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a voice for men antifeminism evil ex-wives hypocrisy irony alert men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny paul elam

“Fatherless families bring chaos” declares headline on site run by “Deadbeat Dad”

Well, not so much.
Well, not so much.

Here’s a recent headline on everyone’s favorite Men’s Rights hate site, A Voice for Men:

From A Voice for Men
From A Voice for Men

This seems to be a slightly ironic headline to find on a site run by a man who Buzzfeed infamously described as a “Deadbeat Dad” in a story titled “How Men’s Rights Leader Paul Elam Turned Being A Deadbeat Dad Into A Moneymaking Movement.”

Some pertinent highlights from that piece, by Buzzfeed’s Adam Serwer and Katie J.M. Baker, in case you haven’t read it, or if you’ve forgotten some of the sordid details:

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.

When Elam and the woman Buzzfeed calls “Susan” divorced, she

received full custody of both children … Elam was granted visitation rights every other Sunday afternoon, but only if he wasn’t “under the influence of alcohol or drugs or in the company of people under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” He was also ordered to pay child support every month as well as some previously owed child support and a variety of other debts and court fines. But he didn’t. So Susan took him to court again. Finally, he wrote a petition to the court explaining that he didn’t believe he should be held in contempt of court or pay attorneys’ fees because he didn’t think Bonnie was his. …

[Susan’s] parents convinced her to end the legal battle and cut Elam out of her life without forcing him to prove his paternity. …

According to records, Elam was ultimately held in contempt for failure to pay child support. His punishment was a $100 fine and 30 days in jail. He was ordered to pay $1,200 in unpaid debts, upon which, both parties agreed, his parental rights would be terminated.

And that was that until the daughter Elam had claimed wasn’t his contacted him roughly a quarter of a century later. The two connected, with Elam finally accepting her as his daughter. She broke off the relationship some six years later, she told Buzzfeed, after Elam spanked her son for messing with his fancy new sub-zero fridge. (He denies this, though he does admit he was “grumpy” on the day in question.)

After Buzzfeed’s piece came out, Elam went back to claiming that maybe the woman Buzzfeed calls Bonnie wasn’t his daughter after all. In a post responding to the Buzzfeed story, Elam first referred to “Bonnie” as his “estranged daughter,” then simply his daughter, before adding:

I need to point out that it has not been established that I actually have a daughter. I think it is possible, even likely, but I don’t know for sure.

Somehow I doubt Elam will be winning any father of the year awards any time soon.

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calmdown
calmdown
4 years ago

@Kytoryx and sunnysombrera, I definitely don’t want to start any arguments with my introduction. My apologies if it was too personal. I have thought about the issues you are bringing up myself, but I didn’t mean to open a can of worms by bringing up abuse. It’s really personal and people have a lot of emotions attached to it. However, you seem to be having a reasonable discussion, so the only thing I will add to it is that while I cannot know the mental state of every MRA supporter, I think most of us would agree that its leaders (Paul Elam etc) definitely ARE fully aware of what they are doing. To me, the most important thing to keep in mind is that while many of these men may have real issues that need to be addressed (mental illness, financial difficulties etc.) the leaders of the movement couldn’t care less about them. They are using all of them, regardless of situation, to fuel a hate movement that lines their pockets.

Thanks to all of you for the supportive comments. Again, my apologies if I overshared.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
4 years ago

@calmdown
You’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t worry about it. 🙂

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

It’s natural to wonder why people would deliberately harm the ones they claim to love.

In Why Does He Do That? domestic violence expert Lundy Bancroft points out (at length) that the vast majority of the abusers he’s known are mentally well. They harm their wives and girlfriends, but they leave their bosses alone.

But on this website (see the comments policy highlighted in yellow at the bottom of this page), we don’t speculate about abusers’ mental health. Some of the commenters experience mental illness, and they point out that they don’t harm others. It’s distressing to them to be lumped in with abusers.

You will also be criticized if you denigrate a person’s looks, weight, or economic class, because none of these have anything to do with abuse.

That said, it seems to be perfectly fine to discuss abusers’ (1) character, (2) ethics, (3) maturity, and (4) morals.

My answers:

1. Poor.
2. Lacking.
3. Pffft.
4. Are you kidding?!

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Calmdown
No need to apologize. It’s not your fault the conversation went this direction and you didn’t get too personal. You’ll find people share a lot of personal accounts here. It’s a pretty safe place for a lot of people.

@Ktoryx
You don’t need to be mentally ill to abuse others. You don’t need to be mentally ill to think irrationally. You don’t need to be mentally ill to embrace toxic beliefs. On the other hand, if you are mentally ill, you’re more likely to be abused and people are less likely to believe you about it.

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
4 years ago

Alan: yeah, dish soap makes great bubble solution, and I love how easy-to-handle the bottles are now. Thanks for replying-I love how nice you and everyone else here (trolls excepted) are!

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
4 years ago

@Tricyclist

Parasite feasting on the genitals of the pond life that live in the scum.

A bit long winded compared with a simple “scum” but never mind – hope that helps 🙂

Sold! 😀

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ Nikki

I love how easy-to-handle the bottles are now.

When I was a kid, and Fairy Liquid came in the classic ‘squeezy bottle’ design, there was an advert where a kid made a pretty impressive looking rocket from the bottle. They’ve now updated that advert with the new bottle. The spaceship still looks really cool though.

So, does bottle design follow spaceship design or is it the other way round? Personally I like the idea of NASA engineers just bringing in random stuff from home and asking themselves “Right, what can we make out of this?”

ETA: the X-33 spaceplane does look suspiciously like a Spam tin.

occasional reader
occasional reader
4 years ago

Fatherless families bring chaos

And parentless children are what ? Harbingers of doom ? When you have fucking nothing interesting and plausible to say, the best is still to shut your mouse rather than blabling ridiculous out-of-nothing assumptions. And by out-of-nothing, i mean your brain, of course.
By chance, there are many good persons who are ready to adopt children, not like whinny stingy men ranting about alimony for their own children.

Freemage
Freemage
4 years ago

For those who want a term indicating the sort of patterned-yet-irrational thought we often encounter in these posts, but who want to obey the forum rules, I would like to suggest the term “toxic/mental toxicity”. The memes* that inform the Manuresphere are very much like a toxic pollutant–it’s impossible to simultaneously hold onto them and to think clearly, and invariably, the anti-feminists insist on retaining their mental poison.

*: Using “meme” in the original Dawkins coinage, of an idea that is shared within a culture or sub-culture, not the modern-day version of a picture with a witty caption (and certainly not the MRA version thereof, though of course David’s Memeday posts do give us some insight into the memes running rampant in that community).

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

That’s a good idea, Freemage. I’m going to adopt that coinage.

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
4 years ago

Alan: Yeah, dish soap does tend to make great bubble solution. I also love that image of NASA engineers basing designs on common household objects. Thanks for taking the time to reply to me twice! I love how nice everyone here (trolls excepted) is!

Freemage: Excellent idea!