Sunday, March 11, 2012

Southern Poverty Law Center Addresses Men's Rights

The Southern Poverty Law Center, famous for studying and keeping tabs on hate groups, has published a detailed analysis of the garbage being spewed by the "Men's Rights" movement, such as it is. Almost needless to say, their thoughts are not kind.

I feel vindicated by this after my first experiences with the men's rights movement from my first videos and posts about the subject. I was subjected to the most awful comments of my online writing career. Nothing I have written has elicited a response of such a nature. Not even close.

These men, and a few women, are angry. And for someone who is used to listening to generally level-headed people make attempts at cogent conversation, the vitriol that I received was jarring. It hurt. For a long time, I tried to change minds. I cared what these people thought of me.

I began to stop caring about their comments after it hit me that they are, by and large, no better than racists. While I will not tolerate a white supremacist, I don't pay them much emotional mind. I don't care what they think, I only care insofar as those thoughts may trigger behavior.

In a not-too-distant past, I would have loathed these people. Now, I feel simply sad. What strange precedent caused them to become this way? How terrible the world that they inhabit must be. I don't mean to try and reduce their awfulness. They should be attacked (not physically, obviously), argued with, belittled, and otherwise reduced. Their hate cannot be allowed to perpetuate. But at the same time, responding with hate does little to help us. It doesn't help us advance our own perspective on the human condition, which needs to be regarded dispassionately, even when it turns so dark.

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