Several years ago, I wrote about my impression of the subreddit /r/MensLib. It is a pro-feminist space for men created as a counter to /r/MensRights. As such, MensLib views men’s issues through a progressive and feminist lens. Non-feminists and non-progressives are allowed to participate as long as they do not question feminist or progressive theories.
As I mentioned in my initial post, it did not take long for MensLib to devolve into the usual heavy moderation, comment deletion, bannings, and anti-male sentiments that typically appear in pro-feminist male spaces. However, MensLib is unique in one regard: an peculiar need to “reclaim” male victimization. Specifically, an attempt to control the narrative about male victims by filtering men’s experiences through a feminist perspective. This is similar to what The Good Men Project tried to do.
This creates an interesting conundrum as feminist theory rejects the notion of male victimization as a legitimate issue in and of itself. Male victims only have value within feminist theory to the extent that they can be seen as an ironic result of men’s power, a sort of karmic backfire. Outside of the perspective, male victims cannot be acknowledged as their existence counters the feminist narrative that violence is a patriarchal tool of oppression reserved for females. This is primarily because most people who abuse males are female, and feminists argue that females lack the power, both physical and institutional, to truly harm males.
So what do you do when males are beaten or raped? Contrary to the feminist narrative, we now have decades of evidence proving men and boys are abused at about the same rate as women and girls, again, predominantly by women and girls. It is no longer possible to deny this without sounding insensitive or dishonest.
Well, if you are MensLib, what you do is acknowledge the abuse occurs and say all the proper things to make it appear that you are concerned for male victims. However, underneath that veneer of compassion lies the truth: you are not really concerned about the male victims at all. This is simply a means subtle indoctrination. Continue reading