It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
MRAs and feminists arguing at University of Toronto men’s rights event
The video is a wonder to watch. I have dealt with my fair share of angry, shouting feminists, although this is the first time I have ever seen one actually bring a printout to make her argument. If the items from the list sound familiar, that is because the feminist is reading from Lindy West’s snarky rant that she posted on Jezebel.
Here is a friendly note for feminists: if you want men to listen to you, do not start by telling them to “shut the fuck up”. That usually does not get people to listen to you. That only makes them think you are a sexist bigot or what you may know as “an asshole”. If you want men to listen to you, treat them with the respect you expect them to give you. Even if they do not return that favor, at least you will look like the better person rather than the raving hot head (who clearly did not see the irony of dying her hair bright red before going out and shouting at people) that appears in the video.
Do these feminists represent all feminists? No. Do they represent many feminists who take issue with any discussion of men’s issues? Yes. They are not hard to find. Like those feminists, the ones in the video refuse to listen to anything the men’s rights activists say. The red head in particularly simply cusses at them, calls them names, and shouts that feminists have been helping men. She provides no evidence to support it, although she does an excellent impression of a Bible-thumper as she waves her printout in people’s faces.
What is truly amazing is watching these feminist argue about consent. One men’s rights activist asks a group of feminists whether someone who has consensual sex and later regrets it is rape. The young man to his left shouts at him “Then it’s rape!” The other feminists chime in with the same argument, completely missing the point of the scenario: at the time the sex occurred, both parties consented. It was only later that one person decided that they did not like the sex and felt violated. But during the sex, this person consented or allowed the other person to believe they consented to sex.
Logically, regretted sex is not rape. If you consent, there is no rape. Yet these feminists are so wrapped up in their ideology that they cannot see that. Instead, they claim the man they are shouting at has a different definition of consent than they do.
Also worth noting, none of the men’s rights activists shout at or verbally attack the feminists in the video. They are all calm, polite, and civil as this angry gaggle verbally assaults and insults them. It is an interesting counterpoint to the typical feminist trope about “angry MRAs”. These men have the chance to get loud and rowdy, and perhaps should given the responses from the feminists, yet they do not.
Granted, those men do not represent all men’s rights activists. However, most of the public interactions I have seen between men’s rights activists and feminists play out this way. The feminists, usually women, are loud, rowdy, rude, and physically threatening while the men’s rights activists sit or stand there trying to share their points as calmly as possible.
Here is my last friendly note for feminists: that video is what you sound like to most people. Whether that is your intention or not, that is how you come across. You come across as so wrapped up in the ideology that when people say thing you actually agree with, you shout them down. Your theories come across as so nutty that you can only defend them by being hostile and snarky. You come across as resorting to insults and profanity when you cannot convince someone of your arguments. And you come across was being unwilling and possibly incapable of listening to other views.
If you want men to listen to you and not think that feminism is about blaming, shaming, and hating men, you need to not do things like that. I am not saying that to help you improve your movement’s imagine. I could not care less about that. I am saying that because eventually you will act that way with the wrong person and you will not like what happens.