Pickup artists, classy fellows that they are, are using Elliot Rodger’s killing rampage as a marketing ploy. In the comments to one of Rodger’s videos on YouTube, a company called Strategic Dating Coach offered their solution to prevent similar shootings in the future: send disturbed young men who can’t get dates to one of their coaching sessions!
While this response to Rodger’s mass killing is uniquely crass, the argument that “Game saves lives” is hardly new. To PUAs like Heartiste and Roosh Valizadeh it’s practically an article of faith.
Apparently hoping to gin up another flood of hate-traffic to his blog, the attention-seeking human stain whose name rhymes with Batt Gorney has posted what is essentially a how-to guide for would-be abusive boyfriends under the charming title “How to Crush a Girl’s Self-Esteem.”
“Gorney” has conveniently arranged his suggestions into a numbered list, so let’s proceed through them one by one. (If you’re triggered by explicit discussions of psychological and physical abuse, please stop reading now.)
I am sitting at panera bread. I got here at 6am, when no one was here. After ordering, I took the only comfy chairs next to a nice fire place and started reading. Halfway through my meal two women came up and asked me to move because they wanted to sit where I was sitting.
Ok, but before you say that this didn’t happen, consider this: Only a few minutes ago a woman demanded my seat, and when I didn’t get up to give it to her she simply sat right on top of me. And by woman I mean cat.
Let’s say — speaking hypothetically here — that you’re the head of what is probably the most prominent Men’s Rights website. A major national publication has just done a piece on the MRM. While sympathetic towards many of the issues MRAs sometimes talk about, the piece highlights the misogyny within the movement — focusing particularly on some of the hateful stuff that regularly appears on your website.
The piece also contains an extended profile of your site’s “Editor In Chief,” which portrays him as someone who, while having a certain charisma, is an angry, paranoid fanatic and a compulsive liar. The piece ends by suggesting that “radicals” like those on your website are doing your movement more harm than good, and notes that those who are doing the real work of helping men in need don’t want anything to do with the Men’s Rights movement.
Well, if you’re Paul Elam of A Voice for Men, you celebrate, because in the midst of all this, the author of the piece calls you “the closest thing the movement has to a rock star.” No, really.
Those interested in the psychology of narcissistic self-delusion may wish to set aside some time to watch the video below, in which the three dudes at the top of the A Voice for Men masthead — Paul Elam, John Hembling, and Dean Esmay — discuss R. Tod Kelly’s recent piece about the Men’s Rights movement.
I took the time to watch the whole thing the other night — well, to listen to it while playing Candy Crush, to be completely honest — and it is filled with astonishing moments. For those who don’t have the time or psychic energy to listen to the whole thing, I will provide some details below.
The tone of the video is, overall, one of jocularity; three very self-satisfied guys basking in self-praise and talking shit about women they hate.
The two most revealing moments come relatively early on in the more than hour-long video; if you watch nothing else in this video, make sure to watch these.
At 9:25 Dean brings up Kelly’s characterization of Elam as a “rock star.” (Technically, Kelly called him “the closest thing to a rock star” in the MRM, but let’s not split hairs.) Elam responds with some of the least convincing false modesty I think I’ve ever seen; it’s clear he’s pleased as punch. Just watch it.
Several minutes later, starting at about 12:22, the gang moves on to Kelly’s characterization of Hembling as a “superstar.” (Technically, Kelly said that Hembling was “well on his way to being [the MRM’s] first superstar,” but what’s a little hyperbole amongst friends?) Like Elam, Hembling affects a certain false modesty, pretending to be oh-shucks embarrassed by the attention, but he too is bursting with pride.
At one point he makes a reference to a famous line from Monty Python’s Life of Brian — “He’s not the messiah! He’s a very naughty boy!” — suggesting that he may have convinced himself that Kelly has proclaimed him not just a superstar but Jesus Christ Superstar.
Hembling — who is the A Voice for Menner that Kelly portrayed as a fanatic who seems to have more than a little bit of trouble with the truth — never really addresses Kelly’s accounts of some of his most dubious claims — his story of being confronted by a mob of boxcutter-weilding feminists, which seems to have been a largely peaceful encounter with a tiny handful of activists who did nothing more threatening than taking down some posters; and his story of intervening to stop a rape in progress, which appears to be a complete fabrication.
But, at about 23 minutes into the discussion, he does address — sort of — an infamous old video of his in which he declared that “I … don’t give a fuck about rape victims any more.” Hembling’s explanation is a little less than coherent, and seems to consist of three main assertions.
He did it a long time ago, when he had very few subscribers, and when he didn’t even really think of himself as a Men’s Rights activist, no wait, he probably did think of himself that way.
It was “hyperbolic parody” — a rather strange way to describe an angry video that contains not one element of parody at all.
Evil feminists goaded him into it by calling him a rape apologist.
Despite all this, he doesn’t really renounce or apologize for the video.
Elam, for his part, seems to think that Hembling is being much too apologetic. At about 27:30 he jumps into the discussion, defending Hembling’s video.“We’re not the world’s unpaid bodyguards,” he declares. After mocking 20/20 correspondent Elizabeth Vargas for telling him that she would intervene if she saw a rape in progress, he announces:
I don’t find it particularly hyperbolic for a man to say I’m not going to give a damn about female rape victims any more. They have tons of money, of law enforcement, of special programs funded by government, of social consciousness; schools have Take Back the Night rallies, everything you can possibly think of …
I stand behind John for making that video. I don’t know if I would take it down. I don’t blame him for doing it.
At about 35 minutes into the video, the three move on to talking about some of the women that internet misogynists — some of them Men’s Rights activists, many of them not — have targeted for harassment in recent years, most notably Anita Sarkeesian, known for her videos critiquing sexist tropes in the video games, and feminist “skepchick” Rebecca Watson, who’s been harassed for several years for the crime of once complaining about a dude who propositioned her in an elevator at 4 AM. .
The Daily Beast article touched briefly on the harassment directed at Watson, and AVFM’s contribution to the hostile climate she faced and still faces online; as Kelly points out, Elam described her as a “lying whore” and Hembling made several distinctly misleading videos about her. And while Kelly didn’t mention Sarkeesian, she is apparently going to be a central focus of the upcoming 20/20 story about the Manosphere.
The three AVFMers spout such a bunch of malignant nonsense on the topic of these women and the harassment they have faced that I feel it necessary to quote them at length.
At about 37 minutes in, the three are discussing Sarkeesian when one of them — my notes aren’t clear — brings up a favorite anti-Sarkeesian talking point: that she went onto 4chan to publicize her videos. At this point an indignant Dean Esmay launches into a rant:
Anyone who knows anything about 4chan knows that the whole culture on 4chan is that people love insulting each other, and insulting everything in the popular culture, and you win on 4chan by being the most offensive person. So just by going on 4chan you’re looking for that. You are asking for it. … And I don’t mean that in the “she was asking for it” [sense] but she was!
Aside from the victim blaming, there is one other big problem with this argument: it doesn’t seem to be, you know, true. When I looked into this claim, the only “evidence” I could find was this thread on 4chan in which someone using the name of Anita Sarkeesian promotes her Kickstarter. But this “Anita Sarkeesian” explicitly says that they’re NOT actually Sarkeesian, and throughout the comments they refer to her in third person.
Back to the AVFM video, where Esmay is continuing his rant:
Esmay: And furthermore Anita Sarkeesian had a long history of closing comments on her videos so that no one who wanted to argue with her could rebut her, but amazingly when she started the kickstarter campaign she opened the gates and allowed all the commentary.
Elam: Just a coinicidence, I’m sure, Dean.
Esmay: Just a coinicidence. So anybody who ever had any anger at her suddenly had an outlet. She created a damsel in distress situation for herself.
That’s right. Closing her comments was an act of evil manipulation, leading to pent-up angry dude anger. And opening the comments up was an act of manipulation, by giving the angry dudes an outlet. Because clearly she wanted nothing more than to be harassed endlessly by angry dudes on the internet. Because women totally love that shit.
“But in any case,” Esmay asks,”is there a shred of evidence that that was mostly Men’s Rights Advocatists?”
Yes, he really says “advocatists.”
I don’t know about the “mostly, but there’s certainly plenty of hints that suggest MRAs were pretty heavily involved in the anti-Sarkeesian harassment. Like, for example, the fact that there have been 70 posts about Sarkeesian posted to the Men’s Rights subreddit, many of them receiving hundreds of upvotes and inspiring hundreds of comments of which most can be assumed to be hostile, at least based on the rather large sampling of them I’ve read over the months. And AVFM, while not quite this active on the anti-Sarkeesian front, did run as assortment of its own posts on the subject, with titles like “Anita Sarkeesian and the feminist war on facts” (a bit ironic, that) and “Anita Sarkeesian: still a moneygrubbing liar” (some irony there too, huh?).
Elam, for his part, claims there’s “no shred of evidence” that any of the “supposed threats” that Sarkeesian, Watson, or a particular red-haired Canadian activist AVFM has been fixated on came from MRAs. Well, given that a lot of these sorts of threats are, you know, anonymous, that is a little hard to prove, though when I looked at people making nasty and threatening remarks about the red-haired activist on YouTube I found that (at least in the cases of those I was able to find out any information about them) a significant minority of them seemed to be MRAs or at least regular readers of MRA and/or manosphere blogs — and/or to be fans of the misogynistic asshole who calls himself the Amazing Atheist, a noxious YouTube personality that A Voice for Men has celebrated and linked to on more than a few occasions.
And then there‘s Elam‘s characterization of Watson as a “lying whore,” a characterization he is more than happy to repeat several times on the video.
At about 41 minutes in, Hembling then tells an assortment of untruths about the now infamous elevatorgate incident that led to years of harassment directed at Watson. Having just had some of his most famous untruths publicly exposed to a national audience, you would think Hembling might want to be a bit more careful about his factchecking. Nope.
Hembling: There was a convention in Ireland I believe, where late at night in the hotel convention center she got on an elevator after being in the bar quite late and someone from the convention approached her in the elevator and said “I think you’re very interesting and attractive and would you like to come and have coffee in my room, which is obviously code for let’s get naked and hump.
[At this point Elam lets out a cackle[
Hembling: Obviously he was drunk, possibly blind drunk.
Elam: [Laughs uproariously] It was Irish coffee.
Hembling: Watson then went online and did a video admonishing the male members of the atheist community, of which she was a part, “guys don’t do that,” and characterized this conversation in the elevator as if it was some sort of great, terrible, frightening threat, and crafted her victimhood out of that, and essentially used that story to launch a professional speaking career on the atheist circuit.
Cool story, except for the fact that Watson actually did none of those things beyond the bit about saying “guys, don’t do that.” Here’s a transcript of what she actually did say, which I found here in about 30 seconds by typing the words “rebecca watson transcript elevatorgete video” — typo and all — into a very helpful internet site you may have heard of called Google. Watson was mentioning how much she had enjoyed talking to everyone after her presentation at the conference
except for the one man who, um, didn’t really grasp, I think, what I was saying on the panel…? Because, um, at the bar later that night—actually, at four in the morning—um, we were at the hotel bar, 4am, I said, you know, “I’ve had enough, guys, I’m exhausted, going to bed,” uh, so I walked to the elevator, and a man got on the elevator with me, and said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more; would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”
Um. Just a word to the wise here, guys: Uhhhh, don’t do that. Um, you know. [laughs] Uh, I don’t really know how else to explain how this makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but I’ll just sort of lay it out that I was a single woman, you know, in a foreign country, at 4am, in a hotel elevator with you, just you, and—don’t invite me back to your hotel room, right after I’ve finished talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner.
That’s it. Being propositioned by a guy alone in an elevator at 4 AM made her feel “incredibly uncomfortable.” No elevation of the proposition into a “great, terrible, frightening threat.” No elaborate narrative of victimhood. Just her saying: hey, this makes me uncomfortable. The reaction to these remarks are what caused the Elevatorgate shitstorm, which is evidently still ongoing, as evidenced by Mr. Hembling’s desire to retell the — false — narrative of the evil Watson.
Indeed, Hembling actually thinks that the incident never happened, because Watson never named the dude. And so Watson’s seemingly innocent remarks, at the end of an informal, unscripted video, were apparently part of her secret master plan to take over the atheist universe.
It’s just a story to further this narrative of victimhood that Watson used to launch this speaking career and make herself supposedly famous and important.
Projection ain’t just something they do in movie theaters.
Enjoy your time in the limelight, fellas! You’re really, truly not doing yourself or your ostensible movement any favors. Maybe someday you will realize this. But probably not.
Some people dream of going back in a time machine and strangling baby Hitler in his crib, thus preventing World War II, the Holocaust, any number of stupid memes. Our dear friend Heartiste — the repellent right-wing pickup guru — dreams instead of delivering the incredibly wussy teenage Hitler his own Sixteen Commandments of Poon, thus saving young Adolph from the horrors of Betahood and perhaps also preventing World War II, etc.
Heartiste, who evidently gets his news from seven-year-old stories in the Daily Mail, has been reading about a not-so-new book that tells the story of teenage Hitler’s unrequited crush on a girl named Stefanie Isak. To hear the Daily Mail tell it, Hitler was quite the beta simp, watching from a distance in fury as alpha male army officers charmed (and won over) the young lass. Heartiste is driven to comment:
In Slate, writer Andy Hinds has provided us all with one of the most cringe-inducing “unsolicited penis updates” since our old friend Paul Elam filled us in on which “fuckmuffin” body parts make his Little Elam happiest.
Hinds starts off by assuring us he’s one of the feminist Good Guys, a stay-at-home-dad who respects the heck out of the ladies:
So The Spearhead has weighed in on the Cleveland abduction cases, and has not failed to disappoint.
Spearhead head boy WF Price uses the terrible unfolding drama as an opportunity to attack the notion of patriarchy. His logic: the alleged abductors weren’t rich dudes, so therefore patriarchy is a lie. No, really, that’s his argument:
Regular readers of this blog, for better or worse, know one thing that makes “Men’s Human Rights Activist” Paul Elam’s penis happy: The prospect of harassing feminists. He is, after all, the man who wrote of one feminist that “that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.”
Now Mr. Elam has given us a rather more complete account of what it is that pleases his penis. I’m not sure there was any great demand for this information, but he has chosen to release it, and so here we are.
In a post with the tasteful title “on tits, ass and fucktards,” Elam informs the world that he is in fact a fan of the first two items in this list – that is, tits and ass. He is also, he goes on to explain, a lover of
Sorry, I have to stop for a moment to remind you that you are about to read about things that give Paul Elam — yes THAT Paul Elam — a boner.
I will not think any less of you if you stop reading right here.
If you are ready and willing to continue, here we go:
I like well-formed thighs that lead up to the promise land, and smooth knees above shapely calves. Of course, all that combined with a woman’s pretty face is a crowning glory; full lips that promise supple kisses and great blow jobs, clear eyes and unblemished skin. All this combines to make a woman utterly fuckable, and visually that is what I like most of all. I like to look at women that are little fuckmuffins.
Yes, he actually wrote all that, attached his name to it, and posted it for other people to see.
But as much as Elam likes to look at “little fuckmuffins” he does not actually seem to like most of them very much.
After roughly 150 words devoted mostly to cataloguing his favorite female body parts, Elam evidently runs out of nice things to say about women, and so he returns again to his favorite pastime, devoting the bulk of the post to a rant explaining how much he hates “feminist fucktards,” traditionalist women, and women with Facebook accounts.
While happy enough with “fuckmuffins [who] are sexually liberated and adventurous” and who “like to please and be pleased,” Elam informs the world that he feels no such love for all those awful “fuckmuffins” who “liv[e] life with prudish sticks up their asses made from the same wood that forms the chips on their shoulders.”
He’s also mighty pissed at all those who aren’t interested in hearing him expound at length on what his penis likes.
Of the now almost endless list of things that have grown annoyingly stupid and sanctimonious about feminism is the Victorianesque shaming of my sexual programming as a man. Even with the so called “sex positive” feminists, the most hypocritical assholes of them all, the only positive sexuality they embrace is that of women. To them, male sexuality, in all its glory, is something to be buried, controlled and allowed to surface only when it serves the sexual needs of some narcissistic, horny, self-absorbed little “sex positive” princess.
Unfortunately, more traditional-minded women aren’t much interested in hearing about his penis either. And for some reason they, like feminists, think that there might be some sort of connection between men and rape.
Who are those traditionalists? You will know them by their obsequious silence while feminists shame men for committing the scurrilous act of looking at women sexually. Or better yet, as they join in with their “men can stop rape” bedfellows to twist and distort the natural inclinations of young men with Puritan sexual guilt that marches in lockstep with the feminist hatred of male sexuality.
Elam stops for a moment to reassure his readers that despite all that stuff about “well-formed thighs” and blow-job lips he prefers Good Women to mere “fuckmuffins.”
Now, all that being said, is woman-as-fuckmuffin all I care about? Hardly. As a matter of fact, I would throw fuckmuffin to the curb faster than you can say “patriarchy” to spend time with a woman of good character and intelligence. I have learned in life that my dick has a healthy agenda for humanity, but not necessarily for me. So as my values have matured, so has my taste in women.
Heck, it turns out he actually sort of hates “fuckmuffin.” After all, he tells us,
fuckmuffin … is prone to act indignant when she feels sexualized (by the wrong guy). She can become so angry at being “objectified” that you can see her tits shake right through that tight sweater with the neckline that plunges to the vicinity of her toes.
And then he compares her to a bug:
Time and experience will lead [men] to understand that fuckmuffin should be regarded with same respect as you would afford a stinging insect.
Basically, he explains, the only problem with lustful young men who ogle women is that they haven’t learned to hate women enough quite yet. And so women shouldn’t complain when young guys stare at them. Or when they don’t. As far as I can figure it, he thinks women shouldn’t ever complain about anything.
Leave [young men] the fuck alone. There is nothing wrong with them. Nothing needs to be fixed. If you want to help a young man like that, just start encouraging him to connect the dots between fuckmuffin’s propensity to take her own picture and post it to Facebook four times a day and her ultimate tendency to make him miserable. Eventually he will get the connection. And if he doesn’t, maybe that makes him happy. Either way, it is none of your fucking business.
And so ends what’s probably the strangest work of erotica I think I’ve ever read.
Sometimes my job here is too easy. Usually I have to leave the confines of my own blog to find examples of misogyny to share on the blog. Today, the misogyny came right to me, in the form of a cartoon-villain-esque monologue deposited directly into the comments here by a proud woman-hater named Mark Minter.
Oh, but don’t call him a misogynist. Because Mr. Minter has declared war not only on women (and on me) but on language itself. Rejecting the dictionary definition of “misogynist” as “one who hates women,” Minter declares himself to be a “woman hater” but somehow not a misogynist. I don’t get it either. Here’s his, er, argument: