On Being a Feminist Men’s Rights Activist

 

Why would an insightful feminist not also be an MRA (Men’s Rights Activist). Do all men enjoy their full rights? Do they deserve them? Much hilarity has ensued over MRA’s circulation of pie-charts depicting their greater proportions of deaths at work and number in prison, etc, compared to women. It is unclear what the point intended is- it certainly isn’t proof of sexism if that’s what it’s supposed to be- but they are indicative of areas where large minorities of men’s rights are at risk and need to be defended.

 

We’ve been sending boys to Iraq and Afghanistan without adequate equipment. Ex-servicemen then have disproportionately high levels of joblessness, homelessness and conviction. Prisoners rights are routinely violated. These are all vitally important men’s rights issues and they affect families, i.e. women. I saw a heartbreaking photography project from a US death row that had only just allowed the inmates to have their photographs taken, so their families’ most recent pictures were from before they went in, potentially 25, 40 years ago… [I have tried and tried to locate it but I bloody can’t, it must be on my Twitter and Facebook timelines somewhere… Watch this space] Furthermore we mustn’t forget that there is a minority of women in these male dominated worlds and what are feminists to do with them? Struggle to obtain for them more rights than their male counterparts- or abandon them for having abandoned their preordained stereotypes?

 

Feminism has had major successes, our rights have grown massively (even in recent history) and many feminist attitudes are enforced on society in a way completely at odds with the way men are often the accepted butt of jokes. I don’t wash with the ‘no sexism without historical precedent’ argument, I believe we’re all born equal and that’s how we should be treated. But it’s an oft cited presumption of intersectionalism (the study of how different forms of oppression interact) in feminism which is pushing men further out of progressive discussions, especially white men, and throwing them under the bus for sport. Whilst, in the real world, class based oppression is virulent and growing and should be one of the areas intersectionalists are really getting to grips with and connecting with MRA’s about.

 

It really is time to step back from ridiculing MRA’s- for every stupid thing I’ve heard from an MRA (they’re people, some people are stupid) I’ve heard several from feminists (we’ve been going longer and there are more of us, that’s why that is). Our fight is the same fight. Neither MRA’s nor feminists will ever ‘achieve our aims’ or be closer than the other because both movements are responsive to situations and populations that are ever-changing. Neither will ever benefit from dehumanising the other. We should be working together against the real enemies of equality.

Image

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Standard

12 thoughts on “On Being a Feminist Men’s Rights Activist

  1. THIS IS WHERE YOU NAILED THE POST –
    “Neither will ever benefit from dehumanising the other. We should be working together against the real enemies of equality.”

    Sad thing very very few people realize that .

    • Thank you! Very few people within these movements do seem to realise that, you’re right, in-fighting in activism is great if it means productive debate but more often it’s just stagnant misdirected aggression.

      • It’s hard to empathise with feminists, especially when almost every MRA concedes women’s issues while the majority of feminists merrily bash on men and outright abuse MRAs.
        Feminists like to use backlash from the MRM as proof of misogyny, all the while retweeting #killallmen (which still gets used)

        Seems that for feminists, anything that negatively effects women is misogyny (even if it also effects women) but nothing that effects men, even if it effects only/mostly men and targets their gender is sexism. Misandry doesn’t even appear in a lot of spell checks because that’s some hilarious feminist trolling.
        You’re not wrong that feminists spout more idiocy than MRAs, and goodness knows I argue with MRAs a lot, but the MRM as a whole is simply better and more open to egalitarianism than feminism is.
        You can tell because feminists are welcome in the MRM, as are unaffiliated people like myself.
        For feminists: you’re either a feminist or a bigot.

    • No, thank you! I think there are people thinking it but not vocalising it, for fear of tempting the wrath of less level headed feminists who are so vocal online… (No backlash so far…) x

  2. There’s sensible talking. I think there are some thinkers on both sides who are more capable of peacemaking than others, but I’ve been working on an article called “10 Feminists MRA’s will like”. I fear though, they will also be 10 feminists a lot of feminists don’t like, and we know this because in some cases they are women that have received vitriolic attack from other feminists. Similarly there’s some suspicion amongst the ranks of the MRM towards even feminists that are on their side (to be honest even the FeMRAs come under suspicion in the broader manosphere, usually from MGTOWs rather than MRAs). But the views of Warren Farrell and Karen De Crow are pretty much aligned, the only difference being one is a man and one is a woman. Both advocate empathy for the other genders experience and that all inequalities are double-sided. Karen worked with the men’s movement and Father’s rights groups in the eighties to campaign for unisex baby changing facilities, or male ones to compliment existing female ones. That’s a tangible societal change – we can see that in day to day life and perhaps take it forgranted now.

    “One of the real sorrows of my life is that in the battle between the sexes, men and women will go practically to the ends of the earth in illogical, irrational ways to give each other pain” – Karen De Crow

    It won’t be easy, because whilst by no means all inequalities against men are caused by feminism, and in fact pretty much ALL are variants of traditional ancient expectations of and assumptions about men, but exacerbated or twisted into a double bind by the pressures of a gender equality movement that, for the most part, has only had one genders interests at heart – so there will be criticism, and some discomfort, and it may involve changing the language of our discourse.

    I got the impression from a radfems I wound up arguing with about a year ago, that there is an opinion or fear that MRAs want to turn back the clock to traditionalism. So just to demonstrate that we don’t just call misandry out when it is found in feminism and we are by no means traditionalists I want to leave this here. This is Donahue, in which Warren Farrell (who was a great influence on the development of the MRM) is in debate with tradcon George Gilder – it makes a refreshing contrast with the skirmishes between MRAs and feminists and probably (by giving a common enemy) it shows where our common ground lies.

  3. What I find insufferable about the men’s rights movement is that it mirrors everything objectionable about gender feminism: cataloging and warehousing grievances, a tendency to view the opposite sex as an enemy, and endless harangue.

    I have spent the last couple of years deciding what I think of modern feminism, and mostly it seems a self-limiting disease, for ultimately it needs the consent and cooperation of men in order to achieve its aims. That the feminists do not understand this can be seen in some of the larger and sillier actions on Twitter, e.g. the reductive and impotent #YesAllWomen/#NotAllMen hashtag wars that ultimately both talked past their intended audience. Stealing a line from Lincoln, we must not be enemies, but friends; yet friendship must ultimately be based on mutual trust and good feelings, something that core feminist dogma ultimately precludes. (The notions of “patriarchy”, “rape culture”, and “male privilege” all give the believer a justification for misandry, and are expressions of it.) I’ll grant many self-described feminists do not adhere to these beliefs (and many may be greatly puzzled by them), but until we have a poll of self-described feminists and what they believe, feminism will largely be a case of the blind men and the elephant, each viewer seeing what he wants to, or can, from the subject.

  4. mindphuk says:

    Just a short note, there is a word for this: Humanism. That’s where fight can be done for all humans unbiased of gender, race, or cultural belief. I know feminists see themself as offspring of humanism, but some feminists already started to dispise humanism because many things some of them claim don’t fit on the humanist agenda because it’s not about equality anymore.
    There’s no need for feminism and MRA acting as antiparts against each other, if both return to the ideals of humanism.

  5. christmastiger says:

    I think there is progress being made in these areas as of recently, many more of the feminists I encounter are accepting that we need to be fighting against these gender rules in society that enforce negative stereotypes about each gender–obviously that’s a war that will be impossible to win if it doesn’t gain support, I just only wish certain men who attack me for being a feminist understood that I care just as much about their rights too.
    People think because you support women’s rights you can’t support mens as well.
    Or if you call yourself a “feminist” it defines you, even if you care about the rights of all minority groups–race, gender, religion, sexual preference, class, or disabled.

    The fact that TV shows and movies still so casually throw around phrases when talking about the prospect of the male main character going to jail: “A pretty boy like you wouldn’t last long in there” or “don’t drop the soap” and those are used as punchlines. Even other men tease a guy who admits to having been raped, I try to do my best to tell him to ignore them and that his situation deserves to be taken seriously.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s