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Paul Elam

Paul Elam is the founder of A Voice for Men, one of the most prominent and influential men’s rights activist (MRA) websites. Elam preaches that feminism has created a gynocentric society where women are favored at the expense of men. He has used his website to promote violent rhetoric against feminists and women in general.

About Paul Elam

Paul Elam is a male supremacist and a prominent leader within the men’s rights movement. Male supremacy is a hateful ideology rooted in the belief of the innate superiority of cis gender men and their right to subjugate women, trans men, and non-binary people. Men’s rights activists are a subgroup within this ideology who claim to be the victims of a society stacked against men. Elam believes we live in a gynocentric society that favors women’s interests. He repackages the personal experiences and individual shortcomings of men as part of a larger feminist conspiracy to harm them.

Elam is the founder and former editor of A Voice for Men (AVFM) – arguably the most influential men’s rights activist (MRA) website. AVFM mobilized male rage by organizing the disparate collection of MRA blogs and forums in the early 2000s into a cohesive and dangerous movement. Elam has used his platform to publish extremist calls for insurrection against the federal government and coordinate doxing and harassment campaigns. He is notorious for using purported satire and dark humor to get his message across, a radicalization tactic that is well documented and alarmingly effective.

However, Elam moderates his extreme rhetoric in his public appearances, likely to create sympathy and support for his cause among more mainstream audiences. In 2014 Elam founded the International Conference on Men’s Issues to increase awareness and support for the men’s rights movement. For the event he selected speakers who were less extreme and in a post on AVFM he encouraged his supporters to refrain from disparaging women or making violent statements – a dramatic shift from what his readers consume on AVFM. That same year he was interviewed on the popular Australian morning talk show, Weekend Sunrise, where he conceded he believes “rape is a serious problem that needs to be addressed in this culture” before he went on to discuss how false rape allegations ruin men’s lives and disregarded official government statistics on the prevalence of rape as “simply not true” with little challenge from the hosts. This is a popular talking point for Elam, but his language on the show stands in stark contrast to the language he uses on AVFM where he argued women who allow men to buy them drinks or drunkenly kiss men “ARE NOT ASKING TO BE RAPED. They are freaking begging for it. Damn near demanding it.” Speaking at the conference and on television, Elam used muted language and misleading or outright false statistics to legitimize the men’s rights movement. In so doing, he crafts a more reasonable reputation that is likely intended to appeal to mainstream audiences and mask the extreme rhetoric he is cultivating online.

In January 2022 Elam announced his plans to start a new group called XY Crew for men “negatively impacted by gynocentric, anti-male policies and laws.” The group hosts daily meetings as well as occasional in-person events. With this announcement Elam also handed control of AVFM to Australian men’s rights leader, Robert Brockway. However, Elam continues to contribute to the AVFM blog and hosts his podcast, An Ear for Men.

In his own words

“The day I see one of these absolutely incredulous excuses for a judge dragged out of his courtroom into the street, beaten mercilessly, doused with gasoline and set afire by a father who just won’t take another moment of injustice, I will be the first to put on the pages of this website that what happened was a minor tragedy that pales by far in comparison to the systematic brutality and thuggery inflicted daily on American fathers by those courts and their police henchmen.” - In a blog on AVFM, June 16, 2022

“There are women, and plenty of them, for which [sic] a solid ass kicking would be the least they deserve. The real question here is not whether these women deserve the business end of a right hook, they obviously do, and some of them deserve one hard enough to leave them in an unconscious, innocuous pile on the ground if it serves to protect the innocent from imminent harm. The real question is whether men deserve to be able to physically defend themselves from assault when it comes from a woman.” - In a blog titled, “When is it OK to punch your wife?” on AVFM, Sept. 14, 2010

I’d like to make it the objective for the remainder of this month, and all the Octobers that follow, for men who are being attacked and physically abused by women – to beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles. And then make them clean up the mess. - In a blog on AVFM, Sept. 30, 2015

“All the PC demands to get huffy and point out how nothing justifies or excuses rape won’t change the fact that there are a lot of women who get pummeled and pumped because they are stupid (and often arrogant) enough to walk though [sic.] life with the equivalent of a I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH – PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.” - In a blog on AVFM, Nov. 14, 2010

“What I mean is, do women who dress and act provocatively; who taunt men sexually, toying with their libidos for personal power and gain, etc., have the same type of responsibility for what happens to them as, say, someone who parks their car in a bad neighborhood with the keys in the ignition and leaves it unlocked with the motor running? Obviously, we still blame the car thief for the actual theft, but don’t most of us turn to the person who owned the car and at least want to ask, ‘What the fuck were you thinking?’ ” - In a blog on AVFM, Nov. 14, 2010

“P---- is the only real empowerment women will ever know. Put all the hopelessly wishful thinking of feminist ideology aside and what remains is the fact that it is men, and pretty much men only, who draw power from accomplishment, who invent technology, build nations, cure disease, create empires and generally advance civilization. Women – whether acknowledging it makes us feel warm and fuzzy or not – depend on men for all of that and the only tool they have at their disposal to have any sort of influence on any of it is the power of p---- and p---- is powerful indeed…Sexual robotics may well prove to be the best thing that ever happened to women from the standpoint of their humanity.... what would that do to the vast majority of women who would suddenly have to prove their worth as human beings beyond simply being the owners of said p----?” – Paul Elam, An Ear for Men, Sex Robots: Part 3 - Disempowering P----, October 2017


Elam was born in 1957 and grew up in Houston, Texas. His mother was a nurse, and his father was an Army veteran who Elam described as “physically abusive, violent, absolutely rigid in terms of being in control of his children.” In a December 2014 interview with Erin Pizzey, Elam recalled an incident from his childhood when his mother tried to force him to take diarrhea medicine by beating him with a wooden spoon while his brothers held him down. This was the moment he decided it was his mother who controlled his family, and his father’s abuse of the children was her fault. This belief would set the stage for his eventual conviction that women were also the ones who truly controlled society.

According to Elam’s own account, he became radicalized in 1993 after reading Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power. He recalls feeling “instantly enraged. But it was an anger like a light coming on.” At the time he was working as an alcohol and drug addiction counselor. Following this “awakening” he immediately began pushing back against narratives in his workplace that presented women as victims and men as abusers which he now viewed as gender discrimination. This created tension between him and his coworkers but while reflecting on this time in his life, Elam said “in a true sense I had my family battle...set up all over again...I wasn’t going to be controlled anymore by being brainwashed.” During this time, he also began taking public aim at feminism, writing several letters to the editor of the Houston Chronicle about the overreaches of “evil women” and male-bashing feminists.”

In 1999 Elam left counseling and took a job as a truck driver. By this time, he had also been married and divorced three times with two estranged children.

From Deadbeat Dad to Furious Father

According to a BuzzFeed interview with Elam’s first wife, referenced under the pseudonym Susan, the two married young in March 1978. Soon after, Elam turned to alcohol and drugs. Susan said that just months after they were married, Elam sold her belongings to fund a trip to Florida where he was arrested for sleeping on the street, events Elam told BuzzFeed he did not recall. The following year he was arrested again in Washington for illegal fishing and violating the state’s drug laws.

Susan described Elam as having traditional expectations for her and about her duty to run the household. Meanwhile, Elam failed to find stable work and contribute financial support to the family. He was also unable to contribute emotional support. After Susan confided to Elam about how she was raped by his friend, he blamed her, insisting she asked for it because she was unhappy with their marriage.

After three years of marriage, they divorced in 1981 and Susan was granted full custody of their two children. Elam refused to pay child support and tried to deny his paternity of their older child in court. After a judge ordered him to pay his outstanding child support in addition to other court fees and a 30-day jail sentence, Elam willingly chose to terminate his parental rights.

Over the next several decades, as Elam went on to establish his reputation as a leader within the men’s rights movement by railing against the mistreatment of men in the family court system and crying out about what he saw as an epidemic of false rape allegations, he ignored his own willful abandonment of his children and his refusal to pay child support.

In the same BuzzFeed interview, his daughter remarked on how “people come to Paul for advice on parenting, even though he has two estranged biological children that he did not raise or take care of.” At the First International Conference on Men’s issues held in Detroit, Michigan in 2014, Elam called the family court system “the biggest rollback of civil rights since Jim Crow. It is a system that destroys the lives of men and children by severing their bond with calculated indifference.” He also condemned child support, admonishing that “fathers are forced to pay child support as though it were mafia protection money.”

The Rise of a Voice for Men

Paul Elam founded A Voice for Men in 2009, capitalizing on the angst many men felt about losing their jobs amid an economic recession. The website raises issues that genuinely impact men such as high suicide rates and divorce and custody issues and distorts them with inflammatory anecdotes and misleading statistics. With an emphasis on misogyny and violent rhetoric towards feminists, the site scapegoats women as the cause of all of men’s suffering. The site quickly rose to prominence within the men’s rights movement, an achievement he credits to his efforts to “provok[e] the feminist establishment.”

Elam regularly celebrates violence against women and feminists in blogs with titles like, “When is it OK to punch your wife?” In one blog directed at women who have been the victims of intimate partner violence, he blames them for being “sexually excited by dangerous men” and explains they are “insufferable bitches” who push their partners “over the edge into acting in ways he normally would not dream of” to the point where the violence perpetrated against them is “if not deserved, inevitable.”

He often retroactively claims these posts are satirical to ward off accusations he is using his platform to incite violence. This tactic allows him to hide behind a thin veneer of free speech and debate while still mobilizing the rage of his hardcore adherents. This strategy was clear when he declared October “Bash a Violent Bitch Month.” After facing backlash, he defended statements directing his readers to not merely subdue, but “beat the living shit” out of women are purportedly abusive as satirical. At the same time, he also noted “just being satire does not mean there are not very serious implications underneath the hyperbole.”

In a blog titled “Don’t mistake my nonviolence for pacifism,” he insists his website is “doggedly antiviolence” and encourages readers to only use violence when it is proportional and in self-defense. However, this message is immediately undercut by his instruction to react to feminists throwing drinks as “throwing a flammable liquid... [with the] inten[t] to ignite it.” He continues, “I would make my response proportional to someone trying to incinerate me. That means they would have to go down and at the very least be completely incapacitated, by any means necessary.”

His violent rhetoric is not only aimed at women, but at anyone he deems an enemy of his cause. In the summer of 2011, men’s rights leader Thomas Ball took his own life by lighting himself on fire outside of a courthouse in New Hampshire. In his manifesto Ball wrote, “Twenty-five years ago, the federal government declared war on men... It is time, boys, to give them a taste of war.” The next day Elam posted this call for insurrection along with a link to the full manifesto on AVFM and added “a judge dragged out of his courtroom into the street, beaten mercilessly, doused with gasoline and set afire by a father who just won’t take another moment of injustice... [would be] a minor tragedy that pales by far in comparison to the systematic brutality and thuggery inflicted daily on American fathers by those courts and their police henchmen.”

That same year Paul Elam launched, a wiki site purporting to be a registry of women who had harmed men and boys. He published the names and photos of college students who protested him alongside women who had been convicted of violent crimes and even offered his supporters a financial reward if they could determine the identity of a pseudonymous feminist blogger. While promoting the site on A Voice for Men, he promised men could use it to publish the name, photo, home address, phone number, and daily routes of women who had accused them of abuse. While he failed to publish such detailed personal information, the site successfully led to coordinated harassment campaigns against several women listed. The harassment endured by feminist writer, Jessica Valenti, was so severe she was advised by the FBI and flee her home until the vitriol died down.

In the fall of 2017, allegations of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse gained national attention and the hashtag #MeToo went viral as hundreds of thousands of Twitter users shared their personal stories and spoke out against sexual harassment and violence. As high-profile men faced repercussions for sexual misconduct, Paul Elam minimized the allegations and reframe the accused men as “the true victims.” In an October episode of his online podcast, he defended Weinstein against the allegations of rape and told listeners: “President Trump was right. When you’re 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 enjoyed by affluent men. Some women will even get outraged if you don’t grab them. Not grabbing them by the pussy informs them that they don’t have a shot at those assets. It completely ruins their plans.”

Elam called the #MeToo movement a “calamity” and a “witch hunt” while celebrating the negative consequences he believed it would have on women in the workplace. In one article published on AVFM he wrote “…as the inherent danger that most women now represent becomes increasingly apparent to men, the only rational response available to them is risk reduction…Sooner or later, and I am thinking sooner, men are going to figure out that your employee can’t file a sexual harassment charge if you don’t hire them in the first place.” He further clarified, “Personally, if I am an employer… I am going to discriminate against women in hiring. And I think anyone with two brain cells to rub together is going to do the same thing.”

The 2014 White Ribbon Campaign

Rather than spending his time and resources on fighting for the very men’s issues men’s rights activists claim to be interested in; Paul Elam has been more focused on obstructing feminist activities. Notably, in 2014 Paul Elam and A Voice for men attempted to hijack an international campaign combatting violence against women to obfuscate its message.

The White Ribbon Campaign began in Canada following the Montreal Massacre, an anti-feminist mass shooting at a university in Quebec where a man murdered 14 women and injured another ten women and four men. The initiative was started by men who hoped to combat this type of violence by encouraging men and boys to take a stand against violence against women. Today it is a global movement operating in more than 60 countries.

In 2014, Elam launched a rival website with the domain (the original organization’s Australian website was In addition to mimicking the name he also duplicated the original website’s official branding alongside anti-feminist propaganda. The site even unscrupulously warned readers of “numerous attempts by other entities to corrupt the message of the White Ribbon Initiative by inserting dishonest and sexist messages into this movement.”

The copycat site attempted to take advantage of the White Ribbon’s reputation and inundate unsuspecting supporters with misogyny and disinformation about gender-based violence. Articles on the site condemned women’s shelters, claimed the Violence Against Women Act victimized men, and spread fraudulent data about domestic violence rates. Elam explained the goal of this site was “to insert this into the dialogue in such a way that anyone doing research on White Ribbon and domestic violence is going to see our material.” In addition to reaching new audiences, the site also successfully misled supporters of the original cause and diverted funding away from the actual anti-violence movement.

Exploiting Vulnerable Men

Paul Elam claims to care about the emotional wellbeing of men and laments the high male suicide rate. However, in an AVFM blog Elam writes about “the therapy racket” and warns men not to trust mental health professionals. He tells his readers therapists won’t be able to help them because they are influenced by their female clients and concludes with a call for his readers to join one of his forums to discuss their wellbeing.

In another blog titled “An open response to troubled men,” Elam complained about the men who reach out to A Voice for Men for help with custody battles and the other issues the site purports to care about. Elam’s response was “fuck you...tough shit...go fucking bother someone else with your problems. I’m quite serious.” He advises these men to “take [their] fucking quietly and with grace” and complains that so many of them are unwilling to “cough up five fucking dollars to help us out.” In other posts on the website, he bragged about supporters who contributed money from their unemployment checks and chastises those who aren’t contributing financially. For Elam, it is the vulnerable men who he insists are being exploited by a corrupt system who are obligated to support him, not the other way around.

And yet, the money Elam raises does not go to services to support the men in this community. After being pushed for more transparency about A Voice for Men’s finances, Elam admitted “Every dollar donated goes right into my pocket. I spend that money on this website and on activist efforts at my own discretion, considering the opinions of the AVFM management team that volunteers to help run this place...I depend on the site for my living.”

Someone who truly cared for the rights and wellbeing of men might direct them to the helplines, support groups, and other resources that can help men who may be victims of physical and sexual violence, struggling with custody battles, or dealing with a mental health crisis. Instead, Elam’s advice isolates men from lifesaving resources and further entrenches them in a world of bitterness and misogyny.

By blaming everything on women and feminists, he often impedes any progress made on the issues he claims to care so deeply about. He promotes a nihilistic worldview portraying the men’s rights movement and his resources as the only available lifeline. He takes vulnerable men who have trouble expressing their emotions and strategically converts their pain into anger he can fuel into his movement and direct at the women and feminist movement he hates so much.