Tag: A Voice for Men

Some Thoughts About Ray Rice and the MRM

I don’t spend a lot of time at A Voice for Men these days (I really meant what I said about not wanting to write about the so-called Mens Rights movement any more), but my curiosity got the better of me and I checked in to see what the party line on Ray Rice is. As I suspected, it’s that he is a battered husband, who, to add insult to his already substantial injuries, is being institutionally victimized as well.

As Paul Elam puts it, in colorful language that he wouldn’t have tolerated for a moment at his International Conference on Mens Issues at the Claire Shores VFW earlier this summer:

In response to Ray Rice tagging his then fiancé as a matter of self-defense, major sports media like ESPN and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have gone to  MuffCon1, opening the door for feminist ideologues and handing them a jar of Vaseline on the way in to ideological control of the National Football League.

Effective pretty much right fucking now, Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith will “help lead and shape the NFL’s policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault.”

Take that back about the Vaseline. They won’t be using it.

I don’t know the Rices personally; it’s likely that their relationship is more complex than what meets the eye (marriages, like icebergs, hide more than they reveal). I think it’s quite probable that Rice’s then-fiance had aggravated him on more than one prior occasion; from the elevator video, anyway, it’s pretty clear that she lunged at him and possibly threw a punch. If it connected, it might have even hurt him a little.

So here’s the question: Should any man, including a professional athlete, have the right to defend himself when he’s being physically threatened–even when his attacker is his intimate partner?

You don’t have to be a misogynist or a “Stand Your Ground” extremist to answer in the affirmative, though you don’t have to be a bleeding heart pacifist either or, God help us, a feminist to suggest that proportionality is also a real consideration. Otherwise you’d have to defend him if he’d killed her.

It’s a slippery slope. If you don’t think that Rice did anything wrong, then maybe you think it’s reasonable to shoot a woman dead who rings your doorbell seeking help after she’s been in a car accident. Maybe you’d give Israel a green light to kill 2000-plus Gazans after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by criminals with ties to Hamas. There’s self-defense and there’s “shock and awe.” One is instinctive; the other is either strategic or psychotic, take your pick.

Elam famously posted a piece on his site whose title posed the provocative question: “When is it OK to Punch Your Wife?” Of course he wasn’t justifying any and all cases of wife battering. He was reacting, he wrote, to the “pussy pass” that allowed sadistic, domineering women to abuse their partners with impunity.

Does the concept of self defense even apply to men who are the victims of violent females? Technically, the law says yes. But the people around you, especially the ones with guns, regard the pussy pass as a higher authority.

You hit a woman, even in self defense; indeed if you even call the cops on one that is beating the crap out you, the beta thugs we have come to call police will come round to your house and deliver some fucking law and order–on you.

The anecdote Elam used to clinch his argument, about a man who was handcuffed for giving his wife a fat lip after she tried to stab him with a kitchen knife (their dispute began after he’d argued with her about nearly freezing their two daughters to death), isn’t quite as open and shut as he might have liked it to be (neither party was ultimately arrested), but he does make an undeniable point: men can be victims too.

But was Ray Rice a victim? Of the NFL maybe, which first protected him and then threw him under a bus. But does what his fiance did to him rise to the level of assault? Was she “beating the crap out of him” or was she just pissing him off?

Nobody can be more provoking than a small child in mid-tantrum; if they’re sufficiently hysterical, they might even hit you. Is a parent justified in hitting back with all they’ve got? No one, not even a spare-the-rod fundamentalist, would say yes. No matter how pissed off someone makes you, civilization expects you to show some restraint. A line from a Richard Thompson song pops into my head: “But I killed a man in a Brazzaville street fight/I tried to hold back, but he taunted me so.”

In the wider world, the first thing most people see in the elevator video is the asymmetry: Ray Rice is big and strong, Janay Rice is petite. He stayed on his feet; she went down like the proverbial sack of potatoes. But MRAs see what they see, and from their perspective, Ray Rice was a helpless victim, first of a violent woman, and then of a feminist juggernaut and the cowardly White Knight* institutions that it has co-opted. Janay Rice didn’t just attack her husband–she assaulted all men, especially themselves. They outrage they feel on his behalf is deeply personal.

Many of the comments under the Elam post that I opened with underline this feeling of identification:

I’m personally pushing back against the ray rice lynching, by a women that was clearly lunging after him in an elevator. Im pushing back, and am not afraid of being lynched by main stream media!!

We aren’t far from the day we’ll see female coaches, referees, and a job for Condi Rice…..I won’t be watching. I have no interest in seeing receivers wearing pink gloves as the League bows to the breast cancer awareness goddess, nor can I stand the inclusive (i.e. dumbed-down, audience-broadening) chatter that now passes for game coverage. I don’t want to tune in on Sunday and have my social consciousness raised by progressivist indoctrination blended into the discussion.

Pack of manginas. Biiggg tough muscly men, macho man’s men, scared shitless of losing the approval of women by standing up to feminists.

Guys, give up following football. Why worship a pack of grown men who play with a ball for a living and partake in the destruction of men’s rights and kiss up to our enemies for a pay check. Fuck em. Don’t put one cent in their pockets…..They are propping up man hating ideologues with NFL money. Your financial support of football, is funding radical feminist propaganda that is taking away your rights.

People in the Mens Rights community have accused me of denying that men can ever be victims; the blogger Toy Soldier commented that my writings about MRAs and male victimhood reminded him of what he has “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.”

In this one case it’s true: I don’t believe that Ray Rice was a victim of a vicious assault in that elevator, but frankly that’s all that I can say about him with any certainty. He might have had a terrible childhood; he and Janay might torture each other no less than Martha and George did in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. For their kids’ and for their own sakes, I hope they get some help and either separate peacefully or learn to live together more amicably.

But I have no doubt that the corporate conviction of victimhood that animates the MRA community is real–and that their view of the world is distorted by the intimate hurts they have suffered. Like all extremists, they are hammers who see the nails of misandry everywhere they look; like all conspiracists who have a monological explanation for the world’s and especially their own woes, they see things through a distorting lens of confirmation bias. Give a man a strong enough personal agenda and sufficient cognitive dissonance and he will see what he sees. He might even mistake a wife beater for a victim.

*The MRA John Hembling defines a White Knight as a man “who defend[s] women, but not because women are people – which might be noble. Rather, they defend women only because they are women. This almost always encompasses a willful blindness to the behavior and utterance of the women so defended.”

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.”

 

 

Paul Elam weighs in

Oh, and now I see Paul Elam himself has weighed in on my Mens Rights response, in the comments of John the Other’s post. With dazzling forensic sleight of hand, he turns the tables on me, revealing me to be the real misogynist.

He. Just. Doesn’t. Get. It. He lives in a self aggrandizing bubble where women are incompetent, childlike victims with no personal agency, and big strong men like himself are ever at their rescue. It’s modern misogyny in its most common form. Goldwag is just too ignorant and grandiose to know it.

“Also,” he adds, “the lawyerspeak coming from him is laughable. He represents the SPLC, calls us a hate site in several articles, tweets a Radfem post titled “SPLC Names Men’s Rights Activists as Hate Group,” and then has the lack of integrity to claim that AVfM and other MRA sites have not been put on a hate list by his organization….Goldwag is a lying sack of shit.”

The SPLC, as a matter of fact, did not formally add any of the groups profiled in the article to the list of 1018 hate groups that it counts as of 2011. Nor did it deny that many of the issues that the Mens Movement cares about–criticism of the family court system, false rape accusations and the like–have legitimacy.

What it did do, emphatically and unapologetically, and without any temporizing lawyer speak, was to categorize many of its voices, Elam’s the loudest and most obnoxious of all, as singularly hateful and misogynist. Elam’s RegisterHer.com was created to terrorize women by publicizing their names and addresses, leaving them open to harrassment and stalking. He said that was his intention when he launched it, vowing to “fuck their shit up.”

Contrary to what he declared in his open letter to the SPLC’s Richard Cohen (talk about lawyer speak!), many of the women in his registry did not make false rape accusations that were proven in a court of law or subsequently recanted. In fact, five of the six offenders featured on AVfM’s home page today are simply characterized as “bigots.” The sixth, an English MP, is called a “corrupt public official,” whose crime is “the breakdown of millions of families, countless suicides, rampant fatherlessness,the wrongful conviction of thousands of men, the burgeoning of the welfare state, the massive growth in government bureaucracy and the unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of millions of people.”

If Elam finds it so offensive to be called a misogynist, then why does he go to such extravagant lengths to prove that he is?

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The Education of Arthur Goldwag

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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My reply to Mens Rights Activists

An article I wrote for the SPLC about the Mens Rights world sparked considerable controversy. I respond to some of it here.

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