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Yes, Cassie Jaye, Paul Elam’s Register-Her site was intended to vilify and intimidate women

Paul Elam: Mr. Reasonable

By David Futrelle

So Cassie Jaye‘s execrable “Men’s Rights” documentary The Red Pill has been causing a bit of a stir in Australia. Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald published a lengthy puff piece on Jaye and her film.

You’d think Jaye would be overjoyed, but no: she’s kicking up a shine over some of the exceedingly mild criticisms that somehow found their way into the otherwise utterly credulous piece.

Specifically, she’s upset that writer Greg Callaghan suggested at one point that “viewers were owed a more balanced back-story” on A Voice for Men’s notorious founder Paul Elam. “You don’t have to dig very deeply,” Callagham noted,

to learn that the now 60-year-old Elam once created a website called RegisterHer, which encouraged men to name and shame women who supposedly made false rape allegations.

This is such weak sauce that I’m not even sure if it even qualifies as criticism. Elam did indeed, with the help of his former best buddy John Hembling, set up a site called Register-Her that was intended to “name and shame” not only alleged false accusers but also assorted other women Elam and other AVFMers had taken a dislike to, including:

Actress Katherine Heigl, who was put on the site after making a humorous public service announcement for the site Funny or Die promoting the spaying and neutering of pets. Register-Her charges her with “endors[ing] male targeted sexual mutilation.”

Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti, who was put on the site for several newspaper columns that the site misrepresents in an attempt to show that she is guilty of “an ongoing pattern of anti-male bigotry and advocacy for the eradication of constitutional rights based primarily on sex.”

A number of young women who attended a protest against Men’s Rights icon Warren Farrell at the University of Toronto. Register-Her used Twitter Tweets from some of the women, clearly intended as jokes, as evidence of genocidal intentions towards men.

And “name and shame” is perhaps the mildest possible way to describe what the site was intended to do. Indeed, when the site first launched, a giggly Elam explained on the A Voice for Men internet radio show that:

If Mary Jane Rottencrotch out there wants to say that her husband beat her just for the sake of gaining leverage in a divorce he will now have a resource where he can come and post your name, your picture, your work telephone number, your address, perhaps even your route you take to get to work, if you bother to have a job.

While Register-Her never made good on its initial promise to post this sort of personal information about its targets, the site was clearly a major part of Elam’s oft-stated goal to “fuck their shit up” — with “they” meaning pretty much anyone Elam dislikes. Indeed, he once warned a critic of the site that:

I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage.  I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection. …

[Y]ou  fucking moron.  Your only real hope is to keep your mouth shut and pretend AVfM and register-her.com does not exist for as long as you can. Because, as you can see right now, anything you say or do will be thrown back in your face like holy water on a vampire.

We are coming for you, and we are coming for all the liars out there that have been ruining people’s lives with impunity. …

You are SO fucked.

Jaye’s response to Callaghan ‘s sort-of-criticism? Well, she may not have mentioned Register-Her in her two-hour documentary, but she did leave some footage about it on the cutting room floor!

No, seriously, that’s her response.

Luckily for us, she’s put the “raw footage” of her discussion with Elam about Register-Her on YouTube. Apparently she thinks it makes her look good — here she is, asking Elam the tough questions! — but she could not be more wrong. In fact, it reveals her to be an utterly credulous interviewer happy to accept Elam’s dishonest spin about his site as a truthful account of “what ‘RegisterHer’ is about.”

If you watch the clip — and I strongly recommend that you do, however infuriating it might be — you will see not only that that Elam’s description of his site is utter bullshit, but also that the highly accommodating Jaye challenges precisely zero of Elam’s assertions, responding to his utterly misleading and at times simply false account of the site by declaring “this all seems completely reasonable.”

That’s apparently her idea of a followup “question.”

If you want a true picture of what Register-Her was really about, check out my post on it here, which goes into more detail than I have in this post. (I borrowed some of this post from my earlier post, but there’s a lot more there I didn’t include here.)

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History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

Plus, there are pretty serious problems with a lack of free speech protections at conservative Christian schools. You need to agree with them on religious doctrine or you’re out, even though they’re subsidized by the government through federal student aid programs.

It’s illegal to discriminate against people based on religious opinions or lack thereof almost anywhere else.

Luxbelitx
3 years ago

@Margaret Pless

That was a great review, and btw really cool blog!

I don’t think I could sit through the whole thing, it has a much lower entertainment value than The Sarkeesian Effect.

So thanks for the insight!

NickNameNick
3 years ago

@History Nerd:

But I still think preventing someone from speaking on a campus often does more harm than good.

If by death threats – I’d agree.

The problem is, given how often people reinterpret the concept to mean whatever they want it to, the definition as to how someone is prevented from speaking or “silenced” or “censorship” seems to become more generalized than specific depending on who you talk to. I’ve come across quite a few people who don’t think student protests are a legitimate way to express grievance and that’s troubling. As is the dismissal of the faculty’s right to invite or uninvite certain speakers to their campus, as though they’re under obligation to let anyone speak there at that person’s behest regardless of whether they deserve to be paid a speaking fee or not.

If criticism or not associating with someone is now “silencing” or “censorship,” doesn’t that mean no one else is even allowed to voice disagreement with another person’s statement or distance themselves from that person? It’s rather odd of people who claim to love free speech so much to also demonize it, but that’s because they don’t understand what free speech actually entails. They simply assume it entails whatever they want, at any given time.

In essence, they care less about championing free speech than demanding an undue amount of compliance and attention.

IIRC, Ann Coulter essentially demanded that UC Berkeley pay for her security detail. UC Berkeley recommended that she hold the event during a week when there are no classes because people are studying for finals. Being on campus would be completely optional for most people and there’d be less likelihood of a confrontation, while people are more stressed if they have to go to class. She canceled the event because she claimed she wouldn’t be available that week, so so much for the “free speech” argument.

Strangely enough, a professor at the local state university had written an op-ed about this and you’d assume – given all the details – there’d be nothing wrong with this…but she made it out to be “silencing.”

By her “logic,” UC Berkeley should’ve just given into her demands and had her speak during a week where she would’ve gotten as large an audience as possible – even if inconvenient for them – or else Coulter was being “silenced.” Like, fuck me, at what point is enough enough? Berkeley, or any place, shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to accommodate a speaker to their detriment and it isn’t as if they forbade her from appearing at all – she declined to speak because they didn’t give her the time slot and benefits she wanted.

To say any of it was “silencing” shows how little they understand what silencing actually is.

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

@NickNameNick

Having anyone come and say anything in a Quad speaking area is fine as long as they’re not advocating imminent physical violence. People give speeches about how all the masturbators are going to Hell, etc. But having an official speaking event costs the university or student union a significant amount of money, and that comes out of student fees and taxpayer money (indirectly through student aid and directly if the university is public).

It’s hypocritical for conservatives to complain about “speech codes” on private school campuses. There are federally-subsidized conservative Christian schools that will expel you for saying you believe theistic evolution is compatible with the Bible (though there’s an in-joke that the schools know students are having sex outside of marriage and don’t really care). Plus most conservatives I’ve talked to about this say they think students should be disciplined in some way for using racial slurs or other types of verbal harassment, so I don’t really see what their problem with “speech codes” is aside from cherry-picking atypical disciplinary cases. You’ll get isolated cases of disciplinary overreach even without a “speech code.”

Plenty of people with the “worst of the worst” bigoted views (including really extreme racist and ableist eugenics views) speak at UC Berkeley and other UC campuses all the time. Ann just has a higher profile.

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

Some of those people are F-list celebrities. I don’t want to name them since that could bring them up to D-list by itself.