Thursday, November 6, 2008

MRA Apology

Let me start off by saying that the post MRA Infestation and Glenn Sacks Worshipers was a response to my disgust with the commentary on a post I wrote entitled, MRA Glenn Sacks Applies Pressure to Domestic Violence Shelter.   I wrote the infestation post in great anger and it caused me to use language that was unacceptable.

As much as I find your hate and your positions vile, I had no right to dehumanize another human being by calling you cockroaches, and for this I apologize.

As a person who truly believes in the goodness and worth of each human being walking the planet, I failed to live up to my convictions by using such inflammatory language to prove a point.  As I believe in owning my mistakes publicly, I am issuing this  refutation of the "othering" that I engaged in. 

I will never agree that your movement is anything other than an attempt to maintain white male, heterosexist, abelist, racist privilege, but a reduction in our common humanity was not necessary to make that point. 

Thanks to Ampersand over at Alas a Blog, who really gave me cause to think on a post written regarding Mormons, I have been able to see the ways in which I made a critical error.  

Once again let me state for the record that I find your positions vile but reducing your humanity was wrong. 

59 comments:

Angel H. said...

wow...

You are full of awesomeness!

Politicalguineapig said...

Renee- you don't owe them a THING! No apologies- they aren't humans, they are Neanderthals, and should be beaten over the head with this fact. They came into your space, littered the threads with vile and degrading comments and YOU"RE the one apologizing? Why should anyone apologize for standing up to bigotry?

Renee said...

@Politicalguinea Pig

Yes they came here to foul my blog with their bigotry and hate. The things that they said about me as an individual and about women in general were and are disgusting. Even as I write this, this continue to pollute those two posts.
I apologized not because I am colluding with their message but because I want to separate myself from the hatred and ignorance. I am not like them and I will not use their tactics to make a point. It is as Audre Lorde said the Masters Tools. If we want recognition of humanity we need to display it not only in thought but in deed and action.
Believe me this was a difficult thing for me to do. I sat up struggling with it quite late last night and end I felt it was something I had to do, not for them but for me.

Jadelyn said...

This? This is one of the reasons I have so much respect for you, Renee. It takes courage to apologize to people you hate and who are actively working to marginalize you, but you do it because it's right. That just rocks.

Emily S said...

Renee, you are a real inspiration!

nia said...

Ok, I just read through all the comments, and I did not get the impression that any of those commenters were genuinely interested in having a healthy, meaningful dialogue on the issue. It was just an opportunity for them to display their hatred and contempt for feminism, and to make the subject matter all about them.

Renee said...

@nia you are quite right that they were not interested in a discussion. They came to promote intolerance and hatred. It was certainly more of the what about the mehnz routine, which is what set me off in the first place.

Danny said...

I will never agree that your movement is anything other than an attempt to maintain white male, heterosexist, abelist, racist privilege, but a reduction in our common humanity was not necessary to make that point.
I was worried about you for a moment there Renee. Disagree with them all you want but name calling like that was uncalled for. You're one of the people that taught me not to write off all feminists just because there are plenty of them out there who try to pass off anger and hatred as insight.

I have to admit that I really wanted to give in to my dark desires and drop to the level where you were during all that but I just had to go silent on it for the most part.

Respect...

nia said...

I don't know Danny, I'm a little torn. On the one hand I agree that you don't want to dehumanize anyone, but at the same time I don't feel bloggers should allow anyone to censor the way they choose to express themselves.
If they created the blog, they should feel free to express themselves on it however they damn well please.
If I come across a blog where I dislike the tone or language in some way, I just leave it and never go back. To tell a WOC how she should or shouldn't express her feelings just smacks a little of censoring the "angry black woman to me."
I think people should read the fine print under this blog header and understand that it may not be the blog for everyone.

Danny said...

Nia I can understand how you might think that this could be called silencing but at the same time human decency has to come into play. But one thing that helps in case is that Renee is policing her own actions. We as the human race would get along MUCH better if we all thought a bit more about, "How would I feel if what I'm about to do/say was done/said to me?" before do/say some of things we do/say.

If I come across a blog where I dislike the tone or language in some way, I just leave it and never go back.
This is one of the reasons I there are some feminsits blogs I don't go to anymore.

Renee said...

@Nia

I didn't so this because the MRA demanded an apology. I did it because I took the time to reflect upon what I said and I determined that it was wrong.

I understand your point about policing, because clearly that is what they came here attempting to do however I did was not swayed by their bullying but by the words of a fellow blogger that I have a lot of respect for.

Arum said...

I think I'm with Nia on this one. Renee, it was obvious that you were really angry when you made that second post. However, you had every reason to be angry. Those people had made your blog an unsafe place - something it has never been before. They also abused you, both here and in private email. Their behaviour was unacceptable. Your apology may only serve to make them feel that what they did was okay - and they will feel justified in doing it to someone else.

For what it's worth, I think that if there is a next time, you should bite the bullet and switch off comments. I know this goes against what you believe in, but you also want this to be a safe place for people who are marginalised. You and Twisty are the only two people I read daily. With Twisty away right now, that leaves you. I don't agree with either of you on many issues, but I like your style. Twisty is far more active at moderating her blog, to make sure that her place stays safe. I think that maybe your going to have to reconsider your policy, as your blog gets more popular.

Renee said...

@Arum
You know I struggled with what to do with those two posts. I was absolutely unprepared to deal with the deluge of hate that was left here. I never imagined that a blog that I created to raise awareness would turn into such a cesspool.

I actually at one point thought about deleting the posts altogether. I apologize deeply to all of my readers for everything that they went through with those two posts. I did try and delete the worst of it but you are right, I will have to investigate some kind of spam protection to deal with this kind of thing in the future.

randombabble.com said...

I applaud you for rising above their level.

Laura J. Mixon said...

Renee, I deeply respect your decision to step back from your earlier expression of disdain. It can be very difficult not to succumb to contempt and loathing for those act in so repugnant a manner. It takes a lot of strength of character to do so. Kudos.

LorMarie said...

It has to be asked, have any of them responded to your truce in kind? I would not be surprised if they didn't. I'm all for equal rights, but MRA's are a questionable bunch. From my experience, only a few are actually fair minded.

Renee said...

@LorMarie

I am not expecting an apology, they are on those two posts bashing away, having a conversation with each other. It was not about them as I said earlier.

I try to lead my life by certain principles and I felt that I personally fell short by the commentary that I made. I apologized because I felt that what I said was wrong not because I was looking for a truce.

I don't expect them to be reasonable people. They didn't come here in the first place for conversation, they came to foam at the mouth and spread lies. Sometimes we have to do things in life because we feel that it is the right thing even when it is painful.

rj said...

Renee,

I went back and finished reading the comments from both posts. It is my strongest desire that you delete all of the comments. What the MRA's were allowed to post on your site furthers their agenda--it does not promote a healthy debate.

They spew the same info as if it were fact. Therefore, those who happen upon your blog, or those who thought it was safe, will be completely misinformed and triggered. It is very easy to believe the things they say because they make it seem like common sense. And this is how the average person (ie second wives) come to believe the lies--they don't know the context of the situations.

Perhaps you could follow up with some info on d.v/sexual assault (I wish that instead of this apology). The Liz Library is excellent at disproving many of their arguments.

But I understand--Your space. Thank you.

Ayla said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
New Friend said...

I have to thank you Renee. After being bombarded with MRA issues while trying to search for a way to protect myself and my child from an abuser, I do get quite discouraged. I myself get into arguments with them from time to time (sometimes more often than I would like). Part of my frustration is my inability to really tell my ex what a low piece of scum he truly is with all of his mommy-hate speech directed towards our child (which is detrimental) and part is my frustration at how these men (and their second wives) can truly believe what they are writing.

However I do agree it takes a big person to apologize not for offending someone but for the use of language or some behavior that you yourself finds to be not conducive to your way of thinking/acting. In my mind you are not apologising for your beliefs simply for the manner in which you delivered those beliefs. You are a much better woman than I am. I could never show sorrow to those people because they have shown me in the 3+ years I have been reading his site, that their beliefs and mine directly clash. According to them because I am low income and my ex makes more money our child should be with him. Abuse should play no part in it. The fact that he tries to destroy my relationship with our child daily means nothing - he is dad and as such he has rights. They say one thing in one breath and then totally twist it around in another. It is sad and when I see things such as the post earlier (the denial of the request from Columbus Urban League in regards to the possible dv victim) it just gives me more ammunition to dislike their movement.

Now tonight I have the added bad news that my ex might have possibly hooked himself up with a father's rights group (the language he is now using reeks of MRA/FR-ese). Great!!! (sarcasm)

I just pray and pray for my child that we can make it until child ages out. Little less than a decade to go - cross your fingers. I don't make enough to afford an attorney and contrary to what the MRA readily posts daily on Sacks' website, dv victims are not given carte blanche free lawyers. I have been denied numerous times a free attorney due to protracted litigation and the agency cannot "afford" my case. Yeah for me (not) and even worse - yeah for my child (definitely NOT!!!).

Renee said...

@RJ...I fully intend to do a post on domestic violence, I just have not had the time to do the research that a comprehensive post requires. This has been a crazy week.

I am also looking into some kind of span software for the blog to deal with these kinds of infestations. I am so sorry that everyone had to deal with this. I have not made a decision as to what to do with those two posts as of yet. They are off the front page and are only getting hits from the MRA. They are basically talking to themselves at this point.

@New Friend
Arguing with MRA is pointless. They are not interested in conversation, only in spreading lies. They are vile and only seek submission from women.

You are welcome here. Feel free to read and engage. It is my hope that with the infestation dying down we can return to the great conversations that we have been having.

Anonymous said...

Hey Renee,

I came here via Feministing a few days ago, and was pretty upset with what I saw. I have a significantly different interpretation of things than many here, though.

I wrote something last night for my own edification, but what the heck!. You've been decent enough to apologize regarding your dehumanizing comments (though you still refer to it as an infestation), and I'd be interested in your reading my perspective on things. If not, that's fine, I certainly don't have much positive to say.

My comments (about 5 pages long) are at:
http://www.freewebs.com/derek0001/index.htm

Anyhow, cheers,
Derek

The Unmarried Daughter said...

Renee,

I doff my hat to you. Your apology for name calling because it is the way you feel that is one way to dehumanize people is an admirable trait. A mighty huzzah for walking the talk, as some churched people might say.

I on the other hand would never have apologized because I happen to think your assessment of the buglike character of the MRA infestation happened to be correct. but then, I am told by white!educated! economically upper class males! that I have "anger issues". You can imagine the sprains on my eye muscles from my incessant eyerolling.

@Danny, amazing, it took what four posts for a male to come on and an in essence confirm that a WOC should have kept her mouth shut and/or said the wrong thing so she better had apologize. Query, how many blogs have you called males on their sexist dehumanizing comments on women and insisted they apologize?

I am guessing never, but I could be wrong, I am sure you will let know where I can see fine examples of you insisting males not dehumanize women, or people of color.

The Unmarried Daughter said...

Oh, Renee, one other thing. I kind of like what Heart of Woman's Space does, and for a deluge like the MRAs she just shuts down comments and says comments are closed on this post, especially if and I could be wrong she feels that she is opening the blog up to MRA type comments.

I guess her goal is to create a safe place for women, and your goal of not being what you feel is an echo chamber might make that idea not work for your blog.

Of course, my answer to anyone who thinks they have the "right" to state their opinion anywhere, anytime, is to start their own damn blog and do the work to get the traffic and attention you feel your opinions deserve. But I am sure some men will be along to tell me how juvenile that is.

Tina said...

Renee, you are amazing. I am proud to be a regular reader.

Ayla said...

I was just wondering why my previous comment was removed? It was not intended to be offensive (not that lack of intention precludes offensiveness) I just meant that I sympathized with reaching a breaking point and striking out against people who have so many hateful things to say about women.

Renee said...

@Ayla I deleted it because honestly I couldn't decide either way and chose to err on the side of caution. I hate doing moderation and now it has just gotten to the point where I just hit the button because I'm tired dealing with this.

Ayla said...

Ok thank you for replying and sorry for adding to your headache. I've become a daily reader of your blog and I seriously learn something every time I visit. **LOVE**

Barry Deutsch said...

Wow, Renee. I am just so super-impressed with you (which I already was).

If only they had the decency to apologize to you -- which, of course, they owe you a hundred times over.

MetalOver30 said...

Unlike mangina Barry Deutsch, I do not believe that all women are victims and all men are perpetrators, so I do not accept your apology. You are an ideologue, and an amateur one at that.

Nice job sanitizing the comments on your "MRA Infesation" article. All that individuals like you have are ham-fisted propaganda techniques.

You are a man hater.

Renee said...

MetalOver30 it is your business to do with it what you will. I will however inform you that I am done with your MRA bullshit infecting my blog and if necessary I will delete all comments that are aimed at spreading lies, disinformation and blatant hatred towards women. You are wasting your time here, get the FUCK OFF MY BLOG.

Danny said...

@Danny, amazing, it took what four posts for a male to come on and an in essence confirm that a WOC should have kept her mouth shut and/or said the wrong thing so she better had apologize. Query, how many blogs have you called males on their sexist dehumanizing comments on women and insisted they apologize?

I am guessing never, but I could be wrong, I am sure you will let know where I can see fine examples of you insisting males not dehumanize women, or people of color.

If you insist on asking I was just over at Glenn's calling out the fact the people were starting to mention Renee's kids in their responses to her comments as well as the personal attacks on her. But I'm sure you were too busy just assuming everyone on the site is bad news to bother looking right?

And if you think I was trying to tell Renee that she should have kept her mouth shut then you obviously haven't seen my interactions with her on this site. In fact Renee will see this comment so she can answer this:
"Renee, In all the times that I have disagreed with you how many time have I actually told you should keep your mouth shut?" I'll disagree with her but not only is it unfair but I also know its pretty damn pointless to try to shut her up.

nia said...

Ok, I promise this is the last I will say on this:
MetalOver30, the only reason why you wouldn't accept the apology is because Renee has not changed her original position on the issue that was so hotly debated. If she had said: "I was wrong about everything, and you were right," I suspect your response just now would have been totally different.
In life people will always have differences of opinion. Intelligent, decent people usually just agree to disagree and move on.
The fact that you are not willing to do this and continue to post insults says more about your character than anyone else's.
I learned once from another blogger who I respect a lot that a rule of thumb when stating your opinions is that if you don't agree with the response just ignore it and move on.

Anonymous said...

Words, Renee, empty words.

And requiring Barry Deutsch to tell you this? I told you you were dehumanizing Glenn Sacks and engaging in othering for days. But since I wrote with an MRA defender's perspective, my words meant nothing to you.

How will you make your apology real?

My suggestion: pick a month of Glenn Sacks postings. Pick any month you choose. READ WHAT HE WRITES, and then critique Sacks and critique yourself.

The evidence from Google is that you had never written about Sacks prior to a week or so ago. What you engaged in was character assassination, and you provided no evidence for your slurs.

So put some meaning being your apology and read they guy.

If you disagree with him on specific posts, link to those posts and make your argument.

If you agree with him on specific posts, link to those posts and make your argument.

Describe how your view of fathers' rights has changed or stay the same.

And consider what it means that Barry Deutsch had to tell you this, and that you couldn't pick it up from the many comments made in good faith at your own blog.

And that Renee is how you turn your empty and ambiguous apology into something of value.

Anonymous said...

Oh. If Renee, it is true you had never read Sacks in depth before, you owe Sacks and your readers and explanation of how you came to your beliefs about him.

And make sure you understand: what you are apologizing for, dehumanization and othering, are the classic tactics of bigotry, racism, and sexism.

Anonymous said...

Renee,

I googled apology and real apology and sincere apology and how to apologize and read some of the top results. I suggest you do the same. It may help you understand what is wrong with the semi-apology you have offered. There is at least one step common to these links that you have left out.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Who is this apology about Renee? Is it about you, or is it an apology to Glenn Sacks, his readers, and other MRAs? What do the words you used, even now your accusations of vileness and hatred, what do those words say about who this apology is about?

And what will you do to make redress Renee? Merely go on? There are positive steps you can take, and I outlined some of them above. Or you can issue your semi-apology and think you've done your job and wonder why on your planet god made it so men won't communicate with women.

Renee said...

To the MRA: My position is unchanged on you or your GOD Sacks..misogynists the lot of you, and none of you are welcome here. Do not think that you can come to my blog and police me. Now return to you circle jerk and get the fuck off my blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Renee,

This is Bill Christen again. I thought your apology was good. I support men's issues, but I really like to have healthy debate over things. I do respect the fact that you have an opinion, and you should be heard. I don't like name calling, but some do. Hate is such a terrible thing. I believe in fairness, and equality. For women and men. I hate abuse, and I am a documented victim of domestic violence. Ask New Friend. She researched it. Thaks for your blog. It is insightful.
Bill C

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the apology Renee, and I am disappointed and sorry you were subjected to a rash of hateful rhetoric in return. An aside for the record, not all of us who read Glenn Sacks are white, I for one am black. So we see these issues as gender issues that effect all men, and thus I respectfully disagree with the entire analysis of privilege. As an additional aside, the rhetoric was a part of a discussion for the Black Law Students Association where I am President so thanks to all from Womanist Musings and Glenn's site which provided the talking points for our discussion surrounding these ads.

Renee said...

@Anon Just because you are a black member of a group does not mean that said group is not indeed racist or filled with white privilege. From the research that I have done, just like some forms feminism the MRA steadfastly refuse to take an intersectional approach to their organizing and this is problematic for men that are working with any form of social stigmatization.

Sonja Newcombe said...

Wow, you make me sick. On the one hand, you "apologise", then turn around and label all mens rights activists as misogynists. How about you get off your misandrist high-horse and actually listen to what men want in life. It's not much.

Renee said...

Sonja

Just because you're a desperate colluder does not mean that all women want that label. All women do is in listen to men. They control all of the major agents of socialization sweetie so excuse the fuck out of me if I use my space to state my beliefs Take your colluding ass back to Glenn Sacks, I'm sure he and his fellow misogynists are waiting in line to get their dicks washed by ignorant colluding woman such as yourself. The only thing more vile than an MRA as a colluder.

Sonja Newcombe said...

Renee, if you're going to try and insult me, you could start by using fact instead of fiction.

Second of all, you might want to start learning English.

New Friend said...

Renee try not to let these MRAs upset you :-) I know I am a good one to say that lol - you need only look at my arguings with them on Sacks' site to see that lmao. But seriously, I have learned about the levels of danger from MRAs. I don't know which is worse, the MRA who will flirt and banter jovially with you (like some on here) or the women who support the drivel. They are both about equal in my book for differing reasons. Good luck ridding yourself of them and keep up the good work (atta girl - just had to had to had to throw that one in roflmao) ;)

Renee said...

@Sonja
Back for more colluder...shouldn't you be on your knees in dick worship? Again don't try and police me, this is my space not yours. Maybe one of your MRA masters will open a blog for you. Run home and ask permission now. God forbid a woman think for herself. You are just as vile as the MRA...and so as I've said to them, fuck you and fuck the hell off. You are not entitled to a damn thing here.

Bernie Misiura said...

Renee,

I did not find your post very apologetic.

You also claim to be a humanist and a pacifist, just so I am clear I am asking you to straighten me out on something.

Is this a form of pacifism and humanism? "Now return to you circle jerk and get the fuck off my blog."

b

Renee said...

@New Friend

Oh I popped in and saw the the king misogynist Sacks linked to me again. Of course sending me a stream of new MRA... I am not fooled by him, or his minions. Just looking at the comment section and the shit he allows is enough to know that no matter how many pretty platitudes he puts in his posts, he is in agreement at least to a certain degree.

What was his purpose of linking other than to send his minions here to discipline a woman who dared to disagree publicly with his most royal highness.

Don't worry, there will be no arguing with the MRA..comment deletion will happen, if they keep this shit up, and I am willing to close comments. They don't own Womanist Musings, I do, and I will defend my space and make sure it is safe for all readers.

Sonja Newcombe said...

"Run home and ask permission now. God forbid a woman think for herself."

I don't have to ask permission for anything and I bow to NO ONE. Just because I have my own level of confidence and am a free-thinking woman who bases her opinions on research and FACT rather than the garbage you sickening feminists throw about makes me a slave to men, does it? Well, I pity you. You obviously have no confidence to grab the life you have and live it to the fullest, since all you can do is sit behind a computer and blame men for all the things you haven't done.

Renee said...

@Sonja

WOW did they have a sale on Kool Aid, 'cause you seem to keep sipping away? Unlike you colluder I am a free thinking independent woman. If you actually did research you wouldn't be a colluder but hey shows how highly you value a deep dick. Once again fuck off, go suck a dick, whatever, you and your MRA crew are not welcome.

Renee said...

@Bernie

Respecting your humanity does not mean I have to tolerate your presence. I have made it abundantly clear I do not want you or your fellow MRA's on my blog and yet you keep returning. So as I said to the others...GET THE FUCK OFF MY BLOG

Bernie Misiura said...

Renee,

Are you unable to justify your humanism and pacifism with the question I posed or are you afraid to face and take responsibility for the person you are because changing oneself is difficult at best?

I do realize the latter fear as I have gone through this transition to better myself a few times. Do not fret, even the longest journey starts with one step.

Oh, by the way renee, you are still welcome on my blog.

b

Renee said...

@Bernie the answer to your question lies in the myriad of posts I have written. I have nothing to justify to an MRA. I am well aware of what your organizations do to women and I will not tolerate that in my space. I agree that you are a fellow human being but that does not mean I have to suffer the taunts and degradations that the MRA regularly engage in. I got a pretty good example this week with one of your ilk suggesting I need to be raped, and that I abuse my children so don't you dare fucking lecture me about humanism, the MRA are not fit.

Anonymous said...

New Friend,

Your posts on Glenn's site sucked. You made no sense, and had no clue about anything you were talking about. Sounds like you are jumping on this bandwagon hoping that someone might take you serious. Good luck.

Bill C

Bernie Misiura said...

Renee,

It is more telling in what you do not say compared to what you do say. You conspicuously avoid my questions and then attempt to depose me by quoting someone else.

Shame on you renee,
This would not be unlike a person arguing against racism, to be fair those that argue against racism (you say you are one of them) will state "do not judge my whole race or me by the few or the one that show us in bad light." Is this not fair or accurate? I find it very fair. So you now have a difficult decision to make: You have to admit that you are sexist by the same rules applied to racism or you have to admit that your parameters for judging all men associated with MRA's was incorrect.

Sorry there is just no avoiding it now. But this is not my dilemma or my conscience we are dealing with it is yours.

b

Anonymous said...

Renee, if there is a racist at work here it's you. MRAs are focused intensely on issues such as false rape accusations, child support extortion, and restoring traditional families -- all issues that impact black men disproportionately. Glenn Sacks has NEVER EVER said anything racist and never will.

Men's rights is about liberating African Americans and raising them up to full equality be restoring RIGHTS and PATRIARCHY. You on the other hand support keeping blacks down by dividing their families and keeping them dependent on the feminist state.

I once again challenge you to provide so much as a single example of Glenn Sacks advocating racism or white privilege, and I also challenge you to provide your plan for reducing poverty, crime and incarceration rates for blacks.

Rev. Richard said...

I'm not an MRA, nor do I partake in activist campaigns. I research human behavior, violence, abnormal personality disorders and trauma.
Regarding comments here, I have a question. You state in your "about me" comumn, "My truth may not be your truth, but I intend to speak it." Why when someone elses view doesn't fit within the spectrum of your views do you get so angry? Is that saying it's okay for you to relate your perception, but only okay for the views of others, as long as they represent yours?

Renee said...

@Bernie the decision was made a long time ago. The MRA are vile and if you are a member then you are vile. Guilt by association in this case works for me. I have yet to run across a single one of you that was a descent person. At any rate I am done debating with you.

Renee said...

@Rev.Richard
Why when someone elses view doesn't fit within the spectrum of your views do you get so angry? Is that saying it's okay for you to relate your perception, but only okay for the views of others, as long as they represent yours?

Until the MRA infestation and yes that is what it is, I have allowed open dissent on this blog. It is not an echo chamber..I will not allow the kind of hate the MRA feel free to spew.
Whatever language I choose to express my dissent on my blog is my business. I am angry at the lies and I have a right to express that.

Renee said...

COMMENTS WILL BE CLOSED ON THIS POST DUE TO YET ANOTHER MRA INFESTARION.