Not the standard interview

I have semi-regular contact with the mainstream media these days.  Most recently I was interviewed by Erika Jarvis for the Toronto Standard. Ostensibly the article was about AVfM’s activism in the aftermath of violent protest against Warren Farrell, who spoke at the University of Toronto about the issues facing men and boys.

I am pleased to report that the article was something less than a total disaster. In fact, in issuing a grade to Ms. Javis, I am compelled to give her a B+. Keep in mind that this is the mainstream so there is a curve.

Let me explain how she arrived at that grade.

First, calling me “notorious” in the headline was just a smidgen biased, though I admit getting a slightly egocentric chuckle when I saw it. No loss of  points, though, as it is often the caprice of editors that determine headlines.

Then there are the real problems with the article. The first point, and a minor one compared to the rest, is that calling our anti-violence policy “ostentatious” demonstrates a lack of understanding of things I already know Ms. Jarvis understands. We have to make a show of anti-violence, because until Ms. Jarvis’s article, every mainstream hack who ever penned a word about us either implied or directly charged us with promoting violence. That includes some who have fallaciously linked us to people like Anders Breivik and Marc Lépine.

Four points deducted.

Jarvis loses another four points for perspective. She characterizes a violent protest, in which young men were harassed and bullied, enduring epithets, jeering and public humiliation, for simply trying to attend a lecture about boys, as “impassioned,” and the behavior of the protesters as, “not beyond reproach.”

As thick as she laid it on my actions at times, she made the bias pretty clear.

Jarvis also compared me to Fidel Castro, “before he came to power: relegated to the political fringes, passionate, and ideologically driven.”

What ideology? Deduct four points for baseless conjecture. I don’t subscribe to an ideology.

I also need to point to an issue of intellectual consistency. Throughout Jarvis’s piece, there is an air of judgment about the tactics I employ, a sort of “Eww, thaths naaasthy!” reaction to it all. It’s as though somewhere in her mind a better way to get things done is perched there, waiting to be discovered. Surely someone would listen without all this brazenness and lack of sophistication.

She seems not to notice her own dismissal of that, as she writes:


It’s true I wouldn’t be talking to him today if he’d written some aggrieved, politically sanitary letter to the U of T protesters outlining his complaints.

No, Erika, you would not have. Neither would anyone else. It is the one and only reason we do things here the way we do them. It is not my fault, or the fault of men and boys, that we live in such a misandric culture. When the day comes that the media will contact me because a desperate man self-immolates in front of a family court instead of making every effort to ignore it, then I, as well as many who follow this site, will be happy employ activism more fit for mainstream sensibilities.

When universities start disciplining students for hateful conduct, instead of indoctrinating them into it, the same applies.

Until then, they get FTSU.

Being shocked and judgmental about that is like White America’s clueless outrage over Watts in 1965.

Perhaps on some level Jarvis gets that she doesn’t fully get it. I don’t know, but I am not taking off points on this one. I’ll call it an AA curve for the MSM since I am so slap-happy about acronyms.

That leaves us with the now standard reference to the SPLC. It was complete with misquotes from our mission statement and accusations from which the SPLC has long since backpedaled. That one seems to come with each round of media coverage, which is what the SPLC wanted when they created all those lies in the first place.

Thing is, whoever put it there was speaking for the publication as a whole. I can’t prove it is the doing of Jarvis, or if some editor at The Standard, paranoid that the article was not negative enough, wanted it tossed in.

It doesn’t affect the grade, except to say that if it was from an editor, they get a big fat stinky F for being lazy and dishonest.

That being said, I have to credit Jarvis for her positives. There were a number of them.

One, in her critique of my “Bash a Violent Bitch Month,” article, she actually linked to the com piece and acknowledged they were “swapping stories” (that is feminist friendly mainstream talk for bragging) about being physically abusive to the men in their lives. She also linked readers to the U of T video so they could see the actions of the protesters themselves.

She did make an effort to characterize our conversation, and me, honestly. While I disagree with some of her conclusions, she was open with me about her thoughts, and we talked at some length. I read nothing in her article that surprised me.

I know there will be some here that think I am giving her too much of a pass. I will go ahead and disagree in advance. Instead of the standard spiel about the MRM being a bunch of angry white guys, she acknowledged and discussed the many women who support the cause. And she acknowledged some of the issues we address. Overall, she did well enough to piss off a few feminists, who quickly Tweeted their discontent. I hope it does not cost her too much. We all know how they can get when you actually listen to an MRA.

I told her during our talks that a hit piece is what I expected from everyone in the mainstream. She answered me by saying that, “This story is too complicated for a hit piece.”

Even with the mistakes, I think she held true to that, or as true as she knew how for today.

  • Robert St. Estephe

    Paul, I disagree with you. I think you do indeed subscribe to an ideology, and that ideology is the one that is expressed in a singled sentence:

    “I am not your slave!”

    • Paul Elam

      No disagreement there, sir. However, that is about as far as it goes.

      • Robert St. Estephe

        And that is plenty!

      • harrywoodape

        Ya know Paul…I gotta be straight. I think she has the hots for you. Big ol Texan. Lol. Anyone else get that vibe?

        • Paul Elam

          I have that effect on womyn. :)

          • harrywoodape

            Straight up. Lol.

  • Dean Esmay

    I found it refreshingly not-unhinged.

    I expect them to try to destroy her career for that.

    • Dannyboy

      I hope you’re wrong Dean but suspect she will catch flak for her decent enough article.
      When Paul first announced she had done an interview with him I did openly ask her if she had it in her to be someone like Barbra Kay.
      I think she does, and with a little more work she could even surpass Barbra.
      Maybe she’d like to pen an article for AVfM sans msm feminist editorial collar and leash. 😉
      After all isn’t the benchmark of good journalism telling the truth no matter what?

      • JJ

        After all isn’t the benchmark of good journalism telling the truth no matter what?

        We can only hope; if she does lose her career over this; I hope she brings her anger in writing, and her talent since she seems to have a knack for that to this site while on hacienda from the MSM leash.

      • keyster

        Depends on what your version of “truth” is.

    • corbyworld

      Or, we could be wittnessing the birth of the next Barbara Kay-type. Maybe she will become a voice of sanity. I certainly hope so.


    I agree with Paul’s take on it and it’s a bit of a foothold in the MSM which is a place we eventually need to be.

    Also great comments from AVFM supporters on the Standard’s website on the piece.

    Good Job Everyone.

  • yinyangbalance

    Whats up with all the warning and backslashes////warning//portal/wp-ajax-edit-comments/////////warning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!AHHH!///

    • Dannyboy

      ok glad its not just me yingyang.

      • Turbo

        Me too Dannyboy, looks like the guys are giving the site a bit of a makeover.

    • Reggie

      There’s a funky character up the page somewhere. Going to be bitch to find it but I have faith in the hosts.

  • Bev

    On balance I agree that is a better article than we are used to.

    Most seem to have missed one point though. The picture has brought AVFM posters to notice to more people than our posters could ever hope to achieve in the short term. It has put the “WHY whats this all about” meaning into to posters some people see but scratch their heads about.

  • Raven01

    I concur with your giving her a pass Paul. Not that my say directs much except myself but, I noticed her statement regarding how some types of women were talked about here leaving her feeling like shit.
    To me that denotes a person with a conscience and very uncomfortable in seeing their own part in things they do not agree with. I’d imagine the same thing happened with a whole lot of white people that didn’t have any issue or negative opinion of black and hispanic people but, did not actively stand up against “their own group” even though they saw them doing things they knew to be wrong.

    I’m not predicting the making of a new MRA but, aleast you have found a journalist that doesn’t have some feminist axe to grind just feminist cultural blinders. At those aren’t quite as opaque as our opponents would like.

  • Redfield

    The site comment login screen is acting strange, hope it hasn’t been hacked? previous comments have come up with warnings and some portal script for the people making comments! (directly above their comments)!
    I am sure you were statesman like in your comments to her questions, would have liked you to have marked some of my uni work:)

    • Paul Elam

      No problems. Alek and team are doing a little touch up around the house. Back to normal soon.

  • andybob

    “Reading his site, however, it’s hard not to feel like shit.”

    What possible relevance do the feelings of lady journalists have to the topics they cover? Ms Jarvis needs to learn that the first rule of unbiased reportage is objectivity. Her personal feelings should never influence her approach to a story. It says a great deal that she assumes her readers care about how she feels.

    There’s that sad little SPLC reference again. Seriously, that’s all they’ve got – a debunked and retracted statement from a corrupt entity in bed man-hating radfems? Surely the penny will drop soon that it has been a massive propaganda fail which has severly damaged their already tissue-thin credibility.

    One thing is certain, our opponents won’t be at all pleased to see Dr Elam’s unstoppable march into the MSM holding the FTSU banner uncompromisingly high and proud. Erika Jarvis’ article is another advance in the right direction. It is a great moment.


    • JFinn

      Reading his site, however, it’s hard not to feel like shit.

      Here’s how I perceive the ‘relevance’ of this sentence: it demonstrates how a product of this generation is capable of interpreting descriptive male hardship to be all about women.

      “A misogynist is a male who is in the vicinity of a female who is unhappy.”
      – Academia, media, politics, 4th wave Feminisms.

      I just read a feminist bashing her 5 and 7 year-old boys in her blog for being sexists. She regularly refers to them as “my sexist boys.”

      • GeorgeOlduvai

        “I just read a feminist bashing her 5 and 7 year-old boys in her blog for being sexists. She regularly refers to them as “my sexist boys.”

        Care to share this excerpt?

        • JFinn

          With pleasure!

          The mothers in the comments affirm that they’re having a hard time training their sons to become self-hating feminists. ONE OF THEM AS AN MRA SON. And the last comment is by an actual MRA. Enjoy!

          • PHX MRA

            Good Link. Classic example of a gender feminist PhD spewing lies about feminism.

            The real winner is the female commentator that said her son finally “forgave her” for having him on Ritalin for eight years because she didn’t know any better. Stupid Bitch. Probably another single mother that has no clue how to handle a boy without ruining him for life.

            My ex did that shit with one of my boys and it didn’t stop until I threatened to quit paying child support and take her to CPS.

          • TheBiboSez

            What a shock – they closed the comments on that post.

            Growing up in a religious community, I often heard “read what the Bible says” whenever I asked difficult questions. The problem was, I actually did – that’s why I’m an atheist, and also where my handle “TheBiboSez” comes from.

            I can only guess that feminism works the same way – study it in enough depth, and inevitably one becomes an MRA.

          • Kimski

            One of those links that always gets my temper up in the red zone.

            What a collection of outstanding morons, all of them.

          • Dean Esmay

            She’s surprised her sons are “sexist” and push back and try to establish some sort of positive male identify for themselves despite their best efforts to shove a pseodoscientific quasi-religious ideology down their young throats?

            If she were a scientist for real she might consider that she and her husband are actually abusing their sons with this pseudoreligious ideology. Expect them to grow up either with a massive inferiority complex, possible gender dysphoria, or other major dysfunction.

          • scatmaster

            Why not contact the blogger and ask her why she closed comments after one negative post and kept it there. The screed was written over a year ago and she just closes it now. What a chicken shit. Of course we have all seen it before. Feminism does stand up to impartial moderated debate. I will say it again chicken shit.

          • Kimski


            Well, I’m probably to blame for that.

            I took the time to respond to the article, and in a few well chosen sentences I told her exactly what I thought about her attempts to indoctrinate and brainwash her sons, and which consequences she could look forward to as a result. Pretty much along the lines of what Dean Esmay mentions in his comment, just in a much harsher language.

            My promise to moderate my language went completely out the window, that’s how angry I got, and the post stayed up for less than 2 minutes.

            And people wonder why I say that some women shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near boys.

          • Reggie

            Comments closed. If they come here:



            These are the people your son has to deal with on a daily basis. Most of it will be more subtle, but it’s there and it’s accepted by the society you helped to build and propagate. If he’s going to University or Collage, that is the place they are training these bigots. Don’t ask how you can fix your son, as yourself why you’re trying to convince your son to accept his own imasculinization.

          • Keith

            I tried to post this

            Thank you for the entertaining article and comments and thank you for all the efforts to inform your children of feminist hatred for males.
            We here in the mens movement await their arrival and have the answers to all their questions. We have a special message that they will be excited to hear, a message that feminism forgot to address during it’s celebration of all things feminine.

            Once they hear it they will never be the same and they will never be your sons again. Once they hear it they will tell a friend and he will experience the same thing. It is a very unique message, very progressive, and very liberating. We know that it goes against every thing they have ever been taught, in school, at home and in their own family. Its a very special message just for men but even some women find it liberating. The message that will threaten your future and turn the world upside down. The message that feminism forgot………………

            IS THAT IT”S OK TO BE MALE!!!!!

            The more you remove maleness from the lives of your son’s the more they will push back for their right to exist. Tell your son’s we said hello.

      • cvar

        That really rustled my jimmies.

  • Dannyboy

    I would have to agree with your take on her article as well.
    I do have to wonder though given the splc part if perhaps Ms Jarvis had to do a few re-writes to please the feminist editorial shock collar and leash.

    I do hope to be able to hang my boots up some day as well and enjoy life a little more but until men and boys are given a fair shake I got me some posters, flyers, or stickers to put up and ftsu to engage in, all in a non-violent manner.
    We might make a few feminists cry some crocodile tears, to bad, so sad here’s a quarter call someone who cares. I sure as hell don’t.

  • JFinn

    Thank you, Alek Novy, for all your work in keeping AVFM looking great.

    • Paul Elam

      You better believe it!

    • Keith

      I think he should be called “Super Novy”, but just Alek when your passing out the beer. The guy radiates.

  • Steve_85

    Looks very much like a slightly polished turd. Some good, some bad. Better than the usual propaganda, but still not entirely honest.

    Can’t say I’m surprised. C+

  • Turbo

    Yep, I agree as well.
    There are certainly points of criticism that can be made, as Paul has above and in the comments section of the Standard. But overall it is reasonably well balanced, in fact, very well balanced for a MSM outlet.

    • Steve_85

      Indeed. The criticisms have been made, and I feel no need to repeat them.

      Just because it is better than normal doesn’t make it good though.

  • harrywoodape

    It is too complicated for a hit piece because they are sort of wising up. They see the men’s rights story as a threat because they know it is true. Charm offensives and media recognition are to be expected as they try to see if we can basically compromise or be pacified without giving up the raquet.

    • Perseus

      Correct. Cede nothing to the filth.

      The thumbs are back- fuck yeah !

  • Howard Gordan

    I found one additional major mistake. She seems to think we only are against radical feminists. It’s that and mostly mainstream feminism’s ideals and anti-male laws and statements that we take issue with. For her to read the articles and feel like shit, must mean she also has the same ideals we try to fight everyday, such as exclusion from domestic violence laws, removal of due process etc.. If she didn’t agree with those things, she wouldn’t be feeling like shit when reading our articles about them.

  • harrywoodape

    It is too complicated for a hit piece because they are sort of wising up. They see the men’s rights story as a threat because they know it is true. Charm offensives and media recognition are to be expected as they try to see if we can basically compromise or be pacified. I don’t trust them but I think there is no harm in letting them print whatever they want. Anyway.

  • 86

    Very interesting to read your take on this Paul. Well said, and thank you.

  • Stu

    I think in general, the article was negative to us. It’s probably positive that there is an article at all, even if they painted us as frothing at the mouths, violent and dangerous mad men, hell bent on total extermination of the all life on earth, it would still increase traffic at the site, and that’s what counts right? :)

    But overall I really think there was more negative then positive. It doesn’t matter to me who put the SPLC bullshit at the end, I could see that coming from the time Paul told me he had an interview.

    I don’t like the comparison to any Communist leader, because it is our friends, the feminists, who have much in common with them. Yes, Cuban’s are still living in poverty, but that has as much to do with sanctions applied to them that are even worse then cold war extremes. The Cuban people have actually done a remarkable job adjusting to the lack of imported goods. They would have to be one of the most resilient, self sufficient societies. I wonder if the US would do so well if just one commodity was cut off……..oil, or cut down to the per capita usage levels that Cubans have to deal with. I don’t think there would be much society to speak of.

    I think the reason we see it as positive, and I did sound a sigh of relief when I read it, not because it is positive, but because it is less negative. It’s like standing in line waiting for your turn to be tortured, and you see the previous three guys get burned alive, torn apart, and eaten by wild dogs. Then you just have your legs amputated and you leave thinking…….phew……thank god….how lucky am I.

    We are just used to getting the bullshit and hatred piled on thick. When it’s thin, we think we are doing good.

    I give her……..minus 5 out of minus 20. There is no plus scale because nobody has written anything that good yet.

  • Kukla

    Feminism: Because the gene pool has to drop down somewhere.

  • napocapo69

    Cuba libre!

    • Kimski

      One of my favourite places to visit. It’s cheap to live there, the fishing is excellent, and the women are stunningly good looking and far less stuck up than anywhere else I’ve been. I’d go back anytime!

      • Reggie

        That’s funny. Dirt poor women are always nice to guys with money/food.

        • Kimski

          It helps.

  • bcdad666

    A well-known reporter/columnist at the Globe and Mail told my (by email) a couple years ago that she didn’t dare write about men’s issues too often for fear of consequences.
    I suspect the same fears apply to others regardless of their personal positions.
    The lead paragraph of Ms. Jarvis’ article appears to have been deliberately designed to turn off and turn away the general public. It’s rare to see that kind of language in the MSM.
    A small word of criticism Mr. Elam – it’s ‘back-pedalled’, like the bicycle, not back peddled. Oddly enough, this is the third time in two days I’ve seen this error in online writing.

    • Paul Elam

      Thanks for the heads up. I double checked and it is actually backpedaled. One word.

      My kingdom for an article with no mistakes, lol.

      • Factory

        With the brain power around here? Fat chance escaping the scrutiny… :)

  • UKMan

    “…to be honest I was afraid of being on his radar

    Ha, it’s the feminist radar she needs to be worry about (cue death threats and dead dogs).

    Aside from some of the points already made, and especially that pathetic SPLC disclaimer at the end, I found aspects of the article positive. There was at least some context and balance given to AVFM’s sledgehammer tactics (Bash a Violent Bitch Month); an important mention of Paul’s background in therapy and what he found there; mention of the female members etc.

    “Throughout our conversation, Elam allows me to ask any question I want, and answers with calm and proper consideration. He also isn’t afraid to call me on a couple of things, which had the surprising effect of making me feel like we were having a conversation as equals. I don’t even think he hates women, despite the impression his site gives to the contrary. I think he’s just not interested in making them feel better or comfortable about what he sees as an incredibly dire situation.”

    As an MSM reader, those sentences alone would pique my interest.

    Overall, I got the impression she was rather surprised and liked Paul; albeit as one would like a tiger that decided not to bite them after all :-)

    It would be interesting to hear about any consequences of the article she experiences over the next few months.

  • The Real Peterman

    The notorious Paul Elam! Has a nice ring to it.

  • keyster

    Your going to have an “ideology” or be an “ideologue” by default because you don’t fall in line with their worldview – that women are victims of men/patriarchy, therefore men cannot be victims of feminism. To them “men as victims” is a radical and extreme notion to put forth publicly. To merely discuss it is like denying global warming – – shear insanity!

    At least you were compared to a hero of the Left. More often you’d be compared to Hitler. Maybe send her a Che Guevera tee shirt as a thank you.

    As far as this being “too complicated to be a hit piece”, at least she admitted that biased “hit pieces” against people or groups they might disagree with socially and politically are quite possible by today’s jouralistic standards – to the extent there are any.

  • Cumbria

    I thought it was a fair enough article. She got many things right and a few things wrong but considering her limited exposure to the MRM — she did a good job. Not sure why they had to add the bit on the Southern Poverty Law Center at the end. They didn’t do their homework on that one and it sort of takes away from the article.

    Maybe 2013 will be our year.

  • rake

    Hang on, has the interview disappeared down the memory hole?

    The link doesn’t seem to work, it just ends up at ‘’ and even though at the bottom of the page under “most commented” it’s the top story [nice!] clicking that doesn’t work for me either.

    Just me or anyone else?

    *tried the link in Firefox and IE, btw.

    Edit: and Chrome.