For the first time, two “men’s rights” groups have been added to a widely watched list of extremist groups.
“The vilification of women by these groups makes them no different than hate groups that attack entire populations, such as the LGBT community, Muslims or Jews, based on their inherent characteristics,” the report reads.
“We’ve been monitoring them for the last few years, closely, just because of the rabid misogyny you find on these sites,” said the SPLC’s Heidi Beirich. “My colleagues and I talked about it and they definitely fall within our definition, so we should list them. How is the way they talk about women different from how neo-Nazis talk about Jews or the way American Renaissance talks about black people? It’s basically that all women are evil and they do terrible things.”
A Voice for Men was founded by Paul Elam in 2009, who SPLC identifies as being known for misrepresenting statistics to justify his claim that men are victims of a “malicious matriarchy.” The conspiracy-minded rhetoric has become violent in the past, with Elam dubbing October “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” where “men who are being attacked and physically abused by women” should “beat the living shit out of them.”
Return of Kings is run by Daryush Valizadeh, also known as “prominent Pick Up Artist” Roosh V., who has argued that sexual harassment does not exist. The site publishes stories advocating for the return of brothels as a way to stop school shootings because the shooters were suffering from low self-esteem based on their lack of sexual experience.
“Most of the male rights stuff is not in groups, but on sites. But these are actual groups,” she says. “They talk about all women as being bad, not just some women and not just feminists.”
The full SPLC report is here.