Sorry guys, men are not a “special interest group” Part 1

Today I was reminded that men’s rights activism is a thing. A friend on Facebook posted a status denouncing people who engage in “fat shaming, slut shaming, rape jokes, homophobia, transphobia, and racism.” And I totally agree with her.

The comment thread was possibly the longest and most impassioned thing I’ve ever read… well, scanned. I don’t have that kind of time, even for amusing rhetoric. But the conversation seemed to revolve heavily around the tenets of Men’s Rights Activism.

For those of you who don’t know, MRA is a growing movement of men who are sick of feminist bitching and feel that things have gotten out of balance in favour of women. They have this big long mantra listing all the ways they are oppressed by society.

It makes me indignant. This is not because I don’t believe that some men do suffer spousal abuse, rape and discrimination. They totally do. What bugs me is that they feel the need to augment those very serious and valid problems with a laundry list of bullshit. Because it’s not bad enough that we can’t even create accurate statistics on rape because both male and female victims are too afraid or ashamed to report it, so let’s make some shit up to emphasize the victimhood of men by feminism.

People who have been violently assaulted, had their reputations ruined or lost their children unfairly to their co-parent have my absolute sympathy but the list below is overcompensating for a lot of things. So I present it with my rebuttals. In pink!

WARNING: Contains heavy sarcasm, stereotyping and bitchiness. Cuz I never said I was a role model.

• I need men’s rights because if she changes her mind the next day, I go to jail for 5-7 years;

The very next day? Without trial? Without a tedious, years-long crawl through the legal system? Without evidence? This is not to deny that a woman is capable of lying and some are bitches enough to lie about that, but few can keep it up through multiple court appearances. There are far more real victims who are terrified to step forward than bitches lying about rape. 

• I need men’s rights because I was the victim of abuse but nobody believed me;

See above. We have a shitty culture that blames and shames the victims. We all need to work on changing that.

• I need men’s rights because I am less likely to go to college, and if I do, I will make less money than my female contemporaries;

Did you just play some kind of screwy trick with statistics there? I think what you’re possibly getting at is that because more women are attending college the ratio of men to women is shrinking. Also because there are more women applying there are fewer spots available for men because we’re hogging them all up with our good grades and stuff. Guess you all better step it up. Don’t worry if you don’t make it. You can always find some absurdly well paid woman to support you.

• I need men’s rights because the president sees the shrinking number of men in colleges across America as “a great success”;

I can’t argue this statement at all because I’m Canadian. My national leader’s idea of great success is poisoning all the water, muzzling all the scientists, censoring the CBC and putting all the natives in jail.

• I need men’s rights because people question if I am a predator when I am alone with my child;

Most people I know think good dads are, you know, good. If mom getting a night to herself once in awhile means dad takes over the diaper changing for awhile you’ll be elbow deep in poopy before anyone questions anything. And I don’t mean that in some horrible pedophillic way.

• I need men’s rights because a man’s appearance, height, and weight has a greater affect on his income than it does for a woman;

This is plainly true. Everyone knows that the only reputable plumbers are tubby with hairy butt cracks.

• I need men’s rights because saying “it’s impossible to discriminate against men in our society” allows people to discriminate with impunity;

Kind of like saying “Feminists need to shut the fuck up” allows people to disregard us with impunity?

• I need men’s rights because traditionally masculine characteristics are virtues not flaws;

It depends which characteristics you mean and to what extent they define the person as a human being. There are many lovely manly virtues which if unbalanced turn into flaws pretty damn quick.

• I need men’s rights because the likelihood of my death coming by suicide is four times higher than it is for women, though I receive little support;

So, like, don’t kill yourself maybe? I know I sound like a dick there but that kind of thinking has kept me alive so far.

• I need men’s rights because it is not considered bigoted or sexist to deny me a male safe space at my college by those who have possessed their own safe spaces for decades;

I thought you weren’t going to college? Well if you do miraculously prevail against your feminist oppressors and get in I promise not to enter your stinky frathouse. Not even to clean it.

• I need men’s rights because it is assumed that a meeting of men in a male safe space is automatically going to devolve into hateful sexism and violence;

You guys could seriously win awards for sweeping overgeneralization. But considering that every men’s rights site I’ve ever seen has been peppered with hateful sexism, you may be right. And those assuming may have a point. But my friend Pat’s husband kicks her out every Friday night for his men-only poker game and so far no one has been ragemurdered. Yet.

• I need men’s rights because broad gender-wide slurs against men are socially accepted;

I’ll see your slurs and raise you dumb blondes, sluts, feminazis and the assumption that single mothers are all strippers or sucking their baby daddies dry to support their lavish lifestyles.

• I need men’s rights because my life, career, reputation and connection with my family can be easily destroyed by a single, false and anonymously whispered accusation;

Anyone’s could, dumbass.

• I need men’s rights because when women stumble blame rests on society, but when men stumble it is their fault;

When I stumble I blame it on my boyfriend for always leaving his stuff where I will trip over it. When he stumbles I say, “Serves you right. Now quit leaving your boots right in the doorway.” So yeah I guess that’s true.

• I need men’s rights because in my physically demanding career, I am expected to do much more work for “equal” pay;

Much more work than whom? Did you know, many women are quite capable of swinging a hammer just as hard as you? Unfortunately the typical male response to a woman picking up a hammer is along the lines of, “Whoa there little lady! Better put that down before you break a nail.” I’d advise you to get a cushy office job like I have, but your physically demanding one pays way more.

• I need men’s rights because it is fine to call me a “dick”, a “cock”, or a “prick” on the street or on television; a woman must never be called a “cunt”;

Try not to be such a pussy about it.

Believe it or not there are a whole bunch more, but I’ve taxed my readers’ attention span enough for one day.  To be continued!


12 Responses to “Sorry guys, men are not a “special interest group” Part 1”

  1. Michelle C Says:

    All excellent points. We should tell the men to suck it up and act like “men” and not like bitches. Also, we should give them male-only gyms and clubs, because the best way to corral a sheep is to put it back into the flock. Women will get so much more done if the men have daycare facilities.

    • The thing is, I love men. And I agree that their lives suck in a completely different way than ours and that is another aspect of society that needs to be acknowledged and adjusted. Groups like the MRA Just go about it in a particular way that I find demeans their cause. Feminism is a all hear me roar but stuff like this really emphasises victimhood which I really disagree with. It forgets that men are still much more powerful in the world than women in many ways and that it could probably press that little advantage into getting these problems solved instead of getting shitty at feminists and doing more complaining than positive action.

  2. Samantha Says:

    Awesome. I would add that all of the real problems MRA ‘address’ by blaming them on the feminazi illumati, are caused by the patriarchy. Report rates for abuse and sexual assault of male victims are terribly low because they are considered ‘female crimes’ and prove the male victim to be feminine or weak in the eyes of rape culture. Men at playgrounds may be assumed to have ill-intentioned because women are supposedly the natural caregivers and men aren’t. Also the suicide statistic isn’t really in MRA’s favour. More men *complete* suicide while more women *attempt*, because men typically use more violent means to do it (guns, jumping or hanging).

    • Charles Says:

      “I would add that all of the real problems MRA ‘address’ by blaming them on the feminazi illumati, are caused by the patriarchy”

      Most legitimate MRA’s don’t blame the “real problems men face” on the ‘feminazi illuminati’, they blame it on the gender-based sexist double standards in our society pretty much as feminists (correctly) blame the sexist double standards they face on theirs. The difference is, they have the unmitigated gall to claim that the sexism that disadvantages men is, you know, actually sexism that disadvantages men, as opposed to being “a form of anti-woman sexism”.

      And you might claim that feminism is seeking to address those problems, but let me ask you, just how are they?

      When it comes to gender-based double standards that historically disadvantage women (or in zero sum situations, advantage men), how does feminist advocate to fix them? With direct change. Separate-but-equal lower standards. Pro-woman affirmative action. Payment of reparation monies for grassroots education and awareness raising.

      Yet, when it comes to address the other half of the coin? “Meh, we’ll overthrow the patriarchy and it will all sort itself out”.

      Isn’t that convenient?

      Have you seen one mainstream feminist group — just one! — that has fought for “equal crime for equal time” with the same fervor that they fight for “equal pay for equal work” [even if they make their argument by comparing unequal pay with unequal work]?

      And make no mistake about it, just as surely as there are “pro-white” race biases and “pro-wealthy” privilege biases in the legal system, there is an even larger “pro-female” gender bias in all aspects of the judicial system, from incarceration rates to sentence length to capital punishment.

      Yet, have you seen one chapter of the NOW advocate for affirmative action for women to receive tougher sentences to compensate for this sexism-based historical inequity? No, but you DO see the Women’s Justice Taskforce in the UK advocating [with a straight face] that all women’s prisons should be closed and no women should be sent to jail for any crime, ever.

      Now that women can fight in the front line in the US, do you see any feminist group advocating for not only women to be required to join Selective Service, but to be preferentially sent to the front line until the proportion of female war dead is equal to the proportion of women who are in the army? I’ve only seen feminist columnists saying that women shouldn’t be required to register for Selective Service at all and should have a choice that men don’t because.. male privilege, I guess. And Hilary Clinton who famously went on record as saying that women were the “true historical victims of war” because they had to live on instead of dying with their guts shot out from under them. My, what privilege!

      Bottom line is this: any sane person ‘gets’ that there exist sexism in our society that is based on double standards, and that it should be eradicated as much as possible. But for as long as feminists insist on claiming that the sexism that disadvantages men is anything but sexism that disadvantages men, there will be some voice to fill in the difference between “feminism” and “egalitarianism”. That voice will have its share of crackpots and hateful people using it to disguise their bigotry and hatred, just as surely as feminism had Andrea Dworkin. But most of them will be people who have strict, principled gender-blind meritocratic views on equality. Those who do as Gandhi suggested — be the change they want to see in the world. And once you stop wasting your energy painting them as “misogynistic male-privilege-mongering MRAs”, you’ll see that they’re actually on the vanguard for equality — actual, TRUE equality. Hate them for being a step ahead of you if you must.

      • Charles Says:

        tl;dr above:

        sexism that disadvantages women gets affirmative action, direct remedial quotas, funding for awareness and grassroots movement.

        sexism that advantages women gets “meh, once we overthrow the patriarchy, it’ll all sort itself out”, assuming they aren’t actively fighting to maintain said advantage (see which “women should never go to prison”, “women shouldn’t have to register for Selective Service”).

        .. oh, and to that you can add the NOW going on record as opposing legislation that would require both parents get joint PHYSICAL custody in the cases where both were fit and neither wanted to budge. You know, actual equality, not “mother knows best!”

  3. Daniel O'Sheigh Says:

    So you bashing mens groups, however distasteful you find them, is different than your wailing about men calling you feminazis how? You are so the pot calling the kettle black. You are trying to minimize the actual problems that men DO face, simply because you still think that men are the big baddies on the block. Womens rights movements started in much the same way, with people ridiculing them and trying to say that the problems didn’t exist. Men’s rights are important just like women’s are and simply because some of these topics happen less frequently than it does to women, does NOT make them less important. You bitch about men’s meeting degenerating into sexist bash sessions? Take a look in the mirror.

    • men’s rights issues stem directly from women’s rights issues, and if you can’t see that then why comment? women being oppressed for so long has given men the position they are in now; essentially, if men cry rape or abuse they’re seen as weak or “feminine.” also, parental rights usually favour the mother because women are supposed to be better caretakers naturally. who’s to say a man can’t take care of his children? the patriarchy! etc. etc.

      • Charles Says:

        “men’s rights issues stem directly from women’s rights issues”

        Men’s rights issues stem directly from the same place women’s rights issues stem from: Human rights. Egalitarianism. A desire to live in a society free from prejudice.

        In practice, if the sexism that disadvantages men (and in zero-sum situation, advantages women) REALLY was a “women’s rights issue”, then why do the feminists ostensibly seeking to solve women’s rights issues in theory wind up, in practice, either ignoring these particular issues or seeking to strengthen them?

        “… and if you can’t see that then why comment?”

        … um.. because we disagree on that subject? Because your very statement is proof positive that some truly delusional people believe only women can be disadvantaged by sexism?

    • If you read carefully, I’m not bashing men’s groups, I’m bashing stupidity. I dislike the brand of feminism that focuses on blame and victimhood and apparently so does MRA. If they dislike it, why emulate it? Just sayin’.

  4. Charles Says:

    “* I need men’s rights because people question if I am a predator when I am alone with my child;

    Most people I know think good dads are, you know, good.”

    Are any of the people you know responsible for British Airways’ policy (which they defend to the hilt) where they will not let an adult male (and ONLY a male) sit next to an accompanied minor for their safety? This in spite of the fact that the majority of child abuse and child murder is committed by people known to the child versus stranger, and the majority by the mother than the father, making an “unknown male” the least likely combination of “known / unknown” and “male / female” to be a risk?

    “* I need men’s rights because it is assumed that a meeting of men in a male safe space is automatically going to devolve into hateful sexism and violence;

    You guys could seriously win awards for sweeping overgeneralization.”

    So could the Ryerson Student’s Union, which rewrote their own bylaws rather than allow a men’s issues group to form on campus, for the very reason that they were assumed to be affiliated with groups that are no more hateful than Jezebel or Rabble.

    “*I need men’s rights because my life, career, reputation and connection with my family can be easily destroyed by a single, false and anonymously whispered accusation;

    Anyone’s could, dumbass.”

    Just like men could get breast cancer, yes, anyone can. Doesn’t change the proportion or the relative ease in which such destruction takes place. A false accusation of rape destroys a man’s life more than a conviction of rape destroy’s a woman’s.

  5. […] me it’s too long, boring, stupid, insipid, offensive, conceited or you just don’t like my face. This will make me much happier than a like. Or […]

  6. […] latter complaint I will disregard as I think the men’s rights movement is largely woman-hating bullshit and I don’t have time to cater to those guys. I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: