I Do Not Understand You MRAs


Are you a Men’s Rights Activist? Good. I have some questions for you because, frankly, I’m confused. I don’t understand what you’re fighting for. You’re a man. Are you aware of what that means in our society?

Another question… are you white? If so, then why… seriously… why… are you an MRA?

We own the rights on this planet. Everyone else who has rights has them because we saw fit to give those people those rights. We white men literally rule the world. If someone wants the right to be able to do something… anything… it is to us white men they have to come to get that right… and we don’t have to give it to them.

So I’m honestly confused.

What is it, exactly, that you’re an activist for?

Is it the fact that mothers are overwhelmingly favored in child custody fights?

Why do you think that is?

There’s a fascinating idea set up mainly by patriarchal systems: the woman’s job is to stay at home and raise the children. This is what she does. She is not allowed to have a career. She is not allowed to work if she has children. If a woman has children, her job is to stay at home and raise those children.

Now yes, this has changed. Much to the chagrin of Conservative Christians, many mothers have careers (and still manage to raise wonderful kids). But has it changed entirely?

No.

Need evidence?

I have the perfect evidence for you: mothers are overwhelmingly favored in child custody fights.

See the logic, there? It’s the very patriarchy you’re insisting “doesn’t exist” (or you want to keep intact… not sure which it is) that causes this imbalance. Because men can’t raise children. The man’s job is to have a career; not stay at home and spend days with his kids. A good father is one that leaves just before the kids do for his job as a CEO of a major company, while in his off-time teaching their boys about the “wonders” of having a career while the mother teaches their girls about the “wonders” of being a homemaker.

And this exact same thing applies to divorce court… women get the home and all contained therein, because the home is where the woman belongs.

So it can’t be that.

How about the way husbands are portrayed in commercials?

Well, let’s start out with the whole “turn-about’s fair play” thing. I mean, there are tons of commercials that portray men as perfect, intelligent, and social, while women are portrayed as sex dolls, stupid, or both.

But it’s deeper than that… you see, even the commercials that make husbands look like idiots are created and produced mainly by men… after all, the commercial industry is yet another overwhelmingly male industry. What this does is provide men an excuse… in fact, it reinforces the stereotype that the woman’s place is in the home, while the man’s place is in a career.

How does it reinforce this?

Simple.

In the commercials that portray husbands as idiots, they are only idiots concerning home matters. These same commercials show women as intelligent… in home matters. One commercial has a husband working late. His wife calls him and says “happy anniversary”. It shows that he forgot, but manages to cover it. So he’s good at his job (working late, getting things done) but absolutely shit at being a husband (forgetting their anniversary)… which is a category underneath home, not career. So it again enforces the same “gender roles” stereotype.

So it can’t be that.

And I’m at a loss for anything else…

Except that you MRAs say that feminism is wrong; it’s unneeded, overwrought, past its prime, and so on.

However, I’m challenging this on one very important point: misogyny is still a huge problem. Rape culture is still pervasive, and goes on every fucking day all around us.

(Trigger warning for ALL the following links, as they discuss sexual harassment all the way to rape.)

This woman was verbally assaulted twice on the subway. These two women are dealing with the “creep in my circle of friends”, and not even their partners will support them. This person has an actual rapist in zir’s circle of friends, and zie is actually questioning whether or not zie should care. This woman was fingered by a random stranger in the middle of the street in Washington, DC. This woman was very nearly raped in New York just off the Subway, and the cops wouldn’t do anything about it. This woman was blamed by a judge because she was fingered in a bar by an off-duty cop. This sexual assault victim could be jailed for outing the names of her attackers on Twitter. This Trans teen was murdered in Chicago… for being Trans. This student was gang-raped, and then was told by her college counselor to not report it. This woman is sexually harassed on an almost daily basis. So is this woman. This woman was not allowed to complete her birth control regimen in an attempt to keep herself from getting pregnant after being raped, because she was jailed when they found that she had an arrest warrant for failure to pay restitution, and the person in control of her second pill didn’t believe in birth control.

And that’s just a sampling of the disgusting, pathetic shit I’ve found online.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize that men can be sexually assaulted, too. And that it can sometimes be a woman who is the criminal (or, in this case, six women). And don’t get me started on prison rape.

But even when the victim is male, and the rapist/sexual-assaulter is female, it is still a symptom of rape culture, which itself is a symptom of the patriarchy (which itself a part of the kyriarchy).

So please… MRAs… explain this to me… why are you fighting the people trying to change all of this, considering that it hurts us men, too? Why do you insist on attacking the wrong enemy?

I’d really like to know.

(Quick commenting note: When I first opened this blog, I set it up such that first-time commenters are in moderation. Normally, I’m very liberal about who I approve. That is… I approve everyone.

But I will not be so nice this time around. If I catch even a whiff of victim-blaming, your comment will not make it out of moderation. It will be deleted, and you will find yourself utterly unable to comment on my blog ever again. I don’t want to see anything that can even be mistaken as victim-blaming. And I’m being an asshole on this because I very simply won’t stand for it. So please… answer my questions to your heart’s content. Explain this whole MRA thing to me.

But don’t you dare, under any circumstances, blame any of these victims or any other victim for what’s happened to them.

You will not be treated fairly if you do. Your comment will never be seen by anybody but me. If you have a problem with this censorship, then fine. But my blog is not the US. I do not have to abide by the 1st amendment here. Your free speech on this blog is a privilege that I see fit to give to you and take away from you. If you are going to use the privilege of free speech that I provide to you to blame victims, then you will lose that privilege.

Are we clear?

You can say anything else. You can attack me, threaten me, answer my questions, insult me… anything you want. But you will not. Under any circumstances. Engage in victim-blaming. It will be dealt with swiftly and privately. You will not get a notice. You will not get another chance. Your comment will be deleted and you will be banned.

Period.

If this is a problem for you, then fuck right off and don’t bother commenting. Because my blog is going to be a safe space for victims, whether you like it or not. So you will abide by this, or you simply will not comment.

Are we clear?

Good.

Now comment away…)

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About Nathan Hevenstone

I hate straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied men. I also play guitar and sing, and I'm an atheist and anti-theist. What now?
This entry was posted in Activism, Bullying, Misogyny and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to I Do Not Understand You MRAs

  1. RequiredName says:

    Interesting, “You’re a man” like people assume that feminists are women. This post doesn’t address the female activists (which exist) at all. I imagine a separate post would be “You’re a woman…” and being so shocked thinking about the existence of female MRAs that you wouldn’t be able to finish.

    • Oh I’m aware that there are women who are MRAs. Many commented on this post; I even had a rather fruitful and respectful conversation with driversuz right here in the comments!

      Though I admit, to my shame, of overlooking them in my OP. Big mistake.

  2. Clarence says:

    I wonder if you watched the video of Dr. Farrell’s speech or read about him on Wikipedia.
    What he was talking about had little or nothing to do what was being protested and he said little that could be even remotely tied to misogyny.
    Also, Manboobz linked to a short and possibly edited version of the protest. A more complete video shows protestors blocking the doors, hurling obscene epithets, not being able to give reasons for the protest that make any sense whatsoever. Also, a few of the protesters got into scuffles with police and were interned. This was not the most peaceful of protests.

  3. Martin Malthus says:

    I joined the MRM because of the fundamental contradictions inherent to feminist theory vs its application(s) for one and because of the relentless hatred seething from most of its activists, for second.
    Many of the contradictions fly directly into the face of the equality I expect as a humanist. For example, every single feminist will argue that the Right to Choose is a fundamental right yet not only don’t they do anything so men can have access to it, they actively *oppose* .any notion that a man should have the right to decide for himself whether or not he wants to be a father. Read carefully now. The movement you support with such enthousiasm *actively denies half of humanity access to a fundamental right*. Worse still, the very movement that stood against discrimination of rights based on gender now supports gendered rights “the rights of women”- available and accessible ONLY to women.
    Let me quote one of our senator on this topic. Céline Hervieux-Payette: ” Granting men the right to choose would be detrimental to women.”
    Now let’s be clear here. Men do not want any right over women’s bodies. They want exactly the same right women now enjoy: the right to decide for oneself, without any interference from law, religion or partner, whether or not they want to become a parent. Yet even after that has been carefully explained and laid out, we are told to f*** off- it’s a woman’s right.
    Feminism has a beautiful front- equality and respect for all. All nice and well. Applied feminism, however, actively denies basic freedoms as long as it serves female interest.
    There are many more contradictions, clear-cut expressions of deep-seated hatred (We should destroy 80% of the male population and keep it at that level- editor of Mrs magazine) and assorted super-extreme proofs that feminism is not about respect, equality and a better society for all but I’ll limit my first intervention to this one.
    They describe a beautiful tree but its fruits are rotten.

  4. MRO Owner says:

    If it’s ‘patriarchy’ that is to blame for judges favouring mothers over fathers and wives over husbands, and, if feminism is trying to break down ‘patriarchy’, then how come feminists are the chief proponents of awarding custody of children and property to women and wives?

    Don’t believe it?

    Go look at the stance of most feminists, from the second wave to present, on custody and division of assets post divorce. Their focus is on throwing men out of the home and forcing them to pay support to women. Feminists in Canada, and elsewhere, are fighting tooth and nail to ensure men are required to pay alimony. Feminists have lobbied for laws that portray men as abusers so that women can gain automatic custody, and, possession of the home by merely throwing out a mere allegation of abuse. Lawyers encourage women to make false allegations of abuse so they can gain custody of their children and possession of the home.

    What do you say to that?

    I think any intelligent, sane person will agree that I just ripped a major hole into your flawed theory.

    So now that I’ve refuted your theory, are you going to concede that you don’t know what you’re talking about?

  5. Sasha says:

    Well Nathan, I’ll ignore your use of shaming language such as describing MRAs as ‘whining’ etc. and address a few of your points.

    Firstly, one thing you’re going to have to let go off is some of your lazy assumptions and pre-conceptions. What’s happened in the UofT case with the ‘outing’ of Emma-Claire Kadey (and I know for a fact that most of the rest will be publically identified shortly) is that feminists like yourself badly misjudged the MRM. The fact is that we’re actually an incredibly diverse (black, white, rich, poor, male, female, straight, gay, trans, western, African, European etc.) movement which is small, barely acknowledged by the mainstream media and thus easy to misunderstand if you don’t take the time to thoroughly engage with it. Many MRAs come from a background of anti-racism protesting and activism for example, which explains the MRM’s concern for issues faced by black men and boys; many, many of us are gay – which is why some of the most high-profile and popular MRAs are gay. It’s a very passionate group and it’s swimming against a tide of misandry and issues that force it to confront governments, academia, entrenched pressure groups and interest lobbies. It’s also young and nascent, and it is in my view the most radical movement imaginable at this point in western history; with it’s goal being the transformation of human society towards a new vision of true equality for all.

    And you see, that’s where you and Emma-Claire got it so badly wrong. You actually believe we want to turn the clock back to a time when men had to slave at work while women stayed at home. We don’t want to return to the ’50s. We’re not ‘social conservatives’. We’re not reactionary, we’re revolutionary. The goal of the MRM is freedom and equality for everyone, regardless of sex, race, sexuality, age or disability. The goal of feminism is supremacy for women, achieved through the demonisation and continuing oppression and exploitation of men. We don’t want women to be subservient – we want them to fuck off and stand on their own two feet and act like grown-ups. We want women to stop whining about being ‘oppressed’ and recognise that they actually enjoy enormous privilege, that they pretty much always have done, and that if all of us are to achive true equality, then they are going to have to step up and take some responsibility across a wide range of areas. They can’t keep on sitting on pedestals built on the bodies of men. Feminists do nothing about ‘traditional gender roles’ for men – in fact they do everything they can to reinforce them when it suits.

    Feminists campaign against mens centres on campuses, because they don’t want men to focus on anything other than women’s ‘issues’ (such as they are), they campaign against shared custody, because they want women to maintain their grip on children and family, they campaign to shame all men as rapists, inflating the risks of this serious crime, they campaign to have public funds diverted to women, they campaign against any attempt to support or assist men in crisis or need, they ridicule and mock any discussion of men who are suffering abuse or strain, they resist any attempt by men to chose a lifestyle which doesn’t involve supporting a woman.

    There is no ‘rape culture’. If there was people would speak approvingly of rape, celebrities would discuss their favourite methods of rape to applause on chat shows, there would be books celebrating rape, rape would be a commonplace event, barely worthy of note. This does not happen. Rape is treated everywhere as a serious crime, it is uncommon and rare.

    Your ‘concern’ for Emma-Claire Kadey is misplaced. MRAs are by definition non-violent. There is no case, ever anywhere of an MRA being violent in any way whatsoever. In fact it’s impossible to imagine anyone engaged with the mens rights movement being violent, as it’s fundamental to our philosphy that violence is not a male act. The fact that you hear the word ‘men’ and immediately assume we’re violent is testament to your own skewed self-hatred and bigotry.

    So quit the white knight-ism. It’s not going to get you laid by Emma-Claire or anyone else.

  6. oldfart says:

    “Although I’m pretty sure I don’t want children of my own, I do like working with kids, even though I’m not attracted to them (and the fact that I have to include that caveat is absolutely pathetic… you might not think I have to include it, but trust me… in this society, I do have to include it).

    Nathan:
    Relax for moment and consider which ideology has made this a reality for you,as a male.
    It certainly is not patriarchy.
    It’s hysteria promoted as a means to an end,and that end is misandrist law.

    By carrying water for those who seek to oppress you,you oppress yourself.
    I would urge you to get free and work in your own self interest,if not that of other males.

    • What sets it up as a taboo is traditional gender roles, which are a result of religious patriarchy.

      Again… it’s not feminism.

      • Joseph Zhang says:

        I wanted to give you time to write your article. Would you be willing to include a bit that backs this assertion up? Thanks.

      • I don’t know if you’re still following, Joseph, but I’ve posted my first response to you. You and I have that post all to ourselves. There’s an open thread for anyone else to comment.

      • Joseph Zhang says:

        Ah good. I’ll get to it shortly. Please forgive the delay: work + holidays.

      • Believe me. I know how that is. Take your time. It’s cool.

      • driversuz says:

        Nathan, this theory promoted by feminists, is a perfect example of that upside down thinking. Religion follows culture; culture does not follow religion.
        Example:
        Modern Christianity. After 50 years of modern feminism, there are virtually no mainstream Christian churches that don’t either downplay or flat-out ignore the Biblical directive for wives to submit to their husbands. It’s always conditional now, because it offends feminist women who at the very least have veto power over which church to attend. “Obey” is not conditional in the Bible.

        btw, if you want a good example of a self proclaimed MRA who is actually a hypocritical bigot, but occasionally speaks a bit of truth, look no further than commenter MRO/Chris Key. He’s not a genuine MRA because he believes that some men are more equal than others. Fringe fanatics like him are always trying to ride the coattails of every movement. And unlike “mainstream” feminists who think it’s enough to politely ignore radfems, “mainstream” MRAs make a point of vociferously marginalizing nutjobs who don’t really believe in men’s rights.

      • You don’t know it because I never approved his comments, but Chris Key came on here to prove you right. Apparently I did approve one of his posts below (as MRO Owner), but he also commented as Chris Key and MRO. In fact, his comment as MRO was specifically to you, insulting you as a “whore” and so on.

        That kind of shit I’m not allowing here, so he’s been banned… in enough different ways that getting around it won’t be easy.

      • driversuz says:

        Thanks, I appreciate that. He’s a fringe troll scrambling for relevance and trying to make a space for bigotry in the MRM. I suspect my post about him, gave him more traffic than he’s ever seen, and I’ll eat my shirt if any of it is sympathetic to his vitriol.

  7. driversuz says:

    “(and the fact that I have to include that caveat is absolutely pathetic…”

    It’s not merely pathetic, it is part of the legacy of feminism. You don’t remember a time when our grade schools were full of male teachers, do you? I do and I’m not yet 50. Your need to announce to the world that you’re not a pedophile, is a direct result of a culture that has taught itself (over a period of only a few decades) to despise and fear men – to presume that all men who care about children not their own, are twisted perverts and predators. You, and the vast majority of men, are living proof that Rape Culture is a made-up monster under the bed.

    • See, I agree with everything you just wrote except who you blame for it.

      You blame feminism.

      The actual culprit is traditional, patriarchal gender roles.

      It’s natural for women to like working with kids, because that’s what they’re supposed to do.

      On the other hand, it’s completely unnatural for men to like working with kids, because that’s not what they’re supposed to do.

      These points come from gender roles, and gender roles were not instituted by feminists; they were instituted by religious patriarchy, that somehow has held over into secular society.

      As for your comment about Rape Culture… this skepticism of the existence of Rape Culture is something that completely baffles me. Cheerleaders are forced to cheer for their rapists. Male victims of rape (regardless of the gender of the rapist) are laughed off and ignored. Child victims of rape are blamed. The Catholic church has been getting away with pedophilia for a long time… maybe even centuries. There are movies and porn sites that make rape some kind of sexy thing (it’s not… especially since rape isn’t about sex at all, but power and domination). Women who are raped are routinely asked what they were wearing, doing, drinking, saying, and worse (it’s almost as if the only way a woman can’t be blamed for her own rape is if she stays locked up in her own house completely alone with bullet-proof windows with bars on them and insane amounts of security and never wears less than a burka, in case some base, animalistic man with zero self-control looks through the bars and sees her exposed hands and face while she wears a sweater and jeans and decides that, fuck all the security, he’s gonna rape her anyways because she has such a sexy “come rape me” face… and I feel like this woman would still ultimately be blamed for it).

      How many more examples do you need before you accept the existence of Rape Culture (which, yes, effects men, too)?

      Hell… here’s a bunch of links detailing evidence:
      http://www.hercircleezine.com/2011/11/24/rape-culture-evidence-for-consideration/
      http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/this-is-what-rape-culture-looks-like/
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/us/16military.html
      http://www.newsweek.com/2011/04/03/the-military-s-secret-shame.html
      http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2010/08/rape-is-hilarious-part-53-in-ongoing.html
      http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/end-rape-culture-now—shut-down-sigma-phi-epsilon-vermont-gamma/

      And that’s just a sampling form a simple Google search for “evidence for rape culture”. More searches will yield more results, I guarantee it.

      I just don’t see how this could be made any more obvious.

      • driversuz says:

        Rapists are a tiny minority of society, yet every man is treated as a potential rapist. Monster under the bed.

        “On the other hand, it’s completely unnatural for men to like working with kids, because that’s not what they’re supposed to do.”
        This is patently untrue. Feminism likes to distort history. Women are the primary caregivers of infants and toddlers for a couple of reasons. First and most obvious, breastfeeding. Secondly, “homemaking” tasks are generally safer than the work men have traditionally done; it’s a bit risky for a baby to be strapped to his father’s back during a hunt or a battle.

        Here’s the part you’re not supposed to notice. Men are indeed very naturally suited for working with kids over the age of two or three. Before industrialization, most fathers spent nearly as much time raising and teaching their kids, as did mothers. Most homes were within shouting distance of the “workplace.” Boys worked alongside their fathers from a very early age. The industrial phenomenon which separated fathers from their children for the majority of the time, was not a function of treating women as “not important or smart enough” to do anything but keep house, it was a means of protecting women (and their future-laborer-producing wombs) from the debilitating and deadly dangers of industrial work. That relatively extreme division of labor was all about efficiency in building civilization. Men are stronger and are more efficient workhorses. Women are the the producers of children. Strong, cheap labor and a growing population were necessary for prosperity.

        Like most feminists, you use the word “patriarchy” as some sort of vague catch-all, almost never to be pinned down and defined specifically. Feminist usually claim that patriarchy is s system designed by men, for the benefit of men, at the expense of women. When it it pointed out to them that the features they attribute to patriarchy have nothing whatsoever to do with men benefiting from women’s oppression, they hem and haw and say, “Well that’s why patriarchy is so evil – it hurts men too. And men are still to blame for it because they are too stupid to know what’s really good for them.” What you call “patriarchy,” is actually capitalism of one sort or another; it’s economics, not sex discrimination. It was designed by powerful people to make profits by getting the most productivity for the least cost, from powerless people. It is a series of socially assigned roles that are based on the aptitudes and biological traits of the majority of the population. During the industrial revolution, plenty of females worked outside the home. Have you never heard of Spinner Girls? And yes they were poorly paid; relative to the men in factories, their work was easy, and the unskilled nature of that work made them highly replaceable. Oddly enough, most spinner girls WERE replaced when they married men who could support them, and they stayed home to produce and raise (without much help from daddy) the next generation of laborers.

        What you insist on calling “patriarchy,” or “oppression,” or “male privilege,” is nothing more than the most efficient use of labor. Another thing feminism hopes you won’t notice, is that this system produced so much in the way of surplus survival resources in industrial nations, that those nations could afford to spend that surplus on improving the standards of living for most of those laborers. It is the surplus created by “patriarchy” that allows modern governments to pay countless women billions of dollars to do easy work that is not essential to anyone’s survival. And instead of “oppressing” women, men have willingly consented to this “empowerment” sham by voting for the people who levy the taxes and decide how that money will be spent. You can bet your last dollar that feminism would not exist if men were unwilling to finance it. Even today, most women don’t have the job skills (this by their own choices) to create the kind of profits that could pay for feminism.

        I also question your concern for rape victims. Feminism encourages all women to believe they are victims of all men, which causes so very many false and exaggerated rape claims, that the genuine rape victims are taken less and less seriously. Not only are their claims suspect to society at large, but law enforcement resources are wasted on BS investigations, reducing what the police and the courts can do for for real victims. It is the default misogyny of mercenary feminism, not the misogyny of men, which betrays victims of rape and violence.

        You are very young, but if you are intelligent, you can eventually grasp the upside down, inside out nature of everything you have been taught about women, men, biology, human behavior, and society. If you want to learn, I recommend AVfM, The Spearhead, and Dalrock.wordpress.com. I also recommend that as a neophyte, you avoid the comments, as they tend to be very emotional. Read the articles, and look up the references.

      • I’m just going to respond to your notes about my concern for rape victims.

        First and foremost, my concern for rape victims is not limited by gender. I’m fully aware that not only can men be raped (and if you include prison statistics, a depressingly huge number of men are, in fact, raped), but woman can be rapists. I should also point out that, down here in South Florida, I have yet to meet a feminist who would deny any of that.

        I’m perhaps overly-sensitive to rape, though not for any specific reasons. I mean, I did know more than one rape victim back in high school, but I have no experience with it myself beyond that. However, I can’t watch it in movies or read about it in books. I gleefully destroyed a friend’s copy of the Japanese film “Ichi the Killer” because of how it portrayed rape (the woman’s continued resistance is sexy… a good thing); and he was only angry at me because I got to it, first. He proceeded to destroy the case it came in.

        It doesn’t matter what the genders of the victim or the rapist are. Rape is evil, as far as I’m concerned. And yes, I’m quite happy to say that, if a person (regardless of gender) tries to have sex with another person (again, regardless of gender) who is inebriated to the point where self-control has exited the building, that is rape and should persecuted as such.

        Actually, I’m starting to wonder if there’s a cultural divide here. I belong to a (still unregistered) feminist group at my college. Despite being an unofficial group, we have quite a large membership of both men an woman. Men’s rights is actually one of our continued topics of discussion, and I think you and many commenters here would be pleasantly surprised by the direction these discussions take. The group takes men’s rights quite seriously. They believe it to be a feminist issue; that tearing down the patriarchy is as much a fight to free men as it is to free women.

        I can’t comment on Canadian feminism because I’m not Canadian and know next-to-nothing about it. But the feminism I’m familiar with isn’t just familiar with the idea that Patriarchy Hurts Men, Too, but it embraces that fact, and embraces men’s rights with open arms as a feminist issue.

      • Also, I don’t believe that men are animals or subhuman. In fact, my belief that all human beings are equal (regardless of race, gender, religion, class, etc) is partly why I have a problem with a culture that tells women how they should avoid being raped, and blames victims of rape for that rape. Both make an assumption that the rapist is unable to help themselves. Both ignore the very fact that rape is not now, nor has it ever been, about sex and attraction; it’s about power and dominance.

        Dressing slutty, being flirty, and all that isn’t what gets women raped, since a) women wearing burkas are raped, b) it’s not just women who are raped, c) it’s not just men who rape, and d) rape by masked strangers in a dark alley is actually quite rare; most rapists are someone the victim knows, and it often happens within the victim’s home. These four points are pretty much all the evidence we need to say that rape is more often than not a pre-meditated crime, and if someone is intent on raping you, avoidance is going to be a lot harder than choosing to wear sweats instead of a mini-skirt.

        Why can’t we live in a culture that teaches people (again, regardless of gender) to respect each other’s personal space, that consent is sexy (because… seriously… it is), and, basically, to just not rape? How come no one’s ever thought of that?

        And, I’ll say it again… all of this applies regardless of gender.

      • Alex Reynard says:

        >partly why I have a problem with a culture that tells women how they should avoid being raped, and blames victims of rape for that rape. Both make an assumption that the rapist is unable to help themselves.

        There is nothing wrong with the first part of that and the second part is not completely wrong either. I’ll explain in-depth in a moment.

        >Both make an assumption that the rapist is unable to help themselves.

        That seems a fair assumption. If they could help themselves, they wouldn’t rape.

        >Both ignore the very fact that rape is not now, nor has it ever been, about sex and attraction; it’s about power and dominance.

        No. It is about both. Does a thief rob a bank purely for the adrenaline rush? Or for the money? More to the point, one thief may do it for the rush and another for the money. It’s foolish to think that psychology is this simple, that all rapists are wired exactly the same.

        >Dressing slutty, being flirty, and all that isn’t what gets women raped

        Right. And I agree with everything else you wrote beyond this. But you’re really oversimplifying this. What if someone drinks or drugs themselves to the point where they can be taken advantage of? I’m talking about someone going out ‘partying’ and putting themselves in a vulnerable position. They may even consent fully in the moment, then sober up later and be horrified by what happened. In a case like that, were they raped? In a case like that, can you honestly say that the ‘rapist’ deserves 100% of the condemnation and the ‘victim’ is blameless?

        That’s an uncomfortable thought, because we like to oversimplify things. Rapists are bad. Victims are good. The reality is that humans are complicated and humans make mistakes. Someone who says that a rape victim should have known better because of what they were wearing, that’s bullshit. And it’s bullshit that seems to be *near-universally rejected*. Maybe you see something different, but I see a culture that almost always takes the side of the victim. Or if they don’t, those aren’t the people who are in power, but just average jerks.

        People should be taught how to avoid rape for the same reason that people should be taught how to avoid muggings or home break-ins. It doesn’t matter that we SHOULD live in a world where rapists control their behavior; we DON’T live in that world. In reality, The Only Person’s Behavior You Can Control Is Yours. Teaching someone how to protect themselves from rape is empowering. It’s not as simple as ‘Don’t dress slutty’. You teach them warning signs about date rape, how to party responsibly without putting themselves in a vulnerable position, basic self-defense moves, etc.

        This idea that we should teach people to not rape is a new one, and I hope it dies quickly because it is a stupid, harmful idea. You could sit everyone in the world down and give them a stern lecture about not committing murder. Someone mentally sick enough to commit murder is Not Going To Listen. It is foolish and incredibly childish to think, ‘I shouldn’t have to change my behavior. Everyone else should change to keep me safe!’ That’s not going to keep you safe. It’s going to make you less-prepared to deal with bad things when they happen. The world is not your parent. You are going to have to grow up and defend yourself someday.

      • driversuz says:

        ” I have a problem with a culture that tells women how they should avoid being raped, and blames victims of rape for that rape.”
        It’s feminism that told you blaming the victim is rampant in our culture, and in the MRM. It’s not. A shockingly huge number of MRAs are themselves victims of rape and abuse, who were totally ignored and further abused by the female-centric legal system. Not only that, one of the things that reduces victims’ credibility (and therefore public sympathy for them) is false rape allegations, which are rarely punished, and are often based on ridiculously exaggerated definitions of rape. Only a tiny minority of men and women are rapists, but feminism keeps us in a panic over “rape culture.” This BS hurts rape victims. Do you know how much manpower and money police departments waste investigating false claims? Those are precious resources that could be used to track down and imprison very dangerous people.
        And regarding “telling women how they should avoid being raped,” do you also object to society telling people how to avoid being bullied, being mugged, having their identities stolen, being conned out of their savings, or being victims of any crime? Feminists don’t seem to want women to learn how to stay safe, and there’s a very good reason for this.
        Money.
        It’s the same reason they created “rape culture.” VAWA dishes out billions of dollars a year to pay for all those college campus “rape awareness” programs, and to pay for rape crisis hotlines, and to pay for victims’ counselors, and to pay for the prosecution and jail/prison costs of suspects. Look up Mary Kellett in Maine. She prosecutes every single case that garners VAWA funding, even if she knows she’s going to lose. She is an extreme case of what happens on a routine basis, in every prosecutorial district in this country. They don’t care how much freedom and time and money men lose defending themselves. They don’t care if men are alienated from their children or lose their reputations and jobs. They care about the free government money. “Rape culture” ensures the income of thousands of unnecessary government and private sector employees. How would these people keep their jobs if there was no rape hysteria? Rape is now an industry, and rape victims of both sexes get lost in the shuffle.

      • driversuz says:

        ” basically, to just not rape? How come no one’s ever thought of that?”
        Rape is evil and destructive. Most people are not evil and destructive. Did anyone ever have to teach you not to commit rape? Didn’t you know rape is wrong right about the time you learned what rape is? How hard does society have to work to teach men that it’s a bad idea to drop their pants and take a dump wherever and whenever they have the urge to do so? Where did our society ever get the idea that men need to be taught to behave like civilized human beings? (Men built civilization; who thinks they feel a constant overwhelming urge to destroy it?)

        Do we also need to teach women not to rape, or do we assume that such violence doesn’t come naturally to women? Because men are scary and dangerous and women are harmless victims. The Duluth Model has been thoroughly debunked, yet it is still the entire foundation of the “rape” dialog in this culture. That is the work of feminism. It gives feminists jobs.

      • Suz… I said that everything I wrote here applied REGARDLESS of gender.

        So yes, we should teach both men and women to respect personal space, personal autonomy, and to accept that no NEVER means anything OTHER than no.

  8. driversuz says:

    I am a woman, and I’m an MRA because I despise injustice.
    http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com/2012/08/womens-equality-day.html

    I’m also an adult who takes responsibility for my words and for my actions. Emma Kadey is, for the first time in her life, discovering that concept. Incidentally, she’s not the first person from this event to be “exposed” by AVfM. Danielle Sandhu was the first, but to very little fanfare and few dishonest accusations. Perhaps Futrelle thought it was OK to hold her accountable for her words because she CONSENTED to being held accountable? In the real world, that’s not how accountability works. Additionally, Ms. Kadey will not be the last person exposed. Nobody has been or will be “doxxed,” however every possible person will be named, and their ALREADY PUBLISHED opinions will be shared with a broader audience.

    I would suggest that you take everything Futrelle says with a grain (or a truckload) of salt. He and his readers wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them. Occasionally it does, and not one of them has ever noticed.

    Suzanne McCarley

  9. Joseph Zhang says:

    Hey Nathan,

    You said “Are you a Men’s Rights Activist? Good. I have some questions for you because, frankly, I’m confused. I don’t understand what you’re fighting for. ”

    I get the sense that there’s a chance that you might want to have a real conversation about this. I’ve tried to respond to you via the atheismplus.com forum, and I was banned after my first post. I offered genuine conversation. Not the “I’m right, you’re wrong” kind of conversation, but the kind that serves to help people understand each other’s points of view, even if we don’t agree. You said that you would post a blog on it. Fair enough. Since I have no means of replying on the A+ forum, I thought I’d start a conversation with you here, if you are interested.

    Let me start off with a few basic questions

    1) What are the core ideas with A+, or more specifically, feminism that you buy into upon which you are willing to hang all the associated ideas with, so that you are willing to self-identify with that set of ideas?

    2) What is it that you think that the MRM is about, that you would refer to it in a negative light? Can you give me specific examples that influenced you to reject the MRM and assign a negative to it?

    3) How long have you been a feminist?

    4) How much research have you done into the issues of the MRM? Can you discuss the issues with the same ease that you can feminist issues?

    About my position:

    I’m a male. I was raised by women. I was taught that everything about me was evil because I am a male. I was taught that all rapes are my fault. All injustices to women are my fault. I was taught that women are special delicate and superior creatures whereas I was merely a brute and just barely human because I was a male.

    I used to be a feminist. My mother’s definition of feminism is this: men and women ought to be treated equally and with respect. I wholeheartedly subscribe to this. This is called “humanism”.

    I lived with the stereotypical angry black feminazi for three years, steps away from UofT, where most of them went. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos. I’m sure that you’ve seen the verifiable lies that were promoted about Warren Farrell (BTW: Have you read his books? At least one of them?). You know that one woman who’se earned the appellation of “F’ing Scum! Girl”? That is what I lived with, for three years. And I was treated in that manner regularly for three years.

    I’ve had all the conversations about how this so-called patriarchy and rape-culture meant that all women are eternally victims and that all men are eternally oppressors a million times. I’m aware of most of the arguments, though I haven’t had them for some time. I seen into and past the ideology of gender/victim feminism. That’s why I reject it.

    I accept much of the MRM because of two things:

    1) I am accepted as a full, worthwhile human being.

    2) The goal of the MRM is in fact, *genuine* equality. Neither men or women on pedestals, or having the advantage, but honest, integral people dealing with each other eye-to-eye, no bullshit allowed.

    If you’re interested, I hope this is enough to start an honest conversations.

    • I’m going to reply to this in a new blog post.

      However, I will give you a general break down here, so you understand the basics of where I’m coming from and what the blog post will be about.

      I’m not sure where you spend time as an MRA, but in most of the places I’ve read, including A Voice for Men, the Men’s Rights subreddit, and a number of smaller blogs associated with the MRM, what I see, more than anything else, is a denial of patriarchy, a shit-ton of female-rape-victim-blaming along with complete and total silence on male victims of rape except as it serves as a “point” to “score” against feminists, general misogyny (use of gendered slurs, slut-shaming, holding up as true the idea that women are weaker and exist to be a man’s plaything and helpmeet only, etc), and ideas that actually feed in to misandry (specifically as it concerns blaming female victims of rape, as it suggests that we men are somehow base animals with a complete lack of self-control, which is why it’s not our fault if we rape a woman, but their fault).

      I also see a lot of whining about free speech, utterly ignoring the fact that your right to free speech does not include the right to avoid the consequences of that speech.

      I will expand on this in my upcoming blog post to you. If you can give me a few days to a week, I’d appreciate it, because I’m also working, preparing for a Bat Mitzvah I was invited to this weekend, and getting ready for my brother who’s coming into town, also this weekend.

      Also, be aware that there will be anger on my part in this. A lot of the examples I’m gathering piss me off to no end, and at some level triggers me as someone who was bullied quite badly all throughout school. This shit that I’m gathering makes me very mad. So that will come through. I’ll ask you not to tone troll me if we have this discussion, and understand that I’m going to be angry.

      I will also tell you this: the main reason I’m a feminist is because I have never fit the conventional, patriarchal idea of what a “man” is “supposed to be”. I hate beer (preferring my alcohol either smokey or sweet, which means I am one of those guys who will order a Martini or even a Strawberry Daiquiri at a bar just as often as I’ll order a Jack & Coke, Rum & Coke, Long island Iced Tea, or just a nice glass of scotch… or a simple Raspberry Iced Tea if I’m driving, since, if I’m driving, I won’t touch alcohol), outside of the Atlanta Braves I really don’t like sports, I don’t work out all that much at the gym, and I am very, very bad at socializing, especially with women, especially when I find them attractive. I will very happily cook, bake, grill, and so on. Although I’m pretty sure I don’t want children of my own, I do like working with kids, even though I’m not attracted to them (and the fact that I have to include that caveat is absolutely pathetic… you might not think I have to include it, but trust me… in this society, I do have to include it). I also don’t grow facial hair… and I’m 25. And I’m a virgin.

      As far as the patriarchal man is concerned, I’m not welcome in the “Man’s Club”. This was the biggest source of why I was bullied throughout my school years. So I know all too well how Patriarchy Hurts Men, Too. Hence, I’m against the patriarchy, since this is what created this image of the “man” that I don’t fit, and, as such, I’m a feminist ally, because I see what the actual enemy is, here. And yes, I do think that modern feminists are doing a really great job of including men and the transgendered in their fight against the patriarchy. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting a lot better. Feminists like Dworkin are largely being rejected by today’s feminists.

      As far as the whole Warren Farrell thing is concerned… I hadn’t heard of Warren Farrell until this incident. What angers and terrifies me is what AVfM is trying to do to those women who participated in that protest.

      First off, yes, I’ve watched the videos. If that’s what AVfM defines as “violent”, then their definition of violent is so vague and general as to render the word meaningless. One could argue that the police were being needlessly violent, but the protestors?

      Just… no.

      And for the record, the girl mentioned in the Manboobz post on this has removed herself from the online community out of fear of what the consequences of what AVfM is doing are going to be. This is unacceptable. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that AVfM really isn’t advocating violence against her. The fact of the matter is, threats of rape and worse to this woman and the others have already surfaced, and history proves that what happens on the internet and what’s said on the internet really does have a significant impact on real life (see: Amanda Todd). So AVfM may speak out against it, but the chances of her being attacked or even raped by somebody because of AVfM’s campaign are actually quite high, and she’s acutely aware of that, as she’s removing herself from the internet because of them.

      So I think AVfM should stop. Regardless of whether or not they mean to, AVfM is going to make it easier for someone to physically harm these women through their (AVfM’s) campaign. They are more than welcome to rage against the protest itself (I’m always in favor of people’s right to protest, but I can’t comment on this particular one because I know nothing about Warren Farrell, so I can’t even say what they’re protesting against, honestly), but there’s no need to make it personal.

      And finally… that you assume that your bad experience means all feminists, and, indeed, the movement itself, are like that, is not good. I sympathize with you. I’m sorry you went through that shit and it is not something to be trivialized. But most feminists will tell you that what happened to you was beyond bad, and that feminism as a whole does not express that idea about men. Feminism is the oddly radical notion that “Women Are Human Beings, Too”. There is simply no denial that men are also human beings. It’s just that latter is already accepted by the wider society, while the former, for some very strange reason, still needs to be accepted into the wider society.

      Anyways… that’s enough for this comment. The blog post will be up as soon as I can get it up.

      Might I recommend that you read some (or all, if you have the time) of my other blog posts, to give you a little more perspective of where I stand on things in general?

      • Joseph Zhang says:

        OK, that’s cool, take your time. Can I get a set of agreements between you and I as men of good will?

        1) Acknowledgment that we both have an emotional investment in our point of view based on lived history. This means that while we may disagree, that neither of us will opt-out of the conversation with a simple “You’re an idiot” dismissal.

        2) That when either of us makes a valid point, even if we don’t like it, that we acknowledge it, as long as it is factually verifiable, or at the very least, reasonable. The point of this is to avoid self-serving squiggling around. We’re all human, we all have egos, but we’ll commit to 100% intellectual integrity and honesty with each other.

        3) That the point of this conversation is to honestly express our points of view so that the other may understand, and that we will make a full effort to understand what the other is expressing to us. We may never agree, or perhaps we might, partially, or even fully.

        4) That the exchanges on this blog are uniquely between you and I. We may post another’s thoughts, if we’re willing to, but it’s just you and I. The reason I ask this is because I want to keep it focused between two people so that it doesn’t turn into a giant shit-fest thread.

        My objective here is not to convince you of my point of view. This is a conversation that is publicly visible to all sides. My objective is for others to have a fair view of both sides. They’ll decide on their own.

        Do you agree that this is a fair way to go about it and if so, are you willing to abide this agreement, as I will?

      • Agreed with all and yes. Just note that I can’t stop others from participating if they wish. I will, however, put a caveat in my blog post that it is to be treated as a 101 discussion/debate and ad hominems from anyone, regardless of which “side” they’re on, will be deleted.

        I should note that this caveat will only be for that blog post. The rest of my blog in total is meant to be a safe space for victims and feminists, so outside of this blog post and the one I’m working on now, our discussion cannot go anywhere else.

      • Joseph Zhang says:

        That’s fine by me.

      • TheSameDog says:

        I’m a feminist is because I have never fit the conventional, patriarchal idea of what a “man” is “supposed to be”.

        That’s also the reason why many masculists are masculists, and that’s emphatically why I am one.

        Except I don’t use the word “patriarchal” to qualify “the conventional idea of what a man is supposed to be”. I consider that word hate speech against men, because at the very basic etymological level it puts the blame for deliberately creating and perpetuating that normative exclusively on men: pater cannot possibly denote a woman. This selective blaming, this implied wholesale exculpation of women, this denial that some women can possibly have an interest in policing the definition of “real man”, is the lie built into the term.

        I hate beer (preferring my alcohol either smokey or sweet, which means I am one of those guys who will order a Martini or even a Strawberry Daiquiri at a bar just as often as I’ll order a Jack & Coke, Rum & Coke, Long island Iced Tea, or just a nice glass of scotch… or a simple Raspberry Iced Tea if I’m driving, since, if I’m driving, I won’t touch alcohol)

        Those other alcoholic beverages you refer to in braces (smokey-sweet with a subtle hint of lush heath trampled by a blessing of white unicorns on a foggy morning), aren’t they by chance about an order of magnitude more expensive than beer? I wonder if I would find it easier to believe that I am a member of a class that rules the world if I could realistically afford having such refined alcohol tastes.

        I do like working with kids, even though I’m not attracted to them (and the fact that I have to include that caveat is absolutely pathetic… you might not think I have to include it, but trust me… in this society, I do have to include it).

        Yes, in this feminist/misandrist society you absolutely do need to include it, and women don’t, nevermind all the Debra LaFaves.

        There is simply no denial that men are also human beings.

        Wrong.

      • Except I don’t use the word “patriarchal” to qualify “the conventional idea of what a man is supposed to be”. I consider that word hate speech against men, because at the very basic etymological level it puts the blame for deliberately creating and perpetuating that normative exclusively on men: pater cannot possibly denote a woman. This selective blaming, this implied wholesale exculpation of women, this denial that some women can possibly have an interest in policing the definition of “real man”, is the lie built into the term.

        Patriarchy is not the whole of the issue. It is a subset of a larger issue, known as the Kyriarchy. And yes, there are women that are very much involved.

        In point of fact, patriarchy is a religious institution. Gender roles and all that shit come from religious tradition, like the Bible. But for a reason I honestly can’t explain, it translates into secular society. There is actually no historical evidence for a true matriarchy, in the same way that there is,and has been, a patriarchy. But that men were basically in control in most (NOT ALL!) civilizations throughout history and this is still true today is what the patriarchy is all about.

        This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been women involved. It does mean, however, that feminists are not the cause.

        As I must say time and time again, there is one point of contention between me and some other feminists: I actually do think misandry is a real thing. I don’t consider it specifically bigotry because I don’t see any evidence that there is a specific, historical, current, and deliberate institutional oppression of men, which is the defining idea of bigotry. Misandry is, however, a real and true anti-man bias. However, I would argue that many MRAs are more guilty of misandry than at least many mainstream feminists, however.

        In fact, one of the best examples of misandry I can think of is when we blame female victims of rape for being raped. “What was she wearing?” “What was she saying?” “What was she doing?” “How was she acting?” Can you guess the unsaid assumption, here?

        “How dare she assume that men would be able to control themselves around her?!?”

        These questions carry the inherent assumption that we men are base animals with little-to-no self control. If we see a woman, we will pounce.

        That, I would argue, is an inherently misandrist point of view, yet it stems from an inherently misogynistic point of view about women and their sexuality. A point of view that is, in fact, patriarchal in its origins.

        Those other alcoholic beverages you refer to in braces (smokey-sweet with a subtle hint of lush heath trampled by a blessing of white unicorns on a foggy morning), aren’t they by chance about an order of magnitude more expensive than beer? I wonder if I would find it easier to believe that I am a member of a class that rules the world if I could realistically afford having such refined alcohol tastes.

        A glass of Jack Daniels on the rocks is not all that much more expensive than a beer… except maybe a Bud Light. Neither is a glass of 12-year-old Glenlivet.

        Daiquiris and Martinis are not necessarily that much more expensive, either. It all depends on the brand and quality of alcohol being used. Just ask for the house rum, or house vodka, and the price generally is under $10 (or under $5 depending on the bar). Sure, it’s not the best quality, but, IMO, still better than beer.

        Long Island Iced Tea will be noticeably more expensive, but only because it’s a cocktail of different alcohols.

        All in all, however, if your intention is getting drunk, 2 or 3 glasses of 100 proof Captain Morgan Black Spice rum (depending on your tolerance) is ultimately cheaper than 8 or 9 cans of Budweiser.

        Yes, in this feminist/misandrist society you absolutely do need to include it, and women don’t, nevermind all the Debra LaFaves.

        I’ve already answered this.

        As to your link… I was actually a critic of that particular protest. I don’t believe those protestors should have removed or defaced those posters.

        One reason is because while I do believe in the right to protest, I do not believe in defacing property. Public place or not, defacing is wrong. Honestly, it should be illegal. I don’t care if it’s theists defacing atheist posters, atheists defacing theist posters, MRAs defacing feminist posters, feminists defacing MRA posters, and so on.

        But the other reason is because I was afraid that JohnTheOther and, by extension, AVfM, would do exactly what they did: spin the protest into a violent one (only one woman had a box cutter… no one else had it… and that box cutter was only being used to remove the posters; no one was threatened with it) and misread the complaint.

        The “wrong” painted onto that post was not in response to the tagline of the poster. It was in response to the implication of the poster; that such hatred is, like all the other things noted on the poster, an institutionalized oppression. In other words, the “wrong” was in response to the analogy, not the conclusion.

        Again, as I said above… misandry is actually a thing. But it is not equivalent in any way, shape, or form to misogyny, which has a history making it much worse.

        And I really do believe that if you all really want male rape victims to be taken seriously… really want it to be okay for men to want to work with children… really want men to be treated better in divorce courts and child custody battles… really want husbands to be portrayed better in commercials… than you’ll stop railing against feminism and join them in tearing down traditional gender roles, because it’s in those traditional gender roles that all this shit we men face lies.

      • TheSameDog says:

        Patriarchy is not the whole of the issue. It is a subset of a larger issue, known as the Kyriarchy.

        I have no problem with the notion of kyriarchy, so I have no reason to discuss it. I’d rather discuss “patriarchy” with you because that is a point of contention between us. I maintain that the meaning you attach to the term “patriarchy” is borderline-bigoted, and it does not become any less problematic when you install it as a component of a larger system of mostly unproblematic notions. An evil clown sitting on a shelf with teddy bears is still an evil clown.

        In point of fact, patriarchy is a religious institution. Gender roles and all that shit come from religious tradition, like the Bible.

        Sorry, but that statement is beyond ignorant. If anything, religion was co-opted as another means of enforcing preexisting gender roles.

        There is actually no historical evidence for a true matriarchy

        I am relieved to see that you are not of the “ancient golden age of women” persuasion.

        (…) that men were basically in control in most (NOT ALL!) civilizations throughout history and this is still true today is what the patriarchy is all about.

        It is not true that the group “men” is “basically in control”, for the simple reason that the vast majority of its members are not “in control” by any stretch of sophistry. I half expect that you will readily acknowledge this, but this will be just a token nod until you are ready to disabuse yourself of the feminist notion of “patriarchy” and the borgification of men inherent in it.

        However, I would argue that many MRAs are more guilty of misandry than at least many mainstream feminists, however.

        In fact, one of the best examples of misandry I can think of is when we blame female victims of rape for being raped. “What was she wearing?” “What was she saying?” “What was she doing?” “How was she acting?” Can you guess the unsaid assumption, here?

        These questions carry the inherent assumption that we men are base animals with little-to-no self control. If we see a woman, we will pounce.

        Not so fast. “Men are base animals” is not an assumption here. It is a conclusion of a reasoning that itself relies on certain hidden premises. Can you guess these?

        The unsaid premise is that if there are actual sexual differences in reliability of sexual impulse control between men and women, then the female pattern is the norm for Homo sapiens and the male pattern is a deviation that marks men as subhuman.

        This assumption is false, misandrist, and it is feminists who make it.

        And for the record, it is still wrong to rape.

  10. Alex Reynard says:

    Why? I’ll get to that in a second. First, to address a few other points in your essay:

    I don’t believe in the patriarchy because I don’t see evidence of a massive system that benefits men to the detriment of women. What I see is a set of ingrained gender roles that have evolved over thousands of years, giving both benefits and drawbacks to both sexes. Society treats men like adults: we get more power but face far more risk. Society treats women like children: protected from harm but kept ‘in their place’. And both genders aren’t taken seriously when they try to act like the other: women are shooed away when they try to enter traditionally-male spaces, and men are ignored and ridiculed when they’re victims in need of help. And none of this is the fault of either gender. It’s not caused by people, it’s caused by DNA. We evolved to survive in prehistoric times, and now in 2012 our instincts are screwing us over.

    I also find your assertion that ‘white men rule the world’ offensive. I’m white. I’m a guy. Do I rule the world? No. Do I rule anything? No. Why? Because I’m DIRT POOR. From everything I have observed, saying that white people run the world is inaccurate. RICH people run the world. I won’t deny that there are likely privileges to my race and gender that I’m not even aware of. But on the other hand, you shouldn’t deny that poverty can offset those privileges. Wasn’t there a story on the news recently about the Augusta golf club finally letting women play? One of them Condoleeza Rice? I’ll bet they wouldn’t even let my lily-white, male, empty-pocketed behind through the door.

    I look at the world and I see people of every gender, color and country suffering in different ways. And what do I see all of them doing? Getting offended at any other group who claims to be suffering too. I see an endless parade of, ‘You don’t have it as bad as we have it’. It shames me that instead of agreeing that anyone who’s in pain deserves comfort, we have to endlessly squabble over who gets comforted first.

    As to the question of why I’m an MRA, it’s because from what I’ve seen, your side isn’t doing its job.

    Every feminist will say that their movement is about equality. But from what I’ve observed, a lot of feminism’s early goals have been met. (Not all, of course.) The appalling institutionalized misogyny of past decades deserved to be toppled, yes. But while I agree that there are few women in positions of power now, isn’t there a hell of a lot more today than there were when feminism began? I see amazing strides that feminism has made, yet I also see feminists not acknowledging those strides. Like a kid on Christmas who moves on to her next present the second she finishes unwrapping the last one, feminism seems to reach milestone after milestone without its righteous anger ever diminishing. The things feminism is angry about nowadays? A lot of it seems to be biology rather than intentional prejudice. I don’t see from your side much acknowledgement that certain behaviors and ideas are hardwired into humans and, as much as we don’t like them, they will only change through time. We can no more conquer prejudice than we can win a war on terror. But no; feminists expect sexism to end NOW! Because they WANT IT TO! That seems, I’m sorry to say, unrealistic. We will always have war, we will always have murder, we will always have hatred and, yes, we will always have rape. Because humanity will always have assholes. From what I’ve seen, feminism is a movement that refuses to acknowledge that what it wants may not always be possible to get, no matter how painfully unfair that may be.

    I see too much of feminists succumbing to the same ‘ideology before reality’ thinking that afflicts a lot of other well-meaning groups. Groups who care more about how an action feels than its measurable results. PETA’s a good example. Even when I agree with their ideas, their methods are so repulsive they don’t accomplish much more than tainting the entire concept of animal rights. If feminism has a bad name, you should at least be willing to ask yourself the question of whether any of that reputation is deserved. I say this because I hold myself to it: when someone insults me, I ask myself if the insult is true. If it is, what can I change? And if it’s not true, do I still need to do more to make sure it stays not true?

    You argue that you don’t want your movement to be judged by its extremists? Reality check: ALL movements are judged by their extremists. And I genuinely believe it’s the responsibility of those within the group to corral their nutballs. I have no sympathy for Christians who try to distance themselves from the Westboro Baptists, and I have no sympathy for feminists who make the same ‘But that’s not what WE believe!’ arguments. If you want me to buy that, let me see evidence of it. I do my best to not keep my mind closed. I only started drifting towards the MRA side when I began seeing more and more examples of feminists acting against their stated goal of equality. Feminists acting out Orwell’s motto of ‘some animals are more equal than others’. I started asking myself why there were so many calls to end violence against women; shouldn’t a movement focused on equality be calling for an end to violence against Human Beings In General? I saw how, even though breast cancer receives more funding than any other cancer, there are still endless fundraisers devoted to ‘raising awareness’ of it. I saw how domestic violence is near-universally defined as a crime committed by men against women, when the facts are far grayer. I saw how there are battered women’s shelters, yet no battered men’s shelters, and I heard the unspeakably ugly justifications made for that fact when I brought it up. I saw female circumcision labeled a human rights violation, and men laughed at for daring to suggest that mutilating boy infants could be wrong as well.

    I simply do not see examples of feminists working for anyone besides themselves. But I have an open mind; show me some links and I’ll change my tune. Show me examples of large amounts of feminists engaging in activities that do not favor only/mostly women. Show me examples of feminists doing something that actually benefits men more than women, simply because any inequality is intolerable. Show me evidence that feminists as a whole are against ALL double standards, and not just the ones detrimental to them. Show me, in essence, that they’re doing the work that MRAs say needs to be done. Because if they’re not doing that work, then that’s a pretty good reason for MRAs to exist.

    The essential character of feminism I have seen is one of selfishness. ‘Me first. Me first. Fund my problems first. And don’t dare tell me yours.’

    And I suppose the men’s right’s movement is exactly the same. I don’t see them focusing on women’s problems much.

    But maybe if the men’s right’s movement starts gaining ground, acting just as selfishly as feminism, then maybe men will start getting the same governmental attention women get. Maybe as time goes on, disparity in divorce courts will be ironed out AND disparity in positions of power will be as well. Maybe more men will be safe from false sex crime accusations AND more women will be safe from sex crimes. Maybe we’ll actually see battered men’s shelters, or maybe we’ll simply have shelters that welcome all victims of domestic abuse. If we have two monolithic groups, both shouting for their side to get attention, maybe both sides will actually get it.

    Maybe the men’s movement will finally help create the equality that feminists are always saying they want so much.

    And yet… The reaction I see from feminism towards its mirror opposite has not been welcoming. Your bafflement is about as nice as I’ve seen. Instead, I see derision, outrage and hatred. Feminists seem to hate the idea that men would ask for the same kind of consideration women get. That doesn’t seem to jibe with a movement whose soul is truly the path to equality. I wonder why?

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