Two major online publications–Salon.com and Slate.com–recently did articles about the men’s and fathers movement.
Kathryn Joyce’s DoubleX/ Slate.com article appeared to attribute the views of another activist to me, and Salon.com’s Judy Berman picked up on it and publicized the misattribution. I wrote to both Slate.com and Salon.com asking for a correction and, to their credit, they both agreed.
In Kathryn Joyce’s “Men’s Rights” Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective (DoubleX/ Slate.com, 11/5/09), she wrote :
Sodini”s diary was republished widely, including on the website of a popular men”s rights blogger, “Angry Harry,’ who added his assessment of the case. “MRAs should also take note of the fact that there are probably many millions of men across the western world who feel similar in many ways, and one can expect to see much more destruction emanating from them in the future,’ he wrote. “One of the main reasons that I decided to post this diary on this website was because the western world must wake up to the fact that it cannot continue to treat men so appallingly and get away with it.’ In a phone interview, Angry Harry said, “Of course there will be more Sodinis–there will be many more,’ likening him to Marc Lépine, a Canadian man who killed or wounded 28, claiming feminists had ruined his life…Perhaps, Angry Harry mused, that as the ranks of online MRAs grow, “the threat’ of their violence “may be enough’ to bring about the changes they desire.
Glenn Sacks dismissed Angry Harry as an “idiot’ without real power in the movement and yet he cautiously defends him. “I want to be careful in wording this,’ he says, “but the cataclysmic things I”m seeing done to men, it”s always my fear that one of these guys is going to do something terrible. I don”t want to say that like I condone it or that it”s OK, but it”s just the reality.’
I specifically, repeatedly, and emphatically told Joyce that any linkage between the men’s & fathers’ movements’ grievances and Sodini is not my view. What I did say was that when I do hear of a drastic action–a man on a bridge threatening to jump, the guy here in LA who tried to commit suicide by parking his car on a train track, etc.–my first thought is that it might be a guy dealing with a painful family law issue or injustice.
In Judy Berman’s “Men’s rights” groups go mainstream–Once seen as a lunatic fringe, reactionary anti-women groups are courting respectability (Salon.com, 11/5/09) about Joyce’s article, she picked up on the erroneous attribution, writing:
It’s certainly chilling to hear Sacks empathize (albeit ambivalently) with men like George Sodini, the deeply misogynist Pittsburgh gym shooter…
Again, I never said anything remotely sympathetic to Sodini and I made that abundantly clear to Joyce.
I complained to Slate.com and Kathryn Joyce and Joyce, to her credit, quickly responded, explaining, “Glenn did not defend George Sodini whatsoever in our conversation, and although this seemed clear in the original sentence, Double X is further clarifying it now so that it is not misread. I regret any confusion.”
DoubleX/Slate.com fixed the sentence and also added a note at the bottom of the piece explaining the correction.
Berman said she would forward the issue to her editor at Salon.com for an update.
I’m writing several posts about the issues raised in these two articles–to read the others, click here.