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Elam: Take My Male Privilege, Please!

Paul Elam, head ranter at A Voice for Men, has a new video out called “You want privilege? You got it!” The thesis: if women really did have the so-called privileges that men have, they’d hate it and want men to take them all back. Because all of these so-called privileges are really giant burdens. Or, as Elam puts it, somewhat more melodramatically, these privileges have “begun to more resemble an anchor around your neck than the helm of a great ship that everyone tells you that you are captaining.”

Here’s the video.

Well, all right, that’s not really Paul Elam. But that little clip does capture pretty well the tone of his latest post, which is indeed about how male privilege is really a terrible burden.

I mean, this is his opener:

I swear by everything holy that the next time I hear some fembot caterwaul about “male privilege,” I am going to find something to break, turn it into shards, and drag the broken pieces across my chest just to distract me from the pain of their increasing stupidity. Just picture me like Martin Sheen, collapsed in a heap of bloody, tearful insanity on the floor of a cheap hotel in Saigon.

Heck, compared to that, Mr. McDuck’s reaction to the news about his “ice cream” was, if anything, rather restrained.

The rest of Elam’s post is, as is typical for him, a rather trite recitation of a number of standard Men’s Rights talking points about male “disposability” written in some of the most ridiculously overblown prose ever seen outside of an Ayn Rand novel.

Elam complains that he hasn’t seen much benefit from his privileges:

Mind you I still don’t know what that privilege is. One time when I was young and very poor I was late on my light bill. I showed the electric company my balls, but they cut my power off anyway. …

Yeah, as someone who’s also had his power cut off, I’m pretty sure they do that with everyone. I’m also pretty sure that no feminist has ever or will ever argue that male privilege means you won’t get your power cut off for nonpayment.

Here’s Elam addressing women as if they’ve traded place with men:

With your privilege comes the right to work on crab boats, drive trucks, work on electric lines, walk into burning buildings and sink into the bowels of the earth digging out coal and other things people find useful.

Apparently having greater occupational choices is scary and bad.

When a ship goes down, or any other life threatening disaster strikes, you have two choices. Be a real woman and die, or treat your life like it has value and have the world shit on you as a coward who refused to perish on cue. There is also the possibility of third option, either die from the disaster so that men can live, or have another woman blow a fucking hole in your face with a pistol because you tried to save yourself.

Yeah, I believe we may have addressed this earlier. Oh, but there’s more:

Like noticing the emperor has no clothes, it may hit you one day when you decide not to offer your seat to a man; when the stares at you from all around seem to come down people’s noses. …

You must learn not to say a word. Not to anyone else, not even to yourself. You must learn to see flames, coal dust, icy saltwater, death and sacrifice for the trappings of power that the world around you thinks them to be.

Says a dude typing out his manifestos on an expensive laptop he conned nagged his followers into buying for him.

And you must be willing to hang your head in shame over that power, even as the world chews you up, spits you out, and gets ready to take its turn with your daughter.

Elam’s rousing conclusion:

So, that is it, ladies. You want my privilege, it is yours. I will gladly hand it over to you this very minute. I am just waiting for you to meet the pre-requisites of disposibilty and an utter lack of self-value. I am waiting for you to woman up to the job, take off your fucking make up and be ready to bleed, blah blah blah look at me I’m mad!

I paraphrased a little at the end there. But, yes, the world champion at seeing male “disposability” everywhere did in fact misspell the word “disposability.” That was all him. And so, believe it or not, is the following:

I, like a Jew gone weary of being called a chosen one, am completely ready for anyone else, and in particular, you, to be chosen.

Personally, I have had about all the privilege I can stand.

Yep. He went there.

Also, I don’t know if you all knew this, but when women serve in the military these days it’s “like a day care camp for them.”

Also, not to pat myself on the back or anything, but my headline is much better than his. Maybe he should get me to write all the headlines on A Voice for Angry Duck Plutocrats Men.

Discuss.

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Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

That age range is way too high for Milkboy.

pillowinhell
8 years ago

Yeah, I thought he big on nine year olds, what with the way he went on about little girls in bathing suits and natural urges or some crap.

Pecunium
8 years ago

Hey NWO… all those men who are having their lives ruined from false accusations….

Man convicted 31 times before given any time in jail

Another one had 27 CONVICTIONS.

Yet another had 18.

That’s what you say is too harsh.

pillowinhell
8 years ago

It makes me wonder what was so different about this time, to the judge. I mean really, why bother putting someone in jail for doing what they’ve been doing all along and the justice system knew it?

What changed? Is there a judge there seeking election to a political post or something?

Pecunium
8 years ago

pillowinhell: Not the way it works in Britain. I have no idea. Maybe this cases finally got in front of a judge who looked at the record? Or one who thinks sexual assault is a real crime.

Chris
Chris
8 years ago

Question about privilege. Would it be correct to say that an average person has privilege relative to a person with social anxiety disorder?

A few examples.

I one time was fired from a volunteer job that my mom made me do when I was back in like high school. They said that I wasn’t interacting enough with the other workers and told me not to come back.

Also when I was in middle school I moved back to a town that I lived in when I was really young and I knew a few people there. There was a girl who I was friends with and stayed friends with in between the time I left and came back and she pretended that she didn’t know me when I came back to the school, I think because she didn’t want to look bad in front of her friends because I was the weird quiet kid. I ended up just hanging out with some other guys that I knew and stayed close friends with them throughout high school.

When I got older and started became interested in having a girlfriend, I made an effort several times with several girls that I liked at the time and my friends use to make fun of how awkward I was when I used to talk to girls because it was that bad. Of course I never had any luck. Nowadays i’m 22 and I don’t even approach women because of how self concious I am about what they will think of me and I know it will be awkward.

Another thing was I left college because I was in a class that required a public presentation and I couldn’t stomach the idea of getting up in front of the class and presenting something so I tried to switch classes and they told me it was too late so I left school. This was a community college by the way. I still want to go back to college sometime.

So i’d say most people don’t really understand what it’s like to have really bad social anxiety and be socially ostracized even when you do make an effort because you come off as awkward and weird. A “normal” person (male or female) probably has an easier time than a person with social anxiety or is socially awkward or both.

By the way I know I said I left this site but I felt like coming back lol.

swankivy
8 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Absolutely, people who are mentally/socially “typical” are privileged over those who have certain mental/social/psychological conditions, diagnosed or not. Especially since people tend to have very little sympathy and make very few allowances for people with social anxiety, extreme introversion, or any contributing factor to distress . . . because it’s perceived to be something the person has power over, something the person can and should change. It’s not always possible, or even desirable, to change.

So yes. Neurotypical, mentally healthy, socially well adjusted people absolutely are privileged over people who are not. Their issues are usually chalked up to personal failings. And while I don’t like the idea that so many people are medicalizing things that aren’t actually disorders (you know, like assuming any guy who can’t keep it in his pants is a sex addict to be pitied, or any child who isn’t very disciplined has ADHD even though they can pay attention to video games just fine), the disorders themselves DO exist and shouldn’t be used against the people who suffer from and/or live with them.

Bee
Bee
8 years ago

Question about privilege. Would it be correct to say that an average person has privilege relative to a person with social anxiety disorder?

Absolutely. Abledness is a privilege, just like whiteness, maleness, cisness, straightness, etc. Social anxiety disorder is one kind of disability.

jumbofish
8 years ago

So i’d say most people don’t really understand what it’s like to have really bad social anxiety and be socially ostracized even when you do make an effort because you come off as awkward and weird. A “normal” person (male or female) probably has an easier time than a person with social anxiety or is socially awkward or both.

For some reason The US is heavily anti introverts which I never understood. People seem to try to “cure” introverts by making them more social but thats crap. I know social anxiety is not the same (and not all introverts have social anxiety) but I think that might help contribute to reason why people can be dicks about those who don’t socialize “normally.” People with nonmental issues obviously have privileged over those that do. I am not quite sure why you are asking, I hope its not for some odd privilege Olympics thing considering the topic you chose to post it in.

By the way I know I said I left this site but I felt like coming back lol.

I vaguely remember people yelling at you. I want to say it was because of nice guy comments but I don’t remember…

jumbofish
8 years ago

Oh wait you were the dude that defended the loveshy forum. I was thinking of someone else sorry.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Jumbo, I think he was one of the love shy dudes who used this venue to try and work out his issues.

jumbofish
8 years ago

I don’t really know why he is posting here again. I am not sure what is he trying to prove or say. XD

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

He clearly thinks that the rest of us care what he thinks as much as he does. Not so much.

They never stick the flounce.

cloudiah
8 years ago

I don’t even think Chris really flounced, though, unless that was on a thread other than this one: http://manboobz.com/2012/04/01/lets-shame-some-virgins/comment-page-1/#comment-141184 (continues on next page)

Not only didn’t we yell at him, we were pretty nice and even offered him some pretty good advice. Manboobz: Come for the mockery, stay for the dating tips.

swankivy
8 years ago

Re “People seem to try to ‘cure’ introverts by making them more social but thats crap.”

Yeah. It’s really frustrating. Introversion isn’t a disease or a name for someone who “needs” to come out of a shell. It’s a name for people’s preferred/default state with regards to how they feel energized and enthusiastic . . . and introverts prefer their own company or prefer to interact in one-on-one situations that aren’t overwhelming or full of stimulation. People think it’s funny when I say I’m an introvert, because I’m pretty social and have a ton of friends, and I talk a lot. I’m not “shy.” I just feel that social situations are a lot more draining than solitude is, while extroverted people feel compelled to juice themselves up through social interaction and feel satisfied by it.

I read a really cool list once of reasons why it’s dumb to try to get introverts out of their so-called shells. Just because someone’s being reserved or quiet doesn’t mean they’re having a poor time or want to be given attention. Let quiet people be quiet people.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Well there was this : http://manboobz.com/2012/04/04/yahoo-answers-gender-studies-zenith-of-civilization/comment-page-1/#comment-142007 that ended up in a flounce. So I guess he’s back. Yay?

jumbofish
8 years ago

@swankivy
I knoww its so bothersome. I had the worst time in school because teachers especially but some students would try to “get me to come out of my shell” and “cure” me of my introversion/social anxiety. I liked being alone though and while my social anxiety was an issue its not something that can be cured by forcing me into uncomfortable social situations and stressing me out.

Chris
Chris
8 years ago

Jumbofish said “I don’t really know why he is posting here again. I am not sure what is he trying to prove or say. XD”

What can I say, I have a lot of time on my hands don’t go out much etc. I like interacting with people online. When I see an article somewhere sometimes I feel like commenting/responding/asking a question. Not really trying to prove anything.

Hellkell said “He clearly thinks that the rest of us care what he thinks as much as he does. Not so much.”

You don’t have to read my comments.

Jumbofish said “I hope its not for some odd privilege Olympics thing considering the topic you chose to post it in.”

Not at all. Being able to call other people privileged is a tiny consolation for actually having to deal with my social anxiety.

Cloudiah said “Not only didn’t we yell at him, we were pretty nice and even offered him some pretty good advice. Manboobz: Come for the mockery, stay for the dating tips.”

Yes I appreciated that most people were helpful and friendly. As to why i’m here. These topics interest me I guess and as I said I have a lot of time on my hands.

swankivy
8 years ago
Reply to  jumbofish

@jumbofish
Yeah. I think I had a harder time in school than I do now–I was probably a little closer to the definition of “shy,” especially when I was a little kid–but I’m not put off by people and I don’t really get uncomfortable being talked to, approached, looked at, etc. But one of my college roommates was a huge party girl and she would regularly come to my room and moan about how “but that’s so SAD!” it was that I was “home on a Friday night.” She’d invite me to her parties out of pity and almost beg me to come, like “Let’s GO, you’ll have a GREAT time, you shouldn’t be sitting in this room by yourself!”

And I’m like ” . . . Melissa, I’m writing a book. I’m doing something I enjoy. I’m not lonely or bored or depressed or failing to venture out of the apartment because I have nothing better to do. This is what I choose to do with my time!”

And yet I’d get the lecture about how “staying home to write stuff is really sad. You should be out having FUN!”

I don’t need to be “out” to have fun. Seriously. Writing books is awesome. I don’t see how it’s so difficult to comprehend, since I have no trouble understanding that she went clubbing and drinking because that makes her happy.

Chris
Chris
8 years ago

Swankivy said “She’d invite me to her parties out of pity and almost beg me to come”

I’ve like never been to a party at all. The closest I came was when I “graduated” middle school they had a graduation ceremony thing and like a dance afterwards. I just felt like I wanted to go into a corner and hide. I also remember seeing the girl I liked at the time dance with another guy so yeah not a fun experience.

When I got into like high school a lot of my friends stopped hanging out with me outside of school because I never wanted to go to parties or anything like that. My idea of fun was just like a few of my friends coming to hang out at my house after school on a friday.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Chris, you don’t have to comment, I mean ask 101 type questions and then get pissy when you don’t get the answers you like.

jumbofish
8 years ago

@chris
Well, considering the website I don’t think you can blame me for being suspicious of your motives. Your other post (the yahoo answers one) smelled to me like you were implying misogyny is equivalent to misandry but you never said directly it was. You don’t need to justify yourself for posting really I was more referring to the first comment in this thread which felt like it would be followed by “so women aren’t really oppressed because I have social anxiety and that is oppressive!!” And believe me we get those types all the time.

Chris
Chris
8 years ago

“Chris, you don’t have to comment, I mean ask 101 type questions and then get pissy when you don’t get the answers you like.”

Not being pissy at all. You just don’t seem to like me for some reason or don’t like what i’m talking about so if that’s the case as I said you don’t have to read my posts.

And I may have been asking a “101” question about privilege but i’m really not that familiar with the concept. I only ever hear people talk about it online.

jumbofish
8 years ago

And yet I’d get the lecture about how “staying home to write stuff is really sad. You should be out having FUN!”

*rolls eyes*

No one has ever said that to me directly (because I am alone I must be sad) but back in highschool kids would talk to me about how sad x person because they are by themselves. I always tried to explain to them but they seriously just did not get that being alone doesn’t mean you are sad or whatever.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

You only ever read about privilege online and don’t know what it is, Chris? There is this thing called Google.

jumbofish
8 years ago

And I may have been asking a “101″ question about privilege but i’m really not that familiar with the concept. I only ever hear people talk about it online.

Hellkell has a good point that if you wanted to know you can find out so much more info by doing your own research instead of asking random people on the internet.

and speaking of your lack of understanding:

Being able to call other people privileged is a tiny consolation for actually having to deal with my social anxiety.

Well you may not be privileged in that respect but you are in other respects I hope you know. As a dude at the very least (and if you are white and straight you also have privilege in that respect).

jumbofish
8 years ago

*and if you wanted

Chris
Chris
8 years ago

jumbofish “Well you may not be privileged in that respect but you are in other respects I hope you know.”

In some respects sure. I think i’m privileged for example that I can walk where as some people are physically handicaped or that I can eat every night and in some places there are people starving to death.

Maybe in some respects i have privilege for being male. I probably don’t have to worry about being raped or sexually assaulted like women do and i’ll admit to that. There’s the pay gap but I don’t even have a job so… lol. It’s just hard for me to feel like the average woman has it harder than me when you weigh everything together, maybe a woman who has socially anxiety disorder or even a worse disorder sure they might have it worse.

But the average woman probably has an easier time making friends an easier time getting a job than me (my social anxiety has screwed up a lot of interviews too). An easier time just talking to people in general. Like my anxiety is so bad that I get extremley nervous before I even call someone on the phone who I don’t know. There’s a ton of examples I can give.

But as I said i’m really not trying to argue here I know you guys get a lot of trolls and people coming here to argue but i’m just civilly saying how I feel.

Chris
Chris
8 years ago

“Hellkell has a good point that if you wanted to know you can find out so much more info by doing your own research instead of asking random people on the internet.”

Well I like the social interaction. I don’t get a lot of it in real life so what can I say lol.

Vindicare
Vindicare
8 years ago

Couldn’t it be that you are a bit obsessed with ‘privilege’? It’s nearly has something of a substitute religion to me.

Pecunium
8 years ago

But the average woman probably has an easier time making friends an easier time getting a job than me (my social anxiety has screwed up a lot of interviews too). An easier time just talking to people in general. Like my anxiety is so bad that I get extremley nervous before I even call someone on the phone who I don’t know. There’s a ton of examples I can give.

This is where,and why, most people who have problems with the idea of privilege get stuck.

None of us is, “average”, and it doesn’t matter.

Privilege isn’t about you, qua you. It’s about the class you belong too, and all the things you don’t see.

Privilege is water, and you are the fish. If you are male, then you have that going for you. You are more likely to get a second chance, no matter what your handicaps are; than a woman with the same sorts of handicaps.

If you are white, you have that too.

Etc.

It’s not that you get specifically special treatment. It’s not that your life is easy. It’s that for someone who is equal, in all other respects, the privileged aspects weigh in your favor, relative to them.

Even that doesn’t mean you will come out, “on top” when it’s you and someone who has less privilege, it just means the odds are slightly in your favor.

swankivy
8 years ago

Hey Chris, actually what you’re talking about there with “but a woman might be privileged over me if she doesn’t have social anxiety” is true. In that regard. People without difficulties are privileged over people who have those difficulties. That is true across the board–regardless of your gender or sex. Thing is, there is not a specific pecking order or hierarchy of oppression. You are not “less privileged” than a woman without a social anxiety disorder just because your social anxiety disorder puts you at a disadvantage. It’s not a question of quantity. Society privileges maleness in a great many of its strata, so you will benefit from that. It does not mean you therefore will have it easier than every woman, and it also does not mean that your social anxiety can’t intersect with that in negative ways. Just like a black man has privilege for being a man and experiences oppression for being black, you have privilege for being male and you have prejudice against you for the disorder you have. It’s not a problem of being in either a “privileged” category or NOT. As a person who benefits from being white, able-bodied, and upper middle class in my society, I am also discriminated against for being female, non-Christian, and not straight. It’s not an all or nothing deal, and sometimes these things interact in unpredictable and unfair ways. I hope it makes sense to you that no one’s saying women without social anxiety problems are all still more oppressed than you are. There isn’t a unit of measurement to quantify oppression.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

And here we go with the “I’m more oppressed than women.” Didn’t take long at all.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

It’s just hard for me to feel like the average woman has it harder than me when you weigh everything together

Annnd here we go with the oppression olympics. You called it, Jumbo.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

jinx XD

Vindicare
Vindicare
8 years ago

The biggest privilege is still to be born at the “right” longitude and latitude, nearly everything else pales in comparison to that. That wins the oppression olympics.

jumbofish
8 years ago

fuck off vindicare you have no idea what you are talking about

cloudiah
8 years ago

Chris, the online interaction would probably go a lot better here if it looked like you had at least tried to educate yourself about what privilege (in all of its layers) means, instead of using this as a forum to ask really basic questions. In any case, people have given you some good information, so you might want to think about it for a while before posting again on the subject.

jumbofish
8 years ago

It’s just hard for me to feel like the average woman has it harder than me when you weigh everything together, maybe a woman who has socially anxiety disorder or even a worse disorder sure they might have it worse.

Okay even if you are not phrasing it passively its pretty clear you think you are more oppressed than women due to your social anxiety. That my friends is oppression olympics and a denial of reality just because you can’t picture it. Your suffering doesn’t need to be ignored but its not the worst thing in the world and magically is more oppressive than misogyny. You also don’t seem to take misogyny seriously at all implying its not a big deal which hilariously is a good display of your own privileged. You have the privileged of not knowing or having to deal with misogyny so you don’t care. You yourself said most people don’t understand social anxiety and how hard it really is and then you go off and minimize misogyny.

But as I said i’m really not trying to argue here I know you guys get a lot of trolls and people coming here to argue but i’m just civilly saying how I feel.

I’ve seen DKM quite “civilly” explain that all women should be sex slaves. The tone doesn’t make much of a difference if you are spouting out misogynist things.

jumbofish
8 years ago

*privilege
(for some reason I keep adding a “d” to the end out of privilege naturally even if I didn’t mean to say that O_o)

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Jumbo, I’m pretty sure he was here to minimize misogyny from the get-go. That seems to be his MO, ask simple questions and then flip it back to women and how they can’t possibly have it worse than him.

katz
8 years ago

One time “introvert” was a vocab word in high school and (being familiar with Myers-Briggs) I gave as an example sentence “I am an introvert.” I was surprised when my friends all said “No, you’re not!” as if I’d just insulted myself.

Vindicare
Vindicare
8 years ago

fuck off vindicare you have no idea what you are talking about

Why should I use your notion of privilege? I use it as it’s understood in the English language, not on some “Geek Feminism Wiki”.
Isn’t it an interesting observation that in all that theorizing it’s always about “society building” and never about the actual humans?

Pecunium
8 years ago

Vindicare: unh.. no.

Because that is one of the ways in which the english language uses privilege. If you peruse, rather than merely reference, dictionaries this becomes plain.

Since the context was given, your obstreperous use of, “real humans” is much of a muchness; in that you are being intentionally obtuse.. In all theorising, from Plato, to Aristotle, to Aquinas to Kant to the present, the subject is abstract.

If it weren’t it wouldn’t be theory, it would be case study.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

So Vindicare, in the English language the word “privilege” means some kind of a sport that you can win? As a fluent English speaker I would have to disagree. Maybe you’re thinking of some other language. Trollish, possibly.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Chris seems to be our substitute for MRAL (who’s still pestering me on Jezebel, and has now escalated to finding my profile on a dating site and commenting on the photos as part of his campaign to convince me I’m a privileged princess). It’s like there’s a Manboobz bylaw that we must have at least one young man complaining about how his issues with dating are awful and therefore women on average are better off than him at all times.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

What name is the little toad using on Jezebel, Cassandra?

His obsession with you is getting seriously creepy.

jumbofish
8 years ago

@Vindicare
Have you checked in the dictionary under the word privileged? Or do trolls have different dictionaries with their different language and all.

@cassanadra
ugg what a creep he seriously needs to get a life.

Dave
Dave
8 years ago

Hey Chris,

Look, you’re not going to win any converts around here… it’s just going to be a negative experience. The community here has made up their minds re. misogyny or whatever, and don’t take too kindly to dissenters. They’re are kind of jerks to be honest; I learned that last month. They’re not interested in the problems of the socially anxious. Come on, haven’t seen you on Love-Shy in a while!

Vindicare
Vindicare
8 years ago

Privilege is the advantage of a group to the disadvantage of others. I think we agree on that. What I don’t agree to are that I should follow long instructions how I am not allowed to argue about privilege – most without good justification.
Just to mention “You are engaging in Oppression Olympics!” is seen like a convincing argument. But why? Because I want to prove that one group of oppressed people is “worthier”? Silence others? Deny the legitimacy of your oppression? What if that’s not my intention? Can you read my mind?
Honestly, who would doubt, that in some cases it’s pretty clear that it’s good to get your priorities straight? Why is that so evil?