machine ever” away from this:

  65. @DLZ

    I don’t think you do get it.

    Paul Elam has asked his followers to pardon rapists even if they were guilty.

    So yes, apparently he does want to make rape part of everyday life.

    If the debate didn’t contain the words by Elam saying “Actually, maybe we should legally punish people for rape,” he already lost. Because he is the only one in the conversation who thinks rape should be legally permissible.

    It’s kind of like claiming that the KKK won a debate. They’re so obviously in the wrong that to even use the word “debate” is a charitable framing of “talking about reality to someone who thinks half the human race is garbage.”

  66. You just read Davie’s follow up, in which he proclaimed to be the champion of love and justice.

    I hope you realize that, in a debate with an abuser lobbyist, pretty much any normal person would be the champion of love and justice.

  67. Yeah, I don’t even care if Paul Elam scored more Internet Points or whatever, he believes rape should be de facto legal. That’s sort of an automatic loss. I don’t care if David’s arguments were crayon scrawlings of “NO U RONG NO,” David still wins because he doesn’t believe rape should be legal.

  68. Which debate is this, anyway? I remember one formal debate, but I certainly don’t recall Elam winning it.

    I do remember him bending the rules every time it suited him, though, which is a neat encapsulation of his attitude towards most other things.

  69. It’s no surprise that a group of people who view their lives as a movie (red pill/matrix) are narcissistic. Elam isn’t very good at being narcissistic, though, so I don’t think his little cult is going to go very far.

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