SPLC: A poverty of integrity

As most of you are undoubtedly aware, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently posted a rash of articles that constituted a malicious and misleading attack on the men’s rights movement. As publisher of AVfM, and one of the identified targets of the attacks, I penned a response and addressed it to SPLC president Richard Cohen.

Now that their initial accusations have been refuted, and much of their misinformation corrected, it is time to present an overview of recent events for the benefit of MRAs, and for those who are still unclear about the intent of our work, especially as it relates to this website.

The first order of business is to clarify that the letter written to Cohen was not intended for his benefit, but for the education of those under the false impression that SPLC is the same civil rights organization it was thirty years ago. By that I mean before it devolved into a gang of ideological hooligans whose stock-in-trade is to harass and demonize – not actual hate groups, but anyone who embraces a worldview different from their own.

There is an abundance of other information about SPLC, both in regards to their alleged misuse of power, and the personal conduct their founder and Chief Trial Attorney, Morris Dees. We will get to that in upcoming articles, but for now we will remain focused on their recent attacks; their alleged purpose, and, of course, what all this is actually about.

The initial attack.

The SPLC, which as some point was a trusted source of intelligence on actual hate organizations, and whose intelligence gathering is still forwarded to law enforcement agencies, published an article on the “manosphere,” identifying 12 of allegedly hundreds of blogs and websites that they tagged as “woman hating” and “misogynistic.” There were actually 13 sites referenced, including register-her.com, which was included in their mention of avoiceformen.com.

Their justification for alleging hate activity from the sites and individuals running them was broadly defined. Individuals like Roosh (rooshvforum.com) was targeted because he had sex with women and did not call them back. The False Rape Society was attacked for posting news stories about false rape accusations, and for making a critical observation about a Michelle Bachmann supporter’s undeniably sexist statement, “It takes a woman to get the job done.”

This website is bashed for not being more tolerant of bigots, and register-her.com is demonized for posting already public information about known criminals and, ironically, agents of hate.

Marky Mark is criticized for being unhappy, financially challenged and in poor health; still others are vilified for not wanting to marry western women. Finally, of course, The Counter-Feminist is taken to task for countering feminism.

They found even less to criticize about Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (S.A.V.E.), a domestic violence advocacy organization, so they just lied, saying that S.A.V.E. was engaged in “lobbying to roll back services for victims of domestic abuse and penalties for their tormentors.”

There were some quotes from the targeted sites that indeed appeared angry, especially as they related to western women. Nothing however, that rose past the level of common and socially “acceptable” sentiments about men. e. g. “Men are pigs,” and “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.”

Their level of incredulity was certified – that of being on par with fundamentalists trying desperately to locate a message from Satan in a Mötley Crüe album – by the fact that they listed someone named “Manboobz” as their source of information. Also, since the article was published, Radfemhub.com, a website known to actively push for violent means to achieve bigoted political goals, has started fundraising on their behalf.

What it was really about.

At some point, arguably, it was actually the SPLC mission to identify and track the activities of organizations engaged in hateful agendas. Whatever time that was now appears to have passed. What remains is a group of postmodern thugs, using the pretense of their former purpose, and substantial political clout, to target individuals and groups who do not fit the left-wing worldview of their leadership. They have targeted “family values” organizations as hateful for opposing gay marriage and for taking what SPLC determines is the incorrect position on issues like “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” in the military. They were instrumental in forcing the ouster of Lou Dobbs from CNN because they didn’t like his views, and now, in a complete departure from whatever legitimacy they once possessed, they target men’s groups as hateful threats for saying they don’t want to marry, for not following sex with a commitment and for reporting on news stories already a matter of public record. It creates for them a level of embarrassment so profound that they can only be blinded to it by hubris.

I don’t personally oppose gay marriage, nor would I ban gays from the military, nor am I a fan of Lou Dobbs. However, I would consider any of these much more palatable options than the demagoguery SPLC now employs to force their beliefs on the world.

And this is precisely what this effort by SPLC is about. It is to shut you up; to intimidate you out of speaking truth in the face of corrupt power, and to use the threat of social disapproval and the proxy violence of police agencies to get the job done.

Taking it to the next level.

In a follow up article to the first one, SPLC ups the ante considerably. In doing so they tip their hand by loosely alleging that two of their primary targets, yours truly and this website, are somehow connected to acts of violence by psychotic, deranged killers.

Their strategy was as simple as it was ineffective. Essentially, they talked a lot about the manosphere and tossed in the occasional reference to a killer, e.g. Scott Dekraii. There is no connection at all between the men’s advocates they are attacking and the killers named, mind you, but they wanted to leave readers with the impression that there is. Essentially, they peed in the swimming pool and called it an exposé on dirty water.

This theme was repeated regularly throughout the article, with one additional ploy for effect. They trotted out Amanda Marcotte to tell us that being put on register-her.com – for being the complete sexist pig that she is – has scared her away from writing about MRA’s as much as she used to.

“[T]hey’re so doggedly mean,” she says, “It becomes frightening after a while.”  One can almost see her eyelashes flutter as she touches the back of her hand to her forehead.

And there you have it, folks.  Take a group of activists addressing issues that affect men and boys, place them next to a bunch of unrelated psycho killers, then toss in the powerless wailing of a victim card shark, and presto-change-o, an intelligence report on hate groups materializes courtesy of SPLC and their ace informant, Manboobz.

What feminists and the SPLC will get from this.

Exactly squat. Only less than that. By trying to go on the attack in this fashion, these people not only appear foolish and paranoid, they reveal a fundamental lack of understanding about the MRM and why it exists. Sure, they may scare a few people away (I heard Alcuin pulled the plug on his blog). That is hardly a real loss any more than it would be real loss if this site were to be taken down.

There is a men’s movement, like it or not, and it will continue to grow and become more strident as long as the marginalization of and discrimination against men and boys persists.

Many feminists don’t believe that the discrimination is happening. They are too entrenched in the fantasy that all men are privileged by default.  Some of them know it is happening and want it to continue. All of them want us to shut up about it and just take it.  You can even see it in their articles, from which I paraphrase. “Well, they have some legit complaints, but…” “Yes, there are problems that need to be addressed, however….”

We are done with “but” and “however.” And we are done with them for good. We are through with the hatred being piling on us and our sons. You will not change that by attacking a dozen websites with implied threats and a truckload of lies. Even a cursory glance at what SPLC once was ought to tell you that empty words, threats and intimidation only create more dissent and more resolve. And it has.

We are not going anywhere, so you better get used to it. Why? Because we are, in the most literal way, a grassroots movement. This is not a movement orchestrated with money from elitists and calculated by insulated academic doctrinaires.  It is happening across the world, from the soushoku danshi in Japan, to MGTOW’s and MRA’s in the west, to the men’s organization of India, to fathers groups spanning the globe.

This is all happening because there is a need for it to happen; because men and boys are suffering, falling out of education, employment, losing their rights and because the world is largely blind and indifferent to it. Or worse, because too many people count on it and celebrate it, tragically mistaking it as necessary for the advancement of women.

If you want to help fix the problem, then pull your entitled heads out of the darkness and face the truth. Quit deluding yourselves that we want to revert to women being in the kitchen or that we are pining for some fantasy of patriarchal power of old, or that we are pro-rape, pro-violence or pro anything other than pro-justice.

Quit feeding those lies to the public, and quit feeding them to yourselves. Or, if you insist, maintain that diet for all you are worth. Eventually you will choke on it.

And we will still be here, stronger because of you.

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