Julianne Ross argues in her recent article that men’s rights activists spread lies about feminists. Ironically, she starts off by telling lies about the men’s rights movement:
Although MRAs made headlines recently for their alleged connection to the Santa Barbara shooter (a connection many MRAs have tried to deny), this movement has been around, and infuriating feminists, for quite some time.
Let us start with the basics. There is no evidence that Elliot Rodger had any connection with the men’s rights movement. Feminists claim he did because they believe his comments sound like men’s rights activists’ comments in order to discredit the movement. However, there is not one link, bookmark, or comment that links Rodger any group other than PUAhate.
MRAs are often dismissed as angry, sex-starved man-children, but the movement likens itself to a male response to feminism. And it seems to be becoming even more vocal in the wake of the feminist movement’s new wave of online solidarity.
Perhaps they are more vocal because feminists are so inclined to disparage them.
Yet as a matter of course, men’s rights activists have not become more vocal. Feminists simply cannot shut up about them. Feminists use men’s rights activists and male survivors of abuse as political pin cushions. This began online and as a result of social media people are beginning to notice. Feminist “online solidarity” is actually a result of the greater attention men’s rights activists receive.
Men have real concerns (like a higher rate of workplace deaths and homelessness, as well as being subject to rigid constructs of masculinity), but the hostility expressed by MRAs towards the struggle for women’s rights does nothing to rectify the injustices men may face, primarily because these injustices are not caused by women.
Blaming men for their own problems does not solve anything. That is a very common feminist tactic. While no one can expect feminists to take men’s issues seriously, feminists still should not attempt to shut down discussion about the issues men face and role feminists play in those problems.
Many MRA arguments are blatantly misogynistic (Elam once wrote on AVfM’s website that drunk women are “freaking begging” to be raped), but the more dangerous ones have an air of credibility that serves to insidiously legitimize the broader movement.
It is interesting that Ross only links to one example from Paul Elam. This reveals a common flaw in feminists’ arguments against men’s rights activists: they cannot prove their claims. Feminists may find a comment here or there, but when it comes to the faces of the movement, feminists prefer to stick to Elam, as if he is the only men’s rights activist on the planet talking about men’s issues. Continue reading