The men’s rights website A Voice for Men has a well-earned reputation for misogyny. It’s founder, Paul Elam, has published a variety of woman-hating screeds in the past, and made statements promoting the rape and physical abuse of women. (Usually when an article crosses the line he makes a ham-fisted attempt at passing his hate speech off as “satire.”) Other notable AVfM columnists, such as Dean Esmay and Warren Farrell, are equally toxic in their denunciations of women’s rights. Since Elam et al.
are gearing up for recently announced the cancellation of their second annual International Conference on Men’s Issues in late October, here’s a friendly reminder that AVfM has promoted numerous bigots and wingnuts who not only embrace sexism, but who have also made dehumanizing statements about Jews, people of color, and other religious and racial minorities. Here are five such examples:
1. Robert Stacy McCain
A conservative blogger and author who once held a job writing for the far-right Washington Times, Robert Stacy McCain has been a longtime opponent of women’s rights. In a recent guest column for AVfM McCain referred to feminism as a “totalitarian movement,” and accused women who’ve had abortions of participating in a form of “blood sacrifice” in order to “appease their need for sadistic vengeance against the society they blame for their personal unhappiness.” While AVfM describes McCain as “an award-winning journalist” it neglects to mention his ties to various extremist groups, such as the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South, whose members openly advocate Southern secession.
In 2002 McCain (under the pen name “Burke C. Dabney”) authored an article entitled “Race and Teenage Pregnancy” for the white nationalist publication American Renaissance, in which he denounced attempts to reduce unwanted pregnancies among white teenagers as “yet another form of racial suicide.” “If crusaders against teenage motherhood were serious,” he wrote, “they would concentrate on the black and Hispanic girls who account for more than half of teenage births.” Lest people think McCain’s ties to racist organizations are in some way accidental on his part, McCain wrote in a private email that “a number of perfectly rational people” react to images of interracial couples with “an altogether natural revulsion.”
2. Paul Ray Ramsey
Paul Ray Ramsey, a prominent Dark Enlightenment “thinker,” is another individual with ties to American Renaissance (he’s spoken at their past three conferences). Known by his online handle “RamZPaul” — and dubbed “the Smiling Nationalist” by his fans — Ramsey is a sort of David Duke for the digital age, a prolific video blogger who uses satire to spread his ideology of racial separatism and anti-feminism. In one video Ramsey claimed that black folks “don’t have the IQ, they don’t have the self-control” to refrain from assaulting whites, and compared them to rattlesnakes. In a video response to the controversial Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby , Ramsey, a staunch anti-suffragist, mocked outraged women and feminists, saying that the five justices responsible for the opinion “have real issues with women.” In fact, he said, “when they wrote their official court brief, they said they ruled that way because they hate women, and they want to rape them. That’s their official legal position.” Nonetheless, Paul Elam has promoted Ramsey’s work on AVfM and admitted to having “enjoyed many of [Ramsey’s] videos.”
3. Amartya Talukdar
According to AVfM Amartya Talukdar is a “dedicated humanist living in Kolkata in India” and a “relentless campaigner for Indian and family values.” Evidently those values include a husband’s absolute right to have sexual relations with his wife regardless of whether or not she consents, since Talukdar believes laws against marital rape amount little more than a “feminist tool to criminalize marriage in India.” In a guest post for AVfM Talukdar wrote that the “concept of marital rape is an oxymoron.” Marriage is a “licence for sex” in his eyes, and if a woman ever wishes to refuse sex for any reason then tough luck — she should have filed for divorce instead. “If a man should not subject his wife to physical pain,” he reasoned, “the wife should not subject him to the rigors of the criminal justice system.” (This article is, inexplicably, still featured prominently on AVfM, whose members and supporters still bill themselves as “human rights activists.”)
Arguably worse than Talukdar’s rape apologia is his noxious anti-Semitism. Talukdar, it seems, has a penchant for Holocaust denial and a strong adoration for Adolf Hitler. In a series of Tweets, he referred to the systematic extermination of some six million Jews and millions of other “undesirables” as a “byproduct of allied propaganda just like Saddam’s weapon of mass destruction” and “Stalinist propaganda devoid of any facts.” He then added in another Tweet, “Hitler is the tallest person in history. More you ridicule, more you invent stories of Holocaust [sic], he becomes even bigger. Hail.” When Dave Futrelle of the feminist blog We Hunted the Mammoth brought these statements to the attention of AVfM managing editor and COO Dean Esmay, Esmay bafflingly responded by calling Futrelle a “sociopathic sadist” and a “stalker madman.” Go figure.
4. Stefan Molyneux
Last April AVfM announced it would hold its First International Conference on Men’s Issues in late June. Its speaker roster included the usual MRAs — Warren Farrell, Mike Buchanan, and the like — as well as some surprises, such as Irish-born Canadian blogger and libertarian philosopher Stefan Molyneux. Molyneux uses his podcast, Freedomain Radio (“FDR”), as a platform from which to spread his anarcho-capitalist ideology and other unconventional ideas. An apparent science denier, Molyneux believes there is no such thing as mental illnesses (“There are no lab tests, brain scans, X-rays or chemical imbalance tests that can verify that any mental disorder is a physical condition.”), and his hatred of psychiatry rivals that of the Church of Scientology.
Quite fitting, then, that Molyneux and his wife have been accused of being little more than cult leaders for convincing listeners to sever ties with their “families of origin” or “FOOs.” Molyneux points out that familial relationships ought to be “voluntary” and that if people cannot improve those relationships, they should have the option to “disengage” — what he refers to as “deFOOing.”
Molyneux harbors an intense hatred for women as well. In an FDR broadcast from last year, he blamed the abundance of evil men on — what else? — women who “choose assholes.” “Women who choose assholes guarantee criminality. Sociopathy. Politicians. All the cold-hearted jerks who run the world came out of the vaginas of women who married assholes,” he snarled. “Women worship at the feet of the devil and wonder why the world is evil.” Molyneux’s rhetoric is so deplorable, in fact, that when presented with this quote in last year’s debate with Matt Binder, Paul Elam couldn’t distinguish it from the words of misogynist rampage killer Elliot Rodger.
5. Daryush Valizadeh
Early this year AVfM‘s Mumia Ali (yes, he really calls himself that) published a softball interview with slimy pickup artist Daryush Valizadeh — better known as “Roosh V.” Valizadeh, a thirty-something professional troll, runs the websites Roosh V, Reaxxion, and Return of Kings, a blog “for heterosexual, masculine men” which features articles such as “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder” and “24 Signs She’s a Slut.”
Valizadeh made headlines this year for a particularly despicable article advocating the legalization of rape, supposedly in order to end it. “By teaching men not to rape, what we have actually done is teach women not to care about being raped, not to protect themselves from easily preventable acts, and not to take responsibility for their actions,” he wrote. “I thought about this problem and am sure I have the solution: make rape legal if done on private property.” As abhorrent as this opinion is, it actually makes sense that Valizadeh would advocate legalized rape considering the fact that he admitted to raping an intoxicated woman in his book Bang Iceland.
Lately, as the Anti-Defamation League points out, Valizadeh has branched out into spreading anti-Semitic myths and promoting the work of Kevin MacDonald, a retired professor and white nationalist. Mumia Ali, who became an “instant fan” of Valizadeh when he was operating his now-defunct DC Bachelor blog, had little in the way of criticism for him. “Roosh set out to achieve a list of personal goals for himself, and by any measure, he not only has done so, he’s done so by a pretty wide freakin’ margin,” he wrote glowingly. “No matter what you think of him or what he’s about, you just have to respect that.” Actually, Mumia, no. No we don’t.