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actual activism anti-MRA information antifeminism MGTOW misogyny MRA terrorism threats

The Southern Poverty Law Center takes on the violent misogyny so pervasive in the Men’s Rights Movement

[TW for the comments to this post; discussions of rape and abuse.]

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization devoted to tracking and exposing hate groups, has just published a detailed report on the misogyny and violent rhetoric so pervasive in the Men’s Rights Movement — as well as the actual violence inspired by this sort of hatred of women. It’s a piece you all should read, even though few of the details will be new to long-time readers of this blog.

Arthur Goldwag, an expert on conspiracy-mongers and the far right, argues (I think correctly) that the Men’s Rights movement is largely a backlash against the many successes of feminism over the last several decades:

It’s not much of a surprise that significant numbers of men in Western societies feel threatened by dramatic changes in their roles and that of the family in recent decades. Similar backlashes, after all, came in response to the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, and other major societal revolutions. What is something of a shock is the verbal and physical violence of that reaction.

[Thomas] Ball’s suicide brought attention to an underworld of misogynists, woman-haters whose fury goes well beyond criticism of the family court system, domestic violence laws, and false rape accusations.

The Men’s Rights Movement, as it exists today, is not a civil rights movement; it is a regressive, hateful reaction against a civil rights movement — that is, feminism.

Those who truly care about the rights of men, and who are not motivated by a hatred of women or feminism, need to repudiate the hate and the violent rhetoric of the Men’s Rights Movement as it exists today. Only then can there be a Men’s Rights Movement worthy of the name.

EDITED TO ADD: The SPLC has also put up a guide to some of the more hateful sites in the manosphere. Longtime readers will be familiar with most of them.

EDITED TO ADD AGAIN: And a piece debunking some Men’s Rights Myths.

EDITED TO ADD AGAIN, AGAIN: The discussion of the SPLC report on the Men’s Rights Subreddit is surprisingly reasonable, so far.  (I mean, compared to what I expected. Meanwhile, over in this thread, the Men’s Rightsers are behaving as they usually do.)

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Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

And, if you click on the link for the full report you’ll find another article, “Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women” by Mark Potok and Evelyn Schlatter, as well as a list of misogynist web sites, which includes AVfM, Roosh, the Spearhead, and the r/MensRights sub-reddit. Best of all David, ManBoobz gets a citation as a web site described as “a humorous pro-feminist blog … that keeps a close eye on these and many other woman-hating sites”.

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
8 years ago

Good for the SPLC.

Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

Linky links for those extra articles. The MBz citation is in the header for the first of these:
Misogyny: The Sites

Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women

Magnesium
Magnesium
8 years ago

So how soon can we expect an explanation for why the Southern Poverty Law Center is all a part of the international feminist conspiracy?

Buttman
Buttman
8 years ago

“So how soon can we expect an explanation for why the Southern Poverty Law Center is all a part of the international feminist conspiracy?”

The $PLC is far worse than any feminist organization.

katz
8 years ago

Magnesium: Given that 90-99% of MRAs are also racists, they probably already think so. The other 10%, of course, hate the SPLC because they go after abortion clinic bombers.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Hey, MRAs, you’re officially a hate group now. Good job, and good on the SPLC for doing the report.

ithiliana
8 years ago

*wow*

I love the SPLC to the max (they brought down the Aryan Nations in northern Idaho).

And am impressed by fact that MBZ has been pointing to all the named sites and MRA dudez all along–go, David!

I should put popcorn on the shopping list for when the manosphere explodes over this reporting.

Amnesia
Amnesia
8 years ago

I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the MRA response to this bit of excellence. Anybody want to start a poll to see how long it takes for someone in the manosphere to imply that these people deserve to have violent things done to them? I call between two hours and two hours ten minutes.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

Half of me is glad that this is getting attention from people with real power to expose and bring down hate groups.

Half of me is, shamefully, heating up a big ol’ pot of popcorn.

captainbathrobe
8 years ago

This. Is. So. Awesome.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

Also: I wonder how this will affect the people who consider themselves to be “moderate” MRAs. I wonder if being “officially” declared a hate group will have any sort of polarizing effect on the r/mensrights guys, for instance.

It seems like this could create a rift between people actually re-evaluating their beliefs and who they associate with, and people just digging further into “it’s an equal rights movement!” denial.

Rutee Katreya
8 years ago

Oh, I get it. “Surprisingly reasonable” in that they’re slightly less horrible than normal? XD

Seriously, there’s a dude in there who is saying he’s done supporting the SPLC. He knows what they do, he follows their work, and he has that little self-reflection.

I’m not really surprised. SPLC makes it their mission to track down hate groups. As harmless as the MRM is in general, it’s still a group that advocates hate and violence, it just lacks the courage of its convictions to do so openly.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

It’s about time that a mainstream social justice organization started paying attention to these guys. I’ve been wondering when the ACLU will get involved.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

“Anybody want to start a poll to see how long it takes for someone in the manosphere to imply that these people deserve to have violent things done to them?”

Most of the people involved are men, so I’m expecting less violent threats this time and more whining about manginas and traitors.

Quackers
Quackers
8 years ago

@Cassandra

Yep, the most extreme vitriol and rape threats are only reserved for women!

I wonder how much it disturbs them inside knowing there are men out there who don’t despise women or the gains women have made in society

Norton
Norton
8 years ago

Men’s rights is such a terrible name. Anyone who supports justice of any kind would obviously be against problems that some people legitimately face (false accusations, punitive alimony, etc.)
The problem is that so many of the MRAs are complete nutjobs that they hurt the cause of real justice.

Amnesia
Amnesia
8 years ago

@CassandraSays
Yes, that’s a very good point. Since there are no obvious women to point fingers at (as far as I can tell), the fact that the one discussion is ‘surprisingly reasonable’ makes perfect sense.

Amnesia
Amnesia
8 years ago

ninja’d by David, of all people! The shame, it burns…

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Aw, MarkyMark got a mention. I loved SPLC’s description of him and some of the others.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

Somehow I don’t think Rebecca Watson’s refusal to date them is making very many men sad…

She is nothing but a little girl with no idea of what really goes on in the real world that whines a lot online.

Who the fuck cares about some plain-ass manhater with a blog?

Why is it always ugly girls that are the loudest feminists?

This is the kind of shit that I guarantee you no one will say about Arthur Goldwag.

Lauralot
8 years ago

I’ve been wondering when the ACLU will get involved.

Have any of the women they’ve targeted ever contacted any sort of legal representatives or authorities?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Honestly, I keep wondering if someone is going to report Elam’s vague threats about inflicting pain on feminists to the FBI. He’s being vague enough that he’s not technically breaking any laws, but otoh he seems to basically be suggesting that his supporters get involved in a conspiracy to cause physical harm to people which would presumably cross state lines. Isn’t that the FBI’s territory? I know we have at least one lawyer among the regulars. At what point do vague online threats cross the line into something that’s legally actionable?

Quackers
Quackers
8 years ago

From this article: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/a-war-on-women

Over at the Reddit Mens Rights forum, another poster fumed: “This entire episode should be a warning to all those male hating feminists out there who believe that they are safe screaming their hate messages on the web. Finally, they are held accountable for their hate messages and finally the rest of the world will find out exactly what type of depraved people they really are.”

Oh the sweet, sweet, irony xD

Lauralot
8 years ago

It was the FBI who responded to those awful subreddits, wasn’t it? Someone should just contact the FBI about Elam’s most troublesome statements or make another Change.org petition or the like. How does contacting the FBI work, anyway?

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

Why is it always ugly girls that are the loudest feminists?

I am eternally baffled that “yeah, well, I don’t want to fuck you, so THERE” keeps being the go-to insult in response to a woman saying something one disagrees with. Heck, speaking as someone with massive body image issues, some idiot on the internet saying, “YEAH WELL YOU’RE UGLY” at me in response to an argument I made would just make me laugh, so who the heck do they think is actually bothered by this terribly clever rejoinder? Misogynist dudes, do you really, really believe Rebecca Watson is clamoring for your approval of her appearance? Because, y’know, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t actually want to fuck any of you.

pillowinhell
8 years ago

I just finished reading the watson reddit thread…

The irony!!!! It burns!!!!!!!!

Also, surprisingly civil discussion for a MRM thread…

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

“I don’t want to fuck you” is only an effective threat/hurtful insult if the person it’s being said to is sexually or romantically interested in the person saying it.

It’s particularly odd when people throw it around in online arguments where you know that they don’t actually know what the person they’re yelling at looks like.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

I am eternally baffled that “yeah, well, I don’t want to fuck you, so THERE” keeps being the go-to insult in response to a woman saying something one disagrees with.

I think the logic goes like:
A) The only thing women are good for is fucking.
B) You are no good for fucking.
C) Therefore, you are no good for anything!

Whether point A is sincerely believed, or is meant to be a further insult… varies.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

It’s particularly odd when people throw it around in online arguments where you know that they don’t actually know what the person they’re yelling at looks like.

Yeah, that’s my favorite. Possibly the best example of this ever happened a couple of years ago when a friend of mine had a guy online respond to a post criticizing dudes who harass women on the street (specifically using the example, “Hey, hot tits!”) by saying something like, “You’re just jealous that guys will never call your ugly fatty tits hot!”

My friend is a skinny hipster dude. His “ugly fatty tits” became a heck of a running joke thereafter.

zhinxy
8 years ago

Buttman | March 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm
“So how soon can we expect an explanation for why the Southern Poverty Law Center is all a part of the international feminist conspiracy?”

The $PLC is far worse than any feminist organization.

Yeah… Okay then.

Truth be told, there WERE some people writing SPLC reports back when that had a tendency to throw people who, while not exactly forward thinking, were simply conservative in with “neo-confederates” and “militia groups” but that was a few years ago and to the best of my knowledge “the people responsible have been sacked.”* I also had a few personal run ins with some people (It involved dungeons and dragons, and it’s a long story) involved way back when that did not make me think well of them as people. All that does not mean it is not a good organization on the whole, or that it does not do good things, or that it is not right on the mark with Elam et al.

*And somehow I doubt none of that has anything to do with your negative impression of the organization.

zhinxy
8 years ago

ANY of that.

grinner
grinner
8 years ago

I want to join in on popcorn, may I bring candy? I promise it’s un-opened!

Also, glad to see Elam being called out specifically for Register Her (or whatever the name is)

captainbathrobe
8 years ago

@Buttlad

“So how soon can we expect an explanation for why the Southern Poverty Law Center is all a part of the international feminist conspiracy?”

The $PLC is far worse than any feminist organization.

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

*breathes*

Hahahahahahahahahaha!

Dude, you missed your calling in life. You should have been a standup comedian.

Seriously, you and your ilk are in good company with the Klan and the Aryan Nations (horses excepted, of course). You know who you hate, and you do so unreservedly. It just fries you when others see you for what you are.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Unfortunately, Paul Elam has such a poisonous and bloated ego, he’ll take this as a sign that he’s finally arrived to the big leagues. Which in a way he has, but it’s not for anything good.

Quackers
Quackers
8 years ago

Heartiste/Roissy should be added to their list of websites as he has said women voting ruined western civilization, has advocated slapping women because it turns them on and a shitload of other borderline rapey shit.

But hey, I wont complain because this is pretty awesome as it is 😀

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
8 years ago

I don’t know about you all, but I’m prepared to call this a huge victory for the MRM. Not only will there message be spread far and wide, but the $P1C is finally being exposed as the evil feminazi conspiracy group all of my buddy’s said it was. Of course, they always added “no offense to nazis” afterwards… hmmm.

Anyway, revolution is brewing my friends. A new day will dawn where the MRM, billions of men strong, will proclaim out to the world “we won’t take your shit anymore!” Plus, bad publicity is free publicity, am I right? Just look how things are going for the WBC! Swell… Just… swell.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

Unfortunately, Paul Elam has such a poisonous and bloated ego, he’ll take this as a sign that he’s finally arrived to the big leagues.

I can’t wait for the entire week of posts, the proud addition to his “media mentions” wall, and the demand for $5000 to have commemorative plates printed.

Doesn’t seem to have gone up yet, though; the current top post is “Does Feminism Cause Brain Damage?”

…really now.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

In a Machiavellian kind of way I hope Elam does bask in the attention. It’s when he’s feeling ignored that I start worrying that he’s going to hurt someone, or get one of his fans to do so, in a non-Internet way.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Holly, I would buy a commemorative plate. I wonder what one would look like.

zhinxy
8 years ago

Oh, omg, Elam Commemorative Plates? Awesome!

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

Holly, I would buy a commemorative plate. I wonder what one would look like.

It’d be shaped like a woman and read “Patience brothers, our sandwiches will be here any day now!”

Kita
8 years ago

Ugh…I’m arguing with an MRA right now. He insists the entire SPLC article is based on nonsense, because “the MRM and the father’s rights movement are not the same thing.”

Ideas for a response?

blitzgal
8 years ago

Reading Elam’s history all laid out like that was vomit-inducing. What a sociopath he is. I’m glad they brought up cases like Sodini and Lepine. I think a lot of people have already forgotten Sodini and perhaps never even heard of the Montreal shootings.

Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

Heartiste/Roissy will be bummed that he didn’t get a cite, but RooshV did…

Lady Zombie
Lady Zombie
8 years ago

Can’t. Stop. Laughing. Honestly, this is so awesome, I want to throw confetti.

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