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.