The Southern Poverty Law Center Takes on Male Centric Blogs – Receives Bloody Nose

The SPLC is, by most measurements, a noble organization. However, just like the ACLU, it seems to be suffering from mission creep. It recently rounded up a number of male-centric blogs and decided to add them to its blacklist.

One of them, so far, “A Voice For Men” fought back. Not by filing a defamation suit (which it might have had a legal right to) but by adding more speech to the marketplace of ideas. A Voice For Men published this “Open Letter to Richard Cohen of the SPLC.”

AVFM – 1
SPLC – 0

11 Responses to The Southern Poverty Law Center Takes on Male Centric Blogs – Receives Bloody Nose

  1. Charles Platt says:

    Alexander Cockburn suggests that SPLC may not be entirely a “noble organization.” He writes: “As of October 2008 the net assets of the SPLC were $170,240,129, The merchant of hate himself, Mr. Dees, was paid an annual $273,132 as chief trial counsel, and the SPLC’s president and CEO, Richard Cohen, $290,193. Total revenue in 2007 was $44,727,257 and program expenses $20,804,536. In other words, the Southern Poverty Law Center was raising twice as much as it was spending on its proclaimed mission.”

    There was an expose in Harper’s, also. According to Cockburn, SPLC appears to be in business to raise more money to raise more money, and seldom actually fights any cases. A black president may have interfered with their agenda. Hence the mission creep alluded to above. If male “race-hate groups” aren’t ascendant, maybe just go after males in general?

  2. picklefactory says:

    A bloody nose like the one a heavy-lifting, put-em-in-their-place, Spearhead-reading MRA would give a beta male, white knight, or feminist?

  3. Mandy says:

    Maybe the SPLC got it wrong, but I wouldn’t say they got a bloody nose. They described the site using quotes from the site itself and opinion. The letter from Elam says the quotes were taken out of context but goes no further. Most of the remainder of the letter is him bemoaning the state of men in the U.S. His letter sounds like any defender of a site would, so I don’t know why he’s the one who is assumed to be honest. That being said, SPLC (which I think is overall a noble organization) can be seen as “oversensitive.” I guess who won this fight depends on who you want to root for. I read both links and still think Elam sounds like an ass.

  4. […] Sexism and Male-Centric blogs Evidently the Southern Poverty Law Center (a group that I contributed to in the past) has started to cast a wider net. They have targeted some “men’s issues” blogs (put them on a “Misogyny Site” list) for and one of them has responded. […]

  5. Burt Likko says:

    The post from the editor responding to the SPLC is articulate, measured, and professional. I wondered if the whole website was like that, and, well, it’s not. Lots of profanity, lots of thin veneer over misogyony, lots of claims of victimization that lack experiential credibility. Poking around the AVFM website reveals not a whole lot that I’m very fond of, a most some uncomfortable points noting ambiguities in our culture and legal institutions, but a lot of things that require a hefty dose of political and emotional charity to consider as good faith cultural criticism.

    For instance, there was an article and a video of a street fight. The video shows a woman enraged at a man, who is backing away from her through a crowd on the sidewalk. Woman is punching and kicking at the man for several seconds as he moves down the street, initially not retaliating; it’s unclear whether any of her blows are landing or doing the man any harm. Then the man punches the woman directly in the face, hard enough to knock her unconscious for a few moments. (She gets up and seems to have nothing worse than a bloody nose afterwards.) Other men on the sidewalk then jeer and mug for the camera for about two minutes, and most of the video is the jeering rather than the confrontation.

    The author’s analysis of the situation does make a brief nod to the idea that the man may have had options other than hitting the woman back, and I’d agree that as depicted, the situation was morally ambiguous becasue as depicted, the woman appeared to be the aggressor. But it’s easy to leap to the conclusion that the “ambiguous” video was there becasue of its illustration of a man violence against a woman and other men celebrating this event. Hard to endorse.

    But that, of course, is the whole point of freedom of speech. Nothing I saw on the site would warrant any governmental or judicial involvement whatsoever even though I found it rather distasteful. Certainly there’s enough ambiguity that people who really are of good faith can debate the situation; the arguments and the content of the website ought to be evaluated on their merits rather than subject to even post facto censorship. You can decide for yourself if my interpretation of what I read and saw is accurate — the government doesn’t get to step in and silence it.

    • Jake-413451 says:

      Does their use of adult words offend your delicate sensibilities?
      Tough shit. If you can’t deal with the occasional adult language then you aren’t ready for adult conversations, in my not at all humble opinion.

      If women were told that next year all womens’ shelters would become mens’ shelters I don’t think it would be out of line for them to say fuck or damn about it perhaps.

      Oh, and your ambiguous video.
      If a male was chasing another male who was physically bigger than him, pushing past people who attempted to separate them, and kept swinging a fist or kicking at him, and the larger male finally punched him in the face stopping the ongoing assault, would you feel sorry for the smaller male, or point out he was an idiot for what he was doing?

      “As depicted” it wasn’t ambiguous at all, certain cultural assumptions could make it that way, but not “as depicted”. Certain cultures would assume she must have some type of justification for her actions making it ambiguous. But without that assumption then “as depicted” the punch in the mouth was earned, if not deserved.
      Oh, and their reason for showing the video was to support their argument, that since you missed it was:
      “When you foster a culture of female entitlement, you get two net results. One, you get a lot of women that seem to be deluded into thinking they can engage in any sort of conduct they choose with no expectation of consequences. And two, you get the occasional woman who has a very fucking rude awakening.”

      • Burt Likko says:

        This was much more typical of the sort of commentary I found on AVFM site.

        Jake, I’ve no problem with rough language in a discussion. Since you seemed to miss my point, I’ll re-iterate it: Marco is right — you and your cohorts at AVFM have every damn right imaginable to be saying whatever the fuck it is you want to say no matter how fucked up I think it is, I agree that whatever it is you have to say should be judged on its merits, and I agree that the SPLC was out of line to call you a hate group and imply that government scrutiny of your blog was warranted. I’m taking your side, and it’s pretty shitty of you to attack someone who takes your side. If you can’t tolerate a situation in which everyone involved fails to agree in lock step with every detail of everything you have to say, then you should grow the fuck up.

        • tgt says:

          I’m taking your side, and it’s pretty shitty of you to attack someone who takes your side. If you can’t tolerate a situation in which everyone involved fails to agree in lock step with every detail of everything you have to say, then you should grow the fuck up.

          Quoted for irony.

  6. Professor Woland says:

    The problem with taking on MRA is that they have nothing to lose. Many of these guys have already lost everything they had to feminists who have been empowered by 40 years of “civil rights” legislation which have given them legal supremacy in the courts as well as the government welfare state. This includes their children, money, and dignity. The SPLC is a Democratic front group that rakes in money by attacking conservatives in the name of fighting racism, and now sexism. They need feminists because they are an essential bloc in their racial-ethnic-sexual coalition. Without them they can NEVER reach 50.0001%. So they are now attacking the next group of potential conservatives, in the name fighting sexism of course, so they can fulfill their eternal goal of revenging George McGovern’s humilating defeat.

  7. […] that said, I agree with Marc Randazza when he says the SPLC has some mission creep going on here. I realize a major point of the organization is to shine a light on hate groups, but that […]

  8. Paul Elam says:

    If you have no problem with the language, I fail to see why you even brought it up, and that is just the first of the backtracks you seem to make without acknowledging it.

    You’re talking in circles and it shows.

    I get that you are “ultimately” on the side of free speech, kinda-sorta, but please, are you really in need of a condescending explanation when your overarhing disapproval was so obvious?

    My brief article on that video was clearly (a state you should acquaint yourself with) not an analysis, but a request for input of readers opinions. Yes, I “briefly” mentioned that he had other options than a hay maker to the face.

    How much should I have dwelled on it?

    I had some positive anticipation of good critique when you said you found so much of the site lacking, like the “veneer over misogyny” But you failed to deliver anything but a miscalled interpretation of what I wrote about that video.

    Straight talk and honesty about men and women isn’t hate. You seem to need to learn that as much as SPLC.

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