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The Education of Arthur Goldwag

May 17, 2012

Since my book writing hasn’t made me rich or famous, maybe sex-bashing will. I hear that some “manginas” (as the Mens Rights people call feminist-friendly men) really rake it in.

But geez…. everyone told me about the fifteen minutes of fame. I wasn’t prepared for the two minutes of hate. But here I am at A Voice for Men, “the largest and highest-trafficked men’s rights site on the web,” being outed as a money-grubbing fraud.

“Arthur Goldwag is still a liar, and still an unskilled one,” John the Other writes in his somewhat prolix response to my response to the “manosphere’s” response to my article in the SPLC’s Intelligence Report magazine. He even calls me a one-man hate movement.

Who is a hate movement Arthur? Who? Have you looked in the mirror? Goldwag claims that AVfM’s founder and publisher, Paul Elam – and his colleagues (that would include me) read or represented [Vliet Tiptree's] eugenics advocacy as a well-developed plan, calling us “obtuse” for the misrepresentation. However, he doesn’t cite any actual claim of a “well developed plan” on our part, probably because we never made any such claim. Obtuse is the word he used. Okay Arthur, if you say so.

I don’t have the patience to go through his post and debunk it point by point (and I doubt many readers would have the interest in following me even if I did), but Exhibit A can be found here, right at A Voice for Men.

Up on that site right now, by a writer calling herself Vliet Tiptree, is nothing less than a fledgling manifesto calling for extermination of half the human race; the male half, that is. Oh, and she has a plan. A real plan….In short, this is, while quite insane, laid out within a strategic plan. There is nothing satirical about it.

But here’s what baffles me. Why does a misogynist website take such extravagant offense at being called misogynist? Why deny that it demonizes all women, and not just feminists, when it so often does? Just to the left of the article about me is a Mother’s Day message from AVfM’s Paul Elam. Dripping with irony as it is, it does appear to elide the distinction between feminists and females:

To all you mothers of the world…Place a bunch of daffodils at a dumpster near you, perhaps one in which one of you, or one of your kind, has tossed an unwanted baby, leaving it there to slowly die alone….Now perhaps some of you could place large, colorful arrangements at the abortion centers where women go to have children cut out…

This is not a request for some mothers, or a percentage of them, but all of you. In fact, you don’t even have to be a mother. If you have a vagina, the blood of all those children, who are abused far more at the hands of women than men, has stained your skin and caked around the cuticles of your fingers….It doesn’t matter. This is the age of equal opportunity for collective guilt. If I were a male college freshman at Hamilton College, I would be marched into an auditorium on day 1 where I would attend an orientation lecture called “She Fears You,” a class that lets all men know they are potential rapists, and that they are being watched….

Now, do I really mean all this? Yes. It is not that women deserve to be collectively regarded as child abusers and killers. Most aren’t. Most are actually very good to their children and can even be trusted with the children of others. But that truth is not what is important here.

What is important is the children, or the principle, or whatever other bullshit we make up to convince ourselves it is not about demonizing women when that is exactly what we are doing…..

The fact is that mothers are more dangerous than fathers where it concerns children. They always have been. It is only a few percentage points in that direction, but of course in a White Ribbon way, it is more than enough to justify pointing a finger at your entire sex and feeling superior as we watch you atone for the unspeakable acts of a minority.

So, suck it up ladies….If in general you have remained silent or actively participated as the image of the male half of the population has been reduced to that of a depraved threat, then step up and get your flowers. You deserve every last petal, stem and thorn.

I get that he’s making the point that men who wear the white ribbon symbolizing their opposition to violence against women are participating in the demonization of their whole sex, and that he’s giving man-hating feminists a taste of their own medicine. I do. But it also sounds to me (and I suspect it might sound that way to pretty much any other reader) that what he’s also saying in effect is, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”–that if you don’t fully endorse not just the Mens Rights Movement but the unerring rightness of its dear leader Paul Elam, then you are pretty much exactly the same as Lorena Bobbitt.

For a person who has written as much about extremism, cultism, and conspiracy theory as I have, it’s almost surreal to get sucked up into this world of hyperbolic identity politics. I have even found myself playing a tangential role in a conspiracy theory. From A Voice for Men and AntiMisandry.com, I learned that an MRA “mole” code-named Agent Orange has ferreted out the covert connections between RadFem and the SPLC.

Since I began writing my books I have been outed as a Zionist, a hater of white people, a Communist, and a Rockefeller-funded shill for the New World Order. Now I find myself on the wrong side of the “fastest growing human rights movement in America.” It’s all too grotesque for words.

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Itanimulli

13 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2012 12:32 pm

    Whenever I read about these guys, I recall the old Three Stooges films that included the “women hater’s club.” Same level of sophistication.

  2. May 17, 2012 12:52 pm

    “Since I began writing my books I have been outed as a Zionist…”

    You’re not?

    “a hater of white people…”

    You’re not?

    “a Communist…”

    Maybe “judaeo-bolshevik”?

    “and a Rockefeller-funded shill for the New World Order…”

    Maybe not. But they’ve a documented trail of funding leftist revolutionaries.

    “Now I find myself on the wrong side of the “fastest growing human rights movement in America.” It’s all too grotesque for words.”

    “Grotesque”? Truth is grotesque?

  3. May 17, 2012 3:01 pm

    Thanks Arthur. As I told you about my activism around gender identity and how it has negative implications for females, I anticipated the extreme fringe trans activists would react as they have, as they are also Men’s Rights Activists (in a different guise). I hope the Southern Poverty Law Center is curious enough to look into them – that’s kind of been the point of my activism for a year now. Because when lesbians say “hey, some trans activism is bad for females,” we are branded as bigots in the GLBT community. I suspect the non-GLBT World will not be as “forgiving.”

  4. Brinstarr permalink
    May 17, 2012 9:12 pm

    It’s amazing how many conspiracy theories they come up with as soon as they face criticism.

  5. Chi permalink
    May 17, 2012 11:14 pm

    FIGHT! You fight ‘em! The MRAs are a horrible embarrassment to the rights of all people because of their tactics and their hate.

    Don’t respond to the personal attacks they make against you. You’re above that. Keep fighting!

  6. May 19, 2012 11:07 am

    “Who is a hate movement Arthur? Who? Have you looked in the mirror? Goldwag claims that AVfM’s founder and publisher, Paul Elam – and his colleagues (that would include me) read or represented [Vliet Tiptree's] eugenics advocacy as a well-developed plan, calling us “obtuse” for the misrepresentation. However, he doesn’t cite any actual claim of a “well developed plan” on our part, probably because we never made any such claim. Obtuse is the word he used. Okay Arthur, if you say so. ”

    “I don’t have the patience to go through his post and debunk it point by point (and I doubt many readers would have the interest in following me even if I did), but Exhibit A can be found here, right at A Voice for Men.”

    Yeah, typical. You write a sloppy puff piece labeling a movement a hate group, yet you don’t even have the balls to refute your points. Paul Elam and John the Other tosses out anyone that advocates violence on their website, yet dishonest fucksticks like you try to make these guys out to be violent woman-hating terrorists. Were people really supposed to shell out money to you and buy your shitty books? You’re too fucking lazy and thick to back up your own yellow journalism.

  7. Jay permalink
    September 5, 2012 6:26 pm

    John writes this: “This is the age of equal opportunity for collective guilt. ”

    and you write this “I get that he’s making the point that men who wear the white ribbon symbolizing their opposition to violence against women are participating in the demonization of their whole sex, and that he’s giving man-hating feminists a taste of their own medicine”

    Now I only read your excerpt, and I only have my own personal experience, but I read what he writes differently. He is not for collective guilt, and his calling out all mothers isn’t a statement against “men who wear the white ribbon”, it is a statement against feminists that place collective guilt on all men to stop things they are both opposed to and pretty much powerless to stop. All of those anti-rape posters that tell men that they could stop rape.

    It’s a statement about the unfairness of collective guilt that our society has learned to recognize throughout history, except when it comes to feminist driven collective guilt against men. OR refined and can be seen TODAY in the atheism/atheism+ battles against old white men. Hate is okay when it’s against men, especially rich old white men.

    And once more when you write this,

    “But it also sounds to me (and I suspect it might sound that way to pretty much any other reader) that what he’s also saying in effect is, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”–that if you don’t fully endorse not just the Mens Rights Movement but the unerring rightness of its dear leader Paul Elam, then you are pretty much exactly the same as Lorena Bobbitt.”

    I think of the numerous times that I (Jewish, liberal, a father, 50ish, LGBTQIA) have heard this message from feminists and Democrats: women that speak against feminism are gender traitors, men that disagree with aspects of feminism are misogynists, log cabin Republicans and African American Republicans are brain washed. (And still I love Bill Clinton, who will be speaking tonight at the DNC).

    Finally, one aspect of John’s essay I think you are remiss not to address is his charges that you a) have cherry picked and overlooked what is written by Cathy Brennan at the radical feminist hub, B) her domain squatting on Elam’s name, and C) your retweeting an apparently inaccurate tweet concerning hate groups and men’s rights in an ill-timed fashion close to a fund raising effort by the SPLC.

    • Arthur Goldwag permalink*
      September 5, 2012 6:55 pm

      I agree that I was wrong to reTweet an inaccurate press release from the Rad Fem News Service. I was delighted that they quoted so much of the article. It didn’t occur to me until later that I should have corrected what their headline said about “hate groups” (the SPLC has a formal process by which it designates hate groups and none of the MRA websites I wrote about made the cut). If I hadn’t given in to that moment of authorial vanity, I wouldn’t have had to listen to all those conspiracy theories about rad fems, the SPLC, and me.

      For whatever it’s worth, I’m not universally loved in the Rad Fem community (though I probably have less enemies there than I do in the MRA world).

  8. jay permalink
    September 18, 2012 1:02 am

    Hi Arthur,

    Le Shana Tovah,

    I’m not precise on your connection to the SPLC or future intelligence reports dealing with the mens rights movement, but I do encourage you to take the criticism of your/their report from Reason to heart. I think that criticism is very much on point.

    I also encourage you to read through this thread at Man Boobz.

    http://manboobz.com/2012/09/17/the-debate-is-on-and-off-and-on-again-then-really-really-on

    I believe you if you read through David Futrelle’s article, AND follow the links in it, and then read the comments of “Ullere” as well as “some guy bored with your schtick” (that would be me), it’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that David Futrelle’s reporting there intentionally distorts what occurred.

    Why is this important? Well, because you used or cited Futrelle as a resource in your SPLC article and I think you need to consider that for whatever reason, Futrelle is not an honest source of information and everything he writes needs doublechecking.

    FWIW, since I believe Futrelle is a journalist, I think he has violated several of the ethical rules of the SPJ, especially their first rule:

    “Journalists should:

    — Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.”

    I, myself, would love to speak with you, or anyone about the issue that has dramatically affected my life, which is bias against fathers in the family courts. I can tell you a lot about father’s rights issues, notably the need to have a rebuttable presumption of joint shared custody as a reform of the very good reform of no fault divorce. I definitely identify with the father’s rights movement — I would love to see you examine the fathers and families website and and discuss what you find there, or have you examine the current state of Parental Alienation Syndrome and see what psychologists, researchers, lawyers, have to say about (isnaf.info is a good place to start.)

    I am not sure how I feel about the men’s rights movement.

    I agree with a great deal of what they say about the over-reach of contemporary feminism, and I agree almost entirely with Cathy Young and Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglia, Erin Pizzey and many others about that as well.

    There is also clearly a large contingent of female atheist, scientists and skeptically oriented women very upset with the Atheism+ movement, and very upset with contemporary feminism. It would be interesting to see someone acknowledge that many smart, and mostly liberal women have huge issues with contemporary feminism, and that doing so does not make them “gender traitors” or traitors to liberalism of any sort.

    I do have issues with the mens rights movement outside of reddit and articles I have read associated with the mens movement that I have a hard time supporting. I am sympathetic, but some of it can be pretty ugly, even as I understand where much of the bitterness and dark humor comes from.

    Regardless, I think your relying on David Futrelle when his reports are so cavalier with the truth, when as an experienced journalist he knows better, and when put to the question he hems and haws and avoids the discussion of whether this piece was distortive, I think that does you no favors, nor does it do the SPLC, or women, or men, or society.

    Anyway, best wishes,

    Jay

  9. February 10, 2013 1:31 pm

    radical feminist hub holds donation pools for you that really isn’t giving me the impression you are being fair and unbiased. I mean I’ve seen the “misogynistic” comments at AVfM. They are directed at women who are feminists that condone violence against men. I mean really you seem to be bending over backwards to excuse these women, and serve them at the same time blindly. Hell the wage gap is a myth, Forbes of all groups has disproved it time and again. They even post jobs where women will out earn men based on their gender. Your books don’t sell because the book stores don’t carry them and the last time they did they never sold. Since people tend to ignore feminist men including feminists. Also you mention gendercide in China and India but the feminists you defend condone the very same if not worse subject like infantcide here in the west. I mean why is it you need to head off to the third or developing nations to have a legitimate argument against men’s rights?

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  1. The SPLC responds to MRAs critical of its report on the Men’s Rights movement [UPDATED] « man boobz

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