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Paul Elam: "If a woman five feet tall and 110 pounds soaking wet hits me, I am going to hit her back."

Should these books be required reading for MRAs?
Should these books be required reading for MRAs?

Attention tiny ladies! Paul Elam wants you to know that if you attack him, he will totally punch you right back. And not in a satirical way, either. With his actual, non-satirical fists.

A Voice for Men’s maximum leader has long insisted that his notorious “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” post was nothing more than misunderstood “satire.” That is, when he argued that men who are abused by women would be totally justified if they “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,” this was somehow a “Juvenalian” satire of some sort. There’s a famous quote from The Princess Bride that might be appropriate here.

Well, now Mr. Elam has announced to the world that every month is a potential “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” for him. Even if the “Violent Bitch” in question is less than half his size. In a post that he insists is super serious, he writes:

I want to offer a few words on this subject, and this time not in satire. I want to convey as honestly as possible, how I feel on the subject of violence between the sexes, from one man’s point of view.

I am 6’8” tall and 285 pounds. If a woman five feet tall and 110 pounds soaking wet hits me, I am going to hit her back.

Now, Elam does stop short of saying he would “beat the living shit” out of this hypothetical tiny woman, but, you know, in the heat of battle with someone less than half his size, he suggests that he might not be able to control his non-satirical fists:

I would do my best to return the violence proportionally, to just use enough force to stop the attack, but I can make no guarantees. Depending on the suddenness of the attack, the level of fear or threat I might feel, the impulse to self-defend in measured amounts is difficult, if not impossible to predict with any accuracy.

So, if there are any tiny ladies out there who might be considering jumping in a pool and then punching Paul Elam, I would suggest you not do that. Of course, I would suggest you not do that even if he weren’t going to hit back, because hitting people is generally a very bad thing.

Don’t worry, dudes – tiny or otherwise – Elam would totally punch you too!

It is the same reaction I would have to a man. No more and no less. The only way to prevent this and the consequences that may result is for people to keep their hands off me.

Presumably this would also apply to bears, giant squids, killer robots and anyone or anything else that tried to put its hands or paws or tentacles on him.

Now, if someone less than half my size were to attack me, and the situation weren’t life-threatening, I might, you know, back off and call the police instead. But apparently, this isn’t an option for men, because we’re all slaves, or something:

Most people who frequent this site know that men who call for help from police when being assaulted by female intimate partners are likely to be arrested for their troubles. … [T]here are prosecutors that will happily give the victim a criminal record and make them pay dearly for having been attacked.

This idea is completely insane on its face. Not only that, it is the closest thing we have today to the mentality of slave owners who could flog their slaves because they were property.

Never mind that women, who make up the vast majority of the victims of severe domestic violence, make up 20% of those arrested for DV. Never mind that even where there are mandatory arrest laws in effect, police still need probable or reasonable cause to show that domestic violence occurred – like physical evidence of injuries – before arresting a suspect. Never mind that even in states with “dual arrrest” policies, only about half of all domestic violence calls result in any arrests.

And never mind that if you use disproportionate force against someone less than half your size – as Elam suggests he very well might do – you deserve to go to jail, and for more than a night. “Beating the living shit” out of someone much smaller than you isn’t actually self-defense at all. It’s beating the living shit out of someone much smaller than you.

Now, Elam isn’t the only Men’s Rights Activist who seems to spend a lot of time imagining scenarios in which it would be ok for them to hit women. It’s a subject that comes up on the Men’s Rights subreddit all the time; the misogynistic douchebags who populate Reddit’s Videos subreddit are if anything even worse. And don’t ever do a Google image search for “equal rights equal lefts” unless you want to be really depressed.

The Men’s Rights movement: bravely fighting for the right of men to punch women half their size.

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bunnybunny
bunnybunny
6 years ago

This idea is completely insane on its face. Not only that, it is the closest thing we have today to the mentality of slave owners who could flog their slaves because they were property.

Interesting. I thought the closest thing we have today to the mentality of slave owners is, you know, slave owners.

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

I would do my best to return the violence proportionally, to just use enough force to stop the attack,

These are, of course, two different things. If someone much smaller is hitting me, I either walk away or use superior leverage to grab their hands and stop them. ‘Returning the violence proportionally” is NOT self-defense.

Jesus Christ, 6 year olds know this!

redonkulas
6 years ago

If met with violence I will use violence to defend myself.

Blue Collar Nerd
Blue Collar Nerd
6 years ago

I can’t, I just fucking can’t…

I have an MRA roommate who eats this bullshit up with a spoon and he just can’t see what fucking spoiled man children these shits are.

Mia (@GreyDancer)
6 years ago

As a woman, I do think if someone attacks you, no matter what size or sex they are, if you need to defend yourself physically you should be able to do so. If I attacked some guy, he should be able to punch me if he needs to do so to protect himself. But I’m not sure what exactly this Paul Elam guy is getting at.

Aunt Edna
Aunt Edna
6 years ago

“The Men’s Rights movement: bravely fighting for the right of men to punch women half their size.”

This sums it up.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

“As MRAs, we think it’s terrible that men who hit women back are arrested for domestic abuse. Therefore, the answer if to beat up a woman to hit you, so we can keep pretending that abused women are really the instigators.”

leftwingfox
6 years ago

derp. “Therefore, the answer is to beat up a woman who hits you” Yeah, like that’s the part I wanted to say twice. Gotta stop proofreading AFTER I post.

Kevin K
Kevin K
6 years ago

Someone doesn’t understand the law with regard to assault and battery. One can be convicted of assault and battery even if they were not the initial actor. Self-defense is a pretty poor defense when faced with an opponent one-half to one-third one’s own size. Both parties may swear out complaints in a dispute. Do you really want a judge to decide? Best to keep your man-fists unclenched.

One can only assume that Elam is talking tough because he’s in no position to test his stance in real world situations. And for that, we can only thank the non-existent gods.

Michael McG
Michael McG
6 years ago

This revenge and sadism pure and simple.

Jurgan
6 years ago

So, I’m confused. He says he won’t call the police if he’s attacked, because that might somehow land him in jail. Instead, he will return violence, possibly far out of proportion and doing serious damage, and that won’t land him in jail? Seems like your solution just worsens the problem.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

Pre-emptive strike: Shut up, Woody.

Is Elam really 6’8″? I didn’t get that impression from pics of the Toronto protest.

norareed
6 years ago

look dude if someone who’s 110 pounds soaking wet is trying to beat the shit out of you, you’d better watch out, because between the rain and someone trying to fight his friend again, it hasn’t been a great week for Bucky Barnes and he’s gonna reshape your fucking nose

Save The Queen
Save The Queen
6 years ago

The comments on articles by Elam and on reddit always give me the creeps. it’s the same mindset you see when you read about some fool beating a toddler near to death for a breaking a dish or having an accident in their pants, or when the family pet is killed or crippled by some angry idiot for peeing on the carpet. There’s dudebros in them advocating for beating women unconscious for a slap or a shove. It’s an unwarranted, unjustifiable expression of anger that stems from hurt pride. it has nothing to do with defense, it has to do with retribution and teaching someone a lesson through extreme violence. it’s about reestablishing power and dominance over someone you think should be subservient to you, The law doesn’t recognize that motivation as a legitimate reason for assault. And you deserve to go to jail for a long time if you do that to anybody, man or woman.

Kate
Kate
6 years ago

I would do my best to return the violence proportionally

I don’t know why this is rubbing me so entirely wrong, but… proportional responses is how countries talk about war. It’s not how people talk about inter-personal conflict is it? There’s an early West Wing episode that talks about a proportionate response to a war act “they shot down our plane, so we take out three military targets, it’s proportional, it’s reasonable”. With the inference being it’s not disproportional and over-the-top killing of people.

There’s no proportional response to a slap in the face. You don’t get to punch someone’s arm for slapping you in the face. You get to walk away the better person, and talk to an officer of the peace about it if necessary. If you feel that real bodily harm is imminent, you can do whatever you need to remove yourself from that situation. Even if it’s not “proportional”. Slap me in the face and threaten me with a knife, I might try to kick out your kneecap so I can get the heck out of there. Kicking out a kneecap isn’t the same as a slap in the face or a threat with a weapon though…

Maybe it’s semantics, but it seems like the Elam isn’t trying to talk about feelings of actual threat or danger, but that he’s literally glorifying “punching down”.

brooked
6 years ago

@norareed

I enjoyed every part of your post, thanks for lightening up my mood right after I read about Paul Elam promoting violence against women yet again.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Such a class act, that Paul Elam.

If met with violence I will use violence to defend myself.

OK, internet tough guy. Have fun in jail for disproportionate use of force.

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
6 years ago

“it’s about reestablishing power and dominance over someone you think should be subservient to you”
This.
I think this is where the intense outrage stems from.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

A while back I was in a discussion about bullying and physical violence in the schools. One unfortunate common experience was that one of the most effective ways for boys to stop physical violence against themselves was to respond with violence.

While it works, it’s not healthy, not appropriate, and not moral. I still have a moment of Hulk-rage whenever someone or something hurts me, a desire for retaliation, even if the harm is being caused by a baby, a cat or a bookshelf. I have enough control to not lash out though; not to break the thing or harm the creature that hurt me.

Why the hell are they encouraging that mentality? Should I really respond to cat claws in my thigh by kicking my pet across the room? Pummel the snot out of a co-worker who “playfully” rat-tails me with a towel? Smack the baby who thinks it’s funny when I scream in pain when it pulls my hair? HELL NO. None of that is appropriate. And neither is punching anyone, male or female, half my weight, when I can extricate myself from the situation.

Worse, considering how they treat abused women who retaliate, it’s an obvious and odious double-standard.

The thing is, the _best_ solutions I’ve seen to bullying came not from the traditional “Be a man, beat the ever-loving shit out of the bully” solution. Rather, it’s feminists dealing with harassment in professional or recreational settings. Keeping a record, watching out for patterns of behaviour, encouraging reporting and not acting in a “both sides do it” or “zero tolerance” mentality which treats the victim or defender as culpable as the predator strike me as the exact sort of solutions that would have culled the worst offenders from class.

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
6 years ago

I should have said, that quote was taken from SaveTheQueen’s comment 🙂

bunnybunny
bunnybunny
6 years ago

But seriously, if you feel that you are in physical danger, why would your solution be to further engage a person of any gender in a Mortal Kombat style punch-out? It doesn’t really make sense to fight back in self-defense if you are concerned about whether or not you’ll come out on top. It seems that would increase the likelihood of getting injured way more than getting away from the situation.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Dear Paul,

If the correct response to being hit is to hit back with equal or greater force, then why have all my self defense classes taught me to “get out of any grabs, then run like hell, then call the cops” with the one exception for when fire arms are involved?

There were tall, buff guys in the same classes, and they were given the same advice. Does this mean the Kwan Jang-nim and other instructors were partaking in misandry, by trying toget those hapless fools arrested for running away?

Sincerely,
A confused blackbelt

Jo Anna
Jo Anna
6 years ago

Here’s the thing though. This may be the only time I ever agree with something said by Paul Elam, but if I walk up and hit a guy out of the blue, of course it’s ok for him to hit me back. That’s what I get for initiating violence in the first damn place. If you don’t want someone to hit you, don’t hit them first! You can’t claim that we deserve equal rights and then expect men to treat us like children when it comes to defending themselves.

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

spam spam (worth? ^^^)

“A more pressing issue – at least when it comes to getting the mainstream to take the MRM seriously – is the insane heights the online rhetoric often reaches. For instance, when I first googled “men’s rights” and “MRA,” one of the first things that came up was something Elam had written, a “satirical response” to a piece on Jezebel, the feminist website that’s a common MRM foil. “In the name of equality and fairness, I am proclaiming October to be ‘Bash a Violent Bitch Month,’” Elam wrote in the post, which was originally published in 2010. He went on, emphasising that he wasn’t serious but clearly intent on stirring up shit:

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.

[…]

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.

[…]

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.

Though this sort of language probably helped AVFM get called out for misogyny by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2012, the general consensus among the MRAs I’ve encountered is that bombast like Elam’s is worth it – the tone might alienate a few potential allies, but it also brings a lot of attention to the issues. (In the case of the quote above, the issue is that the media treats violence against men as a joke.)”

http://www.vice.com/en_se/read/the-women-of-the-mens-rights-movement-804

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Jesus, khamzin, stop pushing that Vice link and stop trolling.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

OK, maybe not trolling, that’s from the vice thing, but fuck if I could tell at first.

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

trolling? My curiosity on people heres responses to this article are genuine. Ive long followd this blogg and now I found something I would like to talk about, or atleast share in some way. If no one is interested, fine, but to quote it 2 times and link 2 it is not trolling (¤)

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

lol its his fucking words! 😉 no harm done

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

? I found the article shallow on the border of ignorant and the paul elam quote – well let me just say I am a survivor of both sorts.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Sorry, khamzin, your formatting was fucked.

But just as a handy thing, if you post a link and no one wants to talk about it, let it lie.

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

what i rly wanted was for u to use ur sharpness on the article (or at the very least 😉 and i didnt send it to u personaly cause im scared of ma email ^^

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

well that is good advice but I do notice that the topic of the day is where the communication usualy happens and I found this article to fit so very well into today

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

Once again, they just can’t WAIT to hit women. Any excuse at all. Perhaps even none. But for their public face, they try to “reach” for reasons. It seems to me that all these Internet Tough Guys here would also beat the crap out of children if one even DARED to touch them. It is EXACTLY as Save the Queen said. Reestablishing dominance over someone who needs to be subservient at all times. Talk about wounded pride. I snort every time they accuse women having the most fragile of egos. Go look in a mirror and promptly step on some legos.

YoullNeverGuess
6 years ago

Personally, I prefer this to Elam’s tee-hee, I was just kidding about that last article I wrote, it’s just satire of a twenty-line article those MONSTERS AT JEZEBEL WROTE!!! I prefer him to Farrell also. He comes right out and tells you that he’s a terrible person you should avoid at all costs.

It does make me worry a bit for his girlfriend. :/

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Rule of Linking:

In a week’s span, the correct number of times to link to an article is not twice, not thrice, but once.

If it is a kitty picture, exceptions can be made.

Or a nopetopus gif.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

@contrapangloss Excellent! That means I can post Bootsy again for no reason! Praise be to Bootsy.

http://lovemeow.com/2014/06/bootsy-the-cat-with-anime-eyes/

Kate
Kate
6 years ago

khamzin, I didn’t get your purpose from what you were posting either. If you want to see the mamotheers take down that particular post of Elam’s do your own research in the blog history, there was stuff about it when it happened.

Also, prefacing your comments with “spam spam” is a good way to make everyone think that you’re a troll who enjoys spamming threads trying to move things off-topic. So y’know, maybe don’t do that. Instead, put your questions up front, with a link and a snippet and see if the commentariat want to contribute.

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

…is that so… there was no where where this rule was stated so I could not possibly know 😉 but more serious if I only posted the quote would it have made sense to anyone…!?

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Is Elam really 6’8″? I didn’t get that impression from pics of the Toronto protest.

I didn’t either. I think Paulie tacked a full foot onto his height because he needs to look like a truly big man. Either that, or to make his weight look like less of something some other MRA could razz him about and call him a fat-fat-fatty.

Kate
Kate
6 years ago

Also, as people said, once is enough. If you don’t get the response you were looking for then it’s up to you to deal with your feelings on that. You aren’t entitled to a response.

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

ok well in conversations I tend to write more like I talk it is unfortunate that it got misinterpreted (english is not ma nativelang) – – – research? well is there anything you are wondering about? it is not about this perticular elam post but about the … well

“it is wierd to me that anyone could have missed the male circumcision debate (btw the answer is ofc YES wtf NO it is not ok ^^) but ok some people just…do other stuff; but why is a person with lacking knowledge (interest??) to the subject(s!) writing for the “pop-journalist-blog” vice about it? (the form of it would feel more … relevant — if the person writing the article would participate as a real person)” – Khamzin

its about the article and how why so YES I got my question !

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

This kitty is no Bootsy, but this is exactly my reaction to reading about Paul Elam publicly fantasizing about beating up women. Again.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

It does make me worry a bit for his girlfriend.

…assuming that he didn’t just make her up. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy women are actively lining up to date.

khamzin
khamzin
6 years ago

dude lol omg wtf ok im not entitled to conversations with ma peers? but sure no one is obligated to answer.

“well that is good advice but I do notice that the topic of the day is where the communication usualy happens and I found this article to fit so very well into today” – me again…

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@Auntie Alias:

Is Elam really 6’8″? I didn’t get that impression from pics of the Toronto protest.

I am literally 6’8″ and in the vicinity of 285lbs. From what I’ve seen of Elam, I don’t believe he’s that tall. If he is, then his body shape is completely different from mine.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

@sparky Still a Siamese! So, still super adorable in my book. But I’m pretty sure most people here don’t discriminate when it comes to cats.

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
6 years ago

Just curious if anyone can post a link to the original Jezebel article that Paul’s first article was supposedly satirizing?

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