The Backlash! - Backlash Article Archive - Open Letter to the SPLC
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Open Letter to the SPLC
By Rod Van Mechelen
When the members of the HATEriarchy make their hate lists, we should aspire to be included.
Left Out Again
2013 Olympia, Wash. - Once again the Southern Poverty Law Center has issued their annual list of hate groups. Sadly, I could not find my name or any of my sites listed there. But I remain hopeful that some day I will make the list.

Toward that end, I used their "contact us" form to submit the following message to them:

I'm astonished and disappointed that once again you have not added my website,, to your list of hate sites.

Since 1995 I have opposed the feminist hate mongers and, with the exception of a few years when, against my better judgment, I supported George W. Bush, I have adamantly opposed progressives on both the left and the right.

I would have expected that as a pro-feminist progressive organization you would publicly excoriate me for my libertarian-leaning classical liberal views. Alas, perhaps the almost 10 years I served on my tribe's tribal council has granted me immunity from your criticism.

Nonetheless, I remain hopeful that one day my opposition to misandry and totalitarianism will eventually become too much for you to ignore. Until then, I remain very sincerely yours, Rod Van Mechelen.

Does that seem too mild? Maybe I should have added a little spice and spittle with some f-bombs and other angry words. But while angry words are sometimes appropriate for marches and demonstrations, I look to a man who inspired me as a youth for an example: Martin Luther King, Jr..

Rev. King was a man who spoke with courage, conviction and great passion, but always with dignity and never with a sneer, a snub or a denigrating word. He was a man who did not talk down to his enemies, but invited them to rise up and join him. It wasn't that he minced words or sugar coated his meaning. Evil is as evil does. No point in dressing up ugly with pretty words. But criticism can be civil.

While all of my friends and associates in the Liberty Movement and the Movement for Real Gender Equality (MERGE) should aspire to make the SPLC hate list, too many of them, it seems to me, try to fulfill the stereotypes assigned to us by behaving with antagonism toward members of the press.

There is a difference between speaking with antagonism and speaking with authority. For several years I sat on council with an elder who offered few words, but when she spoke we listened because her words were wise, and that wisdom gave her great authority. I also served with a young woman of many words, who speaks often and with antagonism. While many fear to become the target of her acid tongue, few respect her opinions. Antagonism may instill fear, but authentic authority is built upon a foundation of respect, knowledge, confidence and achievement.

Giving interviews is not easy. Making appearances on radio and TV can be hard work. Your opponents are looking for any slip they can turn into an unforgiveable crime. You have to be "always on" and fully prepared to answer every challenge. Everybody flubs. Especially at first. Give enough interviews, and even seasoned professionals mess it up.

It's been many years since I did my last radio and televison appearances and gave my last newspaper interview, and during all of them I tried to remember the example of Rev. King. Another great man to emulate is Dr. Warren Farrell, who seems to personify compassion. Our messages may be hard to hear, the truth we tell difficult to accept, but when speaking as one human being to another, what has always worked best for me is to respect their humanity.

Time enough for tough talk and biting words when addressing the principles, programs and prejudices of those who would denigrate and enslave us without addressing them directly with words that mirror their hate and make true their accusations against us.


Rod Van Mechelen

Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.


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