Quote from PBS article on the Documentary No Safe Place
Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, "They are afraid women will laugh at them." When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, "We're afraid of being killed."
Where to start. Let's start with something positive first before delving into the depths of what these guys (and women) believe. A former MRA tells all:
The guy in this article actually tries to pit his new found MRA belief system against feminist theory and he records the result. He discovers what you'd expect- that MRA is a bit like feminism in the problems it identifies but differs in both the why and what to do about it. The unfairness MRA identify as uniquely a crisis of masculinity are actually the same forces oppressing women.
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I didn't know this existed. It looks like a great resource in sorting out this manosphere:
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Here we go. We're going in. Get the hip waders; this is going to get messy.
In their own words. . .
True to the experience of the man in article about the MRA turned feminist, they spend an inordinate bit of space up front telling what they aren't and why feminists are evil and feminism is from the depths of hell. And because they are "task focused" and falsely claim not to have an ideology or emotions, there is a list of issues! Yay! Let's take a look.
It's a very strange breakdown of points.
I see three groups: (1) bodily autonomy, domestic violence, father's rights, health, state discrimination, reproductive rights and suicide; (2) unnecessary medication, education; (3) disposability and vilification. Sort of.
Their ideology free tasks are as follows:
1. Bodily autonomy - As discussed, this is the section where they claim circumcision is the same as female genital mutilation.
"Type one FGM would be like removing a male’s testes, type three is equivalent to removing both the testes and the penis. There is no way that would be deemed acceptable," says Taina Bien Aime, director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, who adds that comparisons between male and female circumcision are unhelpful."
So, there that is. You can decide if the two are equivalent.
2. Disposability - Here, they discuss how unfair it is that men have to sacrifice for their community and also to protect hypocritical women who don't pull their weight. Instead of fighting against the Selective Service and militarization of society and the damaging effects of this, they focus on the unfairness that men have to do this but not women.
This is a good look at why sending women to war isn't the equality MRA says it is. Men controlling the world governments and sending women to war and the fact that MRA oppose the ERA and Violence Against Women Act are among the disparate situations discussed.
The approach to "equality" of MRA is just completely backwards. Insisting women hurt men more and get punished less in domestic violence and calling rape accusations inflated is not equality any more than saying women should be sent and killing in war as much as men. The real issue is ending war and selective service.
3. Domestic Violence - MRA claim that women perpetrate this as often or more than men but aren't prosecuted as much. They do claim that all domestic violence is bad, but choose to cherry pick to keep the patriarchy alive and women and children treated as property as in the "good old days."
Many fathers’ rights activists argue that women perpetuate as much, if not more, violence against intimate partners and that most domestic violence is mutual, ignoring or discounting all research to the contrary. They accuse programs that serve battered women of discrimination on the basis of sex, even to the point of bringing (unsuccessful) lawsuits against them on equal protection claims.- - - - - - -
Is domestic violence law marginalizing men? According to Joyce, probably not. She writes that "while some men certainly are victims of female domestic violence, advocates say the number is closer to 3 percent to 4 percent, rather than the 45 percent to 50 percent RADAR claims."4. Unnecessary Medication - It's possible that Americans are over medicated, but MRA focus on boys and ADHD only. There is no interest in fixing health care or anything else - only WHAT ABOUT THE BOYS and IT'S THE FEMINISTS' FAULT!
This link is really all you need. It explains both the question framed both ways - how are boys actually doing and politically/culturally, what does that mean? Boys appear to be doing worse in school and it is frequently blamed on feminism, the feminization of boys or the perceived pathologized boyhood.
Michael S. Kimmel in "What About the Boys?" What the Current Debates Tell us--And Don't Tell Us--About Boys in School:
Another look at why mothers would jump on this ridiculous bandwagon. It takes the view that the movement will die out when these mothers seek educational opportunities and boys learn that the ideology is bunk.
5. Education - Yeah, it's basically the same issue as above; the former being a solution to this problem - if you're looking at it this way. This and the previous thing are related and should have been one bullet point.
6. Father's Rights - To me, this is ridiculous to set up father's rights as antithetical to feminism or women's rights. Feminism seeks to equalize gender roles and give everyone the right to participate in raising their children from parental leave to custody and everywhere else.
This is helpful in clearing up some of the odd substitutions and logic employed:
Yeah. I can't. I feel like I'm just dealing with the same points over and over again, so maybe just a few more links are needed. Most of these can be described by cherry picking their data and the concern not even being factual, blaming everything on feminism or subdividing topics that are actually the same thing. In every instance where an actual grievance exists, feminism is working to help solve these issues that the men are complaining about. Having bodily autonomy mean circumcision vs FGM while women can't get birth control or menstrual products on demand and are forced to be pregnant by majority male lawmakers makes this point by point examination impossible.
7. Health - see the medication points
8. State Discrimination - see domestic violence and father's rights
9. Reproductive Rights - laughable premise, but see father's rights
10. Suicide - see medication
11. Vilification - laughable and subjective, but go back to disposability if you must
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From Movember to believing there's a crisis in masculinity, to denying the pay gap and the patriarchy exist, to believing the disparity in numbers of women in top positions is due to men being better at it, to believing law enforcement punishes too many men and the real crisis is letting women off easy, it all stems from a nearly feminist place that veers off into selfish babyman territory also known as men's rights activism (MRA).
In this BBC link,
Movember was mentioned, which I'd not considered as part of this MRA hysteria; it's an interesting point. The other complaints of men's rights activists that I already knew are discussed as well: suicide, crime, boys under performing in school, losing custody cases, more likely to be victims of violence.
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Next, a great description of the hate groups in the MRA area:
"There's no waxing poetic on the joys of fatherhood, the majesty of a properly groomed beard, or the exquisite joy of scratching your own balls; it's all just variations of "fuck dem bitches" and "amiright!?" It's not an ideology, it's just them feeling bad about themselves and directing that hatred elsewhere ... which is exactly how a hate group works. And that's not just my opinion."
This article has a few good hyperlinks and book references, one being:
The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified many of these groups as hate groups. You'll find that proponents like to talk about false rape being prevalent and a "fact" that women assault men as much or more than men assault women.
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This link goes into detail about a few MRA talking points we'll look at down the page - feminists hating men, women being hypocrites because of chivalry, rape is over reported, FGM is the same as circumcision, men are vilified in the media and several more.
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Various MRA have made news, this is only the most recent to make the news as he comes down from political controversy in Canada to make the rounds down here.
Here's the deal with that guy:
Basically he has a problem with using the correct pronouns for trans people and wants to use free speech to support his bigotry.
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On the controversy in my city:
MRA Peterson rented a place to speak and the city spoke against him and a debate about free speech ensued.
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This quote is talking about an MRA group spawned by Peterson's talks:
"One of their group’s main goals is “waking the police up” to female-perpetrated domestic violence, Mr. Trottier says."
Perpetually the victim, he thinks white privilege is a farce and enforced monogamy and sexual redistribution will stop mass shooters.
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Rather an optimistic and scholarly take - "Finding Common Ground: A Feminist Response to Men’s Rights Activism:"
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The zero sum mentality that sees women gaining and assuming themselves to be losing can overlap with white supremacy fears along the same lines. Maybe I posted before, but it is instructive that the alt right is attracted to this set of beliefs.