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A Voice for Men/MRA London infighting gets even sillier: Paul Elam makes his uninformed stand

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So, that tempest in a teacup involving MRA London,  A Voice for Men’s British satellite group, that I wrote about last night? Well, it’s gotten even sillier.

The tl;dr is that MRA London has split up, with accusations and counter-accusations flying. AVFM staffer Andy Thomas has appointed himself CEO of the group after apparently tossing out most of its members. (Or “accepting their resignations,” or something; who knows?) As far as I can tell, this means that the group may now be down to literally two people.

Now AVFM’s Maximum Leader Paul Elam has posted a very long statement on the subject, saying very little indeed. The gist of it? He really doesn’t know what happened in the “very British coup” or who was right, but he’s sticking with Thomas because he knows the dude better than the dudes who are no longer part of the group. No, really, that’s his explanation.

Not only that, but Elam admits flatly that doesn’t really even care who was right, at least not enough to bother to try to figure out the basic facts of the case:

I am not in the least interested in trying to ascertain who was more or less at fault in MRA London’s internal conflicts. It is not that I am indifferent to right and wrong in this case, but simply as a pragmatic matter I cannot and won’t try to wade through several weeks/months of infighting, insinuation and accusations between people in conflict 8,000 miles from here and even pretend that I can come up with an informed judgment.

Really? Because most political organizations, when faced with issues like this, like to at least pretend to gather the facts before making their decisions.

Elam also alludes vaguely to

other factors, having to do with the best interests of AVFM and the MHRM, that lend more support to our decision to maintain the historical relationship we have had with Andy Thomas of MRA London. I am not at liberty to discuss them, but they are compelling.

Oh, so there were some SUPER SEEEKRET reasons too! Having to do with the “best interests” of the world historical force that is the Men’s Human Rights Human Movement of Men (But Not Those Dudes We Just Threw Under The Bus for Super SEEEKRET Reasons).

Come to think of it, no one has actually explained straightforwardly the non-super seekret reasons either. Ah well.

Elam also makes clear that any dissent to this decision will be confined to the comments of this one thread.

ALL HAIL ELAM AND HIS INFALLIBLE WISDOM OF MAKING DECISIONS BASED ON NOT KNOWING SHIT ABOUT WHAT HE’S MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT.

PS In my haste to write this post I neglected to include my regular reminder that AVFM, while claiming to be a “human rights” group, continues to post a literal call to firebomb courthouses and police stations in its activism section.

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thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I had said they should change the slogan of “Compassion for men and boys” to be “Compassion for the tiny number of white cis heterosexual men who agree with all of the MRA talking points”. Now I would say it is “Compassion for the tiny number of white cis heterosexual men who agree with all of the MRA talking points and whom Paul Elam is friends with because they never disagree with him”. All right, this newest slogan is the catchiest of all.

cloudiah
8 years ago

I hope you saw El Bastardo’s comment about you on that thread. I thought they were ignoring you these days? 😀

ScoPi
ScoPi
8 years ago

The Murray Pearson comment and replies are interesting. Why are they so obsessed with PTSD?

Perry
Perry
8 years ago

I’m shocked at the infighting. You’d think that a bunch of rageaholics would get along better.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

Yeah, I saw imnotanmrabut telling Murray Pearson

I deal in PTSD so all of your references, and what I have to also read as innuendoes, have not passed me by. It’s all a nice mess – a lovely bucket of crap.

When you have a bucket of crap you can do two things – pour it out on the floor, role round in it and use it as a pity fest. Stinks the place up though. On the other hand, you can actually compost the crap and then use it to grow roses.

So I guess the MRM is NOT about showing compassion to men with PTSD either. They are not interested in helping those men.

Aaliyah
8 years ago

I’m shocked at the infighting. You’d think that a bunch of rageaholics would get along better.

Perhaps MRA London is really just the new People Who Hate People Party?

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

Mmm… I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning!

Briznecko
Briznecko
8 years ago

Nothn’ left to do, but sit back, maybe nudge them a bit, and let the hilarity ensue.

La Strega
8 years ago

This confirms my growing opinion that none of this MRM/PUA stuff is about women at all. Women are pretty much peripheral to their real concern, which is to engage emotionally with other men. It’s all a big circle jerk. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Auggie
Auggie
8 years ago

Trolling MRAs doesn’t take much, I’ve noticed. It’s like bumping* a cage filled with budgies, half of them will flip out and screech, wake the others which then start to screech, and then there’s this hilarious clusterfuck of pissy parakeets.
Except instead of adorable squeaking from tiny birds, it’s creepy misogynists who cry “FEMINAZI” and try to defend pedophilia or something.

*This happens on accident, when I walk too close to a cage. I’m not a parakeet torturer.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Comedy gold.

That is all.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

This is hilarious.

Not knowing basic facts has never been an impediment to PaulE’s bloviating.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Also hilarious (totally unrelated):

Falconer
8 years ago

I needed that LOL, cloudiah.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

That should totally be an Olympic event.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Also totally OT, has anyone read this article about the delays in the current session of the Cat Congress? These senators will let anything delay debating vital reforms!

cloudiah
8 years ago

The Cat Congress was pretty funny.
This part:

Some legislators refused to participate in the debate altogether, most notably Sen. Ruby (R-SC), who spent several hours sitting motionless in front of the northwest wall of the Cat Capitol Building, staring unblinkingly at an unknown object.

Reminded me of this cartoon.

picklefactory
picklefactory
8 years ago

Vindicated!

I guess if all you know how to do is fling shit it’s hard to get out of the habit.

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

http://aidanmoher.com/blog/featured-article/2013/05/we-have-always-fought-challenging-the-women-cattle-and-slaves-narrative-by-kameron-hurley/ This is a magnificent article, folks, and contains some very handy links and such for those times when you just gotta beat someone with the Fact Stick.

And as a bonus, in the comments, there’s an incredibly lame drive-by anti-feminist who posts a one-line snark that has nothing to do with the article, gets completely ignored and never returns. It’s beautiful.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
8 years ago

I love the cat congress!
That Kameron Hurley piece is sharp and clear and painfully accurate.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

At some point the rest of those guys are going to get tired of catering to Paulie’s ego, and the resulting wank will be worthy of much popcorn.

WeeBoy
WeeBoy
8 years ago

Completely OT, but I need some advice. I’m flat hunting at the moment and trying to find a mostly polite way of asking potential fatties “How are you with the queers? Cos I am one of those gays your mum warned you about and I don’t want to live with anyone who makes tranny jokes neither.” cos that’s like ground rule number 1 so I should get it out of the way.

Kakanian
Kakanian
8 years ago

>http://aidanmoher.com/blog/featured-article/2013/05/we-have-always-fought-challenging-the-women-cattle-and-slaves-narrative-by-kameron-hurley/ This is a magnificent article, folks, and contains some very handy links and such for those times when you just gotta beat someone with the Fact Stick.

This page does not work on Firefox though. Text and images disappear at random upon scrolling.

Buntzums
Buntzums
8 years ago

Briznecko: great video! totally entertaining.

I don’t understand what the MRA’s are currently fundraising for. I was saddened to hear a man in Ontario who was running some kind of safe house (not government sanctioned) committed suicide.

That being said though, what was supposed to be a memorial video turned into a list of accusations toward the government, women and feminists. It was, to put it politely, inappropriate to remember his efforts in that way, I feel. 🙁

I was unaware there was a presence in London save the effort in Europe to sue the gender studies department of a university.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

“I was unaware there was a presence in London save the effort in Europe to sue the gender studies department of a university.”

If the five guys who turned up to their grand launch could be called a presence …

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

There is a cricket presence in my apartment! As in, there was one who somehow got in once, and I think the cat killed it because by the time I found it it was already dead.

Given the number of people my apartment contains versus the number of people London contains, the cricket presence in my apartment is officially more significant than the MRA presence in London.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

That’s like the cricket presence in the upstairs loo at work! One dead cricket in the bath, and I’ve no idea where it came from, unless it fell through the skylight.

That, or your cat is not only killing crickets but has a transporter beam to get rid of ’em as well.

I wouldn’t put it past her. Cats, after all.

Kittehserf
8 years ago

LOL the perfect audience for MRA hissy fits!

Countering Feminist Horseshit
Countering Feminist Horseshit
8 years ago

If the five guys who turned up to their grand launch could be called a presence …

Feminist Lie. There was a larger group.

thekidwiththereplaceablehead

I usually click through and read the original whatever the OP is talking about, but I think I might have to quit doing this for things on AVfM. It’s just too toxic, and I feel that I’m doing myself concrete mental harm by reading that stuff. Not the misogyny, the writing.

Normal humans would approach a problem like this by relating their version of events and providing supporting evidence. MRAs settle internal disputes by having a strained-meaningless-metaphor-off.

cloudiah
8 years ago

@WeeBoy, I would just straight out ask them. Anyone who’s going to be offended by the question is probably not well-suited to be a flatmate anyway.

emilygoddess
8 years ago

As someone said on the other thread, these guys have such a hard time organizing because they’re too full of rage and ego to work together for very long. I hope they keep trying, though, because I love me some drama.

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

Kakanian:

This page does not work on Firefox though. Text and images disappear at random upon scrolling.

That’s weird–I’ve read it on Firefox on two different machines, now, with no difficulties (and one of those machines is, frankly, a PoS that has difficulty keeping up with modern flash games at times).

katz
8 years ago

MRAs settle internal disputes by having a strained-meaningless-metaphor-off.

That’s also Stephen Colbert’s preferred method of conflict resolution.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/85568/april-19-2007/meta-free-phor-all–shall-i-nail-thee-to-a-summer-s-day-

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Aww, are you hungry, little troll? I’ll feed you.

If the five guys who turned up to their grand launch could be called a presence …

Feminist Lie. There was a larger group.

How many people actually did show up?

Kittehserf
8 years ago

Feminist Lie. There was a larger group.

Evidence or GTFO.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

It was six people, I tell you. Six!

(Which conveniently rhymes with sex, the not getting of which is the core MRA issue.)

Countering Feminist Horseshit
Countering Feminist Horseshit
8 years ago

the not getting of which is the core MRA issue.

Feminist Lie/Libel. MRAs are concerned with pervasive misandry, violence against men, and the human rights of men.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Showing us that you don’t know what libel is, while admittedly funny, doesn’t actually answer my question.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Oh, does someone need a dictionary?

libel 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others.

Stop spending some much time rambling about things like making friend zoning illegal and maybe you could convince someone that your concern being your lack of sex is actually not true.

“Proof of malice, however, does allow a party defamed to sue for “general damages” for damage to reputation, while an inadvertent libel limits the damages to actual harm (such as loss of business) called “special damages.” “Libel per se” involves statements so vicious that malice is assumed and does not require a proof of intent to get an award of general damages.”

Seeing how we have reason aplenty to assume your boners are central to MRM discussion, yeah, what are your actual harms?

Also, PECUNIUM PECUNIUM PECUNIUM!! *attempts to invoke Sir Pecunium*

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Hi, socky! Still haven’t found the washing machine, huh?

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

So what’s your area of expertise? Feminist academic theory? Prof of gender studies?

Kittehserf
8 years ago

“(Which conveniently rhymes with sex, the not getting of which is the core MRA issue.)”

Especially in a New Zealand accent. 😉

pecunium
8 years ago

It might be a lie (but you’ll some proof that it’s a lie). But even if it’s untrue, it’s not libel.

Libel (in the US) is a complicated thing. First, it’s a civil tort, not a criminal complaint. That means the burden of proof is lower. But it’s also hemmed by a lot of court cases.

The most important is Times v Sullivan which says that a public figure can’t be libeled merely by the printing of an untruth, but that the untruth much be maliciously intended.

The reason this matters is that the nature of “public figure” was defined in Sullivan to mean any person who has thrust themself into a public debate (for some public figures, e.g. the president of the US this means that it’s pretty much impossible to commit an act of libel; because the idea that anything said about the president could actually cause harm to his reputation, even if false, is pretty much null and void).

So the people who attempted to stage the rally were putting themselves into a public role, which means there is no way any statement about how many people showed up is going to be libelous. If someone said no one showed up because they had heard the Paul Elam likes to blow syphilitic goats, then it might be possible to argue a libel had taken place.

But even in that case getting an attorney to accept the case (given that it might be hard to show that such a statement would actually harm Elam’s reputation; what with him touting terrorism), would be hard. It would require a substantial outlay of money on the part of the plaintiff; enough to make Mr. “Penguins are Whores” Martin’s £36,000 investment in suing against misandry look both a reasonable, and moderate, expense.

The First Joe
The First Joe
8 years ago

Yeah, pretty much no-one in London or the UK gives a shit about this^ storm in a teacup.

This is what’s bothering people here right now:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22630303

The terror attack itself, and concern about a possible violent backlash / fear it’ll lead to the kind of tit-for-tat violence that plagued N.Ireland (and the rest of the UK) for decades.
Which presumably is what these evil murdering fuckbags were aiming for by butchering a man in broad daylight – and then getting people to film them making a statement while they still held knives in their bloody hands.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Oh go away, Joe. Don’t grandstand over that poor man’s ghastly murder.

The First Joe
The First Joe
8 years ago

@Futrelle – You’re an American chosing to talk about my country – just trying to bring a sense of perspective to your obsession.

@cloudiah – Yeah, shoot the messenger why don’t you.

emilygoddess
8 years ago

If the five guys who turned up to their grand launch could be called a presence …

Feminist Lie. There was a larger group.

While we have the dictionary out:


hy·per·bo·le

[ hī púrbəlee ]

1.exaggeration: deliberate and obvious exaggeration used for effect, e.g. “I could eat a million of these”

the not getting of which is the core MRA issue.

Feminist Lie/Libel. MRAs are concerned with pervasive misandry, violence against men, and the human rights of men.

They’re not mutually exclusive; plenty of MRAs seem to define men’s human rights as “women not being able to say no to men”, and regard women actually saying no to them as misandry.

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