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Mission Accomplished Mk II: Paul Elam retakes his failing site, declares victory again

But will there be punch and pie?

By David Futrelle

A little over a year ago, with traffic at the preeminent Men’s Rights website A Voice for Men plunging as its old-school MRA “activism” was eclipsed by a younger and in many ways nastier breed of antifeminism, AVFM head boy Paul Elam made a dramatic announcement (which I wrote about here): AVFM had won the cultural war, so he was retiring from Men’s Rights activism altogether to take up a new life as a $90 an hour Skype life coach for bitter men.

Now, with the site’s traffic even more anemic, Elam is once again declaring victory, hailing AVFM’s alleged “profound success” in a post yesterday — and announcing that he’s coming back to take over the site he started in 2009. If at first you don’t succeed, simply declare that you have succeeded and quit. Then return a year later when things are even worse to insist again that you’re still the champ you never were.

Here’s a video from Elam explaining the new direction:

Oh, wait, that’s the scene in This is Spinal Tap in which the band, having lost one of its key members, attempts to rebrand itself as a jazz fusion jam band, declaring to a sparse festival crowd that they “are witnesses at the new birth of Spinal Tap Mark II.”

But it seems like that’s pretty much what’s going on at AVFM — right down to the belabored rebirth metaphor. The title of Elam’s announcement post is literally, I kid you not, “Welcome to the rebirth of A Voice for Men.”

Elam is truly a man beyond parody.

Anyhoo, after celebrating AVFM’s supposedly “profound success” in “changing the cultural narrative,” Elam tries his best to portray the site’s increasing irrelevance as evidence that AVFM is TOTALLY WINNING.

AVFM and a small handful of others (mainly the Honey Badger Brigade) have spawned a legion of social commentators … Feminism has rightly become a dirty word. Feminist ideologues are back on their heels trying to defend their hateful ideology to a world that has grown weary of their corrupt message. We have been so successful, in fact, that antifeminism has become a cottage industry, with the new purveyors taking in huge audiences.

He evidently forgot to add “while AVFM chokes on their dust.”

Elam’s new plan for the site? Basically, he’s taking it back for himself, seemingly hoping to use what remains of its popularity to drive traffic to his An Ear for Men ersatz male therapy site. The new tagline for AVFM: “Men’s Health – No Apologies.”

Apparently Elam is convinced that devious feminists are trying to keep him from going to the doctor. (No, dude, that’s the Republicans. And your own stubbornness.)

The unapologetic Elam explains the new direction:

With AVFM’s thousands of internet backlinks in place, assuring a permanent, healthy flow of traffic to the site, we will leverage those assets to further a message addressing men’s overall health, sans the traditional gynocentrism, and sans the unhealthy paradigm of feminist ideologues who see masculinity itself as a problem in need of correction.

He follows this with a lengthy plug for An Ear for Men, where he charges anyone deluded enough to sign up for his coaching $90/hour to talk to him on Skype even though he’s neither a doctor nor a licensed therapist. It’s Men’s Health without Apologies … and without professional training. You will, however, need a credit card.

Oh, and he also boldly declares that from now on no one will be editing the posts that go up on AVFM.

AVFM will return to a very select group of contributors, by invitation only, who will have permissions to enter articles into the WordPress editor, and with solid self-editing as a standard. No more passing articles through a series of people to get them on the site. And no more need to burden editors with the tedious (and quite thankless) job of correcting spelling and grammar. Those who can’t or won’t provide well-edited material simply won’t see their writing on these pages.

Given that the site now seems to struggle to get even poorly-written articles up, I can only assume that Elam’s new insistence on KWALITY posts will mean perhaps one or two new posts per year.

What the new non-editing procedure has to do with men’s health — with or without apology — is anyone’s guess.

Looking forward, Elam offers this bit of inspiration for the troops:

This will be a somewhat challenging phase as we downshift to crest another hill in the journey of A Voice for Men.

I suspect AVFM’s journey going forward will look something like this:

H/T — @TakedownMRAs

67 replies on “Mission Accomplished Mk II: Paul Elam retakes his failing site, declares victory again”

If at first you don’t succeed, simply declare that you have succeeded and quit. Then return a year later when things are even worse to insist again that you’re still the champ you never were.

Got into the habit of reading the articles out loud to my boyfriend again. He cracked up at what I bolded. (Since he’s recovering from a cold, he spent a few minutes coughing and laughing. Don’t worry, he’s fine.)

@ WWTH: Feminism also has Pink and Meghan Trainor. (The latter of whom, inexplicably to me, appears to be positioned as a country-western singer. WTF?)

@ Dalillama: THIS. “By their fruits shall ye know them” and all that. Trump supporters don’t vote in a vacuum. They vote for lots of other things which clearly indicate their core beliefs, no matter what they say to hide or rationalize it.

@ History Nerd: Substitute “Muslims” and “illegals” for “Jews”, and he’s following Hitler’s path almost word-for-word. Which is why we need to stop him before he gets to the end of that path, rather than listening to people saying, “But he hasn’t done X.” Maybe he hasn’t done it YET — but he will.

@ WWTH: You can be a nasty misogynist anti-feminist asshole without knowing about the Manosphere. The latter is merely a subset of the former.

@ History Nerd: “Education” is sometimes possible on an individual, personal basis. If you want to try it with the proto-Nazis you know personally, have at it and I wish you all the success in the world. As an overall policy? We have literally decades of evidence that it doesn’t work.

I thought I was the only person strange enough to think of Stephen King’s The Stand and worry about “superflu” when I get sick. You just made me feel better about myself because I don’t like to feel incredibly strange and if us 2 do it, that means other people probably do too. So thank you for making me a wee bit less insecure


I hope I never know what it’s like to have a summer cold. (Knock on wood.) Closest I got to one was a sinus infection last month. Ended up losing my sense of smell for a while, too. It was AWFUL.

Odd thing is that I was also angry when I got my missing sense back because I thought that my house smelled stale and bland. My sister wouldn’t stop laughing at me for that.

solid self-editing

This really made me laugh. I’ve been a copy-editor for over 15 years, and during that time I must have worked with around 200 authors, all of them professional academics or journalists. Out of those, I’d say maybe two or three were capable of a decent standard of ‘self-editing’, so best of luck with your brain trust of untrained opinion-havers, Paul.

Re The Stand: it’s a bit much to go straight to superflu when you get a summer cold, but if you get a summer cold and you see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ringing a bell, it might be time to start worrying.

I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. I literally almost died once when would I thought was the flu actually turned out to be some crazy rare blood infection. I had no idea. I thought I had a flu that just wouldn’t go away and I was like, it’s been 3 weeks, that’s abnormal so I went to the hospital. I ended up staying in the hospital for two months, and they said if I hadn’t come in that day or the next I might have dropped dead in the street. Ever since then yeah, when I get sick even a little bit I’m kind of paranoid.

Sounds like now’s the time to flood A Voice for Men with articles written by manginas and betas all about the glories of the gynocentric movement.

Also, I seriously loled when he came to complaining about how the medical model of health is too female-oriented. Oh really. Someone doesn’t know his history, the poor dear.

If Elam is going to rely on solid self-editing, then there won’t be any new content…

And if he’s the one who decides, isn’t he serving as some sort of editor? It’ll be only his articles that are posted. Because he can’t actually tell how shittily-written his tripe is.

I await his bold new vision. I’ll start looking for an appropriate funeral dirge.

Mission Accomplished.

Amen to the complaints about summer colds. I’ve got a really irritating one at the moment that’s part seasonal sniffles and part hayfever. It’s really annoying and getting in the way when I cook. And I’ve been doing a lot of cooking recently, so my runny nose has been driving me up the wall.

As for Paul Elam, he’s a fool; the human personification of my cold. He definitely needs to go away already.

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