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

Another Men’s Rights Activist Suicide Exploited by Ideologues

By Arthur Goldwag on May 14, 2013 - 8:28 am, Posted in Anti-Woman

Last spring, I wrote an article for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Intelligence Report that ran online under the headline, “Leader’s Suicide Brings Attention to Men’s Rights Movement.” One year later, following an unremitting series of attacks on what I wrote by defensive men’s right activists (MRAs), another suicide has shed new light on men’s rights activism.

Back in 1991, Earl Silverman started a self-help group for abused men in Calgary, Canada. Silverman’s abusive wife had fled to a women’s shelter after he’d “hit her back,” he said, but no equivalent refuge had been available to him. Over the years, he filed numerous complaints against the provincial government, in which he argued that its failure to provide the same funding for battered men that it did for battered women was a violation of basic human rights. Three years ago, he opened a shelter for battered men in his home. In April, 2013, beset with financial difficulties, Silverman closed its doors, sold his house, and hung himself, “murdered by suicide by the Feminized state of Canada,” as the National Coalition for Men’s Harry Crouch put it.

In summarizing Silverman’s story, the online Atlantic Wire’s Alexander Abad-Santos quoted from both the Intelligence Report and Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams, who wrote, “There are male victims. … Yet where Silverman came up short was in perpetuating the Men’s Rights Movement’s fiction that there’s any gender equity as far as violence and victims.”

The MRA website A Voice for Men reacted with its signature restraint, accusing Abad-Santos of “gloating” over Silverman’s corpse. It brought the SPLC into the story, too, falsely accusing it (and me) of backpedaling after a tsunami of outrage met what was described as our “irresponsible fear-mongering about the MRM.”   Anyone who denies that men are as victimized by women as women are by men is a shill for feminism, with its “core foundations of violence and hatred,” it added.

Another MRA blogged, “I cheerfully await the feminists who will be dancing on [Silverman’s] grave.”

The odd thing is that links in Silverman’s own blog offer a more nuanced view of his story than his mourners do. Voluminous briefs and transcripts document how accommodating various officials were — assigning him a liaison, inviting him to conferences, scheduling interviews with ministers, granting him wide latitude when he failed to dot every bureaucratic “i” and cross every “t.” He also benefited from the  $1,000 benefit that is available to people of either gender who are fleeing domestic violence in Alberta. The same Harry Crouch who accused “Feminized” Canada of murder celebrated in 2011 when “Earl Silverman’s DV [domestic violence] shelter … announced that it took in and housed its first male victim that had been both referred and funded by a $1,000 grant from the local provincial government. This is a huge deal.”

Some of those who knew Silverman saw things quite differently.

“Mr. Silverman appears incapable of coherent and rational problem solving with government or community partners,” Maria David-Evans, the exasperated deputy minister of Alberta Children’s Services wrote in a formal response to one of his suits. “This is clearly not because of discrimination or gender bias … but is based on the illogical, unjustifiable and unreasonable ideology needed to communicate his views about misandry conspiracies that he has come to believe.”

Like the men’s rights movement at large, Earl Silverman was not always his own best advocate. It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that his supporters are looking to get more out of his death than any feminists are.

  • elizabeth1848

    U.S. News & World Report/ February 11, 2009, 4:23 PM
    College Admission: Tough Times For Girls?
    By John Esterbrook
    Westhampton and Richmond colleges merged around the turn of the 20th century, creating a coed institutio. These days, the student body is 49 percent male and 51 percent female. Maintaining that equilibrium, means rejecting many more female applicants than male ones. In the past decade, female applicants have faced an admissions rate that averages 13 percentage points lower than that of their male peers for the sake of keeping that girl-boy balance.

    Marilyn Hesser, a senior associate director of admissions at Richmond, “The board of trustees has said that the admissions office can go as far as 55-45 [women to men].” “Was [the male applicant’s] high school GPA lower? Perhaps.” A thumb on the scale. U.S. News has found that over the past 10 years many schools have maintained their gender balance by admitting men and women at drastically different rates. Maintaining gender equity on some campuses appears to require a thumb on the scale in favor of boys. It’s at these schools, including Pomona, Boston College, Wesleyan University, Tufts, and the College of William and Mary, that the gap in admit rates is particularly acute.

    Boys will be boys. Male applicants, meanwhile, are often at an advantage-so much so that college counselors have begun advising some boys to “emphasize their maleness,” says Steve Goodman, a longtime independent college counselor. He encourages male students to submit pictures or trumpet their sports activities “anything to catch an admissions officer’s eye.” Some colleges, like Lake Erie College in Ohio and Husson College in Maine, are making extra efforts to attract male applicants by creating football teams. Others are emphasizing hands-on learning and reaching out to all-male high schools.

    Do college admissions officers discriminate against girls?
    By Valerie Strauss Wash Post 11/17/2009
    Is it easier for boys to get accepted into college than it is for girls?
    You may be surprised to learn that the answer is yes.

    The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has just begun investigating admissions practices to see if schools are favoring boys according to a recent report from Inside Higher Ed. Many more girls apply to college than boys, to maintain gender balance, a larger percentage of male applicants are taken than female.

    For example, according to data that is online in the Common Data Set, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., receives almost twice as many applications from girls each year as it does from boys. The percentage of male applicants admitted to the college is much higher than for girls. I asked William and Mary’s admissions dean, Henry Broaddus, about the numbers. Here’s what he said:
    “It’s not the College of Mary and Mary; it’s the College of William and Mary.”

    Here are some statistics from William and Mary, and two other schools, Harvard University and the University of Virginia, that show the different approaches by admissions. A reader told us about the stats, and I checked them on line at the university’s websites, where they provide Common Core data. The links are below.
    male: 13,660 applied; 1,073 accepted , or about 8 percent
    female: 13,802 applied, 1,102 accepted, or about 8 percent
    male: 11,389 men applied; 1,042 accepted, or about 9 percent
    female: 11,566 applied; 1,066 accepted, or about 9 percent
    male: 11,030 men applied; 1,024 accepted, or about 9 percent
    female: 11,724 applied; 1,101 accepted, or about 9 percent

    male: 8,380 applied; 3,014 accepted, or about 36 percent
    women: 9,983 applied; 3,721 accepted, or about 37 percent
    male: 8,121 applied; 2,742 accepted, or about 34 percent
    women: 9,677 applied; 3,531 accepted, or about 36 percent
    male: 7,218 applied; 2,680 accepted, or about 37 percent
    women: 8,868 applied; 3,339 accepted, or about 38 percent

    male: 4,309 applied; 1,859 accepted, or about 43 percent
    female: 7,327 applied; 2,107 accepted, or about 29 percent
    male: 3,930 applied; 1,713 accepted, or about 43.5 percent
    female: 6,923 applied; 1,942 accepted, or about 28 percent
    male: 3,812 applied; 1,671 accepted, or about 44 percent
    female: 6,910 applied; 1,797 accepted, or about 26 percent

  • Aron


    Let’s have some proof for your absurd claims.

    Put up or shut up.

  • Amfortas


    There is no instances of colleges lowering their standards to attract more men in. This is completely ridiculous. Women specific grants, quotas and government policies are benefiting women’s enrollment despite them being the majority in colleges. Colleges have in fact been doing everything they can to keep men out. Your implication is that women are naturally intellectually superior and will of course be the majority in academia without colleges lowering their standards to enroll the dumber men. Of course this is patently absurd in addition to sexist and dare I say grade school level childish.

  • Egalitarian

    “The numbers back up this statement. Nearly 1 in 5 women (20%) have been raped in their lifetime versus 1 in 71 men (1.4%)”

    The “1 in 71 men have been raped” stat from the CDC survey doesn’t tell the whole story. It defines “rape” as the attacker penetrating the victim, which excludes women who use their vagina to rape a man (rape by envelopment) which is counted as “made to penetrate”. The very same survey says “1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else,” which is far more than 1 in 71. Also, the study says that 79.2% of male victims of “made to penetrate” reported only female perpetrators, meaning they were raped by a woman.

    The above, lifetime stats do show a lower percentage of male victims (up to 1.4% rape by penetration + 4.8% made to penetrate = 6.2%) than female victims (18.3%) although it is far more than the 1 in 71 you stated. However, if you look at the report’s stats for the past 12 months, just as many number of men were “forced to penetrate” as women were raped, meaning that if you properly define “made to penetrate” as rape, men were raped as often as women.

  • Aquaria

    The 30-day waiting period may simply be to make sure the man is really prepared, I don’t see that as an issue. On the spousal permission thing, does the same apply to women seeking tubal ligation? If so, the law is fair, since it applies to both genders equally. It may not be a good law for a lot of reasons, but that doesn’t mean it’s unfair to men if the same applies to women.:::

    It does apply to women.

    My mother was a CRNA. According to her, doctors are either required to get spousal permission by law for BOTH sexes, or they do it for liability reasons, even if the state has no law requiring it. Some hospitals require it before they’ll do the procedure. It varies a whole lot by state.

    When I wanted a tubal ligation in 1992, the doctor demanded that I get my husband’s permission. I don’t know if it were required by the hospital or the state, but that doctor would NOT do it until my husband weighed in.

    So it’s not just the poor pitiful men who are required to do this, contrary to what the idiot troll implies.

  • Erika

    rey, i’ll check it out sometime when i get the chance.

    Meanwhile its almost Memorial Day weekend and while temperatures here are going to be more suited for sweatpants than a bikini there should still be plenty of radiant joy :)

  • aadila

    Good reading suggestion, Rey. In your debt as always.

  • Reynardine

    In fact, Erika, you can download, as a free PDF, Dr
    Bob Altemeyer’s book on the subject, “The Authoritarians”, which demonstrates that these attitudes strongly overlap. This accords with the findings of earlier social psychologists, such as Theodore Adorno and Gordon Allport.

  • Erika

    Another real connection to explore is the connection between the men’s rights movement and fundamentalist religion – its likely that there are many who are in all three cateogries – white supremacist, male supremcist, and religious fundamentalist –

    The connection between the male supremacists and religious fundamentalism is especially scary given the fondess of certain religious fundamentalists for bringing back Old Testament law and the practice of stoning

  • Erika

    Rey, judging by the content of my email’s spam folder it seems that some men still haven’t gotten the message and are still searching for magic potions :)

  • aadila

    Also, what Elizabeth said is spot on. I’m just trying to be accurate about a practice that is often claimed (erroneously) to be reserved only for women. It’s not a gainsay or anything, and I really should have made that clear the first place, especially given some of the other comments attacking Elizabeth for speaking her mind (i.e. refusing to be silenced by men, which is another thing worth talking about).

  • aadila

    Rey and Erika, you are right of course about the witchcraft burnings. As Louis XIV once said, it is a small mind that always seeks to be right.

    To clarify, what I was talking about was the practice of burning at the stake in general, during the Inquisition period, which was a penalty meted out for heresy (as Rey observes). That penalty was quite common for both men and women, which is not to suggest women weren’t singled out at different times for different reasons.

    I do think it is worth pointing out that those were not exactly carefree times for either men or women. Unless you consider being drawn and quartered — an equivalent penalty as burning at the stake generally reserved for men — a joyride.

  • Georgia Citizen


    I have been around male crossdressers,transvestitles or drag queens. To say these men are more womwen than womwn> That’s a laugh!
    I am still in the early stages about underststanding transgenderism. I have always those go this route(particularly birth men, would have become more feminized and prefer female stuff, when they taken their
    estogen. The jury is still out whether to call trangender women legitimate women and transgendered men legitimate men. More studies needs to be done insttead of
    accepting the LGBT pro[aganda, who wishes to brainwashing Americans that a duck can be made into a goose, but will it honk like a gopse or quack like a duck?

  • Reynardine

    Aadila, it depends on when, where, and why. Both the European Inquisition and the witch trials of Salem started out with predominantly female victims, but moved on to men as they progressed. I believe Spain did not, in that sense, discriminate from the start, as they were far more interested in “heretics”, to wit: the moriscos and marranos who had fallen into their hands at the reconquista. Though feudal Spain was sexually quite repressive towards women, they at least appeared to have better sense than to think it took witchcraft to make men’s penises go up and down.

    As it became policy for the Church to confiscate the property of “witches”, far more men were accused , and wealthy ones, at that. Strange, isn’t it?

  • Erika

    um should be “exclusively reserved” not prevailed. editing fail :)

  • Erika

    aadila, my understanding is that while burning at the stake was initially used on both genders as time went on it was reserved almost exclusively for female offenders (see also stoning which began as the punishment for many crimes but over time became essentially exclusively prevailed for women who engaged in sex outside of marriage – cases have even been reported in modern times in areas where Old Testament law persists)

  • aadila

    Point taken, Elizabeth1848 but I think the stake burning thing was co-educational.

  • Erika

    one of the main ironies of the men’s rights movement showing up now is that due to the educational achievement gap between girls and boys, many colleges in order to assure diversity are starting to give admissions preferences to male applicants.

  • Reynardine

    Elizabeth, you have called it. The idea is to *invade* and render noplace safe, and although we are seeing it in regards to MRA’ s here, this blog and others similarly sees invasions of fascists and racists intent on bullying whoever opposes them, or is even just trying to find safe space. During the latter years of Weimar, right-wing groups did as much with German leftists.

    As for Sam, he is our resident spoiled child, who cheeks us because it is safe to do so. This is his way of demonstrating his independence: by taking the side of those who would make mincemeat of him if they could get him. I bet you he doesn’t go to *their* forums and act like that.

    I refer you and anyone interested to “The Authoritarians” by Bob Altemeyer, a Canadian doctor of psychology who has specialized in the psychology of both authoritarian pack dogs and the Masters of Hounds who put them on the trail of selected targets. You can download the book as a free PDF from his site and several that have hosted him. It’s a remarkable look into the minds of mean people.

  • elizabeth1848

    It’s embarrassing that the very first comment here is by a man who claims that it’s men (impersonating women) who are actually the “women” who are most oppressed. It’s like embracing the practice of blackface, yellowface or other forms of ridicule to vilify and mock a group when they have less power. By caricaturing women with “womanface” as superficial, catty, materialistic, vain, stupid, jealous, weak, shrill and hysterical men can demonstrate deep misogyny, while claiming to emulate and portray women. Like the “Tootsie syndrome” men claim to be better or more woman than women are.

    Check your facts Concernedcitizen. “A Child Called It” is a work of fiction as the rest of the family of its author attested. But it made tons of money, so he kept writing books cause everyone loves to read about a monstrous woman: ergo Lillith, Eve and the millions of “witches” who had to be burned at the stake. Get those evil women, right?

  • elizabeth1848

    It’s such an ironic lie for men to be whining about not having shelters. There are, and were, lots of shelters for men and they existed long before we ever established shelters for women. Prior to feminists founding shelters for women, if battered women went to one of these men’s shelters, we were barred: NO WOMEN ALLOWED. Trying to escape violence from a male partner, we were told at these shelters that if we were admitted we would be subjected to sexual assault, robbery, rape or harassment by the men residing there, so we had to sleep in parked cars or doorways until the feminist mvn’t was able to provide its own shelters. Now men are trying to enter these shelters that were created to provide a safe space for battered women, making the shelters, once again, unsafe for women, terrorizing women and driving them out. Men who gain entrance by threats of suing or discrimination use their presence at the women’s shelters to sexually harass women, steal from them, give information to abusers on the shelter’s location and residents and try to sell them drugs. This behavior is practiced by both hetro and trans men. Some women leave terrified and are now afraid to go to a shelter. This, of course is terrorism against women. Note the case of Kim Nixon who litigated for12 years to try to shut down a rape relief shelter that didn’t want to provide him with a job. Let’s face it, men have all the resources in the world to set up their own shelters, why would they want to poach on women’s paltry resources? Obviously – to make the shelters unusable for women just like all the shelters were before women set up their own. Men are also trying to poach the funds for women’s shelters and services to be diverted to them. They became concerned about “battered men” only after women struggled for years to get some protection for women that men already had?

    As for women now being the majority of college students whereas in the past they were discriminated against or actually barred from admission to most colleges. Surprise, now that men are in a minority in college enrollment it has been found that some colleges are lowering their requirements for males to bulk up their male student numerical body. Wow, is there no way in which they’re not catered to? And still they complain.

  • Reynardine

    Erika, you have given a beautifully detailed analysis of a kind I have long been too old, tired, and cranky to attempt. But for shorthand of this role reversal of perpetrator and victim, there is the acronym, DARVO (Deny, Accuse, Reverse Victim and Oppressor).

  • Erika

    aadila, on a deeper level i see numerous comparisons between the white supremacists and the men’s rights movement – that is why i believe it is more proper to call the men’s rights movement “male supremacists”

    Like the white supremacists, the male supremacists are trying to pretend that their goal is “rights” ignoring the fact that they do not representh groups that have been historically (or currently) discriminated against. In both cases, the rights they care about are only rights for members of their groups.

    Like the white supremacists, the idea of violence is often right under the surface of the male supremacists at all times – in both cases you see exaggerated claims of victimization against their group by others. They claim that the other group is exceptionally violence – the white supremacists claim that non-whites are exceptionally violent. MAle supremacists claim that women are exceptionally violent. Both also claim that the violence is not punished or that the others get away with it – hence hte male supremacists claiming that women frequently assault men and are unpunished.

    You also see an obsession with sexual violence – white supremacists are obsessed with the idea of black men raping white women – male supremacists are obsessed by rape in general but especially by the idea of women raping men (despite the fact that caes of adult women raping adult males so exceedingly rare to be are almost unheard of.

    Like the white supremacists, the male supremacists.are also prone to be drawn towards violence against the “others” – hence male supremacist are drawn towards violence against women – whether physical or sexual – scratch the surface of the men’s rights mysognistis and you see a celebration of violence against women – especially violent physical assaults and rape.

    At the same time, in both groups you see a denial that their group is at all prone to violence.

    Both groups also seem to have poessesstory views towards women – in other words they view women as their personal property

    Both groups also display ideologies of impotency – they believe that their groups (whether whites or men) are uniquely weak and powerless (a clearly absurd view since white men are collectively the most powerful and wealthiest group i nthe world)

    In fact, both the white supmreacists and the male supremacists both somehow think that their groups are the only victims. And that the only way to protect their individual rights is to take someone else’s rights (women, non-whites) away.

    But overall there is very little difference ultimately between a white supremacist and a male supremacist – their claims to only be interested in civil rights are a lie which masks their real agenda to have their group control everything.

    and ultiamtely i suspect that there is quite a bit of overlap – hence, i suspect that many white supremacists are also men’s rights people and vice versa.

  • aadila


    Interesting points raised. I know a very dedicated feminist in California who refused to accept money in a divorce because she felt it compromised her principles, even though she was legally entitled. Their children are cared for by the father, quite well in fact. So I don’t think feminism is the real issue.

    When sorting out the injustices in America it seems like there is a never ending list. For my own triage of social problems I rank economic injustice pretty high up, because this affects all aspects of life. As you are surely aware, women continue to suffer from widespread wage disparity and while there are examples of access to the higher levels of management in the business world, these examples remain, well, exemplary and far from the norm.

    Couple this with a huge and organized movement to eradicate reproductive freedom, which is the institutionalization of gender oppression on the very wide scale. So with these two examples we see some very high priority issues.

    I don’t speak for the SPLC, as I am just an observer. But I think the reason why the MR movement is under scrutiny is how quickly rational, legitimate concerns such as you raise become swamped by the collective effort to halt whatever gains have been made to bring social and economic equality to women. If the pace has been faster on the side of women’s rights in the past few decades, compare that with the last few millenia of oppression.

    In the fullness of time, I hope to see the issues you raise addressed and solved. In fact, I support doing so now. But not if cloaked in misogyny and not-so-subtle political will to reverse gains for women. I hope American society can embrace a third way between the apophatic and oppositional arguments for gender equality, based not on hate or “winning” some war but on mutual respect and simple human kindness.

    There are lots of things that can be done in corporate America — following the example of Europe — to make our society friendlier to parents in general, less mercenary in terms of economic exploitation of workers and more dedicated to solid families and constructing the type of society where hapiness at home is not secondary to the profits of the elite.

  • Erika

    brock, i strongly suspect that your real objection to women competiting with men is that when the field is close to level, men can’t come close with competiting. Now that barriers to women getting into college have been removed, women are graduating from college, graduate, and professional schools at a much higher rate than men. In fact, many educators (most of whom are women) are very worried about the lack of educational achievement by boys and men and the education gap between the genders. Its very common now to see colleges which have 60-75% female enrollments.

    Of course, the men’s rights activitsts don’t focus on a legitimate issue like looking at why boys and men are falling behind academically and educationally. They are not looking at one of the primary factors which is the fact that so many young men get arrested for petty crimes (such as drug dealing) and get draconian drug war sentences. They do not look for reasons why girls might be beating boys at all levels of achievement now and why many colleges are now having problems with attracting male students

    They also do not look at the social changes which are coming to many professions such as law as more and more law school graduates are female (women have been the majority for a decade and are now the vast majority of law school graduates) – there is much more demand now for a work-life balance than before – and law is hardly an exception. In fact, many women now want to be able to have both careers and have children (or if they want children they have no choice but to have careers because it is extremely expensive to have children).

    They also do not look at the social changes – including the education gap – as well as economic changes which essentially require women to work – there are very few cases where you can support a family on a single income anymore – and given that women are achieving more econimically its quite likely that the woman will be the one with the career.

    Instead they complain about having to compete with women – which is odd because if anything the available evidence suggests that women are not competiting with men – they are beating them. Such complaints reveal an extreme impotence – because ultimately male supremacy like white supremacy are ideologies of impotence and weakness. The male supremacists may claim that men are supreme but deep down in their hearts they believe that men are inferior.

  • Georgia Citizen

    Does this mean Australian men are wimp?

  • Erika

    oh it looks like buck dharma is gone before i get the opportunity to ask him whether in the video to “Burning for You” if the guy setting himself on fire was a men’s rights activist protesting against female domination.

  • Erika

    buck dharma, don’t you have to go play a concert on the “Dinosaurs of Rock Tour” at a county fair somewhere where you have to pretend that the millionth time that someone yells “More Cowbell Please” at the beginning of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is funny???

    and while its not exactly a secret that i have not always been treated very well by men, how many times do i have to tell you men’s rights mysognists that i am not anti-male – i am anti-stupidity???

    i happen to like smart men very much :)

  • Erika

    wow, according to nintharatha or whatever his name is, men comprise 1/3 of victims in domestic violence in Austrailia while they, of course, comprise approximately 1/2 of the population.

    yes, you really disproved the notion that women are the primary victims of domestic abuse there.

    and of course, one always has to wonder exactly what definition of domestic abuse they are using. A loud argument that results in the cops being called or tossing a teddy bear at someone may be classifed as “Domestic Violence” the same as a violent beating resulting in serious injury, rape, or murder – but they are hardly comparable in severity. And overwhelmingly the victims of these very violent domestic assaults are overwhelmingly female. And who knows, the men’s rights mysognists could well claim that a woman “nagging” them to take the trash out is emotional abuse and therefore according to them the equivilent domestic abuse to a violent beating or rape.

    Another factor could be whether assaults against children are included within their definition as domestic assaults – domestic assaults are defined as assaults against a family member – while assaults against children are generally classified as child abuse or sexual abuse of a child they could be included within the domestic assault total – if so, that would dramatically increase the number of male victims since while girls are the primary victims of childhood sexual assault, boys are likely physically abused as children at the same or maybe even a higher rate than girls.

    A final factor which makes determining domestic violence rates difficult to compare across jurisdictions is the differing legal treatment of same sex relationships – in some jurisdictions, an assault by a same sex partner will be classified as a domestic assault – in others it will not be. It is likely – given that it is known that males are much more likely to commit domestic abuse – that in jurisdictions which legally recongize same sex relationships as being domestic assaults that the percentage of male victims will likely increase.

    And honey, no one is saying that men are not victims of domestic assault – no one is saying that men in those relationships do not need help. What is riduculous is you men’s rights activitists somehow pretending that you are the real victims – its about as silly as O.J. Simpson announcing that he was going out searching for the “real killer” (how is that going btw?) – when even your own statistics show that overwhelmingly the victims of domestic violence are female and the perps are overwhelmingly male.

  • JJ

    “Most Australians have accepted the overwhelming evidence that at least 1/3 of all victims of domestic violence are men.”
    Ninderthana, show me the “overwhelming” evidence. I am Australian and I don’t believe that.

    buck dharma instead of attacking the person, please make an intelligent contribution to the debate and back up your opinions with evidence.

  • aadila

    By the way, I have myself suffered violence.

  • aadila

    Erika, I don’t believe women are less vulnerable in a single sex bathroom. Women are vulnerable everywhere. Any survey of violence shows men too are also likely victims for all kinds of violence, but women have particular vulnerabilities that go along with being women. And of course I am aware of that. But why does that mean men and women need separate bathrooms? Why does one lead to the other? Where exactly is the link?

    Let’s take a look at this for a second. A lot of people come around and say of course Muslims should be suspect as terrorists everywhere. Of course black men are scary and dangerous. Of course immigants commit more crimes than citizens. Of course the banks are run by a Zionist conspiracy. Of course FEMA camps are a step toward dictatorship, and on, and on and on. When we actually sort out those ideas, they are exposed as completely and utterly irrational. In fact in many cases, I would say actually insane.

    Yet, in each case, there are people who will never, ever change their minds about any of it, not matter how you expose the truth. So how far removed is the idea that a mosque near the WTC site is a “victory mosque”, from the idea that all men are such a menace that sharing bathrooms is impossible? I’m not trying to make light of your views, but to point out how the mind works when looking at human differences. There can be a million things similar between two people, but for some reason all that matters is difference.

    So when we look at the real problem, which is not shared bathrooms but violence, I think there are a lot better ways to address that than setting up exclusionary spaces in the hope violence will go away. People live behind walls, locks, gates, bars, and armored glass, more and more, yet violence continues to escalate.

    Half the country thinks carrying guns is safer, the other half thinks it’s not, and rift between them is even scarier than whatever we are supposed to be protecting ourselves from. Is the only way society can be safe to accept living in a bunker and surf the Internet for everything, never stepping into the sunlight? Or do we need to look at what fear is in a different way?

    So the way most people recoil from the very idea of unisex bathrooms is exactly what I am trying to point out. It’s so simple and obvious. How could I be so daft. You’d think I was suggesting universal vegitarianism. In truth, I actually don’t care too much one way or another about unisex bathrooms. I am just trying to make a point about cultural values, about how we view reality.

    The problem with seeing the obvious is that it can be very, very difficult to see beyond it.

  • Reynardine

    I had rather thought ad hominem – or ad feminam – attacks like those of Duck Farma were going to be off limits here. Meanwhile, I have to go back to a board where an MRA is claiming that men have a right to force a woman to carry or abort, and if we don’t like it, they’ll kill us.

  • Aron

    Charles Ross

    It was the Illuminati.

  • Erika

    aadila, i didn’t see your comment about unisex bathrooms as being personal at all – i just really object to the idea of having shared bathrooms for reasons which you should be aware of (and if not the fact that i lock the bathroom door even when i am alone in the house should a signficant clue).

  • Erika

    aadila and rey, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because a woman does something with her body that men might happen to like that she is not primarily doing it for her comfort and personal happiness.

  • Erika

    Charles, right because there would be a huge conspiracy to secretly kill a person who most people have never heard of due to him attempting (unsuccessfully as it sounds) to set up a battered men’s shelter.

    *eyes roll* yes, that makes absolutely perfect sense and is not completely irrational paranoia.

  • Ninderthana

    We have set up a course here in an Australian University that studies hate groups like the Southern Poverty Law Centre. The students here in Australia cannot believe that groups that are so adamantly opposed to equal rights for men still exist in the United States. Many are asking how long will it take for the United States to catch-up to the rest of the World.

    Most Australians have accepted the overwhelming evidence that at least 1/3 of all victims of domestic violence are men. It is now a crime here in Australia to discriminate against victims of domestic violence simply because they are male. The Government is setting up domestic violence shelters for men despite calls from anti-male bigots and misandrists who oppose equality for men.

  • Marc

    I’m a progressive and a men’s rights activist, because I happen to believe in equal rights. I an an honoree of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Wall of Tolerance for my work on social justice issues for people with mental disabilities. But I”m now ashamed of the Southern Poverty Law Center for its one-sided criticism of the men’s human rights movement that wants nothing more than equal rights. They quote a few people who says things they shouldn’t here and there but they totally ignore the real issues and substance of the movement. It took men’s rights activsits to get international human rights courts to get Germany and other countries to stop systematically discriminating against unmarried dads. But the Southern Povery Law Center never acknowledges all the good work MRAs did. Men are discriminateda against as fathers in family court (Iteach family law at Pasadena City College), and also in criminal sentencing, public benefits, international forced labor laws, domestic violence policies, military conscription, public health policies, and more. And that discrimination is supported both by the government and by feminist groups who lobby and support many of those laws. The Netherlands and Belgium both have government run battered men’s shelters. But in the U.S. they refuse to acknowledge the problem. The Centers for Disease Control’s most recent study men are assaulted by partners almost as often as women are, and although men cause more damage lots of men are injured as well. And the worst damage is to children who witness the violence no matter how severe it is. I had to sue the State of California on behalf of battered men because the state DV laws, which happened to have been written by feminist groups, excluded male victims from state-funded services. It took years of pro bono work to get that victory and yes some feminist groups fought us, although I give credit to those feminists who joined forces with us like Patricia Overberg former director of the Valley Oasis DV Shelter in Lancaster . Southern Poverty Law Centers constant mis-statements about the men’s rights movement reflects a sad, reactionary, and ignorant side of their center which otherwise has done alot of good work.

  • Reynardine

    Aadila, crotch-shaving is an abomination in either sex, and is further a cause of abrasive relations. But I wish men also shaved their underarms, especially considering global warming and that my height often places my nose at the level of their armpits.

  • Charles Ross

    Suicide? or it looked like suicide?

    I would suspect about a 50-50 chance.

  • Duane Paulson

    Thank you, Jim Hoover.

  • Aron

    Jim Hoover,

    1) Slow down.
    2) Paragraph breaks are your friends.
    3) Slow down.
    4) No one is saying there is no female abuse of males.
    5) Slow down.

  • Erika

    jim, listening to you i would get the impression than men are the weakest and most fragile creatures around.

    Of course, you really miss the flaws in your reasoning the first of which is that the exact same barriers to reporting domestic violence and abuse are present in every case. Thus, all instances of domestic violence are under reported – regardless of the identity of the victim. You also seem to ignore that many battered men are in fact in homosexual relationships (and almost all sexual assault of adult male victims is same sex sexual assaults) where there is additional barriers regarding lack of social acceptance or legal regonition of the relationship to safety (those same barriers are also present in lesbian relationships). However, there is one measure of domestic violence which is easily quantifiable – the number of people killed by domestic partners or spouses – and overwhelmingly the majority of victims of domestic violence murders are heterosexual females.

    The second flaw is that you fail to understand who it was who created the socetial expectation of men to be strong and macho – it wasn’t women who made it difficult for men to admit to being beaten up by a girl. That men are expected to be strong and in control is a product of a male dominated society which systemically represses women. If you want to help male victims of domestic violence the most end discrimination against women.

    The third flaw in your claim is that you fail to take into account the connection between male dominated religious fundamentalism and violence against women. In this country, there are a large number of Christians who hold that men should control everything about women – on down to the level of what clothes they should wear (if you don’t believe me, take a look at this hilarious piece entitled “It’s a Sin for Women to Wear Tight Pants” which of course written by a man – as an aside, Princess Erika’s Guilded Age Fashions really needs to start targeting the religious market). While there are litereally millions of people in this country who believe that women should submit their entire lives to men there are not similar cultural/religious/social expections that a vast number of people hold involving men. Of course, maybe that goes back to flaw two which is ignoring that our society is male dominated.

    And honey, pointing out how whiny that you men’s rights mysongists is simply telling the truth :)

  • CM


    Your description of Virginia’s laws regarding vasectomy certainly makes it sound unfair and unjust, but reality is a little different. Here’s the actual statute:

    “§ 54.1-2974. Sterilization operations for persons eighteen years or older capable of informed consent.”

    “It shall be lawful for any physician licensed by the Board of Medicine to perform a vasectomy, salpingectomy, or other surgical sexual sterilization procedure on any person eighteen years of age or older, who has the capacity to give informed consent, when so requested in writing by such person. Prior to or at the time of such request, a full, reasonable, and comprehensible medical explanation as to the meaning and consequences of such an operation and as to alternative methods of contraception shall be given by the physician to the person requesting the operation. No such operation shall be performed prior to thirty days from the date of the written request therefor upon a person who has not previously become the natural or adoptive parent of a child.”

    Note first that the statute is gender-neutral: A salpingectomy is the removal of a fallopian tube, something men are unlikely to have. So while yes, there’s a requirement for a 30-day cooling-off period – intended to help avoid buyer’s remorse – it applies to men and women alike. But no, there’s no requirement that either men or women get permission from their spouses.

    If more of you MRAs would rely on the facts instead of MRM-circulated urban legends, maybe there’d be a little less conflict over these topics.


    I posted those statistics to refute the commenters who were posting imaginary numbers here. You can quibble about how accurately the official statistics portray the situation, but when you have people claiming that the CDC or Statistics Canada says there’s “parity” between men and women regarding domestic violence, and those organizations actually say no such thing, it seems to me it’s worth pointing that out.

  • Reynardine

    The surname, Hoover, tends to be associated with three things: A. The Great Depression; B. National paranoia; C. A vacuum that really sucks. Which is it, Jim?

  • Reynardine

    Concerned, you are fantasizing.

  • Reynardine

    D. G., that is, of course, unfair to every pregnant man in the world.

  • Erika

    DG, not all women who become pregnant did so through their choice – some of them were raped.

    its very easy for a man to have control over his reproduction choice using one simple step: if a man doesn’t want to have children, he should avoid having sexual intercourse with a woman who does. Okay, its even better if there is only one simple step for everyone – people should only engage in sexual conduct in mutual understanding relationships where things such as whether to have children or not areworked out as a couple – in other words responsibly engage in sex.

    Most of what “male reproductive freedom” seems to entail to the people who promote it is a desire for men to have as much completely irresponsible sex as they want with no consequences. In fact, what “male reproductive freedom” ultimately results in as a case where men are allowed to control women’s bodies – by giving the man control over whether to have children, when to have sex, Yet many of the men’s rights mysognists while they want to excuse men [and ultimately listening to the men’s rights mysognists makes one suspect that men are the most weak and fragile creatures in existance] from any sort of responsibility and place all of thje consequences on the results of sex on the woman.

    Virginia has a lot of restrictions on sterilization procedures for any gender because there is a pretty nasty history of forced sterilization of so called “mental defectives” here. See Buck v. Bell (1927). The Virginia eugenics sterilization program led by one Joseph DeJarnette, superintentant at Western State Hospital, eugenics enthusaist, fan of the actual historic Nazis, and former namesake of Virginia’s mental health treatment center for children is a real sensitive subject in Virginia and as a result the General Assembly has done everything they can to make sure that people getting sterilized are doing so out of their own free will.

    And you may well be aware that the General Assembly has been recently passing – or at least proposing all sorts of laws restricting women’s reproductive freedom including one which led to the phrase “transvaginal ultrasound” becoming a national laughingstock. Virginia is one of many states which has tried to prevent a married woman from having an abortion (or receiving surgical procedures to not have children) without the consent of her husband – they also have tried to say that a woman cannot have an abortion without consent from the father.

    And in any case, Virginia’s sex laws are only a couple of steps removed from those of the Taliban – you do realize that under the Virginia law on the books, fornication and adultry are illegal and consensual sodomy is a felony which can lead to up to 10 years in prison and registration as a sex offender. Naturally those laws are not enforcible due to being blatantly unconstitutional – but don’t try to pretend that Virginia laws somehow especially oppress men – they suppress everyone.

  • aadila

    “A man has no right to control his own reproduction, at least in Virginia. A single man with no children must, as required by state law, have a 30 day waiting period after consultation before having a vasectomy. If married, he must have his wife’s permission. Is there anyone who thinks that is fair and just?”

    The 30-day waiting period may simply be to make sure the man is really prepared, I don’t see that as an issue. On the spousal permission thing, does the same apply to women seeking tubal ligation? If so, the law is fair, since it applies to both genders equally. It may not be a good law for a lot of reasons, but that doesn’t mean it’s unfair to men if the same applies to women.