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 subreddit – r/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.