Male Victimization

As I am getting ready to attend the first A Voice For Men International Conference on Mens Issues here in Detroit, I thought I’d post this article I wrote about Elliot Rodger, the mens rights movement, and a statistical study of male victimization. The people who commissioned it thought that it tried to do too many things at once and declined to publish it; nobody else that I’ve shown it to has had any interest in it either.

I hate that so much of the discourse around sexual violence is as politicized as it is. A lot of the theorizing that goes on, especially but not exclusively on the male side of the equation, is something of a red herring. An awful lot of it is displaced, or not so displaced, rage and resentment. Not that anger isn’t appropriate sometimes, but it is rarely conducive of clear thinking.

Although mens rights people like to portray me as their “ideological enemy,” I’ve yet to publish anything that engages with their movement’s “principles” (whatever those may be–perhaps I’ll find out more today). I’ve attacked their misogyny where I’ve seen it, and I’ve seen a lot of it.

Elliot Rodger, Rape Culture, and A Different Perspective On Male Victimhood

Thanks to Elliot Rodger, misogyny, rape culture, and male entitlement have been getting broad play in the news. The Manosphere – the blogs, message boards, and websites where male combatants in the so-called war between men and women post their thoughts about gender, sex, and Feminism and sell their assorted wares—has come in for some unwelcome attention as well.

The media consensus is that Rodger’s violence and his misogyny were two sides of the same coin.

“Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality,” Rebecca Solnit once wrote, “but it does have a gender.”

But is it always male? “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions” is an important new study, co-written by Lara Stemple, a professor at UCLA Law School and Ilan Meyer, a senior scholar at UCLA Law’s Williams Institute, that offers a different perspective on the gender of rape, sexual abuse, and violence.

But first, Elliot Rodger. That Rodger was a misogynist, there can be no doubt. Like the cliché, Rodger turned to guns to compensate for his sense of impotence. After he bought his first pistol, he recalled in his memoir, he “felt a new sense of power.”

Who’s the alpha male now, bitches? I thought to myself, regarding all of the girls who’ve looked down on me in the past.

Rodger appears to have been a textbook example of a new category of male spree killer that the sociologists Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel identified in a 2010 study as those who commit “suicide by mass murder.” Their hallmark, Kalish and Kimmel wrote, is their aggrieved sense of entitlement.

Aggrieved entitlement inspires revenge against those who have wronged you; it is the compensation for humiliation. Humiliation is emasculation: humiliate someone and you take away his manhood. For many men, humiliation must be avenged, or you cease to be a man. Aggrieved entitlement is a gendered emotion, a fusion of that humiliating loss of manhood and the moral obligation and entitlement to get it back. And its gender is masculine.

But if Rodger was aggrieved, entitled, sexist, virulently racist, explosively violent, and male, he wasn’t a rapist. Some Mens Rights Activists, adherents of a masculinist ideology that purports to expose and fight society’s inbuilt “misandry” (the term they use to signify the obverse of misogyny) see him and his victims (most of them male), as “a sacrifice at the altar of gynocentrism.”

Which isn’t to say that they’ve exactly embraced him. “Elliot Rodger was not a product of the PUA [Pick Up Artist] community and he was not influenced by the MHRM [Men’s Human Rights Movement],” one wrote.

But if only women had only been more sensitive to Rodger’s feelings, he continued, in an unselfconsciously misogynist vein that is disturbingly reminiscent of Rodger’s own writings, if only he had been taught “about the possible dangers of getting involved with women” (divorce, false paternity, depression), he wouldn’t have idealized them as he did. Instead, he would have known that “sex isn’t that much better than masturbation, but just different.”

Naturally, MRAs have taken umbrage at the #YesAllWomen Twitter meme that Rodger’s acts inspired. Far from living in a rape culture, they retort, we are living in a false rape culture, in which men are haunted by the fear that their consensual sexual partners (or even total strangers) will arbitrarily accuse them of a crime that they are powerless to defend themselves against.

In the words of one MRA, “men are just as likely to be falsely accused of rape as women are to be actually raped.” They believe this despite statistics that show that fewer than 10 percent of rapes are reported, that only 37 percent of reported rapes are prosecuted, and that just 18 percent of those prosecutions result in convictions.

Of course MRAs acknowledge that some women do get raped, but an awful lot of them, they say, were asking for it. As Paul Elam, the founder of A Voice for Men, the Manosphere’s most trafficked website, put it, “women who act provocatively; who taunt men sexually, toying with their libidos for personal power and gain, etc., have the same type of responsibility for what happens to them as, say, someone who parks their car in a bad neighborhood with the keys in the ignition.”

“A lot of women,” Elam continued, his signature gallantry on full display, “get pummeled and pumped because they are stupid (and often arrogant) enough to walk through life with the equivalent of a I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH – PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.”

Like many other MRAs, Elam misleadingly cites Eugene J. Kanin’s 1994 article “False Rape Allegations” as a “longitudinal study” that proves that between 40 and 50 percent of rape allegations are fraudulent, even though Kanin himself cautioned that the “generalizability” of his findings was limited and should not be extrapolated or applied to other populations (he had looked at 45 allegations that had been determined to be false by the police department of a single Midwestern city over a nine year period).

Most studies estimate that between two and eight percent of rape allegations are false. That’s not a trivial number—especially if you are one of the 4,000 to 10,000 men who are falsely accused in the US each year (267 to 666 of whom may be wrongly convicted)—but it is nowhere near as overwhelming as the anecdotal reports that MRAs endlessly recycle imply.

Still, as aggrieved and menacing as so many MRAs may be, as prone to hyperbole and spittle-spewing fustian when they get up on their soapboxes, it’s important to remember that some of their causes—the treatment of some fathers in some family courts; the abuses, sexual and otherwise, of boys and men in penal and military institutions; the declining levels of academic participation and performance of American males—are deserving of serious attention.

The peer-reviewed report I wrote about at the beginning of this article, for example, appears at first blush to confirm some of the MRA’s claims.

Male victims of sexual assault and rape have historically been under-counted and under-served. As recently as 2012, the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, through which the FBI gathered its statistics, defined a rapist as a person of the opposite sex, disappearing at a stroke the countless perpetrators and victims of same sex rape, many of them male. Rapes that occurred in prisons were swept under the rug. Male and female inmates both experience sexual abuse behind bars, but because men are vastly disproportionately incarcerated, the incidents of male victimization reach into the hundreds of thousands each year.

And female on male violence is no figment of the MRA imagination. Reputable studies show that women are as likely to perpetrate intimate violence as be its victims (though vastly more women are seriously injured by their male partners than vice versa). Still other studies suggest that as many or more mothers abuse their children as fathers do.

But to argue that feminism alone should bear the onus for these and other crimes, and not racism, classism, and homophobia (not to mention such non-gendered sins as wrath, envy, lust, and ignorance, and of course mental illness), is as risible as the notion that testosterone is the root of all evil.

Philosophically speaking, the problem with the MRA analysis isn’t its broad understanding of “male human rights”—it’s the totalizing anti-feminist frame that it imposes on the world. It’s the raw woman-hatred that undergirds so much of its rhetoric.

David Benatar, the head of the philosophy department at the University of Capetown in South Africa, is a much more temperate (and consequently much-less read) writer than Elam and his ilk. In his book The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys, he distinguishes between “egalitarian feminism,” which is “fundamentally concerned with the equality of the sexes” and “partisan feminism,” which is “basically concerned only with the promotion of women’s and girls’ interests….the feminist equivalent of those men’s rights advocates who are interested only in advancing the interests and protecting the rights of males.”

Very much the philosopher, he cautions against ad hominem arguments. “Accusing males of being angry men and antifeminists is both regrettable and unfair for the very same reasons that leveling accusations of ‘man-hater’ at all (female) feminists is regrettable and unfair,” he writes.

This is true. But to call an angry male an angry male or a misogynist a misogynist is also to speak the truth. It’s hard to read one of Paul Elam’s broadsides (“I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage.  I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection”) without wondering if his hatred for feminist ideas doesn’t extend to the whole female gender.

All men aren’t violent; nor are all men—or even all men involved with “mens rights”—misogynists. Eliott Rodger wasn’t created by the Manosphere. But for as unstable and potentially dangerous a character as he was, finding a community that shared his “twisted” (his own word) views of the world can’t but have helped to exacerbate his worst instincts.

MRAs and other denizens of the Manosphere have not, to put it mildly, been their own best advocates.

Which brings me, at long last, to “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America.” Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the report re-examines five national surveys that the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted between 2010 and 2012, and concludes that men and boys have been on the receiving end of much more sexual violence than has previously been acknowledged.

When the definition of rape is expanded to include acts of unwanted sex such as being “made to penetrate,” the numbers of male and female victims reported in one major survey turn out to be nearly equivalent.

“The traditional sexual victimization paradigm,” the report observes, “can obscure sexual abuse perpetrated by women as well as same-sex victimization….one multi-year analysis….found that 46% of male victims reported a female perpetrator. Of [incarcerated] juveniles reporting staff sexual misconduct, 89% were boys reporting abuse by female staff.“ Female inmates, on the other hand, were more likely to be abused by other (presumably female) inmates—another surprising and counterintuitive finding.

When Hanna Rosin covered the study at Slate, many commenters in the Manosphere were startled that the author of The End of Men would have written as sympathetically as she did about a study that appeared to negate the feminist paradigm of malignant patriarchy. Some speculated that she was trying to co-opt the subject of male victimhood so that feminists could take control of the discourse.

But for the most part it’s the MRA analysis and not the feminist one that’s adversarial and zero-sum, that sees every gain for women as a loss for men and vice versa. Malignant patriarchy doesn’t preclude male victimhood—it can even contribute to it, as the report explicitly states.

Treating male sexual victimization as a rare occurrence can impose regressive expectations about masculinity on men and boys…the belief that men are unlikely victims promotes a counterproductive construct of what it means to ‘be a man’…..Expectations about male invincibility are constraining for men and boys; they may also harm women and girls by perpetuating regressive gender norms.

An exclusive focus on female victims similarly reinforces “regressive notions of women’s vulnerability….perpetuat[ing] norms that see women as disempowered.”

Far from anti-feminist, the re-definition of sexual victimization that the report turns on is informed by “feminist principles that emphasize equity, inclusion, and intersectional approaches; the importance of understanding power relations; and the imperative to question gender assumptions.”

I asked the report’s co-author Lara Stemple whether rape and sexual violence can be decoupled from gender. When it comes to counting and reporting its occurrences, she answered, heterosexist and gendered biases can and should be eliminated. If a person experiences violence, law enforcement agencies should take appropriate actions and services should be provided. Rape crisis centers should be well-funded and open to anyone; their staffs should be trained and equipped to offer services to all who need them.

“But you can’t pretend gender doesn’t exist by any stretch,” she emphasized. “Understanding what happens to abused men requires an understanding of gender hierarchies. Male survivors of prison rape are reduced to ‘bitches’—they are forced to assume stereotypically submissive female roles, to do their abusers’ laundry, and so on. Feminist analysis is germane to their condition.” In the words of the report, “masculinized dominance and feminized subordination can take place regardless of the biological sex or sexual orientation of the actors.”

“This is also the case when men are victimized by women,” she continued. “Many men are invested in an ideal of stereotypical masculinity; being hurt by a woman feels emasculating. Feminist analysis and the women’s movement have helped us understand that rape isn’t just about physical power, it’s psychological too.”

Taking a page from the MRAs, I asked her whether it was possible that large numbers of male victims fantasized or were outright lying about their experiences.

“People in general have little incentive to lie in anonymous surveys,” she answered, “but if there is a risk along those lines for men, my guess is they would under-disclose rather than over-disclose. Male survivors are often ashamed, embarrassed, and confused about the abuse, particularly if they experienced a physiological sexual response during the incident, which is not uncommon. Many men take decades to disclose abuse.”

If physical force isn’t a criteria for sexual violence, I asked her, then how does one distinguish between bad behavior and a crime? She admitted that is an ongoing challenge. But she emphasized that just as the feminist movement successfully argued that physical force must not be a requirement for a successful rape charge involving a female victim, the same understanding should be extended to male victims.

For the most part, she added, the at-risk populations for sexual victimization among men tend to be members of marginalized groups. “Prison and jail inmates are disproportionately young, black, Hispanic, low-income, and mentally ill. Self-identified non-heterosexual inmates are 11 times more likely to be victimized than heterosexual prisoners.” The homeless and long-term residents of nursing homes are vulnerable as well.

“Our study should in no way lend support to those who wish to deny the widespread sexual victimization of women,” she emphasized. “The surveys we reviewed consistently find that women still experience sexual victimization far too frequently. The fact that men and boys also experience more widespread sexual victimization than was previously recognized does not and must not negate women’s suffering. After all, compassion is not a finite resource.”

“Sexual violence isn’t exclusively a woman’s issue or a men’s issue,” she concluded. “It’s a human rights issue, with enormous gender implications. We need to have a much better discourse about it.”




25 thoughts on “Male Victimization

  1. Hi Arthur

    This is an incredibly thought provoking article. Human rights does Seem to be the issue in the many instances of abuse you have discussed. I am unclear why there is competition over who is abused. It seems like it is more a question of public awareness leading to more reporting leads to more trained first responders leads to more trained treatment providers. In a more ideal World. Good luck in Detroit.

    Best Betsy Biele

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I think one of the problems on both sides (MRA and Feminism) is self protection and self interest. This is a human issue, and is seen in all struggles between groups. It’s not about hating the others, it’s ofgen about someone elses rights conflicting with your self interest. You see it in anti immigration. People say they have no issue with immigrants, but are concerned about pressure on housing, jobs and services for those already here. Men fought against women in the workplace not because they didn’t want women working as much as they were concerned about women taking their jobs. We see it too with feminism. Feminism often talks down or ignores male problems and even lobbies against help for men because of fear that it will overshadow female problems or detract from the help they need. It’s a valid concern, as are all the others. The answer in all cases is actually fairly simple. Make sure there are enough jobs for the expanding workforce, make sure there is enough help and support for every victim, but self interest can and does get in the way. That’s why counter groups are good, as thry balence out. They bring their own self interest in, but it balences out and is balenced out by that of others. MRA is needed for that reason, or else unchecked feminism will increasingly be about womens self interest over men. Having any “my interest first” group having exclusive control of a subject is dangerous and can be disastrous, and not just for the opposition either.

  3. I love how a feminized society has conditioned you to step over the dead bodies of Elliot Rodgers 4 male victims and claim he was a misogynist because he killed 2 women and 4 MEN. Perfect example of male victim disposability right there. Eliot was a product of a misandranistic society that demonises and hates men, which is why 2/3rds of his victims were men. Which is why he hated men who succeeded with women more than women themselves.

    Also boko Haram has killed hundreds more men that women. I see estimates from 1200-2000 killed, the vast majority of which are men. One example below
    “Hundreds of people were killed in raids by Boko Haram Islamic militants in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, on the border with Cameroon, with some sources putting the death toll at 400 to 500.” “The attackers, who posed as soldiers, told residents they had come to protect them from Boko Haram and asked them to assemble. They singled out men and boys and opened fire on them” “The death is unimaginable. We have lost between 400 and 500 people in the attacks in which men and male children were not spared,” said the local leader, who asked not to be named for security reasons. “The gunmen pursued on motorcycle people who fled into the bush in a bid to escape and shot them dead.
    “Even nursing mothers had their male infants snatched from their backs and shot dead before their eyes,”


    Also your figures about false rape accusations are way off..
    its 20-26% AT LEAST based on DNA evidence. In reality its much higher.

  4. Why do so many people comment before they read?

    “Some Mens Rights Activists, adherents of a masculinist ideology that purports to expose and fight society’s inbuilt “misandry” (the term they use to signify the obverse of misogyny) see him and his victims (most of them male), as “a sacrifice at the altar of gynocentrism.”

    1. Yeah I saw that, neatly tucked under this
      “But first, Elliot Roder. That Rodger was a misogynist, there can be no doubt.”

      You make an absolute statement ignoring the evidence then go, but some MRA think differently, tut tut. Simple fact was he hated everyone.
      Its like branding Hitler homophobic and ignoring all the Jews he killed.

      Also you were wrong about Boko Haram and wrong about the rate of false accusations. Your entire article spouts simplified populist gynocentric attitudes which you then dress up with a few fancy words to appear to make it sound intellectual, you disregard facts and evidence to promote common prejudicial attitudes while at the same time belittling those who are fighting for representation for the most under represented gender in our society.

      Sure you say they may have a few points and it should be an issue to be addressed but lets focus on a couple of instances where you can try and belittle them for taking on a massively daunting task.Lets see what they are trying to raise awareness about

      97% of combat fatalities are male.
      93% of workplace fatalities are male.
      80% of suicides are men. Men are just as likely to be victims of domestic violence, men are 3 times more likely to be assaulted on the street, men loose custody of children in 80-90% of custody cases. Men have to pay when the mother of their children stabs them in the back. Men work longer hours in the most dangerous jobs, retire 5 years later than women, die earlier but the vast majority of public spending is for health and education of women.
      There is more money spent on breast cancer than LUNG cancer and prostate cancer combined. But instead of focusing on that lets try and call people out on perceived misogyny and just ignore the gendercide of men and hope they die quietly like good little disposable white knights once they have finished paying, just like society has trained them.

  5. This is a very fair minded piece, unlike the usual hit pieces we see coming from the Left.

    Fascinating that the first 4 speakers were women. Great quotes you got from them, great background info. Good reporting in general.

    The family courts used to be very biased in favor of women/mothers, but that has changed and it has become more balanced. I try to tell this to men going through divorce but they resist believing me. I tell them, “You just need to cooperate with everyone you deal with related to this, let the Machine do it’s thing, and you just let your lawyer handle it and shut up and cooperate, and you’ll get a decent outcome.”

    I think the waiting is the hardest part. The woman gets the first strike — throws him out of the house, takes the kids, and so on. But once it all sorts itself out, the court gives the man pretty much equal custody, as long as the man can keep his cool during the months of proceedings.

  6. I didn’t say a word about Boko Haram in the article, so I didn’t get it right or wrong. And did you read Rodger’s suicide manifesto? “I hated all of those obnoxious, boisterous men who were able to enjoy pleasurable sex lives with beautiful girls, but I hated the girl’s even more, because they were the ones who chose those men instead of me. It was their choice. They are the ones who deprived me of love and sex.My hatred and rage towards all women festered inside me like a plague. Their very existence is the cause of all of my torture, pain and suffering throughout my life.” If that’s not misogyny, what is?–even if he did kill more men than women.

    What is the matter with you people?

    I noticed an article on the front page of the Times this morning about how salamanders are shrinking because of climate change. Why didn’t they mention that male college enrollments are down too? Misandrists!

    1. What does Elliot have to do with this anyway?

      He was just l”inked” to the mens movement by a dishonest “journalist” and the whoozle spread, now feminists are predictably exploiting the tragedy to try to hurt men that want equal rights.

      Feminists main counter argument is a false accusation.

  7. So Arthur, let me get this straight. MRAs hate women because of a few quotes about a political group written by one man. What about dozens of quotes by feminist leaders openly preaching prejudice and bigotry, condoning violence and even mass murder? What about all of the other things feminists have done for “equality” (

    You refer to the “manosphere”, a term invented by a man who’s been caught flat out lying and fabricating quotes multiple times, as some kind of cabal of evil misogynists. What about feminist websites such as Jezebel, the largest on the internet, which mocks male victims of domestic violence and claims merely saying misandry exists is per se justification for engaging in it? What about feministcurrent, the largest in canada, which routinely claims men are not even capable of being victims of sexism and mocks all men as pedophiles and rapists? What about RadFemHub, which was nothing short of Stormfront itself for the feminist movement (a SMALL example:

    Clearly by your own standards you can say nothing about MRAs and the MRM which is not many times over more applicable to feminism. Not without engaging in either blatant double standards or the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    But even if we allow you both of those, your claims are still belied by the real world actions of feminists in the name of feminism:

    The MRM has never so much as protested at a feminist event, yet feminists routinely commit felonies to prevent people from even discussing men’s issues. Feminists have even gone so far as to engage in bomb threats and death threats to try and silence anyone who even slightly disagrees with them.

    Tactics which a woman you have completely ignored, the founder of the very first modern domestic violence shelter and one of the foremost MRAs, is very familiar with. Erin was not only the victim of so many bomb and death threats that her mail was delivered straight to the bomb squad instead of her home, her dog was shot as a threat against her and her family’s lives.

    There is a word for people who routinely use violence, crime, and threats of both to achieve political goals and disrupt their enemies’ lives and ability to function.

    We call them terrorists.

  8. Honestly, I stopped reading at “Manosphere”. It’s a prejudicial term that lumps together separate and contradictory groups.

    Grow up.

  9. You guys don’t realize, Goldwag is treating you with kid gloves compared to how the Left and the $PLC treat anyone who is pro-white or pro-heterosexual. There is a lot of positive publicity for the conference and the MRM in general in both his pieces.

    Read the typical hit pieces on pro-family, pro-white or pro-heteros. They don’t have anything good to say about us, ever.

    I was amazed to see such fair treatment of an $PLC target.

    1. YOU don’t get it. They don’t seem to care very much about the lefts opinions, or about yours or Arthurs. You see some spouting out moronic falsehoods gets disregarded the same by a thinking person no matter who they affiliate with, like you with that tirade about family courts being better now.

    2. Do the rest of us a favor and don’t associate your personal homophobia or white supremacy with the MRM. The issues of men of color are of particular concern to the MRM since they more than anyone else have their maleness turned against them, and trans*people are increasingly realising the MRM has no ill will towards them like feminists do… particularly SPLC donor and feminist academic Cathy Brennan.

  10. Hi Arthur. I hope you don’t mind me addressing you personally. I thought your piece was very interesting. I understand that statistics will forever be something that are argued over but it is nice to see some acknowledgement of some of the problems the MRM do discuss and do want solutions to. I would like to ask you to consider a few things, however.

    Elliot Rodger:
    There is no doubt in my mind that Rodger could be called a misogynist. I have read his ‘manifesto’ and he definitely spoke of a hatred of women. It seems to me, however, that misogynist only tells part of his story, since there was also much misanthropy contained therein. I would also contest that Rodger was mentally ill yet that is rarely brought up in articles talking about him. There is more evidence for that than for Rodger being an MRA. In fact, my experience of the MRM leads me to believe that had Rodger turned up on the AVFM forums his attitude would not have been tolerated. And yet, the prevailing attitude amongst many was that he was part of the MRM. You’ve done it yourself in this article:

    “Eliott Rodger wasn’t created by the Manosphere. But for as unstable and potentially dangerous a character as he was, finding a community that shared his “twisted” (his own word) views of the world can’t but have helped to exacerbate his worst instincts.”

    Once again I find myself saying, there is no evidence that Rodger ever visited a men’s rights website. Some have even gone so far as to use this fallacy to claim the MRM now has a body count. Is it any wonder that people in the movement are frustrated by that. It’s the same brush that has often been used to tarnish the movement and leads me on to my other point.

    Yes, there are many in the movement who believe that feminism is toxic. Many are fiercely opposed to it. Interestingly enough, many also say they started off as feminists. I’ve yet to see a feminist who hasn’t labeled Paul Elam a misogynist yet evidence for that comes mainly from pieces taken out of context and from articles he has labeled satire Whilst ignoring statements he has put out that are in direct contradiction to that supposition. One may wonder if he is a misogynist. One may also wonder what the evidence for and against is.

    By far the biggest problem the MRM faces is currently feminism. I realise that is a sweeping statement but I think it is one worth addressing. I would like to suggest a social experiment. The method is quite simple.

    Set up an account on a social media platform and interact with people who are feminist. Whilst doing so, bring up issues that men and boys face. Report what happens.

    It is my hypothesis that at best you will be told that studies supporting your claims are “problematic”. At worst, you are likely to be insulted, lambasted and vilified.

    I would have done this myself but I feel I am probably to close to some of the subjects to do that objectively. Perhaps you would be better suited to doing it?

    1. I didn’t say that Rodger was an MRA. I quoted an AVFM writer distancing themselves from him. This whole article is questioning the notion that violence has a gender–and acknowledges a lot of MRA claims, drawing on a paper that was co-written by a feminist. As for the bizarre idea that MRAs are angry and that the movement is marred by misogyny, that’s obviously a lie that Dave Futrelle fed me; I could have never come up with such a crazy idea on my own.

  11. “That Rodger was a misogynist, there can be no doubt.”
    he killed twice as many men than he did women & wrote about a world where he killed all the men. you need to figure out what misogyny means.

    he was a member of PUAhate. you seem to have trouble with that too so let me mansplain it for you. PUA hate. as in “hate PUA.” he hated Pick Up Artists. so no, he was not part of the manosphere & he wasn’t a PUA.

    “divorce, false paternity, depression”
    so stating facts is, to you, misogyny? how you can believe that there is a quantifiable amount of something that is NOT reported just shows how anti-facts & anti-reason you are. yet, you begrudingly admit that there are merits to the MRM. i see the problem now. i can also see why no one published this drivel. it will not help you get laid, no matter how much you white knight for girls.

  12. “But to argue that feminism alone should bear the onus for these and other crimes, and not racism, classism, and homophobia (not to mention such non-gendered sins as wrath, envy, lust, and ignorance, and of course mental illness), is as risible as the notion that testosterone is the root of all evil.”

    The argument is not that feminism alone bears the onus for those crimes. The argument is that feminists have made a concerted, intentional effort to deny those crimes occur at all. Why is that male victims have been “under-counted and under-served?” Why is that in the 60 years since the feminist revolution in the 1960s virtually all of the research on sexual and domestic violence has focused on females? Who conducted those studies? Why is that when those same people do study male victimization they find low rates yet when non-partisans research male victimization they find substantially higher rates?

    I am not trying to trick you. I would actually like you to answer the questions.

    “Far from anti-feminist, the re-definition of sexual victimization that the report turns on is informed by “feminist principles that emphasize equity, inclusion, and intersectional approaches; the importance of understanding power relations; and the imperative to question gender assumptions.””

    Except those very feminist principles have led to the current situation. Most domestic violence shelter and rape crisis centers do not assist male victims. Most research on these issues do not include male victims. Most outreach programs do not talk about male victimization.

    I understand why feminists would claim that their principles support male victims. However, this is no different than an Evangelical Christian stating that Christian principles emphasize equity, inclusion, and intersectional approaches, as his religious movement regularly attempts to deny gay people the right to marry. Are we supposed to take their word while ignoring their actions?

    And for the record, I am not a men’s rights activist. I am an advocate for male survivors of sexual violence (I have worked as one for 13 years) and a survivor myself.

    1. Thank you, Toy Soldier, for your civil tone. It sounds like you actually read the article, unlike most of the commenters. As for your questions, I will answer them with other questions: Do you consider the FBI (a major collector of crime statistics) a feminist institution? The CDC? Who bears the responsibility for more false rape convictions, feminists or over-zealous/dishonest cops and prosecutors? Do you think that boys weren’t abused in the military, in the workplace, in institutions, by addicted and mentally ill caretakers prior to 60 years ago? Do you think that Feminism or Machismo makes more demands of men? Are jailhouse rapists feminists? Which ism has done more to inculcate an ethos of male disposability, militarism or feminism? Did feminism or capitalism offshore or automate hundreds of thousands of blue collar and routine admnistrative jobs? Did feminism or neoliberalism break the unions? Was it a feminist that abused you, coldly acting on feminist principles, or was it a sadistic monster?

      Most of my political writing is about people with totalizing, monistic, ultimately conspiratorial world views, whether they take a religious, a cultic, or a political form. I’ve written about anti-Masons, anti-Semites, Know Nothings, racists, flying saucer Millenarians, gold bugs, black nationalists, Christian dominionists, Ayn Rand-worshippers, and John Birchers. I’ve written about right wing Zionism and Islamophobia too. When I was writing THE NEW HATE, I tracked Glenn Beck almost obsessively, because he had made such a successful business out of right wing paranoia, because the tangled progressivist plots he spoke of and mapped out on his chalkboards bore such an amazing family resemblance to the plot described in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, because of his grandiosity, and because his prescriptions–God, guns, and gold–were so simple. It had a lot of the hallmarks of a mass cult.

      The difference, you will say, between those other fringe groups and demagogues and anti-Feminists, is that Feminism really is all-powerful. But is it really the “ism” that is so powerful, or is it that gender roles and economic standards are shifting? The prospects of a lot of boys and men suck; so do the prospects of a lot of women and girls. Men were cuckolded long before the Seneca Falls convention and John Stuart Mill’s THE SUBJECTION OF WOMEN were ever written.

      Sitting in the ballroom of the VFW last weekend, listening to the speakers and casually eavesdropping on the attendees, the sense of powerlessness and victimization, the grief and rage, the “brokenness,” as I put it in one of SPLC pieces, were palpable. But is it feminism that puts so much of society’s wealth in the hands of so few, while driving down standards of living for everyone else? Is it feminism that makes women leave their husbands, or bad relationships? Some feminists might not like to admit that women initiate a lot of domestic violence, while others wrote the report I read about above–which Hanna Rosin wrote about in Slate.

      When I was writing THE NEW HATE, I started to think that people who believed that they had isolated the bacillus of evil in a single principle, whether they were on the left, the right, or somewhere in the ether, were prone to a kind of religiosity. I see some of that in the mens movement.

      1. Arthur, thank you for addressing my comments. FBI changed its definition at the behest of feminism groups. The new definition continues to defines rape as a penetrative act, which excludes rapes committed by women. Likewise, the CDC study that you mentioned was conducted by feminist researchers who also defined rape as a penetrative act, therein excluding rapes committed by women. Do you think this is fair?

        In regards to your question about false rape convictions, what political group pushes police officers and prosecutors to get more rape convictions? Would that not affect whether officers and prosecutor became over-zealous?

        We are not talking about what happened prior to feminism. We are talking about what happens today. You acknowledge that male victims are “under-counted and under-served.” I will ask again, and I hope you answer the questions this time, why is that in the 60 years since the feminist revolution virtually all of the research on sexual and domestic violence has focused on females?

        As for your questions about feminism, do you think feminism makes any unfair demands of men? Do you think that prison rapists are all misogynists raping other men out of misogyny? Do you think that feminism has addressed male disposability? Do you think feminism has done anything to prevent the loss the hundreds of thousand of blue collar and administrative jobs? Do you think feminism hasdone anything to prevent the breaking of unions?

        Your last question is rather snide and insensitive, but I will answer it. I do not believe in monsters. I believe people act according to their worldviews and beliefs. Are you arguing that ideologies have no impact on how their adherents behave?

        Regarding feminism as a whole, I do not find feminism to be all-powerful. I find that most successful mass movements crush or convert the opposition once they get in power, usually violently, and subject the population to various levels of Orwellian-like control. While feminists attempt this, they lack the social control necessary to enforce it. They can manage it in the fields they do control, such as academia, the family court system, and various political arenas. In general, however, they lack real power, much like the groups you write about. These groups can cause problems for various people, but they tend not to have the power necessary to truly control society.

        However, those subjected to the power those groups do have feel much different. This is akin to the way an abuse victim feels about their abuser. The abuser appears all-powerful to them because they are subject to that person’s power. However, in general the abuser has no real power.

        Likewise, those on the receiving end of Glenn Beck’s nonsense feel like he is everywhere. The same applies to those on the receiving end of feminists’ anger and hatred, particularly those involved in custody issues, domestic and sexual violence prevention, education issues, and relationship issues.

        To dismiss those experiences as men simply whining about not getting their way does those men a great disservice. If you found the speakers at the event “broken,” why would you dismiss their claims about who broke them? Who would better know who caused them pain? You dismiss their arguments about the role feminism plays in a host of issues, but you did not look at any of them except for one objectively. The one you did look at objectively–male victimization–proves their point, yet you sought to defend feminism rather than ask a basic question: how is it that feminists, a group that claims to want to prevent sexual violence, has spent nearly 60 years talking about sexual violence yet male victims still remain “under-counted and under-served?”

        I also find it curious how you are able to see in these men “people who believed that they had isolated the bacillus of evil in a single principle” and yet fail to see how this would apply feminists, a group of people who believe they know the cause of all social problems: a single principle called “Patriarchy.”

        What I see in your article and your comments is similar to what I have witnessed when people who support abusive priests are confronted with the reality of the abuse and the cover up that follows. Rather than support the victim, they blame the victim for having the temerity to feel victimized and double down on their support of the priest and the institution.

        Even if you do not take men’s rights activists complaints seriously, you must realize how unhelpful the above position is, at least in terms of having a civil conversation.

  13. I call it “progressive feminism”. It is in between Benatar’s “egalitarian” feminism and “partisan” feminism – or, closer to home, it’s in between Hoff Sommers’ “equity” and “gender” feminism.”
    Equity feminism is comfortable to Republicans – but it isn’t enough. Feminism’s work isn’t done yet.
    But “gender” or “partisan” is real – it’s a part of the real world and one of the most frustrating things is the way it is denied. One example of its reality: The Equality Trap by Mary Ann Mason. Just one example.
    But progressive feminism as I see it is more than equity feminism because it isn’t enough to remove civil and legal restrictions on women’s autonomy – gender roles that reach through the past to impose upon autonomy must be challenged too.
    And that goes … for men, as well as women.
    All of this is found in the feminism of Betty Friedan, who sought men as partners to upend gender roles, not as enemies or an oppressive class. Friedan was a progressive feminist, not a gender feminist.
    One can be more than an equity feminist and still not be a gender feminist – one can be more in favor of women’s progress than Hoff Sommers will endorse and Republicans are comfortable with, and still not go over the cliff to “partisan” zero-sum.

    Mr. Goldwag – your treatment of MRM and MRAs and “men’s rights” and the manosphere is – in my rather studied opinion, remarkably fair. Remarkably so – because you are such a lightning rod in those circles. I read your piece in Huffpo where you wrote that you wish to retire from this. I think that will be sad for MRM and all the rest if you do. It is too bad that journalists do not go to you first when beginning their forays into this odd corner of politics, rhetoric and the internet. Their treatment would be more balanced and informed if they did.

    I do suspect – and I just wrote an article explaining (not yet published) – that the sensitivity about you that is found in those parts likely has a lot to do with #145. #145 didn’t seem well researched, and doesn’t come close to showing the balance and circumspection of your later treatments and there are two problems with that.
    The first is that you endorsed Futrelle, or SPLC did anyway, a fact he has used to predictable and deleterious effect. Futrelle has his defenders but at day end his message is clear: do not listen to these people, pay no attention to their grievances. Your essay above goes a long way to show that however confused, and often confused in hate they may be – there are plenty of legitimate grievances finding expression in those parts – there is much human pain crying out for relief – so to endorse the most powerful voice that says “look away!” before most have no much as looked yet (!), that genuinely stings.
    The other is that the SPLC has a grave endowment: we – the public – endow the SPLC with the power to label a group a hate group or hate site. Besides meaning that we needn’t listen to the grievances of those so classified, saying that a group is a “hate” group is making a profound moral statement: they may speak and ideate their hate, because our values of free speech and free expression tolerate it, but if they act out on it – we are prepared to respond with deadly force.
    That is powerful. It is a power that requires a seriousness of purpose that one would expect of operators of nuclear missile silos. The business of labeling hate is the business of labeling dangerous people. #145 – doesn’t honor this seriousness of purpose – and I’m afraid – first impressions go a long way.

    Again – since and after 145 – you have been very fair to this crowd. For my part – I see much in Elam that suggests the influence of Friedan. I believe Elam is reachable with progressive feminism, not least because equity feminism, frankly – isn’t enough feminism for Elam – as ironic and puzzling as that may seem to novices in the matter. Elam says rotten things and his history of this has made him difficult for me to defend, but if you separate his intemperate statements from his statements of belief – if you did an exercise in redaction and separated his rhetoric from his personal positions: his positions are those of one who is much, much more feminist than Hoff Sommers – or anyone who would be comfortable in the Republican party for that matter.

    I understand the difficulty of this subject and this crowd and why you’d want to leave it, but if the subject matters – and I think it matters more than 150 people at a conference in Detroit, then your retirement will be a loss.

    1. Thank you, BluedogTalking, for taking the time to read as well as opine. I am looking forward to reading your article.

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