What should we call… Men’s Rights Advocates?

The term “Men’s Rights Advocate” and its shorthand, MRA, loom large in many feminist circles. The term is far less familiar to the general population and on its face, the connotations of “Men’s Rights Advocate” seem positive and wholly defensible. After all, patriarchy may bestow privilege upon men and boys (duh) but it also foists on them a variety of problems and sexist expectations worthy of an advocate’s attention. Unfortunately, the term does not honestly represent the modern project of men’s rights advocacy. While today’s MRAs (not necessarily cut from the same cloth as earlier iterations) rail against the sexism men and boys face, their chosen culprit is not patriarchy but feminism.

Men are not denied custody of their children because a sexist society and family law system deem child-rearing a woman’s domain. It’s feminists trying to make sure women take all the kids!!! Women don’t have an easier time getting laid [sometimes against their will, it bears noting] because men and boys are socially instructed by a patriarchal, heterosexist, cissexist culture to view them first and foremost as sexual objects. It’s those pesky feminists encouraging women to lord their sexual dominance over lonely men, muhahahahaha [evil feminist laugh]!!! Girls don’t perform better in the school system because social cues encourage them to be obedient and polite, while boys are encouraged to roughhouse and interrupt. It’s a teaching system brainwashed by feminists to ensure women’s supremacy!!!!

Okay that’s enough, but it should give you some idea of what most MRAs are really about, which is anti-feminism. Some sites and organizations make this agenda more obvious (see: A Voice for Men), while others (see: Canadian Association for Equality) push their agenda more insidiously by, say, hosting a speaker who has a history of calling date rape “exciting” and pontificating about the positive impacts of incest. In fact, A Voice for Men used facial recognition software to doxx and actively encourage the harassment of teenage women who protested this speaker’s appearance on the University of Toronto campus in late 2012. What ties the extreme and less-extreme groups together is their belief that feminism is a barrier to men and boys overcoming gender-based challenges and realizing their potential.

The truth is that men do face challenges in a world that, ironically, has largely been governed by men. Perhaps this is why it’s so easy for MRAs to make feminism the scapegoat – it seems illogical to presume that men are holding themselves back. But patriarchy isn’t one big, discrete, conscious decision. It’s the composite of zillions of decisions: conscious and unconscious, big and tiny, made by humans of all stripes including men, women and trans* people. Collectively these decisions hold back all genders in different ways, but men by far the least so. Their challenges are also counterbalanced by myriad privileges they accrue (often without noticing, because privilege is like that) for simply being guys. On the whole, men (in particular cis, white, straight, able-bodied men) occupy the position of greatest privilege on the gender spectrum.

Recently I got together with some feminists and feminist allies to discuss how to address a recent spread and intensification of anti-feminist activity in Canada, especially on post-secondary campuses. These men and organizations are not so much concerned with reclaiming men’s rights as they are with preserving men’s power and privilege. So we thought let’s call a spade a spade, scrap the “Men’s Rights Advocate” handle and call them Men’s Power Advocates. MPAs: they’re a thing.

Epilogue: Shout-out to the men’s organizations doing great work to challenge sexism and foster positive masculinity, including the White Ribbon Campaign.

116 thoughts on “What should we call… Men’s Rights Advocates?

  1. Nicely written. I heard the word “power” in my head long before you reached the MPA definition.

    I’m no fan of the conventional MRA and not even a major fan of masculinity (my own included). I wonder, though, how many started their MRA-affinity with a true belief versus a “lost” conflict where gender appeared (to them) the major difference between “competitors”. I wonder how much is just self-delusion, “I couldn’t possibly lose unless it was about my gender.” Just wondering, in a non-screaming curious sort of way.

    Less seriously, I wonder how much my use of quotations around words undermined my point …

    David

  2. The fact that many women use their children as emotional weapons when divorcing needs to be owned by feminists.

    I would like to see a lot more work educating people about the importance of parents not doing this if the romantic relationship ends. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the best case scenario when this happens is to ensure that the co-parenting relationship does not also go sour.

    It is not surprising to see an increase of these MRA groups when we are now entering an increasingly large second generation of children who were prevented by their mother from having an independent relationship with their father. I’m not saying it’s right but we have to look clearly at how these men can blame feminists.

    The problem is so very complex but at it’s root I believe very strongly that our culture has changed so rapidly in such a short period of time that our children and the new family structures are creating backlashes like feminist-hating MRAs.

    I’ve known many men who were victims of women using patriarchy to prevent full access to their children. It’s a crime as bad as dead-beat fathers yet feminism is not addressing it (or if it is I am not aware of it).

    • I think part of the problem is that in each custody battle, of course the INDIVIDUALS involved both want custody of their children. Nobody is arguing that women are altruistically trying to give up their children for the betterment of our society (nor should they). In an ideal universe each individual case would be considered on its merits and the separating partners would go into it with the child’s best interests at heart rather than making it a turf war. At a system level, the assumption that women are better equipped to care for children is problematic, not only because it may cause a judge to determine that the woman should have custody, but because it creates patterns of caregiving where women consistently take on the primary role throughout the child’s life (thus making it more likely that, should they enter into a custody battle at some point, the woman will be given custody because she has been the primary caregiver to date). It’s a dilly of a pickle.

      • Also note that majority of divorces include negotiated agreements without the courts and some sort of co-parenting agreement. Most couples do what works for them and their kids. We tend to only hear the bad news.

      • Orla is correct. Mainstream feminism has not truly acknowledged the sexism of family law that effects fathers and their children. In fact, your reply to Orla is a typical response, which is side stepping the issue. What’s even worse, mainstream feminism has actively opposed reforms that would make family law more gender neutral. Their arguments for their opposition are so hypocritical they are actually re-entrenching the vary sex roles and stereotypes they claim to be against. I spent 15 years in the fathers’ right movement. If you truly want to understand why many men are antifeminsim, do some research into how feminism actively blocked family law reform if the changes were viewed as a loss for women (even if the loss was a double-standard that was based o traditional sex roles. For e.g. NOW took a stand against joint custody. I like many men have come to the understanding that their are a lot of sexism women who call themselves feminists. I see feminist in two basic forms, egalitarian & inegalitarian. I have no respect for the latter. My own personal custody case went on for several years. It ended when my 12 & 11 yr old daughters told the court and their mother they wanted to live with dad. This threw an entire twist into the family law system’s gender mind set and no one could figure out how to shoehorn that scenario into the biased system. That was in 1998. I learned a hell of a lot.

      • @ Dr. Steph The reason you tend to hear about the “bad” ones is because that is where the family system reveals its blatant flaws (i.e. the court actually has to make a decision). For example, I highly doubt you would take the same posturing if say most sexual harassment cases were mediated to a satisfactory conclusion. Would you cease being concerned about the issue, or ignore the systemic problems in the minority of cases? I think not.

  3. Overall an excellent point, but I’m not sure about the suggested label. Isn’t power often a good thing? I don’t think that feminist slogans about ‘girl power’ or the importance of empowering representation were wrongheaded, and it seems like the MPA label would too easily latch onto that same concept. People should have power over themselves, in general. MRAs are focused on having power over others. It seems to me like maybe ‘male supremacist’ would be a more accurate reflection of their approach and everything wrong with it.

      • Yeah, I can see that angle too. Though, even in that context, ‘white power’ tends to be the term that the bigots use and ‘white supremacist’ is the label non-bigots use, and I think more accurate.

        Either way, I agree that ‘MRA’ is a misnomer that presents itself as reasonable when it’s really about re-asserting privilege on the marginalised.

  4. Sorry to interrupt your thoughts here, but as the mother of BOTH genders I am a men’s right advocate who is neither interested in “supremacy” or “power”, but basic human rights for my sons and son in law. It isn’t taking anything away from my daughter. As a second wife, she too is getting screwed over by the vengeful ex wife and the family court bias that allows it.

    You obviously don’t know anything about the men’s human rights movement, and maybe you need to learn more before spouting off such spurious claims to “power” or “supremacy”.

    The Men’s right movement is growing, and the truth will come out.

      • The right to proportionate sentencing, for one, since men, quite literally, receive over 99% of all death sentences despite the fact that women commit at least 10% of all murders by DOJ estimates.
        Getting paternity testing unbanned in France would be nice, too.

      • You raise an interesting point about the differential treatment of men and women by the CJS and, in particularly in the sentencing for offences. However, you can’t assume that simply because 10% of murders are committed by women that 10% of those given death sentences should also be women! It’s far more complex and relates to all sorts of other variables at play (for example level of culpability, evidence of premeditation, mitigating circumstances, vulnerability of victim, whether the offence was considered a hate crime.. not to mention that not all murders will result in death penalty – if that is even a sentencing option – and some people sentenced to death are not charged with murder!). However you do raise an interesting issue that there IS disparity – in arrest, prosecution and sentencing – between genders (as well as ethnicity, class and so on). Whilst often it is assumed women are treated more lenienty (chivalry threory for example) the evidence suggests that in reality women may not be given prison sentences, but they are often still held in custody in far more punitive conditions, for longer periods of time and treated for mental health issues.. on the prevailing stereotype that women are mad and not bad and thus need to be treated not punished.

    • If this is true – then wouldn’t you be happy if MRA was no longer used by as many feminists to refer to the groups that the OP mentioned?

      Shouldn’t you be happy that a delineation is being made?

      For example, if you wanted to criticize feminism, it would make more sense to point out which group of feminist you are referring to, since feminism isn’t a monolith.

      There are some feminist groups that are “gynocentric” or even female supremacist; who truly believe that if women were in charge of everything, and men were subjugated, that we’d be living in some sort of utopia that could only be perfected with parthenogenesis.

      I certainly wouldn’t want to be referred to with the same label as them – so why would you want to be referred to with the same label as anti-feminists and male supremacists?

      • Good points. I’d like to see more men’s rights advocates call out and attack male supremacists. There was a recent fad outbreak about guys being put in the “Friendzone” aka “let’s just be friends”. Some idiots out there replied with “put her in the rape zone”. I saw NOT A SINGLE men’s rights advocate, anywhere, protesting this. Is it any wonder why articles like the OP get written? It has basis in reality.

      • Probably because men are becoming inured to the word rape and resulting rape hysteria. There is only so much over use of the “R” word, the blaming and shaming of ALL men for the criminal actions of the few.

        I’d like to see more women’s rights advocates call out and attack female supremacists.

        When was the last time feminists protested or “called out” a false rape accuser or showed one whit of empathy for the wrongly convicted released from DECADES in prison? That door swings both ways.

      • Jon’s Mom – You might want to introspect a bit. You just attempted to justify tolerating someone advocating rape of a woman if she wants to be your friend but not have sex with you.

        Rape is the primary reason for “rape hysteria”.

        Blaming women for “getting raped” is the most man-hating attitude surrounding the issue. The implication in victim-blaming is that any girl or woman should have “known better” than to do ANYTHING that might make her the least bit vulnerable to rape.

        We live in a culture where a couple high-school students can carry an incapacitated girl to three parties full of other people and use her as a sex-toy while photos of her naked body are uploaded to social media; and nobody stops them and when they are found out, the town blames the girl.

        We live in a culture where a large group of older boys can have sex with an 11 year old and take video of it – and the town blames the girl.

        The implication is that these girls should have known better and that the boys were essentially mindless aggressive non-agents who cannot be expected to have any sort of impulse control if a girl is vulnerable due to drinking (though in the case I’m references there is some evidence she was drugged) or dresses sexy for her age. THAT is misandry if there is such a thing – and that is the rape culture that feminists work to eradicate.

        I absolutely support the Innocence Project. I support their work entirely, but you will notice something about the people that tend to be exonerated. They tend to be black and they tend to be poor. The problem you are referencing a a problem of racism; not of a mythical scourge of feminist-induced false accusations of rape.

        Obviously, a false accusation of rape or any other crime is damaging to the person falsely accused. I have a great deal of compassion for those falsely accused of any crime and an accusation of a sex crime is particularly damning. A case in the 80′s where, before there were good protocols for questioning children, a host of daycare providers were accused of crimes bolstered by leading questions asked by prosecutors, I’m sure, turned their lived up-side down and that personal experience should not be diminished. I get that. For those individuals, that false accusation (if believed by anyone) may very well make their lives very difficult in a very real way.

        Also, those who make false accusations also negatively affect those who might rally to support them; and making false accusations is an affront to those who have endured a rape or other sex crime.

        Looking at the issue on the sociological level, realize that very very few rapes are reported to police, and very few rapists pay for their crime in any real way. Even when a girl or woman submits to a rape-kit, those kits may very well just sit in storage for years – THOUSANDS of kits just sitting there in backlog, and you talk about “rape-hysteria”?! When a prosecutor in Detroit fought for a grant to examine just a portion of those kits – they revealed several serial rapists. Men who had been free to rape with no consequence simply because the state didn’t make examining evidence of rape a priority – were finally revealed. http://endthebacklog.org/

        This feminist – ME – and I think I speak for many others – ARE NOT blaming all men for rape. We are fighting against a SOCIETY (composed of all genders) that would routinely shame and blame victims of rape (of all genders) and allow rapists (of all genders) to enjoy little or no repercussions for their crimes.

    • replying to :
      “Probably because men are becoming inured to the word rape and resulting rape hysteria. …. That door swings both ways.”

      so, you think the suggestion “put her in the rape zone” is okay because men are tired of the whole “”rape hysteria”” and overuse of the word rape? so if we want men to treat women with respect we have to clam up about rape. okee dokee.

      false claims of rape are, according to the fbi, 8% of the time. and each one is a horrible horrible thing. and i’d bet half of them were influenced by the patriarchal thinking that women who have sex outside of marriage are whores. those damned femini . . o, wait.

      but regardless of whether i’m right about that – it is horrible; to screw up someone’s life like that. now, in some of those cases the woman in question WAS raped – they just caught the wrong person. so that isn’t a false rape as much as a false arrest.

      now, what’s the estimate on unreported rapes? or reported but the victim won’t go to trial?

  5. Ms. Guthrie, if policies that are meant to take children away from fathers are around because of a patriarchal society that wants to give women the role of motherhood as their only option, then why do you promote groups like the White Ribbon Campaign, which promote things like the Duluth Model that claim men are the primary abusers in domestic relationships despite all conflicting evidence?

    • I’m sorry, are you suggesting that men are not the primary abusers in domestic relationships? Thus, by default are you arguing that women are the primary abusers in domestic relationships? I am strongly in favour of women and men’s right, and of equity between all genders. However, *all* of the evidence regarding abuse within domestic relationships shows that men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of this abuse. Look at any local/national victim survey conducted to date (such as the British Crime Survey – accessible via MOJ website) in any country. There is absolutely no empirical evidence which conflicts with this general statement. The only time when female involvement in abuse within the domestic sphere even approaches that of male involvement is – unfortunately – in the killing of infants within the first 12 months of life. This is the only time when women might be the primary abusers (but even then female involvement in this offence merely reaches the same levels as male involvement in the same offence). It is very frustrating when people make claims (and quite ridiculous ones in this instance) without considering the evidence that has been gathered and the research that has been conducted on the issue.

      • Knatx.. That is completely inaccurate I’m afraid – although defining what you mean might be useful in terms of your definition of child ‘abuse’ (are you referring to physical, sexual, emotional, neglect or all of the above) and domestic violence (I am assuming you are referring to violence (again physical, sexual, emotional etc?) in the domestic sphere regardless of familial relationship? In any instance, I’m afraid any generalisations regarding women being the ‘primary’ perpetrators is simply inaccurate. As I said, when it comes to offences against children this is the only time when women’s involvement comes anywhere near to men’s involvement – and this is most pronounced in the case of infanticide. However, even then male:female ratio is at most on par. With regards child abuse (sexual/physical/emotional or ‘passive’ abuse such as neglect) men still far outweigh women as perpetrators.

      • “no empirical evidence”
        Does 221 samples count as none? Forgive the (dot)s, for some reason it wouldn’t let me post this link here otherwise.
        http://www.csulb(dot)edu/~mfiebert/assault(dot)htm

      • Really?

        “This bibliography examines 286 scholarly investigations: 221 empirical studies and 65 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners”

        Ok, so this is an list of various studies which ‘demonstrate’ that women are physically aggressive. How many of these have you actually read? What kind of ‘evidence’ does each of these studies present? Have you critically evaluated their methodology? How was the data collected? What definitions did they use? What was the sampling frame? These are the kind of questions you need to ask of each of the studies included in this bibliography before you present it as evidence! This is simply a reference to a piece of work that I’m not even sure would constitute a meta-analysis.

        I’m absolutely gobsmacked that you are actually trying to argue that women are the main perpetrators of domestic abuse against spouses. However, I don’t think you’re actually concerned with evidence or empirical facts, nor are you interested in the reality(ies) of the matters at hand, so I am not engaging from here.

      • @Jane

        These are two meta-analyses that show domestic violence is about 50/50 between men and women. No need to read hundreds of studies when peer reviewed journals have done the aggregation for you.

        http://feminism.martinsewell.com/Archer2000.pdf

        http://www.springerpub.com/content/journals/FindingsAt-a-Glance.pdf

        (Though, to be fair injuries are 62/38, possibly because men tend to be stronger than women)

        Most of the studies that show that women are the overwhelming victims are based on things like actual charges and convictions. These numbers though can be skewed since:

        a) men might be less willing to report domestic abuse to the police
        b) men might be more likely to be charged when the violence is mutual (primary aggressor laws)

      • WTF! This person just handed you over 200 studies which show an overall trend of parity for domestic violence, and you have rejected every one of them out of hand on the vague assumption that they are all flawed somehow because they don’t line up with your worldview.

        So how about the much vaunted 1-in-4-women (recently upped to 1-3) statistic? Have you critically reviewed the methodology of the studies that came to that conclusion? Can you even name the studies involved? Because others have reviewed those studies and found them flawed (http://bit.ly/YclJju), and stuff like http://bit.ly/QTLC3 is a response to that.

        Talk about being gobsmacked; I am actually kind of impressed you have the gall to flippantly deny this huge pile of research on the flimsiest of pretenses, and then claim that THEY are the one who’s “not actually concerned with evidence or empirical facts,” not to mention the reality of the matters at hand.

  6. I wouldn’t let my children near that male right’s activist who was talking about the benefits of incest and rape. If he doesn’t have custody of his children and their mother won’t let him see them, it is evidently clear why. He is unfit to be a parent.
    Feminists deny that some women are petty. I just did. See.

    • Please post where Mr. Ferrell himself has ever said anything about “benefits of incest and rape”.

      Bear in mind Mr. Ferrell was once a card carrying member of NOW – LONG after that 1970′s article.

      • “When I get my most glowing positive cases, 6 out of 200,” says Farrell, “the incest is part of the family’s open, sensual style of life, wherein sex is an outgrowth of warmth and affection. It is more likely that the father has good sex with his wife, and his wife is likely to know and approve — and in one or two cases to join in.”

        “The average incest participant can’t evaluate his or her experience for what it was. As soon as society gets into the picture, they have to tell themselves it was bad. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

        “Maybe this [ incest ] needs repressing, and maybe it doesn’t,”
        says author Warren Farrell.
        “My book should at least begin the exploration.”

        http://www.thelizlibrary.org/site-index/site-index-frame.html#soulhttp://www.thelizlibrary.org/warren-farrell/

    • Not exactly sure when the feminist movement started viewing Penthouse as a reliable source, but for the record, the quote was mis attributed to Warren Farrel, and Penthouse did print a retraction that acknowledged Dr. Farrel did NOT make that statement.

  7. I meant feminists don’t deny that some women are petty. Some are bad parents too. They shouldn’t get custody of their children either. Women often get custody because it is believed that women are natural caregivers due to cultural stereotypes caused by the patriarchy. Some women aren’t caregivers. Some men are. In fact, in some societies men are the primary guardians of the children.

    • NOW denies PAS – parental alienation syndrome. Better to sacrifice the few women who suffer than call into question the majority gender committing the crime.

      Ask any “second wife” or women so messed up they weren’t granted custody just how much “feminists” are looking out for THEIR best interests.

      • NOW (which i have a couple of issues with) denies it because the APA denies it, WHO denies it, courts in England and Canada deny it. They aren’t abstractly denying it.

        Gardner himself, the originator of the syndrome, says :”I am certainly aware of the phenomenon by which bona fide abusers try to
        exonerate themselves by claiming that the children’s alienation is the result of PAS indoctrination and not the abuser’s own reprehensible behavior.” and that
        “First, I wish to make it clear that I do not automatically recommend that courts transfer custody from the alienating parent to the target parent. . . . . For alienators in the mild category, I usually recommend that the child remain with the
        alienating parent. For PAS children at the moderate level, when the alienator is also at the
        moderate level, I generally recommend that the children remain with the alienating parent
        but that the court warn the alienating parent of the imposition of sanctions if she or he does
        not cease and desist from attempting to alienate the child (Plan A in Table 1). When children
        are in the moderate level and the alienator is in the severe level, I do recommend custodial
        transfer (Plan B in Table 1). For children in the severe level and alienators in the severe level,
        I recommend a transitional site program, which ultimately results in gradual expansion of
        the children’s contact with the alienated parent and, ultimately, transfer to the alienated parent’s
        home. I make these recommendations only after many hours observing and evaluating
        the child’s symptoms and the parents’ behavior and refining the distinctions observed. The
        position, then, that I automatically recommend custodial transfer in most, if not all, cases of
        PAS has no validity.
        misused.https://sites.google.com/site/coleur/GardnerrRichardACommentaryonKellyand.pdf?attredirects=0

        So while you want women to own that there are those among them using their children as pawns – where are the MRA’s acknowledging that there are those among them abusing a syndrome just as an opportunity to excuse themselves from responsibility?? or that some misquote him as saying that the child must be removed from the alienating parent?

      • @Cassandra: by making feminists’ acknowledgement of the existence of alienating mothers conditional upon MRA’s acknowledgement of the existence of PAS-playing abusers, you are turning the cat around by the tail. PAS-playing abusers wouldn’t even be *possible* if there were no alienating mothers.

      • @basta. I’m not doing that. Do you really read that in my reply or did you just light on that as a way to “win.”

        I am saying that it is not recognized as a syndrome by any psychiatric or govt authority so saying that NOW refuses to recognize it is a dishonest shading of the facts. It presents it as though they are denying an established fact.

        And then I went on to say that while a previous poster suggest that feminists need to acknowledge that some women in custody battles use their children as pawns she does not acknowledge that men do also. She presents it as though PAS is pervasive, always true and proof that men should get custody – which even Gardner, the originator of PAS does not agree with.

        Or in short – goose and gander.

      • @Cassandra

        I am saying that it is not recognized as a syndrome by any psychiatric or govt authority so saying that NOW refuses to recognize it is a dishonest shading of the facts.

        Firstly, by “psychiatric or govt authority” you are falsely implying the exitsence of two distinct authorities, where there is really only one: the psychiatric authority; the government will just parrot the so-called “experts”. And the reason why the “psychiatric authority” denies the existence of PAS is that the individuals who constitute that authority are terrorized by the feminist reign in the academe, which is quite capable of destroying careers and impeaching university presidents.

      • @rulatar – there are two distinct entities – one is the psych field and the other is the courts. The courts always follow the psych field – ORLY?

        So any lack of evidence that supports you is proof of feminists’ dominance but evidence that supports you is honest info? Seems legit

    • i tried – i really did. and the beginning seemed reasonable but the pay gap has been shown by using a one to one correlation not an aggregate.

      most of this philosophy i can agree with though: http://ncfm.org/ncfm-home/philosophy/

      of course, and i realize this is anecdotal – when i point out that men can be abused or that the 14 yo raped by his teacher isn’t “lucky” – the most vehement opposition i encounter is from other men. further anecdotes – i found men are generally pretty pissed off if you pay for yourself.

      what i mean to say is that many of these issues faced by men and boys do stem from the patriarchy and/or are reinforced by men. but in my experience, MRAs do not encourage males to re-examine how they view themselves and other men but rather put the focus on how feminists view and only feminists view of men is the problem. there is no “celebrate yourself” only a plethora of “and you knew who you were then . . girls were girls and men were men”

      but stuff like this: http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/female-teachers-accused-of-giving-boys-lower-marks/
      is problematic – it makes fallacious leaps. the conclusions may or may not be true but the “how we got there” has gaps logically.

  8. Really interesting piece! I hadn’t really heard of these folks. I will say, to those discussing child-custody, that giving kids automatically to the mother is a relatively new (mid 20th century I believe) thing. Before then, women who divorced were seen as bad mothers, bad wives, etc. Many women stayed in abusive relationships for the sake of staying with the kids, and protecting them. The movement for women to take custody, and for divorce to be easier, was primarily for the protection of women in a patriarchal structure. So the whole women always get custody thing, yeah, that’s new.

    • @emily: you unwittingly reinforce a notion that women “protect” their children from men. that notion is problematic as one of the major symptoms of parental alienation is the claim by the alienating parent that s/he must protect the child(ren) from the other targeted alienated parent. this quote is from parentalalienation.org: “17. When parents physically or psychologically rescue the children when there is no threat to their safety. This practice reinforces in the child’s mind the illusion of threat or danger, thereby reinforcing alienation.” see here for more: http://www.parentalalienation.org/articles/symptoms-parental-alienation.html

      • “you unwittingly reinforce a notion that women “protect” their children from men.”

        FFS

        No – in that particular situation, if a MAN wanted to protect his children from his wife he could divorce her and he would get custody of them.

        If a WOMEN wanted to protect her children from her husband she had no such option, because the children would stay with the husband due to the law.

        How does that, in any way, resemble “rescue the children when there is no threat to their safety” when the premise of the statement was that the husband was abusive?!

        In modern times, the concept of joint custody happened. Nobody here thinks that either the man or the woman should always get custody. You know – recent history.

        Of course, the biggest reason that men don’t get custody right now is because they don’t show up – so don’t start quoting statistics on that.

        I do not agree to laws that give a gender-preference in custody issues. Most states (I live in the U.S.) have laws specifically prohibiting gender preferences in custody hearings.

  9. Congrats: you have managed to attract trolls. This of course means that your post offers something of value.

    My reaction to your post is mostly a reaction to the reaction. Individualized accounts almost always miss the mark of the macro level patterns, which you rightly point out. Yet within these “n of one” stories if crazy ex wives and sons bullied by teachers is a bit of insight. We should pay attention to the words of “men’s rights,” because they suggest something most progressives miss: when the symbolic hierarchy is upended, the desire for is a common reaction. Feminists should reflect on the psychological nature if vengeance and its source. That must be considered if true equality is to ever happen. I personally feel vengeance is a reaction to early loss, which may have resulted from a woman being forced into motherhood, or a sublimated rage for opportunities denied.

    • You really had to go and reinforce MRA’s view of feminists?
      Why has “troll” become the same thing as “people who disagree with me” on the internet to so many social-justice-related groups?

    • “Congrats: you have managed to attract trolls.”

      Article was based on ignorance and lack of knowledge.

      “We should pay attention to the words of “men’s rights,” because they suggest something most progressives miss: when the symbolic hierarchy is upended, the desire for is a common reaction. ”

      How can you expect feminists like that the author here to take heed to what some of us MRA’s say or that bring up? Feminist far rather focus on women ONLY issues and address them than actually give a dam to men and their issues. Which is what us MRA’s are about, giving a dam about men’s issues.

      “Feminists should reflect on the psychological nature if vengeance and its source. ”

      You think with the men’s rights movement growing and that us MRA’s speaking out more that feminist would stop and see why we are so anti-feminist to start with. But instead feminists rather attack us than understand our anti-feminist stance.

      • “But instead feminists rather attack us than understand our anti-feminist stance.”

        Yes, let me spend time and energy on understanding your nuanced view of categorically dismissing a movement that’s only unifying tenant is that I’m a person with rights.

        /sarcasm

        Pro-tip – don’t lead with “YOU ALL SUCK” and people might listen more to your actual nuanced views about stuff that matters.

      • what i’m reading is that feminism is men’s issue?

        the problem is :

        if you are trying to enroll us all in a – “it was all fine before feminism” not many of us are going to bite.

        if you think true equality should be about looking at issues facing both sexes and that is missing from feminism then you should lead by example.

  10. Hello Steph,
    I originally wrote this in a discussion with a friend, so please pardon any she vs you mix ups. I am not an MRA, but I consider myself a… MRA ally.

    Your bashing of Ferrell is uncalled for if you take a look at what he actually said and understand that he is taking a scientific position on the subject matter. Due to our society’s great, and understandable, disdain for incest, much less child incest, its understandable for one to have such a response to his study. However, I implore you to try to take a step back, and read Ferrell’s material as if an extraterrestrial, someone without a (understandable) negative bias towards the subject matter. He was by no means supporting incest or suggesting that incest was appropriate, Ferrell was merely analyzing the results, positive and negative from incest.

    MRA does not blame feminism for everything, but they do believe feminism has had a part to play on some of the issues. For example, there is a very vocal minority of feminists who advocate the idea that men can’t be raped and that men don’t suffer equally from domestic abuse. This spreads to other spheres of gender discussion as third wave feminism’s analysis of society is one that is often based on women being the victim (I.E. patriarchy). Your example of one of the anti-feminist talking points, women getting the kids, is a direct result of a feminist piece of legislature, the tender years doctrine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tender_years_doctrine). The tender years doctrine was necessary at the time it was written as men were getting sole custody of the children, however it has since came back around and bit us in the proverbial ass. I believe that MRAs bring up this piece of legislature in rebuttal to the response they receive from feminists when complaining about not receiving custody; “It’s actually misogyny”.

    Your use of the word privilege is troubling. Privilege as it is used within the analysis of equality is not a measuring stick. There is no “this person has more privilege, this person has less.” Privilege as it is meant to be used is the acceptance that an individual, for example a cis white male, might not be fully aware of the environment of a cis white female. At the same time, a cis white female might not be fully aware of the environment of a cis white male. A simpler word is subjectivity.

    Indeed, much of the MRA is anti-feminist, but that being MRAs position might be placed on feminism. It has been feminism that has refused to take on the challenge of other analyses of the gender roles of our society while simultaneously dominating the discussion of said roles. This has created a very “Us against them” mentality. Rather than taking a Hegelian approach, of thesis, antithesis, synthesis, feminism has resorted to just yelling louder that “It’s the patriarchy”. My suggestion for both groups, feminists and MRAs is to communicate with an open mind. Why don’t we try intermingling our analyses instead of refuting.

    • “on women being the victim (I.E. patriarchy).”

      *face palm*

      And no, “subjectivity” does not mean the same as “privilege”.

      And no, feminism (as if it’s a person or something) is not responsible for the MRA being anti-feminist due to having the audacity of focusing on women’s issues instead of men’s issues.

      If you actually care to somehow “intermingle” your analysis, why don’t you just offer that analysis instead of accuse “feminism” of the same stupid stuff that tends to be refuted over and over and over again.

      “Gender studies” are slowly becoming gender studies these days, I’m sure you’re happy about that. I think it is very useful to begin considering, in a more academic way, the concepts of masculinity.

      Sorry it took awhile, but feminism had to sort out that whole issue of being considered the property of men who were legally able to rape us; not being able to find a good paying job to support ourselves because our work was devalued, not being able to vote, being socially expected to be referred to as our husband’s name and not our own, having equal access to education, and all that jazz.

      So sorry – we aren’t always focused on men’s issues. We’ll get right on that! I’m sure those THOUSANDS of rape-kits sitting in storage will sort themselves out. /sarcasm

      Having said that:

      There was once a day when mothers were told not to hug baby boys and young male children because it would make them soft. The norm of treating boys and men as unfeeling, invincible – yet utterly disposable – objects of war or a wallet; is a real thing.

      The “feminist” analysis does not reject the concept of the suffering of boys and men at the hands of patriarchal social structures and hierarchies; nor does it reject the notion that both men and women perpetuate and are rewarded by playing their part in those structures.

      However, the MRA nor anyone else is magically entitled to the time and energy of feminists under penalty of attack.

      If there is a specific group of feminists (or any other group) that has stances or has engaged in action that you think is problematic – that is a real conversation.

      A conversation about “feminism” sucking and deserving being attacked by MRA is not.

      • The problem is how you attribute causation. You claim men’s problems are the result of patriarchy – full stop. Sex is an inadequate basis upon which to attribute monolithic privilege or suffering, historical or contemporary. There were and are a great many men with substantially less privilege than many other men AND women. There were a great many men that suffered far more than women but to listen to the asinine concept of patriarchy advanced by feminism, you would think being a man was a cakewalk and that every woman was some downtrodden victim. If only we could zip back in time and tell the fellas choking on chlorine gas in the trenches of the Ypres Salient that the ladies back home – many of them busy shaming men into enlisting with white flowers – were having a hard time. I’m surprised the gas could even make it to the troops, what with all the male privilege in the air.

        I agree that gender roles have hurt – and benefited – both sexes and that the concepts of what masculinity and femininity is should change. The concept of patriarchy, however, is utterly useless as the basis for a historical narrative or contemporary policy. Class was – and is – a far more accurate predictor of privilege and suffering than sex. As for changing how we conceive of masculinity and femininity, I take issue with feminists trying to tell men how to be while looking through their myopic lens – as the One Billion Rising, Good Men Project, White Ribbon Campaign, and a slew of other misandrous efforts are doing.

      • You’re confusing privilege and power; as well as reward. A gilded cage is still a cage and the “bird” inside does not always suffer.

        I’m unsure how you can blame feminists for men suffering in combat, when it is highly unlikely that women would be given access to combat positions in the military (as recently happened in the U.S.) without feminism.

        And no, at no point did I claim that the patriarchal nature of society was the only cause of suffering in general; nor that privilege based on gender is the only type of privilege that someone can have.

        That’s…just…sort of silly.

        It’s also naive to deny the existence of patriarchal social structures; and the remnants of those norms still holding onto dear life. If the word “patriarchy” is such a road-block for you; perhaps you prefer another word for not bothering to build a women’s bathroom near the floor of the House of Representatives,not having the right to vote; and martial rape being legal and women taking on the name of their spouse?

        It takes a while for a society to work through all of that – it doesn’t magically disappear completely in a generation.

        My grandfather was socially scorned for sending his daughters to highschool (because, what’s the point of that?). Women were not allowed (and still are not allowed) in leadership positions in the church association of my youth.

        Patriarchy happens.

    • MRA does not blame feminism for everything, but they do believe feminism has had a part to play on some of the issues.

      … and equally importantly, MRAs don’t let feminists get away with commiting the “previous neighbour fallacy”: the fact that certain inequalities to the disadvantage of men predate feminism does not absolve feminists from being the single force that perpetuates these inequalities nowadays. If you steal our sheep, the fact that our previous neighbor also did is not a mitigating circumstance in your case, and neither is the fact that you haven’t invented stealing.

  11. So much of feminist doctrine sounds like religious doctrine – amorphous and poorly defined concepts like “faith”, “patriarchy”, “rape culture”, and “free will” that are tailored on an ad hoc basis to explain away inconvenient facts or shift blame for them onto the designated bogeyman. Both ideologies are particularly prone to wilful blindness when it comes to their own doctrine and constituencies. Mainstream religion ignores the fact that extremists are actually behaving more in line with their religion’s doctrine than the mainstream. Feminists ignore the negative consequences of their sole focus on women and the misandrous rantings of feminists like Catherine Mackinnon (all heterosexual intercourse is rape), Mary Daly (drastically reduce the population of males), Valerie Solanas (author of the SCUM Manifesto), etc.

    It’s amazing how “patriarchy” explains everything – female disadvantage, female advantage, male disadvantage, and male advantage. Conveniently, it also lays the blame for inequality squarely at the feet of men, whether explicitly or implicitly (depending on the honesty of the author in actually saying what they mean). Feminism, thus, has played no role in perpetuating injustice – it’s the patriarchy. Painting all men as potential rapists, wife beaters, and child molesters? That’s the patriarchy at work. Characterizing domestic violence as a problem of male aggression when study after study shows virtually equal rates of perpetration? Patriarchy again, I’m sure. Actively suppressing or excluding data on female aggression in intimate relationships from published academic research? Patriarchy again.
    (See: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V74-gender-symmetry-with-gramham-Kevan-Method%208-.pdf)

    Our boys are doing poorly in classrooms staffed overwhelmingly with female teachers teaching a curriculum with content designed largely by-women-for-women using methods developed by-women-for-women. It must be the patriarchy teaching them to misbehave, not the female teachers and a school system designed and operated with a gynocentric (and increasingly feminist) perspective that’s to blame. The problem is that the boys aren’t acting like girls, don’t like the same things, etc. Ergo, we need to understand that boys are inherently flawed creatures and that we need to change the boys, not the education system.
    (See: http://www.ted.com/talks/ali_carr_chellman_gaming_to_re_engage_boys_in_learning.html)

    Of course, it’s not just boys that have to change but masculinity itself. We need a new masculinity, one defined predominantly by the gynophillic and androphobic paradigm of feminism. It’s not hard – just take anti-social behaviour, ignore the female component, characterize it as inherently “masculine”, thereby straw-manning masculinity, and paint the alternative as “positive masculinity”. Really, it’s just thinly-veiled femininity combined with feminine ideals of what “good (obedient) men” are but if we attach it to cherry-picked issues such as sexual assault, domestic violence against women, etc., we can characterize any resistance to “positive masculinity” in negative, amorphous terms such as “pro-rape”/”rape culture”, “misogyny”, etc. It’s a great way to produce an army of quisling Uncle Toms, all championing false flags in an effort to earn the “good man” label, lest they fall onto the “rapist/misogynist” side of the false dilemma fallacy we’ve painted.

    • “It’s amazing how “patriarchy” explains everything – female disadvantage, female advantage, male disadvantage, and male advantage.”

      Actually, when a theory explains a lot of different multifaceted things, and it changes “conveniently” when faced with observations that challenge it – that’s sort of how that supposed to work.

      Oh, and education is something I actually do know a lot about.

      I think we can agree that the lack of male teachers in Elementary and Middle School is a problem; and I have yet to meet anyone within the Educational field that doesn’t perceive it as a problem.

      I’m not sure why feminism would be to blame. I’m less sure why blaming feminism is useful.

      • A theory that posits causation without substantiation and where it is prima facie unreasonable is working how it’s supposed to work? Example: the author’s claim that patriarchy is responsible for boys’ underachievement in school. Whenever there’s a problem facing men or boys, feminism repeatedly attempts to lay it at the feet of patriarchy – AKA men.

        Feminism isn’t directly to blame for underachievement – it’s the attitudes and policies that it creates that have (in part) the effect. Focusing on promoting academic achievement by girls to the utter exclusion of boys, sex discrimination in scholarships, de-emphasizing physical education and instituting zero-tolerance policies, characterizing boys’ psychology (and masculinity at large) as problematic or somehow deficient (read: “positive masculinity”), and drugging the boyhood out of boys with Ritalin et al. Those are the knock-on effects of feminism promoting the interests of women and girls while actively opposing attempts to address the issues of men and boys (watch the Youtube video of Warren Farrell trying to speak at U of T about the boy crisis). The pendulum concept is a cliche but apt nonetheless.

        Blaming feminism (in part – I’m not claiming it’s solely responsible) is useful because it is the ideology largely responsible for the harmful attitudes. The ideology – with its monolithic conceptions of masculinity, patriarchy, and female victimhood – is the problem. The attitudes and issues are the effects. Without addressing the root problem, all you address are its symptoms.

      • “feet of patriarchy – AKA men.”

        Again – no – that’s not how that works.

        One problem that was see very strongly in education is that female teachers internalize their own science and math anxiety and project that anxiety onto their students.

        Men aren’t actively making girls internalize science and math anxiety – sometimes it’s other women – but a “patriarchal” society or post-patriarchal society is made up of men and women and gender queer people and all of them are socialized into it – and tend to perpetuate some of the problematic norms associated with the society externally or internally.

        That’s not even Feminism 101 – that’s Feminism 090.

        ADHD is not “boyhood” and Ritalin is a stimulant. If given to someone without ADHD, it tends to have the opposite effect.

        De-emphasis on Phy-ed, music and art and other activities not place on standardized tests is not a boy problem. Girls had to fight for funding of girls’ sports. Boys have had to fight against their use as athletic cash-cows at the detriment of their education. I’m really not sure how going back to a norm where “boys will be boys” – and allowing them to misbehave, pushing them into sports,and not actually educating them is going to fix the problem.

        Educators do discuss the “man problem” in higher education. Women do better than men (on average) in every category that we track….every….single…..one. However, the vast majority of college faculty are men; by a ratio of about 3 to 1. So, I don’t know how your theory meshes with reality.

        The Education field tends to be female dominated, but the educators are not. And trust me, getting faculty to implement new ideas and educational research is like herding cats.

        There are a multitude of reasons for the “man problem”, and those that look into these issues seriously have identified some of those and we continue to do so. Our school actively recruits men. Our admissions targets male applicants to attempt to increase our male:female ratio. We do not have a women’s center or lgbt center or veterans center – instead we have a comprehensive advising program that connects students, holistically, to student services without pigeonholing them into a particular category.

        We have never, ever, been prevented from pursuing these ideas by feminists – quite the contrary.

        At my former position, I have personally stood up for parental leave rights for men in contract negotiations – none of the old-school embattled feminists that I was working with stopped me. We all supported it together.

        Of course, I live in the U.S. – your mileage may vary.

        However, with the research currently underway and the picture that it appears to be giving us – I have very good news for you. What lifts up women in education, tends also to lift up men. We see this time and again. Why in the world would you fabricate a scenario where this is not true?

      • “feet of patriarchy – AKA men.”

        Again – no – that’s not how that works.

        But oh yes, that is how it actually works, propaganda-wise. Feminist propaganda is a two-level code: a single message encodes “men are guilty of all world’s problems” in a simple populist code, and simultaneously “we don’t really mean that” in a code that is only accessible to intellectuals. The latter, having decoded the second layer, find the message harmless and repeat it (putting their authority behind it), but the masses only receive the level 1 message, which is the effect intended by feminists.

  12. THANK YOU !

    For a while now I simply refused to call many self-identifying MRA and MRM individuals and groups by that name.

    The men and women who actually work to tackle issues like custody, work safety, and sentencing disparity – shouldn’t be lumped in with wackos.

    The terms I’ve used mostly are “anti-feminists” and “male supremacists”.

    Some, I’ve noticed, will have very common-sense feminist views – but for whatever crazy reason simply HATE feminism generally. So, a simple “anti-feminist” works; because they are otherwise sane.

    The Male Supremacists are really the “scary dudes”. They seem a lot different to me. They do NOT have feminist views, at all. Generally believing in some sort of proper naturalistic gender conforming society – where men are men and women are women. They are usually extremely anti-gay and anti-gender queer. Some refer to themselves as their PACK designation – alpha and omega males. They are essentially traditionalists – good old slut-shaming, angry painfully self-entitled men. They use words like “mangina” and “pussification” – cause they are dude bro super good and genetically disposed to be the heads of households.

    I don’t know where I would put “girlwriteswhat” – somewhere between Quisling and cultist.

      • I don’t know enough about “A voice for men” to speak directly about them. I do know that they are extremely anti-feminist.

        When I am talking about male supremacists, I’m actually speaking more in relation to “MRA” I have actually had contact with, and spoke with at length, that are male supremacists.

        FinalJusticeMovement (a YouTube MRA) is an extreme example. I would think that you’d be happy to not be considered in the same camp as him.

      • Obviously, you run with a specific crowd and are under the delusion that the crowd you run with is the only crowd there is.

        And if your crowd says things like, “feminism and traditionalism” are essentially the same – that’s sort of silly.

        I’m really not sure why your pack of MRA want to make enemies out of those who might otherwise be allies by categorically hating feminism and spending a hell of a lot of time and energy defaming feminism (and occasionally personally attacking feminists) but I guess I can’t stop you.

        Feminism, but definition, is pretty straight-forward; but there is an extremely storied past, as well as many camps and different ways that feminism is realized. I can’t begin to understand it all myself, I’m relatively young and not-well-read. However, I know enough to know that taking shots at feminism (generally) is about about one thing and one thing only: camp politics.

        It can’t be anything other than that, because the only thing that ALL feminists agree on is that girls and women are people that should have rights.

        If you aren’t categorically anti- “girls and women are people that should have rights” you might want to be more specific there.

      • For example:

        There are anti-transgender feminists – a sub-group of Radical Feminists seem to be holding onto the flawed notion that gender *identity* is a completely socially constructed phenomena.

        I think those feminists are wrong about that.

        That doesn’t mean those people don’t exist.

        There are “MRA” that are absolutely gender-essentialist, traditionalist, anti-gay, machismo monkeys.

        You appear to disagree with them.

        That doesn’t mean those people don’t exist.

        I suspect you would rather I refer to them as “male supremacists” than MRA. Am I right?

  13. For the men out there that do act gender-essentialist and consider men superior to women, yes, go ahead and use the “male supremacist” term. But I do know the MRM does do a job of policing its own members, like with John Rambo, leader of Boycott American Women.

    As for your questions as to why we consider feminism and traditionalism two sides of the same coin, and why we are unable to work with such haters of feminism, they themselves hate us for our own views.
    Perhaps Dean Esmay said it best when he said, “Feminists only want equality so long as it benefits women. Traditionalists only want inequality so long as it benefits women.” For example, I remember reading a quite scathing article by a self-proclaimed “TWRA” (Traditional Women’s Rights Activist) in which she essentially strawmanned a number of MRA views by quite literally saying that we love rape, for example.

    • I try to avoid categorically attacking MRA or even MRM because when some of the members of those groups do the same thing to feminists – I think that’s divisive and uncool.

      That’s why I use the terms I use.

      There is a very very wide variety of feminist thinkers that disagree on almost everything. It’s quite easy really to look through history and look through current discussions; and allow confirmation bias to take over completely.

      That’s is true of MRA to a degree as well – even though it is a relatively young movement. You can find problematic aspects of the movement if you look for them.

      I suspect though, for most of the “rank and file” there is a considerable overlap in ideology.

      For example, very few people aren’t going to think that that a boy or man who is the victim of violence should be made to feel ashamed and not have the social supports that he needs.

      Identifying that need and working on logistics to meet that need, should not be some sort of fight. However, it might not be the focus of women’s groups. They may also object to women’s shelters being used for this purpose because it could endanger their mission.

      Having a big fight about who-gets-beat-more is really not useful. Information about the scope of the problem, the psychological nature of the problem, and the realities of the issue – are not a subject for dispute.

      Anyone who seriously looks into the issue, is going to find answers to those questions – and the answer to those questions should be useful in addressing the problems; not used to find out who has a license to be more outraged.

      • > Having a big fight about who-gets-beat-more is really not useful.

        Counterexample: feminism, and its successes.

  14. MRA here. I don’t want power. I just want equality. I want genital mutilation to be illegal for boys as it is for girls, because I believe boys have a right to self-ownership and consent as well. I want boys to receive the same help girls receive when falling behind in education. I want selective service abolished, but as long as it exists, it’s only fair that it be equal. I agree with feminists that gender roles for women need to end, but I go one step further, because I want to end gender roles for men too. I want men to stop being pushed into labor and away from childcare and education due to the stereotype that men who want to work with children are pedophiles. I want to go to a temp agency in my area, all of which are run by women, and have a chance at landing an indoor job, like women do. I want to end the double standard that says it’s okay to tell a man “he should have kept it in his pants”, but is sexist to tell a woman “she should have kept her legs closed”. I want to end the rape culture that endorses prison rape as part of the experience. I want to end the select enforcement of child support, where women are far less likely to go to jail for non-payment. I want to end the idea that in a domestic violence dispute, the cops by default assume the male is the aggressor and arrest him by default, which is one of the reasons men are less likely to report when they’re victims. I want to end the stereotype that says a stay-at-home-dad is a lazy bum, whereas women are free to be either be a breadwinner or a stay-at-home-mom, and receive praise either way.

    The lack of feminist care for these issues is why many of us MRAs feel that feminism isn’t really after equality. Most MRAs I know, to include myself, started out as feminists. I was taught in school about how women couldn’t vote, couldn’t get jobs, and so on, so of course, I wanted to be a feminist because I wanted equality. I still care about issues where women are behind men. I became an MRA, however, because I can’t help but notice that not only do men have problems too, but feminists downplay them. If I were to downplay a woman’s right to vote or genital mutilation, I’d be called a sexist, and rightfully so. I think the same should work in reverse. Another reason I moved away from feminism is because of the enormous amount of double standards, to include the definition of “sexism” and “rape” so that only women could be victims and only men could be the culprits. The patriarchy theory relies on a prejudice against men. As a person who wants equality, I cannot stand for prejudice.

      • Yeah, I assume he didn’t get a lot of people responding because they didn’t find anything that terrible with what he said.

        I’ve not seen a pervasive idea that “only women could be the victims and only men could be the culprits” of sexism or rape – instead, the focus is generally on how, on a societal level, sexism and rape dis-empower women. On an individual level, obviously a man can be the subject of discrimination due to his gender or sex or be the victim of sexual assault and those actions can be taken against him by someone of any gender.

        However, the vast majority of men do not change their daily lives due to the possibility of rape and have traditionally had greater access to positions of power due to sexism.

        Among sociologist, distinctions are made between events that effect individuals and those that are pervasive within a society or culture. For example, whites are not subject to “racism” but they may be subject to individual discrimination; that discrimination is simply not nearly as wide-spread as the discrimination that people who are not white tend to face in the U.S. and does not constitute a societal-level power gap that disadvantages white people.

        Of course, this explanation is not going to move you – because you can read minds. You have that amazing power of reading the intent of most, if not all, members of an extremely large group of people who have broken up into a countless number of camps with slightly different approaches and focuses. Perhaps you have found our Borg Queen?

        I do wish that feminists and MRA could work together more, or at the least be supportive of one another. However, perhaps the fact that the MRM was essentially founded by someone annoyed by the feminist movement might put a damper on that; as well as the so-called “Men’s Rights Activists” who are painfully angry and immature but are working as a “voice” of the movement, like “A Voice For Men”.

    • I identify as a feminist. I have absolutely no problem with anything you’re fighting for. I have never, personally, met and spoken with a feminist who would.

      It sounds like you might be a bit hung up on the extremists mis-using the term feminist, and on feeling like words like “patriarchy” are meant to blame men. It’s really not about blaming men.

      We’ve all been put into these rigid gender roles, and they suck.
      Masculinity is sold as strong, virile, rugged, aggressive, and always always always ready for heterosexual sex. Otherwise you’re “girly” or “a pussy” or “a faggot” or “gay” or “queer” or any of a thousand other words meant to punish a man for stepping outside of the rigidly defined male gender role.
      Femininity is sold as weak, vulnerable, quiet, submissive, yielding, polite, agreeable, and never ever too interested in sex (but always available under the “right” circumstances). Otherwise you’re “a slut” or “a whore” or “a bitch” or “a dyke” or “frigid” or “a prude” or any of a thousand other words meant to punish a woman for stepping outside of the rigidly defined female gender role.
      Perhaps you noticed that the insults meant to punish men compare them to women, or to men who are seen as too feminine, too much LIKE women? That’s because, in a misogynistic society, anything feminine is generally considered lesser, and thus the ultimate insult to a red-blooded, strapping American man. When the image of Masculinity includes wanting to fuck every (attractive) woman alive, to be seen as NOT wanting sex for whatever reason is not acceptable. It means you’re less of a man, weaker, maybe even gay! Hell no! Gay men are willing to submit to other men! Like WOMEN! And a red-blooded, strong, virile American man is nothing like a woman! He likes to FUCK women! Lots of women!

      Every feminist I know pretty much hates BOTH of these rigid gender roles for being confining, arbitrary, and insulting to EVERYONE involved. Personally, I LOATHE the idea that women are naturally better caregivers. It caused my abusive mother to gain custody of me. It wasn’t only the courts, though. My dad didn’t realize how abusive she would be after the divorce, and he genuinely believed a girl should be raised primarily by her mother. That’s not because he didn’t care about what became a several year stint in hell for me. It’s because he had been taught that women are the better caregivers, and despite the dawning realization that his wife was a raging lunatic, he genuinely thought I would be better off in her care.

      Feminism is about reaching for equality. As feminism is not a monolith, that does not mean feminism is perfect or that every battle of every group with in it has been correct. However, at its core, the movement is about equality. Everybody is learning.

      That’s why I’d love it if everybody would stop associating the super anti-male women with feminism, even if they insist on using the word. It’s embarrassing and confuses everyone. I know there are GENUINE issues men face. No one has as clear of a view of those issues as men do. I want those issues solved too. I’d love it if we can ALL be allies. Part of what will make that easier is if we have something to call the misogynists that are hiding behind legitimate men’s advocates. Just like we’d prefer you not call our fringe term-usurpers feminists, we’d prefer not to legitimize your women-hating term-usurpers by calling them advocates for men’s rights.

      Because right now? It seems like the crazies from both “sides” are responsible for a large scale case of violent agreement.

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=violent+agreement

  15. Ignorance begets ignorance, it is obvious you have no idea what the MRM is and your lack of knowledge will prohibit you from forming a knowledgeable and acting in an intelligent manner in this issue and could very well pigeon hole you much like members of the KKK where pigeonholed in the 90′s.

    The MRM is a social phenomenon, not an ideology, movement or organized anything. Basically it is a whole lot of people reaching the same rational conclusion about the widespread misandry(hatred of males) in our society.

    In the MRM, you can really cut it in half, between the old and the young. We may be of the same gender, but our reasons and our desires are different. The reason why this is particularly important is because if you handle it wrongly, you could make yourself look like an idiot as both groups have radically different life experiences.

    The older people involved in the MRM do have a degree of bitterness. In a very real sense their world was turned upside down over the course of their lives. They were raised(brainwashed, conditioned, “taught”) to tie their self esteem and self worth to one role, and society since their raising, has pulled the rug out from under them. It wouldn’t be a terrible thing, but society still expected them to be the primary bread winner all the while incrementally destroying the ability of men to be sole bread-winners. Coupled with the horrors many men have endured in the family court system(which I strongly urge you to study in an honest, empathetic manner).

    Now comes the tricky part: Younger Men. Everything you think you know, you might as well throw out the window. Younger Men’s life experience is often a very sad tale. We have experienced institutional bias, as the institutions we have experience with such as Education and Health are over overwhelmingly designed for females and run by females. We live in a world where a majority of the teachers give preferential treatment to 50% of the class because they are of the same gender. I know you may scoff this off, but it has already been proven in studies, that female teachers are prone to giving boy’s lower grades simply because of their gender.

    And ask yourself this, I mean seriously put your own perspective aside and look at the climate feminists have created at College campuses for male students. I am sure things like “walk a mile in her shoes”, “smash the patriarchy”, “take back the night” and other feminist rallies(or you could include the 2004 feminist rally that called for the mass castration of males at New Hampshire University). Could you yourself endure a climate where you are regarded as sub-human at best? Look at how society ignores our problems, from medical to financial, our suffering is the cause of feminists jumping up and down with glee. Feminists are celebrating the fact that younger men as a whole are paid 1.25$ per hour less then younger women as a whole(in some Urban areas). Feminists are cheering our downfall and calling for our mass murder(see Mary Daly , as well as feminist “End of Men” articles, see Feminists gutting Men’s Heart disease and mens health budget in favor of increasingly the already outrageously large female health budget). Heck if a 16 year old girl commits suicide it is national news, if an 8 year old boy in Texas hangs himself in a public school it is “too bad”. No matter what problem men face feminists are always there to try and steer the conversation so women get more entitlements…….

    Could you endure a climate where fellow students could say “they hate men”, or instructors twisting the class to simply bash your gender? Coupled with the blatant discrimination in opportunities women of Gen Y received, it is an incredibly bitter pill to swallow, and in the end we only find comfort in indifference. I am sure some people say “men deserve it because for x amount of years”, well the problem is I was born in 1985. I have no experience of what happened 40 years ago let alone a thousand years ago. Just because a human being is born of the male gender doesn’t mean we have some kind of genetic collective experience.

    Just think on how utterly insensitive, rude, and pathological it is to say “it is your turn now”. Me personally like I said before, all we know is what we have experienced. I know not of this patriarchy that you speak of, it died as I was born into this world. I know not of this traditionalism feminists fear so much as it no longer really existed when I was born. I know very little to nothing about gender roles, as I have never experienced them. The experiences we have endured taught us one thing: the world hates us because of our gender; some like me, chose to return that hate in kind, as I said before I am truly a radical.

    I know anecdotal tales are a pain in the arse for intellectual discourse, but when I was 18 my grandmother was really sick. I put aside my own life and for over a month stayed with her to help her out. Keep her company and fetch things she needed. Even now it brings tears in my eyes and a sense of shame when I think about what one of her nurses did.

    She might of been having a bad day, but when she arrived at my grandmothers apartment she did her job and as she was finishing up she went into a man hate rant. My mother was there at the time and said “my son isn’t like that” and gave me an almost cutesy like hug. I still remember the venom in the nurses eyes as she looked at me and rolled her eye brows. I still remember my grandmother just looking out the window acting like she wasn’t there. If that was my only experience with female chauvinism I would be incredibly lucky.

    My first lesson in female chauvinism came from an elementary teacher. The thing I remember is, once day a boy and a girl in the back of the class room got into a well mannered verbal debate/argument. I noticed the teacher was watching them, I guess she might of been concerned if it escalated. Well when it became obvious the girl lost she hauled off and kicked the boy in the genitals. What did the teacher do? She smirked and went back to grading homework.

    My second lesson was in high school, I was doing pretty good for myself, on again off again honors student. A bit clueless about which path in life I wanted. I remember going to the guidance counselor for setting up grades. The counselor, she spent over 15 minutes lecturing a young gal about how important it was to study and get into a college. I could only make out a few words here and there because the door was closed. Well when my turn came up she pressured me into a class selection I wasn’t qualified for, and wasn’t sure about, and told me “it doesn’t matter”, if I do badly I can just go to a community college before a traditional college”. I think she pushed everything through for scheduling in under 5 minutes. Those actions pushed me down a road that inevitably lead to me dropping out. I became stuck in a class I didn’t want(and Engineering course at the Vocational wing of the school), couldn’t handle and it ended up gutting my self esteem. I became severely depressed and just stopped giving a damn.

    Last lesson to really wake me up(the one that pushed me from being merely MRA to an out an out radical was a feminist history professor. Given the fact that I am a white male high school drop out from an economically disadvantaged family, community college was my only alternative. I was the only one in the class(besides the Instructor) that actually knew the course. So for the few weeks that I was in the course I had to shepard the discussion back on subject so my fellow students wouldn’t fail, because the feminist instructor wanted to use the class to bash men and cry about “how women are forgotten in history”. Heck I made sure to bring up individual women involved in stuff from history relevant to the chapter to keep things on track(as she wouldn’t take that initiative as she preferred to merely use her post to demonize men, heterosexual-ism and Christianity).

    Do you know what it is like to have to bite your tongue(as the first day she said anyone who expressly disagrees with her she will kick out of class) when someone takes a subject you know legions about and twists, turns, distorts and lies about it to advance their agenda? Do you know what it is like to have someone constantly watching you because your the only one who knows the truth? That fall I learned something I never knew before. It turns out when I am incredibly stressed I become full blown lactose intolerant. That isn’t fun. Nor is it fun to have to drop a class that you have a 100% in either. When I tried complaining to the administration they said they knew about her and that they could try and keep my classes on the main campus. Worst part is, not a single damn person was in my corner. Not my parents, no one. I wonder how well the first students to cross the segregation line would of done without support from their families and community but I digress.

    Even now, when I am going to a private business school I still have to endure female chauvinism. Within the first week two young women in the back of the class screamed “I hate men”(only two males in the classroom out of almost 18 with myself included). Did the female instructor report them as per corporate policy? No, she merely asked “why do you hate men”. Their answer? Amounted to nothing more then “because I can”. If that was the end of it I would be blessed. Over the last few months I have had to endure wanton chauvinism. For example once in the cafeteria a fellow student was whining about her bf messing something up and said she should of done it herself and that it was a “womans job” and men are incapable/inferior. When she noticed that I overheard her, her friend used a “we don’t mean to offend but it is true”. Another semester I got stuck with the bigot in a class and she went into an anti-male tirade and the instructor told her “that wasn’t nice” because I was in the room. She went into some rant as I was ignoring her. And some gal’s tried to be cute about it(chauvinism aka gender ed bigotry isn’t cute or acceptable), I don’t know, last two semesters I pretty much had very little to do with fellow students(as with most colleges, it is overwhelmingly female). The thing is, this is where feminists much like yourself, begin to chime in with “well those weren’t real feminists or they weren’t feminists”.

    As you can see from my own account as a young male person semi involved in the MRM that the reason why I associate with the MRM loosely and the reasons why I firmly believe feminism is nothing more then a female supremacist hate movement.

    Feminists, in particular younger feminists, are willfully ignorant of the actions of past feminists and present feminists with power. You act like it never happens and you repeat the same mantra over and over again, totally divorced from reality. That is why I hate you and the reason why I am a radical is because the gender war won’t be over for me until your in a prison cell along with every other feminist.

    I have seen and endured such acts of female chauvinism that when you feminists speak of the “patriarchy” or the oppression women face I don’t know if I should laugh, cry or pour ice all over my body to keep my blood from evaporating in rage. I simply don’t buy it and view it as complete rubbish.

    I honestly don’t care what any particular woman’s hopes and dreams are. I don’t care about gender traditions or gender roles, I only care about the wanton bigotry and discrimination I have endured.

    That is often the pain that brings younger men to the MRM. Frankly spoken I have seen feminism attempt to get to the young men first, and it only serves to add fuel to the fire. It is like the KKK trying to recruit young African Americans to justify their bigoted existence.

    The real kicker is, the more feminist try to hide their past, hide the fact that they are a hate movement and they have done grievous harm, the worse it will be for them. You see, most men don’t care about consensus or group harmony. It has it’s up’s and downs, often makes any form of organization a pain as lack of cohesion is a problem(because the MRM isn’t a movement it is a social phenomenon from the bottom up). What we lack in one area we have an overabundance in another: A demand for justice. Someone has gotta pay, and can distort all you want, but you can’t hide the fact that feminists where the ones who turned everything into a zero sum game the last twenty years.

    I am sorry I wrote a book, but this knowledge without the whole of it would be worthless. Knowledge, rationalism, it is only a part of what makes us human beings. We can’t forget the emotions, because they often tell use were we have been and were we are going.

    • “I honestly don’t care what any particular woman’s hopes and dreams are. I don’t care about gender traditions or gender roles, I only care about the wanton bigotry and discrimination I have endured.”

      That’s the difference between someone who is serious about societal issues and someone who is just bitter, angry and self-absorbed.

      If you want people to care about you, the best strategy is to give two shits.

      I could absolutely, being a woman who has chosen an academic field that has traditionally been male dominated (and still is), tell you long stories about how that all went down.

      However, this isn’t a fight about who INDIVIDUALLY has it worse or better, and I think whenever societal-level trends are discussed we tend to internalize them or attempt to apply them to individuals – which is a very bad idea.

      A society that NEVER sees boys and men as victims (especially of girls and women) is exactly the type of sexism within society that most feminists wish to rectify. The assumption that you were, by your gender, prepared for Engineering courses; is absolutely the type of sexism within society that most feminists wish to rectify. The climate where girls and women are made to internalize a responsibility not to “get raped” and where rape is so prevalent that simply being with a man alone is considered an unreasonable risk is, very much, the type of sexism within society that most feminists wish to rectify.

      I noticed that you talked about specific women and girls in your life that have not been nice or have not adequately protected you. Only one example was of a self-professed feminist.

      Don’t confuse “feminist” with female-that-hates-men or female-that-did-something-bad-to-a-boy.

      Just like you are upset that you feel you are being blamed for things that are not your fault; I’m not keen on being blamed for a girl kicking a boy in the nuts while you were in Elementary School; or the rantings of a nurse having a bad day. I’m not even keen on being blamed for the existence of other feminists with an opinion you don’t like.

      Nor is it automatically my job to tackle gender-related issues that you are passionate about because I self-identify as feminist; without worrying about being put in jail because it hurts your feelings not to be the focus of my attention.

      The honest discussion of lived experience can be very valuable. However, when that discussion is peppered with misplaced anger; it’s going to shut that conversation down.

      • I too experienced blatant discrimination in education and in corporate America because I am male. I too have been insulted, physically abused, and discriminated against by females gleefully calling themselves “feminists.” And I too am.completely convinced that feminism is NOT about equality,only about promoting serious advantages for females, at a dire cost to men and boys.
        I too could care less about some pampered, oveeducated, n

      • And you are also completely undermining any sympathy or support you might gain from a great number of people by channeling your anger at the concept or “feminism” which encompasses everything from women’s liberation, to sex-positive feminism, to gender queer feminism, to Marxism, to radical feminism, first wave, second wave, etc so forth.

        In my experience, with the MRA that I have spoken with (at length) unless they are part of the sub-set of traditionalists and gender essentialist that sometime CALL themselves MRA; They are feminists who are pissed at women, or a group of feminists or a feminist they met once who wasn’t a nice person.

        What do MRA stand for?

        Parity in child custody
        Equal pay for equal work
        Fairness in sentencing
        Social supports for abused boys and men

        ?

        Those are, to many people, feminist causes because (not only are they about basic human dignity) but at their root cause is the *gasp* patriarchy that enforces gender roles which grant physical protection to women and power to men; that devalue the work of women outside of childbearing and rearing and devalue the role of men as fathers; that sees men as invincible and women as weak.

        Why don’t feminists and MRA who happen to share many of the same causes work together – well, because many MRA groups are too busy being pissed at “feminism” (whatever THAT might be) and attacking feminists to build those bridges.

        If you go to the “A Voice for Men” site right now – what is the focus?

        Funding a crisis hot-line for abused men and boys? Legislation concerning child custody? Activism against prison rape and abuse?

        NOPE.

        I’m sure occasionally they do something along those lines – but the front page is plastered with “Featured Offenders” and, just to make sure I wasn’t being unfair, I read one of the current articles about a case in North Carolina where a student who may have been a victim of rape is accused of lying on account of her being, “a personality disordered bleach blond with an appetite to punish anyone who she doesn’t like.” and the article goes out of it’s way to, inexplicably, call Courtney Love a slut. (What the hell?)

        So, a serious case concerning the burden of proof surrounding rape allegations and what a college campuses responsibilities are concerning such allegations – is reduced to a slut-shaming hate fest.

        I mean the whole article can be reduced to “Crazy bitch is LYIN’ emIrite?” And yeah, she MIGHT be. So, the article goes on about how it’s wrong to assume she isn’t lying – by not only assuming she is lying – but attacking her personally, not only making light of her suicide attempt but, you know, HER HAIR STYLE – because that’s so fucking relevant.

        What was the featured article last time? Attacking Talisma Nasreem. I’ve had disagreements with her in the past and I’ve come to the conclusion that she has difficulty expressing nuances using English (dealing with connotations of words and that sort of thing). I found her to be very reasonable, once she is understood, and also willing to revise her work based on new information she receives.

        She is from Bangledesh – where rape is extremely common, girls are routinely forced into marriages at extremely young ages, domestic violence is tolerated, rape victims are murdered in the streets, and – THINGS REALLY SUCK. I know this because I have Bangledeshi friends – not because I read Talisma’s blog because it’s too fricking depressing. Talisma has been involved in activism in that country and talks about how much it sucks there (and in other Muslim countries); she no longer lives there because she would probably be killed due to her atheism.

        Sounds like a good use of your time – attacking a little-known blogger and calling her a man-hating bigot instead of focusing on the content of what she is saying.

        MRA – if you are tired of being called misogynists and being attacked for this or that stance; that’s not going to go away. You’re going to find unreasonable people on the internet that are going to lash out at you – just like there are extremely unreasonable people who lash out at every feminists they find because they just have issues.

        However, you might want to try the high road, and see where that takes you.

        ‘Cause creating a gender-bent cartoon of the “man hating feminist” by being a pack of “feminist hating MRA” is a good satirical sketch, not the makings of a vital movement.

  16. did this piece really just say ‘sure there are issues for men but they aren’t as bad so oh well’ . . . cuz, i’m pretty sure that is the argument generally used against american feminists – “well, it’s better than other countries so suck it up sweetheart”

    and you are feeding into patriarchal ideas by suggesting that custody isn’t a big deal. you are perpetuating the idea that families shouldn’t and don’t matter to men.

    all that said – most of you here who have raised objections to her post are just proving her point. farrell? seriously.

    • Actually not ONCE in the post did I say “oh well” about men’s issues. In fact, I link to an organization that is working to address them without disenfranchising women or feminism (it is possible, believe it or not!). My problem is that these men consistently blame feminists (rather than a sexist society) for their problems. The kind of sexism I refer to here is called “oppositional sexism”, which holds that “male” and “female” are rigid and mutually exclusive categories with their own distinct features. I think if you read this post more carefully you’ll see that I’m not dismissing men’s issues and concerns; I am dismissing the culprit that most men’s issues groups these days are focusing on.

      I also didn’t suggest that custody “wasn’t a big deal” – again, my problem is that they place the blame for custody decisions on feminism. We have a society that sees child-rearing as a woman’s domain, which means not only that individual judges might award custody to the woman in a case for that reason, but also that the mother is more likely to take on the primary caregiver role throughout the child’s life prior to the parents’ separation, making a judge more likely to award custody to her.

      • i know you didn’t use the words “oh well” but this ” but men by far the least so. Their challenges are also counterbalanced by myriad privileges they accrue (often without noticing, because privilege is like that) for simply being guys. ” reads as “oh well” and/or “it’s not that bad” to me. as if to say, we shouldn’t give weight to them. i don’t disagree with the idea but, just like the argument that other countries have it worse i don’t think it negates the issue.

        i agree on the cause of child rearing as a result of patriarchy. my point is that i rarely, if ever, see feminists fighting to reverse this. or if they are they are doing it much the same way as men say about women in the workforce – “let them play by our rules.” and saying that men suffer the “least so” – IMO, as a parent – adds to the belief that family isn’t all that important; because my children are infinitely more important to me than my career and i know their father feels the same way.

        in other words, how is a woman being held back from progressing in a career more problematic than a man being held back from participation in his family. we have done very little to reverse that attitude. and part of the problem is that male and female ways of doing things are labeled as “correct.”

        i work in a male dominated field so believe me when i say that i by no means would agree with say kris (above me) who i find delusional. but, using my workplace as an example – many men say that women can’t “hack it” in this industry – construction. part of my response is that women did not help create the “rules” of the workplace environment and therefore those rules did not take them into account. the same can be said for child-rearing and/or childcare professions.

        i worked in childcare and i think gender inequities can be summed up by what happens at age 3. a little girl falls down and no matter whether she is hurt or not most teachers insist that she sits and evaluates her wounds and perhaps acts more cautiously in the future. a little boy falls down and most teachers no matter if he is hurt or not dust him off and tell him to man up. now because “man up” is the law of the land – he generally fares better in the markers of the society. but both of those responses are ridiculous and don’t allow either full expression.

        i don’t think that you and i are that far apart to be honest. i felt this way even before i had kids but now that i am the mother of two sons and a daughter it’s even more important to me that the world be something close to fair for all of them.

        you mention education. i have no idea how much of it is nature and how much nurture but yes, boys in general seem to be more boisterous and the educational system in large part rewards obedience and complacency. but, i think the major problem there we should be focusing on is that an education system that rewards “obedience” is detrimental to both sexes.

        and if boys are in fact encouraged to be disruptive, as opposed to being naturally more so, then let’s deal with it by not encouraging that instead of encouraging it and then drugging them.

        i could go on but i already feel badly to have gone on this much.

      • I feel as though there’s more agreement than disagreement between our perspectives – for example, I abhor a school system that rewards obedience. I’m not suggesting we should condition the same obedient traits in boys as a solution to any challenges they face in the school system.

        Custody is super-complicated and frankly worthy of its own blog post (or book!). One point worthy of addressing here though: MPAs seem to confuse the goals of *individual women engaged in custody battles* with the goals of the feminist movement. Of course in a given custody battle, both parties are going to fight tooth and nail to get custody of their child – the women are not altruistically saying “please, let my ex-husband take the child for the purposes of systemic gender equity” (nor should they). But that doesn’t mean that feminists as a group think, by and large, women should always get custody! Indeed, feminists as a group don’t agree on a lot of things (it’s a big tent!), the factor that unites us is the pursuit of equity for women and girls.

        It seems like your ultimate question is “why aren’t feminists fighting for the rights of men too?”. This is a common question from MPAs as well and I do understand why they might wonder about that. The thing is, feminists already have a TONNE on their plate with respect to things like pay equity, affordable childcare (which does disproportionately affect women but is also a boon for fathers!), sexual violence, and all the rest of it. The sad thing is that most feminists (and it’s definitely not a monolith) are fighting for causes that are *complementary* to the justices sought by those concerned with men’s issues. We can do our work alongside one another and support one another in achieving our goals, but only if the dominant voices and groups in men’s issues recognize that feminism is not the enemy.

      • sorry, one more thing – the organization you link to seems great but it seems mostly dedicated to women’s causes and what i find missing from it is things like, and i’m only gonna cite one thing at the risk of going on and on again – why is anorexia on the rise in young men? of course it isn’t as big an issue as with young women but do we need it to get to that point?

      • “I feel as though there’s more agreement than disagreement between our perspectives”

        indeed. ultimately i have less of a ‘question’ then an ongoing concern.

        there is a shift toward demonizing and/or belittling men and boys in subtle ways (and no, you male supremacists reading – i am not on your side) and this is harmful to everyone.

        an example – i’m listening to a report about rape in south africa and the commentator is asked why she thinks it is so prevalent. her response is that because of the laws men think they can get away with it. certainly the laws need to be changed but the subtext in that comment is – if they can get away with it men will rape.

        i think it’s time for all of us to take the next step in the equality battle and as a mother to two boys i don’t have the luxury of thinking of that theoretically.

        but generally, when i discuss these things with feminists and MRS’s (men’s right supremacists – i like how it spells mrs.) they misconstrue it as anti-women. it’ll be nice when the major conversation shifts from a zero sum.

        thank you for a conversation outside those bounds!! :)

      • Ugh I HATE the kind of sentiment you described in that report about rape in South Africa. It is so deeply insulting to men (not to mention false!) – this idea that they are powerless to control themselves and require constraints to avoid raping because they NEED and WANT to rape. The imbalance of men and women in sexual assault statistics is not because rape and sexual assault are “natural” impulses for men – they are humans with free will! I’d love to see better sex ed in schools around consent, which I think is the crux of the issue and would be useful for all young people to be better-informed about.

        Thanks also for chatting with me today – it’s good to find common ground in the comment section :)

      • I have never once in my life ever heard any feminist EVER make any sort of effort to help fathers maintain their basic dignity, let alone for them to be allowed any sort of parental or reproductive rights whatsoever.
        Please show me where any feminist has ever advocated for anything other than taking our money, denying us opportunities, or throwing us in jail.
        Feminism is mostly a hate movement. It continually portrays men, all men, as dirty, savage, stupid, and violent.
        Feminism is merely sexism in reverse; its main goals are to.portray men as less than.human, in order to.justify blatant and costly discrimination against us.
        It is very much akin to other “isms” like racism, Naziism, or anti-Semitism, the only difference being that it’s aimed at men.

      • I personally championed parental leave that included both men and women, who either had a new birth in the family or an adoption, in union negotiations for a bargaining unit of over a thousands employees.

        It sort of went like this.

        “We have to make sure that adequate maternity leave is included.” (says older feminist)

        “Yes,” (says me, also feminist), “but it should be called parental leave and include both men and women who have either had a birth in their family or recently adopted a child.”

        “I agree,” (says older feminist) and she erased “maternity” and replaced it with “parental”.

        Happy?

        I’m sure that would have went better if I went on a tirade about how older feminists don’t care about men and accused her of being a bigot. /sarcasm

        I also asked if I could sign up for Selective Service while I was a teenager in high-school, but was denied. I suppose I could have gone to the office myself and attempted to sign up, but at least I went on a rant during Sociology class about how unfair it was that the boys had to sign up and we didn’t – as if their lives meant less and as if us girls were too weak to be useful in the military.

        So – pipe and smoke it?

        Really, if what you said was ALL of your experience it makes sense that you’re annoyed. It also means that you’ve probably been reading a lot of cherry-picked articles at MRA sites that spend a heck of a lot of time finding problematic words and actions by feminists (of which there are MANY) and criticizing them.

        This is also the reason that Democrats think Bush is a war criminal and Republicans think Obama is a socialist.

        Availability heuristic in all it’s glory.

        I admit I probably suffer from such a thing with MRA – I have occasionally met people who self-identify as MRA who don’t have an unreasonable seething hatred for feminism and are very reasonable. I’ve tried to work with them, but, so far, have not been able to make that work out.

        Maybe one day – we’ll see. It certainly doesn’t look like today is the day.

  17. I wish I had time to reply to so many individuals here, but I can’t, so here’s a sort of collective reply: why I, as a dude, identify as feminist and not something like ‘masculist’.

    Feminists have got my back too. When some jackwagon tells me that I as a man shouldn’t take an interest in a stereotypically feminine area, or tells me that my attraction to men is wrong/evil or invalidates my attraction to women, or any of the other ways culture tells me Men Must Be, feminists are the first ones I see stepping up to say that I have rights to self-determination and my choices are valid.

    Feminists respect me. It’s not feminists who say that men are mindless lustmonsters who can’t help but sexually assault every attractive person they see. And while MRAs are quick to bring out ‘women rape men too’, I’ve only ever seen it used as a gotcha, a way to tell feminists to stop talking about the >90% of rapes that are perpetrated by men against women. The people I hear actually talking about and fighting the cultural tendency to treat rape of men as a joke? Feminists.

    Third and last for now, feminists can tell the difference between ‘men’ and ‘patriarchy’. Men are half the human population. Patriarchy is a social construct that on average values men more than women and allows men greater freedom in some areas while restricting them in others. Both MRAs and feminists recognise this, but feminists blame the construct (which is supported by both men and women) and MRAs blame the women. I’ve never had a feminist tell me that being a man makes me responsible for my own marginalisation or makes me automatically culpable for the marginalisation of others. I’ve seen a hell of a lot of MRAs declaring that the problem with society is that we’ve got all these women making decisions. Feminism is not supposed to be a gender-antagonistic movement (which is not to say that there aren’t any misandrists, but guess what, mainstream feminism rejects them too). MRAs sure as hell seem to think they need to fight women to achieve their goals.

  18. Too bad you ignore the IAMA that Warren did regarding the ‘controversial statements’ he made. Whilst you’re complaining about Warren how about shedding light on the nutcases over at radfemimages/scumorama who think that high heals is part of a grand patriarchal conspiracy theory created by men to ruin women’s health. How about factcheckme and her persistent intellectual wankery akin to a rambling mad man after eating too many shrooms – looking for conspiracies around ever corner to explain way the mediocrity of her own life in a way that makes her a victim ‘of the system’.

  19. I see that you are struggling to maintain control of the feminist narrative. That will become increasingly difficult in times ahead, as more non-feminist men and women line up against feminism and all that feminism has unleashed upon the world. Aside from that, why would “MPA” be such a bad thing? Do you simply not wish men to have power? Do you wish to render them powerless?

    It looks that way to me.

    But is it possible that feminism can learn to coexist with the rest of the world?

  20. Hello, I am a MRA. Can you give me a link to the MRAs you’re talking about? Because I’ve never seen one who believes what you describe.

    “While today’s MRAs (not necessarily cut from the same cloth as earlier iterations) rail against the sexism men and boys face, their chosen culprit is not patriarchy but feminism.”

    In fact, Patriarchy theory is the main reason why MRAs disagree with feminists and are opposed to feminism. Patriarchy theory says that gender roles are oriented towards the oppression of women and benefit of men, and perhaps were even designed by men. MRAs usually believe that gender roles arose naturally and were beneficial for survival in the past. They believe they both help and harm each gender.

    MRAs aren’t against feminism because they believe they caused all men’s problems. That’s patently absurd, our problems predate feminism. Rather, we’re against feminism because it obstructs us from fixing our problems by spreading myths such as Patriarchy and the idea that only men are rapists. It also supports institutionalized misandry such as the Violence Against Women Act.

    Also:

    “Girls don’t perform better in the school system because social cues encourage them to be obedient and polite,”

    Really?

  21. Hello!
    I would like to begin by saying i’m on the fence and am probably between feminism and MR advocacy. I think people confuse patriarchy all the time instead of understanding that it describes a system that highlights men in power (dominant, aggressive) and highlights woman being lesser, weaker and usually sexually objectified. I have never blamed a single man for the patriarchal system because it’s no one person’s fault, and it’s a plethora of micro and macro involvements throughout time.

    My biggest problem is that I don’t find enough varied gender statistics about things that are commonly found to be women’s problems such as domestic abuse and rape statistics. I have heard but yet not seen any evidence through research on all genders that this is solely a women’s problem. Despite that I think only declaring that it is a “women’s issue” is extremely limiting and does more harm then good. Consent and aggression should be tackled for all people. Women play a big part in this problem, don’t mistake that but I think by exclusion you are not identifying trans* individuals or men. I think narrowing it to women might make it seem safer for those individuals, but at the same time I don’t see why helpful information and support isn’t out there to help others who don’t identify as a women with the same issues. I think that is extremely disheartening even if abuse and rape happens to one group that we must ONLY focus our resources and information to helping women and not helping all people who have undergone these terrible crimes.

    Some of the other MRA issues that i’ve come to understand are these: suicide gap (3:1), the education gap (60:40), the life expectancy gap (about 5 years), the homeless population gap (19:1), the banning of FGM and acceptance of MGM, the workplace fatality gap (20:1), media portrayals of fathers and men, unfair handling of rape cases, unfair handling of domestic violence cases (including the utter lack of shelters or support for male victims of domestic violence), the bald-faced abuse and fleecing of husbands and fathers in family courts, consequences and legal loopholes for people who lie about rape in court.

    I don’t think that feminism has to cater to men by a long shot. Nor do I think some feminists don’t agree that some of these might actually be issues besides those who are complaining and whining. I think vilifying MRA is not much better than those MRA who feel that feminism is a problem. Though I think it’s silly that MRA’s tend to fight feminism as a cause instead of patriarchy which I completely agree with. I think there is a lack information on both sides and I want to say that though there are extremes that there are some good points on MRA and that not everyone is fighting feminism (though I do see that often enough). I just don’t believe that feminism is required or will cover these sorts of issues and I don’t think it’s unfair of MRA to try and tackle or understand why some of these issues are a reality.

    • You don’t sound “in between” at all. You sound like a person who actually has an honest grasp of the concept of “equality” for both sexes.

  22. Let me see if I understand your argument.
    Men have no reproductive, parental, or property rights in a marriage, relationship, or in parenthood because ….they want it that way? Men actively WANT to be reduced to nothing more than income sources, and go through the heartlessness & destitution imposed on them through “family” courts … because they see that as a good thing?
    Help me understand why any group would actively work to destroy themselves.

    • Okay. It’s a fairly fundamental concept in my field (economics) but sadly doesn’t get a lot of exposure elsewhere, so I’m happy to help–it’s called the Theory of the Second Best, and what it boils down to is that when you start with a system that’s already broken (e.g., men have all the rights for reproduction, parenthood, property, etc) and try to fix the obvious inequality (by giving women some reproductive, parental, and property rights) you can still end up with a broken system because fixing one thing doesn’t mean you’ve fixed all of the things. To use a more violent metaphor, if someone’s got a nail shot through their foot, sometimes removing the nail causes damage too, which is bad, but that doesn’t mean that it’s better just to walk around with a nail through your foot and it doesn’t mean the paramedic is trying to destroy you.

      So, in summary, the point isn’t that All Men Who Control Everything have intentionally shot themselves in the foot, but that people fixing a broken system can’t always guarantee that everything will get fixed on the first try.

      • Thanks for that analogy. When listening to feminists of different generations and from different cultures, there seems to be a progression of feminism based on the lived experience of those feminists.

        As the problems are tackled and “fixed” new problems arise, movements get segmented, and sometimes over-corrections are corrected.

        The feminism of my youth was sometimes interpreted as being anti-house-wife – and devalued “women’s work”. Now, such devaluation is seen for what it is – just another form of devaluing anything associated with women.

        MRA seem to be focusing on imperfections and growing pains of the feminist revolution – I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the Lesbian Purge or the anti-trans* collision of some Radical Feminists.

        I suspect that the MRA will go through their pains as well, and hopefully grow out of what appears to be (judging by “A Voice for Men”) an extremely immature, volatile, movement.

    • (Also, please note that my explanation holds even if I accept your premise that “men have no rights in a marriage”, but I don’t accept that premise, because it’s a spectacularly audacious falsehood.)

      • I doubt you have ever been either married or divorced. For your own sake, I hope you experience neither; perhaps as an economist you’ve figured out the incentives for a man to marry, and made the rational choice to maximize your “utility” – by remaining single.
        If that’s the case, then you’re a more intelligent man than most of us.

  23. Feminism is mostly a hate movement. It continually portrays men, all men, as dirty, savage, stupid, and violent.
    Feminism is merely sexism in reverse; its main goals are to.portray men as less than.human, in order to.justify blatant and costly discrimination against us.

    So, here’s the thing about lies like this: they’re really pointless.

    They can only work if I don’t actually know any feminists. But I do. I know lots of them, most of my closest friends, and they praise and appreciate and adore me and the other men in their lives for the qualities of our characters. Most of them are married or engaged to be married to men whom they love and cherish. Some of them have sons for whom they care and make regular personal sacrifices without thought to the cost to themselves. I don’t need to cite papers on this–these are the people in my life.

    You might as well tell me the sky is plaid.

    • I would encourage you to actually read the works of feminist scholars – these are very mainstream women, for the most part academics at large universities or best selling authors – “women” such as Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, the columnist Maureen Dowd, Germaine Greer- and please tell me if you honestly think that my take on them consists of “lies.”
      Please look at actual feminist websites, with large followings – “the Femitheist Reborn,” “radfem.hub,” “feministing,” etc – & please tell me that you think ideas like universal castration for males, or automatic prison sentences for accused rapists, or any of the hideous and bigoted notions they espouse resemble your views in any way.
      If you think that feminism is merely about “equal rights,” rather than.painting half of all humanity as villians who should be marginalized and ostracized at every opportunity, well, these sites, and a brief perusal of Dworkin, MacKinnon, or Dowd’s book “Are Men Necessary?” should disabuse you of those notions.
      Feminism is a hate movement. Dworkin, MacKinnon, and most feminists have basically admitted as much.
      Women who claim to love to their husbands or sons, while still being “feminists” either don’t love their men as they claim, or really don’t know anything about feminism.

      • And the other falsehood that should be addressed is that men have any sort of rights in their marriages.
        Over 70% of all divorces are initiated by women. (I sued my first wife for divorce, as she was repeatedly unfaithful & abusive, but we didn’t have children.)
        However, men with children or men who’ve been married will pay huge sums of money, often far more than half of their income, often for decades or more.
        They may have no visitation rights or custody; if they do, their ex will often deny them visitation, and courts will do nothing.
        Divorced men will often be accused of rape or abuse as a “leverage” tactic; attorneys like Mary Kellett of Maine (Google her) will be more than happy to jail them on the flimsiest of pretexts.
        The suicide rate for divorced men is shockingly high. You will never ever hear any feminist express the least bit of sympathy for this, let alone any support for any public program for hurting men, just as you will never ever hear of shelters for abused men, nor for any sort of legal or financial support for men who are abused by their women.
        There are no obligations whatsoever for women, in regards to men. Feminists and many traditional women like it that way.
        My advice to you is to never marry, or to be extremely chary of the woman with whom you fall in love.
        If it was in any way a good deal for us, do you really think women would be so eager for us to marry them?

      • The idea that Andrea Dworkin or any other individual writer is the Zerg Overmind of Feminism and every single thing they’ve ever said therefore infects or defines every other person who favours equal rights for women is laughably absurd. You might have better luck with “Jefferson kept slaves, therefore all Americans are forever racists”. Or with broadening your awareness beyond the narrow slice of bigoted people claiming the feminist label who satisfy your confirmation bias.

        I am sorry for the things that have happened to you, but the fact that any individual woman or lawyer is immoral is neither shocking nor relevant to the concepts of feminism. And if you’ve had trouble getting feminists to express sympathy for your problems, may I suggest that this is because you approach them by spewing hateful bile about how your problems are all their fault? Just a thought.

        Also, the cognitive dissonance here is great. Marriage is a misandrist institution because women are so eager to get into it, but the majority of divorces being initiated by women is also proof of the Evil Feminist Agenda.

      • @drunicusrex – I hear this stat about women suing for divorce more a lot. What does that prove to you? I can think of a dozen or so divorces off the top of my head that the man did not want but he was cheating or hated her or what have you. Are you saying that who files for divorce is the one who “ruined” the marriage?

  24. Since for whatever reason this site won’t let me reply directly to M.A. Melby’s comment above mine, I’ll just say in this spot here that if she’d actually bother to look up some of the things those “women” have done and said like drunicusrex suggested, she might be just as likely to put the work in scare-quotes when describing them as well.

    • I’m familiar with Dworkin, but not as familiar with the others.

      I just think it’s silly. I mean, does saying things you don’t like or that are problematic make them not *real* women or something? Then if they aren’t women, what are they?

      • ….was it really so hard to understand that it’s being used as a figure of speech? When a person does something utterly horrible and we call them inhuman, they’re still technically human in the end.

      • Again, actually read what feminist scholars have written. They DO NOT merely espouse equal rights for women.
        If that was the case, which it is not, no one, including most MRAs, would have any problem.with feminism.
        Feminism IS NOT simply about “equal rights for women.”
        It is instead about hatred for, and inflicting serious disadvantages towards the fifty percent or so of all humanity that is born.male.

      • And there is a huge difference between merely “saying things others don’t like” and continually repeating flawed, biased outdated studies that portray all men as rapists or abusers or oppressors. And continually advocated harsh, discriminatory laws that cost us huge sums of money, or deny US equal opportunities, or represent transparently bigoted attempts to throw us in jail on flimsy pretexts.
        Their rights to their opinions, toxic and hateful and bigoted as they are, end where they bump up against the human rights of others.
        Don’t for a second think that feminists “have your back.” The vast majority of them, judging by their writings and the many government programs and laws they’ve inspired, indicate the EXACT opposite.

  25. You are wonderful.
    Your contributions to the Metro article about Men’s issues or misogyny was excellent!
    You are a beacon of light in a dark world.

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