Why The Men’s Rights Movement Is Garbage

28 Mar

I need to take a moment here to talk about the Men’s Rights Movement, because there seems to be some confusion. Actually, there seems to be a whole lot of confusion.

Over the past little while, I’ve had a number of people challenge me on calling out men’s rights activists (hereafter referred to as MRAs). “But men are oppressed too,” people say. “Feminism is sexist, and it teaches men that masculinity is wrong.” “Straight, white men aren’t allowed to be proud of themselves anymore.” “If you believe in equality, then you should want men to have the same type of activism as women.” “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

First of all, yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But let’s not pretend that all opinions are created equal – some are based on fact, and some are total bullshit. Like, I could tell you that I believe that vaccines cause autism, and that would be my opinion, but it would also be demonstrably untrue. So let’s not pretend that all opinions should be given the same consideration, because we both know better than that.

Second of all, let’s get one thing straight: men, as a group, do not face systematic oppression because of their gender. Am I saying that literally no men out there are oppressed? No, I am for sure not saying that. Men can and do face oppression and marginalization for many reasons – because of race, class, sexuality, poverty, to name a few. Am I saying that every white cishet dude out there has an amazing life because of all his amassed privilege? Nope, I’m not saying that either. There are many circumstances that might lead to someone living a difficult life. But men do not face oppression because they are men. Misandry is not actually a thing, and pretending that it’s an oppressive force on par with or worse than misogyny is offensive, gross, and intellectually dishonest.

MRAs believe that feminists are to blame for basically everything that’s wrong with their lives. The Men’s Rights Movement is a reactionary movement created specifically to counter feminism, and most (if not all) of their time and resources go towards silencing and marginalizing women. They do things like starting the Don’t Be That Girl campaign, a campaign that accuses women of making false rape reports. They attend feminist events in order to bully and intimidate women, they flood online feminist spaces with threatening messages, and they regularly use smear campaigns and scare tactics to make the women who don’t back down afraid for their physical safety. They do literally nothing to actually resolve the problems that they claim to care about, and instead do everything they can to discredit the feminist movement.

There are certainly issues that disproportionately affect men – the suicide rate among men is higher, as is the rate of homelessness. Men are more likely to be injured or killed on the job or because of violence. Men who are the victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault are less likely to report these things. These are the issues that MRAs are purportedly working on, and by “working on” I mean “blaming feminism for.” The problem is that none of these things are caused by feminism, or equal rights for women, or anything like that. You know what’s actually to blame for a lot of these issues? Marginalizing forces like class and race, for one thing – I mean, it’s not rich white men who are grappling with homelessness or dangerous workplaces or gun violence. You know what else is to blame? Our patriarchal culture and its strictly enforced gender roles which, hey, happens to be exactly the same power structure that feminism is trying to take down. The patriarchy has some fucked up ideas about masculinity, ideas that make men less likely to seek help for issues that they perceive to be too feminine – such as being hurt or raped by a female partner, not being able to provide for themselves, or not seeking help for health issues like depression and anxiety. On a societal level, it means that resources are not as readily available for men who face these challenges, because patriarchal ideas tell our courts, our governments and our charitable organizations that men don’t ever need that kind of help. Yes, the patriarchy overwhelmingly privileges the interests of men, but it also hurts men. It hurts men in all the ways that MRAs are apparently so concerned about, which means that you would think that MRAs would be totally on board with dismantling the patriarchy, but they’re not. Instead, they would rather blame women for their problems.

See, the problem with the Men’s Rights Movement is that they are not doing anything concrete to resolve any of the above issues. They are not raising money to open shelters for homeless or abused men. They are not starting up suicide hotlines for men. They are not lobbying for safer workplaces or gun control. Instead, they are crying about feminism, pooh-poohing the idea of patriarchy and generally making the world a sadder, scarier, less safe place to live in. In fact, I would argue that their stupid antics are actually a detriment t0 the causes that they claim to espouse, because they’re creating an association between actual real issues that men face and their disgusting buffoonery. So good fucking job, MRAs. Way to fuck vulnerable men over in your quest to prove that feminism is evil. I hope you’re all really proud of yourselves.

The Men’s Rights Movement is not “feminism for men.” It’s not some kind of complimentary activism meant to help promote equal treatment of men and women. And it fucking most certainly  is not friendly towards women, unless we’re talking about women with crippling cases of internalized misogyny. I believe in equality for men and women, but I also believe that we’re not born with an even playing field. Women still face disenfranchisement, discrimination and a lack of basic freedoms and rights, and although feminism has done a lot of great work over the last century or so, we still haven’t undone several millennia’s worth of social programming and oppression. So that’s why it’s not “men’s turn” to have a social justice movement. That’s why we have the fem in feminism. That’s why fairness and equality involve promoting the empowerment of women, rather than promoting the empowerment of both genders in equal amounts. Because, to use a stupid analogy here, if one person starts out with no apples and another person starts out with five apples and then you give them both three apples each in the name of fairness, one person still has five more fucking apples.

So yes, let’s talk about issues that affect men. Let’s come up with solutions for problems that disproportionately hurt men, like suicide and homelessness and violent deaths (while at the same time recognizing that the fact that there are issues that affect more men than women does not mean that men are oppressed because of their gender). Let’s work on opening up shelters for abused men, let’s create campaigns bringing awareness to the fact that men are also the victims of rape, and let’s pressure the government to improve workplace safety. But let’s find a way to do this that’s not at the expense of women. Instead, let’s join together and fuck up the patriarchy real good, because that way everyone wins.

p.s. If you actually think that straight white men aren’t encouraged to be “proud” of themselves you need to check your privilege a million times over and then check it some more because seriously

How I Feel About MRAs

How I Feel About MRAs

732 Responses to “Why The Men’s Rights Movement Is Garbage”

  1. matrixmensa March 11, 2015 at 6:51 am #

    In Part I agree with you, and In part I want to use your picture of the two fists against you.
    A huge problem is brewing in the GBV field, and in my humble opinion, as an activist we need to begin separating woman’s rights and GBV. Sound weird?
    Let me explain. We can no longer state that rape and sexual abuse is perpetrated by men….on woman and children. Research is starting to reveal that a huge proportion of sexual abuse perpetrated on children is done by women, not as many as their male counterparts, but the figures are mounting at an alarming rate. Since the advent of sites on face book, blogs and other areas that people can establish free online support groups, people are talking out and starting to tell about horrific violence perpetrated on them by women. Because this sort of thing is not spoken about, then of course it doesnt exist.
    The feminist movement in the seventies “Hijacked” the GBV sector and made it their own, and perpetuated the myth that men are not raped, boys are not raped and that Men are the evil perpetrators.
    My stand on this point has received hate mail, yes, but then again no cause worth fighting has not ruffed up emotional responses in the past. It takes extreme thinkers to effect change in the world.
    I do not deny that we need to change the power dynamic in society, that equal rights for woman are important, that we need to change the patriarchal society, I agree 100%, these things need to in fact MUST change, we have no right to judge ability based on gender, race or any other barrier that we as men invent.
    But, we will never change the horrific violence perpetrated on Boys and Girls in this world if we keep only telling one side of the story, and as long as the feminists hold the GBV sector hostage, the truth will never emerge.
    Separate woman’s rights and GBV so that we can actually start getting a clearer picture of the extent of the problem, and let the feminists continue fighting the fight that they are busy with and not jeopardize the safety of the children world wide.
    If we take Pakistan as an example. A lot is said about the despicable treatment of girls in that country, and yes many other Sharia law countries, but nothing is said about the Millions of boys that are raped by men and woman in that country. Where do those little boys go for help? they cant, because they are made to feel like perpetrators and not victims, and similar things are happening in Saudi, Syria, South Africa, most African countries.
    Lets not hijack a sector that affects millions of victims for the sake of the Feminist struggle.

    • daeros April 25, 2015 at 10:53 am #

      “In Part I agree with you, and In part I want to use your picture of the two fists against you.”

      I for one didn’t find the image particularly triggering of much of anything but a sense of wanting to put my fist together with hers. It seemed to be a way of signifying solidarity. perhaps you don’t understand such gestures. I don’t know. maybe it’s just me picking up on them in spite of supposedly being autistic. I’m reading your reply however and have noticed a number of objections.

      “A huge problem is brewing in the GBV field, and in my humble opinion, as an activist we need to begin separating woman’s rights and GBV. Sound weird?
      Let me explain. We can no longer state that rape and sexual abuse is perpetrated by men….on woman and children. ” Oh I’m certainly more interested in the research in this area but I consider it something the research is still pouring in on.

      “The feminist movement in the seventies “Hijacked” the GBV sector and made it their own, and perpetuated the myth that men are not raped, boys are not raped and that Men are the evil perpetrators.”

      This is destructive and not even particularly helpful as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions to feminism and the nature of that debate within feminism really ought to change in of itself. Why? Well when it comes to GBV if we don’t teach over and over again that arousal isn’t consent it hurts women. Why?

      http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/science-arousal-during-rape

      Because some women experience orgasm when they are raped. it’s a minority of cases that deserves further research but to my mind it seems that if a woman can climax when raped then it makes complete sense that Feminism is wrong about men “Not being able to be raped” and as far as I know I’ve met several women who have gotten in trouble for having pointed this out that should never have been. It’s not actually as funny as it sounds on the face of it. Almost anything, any stimulus can rather involuntary arouse some, scrolling around my dash on tumblr sometimes as a tumblr feminist, the dreaded scourge of the Internets I can often be subjected quiet often to pornographic images, even women who are comfortable with it. None of this is anything I ” have a problem” with

      What I take umbrage with and issue with is what appears to me in their mind to be that it’s “obvious” a guy “cannot ” be raped by a woman because “Duh. His penis would have to be erect.” I’m well aware of that fact, but the problem is that it’s not particularly hard to arouse a male even if he doesn’t necessarily want to be aroused, it’s inconvenient, any matter of things. This isn’t Pro-feminist at all. the snark, the joke, the not taking it seriously, the reality is that if we don’t take men seriously because they “Had to have an erection” for a Woman to have sex with them and that’s “obvious” then any Rapist could run around willy nilly on the men’s side and tell the woman he raped that she was Turned on and experiencing responses indicating arousal and therefore “She must want it.”

      This is anti-feminist. It’s not helpful even to feminism so if one thing does change, I hope it’s this.

      A male could very easily be aroused wither he wants to be or not, wither he were trying to shut it all out, it’s not that hard to see it happen without him consenting to actually having sex with her.

      That feminist cannot even imagine a man with a hardon saying “no” to sex is another thing.

      but just some pointers, something you can say to feminist who are narrow minded about this. After all, it was never supposed to be a monolithic movement.

      So my point is you’re right, Any feminist worth her weight in salt should be teaching that men are just as capable of being raped by both men and. Women, as women are by.. both men and women.

      Kryiarchy, not purely patriarchal.

    • daeros April 25, 2015 at 11:06 am #

      In Part I agree with you, and In part I want to use your picture of the two fists against you.

      ——————————————————————————————————————————
      What? No. It just seems like a Solidarity Fist.

      ———————————————————————————————————————————-
      A huge problem is brewing in the GBV field, and in my humble opinion, as an activist we need to begin separating woman’s rights and GBV. Sound weird?
      ——————————————————————————————————————————–
      Nope. I know where this is going…. I agree with you…
      ———————————————————————————————————————————
      Let me explain. We can no longer state that rape and sexual abuse is perpetrated by men….on woman and children. Research is starting to reveal that a huge proportion of sexual abuse perpetrated on children is done by women, not as many as their male counterparts, but the figures are mounting at an alarming rate. Since the advent of sites on face book, blogs and other areas that people can establish free online support groups, people are talking out and starting to tell about horrific violence perpetrated on them by women. Because this sort of thing is not spoken about, then of course it doesnt exist.

      ——————————————————————————————————————————–

      Oh it does. Trust me, there’s another phenemoeon which is not often discussed openly in “polite society” that correlates to the problem here: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/science-arousal-during-rape

      —————————————————————————————————————————–
      The feminist movement in the seventies “Hijacked” the GBV sector and made it their own, and perpetuated the myth that men are not raped, boys are not raped and that Men are the evil perpetrators.

      My stand on this point has received hate mail, yes, but then again no cause worth fighting has not ruffed up emotional responses in the past. It takes extreme thinkers to effect change in the world.

      ——————————————————————————————————————————-

      This may shock you but I am male and pro-feminist, but I am writing the response so… I’m sorry you received undesereed hate mal for this but I take issue with what the OTHER feminist have taught about Rape myself because to them and I can very easy see myself in a class room somewhere suggesting men can be raped by women only for a woman to laugh, and say “oh Dae, that’s nonsense. Don’t you realize a man has to have an erection in order to penetrate a woman.” and implying that I am ignorant of anatomy to such a great extent that I am not aware it’s very difficult for a woman to get much of anything from an unerect penis entering her to the extent that it even could. I believe we need to state within GBv course’s that Arousal is not Consent. Why? Well because it has the potential to impact both sexes so it’s relevant to both.

      Women who believe Arousal is consent may find themselves some day in a situation in which they are raped by men and and discover. To their horror, that they climaxed.

      http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/science-arousal-during-rape

      to a man whom tells her that “see! I turned you on! You must have wanted it.” and they may . actually believe it. Because after all, men cannot be raped because arousal is consent …in some people’s minds. A man could never possibly be turned on and yet turn her down. The stereotype is destructive to both sexes. So…no disagrement here. I realize we’re both talking about some pretty heavy stuff. No woman should be taught that Arousal is consent for her own good but she should also be taught it goes both ways, you turn a dood on and Being in the mood to be turned on is not the same thing as being turned on. there have been plenty of experiences in my own life where arousal was inconvenient. Men are not “consenting” to have sex with you just because they have an erect penis anymore than you’re consenting to have sex with him just because you’re wet or aroused yourself as awoman, only the conscious decision that this is really truly ok with you counts.

      ——————————————————————————————————————————-

      I do not deny that we need to change the power dynamic in society, that equal rights for woman are important, that we need to change the patriarchal society, I agree 100%, these things need to in fact MUST change, we have no right to judge ability based on gender, race or any other barrier that we as men invent.
      But, we will never change the horrific violence perpetrated on Boys and Girls in this world if we keep only telling one side of the story, and as long as the feminists hold the GBV sector hostage, the truth will never emerge.
      ——————————————————————————————————————————–

      If I have my way I will convince feminist themselves to correct this particularly horrible miscalculation

      ——————————————————————————————————————————-

      Separate woman’s rights and GBV so that we can actually start getting a clearer picture of the extent of the problem, and let the feminists continue fighting the fight that they are busy with and not jeopardize the safety of the children world wide.
      If we take Pakistan as an example. A lot is said about the despicable treatment of girls in that country, and yes many other Sharia law countries, but nothing is said about the Millions of boys that are raped by men and woman in that country. Where do those little boys go for help? they cant, because they are made to feel like perpetrators and not victims, and similar things are happening in Saudi, Syria, South Africa, most African countries.
      Lets not hijack a sector that affects millions of victims for the sake of the Feminist struggle.

      —————————————————————————————————————————–

      I don’t know what else to say, the research is still coming in.

  2. justsoemguy69 March 27, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    “they attend feminist events in order to bully and intimidate women, they flood online feminist spaces with threatening messages, and they regularly use smear campaigns and scare tactics to make the women who don’t back down afraid for their physical safety.” – how is this anything different than what “feminists” have been doing for oh, 50 years? Life is fair, people are unfair, learn to live with that – but “turnabout is fair play” Try to fill the internet up with something that is actually useful and productive, hmm lovey? K, thanks

  3. Rachelle Kebaili March 28, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

    Seriously fucking brilliant!!!!! Thank you!

  4. rear slide plate glock April 24, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

    Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t know then its up to other users that they will assist, so here
    it occurs.

  5. CishetShitbag May 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    So, basically, as a white cishet male living in the United States, I need to shut up and preferably kill myself so that everyone else can have a wonderful utopian matriarchal society. I had no idea it was that simple. Thank you so much for clearing up exactly why I should consider myself and everyone like me as utter fucking scum unworthy to breathe the same air as empowered feminist womyn.

    • Johanus Haidner May 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

      LOL! Now he sees it for what it really is. Ya, I feel the same way. Logic and reason are not allowed here, don’t you know?

  6. Fakta Gender May 10, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    FEMINIST IS GARBADE,THAT’S THE FACTS. thank you author, the way to make this auwful article, the more women and men hate feminist.

    This news report showed, feminist has failed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXeszLlTX5E

    • Robert May 24, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

      When cats wants to be dogs, all you get is a group of second rate dogs and the real dogs that sometimes tolerate them!

  7. Vrokheimar 2043 May 16, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    “MRAs believe that feminists are to blame for basically everything that’s wrong with their lives. The Men’s Rights Movement is a reactionary movement created specifically to counter feminism, and most (if not all) of their time and resources go towards silencing and marginalizing women. They do things like starting the Don’t Be That Girl campaign, a campaign that accuses women of making false rape reports. They attend feminist events in order to bully and intimidate women, they flood online feminist spaces with threatening messages, and they regularly use smear campaigns and scare tactics to make the women who don’t back down afraid for their physical safety. They do literally nothing to actually resolve the problems that they claim to care about, and instead do everything they can to discredit the feminist movement.”

    Basically, a male version of what feminism actually is. They lied to me to make me see the truth of their oppression, just as feminists has.

    That they generally suck as individuals is true, but same thing apply to what they are against, it is the B is B doesn´t mean that A isn´t A fallacy.

    Yep, that White “cis” aren´t encouraged to be proud of themselves, even shamed is simply the truth, how things actually are today in the west, so get on with the time.
    I freely aknowledge that it is a first-world problem, it sure isn’t them who are oppressing the great majority of women in the world. Go tell king Abdullah to check his privilege.

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