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Does the National Coalition For Men think violence against elected officials is a joke?

The National Coalition For Men – formerly the National Coalition of Free Men – describes itself as “the oldest Men’s Rights organization in North America.” It has been around, in some form or another, since 1977. The group has a board of advisors, which includes academics and mental health professionals and bestselling author Warren Farrell. It has a number of local chapters. Its website is professional-looking; they even have an elegant little logo.

The group appears, at first glance, to be a real and reasonable advocacy group.

But it doesn’t take long to find evidence that the group is infected with the same hateful extremism that is endemic in  the Men’s Rights movement.

Take this bizarre and creepy image – and its equally bizarre and creepy caption – that I found illustrating a recent press release about Senator Patrick Leahy and the Violence Against Women Act.

From the National Coalition For Men website.

As far as I can figure it, the Joker is supposed to represent Leahy’s supposed feminist puppetmasters; regardless, it is a jarring image depicting violence against an elected official as somehow humorous.

The article (picture and all) has gotten 14 Facebook “likes” and no comments; evidently none of the MRAs reading the article were bothered enough by the illustration to publicly challenge it.

How exactly does posting  a picture of the Joker threatening an elected official with a knife advance the cause of Men’s Rights?

Do the group’s advisors — including Warren Farrell and well-known domestic violence researcher Martin Fiebert — know that the group’s website features this repugnant image? Do they care?

I would encourage readers here to investigate the NCFM site in more detail. I wonder what other evidence of hate might be found. (If you do find more, please make screenshots, and post what you find in the comments below, with a link to the page on NCFM’s website.)

EDITED: I originally referred to the images as photoshopped, but evidently it’s from The Dark Knight. Oops. Corrected.

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Posted on November 16, 2011, in antifeminism, MRA, threats, violence against men/women. Bookmark the permalink. 219 Comments.

  1. @zhinxy

    I know right? Ann Coulter for fucks sake…not exactly an example of compassion and ethics.

  2. OK, that “kitty pole dancing video” is going straight to Fucking Delicious.

    http://fuckingdelicious.tumblr.com/post/12967132207/oh-mmm-fuuuuuck-damn-wha-hey-turn-that

  3. Quackers:

    Why is it everytime a study comes out suggesting that men and women have some biological differences you ALWAYS have a group of chauvinists using it as proof of women’s inferiority?

    Like how research into the science (genetics, neuroscience, whatever it is) of gender identity and sexual orientation is always presented as “what makes people trans? What makes people gay?” when (ideally) it’s equally about what makes people cis/straight, or whatever else.

  4. In addition, most of these studies are extremely limited in scope. Finding that white and asian college students in the US tend to test differently along gender lines tells you very little about whether or not something is biological or cultural. A lot of these studies don’t hold true across cultural lines (or we don’t know that they would) and many can see massive data differences by manipulating small extrinsic variables (apparantly, when women wear sweaters, they are better at math than when they wear bathing suits, even when the test is the exact same one, but men aren’t! Science!). People jump to huge unwarranted conclusions often from what is de facto extremely limited data sets.

    Some of these studies are just incredibly bad methodologically speaking even within those narrow confines. For example, Simon Levay’s study on the “gay brain” has been definitively debunked (his gay subjects had died of AIDS, almost none of the hetero ones had, the effect he noticed is a not uncommon physiological change that occurs in a number of late term AIDS patients) but people still cite it constantly.

  5. Why is it everytime a study comes out suggesting that men and women have some biological differences you ALWAYS have a group of chauvinists using it as proof of women’s inferiority? or proof that we may not be as good at something thus we must be completely banned from it forever and never encouraged to do it!!

    I think part of it is the popular media’s insistence on reporting every scientific study as if it Means Something. The vast majority of psych studies, as described by the scientists doing them, demonstrate something like “in this group of 250 college students, 6% more female students did [THING] than male students, and this is interesting and should be explored in other settings to see if it holds true across cultures, age groups, et cetera. We are in no way speaking to why women might be more likely to do [THING], although we could offer some hypotheses; figuring out which, if any, of those hypotheses are correct is for some other study to address, if it’s even shown that our results can be replicated in the first place.” The same study, as simplified horribly by a supposed “science reporter,” will somehow come out as “Science Proves That All Women Do [THING]!” I think the general public is conditioned by now to believe that science is some magical near-instantaneous process in which one pops in some experimental variables and out comes Ultimate Truth, and that makes it very easy to twist a lot of studies into confirming your personal perception of Ultimate Truth.

  6. Yea this is why I wish scientists would speak out about this every so often, and tell the bigots and media to stop perverting their studies. I remember reading an article about how “science reporters” often misinterpret and oversimplify the facts in a study. The scientific method states that experiments should be done more than once anyway in order to come to a strong conclusion. People should be reminded of this often.

    I guess this also explains why you can usually find studies that contradict other studies. Wish I had a science friend to learn more about these things. I’m an artsy so yea, more artsy friends.

  7. Quackers:

    100% agree. We often see bigoted idiots twisting or misrepresenting scientific studies in order to pursue their own ends. Sometimes the people who did the studies speak up about it but sometimes they either don’t know about it or don’t care. On occasion I’ve found it quite helpful to drop them a link when I’ve found someone doing that and ask if that’s what they meant.

  8. I think it can also be hard for a lot of scientists to express their results in a way that is still correct but is also understandable to the public. Like Polliwog says, the most accurate interpretation might be ‘“in this group of 250 college students, 6% more female students did [THING] than male students, and this is interesting and should be explored in other settings to see if it holds true across cultures, age groups, et cetera. We are in no way speaking to why women might be more likely to do [THING], although we could offer some hypotheses; figuring out which, if any, of those hypotheses are correct is for some other study to address, if it’s even shown that our results can be replicated in the first place”’ but trying to get that idea across coherently (especially to a population as freaking science-illiterate as the US -_-) can be nearly impossible.

    For example, the whole anti-vax thing (for a non-psych instance) had scientists saying in the strongest terms possible in science that no link between vaccination and autism had been shown, while the public wanted to hear “we proved it never ever causes autism!” as if that’s something you could really say in a human population like that, etc. Considering the relative clarity and consensus of the many vax studies, which was an unusually thorough debunking and conclusion, I can only imagine that gender based stuff can get bogged down worse.

  9. The weirdest thing is, I believe, when media tell us: “this study show group A does X” while the study actually says “our sample of group A did X n% more than group B” and n is within the margin of error.

    Like polls, with a 3% margin of error, but you’ll hear “A has a small advantage on B” even though the poll only gave A 2% more.

    By the way, I’d love to see studies about polls. Maybe they already exist? For example, doing polls on election days and seeing how accurate they are.

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