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His popularity waning, Paul Elam tells MRAs who hate him that he doesn’t want them anyway

I can't HEAR you!
I can’t HEAR you!

It’s not exactly news, at least to long-time readers of this site, that A Voice for Men’s tinpot dictator Paul Elam can’t take criticism — especially when it comes from fellow Men’s Rights activists.

But who knew Elam was so allergic to criticism that he would declare that MRAs who expressed any sort of uneasiness with that embarrassing video he posted to YouTube earlier this week, featuring a drunken Elam and a small group of equally drunken acolytes making crude sexual remarks about two prominent feminist writers, were a bunch of “cowards, cunts [and] concern trolls” who would no longer be welcome at AVFM.

Elam first responded to critics of the video with another video of his own, a 43-minute long rant mostly aimed at MRAs who dared to suggest that his earlier video might not have been a great PR move for the Men’s Rights movement. (I will likely have more on that in a future post; in the meantime I’d recommend checking out Laughing Witch’s two long but rewarding videos on the subject.)

But he wasn’t done. And so, on Saturday, he put up a followup post telling his critics that he was excommunicating them from the Men’s Rights movement, and would be banning them from AVFM forthwith. Naturally, Elam being Elam, he phrased it a good deal less politely.

The time for AVFM giving a platform, even in comments, to spineless prigs, feminists and pearl clutching “MHRAs” who want to play nice with feminists, is about to come to a very abrupt end. To put it more clearly, this is now hostile ground for cowards, cunts and concern trolls — the living refuse of digested gynocentrism. … this is not a place for pussies of either sex.

As Elam sees it, there’s only a tiny handful of real MRAs in the world; the rest are pretty much useless “deadweight.”

I estimate (very roughly) that there are about 300 actual MHRAs in the world, not including the very high numbers of activists in India. I also estimate (less roughly) that about a third of those 300 people are either on AVFM staff, write for us or are financial supporters. I also know a handful of people who actually cannot work on our staff and cannot afford to subscribe who nonetheless give moral and brotherly support that makes them as valuable as any working activist.

Here’s the deal. We have thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of people every day come to this website. If 2%, or even 1% of them either subscribed or volunteered, we would be ten times as powerful and effective today than we are.

Apparently the quickest way to become one of these “actual MHRAs” is to agree with Elam about everything — and write him a nice big check.

Instead of trying to win the hearts and minds of the MRAs who disagree with him, much less the broader public, Elam has decided instead to tell them all to fuck off.

And if they don’t get that not-so-subtle hint, he’ll just ban them from his site outright:

The sad fact is (and don’t be offended if this does not apply to you), our comments and emails reflect a way too large population of slacktivists who whine about the free beer not being cold enough and who think that sanctimonious armchair quarterbacking of the service others provide makes them an MHRA.

It does not. They are just people who agree with the actual activists but prove it by droning on about how “we” should do things differently, like we are some sort of fucking juke box that does not require any coins.

Yep, he’s really steamed that people aren’t handing over their unemployment checks to him any more. (Allegedly.)

Most of their suggestions tend to be around toning down and being a little less hostile, especially to feminists. They call it diplomacy. I call it gynocentric cowardice.

These clowns have been given free room and board at AVFM for far too long.

Therefore BAN. Elam hasn’t worked out all the details, but

gynocentric cowards who come here to tell us how “we” should be doing things better be damn sure that the word “we” actually includes them. If not, their armchair wisdom, along with their IP, will get shit-canned on the spot.

Not only will they be banned from comments; they’ll also be forbidden from reading all the articles, with “access to some, a good bit actually, of site content … restricted to activists.”

Huh. Seems like just the other day Elam was announcing that he was trying to broaden the appeal of the site by reposting articles from Examiner.com on “men’s interests” like eyewear of the future and the evolutionary history of the yeast.

Elam declared that the new outward-looking strategy was a sign of AVFM’s great success in changing public discourse, and “the future for how AVFM pushes the counter-theory.”

Now he’s done a 180 degree turn … and is promoting an inward-looking strategy as AVFM’s future.

AVFM’s strategic about-faces have gotten as dizzying as those of the US Communist Party in World War II.

So what’s behind this new approach besides Elam’s anger at the widespread criticism he’s gotten from other MRAs for his drunken video?

A cynical person might suggest that Elam is doing his best to put a positive spin on the fact that he seems to be reaching the final seconds of his 15 minutes of fame. His narcissistic rage-fits have alienated most of his potential allies and followers in the Men’s Rights world. And traffic to his site seems to be dropping, at least according to the highly imperfect metrics of Alexa.

avfmtraf

Elam is already doing his best to spin a drop in traffic as a really good thing, honest, youbetcha.

get

Seriously, take a look at this desperate spin:

AVFM is taking another major, visible step forward toward the completion of our mission. We will see that evidenced by a drop in traffic to this site.

No, he really did write that. Comparing the future AVFM to a party after “the free beer dries up,” Elam declares that his new approach

will mean a drop in traffic. We don’t care. To repeat, AVFM used to live and breathe by Page Rank and Alexa. We worked by drawing in as many people as possible, regardless of who they were and we performed well at it. …

Now we are moving into a new mode, not caring so much about drawing in people but in drawing in activists.

With Elam’s version of”activism” essentially defined as “agreeing with him and sending him money,” it’s becoming even more clear that former AVFM Number Two Dude Dean Esmay was telling the truth when, in an unintentionally revealing slip of the tongue, he told one feminist that AVFM was “a group of volunteers dedicated to a cause, and the cause is Paul Elam.”

Best of luck with your little cult, Paul, as it becomes littler.

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Luzbelitx
4 years ago

I have seen feminism go from being the only voice, to being questioned at every level

Translation: “I used to see wimminz talking out loud in the internet and was angry because they answered back when I insulted them! Outrageous, I tell you! But now I spend most of my time in the internet with angry and bitter men like me, blaming everything on women and harassing feminists. Victory!!”

Moggie
Moggie
4 years ago

Why would there be only 300 activists in not-India? I know that genuine activism is hard work, and a minority activity, but how many other important causes can you think of which can only energise 0.000004 percent of the world’s population?

It’s almost as if Paulie would rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in the ocean.

rugbyyogi
4 years ago

Dude has a long sad history of alienating everyone else in his life. Why not his readership, too?

maghavan
maghavan
4 years ago

Elam is a prophet and visionary! He will trim the fat from the steak of revolution so he can fill this country with his protein!!!

Elam will lead the Revolutionary Vanguard to victory over the forces of the Bourgeois Gynocracy!!!!

Seig Male! Seig Male!

kularanini
kularanini
4 years ago

“Armchair Quarterbacking”, “Slacktivism”? Says the guy who openly admits that he doesn’t actually do anything constructive for ‘men’s rights’.

And what the hell is with that nod towards India? One of the most dangerous countries on Earth to be female. Are there really MRAs there? What one Earth would they be fighting for?

Ghost Robot
Ghost Robot
4 years ago

Paul Elam is yet more proof that some people should require a breathalyser before being allowed near the internet.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@kularinini:

And what the hell is with that nod towards India? One of the most dangerous countries on Earth to be female. Are there really MRAs there? What on Earth would they be fighting for?

I’m guessing that in Elam’s eyes, the men who are making India such a dangerous place to be male, are his comrades in arms. Which, you know, tells you all you need to know about his view on what real activism is.

anon
anon
4 years ago

Don’t MRAs and gators hate feminists because of this kind of, their words not mine, “censorship” and “e-begging”

Trendafilka
Trendafilka
4 years ago

If by “real MHRA” he means “people who actively discourage promoting awareness of actual issues faced by men and boys,” or “people who actively hinder any sort of assistance for men and boys facing difficulties,” or “people who believe that MHR activism is calling feminists and allies a bunch of gender-based slurs,” then I sincerely hope his estimate of 300 people is optimistic.

Luzbelitx
4 years ago

@anon

You see, they hate it when feminists do it.

Thus they are totes allowed to do it, because they fight teh ebil fenimazis, and you need to match their alleged unethical practices.

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

As far as I can see, this rant is just a desperate attempt to revive the failing stream of money that keeps Elam from having to rely totally on the financial pity of some woman.

anon
anon
4 years ago

Tch, I missed the “it’s fine when we do it” exemption.

Now excuse me while I go to an ethics in gaming lecture from a guy that ripped off his backers. /cough Sargon /cough.

Amused
4 years ago

I estimate (very roughly) that there are about 300 actual MHRAs in the world, not including the very high numbers of activists in India.

Huh. So now, the MRA’s are an apocalyptic end-of-times cult, apparently. Munster Anabaptists, ISIS, AVFM — great company. Minus, of course, the guts to put their money (and life, and limb) where their mouth is.

Also, great to hear India has a very high number of activists! Even though India is one of the worst places in the world to be female, the fact that gang-raping or murdering a woman is occasionally treated as a crime in that country means Indian men are really oppressed!

Amused
4 years ago

Damn the blockquote fail!

anon
anon
4 years ago

Can you believe that those evil feminists are trying to oppress women by jailing their husbands after they rape them?

We are truly the 21st centuries greatest human rights movement.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
4 years ago

@Amused:

Also, great to hear India has a very high number of activists! Even though India is one of the worst places in the world to be female, the fact that gang-raping or murdering a woman is occasionally treated as a crime in that country means Indian men are really oppressed!

Absurd as it sounds, India actually does have a very active men’s rights group.

danieleharper
4 years ago

I haven’t read all the comments (and I wish to avoid using problematic language) but the idea of restricting access to a smaller group that has a high maintenance cost in time, money, or both is a common practice in religious cult groups. If Elam is moving into a mode of essentially fleecing a small number of so-called MHRAs for all they’ve got this is a very obvious move for him.

Amused
4 years ago

@kirbywarp

Absurd as it sounds, India actually does have a very active men’s rights group.

Actually, it’s not so absurd, if you think about it. The more privileged a group, the more intensely it will feel “oppressed” if even the tiniest sliver of its privilege is shaved off. It’s bizarre to read today, for example, mid-19th-century rants by American pro-slavery advocates convinced that emancipating African-Americans would be tantamount to enslaving the whites; that giving African-Americans the right to vote would represent the takeover of all government institutions by blacks; that merely granting African-Americans equal rights was, in effect, giving them rights OVER white people; that for white people to no longer enjoy legal and social superiority over blacks was tantamount to complete disenfranchisement and loss of all rights.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
4 years ago

@Amused:

I guess…

Bleh, I guess I just badly want to believe that you can’t achieve truly popular, long-term support for a cause unless there’s some modicum of truth to it. Ever the optimist am I.

Binjabreel
Binjabreel
4 years ago

Okay, late to the etymology party, just wanted to pitch in my two cents.

I figure that the link between women’s anatomy and cats has to do with how brazen and sexual cats get when they’re in heat. It’s almost certainly part of why repressed fucking Europeans were really uncomfortable around them, and where phrases like “catting around” and stuff come from.

If you’re so freaked out by sex and anatomy that you cover the legs of tables and chairs and women’s ears, encountering a cat in heat and her “suitors” would be like walking into a showing of the Vagina Monologues being held in a gallery displaying Maplethorpe.

Antisocialite
Antisocialite
4 years ago

Dude has issues. When you can’t get along with ANYONE, it’s time to gain a little insight and consider the common denominator. You.

His “movement” doesn’t do jack so I don’t blame anyone for not contributing, but I’m sure he’s panicking; he doesn’t seem very employable, or much of a entrepreneur for that matter.

Paradoxical Intention
4 years ago

Amused | September 21, 2015 at 11:45 am
@kirbywarp

Absurd as it sounds, India actually does have a very active men’s rights group.

Actually, it’s not so absurd, if you think about it. The more privileged a group, the more intensely it will feel “oppressed” if even the tiniest sliver of its privilege is shaved off. It’s bizarre to read today, for example, mid-19th-century rants by American pro-slavery advocates convinced that emancipating African-Americans would be tantamount to enslaving the whites; that giving African-Americans the right to vote would represent the takeover of all government institutions by blacks; that merely granting African-Americans equal rights was, in effect, giving them rights OVER white people; that for white people to no longer enjoy legal and social superiority over blacks was tantamount to complete disenfranchisement and loss of all rights.

Hold on a second. I want to try something. I’m going to switch the words “African-American” with “woman” and the word “white” with “men”.

“It’s bizarre to read today, for example, mid-21th-century rants by American anti-feminist advocates convinced that giving women equal pay would be tantamount to enslaving men; that giving women the right to vote would represent the takeover of all government institutions by women; that merely granting women equal rights was, in effect, giving them rights OVER men; that for men to no longer enjoy legal and social superiority over women was tantamount to complete disenfranchisement and loss of all rights.”

THE OVERLAP IS REAL.

Of course, that much was obvious, but it’s hilarious in a very sad kind of way.

cz1975
cz1975
4 years ago

Elam is done for. That recent video rant was unbelievable, not to mention the drunken video. The Men’s Rights Movement will go nowhere so long as narcissistic and con-artist jerks like Paul Elam hijack it. But more importantly, his mental meltdown this week shows, as Futrelle already knows, that he is trying to distance himself from most MRAs (or at least the ones not giving him money).

There are people that care about men and boys, and would like to help them get better educations, better paying jobs, or more social services and mental health care. The sad thing is that many MRAs are now realizing that Elam was not the leader they hoped he would be, but is nothing more than a scam artist out for their money, and out to dupe them. Roosh V does the same thing for Pick Up Artists.

Not to say that MGTOWs are any better (bar bar is another potential con-artist), but these MRAs might do better by Going Their Own Way and not following anyone. Or maybe they should start doing legitimate community service.

Amused
4 years ago

@Binjabreel: Not to dispute your comment about cats per se, but I will disagree with you on how supposedly sexually repressed Europeans were. That stuff about covering chair and table legs is a myth — introduced by some Brits, interestingly, to paint Americans as ridiculiusly uptight. Queen Victoria was actually sexually progressive and made no secret of her enjoyment of sex. The Victorian era followed certain quaint rules of decorum, but that’s not tantamount to repression.

As for pre-Victorian eras: culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance was pretty much, like, 98% sex, with stuff commonplace that even modern people would consider risqué — and that’s also the time people strongly associated cats with Devil-worship. I’d suggest one alternative possibility: cats represented weird, ancient oriental cults (such as the Egyptian cult of Bastet); and with the Renaissance obsession with the occult, a lot of people probably did use cats in various quasi-religious heterodox practices.

reallyfriendly
reallyfriendly
4 years ago

Let’s check.

Person starts movement to tear down strawwomen movement. Finds that to convince people you actually need a point.

Refuses to make or find one. Falls back on ranting loud enough to confuse supporters to back him.

Intentionally releases video clarifying real intentions. Gets mad that confused followers are no longer confused.

Instead of sorting own shite out like a real ‘alpha’ goes out and tell everyone else to sort their own shite out. Also proceeds to spew that everyone is worse than his strawwomen,creating enough strawpeople to feed MLP planet for generations.

Forgets that funding does not come out of own ass, mistake easily made with years of pulling various things out of it.

Almost slays entire ‘enemy’ movement with ROFLOGO. Such deviousness.

Bina
Bina
4 years ago

Well, let it never be said that Paulie isn’t Going His Own Way. Drunk, staggering, and bellowing incoherently, but hey. He’s going! And he won’t be missed.

Shaenon
4 years ago

Elam is probably right about the number of hardcore MRAs out there, but it’s surprising to see him admit it.

You can get a rough estimate from the recent Hugo Awards votes. Two groups, the merely awful Sad Puppies and the Literally Hitler Rabid Puppies, rallied all the angry white misogynists on the Internet to vote for their nominees. The Rabid Puppies were particularly active in recruiting MRAs and Gamergaters. The whole thing got tons of publicity, so it’s safe to assume that most Internet denizens willing to shell out $40 (the cost of a Worldcon/Hugo membership) to fight feminism did so.

According to the final Hugo tally, a little under 500 people voted the Sad Puppies slate and a little over 500 voted the Rabid Puppies slate.

And there you are. The wingnuts who spend their time ruining the Internet number about 1,000. Roughly half of those are run-of-the-mill right-wingers who are just extra assholish about pushing their politics, while the other half are a mix of white supremacists and what we know as the Manosphere. Elam’s estimate of 300 “active” MRAs/PUAs/Gamergaters/Red Pillers sounds about right.

By contrast, just last week Milo Yiannopoulos gloated about how only 16% of American women identify as feminists. It’s actually 16% of men and 23% of women because Milo cannot get through a sentence without being wrong, which comes out to an estimated 64 million Americans self-identifying as feminists. And that’s just one country.

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed about the barrage of abuse and hatred that spews from these folks, remember: there aren’t that many of them. They just have no damn lives.

milkshake fan
milkshake fan
4 years ago

“Elam’s estimate of 300 “active” MRAs/PUAs/Gamergaters/Red Pillers sounds about right”

he didn’t say anything about PUAs, Gamergaters and Red Pillers. He said MHRAs

weirwoodtreehugger
4 years ago

Is milkshake fan trolling or what? They were complaining about Stepford wives spoilers in the other thread, now they’re nitpicking Shaenon’s comment. What gives?