W.F. Price of The Spearhead accuses me of supporting violence against women … by opposing violence against women

W.F. Price (not pictured) believes the best way to prevent domestic violence is to put men in charge of households, and to keep police out

W.F. Price (not pictured) believes the best way to prevent domestic violence is to put men in charge of households, and to keep police out

W. F. Price of The Spearhead isn’t very happy about my recent suggestion that the Men’s Rights movement encourages abusive ways of thinking towards women. It’s a strange claim for him to make, coming as it is from a guy who presides over one of the most notorious outposts of vicious, virulent misogyny in the Men’s Rights universe. Even stranger is his claim that by opposing violence against women and children I am therefore … supporting policies that lead to more violence against women and children.

It’s going to take a little while to work our way through his convoluted argument. So let’s start at the beginning. Here’s the quote of mine he objects to, from my post the other day about Lundy Bancroft:

[T]he more experience I’ve had with MRAs, the more I’ve begun to see the Men’s Rights Movement not only as an “abusers’ lobby” but as an abusers’ support group, and an abusive force in its own right, promoting forms of “activism” that are little more than semi-organized stalking and harassment of individual women.

It’s not that every MRA is literally a domestic abuser, though I wouldn’t be shocked to find domestic abusers seriously overrepresented in the Men’s Rights ranks; it’s that the Men’s Rights movement promotes abusive ways of thinking and behaving.

This, to Price, is “a calculated slur designed to play to base emotions, and even worse, it’s a damned lie.”

Accusing me of “demonizing fathers,” he argues that the “anti-family policy” he claims I promote “leads to highly elevated rates of domestic violence, rape and child abuse.” He’s especially incensed that I said positive things about Bancroft, who’s an advocate for abused women and (gasp!) actually has a page on his website linking to resources for divorced and divorcing women.

Apparently encouraging women who are being abused to get themselves and their children away from their abusive partner is a terrible, terrible thing in Price’s world.

Futrelle suggests that men who promote patriarchal values, i.e. pro-family values, are more likely to be abusers. But this is not borne out by statistics. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Single mothers are most likely to be battered by sex partners who are not their children’s father, and fatherless children most likely to be murdered, raped and abused.

Yet somehow, fathers’ rights advocates are suspicious, scary people.

David, do you really hate children that much? Do you want to see more women beaten? More children raped and murdered? If so, by all means, support people like Lundy Bancroft, who profit from advocating dissolution resources. Lundy Bancroft is a member in good standing of the divorce industrial complex. He literally lives off misery and destruction of families. I don’t see how anyone could claim to advocate the safety of women and children while promoting a self-interested, home-wrecking charlatan like Bancroft.

It is immoral, it is evil, and it hurts innocent people. How, David, can you defend that?

Woah, calm down there, fella!

Very little of Price’s rant has anything to do with anything I actually wrote. I said nothing in my post about the Men’s Rights movement promoting patriarchal or “pro-family” values. Fact is, while some more traditional MRAs do advocate patriarchy, you’re far more likely to run across MRAs denouncing marriage as a deadly trap and demanding the supposed right of “legal paternal surrender” – that is, the right for fathers to abandon all financial responsibilities towards children they don’t want.

I also said nothing about divorce, though, yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a good idea when you’re married to an abuser. And it’s a good idea a lot of other times. While divorce is almost always painful to everyone involved, I don’t know a lot of divorced people who actually regret their decision to divorce.

That said, if Price thinks that patriarchal “pro-family” values are somehow a magical deterrent to divorce, he’s simply wrong. In fact, divorce rates are considerably higher in the Red State south than in the Blue State Northeast, in part because an excess of “family values” in the South means that couples are pressured to marry young, and people who marry young are the most likely to divorce.

You’d think Price would know that patriarchal values aren’t an antidote to divorce; after all, he’s as patriarchal as they come, and he’s on his second marriage.

In any case, what I did say, and have said, about the Men’s Rights movement is that it promotes misogynistic, hateful, and abusive thinking about women. For countless examples of this one need look no further than Price’s own blog.

Indeed, in the comments to this very post of his, several Spearheaders lash out against women with crude, misogynistic insults.

Verve announces that he’s Going His Own Way – and apparently that also includes his spelling of the word “voila.”

Take women out of your life- Wa-La! Magically 98% of the stress and problems they cause that lead to anger and the insane laws that have men go to jail for nothing- all gone!

Troll King, meanwhile, is in so much of a rush to get his opinion down that he doesn’t even bother to finish typing the final word – I can only presume it is “civilization.”

I know there are horrible men, but we all also know that women destroy civi.

But it is Höllenhund who wins the Misogyny Sweepstakes with his attack on single mothers:

Women are largely unfit to be effective parents, so the children they end up raising alone are pretty much a lost cause. Either they’ll end up dead, as you mention, or end up as whipped, psychologically damaged beta white knights, ghetto-dwelling alpha thugs or carouseling sluts if they’re born female. They are already contaminated by the sinfulness and pathology of their POS mothers.

These are all from one post — a post designed to refute my claim, backed up with hundreds of blog posts’ worth of evidence — that the Men’s Rights movement is rife with misogyny and abusive thinking about women.

Going back through my older posts about The Spearhead, I found too many examples of really foul misogyny to post. Here are just a few:

A little Fathers’ Day death threat from Jeremiah MRA, which got more upvotes than downvotes from the Spearheaders:

If a woman was being problematic and tried to keep my children from me, I’d do one of two things: refuse to see the kids and refuse all support, or end the problem once and for all.

Greyghost, fantasizing about how the collapse of civilization would force women to turn once again to strong men for protection:

Next to a dog female fear is a mans best friend. Fearful insecure women tend to be more polite and pleasant to those around her.

Ck, declaring that women are “feral creatures” who love to be abused by “thugs.”

[W]omen are at best amoral beings and at worst imoral. I no longer look at a women and hope they may be the one who vaules a decent, kind, moral man. Instead I see a feral creature who wants to be thugf#$cked and used. They are addicted to a drug called emotion. They want the highs of being thugf#cked and the coming lows of being used and dumped. Then rinse and repeat.

Darryl X suggesting that all women are whores:

Women are not women today. They are whores. Big difference.

Whores, that is, who should be forced to live in caves:

Since the solution for the past forty-four years was to kill and impoverish and exile and imprison men and steal their kids, I’d say sending women to live in a cave is a generous trade.

And let’s just finish off this little parade of abusive misogyny for now with Towgunner, complaining how unfair it is for a man like him to be considered “equal” to the spiteful creature that is woman:

The women’s world is here, they do things not out of practical necessity but out of spite, Mother’s Day comes and they bemoan house wives, Father’s day comes and they point out that some men are staying home. There is nothing practical here, there is spite, there is insult, and there is hubris. I don’t admire women, I don’t ever want to be one either, there is nothing noble about them. In fact I find it an insult to be called “equal” to them at all.

Now, I have no evidence that any of these men are themselves abusers of women.

But is there evidence that beliefs like this can lead to abuse? As a matter of fact, there is. A 2002 meta-review of 39 studies found that various aspects of “masculine ideology” were clearly tied to sexual aggression in men. The authors wrote:

In feminist sociocultural models of rape, extreme adherence to the masculine gender role is implicated in the perpetuation of sexual assault against women in that it encourages men to be dominant and aggressive, and it teaches that women are inferior to men and are sometimes worthy of victimization. Many researchers have linked components of masculine ideology to self-reports of past sexual aggression or future likelihood to rape. Thirty-nine effect sizes were examined in this meta-analysis across 11 different measures of masculine ideology to determine how strongly each index of masculine ideology was associated with sexual aggression. Although 10 of the 11 effect sizes were statistically significant, the 2 largest effects were for Malamuth’s construct of “hostile masculinity”… and Mosher’s construct of “hypermasculinity” …  both of which measure multiple components of masculine ideology including acceptance of aggression against women and negative, hostile beliefs about women. The next strongest relationships concerned measures of agreement that men are dominant over women and measures of hostility toward women.

Emphasis mine.

Let’s look at the two forms of “masculine ideology” that have the highest correlations with sexual aggression. “Hypermasculinity” is essentially traditional machismo, laced with sexism. While one finds a good deal of macho posturing in the Men’s Rights movement, there are plenty of MRAs who don’t fit this stereotype.

What about “hostile masculinity?” The researchers describe it as a combination of

1) a desire to be in control, to be dominating, particularly in relation to women, and 2) an insecure, defensive, and distrustful orientation to women.

Does that sound just a little bit familiar?

It’s more or less a description of half of the MRAs out there, and probably the overwhelming majority of the commenters on The Spearhead.

Of course, the Spearheaders don’t express hostility only towards women. They also express hostility towards men who don’t hate women sufficiently. In the comments to Price’s post declaring me a father-demonizing mother and child-hater, the regulars attack me, variously, as “slimy,” “a bottom feeder,” “evil,” and “a sleazy predator in disguise” who is “too repulsive to even get into proximity of any young women.”

But it’s the rape jokes/threats that are the most charming, from Troll King’s PS at the end of one comment:

PS. FUck mantits. I still wanna titty fuck that little cunt. I bet they are nice and soft…nohomo…

To Judo-chop’s fond recollection of a rape threat from the past:

The best was that troll a couple years back who wished Manboobz would get anally raped. LOL. Futrelle totally lost it when he heard that.

Actually, the most recent anal rape “wish” was just a couple of months ago.

Pro-tip: If you want to prove to the world how totally non-abusive you guys are, you’re doing it wrong.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on May 9, 2014, in a woman is always to blame, advocacy of violence, antifeminism, are these guys 12 years old?, creepy, divorce, domestic violence, doubling down, douchebaggery, empathy deficit, entitled babies, evil single moms, excusing abuse, father's rights, homophobia, men who should not ever be with women ever, MGTOW, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, patriarchy, playing the victim, racism, rape culture, rape jokes, straw futrelle, taking pleasure in women's pain, the c-word, the spearhead, threats, thug-lovers, transphobia and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 104 Comments.

  1. So “It’s not that we hate women and promote hateful views of them, it’s just that we despise them, fear them, feel they should have no rights, and blame them for everything that we consider wrong with the world.”

    And “it’s not that we don’t care passionately about male victims of rape, but we reserve the right to threaten men who disagree with us with… er… rape.”

    @ Wetherby, there used to be an enormous hoarding on the outskirts of Dubai proclaiming “Swiss Boring”. Just that: no other details. Used to make me chuckle.

  2. girlscientist

    David, I’m sorry you had to deal with these threats, and with people thinking they’re funny. These things tend to tale their toll, even when you shrug them off. Please take good care of yourself.

  3. Thanks, girlscientist, and everyone else.

    Ally, glad your stepfather apologized and you’re doing better. And thanks for the links. I was actually able to find a pdf of the one I quoted (one of my quotes is from the paper itself) b/c Google scholar now seems to link to publicly available pdfs (if available) when it lists papers behind a pay wall. I’m pretty sure this is new or newish. Very useful.

  4. My big complaint with Price is intellectual hubris: like many mensrighters he spends a lot of time theorizing and building grand explanations of reality without fact-checking. Like, how could he write with a straight face that there were no female lamas? But they all do that and so their depictions of “reality” veer from silly to scary.

    And perhaps a more serious sin on his part is his encouragement of his posse. He provides a haven for people to say the most ghastly things (see above) with minimal moderation so far as we can tell. That way he can say, “I didn’t say that.” but he gave aid and comfort to the ones who did.

  5. @Hippodamia8527
    Cool poem. Some people always say that its always better to stay for the children, but they’re always comparing a happy intact family with a family that has a long pattern of happiness to the extent that they got a divorce. How about they compare apples to apples and compare the results of leaving an unhappy relationship with the results of staying in an unhappy one? I bet things would look different.

    People always act like women just up and leave their husbands for no reason. Maybe if they listened to women when they complained people wouldn’t be surprised when they left. I feel like a lot of people feel that women just complain, and it really doesn’t mean much, because women don’t really “mean” they’re complaints.

  6. There are some spectacular examples of the two points I made above in Price’s oeuvre concerning the Shakers on his current front page.

  7. @Ally

    And I just want to say that I’m sorry if I sound really gloomy and irritable today. I’ve been in my room all day cooped-up because this morning my step-dad was screaming in my face and insulting me for being “lazy”, and I fear that he might try to kick me out of the house. It’s really rough for me right now so if I’m snappy with anyone I’m very sorry.

    You aren’t being snappy today. And sorry about your stepdad :(

    My step-dad has calmed down and apologized, and he’s not going to kick me out. I’m still going to leave soon, though, and live with some friends of mine.

    That’s good. And I’m glad to hear you can stay with some friends soon.

  8. His mathematical knowledge is no better than his heart. He commits the same fallacy committed by the guy who was afraid there would be a bomb on the plane, so he took one on. His reasoning?: “The odds of one bomb on the plane is tiny, but the odds of two are really microscopic.” This, of course, doesn’t work: Another that may or may not be on the plane is (or is not) there independently of his actions. He don’t influence the real bomb.

    He say that leaving partners is bad, because the single mom’s children stand a greater chance of abuse than the married mom’s. But he forgets that there are already some truths in this divorcing-from-an-abuser scenario, regardless if he knows it or not.
    The average chance that a child of a single mother will be abused (this study probably exclude sexual abuse) was 2.7 % in one study, and 1.5% for children in 2-parent households. (These numbers may not be the best, but I will use them as an example of the argument.) W.F. Price probably knows some statistics in this category.
    But the woman in an abusive marriage either know that her children are abused, or at the very least that they are getting their values from an abuser and may potentially be abused by the abuser that is already in their home. Getting from a 100% certainty of abuse to a perhaps 2.7% chance is very wise.
    If he thinks that divorcing an abusive man is going from a 1.5% to a 2.7% chance of abuse, he is simply not considering the factors that are true regardless of the divorce.

  9. Ceebarks said: “But nooooo, women nagged/social-engineered/golddug/creepshamed our collective way into making the poor exhausted men invent agriculture, nuclear warfare, antibiotics, designer handbags, bon-bons, and the TCP/IP protocol,…”

    and scented candles. Don’t forget that horrendous offense to all decent society – scented (shudder) candles.


    Women. Not only destroyers of civilization, but even the thought of us could destroy the ability to complete the word you started typing.

  11. These guys are awfully invested in women being afraid to leave their abuser. I know plenty of women who left their abusive husbands and did not find the world’s men to be frothing at the mouth to abused them and their children. There are plenty of women and who find happiness with a man who is not the biological father of those kids.

    Abuse statistics keep falling, because women do find it easier to leave an abusive partner and that abuser has to reign himself in if he wants a woman to voluntarily stay with him in the future. These assholes hate that. They long for the days when women and girls were the property of their fathers until they were sold to their husbands, for better or for worse. Often, it was for worse. So, they rage and whine and stomp their fight and try to tell women they were better off as property, in very much the same way we see white bigots telling POC that they were better off as property.

    No one is fooled. The only people who benefited from the oppression of others were the oppressors.

    I’m sorry you’re getting threats David. These abusive butt barnacles can’t use reason or facts. So, they have to fall back on threats. They say when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I guess when you are a rapist,(or someone who gets off on threatening rape) everyone looks like a potential victim.

  12. I’m not familiar with the divorce laws in other countries, but in the US states started changing their laws to allow no fault divorce. According to the logic of WTF Price that would mean rates of DV should have skyrocketed.

    Not so much.

    According the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. has seen a 64% decline in domestic violence over the last two decades.[9] From 1994–2000, domestic violence declined by 48%, following a similar trend in overall violent crime. From 2001–2010, the rate of decline in domestic violence slowed or stabilized, while the overall violent crime rate continued to fall. Additional information on U.S. domestic violence prevalence as well as prevention programs and their efficacy is available from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.stopvaw.org/prevalence_of_domestic_violence

  13. I’m slowly working my through that Lousy Book Covers site Kittehserf linked too. I think I found an alternate cover for the Myth of Male Power.

  14. I’m slowly working my through that Lousy Book Covers site Kittehserf linked to. I think I found an alternate cover for the Myth of Male Power.

  15. Uhh. I thought I found a way to edit a misspelling in the first post and just ended up posting a second. Sorry.


    I scratched my dad’s copy of Civilization II when I was a kid. Maybe that’s what he means?

    I mean, it was pretty misandric of me, but I saved up my pocket money to get him a new copy, so civi wasn’t destroyed forever!

  17. Also, David, I am so sorry you are getting rape threats. It’s disgusting and upsetting and thank you for continuing to run this blog in spite of it.

  18. @tinyorc

    He was clearly talking about women’s wanton destruction of Civ I. I doubt he was even aware of your dastardly attack on Civ II.

  19. I’m slowly working my through that Lousy Book Covers site Kittehserf linked to. I think I found an alternate cover for the Myth of Male Power.


    The scary thing is, that effort isn’t any worse than Farrell’s – and the name gives a better idea of what’s really going on in his maggotty little brain. :D

    Also, if we’ve all destroyed civi, what’s lisation (or lization) doing? Is it all on its lonesome?

  20. I’m slowly working my through that Lousy Book Covers site Kittehserf linked too. I think I found an alternate cover for the Myth of Male Power.

    …That’s a real book cover? My Violence in the Library cover was way better than that!

  21. Check out the site, katz, the covers are unbelievably bad. The first one up today is a winner, it’s soooooo bad it’s MRA-worthy.

  22. hieronymousboss

    This place is the perfect antidote to the hate I’ve read all over the internet for the past week, as the Title IX violation on college campuses have inspired hundreds of articles per week.

    I swear these MRAs must have a full-time troll brigade on the payroll, because they show up en masse in literally every comments section and take it over with rape apologism.

    My faith in humanity is restored momentarily, reading these comments. /endvent

  23. @hieronymousboss

    Yeah, I’ve noticed the whole AVfM gang loves to brigade Buzzfeed article comments. Dean Esmay, Paul Elam, GirlWritesWhat, Typhonblue, John The Other, etc. I can only hope that their activism never extends beyond defending misogyny and racism on the internet.

    Oh, and here’s your welcome package: http://artistryforfeminismandkittens.wordpress.com/the-official-man-boobz-complimentary-welcome-package/

  24. I’ve seen evidence of a troll brigade patrolling comments sections too. Whenever there’s some ghastly incident concerning child custody, no matter how outrageous, I generally see them. We had a guy who violated a court order, invaded his ex’s home, tasered and pepper-sprayed her, and ran off with their young son. His father was waiting with a getaway car nearby. And why did the father become subject to a court order? Because previously he had taken the son away and hidden him for 9 months in an undisclosed location. The judge didn’t like that and changed the visitation rules. So the troll brigade shows up on most of the articles following this story with comments like, “She’s no angel!” and “Poor dad was pushed to the limits because she denied him access to his son.” and so forth.

  25. We’re destroying civvies! From now on, only military uniforms allowed. Ten-HUT!

  26. Only if they’re like this and not like this!

    Though I think MRAs should be made to wear these.

    In winter.

  27. David, thank you for all you do here. I’m sorry you have to deal with rape threats and other disgusting crap.

    Ally, glad you’ll be with friends soon. Sorry about all you’re going through with your family right now.

    Since Tinyorc mentioned Civ. I used to play Civ III w/my husband and some male friends. I guess when I won games it was double misandry because I usually played as Hatshepsut. ;)

  28. Hang on…is this genius pro-‘traditional family values’ or is he advocating MGTOW? It seems to me that the latter largely precludes the former since the latter generally requires the abandonment of their families, refusal to pay their share of child support and parenting responsibilities.

  29. @ seranvali

    Well, they wouldn’t have to “Go their Own Way” if women just did everything they were told by their husbands, instead of being evil harpies bent on destroying mankind. /sarcasm

  30. RE: Kittehs’ third book cover link


  31. An excellent post, Dave, as usual.

    Be strong. Your decency and courage enrage Misogynist Rape Advocates. Good. The more they foam at their rabid mouths, the more clearly they reveal their violent, misogynist, and inhumane nature.

  32. “It’s more or less a description of half of the MRAs out there”

    You are very kind, and conservative, in your estimate here, Dave. It is more than likely that an overwhelming majority of MRA, if not all, fit this description. The attitudes embodied in hostile masculinity are a prerequisite for becoming an MRA.

    Simply put, emotionally healthy men not only do not turn into MRA, but they reject them right off the bat as a derision-worthy hate movement fueled by, among other things, delusions of both persecution and grandeur.

  33. @Ally S

    I can only hope that their activism never extends beyond defending misogyny and racism on the internet.</blockquote<

    If it ever went beyond that, the result would likely be a lengthy prison sentence — so for their sake as well as their victims', I hope you're right.

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