Paul Elan of "A Voice For Men"
There is a massive collection of websites and social media sites dedicated to spreading anti-women ideas and language. The online empire is referred to as “The Manosphere,” it’s pretty shocking. One of these sites, called “A Voice For Men,” posts statements like “I really wouldn’t mind shooting [an offensive word for female] dead in the face, they are evil, all of them.”
Paul Elam, who runs the site, believes that he does men a service, giving them a space to discuss the ways in which men are disadvantaged in today’s society. He tells ABC that although second and third wave feminism allowed “women's roles [to change] drastically,” men have not being given ample opportunity to adjust and react. Huh? Does he not realize that this is a movement that is by definition about equality between the sexes?
He defends himself by citing the discrimination against fathers in custody battles, and although unfair, prejudiced rulings do occur in family court (towards all genders), his approach is far from helpful: it’s destructive. Although he suggests that he simply wants to open up a dialogue about the way we consider gender roles, his language is adversarial, and the hateful posts on his site are hardly conducive to an open and empowering discussion. For anyone of any gender.
Despite claims of good intention and satire, a lot of it simply comes off as mean and violent. In one post, he himself implies laziness in women on welfare; in doing so, he inadvertently implies that people on welfare are slackers, regardless of gender or family circumstance. YUCK.
Sites like Elam’s can have devastating effects on attitudes towards women. Women like critic Anita Sarkeesian, who admirably pushed for female representation in video games, are targeted by these sites; people of the “Manosphere” threaten death, violence, and even rape to women who demand equality. Individuals created animations that showed Sarkeesian engaging in degrading pornographic acts or being beat up. That’s some pretty evil stuff.
The amazing Jaclyn Friedman, the woman who founded Women, Action, and The Media, is fighting back. Despite being cyberbullied for her activism, Friedman is heading campaigns like one aimed towards removing anti-women hate speech and images from Facebook. "If you look at what they actually do, it's all hateful rhetoric, and it has real impact in the real world" she explains of the troubling “Manosphere” trend. Keep up the good work, Jaclyn!
Thanks to ABC News
Image via ABC News and Cheezburger