Southern Poverty Law Center Takes Aim at Men’s Rights Websites

He-Man Woman Haters ClubChuck Rudd writes at the Good Men Project:

The Southern Poverty Law Center—a non-profit civil rights organization that made its bones going after the likes of the KKK and neo-Nazis—has turned its cannons on my virtual homeland:  The Manosphere.  The SPLC, created in 1971 by civil rights activist Morris Dees, publishes a quarterly “Intelligence Report” covering the latest movements and trends among so-called extremists and hate groups.  This quarter’s issue features no less than three articles covering the Manosphere.

First, what is the SPLC’s stated purpose?

The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and extremists throughout the United States and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public. We’ve crippled some of the country’s most notorious hate groups by suing them for murders and other violent acts committed by their members.

To expose the rampant hatred and seething violence of the Manosphere, the group’s lengthiest piece mentions a handful of high-profile cases of men committing acts of violence against women.

The SPLC report begins with Thomas Ball who last year set fire to himself at the footsteps of the Cheshire Co., New Hampshire courthouse after a decade long child custody battle.  They discuss George Sodini, the involuntarily celibate lunatic who sought revenge against women by shooting up a women’s fitness center.  The SPLC report mentions Anders Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing, anti-Jihadist, anti-feminist who killed 77 of his fellow Norwegians.  They mention Scott Evans Dekraai who recently killed his ex-wife and five others after a custody dispute.  They also cover the crimes of Marc Lepine and Darren Mack and sprinkle crumbs of admittedly supportive comments from Manosphere bloggers and website commenters.

What the SPLC doesn’t do is connect the words written at sites like A Voice for Men and The Spearhead and others to violent action against women.  It’s overt guilt-by-association rather than guilt itself.  None of the violent men mentioned—or Thomas Ball who committed violence against himself—were associated with the Manosphere.  No forums; no known comments; no known web affiliations.  None were a visible presence on the sites targeted by SPLC, and there have been no reported cases of men linked to these sites committing criminal acts or engaging in violence …

Read more Good Men Project

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  • Jesus Borg

    They don’t mention the “Good Men Project”

    • Redacted

      They also don’t mention NO MA’AM and that makes me sad.

    • Eric_D_Read

      Of course they don’t. The Good Men Project is a feminist website.

      • Jin The Ninja

        right, b/c an article decrying an attack on ‘men’s right’s websites’  (which as i noted above are nothing more than misogynist anti women sites to begin with) is notably ‘feminist’…

        • Eric_D_Read

          They have long featured Amanda Marcotte and Hugo Schwyzer as featured contributors (until very recently) and were endorsed by Ms magazine at the outset.
          http://goodmenproject.com/press/ms-magazine-talks-shop-with-lisa-hickey/ Yea. They’re a feminist website that doesn’t want to be labeled a feminist website.

          Saying that they can’t be because of this one article is the equivalent of saying Glen Beck is a liberal because he praises Martin Luther King, or that a 12 Step program isn’t a religious program because they call it a “higher power” rather than god.

          • Jin The Ninja

            identity politics is reliant on the frame from which one disseminates information. the good men project may have ‘feminist’ undertones on certain articles, but by and large it’s not providing a feminist critique of society. the site’s self-identification is also important. if the site rejects “feminism” as a label/position, the site cannot be ‘feminist.’ and when you posit their ‘feminist’ articles against misogynist ones like this, the effect is rather neutralising.

          • Eric_D_Read

            “if the site rejects “feminism” as a label/position, the site cannot be ‘feminist.’”
            You do realize that, at its core, that’s the same basic argument as saying waterboarding isn’t torture because they don’t call it torture, right? 
            And speaking of identity politics, how in the hell is this article misogynist?

          • Jin The Ninja

            no, it’s not actually. feminism requires a feminist. identity politics requires an identifiable framework and the recognition of privilege and power. and positing it against torture? that’s an exercise in sophistry in itself.

          • Eric_D_Read

            So now Amanda Marcotte and Hugo Schwyzer, aren’t feminists? You might want to let them know.
            Also, new GMP Editor-in-Chief Noah Brand is a self-proclaimedfeminist.
            http://noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/what-im-doing-here/
            So yea. There is that.

            If you find the torture that isn’t torture analogy too distasteful, I could also substitute corporate think tanks like FreedomWorks starting astroturf organizations like the Tea Party and calling them “grass roots” if that’s more to your tastes. Same basic principle.

          • Jin The Ninja

            I was unfamiliar with Noah Brand, so i appreciate that clarification.

          • Eric_D_Read

            P.S. You still didn’t answer my question dealing with how this article is misogynist; I can’t say I blame you for wanting to side-step that one.

          • Jin The Ninja

            the fact remains MANY of the sites the SPLC targeted were misogynist in nature, anti feminist demonstrably, sexist absolutely; therefore to criticise the SPLC for investigating those sites is mis-guided and mis-directed at best.

          • Eric_D_Read

            Now your reaching. You said THE ARTICLE was misogynist in your above comment. I asked how. I never disputed that some of the sites they mentioned have a one-sided point of view.

            I like sparring with you on the issues we passionately disagree on because you seem like a smart, educated guy on many topics. 

            But I gotta tell ya Jin, you get pretty intellectually lazy when I question your sacred cows. 

          • Jin The Ninja

            I did say that, and i replied with WHY i think it’s misguided. i may have been overly strong in my language. However, i stand by the main fact above. I am not hindu, nor do i have `sacred cows.`I feel you are wrong in this instance, mispoken i may be.

          • Eric_D_Read

            Saying the article is misguided is a FAR different thing than saying it was misogynist.

          • Jin The Ninja

            you’re right, but at best it was mis-guided…at worst…

          • Jin The Ninja

            and PS- you didnt suggest i was lazy on the alternet article, in fact you seemed to suggest i made a cogent point.

          • Eric_D_Read

            To clarify, I mean “intellectually lazy” in reference to how quickly you will throw the label  “misogynist” and/or “racist” at an article, website, or person that you fundamentally disagree with.  

          • Jin The Ninja

            I simply utilise my frame of reference, which is queer-feminist-PoC and someone who works adjacent to ethnic studies and within the multi discipline of cultural/media studies. and call it as i see it. Just b/c something is nuanced or subtle does not make it less insidious. I think i am more cognizant of it for those reasons. To me that’s not ‘lazy’ it’s empathetic.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I’m not sure that anyone really cares who the SPLC targets any more.

    They lost credibility a LONG time ago and now they’re just a tottering Don Quixote tilting at any group they feel will garner them contributions from (generally left wing) financial supporters.

    • Jesus Borg

      Well, nowadays the Klan is a bunch of toothless inbreds. But back in the 60′s it was more serious and took a lot of courage to stand up to.

      A lot of liberals like to get all self righteous and attack the enemies to democracy of yesteryear and act like it takes the same amount of courage to do it as it did 50 years ago.

      • Monkey See Monkey Do

        The Klan has always been a bunch of toothless inbreds, there is just less members now, they joined the republican party.

        • Jesus Borg

          I know you are just being knee jerk and contrary but actually you are being ignorant of history and making light of the serious opposition faced by civil rights leaders.

          • Monkey See Monkey Do

            The republican party, democratic party and their corporate overlords are still a major threat to civil rights activists. You need to get your head out of the sand and take a look at whats happening in the world around you.

          • Jesus Borg

            ‘kay thanks, buddy.

    • Calypso_1

      The SPLC cares who targets them.  Their HQ has some groovy anti-blast architecture.

  • Jesus Borg

    I think if anyone thinks “patriarchy” is a serious problem in America today they are clearly out to lunch. Once all the Babyboomers have passed on I think consensus reality will face some corrections, once people take stock of reality without a 1960′s prism.

    • Andrew

       http://disinfo.com/2012/02/patriarchy-is-dead/

  • Jin The Ninja

    I’m sorry, but many of the sites listed ( i can’t say all BUT) are misogynist anti feminist anti womyn and worthless. if people want to take issue with that fine, but be honest- Boycott American Women;The Counter Feminist;The False Rape Society;In Mala Fide; are not promoting intelligent discourse.

    • Jesus Borg

      Yeah, I think  many of the sites they mention are retarded and neanderthal and the Good men project is not mentioned. So I’m unclear who is making the guilt by asscociationn here.

  • mannyfurious

    From my experience, when articles like this pop up talking about racism, all the racists come out of the woodwork to defend themselves and attack the article or the subjects of the article in question. And when the article talks about misogynists, I fully expect all the misogynists to do the same….

    • Eric_D_Read

      Great way to brand any dissenters with a scary label, and therefore provide an excuse not to engage any of their arguments. That’s a SOPHISTicated tactic

      • Jin The Ninja

        better than an unwillingness to understand the basic functions of radical critical discourse and the de-construction of the systemic privilege they (feminism, post-colonialism, queer studies, race studies) provide.

        • Eric_D_Read

          Another great bit of sophistry: anyone who disagrees with your positions “just won’t/can’t understand” (often accompanied by a condescending sigh and eyeroll). 
          I understand the arguments quite clearly; and I disagree with them.

          • Jin The Ninja

            from your posts on alternet-you really don’t Eric, but as opposed to argue with you, i’d rather just leave it at that.

          • Eric_D_Read

            Good choice. I’ll accept your surrender. 

          • Jin The Ninja

             it’s not surrender, it’s indifference.

          • Eric_D_Read

            If it was, you never would have replied to my initial comment to begin with.

          • Jin The Ninja

            ambivalence cum indifference.

          • mannyfurious

            Jin, you probably should just tell him you surrender. Look at it as a good deed done. Winning an internet argument would make his day and he’d feel all, like, manly or something….

          • mannyfurious

            What’s funny Eric is that you’re doing the exact same thing you accuse Jin of doing. Are you being “meta” on purpose?

            Anyhow, considering that I’m posting on a message board and not writing a 20-page essay for a class or something, of course most of my posts are going to be somewhat simplified and not quite representative of the type of discourse needed to properly articulate the subtleties and nuance of these kinds of topics.

            With that said, typically on disinfo, I find that most people are able to interpret fairly well what the “real” point is and don’t get bent out of shape about argumentative fallacies. I think there is a certain understanding that if we all stated our points and defended each one thoroughly, nobody would read anything and nothing would be solved even if they did.

  • Redacted

    I can’t imagine why they would criticize Anders Breivik. It’s baffling, isn’t it?

    • Jin The Ninja

       i know rite? a mass murdering neo nazi subject to scruitiny!? quel horreur!

      • Eric_D_Read

        That’s not what the article said. It said the $PLC tried to make a connection between Breivik and their targets when no evidence of that connection exists. 

        • Jin The Ninja

          brevik is deeply anti-feminist as are many of the sites the SPLC noted. the connection being the correlation between violence and misogyny.

          • Eric_D_Read

            Then I guess therein lies the irreconcilable difference between our positions. 

            I say misogyny = a hatred of women (as does any reputable dictionary).  

            You seem to believe misogyny = anti-feminist ideas.

            The last time I checked, feminists do not represent all women; even though they often like to claim that they do.

          • Jin The Ninja

            The truth is i may have overstated my position (as i said above); however just as i tend to polarise my position as `pro` you just as frequently and with equal or more vehemence position yourself as ‘anti feminist’ which in my view is backwards, whereas mine is perhaps overly sensitive.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      I know, he’s super hot!

      Wait, I was thinking of Andrej Pejic.

      Nevermind.

  • Marklar_Prime

    The SPLC was founded for good reasons and did good work but now equates anybody who is pro-Palestine or anti-Israeli apartheid with the likes of the KKK and the Aryan Nations. Anti-illegal immigration, you’re a racist. Against false rape accusations, you are a mysoginist and probably a rapist as well.

    It’s rather obvious that the SPLC now IS a hate group and has been for many years.

  • oldbroad

    Hey are any of you guys single and not misogynist?  I need a date.  I think disinfo should have a dating section, I thought this posting would be perfect to throw out the idea :)  and well if you hate on the idea you must be a misogynist ;) just teasing!

    • http://twitter.com/bigstupidsmile adam

       Haw. I like that idea actually. It’s hard to find good hearted weirdos sometimes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580380351 Potter Dee

       they had one once.  If you lived in London or NYC, you had like 20 people too choose from, anywhere else and you had to be willing to drive at least a few hundred miles to meet someone.  Didn’t really work too well.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/RWWAEM343UIK2IBZB3OXQZTQXM SPET67

    This group has much more in common with George W. Bush than it would ever care to admit. 

    You are either with them 100% or you’re a racist, a sexist & whatever dirty names they can think of to call you.  

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