Long story short: He threatened to ban someone who posted a comment supportive of me. I reminded him he'd promised not to do that. He refused to retract the warning. I said, I'm out. Then he changed his mind and retracted the warning. I told him I was back in, if he didn''t pull any more shit. He pulled more shit. I'm out.
Long story long: When I agreed to debate him on his blog, it was on the condition that the discussion in his comment section would be free and open, and that people supportive of my point of view would not face any special restrictions -- normally, Paul confines opposing opinions to a special page for, as he puts it "feminists and manginas." (I know. He's a grown man, and this is how he handles people who disagree with him.) But he promised, in writing:
With respect to any people who may wish to support your POV in the debate, I am suspending the rules for post transfer to the feminist/mangina page. All comments, short of threats or advocacy for violence, will remain in the thread permanently.Paul evidently has some trouble remembering his promises. Earlier tonight, Chris -- one of a tiny number of non-MRAs who've actually waded into the snake-pit that is his comments section to post dissenting opinions -- posted this comment:
Excellent points from David. Still, Elam will spin this in the way he believes will best move his own agenda to demonize women and restore the patriarchy (among other nonsense) forward. Most people know the truth though. A group of male supremacists is the last place most people will look to for the truth about women or domestic violence. Especially since their propaganda is so easily refuted as David has proved. And the crap spewed about women as a whole is just plain nonsense. It’s easy to see why the majority of men shun the MRM, and why NOMAS doesn’t want to be connected to it.As anyone who has been on the Internet for more than about half an hour will tell you, this is not what you'd call an outrageous flame. It's pretty restrained, actually. It was not a threat. It did not advocate violence. But for Paul it was evidently too much to handle, so he promptly responded with this:
You get a warning now Chris. And one only. I agreed with David, offered actually, that dissenters would be welcome to this debate rather than the area I have set up for them at the FAM page.
I do want David to have the opportunity for supporters in the comment area to refute posts made by regular readers of this site.
But this is not a place where you are allowed to come in and make personal insults about me or others. Make your points about the debate. Argue the facts presented all you want.
But making generic, personal insults to MRA’s, simply for being MRA’s, is not allowed here. You have the rest of western culture for that, including the Feminist/Mangina page here.
Can it or see yourself out.Yes, that's right, the guy who normally consigns those he disagrees with to a "Feminist/Mangina" page is complaining about insults.
This isn't the first bit of bullshit Paul has pulled during the debate. Originally, we had agreed to post two posts apiece; he changed this to five. (I went along with this, but he didn't discuss this with me before announcing it to the world.) Then he decided that he could post two responses in a row over the course of 48 hours without giving me a chance to respond. (Huh?) I challenged him on this, and he relented, but his continual changing of the terms of the debate bugged the hell out of me.
And then of course there was his post calling Domestic Violence Awareness Month nothing more than a "month long national circle jerk" and suggesting, as a "joke," that October should instead be declared "Bash a Violent Bitch Month." He helpfully illustrated the post with pictures of women with black eyes, with the caption to one of the pics reading "Maybe she DID have it coming." I'm still not quite sure why I agreed to debate anything with this guy.
Then came his "warning." Now, such a warning might make sense if Paul normally enforced a regime of general politeness in his comments section. But of course he doesn't. For proof of this, let's see some other comments that appeared in the very same thread. Remember, this is the sort of speech that he considers acceptable.
This Futrelle guy is like a pile of dogshit. Dogshit sits all by itself, fetid and foul. Dogshit’s greatest wish is to become a mess on your shoe because then you have to deal with dogshit. “Finally, somebody is paying attention to dogshit!” Even if it’s only for the amount of time it takes to scrape dogshit off your shoe.
I hope that when this exchange is over, we will not pay Futrelle any more attention. We should do what anyone else does when they see a pile of dogshit. Step around it and not give it another thought.On Elam's blog you can vote comments up or down. That one got 8 thumbs up and 3 thumbs down from the peanut gallery. Then there was this, from a familar name, evilwhitemaleempire:
At the end of the day manboobs is just another mangina who wants to get laid at the expense of the rights and dignity of all men including himself.That one got 17 thumbs up. Then there was this one. (I've edited out some of the more rambling bits.) You'll notice that it also contains a number of generalizations about women, not to mention boys raised by single moms:
This manboobs really hates men. I wonder if he sat at his mothers knee taking in all her version of events. I think all the worst men I have ever met, have all had one thing in common, no father. ... Like illegitimate boys, the female roll-model-men – are always first to defend a woman’s honor against men with violence or treacherous deceit. I consider men without male roll models as illegitimate. Woman-made-men. They hate themselves as males but hate the rest of men even more. Woman love these arseholes, because they do their bidding. Feminist doctrine and female narcissistic malice are the base for manboobs attitude’s towards men.... I still have nightmares about what I went through as a boy, at the hands of a feminist bitch, who continues to be rewarded and admired to this day by woman and cowering manginas.Then there were a number of posts that accused me of being a woman, or a group of women. Which is just, uh, weird. Of course, this is only an insult if you think that women are bad, but somehow I get the impression that Paul might possibly just have a couple of readers who do think this.
On top of this pile of crap we can place what Paul has said of me and of feminists in general in his latest contribution to the debate:
The important thing in my mind at this point is to identify and explain what is really happening with these activists, people like Futrelle, who can look at all this information and dismiss it in favor of maintaining a false set of beliefs.
We need to ask why, when male victims of DV are a well documented fact of life, would these people seek to deny they exist and even take whatever action necessary to ensure that help is unavailable to them or to their chidren.
The answer to that, at least in my opinion, is groupthink. Futrelle and the others have had their capacity for critical thought, their human compassion and indeed their personal integrity compromised because rather than exercise common scrutiny when examining information, they have become a part of a collective of non thinkers with tunnel vision; a simple cell in a groupthink brain. It is a seriously debilitating condition with significant individual and far reaching social implications.
It is the same phenomena that allowed masses of people to justify slavery in their minds, countless wars, the collective festering and mindless hatred in 1936 Berlin, and many other forms of social malady.Yep. Pointing out that women suffer more from Domestic Violence than men makes me a person without integrity or compassion, a "non-thinker with tunnel vision," the sort of person who in an earlier age would have argued for slavery, and yes, a Nazi.
Really, Paul? Really?
Anyway, so earlier tonight Chris alerted me to Paul's "warning," and I posted a comment that said, in part:
Paul, you get a warning from me. When I agreed to this debate is was under the condition that the discussion here would be fair and open. If you are giving Chris a warning for making generalizations about MRAs that you don't like, then I suggest you give warnings to each and every person here who has made similar generalizations about feminists. That would include you as well.
You should also give warnings to the fellow who referred to me as a "pile of dogshit," those who suggest I "hate men" and the like. Oh, and the one who suggested that I and other feminists are like Nazis. Oh, that was you again.
Either retract your warning to Chris, or give yourself and all of these other people public warnings as well, or I am out of this debate.What followed was a weird little drama that I can only describe as "Paul Elam-esque." First he posted a comment full of Elam-esque posturing and bluster:
You were out of this debate before it started. So I really don’t blame you. If I were you I would be tempted to find something, anything to hide behind so I didn’t have to bear the continued public humiliation.
But you are a little late. You have already served the only real purpose you ever had here to begin with, which was to openly present the bigotry, intellectual cowardice, ignorance and moral bankruptcy that characterizes modern gender ideologues- yourself included.
Your giving me an ultimatum that I have to allow unprovoked ad hominem from your supporters, or you will leave, is just one more example--- a kind of bonus.
Just the same, you are free to change your mind. I am going to put up my response to your latest tomorrow, and this time I get to pull out all the stops because that porous, completely obtuse offering of drivel demands to be completely destroyed with dispassionate reason and truth. ... .I responded with a comment saying I was out, and reminded him that he had actually promised to allow pretty much anything from commenters supportive of me short of violence and threats. I ended it by saying: "This doesn't make you look good, trust me."
Apparently me offering him proof -- in black and white, in his own words -- that he was being a massive hypocrite convinced him to change his mind. Or maybe he just felt bad that I wouldn't be around to respond to the masterpiece he is apparently now crafting.
So he relented, and retracted his "warning" to Chris. I said I would continue the debate, just so long as he didn't pull any more shit like the shit he has been pulling.
Unable to restrain himself, he responded again in typical Elam fashion:
[J]just for the record, I changed my position to honor my word, not because you hold one bit of sway or force. You are not running anything here. So I am sure you can imagine a good place to store your warning for me not to “pull any more shit.”
Now, this is settled. Get out of my comment area.Fuck it. I have been extraordinarily patient with this guy, but I have my limits. And he's just gone beyond them. I'm not going to debate with someone who talks to me like that. I'm out.
If I respond to his next post, it will be here. And I may not even bother.