A feminist makes a documentary about Men’s Rights Activists

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime is The Red Pill, a documentary about Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs).

The director, Cassie Jaye, establishes her politically correct bona fides by talking about her previous documentaries, which celebrated “reproductive rights,” “single motherhood,” “LGBT rights.” She characterizes same-sex marriage as marriage equality (why not divorce litigation equality? See “I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.” (nytimes), for example: “Am I sorry that [my girlfriend and I] got legally married? Yes, I am. Not only did marriage fail to keep us together; it sentenced us to an agonizingly drawn-out, devastatingly expensive divorce.”; see also the litigator quoted in History of Divorce: “Marriage today is a way for a smart person with a low income to make money from a stupid person with a high income. What difference does it make whether the gold digger and mark are of the same sex?”).

She shows inflammatory articles by Paul Elam, founder of A Voice for Men. Then she goes to meet the guy, who turns out to be remarkably mild-mannered.

A small low-energy gathering of MRAs in Toronto is met by an angry mob shouting “MRAs, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay.” The MRAs are accused of being fascists, Nazis, and “pathetic” by the mob, which is prevented from attacking them by some lightly armed Canadian police.

Ms. Jaye opens by giving the MRAs, who mostly seem to be in their 50s, space to talk about the ways that women are now advantaged in the U.S. and Canada:

  • women are the majority of college students (see “Why Men Are the New College Minority” (Atlantic))
  • “pro-choice” is really “pro-choice for women only because they’re denying men any kind of choice once the child is conceived”; the woman can choose have the baby and either stay with the father or harvest child support profits, abort the baby in exchange for a payment related to the net present value of the expected child support cashflow, or, if there is nothing to be gotten out of the father, have an abortion without a cash payment
  • young men are failing to launch, staying with their parents long past the expected age
  • that men earn more should be interpreted as men having less power than women, not more; the man who gets up at 4:00 every weekday to work on a garbage truck or works 70 hours/week driving a taxi is not getting “power over his wife,” but “losing power over his life” (see “Feminist focus on W-2 wages instead of spending power“)
  • women may be seen as “sex objects,” but men are often seen as “success objects”
  • women may be pressured by social norms into rearing children, but men are pressured by social norms into working as providers
  • “every society that survived survived based on its ability to train its sons to be disposable. Disposable in war, dangerous work, and indirectly therefore disposable as dads” (Warren Farrell); 4584 Americans were killed on the job in 2013; 93 percent were men; 98 percent of deaths in our most recent wars have been suffered by men

The action segues to Warren Farrell trying to speak indoors in Toronto. There is a huge group of shouting feminists outside heaping abuse on anyone who is choosing to go in and listen. Ms. Jaye gives the backstory on Warren Ferrell, a soft-spoken guy who was a participant in the 1960s and 1970s Equality Feminism movement. Ferrell says that he parted company with feminists when he couldn’t accept that men were oppressors and women the oppressed.

After 37 minutes in, the documentary shifts to interviews with feminists.

  • MRA is a backlash from men threatened by opportunities opened up to women, angry because they can’t get the good jobs and school positions because women have taken them
  • no person looking at the data can possibly say that women have an advantage
  • men are not discriminated against under the law and, in fact, are advantaged over women

The MRAs come back to talk about men being consistent losers in family court:

  • the woman who loses a job because she is a woman can apply for a job elsewhere; the man who loses custody of a child cannot go looking for another child over whom to obtain custody
  • the heroic New York City police detective on whom the movie Serpico is based, lost over 90 percent of his police pension to a child support plaintiff based on an out-of-wedlock pregnancy and despite testimony from friends of the plaintiff that she had planned to “trick” Serpico (presumably by making false statements about her birth control status?). “Everything that he goes through in this movie, including getting shot, to earn his pension she won by sleeping with him one night.” (see nytimes, 1983:  “The state’s highest court ruled today that a former New York City police officer, Frank Serpico, must make full support payments for his child born out of wedlock, even though he said the child’s mother had told him she was using contraception. The tribunal, the Court of Appeals, determined unanimously that the ‘mother’s alleged deceit has no bearing upon” Mr. Serpico’s ”obligation to support his child.'” (it is unclear how the $11,340 could be 90 percent of the guy’s pension; that’s only about $30,000 in today’s money, 15X the profits obtainable from having a child in Sweden, 5X the profitability in Germany, and 2.5X the profits obtainable in Nevada, but still nowhere near a retired cop’s pension); more details may be availabe in an old Playboy Magazine article (not searchable))
  • (presumably in the case of a low- or medium-income father) unmarried women are able to give children up for adoption without the father’s consent

Men talk about spending 5 years of income on custody litigation defense, ultimately losing, and finally being permanently separated from their former children. (About one third of children of American divorces in winner-take-all jurisdictions are able to maintain long-term contact with their fathers, i.e., there are tens of millions of American citizens who have been permanently separated from one parent by a state-run family court.)

[The film does not recognize that it is not meaningful to talk about “family court” or “family law” on a U.S.-wide basis. In my home state of Massachusetts, for example, 97 percent of residents collecting child support are women, which should track the percentage of custody lawsuit winners; see also our statistical study of a month of divorce lawsuits in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. And the woman who has sex with an already-married radiologist in Boston can get paid more than if she’d gone to medical school and worked as a primary care doctor. But Massachusetts is not the U.S. The same sex act in nearby Pennsylvania would yield a 50/50 shared parenting outcome and comparatively modest child support profits. Much of the suffering endured by men interviewed by the director wouldn’t have occurred if they’d simply chosen to live in a state where it is more lucrative to go to college and work than to have a brief sexual encounter. They don’t need a Men’s Rights Movement. They needed to read Real World Divorce and then get a U-Haul to a state where they couldn’t be targeted.]

The hostility of mainstream film reviewers to this movie becomes understandable at 53:20 where the filmmaker says “I’ve always thought of feminism as the fight for gender equality… but I’d never heard about the injustices going on in family court.”

[She is wrong on this turn of phrase, of course. Given the same facts, family court decisions are completely different from state to state, but as these decisions are handed out by judges in courts the disparate results are all justice by definition.]

She interviews Michael Messner, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at USC, to hear him give the explanation that it is unreasonable for men to ask for an equal parenting role after separation when in an intact couple it may be the woman doing most of the parenting (e.g., if she is a stay-at-home mother and he works as the breadwinner). Implicitly he is saying that the correct approach to resolving custody disputes is the approach taken by his home state of California, i.e., try to use court orders to continue involuntarily whatever the division of labor was during the voluntary relationship. (See the “Summary” chapter of Real World Divorce for the three types of systems used in the various U.S. states.) This “preserve and extend the status quo” system tends to be the best for lawyers because it results in the most intensive litigation. For example, witnesses can testify about who took the children to their pediatricians four years prior to the trial. Professor Messner laughs at the ideas that fathers, after divorce, “suddenly” want to step in and be parents rather than simply paying their plaintiffs to be parents and visiting the children occasionally. It would be absurd for a man to consider rearranging his daily schedule merely because his wife had decided to start having sex with neighbors and then filed a divorce lawsuit against him.

The filmmaker improperly develops sympathy for biological fathers in “surprise pregnancies” at around 56:00, noting that they are “at the mercy” of the mothers (e.g., who can choose abortions or to become sole custodian child support profiteers, both undesirable outcomes from the point of view of fathers, in the filmmaker’s view). Katherine Spillar, director of the Feminist Majority Foundation and an editor at Ms., says that all of this could be resolved if men talked to women before having sex. She suggests condoms, for example, but does not note that quite a few lucrative children and/or abortion sales have been produced after used condoms were retrieved from trash cans and/or following oral sex. (See “Hamptons bachelors are getting vasectomies so gold diggers can’t trap them” (New York Post) for where the arms race ends.)

A guest whose husband does not want more children shows up in front of a talk show audience of women. The audience claps in favor of the option to “trick” the husband by discarding birth control pills.

We learn that a group of women who are Men’s Rights Activists call themselves the “Honey Badger Brigade”. Unfortunately, their motivation is not explained or explored. “We have a huge blind spot when women do bad things,” says one.

The question of domestic violence by women is explored. A friend of an abused man seeks assistance for the friend and learns that none of the taxpayer-funded organizations for aiding domestic violence would serve a man in any way. The filmmaker notes that out of 2,000 domestic violence shelters nationwide, only one is for men. She notes that CDC statistics on “intimate partner violence” show that men are nearly as likely to be hit (1 in 4 lifetime chance versus 1 in 3).

[Feminists say that it is not fair to look at raw numbers. In the Domestic Violence chapter of Real World Divorce, see the explanation from Professor Goodmark, former Co-Director of the Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She wrote that women are engaging in “violent resistance” (fighting back rather than initiating violence) or simply “to express anger or frustration” or “to obtain physical domination in the moment” but these are insignificant compared to what men do (“the generalized control over all facets of a partner’s life that characterizes intimate terrorism”).]

Erin Pizzey is next up. She founded a women’s shelter in 1971 and has now crossed over into the Men’s Rights Movement. She says that women who had violence in their childhood become perpetrators of domestic violence as adults: “They want to live on the knife edge of crisis and danger.” Pizzey committed heresy by saying that “women could be equally violent as men” (especially against their own children) and consequently has been excommunicated from all domestic violence conferences. Pizzey notes that capitalism was the big enemy in the 1960s and 1970s, but then feminists figured out that they could be a lot more successful by blaming “patriarchy.” (Pizzey does seem to be correct. There is a lot more press coverage of the activities of women’s advocacy groups today compared to during the original heyday of the equality feminism movement.)

Katherine Spillar comes back to say that what the U.S. needs is more taxpayer-funded domestic violence shelters where women can show up with their children and “get a new start”. She doesn’t explain why there have to be shelters since taxpayer-funded advocacy groups will help women obtain restraining orders against men that function as an instant divorce with custody plus child support (see the Maryland chapter for a legislator’s explanation of how this works especially well against low-income men because they can’t afford lawyers and aren’t entitled to a court-appointed lawyer). If it is illegal for the man to return to the former joint home, why does the woman need to live in a shelter? The CDC statistics were dead to Spillar. “Domestic violence” was just a fancy word for “wife-beating.” Cut to TED talks where speakers blame men for the existence of domestic violence.

[Anecdote: A friend in California was being pursued by a woman following the end of a brief romantic relationship. She would show up at his office, scream, strip off her clothes, etc. He eventually filed for a restraining order to keep her away from his house and office. When his turn came up in court he was told that he was standing in the wrong place and directed to where the defendant should stand. I.e., the court officials all assumed that because he was a man he was the defendant on the restraining order motion.]

Karen Straughan is interviewed pointing out that Boko Haram in Nigeria would burn schoolboys alive, after letting the girls go home, (example?) and nobody cared, but when girls were kidnapped the world media erupted in sympathy. Straughan notes that when an all-male group of boys and men is killed it is “people,” “students,” or “villagers” who were killed. When women or girls are kidnapped, however, they are described in the headline as “girls” or “women”.

Footage from sparsely-attended MRA conferences in North America is next. For each attendee there seemed to be roughly 5 protesters shouting through bullhorns, pulling the fire alarms to force evacuation of the lecture hall, or blowing vuvuzelas at the back of lecture halls.

Next is Michael Kimmel, professor of sociology and gender studies at Stony Brook and author of Angry White Men (Wikipedia identifies him as “spokesperson of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) and a longtime feminist”) dismisses MRAs as being motivated purely by irrational anger at women.

Carnell Smith is next, wondering why women have been able to successfully oppose automatic DNA-based paternity testing at birth and why women have been able to get France to outlaw paternity tests, except those ordered by a court on behalf of a cash-seeking plaintiff, altogether.

Footage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is shown. It turns out that the feminist icon did NOT, at least as of 2016, support requiring women to register for a potential military draft (the Selective Service System currently says “all male U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and male immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, residing in the United States, who are 18 through 25, are required to register”).

An MRA authority says we’d be better off without either feminism or MRM because both are divisive, but if we have feminism we need the MRM as a counterbalance.

Viewers with delicate stomachs will want to skip from 1:46 to 1:47. The topic is circumcision, which the filmmaker says most MRAs are against. It is a relief when the documentary turns to prostate cancer versus breast cancer (supposedly similar death rates, but breast cancer dominates the media and funding).

Then “Have You Ever Beat Up A Boyfriend? Cause, Uh, We Have” (Jezebel) is discussed:

According to a study of relationships that engage in nonreciprocal violence, a whopping 70% are perpetrated by women. So basically that means that girls are beating up their BFs and husbands and the dudes aren’t fighting back.

A satirical response to this by Paul Elam was taken literally and used against him.

A professor explains that there are 900 women’s studies programs worldwide and 1 men’s studies program. (He says that renaming “women’s studies” to “gender studies” does not change anything or fool anyone.)

The filmmaker: “(American and Canadian) men have little to no control over their parental destiny.” I think that this shows why the Men’s Rights Movement can never be as successful as feminism. Most of the complaints of the on-screen modern feminists could be addressed by tweaking government transfer payment programs. For example, feminists interviewed note that women don’t get paid as much, on average, as men (Ms. Jaye never asks feminists “Why not become crazy rich exploiting these lower labor costs for purportedly comparable productivity by starting an all-female company?”). This upsetting statistic could be fixed by tweaking existing income tax programs so that men pay an extra tax and women get a check every month from the government. The government already runs a comprehensive taxation and monthly check-writing system. By contrast there is no voter or politician opposition to the lack of male control over parental destiny that is structurally embedded in many states’ family law statutes. See the “Our Polygamous Future” section of History of Divorce for how these structures are returning the U.S. to the apparently ancient human condition of most men dying childless and/or the new misery of losing children to plaintiffs. What politician could ever say any of the following?

  • “Maybe it shouldn’t be more profitable to bang the already-married owner of a McDonald’s restaurant than to be in a lifetime marriage to someone who works 60 hours/week in a McDonald’s restaurant”
  • “Maybe we shouldn’t have welfare programs that make it economically rational for a woman to choose to be a ‘single mom’ living in public housing rather than in a long-term partnership with a below-median earning man. When tens of millions of women decide to marry the government rather than a man, the next generation of children is going to be impaired.”
  • “It is wonderful if a currently married person wants to have sex with a bunch of new friends without the encumbrance of a boring spouse, but we should copy Germany so that this celebration of self-actualization won’t be paid for via alimony”

[Throughout human history only a minority of men ever had children so if we return to that base polygamous case and supplement with the fact that roughly half of North American women will choose to sue their husbands, only about 25 percent of North American men will end up with a “parental destiny” that they arguably might have chosen. Unclear how the MRAs can change this other than to prepare young men for likely disappointment and/or encourage them to move to a state whose family law makes the long-term parenthood outcome more likely.]

Right at the end is where Ms. Jaye ensures negative reviews from all standard media outlets. She concludes the documentary with a voice-over: “I don’t know where I’m heading, but I know what I left behind. I no longer call myself a feminist.”

Related:

17 Comments

  1. Tony Doe

    July 5, 2018 @ 12:59 pm

    1

    PhilG: Did you guys have any quantitative data on the sale of abortions?

  2. jerry

    July 5, 2018 @ 2:20 pm

    2

    I think your review is pretty accurate, but Paul Elam is more a victim of his own bullshit than of the very hypocritical Jezebel.

    Most of his satirical articles contained horribly gross characterizations of women at the least and many many people, MRAs included found the depictions far more horrifying than either satirical or funny. Especially when he would declare, this is not satire, and then later say, of course it was satire.

    If the MRM have a bad name today, if there is no reasonable MRM movement, much of it can accurately be laid at the raping of the MRM movement by Paul Elam.

    Paul Elam took out a gun, shot himself in the foot, shoved his severed foot into his mouth, shot off his own face, then complained Jezebel smeared him as an asshole.

    Jezebel did smear him and they were wrong to, and everything Jezebel ever did to Elam or anyone else in the media ever did to Elam was 100,000% predictable and avoidable.

    That guy competes head to head to Kimmel as bullshit artists who became feminism’s best friend in destroying the MRM.

    In doing so, the MRM never had a friend in Paul Elam.

    The rest of your article is pretty much dead on. I am actually surprised there has been no movement (or has there) from feminists seeking to Amazon to deplatform the Red Pill as they successfully did in many other venues.

  3. philg

    July 5, 2018 @ 4:43 pm

    3

    Jerry: Thanks for the background. I hadn’t heard of Mr. Elam prior to seeing this movie. The name of “Men’s Rights” sounds like a loser since men are portrayed as oppressors, not victims, in our media. When “gay marriage” was renamed to “marriage equality” I wonder if there was a lift in popularity for the concept. Similarly maybe “Men’s Rights” should be renamed to “Gender Equality”? Feminists are no longer using the term “equality” so it is now freed up!

    Tony: Statistics on abortion sales? In every state where collecting child support from a single child is more profitable than working at a median-wage job we found lawyers who described representing a client on one side or the other of an abortion transaction. But these sales are not officially recorded anywhere. Even researching child support profits for living children can be challenging. In Massachusetts, for example, lawsuits between never-married parties are automatically sealed and the court records are unavailable to the public. The statistical study on divorce lawsuits in

    http://www.realworlddivorce.com/MiddlesexMay2011

    could never have been done on litigation following brief encounters.

  4. Anonymous

    July 5, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

    4

    I don’t think there is sufficient (or any) understanding of this critical economic issue, either risks or opportunities – and these are gender neutral; for example, I think the ending of movie The Intern (2015) could have been quite different in real world for the entrepreneur identifying as female, with cheating stay at home husband and a child.
    philg: are you promoting key learnings from your book in easier to understand format? Maybe an IAP class?

  5. Bill C.

    July 5, 2018 @ 6:38 pm

    5

    Paul Elam has done more than anyone over the past twenty years to help others understand men’s issues. He’s not a perfect person (no one is) and he’s made mistakes (everyone has). But Philip, please recognize that Jerry’s description of him is completely unfair. On Elam’s style, read his own words about the matter:

    https://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/why-i-dont-care-what-you-think-about-my-style/

    And take a look at what he’s written:

    https://www.avoiceformen.com/author/paul/

  6. philg

    July 6, 2018 @ 12:26 am

    6

    Bill: Elam seems to like to stir people up in print and, at least based on what I saw in the movie, is mild-mannered in person. But does anyone care about “men’s issues”? If not, what difference does his in-print or in-person style make?

    Example: all of Facebook is engaged about 3,000 children being temporarily separated from their mothers by La Migra (see https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/separated-families-border-immigrants-number-of-kids/index.html ). Have you ever seen anyone post on Facebook wondering what could be done about the tens of millions of children who’ve been permanently separated from their fathers by state-run family courts?

    What is Elam’s goal, do you think? Is he trying to effect policy changes? Is he trying to educate young people so that they can optimize their lives (e.g., move to a state or country where there is less discrimination against men)? ( https://www.avoiceformen.com/policies/mission-statement/ suggests the latter) Help young men live happily in a female-dominated state or country and not be personally dominated? But as Bill Burr notes in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoJrMaFlxOk , men have to keep silent due to female-run https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_selection (unless they don’t want to have children and/or live in a society where traditional prostitution (cash exchanged for sex the same night) is legal and/or have no sexual interest in women).

    Does current feminism truly require the lengthy response than Elam provides through writing and videos? For example, if someone says that women are paid less than men for the same work, what is the point of responding with anything longer than “When are you going to become rich by starting an all-female company then?” or “When will Target figure this out and put Walmart out of business simply by hiring only women?”? People will either immediately see the logical absurdity of the original statement or they will never be able to see it. Why make a 15-minute video on the topic?

  7. Tony Doe

    July 6, 2018 @ 9:44 am

    7

    PhilG: Thanks for the answer. How are those agreements enforced then? Is it just trust? Do the attorneys hold the funds in escrow?

  8. philg

    July 6, 2018 @ 10:11 am

    8

    Tony: Yes, I think that old-tech escrow arrangements are often involved and also new-tech DNA tests such as http://americanpregnancy.org/prenatal-testing/non-invasive-prenatal-paternity-test-nipp/

    Now that getting pregnant and/or having children for profit is such a big corner of the U.S. economy it probably would make sense for states to update their statutes. If a public policy goal is to ensure that any children not aborted actually see some of the money, states could follow the lead of West Virginia and provide for trusts to be established when a high-income defendant is targeted (see http://www.realworlddivorce.com/WestVirginia ). In the states where a plaintiff can get unlimited child support and therefore abortion sales are more common the statutes could specify the rights and responsibilities of the adults on both sides of an abortion sale.

    (Children don’t usually realize significant improvement in household income when child support is paid because recipients of child support will tend to cut their working hours and/or career ambitions so that the net spending power of the household is about the same as if no child support were being received. At the low-income end of the economic spectrum, child support received is mostly offset by reduced welfare entitlements. So the taxpayer arguably saves money (except that it costs $6 billion in admin fees to collect plus whatever is spent on imprisoning defendants who can’t or don’t pay)), but children per se don’t enjoy a better material lifestyle.)

  9. Corindel

    July 6, 2018 @ 10:11 am

    9

    > if someone says that women are paid less than men for the
    > same work, what is the point of responding with anything
    > longer than “When are you going to become rich by starting
    > an all-female company then?” or “When will Target figure
    > this out and put Walmart out of business simply by hiring
    > only women?”?

    Capitalism and logic are tools of the Patriarchy. I would get fired for saying such obvious truths at work, or in any medium that could be traced back to me by a coworker.

    Of course you don’t see these opinions on Facebook: How can anyone be sure no one they know is the sort of feminist who will turn them in?

  10. philg

    July 6, 2018 @ 10:50 am

    10

    Also, given the complete lack of public interest in men’s rights, shouldn’t these guys be picking their battles?

    One example: How is fighting against male circumcision going to work in an increasingly Islamic North America? (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khitan_(circumcision) ) Why alienate the fastest-growing religious group (see http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/06/why-muslims-are-the-worlds-fastest-growing-religious-group/ ), some of whose members might support other parts of the MRM agenda? Muslims have lower income than non-Muslim Americans so as traditional values erode Muslim men are more likely to end up without mates (women would enjoying a higher spending power by marrying the government via welfare or having brief sexual encounters with higher-income men and harvesting child support). [See http://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/demographic-portrait-of-muslim-americans/ for how “Muslims are three times as likely as other Americans to be without a job and looking for work.”; why would an unemployed man be a sought-after partner?]

    Second example: These guys talk about women scooping up the college degrees. But that gets them into one of the most entrenched and unionized parts of the U.S. economy: K-12 education, fully armored from all kinds of attack. If Americans who are passionate about educational quality haven’t been able to change anything within K-12 (e.g., the right of an barely competent and/or completely unmotivated teacher to collect a paycheck for 30 years and retire), what would change in response to these guys? And is there any evidence that one gender is favored by our unionized schoolteachers? I tutor K-12 students and haven’t seen any evidence of gender bias by teachers. K-12 is crazy dull but I think it is reasonable to regard it as a meritocracy. If girls are doing better in this boring environment then I would attribute it to them having the grit to do incredibly boring stuff over and over and over again.

    Why not focus on stuff that can realistically be changed and/or stuff that men can change for themselves simply by altering where they live or what jobs they choose or whatever? Nobody can resist being circumcized at age 0.01. Nobody can touch K-12 or the college-industrial complex. But a man can choose a unionized government job, for example, where he can’t be casually fired. A man can choose to live in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Nevada, et al., where he will still be a parent after his female partner decides that she can be better off by getting rid of him (“don’t have sex in California, Massachusetts, or New York” is a much more actionable message than anything I saw on the MRA web sites). If it comes to it, a man can simply say “I identify as a woman” for purposes of employment and collect whatever extra cash and benefits are available to women at the time (see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5544173/Argentinian-man-legally-changes-gender-retire-earlier.html for a person who added five years of paid retirement by changing from male to female).

  11. Bill C.

    July 6, 2018 @ 5:50 pm

    11

    Philip, with respect to Paul Elam and MRAs, you offer good advice. No one cares about men’s issues. Make the best you can of the (absurd) circumstances is also good advice.

    I think Elam has a keen sense for social injustice and a bleeding heart. I’d guess he gets pissed off at “all of Facebook is engaged about 3,000 children being temporarily separated from their mothers by La Migra (see https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/separated-families-border-immigrants-number-of-kids/index.html ). Have you ever seen anyone post on Facebook wondering what could be done about the tens of millions of children who’ve been permanently separated from their fathers by state-run family courts?”

    I think Elam wants to express outrage at such outrages. I think that makes him and at least some others feel better that they haven’t just been silent in light of their own interests.

  12. philg

    July 6, 2018 @ 8:42 pm

    12

    Bill C: “I think Elam wants to express outrage at such outrages.” I think this is why folks (including those in the movie) have contempt for the MRAs. Powerful and rich guys go in the other direction. They support feminism ostentatiously and then use their cash or power to reel a continuous stream of attractive young women into their beds. Look at Harvey Weinstein. He was a big feminist, right? Bill Clinton publicly championed women’s issues, didn’t he? Meanwhile he had the interns back in his office… There was that Dave McClure guy, a huge champion of women in Silicon Valley (see http://blogs.harvard.edu/philg/2017/07/03/silicon-valleys-latest-whipping-boy-was-passionate-about-women/ for how he started a “500 Women fund that is focused on firms with at least one female founder.”). Meanwhile he had enough cash that women were generally willing to overlook the fact that he was married with two kids (ultimately there were a couple of women who didn’t appreciate the married rich guy’s advances, so he was #MeTooed).

    In a polygamous society such as the U.S. has become, guys with the cash are scooping up the hot women. If they’re not careful about which state they have sex in and/or they haven’t gone the Hampton bachelor route of the vasectomy, maybe they are having to pay off some abortion and/or child support profiteers. But that they can pay a plaintiff $millions and still have cash left just shows how rich and powerful they are. Let’s say that John Doerr had gotten drunk at an office party and eventually paid Ellen Pao $227 million in child support (see http://blogs.harvard.edu/philg/2015/04/09/litigious-minds-think-alike-divorce-litigators-react-to-the-ellen-pao-v-kleiner-perkins-lawsuit/ ). He wouldn’t have joined the MRAs to complain. He would have said “Those two extra martinis turned out to be rather expensive, but fortunately I can afford it.”

    People look at the MRAs and assume that if they’re complaining it means they don’t have enough money to attract women. And, as noted by the MRAs, people have contempt for men who can’t earn a lot of money (the “success object” part). A woman who isn’t rich is an object of pity; a man in the American public eye who isn’t rich is an object of contempt.

    A shorter way of saying all of the above is “the more women a guy is able to cycle through his bedroom, the more vocal a supporter he will be of feminism.”

  13. zzazz

    July 7, 2018 @ 12:23 pm

    13

    I my view the first step is to create a genetic registry with the full genome of every human physically within the US borders. Like the internet this would be a step up in the sophistication of our civilization. It would be useful in medicine and law enforcement. It would also settle all parent-child relationships (except for some identical DNA situations—twins, clones). And it would allow Americans to design their own evolution with policies such as one-woman one-child, or the more radical one-man, one-child. This is now technically feasible.

  14. Tom

    July 7, 2018 @ 2:12 pm

    14

    “They needed to read Real World Divorce and then get a U-Haul to a state where they couldn’t be targeted.”

    Is it possible to file for divorce in another state? I seem to recall some drama about Lebron James a few years ago that implied jurisdiction shopping by the wife.

  15. philg

    July 7, 2018 @ 3:51 pm

    15

    Tom: Check http://www.realworlddivorce.com/Florida : “I worked on one interesting case. The wife is an attorney and practices in New York while the husband is a resident of Florida. They have two children. In Florida if either person is a resident for six months, a spouse can file for divorce. The wife thus had a choice of Florida or New York law. She sued her husband in Florida, represented by a New York attorney, so that her practice would not be valued and divided.” Didn’t that deprive her of the opportunity to get near-automatic sole custody of the children from New York courts? “No. The children live in New York so jurisdiction for them was in New York. The wife filed a separate custody and child support action in New York. She was divorced in Florida and therefore didn’t have to give the husband any money from her law practice, but she collected custody of the kids and 21 years of child support from the New York courts where a Florida court would have given her shared custody and only 18 years of child support.” Can she now force this defendant to pay for the children’s college education? “Yes, under New York law.” Could the husband object to the jurisdiction of the New York courts on the grounds that he was living in Florida and the divorce was being litigated in Florida? “No. You can serve someone for custody by mail under UCCJEA [Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act]. She got personal jurisdiction over him in New York when he went up there to visit the kids.”

    See also http://www.realworlddivorce.com/Relocation

    It is not as simple as a Texas resident who wants alimony and therefore flies to Los Angeles and sues for divorce in a California court the next day. Ditto for child support profits. The state in which the sex act occurred and the defendant’s usual state of residence are both possible places to sue. But the plaintiff who had sex in Las Vegas with a defendant who lives in Pennsylvania can’t necessarily take advantage of the winner-take-all Massachusetts courts and the unlimited profits available under the Massachusetts guidelines by suing in Boston. Maybe if the child is born in Massachusetts and lives there. Because New York child support profits are capped at about $100,000 per year whereas California profits are unlimited, I think there is a certain amount of flying out to LA to give birth and sue for child support. But I don’t think it works as well for people who are married (though it looks like moving to Florida and living there for six months gives a plaintiff the right to use Florida courts and seek the “permanent alimony” that is available under Florida law).

  16. Roger

    July 8, 2018 @ 6:47 pm

    16

    It is not until the end of the movie that Jaye admits that she is using the term “the red pill” entirely differently from how it is more commonly used. Maybe she will make another movie on the other usage of the term.

  17. J. Peterson

    July 8, 2018 @ 8:35 pm

    17

    Looks like Bloom County is on the same wavelength today.

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