The Problem with the Men’s Rights Movement

I study gender.  Specifically, I study masculinities in social and political contexts.  I examine how masculine gender patterns are formed, how they are reproduced, and how they are maintained.  Put simply, I study maleness in North American society.  I say this so that it might underscore what I am about to say:  the “men’s rights” movement is a hollow and empty thing, built more out of frustration at a perceived loss of social status and a misunderstanding of feminism than out of any legitimate grievances.  Before I go any further, I’m going to define the words I am using.

“Misandry”: The dislike or mistreatment of men.  I understand there to be two distinct – though related – forms of misandry: the structural or systemic form, and the personal or individual form.  Structural Misandry refers to institutional or systemic practices in a society which unfairly disadvantage or harm men as a group.  Personal Misandry refers to the attitudes of a particular person with regards to their feelings about men.

“Men’s Rights Movement/Men’s Rights Activism”: a social and political movement where the “ … focus is on promoting activism in support of men’s rights and equality, and providing readers with… way[s] to inform and empower men’s rights activists in their goals to create a more just and fair society.”

The past 60 years have been marked by an explosion in civil rights activism.  Women’s rights, gay rights (more so in Canada and Western Europe than in America), minority rights, and increasingly transperson’s rights and the rights of non-human animals have all steadily marched forwards (for the most part).  This activism has been marked in places by physical violence, legal penalty, and more often by scorn, derision, and dismissal.  And yet, at the close of the first decade of the 21st Century, we can say that our society has never been more equal or fair – although that’s not to say that it is fair, just less unfair than in times past. In Canada for example, women’s pay, while better than it has been in years, still lags well behind a man’s pay and the numbers are worse for women of colour. There is a long, difficult road ahead, as activists struggle to guide and shape social change in order to more firmly establish those hard-won rights, but progress is clearly possible.

Not everything is sunshine and rainbows though.  In Canada, only 22% of all seats in parliament are held by women; in the United States, the number is closer to 17%.

On the list of Fortune 500 CEOs, women make up a mere 3.6%, while holding an exact same percentage of Fortune 1000 positions.

The numbers in academia, while less dismal, are still negative, with women holding roughly 30% of the professorial positions at Canadian universities.  The numbers in the United States are similar.

In other words, men control the majority of the levers of power in our society; from politics to business to academics, men hold the overwhelming majority of control, influence, and prestige.  To date, women are still considered the primary caregivers in the family, and women continue to shoulder much of the unpaid work that is done in the home – roughly twice the amount of work as men – even after they have increasingly become part of the formal workforce.

It is against this backdrop that we must examine the “men’s rights” movement.  Ostensibly concerned with ‘promoting equal rights for men’, the movement in general tends more often than not, to serve as an opponent of what is often referred to in MRMs as ‘radical feminism’.  But what sort of topics do “men’s rights activists” (MRAs) spend most of their time on?  Well, they spend their time wondering if men ought to have an ‘equal’ say in the reproductive choices of women; they lament the mistreatment of men at the hands of the justice system – particularly the parts that deal with parental rights.  MRAs feel that more often than not, women are awarded full custody of children simply because they are female, and finally, and perhaps most ludicrously, MRAs spend an almost creepy amount of time concerning themselves with the horrible ‘epidemic’ of “false rape accusations” that threaten to destroy men’s lives and ruin them financially.  Let’s take a quick look at these areas of concern.

Men ought to have a say in a woman’s reproductive health choices (including the choice to abort or not)

Put simply, if a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy, but her partner does not, should the man be able to force the woman to carry the child to term?

Um, no – at least not without explicitly endorsing a position that is both anti-choice and anti-autonomy.  If MRAs truly believe that men and women ought to be equal in the eyes of the law, and they believe that a person ought to have autonomy over their own body, then they must accept that women, as autonomous agents, have control over their own bodies.  To argue otherwise is to show that MRAs in fact believe that women should be less autonomous than men.  As MRAs are often so fond of saying, women and men’s bodies are different in some respects, and this is one of them.  If MRAs don’t want to be fathers, then they should buy condoms, use them every time, and maybe get a vasectomy.  Men don’t carry children; women do.  Until this changes, the principle of autonomy would seem to indicate that the person whose body is being used by the fetus should be the one to determine its fate.

Well then, shouldn’t men be able to renounce their parental responsibilities in the case of an unwanted pregnancy?

They can.  Parental Responsibility is a legal concept and one that men are able to renounce – provided that a guardian (such as a step-parent) is willing to take on the responsibility.  Currently there is no way for a father to get out of paying child support for such a child however, unless a step-parent agrees to take that on as well.  So what’s the lesson to take from this?  Sex has consequences, one of which is the potential for parenthood.  If a man has no desire for children and has no desire to pay for any potential children he may produce, he should a) ensure that he is responsible for birth control (condoms w/ spermicide, etc) and b) be up front about his lack of desire for children.  It’s helpful to remember that these laws were put in place historically because men refused to take responsibility for a distressing number of children.  Now that there are laws in place to protect women against the ‘bastardization’ of children by unwilling fathers, there has arisen a new source of tension; the rights of the mother and the rights of the child versus the rights of the father.  By having sex, men implicitly accept that children might result and so implicitly accept the responsibility of caring for that child.  Don’t like that idea?  Don’t have sex.  Pretty simple, really.  Part of being a mature individual when it comes to sex and sexuality is to acknowledge the risks of sexual activity – including the risk of having children – and since any thinking man must recognize that at least half of the process is outside of his direct control, he must also recognize that there ought to be a level of trust between himself and his sexual partner.  If he doesn’t have that trust, or doesn’t bother to find out if he does, then I’d say that’s a bit of a problem for him, isn’t it?

The only way that these rather petulant demands for a legal way out of paying child support make sense is if the man is looking for consequence-free sexual activity on his part.  If that’s the case, then may I offer a suggestion?

The Justice System is biased against men, because women usually get custody of their children.

Women are more likely to get custody of their children, because women are more likely to ask for custody.  In cases where men ask for custody, they often receive it.  If a man wants his children, and if he can make the case that he can provide a safe home and a comfortable life for them, then he stands a pretty good chance of getting them.  This myth of bias is most often ‘supported’ by anecdote or testimonial, not hard data.  In the first place, the law in the United States gives no explicit preference to any gender, and second, more often than not custody is determined outside of the courtroom – either through arbitration or informal discussion.*

There is also a bit of an assumptive bias present here, because many MRAs seem to operate under the assumption that either women are more nurturing or that they at least appear to be.  Either one of these positions effectively generalizes about the ‘nature’ of women or of women’s roles in society, and if true of MRA’s beliefs about women, indicates a sexist view of women that predisposes MRAs to think a certain way about women and mothers.  In other words, if an MRA believes that women are ‘naturally’ better mothers (or society at large believes them to be), then he may be misled into thinking that legal institutions are therefore biased against men.

What about male victims of ‘false rape’ accusations?  Surely men are more often than not the victim of such accusations, and their lives are ruined forever by them.  Isn’t this wrong?

Yep, false rape accusations sure are terrible and wrong; thankfully there are few of them.  It is an extremely difficult thing to pin down the numbers of ‘false rapes’ that are reported, and one of the largest confounding factors is that within the law enforcement agencies of the developed world (including the United States) law enforcement agents tend to believe that as many as 75% of all rapes reported are fake.  This folk belief is not just troubling, it’s profoundly misogynistic.  Imagine this: at your local cop shop, the chances are good that many of the men there believe that 3 out of every 4 women who report a rape are liars.  And people wonder why so few rapes are actually reported.  Of those rapes that are reported, studies seem to indicate that between 2%-8% might actually be fraudulent.**  If MRAs are so concerned with ‘equal rights’, then they should be absolutely furious that so many police officers seem to believe that the majority of women are liars or vindictive bitches when the evidence indicates precisely the opposite.

This is another area of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) where anecdote and second-hand testimony seem to carry the day.  An example of this are the common ‘false rape’ threads in the “Men’s Rights” subreddit, where even testimonies of questionable validity are taken as gospel that women are all out to ruin any man who has sex with them, or that women will cry ‘rape’ even if the person she accuses is just a boyfriend who likes sex rough (even if she says ‘no’).

The point I’m trying to make is this:  Men don’t need an advocacy group in the same way that whites don’t need a special ‘history month’.  Men are the dominant force in our society.  Men control governments, corporations, religious institutions, educational institutions, and charitable organizations.  Yes, it is absolutely true that individual men can be taken advantage of, discriminated against, or made to feel weak, small, or inadequate, but it’s important to remember that it’s all taking place at the top of the social pyramid.  It’s true that more men fight and die in wars, but only because until recently women weren’t even allowed to fight.  More men are in prison, but more men commit crimes.  That’s not the fault of women or of feminism; it’s not some gynocentric conspiracy to keep men down.  It points to systemic problems (in a system run and organized by men, mind you) that place men in impossible positions.  Some women can be accused of misandry, but that’s not the same as saying that the entire system is biased against men, because it’s not.  Any man who thinks otherwise is simply not seeing his own privilege.

Feminism has often been called the “… radical idea that women are people”.  What is it about this that MRAs have a problem with?

* Cancian, Maria, Meyer, Daniel R. “Who Gets Custody?”, Demography, Volume 35-Number 2, May 1998

**  Philip N.S. Rumney (2006). FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF RAPE. The Cambridge Law Journal, 65 , pp 128-158 doi:10.1017/S0008197306007069

PS: One of the single most disgusting aspects of many MRM groups is the almost pathological need for member to engage in rape apologetics or to admit to a ‘technical’ rape, but argue that the rapist is, in fact, the victim. [TRIGGER WARNING] The links above (particularly the second) contain some fairly graphic and disgusting descriptions of what appears to be a full-on rape – a rape that is somehow ‘not really a rape’ for some fucked up reason or another.

UPDATE:

Well, it appears that I am not the only one who has a problem with the rampant misogyny of the Men’s Rights Movement; the Southern Poverty Law Center, a social justice advocacy organization in the United States, has rightly chosen to add the movement to a list of movements that spread hate.  Good on them.  Maybe this will force the MRM to begin a serious round of introspection and reflection.  There are legitimate issues that affect men that demand attention, but the current configuration of the Men’s Rights Movement does more harm than good.

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121 responses to “The Problem with the Men’s Rights Movement

  1. I am suing Europe’s largest gender studies department, at LSE, for its use of victim-female strategic frames.

    The court hearing date is March 13th.

    You can read all the press, listen to the interviews, watch the youtube video, and make up your own minds about men’s rights activists, at the sexismbusters website.

    • Hm, that’s interesting Tom, I think I’m going to dig through your site to take a look at your ‘A-Z List of References’. I assume these constitute evidence that men are discriminated against?

      I can see why the university dismissed your case out of turn, if the crap on your site constitutes the bulk of your ‘evidence’. Half of the garbage on there is either a distortion or misunderstanding of basic statistics. You claim that men are discriminated against because more men die in combat for example or because men are more likely than women to be suicide bombers. I addressed the problem with your first claim in my post, and as for the second, men are more likely to be suicide bombers in terrorist attacks because in those societies, women are more likely than not to be deemed inferior to their male counterparts and often forbidden from even leaving the home! Men are discriminated against because men choose to blow themselves up? You cite examples from authoritarian, patriarchal societies as ‘proof’ that men are discriminated against? Are you high?

      You want a ‘Minister for Men’s issues’ in government? Why? Men already absolutely and completely dominate virtually every branch of government in every single western nation. Why does there need to be a special ministry for the group that holds the most power? Should the Canadian government create a special ministry for the advancement of White issues? How ridiculous.

      Men are ‘discriminated’ against because they are sometimes mocked for wigs in public? So men who discriminate against other men in a male-dominated society is somehow a problem of feminism?

      Women get ‘women’s hour’ type shows on TV, but nothing for men… Right, because there aren’t entire friggin channels devoted to men’s interests. I guess it doesn’t occur to you that the vast majority of the sports that are broadcast on every single sports channel are from men’s leagues, sportscasted by men (or attractive women), and sponsored by male-oriented products? Or that the bulk of the audience is male?

      The UN ‘unfairly’ discusses women’s issues? Yeah, it’s not like women are commonly barred from working outside of the home and so dependent on male relatives, or disproportionately the targets of rape as a tool of war or anything.

      You’re actually whinging about how men were pushed off of a ‘women only’ train carriage in India – a policy instituted by men in a male-dominated, patriarchal society as a way of reinforcing gender division and hierarchy? So men force women – by law – to ride in women only carriages and therefore men are the victims?

      Most of the sources you’ve linked to on your site are from “Men’s Rights” groups – it’s like using oil industry sources to research how totally awesome and environmentally friendly petroleum is. Your sources are weak, your arguments are lame, and you seem to be militantly opposed to even attempting to understand your own privileged position. Maybe next time, rather than getting whiny and mad and dropping out of school, you suck it up, study hard, and try to learn something.

      You. Are. Not. A. Victim. Have fun in court. Don’t be too disappointed when your specious claims are dismissed.

  2. Oh, and another quick point. You claim that men are discriminated against in the porn industry because ‘men have to bodybuild for porn, but women just have to show up’.
    1. No
    2. Fucking hell no.
    3. Are you seriously going to argue that? Even the most cursory examination of the porn industry will highlight that your claim isn’t true IN ANY SENSE. Women are degraded, abused, pressured to augment their breasts and trim their labia, perform enemas before shoots so that their anal sex scenes are more attractive. Yep, those poor, poor men, so abused because they are forced – FORCED – to work out a few times a week. My heart bleeds.

  3. “I study gender. Specifically, I study masculinities in social and political contexts. I examine how masculine gender patterns are formed, how they are reproduced, and how they are maintained. Put simply, I study maleness in North American society.”

    And end up hating and castigating men while studying them. Sounds like a feminist to me, LOL Good luck with your case Tom Martin.

    NO JUSTICE,
    NO PEACE.

    Seeing what you feminist males and women have done to the black community while castigating the men and denying rights to their children your my ETERNAL ENEMY NOW.

    Racists man-haters.

  4. Neutral Party

    You sound like a generally unpleasant person. I am sorry for whatever terrible experience you went through that makes you dislike men so much, and whatever else prevents you from responding to criticism in an unaffected manner.

    • Ah, I see. So some random can call me a ‘racist man-hater’ and declares that I am his ETERNAL ENEMY and “I” am the one who can’t discuss things in an ‘unaffected manner’? Are you serious?

      I am a man – I just happen to be one that recognizes that men aren’t some sort of ‘oppressed’ or ‘disadvantaged’ group. I don’t reject the men’s rights movement because I “hate men”, I reject the movement because it is intellectually hollow and more than a little sexist. Men aren’t somehow lacking rights in our society; for virtually the entire history of western civilization, men have been the ones who’ve decided what rights to give to other people. The best way to address men’s issues is to, you know, address men’s issues, as opposed to whinging and complaining about how ‘teh wimminz are totes oppressing us because feminazis’ or whatever other kinds of bullshit MRAs spew.

      If you have an actual criticism to make, then how about making it? Stop hiding behind your passive-aggressive ad hominems? If you can’t – or won’t – address something I’ve actually said, then how about you scurry back to your little MRM pity party where you can regurgitate the same tired talking points over and over to the adulation of your peers?

  5. Gotta give you some love for this article. I hate that whenever any power structure is criticized online, everyone from the privileged group goes on the offense. You are spot on and your comment replies are funny. Cool that you have the patience.

    I found your article after posting this http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/a-war-on-women on fb and having a bunch of men shit bricks about it. A cursory glance at the MRM reveals it as a hate group. http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/FRtactic.html

    Thanks for the footnotes.

  6. I want to thank you too! Thanks soooo much for writing this.

    • You’re very welcome, Celine. One of the greatest obstacles to true gender equity is the refusal by many men to recognize their privilege and their denial of any involvement in perpetuating it. This isn’t about ‘forcing’ men to lose their ‘rights': it’s about encouraging men to share their privilege with everyone else – to let marginalized voices share equally in the conversations that build society.

  7. I’m currently under fire by a bunch of MRA’s for a youtube video I made (hundreds of comments in a day) and, man, while I feel you summed up what I said much more articulately, I can’t believe that they don’t get what we’re saying. I’m perplexed as to where to go from here. Do we just let them burn themselves out with rage or would that just allow them to organize and start actually committing hate crimes specifically to “teach women a lesson” (something I honestly fear considering their obsession with blaming the victim for rape). But at least it gave me some comfort tonight when I brought up the whole scandal to my most offensive, right-winged male friend, who proceeded to laugh his ass off at the concept. He was like, “Even I know that’s a bunch of bullshit!”

    Anyways, I’m expecting my face to be used for target practice, but at least I can reassure myself with excellent articles like this. They’re trying to convince me that I’m an idiot and I’m lying/delusional/misandrist… couldn’t be farther from the truth because I love the men in my life, the ones who you know, treat me as an equal and don’t think assaulting or harassing me is ok, and I am surrounded by male friends when I go out. I just can’t deal with reading these men’s rights activist comments that are so hateful, spiteful, and dangerous. But I mean, I’m irrational because they say I’m irrational. I’m lying because they say I’m lying. If they beat it into me enough hopefully that’ll drive me to sit back down and shut the fuck up, right?

    Anyways, great article, it gave me a good laugh after a long day of youtube battles.

    • I’m glad you were able to get some laughter and happiness from my post! Glad to be of service!

      I feel that this needs to be stated time and again: just because I don’t subscribe to the irrational bull-pucky of the Men’s Rights Movement does not mean that I am a ‘misandrist’ or a ‘feminazi’ or otherwise hateful of men… especially since I am one. For the record, in my academic career I study masculinities; understanding the internal dynamics of masculine gender patterns is sort of my bag. I honestly want to try and help men navigate the complexities of being a man in our society; I just happen to think that the MRM is a load of anti-woman bullshit dressed up as ‘equalism’.

      • Amen. I’ve been repeatedly told that women are partially responsible for their rapes and expected to weep for the men in jail who are being raped in the same breath… what? I mean, I do feel for the men who are raped in jail, 100%. But they can’t see the hypocrisy in pointing out women as the cause of their own victimization, but that men are not?

        I was also told that they would not respect my opinions until I subscribed to ALL of theirs. I just… I can’t. I stopped commenting on my own video because I was being dogpiled by hundreds of comments and then claimed victory over because I was not physically able to respond to each and every one. But after that whirlwind it’s just refreshing to see a man who is speaking about his inequalities without 1. Blaming them on the opposite gender, 2. Demonizing the other gender in the next sentence, 3. Not telling me that I’m completely irrational for recognizing sexism and misogyny when I see it.

  8. ‘If MRAs don’t want to be fathers, then they should buy condoms, use them every time, and maybe get a vasectomy’

    This comment shows clearly the single sided view of your article.

    Both men and woman have a responsibility to take all precaution when having casual sex. If a woman does not want her body to undergo changes caused by an unwanted pregnancy then she should ensure that either her or her partner are using adequate contraception. Failing that she should get her tubes tied.

    As a man I would be devistated to know that my child was ripped to shreds and thrown in to an sporting bucket because of my own lack of responsibility. It would affect me for the rest of my life. But my beliefs and rights are not protected.

    Remember, the biggest victims of oppression are the oppressors. Woman’s rights are extremely important but if the feminist movement goes to far, just exactly who looses out the most.

    We need a movement that protects men and woman as equal part of the same species. We need to do more to end the war between the sexes.

    Most men don’t hold the leverages of power, most men don’t control the political landscape, most men don’t wage war and most men aren’t out to oppress female kind. Most men are just as vulnerable as woman are in this world.

    We will never get it right until we work together.

    Your article is aggressive in its nature. It’s single sided and full of slander. Good luck if that’s how you choose to live your life.

    • So wait, the biggest victim of oppression are the oppressors? According to who? What does that even mean? So the victims of the Rwandan genocide weren’t the ‘biggest victims’ – the Hutu Genocidaires were? Seriously, stop and think about what you just wrote.

  9. Ideologie Kritik

    If you do a little research, you’l find that Men’s Rights Activists do make some legitimate claims: the overwhelming majority of unsheltered homeless people are men, there’s a great deal of ambiguity in statistics about gendered domestic violence, recent labor bureau statistics indicate that single, childless women in their 20s in fact now make more money than men in almost every major US city (and, in some instances, by quite a wide margin – $1.18 to $1.00 in Dallas, for instance), women are getting bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees at higher rates than men, the incarcerated population is overwhelmingly male (and to my knowledge, the point was never to “blame women” for this, merely to call attention to it, recognize it exists in a gendered context, and point out that it’s being largely ignored because men are the ones who are experiencing detriment because of it), and there are millions of men who are sexually assaulted internationally in war situations (not as many as there are women, but the spread is not as dramatic as you might imagine) and almost no organizations prepared to provide them with any assistance (whereas there are a few hundred ready to assist women in similar situations). This makes the SPLC’s recent branding of Men’s Rights websites as hate groups somewhat problematic.

    Of course, beyond the fact that some of the arguments are completely off base or paranoid, there is hatred that exhibits itself in these communities (more frequently in the comments than in the articles themselves), but the same can be said for the feminist blogosphere (which, in extreme instances, really does advocate for eugenics – the scary part about it is that these arguments are sometimes written by remarkably articulate people), I guess my point is that’s it’s much more valuable to do actual thinking about these issues than to point and laugh at how stupid any particular MRA might be or to revel in how much of a crazy bitch Valerie Solanas was. I’ve already met at least one feminist who also identifies as a Men’s Rights Activist. I think there’s going be quite a shake-up with regards to the whole thing in the next decade. I’m looking forward to it. If we don’t blow it it might be a chance to actually put a fair gender paradigm together.

    What I think is detrimental and shortsighted on behalf of feminists is this attitude that entails immediately dissmissing the MRM out of hand as a thinly veiled vessel for misogyny, and I think much of the feminist community has gotten all too used to shortsightedly dismissing any dissenting voice as an expression of misogyny . It’s really not helpful to make these comments that assume having a problem with false rape allegations is the same thing as defending sexual assault and sexual harassment.

    Why not pay attention to the legitimate claims being made here and incorporate them into a larger movement that actually brings us all closer to gender equality? The other option is to continue with the outright dismissals, which will make it more likely that a bona-fide reactionary movement grows out of this. That is, if you’re concernd about some scary anti-woman hate-crime-committing movement growing out of this, why not avoid feeding the isolation these guys already feel, why not deal with the legitimate claims that have been made and do what you can to direct them towards something positive and productive for everyone?

    What do you think of GirlWritesWhat? She seems to be taking the most sensible ideas that have come out of the (admittedly chaotic and sometimes hateful and idiotic) MRM and distilling them into a remarkably well argued new logical paradigm. She relies heavily on evolutionary biology, but is remarkably difficult to refute.

    • Your entire first paragraph is problematic for one simple reason: every single one of those issues is being examined by political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and gender theorists. No one is ‘ignoring’ any of these things. The notion that somehow men and men’s issues are being ignored is simply ridiculous.

      What’s more, despite all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the MRM about these issues, there had been, to my knowledge, no body of peer-reviewed literature generated by the movement. Instead what we find are dozens of websites and forums that consist of litanies of all the “horrible ways men are oppressed” or somehow mistreated by society, but it’s almost never the case that the source of these issues, namely how men treat other men is discussed. Instead, on pretty much every. single. website. I have been on, the great bogeyman of ‘radical feminism’ or the ‘feminist agenda’ is invoked to explain it all away.

      The idea that feminism does not move us all towards gender equality is simply untrue and emblematic of the lack of awareness of many who are involved in the MRM.

      Finally, the argument that “well both sides have their extremists” ignores the fact that in just about every case, the extremists of the feminist movement are relegated to the fringe while misogynists and ‘anti-feminists’ are welcomed by the core membership of the MRM.

      Lastly, GWW: Yeah, she doesn’t sound articulate and sensible: she sounds conspiratorial, reactionary, and frankly, just plain wrong. She alleges in one of her more breathtaking videos, that men are apparently being ‘dehumanized’ in society, which is so far from being correct it’s stunning. She’s not an ‘articulator’ of the MRM position, or if she is, then all she’s succeeded in doing is articulating the MRM message as one that is ‘Extremist’, ‘Radical’, and ‘justifiably misogynistic’. PS: No, men are not evolutionary designed to want to protect women. There is absolutely no evidence of that.

      It’s not ‘difficult to refute’ as you say; it’s difficult to support with evidence, because there isn’t any.

      • Ideologie Kritik

        The point is not that these issues are completely and altogether ignored by society as a whole, but that they’re effectively rendered invisible by an overly simplistic form of Patriarchy Theory that’s found its way into mainstream consciousness. So long as we continue to focus solely on the fact that a majority of obvious, mainstream positions of power are inhabited by men, while ignoring less obvious form of social power women have, we tend to miss the fact that society disadvantages men by virtue of their gender in some circumstances (homelessness, to cite the most obvious example). We also miss an opportunity to empower women.

        Like racism, sexism is another way for the Oligarchy to divide the rest of us.

        It’s probably already been pointed out in the comments, but just because the majority of people in mainstream positions of power are men doesn’t mean the majority of men are in positions of power, and I think it’s a bit of a stretch to argue that Donald Trump has the working man’s back. Squares are all rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

        As regards peer reviewed literature, let’s not forget this thing is pretty new (I only heard about it’s existence about four months ago, from the aforementioned Feminist-MRA – I’m personally more inclined to identify as neither), and, within the halls of Academia, especially within gender studies departments, I sincerely doubt one would get very far with any sort of research that unsettles feminist dogma too much (maybe one could hide out in a rare critical studies department with the rest of the (amazing) outcasts?). Let’s not forget that there are a great many people whose jobs depend upon these theories remaining unquestionable. As somebody who hangs out in leftist circles, I recognize just how much one has to put oneself out on a limb in order to question these dogmas, and the fact that feminism seems so remarkably suited to shutting down debate (frequently using shaming mechanisms) is really disconcerting to me.

        The funny thing about your “extremists are relegated to the fringe argument” is that GWW made precisely the same argument about the MRA, and she did it very convincingly.

        Do you really think we can attribute the cause of every instance of men being “oppressed” or disadvantaged to “the way men treat other men”? There’s a chance that the way you wrote that was just an awkward turn of phrase, but I’m hard pressed to convince myself that the assumption that any form of men being systematically disadvantaged must always be due to the influence of other men isn’t essentially arguing that women have no agency, power, or influence whatsoever in society, which, simply put, doesn’t give women much credit.

        I see far too many of these instances in which theory arrives at misogyny through a sort of perverse attempt to over-identify misogyny and an omnipotent, all encompassing Patriarchy, and it begins to make me wonder whether contemporary feminism isn’t the quintessential example of identity politics. I look at feminism sometimes and can’t escape the conclusion that it sabotages itself and prevents women from seizing any sense of agency, that the movement is far more concerned with preserving its identity as representative of an oppressed class fighting an uphill battle against an unbeatable enemy than it is with actually establishing gender equality and dealing with the responsibilities of having already established something of a hegemony (and, as the Republicans have demonstrated lately, it’s a hegemony fraught with a great deal of reactionary backlash, but I think this backlash is rooted in feminism’s own antagonisms, and can only be remedied when feminism finally admits it’s achieved something of a hegemony and that its actions have consequences, some of which won’t necessarily line up with initial intentions).

        And even looking at my personal life, when I consider the brilliant women I know, I realize that those that adhere least stringently to mainstream feminist dogma seem the most empowered (though I know some of them are interested in some of the more refined forms of feminism: Kristeva, Butler, Williams, etc.), and visa versa.

        Whether there’s scientific evidence that men are evolutionarily designed to protect women or not, there’s certainly no shortage of factual evidence indicating that men have and do protect women en masse. I guess you can take the anti-essentialist route and argue that the entire history of war, women and children first policies, and the fact that men have historically worked long hours in godawful conditions to support wives and families are all part of a massive social construct designed to prevent women from ever attaining the privileges to be cannon fodder, drown in icy seas, and work themselves to death in coal mines, but I’m not sure I’ll be convinced by that.

        In my view, rigorous self-criticism is the benchmark of the legitimacy of any discourse, and there’s a certain chance the MRA will follow in feminism’s footsteps as another movement that became more concerned with its identity as victim than with actually accomplishing social change. That said, I think there’s a great deal of opportunity in a moment like this for actual discursive progress, that may, if we’re lucky, actually pan out as social progress.

      • I’m not responding to that wall of text. Instead I’ll choose three points you made and I’ll address them.

        1. Calling it the ‘Oligarchy’ does absolutely nothing to change the fact that the vast, vast majority of the people in positions of power in our society are men; men making laws, men enforcing them. Men owning businesses and corporations; men determining corporate policy. Men controlling government, men deciding how nations ought to function. Men’s ideas dominating the arts, sciences, and literature; men dominating the academia of those fields. These aren’t allegations or random assertions, these are the bald, unvarnished facts of the matter. Power in our society flows from the top down – rarely in the opposite direction, so it logically follows that if men are being at all ‘oppressed’ in today’s society, then they are being so by other men. What do we call systems that are male-dominated and male-oriented? Patriarchies.

        2. It doesn’t matter when you personally first heard about men’s rights; I’ve been hearing about it since the mid-nineties – and that’s just when I first started noticing. Men’s Rights has been around for a while, yet it still fails to produce any peer-reviewed data. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I wrote my Masters thesis on Masculinities and Manhood in North American society; I am writing my PhD dissertation on masculinities in political movements. It’s fair to say that my entire academic career is structured around the subject of masculinity in our society, and I never, ever consider using anything from the MRM, because it has nothing credible to offer. Every. Single. Issue. That the MRM claims to want to address is already being addressed by academics, and none of them take MRM seriously – not because of some conspiracy or because critiquing feminism is some sort of taboo subject but because, again, it has nothing constructive to offer. So GWW talks about incarceration rates or homelessness on her youtube posts? There’s nothing about that that is of any real interests to academics – except for those who study social movements like MRM.

        3. Your descriptions of feminism are off-base. I’d be comfortable stating that they amount to describing a sort of ‘straw-feminism’ – a feminism that exists only in the minds of opponents of feminism. What is so convincing about GWW? She cherry-picks from forum posts from ‘rad-fem’ sites and claims that they are representative of mainstream, academic feminism which is misleading at best, dishonest at worst. She also implies that feminism is some sort of monolithic entity with some kind of overarching hivemind – a patently false assumption if ever there was one. She claims that the SPLC has ‘jumped the shark’ because it considers the MRM a hate-group instead of doing some of that ‘rigorous self-criticism’ you state is so important in order to see if there is anything to their allegations. Did she – or any of the public faces of the movement – engage in any of this soul-searching? Did any of them own up to the statements featured in the SPLC’s investigation of the movement, or did they brush them off as ‘feminist plants’ or ‘just extremists’? Do MRAs feel that they need not heed their own advice – or that one of their spokespersons is not bound by the same standards as others?

        Finally, I don’t need to search the fringes of the MRM to find extremist, hate-filled garbage and openly hostile attitudes towards women; I just need to go to A voice for Men.com and read just about any one of their front-page articles. Or maybe I’ll head over to The Spearhead to read some of their ZOMG THE MOVIE AVATAR IS TOTES AN EVIL RAD-FEM CONSPIRACY MOVIE BECAUSE FEMALES BELIEVE THAT BIOLOGY IS MAGIC!1!!1!!!! Or are AVfM and Spearhead not considered ‘mainstream’ MRM? What about the absolute pig-pen of misogyny and rage that is Reddit’s r/Mensrights? I don’t even need to scroll past the first page of posts to see absolutely vile commentary by the brethren of the MRM. Extremist language isn’t ‘fringe’ in the MRM; it’s endemic. Even an ounce of rigorous self-criticism will reveal that.

        EDIT: If you wish to read some studies about masculinity and maleness that are academically rigorous and discuss these issues from a rational, empirically supported position, I’d suggest you pick up “Masculinities” or “The Men and the Boys” by R.W. Connell, or “Working Construction: Why White Working-Class Men Put Themselves – and the Labor Movement – in Danger” by Kris Paap.

      • I must take exception to this comment from you:

        ” Misogynists and ‘anti-feminists’ are welcomed by the core membership of the MRM.”

        This is total nonsense. You have two words extra – it should read ” Misogynists and ‘anti-feminists’ are the core membership of the MRM.”

  10. Ideologie Kritik

    This will probably make it easy for me to be accused of being an instrument of the Patriarchy, but I’m going to go ahead and appropriate a Freud quote (about religion, because I sometimes suspect feminism of functioning like a religion) in an unexpected way anyway:

    “The commandment, ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’, is the strongest defence against human aggressiveness and an excellent example of the unpsychological [expectations] of the cultural super-ego. The commandment is impossible to fulfil; such an enormous inflation of love can only lower its value, not get rid of the difficulty. Civilization pays no attention to all this; it merely admonishes us that the harder it is to obey the precept the more meritorious it is to do so. But anyone who follows such a precept in present-day civilization only puts himself at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the person who disregards it. What a potent obstacle to civilization aggressiveness must be, if the defence against it can cause as much unhappiness as aggressiveness itself! ‘Natural’ ethics, as it is called, has nothing to offer here except the narcissistic satisfaction of being able to think oneself better than others. At this point the ethics based on religion introduces its promises of a better after-life. But so long as virtue is not rewarded here on earth, ethics will, I fancy, preach in vain. I too think it quite certain that a real change in the relations of human beings to possessions would be of more help in this direction than any ethical commands; but the recognition of this fact among socialists has been obscured and made useless for practical purposes by a fresh idealistic misconception of human nature.”

    ― Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

    I know full well that I’m not the only child of the 80s/90s who grew up trying to follow the virtues proscribed by feminist culture, only to find that there was little chance that I’d be “rewarded here on earth” for it. Hopefully you’re not the type who responds to a very pragmatic comment like that with some diatribe about how women aren’t rewards or cookies to be handed out or whatever rhetoric’s being tossed around in the blogosphere lately (and who’s really arguing that they are, seriously?), because I think Freud was getting at something very real and legitimate. Simply put, internalizing an attitude that one’s own assertiveness and strength are inherently bad things that oppress women doesn’t end well for young men. Some guys deal with this by becoming assholes and writing stupid things on reddit and others deal with it by hypocritically paying lip-service to feminist ideals while learning behaviors that subtly undermine those ideals. Then you get your rare case like me; I try to theorize my way out of the deadlock and construct my own positive masculine identity out of whatever I can find (and feminism has, I think, primarily been an impediment to this process, and hasn’t done much beyond pointing out the obvious to assist me). Also I met a very sucessful, artistically brilliant anti-feminist female friend, and the helped quite a bit. The point is, I don’t think there’s really any way for a masculine subject to live up to the superegoic demands of the sort of feminism we have today, and it’s the sort of equation in which the more you comply, the guiltier you become. Or, to put it another way, when women are attracted to the things feminists say (whether overtly or implictly) are the problem (masculine strength, assertiveness, accomplishment, confidence), you’re just not going to get an outcome in which men can consistently embody the sort of role feminism proscribes for them. You could argue that I misunderstood feminism’s proscriptions, but I can tell you with confidence that I’ve met a lot of other men who share these sentiments. I honestly think the problem was that I took feminism’s proscriptions seriously. I don’t think they’re meant to be taken seriously. In a weird sort of way, I think masculinity these days can really only be achieved, overtly or covertly, consciously or unconsciously, by disavowing the proscriptive demands of the feminist superego.

    Do you ever feel like certain forms of feminism are asymptotically approaching defining all heterosexual sex as rape?

    http://evebitfirst.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/a-man-is-a-rape-supporter-if/

    That one, in particular, is…well, ridiculous. I mean, if one were to truly take this stuff seriously, and consider these claims in a logical vacuum, wouldn’t one have to conclude that rape and consensual sex are the same thing, that one’s activities are going to always already automatically be forms of rape or “rape support,” and that therefore it’s not ethically a problem to commit rape? And furthermore, doesn’t author act as if women are idiotic tools, incapable of making any of their own decisions? And then I look at some of this Dworkin stuff, and I begin to wonder whether she’s casting rape as some kind of rite of passage for women. I doubt you’ll agree with me that that’s happening, but if I’m right, then there’s something very perverse and counterproductive going on.

    • I have to ask you: Where are you getting your information on what feminism thinks men’s “roles” ought to be? In fact, where are you getting your information about feminist thinking in general? Pretty much everything you’ve mentioned about what you think feminists “want” is strangely off-base. Where on earth did you get the idea that feminists want men to deny their own ‘assertiveness’ or ‘strength’? Feminists do ask that men analyse their attitudes and beliefs for instances where they’ve objectified women or ignored/downplayed women’s concerns or requests if doing so meant that they were able to retain their own privilege over other groups. Is that really so radical?

      By bringing up Andrea Dworkin, you have quite literally highlighted one of the single most polarizing and radical figures in all of feminist history; she was an extremist by any definition. She was not all wrong in some of her allegations, but there is no possible way that she can be confused with the vast body of mainstream feminist discourse. If your understanding of *all* feminism (or even most) is based on the works of Dworkin, then I’d say you have a highly skewed perception of what modern feminist thinking is.

      How does a man live up to the demands of modern feminism? Easily. He treats women as agents with their own hopes, dreams, motivations and desires. He does not view women as objects to be protected, conquered, obtained, traded, or silenced. He listens to women when they speak and strives to take their opinions as seriously as he would a man’s. He does not apologize for men who rape; he ensures that when he engages in sexual activity, he obtains enthusiastic consent from her first, in order to both protect her from being raped, and to protect him from misunderstandings and from possibly becoming a rapist himself. He accepts that there are fundamentally discriminatory systems that have been erected as barriers to women, GBLT men and women, minority groups, etc, that all, to one extent or another, benefit white, straight, heterosexual men, and he tries to find ways to break down these barriers. He does not spend his days overwhelmed with self-pitying ‘guilt’ for everything his gender has done. He strives to treat women (and other marginalized groups) as his equal. That is what modern feminism asks of men. Is that so very hard to do?

      Your final paragraph is highly problematic because you’ve tried to logic your way through a highly complex topic ‘in a logical vacuum’. Why not examine it in the real world? No, by the standards of that (self-described radical feminist) website, rape and consensual sex are not the same thing; consensual sex and consensual sex are the same thing. Ignoring the more extreme positions put forward in that blog, a good guideline to live by is: If I am about to have sex with a person, and my partner has not given explicit, enthusiastic consent, then I ought to back off because not only does ‘no’ mean ‘no’, but so does ‘I’m not sure’, ‘I’m tired’, ‘I’d rather not just now’, ‘let’s just make out’, ‘I’m cool giving you a blowjob/handjob’ ‘I wanted to have sex, but now I don’t’, or ‘ssshhhhrggghhh’ (I’m so drunk that I cannot give consent because I am incapable of making informed decisions at this point). In other words, ignore that asshole Neil Strauss: Be a gentleman, not a player.

      You seem like you really do want to treat women with respect, decency, agency, and equality. If you honestly and truly do, and if you can also recognize and acknowledge that in many many (not all, perhaps, but certainly most) sectors of our society, women have a rougher, more difficult time succeeding than men do – if you are able to catch even a glimpse of your own privilege (look at the checklist linked to on that site) – then congratulations, you’re already a feminist. If on the other hand, you don’t agree with those things, or you accept that women have it rougher but that it’s due to ‘biology’, ‘evolution’ or some other ‘natural’ reason, then I’d say that you still have a long, long way to go.

  11. Ideologie Kritik

    There are certainly some legitimate points in the male privellege checklist (which is not to say I haven’t heard them before), but I think it’s also important to note that many of the arguments made therein really aren’t all that relevant to the younger generation right now. Respect from religion? This might be an issue in suburban or rural communities, and I have no problem with getting the word out there in that context, but we can look to the cities to see what we’re replacing that old system with, and, simply put, I don’t think it’s usually working. Having to sacrafice one’s career? When the vast majority of us don’t have access to “a career” this ceases to be much of an issue. Getting to (probably) see somebody of one’s own gender when asking to see “the person in charge”? How does this benefit men (unless they’re somehow afraid of women)?

    Furthermore, I think it says something that your privellege link doesn’t feature a female privellege checklist (I was able to find one by going through the “list of other privellege lists,” but even then I was only able to access one by searching in page and finding a link in a comment. My question is, why is it such a taboo thing to do in the context of the feminist community to admit that female privellege exists? Is the entire edifice of feminism in danger of crumbling under the pressure of admitting that women aren’t always and continuously in disadvantaged positions all the time?

    http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2011/05/female-privilege-checklist.html

    If you don’t like GWW’s, here’s one from “Women in Higher Education”:

    http://www.wihe.com/displayNews.jsp?id=400

    With regards to this notion of ‘enthusiastic consent,’ I think we’re approaching a choice here: do we treat women as if they’re unable to make their own decisions and relegate those decision making processes to men (who must pull from women an enthusiastic affirmation that sex is ok…how often – every five minutes during sex? Every two minutes? – whether this kills the mood for either party involved or not), effectively treating them as children who are incapable of properly indicating whether or not they want something (and is this not a form of insisting upon the inferiority of women?), or do we treat women as adults, fully capable of making their own decisions, and do our damndest to respect them as such?

    And the fact that you insist that men must not ‘treat women as objects to be protected’ in the same post in which you insist that men must protect women from being raped by obtaining ‘enthusiastic consent’ (since when are women prohibited from doing things unenthusiastically, anyway?) seems rather emblamatic of a certain inner ambivallence in feminism. Women are not objects to be protected, but they are, presumably, incapable of making their own decisions about sex and therefore need to be protected from their own inability to decide? I know you’ll likely think I’m twisitng your words, but consider the rhetorical ambiguity of some of these things.

    Ultimately I think this Gentleman/Player choice you present is a false one. The Gentleman was the public face of the old Patriarchy. The player is the social nihilist who takes advantage of today’s chaotic gender paradigm for cheap pleasure. If I have to be some kind of figure, I’ll be the Übermensch, or Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men, or Han Solo, or Kurt Russel in a John Carpenter movie, or Werner Herzog, or John Waters, or Saul Williams, or Ogami Itto, or, why not, Laurie Anderson, or James Tiptree Jr., or Astra Taylor.

    • Re: Enthusiastic consent: Once you have obtained explicit consent, it’s sexy-times. If however, either you or she decide that you don’t want to continue and express the desire to stop, then it’s stop. No one, anywhere, at any time, is demanding that you obtain continuous consent throughout the course of your sexual encounter – I don’t actually know where you got that idea. It’s neither explicitly stated nor implied by enthusiastic consent. Your allegations that it ‘infantilizes’ women is countered on the very link I provided – it’s below the ‘checklist’ link. Asking to know a woman’s mind is not infantilizing her, nor is it taking away her agency; it’s making sure that you – you the person attempting to engage her in sex – understand exactly what she wants. Where do you get that asking her if she wants to have sex equals her ‘relegating’ her decision making processes to men?

      You: Do you want to get it on?
      Her: Hell yes! Let’s fucking do this!

      Where, exactly, do you see her handing over her decision making processes to you?

      Protecting women from being raped is not the same as treating them as ‘objects’ to be protected. The former is respecting a woman’s boundaries and agency, the latter is dehumanizing her and turning her into an object. They are completely different in just about every single way that matters.

      The ‘Female Privilege’ checklist you linked to is funny, in a sort of tragic way. There are so many things wrong with it I don’t really know where to begin… let’s choose say, five points from the list and run with them, shall we?

      1. I am physically able to give birth to another human being, and then do my best to mold her or him into the kind of person I choose.

      Provided that they are molded in ways that conform to accepted gendered stereotypes and do not ‘trouble’ gendered binaries. If I choose to raise my child in a ‘gender neutral‘ way, it’s big news and I can expect to receive personal attacks and threats in public.

      4. I can choose to remain seated to meet most people.

      So what? No, seriously, so what? How is this a ‘privilege’ in the same way that never having to worry if I will make less money than someone else based on gender is privilege? This is so ridiculous and petty, I’m not sure what the author was even thinking.

      7. My stereotypical excesses in shopping, clothes, jewelry, personal care and consumption of chocolate usually are expected, even the source of jokes.

      Ah, so women can expect to be regarded as materialistic, impulsive, decadent and apparently poor with money? Expecting to have these attributes ascribed to a woman and then be mocked for them is somehow a ‘privilege’ for women? On what planet? In other words; women are expected to be frivolous and consumer-driven and then to be made fun of for it, but that’s a privilege because, why?

      17. I know how to put a new roll of toilet paper in use and am not above doing it for the next person.

      What? This implies two things: That men are incompetent when it comes to domestic chores – which is not only asinine, but completely contrary to the non-essentialized understanding of gender that the vast, vast majority of feminists subscribe to. It also implies that women are ‘privileged’ because they are expected to be better homemakers – you know, that stereotype that women had to live up to for decades and which historically prevented them from entering the workforce. That’s not privilege; that gender essentialism and it’s rejected by feminists.

      22. I am more likely to get hugs than handshakes, depending on the situation.

      Again, how is this privilege? What sort of tangible social benefits to this incur for women that men do not have access to? This is beyond ridiculous. I know I said I’d only do five, but let’s pick a couple more examples of this female ‘privilege’, shall we?

      24. I can use men’s “sheer fear of tears” to my advantage.

      Assumes men are ‘afraid’ of emotional women based on what? More stereotypes? Also implies that women are manipulative – is this a virtue now? Also implies essentialized gender stereotypes that damage men and women alike. How is this privilege?

      25. I can complain that these female privileges are relatively minor compared with the vast assortment of dominant male privileges, but I wouldn’t change places for the world.

      Who cares if the author ‘wouldn’t change places for the world’? That’s not what defines privilege. Also, the author is right; these ‘privileges’ are more than just ‘minor': they aren’t even privileges at all. This is beyond ridiculous.

      Male Privilege: Earn more money, have better chance to be in charge of anything – based on gender
      Female Privilege: knows how to change a roll of toilet paper.
      What. The. Fuck?

    • When we talk about protection from rape, we’re discussing the power structure that can and does lead women to verbally consent when they truly do not want to. It’s your responsibility when having a relationship with a woman to not abuse that power structure in order to gain consent that would otherwise not be given. Just as it is a woman’s responsibility not to manipulate her partner.

      There are various forms of coercion that some men use. I am not saying all men, I would never assume that all men act exactly the same. These are just examples of things that happen, sometimes out of ignorance, but sometimes completely knowingly, and attention needs to be drawn to these things to prevent them from happening. Guilt-tripping, threatening breakups, arguing, getting her mentally impaired or asking specifically while she is, doing something nice for her and then telling her she owes you, etc. No should always mean no. I understand that some men’s magazines love to tell you how to turn a no into a yes, but they’re just teaching you manipulative coercion tactics, not responsible, ethical behavior within a relationship. Respecting your partner’s boundaries is really not too much to ask. And instead of assuming that the no is just a playful tease or a way to avoid looking slutty, assume that no means no. If she really was into the situation, she’ll instigate again.

      • Exactly. Bullshit “men’s issues” books like “The Game” by Neil Strauss aren’t really about becoming a smooth lady’s man; they’re like “How-to” guides to date rape.

      • Egalitarian

        Women use the same type of coercion, and men feel the same pressure to say yes to sex, largely due to the belief that men always want it. However, men are not taught they have a right to say no, and women are not taught that they need to ensure consent from men. If feminists really are about equality, they should be gender neutral when educating people about rape and advocating for enthusiastic consent.

        By the way, the recent CDC study on rape shows that men are frequently “made to penetrate” women. 4.8% of men report being victims of “made to penetrate” in their lifetime and 1.1% report this in the past 12 months, and in 79.2% of cases, the perpetrator is a female acting alone. The CDC does not define this as rape, so they are able to report much lower reports of men “raped,” but it is forced sex so it is rape by any reasonable definition. Therefore, the study proves that men are frequently raped by women. Feminists do not bring this up when discussing rape, which proves that another perspective is needed. Only men’s rights activists have been willing to raise awareness of this issue.

      • If feminists really are about equality, they should be gender neutral when educating people about rape and advocating for enthusiastic consent.

        Feminists are ‘gender neutral’ when they talk about obtaining enthusiastic consent, and when it comes to discussing coercive or coerced sex. The only feminists who don’t think this are the straw-feminists of the Men’s Rights Movement.

        By the way, the recent CDC study on rape shows that men are frequently “made to penetrate” women. 4.8% of men report being victims of “made to penetrate” in their lifetime and 1.1% report this in the past 12 months, and in 79.2% of cases, the perpetrator is a female acting alone.

        Feminists recognize the existence of male rape survivors; what we have a problem with is the MRA’s near-constant assertion that rape is equally a problem for both men and women. It’s not: while the statistics are fuzzy, about 1 in 10 men will experience rape in their lifetime. On the other hand, roughly 25% of women will experience rape in their lifetime. Put simply, the problem is over twice as bad, statistically speaking, for women as it is for men. Also, male survivors of rape are far, far more likely to be raped by another man than they are to be raped by a woman. In fact, most studies indicate that 93.7% of male-rape perpetrators are men. The majority of women who are raped are raped by men. The majority of men who are raped are raped by men. Where is the MRA outrage about this? The idea that the problem is ‘equally’ bad for ‘both’ genders is simply false.

        Therefore, the study proves that men are frequently raped by women.

        No, it proves that men are ‘sometimes’ raped by women. They are more likely to be raped by other men. How MRAs overlook this is, frankly, beyond me; it does however strengthen my belief that in reality, MRAs care more about vilifying feminists than they do about actually helping men.

        Only men’s rights activists have been willing to raise awareness of this issue.

        This statement is proof that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Egalitarian

        Nope. The 93.7% stat refers only to men who are penetrated. Men are more often forced to have vaginal sex with women (such as when they are passed-out drunk) which is typically not counted as rape on surveys. Reread the CDC study at http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf. If you only define men being penetrated as rape, yes, most perpetrators are men. But when you add “made to penetrate,” which is not counted as rape but should be, most perpetrators are women.

        On page 24:

        “For three of the other
        forms of sexual violence, a majority
        of male victims reported only
        female perpetrators: being made to
        penetrate (79.2%), sexual coercion
        (83.6%), and unwanted sexual
        contact (53.1%).”

        You are doing just what you claimed feminists don’t do, downplaying the rape of men by women. Obviously, there is a need for men’s rights activists, many of whom are survivors, to keep raising awareness of this. Here are a couple of survivors who are doing so:

        http://jameslandrith.com/

        http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/

      • Oh wow you really need to improve your reading comprehension skills.

        From the Article YOU posted:

        1. Most perpetrators of all forms of sexual violence against women were male.

        Alright, that’s pretty cut-and-dry. For all forms of sexual violence against women, men are the most common perpetrators. No surprise there.

        2. Additionally, 92.5% of female victims of sexual violence other than rape reported only male perpetrators.

        Again, so surprise here either.

        3. The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male perpetrators.

        Again, not a surprise. So rape – which includes penetration with an object – perpetrated against men is most often done by other men. Men raping other men. This is a serious problem. Why aren’t MRAs howling about this horrible statistic? Why are they only focusing on the next one (which, I note, the study indicates effects roughly half the numbers of men as it does women – 22% for men, 44% for women)?

        For three of the other forms of sexual violence, a majority of male victims reported only female perpetrators: being made to penetrate (79.2%), sexual coercion (83.6%), and unwanted sexual contact (53.1%).

        Let’s take a look at this segment. According to the study you linked, this segment of sexual violence includes: 1. Made to penetrate (4.8%), 2. Sexual coercion (6%), 3. Unwanted sexual contact (11.7%), 4. Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences (12.8%). All of that takes place within the 22% of male victims of sexual violence and even there, many of those segments report an even or close to even split between male and female perpetrators. Isn’t it interesting that of all of those horrible statistics, the only one you focus on is the one that says that of the 4.8% of men (4.8% of 22%) who report being ‘made to penetrate’ a partner, 79.2% report that they were made to penetrate a woman – that the violence was perpetrated by a woman. And this, to your mind, ‘proves’ that women perpetrate sexual violence more than men? According to your source, 25 million men will experience some form of sexual violence in our lifetime. That is terrible, no argument there. On the other hand, over 75 million women will experience some form of sexual violence – most of that, the vast, vast majority of that, at the hands of men. In other words, if one were to simply look at the perpetrators of all forms of sexual violence against anyone, the overwhelming majority of them are men. Period.

        This is a serious problem, and it is not helped by MRAs who willfully ignore the statistics in order to push some bullshit narrative in which women are somehow ‘just as guilty’ of sexual violence as men are. They’re not, and no amount of creative interpretation of statistics will make that any less true.

        You’re wrong. By your own standards, using your own sources, you’re wrong. Try again.

        PS: As I’ve mentioned multiple times on this blog, my primary research focus is men and masculinities. I study men and men’s issues. MRAs don’t help that cause.

      • archades54

        Isn’t 4.8% actually 4.8% of the male population, not 4.8% of 22% of men?
        From what I gather in the stats, in the last 12 months 1.1% of women were raped/attempted rape, mostly male attackers, 1.1% of men were forced to penetrate, 79.2% of the time by a female. On the lifetime category 1.4% of men were raped/forcibly penetrated (Not including forced to penetrate) whilst forced to penetrate lifetime stat is 4.8% of men.

        Doesn’t that mean men were forced to penetrate 4x more than forcibly penetrated. And as 79.2% report female attackers for forced to penetrate, men are more likely to be raped by women(including forced to penetrate in definition for this line alone).

        Yes there are more female victims overall, the big problem is in the last 12 months rape between the genders had reached damn close to parity, it’s also one of the first studies to take envelopment/forced to penetrate into account from what I gather. So are women raping men far more in recent years, or did we previously just not study it? The other big issue is that it’s clear proof that we need to really advocate against rape, and especially make campaigns showing females as abusers to combat stereotypes that are harmful to men coming forward and seeking help.

        This doesn’t mean men are raped more than women, nor does it really matter which side is raped more, both need support and the stats show significant levels of abuse against each, even if men only suffered 1/4 the level that is still a huge amount of people, more than some countries even.

      • Re: Your reading of the statistics. I’m sorry, but your interpretation is incorrect. Please read the article and the figures again.

      • archades54

        I am trying to understand how you are interpreting the results, the weighted % is a percentage of population from what I can see. 0.9% of completed forced penetration victims represents 970,000 victims, 1.4% represents 1,581,000 victims (I’m guessing they’re using 100million adult men and 100million adult women or nearabouts as the population? 22.2% of men report other sexual violence, 4.8% of men report made to penetrate, not 4.8% of 22% which would be what, 1.056% with 5,451,000 victims, the US population does not include 500,000,000 people. So I ask, is there a particular line in the document that explains how they got the weighted % and what it represents.

        What I am reading atm is the page in the summary report, “Approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8% reported having been made to penetrate someone else in his lifetime Table 2.2).” So to me that is showing they are using the weighted % as a % of the population for that gender. Are you sure you are reading these stats correct? Not trying to cause an argument here but it’s got me confused unless i have mistaken your meaning with 4.8% of 22% . Based on purely the estimated victims column, there are more male victims of female perpetrators than male victims of male perpetrators.

        Sidenote: I am not an MRA, nor feminist, just a person with egalitarian views and I was shocked at the level of abuse both men and women suffer, whilst also surprised at the sheer level of male victims. I care about all people recieving treatment, not the oppression olympics that often plague these debates, even 1% of men vs 50% of women (made up stats for this sentence alone) is enough to warrant action to stop abuse against the men, and women.

      • Ah, yep, I see where you are looking and it appears that you are correct: 4.8% of male respondents reported being ‘forced to penetrate someone else’, where “… among men, being made to penetrate someone else could have occurred in multiple ways: being made to vaginally penetrate a female using one’s own penis; orally penetrating a female’s vagina or anus; anally penetrating a male or female; or being made to receive oral sex from a male or female. It also includes female perpetrators attempting to force male victims to penetrate them, though it did not happen.”

        The survey notes that the majority of such cases where the man is the victim of being made to penetrate someone else, the perpetrator is usually a woman.

        Jumping back to your earlier comment, you said,

        Doesn’t that mean men were forced to penetrate 4x more than forcibly penetrated. And as 79.2% report female attackers for forced to penetrate, men are more likely to be raped by women(including forced to penetrate in definition for this line alone).

        Why are we including ‘being forced to penetrate someone else’ into the ‘rape’ category? The survey doesn’t. Men are still more likely to be raped by other men, just as women are overwhelmingly more likely to be raped by men. As you’ll note in the expanded definition of ‘being forced to penetrate’ that I quoted above, the category is clearly separate from the category of ‘rape’. So no, as a matter of fact, men are still far more likely to have been raped by another man than they are to be raped by a woman.

        Yes, male victims of sexual violence exist – and in large numbers. This is not in dispute. The issue I have is that so often, MRAs seem to want to go out of their way to ‘prove’ that women are somehow at fault for the violence – or at least that men aren’t really more responsible for sexual violence in general. Pretty much every MRM blog or website I have been to attempts to argue that men are the ‘real’ victims in society, or that women who report being victims of sexual violence are somehow exaggerating their claims or spinning them out of whole cloth. Now place that alongside feminist claims about sexual violence – claims that acknowledge that men are often victims, but that women are at far greater risk. Which set of claims sounds more reasonable?

        Again, to dive back into your earlier post:

        This doesn’t mean men are raped more than women, nor does it really matter which side is raped more, both need support…

        Uh, it sure as hell does matter ‘which side’ is raped more, and the fact that you use those terms to describe the situation is telling. There aren’t ‘sides’ in this – no one is competing here – but if we’re going to be allocating funds for support services, and if we’re going to be spending time, money, and effort on public awareness campaigns and educational materials, does it not seem, I don’t know, logical to determine which segments of the population are at greater risk? This isn’t about Feminism v. Men’s Rights, and it’s not about competing in some ‘oppression olympics’ (a rather ridiculous claim if ever there was one); it’s about identifying and protecting vulnerable segments of the population. Feminists get this. MRAs don’t. I hope that you do.

      • archades54

        “Why are we including ‘being forced to penetrate someone else’ into the ‘rape’ category? The survey doesn’t. Men are still more likely to be raped by other men, just as women are overwhelmingly more likely to be raped by men. ”

        It’s a common issue, the definition often doesn’t match how many define it themselves, a lot of people consider it as forced intercourse. I think in Australia we don’t actually call it rape at all, just sexual assault and as far as I know envelopment/forced to penetrate is included under that in the law. Many of the MRA’s will use rape as inclusive of forced to penetrate because of this, but the CDC stats and some other people don’t include it. So it becomes most rapists are men as women tend to force men to penetrate them as their form of sexual violence.

        “Uh, it sure as hell does matter ‘which side’ is raped more, and the fact that you use those terms to describe the situation is telling *snip to keep comment smaller*”

        I’ll give you some background into why I said it doesn’t matter which side gets it worse. I’ve often seen people take the sexual assault as women as FAR more serious than against men, they will spout statistics on how most rape victims are female, most rapists are male, most sexual assault is by men against women, but they do so in a way that acts like the sexual assault of men is so rare that it’s not worth even discussing. Of the anti-rape campaigns I’ve seen, I can’t recall a single one that shows a female as a perpetrator and a male as a victim, how do you think that makes male victims feel?

        I see arguments basically along the lines that if you compared it to medicine, no one would fund breast cancer research because it’d all be dumped into heart disease (the biggest killer worldwide as far as I know). I see quite a few mra’s, egalitarians, even egalitarian feminists bring up the stats from the cdc report not to say men suffer MORE, but to say men suffer significantly from abuse and thus should also be worthy of a lot of attention and support. The majority of victims may be female but there is still a huge amount of male victims, so even 1/2 the victims still deserve support.

        But do we simply keep support campaigns as gendered, allocate funding to women at a higher rate due to more victims and update it each year based on stats? Or would it be more beneficial to setup far more genderless campaigns, support groups, etc so either gender can come forward and whoever needs the help gets it. It’s logical to determine who is at greater risk yes, but when I say it doesn’t matter I should probably have said it matters to some degree but it’s extremely important to ensure both genders are adequately supported.

        By sides I meant genders, not feminism vs mra. I dislike labels to be honest because they tend to trigger some people into defensiveness before a person has even spoken. I see that sooo often with some feminists and mra’s, the eyerolls and dismissing each others statement simply because of the group they belong to. Many feminists and MRA’s actually have very similar goals if not the same, equality for all, all people to be supported where applicable. It’s the reason I only say I am egalitarian, I care about both genders getting the full support needed and having their issues heard, fixed, etc. Majority of issues I see from anti-feminists (not neccessarily MRA’s mind you, many are seperate) leads me to believe they are actually anti-radfem and maybe even anti-gynocentric feminism, they tend to take issue with some implementations of law which are labelled feminist for some reason. VAWA is one of the most commonly criticized bits of law. It seems both sides have their radicals which are causing big issues in trust, it’s actually pretty damn silly and I wish more could drop the snark n hate and actually work together.

        Thanks for the discussion.

  12. Ideologie Kritik

    As for your question about where I got my ideas about what feminism expects of me, have a look at this blog post I stumbled upon:

    http://triggeralert.blogspot.com/2011/08/two-great-quotes-from-hooking-up-smart.html

    It’s not a comprehensive explanation, but this guy articulates a psychological situation I spent years trying to get a handle on, and I think he does it very effectively. Haven’t read anything else on the blog, so I can neither endorse nor condemn the rest of it.

    • Why are you using an anti-feminist blog that explicitly mocks the concept of ‘trigger-warnings’ as a reference for what feminism is? How is that in any way logical? Why not a blog that is actually feminist? It’s almost like you are deliberately trying to misunderstand feminism and feminist critiques. Using the blog you did as a good source for understanding feminism is like linking to a neo-Nazi website in order to understand what Judaism is all about.

      EDIT: My favourite part of that petulant screed was when the author described a hypothetical women refusing a man’s advances as a product of feminist indoctrination! That’s right: if you refuse a man’s – any man’s – advances, then you are a horrible feminazi. This guy isn’t an ‘anti-misandrist': he’s a misogynist, pure and simple. What a great place to find information on feminism. This blog is, however, a fantastic place to find information on Straw-Feminism. Or check out this description of a Straw-Feminist.

  13. Ideologie Kritik

    Let me repost that, without the redundant paragraph:

    Ok, you’re right that a lot of that list is asinine (there’s some chance it was written, rather ineptly, as a sort of joke), and I’m going to have to admit that I didn’t actually read through it before posting (in a rush to read at least part of the Bertrand Russel I’ll be discussing with a group tonight, but still fascinated by this discussion). That said, the list you just problematized was coming from (what the author at least apparently thought was) a feminist point of view. What do you think of GWW’s list?

    The neo-nazi comparison is, well… preposterous and frankly offensive, but let’s go ahead and keep discussing. The point of citing the blog post, which I think you’re altogether misinterpreting, was not to point at a feminist text, but to point towards an explication of how feminist discourses affect boys and young men. It’s a question of feminist ideals vs. manifestations of feminist discourse in practice; “really existing feminism” if you will (to appropriate a frame directed at corrupt socialist regimes developed by dissidents behind the Iron Curtain). And I don’t think there’s anything productive about charicterizing earnest expressions of masculine experience as ‘petulant screeds.’ There’s nothing in the post that states or even implies that if a woman refuses a man’s advances she is a horrible femi-nazi. The word “nazi” appears nowhere in the page, and the following passage in fact directly contradicts your charicterization of what this guy’s articulating:

    “Let me take a moment to emphasize that I’m not claiming that the woman in any of these interactions is necessarily a bad actor, or that she should behave any differently. In all of these “Please stop and go away” reactions I’m imagining, she’s not going to call the cops or spray him with mace; it’s just that she really does feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a sexual way, and she’s just being honest about it. The fuck-up in the system is not her being honest about her feelings; the fuck-up in the system is the moral code that says he should be mortally ashamed after having tripped her feelings with the mildest possible action.”

    The ultimate judgment of what this guy’s talking about comes down to the extent to which we can implicate feminism in having established the moral code he cites here. I know the code was established for me, because this is honestly a very apt description of how I felt in high school before I began to question the ideals I was raised on, and I’ve talked to men from all over the “Western” world who’ve felt the same way.

    As regards the straw feminist trope, it really doesn’t help that actual crazy, over-the-top, extremist feminists do exist. I’ve read them online, and I’ve had discussions with them in everyday life. The question of the extent to which “craziness” is a fundamental piece of the feminist movement today is, for me, an open, and extremely difficult to answer one.

    I looked at the ‘enthusiastic consent’ post, and found the Naomi Wolf v. Jaclyn Friedman debate on Democracy Now. I’ve got to say I’m a lot more convionced by Wolf’s point of view, and I’m beginning to perceive her as a sort of heroic figure poised to rescue feminism’s reputation. I wish her the best of luck in this endaevour, and will probably buy one of her books when I get the chance.

    • Again, that blog is not discussing how ‘feminism’ effects men and boys: that blog is discussing how that blogger’s bizarro interpretation of feminism effects boys – in his estimation. Since he’s not a feminist, and since his stated aim is to criticize and undermine the ‘feminist agenda’ (I actually went ahead and read a few random posts on that site), I’d say that his understanding of feminism is actually a bit skewed. I would go so far as to call it another example of straw-feminism.

      RE: Naomi Wolf: In this instance, I don’t agree with her assessment; in that interview, she seems to be arguing that “well yes this wasn’t a great situation and it seems messy and complex, but I don’t know that I want to call it rape because that lessens the ‘experiences’ of rape survivors whose rapes were so much worse.” Both Wolf and Friedman are right that the media frenzy around this event was politically motivated, but Friedman’s points that “sleeping women cannot consent to sex” and “saying yes once doesn’t mean that any subsequent sexual act is therefore explicitly consensual” are well made. Wolf’s point that ‘well, she didn’t say “no” so that’s consent’ is classic rape-apology.

      What you’re saying is that you seem to be agreeing with the position that a ‘lack of refusal’ equals consent – that’s what Wolf is alleging in this situation – that because the involved parties had consensual sex once that night, that subsequent sexual acts – including when one party was asleep – are consensual. I’m sorry, but you and I will simply disagree on that. A lack of refusal is not the same as consent. Period.

      Re: Straw-Feminism: Yep, there are extremist feminists out there, but so what? The point is that they are not considered to be representative of the mainstream – of the vast majority of feminists. The fact that MRAs continually try to claim that they are representative is a perfect example of creating straw-feminists. If I go out and find the very worst, most misogynistic MRA around, and then use his quotes in order to paint all MRAs as crazy, evil, woman-hating misogynists and rape-apologists, would you think that I was being fair? I’d hope not.

      Lastly, where is the evidence that feminists are responsible for establishing the ‘moral code’ that you talk about? Women are encouraged by virtually every form of media advertising to be sexually available, flirtatious and even wanton; men are taught by the same media forces to expect women to be that way. Most of the execs, writers, directors, and producers in those fields are men; so who really is determining the sort of cultural values we are all bombarded with? The fact that some men are made to feel weak and powerless in society has more to do with how competing forms of masculinity are arrayed into hierarchical systems of dominance and subordination – how men ‘rank’ other men – than it does with some feminist agenda that is out to punish or dominate men. The recognition in academia that men are routinely faced with unreasonable social expectations, or that some ‘forms’ of masculine behaviour are more lionized than others was discovered not by MRAs, but by feminists like Connell. The solution to the problems men face in society isn’t to ‘balance’ out the influence of (straw)feminists on society; it’s to involve more men in gender studies and feminist analyses.

      Seriously, go read some Connell – read Masculinities. You’ll get a good taste of how feminist scholars seek to understand and help men cope with their own complex social interactions.

    • The article you linked to was more representative of a person who cannot handle rejection and needs to find someone to blame for his own failing withing relationships and feelings of inadequacy. Smiling at a woman is not wrong and neither is not being interested in the smile of a man. Learning how to accept disinterest by one, or even several women, and not letting it deter you from seeking female companionship overall is something that comes with time, patience, trial and error, and maturity. It’s not something to blame on feminism. Feminists don’t want men to cat call them, grope them, assault, or rape them. And yeah, staring for too long is creepy and uncomfortable by anyone’s standards. You have to admit, it would weird you out to be stared at for an extended period of time, especially if the person was making suggestive motions or glances. But, even with a poor reception, a smile at a woman is not what a feminist is fighting against. There are very specific issues that feminists are fighting for but they’re being skewed by writers like this who just want a scapegoat to blame for why he can’t get a date.

  14. Ideologie Kritik

    As an added note, the fact that your response to an earnest expression of masculine experience is to invoke a neo-nazi comparison strikes me as fairly substantial evidence that feminism has a problem with encouraging shame in men.

    • It’s not substantial evidence of anything of the sort; it is a crude – yet effective – example of just how ridiculous it is to use an anti-feminist website as a source for information on what feminism is. Doing so is absolutely begging to be misinformed. You don’t have to like the example, but I’m not here to predict what offends you and what doesn’t. If that analogy bothers you however, then use this one: Using an anti-feminist site to gain an understanding of feminism is like using a creationist site to gain an understanding of evolution. Does that work better for you?

      And just so we’re clear; my use of an analogy you don’t like says nothing about what feminism is or argues; it only says something about how I choose to discuss things – unless you’re arguing that I am the official spokesperson for feminism.

  15. Skeptical Cubefarmer: To elaborate on the misuse of statistics:

    If I did the math right, 79 percent of 4.8 percent of 22 percent = 1.3 percent of the total cases of rape.

    That’s the percentage of rape victims who are made to penetrate women.

    • That seems to be the case, which in itself is problematic, because a figure of 1.3% will probably be buried in the error bars of most studies, resulting in this stat being considered not statistically significant. The issue of male rape victims is one that definitely needs to be addressed; men are often the victims of any number of horrible sexual assaults. But when MRAs focus on such tiny figures as a way of supporting their case, the result is often that they will be dismissed. If MRAs were truly honest with themselves, they’d acknowledge that the issue of men and sexual violence needs far more examination than they appear to want to give. They spend so much time trying to ‘prove’ that women are just as bad as men, that they seem to forget that in doing so, they’re reinforcing the stereotype that men are bad.

      • Here is a more detailed takedown of the 12 month stats you were dealing with above:

        http://manboobz.com/2012/05/22/oh-the-questions-they-ask/comment-page-3/#comment-157167

        The numbers (which are problematic for the limited time scale) are not what most MRAs think they are.

      • Not sure which stats you’re using for the 22%, looks like the 22.2% “other sexual violence” in the lifetime weighted % for men?

        18.3% of female respondants to the survey report rape
        1.4% of males report rape
        Rape is basically being forcibly penetrated for simple argument sake.
        4.8% of male respondants report being forced to penetrate someone, 79.2% of those report a female abuser.
        Now if we include forced to penetrate under rape, it’d be…18.3 + 1.4 + 4.8 = 24.5 for some quick dirty math, so I’d estimate the lifetime male rape victims of females to be… 3.8% of the male respondants, 19.5% of the victims of rape (including forced to penetrate, but not sexual coersion which is discussed in your manboobz link in more detail) overall. So what’s that, 1 in 5 perpetrators of physically forced rape (penetration and made to penetrate) are women?

        And the math from your manboobz has 67.4549% of perpetrators of rape/forced to penetrate, and sexual coersion combined as male, and 32.5451% of perpetrators were female. The majority of rapists/sexual abusers are male, however that’s a significant amount of female perpetration.

        Thing is when we look at a 12 month snapshot the numbers shoot up to 1.1% of women and 1.1% of men reporting rape, approximately 40% (+-1% or so) of the rapists were female. That’s the statistic that has got people alarmed, it even makes me wonder wtf happened in the last 12 months, do the respondants the male have memory issues after a few years, did women recently start doing a hell of a lot of raping?

        “That seems to be the case, which in itself is problematic, because a figure of 1.3% will probably be buried in the error bars of most studies, resulting in this stat being considered not statistically significant.”
        That also rules out rape of women for the 12 months as well, so basically the entire 12 months survey is statistically insignificant?

        The thing I notice in the MRA’s I see at the GMP is that they want the sexual abuse of men to be treated with weight, too often it’s treated as if it’s 1% and thus unworthy yet of the physical abuse as above its 19.5% of the rape cases. Yet do you see any campaigns showing it? there is a deafening silence on male victims of sexual abuse, especially by female perpetrators, that is where the major backlash is coming from. So many feel like they’re completely ignored as men. It’s great that women have such a large amount of awareness for sexual abuse, no one can deny that, but it’s time to expand the scope and start talking about more which is what quite a few mra’s desire, at least the ones I see. It’s quite common to see them showing the stats in desperate attempts just to be noticed, a message of “Hey!, look at these numbers, a hell of a lot of men are being raped as well as the women, someone please pay attention to both genders instead of one”

    • Egalitarian

      No, you did not do the math right. 4.8% of ALL men have been made to penetrate, and 79% of the perpetrators are women. So, 3.8% of all men have been “made to penetrate” women.

  16. billw@yahoo.com

    “If a man wants his children, and if he can make the case that he can provide a safe home and a comfortable life for them, then he stands a pretty good chance of getting them.”

    What is your idea of “pretty good chance?” If both the man and the woman operate at the same level as parents and their is a contest for custody, the woman will get custody in 9 out of 10 cases.

    “This myth of bias is most often ‘supported’ by anecdote or testimonial, not hard data.”
    True, the data are hard to come by. The family courts don’t want to let this data out. Why don’t they want to let it out? Because it would show a pervasive bias against men.

    “In the first place, the law in the United States gives no explicit preference to any gender”

    Wow, it is hard for me to believe that anyone quote what a law says Vs what is actually practiced.

    The best thing a young man can so is not to marry or father children in the Misandry nations (America, Canada, UK, Austrailia, in short, the West).

    • What is your idea of “pretty good chance?” If both the man and the woman operate at the same level as parents and their is a contest for custody, the woman will get custody in 9 out of 10 cases.

      Actually, women tend to receive custody in court ordered custody hearings about 79% of the time, and one of the strongest reasons for this is that of every type of custody arrangement granted in court battles, it is the paternal custody or joint paternal custody that is the most vulnerable to change. Fathers with sole custody and fathers with joint custody in which they are the primary physically present parent are far more likely to give up their custody over time to the mother. This tends to prejudice courts against sole paternal custody, because the statistics indicate that such arrangements may be more unstable and hence, harmful to the child in the long run. Why do you think this is? Why are fathers far more likely to give up custody to their children like this?

      It’s worth noting that according to the literature, fathers are far more likely to desire joint custody than sole custody, while mothers are far more likely to desire sole custody of their children, which better explains the statistics than your ‘courts are conspiring against men!’ line of reasoning. If women are more likely to demand sole custody, then women are more likely to receive sole custody. And why is this the case? Well the authors of the study I just linked to seemed to think that it was because men were responding to a belief that women should have sole custody for the most part, or that a father’s own inexperience or career choices were incompatible with having sole custody. In other words; men are less likely to have or want sole custody of their children, and they are doing it to themselves.

      The courts aren’t biased against men; men are biased against men! Why? What causes men to think that women make better parents? What causes men to think that they aren’t ‘equipped’ to adequately parent their own children? I’ll give you a hint; it’s not feminism, and it’s not some evil conspiracy. Men are conditioned to behave that way in order to conform to other men’s standards of ‘acceptable’ manly behaviour. Where are MRAs on this one? Why do MRAs spend so much bloody time trying to pin their problems on ‘misandry’ or ‘feminist conspiracies’, instead of examining the role that toxic forms of masculinity play in curtailing the kinds of ‘acceptable’ life choices men make? Why aren’t MRAs positively screaming about how much harm men’s expectations of themselves and other men are doing to them? Why don’t MRAs acknowledge that the majority of negative images of men – or harmful images of masculinity – in our culture are the product of other men? Men who dominate virtually every type of media, from television to cinema to social media like facebook? Why do MRAs spend so much of their time looking for feminist bogeypeople instead of seeing that the real problems are right in front of their mustachioed faces?

      What gender does the most harm to men? Men! We tell each other not to be ‘pussies’, ‘bitches’, ‘fags’ or ‘homos’. We tell each not to ever discuss our feelings or show emotions to others, and we often accompany those demands with violence for non-compliance. We construct for ourselves masculine role models that are as unrealistic and toxic as the female images we construct for women. We perpetuate cycles of violence and abuse against other men on a daily basis, then mock those men who try to break free from it. We are the cause of much of our own grief; we possess the power to change it.

      MRAs don’t do that – will never do that – because they aren’t interested in truly changing the lived experiences of men. MRAs are only interested in ensuring that men remain more privileged – more powerful – than others because they can’t apparently see that being powerful isn’t always the same as being healthy.

      Seriously, step outside of the Men’s Rights echo chamber for a moment and read some honest material on the topic of men and men’s lives. Read anything by RW Connell or Kris Paap. Read some work that treats men as actual agents in their own destinies. Stop wasting your time with a movement that wishes to see all men as victims, all the time.

      • Actually, women tend to receive custody in court ordered custody hearings about 79% of the time

        This includes all the cases in which the father didn’t ask for custody. In cases of contested custody (in the US) the numbers are closer to 50/50 when a father seeks to be the custodial parent.

      • “Stop wasting your time with a movement that wishes to see all men as victims, all the time.”
        Nice strawman you have there. Obviously you dislike the MRM and have quite strong views towards it. Tell me, why is there such a problem with some people admitting misandry, instititutional misandry exists? (conscription and selective service for a start)

        Tell me also where the plethora of feminists are who are directly helping men, purposely making anti-rape and anti-abuse campaigns highlighting the huge increase of violence against men as recent studies have confirmed? I regularly hear feminists saying they are all for helping men but to be honest it appears the MRA’s talk far far more about it. Although they are still quite unorganized, I am yet to see the masses of feminists I hear about helping men out apart from the common “side effect” style of helping out, as in they help women and the side effect of that is helping men when a law isn’t gendered such as the later versions of VAWA.

      • The ‘problem’ with admitting misandry and institutional misandry is that people who make the assertion that it exists have yet to empirically demonstrate that it in fact exists. Why would I – or anyone else – admit to ‘institutional misandry’ when the very best evidence that advocates of this concept can muster in its support are youtube videos, blog posts, and anecdotes?

        As for the feminists out there who try to understand the issues men face – and then try to do something about them? You can start with these:

        M. Kimmel and M. Messner: Men’s Lives 9th Edition: This is a textbook for gender studies that focuses almost exclusively on men and men’s issues. This is a great primer for men interested in understanding men from a feminist or pro-feminist perspective. This text also features chapters and articles from other gender theorists dealing with men in society.

        R.W. Connell: The Men and the Boys: Probably one of the most insightful and important contributions to gender and masculinity currently kicking around. Connell’s treatment of contemporary masculinity is one of the very best to be found.

        R.W. Connell: Masculinities Second Edition: This was one of the first books dedicated to a critical examination of men and masculinity. It is currently one of the most cited books in gender studies.

        Jim McKay, M. Messner, Donald Sabo: Masculinities, Gender Relations, and Sport Another text dealing with intersections of masculinity, power, and gender relations, in the context of sport.

        For looking at the challenges faced by men – particularly men doing dangerous work – I would suggest that you check “Working Construction: Why White Working-Class Men Put Themselves and the Labor Movement in Danger“, by Kris Paap.

        These are just a few of the books written, edited, and researched by feminist scholars on the subject of men and masculinity. Unlike the vast, vast majority of men’s rights activists, these feminist scholars are actually doing something about men and men’s issues. Personally, I study men and masculinities in the context of virtual communities, far right extremist movements, and religious organizations. I study men’s lives pretty much all day, every day, and I’m not alone.

        You mentioned that MRAs talk about men’s issues more than feminists, in your opinion; but that’s all they do, talk.

        Also: conscription and selective service (which are the same thing, are they not?) are evidence of ‘misandry’? How does that work? Men instituted the draft to fight in wars that only men (until very recently) were allowed to fight in. Feminist groups have fought for years to give women the right to serve on the frontlines, and rather than fighting to make women eligible for the draft, many feminist groups work to end the draft entirely. How is any of this ‘misandrist’?

        You have yet to see the ‘masses’ of feminists do the things you demand of them, because you probably haven’t been looking. I’d suggest that you suspend your obvious dislike of feminists or feminism, and take a long, hard look at the research coming out of contemporary gender studies. Hell, men have a journal – a damned good one – completely dedicated to the issues they face; from where I sit, in practical terms, the only ones who seem to actually give a shit about solving the issues in men’s lives are feminists and feminist scholars. I care about our lives – our issues as men matter to me – and I sure as hell know where the best solutions and strongest support for my work comes from, and it’s not from the men’s rights movement.

      • “Also: conscription and selective service (which are the same thing, are they not?) are evidence of ‘misandry’? How does that work? Men instituted the draft to fight in wars that only men (until very recently) were allowed to fight in. Feminist groups have fought for years to give women the right to serve on the frontlines, and rather than fighting to make women eligible for the draft, many feminist groups work to end the draft entirely. How is any of this ‘misandrist’?”
        Not sure where I said feminists were misandrist and that they instititued a draft? My belief of misandry is that those in power at the very top have put forth various laws n institutions which are misandrist, even men can oppress other men, conscription is the pinnacle of this. Selective service however is not conscription, the U.S hasn’t had conscription since Vietnam I believe but what selective service does is hold names/data about potential conscriptees should there be a need again. The misandry of this is that it ONLY targets males over 18 and refusal to sign up can result in the loss of federal funding, fines, and even jail. In other countries however they still do have male-only conscription which would be misandrous and some countries have both genders conscripted which would be both misandry n misogynist? Or misanthropic? None of the conscription was brought in by feminism though, and not sure why you raised feminists in that? Does that not prove the existence of misandry? Misandry doesn’t have to be as bad/common/numberofissues as misogyny to exist nor does it need to be done by the opposite sex does it? Maybe my definition of the word differs to the other times you’ve heard it, I dunno, but to me it’s plainly obvious it exists but not as common as misogyny. I do realize some will try say it is worse but I dislike the oppression olympics pissing contests.

        “I’d suggest that you suspend your obvious dislike of feminists or feminism, and take a long, hard look at the research coming out of contemporary gender studies. ”

        I meant more along the lines of inclusion into anti-violence campaigns such as rape, domestic abuse, etc. I understand there is a lot of feminist literature, academia on the subject but does it go further that that in large amounts? I am yet to see for instance posters showing a female abuser, male victim in DV n rape and I am seriously tempted to take a picture n make a poster myself if I could find willing models and knew of a good program I could add to to get a good coverage. What I’d like to see is a wide range of combinations of genders, races, etc in various posters as in Australia I pretty much only see posters showing a male abuser, and a female victim or occasionally a male-male situation or adult male on child.

        My dislike isn’t of feminism itself, I dislike parts of feminism just as I dislike parts of the MRM but what I’ve been told a lot recently by many feminists is that men’s issues are covered but I find it hard to actually find those issues. Of course I am not in academia, nor around feminist groups apart from online so they may very well be a huge amount of activism I haven’t seen and I hope there is but at the moment I find it difficult to find.

        You’ve given examples of feminists talking about male issues, what about actions past writing? Anything like changing a law or bringing in major policy changes?

        Btw my belief is that the MRM and feminism should be teamed up. Even if they disagree on certain issues I am sure they can still fight together to help reduce violence for instance.

      • The reason I asked about the whole ‘conscription as misandry’ thing is because if we understand ‘misandry’ (or ‘institutional misandry’ as you put it) to mean “Structural or discriminatory practices, policies, or legislation that have the effect of marginalizing or disadvantaging men in relation to women” then we can look at how the concept of selective service or the draft is gendered. What we see is that yes, in the United States, conscription and selective service are indeed, men only. But why are they men only? Is it because men are seen as fungible cogs in the great machine of society, while women are seen as sacred or irreplaceable components (which is the line I’ve heard from many an MRA)? Not really, at least not from where I sit. Conscription in the United States is men only, because from the very beginnings of the American Republic, women were deemed too weak, delicate, or fragile to serve. They were the ‘womenfolk’ who needed to be protected against the horrors of foreign aggressors, and men needed to ‘man up’, go forth, and defend them. In other words, conscription is men only because men felt that women were too inferior to serve. That’s not misandrist; that’s just straight up sexist. And it’s sexist for two reasons:

        1. It places women in the near-constant role of being objects (or at the very least passive, subordinate subjects) in need of protection – beings who lacked the agency and power to do it themselves. It placed women in the same position as children and property, namely ‘things that need protecting’. This is pretty sexist, yes?

        2. It further cemented the ‘male role’ as the defender, warrior, leader, and ruler who was expected, as a matter of course, to bring bloody violence to anyone who was seen as a threat to their property or ‘womenfolk’. So at the time of the institution of selective service in the US men already dominated every single sector of public life and they decided that because of their ‘naturally’ dominant position, they must also be society’s warriors as well. The resultant articulation of gender for men was one that emphasized power, dominance, and aggression among other things. ‘Real Men’ became men who picked up a weapon and defended their homes, women, and property; any man who didn’t was worth being called a man at all. It also tied masculinity to citizenship, because selective service, as a necessary condition of being a citizen, was only available to men; it had the effect of limiting women’s access to full citizenship rights.

        The draft and selective service, in other words, were not created to have the effect of limiting men’s involvement in the public sphere, nor were they initiated as a means of disadvantaging men relative to women; they are legal constructs that reflected the prevailing attitude of men at the time – they were visible symbols that men – and only men – could truly be considered citizens of the United States (because selective service was tied to voting rights and citizenship). And it’s a bullshit requirement. If MRAs are truly committed to equality – and to undoing social harms inflicted on men – then they wouldn’t be demanding that feminist groups fight to include women into selective service, they’d be demanding that it be abolished altogether.

        In terms of anti-violence and anti-rape campaigns, academic research and literature (most of which is done from a profeminist perspective) provides much of the empirical foundation for policy makers, legislators, and activist groups to engage in their own work. If legislators are given a million dollars, and they are told “take this money and use it to stop rape or domestic violence”, they look to the most current academic research on the subject. That’s why we – as sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and demographers – do all of the research we do. So what do feminist scholars and academics do? We provide the foundations necessary for further action in the world.

        As a small note; I also hate the term ‘oppression olympics’. Statistically, sociologically, sexism exists and women are the overwhelming victims of it. Period. That’s just a fact. Are men also socially disadvantaged? Sure, in many ways, but the important thing to remember is that men as a social category are not faced with the same kinds of institutional hurdles that women face.

        I often hear that feminism and the MRM ought to team up to get things done, but that’s just not going to happen, and the reason for it is this: the MRM evolved as a reactionary splinter faction from an earlier, pro-feminist men’s movement and carries with it, as an ideological cornerstone, the belief that feminism is harmful to men. I’ll even provide a source for this. Those men who recognized that it was traditional gender roles and harmful articulations of masculinity that harmed men, and not the feminist movement for the most part abandoned the MRM a long time ago, and were absorbed into the larger profeminist gender studies discipline.

        The reason why it might be hard for you to find evidence of activism on the part of academic or non-tumblr feminist groups is because their activism doesn’t take place online, nor does it often include ‘grassroots’ activism like marches or protests. It takes place at conferences, in focus groups or research institutes, or in high-level meetings with law-makers, corporate leaders, or other policy makers. I don’t march in the streets or put up posters, for example; I attend conferences and present papers or research findings to bureaucrats in government departments or ministries.

        Why put up a poster with fifty words about domestic violence when a researcher can sit down with a deputy minister from the ministry of Families or whatever and discuss with them the intricacies of spousal abuse? I have skills and access that a grassroots activist might not, and so I use them.

      • “The reason I asked about the whole ‘conscription as misandry’ thing is because if we understand ‘misandry’ (or ‘institutional misandry’ as you put it) to mean “Structural or discriminatory practices, policies, or legislation that have the effect of marginalizing or disadvantaging men in relation to women” then we can look at how the concept of selective service or the draft is gendered. ”

        I’d say being forced to die is pretty marginalizing and discriminatory, wouldn’t you agree?

        “That’s not misandrist; that’s just straight up sexist. And it’s sexist for two reasons: ”
        It’s sexist against both genders actually, how is it difficult to see the misandry in it? Chivalrous actions of sending men instead of women had both the misogynistic view of women as weaker, but ALSO the misandrist view of the disposable male, that his life was worth less than that of a woman or child. Being denied access to the military over being seen as weaker is misogyny, being able to freely choose to join the military because you are male is not sexist but being FORCED to fight BECAUSE you are male is misandrist. A large portion of the 10’s to 100’s of millions of men who have died in war since time start were conscripted. Denying the misandry there is pretty strange, even more strange when people try to explain it away as being sexist against women BUT NOT men.

        “And it’s a bullshit requirement. If MRAs are truly committed to equality – and to undoing social harms inflicted on men – then they wouldn’t be demanding that feminist groups fight to include women into selective service, they’d be demanding that it be abolished altogether.”

        I’d say the MRA’s actually want to abolish it, but if they can’t then they want “equality” by having women included. I doubt however many MRA’s really wants to put more people into selective service just as the dummy-style law like this (ht tp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/viagra-amendment-ultrasound-mandate-illinois_n_1321800.html ) which isn’t intended to work.

        “We provide the foundations necessary for further action in the world. ”
        Hi 5, I’m glad there are people that do it. For MRA’s to do a similar job they’d have to be in similar academic environments, online blogs aren’t accepted I’m guessing in that form of discussion? From what I see MRA’s are mostly internet blogging, with some offline stuff in Vancouver. There are a lot of people who are working on rights for males but I don’t think many actually use the MRM/MRA label, I see a lot of feminist and fathers rights type groups who do end up being called MRA but seeing as the movement appears to be quite young and disorganized I’m unsure of how people are applying the label. Do you include only self-identified people as MRA or anyone working on male issues? The majority of men I see talk about male issues just call themselves egalitarian and don’t use the MRA label.

        “As a small note; I also hate the term ‘oppression olympics’. Statistically, sociologically, sexism exists and women are the overwhelming victims of it. ”
        Pissing contests though over who gets it worse become tiring, and especially annoying when I see shit that basically says women get it soooo bad that we needn’t bother worrying bout men till women are helped first.

        “The reason why it might be hard for you to find evidence of activism on the part of *snip*”
        Ah ok, good point. Could the same be said of the MRA’s?

      • Sorry it took me forever to respond; now is the season of deadlines, and so blogging has taken a back seat for the time being.

        1. Being forced to die would be pretty marginalizing; if it was say, one group of people forcing another group of people to die out of a sense that those people are disposable or inferior. That’s not what’s happening in the case of conscription though; men are ‘forcing’ other men to die in the sense that men drafted the laws that dictated who was to be made to serve. The problem I see so many people making when they use this argument is that they assume that marginalization or sexism – of the kind we’re talking about here – is enacted on an individual level; individual men being ‘forced’ to die. But that’s not the case. We’re not talking about individuals here, we’re talking about social categories in society – in this case, the social category of ‘men’. Men writing laws that tell other men that citizenship is bound to selective service isn’t marginalizing, unless you’re going to argue that men are marginalizing other men. If that’s the argument you want to make, then sure, I could go with that, but making that argument defeats the purpose of using conscription as an example of ‘misandry’, because it would imply that men are being ‘misandric’ to themselves.

        Your follow up question about my inability to ‘see the misandry’ implicit in this discussion is problematic, because you’re sort of begging the question; I deny that ‘misandry’ is an actual phenomena – and so do the vast majority of social scientists working in the field. I can’t ‘see the misandry’ without you or someone else first showing that such a concept even exists. Until the MRM or anyone else is able to present a convincing amount of evidence that institutional or social discrimination against men exists, then the concept cannot be meaningfully used in discussions about gender. ‘Misandry’ is the opposite of ‘misogyny’ only in the most trivial sense – they are linguistically opposite – but in practice, only one (misogyny) has been shown to exist. Pointing to male-only selective service as an example of ‘misandry’ only works if part of the definition of the term is that ‘misandry’ involves men oppressing themselves. You’re right, tens of millions of men have died in wars they were conscripted to fight in; and they were conscripted to fight by other men, led by other men, killed by other men. Men determining the actions of men. When we are talking about misogyny, we’re talking about social and institutional discrimination against women as a social category; if you want to use ‘misandry’ as the male-centered version of misogyny, then you’d have to show similar institutional discrimination of men as a social category. Since such discrimination does not exist, ‘misandry’ does not exist.

        2. MRAs don’t really exist in academic environments, because so many of the foundational arguments made by mainstream MRM members do not hold up to the levels of scrutiny demanded by peer review. There is also the fact of methodology; what methodological questions or concerns would MRAs seek to address? Feminist analysis for example tends to focus on the role that power plays in social interactions; Marxist analyses focus on the role that class plays, while; what do MRAs bring to the table? What sorts of dynamics are MRAs interested in analysing?

        There are many academics out there who research men and men’s lives (like me) and the vast, vast majority of us refuse to even think about adopting the label of “Men’s Rights activists” because we reject the foundational premises of the movement. It’s been around since the 1970s, and nothing useful has ever come out of it. It also attracts more than its fair share of horrible people (Paul Elam, for example), and rather than be marginalized or kicked out of the movement, he and others like him (Erin Pizzey comes to mind) are embraced and enfolded into the community to become ‘luminaries’ or stars. Elam’s website is still one of the most recognized and trafficked site of the MRM, and every time I go there, I need only click on one or two links to find horrible, dehumanizing things said against women by people on that site. I don’t use the MRA label because, to be blunt, I’m not anti-women, and I have zero desire to sit around with other people in some kind of anti-feminist echo-chamber.

        “There are a lot of people who are working on rights for males” Do you mean ‘rights for men’? What sorts of rights are there that are attached to being biologically male? And on that point, what sorts of rights are men missing? This is one of the things that bothers me about many MRA arguments; they assert that men are somehow lacking in rights or ‘missing’ rights, but whenever I ask what they are talking about, I get the same tired assertions “men are discriminated against by the legal system (in general they’re not)”, “men are ‘disposable’ (define ‘disposable’, then prove it)” “Men die sooner (that’s true, but so what? Much of that is due to things like having increased chances of contracting age-related illnesses like heart disease. Is nature sexist?)”

        ““The reason why it might be hard for you to find evidence of activism on the part of *snip*”
        Ah ok, good point. Could the same be said of the MRA’s?”

        No, because the MRM and MRAs as a group do not exist in academia, because no one there takes them seriously (except perhaps, as a possible threat to the project of building a more equitable society). There are no academic MRA conferences; there are no MRA peer reviewed journals (but there are such journals for real academic work on men and masculinities), because the movement in general is not one based in empirical investigations. Every single source I’ve been able to find that discusses the MRM in a serious, scholarly manner has pointed out that for the most part, the group operates through speculation, misunderstandings of existing empirical data, anecdote-as-evidence type thinking, and generally sloppy attitudes about sampling, data analysis, or rigour.

        Consider this example; MRAs often allege that the justice system is biased against men because in custody cases, women get the children far more often than men do. Empirically, it’s true; women do gain custody more than men. Does this however mean that the justice system is biased against men?

        No. And here’s why: in the majority of custody arrangements, women get the children, but then again, the majority of custody arrangements are agreed upon informally, or through non-binding arbitration. In other words, in the vast majority of cases, custody is determined by the mother and the father mutually, without ever setting foot in a courtroom. The mom and dad sit down, hash things out, and they agree that the children should go with the mother. No courts involved. A second tier of custody discussions take place at a lawyer’s office, in arbitration; the parents, with the aid of counsel, negotiate an arraignment that is to the satisfaction of both parties. In these cases, women tend to end up with the children, through mutually agreed upon negotiation and discussion. In the final, and most acrimonious cases, where the courts become involved, women remain the most likely to be awarded sole custody (although the more money the father has, the more likely he is to gain custody), but men are far less likely to actually ask for it. In one study I read (the one at the bottom of the original post), men only asked for sole custody in 10% of all cases, and asked for joint custody in 3%. If only 10% of men actually bothered to ask for sole custody, then is it any wonder that women were awarded it more often, and does that therefore make the courts ‘biased’? I don’t really see how, unless there is an argument to be made that men ought to be forced to demand sole custody in order to increase the rates of sole-custody fathers…

        /rant

      • “If that’s the argument you want to make, then sure, I could go with that, but making that argument defeats the purpose of using conscription as an example of ‘misandry’, because it would imply that men are being ‘misandric’ to themselves.”
        That’s exactly my argument, although there are a few women who’ve had power and have continued such misandry, monarchs n what not but very few compared to males. It is my belief that those at the top set it up in a way that is both misandrist (men forced to fight without choice) and misogynist (since women were denied the choice to fight). The few at the top can treat the many like shit, the elites whom had power, the lawmakers, the kings, queens, politicians whom have power today, etc. The average Joe and average Jill cop sexism, mostly against Jills although whenever big war breaks out this disparity hugely changes in countries with male-only conscripts and it is the men who suffer more in some cases of major numbers of conscripted soldiers. In peacetime it swings back to harming Jills the most. Misandry doesn’t have to be perpetrated by females to be damaging, but given that women do have some power it’s not 100% males harming other males, but society itself.

        “I deny that ‘misandry’ is an actual phenomena – and so do the vast majority of social scientists working in the field. ”
        It’s really obvious to the point of being painful that misandry exists, misandry that is instilled mostly by males (and a few females too who’ve had power throughout history). Does society being run MOSTLY by males (again, women throughout history have had a small part to play and women have been a part of setting up the patriarchy whether you like it or not).

        “Since such discrimination does not exist, ‘misandry’ does not exist.”
        So because men do it, it’s not discrimination against men? Umm, that logic is so badly flawed I wouldn’t even know how to respond to it. Let’s not forget there have been female rulers, they are rare but they still exist, a male dominated society still allows for some females to have influence does it not? Society itself installs the misandry regardless of who the ruling class is, it’s possible to discriminate against men even if the extreme minority of men have large amounts of power, the elite can harm the rest of men with conscription.

        “There are many academics out there who research men and men’s lives (like me) and the vast, vast majority of us refuse to even think about adopting the label of “Men’s Rights activists” because we reject the foundational premises of the movement. It’s been around since the 1970s, and nothing useful has ever come out of it. ”
        Have they not helped fathers rights, raise awareness of male vulnerability in domestic n sexual abuse? I am no MRA myself but I have benefitted by other MRA’s (and feminists too) in their raising of awareness of issues that affect men.

        What is bad about Paul Elam may I ask? And Erin Prizzey? I’ve heard people say Paul has said bad things but never seen someone actually show me where except an article that disproved the commenters entire thought since it said he wasn’t being serious on that article. Erin Prizzey the most I’ve heard is people getting pissed at her anti-feminist ideas?

        “I need only click on one or two links to find horrible, dehumanizing things said against women by people on that site. ”
        In the comments? Or the articles? I constantly see dehumanizing and horrible things said on some feminist sites like Jezebel.

        ” I don’t use the MRA label because, to be blunt, I’m not anti-women, and I have zero desire to sit around with other people in some kind of anti-feminist echo-chamber. ”
        Is it fair for someone to use the straw-feminist attack? Because what you’re using is the Strawmra, making a generalization that MRA’s are anti-women. Being anti-feminist doesn’t make them anti-women, and not all MRA’s are actually anti-ALL feminist but just some parts, mainly radical/extremist versions of feminism. Now we have this huge feminist vs MRA battle where so much bigotry and ignorance of the MRM, MRA, and feminism is cast at each other, strawman’s are flying everywhere that it’s just pointless to continue fighting and sad because really both actually want similar things.

        Missing rights for men, Right to body autonomy (circumcision), right to opt out or parenthood (financial abortion options), and depending on country conscription and selective service. The others as you list differ on area, the courts last I heard are becoming more fair although 5-10 years ago I believe there was greater disparity. Most of men’s issues though are social issues I believe, I can’t think of any actual rights apart from those 3 I listed. My biggest concern for male issues is support with abuse, there is disproportinate levels of support for women and violence so we need to boost men up to the level they need in the major fight against abuse n violence, my other concerns are financial abortion, and largely the gender roles issues. I find both feminists and MRA’s are working towards fixing these problems.

        “There are no academic MRA conferences”
        I think they are starting, first I heard of was this year and it was heavily protested by some people who showed a lot of bigotry towards them and threw heavily strawman arguments at them. Trouble is there are a lot of extremists on sites for men who may or may not be MRA so as you are well aware, their PR has gone to shit because of it. Hopefully the ones trying to start the academia n what not, the serious discussions will battle on past it and salvage the movement. Biggest issue is the sheer level of disorganization though.

        RE: Fathers rights, from what I understand the bias was heavily reduced in the 90’s though I am no expert on that area. I try to trust the courts to be decent to people. One issue that I worry about is parental alienation, vicious parents poisoning their relationship with the non-custodial parent, a judge here in Australia admitted the mother in one case did this to a father and he had no choice but to deny the father contact because they children ended up too afraid of him based off her words, as the judge said. But I doubt this is gendered and is more a parental rights vs fathers rights issue, divorces can be ugly and mean words can be said of the other. I hope the courts figure out how to stop this occuring because it’s pathetic and evil to deny a father or mother decent access to their kids because the other parent poisoned their mind with fear.

        Overall though the online representation of gender rights movements of both feminism and the MRA have left me quite distant of hope that men will be adequately covered in anything. I realize there are those in feminism who do work to better the lives of everyone, including men, but the MRM would not exist if it was working. Too often I’ve seen some feminists say feminism is for men, then other feminists pretty much tell them to fuckoff and make their own movement, where is it do you go to find a safe space for men to discuss gender issues, regardless of ideology, where a problem arises and people simply focus on fixing it instead of pissing contests of who gets it worse? The closest I’ve found is the GoodMenProject which has a fairly relaxed policy of articles and posts feminism, mra, and mostly just random male stuff with some female stuff. But where else can I go to discuss violence against men and not see bigoted comments of “whatabouthemenz” and other derailing n dismissive bullshit by some people that want to keep the us vs them mentality alive? Pretty much every anti-violence group I’ve seen is heavily gendered and only deals with women or children, Myself and many other men wish to talk about this stuff somehow and the only major places I’ve seen are GMP + AVfM, maybe facebook, Jezebel is definitely not safe, NSWATM shut down. Where do I go to meet the academics like yourself n others who deal with male issues especially? Preferablly a place where I am not smothered in female issues as I already have a blogroll of female issues.

      • This has been a good conversation, so thanks for having it with me, but I think that we’re starting to get a bit too widely focussed; let’s try to narrow down the discussion a bit. You and I seem to have wildly different definitions of ‘misandry’, and I’m not sure that we’re going to come to an agreement on what it means, so I figure we might want to set that discussion aside for a while. I’ll pick out a few things that you’ve said that I find interesting or problematic, and I’ll leave the rest for now. These aren’t in any real order or anything…

        1. Parental Alilenation: I hear this term used by MRAs – often called Parental Alienation Syndrome – but it’s not recognized by any established medical or psychological entity. In fact, the only place I ever hear it used is on the websites of MRM or Father’s Rights pages, and from what I can see, it’s a litigation tactic designed to weight custody hearings in the father’s favour by presenting him as a victim of some sort of conspiracy to poison his reputation or standing with his children. Again, there is no evidence that I can find that indicates that ‘Parental Alienation Syndrome’ is recognized by any professional associations. Does ‘parental alienation’ exist as a concept? Sure, but from what I’ve read on the subject, it is not a ‘father’s rights’ issue because this sort of thing happens regardless of which parent ends up with custody; it’s a shitty thing that happens in many divorces, and probably shouldn’t be politicized by MRAs looking to score rhetorical points.

        2. The ‘MRM would not exist’ if feminists were really working to better the situations of everyone: You’re kidding yourself if you actually believe this. The MRM has always been, first and foremost, a movement dedicated to opposing feminist philosophies. As the paper in one of my replies to Archy points out, the MRM tried to gain legitimacy as an advocacy movement by grafting itself to the father’s rights movement sometime after the MRM began. This isn’t an opinion or an assertion, it’s just a basic historical fact. Feminists could be standing on every single rooftop of every single city on the planet holding placards showing all of the work done to improve the lives of both women and men, and MRAs would still exist. Many men in the MRM have constructed a form of ‘countermemory’ in which they have reorganized the history of their movement – and of the statuses of men and women in society – in order to construct a version of history that positions men as the ‘true’ victims of oppression. And they’re free to; it’s their movement, they can construct whatever fantasies they wish.

        3. Academic MRA conferences: The infamous MRA talk at the University of Toronto is not, in any sense, an academic conference. Yes, it had an academic or two in attendance, but it was not hosted by any academic association; it released no proceedings or other publications; it was not attended by scholars, nor were any papers presented there. It was the equivalent of a creationist lecture given on university grounds.

        4. Groups that are dedicated to ending domestic violence are often ‘heavily gendered’ and tend to focus on women and children’s welfare because women and children are the overwhelming victims of domestic violence. Just about every single systematic study, analysis, and meta-analysis of domestic violence in western societies has concluded this. The only studies that seem to disagree often contain significant methodological flaws, like labeling both offensive, aggressor-violence and defensive violence or violence perpetrated in order to escape harm under the heading of “violence”, which ignores the actual nature of the violence perpetrated. It would be like you and I both being arrested and charged with assault, even though I had chased you around and stabbed you until you hit me with your fist in order to get away.

        5. Paul Elam and Erin Pizzey: Paul Elam is without a doubt, a straight-up, woman-hating misogynist. Google anything he’s ever said about ‘jury nullification’ (deliberately tanking any case in which a man is accused of rape, regardless of evidence, because apparently the courts are biased against men or some such bullshit), or just head on over to Manboobz and browse his archive of stupid, hateful shit Paul Elam has said about women. Saying Elam is a misogynist is about as controversial as saying that water is wet. Pizzey, on the other hand, has argued that women ‘belong’ in the home, and men ‘belong’ at work, where they can devote their lives to taking care of their womenfolk – which is the exact thing that MRA’s claim to want to put an end to. But hey, she hates feminists, so it’s all good, right? As I said before, any movement that places these two clowns at its head as ‘luminaries’ needs to seriously re-evaluate its priorities.

        Finally, I just want point out for anyone who reads this comment, the ‘fact’ (and this is debatable) that feminists haven’t explicitly agitated for men or men’s issues is no more a black mark against the movement than the fact that the civil rights movement didn’t concern itself with the issues of white folk is a black mark against it. The feminist position has always been that by reducing the amount of social inequality faced by women, society as a whole will benefit. As more women are empowered to enter the workforce for example, more men will be free to stay at home and raise their children. As society abandons the idea that there are “men’s” jobs and “women’s” jobs, more economic opportunities will become available for men and women alike, and men will feel less pressure to conform to certain socially-defined standards of masculinity – the kinds of standards that encourage men to take on more dangerous jobs instead of say, doing clerical work or early childhood education. As society abandons that notion that women need to be defended and protected, and as more countries allow women to serve in their armed forces, the notion that men are ‘supposed’ to do all the fighting and dying will go away. The MRM is simply not needed; if more men would put effort into breaking down the institutional barriers faced by women, they’d see that the positive effects of this would make life better for them as well.

        We know from researching the subject that in nations where women get the chance to enter the workforce, economies improve, crime rates fall, violence against women is reduced, and population growth slows to more manageable levels. Source. Globally, women are the most vulnerable; it makes sense that we’d want to focus our efforts on helping them, but doing so does not mean that men are ignored. Helping end the marginalization of women helps men directly.

      • ” Helping end the marginalization of women helps men directly.”

        But that is so often the focus that feminist actions become more of a “we’ll help men after we help women” thought is it not? I haven’t seen any major push for male issues, yet I consistantly here that feminism is the movement that is meant to do all of the stuff the MRM talks about (apart from those anti-feminists within it of course).

        Comparing gender rights to black rights is also the worst analogy you can make, and it’s actually insulting. Women are not a minority, they are the majority of the population in the U.S at least, and hold more voting power (by 8 million votes last I checked) than men. When black people can collectively vote in the next president then you may attempt to compare them, but the issues both face are extremely different, infact a white women has enormous privilege compared to a black man.

        “1. Parental Alilenation: I hear this term used by MRAs, but it’s not recognized by any established medical or psychological entity.”
        It doesn’t have to be a medical problem does it? Is punching someone until they are scared of you recognized by medical entities? I am not talking about the disorder, just the existance of the action. If I started telling my children over n over that their mother abused them when they are infants then those children could easily become scared of her, it’s destroying her reputation and due to the position of trust I have they are more likely to believe me. As I said this happens to both genders so it’s a parental issue, not sure I’d call it parental rights, but more parent social issues?

        “2. The ‘MRM would not exist’ if feminists were really working to better the situations of everyone: You’re kidding yourself if you actually believe this. The MRM has always been, first and foremost, a movement dedicated to opposing feminist philosophies”
        Philosophies such as what? The MRM is not a monolith anymore than feminism is, or do you believe that men should be 10% of the population and castrated because some radicals do too? There were women’s groups (not sure if they identified as feminist) in India who SUCCESSFULLY stopped men from being included in the rape definition, and act that is anti-male, did the feminists there fight against it and if that group was feminist then how is that action helping men?

        “3. Academic MRA conferences: The infamous MRA talk at the University of Toronto is not, in any sense, an academic conference.”
        Male groups, not mra but just male groups have been protested and blocked from being allowed from protestors whom thrown strawmans n misinformation at them. 2 women and a man tried to make a group and it’s gotten resistance and last I heard wasn’t allowed. If the groups cannot be made, how can their even be academic discussion apart from online? How would it progress?

        “4. Groups that are dedicated to ending domestic violence are often ‘heavily gendered’ and tend to focus on women and children’s welfare because women and children are the overwhelming victims of domestic violence.”
        And heart disease kills men more but this line of thinking would suggest we should ONLY advocate for men’s health issues and flat out ignore womens health issues regarding heart disease. If we take the “focus on majority” aspect further than we should completely ignore domestic violence and go after male-male violence since 4-6x more men die from violence (W.H.O 2004 DALYS). Men also make up a significant amount of hte victims, the latest CDC stats pretty much have men ranging between 1/5 to 1/2 of rape victims (1/2 for the last year, 1/5 for lifetime), physical violence is close between 1/3rd to 1/2. Of all the studies of emotional violence they’ve been pretty similar numbers, the studies of teenage relationships I’ve seen show a very similar rate as well. Half of domestic violence last I checked was reciprocal violence too with women being injured at a higher rate due to the size differences but men still significantly harmed. Yet we do not see 1/5 or even 1/10 DV campaigns, posters, etc addressing male victimization, and you very very rarely ever see those campaigns talk about or target female perpetrators yet females perpetrate a lot of violence towards men in relationships, they are in fact the group that commits the majority of sexual abuse of adult males, majority of domestic violence against them. That is the disproportionate level, which I personally find sickening because the goal should be to help everyone regardless of race, creed, gender, age, just cover all bases and the female perpetrated, male victim type poster is the rarest in existence yet is one of the most common. In fact I’ve never seen an article written from a woman telling other women to stop raping men or others, yet seen ooodles from men telling other men to stop raping women, CDC found 16% of rapists for lifetime were female (when you include forced to penetrate)

        “5. Paul Elam and Erin Pizzey: Paul Elam is without a doubt, a straight-up, woman-hating misogynist. Google anything he’s ever said about ‘jury nullification’ (deliberately tanking any case in which a man is accused of rape, regardless of evidence, because apparently the courts are biased against men or some such bullshit), or just head on over to Manboobz and browse his archive of stupid, hateful shit Paul Elam has said about women. ”
        I’ll have to give it a google, however some of what manboobz has said has been out of context, and straight up strawman. The bigotry that place holds towards the MRA is incredible and isn’t a source of unbiased information on the subject I find. As for Erin, does she hate all feminists? She’s actually had death threats, bomb threats from feminists as she says, and has even had her dog injured by them for speaking about that men can be the victim and women can be the perpetrator in DV. As for her traditional views, I disagree with them if that is the case. It doesn’t delete the awareness she has raised of domestic vioolence does it? The MRM has a lot of faults I admit but it’s still pretty damn small and sorting shit out. It can’t happen when they aren’t even allowed to have groups because some people have so much bigotry to anything male that they can’t accept men having a group to discuss male issues (and women discussing them too) without controlling the debate, hell one of the key arguments was that the gender discourse in such a group should be centered on the women….that narcisistic and selfish attitude where men cannot even frame their discussions on men and the whataboutthewomenz attitude doesn’t help the MRM or just a basic group of mens issues discussed grow. If I were at uni I would attend both mra and feminist discussions as long as neither get too damn heated (I can’t stand listening to heated debates as screaming n yelling are triggers for me from past abuse). I would think by now there would be very egalitarianian based men’s groups under the feminist ideology that would be spearheading major help for men, doing as much or more than the MRM, are their groups like that? And I mean groups that actively focus on men and not centered around how to better women’s lives?

      • ” Helping end the marginalization of women helps men directly.”

        But that is so often the focus that feminist actions become more of a “we’ll help men after we help women” thought is it not?

        No, it’s not, and the only people who make this claim tend to be people with an axe to grind. Where did you get the ‘after’ part? I didn’t say that; no feminist group I’ve ever been associated with has said that. Feminists will often say ‘Men’s lives are improved as women’s lives are improved’. Women and Men’s lives improved alongside each other, together, at the same time. I don’t know how you managed to reinterpret that to mean that men’s lives are viewed as an afterthought, because that’s simply not the case. Now, do you want to pull out the ‘bu but extremists say terrible things about men'; well no shit, they’re extremists. Are you trying to imply that the feminism, as a concept, ought to be defined be the crazies at its edges? The Men’s Rights Movement, on the other hand, is defined by its extreme attitudes; the entire movement sits in the extremes, so even ‘moderate’ members of the movement must account for their involvement in a movement that not only includes folks like Elam, but actively embrace him as a luminary. Do you see the difference here>

        Regarding your offense over the analogy between civil rights and women’s rights: You are free to be insulted by the analogy, but I’m not obligated to pay any heed. I’m not particularly interested in whether or not you find the analogy insulting; the analogy is a good one, even if you don’t like it. I also find it interesting when you say this: “but the issues both face are extremely different, infact a white women has enormous privilege compared to a black man.” And a white man has privilege over each, and a white woman has privilege over a black woman and, surprise surprise, black women have it worst of all, and in aggregate, women are still disadvantaged in relation to men. There are a high number of points of intersection between social inequality, gender, and race, so for you to allege that an analogy that links them is a bad one is baffling. Yes, black men can be disadvantaged when compared to white women, but that’s not surprising in the slightest. Black men are at a disadvantage when it comes to almost everyone (except black women), but that trend points to just how much racial discrimination can erase the advantage of being a man.

        Your argument in point 4 is a strawman and the logic of your line of thinking regarding men and disease is flawed; I never said we should ignore anything – in fact, I explicitly stated, as the final sentence in my last comment to you “it makes sense that we’d want to focus our efforts on helping them, but doing so does not mean that men are ignored. Helping end the marginalization of women helps men directly.” Why are you arguing so strongly against a point I never made?

        “females perpetrate a lot of violence towards men in relationships, they are in fact the group that commits the majority of sexual abuse of adult males, majority of domestic violence against them. ”

        The majority of sexual violence against males in the united states is perpetrated by other men, unless we want to argue that prison-rape and other forms of sexual assault among incarcerated citizens don’t count. Further, since domestic violence almost by definition takes place within the context of an intimate relationship or cohabitation/married couples, and since the overwhelming majority of such partnerships are between heterosexual couples, then it would stand to reason that women would account for the bulk of DV complaints against men. But so what? That doesn’t really tell us anything; it’s like saying that the majority of fathers are biologically male. So what? That’s not helpful in the slightest. In heterosexual partnerships where domestic violence is present and in which the man is the victim, who else, precisely, would the perpetrator be? As I pointed out earlier, there’s also the problem of methodological flaws or biases in research that illustrates any gender-parity in terms of violence within partnerships. Source The source is behind a paywall, but here’s the abstract:

        Research that shows approximately equal rates of dating and domestic violence by men and women has been used to challenge the priority given to services for abused women. This article reviews the scientific evidence for gender equality in rates of lethal and nonlethal intimate partner violence. Among the problems noted in studies showing gender equality are the ways in which questions about violence are framed, exclusion of items about sexual abuse and stalking, and exclusion of separated couples. Studies without these problems show much higher rates of violence by men. Furthermore, the physical and psychological consequences of victimization are consistently more severe for women.

        Finally: regarding Elam and Pizzey. Yes, Manboobz does often present some bad arguments, but he also presents a ton of Elam’s own words, complete with context, that show precisely what sort of person he is. If Manboobz bothers you, then ignore him and just read Elam’s own words; he doesn’t need anyone else to condemn him. He does an admirable job all by himself. If the MRM wants to be taken seriously, it needs to jettison or completely marginalize folks like him – in the same way the broader feminist movement has marginalized its extremists. ‘Moderate’ MRAs would be well served to shut Elam down, ignore him, mock or dismiss him, or devote some of their time to making sure that no one takes him seriously.

        “The MRM has a lot of faults I admit but it’s still pretty damn small and sorting shit out.”

        It’s had over 30 years. How long does it need?

        ” And I mean groups that actively focus on men and not centered around how to better women’s lives?”

        Bettering women’s lives is synonymous with bettering men’s lives. Here’s the problem with what you’re looking for: By just about every single empirical measure social scientists have developed over the past century, men sit at the top of the social hierarchy. When we look at power and influence – in just about any sphere you can think of – men dominate. Do you deny this? If you were to go out and grab a random sampling of, say, 100 politicians (at any level – federal, state/provincial, municipal – CEOs, law enforcement, emergency services, doctors, laywers, or professors, do you think it’s likely that the overwhelming majority of them will be men? I would hope you’d agree, because then you’d be agreeing with the evidence. Now, do men have issues? Of course; no one is denying that – except for your much referenced ‘extremists’, but since they’re out on the fringes for a reason, I’m going to waste no more time with them. Do men require some sort of ‘safe space’? What for? No, seriously, what for? What are male-only ‘safe spaces’ protecting men from? Other men? Women? Are women somehow a threat to men?

        It boils down to this: can men build ‘male only’ spaces to talk about issues? Sure, but what for? Women only spaces are designed to allow women to feel more comfortable speaking their minds without being interrupted, dismissed, or even sexualized or objectified – which happens pretty much everywhere else in society. Where do men face this kind of systemic, chronic marginalization? Nowhere – at least nowhere that discriminates against them for being men. Should white people get their own ‘white’s only’ center? do Anglo-European people need a ‘safe space’ in American society? Of course not. The same holds true for men. Should there be more shelters for battered men? sure. But do men ‘need’ some sort of special ‘no girls allowed’ space to just ‘be themselves’ in? Why? We get to be ourselves pretty much wherever we want. Why do so many MRAs seek to try and build this pathetic myth that men are somehow victims in some kind of global feminist conspiracy to keep them down? It’s like any other conspiracy theory; it flies in the face of the evidence.

      • “Where did you get the ‘after’ part? ”
        From reading plenty of feminists online. Or do they not count, is feminism a monolith which you get to define? In my experience I have personally found men to be an afterthought in feminist material I’ve seen, I hope it’s wrong as you say but I have had very little exposure to feminists actively working against men’s issues as so many claim they are meant to be doing. If I can’t see it, how can I believe it exists? I would think that after the CDC PROVED most sexual abuse against adult men is perpetrated by women in the U.S (CDC NISVS 2010 if you read past the cliffnotes) that we’d see major pushes to include female perpetrators and male victims in material to fight abuse, yet show me where this exists.

        “Feminists will often say ‘Men’s lives are improved as women’s lives are improved’.”
        Yes, it helps to some degree but it is not the main concern, that raising the equality for women means men get helped to some degree but is more of the side-effect, a positive one. I have often also heard that men need to do the work to fix men’s issues, not feminists, BY feminists. That is the afterthought, it’s done primarily to help women, can you show me the existence of major help for men in feminism? Are feminists fighting tooth n nail to include men in definitions of sexual abuse? Fighting tooth n nail to ban selective service, circumcision of infants, get financial abortion rights for men, etc?

        “Now, do you want to pull out the ‘bu but extremists say terrible things about men’; well no shit, they’re extremists. ”
        No, it’s the most common thing I hear online, maybe online just has a lot of shitty feminists, I dunno. Maybe more of your kind of feminist need to speak up and get heard because voices like yours in my experience start to approach the minority view of what I’ve been exposed too. I hope I have just had epic bad luck in finding good feminists, maybe the heavily gynocentric and extremists simply are more vocal?

        “Are you trying to imply that the feminism, as a concept, ought to be defined be the crazies at its edges? The Men’s Rights Movement, on the other hand, is defined by its extreme attitudes; the entire movement sits in the extremes, so even ‘moderate’ members of the movement must account for their involvement in a movement that not only includes folks like Elam, but actively embrace him as a luminary. Do you see the difference here>”
        I see the difference, you’re trying to suggest feminism has far more good than bad, problem is feminism has an appallingly bad online presence of calling out their bad. Is it really hard to understand basic Public relations that if you call out the bigotry within the “fringe” of feminism, that feminism as a whole will garner more support? Where do you think the anti-feminists get their dislike from? One of the most common arguments I see of anti-feminists is that feminism fails to call out the bigots in the movement (and the MRM do the same appalling job too). Radfemhub agent orange files should have had a large presence in the online feminist world to denounce such bigotry n hate for instance. Silence on these issues only allows distrust to be built, that’s basic PR, if you haven’t noticed feminism has had A LOT of bad PR in the past and desperately needs to retake the name in to a good direction. When I hear of women who lived during times where women were paid less who tell me that feminism has become something they don’t identify with, that it’s going “too far” (I don’t agree with that), and who do NOT call themselves feminists anymore there is a problem. The snarky internet feminism and the bullshit bigoted fights with the MRA are a huge problem with that. When feminism gets a bad name to the point that so many women I know, especially young women, don’t want to identify as such then there is a problem (the women I know actually have egalitarian views which align with some parts of feminism before anyone assumes they think otherwise).

        “Black men are at a disadvantage when it comes to almost everyone (except black women), but that trend points to just how much racial discrimination can erase the advantage of being a man. ”
        Yes, and the analogy is flawed because they’re very difference concepts. Don’t try to conflate the fight for rights by black people and the fight for rights for women. Did women as a group get the right to vote before black people? AFAIK it wasn’t until 64 that black people finally got the full right to vote in the U.S whereas women had it 1920.

        “I never said we should ignore anything – in fact, I explicitly stated, as the final sentence in my last comment to you “it makes sense that we’d want to focus our efforts on helping them, but doing so does not mean that men are ignored.”
        Your reply is a strawman, I didn’t say you said that. Disproportionate focus on one group disadvantages the other group because they do not get the proportionate response required, this is just basic logic.

        “The majority of sexual violence against males in the united states is perpetrated by other men, unless we want to argue that prison-rape and other forms of sexual assault among incarcerated citizens don’t count. ”
        Ok, outside of prison the majority of sexual abuse against adult men is perpetrated by women, inside prison the numbers are harder to understand because of the huge level of prison-guard abuse of men (remember position of power, a prisoner can never consent to sex with a guard because of the power difference). Most sexual abuse in prison against male prisoners by other prisoners is male on male, most guard sexual abuse last I checked was female on male. Either way female on male sexual abuse is so very much under-represented in anti-rape campaigns which is my point, that there is a huge failure of talking about a massive amount of abuse that exists but society is largely silent on.

        “As I pointed out earlier, there’s also the problem of methodological flaws or biases in research that illustrates any gender-parity in terms of violence within partnerships”
        When I say proportionatal, I mean if 1 in 3 dv victims are men, 1 in 3 ads should include men. This does not happen, and even far more disproportionate is showing a female as a perpetrator. I don’t know why there is such an utter lack of showing females are aggressors when clearly research has proven time n time again they make a significant amount of perpetrators (ie, more than 1/4 – 1/3)

        “‘Moderate’ MRAs would be well served to shut Elam down, ignore him, mock or dismiss him, or devote some of their time to making sure that no one takes him seriously. ”
        Agreed if he is as you say.

        “It’s had over 30 years. How long does it need? ”
        It should progress faster now with social media but because of the smaller number of issues, and that feminism also has some people working on them it may keep it smaller. I only heard of the MRM about a year or 2 ago but in the last year there seems to have been a lot more progress in trying to setup groups at university. I doubt it’ll ever get as big as feminism as there isn’t really a need to be that big, I also think there are far more people involved with men’s rights who do not identify as either feminism or MRA.

        “Do men require some sort of ‘safe space’? What for? No, seriously, what for? What are male-only ‘safe spaces’ protecting men from? Other men? Women? Are women somehow a threat to men? ”
        A space where men can open up and talk about their issues without someone piping up n shaming them is what I mean. Men are notoriously hidden with their emotions n troubles, stoicism is a tough thing to battle. A men’s group should address things like relationships, rights issues, suicide, drug n alcohol abuse, their role in society (many men I think feel they are unsure of what a “man’s” role is, I would teach them to ignore “man” and just be themselves), health issues, etc. I’d be happy for women to be in there as long as they aren’t derailing n acting like assholes, the protestors at the group trying to setup a man group in Canada is exactly the type of person I wouldn’t want there just as many female groups don’t want the “whataboutthemenz” crowd. Not everyone feels comfy opening up with a lot of anger thrown back at them, hence the need for a safe space, a space where the male voice on those concerns is centered. I also believe we need “calm debate” areas where male and female voices both debate life n all the troubles + also the existing female spaces. Males may have more power in society and more “spaces” seen as male but I can’t just start saying this shit anywhere I please and be protected against bigotry n silencing, where would men talk about this stuff? A group, an area where they can speak, have access to information on their health, etc. It’s not controversial stuff and I don’t understand why it’s even protested against, we have “men’s sheds” doing a similar job except for the rights issues in Australia.

        “Women only spaces are designed to allow women to feel more comfortable speaking their minds without being interrupted, dismissed, or even sexualized or objectified – which happens pretty much everywhere else in society.”
        Men want to feel comfortable speaking their minds without being interupted, dismissed, etc, which does happen if you look at the protests. Where exactly would a group of people discuss these issues on campus? the library? someones room?

        “Should white people get their own ‘white’s only’ center? ”
        Bad analogy, there are no rights that whites are denied, there are rights men are denied.

        “Why do so many MRAs seek to try and build this pathetic myth that men are somehow victims in some kind of global feminist conspiracy to keep them down? It’s like any other conspiracy theory; it flies in the face of the evidence.”
        No idea, there have been some negative consequences arrising from a few feminist actions and thye probably fear more will come. The heavily gynocentric focus on the abuse industry for instance is something that can be harmful to men. It’s not uncommon to read a male rape victim calling an abuse line and being told that he was the rapist simply because he was a male, shit like that shouldn’t happen. Victims have been arrested by some police that had stupid ideas that men could never be a victim. Sadly this is seen as a reflection on feminism itself, I believe it’s just poorly implimented laws and a lack of decent study into male vicitimization that causes these harms. It doesn’t help however to see “women’s groups” in India successfully stop men being included in the rape laws and the silence of that issue by other feminists, it’s a big PR issue as I’ve said and you won’t prove to MRA’s the good of feminism by staying silent on issues harming men in that manner. I dare say most MRA’s should be welcoming of the egalitarian style feminists I’ve known, which I think you are, and they should work together. Sadly there is a lot of hatred between both movements which isn’t helped by major generalizations (I try to avoid generalizations, point them out if I do it so I can change). Btw, not saying gynocentricism is bad either, I have no troubles with that, I don’t think gynocentric feminism would help MRA’s at all just as phallocentric movements won’t be very helpful in reverse.

        I find the entire debate surrounding gender quite tiring recently, too much fighting and I am quickly losing hope that men and women will both adequately be covered by these movements whilst this silly fighting goes on. I am trying to take a break from it all but thank-you for your discussions, it’s been informative. I so wish that both these groups would just join up already n form Voltron, set aside differences, and just work at creating a better life for all. I dunno how people can keep at these debates for years without losing large amounts of faith in humanity.

      • All the best to you; I’m sorry I wasn’t able to convince you that the MRM is as misguided as it is, or that feminism isn’t some sort of bogeyperson to be feared. Since we’ve been having this discussion on a blog site dedicated to skepticism, I would ask that in your future dealings with the MRM, try to take a step back from their arguments and see whether or not the story they’re trying to tell about themselves matches up with what they seem to actually do. if you do that with an open mind, my hunch is that you’ll end up in the same place I did – rejecting the movement in its entirety and embracing a pro-feminist study of masculinity that doesn’t need to rely on what I see as a foundation of distortion, misinformation, and fear.

        Cheers.

      • I view it with skepticism, I try to be skeptic of everything to keep my mind sharp. I don’t trust quite a lot of the MRM that I’ve seen, my view is that there are individuals who are trustworthy and they’re the ones I hope to see flourish and take over, or join up with some feminists and simply create or extend a new movement that simply caters to all inequality where possible. I try to read a mix of feminism, MRA, but mostly what I read is just people who don’t identify as either, the egalitarians and try not to even notice labels like feminism, MRA, but listen to the opinion of that person to avoid any bias where possible. Good luck. :D

  17. “Part of being a mature individual when it comes to sex and sexuality is to acknowledge the risks of sexual activity – including the risk of having children – and since any thinking man must recognize that at least half of the process is outside of his direct control, he must also recognize that there ought to be a level of trust between himself and his sexual partner.”

    Since you seem to just pull out a small part of a response here, and answer that, instead of actually answering each post in full, I’ll do the same here.

    Here is your stance:
    A woman has the rights to her body. If she uses that body to have sex, which results in a pregnancy, she has the full right to decide WHAT to do with that baby, either keep it, or not. If she decides to keep it, the man must support that decision, except if someone else steps in, or the woman decides she doesn’t want support.

    This is how the law is today.

    You also feel that women have no responsibility when having sex. Only the man does, because it’s simply for the man to: “Don’t have sex.”.

    And also, “he must also recognize that there ought to be a level of trust between himself and his sexual partner.”

    That trust is again, entirely the man’s responsibility. If say a woman wants a baby, says she is on the pill, and has sex with a man, it’s his responsibility to support that child.

    Am I right so far? You feel that no matter what happens, the woman should always have the right for support, because, ‘He got sex.’?

    • You also feel that women have no responsibility when having sex. Only the man does, because it’s simply for the man to: “Don’t have sex.”.

      Are you actually serious? You can’t be. I have a hard time believing that anyone could write this down, look at it and think, ‘yep, that makes sense’. You think that I think that women have no responsibility when having sex? Who is the one who runs the risk of getting pregnant, genius? Who is the one who would be saddled with the burden of raising a child, or with the responsibility of getting an abortion? How about the next time you feel the need to make an argument, you try your best to refrain from putting nonsensical words in my mouth?

      That trust is again, entirely the man’s responsibility. If say a woman wants a baby, says she is on the pill, and has sex with a man, it’s his responsibility to support that child.

      Again, this is patently absurd, and if you’d actually take the time to think about it from the woman’s perspective, you’d see that. The responsibility is ‘entirely the man’s? Are you high? Considering that the physical condition of pregnancy is entirely the concern of the woman (as well as the aforementioned possibility of abortion), I’d say that this claim of yours is as false as your first.

      Am I right so far? You feel that no matter what happens, the woman should always have the right for support, because, ‘He got sex.’?

      Wrong again. I feel that should a woman become pregnant, she has the right to ask for assistance and child support, because the burden of raising the child will almost certainly fall to her. The man is responsible for a certain amount of financial support – literally the least he can do – in order to fulfill his own responsibilities to the child he has fathered. If he is so terrified of getting a woman pregnant, then he should be taking steps to ensure that she doesn’t – condoms are cheap, after all – or insisting that she use a diaphragm, or spermicidal jelly, or any number of other prophylactics available over the counter.

      Responsibility for the potential outcomes of sex belong to both parties; if you’re so terrified of spermjacking women who lie about being on the pill in order to get pregnant and gain child support benefits from you, then doesn’t it stand to reason that you would be dedicated to ensuring that you are doing all you can to avoid getting a woman pregnant? She says, ‘I’m on the pill, let’s have sex’, and you reply with, ‘thanks all the same, but even though you’re on the pill, I’d prefer to use a condom as well’. Problem fucking solved. Or are you so fixated on having unprotected sex that you’d happily run the risk of fatherhood for the sake of riding bareback?

      Sounds pretty irresponsible to me.

      • yeah… First off. If you want to debate something stop doing this:

        “Are you actually serious? You can’t be. I have a hard time believing that anyone could write this down, look at it and think, ‘yep, that makes sense’.”

        “Who is the one who runs the risk of getting pregnant, genius?”

        ” Are you high?”

        “Again, this is patently absurd, ”

        Seriously? Is this how you debate people in real life too? I’ll refrain from doing this myself though.

        Also, why did you not answer the first part of my post?

        “A woman has the rights to her body. If she uses that body to have sex, which results in a pregnancy, she has the full right to decide WHAT to do with that baby, either keep it, or not. If she decides to keep it, the man must support that decision, except if someone else steps in, or the woman decides she doesn’t want support.

        This is how the law is today.”

        Because…it is easier just to pick out a part and answer that, right?

        I wasn’t going to answer your points, since you act like such a douche, but hey. I’m a swell guy, so I’ll do it anyway.

        Women carry the burden of pregnancy, abortion and “saddled with the burden of raising a child”.

        Abortion: Have you ever gotten a woman pregnant? There is a burden on the man when it comes to abortion. Feminists, and you, don’t recognize that. If a man wants a baby, a woman gets pregnant and wants to abort, men can be devastated. I REALISE that this is her right, and it should be so, but don’t come here and say ALL the burden is on her. It depends on the situation. I know, because I have fucking been there. So have several of my friends. One stopped having sex entirely. Needed therapy to get through it. I know you are just gonna brush this aside…of course.

        Pregnancy: Of course. But, if she doesn’t want the child, she doesn’t have to be pregnant.

        Raising the child: What? “Saddled” with? She goes through with the pregnancy because she wants the child, but is saddled with the responsibility for wanting it?
        If she doesn’t want it, she either aborts it or adopts it away. Hard, yes I know, but what?

        Listen: If a woman wants a child, and has sex with a guy that DOESN’T want one, she should take full responsibility of the consequences.

        “Responsibility for the potential outcomes of sex belong to both parties; etc”

        yep, and she goes. “No! Let’s not. I don’t like condoms” (had that alot). Ok, since you’re on the pill. You sure? Yes. Fine….law STILL requires the man to financially support the child. Actually. You are actually serious that a woman can ON PURPOSE get pregnant with a guy, knowing full well that he doesn’t want a child, and you STILL think the guy should support her, and the child?

        In your logic, the woman can CHOOSE to not take ANY responsibility in the sex ACT (which was my point entirely, which you probably sidestepped and throw gall instead), she can even lie and say she HAS taken responsibilty, and the law still says the guy should support her financially. Yeh. That’s fair.

      • I don’t really care what you think of my ‘debate style’. I’m not here to please you. This is my blog, and I’ll say what I like, how I like. Don’t like it? You know your way out. Also, this isn’t my ‘debate style’, because this isn’t a debate. It’s the comments section of a blog post.

        I’m not going to waste any more time responding to your passive-aggressive comments. You want to discuss this further? Fine, I’m game; I’ll even play nice. But here’s how it’ll work, since you’re so interested in having a ‘debate': Articulate your position on this subject in one or two sentences. Then back up your claim with a supporting argument – perhaps a paragraph or so. I will then respond to your argument – and only your argument, using a couple of paragraphs of my own. I will not address superfluous arguments, nor will I address – except to dismiss – arguments or claims that are invalid or unsound. If you post more than one argument, I will dismiss all but one of my choosing. I will not discuss more than a single argument at a time. If you complain about me ‘not addressing all of your points’, the discussion ends. Those are my terms.

      • PA? I was addressing your aggressiveness. I was not being PA. How silly you are?

        Also…*stompstompstomp* This is my blog, I do what I want!! And so forth. …fine, if you are going to behave like that, go to you room!

      • More passive-aggressiveness. Is that all you’ve got? I suppose you really don’t want to discuss anything – I’ve even offered to play as nicely as you’d like. I guess tone-trolling is about all you’re good for. Run along.

  18. @ Tomas:

    So the crux of your argument seems to be that women are inherently deceitful and intrinsically irresponsible, foisting their mistakes off on males using a legal system and cultural institutions to do it. If you, as a male, decide that you don’t want to use a condom (for whatever reason) and your partner pregnant, that’s still on you. You made that decision. You also seem to think that abortions/adopting out are lightly made decisions; clearly ignoring the strong cultural influences against either of these options. While both are options; both are incredibly devastating emotionally and physically (in the case of abortion), and carry a serious social stigma that only the female suffers. As a male, sure you might get your precious feelings hurt, but in the end, you’re treated as the victim, especially if you make any motions to indicate you wanted to be a father and/or support it.

    As far as I am able to tell, you want to be able to get your dick wet and then simultaneously absolve yourself of any responsibility (as you clearly make your case that ultimately, it’s on the woman to avoid pregnancy) for the resulting pregnancy. While you argue that you understand that women have the right to choose, you also argue that because it might make you feel bad, that they should suffer an unwanted pregnancy. As a male, while you may become emotionally invested in the idea of fatherhood, you’re not the one spending nine months waddling about, suffering after a one night stand or casual hook up (which is the scenario you broadly paint in your examples).

    All in all, you’re a trolling twat, self-centred and decidedly ignorant of the larger societal framework in play outside of the “I knocked some chick up and now she wants me to pay some money for the kid.” small picture you seem trapped in. You place all responsibility for pregnancy on women, rejecting that your decisions make you partially responsible to.

    If you and your buddies keep finding yourselves in situations where you’re getting women pregnant here’s some advice:

    1.) find a better quality of women to interact with; if they’re telling you they’re on the pill and that they hate condoms, and keep getting pregnant, they’re of low character. Plus, if they’re lying about that, you should probably get checked for a case of domestic dick disease.

    2.) use condoms. It’s really easy! If she says she doesn’t like them, you say that you won’t do it without one. If your masculinity is too fragile to do this, sucks to be you.

    3.) stop having random hook ups and get into a serious relationship. If the choices are made between the two of you, it’ll probably work out better.

  19. Kate Chopin

    Tomas: Why don’t you do some real homework and read some of the books that Edwin suggested. I won’t tell you where in this comments sections they are – consider it a treasure hunt and my gift of fun to you.

    While you are searching, you might want to read some of the responses Edwin made to a commenter named Ideologie Kritik if you haven’t already. You must have read them already, right?

    If you think you can take Edwin on in a formal debate, well…..all I can say is, have you seen The Avengers? Remember what happened to Loki?

    I’ll be sure to bring popcorn, I do so always like a snack during a good show.

  20. Dangermouse

    Wow. You realise that your entire response to the Parental Responsibility bit was just a filk of an anti-choice argument against abortion, right?

    Now we have successfully banned abortion there is currently no way for a mother to get out of supporting a child however, unless a step-parent agrees to take that on as well. So what’s the lesson to take from this? Sex has consequences, one of which is the potential for parenthood. If a woman has no desire for children and has no desire to pay for any potential children she may produce, she should a) ensure that he is responsible for birth control (condoms/femidoms w/ spermicide, etc) and b) be up front about her lack of desire for children. It’s helpful to remember that these laws were put in place historically because women refused to take responsibility for a distressing number of children, to the point of killing them in-womb. Now that there are laws in place to protect children from abortion by unwilling mothers, there has arisen a new source of tension; the rights of the mother versus the rights of the child. By having sex, women implicitly accept that children might result and so implicitly accept the responsibility of caring for that child. Don’t like that idea? Don’t have sex. Pretty simple, really. Part of being a mature individual when it comes to sex and sexuality is to acknowledge the risks of sexual activity – including the risk of having children.

    Yup. That’s some terrible arguing there. It was terrible when they made the argument, and it’s terrible when you co-opted it too.

    • Who’s a cute little strawman? You are! You’re a cute little strawman! Good Strawman!

      Seriously, if you’re going to deliberately distort my arguments and pull them out of the context in which they were written, you could at least try to make it look less ridiculous.

  21. I’m late to the party. Thank you for your article and your snarky responses! ;)

  22. Even if abortion were illegal women could always just give their unwanted child up for adoption or even abandon it legally in a lot of places. Women are not forced into parenthood legally in America, men are. Your argument in a nutshell is women get X rights, men get Y rights and that is fair because men have always had more power then women. The concept of male power is like having a shotgun that doesn’t fire but if I complain about feeling unsafe people like you can jump down my throat “BUT YOU HAVE A GUN !!!”. If men as a class when dealing with men’s issues are so powerful why is the newest version of VAWA exclude only straight men (and to some extent boys) from it’s protections? It seems flat out dishonest of you to claim men in power means power for all men when you would be the first to call any man that used that power in that fashion an unconscionable bastard! It is fair to say at this point the only male leader you would view as legitimate would be one who intentionally puts men’s interests last after everyone else’s, the greater the degree to which this was done the more you would admire them in fact.

    • Judging by the content of this wall of text here, I’m gong to have to assume that you didn’t actually read my post, because the argument that you seem to be responding to wasn’t made anywhere in there.

      Your argument that the VAWA excludes straight white men also shows me that you haven’t actually read the bill. It’s like not reading things and then arguing against them is a hobby of yours.

      And finally, your claim about the ‘type of male leader’ that I would find legitimate reveals that in addition to not having bothered to read or understand my post, you have no desire to discuss anything contained within it honestly.

      Take a look at what tactics you resort to when arguing for your position. If you feel the need to wilfully misrepresent the positions or arguments of your opponent, then what does that tell you about your position?

      Wander back to wherever it is you came from. You’ll find I have no desire to engage with you.

  23. I follow the MRA because as a young male who grew up outside of the western world it is very hard for me to understand why woman who comes from well of homes have great professional qualifications and bright futures are allowed to treat me as a bad human being simply because of the way I was born.

    I work in a female dominated environment and everything about it is hostile to me. I am the youngest in the office, I am willing to work hard and respect my female superiors but I don’t understand why this is not enough for them to respect me. I have to sit all day and hear them say the worst things about men knowing that even if I try and stand up for myself I would get in to a ot of trouble.

    I started out trying to talk to feminists online but no one was interested in what I had to say. It is always that I am complaining and that I don’t know how good I have it.

    But I don’t feel that it is okay for me to endure so much stress and hostility when I am the youngest and the gender minority.

    When I discovered the MRA I found people that cared about my frustrations, men and woman who also felt that is not fair that young men who believe in woman’s rights and are sensitive to woman’s needs but are treated badly by the very people they are willing to support.

    It is hard to believe that feminism cares about everyone when people try to have a frank discussion about their ideas they are treated like children and told that they have views that are not important because they don’t have real issues to discuss. In my country we are taught that this is selfish childish behaviour and does not fix problems.

    I think that the feminist movement and it’s people need to start understanding that their are younger generations of people growing up who have never known the society that was unjust to woman in the past. These young people want to have open fair discussions about everyone’s concerns. They don’t want to be told to shut up because they don’t have real concerns. These young people are going to turn against you if you treat them this way.

    I would like to be part of a discussion that includes everyone. Where everyone is allowed to talk without fear. The MRA lets me do that. I can talk to men and woman about my simple human concerns as a young male without any shouting me down because they don’t like my ideas. I would like to talk to feminists too but they won’t let me, they want to keep their idea alive that everything in the world is bad for them. Everything in this world is not bad for people from wealthy families and good educations but it understandable that you want to be part of helping to fix this world.

    The MRA has so many similar idea to the feminist movement. Both sides are trying to create a better world for everyone. Maybe the feminists need to look inward at their success. It is good that you want to fix the problems that still exist but if you keep trying to fix the problems that you have already fixed you might cause the old problems for new people.

    The MRA understands that the feminists come from a good place and only want to address the problems that it feels you might sometimes overlook. There are people in the MRA who have some good ideas. It is not just the feminists who have all the answers.

    The Feminists seems to be so fearful of the MRA where they shouldn’t be. Yes there are people in the MRA with the wrong idea, there are people in the MRA who’s problem is that they just don’t like woman. But this is also tru of the feminist movement. You admit to this. But there are always bad apple falling off every tree.

    Where equality has been achieved it can only be maintained when people from all sides work together to ensure all the hard work is not un-done.

    If feminists truly believe in equality then you must develop to ability to recognise it as well as fight for it.

    With all the best intentions.

    t

    • Terence, I’m not sure where to start with this comment. You’ve not really given me anything to work with; if I was asked to summarize your primary thesis, it would be something along the lines of:

      “I work in a female-dominated environment. They are all mean to me and hate men. I can never say anything to defend myself. As a young man, I get frustrated and so I turned to the MRA because they validate my frustrations and make me feel better about myself. Feminists don’t want to talk to me and so they don’t let me talk to them. Feminism isn’t needed anymore, because feminists have already achieved everything they’ve set out to do – women and men are equal and are treated equally in our society. Except that men are no longer treated equally, and feminists don’t want to see that.”

      If this is the sort of argument you put forward when you attempt to discuss things with feminists, then I can see why a feminist might dismiss you or refuse to engage. This isn’t an argument, and many of the assertions you’ve made here are simply false. “Feminism” hasn’t achieved it’s goals, and women still are not treated equally. I’ve provided evidence for this in the blog post you’re responding to. In the United States – right this very second – women anti-abortion laws are being passed in state legislatures all across the country. Put another way, women today, in the 21st century, are being forced by the state to carry unwanted children to term against their will. Does this sound like equality to you? Women have only just been allowed to serve on the front lines in combat zones, reversing an exclusionary practice that has been in place since the very founding of the American republic. Women are still underrepresented in just about every single boardroom, university faculty lounge, or state or provincial legislature in North America.

      TL;DR: Women still aren’t seen as the equal of men, therefore feminism’s job isn’t over.

      The second point I would make is that when it comes to honest, critical, and substantive assessments of men’s lives and men’s issues, the men’s rights movement lags far, far behind – especially in academia, where most of the research on gender is done. I know; I study men and men’s lives, and neither I nor any scholar I know would ever think of using anything produced by the men’s rights movement, because it’s simply not reliable. The Men’s rights movement may seem like some sort of powerful force in online communities, but it’s a joke in academic ones. When we examine the rhetoric of the movement, we (academics) don’t find deep and meaningful discussions about how men might address the issues we face; we find vitriolic denunciations of “feminism” (well, a grossly distorted straw-feminism anyways), and assertions that men are “biologically determined to be X, Y, or Z”, which is something that very few sociologists or other social scientists would agree to anymore.

      Where is the MRM’s discussion of how men abuse and oppress other men? Where is their discussion on the role that different articulations of masculinity play in either encouraging or hindering men in their desire to live fulfilling, meaningful lives? Where are the MRM analyses of the role that violence plays in both traditional or contemporary articulations of masculinity?

      If you are of a critical mind, take a close look at the primary arguments and rhetoric of the MRM. Look closely at what it claims to stand for, and what it seeks to do. Then take a look at what it actually does. How, precisely does the MRM ‘help’ men; how does it do anything for men at all?

      I’m a feminist. I am also deeply immersed in the literature – the academic, research-driven literature – on men and men’s lives. I can say with a fair amount of confidence that 1. Feminism’s job (advocating for equality of genders in society) is not over, and 2. the men’s rights movement is little more than a re-imagined “men’s circle”, where men can go and have their often outdated views about men and women validated.

  24. Edwin,

    what I put forward to you was not necessarily an argument. It was a description of my personal experience.

    If you are stating to me that my feelings as a lived experience are not a valid talking point I am a bit lost. I simply want to feel safe in talking about my personal experience without the usual treatment of been frowned upon or be written off as a complaining male who is adverse to change.

    I take no issue in working in a female dominated environment. I take no issue in woman being absolutely themselves. But I do feel exempt from a professional team that openly says open hostile comments about a group of individuals where a member of that group is in the minority.

    I am not sure of the work feminism is setting out to achieve but I am very much agreed that there is still work to be done in so far as woman’s participation in society is concerned. However, I was trying to point out that much has been achieved and where achievements have been made this must be acknowledged as fixed and in need of maintenance and not more fixing. A good example is everybody’s right to vote.

    I am not sure why you have read so much in to my email. I understand that you are passionate for your cause and this is good but you shouldn’t let your passion force you to run ahead of yourself and blind you from what is in front of. As I continue to write please show respect and read what I am saying to. I do not wish to explain away the needs for the advancement of woman and their role in society. I am explaining my experience as an individual who is younger than the problems you are trying to fix. A person who see’s many battles won in the larger war but is left wondering why these battle fields are left burning.

    I am not sure why you see abortion as a battle field for woman’s rights. Not all woman believe that abortion is right. Only some woman believe abortion and that it is right. If your fight is for full legalisation of abortion across your country your fight is still only in the interests of woman (and people) who believe abortion is right. You are not fighting for woman’s rights in this case, you are fighting for the right to an abortion for people who believe abortion is right. Please do not read in my argument hear as being pro or against abortion myself. I would not want my child to be aborted, I would want to take responsibility. I use contraception as best possible so that abortion is not a danger to my children. However, if a person feels that abortion is the best answer for them then that is their choice. I still do not believe the fight for rights to abortion can be called universally a woman’s issue when not all woman believe in or want to have abortions. My girlfriend and my mother do not like abortion and do not feel the need to have it as an automatic right. That’s two woman who are not asking you (a man) to fight on their behalf.

    In North America, if your version of happiness is power in the board room with all the money in the Earth, this is your choice. If you believe these are the only the things that concern all woman in the world in your country then please do continue your fight. In my country we have a warm sun, beautiful nature, wildlife, clean oceans. These things, a roof over our heads and food to eat make us happy when we have a good family and friends to enjoy them with.

    If I could do something to help people of the western world that this is really all you need to be happy you would see the error in your need to constantly invent new wars, new enemies and new ways to fight your enemies.

    Maybe your problem is that you think you can find all the answers to both men and womans problems by coming up with endless statistics and theories and imposing them upon people. Maybe your problem is that when people want to talk to you about their problems at an individual level you use all these sciences and numbers to fight off the true nature of real human life and problems.

    In a city near where I grew up there used to be a problem with violent groups of boys running around causing trouble. They where generally between the ages of 4-12 years old. We started a small skate camp and convinced these boys to come along and join us in learning to skate. Some of the boys responded well to our friendship. We gave them skateboards and taught them what we knew, we gave them jobs to do in running the camp. Most of them landed up going to school. We were the only ones in the city who saw young boys like us. We did not try to understand them by facts and figures. We befriended them, we spoke to them and made friends with them. We taught them how to feel good about themselves. I am living in the west now but it is my hope that the open minded listening I did helped some of those boys. The sad part is that harder cases are now probably part of them men that contribute to the aweful rape crisis that my country is currently experience.

    Edwin, do you know why these boys where forced to live in the street? Why most of these boys had been raped and sexually assaulted, beaten and had become drug addicts? Why some of these boys grew up to become violent rapists? It was because their families where forced apart.
    My country has massive diamond and gold deposits that are controlled by western countries. These boys fathers where forced out of their homesteads and off their farms to live far away from their families in order to work in the mines and send money home to their families. At the same time their mothers where forced to find work in the cities.

    Edwin, who have been some of the biggest consumers of gold and diamond jewellery in the world. Who are the people that insist on diamonds and gold as a means of showing love?

    I am willing to listen to the concerns of young boys and it is my hope there are just a few less rapist in this world today as a result.

    You keep with your facts and figures and I will keep listening to the people who want their voices to be heard.

    t

    • And this, this right here is why many people might choose to ignore or dismiss you. Buried in this wall of text are distorted versions of the arguments I put forward; you constructed a strawman around each one and chose to attack that instead of attacking what I actually wrote. This isn’t a good debate or discussion technique, Terence.

      You also trotted out another commonly used trope in the Men’s rights movement; the dismissal of statistics or research if it fails to conform to your already deeply held convictions. I highlighted a number of studies in my original post that supported my arguments, and you choose to dismiss them rather than learn from them.

      Your counter to my abortion example is similarly problematic. So some women are against abortion? okay, then they’re free to not have one. The point of the argument, since you seemed to have missed it, is that anti-abortion legislation have the effect of stripping women of the choice to do what is in their own interests, according to their own beliefs. The state, in other words, is being directed to force some women to carry children they do not want and cannot care for to term, because of the particular moral frameworks of legislators, who are mostly men. They are deciding that the state ought to be able to force women to live with the emotional, physical, and financial burdens – and risks – of pregnancy because those legislators believe that they know what’s best for all women, everywhere. In essence, (mostly male) legislators are stripping personal choice, agency, and autonomy from women in a way that they do not do with men. It’s not about whether or not you, personally decide to use contraception or that you, personally do not like abortion; the point is that in states where such laws exist, there is a de facto two-tiered citizenship, where one group (men) possess more autonomy – by law – than another (women).

      Your ‘board room and all the money in the world’ discussion is a hopeless strawman of my own position, and not worth the time it would take to answer. If you cannot or will not bother to address the arguments as I’ve constructed them, then you’re simply wasting my time.

      Similarly your random denunciation against the evils of gold and diamond mining and ‘western wars’ are irrelevant to the discussion at hand. You want to talk about imperialism and colonialism? Fine, I’m game. But let’s maybe save that discussion for a time when it’s actually germane?

      Maybe your problem is that you think you can find all the answers to both men and womans problems by coming up with endless statistics and theories and imposing them upon people. Maybe your problem is that when people want to talk to you about their problems at an individual level you use all these sciences and numbers to fight off the true nature of real human life and problems.

      So now using statistics and theoretical models are ‘bad’ ways of trying to understand the world around us? Well hot damn, Terence! Better alert all scientists everywhere! We’ve been doing things wrong for the last century or so! You may have befriended and helped some of the kids in your town – and that is a wonderful and noble thing to do – but if a person wishes to try and solve structural or societal level problems, they can’t simply befriend everyone; they need a tool to help them do that. Theories, research, and statistics are some of the most powerful tools we’ve got. Just because you disagree with them doesn’t make them invalid.

      You keep with your facts and figures and I will keep listening to the people who want their voices to be heard.

      Yes, I will keep with the facts, thanks. Maybe you should try and learn a few?

  25. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. – Nelson Mandella

  26. Edwin, I am not a men’s rights activist.

    I am just a normal guy looking for answers about the world I live in.

    It is respectable that you have such an arsenal of numbers and statistics to make your argument. I am a simple person who tries to help in simple ways.

    You have your facts and figures and I have my ability to listen. I have listened to male problems and prevented young boys from growing up to become rapists. Have you achieved this with your facts and figures?

    Edwin, true wisdom, something you might obtain one day (you seem like a bright guy), lies in knowing that you nothing at all.

    This is human wisdom that no facts and figures can teach you.

    What worry’s me about people like you is that you might not be in it because you care. You are possibly just trying to beat your chest to impress woman in the hope that this will find you someone who respects.
    You might be using important issues to get yourself laid. Men will do desperate and stupid things to get laid.

    Good luck in your fight Edwin.You are like Marlin Brando, “What are you rebelling against? What have you got?” Maybe one day you will find that special lady and calm down in your need to throw down your coat for all of them. Maybe this will be the day when you learn to people are not trying to fight you or beat you at your knowledge.

    You have convinced me that feminism is not about taking a human approach to life. It’s a blame game. It’s a game of stick your fingures in your ears and say “la la la la la la la la la la”.

    Edwin, I have stopped men from raping by my actions and ability to listen. Until you do this you are no man.

    Good luck Mr Big American man. You are so much like many who came before you.

    • Right, so now you’re not an MRA? But in your first comment you claimed to follow the MRM… so you’re not an MRA, you merely sympathize with them and regurgitate the same tired arguments as them? Right.

      As to the rest of your passive-aggressive self-congratulations, all they’ve done is show me that you have absolutely zero desire to discuss anything with me in good faith. You think I’m only saying the things I do in order to ‘get laid’? Really? That’s the best you’ve got? I say the things I say because the evidence supports them. We’ve already established that you don’t seem to care for pesky things like ‘evidence’, ‘research’, or ‘facts’. How about you take your self-righteous self and wander off of this site.

      PS: I’m not an American. If you took more than a second to look around the site, you’d know that.

      You have convinced me that feminism is not about taking a human approach to life. It’s a blame game. It’s a game of stick your fingures in your ears and say “la la la la la la la la la la”.

      You didn’t need me to ‘prove’ anything to you, Terence. You already felt this way – you have absolutely no desire to learn anything that might challenge your worldview, and rather than honestly admit that to yourself, you opted to take the easy way out by claiming that because I (as the apparent emperor of feminism) said something you don’t like, feminism is automatically anti-human or something. This says far more about you than it does about me.

      Anyways, you’ve given your two-cents worth; time for you to go back to whatever hero fantasies you have currently running in your mind.

      • No Edwin, I am not an MRA. I am not sure where I said I was.

        Although I have met some good people in the MRM I remain sceptical. There are many in the MRM that paint themselves as victims. The MRM has this in common with feminism.

        But like feminism there are people with good ideas.

        I don’t see you as a thinker within your movement. You have really only thrown statistics at me that I am already well aware of. I know men rape, I know people are denied abortion unfairly, I know men make up the majority of the boardrooms.

        There is something very suspect to me about a man who makes is argument purely about how unfair the world is to woman. I can’t help what wonder what this type of man has as his primary objective.

        Anyone who has taken a good look at them-self will understand that there is no escaping the fact, that as a human being, your primary objective is always a selfish objective. It is human nature. So I have to question a man who’s man argumentative point is that most of the world’s problems are caused by men and most woman are innocent victims.

        You would have a hard time convincing me that you are different to all other human beings and to not have a selfish primary objective.

        I am not an MRA but I will continue to have discussion with some MRA’s because they seem more willing to have an honest discussion without trying to pull apart my own (admittedly) simple views of the world.

        I want to keep my views simple because it is by having simple views that I have so far been able to take care of my own selfish needs and extend my simple abilities to others that can make use of them.

        I am not sure if a mountain of facts and figures would have helped me in my quest to help the young boys in my home country from destroying themselves and the lives of others.

        I have tried so hard to appreciate feminism but no feminist seems willing to help me so as long as I retain my desire to base my views on practical experiences. I have also learned from my studies of feminism that it a cultural-marxist movement. I don’t like communism so perhaps you are right in that my decision was made up before I even learnt about feminism.

        So yes, I will take you invitation to depart from this hostile space. You can continue your quest to help privileged westerns on their quest to become more rich and powerful in boardrooms. And I will continue to center my concerns around the victims of that greed from becoming monsters to their woman folk.

        And I am sorry for calling you American. I am not going to try and find out where you are from. With a name like Edwin I am guessing maybe South America.

        Overall I am not concerned that my approach to life offends you. I am not pleased by this either. You are someone I choose to remain skeptical about because, as I explained, the primary motivation behind all human activity and interests is selfish. So I must ask myself what it is you really want. You should ask yourself this too from time to time.

      • One thing I have to ask is….I follow feminism and the MRM, am I a feminist, an MRA, both, or neither? I have sympathy for both movements, I also see some parts of each are bad. I’ve been called an MRA AND a feminist before, yet I dislike both labels because I find them so limiting and too many fights start over the labels.

      • I agree with you Archy. I am for neither specifically. But in my experience in trying to learn about both, people in the MRM seem to be more open to discussion.

        Personally I am coming to the end of my forays in to both movements.

        The people who affect real change in this world are the people who are willing to listen to each other and work together.

        My conclusion is getting to the point where if feminism and the MRM are not willing to work together then neither side has a valid point or answer.

        I am glad I have learnt about both and I am glad that I have learnt that there is probably less of a need for feminism and the MRM and more of a need for a general consensus between men and woman who are willing to work together.

        I am glad for my simple views. Big problems need simple answers.

        As for Edwin and his numbers and statistics… well I never trust a man who is trying to be all things to all woman. Men like this are dangerous when they become disappointed.

      • It depends: what do you believe is the primary cause of the problems that men face? Do you believe that it is a complex series of social relations, or traditional or harmful patterns of masculinity that serve to cause many men to both harm themselves and others? Do you feel that the best way to address men’s social problems is by showing them (us) that we can in fact begin to express ourselves in constructive ways or that by removing the obstacles that prevent women from becoming full and autonomous agents in their own lives, we are at the same time removing the same things that make us act and think in ways that hurt us all? Then congratulations, you’re a feminist (or at least profeminist, if you want to haggle over semantics).

        Do you believe that while women have problems in society, men’s problems are worse/more severe? Do you think that ‘feminism’ is some sort of conspiracy aimed at replacing men at the top of the social hierarchy with women, or aimed at turning men into some sort of oppressed underclass? Do you feel that feminism (or ‘radical’ feminism, depending on how you define it) is actively harming men, or dedicated to ‘female supremacy’? Do you think that ‘men are biologically designed/evolved/hardwired to believe/do/think/ X, Y, or Z and therefore men and women’s ‘social roles’ are determined by biology? Then sorry, but you’re probably more closely aligned with the MRM.

      • Ha ha, Edwin needs to be broken in by a real woman..

      • Way back, when you first commented on this blog, you wanted to know why feminists wouldn’t engage with you, or why you felt that they thought you were sexist… this crap is why, Terence. The shit you say and the way you say it is beyond ridiculous. Frankly, I’m ashamed that I wasted the time I did talking to you. You’re not here to learn, and you’re not here to discuss; you’re hear to air your personal opinions, then make snide, sexist, or crass remarks when someone responds in a way you don’t like.

        I believe you said earlier that you were going to leave; I see you haven’t done that yet. You might as well do so now, as you’re only making yourself look increasingly ridiculous with each passing post.

      • Edwin, I take solace in the fact that my life is full of men and woman who engage with me in my views on life.

        I learnt a long time ago that that you can not engage in conversation with feminists unless you are pro feminism.

        I came here to read your bosses article. You are just the Strawman I had fun with where I spotted the opportunity to do it.

        I don;t care about your views. I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t care about feminism and I am happy to piss off feminists. I have had so much experience with you lot. Everything you tar everyone else with is precisely what you bunch are.

        Edwin, you can call me what ever you want. You can tell everyone in my life what you think about me. Your just a stupid punk full of facts and figures. I command yes men like you all day long and report back to my female boss and we assess our deployment of you and your limiited abilities to the larger problems we need to resolve.

        You are incapable of having other people’s opinion thrown at you because your ego takes control of you.

        You don’t know anything about woman so long as you see them as innocent little victims. And you don’t know anything about men so long as you see them as wild beasts that need to be tamed.

        Like I said, you need a real woman to break you in. One that breaks your ego and stops you thinking you can be god’s gift to woman. No woman would ever accept you being all things for all woman. Real woman know just how dangerous other woman can be. Real woman want you to be all things to them and them alone.

        You are the sexist for thinking woman are just innocent and have can do no wrong. It’s an insult to adult woman. You are a man who thinks that your views can fix womans problems, that is sexism to the highest degree.

        I do not wish to solve womans problems for them myself. Womans problem are womans problems to resolve. A woman only needs my loving support, the rest she can do herself.

        Likewise, I do not need woman or feminism to solve my problems for me.

        One day Edwin, you might click, you might understand that it is you is lacking respectfulness to woman. And not only that, but the real woman who don’t need your male help look upon you with pity.

        Thank you for the amusment little boy. I hope you feel insluted and go away thinking of me as dumb sexist and every other bad thing under the son. It ammuses me that that is all your little brain can come up with.

        Edwin is THE strawman.

      • wow. I have absolutely no idea what you’re even talking about. This right here is the rant of someone with problems. Seek help.

      • I think I just wet my pants Edwin…

      • @Terence, I choose not to think of his gender nor do I care if he is trying to please women or not. I find there are quite a lot of MRA’s and feminists open to discussion but the trouble is finding them. At the Goodmenproject I find there is a lot of cross-movement talk which I have learned an enormous amount from. Part of the problem is so much trolling goes on that both groups get on edge and it becomes hard to have a discussion.

      • @Archy I would say that men are men, their primary motives have not changed for thousands of years. However, simply being a man does not make a person bad anymore then being a woman makes a person mad. The truth behind all men (and woman) lies in their primary objectives and well they are able to achieve them without damaging everyone else.

        There is nothing worse than a heterosexual male who thinks he is gods gift to woman. It is insulting to men and woman.

        I feel very strongly about men who try to be all things to all woman because I have seen how much damage they can do.

        Maybe this is not Edwin but he would have a hard time convincing me otherwise.

        I agree with your approach Archy. Talking to everyone is what will help you form a well rounded opinion. And the fact that you have done this means your are probably a well rounded person to begin with.

        It is a pity that there is so little space for well rounded men and woman to get together and discuss their concerns.

        I have not always been so well rounded myself. My mother was a feminist and fed me only one side of the story growing up. I used to think that I could fix all the worlds problem with a feminist only approach but then I grew up to realized I was being young, selfish and stupid. The MRM helped me to understand the other side of the story. But I agree with you that the answers lie on both sides and that both sides need to come together.

        I am thankful that the MRM helped me to balance out my opinions but I agree with you that there is no sense in completely going over to that side.

      • “It depends: what do you believe is the primary cause of the problems that men face?”
        A fucked up society, kyriarchy is my current belief though patiarchy probably fits too. But I believe in a patriarchy that also has misandry (in a lesser amount of course). I’ve gotten the feeling though from some people who talk about patriarchy as looking too much through a lens of comparing the good men get, with the bad women get, to me I get this feeling that the negatives men have and the positives women have aren’t fully included but I could be wrong. The conscription issue for instance is a massive massive burden, I truly do hope it is being removed from the world but in the next world war I am shitting bricks cuz I know the chance of me being conscripted will be stupidly high if we need large numbers of people…though on the flipside women have proven themselves in the military so we might all end up being conscripted sadly. I truly hope we never see ww3 though, I’d rather people move to a more “Star Trek” style society and band together instead of be a bunch of groups hating each other. :P

        ‘Do you believe that it is a complex series of social relations, or traditional or harmful patterns of masculinity that serve to cause many men to both harm themselves and others? ” Yes, and also another set for women too, gender roles are extremely limiting.

        “Do you feel that the best way to address men’s social problems is by showing them (us) that we can in fact begin to express ourselves in constructive ways or that by removing the obstacles that prevent women from becoming full and autonomous agents in their own lives, we are at the same time removing the same things that make us act and think in ways that hurt us all?” The former but also to remove all obstacles for all people whereever they are.

        “Do you believe that while women have problems in society, men’s problems are worse/more severe?”
        Depends on the country, culture, timeframe. In WW2 I think men’s issues were extremely bad due to the war going on in many countries, sexism was rife against women too so I’m not sure who would come out on top except the sexism against women didn’t really involve millions dying so in that time period I am leaning towards men copping it worse for sexism alone (outside of that everyone had a bad fucking time since lots of people were harmed by the war, a billion directly affected via all the rationing and conflict?)

        “Do you think that ‘feminism’ is some sort of conspiracy aimed at replacing men at the top of the social hierarchy with women, or aimed at turning men into some sort of oppressed underclass? ”
        No, I do believe that most feminism is for the good but there are some feminists who do want this but are the extremists. I also think that good plans can fuckup, such as the duluth model and early VAWA failing male victims and female perps bigtime. I find it’s an unintended effect as I am guessing at the time very few people truly understood the level of abuse males faced so it would have looked like 99% of dv was against women so society had to rally behind one gender mainly. Similar issues with sexual abuse also happened as it wasn’t until 2010 that any major studies I am aware of actually took into account “forced to penetrate”/envelopment rape and those CDC stats found a huge amount of it going on. Before that I think the most popular stat was 99% of rapists were men (CDC found it female rapists made up 16% of rapists for lifetime, 40% for last 12 months when “forced to penetrate” was included). So a bunch of abuse in all forms was happening without many knowing about it from what I can understand, hence they were overlooked and the support wasn’t proportional to the abuse suffered by males and AFAIK female abusers also didn’t have full access to the support. I don’t think this was intentional though but simply a case of people at the time didn’t realize what was going on….or it’s only recently started up?

        “Do you think that ‘men are biologically designed/evolved/hardwired to believe/do/think/ X, Y, or Z and therefore men and women’s ‘social roles’ are determined by biology? ”
        Tricky one, considering how many cultures AFAIK seem to have similar gender roles I have a feeling that genetics + hormone influence in the womb have some part to play in how we develop. I also think nurture has a lot to do with it as well, I myself have a mix of feminine n masculine traits and purposely grew some of my more feminine traits with empathy. Though really I don’t see them for men or women, I think people should be who they are and not care so much about being a “man” or a “woman”. I am a large, tall man who loves the fact I have empathy and sensitivity, I dislike the pissing contests of masculinity and femininity, I can’t stand when people say that’s a man or woman’s job. I’m all for women in the workshed and men in the caregiver roles, etc.

        My guess is that at the time gender roles were installed as males found it harder to look after infants and greater strength was needed for the hard labour style jobs so both men n women may have chose to create the patriarchy/kyriarchy and over time it evolved into what it is now.

        I am pro-some feminist, and pro-some MRA, anti-bad feminist, anti-bad MRA.

        @Terrence, you aren’t helping. Stop the silly personal attacks.

  27. And Edwin, anybody with half a brain is able to see just exactly who has been put out in to the field to play the Strawman.

    It’s quite funny actually.

    A man who does not want to understand his own humanity is a man who is very dangerous to woman and other men.

  28. Edwin, I would also like to formally state that whatever your are doing in your amazing feminist don’t need to listen to men to solve their problems ways to solve my problems; IT’S NOT IN MY NAME!

    Like your friend George Bush and his axis of evil speech and all us freedom loving people that marched against men like you. You don’t speak for the people.

  29. Great blog. I came across this because an old boyfriend from out of the blue contacted me. When I knew him he was always complaining as a white male how oppressed he was. For example, he used to complain that there are more health dollars spent on women than men. Well duh, then you get pregnant and use contraception. Or this ridiculous complaint: apparently when newsreaders report a story they say “3 people including two women were killed in a car crash.” This according to the MRM means that men aren’t important because they aren’t mentioned. My take is that men are the default, we automatically think it’s a man when a person is mentioned.
    Of course no amount of logical debate can convince these men otherwise.
    Anyway, I asked my ex if he still believes that men are so oppressed considering that we hear so much of how things are for women in Muslim countries, eg not being allowed to drive or being victims of female genital mutilation, being killed to protect the honour of their families if they are raped, etc etc and his answer was that I am mired in women’s studies 101 and I should get over it.

    • Thanks for the comment! Yep, your ex sounds just about par for the course when it comes to the rhetoric of the MRM. Generally these folk appropriate the language and arguments of legitimate, pro-equity movements for their own purposes, but what you’ll also notice is that at the same time, they try to divorce their movement from historical and social context. They have to; so long as their goal of ‘protecting’ white heterosexual men (against women, duh) is embedded in history, their claims look ridiculous. How can anyone, with a straight face, look at the trajectory of Western (or, if we’re honest, global) civilizations, at the role and prominence of men and the invisibility of women, at the monumental struggles women had to face to even merit being considered ‘persons’ under the law, and conclude that it’s really men who are the oppressed ones. Further, how can any one of these folks claim that the ‘pendulum has swung the other way’ and now men are oppressed; they’d first have to acknowledge that a) women were historically marginalized and b) prove that at some point, women had achieved substantive equality with men. MRAs often ignore the first and assume the second, (which is both wrong and profoundly ignorant) in order to make their principle claim stick.

      It’s smoke and mirrors, rhetorical sleight of hand; and it’s about as dishonest as you get. Their arguments are about as valid as those of creationists.

      • “Their arguments are about as valid as those of creationists.”
        That’s a pretty gross generalization though. They do have some great points.

        (Side-note – Creationism could occur via evolution too should a god place every atom in alignment in the big bang, know exactly how they will react and it would allow for the universe to appear random but designed. ht tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution – I am not a creationist, I make no assumptions bout who created the universe but I do believe in evolution. )

        For example: Male representation in anti-DV and anti-rape campaigning and support for male victims (and female victims too though focus is on males since it’s far rarer to get support for males), and a focus on punishment for female perpetrators which is usually far more rare.
        Circumcision against under 18’s for no medical necessity (which was recently found by a study to reduce sexual sensitivity ~4x) and yet all forms afaik in the U.S for circumsion of girls is banned including pin pricking which is far far less invasive and damaging than removal of the foreskin (yes I know the other forms are extremely bad and not analogous).
        Selective Service for the U.S where not registering can get a man denied federal funding, fined, or jailed from what I’ve been told and women are immune from this requirement.
        Conscription of males (some countries have both genders conscripted, some have just males).
        Bias in the family court (if it still exists). Divorce, child support, fair custody sharing, etc.
        False accusations used as a weapon in family court (rare but highly damaging + does huge damage to legitimate victims ability to get justice n support).
        Violence and suicide rates.
        Inclusion in rape definitions, especially envelopment/forced to penetrate which is the majority of rape adult men face in the U.S outside of prison.
        Workplace safety and wartime injuries and death.
        Paternity fraud.
        Male contraceptives + financial abortion rights (as in right to opt out of parenthood when told during pregnancy).
        Male health, and longevity.
        Criminal sentencing disparity between males n females.
        One MRA issue is how some areas of some-feminist-activism can extend too far and become harmful. VAWA in the earlier versions, primary aggressor laws (use to be that men often got arrested automatically, and there are some occasions afaik that men were arrested even if they called for help as the police have some misandry in those cases) and the duluth model are commonly discussed.

        Some issues listed here, ht tp://www.avoiceformen.com/activism/about/ – But I don’t agree 100% with them and find them to be a bit too damn harsh in their activism and there are issues with how they do it. The issues facing men though are both MRA and feminist issues. Problem is way too much generalization and overall hatred of feminism when only certain parts are problematic. We have some feminists often generalizing very negatively against MRA’s and some of the MRA’s do the same back to feminists. Lots of bitterness n hate going on from both sides especially by vocal extremists.

        I don’t think males are currently oppressed, although conscription and warfare do change that issue in many countries and far far more commonly in history but in peacetime that oppression lifted. I’d say women in peacetime had far greater oppression, but in wartime it’s a bit more tricky as I would probably guess males had it worse in times where huge portions of men were conscripted. Either way battles of who suffers more end up in huge fights way too often and too many rifts occur, both sides need to stfu with the hate and hug it out or something because they’re both continuing this stupid battle.

        All based off my observations of the damn gender battle drama between feminists n MRA’s, so I may be wrong on some or many parts. I think we’ll have fusion power plants at an economical level before those 2 groups actually make big change and help the world for equality and not just a focus on a single gender each:P Even the extremist radical feminists have SOME good points, as do both feminism and the MRA in general (amongst some bad points too)

      • “Their arguments are about as valid as those of creationists.”
        That’s a pretty gross generalization though.

        And yet you prove it by employing the tried and tested creationist debate tactic known as the “Gish Gallop” in the comments you’ve just posted.* It’s like you just copy/pasted the standard laundry list of complaints hurled by MRAs at every opportunity at anyone who they see as critical of them. I mean, look at what you’ve written here; how can anyone – anyone at all – hope to address even a third of your ‘points’ without their comment becoming a 3-4 thousand word post in itself? This is exactly the sort of debate and discussion tactics creationists use against their opponents, and its only purpose is to shut down debate in its entirety. I know a fair bit about this sort of thing – I even wrote a book about it.

        You even cite things in your text wall that are addressed already in the body of the post found right above these comments!

        I think we’ll have fusion power plants at an economical level before those 2 groups actually make big change and help the world for equality and not just a focus on a single gender each

        Which assumes that the genders are somehow all struggling against oppression and marginalization against some kind of common enemy. They’re not, Archy. Women are not considered to be the equal of men, even now, in the 21st century. But since MRAs deny that basic premise, there will never be a chance for the two groups to work towards a common goal, because only one of them is actually working towards equality. When the MRM starts actually trying to address men’s issues (instead of trying to blame everything on women and feminism) in a way that is both constructive and equitable for everyone, then maybe you’ll have a point. As it stands though, asking feminists and MRAs to ‘work together’ towards gender equality is like asking anti-racists to work with the Klan towards ending racism in America.

        I’d also point out that feminists, myself included, also happen to involve themselves in addressing the issues men face, when it comes to enforced gender roles, men’s roles as parents and caregivers, and the issues men face when it comes to how society views emotional, vulnerable men. Feminists work towards a society in which every person – man, woman, LGBQ and Trans* – can live the life they’ve chosen for themselves. MRAs do nothing of the sort. They are not for ‘equality'; MRAs want to keep everyone where they are, because doing so keeps men on top. We’ve talked about this Archy, you don’t agree. And I’m through trying to convince you; it’s a waste of time.

        * For the laze: the “Gish Gallop”, named after creationist Duane Gish, is a debate tactic in which the creationist attempts to overwhelm their opponent with lies, distortions, misrepresentations, or talking points in the knowledge that the opponent will be unable to address them all during the debate. After the debate ends, the Galloper is then able to claim that their opponent ‘failed’ to answer their challenges. It’s a pretty dishonest debate tactic, for obvious reasons.

      • Apologies for the Gish Gallop, wasn’t my intention at all and I won’t be annoyed if my points aren’t addressed as I realize it’s a pretty long comment. I’m not after shutting down debates or proving points but merely trying to discuss and learn more, which I thank you for the opportunity to do so. I’ll try keep it far smaller in future.

        “Which assumes that the genders are somehow all struggling against oppression and marginalization against some kind of common enemy.”
        Isn’t that common enemy the patriarchy itself? or kyriarch/society/whatever label one wants to use? It’s entirely possible for both sides to work together to end social issues such as rape, since a team effort is far more potent. So much time is spent fighting that could be used to campaign and spread awareness for instance and that is what is sad. The sides don’t have to be equal in their suffering to team up.

        “As it stands though, asking feminists and MRAs to ‘work together’ towards gender equality is like asking anti-racists to work with the Klan towards ending racism in America. ”
        Honestly, strawman’s like this do not help. The MRA are not the klan, there may be a fair few batshit crazy fools in it but in general the anti-feminist elements are bothered mainly by a certain type of feminism, hence the idea of feminism going too far and not feminism should never have existed. The KKK are an extremely racist group, the MRA are men who are fighting sexism they percieve against their gender. It’s absolutely stupid to even compare the 2. When someone has to resort to comparing racial rights to gender rights, they truly need to step back and look at their views more critically. There are issues which discriminate and harm men as a group, there aren’t any that discrim n harm white people as a group, and making silly analogies like this achieves nothing but dismissal of men’s actual issues which are smaller than that of women’s but still valid. White people do not need activism, men DO and that is the key difference.

      • Isn’t that common enemy the patriarchy itself? or kyriarch/society/whatever label one wants to use?

        If the patriarchy is the ‘common’ enemy, then guess what: its existence proves that men have and continue to be socially dominant, which is the whole point of feminism, and confirmation that one of the central planks of the men’s rights movement – the belief that men as a social category are somehow ‘oppressed’ – is false. Accepting that patriarchal values and institutions have the effect of harming men while at the same time disadvantaging and harming women is feminism. But since the bulk of MRM writing on the subject seems hell-bent on alleging that such institutional structures don’t exist, I’d say that it’d make for a pretty tough sell for the two groups to work together, wouldn’t you?

        using the Klan as an analogy for the MRM is not a strawman, Archy. It’s an analogy. They’re not even remotely the same. And I know damned well what the Klan is all about; my MA research was on the Klan and its offshoots. I have a pretty good bead on who and what the Klan is, and it’s because of that knowledge that I chose to make the analogy that I did. But hey, don’t take my word for it; let’s look at some additional information, shall we?

        1. The Southern Poverty Law Center – an organization that is well-known and respected as one that accurately catalogues and tracks active hate movements in the United States, has pointed out that the MRM is a movement that explicitly spreads hate and misinformation about women, women’s issues, and women’s rights.

        Now, the folks over at that shithole ‘A Voice for Men’ (a central clearing house of ideas and information for the MRM) have called out the SPLC for what it saw as a ‘poverty of integrity’, but I don’t take seriously the whinging of a man who has actively called for male jurors to throw rape trials, regardless of the evidence presented, because of what he sees as an epidemic of ‘false rape accusations’ (despite the fact that the most reputable numbers around place the ‘false rape’ numbers at somewhere between 2-8% of rape reports). That’s right; this guy, operating on the belief that 2-8% constitutes an epidemic of injustice, counsels men to engage in jury nullification – even if the evidence that has been presented is conclusive. This is yet another example of the absolutely disgusting ideas being lobbed around the ‘manosphere’. I’m not going to provide a link to that man or his site; you can google it yourself.

        A simple perusal through the major MRM sites will reveal similar patterns of reprehensible behaviour and attitudes towards women. The SPLC was right to list the MRM as one that spreads hate, alongside the Klan, Aryan Nations, Christian Identity, and a host of other, equally despicable groups.

        White people do not need activism, men DO and that is the key difference.

        And this, right here, is an actual logical fallacy; it’s called ‘begging the question’. You – or anyone else sympathetic to the Men’s Rights Movement – have yet to show how men are discriminated against because of their gender. The best they can come up with are examples of men using their positions or influence to harm other men, and if it’s men harming other men, then there is no gender discrimination going on. Do you see what I’m getting at here? We started this little back and forth because you used a logical fallacy in your opening comment. I rebutted it, and you turned around and launched into another series of logical fallacies. I haven’t straw-manned anything, but you’ve already Gish Galloped (your initial list of problems), engaged in false equivalency (feminism and the MRM are just two sides of the same coin, even though they’re not), and begged the question.

        What men need is to recognize that so long as masculinity is privileged over other genders, and so long as particular patterns of ‘masculine’ behaviour are privileged over other, subordinated forms of masculinity, men will always be at greatest risk of harm and injury by other men. So long as the MRM only seems willing to fight for a very specific form of masculinity (heterosexual, white, and largely hegemonic), it’s going to continue to do more harm than good.

        EDIT: I’ll just throw this article in here for your reading enjoyment. If you want to see what an actual, positive advocacy for men and men’s issues looks like, then take the time to do some reading of the works of Michael Kimmel. AVfM hates him, but that should serve as evidence that what he’s saying is good, as opposed to the swill preferred by the folks over in that pigpen.

      • “has pointed out that the MRM is a movement that explicitly spreads hate and misinformation about women, women’s issues, and women’s rights. ”

        The entire movement? Or some parts of it? You can find instances of feminists spreading lies too and using misinformation, spreading hate.
        Does that reflect on the entire movement? Btw, they didn’t actually list them as a hate movement – ht tp://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/05/15/intelligence-report-article-provokes-outrage-among-mens-rights-activists/

        “You – or anyone else sympathetic to the Men’s Rights Movement – have yet to show how men are discriminated against because of their gender. The best they can come up with are examples of men using their positions or influence to harm other men, and if it’s men harming other men, then there is no gender discrimination going on. ”

        Obviously our ideas of discrimination differ. What would you label when Society forces men to fight in wars for instance, even in times where there are females in power? Conscription existed during the reign of Queens, and even today although there is more male power I’d say in the current countries that conscript males only there are also quite a few females whom have power such as politicians. Do women in politics not get the power to vote and make changes, to speak up and change conscription? Can you tell me for a fact no woman ever voted for pro-conscription policies? If you wanna say a male dominated society harms other men then I understand, but it’s not only men in many countries who hold power.

        Thank-you for the debate but I’ll be unsubbing as we’re not going to get much further. I do agree with a lot of what you say however.

      • You’re right; we were never going to move forward in this discussion, because despite my attempts to call attention to the fact, you insisted on revisiting issues that were not only covered in our many comments back and forth, but were actually covered – with supporting links – in the body of the blog itself. You would bring up a point, I would answer (or challenge, or rebut it), and then two or three comments later, you’d bring it up again as though it were new. Consider your repeated invoking of the ‘problem of conscription’. I’ve answered that ‘problem’ in the blog post and in the comments (more than once), but you pretend like it never happened. Good thing for me your comments are sticking around even after you’ve gone.

        Finally, I’ll point out that even now, at the end of our discussion, you continue to say things like this: “Can you tell me for a fact no woman ever voted for pro-conscription policies? If you wanna say a male dominated society harms other men then I understand, but it’s not only men in many countries who hold power.” I’ve already addressed this – male-only conscription exists in countries like the United States because the men who were in power when those laws were drafted figured that a woman’s place was in the home, not on the battlefield. Seriously Archy, women aren’t conscripted in the United States because men decided that they shouldn’t be. Also, when the selective service act of 1917 was passed, there was only one woman in congress at the time, and guess what she didn’t do (hint: it was ‘vote for conscription’). Even today, women make up less than 20% of the US Congress and Senate, and they’re divided between parties and they don’t march in lock-step. They don’t comprise a very powerful voting bloc and, to the surprise of absolutely no-one, they also do not control the legislative agenda. What I’m getting at here is that context matters; just because there are women elected representatives, doesn’t mean that they aren’t still mired in social, political, and legislative context that often works to frustrate their agendas. Context matters.

        Also, because sometimes a country with conscription was ruled by a Queen, this means that society isn’t what, male dominated? You do know that this entire time I’ve been talking about groups of people, not individuals, right? A nation (like the UK) can have a queen, yet still be mired in patriarchal institutions that privilege men. You do know that until only a few months ago, the only time England could have a queen was if there were no male children in the family, right? Queen Elizabeth is only queen today because her father had no sons. Elizabeth is queen in spite of sexist policies, not because such policies don’t exist.

        That’s it. I’m done now. You’ve left, and that’s fine; but since it’s my blog, I get to have the last word. Adios.

    • “Why is it always about money for these people? ”

      There is an issue in the U.S where you can still be jailed for failing to pay for child support, even if you are broke. The other issue is that money takes hard work to get, and in the case of fears of losing access to your house and kids then you get the issue of many many thousands of hours of hard work being taken and also the issue of being made to pay a hefty amount for child support whilst simultaneously being restricted in your access to the kids. This of course relies on family court issues and in some areas there does appear to be a bias, or up until recently there seems to have been a bias affecting men far more where they were far less likely to get 50:50 share, and even if they did there was blatant ignorance of that by their partner whom wouldn’t drop the kids off or let them see the kids for the 50:50 amount.

      It is pretty disheartening to not only lose access to your kids, but be hit heavily by child support that can be pretty damn high. I’ve read of cases where a mother moved away from the father, the father had a job at let’s say 100k a year. In moving closer to his family the local jobs would be let’s say 50k a year, but C.S.A still wanted him to pay child support at the rate of if he earned 100k regardless of where he was because of some issue regarding changing jobs to pay less. AFAIK this time frame is meant to be 1 financial year, so if he moved in august he’d still have up until the next july to pay the much higher rate. I recall the comment was saying something about them not getting the lower rate the next year, this means he can be hit very very very hard financially making it very difficult to keep up with bills. In the U.S I’ve heard people get jailed for it even if they’re broke.

      I would hope that in Australia it is a much better situation. One issue though is that there is a major perception of bias against fathers, that may or may not be true and from what I’ve seen some things prove it, others disprove it and it varies on location. My best guess is that in the last 10 or so years the bias has eroded away quite a bit, hopefully 100%. There’s also a perception that in divorce, men will lose out more than the woman or even just the risk of losing out bigtime can be scary for some. Things like heavy alimony payments (which afaik are separate to child support which is another bill), unfair splitting of assets, false accusations of various forms of abuse as a weapon (although I think this is quickly changing to backfire as judges hatteee it and things are being done to remove it from occuring as often), and the perception of bias whether real or not are scaring off a subset of the population from wanting to date and especially against marriage as it’s seen as very risk for a man. Most common issues I see men speak of from the MRA’s in regards to dating is domestic abuse against them (and false accusations as weapons in family court), divorce, access to kids, crippling child support and alimony payments.

      As one comment says about trying to manipulate, nor get PMT and throw crockery, that commenter is afraid of having a partner that commits domestic abuse and is also afraid of false accusations and unfair outcomes in the family court. They’re all very valid fears, both genders should fear domestic abuse, false accusations seem pretty 1 sided although there is an issue with parental alienation (not the syndrome, but a parent that lies and scares their child about the other parent which affects both genders), even women should be somewhat nervous with family court as there are times they lose out too. But you gotta weigh up the benefits vs the risks, I’ve been abused by a partner but my next partner may be super awesome, trust is the big issue but it doesn’t help to have anti-male or anti-female bias in the courtroom. Money doesn’t grow on trees and having the risk of jailtime for failing to pay because you’re broke is a hugeeeee burden and scary as hell, if I lived there I’d be nervous too.

      I can see some of the points in that comment but I disagree with the heavy generalizations, and the part on pornography is strange and I doubt that’s a very common reason for anyone to dislike porn. That person appears to have quite the conspiracy outlook on life which isn’t good either but I have read comments by all kinds of people whom are that paranoid, even some feminists. There is some value in the idea of going your own way as in living your life for you and not changing yourself in some lame attempt to get a partner, do your hobbies if you want to! But don’t do it over hatred or fears of the other gender, I have both male n female friends that seem to live this way and it’s sad really. I am more afraid of domestic abuse than divorce court bias, but I still want a nice partner.

      • Yeah but Archie, this guy hasn’t even got a girlfriend, but already he’s married, divorced and she’s taking him for half of what he’s got in his own mind. How about thinking that maybe, just maybe he’ll live happily ever after? I can just imagine the “vibe” he gives off in real life when he’s around women. We’ve all been hurt. But you have to just keep on trying for Mr or Miss Right.
        Also, he’s assuming that she’s not contributing anything to the marriage, which seems to be a common perception. From my perspective, married women also work – both inside and/or outside the home. But I can see by his comment that he doesn’t value any work that women do. Normal couples see themselves as a team and they both contribute and the law recognises that. A woman doesn’t automatically get half. Judges look at how long they were married, if they had children, what they came into the marriage with. In other words, if a women was married to a man for say only a year and they had no children- she wouldn’t be getting half of what he’s got. The law doesn’t work like that.

      • @Ex, too many horror stories exist + he sounds like he’s been burned bigtime in the past. I don’t think they realize that (in Australia at least) women too can have their assets split so a woman who earns more, has her own business becomes quite at risk when splitting up too. I’ve known men n women with that painful paranoia and it’s pretty sad, I had it myself for a bit when I was a young adult but was fortunate enough to find some great female friends that undid any harm I had and made me realize individuality vs thinking of women as a group (or men) all having some silly hivemind. The horror stories still continue but I had heard lawyers say that in recent years it has changed bigtime, things like automatic assumption of women being caregiver so women get the kids is being changed for the better to allow better sharing of parental responsibility n care.

        I think one of the worst things about some gender issues groups is that at times it gathers a lot of people who have been hurt and they become a sounding board of pain to each other, and confirmation bias helps to warp their views since they don’t have enough positive experiences. People who’ve had a pleasant experience generally don’t go looking for help and stumble across a fathers/mothers rights group for instance. It’s the reason I purposely look at both men’s and women’s issues, racial issues and try my best to get a very broad input to try avoid bias or feeling like life sucks for people like me. I choose to hang around a mix of people, and especially make sure to keep positive influence in my life as that’s the best defense from being pulled into that negative world.

  30. Hi
    I thought you might like to read this comment in this online newspaper article about porn by this Men’s Right’s Movement member. It is quite amusing.

    “Mr Biddulph has an interesting point of view. I would like to throw another perspective into the pot.
    I suggest that female rantings against pornography have nothing to do with exploiting, degrading, or objectifying women. The women who perform in pornography are, after all, enthusiastic volunteers. I have spoken to more than a few women who have performed for the camera and every one of them has told me that she found it to be a huge sexual rush to think of thousands of men masturbating over her image. It made them feel sexually powerful.
    The real reason, I submit, that women in general and feminists in particular object to pornography is that it diminishes the power that women can exercise over men through their sexuality. When a man can achieve sexual release through masturbating with the aid of pornography, he ceases to be the drooling sexually-frustrated bundle of hormones that will jump through any number of hoops to please a woman and perhaps (just perhaps) get some sex.
    The real objection that women have to pornography is that it devalues them as sexual currency. It removes the one bargaining chip that a woman can bring to the table.
    From the point of view of a man who is part of the Men’s Rights Movement and, as such, has gone his own way, I find a computer screen to be infinitely preferable to a real woman. The screen will not try to manipulate me, nor will it get PMT and throw the crockery at me, nor will it use the Family Law Act to take my house and half of everything else for the next 20 years while telling fanciful tales of drunkenness and cruelty (to quote an old Beatles song) to all and sundry.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/how-to-raise-boys-in-the-era-of-internet-porn-20130716-2q25l.html#ixzz2aKEpx7Gi

    That was another point I wanted to add. Why is it always about money for these people? Women are always gold diggers and after half of their money in their eyes. If this man is typical, then no wonder they are single. They are miserly with their money as well as their hearts. Nobody will attract a partner being like that man- or woman.

    • Ugh. Any time I see anyone writing about a woman’s ‘sexual currency’, I know that they’re too far gone to reach. That shit’s just plain gross. It literally reduces women to individual body parts, then turns those parts into commodities for trade on some sort of market. It’s disgusting.

  31. Well have you guys seen this piece? A man complaining about the existence of a women’s hospital and wondering where on earth would he take himself or his (hypothetical) son if they ever got sick. I checked the hospital’s website. They cater for men women and children at different hospitals within the complex.
    And I do not believe that he took his daughter to the women’s hospital anyway. He would have taken her to the children’s hospital. He wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way of a good story.
    Of course some of the commentators are claiming that there aren’t any men’s hospitals because feminists wouldn’t allow it.
    They fail to see that the women’s hospital is primarily for prenatal care and the birth of their babies. If I, as a woman had heart problems for example, I wouldn’t be sent to the women’s hospital but to the same hospital as he. Perhaps they need to change the name to the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital so as not to offend these men.

    He writes: “One of the main reasons I decided to write this article on the UNC-Chapel Hill Women’s Hospital is to remind Women who visit this site that by either advocating for this hospital, or not demanding that the system provide their Sons specialized healthcare, they are in essence throwing their Sons, Fathers, and Husbands under a bus.”

    How do you reason with these men?

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/misandry/chapel-hill-womens-hospital-and-misandry/

    • How do you reason with these men?

      You don’t. Like other counter-equity movements, MRAs have largely immunized themselves against the counter-arguments and counter-examples provided by their opponents. There’s a rather large strand of conspiracism running throughout their ideology, and that conspiricism contains within it the same sorts of ‘theory-protection mechanisms’ found in other conspiracy theories.

      Let’s say that MRA Bob believes that those filthy feminists are out to get him. He’s constructed a pet theory in which feminist organizations have conspired with legislators to deprive men of their hard-won rights. Bob continues to believe this no matter what anyone tells him and, if pressed, will allege that the facts that are being used against him are actually proof that what he is saying is true. If someone points out that the overwhelming majority of legislators are men so why would they be complicit in legislating away their own rights, Bob simply responds “well that just proves how insidious feminism is – it brainwashes men to act against their own interests!” If someone mentions that the few national feminist organizations that do exist are often targetted (a la Planned Parenthood) by politicians for defunding or disbandment, Bob can immediately shift the goal-posts to say “doesn’t matter; women control the schools and they’ve feminized the educational system so the men who are being educated these days are being indoctrinated into hating themselves.”

      They’ve also adopted this bizzarro kind of “everything you give to group X must be given to group Y or else Misandry” mentality that results in their making absolutely ridiculous claims, as you’ve pointed out. They see a wing in a hospital that specializes in obstetrics as ‘proof’ of discrimination because ‘well where are the men’s wards in hospitals!?’ They ignore the simple fact that pregnancy is a remarkably dangerous and complicated thing, and that it requires specialized care, in favour of pretending that men and women have exactly the same sorts of health concerns and therefore ought to be cared for in exactly the same manner. I wonder if deep in their grubby little souls, MRAs would be happy to see all those ‘extra’ medical services, like obstetrics or gynaecology disappear, because their existence is proof that women get ‘more’ healthcare than men.

  32. But their logic doesn’t explain the fact that a lot of these women’s hospitals such as my local one, were established over a hundred years ago, before women were allowed to even vote. So it can hardly be because of some feminist conspiracy.

    • That’s where you’re wrong: it’s just proof of how far back the manipulation of men by women goes! Checkmate, feminazi.

      You see, once you reject facts, logic, or a commitment to honest discourse, there’s nothing you can’t say!

  33. Yeah It’s kind of scary. But I’ve been noticing on a lot of online newspaper sites recently, that there seems to be a growing number of Men Rights type comments to anything that is vaguely feminist in theme.
    At the Sydney Morning Herald they have a Daily Life section which has female writers writing about female issues. And more and more, there are a lot of angry men posting and making up myths which, unfortunately, if they get repeated often enough become facts.
    Another concern is that a lot of men make angry rape threats these days on twitter. For example, did you hear about the woman who campaigned to have a female on one of the British banknotes and she was inundated with threats of rape. What is going on??? It’s a very scary and I don’t know why so much anger and hatred is directed towards women.
    There was a story in Daily Life about a feminist making a sympathetic doco about men and their role in society. And even then, the vitriol from the men was over the top. Woman just can’t do anything right these days.

  34. I’m no expert on this MRA thing mostly an onlooker. Your mention of fathers seeking to force women to keep children is the first time I’ve heard this. Is there some reference where you got this from?

    Your arguments against renouncing seem fundamentally similar to arguments against choice and would be against things like safe abandonment at firehouses and the like. I’m not sure there is a simple answer, but I’d like to eliminate child support as a means of revenge.

    I wonder about political and wealth power distribution. Certainly there is ground to be made up 22% is very low. It doesn’t come without cost. Men have less social support die and are injured more in work policing etc and take risk more often starting business running for office. You can’t blame men solely for these cultural norms. Just because there are improvements needed for women’s equality doesn’t mean there aren’t improvements needed for men too. We are all restrained by cultural prejudices.

    • I’m no expert on this MRA thing mostly an onlooker. Your mention of fathers seeking to force women to keep children is the first time I’ve heard this. Is there some reference where you got this from?

      This is the logical consequence of some men demanding to ‘have a say’ in whether or not a woman carries through with a pregnancy or opts for an abortion. Think of it this way: Let’s say a couple wants to have a child and so they try for one. The woman becomes pregnant as a result (hurray!), but then finds out about four months in that the fetus has some sort of defect or issue. Or perhaps we find out that the man has been unfaithful and the relationship collapses. Either way, the woman decides that carrying a child to term is no longer in her best interests and wants an abortion. But she lives in an MRA utopia where the father of the child gets a say in the fate of said child; his desires have the force of law behind them and he really wants that baby. Do his desires trump the bodily autonomy of the woman carrying the child? Does she have to carry the unwanted child to term, against her own wishes, so that the man’s desires can be met? This is what I mean by potential fathers forcing women to have children against their wishes. Pregnancy is one of those areas of life where a potential father’s desires to keep (or abort) a fetus simply cannot carry any legal weight of any kind, because in so doing, they necessarily interfere with the right to bodily autonomy of the woman. Since bodily autonomy is one of the most foundational freedoms in Western societies, it stands to reason that infringing on it would constitute an untenable breach of liberty.

      Make sense?

      As to my arguments ‘against renouncing’, no, they are not similar to arguments about choice or safe abandonment. Children have the right to be supported and cared for; this is a fundamental responsibility of parents or, when parents are unwilling, of the state (hence, foster care, etc.) Safe abandonment laws are an unhappy compromise designed to cut down on the numbers of child abandonment cases, or cases of infants being left in dumpsters or bathrooms. The laws are designed to ensure that the child’s rights are protected even if the parent is unfit.

      ‘Financial Abortions’ on the other hand, have nothing to do with child welfare. The concept does not exist to uphold the rights of the child. The sole purpose of ‘financial abortion’ is to allow men to absolve themselves of any and all responsibility for their actions. Men who advocate for this concept seem to want to mitigate the risks inherent in sexual activity. It’s like they’ve decided to gamble, lost, and then they decide that rather than pay the house, they should just be able to walk away because in their mind, they agreed to the thrill and fun of gambling, not to the consequences of going bust.

      Advocates often try to counter this sort of argument by saying “well, women are able to absolve themselves of responsibility too! They can have an abortion! That’s the same thing!” Except of course, it isn’t, and any reasonable person can see why. In the first place, abortion – an invasive surgical procedure that carries with it the risk of complication and injury (not to mention financial, emotional, and often social costs) is one of the consequences of their actions. They don’t get off scot-free, because if they want to avoid the issue of pregnancy, they need to obtain an abortion, which is often a herculean feat in its own right – if they are unlucky enough to live in America or a country without socialized medicine. If the mother decides to keep the baby, then that also is a responsibility and once born, she – and the father – have a financial and legal responsibility to care for the person.

      If a woman does decide to have an abortion, then these issues don’t crop up; no person, no child-care. This isn’t ‘renouncing’, because there isn’t a person there to renounce. Financial abortion and actual abortion are two very – very – different things, and MRAs need to be willfully blind not to see it.

      You can’t blame men solely for these cultural norms.

      No kidding! Good thing that’s not what I – or anyone else who knows what they’re talking about is doing. Feminists, sociologists, and other academics who study social inequality don’t blame men for anything, and it’s one of the most telling things about the Men’s Rights Movement that they can’t – or won’t – see that, because it reveals that they don’t actually understand the concepts that they are railing against. Society is responsible for the sorts of gender roles that are prevelant, not ‘men’ or ‘some men’ or individual men or whatever strawman the MRM is deciding to use today. Gender roles – and the expectations, risks, privileges, etc. that come with them – emerge from social interaction. No one person – or group of people is responsible. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some groups of people who benefit, and anyone can see who is the overall recipient of social, political, and economic power in most Western societies. Do men take more risks? Well, they do if they happen to work in high-risk jobs – jobs incidentally that women have largely been barred from until recently. Do men suffer from confining gender roles? Yep, they sure do, which is why the feminist project of undoing gender roles – for everyone – has the effect of undoing gender roles for men.

      No one group on men is responsible for this, and thinking that that’s what feminists or academics believe betrays a fundamental ignorance of the subject matter. Social relations govern the emergence of gender roles (and racial hierarchies, and class structures, and age hierarchies, etc.), and as a result of those patterns of privilege and marginalization, dominance and subordination, it happens to be the case that men ended up controlling the levers of society for pretty much the history of western civilization. Because once people get into power, they tend to reproduce the systems that got them there. So fathers pass their social/political/economic power on to their sons, who do the same in turn. Rinse and repeat for a few thousand years.

      Do you get what I’m saying here?

      We are all restrained by cultural prejudices.

      Yes! Yes we are! But that doesn’t mean that some of us don’t also benefit from them! A king may find the role somewhat restraining, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still run the kingdom.

  35. You’re article was a very thoughtful and genuine read. I dont want to risk being batted for preaching the ‘male feminists deserve a special star’ thing but it doesnt bother me to admit that it takes an open-minded person to set aside chauvinism and pride and accept or even look into and hear out certain things that seem to demonize their own gender. Thankyou for showing me that it’s not men vs. women but about something much more – heirarchy.

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