Content Warning: mention of rape
With the recent occurrence of the Women’s Marches that have happened all over the world, there’s been some talk about “Men’s Marches”. Look, I try to not get too angry on my blog (with an exception of my post about triggered jokes for presumably obvious reasons), but this idea is absolutely ridiculous and I’m about to get pretty heated about it.
For those who don’t know, I’m a major feminist. I probably fall under what most people would call “radical feminist”. (Note to my fellow SJW’s: Don’t worry, I’m not a gross TERF and my feminism is intersectional as FUCK). For years now, I’ve been hearing about Men’s Rights Activists (or MRA’s for short), and frankly, that’s completely ludicrous. What rights exactly are you fighting for? What rights are you claiming that you don’t have that women do have?
I did some research into this to hopefully see at least one or two valid points from the MRA’s side and I found absolutely nothing when I fact checked their claims.
One of the biggest ones I saw was an unfair advantage toward women in custody battles. That one actually seemed fair to me at first; the statistics they provided made it seem that they indeed were given custody at a very disproportionate rate compared to women. But, as many statistics are, they were provided out of context. One of the most commonly sited statistics claim that only 10-15% of cases appoint the father to have sole custody. (This statistic is only accounting for heterosexual marriages because there haven’t been many studies on other types of couples yet). However, it’s been found that a tiny 4% of custody cases actually end up going to court in the first place. Many custody battles are fought outside the court and the parents come to a mutual agreement of joint custody. Plus, that statistic of 10-15% is highly skewed because this is also accounting for the cases where the couples agreed to let the mother have custody or they agreed to joint custody. When men actually do seek out primary custody in court, it’s been shown about 50% of them do get it in the end. So the claim that it’s women who have “privilege” in custody battles is just entirely false.
Also, almost all problems MRA’s claim to be all about changing are issues that are actually rooted in misogyny, rigid gender roles, and stereotypes, all of which are perpetrated by the patriarchal system we live in. You know, like the ones feminists are already trying to fix for men, women, and nonbinary people. If MRA’s stopped for a moment and realized this, it would make the fight to improve these issues so much easier and would benefit everyone.
The fact that men being called a “pussy” or “a girl” is such a bad thing is evident that being a woman is equated with being inferior; if a man is described using terms that are interpreted as “feminine”, it’s one of the worst things he can be called. Even homophobia stems from this. The stereotype of a gay man is very effeminate or “girly”, and this is seen as an insult on straight men’s fragile masculinity and egos.
Furthermore, the draft only affecting men is also deeply rooted in misogynistic views. Women are thought of as inherently weaker, so of course they can’t serve in the military. Why else would women have only gotten the right to serve in combat as of 1948? (Besides, most feminists don’t support the draft for anyone, not even men. The idea of forcing unwilling people into combat is unappealing at least, so using this as an argument against feminism makes zero sense).
Other claims I saw from MRA’s just make no sense at all when you simply break it down. The claim that feminists hate men is generalizing and typically false; some of us are afraid of men due to past traumas involving men, which is entirely valid. Some feminists may actually hate men as well, and that’s fair considering it’s a reaction to the oppression we face from the male sex. It’s unfair to characterize the entire movement due to the feelings of a few members (I will address why this point is invalid with my AVfM example I provide later in this post). Just the thought that some of us wanting more rights makes them think we hate them? Sounds to me like they must have fragile egos. And yes, I’m aware that “not all men” are like this, but that is the most overused, tired out rhetoric of today’s feminist movement. Nobody cares if you are a good guy, enough of you are dangerous that we’re fucking scared.
Men’s rights activism seems to stem solely from their response to modern feminism. Feminists today are much more straight forward and aren’t afraid to demand what women before couldn’t. Men seeing women rise up and demand the same rights is a scary sight to them; when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality looks like oppression. In order to combat this, they began acting concerned about certain issues facing them in order to try and shut down feminists because: well, we actually have it worse than you so shut up. Whenever feminists speak up about issues facing women in the world, MRA’s like to jump in and point out: we have issues too. Harassing feminists online is their favorite past time. I have failed to find a single source discussing the actual change MRA’s plan to bring about or what they have done to accomplish anything. The only time they come into the public eye is when they feel the need to fight feminists though their goals are highly similar.
However, I have found plenty examples of MRA’s being highly problematic, and this includes an organization that claims to be actually working to bring about positive change. A Voice for Men (AVfM) posted an article discussing rape culture. In this post, the author states that women are “freaking begging ” to be raped. This post has since been taken off of their website, claiming their only intent was to get people to “think”. Read that quote and just try and tell me that it’s justified to rape somebody because they decided to drink. To be very frank, if you think somebody is “freaking begging” to be raped due to their manor of dress, level of intoxication, or any other reason, you are a disgusting human being. (Note: This example isn’t necessarily to discredit the entirety of MRA’s “movement” considering they are (hopefully) a minority, however I believe it’s important to address that people in high positions within the movement have this mentality. Also, the other various points I’ve made here I’m sure are plenty enough to discredit this movement).
I will admit that until now, I had never done research into what MRA’s stand for and what issues they wanted to address. Now that I have, my disdain toward them is even stronger than it ever was. I’m glad I never fell for their shit when I was younger and more naive. For those who have and may still be there, I really hope this was at least a little eye opening and you’ll rethink the movement you stand behind. Please share this if you agree with what I’ve written here, thanks for reading.