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Paul Elam: The real victims of Harvey Weinstein were those denied a spot on his casting couch

This guy again

By David Futrelle

As we round out another terrible news week here on Planet Earth, it’s a safe bet that very few of you have found yourself wondering what Men’s Rights has-been Paul Elam has to say about that whole Harvey Weinstein thing.

Well, today is your unlucky day, because I’m going to tell you anyway.

In a post on his site A Voice for Men that came out the same day as Ronan Farrow’s disturbing New Yorker story, which reported for the first time some of the disturbing details of nearly three decades worth of allegations against Weinstein, Elam suggested that Weinstein’s alleged victims weren’t really victims at all, but rather canny opportunists who hoped a session on Weinstein’s “casting couch” would bring them rewards in Hollywood that were denied their uglier rivals — not to mention most of their male counterparts.

Elam began his, er, analysis by handwaving away the decades of accusations, declaring that

the case against him, as it was with Cosby and so many others, is absent a few things we normally associate with sexual assaults. Like police reports and criminal charges. Like any kind of forensic evidence. Like any kind of evidence at all save the word of women who have collected money from Weinstein on the weight of their allegations over the years.

Apparently Elam didn’t bother to check the news before posting his piece, because then he might have noticed that Farrow’s New Yorker piece, posted that morning, had detailed the case of one woman who not only went to the police after allegedly being assaulted by Weinstein but also agreed to wear a wire during a subsequent meeting with the mogul. To allay any possible doubts about what went on during that second encounter, the New Yorker posted a portion of the tape online. (Warning: It makes for a pretty harrowing listen.)

But never mind, because Elam followed his demand for proof with an admission that, yeah, Weinstein is probably guilty as hell.

Based on his easy payoffs to silence his accusers, and alternating rounds of guilt-ridden contrition and awkward defiance, I think Weinstein probably did do things that resulted in all this condemnation and sanctimonious gasping from the Hollywood crowd. He’s all but admitted to as much.

That said, Elam’s notion of guilt is evidently quite different than yours and mine. He doesn’t think Weinstein is really guilty of anything other than allowing young “starlets” to take advantage of his lust in their quest for stardom, suggesting that we can’t really use

the term “guilty” with a straight face in an industry where the dicks sucked in exchange for opportunities to pursue the limelight can be measured by the mile.

Women in Hollywood don’t just dive onto the casting couch, they pick the fabric and the color that will make them their sexy best.

Apparently feeling that this grotesque argument wasn’t quite grotesque enough, Elam then added Donald Trump to the mix.

President Trump was right. When you are rich and famous, scores of women will happily let you grab them by the pussy for half a shot at some of those precious resources produced by affluent men.

“Happily?” Listen to that tape of Gutierrez and Weinstein again. See if you can detect any happiness there.

But never mind that, because Elam wants us to know that the so-called “casting couch” predates Hollywood by “eons.”

Women have been hitting their knees to enrich their professional lives, be it for money, more authority, power over other employees or career advancement. It’s been happening for as long as women have been in the workplace. And it’s modeled exactly on how women use sex to gain power from men in private life. 

While Elam does acknowledge in passing that some women actually get ahead on their own merits, he declares that this

has nothing to do with the big picture in this argument.

Women, just as they always have, get the bulk of their advantages in life drawing on the resources of men. Men, just as they always have, use their power and resources to attract what they want from women: their bodies.

Now, women using sex to get power meets with little or no criticism in modern times. By hook or crook, they can swallow and get paid for it and it bothers exactly no one.

But Elam wants us to know that there are real victims here — and no, he’s not talking about the aspiring “starlets,” except in “those cases where real coercion and threats are employed.” But Elam seems to think “those cases” are rarer than white peacocks. As he sees it, there are two main classes of victims here.

On the one hand, there are those who never get the golden ticket to the casting couch (or its non-showbiz equivalent).

[E]very time a woman gets a promotion or a raise from fellating her boss, someone else, probably someone harder working and more deserving, gets left out in the cold. Often, it’s other women who are less attractive, or who won’t suck dick for an edge at work.

And then there are the biggest victims of all: the poor, suffering Hollywood moguls and non-Hollywood CEOs who end up getting sued for nothing more than accommodating small armies of Machiavellian ladies offering them sex.

Even years down the road the women who willingly and aggressively pursue using sex to gain power from men can suddenly and successfully paint themselves in the light of victim and cash in a second time, usually to much more painful effect.

Those poor, poor movie moguls!

The easiest path to wealth and success for attractive women is through their open legs. Nobody cares. The easiest path to sexual success for men being in control of the assets and power for which many of these women are not inclined to work. When it goes sour, everyone loses their minds and wants to go postal on the man.

Cue the outrage machine and make plenty of room under the bus for all the male offenders and their enablers.

Never mind that Elam and those who think like him are in fact throwing real male victims under the bus here — most obviously the men who have themselves been sexually harassed and/or assaulted by powerful men in Hollywood.

In the wake of the Weinstein revelations of the past week, actors Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek have both come forward with their own stories of being sexually assaulted by powerful Hollywood men. A Men’s Rights movement worthy of the name would stand in solidarity with Crews and Van Der Beek, just as these men have stood in solidarity with the actresses and other women who have come forward with accusations against Weinstein.

But MRAs like Elam, as always, would rather rant about the alleged perfidy of women rather than lift a finger for any man other than themselves.

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PeeVee the (Tired of the Militant Plasticfaced) Sarcastic
PeeVee the (Tired of the Militant Plasticfaced) Sarcastic
4 years ago

Elam needs to stop pretending that sexual harrassment and rape is somehow a man’s right, or that some men don’t experience this. Tool.

I detest this piece of shit.

IBH Ardipithecus
IBH Ardipithecus
4 years ago

Paul Elam – who’s he now?

He seems to me to be about as relevant as an out of date condom in a convent.

Shadowplay
Shadowplay
4 years ago

Hatey skeevy manipulator supports skeevy abusive manipulator? Hold the presses.

The only thing surprising is that this complete muppet still exists. Thought he’d have receded to complete irrelevance by now. He were almost there last December.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
4 years ago

Isn’t Paul Elam currently living off some poor unfortunate woman?

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

Paul Elam – who’s he now?

AHhahahaha! Oh how the “mighty” have fallen.

I see that, as usual, he neglects to acknowledge that many men are only in this positions of power and wealth because women have been systematically denied the opportunities to attain those same positions.

Chris O
Chris O
4 years ago

Fuck Paul Elam and the horse he rode in on.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

What a disgusting piece of shit. Not that I’m even the tiniest bit surprised.

Doesn’t Mr. compassion for men and boys know about Bryan Singer? Or everything Corey Feldman has spoken out about? Was the now deceased Corey Haim privileged to get to go on the casting couch?

Yes, sexual harassment disproportionately effects women. Especially young women. But it’s been an open secret for a very long time that the abuse of young boys in the entertainment industry is also rampant and by calling sexual harassment and abuse against female victims in the industry fraudulent and/or a privilege (how is it possible that the victims are both lying about the harassment and lucky to have been harassed at the same time?), he’s providing cover for the abusers and harassers of young men as well. And MRAs wonder why they’re regarded by sensible people as the abusers lobby rather than an important human rights group.

I know David already made my point but I wanted to rant about it too.

peak182
peak182
4 years ago

What a total wanker

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
4 years ago

??? Elam really seems to believe that a valid exchange is occurring here – a woman (usually it’s a woman) exchanges her sexuality for money, fame, and opportunity.

POS’s like HW pull this shit because they can.

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
4 years ago

So Paul Elam has seen the light and realized we need feminism so women have ways to get ahead other than by manipulating men? No? I didn’t think so.

Also, an interesting observation: https://twitter.com/keithcalder/status/918598272243126272

Nequam
Nequam
4 years ago

There’s a TMBG video I’d love to post here, but I’m not sure if it violates our guidelines.

Dan Kasteray
Dan Kasteray
4 years ago

Isn’t this the guy who’s already angry about women supposedly using sex instead of merit to get ahead? Or is he just a festering pile of shit who’s always moving the goal posts in his argument ?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Isn’t this the guy who’s already angry about women supposedly using sex instead of merit to get ahead? Or is he just a festering pile of shit who’s always moving the goal posts in his argument ?

This is the guy who runs/ran AVf(some)M, which is the only thing that distinguishes him from the other festering piles of shit who are angry about women supposedly using sex instead of merit to get ahead and move the goalposts in their arguments.

brian
4 years ago

“it happens a lot, therefore it isn’t wrong.”
so logic. such rational. wow.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
4 years ago

Oh, look — Paul Elam is musing hatefully about women.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Part of me is delighted with Elam’s current irrelevancy. Part of me is not so delighted by it because with the Trump era, hate has gone mainstream that AVFM no longer seems edgy to angry men. They’ve moved on to even more shit infested pastures.

Bina
4 years ago

Women in Hollywood don’t just dive onto the casting couch, they pick the fabric and the color that will make them their sexy best.

Yes, Paulie. And I suppose that the potted plant that Weinstein whacked off in also picked its sexiest pot just for the purpose of being used as a sploodge spittoon.

Also:

his easy payoffs to silence his accusers

Fun fact: Good ol’ Harv actually had a contract with his own company in which he would pay the company off to keep silent about his sexual misconduct. And the company was entitled to more hush money than his victims, too!

personalpest
personalpest
4 years ago

Once again, we see the essential ugliness of the Manospherian worldview. Elam’s position boils down to arguing that the only way men and women can possibly interact is by cynically using each other, so everyone should just accept it and stop complaining. What a lousy thing to believe.

Violet the Vile, Wielder of an Ideologically Weaponized Vagina
Violet the Vile, Wielder of an Ideologically Weaponized Vagina
4 years ago

OT but I heard this morning that Ruby Wax once referred to Trump as “the golden ego” and that made me chuckle.

Apparently this was on a plane and he then spent a while stamping his tiny feet and demanding she was removed

Tosca; Chaos made Flesh, Servant of the Purring Jew
Tosca; Chaos made Flesh, Servant of the Purring Jew
4 years ago

[E]very time a woman gets a promotion or a raise from fellating her boss, someone else, probably someone harder working and more deserving, gets left out in the cold. Often, it’s other women who are less attractive, or who won’t suck dick for an edge at work.

*Sigh*. He was so close to a breakthrough there…

Femke
Femke
4 years ago

No, you all got it wrong. The actual victims are the male actors who had no chance to even get to the casting couch simply because of their anatomy. They should sue.

mcbender
4 years ago

Ugh. Disgusting, but not surprising. (The only surprising bit might be that this person is trying to get noticed again, I thought he might have given up finally.)

That said, this particular viewpoint is even less surprising to me in light of a conversation I had with a few of my (male) coworkers yesterday, which left me in a steaming fury for the rest of the night.

CN/TW for rape apologetics. Their viewpoint, to the extent that they had a coherent one, seems to have been that sex is a commodity and if Weinstein offered some kind of exchange and followed through on his end of the bargain, then it’s just capitalism and the women are wrong for speaking out. It’s a sort of naive capitalistic view that those with wealth and power can set whatever prices they like for ‘career assistance’ and if people are going to pay them (because they’re under pressure and have literally no alternative), that’s a choice they’re making and therefore they cannot complain. “But they benefited from it, they became rich and famous so what’s the problem?”

I tried to explain. Power dynamics, systemic issues, the distinction between coercion and actual consent, all of that went straight over their heads. Explaining some of the more egregiously despicable things Weinstein did didn’t affect their view either, they still wanted to come back to the ‘casting couch’ scenario and find ways make the women equally complicit somehow (just like the disgusting inscription for the statue that seems to finally be gone http://www.shakesville.com/2017/10/this-is-victory-we-needed-today.html ). I couldn’t get through in the slightest, and by the time it devolved to yelling at each other more or less had to give up and get back to work.

I almost didn’t want even to recount this here to subject you to it, but it seriously disturbed me to hear this. The people who said this to me are not manosphere types, they don’t identify with any of these “movements” and would have no idea what it is. Moreover, I’d almost call what they said an instinctive reaction – they’d never heard of the Weinstein case before another coworker and I started talking about it, and came out with this stuff completely off the cuff. It just goes to show the extent of saturation that rape culture has reached, and how difficult a fight we have ahead.

This problem goes far beyond the online misogyny cult; I don’t say this to discount it, for reasons that should be obvious in this space, but to emphasise that even outside that aggressive reinforcement bubble these ideas exist and thrive (they seem to be quite deeply rooted in certain aspects of default male socialisation and homosociality), and are frustratingly difficult to fight. I just get written off as that weird angry feminist guy who makes no sense to them, they shake their heads and ignore me. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop speaking up, especially when I find myself in male-dominated spaces, but it gets very frustrating and I wish I knew better ways to make them understand (admittedly, I have occasionally made progress, just by being far enough outside their view of masculinity that they’ve stopped trying to use as many generalisations about ‘all men’, but that’s not much of a victory).

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@mcbender – I’m sorry that happened to you. I wish I could say it is rare, but we all know the truth.

In other examples of casual, deep-seated sexism and misogyny this week: A salesman came into our shop while we were all on our break (3 men, 1 woman [me]). Salesman (naturally) ignores me, and proceeds to tell a terrible joke about a farmer who sends away for a mail-order bride. On the trip home, his horse acts contrary 3 times, and the farmer counts out “That’s one”; “that’s two”; and the 3rd time he gets out and shoots the horse. The new bride gets angry and yells at him, disgusted, asking why on earth he would kill the horse. The farmer replies, “That’s one.”

Yeah, har de har har. A man bought a wife, and she is his property, to use or kill as he sees fit. This is considered an acceptable “joke” to tell in mixed company among people you don’t even know.

And yes, two out of the 3 men I work with laughed and laughed. Oh, so hilarious. (The 3rd man I work with is married to a woman of color [extremely rare here in our rural area in a flyover state] and is as close to a feminist as I’ve found among men here. Not enough to speak up, though.)

The times I have protested this kind of thing usually result in the men laughing at me and exclaiming, “Oh you just KNEW she had to say something!”

God I am sick of this shit.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

No, you all got it wrong. The actual victims are the male actors who had no chance to even get to the casting couch simply because of their anatomy. They should sue.

I really hope this is sarcasm.

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