If you’re a regular, or semi-regular, or even just an occasional reader of this blog, you need to stop reading this post right now and read Buzzfeed’s astonishing expose of A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam instead.
SPOILER ALERT: He’s an even bigger hypocrite than you think he is.
If you need a bit more convincing: Buzzfeed’s long and meticulous examination of alleged “men’s human rights” activist Elam, written by Adam Serwer and Katie Baker, delves deep into Paul’s often sordid personal history, including his drug use, his numerous failed marriages, and the alternately depressing and infuriating story of the daughter he abandoned, who forgave and reunited with him as an adult, and who is now estranged from him again.
As Serwer and Baker make clear, the story of Elam’s life makes many of his most fervent claims about alleged female irresponsibility and the evils of the family court system seem a tad, well, ironic. As the two note, Elam.
preaches the gospel that men’s failures and disappointments are not due to personal shortcomings or lapsed responsibility, but rather institutionalized feminism and a family court system rigged against dutiful fathers, as well as a world gripped by “misandry,” or the hatred of men.
But his own story, to put it as gently as possible, does not exactly support this particular narrative. Serwer and Baker note that
interviews with Elam’s ex-wives and daughter and newly uncovered court records shed light on a man who, they told BuzzFeed News, has depended on and emotionally abused the women in his own life.
For example, although Elam compares the family court system’s treatment of fathers to Jim Crow, he abandoned his biological children not once but twice. Although Elam says that “fathers are forced to pay child support like it was mafia protection money,” he accused his first wife of lying about being raped so he could relinquish his parental rights and avoid paying child support.
His ex-wife [Susan] and his daughter said he has only been able to make A Voice for Men his full-time job because of the women who have supported him throughout his life. …
“He sits there taking all these people’s money and all he’s doing is sucking them dry,” said Susan. “That’s what he’s done all his life — to say it’s the woman’s fault, and not make men look at their own mistakes.”
Seriously, go read it. Here’s the link again.
We’ll talk more when you’re done.