Humanist Magazine Interview with IRMS Executive Director

Last week, The Humanist magazine published an interview with Institute for Research on Male Supremacism Executive Director Alex DiBranco. For the full interview, read here:

Excerpt from the interview:

SH: Why is the mission of the IRMS so important at this moment in time? What makes it so relevant?

AD: In 2018 there were two mass killings by men connected to the “incel” ideology in North America—incels being men who call themselves “involuntarily celibate” and consider it an injustice that attractive women don’t have sexual intercourse with them. These events really changed the amount of attention focused on these growing online communities. However, there continues to be a problem with sympathetic myths associated with how misogynist mobilizations are viewed, including buying into MRA or incel talking points. For instance, reporting that male violence is driven by rejection from women, rather than understanding it as part of a male supremacist, antifeminist ideology that should be approached in the same way that we would approach white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies and violence. There was even an appalling New York Times column by Ross Douthat in which he suggested that if we talk about economic redistribution, then why not sexual redistribution, as though women’s bodies are just currency.

. . .

SH: Recently, you were attacked online by a neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. What do you think is the goal of these hate campaigns? How have these specific efforts impacted your life?

AD: The goal of these campaigns is clearly to intimidate and thereby silence people who are researching and/or challenging misogyny, particularly women. The Daily Stormer founder, Andrew Anglin, put up my photo and under it a caption in which he referred to himself as the “spiritual successor” to an incel mass killer, which I think speaks for itself. Ironically, the attack was triggered by an interview I did for NPR about the toll that doing research on extremist movements has on psychological health. Fortunately, I was already in contact with an enormously helpful group, Equality Labs, which works in data security for activists, and was applying for a grant to set up digital security when the post went up. I’m doing what I can for myself and those affiliated with IRMS to protect our personal information, as doxing has for years been a serious problem for women reporting on misogynist groups.