Some people within the community of the men’s human rights movement have referred to the late Earl Silverman as a hero. I regret that their description is accurate, even as those using the term may not understand it from the same perspective. A hero, understood from a men’s human rights point of view, is a willing self-sacrifice: a disposable human, buoyed to his own destruction by commitment to a society which disregards his humanity, but which praises his willing participation in his own death.
I don’t think Earl was a hero, he was something else; something bigger. But as the news of his suicide has reached the mainstream, commentary from publications like Huffpo and The Atlantic Wire have another flavor entirely. They are gloating over his death.
Alexander Abad-Santos of The Atlantic Wire produced as smug and satisfied a piece of yellow pixels as any journalistic smog I’ve ever seen.
According to Abad-Santos’s headline, (likely written by his editor) Mr Silverman’s legacy is one of feminism bashing. Those who insist on calling attention to the ideology informing hard opposition to recognition of men as human beings with rights should expect to continue being called out on their ideology’s foundation of hatred and violence, but that wasn’t Earl Silverman’s work. That’s our work, but let’s not digress.
Silverman’s legacy was one of providing shelter and help to human beings that the rest of out society is content to see abused, homeless, and disregarded to their deaths. The approximately half of the victims of domestic violence who happen to be male. The ones Abad-Santos calls a myth.
The Atlantic Wire contributor takes a stab at defining the Men’s Human Rights Moment, scratching the surface with mention of family law, military service, and domestic violence, but then falls on his face, citing attempts by the SPLC to fund-raise in 2011 by pretending the MHRM is a modern equivalent to the racial supremacist organizations Morris Dees made his name opposing in the 1970s.
Contrasting such foolish fear mongering, a small detour into ideological attack on the MRHM, is worth revisiting.
“It should be mentioned that the SPLC did not label MRAs as members of a hate movement; nor did our article claim that the grievances they air on their websites – false rape accusations, ruinous divorce settlements and the like – are all without merit.” 
Arthur Goldwag of the SPLC managed to drop this admission in his backpedaling after being pasted by Reason Magazine, Business Insider and the American Spectator for the SPLC’s irresponsible fear-mongering about the MRM in late 2011. Isn’t it peculiar how “professional journalists” keep referring to the SPLC’s incompetent attempts to paint the Men’s Human Rights Movement as a malevolent force, while consistently omitting mention of the public spanking that pack of well heeled lawyers took, and Art Goldwag’s subsequent admission of the reality of the issues addressed by the MHRM?
Santos next attempts to re-establish the myth of domestic violence as a sexually one-sided issue. He cites a 2010 study by the CDC, in which lifetime victimization rates are compared between men and women. According to the CDC’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 5 women versus 1 in 71 men are victims of rape in their lifetime. So where’s the problem in the CDC’s report?
By focusing on lifetime victimization, the CDC report taps into our culture’s narrative of victimization. Women’s victimization is re-enforced by the prevalent cultural narrative, thus women remember their victimization, and even may escalate the severity of any incident of victimization. Men, by contrast live in a narrative in which they are perpetrators, and never recipients of violence or abuse. Because of this, and the fact that people conform their memory to the cultural narrative they inhabit – it is no surprise at all that a lifetime rate of victimization shows overwhelmingly female weighted incidence. In fact, the choice to describe a lifetime rate, rather than a single year, or a lesser period demonstrates purpose in the CDC report. Even the Stats-Canada report selects a 5 year baseline, rather than a shorter period, and increasing the smog of cultural memory. In spite of this, the report still indicates sexual parity in victimization.
However, the CDC’s report does also include single year comparison of male versus female incidence of sexual victimization. For women’s victimization in a 12 month reporting period, 1.1% of women reported being raped. By contrast, 1.1% of men reported being “made to penetrate” through violence, or coercion.
But even the male to female parity is hidden in the CDC’s report, as table 2.1 on page 18 of the CDC’s 2010 survey mentions “made to penetrate” but leaves the number out of the table. To hide this number, coerced and forced sexual encounters involving male victims are broken into smaller categories and samples, making them ignorable. This is purposeful in the report, hiding and erasing male-victimizing rape.
Meanwhile, credible research on domestic and sexual violence continues to show reciprocity.
This isn’t even the worst fallacy in this whole, sick narrative. What if only 1 in 71 men were victims of sexual violence, while a comparatively huge 1 in 5 women are victimized? Putting these together , and assuming truth in the false claims of gender ideologues, then 7% of sexual violence and rape impacts men. This is a grossly and deliberately low estimate, but even if it’s true – why isn’t 7% of our culture’s effort and resource being directed to that 7% of male victims?
It is because men are not human, and don’t matter. The purposeful burying of male impacting sexual or other violence is utterly craven. For those of you male readers subject to past or ongoing domestic violence, take it quietly, because you don’t exist. Also, female readers with a male colleague, friend or family member subject to past or ongoing abuse, your male family members don’t exist either.
Alexander Abad Santos asks in his Atlantic Wire article “[Earl Silverman] killed himself because a men’s abuse shelter shut down?”
And now, as to a slow-witted toddler, this inane question will be answered. No, he killed himself because after 20 years of seeking any public help addressing the real problem of male-impacting domestic violence in the form of shelter or other services, he met almost nothing except obstruction, denial and a callous indifference from an industry with the public slogan “don’t ignore it”.
The domestic violence shelter industry takes great pains to ignore roughly half the problem, because the female victim/male perpetrator narrative is the one which makes money. In fact, the current model of male-only abusers and female-only victims is so deeply false that continued fidelity to it is guaranteed to keep domestic violence happening, supplying an ongoing stream of damaged bodies and minds.
It keeps the money flowing too, doesn’t it Alexander?
Fighting domestic violence by pretending it is sexually one sided is about as useful as fighting a structure fire by spraying water on only the north and east facing walls, and letting the south and west walls burn freely.
What of the grief and exhaustion of a man who tried for two decades to get the funding for one single men’s shelter in a nation with hundreds of publicly funded women’s shelters? What about his suicide death?
“Well, isn’t that a shame?” is the gloating commentary from Abad-Santos and the Atlantic Wire. This recalls the spontaneous and sarcastic recital of “Cry me a river” by the Toronto feminist protester “Big Red” on mention that men commit suicide at a rate four times higher than women in Canada.
Of course, Abad Santos cultivates his own plausible deniability with the benevolent granting that oh! Some men really are abused, and somebody really should do something to raise awareness. But not too much awareness, because as we all know, compared to women, the menz problem is a teeny tiny one.
Citing Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams he adds: “Yet where Silverman came up short was in perpetuating the Men’s Rights movement’s fiction that there’s any gender equity as far as violence and victims.”
So it’s right back to not existing for the male half of the victims of domestic violence. Suck it up guys, and if you’re going to kill yourselves, don’t leave your corpse somewhere inconvenient. If you’re male, you’re disposable, and nobody gives a rat-fuck. Citing Abad-Santos again:
“Is there still a backlash? Well, MRM advocates and activists are upset with the news.”
Well, nobody gives a rat-fuck about a Earl’s grief, exhaustion and suicide except Men’s Human Rights Activists.
Well, sure, men are subject to DV, but its a lesser problem, despite the research showing reciprocity of abuse.
Well, as long as nobody important is ever allowed to feel a twinge of conscience, 80% male suicide is no big deal.
Well, as long as the money keeps flowing, using a fraudulent model to pretend to combat domestic violence is just fine. Right?
Well, as long as nobody NOTICES that the DV industry preserves the status quo for the money.
And Abad Santos finally points to AVfM which, he claims
“sort of turns on feminism, and turned gender equality into a perpetrator.”
No, we don’t “sort of” turn on feminism. We identify it clearly as the prevailing ideology of gender in western culture, and further note its core foundations of violence and hatred. Concerning “…turned gender equality into a perpetrator,” gender equality is nowhere to be found, except in the equal rates of domestic violence known to everybody from Erin Pizzey, the founder of the first women’s shelter – and, all the way to Mary Koss, whose fraud informed the CDC’s number-cooking 2010 report.
Abad Santos closes with “Surely, this was a man going through financial hardship, who struggled to keep his passion project afloat, who took his own life. But nobody has to believe that feminism can kill, or facts that aren’t true.”
Earl took his hobby too seriously. Maybe he should have built model railroads instead, or bonsai. Maybe stamp collecting.
Despite all the lying, denial and obfuscation, what neither Abad Santos not any other gender ideologue can conceal is the panic to prop up a false narrative which doesn’t just produce male and female carnage, it makes its proponents money. The innocent-decorative-female victim, and the big-bad-violent-male-aggressor is the public message which grips emotions and opens wallets. That narrative must be preserved, no matter how much human carnage of male and female victims it produces.
The panic among its proponents is that this old, false narrative is increasingly recognized as a fraud, perpetuating human harm for the cash it generates. The domestic violence grievance industry is ever more obvious as an industry of human damage for money. Silverman’s corpse was just small change.
But Abad-Santos was at least partly correct. “nobody has to believe that feminism can kill”.
Indeed, nobody has to believe it, even while our male friends, our sons, our brothers, and male colleagues die. We can still deny, and all it will cost is a few dead friends and relatives.
For those who, unlike the gender ideologues in the DV industry, somehow manage to give a rat-fuck about the invisible half of the victims, or about addressing the current broken, ineffective, and one-sided non-solution of pretending only half the problem exists: you can help to fund the re-establishment of Earl’s shelter as the Earl Silverman Center.
But if that seems like too much effort, you can just gloat over the damaged and the dead, like Alexander Abad-Santos. See if somebody will pay you for it.
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- Consent: You Don’t Have It - April 17, 2014
- What the fuck is infanticide? - April 12, 2014
- Danielle D’Entremont, Bellwether? - March 30, 2014