actual activism anti-MRA information antifeminism MGTOW misogyny MRA terrorism threats

The Southern Poverty Law Center takes on the violent misogyny so pervasive in the Men’s Rights Movement

[TW for the comments to this post; discussions of rape and abuse.]

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization devoted to tracking and exposing hate groups, has just published a detailed report on the misogyny and violent rhetoric so pervasive in the Men’s Rights Movement — as well as the actual violence inspired by this sort of hatred of women. It’s a piece you all should read, even though few of the details will be new to long-time readers of this blog.

Arthur Goldwag, an expert on conspiracy-mongers and the far right, argues (I think correctly) that the Men’s Rights movement is largely a backlash against the many successes of feminism over the last several decades:

It’s not much of a surprise that significant numbers of men in Western societies feel threatened by dramatic changes in their roles and that of the family in recent decades. Similar backlashes, after all, came in response to the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, and other major societal revolutions. What is something of a shock is the verbal and physical violence of that reaction.

[Thomas] Ball’s suicide brought attention to an underworld of misogynists, woman-haters whose fury goes well beyond criticism of the family court system, domestic violence laws, and false rape accusations.

The Men’s Rights Movement, as it exists today, is not a civil rights movement; it is a regressive, hateful reaction against a civil rights movement — that is, feminism.

Those who truly care about the rights of men, and who are not motivated by a hatred of women or feminism, need to repudiate the hate and the violent rhetoric of the Men’s Rights Movement as it exists today. Only then can there be a Men’s Rights Movement worthy of the name.

EDITED TO ADD: The SPLC has also put up a guide to some of the more hateful sites in the manosphere. Longtime readers will be familiar with most of them.

EDITED TO ADD AGAIN: And a piece debunking some Men’s Rights Myths.

EDITED TO ADD AGAIN, AGAIN: The discussion of the SPLC report on the Men’s Rights Subreddit is surprisingly reasonable, so far.  (I mean, compared to what I expected. Meanwhile, over in this thread, the Men’s Rightsers are behaving as they usually do.)

760 replies on “The Southern Poverty Law Center takes on the violent misogyny so pervasive in the Men’s Rights Movement”

Seriously, you come here to be snarky and hate everyone. We get the point. I do hope whoever you really want to be impressed is impressed.

I just hope it is not someone like NWO that you want to be your partner, because he would probably hurt anyone he came in close contact with.

Was this the link?

When humans cannot resolve grievance through the courts, because for half the population [i.e. WOMEN], the courts provide no accountability – what is left is retributive violence. I’ll say again, this is a bad outcome to be avoided. Unfortunately, I believe it is coming. The ideologues pushing legal non accountability for half the population do so seeking this outcome.

It’s women’s own fault when men kill them?

This is a serious question Bostonian, who do you think I’m trying to impress, and to what reason? I’ve heard that line of argument before, that “Just because you’re the only girl on the team doesn’t mean they repect you.” My gender persentation is more complicated than that, and my opinions are not the result of my trying to sleep with the football team….well, maybe they are.

This is a serious question Bostonian, who do you think I’m trying to impress, and to what reason?

If you don’t know, why do you expect us to know? But you’ll never impress us (because you’re clueless and irritating) and you’ll never impress the MRAs (because you’re female); these are both facts.

Actually I’d be interested to hear how you came to believe in the MRA movement, Mags. If you’ve ever explained what happened to convince you that they’re right, I missed it. Most MRAs seem to have some sort of personal story behind their support of the whole idea, so I’d be curious to hear what yours is.

Yes, cloud that was a link and the article is by johntheother, a vlogger on you tube and contributor to AVFM whose fave game is to fear monger and use threat as an argument, “if you wimmenz continue, this is the inevitable outcome” … it’s constant.

Well, I don’t have a good answer. I can tell you what I’ve written before, but it is a imperfect sense of the feelings I have:

“…I like men. No, let me take that back. I love men. I like being with them. I like the way they smell. I like that they are direct; they are honest; they are brave and self-sacrificing. I like that men attempt the impossible, and that even in failure, they are glorious. I like men because they rescue people from burning buildings. I like men for their bravado and expressions of risk – sometimes with devastating results. At least they try. Even in defeat, I am inspired by the attempt. I am horrified that there has been a decades old movement to denigrate, dismiss, slander, abuse, castigate, accuse, and destroy manhood…”

I have found, all my life, that when you get close to a man, he is so simple – honest. It’s just the way I feel.

Huh. That sounds like you’re in love with the idea of men, rather than having much to do with individual, specific men, since some men are all of the things you describe, and others really are quite the opposite, and most are somewhere in between. It almost sounds like a straight female version of what PUAs describe as pedestalizing women.

Sure you like men (so do I) but that does not explain how you got into the men’s right movement. I did not get into feminism just because I like women.

@mag your post has nothing to do with feminism, and feminism does not do what you claim it does. Evidence? There is evidence of a decline in “bravado”? Sure.

Plus yeah Cassandra has a point you seem to be idealizing men in general rather than apreciating men as individuals. Especially considering not all men are like that (you seem to be describing men in a stereotypical “manly” fashion while most men don’t really fall into all of that).

That’s pretty much it, guys. Sorry, if you were hoping that I am a rapist, woman beater who got forced by family court to pay child support for another man’s baby or something. I don’t live in my mother’s basement, I have a son, I am a professional…I just got asked to be an adjunct prof at a local university. My family income is in the top 10% … I live in San Francisco, I’ve lived in New York….I don’t play video games….I don’t know what you want from me. And if you think I am a fake person, like I’ve always said, I’d be happy to meet you somewhere in San Francisco. It’s hard to intimidate me, and almost impossible to embarrase me. What else???? I see a psychiatrist — I went to berkeley…I was enlisted in the marine corps…i am actually a profoundly nice person when you meet me. I went to burning man last year…someone offered me a ticket to go this year…i own a vw bus and a tear drop trailer. i use public transportation and ride my bikes – one at a time – all the time. I can do track stands on my fixed gear bike, without hold the handlebars. I grew in in So.Cal., I surf…all my life…I use a 6’7″ short board thruster….hmmm…i idealize my youth..i had a good time. i was molested as a kid. I’ve been sexually assaulted, but that was my own fault. i’ve never hit anyone, been arrested, and never tried any drugs except MJ in the nineth grade….i would like to try ectacy though….that’s about it.

I do find it funny that a self described mra strictly catagorizes men in such a sterotypical way (especially when many mras complain about this). Not all men are brave, save people, are honest/direct, or are risk takers. (Of course you imply women can’t be any of those)

That’s right Mags. All men are perfect. And women are worthless right? They aren’t capable of any of those things you listed. The MRM reminds us of this all the time. They are no better than radical feminists that pretended that women were perfect and could do no wrong. When you say shit like that it is called generalizing. It might even make the group you are worshiping feel good for a bit, but it isn’t true. Its the same when those ConciousMen guys wrote all women as perfect and goddesses…it’s just not the truth.

All the feminist movement did was demand the same rights and opportunities that men automatically were given. If women were assumed to be capable and were given those same rights and opportunities, there would not have been a need for feminism. They also identified issues that women face specifically like pregnancy and changed laws to enable women to not be slaves to their biology. Yes their were radicals. Yes they went to far and ruined a lot of the movement in my opinion. But you fail to realize they are largely dismissed by 3rd wave feminists who also have men in their lives they love and appreciate. Its sad that you can’t recognize this.

eh people aren’t interested in your life story, they just want to know how you got into the mra movement. I could talk about how I got into the feminist movement mags so I dunno what is so hard to understand.

Quakers, I would label myself a feminist if I actually thought that it was not gynocentric. That is to say, that I feel that feminists fight for women no matter what the equities. I feel like guys are vilified in this society and I think third wave feminism does the villification. I believe that advocacy research is rampant in feminist scholarship. If you take a look at marcotte, valenti or any of todays famous feminists, they are pretty much aweful people – at least in their advocacy. I have lived much of my life as a guy…that’s what I believe. I look at someone like hugo schwyzer and want to vomit. it’s the way i feel.

Also Mags I think you fail to also realize when you idealize a gender like that it can also inadvertently harm people of that gender AND people of other genders. Painting men as brave and self-sacrificing…that is a lot of pressure to put on men and I bet your buddy Elam would tear you a new one for expecting men to fight and sacrifice themselves for you or some shit. This idea of masculinity also harms individual men by making them think they must be brave regardless of consequences. Enroll in the military! you want to be a brave man right?

In the same way a woman can look at the idealized female role of purity, nurturing, youthfulness and drop dead gorgeousness and feel like shit for not fulfilling it.


Huh. That sounds like you’re in love with the idea of men, rather than having much to do with individual, specific men, since some men are all of the things you describe, and others really are quite the opposite, and most are somewhere in between.

It reminds me of when some men will say something sexist, and then when called on it protest “What? But I love women!” by which they mean, “What? But I love attractive thin feminine white women between the ages of 18-25!” showing that they don’t think any other kind of women properly counts.

There are many men I love, but I love them for who they are as individuals. The same is true of the many women I love. I care about people in the abstract, but I wouldn’t say I “love” a group of complete strangers based on the traits I’m assuming they all hold. Knowing who a person actually is, and loving the things that make them who they are, is what love is to me.

Is Mags here or not? She’s like Shrodinger’s MRA.

Not only are you pedestalizing men, you’ve decided to side with men who proudly display the worst traits of masculinity — sadists who want to “fuck their shit up.” Selfish philanderers of children they deem unworthy of support. They openly mock “White Knights,” but what does that make them? Even if “white knights” are naive chauvinist chivalrists, they at least have some bearing on morality.

If you want to worship and support men, you’ve picked the wrong guys to hang out with. You should have taken up hunting, or some other macho but not-ridiculous hobby.

I definitely know how I became a feminist. It wasn’t one specific event, it was lots of them over a long period of time, and I’m not going to tl;dr about it here, but yeah, there’s no mystery to it at all. Wasn’t looking for a life story, Mags, or making any accusations, just curious about how you got involved in the whole thing. From what you wrote I can see that you idealize a specific sort of masculinity, which is fine (people are allowed to like what they like), it’s just that I’m not seeing how you got from a to b. I know other people who idealize masculinity who aren’t MRAs, so it seems like there’s a piece of the picture missing.

It’s OK if you don’t want to share, though (certainly this isn’t a very friendly environment for you). Or if you just don’t know, though that does seem weird to me since I tend to always try to figure out why I feel the things that I feel, believe the things that I believe, etc.

Yes…my picture of men is trying to raise them up fro the child molesting, rapist domestic violence narrative I see so often. If it’s overboard, then i plead guilty. obviously i don’t think all men are great human beings. i am reminded of that every day when i am engage in /r/mensrights. i regularly get downvoted for saying things like, i don’t believe in financial abortions….there are a lot of whackos there. no doubt. paul elam is getting way too radical. i have a verifiable history of arguing that register-her should not be registering people for being bigots, or people who are not public figures – and he has shot me down.

i do give people the benefit of the doubt. even guys.

Question – why are you trying to help Elam? It’s pretty obvious that he’s trying to rile up his followers to the point where they’ll start actually hurting the women he’s registering. Do you honestly think that’s OK?

I can tell everyone how I got into Feminism — MRAs. Before running into them I bought into the lie that “feminism wasn’t needed anymore,” I thought all the misogyny I saw online was just un-PC ironic jokes. When I was linked to MRA sites, I discovered that misogyny isn’t a joke to far too many people.

MRAs create far more feminists than they can silence with threats.

So mags if crimes that women commit are reported on, does that slander all women as crime committers? You just make no sense. It’s either men are saints or sinners? Men are not some floating iceberg monolith that’s going to melt because some men rape and that needs to be handled.

You’re extremely sexist. You’ve also seen plenty of evidence on this site that the MRM does not handle information properly, and you can tell by feminist blogs that nobody is out to get “men” as a monolith. So what’s your excuse? The only time I see prolonged willful obtuse aggression is due to pure hatred. You think you’re invisible? You’re an elephant behind a twig. Ridiculous.

For me it’s a long story. Part of it was watching my mother give up all her dreams when I was a kid because she was expected to, and every attempt she made to do anything outside of wife/mom being opposed by family. Part of it was definitely moving to Saudi at an impressionable age (kind of hard to buy the idea that feminism is no longer needed if you’re in Saudi). Part of it was the change in the way people treated me as soon as I hit puberty. Moving around a lot as a kid meant that I got to compare and contrast how sexism manifests in different societies, and realize that one way or another it manifests in all of them.

I’ve held some beliefs that you could consider precursors to feminism since I was old enough to start considering how I felt about and interacted with the world. Many of my first steps into a child’s simplistic, sort-of feminism were prompted by seeing how strict gender roles hurt men — my (bio)father and brother, in particular. That’s only one slim piece of the very large pie labeled Viscaria’s Becoming a Feminist, but it’s a foundational one.


YES! I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. Mind you I identified as feminist before I found out about MRAs/PUAs, but after I saw that there are seriously people that think women shouldn’t vote or work and are genuinely useless unless they are 18 and submissive….yeah, I can see that feminism is still needed. And not just them, its the internet in general. I honestly think I would drop feminism if I was oblivious to the internet, but misogynistic attitudes are everywhere…everyday I’m continuously baffled at the horrible attitudes towards women online. Rape threats, sexist jokes, random misogyny, MRA/PUA sites, etc….I think a major issue feminism has to tackle is with attitudes, not laws (laws for LGBTs still need to be fought for though) Women have it pretty good in the west (minus the attack on reproductive rights in the US) I don’t think women are oppressed, but I do think the attitudes towards women are very negative. And a lot of that stems from these men who believe a good woman is one that keeps her mouth shut and legs closed. Thank you internet, you’ve pretty much kept me clinging to feminism.

@ Viscaria

Yeah, watching my (male) best friend’s parents try to beat the kindness and compassion right out of him as a child definitely played a part for me too.

Well, I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia, and have no doubt that it influences your politics. I once had a T.A in college who started the class by saying, “I was never a feminist until I lived in France.” She told a story about a guy being letcherous to her on a bus and when she took ubridge he teasted her in a fury. I was a white person that grew up who went to a prodominately working class inner-city Latino school. I have a very had time in school, even though I am half Latino, because I am very white I once said to this dude, “you know, I can’t help it but I resent what happened to be by the Latino population in school.” And he said, “You can’t blame that on race. It’s totally an economic situation.” That is what I feel about feminism. they accuse “the patriarchy” and by innuendo all guys of some vague crime against women.

Goodnight Mags.

Anyway I don’t remember when I became interested in feminism. Actually I think it was when someone I knew said something against it and I argued that it was a good thing, then I slowly started learning more about it…

Truthfully I’m not as great a feminist as the rest of you guys, you know much more on the theories than I do. I think women have it pretty good regarding legal equality, it’s mainly misogynistic attitudes that bug me and the issue with rape. Female victims are still being blamed or assumed to lie, male victims are still having a hard time being heard and acknowledged, and I don’t even want to think about what trans folk must go through trying to get justice 🙁

I think high school is what clinched it for me. The rape jokes on the bus, the slut-shaming everywhere I turned, the endless stupid bullshit macho posturing, none of it made any sense to me.

I still see it, the same pointless, irrational, women-hating, femme-phobic bullshit, all the fucking time. And it hurts everybody, women and men. Women more so, but still.

That is what I feel about feminism. they accuse “the patriarchy” and by innuendo all guys of some vague crime against women.

“The Patriarchy” is not a synonym for “men”, Magdelyn.

Elam’s response to the SPLC is priceless. Just did a post on it, will put it up in the morning.

🙁 aw man.. I was hoping you’d post that nao david…not in the futrelle, but now.

I haven’t read Elam’s latest opus yet since I figured David would do a post on it.

I predict lots of impotent rage and baaawing about being called out as a hateful sexist who skirts barely on the legal side of advocating violence against women.

I became a feminist because I became aware of the diversity and humanity of women, not because I thought they were all perfect or had to be upheld as some sort of superhuman ideal. I became a feminist because of an unshakeable belief that women are just ordinary people. I became a feminist because I don’t want a person’s gender to define or predestined them.

Feminism (to me) doesn’t mean being women’s biggest fan. It means understanding how meaningless such a thing would be, when women are just people.


Quakers, I would label myself a feminist if I actually thought that it was not gynocentric. That is to say, that I feel that feminists fight for women no matter what the equities. I feel like guys are vilified in this society and I think third wave feminism does the villification. I believe that advocacy research is rampant in feminist scholarship. If you take a look at marcotte, valenti or any of todays famous feminists, they are pretty much aweful people – at least in their advocacy. I have lived much of my life as a guy…that’s what I believe. I look at someone like hugo schwyzer and want to vomit. it’s the way i feel.

Ok I missed this post…

The thing is, I would be for egalitarianism but as I mentioned before the attitudes and beliefs towards women in society are still rooted in oldschool gender roles and misogyny. Like I mentioned, I think the laws are fine, but it’s the attitude. The rape threats, the slut-shaming, the condescension, the belief that women aren’t as intelligent or capable…unfortunately these ideas still exist. I think this is what feminism is currently trying to fight.

And despite the fact that most men aren’t in power, it doesn’t change the fact that governments, major corporations, the military, banks, etc are run by men, with a patriarchal model. This is not an equal society and it has negative affects on everyone.

So yeah, that includes gender roles and beliefs about men having to be strong all the time (which leads to higher suicide rates, not going to the doctor as often) There are issues men have to deal with but they aren’t all the same as women’s so I do think that men’s groups are needed and I don’t think they have to be opposed to each other issues either. The current MRM are just hateful though, this is an undeniable fact.

So I just think at the moment cis men and women have different battles to fight, and they should help each other, but separate movements are needed. The same can be said for LGBT and race issues. Everything intertwines but they are all separate issues. I think this is the basis for kyriarchy, I need to read up on it more. Anyway this is just how I see it.

Also Manboobz has become the main feminist blog I follow. Next comes Jezebel, then Feministing and occasionally Feministe and Shakesville. Very, very few times have I come across misandry on those sites and when it does come up, it is usually called out. I really don’t understand the hate for Valenti…as for Amanda Marcotte I haven’t read enough of her writing but the stuff I have read doesn’t warrant for the shit she gets from the MRM and Roissy. They’re obsessed with her, I don’t know why.

Also I’m sorry about your sexual assault. It’s not your fault. Please don’t think that 🙁

I hope that makes sense I’m kinda in that wide awake but very tired mode, I think its time for bed ~_~

Mags is actually likable when she’s engaging rather than snark-sniping. Did anyone else catch that she said her being sexually assaulted was her fault? That’s a profoundly sad thing to believe.

I got into feminism relatively recently, as in within the past year. Atheist blogs were my gateway drug to Ophelia Benson and from Butterflies and Wheels to (somewhat) wider feminism. Of course, it helped that my family is pretty damn liberal. I have tended to form friendships with women more often than men as well, though I’ve had no shortage of male friends (proportionally, anyway). What I see in feminism is not a demonization of all men just cuz patriarchy but a concern for the systematic repression of women they are women in my own society and in others. Not every man in a sexist or patriarchal society is deemed a sexist or patriarch; the problem is systematic and refusing to be co-opted by it is liberating for men as well as women. Sorry if that rampant misandry makes you throw up in your mouth at all, Mags.

Sleep well, Mags. I am going to bug you more about Elam later! Specifically, why are you still supporting him to a certain extent when you don’t agree with the registering of people who aren’t public figures, and it’s pretty clear that he means those people harm?

The whole issue of advocating violence is a pretty firm line in the sand for me. If a group advocates violence, I’m not going to support them no matter how much I might agree with them in other ways. I’m really interested in animal rights, but I won’t support ALF. I always disliked PETA because of their stupid advertising, but it was when I realised that they were killing pets that they went from organization I don’t like to organization I actively oppose. Which is actually part of my issue with the MRM – there are just way too many people advocating violence in one way or another, and far too few MRAs calling it out when it happens.

Moewicus, that was the one line that really jumped out at me, too.
“I’ve been sexually assaulted, but that was my own fault.”

Moewicus, that was the one line that really jumped out at me, too.
“I’ve been sexually assaulted, but that was my own fault.”

It’s also exactly the kind of belief feminism seeks to address. The idea that victims are responsible for their own sexual assault co-opts people for the patriarchy–or rather kyriarchy, I suppose–whether they are male, female, or other. In other words, it’s not about blaming all guys and just guys for some vague crime.

And yeah – – Magdelyn, it isn’t your fault that you were assaulted. I know that it’s a natural instinct when you’re assaulted to go over the whole thing in your head and try to think of things that you could have done to prevent it, and blame yourself for not magically being able to do so, but really – not your fault. Nobody has to sexually assault anyone – if they do so, that’s a choice that they made, and they’re the only ones responsible for it.

In terms of the idea that patriarchy = men = men are evil, I’m still not sure why anyone interprets the theory that way, but they’re wrong. Even in a really extreme version of patriarchy, like Saudi, men are not inherantly evil, and not all men take advantage of the power that the social system gives them. I met some men there who were good people, and the mutaween don’t approve of those men any more than they approved of me. The fundamental problem is the system, the way that society is organized and the attitudes that it encourages and discourages, not the individual people who live in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.