Category Archives: GirlWritesWhat
17 completely wrong things about filmmaking I learned from The Sarkeesian Effect, the worst documentary ever made
“They’re called tropes in games or something like that?”
— Brad Wardell, Game developer and Anita Sarkeesian expert
The Sarkeesian Effect, which premiered as a $3.99 “on demand” video on Vimeo yesterday, and which I forced myself to watch all two and a half hours of, is not so much a “documentary” as an object lesson in why it’s never a good idea to hand over tens of thousands of dollars to hateful, incompetent ideologues barely capable of making mediocre YouTube videos and expect them to produce a documentary that looks even vaguely professional.
Karen Straughan, the soporific, pseudoscientific YouTube antifeminist, doesn’t seem on the surface much like a “Red Pill Woman.” She’s a single mother with short hair, well past “the wall,” who makes a point of not wearing makeup in her videos.
But she’s got one quality that apparently makes up for all of her other defects as a Red Pill gal: she tells the Red Pill guys exactly what they want to hear, defending their noxious views, feeding their sense of victimhood, and hand-waving away their blatant misogyny.
So it’s hardly a surprise that she got a warm welcome when she showed up yesterday in the Red Pill subreddit to do an “ask me anything.” Today, I girded my loins and popped a caffeine pill and read through her answers. Well, skimmed them, anyway; I’m no masochist.
I learned a lot. Unfortunately, most of what I learned was not true. Read the rest of this entry
Would you like some wings with that ego stroking? Make big bucks by giving insecure men “the attention they crave”
ThinkProgress has gotten hold of an inadvertently hilarious internal document from the “breastaurant” chain Twin Peaks that provides an interesting glimpse into what those who run the company may actually think of the customers who pay their salaries.
Twin Peaks, as ThinkProgress writer Tara Culp-Ressler notes, is essentially Hooters on steroids, and the chain has been spreading like ebola; in 2013, it was the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the US. It also seems to be quite popular with Biker gangs; the gigantic biker shootout last weekend took place at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. Read the rest of this entry
Is AVFM, the hate site we all love to hate, melting down before our eyes? Consider.
1) Men Going Their Own Way are Going Their Own Way, Far Away, From Paul Elam
AVFM’s head cheese Paul Elam has long fantasized about becoming King of the MGTOWs, which would help him build up his Flying Monkey army and turn Men Going Their Own Way into Money Going Into Paul Elam’s Pockets. In doing so, he seems to have alienated virtually all of those who consider themselves MGTOWs.
Upvote, downvote: Men’s Rights Redditors on the evils of “p*ssy privilege” and women being encouraged to go into tech
Many Men’s Rights Redditors see themselves as fighting a noble fight against genuinely evil, misandrist radical feminists on the internet. One of their most powerful weapons: the deadly downvote.
Reading through one old thread on Men’s Rights last night, I noticed how some Men’s Rights Redditors had deftly deployed their downvotes to fight off the evil feminist misandry lurking in this comment:
Outrageous! A statement that could have been ripped straight from Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto!
Kudos to the brave Redditors who saw this vile misandry for what it was.
Elsewhere in the same thread, I happily noticed, Men’s Rights Redditors were helpfully upvoting the reasonable and uplifting sentiments of decent fellows, like the Men’s Rights Redditor who goes by the name theboners, who offered a sensibly critical take on the always controversial question of whether or not it was a good idea for men to give in to “pussy privilege” and let ladies have the vote:
Oh you irresponsible women! Why do we let you do anything?
I mean, aside from letting GirlWritesWhat make YouTube videos; that’s ok.
It might be time for that blinking
gif to remind possibly literal-minded readers that I do not actually agree with theboners or think SweetieKat is a reincarnation of Valerie Solanas.
The jig is up. I and my collaborators have kept it secret for a long time now, but for reasons I will explain in a moment, I feel I need to come clean about this now, before it is too late:
I created Paul Elam.
That is: “Paul Elam” is a character created and developed by me and my friend Paul Henderson, an amazing improvisatory actor who has taken on the task of playing “Elam” in YouTube Videos, radio shows, and on a few occasions in the real world as well.
I first came up with the character of “Paul Elam” — “Elam” is just “male” spelled backwards — some seven years ago after reading Warren Farrell’s Myth of Male Power and wondering what an updated version of Farrell would look like today as a YouTube ranter. I brought the idea to my friend Paul Henderson, a feminist comedian who was already doing an “angry white man” character in his comedy act.
After a bit of workshopping, we created “Paul Elam” and his “Happy Misogynist” YouTube channel. I wrote the scripts, and Henderson read them out. As time went on and as Henderson got more into his new alter ego, he began adding bits of dialogue of his own. Sometimes when he got too deep into his character of “Paul Elam” he started to scare me a little.
After some success on YouTube and at Men’s News Daily, we decided to set up A Voice for Men. Shortly afterwards I set up Man Boobz, mainly as a way to promote AVFM and generate traffic for “Elam’s” site.
Since then, things have just snowballed. Henderson put me in touch with an amazing group of Canadian improv comedians called the Pouteenagers and the characters of Girl Writes What, John The Other, Typhon Blue, and DannyBoy were born.
Not all of those at AVFM are in on the gag. Dean Esmay for example, is completely sincere, as are most of the recent additions to the AVFM roster.
Up until about a month ago, the whole “Paul Elam”/A Voice for Men project seemed to be going swimmingly, generating buzz — and even a good deal of cash, much of which we have been donating to an assortment of feminist charities.
We kept piling absurdity on absurdity — like adding “human” to “men’s rights activist” to become “men’s human rights activist” — but no one ever guessed that it was all an elaborate prank! We were prepared to let the whole thing run for at least another year, getting sillier and sillier, before fessing up in a joint press conference with me and “Elam.”
But something terrible seems to have happened to my old friend Paul Henderson. After 7 years of playing “Paul Elam,” he seems to have become lost in the character he and I have created. Paul Henderson, in other words, has become Paul Elam.
He used to joke with April Fulieu, our makeup wiz, about how horrified he was each time he looked in the mirror and saw “Elam” staring back at him. But after we shot the last video with him he refused to let April take the makeup off, and when she went to tell me about this he fled out the back door of the studio.
We haven’t heard from him since. At least not as Paul Henderson.
I’m not sure what to do. He’s changed all the passwords on the AVFM server, so I can’t shut it down from my end, and I haven’t been able to contact any of the Pouteenagers either. I worry they too may have gone over to the dark side as well.
I can only hope that by posting this I can give him the wake-up call he needs – or at least arouse enough suspicion that the “sincere” AVFMers will confront him and possibly jar him back to reality.
He’ll deny it all, of course.
But at some point his fake beard will fall off.
That’s what I’m counting on, really.