The new movement

Nancy Kaffer does not like the men’s rights movement. As she posits in her Daily Beast article:

Men, it seems, do need a movement. Just not the one they have.

Visit the online homes of men’s rights adherents, and you’ll quickly get the impression that the biggest problems facing dudes these days are fat women, sluts, women who claim to have been raped, and, obvs, feminism.

She goes on to state:

Oh, sure, men’s rights advocates are concerned about the climate in divorce courts, where custody and financial decisions are perceived to favor women. But their approach is conspiratorial—the laws, they say, are rigged and controlled by radical feminists—not an acknowledgement that courts haven’t changed as rapidly as society.

These are reactive, not proactive, stances, and they do little to offer substantive solutions.

These are also stances that bear a striking resemblance to the feminist stance on social issues. It is remarkable how easily feminists like Kaffer will accept the argument that rape laws are rigged against women and controlled by “The Patriarchy” with no acknowledgement that many aspects of the legal system have not changed as rapidly as the rest of society, yet reject any similar assertion when made by men.

So, if I can womansplain, here

No, you may not, but you are going to do it anyway: Continue reading

When hate isn’t hate

Vice columnist Kane Daniel wrote a piece about his infiltration of a men’s rights group. It appears Daniel’s intention was to show men’s rights activists as raving lunatic misogynists. Instead, Daniel demonstrated what bad journalism looks like. He wrote in his piece:

I, like most people I know, am indignant at the very idea of men’s rights activists. A semi-organised group of men who believe the sinister spectre of feminism has inveigled itself into the fabric of culture, society and media. A shadowy illuminati who have succeeded in making men an oppressed majority. If you’ve ever had a friend with some, ah, unusual ideas about Jews, then just imagine them talking about women rather than the chosen people and you get the tone.

(Quick note: according to current population numbers, women outnumber men, so men are not “an oppressed majority.)

This is a common refrain from feminists and progressives. They see no validity in men’s complaints about feminism, so in an effort to justify their dismissal, feminists and progressives equate them to racists. This was Daniel’s first step in telling the reader that they need not take these men seriously. The next was to challenge men’s rights activists’ manhood:

The idea of a bunch of little man babies screaming about the evil militant feminists stealing their rights feels galling. Acting as if the Ghosts Of Radical Feminists Past swoop into their homes while they sleep soundly under The Matrix Reloaded bedsheets and magically castrate them while they dream of a Doc Marten stamping on a man’s face – forever.

Note how Daniel shifts the focus off of feminists in general and blames “radical feminists”. This too is a common tract among the left. It allows them to claim that only a tiny set of feminists harbor the hostile views men’s rights activists detest. This is done just in case someone can present evidence of feminists engaging in such behavior.

Yet despite considering men’s rights activists “little man babies” whining about nothing, Daniel wanted to “try and understand something about them outside of their din of blog posts and YouTube videos”.

His decision: infiltrate a Sydney-based men’s group. Continue reading

Lies, damn lies, and feminists

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

Thank you for stating the obvious

Originally posted on September 30, 2013

A University of Toronto research team found that activists who aggressively promote their agenda prompt others to hold negative opinions about them:

Why don’t people behave in more environmentally friendly ways? New research presents one uncomfortable answer: They don’t want to be associated with environmentalists.

That’s the conclusion of troubling new research from Canada, which similarly finds support for feminist goals is hampered by a dislike of feminists.

Participants held strongly negative stereotypes about such activists, and those feelings reduced their willingness “to adopt the behaviors that these activities promoted,” reports a research team led by University of Toronto psychologist Nadia Bashir. This surprisingly cruel caricaturing, the researchers conclude, plays “a key role in creating resistance to social change.”

Did we really need a battery of studies to tell us this? Is it not obvious that the more hostile and militant the group, the more likely people will want nothing to do with them? Continue reading

Hugo Schwyzer: “I’m sorry for denying male rape victims. I was one.”

James Landrith emailed me a cached version of Hugo Schwyzer’s recent post. Schwyzer removed the original shortly after posting it. I still marvel at why anyone would allow the man access to the internet in his present state. I suppose no one can keep from going online unless he is locked up. However, one would think that those around him would monitor him as much as possible given how badly he embarrassed himself the last time he went online.

As for the article, Schwyzer states in it that he was raped by an older sailor when he was 19-years-old. Here is the article in full: Continue reading