The hypocrisy of anti-bigotry

For every step forward that male victims and their advocates make, there is always some group that wants to slap them down. Apparently enough feminists complained about men’s rights blogs that the Southern Poverty Law Center decided to go after them. After writing a scathing, cherry-picked article trashing the men’s rights movement, SPLC created a list of men’s rights blogs that “are almost all thick with misogynistic attacks that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express.” Ironically, SPLC cites the hate-fueled, anti-male, victim-blaming Manboobz site as “a humorous pro-feminist blog … that keeps a close eye on these and many other woman-hating sites.”

Perhaps that last bit explains why SPLC then decided to prove that men’s advocates concern for male victims of sexual and domestic violence is founded on lies. Mark Potok and Evelyn Schlatter wrote in their Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women:

Misogynists in the men’s and fathers’ rights movements have developed a set of claims about women to support their depictions of them as violent liars and manipulators of men. Some suggest that women attack men, even sexually, just as much as men attack women. Others claim that vast numbers of reported rapes of women, as much as half or even more, are fabrications designed to destroy men they don’t like or to gain the upper hand in contested custody cases. What follows is a brief look at some of these claims and what the best science really shows.

What followed was actually a gross misrepresentation of statistics and an excellent example of cherry-picking. Usually when I read something like that drivel, it is on a feminist website like Manboobz, Feministe, Feministing, or the Good Men’s Project. I do not expect those people to consider sexual and domestic violence against men and boys serious issues, let alone present a balanced view. I do, however, expect an organization dedicated to stamping out hatred and bigotry not to peddle the kind of misandry and anti-male hatred one finds on the above sites. Yet SPLC did, so I wrote them an email they likely will not respond to:

I write this email in regards an article featured in the Intelligence Report Issue Number: 145. In their article Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women, authors Mark Potok and Evelyn Schlatter claimed that the men’s rights movement misrepresents the rate of sexual violence against men to “support their depictions of [women] as violent liars and manipulators of men.” They cited the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey as proof, claiming that the study “thoroughly debunks such claims.” However, that study actually supports the claim that men are raped at a comparable rate as women.

The researchers of the study excluded women forcing men and boys to have sex with them as rape, even though that act legally counts as rape in all 50 states. As a result, the rate of rape against men was severely distorted and does not match any other statistic about rape against men, which the researchers acknowledged on page 84 of the study. But to the critical issue, in the 12-month range listed in the study men and women showed the same rate of rape, or would have had the researchers not excluded being forced to penetrate as rape (as found on pages 18 and 19 of the study). Also worth noting, the majority of men reported women as the person who sexually assaulted them.

Interestingly, the same study showed that men and women reported comparable rates of domestic violence, with men reporting higher rates of physical violence in the 12-month range than women (page 38 of the study). Perhaps Potok and Schlatters noticed those numbers, which might explain why they tried to pass off statistics about general rates of violence against men and women as proof that women do not physically abuse men.

It is unfortunate, embarrassing, and hypocritical that an organization supposedly “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry” would engage in open hatred and bigotry against male victims of sexual and domestic violence. It pathetic that it would go so far as to peddle anti-male feminist drivel that is designed to ignore, belittle, and silence male victims and their advocates. And it is worse that anyone from your organization would do so by deliberately misrepresenting the statistics from a study that actually supports the arguments men’s rights groups make just to play to a bigoted feminist audience.

I will keep in mind that your organization supports the feminist policy denying male victimization and silencing male victims and their advocates. At the very least I hope someone at your organization has the integrity and intellectual honesty to correct the misrepresentations and cherry-picked statistics Potok and Schlatter used in their article.

Again, I do not expect to get a response, nor do I expect Potok or Schlatter to correct their article. Already several feminists have jumped on SPLC’s condemnation of the men’s rights movement. That is, of course, to be expected. However, I do enjoy the irony of SPLC, a supposedly anti-hate and bigotry organization citing Amanda Marcotte and David Futrelle, two very hateful and bigoted people.

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15 thoughts on “The hypocrisy of anti-bigotry

  1. So let me get this straight. This organization calls the misogyny that exists on MRA sites and then has the nerve to cite Furtrelle who fosters a community that has absolutely no problem denying the experiences of male victims? And this organization then says that they are against injustice?

    And I have something to say about their bit about mensactivism.org.
    MensActivism
    This website tracks news and information about men’s issues from around the world, with a focus on activism — and outrage. Par for the course are lurid headlines like this one: “Pakistani wife kills, cooks husband for lusting over daughter.” The site also runs stories like the one it headlined “Australia: Girl, 13, charged after taxi knife attack” that involve no abuse accusations, but are merely meant to undermine what the site claims is “the myth that women are less violent than men.”

    That “lurid” headline is a literal copy/paste from The Examiner.

    And about the 13 year old girl why does an act of female violence need to involve an abuse accusation? The original source article says nothing of abuse. If I didn’t know any better I’d say that these folks are just mad that someone is talking about the violence that females commit.

    I don’t know who did that write up but from the looks of it I would say that all they did was read what Futrelle had to say about them. If that’s all it takes then I hope the make sure to go ask Paul Elam to give a low down on some feminist sites….

  2. I was pretty surprised by MensActivism being included on the list. If you look at the front page right now there is nothing remotely lurid or questionable on it. I have a feeling that all the author of the list did was copy and paste from Manboobz without bothering to actually read anything.

  3. They listen to Amanda Marcotte, ’nuff said. It’s totally fine for some to generalize negatively as they do against the MRA whilst many take objection to the mra’s generalizing against feminism. The fact they think the backlash is because of men losing privilege says it all, if they actually had a clue they’d realize a lot of the anti-feminism sentiment (at least what I see) is due to gendered views on non-gendered issues, gynocentric views of abuse which leave countless male victims without help and just a half-assed approach at fixing many issues in the world.

    Yes there is misogyny in a few mra areas, just like there is misandry in some feminist areas, but 1, it’s individual, 2, people tend to call it out (at least on the GMP), 3, being anti-feminist isn’t the same as anti-female, there are 2 sets of feminism I see in existence, gynocentric feminism and egalitarian feminism. None of the anti-feminists I’ve seen are against egalitarian feminism, they just see the majority with power appear to be gynocentric and do seem to cause harm.

    Personally I dislike the manhating variants that tend to be radical, I find the gynocentric feminism too often plays victim and ignores males. I love the egalitarian feminists though and will gladly work with them to make life better for all, but I find it very difficult to talk to gynocentrics because they tend to see life through the lens of womengetitworse without attempting to see the male side of the picture. These are just personal observations of course, but considering most anti-abuse campaigns I’ve seen have been female = victim, male = perpetrator and studies showing abuse has high levels of victims and perps in each gender I find the gendered approach to be severely detrimental as it reinforces stereotypes of abuse that don’t help. I would love to be proven wrong though, I want to see the egalitarian feminists take back the name and restore credibility in feminism because atm it really does look like it’s split.

  4. the link that says “Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women:” points to the SLPC Intelligence Report, not to anything by Mark Potok and Evelyn Schlatter

  5. the link that says “Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women:” points to the SLPC Intelligence Report, not to anything by Mark Potok and Evelyn Schlatter

    Thanks for the heads up. I fixed the link.

  6. Typhon has a post up that says SPLC is starting to back away formthe article…it’s only an article in a newsletter…..his own views, not those of the SPLC….. doesn’t reperesnt us….

    You know, I had to smile at the juxtaposition of those two posts at your place, one about SPLC’s actions and one about a black man falsely accused by a lying white woman in Georgia. Georgia! There once was a time when the SPLC defended black men from lying white women. now who are they defending? Have they been infiltrated by the KKK?

  7. Ginkgo, I do not think they have been infiltrated by any racist group. I do think that SPLC made the mistake of playing politics and letting someone trash a movement without bothering to check it out themselves. Had anyone visited the sites listed instead copying what Marcotte and Futrelle wrote, they might have caught this distortion. I am not defending the men’s rights movement because I agree with all their positions. I am defending it because the attack was lazy, inaccurate, and clearly bigoted.

  8. “Ginkgo, I do not think they have been infiltrated by any racist group”

    No and I was being more than a little vicious on that one, seeing as how hard the SPLC has battled the KKK over the years.

    I think your take on it is exactly what happened and now I see Morris Dees saying the article was one person’s opinion in one publication, doesn’t reperesent the views of the SPLC, all that kind of backing away slowly talk.

    And your reason for defending the MRM is the right one, because it’s good for the SPLC itself to be rigorous about checking the validity of things that go out in its name, especially ones with the potential to damage their hard-won reputation as enemies of bigotry.

  9. Ginkgo, if they say that the article was one person’s opinion, they should have made that clear from the start. Nothing I saw in any of the articles suggested it was one person’s opinion. They all looked as if SPLC endorsed the pieces.

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