Why the Men’s Rights Movement is Garbage was published on Huffington post. Anne is projecting so hard we could use her as a lighthouse. While I agree that there are some issues with the MHRM, any big tent movement is going to have issues. Feminism is a big tent movement, and it’s got plenty of issues. The people that focus on the fringe, the people that claim the label but don’t act accordingly, are not really making a good point about the movement as a whole. PIV is always rape, OK? is the radical fringe of feminism. Trying to use this type of “Feminist” to discredit feminism just isn’t right. The author isn’t a leader of Feminism. The post doesn’t reflect the majority opinions and positions of feminism. This is the fringe of Feminism and not representative of the movement as a whole. So first point to Anne is Glass house and all that.
Now, lets look at the points She tries to make in the post.
First of all, yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But let’s not pretend that all opinions are created equal — some are based on fact, and some are total bullshit. Like, I could tell you that I believe that vaccines cause autism, and that would be my opinion, but it would also be demonstrably untrue. So let’s not pretend that all opinions should be given the same consideration, because we both know better than that.
This is very true. Opinions are like ass holes, every one has one and they all stink. The only point of disagreement here is that Anne’s opinion is an opinion and just as capable of being not fact based.
Second of all, let’s get one thing straight: men, as a group, do not face systematic oppression because of their gender.
So her first point against the MRHM and she’s already into disinformation and bullshit. While the MHRM runs counter to the feminist victim narrative, this does not make it incorrect. Gender is not the oppression of women. Gender is interconnected interdependent divisions of labor that places burdens on both men and women. To go through and spell out all of the systematic oppressions men face because of their gender would be dozens if not hundreds of pages, much like spelling out all of the systematic oppressions women face because of their gender. I’ll only point at one of the most obvious. It is perfectly legal for the government to kidnap men at gun point and gang press them into service. The only systematic oppression more clear than the governments ability to enslave men to the military would be chattel slavery that was outlawed more than 100 years ago.
MRAs believe that feminists are to blame for basically everything that’s wrong with their lives. The Men’s Rights Movement is a reactionary movement created specifically to counter feminism, and most (if not all) of their time and resources go towards silencing and marginalizing women.
Now we start in with the projection. No, MRA’s don’t believe that feminists are to blame for everything. This would be the position of feminism. Feminists blame basically everything that’s wrong with their lives on “The Patriarchy”, you know, MEN. Feminism is a reactionary movement created specifically to counter “The Patriarchy”, you know, MEN. Most of their time and resources go towards silencing and marginalizing men, you know, “The Patriarchy”.
They do things like starting the Don’t Be That Girl campaign, a campaign that accuses women of making false rape reports.
How horribly misogynistic of these people. I can’t believe that any one thinks women are actually PEOPLE. Because you know what, PEOPLE LIE, and women ARE people.
They attend feminist events in order to bully and intimidate women
Like These feminists?
They do literally nothing to actually resolve the problems that they claim to care about, and instead do everything they can to discredit the feminist movement.
MRA’s really do try to resolve these problems. Earl Silverman started one such shelter. He faces such stiff opposition to this project that he was driven to suicide. Who was opposing his shelter? Feminists trying to defend their victim narrative.
There are certainly issues that disproportionately affect men — the suicide rate among men is higher, as is the rate of homelessness. Men are more likely to be injured or killed on the job or because of violence. Men who are the victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault are less likely to report these things. These are the issues that MRAs are purportedly working on, and by “working on” I mean “blaming feminism for.”
So, there are Men’s Rights issues that need to be addressed. MRA’s don’t blame feminism for the existence of these problems the same way that feminist blame men for the existence of Women’s Rights issues. But these can’t be addressed properly under the feminist frame work of the “The Patriarchy”. The primary opposition to these issues is the feminist victim narrative.
The problem is that none of these things are caused by feminism, or equal rights for women, or anything like that. You know what’s actually to blame for a lot of these issues? Marginalizing forces like class and race, for one thing. I mean, it’s not rich white men who are grappling with homelessness or dangerous workplaces or gun violence. You know what else is to blame? Our patriarchal culture and its strictly enforced gender roles which, hey, happens to be exactly the same power structure that feminism is trying to take down.
The patriarchy has some fucked up ideas about masculinity, ideas that make men less likely to seek help for issues that they perceive to be too feminine — such as being hurt or raped by a female partner, not being able to provide for themselves, or not seeking help for health issues like depression and anxiety.
Well except for the fact that Feminism IS to blame. Lets look at how. Mary Koss is not the radical hateful sexist bigoted fringe. She is a feminist leader with real pull and power and influence in the government. She advised the CDC on how to report Rape in the NIPSV. She got rape defined in such a way as to exclude almost all of the male victims and female perps. This is some very fucked up ideas of masculinity. If this is “The Patriarchy” then feminism IS “The Patriarchy”. 50% of rape victims are Male, and 40% of rapists are Female. VAWA is the Violence Against WOMEN Act. It did a great deal to make men less likely to seek help by making sure no help was available. VAWA was pushed through by NOW (The National Organization of Women). This would make NOW “The Patriarchy”. Then we have “Primary Aggressor Laws” that are supported by feminists. These laws in affect say that when responding to domestic violence, arrest the MAN. This is some seriously fucked up ideas about masculinity. If this is “The Patriarchy” then Feminism is “The Patriarchy”.
On a societal level, it means that resources are not as readily available for men who face these challenges, because patriarchal ideas tell our courts, our governments and our charitable organizations that men don’t ever need that kind of help.
So Feminist support for VAWA, “Primary Aggressor” laws, a bigoted definition of Rape, The Dulth Model of Domestic Violence, and “Rape Culture” are the patriarchal ideas that tell our courts our government and our charitable organizations that men don’t ever need that kind of help. It is “The Patriarchy” ie Feminism that MRA’s SHOULD fight against.
See, the problem with the Men’s Rights Movement is that they are not doing anything concrete to resolve any of the above issues. They are not raising money to open shelters for homeless or abused men. They are not starting up suicide hotlines for men. They are not lobbying for safer workplaces or gun control.
But MRA’s DO actually attempt this kind of stuff. I’ve already told you of Earl Silverman. Attempts MRA’s have made at raising the money needed to open shelters or start a suicide hotline for men have run into the wall of the Feminist Victim Narrative, or as you call it “The Patriarchy”. Step one in Men’s Rights Activism, in any human rights activism, is not change the laws and recive funding and actually start making a difference. Step one is to raise awareness so that people know that these issues exist and need to be addressed. This is what MRA’s are doing today, raising awareness of men’s issues. The goal is to raise awareness of men’s issues, not “Blame Feminism” or Roll back the clocks on women’s rights. Raising awareness of Men’s issues disrupts the Feminist victim narative of female oppression, and this is where MRA’s Butt heads with Feminists.
So yes, let’s talk about issues that affect men. Let’s come up with solutions for problems that disproportionately hurt men, like suicide and homelessness and violent deaths (while at the same time recognizing that the fact that there are issues that affect more men than women does not mean that men are oppressed because of their gender). Let’s work on opening up shelters for abused men, let’s create campaigns bringing awareness to the fact that men are also the victims of rape, and let’s pressure the government to improve workplace safety. But let’s find a way to do this that’s not at the expense of women.
So How do you propose that we address the issues like Men committing suicide and the hugely disproportionate number of male homeless and the number of violent deaths as Men’s issues without it being at the expense of women? This sounds like a great idea to me, but the only way I see to address these men’s issues is to disrupt and destroy the Feminist victim narrative of female oppression, and that would “hurt women”. I am open to suggestions if you actually have one and are not just talking out of your ass.
Shelters for abused men. Great. Step one, disrupt the Feminist Victim Narrative of female oppression so that we can Change VAWA into Domestic Violence Elimination Act and actually have shelters for abused men be something that can get funding and support.
Awareness of male rape victims. Great. Step one, disrupt the Feminist Victim Narrative of female oppression so that we can change the definition of Rape used in victimization studies to one that reflects the full extent of male victimization, not one that is engineered to make rape look like a predominantly/exclusively female victimization issue.
Male workplace deaths, I disagree that we need to pressure the government to make better labor laws. We need to gender integrate the workforce so that the dangerous/high paying jobs are not only done by men. Step one, you guessed it. Disrupt the Feminist Victim Narrative of Female oppression so that we can meaningfully talk about the sexist exclusions men face in fields like child care.
Feminism did not CAUSE most of the men’s rights issues. The few that feminism did cause where unintended side affects, not primary goals. MRA’s Don’t rally against feminism because feminism CAUSED the issues, but because feminism is they primary force/movement in opposition to getting the issues addressed and resolved.