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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.

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emma
emma
6 years ago

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.

emma
emma
6 years ago

“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.

Kevin Kehres
6 years ago

@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.