Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Idiot hunting with the Southern Poverty Law Center

The self-appointed taxonomists of hate groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center released a list of Men's Rights websites they consider to be the work of hatemongers, and have idiot hunted the issue to prove that only bigots can care about injustices men face.

M-Hawkins did a good take down of some of the nonsense, and even referenced a classic post I wrote about the feminist shell game, where criticism of modern feminist causes like affirmative action is misrepresented as opposition to older victories like voting rights.

He did a great job of showing the polarizing impact modern feminists can have. Feminist caricatures like Gloria Allred say if you don't mimic her exact goals and tactics for reaching them, then you are an evil bigot. There is nothing in between, she says. By the Southern Poverty Law Center's logic, her existence should disprove feminism as a legitimate movement.

It's also Allred's with-us-or-against-us thinking that leads to nonsense like this. Some of the examples on the list of Men's Rights deserve harsh criticism and are belligerently sexist, but then there are descriptions of pages like the MensActivism blog:

This website tracks news and information about men’s issues from around the world, with a focus on activism — and outrage. Par for the course are lurid headlines like this one: “Pakistani wife kills, cooks husband for lusting over daughter.” The site also runs stories like the one it headlined “Australia: Girl, 13, charged after taxi knife attack” that involve no abuse accusations, but are merely meant to undermine what the site claims is “the myth that women are less violent than men.”
What's the problem here?

Here's the kicker for the SAVE Series page
The site trumpets as a “key fact” that “[f]emale initiation of partner violence is the leading reason for the woman becoming a victim of subsequent violence,” even though a study shows that approximately twice as many women as men are injured during incidents of domestic violence.
That's poor reasoning. The Southern Poverty Law Center is trying to sweep male domestic violence victims under the rug, and their broken logic assumes they can judge who started a fight by who reported an injury afterwards. This is a basic failure in logic, but it's presented like some kind of trump card.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is guilty of idiot hunting. They have found some idiots on the web, an easy task no doubt, and used those anecdotal examples to "prove" that a civil rights cause is illegitimate. Shame on them, as Men's Rights advocates have shown a lot of potential.

I've learned a lot from Warren Farrell over the years and his brand of masculinism is truly a quest for gender equality.

Farrell declared we live in a bi-sexist society, where both genders have their own problems. That's not a way of saying men and women have an equal amount of problems, nor is it a wish to undue the progress women have made. Instead it's a desire to bring both genders forward with more progress.

The good feminists are out there fighting for gender equality, and by their own admission they have left a gap to be filled for men's issues.

False rape accusations, domestic violence and custody laws are real issues that need to be addressed, and I'm glad to see civil rights activists are out there tackling them. It's terrible that some jerks who want to turn back progress have made some idiot blog posts, but that doesn't disprove the important work other people are doing.


  1. The SPLC is a private fund-raising organization with assets topping $223 million tax-free dollars.

    They don't have to be logical or even accurate in their reporting because the media never questions their "data," they simply regurgitate SPLC press releases as "news."

    The SPLC claims it has designated 1,018 "hate groups" in 2011 but they can't even locate 247 of them on their own "Hate Map" fund-raising tool. That's nearly 1 in 4.


    For a real laugh, check out what they did to Georgia. They added 20 chapters of something called "the Georgia Militia," but they only bothered to make up locations for two of them. The other 18 are just sitting out there in limbo, padding the numbers.


    There is no legal definition of "hate group," which is why even the FBI does not, cannot, designate "hate groups."

    As you point out, the SPLC is the sole arbiter of the designation, based on their own spurious criteria. According to the legend on their "Hate Map":

    "Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing."


    Really? Only the SPLC would conflate six of the most basic Constitutionally protected rights with "criminal acts" and "hate group activities."

    Some "experts"

  2. @Michael
    I don't think they were trying to sweep male domestic violence victims under the rug. I think they were just trying to fight what they may have perceived as a "they deserved it" mentality from the site.