The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Intelligence Report Article Provokes Fury Among Men’s Rights Activists

By Arthur Goldwag on May 15, 2012 - 3:04 pm, Posted in Anti-Woman

The last issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report presented a scathing portrait of “a hard-line fringe” of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM): “women haters whose fury goes well beyond criticism of the family court system, domestic violence laws, and false rape accusations,” whose rage is “directed at all women, not only perceived feminists.”

The article, entitled “Leader’s Suicide Brings Attention to Men’s Rights Movement,” provoked a tremendous response among men’s rights activists (MRAs) and their sympathizers.

“Piggybacking on the two minutes’ hate against Limbaugh,” the National Review Online sarcastically declared, the “clueless commissars at the Southern Policy Law Center” have “found a new arena of hate groups, comparable to neo-Nazis and the skinheads: the ‘manosphere’ of misogynist web sites.” The website In Mala Fide was defiantly proud: “Before, our enemies ignored us. Now, they point their gnarled, disgusting fingers at us, sputtering syllables of disapproval.”

A Voice for Men’s Paul Elam tried on a collegial tone at first. “The goals of SPLC and AVfM are quite similar,” he averred in open letter to the SPLC’s president, Richard Cohen. “We both work to identify groups who seek to oppress others, and inform the public of the inequities they would perpetuate.” But just days later, in a post headlined “Southern Poverty Law Center Linked to Hate Activity,” he changed his tune.

It should be mentioned that the SPLC did not label MRAs as members of a hate movement; nor did our article claim that the grievances they air on their websites – false rape accusations, ruinous divorce settlements and the like – are all without merit. But we did call out specific examples of misogyny and the threat, overt or implicit, of violence.

Thomas James Ball, for example, who was hailed as a martyr on so many men’s rights forums, called for arson attacks on courthouses and police stations. The Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik wrote extensively about the evils of feminism. We included as much as we did about because it is so intimidating to its targets, not all of whom are criminals. When Elam accused Vliet Tiptree, a pseudonymous contributor to RadFem Hub, of “calling for extermination of half the human race; the male half, that is,” he offered a cash reward for her real identity. The names and locations of several candidates were publically aired.

Elam and the authors of countless angry posts and letters have demanded to know why the SPLC hasn’t also condemned feminist man-hating (or misandry, to use the MRM’s preferred term).

“You do know that there is a forum out there called ‘RadFem Hub’ that actively advocates infanticide, gender-selective abortion and killing/mutilating men and boys, right?” one letter asked us. “Read the SCUM Manifesto,” another said, “and research the reception it has received over the years, and the regard with which many feminists still hold Valerie Solanas.”

Solanas was the undeniably disturbed woman who shot Andy Warhol in 1968. “Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women,” her manifesto began, “there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.”

SCUM stands for “Society for Cutting Up Men,” and it is true that Solanas continues to be much-read and quoted in some feminist circles. (“We don’t really cut up men,” the tagline of the Feminazis blog cheekily declares. “Well, unless they deserve it.”)

The existence of hatred on one side of a color, political or gender line hardly justifies its presence on the other. And radical feminists do say hurtful things about men. “[T]reatments can be developed to mitigate the death-drive of men, their hierarchical psychology, their insensitivity to the pain of living creatures, their pleasure in violence and intimidation, their acquisitiveness, their rape and phallic obsessions,” Tiptree wrote in a post on RadFem Hub called Radical Feminism Enters the 21st Century. “[M]y best bet is that what’s wrong with men is that their androgens need genetic modification. I’m serious about this. If we can do it with corn, men ought to be easy.” Few possessors of Y chromosomes could read her words without feeling queasy. But to characterize her essay as a well-developed plan, as Elam and his colleagues do, is not only ridiculous, it is willfully obtuse.

Cathy Brennan owns the domain RadFem Hub. “I don’t hate men,” she told me. “I have a father, I have a brother, I have a son. The war that Paul Elam is waging is in his head. I worry about women and children and the increasing violence in our society.” When I asked her what she thought of Solanas’ “Scum Manifesto,” she laughed. “I view it as A Modest Proposal-type work of literature, a satire. It’s brilliant, but it’s not my personal bible.”

While men’s rights activists fantasize about existential threats to the male sex, real gendercide is being committed against girls in China, India, East Asia, the Caucasus and other parts of the world.

Of course, some radical feminists do hate men, and when MRAs lurk in members-only chat rooms and cherry pick their angriest, most shockingly over-the-top posts to reprint on their own sites, as an MRA “mole” did at a forum called RadFemSpeak (which is not affiliated with RadFem Hub), they commit the same injustice they accuse the SPLC of doing to themselves. No one makes a very favorable impression when they’re spewing bile.

This is a lesson that some MRAs are beginning to learn for themselves. “With all of the kooks inhabiting the manosphere, it was easy for the SPLC to smear anti-feminism,” one MRA site sadly concluded after our article appeared. “The problem is larger than just AVfM. Even rational anti-feminist blogs and organizations like the False Rape Society and SAVE [Stop Abusive and Violent Environments] are being tarnished with the same brush because the MRM ‘leadership’ has failed to deal with the kooks.”

“Women are not feminism. … To equate the two is beyond ignorant,” a thoughtful MRA blogger wrote. “[I]deologically speaking, I have some issues with feminist theory, but honestly, I think it’s a distraction from working on the real issues that face men. … issues like: Homelessness – Men’s Health – Education – Suicides – Homicides – Deaths on the Job – Family Court Inequalities – Child Custody – Criminal Justice System – Incarceration Rates – Prison Rape and Violence – Domestic Violence – Unemployment – Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Military Deaths and Service – Vilification in the Media – Legal Inequalities. This is what the MRM is all about; this is about social justice and equal protection under the law.”

I dare say that if social justice and equal protection under the law were all that the MRM were about, then the SPLC would have had no reason to write about it. If the article inspires more self-criticism in this vein, then perhaps it did the Men’s Rights Movement a service.

  • Sean

    Kind of shocked to see a websites that’s supposedly anti-hate defending radfem hub. And defending The SCUM Manifesto. Kind of ironic when anti-hate is actually hate.

  • bob

    Funny how in a article titled misogyny the sites they dont include r/misogyny but do include r/mensrights.

    r/misogyny is as old as r/mens rights.

    Now you tell me which is more misogynistic. Do some research splc i know its hard but at least try.

    sodini was not a mra and had no association with them.
    The scum manifesto was the work of a entirely serious women and it was not satire.

    The dc sniper was not an mra thats just plain stupid.

    defending radfem hub and anti trans advocates is hardly what anti hate speech group should be doing
    Were is misandry the sites?

  • Señor looky

    Also anyone remember a little MRA known as Sodini? The DC sniper was also a MRA.

  • Señor looky

    Okay first I don’t know where the author got the idea that SCUM Manifesto stands for “society for cutting up men” but its not in there. The woman was also schizophrenic and abused by men her whole life. She even said herself it was a satire.

  • Ddoe

    SPLC has lost credibility for me as both a minority and LGBT activist.

    Apparently they condone transphobia and even lend a platform to it

  • dontquote terfs

    I came here from Transadvocate because I couldn’t believe the SPLC had asked for Brennan’s opinion on anything unless I’d seen it with my own eyes.
    Why would you quote someone who organises hate groups and aids others in committing violence on trans women (and other trans folks)? Is this a Critical Research Failure or is this an endorsement of TERFs?
    The SPLC was one of my favourites; but unless you declare TERFs a hate group, I have to wonder whether you’re really paying attention.

  • xiaojiao

    Even normal feminists admit that some radical feminist cross the line into hating men. Will the SPLC list their sites too?

  • Steve Vanden-Eykel

    While I appreciate the attempt here to be even-handed, it seems to me that the article eventually devolves into rationalization of why mens’ groups really kinda sorta were asking for it.

    I would just like the same standard applied to all. If A Voice For Men is a hate site, then so are the angry feminist sites. If it is not, I’d like the SPLC to unequivocally say as much.

  • Missy

    I have nothing but the utmost respect for the SPLC, its work, and its legacy.

    But this post needs to be taken down or edited: Cathy Brennan, owner of RadFem Hub, is a well known hatemonger herself.

    Brennan’s campaign against the transgender community is too lengthy (and vile) to detail in this post. However, given SPLC’s commitment to human rights, I would think that Brennan’s submission to the UN of a paper arguing *against* gender-identity as a legal protection, would kill her credibility with the SPLC.

    What’s next? Jared Taylor’s ideas on crime prevention?

  • Alex

    I’ve actually gone and read these MRA/MRM websites, and find them eminently more reasonable than feminist organizations.

    I’m not some reactionary, I came from a matriarchal family, I’ve seen and known men who have been victimized by a legal, media, and social structure with a distinctly misandric tilt.

    Figures such as Judith Grossman are now reaping what they sow as their own sons get mowed under by the legal structures they erected.

    The SPLC’s hypocritical actions regarding MRM groups vs Radical Feminist organizations has convinced this life-long hyper-liberal to discount its credibility.

  • Derek

    Three words describe the defense of feminists perfectly here, excuses excuses excuses

  • AlexReynard

    It still amazes me that anyone can call the SCUM Manifesto satire, and that anyone else will believe them.

    A woman writes a manifesto about murdering men, then attempts to murder four men.

    If Solanis had merely written the manifesto, I could believe it was satire. Instead, she lived it out.

    I don’t have an interesting opinion on the rest of the article, but I do want people to stop making excuses for Solanis. She was a criminal. The only reason she’s not a murderer was dumb luck and her own ineptness. Her manifesto is hate speech. That is ALL it is. Anyone who says different is provably wrong.

  • Grimbold

    I think it’s pathetic that you opponents of the MRM seem to think you have the right to decide its membership, which you immediately expand to include people like Breivik. Then you say that the MRM needs to disown the psychos that you put there. Then when MRM people speak up and say “Actually, we reject murderous bigots like Anders Breivik” you turn around and say that’s not allowed.

  • Libra

    Is this a pathetic apology for baseless accusations of entire men’s rights movement? Yes expect outrage because of unfair treatment. Unlike feminists no part of men’s rights movement have ever advocated hate, violence, sexism or racism. You want a hate group? Radical feminists.

  • Joey

    Goldwag do you like making excuses for left wing nut jobs I mean Occupy wallstreet has committed tons of crimes, my own sister nearly got raped by Occupy wallstreet terrorists. Not only did they try to destroy an interstate bridge but the rape women and you excuse them not to mention the only bile in the agent orange link is coming from feminists. How much did the feminist pay you to write the former statement? I know you won’t reply to me because it would mean a man with no liberal elite education and whose only valor was earn in war.

  • SexSelector

    Let me repeat this yet again:

    Men’s Rights is a stupid concept. Men are in charge. Men can lie about this all they want. It will not change the fact that women haven’t done this to you. You and your bros did this to you.

    If you are for men’s rights, then why don’t you fight against male genital mutilation? Oh, sometimes you do, but only after insisting that MGM is worse than FGM. lol. Hardly. And hardly the point. Anyway, Christian men want to keep hacking away at their sons’ penises because god forbid their sons be left intact as father wishes he were. If dad doesn’t get his foreskin, no one do!

    Solanas was a badass. So was Wuornos. Cry about it.

    Here I should add: biology is transphobic. I’ve got this menstruation and ability-to-get-pregnant thing. TOTALLY TRANZPHOBIC. Having a Y chromosome makes you…human! Not male! Wait..

    Anyway, glad this misogynist killed himself. Ironic that he used fire, too. Can’t wait to see more patriarch suicides. Suicide for a better world!

  • Erik Wedin

    Let me clarify a few things for you since this post was confusing as heck!

    1. MRM stands for Mens Rights Movement, its clearly as indicated by the name a “movement” Feminist can be called Womens Rights Movement, since feminism doesnt care about men its obvious society need MRM.

    2. MRA stands for Mens Rights Advocates, its clearly as indicated members of the aforementioned movement. The female opposite would be called WRA

    3. A movement is not an organisation. Thus claiming MRA as a hate group is just ridicolous. We dont even need to debate whether the opinions is criticism or hate cause IT IS NOT A GROUP! Its lots of different groups with lots of different opinions.

    4. Solanas may have been a disturbed woman however the people reading her workds does not have that excuse. The issue is not about whether Solanas was disturbed, its about the masses of feminists who read and treat her works as important thought. Are they also disturbed or whats their excuse?

    5. Thomas Ball commited suicide the same way monks often protest against state oppression. Solanas however tried to murder three persons by shooting them with a gun. I am not sure in which universe SPLC would think suicide and murder are equal

    6. Thomas Balls message was rebellion against the state. Valerie Solanas message was to murder half the population on earth (Kill all men). In which galaxy are these messages equal of anything?

    7. Not only is it really stupid to throw the name “Breivik around” to make opponents seem bad in various issues (Swedish Psychiatrist D. Eberhard think its so ridicolous the Godwin law applies, with Breivik instead of a certain austrian….)

    8. Its also concluded in the largest even Police Investigation in Norwegian history he acted completely alone. Also his manifesto (by large copy-pasted and interpreted through his crazy filter) make it absolutely clear the killings were 99,99% caused by his view of himself as a crusader knight against islam.

    10. Conclusion:

    a) Neither MRA nor MRM can be called a hate group cause they are not groups at all. Should anyone wanna call actual groups as AVFM a hate group they must first show the difference between criticism and hate.

    Otherwise you are saying people can only criticize in one direction. Thats a pro-discrimination opinion.

    b) Being sympathetic about Solanas who wanted to kill half of the worlds population cant be compared to being sympathetic to Ball, a man trying to avoid his family being destroyed. Thats not even close by a mile.

    c) Breivik has nothing to do with the subject whatsoever. The subject of his killings were being a crusader against islam – also his manifesto was not written by him. It was a copy-paste project.

  • Snowrunner

    “Solanas was the undeniably disturbed woman who shot Andy Warhol in 1968. ”

    So pardon me, you write Solanas off as “undeniably distrubed woman” yet when it comes to Breivik he is a symptom of the MRA movement?

    Why do I get the feeling that you are measuring differently here?

    As for Radfemhub and your explaination why radical feminism isn’t really the same as radical MRAs: Same. What happens here is that there is a form of asymetrical warfare going on. The main concerns MRAs are voicing are institutional. Or do “borrow” from the feminist vocabulary: The Matriarchy.

    A bit of a better balanced approach to this would have helped the SPLC come off as a neutral force instead of one that seems to have swallowed a certain dogma (that of women as victims). What a shame for this missed opportunity.

  • MRA4Life

    Come to think of it slander is a reason to sue the living breaks out of a organization. I am a Mens Rights Activist I suport Housing Rights for Vets and men that can build Hud homes. MRA have alot of work to to . We need to get 3 UN representatives to push bills for us so that we to can be treated as human beings. Go to any ghetto in America and ask the men their how many of them can actually rent in their own ghetto.

  • Erika

    you go ahead and do that Robert.

    The rest of us – including the Judge who will explain what that entire First Amendment freedom of speech thing means – will just be laughing at you.

  • Robert

    I feel the Southern Poverty Law Center should be sued if it starts listing groups like the ANCPR as a hate group and a member of. I support mens rights because in my entire life no men I have known can live in their own ghetto unless they make a mistake or dying of Aids. And I am going to work tirelessly by writing United Nations members to help support Mens Rights the disrespect towards men is enough .We cant ignore our homeless vets and enermous male population in prison and our here branded as a felon .

    I feel the Southern Poverty Law Center owes MRA a apology and if it is bent on declaring certain groups or association as hate groups it should be sued to the government recognizes what the Southern Poverty LAw Center is doing is illegal and must be held accountable by the courts for its actions.