More on Mens Rights extremism

Take a deep breath, gird your loins, and immerse yourself in this online world of men’s rights extremists (MREs).

It’s a murky place, where women are evil overlords and men are an army of ants serving their Queen.

Here’s an article about on-line Mens Rights groups by Tory Sheperd that ran in Australia earlier this year. I didn’t acknowledge it in my piece for the SPLC because I’d already written and delivered it when it came out. It’s interesting to see that the commenters from the MRA community said exactly the same things to Sheperd that they are saying to the SPLC and me–Elam’s open letter to Richard Cohen, for example, appears to have been partially cut-and-pasted from his earlier response to Sheperd.

What continues to baffle me is why they take such umbrage at being called “misogynists.”

Here are some handy rules of thumb for people in the advocacy business. If you don’t want to be thought of as a racist, don’t use the word “nigger” loosely. I mean, you could get into a whole First Amendment argument about your right to say whatever you damn well please about whomever, but maybe it would be better for everyone if you didn’t.

If you want to be taken seriously as a civil rights activist, don’t call white people “crackers” or “honkies.” Only racists take the New Black Panthers seriously, for example (they have earned their place on the SPLC listing of hate groups).

Granted, this doesn’t do justice to the myriad shades of gray that the real world presents us with all the time, but as another rule of thumb, if you don’t want to be thought of as an anti-Semite, don’t quote the Protocols approvingly. If you don’t want to be thought of as a homophobe, don’t call gay people “faggots” or “dykes.”

And if you don’t want to be thought of as a woman-hater, don’t call women “cunts.” Call feminist spokespeople out for their hypocrisy or bad faith wherever and whenever you see it, call them ideologues…. But don’t call them “cunts.” Reducing a whole class of people to one immutable attribute is the essence of hate speech.

And don’t call the kettle black. Vliet Tiptree notwithstanding, it’s probably not a good idea for MREs to write about breeding white women out of existence, as this commenter on The Spearhead does (“We as men can speed the extinction of Western White Women by encouraging them to pursue the single life or to pursue another woman as a spouse (lesbianism). We can do this actively and passively. Actively by outright encouragement, and passively by never giving a Western Woman access to our sperm, money, or time”). “I’m Not a Misogynist: I Just Want to Breed Uppity White Women Out of Existence,” a post on a blog called Skeptical Cubefarm, makes the point much better than I can.

Tory Sheperd witheringly reduces MREs to “wounded angry men” who gather on the Internet to “foment trouble.” Maybe if some of them–including so many of the movement’s self-described leaders–weren’t so quick to fling their shit at everyone who looks at them cross-eyed, people in general would take the rest of the MRA community more seriously.

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Itanimulli

19 thoughts on “More on Mens Rights extremism

  1. There are extremists in every venue. But, what one notices repeatedly in the msm at least is the effort to paint any group that doesn’t genuflect to liberal totems as “extreme”. Libs btw comprise the largest cluster of extremists in the galaxy.

    1. Question: If “Reducing a whole class of people to one immutable attribute is the essence of hate speech” then when “Tory Sheperd witheringly reduces MREs to “wounded angry men” who gather on the Internet to “foment [sic] trouble,” isn’t Ms Shepherd guilty of ‘hate speech,’ by Arthur’s own definition?

      Question: I’ve asked Arthur several times whether he interviewed ANY mens rights activists before writing his piece on the SPLC website, or indeed any of his follow-up pieces on this site. He’s never answered so I conclude the answer’s none. I assume Tory Shepherd didn’t either. I simply don’t understand this – what professional journalist writes a ‘research’ report without doing any original research?

      Question: “If you don’t want to be thought of as a racist, don’t use the word “nigger” loosely…don’t call white people “crackers” or “honkies”…only racists take the New Black Panthers seriously…if you don’t want to be thought of as an anti-Semite, don’t quote the Protocols approvingly…if you don’t want to be thought of as a homophobe, don’t call gay people “faggots” or “dykes. Here, Arthur advises campaigners for fathers rights and mens rights to shun their natural inclination towards jew-hating, gay-bashing and racism. Isn’t this hateful stereotyping of the kind Arthur claims to decry?

      Arthur Goldwag: the journalist ethics of Jayson Blair combined with the moral compass of a reverse-Ann Coulter. Utterly bizarre. What a cunt.

  2. I checked out that Aussie link. It takes you to an article that slags of MRAs, and then says they’re guilty of ’emphasising shared parenting that can privilege contact with children over their safety.”

    Why should children be less safe when they have a relationship with both parents? Oh…oh I see, it’s because all men are abusers, is that it? No? Most men then? Ah right.

    Carry on Arthur, just carry on.

    1. As you perfectly well understand yourself, the “gender expert” quoted in the article, Dr. Flood, didn’t say that it would be desirable to prevent all children from having contact with their male parents. He said that MRA-influenced lobbyists have pressed for changes in the law that tend to privilege the ideal of a child having contact with both parents EVEN IN CASES WHERE THERE IS A CONCERN FOR THE CHILD’S SAFETY.

      In the US, anyway, the overwhelming majority of divorces are low-conflict. When there are children, most parents work out custodial arrangements without litigation or interference from social services. High conflict divorces are something like 5% of the total, and not all of those feature allegations of violence.

      Within that small universe, there are indeed terrible abuses–including false accusations that can have devastating consquences for their victims, including estrangement from children and unjust imprisonment. No one denies this. Women are frequently accused of abusing or neglecting their children as well. Outside of the domestic sphere, men have been and continue to be falsely accused of and convicted of rape. The official indifference to the plague of man-on-man rape in prisons is a national disgrace. These are real and serious issues.

      But to couch it all in terms of a “war” between all men and all women, or between salt-of-the-earth citizens and the Politically Correct elites, or MRAs versus Feminists is a huge distraction.

      For the last time, I don’t globally dispute all men’s issues. I do deplore the misogyny that is so apparent on so many MRA sites.

      1. Hi Arthur,

        I don’t care for misogyny either. I care very much about children’s rights to a relationship with both parents though.

        So “MRA-influenced lobbyists have pressed for changes in the law that tend to privilege the ideal of a child having contact with both parents EVEN IN CASES WHERE THERE IS A CONCERN FOR THE CHILD’S SAFETY.”

        Let me make it easy for you: if you can find me a fathers rights group or, for that matter, a mens rights group, not just in the U.S, but anywhere in the entire English-speaking world, which has said at any time, in any fashion (not just through a formal submission to government, but in a PR, blog post, even a single tweet), that a child should have contact with a parent, even where that creates a concern for that child’s safety, then I will personally donate GBP£100 (approx. US$160) to a charity of your choice.

        My money’s quite safe, so let’s hear no more about that one thank you.

        The facts you quote are disingenuous, and quite frankly Arthur what’s frustrating is that you KNOW they are. You’re clearly a very bright man, so why are you wasting your time and mine with them? It’s obvious what the issues are with what you’ve said. Why, when it’s suggested that the law should presume that a child should have a relationship with BOTH parents post separation or divorce, do feminists and women’s groups automatically jump up and down and claim there’s an issue about ‘safety’ or abuse’? It’s because ‘both parents’ is code for ‘fathers too!’, and all fathers are treated
        with suspicion.

        It’s boring Arthur. It’s boring and wrong. I live in the UK, and here Scotland has had Shared Parenting Presumption in law since 1974 – it’s worked well with few problems and there’s no calls to change it. The Scottish family law system is renowned as one of the fairest in Europe, so what’s your problem? Are American and Australian courts and judges stupider than Scottish ones?

        For God’s sake stop listening to these bloody nutty feminists – you’ve been hanging around loonies too long IMHO.

      2. They won’t listen. People have been giving them statistics by the boatload from myriad reputable sources about divorce/custody percentages that back up what you’re saying Aurthur, but MRAs are not open to finding out the truth. They only want fudged numbers that can be used to paint women and mothers and feminists in the worst way possible, It h as come to a point where they are banned from some online forums altogether because there is very little chance of having conversations with them. They want to debate, couching everything as an argument and that would be fine except as you can see they are rarely arguing in good faith. They’re disingenuous as hell and few of them have yet to be “activists” for their cause in any real way. They are simply not interested in any viewpoint that is not explicitly anti-woman.

        What I have found is the real activists producing real results do not identify with MRAs. I have looked far and wide, and I have found some great organizations advancing their concerns. Sadly, I’ve also found that MRAs invalidate these organizations if the leaders do not speak out against women and feminists. Promoting men’s issues isn’t enough of a focus. It’s sad, but it is really the MRAs’ loss, and nobody else’s. The men’s movement that is concerned with helping men’s issues with fatherhood and families is not the same as the current MRM and its MRA disciples. The latter is almost exclusively relegated to a few online mediums preaching hate and lies about women.

      3. I’m arguing in perfectly good faith Sarah. Let’s try again shall we?

        Arthur repeats the claim that: “MRA-influenced lobbyists have pressed for changes in the law that tend to privilege the ideal of a child having contact with both parents EVEN IN CASES WHERE THERE IS A CONCERN FOR THE CHILD’S SAFETY.”

        I say fine, would you like to provide evidence for that claim?

        Response?

        Well, nothing yet from Arthur, he’s gone quiet. However you pop up accusing MRAs of ‘preaching hate and lies’.

        Hmm…

  3. I didn’t write about Dr. Flood or even Fathers Rights for the SPLC; I didn’t even issue a blanket condemnation of Mens Rights. My piece acknowledged that there are “legitimate and sometimes disturbing complaints about the treatment of men” and fathers. Flood comes in via my link above to an article by Tory Shepherd.

    Flood is clearly not a friend of Australia’s Father’s Rights movement, but I don’t think it’s fair to characterize him as “anti-male” either; he makes the point that “the belief that it is desirable for men to play an active role in parenting is shared across the fathers’ rights movement and feminism.”

    Here is the link to a long piece he wrote entitled “Fathers’ Rights” and the
    Defense of Paternal Authority in Australia. Pages 333 to 336 summarize his findings on the “Impact of the Fathers’ Rights Movement Priviledging Contact Over Safety.”

    http://www.xyonline.net/sites/default/files/Flood,%20'Fathers'%20rights'%20and%20defence%20of%20paternal%20authority.pdf

    I’m not looking to collect any prize money; I know I’m not going to find anyone lobbying for a “Violent Father’s Indisputable Right to Contact” law. Flood’s contention is that Australian Fathers Rights groups are seeking to elide the “violent father” part of the equation by discrediting the victim (accusing women and children of lying about abuse at a much greater rate than the facts appear to warrant), promoting statistics that seemingly “equalize” the incidences of violence between the genders, and protecting perpetrators.

    Thus “children going through the West Australian Family Court expressed frustration that their disclosures of abuse and their preferences for no contact with abusive fathers were minimized and rejected as maternal influence (Hay, 2003). Qualitative research among single mothers documents that of women who left violent relationships and then used the Family Court system, none was able to prevent their children’s continuing exposure to abuse through court-ordered contact (McInnes, 2002).”

    Flood writes, “substantial changes in Australian family law were made in 1995 with the passing of the Family Law Reform Act. These changes, particularly the enshrining of children’s right to contact with both parents, were influenced by the lobbying of fathers’ rights groups….The 1995 reforms were intended to bring about a normative shift toward “shared parenting” and included the guiding principle that “children have a right of contact, on a regular basis, with both their parents” (Rhoades et al., 2002, p. 64). The Reform Act also included various changes focused on protecting children and their parents from domestic violence. However, since the 1995 changes there has been no increase in shared parenting among separated partners (Rhoades et al., 2002). Parents who do enter into workable and flexible shared residence arrangements after separation are doing so without legal assistance and without any knowledge of the Family Law Reform Act. On the other hand, the reforms have increased the frequency of joint residence orders in the context of distrust, hostility, and violence between ex-partners, raised many men’s expectations that they now have an automatic “right” to shared parenting, created greater scope for abusive nonresident parents to harass or interfere in the life of the child’s primary caregiver, and increased the number of disputes about contact (Rhoades et al., 2002).”

    1. 95% say parenting should be shared

      95% of people now agree that both parents should share responsibility for bringing up children and 84% say both parents deserve equal custody rights.

      In response to the current shake-up of the family justice system, there is a strong consensus among Britons that both the mother and the father should be entitled to an equal share of child custody rights when getting divorced or separated according to a new poll by YouGov:

      •84% believe that both parents should have equal rights over the custody of their children
      •Almost one in ten Britons (9%) believe the mother should have the most rights over the custody of their children
      •Only 2% think the father should have more rights over the custody of their children

      A child’s right to maintain contact with both parents following their separation or divorce are to be strengthened under government proposals to amend the Children Act 1989. Any changes will enforce family courts in England and Wales to assume the child’s welfare is best served by remaining involved with both parents.

      The new policy aims to quell the conflict arising within the current system when children, who are put in the care of their mothers, are barred from seeing their fathers. There is an overwhelming support by the British public that both a mother and a father must share the responsibility for bringing up children, with over four fifths agreeing that fathers are instrumental in a child’s life.
      •95% agree that both parents should share responsibility for bringing up children, 2% disagree
      •85% agree that fathers are instrumental in bringing up children, 9% disagree
      •52% believe that a father’s main role should be to provide for the family by working and earning money, while 42% disagree, thinking a father’s role extends beyond being a breadwinner
      •86% agree that the role of fathers has changed drastically in the past 50 years, while 9% disagree and feel there has not been much change

      The term ‘shared responsibility’ ensures only the presence of both a mother and a father in a child’s upbringing, but not necessarily an equal amount of time with their children. Many parents, particularly fathers, have criticised the current legal system which they claim too often leads to unfair results and deprives them of a proper and meaningful relationship with their children.

      The above information is taken directly from the YouGov website.

  4. Ah yes, Dr Michael Flood:

    ““The widespread belief among men, that we do make a unique contribution to parenting, says a lot about us, our sense of entitlement, and our desire to feel ‘important…[in fact] masculinity is intimately connected to both physical and non-physical forms of violence against women.”

    Sigh.

      1. Good Lord Arthur, you’re quite right, I’ve mis-attributed that quote to David Flynn (a different, though closely-connected Australian extreme-feminist) – my research/journalism skills are getting almost as tardy as yours (incidently -did you interview ANY mens-rights activists for your piece on the SPLC website? No?

        I’m curious as what game you’re playing here. You approvingly repeat Flood’s evidence-less ‘contentions’, yet elide away from ‘defending’ them. Are we talking about the same Michael Flood who posed as a separated father and sent threatening emails to Australian politicians pretending to be a fathers rights activist? Gosh.

        Can you tell me why you dislike ‘misogyny’ so much, but you don’t mind at all repeating and supporting people who attack and demonise boys, men and fathers? Did you have some sort of problem with your own father?

        Why do you think it’s OK for Flood, Flynn and other feminists to propagandise that men are rapists, child-abusers and sub-human, but that it’s wrong for MRAs to call them on that?

        “Call feminist spokespeople out for their hypocrisy or bad faith wherever and whenever you see it, call them ideologues…. But don’t call them “cunts.”

        Michael Flood’s a cunt. Pure and simple. So is David Flynn. So are you. You’re cunts because you lie and mislead. Look at the article above, or your SPLC article. You portray Anders Brievik – who had no connection whatsoever with the mens rights movement – as a mens rights activist. Outright lie – pure and simple. Above you some conflate racist and homophobic labels with mens and fathers’ rights groups, giving the impression that they are racist and homophobic.
        Really? Fathers 4 Justice, A Voice For Men, manwomanmyth? Racist?

        Fuck off you lying cunt.

        Now note that’s not the same as ‘Reducing a whole class of people to one immutable attribute [which] is the essence of hate speech.” I’m not referring to a ‘class of people’, unless that class is lying cunts that is.

        If it helps, I’m happy to say you’re a dick as well. Happy?

      2. My piece mentioned Breivik not to make a case that he was formally affiliated with the movement but because he was defended so vigorously by posters at some (not all) MRA sites, like The Spearhead. We were careful not to mention mainstream Fathers Rights groups, sites, or figures and to acknowledge that there are “legitimate and sometimes disturbing complaints about the treatment of men.” We focused on sites that were notable for their “misogynistic tone” and verbal intemperance–attributes that surely undercut the effectiveness of their advocacy.

        I think you just helped me make my point.

      3. I don’t think you’ve made any point at all Arthur. Indeed apart from consistently evading any responsibility for your views and opinions, it’s very difficult indeed to see what point you actually are trying to make.

        I couldn’t care less if you suddenly need the smelling salts when you’re exposed to ‘verbal intemperance’ – when I’m dealing with a man who…

        – advocates for and protects the perpetrators of child abuse (because that’s what destroying a child’s relationship with a loving father is),

        – accuses a movement whose members include gay, straight, black, white, male and female members of racism and homophobia.

        – quotes militant feminists approvingly while not disclosing their espoused political agenda.

        – promotes the views of an ‘academic’ who’s apologised for impersonating a fathers rights activist in order to smear them

        – fails to disclose that said academic (Flood) has actively campaigned against public funding for male victims of domestic abuse.

        – Quote mines (e.g. [Flood] makes the point that “the belief that it is desirable for men to play an active role in parenting is shared across the fathers’ rights movement and feminism,” er – yes, but he then devotes the rest of the paper to his contention that this belief is erroneous.)

        – writes an article attacking a nascent ‘movement’, without interviewing one member of said movement.

        – Cherry-picks the outliers in that movement and presents them as mainstream (I know of no MRA who would in any way defend or promote violence, I know of no act of violence committed by or encouraged by an MRA or MRA website)

        …then I’m dealing with a lying cunt. Sorry Arthur, but there’s no other way to say it.

  5. “Qualitative research among single mothers documents that of women who left violent relationships and then used the Family Court system, none was able to prevent their children’s continuing exposure to abuse through court-ordered contact (McInnes, 2002).”

    Source for this is Dr Elspeth McInnes paper: ‘Single Mothers, Social Policy and Gendered Violence’ – published in ‘Women Against Violence – An Australian Feminist Journal’ (2001). Non peer-reviewed.

    Research based on interviews with 36 women, who were clients of the Australian pressure group, the National Council for Single Mothers and their Children.

    Dr Elspeth McInnes was President of the National Council for Single Mothers and their Children from 2003 – 2007.

    http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/Homepage.asp?Name=elspeth.mcinnes

  6. “I’m Not a Misogynist: I Just Want to Breed Uppity White Women Out of Existence”

    Heh, whenever I visit Free Thought Blogs or Mother Jones or Pandagon or Alas, A Blog, or virtually any self identified progressive or feminist blog, whenever I visit the atheism plus forums, I read lots of people saying the absolute nastiest things about so called privileged white men. Dismissing them. Desires to disenfranchise them. Talk about how delicious their tears must be.

    I always assumed that was snark, but thanks to you, Arthur, I now realize it as SPLC recognized Hatespeech.

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