Wonderful fights between narcissism and worthlessness

Men’s Rights Movement Can’t Argue A New Reality Into Existence

on September 3, 2012

I’ve always held the idea that politics would be an intellectual game to end all thought games, putting chess on the scale of watching ants try to find a rat carcass for three hours, if it just didn’t play out in reality with actual people’s lives and welfare. Knowing someone subverting the law to lower environmental regulations can kill children before birth takes any fun out of their mental accomplishments in figuring out those loopholes. And there’s always been that same perverse sort of fun yet horror in following political lies, because they’ve usually been half-lies based in perverting some sort truth, not out-and-out lying about reality. Mis-using a statistic, or framing a debate, not saying “We are the presidential ticket that will save Medicare from that evil socialist chair!” So it’s been (more than usually) depressing to watch RNC coverage as Republicans seem to be turning a corner into out and out lying. But they’re joining a pretty big group of truth deniers, (Transition!)including the Men’s Rights Movement.

Because that’s the state of things with Men’s Rights Activists exemplified by sites like http://www.the-niceguy.com/ who bravely take a stand against all (well, just most) women from The West: they hold that feminism, as an entire, unified movement, is not fighting for gender equality, to raise women up to stand equal with men and fight the institutionalized misogyny that holds women from being viewed as equals and sometimes as humans at all, but rather as a movement that already achieved all that and now hold MEN down and has instilled a matriarchy that oppresses men! And there’s basically no point in arguing hardline MRAs; they revel in violence towards women and an attitude that holds being called a creep as far more character destroying than actually raping a girl. But there’s also a softer side to the MRM, and these MRAs become poisoned by the hate well that is the greater movement. They’ll argue from logic, and ask that we all stay civil, and quote sources and want to talk facts, and still hold that most feminists are hateful, or evil, or shrill, or maybe a gendered critique of feminism, and that rape is actually overreported, and quote websites that are full of the hard-liners forgiving Anders Behring Breivik and gleefully calling women gendered slurs and insinuating child prostitutes were culpable for turning men horny that were good and pure.

Feminism is, of course, up for debate! Feminists can do wrong and be wrong, and have incorrect ideas. Feminism doesn’t get to be untouchable just because it’s attacking institutions in society and is automatically the underdog. But it’s important to remember that what a feminist says doesn’t automatically speak for EVERYONE ELSE that identifies as a feminist and mean they believe it. If you ever catch a MRA addressing something based in reality, it’ll be something someone said, or maybe a group, and then they’ll attribute it to all feminists. Although usually they’re attacking the mythical many-headed hydra that is the feminist bloc.

Attacking Feminism by attacking this Saturday Morning Cartoon Evil Organization you’re calling Feminism does affect the efforts of the actual feminist movement by painting it as evil, as having already succeeded so no need for further reforms, as actually having demolished the patriarchy, and also in its place having set up a matriarchy. But now we’re transitioning to your misogyny towards women; men are the truly disenfranchised gender, women hold all the power, feminist women run the governments and keep enacting laws making it harder for good, honest (lol) men to live their lives! It sets the experiences of women up as false, wrong, and counter to reality, and helps marginalize women and their experiences. It is misogyny.  There are people still who defend tribal society’s protection of women above men as women being in a position of power, and it holds a lot of depressing similarities and skipped-over realities to the situation today. So too with the assertion that there is no rape culture, but there is most definitely a false rape culture! It’s running counter to reality by saying that all the facets of reality surrounding reporting rape are actually false and their opposites are true. That rape is so easy to report and rape convictions are so easily sought and obtained that, rather than fight for women (and men’s!) voices to be heard when they report rape, to be supported and listened to and not dismissed out of hand and questioned and qualified, we need to fight AGAINST women and their ease of reporting that is ruining men’s lives!

One interesting spot of this can be seen in child custody laws. Here the Men’s Right’s Movement don’t stand completely counter to reality; in a general sense, women have the institutionalized priviledge compared to men. A mother’s choices are often respected more than a father’s for the care and parental raising of a child. The problem is when Men’s Rights Activists tie addressing this issue into a larger packet that attacks Feminism and the idea of the patriarchy, because Feminism addresses these issues too. Women have gained control not as women, but as mothers, and the idea of women as only mothers, only useful when being mothers, and only worth listening to when making decisions for the future of a child they bore is an idea born straight of the patriarchy. If we correct that, child custody no longer becomes all about a mother’s choice and can be reformed to be viewed as a decision between parents who are splitting and focus on their wishes, their involvement, and what is best for the child. But attacking feminism and their role in gender equality while maintaining the solution is to lessen mother’s rights leaves women behind in these discussions and helps leave women behind in society.

It shows a level of misogyny to come in to a conversation about an issue effecting women and argue that we need to think of the men too (which, again, leaves out the MRA who will insist women don’t have issues and have too much already and ALL the power) because it takes away from the conversation about the issue women are facing. It should always be welcome to have a voice that argues. “Hey, couldn’t agree more, this issue is a problem, but men also face this issue.” Rape is just such a subject; in fighting the view of rape victims as a subject of comedy, I want male rape victims to be viewed in the same sobering light. But it should never be welcome to have a voice arguing, “Well have you thought about how this issue affects men? HUH? Why are we even arguing women’s issues with this. The law’s on your side!”

Men’s Rights greatest crime is barging in to any conversation as though women have no issues, but it would be unfair to say that men face no issues. We will all always have problems. But men do have privilege, so to maintain that any man’s issue’s correction takes precedent over or is equal to any movement to destroy part of the patriarchy is a false equivalence. Men don’t face institutionalized oppression of their voices, their bodies, or their rights (No, I’m not characterizing child custody laws as oppression).

 

Also, there’s another issue that the MRM has with discussions around women’s issues: your exclusion from conversations doesn’t mean your rights and value are being forgotten. From http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/a-funny-thing-just-happened-to-the-mrm/ (fuck): “The Mens Movement stands in direct opposition to Gynocentric thinking, and is unapologetic in asserting men have intrinsic value as human beings.” When women fight to be heard and seen as human beings with intrinsic values, and you don’t hear calls for men to be viewed the same way, it’s not gender discrimination. Men have always had intrinsic human value (as long as they were white and not too poor!) Men never had to win the right to vote. That doesn’t mean they need an amendment to enshrine the right to vote in the constitution, because that is a right that was never dneied to them. Rights that do not specify a particular gender or race are not typically denied to men, so there’s never any need for a fight.  And to qualify that fuck, that quote was the third point in some potential planks for the MRM. Number one? “The Mens Movement stands in opposition to Identity Politics, Political Correctness, and other forms of ‘social engineering’. In short, the Mens Movement is basically a Rebellion against our ‘moral betters’.” Remember, if someone’s being “PC,” they’re just whining. Probably not even offended, just want attention. Stand up for your free speech!

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