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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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mcbender
4 years ago

@dreemr – Don’t apologise to me on their behalf. I should probably do more to push back than I manage, honestly.

Oh god yes, it’s really obvious sometimes when they’re deliberately trying to make you uncomfortable so they can enjoy that discomfort. (I’ve heard that joke before too, and ugh. Why is this supposed to be funny?)

I get a bit of that also, once they realise I won’t go along with it, but it has to be worse being in the actual targeted group; I find more often than not they react with puzzlement why I won’t participate or go along with it, because aren’t I male? Isn’t that how male homosociality works? (“Why are you offended? It’s not targeting you.”)

I don’t know how to teach people empathy, though. It’s definitely a learnable skill in some respects, but people have to want to learn, and that’s where I get stuck.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@mcbender
Not only that, but it’s really uncomfortable to practice when you’re first learning, so if they don’t want to learn really but give it a try anyway they’ll probably not want to try again.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@wwth – I’m sure that is sarcasm, since Paulie actually came kinda sorta within-spitting-distance of admitting that some women might be hurt by this practice.

He’s really half-assing it these days, an MRA at the top of his misogyny game would have definitely found a way to blame all women AND make men the only victims.

booburry
4 years ago

Anyone see this absolute trash piece in Harvey Weinstein by Mayim Bialik? I really quite admire her (at times) but I just can’t with this victim blamey bs.

bekabot
bekabot
4 years ago

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.

Yes, and when you’re rich and famous hordes of less-affluent men will let you lead them around by the short hairs just to have a shot at being in the same room with you for ten or fifteen minutes…so I think the honors are even, at the very least.

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@booburry – I really can’t stand Mayim Bialik. I haven’t read that particular piece, but she really gets on the “biological essentialism” crank when it comes to birth, breastfeeding, & women. Another hugely privileged person judging and shaming most other women’s choices when they don’t align with her own.

booburry
4 years ago

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/opinion/mayim-bialik-feminist-harvey-weinstein.html

Naturally I forgot to link it ?
And yea, dreemr, I started reading all kinds of articles about her support of vaccine quackery and homeopathy etc. I’d never seen any of it before and it’s a bummer. I guess Dawkins should have taught me just because you’re a brilliant scientist doesn’t mean you don’t have huge blind spots.

The Adjunct
The Adjunct
4 years ago

@mcbender

You reported that the premise of those guys’ argument is that ‘sex is a commodity’, and something clicked in my brain. Ah! It all makes sense, now!

Commodities are things like soybeans, pork belly, coffee, etc, that is, they are *things* that can be bought and sold. Sex is an action that requires another human being to complete. Sex can only truly be a commodity if one regards women as *things*.

Sex work is important work and I believe that the people who do it must have the option to consent. When I work as a bartender, I have the discretion to not serve a customer if he/she is behaving badly or is too drunk. Customers do not get to demand I serve them cocktails while I’m not at work, and they do not get the option to force me when I refuse. Bartending is not a commodity, it is a service, which has different rules. Sex work is similarly a service.

I’m not against sex work, but I’m not a sex worker, but I am visibly a woman, and since most sex workers are women, that means (by their logic) that because my body is capable of sex, I am automatically considered a commodity? Even if I’m in a unrelated profession, like bartending? Or acting? Or science?

Frankly this confirms long-term suspicions. I guess there’s a reason why the term “objectification” exists… the process of reducing a human being to the status of an object, a thing, without agency, innate worth or value, except that which is conferred upon it by the consumer. Just a commodity, fully divorced of humanity.

(Sorry if this is rambly…)

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@booburry – at the heart of vaccine denial/clean eating/cancer/naturopathy/homeopathy quackery is both an exploitation of peoples’ suffering and misery, and a way to blame the victims.

Because if you do die of cancer, or homeopathy doesn’t help you, or etc. etc., it’s because you didn’t do it right/you didn’t believe enough.

It seems that a lot of times it is people who are most convinced of their own skepticism and intelligence that really fall hard for this kind of faith-based woo.

Zemyla
Zemyla
4 years ago

@dreemr

You should have stood up, pointed at him, and said, “That’s one.”

dreemr
dreemr
4 years ago

@Zemyla – oh how I wish I’d have thought of that!

K4tt
K4tt
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.

I really hope this is sarcasm.”

Christ, are you serious? Of course it’s sarcasm!

This is why I stopped commentng ages ago. This community has the same problems groups of Well Meaning and Super Sincere activists have : some start to take them selves way too damn seriously.

Well, carry on. Feel free to imagine there’s ablism in this post and start a 300 post flame war over nothing.

Now I’ll return to just reading David’s articles and try to remember not to view the comments again.

“Is it sarcasm”
Christ on a cross..

Anne
Anne
4 years ago

Lame Paul is a piece of shit.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
4 years ago

K4tt,

Chill. It’s hard to detect sarcasm on the internet, especially since MRA types say outrageous things completely seriously. So I asked. The only one flaming is you.

Ellesar
Ellesar
4 years ago

I wish he’d make up his mind. Either ‘nobody cares’ OR ‘everyone loses their minds’ – you can’t have both Paulie, you sack of shit.

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

Wow, Holy Overreaction, Batman.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Now I’ll return to just reading David’s articles and try to remember not to view the comments again.

Okay! Bye!

Bonnie McDaniel
4 years ago

@K4tt

There’s no reason to blow your top, good sir. I have personally seen comments almost word for word to your sarcasm, and they were deadly serious.

If you have any doubts about readers possibly taking your comment seriously, there’s a simple solution. /s (for “sarcasm”) (sorry, had to edit as it was omitted for some reason) Four keystrokes, five seconds total. Perhaps you should consider making the effort.

JessicaRed
JessicaRed
4 years ago

There’s that old chestnut, “resources”. Women are always after resources. I know if there’s one thing I like after a long day, it’s resources!

Can we just change it so any time an MRA/MGTOW talks about women coming for their “resources” we use the word “cupcakes” instead?

Hmm, now I wonder if I have enough ingredients in the cupboard to bake a batch of “resources”…

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

There’s that old chestnut, “resources”. Women are always after resources. I know if there’s one thing I like after a long day, it’s resources!

Men who complain about this topic are just salty because few want to date unemployed moochers who suck all the money out of the working partner. They imagine this complex biotroof transactional model of relationships, when the reality is quite simple.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

Feel free to imagine there’s ablism in this post and start a 300 post flame war over nothing.

Are you a slymepitter or something? You get offended that we actually don’t want to hurt others and so we make an effort to avoid ableism?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
4 years ago

Meanwhile, Woody Allen feels so sad for Harvey Weinstein and other poor innocent harassers

The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved. Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that his life is so messed up

You also don’t want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself. That’s not right either.

Oh, poor, poor men! They can’t even sexually harass their underlings without some uppity bitch filing a lawsuit! The horror!*

Not that I did have any doubt that Woody Allen is guilty as fuck, but if I did, the doubts would’ve been completely erased by this shit.

*That would be how you do obvious sarcasm

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

As Lauren Duca put it:

Woody Allen and Oliver Stone seem scared that the culture around sexual assault will change in the wake of Weinstein. I want them TERRIFIED.

Tovius
Tovius
4 years ago

@weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

He’s just looking out for all those poor Hollywood witches. /s

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

I thought Woody Allen’s creepiness was proved beyond any reasonable doubt by his marrying his ex-daughter. Anything else he’s ever done just adds to that.

Anything he says about sexual mores, I assume is how creepy fucks would like the world to be, so it’s almost certainly wrong (except maybe once a day).

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